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Bakker LVI: the Rectum of Creation

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6 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

So...why did he state that he knew that at some point the No-God would arise? Was he just delaying the inevitable? And if that's the case, why is he willing to basically sacrifice everything else - all the kingdoms of men - in order to do what is simply a delay?

I still think it is plausible that he wanted to control the circumstance of the No-God's rise.  Since it would always happen, he figured he could control when it would and so presumably dictate who gets to survive and who doesn't.  More time means he would better be able to figure out the nuances of it too.  It's not a perfect plan, but it's better than letting the Consult do it though.  Rule Zero is still Survive.  So, if it costs a few hundred thousand, and a bunch of kingdoms, who cares?  That less than the total cost if the Consult lets the No-God rise.  If it must happen, then it must happen, but at least, one, Kellhus himself would survive and so would those he "cares" about.  Not great, but in the face of inevitable doom, I'd rather it be on my own terms than the terms of a rape-alien, Hensonist cult.

12 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

Furthermore, it seems clear that Kellhus didn't really need the Ordeal to beat the Consult. He appeared to be able to handle whatever they threw at him without any real issue. He decapitates Mek and easily beats Aurang. We've seen him obliterate thousands of Sranc. He was able to use a nuke without any real concern. Why can't he just go and smash Golgotterath?

Well, if the plan wasn't to become Ajokli, he actually has no way to beat all those skin-spies there in the Golden Room.  I bet he'd kill almost all of them, but one touch is death, so I'd likely bet on the Mutilated and Skin-spies in that case.  I think, like Serwa alludes to, the Ark was meant to be breached before Kellhus would be in the Golden Room, somewhat evening the stakes because those skin-spies would need to be defending against the Ordeal, not Kellhus.

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Hmm. That seems like a plausible plan then. Kellhus was planning on obliterating the Consult and then holding Golgotterath, mining its secrets and then activating the No-God on his own terms.

What seems odd is that it seems like a one-way trip given the absurd amounts of Sranc that come out of the Yimaleti mountains. I can't imagine that they have the supplies to be able to take down the Consult AND then survive there in some kind of protracted siege while Kellhus figures shit out. It also isn't what any of the people apparently trained for as far as I can tell - their goal appeared to always be to take Golgotterath and destroy the Consult, and then be, well, done. 

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5 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

Hmm. That seems like a plausible plan then. Kellhus was planning on obliterating the Consult and then holding Golgotterath, mining its secrets and then activating the No-God on his own terms.

What seems odd is that it seems like a one-way trip given the absurd amounts of Sranc that come out of the Yimaleti mountains. I can't imagine that they have the supplies to be able to take down the Consult AND then survive there in some kind of protracted siege while Kellhus figures shit out. It also isn't what any of the people apparently trained for as far as I can tell - their goal appeared to always be to take Golgotterath and destroy the Consult, and then be, well, done. 

Hell, maybe Kellhus even thought he could somehow make Ark work again, even though that likely isn't possible.

One way trip for the Ordeal?  Almost certainly.  But if the did manage to breach Ark and Kellhus manages to kill the Mutilated, all those Sranc are mostly irrelevant.  Once Kellhus is "done" in the Golden Room, the second he steps outside, he could obliterate those Sranc with a handful of words.

I don't think Kellhus could care any less if any of them make it back to the Three Seas.  If they do, well, that's nice.  If they don't, well, you've got to break a few eggs to make a cake.  Or a few hundred thousand, whatever.  And after what they go through to get there, I don't think it's likely many of the Ordealsmen figured they would even get back either.  Frankly, I don't know that they'd want to, it would be something like PTSD literally from Hell.  Anyone with any sense left wouldn't/shouldn't want to visit that on their home/family.  Honestly, they are better off dead at that point, likely for themselves, and definitely for everyone else.

Kellhus is cool with sacrifice, he just fails on ones that pertain to himself and Esmenet (and so little Kel).  Notice, he could care less about Theli, Inri, and the rest in the "end."

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4 hours ago, Kalbear said:

Hmm. That seems like a plausible plan then. Kellhus was planning on obliterating the Consult and then holding Golgotterath, mining its secrets and then activating the No-God on his own terms.

Holding golgotterath himself would explain why he cut off the other horn when he got the laser, not the horn with all the boss fights in it.

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4 hours ago, Kalbear said:

Okay, sure. Let's assume that Kellhus' plan is to defeat the Consult.

So...why did he state that he knew that at some point the No-God would arise? Was he just delaying the inevitable? And if that's the case, why is he willing to basically sacrifice everything else - all the kingdoms of men - in order to do what is simply a delay?

Furthermore, it seems clear that Kellhus didn't really need the Ordeal to beat the Consult. He appeared to be able to handle whatever they threw at him without any real issue. He decapitates Mek and easily beats Aurang. We've seen him obliterate thousands of Sranc. He was able to use a nuke without any real concern. Why can't he just go and smash Golgotterath? 

Well, I have no idea why Kellhus' plan is to defeat the Consult, I'm simply accepting that as the premise. As you said, he knows its going to happen at some time and honestly, why would he give a shit if the world ended since it becomes clear that he doesn't actually think of himself as a prophet or in touch with God. He's a dunyain, and his explanation to...Proyas? I think? Was that 'knowledge is responsibility,' which also is unconvincing. Still, Bakker said he was trying to genuinely stop them so I'm going with that.

As .H. said, while most of the things in his path were no threat to him, the Consult has enough resources to defeat him. He already considered the Dunsult as a possibility, and was genuinely ignorant of what kind of preparations and defenses they've made in 2,000 years. In the case of the former, I believe all the Dunsult are sorcerers and I don't think he's beating 5 dunyain sorcerers and however many skinspies. In the latter, there might still be an unacceptable risk to him that he might get overwhelmed by clever tricks, Chorae, whatever - it's not like he can just use sorcery to solve all his problems, as the Ark is immune to sorcery. The Ordeal was the safe choice, so why not?

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17 minutes ago, gigaputty said:

Well, I have no idea why Kellhus' plan is to defeat the Consult, I'm simply accepting that as the premise.

So was I. Again, let's go with it. 

17 minutes ago, gigaputty said:

As you said, he knows its going to happen at some time and honestly, why would he give a shit if the world ended since it becomes clear that he doesn't actually think of himself as a prophet or in touch with God. He's a dunyain, and his explanation to...Proyas? I think? Was that 'knowledge is responsibility,' which also is unconvincing. Still, Bakker said he was trying to genuinely stop them so I'm going with that. 

Still not the point I was making. If he knows that the No-God is inevitable, but he wants to stop the Consult, what does that imply? Is he planning on being the No-God or controlling it, or unleashing it at a time of his choosing? Does he think he can stop it even though he says it's inevitable? I refuse to believe someone like Kellhus is going to create the largest army in the history of the world over a 10 year period with the end game being LEROY JENKINS. 

17 minutes ago, gigaputty said:

 As .H. said, while most of the things in his path were no threat to him, the Consult has enough resources to defeat him. He already considered the Dunsult as a possibility, and was genuinely ignorant of what kind of preparations and defenses they've made in 2,000 years.

I still state that it is incredibly stupid of him to not go after the Dunyain himself, either to make them his slaves or to kill them. The thought that he would let the Consult take them knowing it was an option seems like such a ludicrous oversight. 

17 minutes ago, gigaputty said:

In the case of the former, I believe all the Dunsult are sorcerers and I don't think he's beating 5 dunyain sorcerers and however many skinspies. In the latter, there might still be an unacceptable risk to him that he might get overwhelmed by clever tricks, Chorae, whatever - it's not like he can just use sorcery to solve all his problems, as the Ark is immune to sorcery.

It is not clear if Ark is immune to sorcery at all. 

17 minutes ago, gigaputty said:

The Ordeal was the safe choice, so why not?

The safe choice for what, though? Kellhus is just as screwed as he is going alone as he is with the whole Ordeal - maybe moreso, as he doesn't have the element of surprise. Kellhus has to somehow assume that his Ordeal can handle whatever he cannot himself handle, even though there's little evidence of that. There's no evidence that a hundred chorae wielding skin spies couldn't murder most of his army, for that matter. It's not a 'safe' choice, and it might be a bad choice depending on what his goal is. 

If his goal is to stop the Consult, well, most of the Ordeal's difficulties are the thing that Kellhus can make trivial - getting to Golgotterath. Him and a few sorcerers and a few soldiers teleporting into Ark? Hell, isn't that what Seswatha did at one point? It's not like there isn't a history of people doing exactly that. 

Another way to say it is this: if Kellhus can't think of clever ways to deal with skin spies with chorae, he's not a particularly clever person given that he already did so back in book 2. 

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I'm a bit lost...so Kellhus was stupid for showing up with an army? IIRC the army was there, as Proyas said, to protect the Schools until they got to Golgotterath.

 

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18 minutes ago, Sci-2 said:

I'm a bit lost...so Kellhus was stupid for showing up with an army? IIRC the army was there, as Proyas said, to protect the Schools until they got to Golgotterath.  

And the schools are there to deal with the hordes of sranc and to make sure they get to Golgotterath. 

But Kellhus can deal with hordes of sranc by himself, without much help - or he can simply ignore them entirely, as Serwa does when she flits over to the Mansion. And the argument above was that Kellhus needed the ordeal to deal with things like skin spies with chorae, which...don't get dealt with by the schools all that well. 

What value is the Ordeal if the whole point of the Ordeal is basically to just, well, get to Golgotterath? It's not 'get Kellhus to Golgotterath' because he can do it easily. He could almost certainly bring down Ark by himself if he wants, or if he really is thinking he can't do it with normal weapons he can go hunt down another Heron Spear and get it. Again, we know that small groups have snuck onto Ark in the past, and done so (somehow) successfully. 

Hell, we have, in the book, Kellhus' daughter dealing with 100 enemies armed with chorae bows AND a dragon simultaneously, and the only reason she fails is because of Ajokli (at least that's my interpretation) - something that Kellhus apparently did not foresee all that well. An ordeal doesn't seem nearly as useful as a small group of people to get into Ark. 

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23 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

And the schools are there to deal with the hordes of sranc and to make sure they get to Golgotterath. 

But Kellhus can deal with hordes of sranc by himself, without much help - or he can simply ignore them entirely, as Serwa does when she flits over to the Mansion. And the argument above was that Kellhus needed the ordeal to deal with things like skin spies with chorae, which...don't get dealt with by the schools all that well. 

What value is the Ordeal if the whole point of the Ordeal is basically to just, well, get to Golgotterath? It's not 'get Kellhus to Golgotterath' because he can do it easily. He could almost certainly bring down Ark by himself if he wants, or if he really is thinking he can't do it with normal weapons he can go hunt down another Heron Spear and get it. Again, we know that small groups have snuck onto Ark in the past, and done so (somehow) successfully. 

Hell, we have, in the book, Kellhus' daughter dealing with 100 enemies armed with chorae bows AND a dragon simultaneously, and the only reason she fails is because of Ajokli (at least that's my interpretation) - something that Kellhus apparently did not foresee all that well. An ordeal doesn't seem nearly as useful as a small group of people to get into Ark. 

All of this. It's why people were theorizing as of 2009 that the army must serve some ulterior motive, to be sacrificed somehow for Kellhus to achieve his goals. As fodder to erect the No-God or as some sort of skeleton soul-key to access the God of Gods and rewrite the code of existence or... or something. But no. It mostly feels like it was a chance for RSB to go all Edgelord with the cannibalism rape. Which in itself was extremely predictable--but again, it was thought there'd be some point to it. Harvesting that amount of sin, or something. But no. But no.

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I have to admit I'm still trying to understand. Kellhus doesn't know exactly what awaits him, but he does know that there are a shit ton of Sranc between him and his goal.

But he shouldn't have brought an army? It seems that he could have gambled on things playing out well enough by just bringing the Schools but this seems incredibly irresponsible. It wasn't even clear if the Intact would show up at the end.

As for Seswatha sneaking into the Ark...it's not even clear if those passageways would still be there, and maybe my memory is failing but it isn't even clear what exactly happened w/ Seswatha sneaking into the Ark...I thought that story of just getting the Heron Spear was a bit fishy.

Edited by Sci-2

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7 hours ago, Kalbear said:

So was I. Again, let's go with it. 

Still not the point I was making. If he knows that the No-God is inevitable, but he wants to stop the Consult, what does that imply? Is he planning on being the No-God or controlling it, or unleashing it at a time of his choosing? Does he think he can stop it even though he says it's inevitable? I refuse to believe someone like Kellhus is going to create the largest army in the history of the world over a 10 year period with the end game being LEROY JENKINS. 

I still state that it is incredibly stupid of him to not go after the Dunyain himself, either to make them his slaves or to kill them. The thought that he would let the Consult take them knowing it was an option seems like such a ludicrous oversight. 

It is not clear if Ark is immune to sorcery at all. 

The safe choice for what, though? Kellhus is just as screwed as he is going alone as he is with the whole Ordeal - maybe moreso, as he doesn't have the element of surprise. Kellhus has to somehow assume that his Ordeal can handle whatever he cannot himself handle, even though there's little evidence of that. There's no evidence that a hundred chorae wielding skin spies couldn't murder most of his army, for that matter. It's not a 'safe' choice, and it might be a bad choice depending on what his goal is. 

If his goal is to stop the Consult, well, most of the Ordeal's difficulties are the thing that Kellhus can make trivial - getting to Golgotterath. Him and a few sorcerers and a few soldiers teleporting into Ark? Hell, isn't that what Seswatha did at one point? It's not like there isn't a history of people doing exactly that. 

Another way to say it is this: if Kellhus can't think of clever ways to deal with skin spies with chorae, he's not a particularly clever person given that he already did so back in book 2. 

I believe the reason the the barricades were put up around the Ark was because the nonmen couldn't simply destroy it with sorcery. I think this is mentioned in The False Sun and also some Bakker quote somewhere. So for my argument lets say point 1 is that Kellhus cannot simply raze the Ark to the ground with sorcery. 

My point with the chorae and skin spies and dunsult is more that what is inside the ark is an Unknown to him - maybe he simply considered the possibility that he would suffer a defeat or death too high. His biggest weakness is dealing with Chorae and his typical strategems of avoiding the arrow or catching it or stirring up a dirt cloud or whatever might simply be too risky. So point 2 is that there is unacceptable risk in assaulting the Ark by himself, something that would not be appreciably mitigated by teleporting a couple people with him. (this is actually true because he would have failed in assaulting the Ark by himself if, y'know, he didn't become Ajokli).

So, if you cannot destroy the Ark from a distance and assaulting the Ark by yourself is just too risky, bringing an Army that can smash down the gates and clear all those obstacles in your path is the safe choice. All he would need to do is destroy the obstacles too difficult for the Ordeal to deal with (the dragon, the laser gun sniper) and let the Ordeal swarm over everything else until arriving in the golden room.

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Your other points are speculating about why Kellhus is fighting the consult at all or why didn't he kill the dunyain himself. I don't know and it's tangential to the premise of, "Kellhus is trying to defeat the consult, he also did not blow up Ishual. What's the best way to achieve this goal?" 

I agree it would have been easy-ish to reach the golden room singlehandedly, but that isn't the same thing as beating the Consult. Plus, y'know, hes not really a stealthy guy anymore when malowebi instantly feels him teleport into the area because his mark is the strongest he's ever felt.

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12 hours ago, Sci-2 said:

I have to admit I'm still trying to understand. Kellhus doesn't know exactly what awaits him, but he does know that there are a shit ton of Sranc between him and his goal.

And as we've seen, he can entirely bypass them without any real issue, and he can also simply kill them without any real issue (as we see in WLW). 

12 hours ago, Sci-2 said:

But he shouldn't have brought an army? It seems that he could have gambled on things playing out well enough by just bringing the Schools but this seems incredibly irresponsible. It wasn't even clear if the Intact would show up at the end. 

I am not saying just bring the schools - if you bring the schools, you must bring the army to protect them. I'm saying don't bring either. Bring some Dunyain ninjas and maybe a few super powerful Mandate. Hell, bring Cleric. There's no indication that he needs to lay siege to Ark in order to get inside, after all, and there's evidence that he doesn't. 

12 hours ago, Sci-2 said:

As for Seswatha sneaking into the Ark...it's not even clear if those passageways would still be there, and maybe my memory is failing but it isn't even clear what exactly happened w/ Seswatha sneaking into the Ark...I thought that story of just getting the Heron Spear was a bit fishy.

It's a bit fishy, but Mandate memories have him doing it. Who knows, right? But all the information about the fortifications and structures around Ark were entirely accurate, and they planned on those, so it's not like Kellhus is ignoring the past information. 

More importantly, you cannot both say that Kellhus should be ready for anything and be unaware of what might happen AND also say that the reason he can't do certain things is because he's unaware of what might happen. 

I think the main point about sneak vs. army I'm trying to say is that the Consult doesn't just have a massively fortified place with millions of Sranc sitting around at every single moment. They had to prepare for that army, and they had time to do it. They didn't just place a nuke either - that took planning and preparation. Kellhus, by himself and with some others, can bypass all of that almost comically fast. Even if the Dunsult is expecting it for some reason, they cannot have nearly as much prep as they did. So a surprise attack is in a lot of ways safer for Kellhus. Heck, have the best of both worlds - have the Ordeal loudly preparing, and then in year two of 10 have Kellhus go and kill some shit. 

Still dont' get why he didn't go kill Ishual though. 

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I don't see why Khellus didn't go to the Ark alone immediately after Shimeh, and simply obliterate the Consult on his own before they could find Ishual. He was certainly able to do so.

Also, Koringhus remembers that Dunyain started disappearing some time before the attack on Ishual. Maybe the 5 mutilated were among those and they are the ones who initiated the attack, after they converted.

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1 hour ago, Kalbear said:

Still dont' get why he didn't go kill Ishual though.

I think this is just a flat example of Kellhus making a mistake.  He isn't actually infallible.  Likely he probably discounted the possibility of the Consult finding Ishual and then further, discounted some of them being taken alive.  Perhaps this was before he really, fully realized just how important Rule Zero is.

There is the possibility that he actually thought that he could use the Dunyain to further his aim.  Of course, in retrospect that is pretty dumb, but so is not killing Akka, and Mimara for that matter, and definitely stupid not killing little Kel as soon as he seemed aberrant.  Kellhus does make mistakes.  He just happens to be somewhat smarter and a lot more powerful than almost every one else.

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3 minutes ago, .H. said:

I think this is just a flat example of Kellhus making a mistake.  He isn't actually infallible.  Likely he probably discounted the possibility of the Consult finding Ishual and then further, discounted some of them being taken alive.  Perhaps this was before he really, fully realized just how important Rule Zero is.

 

Except he says completely otherwise in TUC, right? That he thought it was a good possibility, but wasn't sure until the nuke. 

3 minutes ago, .H. said:

There is the possibility that he actually thought that he could use the Dunyain to further his aim.  Of course, in retrospect that is pretty dumb, but so is not killing Akka, and Mimara for that matter, and definitely stupid not killing little Kel as soon as he seemed aberrant.  Kellhus does make mistakes.  He just happens to be somewhat smarter and a lot more powerful than almost every one else.

And using the Dunyain would make sense too! But simply ignoring the most powerful humans on the planet? Especially when he could surmise that the Consult may go after them themselves? The only thing that makes any sense there is that Kellhus hoped that the Consult would simply damage themselves running against the Dunyain, and he thought it was very unlikely that they'd take prisoners, and if they did it wouldn't be a problem. That would make sense, but he says almost precisely the opposite in TUC. 

(another editor mistake - instead of saying that it was likely, he could have said it was highly unlikely and worth the risk of reducing the foes he had to face, and showing that he fucked up). 

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6 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

That would make sense, but he says almost precisely the opposite in TUC. 

Yeah, that's actually true.

I guess the only way to actually "square" this is that Kellhus actually wanted the Consult to capture and be taken over by the Dunyain.  I think this only could be "made sense of" in a manner of Kellhus, being Dunyain, actually wants to face other Dunyain, because their actions are more "intelligible" to him, than alien rape-monsters'.

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The 'bring a huge army and all the schools' plan was clearly working, and its not clear at all that bringing a few retainers would be superior or equal to that. It's plausible enough to me that he considered it to be the shortest path. 

 

oops you already what i was gonna say about the dunyain

Edited by gigaputty

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4 hours ago, Kalbear said:

The only thing that makes any sense there is that Kellhus hoped that the Consult would simply damage themselves running against the Dunyain, and he thought it was very unlikely that they'd take prisoners, and if they did it wouldn't be a problem. That would make sense, but he says almost precisely the opposite in TUC. 

This is what I think as well. WHat TUC quote do you mean by the way?

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