How Firm A Foundation – Snippet 25

How Firm A Foundation – Snippet 25

          “Having said that, though, there’s no question that it’s going to be the next best thing to impossible to push the development of the Guard’s military support structure the way we originally planned. For one thing, field artillery’s going to be in direct competition with casting replacement naval artillery for any new construction. A lot of the artisans and craftsmen we’ll need to make rifled muskets and the new style bayonets are also going to be needed by the shipbuilding programs. As Rhobair says, we’ve planned all along on shifting emphasis once we got the shipbuilding program out of the way. In fact, I’d already started placing new orders and reassigning workers. Getting those workers back and shuffling the orders is going to be complicated.”

          “Should we just shelve land armaments in favor of replacing our naval losses?” Trynair asked.

          “I think that’s something we’re all going to have to think about,” Maigwair said. “My own feeling, bearing in mind that we don’t have those definite numbers I mentioned, is that we’ll have to cut back on the muskets and field artillery and shift a lot of emphasis back to the shipyards. I don’t think we’ll want to completely cancel the new programs, though. We need to at least make a start, and we need enough of the new weapons for the Guard to start training with them, learning their capabilities. Striking the balance between meeting that need and rebuilding the Navy is going to be tricky.”

          “That actually makes sense,” Clyntahn said, as if the notion that anything coming out of Maigwair’s mouth might do that astounded him. “On the other hand,” he continued, ignoring the flash of anger in the Captain General’s eyes, “at least it’s not as if Cayleb and Sharleyan are going to be landing any armies on the mainland. Even adding the Chisholmian Army to the Charisians’ Marines and assuming every outrageous report about their new weapons is accurate, they’ve got far too few troops to confront us on our own ground. Especially not when they’ve got to keep such hefty garrisons in Zebediah and Corisande.”

          “There’s something to that,” Maigwair conceded. “Doesn’t mean they won’t try hit-and-run raids, of course. They did that against Hektor in Corisande. And if they’re willing to start that kind of nonsense on the mainland, our problem’s going to be mobility, not manpower. They can simply move raiding parties around faster by ship than we can march them overland, and the sad truth is that it doesn’t really matter how good our weapons are if we can’t catch up with them in the first place. That’s one of the reasons I’m inclined to think we’re going to have to place more emphasis on ships than muskets for the immediate future. We need to have enough of a navy to at least force them to make major detachments from their own fleet to support any operations along our coasts.”

          “And how realistic is that?” Clyntahn’s question was marginally less caustic. “We’re going to have to rebuild — there’s no question of that, if we’re ever going to take the war to them the way God demands — but how likely are we to be able to build enough of a replacement fleet quickly enough to keep them from raiding our coasts whenever they want?”

          Maigwair’s unhappy expression was answer enough, but Duchairn shook his head.

          “I think Allayn may be worrying a bit too much about that, for the moment at least,” he said. The others looked at him, and he shrugged. “They can probably raid the coast of Desnair if they really want to, but unless they go after one of the major ports — which would take more troops than they’re likely to have — simple raids aren’t likely to hurt us very much. The same is true of Delferahk.” Now, at least, he added silently. After all, Ferayd was the only “major port” Delferahk had, and it’s gone now . . . thanks to you and your inquisitors, Zhaspahr. “Dohlar is a long way from Charis and well protected, especially with Thirsk’s fleet still intact to hold the Gulf of Dohlar. And even though I know you’re not going to want to hear this, Zhaspahr, no one’s going to be raiding Siddarmark or Silkiah as long as both of them are trading with Charis.”

          He paused, looking around their faces, then shrugged again.

          “I agree we need to rebuild, but I also think we’ve got some time in hand before we’re really going to need a fleet for anything except offensive operations. Just manning all the ships they’ve got now is going to be a huge drain on their manpower. As you say, Zhaspahr, they aren’t going to be able to build an army large enough for any serious invasion of the mainland, so if their raids can only inconvenience us without really hurting us, I don’t see any need to panic over the situation. Yes, it’s serious, and we’re going to have our work cut out for us to recover from it, but it’s a long way from hopeless.”

          “That’s sound reasoning,” Clyntahn said after a moment, bestowing a rare look of approval on the Treasurer.

          “Agreed.” Trynair looked happier as well, and he nodded firmly. “Panic isn’t going to help us, but clear thinking may.”

          “I agree, too,” Maigwair said. “Of course, one thing we’re going to have to do is figure out how this new weapon of theirs actually works. Until we know that and produce similar weapons of our own, meeting them at sea would be a recipe for disaster. And it’s probably going to have a lot of implications for battles on land, too, for that matter.” He looked at Clyntahn. “Do I have permission to begin work on that, Zhaspahr?”

          “The Inquisition has no objection to your at least putting people to work thinking about it,” the Grand Inquisitor replied, his eyes opaque. “I’ll want to be kept closely informed, of course, and I’ll be assigning one or two of my inquisitors to keep an eye on things. But as I said before, our own artisans have been able to accomplish many of the same things the heretics have done without violating the Proscriptions. I’m not prepared to say they’ve managed it entirely without violations, but we have, and I’m sure we’ll be able to continue to do so.”

          Oh, I’m sure we will, too, Duchairn thought even as he and the other two nodded in grave agreement. Your inquisitors are going to approve anything you tell them to, Zhaspahr, and you’ll tell them to approve whatever Allayn comes up with even if it smashes right through the Proscriptions. After all, who’s a mere Archangel like Jwo-jeng to place any limits on you when it comes to smiting your enemies? In God’s name, of course.

          He wondered once again where all this madness was going to end. And, once again, he told himself the one thing he knew with absolute certainty.

          Wherever it ended, it was going to get far, far worse before it got better.

 

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45 Responses to How Firm A Foundation – Snippet 25

  1. tootall says:

    From the last snip:-Duchairn’s most “insignificant expense, one that will be lost when his clerks round the accounts, less than a single drop of water in the Western Ocean”.
    What’s does he have hidden in there?

    I think that in this snip they set themselves up for another mistake. Merlin has a way of confounding his adversaries.

  2. Bewildered says:

    Interesting how Clyntahn’s being portrayed. He can’t violate the proscriptions whereas Charis must have broken them. His hypocrisy will cause more problems. Of course Merlin’s planned for that. Now if only publishers could speed up the release dates. I’m being snippeted to death! :)

  3. tootall says:

    “And now for something completely different”

    Anyone know when Rising Thunder snippets will start?

  4. willem Meijer says:

    ‘A lot of the artisans and craftsmen we’ll need to make rifled muskets and the new style bayonets are also going to be needed by the shipbuilding programs.’

    I do not understand this. Do you need shipwrights to make muskets? Do you need gunsmiths to do ship’s carpentry?

  5. Valinor says:

    You have to consider thet a ship must necesarily contain big quantities of hand-weapons, even the building of the ship itself requires nails and what-not that have to be made by those artisans, having no industry.

  6. Jeff Ehlers says:

    @4: Ships need guns (cannons), don’t they? And it takes a proportionately greater amount of time and effort to make a shipborne cannon than it does to make any handheld firearm. Plus, a galleon needs at least some worked metal in its construction, even though the vast majority of it is made of wood – that’s true even if you don’t sheathe the hulls.

  7. ET1swaw says:

    Unlike Charis, the mainland craftmen are still in an artisan vice assembly line phase, even for nail making, etc., which means production is severely limited (quantity not quality). They have a limited number of trained craftsmen who can only make one item at a time. Charis is early modern / early industrial/agricultural revolution (small scale production expanding readily into mass production); whereas most of Haven and Howard are late medieval / artisan/guild (good for quality prototypes but production even on small scale sucks the big one). One item/project = one artisan, whatever it might be.

    Has Charis gone caplock or is it still flintlock?

    Looks like CoGA has got the tech upgrades reverse engineered for the most part, spies or Temple Loyalists?

    IMO Duchairn has figured out that if he can keep Clyntahn from inciting the mainland against CoGA, Charis and her Church will remain confined to the Empire. Everything so far has been Charis defense/Go4 offense; even the addition of Corisande and Tarot to the Empire (Dohlar and Delfarahk?sp? were posting notice).

  8. hank says:

    @7 Re: COGA getting tech upgrades: So far we haven’t heard of the Church forces doing anything new militarily they couldn’t have learned of without any need of spies. Assuming they learned everything Corisande did before Hector’s death, at least. They may even be on the road to figuring out copper bottoms & corned powder, assuming one of the ships Thirsk captured was intact enough to get it back to port.
    And the civilian tech, things like powered looms, they ought to have records of from before the assault on Charis in OAR. After all, they were filed with, and approved by, the local Intendent so one assumes he would have sent in the plans with his report(s). Even several of the later (post Darcos Sound) inovations would be easily available. Just go to the new Patent Office in Tellesberg and request them. That would take a spy, but not a particularly clever one. Speaking of which, wonder if the Go4 has heard about the Patent Office scheme yet? Clyntahn will froth!
    Putting all that in use now, ah, there’s the rub!

  9. robert says:

    @3 tootall
    Mission of Honor had 61 Snippets, so that is 20 weeks’ worth of one of the more subtle forms of torture (only waiting for the book to be shipped is worse). Counting 20 weeks back from March 5, 2012 generates a date somewhere in early-to-mid October. But we are only going to get about 18 or 19 more Snippets for this book making a total of 43 or 44, not counting the two out-of-sequence ones DW slipped in a couple of weeks ago, so my estimate based on past performance means nothing!
    What is funny is reading the tea-leaf generated posts on the Bar based on the one Rising Thunder Sippet DW released. Thank you all for good natured fun I get reading the posts here.

  10. Doug Lampert says:

    @7, Even artisan type craftsmen frequently were VERY specialized as a practical matter. Adam Smith uses small craft shops which did nothing BUT make nails as an example of existing specialization (admittedly Smith’s England was at more or less Charis levels of tech, but he doesn’t discuss nail making as a recent innovation or improvement, rather as a long well known example of specialization and of how much it increases production by).

    But an “all out effort” to build ships will have converted many of those nail-makers to manufacturing bolts and the like for the ships. Which reduces their efficiency. Similarly gun carriges and the like require metal parts, you don’t HAVE specialized craftsmen for these parts, and nail makers are about as close as you have (both as to training and equipment). There’s lots of fiddly little metal bits on a fully equipped warship, and presumably many of the mainland nail-makers were converted to making them and were later being converted to making musket parts and field carriage parts (including going back to making nails).

    Thus I agree that it’s perfectly plausible that the land and sea armaments programs are in direct competition; there’s only so much labor to go arround and both are major efforts. The Go4 keeps TALKING like the main problem is cash, it isn’t, their main problem is that there’s simply only so much surplus to survival needs stuff available to buy in the first place.

  11. Drak Bibliophile says:

    Good guess Robert, there will be 45 snippets.

  12. PeterZ says:

    Alright everyone, how many of you picked up on the curve ball in this snippet?

    I read that the G4 are certain that Charis cannot launch a raid on a major port. Clyntahn began by brushing aside all the innovations as insufficient force multipliers. Rohbair agrees and stipulates an inability to attack major ports. Now read the penultimate sentence in the snipped paragraph.

    Snip Amazon Blurb
    For five years, Charis has survived all the Church of God Awaiting and the corrupt men who control it have thrown at the island empire. The price has been high and paid in blood. Despite its chain of hard-fought naval victories, Charis is still on the defensive. It can hold its own at sea, but if it is to survive, it must defeat the Church upon its own ground. Yet how does it invade the mainland and take the war to a foe whose population outnumbers its own fifteen to one? How does it prevent that massive opponent from rebuilding its fleets and attacking yet again?
    End Snip

    The question is which port city we will see attacked by Charis. Anyone disagree?

  13. JeffM says:

    Simple enough. The is the Go4’s current miscalculation–and Charis puts rifles into the hands of Siddarmakian pikemen. With all of the shipping already going there, who’s going to notice a few oblong crates?

  14. jgarland says:

    Why do you say city (singular)? Consider the events of the Aubrey-Maturin “100 Days” in which Maturin ensures the burning of a whole slew of ships being built for Napolean. How? By suborning the workers at shipbuilding yards up and down the coast to burn the ships they are building with some judicious gold deliveries.

  15. PeterZ says:

    @13 The problem is that Siddermark has it too good right now. They have very little incentive to actually initiate hostilities with either party. Their farmers and merchants are selling Charisian goods to the CoGA and their allies.

    Sending rifles to Siddermark now is a good way to have them end up in CoGA hands. That would mean more rifles in CoGA hands than there would otherwise have been. If the political sitation changes, then the rifles may begin arriving in Siddermark. BTW, the only advantage Siddermark gets is that Charis can make the guns far more cheaply/efficiently than Siddermark ever could on their own. I suspect that Siddermark has the idea for rifled muskets already.

  16. @15

    Arming Siddermark before it becomes a belligerent might be extremely amusing, but not necessarily for Charis.

    I believe the giveaway in the line is that Chisholm *does* have a real army. The manpower that counts is mobilizable manpower, and given the agricultural implement improvements the empire may well have more army than any one of its princely opponents (Siddermark being neutral) can field. Yes, Harching has vast numbers of peasants, but how many can it mobilize without collapsing things. Yes, Siddermark has a huge, highly trained, totally obsolete pike army.

  17. PeterZ says:

    @16 Yeah, Goerge, it does look like Superman will lead the Imperal Expeditiary Force. I would love to see a Desnairian General reactions upon first meeting them in the field.

    “Bloody wog heretical fools! They go all the way and sail in infantry to meet our cavalry? They don’t even have the sense to hide inside the city. No! the idiots think they can meet a real cvalry force in an open field engagement? Idiot sailors.”

    -a little bit later- (said in a vile French accent belonging to the narrator of Sponge Bob Squarepants)

    Superman says “…so those are the terms my Emporer would grant your forces. Do you accept?”

    The Stunned General “But you have only infantry and our cavalry outnumbered them 5 to 1.” he says watching that unatural Shan Wei bedamned infantry herding his defeated army about as if they were the equal to the Desnairian Aristocrats.

    Superman “Yes, well, I blieve we have been over this but let’s try again. You see horses and their riders are B-I-G T-A-R-G-E-T-S…”

  18. robert says:

    @11 Drak
    I assume you mean 45 for this book not ART, right? Also I refuse credit for a good guess. It is simple arithmetic based on a September 13 or so release date.

    I do not think the number of snippets is based on the page count in any way, but Mission of Honor was about 600 pages (as is this book) and Rising Thunder is under 450 pages (a veritable pamphlet for DW).

  19. tootall says:

    #9 Robert, I have to say that was impressive, and helpful. Thanks

  20. Doug Lampert says:

    @16, Harching looks like an Imperial China analogue to me. IIRC Sun Tzu, working from a substantially lower tech base than anyone in this world should have (they all have the tech given in the CoGA’s bible) estimated that a typical village should be able to put one man in the field per 8 households.

    So a relatively primitive China analogue can arm and field up to about 2% to 2.5% of its total population. The USA in WWII managed to mobilize about 11%. Or roughly 4-5 times as many. Charis is outnumbered 15:1 or so in population, even if their mobilization is more effective by the same ratio as WWII USA vs. Clasical China they’ll STILL be outnumbered by the mainland states combined by roughly 3 to 1 in a slugging match.

    Now, things like the opium wars and Peiking expedition show that even with COMPARABLE tech and weapons a modern army and navy could beat the crap out of a larger Chinesse force, the social and organizational flaws of period China/fictional Harching are just that crippling. But the CoGA can still put very much larger armies in the field.

    The Siddermark army appears to opperate without the crippling social flaws. I’d expect they either have or are working on Jager/rifle units which can opperate from the cover of those pikes, and given trained and disciplined men you can retrain for new weapons fast enough. Charis REALLY doesn’t want to end up fighting Siddermark.

  21. ET1swaw says:

    @7: Correction: (limited in quantity not quality).

  22. Drak Bibliophile says:

    Correct Doug, once I heard of the Siddermark pikemen, I thought that they’d make great Riflemen/Musketmen.

    The amount of disciple needed for a pike force is very similar to the disciple needed for early Riflemen/Musketmen.

  23. JeffM says:

    As I’ve mentioned before, I suspect that Siddarmark was home to another of Shan-wei’s missing enclaves–which served to give the “Republic” a semi-democratic form, rather than a pure monarchy. So they would just be waiting for the right excuse–er, TIMING, to join Charis.

  24. SCC says:

    Did anyone else note the COMPLETE absence of ANY mention of Harchong in regards to Charis in ability to raid? As for a port city for Charis to raid? Desnar the city is, I believe, naked as a jay bird, and it’s on the coast, the Harchong capital has not been placed on a map yet, and the Temple itself is on the coast

  25. Nimitz13 says:

    @12 Which ports will Charis attack?

    Please note I measured the distances with a ruler using the world map on http://www.davidweber.net/downloads/9-safehold-map.html so sailing distances are guaranteed to be different (either longer or shorter) than my estimates.

    With a major Charisian fleet based in Thol Bay in Tarot (5000 miles from Tellesburg), Desnarian ports that harbor or build warships are the first obvious targets. Destiny was “keeping watch over the Imperial Desnairian Navy’s exit from the Gulf of Jahras.” So there’s a major fleet there, and using the maps from AMF the possible targets (depending in which cities on the Gulf of Jahras the shipyards are located) are Kainman Keep, Iythria, Mahrosa (most protected) and Khreas. These are 3000-3500 miles from Tarot according to Snippet 5. I expect Charis’ first move will be to engage that fleet, then destroy one or more of those ports.

    An unlikely option here is to land an army and move through Silkiah to attack Gorath and take Dohlar out of the war. It’s a several hundred miles trek and armies don’t move fast, so King Raynald would escape. The fleet in the harbor couldn’t stop the destruction of the shipyards though. A major land battle would result, but since I consider this option a long shot, it’s unlikely THE land battle of the book will occur here.

    South of the Gulf of Jahras are the port cities of Geyra and Desnar. They’ll be next. These cities are 3000 – 4000 miles from Tarot. A base near Armageddon Reef would come in handy oddly enough! ;)

    I expect Geyra is the easier target, and attacking Desnar would make a TREMENDOUS political point if its protective fleet and infrastructure were destroyed.

    This is where I expect a major land battle to occur, since Desnar would move troops to defend its capital after Charis destroys the ports to the north. For the first time the mainland meets the Charisian army, with shocking results for the armies of the CoGA. A possible added bonus would be the capture of the Desnarian Royal Family and some high-ranking nobles, which would eliminate Desnar’s support of the war.

    Naval attacks on Harchong and and especially Dohlar pose much more difficult logistical problems due to the sheer distances involved. I can’t find a detailed map that shows Harchong ports, but the world map shows the coast of West Haven is about 7000 miles from Corisande, or 9000 from Port Royal in Chisolm. This is feasible, so attacks on northern Harchong ports are quite possible.

    South Harchong is 9500 miles from Corisande, or 11,500 miles from Chisolm with no friendly bases beyond Corisande. From the western border of Delfarahk it’s 10,000 – 12,000 miles sailing up the SW coast of South Harchong from Tarot, so at some point that may be the longer route, although it probably faces less violent seas. (Those numbers may be high) We may see attacks in South Harchong as well, although it’s less likely than (north) Harchong.

    Dohlar has a fleet in Gorath Bay, which is close to 15,000 miles from Corisande and 17,000 miles from Chisolm sailing west to east. It’s 15,000 miles from Emerald sailing west. (or possibly Tarot – quoting Merlin from AOR) Measuring using the map comes up with as much as 20,000 miles from Tarot so your mileage may vary. Attacking it may require destroying Harchong ports & fleets first.

    Thirsk is in command there, so between him and the harbor batteries of Gorath the butcher’s bill would be nasty.

    I expect most of the captured galleons from AMF have been sent to Charis for manning/refitting, no schedule yet on when they’re available but they will be used.

    The NASTIEST and least likely option is an attack on Zion to capture/eliminate the GoF. This is HIGHLY unlikely, as the last thing Merlin wants is a cleansed CoGA with its moral authority restored. It would require the destruction/capture of the semaphore system or Zion would receive quick warning for the GoF to flee. The absence of semaphore signals would send the same signal. It would also be a public relations nightmare, as the CoGA would scream “The heretics attacked the Temple!” Bad idea.

    Although (& big grin) the Charisians HAVE broken the semaphore code, so hiding troops in galleons using other country’s flags & capturing a semaphore station or two MIGHT allow a surprise attack on Zion. So depending on the distance from the southern shore of Temple Bay to Zion, it might be feasible. Still a lousy idea!

    So in this book I’d bet we’ll see naval attacks on the ports of the Desnarian Empire and possibly Harchong, but Dohlar is a long shot. Troops will be used to attack the city of Desnar (Any big battle will happen in/near there), possibly to occupy islands and cities around the Bay of Jahras, and maybe to burn the shipyards at Gorath in Dohlar.

    Other guesses?

  26. @20 2-2.5% sound well too high, but I think your ‘household” may be too small. It’s extended family, and likely 5 children not 3.

    Also, 15:1 sounds too large. The continents have 85-90% of the population, not 95%, and Charis only needs to fight one country at a time.

    @24 No one would dare attack Harchong.

  27. Doug Lampert says:

    @25, for a stable population the number of minor children AT ANY ONE TIME is less than 5. It’s five children born per household, 2-3 die within the first year so at any time the household has about 5 people on average (some newly established ones have only 2, some have a dozen); but household average population for a stable mideval tech population is about 5.

    Similarly, the continental populations aren’t 95% of the world, but SO WHAT? Charis doesn’t even have the entire island population available as recruites (lots of people on various islands hate their guts). 15:1 is the number that’s been given for how badly outnumbered they are and it’s a plausible number given that they don’t have ANY of the continental population and only really have three of the island realms available at present.

    I agree that the gang of four may be assuming that Harchong is immune to attack without any good justification. If Imperial China is the model then the fact is that Imperial Chinesse armies REGULARLY lost to European infantry despite huge numerical advantages. 16th-19th century China was a marvel of bad government and poor military organization managing to somehow overcoming their inherent advantages of a huge productive population and decent tech.

  28. Drak Bibliophile says:

    Doug, minor nit, Safehold medical care is much better than “Medieval Europe” so more infants will survive.

    As for Harchong armies, we have some text evidence that its neighbors don’t view it as a “paper tiger”.

    Harchong’s “navy” is another matter.

  29. MTO says:

    I’m looking forward to long-range shelling. previous books have already hinted at it. in fact, hinted is the wrong word. The royal college had the math for it, and were working to make it applicable in the field… combine explosive shells, firing caps, which give faster loading times, and accurate over the horizon shelling, and Charis can level targets that never saw charis coming.

  30. “…15:1 is the number that’s been given for how badly outnumbered they are …”

    I think text discussion is needed here. The people who do not like them can still be growing crops and making money, freeing up other Charisians for military tasks.

  31. @25 The sailing distances you are describing are huge. As I have previously suggested, Charis would better first reduce the Lands of the Raven Lords, Trellheim (close ehnough to attack Harchong), and other such places to obtain advance bases. Also, their fleet has been sailing all over the place, and at a guess a pause for refit, rebottom, etc. is likely needed.

    Omitted in the discussion of iron for ships is the non-armored iron or steel ship.

    Front end uses might include the steel keel (eliminates hogging), steel masts and wire-rope stays, and the peculiarly shaped parts that attach a deck beam to a ship’s rib. The British Navy actually did experiment with cast iron for the last of these.

  32. robert says:

    @25 Your efforts are impressive! As George said, the sailing distances are huge – some of them are nearly the equivalent of circumnavigating the Earth. I do not recall what the circumference of Safehold is, but do the distances get shorter if we sail eastward instead of westward from any Empire port to Harchong?

    Just as it would be unlikely that Charis will invade Harchong, I think it is just as unlikely for Harchong to attempt an invasion of the Charisian Empire. At this point Harchong is a write-off, militarily.

    My only fear for this series is that it will not end, but that DW will succumb to the TOR thirst for endless series.

  33. Bret Hooper says:

    I’m actually beginning to like the snippets, because of the discussion that follows, which of course isn’t printed in the book. When are we going to have snippets from EF’s next book(s) and/or from Virginia DeMarce’s next and/or David Carrico’s next and/or Andrew Dennis’s next and/or A Beautiful Friendship and/or A Rising Thunder?

  34. Drak Bibliophile says:

    Bret, _A Beautiful Friendship_ will snippeted next. However, it is a shorter book than normal for David Weber so the snippets will be fewer. Also, while there will be new material snippeted, the snippets will end before the ending of the short story “A Beautiful Friendship”.

    I have no word on other books to be snippeted.

  35. jgarland says:

    Drak…

    I’ve read the eARC of aBF. I would say that there is plenty of material in the beginning to provide discussable snippets that was not in the short story.

  36. Drak Bibliophile says:

    Jgarland, no argument about that. I was referring to the amount to be snippeted.

  37. Nimitz13 says:

    The eARC of “A Beautiful Friendship” is available on Baen’s website at http://www.webscription.net/p-1473-a-beautiful-friendship-arc.aspx if you don’t feel like waiting.

    @32 I measured the circumference of Safehold from the map (1900 miles = 712 pixels) at 25,498 miles. In OAR the planet is described as “slightly smaller” than Earth whose circumference is 24,901 miles, so the map is slightly off. Measuring distances north and south of the equator ignores the map being a globe, (after all the map is exactly twice as wide as it is high) so I expect those distances measure shorter than they really are using a ruler with the distortion increasing towards the poles. BTW the north pole is entirely over land so the northern ice cap must be HUGE! (Like Antarctica, maybe bigger.) I’m surprised that Hsing-wu’s Passage EVER melts, especially in Spring! It appears to be 60 – 70 degrees North on a cooler planet than earth. Compare to NW Passage above Canada, almost ALWAYS frozen! (Centuries at a time.)

    In BHD the Privateer Brig Loyal Son (evidently smaller than a schooner) is north of Tarot hunting a church treasure boat while the captain muses:

    “The waters south of the Markovian had been thoroughly fished out by other privateers. The Gulf of Tarot, the Tarot Channel, the Tranjyr Passage, and the Sea of Justice had been thoroughly swept, and if there were still twenty merchantmen in the world flying the Tarotisian flag, Fytzhyw would have been astonished. The waters off Delferahk, still farther south, had been even more thoroughly hunted out over the past several months as Charisian ships swarmed over the Delferahkan coast and went through the Kingdom’s coastal waters like feeding doomwhales in the wake of the Ferayd Massacre, and the Empire of Charis wasn’t at war (yet) with the Desnarian Empire. Effectively, that left only the Harthian Sea and the Gulf of Harchong, far to the west, and that was really too far for a ves­sel the size of Loyal Son.”

    Note that even though by my calculations it’s closer to get to the Gulf of Harchong going east from Chisolm, Charisian privateers apparently got there by sailing west around Howard, possibly to avoid the weather in the Great Western Ocean. (Before EoC) Now that they can base out of Corisande, sailing east to the Sea of Harchong and the Gulf of Dohlar should be a much shorter trip. Note that the galleon carrying Coris, Irys, and Daivyn sailed east from Corisande to Delfarakh, so apparently that’s a normal shipping channel.

    In BSRA, the schooner Blade is just off Lizard Island in Hankey Sound (Just SE from Gorath Bay in Dohlar) and it says: “He and his schooner were seven thousand miles from Charis as the wyvern flew, and better than three times that far as they’d actually sailed. That was a long, long way, but Raynair didn’t care. It had taken almost three months to make the trip, even for a fast ship like Blade” That’s a 21,000 voyage for 4 schooners, and they’d taken several ships as prizes already, and they were selling them in South Harchong.

    Raynair muses that “Dohlar and Corisande were damned nearly on opposite sides of the world from one another.” As the wyvern flies I measured the distance at around 12,000 miles. The sailing distance would be more like 15,000 miles. The sailing distance from Tellesburg to Manchyr (Corisande) is about 8,000 miles, so that’s 23,000 sailing miles to Dohlar going east, 21,000 miles (BSRA) going west with better weather.

    So yes, now that the EoC has Corisande in the fold, attacking Harchong is 7000 – 9500 miles, which is less than the expedition to level Delfarahk. (10,000 miles)

    A forward base on the east coast of Trellheim or the north coast of the Barren Lands would help, but we have no info on how liveable those areas are other than references to “Trellheim pirates.” here and there, though neither Thirsk or Clyntahn think much of them.

  38. Nimitz13 says:

    Regarding an attack on the temple, Sharylen mused during her trip to Nimue’s cave “Vicar Zhaspahr, the day is coming when a lot of Charisians are going to be heading for Zion, whether the Inquisition wants to see us there or not.”

    I still can’t see how that wouldn’t be a political disaster, especially if the GoF got wind of the invasion and escaped. Merlin of course doesn’t WANT the CoGA cleansed and strengthened, which Sharylen understands, so it might just be wishful thinking or a lack of long-term planning on her part. She’s seeing things from the perspective of the EoC rather than the future of Safehold. Still, it would give us a battle on the mainland and a way to save Daivyn if he’s been moved to Zion. ROTTEN public relations though.

  39. Nimitz13 says:

    Discrediting the CoGA & the Writ:

    We know at least one of the CoGA’s policies has changed since the creation, yet it claims that policy had always been in effect. In 471 local control of nominating Vicars was taken away but the CoGA insists that was ALWAYS church policy so the CoGA is LYING! If the plot goes in that direction, more examples will be provided.

    So there’s evidence that the CoGA as constituted isn’t what even Langhorne envisioned. Not enough to destroy it, but first it must be DISCREDITED.

    At the moment there is NO ONE within the reach of the inquisition who dares dispute the CoGA’s party line. Losing the circle, although it pretty much guaranteed a cleansing of the Temple won’t occur, has put a crimp in discrediting the CoGA. But Merlin hasn’t been planning to use the church to discredit the Writ at all… ;)

    TA-DA! Newton’s laws, algebra, calculus, and ESPECIALLY orbital mechanics are about to come out, which will destroy the “Safehold” centric view of the universe. Heretical yes, but indisputable to those who learn the math, and that will spread. And if Langhorne lied about gravity and how the solar system works, what ELSE did he lie about? And if the Writ is filled with lies…

    Tum tee tum tee tum…

  40. Alistair Gunn says:

    A question that occurs to me about the Siddermark Pikemen. We do know that that they’re regarded as being very well-trained and effective at their role, but other than their name do we actually have any text evidence that they use Pikes?

    After all, The Honourable Artillery Company in the British Army has a surveillance and target acquisition role.

  41. JeffM says:

    @40 Alistair Gunn–and did they in the 18th century?

  42. Drak Bibliophile says:

    Actually Alistair, pikemen were sometimes supported by musketeers (see Tercio).

    So while the Siddermark Pikemen may have gotten their reputation prior to the development of muskets on Safehold, they may still use pikes along with musketeers.

  43. Brog says:

    Just hope that Siddermark is upgrading to rifle muskets, from the snippet above first paragraph, it seems like the Church have already obtain knowledge of the Charisian rifles and are upgrading their weaponry. Might get real ugly if a conflict between the two ever breaks out and it comes down to Church riflemen vs Siddermark pikemen.

  44. Bret Hooper says:

    @42 Drak: It has been a bit annoying to read comment after comment in which Siddarmark was spelled with an e, but with you joining the crowd, I begin to wonder if there has been an official change of spelling.

  45. Drak Bibliophile says:

    Bret, considering that I’m not the world’s best speller, I was assuming that others in this thread were spelling the Republic’s name correctly.

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