Earwa > The Unholy Consult

What's up with the "Second" Inverse Fire

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From the TUC Glossary, note the spelling error  ->


--- Quote ---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.
--- End quote ---

And from WLW ->

--- Quote ---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....

--- End quote ---

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?

From TUC ->

--- Quote ---Shauriatis?

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.
--- End quote ---

So Ten Simpletons, ten brutalized beings Shae needs to [keep] his soul intact.

One can certainly draw a number of parallels.

Senescent isn't really a synonym to simpleton, but closer to old/aging.

I do wonder who those were though. I'd assume they were the 10 grandmasters of the 10 largest schools at the time. We don't really know much about the scholastic wars though.

Wilshire - are you saying that the Larvals are ten former Grandmasters from days of old or that the Ten Simpletons are former Scarlet Spire Grandmasters?

It is a bit surprising that the Consult didn't try to recruit from the Scarlet Spires. I assume they were just too diminished to engage heavily in such efforts. Perhaps the Simpletons are the result of such efforts.

I also wonder if these Glossary entries are hints of something that will be mentioned later, or something we're supposed to piece together a picture of.


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