Midst Toil And Tribulation – Snippet 09

Midst Toil And Tribulation – Snippet 09

.VI.

The Siddar River,

Shiloh Province,

Republic of Siddarmark

“Will you please go back inside, Your Eminence?”

Archbishop Zhasyn Cahnyr looked over his shoulder at the much younger man who stood in the inn courtyard, hands on hips, glaring at him. The younger man’s breath flowed out in a cloud of steam as he sighed in exasperation at his superior’s deliberately blank expression. The icy wind whipping across the flat, gray ice of the Siddar River snatched the cloud into fragments almost instantly, something else of which Cahnyr deliberately took no notice.

“I simply wanted a breath of fresh air, Gharth,” he said mildly.

“‘Fresh air,’ is it?” Father Gharth Gorjah, Cahnyr’s personal Secretary and aide, took his hands from his hips so that he could throw them up in the air properly. “If this air were any fresher, it’d turn you into an icicle the instant you inhaled, Your Eminence! And don’t think I’m the one who’s going to go home and discuss your foolishness with Madam Pahrsahn when it happens, either. She told me to take care of you, and standing around out here until you catch your death of cold isn’t exactly what she had in mind!”

Cahnyr smiled faintly, wondering exactly when the last vestiges of control over his own household had slipped from his fingers. It was kind of all of them to pretend (to others, at least) they still deferred to him over such minor matters as whether or not he had the wit to come in out of the rain — or the cold — but they weren’t really fooling anyone.

“I’m not going to ‘catch my death of cold,’ Gharth,” he said patiently. “And even if I were, Madam Pahrsahn’s a fair-minded woman. She could hardly hold my stubbornness against you. Especially with so many witnesses prepared to testify you nagged me absolutely unremittingly to behave better.”

“I do not ‘nag,’ Your Eminence.” Father Gharth crunched through the crusty snow of the inn yard towards him, trying not to grin. “I simply reason with you. Sometimes forcefully, I’ll admit, but always with the utmost respect. Now, would you please get your venerable, highly respected, consecrated and ordained arse inside where it’s warm?”

“Can I at least walk as far as the stable first?” Cahnyr cocked his head. “I want to see how they’re coming on the repair of that runner.”

“I just talked to them myself, Your Eminence. They say it should be done by suppertime. Which means we’ll be able to get back on the trail after breakfast tomorrow. I have to admit it doesn’t break my heart to think we’re going to be able to sit you down by a fire this afternoon, keep you under a roof tonight, and wrap you around a hot meal in the morning before we set back out.” He stepped up onto the veranda with the archbishop and folded his arms. “And now that you’ve had that reassurance, please — I’m serious — go back inside where it’s warm, Your Eminence. Sahmantha isn’t happy about the way you were coughing yesterday, and you know you promised to listen to her before Madam Pahrsahn, the Lord Protector, and Archbishop Dahnyld gave you permission to come along.”

Cahnyr cocked his head quizzically at that particularly underhanded blow. Sahmantha Gorjah had left her infant son Zhasyn in Siddar City to accompany her husband — and Cahnyr — back to Glacierheart. True, Zhasyn was in the personal care of Aivah Pahrsahn, one of the wealthiest women on all of Safehold, who could be trusted to guard him like a catamount with a single cub, but she’d still left him behind. And she’d done that because she and her husband regarded themselves as the children Cahnyr had never had. They’d flatly refused to let him make the journey without them . . . and especially without Sahmantha’s training as a healer. She’d never taken vows as a Pasqualate sister, but she’d been intensively trained by the order, and she had every intention of using that training to keep the undeniably frail archbishop she loved alive.

Of course, under the circumstances, she was only too likely to find other uses for those skills. Ugly ones he would not for the world have exposed her to, and his expression darkened at the thought. Not that it had been his idea, or even Gharth’s in this case. No, it had been Sahmantha’s, and there’d been no dissuading her. She’d always been stubborn as the day was long, even when her sainted mother had been plain old Father Zhasyn’s housekeeper. He’d never been able to make her do anything she didn’t choose to do, and this time she’d had help. Lots of help, given the way the Lord Protector and Aivah Pahrsahn — and that young whippersnapper Fardhyn! — had made the inclusion of a personal healer a nonnegotiable condition of their agreement to allow him to make the trip.

If the truth be known, he was considerably senior to Archbishop Dahnyld Fardhym, the newly created Archbishop of Siddarmark. The previous archbishop — the only legitimate archbishop, as far as the official hierarchy of the Church of God Awaiting was concerned — was Praidwyn Laicharn, but Laicharn had enjoyed the misfortune of being trapped inside Siddar City when Clyntahn’s “Sword of Schueler” failed to take the capital. He was a polished, distinguished-looking, silver-haired man, every inch the perfect archbishop, but he was an absolutely fanatic Temple Loyalist — less, in Cahnyr’s opinion, because of the strength of his belief than because of his terror of Zhaspahr Clyntahn. Had refused to have anything to do with Stohnar’s “apostate and traitorous government” following his capture, and he’d denounced any member of the clergy who did as a faithless, treacherous servant of Shan-wei.

Cahnyr had known Laicharn for over twenty years. That was one reason he was convinced it was terror, not personal faith, which made the other archbishop such an ardent Temple Loyalist. And another reason for that ardency was that Laicharn understood perfectly that unlike Zhaspahr Clyntahn, Stohnar and the Reformists were unlikely to torture their opponents or burn them alive over doctrinal disagreements, which made it much safer to defy them.

Nor was Laicharn’s attitude unique. The entire Siddarmarkian ecclesiastic hierarchy was in what could only be called acute disorder. Personally, Cahnyr thought “utter chaos” probably hit closer to the mark.

At least a third — and quite possibly closer to half — of the Church’s clerics had fled to the Temple Loyalists. Losses were substantially higher among the more senior clergy, with a far higher percentage of younger priests, upper-priests, and very junior bishops openly embracing the Reformist position. That left all too many holes in very senior positions, which accounted for much of the disarray. Stohnar, Fardhym, and other prelates and senior priests in the provinces which had remained loyal to the Republic were laboring ferociously to restore at least some order; unfortunately, they had quite a few other pressing concerns at the same time. Even more unfortunately, there was a great deal of uncertainty as to just how far toward Reformism the Siddarmarkian church as a whole was prepared to go. There’d been a lot of Reformist sentiment in the Republic even before the Sword of Schueler, and the excesses of the Temple Loyalists who’d planned and executed Clyntahn’s attack had hardened attitudes and strengthened that Reformist sentiment quite remarkably. Atrocities did tend to have a . . . clarifying effect when it came to choosing sides. Yet even some of the most enthusiastic Reformists hesitated to actively embrace the schismatic Church of Charis. That was going a step too far for many, even now, and they were trying desperately to find some halfway house between the Temple and Tellesberg Cathedral.

 

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33 Responses to Midst Toil And Tribulation – Snippet 09

  1. jarhead70 says:

    This is just B.S.

  2. Doubting Thomas says:

    @1 No this is bacground for the rest of the book. You should be used to it by now if you have read other books by Mr. Weber. He keeps throwing info dumps and backgroud throughout all of his books. Some people like this sort of stuff.

  3. Malcolm says:

    Why on earth is an elderly Archbishop Cahnyr going into Glacierheart in the midst of winter with what seems like little security from the roving bandits mentioned in Snippet 1 and clearly endangering his health.?? And how do we translate Praidyn Laicharn into English?? Got me stumped!

  4. ET1swaw says:

    The highest-ranked still-living member of ‘the Circle’, the covert support to AB Dynnys?sp? in his trials (and a beacon he followed as he went to his death), and possibly the highest-ranking (originally) churchman still in Siddarmark that did not scuttle to the Temple Loyalist cause; and he is not promoted to AB of Siddarmark for the Reformists but instead retains his Bishopric in Glacierheart (and wheeled and dealed to return to it).

    And as said/contemplated before: the Mainland/Siddarmark Reformist movements ARE NOT fully in line with those of the Church of Charis. Even more so than the Corisandian Reformists (who are more a flavor-of rather than a offshoot-of the CoC), the Mainland/Siddarmak Reformists are entirely separate schisms from the CoGA. Their differences seem even greater than those of Lutherans, Calvinists, and Anabaptists in the 17th century on Earth. Corisandian Reformist doctrine vs mainline CoC doctrine seems more like Anglican vs Huguenot, Remonstrant vs Counter-Remonstrant, or Flavian vs Phillipist Lutheranism.

    And this snippet does give us a bit of the Temple Loyalist vs Reformist preisthood numbers fallout.

    Unlike Chisholm, Emerald, Zebediah, and Corisande (with Tarot a good bet as well); Siddarmark will NOT be joining with the CoC as an Archbishopric among many IMO!!

    And per earlier snippets Glacierheart is home to atrocity committed by all sides in the current conflict. His return to this troubled region (where he was greatly beloved) might actually be able to make a difference in the bodycount (hopefully anyway) and the aftermath’s fallout.

    AFAIK he is as close to the stature (within his boundaries) of the CoC’s prelate as any mainlander (non-brotherhood-of-Zherohm?sp?-trained) could be; and this snippet has him not taking up the burden of leading Siddarmark’s Reformist Church in schism, but ministering to his previous flock instead.

    /Rob

  5. tootall says:

    1) Fairy tales deal with the use of power. Those who don’t have it get it. Generally the protagonists do not what is “good or evil”, but what is necessary. The original tales are pretty bloody.
    For me, MMW is writing about the exercise of power by his characters and how that works -or doesn’t- for them. Cayleb, Merlin, Sharleyan, Clythan, Duchairn, Zhasyn Cahnyr, Angelique, Norman Bates, and even young Hector-who shoots the priest in cold blood, does not have the PO do it. That’s interesting. Irys seems to me to be “interesting” enough to hold her own with all these power wielders, (Daivyn doesn’t). So my hope is that Irys gets something to do-my guess was Prince-partly because I could think of nothing else. MWW surely has a better imagination.
    2) So — on occassion our friendly Dragon-the Most Mighty Drak posted that in his opinion, “Daivyn will not become a midshipman”- Is that really opinion? or perhaps it won’t happen in the “immediate future”, but may later, but in your opinion -no? And I’ve no idea how you answer that. My take is not to argue, ’cause you probably know better. And write better.
    3) Talk about foreshadowing-wasn’t Cahnyr the guy in book one that was Erayk Dynnys only visitor in prison. Here he is on the main stage. A very powerful person -wondering about the loss of control over his own household.

  6. Robert H. Woodman says:

    If Cahner is headed back to Glacierheart, I wonder whether MWW has a tragic martyrdom in store for him. The war in Siddermark is civil war fueled almost entirely by religious differences. Historically, martyrs abound in those types of wars. It would fit the story that Cahner goes to Glacierheart to comfort his flock only to become a martyr at the hand of Clyntahn and/or his fanatics.

  7. ET1swaw says:

    @6 Robert H. Woodman: I very sincerely hope against martyrdom for AB Cahnyr!! As MWW has already used martyrdom of a beloved Reformist priest (in Corisande), I almost pray he does not repeat that go-to move.

    And the CoC has had a myriad of sufficient martyrdoms already IMO starting with AB Dynnyss?sp?, the merchant families in Ferayk (and later the few surviving captives thereof), and the members (and their families) of ‘the Circle’ in Zion (NTM the captive POW crewmen taken from Dohlar’s Navy’s custody and having Schuler’s hell visited upon them)!!!

    And from the snippet above: many of the Temple Loyalist priesthood went scuttling to the Inquisition’s cause not out of loyalty to the CoGA cause; nor for humanitarian or religious reasons; but simply out of fear and cowardice. IMO even the martyrdom of a beloved figure like ?(Jason Conner)? (apologies but I got tired of MWW’s weird spelling a little) will not change any of their stances and may actually cause some fence-sitters to err on the side of base cowardice.

    In Corisande the outrage felt by the populace at the martyrdom had a safe outlet as the Charisian occupation and even the Regency was in support of the Reformers (and fanatical Temple Loyalist were not in the majority). OTOH in Siddarmark they are in the middle of a guerilla/unconventional/terroristic-style civil war with the addition of multiple foriegn invasion enacting jihad; being declared a Reformist/Heritic in the wrong setting is a death sentence (or worse)!!!

    /Rob

  8. ET1swaw says:

    Addition to @7:
    And forget speculation what Merlin and the EoC might do if Clyntahn or his many minions got to the baby EoC heiress (Alahnah?).

    Think instead what the long-opposed-to-Clyntahn’s-Inquisition-and-CoGA Angelique?sp? might do if anthing happened to the parents of the baby she is currently taking care of with the diligence of an overprotective doting grandmother (and they are currently a major part of (Jason Conner’s) entourage headed into a terrorism-laden civil war zone)!

    /Rob

  9. Robert H. Woodman says:

    @7/@8 – Rob

    In the religious wars of our planet’s history, fear and intimidation kept many people in corrupt religious organizations. And those who stayed in out of fear and intimidation not infrequently killed those who left that same organization. This continues today in many parts of the world. The religious war in Siddarmark mirrors that sad reality.

  10. WP says:

    The “senior clergy” have the most invested in the church as it is. The senior clergy are the most corrupt and we’ve seen what happens when an honest man is promoted to a position of responsibility in the CoGA.

  11. PeterZ says:

    @6 RHW, Jason Connor’s side had a bit help from the “future”. He is now going to do battle in the belly of the beast to save humanity. I don’t believe DW has martyrdom in store for him. No, DW chose the name Jason Connor for a reason. I wouldn’t be sruprised if he had some help from the Safehold version of a reprogrammed “Terminator”.

    Glacierheart is likely going to be the morale rally point and moral standard in this war somehow.

  12. Nimitz13 says:

    I expect the arrival of the EoC, with food, supplies, and tens of thousands of troops will restore order in quite a few places – and put members of the clergy who side with the reformation (note I did NOT say the CoC) beyond Clytahn’s reach. Not beyond the reach of local Temple Loyalists, so there will most likely be unfortunate martyrs like we saw in Corisande. We may again see a brick or two tossed through the windows of local police headquarters, wrapped in diagrams and explanations of who committed those atrocities and where to find them. (Go Merlin!)

    The EoC WILL kill inquisitors wherever they can find them. Seeing the dead bodies of the local inquisition hanging by the neck will do quite a bit to stiffen the backbones of those reformists who’ve been toeing the Go4 line out of fear. (Ok, Charis is likely to just shoot all the inquisitors, but dead is dead.) The inquisition is going to pack up and run for Zion (or a pro-CoGA territory) at the merest rumor that there are Charisian forces nearby – the EoC could save a lot of lives if they sent out commando teams to do nothing but kill inquisitors. After all, control of the Inquisition is Clyntahn’s key to power.

    So look for more of the lower to mid-level clergy to defect to the reformist side once it’s safe(r). As @10 WP pointed out, it’s the Senior clergy, those who’ve had a lifetime of graft and accumulated wealth at stake who stayed with the CoGA in the greatest number – because if Stohnar wins, their estates and lavish lifestyles are HISTORY! They’ll be welcome to stay and attend to their flocks of course, but somehow I don’t think they’ll enjoy the life of a simple priest…

    @5 – point 2) Daivyn won’t become a midshipman because “acting” heads of state in the EoC won’t be required to – since they simply can’t be risked. Nahrmahn Jr. was about to be sent to sea, but with the death of Nahrmahn he’s now ruling Emerald and won’t be taking a sabbatical. I went into this in considerably more depth in the last snippet.

    @5 point 3) Regarding loss of power in one’s own household – this is a recurring theme for the MWW’s characters. Remember Honor and MacGuiness? He regards the care, feeding, and raising of Honor to be his responsibility, so little details like her being Admiral of the Grand Fleet, Steadholder Harrington, a member of the Manticoran aristocracy, and that she can indeed tie her own shoes now had best not get in his way! Bleek!

  13. Nimitz13 says:

    @11 PeterZ I can’t believe I never made the connection that Zhasyn Cahnyr translates as Jason CONNOR! I guess Zhahn Cahnyr would have been TOO blatant? [G] The “terminator 2” analogy is perfect on a couple of levels – as anyone who’s ever faced Merlin in battle could testify if they weren’t dead. I guess I’d better stop identifying names visually and start sounding them out. (Though I did groan at Paitryk Hainree!)

    The MWW said that in retrospect using arcane spelling for the names in this series was a mistake. But every now and then it allows him to sneak nuggets like this past his lazier readers – and I confess that when it comes to Safehold names, I’m LAAAAAAAZY. Bleek!

  14. PeterZ says:

    @13 Nimitz13, I made a greater leap than perhaps I should have on this. Somehow, I remembered the Connor boy as Jason not John. Still, the parallels do fit.

  15. Robert H. Woodman says:

    @13/@14 – PeterZ & Nimitz13

    I suspect that this connection of Zhasyn Cahnyr to John Connor is misguided. It could be that MWW threw us a red herring (or a red shirt?) or it could be that we’re all just reaching too hard in our fervid imaginings as to what is to come. In any event, when the book finally comes out and we all know the truth, our speculations must terminate.

    :-)

  16. PeterZ says:

    Yeah, yeah, Robert, rub it in a bit more. ;-)
    Still think that Thirsk gets flattened this book. May not invade but there should be enough troops available to secure some bases in the Gulf of Dohlar. Maybe a few more to raid all along the Dohlaran coast as well. Heck, raid along the Harchong and Desnairi coast as well. Raiding deep in the CoGA rear should make the coalition partners nervous. Perhaps even pull forces away from the Siddermark front.

  17. JeffM says:

    Oh, I sure that “Jason Conner” is simply a mix of old movies, and Merlin will be heading out the next Fall to wreak destruction alongside an elderly archbishop with a knife in his hand. Or was that the hockey mask one? (tongue firmly in cheek)

  18. PeterZ says:

    Well, Norman Bates and his uncle Hannibal are already represented, so who knows?

  19. ET1swaw says:

    And the new AB of Siddarmark is a Fordham (as in the Jesuit University of New York) and Samantha, Garth, and baby Jason are Gorjas(as in the opposite of gypsies). And Angelique’s new name is Iva Parson!

    /Rob

  20. Nimitz13 says:

    @16, PeterZ I’ve argued many times both here and on the Weber Forums for the EoC to take out Thirsk this year before he gets explosive shells, and to harass, sink, and destroy the shipping that Harchong and Desnair are depending on to get their troops and supplies to the front.

    But that would – as was pointed out to me and why I don’t think the Thirsk problem will be solved in MTaT (though I wish it would be), that the MWW likes to play with his boats, and if he eliminates the only large, organized naval force resisting the EoC now, that leaves him much less to write about in the future – and makes the series mostly land-bound hereafter.

    All your arguments make sense, and I’ve made them myself – even expanded them considerably at times. But it’s the MWW’s sandbox, and we just get invited to watch. He builds the sandcastles and knocks them down, and we don’t get any say. (Though we WISH we did!) I’ll settle for being right about a guess here and there of where the plot is going. I’d love to be wrong about this, but I’m afraid I might not be.

  21. PeterZ says:

    My dear Nimitz13, you are too likely correct. I do hold out some hope, though.
    Item #1- Thirsk et al will be fighting against face hardened armor. Their ships will be protected with iron. That’s about a 40% advantage in protection for a given amount of weight for the Charisians.
    Item #2- Smoothbore shells against armor will work, but need to be very large caliber. The larger the better. Rifled shells work better for any given caliber, but large smoothbores tend to work best to destroy the ship.
    Item #3- The CoGA is as near to broke as makes no difference after this land campaign.

    Conclusion: Thirsk’s ships are designed around small caliber canon. They have to redesign all their ships around large caliber canon. They have to recast new canon for all their ships. They have to redesign new production lines for their shells. If the CoGA do not do all these things, Thirsk is as good as burnt toast anytime he faces the ICN. Even the new armored converts discussed in HFaF. That’s true because the ICN already has the caliber advantage for smoothbore. The ICN also has the rifled canon in smaller calibers awaiting deployment.

    Thirsk needs to rebuild too much of his navy to just get back to shouting distance of the ICN. The CoGA doesn’t have the funds to do that again. If the G4 simply adds armor and make small caliber smoothbore shells for the existing guns, Thirsk is a baby duck paddling with pirana. If Cayleb trashes Thirsk now, DW forces the G4 to competely revamp their navy. Even if the G4 rebuild up north in Temple Bay a few ships at a time, they can deploy ships that threaten the ICN. If Thirsk doesn’t get whacked now, I don’t see the G4 redesigning their navy sufficiently to be anything but a floating target for the current ICN, let alone any future ICN steaming to battle armed with large bore rifled canon firing smokeless powder HE shells.

    Recall RN being reborn only after Hamish thoroughly destroyed their navy. Well, enough to make sure everyone knew the remaining PN ships were so outclassed that they might as well have been destroyed. So, if DW loves naval battles as well as he has proven he does, he needs to destroy Thrisk’s fleet soon.

  22. ET1swaw says:

    CoGA liquidity IS in question but CoGA is nowhere near broke AFAIK.

    Never forget that they OWN the keys to the mint, and even more so than Earth’s RCC have many/most non-CoGA nobility by the economic balls!!

    And Clyntahn cares nothing about what runaway inflation (what happens when you increase money supply without requisite trade-value increases IIRC) will do to anyone else, he just wants his toys and cannonfodder NOW. And anyone that complains is obviously a hidden heretic now exposed!!!

    And I agree that the EoC/ICN clearing the CoGA’s deadwood of outdated capital equipment might actually be an assist to them in the long-run!! CoGA (or at least Clyntahn and his Inquisition) believe money can always be found; if nothing else a coin is worth what the CHURCH (Clyntahn) says it is. Duchairn is more rooted in economic reality as to lesser degrees are the other two members of the Go4.

    CoGA IS definately behind the power curve toward advancements but never forget that the cumulative economic/production potential and population/geographical ratios are heavily weighted against the EoC!! Stalin’s “Quantity has a quality all its own” definately applies if they ever get their shit together. And they (like Cold War Russians) seem to have competent espionage (nothing to compare to the ‘Inner Circle’s’ resources of course, but that is hamstrung by political and manning limitations) toward technology-stealing.

    /Rob

  23. PeterZ says:

    @22 Rob,

    The AoG is going to eat up pretty much what remained of the CoGA nest egg. Are they broke? No, they have revenue coming in. Can they spend the same amounts they have done annually to rebuild their navy? Not a chance. They can alter their source of funding…that is they can steal from other sources, but that don’t have sources nearly as flush as the reserve they have just spent. Once they borrow from people they can’t steal from, inflation will really get hot. Not fun.

    Once the CoGA begins to circulate IOUs, gold gets stuffed into mattresses and only spent on realy hard to get stuff. You know, like the stuff that Charis produces. Enterprising nobles will likely also invest (through major cutouts) in EoC enterprises. Most likely, Corisandian enterprises not related to the Empire or CoC. They get the best of both worlds in that one; get their gold away from the CoGA and still not directly aid the heretics. I know pure sophistry, but effective sophistry.

  24. ET1swaw says:

    @23 PeterZ: I doubt Duchairn would let him, but I just figured Clyntahn would issue fiat-money/script to cover CoGA expenses (like those pesky benifit packages Thirsk got installed, Duchairn’s charities, and AoG/NoG payrolls). AFAIK they have a sufficient stranglehold on Safehold’s (with the exception of the EoC, Silkiah, and previously (before current jihad) Siddarmark)economic cajones to squeeze some blood from the turnip. And their true nest-egg (the capitol investments/assets not the liquidity) has barely been touched even with the massive expenses for 2 buildzzones for the NoG and now supporting the AoG in Siddarmark.

    But you are right in that unless CoGA institutes freezes and/or takes a bath in converting their capitol; areas outside Silkiah and the EoC are going to hoard, produce inflation/depression zones, and basically crash their economy (a bubble the size of a solar system popping). The thing is, I don’t think Clyntahn CARES !!!!!!!!

    You are also forgetting that CoGA can still coerce subordinate kingdoms/empires to support/foot-the-bill from their own resources. Though I agree it is greatly contra-indicative towards long term success.

    Or they can paper-magic (thoroughly cook the books) funding with no basis in reality-valuation. They do directly OWN or control the mints everywhere on Safehold but the EoC or Siddarmark (remember in OAR that was part of Clyntahn’s grudge against both as he had little or no economic control over them).

    Any and/or all of this would of course thoroughly futz the world economy, but (once again with feeling) I don’t think Clyntahn gives a damn!!!

    /Rob

  25. JeffM says:

    Duchairn controls the checkbook, and he’s not going to let them play money games.

  26. Nimitz13 says:

    @24 Let’s not forget the greed factor. The vicars and rulers of the countries whose men compose the AoG are looking to carve up big portions of Siddarmark for themselves. So many of them have undoubtedly agreed to foot the bill for their own forces in return for the heretics luscious real estate. We don’t know how much of the AoG will be paid by the CoGA, or even how much of their supplies.

    Of course Clyntahn sort of screwed the pooch when he launched the SoS at harvest time, since it meant no seed corn for this year’s crops in the western provinces. So no way can the AoG live off the land – it’s going to be a huge stretch just to keep their mules, horses, and especially dragons fed. Figure they’ll have to drag fodder along as well, so to keep the AoG fed and moving they simply HAVE to stay close to whatever canals and rivers are available. And several locks on the west->east Siddarmark canals have been destroyed. That will play havoc with supplies.

    Looking at the world map, which I’ll grant the MWW will change drastically as he fleshes out the details of Siddarmark, because of mountain ranges the main thrust from any kingdom but the northern border states (Kingdom of Hoth?) will have to come through the Southmarch lands and Cliff Peak provinces, then onward through the south of Siddarmark. I’d expect the ICA to reinforce Malitar, which has the 2nd biggest port in Siddarmark, or make a heavy landing at some port not on the map at the north end of the Gulf of Mathyas to defend the South March Lands.

    Expect the AoG to make a northern push from Hoth into Tarikah and New Northland to reinforce the rebels in Mountaincross and to conquer Hildermoss, but with fewer forces. I expect the ICA (from Siddar City) to be heavily involved in the fighting there. Logistically, this invasion route is north of Zion, spring comes late and it’s much more mountainous, so rivers running eastward should be nonexistent, and it doesn’t appear a canal system could have been constructed all the way from the western border to eastern Siddarmark given the topography. BUT this may be the route of the canals whose locks were damaged, and which normally carry the harvests from west to east. Logistics favor the ICA and Siddarmarkan forces here.

    It’s the southern invasion route that poses the greatest challenge for Siddarmark and the EoC. Taking out Thirsk and putting and end to shipping in the Gulf of Dohlar would do wonders to slow down the AoG, since North and South Harchong and Desnair would have to walk to war, which would be a logistical nightmare. Bleek!

  27. JeffM says:

    Of course, with DW’s forums down, that just leaves here…

    The real question is, just what way will Clyntahn find to screw the pooch, bite himself on the rump, and send more people over to Charis’ side? That is, of course, the eternal question! Personally, I’m thinking Delferahk, having learned their lesson, is one of the first to reach out in sheer desperation.

  28. Nimitz13 says:

    Let’s see, a squadron of EoC warships just leveled the second largest port in Delferahk, then Merlin blew up a good bit of the royal palace, killed a dozen of the royal guard and a couple of inquisitors, after which Hektor & Co. killed half a dozen dragoons and another inquisitor, and oh yes, they “kidnapped” Prince Daivyn and Princess Irys. So Delferahk is just a LITTLE bit upset with the EoC at the moment! Bleek!

    I’d bet on Silkiah, since they already know they’re next on Clyntahn’s list if they don’t abide by the embargo, or possibly even if they do, since Clyntahn can convince himself of anything.

    The forums are finally back up. Made for a boring afternoon…

  29. Bob G says:

    @27 I agree with @28 that Delferahk isn’t going to be signing up with EoC anytime soon.

    @28 I think Silkiah is going to keep their heads down and try and be invisible, while at the same time doing everything they can to appear to cooperate with the CoGA.

    I am curious if DW, who has kids, will pull something like the scene from Disney’s Mulan, and use explosives to set off an avalanche on a large formation of CoGA troops. Could be amusing in the mountains of Glacierheart.

    Oh, and last summer I happened to look at stretches of the Erie Canal, and I doubt that a barge of gunpowder would seriously hurt the canal. It could destroy a lock, no question about that, but the canal is not that vulnerable to explosives, and DW’s recent hints suggest that Safehold’s canals are even wider. If there are any tunnels, that could be fun, as per the tunnel described in one of the Horatio Hornblower books, but I doubt that they have the ability to make any large ones on Safehold. Similarly, if the canal runs past any lakes or is built up above the local terrain, then explosives might breach the canal.

  30. ET1swaw says:

    @29 Bob G: Some of the canals may date back to the time of the Archangels (at least in planning and major needs execution), though I doubt it. And their maintenance/upkeep IIRC is/has-been a subject/matter of religious observance.

    So if CoGA forces futzed the canal, wouldn’t that be a heretical act?

    And I definately agree that a canal/navigable-waterway is difficult thing to futz, though individual locks can be done with fairly easily!

    Mulan’s avalanche was based on historical reference and DW IS a historian as well as an author; so possibly.

    /Rob

  31. Joe says:

    Taking out Thirsk is probably high on the Empire’s list since they can’t really take vengeance while there’s active opposition. After all, they might want to make the king shorter.

  32. JeffM says:

    “Delfehrak” might be a bit annoyed with Charis, the King (Jhaymes?) is a pragmatist. And not only is he in financial straits, he isn’t going to be getting any assistance from the CoG any time, AND he’s on the far side of both Desnair and Siddarmark from the Temple Lands. It doesn
    ‘t get much further from Clyntahn than he is. Once Charis fleeces that Desnairian cavalry to go with their Navy, he’s going to have nowhere else to turn–and Charis will doubtless HAPPILY help him rebuild the ports that they accidentally “broke”.

  33. ET1swaw says:

    @32 JeffM: Nothing farther away not diconnected by water (Trellheim, Samson’s Land) or part of the EoC.
    See map: http://infodump.thefifthimperium.com/images/safehold.jpg

    And Desnair is probably more looking forward to partitioning Siddarmark (which just happens to take them through Silkiah) not paying any attention to the small southern and eastern kingdoms they share Howard with.

    /Rob

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