[TUC Spoilers] Why Sorweel and Esmenet are Saved

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Duskweaver

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« on: August 25, 2017, 07:42:55 am »
I just realised something. Yatwer thinks Sorweel and Esmenet killed Kellhus.

We know that Yatwer cannot see Kelmomas (as he's the No-God) or the skin-spies (as they're soulless). We also know that, during the First Apocalypse, the Gods attributed the actions of the No-God and its soulless slaves to Men. The Multilated also tell us that the Gods cannot reason, only intuit. (I wonder if this is also why the Gods hate premeditation, and more generally people who think too much? Being incapable of reason, they hate and fear it. Perhaps reason looks the same as sorcery to them? A way of changing the World in ways the Gods cannot fathom.) It seems the Gods work around their unconscious blindnesses (their unknown unknowns) by linking what they can see together in the simplest possible causal chain. I would also argue that the passage of time must seem a little fuzzy to beings that see from the standpoint of Eternity, so gaps of a few hours or even days are ignored in constructing these causal chains. The Gods are basically none-too-bright conspiracy theorists, trying to construct models of what occurs in the World through their own cognitive biases. And that's even more the case the closer we come to the No-God walking. So, rather thick conspiracy theorists with Altzeimers and significant anosognosia.

So what does Yatwer see? She sees Esmenet recruiting the Narindar/WLW to kill Kellhus. She sees Sorweel coming right up to Kellhus with a Chorae. She sees Esmenet (still hating Kellhus, still wanting him dead) dropping a file in an act of motherly love and compassion to someone Yatwer cannot actually see (but she certainly can still feel Esme's motherly emotions). She sees that file and Sorweel's Chorae carried into the same place where Kellhus is (this one is a little speculative, but I think the theory works without this point anyway) by the one she cannot see. Then she sees Kellhus salted.

The most obvious explanation, from Yatwer's very limited PoV, is that Sorweel and Esmenet are responsible for killing Kellhus, for carrying out Yatwer's will. Even better, they did it filled with hatred towards Kellhus, but without any actual thought. That is the mark of the Righteous, after all, for there to be no interval of thought or reason between (Divine) Will and Action. (This is also why the Holca thane is Saved by Gilgaol, because he fights without thought, making the War God's Will manifest in the World without the filters of consciousness.)

So both Sorweel and Esme are Saved by Yatwer's Grace because Yatwer has convinced herself that they killed Kellhus. And indirectly, of course, they did. That's the hilarious thing: Yatwer is actually sort of right. Sorweel and Esmenet did set the chain of causality in motion that led to Kelmomas exorcising Ajokli, leaving Kellhus vulnerable to being salted in the Golden Room. Without Sorweel and Esmenet, Kellhus/Ajokli would almost certainly have succeeded in whatever he was planning.

(BTW, am I supposed to be putting that spoiler tag in the title? What's the policy now?)
"Then I looked, and behold, a Whirlwind came out of the North..." - Ezekiel 1:4

"Two things that brand one a coward: using violence when it is not necessary; and shrinking from it when it is."

Cüréthañ

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« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2017, 11:29:36 am »
interesting idea, but didn't the WLW remember killing Esmenet though?

I feel like the Gods get much their knowledge of Earwa from their worshippers' memories/souls. Storks et al do recon but do not impart any meaning.

The first apocalypse was probably like a flash of white noise to them, I think.

Somewhere Sranc are described as "lies made flesh", which is also pretty interesting and perhaps pertinent.

 The WLW sections are revealing in that they describe him doing stuff as though remembering and only focus on specific moments that have great importance to Yatwer. I.e. he moves between moments of giving to the places he needs to be to enact Her will.

I'm not sure that the Hundred have anything to do with Mimara's salvation, and I'm fairly convinced they aren't the source of the Judgement that damns people. Rather, I think their intercession is opportunistic, but I concede that is mostly a hunch rather than for reasons I can properly articulate.

Edit; another interesting thing is that Psatma says only Yatwer and Gilgaol can forcibly take souls rather than just catching those who reach for them when they die. Something Sorweel's fate seems to demonstrate after he decides that the Ordeal is for realzies.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2017, 12:03:34 pm by Cüréthañ »
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H

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« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2017, 11:50:43 am »
(BTW, am I supposed to be putting that spoiler tag in the title? What's the policy now?)

Yeah, we are keeping it in thread titles for the time being.

I'm not sure that the Hundred have anything to do with Mimara's salvation, and I'm fairly convinced they aren't the source of the Judgement that dawns people. Rather, I think their intercession is opportunistic, but I concede that is mostly a hunch rather than for reasons I can properly articulate.

Right, I don't think that the Judging Eye has anything to do with the Hundred, really.  From what little we are told of it, the source is not the 100, but the actual god of gods.  Mimara's judgement is beyond that of the 100, it comes direct from the Cubit, the fount of all morality in Eärwa.
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

Cüréthañ

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« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2017, 12:00:39 pm »
Yeah I agree with that, H. But ... redemption has always been associated with the Hundred as a type of intervention by in world sources prior to Mimara, and ciphrang certainly seem to prey on those damned and otherwise forsaken by the Gods - which makes Duskweaver's speculation interesting to me. Especially in the case of Esme.

 Iirc, Mimara sees the fate of the scalpers as playthings of ciphrang but she doesn't give any such hints with Esme.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2017, 12:02:49 pm by Cüréthañ »
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Sausuna

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« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2017, 12:38:56 pm »
The most obvious explanation, from Yatwer's very limited PoV, is that Sorweel and Esmenet are responsible for killing Kellhus, for carrying out Yatwer's will. Even better, they did it filled with hatred towards Kellhus, but without any actual thought. That is the mark of the Righteous, after all, for there to be no interval of thought or reason between (Divine) Will and Action. (This is also why the Holca thane is Saved by Gilgaol, because he fights without thought, making the War God's Will manifest in the World without the filters of consciousness.)

So both Sorweel and Esme are Saved by Yatwer's Grace because Yatwer has convinced herself that they killed Kellhus. And indirectly, of course, they did. That's the hilarious thing: Yatwer is actually sort of right. Sorweel and Esmenet did set the chain of causality in motion that led to Kelmomas exorcising Ajokli, leaving Kellhus vulnerable to being salted in the Golden Room. Without Sorweel and Esmenet, Kellhus/Ajokli would almost certainly have succeeded in whatever he was planning.
Honestly, the entire situation with Sorweel raises questions to me. Yatwer were already trying to get him to assist in killing Kellhus at the same time as she has the White-Luck warrior going to kill him. Why? The White-Luck is (in her mind) assured to succeed, so why recruit and doubly aid (face magic and chorae hiding pouch) a second assassin when there is no chance of failing with the White-Luck?

We also have to question Kellhus' statements on the matter.
"When they attack me, their assassins are doomed since Creation to succeed, and then they fail as they were always doomed to fail. Eternity is transformed and the Hundred with it, oblivious to the transformation. The Unholy Ark is the disfiguring absence, the pit that consumes all trace of its consumption! To the degree it moves us, we pursue a Fate the Gods can never see…"
To me this would imply that Yatwer, after the fact, would know they were always going to fail. That once they failed, she would have always thought (in her eternal mind) said plan wasn't going to work.

@Curethan, Mimara does see Esme as saved in The Unholy Consult. At least from what I recall, can't find the reference off-hand.

Cüréthañ

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« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2017, 01:14:45 pm »
Indeed Sausuna. I was referring to the lack of particulars we get. When Mimara looks at Galian she sees why he is damned and his fate in the outside and we share that knowledge. With Esme we just get the bald fact that she is not damned.

I wonder how Yatwer rationalized the failure of the white luck. Maybe she decides that she was really doing something else... or perhaps she blames Ajokli.

 Even more strange that she takes Sorweel after he fails, isn't it? Or maybe he is saved because his real mother intervenes, as per Kinuit tradition.
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Sausuna

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« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2017, 01:33:34 pm »
Indeed Sausuna. I was referring to the lack of particulars we get. When Mimara looks at Galian she sees why he is damned and his fate in the outside and we share that knowledge. With Esme we just get the bald fact that she is not damned.

I wonder how Yatwer rationalized the failure of the white luck. Maybe she decides that she was really doing something else... or perhaps she blames Ajokli.

 Even more strange that she takes Sorweel after he fails, isn't it? Or maybe he is saved because his real mother intervenes, as per Kinuit tradition.
Oh, I gotcha. Sorry about the confusion.

As for Yatwer, I assume it would relate to the nature of the White-Luck. The White-Luck is the perfect coincidence of action and fate to achieve a goal. I think Yatwer would think, 'that wasn't the White-Luck. It would have worked if it was.'

Interesting theory on Sorweel, I never thought his mother truly might have helped. But I really like the idea, given what a rough go he has. I think Yatwer would also generally be fine with Sorweel, succeeding or failing, because he at least tried in the end.

Cüréthañ

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« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2017, 02:31:06 pm »
Also, now that I think about it, Sorweel didn't really do anything that would damn him that I can think of. Seemed like a really decent fellow aside from his teen angst.

We assume almost everyone is damned, but we are only introduced to pretty scummy characters for the most part.
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Sausuna

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« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2017, 02:47:57 pm »
Also, now that I think about it, Sorweel didn't really do anything that would damn him that I can think of. Seemed like a really decent fellow aside from his teen angst.

We assume almost everyone is damned, but we are only introduced to pretty scummy characters for the most part.
True enough, we mostly run into Ordealsmen, Scylvendi, Sorcerers, Nonmen, Inchoroi... That said, one shouldn't forget the phrase (can't recall who said it) "There were a thousand Hells for a hundred Heavens - so many more ways to drown in fire and anguish than to wander meadows in paradise.". I think it might have been Proyas?

Duskweaver

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« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2017, 02:52:26 pm »
To me this would imply that Yatwer, after the fact, would know they were always going to fail. That once they failed, she would have always thought (in her eternal mind) said plan wasn't going to work.
My point is that, as far as Yatwer is aware, Sorweel did not fail. In the branch of Reality in which Sorweel was head-stabbed by Kelmomas, Kellhus died (thanks to Kelmomas). So when Sorweel's soul reaches the Outside, Yatwer knows Kellhus was slain. It does not matter that, from Sorweel's PoV, Kellhus is not dead yet. To Yatwer, there is no 'yet'. It might not have worked out 100% as Yatwer foresaw, but the final result was the same, and that's all Yatwer cares about - because it is all she is capable of knowing.

Mortals are divided by increments of time. For us, Being is Becoming. Gods are instead divided by branches of Reality. Sorweel and the other WLW were sent by different Yatwers from different branches. That's what Kellhus was getting at with his "Eternity is transformed and the Hundred with it, oblivious to the transformation" bit. The No-God's approach shifts the metaphysics of Earwa from a singular path fixed by Divine Will to something more akin to the Many-Worlds interpretation of modern physics. We even get a hint of this in Malowebi's PoV sections in the Golden Room. He starts out observing the branch of Reality where Kellhus/Ajokli triumphs. Then Mimara looks upon the Carapace with the JE. Then we're back to Malowebi and he awakens to the branch of Reality where Kelmomas fucked it all up, and Kellhus is already salt. Only later do we get his observations of how we got to that point. The weird timey-wimey nature of all this is absolutely deliberate on Bakker's part, I think: he's telling us that Reality has divided, that Eternity has been transformed. Malowebi, being both dead and alive, perceives this both as a mortal (as a linear progression of moments in time) and as the Gods do (as one Reality winking out like a soon-forgotten dream, and a new Reality snapping him to wakefulness).
"Then I looked, and behold, a Whirlwind came out of the North..." - Ezekiel 1:4

"Two things that brand one a coward: using violence when it is not necessary; and shrinking from it when it is."

Sausuna

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« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2017, 03:14:27 pm »
To me this would imply that Yatwer, after the fact, would know they were always going to fail. That once they failed, she would have always thought (in her eternal mind) said plan wasn't going to work.
My point is that, as far as Yatwer is aware, Sorweel did not fail. In the branch of Reality in which Sorweel was head-stabbed by Kelmomas, Kellhus died (thanks to Kelmomas). So when Sorweel's soul reaches the Outside, Yatwer knows Kellhus was slain. It does not matter that, from Sorweel's PoV, Kellhus is not dead yet. To Yatwer, there is no 'yet'. It might not have worked out 100% as Yatwer foresaw, but the final result was the same, and that's all Yatwer cares about - because it is all she is capable of knowing.

Mortals are divided by increments of time. For us, Being is Becoming. Gods are instead divided by branches of Reality. Sorweel and the other WLW were sent by different Yatwers from different branches. That's what Kellhus was getting at with his "Eternity is transformed and the Hundred with it, oblivious to the transformation" bit. The No-God's approach shifts the metaphysics of Earwa from a singular path fixed by Divine Will to something more akin to the Many-Worlds interpretation of modern physics. We even get a hint of this in Malowebi's PoV sections in the Golden Room. He starts out observing the branch of Reality where Kellhus/Ajokli triumphs. Then Mimara looks upon the Carapace with the JE. Then we're back to Malowebi and he awakens to the branch of Reality where Kelmomas fucked it all up, and Kellhus is already salt. Only later do we get his observations of how we got to that point. The weird timey-wimey nature of all this is absolutely deliberate on Bakker's part, I think: he's telling us that Reality has divided, that Eternity has been transformed. Malowebi, being both dead and alive, perceives this both as a mortal (as a linear progression of moments in time) and as the Gods do (as one Reality winking out like a soon-forgotten dream, and a new Reality snapping him to wakefulness).
I think Yatwer would be quite aware a knife hit Sorweel in the head before he took the chorae out and touched Kellhus. Just because Kellhus died later, I don't see why she would inherently attribute it to Sorweel. I think it more likely Yatwer knew both Sorweel and the White-Luck warrior would always fail, but also accepts Kellhus was always going to die elsewhere (Though, this might come into doubt later, given we don't know where Kellhus is yet and in what capacity he influences the world later, if any). I assume the rationalization on her part was either she never helped them or were using them as ploys to put him in a dangerous situation.

I think what Kellhus is saying with that bit is that they don't realize things change in eternity. Yatwer thought the White-Luck Warrior (original) was going to succeed. That's how things always were. When that didn't happen, she retroactively always knew it was always going to fail. That's how I take the idea of 'Eternity changes'. Yatwer isn't aware that eternity changed, she isn't in a position to realize things can happen differently that they've already happened. Hence the, 'and when they fail, they were always doomed to fail.'

To me, I think of time as more like a stream in this instance. And the No-God/Ark are capable of changing the course of said stream. But the Gods, which metaphysically exist at every part of this stream, cannot conceive of it changing courses at all. So say the stream is changed, I see that they would rationalize it as 'the stream was always like that.'

You might be right in regards to Malowebi, though I figured it was just presented that way to up the suspense of the reveal.

SuJuroit

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« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2017, 06:40:41 pm »
I like the theory in the original post; when reality is rewritten so too are the gods rewritten, which means that when Kellhus dies, he's always died, in that spot and in that way, from the perspective of The Hundred, and all the acts leading up to it were also preordained to them.  Plus it meshes with RSB's statement that salvation (at least from The Hundred) only requires that the God/Goddess in question likes you. 

Couple quibbles though.  First, can The Hundred see Kellhus' death, there in the Golden Room?  Aren't they blind to Golgotterath and everything inside it?  Does Yatwer even know he's dead?  Also, I'm pretty sure merely being soulless doesn't render one invisible in the sight of The Hundred.  Animals are soulless and they don't appear to be invisible to the gods.  I think the gods can see sranc, skin spies, etc. just fine.  They just can't see the No-God or Golgotterath, or anything inside it, so from their perspective things like sranc are merely the work of men.  Not much different from the way the Scarlet Spires were utterly convinced skin spies were artifacts of the Psukhe.

The Sharmat

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« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2017, 08:27:02 pm »
Well shit Duskweaver, I didn't catch any of that. Good job. Kind of takes some of the power from the "Mimara can save people herself" theory.

Francis Buck

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« Reply #13 on: August 26, 2017, 04:15:31 am »
Amazing thread and posts, gonna have to re-read it a few times though lol. Once we hit TGO, I kinda stopped putting much effort into unraveling the WLW plot-points, in part because I was assuming it would be laid out somewhat coherently in TUC (which was hilariously naive me, in retrospect). Nonetheless, the nature of the Gods and their atemporality has always been fascinating to me and even more-so after TUC, but your assessment of everything is honestly pretty mind blowing and makes a shitload of sense. I keep forgetting that the Gods lack an ability to reason, but as you demonstrated it seems to be pretty important.

I assumed Esmenet was Saved going purely by Mimara's visions of her, but I hadn't considered Sorweel, really. One thing that this sort of dovetails with is a hypothesis I've been going over in my head since TUC:

Esmenet is a mighty Ciphrang. Like Cnaiur, who is a veritable Prince of Hell, so too is Esemenet a "Princess of Heaven", shall we say - and perhaps our only example of the elusive "angelic Ciphrang" which RSB mentioned in an interview years ago.

I was actually going to start a thread on this anyway and I don't want to de-rail this one, but you can see my thoughts on it here: http://www.second-apocalypse.com/index.php?topic=2403.0

Woden

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« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2017, 07:11:40 am »
And what if Kellhus is who saves Esmenet? If he becomes some sort of hunger in the Outside can save people too?
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