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What is the deal with Tayschrenn?

#1 User is offline   Soletaken1 

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Posted 14 March 2016 - 09:59 PM

In Night of Knives Taychrenn is portrayed as quite a cool guy. However in GOTM he is set up as this scheming bastard who turns on his own mages and blasts Nightchill, Hairlock and another high mage to oblivion. In memories of ice though we find out that he may have been trying to keep Nightchill from Draginpur, or something like that. What gives?
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#2 User is offline   D'rek 

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Posted 15 March 2016 - 12:09 AM

Maybe Tayschrenn is indeed a pretty cool guy once you get to know him, but is nevertheless ruthless when called to action?

If Nightchill and Bellurdan were indeed planning something malicious at Pale (one theory espoused in MoI is that they might've been planning to make a grab for Dragnipur and then break away from the empire), then Tayschrenn would certainly have had his game face on that day since he was going up against a centuries-old High Mage and an Elder Goddess. No time to be jovial in a situation like that. And frankly, Tattersail, Hairlock and Calot simply wouldn't know Tayschrenn except by reputation and who knows what they've heard, or how it might colour their perceptions.

But when Kiska meets Tayschrenn in NoK, perhaps he's not in quite as much of an "all-business" situation there so Kiska gets to see a bit more of his usual relaxed, detached personality.

 worrywort, on 14 September 2012 - 08:07 PM, said:

I kinda love it when D'rek unleashes her nerd wrath, as I knew she would here. Sorry innocent bystanders, but someone's gotta be the kindling.
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#3 User is offline   - Coltaine -  

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Posted 15 March 2016 - 08:36 AM

The presentation of Tayschrenn in GotM in comparison to the rest of the series always gives me a headache. It is so different.

My best guess is, aside from a change of his role and character in the later books, that he thought killing all this mages and soldiers would be the best for the empire. I think it was in NoK where he said, that he is loyal to the empire and would do everything to prevent it from getting destroyed. He does not intervene in Laseens coup d'état as it is not interfering with his goal to keep the empire safe. Or something like that.

I think I should reread NoK.

We know from Topper that Laseen feared that Sorry may have corrupted Onearms Host. And Tayschrenn may have taken action by planning to decimate the host, without checking if the suspicions are reliable. Or he is just a shitty tactican and didn't thought about the possibility of killing the own soldiers by deflecting the enemys magic into them.
He killed Nightfrost because she killed A'Karonys. According to Tattersails POV they die in the wrong order, but we don't know if she is reliable at that moment. But from Dancers Lament we know that she uses frost magic and A'Karonys is killed by ice, so Tayschrenn may tell the truth. And Nightfrost herself confrms that she was after Dragnipur.
I'm not sure why he killed Calot and Hairlock, but maybe he thought they were also corrupted by Sorry.

In the case of the Bridgeburners he may have really believed that it would be safer in the tunnels or not. No way to confirm that.

His actions aferwards in the book may already have been a ruse in preparation of the outlawing of Dujeks and his army. But nobody told Lorn. I always had the feeling that Lorn was sacrificed by Laseen to make the outlawing more believeable.

So in the end he may just be really ruthless if it is for the safety of the empire and acted according to wrong informations. But I still have the feeling that something doesn't fit.
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#4 User is offline   Felisin Fatter 

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Posted 15 March 2016 - 09:22 AM

My theory: He was already working on the alliance with Rake. Nightchill was after Dragnipur and would have ruined things. She knew that he knew (etc.), hence the massive blow-up. Tays and A'karonys were the light/fire side of the conflict (+Tattersail, but she wasn' t informed...); Nichtchill, Bellurdan and Hairlock were the Darkness side Calot was porbably just collateral damage, as were the soldiers. I think Tayschrenn was trying to protect te bridgeburners (he would want them in that alliance), but had other priorities and isn't the best tactician/engineer. (Or there was another saboteur around?)
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#5 User is offline   Soletaken1 

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Posted 16 March 2016 - 06:41 PM

thanks everyone :thumbsup:
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#6 User is offline   lobo the wolfman 

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Posted 18 March 2016 - 09:39 AM

I think there was a point in GOTM where he admits that he doesn't like all the backstabbing and second guessing of politics, I think it was when Lorn confronts him and tells him to leave to running of Pale to Dujek. So i imagine when we first see him, he is in a situation he doesn't understand the rules too so that's why he seems a bit off.
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#7 User is offline   Puck 

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Posted 18 March 2016 - 01:12 PM

There's also that in GotM, we only see Tayschrenn from points of view not exactly sympathetic to him. Tattersail makes her dislike of Tayschrenn clear from the start and does her best to NOT find any redeeming qualities in him, e.g. in the scene where he makes her read the Deck on the walls of Pale, and shows thoughtfulness and knowledge, Tattersail's reaction is to rationalize that away towards 'he's just pretending'. A bit later, the scene with Tayschrenn, Dujek and Lorn makes it quite clear that Tayschrenn sucks at planning/strategy but has the interests of the empire as his utmost priority. Later books give us a more balanced view on Tayschrenn thanks to different PoVs, but it doesn't really contradict GotM outright. I think the point here is that Tayschrenn has good intentions but bad publicity. He's a powerhouse but not a very good strategist. And until NoK we don't really get any PoVs which are close enough to not be influenced by that bad publicity. Iirc, even Kiska at first hates/dislikes Tayschrenn based on his reputation, and only changes her mind when she actually meets him without knowing it's him.

This post has been edited by Puck: 18 March 2016 - 01:15 PM

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#8 User is offline   the broken 

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Posted 10 May 2016 - 11:58 AM

Calot and Hairlock were likely just caught in the crossfire. The bridgeburners weren't just underground for the day, they had been in those tunnels for two years (which is where you want your sapper unit to be.) It is plausible that he might have thought that was the safest place, considering what happened to the aboveground units.

Rereading GOTM lately, this assault happens for military reasons plausible enough that experienced Commander Dujek buys them. Caladan Brood and the Crimson Guard are giving their other forces a beating, if they can't take Pale today, those forces will come to crush them. So Tayschrenn is under huge pressure. He has to win a battle against a 300,000+
year old legendary high mage, deal with treachery within his own ranks, and pull off a military victory before reinforcements arrive. This is a go for broke situation, and really, he does a phenomenal job under the circumstances, successfully driving off Rake, taking out Nightchill, and helping with the fall of the city. I don't think he was targeting his own soldiers, just like Tattersail he had to let them die to survive himself.
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