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Автор: Bakker R. Scott, Книга: The Thousandfold Thought, Жанр: фэнтези. R. Scott Bakker - The Prince of Nothing 03 - The Thousandfold Thought · Read more Bakker, Scott R. - The Thousandfold Thought (v) · Read more. R. Scott Bakker - The Prince of Nothing 03 - The Thousandfold Thought. Home · R. Scott Bakker - The .. Views KB Size Report. DOWNLOAD PDF.
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Bakker, Scott R. - The Thousandfold Thought (v). Home · Bakker R. Scott Bakker - The Prince of Nothing 03 - The Thousandfold Thought · Read more. R Scott Bakker - [The Prince of Nothing 03] - The Thousandfold Thought (v) ( epub) - dokument [*.epub] Table of Contents Title Page Copyright Page. Book Name: The Thousandfold Thought Bakker unfortunately seems to have thought that to have exciting Print Friendly, PDF & Email.
Driven by nightmares, they wander the labyrinths of power, scouring the Three Seas for signs of their ancient and implacable foe-for the Consult. And as always, they find nothing. Almost from the outset, the gathering host is mired in politics and controversy.
First, Maithanet somehow convinces the Scarlet Spires, the most powerful of the sorcerous Schools, to join his Holy War. Despite the outrage this provokes-sorcery is anathema to the Inrithi-the Men of the Tusk realize they need the Scarlet Spires to counter the heathen Cishaurim, the sorcerer-priests of the Fanim.
The Holy War would be doomed without one of the Major Schools. The question is one of why the Scarlet Schoolmen would agree to such a perilous arrangement. Unknown to most, Eleazaras, the Grandmaster of the Scarlet Spires, has waged a long and secret war against the Cishaurim, who for no apparent reason assassinated his predecessor, Sasheoka, some ten years previously. Much of what is now heathen Kian once belonged to the Nansur, and Xerius has made recovering the Empire's lost provinces his heart's most fervent desire.
Since the Holy War gathers in the Nansur Empire, it can only march if provisioned by the Emperor, something he refuses to do until every leader of the Holy War signs his Indenture, a written oath to cede all lands conquered to him. Of course, the first caste-nobles to arrive repudiate the Indenture, and a stalemate ensues. As the Holy War's numbers swell into the hundreds of thousands, however, the titular leaders of the host begin to grow restless.
Since they war in the God's name, they think themselves invincible, and as a result see little reason to share the glory with those yet to arrive. A Conriyan noble named Nersei Calmemunis comes to an accommodation with the Emperor, and convinces his fellows to sign the Imperial Indenture.
Once provisioned, most of those gathered march, even though their lords and a greater part of the Holy War have yet to arrive. Because the host consists primarily of lordless rabble, it comes to be called the Vulgar Holy War.
Despite Maithanet's attempts to bring the makeshift host to heel, it continues marching southward, and passes into heathen lands, where-precisely as the Emperor has planned-the Fanim destroy it utterly. Xerius knows that in military terms, the loss of the Vulgar Holy War is insignificant, since the rabble that largely constituted it would have proven more a liability than an advantage in battle.
In political terms, however, the Vulgar Holy War's destruction is invaluable, since it has shown Maithanet and the Men of the Tusk the true mettle of their adversary. The Fanim, as the Nansur well know, are not to be trifled with, even with the God's favour. Only an outstanding general, Xerius claims, can assure the Holy War's victory-a man like his nephew, Ikurei Conphas, who, after his recent victory over the dread Scylvendi at the Battle of Kiyuth, has been hailed as the greatest tactician of his age.
The leaders of the Holy War need only sign the Imperial Indenture, and Conphas's preternatural skill and insight will be theirs. Maithanet, it seems, now finds himself in a dilemma.
As Shriah, he can compel the Emperor to provision the Holy War, but he cannot compel him to send Ikurei Conphas, his only living heir. To a man, the caste-nobles repudiate Xerius's Indenture and demand that he provision them. The Men of the Tusk begin raiding the surrounding countryside. In retaliation, the Emperor calls in elements of the Imperial Army.
Pitched battles are fought. In an effort to forestall disaster, Maithanet calls a Council of Great and Lesser Names, and all the leaders of the Holy War gather in the Emperor's palace, the Andiamine Heights, to make their arguments. Here Nersei Proyas shocks the assembly by offering a many-scarred Scylvendi Chieftain, a veteran of past wars against the Fanim, as a surrogate for the famed Ikurei Conphas.
The Scylvendi, Cnaiur urs Skiotha, shares hard words with both the Emperor and his nephew, and the leaders of the Holy War are impressed. The Shriah's Envoy, however, remains undecided: the Scylvendi are as apostate as the Fanim, after all. Only the wise words of the Prince Anasurimbor Kellhus of Atrithau settle the matter.
The Holy War will march.
Though he no longer believes in his School's ancient mission, he travels to Sumna, where the Thousand Temples is based, in the hope of learning more about the mysterious Shriah, whom the Mandate fears could be an agent of the Consult. In the course of his probe, he resumes an old love affair with a harlot named Esmenet, and despite his misgivings he recruits a former student of his, a Shrial Priest named Inrau, to report on Maithanet's activities.
During this time, his nightmares of the Apocalypse intensify, particularly those involving the so-called "Celmomian Prophecy," which foretells the return of a descendant of Anasurimbor Celmomas before the Second Apocalypse. Certainly not like this. Nautzera had been too shocked to be outraged by his admission of betrayal.
A troubling vacancy had dogged the tone of his Other Voice—even a premonition of senility. Only afterward would Achamian realize that the old man had simply been terrified, that, like Achamian himself a mere few months earlier, he feared himself unequal to the events unfolding before him.
The world was about to end. They had dismissed it as simply one more fanatic contrivance. Then Achamian described everything that had happened in Caraskand: He told Nautzera about everything except Esmenet.
After he was freed, even the most embittered of the Orthodox fell to their knees before him—and how could they not? Think, Nautzera! It was exactly as Ajencis says: Men ever make corruption proof of purity. He paused, a peevish part of him convinced Nautzera had never read Ajencis.
Yes yes , the old sorcerer said with soundless impatience.
The Thousandfold Thought by R. Scott Bakker
He came upon them like a fever after that. Suddenly the Holy War found itself unified as never before. All of the Great Names—with the exception of Conphas, that is—knelt before him, kissed his knee. And then they marched. Such a sight, Nautzera! As great and terrible as anything in our Dreams. They shambled from the gates—dead men moved to war. Images of the already broken flickered through the black. Gaunt swordsmen draped in strapless hauberks.
Knights upon the ribbed backs of horses. The crude standard of the Circumfix snapping in the air. What happened? The impossible. They won the field. And the Padirajah? Nautzera asked. What of him? Even now, the Holy War makes ready to march on Shimeh and the Cishaurim.
But why? Perhaps he said what he said to deceive you. Have you considered that? He can see them. Even now, the purges continue. I believe him. What you say.
Who else couldn't stand Prince of Nothing?
Either that or burn. There was grim satisfaction in thinking of the dismay and incredulity that would soon greet Mandate embassies. Vindication was a potent narcotic.
It would swim in the veins of Mandate Schoolmen for some time. Nautzera exclaimed. The Consult is never so easily rooted out. Which means that first and foremost , Nautzera continued, you must do everything in your power to protect him.
No harm must come to him! The Warrior-Prophet has no need of my protection. Nautzera paused. Why do you call him that? Because no other name seemed his equal. But something, a profound indecision perhaps, held him mute. Too much has happened. This is no time for sentimental foolishness! Enough, Nautzera.
What do you mean? His brother Schoolmen coming here? The thought troubled Achamian somehow. The thought that others from the Mandate might witness his. But Nautzera ignored the question. So what does our cousin School, the Scarlet Spires, make of all this? There was a note of sarcastic hilarity in his tone, but it seemed forced, almost painfully so. I think he fears me. He will come to you, Achamian. Sooner or later. Let him come. Every night the ledgers were opened, the debtors called to account.
There would be amends. You must treat with him as an equal, comport yourself as though you were never abducted, never plied. I understand your hunger for retribution—but the stakes! The stakes of this game outweigh all other considerations. Do you understand this? What did understanding have to do with hatred? I understand well enough, Nautzera. They want him to be a fraud, I know that much. You must let them know that what happened at Iothiah is but a trifle compared with what will happen if they try to seize him.
The Warrior-Prophet cannot be seized. Achamian paused, struggled with his composure. But he can be purchased.
He wants the Gnosis, Nautzera. And if I deny him, I fear he might turn to the Scarlet Spires. One of the Few? How long have you known this? For some time.
And even then you said nothing! I must know I can trust you with this matter! As I trusted you on the matter of Inrau? A long pause, fraught with guilt and accusation. In the blackness, it seemed to Achamian that he could see the boy looking to his teacher in fear and apprehension.
Unfortunate, to be sure , Nautzera said. I will warn you just this once , Achamian grated. Do you understand? How could he do this? How long must he wage two wars, one for the world, the other against himself?
But I must know I can trust you! What would you have me say? Until then, you can never know. Know what? Harness your passions! You must see him as a tool—a Mandate tool! We must possess him! The Gnosis is our hammer. Only by submitting— And the Spires?
Hesitation, both outraged and exasperated. This is madness! A Wizard-Prophet? A Shaman? This word forced a silence, one filled by the ethereal boiling that framed all such exchanges, as though the weight of the world inveighed against their impossibility. Nautzera was right: But would he forgive Achamian the madness of the task before him? With polite words and diplomatic smiles Achamian had to court those who had tortured him.
What was more, he was expected to woo and win a prophet , the man who had stolen from him his only love. Achamian beat at the fury that welled up through his heart. In Caraskand, twin tears broke from his sightless eyes. Very well, then! Nautzera cried, his tone disconcertingly desperate. The others will have my hide for this. Give him the Lesser Cants—the denotaries and the like. The Warrior-Prophet cannot be deceived!
All men can be deceived, Achamian. All men. I tire of repeating this! Nevertheless, you must yoke him. Our war depends upon it. Everything depends upon it! You must believe me, Nautzera. This man is beyond our abilities to possess. An image of Esmenet flashed through his thoughts, unbidden, beguiling.
He possesses. The hills teemed with the herds of their enemy, and the Men of the Tusk rejoiced, for their hunger was like no other. They gorged themselves to the point of sickness, then gorged again. They drank until unconsciousness overcame them. Many could be found kneeling before the banners of the Circumfix, which the Judges had raised wherever men congregated.
They cried out to the image; they cried out in disbelief. And they clasped arms, knowing they held their brothers, for together they had held their faces to the furnace. There were no more Orthodox, no more Zaudunyani. They were Inrithi once again. The Conriyans, using inks looted from Kianene scriptoriums, tattooed circles crossed with an X on their inner forearms.
The Thunyeri, and the Tydonni after them, took knives drawn from the fire to their shoulders, where they cut representations of three Tusks—one for each great battle—scarring themselves in the manner of the Scylvendi. The Galeoth, the Ainoni—all adorned their bodies with some mark of their transformation. Only the Nansur refrained. In an impromptu ceremony at the Fama Palace, Prince Kellhus had the silk cut from the ash pole and laid before his chair. Innumerable carrion birds—kites and jackdaws, storks and great desert vultures—harassed them, at times darkening the sky like locusts.
Despite the bounty, they squabbled like gulls over fish. The Men of the Tusk continued their revels, though many fell ill and a hundred or so actually died—from eating too much after starving for so long, the physician-priests said. Then, on the fourth day following the Battle of Tertae Fields, they made a great train of the captives, stripping them naked to make manifest their humiliation.
Once assembled, the Fanim were encumbered with all the spoils of camp and field: Then they were driven with whips and flails through the Gate of Horns, across the city to the Kalaul, where the greater part of the Holy War greeted them with jeers and exaltation. By the score they were brought to the black tree, Umiaki, where the Warrior-Prophet sat upon a simple stool, awaiting their petitions. Those who fell to their knees and cursed Fane were led as dogs to the waiting slavers.
Those who did not were cut down where they stood. When all was finished and the sun leaned crimson against the dark hills, the Warrior-Prophet walked from his seat and knelt in the blood of his enemies. He bid his people come to him, and upon the forehead of each he sketched the mark of the Tusk in Fanim blood. Even the most manly wept for wonder. Esmenet is his. Like all horrifying thoughts, this one possessed a will all its own.
It snaked in and out of his awareness, sometimes constricting, sometimes lying still and cold. Though it seemed old and familiar, it possessed the urgency of things remembered too late. It was at once a screeching call to arms and a grievous admission of futility.
He had not simply lost her, he had lost her to him. It was as though his soul only had fingers for certain things, certain dimensions.
And the fact of her betrayal was simply too great. Old fool! His arrival at the Fama Palace had thoroughly flummoxed the Zaudunyani functionaries. Had they acted suspicious, Achamian would have attributed their reaction to his sorcerous calling; they were religious men, after all. They knew him, Achamian decided, the way men knew those they derided in private.
And now that he stood before them, a man who would figure large in the inevitable scriptures to follow, they found themselves dismayed by their own impiety. Of course, they knew he was a cuckold. There were no intimacies left. And his story in particular—the sorcerer who loved the whore who would become the Prophet-Consort—had doubtless come quick to a thousand lips, multiplying his shame.
While waiting for the hidden machinery of messengers and secretaries to relay his request, Achamian wandered into an adjoining courtyard, struck by the other immensities that framed his present circumstance. Even if there were no Consult, no threat of the Second Apocalypse, he realized, nothing would be the same. Kellhus would change the world, not in the way of an Ajencis or a Triamis, but in the way of an Inri Sejenus.
This, Achamian realized, was Year One. A new age of Men. He stepped from the cool shade of the portico into crisp morning sunlight.
Even the banners—white bolts of silk draped along the colonnades—spoke of an eerie continuity, a sense that nothing had changed, that the Warrior-Prophet had always been.
Achamian stared at the stylized likeness of Kellhus embroidered in black across the fabric, his outstretched arms and legs dividing the circle into four equal segments. The Circumfix. A cool breeze filtered through the courtyard, and a fold rolled across the image like a serpent beneath sheets.
Someone, Achamian realized, must have started stitching these before the battle had even begun. He blinked away images of her bound to Kellhus and the ring.
It had been so very dark beneath Umiaki, but it seemed he could see her face arched back in rigour and ecstasy. Like all Men of the Tusk, he was gaunt, though not nearly as cadaverous as many of those found outside the Fama Palace. The sorcerer followed the officer into the gloom of scented corridors.
The Warrior-Prophet. His skin tingled. And how could it be otherwise, when he knew what no other man could know, when he spoke what no other man could speak? Who could blame Achamian for his incredulity? It was like holding a flute to the wind and hearing song. It seemed beyond belief. A miracle. A prophet in their midst. Breathe when you speak to him. You must remember to breathe.
The Shield-Captain said nothing as they continued their march. He stared forward, possessed of the same eerie discipline that seemed to characterize everyone in the palace.
Despite his nerves, Achamian appreciated the absence of speech. Never, it seemed to him, had he suffered such a throng of conflicting passions. Hatred, for an impossible rival, for a fraud who had robbed him of his manhood—of his wife. Love, for an old friend, for a student who was at once his teacher, for a voice that had quickened his soul with countless insights. Fear, for the future, for the rapacious madness that was about to descend upon them all.
Jubilation, for an enemy momentarily undone. And awe. Awe before all. The eyes of men were but pinholes—no one knew this better than Mandate Schoolmen. All their books, even their scriptures, were nothing more than pinholes. But Kellhus was something different.
A doorway. A mighty gate. This is what I must remember. I must hold on to this! The Shield-Captain escorted him past a rank of stone-faced guardsmen, their green surcoats also embroidered with the golden mark of the Hundred Pillars: They passed through fretted mahogany doors and Achamian found himself on the portico of a much larger courtyard. The air was thick with the smell of blossoms. In the sunlight beyond the colonnade, an orchard soaked bright and motionless.
The trees—some kind of exotic apple, Achamian decided—twined black beneath constellations of blooming flowers, each petal like a white swatch dipped in blood. At different points through the orchard, great sentinels of stone—dolmens—towered over the surrounding queues, dark and unwrought, more ancient than Kyraneas, or even Shigek.
The remnants of some long-overthrown circle. He turned—and there she was, strolling beneath the boughs with Kellhus. She was speaking, though Achamian could only hear the memory of her voice. Her eyes were lowered, thoughtfully studying the petalled ground as it passed beneath her small feet. She smiled in a manner at once rueful and heartbreaking, as though she answered teasing proposals with loving admissions.
And wearing a Chorae—a Trinket! A Tear of God, more black than black. I dimmed her , he realized. I was smoke and he. Achamian found himself doing the same, though more because his legs refused to bear him. He blinked womanishly, swallowed against the absurd pang that nettled the back of his throat.
Because he would ruin it, the way he ruined everything. She raised a hesitant hand only to lower it, as though recalling new loyalties. It was the first time he had seen the two of them together.
He wore a white silk cassock patterned with a grey arboreal brocade. As always, the pommel of his curious sword jutted over his left shoulder. Like Esmenet, he bore a Trinket, though he had the courtesy to keep it concealed against his chest. You will always be my friend. How has it come to this? Kellhus had been little more than a beggar the first time Achamian had seen him, a puzzling accessory to the Scylvendi, whom Proyas had hoped to use in his contest with the Emperor.
But even then there had been something, it now seemed, a glimpse of this moment in embryo. They had wondered why a Scylvendi—and of Utemot blood, no less—would seek employ in an Inrithi Holy War.
R. Scott Bakker - The Prince of Nothing 03 - The Thousandfold Thought
Had he always been this tall? Smiling, Kellhus effortlessly guided him between a gap in the trees. One of the dolmens blackened the sun. The air hummed with the industry of bees. Achamian pursed his lips, swallowed. For some reason he found this question disarming to the point of tears. I miss eating and arguing beneath the stars.
I miss a fire nipping at my feet. He seemed to shine about the pit of the Chorae. The cuts. They tortured him.
Frequently bought together
He looked almost embarrassed. Kellhus raised his brows, sighed. But you already know this. I concealed the skin-spies from you for the same reason you concealed me from your Mandate masters. Achamian could think of no reply. A tremor passed through him, body and soul.
I told them you would go to the Spires otherwise.Kellhus did not wait for his reply—none was needed. Vengeance will be exacted! The question is never whether they will surrender, but rather to whom. There are two main types of magic used in the northern Three Seas: Gnostic and Anagogic. When he reaches the encampment, Achamian joins the fire of Xinemus, an old friend of his from Conriya.
Achamian found himself doing the same, though more because his legs refused to bear him.
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