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Bakker XXXIV: Waiting for Grimdark (update: it’s here!)

Happy Ent

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So on my last reread I realized a few things,

1. Kellhus stabs Moe and teleports just as Serwe and Cnaiur are about to enter the room, it seems pretty obvious to me that Kellhus did not intend to kill Moe right away, otherwise he would have killed him right away. No, Kellhus wanted Moe to have the meeting with Cnaiur, for whatever reason. (This is something that Madness inadvertently almost confirmed in the podcast btw, what he called a 'nefarious reason'.) Additionally, Kellhus watched what happened between them through the sorcerous light that he had hanging above.

This is Moenghus, the only other Dunyain in the world (who's not dead), fucking Cnaiur, and the fucking Consult. It is beyond absurd of Kellhus to leave this gathering without caring what happens between them.


2. Moenghus wanted to be Choraed by Cnaiur all along, but not because he wanted to ascend. Moe wanted to be Choraed not as part of his plan for himself, but as part of his plan for Cnaiur.

Though he once loved the man, he now hates him with a deranged intensity. If only he could kill Moënghus, he believes, his heart could be made whole.

'His heart could be made whole'. I'm sure there is some metaphysical connotation there. Additionally, Moenghus tells Cnaiur that he had been burning in truth [i'm paraphrasing] for uncounted seasons because of what Moe had shown him. I think that what Moenghus did to Cnaiur as a child was part of his plan all along.

Moenghus even made sure that Cnaiur did not lose his Chorae after Kiyuth. I've said before that water imagery (especially when a person is just waking up) can mean Cishaurim magic, as we saw in the prologue,

Morning. Cnaüir awoke shivering. He heard only the deep-running wash of the River Kiyuth.

A great iron ache radiated from the back of his head, and for a time he lay still, crushed by its weight. Convulsions wracked him, and he heaved bile into the footprints before his face. He coughed. With his tongue he probed a soft, salty gap between his teeth.

For some reason, the first clear thought to arise from his misery was of his Chorae.

"For some reason"? I think you mean "for Moenghus reason". (On a side note almost the exact same thing happened while Kellhus was on the Circumfix, Cnaiur wakes up hearing rushing water and for some reason he suddenly remembers the secret of battle. That was Moenghus again, probably.)

He spoke in generalities, mostly. The details he hazarded, particularly with regard to Moënghus's manipulation of Cnaiür, he secured through the assignation of probabilities.

Why would Kellhus hazard the details regarding Moe's manipulation of Cnaiur?

And then there is the whole "healing his innumerable scars" and whatnot, it's been said before.


3. There are no Dunyain women.

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Minor aside: I think Bakker's reference to paradox as a sign of having a soul is based on Lucas's Godelian Argument. Apparently there's a whole book, but here's what I think is the short version. (Lucas has a variety of papers devoted to the argument, but this one seemed like a potential starting point.)

Which is not to say Bakker endorses the argument in real life - in fact I'm almost certain I've seen him criticize it briefly - but rather this might offer some clue as to what a "soul" is within the cosmology of Earwa.

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I think it was in the 'Hearts and Moenghus' episode.

A few more random thoughts. I think Kellhus made more than one mistake in his analysis in that scene. He says that Moenghus reached a 'dead end' because he chose the Psukhe. How is that a dead-end? Why does Moenghus even need to personally wield the kind of power the Gnosis can give him? To be better able to blow shit up? Moenghus commanded the Cishaurim and the Thousand Temples. He really doesn't need to blow shit up himself when he has plenty of people ready to do it for him.

Another mistake he made was assuming that Moenghus tried to stop the Ciahsurim from assassinating Sasheoka but they didn't listen, when it was probably not only his idea, but he executed it as well. If Moenghus did not want to start a war between the Cishaurim and the Scarlet Spires why would he reveal the Skin-spies to them in the first place? He's Dunyain, surely he would have seen the attack on Scarlet Spires coming. And how was he unable to convince them not to attack the SS despite his Dunyain skills? Kellhus is so full of it that he thinks his father is some regular Three Seas dumbass.

Anyway, I think it was Moenghus who teleported the Cishaurim into the Scarlet Spires place because of what he says are his specialties: Scrying, Calling, Translating...

I'll just quote what someone said on the other forum,

I'm gonna throw another bit of (semantic) evidence into the ring for Moe being behind the Cish attack. The scene is Kell and Moe in the interrogation room, discussing Moe's apparent lack of strength in the Water (TTT, US version, hard cover, 2006, pg. 350):

"I have some facility for those elements of the Psukhe that require more subtlety than power. Scrying, Calling, Translating..."

To me, he basically describes all the necessary disciplines of executing the attack on the SS. Scrying to see where he needs to send his assassins. Calling, as we know, was the base principle used by Kel to augment the gnostic cant of calling into a meta-cant of transposing (i.e., teleportation). And Translating... to me, the ace in the hole. While the most common definition of translation is from one language to another, I don't think a blind Moe would be sitting around creating Rosetta Stones somehow. Another definition, according to Google anyway, is:

"the process of moving something from one place to another"

What confirms this theory for me is the fact that the world 'Translating' is capitalized. If he just means that he translates from one language to the other why would Bakker capitalize the 'T'? Unless that was the name of a Cant? Like the Cants of Calling? A Cant that teleports things from one place to the other?

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Also, on my reread this struck me. Its not really any concrete confirmation, but it does suggest Meppa is more than the Last Cishaurim.

I say he was sent to me!the hawk-faced Padirajah cried laughing. I am the Solitary Gods gift to his people.And what does he say?the Second Negotiant asked, now genuinely curious.Meppa? He does not know who he is.

So, if Moe=Meppa then that is the best Moe can come up with? Or, he truly don't remember who he is? So then, how can he still be manipulating events if he can't even remember who he is. I think that passage does suggest that Meppa is someone we've met before, maybe Cnauir? I'd hope so, but I guess we'll see in TUC.

After, reading DM's thoughts on Kelhuss manipulating and watching what unfolded in Kydeua, it would make sense that Meppa was sent to Fanayal. I have seen some of you postulate that there is no way Kelhuss can't know about Fanayal. And, he is banking on them in one way or another. Meppa would be a perfect asset if that's the case.

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I like the catch of translating as a geometric term, which definitely the kind of language that Bakker likes to use for magic (although the psukhe not as much as gnostic).

I reread the KelMoMoot scene recently too and it's probably the number one enigmatic scene in literature that I hope to one day be able to see clearly. I will be extremely disappointed if TUC doesn't answer some of these questions.

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Totally not a Bakker alt at the other forum suggests in the inverse fire thread we could have figured it out if we just translated inverse fire to german. :)

A false fire. Sounds like a falschfeuer in german whis is a flare in english.

A flare, also sometimes called a fusee, is a type of pyrotechnic that produces a brilliant light or intense heat without an explosion.

Literally, that is a safe device to fight a darkness. Is this the same darkness that came before? Also, consider another option.

A special variety of flare is used in military aircraft as a defensive countermeasure against heat-seeking missiles.

As long as there are Marks and ciphrangs hunting you in the Outside, IF could be an unsuccessfull or semi-successfull distraction device. How can one conseal his damned soul, especially marked one? But, by clouding it with thousands of false copies.

After a while, these two options seem to me like two faces of the same coin. Cloaking your soul in your multiplied damnation? Feels like a close and ruthless acquaintance with all desicions and deeds you have ever made without any possibility to forget or to misrepresent. So, that's a way to fight the darkness that came before, even if the indirect one.

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No Dunyain women?

There's a couple of instances where its suggested that all of Kellhus's genes come from Moenghus.

Kellhus's voice! Kellhus's features! When had the son become the father's mould?

He had grown accustomed to listening through voices, but this one was smooth as porcelain — seamless and inscrutable. Even still, he knew it very well. How could he not, when it was his own? [Kellhus talking about his dad's voice]

Moenghus says that Maithanet is not really Dunyain because he was fathered with a worldborn woman, which seems to give a fair bit of importance to the genes Kellhus took from his mother, yet by all accounts, Kellhus is just a copy of his father. Moreover, the way Moenghus phrases the following words seems a bit suspicious to me,

the children we bear by worldborn women lack the breadth of our abilities.


Only a true son of Ishual could succeed

Once again, he doesn't mention Kellhus's mother or any Dunyain women, he only says "a true son of Ishual". No idea how they do it, but my guess is that Ishual 'birthed' the Dunyain. We know that in this series there is at least one other species that procreates in a similar way--namely, without women. Which isn't to say that the actual method of reproduction is the same one.

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Well you make a damn good case for it! If anything I could see them having a couple Nonman women stashed away in The Thousand Thousand Halls.

Crackpot, what if Ishual was a former Nonman mansion (as some have suggested already), and they was just hiding away there to live out the rest of their life? Then they got swayed into the darkness that comes before, and agreed to make some superhuman's for em? I know, I don't put a lot of effort into my crackpots.

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I like the catch of translating as a geometric term, which definitely the kind of language that Bakker likes to use for magic (although the psukhe not as much as gnostic).

Well, he says that Translating is one of the elements of the Psukhe that he excels at. Surely, the Cishaurim don't have a cant to translate words between languages. But even if they did, Moenghus is Dunyain, he doesn't need magic to do these things.

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I kinda suspect women are the sacred persons of Ishual, that men are genetically bound by lust and thus cannot ever be true self moving souls.

At the same time I agree that Kellhus seems to not have had much contact with women in Ishual. It's a bit weird because we had a PoV for him in the first trilogy and the women of Ishual never come up.

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Yes, they were birthed by the Ark.

Yea, but were they truly birthed by the Ark? Or, were they the last of their race and made it to Earwa, and the Ark "birthed" them to Earwa. I mean they had the Tekne (DNA manipulation, IMHO), and that was lost, but, did this golden Ark really birth them?

Also, with the "true son of Ishual", I never read it like that. I mean ive heard guys all my life say "I'm a true West Virginian, born and raised!", or "He's a good ol' boy from Texas.". You get my point, that's how I read that passage.

I mean some of this stuff you have to take in context and setting. It's like the guys that do the Ancient Alien on History Channel. They explain Quetzalcoatl "the plumed serpent" to be a UFO, because the Maya never had any understanding of technology. So a ship in the air, all they can conclude is it's a serpent w/ wings, cause they know no different. (I'm not promoting AA theory here, just to draw an example) That's how I read the "birthing" of the Inchoiri. It's all about what you know, and no one on Earwa had any knowledge of technology that could transport you through the heavens. So they make a story to explain it.

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