2008-04-21 - Yeah, I'm okay wit dat ...

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Re: Yeah, I'm okay wit dat ...

Postby jackfrost » April 21st, 2008, 6:34 pm

I have to say, I'm perfectly fine with how hes acting.

I don't know if anyone has read the March series by David Weber/John Ringo. If you have, in the last book (We Few) it is explained how the main character will become a tyrant, not because of something wrong with him mentally, but because of how his past experiences have led him down a path where excessive force is the necessary and only answer... and how the only one(s) who will be able to influence his behavior is those he loves, and no one else. Its a good series, etc.

When I look at the entirety of the comic, and then at how Ian is acting, it makes perfect sense. Ian has never had ANY peaceful contact with elves. Back near the beginning with Ian, before he had the goddess' powers, there was that errant hunting party that tried to kill him. I look at you all protesting about how the elves are using nonlethal force, and how he should respond in turn, etc... and I gotta say, I think you aren't looking at it from the right perspective.

1.) no one ever treats an enemy differently without any attempted peaceful contact. To Ian, and as far as he knows, he is still at war with the elves who still want to kill him and every other errant. Just now he has the power to kill them. Bad for them, good for him. I mean, his girlfriend is inside the elves' prison when he contacts her. It certainly doesn't look good, knowing their reputation around errants...

2.) How does anyone know that they are attempting to use nonlethal force against him? There is no clue to what they are trying to do... and added with #1, it clearly states (to Ian) that he is still at war with them. They are attacking him, after all. And maybe some soldiers with combat experience can back me up with this... If you are fighting an enemy who is trying to kill you, you kill him if you can.

3,) Stop throwing around the word GENOCIDE!. He isn't killing anyone who hasn't attacked him yet. Until he decides to round up a bunch of people who aren't attacking him (or those he needs to protect, such as his girlfriend), he isn't committing GENOCIDE!. Just because the elves have a low population does not make it GENOCIDE!.

4.) Although not quite in line with the above, I would like to point out that the grenade is probably not likely to work against a goddess' level of power, so the chance of it doing more than annoying Ian is... very small. After all, Ian took out Luminosita, a guard that was supposedly there to protect against threats such as the elves. Also remember that Sarine took the grenade (if I am reading this properly) to help negate magic while attempting a jailbreak. I doubt she is suicidal enough to try using the grenade on Ian.

5.) With the power of a goddess, I also doubt that Jon's bullets would kill Ian.

That said, we haven't seen what Ian will do against an elf that doesn't attack him first. That one action will determine what happens...
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Re: Yeah, I'm okay wit dat ...

Postby davester65 » April 21st, 2008, 6:52 pm

DarkIntruder wrote:
davester65 wrote:How instable Ian is may not be entirely obvious until he runs into a group of civilians. If he kills them out of hand without provocation he's probably gone over the edge. If he ignores them or even goes out of the way to avoid hurting them there may still be hope.

Agreed. I would also find it interesting if he were to come across a group of non-combatant elves. However, if the city is going into lack-down, most of them will probably be hiding.


Actually I did mean Elven civilians. The Elves he's run into so far have either been attacking him or at least posed a viable threat.


DarkIntruder wrote:
Forrest wrote:I predict Meji will die in the crossfire, Ian will go even more ballistic, Tsuiraku will get involved - against the Elves at first, then siding with them against Ian - and Ian will eventually end up falling to the power of ye olde conventional firearms when the anti-magic grenade goes off and Jon is the only one left armed.


Dammit, don't you say that! If Meji dies, I'll go ballistic. I've invested too much hope that she'll actually grow up and become a meaningful contributor to the world to have her up and get killed for no reason.

I second that. I at least want to see if she can finagle a way to graduate out of all this. :D I'm more worried about Sarine and Jon at this moment. If Ian finds Jon, Sarine will be with her and if Ian attacks Sarine, Jon will most certainly put himself into the line of fire to save her. Although that might allow Sara to slip around back and neutralize/kill Ian. We already know a time monk can do that.
Hmmm, here's a thought. If Sara does help to stop Ian, the Elves will be VERY grateful to her and probably the Ensigerum as well. Imagine Anita and her boys showing up to "settle" matters with the Elves and they welcome them with open arms as friends. :shock:
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Re: Yeah, I'm okay wit dat ...

Postby DarkIntruder » April 21st, 2008, 7:35 pm

davester65 wrote:
DarkIntruder wrote:
davester65 wrote:How instable Ian is may not be entirely obvious until he runs into a group of civilians. If he kills them out of hand without provocation he's probably gone over the edge. If he ignores them or even goes out of the way to avoid hurting them there may still be hope.

Agreed. I would also find it interesting if he were to come across a group of non-combatant elves. However, if the city is going into lack-down, most of them will probably be hiding.


Actually I did mean Elven civilians. The Elves he's run into so far have either been attacking him or at least posed a viable threat.



Right, I know that's what you meant. I was merely agreeing with you that Ian coming across elven civvies would be interesting. Afterall, he isn't likely to come across any other races in the Elven city, and even iuf he did, he'd have less reason to kill human innocents then elven ones.

So, the question is, would Ian kill an elf who doesn't pose a threat to him? Or would he kill first, and find out later?
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Re: Yeah, I'm okay wit dat ...

Postby BloodHenge » April 21st, 2008, 8:54 pm

jackfrost wrote:4.) Although not quite in line with the above, I would like to point out that the grenade is probably not likely to work against a goddess' level of power, so the chance of it doing more than annoying Ian is... very small. After all, Ian took out Luminosita, a guard that was supposedly there to protect against threats such as the elves. Also remember that Sarine took the grenade (if I am reading this properly) to help negate magic while attempting a jailbreak. I doubt she is suicidal enough to try using the grenade on Ian.

5.) With the power of a goddess, I also doubt that Jon's bullets would kill Ian.

Whether the Inanire works or not depends on how it works, and how magic works and how Ian accesses Anilis's power. Sarine specifically said it might be useful for dealing with Ian.

And a bullet ought to be able to take out Ian if the shooter catches him by surprise, and if it incapacitates him in one shot. On the other hand, if he sees it coming he should be able to block or stop it (or maybe even dodge it now that he's seen time magic in action), and even if he gets hit he should be able to heal himself if he's still conscious.
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Re: Yeah, I'm okay wit dat ...

Postby Boss Out of Town » April 21st, 2008, 10:14 pm

Kian wrote:Essentialy, I can't think of any valid reasoning that would make Ian's actions better than alternative solutions.

There is some fine logical and philosophical analysis in your letter in the others, and if Ian's problems were being worked out in a forum on moral philosophy at my alma mater, Northwestern, it would be a lot more relevant to the situation. As it is, you're judging Ian's sanity based on a third-person analysis of his actions that has very little to do with the reality (story-wise) of Ian's emotional state, which is based on his limited knowledge, the limits of his understanding and empathy, and the emotional stress he is under.

As an example, an army officer in a combat situation (in our culture, anyway) is supposed to operate under standard rules of moral behavior and rational analysis, but people who have shared that experience know that ideal is never reachable. All they can do is try as hard as they can to live up to their standards, learn to live with regrets over bad decisions and the burden of guilt for immoral acts, and hope that the people who judge them later do so with some degree of empathy and charity. I am not seeing any great amount of either in these discussions.

With regard to the innocence or guilt of Elves, the re-interpretation of history is getting pretty bizarre. A quick look at the timeline . . .

For centuries, Elves and Half-elves fought a civil war over errancy, racial purity, and whatever. A thousand years ago, give or take, the surviving elves called off the war and walled themselves up in a hidden city.

Apparently there were some small numbers of half-elven and Elven survivors wandering the world at that time, as they were still round centuries later when the Elves rejoined the world. While the half-elves may have had some problems dealing with the humans around them, we have heard nothing about any pogroms against them or even any human concern about their existence. Given the gifts they had of long life, good health, and magical ability, it would seem likely that most were able to lead reasonably comfortable lives. Also, they probably established networks of contacts with other half-elves--as even Meji noted, it wouldn't be fun watching your human friends and loved ones aging and dying while you stay young and fit--and could have given aid to any half-elf who was in trouble and worth helping.

Two hundred years ago, the Elves made an involuntary return to the larger world, and when they found half-elves still around, they starting killing them out of hand, hunting them down, returning to their old policy of deliberate GENOCIDE!. This is when the current war started, possibly in the lifetimes of some of the surviving half-elves. They have been hunted ever since--the Elves even founded a special military unit, the rangers, to search out half-elves and murder them whenever and wherever they were found.

Only after the Elves began exterminating half-elves would there have been a reason for a desolate hell-hole of a sanctuary like Santurial to exist.

As far as we know, the half-elves did nothing during their centuries of free existence to trouble human society. What we have read about human-half-elven relations in the story implies that most humans never considered them a threat and most would not have known a half-elf if they saw one. Since the half-elves seem well-aware of the congenital defects their kind are prone to, we can assume that they took care of their own problems and dealt with dangerous "errants" themselves as the situation arose.

Then the Elves came back, and their secret war of extermination drove any and all half-elves to the fringes of society. Those the Elves failed to kill they drove into hiding, robbing them of whatever wealth, security, happiness, and hope they might have had before the return.

In the case of Santurial, the remaining villagers still have contact with the outside world and probably could not survive without it. However, they have to know that, with even a scattering of humans across the continent having some idea of where they are, sooner or later the rangers are going to find them, and when that happens every living soul in their village is going to die by sword or flame. The Elves have all the time in the world to hunt them down, and the half-elves have no reason to believe this will ever change, that, after all these centuries, that any mercy will ever be shown them.

This is the world Ian was born into. His mother may have been an errant, but it is also possible that she fell into madness and despair because of what had happened to her and all that she had lost. Now, she is dead, and the sister Ian loved and hoped to save died with her.

This is the "context" of Ian's war with the Elves. Any judgment of Ian's actions, morally or rationally, has to start with this.
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Re: Yeah, I'm okay wit dat ...

Postby BloodHenge » April 22nd, 2008, 3:44 am

And, my comment that has apparently been glossed over...

Where is Ian's dad?
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Re: Yeah, I'm okay wit dat ...

Postby erewhon » April 22nd, 2008, 4:18 am

Forrest wrote:I predict Meji will die in the crossfire, Ian will go even more ballistic, Tsuiraku will get involved - against the Elves at first, then siding with them against Ian - and Ian will eventually end up falling to the power of ye olde conventional firearms when the anti-magic grenade goes off and Jon is the only one left armed.


Dammit, don't you say that! If Meji dies, I'll go ballistic. I've invested too much hope that she'll actually grow up and become a meaningful contributor to the world to have her up and get killed for no reason.[/quote]

That's, uh, life!!! Wacky and random all over :(

Anyway, does Ian's dad hail from New Jersey? I was thinking Bawston Irish?
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Re: Yeah, I'm okay wit dat ...

Postby Slamlander » April 22nd, 2008, 5:24 am

BloodHenge wrote:And, my comment that has apparently been glossed over...

Where is Ian's dad?


Likely, an Errant Hunt victim ;)
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Re: Yeah, I'm okay wit dat ...

Postby Kian » April 22nd, 2008, 7:09 am

I've held for some time now the belief that the half-elfs are almost as bad as the elves in their response to errancy. I couldn't help but notice that Santuariel didn't have mentally unbalanced errants. they had all sorts of deformed and physically unfit half-elfs, but none that were psychotic like the guy Sarine decapitated at the beggining. The closest was Ian's mom, and I get the feeling that they kept her around because she didn't show to be a danger to others. ntil she set the house on fire anyway.

My own whacked out conspiracy theory is that the half-elfs exile the errants that become crazy, so that the humans have to deal with them. We know there are at least a few, we know they weren't in Santuariel (or Ian would have healed them first, but everyone that went to the healing tent was only deformed, not crazy), and we know the rangers off them every once in a while. Given that Santuariel must be the only source of half-elfs, the conclusion follows that they kick them out when they become dangerous. So yeah, the elves might kill them, but the half-elfs don't do anything to clean up the mess they make and the ones that end up paying for the crazy they let roam around the world are the humans unlucky enough to fire them up.

Boss out of Town wrote:There is some fine logical and philosophical analysis in your letter in the others, and if Ian's problems were being worked out in a forum on moral philosophy at my alma mater, Northwestern, it would be a lot more relevant to the situation. As it is, you're judging Ian's sanity based on a third-person analysis of his actions that has very little to do with the reality (story-wise) of Ian's emotional state, which is based on his limited knowledge, the limits of his understanding and empathy, and the emotional stress he is under.
I do agree that the analysis suffers from some detachment. I did not mean to judge Ian's behaviour, but rather to point out how, from an external perspective, Ian's actions are counterproductive to his own aims. Which serves to show that Ian isn't thinking through what he is doing. I know, "Duh", but I thought it would be interesting to see just how badly he's mangling things by being overly emotional. As I said, it was not meant to judge him. I might not find a valid reasoning that justified his behaviour, but it can easily be explained as an emotional response.
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Re: Yeah, I'm okay wit dat ...

Postby Tiamat » April 22nd, 2008, 8:20 am

Boss Out of Town wrote:Win.


And shit like this is why I love this forum.

jackfrost wrote:3,) Stop throwing around the word GENOCIDE!. He isn't killing anyone who hasn't attacked him yet. Until he decides to round up a bunch of people who aren't attacking him (or those he needs to protect, such as his girlfriend), he isn't committing GENOCIDE!. Just because the elves have a low population does not make it GENOCIDE!.


Ian very nearly wiped Veracia from the face of the Earth because he wanted to know where the Elven Hole in the Ground was. I'm pretty damned sure he didn't want to borrow a cup of sugar. The fact that he's not actively engaged in hunting them down with Meji in tow doesn't mean that if he gets her and Jon out he's not going to march right back in and kill them all. GENOCIDE! is, in fact, a stated goal, and it's not one he ever seemed to give up, either.
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