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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 FriarBob   » Sun Apr 07, 2019 2:49 pm

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PeterZ wrote:Whether or not the IC is responsible for The Visitation, they Do need to prepare to defeat the possibility of a Return. That means setting up a dispersed Terran Tech manufacturing capability while increasing the number of nations industrializing heavily. Those requirements almost beg for colonizing the Barren Lands.


Have you forgotten where the "fallen" had their primary base of operations? It was mentioned in one of the SSK sidebars. And I'm about 90% sure it was those very islands. True Merlin used those islands as his testbed for steam, but remember the timing thereof. He did that long before he knew about the SSK. LONG before.

Same story different verse about Armageddon Reef. If the Rakurai strikes either of those locations everyone will "know" Shan-Wei has been struck down again. For that matter the same would be true of ANY Rakurai strike, even in an 'untainted' location. Well at least it would be so for anyone who sees it. Granted these two locations are far enough away that number should be "very low" but very low isn't the same as zero. So risky. Less so perhaps than Tellesberg, but still risky.

Pretty much everywhere else is occupied. Not necessarily heavily, but inhabited. Which is why I keep wanting to see something on the moon or another similar object somewhere in the system. I'm not sure if they simply can't do it (or won't for some reason... if so likely "because I don't want to and I'm the author so there!" sort of reason) but I really think Merlin should have started the process already. Even if as nothing but a backup plan that's fully automated and run by a copy of Owl or something.
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Re: ***Major Spoiler*** The ending scene of Through Fiery Tr
Post by PeterZ   » Sun Apr 07, 2019 7:21 pm

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FB, they can't get to the moon without a TF tech base manufacturing center. Whether the IC chooses one place to establish a TF manufacturing center and build the capacity there to go to Safehold's moon or build all the TF manufacturing centers on Safehold, the project must be undertaken. The initial heavy TF manufacturing center has to be away from civilization to mitigate risk.

Btw, the last of the Fallen fought to their destruction in the Desolation Mountains. I believe the Barren Lands was another of Shan Wei's gifts to Nimue, like Silverlod was.
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Re: ***Major Spoiler*** The ending scene of Through Fiery Tr
Post by FriarBob   » Sun Apr 07, 2019 8:23 pm

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PeterZ wrote:FB, they can't get to the moon without a TF tech base manufacturing center. Whether the IC chooses one place to establish a TF manufacturing center and build the capacity there to go to Safehold's moon or build all the TF manufacturing centers on Safehold, the project must be undertaken. The initial heavy TF manufacturing center has to be away from civilization to mitigate risk.


Why not? Merlin has a drop shuttle bigger than a 747. You really think they couldn't fit anything into that space that could at least get the process started? Perhaps not a full copy of his current manufacturing center in the cave, but surely something could be put inside that and flown up.

And yes, it could be flown up. Nimue's remotes were destroyed when they approached the bombardment platforms, not when they went up into space in general. Merlin has also flown in actual space at least twice that we know of (opening scene of BSRA, and when taking Sharleyan to the Cave for the med exam before Alannah was born). Odds are not particularly high those were the only times he did so.

With outright proof they can leave the atmosphere, we now have only the objection of leaving planetary orbit. But unless those platforms literally are the planetary equivalent of a Dyson Sphere there are gaps that could be flown through. (Frankly I think there's very little BUT gaps, the platforms at most cover maybe 1% of the sky if even that. Otherwise we'd get 'weird shadows' and/or never see the sun.) And if there are, then a stealthed drop shuttle (or something) could be used to transport a seed factory out to the moon or somewhere else in the system.

So why again do they have to build the tech first? They have the small craft, that much is simply a duh. They almost certainly do not (yet) have a spare factory but they could create something to start the process with. Sure it would be slower, perhaps even a lot slower. A smaller seed factory -- especially one that was just nannites and an AI computer to run them -- would be a LOT slower than sending a full-blown TF factory system. One of those "replicating itself" openly for just 4-5 years would have been enough to get any returning archangels "blown to hell and gone" (ATST, April 898, VIII).

But even if they had only started from the time of the Temple's surrender -- IMO they absolutely should have started the minute OWL fully woke up and Merlin knew he could trust him "out of sight" -- they'd at least have something built up by now with nearly 20 years to work with. Maybe not a full-fledged shipyard or fleet of warships. Very likely not in fact, especially if they decided it needed to be underground even out there on the (or a) moon. But they could have at least made the tools to make the tools.

PeterZ wrote:Btw, the last of the Fallen fought to their destruction in the Desolation Mountains. I believe the Barren Lands was another of Shan Wei's gifts to Nimue, like Silverlode was.


I stand corrected on the Desolation Mountains bit, but Silverlode at least had a name that gave a (blatant) hint about what was really there. But even with a 'blindingly obvious' clue like that they still totally missed the point until Narhman went digging in OWLs memory banks.

What is there about a bunch of 'useless' islands that are called what they are ('barren lands') that is our hint for why this is a 'gift' of Shan-Wei? What, outside of maybe a place to build up high-tech, could they possibly be for? And how is Narhman or OWL going to dig up the hints in the planetary surveys or notes or whatever to help the team find out about it?

Short of that, even if it's a safe place to build up tech it's not a gift of Shan-Wei. Unless you want to argue Shan-Wei turned actually useful islands into barren lands for this purpose? I buy that even less than I do the idea it's a safe place to do it!

Even if there is a high concentration of key elements needed in high tech construction out there, how are they going to figure it out? Where is the clue that we (and they) have overlooked so far?
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Re: ***Major Spoiler*** The ending scene of Through Fiery Tr
Post by Brigade XO   » Mon Apr 08, 2019 6:02 am

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Vastly expanding the installed tech base -even at the present modest IC level- is going to entail a lot of work. To go to one or more "empty" areas and locate new Steam Age level tech undergorund would be interesting.
And how do you hide it. I only ask because we don't have any idea of what the Thing Under The Temple has in the way of assets, sensors or capabilities.
Is it possible that the OBS has some reasonably good passive sensors focused on Safehold and, should the Temple "wake up", would it not access the OBS's records to see what has been going on? It's a given that the OBS has some sort of targeting software and capabilities. In the board discussions the idea that the OBS has some sort of fabrication/supply capabiies since it is supposed to be able to reload- no ammuntion ships foating around that OWL or Merlin can find. So you want to record 900 years of orbital visual data about a planet- even if you shoot once a week and look for gross variation.
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Re: ***Major Spoiler*** The ending scene of Through Fiery Tr
Post by Bahzellstudent   » Wed Apr 10, 2019 1:12 pm

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well guys, it has been great fun reading through this entire thread - and perhaps the point that it illustrates best is the way that many posters have ultimately settled on view based on their belief of whether the return of Sheuler is the IC or some new faction from the era of the archangels. Reading the whole thread in a day as I have done really brings it home 'I believe this bit of textev makes it clear it is the IC' or 'this bit of textev makes it clear it is not the IC'.

And that to me is perhaps the clinching argument for it not being the IC - let me explain why.

The Church of Charis came into existence as a response to the Jihad and the vileness that was Clyntahn - and many citizens of Charis followed along with the new Church because they could see how wrong Clyntahn was, and how sincere Michael is. But the vast majority of Charis citizens still believe the truth of Langhorne and everything that follows from that. Take the bombshell from visitation Scheuler - that even part of the 'bible' is false - and many of the adherents to the Church of Charis are going to react extremely badly. And then you get a real religious war on Charis itself. Charis managed the fight with the Temple Loyalists mainly because there were relatively few Charisians who didn't see the existential threat posed to their entire existence by the Jihad, but the Scheueler 'heresy' is likely to impact a much larger proportion of adherents to the Church of Charis.
I cannot see any reason for the IC to provoke this internal war - even with the ability to keep snarc watch on many many people at a time.

Of course the IC know they have to break the truth of Holy Writ - but to do so by one massive visitation like this, rather than breaking it down section by section just doesn't fly. Far better, for example, to work on the scientific research being undertaken by the College - to show WHY certain things work the way that they do, and then to show that certain things covered by the proscriptions to NOT in fact cause the curse of the archangels.

So I am convinced (I know, hoist by my own petard) that this is not the IC and is some form of return visitation by the real Scheuler.

Let's just all hope and pray that RFC remains fit and well and focussed on writing the next book as quickly as possible!
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Re: ***Major Spoiler*** The ending scene of Through Fiery Tr
Post by Bruno Behrends   » Thu Apr 11, 2019 7:57 am

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Bahzellstudent wrote:well guys, it has been great fun reading through this entire thread - and perhaps the point that it illustrates best is the way that many posters have ultimately settled on view based on their belief of whether the return of Sheuler is the IC or some new faction from the era of the archangels. Reading the whole thread in a day as I have done really brings it home 'I believe this bit of textev makes it clear it is the IC' or 'this bit of textev makes it clear it is not the IC'.

And that to me is perhaps the clinching argument for it not being the IC - let me explain why.

The Church of Charis came into existence as a response to the Jihad and the vileness that was Clyntahn - and many citizens of Charis followed along with the new Church because they could see how wrong Clyntahn was, and how sincere Michael is. But the vast majority of Charis citizens still believe the truth of Langhorne and everything that follows from that. Take the bombshell from visitation Scheuler - that even part of the 'bible' is false - and many of the adherents to the Church of Charis are going to react extremely badly. And then you get a real religious war on Charis itself. Charis managed the fight with the Temple Loyalists mainly because there were relatively few Charisians who didn't see the existential threat posed to their entire existence by the Jihad, but the Scheueler 'heresy' is likely to impact a much larger proportion of adherents to the Church of Charis.
I cannot see any reason for the IC to provoke this internal war - even with the ability to keep snarc watch on many many people at a time.

Of course the IC know they have to break the truth of Holy Writ - but to do so by one massive visitation like this, rather than breaking it down section by section just doesn't fly. Far better, for example, to work on the scientific research being undertaken by the College - to show WHY certain things work the way that they do, and then to show that certain things covered by the proscriptions to NOT in fact cause the curse of the archangels.

So I am convinced (I know, hoist by my own petard) that this is not the IC and is some form of return visitation by the real Scheuler.

Let's just all hope and pray that RFC remains fit and well and focussed on writing the next book as quickly as possible!


Hm.

I had an open mind when I first read the book. I even at first thought the visitation was real. Only on closer look and reread did I notice all the text ev sprinkled throughout the story, connecting first and last chapter and setting up the ending. It wasn't my 'belief' that guided me there.

However I have no issue with you choosing to believe in some future story that you imagine will take place. More power to you. Just don't be surprised later when it doesn't come to pass :P
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Re: ***Major Spoiler*** The ending scene of Through Fiery Tr
Post by PeterZ   » Thu Apr 11, 2019 8:58 am

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PeterZ wrote:FB, they can't get to the moon without a TF tech base manufacturing center. Whether the IC chooses one place to establish a TF manufacturing center and build the capacity there to go to Safehold's moon or build all the TF manufacturing centers on Safehold, the project must be undertaken. The initial heavy TF manufacturing center has to be away from civilization to mitigate risk.
FriarBob wrote:Why not? Merlin has a drop shuttle bigger than a 747. You really think they couldn't fit anything into that space that could at least get the process started? Perhaps not a full copy of his current manufacturing center in the cave, but surely something could be put inside that and flown up.

And yes, it could be flown up. Nimue's remotes were destroyed when they approached the bombardment platforms, not when they went up into space in general. Merlin has also flown in actual space at least twice that we know of (opening scene of BSRA, and when taking Sharleyan to the Cave for the med exam before Alannah was born). Odds are not particularly high those were the only times he did so.

With outright proof they can leave the atmosphere, we now have only the objection of leaving planetary orbit. But unless those platforms literally are the planetary equivalent of a Dyson Sphere there are gaps that could be flown through. (Frankly I think there's very little BUT gaps, the platforms at most cover maybe 1% of the sky if even that. Otherwise we'd get 'weird shadows' and/or never see the sun.) And if there are, then a stealthed drop shuttle (or something) could be used to transport a seed factory out to the moon or somewhere else in the system.

So why again do they have to build the tech first? They have the small craft, that much is simply a duh. They almost certainly do not (yet) have a spare factory but they could create something to start the process with. Sure it would be slower, perhaps even a lot slower. A smaller seed factory -- especially one that was just nannites and an AI computer to run them -- would be a LOT slower than sending a full-blown TF factory system. One of those "replicating itself" openly for just 4-5 years would have been enough to get any returning archangels "blown to hell and gone" (ATST, April 898, VIII).

But even if they had only started from the time of the Temple's surrender -- IMO they absolutely should have started the minute OWL fully woke up and Merlin knew he could trust him "out of sight" -- they'd at least have something built up by now with nearly 20 years to work with. Maybe not a full-fledged shipyard or fleet of warships. Very likely not in fact, especially if they decided it needed to be underground even out there on the (or a) moon. But they could have at least made the tools to make the tools.


I was thinking that the colony has to be self sustaining. I should have said they can't get to the moon and establish a viable manufacturing colony without an established Terran tech base already. I still do. They'll need to establish the tech for sustained life support. They'll need to have the manufacturing base to build resource extraction systems to mine asteroids. Its either that or ship material from Safehold, since I doubt the moon has the same sorts of raw materials as Safehold does. Iirc, Safehold is richer in heavy metals than Earth. They'll also need to heavily stealth their base. That means digging deep because Safehold's moon has no atmosphere to absorb emissions. Since they'll need to communicate over much longer distances, they'll need to communicate less frequently with Safehold to limit detectable emissions. (We still don't know if there is a trigger to activate the Temple tech and heavy comm emissions would certainly pierce any conceivable threshold.) That means a larger population for the moon's colony. All this is but the tip of the requirements for establishing an independent colony in vacuum conditions.

Compare that to simply starting a current Safehold tech level colony built upon a well dug in high tech manufacturing center in a remote part of Safehold. The people and resources committed to this will still be significant, but not remotely impossible. So regardless of how cool it would be to go back to space, logistical constraints argue for keeping any serious manufacturing/production on Safehold's surface.

As to what gift might have been left in the......Barren Lands? A tech depository. We know Shan-wei left knowledge with Jeremy Knowles at Telesburg. We know she left other cells of re-educated colonists scattered about Safehold. They may or may not have survived. Adds were long for Jeremy Knowles to survive. What better depository for tech in a last ditch go-to-hell plan could there be than The Barren Lands that have remained unpopulated since creation? Knowledge of it may well have been lost with one or more of her "scattered seeds". Shan-wei may even have kept the knowledge from the Commodore just as she kept the "scattered seeds" project from him. All she would need to do is transfer some of her own tech from Alexandria, rather than redirect tech Langhorne knew about as the Commodore had to.
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Re: ***Major Spoiler*** The ending scene of Through Fiery Tr
Post by FriarBob   » Thu Apr 11, 2019 10:01 am

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PeterZ wrote:I was thinking that the colony has to be self sustaining. I should have said they can't get to the moon and establish a viable manufacturing colony without an established Terran tech base already. I still do.


AHHH the light dawns. We're thinking of two completely different things... you are thinking colony and I'm thinking just of automation. Yes, trying to put people out there would be a lot harder. Would indeed require a much greater support system. Which is why frankly the idea didn't even occur to me.

Aiming instead for pure automation is why I figured that while it could have been done even earlier it should have been done once OWL woke up. Or maybe not, maybe an awoken OWL would have needed more communication and that would have actually been more dangerous from the amount of message traffic. Suppose that could be argued either way. But I would think an AI he could trust, perhaps with a copy of Narhmann or Nimue or some other personality to "keep it company" would require far less communication and thus be safer in that route.

I would be very surprised however if the moon was that much lower in metal content. I guess it might be somewhat lower, but if it was low enough to be unusable for mining then I can't imagine it actually ever forming out of the dust. Of course that's assuming current theories on stellar system formation have any validity whatsoever, but not exactly something we can prove one way or the other next week... :)

Hiding the signals... I don't think the (lack of) atmosphere would matter. Not enough, at least. Underground would be the key if they truly needed to hide it. Not sure exactly how much they really do. Some, yes, obsessive level not so sure. An OBS-style kinetic weapon isn't going to do (as) much against a moon base even IF it can turn around and aim out instead of aim in. Here the no (or limited) atmosphere helps out immensely. So a few hundred feet underground and even if it can aim at them it can't touch them. Maybe it wakes up the temple tho, but some basic caution on the stealth should still be sufficient here. Granted the Gbaba and all but without FTL communications any lightspeed emissions would take centuries to reach them. Pretty sure one way or another things would be resolved in time, so they really aren't a factor. It's temple or bust here.
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Re: ***Major Spoiler*** The ending scene of Through Fiery Tr
Post by FriarBob   » Thu Apr 11, 2019 10:06 am

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Bruno Behrends wrote:I had an open mind when I first read the book. I even at first thought the visitation was real. Only on closer look and reread did I notice all the text ev sprinkled throughout the story, connecting first and last chapter and setting up the ending. It wasn't my 'belief' that guided me there.

However I have no issue with you choosing to believe in some future story that you imagine will take place. More power to you. Just don't be surprised later when it doesn't come to pass :P


There really are only two realistic possibilities here. One is that it really is the IC. The other is that absolute TON of textev is a MASSIVE head-fake, so excessively large that its very nearly an outright lie by the author.

Not sure which it will turn out to be, tho. Only time will tell.
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Re: ***Major Spoiler*** The ending scene of Through Fiery Tr
Post by SilverbladeTE   » Thu Apr 11, 2019 5:13 pm

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Bruno Behrends wrote:
Bahzellstudent wrote:well guys, it has been great fun reading through this entire thread - and perhaps the point that it illustrates best is the way that many posters have ultimately settled on view based on their belief of whether the return of Sheuler is the IC or some new faction from the era of the archangels. Reading the whole thread in a day as I have done really brings it home 'I believe this bit of textev makes it clear it is the IC' or 'this bit of textev makes it clear it is not the IC'.

And that to me is perhaps the clinching argument for it not being the IC - let me explain why.

The Church of Charis came into existence as a response to the Jihad and the vileness that was Clyntahn - and many citizens of Charis followed along with the new Church because they could see how wrong Clyntahn was, and how sincere Michael is. But the vast majority of Charis citizens still believe the truth of Langhorne and everything that follows from that. Take the bombshell from visitation Scheuler - that even part of the 'bible' is false - and many of the adherents to the Church of Charis are going to react extremely badly. And then you get a real religious war on Charis itself. Charis managed the fight with the Temple Loyalists mainly because there were relatively few Charisians who didn't see the existential threat posed to their entire existence by the Jihad, but the Scheueler 'heresy' is likely to impact a much larger proportion of adherents to the Church of Charis.
I cannot see any reason for the IC to provoke this internal war - even with the ability to keep snarc watch on many many people at a time.

Of course the IC know they have to break the truth of Holy Writ - but to do so by one massive visitation like this, rather than breaking it down section by section just doesn't fly. Far better, for example, to work on the scientific research being undertaken by the College - to show WHY certain things work the way that they do, and then to show that certain things covered by the proscriptions to NOT in fact cause the curse of the archangels.

So I am convinced (I know, hoist by my own petard) that this is not the IC and is some form of return visitation by the real Scheuler.

Let's just all hope and pray that RFC remains fit and well and focussed on writing the next book as quickly as possible!


Hm.

I had an open mind when I first read the book. I even at first thought the visitation was real. Only on closer look and reread did I notice all the text ev sprinkled throughout the story, connecting first and last chapter and setting up the ending. It wasn't my 'belief' that guided me there.

However I have no issue with you choosing to believe in some future story that you imagine will take place. More power to you. Just don't be surprised later when it doesn't come to pass :P



As I've noted, this revelation will inevitably spark an absolute bloodbath!

Unless RFC has some sneaky twist, which is not impossible especially since it is HIS fictional world we are being invited to share (thankfully as it's incredibly fun!)
The end result will be ghastly slaughter, not something the humane ans moderate Inner Circle would get up to

Breaking the Writ by scientific proof over time, or some bit of genius work that is benign, that would be fine.

Again...what would happen todsayw, never mind in the 1600s if someone could prove Judas was innocent, Lucifer was a patsy, and St Paul was an evil lying tyrannical mass murdering hypocrit who built the Church for his own gain?
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