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Topics - profgrape

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The No-God / Will Akka and co even make it back to the TS?
« on: May 25, 2018, 09:27:53 pm »
At some point, Bakker described Atrithau as something we'll visit in future books.  Which now means TNG.  And given the parallels between Akka and Seswatha's roles in their respective Apocolypses, if we ever see Atrithau it seems like it would be through Akka's eyes. 

I could see Esme and Mimara will end up crossing the Leash, skirting the Demua mountains (perhaps picking up a certain crab-handed boy along the way) and heading for Atrithau. 

Of course, Atrithau will be in chaos.  Their king was killed by Cnaiur and the Scylvendi at the Battle of Eels just a few months prior to the NG's advent.  And like Seswatha, Akka will come in and fail spectacularly at rallying the troops.

The question of where they go next is where things get interesting.

If they want to head for the Three Seas, they'd either have to cross the Jiunati Steppe (which might be fine as the Scylvendi warriors are elsewhere) or head for the pass into Galeoth -- both treacherous options.   But would Esme even want to do that after witnessing the empire's literal collapse in Momemn?  Wouldn't they want to head someplace where they could at least mount some sort of resistance? 

Instead of the TS, they might leave Atrithau, head south, skirt west of the Sea of Jorua and then cross the unnamed tributary into High Holy Zeum!

The No-God / Will the Mutilated step out of the shadows?
« on: May 23, 2018, 03:42:23 pm »
The Mutilated (RSB's "Cenobites) are pretty badass as far as "big bads" go.  They're far smarter than humans, have a massive army led by the NG and the Gnosis.  They are, in almost every way, more formidable than Shae, Mek, Aurang and Aurax. 

Yet aside from the horde of Skin Spies (one of whom salted Kellhus and will hopefully be getting a sweet end-of-year bonus) and Aurax, their existence is AFAWK a secret. 

The question I'm pondering is whether they'll become more visible in TNG, effectively "announcing their presence".  Because absent them doing so, I'm not sure how humanity would ever discover the truth. 


The Unholy Consult / Is Earwa doomed?
« on: October 26, 2017, 03:07:37 pm »
During Kellhus' final conversation with Proyas, he shares yet another shocking revelation (seriously, can't Prosha get a break?) about the future:

"...The thing -- the most horrific thing to understand, Proyas, is that at some point the Inchoroi must win.  At some point, perhaps this year or ages hence, the whole of humanity will be butchered."

This is an elaboration of what Oinaral shares with Sorweel in TGO:

"...To exist across all times is to be oblivious to the Eschaton, the limit of those times, and Mog-Pharou is that limit. The Eschaton."

Taken together, these lay out a bleak future for Earwa -- the TNG as a multi-volume (calling BS on Scott's "two volumes") version of The Road.  The Gods atemporal perspective makes them blind to their own end and because they are blind to the Consult, the Consult is their end. 

In another fantasy series, I'd accept both of these statements as gospel and move along.  But this is Bakker, and one of the things I love about TSA is how unreliable perspectives mean we never really know the objective, factual truth of anything metaphysical.  That is to say, what we learn about, for example, sorcery, is what Men and Nonmen know, not what is.  Unless, of course, it comes from Bakker.  Although his penchant for misdirection calls even that into question.

With that in mind, I see a couple of inconsistencies in Kellhus and Oinaral's statements:

"...the whole of humanity will be butchered."  This is presuming that the Inchoroi are right about the mechanism for closing off the World to the Outside.  And presuming that butchery is the *only* way of closing it off.   

"...Mog-Pharou is that limit."  This isn't True(tm) at all, is it?  From the Gods' perspective, the Eschaton is the moment where the World is shut off from the Outside, their end.  But I think there's solid evidence (perhaps from Scott) that the NG is *not* what shuts out the Outside (and therefore, the Gods) -- Ajokli manifesting in Kellhus as Exhibit A in that argument.  The Dunsult imply that it's Ark that can shut things off once it can apprehend the "code on the World".   

Given these inconsistencies, I don't think it's unreasonable to imagine an alternative means of shutting out the Outside as a potential future.  Does the "Death of Meaning" require what amounts to the eradication of all much a fragment of conscious life?

If there is an alternative, what could it be?

The Unholy Consult / Defining "Cause"
« on: October 05, 2017, 08:37:38 pm »
The term Cause means something to the Dunyain.  Koringhus uses it a few times in TGO.  And it again comes up during Kellhus' confrontation with the Dunsult.  Kellhus states:

"...Your Revelation was to understand that Logos was nothing but Cause as conceled by the darkness that comes before...  You realized the mission was not master Cause via Logos, but to master Cause via Cause, to endlessly refashion the Near to consume and incorporate the Far."

I initially thought of Cause as impetus.  But the passages above make me think it means more.

Does anyone out in TSA-land have ideas of what Cause really means as defined by the Dunyain?

The Unholy Consult / Did Kellhus find Oblivion?
« on: September 27, 2017, 03:23:13 pm »
In response to MSJ's question about Kellhus' fate (is he the other Decapitant, in the Outside, etc), Bakker relied with:

Well, Ajokli can't find him.

This got me thinking about the scene where a Ciphrang encounters a soul-less Nonman.  I interpreted this as confirming that Nonmen could in fact find Oblivion and therefore, avoid damnation.  But while this is interesting in a world-building sense, it bothered me that it didn't seem to have any underlying purpose to the narrative.  After all these years, we know that Bakker is very deliberate about these little tibits. 

What if the reason Ajokli can't find Kellhus is that Kellhus found Oblivion?  Given that he can wield sorcery without leaving a Mark (levitation), it would't be such a stretch to imagine that he'd found a way to hide his soul in the Outside. 

Make no mistake, I would *way* prefer for Kellhus to be stuck in the Decapitant on his salt-statue's waist, or better yet, be in the Decapitant sent to Zeum.  But maybe he just employed a tried-and-true Nonmen method to escape damnation?

The No-God / Perspective and answers to open questions
« on: September 01, 2017, 07:57:19 pm »
In PON and TAE, many of the biggest questions were answered in the confrontations between Dunyain: Kellhus and Moneghus; and Kellhus and the Mutilated.  His was the perspective of revelation.

Given that there are still a number of open questions in TNG, how do you all think we'll get the answers in a post-Kellhus world?  From whom (and through whom) are we going to get these answers, especially from the Mutilated?

The Unholy Consult / [TUC SPOILERS] The No-God's abilities
« on: August 03, 2017, 04:09:47 pm »
In TUC, we get solid evidence that the Gods cannot apprehend the No-God.  But we've also gotten evidence that the No-God has the ability to disrupt or dispel "God-power".

Kelmomas' disrupting the WLW in TGO can be chalked up to the former; as an agent of Yatwer, the WLW was similarly blind and therefore surprised by Kelmomas' presence.  You could also make the argument that the same thing happens at the end of TUC when he surprises Ajokli.

But the fact that Kelmomas is the only person to see through Sorweel's mask demonstrates a different manifestation of his abilities.  And the thing that I'm wondering is if this provides a hint to the nature of the Gods' power. 

Based on what we've seen, the Gods are able to directly alter reality and presumably, do so without any Mark.  Hell, that sorcerers are damned might just be due to the fact that the Gods don't want anyone trying to move in on their territory. 

What's interesting about the No-God "dispelling" this manipulation, however, is that it only affects "God-power" and not sorcery.  This makes me wonder if "God-power" directly hacks the Subject-Object relationship and because the NG is invisible to them, there's no Subject and therefore no relationship to hack?

Curious to hear other thoughts on this...

The Unholy Consult / [TUC SPOILERS] An angel descends (MG Teaser #5)
« on: June 03, 2017, 12:17:34 am »

First thing that came to mind for me was Mimara, who is thus far the only person who the Judging Eye deemed holy.

General Earwa / The Tusk, the Timeline and our good friend Aurax
« on: May 11, 2017, 08:30:30 pm »
There's some timeline weirdness with the Inchoroi giving the Tusk to Angeshrael, the Glamour being raised around Golgatterath and the Breaking of the Gates.

First, we can assume that not too much time lapsed between Angeshrael receiving the Tusk and the Four Tribes invading Earwa.  It might have been a few years but it's unlikely to have been longer. 

Second, while not stated explicitly, we can probably assume that the Breaking of the Gates happened *after* the Cuno-Inchoroi war.  And that officially ended with the Glamour being raised around Golgatterath and presumably, imprisoning the last two Inchoroi alive, Aurang and Aurax, in the Ark.

So how in the hell did an Inchoroi gift the Tusk to Angeshrael? 

A couple of potential options:

1. Continuity mistake.   It happens.

2. One of the Inchoroi wasn't actually imprisoned in the Ark.  Based on what we see in TFS, we can assume that Aurang was the one Shae and Mek released from the Ark.   That leaves Aurax.

If 2) is right, it means that Aurax was out of the Ark doing nefarious things for over a thousand years before Aurang was freed.    Including impersonating Huyselt and giving the Tusk to the Eannan Men.

From that point, Aurax might have died or might have laid low until Aurang was freed.  Hell, he might still be roaming the Three Seas for all we know.

In Wert's review, he writes:

There are some revelations here that will have the reader nodding in approval, others that will be mystifying and several that are surprising in both their content and their elegance (one, extraordinarily important, answer to a vital series-spanning question would even border on the mundane, but the implications of the revelation are far-reaching)

Any ideas as to what the series-spanning question is?  There aren't a ton of them, really.  My best guess is: "why did Moenghus (really) leave Ishual?"

The Unholy Consult / [TUC SPOILERS] Quote from Pat
« on: May 05, 2017, 03:29:06 pm »
As we might not get an excerpt due to TUC being essentially one long spoiler, here's a quote-of-the-day from Pat:


He was old, aye, so ancient as to be broken into multitudes by the Ages. Glorious Iskiak, Spear-Bearer to mighty Sil, the great King After-the-Fall. The legendary Sarpanur, celebrated King-Healer, the great Killer-of-Hells. The infamous Sin-Pharion, reviled Plague-Bearer, the Soul-Most-Hated ...

Aurang, the accursed Horde-General.

He remembered their hallowed vessel faltering upon the shoals of the Promised World, and the Fall, the Inertial Inversion Field piercing the crust to the pith, gouging the landscape, heaving it out upon a cataclysmic hoop, raising mountains to retard their descent ... just not enough.

He remembered the Weal that followed, how Sil had rallied the Holy Swarm from the brink, taught them how to prosecute war with the remnants of their once-dread Arsenal. Sil had been the one to show them how they might still save their eternal souls!

He remembered enough.

Some observations:

- Yea, an Inchoroi POV!

- "Inertial Inversion Field"?  *Love* seeing Bakker go sci-fi!  This answers why the "cataclysmic impact of the Ark somehow preceded the Ark, that the great golden vessel dropped no quicker than an apple into the flash and upheaval of an earlier, far more tumultuous strike."

- "Iskiak" sounds a bit like Yitzhak/Isaac.  Yeah, I went there.

- "Holy Swarm" is a really interesting self-description.  Can't wait to see Kellhus debate the Inchoroi!

The Unholy Consult / Crazy speculation only
« on: May 02, 2017, 10:20:52 pm »
Got a crazy idea about what's going to happen in TUC?  Share it here!

For my part:

1.  Moenghus will not re-appear onscreen.  But his presence will be felt -- the longest of long-plays.

2.  The second chapter will involve Proyas converting the non-Scalded to cannibalism.  This will involve eating the Scalded.
 Rather than weep and struggle with the decision, he'll be as passionless as an Anasurimbor.  Serwa and Sorweel will arrive via chariot at the end of the chapter.

3. Kellhus will return to the Ordeal with Esme AND Meppa.

The Unholy Consult / [TUC SPOILERS] Tidbits from Wert
« on: May 02, 2017, 10:11:52 pm »
Wert shared the following tidbits from reading the e-ARC:

Yes, I have read the ending. No, I won't tell you what happens. Well, only that if Bakker never writes the final series, there may be riots. Very small riots, but riots nonetheless. Also, pretty sure I have no idea whatsoever what the final duology will be called.

And then this (includes a WoT spoiler):
(click to show/hide)


From TTT glossary:

Imprompta, The --  The anonymously written collection of the Warrior-Prophet's earliest sermons and aphorisms.

As for the Warrior-Prophet summoning witness, this seems to be related to a specific sermon when Kellhus counseled a nameless Conriyan knight.  The knight was stricken by nightmares of a dead girl he'd seen in a nearby village.  From TWP:

"But why?" [the knight] cried.  "I mean, how many dead have we seen?"
"But not all seeing," Kellhus replied, "is witness."
"I don't understand..."
"Witness is the seeing that testifies, that judges so that it may be judged.  You saw, and you judged.   Trespass had been committed, an innocent had been murdered.  You saw this."

And now to start speculating!

The idea of witness being a deeper form of seeing makes me think of a couple of things.

First, a deeper form of sight, the idea of recording a deed so it can be judged, could be related to a soul's ledger of sins committed.  It might suggest that sins are only such if they are witnessed?

Second, I can't imagine a deeper form of sight than The Judging Eye.  It's suggested that Mimara not only has the ability to see the soul's ledger, but also the ability to absolve those sings. 

Ordinary witness records sin, TJE witness absolves it?

The Great Ordeal / [TGO SPOILERS] Souls too strong to eat
« on: February 07, 2017, 04:36:49 pm »
In the author Q&A, RSB wrote this:

[...]the boundaries between the World and the Outside can also wear then with individuals, and not simply places. Those souls that are too strong to eat, that go on to become Ciphrang, sometimes begin the transition before they kick the bucket.

This begs the question: how does one develop a soul that's "too strong to eat"?

We have a couple examples of souls that seem to be on the verge of becoming Ciphrang; Kosoter, perhaps, and almost certainly, Cnauir.   This suggests that a "strong" soul is one that's committed numerous, horrible acts of violence.  But wouldn't his imply that those who are more damned are also better positioned for power in the hellish afterlife? 

As a side question, can good acts cause one to be "too strong to eat", perhaps leading to one become an angelic Ciphrang?

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