As always, you can also go to the dedicated Al’Rashad site.
The Caliph is making some strong points, but the downside to his argument would be that he can’t entirely dictate the flow of events. If Boka just decides “fuck it” and invades with their massive army, he can’t really play for time anymore.
And that fact dictates in favor of the alliance Alric is offering. Alric doesn’t seem to advocating for an offensive war; he just wants al’Rashad and Gundring to team up so they aren’t swallowed individually if the Bokans keep expanding. If, as the Caliph says, al’Rashad is the softer target, then that’s to their advantage; they gain a military alliance and lose nothing. They can STILL watch and wait and play for time. But if they try to do that without Gundring on-side they might get caught with their pants down.
Maybe the Caliph is playing hard-to-get in order to gain some sort of negotiating advantage, or to take Alric’s measure, see if he gets angry, storms around the room, sort of thing. Alric probably isn’t going to just fuck off and go home at a single brush-off, so the Caliph has time to do the whole diplomacy thing.
I like seeing Alric and the Caliph interact as peers.
For the Caliph and Alric, the situation is as you described. However, please remember that the Gundring fleet is already underway. In reality, such fleet will not come back without serious fighting. It has cost so much to equip and man that it needs to get some bounty from somewhere. When the fleet arrives, it will sack a couple of coastal towns and cities or be destroyed in the process. Not doing this would probably cause a revolt in Gundring or a mutiny in the fleet. The question is simply, whom the Gundring fleet will attack.
Most likely, the Caliph already has some indication that this is the situation.
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