|Like A Mighty Army|
|Publication date||February 18, 2014|
|Published by||Tor Books|
Midst Toil and Tribulation
Hell's Foundations Quiver
Originally scheduled for a September 2013 release, the book was delayed after Weber announced on his website that extra time for editing would be required. It was finally released on 18 February 2014.
Timeframe: July. Year of God 896 - March, Year of God 897
Plot[edit | edit source]
It is July of the Year of God 896 on the world of Safehold; the church's forces in northern Siddarmark are immobilized due to the Royal Charisian Navy's Great Canal Raid, which hamstrung its logistical support. Hoping to still push through from the South, Bishop Militant Cahnyr Kaitswyrth is ordered by Grand Inquisitor Zhaspahr Clyntahn to advance with his 150,000 soldiers against the Duke of Eastshare's firmly entrenched position along the Daivyn River. Despite their numerical advantage, the church's forces are thrown back, thanks to new Charisian innovations, such as the breech-loading rifles and cannons, ghillie suits, claymore mines, signal rockets, and illumination flares. Afterwards, Eastshare goes on the offensive and pushes the enemy even further to the west.
Further to the south, the Dohlaran and Desnarian troops march towards Earl Hanth and his forces in Thesmar, hoping to eliminate it as a threat to their supply lines as they march north. Despite the reservations of Rainos Ahlverez, the commander of the Dohlaran forces, the attack proceeds and fails completely thanks to the gross incompetence and arrogance of the Desnarian Army's commander, Duke Harless, all of which increases the tension between the commanders of the two armies -- who were never comfortable allies in the first place. Spurred by Eastshare's success and the knowledge that Siddarmarkian and Charisian reinforcements are on their way, General Kynt Clareyk, Baron Green Valley, takes most of his troops north to the disputed Midhold Province and manages to eliminate the Temple Loyalist forces there and seize the canals intact. Green Valley's new position poses a threat to Bishop Militant Bahrnabai Wyrshym, who is stuck defending the Sylmahn Gap, though he -- mistakenly -- believes that Charis will not continue military operations in the coming winter.
In Corisande, Princess Irys and Prince Daivyn finally return home after their years of exile, with Irys' new fiance, Hektor Aplyn-Ahrmahk, the Duke of Darcos. Thanks to the unexpected and vehement support of Klairmant Gairlyng, the Archbishop of Corisande, ratification of the new peace treaty with Charis passes with overwhelming support of the House of Commons and a large majority of the House of Lords. The coronation of Prince Daivyn is then set for the 22 of October, with Irys' wedding scheduled for two days later. Archbishop Maikel Staynair, head of the Church of Charis, arrives in Manchyr to participate in the wedding while Empress Sharleyan arrives soon after to accept Prince Daivyn's oath of fealty to the Charisian Empire. However, shortly after the wedding ceremony, one of Clyntahn's "Rakurai" terrorists detonates a bomb in Cathedral Square, killing well over two hundred people and critically injuring Hektor Aplyn-Ahrmahk, who shields his new wife from the explosion. Merlin Athrawes races to Manchyr in a recon skimmer and uses advanced Terran Federation medicine to save Hektor's life to Irys' astonishment, thus forcing their initiation into his inner circle. In discussing the attack and the possibility that Clyntahn would attempt another assassination to engineer a break between Charis and Corisande, Prince Nahrmahn (living in his virtual environment) reveals that thanks to some virtual research and development he and OWL conducted, they now have the capability to create another PICA like Merlin. However, the only personality available to them is a backup of the original Nimue Alban stored away centuries ago. Merlin authorizes OWL to build a PICA with that personality and as a result, Nimue Chwaeriau is "born" and, after explaining to her the nature of their mission on Safehold, is sent off to Manchyr to protect Irys, Daivyn and Hektor.
In the Temple of God in Zion, the Temple Lands and Dohlar, the church is desperately trying to adapt to the constant stream of innovations and new weaponry that Charis is introducing while seeking ways to pay for the ever mounting costs of the Jihad. A considerable degree of progress is made in equipping and training the Imperial Harchongese Army to the new military standards over the winter while Clyntahn's agents in Siddar City manage to steal classified information on the Charisian manufactory techniques being introduced in Siddarmark, including the steam engine. In an effort to repair the canals and locks damaged and destroyed in the Great Canal Raid, the Temple Loyalists use slave labor from the various concentration camps the Inquisition has established in the rear to "weed out heresy". The Inquisition commits further atrocities in the town of Sarkyn, where an accidental gun powder explosion in a central canal lock prompts the Inquisition to decimate the nearby town's inhabitants seeking out the "saboteurs". In response to this, Merlin seeks out and kills Hahskyll Seegairs and Vyktyr Tahrlsahn, the two inquisitors involved in this incident along with their security escorts and any temple guardsman and functionary who took part. He attaches a letter to Tahrlshan's dead body addressed to the Grand Inquisitor and signed "Dialydd Mab" (which means "avenging son" in Welsh), with a menacing message that infuriates Clyntahn.
In the west, Merlin, masquerading once again as Ahbraim Zhevons, notifies Eastshare that the Dohlarans are joining up with the Desnarians (rather than the Army of God) and are likely to head towards Fort Tairys. The Duke then decides to take most of his forces there and seize the fort. Merlin, disguised in yet another persona, conducts a campaign of disinformation directed at Ahlverez and Harless, making them believe that some of Fort Tairys' defenders managed to escape the Charisians and are rallying support in Shiloh Province against them, when really none of the defenders escaped. They commit to besieging the fort from the South believing that the Charisian's supply situation is even worse than theirs. After fierce fighting in the Kyplyngyr Forest between the two armies, Rainos Ahlverez councils a withdrawal south to resupply as the army is on its last logistical legs. He is overruled by Harless and his fellow Desnarians who see this suggestion as nothing less than cowardice. Rainos, already fed up with the ineptitude and arrogance of the Desnarians, unilaterally orders most of his Dohlaran forces to withdraw to the South and fully expects to be condemned by the Desnarians and the church. Before this can happen however, a courier arrives to report that the Charisians have struck several of the towns west of them, cutting off the Desnarians and Dohlarans most immediate supply route. Hearing this news Harless suffers a fatal heart attack.
In the aftermath, over ninety percent of the Desnarian army is either killed, wounded or surrenders, (though a handful of Desnarian nobles manage to escape to the Church's forces along the Daivyn River) while a sizable chunk of the Dohlaran army manages to escape south though they are likely to be pursued by the Charisian reinforcement that arrived in Thesmar and took out the southern logistical system. It becomes clear to Merlin and the Inner Circle that the tide has turned in Charis' favor and that the Church of God Awaiting will soon have no choice but to sue for peace terms.
In the middle of the following night, Merlin is surprised by Aivah Pahrsahns in his quarters, who asks him to, at some point in the future, take her to Zion for a day or so. She then calls him "Ahbraim", revealing that she has figured out they are the same person.
Publishing data[edit | edit source]
David Weber handed in the finished manuscript to Tor in April 2013.
References[edit | edit source]
Characters[edit | edit source]
Rainos Ahlverez • Cayleb II Ahrmahk • Sharleyan Tayt Ahrmahk • Nimue Alban • Raymahndoh Allykzhandro • Hektor Aplyn-Ahrmahk • Merlin Athrawes • Harys Bahrkly • Hairahm Bahskym • Nahrmahn II Baytz • Ohlyvya Baytz • Adorée Bédard • Lywys Braynair • Hauwerd Breygart • Styvyn Bruhstair • Byrokyo • Braisyn Byrns • Carlsyn • Hynryk Celahk • Slym Chalkyr • Nimue Chwaeriau • Kynt Clareyk • Zhaspahr Clyntahn • Daivyn Daykyn • Irys Daykyn • Rhobair Duchairn • Bahzwail Fahstyr • Zhain Frymyn • Gahlvayo • Brysyn Graingyr • Gahrmyn Hahlys • Ruhfus Hahpkyns • Allayn Hobsyn • Dahnel Howail • Ehdwyrd Howsmyn • Zosh Huntyr • Ahbygayl Hylmyn • Styvyn Hylmyn • Ahlfryd Hyndryk • Dynzayl Hyntyn • Abshair Hyrst • Ingrayahn • Zhandru Kahlyns • Cahnyr Kaitswyrth • Fumyro Kharyn • Eric Langhorne • Lowayl • Sahndrah Lywys • Dialydd Mab • Makysak • Allayn Magwair • Wylsynn Maindayl • Lahzrys Mahntsahlo • Bynzhamyn Makysak • Dahrail Malkaihy • Sylvyst Mhardyr • Lairays Mhartyn • Mhartyn Mkwartyr • Rhaiyan Mychail • Zhebydyah Mylz • Raymahndoh Myndaiz • Gorthyk Nybar • Nytzah • Omar • Owl • Shyman Pahloahzky • Daryus Parkair • Ahlvyno Pawalsyn • Pei Kau-yung • Pei Shan-wei • Ahdrais Pohstazhian • Powairs • Stahlman Praigyr • Rebkah Rahskail • Ahldahs Rahzwail • Fahstyr Rychtyr • Zhordyn Rydach • Stywyrt Sahndhaim • Wahltayr Sahndyrs • Brunohn Sayranoh • Archangel Schueler • Frederick Schueler • Tymahn Scovayl • Stywyrt Showail • Bryahn Slokym • Charlz Stahntyn • Maikel Staynair • Greyghor Stohnar • Clyftyn Sumyrs • Parsahn Sylz • Bryahn Sympsyn • Tailahr Synzhyn • Mahrtyn Taisyn • Gahvyn Taylar • Ruhsyl Thairis • Nahrmahn Tidewater • Wylsynn Traigair • Khalryn Waimyan • Lairays Walkyr • Zhansyn Wyllys • Paityr Wylsynn • Samyl Wylsynn • Bahrnabai Wyrshym • Sedryk Zavyr • Wyllym Zhadwail • Ahbraim Zhevons • Ahlber Zhustyn • Isydohr Zoay • Nycodem Zyworya
Vessels[edit | edit source]
Places[edit | edit source]
Ahstynwood Forest • Alyksberg • Aivahnstyn • Ayaltyn • Bay of Bess • Border States • Branath Canal • Branath Mountains • Cat-Lizard Lake • Charayn Canal • Cherayth • Chestyrvyl • Kingdom of Chisholm • Cliff Peak Province • Clynmair Hills • Corisande Island • Daivyn River • Delthak Works • Desnairian Empire • Guarnak • Guarnak-Sylmahn Canal • Gulf of Dohlar • Kingdom of Dohlar • Earth • East Wing Lake • Eastmarch Province • Eraystor • Eraystor Bay • Fairmyn River • Glacierborn Lake • Glacierheart Province • Gorath • Grayback Lake • Graywater River • Greentown • Haidyrberg • Halleck Mountains • Helen Island • Hildermoss Mountains • Holy Langhorne Canal • Ice Lake • Kaihrys Point • Kyplyngyr Forest • Ohadlyn's Gap • Opal Lake • Maiyam • Manchyr • Midhold Province • Moon Thorn Mountains • Mountaincross Province • Mountaincross River • New Northland Province • Nimue's Cave • Northland Province • Safehold • Saiknyr • Salthar Mountains • Sandfish Bay • Serabor • Seridahn River • Shelakyl River • Fort Sheldyn • Sheryl-Seridahn Canal • Republic of Siddarmark • Siddar City • Grand Duchy of Silkiah • Silverlode Island • South March Lands • Fort St. Klair • Sylmahn Gap • Tairmana • Tairmana Canal • Fort Tairys • Temple Lands • Temple of God • Thesmar • Thesmar Bay • Tranjyr • Wyvern Lake • Zion
Battles[edit | edit source]
Other[edit | edit source]
House of Ahrmahk • Army of God • Army of Glacierheart • Army of Justice • Army of the Sylmahn • baseball • Duchy of Black Horse • The Book of Bédard • The Book of Langhorne • The Book of Schueler • Brethren of Saint Zherneau • Captain General • Church of God Awaiting • Earldom of Dragon Hill • fire vine • galleon • Gbaba • Grand Inquisitor • Barony of Green Valley • Group of Four • Duchy of Harless • Order of Hastings • Holy Writ • hornet • Imperial Charisian Army • Key of Schueler • Lake Lymahn Works • Lord Protector • Mahndrayn • Grand Duchy of Mountain Heart • Office of Inspectors • Order of Schueler • PICA • recon skimmer • revolver • Duchy of Rock Coast • Royal Chisholmian Army • Royal College • Royal Dohlaran Army • Earldom of Saint Howan • Schism • Barony of Seamount • semaphore • seijin • Shan-wei's footstool • Shan-wei's fountain • Shan-wei's sweeper • slash lizard • SNARC • Barony of Stoneheart • Earldom of Swayle • Terran Federation • tree lizard • vicar • whiskey • Earldom of White Crag • wire vine
[edit | edit source]