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Thoughts on the storyline...

"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: Thoughts on the storyline...
Post by n7axw   » Mon Aug 17, 2015 10:21 am

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Louis R wrote:sorry, but there _aren't_ Laws of Physics

to the best we can determine, there is _a_ physics. what you may have been taught in high school, or even most undergraduate courses, is a gross simplification [and, yes, many working physicists employ one or another version of that simplification, or they couldn't accomplish anything at all], but all physical law is intertwined. tightly intertwined. change anything, and everything changes. depending on the direction of change, 'too small to detect' translates into nothing _to_ detect, and nobody to _do_ the detecting.

which is something of an issue in modern physics, AAMOF, because it raises questions that fall solidly within the domain of metaphysics, and even theology, and many people just don't want to leave them there - it would be against their anti-religion ;)

Astelon wrote:Still don't buy your theory. If the gates "adapted" the people and objects passing through them to fit local conditions then there wouldn't be any need to have the physics of the different universes change. Just because some of the laws of physics change when moving between universes doesn't mean all of them change.

If the change in physics is small enough it would require extremely sensitive experiments to tell the difference. These experiments are likely beyond the capability of Sharona (hence they will only notice when the change becomes pronounced), but likely within the magical capacity of Arcana (after all genetic modification requires fine control).


I am far closer to being a theologian than a physicist. But I do know that what people are calling "laws" are really descriptions of how things happen. However dependable the description might be, it still falls into the realm of probability because the possibility of an exception always exists however low the probability of that happening might be.

Ergo, there really are no "laws" of physics...only greater or lesser degrees of probability.

Don
When any group seeks political power in God's name, both religion and politics are instantly corrupted.
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Re: Thoughts on the storyline...
Post by Louis R   » Mon Aug 17, 2015 10:35 am

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The problem is that the people fomenting the problems don't _believe_ in external threats - not even their acknowledged enemies are _threats_, just impediments. All that matters to them is the personal and/or collective advantage to be derived from events. The greatest advantage is probably going to accrue to the most vigorous waver of the bloody shirt, and in any case a distracted opponent is going to be an easier opponent, so they won't be doing anything to calm things down.

That leaves said opponents with an interesting set of choices: concede, hoping that they won't concede too much to be able to control frontier policy in the face of the external threat that they do believe in; recognise in the domestic issue the true existential threat [in both cases, that _is_ the truth] and turn on it, hoping that the guys across the frontier won't seize the opportunity and _become_ an existential threat; face both directions at once, as best they can. Given what _we_ know, the second choice is by far the best for both sides. Given what they know, the third is probably, at least at first, going to be the only politically-feasible option.

Or, to give you the short version, neither :)

n7axw wrote:I've been thinking a bit about the internal situation in both Sharona and Arcana. Between Mythalan plotting and the mechanizations of Chava Busar, it would appear that we have the possibility of a civil war on both sides.

So if that were to happen, would both sides pull back from each other? Or would the external threat force a quick resolution to the internal problems?

Don
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Re: Thoughts on the storyline...
Post by Howard T. Map-addict   » Mon Aug 17, 2015 12:16 pm

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Don's points numbered for specific answers.
1 Yes.
2 They can not pull back. They dare not.
3 There are no quick resolutions to those long-
standing internal problems. They might be papered-
over, for a while.
Don, have you read those things we discussed yet?

Howard

n7axw wrote:I've been thinking a bit about the internal situation in
both Sharona and Arcana. Between Mythalan plotting and
the mechanizations of Chava Busar, it would appear that
1 we have the possibility of a civil war on both sides.

So if that were to happen,
2 would both sides pull back from each other?
3 Or would the external threat force a quick
resolution to the internal problems?

Don
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Re: Thoughts on the storyline...
Post by n7axw   » Mon Aug 17, 2015 12:26 pm

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Howard T. Map-addict wrote:Don's points numbered for specific answers.
1 Yes.
2 They can not pull back. They dare not.
3 There are no quick resolutions to those long-
standing internal problems. They might be papered-
over, for a while.
Don, have you read those things we discussed yet?

Howard

n7axw wrote:I've been thinking a bit about the internal situation in
both Sharona and Arcana. Between Mythalan plotting and
the mechanizations of Chava Busar, it would appear that
1 we have the possibility of a civil war on both sides.

So if that were to happen,
2 would both sides pull back from each other?
3 Or would the external threat force a quick
resolution to the internal problems?

Don


Mostly, but not all...

Don
When any group seeks political power in God's name, both religion and politics are instantly corrupted.
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Re: Thoughts on the storyline...
Post by n7axw   » Mon Aug 17, 2015 4:04 pm

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I think that unless Chava Busar's empire is allowed to opt out of the world government on Sharona, we could be looking at war. Adrin and Darcil may have found a loophole that allows her to duck marrying one of Chava's sons, but there is no way Chava is going to accept that. He's going to claim bad faith and insist on things his own way. In fact, even allowing Chava to opt out may not prevent war.

On Arcana, it seems to me that the Mythalans simply do not comprehend how deeply the rest of Arcana, especially the Ransarans, despise what they stand for. Proving that the Andrans have feet of clay won't change a thing there. Given that, I think that mul Guthak's people are likely to over reach and create a real mess.

Don
When any group seeks political power in God's name, both religion and politics are instantly corrupted.
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Re: Thoughts on the storyline...
Post by Astelon   » Mon Aug 17, 2015 7:21 pm

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You also have to take into account what each side believes it can afford to do at the front. The arcanans are much better situated to pull back, and deal with internal problems then Sharona is; after all arcanan military units have superior mobility. However the Andarans and Ransarans might not even recognize their internal threat is forming until they have seen the severity of the external threat.

Sharonians would have to view any pull back in the light of superior arcanan mobility, and the risks of a further arcanan breakthrough. They would be unlikely to pull forces back regardless of the internal threats, the arcanans advance to quickly to take the risk.

Both sides may end up fighting a two front war; Sharona because they can't afford to pull back, Arcana because they will be fully engaged by the time they have to face the internal threat.
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Re: Thoughts on the storyline...
Post by n7axw   » Mon Aug 17, 2015 9:13 pm

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Astelon wrote:You also have to take into account what each side believes it can afford to do at the front. The arcanans are much better situated to pull back, and deal with internal problems then Sharona is; after all arcanan military units have superior mobility. However the Andarans and Ransarans might not even recognize their internal threat is forming until they have seen the severity of the external threat.

Sharonians would have to view any pull back in the light of superior arcanan mobility, and the risks of a further arcanan breakthrough. They would be unlikely to pull forces back regardless of the internal threats, the arcanans advance to quickly to take the risk.

Both sides may end up fighting a two front war; Sharona because they can't afford to pull back, Arcana because they will be fully engaged by the time they have to face the internal threat.


Of the two sides, Arcana is the more vulnerable because until they can fully mobilize, they've already thrown their best punch. On the other hand, Sharona is going to be able to bring heavier forces to the front far more quickly. Should a war break out on Arcana, the damage could emasculate her ability to fight long before the forces at the front would hear about it.

The shorter distances to the front and better communication should mean that if a war were to break out on Sharona, she would be in a better position to adjust to the current situation although I'm not sure what adjusting will mean.

To punctuate the point, Arcana isn't even aware of its war with Sharona for the most part simply because there has not been time for the news to get home and soak in. It's like getting a message from the dinasaur's head to its tail. Sharona, on the other hand, is very much aware.

Don
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Re: Thoughts on the storyline...
Post by Astelon   » Tue Aug 18, 2015 11:07 pm

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Arcana has something like 25,000 miles before the first sizeable civilian presence (around their slider head). They can evacuate everything closer than that before the sharonians could possibly threaten it. Then they wait for the sharonian army to travel the whole way.

Chan Geraith said that Bisons can average fifteen miles a day, that is 55 months to cover the 25,000 miles. That is 55 months with no stopping to let your supply trains catch up, no stopping to build or load ships (or the ports for them), and with no delaying actions by arcanan air forces or air mobile ground forces. Nearly five years, at the least, for Arcana to solve their internal problems.

On the other hand, the superior (dragon based) mobility of Arcanan troops will make any sharonian fall back a potential disaster. Harshu advanced four thousand miles in twelve days (a distance that will take at least eight or nine months to retake), that puts any arcanan forces much closer (as measured in travel time) to any sharonian civilians. Sharona already believes that Arcana will prosecute total war, including the murder of prisoners and civilians; so they can't risk falling back from the front.
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Re: Thoughts on the storyline...
Post by n7axw   » Wed Aug 19, 2015 2:26 pm

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Astelon wrote:Arcana has something like 25,000 miles before the first sizeable civilian presence (around their slider head). They can evacuate everything closer than that before the sharonians could possibly threaten it. Then they wait for the sharonian army to travel the whole way.

Chan Geraith said that Bisons can average fifteen miles a day, that is 55 months to cover the 25,000 miles. That is 55 months with no stopping to let your supply trains catch up, no stopping to build or load ships (or the ports for them), and with no delaying actions by arcanan air forces or air mobile ground forces. Nearly five years, at the least, for Arcana to solve their internal problems.

On the other hand, the superior (dragon based) mobility of Arcanan troops will make any sharonian fall back a potential disaster. Harshu advanced four thousand miles in twelve days (a distance that will take at least eight or nine months to retake), that puts any arcanan forces much closer (as measured in travel time) to any sharonian civilians. Sharona already believes that Arcana will prosecute total war, including the murder of prisoners and civilians; so they can't risk falling back from the front.


Yep. I agree with qualifications... That 25,000 miles does not mean that they will be able to muster significant forces at that point. Arcana's vulnerability is that they are spread out and find it difficult to concentrate forces to deal with Sharona. And if suddenly those forces are called home for a civil war...

The other issue has to do with those dragons. They don't have enough of them that they can be risked in offensive adventures. That is particularly true of battle dragons.

If I were Sharona and facing a two front war, I'd be looking for a good place to fort up and hopefully block a portal. Then reinforce it to the teeth, see to it that supplies have easy access. Develop a reserve far enough back to be immune to immediate attack that could be moved forward if needed.

Then turn to the home front and deal with the civil war.

Don
When any group seeks political power in God's name, both religion and politics are instantly corrupted.
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Re: Thoughts on the storyline...
Post by Astelon   » Wed Aug 19, 2015 9:01 pm

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Yes they lack the number of dragons necessary to attack sharonian forces at this time. However Arcana will be sending reinforcements as soon as possible, then they will have enough dragons to risk them (until a bunch more get killed).

I suspect that, based on potential travel times and the requirement to gather forces, we will see a major battle in Hell's Gate. Which incidentally would be an ideal place for both sides to fort up. Good for Arcana because the swamp Mahritha will be difficult for Sharona to cross. Good for Sharona because the small portal would make it difficult for Arcana to break through.

This of course leaves Sharona in sole possession of Hell's Gate, and it's cluster. Which a fair arbitration by a neutral party would give them anyways. It's just to bad there are no neutral parties (good for us readers though).
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