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Bakker XXXII: The Acts of Fane


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Happy Ent's Intro:

This is the perpetual thread devoted to the works of R. Scott Bakker, primarily the books in the Second Apocalypse series, the first of which is The Darkness that Comes Before.

The current publication status is 5 volumes of novels, including The White-Luck Warrior, as well as 2 short stories, The False Sun, and The Four Revelations of Cinial'jin. This thread contains spoilers for these publications.

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.

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.


Do we know why Fane was banished by the Thousand Temples to the desert? The glossary says that he went blind and started receiving the revelations after he went to the Carathay, but was he a prophet before that? I'm thinking about how one becomes a prophet. Is it that he was already "mad" by TT standards that made the chosen one to be a prophet? Like Kellhus going mad on the circumfix?

If only we could get an Atrocity Tale featuring Fane and his discovery of the Psûkhe.

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They gave the Chorae to the Five Tribes as gifts, and to one tribe, the black-haired Ketyai, they gave a great tusk inscribed with their hallowed laws and most revered stories-as well as one devious addition: the divine imperative to invade the 'Land of the Felled Sun' and hunt down and exterminate the 'False Men.'

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This passage between Nautzera and Akka just confirmed even more (to me) that Fanim is the true religion.

Because between those men and the Cishaurim would stand all the armed might of Kian. The Cishaurim are not a School, old friend. They dont stand apart, as we do, from the faith and people of their nation. While the Holy War struggled to overcome the heathen Grandees of Kian, the Cishaurim would rain ruin upon them. Simas lowered his chin as though testing his beard against his breastbone. Do you see?

As with the Intrithi, the sorcery used is damning. But what the Cishaurim use, come from the god. One is damned one is not. (I know no breakthrough here.) Just the sorcerers of the Cishaurim, do not stand apart from their people. It felt like a confirmation, when I read it.
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I just read The Four Revelations of Cinial’jin for the first time, and I’m a bit confused by what the four revelations are supposed to be. (I know I’ve seen this discussed before, but I can’t remember the details.)

I think the two that are most ambiguous are,

The blackness falls away from her sagging face, and for an instant he gazes upon her, beloved Aisarinqu. A second, shrieking revelation. The white spark of some faraway light refracts in her tears, so that her contrition seems holy, and his embittered and profane. Fire is a thing that eats. A wondering instant, before the wrath seizes his fists anew.


A final revelation. Sunlight cracking through spanning limbs. The whole mountain wheezes for the weeping of thousands, the wreckage of... The breeze burning, eating. The world tipping.

Am I right to assume that this final revelation comes at the moment of his death? Something about his damnation? :dunno:

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Maybe quirii (sp?), is what people of the Three-Seas call Chanv?

Despite the disturbing aesthetics of addiction, Eleäzaras himself might have succumbed to the drugs lure, particularly because of the way it reputedly sharpened the intellect. Perhaps the only aspect of chanv that had prevented him from slipping into that wan and strangely narcissistic love affair addicts rarely married or produced live children was the unsettling fact that no one knew its origin.

Addicts rarely married or produced live children......reminds me of the curse the Inchori put on the Nonmen. Also, when their on the slog, doesn't the skin-spy tell Mimara that Cleric is poisoning them? I thought he was referring to the Quirri.
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General questions about the Nonmen......

1. Nonman Sight....

1a. What is their visual field like and how does it differ from Mens'? They cannot see paintings {2D representations of 3D}, and so must render events in 3D sculpture. How are they able to read writing, then?
Or is reading and visualizing 3D space into 2D surfaces happening in different regions of the brain?
Is their inability to be satisfied with the surface linked with their apparent damnation?

1b. Do they see in color like Humans? Or is everything they see in muted tones, grayscale, or monochrome? {Don't know if this is explicitly stated anywhere but I kind of get this impression from them}.

2. Nonman Evolution...

2a. How do they evolve? Do they share a common ancestor with Men? Or are their superficial similarities largely incidental, with Men and Nonmen being derived from entirely different ancestors?

2b. Or are Men and Nonmen semi-present throughout the universe {Wutteat mentions genocyding several worlds with the Inchoroi before landing on Earwa}? Are Nonmen a species descended of interstellar Men that refined their genes to an insane degree {before becoming isolated on multiple worlds}, whereas Men are a species that more or less still resembles ancestral populations without excessive artificial selection?

3. Nonmen and the Dunyain...

3a. In TTT Kellhus, observing the Nonmen ruins in Kyudea, notes that their obsession with the living form points to their terror. What is this terror? Existential terror at the state of being alive, of being encased in mortal, breathing flesh? Terror of the possibility or certainty of damnation?

3b. Also in TTT Kellhus mentions that the Nonmen ruins distinctly remind him of Ishual's Thousand Thousand Halls... Did Nonmen build Ishual for the Anasurimbor dynasty? Or have some role in the formation of the Dunyain / Dunyain Philosophies? Cleric / Nil'Giccas' behavior in TWLW {mentioning Legion, Darkness, Becoming, etc.} seem to indicate an overlap here.

3c. In TWLW, when Kellhus meets with the Ishterebinthian Embassy, the Nonman emissary seems to be resigned to the fact of the damnation of his species. Were the Nonmen always damned? If so, why? Why would the Gods of Eannean Men have any hold over their souls? Or are the Gods/Ciphrang somehow non-essential to the process of Damnation?
Or was there a period, possibly before the Cuno-Inchoroi Wars, where they had gods of their own?
"Heaven does not know you," seems to indicate that they have never had a favorable view of any sort of afterlife {from the Psalms to Oblivion, Nin'Hilarjal}. Have they always been trying to escape damnation or paradise via Oblivion?

4. Nonman Biology...

4a. What do they eat? What color is their doodoo? {I am guessing marble-esque turds, white veined in grays and blues, but could be off-base here}.

4b. What color is their semen? Black, white, or gray?

4c. Why no Black Nonmen, or distinct Nonman Races?
Even among Nine Nonman Mansions, they never appear to reach the level of the heterogeneous-ness of the Emwama or Eannean Men {who vary widely in phenotype}. Do their genes lack the potential to mutate or change over time? And is this {again} linked with their damnation?

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I don't get the hype about the nonmen spunk. So what if it's black? We already know that sranc were created from nonman bios (a la orcs from elves) so it stands to reason . . .

Again, why do people assume that the Inchoroi built the Sranc to have black semen or to be controlled by their sexual urges based on the Nonmen and not the Inchoroi?

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Hey guys, I'm new.

Again, why do people assume that the Inchoroi built the Sranc to have black semen or to be controlled by their sexual urges based on the Nonmen and not the Inchoroi?

Agreed. We know that the Inchoroi use their own nature as a framework for their creations (or at least Kellhus states that he believes that to be the case)

The scene in The Darkness That Comes Before where a consult agent has sex with Esme suggests that the Sranc's black semen derives from the Inchoroi and not the Nonmen. It isn't clear exactly what the agent of the consult is. Is there a consensus on this? He could be a skin spy but his scent inspires lust in Esme in way that suggests that he has the pheromone grafts of the Inchoroi themselves. If memory serves the skin spies don't have the super pheromones. Additionally, there is the sound of wings when the consult agent leaves through the window which definitely doesn't jive with it being a skin spy. Maybe its a rarely used synthese pattern?

Nothing fits well here but it isn't a nonman or a sranc and it still has black semen. That means that there are Inchoroi constructions that are not based on the nonmen and still have black semen. I take that as evidence that the black semen derives from the Inchoroi themselves not the nonmen.

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I'm surprised at the debate about Non-men's sight on here. I always took it as obvious that they can't see paintings because paintings are a trick an optical illusion that gives depth where there is none. I ones eye wasn't tricked a painting would look hideous and jumbled with everything in the wrong proportions. Since Non-men are better than humans in most every way i figured they were simply less susceptible to illusions.

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Forunately I operate on a much smaller scale, so I need not fear the one God. Although sometimes i find myself tempted to prank call them and say that i have put out my eyes and can now bear Indara's water.

Do it Larry, record it and post a link to the conversation. I want to hear the utter confusion of the Fane secretary.

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