Two words about two letters etc. (small PotD Spoiler)

David Silberstein davids at kithrup.com
Wed Jan 15 16:46:10 PST 2003

On Tue, 14 Jan 2003, Philip Hart wrote:

>On Tue, 14 Jan 2003, David Silberstein wrote:

>> Another thought that occurred to me, by the way, is that there may be
>> certain rules and limitations on what sorts of methods may be used in
>> warfare, and there is an agreement (similar to our world's various
>> arms treaties on the use of chemical, biological and radioactive
>> materials) or moral convention simply not to use certain types of
>> weapons in warfare.
>I like this argument.  On the other hand, why are rifles worse than
>sorcerous thunderbolts?

I think this has been implied above, but let me argue it further
anyways:  It is in the interest of the Dragaeran power elite to
make sure that weapons are thought to be either sorcerous or
hand-operated, and weapons research thus just does not go down
certain lines, and would be suppressed if it *did* go down those
lines.  Sorcery is a function of the Orb; those who use sorcery are
still dependent on the Orb.  If deadly weapons were introduced that
did *not* depend on the Orb, the Cycle itself could be broken, and
a new regime could be introduced.

Even the most ambitious general in Dragaera does not want to do
that.  They seek power within the Empire, or to take the Orb

Getting back to my notion that some weapons and tactics are just
not used, rifles would be the first step towards an escalating
arms race for greater and greater destructiveness, more so than
a sorcerous arms race which involves the ability to shield and
counteract sorcerous attacks.

There's a lot about the Orb we don't know.  It's powerful enough
to affect the regional geology and meteorology.  Maybe it *does*
automatically make sure that certain research paths are not taken,
all by itself?

There may be a lot of reasons why there are no rifles, nor even
advanced mechanical weapons, let alone chemical ones.

>  And for that matter, what about Morrolan using a Morganti weapon on
>everyone in his path, even if they're mostly Teckla?  On the other
>hand, since `Blackwand does what he says', maybe he doesn't destroy
>dozens/thousands of souls per battle.  But no one knows for sure but
>him (and Verra?). 

Yes, I've posited that he has destroyed few or no souls.  My notion is
that part of the standard operating procedure for Great Weapons is
that the gods tell the bearers, "Handling souls is *our* job.  You can
send them to us, but don't destroy them unless we tell you to", or
failing that, that destroying souls is overkill, even for an ambitious

I expanded more on this notion in the thread from 11/2002 titled
"Morrolan: Just a Big Softy, Really?"