You walk on Conditioned ground [TUC Spoiler thread]


#61

Was it the No-God in some kind of illusory disguise?

I thought it was pretty clear from the previous interaction in the Ark that this was a hologram while the No-God “spooled up”.


#62

it’s interesting that Mimara saw through the illusion that the No-God was projecting. If The Judging Eye had anything to do with the gods, it would have seen nothing, but she saw the sarcophagus. It’s her own assumption, based on her worldview and past experience, that the eye is Holy (the conclusion she comes to when she salts the Wight-In-The-Mountain). But it seems to be something else. Objectivity in a world where even the gods are just a point of view.


#63

If she could see the sarcophagus I’m kinda confused as to what she saw when she looks at Kelmomas. Was her eye just not open at any point then? I could be missing it, but I was trying to pay close attention to what she saw. That part was a bit boring so I might have glossed over it.

Kelmomas at least seems to consistently have been the no-god, which I definitely had not predicted, but it all makes sense in retrospect. His ability to go unseen by the first white-luck-warrior, his ability to see through Sorweel.


#64

OOOOH. This is interesting indeed. The gods and Khellus (a god?) could not “see” Kelmomas/Mog-Pharau. Hence, WHAT DO YOU SEE? Nothin! We can’t see!

But on top of that, Mog Pharau can see things that others can not. Who else can see such things? Mimara can! Do both Mimara and Mog-Pharau see with the same judging eye???


#65

The Judging Eye is also is associated with still birth!

I wonder if The No-God will get more into the Scylvendi cosmology, since they believe the world is a sham and that the stars in the sky are light of the real world shining through the lie. Could the Judging Eye be what the Scylvendi think the stars are? Could the No-God be the same? The Chorae?


#66

The problem I’ve got with it is that it just seems to come from nowhere. With all the history we get no one ever says “And the ancient school of the Mengaecca were known for their powers of illusion”. In fact beside Kellhus’s haloes there’s nothing like it happening. This is usually good because it stops the reader asking feasible questions that undermine the entire work; “What if Moehengus was an illusion when he died?”


#67

The thing that comes to mind for me is that glamours exist at least from the period where the non-men tried to “hide” Golgotterath.


#68

Well, we’ve never had a perspective near Ark before. It’s pretty clear that Ark is the AI that formerly ran the ship, using the Goad to… goad its Inchoroi to keep the faith. I really imagine it like a Culture ship.


#69

That’s true. I think I overlooked that due to the Dunyain hiding Ishual for 2000 years without even believing in magic. But yeah, twin golden horns at the centre of a big fuck off occlusion probably needs it!


#70

I’m pretty sure that in TJE or WLW she tells Achamian that Kelmomas is a normal sweet kid. He did a good job of getting rid of her without arousing her suspicions so she must never have seen him with the eye else his manipulations would be laid bare.


#71

A thought.

Mimara using the judging eye is “blinded” when she attempts to look at her child. The judging eye sees things in the way the gods do, or something like that. She doesn’t seem to see Kelmomas with the judging eye… I think… not 100% sure on that one.

There seems to have been a general religious rule that sorcerers should not have children. As far as I can recall, all of the schools we know enough about take children from outside, don’t marry, and are sort of expected to not have children.

Children of sorcerers we know: All of Kellhus kids, the child of Mimara and Achemian, and… Nau-Cayûti… Seswatha’s son raised as a prince that was the soul used to start the engine of the first No God.

Back to Mimara being blinded looking at her children before they were born… I wonder what kind of blinded. Did the judging eye shut down because it can’t see it, or was the sight overwhelming? Either could be interesting. I wonder if mimara’s child also could have been one the gods can’t see and thus could have also been used to start the no god. And I wonder if the prohibition against sorcerers having children has some meaningful association with having children the gods can’t see. They are also called “schoolmen”. Maybe there’s something to the notion that understand and unraveling the gods works like all the gnostic and anagagic sorcerers do is why the gods damn them, and that children born to these people are at much higher risk of becoming “world born” in such a way as to potentially end the gods, IE no god, but also just simply having souls that are not part of the gods games. The psukhe on the other hand is totally fine because it’s not analytical but emotional… it doesn’t purport to comprehend, just feel.

So in sum, I kinda suspect that children of sorcerers, and not being an aransurimbor (sp), might be the ticket to having children the gods cannot see which are needed as a catalyst to the no-god. Just a bit of speculation.


#72

Can anyone explain anything from the Four Revelations appendix? It is very difficult to follow.

It seems to be about Cu’jara Cinmoi. He was the greatest non-man king who was king when the Ark landed. This appendix doesn’t seem to line up with what the glossary says about the Cûno-Inchoroi Wars.

By the way, that is one of the best glossary entries for sure. Just for this hit:

Cû’jara-Cinmoi himself struck down Sil, and wrested from him his great weapon, Suörgil, “Shining Death,” which Men in a latter age would call the Heron Spear.

Sil was the top Inchoroi when it lived.


#73

Well that was a book.Thought: If Kelmomas being the No God made him the No God for all time, did Kellhus being Ajokli make him Ajokli for all time? Also is Kelmomas going to have any control over the No God or is he just so much circuits now?


#74

Couple things: how did Kelmomas get inside the freaking golden room? Just walk up while this battle was going?

When Kellhus appeared afterward and Mimara was screaming, he goes, “what’s wrong, daughter?” That Kellhus was an illusion, how would the Dunyains know who she was? Or did the observers just not see what was actually happening, they didn’t recognize the No-God after all.


#75

Finally finished it. I will later read the other thread and collect my thoughts about the nature of the world and the happenings within The Unholy Consult. Before that I have to ask about something that doesn’t quite make sense to me:

The book ends with the confrontation between the Dunyain-usurped Consult and Anasurimbor Kellhus inside The Golden Room on top of the Upright Horn of Golgotterath. It is revealed that the other decapitant besides Malowebi is the demon god Ajokli. During their battle of wits a group of Skin-spies bearing chorae amasses behind Kellhus. Kellhus turns into Ajokli, has the Chorae pin themselves onto the ground and immobilize the Skin-spies this way. Then Kelmomas shows up, grabs one of the Chorae and brags about being invisible to Ajokli. Ajokli turns back into Kellhus right before Kelmomas touches Kellhus with the Chorae and turns him into a pillar of salt. This bit is revealed only later on.

Meanwhile the Sranc horde flees Golgotterath, seemingly beaten back by the Ordealmen. Kellhus descends from the Upright Horn to the cheers of the Ordealmen. He addresses the crowd before being confronted by Mimara who sees what he truly is, the sarcophagus of Mog-Pharau. Then Kellhus turns into the No-God. Considering that at this point Kellhus is already a salt-statue and Kelmomas is the No-God, of course the one descending the Upright Horn must have been Kelmomas, but how did they make it seem like he was Kellhus?

Edit: To answer my own question, according to the AmA session by Bakker linked in this thread, it was a decoy hologram.


#76

I did not have to leave as I previously thought, so here is my somewhat ordered thoughts on the whole series:

As far as I can tell, Eärwa/Eänna is located on the crust between the “earthly” universe and “the outside”, the realm of demons. The reader presumes the place that Eärwa/Eänna is on is a planet due to its similarity to earth and its inhabitants similarity to humanity during the middle-ages, but there is no real evidence as to the nature of the world itself. However, during the events at the bottom of Cil-Aujas we see that the hell is literally “beneath the feet”, as is the description of the Plains of Mengedda during TWP. This also mirrors classical christian theology where human existence is a place wedged between Hell below and heaven above, and the whole series is drenched in classical christian theology. Ironically this also means that the erratics who cower beneath Ishterebinth trying to hide themselves from the outside are closer to it than anyone else.

We also do not know how large the “earthly” universe enclosed by the outside is. The Inchoroi appear to have eradicated every other ensouled life inside the universe and Eärwa/Eänna is the last place, which is why I think the ark crashed. It was no longer needed and the destruction the impact wrought would only serve as a means to accelerate the cleaning process.

I have also come to the conclusion that the Fanim were the true, correct faith that deduced the true nature of the universe. My evidence for this is that their sorcery does not bear the mark. I think Bakker illustrates this way of human folly and its “might makes right” approach. The Men of the Tusk didn’t win back Shimeh because their theology is correct and The God marched with them, but simply because they were stronger. Who is actually right is immaterial.

I also think that the Fanim are absolutely correct about The Hundred. They are demons from the outside, slightly more sophisticated than the common ciphrang but not really that different. They also feed on human souls and they only pose to be worshiped in order to mark their morsels for themselves. This is also reflected in the discussions between Kellhus and Proyas in TGO. Yatwer doesn’t hunt Kellhus because he is a false prophet, but because fewer people worship her and thus she gets less souls and less tastier souls. As discussed above, the difference between being saved and damned isn’t where you go, but who eats your soul when you get there.

But where do souls come from? Souls simply split off and are transferred during conception or gestation inside human beings. Souls beget other souls inside this universe, which is why creatures generated by the Tekne are soulless. Both the Inchoroi and the Non-men are also humans, but are simply altered over long time. The Non-men separated themselves from the human tribes of Eänna and followed an evolutionary path to the point where they thought themselves distinct from humans. The Inchoroi altered themselves with the Tekne. However, both races still have souls, as do humans and thus they both fear damnation.

One thing I don’t really have a good explanation for is the deal with Sorcery and the Chorae. Sorcery appears to be the ability to alter the state of atoms via thought expressed by words, or simply by the soul. Three of the most common spells are making things glow, making things ignite, and rearranging air to form a lens. Doing so imparts a “mark” to both the object altered and the soul of the person who made the alteration. They are designated a morsel for the lowest of the lowest of ciphrang. The Chorae on the other hand both protect one from the affects of sorcery, and kill any sorcerer they touch by turning them into a pillar of salt (an allusion to Lot’s wife in the bible, I believe). But why?

Chorae are described as iron spheres inscribed with runes. My current theory is that each Chorae enclose a piece of The Outside inside them. The runes are a mechanism that opens and closes the iron sphere that reacts to the mark in a certain vicinity around the sphere. If it detects a mark the iron sphere opens and all sorcery is absorbed into the outside. The salting happens because this is what happens to material of the earthly universe when it comes into contact with the outside. This explains why sorcerers get slightly salted when a chorae goes by them without touching them and why the few perceive chorae as holes in existence. The hole in this theory is Kellhus having wandered the outside though I have two potential explanations for that: Either the Deimos is a sorcerous technique allowing in advanced stages to shield oneself from this salting by the outside or simply allows for only the soul to enter the outside without the body coming in contact with the outside, or Ajokli taught him a trick to avoid being salted when in the outside.


#77

As a random aside, I can’t imagine there are many nonmen left after everything.

I don’t put too much thought into Chorae. Their like an anti-magic ioun stone as far as I’m concerned. They actually work pretty well at giving us an actual reason sorcerers are not just all powerful.


#78

Another thing I’ve been thinking about since yesterday is what makes the difference between Kelmomas and the apparent legions of people the unholy consult has fed to the No-God Sarcophagus. My current thought is that the deal with Kelmomas/Sarmamas is that he actually contains two souls in one body, and the Sarmamas he kills is actually an empty, soulless husk. Kelmomas absorbed his twin’s soul during gestation. Don’t really have evidence for this and nothing we know about Nau-Cayuti points at something similar so I could easily be wrong here. It’s just the most striking difference about how Kelmomas POV is written compared to other people.


#79

One of the big mysteries I though the series would reveal was why Mimara had the Judging Eye in the first place. It always seemed like the biggest coincidence that the estranged daughter of Esmenet would happen to have this supernatural power when we finally meet her. This one wasn’t answered but that makes me think maybe I’ve confused what come before for what came after.

What if Kellhus’ interest in Esmenet was not for her intellect as originally explained in a Kellhus chapter but instead because he could sense the daughter’s “prophet” status in Esmenet? But before the circumfixion Kellhus didn’t believe in prophecy because they necessarily violate the logos.


#80

I think Kelmomas snapped Kellhus/Ajokli out of it, releasing all the skin spies from their stunlock or whatever. I’m pretty sure a consultant choraed him.

Then Kellhus turns into the No-God.

Kelmomas you mean.

That’s… a lot of thoughts. One thing jumped out at me - being salted. Obviously referencing the pillar of salt. These books also have so much sex up ins. I remember semen being euphemized as salt also. Coincidence?