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the emperor Ikurai Xerius III posted 13 January 2005 in The Warrior Prophetthe emperor Ikurai Xerius III by White Lord, Subdidact

In my opinion it's much more likely his mother is a skin-spy... view post


the emperor Ikurai Xerius III posted 15 January 2005 in The Warrior Prophetthe emperor Ikurai Xerius III by anor277, Didact

I agree, I think it's much more likely that Xerius' mother Istriya is a skin spy (perhaps replaced just after Skeaös was revealed). The evidence is very circumstantial of course, Istriya opposes Xerius' plan to spare Shimeh (and the Cishaurim) from conquest, which is presumably a Consult aim; however, Istriya would be uniquely vulnerable to replacement by a skin-spy. She takes numerous lovers and also chooses lovers for her son Xerius, any of whom could be a skin spy and could dispose of her and masquerade as her quite easily. All of this raises an interesting question, are the skin-spies hermaphroditic; can they change their genitals as well as their faces? Yuck, the mind boggles. view post


the emperor Ikurai Xerius III posted 15 January 2005 in The Warrior Prophetthe emperor Ikurai Xerius III by White Lord, Subdidact

Quote: "anor277":5rejrkju
I agree, I think it's much more likely that Xerius' mother Istriya is a skin spy (perhaps replaced just after Skeaös was revealed). The evidence is very circumstantial of course, Istriya opposes Xerius' plan to spare Shimeh (and the Cishaurim) from conquest, which is presumably a Consult aim; however, Istriya would be uniquely vulnerable to replacement by a skin-spy. She takes numerous lovers and also chooses lovers for her son Xerius, any of whom could be a skin spy and could dispose of her and masquerade as her quite easily. All of this raises an interesting question, are the skin-spies hermaphroditic; can they change their genitals as well as their faces? Yuck, the mind boggles.[/quote:5rejrkju]

What made me think about her being a skin-spy was the scene where, immediately after Skeaös's death she brings that girl to Xerius, exploiting one of his weaknesses and then asking him what exactly happened to Skeaös in what seemed a very sinister undertone to me....

It is also possible (even probable) that she was removed immediately after Skeaös's death and replaced with a skin-spy for getting to the bottom of his death. view post


the emperor Ikurai Xerius III posted 25 January 2005 in The Warrior Prophetthe emperor Ikurai Xerius III by Erthaelion, Candidate

Hasn't been a female skin-spy revealed yet.

Hard to imagine the "things" being anything other then male, but upon re-reading that scene, it does seem like something strange was going on. And the skin-spies did discover, very suddenly, that Kellhus could see them. Just out of the blue, at a council of the Great names, bang- Sarcellus is staring down Kellhus.

hmm.... view post


the emperor Ikurai Xerius III posted 25 January 2005 in The Warrior Prophetthe emperor Ikurai Xerius III by White Lord, Subdidact

Quote: "Erthaelion":1wkw4ksk
Hasn't been a female skin-spy revealed yet.

Hard to imagine the "things" being anything other then male, but upon re-reading that scene, it does seem like something strange was going on. And the skin-spies did discover, very suddenly, that Kellhus could see them. Just out of the blue, at a council of the Great names, bang- Sarcellus is staring down Kellhus.

hmm....[/quote:1wkw4ksk]

Well the reason there aren't (many/any) female skin-spies is than few women have any power or influence in the Three Seas. But I'd think the "technical" side of making them would be pretty simple... after all if you can make a male skin-spy, why shouldn't you be able to engineer a female one?

And now that Skeaos is dead Ikurei Istriya is the only person who will have some influence on Xerius, and I think this (and Xerius's actions in Book 3) will be significant. view post


the emperor Ikurai Xerius III posted 26 January 2005 in The Warrior Prophetthe emperor Ikurai Xerius III by Erthaelion, Candidate

I speak neither of physiognomy nor the possible complexity of engineering. The way the skin spy operates, from what we read of Sarcellus, is on the promise of release. Its simply alot harder to imagine a sexual misfit as a female, on that vivid a level.

Not imposssible, but harder to visualize it being the same sickening creature, bent on release, coupling with corpses etc. view post


the emperor Ikurai Xerius III posted 29 January 2005 in The Warrior Prophetthe emperor Ikurai Xerius III by anor277, Didact

@Erthaelion... While I agree that it is a lot harder to imagine a sexual misfit as female, there is the possibility that the skin-spies are hermaphrodites, i.e. they have flexible genital organs or two sets thereof (I'll leave it to the author to supply the gross details of those contraptions!). Regarding the observation that we've seen no "female" skin-spies, wasn't there a scene when it was implied that one of Esmenet's fellow prostitutes was a closet skin-spy? Mind you, as you say it doesn't make sense to impersonate a female in the Three Seas - there are few that hold any power. On the other hand a female is more likely to be overlooked and therefore a more effective spy. view post


the emperor Ikurai Xerius III posted 07 February 2005 in The Warrior Prophetthe emperor Ikurai Xerius III by White Lord, Subdidact

Quote: "Erthaelion":adafy7fj
I speak neither of physiognomy nor the possible complexity of engineering. The way the skin spy operates, from what we read of Sarcellus, is on the promise of release. Its simply alot harder to imagine a sexual misfit as a female, on that vivid a level.

Not imposssible, but harder to visualize it being the same sickening creature, bent on release, coupling with corpses etc.[/quote:adafy7fj]

Yes, but then again these things are not human (or even natural), so it doesn't matter at all what they look like, or what their sex is. You simply cannot attribute any human traits to them. They could look like five-year-olds of either sex and still have these inhuman hungers and urges. view post


the emperor Ikurai Xerius III posted 07 February 2005 in The Warrior Prophetthe emperor Ikurai Xerius III by White Lord, Subdidact

Quote: "anor277":r4q2jh9n
Regarding the observation that we've seen no "female" skin-spies, wasn't there a scene when it was implied that one of Esmenet's fellow prostitutes was a closet skin-spy?[/quote:r4q2jh9n]

From what I remember of that scene there wasn't any description of the skin-spy but it was stated that it was impersonating a female prostitute.

This makes me think of the confrontation between Sarcellus and Cnaiur in TWP where Sarcellus tells Cnaiur that his flesh had been folded more times than a steel blade. We also know that the skin-spies are extremely flexible, and have no bones.

This makes me think that they are not only able to shift faces but body shape as well. view post


the emperor Ikurai Xerius III posted 08 February 2005 in The Warrior Prophetthe emperor Ikurai Xerius III by anor277, Didact

Maybe we’ll have to wait for Achamian, or Kellhus, or someone with a few brains and a scalpel to perform a proper autopsy on a dead skin spy – so far all the emperor's gofers or those of the Scarlet Spires have done is to cut off their heads. Then again, maybe they didn’t find anything remarkable about their bodies. view post


the emperor Ikurai Xerius III posted 08 February 2005 in The Warrior Prophetthe emperor Ikurai Xerius III by White Lord, Subdidact

Quote: "anor277":1austdb7
Maybe we’ll have to wait for Achamian, or Kellhus, or someone with a few brains and a scalpel to perform a proper autopsy on a dead skin spy – so far all the emperor's gofers or those of the Scarlet Spires have done is to cut off their heads. Then again, maybe they didn’t find anything remarkable about their bodies.[/quote:1austdb7]

I'm sure there'll be at least some more info on the skin-spies in TTT. I'm not sure all of them have been eliminated from the Holy War by the end of TWP, so much could still happen in Book 3.

I put a question about them to Scott so let's hope he can give us at least a partial answer... view post


the emperor Ikurai Xerius III posted 09 February 2005 in The Warrior Prophetthe emperor Ikurai Xerius III by anor277, Didact

Whitelord wrote,

I put a question about them to Scott so let's hope he can give us at least a partial answer...


If you find out, please don’t post it here! (or at least put a spoiler tag on it) – asking Scott for the answer is a bit like looking up the answers in the back of the book, it’s just far too convenient for mine. I’d much rather speculate than have the definitive answer. Cheers view post


the emperor Ikurai Xerius III posted 10 February 2005 in The Warrior Prophetthe emperor Ikurai Xerius III by RevCasy, Candidate

I don't see why Kellhus wouldn't "rat out" all the skin spies. He and the Consult are pretty much at war now, and revealing the skin spies also strengthens his position in the Holy War.

And though I admit I am not Dunyain, I can't think of a reason to leave any skin spies alive. view post


the emperor Ikurai Xerius III posted 18 February 2005 in The Warrior Prophetthe emperor Ikurai Xerius III by White Lord, Subdidact

Quote: "Erthaelion'":38yzp796
I don't think Scott is gonna have anything to do with that question.[/quote:38yzp796]

You're right, he didn't . . . <!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) -->

I guess we can infer that they have a big role to play in TTT, and possibly the following series. view post


the emperor Ikurai Xerius III posted 19 February 2005 in The Warrior Prophetthe emperor Ikurai Xerius III by White Lord, Subdidact

Quote: &quot;RevCasy&quot;:1mxoagj4
I don't see why Kellhus wouldn't "rat out" all the skin spies. He and the Consult are pretty much at war now, and revealing the skin spies also strengthens his position in the Holy War.

And though I admit I am not Dunyain, I can't think of a reason to leave any skin spies alive.[/quote:1mxoagj4]

Yes, but then again, how many tens of thousands are there in the Holy War?

Kellhus is not (yet) omnipotent and I'd guess that even for him it would be a bit of a trial to sift the skin-spies out of so many people.

I guess the answer lies in training his followers in being able to recognise the skin-spies. I'm not saying he doesn't want to get rid of them, just that it will take a lot of effort and in the meantime they will probably be able to do much damage. view post


the emperor Ikurai Xerius III posted 19 February 2005 in The Warrior Prophetthe emperor Ikurai Xerius III by H, Auditor

I can think of two reasons why Kellhus might want to keep some skin-spies within the Holy War.

1.) Since he can see them, he can keep them away from any sesative imformation. Thus, he could keep them on the 'fringe' and feed them false information, confusing the Consult as to what is really happening.

2.) Keeping some skin-spies within the Holy War could keep the Consult thinking they can still infiltrate the Holy War, and still use it. If they realize they can't, they might attempt to destory it outright, fearing its usefullness is over. Or they might find new ways, harder ways to detect, to infiltrate the Holy War, creating a whole new problem.

Eliminating the skin-spies all together will simply force the Consult to new tactics, which may be harder to contain. Better the enemy you know, and can counter, than one you don't and may not be able to. view post


the emperor Ikurai Xerius III posted 21 February 2005 in The Warrior Prophetthe emperor Ikurai Xerius III by RevCasy, Candidate

As I said, I'm not Dunyain, but apparently 'H' is. <!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) -->

Those are both excellent points H, and ones which I hadn't thought of.

On the other hand, the Consult now know for certain that Kellhus can detect skin spies. Even if he leaves some alive in the ranks of the Holy War, might the Consult not be suspicious of his motives for doing so? In fact, wouldn't they look for a new, undetectable, way of infiltrating and spying regardless? view post


the emperor Ikurai Xerius III posted 22 February 2005 in The Warrior Prophetthe emperor Ikurai Xerius III by White Lord, Subdidact

Quote: &quot;RevCasy&quot;:xw73rxzf
As I said, I'm not Dunyain, but apparently 'H' is. <!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) -->

Those are both excellent points H, and ones which I hadn't thought of.

On the other hand, the Consult now know for certain that Kellhus can detect skin spies. Even if he leaves some alive in the ranks of the Holy War, might the Consult not be suspicious of his motives for doing so? In fact, wouldn't they look for a new, undetectable, way of infiltrating and spying regardless?[/quote:xw73rxzf]

You seem to be following my train of thought pretty well . . . <!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) -->

I really don't expect that Kellhus thinks he can find more about the Consult from the skin-spies, just as I don't think the skin-spies will stop trying to eliminate him.

After all, Kellhus has single-handedly wrecked whatever hope the Consult had of smashing the Cishaurim, and they have already marked him for some really painful demise.

The only reason why they won't be quickly eliminated from the Holy War I have already posted upthread, however I suspect that at the very least the Thanes Kellhus has been training will be able to pick up the skin-spies so we might see some captures and interrogations. Kellhus has been observing and mapping their behaviour and I have no doubt he could push the right buttons to make them talk if he can capture them alive.

This is also one of the ways the Great Names can be convinced of the threat the Consult represents . . . view post


the emperor Ikurai Xerius III posted 01 March 2005 in The Warrior Prophetthe emperor Ikurai Xerius III by anor277, Didact

Originally posted by WhiteLord:
After all, Kellhus has single-handedly wrecked whatever hope the Consult had of smashing the Cishaurim, and they have already marked him for some really painful demise.


Ah, but has Kellhus actually wrecked the plans of the Consult, or has he advanced them? Certainly if the Consult wants to destroy the Cishaurim, Kellhus actions at Caraskand seemed to have preserved the crusade: (i) he forbore to start a civil war between his faction and the factions of the Great names; and (ii) he led the Holy War to an improbable victory over the last host (arguably) of the Fanim. In fact, if any skin spies survived Kellhus' pogroms (and at least Chepheramunni however you spell it did for a time), they might actually make overtures to Kellhus and offer an alliance (in good faith or not), and Kellhus may accept it (in good faith or not - certainly both sides would try to manipulate the other). view post


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