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The way Duchairn’s salvaging the Church...

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Re: The way Duchairn’s salvaging the Church...
Post by thanatos   » Fri Jan 12, 2018 9:38 pm

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PeterZ wrote:Harchong has an interest in expansion. South Harchong has to see the resources and captive market potential of Desnair. North Harchong sees more land to distribute to younger sons of their aristocracy. With the current military disparity between Desnair and Harchong, I can see Northern aristos drooling over a "short, victorious war". I can see the bureaucrats killing two birds by sending the Mighty Host to do the conquering. I can see the Norther clergy having more than a residual animus against Desnair for weaseling out of the jihad. I can see Rainbow Waters using the MH as a way to keep his troops alive. If they disband and return home, they are dead. Those common troopers' only hope is to find a long term reason not to disband that satisfies all the factions.

Desnair will pay anything for weapons. Dohlar and the CoGA will see a golden opportunity to jump start their economy, just like Japan got a boost supplying vehicles to the UN in the Korean War. Fighting a war against a more industrial foe is a very powerful incentive for Desnair to industrialize. Kohlman and Jaras are perfect places to begin. Charis, Siddermark and Silkiah will gladly facilitate accommodation with those regions.

So, it is very possible that Harchong takes digestible segments of Desnair at regular interval over the next two decades. It is also possible that Kohlman and Jaras becomes an increasing more influential as well as secure part of Desnair over the next two decades. Those two outcome could very easily spark hostility within the Desnari court. Enough hostility to cause a civil war.

All this is rampant speculation. However, it does follow from how the jihad ended and the CoGA's loss of ability to forcibly compel other secular nations into any sort of international policy. I am sure there are other directions for the story to go. My speculation is but one.


I've been looking over the map of Safehold and Desnair doesn't share a border with either North or South Harchong. Between South Harchong and Desnair lays Shwei Bay, which means any direct Harchongian invasion of Desnair would still depend upon having sea power, something neither had at the end of the Jihad. Nor should you assume that Siddarmark, Silkiah or Dohlar would so eagerly assist Harchong or Desnair in any invasions. They all have to worry that if one falls to the other, they would eventually have to worry about the winner. Remember that they don't know about the potential return of the archangels so they are all pursuing limited self interest. Moreover, if God and the Archangels did not intervene during the Jihad to stop Charis, why would he or they intervene now (again, they know nothing of the Key of Schueler)?

You should also remember that Harchong and the Church would need to find a solution for Rainbow Waters' troops fairly quickly. They can't wait a few years until things settle and the economy recovers in order to launch those troops on some misbegotten foreign adventure. They would still need to pay those troops' salaries while they remained in service. And if they aren't in active service and are not found real work in the Temple Lands, then they are free to go wherever they wish. Most would not wish to be separated from the families permanently and it would be hard to prevent 3 million or so men from returning back home. But they definitely can't just keep them in the Temple Lands. Idle troops can cause a lot of trouble, especially if they aren't being paid.

So, as has been implied throughout the series, the issue of slavery and serfdom is likely to become the main issue in the post-Jihad recovery period. Many serfs who joined the Mighty Host might have joined in or to be freed from their indenture. The same would apply to Desnairian slaves and the "bound" peasantry of the Temple Lands. Charis and Siddarmark are likely to continue to champion "free labor", especially since it favors their economy. They are also likely to offer asylum to any escaped slaves and serfs that come their way and actively abet the formation of underground railroads for slaves and serfs. So if Charis is willing to offer preferential trading and economic terms to any duchy or barony that is willing to abolish these institutions, and those regions' economies flourish relative to slave holding regions, that's when you'll see civil war. And yes, I too am only guessing at the moment.
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Re: The way Duchairn’s salvaging the Church...
Post by PeterZ   » Fri Jan 12, 2018 10:27 pm

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follow this link, if you haven't already.
http://infodump.thefifthimperium.com/entry/Safehold/232/1

This link leads you to a clearer description of Shwei. Both the Peninsula where Yu-shai lies and the Harris Peninsula appear to be part of Shwei.
http://infodump.thefifthimperium.com/entry/Safehold/338/1
Fraihan's wall separates Shwei from West Watch and Coastguard. Shwei includes both sides of the Shwei Bay. Why would Desnair build a wall between itself and a small country that resides only on the Harris Peninsula? More likely Desnair built the wall or Harchong built it to defend against the other. That suggests there was a time of hostility.

Of course a solution has to be found for the Might Host. Siddermark won't accept them in the Border Kingdoms. North Harchong doesn't want the there. South Harchong have no issues relocating that army in the South. The Great Houses would welcome those highly motivated people trained to work in teams. I doubt the Southern nobles will be overjoyed having them too concentrated in their population. Spreading around will be best, but there are nearly 2 million people in the Might Host. Even spread out they represent a significant minority which is also a source of social stress.

Now, Lyonheart suggested years ago that Greentree Island will be a perfect place for escaped slaves and unwanted soldiers. If Charis guarantees the sovereignty of Greentree as an ally or as a dependent polity, the MH can feel secure that Harchong won't eventually come after them. So, if the MH won't be used to go after Desnair, they can go to Greentree.

I can't help but think all those weapons the ICN prevented from being delivered to the MH. The relocated MH can use those weapons to fight Desnair right away. I am sure the North Harchong clergy would cheerfully gut Desnair for their betrayal.

Between the two options, I don't see Harchong acquiescing to Charisian involvement in affairs so close to home. If they allow Charis to gain the gratitude of a 2 million man army, they truly give a rival a knife pointed at their backs and depend on the kindness of the rival not to use it. I suggested shipping those troops to Silverlode. That brings problems as well.

The least disruptive use for them is to conquer Desnair.
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Re: The way Duchairn’s salvaging the Church...
Post by Randomiser   » Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:46 pm

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What happens to the MH is a very difficult question. Too many of the suggestions treat them as so many good little cardboard cut-outs who will go where they are sent and do what they are told without opinions or reactions. I suspect a lot of them are not like that any more, decent military training will change people, especially those who become NCO's

There are heavy hints, at least, that Rainbow Waters has prepared a nice soft landing for himself and his entourage in South Harchong. One of the hugely ignored problems is that almost all of the MH will have families at home they don't want to abandon; parents and siblings for those who are unmarried. Teleporting the MH to Greenleaf or Silverlode ignores those and also creates a need for oh about 2 million marriageable women on whichever island it is. On the other hand, the MH have a very good idea what will happen to them if they just meekly hand in their weapons. Many of them, though not all won't want to go back to the status quo ante either. Those of their officers with more than 2 brain cells will pretty soon work out that their army is bigger and better than the emperor's/mandarins' army as well. A call for loyalty to the emperor 'better advised' and a lot of reorganisation of just which families are on top anyone? This could go a lot of ways and even several of them at the same time.
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Re: The way Duchairn’s salvaging the Church...
Post by thanatos   » Sat Jan 13, 2018 6:36 pm

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PeterZ wrote:follow this link, if you haven't already.
http://infodump.thefifthimperium.com/entry/Safehold/232/1

This link leads you to a clearer description of Shwei. Both the Peninsula where Yu-shai lies and the Harris Peninsula appear to be part of Shwei.
http://infodump.thefifthimperium.com/entry/Safehold/338/1
Fraihan's wall separates Shwei from West Watch and Coastguard. Shwei includes both sides of the Shwei Bay. Why would Desnair build a wall between itself and a small country that resides only on the Harris Peninsula? More likely Desnair built the wall or Harchong built it to defend against the other. That suggests there was a time of hostility.

Of course a solution has to be found for the Might Host. Siddermark won't accept them in the Border Kingdoms. North Harchong doesn't want the there. South Harchong have no issues relocating that army in the South. The Great Houses would welcome those highly motivated people trained to work in teams. I doubt the Southern nobles will be overjoyed having them too concentrated in their population. Spreading around will be best, but there are nearly 2 million people in the Might Host. Even spread out they represent a significant minority which is also a source of social stress.

Now, Lyonheart suggested years ago that Greentree Island will be a perfect place for escaped slaves and unwanted soldiers. If Charis guarantees the sovereignty of Greentree as an ally or as a dependent polity, the MH can feel secure that Harchong won't eventually come after them. So, if the MH won't be used to go after Desnair, they can go to Greentree.

I can't help but think all those weapons the ICN prevented from being delivered to the MH. The relocated MH can use those weapons to fight Desnair right away. I am sure the North Harchong clergy would cheerfully gut Desnair for their betrayal.

Between the two options, I don't see Harchong acquiescing to Charisian involvement in affairs so close to home. If they allow Charis to gain the gratitude of a 2 million man army, they truly give a rival a knife pointed at their backs and depend on the kindness of the rival not to use it. I suggested shipping those troops to Silverlode. That brings problems as well.

The least disruptive use for them is to conquer Desnair.



I did see Fraihan's wall on the map, though given how far artillery has advanced during the Jihad, that wall is about as useful as Hadrian's Wall in England. Moving troops to that little peninsula however would take time and logistics that are not currently available. And the high cost of a war between Harchong and Desnair, for what would clearly be limited, national interests, would not enjoy financial support from the Church. After all, can Duchairn afford to finance even a limited war, if only by supplying free advanced weapons to either Harchong or Desnair? Duchairn will be paying back the Church's debts for years to come.

You should also remember that those sorts of games might have been possible (and even necessary) for the Church before the Jihad, in order to ensure that no realm became too powerful relative to the others. After all, the Grand Duchy of Silkiah was created as a buffer state between Siddarmark and Desnair (to prevent the former from expanding south) and the Border States protected the Temple Lands from the looming threat of Siddarmark. Moreover, the Church had been willing to help Nahrmahn and Hektor weaken Charis before the Armageddon Reef Campaign because they sought to prevent Charis from using its fabulous wealth to spread throughout the region. In other words, the Church had preferred dealing with many separate realms in order to play them against each other.

However, the Jihad has changed that calculation radically. They are no longer a world government as they were designed to be and now must deal with the two nations on the planet that are outside of its control and are the most powerful militarily and economically (and who are allies against the Church). If Duchairn allows Desnair and Harchong to go to war, he risks the possibility that Siddarmark or Charis might decide to go after Desnair as well (Silkiah would probably allow RSA units to pass through their territory and even to resupply them - in exchange for economic support or trade concessions). Or worse, if either Harchong or Desnair collapse during that war and the victor starts swallowing territory, the Church would eventually face one major power on the mainland and a few smaller nations that could not hope to balance it out. How long would it be before Harchong or Desnair start dictating terms to Duchairn now that one of them is the most powerful realm under the Church's influence (and he can forget all of his reforms)?

As for sending the Mighty Host's forces to Charis, you would still need to deal with their families and whether the Harchongese allow millions of their subject to simply leave (and lose all those farm hands to Charis)? Also, these were the Temple's best troops during the war. You really think Magwair would simply hand Charis an extra 2 million or so decently trained troops thus increasing Charis' military manpower by a factor of 5 and severely diminishing the Church's military manpower at the same time? No way in hell.
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Re: The way Duchairn’s salvaging the Church...
Post by PeterZ   » Sat Jan 13, 2018 9:02 pm

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We have no idea what sort of cities exist on that peninsula. If it was unoccupied, why build a wall? In any case, the wall indicates trying to address a threat.

As for Duchairn prohibiting war, how does he plan on stopping it? Desnair can scream all they want, Harchong has proven their steadfastness. If Harchong insists on the war and guarantees any of Desnair's tithes missed after the hostilities, does Duchairn give an order he knows will be disobeyed? What happens if Harchong forgives any war debt owed to Desnair AND owed to Harchong? Does Duchairn take a stance for such a weak reed in Desnair? Further, if Desnair or only one faction accepts Charisian terms for material support, does Duchairn care? Especially if those terms mean and to slavery/serfdom.

Siddermark and Charis are VERY war weary. Harchong hasn't had their nation ravaged or been at war for nearly a decade. The idea of a short victorious war may still be attractive. I can see Dohlar supporting another faction in Desnair. Further, when faced with a fait accomplis, I can see Duchairn letting Magwair sell weapons to Desnair, some faction in that country.

On top of all this, we have Randomizer's post. He is right. The MH's officers have to recognize the importance of retaining their arms to their ultimate survival. I suspect they would prefer to fight Desnair than a civil war. However, they would prefer either to death. Given those options, war with Desnair is least distasteful for all the Harchongese parties.

Assuming the Charisian faction ends up winning in Desnair AND begins to win against Harchong, does the South remain loyal to the Empire? Will the South accept accommodation with Charis leading to the abolition of serfdom? Will the North accept to keep the ICN from ferrying Desnarian troops up North? Does Duchairn pledge the moral authority of the CoGA to fight the abolition of serfdom after Charis abolished slavery in Desnair?

Fun times ahead!
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Re: The way Duchairn’s salvaging the Church...
Post by thanatos   » Sun Jan 14, 2018 4:58 pm

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PeterZ wrote:We have no idea what sort of cities exist on that peninsula. If it was unoccupied, why build a wall? In any case, the wall indicates trying to address a threat.

As for Duchairn prohibiting war, how does he plan on stopping it? Desnair can scream all they want, Harchong has proven their steadfastness. If Harchong insists on the war and guarantees any of Desnair's tithes missed after the hostilities, does Duchairn give an order he knows will be disobeyed? What happens if Harchong forgives any war debt owed to Desnair AND owed to Harchong? Does Duchairn take a stance for such a weak reed in Desnair? Further, if Desnair or only one faction accepts Charisian terms for material support, does Duchairn care? Especially if those terms mean and to slavery/serfdom.

Siddermark and Charis are VERY war weary. Harchong hasn't had their nation ravaged or been at war for nearly a decade. The idea of a short victorious war may still be attractive. I can see Dohlar supporting another faction in Desnair. Further, when faced with a fait accomplis, I can see Duchairn letting Magwair sell weapons to Desnair, some faction in that country.

On top of all this, we have Randomizer's post. He is right. The MH's officers have to recognize the importance of retaining their arms to their ultimate survival. I suspect they would prefer to fight Desnair than a civil war. However, they would prefer either to death. Given those options, war with Desnair is least distasteful for all the Harchongese parties.

Assuming the Charisian faction ends up winning in Desnair AND begins to win against Harchong, does the South remain loyal to the Empire? Will the South accept accommodation with Charis leading to the abolition of serfdom? Will the North accept to keep the ICN from ferrying Desnarian troops up North? Does Duchairn pledge the moral authority of the CoGA to fight the abolition of serfdom after Charis abolished slavery in Desnair?

Fun times ahead!


Duchairn would be screwed either way if Harchong is determined to invade Desnair. If he refuses to support Harchong in this adventure, he further alienates it from the Church. If he supports it, he is essentially agreeing to sacrifice 2-3 million soldiers and the destruction of the only other check on Harchong's power within the Church's influence. And even if Harchong is willing to make up Desnair's lost tithes to the Church or forgive the Church's debts from both nations, that still doesn't eliminate the fundamental security problem. To defeat Desnair, Harchong would have to destroy it militarily and impose severe arms control restrictions (so as to stop any potential uprising against the Harchongian overloads). In other words, if a confrontation occurs again between the nations under the Church's control and Charis and its allies, they are severely reducing their potential pool of war fighting manpower. Harchong would undoubtedly want to turn all Desnairian peasants into serfs and impose the same restrictions it did on its own surfs.

And we're still ignoring the potential logistical problems involved in getting all those millions of Harchongian troops, their equipment and supplies to the Wall through the Gulf of Dohlar. I doubt any nation would permit those troops to march through their territory and you have to wonder who would be transporting all those troops by sea? Where are the ships going to come from after Charis' depredations in the Gulf? Who is going to pay for the construction of new ships? Remember that it took Charis almost a whole year to transport its half a million troops into the Republic during the Jihad, and they did it by marching them through Raven's Land along the shoreline (after paying off the government per soldier). And they used the Church's warships they captured, which could only carry some 500 men per ship along with their equipment and food for the journey. I could easily imagine both Charis and Dohlar taking issue with transporting troops for Harchong or allowing there ships to cross the Gulf. And that assumes South Harchong might not decide to hold on to them in a bid for independence from the North.

Duchairn's only option in preventing such a war however would be to point out that the Church and Harchong need Desnair to survive against any future Charisian or Siddarmarkian attack. Moreover, the equipment used by the Mighty Host was manufactured by the Church or under its supervision. Remember how Rainbow Water's nephew reflects upon how beautifully crafted his lighter was but also how expensive it was relative to the Charisian manufactured lighters. The Church could also order the collection of all weapons from the MH and the withdrawal of its supervisors from Harchongese manufacturies. Unless Harchong has decided to embrace the new manufacturing techniques permanently, it will return to the old ways things were made (which ensured that no uppity serfs or merchants got out of line). The Church could also use diplomacy in order to deal with any such conflict if enough time has passed between the end of the Jihad and any potential Desnairian-Harchongian conflict. It could also look the other if Desnair sought to level the playing field by secretly purchasing steam power from Charis. So if Harchong is so determined to destroy Desnair for completely selfish reasons (territorial expansion) that it is willing to break with the Church permanently in order to achieve this goal, it would mean that a sea change has occurred in Shang-Mi, that the aristocracy and the bureaucrats are united in their desire to rid themselves of the MH and are willing to launch an all out war against Desnair, over enormous distances, and don't care whether they lose the support of the Church's leadership. It would mean that the Church of Harchong has sufficient authority to maintain the legitimacy of the government and replace the CoGA in the hearts of the serfs. That would not be a return to the beloved status quo ante but a complete change in the Empire. And that assumes that their economy is up for such a war so soon after the Jihad (regardless of the state of their infrastructure).
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Re: The way Duchairn’s salvaging the Church...
Post by PeterZ   » Sun Jan 14, 2018 5:26 pm

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Where will the MH go? They won't be allowed to stay in North Harchong, the Temple Lands nor the Border Kingdoms. North Harchong doesn't want them and will likely kill them all if forced to take them back. I doubt the MH will disarm under those terms. Siddermark doesn't want that well trained army anywhere on Haven to be used against them once again. Charis will back Siddermark.

Where do they go?

They either go go South Harchong; where they may be used to fight Desnair or for South Harchong independence, or some place relatively neutral like Greentree Island. Even if they are peacefully disbanded, they will be disruptive to the status quo. Charis can facilitate that movement. I can see Cayleb and Sharley agreeing to ship the MH south, anywhere south of Haven. On Howard, they will be a disruptive force. On Greentree, Charis has a chance to influence them into an allied polity. Especially if they set up a government around the Abby made independent from their parent order. Perhaps the new government will be headed by the abbess and the abbey run by her successor.

No loyalist nations wants those troops sent to go to Silverlode where they help Charis get richer as direct subjects of the Duke(/Baron?) of Silverlode. If they swear to Cayleb under terms of service their officers can accept, they can become very sharp weapon against anyone but the CoGA.

No, moving those troops South is not an issue. Keeping them on Haven, anywhere on Haven, is just not acceptable. That means either Greentree or South Harchong with South Harchong offering more benefits to Harchongese interests.
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Re: The way Duchairn’s salvaging the Church...
Post by thanatos   » Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:02 pm

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PeterZ wrote:Where will the MH go? They won't be allowed to stay in North Harchong, the Temple Lands nor the Border Kingdoms. North Harchong doesn't want them and will likely kill them all if forced to take them back. I doubt the MH will disarm under those terms. Siddermark doesn't want that well trained army anywhere on Haven to be used against them once again. Charis will back Siddermark.

Where do they go?

They either go go South Harchong; where they may be used to fight Desnair or for South Harchong independence, or some place relatively neutral like Greentree Island. Even if they are peacefully disbanded, they will be disruptive to the status quo. Charis can facilitate that movement. I can see Cayleb and Sharley agreeing to ship the MH south, anywhere south of Haven. On Howard, they will be a disruptive force. On Greentree, Charis has a chance to influence them into an allied polity. Especially if they set up a government around the Abby made independent from their parent order. Perhaps the new government will be headed by the abbess and the abbey run by her successor.

No loyalist nations wants those troops sent to go to Silverlode where they help Charis get richer as direct subjects of the Duke(/Baron?) of Silverlode. If they swear to Cayleb under terms of service their officers can accept, they can become very sharp weapon against anyone but the CoGA.

No, moving those troops South is not an issue. Keeping them on Haven, anywhere on Haven, is just not acceptable. That means either Greentree or South Harchong with South Harchong offering more benefits to Harchongese interests.


First of all, I don't think Greentree Island is big enough to contain 2 million men, much less their families. Even in today's modern world, Hawaii has a population of less than 1.5 million. There's only so much food and water available in such a place after all. Second, why would Charis foot the bill on moving 2-3 million men (and possibly there immediate families) to South Harchong? Even assuming they had the lift capability available in the Gulf of Dohlar, why would they take risk of putting hundreds of Harchongese on their ships (who might then seize control of those ship)?

Also remember that Charis needed to conduct several troop convoys all the way from Chishlom and that was to move half a million troops into Siddarmark. To move 2 million men, at 500 passengers per ship, you would need to conduct 4,000 round trips. Even if Charis brought it entire wooden hull fleet to the Gulf (some 200 ships) and load each with 500 soldiers, they would still require 20 round trips to move them, with each round trip requiring at least a few weeks. And that assumes little things like mutiny, shoals and storms don't get in the way. And again, why would Charis agree to foot the bill? I doubt the Church would be able to, and I doubt Harchong would be willing to. So what could possibly be in it for Charis that they'd be willing to provide this sort of shuttle service? Would Duchairn be willing to make additional concessions to Charis in order to be rid of this problem?
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Re: The way Duchairn’s salvaging the Church...
Post by PeterZ   » Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:58 pm

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Charis can build enough Victory ship to transport those MH troops.
Cayleb can pay for the ships or can contract their services from private owners. Given those contracts, private investors can finance building their Victory ships. The entire project will expedite building steam powered merchant ships. That in itself is reason to move the MH south. There is another reason for Charis to foot the bill. Gratitude. The MH will have a sense that Charis tried to facilitate their happy ending despite just fighting a brutal war.

Bottom line is that Charis will find their merchant steamers having gained a reputation for efficiency. Cayleb and Sharley will have infused more capital in their economy to fuel the post jihad economic growth. For that service, Charis can extract concessions from the CoGA.
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Re: The way Duchairn’s salvaging the Church...
Post by thanatos   » Tue Jan 16, 2018 12:55 am

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PeterZ wrote:Charis can build enough Victory ship to transport those MH troops.
Cayleb can pay for the ships or can contract their services from private owners. Given those contracts, private investors can finance building their Victory ships. The entire project will expedite building steam powered merchant ships. That in itself is reason to move the MH south. There is another reason for Charis to foot the bill. Gratitude. The MH will have a sense that Charis tried to facilitate their happy ending despite just fighting a brutal war.

Bottom line is that Charis will find their merchant steamers having gained a reputation for efficiency. Cayleb and Sharley will have infused more capital in their economy to fuel the post jihad economic growth. For that service, Charis can extract concessions from the CoGA.


Before the Jihad, Charis had managed to build around 20 wooden hulled galleons, plus 10 or 15 converted merchant galleons and 100 galleys at most. That represented a good chunk of the Charisian budget. Even with the expansion of their economy, they only managed to construct one King Haarahld battleship. Assuming the MH troops would be willing to board a "demonically-powered" steamboat, building those is still quite expensive. Remember what RFC constantly emphasizes in his books - advanced manufacturing techniques are relatively fast and relatively inexpensive, but they aren't magical. I doubt Charis will waste time on wooden-hulled ships now, which means they'll be looking to build steel-hulled ships. So even if they build personnel transports, they will still be expensive and still take a while to build (as in years). As for outsourcing it to private owners, steam power eliminated both piracy and privateering on Earth, mostly because steam powered ships were expensive (and only governments could afford to build them) and because sail-powered ship could not out run warships or overhaul merchant ship that were steam-powered.

The gratitude of the Mighty Host might not be worth as much as you think. The decision to move them to South Harchong would be done despite any protests regarding their desire to return home to their families. So if Charis is involved, that makes it culpable and possibly the sole party to blame, first for defeating them and then for relocating them against their will. Moreover, what can Charis expect out of the Mighty Host and its soldiers in the future? Will any gratitude include placing themselves at Charis' disposal in the future for some military operation against the Church or some realm its at war with? How about protecting reformist clergy or and Church of Charis clergymen? And what sort of concessions would Charis extort out of Duchairn that Duchairn would be able to acquiesce to? Demanding that he accept steam power? Demanding that he allow Charisian manufacturies on the mainland to continue to use steam despite local laws to the contrary? And once those troops are gone, what's to stop Duchairn from reneging on his promises at some point? No matter how good he is, he's still a ruler and has to make tough decisions.
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