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[Spoiler] What else Operation Androcles could be

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[Spoiler] What else Operation Androcles could be
Post by JeffEngel   » Sun Jan 13, 2019 12:53 pm

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Given the name, given the bits about irking Archangels, and assuming it's not named for Androcles and the Lion -

It could be a project about introducing the idea of the Archangels as humans, in a way that's gradual enough to (1) not trigger accusations of heresy immediately and start another Jihad, and (2) not run into a brick wall with the Testimonies.

The point of the name here would be Schueler's first name, one that wasn't in use for the "Archangel" Schueler. It presumably wouldn't be outright and obvious - you'd start with bits that make out the "Archangels" in a more personal light, for example, which wouldn't quite contradict the Writ or the Testimonies, but would open up head-space for thinking of them as people. (The Wylsynn family tradition already has this, in a way, and could be one basis for this tack.)

Another may be releasing bits about minor "angels" from the War Against the Fallen - or, for that matter, about the "angels" or "Archangels" on the Fallen side. After all, they're supposed to be just as supernatural as the Langhorne crowd, so if you start seeing (e.g.) Pei Shan-wei as a terraformer, administrator, estranged spouse, and hamster owner, you're going to be putting Langhorne and Bedard in the same species whichever one you're approving of or not.

Seijin Kohdy's account would be another intro to this scheme - it makes clear that seijins and "demons" were pretty much just folks, and as a mentor and friend, Schueler himself comes off in similar terms.

As a speculation about what Operation Androcles may be, it seems to suit the incremental approach the IC figures it can afford when they figure they DO have decades, and it's possible to conduct without causing an apocalyptic crisis right away. It may also defang an Archangel's divine authority given 80 years to progress, if that returning Archangel isn't otherwise sympathetic to the changes wrought on Safehold.
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Re: [Spoiler] What else Operation Androcles could be
Post by Krenn   » Sun Jan 13, 2019 9:36 pm

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Honestly, this is the best argument for why Schueler's Testimony could easily have been the work of the inner circle... It's hard to figure out what they might have been planning that would have been significantly different from this.


I mean, they could have been planning a lower-key version of the same thing.... publish Seijin Kody's memoirs, and the memoirs of the Abbess from when Kody's Tomb was destroyed. Maybe publish some carefully edited transcripts from various Archangel's official internal meetings circa the day of creation. Maybe call for anyone else to publish secret records they might still have, of other Adams and Eves who left records questioning the party line.

The only other thing I could think of would be if they started publishing theological thesis proposing that maybe "Sins" against the Proscriptions were more along the lines of "obvious natural consequences to be treated with caution" rather than "Sins". Maybe by finding legitimate uses for certain chemical compounds, which also required awareness of the hazards those chemicals represented, as mentioned in the proscriptions?
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Re: [Spoiler] What else Operation Androcles could be
Post by Krenn   » Sun Jan 13, 2019 10:00 pm

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Unless, maybe...

What if someone published an anonymous "book of ideas" ?

Trawl through the entire federation library, and make a list of every mildly interesting and reasonably understandable idea found therein, which doesn't obviously violate the proscriptions.

Everything from compound, cam-based archery bows, to 20 different automotive suspension designs, to standardized container shipping, to a wide variety of hypothetical types of financial instruments, to theoretical forms of government, to the concept of standardized k-12 and collegiate education, to a variety of different taxation systems.....

Hundreds of thousands of simple, 1-paragraph descriptions of... ideas. Published in encyclopedia form, by a group of anonymous scholars.

In order to make those ideas USABLE, there would still have to be ridiculous amount of development work done by whoever was interested in any given idea, but it would be a pretty brute-force method of getting every literate person on the planet to start thinking in terms of "experiment with 1 new idea every day"
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Re: [Spoiler] What else Operation Androcles could be
Post by PeterZ   » Sun Jan 13, 2019 10:52 pm

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Assuming the visitation was NOT Operation Androcles, whatever Nahrmahn has planned must be completely separated from Charisian tech dissemination. The economic, social and technical innovations have to be completely separated from the attack on the foundations of the CoGA. That's why a slower approach using the absolutely concrete historical evidence contained in Khody's Tomb is so important. That evidence is centuries old with generations of caretakers to provide firsthand testimony either directly or through their memoirs.

There is no way that sort of evidence gets blamed on Charis. The SSK began before Charis was anything more than a pimple on the back end of the out islands. With decades to work with the SSK can front the legitimate assault on the truthfulness if not outright justice of Chihiro and Schueler. That assault would be completely separated from Charis and the seijin network. Most of the old guard SSK members knew there was no true seijins participating with them until after Clyntahn killed the Wylsyns.

In the end the purpose is not to prove anything, because nothing really can be proved. The purpose is to sow enough doubt in the archangels that when they do come back in 80 years, there are more than enough Safeholdians to be skeptical of they say. That seijin Khody's diary also contains a foreign language further reinforces questioning. That Merlin and Nimue know that language further reinforces their seijin-ness. Obviously that diary was ancient, but the current seijin are linked to authentic seijins of old in such a profound way. Using the Stone of Schueler to verify any translation, the diary would take up years as the fodder for religious debate. The sort of internal debate that will take up the CoGA's attention while the EoC gets on with modernizing Safehold.

The visitation, if false, will simply beg the CoGA to compare file video that may well provide inconsistencies. Any such inconsistency will scream "Demon aided sending from Shan-wei!" that needs to be compared with other supernatural recent events like......Seijins! Enough people will make that claim to taint the entire effort. At which point no technological advancement will be viewed as innocuous. All technology will be tainted.

For the visitation to be Operation Androcles is just too darned risky. Far riskier than sending the ICN to the Temple and simply conquering it.
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Re: [Spoiler] What else Operation Androcles could be
Post by Krenn   » Sun Jan 13, 2019 11:06 pm

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PeterZ wrote:Assuming the visitation was NOT Operation Androcles, whatever Nahrmahn has planned must be completely separated from Charisian tech dissemination. The economic, social and technical innovations have to be completely separated from the attack on the foundations of the CoGA. That's why a slower approach using the absolutely concrete historical evidence contained in Khody's Tomb is so important. That evidence is centuries old with generations of caretakers to provide firsthand testimony either directly or through their memoirs.

There is no way that sort of evidence gets blamed on Charis. The SSK began before Charis was anything more than a pimple on the back end of the out islands. With decades to work with the SSK can front the legitimate assault on the truthfulness if not outright justice of Chihiro and Schueler. That assault would be completely separated from Charis and the seijin network. Most of the old guard SSK members knew there was no true seijins participating with them until after Clyntahn killed the Wylsyns.

In the end the purpose is not to prove anything, because nothing really can be proved. The purpose is to sow enough doubt in the archangels that when they do come back in 80 years, there are more than enough Safeholdians to be skeptical of they say. That seijin Khody's diary also contains a foreign language further reinforces questioning. That Merlin and Nimue know that language further reinforces their seijin-ness. Obviously that diary was ancient, but the current seijin are linked to authentic seijins of old in such a profound way. Using the Stone of Schueler to verify any translation, the diary would take up years as the fodder for religious debate. The sort of internal debate that will take up the CoGA's attention while the EoC gets on with modernizing Safehold.

The visitation, if false, will simply beg the CoGA to compare file video that may well provide inconsistencies. Any such inconsistency will scream "Demon aided sending from Shan-wei!" that needs to be compared with other supernatural recent events like......Seijins! Enough people will make that claim to taint the entire effort. At which point no technological advancement will be viewed as innocuous. All technology will be tainted.

For the visitation to be Operation Androcles is just too darned risky. Far riskier than sending the ICN to the Temple and simply conquering it.


So.... you're suggesting that Operation Androcles may simply be the dissemination of Seijin Khody's diary?
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Re: [Spoiler] What else Operation Androcles could be
Post by PeterZ   » Sun Jan 13, 2019 11:20 pm

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No, it is the dissemination of Khody's diary and the SSK speerheading the argument made by Khody that the War Against the Fallen was not what it seemed. That there may well have been corruption at the angelic level if not all the way up to an archangel.

The point is to question them enough to turn Archangel Schueler to simply Androcles. Hence Operation Androcles or the humanization of an Archangel.
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Re: [Spoiler] What else Operation Androcles could be
Post by ecortez   » Mon Jan 14, 2019 1:31 am

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You can chip away gradually at the strictness of minor rules, but when it comes to challenging the basic origin story or hard and fast, non-negotiable commandments like the Proscriptions, there's really no other way but outright challenging them. In this case they seem to be attacking the credibility of the Archangel who laid them down. Thus opening the door to an alternate narrative where the Proscriptions were never meant to be permanent.
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Re: [Spoiler] What else Operation Androcles could be
Post by JeffEngel   » Mon Jan 14, 2019 6:31 am

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ecortez wrote:You can chip away gradually at the strictness of minor rules, but when it comes to challenging the basic origin story or hard and fast, non-negotiable commandments like the Proscriptions, there's really no other way but outright challenging them. In this case they seem to be attacking the credibility of the Archangel who laid them down. Thus opening the door to an alternate narrative where the Proscriptions were never meant to be permanent.

Upthread, Krenn pointed out one way of nibbling at the Proscriptions (among other hard-and-fast rules): not suggesting they're factually wrong about their results or that they're not morally appropriate commandments, but rather making them out as pointers for natural consequences of actions rather than divine laws that get you slapped down for disobedience.

That's not quite attacking the credibility of the Archangel either - it's making the Archangel out as less a judge meting out a sentence for misbehavior as a caring teacher warning you about the consequences of doing something simply, naturally dangerous.

But when you have that attitude about it - one which IS going to be compatible with all the Writ's testable value, since the Writ was carefully designed to be safe to test that way forever - you're going to be able to start conceptualizing it as maybe, possibly, the work of far-better-informed humans rather than fundamentally different divine beings.

That's a project that in effect started early on, and maybe even before Merlin, with the Royal College using the Writ's safety warnings about some substances to see about deliberate use of some of those effects. You just have to get behind that and push, and build a larger theological/philosophical framework around the work.
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Re: [Spoiler] What else Operation Androcles could be
Post by Bluesqueak   » Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:18 am

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ecortez wrote:You can chip away gradually at the strictness of minor rules, but when it comes to challenging the basic origin story or hard and fast, non-negotiable commandments like the Proscriptions, there's really no other way but outright challenging them. In this case they seem to be attacking the credibility of the Archangel who laid them down. Thus opening the door to an alternate narrative where the Proscriptions were never meant to be permanent.


Actually, there is a particularly Narhman-ish way of challenging something - and we've seen it before. Make people laugh at it. Turn a doctrinal war into Clyntahn's War, then give people a chamber pot . :)

Merlin thinks exactly that in the first chapter. They need to keep doctrinal conflict out of things until 915, they want the Archangels to turn up and discover 'everyone's laughing at them or giving them the finger'.

So when he's thinking about the opening round it attacks the inerrancy of the Writ and the divinity of the Archangels. And is possibly funny...
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Re: [Spoiler] What else Operation Androcles could be
Post by PeterZ   » Mon Jan 14, 2019 12:21 pm

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ecortez wrote:You can chip away gradually at the strictness of minor rules, but when it comes to challenging the basic origin story or hard and fast, non-negotiable commandments like the Proscriptions, there's really no other way but outright challenging them. In this case they seem to be attacking the credibility of the Archangel who laid them down. Thus opening the door to an alternate narrative where the Proscriptions were never meant to be permanent.
Bluesqueak wrote:
Actually, there is a particularly Narhman-ish way of challenging something - and we've seen it before. Make people laugh at it. Turn a doctrinal war into Clyntahn's War, then give people a chamber pot . :)

Merlin thinks exactly that in the first chapter. They need to keep doctrinal conflict out of things until 915, they want the Archangels to turn up and discover 'everyone's laughing at them or giving them the finger'.

So when he's thinking about the opening round it attacks the inerrancy of the Writ and the divinity of the Archangels. And is possibly funny...


That was what had me thinking of using the seijin Khody diaries. Khody already has a larger than life reputation that is not all that serious. He is frequently depicted as a womanizer with truly fantastic abilities. Toss in Chihiro and Schueler into this mix and use actual facts as written by Khody to describe increasingly depricating circumstances our "heroes" find themselves in during fictional events in the War Against the Fallen. That assumed Operation Androcles DID NOT involve the Visitation.

I don't see how Nahrmahn could make anything humorous about Archangels after a visitation that is believed or either disbelieved as genuine. Safehold's mood will be either sincerely repentant or angry. Neither will be open to humor. Which argues against the Visitation being Operation Androcles.
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