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The Earth Path

We use cookies and other tracking technologies to improve your browsing experience on our site, show personalized content and targeted ads, analyze site traffic, and understand where our audience is coming from. To find out more or to opt-out, please read our Cookie Policy. In addition, please read our Privacy Policy , which has also been updated and became effective May 23rd, China is likely to respond somehow, but with a multitude of options on the table, many in the tech industry are now considering nightmare scenarios.

One particularly chaotic option would be a ban on the export of rare earths — raw materials that are crucial for electronics. These elements are produced mostly in China, and used in the US for everything from electric cars to wind turbines, smartphones to missiles.

I hope everyone can interpret it correctly. A sprinkle of cerium here and a pinch of neodymium there makes TV screens brighter, batteries last longer, and magnets stronger. If China suddenly shut off access to these materials, it would be like rewinding the tech industry back a few decades. And no one wants to ditch their iPhone and go back to a BlackBerry.

Experts in the field, though, are much less concerned about such a chilling scenario.

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They say that while a restriction on rare earth exports would have some immediate adverse effects, the US and the rest of the world would adapt in the long run. Far from being an ace in the hole, it turns out rare earths are more of a busted flush. The reasons for this are numerous, and span geography, chemistry, and history. A decoy force of Charisian merchant ships tricks the Desnairian Empire's fleet into remaining in port. An emergency force of Charisian ships forever ends the Navy of God's threat to Charis in a daring night attack, at great cost.

Merlin experiments with steam technology. His tests prove that the orbital weapon Langhorne used against Shan-Wei will not automatically target basic industrialization.

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Charis continues to advance; by this time it is innovating largely without Merlin's help. Father Paityr Wylsynn is inducted into the Inner Circle. He reveals that "Archangel Schueler" trusted his ancient ancestors with a promise that the Archangels will return in 1, years 30 years in the future at this time. Merlin prepares contingency plans. Empress Sharleyan presides at treason trials in the League of Corisande. She orders the execution of nearly all defendants but shows mercy when justified. A Temple Loyalist tries to assassinate her in court.

He fails only because of high-tech clothing provided by Merlin. Sharleyan's actions bring the empire's territories closer together.

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Grand Inquisitor Clyntahn reacts by unleashing Operation Rakurai: Lone operatives commit devastating terror bombings in Charisian lands, killing Prince Nahrmahn, several other important imperial officials, and many innocents. Earl Thirsk is forced to turn over Admiral Manthyr and his men to the Inquisition. The prisoners are conveyed to Zion, where most die at the hands of Clyntahn's torturers. Back in Charis, Emperor Cayleb retaliates by ordering the summary execution of captured Inquisition agents. Lieutenant Hektor Aplyn-Ahrmahk, Duke of Darcos, and his men meet up with the fugitives after defeating their pursuers.

Secretly trained and equipped militia in her service save Lord Protector Greyghor Stohnar. Yet the coup does great damage to the republic's resources. A terrible winter sets in as the Temple's vast Army of God prepares to march, leaving the future in doubt. Grand Inquisitor Clyntahn is master of the Church, but its foundations are cracking. Civil war rages in Siddarmark amid a terrible winter.

Treasurer General Rhobair Duchairn must deal with the Temple's greatly depreciated tithes; rich Charis and Siddarmark no longer contribute any revenue, and Charis has brought economic havoc to all Temple Loyalist realms. The Army of God marches on Siddarmark, as Charis races to get its own military to the field with Emperor Cayleb in command.

Over time, Charis integrates Corisande as a constituent kingdom of its empire with Irys' brother Daivyn on the throne. Irys is betrothed to Hektor to seal the deal. Empress Sharleyan's leadership further unifies the people of Charis, Chisholm, Corisande, Emerald and recently absorbed Tarot under a rapidly industrializing imperial state. Merlin "resurrects" Charis' spymaster, Prince Nahrmahn, inside a virtual reality simulation populated by the tactical AI "Owl. A meeting with his "widow" Ohlyvya enabled by Merlin makes him resolve to go on while she lives. As time passes differently in the virtual world, Nahrmahn is able to spend a great deal of it with Owl, helping the AI become self-aware.

The two prove to be a mental asset to an increasingly weary Merlin. Siddarmark survives the winter and Cayleb's forces arrive.

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The Temple's brutal tactics start to backfire as its forces lose popular support in the Republic. Advanced Charisian weapons and tactics turn the tide on the battlefield, but the Temple and its allies still greatly outnumber the Reformists. Charis deploys new steam-powered ironclads, shutting down the Army of God's supply lines, but not in time to save a forward-deployed force of Imperial Marines who are surrounded and killed to a man. Yet, amid the tragedy, success in the war becomes possible.

The Temple struggles to adapt to Charisian economic warfare, but the Group of Four determine to use their overwhelming numbers to try to win out before a sustained offense becomes impossible to support. The situation appears more dire for the Earl of Hanth in the south, but incompetent Temple Loyalist commanders play into his hands. With the help of Merlin and his various guises providing key information, the Reformists gain the upper hand throughout Siddarmark.

Princess Irys' wedding in Corisande is interrupted by a suicide bomber in Clyntahn's service. Her new husband Duke Hektor is severely wounded; Merlin barely manages to save his life. This need to be in several places at once places an incredible strain on the seijin , but Nahrmahn and Owl figure out how to construct a new cybernetic avatar like Merlin. She becomes the first female member of the Imperial Guard, eroding gender barriers throughout the empire by example. The desperate Group of Four authorize a broad adoption of Charisian innovations and tactics, unwittingly playing into Merlin's ultimate goal to uplift all of Safehold.

The cost is high; every Charisian victory prompts brutal pogroms against nearby settlements to weed out "heretics". Enraged, Merlin slips behind enemy lines under the guise of "Dialydd Mab" Welsh for "Avenging Son" , slaying many agents of the Inquisition. Charisian success causes divisions among the Temple Loyalist forces, allowing the Reformists to begin routing them in detail; one battle with the army of the Empire of Desnair causes 90 percent enemy casualties. The Empire of Harchong's massive serf army becomes modernized and remains a grave threat, but Charisian commanders express confidence that total victory is within reach.

Merlin learns of a secret monastic order that maintains the tomb and journal of Cody Cortazar, aka Seijin Kohdy.

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His residual memories of life during the last days of the Terran Federation caused him to seek answers from the "Archangels", who tried to erase him from history. Bolt-action rifles, grenades, land mines , massed artillery and corps -level tactics prove decisive against Temple forces. Charis shatters the starving, demoralized Army of God.

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Eventually, the Reformists liberate nearly all of Siddarmark. The Temple kills or deports Siddarmarkian "heretics" to date held in concentration camps. Efforts by Merlin as "Dialydd Mab" rescue many, but the offensive cannot continue while they are cared for. Although the Kingdom of Dohlar is being defeated on land, its navy under Admiral Thirsk remains a threat. The loss in battle of HMS Dreadnought , a state-of-the-art oceangoing ironclad, and delays in the introduction of the King Haarahld class of battleship set back the plan to regain total control of the seas.

go to site Charisian prisoners from Dreadnought are rescued from Gwylym Manthyr's fate by a daring nighttime raid, but Dreadnought is captured almost intact for study by the enemy. Grand Inquisitor Clyntahn blames Thirsk for losing the prisoners and plans to have Thirsk killed as soon as his naval leadership is no longer needed. The Inquisition uncovers a plan to smuggle the admiral's family to safety. One of Thirsk's aides diverts suspicion, posing as a Charisian agent.

He slays several Inquisitors and nonlethally shoots Thirsk before killing himself to protect the truth. Even so, Clyntahn compels Thirsk's family to go to Zion. Merlin and Nimue rescue them from a Navy of God ship, destroying it and all evidence of their survival. Later, Merlin visits a mournful and withdrawn Thirsk in secret. Merlin informs Admiral Thirsk of his family's survival in Dohlar, and offers him the "freedom" to uphold or undermine the Church's goals.