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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 DMcCunney   » Mon Apr 01, 2019 10:21 am

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PeterZ wrote:The answer to the question of what the visitation's authors desired orbits the Chekov's Gun RFC introduced earlier. The Key was made to interface with the Temple's tech. It's existence was kept secret from the CoGA hierarchy. One assumes it was kept from Chihiro as well. That fact describes two operating plans threaded into the events leading to OAR and the current story.

If Schueler did author his recording's Visitation, the affair is tied to the Key. If some contemporary authored the Visitation as a response to conflict between the last two archangels, the key is central to his/her plans. Mind y'all, the early SSK might have tangentially been involved. Whether Ninian knows about it or not is something to speculate over.
I concur the affair is intricately bound up with the Key.

But that does not answer the question of whoever/whatever is behind the Visitation wants to occur in response. (Though it does suggest use of the Key will be required.)

We've both posted about why the IC wouldn't do this, because the results if it succeeded would not be anything they wanted, and would at minimum severely set back their own efforts.

I'm making the assumption the Visitation was something put in place by Schueler and set off deliberately at this point. But it could be an as yet unknown third-party. The actual identity of whoever staged it doesn't matter. What matters will be the results if it succeeds.

Possible results are all over the map. The minimum is absolute doctrinal chaos in both Mother Church and the Church of Charis, because both revere the Writ, assume it's true and inerrant, contains God's plan for Safehold and is written by the Archangels. Archbishop Michael, Bishop Paityr, and Bishop Bryan know the truth, but no one else in the Coc does.

The worst case is all of Safehold dissolving into anarchy and religious war, where simply figuring out what the sides are and what they are fighting over may be near impossible.

My question is what results Schueler (or whoever) expects if this succeeds, and why those results will be considered desirable.

Is does present a pretty problem for both Mother Church and the CoC in how to keep a lid on the pot so it doesn't boil over and scald everyone.
______
Dennis
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Re: ***Major Spoiler*** The ending scene of Through Fiery Tr
Post by DMcCunney   » Mon Apr 01, 2019 11:05 am

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wingfield wrote:Noting Dennis and PeterZ's latest replies:

Of course I'm flipping back and forth about who is responsible for the apparition of Schueler as the discussion goes on and I read one piece of textev or another (or RFC hints scattered about].

I don't really dispute what Dennis and others say that what was in Khody's Diary is not enough to wrap up a hit on the Writ.

Then again, the IC does have the Knowles Testimony.

What are your thoughts on the contents of the Testimony of Jeremiah Knowles in YOG 140, which RFC has said contains a separate account of the War Against the Fallen? By this, I mean could any use be made of it? It has great antiquity at the very least.
Same problem as anything else.

I say again that any proof offered for Schueler's assertions that Shan Wei did not Fall and Chihiro lied must be things that have to be taken seriously and cannot simply be dismissed as lies, forgeries, and an evil plot by Shan Wei. (And again, that applies to the Church of Charis as well as Mother Church. This is an enormous problem for both of them.)

Yes, the IC has Jeremiah Knowles testimony, where he states that he is an Adam and has seen Langhorne and the Holy Bedard. But he also states he knows the are not Archangels and the story of man being created on Safehold is a lie, because Shan Wei retained some NEATs and was able at least give him new memories that countered what Bedard had done to all of the colonists on Safehold.

That statement alone will make it a lie and a plot by Shan Wei because it goes so firmly against the grain of the narrative the CoGA has set up and reinforced from the beginning. Shan Wie is Safehold's Satan equivalent and the Mother of Lies. Any claims attributed to her are false be definition and should be treated as lies. Knowles is a best a helpless dupe not knowing he was lied to and accepting it as truth.

And it presents the same problem Seijin Kohdy's diary does. Just who would present it as evidence, and where would they have gotten it? For Kohdy's diary, at minimum the SSK would have to come out of hiding, admit they exist, and state that despite the church's best efforts to destroy the evidence, Kohdy was a real seijin, with a tomb holding his mortal remains and effects, and that they have secretly maintained and guarded that tomb for centuries. I don't see that happening.

For the same reason, I don't see the existence of St. Zhernau's monastery as the repository of documents that challenge the fundamental beliefs about the Archangels and man on Safehold being revealed as the source, with a "Come and see for yourselves!" invitation. I don't see the IC as being anywhere near ready to run that risk.
Now, to flip the argument, I just don't see anything OUTSIDE of the Temple having the capacity to do anything involving any use of TF level technology for the apparition without being detected by Owl. So this pushes our thoughts back to whatever is under the Temple.
I do. It doesn't take the level of tech in Nimue's cave to produce something like this, and it could have been tucked away when Schueler's tomb was created and the cathedral raised to house it. It goes into a standby mode until awakened. In standby mode, it consumes next to no power. What is there for Owl to detect? (And recall that in earlier books Merlin was talking about the limits on just how much Owl could keep track of.) If he had a SNARC parked above Schueler's cathedral in his Episcopate, he could likely have detected when Schuler's apparition appeared to the gathered faithful, but would be unlikely to detect anything before then. And why would he park a SNARC there in the first place? What would make it something to keep an eye on?
One or two of you have suggested that Schueler could have arranged something under the Temple while a couple of us have doubted that.

In fact, you have a point. Schueler DID set up something under the Temple and left instructions for activating it with his Wylsyn descendants, via the Stone and the Key.

On this basis, I'll park half of my argument and concede that point! However, no one has answered the major argument for it actually being the work of the IC. That is the textev from BHD that I quoted earlier and do so again:

By Heresies Distressed, PB p513, June 893. XVII (aboard the recon skimmer)

"First, we break the Temple’s political and economic stranglehold; after that, we tackle the lies in the Writ, itself."

The first has occurred. The second is what appears to be happening with the latest episode. The wording "tackle the lies in the Writ" are simply screaming at us right now.
No, the first is in the process of occurring. It will not be complete until the Proscriptions are no longer a factor, and are simply ignored if not actually considered disproved.

The second cannot happen this quickly. At minimum, all Safehold must be united and at peace and prosperous, with roofs over heads, full bellies and general expectation by those alive that state will continue. Then folks will feel secure enough to consider fundamental changes in their worldview without necessarily melting down. We are nowhere near that point now.
______
Dennis
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Re: ***Major Spoiler*** The ending scene of Through Fiery Tr
Post by Julia Minor   » Mon Apr 01, 2019 11:22 am

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wingfield wrote:
Then again, the IC does have the Knowles Testimony.

What are your thoughts on the contents of the Testimony of Jeremiah Knowles in YOG 140, which RFC has said contains a separate account of the War Against the Fallen? By this, I mean could any use be made of it? It has great antiquity at the very least.


It's ancient, but it's also established as having been written by someone physically distant from the main battlefields of the War Against The Fallen. Tellesburg was so far away the Archangels didn't even bother to post seijins there.

Not saying it's impossible for any useful information on the war to be in the journal, but it's more likely that any information Knowles would have had access to would be the official Temple line on how the war was going.
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Re: ***Major Spoiler*** The ending scene of Through Fiery Tr
Post by FriarBob   » Mon Apr 01, 2019 2:28 pm

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DMcCunney wrote:
wingfield wrote:By Heresies Distressed, PB p513, June 893. XVII (aboard the recon skimmer)

"First, we break the Temple’s political and economic stranglehold; after that, we tackle the lies in the Writ, itself."

The first has occurred. The second is what appears to be happening with the latest episode. The wording "tackle the lies in the Writ" are simply screaming at us right now.


No, the first is in the process of occurring. It will not be complete until the Proscriptions are no longer a factor, and are simply ignored if not actually considered disproved.


Sorry, but this is completely wrong. The first has happened, and past tense is indeed appropriate. You overlook the word that truly matters here: "stranglehold".

Does Zion/COGA/etc. still have enormous influence? Obviously yes. But does it in ANY way shape or form have an outright stranglehold anymore? Equally obviously not. The stranglehold was technically even gone even before the Jihad was over, and it didn't come back the instant the guns fell silent. Nor has it been rebuilt since.

You are incorrectly focusing on the Proscriptions as some sort of "threshold" of measuring success. But not only are you wrong here but you have it exactly backwards. The Proscriptions themselves are part of the lies of the Writ. Not the totality, of course, but they are part of them. Breaking them -- fully breaking them, at least -- will not be possible without breaking all of the lies of the writ. They can be stretched, worked around, weakened and shaded and tweaked here and there, but they cannot be fully broken without discrediting the source of them.

Remember that at the time those words were spoken Clyntahn hadn't even yet STARTED setting up the Sword of Schueler, much less driven Siddarmark into Charis' arms. Heck Corisande hadn't even surrendered yet, Hector was still months away from being assassinated, Thirsk didn't yet realize his daughters were hostages, Stohnar knew Clyntahn was a bastard but saw absolutely no hope of doing anything about it, Duchairn was still corrupt (if a bit less so and sad about his past mistakes), heck at this point the Wylsynn brothers were still alive! These words were spoken a LONG time ago.

At that point in time, any direct contradiction between Zion and Tellesberg meant 90+% of the people of Safehold automatically knew who was right and who was wrong without any thought required whatsoever. Today those numbers are nearly reversed. At this point in time everyone still listens to the opinions of Zion but they all think about those opinions for at least three seconds before automatically accepting them. Influence yes, stranglehold no.

And while responsibility to free people from mental shackles is useful, even morally necessary, you forget that the reason for breaking the Writ is to be able to break the Proscriptions. But even that is not the end goal. Always begin with the goal in mind. What is the goal? Breaking the Writ? Hardly. The Proscriptions? Not really. The overriding goal is the Gbaba. Everything else up to that is just necessary steps along the way.

DMcCunney wrote:The second cannot happen this quickly. At minimum, all Safehold must be united and at peace and prosperous, with roofs over heads, full bellies and general expectation by those alive that state will continue. Then folks will feel secure enough to consider fundamental changes in their worldview without necessarily melting down. We are nowhere near that point now.


As much as I do not think it was wise to do this (if, in fact they did, and again I hope they did not yadda yadda etc.) ... but "at peace and prosperous"? Seriously? That's nonsense. When people are prosperous and 'safe' is when they are LEAST likely to be willing to change things up, not most. As proof I submit the acts of EVERY single dictator in the history of both this series and real life itself. EVERY single one thought everything was fine for THEM so nothing needed to change. Few of them were even slightly capable of recognizing their own corruption as anything wrong in the first place, but even those who did were (usually) unwilling to change (or at least not enough). Their grateful and happy subjects, of course, disagreed just a wee tiny bit, which is why much of North Harchong is now a wasteland. And why the only survivors of the previous ruling order currently present IN North Harchong (thus obviously ignoring those who fled in time) fall into two basic categories: those who were willing to change, and those willing to commit even worse atrocities to maintain and further enhance their own power.

Finally, while a bit unrelated I recently remembered something and need to bring it up. There is yet one bit of proof that we know the IC does in fact have available that we all seem to have forgotten about: the video evidence that Merlin and Nimue used to break Clyntahn. They have an actual recording of Shan-Wei arguing with Bedard and Langhorn and the supposed "good Archangels" using names of places that never existed... if, that is, the Writ is actually true. Which of course it isn't.

Is that info contained in Shueler's Testimony? Probably actually NOT, since it's a book and written testimony instead of video evidence. But there IS outright proof available to the IC. That may well be the only proof they have, though I highly doubt that. But they DO have absolute and inarguable proof, proof so good it even convinced Clyntahn.

What else do they (and/or other factions) have? We don't know yet. And I wish the next book was not so far off, because I dearly would like to know.
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Re: ***Major Spoiler*** The ending scene of Through Fiery Tr
Post by Loren Pechtel   » Mon Apr 01, 2019 11:03 pm

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wingfield wrote:My second concern is that, while we know all about the emissions from under the Temple, including a lot more information in TFT, we have heard absolutely nothing about any other energy sources. One set up by a fading Archangel Schueler would surely betray itself at some point, especially while readying for the grand performance in March 916.


There are other energy sources, albeit small. Read what happened--note the "god lights". Fed-tech, there has to be something powering it.
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Re: ***Major Spoiler*** The ending scene of Through Fiery Tr
Post by Loren Pechtel   » Mon Apr 01, 2019 11:06 pm

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Dilandu wrote:3) Finally, we didn't knew where exactly the system was placed. The whole "visitaion" might actually be performed by some covert subroutine in Temple's own systems, left by Schueller.


Seconded. Other than whatever the apparition left behind I strongly suspect it was subverted systems, not added systems.
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Re: ***Major Spoiler*** The ending scene of Through Fiery Tr
Post by Loren Pechtel   » Mon Apr 01, 2019 11:14 pm

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wingfield wrote:2. Merlin's scanners would be of EXACTLY the same calibre and quality of those owned by the Temple, both being Federation technology. Given the range that the SNARCs have had to cover, they would need to be of that same high quality, as well as being able to be stealthed.


Disagree. Merlin is severely limited in the size of the sensors he can use. The temple isn't. (Although David hasn't seemed to consider the physical limitations of sensors. We see that occasionally in the Honorverse novels--sensors and weapons more accurate than theoretically possible given their size.)
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Re: ***Major Spoiler*** The ending scene of Through Fiery Tr
Post by wingfield   » Tue Apr 02, 2019 3:14 am

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Loren Pechtel wrote:
wingfield wrote:2. Merlin's scanners would be of EXACTLY the same calibre and quality of those owned by the Temple, both being Federation technology. Given the range that the SNARCs have had to cover, they would need to be of that same high quality, as well as being able to be stealthed.


Disagree. Merlin is severely limited in the size of the sensors he can use. The temple isn't. (Although David hasn't seemed to consider the physical limitations of sensors. We see that occasionally in the Honorverse novels--sensors and weapons more accurate than theoretically possible given their size.)


Merlin has FULL Federation level technology. This has been emphasised in all of the books. What he is prevented from doing because of the necessity of avoiding a bombardment does not mean that he has inferior technology at his disposal.

If he wanted to (and he doesn't, obviously), he could masquerade as an Archangel, with all of the trimmings. He does have all of those little things like assault shuttles, SNARCS and copious amounts of Terra Fed weaponry tucked away on the Cave.
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Re: ***Major Spoiler*** The ending scene of Through Fiery Tr
Post by Bruno Behrends   » Tue Apr 02, 2019 3:43 am

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wingfield wrote:[snip]

However, no one has answered the major argument for it actually being the work of the IC. That is the textev from BHD that I quoted earlier and do so again:

By Heresies Distressed, PB p513, June 893. XVII (aboard the recon skimmer)

"First, we break the Temple’s political and economic stranglehold; after that, we tackle the lies in the Writ, itself."

The first has occurred. The second is what appears to be happening with the latest episode. The wording "tackle the lies in the Writ" are simply screaming at us right now.


Excellent argument!


FriarBob wrote:
Sorry, but this is completely wrong. The first has happened, and past tense is indeed appropriate. You overlook the word that truly matters here: "stranglehold".

Does Zion/COGA/etc. still have enormous influence? Obviously yes. But does it in ANY way shape or form have an outright stranglehold anymore? Equally obviously not. The stranglehold was technically even gone even before the Jihad was over, and it didn't come back the instant the guns fell silent. Nor has it been rebuilt since.

You are incorrectly focusing on the Proscriptions as some sort of "threshold" of measuring success. But not only are you wrong here but you have it exactly backwards. The Proscriptions themselves are part of the lies of the Writ. Not the totality, of course, but they are part of them. Breaking them -- fully breaking them, at least -- will not be possible without breaking all of the lies of the writ. They can be stretched, worked around, weakened and shaded and tweaked here and there, but they cannot be fully broken without discrediting the source of them.

Remember that at the time those words were spoken Clyntahn hadn't even yet STARTED setting up the Sword of Schueler, much less driven Siddarmark into Charis' arms. Heck Corisande hadn't even surrendered yet, Hector was still months away from being assassinated, Thirsk didn't yet realize his daughters were hostages, Stohnar knew Clyntahn was a bastard but saw absolutely no hope of doing anything about it, Duchairn was still corrupt (if a bit less so and sad about his past mistakes), heck at this point the Wylsynn brothers were still alive! These words were spoken a LONG time ago.

At that point in time, any direct contradiction between Zion and Tellesberg meant 90+% of the people of Safehold automatically knew who was right and who was wrong without any thought required whatsoever. Today those numbers are nearly reversed. At this point in time everyone still listens to the opinions of Zion but they all think about those opinions for at least three seconds before automatically accepting them. Influence yes, stranglehold no.

And while responsibility to free people from mental shackles is useful, even morally necessary, you forget that the reason for breaking the Writ is to be able to break the Proscriptions. But even that is not the end goal. Always begin with the goal in mind. What is the goal? Breaking the Writ? Hardly. The Proscriptions? Not really. The overriding goal is the Gbaba. Everything else up to that is just necessary steps along the way.

DMcCunney wrote:The second cannot happen this quickly. At minimum, all Safehold must be united and at peace and prosperous, with roofs over heads, full bellies and general expectation by those alive that state will continue. Then folks will feel secure enough to consider fundamental changes in their worldview without necessarily melting down. We are nowhere near that point now.


As much as I do not think it was wise to do this (if, in fact they did, and again I hope they did not yadda yadda etc.) ... but "at peace and prosperous"? Seriously? That's nonsense. When people are prosperous and 'safe' is when they are LEAST likely to be willing to change things up, not most. As proof I submit the acts of EVERY single dictator in the history of both this series and real life itself. EVERY single one thought everything was fine for THEM so nothing needed to change. Few of them were even slightly capable of recognizing their own corruption as anything wrong in the first place, but even those who did were (usually) unwilling to change (or at least not enough). Their grateful and happy subjects, of course, disagreed just a wee tiny bit, which is why much of North Harchong is now a wasteland. And why the only survivors of the previous ruling order currently present IN North Harchong (thus obviously ignoring those who fled in time) fall into two basic categories: those who were willing to change, and those willing to commit even worse atrocities to maintain and further enhance their own power.

Finally, while a bit unrelated I recently remembered something and need to bring it up. There is yet one bit of proof that we know the IC does in fact have available that we all seem to have forgotten about: the video evidence that Merlin and Nimue used to break Clyntahn. They have an actual recording of Shan-Wei arguing with Bedard and Langhorn and the supposed "good Archangels" using names of places that never existed... if, that is, the Writ is actually true. Which of course it isn't.

Is that info contained in Shueler's Testimony? Probably actually NOT, since it's a book and written testimony instead of video evidence. But there IS outright proof available to the IC. That may well be the only proof they have, though I highly doubt that. But they DO have absolute and inarguable proof, proof so good it even convinced Clyntahn.

What else do they (and/or other factions) have? We don't know yet. And I wish the next book was not so far off, because I dearly would like to know.


Well written! I agree with nearly all of it.

(The one thing I don't concur with is your thought that you wish the IC hadn't done it. But that's a minor point.
I am not trying to talk you out of that. Since whether the plan will work out or not is something that only the author knows. So maybe I am wrong. Or maybe you are. I am in no position to really know and certainly don't have evidence either way. I personally like the plan though and - more importantly - like the way the story is progressing to the next stage. Which IMO was the main point of the whole book even though many posters here don't see it that way.)
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Re: ***Major Spoiler*** The ending scene of Through Fiery Tr
Post by Randomiser   » Tue Apr 02, 2019 10:29 am

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wingfield wrote:2. Merlin's scanners would be of EXACTLY the same calibre and quality of those owned by the Temple, both being Federation technology. Given the range that the SNARCs have had to cover, they would need to be of that same high quality, as well as being able to be stealthed.

Loren Pechtel wrote:Disagree. Merlin is severely limited in the size of the sensors he can use. The temple isn't. (Although David hasn't seemed to consider the physical limitations of sensors. We see that occasionally in the Honorverse novels--sensors and weapons more accurate than theoretically possible given their size.)


wingfield wrote:Merlin has FULL Federation level technology. This has been emphasised in all of the books. What he is prevented from doing because of the necessity of avoiding a bombardment does not mean that he has inferior technology at his disposal.

If he wanted to (and he doesn't, obviously), he could masquerade as an Archangel, with all of the trimmings. He does have all of those little things like assault shuttles, SNARCS and copious amounts of Terra Fed weaponry tucked away on the Cave.



OK One more try. Yes, Merlin has 'FULL federation level technology', but he doesn't have all of it. He doesn't have a top level military AI for instance, otherwise he would be able to decrypt the Key of Scheuler. OWL just can't cut it for that job. Merlin has what Kau Yung could manage to divert and secrete in the cave without being spotted. That does not mean he has everything the TF ever thought of by way of tech gear. Quite the opposite. My laptop, well your laptop, maybe, is FULL modern level technology, that doesn't mean it is as powerful as one of Google's server farms, does it? Neither do all military radars have the range, power and sensitivity of a ballistic missile early warning station. i.e NOT all sensors used by today's military have 'EXACTLY the same calibre and quality' Why should all the TF's?

Fixed installations often have advantages over mobile ones; e.g. they can have more sensors attached, larger sensor arrays, more power available to feed their sensors; more computer power directly attached to the sensor network for realtime analysis, just for starters. OWL has been overtaxed and unable to do everything required by way of surveillance in good time at some points, we have no textev that the computers under the Temple are the same or lesser capacity than OWL they might well be better.

If you have an actual argument that the scanners Merlin has are 'exactly' as good as the Temple's, let's have it. Continually asserting that it must be so because they are the same generation of technology isn't an argument - it's mere assertion. Where's your evidence?
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