ARC: TDTCB Chapter 16

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TheCulminatingApe

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« on: July 22, 2018, 05:42:21 pm »
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Those of us who survived will always be bewildered when we recall is arrival.  And not just because he was so different then.  In a strange sense he never changed.  We changed.  If he seems so different to us know, it is because he was the figure that transformed the ground.
- DRUASA ACHAMIAM, COMPENDIUM OF THE FIRST HOLY WAR
Sez who?
Seswatha, that's who.

TheCulminatingApe

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« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2018, 08:36:09 pm »
Kellhus resembles Celmomas from Akka's dreams.  Proyas has told him about Akka.

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The man smiled understandingly - much more than understandingly.  It was unlike any smile Achamian had ever seen.  It seemed to understand him much more than he wanted to be understood
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Never before had he met a man quite like Anasurimbor Kellhus
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There was his voice...
which
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..had dimension.  It seemed to whisper: There's more that I'm telling... Only listen and see
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And there was his face... The man appeared wise, amused, and sorrowful by guileless turns...
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And then there were his eyes... that followed Achamian's every word... at the same time they were haunted by a strange reserve... the reserve of a man who dwells in the certainty that it's not his place to judge
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"Here you possess privileged knowledge, and yet know one believe you, while I possess nothing, and everyone insists that I have privileged knowledge"
But Achamian could only think, But do you believe me?

Kellhus appears to take Akka and the Mandate mission seriously.  Only Esmenet does this.  Has Proyas told him about the Gnosis, and has he already decided he wants it?  He later confirms this to Cnaiur.

We see all the contradictions of the Mandate in this Chapter.  Mostly they are viewed as cranks - the equivalent of flat earthers.  Achamian has no doubt of the veracity of his dreams, and is in real terror that the No-God may return.  The power of the Mandate is revealed in the Eleazaras POV - if they are in the game, then the Scarlet Spires are no longer the most powerful school in the Three Seas.  Akka (a mere field agent) is powerful enough to prevent Eleazaras attacking the mob.

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... The Ancient North was dark to the Mandate.  Inscrutable.  And Atrithau was a lone beacon in that darkness, frail before the long, hoary shadow of Golgotterath.  A single light held against the black heart of the Consult...
... the Mandate knew very little of Atrithau, only what could be gleaned from the traders who managed to survive the great circuit from Atrithau to Galeoth...

Implies Atrithau is more than just another city, but has some greater significance.
What is in Atrithau that would make merchants want to go there.  It is a huge distance from anywhere, even from Sakarus (especially after Bakker changed his maps!).  Why would you go to the risk of spending months crossing the Sranc infested plains?  Either the prices you could charge in Atrithau must be exorbitant, or there must be something unique to buy there.

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...Anasurimbor Kellus was a man who moved the souls of those around him...
  He is 'coming before' them

Cnaiur is not impressed by Inrithi jnan. 
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How much must he suffer to see vengeance done?

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"... see the thousand thousand lights peeking through the leather of night?  This is how we know that a greater sun burns beyond this world.  This is how we know that when it's night it is truly day, and that when it's day, it is truly night.  That is how we know, Nayu, that the World is a lie."
For Scyvlendi, the stars were a reminder: only the People were true

Very gnostic.  I'm not sure how this tallies with the worship of the No-God, who as far as we can tell is there to shut off the World from the 'greater sun' outside, and would effectively make 'the lie' the only truth.  Also the 'World is a lie' - jnan, the delusions of the Nansur and the Scarlet Spires, the false premise of the Holy War, skin-spies...

Cnaiur is quick to realise that Kellhus is playing Akka.

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The thought struck Cnaiur that Dunyain monks might be even more inhuman than he had thought.  What if things such as truth and meaning had no meaning for them?  What if all they did was move and move, like something reptilian, snaking through circumstance after circumstance, consuming soul after soul for the sale of consumption alone?  The thought made his scalp prickle
They called themselves students of the Logos, the Shortest Way.  But the shortest way to what?

Echoes of the TGO - where Kellhus meets the most reptilian of the sons, and where he tells Proyas that the world is a granary for human souls. 

Kellhus knows Cnaiur was watching - or has sufficient knowledge of Cnaiur to guess.  The conversation between the two gives strong confirmation that Moenghus must be Cishaurim, and that Kellhus wants the Gnosis from Akka.  Later we get a flashback from Eleazaras, to the assassination of Sasheoka.  There's a reminder from Akka, wondering how Maithanet knew of the war between the two schools.  And from an earlier Chapter, Mallahet, pale as a Norsirai with arms scarred like a Scylvendi.  With hindsight, the clues are all there.

Akka considers informing the Mandate that Kellhus is here.
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...What would they do?  How ruthless would they be in the prosecution of their fears?
I gave them Inrau... Must I give them Kellhus too?
Not to mention, he has lost Proyas, his other 'boy'.  Pretty sure Kellhus has sussed out the emotions involved in all this, prioir to asking Akka to teach him.

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... But unlike Nautzera and Simas, he had not been gouged of his compassion...
  Sums up Akka.  He cares.

From Xinemus. Kellhus is
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"More than a man"

The Scarlet Spires come to meet Akka.  A mob follows, indicating the general contempt for sorcerors.  The Spires think Akka killed Geshrunni and stole his face.
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"Someone plays you for a fool, Grandmaster"
Someone plays both of us... But who?

We meet Iyokus for the first time, and learn about chanv.  It sharpen minds and extends lives, but saps pigment, and allegedly saps the will of the soul.  Its source is unknown.

The Spires have lost all their spies in the Thousand Temples.  They now have to have faith in Maithanet, who has offered them vengeance.
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...By seizing, Eleazaras realised, he had surrendered.  And now the Scarlet Spires, for the first time in its glorious history, found itself dependent upon the whims of other men
Echoes of Cnaiur's relationship with Kellhus - the hatred and desire for vengeance of one, is simply a mean to an end for another.  Manipulation of emotion.

The spies in the Imperial Precincts remain.  Another faceless corpse was found in Carythusal five years earlier. 
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"First we crush the Cishaurim, Iyokus.  In the meantime, make certain that Drusas Achamian is watched"
  Like the Imperials, they struggle to see past their own self-interest.  They cannot conceive that the Mandate mission is true.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2018, 08:38:17 pm by TheCulminatingApe »
Sez who?
Seswatha, that's who.

TLEILAXU

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« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2018, 02:19:07 am »
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The thought struck CnaŘir that Dunyain monks might be even more inhuman than he had thought. What if things such as truth and meaning had no meaning for them? What if all they did was move and move, like something reptilian, snaking through circumstance after circumstance, consuming soul after soul for the sake of consumption alone? The thought made his scalp prickle.
Again, some sick foreshadowing here. I also like how it brings both Ajokli and the No-God to mind.