Wednesday, 29 October 2014
Van Rijn At War
In summarizing the "War of the Wing-Men" (so to call it), I realize that I have omitted several details like:
not only does ice not burn, of course, but also walls of ice protect ice ship crews from flame throwers so that they can get up close before they either burn or board the rafts;
if an ice ship is incapacitated, its crew simply flies off and disperses itself among the other ships;
infantry are protected not only by shields held above them but also by spears that they suddenly thrust up in unison against swooping attackers;
a raft once occupied by the Flock is relatively safe from attack even by a better armed, more skillfully sailed Fleet raft because all of the Fleet's families, dwellings and possessions are on the rafts so that the Fleet commanders dare not risk these vessels in this new kind of sea combat, where everything that they own can be burned;
usually, van Rijn would prudently avoid a battlefield, except when his presence is necessary to demonstrate that he has confidence in his plans, even though he doesn't;
but, when he is in a battle, he goes doubly armored and well armed and can fight as we also see on T'Kela - on Diomedes, he charges the enemy, then wrestles and strangles a swooping warrior who clings to his back;
van Rijn's entire war aim is not victory/checkmate, which is impossible, but stalemate so that there can be a truce and the beginning of negotiations - something that he is good at - but this must be kept secret from most of his army, who regard the enemy as filthy animals.
Thus, he is manipulating both sides all along but the negotiations should lead to everyone's good.