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Thoughts about upcoming events in the Multiverse....

"Hell's Gate" and "Hell Hath No Fury", by David, Linda Evans, and Joelle Presby, take the clash of science and magic to a whole new dimension...join us in a friendly discussion of this engrossing series!
Re: Thoughts about upcoming events in the Multiverse....
Post by Brom O'Berin   » Thu Jul 12, 2012 6:55 pm

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Not so fast with those assumptions, please. It has been hinted and more than hinted that the natural rules of the home universe of Arcana have some significant differences from the home universe of Sharona, and that the (neutral) natural rules of the intervening (uninhabited) universes have been and are being modified by the introduction and settling of Arcanans and Sharonans towards matching the "home" universes' natural laws.

The physics of Arcana are such that Sharonan Talents do not work and will never work, and ditto for Arcanan magic in Sharona. The longer a universe has been settled, the closer its rules seem to be to the home universe of its settlers.

But even a small change seems to a larger hampering effect. We have seen both Talent and Magic being significantly affected within a half dozen or less of the other's relatively unpopulated universes, so it seems even a small population is enough to begin shifting the natural laws away from their original neutral state.

As far as Mythalians developing "super" mages to invade Sharona, (or vice versa), IMHO it won't happen. "Super magisters" may be developed, by gaining greater abilities to manipulate the factors in their environment that make magic possible, but when the environment does not have those "magic" attibutes, being a super magister will mean nothing. "Super" Talents will be just as affected in an environment that will not allow Talents to function.

As far as one side gaining the "gifts" of the other side, not likely. Shaylar and Jathmar's Talents will be gone long before they are brought to where they might be studied by any Mythal magisters - in the very unlikely event your hypothetical Mythal magisters be allowed access to study them. But assume that happens - how will they study what does not exist in their world? Would they even be able to grasp the concept of different natural laws. For as skilled as Mythal magisters may be, they don't seem to be innovative or flexible enough to accept that hypothesis. (Hadrign might have been, maybe Gadrial, as well, but she won't cooperate with any living Mythal magister).


Jonathan_S wrote:
rakenan wrote:Arcana has several advantages that Sharona cannot really copy, and the strategic depth to put them into practice. Notably, I'm pretty sure that Mythala has been at least working on mapping human genetics to create super-mages, or possibly purge the mage genome from non-Mythalans with a disease.

Assuming they fail to take over (and we know what assume means), the practical expertise they gain will be priceless in the war against Sharona - because the Sharonan mental gifts are also genetic, so potentially Arcana can add them to their arsenal relatively quickly if and when the taboo against human genetic engineering is broken by Mythala.

The second advantage is that Arcana can in theory learn to copy all the technology of Sharona except the psychic powers. Sharona can learn to *USE* Arcanan spellware, but cannot make it, because they lack mages and the ability to alter genetics to gain mages.

As things stand, however, Sharona has almost all of the advantages except size. They have better communication, they are less likely to explode into an apocalyptic civil war at any moment, and their weapons do not appear to have trivially easy countermeasures. They also seem less prone to grossly underestimate their foes because they are doctrinaire fanatics whose core belief is in their own supremacy, which is a major problem for every area of Arcana influenced by Mythala.
Even without those long term advantages Arcana has major advantages in tactical mobility.

It's hard to lock down a whole portal with enough AA guns to keep dragons from transiting it. Even with Procog the defense of that transit fort was a near run thing. And that was for a portal with restricted usable area because it was largely burried in a mountain.

Now that Arcana knows not to slam headfirst into fixed defenses how easily do you see that fort to hold if they use the dragons or dragon borne troops as cavalry or dragoons in and anti-supply role?

You might be able to armor and arm a train well enough to shoot its way through, but there's no way to protect the miles and miles of track. How long can the fort last if supplies are disrupted because the tracks and bridges and taken out and the repair crews are harrassed?

And withdrawing under dragon/gryphon harasment? Even if it's restricted to light weapons dropped from above AA range? Ugly.

Now counterbalancing that I don't know how well dragons can live off the land. That kind of deep raid is a lot harder to do if you keep having to run your own supplies through a defended portal chokepoint.


And of course the wildcard is the hints the each sides powers become compromised as they approach the other's home universe. Arcana is likely to be affected worse by that because all their tech relies on spells, whereas Sharonan's transportation and weapons are independant of their mental powers. It might well evolve into a stalemate were no matter what breakthroughs either side makes the breakdown in their special abilities makes it impossible to push through to the home universe of the other and force an end to the war.
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Re: Thoughts about upcoming events in the Multiverse....
Post by Howard T. Map-addict   » Fri Jul 13, 2012 11:12 am

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First try to post timed out.

Then, too, the Long Interval before book 3 may affect it.

Some of Weber/Evans' notes are on Old Computers.
They may be lost completely, or replaced differently.
Notes written on Paper might be misplaced.
Ideas only in their Memories can be forgotten completely,
or remembered differently. They might think up New Ideas,
that might contradict their former ideas.

The Book 3 which they will eventually provide,
will differ from the Book 3 that would have been
written within a year after HHNF was published.
The Longer the Interval, the more it will differ.

Howard True Map-addict

[quote="Brom O'Berin"]Not so fast with those assumptions, please. It has been hinted and more than hinted that the natural rules of the home universe of Arcana have some significant differences from the home universe of Sharona, and that the (neutral) natural rules of the intervening (uninhabited) universes have been and are being modified by the introduction and settling of Arcanans and Sharonans towards matching the "home" universes' natural laws.

The physics of Arcana are such that Sharonan Talents do not work and will never work, and ditto for Arcanan magic in Sharona. The longer a universe has been settled, the closer its rules seem to be to the home universe of its settlers.

But even a small change seems to a larger hampering effect. We have seen both Talent and Magic being significantly affected within a half dozen or less of the other's relatively unpopulated universes, so it seems even a small population is enough to begin shifting the natural laws away from their original neutral state.

As far as Mythalians developing "super" mages to invade Sharona, (or vice versa), IMHO it won't happen. "Super magisters" may be developed, by gaining greater abilities to manipulate the factors in their environment that make magic possible, but when the environment does not have those "magic" attibutes, being a super magister will mean nothing. "Super" Talents will be just as affected in an environment that will not allow Talents to function.

As far as one side gaining the "gifts" of the other side, not likely. Shaylar and Jathmar's Talents will be gone long before they are brought to where they might be studied by any Mythal magisters - in the very unlikely event your hypothetical Mythal magisters be allowed access to study them. But assume that happens - how will they study what does not exist in their world? Would they even be able to grasp the concept of different natural laws. For as skilled as Mythal magisters may be, they don't seem to be innovative or flexible enough to accept that hypothesis. (Hadrign might have been, maybe Gadrial, as well, but she won't cooperate with any living Mythal magister).

[quote = Brom O'Berin]
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Re: Thoughts about upcoming events in the Multiverse....
Post by Brom O'Berin   » Sun Jul 15, 2012 9:46 am

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That is a very real possibility, that the authors may alter the initial outline for the series. We know it happened in the HH-verse in a major way with the early introduction of the conflict with MA/RF, but that was driven by MWW deciding to give EF an arena in the HH-verse in which to play.

Outside that, based on what he has stated at cons regarding his different series over the years (back as far as 1990's), the final books are remarkably congruent with his verbal outlines.

FWIW, I have noted some changes, but they have tended to be minor, in that they have not altered the series storyline.

An example of this, from the HH-verse, is the makeup of the SEM Imperial Parliament - ala 75% old SKM for first 15 years, 60% SKM for next 15 yrs, 50% SKM for next 25 yrs, then directly proportional to population (SftS). What he said at a con in 2006 was different percentages and effective times. An interesting but minor change, which does not affect the overall storyline.

So, I would say that his "record" is more of keeping to his plotted series outlines. The changes that you are postulating are possible, but if incurred, would be a significant modification of his planned HG storyline.


[quote="Howard T. Map-addict"]First try to post timed out.

Then, too, the Long Interval before book 3 may affect it.

Some of Weber/Evans' notes are on Old Computers.
They may be lost completely, or replaced differently.
Notes written on Paper might be misplaced.
Ideas only in their Memories can be forgotten completely,
or remembered differently. They might think up New Ideas,
that might contradict their former ideas.

The Book 3 which they will eventually provide,
will differ from the Book 3 that would have been
written within a year after HHNF was published.
The Longer the Interval, the more it will differ.

Howard True Map-addict

/quote]
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Re: Thoughts about upcoming events in the Multiverse....
Post by Randallw   » Tue Mar 17, 2015 9:04 pm

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In regards to the difference in Physical laws between Arcana and Sharona what worries me is that apart from the Psychic/Magic difference we might also find that Thermodynamics and Chemistry don't work the same in Arcana. It's not likely since chemistry has to work the same for life to evolve in Arcana but since Arcana clearly can't invade Sharona, since they rely totally on their magic, what if Sharona can't invade Arcana. I hope they can, because it will be a real let down to have the war whimper out at the midway point between them rather than Sharona going all the way and conquering Arcana.
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Re: Thoughts about upcoming events in the Multiverse....
Post by rakenan   » Sun Apr 26, 2015 10:32 pm

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Sharona is already close to a cultural Mary Sue. They have a dynasty of benevolent and competent monarchs that has lasted for thousands of years without degradation or reversion to norm. They have "bad guys" who are pathetically transparent and childish in their schemes and plots. They have an entire world where the gifted are revered and honored without an undercurrent of resentful jealousy poisoning relations with the common folk.

Frankly, having them invade and conquer Arcana would just put the nail on the coffin sinking this entire series below Out of the Dark in my list of David Weber books I regret reading. Far better would be for Arcana to work out the cultural issues crippling it and stop the Sharonan offensive cold until both sides would be forced to reach an accommodation - possibly to counter some potential new threat. While there are bad guys who deserve to lose in the series, most of them deserve to lose to Arcanan good guys, not to Sharonan invaders. Because it's a civil war between the good and bad of Arcana, rather than being a clash between good Sharona and bad Arcana.

My guess: If Sharona actually invades and conquers Arcana, the strategic overreach will lead to a splintering of Sharonan unity, and the Arcanan good guys will succeed in reclaiming their homeworld and their major colonies. This is not really a conflict whose just resolution involves the complete defeat of one side by the other.

Randallw wrote:In regards to the difference in Physical laws between Arcana and Sharona what worries me is that apart from the Psychic/Magic difference we might also find that Thermodynamics and Chemistry don't work the same in Arcana. It's not likely since chemistry has to work the same for life to evolve in Arcana but since Arcana clearly can't invade Sharona, since they rely totally on their magic, what if Sharona can't invade Arcana. I hope they can, because it will be a real let down to have the war whimper out at the midway point between them rather than Sharona going all the way and conquering Arcana.
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Mary Sue re: Thoughts about upcoming ... Multiverse....
Post by Howard T. Map-addict   » Tue Apr 28, 2015 12:58 pm

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We may presume it to be the telepathy,
that pushes the Calirath Dynasty into benevolence.
They can feel their people's pain, or pleasure,
and then all of those other telepaths are watching them!

HTM

rakenan wrote:Sharona is already close to a cultural Mary Sue. They have a dynasty of benevolent and competent monarchs that has lasted for thousands of years without degradation or reversion to norm.

[snip - htm]

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Re: Thoughts about upcoming events in the Multiverse....
Post by brnicholas   » Sun May 03, 2015 11:01 am

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I agree with Howard that it is probably the talents that explains the Calirath's benevolent nature although I suspect it is the Calirath talent itself instead of telepathy that explains it. I wonder how many Caliraths have named a second or third child the heir because of glimpses warning them that the eldest would be a bad ruler?

But that doesn't answer the charge that Sharona is a cultural Mary Sue. I think the Caliraths are, but the heroes in most every story are. The culture as a whole though, that is still up to the authors. The viewpoint characters in Sharona are all people deeply invested in and benefiting heavily from the current system, of course they will see it in a very positive light. Look a little closer though and there are some significant problems.

In the "Whose at fault..." thread Runsforcelery made a major point of the anti-Arpathian racism we have seen in the books. I would also note that it is cannon that two generations back lower class talents would not be trained but would be stuck as servants despite their talents. We haven't seen people acting resentful about either of these. I would not assume though that they are not, they may just be being polite in order to get what they can from a system they can't change.

We know nothing about the Sharonan economic system. At that technological level working conditions on Earth were horrid for a lot of people. Until we have some information about the working conditions of coal miners, factory workers and itinerant farm labors I would be leery of assuming too much about how good Sharona is. I'm also more then a bit put off by the Calirath's wealth, a whole palace, the size of a city, roofed in gold!!!! Who paid for this and what methods were used to collect those taxes?

We do know a bit about Sharonan history, most of it from a Terenthian perspective. Reading between the lines much of it looks pretty dark. The Terentian empire appears to have expanded uses much the same techniques the Roman empire did and when it contracted it appears to have done so under much the same circumstances as the British Empire did (a combination of imperial exhaustion, local nationalism, and changing cultural mores which prevented the brutality and expense required to keep power). I have noted with interest that Zindal's closest allies are people who his family never ruled and people who are afraid of Chava. I suspect there are still some hard feelings of historical Terenthian atrocities.

In sum, are viewpoint characters see Sharona very positively and that biases the information we get. The reality has more gray then you think.

I'm also confident that if the Sharonans do drive all the way to Arcana the necessities of that campaign will eliminate the idea that they are all good well before they get there. I don't see such a thing happening without equivalents of the firebombing of Dresden & Tokyo and the My Lai Massacre.

Nicholas

rakenan wrote:Sharona is already close to a cultural Mary Sue. They have a dynasty of benevolent and competent monarchs that has lasted for thousands of years without degradation or reversion to norm. They have "bad guys" who are pathetically transparent and childish in their schemes and plots. They have an entire world where the gifted are revered and honored without an undercurrent of resentful jealousy poisoning relations with the common folk.

Frankly, having them invade and conquer Arcana would just put the nail on the coffin sinking this entire series below Out of the Dark in my list of David Weber books I regret reading. Far better would be for Arcana to work out the cultural issues crippling it and stop the Sharonan offensive cold until both sides would be forced to reach an accommodation - possibly to counter some potential new threat. While there are bad guys who deserve to lose in the series, most of them deserve to lose to Arcanan good guys, not to Sharonan invaders. Because it's a civil war between the good and bad of Arcana, rather than being a clash between good Sharona and bad Arcana.

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Re: Thoughts about upcoming events in the Multiverse....
Post by Mil-tech bard   » Sun May 03, 2015 12:28 pm

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The "Cultural Mary Sue" here is the "Calirath Talent" and the incentives its brutal self-honesty provides for Sharonan rulers.

The Calirath Emperors are operating on a level of hard reality that will make non-talented politicians run away in terror.

The trickle down effect in terms of "mandate of heaven" with everyone on Sharona and Sharonan's spun off universes cannot be overestimated.

Quite literally voices send real images, emotions and all sorts of sub-channel communications about the Calirath Emperors direct to other voices or those with projective talents to send to non-talents.

Sharonans get to know their leaders in ways we cannot imagine, and create loyalties so deep that average Sharonan soldiers will fight at the word of a Calirath Emperor the way that the Imperial Japanese serviceman did in WW2...and the Calirath talent means Emperors only ask it of their troops when absolutely necessary.

This sort of thing will move talented Sharonan leaders much as it does Sharonan troops.

Which, once you work through the full cultural implications of the "Calirath Talent", Chava of Uromathia being a non-talent is central to the storyline.


brnicholas wrote:I agree with Howard that it is probably the talents that explains the Calirath's benevolent nature although I suspect it is the Calirath talent itself instead of telepathy that explains it. I wonder how many Caliraths have named a second or third child the heir because of glimpses warning them that the eldest would be a bad ruler?

But that doesn't answer the charge that Sharona is a cultural Mary Sue. I think the Caliraths are, but the heroes in most every story are. The culture as a whole though, that is still up to the authors. The viewpoint characters in Sharona are all people deeply invested in and benefiting heavily from the current system, of course they will see it in a very positive light. Look a little closer though and there are some significant problems.

In the "Whose at fault..." thread Runsforcelery made a major point of the anti-Arpathian racism we have seen in the books. I would also note that it is cannon that two generations back lower class talents would not be trained but would be stuck as servants despite their talents. We haven't seen people acting resentful about either of these. I would not assume though that they are not, they may just be being polite in order to get what they can from a system they can't change.

We know nothing about the Sharonan economic system. At that technological level working conditions on Earth were horrid for a lot of people. Until we have some information about the working conditions of coal miners, factory workers and itinerant farm labors I would be leery of assuming too much about how good Sharona is. I'm also more then a bit put off by the Calirath's wealth, a whole palace, the size of a city, roofed in gold!!!! Who paid for this and what methods were used to collect those taxes?

We do know a bit about Sharonan history, most of it from a Terenthian perspective. Reading between the lines much of it looks pretty dark. The Terentian empire appears to have expanded uses much the same techniques the Roman empire did and when it contracted it appears to have done so under much the same circumstances as the British Empire did (a combination of imperial exhaustion, local nationalism, and changing cultural mores which prevented the brutality and expense required to keep power). I have noted with interest that Zindal's closest allies are people who his family never ruled and people who are afraid of Chava. I suspect there are still some hard feelings of historical Terenthian atrocities.

In sum, are viewpoint characters see Sharona very positively and that biases the information we get. The reality has more gray then you think.

I'm also confident that if the Sharonans do drive all the way to Arcana the necessities of that campaign will eliminate the idea that they are all good well before they get there. I don't see such a thing happening without equivalents of the firebombing of Dresden & Tokyo and the My Lai Massacre.

Nicholas

rakenan wrote:Sharona is already close to a cultural Mary Sue. They have a dynasty of benevolent and competent monarchs that has lasted for thousands of years without degradation or reversion to norm. They have "bad guys" who are pathetically transparent and childish in their schemes and plots. They have an entire world where the gifted are revered and honored without an undercurrent of resentful jealousy poisoning relations with the common folk.

Frankly, having them invade and conquer Arcana would just put the nail on the coffin sinking this entire series below Out of the Dark in my list of David Weber books I regret reading. Far better would be for Arcana to work out the cultural issues crippling it and stop the Sharonan offensive cold until both sides would be forced to reach an accommodation - possibly to counter some potential new threat. While there are bad guys who deserve to lose in the series, most of them deserve to lose to Arcanan good guys, not to Sharonan invaders. Because it's a civil war between the good and bad of Arcana, rather than being a clash between good Sharona and bad Arcana.

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Re: Thoughts about upcoming events in the Multiverse....
Post by brnicholas   » Sun May 03, 2015 6:29 pm

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I hadn't thought through the effects as carefully as you do here. I think the general outline of your thesis is correct but the statement that its effects "cannot be overestimated" is in error.

If the "trickle down effect in terms of "mandate of heaven"" was as powerful as you surmise then the shrinking of the Ternathian Empire is impossible to explain, as is the clear fact that Ternathian's and other Sharonians have significantly different views of the Caliraths.

In summary the Calirath Talent clearly increases the quality of Calirath rule and the of the Caliraths themselves for the reasons you describe. In addition voices increase awareness of this quality among the general population (although only people with a little talent can hear voice transmissions). Still this hasn't produced the level of unity you seem to be postulating here.

Thanks for an extremely thought provoking post.

Nicholas

Mil-tech bard wrote:The "Cultural Mary Sue" here is the "Calirath Talent" and the incentives its brutal self-honesty provides for Sharonan rulers.

The Calirath Emperors are operating on a level of hard reality that will make non-talented politicians run away in terror.

The trickle down effect in terms of "mandate of heaven" with everyone on Sharona and Sharonan's spun off universes cannot be overestimated.

Quite literally voices send real images, emotions and all sorts of sub-channel communications about the Calirath Emperors direct to other voices or those with projective talents to send to non-talents.

Sharonans get to know their leaders in ways we cannot imagine, and create loyalties so deep that average Sharonan soldiers will fight at the word of a Calirath Emperor the way that the Imperial Japanese serviceman did in WW2...and the Calirath talent means Emperors only ask it of their troops when absolutely necessary.

This sort of thing will move talented Sharonan leaders much as it does Sharonan troops.

Which, once you work through the full cultural implications of the "Calirath Talent", Chava of Uromathia being a non-talent is central to the storyline.

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Re: Thoughts about upcoming events in the Multiverse....
Post by runsforcelery   » Sun May 03, 2015 8:34 pm

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brnicholas wrote:I hadn't thought through the effects as carefully as you do here. I think the general outline of your thesis is correct but the statement that its effects "cannot be overestimated" is in error.

If the "trickle down effect in terms of "mandate of heaven"" was as powerful as you surmise then the shrinking of the Ternathian Empire is impossible to explain, as is the clear fact that Ternathian's and other Sharonians have significantly different views of the Caliraths.

In summary the Calirath Talent clearly increases the quality of Calirath rule and the of the Caliraths themselves for the reasons you describe. In addition voices increase awareness of this quality among the general population (although only people with a little talent can hear voice transmissions). Still this hasn't produced the level of unity you seem to be postulating here.

Thanks for an extremely thought provoking post.

Nicholas

Mil-tech bard wrote:The "Cultural Mary Sue" here is the "Calirath Talent" and the incentives its brutal self-honesty provides for Sharonan rulers.

The Calirath Emperors are operating on a level of hard reality that will make non-talented politicians run away in terror.

The trickle down effect in terms of "mandate of heaven" with everyone on Sharona and Sharonan's spun off universes cannot be overestimated.

Quite literally voices send real images, emotions and all sorts of sub-channel communications about the Calirath Emperors direct to other voices or those with projective talents to send to non-talents.

Sharonans get to know their leaders in ways we cannot imagine, and create loyalties so deep that average Sharonan soldiers will fight at the word of a Calirath Emperor the way that the Imperial Japanese serviceman did in WW2...and the Calirath talent means Emperors only ask it of their troops when absolutely necessary.

This sort of thing will move talented Sharonan leaders much as it does Sharonan troops.

Which, once you work through the full cultural implications of the "Calirath Talent", Chava of Uromathia being a non-talent is central to the storyline.




I will say only that the in-universe "everyone knows" reasons for the Caliraths' withdrawal from Tajvana (and the downsizing of their empire) are . . . less than fully correct.

And that the Caliraths wanted it that way from the beginning.

As to why, now . . . . :twisted:


"Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as Piglet came back from the dead.
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