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

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The Great Scald

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« Reply #45 on: June 27, 2015, 12:31:14 am »
The Dune analogues throughout make it seem like the Tanks are the way the Inchoroi or Dunyain women went.

We sorta know how Inchoroi reproduction works - they're a single-gender species and the Ark is their womb, hence Seswatha calling them "the orphans" and the Ark a "dead womb". So their mothership is literally their mother, the female of the species, while also being a self-sustained biosphere. Think of the Inchoroi as white blood-cells that can survive outside the body, or honeycomb produced by bees (the Ark being the bees, not the hive), or even the mitochondria born inside cells. 

I imagine their species works a lot like the aliens in Peter Watts' Blindsight, who are a part of their mothership's ecosystem and don't exist "independently" from the alien environment that birthed them.

But then again, me and you don't exist "independently" either.

Were do you draw the line between organism and environment? The thousands of mitochondria living in our cells are pretty much organisms in their own right; they just need the cell's environment to survive. The human body is the same; it's "self-contained", has its own reproductive ability, but needs an external biosphere to survive at all. How does that make us "individuals", while our mitochondria are just "organelles"? It's nesting circles all the way out. Any coherent definition of "self-reliant individual" will just keep receding to the horizon until you basically have to call the whole biosphere a single being.

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Its not a huge stretch to imagine that the Dunyain women could possible be used for only breeding purposes, but I dont think so.

I have no idea either, and my guess is as good as yours. But from the evidence we've got, I think it's pretty likely that the Dunyain went that way.

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Also, there are a few references to Dunyain women, at least tangentially.

But they're very tangential. Not a single reference to a female Dunyain individual back home. Not a single reference to Kellhus' mother. Does he even have one?

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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.

Well, yeah. I don't doubt that females exist in Ishuäl, since the Dunyain clearly reproduce like we do. However, we have no idea if the women are just breeding stock, reduced to brain-dead Axolotl Tanks for maximum breeding efficiency, or if they're actually persons that the Dunyain think of as mothers and sisters.

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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.

Bakker-world being what it is, the most misogynistic path will usually be taken...

Wilshire

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« Reply #46 on: July 01, 2015, 03:24:49 am »
The ship being anything other than mechanical doesn't seem likely. I think we run afoul technology indistinguishable from magic. Except instead of magic, the ship is being describe in vague biological terms since the creatures that are describing it in most cases are unable to comprehend the technology, or in the Inchoroi's case, unable to convey meaning outside of the biological to the idiot species on Earwa.

For the rest, I think Bakker has alluded to some big switch regarding the importance or women, and I think the Inchoroi, Nonmen, and Dunyain women will all be a part of that.
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« Reply #47 on: July 01, 2015, 11:04:27 am »
Well, my theory is that Wracu are essentially cyborgs (part machine, bound and controlled by flesh).  I could see the ship being the opposite, part living, but bound and controlled by mechanism.
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

The Great Scald

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« Reply #48 on: July 25, 2015, 06:44:13 pm »
The ship being anything other than mechanical doesn't seem likely .I think we run afoul technology indistinguishable from magic. Except instead of magic, the ship is being describe in vague biological terms since the creatures that are describing it in most cases are unable to comprehend the technology, or in the Inchoroi's case, unable to convey meaning outside of the biological to the idiot species on Earwa.

It's described as a "dead womb" and the Inchoroi as "orphans". That's more than just metaphor.

And yeah, it's mechanical - after all, organic life forms are just mechanical processes created by random evolution instead of human craft. Biology is biomechanics.

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For the rest, I think Bakker has alluded to some big switch regarding the importance or women, and I think the Inchoroi, Nonmen, and Dunyain women will all be a part of that.

The Inchoroi seem to be a single-gender race, if terms like "male" and "female" are even relevant to them - they're at the point where they can do genetic rewrites of their bodies to grow a vagina or twenty more phalluses.

The Nonmen are a single-gender race because their women are all dead (as far as we know, at least). We don't know much about the Nonwomen, other than what we saw in Bakker's short story with the Nonman's stream-of-consciousness narration.

The Dûnyain...well, they're the big mystery here.

geoffrobro

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« Reply #49 on: September 23, 2015, 12:51:11 am »
A theroy that popped in my head after reading The Four Revelations of Cinial'jin, the Non Men raped and beat their wives to death. Whatever gave them immortality must of drove their sexual craving crazy.
  "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… again and again, searching for his eyes, her face a summit, a beauty he worships, bent into a pageant of strangers by anguish."

Aisarinqu screams and Aisarinqu screams, again and again, not so much words as a storm of occasions, her delicate face crushed into instants and flayed across an age, for theirs had not been a happy union.

to me it seems he raped his daughter who maybe became pregnant. and he beat his wife to death but can really remember her face because he didnt really love her.
 Im starting to think everything we know of the Non men isnt what it seems. almost like a father not telling you them did wrong.
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The Great Scald

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« Reply #50 on: September 23, 2015, 11:44:55 am »
Bakker just likes to use "crushed" to describe facial movements. Sranc faces are repeatedly described that way, the same with Kelmomas' face when he's crying crocodile tears.

"Crushed into instants" is just a poetic Bakkerism, like when he writes "his agony was spread like milk over the endless ages" to describe the damned's fate in Hell, or "she was absurd with pounding girth" to describe a fat porker running for her life.

It doesn't mean anything more than that.


« Last Edit: September 23, 2015, 01:29:05 pm by Auriga »

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« Reply #51 on: September 23, 2015, 01:10:29 pm »
Well, to me, "crushed into instants" speaks to the how Nonmen perceive time, flattened out and non-linear, in a fashion.  Like Auriga, says, I don't believe her face is literally crushed, more figuratively reduced.  Her, face, rather than being the flowing beauty of the living, is a face reduced only to glimpses of it's former self.  In other words, composed not in the now, but in memory, a collection of former instants.  This speaks to a lack of self-ness, which is actually set up by the context, I think.  Look at the whole sentence:

"Aisarinqu screams and Aisarinqu screams, again and again, not so much words as a storm of occasions, her delicate face crushed into instants and flayed across an age, for theirs had not been a happy union."

He, I think the crux is "not so much words as a storm of occasions" which is what "her delicate face crushed into instants and flayed across an age" is describing.  So, she screams, not in the sense of sound, but with her face showing all the anguish of all the instants splayed across the ages of their unhappiness.

The big question isn't, for me, whether they killed their wives and daughters, because I think it's clear they did.  The question is why?  It wasn't just some male caprice it seems, because we see both Aisralu and Aisarinqu goading him to do it.  In this sense, he seems reluctant and they seem determined on this outcome.  This seems to point to the fact that whatever the condition facing the Nonmen women, it was untenable to both the women and the men.

Also, consider this line, "The white spark of some faraway light refracts in her tears, so that her contrition seems holy, and his embittered and profane."  Both have contrition and considering Bakker's Cristian background, I think contrition here is the "the repentance of past sins during or after confession."  Here, context to the Aisarinqu scene, it is an act of confession.  He kills her, not for her sins, or his, but seemingly for both theirs.

Actually, now thinking on all this, what if you are right, with "Whatever gave them immortality must of drove their sexual craving crazy."  That would go right back to my hypothesis that spawned this thread, that the Womb-Plague wasn't a weapon, per se, but was an enlistment.  The Inchoroi gave them exactly what they had given themselves.  The result?  Wanton promiscuity.  The women, rather than be solely objects to be used, ask, nah, perhaps demand, for death instead?

I'm not sure.  Very interesting to think about 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

mrganondorf

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« Reply #52 on: October 06, 2015, 08:01:58 pm »
A theroy that popped in my head after reading The Four Revelations of Cinial'jin, the Non Men raped and beat their wives to death. Whatever gave them immortality must of drove their sexual craving crazy.
  "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… again and again, searching for his eyes, her face a summit, a beauty he worships, bent into a pageant of strangers by anguish."

Aisarinqu screams and Aisarinqu screams, again and again, not so much words as a storm of occasions, her delicate face crushed into instants and flayed across an age, for theirs had not been a happy union.

to me it seems he raped his daughter who maybe became pregnant. and he beat his wife to death but can really remember her face because he didnt really love her.
 Im starting to think everything we know of the Non men isnt what it seems. almost like a father not telling you them did wrong.

WOW

the nonmen would certainly be inclined to write that out of their history

another possibility?  the ark crashes, without provocation, the nonmen attack the survivors of the crash.  after chasing the inchoroi back into the ark, the nonmen set a watch and go back to fighting each other.  Cujara Cinmoi dabbles in so crzy sht, figuring out how make himself and the males of his race immortal by murdering their wives.  they does it.  later they are so insane because they cannot believe what they have done, they blame it all on the inchoroi, attack again, and kill all but 2. 

Simas Polchias

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« Reply #53 on: October 13, 2015, 01:03:51 pm »
the nonmen would certainly be inclined to write that out of their history
Judging by erraticism concept, large part of the cunuroi ended like inchoroi - rapist and murderers with "orange & blue morality". It's not uncommon when enemy figure transforms into a teacher- or sculpturor-like. So, actually, cunuroi could boast their atrocities, throwing vivid descriptions of them right into listeners ears just like Nil'Giccass did with his sermons.

But that's not true with their halaroi pupils, who would certainly want to lighten the image of teachers to a bearable degree.

mrganondorf

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« Reply #54 on: October 13, 2015, 01:46:53 pm »
the nonmen would certainly be inclined to write that out of their history
Judging by erraticism concept, large part of the cunuroi ended like inchoroi - rapist and murderers with "orange & blue morality". It's not uncommon when enemy figure transforms into a teacher- or sculpturor-like. So, actually, cunuroi could boast their atrocities, throwing vivid descriptions of them right into listeners ears just like Nil'Giccass did with his sermons.

But that's not true with their halaroi pupils, who would certainly want to lighten the image of teachers to a bearable degree.

i hadn't thought about it like that, that is totally true SP and it really fits with the stuff Kellhus sees when he is descending into the Kyudean mansion.  the nonman descriptions are sooo much like the inchoroi there.  nice!

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« Reply #55 on: October 13, 2015, 04:50:09 pm »
the nonmen would certainly be inclined to write that out of their history
Judging by erraticism concept, large part of the cunuroi ended like inchoroi - rapist and murderers with "orange & blue morality". It's not uncommon when enemy figure transforms into a teacher- or sculpturor-like. So, actually, cunuroi could boast their atrocities, throwing vivid descriptions of them right into listeners ears just like Nil'Giccass did with his sermons.

But that's not true with their halaroi pupils, who would certainly want to lighten the image of teachers to a bearable degree.

Well, more evidence that perhaps my theory that started all this is in fact true?  The Inchoroi gave them a dose of exactly what they gave themselves, knowing the effect it would ultimately have.
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

Simas Polchias

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« Reply #56 on: October 17, 2015, 12:07:27 am »
Well, more evidence that perhaps my theory that started all this is in fact true?  The Inchoroi gave them a dose of exactly what they gave themselves, knowing the effect it would ultimately have.
I love your theory. Especially because it's an alien logic enough one could expect from the race of rapist crusaders.

The Spaces Between

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« Reply #57 on: November 10, 2015, 03:17:04 am »
Well, to me, "crushed into instants" speaks to the how Nonmen perceive time, flattened out and non-linear, in a fashion.  Like Auriga, says, I don't believe her face is literally crushed, more figuratively reduced.  Her, face, rather than being the flowing beauty of the living, is a face reduced only to glimpses of it's former self.  In other words, composed not in the now, but in memory, a collection of former instants.  This speaks to a lack of self-ness, which is actually set up by the context, I think.  Look at the whole sentence:

"Aisarinqu screams and Aisarinqu screams, again and again, not so much words as a storm of occasions, her delicate face crushed into instants and flayed across an age, for theirs had not been a happy union."

He, I think the crux is "not so much words as a storm of occasions" which is what "her delicate face crushed into instants and flayed across an age" is describing.  So, she screams, not in the sense of sound, but with her face showing all the anguish of all the instants splayed across the ages of their unhappiness.

The big question isn't, for me, whether they killed their wives and daughters, because I think it's clear they did.  The question is why?  It wasn't just some male caprice it seems, because we see both Aisralu and Aisarinqu goading him to do it.  In this sense, he seems reluctant and they seem determined on this outcome.  This seems to point to the fact that whatever the condition facing the Nonmen women, it was untenable to both the women and the men.

Also, consider this line, "The white spark of some faraway light refracts in her tears, so that her contrition seems holy, and his embittered and profane."  Both have contrition and considering Bakker's Cristian background, I think contrition here is the "the repentance of past sins during or after confession."  Here, context to the Aisarinqu scene, it is an act of confession.  He kills her, not for her sins, or his, but seemingly for both theirs.

Actually, now thinking on all this, what if you are right, with "Whatever gave them immortality must of drove their sexual craving crazy."  That would go right back to my hypothesis that spawned this thread, that the Womb-Plague wasn't a weapon, per se, but was an enlistment.  The Inchoroi gave them exactly what they had given themselves.  The result?  Wanton promiscuity.  The women, rather than be solely objects to be used, ask, nah, perhaps demand, for death instead?

I'm not sure.  Very interesting to think about though.


just read this part in TWLW and i couldnt help but be reminded of your post

Quote
"Do you remember your wife?"
"I remember all that I have lost."
She is beautiful. She knows she is beautiful because she so resembles her mother, Esmenet, who was the most celebrated beauty in the Three Seas. And mortal beauty, she knows, finds its measure in the immortal...
"How did she die?"
A single tear falls from his right eye, hangs like a bead of glass from his jaw. "With the others... Cir'kumir teles pim'larata..."
"Do I resemble her?"
"Perhaps..." he says, lowering his gaze. "If you wept or screamed... If there was blood."
She moves closer, into the smell of him, sits so that her knees brush his shins. His pouch hangs from his waist, partially hooked in a miniature thicket of stems. Vertigo billows through her, a sudden horror of tipping, as if the pouch were a babe set too close to a table's edge. She clutches his forearms.
"You tremble," she whispers, resisting the urge to glance at the pouch. "Do you want me? Do you want to..." She swallows. "To take me?"
He draws away his arms, stares down into his palms. Beyond him, clouds pile like inky flotsam beneath the stars. Dry lightning scorches the plains a barren white. She glimpses land piling atop land, scabbed edges, woollen reaches.
"I want to..." he says.
"Yes?"
He lifts his eyes as if drawing them against weighted threads. "I... I want to... to strangle you... to split you with my—"
His breath catches. Murder floats in the sorrow of his gaze. He speaks like someone marooned in a stranger's soul. "I want to hear you shriek."
And she can feel the musky strength of him, the impotence of her flailing arms, clawing fingers, should he simply choose...
What? a stranded fragment of her asks. What are you doing? She's not quite certain what she intends to do, let alone what she hopes to accomplish. Is she seducing him? For Achamian? For the Qirri?
Or has she finally broken under the weight of her suffering? Is that what it is? After all this time, is she still the child traded between sailors, weeping to the moan of timbers and men?
She glimpses herself climbing into the circuit of Cleric's arms, taking his waist into the circuit of her legs. Her breath catches at the thought of his antique virility, the union of her flower and his stone. Her stomach quails at the thought of his arcane disfigurement, the ugliness heaving against her, into her.
"Because you love me?"
"I..."
He grimaces, and she glimpses Sranc howling by the light of sorcerous fire. He raises his face to the vault of the night, and she sees a world before human nations, a nocturnal age, when Nonmen marched in hosts from their great underworld mansions, driving the Sons of Men before them.
"No!" Cleric cries. "No! Because I... I need to remember! I must remember!"
And miraculously, she sees it. Her purpose and her intent.
"And so you must betray..."
His passion blows from him, and he falls still—very still. Clarity peers out from his eyes, a millennial assurance. Gone is the bewildered stoop, the listless air of indecision. He pulls his shoulders and arms into an antique pose of nobility. He draws his hands behind him, seems to clasp them in the small of his back. It is a posture she recognizes from Cil-Aujas and its innumerable engravings.
The voices of the scalpers continue to feud and bicker. The clouds continue to climb, a shroud drawing across the gaping bowl of Heaven. The Captain is speaking, but low rolling thunder obscures his voice.
The first darts of rain tap across the dust and grasses.
"Who?" Mimara presses. "Who are you, truly?"
The immortal Ishroi watches her, his smile wry, his eyes luminous with something too profound to be mere regret.
"Nil'giccas..." he murmurs. "I am Nil'giccas. The Last Nonman King."


id be interested to know if anyone can interpret "With the others... Cir'kumir teles pim'larata..."

i think the theory that the nonmen murdered their women in a sexual-violence fuelled effort to remember their love for them after being granted immortality/erraticism is disturbing enough to just be true.

definitely an effective weapon to seal the world and damn the nonmen and get them onside with the inchoroi agenda.


"A terror, so profound, so abiding–and, yes, pure–that all other fears guttered into nothingness for lack of air. A terror that was a gift… such was the peace and certainty that followed upon it."

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« Reply #58 on: November 10, 2015, 12:08:10 pm »
just read this part in TWLW and i couldnt help but be reminded of your post

Quote
"Do you remember your wife?"
"I remember all that I have lost."
She is beautiful. She knows she is beautiful because she so resembles her mother, Esmenet, who was the most celebrated beauty in the Three Seas. And mortal beauty, she knows, finds its measure in the immortal...
"How did she die?"
A single tear falls from his right eye, hangs like a bead of glass from his jaw. "With the others... Cir'kumir teles pim'larata..."
"Do I resemble her?"
"Perhaps..." he says, lowering his gaze. "If you wept or screamed... If there was blood."
She moves closer, into the smell of him, sits so that her knees brush his shins. His pouch hangs from his waist, partially hooked in a miniature thicket of stems. Vertigo billows through her, a sudden horror of tipping, as if the pouch were a babe set too close to a table's edge. She clutches his forearms.
"You tremble," she whispers, resisting the urge to glance at the pouch. "Do you want me? Do you want to..." She swallows. "To take me?"
He draws away his arms, stares down into his palms. Beyond him, clouds pile like inky flotsam beneath the stars. Dry lightning scorches the plains a barren white. She glimpses land piling atop land, scabbed edges, woollen reaches.
"I want to..." he says.
"Yes?"
He lifts his eyes as if drawing them against weighted threads. "I... I want to... to strangle you... to split you with my—"
His breath catches. Murder floats in the sorrow of his gaze. He speaks like someone marooned in a stranger's soul. "I want to hear you shriek."
And she can feel the musky strength of him, the impotence of her flailing arms, clawing fingers, should he simply choose...
What? a stranded fragment of her asks. What are you doing? She's not quite certain what she intends to do, let alone what she hopes to accomplish. Is she seducing him? For Achamian? For the Qirri?
Or has she finally broken under the weight of her suffering? Is that what it is? After all this time, is she still the child traded between sailors, weeping to the moan of timbers and men?
She glimpses herself climbing into the circuit of Cleric's arms, taking his waist into the circuit of her legs. Her breath catches at the thought of his antique virility, the union of her flower and his stone. Her stomach quails at the thought of his arcane disfigurement, the ugliness heaving against her, into her.
"Because you love me?"
"I..."
He grimaces, and she glimpses Sranc howling by the light of sorcerous fire. He raises his face to the vault of the night, and she sees a world before human nations, a nocturnal age, when Nonmen marched in hosts from their great underworld mansions, driving the Sons of Men before them.
"No!" Cleric cries. "No! Because I... I need to remember! I must remember!"
And miraculously, she sees it. Her purpose and her intent.
"And so you must betray..."
His passion blows from him, and he falls still—very still. Clarity peers out from his eyes, a millennial assurance. Gone is the bewildered stoop, the listless air of indecision. He pulls his shoulders and arms into an antique pose of nobility. He draws his hands behind him, seems to clasp them in the small of his back. It is a posture she recognizes from Cil-Aujas and its innumerable engravings.
The voices of the scalpers continue to feud and bicker. The clouds continue to climb, a shroud drawing across the gaping bowl of Heaven. The Captain is speaking, but low rolling thunder obscures his voice.
The first darts of rain tap across the dust and grasses.
"Who?" Mimara presses. "Who are you, truly?"
The immortal Ishroi watches her, his smile wry, his eyes luminous with something too profound to be mere regret.
"Nil'giccas..." he murmurs. "I am Nil'giccas. The Last Nonman King."


id be interested to know if anyone can interpret "With the others... Cir'kumir teles pim'larata..."

i think the theory that the nonmen murdered their women in a sexual-violence fuelled effort to remember their love for them after being granted immortality/erraticism is disturbing enough to just be true.

definitely an effective weapon to seal the world and damn the nonmen and get them onside with the inchoroi agenda.

That's a great catch there, I wish we had more examples of Nonmen speaking Ihrimsû so that we would have a better idea what these mean.

If we take the theory that the Nonmen can only remember through reproduction of the context of the original memory, or at least, through it's simulation, then his insistence that the sexualized violence toward Mimara will help him remember his wife signifies that, at the very least, his memory of her is tied to such violence.

It's certainly some strong circumstantial evidence.  I think the closest we come to direct evidence is in Four Revelations.  If you haven't yet seen it, I tried to do a color coded version here in an attempt to render the disjunctive nature of the narrative more readable.

Again, great post, thanks for bring that up.
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 #59 on: November 10, 2015, 04:48:09 pm »
Awesome find!  Definitely adds fuel to the fire.

I know this has been discussed before. But if the Nonmen were complicit in the death of their women, it would support the theory that the WP caused the women to give birth to the first Sranc. I mean, the fact that Sranc are corruptions of Nonmen can't be a coincidence, can it?

On a related note, did the Sranc come *after* the womb plague but *before* Pir-Pahal?