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lokisnow

Bakker LVI: the Rectum of Creation

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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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I have wondered why Kellhus didn't immediately, after Shimeh, teleport to Ishaul and destroy it completely.  

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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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12 hours ago, gigaputty said:

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

Quote

“Since Dagliash,” the Anasûrimbor said. “But I have suspected this eventuality all along. I assumed Ishuäl would be found once my existence became known. I knew the Consult would assault it with due fury, and that our Garden would succumb, eventually ...”
[...]
“How long did it take to purge the Thousand Thousand Halls?” the Aspect-Emperor asked.
“One thousand six-hundred and eleven days,” the second figure replied. He alone appeared unscarred and intact, though his attitude was so remote as to be cruel.
“We could not cope with the Erratics,” the third added. This one bore two great scars on his head: the first a vaginal pit in lieu of his right eye; and the second more subtle, a slash the length of a hand-scythe, rimming the perimeter of his head from crown to throat, as if someone had abandoned an attempt to remove his face.
“That is,” the Aspect-Emperor said, “until they took you captive.”
[...]
“I always knew that some of you would be captured,” the Anasûrimbor explained, “that you would begin, as I began, by pandering to the conceits of your decrepit masters ...”
Did that not mean they stood before five powers equal to Anasûrimbor Kellhus?
“I always knew that you would master your captivity, the way Dûnyain master all circumstances ...”
Curse Likaro! Curse him and his conniving deceit!
“And very soon, conquer the Unholy Consult from within.”

I edited out the parts that don't matter.  TUC, chapter 18.

Makes me wonder though, that does "that you would begin, as I began" mean here?  Who were the "decrepit masters" Kellhus pander to?

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Yeah, that's even worse. He doesn't say that he thought it was a good chance - he 'always knew' some would be captured. 

So Dunyain being in charge of the Consult had to be part of his planning, if not his plan. And apparently he thought that that would somehow be a better use of resources than killing them himself. 

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Given all the talk about conditioning in this series, is it possible that Kellhus was conditioned never to return to Ishual?  After all, all the circumstances of Meonghus leaving and then Kellhus being sent after him are super weird.  Might the Dunyain have made some sort of insurance policy to ensure that their corrupted son did not return? 

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I'm not sure why it seems surprising to want to take an army - there are so many untracked variables in Golgoterrath. It's not like he's planning just to sneak in and steal some shit then run away. An army brings it's own series of untracked variables for the enemy to face. And basically a Dunyain plans it that when they screw up someone else suffers for the fault - you have to bring others to suffer in order to be able to plan that way. The great ordeal were Kellhus' hit points.

And that's just at the basics. At higher levels of thought - he was probably just as mad as a hatter. May as well have had the Joker in charge...oh wait they did, really. Sane at the basic levels, then more and more insane at the more complex levels of thought.

 

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You have to have an army, teenage Bakker loved big fantasy armies, can’t have a story without an army. Simplest explanation. :-p

kellhus desiring the consult to be conquered from within is fascinating other than not fitting with anything else. 

The whole Ajokli possession really messes everything up, and effectively zeros out all analysis or interpretation of events. Plot holes are always “because ajokli” motivation is always “because ajokli” mistakes are always “because ajokli” and so on and so forth.

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I did have the same, "Wait, what was the point of the Army moment?" when reading TUC, and before the Bakker AMA I assumed he did it because he wanted to damn his entire Army and make them his eager accomplices in turning the world into even more of a Hell-World after becoming Ajokli. That or they were part of his sacrifice to Ajokli in exchange for power - I'm really curious what Kellhus offered to the God and what he expected to get in return if he didn't plan on turning into Ajokli at the end. 

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