the archives

dusted off in read-only

  •  

Gnosis vs. Anagogis, and sorcery in general posted 14 Oct 2006, 22:10 by Stephen, Commoner

So we know that a Gnostic sorcerer can usually clean an Anagogic sorcerer's clock in a fair one-on-one fight. That said, is there anything [i:1ya1pv5r]specific[/i:1ya1pv5r] the Gnosis can do that the Anagogis can't? The Gnosis can be used to teleport, and it's hard to figure out how the Anagogis can do that as there's no physical model of teleportation in reality for the Anagogis to imitate... but then again, there's no physical model of telepathic communication either, and the Anagogis have Cants of Calling. Also, on a more general note, while it's obvious that sorcery's destructive powers are part of why it's so feared, why has nobody ever thought to use sorcery for constructive purposes? Blasting roads through mountains. Communications networks in times of war. I'm sure there are other mundanely useful purposes people can think of. (Yes, it's all seen as blasphemous and unholy -- but as the series itself shows, when something's sufficiently [i:1ya1pv5r]useful[/i:1ya1pv5r] people have a marvelous way of finding justifications for it anyway.) view post


posted 15 Oct 2006, 05:10 by Harrol, Moderator

Yes the gnostic schools are way more powerful in TWP Akka fought 8 Scarlet Schoolman and killed two of them. Why because they use a non human tongue which allows for them to create greater contradictions between their words and their thoughts. I am sure Kellhus will find many more useful ways to use sorcery. I look for ward to seeing it in AE. view post


posted 15 Oct 2006, 18:10 by Twayleph, Auditor

-----------TTT SPOILERS------------- I'm sure that it isn't the fact that the Gnosis is spoken in a Nonman tongue that makes it more powerful; in TTT it's said that it is the meanings that are different, not the words. Speaking another tongue is simply a way to isolate sorcerous meanings from common-day meanings, which is also practiced by the Anagogic Schools. Sorcery is all about assimilating the Truth, and what's hinted - although never explained fully - is that the Gnosis uses abstractions in order to understand Truth, whereas the Anagogis is restricted to analogies. The way I understand it, an Anagogic sorcerer will formulate in his mind what he knows of fire, and try to replicate it in reality, whereas a Gnostic sorcerer will understand what fire [i:2eex6rmp]is[/i:2eex6rmp], and conjure the essence of it. view post


posted 15 Oct 2006, 18:10 by Warrior-Poet, Moderator

[quote:17ld0pgj]The way I understand it, an Anagogic sorcerer will formulate in his mind what he knows of fire, and try to replicate it in reality, whereas a Gnostic sorcerer will understand what fire is, and conjure the essence of it.[/quote:17ld0pgj] Twayleph that was an excellent way to explain it. view post


posted 15 Oct 2006, 22:10 by Stephen, Commoner

[quote="Twayleph":3mpkkhwc]Sorcery is all about assimilating the Truth, and what's hinted - although never explained fully - is that the Gnosis uses abstractions in order to understand Truth, whereas the Anagogis is restricted to analogies. The way I understand it, an Anagogic sorcerer will formulate in his mind what he knows of fire, and try to replicate it in reality, whereas a Gnostic sorcerer will understand what fire [i:3mpkkhwc]is[/i:3mpkkhwc], and conjure the essence of it.[/quote:3mpkkhwc] Fair enough -- but from a [i:3mpkkhwc]practical end result[/i:3mpkkhwc], both arts can produce fire, and it doesn't really matter [i:3mpkkhwc]how[/i:3mpkkhwc] it's done from the point of view of the person whose life is saved in winter (or incinerated in Shimeh). What I'm wondering is if there are [i:3mpkkhwc]practical effects[/i:3mpkkhwc] one Art can accomplish that the other simply can't. In general, the theme seems to be that if it can be done by sorcery at all any art can do it -- I'm wondering if there are exceptions to this, how they work, and why certain things (like healing, for example) can't appear to be done by sorcery. view post


posted 16 Oct 2006, 01:10 by Harrol, Moderator

I like Twayleph's explaination better too. I also believe it to be more acurate. view post


posted 16 Oct 2006, 01:10 by Warrior-Poet, Moderator

Indeed view post


posted 16 Oct 2006, 01:10 by vercint, Peralogue

Twaypleh's explanation about [i:124wgefr]how [/i:124wgefr]sorcery works is very good, but it doesn't answer clearly as to [i:124wgefr]what[/i:124wgefr] you can do with sorcery, although it implies you can do pretty much anything you can wrap your mind around. It is never explained in the books why sorcerors can do some things but not others, and only a little about what makes one man a more powerful sorceror than another. Clearly intelligence is central to Gnostic and Anagogic magic, while moral strength, or something like that, is central to the Psukhe. Kellhus' Cant of Transposing, requires a second inutteral. Could you do this with Anagogic sorcery? or the Pshuke? The way Moenghus describes sending dreams all across the world as exhausting to the point of being fatal, it seems there is some sort of inherent physical limit to the Cishaurim magic. The Gnosis, on the other hand, seems to be all about the mind, which is why Kellhus is so powerful. But there must be some sort of limit. Could he add a third inutteral and make it a time-travelling cant, or something like that? If sorcery is making the world conform to words, why can't a sorceror make anything at all happen? view post


posted 16 Oct 2006, 07:10 by lfex, Peralogue

[quote="vercint":3eqsj83t]But there must be some sort of limit. Could he add a third inutteral and make it a time-travelling cant, or something like that? If sorcery is making the world conform to words, why can't a sorceror make anything at all happen?[/quote:3eqsj83t] I suppose the only limit are capabilities of sorcerer's mind. Even Kellhus probably couldn't handle three inutterals, the way normal humans aren't able to handle two. BTW, it shows that in Earwa eugenics could be potentailly far more useful than in real world. You actually could bred stronger sorcerers, by increasing their mental capabilities. view post


posted 16 Oct 2006, 12:10 by Harrol, Moderator

I believe in AE we are going to see where Kehus tries to raise a legion of powerful sorcerers that he will train and of course completely control. view post


posted 16 Oct 2006, 19:10 by Twayleph, Auditor

Concerning what differientiates sorcerers that use the same school of sorcery (Anagogis, Gnosis, Psûhke and Aporos), Scott has this to say : [quote:udj9i8ov]Differences between sorcerers sharing the same Metaphysics is determined in much the same way differences in any profession are: native ability, knowledge, training, and experience.[/quote:udj9i8ov] Also, concerning what Stephen said : [quote:udj9i8ov]What I'm wondering is if there are practical effects one Art can accomplish that the other simply can't.[/quote:udj9i8ov] Unknown. From what we've seen, the Anagogic sorcerers can do pretty much the same thing as the Gnostic sorcerers : combat spells, conjuring demons, communication through dreams... It's just that the Gnostic sorcers do it so much better. If you're trying to light a fire in winter, then sure the Anagogic sorcerer will be just as useful. But in combat, the power and efficiency of the Gnosis will prevail. Since the Three-Seas is a pretty hot place :P that is the aspect that is usually the most important. [quote:udj9i8ov]Kellhus' Cant of Transposing, requires a second inutteral. Could you do this with Anagogic sorcery? or the Pshuke?[/quote:udj9i8ov] Good question, and one I'd given little thought so far. Personally, I think Kellhus's prowesses can't be replicated by the Anagogis, and even less by the Psûhke. But I just know too little about the metaphysics of the Anagogis or the Psûhke - or even the Gnosis - to tell for sure. Like so many said, we'll see in AE..Scott left many unknowns about sorcery, and I'm sure it was completely intentional. view post


posted 16 Oct 2006, 21:10 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 17 Oct 2006, 12:10 by Entropic_existence, Moderator

Really the only 100% accurate answer we can give is "we don't know" Scott hasn't provided enough information on this to be sure. We can make some guesses, which were explained above, and they are certainly reasonable given the impressions we are given of the three types of sorceries. Remember too that Sorcery in Earwa tends to be inherently destructive, as opposed to a creative force but that tends to llimits all sorceries and not any one in particular. view post


posted 17 Oct 2006, 16:10 by Twayleph, Auditor

I'll also answer to the propositions that Stephen made of using sorcery for constructive purposes. Blasting though mountains using sorcery is, I'm sure, a reference to the historical use of dynamite, yet I think there is a fundamental difference between the two. Dynamite had to be created by specialists, but it could be used by trained workers (I believe ; I'm not too savvy on the subject). We have seen a few sorcerous artefacts, but in the main I think only sorcerers themselves can wield the full devastating effect of sorcery, which means they would have to do all the work themselves. I think sorcerers are far too proud to submit themselves to public works. As for using them to communicate at a distance, well we have seen examples of this in TWP (the communication between Xerius and Skauras) and in TTT as the Nansur and the Men of the Tusk used sorcerers to communicate with the homeland. I would think it's not widespread because : 1) they are proud - if you can chose between summoning dragons and serving as a human radio emitter, which would you do ? 2) they are the [i:2mk39pd7]Few[/i:2mk39pd7] 3) sorcerers tend to serve their own interests first of all, as demonstrated by the existence of Schools 4) the use of sorcery in battle, as we've seen, is is so exceedingly important that it tends to trump other considerations. view post


posted 17 Oct 2006, 21:10 by Stephen, Commoner

[quote="Twayleph":3ruavzxw]Blasting though mountains using sorcery is, I'm sure, a reference to the historical use of dynamite, yet I think there is a fundamental difference between the two. Dynamite had to be created by specialists, but it could be used by trained workers (I believe ; I'm not too savvy on the subject). We have seen a few sorcerous artefacts, but in the main I think only sorcerers themselves can wield the full devastating effect of sorcery, which means they would have to do all the work themselves.[/quote:3ruavzxw] This is a good point, but given the immense military and economic value of a good road, it's hard to imagine [i:3ruavzxw]some[/i:3ruavzxw] government not finding a way to make it worth a sorcery school's while to help out. (Maybe the Ceneian Empire used sorcerers; they had their own School, did they not?) [quote:3ruavzxw]I think sorcerers are far too proud to submit themselves to public works. As for using them to communicate at a distance, well we have seen examples of this in TWP (the communication between Xerius and Skauras) and in TTT as the Nansur and the Men of the Tusk used sorcerers to communicate with the homeland. I would think it's not widespread because : 1) they are proud - if you can chose between summoning dragons and serving as a human radio emitter, which would you do ?[/quote:3ruavzxw] I don't know -- how much money is there in summoning dragons? :D More seriously, greed often serves to overcome arrogance. [quote:3ruavzxw]2) they are the [i:3ruavzxw]Few[/i:3ruavzxw] [/quote:3ruavzxw] All you need is a Few. ;) [quote:3ruavzxw]3) sorcerers tend to serve their own interests first of all, as demonstrated by the existence of Schools[/quote:3ruavzxw] And enlightened self-interest would be more than capable of finding opportunities of mutual benefit, I should think. [quote:3ruavzxw]4) the use of sorcery in battle, as we've seen, is so exceedingly important that it tends to trump other considerations.[/quote:3ruavzxw] Well, in all fairness, battle tends to trump [i:3ruavzxw]all[/i:3ruavzxw] civic engineering projects, not just sorcerously-driven ones. view post


posted 18 Oct 2006, 17:10 by Mahajanga Mordecai, Auditor

[quote="Stephen":153ry1so][quote="Twayleph":153ry1so]Blasting though mountains using sorcery is, I'm sure, a reference to the historical use of dynamite, yet I think there is a fundamental difference between the two. Dynamite had to be created by specialists, but it could be used by trained workers (I believe ; I'm not too savvy on the subject). We have seen a few sorcerous artefacts, but in the main I think only sorcerers themselves can wield the full devastating effect of sorcery, which means they would have to do all the work themselves.[/quote:153ry1so][/quote:153ry1so] Once I blast the mountain you can fashion the rock into whatever you want. You don't need sorcery for that. [quote:153ry1so]This is a good point, but given the immense military and economic value of a good road, it's hard to imagine [i:153ry1so]some[/i:153ry1so] government not finding a way to make it worth a sorcery school's while to help out. (Maybe the Ceneian Empire used sorcerers; they had their own School, did they not?)[/quote:153ry1so] The Saik I thought. Maybe not. [quote:153ry1so]I think sorcerers are far too proud to submit themselves to public works. As for using them to communicate at a distance, well we have seen examples of this in TWP (the communication between Xerius and Skauras) and in TTT as the Nansur and the Men of the Tusk used sorcerers to communicate with the homeland. I would think it's not widespread because : 1) they are proud - if you can chose between summoning dragons and serving as a human radio emitter, which would you do ?[/quote:153ry1so] [quote:153ry1so]I don't know -- how much money is there in summoning dragons? :D More seriously, greed often serves to overcome arrogance.[/quote:153ry1so] Which is how we got the Mysunsai. [quote:153ry1so]3) sorcerers tend to serve their own interests first of all, as demonstrated by the existence of Schools[/quote:153ry1so] [quote:153ry1so]And enlightened self-interest would be more than capable of finding opportunities of mutual benefit, I should think.[/quote:153ry1so] Again, the Mysunsai. [quote:153ry1so]4) the use of sorcery in battle, as we've seen, is so exceedingly important that it tends to trump other considerations.[/quote:153ry1so] [quote:153ry1so]Well, in all fairness, battle tends to trump [i:153ry1so]all[/i:153ry1so] civic engineering projects, not just sorcerously-driven ones.[/quote:153ry1so] Mysunsai anyone? They may do some of these "civil" tasks of which you speak in as much as their knowledge of the Agnogies (sp?) allows. view post


posted 18 Oct 2006, 23:10 by Entropic_existence, Moderator

There is a difference between using a destructive force for a good purpose and being truly creative. When sorcerors in the books reference this they are most likely refering to things like creating life, something sorcery can't really do, etc. There are also things that aren't inherently destructive (dream communication, wards, etc) but they don't really get catagorized as creative forces. view post


posted 19 Oct 2006, 01:10 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 19 Oct 2006, 01:10 by Warrior-Poet, Moderator

The small remnant of the Imperial Saik you mean. :) view post


posted 19 Oct 2006, 12:10 by Harrol, Moderator

What we lost almost the entirety of three schools by the end of TTT. Kellhus will have much to rebuild. view post


posted 19 Oct 2006, 22:10 by Warrior-Poet, Moderator

Isnt it a bit more likely that he will unify all the Schools into one Super School? view post


posted 19 Oct 2006, 23:10 by anor277, Didact

[quote="Warrior-Poet":3td8nvih]Isnt it a bit more likely that he will unify all the Schools into one Super School?[/quote:3td8nvih] I wished you'd posted this in the discussion threads; I don't like lurking here. That suggestion is a good one. And he has the nucleus of such a school in the Mandate, its numbers undiminished by the crusade (save Achamian and Simas) - no doubt Kellhus will have gained far too much influence over them, before any of the quorum will begin to realize the depth of his control. Kellhus no doubt has much to learn about the Gnosis (and he might learn it in a couple of weeks given his record), but he also has much to teach. Just on this point, it was mentioned in the novels that Seswatha himself warned that the Mandate must eventually share its knowledge of the Gnosis in the advent of the 2nd apocalypse. view post


posted 19 Oct 2006, 23:10 by Warrior-Poet, Moderator

For you anor I have posted it in the discussion thread. view post


posted 30 Oct 2006, 14:10 by Will, Peralogue

Well, to answer the question of whether or not there is something that Anagogics can do that Gnostic sorcerer's can't...it seems likely but we don't get a specific example. As you mention, it seems unlikely that you could get an Anagogic teleport, given that the Divinely crafted world contains no examples thereof. Iyokus mentions that the Daimotic arts are exclusive to the Scarlet Spires, which is consequently an Anagogic only power. That seems to imply that each "School", rather than each mode of sorcery, has their own specialties that they alone can do. As for why Sorcery isn't used for constructive things, as you mentioned earlier its seen as damned. A road constructed by the Few would be similarly damned. It took a Holy War to make the followers of Sejenus hold their noses enough to let the Scarlet Spires save their lives from the Cishaurim. The aristocracy will risk their souls at the command of Maithanet, but I don't see them risking them to spare their servants the effort of breaking through a mountain. It seems to me significant that the decision makers in a Dark Age society are herediary nobles, not tradesmen. Their actions aren't necessarily in their economic best interest, since the level playing field necessary for the operation of the free market doesn't really exist. view post


posted 30 Oct 2006, 23:10 by Warrior-Poet, Moderator

I think what Iyokus meant was that the Scarlet Spires are the only school who have delved so deep into the different branches of sorcery, Im almost certain all sorcerers are capable of using Daimotic sorcery but choose not to because of the risks. view post


posted 01 Nov 2006, 09:11 by Cynical Cat, Auditor

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


posted 02 Nov 2006, 03:11 by Entropic_existence, Moderator

[quote="Cynical Cat":m0wcemk4]Scott has mentioned that Gnostic Sorcery can be used to summon and bind agencies.[/quote:m0wcemk4] Yup, much speculation exists as to exactly what form this will take. After all it is possible that the manifestation of Demonic Agencies summoned through the Daimos in some way reflect that the Anagogic version of the Daimos relies on analogy. What I mean by that is the appearance of the demons on this plane may in no way reflect their "true" self. One summoned through the Abstractions may appear completely different. An interesting thought anyway. view post


posted 02 Nov 2006, 17:11 by Warrior-Poet, Moderator

I really hadnt thought about that. Outside agencies appearing in their true forms might make them much more dangerous and much more powerful. view post


posted 20 Nov 2006, 16:11 by Guardsman Bass, Candidate

Considering that the Gnosis can create abstractions and use them to attack, I'd imagine their summons would be much the same. Like you said, it'd be pretty interesting; imagine one of the Mandate Schoolman summoning a creature in the form of a mass of triangles, all of them representing different aspects of its power and essence, and much more difficult to target. At least we know that the Daimotic demons are probably analogies; the creatures described their hate at being contained within the world, and there were carving of Ciphrangs in that Xerashi throne room Kellhus sat in, if I remember right. view post


posted 13 Apr 2007, 22:04 by emmills, Commoner

I would think a demon is a demon. The difference in gnostic and anagnostic sorcery is not the end result (a demon) but in how the demon is summoned and the strength of its bonds. With anagnostic sorcery, you need to make the appearance of a door prior to creating the door. The gnostic connection would be more true. As for the binding, the anagnostic would probably use pain, desire and other emotions as evidenced in "reality" to bend the demon's will. The gnostic would be closer to what happened to Esmi when she was "possessed". The cisharim were greater than that of the Red spires and probably equal to the "standard" Mandate. Moengus was a rather weak pshuke (sp) sorceror since it requires fanatic emotion rather than logic. The description of the pshuke also sound like raw energy, not equivalent pictures. view post


posted 24 Dec 2007, 18:12 by Hear Me Roar, Candidate

I know Scott doesn't post here too often anymore, but that's somehing I've always been curious about, the distiction he makes in the origins of the gnostic and anagogic sorceries being derived from intellect, and the Psuhke being derived from passion. I'm curious why this distinction is made and if there is anything else to it. view post


posted 28 Dec 2007, 05:12 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 02 Feb 2008, 06:02 by skinspysexbot, Commoner

looking at the school of gnostics, isnt it the [i:2p479ziq]liberation[/i:2p479ziq] of encumbent reality that allows a sorcerer access (through interlect and languege) to the power of god? Can the Gnosis be compared to gnostic thought? view post


posted 02 Feb 2008, 18:02 by Israfel, Peralogue

I don't know if we get hints during TTT that it's some kind of liberation from encumbent reality towards the truth - I seem to recall that at one point it rather seems to suggest that it's not that they reveal the truth behind reality so much as play with the idea of reality given by the dead language. And that's tied into why sorcery has a mark and appears as a disruption of 'God's universe' - reality may be manipulated but it's not covering all the angles, possibly due to the fact that the language (and philosophy/poetry behind it) hasn't encapsulated all there is. Then there's the Psuhke, which is about direct comprehension of the world through feeling and blinding yourself to the angle you're so used to that obscures all the others. *Goes off to write a treatise on how the Psuhke resembles so-called continental philosophy, while the Anagogic and Gnostic sorceries correspond to the 'analytic' school* And just to comment on the post above the last (whoo, necromancy); [quote="Cynical Cat":1ydp6uj2]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.[/quote:1ydp6uj2] I'm pretty sure the Psuhke wasn't weaker - the Scarlet Spires say it's pretty damn strong. It's just that it's horrendously unsubtle, the battering-ram of the magic world. view post


posted 09 Mar 2008, 20:03 by Zarathinius, Auditor

Sorry to jump in like this, but I imagine that the difference between the Anagogis and the Gnosis is comparable to the difference between nitroglycerin and a nuclear reaction. They both go BOOM, but the former is a harnessing of naturally existing chemical reactions, while the latter uses a deeper understanding of the nature of matter to release a purer (and ultimately more powerful) form of energy. view post


  •  

The Three Seas Forum archives are hosted and maintained courtesy of Jack Brown.