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Alexei P
2009-01-03, 11:34 AM
I'm starting a thread to discuss what Wanda might have meant by those curious words. I saw many people assume she's talking about Jillian, but some other possibilities occur as well.

Let's discuss it to death, shall we?

Theory 1: She's mad at losing Jillian.

Clues: We've seen Wanda showing strong attachment to Jillian, and their breaking-up encounter seems to have left Wanda enraged.

Counter-arguments: The end of a relationship vs the mass-massacre and uncroaking of 2000+ people seem hardly comparable. Still, Wanda has been hinted to have a fairly twisted mind.

Theory 2: She blames Ansom for the destruction of Faq

Clues: The way Faq's downfall has been presented (incomplete information about a strange flight of dwagons, then a sudden "poof!") suggests, on a meta-story level, that the authors are setting us up for a secret twist. If the Jetstone side had been responsible, it would match the "good guys are not as heroic as they look" theme that Erfworld has going at the moment. Wanda and Jack (the two surviving units who actually saw what happened) are both surprisingly loyal to Stanley in this conflict. As some people have suggested, Stanley might have been their savior, rather than agressor. Was Jetstone the real culprit?

Counter-arguments: Ansom acts incredulous about Faq's existence the first time Jillian brings it up. Also, if Wanda blamed Jetstone for Faq's destruction, why hasn't she shared the story with Jillian?

Theory 3: Wanda popped to a now-extinct side older than Faq and Ansom is to blame for its destruction.

Clues: In the cast-page, Wanda is said to hail from the "Now-extinct Croatan tribe". At no time has the word "Croatan" been used in relation with Faq. Also, all Faq's human units we've seen were dark-skinned - the only exception is Jack and Wanda, which might suggest that they were turned/captured units. Another clue is Wanda's inexplicable loyalty to Stanley and unwillingness of bailing out from the conflict when offered the chance. The need for revenge on Ansom just might explain it. The cast page describes Wanda as lacking the "capacity for hope". Perhaps she has none left, and is ready to die herself if only for a chance to off Ansom before she goes.

Counter-arguments: the idea seems a bit convoluted and hinges on too many yet-urevealed story facts.

Approval/Disapproval of the 3 above?

Any other theories, however bizarre or convoluted, on the topic?

The Minx
2009-01-03, 12:02 PM
As the one who first posted #3 (to the best of my knowledge), I'm obviously supporting that theory. :smallsmile:

As for the objection: is it really convoluted? All it really needs is for the Croakan tribe to have been different from Faq and for it to have been destroyed by Ansom, everything else sort of follows from that. And it is superior to the other two in that:

1) Her claim that over two thousand deaths are less than what Ansom took from her seems a bit overblown if she were talking about Jillian.

2) We have never seen any indication that Faq = Croatan tribe, and anyway, Stanley is thought to have wiped that out. Of course, this might be a huge bluff by the authors, but still.

Godskook
2009-01-03, 12:42 PM
1) Her claim that over two thousand deaths are less than what Ansom took from her seems a bit overblown if she were talking about Jillian.

Not really. Lovers have made such claims in other stories and in real life.

OmniPaul
2009-01-03, 12:59 PM
I thought she was talking about the Arkenpliers, hence why she was like, "Touch me. Touch me with them."

MickJay
2009-01-03, 02:56 PM
I thought she was talking about the Arkenpliers, hence why she was like, "Touch me. Touch me with them."

For me it was all about pliers as well. She's sure that if she touched them, she would instantly attune to them.

Finwe
2009-01-03, 05:07 PM
As the one who first posted #3 (to the best of my knowledge), I'm obviously supporting that theory. :smallsmile:

As for the objection: is it really convoluted? All it really needs is for the Croakan tribe to have been different from Faq and for it to have been destroyed by Ansom, everything else sort of follows from that. And it is superior to the other two in that:

1) Her claim that over two thousand deaths are less than what Ansom took from her seems a bit overblown if she were talking about Jillian.

2) We have never seen any indication that Faq = Croatan tribe, and anyway, Stanley is thought to have wiped that out. Of course, this might be a huge bluff by the authors, but still.

Keep in mind, it was 2,000 re-animations, not deaths, that Ansom was complaining about.

Simanos
2009-01-03, 06:39 PM
I'm with the Jillian thing.
Though what if Ansom took the Arkenpliers from Wanda? How else is she so sure she can attune to them? Maybe she had them before. Maybe she even used them to protect her Croatan tribe and that's when Ansom took them.

Bawon von Howse
2009-01-03, 06:45 PM
...I thought that it was the pliers as she was reaching out for them when 'he took them from her'

...however in response to the OP's point #2/3, I agree that there is probably a lot more that went on with the destruction of Faq than we have been made aware, which will most probably be revealed given due time. However the main problem I see with Ansom destroying her previous Croatan tribe is that as a caster she should have been captured croaked or disbanded, so if anyone destroyed the Croatan tribe, it would have probably been Banhammer!

Strengfellow
2009-01-03, 07:57 PM
The pliers argument is growing on me.

However it is not beyong the realm of credulity that some combination of the three isn't the underlying reason behind Wanda's unrelenting emnity.

I like the woman scorned in favour of the one she blames for her peoples distruction who in turn stole from her a sacred artifact entrusted to her people by the Titans theory.

Eat your heart out Shakespear.

Altima
2009-01-03, 08:54 PM
I also vote for the Jillian thing. After all, Wanda didn't kill all those people. She just turned them into uncroaked which is, admittedly, something she enjoys, as she's a croakamancer above anything else (and really hates using any other magic).

Characters are popped into existance. They didn't grow up with friends or families. Some people, like the royals, warlords, casters, and nobles may find life easier than the average grunt as they get to interact with other royals, warlords, casters, and nobles. Thus developing a kind of friendship.

This points out to me that relationships someone makes in Erfworld are on a whole different level. Wanda cared about Jillian who betrayed that trust. Not only that, but Wanda's spell backfired and fried her brain. I assume it didn't help that Jillian directly compared Wanda to Ansom in their last encounter (which basically went like this: you're better than Ansom, but Ansom treats me better, so I'm gonna dump you for Ansom. It's not you, it's me, blah, blah, blah--oh, and I'm going to go kill your Overlord so you're free and can watch me and Ansom be happy forever and ever and ever).

So it seems to me that Ansom took from Wanda what she cherished most in the world. Compared to that, yeah, it is actually less, seeing as how Ansom cares less for his mooks than Wanda does for her uncroaked. After all, a king can always pop out more infantry. I doubt Stanley can create a love interest for Wanda.

Lastly, you have to remember that Wanda's brain not work fine good stuff. She may be a tad bit...wacky, as illustrated by her apparent desire to be killed off. Her admittedly skewed morals may have taken a nose-dive thanks to the whiplash of her thinkamancy spell.

Kreistor
2009-01-03, 09:37 PM
No, Ansom didn't cost her Jillian. Wanda never blamed Ansom, she realized she misjudged Jillian in the end. In the conversation of 94-95, Wanda never once said a word about Ansom.

What we do have is Jaclyn's, "She's under no loyalty spells."

Compare with Ansom's reaction to "S'lasssss than what you took from me", in which Ansom very clearly shows regret.

Ansom did something to Wanda, somewhere. And he knows it's his fault. It's bad enough that Wanda sided with Stanley, perhaps entirely because she knew she would come to face Ansom.

There's history here. Major history. It might have something to do with Faq, but I expect it will not be anything near obvious. Perhaps Ansom was asked to come to Faq's defence, but failed. Or maybe Wanda wound up with Jetstone after Stanley took Faq, and something happened there to someone Wanda desired. Who knows? There are a thousand possibilities.

DevilDan
2009-01-03, 10:41 PM
No, Ansom didn't cost her Jillian. Wanda never blamed Ansom, she realized she misjudged Jillian in the end. In the conversation of 94-95, Wanda never once said a word about Ansom.

That's a matter of interpretation. In essence, Jillian chose Ansom over Wanda. As Wanda said, Jillian knew how important those dwagons were to GK. Of course, what Jillian said is that Wanda took her control too far.

In any event, I really am not laying any bets as to what the back story is. I don't think Faq's downfall was as simple as Jillian believes it to have been.

The Minx
2009-01-03, 11:07 PM
Keep in mind, it was 2,000 re-animations, not deaths, that Ansom was complaining about.

Yes, nit-pick noted and acknowledged. :smallsmile:


I thought she was talking about the Arkenpliers, hence why she was like, "Touch me. Touch me with them."

So, some previous undisclosed background where she possessed the arkenpliers or something like it? Come to think of it, that might work too, in fact. If so, I wonder whether Stanley knew about the connection.

SteveMB
2009-01-04, 01:02 AM
Keep in mind, it was 2,000 re-animations, not deaths, that Ansom was complaining about.

Ansom sees them as abominations; Wanda sees them as the successful application of her favorite type of magic. Obviously, she isn't going to see Ansom's grievance as all that big a deal; to her, he's getting all bent out of shape over some silly hangup. (And that isn't even counting the normal human tendency to undervalue other people's issues in comparison than one's own.)

TamLin
2009-01-04, 01:44 AM
Personally I think turning someone into a zombie is at least as bad as killing them in the first place. I certainly would be as angry about it.

I also wonder if that line was meant to be as ambiguous as everyone is has found it to be. I figured it was a comment about Jillian because, well, that's the first and only thing that occured to me upon reading it. The second possibility seems very far-fetched and so far has scant evidence to support it (no evidence, really, except perhaps the lack of contradictary evidence). As for the possibility that there's something big we don't know, well, that's always true.

EDIT: Also, not to nitpick, but some people are analyzing Ansom's expression after Wanda says the line in question. However, we can't see his face in that panel. We see only Wanda, and in the next panel we have a far shot of Ansom where his expression is unreadable. In the closeup panel he's reacting to Wanda's demand/request that he let her touch the pliers. He's more likely contemplating whether finishing her off is worth the risk of whatever will happen if the pliers touch her than reacting to her comment from before, so I don't think that tells us much.

Capt'n Ironbrow
2009-01-04, 09:11 AM
Ansom caused Wanda to lose her sanity and gave her a mild aphasy also(through Jillian's feelings for him), which is quite a big deal for a high-level caster-councillor!

SteveD
2009-01-04, 05:17 PM
I'm with option number 3.

We know Wanda popped to a different side instead of Faq, and we don't know why her (and Jack) have such fierce loyalty to Stanley. I'm betting its a subtle reference to untold backstory.

SteveMB
2009-01-04, 05:54 PM
We know Wanda popped to a different side instead of Faq

Huh? I don't recall anything that would indicate that.


and we don't know why her (and Jack) have such fierce loyalty to Stanley. I'm betting its a subtle reference to untold backstory.

This part I agree with (except that it's not all that "subtle" at indicating the existence of a yet-unknown backstory).

Altima
2009-01-04, 11:06 PM
As for their fierce loyalty, despite all of it, Stanley actually seems like a fairly nice guy. He's passionate. He is stubborn, but can be made to see reason. We don't know what other rulers are like, but your typical (stupid) villain Stanley ain't.

K2
2009-01-04, 11:42 PM
It simple, Ansom is evil. He is the bad guy after all, his closet must be filled to the rim with skeletons, I would even dare to venture that some of te odies are not even done decomposing yet.
Ansom is obviously the second most evil character that we know of in the comic thus far. (Charlie is, of course, much more evil)

Lord Zentei
2009-01-05, 12:00 AM
As for their fierce loyalty, despite all of it, Stanley actually seems like a fairly nice guy.

...say what?

DevilDan
2009-01-05, 12:58 AM
(Charlie is, of course, much more evil)

To quote Lord Zentei, "...say what?"

K2
2009-01-05, 02:13 AM
To quote Lord Zentei, "...say what?"

oh, I just kinda hate him right now, I understand why he did what he did, and why the comic is being written that way. I was just really looking forward to seeing an uncroaked Ansom beat Jillian to death with those pliers. And Charlie took that away from me.


Its just a very strange, kinda creepy, way my mind works, thing.

SteveD
2009-01-05, 06:20 AM
Huh? I don't recall anything that would indicate that.

The cast page, obviously.

teratorn
2009-01-05, 06:24 AM
We should keep in mind that Jillian's choice "broke" Wanda, and I'm not sure it was just the backlash from the spell. That would seem to favor 1).



So, some previous undisclosed background where she possessed the arkenpliers or something like it? Come to think of it, that might work too, in fact. If so, I wonder whether Stanley knew about the connection.

Wanda knew exactly how to engage and wrest the pliers from Ansom. That was a mighty staff (it blocked archon fire) but Ansom's words hint at the pliers doing something unexpected.

I like the idea of Ansom exterminating a croakamancy oriented tribe, for Jetstone that's an abomination. Wanda could be doing mercenary work at the time and thus escaped death, maybe she wasn't even a croakamancer then.

Of course this could fit into speculations that Wanda may have betrayed Faq, and may even be the mind behind Saline's death. The heir to a city holding an arkentool, and a non-royal, sure to raise Jetstone's anger if he ever became king?


The cast page, obviously.

The cast page doesn't say Jillian's tribe. She may be Croatan, we don't know Faq's tribe.

SteveD
2009-01-05, 06:42 AM
The cast page doesn't say Jillian's tribe. She may be Croatan, we don't know Faq's tribe.

We don't need to. From the little we've seen of Faq it clearly has no cultural connection to Wanda. From all of Wanda's attire we've not seen anything remotely similar to the feudal-japan style garb of Faq. Its even less likely that a city based on philosophy would want to pop a coakmancer then it would a war-like heir. In addition to this there is nothing that connects the word 'coatan' to the orient that I can find. It is a supposedly extinct native American tribe.

Besides, I'm not convinced that Wanda was just referring to Jillian. It would make sense if her reasons for wanting to fight for Stanley were exactly the same as Jillians for Ansom.

But more then anything else my instincts tell me this was about unfolding the backstory a little further and setting out character motivations before jillians return, the full explanation and conclusion of the main plotline.

teratorn
2009-01-05, 07:17 AM
We don't need to. From the little we've seen of Faq it clearly has no cultural connection to Wanda.

The same can be said for Sizemore yet he is plaid.


From all of Wanda's attire we've not seen anything remotely similar to the feudal-japan style garb of Faq.

Huh, what about #54 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0054.html)? And we know Wanda eats sushi. Besides, we also don't see that in Jillian's attire while with RCC.

SteveD
2009-01-05, 09:13 AM
And what do we know of the plaid?

Still not convinced. There's nothing to say that Wanda popped as a Faq unit, or anything connecting a native American tribe to an eastern-philosophical tribe. #54 can be dismissed as coincidental due to the time she spent in Faq.

I don't think 'Croatan' was picked at random. Its clearly a reference to something.

Rhuna_Coppermane
2009-01-05, 09:24 AM
So it seems to me that Ansom took from Wanda what she cherished most in the world.

Seems that way to me, too. I vote #1.

HPV
2009-01-05, 09:30 AM
I originally thought she meant Jill, but have to say that looking at it again, and particularly panels 6-9 of Page 122, I'm beginning to wonder whether she is talking about the Arkenpliers.
The dialogue is spread across 3 panels (6-8), but taking it all together, it looks to me like Wanda could indeed be talking about the pliers.

S'less than what you took from me. Touch me. Come down. Touch me with them.
Maybe I'm reading that dialogue together when it's not meant to be, but it is enough to make me wonder, and especially when combined with the look on Ansom's face in panel 8, and the way he's holding them in 9; Others have suggested that he's drawn back to strike, but it looks to me more like he's withdrawing them, as far from Wanda's reach as possible.

This theory might also explain why Ansom can't attune, the previous wielder still being alive, and, how Wanda was able to do, whatever it was she did to them, in panel one of page 120, to make ansom say "Here! what have you done to it?" (assuming, of course, he was talking about the pliers).

I'm sure time will tell, but as theories go I'm quite fond of it at the moment. :)

SteveMB
2009-01-05, 09:38 AM
Still not convinced. There's nothing to say that Wanda popped as a Faq unit,

And nothing to say she didn't. Occam's Razor (no, not one of the tools in her interrogation kit) argues against the theory that she popped in some as-yet unknown side unless story evidence for that turns up.


or anything connecting a native American tribe to an eastern-philosophical tribe.

So? There's nothing connecting plaid cloth to goblins, but the Plaid tribe is clearly associated with the capital city of Gobwin Knob.


#54 can be dismissed as coincidental due to the time she spent in Faq.

I wouldn't put too much weight on something like this anyway; it could just be the authors throwing in another real-world reference as part of the running pattern.


I don't think 'Croatan' was picked at random. Its clearly a reference to something.

Er, perhaps a reference to the fact that the tribe was lost, an obvious parallel to the lost-colony story referenced by the word.

SteveMB
2009-01-05, 09:47 AM
I originally thought she meant Jill, but have to say that looking at it again, and particularly panels 6-9 of Page 122, I'm beginning to wonder whether she is talking about the Arkenpliers.
The dialogue is spread across 3 panels (6-8), but taking it all together, it looks to me like Wanda could indeed be talking about the pliers.

Maybe I'm reading that dialogue together when it's not meant to be, but it is enough to make me wonder, and especially when combined with the look on Ansom's face in panel 8, and the way he's holding them in 9; Others have suggested that he's drawn back to strike, but it looks to me more like he's withdrawing them, as far from Wanda's reach as possible.

This theory might also explain why Ansom can't attune, the previous wielder still being alive, and, how Wanda was able to do, whatever it was she did to them, in panel one of page 120, to make ansom say "Here! what have you done to it?" (assuming, of course, he was talking about the pliers).

I'm sure time will tell, but as theories go I'm quite fond of it at the moment. :)

It also fits the way he retreated while coming up with a rationalization for the act (what, he's only just now realizing that personal indulgences on the battlefield are a bad idea?) If Wanda believes that the Arkenpliers would attune to her given a chance -- or, better yet, knows that it did attune to her in the past -- she could be rubbing Ansom's nose in another bit of evidence that his views about who is and is not favored by the Titans are a load of crap.

IMO, Ansom harbors some insecurities on that issue, and can't bring himself to face them squarely. That, ultimately, could be why he wants to wipe out Stanley -- the annoying little man whose words and very existence as an attuned Arkentool wielder strike at the chipped foundation of his worldview.

HPV
2009-01-05, 11:11 AM
Of course, if Wanda was the Arkenpliers previous owner it would imply that she has some pre-FAQ history, or that she only owned them for a relatively short period, between Jillian last leaving FAQ and the city falling.
Afterall, if Wanda had owned the pliers during her FAQ days Jill would very likely have known, and probably would have asked Ansom just how he get hold of them. *shrug*

BillyJimBoBob
2009-01-05, 11:36 AM
I'm starting a thread to discuss what Wanda might have meant by those curious words. I saw many people assume she's talking about Jillian, but some other possibilities occur as well.

Let's discuss it to death, shall we?

Theory 1: She's mad at losing Jillian.
This. This is the only option which uses the known storyline for solid support. Any other speculation about FAQ and the Archenpliers is just that, speculation based on nothing within the revealed history. People have a huge tendency when discussing this comic (and OotS) to prefer wild, unsupported theories rather than looking at what's been shown as the determining factor (I'll refer the example curious reader to the speculation surrounding Brainy Pete and what the CoL did to him off-panel, when we had on-panel sound effects which made the result absolutely certain to any reader willing to take them at face value and not speculate wildly that some kind of surprise was awaiting them simply because we didn't see brain matter stuck to a mace). It's rather amusing to me, as neither of these strips has ever been much on surprise twists of that nature.

I'll admit that the Erf authors have been careful about revealing several background facts which might come in to play in the future:

Who caused the "surprising" Gobwin uprising which killed Saline IV;
Who attacked FAQ;
Which side is the aggressor in this conflict (not who is on the offensive or defensive now, but who started the war in the first place);

etc.

But the absence of these facts should not be taken as a reason to look for hidden meanings in every exchange. Wanda is currently suffering from the magic backlash of Jillian's decision to declare her love to Ansom and attack the Dwagons despite Wanda's guarantees to Stanley and Parson that this would not and could not happen. This cost Wanda greatly, both emotionally and in her standing with Stanley. Remember that Stanley accused her of the possibility of betrayal and decided that even if it wasn't a betrayal that she had lost her use to him and that it was time for him to carry out his quest on his own.

SteveD
2009-01-05, 12:03 PM
And nothing to say she didn't. Occam's Razor (no, not one of the tools in her interrogation kit) argues against the theory that she popped in some as-yet unknown side unless story evidence for that turns up.

I believe the evidence is there already. The fact that no one has managed to put together a cogent reason to why Jack and Wanda are loyal to Stanley (despite the 'notoriously low' loyalty of captured units and lack of loyalty spell) implies there are pieces missing from the puzzle, or miss-information. If Wanda was never an original Faq unit to begin with that would help explain some of her motivations. Clearly there is something else going on beyond the fall of Faq, or Wanda would have revealed the truth of the attack already to turn Jillian.


So? There's nothing connecting plaid cloth to goblins, but the Plaid tribe is clearly associated with the capital city of Gobwin Knob.

How do we know that? How do we know that it isn't the city itself that's associated with Gobwins, and the Plaids control the Gobwins through the city in the same way that Stanley controls the Dwagons through the Hammer? There isn't enough info in klog #9 to figure out exactly how it works.


I wouldn't put too much weight on something like this anyway; it could just be the authors throwing in another real-world reference as part of the running pattern.

Agreed, but I have a gut feeling. ;)


Er, perhaps a reference to the fact that the tribe was lost, an obvious parallel to the lost-colony story referenced by the word.

Perhaps.

HPV
2009-01-05, 01:57 PM
This. This is the only option which uses the known storyline for solid support. Any other speculation about FAQ and the Archenpliers is just that, speculation based on nothing within the revealed history.
I'll grant that FAQ and arkenplier theories are no more than speculation, although, (at the risk of sounding like Donald Rumsfeld) I'd add that despite not being based on revealed history, they are based on holes which we know exist in our knowledge.
Personally I think too much has already been made of FAQ related stuff, within the story, for the details to be minutia that we as an audience don't need to know, so I'm expecting (or at least hoping) that we'll find out at some point. *shrug*
I'm also happy to accept that Jillian is, from what we know, most likely what Wanda was talking about, but even that theory isn't entirely watertight (IIRC Wanda blames herself for pushing Jill to far, which isn't to say that she might not also blame Ansom *shrug*) so it doesn't hurt to consider other possibilities which don't contradict the facts as we know them IMHO.


People have a huge tendency when discussing this comic (and OotS) to prefer wild, unsupported theories rather than looking at what's been shown as the determining factor
Agreed, I've noticed and been amused, at times, by the same trend, but I'd say there's a difference between speculating about how some known unknowns might fit together (& indeed looking for possible subtle clues about them in the plot as it progresses), & getting dogmatically attached to these pet theories to the point of arguing over it.
Personally, I see no harm in the former, but think the latter is a colossal waste of time *shrug*

Chicken Little
2009-01-05, 02:46 PM
Still not convinced. There's nothing to say that Wanda popped as a Faq unit

Except for her eyes.

Aside from Parson the only characters with whites to their eyes have been Faq units (i.e. Jillian, Jack and Wanda)

Whispri
2009-01-05, 06:49 PM
Except for her eyes.

Aside from Parson the only characters with whites to their eyes have been Faq units (i.e. Jillian, Jack and Wanda)
And Manpower, but he was working for Stanley too, he could have come from Faq.

SteveD
2009-01-05, 07:11 PM
Jack has pink eyes.

DevilDan
2009-01-05, 07:17 PM
Jack has pink eyes.

What you can see clearly in the last panel here (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0125.html) is that, unlike most other characters, Jack's eyes show a clearly delineated colored iris surrounded by white.

Whispri
2009-01-05, 07:19 PM
Jack has pink eyes.

As noted by DevilDan, the colours reversed when he recovered his senses.

Surprise!
2009-01-07, 04:50 AM
Huh? I don't recall anything that would indicate that.

http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0092.html

Wanda served under Banhammer, doesn't mean she popped under him, but considering how pacifist the nation was I doubt he was doing much conquering and capturing.

HPV
2009-01-07, 11:56 AM
http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0092.html

Wanda served under Banhammer, doesn't mean she popped under him, but considering how pacifist the nation was I doubt he was doing much conquering and capturing.
True, but by the same token you have to wonder why on earth the peace loving Banhammer would bother popping a croakamancer.
If you're not going to have a load of dead bodies lying around to uncroak (unlikely for a pacifist, isolationist faction) wouldn't it make more sense to spend the schmuckers on a different kind of caster, one that's likely to be more useful for that kind of nation? Or, failing that, just keep the cash in your treasury & avoid spending the upkeep each turn?

SteveMB
2009-01-07, 12:19 PM
True, but by the same token you have to wonder why on earth the peace loving Banhammer would bother popping a croakamancer.

Was Wanda popped specifically as a Croakamancer? She can handle a wide range of magicks (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0013.html) and specializes in Croakamancy by personal preference (and it's clear that the personality of a popped unit is not something the ruler gets to select).

(For that matter, specialized caster abilities may not be under the ruler's control; it may only be possible to choose to pop "a caster" and get pot luck for the details.)

DevilDan
2009-01-07, 12:19 PM
True, but by the same token you have to wonder why on earth the peace loving Banhammer would bother popping a croakamancer.
If you're not going to have a load of dead bodies lying around to uncroak (unlikely for a pacifist, isolationist faction) wouldn't it make more sense to spend the schmuckers on a different kind of caster, one that's likely to be more useful for that kind of nation? Or, failing that, just keep the cash in your treasury & avoid spending the upkeep each turn?

It's been speculated that Wanda wasn't popped as a croakamancer given her apparent talent across a variety of magical disciplines.

Also, maybe one doesn't really know what kind of caster will be popped. The fact that Sizemore can do some magics outside dirtamancy suggests that there is no concrete rule preventing casters from engaging in multiple disciplines, talent permitting.

SteveMB
2009-01-07, 12:29 PM
It's been speculated that Wanda wasn't popped as a croakamancer given her apparent talent across a variety of magical disciplines.

Also, maybe one doesn't really know what kind of caster will be popped. The fact that Sizemore can do some magics outside dirtamancy suggests that there is no concrete rule preventing casters from engaging in multiple disciplines, talent permitting.

GMTA. :smallsmile: One minor quibble: Sizemore hasn't had much success learning non-Dirtamancy magic, but the fact that he's even bothering to try indicates (especially given that Sizemore does have a fair bit of abstract knowledge of magic generally) that it's not unreasonable for casters to attempt to learn things outside their specialties.

ObadiahtheSlim
2009-01-07, 12:37 PM
It is entirely possible that Wanda was refering to all her fallen creations. Jillian referred to them as Wanda's dolls. Wanda probably cares for her uncroaked and holds Ansom responsible for effortlessly dusting her creations over and over again in the battlefield.

DevilDan
2009-01-07, 12:44 PM
GMTA. :smallsmile: One minor quibble: Sizemore hasn't had much success learning non-Dirtamancy magic, but the fact that he's even bothering to try indicates (especially given that Sizemore does have a fair bit of abstract knowledge of magic generally) that it's not unreasonable for casters to attempt to learn things outside their specialties.

Janis said that Sizemore "didn't make much progress" in teaching him Hippiemancy, and Sizemore said that he "didn't expect to be very good at it." That suggests that some progress was made and that he was did have some, however small, degree of proficiency in that discipline.

Later, he says that he is "only good" at his own specialty, not that he can't do anything but dirtamancy.

Yes, I may be grasping at straws; I think that it is not an unreasonable conclusion, though.

DevilDan
2009-01-07, 12:46 PM
It is entirely possible that Wanda was refering to all her fallen creations. Jillian referred to them as Wanda's dolls. Wanda probably cares for her uncroaked and holds Ansom responsible for effortlessly dusting her creations over and over again in the battlefield.
In that statement, Jillian was classifying herself as well as the uncroaked warlords as Wanda's "dolls."

HPV
2009-01-07, 01:56 PM
Was Wanda popped specifically as a Croakamancer? She can handle a wide range of magicks (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0013.html) and specializes in Croakamancy by personal preference (and it's clear that the personality of a popped unit is not something the ruler gets to select).

(For that matter, specialized caster abilities may not be under the ruler's control; it may only be possible to choose to pop "a caster" and get pot luck for the details.)


It's been speculated that Wanda wasn't popped as a croakamancer given her apparent talent across a variety of magical disciplines.

Also, maybe one doesn't really know what kind of caster will be popped. The fact that Sizemore can do some magics outside dirtamancy suggests that there is no concrete rule preventing casters from engaging in multiple disciplines, talent permitting.
Fair points :) Have to admit that it might make some sense if the type of caster to be popped was random; Else everyone would end up with the same powerful caster combos & very few people would likely choose to pop, conventionally weaker, types like dirtamancers (except for the ultimately puerile- "teehee! crap golems!" :smallbiggrin:)

OTOH, there does seem to be a difference in the power levels of the different caster types we've seen, actually, correction: they all seem to have potential to be awesome, it's more that some caster types have less situations/applications where they really shine (A dirtamancer's great in a tunnel fight, but overall I'd rather have a foolamancer on-side *shrug*)
Given that, it would be a real arse to pay out a load of cash for a caster and get something that's mostly useless to one's side, some games include this level of luck when it comes to buying forces, while others are more rigid in the way they try to balance stuff; Can't think of a good wargaming example atm, but transferring into RPGs for a mo, it's the difference between rolling PC stats randomly (1st Ed AD&D) or using a point based system so that everyone should be fairly equal to start with (4th Ed AD&D).
I don't think we have many clues as to where on the "cost-to-power balance" scale Erf mechanics lie. *shrug*

In anycase, what you both say is a possible explanation for FAQ having a croakamancer, although another might be that (assuming the Croatan weren't FAQs native tribe) Wanda turned up a barbarian refugee at FAQ and was worth taking in, & paying the upkeep for, precisely because she is so multi talented.

The 3rd possible explanation that occurred to me, while writing my last, was that Wanda may have been a left over from a FAQ ruler prior to Banhammer, although of the 3 I like this one least; It's possible that a previous ruler had great plans for expansion but croaked before realising them, leaving Banhammer to take over, but that feels tenuous even by the standards of wild speculation :smallbiggrin:

Whatever the case, it would be interesting to know a little more about the mechanics behind popping casters, and how their power levels, & aptitudes, are determined.

DevilDan
2009-01-07, 02:24 PM
Based on our limited knowledge of foolamancy spells, if I were defending a city whose location is already known, I'd pick a dirtamancer over a foolamancer.

SteveD
2009-01-07, 02:34 PM
What you can see clearly in the last panel here (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0125.html) is that, unlike most other characters, Jack's eyes show a clearly delineated colored iris surrounded by white.

Mybad, I thought he said 'blue eyes' for some reason. ^^

HPV
2009-01-07, 02:47 PM
Based on our limited knowledge of foolamancy spells, if I were defending a city whose location is already known, I'd pick a dirtamancer over a foolamancer.
Admit it, you'd only be doing it for the crap golems! :smallbiggrin: :smallwink:

Seriously, you might be right, depending on how the rules work, but I can't help equating foolamancer with illusionist, & in many games I've played Illusions have been one of the most powerful forms of magic; If they're used creatively and cleverly, or, to put it another way, it's often one of the more "exploitable" types of magic.

I must admit I'm kind of expecting Parson to come up with some clever way of using Jack's talents to swing the tide in his favour. I don't expect it to win the war in it's own right, but I am guessing that Foolamancy will be significant in GK's victory over RCC.
Edit: Although, in fairness, I suppose the same statement could already be said of dirtamancy. Still, I stand by my point about the exploitability of illusions. *shrug*

DevilDan
2009-01-07, 03:14 PM
I must admit I'm kind of expecting Parson to come up with some clever way of using Jack's talents to swing the tide in his favour. I don't expect it to win the war in it's own right, but I am guessing that Foolamancy will be significant in GK's victory over RCC.
Edit: Although in fairness I suppose the same statement could already be said of dirtamancy. Still, I stand by my statement about the exploitability of illusions. *shrug*

The question in my mind is whether single illusions (like the idea of thinkagram spamming) make a significant difference in a large battle. You can cloak/disguise some friendly units and fool some enemy units, but unless you can cast multiple illusions simultaneously you're not likely to change the course of the battle, I'd guess. But a dirtamancer would be of great help defending tunnels, can heal and create golems, and can help pull nifty tricks like that rescue of Wanda.

HPV
2009-01-07, 03:58 PM
That is undoubtedly a very important unknown detail of how foolamancy works, but, off the top of my head, as an example of a relatively simple illusion that should be possible (if I've recalled things correctly) but which could have a massive effect if pulled off right:
How about, when Parson thinkagrams Jack for a status report, at the start of the next GK turn, & discovers that the remainder of Stanley's force is inbound, he arranges for Jack to create an illusion of a captured Jill, or maybe even better, disguise the remaining KISS to look like Jill, so that it appears to Ansom that she's turned.
If Ansom didn't see through it he could end up doing some crazy boop that might get him killed, captured, or just shake the coalition's faith in Ansom to the point where they're no longer willing to follow him.

Not saying that that's what's going to happen, or that it's the best use of foolamancy possible in the situation, just throwing it out there as a quick example of how even quite limited illusions might be used to significant effect in the current scenario. *shrug*

As for Dirtamancers, yeah Parson has made very good use of Sizemore's abilities, but Stanley certainly seemed to undervalue him; It's hard to tell whether Stanleys attitude to dirtamancy was the Erfworld norm, or just an example of Stanley's own lack of strategic ability. *shrug*

DevilDan
2009-01-07, 04:37 PM
You're right, HPV. We don't know what sort of psych tricks the ultimate warlord could pull off with a capable foolamancer; Parson has a lot of experience with games, is well read, and is an excellent lateral thinker: who knows how he could exploit Jack's abilities?

BillyJimBoBob
2009-01-07, 07:43 PM
It's been speculated that Wanda wasn't popped as a croakamancer given her apparent talent across a variety of magical disciplines.

Also, maybe one doesn't really know what kind of caster will be popped. The fact that Sizemore can do some magics outside dirtamancy suggests that there is no concrete rule preventing casters from engaging in multiple disciplines, talent permitting.That's a fair bet. Given that Jillian popped as a type of heir that Banhammer hated, it's a fair guess that the more powerful units such as Heirs, Casters, etc are subject to some degree of randomization. In game terms, when you elect to produce a Caster you might need to roll and consult a chart to see what type you get, and possibly their capabilities and interest with other magics is also randomized in some way.

Tobz
2009-01-07, 07:59 PM
Good chance we'll get some answers when Parson raids her stash.

Eisen
2009-01-07, 08:15 PM
Either I'm stupid or blind, but this seems fairly straightforward to me. Of course, the author likes to turn straightforward on its ear every now and then but...

1) Romantic feelings aside, Wanda controlled Jillian. She owned her. Remember how many times she was confident beyond words that she had unbreakable hold on Jillian. When Jillian broke that control to free Ansom was when Wanda went catatonic.

Look, we KNOW Wanda had a magic link of some kind with Jillian. We KNOW it was a direct mental connection. And we know it was broken. Anyone remember the LAST time we saw that? The backlash of the Thinkamancer/Lookamancer/Foolamancer link killed Misty and drove Jack insane. Who's to say the breaking of Wanda's link with Jillian didn't have harmful effects as well? The link was not as complete as the aforementioned one (in where all three units were merged essentially into one cohesive mental state), but tehre's no reason there couldn't be some sort of backlash. And perhaps Jillian's strong self-will at that point, combined with Wanda's sudden loss of self-confidence, explains why only Wanda was hurt.

2) There's also the good ole "Jillian was the only thing Wanda ever loved, and Ansom 'took' her away" line. When you're talking about someone that enjoys torture, displays any number of sociopathic tendencies, and willingly enslaves the mind of someone else...well, killing and uncroaking 2000 random enemies doesn't seem so off the wall in terms of retaliation.

3) Ansom also took a lot more from Wanda. He took away her position as chief Croakamancer to Stanley. He took away her confidence. He nearly detroyed her new home in Gobwin Knob. And worst of all, he destroyed any confidence or respect her leader, Stanley, had for her. She lost everything that made her what she was, thanks to Ansom and his war. Stanley almost disbanded her! One could argue it was Parson's failed strategies, or her own overconfidence in the link with Jillian, but a mind as warped as Wanda's would seek an external source. One she could easily hate. Ansom.

4) Let's go back to Wanda's origins. She's listed as being from a long-lost tribe, not from Faq. The way I see it, that's not just a random reference. NOTHING in this series has been all that random. There's been clear planning all along the path, and I think it's still the case. I think Wanda was from a tribe that was destroyed, and was brought into Faq because of some lucky coincidence. Burning for revenge, she may have been dismayed to be brought into the service of pacifists. As such, it's little surprise she'd gladly change sides to Stanley the Plaid, who if nothing else is a warmonger on a mission. Something she herself could respect.

As to the scene between Ansom and Wanda so heavily disputed here it seems pretty straight...Ansom wanting revenge for the atrocties Wanda comitted; Wanda, broken, lost and about to die, asking Ansom to kill her. She's acted like a lost woman from the moment Jillian was taken from her. I think her request to be touched by the liers was simply a request to die. Maybe, since she's a Croakamancer, she's as vulnerable to the Pliers as the Uncroaked. Maybe she herself is a as-yet unheard of Uncroaked that retains more willpower and abilities, and lasts longer. All I know is, I think she was asking Ansom to end it.

Altima
2009-01-07, 08:23 PM
We don't need to. From the little we've seen of Faq it clearly has no cultural connection to Wanda. From all of Wanda's attire we've not seen anything remotely similar to the feudal-japan style garb of Faq. Its even less likely that a city based on philosophy would want to pop a coakmancer then it would a war-like heir. In addition to this there is nothing that connects the word 'coatan' to the orient that I can find. It is a supposedly extinct native American tribe.

Besides, I'm not convinced that Wanda was just referring to Jillian. It would make sense if her reasons for wanting to fight for Stanley were exactly the same as Jillians for Ansom.

But more then anything else my instincts tell me this was about unfolding the backstory a little further and setting out character motivations before jillians return, the full explanation and conclusion of the main plotline.

Actually, there are a few hints to Wanda's native Asiany Faqness. For one, in her room, is an asian-style room parctition divider thing. Which, of course, may be nothing.

Secondly, Wanda's meal that poofed (the only one we see, anyway) when she was speaking with Jillian. It was asian cuisine, complete with chopsticks...which she uses in her hair.

As for Wanda's current appearance, remember, not even Jillian resembles her Faq self. Wanda's change of wardrobe is probably in relation to her being part of GK now.

As for Faq popping a croakamancer and Jillian, well, maybe a city doesn't have that much control over the type of command unit they pop? For example, what if, in order to pop a caster, all they can queue up is "caster" and the type is totally random.

SteveMB
2009-01-07, 08:57 PM
4) Let's go back to Wanda's origins. She's listed as being from a long-lost tribe, not from Faq.

That doesn't necessarily imply such a distinction -- the names "Plaid" (the tribe) and "Gobwin Knob" (the place) have no obvious connection, so why shouldn't "Croatan" be the name of the tribe that inhabited "Faq"?

Other than that, you have some good points, and may very well be right.

Eisen
2009-01-07, 09:21 PM
That doesn't necessarily imply such a distinction -- the names "Plaid" (the tribe) and "Gobwin Knob" (the place) have no obvious connection, so why shouldn't "Croatan" be the name of the tribe that inhabited "Faq"?

Other than that, you have some good points, and may very well be right.

You bring up something that's been bothering me.

Stanley suceeded Saline IV as the Overlord of the Plaid Tribe. But the city is called Gobwin Knob, and the titular residents are mercenary units only ALLIED to Plaid, not controlled.

So how did Plaid come into control of GK? Where were they from prior? Wanda at one point mentions Stanley controlled 11 cities...what cities did that include? Was one of them Faq?

Also, just setting aside the "Stanley the regicide" junk for a sec...the Gobwins randomly turned on the Plaid, killing Saline. And just as randomly turned back to Stanley. Why?

And where, and when, did Stanley receive the Arkenhammer? I feel like there's a connection in all these things that I'm missing.

Hmm. Arkenhammer. Banhammer. Hmm.

DevilDan
2009-01-07, 10:35 PM
Stanley suceeded Saline IV as the Overlord of the Plaid Tribe. But the city is called Gobwin Knob, and the titular residents are mercenary units only ALLIED to Plaid, not controlled.

Do we know that Stanley was a Plaid?


So how did Plaid come into control of GK? Where were they from prior? Wanda at one point mentions Stanley controlled 11 cities...what cities did that include? Was one of them Faq?

GK was Saline's city before it was Stanley's. If Faq was one of those cities and was lost to an enemy of Stanley's, why would Stanley flee toward it?

SteveMB
2009-01-07, 10:42 PM
Do we know that Stanley was a Plaid?

Yes, from the (initial) Cast Page (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erfcast.html).

DevilDan
2009-01-07, 11:02 PM
Yes, from the (initial) Cast Page (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erfcast.html).

D'oh. I meant Saline IV. Of course Stanley was a Plaid; he says so himself when he changes his title to "Tool."

Altima
2009-01-07, 11:28 PM
So how did Plaid come into control of GK? Where were they from prior? Wanda at one point mentions Stanley controlled 11 cities...what cities did that include? Was one of them Faq?



Not possible. Stanley lost those 10 cities to the RCC, who had no idea of Faq's existance (including Transylvito, who even commented on its existance being so close).

DevilDan
2009-01-07, 11:35 PM
Not possible. Stanley lost those 10 cities to the RCC, who had no idea of Faq's existance (including Transylvito, who even commented on its existance being so close).

Technically, Wanda didn't specify that all the cities were lost to the RCC.
http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0005.html

HPV
2009-01-08, 08:34 AM
Janis said that Sizemore "didn't make much progress" in teaching him Hippiemancy, and Sizemore said that he "didn't expect to be very good at it." That suggests that some progress was made and that he was did have some, however small, degree of proficiency in that discipline.

Later, he says that he is "only good" at his own specialty, not that he can't do anything but dirtamancy.

Yes, I may be grasping at straws; I think that it is not an unreasonable conclusion, though.
Maybe a little late to bring this point to the discussion, but was rereading the whole comic this morning (off work sick, meh) and noticed the following which is kind of relevant to the whole question of casters dabbling outside their field:
Sizemore and I have been talking "magic theory". He says he's one of the few people in Erfworld who studies magic outside his speciality (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0040.html)
It supports the notion that such study is possible, but also makes it clear that it's by no means the norm.
Unfortunately it doesn't answer the question of how rare casters like Wanda, who can but choose not to, are, but I'd theorise that if the potential for being multi-talented was commonplace then, given how useful it could be, extracurricular study wouldn't be nearly as rare as Sizemore suggests, even if it took Overlords ordering their casters to study non-specialised 'mancies. *shrug*

Aquillion
2009-01-08, 09:20 AM
Maybe a little late to bring this point to the discussion, but was rereading the whole comic this morning (off work sick, meh) and noticed the following which is kind of relevant to the whole question of casters dabbling outside their field:
Sizemore and I have been talking "magic theory". He says he's one of the few people in Erfworld who studies magic outside his speciality (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0040.html)
It supports the notion that such study is possible, but also makes it clear that it's by no means the norm.
Unfortunately it doesn't answer the question of how rare casters like Wanda, who can but choose not to, are, but I'd theorise that if the potential for being multi-talented was commonplace then, given how useful it could be, extracurricular study wouldn't be nearly as rare as Sizemore suggests, even if it took Overlords ordering their casters to study non-specialised 'mancies. *shrug*This reminds me of something else I wanted to bring up: So far, all the non-croakamancy spells we've seen Wanda use have been through scrolls or other magical items (mind-altering dust on one servant).

Does this mean that her 'broad capability' is limited to simply being good at using one-shot scrolls, while the actual spells she knows are all croakamancy? It's just a thought, but thinking back, the fact that (for instance) she was shown using a scroll on Jillian seems fairly significant, especially now that it's been confirmed that those are 'canned' spells from her personal stash.

What I'm saying is, we might have been overestimating the breadth of Wanda's capabilities. She might just be a bit better at using scrolls outside her specialty than most other casters, rather than having full access to every type of magic directly.

(Of course, it might just be because she's refused to spend the time to actually learn any spells outside her specialty, despite having the capacity to do so.)

My understanding of Sizemore's studies, of course, is that they are purely theoretical, at least as far as he's concerned.

SteveMB
2009-01-08, 10:21 AM
My understanding of Sizemore's studies, of course, is that they are purely theoretical, at least as far as he's concerned.

His comment "I'm good at nothing beyond my specialty" (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0013.html) seems to me to imply that he's at least attempted to learn to use non-Dirtamancy magicks (if not, how would he know?) Perhaps his decision to give Hippiemancy a try was motivated by a bit of "maybe the horse will sing" desperation.

HPV
2009-01-08, 10:26 AM
Good point Aquillion, Wanda does seem to use scrolls (etc) for her non croakamancy, from what we've seen so far.

However, a couple of possible holes in the theory that all out of speciality casting requires some sort of (one shot) item:

1) We only see the end of Sizemore's session with Janis on page 11, but there doesn't seem to be anything that might be a one shot item obviously lying around (maybe the giant psychedelic flower?).
Now, if (& it is a big "if") it's the case that Sizemore was trying to cast Hippiemancy directly, it would suggest to me, from his exchange with Wanda in the first few panels of P13, that Wanda is able to cast directly. Although, in fairness other parts of their exchange on P13 could support the idea that a scroll (etc) is needed. *shrug*

2) If Wanda's aptitude, & Sizemore's lack of it, is referring to the use of one shot items, we'll probably find out shortly, since Sizemore's probably going to be trying to use a Healomancy scroll on Wanda within the next strip or two.
Whether or not he'd be able to use such a scroll seemed less of a question than whether she had one in panel one P123. With Sizemore being the kind of guy he is (not massively confident), and this being a life or death situation, I'd expect him to raise his lack of ability outside Dirtamancy as a possible issue, especially as Maggie's around and could presumably try and use the scroll too.

That might well be inferring far too much from too little, but as I said, if extra-curricular aptitude is purely referring to the use of one-shots, I'd expect Sizemore's lack of ability to be brought to the fore, storywise, very, very soon.

SteveD
2009-01-08, 12:55 PM
Actually, there are a few hints to Wanda's native Asiany Faqness. For one, in her room, is an asian-style room parctition divider thing. Which, of course, may be nothing.

Yeah, I concede the point.

But I'm still suspicious Wanda was referring to something else.

DevilDan
2009-01-08, 01:00 PM
Yeah, I concede the point.

But I'm still suspicious Wanda was referring to something else.

Then there's the matter of her kimono.

Alexei P
2009-01-08, 05:09 PM
You know, if sometimes prior to Page 81 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0090.html), someone came up on the boards with a theory that Jillian was actually a long-lost princess from a previously unheard-of side that nobody else knew about because it was completely veiled and reachable only by air or tunnel...

...everyone would have Occam Razor'ed the guy into next week. Including me.

I've opened this thread with 3 theories (and meanwhile a fourth, that Wanda referred to the Pliers, has added itself along the way), but privately, I'm with The Minx and SteveD. I think Croatan and Faq are not one and the same.

Not that I have much evidence. And my theories have turned out to be wrong plenty of times in the past. I don't know.

I just share the "gut feeling". :smallwink:

SteveD
2009-01-08, 07:13 PM
Well, we've had hints about Jillian in earlier strips (like when Wanda calls her a Royal), but thanks for the support. :P

Eisen
2009-01-08, 09:23 PM
Then there's the matter of her kimono.

You're all assuming a couple of things.

1) That Wanda's choice in decor was a sign of her heritage.
2) That Faq is the only Asian culture on Erf.

There's no factual information to support either of these. SHe might just like Asian-type stuff. And Croatoans might have been Chinese-esque.

Aquillion
2009-01-08, 10:11 PM
You know, if sometimes prior to Page 81 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0090.html), someone came up on the boards with a theory that Jillian was actually a long-lost princess from a previously unheard-of side that nobody else knew about because it was completely veiled and reachable only by air or tunnel...Wrong! (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=39323) People were speculating on that since page 39, when Wanda mentions she's a royal. The most common theory back then was that she was actually the rightful princess of the Plaid tribe, but the Croatian tribe was also often mentioned, given her connection to Wanda. (It was also suggested even earlier that Stanley did something to her -- Vinnie mentions it during his first conversation with Ansom.)

And if someone had suggested she was a princess before page 39, then yes, they would have been being stupid -- but that'd be because barely knew anything about her before then other than her name. It'd be like arguing that Duke Nozzle is actually Charlie. Sure, possible, but even if it turns out that it's randomly true, anyone who says it now would still be talking out of their ass.

Like I said, the authors of Erfworld don't seem to like completely random plot twists or shocking swerves. Everything important in the strip so far has either been fairly well hinted at beforehand, or has at least had a 'something dangerous/risky/mysterious exists here' foreshadowed beforehand. (Like with Charlie's unpredictability and untrustworthiness, which is mentioned before almost every one of his appearances; or with the riskiness of most of Parson's plans. Even Misty's death -- probably the most unexpected thing in the strip so far -- was heavily foreshadowed; there were constant warnings that any interference with her link could kill her.)

That's part of the reason why people who have completely off-the-wall theories get so much stuff thrown at them. There's been nothing in the strip so far to suggest that the authors do that sort of thing. Surprise is not as important a part of storytelling as many people here seem to think it is; many of the best, most classic stories in our world are constantly told again and again in slightly different forms to people who know exactly how they will end.

Sure, some tension is good, and not knowing what will happen is good for that. Not knowing who will win a battle, or if a plan will succeed, or things like that can all be very effective. But depending heavily on plot twists to move the story along is very bad; they're something poor authors do, and it's a sign that they can't write a more coherent plot that holds the reader's attention from start to finish. It's a cheap way to make it feel like you're telling an interesting or compelling story, without actually having to put in all the work.

Alexei P
2009-01-08, 10:45 PM
Wrong! (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=39323) People were speculating on that since page 39, when Wanda mentions she's a royal. The most common theory back then was that she was actually the rightful princess of the Plaid tribe, but the Croatian tribe was also often mentioned, given her connection to Wanda.

Correct, and I remember thinking so along with the rest. That she was a Royal we knew about for a long time. That she belonged to a virtually invisible, untouchable side nobody mentioned before... not so much. Had the possibility been suggested on the forums back then, it would have been called too off-the-wall. Anyway, that wasn't meant as a major point in my argument.

As for "talking out of their ass"... Since when are small bits of innocent speculation stupid or wrong? I certainly don't believe it.

So, anyway, Faq and Croatan are not the same. Gut feeling. So neener-neener. :smalltongue:

Jural
2009-01-15, 05:22 PM
There is one option which also occurs to me...

Perhaps Wanda and Ansom were at one point allied, or in a relationship with each other. It ended badly, and is the basis of her comment, as well as the basis for Ansom leaving instead of killing her.

I can't find any evidence for or against it in the comic before the past two panels, mind you. But if I were to have seen Erfworld Page 122 in a vaccuum with no other context, I think that is the conclusion I would immediately jump to.


Personally, I think the most likely scenarios are either that Wanda loves Jillian, or that Wanda had her homeland destroyed by Ansom. I would assume her homeland was FAQ if not for the cast page, which frankly just puts it into slight doubt for me.

#94
2009-01-16, 02:29 AM
put aside Jillian and Faq aside for a moment.

As far as i can tell we have yet to learn how Ansom obtained the Pliars, nor from whom he obtained them.

It has been postulated several times that, when they clashed Ansom was trying to get the Pliars as far from wanda as possible.

We know that Wanda hates Ansom (or at least Jetstone), we know this to be true due to the lack of a loyalty spell and her flat refusal to turn for Jill.

It has also been postulated that Ansom can be described as Grimacing when when Wanda utters the statement this thread is named for.

Is it Possible that Ansom, at some time in the past, took by force the Pliars from Wanda?

Therefor,

Is it possible that the Pliars are Already bound to Wanda?

If this were true could it be that she believed that should Ansom be foolish enough to try and force the Pliars to strike down their true master there either might be some repercussion for Ansom or that she might be able to exert some influence on the Pliars?

DevilDan
2009-01-16, 02:35 AM
If Wanda knew more about the pliers, then it's something she seems to have hid from Parson. It was certainly something that Stanley would probably not know about either, making the whole thing even less likely.

If Ansom knew that there was a connection between the pliers and GK's croakamancer, then he played it close to the vest. He's cautious normally, so would he even risk bringing them together?

#94
2009-01-16, 04:17 AM
She's already omitted a couple of things, most importantly her Stash. and i don't recall Parson ever asking her about the Pliars.

Ansom is only Cautious when he's taking time out from being totally, Completely Arrogant.

I'll freely admit that its a long shot, but theorizing fills the time between comic updates.

SteveMB
2009-01-16, 06:43 AM
If Wanda knew more about the pliers, then it's something she seems to have hid from Parson. It was certainly something that Stanley would probably not know about either, making the whole thing even less likely.

Actually, that part of the theory makes sense. How do you suppose Stanley would react to the news that one of his underlings had attuned to the Arkenpliers (if that's the case)?

The Old Hack
2009-01-16, 06:59 AM
Actually, that part of the theory makes sense. How do you suppose Stanley would react to the news that one of his underlings had attuned to the Arkenpliers (if that's the case)?
That would depend. He would still be Overlord, after all. And while just a Warlord, he wielded the Arkenhammer in the service of Saline IV. He might be perfectly fine with units in his service wielding the other Tools, or at least grudgingly accepting of it; it all depends on precisely what happened when Saline IV died. If the fall of the King actually was Stanley's plan, he might indeed be unhappy with having underlings possess attuned Arkentools...

HandofShadows
2009-01-16, 09:38 AM
So, anyway, Faq and Croatan are not the same. Gut feeling. So neener-neener. :smalltongue:

In the future you should ignore your gut. :smallfrown: Wanda was a caster for Banhammer and was "seen" in one of the flashback pannels when Jillian told her story.

HandofShadows
2009-01-16, 09:57 AM
If Wanda knew more about the pliers, then it's something she seems to have hid from Parson. It was certainly something that Stanley would probably not know about either, making the whole thing even less likely.

Wanda seesm to have hidden a great deal from a lot of people. Her stash, her relationship with Jillian, her past (Parson asked once and she ducked the question). Hiding things seems to be a bit of a self defence measure for her.



If Ansom knew that there was a connection between the pliers and GK's croakamancer, then he played it close to the vest. He's cautious normally, so would he even risk bringing them together?

It's very simple. Ansom didn't know who Wanda was until after she started talking to him and he got a good look at her. And when he does, he runs. Innocent people don't act like that. I suspect that before seeing Wanda at GK, Ansom though Wanda was dead.

Lamech
2009-01-16, 10:12 AM
Actually, that part of the theory makes sense. How do you suppose Stanley would react to the news that one of his underlings had attuned to the Arkenpliers (if that's the case)?

"Maggie/Wanda see that underling there. Go to the magic kingdom and buy the most powerful suggestion spell, loyalty spell, and mind control spell you can find. he/she gets them all." At least thats what I would do... of course, I would have taken all my casters and Parson with me, if I decided to ditch, croaked Ceaser, ect...

SteveMB
2009-01-16, 10:51 AM
In the future you should ignore your gut. :smallfrown: Wanda was a caster for Banhammer and was "seen" in one of the flashback pannels when Jillian told her story.

Some posters theorize that Wanda was acquired by Faq from elsewhere the same way she was acquired by Gobwin Knob. IMO, that's highly unlikely, given Faq's isolation and isolationism. (Though admittedly not impossible; Jillian could have picked her up somehwere (double entendre purely intentional).)


It's very simple. Ansom didn't know who Wanda was until after she started talking to him and he got a good look at her. And when he does, he runs. Innocent people don't act like that. I suspect that before seeing Wanda at GK, Ansom though Wanda was dead.

Ansom clearly knew (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0135.html) that she was Stanley's Croakamancer when he vented his anger at her for turning his men into "abominations". Given the value and rarity of casters, there presumably aren't all that many Croakamancers floating around Erfworld. OTOH, the connection might be more obscure if Wanda wasn't originally a Croakamancer (which would make sense; the situation in Faq wouldn't offer many opportunities for Croakamancy to be useful).

HandofShadows
2009-01-16, 11:07 AM
Some posters theorize that Wanda was acquired by Faq from elsewhere the same way she was acquired by Gobwin Knob. IMO, that's highly unlikely, given Faq's isolation and isolationism. (Though admittedly not impossible; Jillian could have picked her up somewhere (double entendre purely intentional).)).

There is one thing that speaks fairly stongly against Wanda being picked up. Her eye's. Only people we know to be from Faq (other than Parson of course) have had normal human eyes or at least they have a white of the eye.



Ansom clearly knew (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0135.html) that she was Stanley's Croakamancer when he vented his anger at her for turning his men into "abominations". Given the value and rarity of casters, there presumably aren't all that many Croakamancers floating around Erfworld. OTOH, the connection might be more obscure if Wanda wasn't originally a Croakamancer (which would make sense; the situation in Faq wouldn't offer many opportunities for Croakamancy to be useful).

I think Wanda was a croakamancer in Faq. In the pic, part of her garment is red (all the people there seem to be casters and they are color coded for convience). As you say she would not have much chance ot use those skills so Ansom might not know she had them. Or if he did know, did he think that Wanda was croaked and her being still alive was something he never even occured to him. (Whcih is nothing new IMO, I think a LOT of things never occured to him)

SteveMB
2009-01-16, 11:16 AM
I think Wanda was a croakamancer in Faq. In the pic, part of her garment is red (all the people there seem to be casters and they are color coded for convience).

The pic (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0092.html) shows Wanda in a dominatrix outfit, holding a whip, in the context of Jillian describing how she encountered "a caster" from Faq after the first time she got captured in Ansom's service. I think it's clearly implied that it's a flashback to the interrogation session at Orgchart.

Alexei P
2009-01-16, 12:13 PM
In the future you should ignore your gut. :smallfrown: Wanda was a caster for Banhammer and was "seen" in one of the flashback pannels when Jillian told her story.

Oh, fer...

OK, that's the woes of forum miscommunication for you... you can't assume everyone has read all of your previous statements.

I'm arguing (well, not arguing, I guess, as there are no clear evidence for or against my theory, so I merely drop it out there) that Wanda was a Croatan Croakamancer whose side was annihilated by Ansom before she became a Faq unit.



There is one thing that speaks fairly stongly against Wanda being picked up. Her eye's. Only people we know to be from Faq (other than Parson of course) have had normal human eyes or at least they have a white of the eye.


:smallamused:

There is something that speaks fairly strongly against Wanda being a Faq native. Her skin. Only people we've seen from Faq (other than Wanda and Jack) had olive-colored skin or darker.

:smallbiggrin: I'm just splitting hairs, here, alright, I admit it. Let's just not go down the road, until more clear evidence comes up, OK? Yonder lies an argumentation quicksand. Trying to posit a unit's origin based on small clues like that will only lead to refuting and counter-refuting ad nauseam.

alcazar
2009-01-16, 03:01 PM
And what do we know of the plaid?

Still not convinced. There's nothing to say that Wanda popped as a Faq unit, or anything connecting a native American tribe to an eastern-philosophical tribe. #54 can be dismissed as coincidental due to the time she spent in Faq.

I don't think 'Croatan' was picked at random. Its clearly a reference to something.

I do want to point something out.

http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0091.html

Look what two people are up and front for Banhammer's lectures in the third panel. If you are paying attention, it is Jack and Wanda. Maybe the smile threw you on Wanda, but there is a little skull in her hair (at least it looks like a skull to me). And maybe you are not use to seeing Jack not looking sickly grey, but here is another pre-fall of Faq picture of him. And the skin tone is exactly the same and hair style closer.

http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0119.html

Which leads me

I don't have an exact understanding of the relationship between Wanda & Jack with Stanley. But what is clear is that Wanda and Jack are willing to and skilled at manipulating Stanley.

My personal theory is that Banhammer had a plan to bring peace and freedom to ErfWorld, not just all of his kingdom. True peace and freedom. And it hinged on collecting attuned Archentools and using them to remake the Erfworld. When Faq fell, Jack and Wanda are still dedicated to that plan. They are not so much loyal to Stanley, they need him to finish their plan. And if you think about it Stanley makes the perfect place holder for a bearer of an arkentool until the plan is completed.
1) He is attuned to his tool, and does anyone in Erfworld know how that is suspecifically happens?
2) He is a great warrior (It would be hard to take them away from him)
3) He is a horrible leader (This makes him dependant on underlings such as Wanda to get things done, while giving you oppurtunities to forment a coup later)
4) He is easily manipulated and often unaware it is happening.


While I think any of the 3 possiblities are still possible and not mutually exclusive to it, I think there is 4th meaning to her words. Ansom has stolen her dream of freedom and peace (or whatever she wants to do with a complete set of archentools). When you compare freedom and peace for Erfworld against 2800 undead, it pales in comparision.

Arguments for:
1) Wanda did something to Archenpliers in the fight and wanted to be touched by them. She obviously knows more about the Archentools than she is letting on. That is ultimately why Ansom withdrew. He feared that Wanda knew more and could take them away if given a chance.
2) Wanda has a dark determined personality and a deeply buried tenderness. This screams to me of someone who has had great hopes and expectations dashed.
3) Charlie wants the Archentools BAD. Basically Charlie is the master of Information. If Wanda knows of a way to use the Archentools to take control of the world, then he likely does also.
4) Many games (especially video games) have a "Special Win" circumstance and Erfworld runs on game mechanics. For example Civilation has Space Race Victory & L5R has collecting all 5 Rings. Special Wins often don't make perfect sense, they are often hard to pull off, they are put in place to break stalemates, or they are put in place to end a game that could potentially run on to long or get boring. To me collecting a full set of Archentools with attuned users smacks of "Special Win".

HandofShadows
2009-01-16, 03:26 PM
I'm arguing (well, not arguing, I guess, as there are no clear evidence for or against my theory, so I merely drop it out there) that Wanda was a Croatan Croakamancer whose side was annihilated by Ansom before she became a Faq unit.

Since Faq was a "closed territory" that no one knew was even there (and they wanted to keep it that way) why would they let Wanda in?




There is something that speaks fairly strongly against Wanda being a Faq native. Her skin. Only people we've seen from Faq (other than Wanda and Jack) had olive-colored skin or darker.

You need to take a look at panel with Jack and Wanda in it again. There where all types of skin colors in Faq.



:smallbiggrin: I'm just splitting hairs, here, alright, I admit it. Let's just not go down the road, until more clear evidence comes up, OK? Yonder lies an argumentation quicksand. Trying to posit a unit's origin based on small clues like that will only lead to refuting and counter-refuting ad nauseam.

Well if you don't want to talk about it, then maybe you should not try and "prove" your point and THEN say let's not talk about it. Understand what I am saying? :smallamused:

Alexei P
2009-01-16, 03:38 PM
Well, then, my bad again. I'm not trying to "prove" anything, here. At best, I try to keep the theory afloat. If you wish to consider eye shape as solid evidence, all right, you may. I don't. Yet.

As for how or why Banhammer would take Wanda and Jack in? Well, it fits with what we know of him - philosophical, humanitarian, likes casters. Being that Faq was indirectly involved in many far-away conflicts through mercenary work, it would be quite possible for a band of Faqqites to witness the fall of a side and take in a couple of homeless casters looking for upkeep.

You are right about the Banhammer+casters panel, though. My bad.

SteveMB
2009-01-16, 03:55 PM
Since Faq was a "closed territory" that no one knew was even there (and they wanted to keep it that way) why would they let Wanda in?

Letting people in wouldn't be the problem....

That said, I don't see any reason to doubt that Wanda was native to Faq.


You need to take a look at panel with Jack and Wanda in it again. There where all types of skin colors in Faq.

Such as Jillian, who is fair and blonde.

Aquillion
2009-01-16, 06:15 PM
I think Wanda was a croakamancer in Faq. In the pic, part of her garment is red (all the people there seem to be casters and they are color coded for convience)
No, in the one pic we have of her in Faq, she's clearly dressed in green (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0091.html), although she still seems to have the skull pin in her hair.

#94
2009-01-17, 01:27 AM
No, in the one pic we have of her in Faq, she's clearly dressed in green (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0091.html), although she still seems to have the skull pin in her hair.

That proves only that she's always had a bit of an inner goth-kid.

Given Faq's propensity for mercinary work, and Banhammer's use of casters it seems logical that deployed units would have standing orders to bring free agents in from the cold, or to at least make the offer of a home and upkeep.

Given Jillians's feelings about staying home and her "special relationship" with wanda it doesn't seem like such an outside bet that perhaps she was the one to run across wanda and offer her a new home.

Has anyone else noticed that Wanda doesn't seem to care a whit about jack while Jillian has an almost sisterly care for him?

Ganurath
2009-01-17, 02:40 AM
Has anyone put forward the theory that what Ansom took were the Arkenpliers, just a few panels before?

HandofShadows
2009-01-17, 02:44 PM
No, in the one pic we have of her in Faq, she's clearly dressed in green (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0091.html), although she still seems to have the skull pin in her hair.

Take a look at what I said, and the picture again. Wanda is mostly in green, but not totaly.

HandofShadows
2009-01-17, 02:45 PM
Has anyone else noticed that Wanda doesn't seem to care a whit about jack while Jillian has an almost sisterly care for him?

We haven't seen Wanda and Jack in the same place very often. And where they where, Jack was out to lunch.

HandofShadows
2009-01-17, 02:48 PM
Has anyone put forward the theory that what Ansom took were the Arkenpliers, just a few panels before?

This theory has been put forth (maybe not in this thread) and there are some people that think it's correct (I am one of them.)

DevilDan
2009-01-18, 11:48 PM
We haven't seen Wanda and Jack in the same place very often. And where they where, Jack was out to lunch.

She's not the warm, fuzzy, caring type, I'd say.

The Minx
2009-01-19, 12:52 AM
While it is possible that Wanda was always a Faq unit, can't the ruler of a city choose which kind of caster gets popped? If so, does Faq really seem like a place which would pop a croakamancer? Of course, Banhammer didn't exactly get what he was hoping for in an heir, so perfect control is out of the question, but isn't this the unit type we're talking about - i.e. are all casters the same "type" as far as production orders are concerned? :smallconfused:

DevilDan
2009-01-19, 01:16 AM
While it is possible that Wanda was always a Faq unit, can't the ruler of a city choose which kind of caster gets popped? If so, does Faq really seem like a place which would pop a croakamancer? Of course, Banhammer didn't exactly get what he was hoping for in an heir, so perfect control is out of the question, but isn't this the unit type we're talking about - i.e. are all casters the same "type" as far as production orders are concerned? :smallconfused:

It's pure speculation, but some feel that Wanda, with her aptitude for a variety of magics, was not operating as a croakamancer when in Faq. She could have been, for example, Faq's predictamancer.

Aquillion
2009-01-19, 04:59 AM
We have also been told that casters are "rare" (too rare and valuable to risk). Why mention rare? If you could pop a caster any time you have the gold, afterall, valuable and rare would be the same thing.

It could be that casters aren't like other units, and pop naturally when certain circumstances are met without the warlord having direct control over the process.

Godskook
2009-01-19, 11:15 AM
We have also been told that casters are "rare" (too rare and valuable to risk). Why mention rare? If you could pop a caster any time you have the gold, afterall, valuable and rare would be the same thing.

To further the thought, imagine RTS games, like warcraft/starcraft/c&c. Actually, warcraft 3 is a good example. 'Hero' characters in that game are meant to be rare, and as such, have production restrictions inconsistent with the rest of the units. Similar restrictions could be in place in Erf. Hell, its possible that certain sides are only allowed to pop certain casters types(maybe only 1 or 2 per side).