2009-06-12 Not over this

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Re: 2009-06-12 Not over this

Postby Graybeard » June 12th, 2009, 6:13 pm

Sareth wrote:
runic wrote:
Itterind wrote:Sarine shouldn't keep betraying her people if she isn't emotionally ready to kill her old friends/ex-friends/beloved aquaintances.


i wouldn't see that as betrayal. most of us can see the fricking incredible potential downside to disturbing another elven demigod. sarine is just another example of the road to hell being paved with good intentions


Yes, *you* wouldn't, and most of us readers, having the inside story, would understand her motivations as being trying to *save* the elves, not *betray* them. Even if it means turning against their rules to do it.

However, *we* have that inside story. The elves do not have it, and Sarine doesn't even have some of what we have. From their perspective, Sarine has taken their secret plans to restore their former glory and possibly restore their virility as well, turned it over to a potentially hostile nation (that may or may not include half-elf blood in it), and then, as if setting a foreign nation in opposition to their plans isn't enough, has taken up arms directly against them in an effort to stop them.

Betrayal *is* the word...

Ah, here comes the Rudolf Hess Problem again.

Turn this around for a minute. Suppose Sarine had gone to Praenubilus Astu, knowing exactly the same things that she knew, and decided NOT to try to stop the elves from awakening Senilis -- in the full knowledge that that inaction had a very good chance of leading to the extinction of the elves. Or instead, that she had gone there and done everything that she did there, then taken Meji back to Tsuirakushiti, said "Screw this, I've done everything I can, I'm going to run off to the Anuban Colonies with my human love slave," and left the elves to their fate. (Which, btw, is about what the elves expected her to do, and perhaps, ordered her to do.)

So which of the three possible paths constitutes "betrayal"?
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Re: 2009-06-12 Not over this

Postby Sareth » June 12th, 2009, 6:33 pm

All three.

(Aren't ethical and philosophical quandaries fun?)

In the case of the actual, she did betray her people by directly contravening their official will. The elven people, through their government, chose a course of action. She has acted unilaterally in defiance of that to directly attempt to stop it, in part by involving potentially hostile enemy troops. This is a betrayal and treasonous act. It is also the RIGHT THING TO DO. But the fact she's right does not mean that the elves can (or should) see it as anything less than a betrayal of them.

In the second case, where she does not attempt to stop them or to leave, she also betrays her race. She's doing what she's told and staying with her people through to their probably end, a very loyal thing to do and a strong show of solidarity. But she is also allowing their egos to risk the destruction of their nation and race utterly. To stand there and let that happen when she could attempt to stop it is also a betrayal of them, as she becomes an agent of their doom through neglect.

And the third case you make is also a betrayal, in that she not only does not attempt to prevent their doom as a species, but she flat out abandons her people and nation to their fate.

Frankly, no matter how you spin it, Sarine found herself in a position where no matter what she did, including doing nothing, she was bound to betray her species in some way or the other. Personally, I feel she made the best choice out of a crappy list of options. But just because it was the RIGHT decision doesn't make it unblemished. The attempt by certain German leaders to assassinate Hitler was an attempt to save Germany from the destruction he was leading it to. It was also treason. Sometimes,treason and betrayal are actually more ethical than being loyal.
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Re: 2009-06-12 Not over this

Postby Graybeard » June 12th, 2009, 9:26 pm

Yeah, that's the way I size it up too. And looking at it that way leads to a further point: Six months later, after the dust has settled and the survivors (if any) have regrouped, whether Sarine is captured and tried and executed for treason, or given a medal, or simply ignored, depends entirely on factors out of her control at the time she made the decision. It's pure "results mongering," to use a phrase from poker, bridge, backgammon, and other games where chance plays a major role.

Seen in that light, I don't think it makes sense to worry too much about whether her actions constitute "betrayal" in any except the strictly legalistic sense -- not that that sense can be ignored, by any means (particularly by Sarine), but it doesn't help understand just what she's thinking with this belated, regretful attempt to heal the dying (or dead) Sarna. And I still don't get what's on her mind here. It's a nice, idealistic touch consistent with her incredibly conflicted personality, but surely she understands that she still has a terminally dangerous mission to accomplish, doesn't she? And suppose she succeeds. All that she's accomplished is getting someone back on their feet who can blast her later. I don't think the outcome of the fight is particularly going to change Sarna's mind about the wisdom of waking Senilis, after all...
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Re: 2009-06-12 Not over this

Postby Boss Out of Town » June 12th, 2009, 10:46 pm

Graybeard wrote:Seen in that light, I don't think it makes sense to worry too much about whether her actions constitute "betrayal" in any except the strictly legalistic sense -- not that that sense can be ignored, by any means (particularly by Sarine), but it doesn't help understand just what she's thinking with this belated, regretful attempt to heal the dying (or dead) Sarna. And I still don't get what's on her mind here. It's a nice, idealistic touch consistent with her incredibly conflicted personality, but surely she understands that she still has a terminally dangerous mission to accomplish, doesn't she? And suppose she succeeds. All that she's accomplished is getting someone back on their feet who can blast her later. I don't think the outcome of the fight is particularly going to change Sarna's mind about the wisdom of waking Senilis, after all...

Best to understand that she is not THINKING, she is REACTING. A few seconds from now, Jon will walk up, say something rugged, and Sarine will recover her wits. Possibly after a crying jag. She's earned that, at least.
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Re: 2009-06-12 Not over this

Postby davester65 » June 13th, 2009, 2:27 am

You guys are having this deep philisophical discussion about betrayal and such and then I read this:

Boss Out of Town wrote: Best to understand that she is not THINKING, she is REACTING. A few seconds from now, Jon will walk up, say something rugged, and Sarine will recover her wits. Possibly after a crying jag. She's earned that, at least.


and all that I can imagine is this:

Jon wrote:Toyota Land Cruiser, Carharts.
8-)

Sarine wrote:WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!! Okay, let's go.
:cry:

I gotta stop with these Friday 24 hour shifts. They're driving me nuts.
"Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive." - C.S. Lewis
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Re: 2009-06-12 Not over this

Postby Michael Poe » June 13th, 2009, 4:19 pm

Graybeard wrote:I'm going to run off to the Anuban Colonies with my human love slave,


It should probably be noted that no elf would willing travel to Anuban Colonies short of having a gun put to their head... hell, many humans wouldn't willingly go there either. The place is an all but uninhabitable archipelago made up of marshlands and swamps. What few priests/mages that have gone there claim that the entire place feels 'off' somehow. Veracia has lost money on the colonies they built there from day one, they have never managed to become self sufficient, have found almost nothing of value, and are kept going just so Veracia can still clam to be an empire after their failed attempts at securing the elven territories and the northern confederacy. Elven legends actually say that islands are the gate to the underworld, where the souls of deceased elves whose bodies are not properly prepared go to, and that it is where the Exitialis fell and became the God of Death. Even the elves who don't believe those stories still consider the place to be 'wrong' and to be avoided at all cost.
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Re: 2009-06-12 Not over this

Postby normalphil » June 13th, 2009, 4:37 pm

Wiki'd!

Michael Poe wrote:
Graybeard wrote:I'm going to run off to the Anuban Colonies with my human love slave,


It should probably be noted that no elf would willing travel to Anuban Colonies short of having a gun put to their head... hell, many humans wouldn't willingly go there either. The place is an all but uninhabitable archipelago made up of marshlands and swamps. What few priests/mages that have gone there claim that the entire place feels 'off' somehow. Veracia has lost money on the colonies they built there from day one, they have never managed to become self sufficient, have found almost nothing of value, and are kept going just so Veracia can still clam to be an empire after their failed attempts at securing the elven territories and the northern confederacy. Elven legends actually say that islands are the gate to the underworld, where the souls of deceased elves whose bodies are not properly prepared go to, and that it is where the Exitialis fell and became the God of Death. Even the elves who don't believe those stories still consider the place to be 'wrong' and to be avoided at all cost.
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Re: 2009-06-12 Not over this

Postby mindstalk » June 13th, 2009, 5:19 pm

Michael Poe wrote:
Graybeard wrote:I'm going to run off to the Anuban Colonies with my human love slave,


It should probably be noted that no elf would willing travel to Anuban Colonies short of having a gun put to their head... hell, many humans wouldn't willingly go there either. The place is an all but uninhabitable archipelago made up of marshlands and swamps. What few priests/mages that have gone there claim that the entire place feels 'off' somehow. Veracia has lost money on the colonies they built there from day one, they have never managed to become self sufficient, have found almost nothing of value, and are kept going just so Veracia can still clam to be an empire after their failed attempts at securing the elven territories and the northern confederacy. Elven legends actually say that islands are the gate to the underworld, where the souls of deceased elves whose bodies are not properly prepared go to, and that it is where the Exitialis fell and became the God of Death. Even the elves who don't believe those stories still consider the place to be 'wrong' and to be avoided at all cost.


Well, *that's* out of the blue. :p

Are all priests magic-users, or were you using shorthand? E.g. does priests/mages mean "Veracian priests and Tsuirakuan mages" or "sensitive Veracian priests, and Tsuirakuan mages"?

Failed empire: also Farrell!


As for Sarine, trying to heal Sarna seems eminently in character. It also needn't be stupid: "I beat you, then saved you; you owe me your life, so stay out of the way." For all we know it's backed up by custom. Immortals should have some interesting social solutions to the Prisoner's Dilemma, even if Sarine's been burning her bridges.


I'm not sure it's obvious even to readers that Sarine is doing the right thing in trying to stop the Senilis project. She doesn't know how unstable Ian's been, and in terms of his goals Ian hasn't been that unstable -- also, ian had pre-existing issues. "Superpowered friendly god-elf" seems like a fairly reasonable expectation, and the downside of extinction has likelihood from other causes, like the superpowered hostile god-errant. And if nothing else maybe they can talk to the probably paedagogusi. Sarine easily seems like she's the one being hysterical.

...unless she was afraid of slightly less stupid paedagogusi turning the intruders into paste, but that hasn't been the expressed concern.
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Re: 2009-06-12 Not over this

Postby Graybeard » June 13th, 2009, 5:45 pm

Michael Poe wrote:
Graybeard wrote:I'm going to run off to the Anuban Colonies with my human love slave,

It should probably be noted that no elf would willing travel to Anuban Colonies short of having a gun put to their head... hell, many humans wouldn't willingly go there either....

Hoo boy, the electrons that went into writing that paragraph are going to be worth their weight in pure gold(*) to those of us working on Errant Road. Thanks IMMENSELY for writing that.

(*) And yes, I am aware that electrons are nearly massless, but you get the idea -- they have a great deal of metaphorical mass.
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Re: 2009-06-12 Not over this

Postby normalphil » June 14th, 2009, 1:00 pm

mindstalk wrote:I'm not sure it's obvious even to readers that Sarine is doing the right thing in trying to stop the Senilis project. She doesn't know how unstable Ian's been, and in terms of his goals Ian hasn't been that unstable -- also, ian had pre-existing issues. "Superpowered friendly god-elf" seems like a fairly reasonable expectation, and the downside of extinction has likelihood from other causes, like the superpowered hostile god-errant. And if nothing else maybe they can talk to the probably paedagogusi. Sarine easily seems like she's the one being hysterical.

...unless she was afraid of slightly less stupid paedagogusi turning the intruders into paste, but that hasn't been the expressed concern.


Issue being that the average "friendly elf" stands to be objectively an aberrantly civilized genocidal wackjob. We're talking about a race who's founding social head-damage lead them to wage wars of extermination because of the targets insufficient happiness-causing abilities. If one of them could suddenly wipe the planet clean of non-elves for no risk, investment, or effort? You'd be insane to risk it.
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