Midst Toil And Tribulation – Snippet 43
Irys’ heart leapt when he mentioned Corisande, but she tried — almost successfully — to keep that response from showing in her expression or her eyes. Was it possible she and Daivyn would be permitted –?
Don’t be silly, she told herself. Yes, the Archbishop — and Cayleb and Sharleyan — have treated both of you far more gently than you expected. But they aren’t going to let you return home without first making damned sure you won’t do anything to . . . destabilize their control. Archbishop Maikel may travel to Manchyr, but you won’t.
She knew it was true, and she knew the logic which made it so was irrefutable. That she would have made exactly the same decision, no matter how kind she might have wanted to be. She even knew Daivyn would be far happier to be allowed to remain a boy a few months longer, rather than be trapped in the role of a child monarch in the hands of a Regency Council over which he had no control. But it still hurt.
Maybe it does, but at least you’ll still be together, you’ll both still be alive, and Chisholm’s much closer to home. Maybe it won’t feel quite as lonely there as it did in Delferahk.
“Thank you for telling me, Your Eminence,” she said finally. “I appreciate the warning. Can you tell me when we’ll be departing?”
“Not for certain, Your Highness. There are several details that still need arranging. Lady Hanth’s travel plans, for example.”
“Lady Hanth’s? Lady Mairah is coming with us?” Irys heard the happiness and relief in her own voice, and Staynair smiled.
“Yes, or that’s the plan right now, at any rate. Emperor Cayleb’s recalled Earl Hanth to active duty — you knew he was a Marine before he became Earl, I believe?” He paused until she nodded, then shrugged. “Well, it seems Their Majesties have decided his services could be very useful in Siddarmark, and to be brutally honest, the Empire’s going to need every experienced Marine it can lay hands on for the summer campaign. So, since he’s going to be out of the Old Kingdom anyway, Lady Hanth is taking her stepsons to meet her parents and her cousin, Baron Green Mountain.” His expression saddened. “She may not have another opportunity for them to meet the Baron, I’m afraid.”
Irys nodded in understanding. Mahrak Sahndyrs, Empress Sharleyan’s first councilor in Chisholm, had been savagely wounded in one of the terrorist attacks which had swept through the Empire. He’d been too badly injured to continue as first councilor, and he’d been replaced by Braisyn Byrns, the Earl of White Crag, who’d been Sharleyan’s Lord Justice. White Crag had been replaced in turn as Lord Justice by Sylvyst Mhardyr, the Baron of Stoneheart, and although she and Phylyp Ahzgood had enjoyed a quiet chuckle over a kingdom’s chief magistrate being known as “Lord Justice Stoneheart,” he was actually an excellent choice, an intelligent and humane man with a strong legal background and over twenty years’ experience on the Queen’s Bench.
“I didn’t realize Baron Green Mountain had been injured quite that severely,” she said now.
“Well, reports at this distance tend to get garbled or exaggerated. It’s quite possible we’re being overly pessimistic. But I won’t deny that the Baron’s health is one reason the Empress is determined to set out for Chisholm as soon as possible.” Staynair smiled again, with a sort of wry sadness. “I doubt she’d be leaving, despite that, if Cayleb weren’t going to be called away from Tellesberg, as well. The amount of time they have to spend apart from one another to make the Empire work is hard — very hard — on both of them. It’s not often a marriage of state turns into the kind of love match that litters so many children’s tales, but in this case, it truly has.”
Irys nodded again. She’d seen enough of the emperor and empress to know what Staynair had just said was no more than the simple truth. And everyone in Charis seemed to know it as well as the archbishop did. In fact, Irys had come to the conclusion that the deep and obvious love between them — and the fact that they were so willing to let that love show — was a huge part of the magic which bound their subjects to them like iron. And the fact that Sharleyan had willingly come from distant Chisholm to stand beside their youthful king in the teeth of the Inquisition and hell itself had forged a fierce, fiery devotion to her in the hearts of Old Charisians of every kind, clergy, commoners, and peers alike.
They really are the kind of characters you only meet in legend, aren’t they?
Larger-than-life, beautiful, fearless, determined, beloved by their subjects . . . no wonder so many of their people are ready to walk straight into the fire at their heels, face even the Inquisition and the Punishment of Schueler at their side! Father’s subjects loved him, too, but not the same way. They respected him, they trusted him — in Corisande itself, at least — but they didn’t love him the way Charisians love Cayleb and Sharleyan. And whatever the Inquisition says, it’s not sorcery, it’s not some malign influence from Shan-wei or any of the other Fallen. It’s just who they are — what they are. And I wish . . . I wish some of that same magic would touchme.
Her eyes widened as she realized what she’d just thought, yet it was true. She envied them — envied them their love and their obvious courage, the depth of their faith and the strength of their combined will. The love of their subjects, the loyalty of their followers . . . and the certainty of their purpose. Their steadfast, unflinching commitment to all they believed and held dear. They might yet prove wrong, might yet discover that whatever they thought, they truly had served Shan-wei and not Langhorne. But mistaken or not, they served their beliefs with a bright, ardent intensity Irys Daykyn could only envy in a world in which so much certainty had disappeared into confusion and hatred and bloodshed.
No wonder she wanted some of that magic, that flame of reflected legend and bright honor, to touch her. It was, she realized wonderingly, what bound all their followers to them — that aspiration to be worthy of them as they had proven they were worthy of their crowns. The intensity of that awareness shook her to the bone, like some silent whirlwind, and in that moment, she recognized its seduction. To seize upon something, anything, that gave purpose and certainty and honor to a life in the midst of all the bewilderment and doubt — who could not crave that? How could anyone not long to say as Cayleb Ahrmahk had said into the teeth of the Grand Inquisitor himself, with scorching, fearless honesty “Here I stand; I can do no other”?
Back away, Irys, she told herself. Back away. Yes, you want it, but you need to think about why. You need to understand what’s driving that hunger. It’s too seductive, too strong. Father Davys would tell you you’re succumbing to all the undeniable goodness within Cayleb and Sharleyan, just as they themselves have been seduced into Shan-wei’s service through their very love of their people. It isn’t through the Darkness in our hearts that Shan-wei takes us; it’s the Light within us that she twists and perverts and uses against us.
“I hope the reports about Baron Green Mountain are wrong, Your Eminence,” she heard herself saying out loud. “Father had very few good words to say about him, I’m afraid, but even he admitted there’d never been a more capable or loyal first councilor in the entire world.”
“No, there hasn’t. And it’s particularly sad that Cayleb and Sharleyan have both lost the services of first councilors of whom that could’ve been said. But it’s even worse in her case, I think. She hasn’t completely lost him yet, of course, but he was effectively her second father after her own father’s death.”
“I can see that,” Irys said, her heart twisting as she thought of Phylyp Ahzgood and all he’d come to mean to her, and touched the archbishop’s forearm again, impulsively. “I can see that. And would you tell Her Majesty for me, please, that I’ll be remembering the Baron in my prayers?”
“I’m sure she’ll be grateful to hear that, Your Highness.” Staynair patted her hand briefly, then looked back across the crowded harbor.
The only question about this I have is: will they be sailing on HMS Destiny with Hector?
Second that question
Sharleyan sailed to Zebediah and Corisande on the HMS Dawn Star in HFaF, while Cayleb sailed on the HMS Royal Charis. Unless they upgrade to a newer, deadlier model of warship, I’d expect them to sail in the same ships this time.
Hektor may be due for some additional spit & polish, so if he isn’t already thousands of miles away on the HMS Destiny, ordering him to accompany the Empress might be a reasonable new assignment.
If it happens, we can probably bank on Irys & Hektor becoming an item. Bleek!
Oh, I think we can safely assume that. There is no way that Cayleb & Sharleyan (or Staynair, for that matter) are NOT aware of the obvious attraction between Irys & Hector – or the obvious political advantages that a marriage between the two of them will bring. Not that that would be their only consideration, I’m thinking. I suspect that the both of them would be just tickled pink to engineer something that will suit the two youngsters so well on a personal level as well…
I doubt that they would be in any hurry to do this. Yes they will be aware of the potential political advantages, yes they would be happy (and greatly amused) to try and arrange it all. But I would be very surprised if they did not want more time to observe Iris. Also any efforts they made in that direction would have to be very subtle or they risk offending Iris (who I suspect could be very stubborn).
The other interesting possiblity is what happens if the ship flounders? (Sailing ships have a habit of doing that if caught in the wrong wind (or a lee shore).)
And will Merlin be exposed by rescuing them?
Hanth – you don’t suppose he was selected for the inner circle so as to have someone “in touch” to command the marines going into Siddarmark? He’s seemed like a very level-headed man every time he’s been on stage.
The TLs with their long pikes and sharp, pointy swords are in for such a NASTY surprise in the Sylmahn Gap! Bleek!
The logistics of the Siddarmark campaign will be very interesting.
The sea lift which is the basis of the success of Charis marines will be of relatively little use as the war moves inland. The armies will be operating in what amounts to Napoleonic circumstances. No railways exist, control of rivers and canals (if they exist) will be critical. I wonder if Charis is thinking about small vessels or barges to act as gunboats for control of waterways. Are fortification sited on rivers? Armies have existed primarily as instruments of domestic control because conflicts were controled by appeal the the CoGA.
Does anyone really know how to fight a war? What I am afraid of is something like what happened in the U.S. civil war. Tactics for muskets and smooth bore cannon against rifles and breech loading rifled cannon with exploding shells.
There are lots of canals criss-crossing siddarmark – see the most recent map that Weber has let us see (not canon) at http://infodump.thefifthimperium.com/entry/Safehold/338/1
If you look at western Siddarmark, the canal system can be choked off by controlling only two points – Traymos (or Lake City to the west) in Tarikah Province, and Dairnyth (close by really) in the South March Lands. Grab those and you can starve the church forces that have already entered Siddarmark, since the SoS ensures they can’t live off the land.
Fort Darymahn in the South March Lands is already in ICN control for all intents and purposes, since it can only be accessed from the Gulf of Mathyas, and there are no opposing navies except Thirsk’s, which is over 15,000 miles away if it sails around Howard. It’s possible that RSA forces already control Fort Darymahn, in which case no enemy forces will be using the Taigyn River and Branath canal to send troops or supplies to Glacierheart – unless they start upstream, and they’d have to march and carry their supplies cross country to get there.
There’s a number of interesting towns, forts, and and abbey on the map in the South March Lands that make me think we’ll see considerable action there. Ditto for Westmarch, Cliff Peak, and Glacierheart.
The much less efficient road system has obvious choke points in western and northwestern Siddarmark as well, so in a war that the MWW has told us will be all about logistics, cutting off your enemy’s food supply is tantamount to sentencing him to a slow death – or a hurried retreat back home, which is also acceptable since the CoGA, the G04, and the Inquisition will be none too pleased with any commander who does THAT. Bleek!
The other way to choke off canals is to turn off the water â€“ control of the headwaters of a canal is just as effective as holding it militarily.
It’s safe to assume that Clark Kent has reviewed the history of the flintlock rifle vs. the pike and musket. The force he leads will undoubtedly use that advantage mercilessly, and their kill ratio is going to be huge – until they run into someone who also has rifles, then it comes down to tactics, of which Superman has the entire history of the Terran Federation to draw upon.
I’m not sure if the breech loading cannon will make it into this novel or not. Typically we see the new innovations (as far as weapons go) appear in the next book – we’re getting the breech loading rifles now after they were invented in HFaF. The wire wrapped cannon being developed in HFaF will probably appear as field artillery in Siddarmark, as the ICA has them available and they out-range anything else on the planet at the moment that isn’t attached to a ship. We’ll also see exploding shrapnel rounds, as they were developed in HFaF.
Occasionally we see new armaments in the same book – the exploding shells in AMF being a prime example. OAR had all the new hardware, since the Charisian Navy had to totally change its weapons, tactics, and switch to galleons as offensive platforms rather than galleys and boarding parties of marines.
At this point the development cycle is at least a year, and the Charisian R&D is jumping ahead so quickly that by the time they have something in production, it’s basically obsolete. Not a bad problem to have, as their Siddarmark allies will be more than happy to receive EoC hand-me-downs. Bleek!
I wonder if in their down time any of the inner circle look back at the various fiction and other documents from the distant past and have a WTF moment when they see a particular name of two :)
“They might yet prove wrong, might yet discover that whatever they thought, they truly had served Shan-wei and not Langhorne. But mistaken or not,–”
I _love_ lines like this. It gets me laughing every time. Its just so bloody ironic given that they do ‘serve’ the principles that Shan-wei died for, and not Langhorne (the megalomaniac that he was). And they do it knowingly, despite what people like Irys, in this snippet, assume.
When the “Devil” actually happened to be serving the cause of good, it does cause a bit of consternation – and you can cut the irony with a knife…
It is hilarious to see Irys marveling about what wonderful people Sharley and Cayleb are, yet she’d be horrified if she knew the truth about them. Of course that horror would be turned to blazing anger at the CoGA if she were in the inner circle, (not gonna happen for a looooong time if ever) so we’re forced to sigh sadly as decent people try to do the best they can while helplessly living a lie that’s been perpetrated on them for centuries.
It makes the characters more real, more believable. Cayleb and Sharley are presented as characters out of children’s fairy tales because of their beauty, wisdom, love for each other, and dedication to duty, yet we all know they are secretly fighting the lie and the vast majority of the planet would be horrified if they knew the truth about them.
Let’s hope when the inevitable leak from the inner circle happens, it’s squelched quickly and effectively. Gonna be a sad day. (Sorrowful bleek…)
“Inevitable”? How do you figure? As I have repeatedly mentioned, there MIGHT be a “blowup”, it’s not possible for there to be an actual “leak”. Who ‘in the know”is going to dodge OWL? I don’t think that even Naahrman could have managed it.
Do you think everyone in the know is constantly monitored by Owl ? I think I would do that.
Also, are there different circles of being in the know ? Do all of the Brethren know the truth about Merlin ? I don’t see why that would have to be the case.
Well, the outer-most circle of “being in the know” was “Merlin has visions”.
Beyond that I don’t think there’s different circles of “being in the know”.
IMO once somebody is considered “worthy” of knowing more than “Merlin has visions” they learn the full truth about Safehold.
At the very least, they are already being monitored before being told. I would assume that they are monitored afterwards not only in case of a meltdown, but in case they are attacked…as many were__before__being informed. After all, these are all people crucial to Charis’s development.
Mahklyn at the old Royal College is one example.
@Nimitz: “you can cut the irony with a knifeâ€¦”
Must be wrought irony; cast irony would dull the knife!
Not MERLIN’S knife….
I find it interesting that Iris’s sole objections to fully embracing Charis are based upon the lie…and she won’t be “old enough” to hear the truth which would eliminate that reservation for another dozen years or more.
The problem Charis will be facing is plain and simple. Sheer overwhelming numbers. They are looking at a minimum of 5:1, probably as much as 9:1 odds against them. Technological superiority cannot overcome such numbers alone. Not to mention ever increasing lengthy supply lines through contested/openly hostile land. We are talking about ‘Land War in Asia’ here. Not good very bad. Sorry.
Frank: You do realize they won’t be facing all of those troops at once? Since they are traveling various distances. Charisiddar will have the opportunity to defeat them all in job lots as they arrive.
Depends. If you have machine guns and the other guy doesn’t, yes, tech superiority *can* overcome such numbers.
And even if you don’t have tech superiority, morale and discipline count for a lot. See the Greeks vs ‘Persians’ at Plataea (3:1 Persian advantage, Persians had a slight tech advantage, Persians *lost*) for an ancient example or, for a more germane example to the Safeholdian current level of development, the Battle Of Rorkeâ€™s Drift where a group of British and allied soliders not only held off but drove away an attacking force literally 25 times their size and more.
What most people forget about Rorke’s Drift is that it was a bloody supply dump as well as an undermanned strongpoint.
Taking nothing away from them, what they pulled off was beyond outstanding.
But they at NO point during the protracted battle(s) IIRC were anywhere near exhausting ammo, food, water, or even basic medical supplies (manpower yes, they were running short of warm capable bodies at the end).
They also enjoyed and maintained a definite technological edge throughout.
Human wave attacks work (or even animal stampedes). Pyrrhic victories happen.
And Clyntahn seems set on killing his opponents even if it means drowning them with every last drop of his followers lifeblood!
Er, at the end of the battle, they were down to less than 9 projectiles per man (of 20,000 rounds at the start of the battle, they had 900 left, and they had started with 135 British effectives.) I’d say that 9 rounds per soldier is pretty close to running out of ammo. If that last Impi that showed up late had actually attacked, the Brits would have been out of ammo, out of options and s**t outta luck – and the Rorke’s Drift would have been remembered as another Alamo instead of a real victory.
As for a definite technological edge, yes, their Martini-Henry rifles were superior to the older weapons the Zulus had – but in the “quantity has a quality all of its own” category, the Zulus had well over a thousand of those pieces and the combat ranges were typically close enough that the M-H rifles enjoyed no reach advantage. The defense/running retreat of the hospital at Rorke’s Drift should show that to any observer – the Brits couldn’t stick their rifles out of loopholes or the surrounding Zulus would literally rip them out of their hands, but if they didn’t, the Zulus would shove their muskets and few repeaters in the holes and fire. The Zulus had weapons to spare, the Brits didn’t – some Brits were fighting with captured ex-Zulu firearms and ammo at the end because their own rifles had been lost or put out of action. After the battle was over, the commander sent out patrols to retrieve weapons and ammo from dead Zulu enemies because they had (as mentioned above) pretty much exhausted what they had there. The Zulus did a pretty good job of negating the British tech advantage.
A perhaps even better battle in the same conflict would have been the Battle of Khambula – once again 10:1 odds, 2 or 3:1 if you only count those with firearms – and the side with the numerical advantage lost, badly. The winning Brits had most of the advantages the EoC would have and the Zulus weren’t much less advanced than the CoGA forces (which, as you may remember, aren’t all firearms troops!) It was about as ugly as you’d expect when one side only has human wave assaults and the other side has artillery firing explosive shells/shrapnel, massed accurate rifle fire from standoff distance, better training, etc., etc.
Thanks for the details on Rorke’s Drift!!!
I have only read peripheral overviews not the AAR (or anything close).
Khambula IMO would be more a demonstration of modern asymmetrical warfare force multipliers I think.
I mentioned Khambula as an example of what is very likely to happen the first time the CoGA ground troops run into the re-equipped ICA, mostly to point out that even at direct 10:1 odds an ICA victory is not just ‘barely possible’ as Frank seems to be implying but has occurred in Terran history, not just once but more than once at this particular stage of technical development.
As for the battle at Rorke’s Drift, Wikipedia has recently had their overview revised to better summarize the events (not through any effort of mine, I assure you) – it’s worth re-reading if you hadn’t seen it before:
The Brits had many of their native auxiliaries desert, they had a constant shrinking perimeter (at the end, their entire force had been pushed back to surround the storehouse), they lost their primary medical support in the hospital building just a couple hours in, they were running perilously low on ammo and if the Zulu forces had renewed their attack at dawn or if the late Impi that showed up had decided to attack instead of exercising the better part of valor they would have been done for. Rorke’s Drift was, as another Brit had said more than half a century before, a very near run thing; by conventional battle-math, they should not have won and they almost didn’t.
But they did and they took surprisingly few casualties doing it, for such an outnumbered force. Moral of the story: Morale, training and discipline can and often do count for more than sheer numbers.
The 9+:1 ratio that Charis faces is concerning but not insurmountable in a straight-up fight; see the textev in the first book and onwards about how Charisian Marines got their reputations despite often being outnumbered and sometimes outgunned. That said, only an idiot wouldn’t take a force multiplier in this sort of situation and the more the merrier.
Forgot to add this in – the typical musket of the general tech level the CoGA seems to be exhibiting had a maximum effective range of under 200 yards and in formal battle was typically used at ranges of about 50 yards per doctrine to maximize the effectiveness of the formation’s fire (British Land Pattern muskets didn’t even have sights!) Remember, the command sequence was “Make Ready, Level, Fire” with “Aim” not being anywhere to be found for much of the time they were used. For that matter, the real-world useful range of a Brown Bess was somewhere between 50-75 yards.
Compare that to the Mahndrayns the ICA and Marines are getting. The closest well-known contemporary-level design here on Terra would probably be the Sharps falling-block rifle, minus the Sharps’ unique automatic percussion cap feeder. The Sharps had an effective, accurate and useful range of over 500 yards, proven in battle during the American Civil War.
So Khambula is a pretty good parallel for what’s going to happen even if the CoGA brings along a 10:1 or more superior force – hard to bring your numbers to bear when your enemy’s maximum useful range is literally ten times yours, he can reload orders of magnitude faster than you can and he doesn’t have to stand up to reload.
It’s pretty clear that the ICA/rearmed RSA can win any battle provided they can use their range advantage and their ammo holds out. If they get caught at close quarters, it’s “Bayonets boys, up and in!” as Hektor so eloquently stated at the waterfall when rescuing Irys & Daivyn.
Other than the increased rate of fire – a Mahndrayn can probably fire 8-12 times per minute, at close quarters the tech advantage becomes effectively nil, especially since pikes are longer than Mahndrayns. Toss in the clouds of black powder smoke, and the good guys would be in for a bleak time.
So they’d better pick their battle sites carefully, like they did in Corisande. Of course you can’t always do that, and surprises DO happen – which I why I keep screaming that SOMEBODY from the inner circle has to go with the second force, even if it isn’t Cayleb, so unless they bring Eastshare into the inner circle when Cayleb “coordinates” with him, somebody he’d listen to has to go along. And Merlin is too busy.
Charis could really use a few extra PICAs so there would be a bunch of seijins running around.
“Sheer overwhelming numbers” don’t always overwhelm if the other side is prepared for them. The British lost at Isandlwanda more due to a lack of preparedness (difficulty in getting ammunition to the troops, artillery field of fire blocked by friendly native forces) than due to the relative force sizes. By the time of the Battle of Ulundi, they knew what mistakes had been made at Isandlwanda and had the lids off the expedition’s entire store of ammunition boxes, with the boxes placed close behind the infantry companies. The force ratio at Isandlwanda was about 15:1 favoring the Zulus, but it was over 20:1 in the Zulus’ favor at Ulundi and they lost anyway.
We are looking at 10:1 odds but the one has advantages considerably greater than those of the British in India. The 10 have serious problems. “Asian Land War” was the line of the misfortunate General MacArthur, a man whose press relations and enormous ego remained outshone by his military ineptitude. Readers will recall the Japanese invasion of China, which despite considerable foreign aid the Chinese were unable to stem.
If the exact true story were to be nailed to the door of every Church on Safehold, almost no one would believe it. Security is totally protected by the bizarre nature of the truth. For starters, everyone knows that stars are the little lamps that the angels place to decorate the night sky.
If one were to nail 95 versions of it to every church door, nobody on this forum would recognize a quote of Martin Luther: “Here I stand; I can do no other.”
That’s a fairly dogmatic statement.
Lets play the what group will we shift to next game :)
I _want_ to see what Earl Coris is up to; but I think its been a while since we’ve seen a mainland perspective, so my choice for that would be the leader of Siddarmark (Stohnar or however we spell it). Another option would be shifting over to the council in Corisande… but this book really isn’t about them, so we’ll probably see them later when Staynair visits.
Re. Allan G:
As a sailor/boatowner, I must pick the following nit: Ships FOUNDER not flounder!!!
The question I want to ask is whether Charleyan will “unilaterally” decide to allow Irys and Daivyn to go on to Corisande when Maikel goes.
I doubt it. Even if they feel that they could trust Iris and Daivyn (likely), they would not want to stir up the Corisandian political system by tempting all the nobles and people still primarily loyal to the Corisandian Throne to steal away Daivyn before he can be made to swear loyalty to Charis. He CANNOT be allowed to return to Corisande until he swears loyalty to the EoC; it would be stupid, however sentimental, to do otherwise.
Summoning the Regency council to Corisande for a conference with Daivyn & Irys would, I feel, be a good move and help control rumors….
OTOH, having the regeny council out of Corisande for a length of time could be a bad idea. They are the ones who are keeping control of things. And while the last rebellion was put down pretty handily, its always possible that with the EoC tied up in Siddarmark someone might scent an opportunity. Its unlikely, but the damage if it were to happen is too serious to risk.
I suspect it is possible that a REPRESENTATIVE from the council will travel to Chissolm while they are there to “confer.” Sending the whole group would be STUPID. I would say, 1 of the major players and a couple of the minor members of the council and that is it.
IIRC the council is only 7 (and one got executed, don’t kow if he was replaced) men strong if you include the archbishop. So 1 major and two minor members would be half of it. Perhaps it should be on council member and a couple of members of parliament instead?
Better would be to get Coris on Charis’s side and be able to send him back to Corisande to “quell” those rumours. I can see a place being made for him in the EoC as they did with Pine Hollow (Nahrman’s PM) as an alternate option though.
While Coris certainly might be useful to the EoC I don’t think he’ll necessarily be that useful to them quelling those rumors. He’s been away from Corisande for quite a while, when serving Hector he deliberately cultivated a reputation as cunning, opportunistic and possibly treacherous and according to Church propaganda he’s the one who betrayed Daivyn to the EoC. People who have a already have a problem with the EoC are more likely to see him as a Charisian puppet.