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Warhost of Vastmark (Wars of Light & Shadow, #3; Arc 2 - The Ships of Merior, #2)
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Wars of Light and Shadow > Warhost of Vastmark: Dier Kenton and Vastmark - the campaign

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message 1: by Janny (new)

Janny (jannywurts) | 414 comments One thing you never read, in Tolkein's work, was the reality of supply lines for a massive campaign. Or the time of year, or so many things that go into moving large numbers of troops into difficult terrain.

I did loads of research to make this scenario different, and relied heavily on both historical material, and the 'handbook' references created by wargamers (not fantasy gamers, but historical wargamers, who, based on careful research also, created reference tables on what was possible, in period, and what was not.

What struck you about the military/tactical angle, and how it played upon the characters' reactions?


Sandra  (sleo) | 1059 comments Your battle scenes always seem brutally real to me, so I can believe you do your research.

The main thing that I found astounding was that no one of Lysaer's tactical officers suspected that the shale in Vastmark might be unstable. It seemed incredibly stupid, and some character later on remarks that 'everyone knows how unstable the mountainsides in Vastmark are' when Lysaer is trying to blame the defeat on black sorcery.

In fact, in every battle, Arithon wins largely by his wits and brilliant strategies, not by spellcraft. And Lysaer's reliance on the myth of his evil sorcery always defeats him in the end. He's a bright guy, too. You'd think he'd catch on after while.


message 3: by Janny (new)

Janny (jannywurts) | 414 comments Sandra aka Sleo wrote: "Your battle scenes always seem brutally real to me, so I can believe you do your research.

The main thing that I found astounding was that no one of Lysaer's tactical officers suspected that the s..."


Did you miss the scene where Arithon sounded the fault? The site was hand picked for mass devastation.

The warning was given by Duke Bransian - though the event that occurred was far more large scale than the normal course of event.


Sandra  (sleo) | 1059 comments I was never sure what happened. I thought second time through that Arithon deliberately provoked Lysaer by using shadow as he knew the ground was unstable and it was the huge thunderbolt of Lysaer's light that triggered the landslide. But still they should've known the land was unstable and maybe forestalled what happened. Dierken, after all, knew how Lysaer reacted after watching him burn their own fleet in a fit of rage.


Sandra  (sleo) | 1059 comments I mean Diegan not Dierken. Sorry. Sr moment.


Amelia (narknon) | 523 comments Sandra aka Sleo wrote: "I mean Diegan not Dierken. Sorry. Sr moment."

Dierken, that's an interesting name. Janny, maybe you should write a story about him.

On a more serious note, I did notice that Arithon had tampered with the shale on the mountainside and stratically picked the location for the slaughter. On the other hand, his actions at the Havens was his message to Lysaer to quit fighting or worse would even happen to his army. Unfortunately, Lysaer didn't get that message. If he had stopped his advance, the mountainside would not have fallen down. I think it was Lysaer's bold that ended up causing the final imbalance that started the mass landslide.

Both princes have had the help of very good strategists. Lysaer has the numbers and Arithon uses his cleverness to give his small numbers a better chance at surviving. Lysaer, though, does blame some of the military strategies onto Arithon's sorcery, instead of the militiristic moves.


message 7: by Janny (new)

Janny (jannywurts) | 414 comments Here's the odd little geological fact (yup, research, again) that contributed.

Shale is unstable and prone to slides - PARTICULARLY WHEN WET. So a terrain that did not fault when dry would tend to slide more, and worse, after a prolonged bout of wet weather.

Arithon did not tamper with the ground, he sounded it and chose the site - accurately. The way the campaign was fought, Lysaer's troops were suckered here and there - the shepherds lured him onto the chosen ground, after the weather had soaked the ground.

The usual slide would have crumbled slowly, a surface bit at a time.

The the heavy, slamming vibration, and the light bolt's strike EXACTLY at the strategic spot - would react like a precisely set bit of dynamite.

So the slide that occurred was - premeditated, but used the natural features and Lysaer's rage.

What was different from Minderl Bay?

At Minderl Bay his strike burned his own ships.

At Vastmark, to all appearances, he was striking an enemy force.

The scale of event would have been far wider than Anyone, except, perhaps, Arithon and his confidantes knew.

When Duke Bransian warned Lysaer of 'unstable ground' he'd have been thinking of the smaller scale, natural events, that might take out a herd of sheep, or be a dangerous nuisance. He'd hardly have imagined an event on this scale.


Sandra  (sleo) | 1059 comments Janny wrote: "Here's the odd little geological fact (yup, research, again) that contributed.

Shale is unstable and prone to slides - PARTICULARLY WHEN WET. So a terrain that did not fault when dry would tend to..."


Okay, that's what I thought! I didn't think Arithon tampered with the ground, and it's just good strategy to choose your battleground. I'm sure no one would have thought of an event of that scale. But it was still Lysaer's bolt that triggered it, and thus he destroyed his own army AGAIN, just like he did in Minderl Bay. So he has outfoxed Lysaer every time.


Amelia (narknon) | 523 comments Janny wrote: "Here's the odd little geological fact (yup, research, again) that contributed.

Shale is unstable and prone to slides - PARTICULARLY WHEN WET. So a terrain that did not fault when dry would tend to..."


I guess I used the wrong word. LOL!

I just got new insight about this event from Peril's Gate, but I can't add it here. I love how every book keeps adding depth to the ones before. I think it will work the other way too, once I reread the first ones again. They will add a lot to the ones that come after as well.


message 10: by Janny (new)

Janny (jannywurts) | 414 comments Amelia wrote: "Janny wrote: "Here's the odd little geological fact (yup, research, again) that contributed.

Shale is unstable and prone to slides - PARTICULARLY WHEN WET. So a terrain that did not fault when d..."


Yes - ;)

You haven't gotten (yet) to Stormed Fortress....

And even then, Arc IV will re-set all the markers, again.

ONLY a long work can do this sort of thing. I believe series were meant to flower, this way - so fun to see it working for you.


message 11: by Janny (new)

Janny (jannywurts) | 414 comments Sandra aka Sleo wrote: "Janny wrote: "Here's the odd little geological fact (yup, research, again) that contributed.

Shale is unstable and prone to slides - PARTICULARLY WHEN WET. So a terrain that did not fault when dry..."


If that table should turn?


Sandra  (sleo) | 1059 comments Janny wrote: "Sandra aka Sleo wrote: "Janny wrote: "Here's the odd little geological fact (yup, research, again) that contributed.

Shale is unstable and prone to slides - PARTICULARLY WHEN WET. So a terrain tha..."


Ah, you devil! Rue the day. :)


Sumant | 3 comments Yes this was what I thought exactly, when mountain came tumbling down on Lysaer's army, how can you fight with numbers in mountain passes ?

And doesn't Lysaer have some veteran captains with him whose advice he takes when he plans the strategy, because he always fights with Arithron on his ground.


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