What-if scenario

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ThoughtsOfThelli

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« on: March 18, 2018, 09:44:20 pm »
I've been wondering about this for a while. (I do enjoy what-ifs, haven't seen that many discussed in these forums...)

What if...Kelmomas hadn't been present at the Last Whelming for some reason, or had been restrained and/or unable to reach Sorweel before Sorweel used his concealed Chorae on Kellhus?

End result is that Kellhus still dies, only earlier than in canon. Sorweel is presumably killed by Serwa shortly afterwards, as he foresaw during his short time as the White-Luck Warrior. The Great Ordeal is now effectively left headless.
Do Kayûtas and/or Serwa assume leadership and carry on with their father's plan? Are they even able to? Is the fallout from the loss of the Holy Aspect-Emperor too great and the Ordeal just scatters in anger/panic/grief/disbelief/etc.? "Salt and butchery" is still a very likely outcome...
How does this affect the Mutilated's plans? They had planned to use Kellhus to activate the No-God, do they just try to use another Anasûrimbor (Kayûtas, Serwa, Kelmomas, maybe even Mimara if she counts as one?)? Is this where the prophecy that had to be respected (according to Aurang and Tsuör the skin-spy) comes into place?

Please discuss, I'd really like to know what you all think would happen in this scenario.
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Wilshire

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« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2018, 03:07:10 pm »
Interestingly enough, I think TGO had a higher chance of succeeding without Kellhus.

Probably, if nothing else, they would have had more time to get into the arc, and TGO entire - or what remained, would have been able to enter the Golden room.

I don't know if they would have succeeded, but recall that without Kellhus, Kelmomas wouldn't have been left alive, and without Kellhus or Kelmomas, there would have been no No-God. There would not have been a resumption and the Dunyain in the Golden Room might have been overwhelmed.

So if the point of TGO was to stop resumption, they almost certainly succeed from that perspective, though I imagine there's no way for them to survive the battle regardless.

See, if they could have gotten into the Ark, the hoard of sranc outside would have been irrelevant. To that end, after seeing Ciphrang leaving upon gaining the Ark, the living Diamoati could have stationed their demons outside and covered the retreat of TGO into the Ark proper.
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ThoughtsOfThelli

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« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2018, 03:25:11 pm »
Interestingly enough, I think TGO had a higher chance of succeeding without Kellhus.

Probably, if nothing else, they would have had more time to get into the arc, and TGO entire - or what remained, would have been able to enter the Golden room.

I don't know if they would have succeeded, but recall that without Kellhus, Kelmomas wouldn't have been left alive, and without Kellhus or Kelmomas, there would have been no No-God. There would not have been a resumption and the Dunyain in the Golden Room might have been overwhelmed.

So if the point of TGO was to stop resumption, they almost certainly succeed from that perspective, though I imagine there's no way for them to survive the battle regardless.

See, if they could have gotten into the Ark, the hoard of sranc outside would have been irrelevant. To that end, after seeing Ciphrang leaving upon gaining the Ark, the living Diamoati could have stationed their demons outside and covered the retreat of TGO into the Ark proper.

I see, so you think that the impact of Kellhus dying would have not hindered the Great Ordeal that much in the long run (meaning Kayûtas/Serwa would have been able to rally them as Kellhus had)?

I'm a bit confused about your comment about Kelmomas not being left alive. I tried to specify that this scenario only diverges from canon around the time of the Last Whelming (Kelmomas being around but not being able to kill Sorweel). Do you mean that Kelmomas will get killed somehow in the ensuing chaos, battle, etc. or that one or both of his siblings will see him as a liability and just get rid of him outright?

True, they might have a chance if the Dûnyain are caught by surprise (as much as Dûnyain can, anyway) by Kellhus dying. I do not at all disagree with your point that the Ordeal would be able to get rather far on their own - if they have proper leadership after Kellhus dies, that is. Like I mentioned above, my only problem with the Ordeal continuing is the impact of his death, but sure, I can see it happening.
Without Kellhus, however, Aurang is still around - does that affect the battle for Golgotterath in a meaningful way?

I agree that there would nonetheless be many, many casualties, though maybe not to the extent of canon?

Good point about the Daimotic sorcerers. I do wonder if Iyokus still fatally loses control of his Ciphrang like in canon.

The thing about Resumption, ultimately...is that we, the readers, know that they can't activate the No-God without Kelmomas. The Mutilated don't. They were going to use Kellhus, Kelmomas was just plan B. They might not have seen the death of Kellhus as an insurmountable obstacle to the plan, they ideally wanted him, but were quick to use Kelmomas anyway in canon. I, myself, think they would have tried to get the nearest available Anasûrimbor. Of course, if Kelmomas is already dead by that point, as you believe would be the case, they fail, and the Great Ordeal does succeed, even if at a great cost to them.
"But you’ve simply made the discovery that Thelli made—only without the benefit of her unerring sense of fashion."
-Anasûrimbor Kayûtas (The Great Ordeal, chapter 13)

"You prefer to believe women victims to their passions, but we can be at least as calculating as you. Love does not make us weak, but strong."
-Ykoriana of the Masks (The Third God, chapter 27)

Wilshire

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« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2018, 04:10:45 pm »
Kellhus didn't do that much to help the Ordeal once the battle started.

Yeah, he contested Aurang/ax, but I suspect it would have just observed the battle anyway.
He cut the Horn and delayed the horde, but that wasn't that helpful.

Regarding Kelmomas, I think either somebody would have killed him, or uncaring Serwa/Kayutas/else would not have let Esmenet whine her way into keeping him alive. Emperess or no, she has little real authority even at the best of times, and far less so once Kellhus is dead. No where near enough to keep alive the God-Emperor's assassin. IMO, they'd probably roast him alive over a fire and eat him.

Re: Impact: its a difficult question. I think as far as storytelling goes, the Ordeal simply must soldier on. Everything is already in motion at this point, and Kellhus has little direct impact on the battle itself. From just the scenario of 'what happens to an army when the leader is killed' point of view, the progression is less clear. The issue though is that they can't get home, and they know it. The only path forward is to die trying to cross Agongorea and let the Consult win, or to die trying to stop the Consult. The Half-Dunyain would seize control still, I think, and push forward.

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ThoughtsOfThelli

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« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2018, 04:45:14 pm »
Kellhus didn't do that much to help the Ordeal once the battle started.

Yeah, he contested Aurang/ax, but I suspect it would have just observed the battle anyway.
He cut the Horn and delayed the horde, but that wasn't that helpful.

You do have a point, Kellhus' presence might have been more of a factor of morale than actual help...
I'm not sure Aurang wouldn't have interfered, though. Of course, that might be dependent of what the Mutilated would have his role be in a Kellhus-less Battle for Golgotterath.
Kellhus did stop the attacks from the Sun Lance, if I remember correctly, but were the casualties from that really significant in the long run? The Consult might not have even bothered to use it in this scenario, who knows.


Regarding Kelmomas, I think either somebody would have killed him, or uncaring Serwa/Kayutas/else would not have let Esmenet whine her way into keeping him alive. Emperess or no, she has little real authority even at the best of times, and far less so once Kellhus is dead. No where near enough to keep alive the God-Emperor's assassin. IMO, they'd probably roast him alive over a fire and eat him.

I agree with you there, though maybe not about eating him. Come on, Wilshire, they were already suffering from the effects of eating Sranc, who knows what eating Kelmomas might do to them. ;) (I wonder if they could make him into qirri, but that probably just works for Nonmen. Qirri made from Kelmomas would probably only drive one murderously insane anyway.)
I even wondered if Kayûtas and Serwa decide that Esmenet herself, along with Akka and Mimara, are liabilities as well in this scenario. Esmenet and Mimara aren't going to be of any help with the battle anyway. Akka could, but it isn't at all likely that he will fight for them, especially if their intentions regarding Esmenet and Mimara aren't that great. It's not like one more sorcerer (and an outcast at that) could do that much of a difference anyway. In any case, I don't see things going well for these three...


Re: Impact: its a difficult question. I think as far as storytelling goes, the Ordeal simply must soldier on. Everything is already in motion at this point, and Kellhus has little direct impact on the battle itself. From just the scenario of 'what happens to an army when the leader is killed' point of view, the progression is less clear. The issue though is that they can't get home, and they know it. The only path forward is to die trying to cross Agongorea and let the Consult win, or to die trying to stop the Consult. The Half-Dunyain would seize control still, I think, and push forward.

I see what you mean, and you are right, it's not like they can turn back at this point having gone through so much already.
Would everyone react the same way to Kayûtas and/or Serwa taking charge, though? They were united under Kellhus, but it's not 100% possible to predict how they would react to the change in leadership. I tend to think that enough of them would fight under the Holy Aspect-Emperor's children just as they would have with the man himself... But does doubt seep in into some of them regarding leadership? Some doubts might have already been there in their minds, only now incensed by the circumstances. Are any of the Ordealmen bold and/or powerful enough to challenge said leadership?
Especially in regards to Serwa...the general attitude towards women in Eärwa hasn't truly changed. The changes Kellhus made during his reign allowed for the Swayal Sisterhood to exist and be respected. Does that change with his death? Would this lead to infighting within the Ordeal?
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-Anasûrimbor Kayûtas (The Great Ordeal, chapter 13)

"You prefer to believe women victims to their passions, but we can be at least as calculating as you. Love does not make us weak, but strong."
-Ykoriana of the Masks (The Third God, chapter 27)

Wilshire

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« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2018, 05:13:46 pm »
TGO was prone to infighting even with Kellhus near at hand. Doubtless there would have been bloodshed, but there would have been enough alive to mount an assault.

If not, if they choose to run south, they would have encountered the Scylvendi, which I don't think would have too too disastrous. Over the river and through the woods, back to the Empire they go. They actually might have been able to get back given their decreased size and increased availability of forage.

It'd be a whole different world should the tattered remains of TGO, maybe 50k men and the schools, make it back to the Three Seas. Unfortunately, to no great affect. Probably, assuming no resumption, the Consult go back into hiding, sifting through the Tekne, reinventing it, and eventually finding the key to activating the No God.
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SmilerLoki

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« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2018, 06:51:28 pm »
I feel it begs noting that this particular what-if is still well within the confines of "Kelmomas was always the No-God" conundrum.

ThoughtsOfThelli

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« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2018, 07:01:58 pm »
TGO was prone to infighting even with Kellhus near at hand. Doubtless there would have been bloodshed, but there would have been enough alive to mount an assault.

If not, if they choose to run south, they would have encountered the Scylvendi, which I don't think would have too too disastrous. Over the river and through the woods, back to the Empire they go. They actually might have been able to get back given their decreased size and increased availability of forage.

It'd be a whole different world should the tattered remains of TGO, maybe 50k men and the schools, make it back to the Three Seas. Unfortunately, to no great affect. Probably, assuming no resumption, the Consult go back into hiding, sifting through the Tekne, reinventing it, and eventually finding the key to activating the No God.

Sure - I don't know if I expressed myself well, I meant infighting more severe and disruptive than what was already happening in canon.
So we'd have no Apocalypse (for the near future, at least), but the return of the devastated Ordeal and the death of Kellhus would have a significant impact in the Three Seas. The New Empire probably collapses anyway, as I don't think the surviving Anasûrimbor children have what it takes to salvage what's left.
It's very likely the Consult would have been able to ressurect the No-God again, they would have just been delayed for decades or centuries.


I feel it begs noting that this particular what-if is still well within the confines of "Kelmomas was always the No-God" conundrum.

It certainly does...though I was trying to avoid the "Kelmomas was always the No-God, so this could never have happened" argument to encourage some speculation and not kill the discussion outright.
Though you might be referring to something more along the lines of "Kelmomas was always the No-God, so this would have changed some things, but he wouldn't have been killed before being placed in the Carapace and the end result would still be the same"?
"But you’ve simply made the discovery that Thelli made—only without the benefit of her unerring sense of fashion."
-Anasûrimbor Kayûtas (The Great Ordeal, chapter 13)

"You prefer to believe women victims to their passions, but we can be at least as calculating as you. Love does not make us weak, but strong."
-Ykoriana of the Masks (The Third God, chapter 27)

Wilshire

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« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2018, 07:03:36 pm »
I feel it begs noting that this particular what-if is still well within the confines of "Kelmomas was always the No-God" conundrum.

I guess if Kelmomas didn't stop Yatwer, but still lived (ATNG syndrome) ... then what I laid out above doesn't change (initial post at least) - except that at the end Kelmomas is put in the box.

Though I wonder - if the Consult are somehow defeated, and Kelmomas trips and falls into the sarcophagus anyway... Does Resumption begin if no one is there to hear it? - Ok, that was a (bad) joke, but I wonder what Resumption looks like with the No God totally unsupported by the Consult.
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SmilerLoki

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« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2018, 07:05:54 pm »
Though you might be referring to something more along the lines of "Kelmomas was always the No-God, so this would have changed some things, but he wouldn't have been killed before being placed in the Carapace and the end result would still be the same"?
This keeps the discussion alive, if nothing else. I was trying very hard not to create rigid narratives with my remark.

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« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2018, 11:12:49 pm »
Quote from:  Wilshire
Interestingly enough, I think TGO had a higher chance of succeeding without Kellhus.

Really? Not a chance at all. They would have even made it to Dagliash. Kellhus saved the army by Gnosis pounding his way through Sranc. They would be been done. Not to mention, no Kellhus, they storm Dagliash old fashion style and boom, no more Ordeal. Your kidding yourself...

I've been saying it for a long time, Kellhus is the man in he speaks to. In his little niche in the Outside or wherever. He's still in the game.
“No. I am your end. Before your eyes I will put your seed to the knife. I will quarter your carcass and feed it to the dogs. Your bones I will grind to dust and cast to the winds. I will strike down those who speak your name or the name of your fathers, until ‘Yursalka’ becomes as meaningless as infant babble. I will blot you out, hunt down your every trace! The track of your life has come to me,

TaoHorror

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« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2018, 12:43:54 am »
I feel it begs noting that this particular what-if is still well within the confines of "Kelmomas was always the No-God" conundrum.

Yeah, I was thinking the same thing reading through this thread. Plenty of plausible scenarios he still ends up in The Ark - all it took was a skinspy looking like his mom to lure him in there.
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Wilshire

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« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2018, 03:02:00 pm »
Quote from:  Wilshire
Interestingly enough, I think TGO had a higher chance of succeeding without Kellhus.

Really? Not a chance at all. They would have even made it to Dagliash. Kellhus saved the army by Gnosis pounding his way through Sranc. They would be been done. Not to mention, no Kellhus, they storm Dagliash old fashion style and boom, no more Ordeal. Your kidding yourself...

I've been saying it for a long time, Kellhus is the man in he speaks to. In his little niche in the Outside or wherever. He's still in the game.
I meant with regards to if Kellhus dies in the manner that TOT outlines in the original post ;).
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ThoughtsOfThelli

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« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2018, 03:31:16 pm »
I feel it begs noting that this particular what-if is still well within the confines of "Kelmomas was always the No-God" conundrum.

Yeah, I was thinking the same thing reading through this thread. Plenty of plausible scenarios he still ends up in The Ark - all it took was a skinspy looking like his mom to lure him in there.

I don't disagree with that - according to the scenario I presented in my first post, we'd have two possibilities:
a) Kelmomas is not present during the Last Whelming and is being kept somewhere else;
b) Kelmomas is present, but does not see/reach Sorweel on time for whatever reason.

Going with option a) there is ample possibility for Kelmomas to escape, and the following chain of events to still lead him to the Ark. Getting rid of him would not be the first thing on Kayûtas or Serwa's mind with the chaos surrounding Kellhus' death.
Option b) is much more likely to lead to Kelmomas being restrained by one of his siblings (or someone else on their orders). There is still a possibility that he escapes in the confusion, though.



Quote from:  Wilshire
Interestingly enough, I think TGO had a higher chance of succeeding without Kellhus.

Really? Not a chance at all. They would have even made it to Dagliash. Kellhus saved the army by Gnosis pounding his way through Sranc. They would be been done. Not to mention, no Kellhus, they storm Dagliash old fashion style and boom, no more Ordeal. Your kidding yourself...

I've been saying it for a long time, Kellhus is the man in he speaks to. In his little niche in the Outside or wherever. He's still in the game.
I meant with regards to if Kellhus dies in the manner that TOT outlines in the original post ;).

What Wilshire said, MSJ, this alternate timeline would only diverge from canon around the time of the Last Whelming (or immediately before). So Dagliash has already happened as in canon. Feel free to create your own thread about the ramifications of the nuke going off without Kellhus there, though, there is some discussion to be had there too. :)
"But you’ve simply made the discovery that Thelli made—only without the benefit of her unerring sense of fashion."
-Anasûrimbor Kayûtas (The Great Ordeal, chapter 13)

"You prefer to believe women victims to their passions, but we can be at least as calculating as you. Love does not make us weak, but strong."
-Ykoriana of the Masks (The Third God, chapter 27)

MSJ

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« Reply #14 on: March 20, 2018, 04:30:47 pm »
Quote from:  ToT
What Wilshire said, MSJ, this alternate timeline would only diverge from canon around the time of the Last Whelming (or immediately before). So Dagliash has already happened as in canon. Feel free to create your own thread about the ramifications of the nuke going off without Kellhus there, though, there is some discussion to be had there too. :)

Sorry, both of you.

Anyhow, I don't see how events would be any better with Kellhus already dead. Serwa wouldn't get past Mek and the Soggomatic Gate. At this point no one is close to Kellhus in terms of power. The Ordeal fails and fails rather more quickly.
“No. I am your end. Before your eyes I will put your seed to the knife. I will quarter your carcass and feed it to the dogs. Your bones I will grind to dust and cast to the winds. I will strike down those who speak your name or the name of your fathers, until ‘Yursalka’ becomes as meaningless as infant babble. I will blot you out, hunt down your every trace! The track of your life has come to me,