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Triskjavikson

The Judging Eye IV

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Continued discussion....

Atrithau was brought up again recently. I've said this before but I so wish that the first book had not waited so long to reintroduce Kellhus. I would have loved it if somewhere in between Esmi's story and Cnaiur's we'd been shown how Kellhus assembled his band of followers from in and around Atrithau. It would have been sweet to see the next progression after the study of Leweth.

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Huh?

We know that the Dunyain as they existed when they arrived at Ishaul 2000 years ago are quite different from the Dunyain as they are now.

The Dunyain of 2000 years ago wiped out all knowledge of Sorcery among their group and their isolation has almost certainly prevented them from requiring said knowledge. This is why neither Kellhus nor Moenghus know WTF sorcery is when they first encounter it.

Therefore, the chances of the Dunyain, as they exist now, having any sort of anti-sorcery policy is pretty much non-existent.

In fact, given the evidence of Kelhuss and Moenghus, the Dunyain might actually EMBRACE sorcery if they actually knew about it. Which they don't.

We don't know how different the Dunyain were. We know that they made a conscious decision to abolish any mention of sorcery. We also know that they did worship the idea of a self-moving soul and the Logos - things that they still do to this day. So how different are they, again?

That doesn't mean that they don't know sorcery exists. That Kellhus and Moe don't know it exists could be because none of the Dunyain do - or it could be because they were taught otherwise. Point of fact, Kellhus mentions that he was taught about sorcery and told it was just an old fable that's gone now.

All we know for certain is that both Moe and Kell - two people that the Dunyain felt dispensable enough to send out to the Outside without particular concern - were taught sorcery was a myth. That's it. We don't know the inner workings of the rest of the Dunyain. We don't know even how much Kellhus knew about this, nor Moe. Why should we take on face value the things they're willing to teach to those who they're willing to throw away to the world?

If the Dunyain are so intelligent, why wouldn't their leaders withhold data?

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Kellhus wasn't sent out because he was dispensable. He was sent out because that's who Moenghus kept bugging them for. So they sent him and said "Kill".

Moenghus was probably sent out because he'd already produced children and was probably one of their best, and hence best able to deal with the Scranc threat.

We don't know how different the Dunyain were. We know that they made a conscious decision to abolish any mention of sorcery. We also know that they did worship the idea of a self-moving soul and the Logos - things that they still do to this day. So how different are they, again?

Actually, we know none of this. We know that they began as a sect that, at the time of the Apocalypse, repudiated both sorcery and the Gods. We don't even know if the idea of the breeding program had yet begun then.

They aren't HIDING sorcery, they simply don't believe in it. Sorcery, Gods and Prophecy all violated their founding principles. And thus, they must be false. There's no conspiracy.

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Just finished reading TJE.

Here are some general comments:

1) So, is the White Luck Warrior that guy who Nannaferi fucked into an old man? It seems that way, but then again Porsparian made Sorweel immune to Kellhus face reading (I think), so he could be it.

And then again, Kel killing the Matriarch (tweet! tweet!) sure played into Nanni's hands. But I have a feeling Kel is just crazy. Or maybe part of his twin's soul is in his head (the comment, "Why did you wait so long to kill me?" hints at this.)

2) Cleric is awesome. I'm not sure who he's supposed to be, but I don't think he's Mekeritrig from TDTCB. The personality is too off. Incariol seems at once both too decent and too crazy. Mek spent his time roaming around killing humans for sport, and, unlike Cleric, he seemed relatively lucid in his talk with Kellhus.

But then again, maybe the Nonmen go through "moods" that last decades at a time. I'm sure Mek hadn't been roaming the waste for 2000 years. Maybe he tossed out his cape of faces and decided to hunt sranc for a while.

Anyway, he rivals Cnair in badassery.

3) Mimara is awesome too, though she didn't come into her own until Moria Cil-Aujas. I agree that Kellhus wanted her to meet with Akka. Kellhus' +20 Diplomacy could have easily mended Mimi and Esmi's relationship, but he didn't do this. This more than anything leads me to think that her leaving is all according to Kellhus' plan. Except Cil-Aujas. That was all due to a fluke of weather.

Anyway, I think Mimara is favorite new character. There's just something about her that I find so likable.

4) I found Sorweel kind of blah. Not too interesting, and he just served as a set of eyes for the Ordeal.

5) Kel is a scary little shit. It sure sucks to be Esmi, but then that's what she gets for choosing SuperJesus over Akka. I bet Akka would have given her non-sociopath kids . . .

Anyone notice that Esmi only started searching for Mimara after Kayutas and Theliopa were already born? I get the impression that if Kayutas and Theliopa were normal, she wouldn't have bothered with the search at all. And plus forbidding Mimi from joining the Swayal Sisterhood? What a bitch.

I really don't find Esmi to be sympathetic anymore, which is going to make Kel's mischief all the more fun to read.

6) Mimi said that she didn't fear Soma because he wasn't a man? Does this mean he's a eunuch? And how does she know?

Anyway, I think Soma is going to be a skin-spy. Something very suspicious about him . . .

7) The part with the eye in the heart was just pure nightmare fuel.

That's all my comments for now.

Next up: Abercrombie's "Best Served Cold."

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Kellhus wasn't sent out because he was dispensable. He was sent out because that's who Moenghus kept bugging them for. So they sent him and said "Kill".

Moenghus was probably sent out because he'd already produced children and was probably one of their best, and hence best able to deal with the Scranc threat.

Kellhus would've been kept if they needed him. Clearly they didn't need him that much. And what Sranc threat was Moe sent to deal with? I missed that part, apparently.

They aren't HIDING sorcery, they simply don't believe in it. Sorcery, Gods and Prophecy all violated their founding principles. And thus, they must be false. There's no conspiracy.
They're totally hiding sorcery - they erased the mentions of it in the library, they told people that it didn't exist when some of them had seen it and had experienced it firsthand, etc. We know that a number of them were actually able to see the Mark even. It's absolutely a conspiracy. Remember, when they started the sect it was the Apocalypse - where the greatest heroes and the greatest villains both practiced magic. It's not like it was a hidden thing.

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Kellhus would've been kept if they needed him. Clearly they didn't need him that much. And what Sranc threat was Moe sent to deal with? I missed that part, apparently.

Why do you think Moenghus left in the first place? He was sent out to deal with a scranc threat that had found Ishual and after killing them all, he was denied re-entry as he was "contaminated". That's as I remember it anyway.

They're totally hiding sorcery - they erased the mentions of it in the library, they told people that it didn't exist when some of them had seen it and had experienced it firsthand, etc. We know that a number of them were actually able to see the Mark even. It's absolutely a conspiracy. Remember, when they started the sect it was the Apocalypse - where the greatest heroes and the greatest villains both practiced magic. It's not like it was a hidden thing.

The original Dunyain erased all mentions of it. The new ones think it doesn't exist, as it contradicts the Logos, which is the foundation of their entire world view.

There's absolutely no indication of conspiracy.

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Darkness, Prologue, last paragraph:

The stranger brought him to the others, and together they celebrated their

strange fortune. They cried out—not to the Gods they had repudiated but to one

another—that here was evident a great correspondence of cause. Here awareness

most holy could be tended. In Ishual, they had found shelter against the end of the

world.

Still emaciated but wearing the furs of kings, the Dünyain chiseled the

sorcerous runes from the walls and burned the Grand Vizier’s books. The jewels, the chalcedony, the silk and cloth-of-gold, they buried with the corpses of a dynasty.

And the world forgot them for two thousand years.

That’s basically all we know of their beginnings. Also, from some appendix or summary, we know that they “repudiate historyâ€.

Here’s Kelly’s first reaction to the mention of sorcery:

Kellhus adopted a faintly bewildered look that was not far from true.

“Through dreams. He sent for me through dreams.â€

“Sorcery . . .â€

Always the curious intermingling of awe and dread when Leweth uttered this word. There were witches, Leweth had told him, whose urgings could harness the wild agencies asleep in earth, animal, and tree. There were priests whose pleas could sound the Outside, move the Gods who moved the world to give men respite. And there were sorcerers whose assertions were decrees, whose words dictated rather than described how the world had to be.

Superstition. Everywhere and in everything, Leweth had confused that which came after with that which came before, confused the effect for the cause. Men came after, so he placed them before and called them “gods†or “demons.†Words came after, so he placed them before and called them “scriptures†or “incantations.†Confined to the aftermath of events and blind to the causes that preceded him, he merely fastened upon the ruin itself, men and the acts of men, as the model of what came before.

But what came before, the Dünyain had learned, was inhuman.

There must be some other explanation. There is no sorcery.

2000 years later I don’t think there is a secret stratum, maybe including the Pragma (or Pragmi?) among the Dunyain that still knows about sorcery. Of course, I could be wrong. But it seems at odds with their philosophy.

Let me get back to the location of Ishual.

I think I’ll keep to the position that Kelly can’t find it again.

Argument 1, from obscurity. Ishual is really well hidden. We know that because it seems to be a rare thing that Sranc find it, and Sranc are quite numerous. Moenghus was sent out to kill those Sranc that had, probably by accident, found Ishual. I don’t think that has happened again in the 30 years that passed since. (Because then there would be a second Dûnyain already in Eärwa.) We know that the Consult has been looking for it very actively, and they know it’s close to home:

[synthese:] “Perhaps the Dunyain is another, just as stubborn…â€

The blue eyes flickered—another blink. “But far more secretive.â€

Sarcellus said nothing. Speculation on such matters was beyond his warrant, beyond his making.

The tiny teeth clicked, once, twice, as though the Old Name tested their mettle.

“Yes… An ember … in the very shadow of Holy Golgotterath no less…â€

If we assume that the Consult still hasn’t found Ishual by the time of the New Ordeal, it must be pretty well hidden. Even if you know where to look, roughly, you can’t just find it. How? Geography, sorcery (like the glamour around the Golgotterath), a combination of those? I don’t know.

Argument 2, from going bananas Kelly lost it.

In the worst moments his arms would be vague as shadow against shadow, and the rhythm of his walk would climb far ahead of him. His mission became the last remnant of what he had once been. Otherwise he was devoid of intellect, oblivious to the principles of the Dünyain. Like a sheet of parchment exposed to the elements, each day saw more words stolen from him—until only one imperative remained: Shimeh . . . I must find my father in Shimeh.

[...] His dispossession deepened, until he no longer oiled his sword after being wetted by the rain, until he no longer slept or ate. There was only wilderness, the walk, and the passing days. At night he would take animal comfort in the dark and cold.

Shimeh. Please, Father.

On the forty-third day, [...]

More than a month of wandering south. I don’t think Kellhus in this state remembered to look around so that he were able to retrace his route. Short from writing “Kellhus wandered due south, not paying any attention to his surroundings and basically forgetting all of his super-monk training for 40 days, which is too much ground covered to be able to find your way back,†I can’t see how RSB could make it clearer. Kelly, at this stage, is no more Dûnyain than I am.

Argument 3, from mission. OriginalKellhus didn’t want to go back. This argument is somewhat at variance with the previous one. It assumes that Kellhus purposefully doesn’t learn how to retrace his route, because it would violate his mission. Here’s part of the above quote again:

His mission became the last remnant of what he had once been. Otherwise he was devoid of intellect, oblivious to the principles of the Dünyain.

Again, I find this very clear. He does not use his supermonk skill to photographically remember his route. Only his mission remains, and that mission certainly is not to retrace his route.

--

I readily admit that none of these arguments are entirely compelling. But still —

--

If Kellhus can’t find Ishual, then his secret plan to use Akka do find it is perfectly motivated. It’s the piece of the puzzle that suddenly explains why Kellhus lets Akka survive in the first place.

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2) Cleric is awesome. I'm not sure who he's supposed to be, but I don't think he's Mekeritrig from TDTCB. The personality is too off. Incariol seems at once both too decent and too crazy. Mek spent his time roaming around killing humans for sport, and, unlike Cleric, he seemed relatively lucid in his talk with Kellhus.

Some speculate that he is Nin'janjin, the Nonman who cut the first deals with the Inchoroi. I read (on three-seas.org) that he is last mentioned in the index killing Cu'jara Cinmoi. I don't recall if that's the name of the ghost king, but it's an interesting theory. There are others who fully buy the Incariol = Mekeritrig, but I agree with you that the personality seems a bit off... not to mention the fact that Cleric doesn't wear a cloak of faces. :rolleyes:

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We don't know the dunyain's true position on anything. There is precious little of Kellhus' POV to start with and the only thing one can truly draw from what we are told in the narrative, the supplimental matterial and what Scott revealed on 3C's website is that the trainees are ruthlessly conditioned i.e. taught only what they need to strive for the Logos.

Scott hints that the dunyain's original motivations have been destroyed and only their mission remains. To achieve the selfmoving soul.

Whether this is obfuscation through misleading or their relates to the purpose or necessary course of their mission is unclear.

When thinking about the dunyain and their selfmoving soul, one cannot avoid the question of what would the motivation of such a creature be. Through its very existance it would dominate circumstance, but lacking any objective or motivation it would be sterile and impotent by nature - having transcended emotion etc.

I find the use of the phrase "a correspondance of cause" interesting as it seems an intergral part of the path of the logos. Consider its utterance as the dunyain first achieve the sanctuary of Ishual and discover an Anasurimbor as the only inhabitant. Moenghus speaks of it again as he attempts to explain Kellhus' intimations of the imbuance of prophecy.

Now, one would expect the dunyain to have intergrated and made full use of the Anasurimbor bloodline in their eugenics program, yet Kellhus is the last and only descendant.

So why would they send Moenghus to sort out some Sranc (never to return) then Kellhus after him? Any dunyain could have executed Moenghus' function (though admittedly Kellhus' mjission seems more straightforward).

Also consider that the dreams Moenghus sent were recognized as sorcery - his 'tainted' peers had to be destroyed. And I would venture also that only those of the few could recieve his dreams.

These hints suggest to me that the upper echelons of the dunyain have some plan involving the Anasurimbor and perhaps the 2nd apocolypse. Whether this is simply to ensure their existence or something more intricate I don't care to speculate.

However I think the reason that sorcery has been banished from Ishual is because it clearly interfers with master of the logos, having to do with outside agencies, prophecies etc. I believe that knowledge of sorcery is necassary for the guiding elders of the dunyain to police its exclusion - they already know that they will not fulfill the dunyain's purpose but they are entrusted to guide subsequent generations with their accumulated wisdom.

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The Dunyain who received the dreams weren't tainted because of sorcery, they were tainted, like Moenghus, because of their contact with the world outside Ishual.

The most important thing seems to be what you mention here:

Scott hints that the dunyain's original motivations have been destroyed and only their mission remains. To achieve the selfmoving soul.

Whatever their original intentions and ideas may have been, the Dunyain have becoming a self-perpetuating cycle at this point. They don't need any great conspiracy or Circle of Elders or whatever to move them onward.

Hell, a pure dedication to the mission would seem to me to be a natural goal of the breeding program. The Dunyain may have, intentionally or not, been aiming for the goal of losing their motivation for the mission. Motivations coming, largely, from the darkness that comes before.

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The Dunyain who received the dreams weren't tainted because of sorcery, they were tainted, like Moenghus, because of their contact with the world outside Ishual.

I meant that I find it likely that those who recieved the dreams were of the few - I don't recall sorcerers being able to communicate apart from with each other through the "dream talking" cants. Could be a handy tool for manipulation otherwise.

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The way I see it, the Dunyain are monks with a philosophy, that philosophical world view precludes magic - like the Maesters, at first they knew of magic, but the world they want, or the world they hope to define has none in it. A better question is how many they number, since they can clearly spare quite a bit of people as vivisected examples to show to students. That also bugs me, Kellhus was clearly trained in kung-fu, and in reading facial emotions with all those flayed bodies - but his children seem to imply those skills are innate to the Dunyain. Moreover, we know so little of Ishual, for all we know, their (I guess) humanistic and scientific/experimental worldview might mean that after 2000 years - they have giant robots or something as insane.

Hell, the Dunyain might be Earwa precursors to the Inchoroi, going down the same path, developing Technology and shit and then deciding that they don't want there to be any Outside, and deciding to seal off the heavens. The odds are, if the Dunyain were discovered by the Consult, they have allied with them, since their end goals are the same.

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Let me get back to the location of Ishual.

I think I’ll keep to the position that Kelly can’t find it again.

Argument 1, from obscurity. Ishual is really well hidden.

Not a credible argument. Kellhus remembers everything he sees. He may not notice every single leaf on every tree, but I'm fairly sure that "Ishual is on top of that mountain" would have stuck.

Argument 2, from going bananas Kelly lost it.

More than a month of wandering south. I don’t think Kellhus in this state remembered to look around so that he were able to retrace his route.

Argument 3, from mission. OriginalKellhus didn’t want to go back. This argument is somewhat at variance with the previous one. It assumes that Kellhus purposefully doesn’t learn how to retrace his route, because it would violate his mission.

Again, I find this very clear. He does not use his supermonk skill to photographically remember his route. Only his mission remains, and that mission certainly is not to retrace his route.

My problem with these two arguments is that they depend on the supermonk skill to be an "active" skill, rather than "passive" (always on). I'm fairly sure that Kellhus is alerted to things in the PoN trilogy through the supermonk skill when he wasn't in "I must own this moment" mode. Discovering the skin spy in Momemn falls into this category.

If Kellhus can’t find Ishual, then his secret plan to use Akka do find it is perfectly motivated. It’s the piece of the puzzle that suddenly explains why Kellhus lets Akka survive in the first place.

This, however, is a somewhat compelling argument. I find it more likely that Kellhus and Akka are both headed to Ishual than any assertion that Kellhus would let Akka go there to face 2000 superninjamonks alone.

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The way I see it, the Dunyain are monks with a philosophy, that philosophical world view precludes magic - like the Maesters, at first they knew of magic, but the world they want, or the world they hope to define has none in it. A better question is how many they number, since they can clearly spare quite a bit of people as vivisected examples to show to students. That also bugs me, Kellhus was clearly trained in kung-fu, and in reading facial emotions with all those flayed bodies - but his children seem to imply those skills are innate to the Dunyain. Moreover, we know so little of Ishual, for all we know, their (I guess) humanistic and scientific/experimental worldview might mean that after 2000 years - they have giant robots or something as insane.

Well, Kellhus children would naturally inherit some portion of his superior motor control and memory and observation skills.

Reading facial expressions wouldn't be hard to pick up. Normal human children do it naturally. Kellhus's children are simply better at it do to superior genetics.

Kellhus, however, is the best at it by far, and this is mentioned. This is because he was TRAINED to do it, rather then just picking it up on his own.

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I find the use of the phrase "a correspondance of cause" interesting as it seems an intergral part of the path of the logos. Consider its utterance as the dunyain first achieve the sanctuary of Ishual and discover an Anasurimbor as the only inhabitant. Moenghus speaks of it again as he attempts to explain Kellhus' intimations of the imbuance of prophecy.

Now, one would expect the dunyain to have intergrated and made full use of the Anasurimbor bloodline in their eugenics program, yet Kellhus is the last and only descendant.

To be fair, we don't know that Kellhus had no children in Ishual. He was IIRC around 30 years old when he was sent out after Moe, and even if considerably younger than that he was clearly a grown man. There may well be another crop of Anasurimbor Dunyain kids (well, adults as of TJE) around Ishual.

Just because Kellhus never thinks of them doesn't mean that they don't exist. As you may have noticed, he's not the most sentimental of people. :leaving:

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I would venture that after 2000 years every Dunyain has a claim to the Anasurimbor lineage.

I also agree with Shryke that there is no conspiracy to suppress sorcery in modern Dunyain. and a conspiracy in a group such as the Dunyain, which are trained at rooting out lies and such, would be absurdly impossible to maintain. And Shryke's idea of their own hope in losing their own motivation is a good one. motivations are suspect.

As for Akka's dream tossing out the name Mimara, I think this is a trap both for Akka and the reader, think of the 'prophecy will bite your cock off' quote from Martin. Throw in the name Mimara in the dream and RSB can set up both Akka and the reader to go about an arduous recruitment of data to try to support any and every possible explanation and conclusion which will naturally put everyone on the wrong path because we've been misled are world born and thus blind deaf and dumb. The simplist explanation is the best. Dreams throw out random shit. Akka is wondering about Mimara and his subconscious interposed that question at the end of the Seswatha dream. I think we've seen from the previous three books that Seswatha and Akka are at times bleed into each other and are not 100% distinct personalities (though most of the time they manifest as distinctly one or the other). In fact we've often seen that when Akka is in a weakened mental state and even within dreams themselves that his understanding of his self shifts fluidly from Seswatha to himself. Thus Akka-as-Seswatha hears a question from Akka's subconscious during the Seswatha dream because they are more fluid in the dream state than when Akka is conscious.

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I think we've seen from the previous three books that Seswatha and Akka are at times bleed into each other and are not 100% distinct personalities (though most of the time they manifest as distinctly one or the other). In fact we've often seen that when Akka is in a weakened mental state and even within dreams themselves that his understanding of his self shifts fluidly from Seswatha to himself. Thus Akka-as-Seswatha hears a question from Akka's subconscious during the Seswatha dream because they are more fluid in the dream state than when Akka is conscious.

That was my take on it as well, just as Seswatha in the dreams is often referred to as Akka, he may have been confused and thus heard the name Mimara.

Also for some reason in the Prince of Nothing when it showed Kellhus' training from his POV I got the feeling that he was one of the best Dunyain, of course that's probably how all the Dunyain act. Still if Kellhus was really seen as disposable then I think the Dunyain would be far too powerful to overcome if he was the worst of them. I think that they sent him out because Moenghus expected him, and so Kellhus was the only Dunyain that would be allowed to get close enough to stop him. So even though he was one of their best, they had no choice but to send him to stop the threat Moenghus posed.

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Does it ever mention if Maithanet is Moenghus' only son by a human mother? Because if so then why is Kellhus having so much trouble conceiving a "normal" child. Knowing Moenghus it's definitely possible he had a lot of children and just got rid of the ones who weren't good breeding stock :P .

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