ARC: TDTCB Chapter 19

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TheCulminatingApe

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« on: August 05, 2018, 06:53:21 pm »
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... even though the skin-spies were exposed relatively early in the course of the Holy War, most believed the Cishaurim rather than the Consult to be responsible.  This is the problem of all great revelations: their significance so often exceeds the frame of our comprehension.  We understand only after, always after.  Not simply when it is too late, but precisely because it is too late.
- DRUSAS ACHAMIAN, COMPENDIUM OF THE FIRST HOLY WAR

Final chapter - a week early, but its only a short one. 
Sez who?
Seswatha, that's who.

TheCulminatingApe

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« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2018, 07:49:48 pm »
Serwe POV to start with
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But that world was gone, snuffed out forever by Panteruth and his Munuati.  The unreal people and places had swept in cataracts through the narrow circle of her life, and now she walked with men who conferred with Princes, Emperors - even Gods.  Soon, very soon, she would see the magnificent Grandees of Kian arrayed for battle, watch the fluttering banners of the Tusk storm the field.  She could almost see Kellhus in midst of the fracas, glorious and unconquerable, striking down the shadowy Padirajah.
Kellhus would be the violent hero of this unwritten scripture.  She knew this.  With inexplicable certainty, she knew this.

Interesting that Serwe can envisage this, but won't actually see it.  Also, some similarities with Esmenet's POV in the previous chapter.  People from very humble origins, all of a sudden right up there with the great and good.

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He spoke to her in Nymbricani, the language of her father.  This was part of the dark shelter they had built between them - the place where the wrathful eyes of the Scylvendi could not see

Again, interesting.  Use of language to create a shelter and to 'blind' a potentially malevolent other.  I'm wondering if this intended to give a pointer in some direction?

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"Often", he continued, touching her cheek and brushing her tears into her hair, "when the world denies us over and over, when it punishes us as it's punished you, Serwe, it becomes difficult to understand the meaning.  All our pleas go unanswered.  Our every trust is betrayed.  Our hopes are all crushed.  It seems we mean nothing to the world.  And when we think we mean nothing, we begin to think we are nothing."
A soft crooning wail escaped her.  She wanted to fall forward, to curl herself tighter and tighter until nothing remained...
But I don't see it
"The absence of understanding," Kellhus replied, "is not the same as absence.  You mean something, Serwe.  You are something.  This whole world is steeped in meaning.  Everything, even your suffering, has sacred meaning.  Even your suffering has a crucial role to play."
She touched slack fingers to her neck.  Her face crumpled.
I mean something?
"More than you can imagine," he whispered.

What going on here then?  This whole piece of dialogue feels very significant.  Is there any meaning, or is there none at all?  Is this showing us how Kellhus will manipulate humanity for his own ends, or is he actually telling it like it is (or like he thinks it is)?

Also the implication here (and in the previous Serwe) POV chapter is that Kellhus can actually hear thoughts.  Could be that Serwe is nuts and speaks without realizing, or that she is simply very transparent.  But the suggestion in the subsequent Cnaiur POV, is that he can read Cnaiur's thoughts as well (or maybe just very good at second guessing what Cnaiur will do).

Cnaiur wonders what Kellhus will do with the Holy War

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Would he make it his whore?  Like Serwe?

Kelhus 'needs' a nation.
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But was this the plan?  Or was it simply another Dunyain lie, another way to pacify, to gull, to enslave?

Has Kellhus come to destroy the Holy Way for his Cishaurim father?
But then why spare Cnaiur?
Does Moenghus still communicate with Kellhus?
He peeks into the tent.
Kellhus turns round - the implication is he knows Cnaiur is watching... and knows what he is thinking.
No wonder Cnaiur is mad.

Achamian cannot remember what he thought, or what route he took in getting back from the palace.  I.e. he didn't see Esmi at all.
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He saw his tent, small and alone, mottled and weathered by many seasons, many journeys, and cast in the silent shadow of Xinemus' pavilion.  The Holy War swept beyond it, a great canvas city, matting the distances with the confusion of flaps, guy ropes, pennants, and awnings.

Xinemus has fallen asleep waiting for him.

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Home
Tears brimmed at that thought.  He'd never had a home, a place that he could call "mine".  There was no refuge, no sanctuary, for a man such as he.  Only friends, scattered here and there, who for some unaccountable reason loved him and worried about him.

The Consult are revealed
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the bitter apparition had bared its knuckled flesh, and the horror of what was and what might be had become the horror of now

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But that road was far too easy.  To be frail, to be afflicted with unrequited longing, was simply what it meant to be man.  When had he acquired this penchant to wallow in self-pity?  Where in life's slow accumulation had he come to see himself as the world's victim?  How had he become such a fool?
... He had to act, choose his moment and overcome - overwhelm. He was Drusas Achamian! His song could char legions, tear the earth asunder, pull dragons shrieking from the sky.

But he knows nothing of The Consult's plans, or how the Emperor discovered them.  He has to assume they've infiltrated everywhere - even the Mandate (which of course they have).  Maybe they already rule the Three Seas.  Back to the idea that Maithanet is Consult. 
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The Second Apocalypse is here.  It has already begun
Why do the Consult want the Holy War?  Why destroy the Fanim?  Something to do with the Cishaurim?
The obvious connection between the deaths of Geshrunni and Inrau.  Have they got to Esmi?

Final section.  Nansur nobility feasting on their galleys.  Jnan explained.  The Holy War has marched.  The Empire has been humiliated.
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...so long as the brilliant Conphas marched with them, the Emperor might still succeed.  Conphas.  A man like a God.  A true child of Kyraneas, or even Cenei - of the old blood.  How could he fail to make the Holy War his own? "Think of it!" they cried.  "The Old Empire restored!"...

Pretty much spells out what Kellhus will actually do.  I think this confirms that Conphas can be read as a mundane version of Kellhus.
Sez who?
Seswatha, that's who.