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All the idiots on the Arcanan side?

"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!
All the idiots on the Arcanan side?
Post by Karthak   » Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:32 pm

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Started reading this series a few days ago. I've mostly enjoyed it, but one frustrating thing is that all the idiots who escalate matters seem to be Arcanan. Is this a thing that will continue, or will we get some maniacs on the sharonan side as well?
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Re: All the idiots on the Arcanan side?
Post by Ramhawkfan   » Sun Jul 05, 2015 2:04 pm

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Karthak wrote:Started reading this series a few days ago. I've mostly enjoyed it, but one frustrating thing is that all the idiots who escalate matters seem to be Arcanan. Is this a thing that will continue, or will we get some maniacs on the sharonan side as well?


I think Emperor Chava could definitely be an idiot and cause problems somewhere along the line.
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Re: All the idiots on the Arcanan side?
Post by Astelon   » Sun Jul 05, 2015 8:42 pm

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I suspect that we will see more "bad guys" among the sharonians, and more "good guys" among the arcanans in the next book (or two). We will likely be introduced to Jasak's father, who by all accounts is a good man, and more of the Andaran leadership (most improbably honorable).

However the events had to be set in motion for there to even be a war (at least after the assault on the swamp portal). This required bad actors at some points, and with the arcanan communications lag it was more likely to happen with them anyways.

I also suspect that the majority of arcanans would think less of Sharona and its people because they lack any magic, and how could you build a civilization without magic (obviously there is no other way to do it). Arrogance, anger, and a certain lack of imagination have probably contributed to the escalation.
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Re: All the idiots on the Arcanan side?
Post by Howard T. Map-addict   » Mon Jul 06, 2015 8:11 am

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at bottom - htm

Ramhawkfan wrote:
Karthak wrote:Started reading this series a few days ago. I've mostly enjoyed it, but one frustrating thing is that all the idiots who escalate matters seem to be Arcanan. Is this a thing that will continue, or will we get some maniacs on the sharonan side as well?


I think Emperor Chava could definitely be an idiot and cause problems somewhere along the line.


HTM continues:
And, the Seneschal of Othmaliz. There's a pair o'them!

But other than them, the only Sharonans even fooled
were those surprised by what they'd never seen before.
It can be difficult to imagine what one hasn't seen.

As for other Sharonan bad guys, no.
Ain't it amazing?

HTM

PS Spellchecker does not like "ain't."
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Re: All the idiots on the Arcanan side?
Post by PeterZ   » Mon Jul 06, 2015 9:37 am

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Howard T. Map-addict wrote:at bottom - htm

snip

HTM continues:
And, the Seneschal of Othmaliz. There's a pair o'them!

But other than them, the only Sharonans even fooled
were those surprised by what they'd never seen before.
It can be difficult to imagine what one hasn't seen.

As for other Sharonan bad guys, no.
Ain't it amazing?

HTM

PS Spellchecker does not like "ain't."


Not amazing but logical. Arcana hasn't had to deal with a foreign nation just like it had not had to deal with wars for 200 years. Their people have shown a degree of ethnocentrism consistent with having a unified world government for 2 centuries and thinking of their individual nations as part of the Union of Arcana.

Sharona on the other hand still has completely separate nations interacting with each other. Heck, they have foreign relations with Cetaceans. One of the societies Sharonans emulate for the most part is guided by precognitives with a history of honor, sacrifice and cooperation.

The idiots on Arcana's side are not idiots so much as myopic and dreadfully inexperienced in thinking about others who are both very different and yet still worthy of treating as equals.
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Re: All the idiots on the Arcanan side?
Post by bkwormlisa   » Tue Jul 07, 2015 6:55 am

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A previous thread on this general topic, if you're interested in reading what people thought of it two years ago. http://forums.davidweber.net/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=3035 Probably plenty more to say on the subject, though.
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Re: All the idiots on the Arcanan side?
Post by PeterZ   » Tue Jul 07, 2015 9:58 am

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bkwormlisa wrote:A previous thread on this general topic, if you're interested in reading what people thought of it two years ago. http://forums.davidweber.net/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=3035 Probably plenty more to say on the subject, though.


Thank you for redirecting us to another worthy topic pending more snippets, bkwormlisa.

Arcana likely launched the first bolt. Had the Sharonan fired first, the Arcanan wouldn't have gotten the bolt off at all. So, on top of everything else, an logical argument can be made that every step of this war was initiated by the Arcanans. Every. Single. One.

Not trying to argue the point so much as provide the Sharonan narrative both for internal consumption and in any future dialogue with Arcana.

1) The mechanics around arbalests and rifles suggest the bolt was likely fired first or the rifle bullet would have terminated the Arcanan before he could fire. Since the Arcanan did fire, he likely fired first.

2) Chan Salgmun was fired upon during a truce talk. The commander of the operation did not want this but the powerful underlying Arcana prejudices triggered a response from an Arcanan soldier.

3) Arcanan prejudice and xenophobia put the military in charge of exploration of newly opened universes rather than civilians. This argues that the underlying Arcanan assumption is that the unknown represents dangers best addressed by the military whose primary purpose is to break things and kill people or prevent others from breaking things and killing people. As a branch of the government, they hold the authority to use deadly force.

4) Sharonan prejudice is that civilians can explore just fine. The military protects the civilians. Civilians do not hold the authority to use force, instead have permission under certain circumstances. Civilian use of deadly force is regulated much more strictly than the military's use of deadly force and so less likely to be used without careful thought.

5) Arcanan prejudice rears its ugly head in the negotiations. Enough people find initiating a casus belli with an unknown civilization by launching a sneak attack during negotiations as justifiable. Whether they buy the argument that the lack of magic makes Sharonans barbarians or simply incapable of defending themselves against magic is irrelevant. The unreasonable nature of these assumptions borders if not crosses into bigotry.

6) Once war is waged, enough commanders acquiesce to illegal activities for the sake of expedience to make the commitment to those laws of war laughable. IIRC, knowingly following illegal orders in the US armed forces is a crime. So everyone in the Arcanan force that split to Nairsom involved in killing prisoners is guilty of a war crime. If they are not punished or at least tried immediately, no amount argument will support even the suggestion of Arcanan honor. Perhaps it is better to say no amount of argument will support Arcanas as viewing Sharonans as deserving honorable treatment.

7) The only time Arcanas treat Sharonans with any sort of decency is after they had the living snot beat out of them after Fort Salby. Only then did Arcanans come forward to parley in good faith.

The entire Arcanan series of actions have one thing in common; bigotry. By bigotry I mean the set of prejudices held beyond reasonable degrees. Sure Mul Guthik is a bigot, that's simple to see. Skirvon and his assistant are too. 2K Harshu might not be as he is willing to sacrifice his career to accomplish what he considers necessary. At best this can be seen as a leadership's pursuit of expedience so severe that they cannot be trusted without compulsion. Many if not most of the rank and file appear to be comfortable embracing their bigotry. Certainly the soldier slitting the throat of the boy-voices father falls into this category.

Bottom line is that Arcanans have shown they have a degree of bigotry that appears rather common in their society. Sharonans with their Talents sharing thoughts and experiences have far less societal bigotry. Every "sin" Arcanans have committed upon Sharonans are built around this bigotry. I foresee Sharonans also committing "sins" against Arcanans. Those sins might well revolve around a lack of forgiveness and the burning desire for vengeance, perhaps even an unreasonable desire for vengeance.
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Re: All the idiots on the Arcanan side?
Post by Mil-tech bard   » Tue Jul 07, 2015 10:35 am

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The issue with Sharonan vengeance comes from their telepathic messaging.

Their Voices have perfect memories.


PERFECT MEMORIES!

When the child-Voice sends the story of the death of his mentor and his father at Arcanian hands to other Voices, after this Dragon-attack Pearl Harbor killing the Sharonan Imperial Crown-Price designate, there will be HUGE blood price demanded.

There is no getting around 1% to 10% of the Sharonan's either personally experiencing, or visually seeing Voice projections to those with the talent to listen, the exact EXPERIENTIAL HORROR of that Child-Voice losing his loved ones.

And all those who Experience or See this will conclude that it is official Arcanian military policy to kill talented Sharonan children.

That makes it pretty much _GAME OVER_ in terms of stopping the conflict for decades.

Nothing short of major Arcanian reparations plus war crimes trials and public execution of the entire Arcanian chain of command involved with the invasion will satisfy the Sharonan public.

This is why I posted that the Sharonans are going to adopt an official policy of retaliatory executions of the mage gifted Arcanians of equivalent importance to Sharonan Voices in the Arcanian troops that they capture.

It is the only way I can see the Sharonan emperor can keep the cycle of Sharonan vengeance from spiraling out of any control.


PeterZ wrote:
bkwormlisa wrote:A previous thread on this general topic, if you're interested in reading what people thought of it two years ago. http://forums.davidweber.net/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=3035 Probably plenty more to say on the subject, though.


Thank you for redirecting us to another worthy topic pending more snippets, bkwormlisa.

Arcana likely launched the first bolt. Had the Sharonan fired first, the Arcanan wouldn't have gotten the bolt off at all. So, on top of everything else, an logical argument can be made that every step of this war was initiated by the Arcanans. Every. Single. One.

Not trying to argue the point so much as provide the Sharonan narrative both for internal consumption and in any future dialogue with Arcana.

1) The mechanics around arbalests and rifles suggest the bolt was likely fired first or the rifle bullet would have terminated the Arcanan before he could fire. Since the Arcanan did fire, he likely fired first.

2) Chan Salgmun was fired upon during a truce talk. The commander of the operation did not want this but the powerful underlying Arcana prejudices triggered a response from an Arcanan soldier.

3) Arcanan prejudice and xenophobia put the military in charge of exploration of newly opened universes rather than civilians. This argues that the underlying Arcanan assumption is that the unknown represents dangers best addressed by the military whose primary purpose is to break things and kill people or prevent others from breaking things and killing people. As a branch of the government, they hold the authority to use deadly force.

4) Sharonan prejudice is that civilians can explore just fine. The military protects the civilians. Civilians do not hold the authority to use force, instead have permission under certain circumstances. Civilian use of deadly force is regulated much more strictly than the military's use of deadly force and so less likely to be used without careful thought.

5) Arcanan prejudice rears its ugly head in the negotiations. Enough people find initiating a casus belli with an unknown civilization by launching a sneak attack during negotiations as justifiable. Whether they buy the argument that the lack of magic makes Sharonans barbarians or simply incapable of defending themselves against magic is irrelevant. The unreasonable nature of these assumptions borders if not crosses into bigotry.

6) Once war is waged, enough commanders acquiesce to illegal activities for the sake of expedience to make the commitment to those laws of war laughable. IIRC, knowingly following illegal orders in the US armed forces is a crime. So everyone in the Arcanan force that split to Nairsom involved in killing prisoners is guilty of a war crime. If they are not punished or at least tried immediately, no amount argument will support even the suggestion of Arcanan honor. Perhaps it is better to say no amount of argument will support Arcanas as viewing Sharonans as deserving honorable treatment.

7) The only time Arcanas treat Sharonans with any sort of decency is after they had the living snot beat out of them after Fort Salby. Only then did Arcanans come forward to parley in good faith.

The entire Arcanan series of actions have one thing in common; bigotry. By bigotry I mean the set of prejudices held beyond reasonable degrees. Sure Mul Guthik is a bigot, that's simple to see. Skirvon and his assistant are too. 2K Harshu might not be as he is willing to sacrifice his career to accomplish what he considers necessary. At best this can be seen as a leadership's pursuit of expedience so severe that they cannot be trusted without compulsion. Many if not most of the rank and file appear to be comfortable embracing their bigotry. Certainly the soldier slitting the throat of the boy-voices father falls into this category.

Bottom line is that Arcanans have shown they have a degree of bigotry that appears rather common in their society. Sharonans with their Talents sharing thoughts and experiences have far less societal bigotry. Every "sin" Arcanans have committed upon Sharonans are built around this bigotry. I foresee Sharonans also committing "sins" against Arcanans. Those sins might well revolve around a lack of forgiveness and the burning desire for vengeance, perhaps even an unreasonable desire for vengeance.
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Re: All the idiots on the Arcanan side?
Post by Howard T. Map-addict   » Tue Jul 07, 2015 10:42 am

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Replies interspersed - HTM


PeterZ wrote:
bkwormlisa wrote:A previous thread on this general topic, if you're interested in reading what people thought of it two years ago. http://forums.davidweber.net/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=3035 Probably plenty more to say on the subject, though.


Thank you for redirecting us to another worthy
topic pending more snippets, bkwormlisa.

HTM: Yes, t y very much.

Arcana likely launched the first bolt. Had the Sharonan fired first, the Arcanan wouldn't have gotten the bolt off at all. {snip - htm}

1) The mechanics around arbalests and rifles suggest the bolt was likely fired first or the rifle bullet would have terminated the Arcanan before he could fire. Since the Arcanan did fire, he likely fired first.

HTM: Or, the Wound-Shock might have pulled the Arcanan's
trigger-finger, but then might have spoiled his aim.

Please note that DW has refused to affirm this logic,
and has refused to tell us who shot first. HTM


3) Arcanan prejudice and xenophobia put the military in charge of exploration of newly opened universes rather than civilians. This argues that the underlying Arcanan assumption is that the unknown represents dangers best addressed by the military whose primary purpose is to break things and kill people or prevent others from breaking things and killing people. As a branch of the government, they hold the authority to use deadly force.

HTM: Also the Arcanan Military explores by sending
platoons of infantry to walk the new-found lands in
a slow-moving line,
instead of sending dragons to fly over those lands
and chart them. HTM

6) Once war is waged, enough commanders acquiesce to illegal activities for the sake of expedience to make the commitment to those laws of war laughable. IIRC, knowingly following illegal orders in the US armed forces is a crime. So everyone in the Arcanan force that split to Nairsom involved in killing prisoners is guilty of a war crime. If they are not punished or at least tried immediately, no amount argument will support even the suggestion of Arcanan honor. Perhaps it is better to say no amount of argument will support Arcanas as viewing Sharonans as deserving honorable treatment.

HTM: I am still awaiting data about
what Com 500 Pahkrys Eswayr did with the prisoners
whom Com 1000 Carthos gave to him to "dispose of."
Did he kill them? or maroon them 100 miles from a Gate?
HTM
{snip to eopost}

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Re: All the idiots on the Arcanan side?
Post by Karthak   » Tue Jul 07, 2015 2:40 pm

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Posts: 39
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2010 3:28 pm

I'm just disappointed because I'm almost at the end of the first book, and all the asshattery so far has been Arcanan. When I picked up the series I thought it was going to be about two sides who were equally in the wrong, as it were. Instead we get one side making all the mistakes, and the other being practically saintly.

Also doesn't help that I find the Arcanan PoVs much more interesting than the Sharonian ones, especially with how the narrative keeps beating us on the head about how wonderful the Ternathian royal family is...(I'm not effing buying that every nation except the Uromathians would be so eager to surrender their sovereignity)
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