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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 PeterZ   » Sat Jan 30, 2016 11:44 am

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Text suggests that Harshu recognized mul Gurthik's battle plan would have played fast and loose with Kerellian Accords. Had he declined command, the Kerellian Accords would have been so much toilet paper with Carthas and Neshok setting the tone. That sort of behaviour would have put Arcanan troops in legal jeopardy even if the offensive was 100% successful. The jeopardy to the Sharonans is obvious.

One thing to remember is that Neshok gave his initial briefing while mil Gurthik could still have changed commanders. Many of the operational plans depended on speed and coordination. Changing them after the offensive was launched would have put Arcanan lives at risk. Once the offensive stalled, changing procedures would place fewer Arcanans at risk.

My point is that Harshu might not have had a real opportunity to change Neshok's plans until the offesive stalls without risk to his troops. He chose to sacrifice his honor by accepting this expedient while determined to mitigate what he could.
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Re: Reflecting Upon RTH -- SPOILER THREAD
Post by n7axw   » Sat Jan 30, 2016 2:07 pm

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PeterZ wrote:Text suggests that Harshu recognized mul Gurthik's battle plan would have played fast and loose with Kerellian Accords. Had he declined command, the Kerellian Accords would have been so much toilet paper with Carthas and Neshok setting the tone. That sort of behaviour would have put Arcanan troops in legal jeopardy even if the offensive was 100% successful. The jeopardy to the Sharonans is obvious.

One thing to remember is that Neshok gave his initial briefing while mil Gurthik could still have changed commanders. Many of the operational plans depended on speed and coordination. Changing them after the offensive was launched would have put Arcanan lives at risk. Once the offensive stalled, changing procedures would place fewer Arcanans at risk.

My point is that Harshu might not have had a real opportunity to change Neshok's plans until the offesive stalls without risk to his troops. He chose to sacrifice his honor by accepting this expedient while determined to mitigate what he could.


Can you refer me to the textev you are remembering?

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   » Sun Jan 31, 2016 8:43 am

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PeterZ wrote:Text suggests that Harshu recognized mul Gurthik's battle plan would have played fast and loose with Kerellian Accords. Had he declined command, the Kerellian Accords would have been so much toilet paper with Carthas and Neshok setting the tone. That sort of behaviour would have put Arcanan troops in legal jeopardy even if the offensive was 100% successful. The jeopardy to the Sharonans is obvious.

One thing to remember is that Neshok gave his initial briefing while mil Gurthik could still have changed commanders. Many of the operational plans depended on speed and coordination. Changing them after the offensive was launched would have put Arcanan lives at risk. Once the offensive stalled, changing procedures would place fewer Arcanans at risk.

My point is that Harshu might not have had a real opportunity to change Neshok's plans until the offesive stalls without risk to his troops. He chose to sacrifice his honor by accepting this expedient while determined to mitigate what he could.


Harshu knew exactly what was going on and was perfectly willing to accept the violations of the accords in order to advance up the chain as far as possible before the Sharonans became aware of the advance and able to respond. He knew what it would mean for his own career if he was lucky, and if not lucky, then it would mean visiting the dragons but he was willing to accept that.

What he is now aware of is that he is in even deeper trouble because not only has he destroyed his honour, but he is also cut off by Sharonan forces from the reinforcement Gurthak had no intentions of sending him, and news of the violations and lies has reached Arcana.
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Re: Reflecting Upon RTH -- SPOILER THREAD
Post by n7axw   » Sun Jan 31, 2016 5:55 pm

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Keith_w wrote:
PeterZ wrote:Text suggests that Harshu recognized mul Gurthik's battle plan would have played fast and loose with Kerellian Accords. Had he declined command, the Kerellian Accords would have been so much toilet paper with Carthas and Neshok setting the tone. That sort of behaviour would have put Arcanan troops in legal jeopardy even if the offensive was 100% successful. The jeopardy to the Sharonans is obvious.

One thing to remember is that Neshok gave his initial briefing while mil Gurthik could still have changed commanders. Many of the operational plans depended on speed and coordination. Changing them after the offensive was launched would have put Arcanan lives at risk. Once the offensive stalled, changing procedures would place fewer Arcanans at risk.

My point is that Harshu might not have had a real opportunity to change Neshok's plans until the offesive stalls without risk to his troops. He chose to sacrifice his honor by accepting this expedient while determined to mitigate what he could.


Harshu knew exactly what was going on and was perfectly willing to accept the violations of the accords in order to advance up the chain as far as possible before the Sharonans became aware of the advance and able to respond. He knew what it would mean for his own career if he was lucky, and if not lucky, then it would mean visiting the dragons but he was willing to accept that.

What he is now aware of is that he is in even deeper trouble because not only has he destroyed his honour, but he is also cut off by Sharonan forces from the reinforcement Gurthak had no intentions of sending him, and news of the violations and lies has reached Arcana.


You are stating the consensus on what happened here, Keith. The question at hand is whether or not Harshu should have done that. My answer is no. The consequences of sacrificing his honor is at least potentially much worse and far more damaging over the long term than the cost of insisting that his subordinates not torture and murder.

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 Jan 31, 2016 7:37 pm

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n7axw wrote:
Keith_w wrote:Harshu knew exactly what was going on and was perfectly willing to accept the violations of the accords in order to advance up the chain as far as possible before the Sharonans became aware of the advance and able to respond. He knew what it would mean for his own career if he was lucky, and if not lucky, then it would mean visiting the dragons but he was willing to accept that.

What he is now aware of is that he is in even deeper trouble because not only has he destroyed his honour, but he is also cut off by Sharonan forces from the reinforcement Gurthak had no intentions of sending him, and news of the violations and lies has reached Arcana.


You are stating the consensus on what happened here, Keith. The question at hand is whether or not Harshu should have done that. My answer is no. The consequences of sacrificing his honor is at least potentially much worse and far more damaging over the long term than the cost of insisting that his subordinates not torture and murder.

Don

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My answer is a bit more nuanced. I think that if Harshu was going to attack he had to use torture. It is not conceivable that he could have pulled of the attack without it, he couldn't have found the portals past Hell's Gate without getting prisoners to tell him where they were and torture was the only way to do that.

His folly shows itself in two areas, however, and it is the fact that I judge this folly is why Harshu is the character in these books I most pity.

His first folly was in letting freelance torture occur. Whatever, he was permitting Neshok he ought to have come down like a hammer on anyone else violating the Accords. The guilt he was expressing in HHNF over Neshok just brings out further the fact that he should have been proactive in preventing freelance abuse.

His second folly was in attacking at all. There was some talk earlier in this thread of what would have happened if Harshu had opposed mul Gurthik's attack plans or refused to command the attack and how that would have made things worse. I disagree, if Harshu had not acted like a fool he would have openly and publicly opposed the order to attack. Out in the boonies like this is 2000 mul Gurthik is saying attack and 2000 Harshu is saying that attacking is a gross violation of standing orders and stupid to boot, the underlings are just about certain to ask for clarification from headquarters instead of doing anything permanent. So if Harshu had refused to support the attack, at least by silence, it wouldn't have happened.

Nicholas
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Re: Reflecting Upon RTH -- SPOILER THREAD
Post by n7axw   » Sun Jan 31, 2016 8:25 pm

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brnicholas wrote:
My answer is a bit more nuanced. I think that if Harshu was going to attack he had to use torture. It is not conceivable that he could have pulled of the attack without it, he couldn't have found the portals past Hell's Gate without getting prisoners to tell him where they were and torture was the only way to do that.

His folly shows itself in two areas, however, and it is the fact that I judge this folly is why Harshu is the character in these books I most pity.

His first folly was in letting freelance torture occur. Whatever, he was permitting Neshok he ought to have come down like a hammer on anyone else violating the Accords. The guilt he was expressing in HHNF over Neshok just brings out further the fact that he should have been proactive in preventing freelance abuse.

His second folly was in attacking at all. There was some talk earlier in this thread of what would have happened if Harshu had opposed mul Gurthik's attack plans or refused to command the attack and how that would have made things worse. I disagree, if Harshu had not acted like a fool he would have openly and publicly opposed the order to attack. Out in the boonies like this is 2000 mul Gurthik is saying attack and 2000 Harshu is saying that attacking is a gross violation of standing orders and stupid to boot, the underlings are just about certain to ask for clarification from headquarters instead of doing anything permanent. So if Harshu had refused to support the attack, at least by silence, it wouldn't have happened.

Nicholas


You are aware, of course, that your assertion here is controversial. There are ways of interrogating that do not involve torture and could well be more reliable. I am not qualified to rule one way or the other on the matter, but I've seen interrogaters interviewed who would contradict what you are saying here.

Yes he did need to know where the portals were, but my thought is that these were pristine universes and that Sharonians couldn't fly. That would mean that they would have to build at least crude roads upon which to travel to build their portal forts and move from portal to portal which should have made it possible to scout from the air.

As for the attack, once he accepted the command he probably was legally bound by the orders of his lawful superior. He probably could have sent hummer messages to the commandery in Portalis to inform them of those orders should they want to supervise mul Gurthak more closely.

I suspect that without Neshok's input, the campaign would probably had the same outcome as it did. It might have gone slower and been a bit more expensive in terms of casualties. But up to Ft. Salby, none of those portal forts were strong enough to resist Harshu even if they had been forewarned. That means he would have been stopped about where he was.

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   » Sun Jan 31, 2016 8:44 pm

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I disagree with brnicholas. Had Harshu declined command he would have died of a stroke before accomplishing anything.
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Re: Reflecting Upon RTH -- SPOILER THREAD
Post by n7axw   » Sun Jan 31, 2016 9:13 pm

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PeterZ wrote:I disagree with brnicholas. Had Harshu declined command he would have died of a stroke before accomplishing anything.


Perhaps. But that would have had about as much subtlty as cracking Harshu over the head with a sledge hammer. Having people die at convenient moments may well be something mul Gurthak can accomplish, but even he needs to be a bit discrete or people will start asking inconvenient questions.

Think about those two men who died who were connected to that incident with the yellow dragon and crowd control. Thankyr Oldham might not be able to prove a thing, but you can bet that the incident won't be forgotten even if it is in the "cold case file." So also will that knife left with vos Hoven at the end of RTH. Eventually the truth will out.

Don

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Re: Reflecting Upon RTH -- SPOILER THREAD
Post by PeterZ   » Sun Jan 31, 2016 9:24 pm

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Mul Gurthak recognizes that and will as he is doing now manage the deaths as tracelessly as possible. Deaths happen especially in a war zone. My point is that Harshu would accomplish nothing save providing coincidental evidence of a plot had he declined command of the AEF.

n7axw wrote:
PeterZ wrote:I disagree with brnicholas. Had Harshu declined command he would have died of a stroke before accomplishing anything.


Perhaps. But that would have had about as much subtlty as cracking Harshu over the head with a sledge hammer. Having people die at convenient moments may well be something mul Gurthak can accomplish, but even he needs to be a bit discrete or people will start asking inconvenient questions.

Think about those two men who died who were connected to that incident with the yellow dragon and crowd control. Thankyr Oldham might not be able to prove a thing, but you can bet that the incident won't be forgotten even if it is in the "cold case file." So also will that knife left with vos Hoven at the end of RTH. Eventually the truth will out.

Don

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Re: Reflecting Upon RTH -- SPOILER THREAD
Post by PeterZ   » Sun Jan 31, 2016 9:30 pm

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I searched but did not find the specific section I was thinking of. I could have sworn there was a conversation between Toralk and Harshu that touched on Harshu's suspicions of mul Gurthak, Neshok and Carthos. I'll reread RTH and find it then.

In the mean time I will settle for speculation that Harshu suspected mul Gurthak of wanting to disregard the Kerellian Accords for some political manoeuvre. Accepting command of the AEF was his attempt to give Arcana its military goals while not letting the Accords be completely ignored.

One can argue whether Harshu chose the lesser of two evils in a binary solution set or took an expedient choice that was avoidable to attaining his goal. I don't believe it can be argued he made the choice without thinking of those his choice would impact as the primary concern. He truly wanted to do the best he could for all concerned within the priorities set by his responsibilities.

n7axw wrote:
PeterZ wrote:Text suggests that Harshu recognized mul Gurthik's battle plan would have played fast and loose with Kerellian Accords. Had he declined command, the Kerellian Accords would have been so much toilet paper with Carthas and Neshok setting the tone. That sort of behaviour would have put Arcanan troops in legal jeopardy even if the offensive was 100% successful. The jeopardy to the Sharonans is obvious.

One thing to remember is that Neshok gave his initial briefing while mil Gurthik could still have changed commanders. Many of the operational plans depended on speed and coordination. Changing them after the offensive was launched would have put Arcanan lives at risk. Once the offensive stalled, changing procedures would place fewer Arcanans at risk.

My point is that Harshu might not have had a real opportunity to change Neshok's plans until the offesive stalls without risk to his troops. He chose to sacrifice his honor by accepting this expedient while determined to mitigate what he could.


Can you refer me to the textev you are remembering?

Don

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