What is the Eärwan Soul?

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sciborg2

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« Reply #15 on: November 29, 2018, 10:29:16 pm »
Heh something like that. It struck me that his thoughts on the illusory "I" match up well enough with some of the ideas we've had regarding identity/individuality as what allows for Damnation...and, I suppose, Salvation of sorts...

Also want to say I think Hegel is important, both to the Idealist metaphysics and potentially to the nature of sorcery. Sadly I'm unfamiliar with his works beyond just some cursory commentary that crossed my path.

I think that is very likely.  I have to plead ignorance as well and I'm not sure I have the intellect to read him direct.  I should probably look up some kind of introduction to Hegel, perhaps, or something like that.

I suspect his thesis, antithesis, synthesis is the key to the Meta-Gnosis. I can see each piece further clarifying the intention of the sorcerer towards the world.
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« Reply #16 on: November 29, 2018, 10:45:39 pm »
I suspect his thesis, antithesis, synthesis is the key to the Meta-Gnosis. I can see each piece further clarifying the intention of the sorcerer towards the world.

Hmm, while logical, perhaps that wasn't really Hegel's idea?

Quote
According to Mueller, the attribution of this tripartite dialectic to Hegel is the result of "inept reading" and simplistic translations which do not take into account the genesis of Hegel's terms:

Hegel's greatness is as indisputable as his obscurity. The matter is due to his peculiar terminology and style; they are undoubtedly involved and complicated, and seem excessively abstract. These linguistic troubles, in turn, have given rise to legends which are like perverse and magic spectacles - once you wear them, the text simply vanishes. Theodor Haering's monumental and standard work has for the first time cleared up the linguistic problem. By carefully analyzing every sentence from his early writings, which were published only in this century, he has shown how Hegel's terminology evolved - though it was complete when he began to publish. Hegel's contemporaries were immediately baffled, because what was clear to him was not clear to his readers, who were not initiated into the genesis of his terms.

An example of how a legend can grow on inept reading is this: Translate "Begriff" by "concept," "Vernunft" by "reason" and "Wissenschaft" by "science" – and they are all good dictionary translations – and you have transformed the great critic of rationalism and irrationalism into a ridiculous champion of an absurd pan-logistic rationalism and scientism.

The most vexing and devastating Hegel legend is that everything is thought in "thesis, antithesis, and synthesis."

From here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thesis,_antithesis,_synthesis (not exactly the most reliable place, though).
“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

sciborg2

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« Reply #17 on: November 29, 2018, 11:21:52 pm »
I suspect his thesis, antithesis, synthesis is the key to the Meta-Gnosis. I can see each piece further clarifying the intention of the sorcerer towards the world.

Hmm, while logical, perhaps that wasn't really Hegel's idea?

Quote
According to Mueller, the attribution of this tripartite dialectic to Hegel is the result of "inept reading" and simplistic translations which do not take into account the genesis of Hegel's terms:

Hegel's greatness is as indisputable as his obscurity. The matter is due to his peculiar terminology and style; they are undoubtedly involved and complicated, and seem excessively abstract. These linguistic troubles, in turn, have given rise to legends which are like perverse and magic spectacles - once you wear them, the text simply vanishes. Theodor Haering's monumental and standard work has for the first time cleared up the linguistic problem. By carefully analyzing every sentence from his early writings, which were published only in this century, he has shown how Hegel's terminology evolved - though it was complete when he began to publish. Hegel's contemporaries were immediately baffled, because what was clear to him was not clear to his readers, who were not initiated into the genesis of his terms.

An example of how a legend can grow on inept reading is this: Translate "Begriff" by "concept," "Vernunft" by "reason" and "Wissenschaft" by "science" – and they are all good dictionary translations – and you have transformed the great critic of rationalism and irrationalism into a ridiculous champion of an absurd pan-logistic rationalism and scientism.

The most vexing and devastating Hegel legend is that everything is thought in "thesis, antithesis, and synthesis."

From here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thesis,_antithesis,_synthesis (not exactly the most reliable place, though).

Ah...I mean I didn't look too deeply at the concepts. I was thinking that the first two parts would help clarify a sorcerer's meaning - you note something you wish to intend in a certain metaphysical scheme, but also solidify this intent by a sort of negation in the "anti-thesis".

Not saying this completely describes sorcery, but there are other parts of Hegel that seem to correspond to Bakker's ideas so when I saw this tripartite lingual structure it jumped out at me.
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« Reply #18 on: November 29, 2018, 11:28:25 pm »
Ah...I mean I didn't look too deeply at the concepts. I was thinking that the first two parts would help clarify a sorcerer's meaning - you note something you wish to intend in a certain metaphysical scheme, but also solidify this intent by a sort of negation in the "anti-thesis".

Not saying this completely describes sorcery, but there are other parts of Hegel that seem to correspond to Bakker's ideas so when I saw this tripartite lingual structure it jumped out at me.

Yeah, I mean, I'd find it hard to believe that Bakker didn't read some amount of Hegel or something derivative thereof honestly.

I was just point out, not that the theory seems bad, but that it seems it wasn't really Hegels.  Meaningless in the short-term, but if we want to look more deeply into it, it seems Hegel isn't where that is, per se.
“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

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« Reply #19 on: December 03, 2018, 06:23:51 pm »
Addendum:

Time and the Soul on Eärwa

So, something interesting came up in discussion.  That is, the lingering question of how it could be that Yatwer, eternal, can see "all of time" yet, cannot see the failure of the White-Luck Warrior.  Or of Sorweel.  In what manner can we reconcile the following facts:

First, Yatwer (and so the rest of the Hundred) are Eternal, that is, they are outside of time.  They do not age and they are no subject to the laws of time.  That is, Yatwer can "experiance" all time which She exists in.  This would be how She can "see" the White-Luck Warrior kill Kellhus.  We shall return to this point soon.

Next, despite the fact that Yatwer sees all of time, there are two (at least two) very specific things that Yatwer (et. al.) cannot see.  That is, the No-God, and Ark.  By extension, this includes Kelmomas.

Third, despite Kelmomas being unseen, he is still part of the same time as Yatwer.

Fourth, that all of time is already "written."  That is, all things that will happen have already happened.

So, we are left to ask the following: if Yatwer can "see" all of time, at least all of "time" in which Yatwer exists, then how is it the case that Yatwer cannot see little Kel, or at least, see little Kel's influence on things She can see?

To simplify our task, we can simply take for granted that the No-God is simply outside of what Yatwer can perceive.  We need to burden ourselves with an explanation of this fact at this moment (in fact, we will return to it at the end).  What we do need to ask though is what does this make of what Yatwer does see?  In other words, if time includes the No-God, which it must, as the No-God indeed happens, then what is it that Yatwer saw, which did not include the No-God?

Let me attempt a sort of visual example:
If we liken all of time, that is, everything that ever happens in and on Eärwa as a book, we can imagine, for example, the "passage" of the following progression: 1,2,3,4.  What do I mean here?  Well, if we continue the analogy of "a book" then, we can have pare 1, which begets page 2, and then page 3 and so on.  Each page builds upon the previous page.  This is to liken the passage of time as a linear progression, toward whatever the future is.  The key on Eärwa, of course, is that the whole book has already been written.  That is, all pages are written.  In a manner of thinking about it, then the whole book, that is, the litany of all things that have happened, is already written or set, as it were.

We are left then, to ask, how can it be that Yatwer can see all of time, that is, see the whole book, and yet not see the failure of the White-Luck Warrior?  It would be no different than, us, the readers, being able to read the whole series, yet, not be able to see the ending.  No, something else must be happening.

What I propose, of course, is that Yawer (et. al.) cannot "see" all of time.  They cannot "read the book" of all time.  What Yatwer actually does is follow the lines of causal, experiential data and in doing so, extrapolates the seemingly deterministic end.  This is not "reading the book" however, because were it, there would be clear points at which the intercession of the No-God would clearly be changing things from what Yatwer would expect.  So, what seems must be the case is that Yatwer only imagines Herself to be reading the book.  In reality, what is actually being done is intuiting the outcome of System: Eärwa, based off it's previously known (i.e. "beginning") state.  This works, only insofar as Eärwa is a closed system.  But Eärwa is not closed: it was breached by Ark.

This is similar to how Moënghus the Elder, imagined Eärwa closed and able to be rendered predictable.  Except he was wrong.  Now, the Hundred have perspectives well beyond what Moënghus could muster, being a-temporal and nearly omnipresent.  But they too are wrong to assume that this part is the whole.  While the Hundred are outside of time, they are not truly Eternal, since they were born, so shall they die.  And while they are nearly everywhere, they are not everywhere and so there are gaps in what they can "see."  The Ark is just one notable instance of this.  However, the Hundred, perceptually, are blind to what they are blind to.  So they have no but to imagine that the part they intuit, that is "see," is the whole, the whole whole.

So, then time as perceived by the Hundred is not time as it is on Eärwa.  Time, as percieved is time as it "should be" were it to follow Eärwan "laws" (yes, even sorcery, as a law outside of "natural law") and proceed accordingly.  But that Hundred don't "see" this, so much as they simply intuit it.  In a similar manner to how a bird tracks prey.  It doesn't think, or calculate, it just does what it knows it needs to do.  Yatwer is not a consciousness in an anthropomorphic way.  This is why the Mutilated even say to Kellhus that the Hundred couldn't have known of their absence, they could only intuit it.  Considering though, that the Hundred don't have actual eyes, this "intuition" is what to them is "seeing."

I am thinking that possibly the whole reason why the No-God even works at all is because, like the soul is a ledger, so is "time" on Earwa.  It has dimension.  So the god's can "see" it all, because they can look back and forth along the "line."  But the No-God, as a sort of singularity, collapses this dimensionality.  So, under the No-God there is no past, in any discernible, ledger-like way, there is only the present, devoid of any connection with what was done, or will be done.  In this way, it doesn't matter what you do, or did, because in the next moment, it's all new and nothing bears any connection with what was before.  You are, in a way, born new, every moment upon every moment.  This is the union of Subject and Object.  Subjectively you are nothing but an Object, bereft of greater consequence.  Maybe this is why souled things can't be born, because soul, as the signifier of "that which animates," cannot be, so you are born without the "animator," that is, just an object.

Of course, then we are left to ask how is it that soulless things can be born at all.  The answer is, I guess, that since that is their nature, it does no harm for them, as they are naturally already in that state of already being just Object.
“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

sciborg2

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« Reply #20 on: December 04, 2018, 04:42:30 am »
So Yatwer sees everything that has happened in the sense of a Block Universe...of sorts. But the No God represents the end of that sight, IIRC Bakker said the Hundred are all getting fucked by Alzheimers or some such.

Of course this would suggest Yatwer *never* saw an accurate picture, just an accurate enough picture to presume everything flowed in the "currents of Causality" as the Godhand would say.

It makes me think of the Eternal, Time Transcendent torment shown by the Inverse Fire...which always happens to be different each time you look at it.

I can't help but feel that if one view of Time is the correct one it's the Present, the Now, and the Eternal is in some [way] illusory...
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« Reply #21 on: March 07, 2019, 10:38:11 pm »
So Yatwer sees everything that has happened in the sense of a Block Universe...of sorts. But the No God represents the end of that sight, IIRC Bakker said the Hundred are all getting fucked by Alzheimers or some such.

Of course this would suggest Yatwer *never* saw an accurate picture, just an accurate enough picture to presume everything flowed in the "currents of Causality" as the Godhand would say.

It makes me think of the Eternal, Time Transcendent torment shown by the Inverse Fire...which always happens to be different each time you look at it.

I can't help but feel that if one view of Time is the correct one it's the Present, the Now, and the Eternal is in some [way] illusory...

Hmm, took me long enough, but I'm now kind of considering this again.  The notion here, that is problematic, seems to be the "notion of time" and the "notion of causality."

That is to say, could it be, that the "paradox" of little Kel being the No-God, in the sense that he always was, despite the fact that he was also, not always the No-God, be a case of our implicit enforcing of our a priori notion of time?  Not only that, but of our notion of causality?  And more specifically, about necessity and contingency?  In this sense, of course Kel was always the No-God, as he was never not going to be the No-God.  Not because he always was, but because he always would be.

In the same sort of way, the No-God would always rise, not because it must, but because it would.

I like this, because it means Kellhus wasn't fated to fail his spiritual test, the call to sacrifice, but rather he simply was just a failure.  Not predetermined to be so, simply determined, then in that moment.  There was a choice, it wasn't that he couldn't make the "right" choice, it's that he wouldn't.

If any of that makes sense...
“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

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« Reply #22 on: March 14, 2019, 01:32:57 am »
So Yatwer sees everything that has happened in the sense of a Block Universe...of sorts. But the No God represents the end of that sight, IIRC Bakker said the Hundred are all getting fucked by Alzheimers or some such.

Of course this would suggest Yatwer *never* saw an accurate picture, just an accurate enough picture to presume everything flowed in the "currents of Causality" as the Godhand would say.

It makes me think of the Eternal, Time Transcendent torment shown by the Inverse Fire...which always happens to be different each time you look at it.

I can't help but feel that if one view of Time is the correct one it's the Present, the Now, and the Eternal is in some [way] illusory...

Hmm, took me long enough, but I'm now kind of considering this again.  The notion here, that is problematic, seems to be the "notion of time" and the "notion of causality."

That is to say, could it be, that the "paradox" of little Kel being the No-God, in the sense that he always was, despite the fact that he was also, not always the No-God, be a case of our implicit enforcing of our a priori notion of time?  Not only that, but of our notion of causality?  And more specifically, about necessity and contingency?  In this sense, of course Kel was always the No-God, as he was never not going to be the No-God.  Not because he always was, but because he always would be.

In the same sort of way, the No-God would always rise, not because it must, but because it would.

I like this, because it means Kellhus wasn't fated to fail his spiritual test, the call to sacrifice, but rather he simply was just a failure.  Not predetermined to be so, simply determined, then in that moment.  There was a choice, it wasn't that he couldn't make the "right" choice, it's that he wouldn't.

If any of that makes sense...

Not only does it indeed make sense, but I actually think this is pretty much the only semi-rational method of interpreting the large-scale metaphysics such as they've been presented to us (both in text and from RSB's commentary). Mostly because, in Earwa, to have a Soul is to possess Free Will, and this is I think is most crucial to the framework of the metaphysics insofar as it underscores the laws of Damnation/Salvation (such as what Kellhus describes to Esmenet in the beginning of TUC, regarding the relevance of premeditated actions and the responsibility that comes with power and/or knowledge over those more ignorant/innocent souls). It's a detail that is at once integral to much of what RSB is trying to communicate through this series, yet also can be surprisingly easy to forget (or at least, overlook the importance of) in the shuffle.

I've ran through some of the general beats you bring up here regarding the God’s POV and time/causality in my head before and came to a vague but similar-ish conclusion that you have, however you've quite finely outlined all of what I'd considered and more, and in far greater detail and precision then I’d been able to articulate even to myself. Good stuff as always! 

This is also relevant for me in regards to my personal interpretation of how the mechanics play out with regards to how a mortal soul can become a 'vessel' for an agency of the Outside while still retaining their freedom of will, since as we know this not just a simple case of traditional spiritual possession, or to quote Oinaral, "possession is an imprecise term". I've described my thoughts here several times on the forum before, but essentially it boils down to the idea that in cases of an entity from the Outside inhabiting a soul, it is erroneous to presume that the soul of any such vessel has been utterly supplanted or over-ridden by that of the agency in question, but rather, that the intentions of the mortal’s soul have become reflective or similar enough to that of a particular deity, and thus in a sense becomes an optional opportunity for that God to slip into the vessel at their discretion, so as to exercise their own intentions more directly in the World (with these vessels presumably being only one among many at any given instance, and across all of time, or at least the time as determined by the limitations of that deity's "lifespan", however that works). This is similar in some ways to the theological concept of "theosis" in Christian Eastern Orthodox religions.   

This is consistent, I think, with what we see in the text of basically every effectively 'confirmed' case in the series, those being Psatma-Yatwer, Ajokli-Cnaiur & Ajokli-Kellhus*, Mimara-God* and Kelmomas-Mog*. The most contention over this comes with Kellhus and Ajokli, but I think it's slightly misguided.

In each case here, it's pretty clear that the individuals in question are never really acting "out of character" once they've become a conduit for their respective deity. Psatma is the most clear cut of these, as is Cnaiur in my opinion. Cnaiur's probably the best example of all because we get the most backstory and internal POV of the character. An interesting thing to contrast between Cnaiur and Psatma, however, is that while it seems one does retain their will even after becoming a vessel, one does not need to be willing to become a vessel, nor do they need to be aware that they've become a vessel after-the-fact (this is only slightly murky because we don't get a Cnaiur POV past his final scene in PON, and his outward actions in TUC do not directly indicate that he is aware of what precisely is happening to him, however he definitely seems to understand that, on some level, he has been altered by some kind of metaphysical association with Hell, if not specifically the God-named-Ajokli itself). 

Returning to the example of Kellhus, and given all aforementioned statements, I do not interpret the scenes of Kellhus-Ajokli in the the Golden Room as being an example of Kellhus's statements and actions being "overridden" or entirely swapped out with those of Ajokli, but rather, that Kellhus himself is in fact still expressing his own freedom of will -- or at least he's simulating the appearance of such. This right here is itself an interesting quandary. Could it be that Kellhus was essentially "role-playing" as Ajokli in terms of his declared intentions, while also using the literal fact of his own 'vesselization' to genuinely wield the divine powers of a God? We know that Kellhus at least claims to Proyas in TUC that lying is not an option for him now and that "Truth is his only recourse" (not verbatim) this close to the Ark, since he can perceive the strength of the Darkness there and his vulnerability to it? And so then, when he does confront the Mutilated and play out his whole "I am Master, here!" shtick -- knowing full-well that this is not quite the case -- that the very act of deception here is what, in part, allowed Ajokli to manifest so vividly (besides the degree to which the Golden Room is a topos anyway)? Just some speculation on my part, but I do think the notion of free will and how it works in the grand scheme of all the other metaphysical systems in play (such as when the Gods get involved) is an interesting one that still has some room for exploration.   

*I put asterisks on these particular examples only because they involve a bit of a wrinkle that may or may not alter the circumstances, although with the possible exception of Kelmomas I do not personally think it's any different. I single out Mimara and Kellhus mainly because the specific deity for which they are become a vessel stand out from the rest of the known pantheon in some manner, and aren't "just another God". Again though, I don't actually think this makes much, if any, difference in the jist of my point.
 

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« Reply #23 on: March 14, 2019, 01:56:19 pm »
This is also relevant for me in regards to my personal interpretation of how the mechanics play out with regards to how a mortal soul can become a 'vessel' for an agency of the Outside while still retaining their freedom of will, since as we know this not just a simple case of traditional spiritual possession, or to quote Oinaral, "possession is an imprecise term". I've described my thoughts here several times on the forum before, but essentially it boils down to the idea that in cases of an entity from the Outside inhabiting a soul, it is erroneous to presume that the soul of any such vessel has been utterly supplanted or over-ridden by that of the agency in question, but rather, that the intentions of the mortal’s soul have become reflective or similar enough to that of a particular deity, and thus in a sense becomes an optional opportunity for that God to slip into the vessel at their discretion, so as to exercise their own intentions more directly in the World (with these vessels presumably being only one among many at any given instance, and across all of time, or at least the time as determined by the limitations of that deity's "lifespan", however that works). This is similar in some ways to the theological concept of "theosis" in Christian Eastern Orthodox religions.

This is interesting.  It makes me think that it isplausible to conceptualize such "overlapping" of soul and deity not as "possession," per se, that is, one thing taking on, or conquering the other, but rather more of a metaphysical alignment.  This actually goes along with some of what I present in the fist post about unity.  It is less than the soul "reaches out" for the deity, or that the deity "reaches in" to the soul, rather, that the soul becomes so aligned to the deity that there is functionally less and less difference between the two.  Which, in terms of union, can metaphysically can be functionally the same.  Especially in the case of a spacio-temporal paradigm such as the Outside is, that is, somewhat a-spatial and a-temporal.  So, in terms of the Outside, what is between Ajokli and Kellhus?  On the Inside, that is more clear, although, in the Golden Room that line becomes ever more blurred, as the line between Outside and Inside blurs.

Returning to the example of Kellhus, and given all aforementioned statements, I do not interpret the scenes of Kellhus-Ajokli in the the Golden Room as being an example of Kellhus's statements and actions being "overridden" or entirely swapped out with those of Ajokli, but rather, that Kellhus himself is in fact still expressing his own freedom of will -- or at least he's simulating the appearance of such. This right here is itself an interesting quandary. Could it be that Kellhus was essentially "role-playing" as Ajokli in terms of his declared intentions, while also using the literal fact of his own 'vesselization' to genuinely wield the divine powers of a God? We know that Kellhus at least claims to Proyas in TUC that lying is not an option for him now and that "Truth is his only recourse" (not verbatim) this close to the Ark, since he can perceive the strength of the Darkness there and his vulnerability to it? And so then, when he does confront the Mutilated and play out his whole "I am Master, here!" shtick -- knowing full-well that this is not quite the case -- that the very act of deception here is what, in part, allowed Ajokli to manifest so vividly (besides the degree to which the Golden Room is a topos anyway)? Just some speculation on my part, but I do think the notion of free will and how it works in the grand scheme of all the other metaphysical systems in play (such as when the Gods get involved) is an interesting one that still has some room for exploration.

Right, I agree with this generally.  That is to say, in a way, there is no Kellhus, distinct, and no Ajokli, distinct, pre-head-eruption.  I think once past that particular point, we are seeing something different, more of a case of Kellhus as a "conduit" of sorts, still in the mix, but not as Kellhus-in-himself, but fully as a part of Ajokli.  Before this, what we see, I think, is more of a synthesis of Kellhus and Ajokli, in which parts we cannot succinctly derive.

However, consider how little Kel's appearance snaps Kellhus "out" of what I'd call the "conduit" state.  Which means to me that Kellhus is not "full back seat" even at this point, even though it seems relatively "clear" that Ajokli is manifesting as fully as we ever see.  So, even Apex-Manifested-Ajokli is still, to some degree, Kellhus himself and whatever portion that is can "snap out of it" to some degree.  This might even have been Kellhus' gambit, his "plan" all along, the way to "cheat" Ajokli in the long run.  He allows Ajokli's menifestation through him, Ajokli figuring that this would place Kellhus soul in forfeit to him.  But, for reasoning we don't know exactly (perhaps related to the Decapitants, perhaps the Gnosis/Diamos, perhaps the Logos, or some combination of all that) Kellhus is able to "hide" is "true soul" and present Ajokli with a surrogate or perhaps a portion to manifest with or through.
“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