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lokisnow

Bakker の Pacific Rim Job

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For the random newbs who might be confused and clicked on the thread. RS Bakker has written two fantasy series, The Prince of Nothing and then continued in the ongoing series, The Aspect Emperor.

His fantasy world is a little bit Dungeons and Dragons, a little bit Dune, a little bit Tolkien and a whole lot of The Crusades and his characters are very archetypal: kungfu swashbuckling monks, barbarians, whores, emperors and sorcerers.

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to reiterate my last thought from the previous thread:

I think Moenghus doesn't give a shit about the No God. He's worried about the Inchoroi, in particular I think he's worried about what they brought with them to the world: The Inverse Fire. And the goal of Moenghus and Cishaurim is not to prevent the rise or resurrection of the No-God, otherwise they would ally with the Mandate, rather their goal is to extinguish the Inverse Fire.

in other words, the No God is a great big red herring, a giant shiny nothing that has distracted us all from the true pursuit, throwing the Ring into Mount Doom (or it's inverse, putting out the fire with water).

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Oh I see what you did there... its like the Summer Movie blockbuster, only with black semen. Well played.

I know Meppa is one of the biggest mysteries of the second trilogy. Does anyone have a good reference point to what we do know about him? On my reread of TDTCB, it was embarrassingly obvious that Mallahat was Moe; but I don't know what we have concerning Meppa other than knowing that he would seem to be the last surviving Cish.

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Oh I see what you did there... its like the Summer Movie blockbuster, only with black semen. Well played.

I know Meppa is one of the biggest mysteries of the second trilogy. Does anyone have a good reference point to what we do know about him? On my reread of TDTCB, it was embarrassingly obvious that Mallahat was Moe; but I don't know what we have concerning Meppa other than knowing that he would seem to be the last surviving Cish.

We do not know a lot, but here's a summary:

Physical description: nut-brown skin and really white hair (and no eyes, duh). While the white hair might suggest age, we have nothing more to discern age from.

Amnesiac?: Fanayal tells Malowebi that Meppa "does not know who he is." It seems like he's an amnesiac, but we only get Fanayal's take.

Abilities: We get Malo's POV here, and he says both that Meppa mopped the floor with the one Saik he fights and Malo is blown away by the beauty of it, and I think the suggestion is that it's the Water that's beautiful rather than the ass-whooping.

Theology: He tells Psatma how he and the other Cishaurim can see the lesser gods or Hundred as demons, and Psatma doesn't seem to have a problem with this definition.

That's about it.

ETA: Oh, and the Fanim call him "Stonebreaker" and believe he was sent by the Solitary God. Fanayal tells Malo that "he was sent to me."

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Almost done TTT, but I feel like someone recently asked if the Ciphrang have souls. Apparently, they do. In the introduction to Zioz, it says something like, "In its soul it dreamed a million years." So yeah, there's that.

Another thing I found interesting in that same passage was how Zioz was able to "yank" the soul out of the Cishaurim by grabbing the beam of energy coming from his forehead. Not sure exactly that it's supposed to mean, but interesting nonetheless.

ETA: Oh, oh and another random question. What is the meaning of the title Aspect-Emperor. Aspect of what?

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I've yet to read any Bakker. I just ran in here becasue of the awesome thread title

After you finish up Abercrombie, its as good a series as any to read next. In fact, I think that may have been my reading order.

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Some have speculated that Meppa is Cnaiur, but we don't have any evidence for it. No scarring is mentioned, and although Cnaiur was also dark-skinned, so are all Scylvendi and Ketyai. Cnaiur's most obvious features aside from his scars were his size and heavy muscle and his blue eyes (though this apparently is a Scylvendi trait).

So pretty much he's a mystery who could be Cnaiur but probably isn't (since Malowebi surely would've noted the scars even if Psatma didn't).

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Almost done TTT, but I feel like someone recently asked if the Ciphrang have souls. Apparently, they do. In the introduction to Zioz, it says something like, "In its soul it dreamed a million years." So yeah, there's that.

Another thing I found interesting in that same passage was how Zioz was able to "yank" the soul out of the Cishaurim by grabbing the beam of energy coming from his forehead. Not sure exactly that it's supposed to mean, but interesting nonetheless.

That's what he seemed to be doing yeah. Like the stuff comnig out of them is connected directly to their soul.

Also interesting, one of the other Ciphrang uses what looks like Anagogic sorcery. A pack of wolves and a warm of flies.

ETA: Oh, oh and another random question. What is the meaning of the title Aspect-Emperor. Aspect of what?

The God. The same way the Gods are aspects of the God.

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The Inverse Fire. And the goal of Moenghus and Cishaurim is not to prevent the rise or resurrection of the No-God, otherwise they would ally with the Mandate, rather their goal is to extinguish the Inverse Fire.

So the Inverse Fire is what exactly? A weapon? A flaw in the fabric of reality that possibly allows Hell into Earwa?

Speaking of Hell and the Outside, note that in TTT Kellhus refers to the Inchoroi wanting to leave the gods howling like wolves at the gate.

The wight in TJE tells Mimara that "The Gates are no longer guarded."

Mimara replies "I guard them!" & "I hold the Gates!"

So perhaps Mimara is the one who realigns the Outside's relationship to the Inside?

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although Cnaiur was also dark-skinned, so are all Scylvendi and Ketyai.

the Scylvendi aren't dark-skinned. I think they're white, black-haired, and blue-eyed. Cnaiur describes one of his mongrel sons as dark-skinned at one point.

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So the Inverse Fire is what exactly? A weapon? A flaw in the fabric of reality that possibly allows Hell into Earwa?

Speaking of Hell and the Outside, note that in TTT Kellhus refers to the Inchoroi wanting to leave the gods howling like wolves at the gate.

The wight in TJE tells Mimara that "The Gates are no longer guarded."

Mimara replies "I guard them!" & "I hold the Gates!"

So perhaps Mimara is the one who realigns the Outside's relationship to the Inside?

I think the Gods would be howling because they're cut off from their sustenance.

I suspect that in this passage Mimara's statement was just a response to the Wight.

Heh, I've never thought of it this way before, but it's pretty much "YOU. SHALL. NOT. PASS."

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But if the gates are "no longer guarded", it implies that someone or something was responsible for keeping Hell out.

Perhaps Locksnowe is right and the presence of the Inverse Fire is damaging the fabric of reality. (Or the presence of the No-God was the culprit.)

Or maybe the gods usually defend Earwa from Hellish incursions and now something has changed?

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Wrath, Meppa's arms are never described. Fair game.

Yes, but Nayu has pale skin, not darker skin.

Is there any reason whatsoever to ponder whether Meppa is Cnaiur other than Cnaiur was a character that disappeared?

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Speaking of unguarded gates, there's also the fact that the Gap between the Empire and the Scylvendi is now essentially unguarded. (Recalling this from flipping through WLW earlier in the day. And yeah, it's actually called "The Gap"....Imagine Cnauir or Lil' Moe in a Gap commercial...eating hipster's hearts/brains....)

What's also weird is that on the same page Esmi notes Scylvendi activity has inexplicably diminished near the Empire's border.

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Scylvendi are pale? I would've sworn they were dark-skinned and -haired with blue eyes. I'll have to go back and see if I can find a more specific reference.

In any case it still doesn't really rule him out, since wandering in the desert will tend to darken you.

Trisk - I think it's a combo of Cnaiur's uncertain fate (tied in of course to Moe's less-uncertain-but-still-undefinitive fate) and that he came completely out of nowhere story-wise, which is not normal in these books. In fact he's the only one, really - Kosoter and Cleric are never mentioned pre-TJE but they are set up in totally different ways. They're mysterious, sure, but their backgrounds (even before knowing Cleric's real identity) are relatable to the story in a way that Meppa's is not.

Actually that's an interesting line of questioning. There are 3 mysterious characters introduced in AE trilogy so far - Kosoter, Cleric, and Meppa. The first turns out to not be particularly mysterious, the second gets a huge revelation, and the third remains unsolved. I would argue that his revelation will not be that he's just some random wanderer, since that anticlimax was what Bakker already did with Kosoter.

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Scylvendi are described as fair-skinned with dark hair and blue eyes.

Nearing the end of TTT. The ending really is epic as shit. I love when Saubon comes out of nowhere and decapitates Conphas.

Also, one of the Cishaurim sorceries mentioned is the Meppa Cataracts...

ETA: In regards to Moe's line:

The God sleeps...It has ever been thus. Only by striving for the Absolute may we awaken Him.

I think this is also a clue that the God is a Monad-like sum of all consciousness. The God sleeps because it remains fractured (among souls). The Dunyain's goal of reaching the Absolute is one and the same with "awakening the God", I.E., having all souls return to the source (in Gnostic Christianity, the Monad is sometimes referred to as The Absolute).

There are a crazy amount of parallels with the metaphysics of the Bakkerverse and Gnostic Christianity (in its many forms). Too many not for there to be some kind of inspiration drawn from it, in my opinion.

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Also, one of the Cishaurim sorceries mentioned is the Meppa Cataracts...

Weirdly enough, it's actually a Scarlet Spires sorcery.

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I've yet to read any Bakker. I just ran in here becasue of the awesome thread title

That's how it works;come for the puns, stay for the black semen.

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