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Heads of State Unable to Read a Treaty???

"Hell's Gate" and "Hell Hath No Fury", by David, Linda Evans, and Joelle Presby, take the clash of science and magic to a whole new dimension...join us in a friendly discussion of this engrossing series!
Re: Heads of State Unable to Read a Treaty???
Post by JimHacker   » Sat Jun 20, 2015 1:52 pm

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Jonathan_S wrote:Oops, looks like you're right. I'd misremembered the timeline and though Shaylar had linked with Darcel as soon as the survey party got cornered. But rechecking the text shows that while she'd sent a message from their original camp with the warning, and their intentions to flee, she didn't link in again until after the firefight at the fallen trees had started.

So it's clear she didn't live broadcast that actual order, and it does seem unlikely, in the short time she had, that she sent her memory of it. Though she might have caught a few of Jasak's 'Cease Fire. Damn You's... But that's ambiguous, at best, and even once translated might be assumed to be a commander who has won now wanting prisoners; rather than a commander incensed that his troops initiated combat against his specific command.


There may be some scenes hiding later on that clarify exactly what was in the final message Darcel relayed; but I didn't find them quickly.


I'm not sure where the scene I'm thinking of is exactly. I suspect either towards the end of the first book or the beginning/middle of the second. But in it Shaylar is beating herself up for her part in making war inevitable - she is blaming herself because she broadcasted her memory of Ghartoun (sp?) going down with an arrow in his throat and her belief that it was ordered rather than broadcasting the literal orders (in an, at that time unknown, language) she heard, and then live-broadcasted the rest of the attack. She believes that her assumption the attack was ordered will be spread across Sharona (correctly) and make war unavoidable.

If anyone can remember/find exactly where this is that would be great
-------------------------------
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Happiness is believing that tomorrow you shall have
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Re: Heads of State Unable to Read a Treaty???
Post by bkwormlisa   » Sat Jun 20, 2015 4:37 pm

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It was in HG, when Gadrial told Shaylar that Garlath had shot against orders. When she broke down, Jathmar sensed it, and they had to reveal they had Talents.

But I think the more relevant passage is in HHNF, when chan Baskay and Arthag are talking the morning of the attack.
HHNF wrote:“No.” Chan Baskay grimaced. “On that point, they’re actually telling the truth, according to Rothag. They don’t have any better idea of who shot first than we do. And oddly enough, they also seem to be telling the truth when they insist that the officer in command at the time tried to avoid massacring our survey crew.”
“I think maybe Rothag better have his Talent checked,” Arthag said bitingly.
“I know, I know!” Chan Baskay had the air of a man who wanted to rip out handfuls of hair in frustration. “I’ve Seen Shaylar’s message myself. I know chan Hagrahyl stood up with his hands empty and got shot down like a dog for his pains. But they insist that wasn’t what their officer wanted, and Rothag’s Talent insists they’re telling the truth when they say it.”
“They may believe they are,” Arthag snorted. “But if they do, it’s because the bastard lied to them about what happened out here.”
“Maybe.” Chan Baskay shook his head, his expression half-exasperated and half-hopeful. “I keep wishing Shaylar had managed to contact Kinlafia sooner.” He grimaced. “That sounds stupid, I know. The fact that she managed to reach him at all under those circumstances, much less sustain the link through what happened to her and all of her friends… Gods, it was nothing short of miraculous! I can’t even imagine the kind of guts it took to hold that link. But we didn’t actually See or Hear anything until after chan Hagrahyl went down.”
“But we know what happened, anyway,” Arthag pointed out. “Darcel – Voice Kinlafia – was linked deeply enough to know that from the side traces. Besides, she told him so.”
“Granted. But she Told him, and she Showed him her memory of chan Hagrahyl going down with his hands empty and the crossbow bolt in his throat. That’s not the same as Seeing it happen for ourselves. We have what she told Kinlafia, but we don’t have anything before the actual event, don’t know if there was something Shaylar didn’t see herself, or saw but didn’t recognize, or didn’t realize it had happened at all, in those few seconds we didn’t actually See.”
“I’m sorry, Dorzon,” Arthag said after a moment, “but I can’t think of anything which could possibly change what happened or why. And even if I could think of anything now, it’s too late for it to have any effect.”
“I know. I know.” Chan Baskay gazed off into the depths of the forest. “But they’re still insistent that they didn’t want any of this, that what happened was against their standing orders to establish peaceful contact with any new human civilization they encountered, and Rothag’s Talent insists they’re telling the truth about that. Which presumably means it accurately represents their government’s long-term policy, no matter how badly things have gone wrong on the ground. To be honest, that’s the only hopeful thing I’ve heard out of their mouths yet! Unfortunately, it’s outweighed by everything else… especially what your Talent is telling you.”

It specifically says they didn't hear the order Jasak shouted about not shooting. So they can't know what happened aside from what the Arcanans tell them. And they won't believe it. Chan Baskay does believe that their standing orders are for peaceful contact, but how much weight will the Sharonians give that?

JimHacker wrote:
Jonathan_S wrote:Oops, looks like you're right. I'd misremembered the timeline and though Shaylar had linked with Darcel as soon as the survey party got cornered. But rechecking the text shows that while she'd sent a message from their original camp with the warning, and their intentions to flee, she didn't link in again until after the firefight at the fallen trees had started.

So it's clear she didn't live broadcast that actual order, and it does seem unlikely, in the short time she had, that she sent her memory of it. Though she might have caught a few of Jasak's 'Cease Fire. Damn You's... But that's ambiguous, at best, and even once translated might be assumed to be a commander who has won now wanting prisoners; rather than a commander incensed that his troops initiated combat against his specific command.


There may be some scenes hiding later on that clarify exactly what was in the final message Darcel relayed; but I didn't find them quickly.


I'm not sure where the scene I'm thinking of is exactly. I suspect either towards the end of the first book or the beginning/middle of the second. But in it Shaylar is beating herself up for her part in making war inevitable - she is blaming herself because she broadcasted her memory of Ghartoun (sp?) going down with an arrow in his throat and her belief that it was ordered rather than broadcasting the literal orders (in an, at that time unknown, language) she heard, and then live-broadcasted the rest of the attack. She believes that her assumption the attack was ordered will be spread across Sharona (correctly) and make war unavoidable.

If anyone can remember/find exactly where this is that would be great
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Re: Heads of State Unable to Read a Treaty???
Post by brnicholas   » Sat Jun 20, 2015 5:00 pm

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When it comes to future communications I think the part I underlined may end up being very important. At this point even if the Sharonans end up talking to someone who knows what really happened from an Arcanan perspective and is telling them the complete truth I think the Sharonans are more likely to conclude that the Arcanans have found a way to fool sifters then they are to believe what is said.

To say that will be a major problem for an Arcanan government or faction that wants peace is a major understatement.

Nicholas

bkwormlisa wrote:It was in HG, when Gadrial told Shaylar that Garlath had shot against orders. When she broke down, Jathmar sensed it, and they had to reveal they had Talents.

But I think the more relevant passage is in HHNF, when chan Baskay and Arthag are talking the morning of the attack.
HHNF wrote:“No.” Chan Baskay grimaced. “On that point, they’re actually telling the truth, according to Rothag. They don’t have any better idea of who shot first than we do. And oddly enough, they also seem to be telling the truth when they insist that the officer in command at the time tried to avoid massacring our survey crew.”
“I think maybe Rothag better have his Talent checked,” Arthag said bitingly.
“I know, I know!” Chan Baskay had the air of a man who wanted to rip out handfuls of hair in frustration. “I’ve Seen Shaylar’s message myself. I know chan Hagrahyl stood up with his hands empty and got shot down like a dog for his pains. But they insist that wasn’t what their officer wanted, and Rothag’s Talent insists they’re telling the truth when they say it.”
“They may believe they are,” Arthag snorted. “But if they do, it’s because the bastard lied to them about what happened out here.”
“Maybe.” Chan Baskay shook his head, his expression half-exasperated and half-hopeful. “I keep wishing Shaylar had managed to contact Kinlafia sooner.” He grimaced. “That sounds stupid, I know. The fact that she managed to reach him at all under those circumstances, much less sustain the link through what happened to her and all of her friends… Gods, it was nothing short of miraculous! I can’t even imagine the kind of guts it took to hold that link. But we didn’t actually See or Hear anything until after chan Hagrahyl went down.”
“But we know what happened, anyway,” Arthag pointed out. “Darcel – Voice Kinlafia – was linked deeply enough to know that from the side traces. Besides, she told him so.”
“Granted. But she Told him, and she Showed him her memory of chan Hagrahyl going down with his hands empty and the crossbow bolt in his throat. That’s not the same as Seeing it happen for ourselves. We have what she told Kinlafia, but we don’t have anything before the actual event, don’t know if there was something Shaylar didn’t see herself, or saw but didn’t recognize, or didn’t realize it had happened at all, in those few seconds we didn’t actually See.”
“I’m sorry, Dorzon,” Arthag said after a moment, “but I can’t think of anything which could possibly change what happened or why. And even if I could think of anything now, it’s too late for it to have any effect.”
“I know. I know.” Chan Baskay gazed off into the depths of the forest. “But they’re still insistent that they didn’t want any of this, that what happened was against their standing orders to establish peaceful contact with any new human civilization they encountered, and Rothag’s Talent insists they’re telling the truth about that. Which presumably means it accurately represents their government’s long-term policy, no matter how badly things have gone wrong on the ground. To be honest, that’s the only hopeful thing I’ve heard out of their mouths yet! Unfortunately, it’s outweighed by everything else… especially what your Talent is telling you.”

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Re: Heads of State Unable to Read a Treaty???
Post by Thorby   » Sat Jun 20, 2015 5:15 pm

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Both civilizations (Sharona and Arcana) have the Talent (Sifter) or Magic (truth spell) to determine whether or not someone is literally lying. This can be circumvented by attention to detail ("It depends on what the meaning of 'is' is"), but it means that under normal, professional situations one must choose one's words carefully. Skirvon, et al, on the Arcana side demonstrate arrogance in believing that only they have this ability. This is a self-inflicted wound, as it gives chan Baskay the advantage.

In HG, "Presenting such a bald-faced lie would have been unthinkable if he'd faced other Sharonians, since both sides knew the other one was bound to bring its own Sifters to any negotiations. But he'd done it deliberately, as a test, and he saw no sign Skirvon could tell that he'd just lied. Which was something to bear in mind. Clearly, Skirvon and Dastiri came from a totally different tradition, one which used no equivalent of Sifters. I'll bet they're used to being able to lie to each other, he thought. Which means they'll do it at the drop of a hat."

It also raises the question of why Skirvon did not have a truth telling crystal with him when he dealt with chan Baskay. And it raises the question of how mul Gurthak and crew think they're going to get away with their lies, and their responsibility for the third, and most serious, attack on Sharona. Are truth spells rarer than Sifters? Did Skirvon avoid the use of a truth spell because that would have raised suspicions about the other functions of his crystals? Since truth detection depends on magic, can a magistron block or subvert a truth spell? If so, then the Sifter has the advantage.

In any case, the next issue is not going to be Sharona determining what happened at HG, it's Arcana trying to make sense of 2000com mul Gurthak and 2000com Harshu's actions.
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Re: Heads of State Unable to Read a Treaty???
Post by PeterZ   » Sat Jun 20, 2015 6:15 pm

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Regardless of the truth of what happened in those first few attempts by Sharona to initiate peaceful talks, Arcana has exhibited a degree of chauvinism that borders on bigotry. Perhaps not the bigotry of Hitler, but certainly the bigotry of the European colonist bringing civilization to the benighted heathen of their nation's colony abroad. How can Sharona not conclude that a significant chunk of Arcanans harbor at minimum such chauvinism and quite possibly more virulent versions of bigotry?

So, even after Sharona discovers the truth, they will recognize Arcana's predisposition to view them as savages. We have seen the Andran tendency in text. We can extrapolate the Mythalan version from mule Guthik's communications with his superiors. I will further speculate that Ransar will display their own version of values based bigotry because most of Sharona's nation are kingdoms. That and those poor benighted Sharonans have no magic will beget the soft bigotry of the magical bawanas looking out for the natives.
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Re: Heads of State Unable to Read a Treaty???
Post by Astelon   » Sat Jun 20, 2015 6:37 pm

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Thorby wrote:It also raises the question of why Skirvon did not have a truth telling crystal with him when he dealt with chan Baskay. And it raises the question of how mul Gurthak and crew think they're going to get away with their lies, and their responsibility for the third, and most serious, attack on Sharona. Are truth spells rarer than Sifters? Did Skirvon avoid the use of a truth spell because that would have raised suspicions about the other functions of his crystals? Since truth detection depends on magic, can a magistron block or subvert a truth spell? If so, then the Sifter has the advantage.


I suspect you are right in regards to using a truth spell as suspicious. The sharonian negotiation team could hardly miss the arcanans checking a crystal every time something was said. It is also likely to be a major faux pas to use a truth spell during negotiations. I believe the use of truth spells would be legally limited to investigations and interrogations.

At note a truth spell can be turned off. A snifter likely can't shut off his talent.

As for mul Gurthak and company getting away with it, he can always honestly say he did what he thought was best for Arcana. He will also use other subterfuge to avoid answering the questions asked, while appearing to give an appropriate answer. Ask him if he did anything illegal, answer no I did not (not illegal in Mythal). This gets harder when questions get more specific, but then someone has to know they right questions to ask.
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Re: Heads of State Unable to Read a Treaty???
Post by Thorby   » Sat Jun 20, 2015 7:06 pm

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Astelon wrote:
As for mul Gurthak and company getting away with it, he can always honestly say he did what he thought was best for Arcana. He will also use other subterfuge to avoid answering the questions asked, while appearing to give an appropriate answer. Ask him if he did anything illegal, answer no I did not (not illegal in Mythal). This gets harder when questions get more specific, but then someone has to know they right questions to ask.


I think you are absolutely right. This is mul Gurthak's plan, to shift all the blame to Harsha. But this is also bigotry, to expect that no Andaran can figure out what Myrthal mul Gurthak is doing and that no one else can plot or plan as well as you can. Hubris is always followed by nemesis. And, Harsha has already figured out that he will be hung out to dry. Harsha has already shown that he is willing to bend and break the rules.
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Re: Heads of State Unable to Read a Treaty???
Post by PeterZ   » Sat Jun 20, 2015 8:17 pm

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And Nemesis, to give what is due, translates as justice in the sense you refer to in your post. How will justice be judged? Who will mete it out?

Most important to me in this book, how will Toralk suffer the punishment Harshu deserves for acquiescing to torturing Sharonans and the willfulness murderer of innocents. All for the pursuits of military objectives he knew might well have been achieved diplomatically. All the pseudo Intel presented at the initial briefing was known to be off base by both Harshu and Toralk. Yet that knowledge was not acted upon by Harshu. He will find his memesis and nemesis unfortunately will find Toralk.

Thorby wrote:
Astelon wrote:
As for mul Gurthak and company getting away with it, he can always honestly say he did what he thought was best for Arcana. He will also use other subterfuge to avoid answering the questions asked, while appearing to give an appropriate answer. Ask him if he did anything illegal, answer no I did not (not illegal in Mythal). This gets harder when questions get more specific, but then someone has to know they right questions to ask.


I think you are absolutely right. This is mul Gurthak's plan, to shift all the blame to Harsha. But this is also bigotry, to expect that no Andaran can figure out what Myrthal mul Gurthak is doing and that no one else can plot or plan as well as you can. Hubris is always followed by nemesis. And, Harsha has already figured out that he will be hung out to dry. Harsha has already shown that he is willing to bend and break the rules.
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Re: Heads of State Unable to Read a Treaty???
Post by Thorby   » Sun Jun 21, 2015 12:00 am

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PeterZ wrote:And Nemesis, to give what is due, translates as justice in the sense you refer to in your post. How will justice be judged? Who will mete it out?

Most important to me in this book, how will Toralk suffer the punishment Harshu deserves for acquiescing to torturing Sharonans and the willfulness murderer of innocents. All for the pursuits of military objectives he knew might well have been achieved diplomatically. All the pseudo Intel presented at the initial briefing was known to be off base by both Harshu and Toralk. Yet that knowledge was not acted upon by Harshu. He will find his memesis and nemesis unfortunately will find Toralk.


There are times in life when you are caught between a rock and a hard place, and there is nowhere to run. I was in ROTC in 1972 after My Lai, and I remember very well the film they showed us on how to disobey an order. It made an impression.
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Re: Heads of State Unable to Read a Treaty???
Post by Keith_w   » Sun Jun 21, 2015 6:41 am

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Thorby wrote:<snipped for brevity>
And it raises the question of how mul Gurthak and crew think they're going to get away with their lies, and their responsibility for the third, and most serious, attack on Sharona. Are truth spells rarer than Sifters? Did Skirvon avoid the use of a truth spell because that would have raised suspicions about the other functions of his crystals? Since truth detection depends on magic, can a magistron block or subvert a truth spell? If so, then the Sifter has the advantage.


At this point there is no indication that Gurthak is aware that Sniffers exist, so he probably thinks that his personal ability to lie with a straight face will carry through. I would think that the Arcanans do not have the equivalent of Sniffers, otherwise they would probably be used to detect plots to overthrow the current regime, or at least should be :D .
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