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Kalbear

Bakker's the Great Ordeal excerpts III: Barthes to Balzac(spoilers)

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This is the third thread discussing the Great Ordeal. There will be spoilers. The previous thread is here.

Since at least one excerpt came out today and people want to discuss it - and more importantly, people want to NOT discuss it - I wanted to create a spoiler thread. 

Here's the link to the excerpt (oops, forgot this earlier). This is the link to the Prologue (Momemn) and Great Ordeal chapters.

The second link is to the full chapter of Ishual. Parts of this had been released previously.

The prologue excerpt begins like this:

Prologue: Momemn
And naught was known or unknown, and there was no hunger.
All was One in silence, and it was as Death.
Then the Word was spoken, and One became Many.
Doing was struck from the hip of Being.
And the Solitary God said, “Let there be Deceit.
Let there be Desire.”
——The Book of Fane

 

Which is pretty cool. 

The Great Ordeal is scheduled currently to be out early July this year. The Unholy Consult, which is the conclusion of this miniseries and the second half of the split book, is currently due out next year. 

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What is the significance of Viri being the one mansion not to use halaroi slaves but to employ them? Just that Viri shouldn't have a Topos at its bottom? Or is there something thematic/bigger that I'm missing?

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Reposting:

“Oh, I thought we already knew that. I had thought that it was stated that the Ark crashing was absolutely unintentional. Didn't Wutteat say something along those lines? 

Remember, the Inchies came out and weren't trying to kill anyone right away. They first got investigated and then summarily executed, then they were guarded by nonmen, and the only reason that they managed to survive was because of Nin'jan'jin. It's not clear how long it was before they were able to figure out how to speak to nonmen either.” 

 

Dude, unlike my brother I do not have a photographic memory. When I read you guys debating and bringing up shit at will that I've clearly forgotten, it amazes me sometimes.

Just thinking out loud here:

So, Inchies have been seeking this particular world for a very, very long time. Clearly they weren't just skipping around the universe hoping to just happen upon it as the odds of that are infinitesimal. So, they had some sense that it fit certain criteria that would make it a possibility. Suggesting what, some ability to scan long range... though for what exactly? For that matter, I wonder if we'll get an explanation of sorts regarding why the possible resolution of damnation is such a strictly local phenomenon.  

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13 minutes ago, Hello World said:

What is the significance of Viri being the one mansion not to use halaroi slaves but to employ them? Just that Viri shouldn't have a Topos at its bottom? Or is there something thematic/bigger that I'm missing?

I'd just take that as them being a bit more progessive, taking a somewhat paternalistic role with Men as opposed to enslavement. Of course, it could be more than that. 

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Haha, finally got the end of the last thread. So found out about this one.

So guess we'll find out how the crash damage is mitigated. Not a big mystery to me, much like how they're propulsion system works. How they feed themselves on the Ark and where waste products go.

How they found out about being damned and how they knew about Earwa is of more interest to me personally.

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NIn'janjin is the secret hero of the whole story.  Was a victim, a progressive, a murderer of tyrants, an immortal, etc...

 

 

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27 minutes ago, Hello World said:

You didn’t put a spoiler warning in the title, btw.

Thanks. Weird I had it in the first iteration.

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Love the new Nail of Heaven flaring bit. Remember we also learned in TFS that the Norman name for it means something like new star or young star. So I think we have data points that it both appeared within course of Norman history and flared. And we know it's still the brightest star in the night sky. 

The Viri human interaction is cool. Viewed as a sign of eccentricity and weakness by other nommen mansions.  Does that fact that men were employed imply Viri had currency? Like Mithral backed notes?

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1. I still don’t understand the Nail of Heaven. Some of you seem to be now suddenly cool with it, or have seen some new revelation. Please explain this to me as if I were a small child.

The mystery to me is why the Nail of Heaven, which now seems to be either a warp portal, or at least the describe the vector of impact of the Ark, is at the end of the rotational axis of the Ground. Why should that be? If the Nail is just a star, light years away, then why did the Inchoroi use that as a navigational beacon? It is no easier to hit a planet aiming for its rotational axis than from any other direction. If, instead, the Nail is a warp portal inside the solar system, then … well, that’s even weirder, I don’t even have a model for that. It moves along with the Ground, in parallell around the Sun? And, still, why there?

So I understand the poetry of it, but not the celestial mechanics.

2. I don’t understand our incredulity about the crash, but that’s because I know very little physics. What is the problem with the Ark being buried? We assume it’s made of super!metal that even the Quya can’t scratch, so it’s very durable and would vapourise the Ground on impact, rather than vice versa. (Is this impossible? It might be. Please explain, I’m eager to learn. Treat me like a small child.) The Inchoroi have super!tech in their sleeping pods that absorbs the rapid deceleration. Still, most of them die horribly. (Impossible? Please explain. I’m eager to learn.) 

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Wert, the information that the Sranc are perverted humans (rather than a mockery of the Cunoroi) is new. Is that just a vague paraphrase of something you know more about, or a genuine mistake?

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Re thread title: Barthes wrote about cock fighting. Bakker would approve, presumably he has written a cock fight into the book. Hopefully it is as amusing as the cock fight in that classic 1980s movie where two fellows with glow in the dark condoms have a mock light saber cock fight (black screen all you see are the little light saber "blades") over who gets to fuck the girl. 

Presumably wert can  confirm we get a light saber cock fight.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Happy Ent said:

2. I don’t understand our incredulity about the crash, but that’s because I know very little physics. What is the problem with the Ark being buried? We assume it’s made of super!metal that even the Quya can’t scratch, so it’s very durable and would vapourise the Ground on impact, rather than vice versa. (Is this impossible? It might be. Please explain, I’m eager to learn. Treat me like a small child.) The Inchoroi have super!tech in their sleeping pods that absorbs the rapid deceleration. Still, most of them die horribly. (Impossible? Please explain. I’m eager to learn.) 

It’s not complicated at all, Ent, and my issue with it isn’t major.

Advanced spacefaring race having not just an understanding but limited mastery of scientific principles and methods? No problem.

Advanced race, as depicted above, having crossed the threshold of belief to verify that ‘damnation’ is objective and also universally applicable despite its source [or resolution, rather] being strictly local and minute given a universal scale? Bit of a stretch, but ok…

Advanced race, scanning the depths of the known [and unknown] for planets that fit this criteria? Sure, why not. They could’ve been sustaining their lifespans and scanning for millions of years, although some of those scans would’ve taken billions, but alright.

Advanced race travelling or using interspacial travel to suss out likely candidates. No problem.

Advanced race loses control somehow and crashes into a candidate that turned out to be the very one? A little deus ex, but maybe that’s the point, so... ok.

Advanced race crashes into said planet…

The impact crater is what, allegedly 100 km wide, so it’s relatively analogous to the Manicouagan crater in central Quebec which was caused by a 5km diameter asteroid, estimated. Now, I’d imagine that the Ark would have to be much larger than this to achieve the same mass, but that’s just a thought and not a necessity. However, given that the Nonmen scoured it’s interior for 20 years it is safe to say that is has a lot of void space and so, the mass was either made up in additional size or its particular composition [i.e. super Science™ metal]. Personally I’d lean toward the former as large mass under guided space propulsion is problematic from a fuel source point of view, but hey, super Science™ is hard to argue with, and hey again, mass is mass.

Whichever the case when asteroids/meteoroids similar to Manicouagan, travelling in the 10s km per second impact, a small fraction of it actually vaporizes along with a lot of local sediment. The majority of it melts.  Another small, and perhaps the smallest part remains solid but is completely fractured. Only small impactors [yeah, that’s the term] remain intact, and some do bury themselves. But only small ones, nothing like this.

All that said, here is my main issue:

If you’re a hyper advanced race with super Sciencey™ tech, the forces involved with an impact that large [as evidenced by the size of the crater] are absolutely incredible, so I don’t care how advanced you are you’re not creating a Science™ metal that can withstand bearing those out. So let’s say the Inchies also had some kind of energy shield and inertial dampeners of some kind to help as well. Ok, fine. But the Gs alone of that impact would be beyond ridiculous. And, even if as Kal suggests they had some kind of impact resistant gel or whatever, a brain is still going to turn into mash against the inside of a skull, the skull will likely collapse upon itself, and so on and so forth… and the heat alone. Oi.

I’m sure this all seems like pedantic quibbling. And to some extent, it is. However, when you start incorporating scifi elements into a fantasy story, you have to play by the rules. Has Scot done so, and found creative ways around it, yeah probably, but… still. Like, I’m dealing with different but similar issues with the novel I’m writing [a fansci blend] and it’s challenging to remain consistent. But totally necessary for continued immersion [in my opinion]

Anyway, moving on.

 

---

 

I’ve missed years of speculation here. Has anyone pondered or come up with any theories as to why damnation is universal but its recourse isn’t?  

 

edited for lots of shit

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The mystery to me is why the Nail of Heaven, which now seems to be either a warp portal, or at least the describe the vector of impact of the Ark, is at the end of the rotational axis of the Ground. Why should that be? If the Nail is just a star, light years away, then why did the Inchoroi use that as a navigational beacon? It is no easier to hit a planet aiming for its rotational axis than from any other direction. If, instead, the Nail is a warp portal inside the solar system, then … well, that’s even weirder, I don’t even have a model for that. It moves along with the Ground, in parallell around the Sun? And, still, whythere?

Sorry, can't resist.

"But why should anyone on earth care about this outside of hard SF? The easiest counterargument to make is an imperative: Relax! Try to enjoy a narrative that goes far greater lengths to be believeable than most any other epic fantasy out there. All this is interesting in its own right, but as a criticism it simply misses the point… the whole genre, you could say."

My personal fanwank would be that the Nail of Heaven is a literal gateway to the Outside. Possibly the only one in existence. The Inchoroi found it, finally, after millenia of searching for the world where the Outside is physically connected to a world. And in finding it they caused a massive explosion that went along with their warp system. 

Heck, we assume heliocentric systems here. I'm not sure that this is reasonable given what we know of intentionality on Earwa. If this is a world like our ancestors imagined it, wouldn't it make sense that Earwa is literally the center of everything?

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Scot's funny. I have no idea why he takes criticism so personally, especially given that most of the criticism, on this board anyway, is arguably constructive. 

35 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

Heck, we assume heliocentric systems here. I'm not sure that this is reasonable given what we know of intentionality on Earwa. If this is a world like our ancestors imagined it, wouldn't it make sense that Earwa is literally the center of everything?

It would make sense, yeah, but the center of a universe being an actual planet instead of some kind of gravimetric phenomenon akin to an incredibly vast star or black hole of some type? Iono.   

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Perhaps the Inchoroi were inside this gateway, (nail of heaven?) for a considerable time and had no way to not crash into the planet. In this state they hunkered down, and braced for impact.

EDIT: Would be pretty cool too if they were locked in this portal or gateway... I think during the Esmenet possession the Inchoroi tell Kellhus there was a time they could blot out this world with a finger.

That they could see the world they longed for right in front of them, and knowing they could do nothing but collide. Kinda cool.

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But do y'all feel that the piece on Wert's site at least confirmed the theory that the Nail of Heaven is something beyond Earwa's North Star?  That seems like one of the big reveals.  Whether it's a mother ship, a wormhole, a portal to the Outside, etc...it seems confirmed that it's not just another star. 

 

ETA:  Also, CC is a douche. 

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17 minutes ago, Triskan said:

But do y'all feel that the piece on Wert's site at least confirmed the theory that the Nail of Heaven is something beyond Earwa's North Star?  That seems like one of the big reveals.  Whether it's a mother ship, a wormhole, a portal to the Outside, etc...it seems confirmed that it's not just another star. 

 

ETA:  Also, CC is a douche. 

CC being Cu'jara Cinmoi or whatever? Hells yeah.

I'm not sure a wormhole would actually be visible, per se. Not continuously anyway. Could be a mothership, I suppose, but deem it a low possibility. The 'flash' could just as likely been a lens effect created by the Ark popping out of non-space [a displaced gravimetric effect, as I think we can all agree that the distances involved require a drive of that type as opposed to conventional]

I personally think it's just the Nail, and as such could itself be the 'center' of this universe, if you will, explaining Nonmen thoughts regarding it and relative proximity to the Outside if objective influence required 'live' observers, i.e. Earwa being the closest planet with life, and so forth.

I don't think it necessarily needs to mean anything particular.  

 

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But didn't the Nail flex or flash or something in this little narrative?  Seems to suggest that it arrived or was affected. 

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"in the slot of a hanging ravine, the Nail of Heaven twinkled alone in the endless blue, a beacon of all things high and open…
A final call to those who would dare the nethers of the earth."

Make of that what you will. I wouldn't be surprised if the nail's significance was something supernatural rather than physical.

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