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Reflecting Upon RTH -- SPOILER THREAD

"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: Reflecting Upon RTH -- SPOILER THREAD
Post by n7axw   » Tue Mar 29, 2016 12:20 am

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Astelon wrote:Comparing the Ransaran culture to American culture may very likely lead to some incorrect assumptions.

As for meeting Ransarans I suspect that in the next book we may see some high level government meetings among the various Arcanan groups. We will likely see Ransarans and maybe even some of the minor groups (at least one was mentioned as a naval power).


I wholeheartedly agree that my thought could be pushed too far, but what came to mind was religious monotheism and democracy.

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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Re: Reflecting Upon RTH -- SPOILER THREAD
Post by Keith_w   » Tue Mar 29, 2016 6:45 am

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n7axw wrote:
Astelon wrote:Comparing the Ransaran culture to American culture may very likely lead to some incorrect assumptions.

As for meeting Ransarans I suspect that in the next book we may see some high level government meetings among the various Arcanan groups. We will likely see Ransarans and maybe even some of the minor groups (at least one was mentioned as a naval power).


I wholeheartedly agree that my thought could be pushed too far, but what came to mind was religious monotheism and democracy.

Don

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Don, I am not sure if you are aware of this but Americans are not the only people on this planet who support monotheism and democracy. Although we have only met 1 Ransaran, based on comments made, I would suggest that Ransarans are much less weapon oriented than Americans.
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Re: Reflecting Upon RTH -- SPOILER THREAD
Post by Howard T. Map-addict   » Tue Mar 29, 2016 2:56 pm

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For that matter, I don't seem to recall *any* Arcanan *or*
Sharonan being a Monotheist. They all seem to believe in
several gods. (Many are named in the Glossary.)

They all seem to swear by only one at a time, though. :twisted:

HTM

Keith_w wrote:
n7axw wrote:
I wholeheartedly agree that my thought could be pushed too far, but what came to mind was religious monotheism and democracy.

Don

-


Don, I am not sure if you are aware of this but Americans are not the only people on this planet who support monotheism and democracy. Although we have only met 1 Ransaran, based on comments made, I would suggest that Ransarans are much less weapon oriented than Americans.
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Re: Reflecting Upon RTH -- SPOILER THREAD
Post by n7axw   » Tue Mar 29, 2016 11:23 pm

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Keith W wrote

Don, I am not sure if you are aware of this but Americans are not the only people on this planet who support monotheism and democracy. Although we have only met 1 Ransaran, based on comments made, I would suggest that Ransarans are much less weapon oriented than Americans.


My response,

Agreed on all counts. I never intended to imply that only Americans supported monotheism and democracy. I was only reflecting from the standpoint of my own identity as an American. As far as I'm concerned, everyone else is free to do the same. I emphatically agree with your last point. I think we overdo myself.

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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Re: Reflecting Upon RTH -- SPOILER THREAD
Post by n7axw   » Tue Mar 29, 2016 11:31 pm

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Howard T. Map-addict wrote:For that matter, I don't seem to recall *any* Arcanan *or*
Sharonan being a Monotheist. They all seem to believe in
several gods. (Many are named in the Glossary.)

They all seem to swear by only one at a time, though. :twisted:

HTM



It's there in the textev. Go back to Gadrial's overview of Ransaran culture for Jathmar and Shaylar. I think it's in RTH.

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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Re: Reflecting Upon RTH -- SPOILER THREAD
Post by brnicholas   » Sun Apr 17, 2016 6:22 pm

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I finally managed to read RTH. Here are a few of my first thoughts.

1) Why, why, why wasn't their an Arcanan picket on the Resym/Nairsom portal??? We know they had a presence there at one point, per chapter 2 of RTH the Sharonan portal fort at the Resym/Nairsom portal was destroyed (obviously by Carthos). The only reason I can think of this omission is carelessness.

2) Where is mul Gurthik and what is he up to?? He never appears in the book but every Arcanan we see thinking about politics is wondering what the heck he is doing.

3) I was very surprised by how unchanged Mythalian culture appears to be. The first couple of books had given me the impression that Garthan's lot had been significantly improved by the Union, including freedom to emigrate from Mythal if they want. It looks like that is more on paper then reality since we have text evidence of Shakira using sea drakes to prevent escapes.

I'll have more to say later but that is a starting point.

Nicholas
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Re: Reflecting Upon RTH -- SPOILER THREAD
Post by brnicholas   » Mon Apr 18, 2016 7:03 am

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Chava must be furious at the way his assassination attempt has miscarried. I don't mean the fact that he failed to kill Zindel and Andrin. I mean the political aspects of it.

He has spent months quietly, deliberately and systematically trying to raise doubts about Zindel's ability to defend Sharona. News of a great victory arrives two days before the assassination, which given the number of cutouts he used and the difficulty involved he likely couldn't cancel, so all that preparation is gone. In addition the Caliraths are good at politics. Toward the end of RTH we had a number of army officers giving Zindel personal credit for the modernization efforts of the last 15 years. I guarantee that in discussing how Sharona won this victory Zindel's role in that modernization was emphasized. And when some helpful reporter asked why he pushed this so hard, Terenthian officials would surely respond, "He's a Calirath."

As a result of the above the assassination attempt won't be read as a sign of Zindel's weakness, as Chava had hoped (and could have reasonably expected at least within Uromathia), but as a traitorous attack on Zindel in his moment of triumph (even within Uromathia).

This means two things, first the Order of Bergahl and worship of its God is dead. Andrin's message blaming it for the assassination, will go out and will trigger riots across Sharona, everything associated with Bergahl will burn. I pity anyone wearing its regalia on the night of the attack. Second, if Chava is credibly tied to the attempt the Caliraths won't need to kill him. His own people will rise in revolt and do it for them (remember here he rules by fear, when people get angry enough not to be afraid he falls).

Nicholas
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Re: Reflecting Upon RTH -- SPOILER THREAD
Post by Howard T. Map-addict   » Mon Apr 18, 2016 2:09 pm

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1) Supply problems. That portal is more than half-a-day's
dragonflight from Thermin, therefore a two-day trip.
The AEF has lost about 10% of its transport dragons.
The rest are scattered over a 4,000 mile supply chain.
Harshu and Toralk just cannot spare any to support a picket
600 miles away ... or think they can't. Remember that they
are a colonel and a lieutenant-colonel, trying to do the
job of generals.

I would have thought that by the time of Fifth Corps' attack,
about four months after Fort Salby battle, Arcana would have
had time to send generals from home to the front.

2) Mul Gurthik is still in Fort Talon,
spinning and re-weaving his webs, and biding his time.

His plans to dispose of certain Andarans have not been
executed yet. Specifically, we are told in Book Two that
Javelin Porath's promotion to Sword would set off a Spell
to make him kill Neshok and then himself. But in Book Three,
Porath has gotten his promotion, and he and Neshok are still
alive.

3) I agree.

HTM

brnicholas wrote:I finally managed to read RTH. Here are a few of my first thoughts.

1) Why, why, why wasn't their an Arcanan picket on the Resym/Nairsom portal??? We know they had a presence there at one point, per chapter 2 of RTH the Sharonan portal fort at the Resym/Nairsom portal was destroyed (obviously by Carthos). The only reason I can think of this omission is carelessness.

2) Where is mul Gurthik and what is he up to?? He never appears in the book but every Arcanan we see thinking about politics is wondering what the heck he is doing.

3) I was very surprised by how unchanged Mythalian culture appears to be. The first couple of books had given me the impression that Garthan's lot had been significantly improved by the Union, including freedom to emigrate from Mythal if they want. It looks like that is more on paper then reality since we have text evidence of Shakira using sea drakes to prevent escapes.

I'll have more to say later but that is a starting point.

Nicholas
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Re: Reflecting Upon RTH -- SPOILER THREAD
Post by brnicholas   » Wed Apr 20, 2016 9:17 am

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Keith_w wrote:
brnicholas wrote:I agree with Mil-Tech Bard on this one. With the Terenthian security services only having had effective control of the palace for 6 months there is no way they could truly secure it.

Securing a building of that size inside a major city is a massive task requiring extensive knowledge that takes a long time to develop. Not only does the building need to be known in great detail, but so do the people using it, and the people living around it, and the people and goods moving through the area. All of these will change on a seasonal basis so you need several years experience to know what is normal at this time of year. Issues like, do the men who guard the access points to the various maintenance areas know the names, faces and schedules of the people who have business being there matter.

Terenthian protection services could have hired lots of agents. But it would take years for the analyises responsible for sorting the needles which indicate plots out of the fields of straw bales that those agents are going to generate to know what the fields look like normally. In sum, I agree with Mil-Tech, "Enemy agents and explosives getting into and out of said palace is less an "intelligence failure" than an unavoidable risk."

Nicholas


I disagree with both of you, and since neither of our sides seems able to persuade the other, we will just have to continue to disagree.


I have changed my mind. The bomb in the palace might have been an unavoidable risk. The bomb on the Peregrine, though, was a major security and intelligence failure. Where there is one there are likely to be more so I accept your view that the bomb in palace was probably one as well.

Nicholas
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Re: Reflecting Upon RTH -- SPOILER THREAD
Post by brnicholas   » Wed Apr 20, 2016 9:24 am

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Howard T. Map-addict wrote:
I would have thought that by the time of Fifth Corps' attack,
about four months after Fort Salby battle, Arcana would have
had time to send generals from home to the front.



Maybe, but just how long did mul Gurthik delay his official report and what would be the justification for replacing mul Gurthik as govenor? Note, the Sharonan generals took over, when there troops arrived not as soon as they could get there and Arcanan reinforcements have not had time to arrive.

I would also like to add that the lack of mention of Arcanan reinforcements in RTH is evidence of the high quality of this work. The scenes set on Arcana introduce us to Mythalian culture as seen from the inside, show Shylar and Jathmar's encounter with Arcanan culture and resolve Jasak's and Gadrial's courtship. None of those stories requires any information to be provided about high level Arcanan politics or Arcanan troop movements, so it wasn't. That isn't implausible, that is good storytelling!

Nicholas
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