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How does the Consult fit? posted 09 May 2005 in Author Q & AHow does the Consult fit? by Egaragoras, Candidate

I love your books.

Now that that is out of the way, I would like to ask a question regarding how the Consult, as an organization, fits with the themes and inverted archetypes present in PON. You have said that, in creating your characters, you intended to change or invert typical fantasy archetypes-- the fearless barbarian, the wizard guide, etc. In this, you have succeeded. Why, then, did you decide to make the Consult a stereotypical, and entirely unsympathetic, "Evil Organization"? While the Consult (its leaders, mysteries, and methods and means) is well-developed and interesting, it seems one of the few parts of your work that bows almost entirely to accepted fantasy convention, and, as such, stands out. view post


How does the Consult fit? posted 09 May 2005 in Author Q & AHow does the Consult fit? by White Lord, Subdidact

This is an interesting question . . . Then again, you yourself have said that Scott has managed to portray all these inverted archetypes so well that I suspect the case with the Consult itself may not be so simple.

From what we know, (and that is also very little), many people who joined the Consult were not exactly evil, just warped by the influence of the Inchoroi (who are themselves very complex creatures -- shameless hedonists one moment, butchers the next). We also know that at least one member (the Mantraitor) fought against Golgoterath at some point, so I think this same ambiguity that accompanies most characters could mean that members of the Consult itself could desert and join the other side, and that it is not exactly an impregnable monolith, since, like most organizations, I expect there to be internal factions and rivalries.

But I think we should wait for Scott's answer for anything definite . . . view post


How does the Consult fit? posted 09 May 2005 in Author Q & AHow does the Consult fit? by H, Auditor

Well, i've actually been rhuminating on the exact same question for a while.

But, knowing that Scott is an exceptional writer, he must have protrayed the Consult as the 'typical evil' for a reason.

As to what that reason is, i'm not sure we'll know, at least until we learn more about the Consult.

My first theory however, is that he is portraying them as so 'evil' to temper us and make all the characters seem subjectively, less 'evil'.

Also, it could be that the No-God is actually the 'good guy' in the story. This may be a stretch though. Unfortunatly i'm not 100% versed on the ancient history of the North, but could it be that the Consult is fighting for what they would consider the 'greater good'? Also, perhaps this is why there is such little detail about their objectives?

Lastly, could it be that Scott is making the Consult seem so evil, just so that he can send us all realing back the other direction when we learn more about them?

All of this is idle speculation, but i think is obvious that Scott has painted them so for a reason...

EDIT: WL, you beat me in, i think your right about the intentions of some who may have joined the Consult... view post


How does the Consult fit? posted 09 May 2005 in Author Q & AHow does the Consult fit? by White Lord, Subdidact

Some very interesting observations, H, not very different from my own.

That the Consult (and the Inchoroi) have been trying to wipe out Men and Nonmen for many thousands of years for a reason is certain: check one of the scenes in TWP where the Consult Synthese says to the skin-spy something along the lines of -- fault? the very thing we are trying to destroy?

Remember that the Inchoroi came in a spaceship (could the Nonmen have shot it down with sorcery) that was so damaged that they were effectively forced to stay (is this the fault that was meant in the book?)

So this could all be some implacable vengeance on the Inchoroi's part, or, as you say, something more, that they, as strangers to Earwa, have perceived and are trying to achieve. view post


How does the Consult fit? posted 09 May 2005 in Author Q & AHow does the Consult fit? by H, Auditor

Hmmm, i still think that the nature of the No-God is central to the whole problem.

WL, you've got me thinking, could the fault they speak of be the inherent flaws within Man and Nonman make up, I.E. the Nonman weakness of need for memories, and Man's need for religion (and use of sorcery)? Hence the name of thier leader, the No-God (the negation of religion?). The Consult doesn't use magic seemingly just the Tekne. Or am i mistaken in this? I can't think right now, it's too late at night. Has Scott said if the Wracu (and such) were made via magic or 'science'?

And this just came to me, could the Consult thus be seen as a sort of allusion to Nazism? In so far as an attempt at selective breeding to eliminate 'atavisms' and establish a New Order of 'rationality' as opposed to faith and magic? Of cource it could just be that i'm all wrong, it is 1 am here... view post


How does the Consult fit? posted 09 May 2005 in Author Q & AHow does the Consult fit? by White Lord, Subdidact

Quote: "H":1fei4fcy
Hmmm, i still think that the nature of the No-God is central to the whole problem.[/quote:1fei4fcy]

I'm not at all sure who controlled whom: did the Consult learn of the No-God and somehow constrain him, using his power to their own ends (all descriptions of the No-God from Achamian's dreams are to the effect that the No-God doesn't even know what his nature is; then you have the nimil carapace and the choric runes which indicate some sort of prison or control shell -- and most important, this is something that the Inchoroi were developing before the ascendance of Men in Earwa, something that the renegade Nonmen sorcerers probably had a hand in), or was it the other way around (the No-God manifesting himself to the Inchoroi, giving them their mission, which the Consult is now continuing).

Quote: "H":1fei4fcy
And this just came to me, could the Consult thus be seen as a sort of allusion to Nazism? In so far as an attempt at selective breeding to eliminate 'atavisms' and establish a New Order of 'rationality' as opposed to faith and magic? Of cource it could just be that i'm all wrong, it is 1 am here...[/quote:1fei4fcy]

Don't know about that . . . The Inchoroi were not sorcerers, originally. But Aurang, the Synthese from TWP is both Inchoroi and sorcerer, which means that something has been going on these last 3000 years that has made them capable of working sorcery. That's not supportive of an Inchoroi drive toward a non-sorcerous, rational world.

To return to the "fault" question, the precise quote would be "Fault?" "The very poison we would suck from this world." To me it could be something connected with morality, and the Inchoroi's aversion to it. You would not consider "normal" or proper the Inchoroi's practices, and this aversion that stems from morality could be the reason the Nonmen fought them. In a world without morality, where questions of good and evil are meaningless, the Inchoroi would be nothing out of the ordinary, hence the attempt to purge the representatives of morality (men and nonmen) and the source of morality (the gods?) [Also note that the Inchoroi and the Consult did not want to destroy everyone a priori: they accepted the Scylvendi, and they demanded submission of Seswatha once Celmomas was dead. This could mean they were willing to accept those who had no interest in criticizing their practices and Weltanschauung.]. Then there is also the matter of what was used by the gods to create the world in the first place. Most probably it was sorcery, but of an infinitely more powerful variant than anything Men and Nonmen can use. A sorcery using positive semantics, which can create something. Now going back to the carapace and choric runes that are connected to the No-God the allusion to the Aporos is clear. The Aporos is a sorcery based on negative semantics, so the No-God could be put in some sort of challenging position vis-a-vis the "positive" god/s. So if the god/s are the source of all sorcery that is based on positive semantics, then the No-God could be the principle from which sorcery based on negative semantics originates. And here is also the (possible) answer on how the No-God was discovered in the first place: by the Nonmen Quya who were studying the Aporos.

Say, then, that the No-God is the negation of prevailing morality, an opposition to the cosmogony the ruling god/s represent.

A lot of rambling, I know, (hey, it's late here too <!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) -->) just thought I'd share some of my ideas on the subject. Hope you can make something out of it. <!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) --> view post


How does the Consult fit? posted 09 May 2005 in Author Q &amp; AHow does the Consult fit? by Tol h'Eddes, Auditor

Quote: &quot;White Lord&quot;:1hy1vn70
I'm not at all sure who controlled whom: did the Consult learn of the No-God and somehow constrain him, using his power to their own ends (all descriptions of the No-God from Achamian's dreams are to the effect that the No-God doesn't even know what his nature is; then you have the nimil carapace and the choric runes which indicate some sort of prison or control shell -- and most important, this is something that the Inchoroi were developing before the ascendance of Men in Earwa, something that the renegade Nonmen sorcerers probably had a hand in), or was it the other way around (the No-God manifesting himself to the Inchoroi, giving them their mission, which the Consult is now continuing).[/quote:1hy1vn70]

What if the Consult created the No-God?
Maybe the No-God is the result of, let say, 2000 years of breeding and conditioning, specifically crafted to accomplish some kind of mission. The Consult then released it, hoping it would succeed.

By the way, I don't mean that the Duneyain could be No-Gods. Just that a process similar to their own could have been used to create one.

That would mean that the Consult had a mission before the existence of the No-God and that it was only a means to an end.

What its mission is, now, I have no idea... view post


How does the Consult fit? posted 09 May 2005 in Author Q &amp; AHow does the Consult fit? by Egaragoras, Candidate

Some great ideas here-- it certainly wouldn't surprise me if the Consult's motivations and goals went far deeper than we have seen so far. However, while what you have put forth may explain the Consult's destructive and subjectively "evil" actions, I don't see these motivations challenging the Consult's position as "The Evil Organization" (at least relative to the other characters and the rest of the Three Seas).

Perhaps Mr. Bakker decided that the presence of a "The Dark Lord and his Minions" stereotype is required for any high fantasy work, even in an experimental and dark series such as this. Without it, the work would be too far distant from the fantasy norm with which we are all familiar, and the other inversions (character archetypes, overall tone) would be lost. view post


How does the Consult fit? posted 09 May 2005 in Author Q &amp; AHow does the Consult fit? by sciborg2, Candidate

Well, the Inchoroi and the No-God are somewhat classic villains, but not exactly. For one thing, neither is Evil as a supernatural force, even the No-God seems to be more a creature of hunger than anything. And, ultimately, the Dunyain and Inchoroi, and perhaps all the factions are the same in that they see others have no value beyond their use to one's own goals. The Inchoroi feel this is explained by the fact they are the race of flesh and lovers, others--or at least humans--are canvas. Khellus manipulates Serwe into accepting repeated rape at Cnauir's hands. Is he any different from the Synthese from an objective moral point of view?

We see the goal of the Dunyain as less evil, only because their memes are similar to ones we understand/respect. After all, they want to be dispassionate, they seek the Logos to triumph over deception and "sin". Whereas the genetic manipulation of the Inchoroi is terrifying. But, one may say, the Dunyain aren't trying to destroy the world. Why is that though? Not out of compassion, but simply because the world doesn't interfere with their goal.

In the end, if there is no absolute morality, how do we morally weigh these factions? Look at the Mandate, apparently the most selfless organization. Yet they torture and kidnap those they believe connected to the Consult, they manipulate their spies. Is any betrayal justified when the cause is so great?

Kind of what White Lord said, the Inchoroi are the mirror against which everything else can be held up and judged, as I see them. They are THE evil only in that their goals are most inimical to everyone around them. I agree with the above poster: They are also what allows everything else to be reworked, as unless they are THE evil you don't have an impetus for the other revised archetypes. view post


How does the Consult fit? posted 10 May 2005 in Author Q &amp; AHow does the Consult fit? by Egaragoras, Candidate

An excellent reply. I accept that there can be no objective moral criteria to determine which character or group is "good" or "evil", but this really has little bearing on the position of the groups or characters in the plot of the novel. For example, just 'cause one can determine Sauron's justification or rationale for why he wants to destroy all that is good in Lord of the Rings does not change his position as "Evil Antagonist". When I said that the Consult is an archetypical "Evil Organization", I referred to its place in the plot, not his claim to pure evil as an ideal. I see, however, that you agree with the possibility that, without a nebulous "bad guy", the books would be too inaccessible for the other inversions to be effective. It certainly sounds like a plausible explanation. view post


How does the Consult fit? posted 10 May 2005 in Author Q &amp; AHow does the Consult fit? by sciborg2, Candidate

I see what you're saying about the place of the organization in the plot. We'll have to wait to see, but I do wonder how any inversion would affect our view of the story.

I do think the inversion here may be that we are dealing with an alien culture, rather than one that sees itself as the Sauron to our Gandalf, or Melkor to our Valar. The Inchoroi are, by our measure, as mad as serial killers and child molesters. We believe them to be mentally deficient, but perhaps this is simply who they are as a species. This messes with our moral perceptions, as it means our virtues are in fact hard-wired by the fact that we are herd animals. view post


How does the Consult fit? posted 10 May 2005 in Author Q &amp; AHow does the Consult fit? by Egaragoras, Candidate

I suppose that makes sense, seeing as the other (character) inversions do not fundamentally change the position of the characters in a traditional fantasy plot, but rather serve to add a new dimension to those character archetypes. For example, Kellhus's abilities and manipulative tendencies do not prevent him from still serving the role of the "boy who would be king" or the savior-protagonist, but rather simply add a new dimension to an old fantasy role. In the same way, I suppose the Consult and Inchoroi could still serve the place of the "Evil Organization" without succumbing to the stereotypical motivations (or lack thereof) of most fantasy "Evil Organizations".

But it still seems to me that the Consult's goals and motivations are much closer to accepted fantasy norms and archetypes than are the other characters and concepts in PON. view post


How does the Consult fit? posted 10 May 2005 in Author Q &amp; AHow does the Consult fit? by lfex, Peralogue

I am not sure. I would say that Achamian's motivations, and the Mandate's as a whole, are quite close to "accepted fantasy convention". The same goes for many other characters who are just ruthless, scheming politicians - quite typical for fantasy.

OTOH, I have always thought of Inchoroi as typical space alien invaders who want to get rid of humans and other natives, because they see them as darwinian competitors - motivation typical for science fiction, but hardly for fantasy. My reading my be wrong, but this is how I see it. view post


How does the Consult fit? posted 10 May 2005 in Author Q &amp; AHow does the Consult fit? by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Welcome to the board, Egaragoras!

Outright 'inversion' was never my intention - too mechanical for my tastes - just to explore what real human beings might suffer if condemned by history and happenstance to wear various kinds of archetypal skin.

It was my intention, on the other hand, to stay true to the form of epic fantasy - how would you write a literary exploration of the form otherwise? Dragons and darklords forever, I say! <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: -->

As for the Consult, it should be remembered that we know very little of them by the end of TWP - and nothing at all of their motivations. That changes in TTT...

Rest assured, they're quite as f**ked up as everyone else. <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: -->

Some pretty interesting speculations, otherwise. view post


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