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Ski the Swift

The Judging Eye V

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Perhaps he wanted Zeum untouched for some reason.

Yes. I'm positive Zeum is where the few dozen survivors will go when all the Three Seas nations have been turned into a smoldering Sranc-infested wasteland in the aftermath of the second Apocalypse.

This will still leave Eänna open for the sequel series, The Third Apocalypse, when they end up fleeing from Zëum. By boat, probably.

Scott will need to draw some new maps for Apocalypse four and up though.

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Has it been discussed before that Soma may be a skin spy?

He makes it through the mines with barely a scratch, he is referred to as being no man because he has had the chop. Just a thought.

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Has it been discussed before that Soma may be a skin spy?

He makes it through the mines with barely a scratch, he is referred to as being no man because he has had the chop. Just a thought.

Indeed it has been discussed; if you dig through the Bakker threads you can find said discussions. Unless I really forgot something important, your suspicions are the common ones as to implicate him as a skin spy. I can't remember the common counterarguments, though.

I don't remember any passages from TJE where Soma acted particularly like a skin spy (e.g. sexual agression, thoughts, etc.). Of course, lack of evidence doesn't prohibit the possibility, but I also can't imagine a castrated skin spy in any case.

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Indeed it has been discussed; if you dig through the Bakker threads you can find said discussions. Unless I really forgot something important, your suspicions are the common ones as to implicate him as a skin spy. I can't remember the common counterarguments, though.

I don't remember any passages from TJE where Soma acted particularly like a skin spy (e.g. sexual agression, thoughts, etc.). Of course, lack of evidence doesn't prohibit the possibility, but I also can't imagine a castrated skin spy in any case.

I still think Sarl is the skin spy.

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Sarl has a rough, seamed face, a typical trait of skin-spies, and he's the second-in-command of the Skin Eaters. Skin-spies are often in positions close to power (Sarcellus, the King-Regent of Ainon, Skeaos, etc) I think if any of the Eaters are skin-spies, it's him.

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Sarl has a rough, seamed face, a typical trait of skin-spies, and he's the second-in-command of the Skin Eaters. Skin-spies are often in positions close to power (Sarcellus, the King-Regent of Ainon, Skeaos, etc) I think if any of the Eaters are skin-spies, it's him.

He just seems to go crazy at the end though, which I felt was genuine crazyness and totally out of character for a skin spy.

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The other thing that raised suspicions with Sarl - he's nowhere to be seen in the prologue, when the mystery traveller approaches the Skin-Eaters. Not necesarrily weird, but the guy hardly ever leaves the Captain's side.

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That brings us back to the prologue.

With a few more re-reads under our belts, what is the board consensus on who's the traveller?

"Scalper!" the lone traveller cried out. His voice possessed the gravel of an old officer's bawl. It boomed through the gorge, easily audible over the white roar of water. As one, the men upriver stood and stared in his direction.

Just like animals, he thought.

[...]

The man the traveller sought stood upon a rounded stone, watching the others work. He knew him from his dogged devotion to the traditional costume of his caste and race: the pleated war-skirt, stained grey and black and shot through with holes; the corselet with rusty scales stitched into rotting leather; the conical helm, bent back like a single ram's horn. He looked a wraith from another age. A second man, his face concealed by a black cowl, sat three paces behind him, leaning forward as though straining to hear something in the water's ambient rush. The traveller peered at him for a moment, as though trying to judge some peculiarity, then returned his gaze to the first man.

I think we have strong indications that the traveller is schooled in Dunyain thinking, maybe an upper-echolon Zaudunyan, maybe one of Kellhus's Judges. I'll go out on a limb and say he's an Anasûrimbor. Maybe one of Kellhus's children, maybe Maitha.

The traveller's gaze lingers for a moment on Judge Holden Incariol. There can be two reasons for this: (1) The superior face-reading skills of a half-Dunyain make it clear even with a cursory glance that the cowled man is a Nonman. (2) The traveller is of the Few and therefore sees Incariol's Mark.

I like the latter explanation better, but then my prime suspect, Kellhus's oldest son (Kayutas?), is out. Still, it's possible that Incariol's presence with the Skin Eaters, as also premeditated by Kellhus. So here's the full-blown theory:

1. Kellhus asks one of his most able followers and warriors to found a company of scalpers

2. Kellhus meets with Nonmen, it is agreed to have Incariol join the Skin Eaters company (this is certain to keep them alive)

3. time passes

4. Kellhus sends Kayutas to find the Skin Eaters, asking them to get back to Marrow and wait. Kayutas recognises the Nonman.

5. Kellhus sends Mimi to Akka

6. things unfold

This all seems extremely convoluted. (Not compared to Moenghus's plan to get Kellhus to Shimeh, of course.) But it is a consistent explanation, as far as I can see, so I stick with it until somebody points out a problem or comes up with a simpler explanation.

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it is agreed to have Incariol join the Skin Eaters company (this is certain to keep them alive)

As long as Kellhus could trust him not to switch sides erratically. I wonder if it is easier or harder to manipulate Erratics. It seems that the characters think it's harder: when you've forgotten the darkness that comes before you are no longer governed by it.

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I think that 1 and 2, if they exist, are less direct than that. I think the Captain would be at best manipulated into being a scalper by Kellhus, and I think Cleric would be in a similar vein. I doubt that there was much direct investment other than the agent of the prologue. From the reactions of the others (like the captain) I think it's clear that he wasn't in on anything, and didn't expect this.

It is of course hugely convoluted, but it fits with the narrative and what we know of how Kellhus likes to operate. It fits with what he's doing with Esmi too. Direct action does not appear to be how he wants to guide people.

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1. Kellhus asks one of his most able followers and warriors to found a company of scalpers

2. Kellhus meets with Nonmen, it is agreed to have Incariol join the Skin Eaters company (this is certain to keep them alive)

3. time passes

4. Kellhus sends Kayutas to find the Skin Eaters, asking them to get back to Marrow and wait. Kayutas recognises the Nonman.

5. Kellhus sends Mimi to Akka

6. things unfold

This all seems extremely convoluted. (Not compared to Moenghus's plan to get Kellhus to Shimeh, of course.) But it is a consistent explanation, as far as I can see, so I stick with it until somebody points out a problem or comes up with a simpler explanation.

I think it's more indirect.

1. Kellhus manipulates the Captain, who's been through many horrors, into believing that if he slaughters enough he'll no longer be able to remember the earlier horrors he wants to forget, he also positions Incariol (having skillfully employed some erratics--unaware they're being manipulated--in his twenty years of war fare to judicious effect) near the Captain so that the two will wind up together in their sranc company. Kellhus indirectly sends the Captain to the area where Akka is. When the GO is about to start, Kell indirectly manipulates Mimara to send her to Akka. He probably plants some particular phrases of Esme's or his own, in Mimara, knowing what she will be likely to repeat as her own words (in order to sound smarter to him while also probably believing to be her own insight/words) to Akka and knowing that particular things she says or ways she says them will remind Akka more of Esme in the effort to roust Akka from where he is and send him off.

2. Mimara takes longer than she should to get to Akka. Akka takes too long to roust out. Winter comes too early, and Kellhus plan is rather severely hindered and skews in an unexpected direction he did not forsee. However, presuming Kelly is much better versed in how the gods are now affecting the world than anyone else in the world, it's likely he presumed that if he applied the right indirect manipulation, the gods would continue to push Akka in the direction Kellhus wants him to go anyway and would help constrain circumstance to keep Akka on the Golden Path forseen by Leto's prescience.

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Happy Ent - This has been discussed before. I threw out Kayutas as a possibility. It's a tough call. I had not considered Maithanet.

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Why must it be someone of Kellhus' blood? We are told of the prowess of Imperial Trackers who mapped the Wilds; it was my opinion that perhaps the traveller was nothing more than a talented and trusted Tracker. Any of Kellhus' children or Maitha would not only be noticed on their journey but their absence would also be noticed in Momemn / the Great Ordeal's camp.

I didn't get any hint of Dunyain-ness in the Traveller POV. He calls the Scalpoi animals; that's as close as we get. There's none of the analysis or reading that we get from Kellhus POVs in the first trilogy.

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It's from the quote on how he looks at the Scalpers - he looks on them as animals. It's a very Dunyain holier than thou kind of look. That's pretty different from (for example) how Akka looks at them, and between that and the curt nod to Cleric and whatnot, it's clear to me that he's more than some random badass dork. Who nods slyly to nonmen?

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Why must it be someone of Kellhus' blood?

What makes you say “must be”? My own suggestions included upper-echolon Zaudunain, Judges,… and then I went “out on a limb” and suggested an Anasurimbor.

Anyway, another hint in that direction in the prologue is “He knew him from his dogged devotion to the traditional costume of his caste and race.” Dogged devotion.

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Yeah, the hints seems to suggest an Anasurimbor or at least a Dunyain trained person anyway. There are only three factions that Traveler could belong to with the hints: Dunyain, Anasurimbor (and those trained by him or his), or Consult. Doubtful its Dunyain unless something has changed there we don't know about. Same for Consult because they are smart but not that smart. The whole scene reeks of hints that Kellhus has planned for everything with Akka. The scenes with Mimara hint the same things. My first thought is that it was Kellhus himself but that isn't likely.

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it could very well be more likely that it is Kellhus, Kell could get there in a day, and then be back in Momemn by evening after the visit. He could presumably work whatever glamour he liked to disguise his appearance, and he would consider himself capable of manipulating the company as well as Cleric. If he consider's Akka's mission important enough he may keep the cards close to his vest and make this one play as his only overt interference in Akka's existence at the moment. He knows any direct appearance by him or any overtly indirect interference by himself or his underlings (think of the overt behavior of his sons with the prince they're supposed to befriend) will be smelled out by Akka and send him running in the opposite direction.

it's an extremely delicate manipulation to get Akka to do anything at this point, look at how suspiciously Mimara was treated by him, but there was little Kell could do to ameliorate his suspicious of such an obvious gamepiece as Mimara. The best Kell could do to make Akka trust Mimara was to subtly plant a powerful sexual interest in Mimara for Akka, I presume he knew if the two fucked, Akka would trust her more.

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