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Messages - Pentagathus

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The series wasn't too bad, just not great. TBF they were hit by the pandemic about halfway through filming, and one of their main cast dropped out which can't have been easy to deal with, but there were also changes from the book story and the magic system that didn't make much sense and don't seem to improve the story.

Kyiv seems to be under heavier bombardment now, I imagine this is meant to put pressure on Ukraine for the negotiations going on. Ukrainians clearly aren't going to welcome Russian control anywhere so I guess Putin might as well use full on terrorism against them now.

I thought I'd already posted this but apparently not.
I watched the Wheel of Time series a couple of months ago, not particularly good but it at least made me look into WOT which lead me to giving the books a try. Was hesitant because of the length of the series, but so far I'm 4 books in and loving it. Quite interesting to see the differences between the show and the books too, don't think I'll bother watching the second season unless reviews for it are top tier.
The world seems to be really original as far as I can tell, there's obviously some Tolkien influence in the story and characters (particularly the first book) but the mythology and magic is not like anything I've seen before. Will probably read into what the influences were behind this series once I'm finished with it.
The world is a kind of post-post apocalypse setting, people have stories and legends of a golden age followed by a great war against "The Dark One" which resulted in the most powerful male magicians imprisoning the dark one but in doing so they have their source of magic corrupted by him, which means any man who uses magic is doomed to go mad (apart from men who serve the dark one apparently/maybe) and kill a ton of people. This leads to a kind of apocalypse as all the male magicians start going nuts and messing things up in a very high fantasy fashion, with female magicians still able to use magic and eventually getting the men under control. Lots of knowledge is lost, men who can channel are rounded up and cut off from their ability to use magic but they become super depressed and usually kill themselves when this happens because magic is kind of like a euphoric drug in this system.
A couple thousand years go by (iirc) and our bunch of heroes are born, the story starts of with a pretty traditional farm boy with mysterious origins story, the protagonists are all from the same village in a shire-esque isolated rural area which no one bothers over and never has any war. Starts of quite slow but I love that slow build. Then things happen. Go read.

Planescape Torment has an absolutely phenomenal story, would definitely recommend it. Haven't really played any other of these style of games, the gameplay itself isn't really interesting for me.

Russia does have a lot of artillery though, they honestly could be doing a hell of a lot more damage than they already are. Hopefully that's not the next step but who knows.
I think that may come down to logistics again.  Rockets and howitzer shells are heavy, and the Russian army is short of trucks.  Back when Putin was making threats, one of the arguments that he would not act on them went like this:
True for Kyviv but Kharkiv is basically on the Russian border so Russian troops there should be able to be supplied largely by rail (of course there has been shelling here but how heavy is it compared to how heavy it could be?) and Kharkiv and Mariupol are on the coast where Russian ships should be able to supply their troops. I know Kherson was taken so perhaps it wasn't shelled because the Russians were expecting to take it, could be the same with Mariupol.
Looking into it Kharkiv has been shelled pretty heavily already so I could be way off here. I'm also pretty sure rockets and bombs are very expensive so a relatively conservative approach makes sense considering the cost. And of course the cost of rebuilding these cities if Russia actually wants to annex these regions is a factor to consider and it may be that annexation of these border regions is still the goal (it looks like they're trying to annex Kherson in a similar manner to how they took Crimea, which makes some sense since it secures water supply to Crimea).

I'm pretty sure Russia has more troops in total on paper but on practice they can't actually mobilise all of them at once of course, or at least not without stripping literally every other border of troops. And that's even disregarding the logistical issues of supplying large troop numbers.
Russia does have a lot of artillery though, they honestly could be doing a hell of a lot more damage than they already are. Hopefully that's not the next step but who knows.

Reports of massive GRAD missile attacks on residential areas of Kharkiv, seems like the Russian army are willing to kill indiscriminately even in the areas that they are supposedly liberating.

The Russian death tolls being reported seem pretty wild, especially when compared to the Ukrainian losses. I wouldn't be at all surprised if it's just propaganda, idk who would confirm them in this situation. The Russian losses definitely do seem to be much higher than the Russians would have expected I think. Hopefully this doesn't lead to them trying to completely flatten Ukraine's cities.

Yeah there's been a ton of smooth brained takes around the internet, lots of reddit users seem to think we should just fire and not worry about whether that kicks off a nuclear war. The "USA is just another evil empire" take isn't exactly new, there truly is a lot to criticise about US military actions in the last century but you'd have to be pretty blind to think the USA and the USSR were equivalents.

Kazakhstan reportedly refused join the invasion and hasn't recognised the "independent" eastern regions, which is interesting since Kazakhstan is normally a very strong ally of Russia. It could be because of recent unrest at home or maybe they just don't see anything to gain from it.
I've read one theory that Putin had simply been told by his intelligence chiefs what they thought he wanted to hear, that Ukrainians were generally pro-Russia and that their government was widely unpopular. If that were so his swift invasion could have been a tactical success, although it would still seem like a poor strategic choice as far as I can see.

And yeah, it's also true that Russia can't hold Ukraine the way it is now, and the Russians must know this. I'm not sure what their endgame is and I think it may be a mistake to assume that they really know either.
Yeah I can't see how this ends in a long term strategic win for Russia.
I could see the Russian military taking out as much of Ukraine's military infrastructure and airports as they can and then pulling back to the regions they really want to hold and think they can keep the populace onside. But I can't imagine how that would actually be worth it.
This invasion seems (from my very uneducated peep into it) to be putting more strain on Russia's relationship with Turkey, and I'd imagine that a friendly Turkey is worth a whole lot more than a little slice of eastern Ukraine. But then again I suppose Turkey was never likely to ditch Nato anyway.

Putin baffles me, maybe he really is just desperate to avoid a steady decline of Russian influence and couldn't think of any better plan. Maybe he's got a terminal illness and is just trolling the whole world.
Either way I hope he dies soon. Although god knows what would come after him, the thought of Russia descending into anarchy like Libya or Syria is not exactly comfortable. I'm sure a lot of nukes would be unaccounted for by the time the dust settled.

Happy Friday folks!

Also am I the only one who has a real craving to fire up a TW game and play a faction centred around Crimea? It feels weird how easy it is to dissociate the events from the actual human reality until you're actually watching some of the scenes on the ground.

Caspian Report on youtube had good explanation of the strategic motivations for an invasion of Ukraine. As I recall it's partly that Russia has no hard borders as is, so pushing into Ukraine would allow Russia to use the Dnieper and other major rivers as a defensive western border from potential land invasion whilst also securing fresh water supply to the Crimea, which itself has immense strategic value as a base for naval power in the black sea.
Could be that Putin's just trying to put some pressure on and stir the pot for diplomatic leverage but a large nation without natural borders is always going to be prone to paranoia and trying to strip away it's buffer zones probably hasn't been the smartest move from the West.

If UK Conservatives start breaking ranks in large numbers, it's a sign that the party is probably about to go into a major internal crisis.
Fingers crossed

The Welcome Hall - Start Here! / Re: Hello it's me medievalfantasyqueen
« on: February 05, 2022, 02:35:56 PM »
Noice, do you need beta readers? Is beta readers the right term?

General Chatter - The Boozer / Re: Cute and Wholesome Picture Thread
« on: January 27, 2022, 05:54:33 PM »
He has a mole on his hand

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