What's up with the "Second" Inverse Fire

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sciborg2

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« on: April 30, 2021, 11:39:46 pm »
From the TUC Glossary, note the spelling error  ->

Excruciata

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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 ->

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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?

sciborg2

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« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2021, 02:27:10 am »
From TUC ->

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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.

So Ten Simpletons, ten brutalized beings Shae needs to [keep] his soul intact.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2021, 02:35:13 am by sciborg2 »

SmilerLoki

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« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2021, 09:07:07 am »
One can certainly draw a number of parallels.

Wilshire

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« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2021, 01:42:38 pm »
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.
One of the other conditions of possibility.

sciborg2

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« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2021, 07:24:15 pm »
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.


H

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« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2021, 02:15:14 pm »
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?

Yeah, unfortunately there is no other mention of them in the series.  But that is probably because there really isn't "anything" for to them.  They are probably a narrative devise to expound something of a Foucauldian view on notionally "madness."  That is, what is termed "madness," normatively, might actually be a form of insight.  Labeled "simpletons" allow normative society to marginalize them and the implications of what they "see."

In any case, maybe one (or more) of them did possess the Judging Eye or something like it.  On why it would be called The Inverse Fire, I think you could imagine that somewhere along the line of years, the term could have gotten brought up, from various "occult" or "cultic" sources, but devoid (or simply divorced from) it's exact original context.  So, someone stumbles across the term in fragmented Nonman sources and says, wow that seems to apply to that ceiling, never realizing the depth of that connection 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

sciborg2

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« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2021, 01:25:55 pm »
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?

Yeah, unfortunately there is no other mention of them in the series.  But that is probably because there really isn't "anything" for to them.  They are probably a narrative devise to expound something of a Foucauldian view on notionally "madness."  That is, what is termed "madness," normatively, might actually be a form of insight.  Labeled "simpletons" allow normative society to marginalize them and the implications of what they "see."

In any case, maybe one (or more) of them did possess the Judging Eye or something like it.  On why it would be called The Inverse Fire, I think you could imagine that somewhere along the line of years, the term could have gotten brought up, from various "occult" or "cultic" sources, but devoid (or simply divorced from) it's exact original context.  So, someone stumbles across the term in fragmented Nonman sources and says, wow that seems to apply to that ceiling, never realizing the depth of that connection though.

I'd accept this as cultural referencing save for the 10 Simpletons to 10 Larvals + the accuracy of the Excruciata confirmed by the Judging Eye.

I really do think the Simpletons saw Hell, or at least the memory of it.

SmilerLoki

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« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2021, 01:47:13 pm »
In all fairness, it would be just like Bakker to bait us with a coincidence, no matter how neatly looking.

TaoHorror

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« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2021, 02:39:33 pm »
He did say the glossary was designed to mimic ancient lore and history which would have inaccuracies. So it seems to me we're to see it's misusage here.
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The P

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« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2021, 03:06:29 pm »
I imagine the Ten Simpletons and ten larval senescents is coincidental.  One of them having the Judging Eye seems unlikely, since then one of them would have to be a woman.  It seems unlikely a woman would be tasked with painting the ceiling of the Holy Junriuma, or that a woman would be a legendary artist.

I guess the name could have easily come from a skin-spy who recognized the similarities.

What interests me is in what way was it inspired by pre-Arkfall Nonman statuary?  From what I remember of Nonman carvings, they have some aspect of depicting change or showing an entity in varying time points.  Maybe each soul is simultaneously shown in each of its methods of torment.

sciborg2

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« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2021, 06:32:40 pm »
I imagine the Ten Simpletons and ten larval senescents is coincidental.  One of them having the Judging Eye seems unlikely, since then one of them would have to be a woman.  It seems unlikely a woman would be tasked with painting the ceiling of the Holy Junriuma, or that a woman would be a legendary artist.

I guess the name could have easily come from a skin-spy who recognized the similarities.

What interests me is in what way was it inspired by pre-Arkfall Nonman statuary?  From what I remember of Nonman carvings, they have some aspect of depicting change or showing an entity in varying time points.  Maybe each soul is simultaneously shown in each of its methods of torment.

The title coming from a Skin Spy is a good option. The whole thing could be done to mock the Mandate.

But yeah as I recall Nonmen Architecture tries to show different phases of time all at once in the stone, and there was some mention in the one of the books or Tales that the Inverse Fire never shows the same scene of torment twice...

SmilerLoki

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« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2021, 06:56:27 pm »
and there was some mention in the one of the books or Tales that the Inverse Fire never shows the same scene of torment twice...
More specifically, the Inverse Fire is projecting atemporal onto temporal, which isn't going to be in any way straightforward, or even complete, to perceive.

sciborg2

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« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2021, 08:03:57 pm »
and there was some mention in the one of the books or Tales that the Inverse Fire never shows the same scene of torment twice...
More specifically, the Inverse Fire is projecting atemporal onto temporal, which isn't going to be in any way straightforward, or even complete, to perceive.

Do you remember where the passage about this was where it is stated the Inverse Fire shows different scenes of suffering each time you look?

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« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2021, 08:11:07 pm »
Do you remember where the passage about this was where it is stated the Inverse Fire shows different scenes of suffering each time you look?

Quote
“After a time,” he said vacantly, “the sheer profundity of it, the monstrous scale of the anguish ... it becomes soothing ... sublime ...”

The sluicing of firelight across white skin.

“And never ... never repeating, always different ... like some kind of broken arithmetic ...”

TUC, Chapter 17.
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

sciborg2

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« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2021, 12:20:17 am »
Do you remember where the passage about this was where it is stated the Inverse Fire shows different scenes of suffering each time you look?

Quote
“After a time,” he said vacantly, “the sheer profundity of it, the monstrous scale of the anguish ... it becomes soothing ... sublime ...”

The sluicing of firelight across white skin.

“And never ... never repeating, always different ... like some kind of broken arithmetic ...”

TUC, Chapter 17.

Nice, thanks!

Interesting to compare this to the other detailed depiction of Hell mentioned in the Glossary ->

Quote
Pa’bikru—“Warring Glimpse” (Invitic). Known as “Cage-carvings” in the Eastern Three Seas, Pa’bikru are the product of the peculiar spiritual sensibilities of Nilnamesh. In the twilight preceding the ruin of the Ceneian Empire, a nameless monk translated Memgowa’s Celestial Aphorisms into the Invitic dialect of Sheyic, thus inspiring the famed “screen sculpture” of Nilnamesh.

The techniques evolved wildly over the centuries, but the premise was always the same: the sculptor would carve miniature scenes, many of them drawn from the Tusk that they then placed in a so-called “peering box” or behind some other obstruction. The original idea was to recreate Memgowa’s conception of the “Blind Beggar Soul.” Like Ajencis, the famed Zeumi sage was forever arguing the folly of Men, but unlike the famed Kyranean philosopher, he argued that it was the inability of the soul to know itself, and not the inability of intellect to grasp the World, that was the origin of the problem. In Celestial Aphorisms, the Sage continually returned to the Rebuke of Angeshraël in The Chronicle of the Tusk, the famed story where War, dread Gilgaöl, upbraids the Prophet for “peering through cracks and describing skies.” He also uses the legend of Ilbaru, a Zeumi folk tale about a man who spies his wife through a cracked shutter, and confusing her attempt to save his wounded brother for an act of passion, murders her, and then must watch his brother die. His argument, refracted through the smoked glass of his aphoristic style, is that the soul is that which sees, and therefore can scarcely be seen. Thus the aesthetic of screen sculpture: the creation of scenes that utterly contradicted the way they appeared when seen through some fixed aperture.

Historically, the most famous of these was Modhoraparta’s “Dance of the Demons,” where the face of the God of Gods viewed through the aperture became a group of demonic monstrosities viewed from all other angles. The rumour of the work so incensed Shriah Ekyannus IX that in 3682 he outlawed all art works that “blaspheme the Simple, the Pure, and the True with foul Complication.” At his trial in Invishi, Modhoraparta claimed that he wanted to show the how the myriad evils suffered by Men find themselves redeemed in the God of Gods. Indeed, all the sculptor’s acts, let alone his work and his claims, argued that he was as devout as any who would presume to judge him. He would be burned for impiety nonetheless: reason counts for naught in matters of outrage—truth even less so. In those days, the Thousand Temples was always eager to display its authority in Nilnamesh, where the scalding sun and indolent air seemed to engender heresy as regularly as harvests.