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Why can shaylar and jathmar not go home?

"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!
Why can shaylar and jathmar not go home?
Post by ThisName1   » Sun Apr 16, 2017 3:14 am

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I'm going back through the series and several times they've said that they can never go home. Their also all acting as if they can't go home eventually.

The war has to end sometime, and even if it rages for years I doubt anyone thinks it will go on long enough for them to die of old age. And the knowledge that they are alive will get out eventually, when it does demands that they be returned will be loud and probably a non-negotiable part of any peace treaty.
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Re: Why can shaylar and jathmar not go home?
Post by PeterZ   » Sun Apr 16, 2017 11:54 am

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ThisName1 wrote:I'm going back through the series and several times they've said that they can never go home. Their also all acting as if they can't go home eventually.

The war has to end sometime, and even if it rages for years I doubt anyone thinks it will go on long enough for them to die of old age. And the knowledge that they are alive will get out eventually, when it does demands that they be returned will be loud and probably a non-negotiable part of any peace treaty.

The assumption is that Arcanans will not let them leave and have the military chops to enforce that. The Andarans and Mythalans will likely try to keep the Sharonans as ignorant as possible about the Union's inner workings. By now Shaylar will have seen enough interactions of high Union officials for Sharonan analysts to get a very accurate view of Arcanan government and cultural influences in their policy.

One thing that comes to mind about Arcanans is their greater paranoia about Sharonans. Sharonan hatred stems from betrayals. That underlying paranoia will encourage elements of the Union to kill Shaylar and Jathmar rather than letting return home.
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Re: Why can shaylar and jathmar not go home?
Post by ThisName1   » Sun Apr 16, 2017 1:26 pm

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That is true, I wasn't considering that arcana might prefer to continue the war rather than send them home. I also forgot about the political maneuverings that the mythalan putting into play.
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Re: Why can shaylar and jathmar not go home?
Post by PeterZ   » Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:11 am

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ThisName1 wrote:That is true, I wasn't considering that arcana might prefer to continue the war rather than send them home. I also forgot about the political maneuverings that the mythalan putting into play.


Not continue the war. Simply tell Sharonan to pound sand when they request their citizens back. They assume the war ends when and on whatever terms they dictate. I don't think even Jasak believes Arcana can lose. Given their having WMDs, they likely can't lose. However, they might also not be able to win.

Sharona on the other hand might settle for a truce, but not a true peace until their people are returned.
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Re: Why can shaylar and jathmar not go home?
Post by Jonathan_S   » Mon Apr 17, 2017 3:45 pm

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ThisName1 wrote:That is true, I wasn't considering that arcana might prefer to continue the war rather than send them home. I also forgot about the political maneuverings that the mythalan putting into play.

And thanks to the Mythalans Arcana has already lied to the Sharonians - telling them Shaylar and Jathmar are dead.

It'd be pretty embarrassing to hand them over after that - embarrassing enough that I'm sure the Mythalans would much prefer to just quietly kill them (if they could get at them).

However I can't remember if Shaylar and Jathmar know yet about that lie. Guess I need to find time to reread the books :D
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Re: Why can shaylar and jathmar not go home?
Post by Robert_A_Woodward   » Tue Apr 18, 2017 2:15 am

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Jonathan_S wrote:
ThisName1 wrote:That is true, I wasn't considering that arcana might prefer to continue the war rather than send them home. I also forgot about the political maneuverings that the mythalan putting into play.

And thanks to the Mythalans Arcana has already lied to the Sharonians - telling them Shaylar and Jathmar are dead.

It'd be pretty embarrassing to hand them over after that - embarrassing enough that I'm sure the Mythalans would much prefer to just quietly kill them (if they could get at them).

However I can't remember if Shaylar and Jathmar know yet about that lie. Guess I need to find time to reread the books :D


Fifty Uthar didn't find out about that lie until after the mutiny which was after he sent his message to the Duke. Note that in chapter 25, Thankhar Olderhan didn't mention that lie in the long list of lies identified in Fifty Ulthar's report. Being what he is, he would not have skipped it.
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Beowulf was bad.
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Re: Why can shaylar and jathmar not go home?
Post by ThisName1   » Thu Apr 20, 2017 3:14 am

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Jonathan_S wrote:
ThisName1 wrote:That is true, I wasn't considering that arcana might prefer to continue the war rather than send them home. I also forgot about the political maneuverings that the mythalan putting into play.

And thanks to the Mythalans Arcana has already lied to the Sharonians - telling them Shaylar and Jathmar are dead.

It'd be pretty embarrassing to hand them over after that - embarrassing enough that I'm sure the Mythalans would much prefer to just quietly kill them (if they could get at them).

However I can't remember if Shaylar and Jathmar know yet about that lie. Guess I need to find time to reread the books :D


Regardless of how embarrassing returning them would be, I can almost guarantee that Sharona won't sign any treaty that doesn't include their repatriation.

I was just thinking about it from the wrong viewpoint. If the arcanans think that they can't lose, or think they can hold the Sharonians off well enough to force favorable terms out of them, then whatever societal baggage comes with the whole shardonai thing comes into play. For all I know shardonai are supposed to stay with their baranal.

Maybe if the Sharonians don't stop at the swamp portal and take a few universes of their own might change a few minds.

Now I'm getting interested to see the Shurkhali military get in the fight. If they fight well and the blood vengeance thing comes into play... well we'll see.
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Re: Why can shaylar and jathmar not go home?
Post by thanatos   » Sat Apr 22, 2017 11:35 am

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At present, the only Sharonians who know that Shaylar and Jathmar are alive are those who escaped the treachery of the negotiations (by way of their interrogation of Rithmar Skirvon) and the Fort Ghartoun POWs (by way of their Andaran mutineers and saviors). And both groups are now joined in one place behind enemy lines as it were. But we also know that Sharonian forces have managed to get behind Harshu and AEF and take the Swamp Portal again. That gives those Sharonians the best chance to get back in contact with their people and tell them the good news. Yet at the same time, they also have to be wary of pursuit so we have to wonder if they periodically sent out scouts to check if anything has changed. Before Velvelig and his men joined them, they probably didn't have the manpower for that but now they do.

Its also possible that once the AEF get run over by Sharona (or starved out), Harshu will surrender and spill the beans to whoever is interrogating him. But Harshu's political problems will remain the same. He would need to admit that his people committed atrocities that he acquiesced to at the very least. It's possible that if Neshok hasn't yet to be assassinated by Porath (by way of mul Gurthik's compulsion), Harshu will gladly hand him over to the Sharonians for trial, along with himself and anyone else who was involved in those atrocities, provided that the trials be conducted under the Korellian Accords and with the involvement of any high ranking Arcanan officers who were not involved in any wrongdoing. Yet the easy way out for Arcana would be to claim that such trials are a farce, forced upon Harshu with the threat that if he didn't agree to it, the evil Sharonians promised to execute all of the surviving POWs. And it would take a godawful time for news of these trials to reach Arcana if ever it reaches them at all.

So right at this moment, Shaylar and Jathmar are the only significant POWs Arcana has in its custody. Honored prisoners or not, they represent the best chance Arcana has to understanding their enemies and the greatest security threat given what Shaylar and Jathmar already know. Add to that the months of travel it would take to get them to front and assuming no order is sent after them to stop because something changed. Add to that the fact that Jasyk Olderhan's acquittal officially laid the blame for the war of Shevan Garlith but that he is inconveniently dead. And add to that the fact that control of the Hell's Gate universe with all its resources and 7 portals is also a bone of contention in this conflict. That means that Shaylar and Jathmar have become valuable bargaining chips (along with any children they might have on Arcana). Any return home could only occur after a final peace treaty is concluded.
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Re: Why can shaylar and jathmar not go home?
Post by ThisName1   » Sun Apr 23, 2017 12:34 am

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[/u]Your most likely correct, I really don't see them being returned as a sign of good faith or anything like that. Although I can see the Arcanans allowing some form of communication with their families during negotiations, whenever they actually happen.

But I've been paying more attention while going over the last book again and at one point while discussing Jasak's home in chapter 17, a comment is made about Shaylar and Jathmar being required to live with Jasak. That's why I think there's going to be some cultural baggage involved and is most likely the reason everyone seems to assume they are never going home.
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Re: Why can shaylar and jathmar not go home?
Post by PeterZ   » Mon Apr 24, 2017 12:42 am

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I never said they were never going home. I said that Arcanans assumed they coul refuse to repatriate them and make it stick. One way or another Shaylar and Jathmar will make the Union of Arcana suffer immense pain. That insight into Sharonan tech Gadriel had will be the centerpiece for what those two will throw at the Union. Turmoil will be an understatement.

Once our kidnapped heroes hit their strides, Arcana will be begging them to leave.
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