As always, you can also go to the dedicated Al’Rashad site.
I understand that Jandal is trying to protect his own country, but…dude.
Anyway, this comic has me seriously hooked. May it live for one thousand years.
Oh, I thought that people were going to get executed or attacked or captured or something. But this is more intriguing.
Also, both of those guys seem kind of racist.
One problem with Jandal’s plan. Gundring is a considerably harder target than the Rashidi Caliphate. Mountains or no mountains, if Boka is looking for soft targets to expand into, there are gonna be a lot of better targets than the island nation that has the best navy in the world.
Unless, of course, something happens to cause them to prefer Gundring as a target for other reasons.
Something happening to their king, maybe.
Well, didn’t see that coming.
Kinda agree with the previous posters, not a very good, (or at least, really risky,) plan on the Caliph’s part.
Too complex and too reliant on many people behaving exactly as the Caliph thinks they will. Also makes for a bunch of highly motivated enemies, with the Bokan, the Gundrings, Kohal, and probably Rayana. Also likely deeply damages the loyalty of his main adviser and captain of the Royal Guard.
Also, we have no evidence that Dalakhra is in fact loyal to the Caliph. If he’s not, or even not completely loyal, the entire plan is a an utter wash.
Doesn’t bode well for the continued reign of this particular monarch, I’d say.
I wonder if we’ll ever get to see these feared Bokans.
I bet that the first thing that’s going to help you strengthen alliances with anyone is letting the guys who were already on your side get clobbered while you paint your fingernails.
Man that guy is being HAD.
What the Caliph is saying here doesn’t necessarily have any bearing on what he actually plans to do.
Man, you’re just letting the Bokan units gain experience that way.
I confess to being confused by the people who don’t think this is a good plan. This is a very smart, good plan. It just fucks over Gundring, who we happen to like.
“Let’s you and him fight” is International Relations 101. The Caliph can either sign on to fight a long, grinding war that will msotly happen in his territory, or he can let Gundring and Boka fight a long, grinding war that mostly happens in other peoples territory, while he quietly builds alliances and prepares to kick the shit out of the presumptive winner. And if Gundring pulls out an upset, even better!
It depends a bit on Dalakhra’s loyalty, to be sure, but Jandal is saying that Dalakhra has been his catspaw “from the beginning.” It implies a long working relationship.
Things can always change, of course, and maybe Jandal isn’t as smart as he thinks he is. But this isn’t a BAD plan, per se. It’s a bit dishonorable, but Jandal is the Caliph of al’Rashad. His first priority is his own nation, not Gundring, and if Gundring burning saves his hide… well, nothing personal, Alric. It’s just business.
It depends a bit on Dalakhra’s loyalty
We know Dalakhra isn’t loyal — he says he considers patriotism “the joke of nobles upon the filth.” He says this (and a bunch of other stuff that betray his true plans) when he doesn’t think anyone is listening other than Kelghom, who he plans to kill immediately.
Or maybe Dalakhra takes his job seriously and is committed to his role when appropriate. Maybe he has considered the fact that perhaps the Jorrin Marines are better than he thinks they are, or that Kleghom has a bolthole available. Maybe he just wants to twist the knife in Kleghom some before he kills him.
Maybe he’s not so much of an idiot that he babbles on about his treasonous philosophy even to a guy he is about to kill. If the whole “betraying my country to the Bokans” thing is a blind, then Dalakhra is in a win/win. If Kleghom dies, he dies. If he lives, he cements a narrative that he and the Caliph know is a lie.
And say Dalakhra isn’t loyal. Well, okay. Is he at least predictable and reliable? That’ll do in a pinch.
I’m not saying this how things ARE. I’m saying this is how things COULD BE. Given that multiple people we know well and whose judgment we at least sort of trust (Rayana, Kahal, Fezay) know the Caliph and think well of him and his stewardship, maybe he really does know what he is doing. Maybe Dalakhra is an oily, twisty, snakey motherfucker with almost no redeeming qualities, but actually is loyal to the Caliph.
Given that multiple people we know well and whose judgment we at least sort of trust (Rayana, Kahal, Fezay) know the Caliph and think well of him and his stewardship, maybe he really does know what he is doing.
Which is exactly why I’m inclined to think that this plan, as laid out by the Caliph, is a ruse.
On an unrelated note, one thing has always confused me: it makes sense that Halfdar would masquerade as Alric in order to save his king’s life. But Tanquir doesn’t see through this? He really doesn’t know what King Alric looks like, or even how old he is? Tanquir has plundered enough Gundring ships for them to have placed an enormous bounty on his head. He’s also been specifically hired by Dalakhra to kill Alric. And yet he fails to recognize that the 49-year old Gundring he runs through isn’t his intended target?
On an unrelated note, one thing has always confused me: it makes sense that Halfdar would masquerade as Alric in order to save his king’s life. But Tanquir doesn’t see through this?
Of course he does. Halfdar isn’t masquerading as Alric. He refers to ‘the King’ which would be weird for him to talk about in the third person, and Tanquir addresses Halfdar as “Your Grace”, which would more customarily be the title granted a Duke, not a King.
MGK would appear to be using standard British terminology here; Rayana is ‘Highness’ (Prince or Princess) while Alric is ‘Majesty’ (King or Queen.)
Tanquir isn’t going to tell Dalakhra ‘Alric was blown to bits when the magazine went up.’ Because then Dalakhra is going to say ‘If you didn’t see a body he’s not really dead.’ He’s going to tell Dalakhra he got the job done.
Ah, that makes sense. I’d always read that scene when Halfdar says “You want the king” as if he were speaking of himself in the third person. (Which, I note, the Caliph also does in his very first line.)
Also, at this point in the story, the audience is also meant to believe that Halfdar is King Alric — the big reveal hasn’t happened yet.
Next question — Dalakhra definitely knows what Alric looks like. He must know it’s him the instant he sees him in the prison. Seems like he made a pretty big mistake by not immediately taking matters into his own hands, no?
Next question — Dalakhra definitely knows what Alric looks like.
Based on what?
Sorry to interject, but:
1.) This is still a medieval/Renaissance-level world in terms of technological advancement, more or less.
2.) Most people of the era had no idea what the king looked like, because they didn’t see him.
3.) Nobles generally didn’t see nobles from other countries either.
4.) The absolute best-case scenario, then – based on what the reader knows about the world – is that Dalakhra maybe has seen a portrait or sketch of Alric. More likely, maybe he has a few Gundring coins with Alric’s face on them, which isn’t the most accuratest thing in the world. (Remember, Rayana didn’t recognize him by sight. She figured it out when Kahal told her that someone who obviously wasn’t Halfdar was claiming to be Halfdar.)
Well, because Rayana tells us that she and Dalakhra both realized that the prisoner Kahal was chained to is Alric. And it seems like the only time Dalakhra could have come to this realization is when he first laid eyes on the freshly washed-up twentysomething Gundring prisoner. Which coincidentally takes place immediately after Dalakhra’s encounter with the very dude he hired to kill Alric.
If Dalakhra had any doubts at all about whether Tanquir actually got the job done, I think it’s reasonable to assume that he’d be very interested in this twentysomething Gundring prisoner, who at least potentially matches the general description of the individual Dalakhra went to great expense to have killed.
(I dunno, maybe Rashadi jails are regularly packed to the gills with Gundring sailors, and one more is no big deal? But that doesn’t seem consistent with what we’ve seen so far.)
(Italics unintentional, sorry!)
Or I guess maybe Dalakhra is meant to have figured out Alric’s true identity during the fight at the University?
At any rate, it still seems odd to me he wouldn’t have taken a greater interest in the Gundring prisoner in that earlier scene.
I will note that there are enough Gundring slaves floating around in al’Rashad that the Gundring government specifically needs a safe house to smuggle them back to freedom.
Kahal is chained to a random Gundring. Whoop-de-friggin’ do. Dalakhra doesn’t notice EVERYTHING. Tanquir put one over on him, for example.
At this point, we the readers need more information on what Dalakhra has been doing that are his own schemes and what are the Caliphs, or at least, what the Caliph thinks are his. Dalakhra is tight enough with the Bokans that they gave him their special zombie soldiers, so…
Something I am having to keep in mind is that MGK knows the tropes as well as we do. The fact that al’Rashad is gloriously wallowing in them only means that, at times, he will rabbit punch us by subverting them.
This is why I have even money on Dalakhra actually being semi-honorable and Tanquir to be pure scum. The narrative is working really fucking hard to make us hate Dalakhra while at the same time making us regard Tanquir as clever and charming, if ruthless and violent. This immediately makes me suspicious.
That’s a good point. I had forgotten about that detail.
If the implication is that Gundring sailors who survive shipwrecks or pirate attacks and wash up on the shores of Al-Rashad are sold into slavery as a simple matter of course, and that this happens all the time, that doesn’t exactly bode well for the alliance Alric seeks.
But you know that Rashadi society (or at least the nobility) is divided roughly into two major political factions, the “traditionalists” and the “recognizants”. You also know that Dalakhra, a notable slave investor, is a member of the traditionalists, and that the Caliph – whose daughter is not exactly fond of slavery – is aligned with the recognizants.
I’ll let you do the remaining math.
I would also note that al’Rashad may sentence people to slavery as a result of judicial proceedings; certain criminal or civil offenses may carry it as a penalty. It is unlikely that it is JUST “random Gundring people we find.”
For that matter, it may have been equally likely that Alric got picked up by a decent Rashidi merchant who would have put him ashore safely.
It is also unlikely that anyone with any sort of money (and lets be honest, in Gundring if you don’t have money or other forms of power, you probably don’t count for very much) is unlikely to end up as a slave. If the goons who had picked up Alric hadn’t been mutinous dogs, Alric would have been ransomed for a fine sum and would be home right now.
For that matter, if Alric had ended up being sold, that might have happened anyway. “Listen. I’m a Gundring nobleman; the slavers who plucked me out of the water thought it more profitable to sell my gear than ransom me. I can read and write and demonstrate other markings of class status. Contact my country and you will receive a nice, fat ransom. Maybe I’m lying, in which case you get the pleasure of whipping me for wasting your time. Or maybe I’m not.”
It is unlikely that it is JUST “random Gundring people we find.”
My point was that it’s either:
(A) Rashadi slavers routinely capture and imprison so many Gundring that this is utterly unremarkable, and therefore the sudden arrival of one more, shortly after the scuttling of the Afjar — one who just happens to match Alric’s age and rough description — arouses absolutely no suspicion in the man whose entire scheme revolves around having Alric killed, and who, incidentally, just moments before, was involved in an altercation with the mercenary he hired to do the job) or…
(B) Dalakhra is much, much stupider than we’ve previously been led to believe.
One other thing — Dalakhra’s line “I don’t know if Tanquir planned for you to overhear us”… makes me wonder if perhaps it wasn’t just Kahal who was in Tanquir’s intended audience.
At any rate, I’m definitely looking forward to Tanquir’s eventual reappearance.
Dalakhra has no idea where the Gundring chained to Kahal came from, tho. In fact, the person chained to Kahal is beneath his notice.
Alric is a young, well-built, bearded, blonde (I think) Gundring. There are probably hundreds of thousands that match that description.
Dalakhra walks into the slave pens. Kahal is chained to a Gundring who looks beat to shit and out of his head on mohl, like everyone there. Dalakhra has a million plates spinning in the air at any given time, and as an arrogant nobleman, the lower classes are usually beneath his notice in any case. It maybe registers ‘hey, a Gundring. Bit unusual.’
But not doing an in-depth investigation doesn’t make him dumb.
There are probably hundreds of thousands that match that description.
Hundreds of thousands currently in slaver holding facilities? I mean, maybe, but that’s the question I’m asking here.
And asking the slaver “This Gundring here… when did you take him?” doesn’t require much in-depth investigation.
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