ARC: TWP Chapter 12

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TheCulminatingApe

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« on: October 09, 2018, 06:57:39 pm »
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...the ends of the earth shall be wracked by the howls of the wicked, and the idols shall be cast down and shattered, stone against stone.  And the demons of the idolaters shall hold open their mouths, like starving lepers, for no man living answer their outrageous hunger.
- 16:4:22, THE WITNESS OF FANE

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Though you lose you soul, you shall win the world
- MANDATE CATECHISM
Sez who?
Seswatha, that's who.

TheCulminatingApe

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« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2018, 03:39:06 pm »
Xinemus is approached by Therishut
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... a baron of dubious reputation from Conriya's frontier with High Ainon...
, who implies that scrolls about the Gnosis have been found in the Sareot Library, and that Saubon is likely to sell them.

This comes across very blatantly as a set up.  We also get some insight into the social implications of the caste structure. Xin criticises Therishut for consorting with the merchant-caste.  This is thrown straight back at him - he hangs out with a sorceror.

Xin tells Akka, who of course is off to the Library.  Esmi is not pleased
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"I don't understand", Esmenet said with than a little anger.
He's leaving me...

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"...It's a library.  A library!"
"So?", she said hotly.  "The illiterate are not-"
A suggestion that Esmi feels excluded as she can't read?  Later events will play on this.

She thinks Kellhus has asked for the Gnosis.

She suggests that the Gnosis is a temptation that Kellhus should resist.  Akka asks if she has considered the he might not be a prophet.

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"The question, Akka, is what do you think?"
Achamian looked to the ground between them.
"What do I think?" he repeated pensively.  He raised his eyes.
Esmenet said nothing, though she felt the hardness melt from her gaze.
Achamian shrugged and sighed.  "That the Three Seas couldn't be more unprepared for a Second Apocalypse... The Heron Spear is lost.  Sranc roam half the world, in numbers a hundred - a thousand! - times greater than in Seswatha's day.  And Men hold only a fraction of the Trinkets."  He stared at her, and it seemed his eyes had never been so bright. "Though the Gods have damned, damned us, I can't believe they would so abandon the world..."
"Kellhus," she whispered.
Achamian nodded.  "They've sent us more than a Harbinger... That's what I think, or hope - I don't know..."
"But sorcery, Akka..."
"Is blasphemy, I know.  But ask yourself, Esmi, why are sorcerors blasphemers?  And why is a prophet a prophet?"
Her eyes opened horror-wide.  "Because one sings the God's song," she replied, "and the other speaks the God's voice."
"Exactly," Achamian said.  "Is it blasphemy for a prophet to utter sorcery?"
Esmenet stood staring, dumbstruck.
For the God to sing His own song...

Are there other reasons he is leaving?  She wonders if he may have found a younger whore.  Insecurities again.

They argue about him being 'weak' and about her daughter.  She 'came before' Akka.  But
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..."the past is never dead, Esmi.   It's not even past."

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I'm not leaving you, Esmi," he said with a queer kind of finality.  "I could never leave you.  Not again."
"I see but one sleeping mat," she said.

Akka ponders damnation, and recalls his cellmate (and former lover) Sancla, reviewing the Tusk.
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..."Essentially Sejenus is saying, 'Give without expectation of reward, and you can expect a huge reward!'"...
..."So the Inrithi who expect to be exalted in the Outside..."
"Give nothing,"... "but we on the other hand... give everything, and we can expect only damnation as a result...

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So there was room to doubt his damnation.  Perhaps, as Sancla had suggested, the damned were in fact the elect.  Or perhaps, as Achamian was more inclined to believe, the uncertain were the Chosen Ones.  He'd often thought the temptation to assume, to sham certainty, was the most narcotic and destructive of all temptations.  To do good without the certainty was to do good without expectation... Perhaps doubt itself was the key.
But then of course the question could never be answered.  If genuine doubt was in fact the condition of conditions, then only those ignorant of the answer could be redeemed.  To ponder the question of damnation, it had always seemed, was itself a kind of damnation.

Kellhus could be an answer.  Salvation is a real possibility, but what is Achamian prepared to sacrifice.

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Though you lose you soul, the Mandate catechism began, you shall win the world.
But it need not be!  Achamian knew that now!  Finally he could see how desolate, how bereft of hope, his prior life had been.  Esmenet had taught him how to love.  And Kellhus, Anasurimbor Kellhus, had taught him how to hope.
And he would seize them, love and hope.  He would seize them, and he would hold them fast.
  Oh dear - it ain't going to end well.  Poor Akka.

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Never - never! in the history of their School had a sorceror of rank betrayed the Gnosis.  Only the Gnosis had allowed the Mandate to survive.  Only the Gnosis had allowed them to carry Seswatha's war through the millennia.  Lose it, and they became no more than a Minor School.  His brothers, Achamian knew, would fight themselves to extinction to prevent that from happening.  They would hunt both of them without relenting, and they would kill them if they could. They would not listen to reasons... And the name Drusas Achamian, would become a curse in the dark halls of Atyersus.
Butwhat was this other than greed or jealousy?  The Second Apocalypse was imminent. Hadn't the time come to arm all the Three Seas?  Hadn't Seswatha himself bid them share their arsenal before the shadow fell?
He had...
And wouldn't this make Achamian the most faithful of all Mandate Schoolmen?

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Glimpses of Kellhus, striding as a god across fields of war, laying low hosts of Sranc, striking dragons from the sky, closing with the resurrected No-God, with dread Mog-Pharau...
He's our saviour!  I know it
But what if Esmenet were right?  What if Achamian were merely the test?  Like old, evil Shikol in The Tractate, offering Inri Sejenus his thighbone sceptre, his army, his harem, everything save his crown, to stop preaching...

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Prophet and sorceror.  The Tusk called such men Shaman.
  So presumably there have been others?

He sees two little boys holding hands, and the a naked corpse hanging from a tree.

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Achamian wiped his tears on his shoulder. Something unimaginable was about to happen, something historians, philosophers, and theologians would argue for thousands of years - if years or anything else survived.  And the acts of Drusas Achamian would loom so very large.
He would simply give.  Without expectation.
His School.  His calling. His life...
The Gnosis would be his sacrifice.

He heads to the Library.  He recalls that the Fanim were about  to burn it, when by chance a map of Gedea rolled to the feet of the Padirajah.  The Library was spared, but
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... it might as well have ceased to exist under the Kianene.
  This suggests the non-intellectual nature of Fanimry - as per the Psukhe vs other sorcery.

He sees a mosaic of Sejenus with haloed hands.  Others have seen Kellhus with haloed hands - this implies that Kellhus may well be a prophet.

He finds nothing on the Gnosis, but does find other things of interest.
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A book was never "read".  Here, as elsewhere, language betrayed the true nature of the activity.  To say that a book was read was to make the same mistake as the gambler who crowed about winning as though he'd taken it by force of hand or resolve.  To toss the number-sticks was to seize a moment of helplessness, nothing more.  But to open a book was by far the more profound gamble.  To open a book was not only to seize a moment of helplessness, not only to relinquish a jealous handful of heartbeats to the unpredictable mark of another man's quill, it was to allow oneself to be written.  For what was a book if not a long consecutive surrender to the movements of another man's soul.
Achamian could think of no abandonment of self more profound.

Nice.  What does this tell us about scripture?

He sleeps and dreams of the dragon Skuthula. He is wakened by his wards - the Scarlet Spires, or the Consult?.  as Xinemus betrayed him? 
(The obvious inference is that Therishut was sent by the Spires - but could Kellhus be behind it - if so why?)

It is the Spires.  The Library burns, and so do they.
Akka is
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... a Mandate Schoolman, a Gnostic Sorceror-of-the-Rank, a War-Cant Master.  He was as a mask held before the sun...
...he was s Scion of Seswatha, a Disciple of Noshainrau the White. He was the slayer of Skafra, mightiest of the Wracu.  He had pitched his sing against the dread heights of Golgotterath.  He had stood proud and impenitent before Mog-Pharau himself...

A nice contrast between the Anagogis 'heads of ghostly dragons', and the Gnosis 'dazzling geometries, lines and parabolas'.

The floor collapses.  The Spires beat him down relentlessly. 
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Like angry smiths, they punished the anvil
« Last Edit: October 14, 2018, 05:21:07 pm by TheCulminatingApe »
Sez who?
Seswatha, that's who.