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Bakker XXXVI: The Horror of Threads to Come

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This is Happy Ent's perpetual intro to the 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 latest, The White-Luck Warrior, as well as 3 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.

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.

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MSJ, HW, thanks for finding that.

I know there's been a lot of speculation about whether or not Ishterebinth has turned to the consult, or how much of it has... if they've turned, is it simply due to be Erratics or have a bunch of them actually been exposed to the Inverse Fire?

Just wanted to throw this question out there since the other thread is old and bloated.

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“Yes… From Nin-janjin,” Titirga repeated, something not quite identifiable sparking in his eyes. “And because they knew, Nil’giccas chose the Three to enter it. Two Ishroi, renowned for their valour–Misariccas and Runidil–and one Quya…” He paused as though to set his teeth against his hatred. “Cet’ingira.”


Shaeönanra found himself turning to the Inchoroi, cackling, crying, “He knows!” in a voice too maniacal to be his own. “He knows!”


“I know only what Nil’giccas told me. That Misariccas and Runidil returned shrieking–”


Yes. Shaeönanra had also shrieked… for a time. And wept.


“–and that Cet’ingira counselled his King to have them killed.”



So Mek was explicitly mentioned as the quya - sorcerer caste. He ensures his companions are killed because he can't trust them to back up his bullshit, note they are explicitly mentioned as Ishroi - hero/noble caste. Perhaps its salient to mention that sorcery is heritable for Nonmen here?



Anyway in the examples we have of people who have (or might have) seen the IF, Shae, Mek, the Mangacea, the Aporetic Quya and the Inchie Bros instantly formed a bro-pact of evil. All sorcerers. Everyone else goes 'crazy' and tries to warn the king.



edit. Bouncing off Callan's suggestion, perhaps Sirwitta and the two Ishroi are all 'good' or 'not damned' or whatever. They all seem cast as pretty noble characters, perhaps even pious? Sirwatta would have to have been pretty slick to seduce a Cunoroi princess and break into/out of the ark.




But it doesn't make sense that Cet would want the ishroi killed because he couldn't trust them to verify his story. If they hadn't seen their damnation then they wouldn't be falling apart like that. And if they did see hell then they had the same information as Cet. It only makes sense to kill them if Cet plans on withholding the nature of the inverse fire. Which would go against the general reaction. Shae and the consult seem to want to spread the bad news to gather others to their cause.



In any case I don't think the IF is any kinder to magi than normals. Shae says he was as broken as the ishroi. I think that Cet'ingira's stoicism after seeing the IF is a demonstration of his personal strength, not evidence that magi experience something different.



Why he wants to have the ishroi killed isn't clear though. For some reason he wanted to keep the nature of the IF a secret, despite the fact that he believed it to have revealed the truth.



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Uggggh, I have a Bakker hangover, Lol. I started reading those old threads last night and looked at the clock and it was 2am. But, very good stuff in those old threads. And I think @ Happy Ent made a statement that only I can appreciate now, after rereading Bakker a couple times. That the casual reader (me), doesn't begin to fathom the depths and layers of TSA. Its so true, and, why I had a hard time wrapping my head around conversations when I first posted in the thread.

Another I noticed, is you can't come up with anything original, well, @Hello World does a good job of it. My favorite theory on Kelmommas killing the WLW, hell Locke said that in 2007. And, I read all the threads before posting. So, is that something I thought on my own, or, just seeded there early on by reading the threads? I feel a little cheated actually. :(

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@Triskan I love how you came to the conclusion on the Cishaurim. I made a point to see where and when you started delving into them as the true religion. And, I found it pretty cool how your thoughts kept evolving on that. :) Also, did you get your name from The Book of the New Sun?

And, another observation. I remember being totally awed at Nerdanel's theories when I first read those threads. And, I'm not putting down or being ignorant, but, man, that dude had a theory on EVERYTHING!!

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OK, something else I didn't come across, but, other topics led me to the idea. I'm sure it was discussed before I just haven't seen it.

The Dûnyain's goal is to move to a Self-Moving Soul, correct? And Kelhuss is there or very, very near. Here is the quirk to all the series that escapes me. Yes, Kelhuss has stated he is more than Dûnyain (is that because he has emotions or his nearness to a SMS?), but, I can't wrap my head around the idea that the Pragma's don't know what's going on, or have a hand in it. The story about the Sranc and Moe being sent out, then the dreams and Kel, well, its just TOO simple for me.

1. After 2000 years of breeding and training and moving towards their goal, by ACCIDENT, Kelhuss is taking over Earwa?

2.As I said its TOO simple. If the Dûnyain have no problem killing off defects and turning them into "face book's?", I don't see where they'd have a problem just killing Moe to begin with.

3. If you subscribe to the story Kelhuss gives about Moe being " unclean", then that's pretty naive to be held as truth, no? That's the best the Pragam's could come up with? "Just let him go, he'll die. Our sect is a failure and he has no chance." Nah, ain't buying it...

I mean come on,man. I believe that this is all the fruition of the Dûnyain's mission. And, quite frankly, if you hold to the opinion that the Dûnyain are Seswatha's or the Consult's tool then it makes even more sense. It was time. They knew of the Celmommas Prophecy, they knew that its close for the No-God to reawaken (either for or against the Consult, I can't say). It fits with Moe conditioning the ground for Kelhuss theory. I think Moe knew all of this, and Kelhuss is intentionally kept in the dark, he will come to the conclusion he is suppose to, Moe pushed him that way in the meeting. I believe, the Dûnyain uppermost Pragma's knew of sorcery, but neither practiced it or knew even how to. They just knew it would be needed at some point to achieve a Self-Moving Soul. As a matter of fact, Moe even states this with what he says to Kelhuss. That, nothing about sorcery negates the Logos.

So where I'm going with all this is that as soon as Kelhuss left Ishual, the Dûnyain destroyed it and moved to different location so Kelhuss couldn't kill them with magic. But, when their needed to fulfill this mission they will be in place. Yes, Kelhuss went to Ishual and found it destroyed, but is sending Akka there to find "something", that Ses's dreams will lead him to. He needs Akka in this sense, because he doesn't dream the dreams, but ,knows Akka has become a Prophet of the Past.

I guess call me inspired by Nerdanel,Lol. No, but in reading over the threads, it just struck me a obvious. I don't see the Dûnyain making the blunder of letting Moe roam the Earth, they're too calculated for that. And I believe we will see them again.

ETA: In regards to Akka and his dreams, well if the Dûnyain were founded essentially by Seswatha, then it would make sense for Seswatha to use Akka in this manner, right? Why wouldn't the Dûnyain just take whatever Akka is supposed to find? Its too important and Ses didn't want to risk anything happening to it, such as being destroyed. And, he founded the Mandate, and knew he'd have an easily viable way to lead someone to Ishual and find what is needed.

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2.As I said its TOO simple. If the Dûnyain have no problem killing off defects and turning them into "face book's?", I don't see where they'd have a problem just killing Moe to begin with.

3. If you subscribe to the story Kelhuss gives about Moe being " unclean", then that's pretty naive to be held as truth, no? That's the best the Pragam's could come up with? "Just let him go, he'll die. Our sect is a failure and he has no chance." Nah, ain't buying it...

Exactly.

Also, as others have already said, Kellhus did not even know that Sranc existed before he met Leweth. Recall how he describes their footprints and asks Leweth what they were and later when fighting the Sranc he says “what are these creatures?” That Moe leaving to kill Sranc story makes no sense on several levels, as you pointed out.

-----

There is another matter to consider, the ‘elder Dûnyain’ that Moënghus sent the Dreams to in the Prologue. Kellhus assumes that they all killed themselves after he left because it was decided that they’ve been polluted. But, if the examples of Moe and Kellhus are any indication, when a Dûnyain gets polluted they don’t decide to just die to save the mission, no, especially not when they’ve just discovered that sorcery exists.

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Great Points. And yes, now I recall Kelhuss not recognizing the Scranc. Nothing about those stories even make an iota of sense. Matter of fact, Kelhuss flips and flops on whether or not he's to kill or help his father the entire book.

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Just wanted to throw this question out there since the other thread is old and bloated.

I’m not buying what Cleric is selling there either.

In the first trilogy, Aurang says that there isn’t anything that the King of Ishterebinth, who’s not Nil’giccas at the time, does that the Consult doesn’t know about. Which implies that they have eyes and spies in Ishterebinth but not that the entire mansion has turned.

Moreover, from the False Sun,

But Cet’ingira? The most famed of the Siqu? For that matter, how could any Nonman enter into pact with Inchoroi?

Unless…

Shaeönanra is saying here that a Nonman could not enter a pact with Inchoroi unless they’ve seen the Inverse Fire. Nil’giccas knows about the IF, and knows that it’s the number one reason any Nonman would join the Consult, but when Achamian asks him about Ishterebinth he only says that his brothers have turned to Golgotterath because of the “absence of memory”.

So why is Cleric not telling Akka about the IF? Has he forgotten about it? Unlikely. And why is he lying about Ishterebinth having turned except for him? Or did the mansion really turn entirely between the first and second trilogies?

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So where I'm going with all this is that as soon as Kelhuss left Ishual, the Dûnyain destroyed it and moved to different location so Kelhuss couldn't kill them with magic. But, when their needed to fulfill this mission they will be in place. Yes, Kelhuss went to Ishual and found it destroyed, but is sending Akka there to find "something", that Ses's dreams will lead him to. He needs Akka in this sense, because he doesn't dream the dreams, but ,knows Akka has become a Prophet of the Past.


Best explantion I've heard of Ishual.


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But it doesn't make sense that Cet would want the ishroi killed because he couldn't trust them to verify his story. If they hadn't seen their damnation then they wouldn't be falling apart like that. And if they did see hell then they had the same information as Cet. It only makes sense to kill them if Cet plans on withholding the nature of the inverse fire. Which would go against the general reaction. Shae and the consult seem to want to spread the bad news to gather others to their cause.

In any case I don't think the IF is any kinder to magi than normals. Shae says he was as broken as the ishroi. I think that Cet'ingira's stoicism after seeing the IF is a demonstration of his personal strength, not evidence that magi experience something different.

Why he wants to have the ishroi killed isn't clear though. For some reason he wanted to keep the nature of the IF a secret, despite the fact that he believed it to have revealed the truth.

In the prologue of TDTCB, Mek/Cet tells Kellhus that he fought "for and against the No-God in the wars that authored this wilderness..."

Possibly, at the point when he enters the Ark and sees the IF he was strong enough to stay sane and fought against the Consult for some indeterminate amount of time at least. Maybe we will get some sort of explanation as to what turned him?

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Good stuff MSJ. HW, yeah that Ishterebinth stuff was the stuff that's kind of been sticking in my craw. I suppose it's possible that nonmen have been creeping over to the consult individually, one at a time, and not necessarily from seeing the IF. It could be that the just go erratic and then the Consult recruits them to man a century of sranc or whatever. Again, just so much conflicting information.


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“But souls are exceedingly complicated,” he continued. “Far more so than the crude sorceries used to trap them. The intricacies of identity are always sheared away. Memory. Faculty. Character. These are cast into the pit... Only the most base urges survive in proxies.”

Which was what made them such useful slaves.

“So to have your soul caught...” She trailed, frowning.

“Is to be twice-damned...” he said, trailing at the behest of a queer reluctance. Few understood the monstrosity of sorcery better than he. “To have your hungers enslaved in the World, while your thoughts are tormented in the Outside.”

So souls are divisible. So what if the IF is really a gateway to paradise. Except the damned parts still don't get in.

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@Triskan I love how you came to the conclusion on the Cishaurim. I made a point to see where and when you started delving into them as the true religion. And, I found it pretty cool how your thoughts kept evolving on that. :) Also, did you get your name from The Book of the New Sun?

And, another observation. I remember being totally awed at Nerdanel's theories when I first read those threads. And, I'm not putting down or being ignorant, but, man, that dude had a theory on EVERYTHING!!

First and foremost, I love how we turned Nerdanel into a verb.

Your comment on the Cishaurim is making me wonder. I have been on the bandwagon or at least been an advocate of the theory. I don't think I could claim to be the first though. Just to rehash a summary of the theory though, here are some of the main points that I can recollect:

-Meppa (the fact that the Cishaurim weren't wiped out)

-The Cishaurim being exalted priests and a part of the religion within their communities rather than being shunned like the schools

-The pretty solid textual evidence that while chorae do something to Cishaurim, they seem to do something different than they do to other schoolman

-The lack of the Mark with the Psukhari which suggests the possibility both that their work doesn't mar the God's creation like traditional sorcery does with the suggestion that it may not even be sorcery...and may not lead to damnation...quite possibly linked to how they react with chorae

-Bakker's comments about whole nations being damned and how there's a "right" way to believe

-Malowebi's "Fanim madness...it had to be..." thoughts about Meppa's comments which imply he's terrified it's not madness...

-Bakker liking Dune suggesting that the Water could indeed be holy

I'm probably forgetting a few points.

Yep, name is from new Sun, or at least the prior handle is. Should probably change back soon.

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In the prologue of TDTCB, Mek/Cet tells Kellhus that he fought "for and against the No-God in the wars that authored this wilderness..."

Possibly, at the point when he enters the Ark and sees the IF he was strong enough to stay sane and fought against the Consult for some indeterminate amount of time at least. Maybe we will get some sort of explanation as to what turned him?

I threw out a possibility in a previous thread that relates to the theory that Nau-Cayuti could have been turned into the No-God and that there's a subtle clue in this quote from Mek (though it's far from an iron-clad theory).

The idea is that on the surface the quote suggests that Mek went to the Consult and switched sides, but I'm not so sure. Did he not turn to the Consult long before the No-God came into existence? So what if the No-God is a "who" as much as a "what?" Mek fought for Mog (in the Apocalypse) and against Mog (in the Apocalypse). Nau-Cayuti, if he was transformed into Mog, would have been against Mek at the start until he was with him.

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In the prologue of TDTCB, Mek/Cet tells Kellhus that he fought "for and against the No-God in the wars that authored this wilderness..."

Possibly, at the point when he enters the Ark and sees the IF he was strong enough to stay sane and fought against the Consult for some indeterminate amount of time at least. Maybe we will get some sort of explanation as to what turned him?

I believe Bakker said that quote about for and against the No God was a mistake on his part.

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I believe Bakker said that quote about for and against the No God was a mistake on his part.

Which obviously murders my theory if true.

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First and foremost, I love how we turned Nerdanel into a verb.

Your comment on the Cishaurim is making me wonder. I have been on the bandwagon or at least been an advocate of the theory. I don't think I could claim to be the first though. Just to rehash a summary of the theory though, here are some of the main points that I can recollect:

Well, yes, others kinda of brought it up. But, you was relentless in your search for the truth, thread after thread. ;)

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I believe Bakker said that quote about for and against the No God was a mistake on his part.

These claims have a tendency to become Truth in our threads, so I’d be really happy if somebody could dig up any kind of reference for this.

Else we’re just playing benjuka.

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Yes, I did ask him about it once and that was his response. As this was over e-mail, you're going to have to take my word for it -- or not.

Or someone else can ask him to verify.

Here is a cut out of the exchange,

Did you make a mistake by writing "I have ridden both against and for the No-God" in the prologue to The Darkness That Comes Before? Did you mean to write here that Mekeritrig fought for and against the Inchoroi?

Affirmative. One of many, I fear.

scott/

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