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Will the Fanim finally get a break? posted 11 Apr 2005, 10:04 by Fanim, Commoner

For obvious reasons, I tend to sympathize with the Fanim who are on the receiving end of a bloodthirsty crusade. Two good books on the subject are Amin Maalouf's "The Crusades seen by Arab eyes", or Karen Armstrong's "Holy War". Well, we know at least the Consult fears the Cishaurim enough to make them a primary target, when the Mandate Schoolment are considered of little import, a nuisance at best. So can we expect a righting of the balance in TTT? view post

posted 11 Apr 2005, 11:04 by Entropic_existence, Moderator

Welcome to the board Fanim, good question. I can't wait to see how TTT plays out and how things look to get set up for Aspect-Emperor. :) view post

posted 11 Apr 2005, 15:04 by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Welcome aboard, Fanim. It's too bad you're asking a question that's impossible for me to answer! :wink: I am curious, though, as to what you mean exactly by 'break.' Is it simply a matter of giving the Fanim a military victory, or do you think I'm somehow taking sides? view post

posted 11 Apr 2005, 16:04 by Tattooed Hand, Auditor

As I was flipping through Carole Hillenbrand's "The Crusades: Islamic Perspectives," the other day (on a major procrastinative detour from what I should have been looking for) I was wondering if we ever get to see things about the Fanim, besides the remnants of their almost always exotic and decadent accoutrements. I feel like much of what we see in TWP is the exoticized objects left in their wake or their banner from a distance. This bothered me a bit, although I realize this is because a lot of this is told through the perspective of the Inrithi, to whom Fanim would probably seem both effeminate/decadent and fearfully ferocious (that intertwining of heresy and sexual perversity/gender chaos), I wonder if this does not bleed into the omniscient perspective descriptions… (or are they omniscient from the perspective of the Inrithi army?) The more human moments of everyday life have been few – the only Fanim we see are grandees or the padirajah, or as faceless victims of plunder… no fat sorcerer or savvy whores that break any stereotypical images and let us see what is going on from within… but perhaps you are saving this for future books. Perhaps it will be introduced as Kelhus meets up with daddy’s helpers. view post

posted 12 Apr 2005, 02:04 by White Lord, Subdidact

You don't always have to win battles or wars in order to gain supremacy over other peoples (or lose it if you are defeated), IMO. Who knows what will happen by the time AE begins . . . :) view post

posted 12 Apr 2005, 16:04 by H, Auditor

I'm sure that once Zeum rises, as has been alluded too, the Fanim will get their 'revenge.' Scott, this has me wondering, i can't remember if you've commented on this before, but i seached and didn't find anything on this. As of the begining of the PoN series (4110 YotT) the Fanim are [i:1727db1g]only[/i:1727db1g] about 400 years removed from whatever faith they had before the coming of the prophet Fane. This has me wonder, what was their faith (if any) before this? Also, as we see in TWP, the Fanim are quite comfortable in the desert, and for some reason i have an idea that they were nomadic before the comming of Fane (i might have just made this up). I'm not sure if you had said this before or not, my second question is, if they [i:1727db1g]were[/i:1727db1g] nomadic before the coming of Fane, what proportion of their population still lives in this tradtional way? And if it is a significant proportion, what is their views of those who [i:1727db1g]do[/i:1727db1g] live in the cities? Lastly, i've been wondering about one fact for a while. From what i understood from TWP, Kian is basically all desert (there is never any sort of forrests described from what i remember). But if this is true, how could the Fanim field such a massive mounted army? I'm not sure, but i think they ride horses predominantly, not camels, i can't find a reference in the book right now. A horse eats and drinks quite alot, and i can see how the Fanim could water them (there's always water in a desert, finding it is the hard part), but all that fodder? I'm not expert, but most large scale cavelry opperations were only feasable in areas where the horses could graze. I found this: [quote="":1727db1g]A maintenance diet for a 1000 pound horse is typically recommended to be about 16 - 17 pounds of hay and 3 pounds of grain per day . As a horse's workload increases, moderate these recommendations by changing to 25 pounds of hay with 6 - 7 pounds of grain per day.[/quote:1727db1g] Say there were only 1000 horses, that is at least 31,000 pounds of fodder per day, and the riders need to eat too. I think it'd be more, as that estimate is not for a war horse, but for a horse who maybe trots all day at best (and not wearing any armor plating, or carrying much). From the way i remember the battles being described, the Kianese are almost always depicted as being mounted, i was thinking that half their army consisted of cavelry. I also remember somewhere the Fanim army being estimated at 50,000 troops (again, i may have imagined this). That mens there would be 25,000 horses, and 25,000*31 pounds of fodder=775,000 pounds of fodder a day, just for the horses. From my limited knowledge, having that many horses in one area was not even possible during the American Civil War, when they had trains and alot of rivers to aid in suppling. Additionally, it seems that they are quite fond of the use of archery, which i would imagine would use alot of wood to keep supplied with a constant source of ammunition. Again i was under the impression that most of that would need to be scrounged up while the army marched, as carrying all that with you would be a logistic nightmare.Then again i'm not a military expert at all. Or am i just wrong about the geographical make up of most of Kian? Or perhaps i'm just way overestimating the Fanim use of archery/cavelry because it is distorted way in which the Inrithi would see them (being so foriegn)? Or should i just shut up and susped disbelief? I'm not critiquing, just asking if there is some aspect of this i'm missing. view post

posted 15 Apr 2005, 05:04 by Fanim, Commoner

It seems this forum's new post notification feature is broken. Thanks to all who replied. [quote="Cu'jara Cinmoi":2nrwrec9]Welcome aboard, Fanim. It's too bad you're asking a question that's impossible for me to answer! :wink: I am curious, though, as to what you mean exactly by 'break.' Is it simply a matter of giving the Fanim a military victory, or do you think I'm somehow taking sides?[/quote:2nrwrec9] There are two things that make me somewhat uncomfortable: 1. There is hardly any Fanim character depicted. Skauras gets some time, but mostly vicariously through Conphas' recollections of him, and only at the very last moment (when he realizes the magnitude of the disaster) is he somewhat humanized. The Padirajah is caricatured as a fat buffoon. There is one hint of valor when the Chishaurim messenger to Kellhus shows admirable stoicism in the face of impending death, and one can only agree with his characterization of the Scarlet Spires as "whores". 2. The history of the Crusades is one of a massive demographic burst in Western Europe finding an outlet in the Middle East (as Saubon, many of the crusaders were motivated by the perspective of gaining kingdoms or fiefs in the East). But their initial victories were due in no small part to the total disarray and lack of leadership on the other side, which was reversed by Nasruddin and later Saladin. In the Inrithi Holy War, they face an already organized and competent foe, not to mention one adequately provisioned and manned, yet they consistently snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. In some ways the first two installments remind me of Frank Herbert's Dune, with the Dunyain being analogous to the Bene Gesserit. My reading of Dune is actually sympathetic to the Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV and Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, who both express regret at the distasteful political necessity of having to destroy the Atreides, whereas Paul Muad'dib is a man who uses his superior genetics to unleash a fanatical and genocidal jihad on the galaxy. I must be a contrarian. Herbert's subtle and complex portrayal of the Atreides' foes in the book leaves the possibility of empathizing with them and taking their side. The Fanim in the first two volumes of PoN are too one-dimensional for that. view post

posted 15 Apr 2005, 14:04 by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

That clears it up for me perfectly, Fanim. This is an excellent topic to raise, by the way. Character, theme, and story are the great motivators in narrative. You want what you depict to advance at least one of these in some way (I try to aim for what I call 'triple plays'), and if they don't then they [i:22azhamh]tend[/i:22azhamh] to come across as extraneous. So in [i:22azhamh]Dune[/i:22azhamh], for instance, it's not the need to provide 'equal time' that motivates the depictions of the Emperor and the Baron, but the plot. I'm just telling a much different story (and I'll also note that although it's patterned on the First Crusade, it definitely isn't a retelling). The Fanim really only impinge on the story through the historical narrative sections (which I see as being far more critical of the Inrithi), otherwise, I actually wanted them to be elusive and exotic 'outsiders' from the point of view of the main characters. Since in a lot of ways I'm trying to recapture the quasi-racist 'euro-biases' that marbled my adolescent reading (and obsessive rereading) of Howard, Burroughs, Tolkien, I do worry that people will read the conflict too literally, and assume I was actually endorsing those types. I originally thought this might be your concern. Some good questions, H. The Kianene were actually quasi-Inrithi before their conversion to Fanimry. As for the desert, I think the map shows that most of the nations, with the exception of Khemema, are not desert. Shigek and Eumarna are the two great breadbaskets of the empire. The presumption that many Kianene have 'gone soft' as a result of leaving the desert is indirectly referred to now and again. I actually used Don Engals most excellent [i:22azhamh]Alexander the Great and the Logistics of the Macedonian Army[/i:22azhamh] (which would be an RPGer's dream as far as source texts go) quite extensively throughout the course of writing, but the fact is that logistics don't make for much drama, so I follow the 'manna from heaven' tradition of military historical narrative. We do get an interior glimpse into the Fanim world in [i:22azhamh]The Aspect-Emperor[/i:22azhamh], Tattooed Hand. Like I say, in the historical narrative sections, I resort to quasi-racist cliches and types, both heroic and otherwise, trying to mix up assumptions, and to indirectly show how arbitrary and self-serving they actually are, even if they seem 'fair and balanced' to those sharing the selfsame prejudices. view post

posted 15 Apr 2005, 20:04 by Fanim, Commoner

[quote="Cu'jara Cinmoi":1n257ge4]But the fact is that logistics don't make for much drama, so I follow the 'manna from heaven' tradition of military historical narrative.[/quote:1n257ge4] You, sir, have clearly not watched Jerry Bruckheimer's reality TV production "Saving private Jessica Lynch"... view post

posted 15 Apr 2005, 21:04 by H, Auditor

[quote="Fanim":xjx8eek4][quote="Cu'jara Cinmoi":xjx8eek4]But the fact is that logistics don't make for much drama, so I follow the 'manna from heaven' tradition of military historical narrative.[/quote:xjx8eek4] You, sir, have clearly not watched Jerry Bruckheimer's reality TV production "Saving private Jessica Lynch"...[/quote:xjx8eek4] LOL I hope it didn't seem like i was criticizing, i was just wondering if i wasn't seeing something, which was the maps (i'm an idiot). I actually like the fact that the Fanim are shown without regards to logistics, its makes them seem much cooler, and incredably more scarey in that they can fade into and out of the deserts at will. Its funny you mentioned [i:xjx8eek4]Dune[/i:xjx8eek4] in another thread, i think that the 'deep desert' people of Kian will play some kind of role with the rise of Zeum in the coming books. As shown in TWP, they are perfect warriors out in the open desert, i'm not worried for the Fanim, in fact i think that they are glad the Intrithi are removing some of the 'softies' who live in the cities (and they probably think they 'deserve' it). As for [i:xjx8eek4]Alexander the Great and the Logistics of the Macedonian Army[/i:xjx8eek4], that really does look like a great resource, definitely going into my next Amazon order. Any other good historical resource you recommend? view post

posted 19 Apr 2005, 15:04 by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

[quote:37aa1cp6]I hope it didn't seem like i was criticizing, i was just wondering if i wasn't seeing something...[/quote:37aa1cp6] Criticism is one of my favourite things, especially when it hurts! I do, however, reserve the right to defend my work with rationalizations... :wink: As for other military source books, I've assembled quite a few over the years, but none that immediately strike me as recommendable. Let me ponder. [quote:37aa1cp6]You, sir, have clearly not watched Jerry Bruckheimer's reality TV production "Saving private Jessica Lynch"...[/quote:37aa1cp6] LOL! view post

posted 19 Apr 2005, 15:04 by Tattooed Hand, Auditor

I read some amazing "histories" of Mongol battles and sieges. When they laid seige to Baghdad, they used their corvee labor (from other sucessful sieges and villages on the way) to build a second wall around Baghdad's walls. This way people couldn't slip out of the walls. Then they lobbed flaming balls and big rocks into the city. The graneries burned down and while people were trying to put fires out, they scaled the walls. Before too long the city surrendered. They put the Caliph and his sons to death, and then looted and pillaged the city. Unfortunately, most of these are in Persian and have not, to the best of my knowledge, been translated. Their tone and approach are very interesting though - in terms of what is honorable/admirable behavior and what is not. view post

posted 28 Apr 2005, 16:04 by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

I'd very interested on getting my hands on some translations of those. Any collection you know of, TH? view post

posted 28 Apr 2005, 18:04 by Tattooed Hand, Auditor

I can check for English translations and get back to you. If not, I could probably render you a translation of the Baghdad siege, but after the end of my semester... they really are great battle stories. view post

posted 29 Apr 2005, 08:04 by Mithfânion, Didact

Scott, You may find this book very interesting, Warriors of the Steppe, by Erik Hildinger. It's a recent publication and is about this very subject: ... ce&s=books Also, there is this one, by Jeremiah Curtin: ... 96-5798545 and The Devil's Horsemen by David Chambers: ... 5?v=glance Finally, Mongol Warlords by David Nicolle: ... 13-0388425 view post

posted 29 Apr 2005, 18:04 by Tattooed Hand, Auditor

OK, here's the deal: The account of the Fall of Baghdad that I mentioned is written by a Persian ploymath named Nasiruddin Tusi (well known for works on astronomy, logic and ethics). It is written as an appendix to another text, a long history of the Mongols. Both these accounts are written by Persian (bilingual also in Arabic) historians who at different times were attached to Genghiz Khan's grandson, Hulagu. The main account is written by a guy named Juwayni who only covers Genghiz up through Hulagu's destruction of Alamut (the mountain stronghold of the Ismailis, also called the Assasins). So Tusi wrote the appendix to cover Baghdad, which was conquered 2 years later and marks the beginning of the Ilkhanid rule of what is today most of Iran, Afghanistan and Iraq. Here is the English translation of the main text: Juvaynī, ʻAlāʾ al-Dīn ʻAṭā Malik, 1226-1283. Genghis Khan : the history of the world conqueror / by ʻAla al-Din ʻAta-Malik Juvaini ; translated from the text of Mizra Muhammad Qazvini by J. A. Boyle with a new introduction by David O. Morgan. Seattle : University of Washington Press, 1997. Unfortunately, the appendix has not been included in this translation (which is weird because the translator muses over why the author wouldn't include the fall of Baghdad - but then, the manuscript he is working from is full of gaps). The main text should be full of juicy battle stories, politics and intrigue. My offer still stands to translation the Fall of Baghdad part of the appendix, since I've already done a read through of it with a professor. Hope this helps. view post

posted 03 May 2005, 18:05 by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Very cool, TH! Thank you as well, Mith. I will definitely check all this out my next research day at the university library. I'm particularly interested in the contemporaneous accounts - its a good way to get a feel for the medieval psyche. view post

posted 04 May 2005, 21:05 by Fanim, Commoner

[quote="Cu'jara Cinmoi":1tt7u50z]I'm particularly interested in the contemporaneous accounts - its a good way to get a feel for the medieval psyche.[/quote:1tt7u50z] Not about the fall of Baghdad, but you may find this [url=]this contemporary account of the Crusades[/url:1tt7u50z] interesting view post


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