ARC (A Real Chopper): Prologue & Chapter 1

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MSJ

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« Reply #45 on: April 16, 2018, 06:24:32 pm »
Quote from:  H
Not sure about a Consult long-con though, since I've usually maintained that the Consult position is pretty logical and technically correct.

H will never indulge my crazy theories. Lol. I am 1 for 100.......Kellhus loved Esme. At least I got that. ;)
“No. I am your end. Before your eyes I will put your seed to the knife. I will quarter your carcass and feed it to the dogs. Your bones I will grind to dust and cast to the winds. I will strike down those who speak your name or the name of your fathers, until ‘Yursalka’ becomes as meaningless as infant babble. I will blot you out, hunt down your every trace! The track of your life has come to me,

TLEILAXU

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« Reply #46 on: April 16, 2018, 07:56:06 pm »
The skin spy replacements are for a couple things.

One is to place people high up so the Consult have top level information about everything going on.

Another is to screw with the Mandate. The Mandati have fallen into I'll repute - this is probably not just because the Consult is hidden, but because the skinspies themselves are at top levels and telling everyone to disreguard them. It's a two pronged assault.

Another reason for the skin spies is to replace the spies of the Mandate - all the ones they haven't yet killed. This allows then to feed false or confusing info to the Madate and effectively control every source of data they have. Another dual assault.

In addition, it also let's the Consult spy in turn on the Mandate. The Consult only have the one spy wlinsude the Auorum (I assume), and probably recently (last few years?). They have probably been replacing spies for centuries as a way to figure out what info the Mandate knows. It also allows to discover information, like if the Mandate are suspicious of their replacements, what lies they listen to from the Consult, etc.etc.


With all that in mind, the replacement of Geshrunni was probably for at least several reasons. The-Thing-Called-Geshruni would probably provide a new, useful, source of info to the Consult about the SS and about Akka (and in effect the Mandate).
Geshrunni is not replaced though, since his corpse is later found by the Scarlet Spires (and Elearazas makes a point of his missing face to Achamian) IIRC.

JerakoKayne

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« Reply #47 on: April 16, 2018, 08:08:53 pm »
It lets them spy, and to control the spies, certainly. But it lets them influence the Mandate more directly, too. I don't think the-thing-called-Simas was a recent replacement at all. The spies have existed for several centuries at least, and at least appear not to suffer age. An anomalous skin-spy that can detect sorcery likely would have been noticed early. It has probably replaced several generations of Mandati. I don't think it's any coincidence at all that Achamian is part of a faction (or at least a particular class) of Mandati that are skeptical the Consult, and that he was trained by one! It's probably been there the whole time, subtly teaching Mandate neophytes to undermine their own mission by not believing in it.

On those thoughts, this chapter strikes me in a couple of different ways. Firstly, that from the very beginning Akka is presented as being a terrible spy. The only "real" informant (that we at least see) in fact is an informant because he saw through Akka immediately. I suspect the vast majority of his previous informants (if any) were skin-spies themselves, though even if they weren't this chapter makes clear they at least constantly follow him.

It's an interesting coincidence that one of the first real tidbits they do get from a real informant is actually indirectly related to the Consult. The Spires/Cishaurim conflict began with the detection of the skin-spies. The Mandati don't know this yet, of course, and it's not surprising in the least that Geshrunni is immediately removed after sharing it. I am surprised, however, that Geshrunni is killed, and not replaced.

We later learn that Geshrunni is discovered, and it's absurd to think that wasn't intentional. The spies must excel at disposing of the bodies in order to replace them, so it follows that the discovery of Geshrunni's body really was desired. But why faceless, if not attempting to replace that face?

If Geshrunni is meant to be discovered, he was meant to be discovered that way, else why not make it seem like a 'normal' murder? It's perhaps a bit convoluted, but I think maybe the Consult meant to give that info to the Spires. Through their war, the Spires have the potential, at least, to discover that their enemy first attacked because of these very strange faceless spies. Though they obviously haven't discovered this yet, were they to do so at some point following, they would now have information about the Mandate being connected with a bizarre, faceless murder, as well.

I like it because it's insidious. Some skin-spies have already been discovered, and if that information begins to spread the suspicion goes directly to the Consult's enemy.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2018, 08:10:45 pm by JerakoKayne »

TLEILAXU

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« Reply #48 on: April 16, 2018, 08:24:58 pm »
Actually it's maybe not so surprising that he wasn't replaced when we later learn that even the king/emperor of High Ainon is a skin spy himself. They're probably quite well dispersed in this nation.
I agree that the murder and mutilation of Geshrunni was probably intentional to sow further seeds of conflict.

ThoughtsOfThelli

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« Reply #49 on: April 26, 2018, 04:12:14 pm »
I'm sorry for "abandoning" the reread for a while, but I've been busy with classes and other things lately. I still wanted to make some comments on the second part of the prologue and chapter 1, so here they are, even if way too late.


Prologue Part II

Kellhus' initial fallibility has been the subject of many comments/discussions, but it's something that is almost amusing on a reread. The Dūnyain might have some quasi-supernatural skills, sure, but going out into the world really drove Kellhus into an almost-fatal sensory overload.
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On the morning of the twenty-ninth day, he crouched on rocks green with moss and watched salmon leap and pitch against a rushing river. The sun rose and set three times before his thoughts escaped this inexplicable war of fish and waters.
He was completely mesmerized by fish for over three days. Three days! The ignorance of the outside world imposed by the first Dūnyain did not work to Kellhus' advantage at all, he was insanely lucky he found another human to manipulate (assuming that the theory of this being Moėnghus' "conditioned ground" is not true) before he died in the wilderness.
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He would come to them as one awake. He would shelter in the hollows of their ignorance, and through truth he would make them his instruments. He was Dūnyain, one of the Conditioned, and he would possess all peoples, all circumstances. He would come before.
Big words for a man who recently nearly died due to his own ignorance, Kellhus. Amazing when you compare the Kellhus of TAE to this early version of him, it's almost like a completely different character.

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"Should you not fear me, mortal, knowing what I am? Fear too is power. The power to survive."
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"It baits me! The mortal baits me . . . It reminds me, reminds . . ."
Is it just me, or is Mekeritrig's behaviour/choice of words here very different from the Nonmen we find in the rest of the series, and even from his own later appearance in TUC? While this is a great scene, I can't help but think his dialogue sounds like it's coming from a more stereotypical, classic villain. Maybe it's just the use of the word "mortal", which I don't remember happening in other books?
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"ANASŪRIMBOR!" an unearthly voice called, cracking the winter silence.
"RUN, ANASŪRIMBOR!" it boomed. "I WILL REMEMBER!"
This is a nice parallel to Ajokli-Cnaiür confronting the Whirlwind at the end of TUC.

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Cold night fell. Somewhere in the dark, wolves howled. Shimeh, they seemed to say, was too far.
And we close out the prologue with another mention of wolves.


Chapter 1

Random initial thought: Akka is in Carythusal, where, unbeknownst to him (or any of us as first-time readers), teenage Mimara is also living at this point in time. Maybe that one guy who showed her the whales is still around, she does seem to remember being quite young at that time.

I agree with the general sentiment that this chapter isn't nowhere near as good as the prologue, it does get rather clunky at times. Still, it's not bad, and doesn't really throw you out of the story - at least it didn't for me the first time I read it.

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The Worm was filled with wolves, desperate men who followed mark after mark searching for those drunk enough to be safely plundered.
Mention of wolves #3 and counting. And yes, I'll be counting both actual and metaphorical wolves.

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Burning of the Library of Sauglish. Different. See my face and not S in mirror.
This is probably the most interesting bit of the chapter on a reread, as it has been said, definitely a sign that Akka's dreams did not change only after becoming a Wizard. But could there be anything else to it, any further connection between Seswatha and Akka that we still don't know that is responsible for the different dreams? (besides the fact of Akka taking the Seswatha role at the end of TUC, that is)


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I was meant to suffer, Achamian thought.
Absolutely true, and Anagkė is not finished with you yet, Akka... (this is also a fairly amusing line because of out it works in and out of universe)
"But you’ve simply made the discovery that Thelli made—only without the benefit of her unerring sense of fashion."
-Anasūrimbor Kayūtas (The Great Ordeal, chapter 13)

"You prefer to believe women victims to their passions, but we can be at least as calculating as you. Love does not make us weak, but strong."
-Ykoriana of the Masks (The Third God, chapter 27)

Wilshire

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« Reply #50 on: April 27, 2018, 07:03:26 pm »
Kellhus ludicrous journey to Momemn is quite the comedy of errors up until he meets Proyas and starts to actually do his Dunyain thing.

This chapters is but the first of many totally ridiculous things that Kellhus gets through prior to joining up with society.

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He was Dūnyain, one of the Conditioned, and he would possess all peoples, all circumstances. He would come before.
Big words for a man who recently nearly died due to his own ignorance, Kellhus. Amazing when you compare the Kellhus of TAE to this early version of him, it's almost like a completely different character.
lmao.
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I was meant to suffer, Achamian thought.
Absolutely true, and Anagkė is not finished with you yet, Akka... (this is also a fairly amusing line because of out it works in and out of universe)
:( Poor guy.
One of the other conditions of possibility.