The Womb-Plague (A new theory, perhaps?)

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Darzin

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« Reply #30 on: March 26, 2015, 06:09:44 am »
Great new theory from Kalbear on Westros about what the Womb Plague was.

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From what we thought we knew of the womb plague this is very odd. The womb plague was said to be the impetus for the attack - and a stupid attack, at that (as has been stated several times, the Inchoroi making their enemies immortal seems pretty stupid). But what if what they did didn't make their wives and daughters die? What if the death wasn't caused directly by the Inchoroi - it was caused directly by the Nonmen?
 
I still believe that the Inchoroi immortality was some kind of attack, as confirmed by Bakker. But we've seen no real evidence that the Inchoroi's tech can make plagues of death. That's not what it does. In every case we've seen their tech is used to either create new life (sranc, bashrag, skin spies) or modify life (spellcasting grafts, various body mods on the Inchoroi themselves). What if the womb plague didn't kill the nonwomen - and instead, caused them to birth obscenities?
 
Say, sranc? Or Inchoroi? Something that turned the women essentially into living incubators for weapons against the Nonmen?
 
I'm just spitballing, mind you - but let's take for granted that the Nonmen had to kill their wives and daughters in order to beat the Inchoroi. What would make the women into a weapon that must be destroyed? Destroyed so thoroughly that there exist (as far as we know) no nonwomen anywhere? I doubt it would turn them into ravening monsters, but that's possible - some kind of zombie thing, I guess, is possible. But I think - and given Bakker's themes, this seems more likely - turning them into something that produces something horrific seems a lot more likely.
 
So then the Inchoroi's plan was not to give their enemy immortality while killing the women. It was to make their enemy into something like the Inchoroi - something that would naturally ally with the Inchoroi. The Nonmen would survive and do whatever they want, but every child would be with the Inchoroi. Every birth would aid them and hurt the Nonmen. The very act of living would win the war. So the Nonmen did what the Inchoroi did not expect - they exterminated their women. The Inchoroi were somewhat prepared, having also created the weapon races (this is another sign that the Inchoroi did not do this as an accident but did it to wage war - they had created the weapon races to fight and were ready for a fight), but they weren't expecting such a brutal response.
 
And naturally, this would not be recorded. Why would the Nonmen state their shame? Wouldn't it be easier to elide the truth and blame the Inchoroi for killing their women? It's true, after all - just not directly true.
 
It's also a potential link to Mimara and the watchers of the gates. If there are no women - how can there be anything with the Judging Eye? How can anything be seen as truly Godlike at that point? I'll think on that more.

I really think this might be the answer to some of the questions bout the womb plague because of you look at what is recorded in the appendixes it doesn't make a whole lot of sense.
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Wilshire

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« Reply #31 on: March 26, 2015, 12:49:56 pm »
Its hard to put too much behind that when the appendix says that whatever it was the Inchoroi physicians did, it killed all born children, all the women, and more importantly for this theory, nearly killed all the men.

Also, immortality as an unknown side-effect is unlikely, but the Inchoroi are prone to having many fall back plans. As you mentioned, the weapon races are a contingency plan, but so were Humans (the Tusk gift leading to the breaking-of-the-gates), and , likely, immortality.

 For some unknown reason, the way the Inchoroi wanted to kill the Nonmen required them to treat them with something that would, if failed, make them immortal. So, their plan worked about 66% of the way (all women and children, many men), and they knew that immortality would slowly bring them to their cause. They had sranc to unleash from the north, and Huamns to attack from the south. They probably hoped that they would all be dead and not need the contingency plans, or that a dual attack from both sides would be sufficient to destroy the Nonmen, and even still, if all else failed, their mental faculties would slowly decline until they were no longer a threat and even fought for them. It would seem that  the immortality gambit worked. Most, or at least many, of the surviving Nonmen fight with the Consult.


New(?) theory:
I think its more likely that the Inchoroi had no other way of doing what they did without the long-term effect of immortality. The Inchoroi are in decline at this point, the initial crash and war with the Nonmen sapped them of their strength and likely most of their knowledge of their own teknology.

What they ended up doing to the  Nonmen might have been what the Inchoroi did to themselves, eons ago, with similar effects, killing all women and almost killing the men (or whatever their equivalent would be). It wasn't some new invention that they come up with, some new 'treatment' or use of the tekne, but an old, old technology that they could still extrapolate from and use as a weapon. The Inchoroi knew what would happened, planned to destroy the weakened nonmen that remained (Of Sranc and Men), and barring that, knew they had not the means to stay sane through the toll of ages, and would eventually go mad,  either joining their side, or become easily disposed of.
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The Great Scald

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« Reply #32 on: March 26, 2015, 06:29:59 pm »
I don't think the Womb Plague makes sense strategically at all, but it makes a lot of poetic sense.

Bakker has drawn on the Old Testament and the Iliad for inspiration a lot, and this bit of Nonman backstory has a very "ancient legend" feel to it - the proud and arrogant king demanding that the gods give him immortality, which they do, at a terrible price. God gives with one hand and takes away with the other, be careful what you wish for, etc etc.

Darzin

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« Reply #33 on: March 28, 2015, 07:34:21 am »
The thing is the information in the appendix is taken from the Isûphiryas of which just one copy was given to men by Nonmen and one copy of which  survived the apocalypse. The information we have in the appendix has some contradictions as well.

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The Nonmen did in fact attain immortality, and the Inchoroi, claiming their work done, retired back to the Incû-Holoinas. The plague struck shortly after, almost killing males and uniformly killing all females. The Nonmen call this tragic event the Nasamorgas, the “Death of Birth.”

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According to the Isûphiryas, the first victim of the Womb-Plague was Hanalinqû, Cû’jara-Cinmoi’s legendary wife. The chronicler actually praises the diligence and skill of the High King’s Inchoroi physicians. But as the Womb-Plague killed more and more Cûnuroi women, this praise becomes condemnation. Soon all the women of the Cûnuroi, wives and maidens both, were dying. The Inchoroi fled the Mansions, returning to their ruined vessel

That is a contradiction however you slice it. And why would the non men state their shame to men? That they killed their wives and daughters, much easier to lay the blame on the Inchoroi, it is true after all in a way.

Also their some hints of this in the four revelations of Cinialjin.

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And he stands in the blackness, the eternal dank that rules the guttural foundations of Siol, his hand upon the neck and shoulder of his daughter, Aisralu, who even now clutches her belly, her womb, groaning against her headstrong pride, whispering, Please… Father… Please… You… Must…



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That is the sole curse of the Ishroi, she hisses. He is sack, a net bound about furious, ice-cold fish, each part of him thrashing, fleeing, and he howls realizing, for the first time in ten thousand years comprehending, that he is a thing of meat, that he is of the self-same flesh, the very thing that nourishes him, boar-squealing, bloody and alive. To only hope they had fathered their sons!


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And he just… pushes… her… Aisralu… A motion too banal to be anything but murderous and insane, opening a door, perhaps, or closing one, and he feels it, the kiss of skin forming to skin, the hand of the father across the nape of the daughter, thecherished daughter; a push and nothing more, an effort slight enough to slip the nets of awareness, to be no effort at all, and still, miraculously, impossibly, violent with excess, savage, a crime unlike any other; the bare palm against the nape of her neck, her shoulders hunched about a ravaged womb,

It's describing the Womb plague and him killing his daughter, note all the references to ravaged wombs and this his much to soon for him to be killing her to remember. She also says this to him Bakker's emphasis not mine "That is the sole curse of the Ishroi To only hope they had fathered their sons", As opposed to who fathering them? The Inchoroi of course.

 It still keeps with poetry of the idea the King asks for his immortality and gets it at first things seem great the Inchoroi retire and the Nonmen are preparing for a new golden age, but soon they realize their children are different... maybe it's just little things at first odd things for a baby to do, strange actions for a child to take, at first it's just written off but soon they begin to wonder did we make these or did they come from something else. Eventually it's clear that while these look like Nonchildren what moves them is Inchoroi and so rather than let their ancient and noble race fall to the corruption of their enemies, they destroy these abominations and the vessels that made them and set out to destroy the fathers of their children. Alternatively perhaps the Nonwomen cannot bear the shame of their wombs corruption and kill themselves. Remember Nonmen view life and death differently then we do for them living is always a choice. 
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Wilshire

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« Reply #34 on: May 19, 2015, 03:38:25 am »
I think living being a choice was a post-immortality bit.

Nonmen don't necessarily view life/death differently, but rather how they view touching (and ostensibly, killing) oneself/one-another.

Odd timelines and contradictions abound, if nothing else, the womb plague is not as straight forward as it seemed at first glance.

Maybe the Inchoroi physicians  did not just do work on the Nonmen. Perhaps they manipulated the Harlori's genetics, making it possible for live-births from inbreeding possible. If it was a standing, if not outspoken, tradition for Nonwomen to sleep with their slaves, it would be quite the surprise if they suddenly started getting pregnant. I find this more 'likely' than the nonwomen being inseminated by the Inchoroi...
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The Sharmat

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« Reply #35 on: May 20, 2015, 02:08:18 am »
Clinical immortality was the price for the watch being lifted on the Ark. I imagine the Inchoroi were watched like hawks until Cunuroi began to de-age. I doubt the immortality was part of the womb plague at all.

mrganondorf

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« Reply #36 on: May 21, 2015, 07:54:46 pm »
Darzin, thanks for sharing this, fascinating! 

if this is true, i wonder if the nonwomen were giving birth to things like the nameless children-abominations that Kellhus produces?  Esmi having residual problems from being possessed by Aurang?

your post made me wonder if the Inchoroi stole some of the nonwomen back to the Ark to use like Axltel (sp?) tanks--making monsters that we will see in TUC

Wilshire

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« Reply #37 on: June 25, 2015, 08:09:32 pm »
Tleilaxu axolotl tanks.

I'd remind that its not just Esmi who has trouble with the births though, its all Kellhus' concubines, most of whom die giving birth to their mutants.
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The Great Scald

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« Reply #38 on: June 25, 2015, 08:35:57 pm »
The total lack of female Dûnyain, apart from Kellhus' daughters, does suggest that the Dûnyain women in Ishuäl are more or less Axolotl Tanks. There's absolutely no mention of Kellhus even having a mother, which is really weird unless the Dûnyain were an all-male society who only used women as breeding stock.

(I imagine Bakker will get even more flak for "misogyny" if this is even brought up in the books, lol. But he should keep the shockingly inhuman stuff in, and just own it instead of apologizing.)


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« Reply #39 on: June 25, 2015, 08:41:34 pm »
We don't know that there aren't female Dunyain.  All we know is that we haven't seen a female Dunyain, which doesn't really tell us much.  Even the number of male's we've seen has been vanishingly small.
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The Great Scald

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« Reply #40 on: June 25, 2015, 09:46:42 pm »
We don't know that there aren't female Dunyain.  All we know is that we haven't seen a female Dunyain, which doesn't really tell us much.  Even the number of male's we've seen has been vanishingly small.

Yeah, I'm just speculating here.

But the childhood flashbacks of Kellhus are very telling - not only are the onscreen Ishuäl Dûnyain all male, but he never even makes a single reference to women in Ishuäl. Not a single one. Not a thought about his mother at all. He may not even have a mom.

We do know that there were Dûnyain women in the group that settled Ishuäl in the prologue, but during all these millennia of isolation and eugenics, they may well have gone down the Axolotl Tank route.

profgrape

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« Reply #41 on: June 25, 2015, 10:16:33 pm »
On a semi-related note, Cnaiur's mother was impregnated by Moenghus and gave birth to a daughter.  It's not mentioned whether the child was a mutant but the mother definitely survived... to get killed for her infidelity.

The Great Scald

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« Reply #42 on: June 25, 2015, 10:53:07 pm »
On a semi-related note, Cnaiur's mother was impregnated by Moenghus and gave birth to a daughter.  It's not mentioned whether the child was a mutant but the mother definitely survived... to get killed for her infidelity.

Well, yeah, both Moenghus and Kellhus had daughters when they impregnated normal women in the outside world.

I'm talking about Dûnyain women in present-day Ishuäl; there doesn't seem to be any. All the elders and teachers are men, all the kids are boys. What happens to the women?

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« Reply #43 on: June 25, 2015, 11:55:56 pm »
On a semi-related note, Cnaiur's mother was impregnated by Moenghus and gave birth to a daughter.  It's not mentioned whether the child was a mutant but the mother definitely survived... to get killed for her infidelity.

Well, yeah, both Moenghus and Kellhus had daughters when they impregnated normal women in the outside world.

I'm talking about Dûnyain women in present-day Ishuäl; there doesn't seem to be any. All the elders and teachers are men, all the kids are boys. What happens to the women?

Bakker is hoarding so many secrets.  What if Ishual works like an ant colony?  There is 1 female, down in the 1000 1000 halls.  Hell, what if that 1 female is the last surviving nonwoman?  A womb plague?  unless it was straight up magic, any nonwoman far enough away from inchoroi should be okay??? 

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Wilshire

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« Reply #44 on: June 26, 2015, 06:18:26 pm »
The Dune analogues throughout make it seem like the Tanks are the way the Inchoroi or Dunyain women went. Its not a huge stretch to imagine that the Dunyain women could possible be used for only breeding purposes, but I dont think so.

Also, there are a few references to Dunyain women, at least tangentially. When speaking of world-born women baring his seed, its definitely implied, if not outright said, that only true Dunyain women care bare functional Dunyain children. There are women, we know they breed with the men.

I think its equally as likely that the women are the superiors running Ishual, the Bene Gesserits toying with their puny minded men, sending them out into the world to die, rather than the opposite Tlelaxu analogue.
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