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The Empyreus Proof discussion (Spoilers!)

Dave

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I've just finished reading the final chapter now. I will muse and reply further at some point but there was an idea from Dan that if there is a Patient J then there must be a Patient A, B, C... If they are the Shining Ones, the Kings Behind the World, that then implies that there are 10 of them. I don't agree. If it is John, then "J" could just stand for John. It doesn't imply that there is any patient G, H or I at all. However, the final chapter does mention 13 "ringmasters" so there is more likely to be 13 and an S, T and an N.

It does sound like 13 people controlling characters in some kind of game. That's a lot of people playing the same D+D game, but maybe some kind of MMORPG would explain the "off switch" and "reset" mentioned.

The chemical smell could be from a hospital, but again, does that imply that all the Kaybees are hospitalised? Not at all, John practises dark arts, but the others don't necessarily. It would only take one of them for the smell. If John is the Skull, does that imply that he is using magic to prolong his life? Maybe, but it does not imply that they all are.

So, is John the Crystal Man? Yes, it sounds likely. Both did not want Orc and Cass to be married and John is Cass' father. But if Orc and Cass are fully immersed players too, but have forgotten who they really are, why have they forgotten? Is it a punishment?
 

Venusian Broon

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Ah the joys of beta reading....so I finally got round to reading the print version of TEP! Beta reading can be such a clinical and dissecting way of reading that I personally need to let the experience of the beta-read die down a bit so that I could just focus on just enjoying the text. :)

A few asides before I get going on what I think are interesting observations
- My print version of TGP is still in storage, but somehow my impression of the print version of TEP was that it was very high quality. Can't remember if TGP was the same.
- TEP was a first! First book by an up and coming Chron author that I found 'in the wild' unheralded in a book store. I purchased it there and then of course.

Anyway after a proper, closer read some thoughts:

- Ranga/Tashi: I felt a shift in my feelings for these two as their arcs spanned TEP. I felt much more sympathy for Ranga this time - deep down sure he's a rogue, sure he's done terrible things - but he's fully bewitched, barely operating with autonomy. And unknown to him, it seems very likely that, as we discovered Vanessa has been rejuvenated herself for decades, that as soon as he becomes useless to her as a operative...he will be murdered by her.

As for Tashi, actually he's in a very similar boat. But there was a tempering of my sympathy because of his first-class misogyny. However in fairness this is a result of him growing up with the monks and watchers of Highcloud. Although it always seems that the adults, or at least some of there, do not seem quite as bad and are really quite pragmatic. I'd suggest it is two factors - first the fire and passion of youth to upheld beliefs that you are told and second the fact that they directly have to connect with the Elohim Gihor in inspiration, so you'd better believe the concepts and precepts of Lord Gevurah otherwise inspiration will not work. Then at the end, very much in sympathy his brother I feel, he loses autonomy, and is 'ring-mastered'.

Which brings me to the question in their pasts. So I remember the hint given in TGP where Ranga has the opportunity to kill Tashi but cannot make himself do it because he feels like a sibling...And now Orc has discovered that they are at least half-brothers, maybe full ones. However this raises a lot of questions for me.
- So why did the Abbot 'take' Tashi but not Ranga. The both had the same father, didn't they? Was Ranga tested and found wanting?
- I can't find the quote, but I believe Shoggu says something like 'I took something from the father, but not the mother and I'm sorry for that'. Did he abduct Tashi? Is this why he could not go to the Thangkaran guesthouse in TGP?
- Mothers. There is little on their mother. A sliver of a recollection from Ranga, about how she describes him as a prince. But do you think it's significant that mothers do seem to be in the background for both Ranga/Tashi and Orc/Cass?

- The 'assassin'. So Geist remembers his first meeting with Orc and Cass. First I have to say it was refreshing getting Geist's PoV to find that he's wracked with doubts and doesn't know everything. Anyway he sees Orc and Cass on the beach, but then before he can get there, the other man appears. I think it's pretty clear that this man was being ring-mastered at the time, or at least that's my reading of it. And Geist sees him pull out a gun and point at Orc, so assumes that he's there to kill them, But...

...Geist calls out and stops whatever the man is about to do. They then have a shoot out. Now, I've never fired a gun in my life, but I agree with Geist's view that it was ridiculous for a man with a pistol to try and out-gun a man with a rifle at the distances stated. So here's the thing. Geist manages to fire twice, hitting with the second. The man fires four times. Now if the KbtW's purpose was to kill Orc and Cass, and having appraised the situation (they were there in person so to speak), two of those four bullets should have been fired at the prone bodies right next to him, rather than trying to fight off a stranger. Did the ringmaster panic? Or perhaps they were not planning to kill them?

- Patient J. So I think patient J = John = Gevurah = Crystal man. It should be noted that 'ringmaster' J speaks at the end of TGP via the Clairaudioscope, so I don't think patient J is really part of the KbtW. (Mmm....I note that in that script right at the end, two of the ringmasters - 'I' and 'K' respond 'weakly' Why?)

Anyway patient J/John does seem to be the focal point of an 'esoteric experiment'. Personally I think Nadia looks at the pyramid and welcomes that there's no activity because Orc had penetrated the shroud and 'woken' Gevurah a little earlier, so perhaps there had been a bit of firework show earlier there in the ringmaster's city.

Now, the partial reveal of Orc as Kasperi seemed to clear up issues for me...Kasperi/Orc has a father Pavel, and they meet John who is the father of Caroline. Kasperi and Caroline would seem to have a relationship that is hidden from John, which as they are not related seems fine. So the 'marriage' they perform in the sea is because, it feels that Pavel has been 'removed' and Kasperi's mother is to marry John, which would make Caroline and Kasperi sister and brother. Hence a relationship between the two might be deemed completely inappropriate....

...however there are issues with this view. Firstly Kasperi notes that John is with someone who looks a bit like Caroline for his 'wedding'. How could Kasperi's mother also be Caroline's mother, as it I might read this hint. Especially as Kasperi and Caroline must be very close in age.

BUT, then again, when Orc awakes Geruvah, he explicitly states that Orc is to marry his own mother and erm, colourfully berates him for this. So in this esoteric experiment, if John is Geruvah, is Orc's real mother the Mother? Again is it just me that notices that we're getting a much closer look at the father - and the 'real' mother is way in the background?

So in summary, I'm confused ;)

I'll be frank, I have no idea what this pyschosphere/Immaterium is (well I get a little bit how Orc/Hana/Cass seem to manipulate it), but how it relates to the world of Kurassia/Thangkara/Kymera etc. , wherever the ringmaster's are living in, and a world that is seems most definitely related to ours.

Edit: got abbreviation dyslexia when first writing this...TEP & TGP are too similar :rolleyes:. I think I should refer to them as 'project' and 'proof' perhaps as they seem more distinctive!
 
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Venusian Broon

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A couple more observations clouded my brain after I had written #23.

"Where's the mothers?"

Now I think these observations are probably my overworking imagination trying to find links and connections (yes I have fun reading conspiracy theories too :)), but after I noted that there seems to be a mysterious absence of mothers with Ranga/Tashi and Cass/Orc, I realised that Emilia's mother dies at her birth and Petri's defining earliest memory, it seems, is of being seduced by a 50 year old male sculpture.

Hana might be the counter example. Geist uses her memories of her mother to rebuild her character after being possessed, so this is a very significant moment. Yet I could counter it's a very early memory and that before that Hana consciously seems to be place abuse (I believe) at the hands of her uncle as the thing that really formed her character.

It's a man's world....

I wonder, now that the team are probably going flying to Sundara which may be much more influenced by the Mother that we get see more of the fire stealers mothers?

"Serving Highcloud"

So this is a bit pedantic, after all there are plenty of real life monasteries that have functioned for hundreds, perhaps even thousands of years. But we have real magic, spiritual powers and apparently it's hereditary too ...

Shoggu tells Orc that "The ability valuable in a novitiate often runs true. And his birth-father was one of the most able ever to serve Highcloud."

So my reading was that the monks, watchers and novitiates are pretty dead against the witch-mother's soft clay and I assumed celibacy - or at least no heterosexual relations - was part of their creed. On top of that it seems that the 'true' path of a novitiate, at least from the novitiate's themselves would be to go onto the mountain and freeze to death. When Shoggu suggests that Tashi might try and find a life in Torrento, it comes across as a shock to Tashi, (mmm...perhaps he suggested Torrento because that's where Tashi's father lives?)

But it seems slightly odd that 'the most able to serve', in order to produce offspring who could be very useful for the monastic order to survive are the ones that, surely in a sense fail and become 'corrupt'. Or is the abbot just pragmatic and will softly suggest that novitiates, especially good ones, should go and suffer in the low-world as a better option, even although it seems to go against their official teachings?

Watchers seem less problematic, as they seem to be recruited in later life, and perhaps many have already fathered families.
 
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