ARC: TWP Chapter 19

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TheCulminatingApe

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« on: November 04, 2018, 07:40:39 pm »
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What vengeance is this?  That he should slumber while I endure?  Blood douses no hatred, cleanses no sin.  Like seed, it spills of its own volition, and leaves naught but sorrow in its wake.
- HAMISHAZA, TEMPIRAS THE KING
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...an my soldiers, they say, make idols of their swords. But does not the sword make certain?  Does not the sword make plain?  Does not the sword compel kindness from those who kneel in its shadow?  I need no other god.
- TRIAMIS, JOURNALS AND DIALOGUES
Sez who?
Seswatha, that's who.

TheCulminatingApe

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« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2018, 08:30:10 pm »
Proyas awakes in the desert, but
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...he heard gurgling water - the sound of life...
...The green of living things blurred the distance.

Cnaiur is nearby - he is not much younger than Proyas' father.

The Holy War enters Enathpaneah.  They have lost 200,000 in the desert.
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There were no innocents.  This was the secret they carried away from the desert.
All were guilty.

Echoes of the Great Ordeal.

The Scarlet Spires cannot break Achamian, because
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For all their merciless cunning, what the Scarlet Magi never understood was that they plied two men, not one.
Whatever they do, I remain untouched.  The heart of a great tree never burns.  The heart of a great tree never burns
Two men, like a circle and its shadow.  The torture, the Cants of Compulsion, the narcotics- everything had failed because there were two men for them to compel, and the one, Seswatha, stood far outside the circle of the present.  Whatever the affliction, no matter how obscene, his shadow whispered, But I've suffered more...

Xinemus is brought in.  He can bear no more.  Akka doesn't recognise him at first.  They put his eyes out.
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"ZIN!"  Achamian shrieked.
But there was his hanging shadow, smeared across mortared glass, whispering,
I know not this man

A tabby cat hunts.  Recently it has dined on dead men.  It longs for the taste of living, bleeding prey.  It pounces and bites.  The taste is wrong.  The Wathi Doll stabs it, and then grabs its throat.
Is this some kind of metaphor for a plot point?  Food turning on its 'eater'

The Holy War is heading for Caraskand.

Iyokus is telling Akka about the Holy War, and how it has suffered in the desert.  The Spires have been recalled.  Iyokus admits that Akka truly believes that the Skeaos was Consult.
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Achamian swallowed painfully.  "I know he was.  And someday soon, so will you."
"Perhaps.  Perhaps... But for now, my Grandmaster has decided these spies must be Cishaurim.  One cannot substitute legends for what is known.
"You substitute what you fear for what you don't know, Iyokus"

After the Spires leave, a slave will bring a Chorae for Akka and aknife for Xinemus.

The Holy War begins the siege of Caraskand.  A man dies of plague and is catapulted over the walls
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... as would be those who followed.

Mamaradda the Javreh slave decides he will kill Achamian.  He hears scraping, and sees something - a tiny man.  Akka unleashes sorcery on him.  He has a Chorae, but is hit by a shower of coals and drops it. 
Seswatha is on the loose.

Iyokus is revealed as a Daimotic sorceror - a scholar of forbidden forks.  He knows Achamian is coming, and summons a demon.
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"I have bound you"
Thou art damned!  Dost thou not recognise he who shall keepeth thee for Eternity?

Akka attacks
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"YOU ARE OVERMATCHED, IYOKUS!"..
...Then he was falling, borne down by a raving demon, perched upon his wards, hammering with great nailed fists.

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Achamian charred its crocodile hide, ribboned its otherwordly flesh, smote its elephantine skull with ponderous cudgels of stone, and it bled fire from a hundred wounds.  But it refused to fall.  It howled obscenities that cracked rock and rifled the ground with chasms.  More floors collapsed, and they  grappled through dark cellars made bright by flickering fury.
Sorceror and demon.
Unholy Ciphrang, a tormented  soul thrust into the agony of the World, harnessed by words like a lion by strings, yoked to the task that would see it freed.
Achamian endured its unearthly violence, heaped injury after injury upon its agony.
And in the end it grovelled beneath his song, cringed like a beaten animal, then faded into blackness...

Achamian wanders through the burnt ruins.  He
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...wondered that he'd been the catastrophe that had wrought this devastation...

He finds Xinemus, blinded and chained up in his own shit.
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"I'm sorry, Akka.  I'm so sorry..."
But the only words Achamian could remember were those that killed.
That damned.
Sez who?
Seswatha, that's who.

Oberstul

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« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2018, 07:10:08 am »
Two awesome chapters in a row. It was satisfying AF when Akka unleashed his all magical power and got his revenge. The fact that in the middle of all that carnage he also fought that Demon is a bonus. Bakker's purple prose was strong in this one.
homo homini lupus