.H.

Bakker XLVII: Eär-War - A Nomen of Onomatopoeic Omen

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This is the perpetual thread devoted to the works of R. Scott Bakker, primarily the books in The Second Apocalypse series, the first novel is The Darkness that Comes Before, the seventh novel will be published on July 4, 2017 and is The Unholy Consult.  It is currently available for preorder.

This thread is for the series through The Great Ordeal and contains spoilers through that novel.

The series is called The Second Apocalypse and is currently comprised of two sub-series, a trilogy and a quartet. Potentially, there will be a third series, although the author has stated that the quartet completes his original vision for the story. 

The first trilogy of books is subtitled The Prince of Nothing these three books are:

  1. The Darkness that Comes Before
  2. The Warrior Prophet
  3. The Thousandfold Thought

The second quartet of books is subtitled The Aspect Emperor, these four books are:

  1. The Judging Eye
  2. The White-Luck Warrior
  3. The Great Ordeal
  4. The Unholy Consult (2017).
 

The Unholy Consult will also include an expanded Appendix/Encyclopedic Glossary. The original Glossary exists currently only at the end of the third book, The Thousandfold Thought. 

Additionally, Bakker has published three short stories, The False Sun and The Four Revelations of Cinial'jin on Bakker's Blog Three Pound Brain and The Knife of Many Hands, which is available for purchase. This thread contains spoilers for these publications. The False Sun is the most discussed work of these three shorts.

Since Bakker's writing uses layers of revelation, newcomers are strongly advised to finish the books before coming here; otherwise the spoilers will rot your soul. Eternally.

Of potential interest, Bakker did stop by the board shortly after the release of The Great Ordeal and did answer several questions.  That discussion can be found here.

Most denizens of this thread have also read Bakker's non-fantasy novels Neuropath and Disciple of the Dog, but the spoiler policy is unclear. You are advised to hide crucial plot points in those novels.

Hat tip to Happy Ent for the intro to the thread.

Edited by .H.

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Thread name taken from the Algorithic Eärwa presentation on YouTube.

12 hours ago, Michael Seswatha Jordan said:

I disagree @.H., it does matter if the Empire falls. We learn that whatever comes about of the GO it's holy. There are several references to this. Why would Kellhus want to make a world were damnation doesn't exist for there to be nothing to come back to? Stopping Fayanal, dispatching Demon-Malowebi is proof of this. So the people having something to return to and be at peace. 

But Koringhus already taught us that loss and suffering are holy.  Take this part from Mimara, in an earlier Ishüal chapter:

Quote

The Holy cares nothing for the designs of Men. And their appetites, it denies outright. The Holy, at all turns, demand the sacrifice of mortal projects, the carrying of burdens that slow, even kill. The Holy was the path of detours, even dead ends. The road that punished for following.

Sounds Ordeal-like to me.  This is why the Ordeal is holy, not because it is an unbridled success, but precisely because it is a suffering factory, a dead end.  The Empire is a meaningless mortal project, which is part of why Kellhus cuts off contact with it.  They march not for the Empire, but for Salvation.  The Ordeal isn't about achieving victory, it's about experiencing loss and forfeiting life.

Zëum is the last bastion of the old ways, this is why it must go, because a new time is going to start and with it a new way of thinking.  Zëum isn't and still wouldn't be a military threat to the Three Seas, so it's removal is irrelevant.  Except it is a threat, because post-Second Apocalypse there will be a new order of meaning, one that isn't compatible with the old ways of thinking.

(Coped over my last post from the old thread.  Wanted to make sure we didn't get locked with no new thread.)

All caught up. What a ride, I'm already gnawing at my wrist for TUC.

Are there any major theories as to what the Nail of Heaven actually is?

Prevailing ideas were along the lines of a wormhole, a geostationary satellite, a supernova where the Inchoroi fled from, and possibly some other things I have forgotten.

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Nail of heaven: Heat vent for a Matrioshka Brain?

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Inchoroi Wormhole, mothership and satellite were the popular ones. It seems to be something that is at precisely the rotational North Pole, which must be significant. Really hard to hang a satellite there, so maybe militates to something far away from Earwa like a possible wormhole. :dunno:

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Ah.  Hadn't seen the new thread open up and I responded in the other.  My mistake.

Continue on... I'm fascinated by the Ordeal as a means to make Holy conversation.

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If suffering makes holy, and humans worship suffering then...

 

Quote

“I’m an Old Name,” the tiny face said. “Even wearing this shell, I could show you the Agonies, Mandate fool.” “Wuh . . .” Inrau swallowed. Sobbed. “Why?” Again the thin, tiny smile.

 

You worship suffering. Why do you think?”

Is aurang offering salvation?

are chorae a scourge crafted to induce suffering on the sorcerer caste and thus offer salvation eventually? a cure for damnation?

Edited by lokisnow

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@.H. It occurs to me that sending Malowebi to Zeum on an assignation mission works equally well as a means to secure the future of the Monmen empire. He is cutting off the head of its biggest threat. So it think we are left in an amiguous situation still. 

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7 hours ago, .H. said:

Thread name taken from the Algorithic Eärwa presentation on YouTube.

But Koringhus already taught us that loss and suffering are holy.  Take this part from Mimara, in an earlier Ishüal chapter:

Sounds Ordeal-like to me.  This is why the Ordeal is holy, not because it is an unbridled success, but precisely because it is a suffering factory, a dead end.  The Empire is a meaningless mortal project, which is part of why Kellhus cuts off contact with it.  They march not for the Empire, but for Salvation.  The Ordeal isn't about achieving victory, it's about experiencing loss and forfeiting life.

Zëum is the last bastion of the old ways, this is why it must go, because a new time is going to start and with it a new way of thinking.  Zëum isn't and still wouldn't be a military threat to the Three Seas, so it's removal is irrelevant.  Except it is a threat, because post-Second Apocalypse there will be a new order of meaning, one that isn't compatible with the old ways of thinking.

(Coped over my last post from the old thread.  Wanted to make sure we didn't get locked with no 

Great point. I wonder if all the suffering and loss the GO endures will make them useless to the Gods because they are holy? 

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Hypothesis: Suffering is holy because it makes a sort of topoi of the person and allows the Outside to come into that person 

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30 minutes ago, unJon said:

Hypothesis: Suffering is holy because it makes a sort of topoi of the person and allows the Outside to come into that person 

Counterargument: the Outside coming into a person is vague (we have entities coming from the Outside into people, but not the actual place) and there is very little 'good' ever seen from the Outside. 

Other counterargument: Yatwer and her followers should be the most holy of everyone - and they are not, per Psatma's notion of her serving at the hand of Yatwer when she dies as an honored guest. Her suffering does not let her escape damnation. 

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Third counterargument: suffering did not save Saubon from being damned at the end, or at least appearing to be. 

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Something that's confused me about that with Psatma though:  is it implied that what's in store for her with Yatwer is Damnation Lite compared to those that make less strategic choices about worship?

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1 hour ago, Kalbear said:

Counterargument: the Outside coming into a person is vague (we have entities coming from the Outside into people, but not the actual place) and there is very little 'good' ever seen from the Outside. 

Other counterargument: Yatwer and her followers should be the most holy of everyone - and they are not, per Psatma's notion of her serving at the hand of Yatwer when she dies as an honored guest. Her suffering does not let her escape damnation. 

First is a fair critique. But I'm assuming both the Hundred and Ciphrang and the Zero God are from the Outside as far as Earwa is concerned  maybe that's a faulty assumption  

Second is a counter argument about suffering not leading to being holy at all. But that's contrary to Koringhus. 

1 hour ago, Kalbear said:

Third counterargument: suffering did not save Saubon from being damned at the end, or at least appearing to be. 

I'm not sure how much Saubon suffered. He seemed to be thriving and in his element in TGO. Pride until the end. Following Kel was right for him because Kel was the strongest. 

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40 minutes ago, unJon said:

I'm not sure how much Saubon suffered. He seemed to be thriving and in his element in TGO. Pride until the end. Following Kel was right for him because Kel was the strongest. 

Ha, seriously.  If Pride is a deadly sin that is one that Saubon suffered more than most.

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Perhaps suffering is holy because holy is shit?

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Posted (edited)

EDIT: wrong post.

Edited by Let's Get Kraken

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2 hours ago, Callan S. said:

Perhaps suffering is holy because holy is shit?

Name that quote! Who said:

Quote

 Few people are inclined to root for losers, and a good many are inclined to confuse rooting for losers with rooting for *losing.*  

If holy is shit as you say, then holy is such a loser, who could root for holy if it's just shitty losing?

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I'd say that the Zero God is not involved with the Outside at all. More related to Earwa in and of itself. A "treehugger" type thing. At one with everything, ya know?

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1 hour ago, lokisnow said:

If holy is shit as you say, then holy is such a loser, who could root for holy if it's just shitty losing?

'Holy' is a person now?

May as well root for cancer.

 

On other matters, speaking of Saubon, has anyone gone back and looked at the passage in the previous books where he sees himself on the plains of Mengedda (I think it was)? Any talk about the time travel thing been happening? If anyone with the power of kindle could quote the passage, it'd be real neat and appreciated :)

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@Callan S., Saubon at Mengedda 

By the God, his fury felt so empty, so frail against the earth! He reached out with his bare left hand and grabbed another hand—cold, heavily callused, leathery fingers and glass nails. A dead hand. He looked up across the matted grasses and stared at the dead man’s face. An Inrithi. The features were flattened against the ground and partly sheathed in blood. The man had lost his helm, and sandy-blond hair jutted from his mail hood. The coif had fallen aside, pressed against his bottom lip. He seemed so heavy, so stationary—like more ground … A nightmarish moment of recognition, too surreal to be terrifying. It was his face! His own hand he held! He tried to scream. Nothing. But there was the thunder of heavier hooves, shouts in familiar tongues. Saubon let slip the cold fingers, struggled to his hands and knees. Concerned voices. From nowhere it seemed, arms were hoisting him to his feet. He stared numbly at the bare turf, at the site where a moment before his corpse had been … This ground … This ground is cursed! “Here, take my arm,” the voice was fatherly, as though to a son who’d just learned a hard lesson.

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