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TFT *SPOILERS* thoughts, discussions, and future speculation

This fascinating series is a combination of historical seafaring, swashbuckling adventure, and high technological science-fiction. Join us in a discussion!
The Key...
Post by Joat42   » Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:29 pm

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In the opening chapter Nahrman posits that something has gone wrong with the Archangels plan and it seems "nobody is home" which is why the OBS doesn't do anything and the Temple didn't react to Merlins presence.

What if the Key is just that, the key component to awaken the OBS and the Temple. It's entirely possible it is housing the AI that's supposed to control everything and the current system is just running on automatic backups.

How and why is another question, maybe Schueler didn't agree which the other survivors and this was his way to derail the plan.

---
Jack of all trades and destructive tinkerer.


Anyone who have simple solutions for complex problems is a fool.
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Re: TFT *SPOILERS* thoughts, discussions, and future specula
Post by PeterZ   » Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:30 pm

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Joat42 wrote:What I don't get is why Charis didn't do more to prop up Siddarmark. It would have been easy for them to manipulate the markets and the election to keep a friendly protector in power.

There is no rational argument for not doing it from what I can see, unless they would be so clumsy at it to tip their hand and have a political backlash.

They fabricated evidence to get what they want in the earlier books, why not now?

The whole thing with Siddarmark's economic implosion seems contrived and all the hand wringing in Charis about the problems doesn't make any sense.
PeterZ wrote:The problem was one of confidence. Myllyr had confidence in his advisors. Those relatively honest advisors had confidence in their advisors and agents. Charis did inform Myllyr about the evidence suggesting the corruption. Myllyr did not act because he did not think the accusations had merrit. Forcing the issue would be forcing Myllyr to act as Charis wanted. Supplying evidence from the seijin network may have convinced Myllyr, but it would have also reveal to quite a few people that the seijins are interfering in Siddermarkian internal affairs. Besides providing evidence that seijins are extremely supernatiral, the process would rub many common Siddermarkians' noses in their dependence on Charis. That seems to be problematic.

Also, Siddermark needs to voluntarily accept industrialization on an individual level. Obviously forcing them into industrialization using economic levers controled by outside forces raises many more emotional objections than it overcomes.
Joat42 wrote:But the point is they didn't do squat even though they knew the graft and other shenanigans where happening which jeopardized the plan. If they wanted Siddarmark to succeed they could have invested more resources and surveillance to nudge them along behind the scene - instead there where a lot hand wringing and nothing else.

Compare that to the support they poured into Harchong, although the political situation there where much simpler which allowed them to be more hands on.

Harchong was willing. They believed that charis was acxtually trying to help. Siddermark did not believe that Charis wanted to help as much as they wanted to take advantage of circumstances. Had Greygohr not died or Henrai for that matter, they could have pulled it off. Siddermark could have pulled themselves out of the muck. Charis could not have acted without making it obvious that Siddermark DID NOT solve their own problems. Engaing in the tech necessary to manipulate events would have danced too close to people claiming demonic aid. Also, at one point each sovereign country has to make its own decisions and live with the consequences.
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Re: TFT *SPOILERS* thoughts, discussions, and future specula
Post by noblehunter   » Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:34 pm

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I seem to remember a conversation from the first arc of the series that Merlin was justifying a lot of meddling during the Jihad as wartime exigencies and that he'd have to scale back so as to ensure it doesn't become a habit. I think this view helps explain Merlin et al.'s unwillingness to take covert actions in Siddarmark.
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Re: TFT *SPOILERS* thoughts, discussions, and future specula
Post by FriarBob   » Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:51 pm

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PeterZ wrote:February of 916 has Howsmyn cataloging the losses in Siddermark. There are manufactories owned by Charisians in place. Those manufactories supplied the Trans Siddermark RR. That includes making automotives. There weren't many of them, but they were built within the last 3-4 years of the story. That means latest generation compressor turbines and pneumatics in addition to the latest steel mills. These manufactories were not widespread but whatever partially owned Charisian owned enterprises there were was top of the line tech.


OK it's going back several pages now but I missed this mistake earlier.

Sorry PZ, but it is a mistake. That they are *probably* higher tech than what Harchong and/or (especially) Desnair can come up with is quite likely. That they are "top of the line" is simply unproven.

And while the automotives clearly had to be built somewhere, we have simply NO evidence one way or another for where they were built. Desnair was clearly buying some but intending to build the rest. Siddarmark said jack squat about it. Maybe they bought them. Maybe they built them. Maybe they built them in locally-owned manufactories. We simply have no evidence one way or another here.

There's also zero "proof" that the steel-mills were Charis-owned. The text is that the depression "will pretty much finish off" the Canal Consortium (for obvious reasons primarily dealing with money, not industry), but they don't know yet what will happen with the TSRR. In many ways that's (sorta) proof that they were NOT primarily Charisian industries. No doubt there were some of course, but not all. If they were, then obviously those industries would be seized, and the corruption and mismanagement to come would obviously sink the TSRR too. Now embezzlement and fraud will have "no limits" which means more iron rails instead of steel and people getting hurt or dying and all sorts of other bad stuff, but the TSRR is actually "not dead yet" in more or less a Monty Python sort of vibe.

And finally on the TSRR we have no proof the industries were actually built in the last 3-4 years. The TSRR itself was, duh. The industries no doubt had to be expanded for this. But built? Maybe, yet not proven. And remember that they were buying rail from local (and corrupt) suppliers. Despite the fact they needed a LOT of rail, the corrupt procurement process (combined with prejudice and stupidity) very likely actually means they did not build new Charisian-owned (or even semi-funded) steel mills for this. Which means that those top-of-the line turbines you envision probably were actually not there after all. Not, at least, in large numbers.

Then we have all the stuff about Mantorah, which was Charisian style industries. Not Charisian owned. And we also have that this happened because the Charisian Quarter was so devastated by the Sword. Which means it started 15 years ago, not 3 or 4. So the odds of that being fully up to date are also... remote, to say the least. Better than Desnair, very likely. Fully up to date, not likely. Not even slightly so.

PeterZ wrote:The Siddermarkians working there are trained and their output has no internal customers to supply because of the economic depression. South Harchong industrialists would be foolish NOT to seek out those manufactories after their break with Charis.


This part, however, I agree. They would be stupid not to seek out people they can hire to help them improve. But despite it being so stupid, I'm not convinced they'll do it. After their Emperor cut of his nose to spite his face, they may be afraid he'll accuse them of being 'traitors to me and God' (in that priority order, heh) and making them the next round of executions.
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Re: TFT *SPOILERS* thoughts, discussions, and future specula
Post by Kufat   » Fri Jan 11, 2019 2:06 pm

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I really liked this one and I'm sure I'll be rereading it, but it felt a bit like a collection of B-plots. I enjoyed meeting all of the new characters and seeing the latest events in the lives of the ones we already knew, but it seems like the central plot of the series was only significantly advanced in the very last chapter.
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Re: TFT *SPOILERS* thoughts, discussions, and future specula
Post by Isilith   » Fri Jan 11, 2019 3:13 pm

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Dilandu wrote:
isaac_newton wrote:what does sort of suprise me has been the 'apparent' absence of people who likely to be strongly/vocally pro Charis - e.g all those saved from the camps or saved at the last minute from the COGA army breakthrus or saved by the food shipments.


Please. The nations have short memory. In 1944-1945 Soviet Army liberated millions of Polish and Czech peoples from Nazi camps - and how fast they started to grumble about "soviet occupation" afterward?


Yeah, darn those people who didn't like being occupied and made subservient in their own country. Not only that, you are forgetting many years of Russian oppression of the Polish people. Something I guarantee you that the Polish people didn't forget.

You sound like Americans who can't understand why most Native Americans weren't happy to be "assimilated".
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Re: TFT *SPOILERS* thoughts, discussions, and future specula
Post by Tararoys   » Fri Jan 11, 2019 3:36 pm

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Here’s my rampant future speculation.

There’s gonna be a war.

Time to speculate madly on how, exactly, that war will play out!

What do folks think will happen in Schueler’s Cathedral immediately after Schueler disappears?

Schueler’s appearance has a lot in common with a surprise attack. So obviously, everyone will be stunned in the immediate aftermath. I can think of two possibilities once people shake out of the stunning.

Possibility 1: complete, disorganized panic. Some people running away, screaming at the to of their lungs about archangels. Others reading the book and getting ambushed by inquisitors while they read it because nobody’s thinking about protecting themselves. As a result, the news is disorganized and most of Schueler’s new messengers get rounded up as either insane and/or demon worshippers very quickly, the book gets seized, and the church is able to quash it, at least temporarily.

Possibility 2: somebody immediately rallies the congregation, creating an organized response. Maybe the priest, maybe the bishop, or maybe some army-of-god sergeant who learned how to deal with total shock after being on the receiving end of any of Charis’s secret weapons. Everyone in the congregation responds immediately to the first commanding voice it hears. What sort of organized response would create the most interesting story? Here’s my stab at it: the priest shakes off his shock, goes to the book, quiets the congregation, and orders the bishop to start reading the book out loud. While everyone is distracted by the book, and therefore not running around like headless chickens, somebody starts thinking through the implications of being drafted by Schueler as divine messengers. By the time the reading is done, a plan is hatched: keep it a secret for a short time while anybody in the congregation who can hold a quill or run a printing press makes copies. The Bishop is detailed to the task of informing Zion via semaphore when the weather clears enough to allow it. Any Guardsmen are detailed to recruiting more of their members to guard the Testimony and plan for a war with Zion the coming spring. Everyone in the congregation is charged with keeping everything the secret until, say, the following Wednesday, after which their job is to drag as many of their fellows as possible into the Cathedral as possible so the Bishop can announce what happened. A few volunteer or are volunteered to run for it and carry the message beyond the Temple Lands.

You can tell that I think the organized response is the more interesting.

The Appearing happens in the middle of winter, so travel is going to be incredibly difficult and dangerous. This means that the temple cannot send an army before spring. By that time, much of the episcopate of Schueler could have a chance to see the Testimony, come to believe it, and fortify.

At which point, the war is on.

Now what about the temple’s reaction? I think that everyone in the temple is going to be extremely reluctant to declare holy war, at least until they get their hands on a copy of the Testimonies. Since the whole thing is going to be full of the next best thing to Shan-wei worship, the Grand Vicar will have no choice but to judge it heresy of the foulest sort and take any measures necessary to combat it.

And what about Charis? How does the church of Charis react to outright heresy? The church of Charis is based on refuting corruption, but not on refuting fundamental church doctrine. The Testiment is going to be heresy even by the Church of Charis’s standards. I foresee Stainayr sparring for as much time as possible while Charis sends agents to confirm the existence of the Testiment. But when backed into a corner, which way will he lead the church? Will the church of Charis split into the Church of Charis Awaiting and the Church of Schueler returned?

I foresee missionaries, martyrs, blood, broken Proscriptions, Rakuri strikes, and the Charisan Empire and the Temple Lands tearing themselves apart.
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Re: TFT *SPOILERS* thoughts, discussions, and future specula
Post by Isilith   » Fri Jan 11, 2019 3:42 pm

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Tararoys wrote:Here’s my rampant future speculation.

There’s gonna be a war.

Time to speculate madly on how, exactly, that war will play out!

What do folks think will happen in Schueler’s Cathedral immediately after Schueler disappears?

Schueler’s appearance has a lot in common with a surprise attack. So obviously, everyone will be stunned in the immediate aftermath. I can think of two possibilities once people shake out of the stunning.

Possibility 1: complete, disorganized panic. Some people running away, screaming at the to of their lungs about archangels. Others reading the book and getting ambushed by inquisitors while they read it because nobody’s thinking about protecting themselves. As a result, the news is disorganized and most of Schueler’s new messengers get rounded up as either insane and/or demon worshippers very quickly, the book gets seized, and the church is able to quash it, at least temporarily.

Possibility 2: somebody immediately rallies the congregation, creating an organized response. Maybe the priest, maybe the bishop, or maybe some army-of-god sergeant who learned how to deal with total shock after being on the receiving end of any of Charis’s secret weapons. Everyone in the congregation responds immediately to the first commanding voice it hears. What sort of organized response would create the most interesting story? Here’s my stab at it: the priest shakes off his shock, goes to the book, quiets the congregation, and orders the bishop to start reading the book out loud. While everyone is distracted by the book, and therefore not running around like headless chickens, somebody starts thinking through the implications of being drafted by Schueler as divine messengers. By the time the reading is done, a plan is hatched: keep it a secret for a short time while anybody in the congregation who can hold a quill or run a printing press makes copies. The Bishop is detailed to the task of informing Zion via semaphore when the weather clears enough to allow it. Any Guardsmen are detailed to recruiting more of their members to guard the Testimony and plan for a war with Zion the coming spring. Everyone in the congregation is charged with keeping everything the secret until, say, the following Wednesday, after which their job is to drag as many of their fellows as possible into the Cathedral as possible so the Bishop can announce what happened. A few volunteer or are volunteered to run for it and carry the message beyond the Temple Lands.

You can tell that I think the organized response is the more interesting.

The Appearing happens in the middle of winter, so travel is going to be incredibly difficult and dangerous. This means that the temple cannot send an army before spring. By that time, much of the episcopate of Schueler could have a chance to see the Testimony, come to believe it, and fortify.

At which point, the war is on.

Now what about the temple’s reaction? I think that everyone in the temple is going to be extremely reluctant to declare holy war, at least until they get their hands on a copy of the Testimonies. Since the whole thing is going to be full of the next best thing to Shan-wei worship, the Grand Vicar will have no choice but to judge it heresy of the foulest sort and take any measures necessary to combat it.

And what about Charis? How does the church of Charis react to outright heresy? The church of Charis is based on refuting corruption, but not on refuting fundamental church doctrine. The Testiment is going to be heresy even by the Church of Charis’s standards. I foresee Stainayr sparring for as much time as possible while Charis sends agents to confirm the existence of the Testiment. But when backed into a corner, which way will he lead the church? Will the church of Charis split into the Church of Charis Awaiting and the Church of Schueler returned?

I foresee missionaries, martyrs, blood, broken Proscriptions, Rakuri strikes, and the Charisan Empire and the Temple Lands tearing themselves apart.



Ummm, what are you talking about? This happened in the suburbs of Zion. It will take all of 30 minutes to inform the Temple.
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Re: TFT *SPOILERS* thoughts, discussions, and future specula
Post by Tararoys   » Fri Jan 11, 2019 3:46 pm

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Isilith wrote:
Ummm, what are you talking about? This happened in the suburbs of Zion. It will take all of 30 minutes to inform the Temple.


The chapter title says it happens here: Cathedral of the Holy Archangel Schueler, City of Brohkamp, Episcopate of Schueler, The Temple Lands.

The map shows the episcopate of Schueler across the lake from Zion.
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Re: TFT *SPOILERS* thoughts, discussions, and future specula
Post by PeterZ   » Fri Jan 11, 2019 3:48 pm

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FriarBob wrote:
OK it's going back several pages now but I missed this mistake earlier.

Sorry PZ, but it is a mistake. That they are *probably* higher tech than what Harchong and/or (especially) Desnair can come up with is quite likely. That they are "top of the line" is simply unproven.

And while the automotives clearly had to be built somewhere, we have simply NO evidence one way or another for where they were built. Desnair was clearly buying some but intending to build the rest. Siddarmark said jack squat about it. Maybe they bought them. Maybe they built them. Maybe they built them in locally-owned manufactories. We simply have no evidence one way or another here.

There's also zero "proof" that the steel-mills were Charis-owned. The text is that the depression "will pretty much finish off" the Canal Consortium (for obvious reasons primarily dealing with money, not industry), but they don't know yet what will happen with the TSRR. In many ways that's (sorta) proof that they were NOT primarily Charisian industries. No doubt there were some of course, but not all. If they were, then obviously those industries would be seized, and the corruption and mismanagement to come would obviously sink the TSRR too. Now embezzlement and fraud will have "no limits" which means more iron rails instead of steel and people getting hurt or dying and all sorts of other bad stuff, but the TSRR is actually "not dead yet" in more or less a Monty Python sort of vibe.

And finally on the TSRR we have no proof the industries were actually built in the last 3-4 years. The TSRR itself was, duh. The industries no doubt had to be expanded for this. But built? Maybe, yet not proven. And remember that they were buying rail from local (and corrupt) suppliers. Despite the fact they needed a LOT of rail, the corrupt procurement process (combined with prejudice and stupidity) very likely actually means they did not build new Charisian-owned (or even semi-funded) steel mills for this. Which means that those top-of-the line turbines you envision probably were actually not there after all. Not, at least, in large numbers.

Then we have all the stuff about Mantorah, which was Charisian style industries. Not Charisian owned. And we also have that this happened because the Charisian Quarter was so devastated by the Sword. Which means it started 15 years ago, not 3 or 4. So the odds of that being fully up to date are also... remote, to say the least. Better than Desnair, very likely. Fully up to date, not likely. Not even slightly so.

The proof was in the Siddermarkian version of the Ahrmahk plan launched after the last election. The loan guarantees were made available about 5 years ago. Building whatever manufactories those guarantees secured did not happen for a year or so afterwards. That tells me the latest manufactories built using Charisian loan guaratees involved technology no older than 4 years.

We have text of Charisian selling their assets after Hygyns was elected and perhaps even just prior to the election when news of the Canal Consortium fraud broke. That argues for Charisian investments in at least some those manufactories supplying the TSRR. Certainly those manufactories would have used Charisian techniques and technology. Delthak industries would have participated in those investments and they would have used the most modern tech practicable. That means cutting edge to me. Not bleeding edge, just cutting edge production technology.

Does this include steel production? Well, I believe it does. I don't see Delthak Industries inveasting in Siddermark as part of the Nahrmahn Plan without including steel production. I doubt the Siddermarkian steel plants have all the automation, but they will have quite a bit of the power assist and pneumatic systems. Siddermark, Desnair and South Harchong need that steel production to build their navies. No way to build armor 6-10 inches thick without power assist to move those massive sections around.
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