ARC: TTT Chapter 10

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TheCulminatingApe

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« on: February 17, 2019, 12:55:38 pm »
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Souls can no more see the origins of their thoughts than they can see the backs of their heads or the insides of their entrails.  And since souls cannot differentiate what they cannot see, there is a peculiar sense in which the soul cannot self-differentiate.  So it is always, in a peculiar sense, the same time time when they think, the same place where they think, and the same individual who does the thinking.  Like tipping a spiral on its side until only a circle can be seen, the passage of moments always remains now, the carnival of spaces always sojourns here, and the succession of people always becomes me. The truth is, if the soul could apprehend itself the way it apprehended the world - if it could apprehend its origins - it would see that there is no now, there is no here, and there is no me.  In other words, it would realise that just as there is no circle, there is no soul.
- MEMGOWA, CELESTIAL APHORISMS

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You are fallen from Him like sparks from the flame.  A dark wind blows, and you are soon to flicker out.
- SONGS 6:33, THE CHRONICLE OF THE TUSK
Sez who?
Seswatha, that's who.

TheCulminatingApe

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« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2019, 08:42:59 pm »
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Souls can no more see the origins of their thoughts than they can see the backs of their heads or the insides of their entrails.  And since souls cannot differentiate what they cannot see, there is a peculiar sense in which the soul cannot self-differentiate.  So it is always, in a peculiar sense, the same time time when they think, the same place where they think, and the same individual who does the thinking.  Like tipping a spiral on its side until only a circle can be seen, the passage of moments always remains now, the carnival of spaces always sojourns here, and the succession of people always becomes me. The truth is, if the soul could apprehend itself the way it apprehended the world - if it could apprehend its origins - it would see that there is no now, there is no here, and there is no me.  In other words, it would realise that just as there is no circle, there is no soul.
- MEMGOWA, CELESTIAL APHORISMS

Head on a pole?

Gerotha surrenders and the heads of its leaders are brought to Kellhus.  This is not enough - the siege lasted four days, so one in four Gerothans must die.  This Holy War is not very holy.

Athjeari  reaches the Sacred Lands - Holy Amoteu. Some of the natives (who are presuambly Fanim) come out to cheer him.
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For such hearts, they told one another had to be holy
Why?

Kellhus and Esmenet discuss things
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"Men are simple," he replied.  "They think primarily in terms of things, not relations.  This is why they think it's the gold or silver that makes coins valuable, not the obedience they command.  Tell them the Nilnameshi use pottery for their coins and they scoff".
"Or", Esmenet said, "that the Warrior-Prophet uses a woman"....
..."Exactly", Kellhus said.  "They ask, 'Where's the gold?'".  He grinned at her sidelong.  "Or in you rcase..."
"Where's the thumb?" Esmenet said ruefully.
Thumb.  Sumni slang for 'phallus'...
...Kellhus grinned.  "They cant see that gold is only relevant insofar as it plays a role within our expectations - insofar as we make it relevant..."  He paused, his eyes sparkling with mirth.  "The same," he continued, "might be said of thumbs".

The Lords of the Holy War gather in the Charaoth - the stronghold of the kings of Xerash.
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The original walls had been pulled down, so that from within Gerotha's bone-coloured expanse could clearly be seen.  The voluptuous imprint of Nilnamesh was unmistakable, in the bellied columns and pilasters, in the curving stairs that ended nowhere, and in the four-winged Ciphrang that flanked every threshold.  Even roofless and ruined, the architecture seemed over-heavy, though in a manner strangely at odds with the post-and-lintel monstrosities of ancient Kyraneas or Shigek.  But the heaviness was different, as though everything had been constructed to bear weights unseen.
Could it simply be that Shikol had once ruled from this place?  like most Inrithi children, Achamain had been weaned on tales of the lecherous old king.  "Behave," his mother had always warned, "or he will find you, do unspeakable things!"...

...He saw nothing of Kellhus, though he spied something, a point of fluttering black, hanging over the distant network of streets and alleyways that rose up into the haze.  He blinked, frowning... Was that the Mark he sensed?
A sorcerous bird?

Shikol seems a bit Consult-y.

Kellhus addresses the gathered Lords.
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"... Even now we rewrite the scripture of this place!"...
..."We are the God's own knife, cast in the crucible of plague, thirst, and starvation, tempered by the hammers of war, doused in the blood of countless enemies!"...
..."Even still, what is, is... War watches through our eyes.  Doom itself echoes in our call.
"What is, is.  The glory of our undertaking will outshine that belonging to any of our forefathers.  It will be a beacon through the Ages.  It will astonish and gratify, and yea, it will even outrage.  It will be recited by a thousand thousand lips.  It will be committed to memory.  And the children of our children's children will take up their ancestor lists and invoke our names with reverence and awe, for they shall know their blood is blessed - blessed! by our greatness.
We, we Men of the Tusk, are more.  We are giants!  Giants!"...

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Without exception, men submitted to the hierarchy of the moving and the immovable.  They stood upon the earth, they travelled over the land.  But with Kellhus, even this fundamental orthodoxy was upended: with his every step, he seemed to carry the world with him.
So when he descended the dais and gestured to Incheiri Gotain to lead  the Lords of the Holy War in prayer, it seemed the world itself was bent.  As the intonations boomed between the walls, Achamian blinked the sweat from his eyes, breathed deep the humid air.  He thought of Esmenet lying with such a man, and he found himself fearing for her, as if she were a petal falling into a great fire...  He's a prophet.
So what did that make of Achamian's hate?

Plans are made to assault Shimeh.  It is assumed that the Cishaurim will not abandon the city. For Achamian
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...the strangeness of it dawned on him, the way the Holy War, which had been little more than a migratory invasion led by a raucous council of chieftains, had somehow reorganised itself into an imperial court.  This was no Council of Great and Lesser Names; Kellhus merely consulted his generals, nothing more.  All of them had been... redeployed.  And true to benjuka, the rules governing their conduct had been completely rewritten.  Even the ones that held Achamian motionless, here, as vizier to a prophet...
It was too absurd.

Suggests that Kellhus will become Emperor, and not Conphas.  Also is a subtle comparison with the Consult made (consulting the generals)?

Proyas find Akka and tells him he should see Xinemus.  Akka cannot (or will not) leave Kellhus.

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The thought struck Achamian without warning.
I'm alone
He knew nothing of his family, save that his mother was dead.  He despised his School almost as much as his School despised him.  He had lost his every student, in one way of another, to the blasted Gods.  Esmenet had betrayed him...
...He though of Xinemus.  I should see him...

Kelhus comes for his lessons.  Akka asks why Shimeh, and not Golgotterath?

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"Did you know", Kellhus said, "That there was a time when I listened to the world and heard only noise?"...
..."I know different now...  There's more than noise, Akka.  There is voice".
Shivers unrolled like wet strings across Achamian's skin.
His etes fixed on the horizon, Kellhus pressed his palms across his thighs, drawing folds into arcs.  Against the silk, Achamian thought he glimpsed the golden discs about his fingers.
"Tell me, Akka," Kellhus said.  "When you look in to a mirror, what do you see?"  He spoke a s a bored child might.
Achamian shrugged.  "Myself".
A teacher's indulgent look.  "Are you so certain?  Do you see yourself looking through your eyes, or do you simply see your eyes?  Strip away your assumptions, Akka, and ask yourself, what do you really see/"
"My eyes," he admitted.  "I simply see my eyes".
"Then you don't see yourself".
Achmain could only stare at his profile, dumbfounded.
Kellhus's grin shouted intellectual mischief.  "So where are you, if you can't be seen?"
"Here," Achamian replied after a moment of hesitation.  "I'm here".
"And just where is this 'here'?"
"It;s..." He frowned for a moment.  "it's here... inside what you see".
"Here? But how could you be here,"  Kellhus laughed, "when I'm here, and you're over there?
But you play games with words!" he exclaimed.
Kellhus nodded, his expression at once cryptic and bemused.  "Imagine," he said, "that you could take the Great Ocean, in all its immensity, and fold it into the form and proportion of a man.  There are depths, Akka, that go in rather than down - in without limit.  What you call the Outside lies within us, and it's everywhere.  This is why, no matter where we stand, it's always here.  No matter where we dare tread, we always stand in the same place".
Metaphysics, Achamian realised.  He spoke of metaphysics.
"Here", Achamian repeated.  "You're saying here is a place outside place?"
"Indeed.  Your body is your surface, nothing more, the point where your soul breaches this world.  Even now, as we look upon each other from across this span, from two different places, we also stand in the same place, the same nowhere.  I watch myself through your eyes, and you watch yourself through mine - though you know it not".
Somehow, at some point, insight had become a species of horror.  He fairly stammered.  "W-we're the same person?"  Kellhus was speaking this madness... Kellhus!
"Person?  It would be more precise to say we're the same here...  But in a manner, yes.  Just as there's but one Here, there's but one Soul, Akka, breaching the world in many different places.  And almost always failing to apprehend itself as itself."
Nilnamehi Foolishness!  It had to be...
"This is just metaphysics,"  he said, the very instant Kellhus whispered, "This is just metaphysics..."
Achamian gaped at the man, utterly dumbstruck.  His heart hammered, as though struggling to recover its rhythm through violence of action.  For a moment he tried telling himself that Kellhus alone had spoken, but the taste of the words was too fresh on his tongue.  The silence whined with a strange horror, a sense of dislocation unlike any he had ever experienced, a sense of things once sacred and intact now broken... Just who had spoken?
The world reeled through refracted sunlight.
He is me... How else could he know what he knows?

They go on to discuss sorcery - why can some do it any others can't?
Akka says it is the meanings, which are somehow different
Kellhus answers...
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"That the meaning is different because what it recollects is different"...
... "So you're suggesting that sorcerous words recollect something other words do not?"  Achamian asked this with more heat than he'd intended.  Derision had stolen across his expression.  "But what could words remember?  Words aren't..."  He trailed, his voice silenced by sudden understanding.  One soul...
"Not words, Akka.  You.  What could you remember that might make miracles of mere words?"
"I-I don't understand..."
"But you do".
Achamain blinked at the preposterous tears in his eyes.  He thought of the Scarlet Spires and their compound in Iothiah, of the world flying apart beneath his outstretched fingers.  And he remembered the meanings that has thundered from his chest and soul, his world-racking song, compelling fire from empty air, light from black shadow, and the obliteration of all that offended.  The words!  The words that were his calling - his curse!  The words that exacted the impossible...
Penance from the world.
How could a mere man say such things?
"We kneel before idols," Kellhus was saying, "we hold open our arms to the sky.  We beseech the distances, clutch at the horizon... We look outwards, Akka, always outward, for what lies within...  He splayed a hand against his chest.  "For what lies here, in this Clearing that we share."...

..."The God," Achamian said, but the voice was not his own.  "You're saying that this... this one soul that looks out from behind all our eyes is the God."  Even though he spoke these words, even though he knew quite well what they meant, they escaped him somehow, fell from him without force of though or comprehension.  Achamian clutched his shoulders, felt a shudder pass through his portly frame.
"We are all God," Kellhus said, now both solemn and enthused - like a father heartening a beaten son.  "The God is always here, watching through you very own eyes, and from the eyes of those about you.  But we forget who we are, and we begin to think of here as another there: detached, isolate, abject before the immensities of the world.  We forget...  But we don't all forget equally."  Kellhus fixed him with an implacable look.  "Those who forget the least, we call the Few."...

..."To speak sorcery, Akka, is to speak words that recollect the Truth".
"Truth", Achamian numbly repeated.  He understood what Kellhus said, he knew, and yet something within him refused to grasp.  "What truth?"
"That this place behind our face, though separated by nations and ages, is the same place, the same here.  That we are the God we worship...
...How else could one explain the Cants of Calling or Compulsion?  How else could one explain Seswatha's Dreams?...

..."Because you're a pious man born to a world unable to fathom your piety.  But all that changes with me, Aka.  The old revelations have outlived the age of their intention, and I have come to reveal the new.  I am the Shortest Path, and I say that you are not damned...

..."A sorceror's words work miracles because they recall the God... Think Akka!  What does it mean to see the world as sorcerers see it?  What does it mean to apprehend the onta?  The many see the world through one pair of eyes; they grasp Creation from but a single vantage - one angle among many.  But the Few- those who recollect, no matter how imperfectly, the God's voice - possess an intimation of many angles, a memory of the thousand eyes that look out from this clearing we call 'here'.  As a result everything they see is transformed, shadows by insinuations of more...
...It seemed so obvious.  All the analogies of sorcerors as blasphemers, as abusers of the divinity within, as those who ape the God's sacred song, were but crude approximations, tenuous glimpses of a truth that Kellhus held in his lap!
"And the Cishaurim," Achamian found himself saying, "what of them?"
The Warrior-Prophet shrugged.  "Think of the way a fire will shroud the world in the course of illuminating a camp.  Often the light of what we see blinds us, and we come to think there is one angle and one angle only.  Though they know it not, this is why the Cishaurim blind themselves.  They douse the fire of their eyes, pluck the one angle they see, to better grasp the many they recollect.  They sacrifice the subtle articulations of knowledge for the inchoate profundities of intuition.  They recall the tone and timbre, the passion, of the God's voice- to near perfection - even as the meanings that make up true sorcery escape them...

...The Warrior-Prophet turned to him, clutched his shoulder with a shining hand.  "The Truth of Here is that it is Everywhere.  And this, Akka, is what it means to be in love: to recognise the here within the other, to see the world through another's eyes.  To be here together."...
..."And this is why you suffer so... When what was here turns away from you, as she has turned away from you, it seems there's nowhere you might stand"...
..."Why are you telling me this?"  Achamian cried.
"Because you are not alone".

Fanashila, one of Esmi's slaves is brought to worship before the Inrithi Gods - but remains Fanim at heart.  She is approached by Werjau, who asks her if there is truth in the rumours that Esmi and Akka are still lovers.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2019, 08:43:30 pm by TheCulminatingApe »
Sez who?
Seswatha, that's who.

Wilshire

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« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2019, 12:44:06 pm »
I think you messed up the formatting. Too many quote tags, you've quoted yourself and now its all one bit quote...
One of the other conditions of possibility.

TheCulminatingApe

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« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2019, 08:43:53 pm »
I think you messed up the formatting. Too many quote tags, you've quoted yourself and now its all one bit quote...

Sorted :-[ 
Sez who?
Seswatha, that's who.