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SPOILER-Speculation for Road to Hell and beyond

"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!
SPOILER-Speculation for Road to Hell and beyond
Post by PeterZ   » Mon Jan 04, 2016 11:36 am

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I am on my third re-read of RTH. The conflict is breaking down into understandable cultural responses given the events that transpired. The key difference is the degree that the means of mass communication allow for either a deeper understanding of events(Sharona) or are subject to severe editing/spinning(Arcana). This difference and the difference between respective societies that developed around those means of mass communication allow for mul Gurthik to incite both sides to commit to war. He manages information flow and the incredibly long communication cycle to goad the Arcanans to commit the initial resources to fight. His vague orders to 2000 Harshu and encouragement to Neshok fostered a cycle of abuse that will stick in Sharona's craw. That and the diplomatic ruse to set up the sneak attack will ensure the war is well and truly started.

Mul Gurthik's manipulation of the information flow appears to have succeeded in getting Arcana to support the war effort indefinitely. Even should the majority of Arcanans discover they had been lied to, there would still be enough support for the war. Shaylar's reaction to discovering that Arcanans would not care that they had been lied to suggests what the average Sharonan reaction will be to discovering that bit of knowledge. Each side has been prepared to view the other as barbarians.

That leaves the question of how the conflict will proceed both militarily and the changes that each society will impose on the other.

Militarily I see the Mythalans running the show initially. Their approach to war will be brutal and foster vicious responses from the Sharonans. I would not be surprised if magistrons will be sniped. Shoot enough healers and the Arcanans will be unable to manage the wounded. Dragon pilots and dragon healers are also on that list. The war will slog around in Mahritha for some time and naval battles will likely take place there. Seadrakes and cetaceans will enter the fray as well as simians. Mythalans will eventually unleash the genies on Sharona. Personally, I think that will be a big mistake as the Sharonans' mental abilities will have a counter for the artificial intelligences.

Societal changes will flow both ways. I believe Andrin will be forced to deal with Chava without killing him and tossing Uromathia into chaos. Not sure how that will work but my suspicions say it should involve the genies set loose. That may or may not involve adoption of magic in Sharona.

Arcana will face some serious changes as witnessed by Gadriel's discovery shooting the rifle in Arcana. I suspect that she will discover lots of possibilities to take advantage of the Sharonan processes. Those will likely mean ungifted Arcanans will be able to participate more in a magic based economy. Mythal will not like that one bit.

Anyway, that's my guesstimate and will likely be wrong. Anyone else?
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Re: SPOILER-Speculation for Road to Hell and beyond
Post by Terranovan   » Mon Jun 05, 2017 12:03 am

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I'm guessing that the people living in a universe get to set its laws of physics (at least WRT Arcanan vs. Sharonian) and a universe with shared occupancy has both sets of physical laws working somewhat.
I've noticed that djinns (Arcanan jackass genies) are inherently magical. What happens if they get sent to Sharona? Hopefully not a Battle of Wills with the nearest talent and the djinn winning to the style of "Voice chan Targal isn't in right now..."
Of course there'll have to be a control group, since this is an idea of - SCIENCE! - winning, and every SCIENTIFIC experiment MUST! HAVE! A! CONTROL! GROUP!
To properly control for the likely alternate variables, the control group would probably be djinns with bottles left on Arcana and being conned to believe that they're being taken to Sharona - especially with the most likely variable being the djinn faking death in the hopes that a stupid guard will open the bottle to check if it's empty. Are the bottles transparent enough to see from the outside if the djinn's dead?

A possible magical technology development - Jason first describes a firearm's operation as including "SOMETHING LIKE an infantry-dragon fireball inside the cartridge." - emphasis mine. Could Arcanan magic make a cannon-barrel with one end sealed, a round of physical ammunition inside, and an infantry-dragon behind it? They might be initially inclined to use steel bolts for ammo, but if they note that the Sharonians use lead pellets, they might experiment with those as well. Such a weapon would be called a "portal-breacher dragon", with the name abbreviated to "breacher" before the prototype's finished.
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