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SPOILERS: Anyone else... disappointed?

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Re: SPOILERS: Anyone else... disappointed?
Post by n7axw   » Thu Nov 17, 2016 12:08 am

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I wholeheartedly enjoyed the book. But I did find the explanation for the end of the war less than convincing. What it seemed to amount to was We are soooo tired of people dying that we're gonna let Duchairn try to straighten out the COGA and the inquisition. Besides, there is that thing under the Temple...

Probably this was a plot device to get us into the next story arc. But still, I did feel a bit let down by the way it turned out.

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: SPOILERS: Anyone else... disappointed?
Post by PeterZ   » Thu Nov 17, 2016 2:09 am

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It all comes down to Helm Cleaver. Phandys contacted Helm Cleaver with a proposal from Duchairn. That means the good guys in Zion will know that Charis had a chance to avoid bloodshed and passed it up to more thoroughly destroy Mother Church. They wouldn't simply be achieving their stated goals, but would be grinding the CoGA into a fine sand by letting millions die. Helm Cleaver and the Sisters of Saint Kohdy would recognize that Charis lied about their stated goals and were willing to let millions die that helping Duchairn would save.

The SSK would never be the internal pro Charisian voices within Mother Church they will now become. They would have seen Charis as dishonest as any Temple Land episcopate. By helping Duchairn Charis has gained tons of goodwill and the CoGA voluntary acceptance of moral parity for all Churches.

Had Charis and their seijins let Duchairn fail, the SSK, Helm Cleaver and common Zion resident would have wondered why they let so many die that could have been saved. Look at all the miraculous thing seijin have done. Why wouldn't they have saved Duchairn? There really is no good reason besides a desire the destroy the CoGA.
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Re: SPOILERS: Anyone else... disappointed?
Post by balekyl   » Thu Nov 17, 2016 3:22 am

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I would like to address some of the complaints. First in response to the disappointment in the limited usage of the new battleships. It was inevitable that eventually Charis would technologically advance farther than the Church could match without adopting the same industrial techniques; which they never did. They remained in shouting distance by a larger manpower base. There is no logical way the Church could match the technology necessary to build a WWI era battleship in less than decades, so there is no realistic story mechanic for those battleships to be less than immediately decisive. On to the coup. I agree that there was no other way that was going to play out. It was clear from the last book that Clynton was going to start killing everyone once he accepted that he couldn't win, so a coup was Duchairn and Megwair's only logical choice. As to whether Charis should or should not have supported them, they would have succeeded regardless in the short term. Megwair had thousands of troops at the training facility ready to ride in. Even without Helm Cleaver and the Snarcs riling up the populous, there wasn't enough support left in Zion for the Inquisition to have stood off those soldiers. Charis could have ignored the coup and kept fighting but as was pointed out they would have lost the moral high ground. Even if Clyntahn hadn't been about lose it and the coup hadnt't been kicked off, there was a limit as to how much longer the war could last. There were literally no signifigant military forces between Charis' northern armies and the Temple. The Harchongese were never going to be able to relieve the Temple. They weren't mobile enough, so the next move would have had Charisian armies marching on the Temple regardless with the same result as Clyntahn started killing everying while he had the chance. what will be interesting for the next book is how to address the temple itself. Merlin still can't bring himself or any sufficiently advanced probes close to it. So he may be left with sending Paiter Wilson in to activate the Key.
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Re: SPOILERS: Anyone else... disappointed?
Post by n7axw   » Thu Nov 17, 2016 10:08 am

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PeterZ wrote:It all comes down to Helm Cleaver. Phandys contacted Helm Cleaver with a proposal from Duchairn. That means the good guys in Zion will know that Charis had a chance to avoid bloodshed and passed it up to more thoroughly destroy Mother Church. They wouldn't simply be achieving their stated goals, but would be grinding the CoGA into a fine sand by letting millions die. Helm Cleaver and the Sisters of Saint Kohdy would recognize that Charis lied about their stated goals and were willing to let millions die that helping Duchairn would save.

The SSK would never be the internal pro Charisian voices within Mother Church they will now become. They would have seen Charis as dishonest as any Temple Land episcopate. By helping Duchairn Charis has gained tons of goodwill and the CoGA voluntary acceptance of moral parity for all Churches.

Had Charis and their seijins let Duchairn fail, the SSK, Helm Cleaver and common Zion resident would have wondered why they let so many die that could have been saved. Look at all the miraculous thing seijin have done. Why wouldn't they have saved Duchairn? There really is no good reason besides a desire the destroy the CoGA.


I'm going to be devil's advocate here sinse I don't really disagree hard enough to argue. This is basicly the argumentation in the book. What was unclear in the book is what millions to die are going being referred to. The MH is on the verge of defeat. It's not going to take killing millions to arrive at the point where the church is out of defenders, broke, and out of luck.

I suppose that the millions being referred to could be the results of a failed coup attempt... But what actual help did the alliance provide? The three elements that pulled it off were Duchairn's direction, Maigwair's troops and the mob. One could consider those brosdsheets and loudspeakers, I suppose. And those were important in providing focus for the mob's anger.

I know that Duchairn and Maigwair have been developed as sympathetic figures. But they were also accessories to and enablers of Clyntahn's crimes. A good solid case could be made for saying that they belong in jail at the minimum.

Finally, by stopping short and giving the COGA time to recover, they have given legs to the argument that God did intervene and save the church which provides a hefty down payment on restoring the COGA's credibility. See, God saved his church after all. And stoping short sets up the next war in which millions more will die...even if it's 20 years down the road.

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: SPOILERS: Anyone else... disappointed?
Post by Louis R   » Thu Nov 17, 2016 12:02 pm

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Yep. God saved His Church.

Ummm... which one? from what?

If the Langhornites don't have a Jesuitical wing now, they will within a decade with questions like that to debate :)

n7axw wrote:
Finally, by stopping short and giving the COGA time to recover, they have given legs to the argument that God did intervene and save the church which provides a hefty down payment on restoring the COGA's credibility. See, God saved his church after all. And stoping short sets up the next war in which millions more will die...even if it's 20 years down the road.

Don

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Re: SPOILERS: Anyone else... disappointed?
Post by PeterZ   » Thu Nov 17, 2016 12:47 pm

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n7axw wrote:I'm going to be devil's advocate here sinse I don't really disagree hard enough to argue. This is basicly the argumentation in the book. What was unclear in the book is what millions to die are going being referred to. The MH is on the verge of defeat. It's not going to take killing millions to arrive at the point where the church is out of defenders, broke, and out of luck.

I suppose that the millions being referred to could be the results of a failed coup attempt... But what actual help did the alliance provide? The three elements that pulled it off were Duchairn's direction, Maigwair's troops and the mob. One could consider those brosdsheets and loudspeakers, I suppose. And those were important in providing focus for the mob's anger.

I know that Duchairn and Maigwair have been developed as sympathetic figures. But they were also accessories to and enablers of Clyntahn's crimes. A good solid case could be made for saying that they belong in jail at the minimum.

Finally, by stopping short and giving the COGA time to recover, they have given legs to the argument that God did intervene and save the church which provides a hefty down payment on restoring the COGA's credibility. See, God saved his church after all. And stoping short sets up the next war in which millions more will die...even if it's 20 years down the road.

Don
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You are very good at archangel advocacy, Don.

Had the surprise attack on the key inquisition agents not happened in conjunction with the general uprising, the Inquisition would have had time to recover. The Army units that marched in to Zion wouldn't have been able to do so under the radar because the Inquisition would have been better organized. The Inquisition would have been able to act against the troops Magwair sent with troops loyal to the Inquisition. In short there would have been much more organized resistance by the Inquisition and far fewer desertions.

Yes, an argument could have been made that Duchairn and Magwair deserve punishment. The price for punishing them is quite high with respect to accepting Charis' ability to persuade safehold on anything, including tech advances. Worse, if that price is demanded and Duchairn and Magwair acquiesce, Charis also loses the moral high ground to the GoGA. They would appear petty and vindictive, especially if Stonahr advocates leniency.

Of course the CoGA will have increased credibility. They will need that to credibility to promote the tech advances they need to keep up with Charis. If Charis is giving their people a morally acceptable way to improve their lives and the CoGA does not, the Church of Charis will convert many more of the faithful CoGA Loyalists. Yet, by using their credibility in that way, they are doing Merlin's work. If they don't support tech advances, they under cut their perceived responsibility to look after their congregants.

All in all Charis is best served by having the CoGA confirm that everything Charis has already done in defending themselves in the jihad is morally acceptable. That includes asserting their own freedom of conscience in defiance of agents of the CoGA. If the Church is wrong, loyal sons and daughters of Mother Church must stand in opposition to what is perceived as wrong. That is only possible if each son or daughter of God has a God given responsibility to so stand in opposition. So if the responsibility resides in the individual and not in the Church Institution, hasn't God saved the body of His Church by using the Church of Charis to save the Church of God Awaiting? By saving His children and allowing them to exercise their responsibility, he has saved His Church.

This story arc has finished by promoting just those sorts of themes and heads into a story arc that deals with the consequences of those themes.
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Re: SPOILERS: Anyone else... disappointed?
Post by NervousEnergy   » Thu Nov 17, 2016 1:13 pm

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n7axw wrote:Finally, by stopping short and giving the COGA time to recover, they have given legs to the argument that God did intervene and save the church which provides a hefty down payment on restoring the COGA's credibility. See, God saved his church after all. And stoping short sets up the next war in which millions more will die...even if it's 20 years down the road.

Don

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That's a bit of a huge goalpost move in terms of the motivation for the entire war in the first place. It was NEVER about 'destroying' the COGA, and the Charisian Empire NEVER declared any intention of doing anything to the Church that would have required God to 'save' it at all. They were attacking Clinton and his perversion of the Church, full stop.

The minute that perversion was removed and rational leadership stepped in to whack the Inquisition and end the Jihad, the Allies lost any moral justification for continuing to fight in the eyes of 99.999% of the populace.

It was never about a war with the *church*, it was always a war against *Clinton.*
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Re: SPOILERS: Anyone else... disappointed?
Post by balekyl   » Thu Nov 17, 2016 3:48 pm

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You have to remember that there is a disconnect between the reasons Charis went to war and Merlin's mission. Charis was fighting for survival against Clyntons war. Merlin's mission though requires the breaking of the proscriptions which means breaking the entire edifice the Church rests on. Merlin's reason for fighting the war was to destroy the church. Even now with the church reformed, Charis isn't in a position to blatantly violate the proscriptions which means as it stands Merlin cannot complete his mission without risking another war that would likely not have nearly as much support. It's not truly a goalpost move but a reminder that this was a first step and not an end in and of itself.
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Re: SPOILERS: Anyone else... disappointed?
Post by evilauthor   » Thu Nov 17, 2016 6:28 pm

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balekyl wrote:You have to remember that there is a disconnect between the reasons Charis went to war and Merlin's mission. Charis was fighting for survival against Clyntons war. Merlin's mission though requires the breaking of the proscriptions which means breaking the entire edifice the Church rests on. Merlin's reason for fighting the war was to destroy the church. Even now with the church reformed, Charis isn't in a position to blatantly violate the proscriptions which means as it stands Merlin cannot complete his mission without risking another war that would likely not have nearly as much support. It's not truly a goalpost move but a reminder that this was a first step and not an end in and of itself.


Also, destroying the Church as an organization doesn't really destroy people's faith in the Holy Writ and Proscription it was created to enforce. If Charis had destroyed the Church, they STILL couldn't violate the Proscriptions willy nilly.

To undermine the Writ and Proscriptions, Merlin needs Safehold to innovate and become comfortable with technological progress. The people of Safehold have to embrace change, the very thing the Writ, Proscriptions, and Church were supposed to discourage. Because with technological progression and a corresponding increase in knowledge, the holes in the Writ's portrayal of the universe is going to become more and more apparent.

And after this war, even the Church is basically giving its blessing to technological progress and innovation. It has to, as others have said, or else it'll start looking repressive for the sake of being repressive again. So while not under his direct control, Merlin has effectively coopted the Church to help his mission.

Also, in the spirit of openness and transparency that Duchairne is trying to promote, I have to wonder if formerly secret files and histories are going to get published. Obviously, any electronic media left by the "angels" for which the passwords have been lost won't get published, but there's quite a bit of hand written records created by mortal man over the centuries, some of which date from before the destruction of Alexandria. I can only imagine how eye opening some of these documents can be if Duchairne lets them get printed.
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Re: SPOILERS: Anyone else... disappointed?
Post by n7axw   » Thu Nov 17, 2016 6:51 pm

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Several thhings to answer here...

The COGA has not provided any moral justification at all for the separate churches... it is merely tolerating the status quo... rather obviously because it has no choice in the matter... then only if doctrine isn't violated. Obviously that refers to the proscriptions.

The whole thing reminds me of what Europe would have been like had the allies stopped at the borders of Germany in exchange for a Nazi promise "to be nice." The COGA has been really vicious. There is nothing moral about leaving it in place basicly intact. It merely sets up the next round of conflict.

On another point, there is more than ample textev to substantiate the claim that overthrowing the COGA was what the allies had in mind not only in AtSoT but through out the series... There was never any question at all that the COGA would continue to exist in some form; the point was breaking its political power and its ability to coerce people into conforming to its authority. That's exactly what was left unfinished.

So bottom line is that now that Duchairn has managed to get his peace, the COGA has gotten a hefty start on restoring its credibility. Of course, Duchairn scrubs things up, at least for now, and as that becomes obvious, its political influence returns, making the next round of conflict more difficult sinse it will be against a reformed COGA that no longer has Clyntahn and corruption handicapping it.

What has been accomplished is that the COGA no longer has an exclusive claim to being God's voice and its authority is no longer universal. That's not insignificant, but when you consider the price that had been paid and how close the COGA armies were to complete collapse, I don't think it was enough.

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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