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White Lord Subdidact | joined 26 December 2004 | 212 posts

A few questions . . . posted 04 May 2005 in Author Q & AA few questions . . . by White Lord, Subdidact

Quote: "Cu'jara Cinmoi":1cuchch8
The basic idea is this: the Quya first developed the Aporos in the prosecution of their own intercine wars, but it was quickly forbidden.[/quote:1cuchch8]

Interesting to know the Quya fought one another. But what stopped them (if it did . . .), in a world without Chorae, to assume the kind of power that most sorcerers seem to want in the Three Seas, and are prevented from acquiring precisely because of their existence?

Also, since we're talking about the Cunuroi, I'd like to know if they are immortal (or at least very long-lived) because the physiological makeup of their bodies supports it or through some sort of esoteric/metaphysical rite of passage? After all, almost all religions promise eternal life, and nearly all sects with "secret knowledge" seem to think they can somehow gain immortality and bequeath it to their descendants. Is there any merit to this second hypothesis?

Thanks! view post

Should Kellhus learn the Gnosis? posted 04 May 2005 in The Thousandfold ThoughtShould Kellhus learn the Gnosis? by White Lord, Subdidact

Quote: "sciborg2":1sjihkvr
sorry, i had a mind-spasm. suddenly it felt like so many things connected to the books, a dozen-fold thought, if you will. i was just thinking that khellus could get around the vulnerability to chorae by resolving the contradiction inscribed on each one.[/quote:1sjihkvr]

I don't really know about that . . . Anyway, from what Scott said, it seems that Chorae kill sorcerers because there is a link between sorcerer and sorcery, ergo, if Chorae can kill the sorcerous Cant they can kill the sorcerer too (this is a fortunate byproduct of the Aporos, which cannot be used offensively but only to deconstruct Cants). By this logic, if a sorcerer uses exclusively a form of sorcery that the Aporos cannot unravel he cannot be harmed by Chorae. Now it remains to be seen if any such sorcery exists or will exist. What's sure, however, is that the Consult are very anxious to get rid of the Cishaurim . . . 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 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 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

A few questions . . . posted 12 May 2005 in Author Q &amp; AA few questions . . . by White Lord, Subdidact

Quote: &quot;Cu'jara Cinmoi&quot;:1bm4l770
The Nonmen were always long-lived, WL, but it was the Inchoroi who made them immortal (the Womb-Plague and the final Cuno-Inchoroi war was a direct consequence of this).

This is a tale for another day, however. <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: -->[/quote:1bm4l770]

Very interesting . . . You could almost say the Nonmen were asking for it since I assume the Inchoroi didn't do it out of the goodness of their hearts (or did they <!-- s;) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=";)" title="Wink" /><!-- s;) -->) . . . <!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) -->

Now a few questions:

1. A question about the Aporos. Are there any sorcerers outside the Consult (possibly) and the Nonmen who know about it and use it? I assume the Mandate doesn't, otherwise Achamian would have easily destroyed the SS sorcerers in the Sareotic library. But what about the Schools of the Ancient North, did they have that knowledge, is it still known, perhaps by those unknown gnostic sorcerers you hinted at upthread?

2. Thinking about the way the Dunyain first found Ishual during their exodus, and Ishual's location itself (right on the border of Injor-Niyas), made me wonder if they were not perhaps trying to reach the protection of the Nonman kingdom, perhaps along with many other Kuniuric subjects? Anything in this idea? Are there human populations under the Nonmen's protection at the time of the Holy War?

Thanks! view post

A few questions . . . posted 16 May 2005 in Author Q &amp; AA few questions . . . by White Lord, Subdidact

Quote: &quot;Cu'jara Cinmoi&quot;:2sbfphjr
I've actually been considering your first question myself. My original idea was for the Aporos to be a 'dead and ancient' branch of the esoterics. I'm still leaning in that direction, but I find the notion of a sorcery based on a semantics of contradiction and paradox almost too juicy to resist![/quote:2sbfphjr]

Then don't resist it! <!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) --> It would certainly complicate things for the protagonists, but would make for a much more enjoyable tale.

A question about nimil. You said it was stronger than steel. What I'd like to know is: do the Nonmen manufacture it through wholly mundane means, or is sorcery involved? Also, is it more complicated than making plain steel? Another curiosity would be why the Nonmen didn't share nimil with their human allies, since they were willing enough to share the Gnosis, which represents a much bigger concession than the secret of a mere metal alloy. And during the Apocalypse nimil would have made a difference against the bronze the opposition was using.

Thanks! view post

A note on other races posted 16 May 2005 in Author Q &amp; AA note on other races by White Lord, Subdidact

Quote: &quot;Mithfânion&quot;:yjpfxano
Is this something you tend to focus on in upcoming books, to really flesh out the Cunuroi and perhaps the Inchoroi as well. Obviously they don't have to be like Tolkien's Elves, it would rather be something wholly yours but still wonderfully awe-inspiring. Adding a major character from such race to the foreground of the story, is that something that you have in mind?[/quote:yjpfxano]

I think this is where the books will inevitably go. If I remember correctly, Scott said that even as early as TTT we would see something of the Nonmen, i.e. first-person exposition, and if you add to that that we will "see" the Bashrag as well, it means some sort of conflict in the North between the Nonmen and the Consult. A lot of potential there to introduce characters, even if they don't come to the forefront of the story for some time. view post

A note on other races posted 16 May 2005 in Author Q &amp; AA note on other races by White Lord, Subdidact

Well, this is the quote from Scott:

Quote: &quot;Cu'jara Cinmoi&quot;:1qv9y38g
You're not missing a thing, EE. Everything's some shade a grey, and nothing moreso than the Nonmen. Strangely enough, TTT actually does set foot on a couple of Cunuroi (Nonmen) paths.[/quote:1qv9y38g]

I took it to mean some point-of-view scenes featuring the Cunuroi . . . I may be mistaken, still it's what it looks like to me. view post

The Logos/Dunyain posted 19 May 2005 in The Thousandfold ThoughtThe Logos/Dunyain by White Lord, Subdidact

Some comments. Don't have a lot of time for detailed speculation, so I'll just point out where I think you're wrong:

Quote: &quot;Oumo Di Spada&quot;:3voq4tpc
1. The population of Dunyain, it would seem to me, is limited by several factors. Primarily their expressed desire to remain undiscovered. Let us assume that the population numbers as little as 1,000 functional adults[/quote:3voq4tpc]

I think your figure is too small. My reckoning puts the Dunyain at a minimum of four thousand people. Ishual is a citadel, i.e. built in the first place to host a large body of fighting men and to provide the sustenance they would need year round.

Quote: &quot;Oumo Di Spada&quot;:3voq4tpc
(I’ll come back to the functional part in a short while). Considering the technology available to them (mid to late iron age) and their lack of horses (Kellus walked out) we would need to assume that the majority of the population (75%-90%) are farmers. Were these farms as small as 20 acres each (7.5 acres is considered subsistence farming using modern techniques) this would lead us to assume that the Dunyain community was cultivating 15,000-18,000 acres ( approx. 23-31 square miles.) Which I think we can agree is a sizable area. In that they have not been discovered sitting on the Consult’s doorstep I think it safe to assume they haven’t grown much beyond these limits.[/quote:3voq4tpc]

That's impossible. Ishual is situated in the middle of a substantial chain of mountains, there's no space fit for farming outside Ishual's walls to speak of, and it's plain that they have all the food they need grown inside Ishual. About how their technology stands, I think you are underestimating what the Dunyain know or use. If you think they started the community in the Bronze Age, and have been isolated ever since, how do you think they came up with steel that is stronger than any steel in the Three Seas? I think that, given time and thought, they'd be able to solve any problems they encounter without exiting the walls of Ishual. Anyway, if they farmed such a large tract of land there is no way they'd have escaped the Consult, no way.

Quote: &quot;Oumo Di Spada&quot;:3voq4tpc
2. The Dunyain started with a very limited gene pool (my guess is that there were probably less than 100 refugees). Were there more than this to begin with they would have been thinned out during the first few years from starvation and 11 years of stillborn. Even with their breeding program we can assume a large number of culls (non-functionals), probably the source for Kellus’ “face” training.[/quote:3voq4tpc]

The face-training specimens come from outside. The Dunyain maintain some contact with the nearest human tribes, and sometimes people simply wander too close to Ishual and are captured. This is also a source of trade for the advanced goods the Dunyain can manufacture in exchange for food, when it's needed.

Quote: &quot;Oumo Di Spada&quot;:3voq4tpc
A. Sorcery is supernatural in origin. By supernatural I do not mean more than nature but instead outside of nature.
B. The outside source of sorcery is The God(s).[/quote:3voq4tpc]

With this I agree.

Quote: &quot;Oumo Di Spada&quot;:3voq4tpc
The Logos is a brand of sorcery. Wait…wait…wait, put down the rocks… hear me out. I have a couple of reasons to think this. First off is that every form of sorcery in the books is loaded with a capital letter to make it stand out (Gnosis, Psuke, Tekne… Logos). But beyond this admittedly thin argument, I have several thoughts.[/quote:3voq4tpc]

The Tekne is not sorcery, it's bioscience. The Logos is also not sorcery as one understands it IMO.

Quote: &quot;Oumo Di Spada&quot;:3voq4tpc
First off is that the Dunyain have been able maintain a bloodline over two thousand years in such purity that it is recognizable (Akka recognized Kellus as an Anisurimbor). Second, the probability trance smacks of the super natural/sorcerous (even Herbert’s Mentats required greater time than this and they had been bred for tens of thousands of years). Even reaching the point of the probability trance is less than 2000 years implies sorcerous interference.[/quote:3voq4tpc]

It implies a divine, not a sorcerous intervention, and I hope you see the difference.

Quote: &quot;Oumo Di Spada&quot;:3voq4tpc
Third the existence of sorcery indicates that the Few eventually have to use it and the Schools merely teach outlets.[/quote:3voq4tpc]

You do not have to learn sorcery, or use it if you do not want it. It doesn't work that way. The College of Luthymae of the Thousand Temples is full of sorcerers who have never uttered a single cant.

Quote: &quot;Oumo Di Spada&quot;:3voq4tpc
With the inward focus of the Logos it would seem that the Logos is the sorcery of self manipulation. This would explain why the Chorae did not effect Kellus… not Cants to stop.[/quote:3voq4tpc]

This is explained well enough in the books. Chorae affect the Few only when they utter a sorcerous cant and gain the Mark. You can be one of the Few and be immune to Chorae if you have never actually worked sorcery. There are also certain cants one can utter and be immune to them, which is what Kellhus did in TWP.

Quote: &quot;Oumo Di Spada&quot;:3voq4tpc
It would also explain how Kellus defeated Cnaiur with so little effort (beat him as a man would a child) despite Cnaiur being arguably the best (unaltered) warrior presented in the books as yet.[/quote:3voq4tpc]

He beat Cnaiur because of his breeding. It's as simple as that. I'd guess any Dunyain's musculature is much more powerful, i.e. efficient than any world-born's, and also his reflexes are much more rapid and controlled. Also about the probability trance, and other techniques the Dunyain use to aid reason, but also to fight better, I see no sorcerous origin.

I guess you may be right on an interference from the Outside, I too think of such an interference, but choose to call it divine rather than sorcerous, because you would then have to postulate an existing sorcerous metaphysics explaining the Logos or the Probability Trance. I view it simply as the result of a highly successful breeding and training process. As to divine intervention, I hold Achamian's view that everything has a purpose, so the purpose of the Dunyain, regardless of what they think or do, was to enhance physically and mentally the line of Anasurimbor, and bring it intact to the present time, when it has to fulfill its purpose.

Comments welcome. view post

Achamian vs. Kellhus: faith vs. certainty posted 20 May 2005 in The Warrior ProphetAchamian vs. Kellhus: faith vs. certainty by White Lord, Subdidact

I'm a bit strapped for time, so I'll just make a few observations and pose some questions.

First of all, I'd say that both certainty and doubt are very dangerous if carried to extremes. Then I'd also question your view on Kellhus's spreading "his" certainties, or the belief that his new religion is one of certainty.

For one, Kellhus as a person, with his peculiar attributes, is much more responsible for the virtual enslavement of his adherents, than is his religious message. Of course, he uses his gifts to compel people's actions in the direction he needs them to go, and this for reasons that we can regard as justified (if we believe that Kellhus himself may be an unconscious agent for some entity in the Outside). On the other hand, his "religious" message is one of true liberation, because he is effectively espousing Achamian's own views on uncertainty (remember that what goes on in Kellhus's head -- or what he believes to be certain at the moment -- is not reflected in his words and instructions to the outside world; what he currently is differs from the image he projects and this can be a source of confusion). Basically he's saying that you may believe, and hope you're right, but this should not carry you as far as eliminating physically your opponents (and all the other hallmarks of fanaticism).

At the moment, from the Holy War's perspective, and for Kellhus's own need, it's much safer to have him have his way. As for what happens when his message begins to spread, well, as I said, it should be a lot of help in decreasing religious tensions in the Three Seas, and if Kellhus's "miracles" continue, I expect a significant number of converts. This is also a sound strategy for gaining secular power in the fastest possible way. view post

The Logos/Dunyain posted 25 May 2005 in The Thousandfold ThoughtThe Logos/Dunyain by White Lord, Subdidact

Quote: &quot;Tattooed Hand&quot;:2ca3pdsn
The face-training specimens come from outside. The Dunyain maintain some contact with the nearest human tribes, and sometimes people simply wander too close to Ishual and are captured. This is also a source of trade for the advanced goods the Dunyain can manufacture in exchange for food, when it's needed.

I have to disagree with this, White Lord. I don't think the Dunyain have had ANY contact with the outside world. The face specimens were failed Dunyain who as a result of physical and/or mental defects (probably from too much inbreeding) were unable to complete training and were used for training purposes such as these. I am pretty sure this is outright stated that they are failed Dunyain in TWP. [/quote:2ca3pdsn]

I know no such thing is stated in TWP (about Dunyain defectives). What I was referring to was mentioned by Scott on this board. I'll try to find the exact quote (buried somewhere in the Q&amp;A board), but I don't have time right now. Anyway, I agree with you that the Dunyain have no extensive contact with the outside world (they never stray far from Ishual, but they do get outside to some extent -- remember the forest training scene from Kellhus's recollections), still some contact with humans (defectives) exists, and was mentioned by Scott on the board. I'm positive he mentioned the neuropuncture scene and the origin of the specimens.

Quote: &quot;Tattooed Hand&quot;:2ca3pdsn
I also think that the Kelhus's physical abilities and mental abilities are naturally quite elevated and have had the benefit of being honed even further by Dunyain training.[/quote:2ca3pdsn]

I agree. The Anasurimbor have Nonman blood, which gives them some "advantages" Scott has hinted at. What they are is open to debate, but the fact is that the Anasurimbor were superior to ordinary men at the time of the Apocalypse and are infinitely more so after Dunyain conditioning, which is a reason why I think there was some divine interference responsible for the Dunyain finding Ishual in the first place and "nurturing" the Anasurimbor line. view post

The Logos/Dunyain posted 25 May 2005 in The Thousandfold ThoughtThe Logos/Dunyain by White Lord, Subdidact

Quote: &quot;bovine_buddha&quot;:9znqp6gi
About the question whether sorcery is natural or supernatural, where most Fantasy books tend to use the latter, I think it it most important to have in mind the opening quote from PoN Chapter 3:

"If the world is a game whose rules are written by God, and sorcerers are those who cheat and cheat, then who has written the rules of sorcery?"

- Zarathinius, A Defense of the Arcane Arts

As Zarathinius obviously thinks and states (and maybe Bakker), sorcery is not what God used to create the world and is thus not divine, since he believes God also wrote the rules of sorcery (or so I interpret the quote). So while sorcery is certainly not something everyone is capable of, the issue of whether it is natural or supernatural will probably never be fully revealed, since a solution to the question posed in the quote would be philosophical in nature, and thus subjective and highly normative.

Furthermore, Bakker himself has stated that sorcery is hereditary, connected with our genes, which gives further inclination of it being more "natural" than "supernatural".[/quote:9znqp6gi]

I don't know about that. First of all, we know other dimensions of reality (the Outside for one) exist, which obviously have different "natural" rules, and still sorcery can bridge this gap between realities, can bring a demon in the flesh from another world to the one of Earwa.

There is nothing, either in the quote you cite, or in the other references in the books, that somehow negates that sorcery is what was used by the divinity to create all realities. The god has written all rules, so the fact that sorcery has some rules (or that the kind of sorcery men use has these rules, and the relative strength in it available to them) does not preclude some deeper and stronger sorcery that men cannot use.

I also think there is a very good reason behind the availability of sorcery to certain persons in this particular reality. I think it's the use of it by men that is somehow blasphemous, because misunderstood in its original purpose. But there is no question of its divine origin, not even the religions in Earwa doubt that, their condemnation of sorcerers results from the fact they do not think man worthy enough to use the highest power (the power of the God) that can modify reality itself, can bend the rules of nature with the utmost ease. This is also interesting because it makes us ask ourselves whether man is really unworthy, or if maybe the God made sorcery available in the first place because it is the best pathway man can use either to come closest to the God, or to become a god . . . <!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) -->

Another interesting thought is that no one really knows what is or isn't possible with sorcery. It is entirely dependent on the intellect and the experience of the sorcerer. So if you consider the God himself as the greatest sorcerer of them all (the one with the greatest intellect), there is nothing that would prevent a human with a big enough imagination, a deep enough intellect, to modify reality to an incredible degree, to somehow achieve a sort of divinity (in the sense that sorcery has absolute control of space and time, as well as other dimensions). It will be very interesting to see what Kellhus can "do" with the Gnosis . . . <!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) --> view post

A few questions . . . posted 25 May 2005 in Author Q &amp; AA few questions . . . by White Lord, Subdidact

Quote: &quot;Cu'jara Cinmoi&quot;:1sozdyyg
I'm already running into problems (of the groaning editor kind) with the sheer length of the Appendices to TTT. These past few weeks have been blowing my mind, world-wise. I sometimes find it hard to believe I took all that time to cook this stuff up!

When I write my Bio, I'm going to call it Confessions of a World-junkie....[/quote:1sozdyyg]

Well, for one I'll never complain about the length of the appendices . . . <!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) -->

Anyway, is the Encyclopaedic Glossary to TTT the only one you intend to compile, or can we expect others in the following series?

A few questions (:)):

1. About The Sagas, what exactly are they? Is there any correlation with the northern European sagas? Just how accurate (historically) are they, and how widespread/popular? Also, is there any mention of Anasurimbor exploits in them?

2. You said all the Cunuroi in the south were exterminated. But do you include Zeum in the "south" as well, or only the Three Seas?

3. From your comments about Inchoroi responsibility for the immortality of the Nonmen, and their brains that decay after five human lifetimes, is it right then that their original lifespan was confined to about 400 years?

Thanks a lot! <!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) --> view post

The agenda of the skin spies and the Consult posted 25 May 2005 in The Thousandfold ThoughtThe agenda of the skin spies and the Consult by White Lord, Subdidact

Quote: &quot;anor277&quot;:15v05hl0
By the same reasoning, it is also not possible for skin spies to be sorcerors. They are non-magical creatures that are indetectable to actual sorcerors, who would readily detect the mark of sorcery (at least the non-Cishaurim variety).[/quote:15v05hl0]

This has been bothering me for some time . . . Can Tekne constructs really not be sorcerers?

Remember Scott has said sorcery is genetic in origin. Also the Inchoroi were not sorcerers when they first came to Earwa. The point being that the Mark issue is that a sorcerous construct bears a certain kind of mark that warns sorcerers of its sorcerous origin. But sorcerers themselves have a mark, their blood stain. So is it really impossible for the Consult to construct receptacles, genetically manipulated (from Nonman Quya genes maybe?) to enable an Inchoroi (or whoever) to wield sorcery? And show exactly the kind of Mark every normal sorcerer bears?

Remember that Achamian (who is our source of information on this issue) does not know what headways the Consult has made with the Tekne. He's scared shitless when he sees the skin-spy, thinks the Consult could even resurrect the No-God (who is definitely not your average skin-spy). From his initial remarks it seems you can create living constructs with sorcery, but this is certainly a lot more crude than what the Tekne can do, and if we get back to the Consult Synthese (also a Tekne construct), which is the shell for an Inchoroi, and that this Inchoroi can work sorcery, while the first Inchoroi couldn't, well you see what I'm driving at . . . view post

The agenda of the skin spies and the Consult posted 25 May 2005 in The Thousandfold ThoughtThe agenda of the skin spies and the Consult by White Lord, Subdidact

Just adding a few more considerations on my previous post:

Basically what Achamian and other sorcerers have looked at is how you could substitute a non-sorcerer with a clone that another sorcerer would not recognize as a sorcerous artifact. This can be done easily with the Tekne.

On the other hand, if you want to substitute a sorcerer with a construct that can work sorcery, but does not bear the signs of a sorcerous construct, the Tekne can (very probably) be of help as well, as long as you don't attempt to transfer the soul or the consciousness (of a Consult member, for example) from an existing vessel to your construct, since I assume this can be done by sorcery alone and would leave some sign.

So if you are content to use the same hardwired, sexual control mechanisms the Consult uses, to control the actions of your skin-sorcerer, then you have achieved your object. However, if you want to have first-hand involvement, as a member of the Consult top management, you have to find a way of transferring the soul/consciousness into the vessel without leaving a sorcerous trace. Cishaurim sorcery, anyone?

The Cishaurim and the Consult are enemies. Why?

I assume Consult infiltration, in a bid to gain the Psukhe for the reason above. If Moenghus was with the Cishaurim at the time, it is possible he was responsible for the detection of the intruder/s, so this whole Cishaurim/Consult business would be explained . . .

As to the Cishaurim/Scarlet Spires enmity . . . well, let us say I suspect the Consult may be meddling in the affairs of the Schools the same way they are interfering in the business of the Courts . . .

Also, it's probable that, knowing the Consult is increasing its activity in the Three Seas as a prelude to the Apocalypse, Moenghus decided to engineer the Holy War, basically deceiving the Consult in thinking they could use/control it, and at the same time he could have ordered the assassination of Sasheoka as a way of getting the Scarlet Spires to Shimeh, expecting them to suffer some sort of epiphany in the meantime, so as to have them effectively (as the largest School in the Three Seas) on his side by the time the Apocalypse starts.

Comments welcome! view post

The agenda of the skin spies and the Consult posted 25 May 2005 in The Thousandfold ThoughtThe agenda of the skin spies and the Consult by White Lord, Subdidact

Quote: &quot;anor277&quot;:p9gism95
The notion that the Consult are trying to wrest the Psukhe from the Cishaurim (or that they are frightened by it) is a good one. It does not necessarily follow that they have created Psukhe wielding skin spies; if so it is equally likely that they have created Anagogic or Gnostic wielding skin spies - i.e. spies who could take the place of Eleäzaras, Achamian, or the Mandate elders (a potentially disastrous situation for the rest of the Three Seas and not really fair in terms of plot development). Until I see evidence otherwise I continue to believe that the skin spies are non sorcerous creatures.[/quote:p9gism95]

You have been misreading my posts. I never said they have skin-spies who use the Psukhe. I didn't even say the skin-spies we see in the books can use sorcery at all.

What I'm saying is that the Consult can use the Tekne to create some sort of creature that is not at all manufactured by sorcery, but can use it like any god-born sorcerer (which is what the Consult Synthese is, but with the flaw that the Inchoroi's soul/consciousness was bound to this shell by using the Gnosis, i.e. by marking it in a way that is not very useful for infiltration since any Gnostic/Anagogic sorcerer would immediately recognize it for what it is). It's basically a creature whose purpose would be to infiltrate the Schools the same way the skin-spies infiltrate the courts and the Holy War. This is entirely possible: i.e. you make a skin-spy analogue, whose genetic makeup allows it to use sorcery, you teach it the Gnosis or the Anagogis, you abduct a real sorcerer and have the skin-sorcerer take its place.

The other part of my argument was that if any member of the Consult, such as the Inchoroi Old Father wanted to inhabit this shell, and infiltrate a sorcerous school, he'd have to find a way of imbuing the Shell with his soul using some sorcery the Schools cannot see. This is where the Psukhe comes in, as a tool for allowing the Consult Elders to be more involved in the spying/manipulation of the Schools, without having to rely on the unreliable skin-spies (who are certainly fallible, and can be used to gain information on the Consult by Kellhus or whoever.)

So to recap, as Scott has said, it's always the genetic makeup that determines if you can use sorcery, not the theoretical knowledge you may have of sorcerous Cants. If the Inchoroi are now sorcerers it means they have made empty shells (using the Tekne) with the genetic makeup necessary for them to apply the sorcerous knowledge they gained from the Nonmen.

If they can give intelligence to a creature such as the skin-spy, they can give it to some other creature that is genetically predisposed to work sorcery, and they can use the usual controls to compel it to do their bidding. Even with such tools they'd be able to infiltrate the Schools. But if they want to act directly, instead of skulking in the shadows, like the Consult Synthese, they have to use the Psukhe to get bound into such a creature, and if they had the Psukhe they could never be recognized by Gnostic/Anagogic sorcerers for what they are.

Then again, regardless of whether this can/will happen in the books, if they tried to infiltrate the Cishaurim using such a creature, to learn the Psukhe, this would explain why they are trying to destroy them now: they were probably discovered by Moenghus, the same way Kellhus was immediately aware Skeaos was not in fact a human being. So if they now cannot count on gaining the Psukhe through subterfuge, they are trying to destroy the Cishaurim so no one knows its secrets, minimize risks, and possibly have a chance of extracting it through torture once the Holy War or the Scarlet Spires get their hands on some Cishaurim.

If you don't think the Consult can use the Tekne to create such creatures, explain to me why are the Inchoroi now capable of working sorcery, when Scott has said they definitely could not as of the Cuno-Inchoroi wars, that happened hundreds of years before men first came to Earwa, i.e. many thousands of years after the Inchoroi first arrived on Earwa (if they too have a natural predisposition to sorcery, you'd expect they'd have discovered it in a couple of thousand years); or what is the nature of the No-God (who uses some kind of sorcery as well, and whose creation/resurrection is, according to Achamian, strictly connected to the Tekne knowledge of the Consult). view post

Schools posted 25 May 2005 in The Thousandfold ThoughtSchools by White Lord, Subdidact

I'd put their number somewhere around 50/60 sorcerers. I wonder why their numbers are not greater. After all, if you consider they possess the coveted Gnosis, many sorcerer-candidates would give anything to join the Mandate. Perhaps they fear the Dreams or the mockery of their peers, although that is little enough reason compared to the typical power-hunger in your average human. view post

The agenda of the skin spies and the Consult posted 25 May 2005 in The Thousandfold ThoughtThe agenda of the skin spies and the Consult by White Lord, Subdidact

Quote: &quot;anor277&quot;:zoabihk2
It's very hard to talk with confidence about sorcery when this is entirely a product of imagination.[/quote:zoabihk2]

That's not exactly so. If sorcery in the books were based entirely on spur-of-the-moment decisions of the author, I'd lose all respect for both the books and the system of sorcery they represent. This is not the case here. There are definite rules, some of which we know from the books, some which Scott has been good enough to contribute on this board. We don't know all the rules, we don't have a complete understanding on their metaphysics, but we know enough to make educated guesses. One of the definite things we know is that sorcery is not connected to the soul or spirit or whatever intangible quality you care to think up. Sorcery is based on genetics, it is encoded in the body. The body is the indispensable hardware, and without it the software (the sorcerous knowledge of the adept) will simply not work. But any intelligence whatsoever will work sorcery if it is properly fitted in the body that is genetically programmed for sorcery.

Now, before the Inchoroi came, there was little the Nonmen or Men could do to somehow custom-build bodies with this necessary genetic makeup (although they could practice selective breeding if they were aware of the hereditary traits, but by no means pump out thousands of sorcerers). They simply didn't have the knowledge and the tools the Inchoroi had available, or that we have available in the real world for that matter.

All I have said is proved by the books and what Scott has said here. He has also said the Inchoroi were not sorcerers when they first came to Earwa. Now they are. The only conclusion you can logically reach is that they practiced genetic manipulation on themselves. This is also a fact. They "birthed mouths" to communicate with the Nonmen. The Consult Synthese thinks back to the time "they could be described as a race. Genera. Species." This is the clearest indication they have radically modified their bodies.

Quote: &quot;anor277&quot;:zoabihk2
You argue that the Consult could produce made to measure constructs with the ability to use sorcery and so it could be anyone, any master of a school, any individual sorceror who might be an agent of the Consult. How can we judge the motives of Eleäzaras or Achamian or Moenghus (or soon even Kellhus) when for all we know the Consult turned him off the night before and replaced him a specially constructed creature? In that case all speculation is pointless and I would be disappointed with the internal logic of the novels (and perhaps I will be).[/quote:zoabihk2]

Hell, I'm not saying you'll find armies of the creatures throughout the schools. I don't even know how hard or time-consuming a process it is to create these creatures in the first place. I just state that the Consult has the knowledge and the means to do something like this, and that they have positively done so with regard to the Inchoroi. I can meet you halfway and say that for whatever reason the Consult have decided not to escalate the situation or to flood the Three Seas with both skin-spies or fake sorcerers. For one it would maximize the risk of exposure if they did; then there is also the internal mechanics of the Consult to consider, the balance of power of the probable factions inside it. All this could make them wait or hesitate to use this new weapon.

Quote: &quot;anor277&quot;:zoabihk2
As to why the Consult can't create such creatures who use sorcery but could be exact replicas of whomever or whatever the answer is , "I don't know", and I am not going to find out why or why not by asking the author. The Consult are powerful, but if they are that powerful they are well nigh omnipotent.[/quote:zoabihk2]

As I say, knowledge on something doesn't necessarily make it practicable, for whatever reason, or in great numbers. Your saying "I don't know" is not very impressive, you know, you simply decide not to put what you know in some sort of logical framework and that's just sloppy IMO. I'm not trying to sound confrontational but I ask you to follow my reasoning and try to find something that is not accounted by what we positively know from the books or the board. No need to ask Scott things he can't tell us. All we have to do is use the knowledge we already have. The way the books are written lends itself particularly to extrapolating things from the little we know. I think I've proven it many times, and have had it confirmed by Scott on most.

The wisest thing, IMO, is to wait for some more comments from others, to see what the consensus seems to be . . . view post

The agenda of the skin spies and the Consult posted 25 May 2005 in The Thousandfold ThoughtThe agenda of the skin spies and the Consult by White Lord, Subdidact

Quote: &quot;diarmuid&quot;:27mgd52p
i have followed this and other arguments on this board and find your logic flawless White Lord

at least here....

and I don't think I will ever get to the point of arguing the reveleations contained in books or board

but perhaps your interpretations thereof..... <!-- s:D --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_biggrin.gif" alt=":D" title="Very Happy" /><!-- s:D -->[/quote:27mgd52p]

I'd like to know where you don't find my logic flawless . . . <!-- s:x --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_mad.gif" alt=":x" title="Mad" /><!-- s:x --> <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: --> <!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) --> view post

The agenda of the skin spies and the Consult posted 25 May 2005 in The Thousandfold ThoughtThe agenda of the skin spies and the Consult by White Lord, Subdidact

Hell, I was being ironic, if you look at the smilies in the post you can see I'm joking . . . <!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) -->

And I'm glad I'm being of some service to you . . . view post

A few questions . . . posted 28 May 2005 in Author Q &amp; AA few questions . . . by White Lord, Subdidact

Quote: &quot;Cu'jara Cinmoi&quot;:1n6e0u0d
3. From your comments about Inchoroi responsibility for the immortality of the Nonmen, and their brains that decay after five human lifetimes, is it right then that their original lifespan was confined to about 400 years?

I don't have anything defiinite, but 400 hundred years has been what I've thought... How did you know that?[/quote:1n6e0u0d]

Well, from a few things you said here on the board. I assume the Inchoroi used the Tekne on the Nonmen, arrested cellular decay somehow. Now, the fact that their brains melt down after five human lifetimes could mean that the Inchoroi purposefully left out the brain, to cripple their enemies, so say 5x80 would yield 400 years as a natural Cunuroi lifespan. On the other hand the Inchoroi could have included the brain too, so the causes could be "metaphysical", i.e. that the soul, the consciousness or whatever, also has its "natural" lifespan of 400 years, so that even with a brain phisically intact this condition the Nonmen suffer would emerge. I can guess the surprise after they first noticed it. No wonder they exterminated the Inchoroi. <!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) --> But who is really guilty here? I assume the Nonmen were asking for it . . . view post

A few questions . . . posted 28 May 2005 in Author Q &amp; AA few questions . . . by White Lord, Subdidact

Quote: &quot;Cu'jara Cinmoi&quot;:25x7n7cz
It's Cu'jara Cinmoi's fault, actually, but I'll leave that for TTT... <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: -->[/quote:25x7n7cz]

<!-- s:lol: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_lol.gif" alt=":lol:" title="Laughing" /><!-- s:lol: --> <!-- s:D --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_biggrin.gif" alt=":D" title="Very Happy" /><!-- s:D --> view post

A few questions . . . posted 28 May 2005 in Author Q &amp; AA few questions . . . by White Lord, Subdidact

Just a quick question: Do the Nonmen share Men's prejudices against sorcerers? The impression I got is that they were/are deeply involved in the governing structures of the Cunuroi, so the opposite could well be true for them. Anything to this?

Thanks! <!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) --> view post

The agenda of the skin spies and the Consult posted 30 May 2005 in The Thousandfold ThoughtThe agenda of the skin spies and the Consult by White Lord, Subdidact

Quote: &quot;bovine_buddha&quot;:38yqmxg5
On to my scepticism however. As Bakker has stated, the ability to do sorcery stems from the body, being one of the few, coupled with an intelligence to unlock it. These genes are sometimes found in humans. What is incertain however is if these genes could be copied by the Tekne. We do not know if skin-spies in fact HAVE genes in the first place.[/quote:38yqmxg5]

Well, since we more or less established that the Inchoroi did something with the Tekne to become sorcerers, we can assume that these genes can in fact be isolated and manipulated using the Tekne. We also don't know how advanced the Tekne is compared to our real-world know-how, but since the Inchoroi were star-farers, I'd say it was very much more advanced, so I don't see any great obstacles for the Inchoroi if they wanted to do something like this, only some time delay to do research, after all, it took them thousands of years to assemble the No-God, but they did it in the end.

Quote: &quot;bovine_buddha&quot;:38yqmxg5
They do not have faces, but some form of mutable and permeable octopus instead. Maybe they are not a variety of humans, and maybe not even based on humans, but simply constructed to look/feel/smell/whatever like one of them.[/quote:38yqmxg5]

No one ever said they were humans, or even remotely connected with humans, aside from their outward appearance. They could be almost anything, built from animal and vegetable genes, to a precise set of specifications and for several purposes. As I see it, they're not only spies, but also very efficient warriors.

Quote: &quot;bovine_buddha&quot;:38yqmxg5
And since we further don't know (at least I don't) if Bakker envisions his world built on the same principles as ours, with genes, DNA and so forth, we do not know if it would be possible to transplant genes in the same way as it is (mostly theoretically) possible in our world, since this is Fantasy after all.[/quote:38yqmxg5]

Well, if he doesn't conceive his world as built on DNA, I don't know on what else he could. It doesn't matter that we are talking about a fantasy setting, it doesn't in any way discount the existence of DNA, and the presence of the Tekne speaks very much against our assuming DNA is not present in the equation. Our own world of a few thousands of years ago was also, in many ways, a fantasy world, albeit with the absence of magic, but this didn't make DNA absent, evolution nul or whatever. On the whole I don't think we have to look for any out-there explanations on how the Tekne works, the mere mention of "genes" by Bakker on several occasions should be enough to validate DNA manipulation by the Inchoroi.

Quote: &quot;bovine_buddha&quot;:38yqmxg5
Furthermore, the ability to do sorcery also stems from the intelligence/artistry/wisdom of the wielder. What is to say that the intellect of a human is in any way remotely like that of a skin spy?[/quote:38yqmxg5]

Nothing. But I don't think we can assume a skin-spy's intellect will be any less developed or versatile. Simply because a skin-spy is conditioned to immediate and utter obedience to any Consult member does not mean that in any field where it is expected to excel it will not do so.

Quote: &quot;bovine_buddha&quot;:38yqmxg5
Perhaps they lack intuition, and can like automatons only do what has been hardwired into them, improvisation being something beyond them, and perhaps likewise for sorcery.[/quote:38yqmxg5]

I'd think they are capable of improvisation. If you follow the skin-spies' activities throughout TWP you can see they basically have a good deal of autonomy, with only broad objectives set by the Consult as guidelines. Only when they fail, mainly due to Kellhus, does the Synthese intervene.

Quote: &quot;bovine_buddha&quot;:38yqmxg5
So as a final note, even if everything White Lord has said is true, and while I also believe that the Consult could perhaps create skin spies with sorcerous powers, I am not sure it is possible. Our information from Bakker is not enough to put a final verdict here IMHO.[/quote:38yqmxg5]

The only way this could be impracticable is how long it takes to grow a skin-spy, or any other creature of the Consult. If they can create them full-grown in a vat, it'd be much easier to field them in numbers, but perhaps the Consult have internal disagreements, or for whatever reason choose not to. If they have to grow and reproduce naturally from an initial couple then it could be an issue of time, and of course when the things have been developed in the first place. I'm sure there could be many other reasons for them not using them, or not in large numbers; hell from what we know, there's not more than a score of skin-spies in the whole Holy War, which is composed of hundreds of thousands. It makes you think . . .

Quote: &quot;bovine_buddha&quot;:38yqmxg5
And, I believe it would be simpler to seduce a Mandate schoolman than try to kill him (=hard) and then replace him (probably everyone would see the difference in the characters manners anyway, schoolmen being so aloof/strange/tormented/weird).[/quote:38yqmxg5]

Well, I'd think seducing a Mandati would be a lot harder than any sorcerer from another School. As to killing him, well, for the Consult at least, which probably knows more about the Gnosis than the Mandate in the first place, it would be easier, if we are contemplating substitution. As to your comment about sorcerers' manners, we don't know enough of internal School mechanics to know how they act or if they are any different from normal humans in most ways, and judging by Achamian, they are in fact not so very different in many respects. view post

Serwe/Esmenet as Mary Magdalen? posted 30 May 2005 in The Thousandfold ThoughtSerwe/Esmenet as Mary Magdalen? by White Lord, Subdidact

Quote: &quot;Tattooed Hand&quot;:3r1y180n
OK, so all the representations we have of Mary Magdalene draw from mythological archetypes. Fine. But the pairing of archetypes in Bakker's books, creates a particular resonance - a possibly prophetic Kelhus, a redeemed whore, the circumfix as punishment that then becomes the symbol of the creed of the prophet risen from it... this is no accident. Not every whore resonates with MM, but one framed in all these ways sure does. That's all I really mean. They are not the SAME person because we are not reading a rendition of the Jesus story.

The Redeemed Whore archetype is another story, a nonprophetic version of this is the representation of Justinian's wife, Theodora, who was an actress/dancer in her youth. She returns to the religious fold, becomes reformed and meets the not yet emporer... Most historical accounts indicate that her relationship with Justininian was based on mutual respect and shared intellect, as well as emotions.[/quote:3r1y180n]

This is much my own thinking. There are many layers to the story, and to the characters. These symbols are here to give us a possible point of congruence with real-world historical/religious facts/beliefs, only to be reinterpreted by Scott as his story progresses. view post

A few questions . . . posted 30 May 2005 in Author Q &amp; AA few questions . . . by White Lord, Subdidact

Quote: &quot;Mithfânion&quot;:35nobpnn
Damn. I'd love to be a bear now and just hibernate until January 2006.[/quote:35nobpnn]

I know just what you mean . . . <!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) --> view post

Does Akka waver?Where was he at the End? posted 30 May 2005 in The Warrior ProphetDoes Akka waver?Where was he at the End? by White Lord, Subdidact

Well, I think the change in his character will happen, but in the course of TTT. There are many hints. First of all Kellhus saying that Achamian was stronger than anyone thought, first of all Achamian himself. Then you also have those tantalizing quotes at the beginning of each chapter. One of them is of Achamian's post-Holy War narrative, where he says he, along with many others, killed their fat lot of heathens, though they were not with the Holy War for reasons of faith.

I expect that, if Achamian decides to teach Kellhus sorcery, they could both start using it against the enemies of the Holy War.

As for your objection that he should have hunted down Eleazaras and the others, well that's not very realistic. He's powerful, yes, but not omnipotent; there were simply too many Scarlet Schoolmen around for him to do anything, if he wanted to avoid being overpowered a second time. Also I don't think he had enough time to absorb the blow of Esmenet's "betrayal", as well as Kellhus's manipulations. That begins to change at the end of TWP, but of course there's no space to show it at that point. That's why I say we'll see Achamian's change in TTT. view post

Like father like son? posted 30 May 2005 in The Thousandfold ThoughtLike father like son? by White Lord, Subdidact

I'm just inserting something that's occurred to me.

All this speculation is very interesting, and for all we know accurate, but has no one ever thought that another dimension may also be at work?

Sorcery exists as a fact in Earwa. The gods, or the God, are also venerated, and several things tend to point to their actual existence. One of the more important points of TWP, and I guess TTT is whether Kellhus is truly a prophet. Then you also have this ciclicity of Apocalypse, with the line of Anasurimbor that alone can lead humanity against the No-God.

There are many indications that the god/s themselves may be directing the "Great Game" to some extent. This is most pronounced in Kellhus, who seems to think he's master of his own actions, and yet their result is often contrary to his wishes, but strangely enough not against what we would consider positive for the "good guys".

So what I'm saying is that, personal convictions regarding motivation aside, Maithanet may have been divinely "moved" to adopt a certain course of action, just like Kellhus seems more and more to do as the plot in TWP advances, although, in both cases, inadvertently, and in order to further the cause of the God/s (if he/they are taking a hand, that is . . . <!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) -->). view post

The agenda of the skin spies and the Consult posted 30 May 2005 in The Thousandfold ThoughtThe agenda of the skin spies and the Consult by White Lord, Subdidact

That's very sound reasoning, Cain. The only thing that's problematic would be the capability of the Consult to interfere with the Dreams. This because we know nothing of the workings of Seswatha's Heart. At some point I started believing that Seswatha may still be "alive" (if you can call it that) somewhere in the Outside, and that the Dreams are much more than simple dreams. There is also the fact, as shown by Achamian, that Seswatha has a great deal of actual control over the actions of the Mandati under certain conditions. view post


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