Originally Posted by Rodders
Wasn't part of the story involve the Affont being a little embarressed about the power (military might) that the Culture was actually capable of? I seem to remember them coming off as a bit arrogant and that the Affront actually thought that they could take on the Culture. Maybe i'm just miss-remembering it.
Well, The Affront knew they had no match against the Culture but - (spoiler) - they were tricked into starting the war and thought they could win if they got the super power from Excession.
Originally Posted by Ursa major
And they were not much friendleir to their own young, if my memory serves me correctly. (They are not the only one of Banks's aliens to do this; I seem to recall the Dwellers having this tendency in The Algebraist.)
Yes I think Banks enjoys to create blood thirsty aliens such as Ibirans, Azads, The Eaters... Otherwise, what's the reason for Special Circumstances to meddle with alien affairs? Civilising uncivilised species is the Culture's hobby (and who can blame them)!