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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 PeterZ   » Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:34 am

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thanatos wrote:For two reasons I can see off the top of my head. The first is probably his assumption that his descendants will remain part of the hierarchy and in charge due to their "lofty" pedigree (regardless of whether they could go public with it). The second though is that Schueler was in this with Chihiro, and such alliances tend to be precarious and fleeting at the best of times. Schueler might have been Chihiro's equal in the eyes of the church and the common Safeholdian, but it's entirely possible he didn't trust him either, especially where policy making after the War Against the Fallen was concerned. Textev proves that Clyntahn had prepared to deal with Duchairn and Magwair once the war ended because he could not risk having them around as a threat to his power base. They same sort of reasoning might have applied for Schueler and Chihiro.

Also remember that without Badard's expertise, Schueler and Chihiro would only have a general understanding on how to arrange the Church and the potential pitfalls such a top-heavy institution might encounter. So it would make sense that he would try to place safeguards in order to ensure the Church's long term survival in the face of such problems. It was simply that he probably could not imagine that the Church would turn on his descendants in the way Clyntahn did or that he assumed that his descendants would be equal to the task 1,000 years into the future. The Wylsynns might have been able to check Clyntahn's rise to power had they been willing to be as ruthless as he was. Or rather, if they had been willing to sacrifice at least some of their principles for more practical concerns, to make deals with members of the clergy who were at least a little dirty.


If Schueler believed his descendants would be part of the hierarchy but he gave his message to THEM specifically, it suggests that your second assumption is accurate. Schueler did not trust the hierarchy of the CoGA as it contained groups he disagreed with. Whether it was Chihiro or some other group will be interesting to find out.

The lack of agreement is going to be the key here. What did the two factions disagree on? Was it simply who would lead or was it more philosophical? Assuming that the principal motivation was the degree of fear of any potential meeting with the Gbaba, it follows that either Chihiro or Schueler believed that no atrocity was too much if it guaranteed avoiding the Gbaba.

That sort of belief dovetails with a salvation through works doctrine. Any act performed which ensures the desired goal is by definition good and acceptable. Compelling obedience is equal to voluntary compliance in the final measure. Clyntahn certainly followed this principle. Schueler's message ensured that his descendants did not follow this principle as the absolute standard. His message stressed voluntary compliance is at all possible. This was seen when Paityr discussed Archbishop Eryk's letter with Maikel Staynair in By Heresies Distressed.

These disagreements will have an interesting impact on the laity of Safehold, should they be revealed. I am assuming that some sort of mini reveal will happen first and the Great Reveal will happen later. I just don't believe that a full reveal will work in favor of the Inner Circle unless some sort of preparatory argument about archangel infallibility comes first. That argument would be best made by archangels. So, having stored personalities of Chihiro and Schueler arguing would be a good thing from that perspective.
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Re: The way Duchairn’s salvaging the Church...
Post by schoeffelk   » Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:37 pm

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These have probably been asked and answered at some point in the past.

When did the various followings begin? Bedard, Scheuller, Chihiro, ... Was it after the War of the Fallen? Was it when an Archangel died?

The various books were present before the War as Merlin had them to review on awakening. Where there books written by the Fallen Archangels that were then removed or revised?

A boat load of questions
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Re: The way Duchairn’s salvaging the Church...
Post by PeterZ   » Thu Dec 07, 2017 6:11 pm

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schoeffelk wrote:These have probably been asked and answered at some point in the past.

When did the various followings begin? Bedard, Scheuller, Chihiro, ... Was it after the War of the Fallen? Was it when an Archangel died?

The various books were present before the War as Merlin had them to review on awakening. Where there books written by the Fallen Archangels that were then removed or revised?

A boat load of questions


I believe the Books of Chihiro and Schueler were added as a result of the War Against the Fallen.
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Re: The way Duchairn’s salvaging the Church...
Post by kaid   » Mon Dec 11, 2017 2:17 pm

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PeterZ wrote:Because the reveal will be an easier sell if the strongest proponent of the false Creation narrative has no moral standing what-so-ever.



This is pretty much why there were arguments about if helm cleaver should assist at the end. There were good points to be made that letting the church basically burn itself down in an orgy of destruction would make nimune's ultimate goal much simpler. But in the end the were not willing to watch that happen and have so many innocents die.

But it will make their ultilmate goal more difficult to manage.
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Re: The way Duchairn’s salvaging the Church...
Post by thanatos   » Mon Dec 18, 2017 11:40 am

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kaid wrote:
PeterZ wrote:Because the reveal will be an easier sell if the strongest proponent of the false Creation narrative has no moral standing what-so-ever.



This is pretty much why there were arguments about if helm cleaver should assist at the end. There were good points to be made that letting the church basically burn itself down in an orgy of destruction would make nimune's ultimate goal much simpler. But in the end the were not willing to watch that happen and have so many innocents die.

But it will make their ultilmate goal more difficult to manage.


The Inner Circle does indeed debate this issue at the end of ATSOT and one of the major points was that if ever it were discovered that Duchairn had offered them everything they ever claimed to want and they rejected it, it would seriously undermine their moral standing despite the Church's actions. Without revealing their true motivations, i.e. that the Church itself is built upon a lie, they are effectively stuck with the clearly understood motivations of ending the persecution of reformists (among the clergy and the laity), combating church corruption and forcing through meaningful reform. Duchairn was offering them everything they were officially and publicly demanding. It's possible that if they weren't so war weary they might have opted to reject this overture and let the Church implode. Yet if Duchairn would manage to somehow survive this ordeal, he might publicly reveal that he had attempted to reach out to the heretics and they rejected his offer. Perhaps he might do this with as much understanding in his voice, that Charis had no reason to trust him after all that had happened, yet it would be out there. Consider how many people today wish to re-litigate the US' decision to drop the nuclear bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Consider all the counterfactual arguments about the necessity of that action. This would have been no different.

Yet I fear we are again failing to look at all the problems Duchairn has to deal with now that he is in charge (and why I find it curious that RFC would state that he was "salvaging" the Church. As I've mentioned before, where once the Church was both the de facto and de jure global government of Safehold, now two of the most powerful realms are independent from its political control and religious influence with at least two other major realms (Dohlar and Harchong) having very difficult relationships with it (each for its own reasons). Add to that its near bankruptcy and all the debts it still has to all the realms under its control as well as the debts to Siddarmark that it repudiated. Add to that Charis' increased financial power and influence and its clear manufacturing advantages. Add to that how far behind the technological curve it was throughout the Jihad (a situation that is only likely to worsen afterwards).

So while Duchairn might have dealt with the corruption that had allowed Clyntahn to seize power and destroy the Church's moral standing, all the other issues still remain. If a Church representative approaches King Rahnyld V in Dohlar and tells him and his councilors that Mother Church desires an end to this rampant industrialization and innovation and a return to the status quo prior to the Jihad, will they acquiesce to Mother Church's polite "request"? Even if Mother Church uses the "will of the Archangels" argument and points to the Book of Jwo-Jeng as proof, will they be likely to simply accept Mother Church's authority and start reducing their workforce, divesting themselves of Charisian businesses and accept the revocation of all the Church attestations to any innovations that are now deemed to be "unclean"? Somehow, I doubt that its newly restored moral authority will be sufficient to bring about such a shift in policy, especially in light of the practical consideration that Charis and Siddarmark are still outside of the Church's control.
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Re: The way Duchairn’s salvaging the Church...
Post by PeterZ   » Mon Dec 18, 2017 2:50 pm

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Thanatos,

Duchairn is indeed riding a hungry slash lizard. He is also trying to salvage the church. He might be trying o salvage the church as a central government, but that is hopeless this side of divine intervention. I am not referring to Safeholdian archangels here, either.

The economics just guarantees the CoGA's complete failure as a central government. Let's consider the situation Duchairn finds himself in.

Facts:
The CoGA has spent all its hoarded gold. Its has borrowed more gold than it has the ability to return immediately. The only assets they have are their properties in Zion and in loyalist nations.

The Silverlode strikes, Charisian victory and the House of Ahrmahk's history of paying its debts mean that anyone in Charis and Siddermark will take promissory notes for future delivery of gold and silver at some modest interest rate.

Asset backed notes are much more easily exchanged than actual coins and bullion. Use of notes fosters a much higher circulation of currency and as a result a higher velocity of money. Higher velocity of money means a higher absolute size of a system's economy can be supported for a given currency base.

Which suggests:

These facts imply that Harchong, Desnair, Dohlar, the Border States and Silkiah have the lion's share of the gold that had once resided in CoGA coffers. Some portion of this ended in Charisian coffers in the lead in to the Sword of Schueler.

It also means that Charis is encouraged to mine Silverlode in a methodical fashion, while issuing and repurchasing asset backed notes at need. This ability to adjust the size of the currency base at need means a much more flexible economy to accommodate the massive degrees of change Safehold faces in the next couple of decades.

Since the level of trust all other nations with gold in their coffers is much lower than Charis', they have to deal largely on a cash and carry basis. Cayleb and Sharley should demand it initially if for no other reason that to further consolidate the amount of Safehold's gold Charis controls. Given Charis' monopoly on technology, they can set terms for whatever other nations wish to purchase.

This leads to:
The economic system of Safehold shifting from a cash and carry system of payments with some large scale borrowing between a minute few big players to a system based on a promise to pay currency. Charis will hold the possibly very large majority of the precious metals backing Safehold's currency.

Other nations will learn that they can improve their own currency by increasing the size of their economy and hence their ability to repay their currency in valuable goods besides precious metals. This incentive will pretty much guarantee that Dohlar will tell the CoGA to pound sand should they be asked to give up their citizenry's standard of living. Silkiah will in all likelihood be just as Charisian in their economic views as Siddermark in 10 years.

South Harchong will likely keep most of the precious metals backing Harchongese currency while the North carries largely paper notes. Those shrewd merchants in the South will pay a premium to control the gold and argue that notes facilitate economic growth that supports more tax revenues for the aristos up North.

After 20 years of these sorts of trends and the CoGA can't turn back the clock without massive amounts of dislocation. Even the most ardent loyalist in Dohlar, South Harchong, Silkiah and the Border Kingdoms will see that sort of economic pain as unreasonable. Worse, Charis and Siddermark will stand ready to support those nations and districts who wish to walk away from the CoGA revanchism.

Also, in those 20 years, I suspect Duchairn will have embraced many of the economic tools to build up the CoGA economy in Zion and the Temple Lands. Asset backed promissory notes chief amongst those tools. I suspect this because the CoGA still owns the tithes loyalist nations pay. That income stream is quite large. The combination of adopting more efficient economic policies, adopting a more efficient manufacturing process AND a more laisez faire attitude regarding governance of the loyalists nations adds up to better standards of living for everyone. Everyone especially the poorest of the poor. That's the only way Duchairn can hope to generate enough revenue to repay the debts he believes he is obliged by his duty to God to repay.

Whoever succeeds Duchairn will have to fight Duchairn's saintly reputation (with loyalists) and the prosperity his tenure ushered into the CoGA loyalist lands.

Turning back the clock on economic progress? Not gong to happen.

This logic is predicated on the Loyalist nations adopting steam immediately after the jihad. If they don't, their economic growth will be slow enough not to require a more efficient economic system.
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Re: The way Duchairn’s salvaging the Church...
Post by thanatos   » Mon Dec 18, 2017 8:10 pm

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PeterZ wrote:
<Snip>

After 20 years of these sorts of trends and the CoGA can't turn back the clock without massive amounts of dislocation. Even the most ardent loyalist in Dohlar, South Harchong, Silkiah and the Border Kingdoms will see that sort of economic pain as unreasonable. Worse, Charis and Siddermark will stand ready to support those nations and districts who wish to walk away from the CoGA revanchism.

Also, in those 20 years, I suspect Duchairn will have embraced many of the economic tools to build up the CoGA economy in Zion and the Temple Lands. Asset backed promissory notes chief amongst those tools. I suspect this because the CoGA still owns the tithes loyalist nations pay. That income stream is quite large. The combination of adopting more efficient economic policies, adopting a more efficient manufacturing process AND a more laisez faire attitude regarding governance of the loyalists nations adds up to better standards of living for everyone. Everyone especially the poorest of the poor. That's the only way Duchairn can hope to generate enough revenue to repay the debts he believes he is obliged by his duty to God to repay.

Whoever succeeds Duchairn will have to fight Duchairn's saintly reputation (with loyalists) and the prosperity his tenure ushered into the CoGA loyalist lands.

Turning back the clock on economic progress? Not gong to happen.

This logic is predicated on the Loyalist nations adopting steam immediately after the jihad. If they don't, their economic growth will be slow enough not to require a more efficient economic system.


I agree on all of these point, though I would add that Merlin does mention the possibility of a counter-reformation within the Church. I could imagine some young and energetic loyalist vicar rallying a group of vicars and archbishops in support of turning back the clock for ostensible doctrinal reasons (and with the backing of all those who feel left behind by the technological innovations and new economics). Such a vicar could pose a challenge to Duchairn and position himself to succeed Duchairn in an effort to overturn the more "problematic" changes that Duchairn had permitted.

RFC has had similar characters in other series, such as Steadholder Burdette, who was motivated by a combination of ambition and religious zeal, and Baron Cassan who was mostly motivated by ambition with a sprinkling of caution and historical awareness. Both were willing to acknowledge that certain things were beyond the pail and had, at least initially, stopped just short of outright treason. A similarly motivated vicar, one who acknowledges the Church's errors and crimes but who believes that the Church has done its penance and should now be allowed to return to its former position as the leading political and religious authority on Safehold. Such a vicar might be able to convince himself that they need only do their part to remain worthy in God's eyes and God will do the rest, dealing with the thornier issue of Charis and Siddarmark.

But I reiterate my initial question: given the litany of problems Duchairn is facing, why is Merlin worried about how he seems to be "salvaging the Church"? Reclaiming the moral high ground would only be helpful if it could be backed by other forms of persuasion or coercion (such as economic and military/police pressure). He doesn't have those and is unlikely to reacquire them any time soon.
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Re: The way Duchairn’s salvaging the Church...
Post by PeterZ   » Tue Dec 19, 2017 12:47 am

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As I posted, if the CoGA accepts steam, then Duchairn loses his only chance at regaining the moral high ground. That's why the King Haaralds are so important. Those ships and the merchant steamers will force nations to do whatever it takes to adopt a steam power. The promise of enough economic growth to repay the debts from the jihad will tempt Duchairn. The promise of weapons and production systems capable of defending Zion will tempt Magwair. Once they adopt steam, Safehold's basic conservatism will maintain acceptance of steam.

I don't think Duchairn will recognize just what adopting steam will mean. I suspect he will attempt to regain the CoGA's moral high ground. That is the sort of salvaging RFC is referring to. I do think Duchairn is attempting to regain Safehold's trust in the CoGA. He would like to be able to persuade Safeholdians rather than compell them. That will be problematic only if Duchairn makes a doctrinal argument against Charisian tech based the Proscriptions after he gains enough trust. If he accepts steam now but later changes his mind, he under cuts his moral authority. If he rejects steam immediately but accepts that Charis disagrees with him, he gains cred AND limits the spread of technology. Charis would have to find pretexts to fight a hot war against someone to continue to threaten secular nations into adopting their tech. This would further strengthen the CoGA's moral authority so long as they side against Charisian aggression but remain a non-combatant.

I believe his adoption of steam forecloses these possibilities for the Grand Vicar. Not adopting steam and prohibiting loyalist nations from adopting steam will only make Charis more powerful, but severely limit the spread of tech when the Return comes. That makes cauterizing the Charisian infection more likely for those awakening. From that perspective Duchairn can salvage the CoGA's moral authority sufficiently to doom Charis to rakurai treatment upon The Return.
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Re: The way Duchairn’s salvaging the Church...
Post by fallsfromtrees   » Tue Dec 19, 2017 1:45 am

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The problem with rejecting steam is that it really can be argued that it lies within the prescriptions of muscle, wind and water. Steam power is just the use if water to produce wind where required, and it's usefulness is such that that argument will carry a lot of weight among all of the people. There fore rejecting it takes the chance that people will instead reject the COGA, and instead move to the Sox, which has approved it's use. Rejecting on doctrinal rounds could mean having to restart the Jihad, somewhat the Duchairn really doesn't want to do.

Steam is here to say, and will spread to much of the world - escaping North Marching and Desnair.
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Re: The way Duchairn’s salvaging the Church...
Post by PeterZ   » Tue Dec 19, 2017 12:29 pm

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fallsfromtrees wrote:The problem with rejecting steam is that it really can be argued that it lies within the prescriptions of muscle, wind and water. Steam power is just the use if water to produce wind where required, and it's usefulness is such that that argument will carry a lot of weight among all of the people. There fore rejecting it takes the chance that people will instead reject the COGA, and instead move to the Sox, which has approved it's use. Rejecting on doctrinal rounds could mean having to restart the Jihad, somewhat the Duchairn really doesn't want to do.

Steam is here to say, and will spread to much of the world - escaping North Marching and Desnair.


Agreed. That failure to adopt steam will make North Harchong subject to revolt from the South. Just occurred to me. A revolution regarding freeing people from bondage where the South wants to free people and they win! Yup, that's coming for Harchong.

Desnair's official rejection of steam will cause their factions to vie for power. Those factions which gain Charisian or Dohlaran support will gain strength and likely win. I see a nasty proxy war there.
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