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Bakker LVI: the Rectum of Creation

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20 minutes ago, Triskele said:

Maybe there was a phenomenal accomplishment in the achievement the Nonmen and the Sohonc in developing and refining the Gnosis but they largely hit a threshold / barrier, and it took an Einstein (Kellhus) to advance it from that point.  

Maybe? I'm pretty skeptical of that given that Akka actually knows about the possibility of a second inutteral but thought it was just impossible. There's a difference between discovery and engineering, and the latter requires, well, practice more than eureka. 

Mostly, I don't see evidence of them even really trying to experiment or refine even around the knowledge they have. As an example, swords were in relatively common use for thousands of years, shields even longer, and spears longer still - but the phalanx was a combination of those concepts that required no major advances in tech, just advances in use of that tech (and coordination and training). I'm surprised, for instance, that there are not ways for sorcerers to combine powers to overwhelm wards in a synergistic way beyond just all of them casting spells against the person. Or for sorcerers to be able to combine to cause effectively natural disasters or massive damage beyond just casting a lot of fireballs at once. We've talked about not using sorcerers as engineers and diggers and how stupid that is, but even more stupid is schools spending their time fighting wars for the most part and those wars not really resulting in actual tacticians, nor were actual generals particularly good at deploying their wizards. 

What's even more bizarre to me is that despite their absurd knowledge of the metaphysical, going so far as to allow machines to interface with the Outside and display results to users in real time, the Inchoroi had basically zero grasp of magic until it was taught to them by the nonmen and they had their idiot servants graft it into their bodies. I realize they came from a world that was supposedly anarcane ground, but they didn't stay there, and their discovery of the Inverse Fire came after they traveled away from their own world and discovered the problems. 

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11 hours ago, Callan S. said:

Source? I mean the trailer uses basic animation?

I only have it on third-hand knowledge, but it's something he has repeated to a couple people over the years.

Of course the trailer uses animation, it's the only real way to do this.  And of course it makes little sense that Bakker is dead set against animation as a medium, much in the same way that he is largely categorically against any sort of merch.  Although, from the new site, there actually is some merch.  So, who knows, maybe he might actually change his mind...

5 hours ago, Kalbear said:

What's even more bizarre to me is that despite their absurd knowledge of the metaphysical, going so far as to allow machines to interface with the Outside and display results to users in real time, the Inchoroi had basically zero grasp of magic until it was taught to them by the nonmen and they had their idiot servants graft it into their bodies. I realize they came from a world that was supposedly anarcane ground, but they didn't stay there, and their discovery of the Inverse Fire came after they traveled away from their own world and discovered the problems. 

I don't think the Inverse Fire post-dates the Progenitors building Ark though.  The Inchoroi though, do post-date the Inverse Fire:

Quote

“They were a warrior-caste,” the burnt one continued, “bred to lust and to hunger for all forms of trespass, to heap such damnation upon themselves that the merest glimpse of the Inverse Fire would reignite their ardour.”

I don't recall anything that suggests that the Progenitors only created the Inverse Fire after the Ark though.

Quote

In their curious, collective manner, the Mutilated told how the Tekne so transformed the problems faced by the progenitors that all the old ways became impossible. It raised them from their traditions, struck the shackles of custom from their intellects, until only their common animality constrained them. They worshipped themselves as the measure of all significance, gave themselves over to wanton gluttony. Nothing was forbidden them, short the obstruction of others and their desires. Justice became the calculation of competing appetites. Logos became the principle of their entire civilization.
“By imperceptible increments,” the one-eyed Dûnyain said, his face strange and glaring, “the Tekne unfettered their desires, allowed them to plumb ever deeper perversions.”
The Tekne. Yes. The Tekne lay at the root of their argument.
“They began moulding themselves the way potter’s mould clay,” the unscathed one said.
The Tekne and the transformations wrought by its bottomless potency ...
“They stood upon the very brink of the Absolute,” the teeth-baring Dûnyain called. “It pricked their fingers, it was so near!”
How, in relieving the Inchoroi of want and deprivation, it had stripped them of everything sacred ...
“There was only one riddle they could not solve,” the lone unscarred Dûnyain said, “one ancient enigma the Tekne could not fathom ...”
“The soul,” his teeth-baring brother gasped.
Three heartbeats of silence followed—silence and tumbling revelation.
“It became their Mystery of Mysteries, the focus of their most cunning intellects.”
It no longer mattered who spoke—for the Mutilated did not lie, and the Truth spoke with but one soul.
“And when the soul at last yielded its secrets to their scrutiny ...”
And there he was, a beehive head slung from the Aspect-Emperor’s imperial reflection. How? How had he found himself in such wretched straits?
“They discovered their entire race damned.”

I'd think that last step was the discovery (invention) of the Inverse Fire.  I'd think that somehow through the Inverse Fire they managed to see two things.  One, that they were indeed damned no matter where they went.  And two, that there was a place where it was possible to "close" this off.  That is, somewhere that meaning was malleable.  (I have no real clue how or why they'd have been able to figure that out, but I'm just guessing that the most likely one is that somehow they saw back out of the Outside through the Inverse Fire, or something.)

Of course this means that they could have predicted sorcery.  Indeed, they probably should have.  But the Progenitors themselves were likely well and "dead" if they ever were on Ark and the crude tool of the Inchoroi simply weren't generally apt to consider novel problems without defaulting to their go-to of simply murdering everyone bare-handed.  As Wuttëat tells us, it worked on countless other worlds.  Honestly, if Ark hasn't crashed and died, it's likely Sorcery wouldn't have mattered in the long run, just would have been something of a speed-bump.  Heck, if Sil wasn't such a hot-head (which isn't possible, he existed solely to be a hot-head, but still) things likely go much smoother.

It's only because the "plan" went to shit from the moment they entered the Eärwan system that really any of the clear flaws in whole endeavor became real issues.  Mostly centered on the fact that Ark was likely the key to the whole thing.  I think it's likely the Ark was the architect, Inchoroi and everything else were merely tools.  So, when Ark died, it's like a bunch of hammers, saws, and screwdrivers were left to try to build something rather complex on their own.  If Ark had lived, it probably would have deduced sorcery rather quickly, have devised Grafts and incorporated them into new Inchoroi in a short matter of time.  Not to mention, Ark probably could have furnished more Heron Spears and who knows what else as weapons.

In reality, the biggest flaw in the plan was how instrumental to the whole thing Ark was.  The gap between what the Inchoroi collectively knew and what Ark knew was just far too great.  This might have been partly done for reasons of keeping the Inchoroi under "control" or simply because the Progenitors were dumb enough to think that Ark could not die, so why bother giving it's henchmen information they'd never need.

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1 hour ago, .H. said:

Although, from the new site, there actually is some merch. 

I didn't know there was a new site... I guess https://www.rscottbakker.com/ is just going to remain stuck in WLW times indefinitely. :dunno: The new site looks pretty cool though.

Edited by Hello World

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1 hour ago, Hello World said:

I didn't know there was a new site... I guess https://www.rscottbakker.com/ is just going to remain stuck in WLW times indefinitely. :dunno: The new site looks pretty cool though.

I "stealth" linked in here a while back, but I should have posted it more explicitly.

https://secondapocalypse.ca/

Pretty sure it was made by Bakker's brother and possibly others.  Not sure is Jason was involved in actually building it, but certainly he knew of it since it's his art all over it.  Plausibly Jason is the only one who could convince Bakker of what could be done with animation, but again, it is likely a lost cause for irrational reasons.

But yeah, I think that old is a dead letter, which, like almost everything else, makes no sense, but who are we?

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13 hours ago, Sci-2 said:

the Inchoroi scream refugees-from-some-hentai after all...

Tell me that shit at the end of TWP wasn't right out of the Eclipse. The Inchoroi even kind of looks like Femto the way its described, doesn't it? 

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7 hours ago, .H. said:

I don't think the Inverse Fire post-dates the Progenitors building Ark though.  The Inchoroi though, do post-date the Inverse Fire:

I wasn't saying that they did. I was saying both postdate the Progenitors leaving their anarcane world, which presumably would block even basic study of nonobjective manipulation of reality. The basic timeline is something like:

basic mastery of physical editing and mental editing -> space exploration -> discovery of inverse fire principles -> creation of ark/inchoroi

7 hours ago, .H. said:

I'd think that last step was the discovery (invention) of the Inverse Fire.  I'd think that somehow through the Inverse Fire they managed to see two things.  One, that they were indeed damned no matter where they went.  And two, that there was a place where it was possible to "close" this off.  That is, somewhere that meaning was malleable.  (I have no real clue how or why they'd have been able to figure that out, but I'm just guessing that the most likely one is that somehow they saw back out of the Outside through the Inverse Fire, or something.)

Right. They somehow were able to prove that hell exists, damnation is real and they're really, really fucked. And then they created Ark to attempt to obliterate the universal damnation. 

(an aside: I still don't understand why immortal beings would care about damnation. Another place Good Place gets right with the existential crisis episode; it's hard to care about ethics when you're immortal)

7 hours ago, .H. said:

Of course this means that they could have predicted sorcery.  Indeed, they probably should have.  But the Progenitors themselves were likely well and "dead" if they ever were on Ark and the crude tool of the Inchoroi simply weren't generally apt to consider novel problems without defaulting to their go-to of simply murdering everyone bare-handed.  As Wuttëat tells us, it worked on countless other worlds.  Honestly, if Ark hasn't crashed and died, it's likely Sorcery wouldn't have mattered in the long run, just would have been something of a speed-bump.  Heck, if Sil wasn't such a hot-head (which isn't possible, he existed solely to be a hot-head, but still) things likely go much smoother. 

Given how important sorcery was to beating them, I'm gonna call shenanigans on this. You can say that they shouldn't have invented lasers or nuclear weapons either by that token, and could have simply overwhelmed worlds with ecologically pure terror creatures (like the Chthorr) instead of relying on presumably fairly scarce radioactives and other exotic materials. Ain't like carbon is going away. 

7 hours ago, .H. said:

It's only because the "plan" went to shit from the moment they entered the Eärwan system that really any of the clear flaws in whole endeavor became real issues.  Mostly centered on the fact that Ark was likely the key to the whole thing.  I think it's likely the Ark was the architect, Inchoroi and everything else were merely tools.  So, when Ark died, it's like a bunch of hammers, saws, and screwdrivers were left to try to build something rather complex on their own.  If Ark had lived, it probably would have deduced sorcery rather quickly, have devised Grafts and incorporated them into new Inchoroi in a short matter of time.  Not to mention, Ark probably could have furnished more Heron Spears and who knows what else as weapons. 

In reality, the biggest flaw in the plan was how instrumental to the whole thing Ark was.  The gap between what the Inchoroi collectively knew and what Ark knew was just far too great.  This might have been partly done for reasons of keeping the Inchoroi under "control" or simply because the Progenitors were dumb enough to think that Ark could not die, so why bother giving it's henchmen information they'd never need.

Again, that shouldn't mean that magic should be some kind of weird alien thing to them. For instance, even if  they aren't wanting to use sorcery as a weapon for whatever  reason there is absolutely no reason that the Inchoroi shouldn't all be of the Few and be able to see the Onta, because it gives everyone an advantage who has it. 

I don't have a problem with Inchoroi struggling to discover magic and graft it; I have a problem with them not having it already. 

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13 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

basic mastery of physical editing and mental editing -> space exploration -> discovery of inverse fire principles -> creation of ark/inchoroi

OK, yeah, that makes sense.

14 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

Right. They somehow were able to prove that hell exists, damnation is real and they're really, really fucked. And then they created Ark to attempt to obliterate the universal damnation. 

(an aside: I still don't understand why immortal beings would care about damnation. Another place Good Place gets right with the existential crisis episode; it's hard to care about ethics when you're immortal)

Yeah, I agree.  Although I tend to think they weren't truly immortal.  They were only "functionally immortal."  That is, they would die of old age, but there would still be effects of it.  Likely mostly cognitive/mental ones.  Kind of how, in part, Aurang doesn't remember the whole of his existence, only episodes of it.

17 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

Given how important sorcery was to beating them, I'm gonna call shenanigans on this. You can say that they shouldn't have invented lasers or nuclear weapons either by that token, and could have simply overwhelmed worlds with ecologically pure terror creatures (like the Chthorr) instead of relying on presumably fairly scarce radioactives and other exotic materials. Ain't like carbon is going away.

I'm not quite following that line.  Sorcery was important in stemming the tide and that was really all that was needed given how Ark was not capable of generating reinforcements for the Inchoroi.  Presumably, alive, Ark could have overwhelmed them, sorcery and all.  I presume as well, Ark, alive, would never have been breached either.  I mean, sure, I could be wrong, but it just doesn't seem likely.

Kellhus does ask why nukes weren't employed more and we are told by the Mutilated that those kinds of weapons are not effective in generating the sort of deaths that "fuel" the "code flash" that the No-God needs.  For whatever reason.  I think lasers, in the fashion of the Heron Spear are fair game though.  I'd presume that Ark, alive, would be able to provide/fashion more of these too.  Or at least keep more of them working.

Again, I can't help but think that Ark fully-functional is a total game changer.  It means the Inchoroi numbers would never dwindle, they'd likely have more Tekne at hand, and the Ark itself is likely unbreachable.  Ark being alive also likely means that the Sarcophagus likely does not need to be external to the Ark itself, rendering it unlikely to have every been possibly attacked, let alone hit by the Heron Spear.  Not to mention, Ark could have probably used one of it's "integrated" "circuits" to run the No-God apparatus, meaning it would likely have been active from Day One.  Long, long before anyone would have gotten their hands on the Heron Spear.

I don't see how sorcery would best an active, fully-functional Ark.  It barely was better than a busted-ass, dumb-dumb operated Ark.

22 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

Again, that shouldn't mean that magic should be some kind of weird alien thing to them. For instance, even if  they aren't wanting to use sorcery as a weapon for whatever  reason there is absolutely no reason that the Inchoroi shouldn't all be of the Few and be able to see the Onta, because it gives everyone an advantage who has it. 

I don't have a problem with Inchoroi struggling to discover magic and graft it; I have a problem with them not having it already. 

Yeah, I mean, they could have had that Graft ready.  Or had it already.  But it is completely useless on every other planet in the universe, so while it's an omission, it doesn't seem like an egregious one to me.  Especially not since, the Progenitors likely surmised Ark would be alive upon reaching the Promised World, and could easily just fart out new Inchoroi that did have the proper Graft(s).  I mean, if we imagine that Grafts are zero-cost, then this makes no sense, of course.  But I think it's silly to assume that all Grafts, even in the expert hands of Ark would come at zero-cost.

The fact that Ark was the savior and Ark died really screwed them though.  The dumb-dumb Inchoroi were really left to do what they could with what little was left to them.  Because for whatever reason, no one thought to make them fully autonomous.  Maybe this was to prevent any chance of insurrection.  Maybe it was just plain hubris, thinking that Ark couldn't and wouldn't ever fail.

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4 minutes ago, .H. said:

Yeah, I agree.  Although I tend to think they weren't truly immortal.  They were only "functionally immortal."  That is, they would die of old age, but there would still be effects of it.  Likely mostly cognitive/mental ones.  Kind of how, in part, Aurang doesn't remember the whole of his existence, only episodes of it.

I don't think that Aurang has the same backup ability that the progenitors do. I'm not sure that Aurang's memories are even particularly real. 

4 minutes ago, .H. said:

 

I'm not quite following that line.  Sorcery was important in stemming the tide and that was really all that was needed given how Ark was not capable of generating reinforcements for the Inchoroi.  Presumably, alive, Ark could have overwhelmed them, sorcery and all.  I presume as well, Ark, alive, would never have been breached either.  I mean, sure, I could be wrong, but it just doesn't seem likely. 

As far as I could tell the sorcery basically entirely kicked their ass when they were most functionally powerful technologically. And while Ark would have been useful, there's nothing to indicate that Ark does anything more than what the Inchoroi already do - laser weapons, nukes, biological terror weapons. Hell, even the No-God is another relic of Ark apparently, though why it wasn't ever brought up until after the humans get on board when they apparently used it time and time again is yet another weirdness. 

4 minutes ago, .H. said:

Kellhus does ask why nukes weren't employed more and we are told by the Mutilated that those kinds of weapons are not effective in generating the sort of deaths that "fuel" the "code flash" that the No-God needs.  For whatever reason.  I think lasers, in the fashion of the Heron Spear are fair game though.  I'd presume that Ark, alive, would be able to provide/fashion more of these too.  Or at least keep more of them working.

 

I don't think that's correct. I think they said that you can't just reduce the population; you have the reduce the population while the No-God is active. So they couldn't just nuke the planet if the No-God wasn't around. 

4 minutes ago, .H. said:

Again, I can't help but think that Ark fully-functional is a total game changer.  It means the Inchoroi numbers would never dwindle, they'd likely have more Tekne at hand, and the Ark itself is likely unbreachable.  Ark being alive also likely means that the Sarcophagus likely does not need to be external to the Ark itself, rendering it unlikely to have every been possibly attacked, let alone hit by the Heron Spear.  Not to mention, Ark could have probably used one of it's "integrated" "circuits" to run the No-God apparatus, meaning it would likely have been active from Day One.  Long, long before anyone would have gotten their hands on the Heron Spear. 

I dunno. It's not clear how many numbers of Inchoroi that could be created (why create a crazy long-lived race that can be grafted multiple times if you can simply grow them easily?) The No-God being outside Ark appears to be a necessity of Ark itself, possibly because it needs to be close to the actual physical location of the deaths. Also, the only thing that makes the No-God sarcophagus safe is the chorae; without it, it is incredibly vulnerable to attack. 

As to the integrated circuits, this is one of those weird details that makes less sense the more that you think of it. The best case is that somehow the Earwan brain of humans is close enough to a progenitor's brain that it can be used to run the system, and that means that Earwan human brains are reasonably similar to Progenitors - despite them not being particularly close to, say, nonmen brains. 

The theory I tend to stick with is that the No-God requires a native species in order to work. The programming analogy I use here is that the No-God is essentially a middle man attack, but it needs code samples of the endpoint before it can determine the API being used to talk  between the clients (souls on the planet) and the service (the Outside). Without it, it cannot create the feedback loop. Because this is an integration that's supposed to work broadly, most things won't function properly as a reasonable code sample. Only a select few will. The rest will cause the middleman attack to fail due to lack of information or lack of perfect information. 

4 minutes ago, .H. said:

I don't see how sorcery would best an active, fully-functional Ark.  It barely was better than a busted-ass, dumb-dumb operated Ark.

I don't see how Ark and Inchoroi knowing sorcery wouldn't be even more effective, and a hell of a lot cheaper than carrying around radioactive materials. 

4 minutes ago, .H. said:

Yeah, I mean, they could have had that Graft ready.  Or had it already.  But it is completely useless on every other planet in the universe, so while it's an omission, it doesn't seem like an egregious one to me.  Especially not since, the Progenitors likely surmised Ark would be alive upon reaching the Promised World, and could easily just fart out new Inchoroi that did have the proper Graft(s).  I mean, if we imagine that Grafts are zero-cost, then this makes no sense, of course.  But I think it's silly to assume that all Grafts, even in the expert hands of Ark would come at zero-cost.

I just don't see how it's useless. Point of fact, anarcane areas are apparently pretty rare in the universe. Now, if they're exceptionally common that'd be one thing - but if that's the case, all the Ark has to do is figure out that something is anarcane and then not bother with it. 

4 minutes ago, .H. said:

The fact that Ark was the savior and Ark died really screwed them though.  The dumb-dumb Inchoroi were really left to do what they could with what little was left to them.  Because for whatever reason, no one thought to make them fully autonomous.  Maybe this was to prevent any chance of insurrection.  Maybe it was just plain hubris, thinking that Ark couldn't and wouldn't ever fail.

Well, I don't think it's hubris; to them, Inchoroi were as you say, little more than hammers. I don't expect anyone to design their house so that if humans end up not around the hammers can get back to work and make the house on their own. The fact that they enslaved their hammers to believe that they were going to hell and made them into hammers of zealotry is weird enough.

The Inchoroi were autonomous and fairly intelligent; they were, however, not progenitors, nor did they know enough to take over Ark. 

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1 hour ago, Kalbear said:

I don't think that Aurang has the same backup ability that the progenitors do. I'm not sure that Aurang's memories are even particularly real.

Well, that is plausible.  Why give your best to what are essentially throw away shock troops?  Although I see no reason to doubt what Aurang remembers, even if it is fragmentary.

1 hour ago, Kalbear said:

As far as I could tell the sorcery basically entirely kicked their ass when they were most functionally powerful technologically. And while Ark would have been useful, there's nothing to indicate that Ark does anything more than what the Inchoroi already do - laser weapons, nukes, biological terror weapons. Hell, even the No-God is another relic of Ark apparently, though why it wasn't ever brought up until after the humans get on board when they apparently used it time and time again is yet another weirdness. 

Well, the Inchoroi were doing ok when just fighting Viri, until Siöl came in and saved them.  This was definitely in no small part due to sorcery, but Viri must have had sorcerers of their own, so it's very unlikely that sorcery alone was over-matching them.  More likely is that sorcery and their greater numbers gave the Nonmen the advatage they needed.  If sorcery alone was so strong, there no reason why Siöl would have needed to retreat in the wake Nihrimsul and Cil-Aujas' revolutions.  In fact, that glossary says this fairly explicitly: "Eventually, all but the most powerful of the Inchoroi were overwhelmed by the valour, sorceries, and numbers of the host of Siöl"

I think why the No-God didn't get "used" earlier is because with Ark dead, none of them left knew how to use it.  The Sarcophagus, I don't think, wasn't made as an external weapon, it was part and parcel of Ark itself.  That is, as long as Ark functions, so does The Sarcophagus.  This is why it was that only after the Mangaecca got back into Ark do they realize what that whole apparatus was likely supposed to do.  Then the issue was figuring out how to boot it up manually, without Ark to do it itself.

I mean, I can't prove that a living Ark would be the be-all, end-all, but it's likely to have been enough to win the day early on.  Especially if it could have done something like spat out Wracu at a faster rate.

1 hour ago, Kalbear said:

I don't think that's correct. I think they said that you can't just reduce the population; you have the reduce the population while the No-God is active. So they couldn't just nuke the planet if the No-God wasn't around. 

Well, I still think that functional Ark means fuctional No-God apparatus at all times.  But the part is:

Quote

“But why anything so elaborate?” the Anasûrimbor asked. “If the extermination of Men is your goal, then why not use the weapon you employed in Dagliash?”
And Malowebi could only think, No-God ...
The No-God lay before him.
“We could restore only one,” the unscathed Dûnyain said, mirrored in gold. “Even if more existed, they’re too indiscriminate, especially when used in numbers.”
“Our Salvation lies in the art of human extinction, not the fact,” his burnt brother explained
“Only the Object can Shut the World against the Outside,” the one-eyed Dûnyain explained.

Indeed, I do think you are right, that the No-God needs to be active, but I still think you can't just indiscriminately bomb everyone to oblivion with it active and have it work.

1 hour ago, Kalbear said:

I don't see how Ark and Inchoroi knowing sorcery wouldn't be even more effective, and a hell of a lot cheaper than carrying around radioactive materials.

It might have been, but if the rest of the universe is plausibly anarcane ground (and it seems it was) there might not have been a real chance to develop a known solution to seeing the Onta, because they would have no where to see it.

1 hour ago, Kalbear said:

I just don't see how it's useless. Point of fact, anarcane areas are apparently pretty rare in the universe. Now, if they're exceptionally common that'd be one thing - but if that's the case, all the Ark has to do is figure out that something is anarcane and then not bother with it.

I'm pretty sure it is just the opposite,  Arcane ground is rare.  It's why Eärwa is the Promised World.  The Progenitors home was entirely anarcane.

1 hour ago, Kalbear said:

Well, I don't think it's hubris; to them, Inchoroi were as you say, little more than hammers. I don't expect anyone to design their house so that if humans end up not around the hammers can get back to work and make the house on their own. The fact that they enslaved their hammers to believe that they were going to hell and made them into hammers of zealotry is weird enough.

The Inchoroi were autonomous and fairly intelligent; they were, however, not progenitors, nor did they know enough to take over Ark. 

Right.  I mean, it's not a terrible plan unless Ark dies.  Which, of course, Ark died, so...

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4 minutes ago, .H. said:

Well, the Inchoroi were doing ok when just fighting Viri, until Siöl came in and saved them.  This was definitely in no small part due to sorcery, but Viri must have had sorcerers of their own, so it's very unlikely that sorcery alone was over-matching them.  More likely is that sorcery and their greater numbers gave the Nonmen the advatage they needed.  If sorcery alone was so strong, there no reason why Siöl would have needed to retreat in the wake Nihrimsul and Cil-Aujas' revolutions.  In fact, that glossary says this fairly explicitly: "Eventually, all but the most powerful of the Inchoroi were overwhelmed by the valour, sorceries, and numbers of the host of Siöl"

Sure, but without sorcery they're almost certainly hosed. And they definitely go out of their way to learn sorcery later, so they at least thought they needed that edge, especially since most of them died doing that. 

4 minutes ago, .H. said:

 I think why the No-God didn't get "used" earlier is because with Ark dead, none of them left knew how to use it.  The Sarcophagus, I don't think, wasn't made as an external weapon, it was part and parcel of Ark itself.  That is, as long as Ark functions, so does The Sarcophagus.  This is why it was that only after the Mangaecca got back into Ark do they realize what that whole apparatus was likely supposed to do.  Then the issue was figuring out how to boot it up manually, without Ark to do it itself. 

Right, but they don't even talk about it as a concept. Not only are they not trying to awake the thing, they don't appear to even comprehend what it is or what it does. Their first plan for success had absolutely nothing to do with the No-God, after all - it had to do with the womb plague. As far as the Inchoroi were concerned, all they were supposed to do was wipe out species. That's it. 

The Inchoroi, as far as I can tell, had not even an inkling that the No-God was key to this. 

4 minutes ago, .H. said:

Indeed, I do think you are right, that the No-God needs to be active, but I still think you can't just indiscriminately bomb everyone to oblivion with it active and have it work.

I think you're wrong, because the Inchoroi did do this. From the above logic we see that the Inchoroi don't understand that they need the No-God  active; they only understand that they have to reduce populations. (This is also inferred by CAPSLOCK DRAGON talking about reducing world after world). We also vaguely know that they did use the bombs early on in their war against the nonmen, which means that they both knew how to use them and didn't have any prohibitions on using them beyond 'don't fuck up the planet too much'. Therefore, bomb use is perfectly fine provided the No-God is active

4 minutes ago, .H. said:

It might have been, but if the rest of the universe is plausibly anarcane ground (and it seems it was) there might not have been a real chance to develop a known solution to seeing the Onta, because they would have no where to see it.

I'm pretty sure it is just the opposite,  Arcane ground is rare.  It's why Eärwa is the Promised World.  The Progenitors home was entirely anarcane.

I get that - but that's the explanation used for why the progenitors didn't ever experience the Outside or anything like it before. But then they invented the Inverse Fire. My personal view is that if you can invent something that shows the literal damnation that your soul has forever experienced in hell via the Outside, you can also invent something to see the Onta. I could be wrong, and that's fine, but it's certainly not clear, and it's not obvious. 

4 minutes ago, .H. said:

Right.  I mean, it's not a terrible plan unless Ark dies.  Which, of course, Ark died, so...

Yeah, Ark crashing and dying is something that really should be explained as to why. Even if it's a throwaway line, something about how the noncausal drives they use being based on an actual (unknown to them) arcane principle that failed immediately when going to a place with a lot of arcane value, it should be explicitly stated. 

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Even more, here's a thought.

First they tried wiping everyone out with normal weapons. That didn't work. So they were all 'huh, well, we had this No-God thing that stopped births before, so maybe we have to stop births too' and created the womb plague. And then THAT didn't work. 

They were fucking cargo culting it the whole time. That makes so much more sense. Why didn't they wait out the womb plague, or why did they do it? Because as far as they knew they had to in order to make things work, because they had no understanding of what to do. They first knew they had to reduce the population, and then they knew that when they had the No-God, births stopped, so they tried that another way. So yeah, they were the fucking phone sanitary techs of the universe.

Oops.

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17 hours ago, Kalbear said:

Because Kellhus changes it in like 3 weeks. It's clearly not the limits of gnostic sorcery. Furthermore, we see other innovators like Emilidis and Titirga who showcase more interesting aspects of spells as well. 

Kellhus is clearly not an ordinary genius. Same for Emilidis (worth noting that none of his fellow Quya could even duplicate his stuff), and Titirga (who was this weird accidental genius who is somehow merging gnostic sorcery with the Psukhe, and is described as being the most powerful sorcerer - Nonman or Man - who ever lived). 

Sorcery is not the Tekne. I think there's a degree of individuality in casting spells that is inherent to it. 

 

17 hours ago, Kalbear said:

What was that?

The TUC glossary entry for the Scarlet Spires says outright that they're the most innovative of the Anagogic Schools, with much of the Anagogic spell set coming from their research (including that "Dragonhead" spell they use to spray fire). 

 

16 hours ago, Kalbear said:

I realize they came from a world that was supposedly anarcane ground, but they didn't stay there, and their discovery of the Inverse Fire came after they traveled away from their own world and discovered the problems. 

Where does it say they discovered it while away from their world?

3 hours ago, Kalbear said:

(an aside: I still don't understand why immortal beings would care about damnation. Another place Good Place gets right with the existential crisis episode; it's hard to care about ethics when you're immortal)

Even if they are medically immortal, they can still die to accident, treachery, murder, etc. Moreover, their ability to survive in the physical universe is ultimately finite - even if it takes quintillions of years and all the stars dying out, sooner or later they will end up in damnation (and that damnation will be eternal). 

18 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

They were fucking cargo culting it the whole time. That makes so much more sense.

That much is obvious, otherwise they wouldn't have bothered trying the "144,000" trick over and over again to failure. All they seemed to be going on was that there was a "promised world" somewhere where they could close off damnation.  

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6 hours ago, Let's Get Kraken said:

Tell me that shit at the end of TWP wasn't right out of the Eclipse. The Inchoroi even kind of looks like Femto the way its described, doesn't it? 

You're right - the parallels have an uncanny feel to them, though it is interesting to contrast them as well.

The God Hand are working to re-enchant the world, the Inchoroi to dis-enchant it.

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3 hours ago, .H. said:

I'm pretty sure it is just the opposite,  Arcane ground is rare.  It's why Eärwa is the Promised World.  The Progenitors home was entirely anarcane.

But it seems anarcane ground is rare on Earwa. What's odd is the No-God seems to possibly be impeded by anarcane areas?

Quote

The Heron Spear, which could not be used because the No-God refused to give battle, was lost. Kûniüri and all the great and ancient cities of the River Aumris were destroyed the following year. The Nonmen of Injor-Niyas retreated to Ishterebinth. Eämnor was laid waste the following year, though its capital, Atrithau, raised on anarcane ground, managed to survive.

Bakker, R. Scott. The Unholy Consult: The Aspect-Emperor: Book Four (The Aspect-Emperor Trilogy) (Kindle Locations 9534-9536). The Overlook Press. Kindle Edition.

 

Edited by Sci-2

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6 hours ago, Sci-2 said:

You're right - the parallels have an uncanny feel to them, though it is interesting to contrast them as well.

The God Hand are working to re-enchant the world, the Inchoroi to dis-enchant it.

Oh yeah, there's a definite fire and ice vibe (in the Robert Frost sense, not the GRRM one) when you compare the two. I always describe Berserk as the Pshuke to TSA's Gnosis. The intellect on display in Bakker's writing is always very apparent. I'm constantly blown away by how far down the rabbit hole you guys can go with these discussions. The flipside of this, as many have noted, is that the characters can often feel devoid of emotion, cold. Griffith would be right at home in Earwa. Berserk is the opposite, it's all emotion. Guts's story is horrifying, and grotesque, and beautiful, and heartbreaking all at once. Berserk never made me think like TSA did, but TSA never made me cry like Berserk.

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I think Proyas is pretty damned passionate and Cnaiur counts too despite being a bit nuts. In the case of Griffith, I see him as a "still waters run deep sort". He feels things strongly, but hides it. 

TBH, Berserk barely made me cry. TTT and TUC DID.

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I agree about Cnaiur, but he also kind of stands apart from most of the rest of the characters in TSA in that regard.

Quote

In the case of Griffith, I see him as a "still waters run deep sort". He feels things strongly, but hides it. 

Regarding his affection towards Guts (and maybe Casca) I think that was true, but otherwise, IMO, he really was a hawk in every regard. It wasn't so much still waters, as a kind of ultimate detachment. He soared too high over everyone's heads to ever really see them as contemporaries. When he shot Guts that last look before the "give me wings" moment, I think he was finally seeing him as his first genuinely beloved friend, and in that moment he did what he'd previously said a true friend would do in that situation.

Edited by Let's Get Kraken

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13 hours ago, Let's Get Kraken said:

Oh yeah, there's a definite fire and ice vibe (in the Robert Frost sense, not the GRRM one) when you compare the two. I always describe Berserk as the Pshuke to TSA's Gnosis. The intellect on display in Bakker's writing is always very apparent. I'm constantly blown away by how far down the rabbit hole you guys can go with these discussions. The flipside of this, as many have noted, is that the characters can often feel devoid of emotion, cold. Griffith would be right at home in Earwa. Berserk is the opposite, it's all emotion. Guts's story is horrifying, and grotesque, and beautiful, and heartbreaking all at once. Berserk never made me think like TSA did, but TSA never made me cry like Berserk.

Beautifully put. I haven't seen Beserk except snippets, but from what I've heard it makes me think of Earwa's outside. Particularly that freaky red face thing I think you used to use for an avatar at one point.

Though I think TSA doesn't just go into the intellectual, it does span a spectrum between passion and intellect. If you compare it against some dry academics essay on philosophy you would have a contrast that shows a full on tilt towards the intellect only - I don't think TSA ends up there at all. I think and feel it's really more in the middle, where emotion conflicts with intellect and vise versa. And the people caught between those two forces.

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33 minutes ago, Callan S. said:

Though I think TSA doesn't just go into the intellectual, it does span a spectrum between passion and intellect. If you compare it against some dry academics essay on philosophy you would have a contrast that shows a full on tilt towards the intellect only - I don't think TSA ends up there at all. I think and feel it's really more in the middle, where emotion conflicts with intellect and vise versa. And the people caught between those two forces.

Oh absolutely. I think, also, the reason the characters can feel so particularly cold is that the emotions most prominently on display are those that we don't want to see in ourselves (Esmenet's guilt, Achamian's pettiness, Cnaiur's self-loathing, etc.), so the reader has a kind of natural resistance to being swept up in those passions.

Edited by Let's Get Kraken

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2 hours ago, Let's Get Kraken said:

in that moment he did what he'd previously said a true friend would do in that situation.

If you're referring to the fountain speech, I really believe that the "what a true friend does" applied to every one but Guts. Like, every one else was allowed to leave, except for Guts. Every one got a choice, except for Guts. I don't think that's changed. 

With Kellhus, that seemed to apply to every one. :/

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