Author Topic: Shattered Plain War Questions (Possible Spoilers)  (Read 4779 times)

GeekMan

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Re: Shattered Plain War Questions (Possible Spoilers)
« Reply #30 on: October 03, 2010, 03:51:41 AM »
Yeah, I think you are. Felling them sooner means Sadeas forces have to try to come across fewer bridges. If they waited until the bridgemen got there, it just means that there are 20+ bridges ready to go at the same time, arrows pretty much still already spent and the soldiers pushing the bridges across would be heavily armored. Think about defending ground against 8 bridges or 20 bridges.

I think you are getting too caught up in the limited exposure you have to the battles, it is a 6 year war after all. Perhaps they attempted fire arrows but they failed. Perhaps Alethi troops tried to sneak behind once and it worked but now any troops that try it are ambushed and killed. Perhaps they tried to wait until the bridges got to the chasms but then had to defend against many more troops at a time coming across. Perhaps it is strategy of Parshendi to lull the Alethi (and you, lol) into thinking that winning the battle is more important than winning the war.

You're probably right.  I honestly don't know why I'm obsessing over the bridgemen charging the chasms so much.  I know that it doesn't detract from my enjoyment of the book so I should probably just "get over it" and move on.  Maybe I can come to terms with it after another read-through.  Lord knows I couldn't put it down the first two times!

One thing I'd like do though, is say "Thank you" to everyone here.  Since I came here and voiced my thoughts I've realized that just because I might think something makes perfectly logical sense doesn't mean the rest of the thinking world will.  You've all been very understanding and thoughtful in your responses and not once did anyone taunt, flame or mock with malice.  Thank you all for making my first post a pleasant experience.  I hope to be around this board for as long as Mr. Sanderson continues to write, if not longer.

Thanks!
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VegasDev

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Re: Shattered Plain War Questions (Possible Spoilers)
« Reply #31 on: October 03, 2010, 04:11:51 AM »
Stick around. It's questions like this that can help an author perfect his books. If you have doubts about how feasible the battles are, others may as well. Perhaps Brandon will expand upon the history of the Plain's war to indicate why they do things the way they do.
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Czanos

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Re: Shattered Plain War Questions (Possible Spoilers)
« Reply #32 on: October 03, 2010, 07:10:57 AM »
It's also questions like this that keep the board thinking. A lot of times with the bigger questions people have about the books Brandon has intentionally not given us all the info, but these kinds of discussions keep us going through the books looking for details we may have overlooked. I, for one, haven't had this much fun since the Mistborn Trilogy.
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Stormblessed

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Re: Shattered Plain War Questions (Possible Spoilers)
« Reply #33 on: October 03, 2010, 07:13:50 AM »
WoK is special in the way that there is a lot of information in the book, not only in the actual written passages, but also in the artwork. I don't thing any other Brandon book has had this many hints and easter eggs in it (thought this may also be because it is the biggest Brandon Book yet).

I just can't wait for the annotations. There are usually some more hints and stuff which would keep us going for months, if not longer.
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Inkthinker

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Re: Shattered Plain War Questions (Possible Spoilers)
« Reply #34 on: October 03, 2010, 08:22:12 AM »
The survival of any bridgemen against archers firing from 20 feet away bothers me some too, but it's not a deal-breaker.

I think when we imagine the Parshendi shooting, we may see there being a thicker flight of arrows than is necessary. In movies, especially lately, arrows are shot in clouds that blot out the sun (see Hero, 300, etc). But we've also established (or at least theorized) that the supply of arrows is probably not that great. We know that the bridge crews are subjected to direct fire, but the fact that the Parshendi don't have enough arrows to slaughter every crew that approaches indicates that the flights are probably only a few dozen at a time directed at any one crew, spread out over 20 crews of 40 or so men each.

Arrows don't fly like bullets, even over short distances. They can curve and twist, and a near-miss is still a miss. Several arrows might hit a single man, especially since the outer layers help protect the inner groups, so it might take a couple rounds before you've killed enough men to force them to drop their bridge.

So if you imagine the volleys being like a cloud of arrows, you're overdoing it. I don't think Brandon ever actually defines how many archers are amongst the Parshendi army, and not every Parshendi is shooting at once. It's still enough that the first few rows of any crew should expect to die, unless they've got an honorspren twisting the wind for them.

 ;D

Stormblessed

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Re: Shattered Plain War Questions (Possible Spoilers)
« Reply #35 on: October 04, 2010, 01:59:24 AM »
In a world of constant storms, and rocky barren lands, where does the wood come to make these bridges. In particular, how do the Parshendi make arrows when they are trapped in the middle of the Shattered Plains? A supply of trees is something that doesn't seem readily available here, and a lot of wood would be needed.
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Erunion

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Re: Shattered Plain War Questions (Possible Spoilers)
« Reply #36 on: October 04, 2010, 02:39:51 AM »
There's a "forest" beside Sadaes's warcamp from which he sells wood. The rest is soulcast by the king's soulcasters.

Pechvarry

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Re: Shattered Plain War Questions (Possible Spoilers)
« Reply #37 on: October 04, 2010, 03:34:38 AM »
I just want to mention that in the book, it's mentioned a couple times that Alethi arrows fall very near the bridgecrews while they're placing the bridge.  The reasoning seems simple enough:  the Alethi are far enough away that their hail of arrows don't reach far past the gap.  In addition to protecting themselves from counter-fire, they create a method of area denial: the parshendi who move too close to the edge die.  This protects the landing zone from point-blank archers or soldiers attempting to push the bridge back into the chasm.

Inkthinker

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Re: Shattered Plain War Questions (Possible Spoilers)
« Reply #38 on: October 04, 2010, 06:40:10 AM »
In a world of constant storms, and rocky barren lands, where does the wood come to make these bridges. In particular, how do the Parshendi make arrows when they are trapped in the middle of the Shattered Plains? A supply of trees is something that doesn't seem readily available here, and a lot of wood would be needed.

if I had to make something up, I'd say they make arrow shafts from the bones of something. Or they have a supply of wood that we don't know about (it's not as if we know what's in the central areas of the plains).

It's interesting that we refer to the world as barren, when it's really anything but. There's a vibrant ecosystem, it's just one that's adapted to frequent weathering and has evolved methods of concealment and/or armor that resembles the environment. Yes, there's a lot of rock, but that's hasn't stopped life from adapting and even thriving there.

Stormblessed

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Re: Shattered Plain War Questions (Possible Spoilers)
« Reply #39 on: October 04, 2010, 10:13:54 AM »
I wonder if the shells of plants and grass can be used as a wood substitute?
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GeekMan

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Re: Shattered Plain War Questions (Possible Spoilers)
« Reply #40 on: October 04, 2010, 02:52:17 PM »
Another thought would be how flammable is the wood of the world?  And how flammable is cast wood?  Perhaps they're not quite the same as the wood from our world.  They could be denser, lighter, more/less flammable, etc. 
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ryos

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Re: Shattered Plain War Questions (Possible Spoilers)
« Reply #41 on: October 10, 2010, 09:31:44 PM »
Quote
And it really isn't clear how well-supplied either army actually is with arrows... archery isn't mentioned a lot, wood is in short supply, and I don't even know what they use for fletching (no birds on Roshar, remember?).

I was rereading some stuff last night, and noted that Parshendi arrows are fletched with something called scragglebark. If I remember right, the reference is on page 895.
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Inkthinker

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Re: Shattered Plain War Questions (Possible Spoilers)
« Reply #42 on: October 11, 2010, 02:07:05 AM »
Good eyes!!

Bottom of page 895 refers to "painted scragglebark fletching". So, plant matter for the fletching, at least on Parshendi arrows. Any references to the shafts or heads (heads would probably be easiest, as there's just... just HUGE precedent for stone arrowheads)?
« Last Edit: October 11, 2010, 02:08:46 AM by Inkthinker »

EvilNuff

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Re: Shattered Plain War Questions (Possible Spoilers)
« Reply #43 on: October 11, 2010, 04:59:48 AM »
I think there are a number of things about the "war" that are implied but never explicitly stated.  For example, Sadeas thinks the Parshendi are dwindling in numbers and that he can defeat them without Dalinar.  Yet we have some evidence that they fight with honor, and more importantly that they bring only enough #s to equal the alethi.  Think about that...my interpretation is that the parshendi have vast numbers and frankly aren't really trying to win only to match the alethi.

The Parshendi don't follow bridge 4 and Dalinar's forces after the final battle yet they easily could have...and probably wiped them out.  I would bet that if the alethi stopped using archers so would the parshendi.

In future books I expect Dalinar's efforts to turn the "war" from a game/race into a real war to evolve into multiple armies made of mixed units from different high princes stationed out on the plains.  Perhaps at the ends of the permanent bridges.  Specifically to be closer to the fights and allow them to use seige towers.  Heck the alethi have enough #s to rotate troops out and establish foot holds farther out on the plains easily enough. :)

Stormblessed

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Re: Shattered Plain War Questions (Possible Spoilers)
« Reply #44 on: October 11, 2010, 06:39:56 AM »
Have the Parshendi been using women warriors in all the battles, or is this just a recent thing as their numbers are dwindling?
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