BLANDCorporatio wrote:Funny thing is, there's some common ground even between the most acrimoniously separated debaters here. I'll try and sketch such a middle position here.
This should be a fun game, and I'll play along!
BLANDCorporatio wrote:"Is Trem a competent Warlord?" is a red herring. There are shades of competence, and Trem is outmatched. Not because he didn't see Parson's plan (and people, don't start throwing comparisons with the Zombcano thing, which actually was way out of left field for Erfworlders), but because he didn't react (I'd say, at all) to control the "tantrum".
He is, I'd say. He was sent out to win or die as a warlord prince, and instead "cornered the enemy" (or something close to that) came back with a lucrative bit of tribute for Jetstone.
BLANDCorporatio wrote:"Is Trem a competent Diplomat?"- again, shades of competence bla-bla, but let's agree that competence gets results, or, if it fails, it's because of some external, uncontrollable factor. Like, for example, the opponent not wanting to parley. BUT, wait, maybe there's something you can do to at least tilt the odds in the favour of parley. Trem should know that Royal Sides, when perceiving themselves in positions of power, will extend "parley" as an insult. Therefore, he should (have) move(d) to dispel this notion as quickly as possible.
Instead, Trem spends his first lines of dialogue on insults, which is completely in-character. We know since his first appearance that he's a joker. Ribbing on his discussion partner is just how he rolls, and just couldn't resist doing it this time too. Maybe this allows him to "get the measure of the man/woman", maybe it works, most of the time. Didn't happen to work now.
I'll agree with all of this as well. Tram must be a competent diplomat, Slately muses that he has done more for the Jetstone coffers than any of his siblings. That seems significant to me. And I also agree that starting out the discussion with Ossomer was entirely in line with his character as a joker. But let's go back to your statement that "competence gets results." It does, and the competent person knows when to remain in character and when to break it. Knowing as he must the reputation of royal parleys as being insults followed up by attack, opening what he intended to be an honest parley for an alliance with insults should be seen as idiocy, as it does nothing to dissuade the other side that you do not also intend to follow up those insults with the expected next step: the attack. And when you anticipate losing your yellows that can actually do something against the enemy (another fact Tram was well aware of, twice he mentioned that they could attack), using them to inflict as much damage as is possible before they die does seem like the better choice to having them fly idle until killed.
So, can we agree that without any attempt by Tram to quickly convince the GK forces and/or Parson that Tram actually intended an honest negotiation, that the attack by the yellows was inevitable? And if we can so agree, was it not more important for Tram to try to act as the smart diplmat he is described as being, and diplomatically deliver that message fast, rather than remaining in his joker character and insulting Ossomer and Stanley and communicating by those insults that this parley is going to be the expected insults followed by attack?
If I can get some agreement on those last two questions, then there may be hope for this discussion.