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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   » Wed Jan 20, 2016 10:41 pm

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Howard T. Map-addict wrote:No, I am referring to the status of Harshu and his army at the
end of Book 3 (R2H), and making a Prediction for the future.

Of course DW can end this whenever he pleases.
One way would be to give leaders who want peace to all sides.
It depends on what story he wishes to tell.
(As a reader, I find stories in which everything goes wrong,
and all turning points are for the worst, to be irksome.)

HTM



Actually, what I am most fascinated with at the moment is what happens when that IG team goes out from Porticus to figure out what in the dickens is going on...

Will they start their investigation by questioning mul Gurthak? Will the Duke head up the team himself?

They will run into the Sharonians at the swamp portal. By that time Velvelig, Ultar, Arthag and the others should have come out of hiding and be in Sharonian hands. Imagine them approaching the Sharonians and saying something like, "listen, this whole war was launched by a rogue element in our army and certainly doesn't represent the Union of Arcana. We are investigating to find out exactly what happened. Can you share with us your point of view..."

In this fantasy, Shaylar and Jathmar are returned to the Sharonians as a gesture of good faith... perhaps in this scenario, the Duke could be let through to order Harshu's army to stand down preparatory to a permanent peace.

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 Howard T. Map-addict   » Thu Jan 21, 2016 10:50 am

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This time I agree with you!

HTM

n7axw wrote:
Actually, what I am most fascinated with at the moment is what happens when that IG team goes out from Porticus to figure out what in the dickens is going on...

Will they start their investigation by questioning mul Gurthak? Will the Duke head up the team himself?

They will run into the Sharonians at the swamp portal. By that time Velvelig, Ultar, Arthag and the others should have come out of hiding and be in Sharonian hands. Imagine them approaching the Sharonians and saying something like, "listen, this whole war was launched by a rogue element in our army and certainly doesn't represent the Union of Arcana. We are investigating to find out exactly what happened. Can you share with us your point of view..."

In this fantasy, Shaylar and Jathmar are returned to the Sharonians as a gesture of good faith... perhaps in this scenario, the Duke could be let through to order Harshu's army to stand down preparatory to a permanent peace.

Don

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Re: Reflecting Upon RTH -- SPOILER THREAD
Post by Mil-tech bard   » Thu Jan 21, 2016 11:55 am

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Regards this.

Actually, what I am most fascinated with at the moment is what happens when that IG team goes out from Porticus to figure out what in the dickens is going on...

Will they start their investigation by questioning mul Gurthak?


The question here is weather the investigative team survives the interview.


Will the Duke head up the team himself?


The answer here is -No-.

They will run into the Sharonians at the swamp portal. By that time Velvelig, Ultar, Arthag and the others should have come out of hiding and be in Sharonian hands.


Unlikely.

If only because Sharonan will have uncovered so many of the Arcanian atrocities and have them voice-transmitted to their soldiers and people.

It will take a lot of combat before the Sharonan's burn that mad off.

This does not bode well for the cut off Arcanian military forces.

Imagine them approaching the Sharonians and saying something like, "listen, this whole war was launched by a rogue element in our army and certainly doesn't represent the Union of Arcana. We are investigating to find out exactly what happened. Can you share with us your point of view..."


See above.

I'll also add that the Duke's IG team does not have the authority of the Arcanian government to meet with Sharonan diplomats.

It only has the hereditary authority of the Duke over his hereditary troops and the role of the chain of command in the mutiny of same.

The issue of uncovering mul Gurthak's conspiracy and who will speak for the Arcanian Union has to be resolved before much else can happen as far as negotiations are concerned.

The Sharona's idea of negotiation with Arcanian right now involved viewing Arcanian's over open gun sites.


In this fantasy, Shaylar and Jathmar are returned to the Sharonians as a gesture of good faith... perhaps in this scenario, the Duke could be let through to order Harshu's army to stand down preparatory to a permanent peace.


The Sharonan's informing the Arcanians in Hell's Gate under a flag of truce of the Arcanian mutiny and the mutineer's thoughts on mul Gurthak's stage managing the atrocities against Sharona will likely be a really powerful information weapon against the Arcanian Union...

...but that assumes mul Gurthak can't stop the aforementioned information from getting through.

If they captured a hummer messenger coop intact they might be able to get that message through past mul Gurthak with the Arcanian mutineer's assistance.
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Re: Reflecting Upon RTH -- SPOILER THREAD
Post by n7axw   » Thu Jan 21, 2016 4:29 pm

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Mil-tech bard wrote:Regards this.

Actually, what I am most fascinated with at the moment is what happens when that IG team goes out from Porticus to figure out what in the dickens is going on...

Will they start their investigation by questioning mul Gurthak?


The question here is weather the investigative team survives the interview.


Will the Duke head up the team himself?


The answer here is -No-.

They will run into the Sharonians at the swamp portal. By that time Velvelig, Ultar, Arthag and the others should have come out of hiding and be in Sharonian hands.


Unlikely.

If only because Sharonan will have uncovered so many of the Arcanian atrocities and have them voice-transmitted to their soldiers and people.

It will take a lot of combat before the Sharonan's burn that mad off.

This does not bode well for the cut off Arcanian military forces.

Imagine them approaching the Sharonians and saying something like, "listen, this whole war was launched by a rogue element in our army and certainly doesn't represent the Union of Arcana. We are investigating to find out exactly what happened. Can you share with us your point of view..."


See above.

I'll also add that the Duke's IG team does not have the authority of the Arcanian government to meet with Sharonan diplomats.

It only has the hereditary authority of the Duke over his hereditary troops and the role of the chain of command in the mutiny of same.

The issue of uncovering mul Gurthak's conspiracy and who will speak for the Arcanian Union has to be resolved before much else can happen as far as negotiations are concerned.

The Sharona's idea of negotiation with Arcanian right now involved viewing Arcanian's over open gun sites.


In this fantasy, Shaylar and Jathmar are returned to the Sharonians as a gesture of good faith... perhaps in this scenario, the Duke could be let through to order Harshu's army to stand down preparatory to a permanent peace.


The Sharonan's informing the Arcanians in Hell's Gate under a flag of truce of the Arcanian mutiny and the mutineer's thoughts on mul Gurthak's stage managing the atrocities against Sharona will likely be a really powerful information weapon against the Arcanian Union...

...but that assumes mul Gurthak can't stop the aforementioned information from getting through.

If they captured a hummer messenger coop intact they might be able to get that message through past mul Gurthak with the Arcanian mutineer's assistance.


I'm thinking that things might not so clear cut as your post seems to imply...

First, the Duke is pretty high up the pecking order as the Governor of New Arcana which would imply that he would be able on his own authority to send out the IG...with enough military muscle to see that it is able to do its job...the Duke's idea, not mmine, by the way. Secondly, the Duke is the herititory commander of the 2nd Anderan which apparently is a position which gives him both responsibility and authority even though I understand that at least in some sense he is retired which obviously doesn't mean he is put out to pasture. IIRC, he is a "commander of 10,000." So all in all, I suspect that if the Duke wants a commission, he gets his commission and it will be as official as he wants it to be. Call it politics if you will.

Mul Gurthak is a conspirator and a traitor. But he's nobody's fool. For the commission not to survive would provoke a reaction I doubt he'd want to deal with. Mul Gurthak is into finessing. That's how he has risen to his present position. He will also try to finess the IG and see to it that his tools take the blame.

As for the Sharonians, I think they'll talk if provided an opportunity to do so. They are, as you point out, royally pissed off. But they are also not completely insane. If an opportunity comes to talk to someone trustworthy and willing to make amends rather than continue a full throated war, I think they'll take it.

I don't really have direct textev for this, but please note that they will have Ulthar, Sarma and Skivron in custody by the time any committee could approach them if, as I think, Velvelig notices that Sharona is back in control of Hell's Gate and brings his people out of hiding. This could well set up the Sharonians to deal with Arcana rather than the rogue element of Arcana's army that actually staged the attack. There is solid textev that Velvelig himself believes that this might be possible.

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 Mil-tech bard   » Thu Jan 21, 2016 5:10 pm

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First, the Duke is pretty high up the pecking order as the Governor of New Arcana which would imply that he would be able on his own authority to send out the IG...with enough military muscle to see that it is able to do its job...the Duke's idea, not mine


Observation:

Authority of a 4-Star General to order the audit of military units and the chain of command in the US Department of Defense does not extend to controlling the diplomats and negotiating power of the State Department.

Mul Gurthak is a conspirator and a traitor. But he's nobody's fool. For the commission not to survive would provoke a reaction I doubt he'd want to deal with. Mul Gurthak is into finessing.



Mul Gurthak

1. Started a war with a multi-universal imperial enemy of which he had no idea of their capabilities,
2. He stage managed atrocities by his side against said enemy, and he is
3. Planning multiple magical assasinations of his own chain of command to cover up same.

Those are acts have neither finess nor are they particularly smart.

Those acts were in fact foolish. Mul Gurthak expected to be able to control all the players communications with Arcania.

The first notification that Mul Gurthak will have that his plot to control communications has failed will be when the Duke's IG team arrives asking questions about a mutiny he is has the scketchiest awareness of. And at that, only through Alvar Neshok, his designated for remote murder fall guy.

Mul Gurthak is a high caliber mage who can use heart attack spells to kill with a thought, and cornered conspirators tend not to be the most rational of people.


I don't really have direct textev for this, but please note that they will have Ulthar, Sarma and Skivron in custody by the time any committee could approach them if, as I think, Velvelig notices that Sharona is back in control of Hell's Gate and brings his people out of hiding. This could well set up the Sharonians to deal with Arcana rather than the rogue element of Arcana's army that actually staged the attack. There is solid textev that Velvelig himself believes that this might be possible.


Exactly who on the Arcanian, that Mul Gurthak doesn't control, will Velvelig be able to contact?

There are hundreds of miles between the Hell's Gate swamp portal and the Arcanian base camp, and further still to the next Arcanian controlled gate.

Mul Gurthak can stage manage the IG team, kill them, subvert them, or arrange his own death in that pause.

The crushing of cut off Arcanian military forces and securing the line of suppl;y to Hell's Gate are the primary objectived of Sharonan imperial focus for the short term, and at that the Sharonan imperial house has also got a massive internal security issue at hand.

Both sides are on high inertial autopilot courses that have to be resolved before the next round of diplomacy can even be possible.

'Til then, blows must decide.
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Re: Reflecting Upon RTH -- SPOILER THREAD
Post by Howard T. Map-addict   » Thu Jan 21, 2016 6:03 pm

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Obviously, the Arcanan Investigative Team will need to
include some high-powered mages!
Otherwise, it might be destroyed ... or subverted.

Mul Gurthik had kept his head down, and his magic hidden,
long enough to attain his present position. Did he do
that because he was smart, or carefully instructed?
How much of each?
Remember, Mythal's Council Of Twelve has put several of
its people into similar positions. A mistake by any of
them might expose them all!

With the discovery of Sharonans, he took the drastic
actions M-t b describes below.
Were they foolish actions done when his instructions
failed him, reflex actions that any Mythalan would do,
or was the conspiracy about ready to come into the open
and begin acting anyway?
Again remember, mul Gurthik was trying to discredit the
Olderhams by putting an agent into young Jasek's own
trusted circle, and geting him to betraying his father.
Such an attempt might be noticed.
If successful, it would certainly be noticed!
Perhaps the Council 12 were ready to move openly,
in which case mul Gurthik would be less inhibited.

The agent was a fool, who would certainly fail, one way
or another. Those who chose him, made a Big Mistake.
What other Mistakes have they made?
It might be that they are like the Kzin,
always attacking prematurely!

Mul Gurthik is not as good as he thinks he is.
I've said that before.

HTM (another paragraph interspired)

Mil-tech bard wrote:
Observation:

Authority of a 4-Star General to order the audit of military units and the chain of command in the US Department of Defense does not extend to controlling the diplomats and negotiating power of the State Department.


Mul Gurthak ...

1. Started a war with a multi-universal imperial enemy of which he had no idea of their capabilities,
2. He stage managed atrocities by his side against said enemy, and he is
3. Planning multiple magical assasinations of his own chain of command to cover up same.

Those are acts have neither finess nor are they particularly smart.

Those acts were in fact foolish. Mul Gurthak expected to be able to control all the players communications with Arcania.

The first notification that Mul Gurthak will have that his plot to control communications has failed will be when the Duke's IG team arrives asking questions about a mutiny he is has the scketchiest awareness of. And at that, only through Alvar Neshok, his designated for remote murder fall guy.

Mul Gurthak is a high caliber mage who can use heart attack spells to kill with a thought, and cornered conspirators tend not to be the most rational of people.

HTM interspersed:
Who Velvelig and Sharma can contact,
depends on how WD & JP write the story.
He (they, she) will almost certainly be someone we had
not been shown in the first two books,
unless Gadriel is the person.
HTM


Exactly who on the Arcanian, that Mul Gurthak doesn't control, will Velvelig be able to contact?

There are hundreds of miles between the Hell's Gate swamp portal and the Arcanian base camp, and further still to the next Arcanian controlled gate.

Mul Gurthak can stage manage the IG team, kill them, subvert them, or arrange his own death in that pause.

The crushing of cut off Arcanian military forces and securing the line of suppl;y to Hell's Gate are the primary objectived of Sharonan imperial focus for the short term, and at that the Sharonan imperial house has also got a massive internal security issue at hand.

Both sides are on high inertial autopilot courses that have to be resolved before the next round of diplomacy can even be possible.

'Til then, blows must decide.
Top
Re: Reflecting Upon RTH -- SPOILER THREAD
Post by n7axw   » Thu Jan 21, 2016 7:41 pm

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Mil-tech bard wrote:
Observation:

Authority of a 4-Star General to order the audit of military units and the chain of command in the US Department of Defense does not extend to controlling the diplomats and negotiating power of the State Department.



No it doesn't. But the key here isn't authority. It's influence. The Duke has tons of that not merely because he has a military position, but because he has his role as governor and, IIRC, a position on Arcana's governing council. So he also can influence what happens at state.

I tend to be in a bit closer agreement with you on mul Gurtak.
He reminds me a bit of Kolokoltzov in the Honorverse...very good at manipulating the scene he is accustomed to, but unless its magic he doesn't respect it. So he is able to discount Sharona as primitive. But having the IG team die would place him under immediate suspicion sinse everyone else on Arcana would understand the possibilities of magical murder as well as you do. Successfully implementing his conspiracy depends on him being able to pose as the good guy.

No one has suggested that Velvelig contact anyone on the Arcanan side. His role is simply to discover that the Sharonians have retaken the portals and then lead his mixed Arcanan/Sharonian party out and report in to his own army. By the time that the IG group can contact the Sharonians, the Sharonians will already have prior exposure to the notion that the war was launched without the prior knowledge or consent of the Arcanan government.

You are right to point out that Arcana and Sharona have their internal issues. But in Sharona's case, I don't think those issues get in the way of negotiating a peace. For Arcana, it is a bit more problemsome since the war was launched as a vehicle for implementing the Mythalyn conspiracy. That is where I see the real tension in the plot right now.

Don

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Re: Reflecting Upon RTH -- SPOILER THREAD
Post by n7axw   » Fri Jan 22, 2016 11:00 pm

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PeterZ wrote:Whether Arcanan societies are civilized or not is less the issue than whether it can adapt to massive change. A massive change in how their economies and societies function. Adapting to those changes will undermine the ability of those societies to engage in a multi-universal war. From this perspective Mythal is going to get massively schlonged. Ransar will likely have significant tumult but take the most advantage of the new knowledge. Andara will remain somewhere in between.


Hi Peter,

I'm a bit slow at responding to this one, but I have just had a thought. The degree to which a society is able to respond to change has a lot to do with the degree to which they are civilized, or perhaps better stated, the quality of the civilizing experience they have had.

Ransar has a very strong well spring of creativity because of the degree of personal liberty to which Ransarans have been accustomed. The freedom to explore new ideas and try different things introduces an underlying dynamic of change that equips Ransarans to deal with it much better than they would otherwise.

Andara has its accent on its social rules and which potentially make change more difficult to deal with sinse society becomes more rigid, more stratified. However, this is at least in part compensated for by an honor code which not only stresses honest and fair dealing, but also care for people who are vulnerable which means that as change happens, for Andara it becomes a communal experience with fewer people left behind.

Mythal, finally, is a real mess. All the magic in the world can't change the reality of a small self serving elite ruthlessly exploiting everybody else. There is no room for adaptation to change here because all social change is threatening to the elite and is suppressed as ruthlessly as possible. The bottom line will mean that change will come violently as the Shikira lose control and wind up being hunted down and slaughtered by the garthan out of richly earned hatred. Think Paris 1789-1793. Or Russia in 1917.

So we might say that the type and quality of civilization will have a good deal to determine the impact of change and a society's ability to deal with it. All of this I would see as a parable in which our authors comment on the modern world in which we live.

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   » Fri Jan 22, 2016 11:19 pm

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Another reflection I've had focuses around Chava Busar of the Uromanthian Empire. He obviously was behind the assasination attempt on the Calirath family through his cut out the Senachel who apparently set up what happened in the palace while his people more directly managed the attempt on Andrin.

In the immediate aftermath of the attempt, he has the Senaschel killed. I wonder if he was aware that the whole Calirath family actually survived the attempt before he killed the Senaschel. Could it be that that murder will tip off the Caliraths that the Senaschel was only the cut out for the assasination attempt and to look deeper into who else might be involved...

Also, I find myself wondering about Zindel... will he recover to be able to resume his responsibilities or will he be forced into retirement as he abdictates in favor of Andrin?

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 PeterZ   » Sat Jan 23, 2016 12:38 am

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Don,

Civilized does not denote moral or adaptive. Mythal is ultra civilized and has a moral code only a relativist could find value in. Civilized in that they have the society has mores and folkways that are effective in maintaining a large complex society.

Andara's strict code of honor will keep it functioning as economic stress shakes up that society. Honor after all is a defining characteristic of how individuals deal with each other. How money changes hands and the financial distress one suffers does not change the personal obligations honor demands from an individual.

Ransar prides itself on valuing the individual. They also appear to value effective individuals. In a large population of individualists, there will be enough such effective individuals to ease the financial dislocations of any new knowledge.

Chava Bizarre just gave the only possible pretext to shorten the war to no more than maybe 3 more books. Zindel is barely alive and horribly injured. There will be many Magistron healers soon to fall under the Imperial Ternaithian Army's control. Enough said.
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