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The Unholy Consult / Re: What's up with the "Second" Inverse Fire
« Last post by SmilerLoki on May 01, 2021, 09:07:07 am »
One can certainly draw a number of parallels.
The Unholy Consult / Re: What's up with the "Second" Inverse Fire
« Last post by sciborg2 on May 01, 2021, 02:27:10 am »
From TUC ->


The platform was the length and breadth of a skiff, shaped and curved like a great shield, but far too large to be wielded as such by human arms. At first it appeared to bear ten great candles set in a circle, wax gutted and knobbed and pale as bacon fat, each set within a stone pedestal … Except these candles clearly moved, and possessed (as quickly became obvious) living faces, rutted and as hairless as prunes, mouths like masticating sphincters, eyes like sparks set in mucoid shadow. The pedestals, he realized, were in fact perverse cradles, stone sconces for bodies bereft of limbs … Ten senescent, larval forms had been welded upon the back of some great soggomantic shield …

Bakker, R. Scott. The Unholy Consult: The Aspect-Emperor: Book Four (The Aspect-Emperor Trilogy) . The Overlook Press. Kindle Edition.

So Ten Simpletons, ten brutalized beings Shae needs to [keep] his soul intact.
The Unholy Consult / What's up with the "Second" Inverse Fire
« Last post by sciborg2 on April 30, 2021, 11:39:46 pm »
From the TUC Glossary, note the spelling error  ->


Famed fresco of the One Hundred and Eleven Hells in the Holy Junriüma, and perhaps the most well-known of the countless artistic renditions of perdition. Apparently inspired by ancient, pre-Arkfall Nonman statuary, the grand image—the product of the legendary “Ten Simpletons” to commemorate the Scholastic Wars in 3800—is the first depiction of the hells that defects from spatial and associative norms, bringing the chaos of damnation to the fore. As a ceiling fresco, it is sometimes referred to as the Hanging Hells or the Inverse Fire.

And from WLW ->

And sometimes, more rarely still, she sees the particulars of their coming damnation...

...Such torment. Clenched and cringing, huddled in ways outside worldly dimensions. Prised and flayed, the innumerable petals of his soul peeled back in shrieks and sulphurous flame. Screams braided into screams, pains heaped upon agonies. She sees it, his future, a gleam across his eyes, a fiery halo about his crown. His suffering disgorged like paint, smeared and stroked into obscene works of art. His soul passed from Ciphrang to feasting Ciphrang, dispensing anguish like milk through the endless ages. She sees the truth of the Excruciata, the One Hundred-and-Eleven Hells depicted on the walls of the Junriüma in Sumna....

So who are these "Ten Simpletons"? I can't help but think they are victims of Shae's attempts to create a circuit that keeps his own soul from Damnation. How else would they come to know with such accuracy the nature of damnation?

Or did they somehow collectively possess the Judging Eye? But then why does the work end up also being called the Inverse Fire?
Literature / Re: Yearly Reading Targets 2021
« Last post by The P on April 30, 2021, 02:17:05 pm »
The Mirror Breaks by Ricardo Pinto (9)

This one started a little slow but picked up a lot at the end.  Things get really dark and brutal, but Pinto doesn't dwell too much on it.  We get to see some of the oddities that comprise the Commonwealth in greater detail, and learn some more about its history, which is nice.  Pinto has what is basically an appendix to the series (book by book, and even sometimes chapter specific) on his website.  Some of this is almost essential to get a picture of what is going on at times.  I think all of the books so far could benefit from more exposition, but leaving all the finer details out keeps the story moving at a good clip.
Some moments in this book bear similarity to TSA, at least superficially.  Pinto is nowhere near the level of Bakker, though.  And again, I think the series is hurt by its insistence on only one pov character.  And that character is often a side actor to the primary driving force of the plot.  I still like it enough.  One book to go.
Literature / Re: YOU MUST TELL ME ... What else are you reading?
« Last post by The P on April 30, 2021, 01:56:37 pm »
Congratulations.  Many people put GotM in the lower half of the series, while book 2 and 3 are usually on the higher end of people's favorites.  Book two is largely a new cast of characters and a new setting.  It takes place in Seven Cities.  The returning characters from what I remember are Fiddler, Kalam, Crokus, and Apsalar.  Book three is more or less concurrent with the events of book two, so it wouldn't hurt to skip to three if you want.  In fact, Erikson initially had them swapped before losing the draft of what became book three to a computer crash.  Book three continues on with the campaign on Genabackis.  There are a lot of returning characters from GotM. 

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Literature / Re: YOU MUST TELL ME ... What else are you reading?
« Last post by TaoHorror on April 29, 2021, 09:45:55 pm »
Gardens of the Moon ( Malazan )

Took me 3 years to read it, just couldn't get into it. Getting it on Audible allowed me to finish it. I'm glad I did, the second half of the book gets much better. I enjoyed it, some very cool characters, some nice twists and turns in the end that I liked. Not sure I'll read the 2nd book unless someone can tell me if it takes up where the last one ends or if it's a time jump into the future and essentially a different story. Not that I wouldn't still read it, just too much on my reading list to commit to more at this time. Anyways, I like R and Abercrombie more, but I would still give it an A, well written and it got fun to read. I'll steal a few ideas for my D&D campaign ( loved the Jaghut Tyrant - I want to be him and using him in my campaign kinda would make me, hee hee! - not sure if I spelled the correctly as I was listening to the book ).

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Literature / Re: Yearly Reading Targets 2021
« Last post by Wilshire on April 28, 2021, 03:02:03 pm »
Cradle series by Will Wight
Ghostwater (11)
Underlord (12)
Uncrowned (13)
Wintersteel (14)

Made it through book 8, and I think I'll probably stop here until the series is finished. It continues to be cheap entertainment. The dialogue is consistently funny, the fights are fun to watch, and the power progression is fun. You're not going to stretch your literary horizons with this series, but as the first 8 books are free on audible, its absolutely worth it.
Literature / Re: Yearly Reading Targets 2021
« Last post by Wilshire on April 23, 2021, 02:01:21 pm »
I started the Cradle series by Will Wight
Unsouled (7)
Soulsmith (8 )
Blackflame (9)
Skysworn (10)

Each book is a pretty quick read and they all follow a similar pattern. Its a power fantasy (Wuxia?) series that follows a pretty predictable path - in a world where everyone uses magic, a kid of born unable to use magic. Something happens, the hero journy starts, learns he actually can use magic and he's special, gets the call to adventure, finds a master. Each book starts with some calamity he needs to train really hard to overcome, the book ends in a fight and a setup for the next book.

Its entertaining. Mostly just training montages, funny dialogue, and fancy fight scenes. The worldbuilding is done largely with infodumps, but its intriguing enough to want to see how it ends.

Wight seems to write 1 to 2 books a year, with the series currently having 9 books and a 10th coming out later this year. Not sure how long its supposed to go, but with the way Wight has set it up it can go on for a very long time. I'll probably read what's available - the series is currently available for free on audible (at least with my subscription) so its mostly something entertaining and easy to read to occupy my mind while I take care of the baby.
Literature / Re: Yearly Reading Targets 2021
« Last post by The P on April 23, 2021, 12:41:04 pm »
The Imago Sequence by Laird Barron (7)

A collection of some short horror stories.  They were pretty good.  I like Barron's writing a lot.  Most of the stories gave me a nice unsettling feeling, and only one really fell flat for me.  After hearing his work compared to the Cthulhu mythos, I was a little worried about it being too close.  I can see the connection, but Barron's work is unique though clearly drawing inspiration from Lovecraft on occasion.  I'll read some more of his stuff at some point.

Dragon Fire by Ricardo Pinto (8)

After four books of increasing quality, this one dipped a little.  I was disappointed that the supernatural aspect had not been emphasized more, and in some ways was even just ignored.  I think part of the problem with this book is it lines up as the first third of the final book in what had been a trilogy.  Even so, the end of this one was really good with the "dragons," and then some further craziness revealed about the Commonwealth to cliffhang into the next.  There is no surprise where this series is going, but how it's going to get there and what will happen when it does promises to be enjoyable.
The Great Ordeal / Re: Seswatha in the Heart -> Uploaded Copy or Original Soul?
« Last post by H on April 19, 2021, 07:26:56 pm »
Admittedly computational analogies fail after a point, but I hope this expresses the general idea. Though I am still not sure if Seswatha's actual soul is in the Heart, perhaps the soul is cleaved as in the case of other artifacts so that part of the Sohonc Grandmaster's soul burns in Hell while the other part is encased in the Heart.

What if, though, in the usual sort of way of my thinking that the Body anchors the Soul, it's the case that like Shaeönanra the Grasping is a manner of "soul-trapping" as a way to avoid Damnation.

The legendary Shauriatis, the sorcerous architect of the Unholy Consult, did stand before them, his soul tumbling and forever deflected, roosting like a sparrow for but a breath in each wretch before capsizing into another. Such cunning! Dying vessels, denuded souls, gouged of some vital passion, allowing him to alight whole, rather than be drawn and divided across the Outside like other Proxies ...

Shauriatis!—not so much the wretches themselves, as the intervals between.

What is the Heart is not much different, only different in implementation, rather than in principle?  In a sense, everyone is dying of course.  But the key might be that Seswatha gets these subjects to take on his soul willingly where Shae only (presumably) by force.  But the actual result might be nearly the same, except at Seswatha's is more subtle/passive, where Shae clearly turns them into puppets or something even less so.

Need to think more on this though...
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