The Heart

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MG

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« on: June 04, 2018, 08:47:08 pm »
I bet someone has brought this up before, but I'm wondering if the heart used in The Grasping is actually Nau-Cayuti's.  It's always been a bit weird to think about Seswatha performing this ritual--doing complicated magic while passing out from blood loss and making a heart like that might have been beyond the power of any remaining sorcerers.

Here's how it would work: Seswatha is there when Mog is struck down.  He scoops up the heart in the aftermath wreckage, both out of love for NC (and maybe Ses didn't find out that Mog was NC until just then--for all we know NC is not dead but dying and passes on some last words to Ses which would make for a tragic repitition of his father's battlefield death) and to prevent the Consult from remaking Mog (if he assumes they need this bit).  Then Ses could ctrl+c, ctrl+v his soul into NC's heart later on.

This would explain why Akka is getting memories from both dudes and may offer a glimmer of hope for humanity.  Akka or some other Mandati like Serwa might be able to glean some secret about the inner workings of the Carapace and use this in battle.  The Mutilated are as vulnerable to ignorance as anyone else, if there is any hope against them it will come out of the darkness that surrounds those four.  There's no reason to think that they would anticipate this development and a constant theme in Bakker is pervasive finitude--no one ever premeditates everything.  It's just not possible.

P.S. On the possibility that NC has a death scene like his dad's -- right after the carapace is broken, the gods are back in Earwa and that would be the perfect moment for someone (like NC) to have a vision witnessing their return.

ThoughtsOfThelli

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« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2018, 09:50:04 pm »
I bet someone has brought this up before, but I'm wondering if the heart used in The Grasping is actually Nau-Cayuti's.  It's always been a bit weird to think about Seswatha performing this ritual--doing complicated magic while passing out from blood loss and making a heart like that might have been beyond the power of any remaining sorcerers.

An intriguing theory, MG.
I always assumed that Seswatha died after a long illness or something (as in, did not die suddenly and unexpectedly and had time to prepare), and the sorcerous ritual was performed by him (and probably some of his fellow Mandati) right before he died. As soon as he was dead, his heart would be turned into the artifact we know (thus no actual removal of the heart while he was still alive needed).


Here's how it would work: Seswatha is there when Mog is struck down.  He scoops up the heart in the aftermath wreckage, both out of love for NC (and maybe Ses didn't find out that Mog was NC until just then--for all we know NC is not dead but dying and passes on some last words to Ses which would make for a tragic repitition of his father's battlefield death) and to prevent the Consult from remaking Mog (if he assumes they need this bit).  Then Ses could ctrl+c, ctrl+v his soul into NC's heart later on.

I've speculated about Seswatha possibly knowing Nau-Cayūti had been used to activate the No-God before. Even if it went down like you said - he found out after the No-God was defeated - it would still be a very tragic moment.
I'm inclined to believe the theory (that I've seen discussed before) that the Heron Spear worked by killing the Insertant (Nau-Cayūti in this case) - or what was left of him in any case - and deactivating the No-God entirely (and not due to any special property it happened to have itself). But who knows? We have never seen the aftermath of the destruction of the No-God via a Dream, it could be he was still (barely) alive. And sure, a sorcerous rite to place a soul in a human heart would presumably be easier if the heart belonged to someone other than the person performing the rite.


This would explain why Akka is getting memories from both dudes and may offer a glimmer of hope for humanity.  Akka or some other Mandati like Serwa might be able to glean some secret about the inner workings of the Carapace and use this in battle.  The Mutilated are as vulnerable to ignorance as anyone else, if there is any hope against them it will come out of the darkness that surrounds those four.  There's no reason to think that they would anticipate this development and a constant theme in Bakker is pervasive finitude--no one ever premeditates everything.  It's just not possible.

P.S. On the possibility that NC has a death scene like his dad's -- right after the carapace is broken, the gods are back in Earwa and that would be the perfect moment for someone (like NC) to have a vision witnessing their return.

A good theory on Akka's Dreams from Nau-Cayūti's POV. I think that, as of now, the leading theory is that the POV shift was probably due to Nau-Cayūti indeed being Seswatha's biological son. With your theory, the Celmomas POV in Akka's Dreams could be explained by him being the father of the person whose heart the Dreams originated from. The theory I mentioned previously doesn't really explain that particular POV...
I'm looking forward to seeing Dreams from Akka or Serwa's POVs (and ideally even from the POVs of other Mandati or Swayali who happened to survive the "salt and butchery") in TNG. No doubt that there would be significant changes at this moment, when they'd be more necessary than ever before (even if I also like stuslayer's "Kellhus Dreams" theory...shame that they seem to be mutually exclusive).
Very true, the Mutilated (and Dūnyain as a whole) are not infallible in any way. We saw this "Dūnyain infallibility fallacy" play out with Moėnghus in PON and later with Kellhus in TAE. Dūnyain are extremely competent at predicting possibilities and manipulating people and events to their liking, but there are still factors they can not account for.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2018, 09:53:54 pm by ThoughtsOfThelli »
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MG

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« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2018, 01:28:55 pm »
I like your posts ToT, been meaning to tell you.

I've speculated about Seswatha possibly knowing Nau-Cayūti had been used to activate the No-God before

Lol, the first time I read that through I thought you meant that Ses knew NC was a potential Mog before he was trapped in the Carapace.  That might suggest that Ses took NC with him to barter for the Heron Spear.  But that doesn't make any sense--why help create Mog that you need to destroy?  Tuesdays.

I bet you are right about the way Ses' life ended, but I admit the NC Heart theory as an alternative.  I wonder if the general lack of sorcerers post-Apocalypse meant that Ses had to recruit from the anagogic ranks to create the Mandate?

I think it was the Amiolas that got me thinking that the Heart could be NC's.  I was thinking that the procedure might be rare and difficult (a category above a Wathi doll or the blank souls in the door to the library) and that the Nonmen might have taught it to Ses alone.  Hell, I guess it's even possible that the Heart is (in a sense) a Nonman artifact.  Maybe Seswatha was given something, like a dagger, that when used on his heart would create artifact needed for the Grasping.

But back to the Amiolas.  I was thinking along these lines--it's weird how the Malcontent is sort of 'respawned' or something everytime a new human has to wear it.  Like every human that visits Ishterebinth and wears the Special Hat, becomes a new, faint, little copy.  As in, the portion of soul in the Amiolas is not diminished when used.

So as the Maker put the Malcontent's soul in the Amiolas, Someone X (maybe a nonman) could but Ses' soul in NC's Heart (where another soul already resided).

It would be kind of cool if NC get's revenge 2000 years later...maybe by killing New Mog, but maybe also by killing Aurax.

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« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2018, 02:25:55 pm »
Well, Seswatha would certainly have been familiar with the Amiolas, considering that he once wore it.  It wouldn't shock me if the Heart was actually another of Emilidis' creations, in the same ilk of the Amiolas.  In fact, Seswatha might never have died of any cause but being put into the Heart.  We don't actually know when Emilidis died.  Could have been after Seswatha, for all we know, means he could have made it.

I have to admit, the idea that it's NC's heart is neat and I like it for a number of reasons, not the least is how the No-God seems to be networked to soulless things and the Heart to souled things, but I don't know how probable it is.  Although the whole idea that the Consult recovered NC's body post-No God seems odd, but the whole Indigo Plague entry is suspicious as hell really.
“I am a warrior of ages, Anasūrimbor . . . 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

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« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2018, 02:33:31 pm »
We don't actually know when Emilidis died.
The only evidence that Emilidis did, in fact, die is provided by a cunny-loving dragon, who might not be particularly sane, for that matter. It's the whole pesky size thing.

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« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2018, 02:51:12 pm »
We don't actually know when Emilidis died.
The only evidence that Emilidis did, in fact, die is provided by a cunny-loving dragon, who might not be particularly sane, for that matter. It's the whole pesky size thing.

I wonder if he helped with the Carapace (both times).

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« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2018, 02:57:35 pm »
Well, Seswatha would certainly have been familiar with the Amiolas, considering that he once wore it.  It wouldn't shock me if the Heart was actually another of Emilidis' creations, in the same ilk of the Amiolas.  In fact, Seswatha might never have died of any cause but being put into the Heart.  We don't actually know when Emilidis died.  Could have been after Seswatha, for all we know, means he could have made it.

I have to admit, the idea that it's NC's heart is neat and I like it for a number of reasons, not the least is how the No-God seems to be networked to soulless things and the Heart to souled things, but I don't know how probable it is.  Although the whole idea that the Consult recovered NC's body post-No God seems odd, but the whole Indigo Plague entry is suspicious as hell really.

I was thinking that the lore that the Consult recovered Mog's remains might just be made up, maybe by Ses.  It would be freaking chaos after Mog goes down.  Do the scranc revert to their previous state or slump over in temporary stunned state?  Any Consult members who do not immediately flee would have to worry about a laser beam.  I don't know that Anaxophus would be particularly worried about conserving the spear in that moment.  I find it unlikely that he would take a long view of a series of potential apocalypses.  It would be gosh-darn handy for blasting dragons, sky-chariots, quya, and Aurang.

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« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2018, 03:05:45 pm »
If Ses is NC's father, that might be important when they met at Mengedda.  It might also foreshadow a moment when Esmenet speaks with the Whirlwind.  I wonder if Esmi could distract it (might be the only human Mog would even notice).  The whole idea that Mog says nothing but the same lines over and over is based on the limited amount of Ses recollections we've seen.  Mog could say other stuff.  He is a kind of singularity of ignorance forming a wall to the gods--their darkness that comes before, the always unknown, the unknown unknown constant the Mutilated talk about.  The thing Cleric talks about worshiping but from the Outside's pov.  I bet Bakker might want to put a few cool lines in Mog's mouth concerning all of that.

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« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2018, 03:18:24 pm »
I love this MG. Its a great idea that accounts for Akka's dreams. Someone else had another theory on the dreams that Kellhus would take over the heart, I like that too.

As for this theory, I do have a little concern how Ses came upon the heart, as others have expressed. But, besides that its a great theory and would make for some interesting dreams for Akka, going forward.

I think Emidilis is around in some artifact.....somewhere. With as many sorcerous artifacts in his name, you'd think he made a loop/prison for his soul also. Good stuff!
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ThoughtsOfThelli

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« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2018, 10:54:20 pm »
I like your posts ToT, been meaning to tell you.

Lol, the first time I read that through I thought you meant that Ses knew NC was a potential Mog before he was trapped in the Carapace.  That might suggest that Ses took NC with him to barter for the Heron Spear.  But that doesn't make any sense--why help create Mog that you need to destroy?  Tuesdays.

Thank you! :)

Oh, wow, that would make Seswatha an even shadier character than he already seems sometimes... Definitely a bad, bad decision to take a potential Insertant along in a trip to Golgotterath, part of a plan or not. Yet...it's Seswatha we're talking about. I can't completely put it past him.


I bet you are right about the way Ses' life ended, but I admit the NC Heart theory as an alternative.  I wonder if the general lack of sorcerers post-Apocalypse meant that Ses had to recruit from the anagogic ranks to create the Mandate?

Hmm, never considered that. It's very possible, if not probable. Or maybe there were few left but that was enough for the Mandate to get started (and most swelling of ranks happened after Seswatha's lifetime). Even in the modern day, they are not known for being a particularly large school, so I can see both possibilities being true.


I think it was the Amiolas that got me thinking that the Heart could be NC's.  I was thinking that the procedure might be rare and difficult (a category above a Wathi doll or the blank souls in the door to the library) and that the Nonmen might have taught it to Ses alone.  Hell, I guess it's even possible that the Heart is (in a sense) a Nonman artifact.  Maybe Seswatha was given something, like a dagger, that when used on his heart would create artifact needed for the Grasping.

Another good call - after learning about the Amiolas and Seswatha's repeated use of it in TAE, it seems very likely that there is a connection there. It would definitely be a very complicated rite to pull off (not to mention dangerous) and it's possible that only Seswatha's (apparently) noble intent (to prevent a Second Apocalypse) got the Nonmen who helped him to agree. Anyway, yes, now that you've brought it up, it's quite plausible that Qūya were involved in the creation of the Heart as we know it today.


But back to the Amiolas.  I was thinking along these lines--it's weird how the Malcontent is sort of 'respawned' or something everytime a new human has to wear it.  Like every human that visits Ishterebinth and wears the Special Hat, becomes a new, faint, little copy.  As in, the portion of soul in the Amiolas is not diminished when used.

So as the Maker put the Malcontent's soul in the Amiolas, Someone X (maybe a nonman) could but Ses' soul in NC's Heart (where another soul already resided).

I never thought that was that strange - Immiriccas' soul is part of the Amiolas, as much of a component as the material used to make it. It's a "fixed point", what varies is the soul of whoever is wearing it at the time. So it's always present and always able to seep into the consciousness of anyone who wears it. Granted, we don't know if Immiriccas' soul had an even more intense presence shortly after the Amiolas' creation. It's possible its strength diminished (very slowly) over time.

On Seswatha's soul - yes, it seems likely that if the Amiolas was the inspiration, this was what happened.


It would be kind of cool if NC get's revenge 2000 years later...maybe by killing New Mog, but maybe also by killing Aurax.

Apocalypse 2: The Revenge of Nau-Cayūti. 8)
Now (more) seriously, it would indeed be quite satisfying. I kind of wish Aurax would survive, though, but maybe it would be for the best for him to be put out of his misery. He hasn't been well for quite a while (and I think his mental deterioration was most likely already present when the Mutilated took over, even if they only intensified it).


Well, Seswatha would certainly have been familiar with the Amiolas, considering that he once wore it.  It wouldn't shock me if the Heart was actually another of Emilidis' creations, in the same ilk of the Amiolas.  In fact, Seswatha might never have died of any cause but being put into the Heart.  We don't actually know when Emilidis died.  Could have been after Seswatha, for all we know, means he could have made it.

I have to admit, the idea that it's NC's heart is neat and I like it for a number of reasons, not the least is how the No-God seems to be networked to soulless things and the Heart to souled things, but I don't know how probable it is.  Although the whole idea that the Consult recovered NC's body post-No God seems odd, but the whole Indigo Plague entry is suspicious as hell really.

As more and more of Emilidis' creations keep popping up in the series, it does sound very plausible. Our only piece of information about Emilidis' death, as SmilerLoki said, comes from Skuthula, who claims to have eaten him. Skuthula is not exactly the most trustworthy source, though. It still seems possibly for Emilidis to have created the Heart, or at the very least assisted in its creation.

Whatever happened to the body of the No-God 1.0 is indeed very suspicious. (And again tied to the whole idea that Seswatha is hiding/manipulating some truths.) Something strange happened at that time, that I'm pretty sure of. (Maybe a new thread about what happened to the No-God's remains and the Indigo Plague is in order?)


The only evidence that Emilidis did, in fact, die is provided by a cunny-loving dragon, who might not be particularly sane, for that matter. It's the whole pesky size thing.

Exactly. You can't trust anything Skuthula says, he's just not a reliable source. Of course, it's entirely possible Emilidis did in fact die before the events of the series, just not in the way Skuthula claims. Also possible that he's still around somewhere, just like Nil'giccas was at the beginning of TAE.


I wonder if he helped with the Carapace (both times).

That also seems like a not fully implausible possibility. I think it might have been inspired/influenced by some of his works even if he was not personally involved.
Do we know when the second Carapace was built? Was it shortly after the First Apocalypse ended, or was it a more recent thing?


I was thinking that the lore that the Consult recovered Mog's remains might just be made up, maybe by Ses.  It would be freaking chaos after Mog goes down.  Do the scranc revert to their previous state or slump over in temporary stunned state?  Any Consult members who do not immediately flee would have to worry about a laser beam.  I don't know that Anaxophus would be particularly worried about conserving the spear in that moment.  I find it unlikely that he would take a long view of a series of potential apocalypses.  It would be gosh-darn handy for blasting dragons, sky-chariots, quya, and Aurang.

The potential for Seswatha hiding/distorting many historical facts rears its head once again! I agree that he really could have done what he wanted at such a chaotic time and would have easily been able to hide that fact later on. Anaxophus himself (maybe conveniently?) died the following year, so he wouldn't have been around to contradict Seswatha's official version of events when he started making plans for the creation of the Heart.


If Ses is NC's father, that might be important when they met at Mengedda.  It might also foreshadow a moment when Esmenet speaks with the Whirlwind.  I wonder if Esmi could distract it (might be the only human Mog would even notice).  The whole idea that Mog says nothing but the same lines over and over is based on the limited amount of Ses recollections we've seen.  Mog could say other stuff.  He is a kind of singularity of ignorance forming a wall to the gods--their darkness that comes before, the always unknown, the unknown unknown constant the Mutilated talk about.  The thing Cleric talks about worshiping but from the Outside's pov.  I bet Bakker might want to put a few cool lines in Mog's mouth concerning all of that.

It's possible we could have some new dialogue from the No-God (if this does happen, I don't think it will be until later in TNG, though). And that's an interesting point you made about Esmenet. Surely, if the KelSammi soul inside still had some kind of perception of any kind (though...doubtful based on the No-God's apparent confusion?), he would react to Esmenet's presence in any way he could.


I love this MG. Its a great idea that accounts for Akka's dreams. Someone else had another theory on the dreams that Kellhus would take over the heart, I like that too.

As for this theory, I do have a little concern how Ses came upon the heart, as others have expressed. But, besides that its a great theory and would make for some interesting dreams for Akka, going forward.

I think Emidilis is around in some artifact.....somewhere. With as many sorcerous artifacts in his name, you'd think he made a loop/prison for his soul also. Good stuff!

H and MG do have good points about the circumstances of the recovery of the No-God's remains being quite suspicious, so I think it could work.

Emilidis seemed to have despised the Amiolas, so I don't think he would have placed his own soul in any of his other artifacts. We never know, though...

Quote from: TGO, Chapter 9
"Emilidis abhorred all his miraculous works," the Nonman finally said, "but none so much as the Amiolas. He made certain that no one could forget its nature."

Not even just the Amiolas, all of them, apparently! Which is intriguing, to say the least.
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« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2018, 11:21:56 am »
Emilidis seemed to have despised the Amiolas, so I don't think he would have placed his own soul in any of his other artifacts. We never know, though...

Quote from: TGO, Chapter 9
"Emilidis abhorred all his miraculous works," the Nonman finally said, "but none so much as the Amiolas. He made certain that no one could forget its nature."

Not even just the Amiolas, all of them, apparently! Which is intriguing, to say the least.

Hmm, makes me wonder, if he hated them all, then made the Amiolas so that no one could forget what made it what it is, then did all the rest have the same sort of cost?  In other words, were all his "miraculous" works made from trapping souls or somehow otherwise exploiting them?  Perhaps this is what made his works different?  He learned to forge things imbued with souls...
“I am a warrior of ages, Anasūrimbor . . . 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

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« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2018, 11:45:34 am »
Hmm, makes me wonder, if he hated them all, then made the Amiolas so that no one could forget what made it what it is, then did all the rest have the same sort of cost?  In other words, were all his "miraculous" works made from trapping souls or somehow otherwise exploiting them?  Perhaps this is what made his works different?  He learned to forge things imbued with souls...

That's a likely possibility. With that in mind, other passages about Emilidis become even more interesting on a second (or third, etc.) read:

Quote from: TUC Glossary, "Amiolas"
The genius of Emilidis was primarily metaphysical: he grasped the continuity of meaning and souls, how a sorcerous understanding of Ihrimsū entailed a sorcerous unification of disparate souls. Inventing new forms of sorcery as he proceeded, Emilidis imbued his helm with the soul of Immiriccas Cinialrig, the infamous Malcontent, an Injori Ishroi condemned to die by Cū'jara Cinmoi, and given the choice by Nil'giccas between risking the Hells or dwelling forever as an amputated, interpreting soul.

Quote from: TUC Glossary, "Emilidis"
His greatest works, or Sublime Contrivances, exhibit miraculous reworkings of nature itself, be it the twisting of down sideways with the Immaculate Rim (Orimuril), or the spawning of day (as opposed to merely light) with the Diurnal, or the recombination of souls with the Amiolas. Though other Contrivers have managed to create artifacts immune to Chorae, Emilidis is unparalleled in that all his creations, from the merest dagger to the famed Day Lantern, exhibit such immunity. Mandate scholars cite this as why Nil'giccas charged him with raising the Barricades high upon the Upright Horn--what would prove to be his final, and most tragically flawed, work. The Legendary Artisan retreated from both the World and the historical record after this, admitting only private petitioners to his Foundry in the Qūlnimil.

There are many things that could be discussed here, but for now I'm just going to say that that last sentence may help fuel some more speculation on the ultimate fate of Emilidis. If he did retreat to his foundry (apparently permanently) after raising the Barricades, it does seem that Skuthula is in fact just lying/bragging about having eaten him (not that I gave much credit to his claims in the first place). The glossary does give list him as dead, but that may be because everyone actually believes this to be true, we have no actual credible evidence he did die.
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« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2018, 02:09:13 pm »
There are many things that could be discussed here, but for now I'm just going to say that that last sentence may help fuel some more speculation on the ultimate fate of Emilidis. If he did retreat to his foundry (apparently permanently) after raising the Barricades, it does seem that Skuthula is in fact just lying/bragging about having eaten him (not that I gave much credit to his claims in the first place). The glossary does give list him as dead, but that may be because everyone actually believes this to be true, we have no actual credible evidence he did die.

Great quotes.  I think there is definitely something to his work and soul manipulation.  I do believe that Skuthula is probably telling the truth though.  Why bother to lie?  I think it's likely that after a millenia hiding in the Forge, Emilidis was probably well and Erratic.  Since he couldn't actually kill himself, what better way to get dead than to walk directly into the Intrinsic Gate?
“I am a warrior of ages, Anasūrimbor . . . 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

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« Reply #13 on: June 06, 2018, 02:16:27 pm »
Great quotes.  I think there is definitely something to his work and soul manipulation.  I do believe that Skuthula is probably telling the truth though.  Why bother to lie?  I think it's likely that after a millenia hiding in the Forge, Emilidis was probably well and Erratic.  Since he couldn't actually kill himself, what better way to get dead than to walk directly into the Intrinsic Gate?

With all these hints, there has to be. And rereading chapters where the Heart and the Dreams are mentioned make the whole Amiolas/double soul connection much more apparent in retrospect (I'll touch on that a bit in my chapter 9 comment).
Maybe the whole fact that Skuthula is...well, Skuthula makes me immediately dismiss everything he says. You do have a point there, with Emilidis possibly committing "suicide by dragon", much the same way Sorweel considers that Oinaral committed suicide the only way a Nonman could. Still, it's kind of infuriating to think that this fascinating and mysterious character might have been killed by the least impressive dragon ever.
Or maybe it's just wishful thinking on my part and I actually want Emilidis to be alive and make an appearance later - I don't know, it's not entirely rational.
"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)

Francis Buck

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« Reply #14 on: June 06, 2018, 08:19:33 pm »
I don't recall if it's stated who made it, but the sorcerous gate in the Coffers (seen in one of Akka's dreams, with Seswatha and the dead baby) is later described in the TUC glossary as working because the "sorceries are continually cast and recast". Perhaps this is how Emilidis's stuff works in some degree?

Also I'm quite enjoying these Heart theories, the Heart and Seswatha in general is a particular fascination of mine.

I've hypothesized in Quorum that the Heart is, in fact, Serwe's. There's lots of little quotes I have filed away somewhere on this -- there's a line in TWP during Akka's torture about how "The Heart of a great tree never burns" -- but it would explain a few things, such as how Kellhus was able to achieve the Gnosis without having grasped the Heart (he already did) and also what makes Serwe such an important "cipher" to the series as RSB has claimed. There are also numerous comparisons in the text between Serwe and the "World", or the Heart of the World, etc., and it would dovetail interestingly with the Mandate Catechism: "Though you forfeit your Soul, you gain the World." If this was the case, then it could also be how Kellhus himself still has a role to play -- he may be the Seswatha "homunculus", and so still exists or lives on in this capacity (which could make sense of why Ajokli cannot find him).

Of course it's also rather tricky since it would require some atemporality in play. I should mention that I 100% believe that Seswatha was not a single individual, but many different people (presumably anyone with the Gnosis or anyone who has grasped the Heart), resolving issues like the Dreams inconsistencies and how he could have escaped something like being nailed to the wall of Dagliash (I.E. he didn't, that was just one incarnation of Seswatha).

Somewhere I have some quotes complied on this...time to do some trawling.