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Curethan Didact | joined 28 March 2006 | 397 posts


Modern Soldiers posted 22 June 2006 in Philosophy DiscussionModern Soldiers by Curethan, Didact

"Always offer soldiers (and anyone else who is trained to kill) servile respect. Use caution when deciding how badly they want that discount."

_Curethan's "Guide to Longevity" view post


Seswatha's dreams. posted 14 February 2007 in The Thousandfold ThoughtSeswatha's dreams. by Curethan, Didact

Hehe. It seems that many have come to see Seswatha as a manipulative force that shades Kellhus, acting as he does from beyond the grave. Seswatha was a prodigy - but he was not Dunyain.

The dreams, to me, are a basic premise - a powerful dweomer binding the memories of Seswatha to the pupils of his school through his mumified remians (genetic memory lends credence to this device when one accepts the existence of magic in Scott's world), thus preserving his memories so that his inheritors would recall the enormity of the peril that remains to trouble the world. The fact that they are the result of a manipulation of the onta (in this interpretation) leaves the possibility that they might be manipulated and changed by others, and this was the thrust of my initial post. Obviously, like all methods of storing and reviewing information, the interpretation of the dreams depends upon the viewer, and memory is after all profoundly fallible - but there is signifigance in the narration of changes observed in the dreams, more so to the reader, who is privvy to more information than Akka.

Seswatha is dead; it's been a while since I read the books, but I am sure I recall a passage where it is revealed that the mandate schoolmen partake in a ritual involving a mumified heart thats subsequently 'gifts' them with the dreams. I can't imagine whose heart that would be if not Seswatha's. How could he be manipulating the dreams? How could he choose a succesor at this stage? Are you suggesting that he 'ascended', perhaps? I am quite sure that the creatures of the outside (such as the demons summoned by the Scarlet Spires) are not of this nature in the PoN, more likely they are a type of meme formed from the collective subconcious, and Seswatha's continued existence in any form would strike me as being highly unlikely.

We can infer a few things from the dreams. Beginning with what we know - they are a narative tool to show the history of the mandate and the conflictwith the consult. They are also a tool of the mandate, not the other way round. The fact that the dreams become stronger as the consult begins to move and wield its power in the three seas is clear. As I have noted above - the changes in the dreams towards the end of TTT are in fact signifigant to the story, and the nature of those changes are the cumlmination of an evolution that has been well handled by the author. It is designed to provoke speculation, and I'm sure there will be a very good reason beyond the fact that Akka is almost completely emotionally destroyed at the end of PoN, instead of his usual trainwreck self.

Re the 'Achamian becoming Seswatha' theory, I believe that perhaps Akka may be creating a personality within himself as 'Seswatha' becauss he feels that he is so poorly equipped to deal with his own situation - a form of personality fragmentation that can occur in severly traumatised people. In no way did I gain any sense of Seswatha's personality in the books - he was merely a historical character for me with no motivation beyond his struggle against the consult.
struggle with the consult. view post


The Amoral Khellus posted 14 February 2007 in The Thousandfold ThoughtThe Amoral Khellus by Curethan, Didact

Well - determinism leaves no room for morality really. If your trying to break free of a deterministic reality, sooner or later your going to have to deal with it though. o.0 view post


Was Cnauir gay? posted 14 February 2007 in The Thousandfold ThoughtWas Cnauir gay? by Curethan, Didact

Just read the thread title. Lol. Only a supressed gay man would ask that question.

Lets just say they buried him in a closet. view post


Cnaiur posted 14 February 2007 in The Thousandfold ThoughtCnaiur by Curethan, Didact

*Still waiting for the Cnair swimsuit calender* view post


Now Reading... posted 14 February 2007 in Off-Topic DiscussionNow Reading... by Curethan, Didact

Nowt to read...
I bought a copy of Analog today. Sigh. view post


a follow on to prince of nothing? posted 14 February 2007 in Author Q & Aa follow on to prince of nothing? by Curethan, Didact

Any news, rumours or lies regarding progress on AE? What about the status of Neuropath? view post


Seswatha's dreams. posted 14 February 2007 in The Thousandfold ThoughtSeswatha's dreams. by Curethan, Didact

My thought here is that Akka believes himself to be possesed by Seswatha. His behaviour in his escape is consistent with someone affected by multiple personality disorder. Mentally unable to cope with his situation, he cedes self-control to a constructed personality that can - the waithi doll that frees him is tied to Akka's soul and its actions are most likely initiated by his desires. The point here is that Akka effectively frees himself - his belief that he is possesed by Seswatha is an extension of many examples of the dichotomy between Akka as a human and Akka as a mandate schoolman illustrated throughout the three books. As a man Akka sees himself as emotional, self doubting and weak (but basicly good) - as a schoolman he recognizes his duty, power and status as damned. In my veiw the retreat of his core personality in times of stress is an inevitable consequence of his inability to reconcile these two aspects of his personality. To me, your examples to refute Seswatha-within as a split personality component of Akka serve more to convince me that this is the angle that the author is using. For example, in our world hypnosis is an excellent tool if a psychologist wishes to comunicate with a recessive personality in such a patient. Supplied with a ready source of pre-existing memories and an empowered character, the development of such a syndrome in an individual as conflicted and in as much turmoil as Akka would be almost inevitable.

The changing of the dreams could, in this interpretation, could be a logical consequence of this, as presented by Madness. However due to the narative clues involved I argue that something more is involved.

The Seswatha meme is an interesting and entirely plausible concept, fuelled as it would be by the sorcerous power of the mandate, it would be charged with power - perhaps rivaling the potency of the meme of the Gods of men. However, such an entity or power would by its nature be motivated and shaped by the collective subconcious of its generators more than the personality and objectives of the original Seswatha. As presented, the dreams offer no insight into these aspects of Seswatha, only his actions and suffering. But if one accepts both these concepts, that there is a Seswatha-meme in the outside, and that Akka has created a split personality that embraces the mandate perception of this meme whilst simultateously being driven to reject his own core personality, I think that I begin to see how many believe that Akka will in AE effectively become Seswatha-reborn. However its worth noting that such an evolution would not be Seswatha-reborn, but a monstrous entity based upon a rejection of Akka's humanity comingled with centuries of relived suffering, fear and dread and possesing the powers of both the mandate and an entity of the outside given form in Earwa....

Perhaps Kellhus should have killed Akka when he had the chance. view post


Chorae, Consults and Salts. (Or "A Boy and His Bird) posted 14 February 2007 in The Thousandfold ThoughtChorae, Consults and Salts. (Or "A Boy and His Bird) by Curethan, Didact

Yeh, that scene was just creepy. A final juxtaposition between innocence and the depravity embodied by the consult, with the 'proof' of the sorcerer's damnation in between, and the mystery of the chorae (the tears of god) as well. I believe that the child here is a throw away character, the scene is functionally included to show the consult collecting chorae after the battle. The chorae, to me, are a weapon/tool of the consult. view post


Chorae, Consults and Salts. (Or "A Boy and His Bird) posted 15 February 2007 in The Thousandfold ThoughtChorae, Consults and Salts. (Or "A Boy and His Bird) by Curethan, Didact

Neat. I like idea 1a and b, it ties into my theory of why there are chorae studded onto the carapace of the no-god. It would be rather difficult for a wielder of the gnosis to create something like the chorae unaided if you think about it. For this reason I tend to believe that they were created by the non-men working together with the inchorai at some time in the distant past and are both tools and weapons. And in the hands of mundane men they have been exceptionally effective at carrying out the consult's desires without them revealing themselves in the slightest. Could this be the secret that Aurang refers to? view post


release dates posted 15 February 2007 in Off-Topic Discussionrelease dates by Curethan, Didact

*dances* view post


Scott Bakker ruined it for me. posted 15 February 2007 in Off-Topic DiscussionScott Bakker ruined it for me. by Curethan, Didact

I see where your coming from. Looking for more challenging, mature, thoughtful and genre busting fantasy? Try these, or don't and miss out. No hackneyed prophecies, artifact quests or manifest destinies here, I promise.


China Mieville. Takes fantasy back to the days of the Wizard of Oz then gives it an industrial revolution, a good dose of pathos and bad brown acid. This guy didn't win a slew of awards for nuttin.

Steph Swainston. One of the best anti-heroes since Elric imo, and a fantasy world that is about as derivitive as u can get. The writing and plot aren't as good as Bakker, but the characterisation and inventiveness makes up for it.

Jeff Vandemeer. I still get disturbed by the freaky mushroom people, and I don't think I have read any better prose. The story of how the guy got his work into print is damn interesting too. view post


Ok so I feel like ive read every good author in existence. posted 15 February 2007 in Literature DiscussionOk so I feel like ive read every good author in existence. by Curethan, Didact

Ye-ah. John Marco. Liked it a lot. Just a shame the proantagonist was such a tosser, the story and villians were great. view post


Who is most offensive. posted 15 February 2007 in Literature DiscussionWho is most offensive. by Curethan, Didact

Lol - Chris Bunch made the list cuz I lost IQ points from engaging with with writting style rather than the actual content (was there any?). Obviously no-one remembers the horseclans series, thank dog! Over twenty books on the series, I read half of one and it lives in my memory alongside the time I looked at a piece of toilet paper I had just used.... view post


A Song of Ice and Fire to Become TV Series posted 15 February 2007 in Literature DiscussionA Song of Ice and Fire to Become TV Series by Curethan, Didact

Making an epic fantasy into a series was a dream of mine as a child. Hope I live to see it.

Unfortunately, given GRRM's background as a TV script writer and the subject material they have to work with, I think that the adaption could be very succesful and result in a very good series. And we all know what happens to good TV series....

Series one, wins awards and creates a stir.
Series two, wins more awards and has a devoted following....
Series three - cancelled! view post


Eragon posted 15 February 2007 in Off-Topic DiscussionEragon by Curethan, Didact

Dragon.... Advance the letter d to e.... WARNING WARNING AVIOD AT ALL COSTS! DANGER DANGER!

Thats as far as I got re the book. I succesfuly ignored the movie too. If you couldn't smell the truck load of crap coming, you deserved what u got. view post


Vogon Poetry posted 15 February 2007 in Member Written WorksVogon Poetry by Curethan, Didact

All that I know.

All that I know is that,
All that I know is,
That all that I know,
Is that all that…
I know.
Is that,
All that I know?
Is that all?
That;
I know. view post


Chorae, Consults and Salts. (Or "A Boy and His Bird) posted 16 February 2007 in The Thousandfold ThoughtChorae, Consults and Salts. (Or "A Boy and His Bird) by Curethan, Didact

Natrium chloride? Surely you meant natruim chloratum.... <!-- s:shock: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_eek.gif" alt=":shock:" title="Shocked" /><!-- s:shock: -->

I wonder if u knobbed the skinspy with sorcerous powers with a chorae, would he turn into pepper?

The fact that the boy is collecting the salt and believes it will make him rich leads one to believe that the salt is either special and can be identified as the remains of a sorceror and has uses beyond the norm, or that salt is a valuable commodity in and of itself in Earwa - Roman soldiers were paid in salt as I recall.

It's interesting the effect that the chorae had on Moenghus as opposed to sorcerors struck by them.... view post


Ok so I feel like ive read every good author in existence. posted 18 February 2007 in Literature DiscussionOk so I feel like ive read every good author in existence. by Curethan, Didact

Yeh, Altered Carbon was great. The 2 sequels were quite good also - I've heard its been optioned as a movie too <!-- s:D --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_biggrin.gif" alt=":D" title="Very Happy" /><!-- s:D --> view post


Your First Time posted 01 March 2007 in Off-Topic DiscussionYour First Time by Curethan, Didact

Stormbringer, M. Moorcock. Read it when I was 11, straight after LotR. Gotta love the ending - never equalled. view post


Now Reading... posted 01 March 2007 in Off-Topic DiscussionNow Reading... by Curethan, Didact

Speaking of Erikson stuff, any of you gurus know if Night of Knives is ever gunna hit the shelves? view post


The Meeting between Kellhus &amp; Moenghus? posted 01 March 2007 in The Thousandfold ThoughtThe Meeting between Kellhus &amp; Moenghus? by Curethan, Didact

Really, I can't imagine why people think the dunyain will throw in with the consult - it seems largely based upon Kellhus' comment to Moe that he would eventually, being damned as they are.

Re: ignoring the dunyain's oblective of creating a self moving soul - that would be a god imo, rather than merely an isolated soul....

And it seems to me that Kellhus is quite convinced of his divinity (glowing hands anyone?), and this would be his reason for opposing the consult. They have their no-god and the aim of closing off the world be killing of all souled beings, he seems to see himself as a divine saviour (maybe not tho, we have little insight into his true goals). I doubt that the dunyain would agree that he is the product they seek to create, and would probably try to destroy him if he interferes with them, probably reaching the same conclusions that he did regarding Moe.

Finally, I would like to make the point that you cannot discount or accept anything they said to each other to be true, remember they both are master manipulators, and nowhere is there cause to be more careful about what u say than in the presence of another conditioned one. view post


Now listening to... posted 01 March 2007 in Off-Topic DiscussionNow listening to... by Curethan, Didact

Shonen Knife view post


The Sagas as Foreshadowing? posted 06 March 2007 in The Thousandfold ThoughtThe Sagas as Foreshadowing? by Curethan, Didact

*Agrees with Anor*
The crux of Seswatha falling out with Celomas was an affair with his wife, I believe - thus the possibility that Nau is his (Seswatha's) son.

You could draw as many, if not more, parrallels between Kellhus and Seswatha if you were so inclined (manipulator, sorcerous prodigy etc).

Kellhus' viewpoint and beliefs are ignored for a good reason in the narrative, however the events of the AE would most likely centre again on Kellhus as the basis of the storyline, as the series is, like the first, named on him and is set 30 years after the PoN, when Akka will be rather old - 70 or 80 would be possitively decrepit in the cultural setting of the 3 seas. view post


The Meeting between Kellhus &amp; Moenghus? posted 06 March 2007 in The Thousandfold ThoughtThe Meeting between Kellhus &amp; Moenghus? by Curethan, Didact

Ok, my point was that Kellhus sees the haloes around his own hands - that he believes he is manifesting some divine power or destiny.

Also, the consult would seek out any organization based on the power that Kellhus displays. Knowing what a threat they could present their potenial power must be either harnessed or destroyed - obviously a pre-emptive strike is the objective.

Which leads to the question of what the Dunyain will/would do when found. All that the reader knows of them is what Kellhus has revealed to others and through his recollections of his training. Although that Kellhus usually speaks the truth in preference to a lie, as the truth is far more durable and poweful as a manipulative tool, it is still only the truth as he knows it, and it is worth noting that he was certainly not in the upper ranks of this organization, and would certainly not have know all that there is to know about the dunyain. Remember the Dunyain are masters of controlling their emotions, and of reading and manipulating the emotions and knowledge of others. This is certainly illustrated in the meeting between Mog and Kel. Although the Dunyain deny all infleunce of the outside world in their training in the course of trying to develop the self moving soul - they would obviously know of its existence... Kelhus stated that the Dunyain know nothing of sorcery, however they certainly used to... My point here is that the elders of the Dunyain could quite conceivably be a lot more knowledgable and powerful than many of you would think. Suppose that after a certain level of training and conditioning, one could be adjudged to have failed to become a self-moving soul, yet to have achieved a level of control and wisdom that one becomes suitable to train and refine tecniques for the next generation? At this point, rather than being purged as a failure, one would become an elder and learn more of the outside world, sorcery and other things that would otherwise taint the conditioning process and become a protector, teacher etc (where else do they get the subjects the learn to 'read faces' from) Obviously this theory does not explain why Kellhus was sent to track down Mog - unless the elders know alot more than anyone else....
but there could well have be a copy of the Cellomnian prophecies lying around in that citadel somewhere.

This is obviously pretty far-fetched, but to me it makes more sense than the consult knocking on the door, having a bit of tea with the dunyain and convincing them that killing everyone else in the world, sealing it from the outside and becoming immortal, masterbating perverts is just as much fun (and almost the same thing) as breeding a transcendant superbeing <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: --> view post


The Meeting between Kellhus &amp; Moenghus? posted 07 March 2007 in The Thousandfold ThoughtThe Meeting between Kellhus &amp; Moenghus? by Curethan, Didact

I doubt the Dunyain would be able to field an army, let alone form ranks. Their habit of culling initiates would suggest a limited population. view post


The Sagas as Foreshadowing? posted 14 March 2007 in The Thousandfold ThoughtThe Sagas as Foreshadowing? by Curethan, Didact

Tiddly tee.

Much of the debate here lately centres around the premise of this thread. That the second apocolypse will mirror the first and specifically that Seswatha is the pivot of events and as such will be present in some form during the second.

I made the point elsewhere that parallels could be drawn between Kellhus and Seswatha as easily as with Akka. It was quickly argued that Akka and Seswatha are more similar and to this I concede; however the thrust of my point is that it is a basic trait of human intelligence to drawn connections between people and events. The wise person exercises caution when doing so, or ends up with superstition instead of science.

It is an admittedly oft used plot device in Epic Fantasy to use Prophecy, Heroes Re-incarnate, Manifest Destiny etc to resolve epic conflicts between good and evil; and these devices are usually hinted at if not spelt out as the story develops. In this series it is not so, Bakker introduces many standard archetypes then procedes to tear them apart. Witness Cnair, the indefatigable barbarian who lives by his people's savage code of nobility; Akka, the wise magician entrusted with knowledge and power to stop a forgotten evil; Esmenet, the hooker with the heart of gold. All these characters are standard fodder in genre fiction, but defy their archetypes. The Celomanian prophecy, make of it what you will, is presented early in standard type - but it means little or nothing in the context of the PoN. In a 'normal' genre fantasy Kellhus would have been the simple village boy who discovered the magic sword, his heritage and a nation waiting on his return....

The first apocolypse is passed, its history is just that and the antagonists involved are largely gone and done with (on the side of niceness that is). Was it not Seswatha's role to rally humanity and providing arcane support to its rulers? Done and taken care of, and not by the mandate or Akka. The second apocolypse is a different kettle of fish, and the sagas and the Mandate are Seswatha's legacy and a tool that may used against the consult, but a history of the first world war (the war to end all wars) could not save us from the second...

PoN was the first installment of the story of the second apocolypse, the story has truly begun already - PoN is a foreshadowing of the rest of the story, the sagas are flavouring.

If things pan out as Madness suggests, with Akka and Esmenet's child off on a quest to recover the heron spear, I won't just be disapointed, I'll eat my hat! Bugger the Seswatha = Akka arguement, let's move on to the Bakker = Eddings arguement. They're both authors, both have written multi-volume, ground-breaking fantasy series....
OMG!!!! <!-- s:( --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_sad.gif" alt=":(" title="Sad" /><!-- s:( -->

(apologies to Mr Bakker) view post


The Sagas as Foreshadowing? posted 15 March 2007 in The Thousandfold ThoughtThe Sagas as Foreshadowing? by Curethan, Didact

@ Madness. It's not really a misconception of your writing, my friend. My inference is drawn from what I see as the broad theme of this thread; speculation that the characters from PoN have been shaped to be new versions of the characters from the sagas and the Mandati dreams - i.e. Achamain is the new Seswatha, Kellhus fills Cellomas II's role etc leading to the conclusion that the events of the 2nd apocolypse will mirror the first (or why bother to fill the roles of the same daramatis personae?) Thus my inference from your suggestion of Akka, Kellhus &amp; the unborn child in those roles - I do apologise for leaping to that conclusion... (I also sprained my metaphorical ankle doing it)

Your post specifically supports that the sagas are a foreshadowing and you support the arguement that the characters of PoN are in effect filling these roles. The way the sagas etc are used in PoN are, to me, tools whereby the character's can compare themselves and their situations to those of the past, assuaging the fear, impotence and loneliness that they would other feel. They are a neccasary tool of exposition to develop and move the story along. As I tried to point out, I believe way too much signifigance is being attatched to the parralels and similarities therein vis a vis speculation on the events of AE. (and some of my attempts at demonstrative examples <!-- s;) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=";)" title="Wink" /><!-- s;) --> - I have a sad tendency to take other's points to ridiculous extremes to demonstrate their flaws... I forget what that argumentative tool is called, but it often backfires)

All that said, it did start me wondering about the heron spear and how anyone is gunna kick the No-god's butt if they don't find it or stop him from being revived. I'm starting to worry that I may have to eat my hat after all <!-- s:oops: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_redface.gif" alt=":oops:" title="Embarassed" /><!-- s:oops: -->

@ Harrol. As l am a damp squib you may need to provide accelerant. You do realise tho, as a moderator, that after conducting my public burning you will need to ban urself for flaming (or will it be me who's flaming?) <!-- s;) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=";)" title="Wink" /><!-- s;) --> That said the charges are fair and I accept ur judgement (if u can catch me, U do realise I ride a kangaroo.... heehee). Hang on, there's some Edding's acolytes at the door... view post


The Sagas as Foreshadowing? posted 15 March 2007 in The Thousandfold ThoughtThe Sagas as Foreshadowing? by Curethan, Didact

Pffft. <!-- s:roll: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_rolleyes.gif" alt=":roll:" title="Rolling Eyes" /><!-- s:roll: --> view post


The Sagas as Foreshadowing? posted 16 March 2007 in The Thousandfold ThoughtThe Sagas as Foreshadowing? by Curethan, Didact

Lol. You people are amusing. Let me spell it out for you. The comparison was intended to be outrageous, demonstrating that the theme of repeating past events in a new narrative is well below what we should expect from AE. By stretching the ideas presented by others that the character's in PoN are being developed to take on the roles of historical figures in the sagas I took that to the conclusion that the events of the past will also be repeated... (or why bother resurrecting ancient heroes in this way?)

Which I DON&quot;T agree with.

Eddings is a writer who has taken this fantasy cliche to its mind-numbing nadir, thus my comparison was designed to illustrate how unlikely I think this to be. Deliberate irony, people.

To sum up my arguement in simple points.

1. Yes, there are distinct similarities between the characters in PoN and individuals how opposed the consult during the 1st apocolypse. As far as so &amp; so being the new such &amp; such, this means nothing.

2. Bakker has and will continue to use familiar fantasy cliches such as prophecy and destiny before tearing them into new shapes, with the intended result of confounding the archetypes perpetrated within the genre (by authors such as Eddings) to make something fresh.

3. Speculation based on ignoring the above points and suggesting that the plot of AE is foreshadowed by the sagas seems whimsical at best.

P.S. I'm still not on fire (yes, it's March 16 - in the evening). Your moderator-jitsu is weak, Harrol. view post


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