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***Major Spoiler*** The ending scene of Through Fiery Trials

This fascinating series is a combination of historical seafaring, swashbuckling adventure, and high technological science-fiction. Join us in a discussion!
Re: ***Major Spoiler*** The ending scene of Through Fiery Tr
Post by cnrd22   » Fri Jan 18, 2019 9:47 am

cnrd22
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Krenn wrote:
1. Get safehold used to the neccessity of constant national-scale innovation and development (mostly done)

2. Get safehold used to thinking critically, verifiably, scientifically, skeptically, honestly, and openly about past knowledge, science or commandmants: Well underway, but still mostly limited to the youngest generation of the Charisian empire. the College System and omnipresent ongoing adult education for professionals stills need to be widely distributed to the mainland.

3: avoid another world war, and related massive atrocities. Avoid loss of public faith in basic morality, honesty, fairness, and public trust. - Still uncertain. Things could get ugly if they're not very careful, or if they're unlucky.

4. Get Safeholdans used to the idea of continually updated, new and relevant, evidence and experiments regarding their foundation myths and doctrine. Not really started yet, except in the most preliminary of ways.

5. Get Safeholdans to SERIOUSLY QUESTION certain key elements of Early Safeholdan Religious History, and to widely accept that certain limited elements may, in fact, be wrong, for otherwise doctrinally acceptable reasons.

(Such as, say, "The Punishment of Schueler is actually an editing error. That document was actually recovered from one of Shan-Wei's lairs, misfiled, and mistakenly included in the revised Writ by an overly ambitious junior clerk...We Regret the Error.")

6. Get Safeholdans to start Accepting ACTUAL SCHISM AND HERESY. various small groups of religionists who consistently reliably believe something WAY DIFFERENT from what could ever plausibly be in the Writ. Such as, say, Judaism, Paganism, Universalism, Janeism, Shintoism.... Small minority sects who all right-thinking people think are completely crazy and following pure works of fiction, but the communities are still permited to live isolated, peaceful lives anyway. No stake-burning allowed.

7. Actually gradually get the majority of Safeholdans to slowly accept that their entire religion is, in fact, a work of fiction which happens to have copied some useful spiritual truths.



I kind of disagree with the above starting from point 3 on in the sense that with the CoGa broken in the Jihad there is no more unifying force on Safehold, so the usual Terran history of power politics, incipient nationalism and either looking at Charis (now the one existing Superpower, while The Temple Lands are sort of the second but less powerful one for now) at either mortal enemy (see S Harchong, Desnair and the Zhermo coalition of Siddarmark) or as the friend to be courted (Silkiah, Dohlar, most of North harchong, even the Temple Lands) is now fully asserting itself and barring some massive show of force from the Returned Archangels, religious disputes won't count that much beyond pretexts, so I do not think the Visitation (whether it's IC, Schueler, or a hypothetical Safehold "Alignment") will really impact people that much beyond the Church hierarchy - none of Desnair and S Harchong's rulers struck me as particularly religious beyond their previous fear of the (now neutered) Inquisition (and even that didn't stop the first to pull out Desnair from the Jihad and the second to drag their feet in so many ways), while the Zhermo calition of Siddarmark, as they represent the ugly chauvinistic "Siddarmark First" elements anyway, I think that unless the Archangels personally come and threaten to nuke them to oblivion, they couldn't care less about CoGA and its tribulations.

In particular, another WW will be unavoidable, but it will be one for power and for who will rule Safehold (or at least, who will avoid being ruled by Charis and its allies in a way or another, through treaties, commerce, and the inevitable social revolution rather than outright conquest)

So 4-7 above I think are much less relevant and barring the existence of rakurai, the IC could proclaim tomorrow the truth on Safehold and most people would shrug it off imho; so from that perspective I think that the Schueler apparition will cause turmoil in the Church and its hierarchy, but not really in the people, especially outside the Temple Lands - practically what i suspect the Visitation will do (and where it will backfire for the IC, if as I strongly suspect, they did it), it will split the Temple Lands, maybe even provoke the pretext for the new WW - though I suspect that Siddarmark turning conqueror will do that - and more importantly take away the Temple Lands power from the Charis coalition and make things more ven so to speak for their enemies.
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Re: ***Major Spoiler*** The ending scene of Through Fiery Tr
Post by Fiannawolf   » Fri Jan 18, 2019 2:45 pm

Fiannawolf
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That ending practically screamed: You ain't see nothing yet.

This is why I like Safehold as much as Harrington Shenanigans. No matter what the reviews say, these books are like a slow burn stew of fun-times. Makes me wonder what kind of land mines are awaiting Generation the 2nd. I have a feeling the tech boom will get more rampant depending on what the "Angel" surprise box holds next.
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Re: ***Major Spoiler*** The ending scene of Through Fiery Tr
Post by JRM   » Sat Jan 19, 2019 1:00 am

JRM
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Krenn wrote:See, I'm torn....

on the one hand, I pretty much agree with you.

On the other hand, this PARTICULAR form of angelic revelation is NOT how i would have done things, and doesn't FEEL like the IC's style of work.

Breaking down the neccessary doctrinal revolution into some more discrete steps....

1. Get safehold used to the neccessity of constant national-scale innovation and development (mostly done)

2. Get safehold used to thinking critically, verifiably, scientifically, skeptically, honestly, and openly about past knowledge, science or commandmants: Well underway, but still mostly limited to the youngest generation of the Charisian empire. the College System and omnipresent ongoing adult education for professionals stills need to be widely distributed to the mainland.

3: avoid another world war, and related massive atrocities. Avoid loss of public faith in basic morality, honesty, fairness, and public trust. - Still uncertain. Things could get ugly if they're not very careful, or if they're unlucky.



1. Innovation is out of the bag, and it is promoted by national interest and personal interest. It doesn't need further promotion, or even attention.

2. Good luck with teaching “thinking critically, verifiably, scientifically, skeptically, honestly, and openly about past knowledge, science or commandments.” The National Academy of Science says that between 30 and 50 percent of peer reviewed articles are not reproducible depending on the subject. Our world is full of experts that promote theories that are correct some of the time, but not all of the time. Their premises are incomplete, and their confirmation bias won’t let them acknowledge opposing facts. Most of these experts are quoted as authorities by the regular college student that is too lazy, or doesn’t have the time to even try to falsify the theory. At least on Safehold, for a little while, teachers can teach proven theory with fallacies and give and remove credit for students successfully challenging a premise.
3. Before we get into another world war, we should review the last war. The gang of four started the war because Charis was innovative, and independent. They couldn’t prove the proscriptions had been violated, but Charis would not have been so economically successful, if the Church was fully in control. Zhaspahr Clyntahn’s solution was to declare total war on Charis, and used the wealth of Charis as the payment for other nation’s to carry out the war. The Church had the same problem with Sidarmark to a lesser degree. The solution was the “Sword of Schueler”. Once again the violence was paid for with confiscated assets. After the visitation, who is going to be the target of a military attack, and who is going to pay for military action. I might believe that the result of the visitation was the widespread breakdown of law and order, but not a world war.

I listed two other obstacles to repealing the prohibitions, and I think that they would also need to be addressed immediately. It doesn’t do any good to revoke to doctrinal basis of the proscription of electricity if you haven’t dealt with the OBS platform, and have a program in place to deal with whatever remaining force the returning Archangels can use.

So, the next book should not only reveal what is in the Schueler’s Testament, we should see a plan being implemented to deal with the OBS platform and the Archangel return. The first chapter of TFT has the following regarding this subject:

“Given ten years or so to openly deploy the capabilities of Owl’s manufacturing capacity here in Nimue’s Cave— and for it to clone itself and begin producing Federation-level technology outside the Cave— any belligerent “Archangels” who returned would find themselves promptly transformed into glowing clouds of gas, and their most pessimistic estimate gave them at least fifteen years before the return. The existence of the bombardment system, however, meant they couldn’t deploy their own industry without almost certainly triggering that “reset” Nahrmahn feared.”

We should see widespread implementation of covert manufacturing of Federation-level technology with perhaps a novel ending with the destruction of the OBS.
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Re: ***Major Spoiler*** The ending scene of Through Fiery Tr
Post by Krenn   » Sat Jan 19, 2019 1:48 am

Krenn
Lieutenant (Senior Grade)

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Krenn wrote:See, I'm torn....

on the one hand, I pretty much agree with you.

On the other hand, this PARTICULAR form of angelic revelation is NOT how i would have done things, and doesn't FEEL like the IC's style of work.

Breaking down the neccessary doctrinal revolution into some more discrete steps....

1. Get safehold used to the neccessity of constant national-scale innovation and development (mostly done)

2. Get safehold used to thinking critically, verifiably, scientifically, skeptically, honestly, and openly about past knowledge, science or commandmants: Well underway, but still mostly limited to the youngest generation of the Charisian empire. the College System and omnipresent ongoing adult education for professionals stills need to be widely distributed to the mainland.

3: avoid another world war, and related massive atrocities. Avoid loss of public faith in basic morality, honesty, fairness, and public trust. - Still uncertain. Things could get ugly if they're not very careful, or if they're unlucky.



1. Innovation is out of the bag, and it is promoted by national interest and personal interest. It doesn't need further promotion, or even attention.


I agree that Charis has largely accomplished that one by now. as long as nothing radical happens to reverse course, that can be left on autopilot to gradually spread out to the most rural and isolated portions of the mainland.

2. Good luck with teaching “thinking critically, verifiably, scientifically, skeptically, honestly, and openly about past knowledge, science or commandments.” The National Academy of Science says that between 30 and 50 percent of peer reviewed articles are not reproducible depending on the subject.
Our world is full of experts that promote theories that are correct some of the time, but not all of the time. Their premises are incomplete, and their confirmation bias won’t let them acknowledge opposing facts. Most of these experts are quoted as authorities by the regular college student that is too lazy, or doesn’t have the time to even try to falsify the theory.
At least on Safehold, for a little while, teachers can teach proven theory with fallacies and give and remove credit for students successfully challenging a premise.


I don't need EVERYONE to do those things... I need the general populace of Safehold to lazily understand the basic concept that SOMEONE is doing those things. even 1 person in 20,000 engaged in truly thorough scientific research would be plenty.

300 years ago, the answer to pretty much any question was "Because we've always done it that way", "Because the Writ says so", "I don't know, go check the writ," or "Let's find a priest and bug him until he answers".

50 years from now, the standard answers to any question need to be
"Eh, Whatever;" "Check the manual;" "Because the textbook says so;" "I don't know, go look in the library;" or "Let's go find a scientist/professor/researcher/historian and bug him until he answers"

The people themselves don't need to PERSONALLY engage in truly thorough and rigorous inquiry, and not even all the proffesionals need to do that, but they do need to understand the idea that someone, somewhere, probably is doing such a thing, that they are probably the people who will update the routine documention of all relevant answers, and that document updaters should generally be listened to or benignly ignored, not burnt at the stake as heretics.

Again, like I said, Safehold has made a really good start on that so far, but it's still mostly the youngest generation, under age 25, that's really getting USED to doing things that way. Another generation worth of habit-forming in this direction would be really useful. especially if they start thinking this way in terms of DOCTRINE, not just physical tools.
“Given ten years or so to openly deploy the capabilities of Owl’s manufacturing capacity here in Nimue’s Cave— and for it to clone itself and begin producing Federation-level technology outside the Cave— any belligerent “Archangels” who returned would find themselves promptly transformed into glowing clouds of gas, and their most pessimistic estimate gave them at least fifteen years before the return. The existence of the bombardment system, however, meant they couldn’t deploy their own industry without almost certainly triggering that “reset” Nahrmahn feared.”

We should see widespread implementation of covert manufacturing of Federation-level technology with perhaps a novel ending with the destruction of the OBS.


I'm a little more patient... As far as I'm concerned, there's no need to destroy the OBS until they HAVE to. Either because a large portion of the populace are morally and politically ready and willing to start using electricity, or because the Archangels are almost due to wake up, and we want to deprive them of the OBS beforehand.

In Cayleb's shoes.... my next step might be to turn Owl's fabber into an entire secret underground military industry.

With those new gold and silver mines... Cayleb could hypothetically purchase and then divert several percentage points worth of the global resources industry.

If Owl's going to develop a secret military arsenal and von-neumann fabber array, he'll need raw resources. If he can buy things like iron, copper, steel, timber, ceramics, paper, cloth, oil, plastics, etc from Safehold, then he doesn't need to waste time or energy building his own mining or harvesting equipment for those things himself. And he doesn't need to risk his harvesting equipment being seen by anything in orbit.

After the failure of Siddarmark banking... It might make sense to create an... "Empire of Charis resource-backed strategic bank vault"

Officially, it's a giant storage cave in a mountain somewhere, whose major purpose is store huge amounts of valuable stuff with a long shelf-life, like iron, oil, ceramics, maybe preserved food. And those things are used to back the value of the Charisian Currency, or the currency of other countries that buy into the bank, to help moderate commodity prices by providing a strategic reserve, and maybe to provide a massive stockpile for future emergency relief missions.

Unofficially... about 5% of that stockpile will be quietly moved through a secret backdoor, and be sent directly to the secret underground fabber-halls of Owl. Cayleb will pay gold or silver for anything he withdraws, the books will balance, and any inventory inspections will still pass... but what Cayleb DID with all those raw materials he kept purchasing are his business, and no-one elses.

That could easily be a 25-year, or even 50-year project. Just building a secret swarm of millions of mixed-use, multi-purpose, surface-to-orbit missiles, and related air defenses.

Then, in about 50 years, once enough people are mentally ready to hear about it... We can introduce General Owl The First, High Marshal of the Charisian Empire, defender of the orbits, protector of the people, Slayer of Gbaba Demons, Broadcaster of Radio, Distributor of Broadsheets, Bringer of Fireworks, and Loyal Servant to Her Majesty's Imperial Parliament.

His opening act can be destroying the Orbital Bombardment System, followed by a planet-wide fireworks show, and creating giant orbital billboards using networked swarms of missiles with extremely bright colored searchlights.

But you definitely want a large portion of the population to be prepared to accept that this sort of thing is NOT a Demonic or Angelic act, BEFORE you reveal yourself. And you really want Owl to have a planet's worth of riot control robots stored somewhere by then, just in case.

Explaining things to all of parliament at once would be hilarious. and very terrifying.

"Wait, so WE'RE the people who get to write laws about where and when a million riot control robots may or may not be deployed? and if we want to split riot control and orbital defense into two seperate units, we have to PAY to purchase the hardware from the Emperor? one riot control robot is worth HOW MUCH?

And you're telling us that the Imperial Parliament has the authority to SUMMON the Demon/Archangel/Holy Servitor 'General Owl the First' to testify before us? And he'll actually comply?"
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Re: ***Major Spoiler*** The ending scene of Through Fiery Tr
Post by GregD   » Thu Feb 07, 2019 2:33 pm

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DMcCunney wrote:Another question arises from what Schueler said. Merlin, and by extension, the Inner Circle, began with what Commodore Pei's downloads said. We know Langhorne did not order the strike on the Alexandria Enclave that produced Armageddon Reef. We also know the OBS was built aboard Hamilcar by Angels loyal to Chihiro, and deployed just before it was used to prevent Commodore Pei from doing anything to stop it. But while we know that, does the Inner Circle?


How do "we" know those things?
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Re: ***Major Spoiler*** The ending scene of Through Fiery Tr
Post by isaac_newton   » Thu Feb 07, 2019 3:31 pm

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GregD wrote:
DMcCunney wrote:Another question arises from what Schueler said. Merlin, and by extension, the Inner Circle, began with what Commodore Pei's downloads said. We know Langhorne did not order the strike on the Alexandria Enclave that produced Armageddon Reef. We also know the OBS was built aboard Hamilcar by Angels loyal to Chihiro, and deployed just before it was used to prevent Commodore Pei from doing anything to stop it. But while we know that, does the Inner Circle?


How do "we" know those things?


Looking at the safehold FAQs [dec 2013] below, I think that much of that is not correct...


Langhorne and his inner circle were well aware of how loyal to Kau-Yung his own people were, and despite the deep estrangement between him and Shan-Wei (which most of the "archangels" accepted as genuine) Langhorne was less than confident that Kau-Yung would be in favor of turning her and all the rest of the Alexandrians into ground zero for a kinetic strike. For that matter, Langhorne was far from certain that all the rest of the command crew would think it was a good idea to commit the mass murder of colleagues they'd known and worked with for decades, even if they had reached a point of bone-deep philosophical disagreement.

As a result of that uncertainty on his part, the original OBS was a relatively simple (and cheap) system built for a single purpose --- to take out the entire Alexandria Enclave in a single strike --- and it was intended to do so so quickly that neither Kau-Yung and his loyalists among the ex-Navy personnel nor any other "archangels" who might have disagreed with the plan would be able to prevent it from happening. In other words, the idea was to burn out the source of "dangerous contamination" in a single stroke and present them with a fait accompli, after which they would have little choice but to accept Langhorne's plans --- and actions --- as a "done deal." To that end, the OBS was also built under high conditions of secrecy in one of the modules aboard the flagship commanded and staffed by people personally loyal to Langhorne. Its existence was concealed not just from Kau-Yung, but from everyone outside Langhorne's immediate close circle of utterly trusted subordinates, and it wasn't deployed from inside the module in which it had been built until literally no more than a very few hours from when it was used. As a result, there was no real "window" in which Kau-Yung might have seen what was coming and taken steps to prevent it.
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Re: ***Major Spoiler*** The ending scene of Through Fiery Tr
Post by Meshakhad   » Fri Feb 08, 2019 6:59 pm

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My initial reaction:

The fuck?

Anyway, count me firmly on the side of "this isn't the IC". In fact, I'm strongly inclined towards it being exactly what it appears to be.

The question is, is this just some sort of prearranged recording, or is there an actual AI - or even human intelligence - at work? I'm leaning towards there being an AI involved. Probably part of the actual Temple systems.

Also, I just had a thought: do we actually know that the Rakurai would target any large-scale use of electricity? After all, its only known use was a manual strike on Alexandria. We've assumed that it has an automatic function, but what if it doesn't? Or what if the threshold is even higher than we think?

There is an in character solution, mind you. Merlin should start tinkering around with finding the actual threshold. He did that experiment with steam engines before. I'd start by setting off an EMP in the polar regions.
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Re: ***Major Spoiler*** The ending scene of Through Fiery Tr
Post by SilverbladeTE   » Fri Feb 08, 2019 7:20 pm

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And while the bombardment platform seems to be functional...one thing I sure as hell would have done if I'd been "good" Schueler is permanently take it off line somehow!
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Re: ***Major Spoiler*** The ending scene of Through Fiery Tr
Post by Meshakhad   » Fri Feb 08, 2019 8:28 pm

Meshakhad
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SilverbladeTE wrote:And while the bombardment platform seems to be functional...one thing I sure as hell would have done if I'd been "good" Schueler is permanently take it off line somehow!


Or at least disable the "fire on the surface" protocol. Depending on exactly what it is, it might also come in handy if a Gbaba scout wanders into the system.
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Re: ***Major Spoiler*** The ending scene of Through Fiery Tr
Post by kaid   » Mon Feb 11, 2019 4:43 pm

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One thing to note under merlins original plans there was no hard time limit for when the innovations had to be in place. He could keep picking at it and if necessary abandon charis and start over somewhere somewhen else.

But with the clock ticking on some kind of angelic event something is necessary to force the matter of the truth about safehold. The problem is the way the lie was setup there are no threads to pull at everything is basically set and explained and documented by so many witnesses that even with careful vetting and bringing people into merlins cave and showing them all the stuff that even that has not been enough to convince everybody.

To make this knowledge sweep across the world in a way that does not immediately brand yourself as the worst shan wei damned heretic some major paradigm shift has to happen. Is angelic intervention ideal possibly not but if the book that was left is the full and complete truth behind safehold including the fact schuler is not and never was an archangel it probably is a good starting place or as good of one as can be handled.
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