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Arcanian Civil War Implications?

"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: Arcanian Civil War Implications?
Post by brnicholas   » Mon Jun 29, 2015 11:26 am

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I expect that intelligent and imaginative Arcanans (Jasek and his father) will recognize both the possibility that Sharona could conquer Arcana (or at least force Arcana to spend enough stopping them to destabilize their existing political structure) and that Harshu has given them good reasons to push as hard as they can.

I expect the military more generally, with its tradition of victory in the Portal Wars and 200 years of unquestioned supremacy, will take a lot longer (how slowly the Solarian League Navy is reacting to tech changes is a good analogy here) to figure that out.

As for the broader populace, RFC knows I don't. My speculation, however, is that the Sharonans image of Arcanans is so different from how Andarans and Ransarans see themselves that they won't be able to grasp just how much they are hated and feared by Sharonans and therefor will never understand either the intensity of the Sharonan war effort or the Sharonan refusal to make peace.

Nicholas

Astelon wrote:I suspect that arcanan leadership will recognize the danger of sharonian capabilities before several years have passed. Whether the average arcanan recognizes it is another question. It looks like we have the fast moving and potentially hard hitting arcanans versus the extremely tough (but not indestructible) and devastating sharonians.

It will become apparent, to those who pay attention, that while sharonian machines may not equal arcana speed, they have a whole host of advantages that arcana can't yet match.
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Re: Arcanian Civil War Implications?
Post by brnicholas   » Mon Jun 29, 2015 11:32 am

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I recall two different possible glimpses. I am going from memory right now so if someone finds different in the books please correct me.

First, as she approached the Great Palace Andrin saw it in flames. She wasn't actually sure if that was a glimpse or just a trick of the light. I don't recall anything flying there.

Second, there were a number of glimpses of flying things attacking cities, but those cities were never clearly identified. I think the books said once they were almost recognized. So this could be cities on Sharona at some point in the future. Or it could be Sharonan cities that will be built on other universes to supply advancing Sharonan armies being hit by Arcanan counterattacks. Or it could be Arcanan cities being defended by dragons against advancing Sharonan forces. We don't know.

Nicholas

Astelon wrote:It is also quite possible that the glimpse showed something different then we are assuming it did. Tajvana could burn for all sorts of reasons (fighting between Chava and his allies and the throne for example) and the things flying above the city could be early attempts at airplanes, airships, or even balloons. We don't know exactly how clear that particular glimpse was, details may not have been readily identifiable.
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Re: Arcanian Civil War Implications?
Post by tonyz   » Mon Jun 29, 2015 11:37 am

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One thing to keep in mind: we're mostly looking at the current balance around Fort Salby, by which standard Harshu is indeed screwed -- he's overextended, and the Sharonans have the edge in morale, firepower, logistics, and intelligence. The Arcanan edge in mobility is a frail reed on which to lean, and I'm guessing that the Sharonans can indeed sustain a drive back as far as Hell's Gate.

But we do not know what Arcana has in reserve. How big is it, what are its heavy weapons like, what magic has yet to be pulled out and deployed... Assuming that the current tactical balance will continue all the way till Sharona dictates terms to the Union Senate at gunpoint is just as faulty as the Arcanan assumption that they'll always have the edge in surprise.
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Re: Arcanian Civil War Implications?
Post by Castenea   » Mon Jun 29, 2015 2:37 pm

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tonyz wrote:One thing to keep in mind: we're mostly looking at the current balance around Fort Salby, by which standard Harshu is indeed screwed -- he's overextended, and the Sharonans have the edge in morale, firepower, logistics, and intelligence. The Arcanan edge in mobility is a frail reed on which to lean, and I'm guessing that the Sharonans can indeed sustain a drive back as far as Hell's Gate.

But we do not know what Arcana has in reserve. How big is it, what are its heavy weapons like, what magic has yet to be pulled out and deployed... Assuming that the current tactical balance will continue all the way till Sharona dictates terms to the Union Senate at gunpoint is just as faulty as the Arcanan assumption that they'll always have the edge in surprise.
I am confidant that Sharona can drive to the swamp portal with just the forces currently at or known to be on their way to Ft. Salby. This includes 1 cavalry brigade (somewhat understrength) 1 Mech brigade and 2 partially mechanized infantry brigades, A division sized engineering formation (the track building crews), and an eclectic mix of rear area and line of communication troops from the PAAF. This will take a time of at least two months (would not be surprised to find it taking 4 to 6) it will than take at least a couple of months after building rail to the swamp portal to construct the sea lift to transport any forces past that point. Arcana will be able to counter attack with new forces before the sea lift is ready.
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Re: Arcanian Civil War Implications?
Post by Astelon   » Mon Jun 29, 2015 3:38 pm

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It appears that arcanan reinforcements will arrive at Hell's Gate at about the same time as Fifth Corp's lead elements (the Third Dragoons), maybe a little bit sooner (a few weeks). Leaves me wondering how bad a mauling the expeditionary force will take, and what other arcanan commanders will think about it. If the expeditionary force is in tatters, retreating in disarray, it may make the next set of commanders take the sharonians completely seriously (something Arcana's military doesn't appear to be doing at this point).

As for forces heading to the front, the entirety of Fifth Corp received orders to deploy forward. Fifth corp consists of three divisions, one cavalry, and two infantry. The cavalry division has three brigades, and the infantry divisions have brigades two each (infantry brigades are twice the size of cavalry brigades). All of the units are at least partially mechanized, but we don't know if any of the infantry divisions have managed to entrain yet.

The cavalry divisions have three thousand men (at full strength), by my calculation that is nearly 33,000 men (nine thousand in the cavalry division, and twelve thousand in each of the infantry divisions) moving towards the front. That doesn't include any extra units that get attached (more artillery with guns modified to reach to higher elevations), or any engineering units to build fortifications and improve the rail lines.

That could make for a particularly spectacular battle at Hell's Gate.
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Re: Arcanian Civil War Implications?
Post by brnicholas   » Mon Jun 29, 2015 6:11 pm

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Very very true.

Nicholas

tonyz wrote:One thing to keep in mind: we're mostly looking at the current balance around Fort Salby, by which standard Harshu is indeed screwed -- he's overextended, and the Sharonans have the edge in morale, firepower, logistics, and intelligence. The Arcanan edge in mobility is a frail reed on which to lean, and I'm guessing that the Sharonans can indeed sustain a drive back as far as Hell's Gate.

But we do not know what Arcana has in reserve. How big is it, what are its heavy weapons like, what magic has yet to be pulled out and deployed... Assuming that the current tactical balance will continue all the way till Sharona dictates terms to the Union Senate at gunpoint is just as faulty as the Arcanan assumption that they'll always have the edge in surprise.
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Re: Arcanian Civil War Implications?
Post by phillies   » Tue Jun 30, 2015 8:46 am

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There was I thought a reference that Arcana ended up with a planetary government in order to avoid destroying civilization. Clearly we have not seen the weapons, say the unstoppable death plague, the continental disintegrator spell, whatever, that create this threat. Besides, the Sharonans did something that will cripple them very middle in the middle run, namely they responded (for no obvious reason) by trying to create a world government.
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Re: Arcanian Civil War Implications?
Post by bkwormlisa   » Thu Jul 02, 2015 4:48 pm

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From Hell's Gate:
“I’m sure there are people back home in Sharona you wouldn’t exactly be proud to be associated with, Jathmar. Maybe not anyone as bad as the Mythalans, but I can’t imagine your people are that different from ours, Talent or no. Unfortunately, we Ransarans and Andarans had no choice but to include Mythal in the Union. Partly, because whether we like them or not they do live on the same planet we do, which I suppose gives them at least some inherent right to share in the exploitation of the portals. But, frankly, mostly because when the first portal appeared on Arcana, it sparked the most terrible war in our history. The weapons that were developed were devastating, so terrible we barely managed to stop short of our own complete destruction.”

Jathmar and Shaylar froze, their faces suddenly tight with fear.

“Andara and Ransar realized the situation was about to spin totally out of control,” Gadrial continued grimly. “We proposed the creation of the Union as a world-government to ensure that every Arcanan nation had the same opportunities to profit from the existence of the portals, and the Andarans supported us strongly. It was only our united front which forced Mythal to accept the proposal, and the Mythalans held out for a much greater degree of local autonomy – essentially the protection of their own social system within their own territory – than any of the rest of us wanted to give them. Unfortunately, they’d been the leading researchers for the weapons which had been used in the Portal Wars. They had more of them, and better ones, than the rest of us, and they refused to destroy them unless we accepted their terms in that regard.”

Shaylar’s face was white as she absorbed the implications of magical weapons capable of destroying an entire planet’s civilization. Jathmar looked equally horrified, and Gadrial faced them squarely.

“I know what you’re afraid of, and I don’t blame you. But I will tell you there are severe limitations on even the most deadly weapon, when it’s applied to inter-universal warfare. For one thing, no spell can be cast through a portal, so you’d still have to physically assault each portal and establish a bridgehead on the other side before you could deploy any sorcerous weapon. That wasn’t a factor in the Portal Wars, because they were fought entirely on Arcana, over who’d end up with possession of the portal in the first place.

“For a second thing, those weapons were outlawed two hundred years ago. As part of the Union Accords, all signatories were required to destroy all weapons of mass destruction and the spellware and research which had supported them. Several other particularly nasty spells were outlawed at the same time, and an inspection process was set up to ensure that there were no holdouts and that no one was doing fresh research in the proscribed areas.”

“But if things get nasty enough, your people could always change the law, couldn’t they?”

“Yes, Jathmar, we could,” Gadrial said very, very quietly. “And the people most likely to push for doing just that are going to be the Mythalans. They’re xenophobic to an almost crippling degree, even with their fellow Arcanans. I don’t even want to think about how they’re going to react when they find out about your people. Especially,” she smiled wanly, “because they’re going to think they’re looking at an entire worldwide civilization of Ransarans.”

Shaylar and Jathmar looked at one another, and Gadrial leaned forward in her chair to take Shaylar’s hand. Shaylar’s eyes stung with tears as she realized the other woman was deliberately giving her the opportunity to read her emotions, her honesty.

“The Andarans and Ransarans would never stand for the resurrection of those hideous weapons,” she said flatly. “Not unless your people were foolish enough to convince us that our only other alternative was our own complete destruction. From what I’ve seen of the two of you, I don’t think that’s ever going to happen. I can’t promise that, obviously, but I truly, truly believe it.”
If Sharona smashes them back to Hell's Gate or beyond before they can get more forces forward, anyone that can get past the "they're stupid barbarians because they have no magic" mindset will get very worried. Possibly worried enough to resurrect those spells.

And despite what Gadrial said, the knowledge of those spells hasn't been lost. Mul Gurthak thought that in HHNF:
The technique mul Gurthak had used to implant them required someone with a Gift vastly stronger than the one anyone outside the Council of Twelve knew mul Gurthak possessed. It also happened to have been proscribed, along with all other mind-ripping spellware, at the time the Union of Arcana was formally ratified. Unfortunately for the demands of the pious Ransaran reformers, the Council of Twelve had already been in existence for centuries at that time, and the Councilors had taken steps to preserve the knowledge which so many others – including so many shakira, who ought to have known better – had been prepared to simply throw away.
So if Mythal does take over, the war could get much nastier very quickly.

phillies wrote:There was I thought a reference that Arcana ended up with a planetary government in order to avoid destroying civilization. Clearly we have not seen the weapons, say the unstoppable death plague, the continental disintegrator spell, whatever, that create this threat. Besides, the Sharonans did something that will cripple them very middle in the middle run, namely they responded (for no obvious reason) by trying to create a world government.
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Re: Arcanian Civil War Implications?
Post by Astelon   » Sat Jul 04, 2015 12:42 am

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If Mythal manages to gain unquestioned control of the government then the war will get much worse. First they can't possibly keep control if they face a united opposition, so they will point to outside enemies to keep those who oppose them at bay (a favorite trick of dictators). Since they are already at war it means that they will have to win battles no matter the cost, nothing worse than weak and ineffectual leadership in a time of war.

Second they will dust of any program that they think will help them win, like the devastating weapons used in the portal war. No real description of what those weapons are, but it is clear the arcanans thought they could destroy a civilization, so very bad despite shortcomings.

Finally, if the Mythalans are smart, they will attempt to appease each faction in some way. (I wonder how many minor factions there might be. Wasn't one of the arcanan negotiators from a ransaran province that didn't like the rest, and Neshok is from a part of Andara that disagrees with other andarans.) This means caving in to the desires of people who may not have had much say in the government up to this point. That could mean very bad things for negotiations and prisoners (worse than has already happened).
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Re: Arcanian Civil War Implications?
Post by boballab   » Sun Jul 05, 2015 5:22 am

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Some food for thought:

1. We know that there is 8 portals on the world where this all started.

2. We also don't know where 5 of those portals go to (1 going back through a chain to Arcana, 2 Chains that the Arcanan's are/were advancing through)

3. With 5 mystery portals why are we assuming it will stay a 2 sided war? Someone stumbles through one of those portals at the wrong time and they will get blown away and make it a 3 or more sided war.
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