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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 Julia Minor   » Fri Feb 22, 2019 1:16 pm

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... or possibly two brothers in the Operation Ark team, Friedrich and Androcles?

If that's the case, though, one has to wonder why there was only one "Archangel Schueler". Did one of the brothers choose to work behind the scenes while the other one got all the public worship?
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Re: ***Major Spoiler*** The ending scene of Through Fiery Tr
Post by SilverbladeTE   » Fri Feb 22, 2019 2:22 pm

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It's extremely unlikely such a revelation would not end in truly ghastly civil war in the Church.

Imagine a new gospel is found in RL, one the Church hid, written by St Andrew perhaps, that says St Paul was a power mad psychopathic sadistic monster who in his earlier days, set up Jesus, framed and murdered Judas, caused the Roman Empire to slaughter Jews and Christians for his own amusement and profit as he was an agent of the Sicari as a route to advancement and then later realized religion more profitable than politics and terrorism.
Roman reprisals guided by his intelligence eliminated anyone who knew he was one of the "dagger men". Besides, he enjoyed it all.
And he wasn't executed, he secretly retired to a lush estate to set up a Church so he could deliberately undermine everything Jesus stood for, while diddling women left and right yet preaching celibacy.
Oh, and he laughed at all the fools on all sides who fell for it.

That would go down in our world like a pair of lead underpants in a rocket lift! :shock:
Such a revelation would make the Reformation's bloodshed and hate look minor. Eeeeeek!

Rhobair is gone, his successor doesn't have the support.
This could not, plausibly, be a humanitarian, moderate act inline with the tale of Androcles and the Lion.
I have much more respect for Narhman, Merlin, and RFC than that.
More akin to the belief Mary Antoinette said "let them eat cake!" :shock:
Truthful, maybe, the consequences, while much of the world splits into two armed camps, one with massive hateful chip on their shoulders and no moral compulsion against atrocities...oh, this NOT likely to end well.
Church extremists will flock to the bloody banner of Wasu, Mahris and Siddermark's junta.

Maybe the work of the Sisters of St Khody, Schueler...or unknown agencies....
But the Inner Circle?
This is against everything they've believed and said until now.
Anyone think they'd want a bloodbath, or that a bloodbath wouldn't occur in such circumstances, hm?
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Re: ***Major Spoiler*** The ending scene of Through Fiery Tr
Post by DMcCunney   » Sat Feb 23, 2019 12:00 pm

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Julia Minor wrote:... or possibly two brothers in the Operation Ark team, Friedrich and Androcles?

If that's the case, though, one has to wonder why there was only one "Archangel Schueler". Did one of the brothers choose to work behind the scenes while the other one got all the public worship?

My assumption is that there is one Schueler, and that RFC changed his first name part way through the series, but did not post the fact he had made the change elsewhere.

Safeholdians only knew him as the Archangel Schueler, and didn't know he had a first name. Along the same lines, they didn't know that Langhorne's first name was Eric, or that Bédard's was Adorée.

When you have a series of this complexity with as large a cast of supporting characters as it has, keeping track can be hard. You can change a secondary character's first name and not even be aware you done it because you've forgotten you already gave him a name when you have a reason to use his first name in the text.

There are a number of writers tools designed to help authors keep track of stuff like that. I don't know if RFC uses any of them.
______
Dennis
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Re: ***Major Spoiler*** The ending scene of Through Fiery Tr
Post by DMcCunney   » Sat Feb 23, 2019 8:13 pm

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Bruno Behrends wrote: Your assumption they don't know enough about the past to fill a book is patently untrue.

Your second assumption - that Narmaahn and Owl would have 'to create things out of whole cloth' - is unsupported by the text as well.

No one forces Owl and Narmaahn to put specific things (they don't know enough about) into the book! They can freely choose what to include and what not. So they can choose to put truths they know into the book instead of filling it with inventions. In fact, knowing their past tactics of never lying that's exactly what we should expect them to do.

My problem is precisely what the IC "knows".

Their sources of knowledge are Commodore Pei's downloads to Nimue's PICA, the materials preserved by the Brethren of St. Zhernau, and Seijin Kohdy's diary.

Schueler's apparition appearing in his cathedral on the day of the feast commemorating his soul's return to God tells those gathered that Shan Wei did not Fall, and that Chihiro lied. I think we can safely assume the Testimony will document the evidence for that claim.

What evidence can the IC present to document it?

Most of what the IC "knows" comes from sources they cannot reveal, so they have no verifiable evidence they can present.

They know what really happened to Shan Wei, but can't talk about it.

They have suspicions about Chihiro, based on guesswork and second-hand knowledge, but don't actually know anything. Most of what anybody on Safehold knows about events following the destruction of Langhorne's HQ by Kau Yung, the subsequent assumption of power by Chihiro, the raising of the Temple, and the War Against the Fallen come from the Book of Chihiro, which wasn't in the original copy of the Writ, and was added along with the Book of Schueler after the fact.

Schueler's apparition asserts in his cathedral that Shan Wei did not Fall and Chihiro lied.

Forget the live grenade with the pin pulled claiming that Shan Wei did not Fall and was destroyed for refusing to abandon the great charge that brought her to Safehold by the true betrayer of the plan.

Schueler's apparition claimed Chihiro lied. What possible proof of that can the IC put into a Testimony of Schueler that they wrote?

Any proof that won't be summarily dismissed as nefarious machinations by Shan Wei will be likely found in the period from the destruction of Langhorne's HQ through the end of the War Against the Fallen. That's precisely the period the IC does not have records of.

But actual records of that period probably do exist in the Temple, so any attempt by the IC to make stuff up when they don't know what's in the Temple will simply rebound and bite them hard if what they say isn't confirmed by those records. (Yes, those records might be lies, but the people this is aimed at will believe they are the truth, and a mere assertion without supporting evidence that they are lies will fail.)

You're the IC. You actually wrote the purported Testimony of Schueler, and that document will contain the proof of your assertions. Tell me what proof you will put in that must be taken seriously and cannot simply be dismissed as a plot by Shan Wei?

I think the IC will really wish they knew what evidence that the Fallen who defeated Kohdy presented to him was that made him go to Zion to ask Schueler about it. But he didn't record what it was - only that it shook him enough to question what side he was really on and send him to Schueler for clarification. That's the sort of thing they would need to put into the Testimony, and that's what they don't have.
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Dennis
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Re: ***Major Spoiler*** The ending scene of Through Fiery Tr
Post by Julia Minor   » Sun Feb 24, 2019 8:20 am

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DMcCunney wrote:
What evidence can the IC present to document it?


Road/weather conditions last night meant I couldn't make it home and had to check into a hotel near work. With no access to my current books, I pulled OAR up on my Kindle for a re-read. Early in the book, the list of which Archangels sided with Shan-wei includes
Archangel Ascher, Father of Lies, whose so-called history’s twisted version of the true Writ had led those mortals foolish enough to believe anything Shan-wei said into equally dark damnation.


This had me thinking about two points:

1) Does the Temple have some equivalent to the Vatican archives that might include items such as Ascher's book, censored sections of the Testimonies, or private writings of the Archangels?

The Inner Circle knows about the secret escape tunnel Clyntahn tried to use in AST. At least, Merlin and Nimue know about it (since they intercepted him at the exit), and I can't think of any reason for them not to have mentioned it. Since they also now know passive Fed-tech can be brought safely into the Temple, a Helm Cleaver member could have been sent through the tunnel to look for those archives.

2) But on the other hand, why would the IC assume people will believe the Testimony of Schueler is accurate and not simply another volume of Ascher's "so-called history"?
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Re: ***Major Spoiler*** The ending scene of Through Fiery Tr
Post by DMcCunney   » Sun Feb 24, 2019 4:42 pm

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Julia Minor wrote:
DMcCunney wrote:What evidence can the IC present to document it?
Road/weather conditions last night meant I couldn't make it home and had to check into a hotel near work. With no access to my current books, I pulled OAR up on my Kindle for a re-read. Early in the book, the list of which Archangels sided with Shan-wei includes
Archangel Ascher, Father of Lies, whose so-called history’s twisted version of the true Writ had led those mortals foolish enough to believe anything Shan-wei said into equally dark damnation.
This had me thinking about two points:

1) Does the Temple have some equivalent to the Vatican archives that might include items such as Ascher's book, censored sections of the Testimonies, or private writings of the Archangels?
Good question. We don't know. More to the point, the IC doesn't know.

Given that we know the last of the lesser Angels were waiting for the Adams and Eves to die so they could edit the Testimonies and remove anything that might raise inconvenient questions down the road, I think retaining censored stuff might be unlikely. If it's stuff no one is supposed to know, why preserve it for future reference? They might have preserved it, but it feels out of character for those responsible.

(The Vatican will preserve things like that accessible only by senior churchmen to illustrate what was banned and why, and what danger it presents to church doctrine. But it also presents a risk that a viewer may be influenced by what they read in a manner opposite to the effect it's supposed to have. Given who will get access to those things, I don't think the Vatican sees it as a real risk. The Archangels trying to keep Safehold properly locked down for all time may not feel that way about future descendants of the colonists, even if they are Vicars or Archbishops of Mother Church.)
The Inner Circle knows about the secret escape tunnel Clyntahn tried to use in AST. At least, Merlin and Nimue know about it (since they intercepted him at the exit), and I can't think of any reason for them not to have mentioned it. Since they also now know passive Fed-tech can be brought safely into the Temple, a Helm Cleaver member could have been sent through the tunnel to look for those archives.
Unlikely. What Helm Cleaver member, with what passive tech? And what do they tell the Helm Cleaver operative the passive tech is? Merlin's is built-in, so he didn't have to actually do anything noticeable to anyone else to use it.

And the Temple is a big place. It has luxurious private suites for 300 Vicars, plus extensive offices for various official functions, and the main hall of the cathedral where major religious functions take place, and a number of smaller chapels for more private services, not to mention service and maintenance areas. There's a comment that it looked to Nimue like a half-assed Planetary Defense Center, because it was built along those lines, and has $DEITY knows what tucked away in the cellars. (And there is speculation about what Chihiro was thinking when he had it built that way, and why he thought something like that might be required.)

I think we can reasonably assume there are security measures to keep unauthorized personnel from poking around, so the likelihood of anyone successfully using the secret escape route under the Temple to sneak into it is remote. Clyntahn and Rayno likely locked the door leading to it on the way out.

And even if one could, what, exactly, would they be looking for? It's unlikely to be hard copy stored in an obscure filing cabinet.

There is reference elsewhere to things like the Inquisition's secret files, and the suggestion that suitably high placed personnel (like Vicars) will have access through the "God lights" to what we would think of as audio and visual records, but they would simply see as minor miracles. Without access to a console that can access those records, you get nowhere, and even if you have access to a console, you probably need to be an authorized user, and know what you're looking for in the first place.

2) But on the other hand, why would the IC assume people will believe the Testimony of Schueler is accurate and not simply another volume of Ascher's "so-called history"?
Which is part and parcel of my question. Absent some really compelling evidence that can't simply be dismissed as Ascher's so-called history or a plot of Shan Wei reaching out from Hell, I don't think they would expect anyone to believe it, and if no one believes it, what's the point in making the assertion? What end of the IC is advanced by doing so?

The IC is nowhere near the point where they can challenge the truth of the Holy Writ or claim the Archangels were no such things, and the "kinder, gentler" CoGA Grand Vicar Rhobair did everything he could to create makes it even more of a challenge. The Inquisition destroyed any credibility it might have had, and largely took the Order of Schueler with it with the atrocities it was responsible for during the Jihad, but the vast majority will see that as error by individuals perverting the Writ, and not a challenge to the Writ itself.
______
Dennis
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Re: ***Major Spoiler*** The ending scene of Through Fiery Tr
Post by dobriennm   » Sun Feb 24, 2019 10:12 pm

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DMcCunney wrote:
The IC is nowhere near the point where they can challenge the truth of the Holy Writ or claim the Archangels were no such things, and the "kinder, gentler" CoGA Grand Vicar Rhobair did everything he could to create makes it even more of a challenge. The Inquisition destroyed any credibility it might have had, and largely took the Order of Schueler with it with the atrocities it was responsible for during the Jihad, but the vast majority will see that as error by individuals perverting the Writ, and not a challenge to the Writ itself.
______
Dennis


Maybe, maybe not.

The last chapter shows at least some if not many Schulerites doing some heavy soul-searching, trying to reconcile the Punishment and recent events with other "kinder, gentler" portions of the Writ. They are wrestling with their faith. They are at this point vulnerable to a new interpretation or revelation.

So suddenly, they have a divine revelation By Schuler Himself! Witnessed by members of Schuler's own Order! And hundreds of lay people! In Schuler's own Church! The Schulerites aren't bad people, they too were deceived by wicked Chihiro! And Schuler left divine evidence you can see and touch, in a indestructible book like the ones the other Archangels left centuries ago! Praise God and the Archangel Schuler!! We must go forth and preach the New Word!!

So see, whether or not Safehold is ready, with the Testimony of Schuler, they have verifiable divine evidence that the Writ is WRONG (at least in parts).

Definitely going to be sparks flying in the next book.
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Re: ***Major Spoiler*** The ending scene of Through Fiery Tr
Post by DMcCunney   » Mon Feb 25, 2019 11:54 pm

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dobriennm wrote:
DMcCunney wrote:The IC is nowhere near the point where they can challenge the truth of the Holy Writ or claim the Archangels were no such things, and the "kinder, gentler" CoGA Grand Vicar Rhobair did everything he could to create makes it even more of a challenge. The Inquisition destroyed any credibility it might have had, and largely took the Order of Schueler with it with the atrocities it was responsible for during the Jihad, but the vast majority will see that as error by individuals perverting the Writ, and not a challenge to the Writ itself.
Maybe, maybe not.

The last chapter shows at least some if not many Schulerites doing some heavy soul-searching, trying to reconcile the Punishment and recent events with other "kinder, gentler" portions of the Writ. They are wrestling with their faith. They are at this point vulnerable to a new interpretation or revelation.

Agreed. I suspect one bit in his Testimony is that he did not write the Punishment of Schueler that was in "his" book, and it was an after the fact addition by Chihiro who had the power to edit the Writ that he did not approve but could not stop.

Schueler was seen as the stern but compassionate father figure, concerned with raising his children to be folks fit to understand and carry out God's plan. A stern but loving father may discipline children to correct behavior, but doesn't torture them to death.

Even followers of Schueler vastly relieved by the notion that Zhaspar Clyntahn perverted the Writ to accomplish evil aims and that Schueler himself did not approve will still be made deeply uncomfortable by the existence in the Writ of the Punishment of Schueler. It apparently clashes badly with the rest of Schueler's book, which is instruction on how people should behave, and not directions for how to punish them when they don't. But it's in his Book in the Writ, and the Writ is inviolate, so it must be his work. The assertion he didn't write it will be boggling.

The Church of Charis simply refuses to apply the Punishment. That was farther than Grand Vicar Rhobair was prepared to go, because it was part of the Writ.

A late friend who was a reform rabbi once talked about the rabbinical practice of "building a fence around Torah." The Torah prescribes some hideous punishments for various offenses. Over the centuries, the rabbis progressively defined terms and conditions, so that while those punishments still existed in Torah, they would never actually be applied because the circumstances under which they could be applied would not occur.

That was roughly what Grand Vicar Rhobair did. The Punishment still exists, because he wasn't willing to change the Writ, but he could make sure it wouldn't be used again.

(And I did wonder on occasion what Rhobair's reaction to Merlin's presentation of the truth about Safehold and the Archangels would heave been had there been an opportunity to present it to him. He might have surprised everyonr.)
So suddenly, they have a divine revelation By Schuler Himself! Witnessed by members of Schuler's own Order! And hundreds of lay people! In Schuler's own Church! The Schulerites aren't bad people, they too were deceived by wicked Chihiro! And Schueler left divine evidence you can see and touch, in a indestructible book like the ones the other Archangels left centuries ago! Praise God and the Archangel Schueler!! We must go forth and preach the New Word!!

So see, whether or not Safehold is ready, with the Testimony of Schuler, they have verifiable divine evidence that the Writ is WRONG (at least in parts).

Definitely going to be sparks flying in the next book.

Oh, I fully agree. I think the first thing that happened, once the Archbishop and the Rector of Schueler's cathedral recovered from apoplexy after the visitation, was to send the Testimony of Schueler under heavy guard to the Temple so the rest of the Vicarate could see it.

If the Testimony contains hard evidence supporting his claims that cannot be simply ignored or dismissed, the Vicarate is likely to resemble wyvverns minus heads when they read it. For a starter, it puts the entire Writ in question, because if Chihiro had the power to edit the master copies, what else might he have put in that the Archangels who supposedly wrote their books did not originally say?

That gets everyone set up for the notion that Shan Wei was not the source of evil, and destroyed by the real betrayer of God's plan because she refused to turn away from the great charge that brought her to Safehold. The notion that Shan Wei is the Mother of Lies and source of evil is apparently embedded throughout the Writ, but if the Writ itself is called into question...

RFC mentioned the Testimony of Schueler at a con. The initial reaction of the Church of Charis will be "We have no idea what to think! We don't know anything about this and haven't seen the Testimony! Ask us again when we actually know something!" That will slide over to "There may be something to this..."

If my assumption that it was an appearance by Schueler and not a sneaky IC trick is correct, the IC will be just as gobsmacked as everyone else.

I expect much consternation to ensue. :P
______
Dennis
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Re: ***Major Spoiler*** The ending scene of Through Fiery Tr
Post by dobriennm   » Tue Feb 26, 2019 12:30 pm

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DMcCunney wrote:
If my assumption that it was an appearance by Schueler and not a sneaky IC trick is correct, the IC will be just as gobsmacked as everyone else.


Here we will agree to disagree.

With the chapter just before the appearance of Schuler having Cayleb authorize Operation Androcles (Schuler's first name), followed immediately by the appearance in the next chapter, there is little doubt in my mind that this is "the second stage of the nefarious Nahrmahn Plan" (direct quote from TFT).

DMcCunney wrote:
I expect much consternation to ensue. :P
______
Dennis


Which ever one of us is right, much consternation will ensue.

As will much bloodshed, unfortunately as Desnair and South Harchong reject the revelations and start a new Holy War. Cynically on the part of the rulers as they will use their populace's religious fervor to motivate much shedding of their people's blood to maintain their position and power.
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Re: ***Major Spoiler*** The ending scene of Through Fiery Tr
Post by noblehunter   » Tue Feb 26, 2019 12:46 pm

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dobriennm wrote:With the chapter just before the appearance of Schuler having Cayleb authorize Operation Androcles (Schuler's first name), followed immediately by the appearance in the next chapter, there is little doubt in my mind that this is "the second stage of the nefarious Nahrmahn Plan" (direct quote from TFT).


And that's exactly what RFC wants you to believe.
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