My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is

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Baztek

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« Reply #15 on: August 23, 2013, 05:51:58 pm »
In Callan's defense, the original human tribes across the Kayarsus probably had no clue about the existence of Nonmen, so the rise of agriculture, religion, and all that would have presumably proceeded in much the same way as we see here on Earth. Sorcery is a bit trickier, since the capacity of humans to perform sorcery would have had profound existential implications, but given the rarity of the Few, in the end it just contributed to the creation of extremely devout and dogmatic religious systems, and not totally alien societies.

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« Reply #16 on: August 23, 2013, 08:46:01 pm »
I guess it's just a difference in opinion. Certainly there would be similarities that would arise, cultural themes and archetypes and so on, but the idea that a group of humans with no concept of their history, and presented with such a different set of circumstances (even down to the differences in physical environment), would eventually end up having societies and historical events that so closely mirror earth...I don't know, it's just really pushing logic to me. I mean even here on earth we have examples of peoples that evolved in the same type of climate and terrain, yet possessed a radically different culture and society. The sheer amount of differences between the Far East and the West alone point to that idea. There are just too many variables. Even look at the languages and races of Earwa. Why did all the tribes perfectly fall into line with the environments suited to their historical origins? Why did the Norsirai inhabit the north while the Ketyai inhabited the south? Why do the Xiuhanni live in the east, largely isolated from Earwa, just like real life China? Why do the cultures align with skin-color so much like they did on earth? They didn't evolve that way, since we're told they came fully formed with Angeshrael across the Kayarsus. Just too many variables for so specific an outcome, in my opinion.

I'm not saying it's impossible, or that there couldn't be some other reasonable explanation for it, but that particular one isn't especially believable in this case.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2013, 02:41:54 am by Francis Buck »

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« Reply #17 on: August 24, 2013, 03:53:15 am »
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Callan S.

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« Reply #18 on: August 24, 2013, 10:23:28 pm »
Magic is, as said, a kind of technology. How much did our societal patterns change around the invention of gunpowder? Or even today? Never mind many would never have seen magic worked. The nonmen are also relatively rare. And a big part of the premise is no one knows what the true religion to follow is - how can the existential be that well known when that is the case?

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Even look at the languages and races of Earwa. Why did all the tribes perfectly fall into line with the environments suited to their historical origins?
Conditioned...

That's part of the premise itself...it's not 'our' history. It's a history environment imposed upon us. Earwa has deserts. So you get desert peoples.


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« Reply #19 on: August 25, 2013, 01:56:29 am »
This actually could explain the five nations being of different races but existing on the same continent.

It's still unknown to what extent evolution played a part on Earwa, but if you had transplanted humans from different nations that might help explain things.
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« Reply #20 on: August 27, 2013, 05:35:18 pm »
@Sci

Well we already have the explanation for that, since we knew Angeshrael led the Five Tribes of Men across the Kayarsus. But even if that were not the case, Earwa's pretty damn huge. It's not hard to believe for me that there would be different races there (although perhaps not so many).

@Callan
I guess I'm still just missing something. I mean by that logic then, Bakker would basically be saying that people with Arabic features are somehow naturally inclined towards Islam-esque religions and living in the desert? And also forming languages similar to Arab tongues? And this also applies to every other race?

Like I said earlier, we already have examples of this not being true on Earth. You say that Earwa has deserts, and so we get desert people. If that's the case, then why aren't all of earth's desert people almost identical? Why do they have such a range of cultures and beliefs? I mean obviously certain behavioral systems would remain, but again, taking that all the way into language and culture, and up to the point of events as specific as the Vulgar Holy War or the Circumfix...I just don't get it.

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« Reply #21 on: August 27, 2013, 05:51:57 pm »
Well earwa might be big, but its not that big. If you have essentially 5 races move into an area and then separate, then I don't get why its surprising that there are not 100 different ones at this point.

Its also a matter of POV. As an example, someone from Europe that has never been to America may believe that Everyone there is essentially the same. That could be correct, or false, depending on were you sit. If, for example, you compare the societal difference of those inside america to those in a similarly large geographic space, like Europe, then you could say that yes, most of America is the same. The diversity in USA is way different the the diversity in the EU. However, I bet that if you told someone from south Texas that they were culturally similar to people in Maine, they'd disagree with you.

Also, if a group of people with Arabic features, who also help similar scio/ecomoic and religious beliefs, went off somewhere and established their own colony, I'd imagine they would end up with similar beliefs 100 years down the road. So it is entierly possible that a group of people with similar physical features would have similar beliefs.

We only get flawed perspectives, so actual diversity may simply be obscured. 

Hope that fit somewhere into this discussion :P I can't saw I was reading too closely.
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Somnambulist

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« Reply #22 on: August 27, 2013, 06:55:25 pm »
While I'm not an anthropologist by any stretch of the imagination, I do have a broad (one could almost say 'shallow') understanding/interest in the dispersions of peoples and the subsequent formation of tribes and then into civilizations.  It's a hobby.  I'm a nerd.  The existence of five distinct tribes is not at all out of the question.  Earth-centric tribes exist in abundance, and often a lot closer to each other than you might think.  Some European 'tribes' and/or ethnicities, however you choose to view them, are Gaels, Angles, Jutes, Normans, Thracians, Macedonians, Slavs, Finns, Andalusians, Danes, to name a fraction of them.  You could argue they are all part of the Caucasian group (or Norsirai, in terms of this discussion).  Then you have Middle-eastern cultures, which are again divided into regional nationalities such as Hebrew, Arabic, Turkic, Palestinian, etc.  Many of these share a common heritage (i.e., Semitic or 'Ketyai'), but some don't or are only partially genetically related.  The list goes on with the various sub-cultures in Asian, Indian, Oriental and African cultures, to a staggering degree, not to mention the multitude of New World tribes in the Americas.

In reference to the tribes of Earwa, then, five tribes is practically nothing on a world-scale.  I see no reason why there couldn't be five tribes.  The reason there were 'only' five tribes is more problematic.  Cross-culture mixing happened all the time, either where one tribe was subsumed by another, or simply by trade (think the Silk Road from China to Europe).  There must be some sort of prohibition, on a broad scale, to discourage interbreeding.  That's not surprising, either, though.  Many religions prohibit or at least frown upon cross-culturization (is that even a word?).  The thing that occurs to me as most troubling is why five disparate tribes, obviously having evolved along similar lines as earth tribes, came together under a leader from one tribe alone, in one specific geographic location.  Why would five dominant groups of ethnically different backgrounds (I'll use real-world analogies here) congregate and cooperate on a mass scale?  African, Semite, Caucasian, Scythian and Chinese (assumedly) tribes all banded together under one man and said "Yeah, let's do that."  The reason for that is the real question in my mind.

If I've made any gross errors in here, it was not my intent to offend anyone.  As I said, I'm not an expert.  Simply an amateur with no formal training in anthropology, but an intense interest in this subject.  If anyone can clarify or debunk any of the crap I just spouted, please do!
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Wilshire

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« Reply #23 on: August 27, 2013, 07:20:04 pm »
Thanks for that explanation Somnambulist. First of all, I just learned that your name is actually something because google didnt underline it in red. Cool :P

But seriously, the first bit of what you said is a way better explanation of something I might have been trying to say. I should probably just delete my post.

One tiny little thing that i might question though. Why would the 5 tribes represent dominant groups (its possible I am misinterpreting what you meant)? The 5 separate tribes could have just been small subsets of their dominant ethical groups.  Or, they could all be minor players in whatever world scheme was happening, and they all were looking for a way out. A common enemy and all that.

Or this scenario (might help answer your question about "Yeah, lets do that"):
Say, each of the 5 groups all consisted of extremest (within their own populations) who had a a tiny overlapping of belief. Like if an Inchoroi flew over the mountains, introduced some wacky religion to each of the separate tribes, and the ones that became followers of this new 'religion' eventually found themselves all wanting the same thing (in this case, to pass through the mountains). After they crossed the mountain the groups were too dissimilar to stay as a cohesive unit, and splintered back into their old tribal ways.
I think that sounds semi reasonable

I certainly agree that there needs to be some kind of mutual prohibition of cultural interaction in order to keep them separate for a long time, but this doesn't seem too difficult to imagine. Presumably, before the breaking of the gates, the tribes had little interaction and probably warred with each other. After the tribes went their own ways, there was a log of distance and geographical barriers that prevented interaction, not to mention old feuds and decades of bloody history.
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Somnambulist

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« Reply #24 on: August 27, 2013, 09:17:00 pm »
Thanks for that explanation Somnambulist. First of all, I just learned that your name is actually something because google didnt underline it in red. Cool :P

There is meaning in everything  ;)

One tiny little thing that i might question though. Why would the 5 tribes represent dominant groups (its possible I am misinterpreting what you meant)? The 5 separate tribes could have just been small subsets of their dominant ethical groups.  Or, they could all be minor players in whatever world scheme was happening, and they all were looking for a way out. A common enemy and all that.

Yours is definitely a valid point.  That could absolutely be one scenario.  I have a tendency towards the over-dramatic, though, so my assumption was that mass immigrations of various peoples were displaced for some reason or another.  I have this image of Exodus in my head, but on an enormous scale.  Purely my own invention.  I think part of it is also rooted in the sheer numbers (I believe) of humans needed to actually 'break the gates' and put to the torch nonman mansions, armies, etc.  I think it would have taken multitudes of men to do that, even if half the nonmen welcomed the end.  Hence large, dominant tribes.

Or this scenario (might help answer your question about "Yeah, lets do that"):
Say, each of the 5 groups all consisted of extremest (within their own populations) who had a a tiny overlapping of belief. Like if an Inchoroi flew over the mountains, introduced some wacky religion to each of the separate tribes, and the ones that became followers of this new 'religion' eventually found themselves all wanting the same thing (in this case, to pass through the mountains). After they crossed the mountain the groups were too dissimilar to stay as a cohesive unit, and splintered back into their old tribal ways.
I think that sounds semi reasonable

Sounds reasonable, as well.
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Wilshire

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« Reply #25 on: August 27, 2013, 09:25:29 pm »
That is a good point. Even if there were only a few Nonman defending a fortress, many, many men would die trying to climb over those walls.
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« Reply #26 on: August 27, 2013, 10:20:35 pm »
Why would five dominant groups of ethnically different backgrounds (I'll use real-world analogies here) congregate and cooperate on a mass scale?  African, Semite, Caucasian, Scythian and Chinese (assumedly) tribes all banded together under one man and said "Yeah, let's do that."  The reason for that is the real question in my mind.

This actually is a very good question, one I never really considered and which a lot of people probably take for granted, because it has the ring of scripture. By which I mean, it's a multifaceted issue in that, with Bakker's world, we don't know how much is legend and how much is reality. Did Angeshrael actually bow his head into the fire when told to do so by Husyelt? Why should we doubt it? This was apparently the time when the gods had "not yet left the World in the charge of men", similar to the Golden Age of Greek myth. But Bakker's universe is one that makes you second-guess everything. The initial knee-jerk reaction is to say that it's myth, but then those of us who have read and speculated on the series have resistance to that (considering how "real" the gods have become).

This also brings up another question. If we assume that the gods did indeed "mingle with men", in the way Angeshrael's story describes, why aren't there any stories of them doing the same with the Nonmen? By the time Husyelt was having his little camp-fire conversation with Angeshrael, the Nonman were already fighting the Inchoroi, correct? This ties back into the higher concept of what the relationship between the Nonmen and the gods is. Did the gods make the World? I personally think they did, in a Demiurgic sense. But then where do the Nonmen fit in?

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« Reply #27 on: August 28, 2013, 02:12:10 am »
This also brings up another question. If we assume that the gods did indeed "mingle with men", in the way Angeshrael's story describes, why aren't there any stories of them doing the same with the Nonmen? By the time Husyelt was having his little camp-fire conversation with Angeshrael, the Nonman were already fighting the Inchoroi, correct? This ties back into the higher concept of what the relationship between the Nonmen and the gods is. Did the gods make the World? I personally think they did, in a Demiurgic sense. But then where do the Nonmen fit in?

I've been re-reading WLW, and there was a conversation between Kellhus and the Nonman envoy.  The Nonman expressed that they didn't worship the gods, but the spaces in between the gods, and that was the reason they were damned.  So, either the nonmen rejected the gods at some point in their history, or they were not created by the gods (who eventually gained ascendancy and provenance over the world), and thus were damned (either way).  Still doesn't explain their provenance, but it's another piece to the puzzle, I think.
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Callan S.

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« Reply #28 on: August 28, 2013, 03:00:28 am »
@Callan
I guess I'm still just missing something. I mean by that logic then, Bakker would basically be saying that people with Arabic features are somehow naturally inclined towards Islam-esque religions and living in the desert?
Other way around - arabic features are naturally inclined to show up in latter generations as the best performing features in that environment.

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And also forming languages similar to Arab tongues? And this also applies to every other race?
Now that I'm not sure about. Keep in mind though that the Inuit (Eskimo's?) in real life have about 40 different names for snow. That's certainly language shaped by environment.

What do we have in the books that shows a direct similarity between arab tongues and the Ketyai?

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Like I said earlier, we already have examples of this not being true on Earth. You say that Earwa has deserts, and so we get desert people. If that's the case, then why aren't all of earth's desert people almost identical? Why do they have such a range of cultures and beliefs? I mean obviously certain behavioral systems would remain, but again, taking that all the way into language and culture, and up to the point of events as specific as the Vulgar Holy War or the Circumfix...I just don't get it.
Again, the other way around - your perception of arabic features - why couldn't that one come up as much as any other? If Bakker had chosen another race of RL desert dwellers for the features, would you argue why is this race the only type of desert race? Pot luck. Well okay, the author chose it, but chose it on the basis of it being pot luck in the world. Or so I hypothesize.

I'm not sure why your saying the
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is super specific somehow? Nor the circumfix - it's not a perfect cross, and it revolves around the human body (when not dismembered), so it has to conform to some similarity to any other device one might pin a person upon. Ironically there ideology must condition itself to the enviroment that is the human body (when not dismembered!)

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« Reply #29 on: August 28, 2013, 03:29:21 am »
Nor the circumfix - it's not a perfect cross, and it revolves around the human body (when not dismembered), so it has to conform to some similarity to any other device one might pin a person upon. Ironically there ideology must condition itself to the enviroment that is the human body (when not dismembered!)

There is more than one way to skin a cat, but alas, in the end, you are always simply removing the skin from the cat. :P
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