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On Rereading HELL'S GATE

"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: On Rereading HELL'S GATE
Post by brnicholas   » Fri Mar 04, 2016 9:01 pm

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I would like to pick up the Devil's Advocate position as well. I'm not sure the Arcanans were as confident of controlling the information flow, or considered that as important as people are thinking.

Yes, the emphasis was on control, but was that primarily of outgoing messages or of people? I suggest that the Arcanan plan, if the "others" started a fight, and since their troops had orders not to start a fight they would likely assume they wouldn't, was to win the fight grab the "others" survivors and their equipment and get out of there.

Then Arcana has evidence to analyze and people to question. While the others have no one to fight so there will be a period of peace which gives them time also. With those three things they can make a threat assessment, bring up diplomats, learn the others language and then approach for a second contact with the tools needed to make it work.

Even if the people they have fought with get a detailed message out, as the Sharonans did, the assumption would be if these others view war with Arcana as easy enough that they are willing to fight one over the death of a few scouts, then there is going to be a war anyway so they lose little by being aggressive. As I judge it that assumption is correct, even with the message Shaylar got out, apologizing and returning Shaylar and Jathmar (as part of an agreement that also saw Sharona's prisoners returned to Arcana and divided the Hell's Gate cluster) would have led to a stable peace.

Does this reflect a lack of concern about the other's rights, yes it does. Does that make the Arcanans either evil or dishonorable, I would answer no, it just makes them humans who haven't heard of Jesus Christ. They value the protection of their own people above the rights of those who are not their own.

Nicholas
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Re: On Rereading HELL'S GATE
Post by PeterZ   » Fri Mar 04, 2016 9:26 pm

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I suspect you are right on the money with this post. I was too. Arcana's jingoism led to this war and the Sharonans are justified in whatever reparations they require. The larger the better not just for Sharona but for overall peace. The displayed jingoism of Andara and Mythal require a seriously big clue by four to make them take Sharona seriously.
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Re: On Rereading HELL'S GATE
Post by brnicholas   » Sun Mar 06, 2016 6:14 pm

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PeterZ wrote:I suspect you are right on the money with this post. I was too. Arcana's jingoism led to this war and the Sharonans are justified in whatever reparations they require. The larger the better not just for Sharona but for overall peace. The displayed jingoism of Andara and Mythal require a seriously big clue by four to make them take Sharona seriously.


I agree with you on these points, especially the need for a "big clue by four" to make Arcana take Sharona seriously.

I would however add the caveat that the jingoism or arrogance (my preferred word) of the Andaran and Mythalan officers and men at the point of contact did not make war inevitable. Some boarder skirmishes or shooting incidents were inevitable as a result of their attitude but the total war being fought now was not. The type of total war Sharona is now conducting needs to be placed exclusively on mul Gurthik's shoulders. It was his arrogance that led him to think he could use Sharona for domestic political ends and Andaran arrogance that let him manipulate them into starting the war. Still, their arrogance made war more likely but not inevitable.

Nicholas
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Re: On Rereading HELL'S GATE
Post by Keith_w   » Mon Mar 07, 2016 7:59 am

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brnicholas wrote:
PeterZ wrote:I suspect you are right on the money with this post. I was too. Arcana's jingoism led to this war and the Sharonans are justified in whatever reparations they require. The larger the better not just for Sharona but for overall peace. The displayed jingoism of Andara and Mythal require a seriously big clue by four to make them take Sharona seriously.


I agree with you on these points, especially the need for a "big clue by four" to make Arcana take Sharona seriously.

I would however add the caveat that the jingoism or arrogance (my preferred word) of the Andaran and Mythalan officers and men at the point of contact did not make war inevitable. Some boarder skirmishes or shooting incidents were inevitable as a result of their attitude but the total war being fought now was not. The type of total war Sharona is now conducting needs to be placed exclusively on mul Gurthik's shoulders. It was his arrogance that led him to think he could use Sharona for domestic political ends and Andaran arrogance that let him manipulate them into starting the war. Still, their arrogance made war more likely but not inevitable.

Nicholas


I totally disagree with you. If someone with less nefarious designs on Arcana itself had been governor of the area, the diplomatic processes would NOT have lead to warfare. Mul Gurthik's diplomatic effort bent on securing a peaceful time to build up his forces so he could push into as many universes beyond Hells Gate as possible, all the while undermining the Arcanan public's support of Andaran management of the Armed Forces of Arcana is support of the Mythalan effort to subvert Andara and create an Arcana run by Mythalans.
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Re: On Rereading HELL'S GATE
Post by PeterZ   » Mon Mar 07, 2016 8:58 am

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Your post reads like you agree with the core assertion; that mul Gurthak caused the war. Andara's arrogance or jingoistic assumptions made clashes more likely with any interuniversal first encounter more likely, especially Sharona. Absent mul Gurthak war was not inevitable.

Keith_w wrote:
brnicholas wrote:
I agree with you on these points, especially the need for a "big clue by four" to make Arcana take Sharona seriously.

I would however add the caveat that the jingoism or arrogance (my preferred word) of the Andaran and Mythalan officers and men at the point of contact did not make war inevitable. Some boarder skirmishes or shooting incidents were inevitable as a result of their attitude but the total war being fought now was not. The type of total war Sharona is now conducting needs to be placed exclusively on mul Gurthik's shoulders. It was his arrogance that led him to think he could use Sharona for domestic political ends and Andaran arrogance that let him manipulate them into starting the war. Still, their arrogance made war more likely but not inevitable.

Nicholas


I totally disagree with you. If someone with less nefarious designs on Arcana itself had been governor of the area, the diplomatic processes would NOT have lead to warfare. Mul Gurthik's diplomatic effort bent on securing a peaceful time to build up his forces so he could push into as many universes beyond Hells Gate as possible, all the while undermining the Arcanan public's support of Andaran management of the Armed Forces of Arcana is support of the Mythalan effort to subvert Andara and create an Arcana run by Mythalans.
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Re: On Rereading HELL'S GATE
Post by Howard T. Map-addict   » Mon Mar 07, 2016 10:59 am

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Jonathan is not the only poster to this discussion who
posits that the Arcanan Plan assumed that no Stranger
Community would have any better communication than Hummers.

DW has told that Arcana has had their First Contact Plan for
a long time, possibly even since their first portal opened!
Their Hummers, however are a relatively recent development.

Let's consider the possibility that the Hummers are newer
than the Plan; maybe even much newer.

That would mean that Arcana's Plan was made before they
had any fast long-distance communication at all.
AWay back then, all Arcanan messages went by foot,
on horseback, dragonback, or by river or sea.
If they assumed that any Strangers would have the same limits,
Then they might not have thought to change that assumption
when they invented the Hummers.

In which case Arcana's Plan would have a second weakness.

Silly Arcanans!

HTM

Jonathan_S wrote:
And they were probably guilty of assuming that the limitations
of their long ranged high speed communication method
(hummers) applied to everyone. Specifically that it took
time to compose a message, and if you locked people away from
their stuff that it would prevent ongoing communication.

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Re: On Rereading HELL'S GATE
Post by Keith_w   » Mon Mar 07, 2016 6:24 pm

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PeterZ wrote:Your post reads like you agree with the core assertion; that mul Gurthak caused the war. Andara's arrogance or jingoistic assumptions made clashes more likely with any interuniversal first encounter more likely, especially Sharona. Absent mul Gurthak war was not inevitable.



I do believe that he did. He set the conditions for a clash, took advantage of Harshu's desire to make a name for himself, and started the war to end Andaran command of the military forces of Arcana. Absent mul Gurtak (and others of his ilk), there would have been no negotiations until such time as instructions were able to reach the Governor from Arcana, no attacks, no anything except soldiers sitting around being bored instead of being terrified.
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Re: On Rereading HELL'S GATE
Post by n7axw   » Mon Mar 07, 2016 8:27 pm

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I'm not as convinced as some of you that Andara is either jingoistic or militaristic. While it is true that Andarans gravitate toward the military as a lifestyle, that doesn't mean that they are craving war. While there are undoubtedly some officers like Harshu who have romantized war, I don't think they are the norm.

I do think the authorities in Portalis can be faulted for not getting a high level military/diplomatic team out to be on scene when they first heard about the first contact with Sharona.

Don

-
When any group seeks political power in God's name, both religion and politics are instantly corrupted.
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Re: On Rereading HELL'S GATE
Post by PeterZ   » Mon Mar 07, 2016 10:05 pm

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Don,

The Duchess's dress maker was gleeful that hostilities resumed. She did not seem to mind Arcana broke the ceasefire. She was even glad that resumed hostilities would allow more Andarans to engage in war. She might not be in the military, but she is part of a militaristic society and is far less averse to war than most Sharonans.

They are not dishonorable but as a military society they are more open to fight a war than a largely civilian one. Well, with the exception of Mythal.

n7axw wrote:I'm not as convinced as some of you that Andara is either jingoistic or militaristic. While it is true that Andarans gravitate toward the military as a lifestyle, that doesn't mean that they are craving war. While there are undoubtedly some officers like Harshu who have romantized war, I don't think they are the norm.

I do think the authorities in Portalis can be faulted for not getting a high level military/diplomatic team out to be on scene when they first heard about the first contact with Sharona.

Don

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Re: On Rereading HELL'S GATE
Post by n7axw   » Mon Mar 07, 2016 11:21 pm

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PeterZ wrote:Don,

The Duchess's dress maker was gleeful that hostilities resumed. She did not seem to mind Arcana broke the ceasefire. She was even glad that resumed hostilities would allow more Andarans to engage in war. She might not be in the military, but she is part of a militaristic society and is far less averse to war than most Sharonans.

They are not dishonorable but as a military society they are more open to fight a war than a largely civilian one. Well, with the exception of Mythal.

n7axw wrote:I'm not as convinced as some of you that Andara is either jingoistic or militaristic. While it is true that Andarans gravitate toward the military as a lifestyle, that doesn't mean that they are craving war. While there are undoubtedly some officers like Harshu who have romantized war, I don't think they are the norm.

I do think the authorities in Portalis can be faulted for not getting a high level military/diplomatic team out to be on scene when they first heard about the first contact with Sharona.

Don

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I remember something vaguely about that. IIRC, again vaguely, that the person involved was quite young and that there were younger officers looking forward to the opportunity for experience in combat.

That doesn't really implicate a whole society. It's more on the order of people who haven't sat down long enough to count war's cost. I never served in the armed forces myself. But I was Vietnan era and some of my fellow students had the same perspective. For that matter, I knew some young men who were serving in Afghanistan and Iraq who reflected the same attitudes prior to their first tour. They came back with a different point of view...one that was a lot more sober.

Don

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When any group seeks political power in God's name, both religion and politics are instantly corrupted.
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