ftl wrote:You're saying that he should have known that he should IGNORE THE PERSON GK SENT TO NEGOTIATE ENTIRELY - not just ask or demand to be connected to Parson, but go around the usual chain of command to do so? Hire Charlie to do so?
Just imagine what you're saying in Earth politics. "I, a diplomat for my country, have something important to communicate to another country... so I'm going to skip talking to the diplomatic contact at their embassy in my capitol, who was specifically sent to talk to me about this, and give a phone call directly to Obama!" Right.
Right. Or at least those potential steps which you so deride as being unrealistic are very realistic, given the actual situation. Because that situation isn't at all the same as the hypothetical you outlined, and thus your hypothetical fails to apply.
Here's what we know: This was not set up to be a meeting of equals. And this is probably Tram's first and most critical mistake. Instead Jetstone dictated some terms via the big scroll and an archon. Those terms involved at least the dropping of all Foolamancy and the specific positioning of the GK forces, and can be assumed to have asked to speak to someone. Either Jetstone specified Ossomer, or Parson decided to send Ossomer.
So when a guy who is a smart diplomat feels, as Tram obviously did, that opening a discussion with the Side you have concluded that you need
to form an alliance with only needs to take the form of ordering about their units, and communicating nothing at all about your intent, an intent which is very different from what a smart diplomat should know full well that GK is most likely anticipating, I call that guy an idiot ball holder. The decision to open with that approach wasn't the actions the readers could be expecting, given Tram's smart diplomat build-up, and Tram's stated need.
And when that same guy basically opens the discussion with "blah blah, I'm really witty, your clothes suck and your ruler and and your CWL is a dishonorable worm", instead of, you know, diplomacy, I again call that guy an idiot ball holder. That wasn't the actions the readers could be expecting, given Tram's smart diplomat build-up, even if it matched his snarky personality. Again, a smart diplomat knows how to rule himself, and doesn't just rely on the opponent being overawed by his brilliant
(that's sarcasm) repartee...
It is possible to hold the opinion that Tram was simply doing as many diplomats do: Dealing as if he was in a position of strength, in order to get the best terms for his side. And that is fine, as long as it works. When a character makes a call on a diplomatic approach and it works, we see some support for the informed ability that this character is a smart diplomat. But it's not working, is it? In fact, Tram's approach failed to even communicate his basic intentions to his opponent, and instead communicated that this parley was going to be "Royal parley, business as usual, expect to be insulted and then attacked." And when a character makes a call on a diplomatic approach and it does not work, we see that that character has failed to be a smart diplomat, despite the informed ability he has been presented as possessing.