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Silk Town-Thesmar Canal

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Re: Silk Town-Thesmar Canal
Post by n7axw   » Tue Aug 18, 2015 1:54 pm

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lyonheart wrote:Hi Don,

I believe the passage you reference mentions only the past century and a half of its imbroglio with the RoS, which lasted well over 2 centuries before the Silkiah treaty.

The main explanation for not taking advantage of its fantastic central position for trade is its fear of being out of sight of land for too long, which is repeated often for all the non-Charisian merchants, and the stormy seas that are probably the root of such fears.

While we have textev of many brave main-landers in the respective navies, they are a far too pitiful fraction of the mainland's several hundred millions.

Technically of course, Charis's maritime industry is only a tiny fraction of its population as well, maybe around 2% including supporting industries.

L



Hi Lyonheart,


I went back and looked at that passage in AMF. The way it reads is that the high water mark for Desnair's navy was forty galleys and that happened 70 years prior. Full stop. There is no suggestion anywhere unless himself posted something I missed that there was ever a time in the past when when Desnair was a naval power.

While it is always possible that there was a time in the past when Desnair asserted itself with a navy, we have no basis for such conjecture on anything we know.

Don
When any group seeks political power in God's name, both religion and politics are instantly corrupted.
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Re: Silk Town-Thesmar Canal
Post by lyonheart   » Tue Aug 18, 2015 2:00 pm

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Hi JeffEngel,

Thank you for your insights into Shan-wei's possible if not probable ulterior motives for not connecting the two canals.

I agree it helps explain what we know so far.

RFC of course could blow that theory out of the water with fresh data. ;)

L


JeffEngel wrote:
Louis R wrote:If it was built to the same plan as the Holy Langhorne - I think it's a safe bet that Shan Wei ordered it - then it looks touch and go for the riverboats. IIRC, the River IIs are actually ~30' longer than the lock chambers on the HLC.

You know... Tying a few things together here:
It's hard to see the Silk Town-Thesmar as a result of Silkiahan investment and labor. Silk Town didn't have the manpower for it and arguably not the need before the Treaty of Silk Town; since then, it hasn't had the time. (Especially if they've been occupied making little Silkiahans....)

So - peg it as Shan-wei's work. Silk Town has been around since the Day of Creation or thereabouts. Much of the canal network has been too. If we suppose the ST-Thesmar and Salthar-ST were both Shan-wei's work, along with Silk Town, you get a good way to cover the need to move cargos over the isthmus and inland northward. Maybe she and her terraformers didn't want to count on Safehold being well able to take the Gulf of Mathyas route north and/or did fear those transshipment issues.

Desnair would certainly have liked her to have had those canals connect somewhere inland of Silk Town's harbor. Why didn't Shan-wei?

I'm thinking she may have slipped in a bit of long-range social engineering with her canal routes here. The canal arrangement makes Silk Town a natural commercial, maritime power. The ST-Thesmar adds little to that, but (1) it does mean Silk Town could not be cut out of the north-south trade there, and (2) it gave Silk Town a large potential hinterland well connected to it. So it wouldn't be condemned to be a mere port city. It had a good chance to be Charis on the mainland. And a commercial, maritime power is going to have a mindset that values labor savings and trying new things. It will be exposed to ideas from faraway lands. It will have plenty of people on the make, looking for opportunities to better themselves.

It will be a big, glorious spike in Langhorne's plans!

It didn't work out well enough soon. We're even further out on speculative limbs figuring out why, but certainly the changes with the War Against the Fallen through bricks through any projections of the locations of developments, and the Proscriptions and the Punishment chilled innovation, especially on the mainland, more than she would have been able to count on based on the original Writ. Silk Town did end up as a commercial city, but didn't get a unified Silkiah til much later, and even then as a mere buffer state. Still, she took a number of shots, and even if Silkiah never managed to be Mainland Charis, it's now not-small and not-unfriendly to Island Charis.
Any snippet or post from RFC is good if not great!
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Re: Silk Town-Thesmar Canal
Post by lyonheart   » Tue Aug 18, 2015 2:16 pm

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Hi Don,

Thanks for the data and interpretation.

Please permit me to disagree.

First, we do have some textev references to times when Desnar had more naval power than it does now, NTM the tone regarding Desnar's navy has changed over the books.

Second, 40 galleys 70 years ago may have been quite a large fleet, quite possibly the dominant naval power back then, certainly in the regional sense, ie east of Harchong.

Third, remember that Chisholm had only 35 galleys of its 80 in commission, while even Charis kept only 80 active.

Again we don't know whether the 40 mentioned is all or just those kept active, since after 70 years the details can get fuzzy when they're related to the 2nd or third generation.

L


n7axw wrote:
lyonheart wrote:Hi Don,

I believe the passage you reference mentions only the past century and a half of its imbroglio with the RoS, which lasted well over 2 centuries before the Silkiah treaty.

The main explanation for not taking advantage of its fantastic central position for trade is its fear of being out of sight of land for too long, which is repeated often for all the non-Charisian merchants, and the stormy seas that are probably the root of such fears.

While we have textev of many brave main-landers in the respective navies, they are a far too pitiful fraction of the mainland's several hundred millions.

Technically of course, Charis's maritime industry is only a tiny fraction of its population as well, maybe around 2% including supporting industries.

L



Hi Lyonheart,


I went back and looked at that passage in AMF. The way it reads is that the high water mark for Desnair's navy was forty galleys and that happened 70 years prior. Full stop. There is no suggestion anywhere unless himself posted something I missed that there was ever a time in the past when when Desnair was a naval power.

While it is always possible that there was a time in the past when Desnair asserted itself with a navy, we have no basis for such conjecture on anything we know.

Don
Any snippet or post from RFC is good if not great!
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Spoiler element included at the end Re: Silk Town-Thesmar Ca
Post by WeberFan   » Tue Aug 18, 2015 2:39 pm

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Louis R wrote:If it was built to the same plan as the Holy Langhorne - I think it's a safe bet that Shan Wei ordered it - then it looks touch and go for the riverboats. IIRC, the River IIs are actually ~30' longer than the lock chambers on the HLC.


n7axw wrote:What I am wondering about the Sathar Canal is if it's big enough to accommodate the EOC's riverclads.

I think Lyonheart is right in predicting that the EOC will seize control of that canal in the near term future.

Don

Hmmm. Thought about this for a while, then consulted one of the maps. Thing is, we don't know what the geography is like between Port Salthar and Silk Town. We have the Salthar mountains to the northwest of Port Salthar, and we have what appear to be hills to the south... But if the canal path itself is flat, then Charisian engineers could pretty easily build "bypass locks" to accommodate the larger vessels. Wouldn't need too many of them if the terrain is flat. They also wouldn't need to be "pretty" - just functional. These "bypass locks" would be collocated with the regular locks, but off to the side (and likely not bidirectional either). Dig out and frame in a lock that is offset laterally from the original ones, then dig out the trench on the "downlock" side, then dig out the trench on the "uplock" side and voila - bypass lock installed and ready to do. If the terrain is rocky? Well, that's what explosives are for.

SPOILER ELEMENT FOLLOWS!!!







Sure would be nice to be able to show up on Dohlar's doorstep in Salthar Bay and Hankey Sound with a fleet of ironclad riverboats sporting breechloading cannon wouldn't it!
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Re: Silk Town-Thesmar Canal
Post by WeberFan   » Tue Aug 18, 2015 2:46 pm

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JeffEngel wrote:
n7axw wrote:
Fraihan's wall? I've missed a trick here. Can you enlighten me a bit on that one. It sounds intriguing, but I don't remember where that comes from...

Don

Check out http://infodump.thefifthimperium.com/en ... hold/232/1

Fraihan's Wall is near the equator, south of Hankey Sound. Just where it runs is not clear, but it seems like it's some or all of the border between Coast Guard in Desnair and the Shwei Peninsula in South Harchong.


Looking at the map I've got (the expanded version that shows movements as of MT&T??), Fraihan's Wall extends from the far south end of Shwei Bay (the southern end of the wall) to Hankey Sound (northern end). If cuts across the base of the Harris Peninsula and appears to form the western border of Coastguard and West March.
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Re: Silk Town-Thesmar Canal
Post by isaac_newton   » Tue Aug 18, 2015 3:13 pm

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n7axw wrote:
lyonheart wrote:Hi Don,

I believe the passage you reference mentions only the past century and a half of its imbroglio with the RoS, which lasted well over 2 centuries before the Silkiah treaty.

The main explanation for not taking advantage of its fantastic central position for trade is its fear of being out of sight of land for too long, which is repeated often for all the non-Charisian merchants, and the stormy seas that are probably the root of such fears.

While we have textev of many brave main-landers in the respective navies, they are a far too pitiful fraction of the mainland's several hundred millions.

Technically of course, Charis's maritime industry is only a tiny fraction of its population as well, maybe around 2% including supporting industries.

L



Hi Lyonheart,


I went back and looked at that passage in AMF. The way it reads is that the high water mark for Desnair's navy was forty galleys and that happened 70 years prior. Full stop. There is no suggestion anywhere unless himself posted something I missed that there was ever a time in the past when when Desnair was a naval power.

While it is always possible that there was a time in the past when Desnair asserted itself with a navy, we have no basis for such conjecture on anything we know.

Don


There is the possibility that the Desnair fleet may have decayed/been abandoned as a result of a direct edict from the Emperor.

In RL there is an analogous situation in China in the early Ming dynasty, where several v long distances voyages in obviously large seaworthy vessels were lead by Admiral Zhong He https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zheng_He. If these had been followed up consistantly China could have had a large navy and colonies.

However for various reasons, including threats from the North, and the monetary drain caused by massive expansion of the Great Wall, it was decided to abort the non essential sea borne exploration.

China has a v significant coastline, but most of the time this was essentially ignored by the throne, and without any real problems ensuring - at least until the Europeans turned up.

Maybe the same thing was happening in Desnair? Building Fraihahn's wall, fighting Siddermark... It sounds as if Desnair is pretty self sufficient, so just did not need sea power. One Emperor maybe was a real radical and then after him the dynasty reverted to standard behaviour.
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Re: Silk Town-Thesmar Canal
Post by n7axw   » Tue Aug 18, 2015 3:15 pm

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lyonheart wrote:Hi Don,

Thanks for the data and interpretation.

Please permit me to disagree.

First, we do have some textev references to times when Desnar had more naval power than it does now, NTM the tone regarding Desnar's navy has changed over the books.

Second, 40 galleys 70 years ago may have been quite a large fleet, quite possibly the dominant naval power back then, certainly in the regional sense, ie east of Harchong.

Third, remember that Chisholm had only 35 galleys of its 80 in commission, while even Charis kept only 80 active.

Again we don't know whether the 40 mentioned is all or just those kept active, since after 70 years the details can get fuzzy when they're related to the 2nd or third generation.

L



Hi Lyonheart,

I'm not sure what you are referring to here. Can you be a bit more specific with your comment on Desnair's navy?

Don
When any group seeks political power in God's name, both religion and politics are instantly corrupted.
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Re: Silk Town-Thesmar Canal
Post by McGuiness   » Tue Aug 18, 2015 11:12 pm

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I gotta admit that after reading the chapter on "Destiny has an Adventure" (which took almost a month at three snippets a week!) I was all for avoiding storms and shoals and such, which the Silkiah - Thesmar canal enables shippers to avoid. Not that I still haven't pointed out that sea travel is 4-5 times faster and that a galleon can hold a lot more than a barge, so other than the time wasted loading and unloading the ship, and the possibility that it might be lost at sea, shipping cargo by sea is a vastly superior method than dragging along at 50 miles per day on a canal. That is if you dare sail out of sight of land, which Charis has no problem doing, but the rest of Safehold seems a bit leery of even now.

I had a long, in-depth analysis of the Desnair/Siddarmark war that led to the CoGA stepping in and creating Silkiah as a buffer zone. Unfortunately it was eaten by the system while I was proofreading it, which just goes to show that I spend way too much time proofreading. :roll:

So here's the Cliff Notes version. Siddarmark had already captured all of Silkiah and North Watch, and had Desnair trapped in Howard along a short, mountainous front, which it could have easily defended or even expanded well before Merlin showed up with innovations like rifles and artillery. However, some vicar with a lot of influence was probably rather upset that Siddarmark caused him to lose all the lovely bribes he wanted to skim from the Salthar Canal, and Desnair was pretty upset about losing them too. So they basically did a Hanth and got the CoGA to intervene, a couple of centuries after Siddarmark had seized the canal.

Now as the country with the biggest, nastiest army on Safehold, one would think that Siddarmark would have told the corrupt vicars to pound sand when the CoGA decided to not only set up a buffer zone between Siddarmark and Desnair, but to strip Siddarmark of its southern two provinces, hand one of them back to Desnair, and make the other an independent demilitarized zone. Silkiah was a province that Siddarmark had conquered two centuries before, and losing it would have ticked Siddarmark off just a wee bit, and had I been the Lord Protector, I'd have told Zion in which orifice it could stick their "treaty." :shock:

For perspective, this would be like some world court ordering the USA to return all its land to Great Britain, France, and Mexico, and the Indians.(Sorry, I refuse to be politically correct!) Once the country stopped laughing, we'd break out our 300 million guns and make sure it didn't happen! (Not to mention the world's largest military would laugh itself silly and say "Bring it on!") :lol:

Of course nobody had ever considered standing up to the corrupt leaders of Mother Church at that point, but exactly who were the corrupt leaders of the church going to throw at the biggest and baddest army on the planet? Harchong? Please, the Siddarmark pikemen would have hacked and shot them into oblivion, and then the Church would have faced a major defeat after declaring jihad - which would have put them pretty much where they are now, with a failed jihad and the loss of face and belief in Mother church that goes with it. Had this occurred centuries before, with the added problem of a defiant Siddarmark refusing to hand over a land area almost as large as Dohlar that happened to have the Salthar Canal running right through it, the result for the CoGA would have been an unmitigated disaster! (Let's not forget to mention some major slave revolts in Harchong!) ;)

By the way, if Shan-Wei built the Salthar canal, which I firmly believe she did, I suspect that she made the locks bigger than those in the Great Langhorne Canal, since the Salthar would clearly carry more cargo eventually. So it may well have locks big enough to handle steam powered riverboats that a seafaring navy (cough - Chairs) might create with the purpose of capturing the canal (or working out a deal with the local potentate to use it) and happily sail any number of ironclads into the Gulf of Dohlar. Oh dear! :lol:

Since we know Shan-Wei founded Tellesberg along with St. Zherneau’s to encourage industry, she likely did that with the intention that her secluded, river-rich enclave would become not only a naval power out of necessity, but a trading power because of its distance from the Temple and relative freedom from the Inquisition breathing down its neck. (Until shortly before Merlin showed up that is...)

Had the CoGA simply left Charis alone, the war wouldn't have happened for at least another generation or two, and it would have been based largely on economics. Whether Charis would have survived is a bit of a toss-up, since it would have had a blue-water navy composed of galleons at that point, but without Merlin around to advance its artillery. OAR wouldn't have been nearly as much fun without a mustachioed seijin spurring innovation and doing acts of derring-do, but who's to say he wouldn't have shown up 50 to 70 years later than he did, which given the screwed up calendar, would actually have put his arrival much closer to the original date that Pei Shan-Wei intended, and closer to the date that the archangels are supposed to return. (As counted from the end of the War of the Fallen as RFC intended, not from the Day of Creation.) Big difference.

However, Merline would have had to choose between the biggest and the baddest who he'd basically make obsolete, or Charis, which was a naval power, but safe from any Church edicts because Zion would have had Siddarmark breathing down its neck to keep its corruption in line...

Changing the subject, Silkiah and Charis would have gotten along quite well, even if it were a province of Siddarmark, who would have very likely have been a very friendly mainland trading partner.

Of course all of those Charisian cargoes were going to need markets, and being able to cut off 20,000 miles from a voyage to the Gulf of Dohlar would be significant. That's one of the major reasons that Charis and Silkiah got along so well - Charis was undoubtedly doing a great deal of transshipping through Silk Town via the Salthar Canal, where coasters would pick up their cargoes at Port Salthar on the west side of the canal and deliver them to ports around the Gulf of Dohlar, and even a small coaster could sail as far as Harchong faster than a galleon could circle all of Howard, and do it more safely.

The reverse worked as well, although I'll admit that setting up a coaster to pick up cargoes in the Gulf of Dohlar to deliver to Port Salthar would be more difficult, and run the risk of one's cargoes arriving late, or arriving early and spending some time waiting in a warehouse after being shipped across the canal to Silk Town, but the semaphore was available, and before the jihad, Charis was creating some very large shipping houses. The relationship worked well until the SoS showed Silkiah what would happen to it if it kept accepting Charisian cargoes, but had Siddarmark told the CoGA to pound sand when presented with the Treaty of Silkiah, which in essence stripped it of its southern two provinces to the benefit of Desnair, the CoGA would have found itself not only defied, but unable to do much about it.

Yes, Siddarmark has a large percentage of TLs, but in this case, the government, which controlled a large part of the semaphore network could easily have spread the word that the Treaty was merely a grab by the corrupt vicars to skim profits off the canals. Since those venal men would have been sent from areas far from Silkiah, I doubt they were generally beloved or even much tolerated in Port Salthar and Silk Town. They'd have found themselves aboard a coaster with all the loot they could carry while their palaces burned behind them.

It simply came down to not having a Lord Protector willing to say "Here I stand, for I can do no other!"

Fortunately both Charis and Chisholm do have rulers like that... and they're showing what modern weapons can do to a united Church offensive, when Siddarmark could have destroyed a similar offensive two centuries before if it had simply had the guts to stand up to the Church.

An added benefit to such a policy would have been the elimination of the Border States, the seizing of the Great Langhorne canal, and Siddarmark sitting on the Temple Land's eastern border, making sure that the CoGA behaved - or else!

An official policy of refusing to accept church edicts that were purely political in nature would have done Siddarmark and all of Safehold a great deal of good, and would have kept the corruption of the church to a tolerable level, since Siddarmark could always have swept up the Temple Lands if faced by armies without rifles or artillery, and the Church was clearly fearful of facing Siddarmark without the buffer of the Border States. Too bad Siddarmark didn't have a Lord Protector with some guts back then, because its army most likely would have accepted orders that contradicted purely political orders from the CoGA, and its million troops could have created a relatively corruption free-state. (No state is corruption free of course if humans are running it - just look at the changes in the USA in the past 15 years!)

But Siddarmark isn't Harchong with an entrenched bureaucracy so corrupt that any bribe large enough can get the local inquisitor, government official, or dog catcher to look the other way. Siddarmark doesn't have slaves, so the Temple Lands would have been in serious trouble had a Siddarmarkan pike army come calling to free its land-bound "serfs," and eventually Zion would have found itself with a fairly antagonistic Siddarmark that entirely surrounded Lake Pei, controlled the entire semaphore network coming out of Zion, and would in effect have made Zion's political influence negligible, since the threat of a Siddarmarkan invasion if it got too upset by the Church's decisions would always loom over the vicar's heads.

It wouldn't have been the world Merlin wanted, and he'd have probably planted his "virus" in Siddarmark rather than Charis, but he'd have also been in position to capture Zion and the Temple if they didn't cave to what Siddarmark demanded. Plus with so much of Safehold already under Siddarmark's banner, (I doubt they'd have been idle in decimating Desnair during those two centuries) the Big Reveal would be a lot less violent. Sure the slaves in Harchong could riot (good luck with that!) and the sheepherders in Sodar might be upset, but other than Dohlar, which might well have been swept up by Siddarmark as well, who would be left to object? (Keep in mind that Siddarmark with a population of at least 300-400 million with that amount of expansion would have no problem destroying anything Harchong or anyone else threw at it.) Desnair may have already fallen to Siddarmark, along with a large part of Howard, plus Siddarmark would probably have a fairly large fleet of coasters and galleys in the Gulf of Dohlar just in case Harchong felt adventurous.

So the Church's worst nightmare would have come true - an expansive Siddarmark parked on its doorstep, keeping it in line politically, and occasionally telling it to go pound sand or it would pound a few vicars! :lol:

All it lacked was a Lord Protector with the guts to stand against Mother Church - but two centuries ago, there wasn't much chance of that, even though the Treaty of Thesmar would have been unenforceable had Siddarmark simply refused to sign it.

"Oh bother", said Pooh as he glanced through the airlock window at the helmet he'd forgotten to wear.
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Re: Silk Town-Thesmar Canal
Post by n7axw   » Wed Aug 19, 2015 12:15 am

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McGuiness wrote:I gotta admit that after reading the chapter on "Destiny has an Adventure" (which took almost a month at three snippets a week!) I was all for avoiding storms and shoals and such, which the Silkiah - Thesmar canal enables shippers to avoid. Not that I still haven't pointed out that sea travel is 4-5 times faster and that a galleon can hold a lot more than a barge, so other than the time wasted loading and unloading the ship, and the possibility that it might be lost at sea, shipping cargo by sea is a vastly superior method than dragging along at 50 miles per day on a canal. That is if you dare sail out of sight of land, which Charis has no problem doing, but the rest of Safehold seems a bit leery of even now.

I had a long, in-depth analysis of the Desnair/Siddarmark war that led to the CoGA stepping in and creating Silkiah as a buffer zone. Unfortunately it was eaten by the system while I was proofreading it, which just goes to show that I spend way too much time proofreading. :roll:

So here's the Cliff Notes version. Siddarmark had already captured all of Silkiah and North Watch, and had Desnair trapped in Howard along a short, mountainous front, which it could have easily defended or even expanded well before Merlin showed up with innovations like rifles and artillery. However, some vicar with a lot of influence was probably rather upset that Siddarmark caused him to lose all the lovely bribes he wanted to skim from the Salthar Canal, and Desnair was pretty upset about losing them too. So they basically did a Hanth and got the CoGA to intervene, a couple of centuries after Siddarmark had seized the canal.

Now as the country with the biggest, nastiest army on Safehold, one would think that Siddarmark would have told the corrupt vicars to pound sand when the CoGA decided to not only set up a buffer zone between Siddarmark and Desnair, but to strip Siddarmark of its southern two provinces, hand one of them back to Desnair, and make the other an independent demilitarized zone. Silkiah was a province that Siddarmark had conquered two centuries before, and losing it would have ticked Siddarmark off just a wee bit, and had I been the Lord Protector, I'd have told Zion in which orifice it could stick their "treaty." :shock:

For perspective, this would be like some world court ordering the USA to return all its land to Great Britain, France, and Mexico, and the Indians.(Sorry, I refuse to be politically correct!) Once the country stopped laughing, we'd break out our 300 million guns and make sure it didn't happen! (Not to mention the world's largest military would laugh itself silly and say "Bring it on!") :lol:

Of course nobody had ever considered standing up to the corrupt leaders of Mother Church at that point, but exactly who were the corrupt leaders of the church going to throw at the biggest and baddest army on the planet? Harchong? Please, the Siddarmark pikemen would have hacked and shot them into oblivion, and then the Church would have faced a major defeat after declaring jihad - which would have put them pretty much where they are now, with a failed jihad and the loss of face and belief in Mother church that goes with it. Had this occurred centuries before, with the added problem of a defiant Siddarmark refusing to hand over a land area almost as large as Dohlar that happened to have the Salthar Canal running right through it, the result for the CoGA would have been an unmitigated disaster! (Let's not forget to mention some major slave revolts in Harchong!) ;)

By the way, if Shan-Wei built the Salthar canal, which I firmly believe she did, I suspect that she made the locks bigger than those in the Great Langhorne Canal, since the Salthar would clearly carry more cargo eventually. So it may well have locks big enough to handle steam powered riverboats that a seafaring navy (cough - Chairs) might create with the purpose of capturing the canal (or working out a deal with the local potentate to use it) and happily sail any number of ironclads into the Gulf of Dohlar. Oh dear! :lol:

Since we know Shan-Wei founded Tellesberg along with St. Zherneau’s to encourage industry, she likely did that with the intention that her secluded, river-rich enclave would become not only a naval power out of necessity, but a trading power because of its distance from the Temple and relative freedom from the Inquisition breathing down its neck. (Until shortly before Merlin showed up that is...)

Had the CoGA simply left Charis alone, the war wouldn't have happened for at least another generation or two, and it would have been based largely on economics. Whether Charis would have survived is a bit of a toss-up, since it would have had a blue-water navy composed of galleons at that point, but without Merlin around to advance its artillery. OAR wouldn't have been nearly as much fun without a mustachioed seijin spurring innovation and doing acts of derring-do, but who's to say he wouldn't have shown up 50 to 70 years later than he did, which given the screwed up calendar, would actually have put his arrival much closer to the original date that Pei Shan-Wei intended, and closer to the date that the archangels are supposed to return. (As counted from the end of the War of the Fallen as RFC intended, not from the Day of Creation.) Big difference.

However, Merline would have had to choose between the biggest and the baddest who he'd basically make obsolete, or Charis, which was a naval power, but safe from any Church edicts because Zion would have had Siddarmark breathing down its neck to keep its corruption in line...

Changing the subject, Silkiah and Charis would have gotten along quite well, even if it were a province of Siddarmark, who would have very likely have been a very friendly mainland trading partner.

Of course all of those Charisian cargoes were going to need markets, and being able to cut off 20,000 miles from a voyage to the Gulf of Dohlar would be significant. That's one of the major reasons that Charis and Silkiah got along so well - Charis was undoubtedly doing a great deal of transshipping through Silk Town via the Salthar Canal, where coasters would pick up their cargoes at Port Salthar on the west side of the canal and deliver them to ports around the Gulf of Dohlar, and even a small coaster could sail as far as Harchong faster than a galleon could circle all of Howard, and do it more safely.

The reverse worked as well, although I'll admit that setting up a coaster to pick up cargoes in the Gulf of Dohlar to deliver to Port Salthar would be more difficult, and run the risk of one's cargoes arriving late, or arriving early and spending some time waiting in a warehouse after being shipped across the canal to Silk Town, but the semaphore was available, and before the jihad, Charis was creating some very large shipping houses. The relationship worked well until the SoS showed Silkiah what would happen to it if it kept accepting Charisian cargoes, but had Siddarmark told the CoGA to pound sand when presented with the Treaty of Silkiah, which in essence stripped it of its southern two provinces to the benefit of Desnair, the CoGA would have found itself not only defied, but unable to do much about it.

Yes, Siddarmark has a large percentage of TLs, but in this case, the government, which controlled a large part of the semaphore network could easily have spread the word that the Treaty was merely a grab by the corrupt vicars to skim profits off the canals. Since those venal men would have been sent from areas far from Silkiah, I doubt they were generally beloved or even much tolerated in Port Salthar and Silk Town. They'd have found themselves aboard a coaster with all the loot they could carry while their palaces burned behind them.

It simply came down to not having a Lord Protector willing to say "Here I stand, for I can do no other!"

Fortunately both Charis and Chisholm do have rulers like that... and they're showing what modern weapons can do to a united Church offensive, when Siddarmark could have destroyed a similar offensive two centuries before if it had simply had the guts to stand up to the Church.

An added benefit to such a policy would have been the elimination of the Border States, the seizing of the Great Langhorne canal, and Siddarmark sitting on the Temple Land's eastern border, making sure that the CoGA behaved - or else!

An official policy of refusing to accept church edicts that were purely political in nature would have done Siddarmark and all of Safehold a great deal of good, and would have kept the corruption of the church to a tolerable level, since Siddarmark could always have swept up the Temple Lands if faced by armies without rifles or artillery, and the Church was clearly fearful of facing Siddarmark without the buffer of the Border States. Too bad Siddarmark didn't have a Lord Protector with some guts back then, because its army most likely would have accepted orders that contradicted purely political orders from the CoGA, and its million troops could have created a relatively corruption free-state. (No state is corruption free of course if humans are running it - just look at the changes in the USA in the past 15 years!)

But Siddarmark isn't Harchong with an entrenched bureaucracy so corrupt that any bribe large enough can get the local inquisitor, government official, or dog catcher to look the other way. Siddarmark doesn't have slaves, so the Temple Lands would have been in serious trouble had a Siddarmarkan pike army come calling to free its land-bound "serfs," and eventually Zion would have found itself with a fairly antagonistic Siddarmark that entirely surrounded Lake Pei, controlled the entire semaphore network coming out of Zion, and would in effect have made Zion's political influence negligible, since the threat of a Siddarmarkan invasion if it got too upset by the Church's decisions would always loom over the vicar's heads.

It wouldn't have been the world Merlin wanted, and he'd have probably planted his "virus" in Siddarmark rather than Charis, but he'd have also been in position to capture Zion and the Temple if they didn't cave to what Siddarmark demanded. Plus with so much of Safehold already under Siddarmark's banner, (I doubt they'd have been idle in decimating Desnair during those two centuries) the Big Reveal would be a lot less violent. Sure the slaves in Harchong could riot (good luck with that!) and the sheepherders in Sodar might be upset, but other than Dohlar, which might well have been swept up by Siddarmark as well, who would be left to object? (Keep in mind that Siddarmark with a population of at least 300-400 million with that amount of expansion would have no problem destroying anything Harchong or anyone else threw at it.) Desnair may have already fallen to Siddarmark, along with a large part of Howard, plus Siddarmark would probably have a fairly large fleet of coasters and galleys in the Gulf of Dohlar just in case Harchong felt adventurous.

So the Church's worst nightmare would have come true - an expansive Siddarmark parked on its doorstep, keeping it in line politically, and occasionally telling it to go pound sand or it would pound a few vicars! :lol:

All it lacked was a Lord Protector with the guts to stand against Mother Church - but two centuries ago, there wasn't much chance of that, even though the Treaty of Thesmar would have been unenforceable had Siddarmark simply refused to sign it.


Hi Mac,

This is an interesting scenario. But I do see a difficulty with it. That focuses upon Siddarmark. Yes, the Republic did have that magnificant army with all those lovely pike squares. And yes, they could have cleaned the Temple Lands clock.

BUT

Had any protector dare attempt that, his own population would have cleaned his clock and probably taken his scalp. It took the SoS to break these people's loyalty to the church at the cost of a major civil war. And the Protector almost lost his scalp anyway. Prior to that, an attack on the church simply wasn't doable from a political perspective.

The same was true of Charis. Had not the Church orchestrated an attack on her, Haarahld couldn't have openly defied Zion. It simply wasn't done. Charisians were probably more independently minded than mainlanders and they didn't like Temple corruption. But they also devoutly believed in God's plan for Safehold. It took the threat of having their homes burned around their ears to concentrate their minds.

Don
When any group seeks political power in God's name, both religion and politics are instantly corrupted.
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Re: Silk Town-Thesmar Canal
Post by lyonheart   » Wed Aug 19, 2015 3:46 am

lyonheart
Fleet Admiral

Posts: 4853
Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2009 11:27 pm

Hi Don,

This compendium is by no means complete but just what I remember off the top of my mind and could find quickly.

First in OAR, in August 890 YoG, chapter IV or page 128 in the paperback, we have the statement that none of the continental powers; Harchong, Siddarmark, the Temple Lands "with the possible exception of DESNAR had a naval tradition".

Yet in BSRA [June 892 chapter 1, we're told Desnar and Sodar have almost as small shipyards as we [KotTL] do" which is curious, though others have suggested court intrigue like China or Korea for turning their backs on the sea and fascinating innovations.

In AMF, in the lead up to HMS Destiny's battle we have a few references to Desnari 'career naval officers' who are pretty experienced either in galleys or galleons but not both yet; so things are obviously not as corrupt as in Harchong's navy, and as the USN proved in the War of 1812, even a very small navy [the pathetic Democrat-Republicans tried to keep only one frigate active at a time] can be very professionally competent, though the new Imperial Desnarian Navy certainly wasn't up to the USN's standards.

I know there are other mentions of past Desnari naval power that King Gorjah might have called upon if it still existed when he was so desperate about the ICN blockade; but I don't have the time to dig them all out at the moment.

L


n7axw wrote:
lyonheart wrote:Hi Don,

Thanks for the data and interpretation.

Please permit me to disagree.

First, we do have some textev references to times when Desnar had more naval power than it does now, NTM the tone regarding Desnar's navy has changed over the books.

Second, 40 galleys 70 years ago may have been quite a large fleet, quite possibly the dominant naval power back then, certainly in the regional sense, ie east of Harchong.

Third, remember that Chisholm had only 35 galleys of its 80 in commission, while even Charis kept only 80 active.

Again we don't know whether the 40 mentioned is all or just those kept active, since after 70 years the details can get fuzzy when they're related to the 2nd or third generation.

L



Hi Lyonheart,

I'm not sure what you are referring to here. Can you be a bit more specific with your comment on Desnair's navy?

Don
Any snippet or post from RFC is good if not great!
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