ARC: TDTDCB Chapter 3

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MSJ

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« on: April 23, 2018, 10:52:43 am »
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If the world is a game whose rules are written by the God, and sorcerers are those who cheat and cheat, then who has written the rules of sorcery?

—ZARATHINIUS, A DEFENCE OF THE ARCANE ARTS

As always, its here for your leisure.
“No. I am your end. Before your eyes I will put your seed to the knife. I will quarter your carcass and feed it to the dogs. Your bones I will grind to dust and cast to the winds. I will strike down those who speak your name or the name of your fathers, until ‘Yursalka’ becomes as meaningless as infant babble. I will blot you out, hunt down your every trace! The track of your life has come to me,

BeardFisher-King

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« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2018, 12:33:45 pm »
First of all, what a great epigraph! Who, indeed?
"The heart of any other, because it has a will, would remain forever mysterious."

-from "Snow Falling On Cedars", by David Guterson

Wilshire

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« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2018, 05:40:36 pm »
First of all, what a great epigraph! Who, indeed?

Read a different fantasy series where God(s), ie the creators for the world(s), turn out to be just exceptionally powerful sorcerers. They go so far to say "sufficiently powerful magic is indistinguishable from miracles" and of course by extension, sufficiently powerful mages are therefore indistinguishable from a God.

I thought the analogy very apt for TSA - especially given Kellhus God-nosis.
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TheCulminatingApe

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« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2018, 07:22:13 pm »
A pretty good read, this Chapter.

Note Achamian's recollections of when he first experienced the onta "the collapse of seeing into being... or the collapse of subject and object?

The Tusk is described as "innocent", and later Maithanet tells Proyas that "it witnesses us, even as we behold it.  Shades of WHAT DO YOU SEE?

"... the place had become an artifact and the artifact a place.  To walk in Sumna was to walk through scripture.  A place with deep meaning

Maithanet is "as tall as any Norsirai - hints of his origin?  His name means "instruction" and he is "to be obeyed".

It is implied quite strongly that Sarcellus is Consult.
Sez who?
Seswatha, that's who.

MSJ

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« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2018, 01:06:11 am »
Reading. Chapter 3, and this from Akka PoV, I thought foreshadowing of his prophet of the past role.

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And Achamian wondered where it all went, the past, and why, if it were gone, it made his heart ache so.
“No. I am your end. Before your eyes I will put your seed to the knife. I will quarter your carcass and feed it to the dogs. Your bones I will grind to dust and cast to the winds. I will strike down those who speak your name or the name of your fathers, until ‘Yursalka’ becomes as meaningless as infant babble. I will blot you out, hunt down your every trace! The track of your life has come to me,

MSJ

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« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2018, 01:24:24 am »
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Its meaning would be unknown to you. Mai’tathana is Thoti-Eännorean, the language of the Tusk. It means ‘instruction.’”

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The fact that Maithanet so effortlessly secured the Seat. That he was able, in a matter of weeks, to purge the Shrial Apparati of all the Emperor’s spies.”


WHO ARE THE DUNYÄIN?

“No. I am your end. Before your eyes I will put your seed to the knife. I will quarter your carcass and feed it to the dogs. Your bones I will grind to dust and cast to the winds. I will strike down those who speak your name or the name of your fathers, until ‘Yursalka’ becomes as meaningless as infant babble. I will blot you out, hunt down your every trace! The track of your life has come to me,

Wilshire

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« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2018, 04:30:13 pm »
Reading. Chapter 3, and this from Akka PoV, I thought foreshadowing of his prophet of the past role.

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And Achamian wondered where it all went, the past, and why, if it were gone, it made his heart ache so.

This is a nice quote. Akka has some really emotional moments throughout - probably more so than any other character. It seems that of all the POVs we get, Akka feels the most deeply, and I suspect this has something to do with Bakker himself. Akka is a hum-drum mediocre philosopher(magi) and a skeptic of his own order, something of a Wizard even now. Analogues to Bakker, or at how Bakker sees himself, probably abound. 
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Dora Vee

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« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2018, 11:29:31 pm »
This is one of those examples of the "Mandela effect" for me. I thought Proyas yelled at Achamian here. He didn't, but he was very angry. From the moment his name was even mentioned, I knew that he would be a favorite character for me.

I guess this is why some people read books again. Anyway, when we first meet my baby, he is weeping. Yea, he's meeting the Shriah, but Proyas was never afraid of shedding tears.

As for the Shriah, yea that was creepy how he noticed what Achamian was. I actually thought that Maithinet was Consult. Seemed obvious to me at the time, especially given what he asks at the end.

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"I submit to your Word, God. I commend my soul to the fierce task that you have laid before me. I shall make a temple of the field of war."

Okay terrific!
Faith is the truth of passion. Since no passion is more true than another, faith is the truth of nothing.   
                          -Ajencis, the fourth analytic of man

MSJ

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« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2018, 01:49:17 am »
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The Tusk. Holiest of holies.

Love Som's tusk, exactly how I envision this scene with Proyas.
“No. I am your end. Before your eyes I will put your seed to the knife. I will quarter your carcass and feed it to the dogs. Your bones I will grind to dust and cast to the winds. I will strike down those who speak your name or the name of your fathers, until ‘Yursalka’ becomes as meaningless as infant babble. I will blot you out, hunt down your every trace! The track of your life has come to me,

H

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« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2018, 11:34:28 am »
I honestly don't know what to make of this chapter.  In the grand scheme of things, it seems more like just a set-up for later events and something of an info dump.  I don't mean this in a bad way, just what it's narrative purpose is.

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If the world is a game whose rules are written by the God, and sorcerers are those who cheat and cheat, then who has written the rules of sorcery?

—ZARATHINIUS, A DEFENCE OF THE ARCANE ARTS

I think the shortest answer here would be that the presumption that sorcerers "cheat" is simply just incorrect.  This makes sense with what we know extra-textually, that pre-edited Tusk, sorcery was not branded anathema.  The Mark, presumptive as defacto proof of the "cheating" and so reaconing of the world against sorcery really isn't any such thing.  The Psûkhe is proof that this isn't true.  Sorcery isn't offensive to the world, or the God, rather the manner and method is.  The Gnosis and Analogies are like taking a sledgehammer to the Real, you'll get what you want, but there will be collateral damage.  The Psûkhe is more like re-sculpting, or refashioning, in the same manner of "legitimate" creation, thus, no Mark.

Another aspect is that sorcery is presumably of the God of gods, not the 100 at all and possibly the 100 are nearly as derivative as sorcery itself, just residing on the Outside rather than the Inside.
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

MSJ

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« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2018, 11:28:14 pm »
Quote from:  H
I think the shortest answer here would be that the presumption that sorcerers "cheat" is simply just incorrect.

Correct. As we get in TGO/TUC some of this confirmed in the Myths of the Nonmen. Also, Bakker hints extratextually, too.

Its how the God split and created all of it. Why did the God split his/her self...I'd love to know.
“No. I am your end. Before your eyes I will put your seed to the knife. I will quarter your carcass and feed it to the dogs. Your bones I will grind to dust and cast to the winds. I will strike down those who speak your name or the name of your fathers, until ‘Yursalka’ becomes as meaningless as infant babble. I will blot you out, hunt down your every trace! The track of your life has come to me,

BeardFisher-King

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« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2018, 03:51:31 pm »
BFK's ARC: TDTCB, Chapter Three

I have lots of thoughts on this chapter, so....onward!

Here's a very fine paragraph: Achamian musing on the voyage to Sumna.
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Maithenet carried a plague whose primary symptom was certainty. How the God could be equated with the absence of hesitation was something Achamian had never understood. After all, what was the God but the mystery that burdened them all? What was hesitation but a dwelling-within this mystery?
A hint of the beauty and necessity of skepticism. Yet, not a hard commitment to radical skepticism, but to a hesitant kind. Further on, musing on the isolation of sorcerers:
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He had expected the mythic to raise him up, to exalt his every act, and instead he was set adrift...Detachment enlightened no one. He could turn this ship into a shining inferno, then walk unscathed across the surface of the water, and yet he could never be...certain
And there Bakker shows us the cost of skepticism: the yearning for certainty. Beautiful and succinct.

More "small-screen" Bakker in this chapter. We get our introduction to Esmenet. I like this scene a lot. When asked if she believes Achamian,  Esmenet's answer, "Let's just say, Akka, that I believe the question of the Consult exists", which triggers this reflection from Achamian:
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Even for him, the Consult had retreated from the terror of fact to the rootless anxiety of questions. Had he, by mourning the absence of an answer, forgotten the importance of the question?
Or, said another way, has Achamian's skepticism over the Mandate mission dulled his awareness of the mission's importance? Here, Bakker shows another danger of skepticism: its tendency to lead to resignation.

Then, the scene in the tavern with Achamian, Inrau and Sarcellus. TheCulminatingApe thinks that Sarcellus = Consult is strongly hinted here. The hints are very subtle:
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The man [Sarcellus] between them, his face slack with upper-caste arrogance, met Achamian's eyes and nodded.
and
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The white of his elaborate tunic seemed to shrug off every shadow, but for some reason, his face did not. [italics added]
and finally
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Sarcellus smiled, but his large brown eyes remained curiously dead.
Just enough to plant some unease.

Finally, the scene at the Hagerna. Akka's dismay in the press of the crowd is pretty amusing:
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It hadn't taken Achamian long to regret pressing so close to the Junriüma. Sweat stung his eyes....Achamian found himself periodically clamped by tides of movement....At some point, he cursed everything: the punishing sun, The Thousand Temples, the forearm between his shoulders, Maithanet. But his most savage moments he reserved for Nautzera and for his own damned curiosity.
(Aside: This sounds like BFK in line to pay for gas behind someone buying a dozen Powerball tickets: "Oh, for God's sake, come on already, you $@%!!!". Or, to be honest, BFK driving almost anytime...)

And here's Achamian's thought upon seeing Maithanet for the first time:
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Could the Consult have discovered this lack? Crafted you to fill it?
And I never paid close attention to this beautifully-written scene of Achamian crowd-surfing:
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Then hands were all over him, and he was lifted by strangers onto the surface of the crowd. Palms and fingers, their touch so many and so light, there a moment and then gone. He could feel the sun burn against the black of his beard, against the wet salt of his cheeks. He glimpsed fumbling crevices of soaked cloth, of hair and skin--a ground of faces watching his shadow pass. Across the inner sky of half-closed eyes, the sun was spliced by tears, and he heard a voice, as clear and warm as an autumn afternoon....His body prostrate across hands beneath the sun, Achamian found himself moved to delirious wonder by the sound of the man's voice. Such a voice! One that fell upon thoughts and passions rather than ears, with intonations exquisitely pitched to incite, to enrage.

Simply an amazing scene, upon rereading. (We also get a hint of the Dûnyain abilities of Maithanet!)

This chapter captures everything i love about the series, and I don't think I'll ever tire of revisiting TDTCB.

Chapter Three Body Count: Zero!



« Last Edit: April 29, 2018, 03:50:41 am by BeardFisher-King »
"The heart of any other, because it has a will, would remain forever mysterious."

-from "Snow Falling On Cedars", by David Guterson

TheCulminatingApe

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« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2018, 11:53:44 am »
BFK's ARC: TDTCB, Chapter Three
Then, the scene in the tavern with Achamian, Inrau and Sarcellus. TheCulminatingApe thinks that Sarcellus = Consult is strongly hinted here. The hints are very subtle:
Quote
The man [Sarcellus] between them, his face slack with upper-caste arrogance, met Achamian's eyes and nodded.
and
Quote
The white of his elaborate tunic seemed to shrug off every shadow, but for some reason, his face did not. [italics added]
and finally
Quote
Sarcellus smiled, but his large brown eyes remained curiously dead.
Just enough to plant some unease.

I was actually thinking of the bit after Sarcellus beats Akka up, and then whispers to him - something like "how I've longed to do that, pig" - seems over the top for the common or garden meathead, and suggests there is more going on than just Sarcellus being a bully who randomly batters people for a laugh. 
But yes, the stuff about his face and eyes do point skin-spy-wards, given what we later find out
Sez who?
Seswatha, that's who.

ThoughtsOfThelli

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« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2018, 01:02:11 pm »
Another late comment, but at least I'll be on time for this week's chapter...



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An image of what her daughter might look like came to him: sturdy but fine-boned, dark languid hair chopped low-caste short, a cheek perfectly curved to the cup of a palm. But it was Esmi he actually envisaged. Her as a child.

Confirmation that Akka had never seen Mimara until he met her early in TJE. If I remember correctly, one of them misremembers this at some point.
Also, imagining young Mimara as young Esmenet isn't too far off from the truth. Not that Akka knew this at this point, though.


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She had dwindled in the five years since he had last come to Sumna.

Taking note of another timeline reference...there might be an inconsistency here concerning Achamian and Mimara's recollections during TAE (if there is, I'll add that to the inconsistencies/mistakes thread eventually).


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"The world has the habit" Achamian said, "of breaking the back of my promises."

I feel like this quote, along with the quote about the past that MSJ mentioned earlier and the "I was meant to suffer" one from chapter 1, beautifully sum up Akka's character and story arc.


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Maithanet came from the deep south, Inrau had told him, from Cingulat or Nilnamesh, where the hold of the Thousand Temples was uncertain.

This part of his backstory is presumably true, right? Since I am completely clueless when it comes to geography, could someone confirm this for me?


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But before any words could be spoken, hands guided the Prince, still staring, to one side, and Achamian found himself looking into the serene and surprisingly youthful face of Maithanet.
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The Shriah's face darkened, but his blue eyes glittered with . . . with . . .

More clues to Maithanet's identity. He's most likely only in his mid-to-late 20s at this point!
Also, those Anasûrimbor/Dûnyain supernaturally dominant genetics really are insane. Maithanet's mother was presumably a dark-skinned, dark-haired, brown-eyed Ketyai woman, and yet he still looks Norsirai. Still, not as ridiculous as in the case of his nephews and nieces, as it's just him in this case.


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He can see the Few.
Only the Few could see the Few.

When I first read this, I thought this would turn out to be quite important later on. It seems like it was just another clue to his identity (he's of the Few just like his father and half-brother). Maybe it was also something that helped him uncover some of those plots?


This is one of those examples of the "Mandela effect" for me. I thought Proyas yelled at Achamian here. He didn't, but he was very angry. From the moment his name was even mentioned, I knew that he would be a favorite character for me.

I guess this is why some people read books again. Anyway, when we first meet my baby, he is weeping. Yea, he's meeting the Shriah, but Proyas was never afraid of shedding tears.

The core of Proyas' character is well-established in this early scene, yes. One of the advantages of re-reads, we notice so many new and interesting things. :)


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How many years had passed since he'd last seen him? Four? Five, even?

Another timeline reference to keep note of, this might be useful to help pinpoint Proyas' birth year later.


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The Shriah turned his strong bearded profile to him, and Proyas was struck by the crisp blue of his eyes. "Tell me, Nersei Proyas," Maithanet said with the voice of edict. "Who was that man, that sorcerer, who dared pollute my presence?"

And here Proyas finds himself caught in the web of manipulations of a Dûnyain for the first time. Which will sadly be a constant for the rest of his life, as we know.


Some further remarks: Interesting that we have those mentions that something is "off" about Sarcellus, that absence of something. Remember how Simas was described by Nautzera as being "devoid of sentiment" in the previous chapter? To me that's further evidence that he was indeed a skin-spy at that point. Nautzera thinks that's just part of Simas' character, but it's very likely that it's something else.
"But you’ve simply made the discovery that Thelli made—only without the benefit of her unerring sense of fashion."
-Anasûrimbor Kayûtas (The Great Ordeal, chapter 13)

"You prefer to believe women victims to their passions, but we can be at least as calculating as you. Love does not make us weak, but strong."
-Ykoriana of the Masks (The Third God, chapter 27)

Wilshire

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« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2018, 01:11:30 pm »
Quote
An image of what her daughter might look like came to him: sturdy but fine-boned, dark languid hair chopped low-caste short, a cheek perfectly curved to the cup of a palm. But it was Esmi he actually envisaged. Her as a child.

Confirmation that Akka had never seen Mimara until he met her early in TJE. If I remember correctly, one of them misremembers this at some point.
Also, imagining young Mimara as young Esmenet isn't too far off from the truth. Not that Akka knew this at this point, though.

Quote
She had dwindled in the five years since he had last come to Sumna.

Taking note of another timeline reference...there might be an inconsistency here concerning Achamian and Mimara's recollections during TAE (if there is, I'll add that to the inconsistencies/mistakes thread eventually).
There is a moment in TWP where Akka is stumbling through camp and he thinks he sees a young Esmenet. I'm of the opinion that who he actually saw was Mimara.


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"The world has the habit" Achamian said, "of breaking the back of my promises."

I feel like this quote, along with the quote about the past that MSJ mentioned earlier and the "I was meant to suffer" one from chapter 1, beautifully sum up Akka's character and story arc.
He has such great lines.

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Maithanet came from the deep south, Inrau had told him, from Cingulat or Nilnamesh, where the hold of the Thousand Temples was uncertain.

This part of his backstory is presumably true, right? Since I am completely clueless when it comes to geography, could someone confirm this for me?
Shimeh isn't far from there - Kellhus goes on to conquer one of those to right after his anointment in Shimeh. This could be true assuming that Moenghus didn't start his conquest of the Cishaurim in their holy city - which makes sense. He'd want to do his own 'prince of nothing' bit outside the power center. Once he had a proper identiy - Mallahet - he'd eventually make his way to Shimeh. During that time he would have realized he needed a child for TTT and would have sired Maithanet.

The story of Maithanet's birthplace could have been muddled by hearsay, but Nilnamesh and Cingulat  are far enough south to be confused for eachother in rumors.

Kind of like how people in the US know about where Israel is (probably), but the rest of the middle east is just 'a place' ie most people don't know specifically where each country/city is in relation to eachother just that its over here ... somewhere.

Point being, the rumors of Maithanets origins are close enough to what is likely the truth for it not to matter much either way.

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But before any words could be spoken, hands guided the Prince, still staring, to one side, and Achamian found himself looking into the serene and surprisingly youthful face of Maithanet.
Quote
The Shriah's face darkened, but his blue eyes glittered with . . . with . . .

More clues to Maithanet's identity. He's most likely only in his mid-to-late 20s at this point!
Also, those Anasûrimbor/Dûnyain supernaturally dominant genetics really are insane. Maithanet's mother was presumably a dark-skinned, dark-haired, brown-eyed Ketyai woman, and yet he still looks Norsirai. Still, not as ridiculous as in the case of his nephews and nieces, as it's just him in this case.
Earwa genetics are a bit Fantastic ;)

Quote
He can see the Few.
Only the Few could see the Few.

When I first read this, I thought this would turn out to be quite important later on. It seems like it was just another clue to his identity (he's of the Few just like his father and half-brother). Maybe it was also something that helped him uncover some of those plots?
I didn't really get the impact of this when I read it initially - not like the revelation in TWP where Kellhus reveals he's of the Few. I think you're right, its largely a clue to his family heritige, along with his other physical attributes. In retrospect, its glaringly obvious that he's related to Kellhus.

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The Shriah turned his strong bearded profile to him, and Proyas was struck by the crisp blue of his eyes. "Tell me, Nersei Proyas," Maithanet said with the voice of edict. "Who was that man, that sorcerer, who dared pollute my presence?"

And here Proyas finds himself caught in the web of manipulations of a Dûnyain for the first time. Which will sadly be a constant for the rest of his life, as we know.
Oof. Knowing his last free moments are behind him hurts more because of how it ends.
Poor guy.

Some further remarks: Interesting that we have those mentions that something is "off" about Sarcellus, that absence of something. Remember how Simas was described by Nautzera as being "devoid of sentiment" in the previous chapter? To me that's further evidence that he was indeed a skin-spy at that point. Nautzera thinks that's just part of Simas' character, but it's very likely that it's something else.

The skin-spies have been around for hundreds of years at this point. People, especially those in high station who have unknowingly been in contact with them for centuries, are probably used to this flat-affect effect. And I agree, skin-spies everywhere.
One of the other conditions of possibility.