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posts by Cynical Cat Auditor | joined 05 Jul 2005 | 98

posted 05 Jul 2005, 06:07 in The Warrior ProphetKellhus, Achamiam, and Emotion by Cynical Cat, Auditor

He is the triumph of nuture over nature and that is why he is cracking. The enviroment he is living in has made inroads, despite the strictness of his training. He is superbly trained and conditioned, but human an vulnerable to the same forces that he uses to shape and mold people. His defences are merely stronger. view post

posted 05 Jul 2005, 08:07 in The Thousandfold ThoughtThe Destruction of the Dunyain by Cynical Cat, Auditor

The Dunyain haven't been found because no one is looking for them, until now. That is no longer the case. While they are individually formidable, they don't seem to believe in sorcery (from Kellhus's reaction) and the Consult does have vast amounts of cannon fodder to throw at them. The Dunyain have a serious problem if the Consult find them.. view post

posted 05 Jul 2005, 15:07 in The Thousandfold ThoughtWill Esmi Cause Mandati/Warrior-Prophet Drama? by Cynical Cat, Auditor

She would have been dead if Kelhus hadn't taken her. Once Akka chews on that for a while (and the fact she thought he was gone) the possibility of reconciliation becomes very real. view post

Women and the Schools posted 06 Jul 2005, 21:07 in Author Q & AWomen and the Schools by Cynical Cat, Auditor

Considering how few the Few are, have none of them tried recruiting women? I can think of a number of reasons why they won't: a) sexism b) the difficulty of doing so (not that it has got to be easy recruiting men) But somehow the opportunity to swell their numbers (even if they don't believe that women will be as skilled sorcerers as men) seems to such a powerful incentive that someone would have tried it at some time. Thanks for your time. view post

posted 06 Jul 2005, 21:07 in Author Q & AWomen and the Schools by Cynical Cat, Auditor

Thanks for the lightning quick response. Glad to be of service in any way possible. Now I get to gloat to my friend who introduced me to your books in the first place. Muhahahaha! view post

posted 07 Jul 2005, 02:07 in Philosophy DiscussionAMERICAN POLITICS... by Cynical Cat, Auditor

Where to begin with Zap? Let's just leave the jingosim alone for now and deal with the numbers: Zap, why don't you check how much money America is spending on the war and occupation and compare it to the less than 1% of its budget that goes to foreign aid before you shoot your mouth off about how cancelling foreign aid will pay for the war and solve America's social problems? view post

The No-God and the extent of the Barren Wombs posted 07 Jul 2005, 07:07 in Author Q & AThe No-God and the extent of the Barren Wombs by Cynical Cat, Auditor

I was thinking about Mog-Pheru and the eleven barren years that resulted when he stocked the Earth. This is bad enough for humans, but for shorter lived animals it would have been devestating. As their are still cats and rats (not to mention horses, etcetera) around, this leads me two possible answers: 1) Only affected humans and Nonmen. 2) Had a limited area of effect (like say 2,000 mile radius centered on the Mog-Pheru). This would still make it bad, bad stuff, but explain why certain animals are still around. 3) Combination of 1 & 2. Thank you again for your time. view post

posted 08 Jul 2005, 18:07 in Writing TipsThe Devil is in the Details by Cynical Cat, Auditor

How important is your metaphysics to understanding the world and what is going on? Do we need to know everything now? Metaphysics is important in the Prince of Nothing, for example, and we are shown pieces of the metaphysics through the internal dialogues of Kelhus and Akka as well as showing us what is occuring in the world. There are still pieces we don't know, but we try to anticipate what they may be before they are unveiled, because we can figure out more pieces are out there. In the Malazan books, the metaphysics matter but we don't need to know nearly as much. Erickson reveals those points as the characters encounter them or as they become relevant. The Warrens of Sorcery are revealed as they are travelled or used and not really explained until the third book (although we have a fairly good idea on what they are by then). view post

posted 08 Jul 2005, 19:07 in Author Q & AExcellent pointers to promote TTT by Cynical Cat, Auditor

I'm a member of a couple of web boards with fantasy and sci-fi sections. I do my part by pushing both The Prince of Nothing and the Malazan books whenever a "recommend a good book thread" comes up. view post

posted 08 Jul 2005, 20:07 in The Thousandfold ThoughtWill Esmi Cause Mandati/Warrior-Prophet Drama? by Cynical Cat, Auditor

Do not forget Kelhus. If he needs Akka's help and he needs them to be back together to get it, he will arrange it. view post

posted 09 Jul 2005, 06:07 in The Thousandfold ThoughtWill Esmi Cause Mandati/Warrior-Prophet Drama? by Cynical Cat, Auditor

Having just reread[i:2dtg1ow7] The Warrior Prophet[/i:2dtg1ow7], Akka has definitely changed, but teaching Kelhus is not out of the question. The Second Apocalypse is coming. Kelhus's presence has been fortolled. The Consult want Kelhus dead and there is spectacular proof of this. If there is anyone who the Mandate might consider the Gnosis outside their order, Kelhus is it. And we all know how persuasive Kelhus can be. view post

posted 11 Jul 2005, 07:07 in Author Q & APsukhe vs The Gnosis by Cynical Cat, Auditor

Remember the Consult was originally a Gnostic school. They don't fear the Scarlett Spires for the same reason the Mandate doesn't: it is bronze to their iron. The Psukhe, whatever it is, is different and invisible. The Consult, through their face spies, may have a better idea of what the Psukhe is and because of that fear its capabilities even more. view post

posted 11 Jul 2005, 20:07 in Author Q & AThe No-God and the extent of the Barren Wombs by Cynical Cat, Auditor

Ahhh. Linked to souls. That explains alot. Thank you. view post

posted 12 Jul 2005, 07:07 in The Darkness That Comes BeforeThe Mechanics of magic use by Cynical Cat, Auditor

This is addressed in detail in a thread in the Q& A section. [url=]Chorae[/url:1ldw9axv] To answer your question, you cannot directly affect someone touching a Chorae with magic but that doesn't make him immune to the changes in the natural world that result from it (collapsing roof, for example). view post

posted 12 Jul 2005, 19:07 in The Darkness That Comes BeforeOh,Mother! Said Oedipus at Cholonae by Cynical Cat, Auditor

The Emperor is quite aware that his mother and his nephew might try to kill him. He did, after all, murder is own father and then there was his reception of Conphas after his victory. view post

posted 13 Jul 2005, 23:07 in Author Q & APrince of Nothing on TV/Big Screen by Cynical Cat, Auditor

Well, the Sopranos and Deadwood show a large TV audience can and will watch morally questionable characters. Trying to do something on the scale of the First Crusade on a tv budget is pretty tough. A movie would have to cut a lot out to fit and that would be hard to do without gutting the story. Honestly, I wouldn't expect it anytime soon. In a way, it is quite reassuring. The fact that other entertainment mediums can't do it is another reason why we can expect the novel to live on. view post

posted 14 Jul 2005, 04:07 in Author Q & APrince of Nothing on TV/Big Screen by Cynical Cat, Auditor

[quote="Deerow":3of3sjtg] Somehow I still don't think people would accept a gritty world like Earwa when the only other fantasy stuff most people out there know is [i:3of3sjtg]Lord of the Rings[/i:3of3sjtg]...which, while amazing, is a lot more watered-down and pleasant (for lack of a better term). I think Earwa would shock a lot of the fantasy-newbies which isn't what PoN is aimed at in novel form...but would be what it would be aimed at in movie/tv show form (as it is all about selling tickets/ad slots).[/quote:3of3sjtg] That's a marketing problem. A possible solution is selling it both as an epic fantasy and as something akin to a historical epic, which people will accept as being dirty and nasty. view post

posted 14 Jul 2005, 06:07 in Author Q & AThe Daimos by Cynical Cat, Auditor

My opinions ( and I could be very wrong) are as follows: 1) They discovered it by experimentation. The Scarlett Spires is powerful and ambitious and some of them experiment with new ways of using sorcery. This is one of them. 2) It appears to be a method of using Anagogic Sorcery to summon and control demons. It also seems to only have a few practitioners among the Scarlett Spires for obvious reasons. It's also a secret practice, so it couldn't have been used publicaly. The Scarlett Spires is the largest and most power hungry school and it has ruled Ainon since the end of the last Scholastic War. It would seem to be that the spoils of war ( a large nation to recruit sorcerers from) has helped put them in their premier position. 3) The Consult is descended from a Gnostic School and their experimentations seems to be with the Tekne. That doesn't rule it out, of course. Scott certainly isn't going to tell us the answer to this one until it is answered in a book one way or another and that is the way it should be. view post

posted 15 Jul 2005, 06:07 in Writing TipsFight Scenes? by Cynical Cat, Auditor

Reread some fight scenes that you think are really well done and look at how the author presents them. Analyze the passages and see how he or she did it. For a fight scene, the action must flow and you can't get bogged down with too much description or purple prose. view post

The Status of Women and Some Real World Comparisons posted 15 Jul 2005, 19:07 in Author Q & AThe Status of Women and Some Real World Comparisons by Cynical Cat, Auditor

I've been thinking about the status of women in the Prince of Nothing and decided to apply to real life indicators to the world to see the results. Let me state clearly that, these factors are generalizations and exceptions are possible. Economic Status: The more a woman contributes to the household's income, generally the higher status she has in society. If she's keeping house, it is pretty low, if she's doing valuable labour it is fairly high. In the Three Seas, we see women as being extremely constrained in their social-economic roles and having low status. We don't know about the Dunyain (having only seen males), but we do see some signs of status with the Scylvendi (Cnaiur as an adolescent lives in his mother's tent). Which brings us to point two. Where they go to War: Cultures that war close to home tend to treat women as having low status. Cultures that go away to war tend to treat women as having higher status as they need their women to manage things while they are away. When the People of War go to war, someone has to be taking care of things at home. The Inrithi tend to war close to home, as far as we can tell. So in summation, kick ass work. Scott has built an entrancing world that is convincingly real down to the little details that withstands scruitiny by nitpickers like myself. Postscript: I wouldn't bother with this stuff if I didn't love the books. That questions about the Prince of Nothing kick around my head when I go to bed should be taken as very high praise. view post

posted 17 Jul 2005, 21:07 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by Cynical Cat, Auditor

Viking view post

posted 18 Jul 2005, 18:07 in RPG DiscussionHorses! by Cynical Cat, Auditor

Horses get the shaft in D&D because you don't bring a horse into a dungeon, which is where the game's focus is. It is easy enough for us to do a better job of it with rules for the charge and the advantages of being of position. view post

My Two Cents posted 18 Jul 2005, 18:07 in RPG DiscussionMy Two Cents by Cynical Cat, Auditor

Well, let me get started by throwing out my ideas: 1) We don't use anything like standard D&D. While I am not ruling out any use of the d20 or D&D inspired material, we are talking about a world where the best armour happens to be a suit of heavy mail. Increasing base attack bonus is rapidly going to make this an easy hit, which is wrong on a number of levels. 2) We should accept that we are going to be wrong about some points of the world. We are going to make certain assumptions and some of them will be revielled to be correct and some of them are going to be wrong. Don't sweat it. 3) Characters should start fairly powerful, with the formidable skills of an adult. Skills like archery, horse riding, experience wearing armour, etcetera are not simply picked up. They are the product of years of development. One can learn to ride a horse fairly quickly, but it is another thing to possess the level of skill of a Scylvendi. This allows us to balance (to a certain extent) beginning characters. Dunyain begin with their formidable abilities, but even a Dunyain won't instantly become used to moving in heavy armour or develop the riding prowess of a lancer. Resources such as wealth, armour, retainers, and Chorai would not be available to Dunyain characters (at the beginning) and the Few would have other concerns about where to put their starting points. Also, I hate playing near useless low level shmucks in a fantasy game. :D view post

posted 01 Aug 2005, 00:08 in Author Q & AA few questions . . . by Cynical Cat, Auditor

The status and position of women among the Dunyain will be interesting to see. Another nagging question is how they feed themselves, although I suspect that some of the failures get put on peasant and/or herdsman duty. view post

posted 01 Aug 2005, 00:08 in The Warrior ProphetThe Few and Kellhus by Cynical Cat, Auditor

As for Jesus, we've only got his followers words for what he would do becaue during his life (if he existed) he was totally obscure. His teachings didn't become popular until well after his death. However, if we examine more recent messiahs like L. Ron Hubbard and Joseph Smith, we find that they have a history of being con men and certainly recieved tremendous personal gain from the religions that they founded. In that respect, Kelhus fits right in with those two. view post

posted 01 Aug 2005, 00:08 in The Darkness That Comes BeforeOh,Mother! Said Oedipus at Cholonae by Cynical Cat, Auditor

He's not an idiot. He's raised in an atmosphere where everyone acts like he is an apect of god, even when they are plotting to manipulate or kill him. He's a narcissitc paranoid, but that's not abnormal for being raised in that enviroment. view post

posted 01 Aug 2005, 00:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionSex by Cynical Cat, Auditor

xy view post

posted 02 Aug 2005, 04:08 in The Warrior ProphetThe Few and Kellhus by Cynical Cat, Auditor

Josephus's reliability is questionable (do to inconsistencies) and while he does chronicle early Christianity, he was living in the period after Jesus's death (if he existed). view post

posted 03 Aug 2005, 06:08 in The Darkness That Comes BeforeOh,Mother! Said Oedipus at Cholonae by Cynical Cat, Auditor

No one here is arguing that he isn't screwed up. He's damaged goods alright, just the kind of person you don't want to have near absolute power. Not that a lot of the alternatives are much better. Conphas isn't exactly a nice guy. view post

posted 03 Aug 2005, 06:08 in Literature DiscussionColdfire Trilogy by Cynical Cat, Auditor

I didn't like the ending of the last book. The [size=9:2wjp74ab] complete change in the way human interact with the fae do to the sacrifice of one untutored adept in a land where there are hundreds of practicing adepts, not to mention sorcerers. Too little going against too much. [/size:2wjp74ab] Other than that, I liked it. view post

posted 03 Aug 2005, 19:08 in Literature DiscussionGates of Fire by Cynical Cat, Auditor

Good stuff. [i:264tzibt] Tides of War[/i:264tzibt] by Pressfield is also really good. view post

posted 04 Aug 2005, 11:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by Cynical Cat, Auditor

knife view post

posted 06 Aug 2005, 05:08 in Author Q & ACnaiur's prowess by Cynical Cat, Auditor

Only the Few can see the Few, but anyone can see a Nonman. Considering the reaction that the Scarlett Spires recieved when they paraded throught the camp of the Holy War and they were human and part of the Holy War, a Nonman is quickly going to be up to his or her ass in trouble. view post

posted 08 Aug 2005, 08:08 in Author Q & ACnaiur's prowess by Cynical Cat, Auditor

White Lord, are you forgetting that mighty Norisai civilization that collapsed in the First Apocalypse? Even with the No-God. the Wracu, Sranc, Scylvendi [i:3i3hd9hm]et. al.[/i:3i3hd9hm], the Consult didn't win. Of course the Scylvendi respect the Nosirai's prowess. Think about how often they must have been beaten before the rise of the Consult. As for the Nonmen description, I don't recall any mention of its face. The Sranc have beautiful faces. What it is clear, even covered in full armour and clothes to handle the Northern climate, the Nonman is clearly inhuman (to a perceptive observer) at close range. Could it be possible for a Nonman to pass as human in the Three Seas? Possibly. But it would have to handle most of its bodily functions in privacy all the time. And why would it risk extreme danger to do so? The coming of the Second Apocalypse does strike me as a reason, so we might see one. And since the Fanim don't follow the Tusk, they might not see Nonmen as abominations. As for the Nonmen's dominance of men in the north, that dates from a periond both before the coming of the Tusk (if I recall the timeline correctly) and a time when Nonmen were more numerous and better organized (and probably saner). view post

posted 08 Aug 2005, 08:08 in Author Q & AThe Status of Women and Some Real World Comparisons by Cynical Cat, Auditor

To clarify something, matrilineal is not at all the same as matriarcal. There are a lot of matrilineal cultures out there, that only means the line of descent is traced through the woman. Jewish culture is matrilineal and it is hardly one where females traditionaly enjoy any authority over males. The Sranc females could be high status because they have some influence over their cannon fodder esque warrior sons and live long enough to establish status and learn some tricks. As our few examples of the Inchoroi and Consult are male, they may also be sexually engineered to respond in such a way as to be docile or worshipful of their Consult masters. This would be an additional control mechanism while allowing them to engineer the males to be viscious raping and killing machines. view post

posted 08 Aug 2005, 08:08 in The Warrior ProphetThe Few and Kellhus by Cynical Cat, Auditor

Our available evidence is 1) The No-God is intelligent. 2) It's freaking powerful 3) It's not all knowing or even self knowing. 4) It's a construct. To me, that screams an intelligent war machine. Very scary, but not something I'm inclined to revere. view post

posted 08 Aug 2005, 19:08 in The Warrior ProphetThe Few and Kellhus by Cynical Cat, Auditor

Him shouting "What am I?" over and over seems to indicate that it doesn't know its own nature. view post

posted 08 Aug 2005, 20:08 in Author Q & ACnaiur's prowess by Cynical Cat, Auditor

[quote="White Lord":jdkng9qy] You must have confused me with Mithfanion. I've been saying what you just wrote the whole time.[/quote:jdkng9qy] I did, my apologies. [quote:jdkng9qy] That's simply not true. The Nonmen are the equivalent of Tolkien's elves, and I guess bear the same difference with regard to humans. In other words, they may be more beautiful, more refined or whatever, but certainly that is the [i:jdkng9qy]only[/i:jdkng9qy] thing that would make them stand out. [/quote:jdkng9qy] They are equivalent of elves, but we have never seen their faces. The Sranc, who are orc equivalents, have beautiful faces not hideous ones. We know that they are superior to humans, we don't know that Scott has decided to make them more beautiful. We know that Kelhus was immediately able to tell the differance at close range despite the Nonman wearing heavy armor. That he was beautiful is your conjecture. If he is beautiful and has cat's eyes or pointed ears, then even ordinary humans will pick up on it if he or she sees those features. [quote:jdkng9qy] The Nonmen dominated men in all of Earwa before the invasions described in the Tusk overthrew them. They were never more numerous than men, especially not so after the Four Tribes conquered Earwa.[/quote:jdkng9qy] The were almost assuredly more numerous than they are[i:jdkng9qy] now[/i:jdkng9qy] and that was my point. As they can't breed, their numbers (and thus their power) is in perpetual decline. In the latter periods, their dominance seemed to be more cultural and social than based on brute force. view post

posted 10 Aug 2005, 00:08 in The Warrior ProphetThe Few and Kellhus by Cynical Cat, Auditor

I don't think of Mog Pheru as evil. It's a made thing and somwhat intelligent. I don't think it understands itself or the world around it. It's an instrument of unspeakable evil and too vile to be permitted to exist, but we don't know what kind of control it has over its own abilities it has. The Consult and the Inchoroi chose to make and unleash the No-God, they are definitely evil. view post

posted 10 Aug 2005, 08:08 in The Warrior ProphetThe Few and Kellhus by Cynical Cat, Auditor

[quote="Deerow":12908niz]Well fair enough...Mog Pharau in and of his/itself may not be the sort of "ultimate evil" but it was utilized in such a way as to maximize the evil possibilites his/its existence brings. Perhaps Mog-Pharau does not want to be used in such ways by the Consult.[/quote:12908niz] Thus my "instruement of evi" and "too vile to be permitted to exist"l lines. :D view post

posted 11 Aug 2005, 17:08 in Author Q & AThe Status of Women and Some Real World Comparisons by Cynical Cat, Auditor

Relative gender equality is not merely a product of modern economic systems. The British started to eliminate slavery when it was economically disadvantages to do so, based on the moral outrage felt by a large part of their population. The moral beliefs (i.e. social conditions) of the 19th and 20th Century inhabitents of western democracies that made slavery unacceptable even if it was profitable also supported gender equality. Additionally, hunter-gatherers societies often have little or no difference in the status of leadership roles available to men and women as both do essential (from an economic and survival point of view) work on a day to day basis. Such societies also have a high homicide rates (yeah, there had to be drawbacks). Women also worked before the introduction of the modern consumer society, it is primarily the middle and upper classes that enjoyed a level of wealth where a woman didn't have to contribute directly to the household income. In addition, in more chaotic societies, the restrictions on the roles and status of women are reduced. In short, it isn't just the modern consumer economy that pushes forward the rights of women. While it contributes to it, one shouldn't get myopia and ignore other contributing factors. view post

posted 12 Aug 2005, 02:08 in Author Q & AThe Status of Women and Some Real World Comparisons by Cynical Cat, Auditor

You might want to consider[i:vox7rrbx] To Rule Britannia: How the British Navy Shaped the Modern World[/i:vox7rrbx] for additional material on slavery in that time period and the attitude of the British Government and the Royal Navy You points are interesting, but irrelevant. The British were quite willing to engage in repulsive labour practices but their population found the black slave trade so utterly repulsive that it was politically mandated that they stamp it out even though they derived immense profits from it. In fact, they went after in preference to the Algerian slavers in North Africa who actually traded in captured British subjects. Your points on racism and 19th century labour practices in no way invalidate mine. The British public was willing to engage in racism and other unpleasant practices, but slavery was no longer one of them. The largest trading empire in the world decided to eliminate a highly profitable enterprise and began to move against it. Ideologies are almost always concerned with morality to one degree or another (e.g communism, Pan Islamasism, laissez-fair capitalism). Labelling my points as ideological does not undermine them. The people of the time found slavery to be sufficiently immoral that it should be stamped out. Britain abolished within its empire, established anti-slavery patrols, and put pressures on other nations to abolish the slave trade. Social and economic conditions of any given time period are invariably intertwined and have influences on each other. My points are that economic considerations, while important, are not the only considerations and that the economic conditions that support high status for woman are not exclusively the ones of the modern consumer society. As with my first post, it is economic systems that place a high value on woman's labour that tend to have women with high status, whether it is our modern economy and hunter gatherers. But despite my economic determinist leanings, honesty compells me to admit those are not the only factors. view post

posted 13 Aug 2005, 10:08 in Author Q & AThe Status of Women and Some Real World Comparisons by Cynical Cat, Auditor

The South's economy was becoming obsolete, but its succession was cloaked in state's rights but was almost entirely about preserving slavery. The British abandoned slavery, against there economic interests, and maintained both political pressure and expensive blockades to combat it. Yes, they needed slave cotton less and less. That doesn't invalidate my points that it was against their economic interests to act that way since they had to expend money and political capital to do so as well as forfeit their share in the slave trade. I don't know too much about Baptist ministers, other than you find more Baptists in the southern United States than the north. I find racism is a region with race based slavery unsurprising. Where are your Baptists from? view post

posted 16 Aug 2005, 01:08 in Author Q & AThe Status of Women and Some Real World Comparisons by Cynical Cat, Auditor

Absolutely true about colonial exploitation, which the British did cloak in the guise of bringing civilization to their colonies. That still doesn't change the fact that British merchants, with the worlds largest mercantile empire, made considerable profits selling slaves to other nations and the anti-slavery efforts cost both money and political capital. And, to be fair, while the Brits were hardly altruists, wiping out the Thuggee wasn't a bad thing and some of their activities were beneficial to India as a whole. After all, if caste based, sexist societies were considered a good thing, Scott wouldnt' be getting any heat about portraying them in his book. :D view post

posted 17 Aug 2005, 02:08 in Author Q & AThe Status of Women and Some Real World Comparisons by Cynical Cat, Auditor

I by no means intended to suggest that the behavior of 19th Century colonialists is moral by modern standards, although some individuals certainly conform to that standard (I have Frederick Douglas on the brain). That is irrelevant. What is relevant to the point is what the people of the time thought, and to the British public it was a moral imperative worth expending considerable resources in pursuit of that goal. The British efforts were certainly self serving and I acknowledged. That doesn't mean India derived no benefits from them. The Thugee cult may have been handled when things were running well, but it persisted until annhilated by the British, not by local rulers. Nor were the local governments particularily moral by modern standards either. India had more than it shares of native evils, of which the caste system and settee are two of the more repugnant, and it rulers were not saints either. view post

posted 21 Aug 2005, 06:08 in Author Q & ACnaiur's prowess by Cynical Cat, Auditor

I didn't say they were radically different. I said we didn't have any direct evidence of how they looked, other than Kelhus could tell the difference. Where did you get the bit about the Sranc being built from Nonmen genes? I certainly don't recall it. Is is something that go cut from the paperback version or did Scott drop that little tidbit? As for appearance, even if they look like beautiful humans, that could still mean they are obviously inhuman. The Sranc are extremely pale (when alive, there is a line about their skin darkening after death) and if they don't have facial hair (none mentioned for the Sranc and consistent with elf-equivalents), they would be instantly recognizable as something other men. They would look strange, not part of any recognizable ethnic group or mix of ethnic groups, and be among people who have a religious duty to kill them. That would be rough. view post

posted 26 Aug 2005, 09:08 in Author Q & ACnaiur's prowess by Cynical Cat, Auditor

[quote="Mithfânion":gcp42162]CC [i:gcp42162]As for the Nonmen description, I don't recall any mention of its face. [/i:gcp42162] There is a description actually, that being the one in which Achamian recalls Mekeritrig's face as "inhumanly beautiful". It's in TWP.[/quote:gcp42162] Ahh yes. I had forgotten about that. Different incident, different book and all that. But it consistent with my theory Nonman's appearance is such that they would have difficulty passing for humans, which in turn would explain why they would stay away from the Three Seas. After all, if we suddenly decided we needed to kill everyone who is oriental in North America (yes, its a disgusting idea), we would have an easy time identifying them and they are human. view post

posted 27 Aug 2005, 04:08 in The Warrior ProphetThe Few and Kellhus by Cynical Cat, Auditor

What I'm saying is that regardless of Mog-Pheru's true intent and nature, it is a genocidal weapon. "Vile" is of course a subjective term, but it was I choose to use in describing a doomsday weapon. Humanity has every right to defend itself by destroying Mog-Pheru, whatever its true nature (which is just speculation). Mog-Pheru is not comparable to a gun. The consequences of gun being misused is the death of a few people. The possible consequences of Mog-Pheru being used is death of the entire human race, something far, far worse. A more accurate comparison would be a vial of plague capable of exterminating the human race if opened. view post

Quick and Dirty Prince of Nothing RPG posted 11 Feb 2006, 01:02 in RPG DiscussionQuick and Dirty Prince of Nothing RPG by Cynical Cat, Auditor

A thought hit me today as I was basking in the aftermath of devouring [i:173nk3yy]The Thousand Fold Thought[/i:173nk3yy]: Green Ronin's[i:173nk3yy] Black Company D20[/i:173nk3yy] could be modified fairly easily to work for Earwa. Both are worlds with powerful magic, but few magic items. The Black Company has feats, modified classes, and rules to take into account a nastier, dirtier world where even the nastiest customer can be taken down by surprise or a lucky shot. It also has a built in mass combat system, which is handy as both series share no shortage of war. Some modifications 1) Dunyain. The Weaponmaster class in Black Company is a nonsupernatural monk variant that can be skilled with weapon or barehands (but no uber chop socky). An excellent base for the Dunyain, although one has to make Bluff, Diplomacy, and Sense Motive class skills. 2) The Wizard class can be adapted without too much difficulty. Obviously sorcerers using the Gnosis would be higher level than Anagogic equivalents. For PCs, obviously a Mandate sorcerer of equal character level to a Scarlett Spires is junior compared to high ranker and thus of roughly equal power. Some modifications are in order though: a) Some talents doen't exist (healing and shape change) and should be removed. b) Chorae obviously give unbeatable SR and do damage to wizards in contact with them based on how high level the wizard is. c) Sorcerers of the Three Seas can't have prepared spells. d) Even rookie sorcerers are dangerous in Earwa. We've also weakened the wizard class by removing prepared spells and adding chorae. The magnitude bonuses should be increased to balance the class and allow them to use the level of power shown in the books. The levels I'm kicking around with at the moment are: Dabbler: +3 Student of Wizardry: +6 1st Magnitutde: +12 2nd Magnitude: +24 3rd Magnitutde: +36 view post

posted 14 Feb 2006, 05:02 in Author Q & Ado chorea last by Cynical Cat, Auditor

It seems that whether or not the subject wants to join in somewhat irrelevant in some cases. The Mandate recruiters beat Akka's dad and just took him when he was a child. I don't see the power hungry Scarlet Spires being too willing to take a no in their territory. view post

posted 21 Feb 2006, 08:02 in The Thousandfold ThoughtSkin-Spies have Souls by Cynical Cat, Auditor

Having a soul seems linked to having the capacity to become self aware and thus possess the ability to make individual choice and free will. The skin spies, for all their intelligence, are ruled by their impulses and instincts, obediant to the orders of their masters. A skin spy with a soul would possess the ability to fight his instincts and disobey his masters. It was probably a freak mutation that resulted in the capacity for self awarensess and a soul. It would also explain why the Consult wouldn't want to make many of them, even if it could control the process. The skin spies that possess souls, of which only a minority are likely to be of the Few, also possess the ability to rebel. view post

posted 02 Mar 2006, 23:03 in The Thousandfold ThoughtQuestions regarding Conphas by Cynical Cat, Auditor

Once Conphas turns on Kelhus, which he was going to do, only one of them is getting out alive. It doesn't matter if he died in battle or not, Kelhus was going to arrange his death one way or the other. And the conquerer of the Fanim is going to be the most powerful man in the Three Seas. It makes sense that the confrontation and climax happened there. It also makes sense that only one of them survived it. It was all or nothing, a zero some game. Conphas lost and he was a dead man even if he had managed to survive the battle. view post

posted 02 Mar 2006, 23:03 in The Darkness That Comes Beforesranc by Cynical Cat, Auditor

There is a good section on Sranc in the back of [i:lfbhq7nv]The Thousand Fold Thought[/i:lfbhq7nv]. They are orc or goblin equivalents, smaller and weaker than men, although still formidable. They rely on numbers and ferocity and like other Inchoroi creations they enjoy inflicting pain and rapine. Females fight as well as males. And they take slaves. *Shudder* view post

The Future Dunyain of the Three Seas. posted 04 May 2006, 08:05 in The Thousandfold ThoughtThe Future Dunyain of the Three Seas. by Cynical Cat, Auditor

As of the end of the book, there are two trained Dunyain in the Three Seas (to the best of our knowledge) Kelhus and Maithanet. However, Kellhus is fairly certain that he will have a Dunyain child with Esmenet. He is Dunyain and she has at least an above average intelligence ( I don't recall any references to her reflexes). With the proper training, their child will be a Dunyain (and possibly one of the Few). Maithanet is the product of the same kind of decision. Moenghis would have chosen a woman with the desirable characteristics (intelligence and reflexes) to pass down to their child. The Dunyain aren't superhuman after all, merely occupying the higher end of human intelligence and reflexes. It is the combination of those traits with Dunyain training which produces extraordinary results. So what next? Are there more sons of Moenghis? Has Maithanet put his own plans into play? Will Kellhus train others who have the right potential? view post

posted 05 May 2006, 10:05 in The Thousandfold ThoughtThe Future Dunyain of the Three Seas. by Cynical Cat, Auditor

Kellhus specifically refers to Esmenet as a potential mother of Dunyain children and he is, as of the end of the book, he is not short on resources. As for Maithanet, I am not inclined to underestimate him. Just because he was not "fully Dunyain" the last time he was around Moenghus does not remove his potential for growth. Moenghus hasn't seen him for years and from our limited exposure to the Shriah, he seems to have a formidable grasp of Dunyain disciplines. He is a master of men's hearts, able to recognize Skin Spies, and has no compunction about personally engaging them (albeit with the advantage of surprise). Maithanet may not be the equal of Kellhus or Moenghus (or Moenghus could be wrong), but he is clearly capable of using Dunyain training in a highly effective manner. view post

posted 06 May 2006, 02:05 in The Thousandfold ThoughtThe Future Dunyain of the Three Seas. by Cynical Cat, Auditor

[quote="Warrior-Poet":1uyocw52]Mahajanga Mordecai is correct, having Dunyain training(nearly impossible outside Ishual) and a Dunyain father does not make you Dunyain you must be born into the Dunyain community with the selective inheritance and training only Ishual could provide.[/quote:1uyocw52] Lets take this one step at the time 1) The Dunyain are selectively bred humans. All the traits they possess are those that humans possess. They have been selected for high end intelligence and reflexes, things which also occur in "wild" humans. They Dunyain are still human, they just possess specific genetic traits. 2) They are extensively trained and conditioned. There is nothing magical about Ishual that makes it the only place that can provide that training. What Ishual has is the resources, a structured enviroment, and instructors. Kellhus will have access to the entire resources of an empire and is quite familiar with the what is required to train Dunyain. 3) In some areas, specifically the metaphysical and sorcerous, Dunyain training is not merely insufficient, it is erronous. 4) Maithanet displays all the traits of a Dunyain, even if his skills are in Moenghus's judgement (a man who has been wrong several times) inferior. Even if a Dunyain trained in the Three Seas is inferior to one trained at Ishual, they are still formidable. They can still spot Skin Spys, engage them in battle, and manipulate the hearts of World born men. view post

posted 06 May 2006, 03:05 in The Thousandfold ThoughtThe Amoral Khellus by Cynical Cat, Auditor

Rereading the Thousand Fold Thought there are some interesting tidbits that suggest that Kellhus is indeed moral. There are several instances when he is thinking of Esmenet and it is clearly with deep affection. There is also his discussion of the Consult and the Inchorai with his father when Kellhus speaks of their "sins and crimes". His father is puzzled with his use of these terms and, as always with Dunyain, one has to assume a deliberate choice of spoken words. Although one is reluctant to draw conclusions about a Dunyain's behavior, Kellhus seems to regard a number of people with affection, even as necessity commands that he ruthlessly manipulate them. view post

posted 06 May 2006, 03:05 in Author Q & AOutside, Dunyain, and the Anasurimbor Uncertainty Principle by Cynical Cat, Auditor

A few points 1) The writings of the Tusk condemn both sorcery and Nonmen. 2) While human religions seem to be merely human constructs, the Outside is clearly real. 3) The Inchoroi are creatures of limitless cruelty and malign carnality. If there is a hell, and there are certainly demons, they deserve to go if anyone does. view post

Men and Nonmen Breeding posted 06 May 2006, 03:05 in Author Q & AMen and Nonmen Breeding by Cynical Cat, Auditor

There are at least two references to men and Nonmen apparently having children (the cases themselves seem to be half rumour) There's also a reference that these cases were unusual (if they really happpened) in producing children.. With that in mind did the Nonmen ever try to rebuild there numbers by breeding with humans? With the resulting female children breeding with full Nonmen, one would soon get children which were almost completely Nonmen in heritgate. view post

posted 07 May 2006, 10:05 in The Thousandfold ThoughtThe Amoral Khellus by Cynical Cat, Auditor

Under utilitarian ethics, just about anything is justified if it prevents the horrors of a Second Apocalypse. Kellhus is rarely expressive about his thoughts and is an expert manipulator so judging him by his actions is also difficult. We are left with attempting to draw conclusions with a scarcity of evidence. 1) He does care about the emotional well being of Esmanet and Akka. He could, of course, have long terms manipulative goals in mind, but his actions at the end of the book when both of them have become replacable and Akka an enemy seem to suggest otherwise. Why let Akka leave his thrown room alive after his attempt to take Esmanet? He's allowing a dangerous enemy who knows too much about him to live. His statement about Akka kneeling the next time they met is the bare minimum he can make and not loose face. Esmanet would be distrought by his death, but even carrying his child, she is replacable on a purely practical level. It seems emotional concerns are dominant. 2) The words he chooses with his father are not ones likely to appeal to a Dunyain. "Sin" is not a concept they embrace. Even living in the World for decades and being exposed to the limits of Dunyain lore (the Consult, Sorcery, Outside, etcetera) his father has clearly not adjusted his world view, merely integrated the information into his familiar patterns. Moenghus is nearly as tied to his past a world born man. Kellhus, on the other hand, has adapted to the truths he has discovered in the world. His father knows the Apocalypse, sorcery, the Outside, and so forth and still doesn't believe his son may have recieved communication from the Mog-Pheru despite having made sendings of his own. Kellhus would not have used words like "sin" to get cooperation from a Dunyain unless his experience in the World had convinced him of importance of moral values. Kellhus predicts that his father will follow the Consults path and explicitly rejects it for himself. If he was a concienceless manipulator, he would embrace that path himself. Instead he opposes it. view post

posted 11 May 2006, 05:05 in The Thousandfold ThoughtThe Amoral Khellus by Cynical Cat, Auditor

Utilitarian ethics are highly useful, your disdain for them is not withstanding. Using them exclusively does lead to some distasteful decisions, which is one of the reasons to employ multiple ethical systems. Regardless of this, it is a natural system for someone trained by the Dunyain, who do charming things to their failures involving hooks and wires, to adopt. I wasn't speaking of emotional attachment to Esmanet in the throne room. Akka just tried to steal the Warrior-Prophet's (and Aspect-Emperor's) wife in full view of some of the most powerful people in the nation. Kellhus can't be seen to tolerate that. Killing Akka on the spot would have been the best answer. It ends a threat, saves face, and prevents the truth about Kellhus's abilities from spreading. Instead Kellhus lets him live with only a warning to save face. This is the bare minimum a man in his position can do and far from the optimal decision. He should Akka. All the practical consideration demand Akka's death. He doesn't and instead lets him off with a warning.. view post

posted 28 Aug 2006, 08:08 in RPG DiscussionQuick and Dirty Prince of Nothing RPG by Cynical Cat, Auditor

It's a pen and paper RPG. You should be able to order from them directly or get it at your local gaming store. view post

posted 31 Aug 2006, 21:08 in RPG DiscussionQuick and Dirty Prince of Nothing RPG by Cynical Cat, Auditor

Well, the problems with the Malazan system is that there are no provisions in the Black Company game for handling Warrens. Everything else could be adapted fairly easily (and no surprise in that considering the influence that the Black Company has on the Malazan universe) but a signifigant magic system redesign would be needed. In further musings, Dunyain could an human raise variant, with its own background (Black Company handles humans slightly differently than vanilla D&D, each character gets a bonus feat, a minor special ability, and bonus class skills based on his background instead of the usual bonus feat and bonus skillpoints). Bluff and Sense Motive could easily be Dunyain background skills. Possibly giving it some special bonuses (Int and Dex boosts) at the cost of a level adjustment might be in order. view post

posted 31 Aug 2006, 22:08 in The Thousandfold ThoughtHeresiarch of the Cishaurim by Cynical Cat, Auditor

[quote="Harrol":2dqmxujf]I will argue that the fanim are more like Christianity than the Inrithi based on the fact that I myself and many other do not worship saints or angels and the point that There is no Biblical Trinity or worship of the other previous mentioned.[/quote:2dqmxujf] It is important to note that the parellel is between medieval Christian practice and Inthrism, not modern Christian practices, which aside from the variations, are quite different. Medieval Christianity was theoretically monotheistic, but polytheistic in practice. Towns and villages had their own patron saint or angel that was prayed to as an intercessor between the worshipper and God. That is why pilgrimages (visitng the remains of famous saints), relics, and so forth were so important in the medieval period and why certain holidays associated with saints still survive in the modern era. view post

posted 31 Aug 2006, 22:08 in RPG DiscussionQuick and Dirty Prince of Nothing RPG by Cynical Cat, Auditor

[quote="Entropic_existence":6kh8ht5w]That may work, after all the Dunyain are "bred" and as such would function in much the same way as a sub-race would. Of course canon Dunyain would likely all be Monks of some kind.[/quote:6kh8ht5w] Weaponmaster class in Black Company, as I said. It doesn't have the blatant over the top supernatural junk of D&D monk and is good with weapons and unarmed. Just a little tinkering with the class to make it more Dunyain like and it should be fine. view post

posted 05 Sep 2006, 08:09 in The Thousandfold ThoughtWas Cnauir gay? by Cynical Cat, Auditor

It's pretty clear in The Darkness That Comes Before, the Cnauir had a homosexual relationship with Moenghus. Scott doesn't directly state it, but the contextual evidence is strong including the "Is it a sin for me to touch you thus?" line on page 369 (I'm rereading the book and just past that part). view post

posted 05 Sep 2006, 09:09 in Writing TipsFight Scenes? by Cynical Cat, Auditor

Not to be mean, but in my opinion Salvatore is a horrible writer of fight scenes. He writes fights like a D&D combat. You don't get a sense of real injuries. No punctured lungs, slashed tendons, or disembowelments or the like. It's just antiseptic hit point loss ending in death with hits but no injuries described. view post

posted 05 Sep 2006, 09:09 in Literature DiscussionFantasy by Cynical Cat, Auditor

I support the death penalty for spammers. And with magic, although I tend towards preferring more than less, consistency is the key. Scott handles it beautifully, even if I wanted more information faster (although it did get me salivating for the next book). I think one of the best touches is that magic is far from completely understood by its practitioners, although some of its rules are codified and a considerable body of skill and knowledge has developed regarding its practice (Jack Vance does something similar with the more whimsical [i:2ombbvi0]Dying Earth[/i:2ombbvi0] stories). It allows for the events of the climax of [i:2ombbvi0]The Thousandfold Thought[/i:2ombbvi0] to occur and be a surprise, but not an unfair one, to the reader. view post

posted 09 Sep 2006, 06:09 in The Thousandfold ThoughtAnasurimbor Maithanet? by Cynical Cat, Auditor

Moenghus's statements on the children not being Dunyain are not reliable indicators of anything other than Moenghus beliefs and he is shown to not be infallible. In fact, his errors lead to his death. This has been discussed in other threads but to restate a few points 1) The Dunyain cull their own ranks. Thus the Dunyain born don't measure up. A far larger statistical sample than Moenghus would have been able to generate would be required to know whether Moenghus's offspring were merely a statistical aberration 2) Dunyain training is resource intensive in the form of enviromental conditions, the need for skilled trainers, etcetera. There are far more limits on Moenghus's ability to recrateate the conditions at Ishual than there are to Kelhus's. 3) Genetics inheritance, especially for intelligence, isn't a sure thing. The Dunyain breed for reflexes and intelligence and then cull (what percentage, we don't know) but that only means that doesn't insure superiority over world born men, just high performance in those areas. 4) Maithanet maybe inferior to a Dunyain in Moenghus's estimation, but he was still able to quickly seize control of the Thousand Temples, uncover spies and skin spies, and was confident of his ability to personally seize and disable a skin spy sorcerer. Those are impressive accomplishments and not much inferior to what a Dunyain could do. view post

posted 15 Sep 2006, 05:09 in The Warrior ProphetEsmet's betrayl, Bakker's massogeny, and a criticism by Cynical Cat, Auditor

[quote="Scel":111cuic4]People should remember that Strong and "Liberated" women are a recent development in our world...and indeed are unknown in some contemporary cultures. Now in (even a fictional world) world that is patriachial, women were marginalised. And OUR modern concepts would seem totally out of place. [/quote:111cuic4] Not entirely true, in some cultures women could wield considerable power and attain very high status (Norse, Iroquois, and ancient Egypt, to name three). Even medieval Europe isn't without notable power and influence (Eleanor of Aquitaine to name one). That said, the Three Seas is more misogynistic than Medieval Europe. Esmenet did the best she could with her very limited options. Her moving into new roles and handling greater responsibilities is a very potent condemnation of the attitudes of the people of the Three Seas. view post

posted 28 Sep 2006, 19:09 in The Thousandfold ThoughtAnasurimbor Maithanet? by Cynical Cat, Auditor

[quote="Madness":e3lg1nqz] First, I'd like to write a rebuttal towards Cynical's points on my ideas concerning Moenghus' children. [quote:e3lg1nqz]Moenghus's statements on the children not being Dunyain are not reliable indicators of anything other than Moenghus beliefs and he is shown to not be infallible. In fact, his errors lead to his death.[/quote:e3lg1nqz] True, Moenghus' statements on Dunyain + non-Dunyain offspring cannot be taken as 100% truth, as it is speculation on his part and a character of even Moenghus' abilities can be wrong. However, the statements made are not wrong due to his beliefs, as he has not yet come to believe anything, but due to his hindered Dunyain abilities and progress through the Thousandfold Thought. Likewise, his death is not caused by any error of his unless you count him putting out his eyes, but caused by Kellhus' more extensive exploration of the Thousandfold Thought. Moenghus did not yet know the possibilities that branched from his encounter with Kellhus as it had taken him a large part of his thirty years to grasp that the Thought included a summons to Ishual and his [i:e3lg1nqz]true[/i:e3lg1nqz] son. I honestly don't think he explored the Thousandfold Thought much after grasping this, thinking that possibilites and the shortest path would become apparent to him upon meeting his son. [/quote:e3lg1nqz] On the contrary, he immediately rejects Kelhus's claims of communicating with the No-God out of hand, choosing instead to believe that Kelhus is instead defective when available evidence shows that Kelhus is far from that. Moenghus does not investigate this claim or consider it, he immediately rules Kelhus broken because of it. This is not only a mistake, but one based on his belief system. His unwillingness to even consider the point was one of the reasons Kelhus decided to kill him. He was no longer useful and had become a dangerous liability. A fatal error. [quote:e3lg1nqz] As to your other points, Cynical. In all honesty I think the first three have already been negated by other members in this and other threads. [/quote:e3lg1nqz] I haven't seen any effective rebutals to my points. If you think they exist, post them. [quote:e3lg1nqz] All Dunyain are not all Anasurimbor. [/quote:e3lg1nqz] Statistically speaking, every one of European descent is probably a descdent of Charlamaigne. The Dunyain are a more concentrated population and have gone on for an even longer time. Not that being an Anasurimbor is one of my points, but after 2000 years in one place they are all related. [quote:e3lg1nqz] Anyhow, as the Dunyain did and do cull their ranks every generation, each subsequent generation gets smarter then breeds with eachother, then cull the less intelligent and physically fit again, and repeat. Compound that two thousand years. [/quote:e3lg1nqz] They are still human beings, subject to the genetic lottery and limited by human physiology. Selective breeding isn't magic where you can guarrantee will get the traits you desire and two thousand years is a very short period of time, breeding wise. What its going to accomplish among the Dunyain is not being superhuman but the majority of their population tending towards the higher end of the traits they are breeding for (which are intelligence and reflexes). [quote:e3lg1nqz] Therefore, to tie it back to your point or points I guess as it hits a couple of them, when Moenghus and Kellhus couple with worldborn women their children can never compare to true Dunyain. Which is also why Kellhus uses Esmenet, her being a very intelligent women in a male dominate society. [/quote:e3lg1nqz] Do you know what scientists call a sample size of 1? Too small. Kelhus and Moenghus can have mentally retarded children, children with dwarfism, short children, tall children, or brilliant children just like the rest of us. [quote:e3lg1nqz] Point 2 and 3 kind of deal with my above paragraph. When commenting or thinking on the Dunyain you have to think in terms of two thousand years, as Cnaiur does. Moenghus probably did try and duplicate Ishual and their teachings when raising Maithanet for his task. However, knowing that a worldborn child couldn't compare with true Dunyain, there was no need for Moenghus to try and train Maithanet as such. [/quote:e3lg1nqz] Moenghus lacked the resources of an emperor or Ishual. The amount of experience and resources contained within a single pragma must be immense and Moenghus not only lacked them he was also blind. He provided an inferior training enviroment to Inshual, which flunks some of its students, and managed to train the Maithanet so that he produced many Dunyain skills. [quote:e3lg1nqz] Your third point is as well ignorant of the above concept. Make no mistake, a Dunyain baby is not a worldborn baby. Perhaps in the days following the apocalypse a worldborn baby might have compared to a Dunyain one but, again, not after the compounding factor. [/quote:e3lg1nqz] Evidence? Two human babies, one part of a selective breeding program the other not. What if the Dunyain one is born with brain damage? Again I will remind you the Dunyain aren't superhuman. There is no guarrantee the Dunyain child is faster or smarter than the worldborn one, just a likelyhood that the Dunyain child will be faster and smarter than the average human. [quote:e3lg1nqz] Your right, Genetic inheritance especially for intelligence isn't a sure thing. However, as they do kill the offspring that don't measure up, as I said they probably have to do a lot less culling these days.[/quote:e3lg1nqz] We have no knowledge of the exact culling numbers or how they change, but we are not without evidence. Inshual is not a large place and the preserved defectives with hooks in their faces are indicative of a fairly large cull. Even with modern medicine they are going to face a host of medical problems and live comparitively short lives (and thus need to be replaced). Given Inshual's limited population and that they aren't the only ones being culled, the culled would have to make a signifigant percentage of the population. One can only cull so much of the population without killing it off. To sum up, there's only so many that can cull without endangering themselves and they still cull signifigantly. [quote:e3lg1nqz] Maithanet is inferior to Dunyain but superior to worldborn man. He's inbetween, in my understanding. He is also one of the Few as are many Dunyain, I assume, but as Proyas says to Achamian in TDTCB (oh, how I wish I had my books with me), many Shriah's have been of the Few. They just choose not to stain themselves with the blood-of-the-onta. [/quote:e3lg1nqz] Scott has indicated that the Few are a product of both genetics and the ability to think in certain ways. Dunyain training, despite denying the existence of sorcery, is clearly compatable with the thought processes of being the Few (Kelhus's performance in the TTT makes this a bit of an understatement). [quote:e3lg1nqz] Though, Maithanet, regardless of natural intelligence and ability would not have been to do these things. [/quote:e3lg1nqz] Without being trained, no Dunyain can do anything extraordinary. Its the training that makes them exceptional. It clearly requires high levels of intelligence and quick reflexes to successfuly grasp. This is in fact, my point. It's the[i:e3lg1nqz] training[/i:e3lg1nqz] that makes the Dunyain superior. Both Cnaiur and Kelhus are extraordinary individuals physically and mentally, but only one is Dunyain and that training makes the difference. [quote:e3lg1nqz] Think. Moenghus has Maithanet play to Inrithi faith by [i:e3lg1nqz]walking[/i:e3lg1nqz] unharmed from heathen lands. He's able to uncover every factions spies through Cishaurim intelligence and counter-intelligence who would be able to identify Xerius' spies in the Thousand Temples, and pull out their own when their task was done, giving the illusion of cleansed. Maithanet himself could be the Cishaurim's spy if need be. [/quote:e3lg1nqz] I don't know what your point here is. I've been saying all along that Maithanet is extraordinary. [quote:e3lg1nqz] What if the prior Shriah was a Consult skin-spy and through Moenghus' interrogations of the captured skin-spies he was able to assern this? [/quote:e3lg1nqz] Quite possible. That's one of the things that makes them scary. view post

posted 28 Sep 2006, 20:09 in The Thousandfold ThoughtAnasurimbor Maithanet? by Cynical Cat, Auditor

[quote="vercint":3ssm4wlf] First, I think we can say for certain that many of the Dunyain are of the Few. Moenghus contacted them through dreams, using the Cishaurim version of the spell Akka names 'Calling'. In TWP Akka explains how this cant works: the person doing the calling must know the person he's calling to, and he must know where the person is. Logically, both people must also be of the Few.[/quote:3ssm4wlf] This doesn't follow. You have shown no reason why the reciever has to be one of the Few. I don't necessarily disagree, but the only thing that has been established is that the sender must be a sorcerer, not the reciever must be one of the Few. That in every other instance in the books both are sorcerers tends to support that both must be of the Few, but you didn't mention that. As for numbers, giiven the Dunyain's limited gene pool and mental training, its likely a lot of them are among the Few. view post

Dunyain Intellectual Bankruptcy posted 28 Sep 2006, 20:09 in The Thousandfold ThoughtDunyain Intellectual Bankruptcy by Cynical Cat, Auditor

There is no doubt that the Dunyain teach a variety of useful mental and physical skills, but it is equally clear that their entire philosophy is intellectually bankrupt and their hierarchy is dishonest. Despite claiming to be seekers for the truths of things they systematically isolate themselves from all sources of information and banish or destroy any evidence that leads to contrary conclusions. They systematically supress evidence of the Outside (and sorcery, since the two are linked) because it conflicts with their ideology. They are, in their own way, almost as bound to What Comes Before as the world born. For the Dunyain their is only What Has Been Decided At Ishual and those who threaten that are banished or slain. To be fair, their great intellectual abilities allowed Moenghus and Kelhus to quickly adapt to the true circumstances of the world. Thoughts? view post

posted 29 Sep 2006, 00:09 in The Thousandfold ThoughtAnasurimbor Maithanet? by Cynical Cat, Auditor

I agree that the inference to make is that one needs to be a member of the Few, but that is never directly stated or confirmed. Since the only examples we have of the communication are the passing of sensitive intelligence between Schoolmen and Moenghus's contacts, we simply don't know. I don't have a problem with that, I'm just pointing out the evidence to support exclusivity is circumstantial at best. As for the Dunyain contacted by Moenghus, yes they committed suicide. However, the Calling would have stopped when they sent Kelhus. It was extremely strenous on Moenghus and he could only reach people he knew, which limits the number of people who could have attempted. He only needed to reach enough people that sending Kelhus out would have been the easiest course for the Dunyain to make, which implies that he could have contaced even more people if he refused them. Whether that was actually true or not (he only needed to make the Dunyain believe that) we don't know. Since he was banished about thirty five years back, thats more than another generation of Dunyain to augment however many of the Few were not contaminated by Moenghus. view post

posted 29 Sep 2006, 05:09 in The Thousandfold ThoughtDunyain Intellectual Bankruptcy by Cynical Cat, Auditor

[quote="vercint":b9fdm3ut] CC, the Dunyain are not 'seekers of truth' (that would be a certain Richard Rahl); they seek to become a 'self-moving soul'. To achieve this they isolate themselves so that the 'outside' can't influence them. They believe the truth is found within, not in the world around them. They know the world is out there (although they have no idea what it looks like) but they just don't want to be part of it. To be part of the world is to be moved by it; only in isolation can one hope to become self-moving.[/quote:b9fdm3ut] That's only partially true. The Dunyain deny the existence of the Outside because of the implications it has on the power of "what comes before" and the influence it can on the world and the soul. They have chosen to deny the existence of Outside not because it isn't important (the Outside connects to the world through souls after all) but because it doesn't fit their nice theory. Their withdrawl from the world is equally dishonest, for they have substituted the preconceptions of Inshual for those of the world, not eliminated preconceptions all together. The best illustration of this is that both Moenghus and Kelhus have better understandings of the nature of the soul once they enter the world. And lastly, since the name Dunyain means "truth", for them to deliberately lie about the nature of the world is dishonest. view post

posted 29 Sep 2006, 18:09 in The Thousandfold ThoughtDunyain Intellectual Bankruptcy by Cynical Cat, Auditor

[quote="Harrol":3fqkqy1r]That leads to the next question. To the Dunyain what is truth. Is the truth freeing your soul? If that is the case then all other lies are justified by the ends. I do not state that to imply that the Dunyain need to justify anything. To them they need only take the shortest path.[/quote:3fqkqy1r] Of course they need to justify their actions. That they don't is why they are in danger of following the Consult onto the path of mass genocide. Disregard for moral consequences doesn't mean they don't exist. view post

posted 29 Sep 2006, 20:09 in Philosophy DiscussionInfinity, destiny and The Prince Of Nothing's philosophy by Cynical Cat, Auditor

[quote="DrunkenAfficianado":awpi7br6] snip[/quote:awpi7br6] Get a grip. This we were the first three books of what now is a seven book series. This is merely setting the stage for the Second Apocalypse. You don't get closure and resolution before the series is half way through. As for comparison with Convent, Convent was a rapist shmuck who wanted to be powerless because then he wouldn't be responsible. Kelhus embraces responsibility and does what is necessary to unite the Three Seas in a fashion that has a chance of surviving the Second Apocalypse. Instead of running away from responsibility when confronted by it, he embraces it. As for the question of free will, everyone is shaped by the society and enviroment around them. The Dunyain's obsession with free will makes them interesting, but it doesn't make the book depressing. As for depressing, they haven't lost yet. The battle is only about to begin. view post

posted 02 Oct 2006, 09:10 in The Thousandfold ThoughtInchoroi and Sorcerer Goals. Call for theories... by Cynical Cat, Auditor

He's one of the Old Names, the original members of the Consult who have survivied until present day. And probably completely insane in a very scary way. view post

posted 03 Oct 2006, 08:10 in The Thousandfold ThoughtDunyain Intellectual Bankruptcy by Cynical Cat, Auditor

Considering that they Dunyain destroy all sorcerous marks and paraphenalia when they arrive at Ishual 2000 years ago, we can assume their anti-sorcery beliefs are old and arrise during a time when the existence of sorcery was obvious. As for resolution on the subject of morality and the Outside, I doubt we will get it. If we do I doubt it will happen before the last book, which is some time away. Dunyain beliefs on the nature of reality no more credible than that of Young Earth Creationists for the same reason: both ignore evidence in preference to holding on to what they would prefer to be true. The Dunyain world view ignores the Outside which is not the same as the various worldly attitudes which only partially understand the Outside. Whether or not there are consequences for various actions in the afterlife is something that we don't know for sure. It is interesting that the Inchoroi do believe such consequences exist and that the Nonmen who appear to have different values than human are probably the source of those Inchoroi beliefs. I look foreward to future books and future illumination on this subject. view post

posted 03 Oct 2006, 21:10 in The Thousandfold ThoughtDunyain Intellectual Bankruptcy by Cynical Cat, Auditor

[quote="Harrol":3l1tredd]I missed the part where Earwa had young earth creationist. :)[/quote:3l1tredd] I'm sure its somewhere in the Books of the Tusk. :D view post

posted 07 Oct 2006, 01:10 in Off-Topic DiscussionOther forums frequented by Cynical Cat, Auditor

Star, a sci-fi and current events centered debate forum that can be pretty rough. Librium Arcana, a sci-fi, fantasy, and rpg centered forum. view post

posted 09 Oct 2006, 07:10 in The Thousandfold ThoughtInchoroi and Sorcerer Goals. Call for theories... by Cynical Cat, Auditor

To add to White Lord's comments, the Fanim believe that the Cisharum aren't damned, but holy. Sorcery is condemned by the Tusk, but it is a collection of religious documents written by men, although possibly be men with some understanding of Agencies of the Outside (or maybe not) and added two and commented on, not the least by Inrithas and Kelhus. Even previous to Kelhus, the condemnation of sorcery by the Tusk has been challenged by scholars in the Three Seas ([i:1x9sxmui]In Defence of Sorcery [/i:1x9sxmui]is mentioned several times.) Our view is somewhat coloured by having most of the books's viewpoint characters raised in a culture that believes all sorcery is abominable and taking place mostly among the Inrithi. Even Akka is tormented by his damnation. Only Kelhus is detatched from considerations (with the possible exception of Conphas :wink: ). view post

posted 11 Oct 2006, 00:10 in The Thousandfold ThoughtInchoroi and Sorcerer Goals. Call for theories... by Cynical Cat, Auditor

[quote="Incu-Pacifico":3r5ji5kh] Well the metaphysics of the Cishaurim is different from the other schools of sorcery...and I believe there was a mention of some questioning whether Cishaurim was actually sorcery at all. So perhaps the nature of the Pshuke protects its practitioners from getting that unwanted attention? [/quote:3r5ji5kh] Kelhus gives us our best explanation on why the Pshuke is different than other forms of sorcery. It is still sorcery, merely undistinguishable from the natural world. Most tellingly, it is still affected by chorae. The attitudes of the Cishaurim might score them some points with the Outside or they might not. We don't know. As for the Mandate, they are the defenders of the world against extermination. They have not only power, but a higher purpose and their saying reflects that. Which, of course, leads to Akka's friend's speculation that they who sacrifice their very souls for the opportunity to defend the world and expect only damnation are the holiest of men. view post

posted 12 Oct 2006, 04:10 in The Thousandfold ThoughtInchoroi and Sorcerer Goals. Call for theories... by Cynical Cat, Auditor

[quote="Incu-Pacifico":1sbugoin] I remember mention being made that Pshuke was more emotion-based than the Anagogic socery (logic based). Also, it didn't leave a "mark" and was invisible to the logic-based Anagogic schools. As you said though, chorae still affect them. Hmmm...I think there's a clue there somewhere...if only we could figure it out. :) Perhaps it has something to do with logic going against the "natural flow"? [/quote:1sbugoin] Well, if Kelhus is correct, its the intuitive, emotional nature of the sorcery that is the reason they don't have a mark. They blind themselves so they have distractions in their attempts to percieve the onta. They have a good "feel" for how the onta should be because of their altered perception and the intuitive nature of their magic, so their workings fit in with the natural world better and thus leave no mark. Of course, their are advantages to having a systematic, intellectual understanding of your practice which is why Anagogic and Gnostic sorcery is more powerful and versatile. [quote:1sbugoin] Yes, this is exactly right. For the Mandate. However, I don't think it's true for the other schools. They're not serving a higher cause, though many still seem to feel condemned to damnation (see, Iyokus's conversation with the demon).[/quote:1sbugoin] What's revealing about Iyokus's conversation is that he has definitely gotten himself some negative attention from the Outside, but wasn't necessarily damned before that point. As for the Scarlett Spires, I doubt their naked and ruthless power lust scores them points with anything benevolent on the Outside. view post

posted 13 Oct 2006, 10:10 in The Thousandfold ThoughtInchoroi and Sorcerer Goals. Call for theories... by Cynical Cat, Auditor

The Nonmen refer to gods and demons as Agencies, a practice retained by Gnostic magicians for obvious reasons. As we only have knowledge of one particularily kind of Agency we are, like the inhabitants of the Three Seas, reduced to trying to deduce the will of the gods with insufficient evidence. :wink: As for Chorae and demons, the demons didn't merely sense the absence of a chorae, they exploded into burning salt when struck by a chorae arrow ("an absence at the end of a stick"). The Outside doesn't much seem to like chorae either. The Tears of God may really piss off God. :D view post

posted 16 Oct 2006, 21:10 in Author Q & AGnosis vs. Anagogis, and sorcery in general by Cynical Cat, Auditor

It is mentioned that practitioners of the Psuhke don't have the control or sophistication of Anagogic or Gnostic sorcery, which is consistent with it being an intuitive rather than intellectual practice. This implies that certain feats possible with Anagogic or Gnostic sorcery simply aren't possible with the Psuhke. view post

posted 19 Oct 2006, 01:10 in Author Q & AGnosis vs. Anagogis, and sorcery in general by Cynical Cat, Auditor

All the Anagogic schools are descended from the Cenian Sakas. The Imperial Saik is proud that it remains loyal to Nansur, the successors of Cenia. view post

posted 01 Nov 2006, 09:11 in Author Q & AGnosis vs. Anagogis, and sorcery in general by Cynical Cat, Auditor

Scott has mentioned that Gnostic Sorcery can be used to summon and bind agencies. view post

posted 19 Jun 2007, 07:06 in The Thousandfold ThoughtAre there female skin spies? by Cynical Cat, Auditor

[quote="Jamara":qfgxfrfy]seeing as how the kin spies are new constructs and the [i:qfgxfrfy]non-men (as far as we have seen) have all aligned with the Consult,[/i:qfgxfrfy][/quote:qfgxfrfy] We know that not to be true. The Inchoroi mention that they have spies even in a surviving mansion of the Nonmen. The Erratics are a different story, of course, but we definitely know that some part of Nonman civilization survives and is an enemy of the Consult. view post

posted 19 Jun 2007, 07:06 in The Darkness That Comes BeforePunishing the Shrial Knights by Cynical Cat, Auditor

Saubon wants the love and admiration that he was denied by his tyrannical father. He thinks the way to get this is by military successes (remember that he once fought Conphas himself to stand still in battle) and by becoming king by his own hand. What he really wants is love and respect, but he has confused this in his own mind by becoming king (and thus being great and having love and respect). This is why he is so close to his nephew (the son of his sister who used to protect him from his father), why the words of his groom are so devastating to him and how Kelhus is able to manipulate him so easily. Like most world born men, Saubon doesn't truly know himself. His actions in the [i:1pzz1q2d]Warrior-Prophet [/i:1pzz1q2d]and [i:1pzz1q2d]The Thousandfold Thought[/i:1pzz1q2d] are easily understood if you keep these traits in mind. view post

posted 19 Jun 2007, 07:06 in The Darkness That Comes Beforesranc by Cynical Cat, Auditor

The sranc get plenty of attention in the appendices of T[i:1igqz8cx]he Thousandfold Thought[/i:1igqz8cx]. They are orc equivalents; fast breeding, vicious, and smaller than men. In contract to Tolkien, the are extremely sexual with their sexuality linked to a desire for violence and genocide as seems to be standard with the Inchoroi Weapon Races. Their inferiority to men individually, but are capable of living off grubs and roots. So, yes they are orc equivalents. view post

posted 28 Dec 2007, 05:12 in Author Q & AGnosis vs. Anagogis, and sorcery in general by Cynical Cat, Auditor

The Thousandfold Thought contains all kinds of useful information on the metaphysics of sorcery. 1) Sorcery uses dead languages because the meaning is fixed. In fact both Anagogic and Gnostic sorcery use languages derived from the Nonmen. It's the fixed meanings that's important. 2) We know very little about the true nature of the Outside agencies, other than that they exist. They may look like what is summoned by the Daimos for several reasons: a) that's what humans conceive of them to be so that's how they appear in a human world b) that's the form the daimos brings them through as c) that's what they really look like d) something else. We don't know the true answer. We might find out in later books, especially if summoning agencies through the Gnosis occurs. 3) The Psuhke is an intuitive and emotional, rather than intellectual attempt at sorcery. The blinding they undergo is to help the sorcerer perceive the appearance of the Onta through his connection to the Outside. It's why their sorcery appears like the work of nature, they have the feel of reality. It does mean that they don't have an intellectual understanding of magic and it appears to be weaker as well as less complex. Compare the pouring of light from their foreheads to the host of War Cants practiced by Anagogic and Ghostic Schools as well as the more complicated constructs of Anagogic and Gnostic sorcery such as the Cants of Compulsion, Wrathi Dolls, and the Daimos. view post

posted 28 Dec 2007, 05:12 in The Thousandfold ThoughtCnaiur Badass Quote! by Cynical Cat, Auditor

I've had most of that as my sig quote at Star for about half a year. view post

Re: Whatever happened to Mallahet? posted 01 Oct 2008, 14:10 in The Great Ordeal [supposed]Whatever happened to Mallahet? by Cynical Cat, Auditor

In order to discus Mallahet/Moenghus's strength we need to go back to the sources of our information about his strength. We have several and they are only superficially contradictory. 1) We have his high rank in the Cishaurim, but that tells us nothing about his strength since his Dunyain abilities also allow him to manipulate his way to the top of an organization. 2) We are not told about Mallahet's strength by an omniscient narrator. We have the Nansur believing him to be the second most powerful of the Cishaurim, but the Nansur are hardly omniscient. Mallahet's Dunyain abilities and skill with the more finesse orientated aspects of the Pushke explain his possession of a very high rank with the Cishaurim despite being weak in the water. The Nansur are unlikely to know that, but they are likely to know that he is greatly feared and respected. With the limited information available to them, it is quite likely that the Nansur would come to the logical and erroneous conclusion that Mallahet is strong in the water. 3) We have Kelhus's reasoning that his father is weak in the water and his father does not refute it. 4) We have Moenghus dying comparatively slowly from direct contact with a Trinket, which tends to instantly kill powerful sorcerers. We put that together and we have only the Nansur, who have limited knowledge of the Cishaurim, believing that Mallahet is a powerful sorcerer. In opposition to that we have the reasoning of Kelhus and the evidence of Trinket's effect on Moenghus supporting Mallahet's weakness. Mallahet was weak in the water, but high in the Cishaurim. view post

Re: Kellhus vs Whiteluck -<SPOILERS>- posted 02 Feb 2009, 22:02 in The Judging EyeKellhus vs Whiteluck -<SPOILERS>- by Cynical Cat, Auditor

Having Demon heads on his belt doesn't mean Kelhus has been Outside. view post

Re: Chorae (SPOILERS!!!!) posted 02 Feb 2009, 22:02 in The Judging EyeChorae (SPOILERS!!!!) by Cynical Cat, Auditor

In the Prince of Nothing we learned a lot of what was believed to be true about the metaphysics of Earwa was in fact false or distorted. I think Scott has another set of revelations in the Aspect-Emperor. It would be wise to consider the widely accepted explanations for any metaphysical phenomena as unproven speculation and consider alternative explanations. view post

Re: *Spoilers* Traveller's identity posted 02 Feb 2009, 22:02 in The Judging Eye*Spoilers* Traveller's identity by Cynical Cat, Auditor

Esmenet knows that her daughter is with Akka. She had her agents search everywhere [i:19pculdw]except [/i:19pculdw]Akka's location. Don't underestimate the Empress. I think Yatwer's priestesses and the White-Luck Warrior will have their hands full with the Empress, even with her murderous son fucking things up. The basic structure of the series, at a guess, is Esmenet holding the Empire together, Kelhus leading the Great Ordeal, and Akka doing the Fellowship of the Rings as seen through a fun house mirror. As for traveller, part of me wants to say he's Mekeritrig, but even with "all the Nonmen look a like" that seems too much of a stretch considering that Akka has dreamed his face and didn't recognize him. view post

Re: The Curse of the Judging Eye (SPOILERS!!!!) posted 02 Feb 2009, 22:02 in The Judging EyeThe Curse of the Judging Eye (SPOILERS!!!!) by Cynical Cat, Auditor

I'm not convinced that Mimara sees "sin". She has some unusual metaphysical perceptions, but to assume that the traditional explanation is true is very dangerous territory in Earwa. view post


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