ARC: TDTCB Chapter 4

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MSJ

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« on: April 30, 2018, 01:34:01 am »
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To be ignorant and to be deceived are two different things. To be ignorant is to be a slave of the world. To be deceived is to be the slave of another man. The question will always be: Why, when all men are ignorant, and therefore already slaves, does this latter slavery sting us so?

—AJENCIS, THE EPISTEMOLOGIES


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But despite stories of Fanim atrocities, the fact of the matter is that the Kianene, heathen or no, were surprisingly tolerant of Inrithi pilgrimages to Shimeh—before the Holy War, that is. Why would a people devoted to the destruction of the Tusk extend this courtesy to “idolaters”? Perhaps they were partially motivated by the prospect of trade, as others have suggested. But the fundamental motive lies in their desert heritage. The Kianene word for a holy place is si’ihkhalis, which means, literally, “great oasis.” On the open desert it is their strict custom to never begrudge travellers water, even if they be enemies.

—DRUSAS ACHAMIAN, COMPENDIUM OF THE FIRST HOLY WAR
“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,

Ciogli

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« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2018, 10:25:00 pm »
In thinking about the Ajencis quote I think that it stings o because when you realize what happened, then you realize that you are the slave of another slave. Which is a kind of metaslavery, you are both ignorant and yet somehow you are even more ignorant than them.
The world holds no terrors for me, I stand naked as the falling sword, I am the Terror.

TheCulminatingApe

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« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2018, 08:04:57 pm »
So, the end of Part One of Book One, which ends with a mini-resolution. The Consult do exist, and they are in Sumna.

Maithanet has some way of knowing that the Cishaurim are at war with the Scarlet Spires.  Of course we know what this is, having read later volumes, but right now there is the suggestion that he could be Consult.  He is "too canny to be what he seems".  Are 'men' being deceived, as per the epigraph?

We also learn that the Psukhe does not leave a mark like other sorcery - Sasheoka could not distinguish "the works of the Cishaurim from the works of the God .  The God, and not Gods - what is the distinction?  We later learn that the Psukhe is driven by emotion rather than intellect (as far as I can remember).

First Esmenet POV - she loves Akka, and we find out why.  He lifts off the 'roof of her life' and "sun and world would come pouring in".  Inrau also loves Akka - loves him enough to "pay any price".  Why?  Akka is a giver.

In joining the Thousand Temples, Inrau has "gained everything.  Faith for knowledge, wisdom for cunning, heart for intellect".  More on the theme of reason versus emotion. Is Inrau manipulated by Akka, or is their relationship less cynical?  The way the text is worded (and previous Akka POV though re. Inrau) would suggest the latter, especially when contrasted with the Holy War and the opinions of the various Mandati (inc. Akka) about Maithanet.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2018, 10:16:19 am by TheCulminatingApe »
Sez who?
Seswatha, that's who.

ThoughtsOfThelli

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« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2018, 01:33:05 pm »
At least I'm not too late for this chapter.



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Esmenet's daughter was never far from her thoughts. It was strange the way anything, even the most trivial happenstance, could summon memories of her.
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Once her daughter had sniffed an apple at the market. It was a breathless memory, wan, as though rinsed of colour by the horrific fact of her death.

For a first-time reader, this would just be Esmenet's lingering grief over her daughter's death. We, however, know it's guilt - she tried her best to make herself believe Mimara really was dead, but it did not work. Everything still reminds her of the worst thing she ever did. And notice how she doesn't even think of Mimara by name until Kellhus makes her reveal the truth in TWP.


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No one, she would often think, knows him the way I do.
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Theirs was a strange marriage, if it could be called that. A marriage of outcasts sanctified by inarticulate vows.

I do have my issues with Achamian and Esmenet's relationship, but those are mostly TAE-related. Their relationship in PON is clearly very loving and just so tragic.
Esmenet calls it a marriage here, and later they will indeed go on to consider themselves husband and wife.


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Such men may be safely loved-the way mothers love tender sons.
I can see why you fear for him so, Akka.

Poor Inrau really was one of the few genuinely good characters we see in this series. So, his fate was sealed...


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Then this soft-hearted, portly man would arrive, a man who looked even less like a spy than he did a sorcerer, and for a time the roof of her life would be torn away, and sun and world would come pouring in.
I do love you, Drusas Achamian.

Regardless of what might be said about their relationship later on, this is a beautiful passage.


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The world, on the other hand, was filled with stones for harlots.

Some short-term foreshadowing for what happens just a few chapters later...


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"If the Scarlet Spires can keep such a thing secret from the Mandate for ten years, Akka, then how is it that Maithanet, a man who has only recently become Shriah, knows?"

Maithanet really does seem extremely suspicious at this point, it's not surprising in the least that people reading the books for the first time (me included) started to wonder if he was a Consult agent.


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The world turns about people such as these, and I've just joined them. The air, she thought, smelled of water and flowers.
Interesting how this matches that quote from before about young Mimara:
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"Mama, it smells like . . ." she had said, hooking her voice as insight failed her, "it smells like water and flowers."

Esmenet is so overjoyed by belonging and feeling part of something important, and her choice of words matches little Mimara's childlike joy. It's very bittersweet...


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"You must get closer to Maithanet, Inrau. Your Shriah is altogether too canny."

Absolutely, though none of them could even begin to suspect exactly why Maithanet is so canny.
 

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Inrau lowered his face, tried to grimace away his weeping. If only he could forget. If only . . .
The Shriah. But how could it be?
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Please! Let me forget this!
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If he could only have forgotten . . . forgotten what the Mandate had taught him. If he could've done that, then this last heartbreaking revelation would have been meaningless to him. If only Achamian had not come. The price was too high.

Okay, so this is where I am a little confused. I remember it being mentioned in earlier discussions that this points to Inrau having found something incriminating in Maithanet's apartments, right? (The first time I read this, it didn't even register.) I suppose it's not just the fact that Akka and Esmenet have pointed out to him that there is something suspicious going on with Maithanet.


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Prayer seized his tongue. Blasphemy tumbled from his lips.

Heartbreaking - Inrau tries to fall back on his faith, but ultimately is moved by the Mandate's reasons for being. He chooses to damn himself to (hopefully help) save the world.


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He raised a Chorae in his other hand, whisked it over Inrau's cheek. Searing agony. (...) The skin flayed away beneath his fingers, transformed into salt by the Chorae's touch. The exposed flesh burned.

I'm going to take note of this passage, as partial saltings have been discussed often in this forum, and they're something I'm still curious about. Looks like I have something else to keep track of other than wolves and timeline references.


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Any price, old teacher. The stone rail slammed against his hips, broke like cake. Again he was floating, but it was so different-air whipping across his face, bathing his body. With a single outstretched hand, Paro Inrau followed a pillar to the earth.

Inrau's death is such a sad moment, every time. :(
There's a parallel with Proyas here, too - both of them had their faith questioned (or shattered, in Proyas' case) by a disturbing revelation, both of them think of Akka, expressing regret, shortly before they die.
"But you’ve simply made the discovery that Thelli made—only without the benefit of her unerring sense of fashion."
-Anasûrimbor Kayûtas (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)

TheCulminatingApe

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« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2018, 08:04:15 pm »
Quote
Inrau lowered his face, tried to grimace away his weeping. If only he could forget. If only . . .
The Shriah. But how could it be?
Quote
Please! Let me forget this!
Quote
If he could only have forgotten . . . forgotten what the Mandate had taught him. If he could've done that, then this last heartbreaking revelation would have been meaningless to him. If only Achamian had not come. The price was too high.

Okay, so this is where I am a little confused. I remember it being mentioned in earlier discussions that this points to Inrau having found something incriminating in Maithanet's apartments, right? (The first time I read this, it didn't even register.) I suppose it's not just the fact that Akka and Esmenet have pointed out to him that there is something suspicious going on with Maithanet.

I genuinely have never picked up on this before. :(  Whatever he did find, he gave his life to prevent the Consult getting hold of it.
Sez who?
Seswatha, that's who.

TheCulminatingApe

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« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2018, 08:06:30 pm »
The head on a pole makes an appearance here, in the form of the goddess Onkis.  What she is the goddess of, we do not learn.  Note the use of the specific phrase "she came before him" - as the place where his thoughts arise
Sez who?
Seswatha, that's who.

Wilshire

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« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2018, 12:04:57 pm »
Oo, direct contact partial salting. Very interesting. That is another thing to pay very close attention. Might be easier to find now that we're looking for it. That's how these books are ... its only after that we understand.

Esmenet has some poetry here. There's really a lot of beauty in Akka's less cynical scenes, Esmenet as well.
One of the other conditions of possibility.

ThoughtsOfThelli

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« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2018, 01:07:14 pm »
I genuinely have never picked up on this before. :(  Whatever he did find, he gave his life to prevent the Consult getting hold of it.

I think that the general consensus is that there was something he found and he's not just thinking of Maithanet likely not being what he seems. Unless I'm having a "Mandela effect" moment here like DoraVee did in the previous chapter...
He certainly did. :(


Oo, direct contact partial salting. Very interesting. That is another thing to pay very close attention. Might be easier to find now that we're looking for it. That's how these books are ... its only after that we understand.

Esmenet has some poetry here. There's really a lot of beauty in Akka's less cynical scenes, Esmenet as well.

If I remember correctly, other scenes of partial salting (usually involving Akka) didn't involve direct contact with the Chorae. (But that might be because Inrau just uses sorcery this one time, and Akka had been a sorcerer for decades.)

There are so many tragically beautiful (in retrospect) musings in Esmenet and Akka's POVs. It's a shame they're only present mostly in PON (of course, opinions may vary).
And this is not even directly related to this chapter (sorry for the tangent) but thinking on Akka and Esmenet's relationshop, it occurred to me that Akka's long-lasting bitterness over Kellhus "stealing" Esmenet from him is very similar to Leweth's grief for his dead wife. He refuses to try to move on, he keeps hating Kellhus for it and focusing on how he was betrayed by the two of them to "hold the world accountable for his torment", just like Leweth.
"But you’ve simply made the discovery that Thelli made—only without the benefit of her unerring sense of fashion."
-Anasûrimbor Kayûtas (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 #8 on: May 04, 2018, 01:19:23 pm »
There are so many tragically beautiful (in retrospect) musings in Esmenet and Akka's POVs. It's a shame they're only present mostly in PON (of course, opinions may vary).
There are a lot more tender and poetic moments throughout, especially in PoN, but they are easy to miss. Certainly though, TDTCB, especially on a re-read, is filled with what one might consider more classic tragedy tropes. Almost Romeo and Juliet.

And this is not even directly related to this chapter (sorry for the tangent) but thinking on Akka and Esmenet's relationship, it occurred to me that Akka's long-lasting bitterness over Kellhus "stealing" Esmenet from him is very similar to Leweth's grief for his dead wife. He refuses to try to move on, he keeps hating Kellhus for it and focusing on how he was betrayed by the two of them to "hold the world accountable for his torment", just like Leweth.
In fact, Akka is almost exactly similar to Leweth in many ways, both character-wise, but also plotwise. In addition to what you mentioned (which, btw, is one of the great joys of TSA for me: how circular everything ends up being), he is the same 'worldly hermit who teaches the runaway' type role.
One of the other conditions of possibility.

H

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« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2018, 02:24:33 pm »
I genuinely have never picked up on this before. :(  Whatever he did find, he gave his life to prevent the Consult getting hold of it.

I think that the general consensus is that there was something he found and he's not just thinking of Maithanet likely not being what he seems. Unless I'm having a "Mandela effect" moment here like DoraVee did in the previous chapter...
He certainly did. :(

There isn't any direct implication that he found anything though...it certainly only seems, by what is said, that he arrives at the Temple and make no mention of having been anywhere else.

I think the "final revelation" is that Maithanet, at the very least, is not quite what he seems, which is devesating to Inrau because he had absolute faith in him.  The thing that the Mandate taught him, that he wishes he could forget, is doubt.  What confuses the scene, of course, is the building up on the possibility of Maithanet's Consult allegiance.  So, the scene is deliberately vague to build the idea that the Consult is behind it all.  That is only ratified by the end of the scene with Aurang attempting to interrogate him.  But, we know full well there is no Consult involvement, we know Inrau didn't really know anything more than what he learned from Akka.

Inrau dies to not expose what he knew about Akka.  That's why he repeats "any price" before jumping, earlier he says that what Akka did, in allowing him out of the Mandate was worth "any price."  Dying was his repayment to Akka, knowing that Aurang would get the information out of him somehow if he didn't.
“I am a warrior of ages, Anasûrimbor . . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury.” -Cet’ingira

TheCulminatingApe

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« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2018, 07:11:25 pm »
I genuinely have never picked up on this before. :(  Whatever he did find, he gave his life to prevent the Consult getting hold of it.

I think that the general consensus is that there was something he found and he's not just thinking of Maithanet likely not being what he seems. Unless I'm having a "Mandela effect" moment here like DoraVee did in the previous chapter...
He certainly did. :(

There isn't any direct implication that he found anything though...it certainly only seems, by what is said, that he arrives at the Temple and make no mention of having been anywhere else.

I think the "final revelation" is that Maithanet, at the very least, is not quite what he seems, which is devesating to Inrau because he had absolute faith in him.  The thing that the Mandate taught him, that he wishes he could forget, is doubt.  What confuses the scene, of course, is the building up on the possibility of Maithanet's Consult allegiance.  So, the scene is deliberately vague to build the idea that the Consult is behind it all.  That is only ratified by the end of the scene with Aurang attempting to interrogate him.  But, we know full well there is no Consult involvement, we know Inrau didn't really know anything more than what he learned from Akka.

Inrau dies to not expose what he knew about Akka.  That's why he repeats "any price" before jumping, earlier he says that what Akka did, in allowing him out of the Mandate was worth "any price."  Dying was his repayment to Akka, knowing that Aurang would get the information out of him somehow if he didn't.

That's a pretty good call.  And seems better than Inrau actually finding info about Maithanet.
Sez who?
Seswatha, that's who.

ThoughtsOfThelli

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« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2018, 07:55:21 pm »
There isn't any direct implication that he found anything though...it certainly only seems, by what is said, that he arrives at the Temple and make no mention of having been anywhere else.

I think the "final revelation" is that Maithanet, at the very least, is not quite what he seems, which is devesating to Inrau because he had absolute faith in him.  The thing that the Mandate taught him, that he wishes he could forget, is doubt.  What confuses the scene, of course, is the building up on the possibility of Maithanet's Consult allegiance.  So, the scene is deliberately vague to build the idea that the Consult is behind it all.  That is only ratified by the end of the scene with Aurang attempting to interrogate him.  But, we know full well there is no Consult involvement, we know Inrau didn't really know anything more than what he learned from Akka.

Inrau dies to not expose what he knew about Akka.  That's why he repeats "any price" before jumping, earlier he says that what Akka did, in allowing him out of the Mandate was worth "any price."  Dying was his repayment to Akka, knowing that Aurang would get the information out of him somehow if he didn't.


So it seems I really was misremembering/taking speculation as canon. I remember someone theorizing that maybe Inrau found proof that Maithanet had been communicating with Moënghus (and thus the Cishaurim), but we don't really have evidence that he found anything at all.

It does seem like Inrau should have had that devastating revelation when he talked with Achamian and Esmenet, but then again, we didn't have his POV then. You are right, I suppose that the sheer doubt that Maithanet is hiding something might be enough to cause this reaction.



That's a pretty good call.  And seems better than Inrau actually finding info about Maithanet.

Really sorry if I led you to believe something that isn't actually there in the text, like I told H above, I might have been misremembering.
"But you’ve simply made the discovery that Thelli made—only without the benefit of her unerring sense of fashion."
-Anasûrimbor Kayûtas (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)

TheCulminatingApe

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« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2018, 08:11:34 pm »
That's a pretty good call.  And seems better than Inrau actually finding info about Maithanet.

Really sorry if I led you to believe something that isn't actually there in the text, like I told H above, I might have been misremembering.

You haven't mislead me and you don't have to apologise for anything. :)
Sez who?
Seswatha, that's who.

BeardFisher-King

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« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2018, 03:26:29 am »
BFK's ARC: TDTCB, Chapter Four

Another fine chapter, this of only two scenes; first, we have Akka, Esmi and Inrau in Esmi's rooms; then, the first appearance of "Bird" and Inrau's death.

Esmi's reflections on her reconnection with Akka give this chapter its warmth. I found it interesting that the discussion following Inrau's arrival is narrated from Esmi's perspective.

One thing puzzles me: What is it that Inrau means here?
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Monumental rage filled him. It didn't understand! It didn't understand.
What didn't Bird understand?

Chapter Four Body Count: One (Inrau) (it's not clear to me that the skin-spy Not-Mujonish dies....after all, Inrau sees him wiping his bloody hands on his surcoat after Inrau removed his heart!)
« Last Edit: May 06, 2018, 03:34:26 am by BeardFisher-King »
"The heart of any other, because it has a will, would remain forever mysterious."

-from "Snow Falling On Cedars", by David Guterson

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« Reply #14 on: May 07, 2018, 10:56:26 am »
One thing puzzles me: What is it that Inrau means here?
Quote
Monumental rage filled him. It didn't understand! It didn't understand.
What didn't Bird understand?

The lines before:

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“I’m an Old Name,” the tiny face said. “Even wearing this shell, I could show you the Agonies, Mandate fool.”
“Wuh . . .” Inrau swallowed. Sobbed. “Why?”
Again the thin, tiny smile. “You worship suffering. Why do you think?”

Aurang implies that he'd torture him because Inrau would enjoy it.  That as a Mandati, he worships suffering and so that by showing him the Agonies, he is actually doing him a service.  That is, delivering a "holy" experience.

Obviously this enrages Inrau, because even though he isn't a full Mandate sorcerer, he recognizes that while the Mandate share Seswatha's suffering, they don't worship it, which is pretty much exactly why Inrau leaves the Mandate, to worship.
“I am a warrior of ages, Anasûrimbor . . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury.” -Cet’ingira