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Safehold post-Jihad

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Safehold post-Jihad
Post by thanatos   » Sat Dec 31, 2016 7:51 pm

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I've been re-reading AtSoT (or re-listening to the audiobook) and had a number of questions pop-up regarding Grand Vicar Duchairn's reforming of the CoGA and how he'll handle this new post-Jihad Safehold he's inherited. At the end of the story, Duchairn has the moral authority to make all the changes that he does but it's unlikely the political conditions will remain that way. Moreover, we know he's at loggerheads with the Northern Harchongese leadership, which refuses to accept his reforms since they necessarily entail social reforms that would upset their cushy social order. Add to that that the Church is neck deep in debt, has sold most of its lands in the Charisian Empire that it no longer controls, and has struggled to keep the lanterns burning in all the other things it does for the people (like provide basic literacy, medicine, agriculture, social work etc.), and you have to wonder, how is Duchairn going to survive in the long run? And if he loses Harchong's support (or at least that of its Northern portions), the Temple Lands will remain isolated between an indifferent empire to the west and hostile Siddarmark in the east (the border state no longer matter at this point). The realms that would continue to support the Temple (potentially at least) are all in the continent of Howard down south. Under such conditions, and assuming Harchong doesn't descend into a bloody civil war, how does Duchairn survive?
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Re: Safehold post-Jihad
Post by wingfield   » Sun Jan 01, 2017 5:34 am

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thanatos wrote:I've been re-reading AtSoT (or re-listening to the audiobook) and had a number of questions pop-up regarding Grand Vicar Duchairn's reforming of the CoGA and how he'll handle this new post-Jihad Safehold he's inherited. At the end of the story, Duchairn has the moral authority to make all the changes that he does but it's unlikely the political conditions will remain that way. Moreover, we know he's at loggerheads with the Northern Harchongese leadership, which refuses to accept his reforms since they necessarily entail social reforms that would upset their cushy social order. Add to that that the Church is neck deep in debt, has sold most of its lands in the Charisian Empire that it no longer controls, and has struggled to keep the lanterns burning in all the other things it does for the people (like provide basic literacy, medicine, agriculture, social work etc.), and you have to wonder, how is Duchairn going to survive in the long run? And if he loses Harchong's support (or at least that of its Northern portions), the Temple Lands will remain isolated between an indifferent empire to the west and hostile Siddarmark in the east (the border state no longer matter at this point). The realms that would continue to support the Temple (potentially at least) are all in the continent of Howard down south. Under such conditions, and assuming Harchong doesn't descend into a bloody civil war, how does Duchairn survive?


Much of the official transition to the Duchairn regime occurs offstage. All we see is the drama of the day of coup and revolution in Zion. Nowhere do we read of how Grand Vicar Erayk XVII was removed or "persuaded" to resign or whether Duchairn was acclaimed or "elected" in his place. We then see Duchairn in place as Grand Vicar, having already imposed a raft of internal reforms and pragmatic declarations vis-a-vis the other Churches.

To attempt to answer your query, I believe that the circumstances of the temporary settlement would dictate that Duchairn has some time to consolidate his rule and is in no immediate danger. We know that Harchong is already in denial and that, in rejecting any homecoming of the Mighty Host, it has no muscle with which to do anything about Duchairn. The victorious allies are not going to add further military pressure from the east, thus leaving the Temple Lands relatively undisturbed in the short and medium term.

It is later in the period before the scheduled return of the archangels that interesting developments may arise but this would be in the context of many worldwide changes and is likely to be what we will be reading in the "transitional" part of the story kicking off the new arc.
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Re: Safehold post-Jihad
Post by DrakBibliophile   » Sun Jan 01, 2017 12:41 pm

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I would add that "Northern" Harchong is in denial and "Southern" Harchong is accepting the new situation.

I agree that Duchairn doesn't have to worry about military action from Northern Harchog and if he did, the Mighty Host appears to be loyal to him.

While, the Church does have a load of debt to be concerned about, the end of the Jihad does mean that military expenses will have lessened.


wingfield wrote:
thanatos wrote:I've been re-reading AtSoT (or re-listening to the audiobook) and had a number of questions pop-up regarding Grand Vicar Duchairn's reforming of the CoGA and how he'll handle this new post-Jihad Safehold he's inherited. At the end of the story, Duchairn has the moral authority to make all the changes that he does but it's unlikely the political conditions will remain that way. Moreover, we know he's at loggerheads with the Northern Harchongese leadership, which refuses to accept his reforms since they necessarily entail social reforms that would upset their cushy social order. Add to that that the Church is neck deep in debt, has sold most of its lands in the Charisian Empire that it no longer controls, and has struggled to keep the lanterns burning in all the other things it does for the people (like provide basic literacy, medicine, agriculture, social work etc.), and you have to wonder, how is Duchairn going to survive in the long run? And if he loses Harchong's support (or at least that of its Northern portions), the Temple Lands will remain isolated between an indifferent empire to the west and hostile Siddarmark in the east (the border state no longer matter at this point). The realms that would continue to support the Temple (potentially at least) are all in the continent of Howard down south. Under such conditions, and assuming Harchong doesn't descend into a bloody civil war, how does Duchairn survive?


Much of the official transition to the Duchairn regime occurs offstage. All we see is the drama of the day of coup and revolution in Zion. Nowhere do we read of how Grand Vicar Erayk XVII was removed or "persuaded" to resign or whether Duchairn was acclaimed or "elected" in his place. We then see Duchairn in place as Grand Vicar, having already imposed a raft of internal reforms and pragmatic declarations vis-a-vis the other Churches.

To attempt to answer your query, I believe that the circumstances of the temporary settlement would dictate that Duchairn has some time to consolidate his rule and is in no immediate danger. We know that Harchong is already in denial and that, in rejecting any homecoming of the Mighty Host, it has no muscle with which to do anything about Duchairn. The victorious allies are not going to add further military pressure from the east, thus leaving the Temple Lands relatively undisturbed in the short and medium term.

It is later in the period before the scheduled return of the archangels that interesting developments may arise but this would be in the context of many worldwide changes and is likely to be what we will be reading in the "transitional" part of the story kicking off the new arc.
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Sometimes The Dragon Wins! [Polite Dragon Smile]
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Re: Safehold post-Jihad
Post by Loren Pechtel   » Sun Jan 01, 2017 3:37 pm

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A thought here of an off-the-wall strategy:

What if Merlin goes to him and tells him enough of the truth that he understands he's supporting a false religion.

Offer Charisian support in exchange for reasonable efforts to dismantle things.
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Re: Safehold post-Jihad
Post by Weird Harold   » Sun Jan 01, 2017 4:14 pm

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thanatos wrote:I've been re-reading AtSoT (or re-listening to the audiobook) and had a number of questions pop-up regarding Grand Vicar Duchairn's reforming of the CoGA and how he'll handle this new post-Jihad Safehold he's inherited. At the end of the story, Duchairn has the moral authority to make all the changes that he does but it's unlikely the political conditions will remain that way. Moreover, we know he's at loggerheads with the Northern Harchongese leadership, which refuses to accept his reforms since they necessarily entail social reforms that would upset their cushy social order. Add to that that the Church is neck deep in debt, ...


I think you've outlined the basic premise of the next series, set 20 years or so after the end of the Jihad.

I don't think the debt is going to be a big problem, and I don't think North Harchong is going to overtly rebel as long as Duchairn lives; his death would make a likely trigger for a resumption of the Jihad by North Harchong and hard-line Temple Fundamentalists.
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Re: Safehold post-Jihad
Post by thanatos   » Mon Jan 02, 2017 1:06 am

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Loren Pechtel wrote:A thought here of an off-the-wall strategy:

What if Merlin goes to him and tells him enough of the truth that he understands he's supporting a false religion.

Offer Charisian support in exchange for reasonable efforts to dismantle things.


I seriously doubt Duchairn, who is a man of deep faith at this point, would be willing to accept any evidence to the contrary. And they are not going to come clean until they can be certain the entire Empire of Charis won't go up in flames as a result. RFC has made it very clear that while most people could handle the truth, a large portion would not and it would either shatter their faith (and break them psychologically, the way it was done to Clyntahn) or else they would reject any evidence and hurl themselves at the heretic institution that bamboozled them for so long.

I can imagine a situation whereby the Cody Cortazar gets readmitted to the Church's canon of saints after his diary is leaked. Without the Clyntahn's Inquisition to silence any potential heresy, it would disseminate and Duchairn would be hard pressed to silence this. That might open the minds of some and get them to question the official record, especially since the CoGA doesn't have any experience contending with false or external gospels (this is mentioned in OAR or BSRA) besides silencing it. I can also imagine backchannel contacts in Zion between Merlin (in his Joshua MacGregor persona) and Duchairn's senior assistant or even Magwair.
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Re: Safehold post-Jihad
Post by DrakBibliophile   » Mon Jan 02, 2017 12:47 pm

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While I don't see Cody's diary being leaked, I could see the Sisterhood (and the Inner Circle) leaking copies of his true actions during the War Against The Fallen.

Mind you, I've suspected that the Sisterhood was responsible for many of the Cody stories out there.

Note, some would have been created by people who liked to tell a good story and stamped Cody's name on their story. ;)

thanatos wrote:
Loren Pechtel wrote:A thought here of an off-the-wall strategy:

What if Merlin goes to him and tells him enough of the truth that he understands he's supporting a false religion.

Offer Charisian support in exchange for reasonable efforts to dismantle things.


I seriously doubt Duchairn, who is a man of deep faith at this point, would be willing to accept any evidence to the contrary. And they are not going to come clean until they can be certain the entire Empire of Charis won't go up in flames as a result. RFC has made it very clear that while most people could handle the truth, a large portion would not and it would either shatter their faith (and break them psychologically, the way it was done to Clyntahn) or else they would reject any evidence and hurl themselves at the heretic institution that bamboozled them for so long.

I can imagine a situation whereby the Cody Cortazar gets readmitted to the Church's canon of saints after his diary is leaked. Without the Clyntahn's Inquisition to silence any potential heresy, it would disseminate and Duchairn would be hard pressed to silence this. That might open the minds of some and get them to question the official record, especially since the CoGA doesn't have any experience contending with false or external gospels (this is mentioned in OAR or BSRA) besides silencing it. I can also imagine backchannel contacts in Zion between Merlin (in his Joshua MacGregor persona) and Duchairn's senior assistant or even Magwair.
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Re: Safehold post-Jihad
Post by Loren Pechtel   » Mon Jan 02, 2017 3:14 pm

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thanatos wrote:
Loren Pechtel wrote:A thought here of an off-the-wall strategy:

What if Merlin goes to him and tells him enough of the truth that he understands he's supporting a false religion.

Offer Charisian support in exchange for reasonable efforts to dismantle things.


I seriously doubt Duchairn, who is a man of deep faith at this point, would be willing to accept any evidence to the contrary. And they are not going to come clean until they can be certain the entire Empire of Charis won't go up in flames as a result. RFC has made it very clear that while most people could handle the truth, a large portion would not and it would either shatter their faith (and break them psychologically, the way it was done to Clyntahn) or else they would reject any evidence and hurl themselves at the heretic institution that bamboozled them for so long.


I'm not talking about going public, I'm talking about meeting him one-on-one and showing him the same stuff they showed Clyntahn.

What can Duchairn do about that? Who would believe him if he talked about what they showed him?
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Re: Safehold post-Jihad
Post by Bluesqueak   » Mon Jan 02, 2017 4:15 pm

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thanatos wrote:
Loren Pechtel wrote:


I seriously doubt Duchairn, who is a man of deep faith at this point, would be willing to accept any evidence to the contrary. And they are not going to come clean until they can be certain the entire Empire of Charis won't go up in flames as a result. RFC has made it very clear that while most people could handle the truth, a large portion would not and it would either shatter their faith (and break them psychologically, the way it was done to Clyntahn) or else they would reject any evidence and hurl themselves at the heretic institution that bamboozled them for so long.


I'm not talking about going public, I'm talking about meeting him one-on-one and showing him the same stuff they showed Clyntahn.

What can Duchairn do about that? Who would believe him if he talked about what they showed him?


Yes, but what if the truth breaks Duchairn? It's really going to start looking genuinely 'demonic' if Vicars' one-to-ones with Merlin and Nimue usually end with the Vicars concerned having nervous breakdowns.

Yes, it would be great if they could manage to get some of the Temple Vicarate into the Inner Circle, but I'd agree that Duchairn is one of those who can't handle the full truth - because he regained his faith. Right now, the thing that's keeping him going, in the full knowledge of all the evil he's done, is his belief that by reforming the CoGA, he's doing what the God of the Writ wants. His faith is now who he is, what he lives by.

I'm not sure that Duchairn could cope with the Writ being proved a lie; his knowledge and understanding of God is too dependent on it. I don't think he could make the leap from 'the Writ is a lie' to 'but God isn't.' And if the Writ is a lie, then his entire life - including his agonising struggle to rescue the CoGA and its people from Clyntyn - has just become utterly pointless.

From the point of view of Charis, the risk is too great. Duchairn is willing to accept the Church of Charis providing it doesn't go against official doctrine. That gives them a couple of decades to work towards the point of breaking that doctrine - but if they damage Duchairn to the point where he can't be Grand Vicar any more, will his replacement be as tolerant?

Better the Grand Vicar you know... :)
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Re: Safehold post-Jihad
Post by Randomiser   » Wed Jan 04, 2017 8:52 am

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Bluesqueak wrote:
Better the Grand Vicar you know... :)


There's a lot of good points in what Bluequeak has written.

As for anyone resuming the Jihad any time soon, I don't think it is militarily or economically feasible. It won't happen right away as is evident from the end of ATST and once that opportunity is gone where does anyone get the personnel, logistic support and materials of war from? The Mainland economy is pretty wrecked. North Harchong can pootle along as it always has with most of its people effectively on subsistence agriculture, but it sure can't produce the arms for the armies it could raise. It may have its own problems, ATST said practically nothing about what was happening to the Mighty Host. (Oh, Rainbow waters was heading for South Harchong with some of his staff, but where were all the troops going? Nothing was said.) The Church lands etc desperately need to get their economies producing useful, saleable civilian stuff so can't maintain arms production for their side.

In fact, there are interesting questions for the next war altogether. Pretty clearly it is going to involve widespread high explosives, machine-guns, tanks - steam or diesel - and lots of aerial capacity one way or the other, NTM all-steel (super)dreadnoughts. Who, apart from the EoC is going to be able to develop the wealth and technical capacity to sustain that kind of war-fighting capability within 20 years?
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