On the Nature of the No-God

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H

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« on: July 27, 2015, 12:26:32 pm »
[I've searched a few times, but I can't find a thread for just discussion of the No-God, but if I'm wrong, someone correct me.]

The No-God has always been my second favorite character in the series, so I do have some off-the-wall theories about it's nature.

Mog-Pharau—"No-God"
Mursiris—“Wicked North”
Tsuramah—“Hated One”
Lokung—The “Dead-God” of the Scylvendi.
Cara-Sincurimoi—"The Angel of Endless Hunger"

These are the names of the No-God that we know of.  I think the most interesting of them all is the Ihrimsû name of, Cara-Sincurimoi, "The Angel of Endless Hunger."  The name seems to imply two things, first, that the No-God hungers, but also that it is an Angel that hungers.  What might such a thing hunger for.  Surely, considering the nature of what we know of the Carapace, the No-God eats no corporeal food.  What I would hypothesize is that the No-God hungers for is souls.

It has been my personal crack-pot that the No-God is not evil, because the No-God has no agency.  It doesn't know what it is doing.  To square these two points though, my summation would be that it is no more an animal (in fact, maybe less), fueled by a hunger, blind to the implications of it's action, it kills to eat, but it is simply a device, nefarious only because it's creators made it so.

Also, I would like to lob out the following Nerdanel, that perhaps the No-God was born of collective renunciation.  In other words, if we suppose that Fane could 'birth' the Solitary God out of faith, perhaps the No-God is 'born' of apostasy?

Sound off on how bad my ideas are.
I am a warrior of ages, Anasurimbor. . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury. -Cet'ingira

locke

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« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2015, 06:21:16 pm »
Like the nerdanel,  but I think we have lots of evidence suggesting the no god has agency

H

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« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2015, 06:39:19 pm »
Like the nerdanel,  but I think we have lots of evidence suggesting the no god has agency

Well, I think I am using the wrong word.  My theory would be that it has no understanding of who, what, where, or why it is.  Everything that it does (because I do believe it somehow 'unites' all the soulless things) it does not out of some grand purpose, but out of simple ignorance/base instinct (hunger).  It had no 'true' will of it's own, in the same way that a battery has no will of it's own, it just does what it does, when it does it.

I guess I figure the No-God as if someone with total sensory derivation.  It has no idea what anything is, it can't tell what it is doing, it is driven only by a hunger and it only knows that doing whatever it is helps to feed the hunger (which is probably the only thing it can actually feel).
I am a warrior of ages, Anasurimbor. . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury. -Cet'ingira

locke

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« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2015, 06:42:16 pm »
Would a thing born of renunciation renounce itself?

H

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« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2015, 06:51:05 pm »
Would a thing born of renunciation renounce itself?

I think that is part of the reason for it's blindness.  It can't know it's own nature, it is a paradox.  It is by necessity blind, or else it would cease to exist.  Likely when the Carapace cracked, it simply could not exist of it's own accord.

While it is said that the No-God is a Tekne creation, to me, it reeks of a Shae idea.  A clever loop-hole in the metaphysics of souls, probably funished by Tekne though.
I am a warrior of ages, Anasurimbor. . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury. -Cet'ingira

locke

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« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2015, 07:06:55 pm »
How could it be of Shae if it preexisting him given the litany of names.  Shae perhaps devised the capture of lokung, stripping him of everything but a base soul hunger Ala the wathi doll and devised the carapace to contain him.

Also, if he's a paradox the skin spies would be flummoxed.  Otoh, perhaps that's why they are flummoxed by the inverse fure, it's a paradox.

Would an inverse of fire be a vacuum?

H

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« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2015, 07:28:25 pm »
How could it be of Shae if it preexisting him given the litany of names.  Shae perhaps devised the capture of lokung, stripping him of everything but a base soul hunger Ala the wathi doll and devised the carapace to contain him.

Also, if he's a paradox the skin spies would be flummoxed.  Otoh, perhaps that's why they are flummoxed by the inverse fure, it's a paradox.

Would an inverse of fire be a vacuum?

I'm not sure what you mean, what evidence that those name predate the First Apocalypse.  Certainly the No-God didn't exist before the Second Investiture (2142), "In the spring of 2143 the No-God, summoned by means unknown, first drew breath."  Shae had been with them since prior to 1119 (a la, False Sun).  Indeed, perhaps the concept existed, but I don't see evidence that the No-God was anyhting more than an idea previous to this.

His very name implies something of a paradox though, as does the Inverse Fire.  No-God, so the inversion of a God?  A dead God, but is a God living?

I tend to think of the Inverse Fire as fire that does not consume.  Total crack-pot, but I fancy the Inverse Fire a power source.  A battery running on Damnation...
I am a warrior of ages, Anasurimbor. . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury. -Cet'ingira

mrganondorf

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« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2015, 08:27:43 pm »
cool theory H!  i like it!  it seems that Inchoroi vs Earwa is roughly something like a scientific view vs a super-meaning packed religious view.  the Inchoroi, in creating Mog, are perhaps trying to force a reductionist view on the world?  once all of the souls are inside of/consumed by Mog, heaven and hell will disappear and magic too and the only world left will be like ours--mechanistic and physical?  the No-God will literally bring about the situation where there are no more gods and damnation is avoided because death is nothing more than physical dissolution? 

this would explain, perhaps, why so many Inchoroi risked their necks along the way--as long as they had supreme confidence that some of their numbers would eventually succeed in deflating the world, they could risk going to hell because it would only be for a limited time?

certainly the No-God is bound to cause mass renunciation at some point--the longer Mog walks, the less humans are disposed to call out to gods who do not or cannot help.  perhaps this is Kellhus' big secret, by being a god on earth and repeatedly predicting the threat of Mog, if Mog returns, belief in Kellhus spikes up

if the No-God is the pipe that is sucking up souls, the perhaps the Carapace is a trap for the Outside.  the Consult aim to drain the Outside into the Carapce and keeped it sealed there

i like the idea that the No-God is created by apostasy and it makes me wonder if that is at the root of the Inchoroi mission--some kind of fundamental rebellion against a long held religious belief in old Inchoroi culture?

i too had the impression that Mog lacked agency with the biggest issue of how the hell he/it/she/xe/xir moved the sranc forces in deliberate, strategic ways.

i don't know that i'd put too much stock in the "Angel of Endless Hunger" as it might describe the nonman view of Mog more than Mog itself

i wonder if the No-God being unable to see itself is like something from Neuropath, where a human is alive but loses its sense of self

H

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« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2015, 03:49:22 pm »
i like the idea that the No-God is created by apostasy and it makes me wonder if that is at the root of the Inchoroi mission--some kind of fundamental rebellion against a long held religious belief in old Inchoroi culture?

i too had the impression that Mog lacked agency with the biggest issue of how the hell he/it/she/xe/xir moved the sranc forces in deliberate, strategic ways.

i don't know that i'd put too much stock in the "Angel of Endless Hunger" as it might describe the nonman view of Mog more than Mog itself

i wonder if the No-God being unable to see itself is like something from Neuropath, where a human is alive but loses its sense of self

It would stand to reason that the Inchoroi that we see are possibly outcasts from their own world/race.  It would make sense that their depravity had to, in some way, lead to their planet-roving ways.

We really have no direct evidence that the No-God ever actually strategically directs anything really.  In fact when the No-God's physical form presents itself: “The No-God was coming. Mog-Pharau walked, and the world thundered. The Sranc began shrieking. Many cast themselves to the ground, scratching at their eyes, gouging … I remember having difficulty breathing … I had joined Anakka—Anaxophus—in his chariot, and I remember him gripping my shoulders."

I would contend that the No-God doesn't control anything, he simply focuses the Soulless-Tekné-Things.  Makes them more directed, lest they be like the Sranc are in the present setting.  Strategy is not part of it, I think the No-God does nothing in controlling them besides, essentially, pointing them at Souled creatures (because they are the way in which it can feed it's hunger for Souls?).

On the name, "Angel of Endless Hunger" I disagree though.  If they named it an angel, which had an endless hunger, they must have experienced something that made it seem so.  What made it seem like an Angel and what seemed like "Endless Hunger?"  I think there is definitely something to that.
I am a warrior of ages, Anasurimbor. . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury. -Cet'ingira

profgrape

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« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2015, 04:27:13 pm »
On the name, "Angel of Endless Hunger" I disagree though.  If they named it an angel, which had an endless hunger, they must have experienced something that made it seem so.  What made it seem like an Angel and what seemed like "Endless Hunger?"  I think there is definitely something to that.

Ok, bear with me, but...

...what if the No-God is Yatwer?  What if they summoned an "angel", and specifically, the goddess of birth, and imprisoned her in the Carapace?

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« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2015, 06:42:31 pm »
On the name, "Angel of Endless Hunger" I disagree though.  If they named it an angel, which had an endless hunger, they must have experienced something that made it seem so.  What made it seem like an Angel and what seemed like "Endless Hunger?"  I think there is definitely something to that.

Ok, bear with me, but...

...what if the No-God is Yatwer?  What if they summoned an "angel", and specifically, the goddess of birth, and imprisoned her in the Carapace?

While interesting, I can't square that with...well, anything, haha.

I like my idea of the No-God as a God of renunciation though, if I do say so myself.  It tends to explain why they worship it, they are literally worshiping no God, the No-God.
I am a warrior of ages, Anasurimbor. . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury. -Cet'ingira

mrganondorf

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« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2015, 06:46:28 pm »
@ H - i agree with you about Mog's seeming lack of agency, but i thought there was some prickly quote could have been an apparent issue for that--maybe from TTT dictionary?  i'm sorry i can't quote it right now--i can see it but there are these things in between me and it and wood and styrofoam and other stuff

whatever the no-god is, i think it's got to be or be part of somekind of semantic black hole--once all meaning is sucked into it, the inchoroi will get their hell-less world. 

i like to think that the characters are hiding lots of stuff, but the encounter between Kellhus and Moenghus could really be emblematic of the Everyone vs Inchoroi struggle.  Moenghus wants a mechanistic world with no hell, the broken-dunyain Kellhus wants to hold onto meaning.  in this case, surely Kellhus will meet one last dunyain for a dramatic conversation.  Kellhus is really the pawn used to save hell from the world!

@ profgrape - i like that!  i have a hunch that whoever/whatever is in the Carapace is being tortured by the chorae, that the chorae aren't just warding off sorcery but also provoking some of the misery that filters into Mog's monologue

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« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2015, 08:19:31 pm »
Quote
Bashrag beat the ground with their great hammers, while Sranc heaved in imbecile masses. They swallowed the surrounding plains, loping in armour of tanned human skin, gibbering like apes, throwing themselves at the ramparts the Men of Kyraneas had made of Mengedda’s ruins. And behind them, the whirlwind … a great winding rope sucking the dun earth into black heavens, elemental and indifferent, roaring ever nearer, come to snuff out the last light of Men.

Come to seal the World shut.

I still don't understand how the No-God works, or what it really is, but I think I am convinced that it does indeed seal the World off from the Outside.  This is why births cannot happen while the No-God exists, because it somehow does not allow the Outside to open, admitting a soul into the World.

Quote
Each man, he explained, was a kind of hole in existence, a point where the Outside penetrated the world.
I am a warrior of ages, Anasurimbor. . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury. -Cet'ingira

profgrape

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« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2015, 09:14:35 pm »
A handful of half-baked reasons for the Yatwer = No-God idea:

1. TTT glossary entry on The Apocalypse includes the line "In the spring of 2143, the No-God, summoned by means unknown, first drew breath."  The only other cases we've seen that involved summoning dealt with bringing agencies from the Outside into Earwa.

2. There's something fitting about the No-God being a literal inversion of an actual God.

3. Yatwer is the goddess of birth.  And the No-God's existence stopped birth. 

4. The Gods vs. Kellhus are an important theme in the second series.  But the only unequivocal example we have of a God directly intervening in the world is through Yatwer -- why? 

5. Madness flinched when he read my earlier post.

Triskele

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« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2015, 07:17:22 pm »
That would be interesting too if somehow birth could only occur if Yatwer were in Her natural place in the Outside and bringing Her into Earwa is what prevents birth. 

But then I'm trying to figure out what the other implications would be if one could summon others...like if one summoned the god of disease would disease no longer happen?  That doesn't seem to make as much sense. 

But I do think that the use of the word "summoned" suggests it's some kind of agency from the Outside.