Macen

Theory: Dalinar is not a Radiant

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 I hope you don't feel insulted. My problem is the same: searching in the forums is quite frustrating. Mostly, if I remember I saw a quote, I'm able to find it, but if I don't remember anything, I'm lost. :)

So my apologizes.

Not really on topic, but I thought I would recommend utilizing the 17th Shard blog options. You can set them to private or whatever, and today I started creating blog entries with WoK or WoB quotes that I feel I'll need again. I'm trying to have them separated by topic and that sort of thing so it is easier for me to find and on any device I sign in from!

 

It may not be the best method in history, but I think it will save a couple posts of me asking broadly for people to find things for me. 

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Do all of the KR have nahel bonds?

 

When does Kaladin say his 2nd Ideal, and really understand the first one? When he Saves Dalinar. Maybe Bondsmith is more literal. They help create and accelerate the Nahel Bonds of all the orders. Dalinar seems to feel like he can trust people, like Kaladin for instance. He just knows he can trust him. And Kaladin just happens to be on the path to become a KR. Dalinar trusts Jansah who maybe on the path to become a KR. It may even be that  Dalinar's rough interaction with Elhokar may infact lead to some interaction with cryptics. 

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The code itself says:

Restraint: The officer will refrain from needless duels, arguments, or squabbles with other officers in camp, to prevent injury to men who may be needed to command.

Adolin kicking the living daylights out of a Shardbearer causes injury to a man who may be needed to command. Dalinar is quite clearly breaking the spirit of the code as well as technically violating it. The real question is what is meant by 'needless' and what is considered a valid need under the Codes. For some reason I suspect attempting to force people to follow your commands by taking away their stuff (after you purposefully took power and became a dictator, essentially) does not constitute a 'needful' duel under the Codes.

There's plenty of justifications for what Dalinar is doing. A united Alethkar could be rather pleasant, even if I feel Dalinar is doing a terrible job at it. The fact remains that he's violating the Codes and then expecting other people to follow them. It makes him a hypocrite. Not that I find anything wrong with being a hypocrite - as I said, there are justifications. I was just saying that the highprinces will be able to rightfully call Dalinar one.

Dalinar is constrained by following the Codes when he knows full well that ignoring them is a good idea. Fortunately, he's got some utilitarian spirit hiding away in his old bones, so he does ignore them. I just sort of wish he'd apply that reasoning to more things.

I have to disagree moogle, if you think back to the Nohadon vision, there were no codes to follow, and Nohadon had to force the people to follow him before he came up with the codes. So I think that Dalinar "breaking the codes" here is a non issues really, as he has to get all of the highprinces in line before he can enoforce the codes? Just my opinion?

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Do all of the KR have nahel bonds?

 

As far as we know, yes, but we don't know everything.

 

TWoKs page 979

 

“I will explain as I train you,” Jasnah said, handing back the sheet. “You will need a greater foundation before you can grasp it. Suffice it to say that each Radiant’s abilities were tied to the spren.”

 

Then there is also the fact that each proto-radiant so far has been bonded to a spren. Maybe Dalinar's order is different and we will learn how he can be a radiant without a spren in WoR, but I doubt it.

 

Dalinar could gather the KR without being one himself. However, if he is the Bondsmith, I'm sure a spren will show up eventually.

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Dalinar could gather the KR without being one himself. However, if he is the Bondsmith, I'm sure a spren will show up eventually.

 

My guess will be after he gives up his plate.

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My guess will be after he gives up his plate.

 

He already gave his plate to Renarin.

 

TWoKs page 960. Dalinar speaking to Elhokar after trading his blade to Sadeas.

 

 

Tomorrow, once you name me Highprince of War, I will give my Plate to Renarin to fulfill a promise. I’ve already given away my Blade to fulfill a different one.”

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He already gave his plate to Renarin.

 

TWoKs page 960. Dalinar speaking to Elhokar after trading his blade to Sadeas.

 

Dope, Now I feel better. I knew I was missing something after Adolins Dual when he gave away the blade. Now I know what it was.

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I have to disagree moogle, if you think back to the Nohadon vision, there were no codes to follow, and Nohadon had to force the people to follow him before he came up with the codes. So I think that Dalinar "breaking the codes" here is a non issues really, as he has to get all of the highprinces in line before he can enoforce the codes? Just my opinion?

 

Dalinar follows the codes himself (which Sadeas abused because he knew Dalinar wouldn't suspect an ally of betraying him), he forces his own sons to follow the Codes, and has spoken of forcing the entire Alethi army to as well. He feels as if he's living the Codes, and has to be an example:

 

The Codes, the teachings of the book, the things the visions—or delusions—showed. Never fight other men except when forced to in war.

Bang!

Let your actions defend you, not your words.

Bang!

Expect honor from those you meet, and give them the chance to live up to it.

Bang!

Rule as you would be ruled.

Bang!

He stood waist-deep in what would eventually be a latrine, his ears filled with the groans of breaking stone. He was coming to believe those ideals. No, he’d already come to believe them. Now he was living them. What would the world be like if all men lived as the book proclaimed? Someone had to start. Someone had to be the model.

 

Later on, he realizes that it's not working and he has to conquer men before he can force them to accept the Codes. He's breaking the Codes to do it. There's really no other way to describe it. They're hardly 'irrelevant'. He's giving up his integrity to get results, the exact opposite of Journey before Destination.

 

Following the Codes is hard, so he gives up the Codes. He's not a very good model, not like Kaladin. That's probably a reason he doesn't have a spren. Though, he's getting one apparently, so we'll see how that works out.

 

Of course, I agree with his decision. I'm just going to find it incredibly amusing when he grinds his teeth after being rightfully called a hypocrite.

Edited by Moogle
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Dalinar follows the codes himself (which Sadeas abused because he knew Dalinar wouldn't suspect an ally of betraying him), he forces his own sons to follow the Codes, and has spoken of forcing the entire Alethi army to as well. He feels as if he's living the Codes, and has to be an example:

 

Later on, he realizes that it's not working and he has to conquer men before he can force them to accept the Codes. He's breaking the Codes to do it. There's really no other way to describe it. They're hardly 'irrelevant'. He's giving up his integrity to get results, the exact opposite of Journey before Destination.

 

Following the Codes is hard, so he gives up the Codes. He's not a very good model, not like Kaladin. That's probably a reason he doesn't have a spren. Though, he's getting one apparently, so we'll see how that works out.

 

Of course, I agree with his decision. I'm just going to find it incredibly amusing when he grinds his teeth after being rightfully called a hypocrite.

Just to be clear.  In the spoiler section you have there he doesn't actually say the codes.  He mentions them and then states a number of other ideals he got from the Way of Kings.

 

The Alethi Codes of War:

Readiness The officer will be prepared at all times for battle. Never drunken on wine, never without his weapon.

 

Inspiration The officer will wear his uniform when in public, to look ready for war and to give strength to his troops.

 

Restraint The officer will refrain from needless duels, arguments or squabbles with other officers in camp, to prevent injury to men who may be needed to command.

 

Leadership The officer will require no action of his soldiers that he would not be willing to perform himself.

 

Honor The officer will not abandon allies on the field, nor will he seek to profit from the loss of his allies.

 

 

As far as I can tell none of his actions so far violate the codes.  Ok you could argue the part about "needless duels" by letting Adolin fight for the shards but you would have to argue how "needless" it is since he has a specific strategic purpose in allowing it.

Edited by Arondell
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Just to be clear.  In the spoiler section you have there he doesn't actually say the codes.  He mentions them and then states a number of other ideals he got from the Way of Kings.

 

In that spoiler section, Dalinar was telling us his interpretation of the Codes, which is why I brought it up. "Never fight other men except when forced to in war" is his interpretation of Restraint. I don't really care about an objective determination of whether he broke the codes, I care about whether Dalinar himself thinks he's breaking the codes. And he is breaking the spirit of them according to his own interpretation.

 

As far as I can tell none of his actions so far violate the codes.  Ok you could argue the part about "needless duels" by letting Adolin fight for the shards but you would have to argue how "needless" it is since he has a specific strategic purpose in allowing it.

 

Dalinar believes Adolin's previous duels were breaking the codes:

 

“I cannot,” Dalinar said. “The Codes forbid it for one of my stature.” Adolin probably shouldn’t be dueling either, but Dalinar had not forced a complete prohibition on him. Dueling was his life. Well, that and the women he courted.

 

Dalinar dueling to protect his honor from insults could also be seen as having a 'specific strategic purpose', but that was against the Codes in his mind.

Edited by Moogle
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In that spoiler section, Dalinar was telling us his interpretation of the Codes, which is why I brought it up. "Never fight other men except when forced to in war" is his interpretation of Restraint. I don't really care about an objective determination of whether he broke the codes, I care about whether Dalinar himself thinks he's breaking the codes. And he is breaking the spirit of them according to his own interpretation.

 

 

Dalinar believes Adolin's previous duels were breaking the codes:

 

Dalinar dueling to protect his honor from insults could also be seen as having a 'specific strategic purpose', but that was against the Codes in his mind.

 

Actually from the coppermind wiki.

 

Dalinar later mentally summed them up as these:

“Never ask of your men a sacrifice you wouldn’t make yourself. Never make them fight in conditions you would refuse to fight in yourself. Never ask a man to perform an act you wouldn’t soil your own hands doing.”

— Dalinar's interpretation of the codes[1]

 

Now maybe you disagree with what the wiki says but that seems a more accurate representation of Dalinar's interpretation of the codes to me.

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Actually from the coppermind wiki.

 

Dalinar later mentally summed them up as these:

“Never ask of your men a sacrifice you wouldn’t make yourself. Never make them fight in conditions you would refuse to fight in yourself. Never ask a man to perform an act you wouldn’t soil your own hands doing.”

— Dalinar's interpretation of the codes[1]

 

Now maybe you disagree with what the wiki says but that seems a more accurate representation of Dalinar's interpretation of the codes to me.

 

There are five codes. Dalinar says three sentences there, and they are all related to Leadership. Dalinar speaks of his interpretation of the codes multiple times in the book, and I quoted another time.

 

Restraint and Leadership are covered by my monologue:

 

Restraint The officer will refrain from needless duels, arguments or squabbles with other officers in camp, to prevent injury to men who may be needed to command.

Never fight other men except when forced to in war. -Dalinar

 

Leadership The officer will require no action of his soldiers that he would not be willing to perform himself.

Rule as you would be ruled. -Dalinar

 

Edit: Though, I suppose you could argue that Dalinar doesn't believe the Alethi are at war, and so that he's welcome to have everyone duel. This is at odds with his prohibition on Adolin's dueling, but I think you could make a decent case for it. The mental gymnastics are irritating, however. Dalinar knows full well they're at war even if he doesn't think the others are taking it seriously.

Edited by Moogle
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 I didnt read all the posts so this may have been alluded to, Dalinar realized that the rules have to be forced on others until they get used to them. So he has to do what he has to do inorder to make the peace, then he can enforce the peace.

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I feel you are mixing the ideals of the Way of Kings with the Alethi Codes of War.

 

You reject an objective determination on whether he is breaking the codes then choose ideals he thinks of that are, to me, obviously acquired from the book and insist that they are his interpretation of the codes when a more obvious and direct interpretation is available.

 

This comes down to were just going to have to agree to disagree. :mellow:

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I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree, then. We're really not getting anywhere here. Sorry for being argumentative.

 

I will leave this though, since I rather fortuitously found it:

 

Dalinar found himself leaning forward as well, though he did feel a stab of shame. According to the Codes, most duels should be avoided when Alethkar was at war. There was a fine line between sparring for practice and dueling another man for an insult, potentially leaving important officers wounded.

 

Here, I think Dalinar offers a definition of 'needed' duels: duels for practice.

Edited by Moogle
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Another thing to consider is that dueling is Adolin's calling.  He cannot elevate if he does not duel.  Can any of Adolin's duels be truly considered "needless" if they are, in actuality, the major component of his religion?

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It could be argued that the Alethi are at war not only against the Listeners, but also among themselves.

When Sadeas betrayed Dalinar, it was an act of war or at least it would have been war if not for Dalinar really wanting to unite the Alethi.

So they can be considered at war with Sadeas faction of sorts. Then dueling with a shardbearer in that faction could be part of a war and allowed by the codes. Adolin certainly seems to treat it as a war in his duel.

 

This seemed more clear in my head. but I still want to raise the point.

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Another thing to consider is that dueling is Adolin's calling.  He cannot elevate if he does not duel.  Can any of Adolin's duels be truly considered "needless" if they are, in actuality, the major component of his religion?

 

By this sort of logic, every duel can be seen as 'needed'. Brightlord insulted you? Challenge him to a duel - it's a major insult, you need to duel him or else you will be seen as weak.

 

In Adolin's case, he's not going to Damnation if he doesn't duel for a few years. He can begin advancing his Calling again after the war is over.

 

Dalinar thought that a needed duel was a duel done for practice, so as to keep your skills sharp. He offered no other examples of what might be considered needed.

 

It could be argued that the Alethi are at war not only against the Listeners, but also among themselves.

When Sadeas betrayed Dalinar, it was an act of war or at least it would have been war if not for Dalinar really wanting to unite the Alethi.

So they can be considered at war with Sadeas faction of sorts. Then dueling with a shardbearer in that faction could be part of a war and allowed by the codes. Adolin certainly seems to treat it as a war in his duel.

 

I feel this point is just trying to twist the Codes so that Dalinar doesn't technically violate them while ignoring their spirit and purpose. The Codes claim that dueling during war should not be done unless needed because an officer needed for command could be injured. Shardbearers are important, and Adolin definitely injured the one he fought. If the Parshendi surprise attacked, and an important person (the Shardbearer) was down because of a duel, the army would be weakened. That's what the Codes' prohibition on unneeded duels is designed to prevent.

 

You could even say Adolin went out of his way to break the Codes. Had Adolin been focused on not harming the Shardbearer and done a careful slow duel, you could say they were following the spirit of the Codes. Instead, Adolin threw the Shardbearer to the ground and just about killed him.

 

Adolin was not fighting one of Sadeas' Shardbearers. He was fighting one of Thanadal's.

 

Also, Sadeas did not attack Dalinar, nor did he ever make any attempt to. Dalinar and Sadeas' soldiers are not attempting to kill each other. 'War' is a bad term to describe them, and is the part that makes it seem like you're twisting the wording of the Codes. The common soldiers and Thanadal's Shardbearers are not involved in Sadeas and Dalinar's conflict.

 

If Dalinar had declared war on Sadeas, I would see no issue with a potential breach of the Codes with Adolin's duels , but instead Dalinar seems to be acting as if they're united (and is trying to make them more united). This is not what is meant by a war in the sense the Codes meant.

Edited by Moogle
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Moogle, what do you think Dalinar should do?

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Personally I think the Codes have to go out the window for now. The codes were put into place during old Alethkar when the Alethi were a well ordered nation. The problem is that trying to enforce the codes in modern Alethkar would be like trying to build a house on faulty foundations. They won't follow the codes because they don't see any reason to follow the codes. That's why I think Dalinar is going to have to give them a reason.  After a generation or so they should be able to go back to the following the codes without being forced. But until the Alethi learn to be a nation in more than name, the codes will not be worth more than the paper on which they are written. 

 

The thing is that I'm sure there are very good reasons for following the codes. I really liked the theory that they protect you from the worst parts of the Thrill. Unfortunately I really don't see another way of getting the Alethi to truly start following the codes again, short of divine intervention.

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I am not sure I see any issues with the dueling being a violation of the codes.

The codes say that people should avoid needless duels.  Those duels for rankings, etc, are needless, obviously as they are solely for personal glory, with the attendant risk of serious injury.

 

But, Dalinar has a strategic objective in the war at this point...to consolidate all the Shards in trusted hands, thereby allowing him to run the war.  He has charged Adolin with winning those Shards through dueling.  As even Adolin says, if he loses the duel, it puts a huge crimp int he plans for executing the war. This is hardly needless dueling.  In fact, it's one of the cornerstones of the entire strategy.

 

Now, you can argue that the strategy is dishonest and violates the codes as a result.  I could be convinced on that.  But, given his strategy to win the war, the dueling is an integral part and, as such, is far from "needless" as the codes forbid.

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Moogle, what do you think Dalinar should do?

 

I think he should do exactly what he's doing: throwing the Codes to the wind. I think disarming the highprinces and having all the Shards kept in the Kholin army is honestly the best course of action. Dalinar has no time to win the highprinces over, so he's going to have to become a tyrant (like Taravangian). Having 20 or so Shards when the other highprinces have none is an excellent way to handle things.

 

I have issues with a few things, though. To go off-topic... If I were in his position, with his knowledge, and the cultural norms of the Alethi were mine:

  1. First of all, Dalinar recognizes that he's a warlord, not a politician. This is an issue that is coming to haunt him. He completely failed to convince Aladar to follow him because he sucks at persuasion. This is a flaw he needs to correct immediately. He's not naturally charismatic, but that's not all there is to human interaction. He needs to find a Rosharan version of Influence: Science and Practice and get it read to him immediately.
  2. He's using the stick when he needs to use the carrot. He needs to recognize that the highprince's primary motivation to rebel against him is economic in nature. They're losing gemheart money. He should have Elhokar draft a missive saying that Soulcaster fees will be reduced by 20% or so for any highprince who follows the Codes, and he should also offer those highprinces a higher share of the gemhearts collected through the forced pairing of armies. The Nash equilibrium here is for every highprince to end up following the Codes in the end if he does that. This is basic game theory, something he needs to educate himself on (see point 1).
  3. He's doing too much, too fast. He's trying to change an entire culture in 60 days - impossible. What he needs is a unified Alethkar, not an honorable one. His attempts to suddenly force every highprince to follow an entire set of rules that upends the entire culture of the Shattered Plains (no getting drunk, no duels, no fun) should be stopped immediately and following the Codes should be made voluntary with economic incentives (see point 2). Since he himself is not following the Codes (to people like me, anyways, which includes most highprinces) he will be seen as a hypocrite for enforcing the codes on others and this is not conducive to getting the cooperation fo the highprinces. Making them voluntary fixes this public relations issue.

 

Now, you can argue that the strategy is dishonest and violates the codes as a result.  I could be convinced on that.  But, given his strategy to win the war, the dueling is an integral part and, as such, is far from "needless" as the codes forbid.

 

If you're arguing that the Codes see generals consolidating their power in the middle of a war as 'needed', then I feel we're ultimately at an impasse. I feel that the Codes have to do with how a war is best run on Roshar: no drinking, always be alert, no harming other soldiers, that sort of thing. I don't feel that viewing them in a broad perspective of Dalinar 'needing' to take control of Alethkar to unite everyone for the coming Desolation is appropriate for them. I feel that even by a liberal interpretation of the Codes, dueling for a political purpose (as Dalinar is doing) goes counter to them.

 

Dueling is 'needed' in a war for one thing: practice. Without soldiers sparring, your soldiers will not perform well, and you may as well not have an army. Thus, the exception for 'needed' duels. A general does not 'need' to duel to consolidate power and become leader of the army, and you may as well not have the ban on dueling at all if you're going to allow things to go that far.

 

I feel that Dalinar should ignore the Codes, just as he's doing.

Edited by Moogle
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If you're arguing that the Codes see generals consolidating their power in the middle of a war as 'needed', then I feel we're ultimately at an impasse. I feel that the Codes have to do with how a war is best run on Roshar: no drinking, always be alert, no harming other soldiers, that sort of thing. I don't feel that viewing them in a broad perspective of Dalinar 'needing' to take control of Alethkar to unite everyone for the coming Desolation is appropriate for them. I feel that even by a liberal interpretation of the Codes, dueling for a political purpose (as Dalinar is doing) goes counter to them. I feel that Dalinar should ignore the Codes, just as he's doing.

I had said that the strategy of forcing the other Highprinces instead of leading them was very questionable in relation to the codes/WOK. I can see how he came to it, but it seems to be against the entire spirit of the WOK and the codes.

 

But, arguing over the dueling being needless, when it is a key part of the strategy that he is using to consolidate the Highprinces, does not make sense to me.  To me the dueling makes perfect sense and is logical and consistent - it is not needless in any way.

 

Should he have made himself Highprince of War and be forcing people to do his will?  That seems to be against the WOK mantras - but, as he points out, also seems to be exactly what Nohadon did before he wrote WOK.  That is very debatable and arguable.

 

The dueling seems a straightforward application of strategy to achieve his objectives and not against any codes as a result.  It is not for a "political purpose", but the allow him to get his army into shape by giving him the tools to enforce discipline.  From a military point of view, he can't run the war effectively if Highprinces can feel free to ignore him.  

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I had said that the strategy of forcing the other Highprinces instead of leading them was very questionable in relation to the codes/WOK. I can see how he came to it, but it seems to be against the entire spirit of the WOK and the codes.

 

But, arguing over the dueling being needless, when it is a key part of the strategy that he is using to consolidate the Highprinces, does not make sense to me.  To me the dueling makes perfect sense and is logical and consistent - it is not needless in any way.

 

Should he have made himself Highprince of War and be forcing people to do his will?  That seems to be against the WOK mantras - but, as he points out, also seems to be exactly what Nohadon did before he wrote WOK.  That is very debatable and arguable.

 

The dueling seems a straightforward application of strategy to achieve his objectives and not against any codes as a result.  It is not for a "political purpose", but the allow him to get his army into shape by giving him the tools to enforce discipline.  From a military point of view, he can't run the war effectively if Highprinces can feel free to ignore him.  

 

I see your point of view much better now. Sorry for being dense. I think I agree with you mostly, though I have two quibbles:

  • I think Dalinar forcing the other highprinces to obey him is the best strategy available to him when he knows there's a Desolation coming. I find nothing questionable about it, though you're right that it is questionable by the tenets of TWoK (which I find silly in many regards). He's the only one with the right information, he needs to be in a leadership position so that 9/10 people (or more) won't die.
  • Because of this this, it is needed for Dalinar to take Shards. What I am trying to say is that the Codes don't care about what Dalinar is doing. The Codes definition of 'needed' doesn't include dueling to take power, it just looks at the best way to run an army in wartime. Because of this, I think Dalinar is going against the Codes. Dalinar manipulated his way into a leadership position, and I think dueling to cement his place in the hierarchy is not something the Codes think is fine because the army would function fine with him not in a leadership position.

    (The slow fight against the Parshendi and the winning of gemhearts is a valid tactic and would have worked in 5-10 years if Dalinar hadn't taken over and demanded they win faster.)

    I don't feel he should be following the Codes anyways, so this hardly matters.

Edited by Moogle
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  • I don't feel he should be following the Codes anyways, so this hardly matters.

 

 

What specifically about the Alethi Codes of War do you not like?  To me the look like very practical general principals on maintaining military discipline in time of war.

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