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PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2006 1:48 pm
by Xellas
Mazanec, you have failed to notice several things about what I have proposed. Much like yourself, I believe that dropping the Mistwall would be tantamount to suicide, and most people with a shred of rationality would agree. What I propose is building trading posts IN SECRET and with no overt links except for occasional supply luftships to connect them to our homes. These would be built a considerable distance away.

However, while I would suggest that, if possible, a luxfont should be built in each, I would NOT suggest that we built a Mistwall for each of them. The reasons are fairly simple. Our Mistwall only works because there is no indication of what lies within, and no scouts from the outside have ever reported that we lie within. We are, in essense, explained away as a natural fluke of the terrain. If new Mistwalls begin popping up and then Racconans begin leaving them, how long will it be before they take a look at OUR Mistwall and put two and two together. That would be just as suicidal as dropping our own Mistwall.

As I have said before, your plan of stealing lands away from other peoples is foolish. The more land that we cover with Mistwalls, the more likely it is that those Mistwalls will become targets of intense exploration. Once even ONE Mistwall is pierced and we are discovered inside, then ALL of the protection provided by the Mistwalls will be stripped away. Then, we will be exterminated because they will still think of us as threats instead of a boon. The key to our long-term survival is that we change the way the other races think of us, so that they see us as invaluable trading partners with absolutely unique and invaluable assets that would be lost forever if we were exterminated. Then, and only then, can we live without fear of the outside world.

PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2006 3:08 pm
by Werekitty
There is another point that out esteemed speaker has omitted to cover, if expansionism is to be seriously considered.

What do we do with the prisoners?

"Ahah," you think, "she's obviously touched, because there won't be prisoners." Methinks tho'art not considering the stubborness of people who own their own land. Expand far enough, and we will, eventually, run into occupied lands, especially rural settlements. Such rural places have humans who have worked hard to win their little plots from the wilderness by the labor of their bodies and the blood spilt to win said land.

Clearly such people will not simply be run off by a wall of mist, because they will choose to hold what is theirs. It is, of course, their hard won land, and their labor that built their little cot and barn. Tis sure that such people will not wish to rely on the dubious charity of their rulers, and reletives.

They will be on land we are sure to want, and expand into, but they will not leave. So what do we do? Do we kill them? Do we make slaves of them? Do we allow them to work their land, still, but paying taxes to us, rather than a human ruler?

What is your solution, good sirs?

PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2006 8:08 pm
by Earl McClaw
I thank this gathering for allowing me to revisit my earlier statement.

As was ably pointed out, the basic concepts I presented have appeared before in various names. I have heard of all of these, and know them to be either inherently flawed or draconian in nature, and I therefore reject them. This is why I say I don't have any specific proposals, but intended my thoughts as something to ask about any other proposals. I also feel that any system that does not use our natural inclinations to encourage sound behavior is ultimately unstable, even if it takes centuries to present.

A feature I would suggest is that any system must be flexible enough to adapt to our changing world and situation. It will probably involve something similar to a self-correcting process.

Yes, we have time. I don't expect immediate results (and would be suspicious of any claims to offer such). This means we don't have to rush a solution, and can examine - or even test - any proposals made.

But on another level, I have to wonder if any one system of government, economy, society, etc. will serve on a permanent basis. The world changes, should not we be prepared to do the same?

PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2006 11:54 pm
by Wanderwolf
Far wiser heads than mine have spoken, and at length. Yet I find one of my chief concerns regarding Expansion remains unquarried; I shall therefore mine it. And if anyone tells me to mine my own business, they deserve whatever they get for such a pun.

Expansion, as I am given to understand by the discussion herein, consists of a slow push outward. Extending the Mistwall around and through a greater degree of land slowly, gently, and causing the humans to step aside as they would before, let us say, a mudslide.

My problem, O magnificent intellects, is this: The success of Expansion depends upon a specific reaction by the humans to our actions; that they will move aside before what appears to be a natural phenomenon.

In the first place, take my simile to its conclusion; if by some mischance a mudslide occurred upon your lands, perhaps you might accept it and expand elsewhere. Or perhaps you might attempt to reclaim the land your family and forefathers claimed. You might even attempt unthinkable acts in order to accomplish this; we've all known inexperienced fishers who put far too many poppers in the water. The lucky ones could still swim for shore. How much more might a person undertake if emotion or avarice be aroused?

In the second place, in which direction shall we expand? Without the exploration demanded by Free Trade, how can we know if we compass farmland, fen or firewaste? This applies not only to nature, but to matters politic; if we take in contested land, the blame will likely be laid at the doorstep of the other contestant. The law holds: You cannot do just one thing. Will we start wars, and excuse them because our people are not the ones butchered?

Lastly, but most worrisome, is this: There was, long ago, a movement which held as its central tenet the idea that humans would react a specific way to a specific action. That, faced with powers beyond their understanding, humans would accept their lot.

I believe we are all familiar with the Fakirs? More importantly, with their eventual fate?

I do not set forth Free Trade as a panacea, colleagues; only one mediicne cures all ills, and that is Death. Free Trade would open our borders to Change, that most unpalatable sweetmeat upon the plate of life. Yet in the end, we must accept the fact that Change shall come. Let it come by our actions, rather than our inactions. Let the decision not be made for us by outside forces, but by we ourselves.

In the end, I expect my position is coloured by the parable of the Talents. When last we make our accounting, will we say that we have dared to try? Or shall our sole defense be, "I did nothing"?

Yours truly,

The contemplative,


PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2006 9:11 am
by Shyal_malkes
it is interresting what a fevered imagination can come up with when it is allowed to wander too far from reality.

I present two propositions, one of which I believe is possible, the other I believe is falacy, I shall entertain you with falacy first.

it may be possible to bypass trade with the lands diretly connected to our own. I believe that the nearest sea is to the south. I also believe that the narrowness of the land between makes it quite likely that, should the mistwall start sliding southwards, nobody higher up would really care.

the reason I state of higher ups is that in any kingdom or organization, there is always someone who has to do the thinking. someone whom of which would hear about the going's on at the mistwall and who would put two and two together and know that something was going on. I believe that such would not find it too surprising that the swamp of mists was expanding towards the ocean and would probably hope that the whole thing ended up sliding south and slipping into the ocean eventualy.

in other words I believe that no individual kingdom can exist in so short a strip of land, and further, by expanding in that direction we may excape the gaze of those who would otherwise be suspicious. then by establishing a few ships on the seas, we could initiate trade with countries that have no idea where we are, securing both safety in economy, and safety in annonymity.

I believe this plan is falacy on the border of lunacy. a mere dream that writes it's own rules even while it plays out by them.

now for the less fancifull and more likely scenario.

we need an ambassador. preferrably a spy. I believe that a few scouts sent secretly into the bordering lands can find someone rejected and downtrodden, someone who is already at odds with his own people. someone or perhaps more then one someone, whom of which we can intently bring here to learn about us, to become accustomed to us and to know that we mean no harm to those who mean us none.

such a person, should we indeed make him our ally, would be able to walk and talk amongst the human lands with his intent and purpose completely unknown to them. capable of penetrating the secrets of the human kingdoms and countries better and farther then any mere scout.

loyalty and trust would be the most essential tools in this endeavor. as already stated, we are not on the eleventh hour, we would have the time to procure and train, perhaps even to raise such an individual.

I believe that the expansion will not work, mostly because it assumes two things.
firstly it assumes that the occupants out there will only act and understand things individually instead of collectively. this is a disbelief in the very nature of countries and kingdoms themselves, to work and think collectively, even if only one person does the thinking for you.
secondly, it assumes that the growth and ability to defend the borders should such come under attack would match and be sufficient for the rate of the mistwall's expansion. to predict such growth is, I believe, more of a falacy then the former of the ideas I have presented. no, there is no way we could grow inwards smoothly and conveniently enough to match outwards growth, and equally unpredictably would be the various reactions outside, the only thing predictable being that not all of such reactions would be favorable to us.

PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2006 10:35 am
by Tom Mazanec
OOC: I have basically stated the position I feel an expansionist would hold - that as risky as it is, it is the only course which has a chance to succeed. It would be interesting to hear some other takes on the expansionist party, so I invite others to roleplay their take on expansionist policy. It is depicted in the strip that the 2 parties are fairly evenly matched in Raccnnan society, yet I feel like an avowed exapnsionist (who is actually a closet free trader, btw) at a free trader convention. Perhaps a more "conservative" expansionist, who would not even tolerate scouts and feels sure the humans would regard the Mistwall's expansion as natural as a lavaflow? Of course, if you want to poke more holes in the expansionist argument, go ahead.

PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2006 5:07 pm
by LoneWolf23k
If I may offer a nuanced opinion, not every Free Trader believes that overt, public trade is the solution. Rather, we should take advantage of our knowledge and cunning to trade with outsiders without ever leaving ourselves vulnerable to exposure.

Consider, for exemple the use of Golems combined with Optical and Auditory Illusions to make believe they are trading with a mysterious wandering wizard... With some clever planning, a trade mission could use the same golem and altering illusions to trade with numerous parties at the same time.

...And this, gentlemen, is perhaps one of the potential strengths of Free Trade. If our knowledge of Human History has taught us one thing, is that only a common threat will ever unite Humanity for one purpose. Otherwise, Humans will gladly fight amongst themselves for the outright silliest of reasons.

We can use this against them. By trading Luxcraft weapons to two different sides of a conflict, we can encourage them to spend more time beating each other over the head then coming to look for us. And while this may seem rather amoral to some, I should point out that we need not sell weapons to every Human dandy who shines coinage at us!

By taking the time to find out who we're dealing with before approaching them for a sale, we can avoid dealing with another Sauron and instead deal with people who might actually share the same values as we do. Surely, not every Human beyond the Mistwall is a savage barbarian ready to eviscerate us for our magical organs!

And this, to me, may be where Free Trade is by far a better strategy then Expansion. It gives us an opportunity to slowly, but surely, change things in the outside world to make them more to our liking, rather then lock ourselves up in a slightly bigger cage simply because we're afraid of the consequences.

PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2006 8:50 pm
by Aurrin
Esteemed colleagues, might I intrude with a word or two? Thank you. It would seem we are simply moving in circles here, based around the two diametrically opposed political camps. However, it seems that few of you have considered other options. Allow me to elaborate.

The mistwall is insufficient as a defence. Obscurity will not hide us forever, if ever it really has from those whom we need be concerned with. We have been found before, and it would be sheerest folly to assume that we have been completely forgotten since. It is far more plausable that we're less important than the other, pressing matters of the day. That could change with as little as a treaty between two warlords. Valiant as our scrying mages may be, they cannot hope to stop a full-blown invasion by an army of true strength. Our secondary defences are little more than guerilla tactics at best: useful for prologned struggle against an entrenched oppressor, but of little value for repelling a first-wave assualt. To be secure, we must be able to halt the oncoming attack to prevent damage to our cities.

I am a practical man of thurmatological origin. I see the mist-wall as a single-point failure from which we might easily not recover. Since we must assume that at some point it will be challenged again and fail, it is prudent now to build a second defence.

Further, we need look no further than our neighbors to find such a solution. The humans may be physically superior in strength to us, but they are not to many of their more agressive neighbors. They have learned to build true physical fortifications, armed with weapons that leverage the strength of their combined might. Why reinvent the wheel when their solution would work nicely? Let us build our own fortifications and arm them with both Lux implements and physical devices. Leverage our strengths and address our weaknesses. Now, while we are not under pressure to do so, is the best time to begin. It will allow us to put craftsmanship and real planning into them so that they will stand for ages.

Then, it will no longer be a matter of exposing ourselves. We can begin true trade with our neighbors, secure in the knowledge that we can deal from a position of mutual strength, and we will no longer have to live in constant fear of being found.

In short, I propose that we apply our ingenuity to directly addressing the weaknesses of our defences instead of sidestepping the problem or blindly hoping for the best. Even then, we should open our arms cautiously and measuredly. A slow growth of awareness of our presence, coupled with awareness of our strengths, is the least likely to draw hostile responses.

PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2006 9:39 pm
by Wanderwolf
OOC: Aurrin, minor correction. The Mistwall is a dynamic Luxwave, maintained by outposts along the circumference. (Ralph mentioned this in the thread concerning the Shadowrun-TotQ fanfic.) It's not a single-point failure model, but a series-failure model; the Mistwall will only fail when and if several connected outposts fail at once. If one outpost fails, the two on either side can cover the gap long enough to bring up the relief.

Yours truly,

The wolfish,


PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2006 10:23 pm
by Aurrin
OOC: No, single-point failure in that:

1) If an army charges through (it *has* happened before), there's little else to stop them in the way of major, concentrated defences.

2) Once it's known what's on the other side, it's known. You can't 'repair' knowledge.

A 'failure' here means a failure to conceal the existence of the rac'cona, or a failure to prevent their passing. It can be fully operational and still fail in either one of those manners.

PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2006 12:59 am
by MikeVanPelt
I must object to the idea of putting luxfonts in any outposts we might ultimately decide to build, at least until we are sure of our ability to defend them. Humans are rarely lux sensitive, and only very rarely strong lux users... but there are old records of the very rare human being an extremely powerful lux user. I do not think we want to risk luxfont technology falling into that sort of hands.

This would be better addressed to the appropriate guild masters, but perhaps we could spool out a ley line to these outposts if more lux would be desirable there. Or supply them with lux storage cells with the trade ships.

Another thought occurs to me -- In order to increase out defensive capabilities, we might want to greatly increase our lux generation capacity in general. But that is outside my expertise; I do not know what that would entail.

PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2006 8:56 am
by Tom Mazanec
OOC: From the CD (IIRC): Sanctuary already has physical/luxical fortifications. I do not know about the other villages.

PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2006 9:59 pm
by Aurrin

Well, if they have to hide behind the mistwall, then whatever they have is not ENOUGH. If it were, why bother hiding? I'm talking build it up until it can successfully repel everything short of the human hyper-mages.

PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2006 2:46 pm
by RHJunior

They did, in the first century or so of settlement, start building fortifications. The inner wall of Sanctuary city--- that currently divides the high-income neighborhoods from the low income ones and the tumbledowns (the wall Quentyn had to squeeze through at one point) is the remainder of that project. The city rapidly expanded beyond that wall; stout towers (the current Guardhouses) were interspersed among the other buildings, with an eye towards eventually building low walls in between to divide the city into maneagable and more defensible portions. A second curtain wall, surrounding the entire city and interspersed with still higher towers, was planned. But after many years of little or no outside incursion, public opinion shifted against the expense and the project was abandoned. The small towers now serve as guardhouses for the city guard, and the high towers, complete with their fragments of unfinished curtain wall, were quickly snatched up by various wizards and weathermages... so, in spite of the irresponsibility of the governing body, the city still ended up with some semi-organized defenses.

Still, it will take some considerable persuasion to get the populace behind the notion of restarting the wall building project. People have depended so long on the lake, the dire swamp, and the Wall of Mists to keep out invaders that the idea of fortifying their cities seems backwards and ridiculous. Imagine trying to convince the people of, say, modern day New York to pay for a wall around their city, complete with towers and cannon emplacements. Thunderation, we can't get our own government to lay a barbed wire fence, even with literally thousands of criminal trespassers pouring across the border every day!

PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2006 11:06 pm
by Aurrin

RHJunior wrote:Still, it will take some considerable persuasion to get the populace behind the notion of restarting the wall building project. People have depended so long on the lake, the dire swamp, and the Wall of Mists to keep out invaders that the idea of fortifying their cities seems backwards and ridiculous. Imagine trying to convince the people of, say, modern day New York to pay for a wall around their city, complete with towers and cannon emplacements. Thunderation, we can't get our own government to lay a barbed wire fence, even with literally thousands of criminal trespassers pouring across the border every day!

Point taken. I didn't say it'd be easy, just the best in the long run. Of course, 'right' and 'easy' are more often than not mutually exclusive. A side effect of entropy, I suppose.

PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2006 4:42 am
by Wanderwolf
RHJunior wrote:OOC:

Thunderation, we can't get our own government to lay a barbed wire fence, even with literally thousands of criminal trespassers pouring across the border every day!

OOC: Ralph, I'm in Texas, so try and put up with me here: We got a fence. We got people dying trying to cross the border in a hundred different ways.

They're still desperate enough to come. Face it, Ralph; the only way we could eliminate illegal immigration is to be the only country left.

Yours truly,

The wolfish,


OOC: yet again

PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2006 10:26 am
by RHJunior
No, Wanderwolf, we'll never entirely eliminate illegal immigrants. And that is still a meaningless statement <I>because we will never entirely eliminate any OTHER type of crime either.</i> That is not why we have and uphold the laws of this nation.

Nations have borders, and control who does and does not cross them, for a LOAD of DAMNED GOOD REASONS.

First off, to keep other countries from dumping their criminal scumbags on our front porch.

Second, to keep our nation's resources from being bled off by people with no ties and therefore no investment in our nation.... and I don't care how long they've lived here, if they aren't a full legal citizen, then they are not invested in this nation, they are merely exploiting it.

THIRD, to control the spread of disease, and of alien plant and animal species which would run rampant in our local ecosystem.

FOURTH, to control the spread of SMUGGLING.

FIFTH, to prevent corruption in our electoral process.

SIXTH, to insure that those who benefit from our myriad taxpayer-funded social services are actual TAXPAYERS.

SEVENTH, to keep those who would violate our laws for their own ends out of our nation.

And LAST, but certainly not LEAST, to prevent the invasion of our country by enemy agents set upon its destruction.

Any nation that does not provide for these necessities, that does not control who enters and leaves its territory, is damned to collapse and dissolution. It is not only an obligation of government but our right as a sovereign nation to demand that our borders be secured. <I>There is no nation on earth</i> that does not exercise this control, and none on earth, America included, that is obligated to throw those defenses and that sovereign right away. </i> And people that refuse to uphold the sanctity of our borders are whoring out our nation for their own ends--- whether those ends be financial, political, or merely the benefit of smug self-satisfaction.

You are not noble, generous, kind, charitable or enlightened for extending a free hand to criminals who violate our border laws. You are an idiot.

PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2006 10:31 am
by Shyal_malkes
OOC. umm, Ralph are you sure you didn't want that comment out of character?

PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2006 10:52 am
by Xellas
OOC: When Ralph goes on his little tirades (and I use the same term for when my 10 year old neice has a temper tantrum, and I have about the same respect for Ralph at this point), he never thinks about stuff like that. He's too busy frothing at the mouth and screaming to do anything like rational thinking.

PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2006 2:45 pm
by BrockthePaine
Next topic: Illegal Immigration and the Rac Cona Daimh!

"But we can't allow humans to immigrate into Antillia; they'd cause an influx of cheap labor and drive our farmers out of business!"