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

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Re: ***Major Spoiler*** The ending scene of Through Fiery Tr
Post by Louis R   » Thu Mar 07, 2019 10:05 am

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Rather major misunderstanding here: the Counter-Reformation involved pretty far-reaching reform of the Church aimed at eliminating the proximate causes of the Reformation while keeping the ecclesiastical and political structures intact. And it did indeed succeed in cleaning up most of the abuses and flaws of the Renaissance Church - although it also laid the foundations for many of the problems that church faces today.

Nothing could be farther from the minds of the crew in South Harchong. In fact, 'Counter-Reformation' would probably apply best to Rhobair's work in Zion, while the lot down in Yu-kwau are more like what we'd be seeing if, say, Franco's Spain had provided state support to the traditionalists fighting a rear-guard action against the Vatican II reforms.


Julia Minor wrote:
DMcCunney wrote:Desnair and South Harchong can start a new Holy War if they like, but what can they actually do? Just who would they be fighting?

Desnair has no navy, and no way of projecting power beyond its borders to anyplace it does not directly connect to. Zhyou Zhwo in South Harchong is in a similar position, and increasingly hemmed in. What havoc can they cause beyond their own borders?


If the response from Zion is anything other than outright condemnation of the Testimony of Schueler, I'm putting a hot fudge sundae on South Harchong going full Counter-Reformation. They might not be able to move directly against "the foul heretics who have seized Langhorne's holy city", but they can quit sending tithe money to Zion, which should have some impact on the CoGA's efforts to rebuild their economy. Even if Rhobair reduced the tithe to pre-Jihad levels once he became Grand Vicar, the Safehold tithe is a larger percentage than the customary Terran Christian tithe, so that's a larger chunk of money that can either go toward building a new Temple or (more likely) fund the South Harchong military complex.

[tangent] I don't think it was ever mentioned, but once the Jihad ended did tithes from Temple Loyalists in the Charisian Empire get forwarded to Zion?[/tangent]
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Re: ***Major Spoiler*** The ending scene of Through Fiery Tr
Post by Brent7s   » Mon Mar 18, 2019 5:45 pm

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after rereading the end chapter I noted one detail that in it that made me go huh. The visitation could be from Owl and part of the plan but also I could be the archangel's Schuler's plan all along. there is nothing confirming either possiblity till RFC gives us the next book....((DAMNIT!!!!))
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Re: ***Major Spoiler*** The ending scene of Through Fiery Tr
Post by DMcCunney   » Mon Mar 18, 2019 8:11 pm

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Brent7s wrote:after rereading the end chapter I noted one detail that in it that made me go huh. The visitation could be from Owl and part of the plan but also I could be the archangel's Schuler's plan all along. there is nothing confirming either possiblity till RFC gives us the next book....((DAMNIT!!!!))
As for whether it's a sneaky IC trick or real Schueler, consider what the apparition said. It said Shan Wei did not Fall, and that Chihiro lied. It left behind a physical volume - the Testimony of Schueler - in the same form as the master copies of the books comprising the Holy Writ in the Temple.

What does that volume say?

You can assume several things:

1) This is a doctrinal grenade with the pin pilled.

2) The intended audience is the Vicarate in the Temple.

3) The Testimony will contain Schueler's proof of his assertions.

Schueler's apparition flatly states the Holy Writ is not inerrant, and at least some of it is outright wrong.

The idea that Shan Wei was the Mother of Lies and Safehold's equivalent of Satan is woven throughout the Writ. If Shan Wei didn't Fall, but was destroyed by the true betrayer of God's plan for refusing to turn away from the great charge that brought her to Safehold to prepare it for humanity, the entire Writ can be called into question.

These claims are the last things the Vicarate will be willing to believe. Any proof provided in the Testimony must be things that have to be taken seriously by the Vicarate, and cannot simply be dismissed as a plot by Shan Wei.

The IC has the capability to produce the apparition and the book. It does not have that kind of proof, and knows it doesn't. Without that sort of proof, producing that visitation would be pointless. What would be achieved by doing so?

What the Testimony does say should be fascinating when we find out about it. "Consternation" will be the mildest term for the effects it will produce, and that will occur in both the Vicarate and in the Church of Charis. Archbishop Michael knows the truth about Safehold, but few other members of the Church of Charis are members of the IC. Both Churches use the Writ as their holy book, and both church's adherents assume the Writ is true.
______
Dennis
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Re: ***Major Spoiler*** The ending scene of Through Fiery Tr
Post by FriarBob   » Mon Mar 18, 2019 9:45 pm

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DMcCunney wrote:The IC has the capability to produce the apparition and the book. It does not have that kind of proof, and knows it doesn't. Without that sort of proof, producing that visitation would be pointless. What would be achieved by doing so?


I've said it before publicly and privately and I'll say it again now... I still want to be wrong about my assumptions here.

That said, are you sure the IC doesn't have that proof?
* They have the journal of Seijin Kohdy now. There might just be enough in there. Might not also. But there might be.
*They have the original Writ. (It is possible, even reasonably likely, that the original Writ is stored and labeled as Ascher's lies or somesuch. We do not know that it is.)
*There is also a chance they cracked the Key. (Probably not, mind you, but again likely vs. proven yada yada etc.)

It's probable they know they don't have sufficient proof for this. But not actually proven.
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Re: ***Major Spoiler*** The ending scene of Through Fiery Tr
Post by Louis R   » Tue Mar 19, 2019 11:21 am

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We know that Khody didn't record the information that troubled him so much, so the IC can't present that as evidence. The Alban twins had no trouble interpreting the rest of the journal, but without their cultural background it means little to Safeholders as proof of Chihiro's lies.

I'm not sure that anything in the original Writ would even be relevant. An alternate narrative that ends before the 'rebellion of Shan Wei' provides nothing of relevance. So what if she was highly regarded? Just shows how far she fell.

Unless they can build another AI just to attack the Key, there will not be any attempts made on it at all. The cost of failure is far too high, with failure near certain. And do they know enough of Federation military cryptography to even try? That's not info that's likely to be held in either a library or a tactical computer, although I'd be seriously surprised if it hadn't been available on Safehold at one time.

FriarBob wrote:
DMcCunney wrote:The IC has the capability to produce the apparition and the book. It does not have that kind of proof, and knows it doesn't. Without that sort of proof, producing that visitation would be pointless. What would be achieved by doing so?


I've said it before publicly and privately and I'll say it again now... I still want to be wrong about my assumptions here.

That said, are you sure the IC doesn't have that proof?
* They have the journal of Seijin Kohdy now. There might just be enough in there. Might not also. But there might be.
*They have the original Writ. (It is possible, even reasonably likely, that the original Writ is stored and labeled as Ascher's lies or somesuch. We do not know that it is.)
*There is also a chance they cracked the Key. (Probably not, mind you, but again likely vs. proven yada yada etc.)

It's probable they know they don't have sufficient proof for this. But not actually proven.
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Re: ***Major Spoiler*** The ending scene of Through Fiery Tr
Post by DMcCunney   » Tue Mar 19, 2019 4:53 pm

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FriarBob wrote:
DMcCunney wrote:The IC has the capability to produce the apparition and the book. It does not have that kind of proof, and knows it doesn't. Without that sort of proof, producing that visitation would be pointless. What would be achieved by doing so?
I've said it before publicly and privately and I'll say it again now... I still want to be wrong about my assumptions here.

That said, are you sure the IC doesn't have that proof?
* They have the journal of Seijin Kohdy now. There might just be enough in there. Might not also. But there might be.
*They have the original Writ. (It is possible, even reasonably likely, that the original Writ is stored and labeled as Ascher's lies or somesuch. We do not know that it is.)
*There is also a chance they cracked the Key. (Probably not, mind you, but again likely vs. proven yada yada etc.)

It's probable they know they don't have sufficient proof for this. But not actually proven.
See what I said about proof the Vicarate must take seriously and cannot simply dismiss as a plot by Shan Wei.

Seijin Kohdy's diary and the original unaltered writ can simply be dismissed by the Vicarate as forgeries and lies. They will not constitute proof the Vicarate will have to take seriously, because they could be forgeries and lies. What possible proof could the IC provide that they weren't?

I am assuming the IC is smart enough to know that.

I think we'd have gotten some indication if they had cracked the Key. (And given Owl's analysis of what was likely to happen if they tried, ranging from "erased if encrypted by a high level civilian AI" to "erasing him when he tried if encrypted by a military AI", I don't think they've pressed the effort.)

Again, I think at a minimum the IC would need whatever evidence the Fallen who defeated Kohdy provided to document his assertion that Chihiro had turned to evil. But Kohdy never recorded what that was - only that it shook him enough he was going to Zion to talk to Schueler about it.

If Kohdy actually talked to Schueler about it before he was killed (and I think he did), Schueler would have that proof. :P

So yes, I'm pretty confident of my assertions.
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Dennis
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Re: ***Major Spoiler*** The ending scene of Through Fiery Tr
Post by Julia Minor   » Wed Mar 20, 2019 11:35 am

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Louis R wrote:Unless they can build another AI just to attack the Key, there will not be any attempts made on it at all. The cost of failure is far too high, with failure near certain. And do they know enough of Federation military cryptography to even try? That's not info that's likely to be held in either a library or a tactical computer, although I'd be seriously surprised if it hadn't been available on Safehold at one time.


There's textev in an earlier book that the Inquisition has access to "mystic devices" that can break any code/cipher known. Given that military cryptography tends to be the high-end stuff, I'd bet on the crypto units from the Ark escort ships (which were all military IIRC) being set up in an Inquisition-only section of the Temple.

Hmm, that's a possibility ... what if part of the Testimony is in a special cipher, with a cleartext note telling the Inquisition to use specific settings (ideally something not normally needed for their codebreaking) on the holy cryptography machines? That might be a way to provide authentication for the Testimony.
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Re: ***Major Spoiler*** The ending scene of Through Fiery Tr
Post by DMcCunney   » Wed Mar 20, 2019 12:52 pm

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Julia Minor wrote:
Louis R wrote:Unless they can build another AI just to attack the Key, there will not be any attempts made on it at all. The cost of failure is far too high, with failure near certain. And do they know enough of Federation military cryptography to even try? That's not info that's likely to be held in either a library or a tactical computer, although I'd be seriously surprised if it hadn't been available on Safehold at one time.

There's textev in an earlier book that the Inquisition has access to "mystic devices" that can break any code/cipher known. Given that military cryptography tends to be the high-end stuff, I'd bet on the crypto units from the Ark escort ships (which were all military IIRC) being set up in an Inquisition-only section of the Temple.
Well, that's a widely held suspicion.

But consider the traffic the Inquisition might want to decode. It would be stuff sent in cipher over the semaphore, or in cipher in written documents. It will not be locked away in an encrypted hunk of molycirc memory.

Even if military grade decryption gear was aboard warships escorting Operation Ark, the decryption would be what was needed to decrypt and display message traffic to the ships. It may well not have been what was required to hack into encrypted hardware storage. Why would the warships have needed to do that?

And I suspect anything made available to the Inquisition would be carefully restricted in capability, and suitable only for the sorts of things the Inquisition would want to decrypt and read, with a dumbed down interface to use it.
Hmm, that's a possibility ... what if part of the Testimony is in a special cipher, with a cleartext note telling the Inquisition to use specific settings (ideally something not normally needed for their codebreaking) on the holy cryptography machines? That might be a way to provide authentication for the Testimony.
I don't see why it would be. If my suspicions are correct about the target audience for this - the entire Vicarate - I'm not sure why that extra step would be required. (Though it could be seen as proof it really was from Schueler and not a plot by Shan Wei.)
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Dennis
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Re: ***Major Spoiler*** The ending scene of Through Fiery Tr
Post by Randomiser   » Wed Mar 20, 2019 5:20 pm

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I still agree with Dennis that this is much more likely to be a wildcard 3rd party intervention, read Scheuler, than the IC. just because the message and book are 'a theological hand-grenade'. I can't see the IC wanting to spark off the kind of religious war this could easily ignite at this point in time. "We just confirmed we have about 80 years to work with before any Return. What shall we do with them? I know, let's set off an even bigger jihad right away!" Sound plausible to you?
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Re: ***Major Spoiler*** The ending scene of Through Fiery Tr
Post by DMcCunney   » Wed Mar 20, 2019 8:07 pm

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Randomiser wrote:I still agree with Dennis that this is much more likely to be a wildcard 3rd party intervention, read Scheuler, than the IC. just because the message and book are 'a theological hand-grenade'. I can't see the IC wanting to spark off the kind of religious war this could easily ignite at this point in time. "We just confirmed we have about 80 years to work with before any Return. What shall we do with them? I know, let's set off an even bigger jihad right away!" Sound plausible to you?
Agreed. And it would be even worse from the IC's viewpoint because of the type on conflict it would be.

While carefully wrapped in a cloak of religious principle, the Jihad was fundamentally a conflict between nation states, and about power. Had Zhaspahr Clyntahn succeeded in his plans, he would have been absolute ruler of Safehold, supported by the Inquisition, Emperors, Kings and Princes would merely reign, and would do so only as long as they pleased Clyntahn.

National armys and navies contended in battle, and the losers were nations, not religious groups.

A religious war of the sort this might be would largely ignore national boundaries and not be fought by nations. It would be the Rebellion in North Harchong and the mess in parts of Siddarmark, only potentially worse. How would Charis fight such a war? Who would the enemy be? How would they find and neutralize them?

I simply don't see an upside for the IC in pulling this sort of stunt. What would they get out of it besides trouble?

They want to make the Proscriptions go away and set Safehold firmly on the path of technological development. They accepted from the beginning that was likely to be a multi-generational effort, and had their hand forced to some extent by Paityr's revelation of an Archangelic return of some sort in a thousand years. They might have preferred a slower and more deliberate approach, but felt constrained to push industrialization as much as possible while staying within the Proscriptions, simply to have something so widespread returning Archangels couuln't reverse it without threatening the existence of human life on Safehold.

And a religious war would be as much an internal problem for the IC as it would for anyone else. The CoGA and the Church of Charis both use the Holy Writ as their base. With the exception of the IC, everyone on Safehold assumes the Writ is true, expresses the will of God, and was written by the Archangels. Claims it may not be true and some of it outright lies will be almost as disruptive in the Empire of Charis as anywhere else.

I can see collaboration between Grand Vicar Timothy Rhobair and Archbishop Michael in attempting to understand it, deal with it, and prevent it from exploding into a planet wide conflagration. They are on opposite sides of a religious schism, but the schism was never about the truth of the Writ. It would be a case of "We need to figure out a way to deal with this and present a united front to keep this pot from boiling over and scalding everyone!"
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Dennis
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