2013-10-10: [CT] Sucking Up

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2013-10-10: [CT] Sucking Up

Postby The Comment Golem » October 10th, 2013, 12:00 am

Discussion thread for [CT] Sucking Up
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Re: 2013-10-10: [CT] Sucking Up

Postby lyze » October 10th, 2013, 6:54 am

About the alt text, it just got me thinking that I don't recall anyone ever being on horseback in the story much less wagons.
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Re: 2013-10-10: [CT] Sucking Up

Postby Graybeard » October 10th, 2013, 8:48 am

lyze wrote:About the alt text, it just got me thinking that I don't recall anyone ever being on horseback in the story much less wagons.

Nor is there any particular reason why anyone would be on horseback during most of the story. The Tsuirakuans obviously don't need horses in Tsuirakushiti, nor do the elves in Praenubilus Astu. Rangers out and about are mobile on a medium-to-large scale using travel platforms, and wouldn't want to be encumbered by lugging horses around. That only leaves Jon as a potential horseman among the protagonists, and he stated somewhere that he doesn't like horses. Among the bad guys, Ian did use wagons -- see below -- but he wouldn't have wanted to be encumbered by owning a horse either. The Ensigerum clearly doesn't need them for transportation. Among the minor characters, the only ones I can immediately think of who would have needed to get around on horseback are maybe the Veracian guards who rousted Jon at the beginning of the story, and you can't blame Poe for not wanting to draw that.

Wagons, however, did get used repeatedly, and played important roles in the story here and here (and on the reprise here) and here. There was also mention at various places of "coaches" or "caravans" coming out of the Northern Confederacy that were presumably wagon-based. In general they appeared where it made sense for somebody to be using one.

Transportation is generally handled pretty sensibly, if invisibly, in Errant Story. About the only place I can think of where distances, etc., might have called for either horse-drawn or mechanized (train?) transportation that wasn't used was in the various trips back and forth between Saus and Emerylon. Accepting some oddity there isn't a large price to pay for the sake of the character interactions that happened on the road.
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Re: 2013-10-10: [CT] Sucking Up

Postby Bytemite » October 10th, 2013, 9:10 am

I guess it depends on if any gate Sarine could use are part of the same network the Elven Gods are on. And how complete a list low ranking elves had access to, since the Excavation Book seems to be one of the few if ONLY places with all the coordinates listed. And whether she's familiar enough with any part of Farrel to know where the gates might be.

Maybe the elven gates are supposed to be confidential national secret type stuff, which normally she doesn't give a shit about, but she seems to be trying to act like a professional here. If only to contrast with Jon and Meji and retain some sanity.

Or maybe this is Sarine style payback to Meji for nearly setting her on fire and being annoying, along with the humiliation about the magical dream joke. Who knows? Maybe it's all of them.

I like the subtle implication in the background of the last panel that Jon and Sarine are exchanging a very long suffering look.
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Re: 2013-10-10: [CT] Sucking Up

Postby Graybeard » October 10th, 2013, 9:25 am

Bytemite wrote:I guess it depends on if any gate Sarine could use are part of the same network the Elven Gods are on. And how complete a list low ranking elves had access to, since the Excavation Book seems to be one of the few if ONLY places with all the coordinates listed. And whether she's familiar enough with any part of Farrel to know where the gates might be.

Different network, as the elven council told Sarine (who didn't know about the Senilis/Anilis one). Sarine is hardly a "low ranking" elf; she had access to the security codes to get into the council chambers, and is referred to as "Lady Sarine" in various places. She would therefore know about the network in places that she works in, including Farrel. In any event, the relationship among the characters isn't yet at a point where Sarine would trust any of the others with knowledge that an elven travel network exists, let alone actually let them use the thing.
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Re: 2013-10-10: [CT] Sucking Up

Postby Bytemite » October 10th, 2013, 9:45 am

That works.

Although being called "Lady" and having a lot of rank in elven society seems to be different things though. Sarine strikes me as the kind of person who does good investigative work but then, metaphorically speaking, the police commissioner yells at her and calls her a dangerous maverick and she's out of line and he wants her off this case and he's going to bust her down to corporal or something.

If she HAS rank, I doubt she's been able to KEEP it, if you get me. There seem to be a lot of higher ranking elves she meets that flat out overrule her despite having their heads up their asses. Including the guys in Saus, and you can't tell me they were all that high ranking. And I know that we're comparing two different branches of armed services between the rangers and the military, but it definitely seems like anyone in the military outranks her. Like she's just law enforcement, and the military sees her as kind of a civilian.

In short, I think the "Lady Sarine" thing comes from her family, since one elf who might be her mom seems to be affluent enough to sit on the council. And I think Sarine knowing the codes to get into the council might just be Sarine being Sarine. She knows it because she's subversive as hell and makes it a point to get her hands on stuff like that.

Does she work much in Farrel? I got the impression somehow that she didn't know the area well.
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Re: 2013-10-10: [CT] Sucking Up

Postby Graybeard » October 10th, 2013, 3:05 pm

Bytemite wrote:Although being called "Lady" and having a lot of rank in elven society seems to be different things though. Sarine strikes me as the kind of person who does good investigative work but then, metaphorically speaking, the police commissioner yells at her and calls her a dangerous maverick and she's out of line and he wants her off this case and he's going to bust her down to corporal or something.

If she HAS rank, I doubt she's been able to KEEP it, if you get me. There seem to be a lot of higher ranking elves she meets that flat out overrule her despite having their heads up their asses. Including the guys in Saus, and you can't tell me they were all that high ranking. And I know that we're comparing two different branches of armed services between the rangers and the military, but it definitely seems like anyone in the military outranks her. Like she's just law enforcement, and the military sees her as kind of a civilian.

In short, I think the "Lady Sarine" thing comes from her family, since one elf who might be her mom seems to be affluent enough to sit on the council. And I think Sarine knowing the codes to get into the council might just be Sarine being Sarine. She knows it because she's subversive as hell and makes it a point to get her hands on stuff like that.

Does she work much in Farrel? I got the impression somehow that she didn't know the area well.

To take these in reverse order: we really don't know enough about Sarine's past to be able to tell where she worked. She did snark to Jon and/or Meji once that having lived 3000 years doesn't mean she knows everything about everywhere, but it wasn't a blanket statement about Farrel. The Derren Felmel incident in the prologue could have been in either Veracia or Farrel; we lack information to choose between the two (and it really doesn't matter). We just don't know.

Family connections don't mean much to elves. Primogeniture as a social driver ceases to work right when the noble title is never passed on, due to immortality of the duke or khan or bey or grand poohbah or whatever. Poe wrote something once that indicated that beyond a certain age (which Sarine is way beyond), elves find it embarrassing to talk about their families in anything except broad terms about "relations." This makes sense -- a culture where the "care" part of the parent/child relationship applies to a tiny fraction of their lives is going to have different attitudes toward the relationship than with humans -- and it leads to the conclusion that even if her mother is on the council (which I do not infer from her brief appearance, looked to me like she was in the peanut gallery), that wouldn't affect Sarine's own status.

As for "rank" among the elves, we again don't have much to go on, but we do know that when the dim scribe Renane encounters Sarine outside the council chambers, she calls her "my lady" just as she had used the term with the cadaverous female councilor (Skena, I think) a little earlier. Clearly there are some nuances of rank in the culture, although we don't know what they are, and from Renane's level, Sarine looks like someone up the food chain.

Finally, the maverick-cop analogy has its points, but the key thing that shapes Sarine's interactions with other elves isn't that she's a maverick now, it's that she was on the "wrong" side during the Errant War. I'm honestly curious whether, in developing the Sarine concept, Poe examined any of the similar historical cases -- how Soviet nomenklatura are treated in post-Soviet Russia, the way mid-to-high-level Nazis were viewed in Germany after the war, the many families in the US Civil War that had members fighting on both sides (having grown up in the South, it would be credible for that one to be a real part of Poe's own family history), and so on. Frankly, despite the hot water that Sarine got into, the elves seem to have been surprisingly conciliatory about such things compared to, say, the way France has historically treated their people who were on the wrong side. But it's still the thing that drives her interactions with the elves.
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Re: 2013-10-10: [CT] Sucking Up

Postby Bytemite » October 10th, 2013, 11:46 pm

Hmm, all good points.

Although maverick cop probably applies even before the war. I mean, just the way Sarine goes about doing things. The fact that she ended up on the opposite side of the war from most of the elves seems to me to be a symptom of that, rather then her having found her attitude after the war ended.
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Re: 2013-10-10: [CT] Sucking Up

Postby Forrest » October 11th, 2013, 3:27 pm

I dunno, seems like there's a bit of a chicken and egg problem there.

As a little kid, I got picked on a lot for not being into the same things the popular kids were into.

I avoided things popular kids were into because popular kids were obviously morons with no taste.

Because they picked on me for being into things which were clearly superior alternatives.

Did my anti-popularist attitude develop because I didn't get along with the popular kids, or did I not get along with the popular kids because of my anti-popularism?
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Re: 2013-10-10: [CT] Sucking Up

Postby mindstalk » October 26th, 2013, 10:54 am

the elves seem to have been surprisingly conciliatory about such things compared to, say, the way France has historically treated their people who were on the wrong side. But it's still the thing that drives her interactions with the elves.


Well, conciliatory *after* they'd reduced their population to like 3000 elves...
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