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1488
2009-03-07, 10:37 PM
and they won't attune to her.

Now that that has been cleared up, we can all stop predicting how these events will come about in the next strip, for every strip.

Indeed.
2009-03-07, 10:45 PM
and they won't attune to her.

Now that that has been cleared up, we can all stop predicting how these events will come about in the next strip, for every strip.

My apologies. Last I checked, discussion of a story that was not yet complete reasonably includes speculation towards how it will. Furthermore, the way you started this reeks of hypocrisy. How is your prediction any more valid without proof?

But do continue to be butthurt, please. I'm sure many people will get a kick out of this.

1488
2009-03-07, 10:48 PM
She'll never get the pliars because it wouldn't make literary sense. I'm pretty sure the guys making this thing know at least as much about storytelling as I do.

galdon
2009-03-07, 10:56 PM
She'll never get the pliars because it wouldn't make literary sense. I'm pretty sure the guys making this thing know at least as much about storytelling as I do.

it would not make sense for somebody with an apparent superiority in spell diversity, as well as an affinity toward the undead, which the arkenpliers seems to respond to, to be able to attune to one of the the mcguffins of the series?

1488
2009-03-07, 10:59 PM
it would not make sense for somebody with an apparent superiority in spell diversity, as well as an affinity toward the undead, which the arkenpliers seems to respond to, to be able to attune to one of the the mcguffins of the series?

No, it wouldn't.

galdon
2009-03-07, 11:06 PM
No, it wouldn't.

care to elaborate on that, or were you hoping people would just start yelling?

1488
2009-03-07, 11:12 PM
Look, I know a lot of people really want her to get the pliars in the next strip and conquer Erf in the strip after that, but it's not going to happen as Rob & Co. are shooting for more than a one book deal here.

galdon
2009-03-07, 11:33 PM
Look, I know a lot of people really want her to get the pliars in the next strip and conquer Erf in the strip after that, but it's not going to happen as Rob & Co. are shooting for more than a one book deal here.

yeah, that pretty much explains all of nothing. you are just repeating yourself without actually saying your theory on this. which makes me think you do not have one and just want to set off some flaming.

i'm going to pretend that you are serious, and just lack the realization that you need to add facts to support your theories. Somebody is going to end up with the pliers, If parson wins, gobwin knob will have the pliers and hammer, since they probably won't attune to the same person, and parson is not of that world, they are going to have to attune to either wanda, or sizemore. (bagroll's fate is uncertian) as it would be poor writing to just magically have someone pop out of nowhere to wield them.

The only way to guarantee that wanda will not get the arkenpliers would be to assume that parson loses, in which case parson, the hammer, and the pliers will probably all end up going to charlescom, and then they really will pretty much wipe the whole world out.

1488
2009-03-07, 11:39 PM
That sounds like more of an argument that they will attune to Parson, though of course, that won't be the case either.

PhantomFox
2009-03-07, 11:41 PM
You are making assertions without any arguments to back yourself up. Either provide some, or be labeled a troll.

galdon
2009-03-07, 11:46 PM
yeah, you totally didn't read my post. unless your next post contains something outside of your consistent formula of 'it won't happen because i say so' i think we're done here.

1488
2009-03-08, 12:06 AM
It won't happen, even if you can't comprehend why.

afroakuma
2009-03-08, 12:10 AM
I'm glad the reasons are so elevated that they are in a language that can't be typed.

But you don't care to elaborate, I take it.

1488
2009-03-08, 12:18 AM
I'm glad the reasons are so elevated that they are in a language that can't be typed.

But you don't care to elaborate, I take it.

Not until I get a translater who can put it some way you'll understand. Seriously, it gets tiresome repeating the same explaination over and over for you.

afroakuma
2009-03-08, 12:20 AM
Yes, I'd imagine those muscles would tire easily, having atrophied from disuse.

galdon
2009-03-08, 12:22 AM
You cannot repeat an explanation you never gave. You said it would be bad writing to give wanda the pliers, but not why. then repeated 'it won't happen' in response to anything said to you.

You bore me with your attempt at trolling. There is nothing further to be discussed here.

1488
2009-03-08, 12:22 AM
You know what? I've explained why it won't happen for story building purposes more than once in this thread. It is clear that you are intentionally not getting it because it shoots down your half baked theories. Face it, the only evidence there is that wanda will get the pliars is that she (maybe) wants them. Ansom wants them attuned to, but you aren't arguing that that will happen. Ha ha ha ha ha! You know, it's not winning the argument that is the best part, it's the proving how much better I am than you that is so sweet!

Indeed.
2009-03-08, 12:26 AM
You know what? I've explained why it won't happen for story building purposes more than once in this thread. It is clear that you are intentionally not getting it because it shoots down your half baked theories.
Aside from vague "storytelling reasons", you haven't really given a thing.

Face it, the only evidence there is that wanda will get the pliars is that she (maybe) wants them.
She's a powerful caster. There could be a reason.

Ansom wants them attuned to, but you aren't arguing that that will happen. Ha ha ha ha ha! You know, it's not winning the argument that is the best part, it's the proving how much better I am than you that is so sweet!
Yes, some random Internet retard is better than all of us simply because he claim he thinks on an entirely different level.

Really, as far as trolls go, you aren't very good. Responses aren't the goal, reactions are. All you're provoking is hilarity from being so astoundingly dumb-under the pretense of being far more intelligent than the entire community, no less!

As I stated earlier;

please continue being butthurt.

afroakuma
2009-03-08, 12:28 AM
it won't happen for story building purposes

...is your startling insight?

Bravo. Kudos to you on a well-presented, stirring revelation.

Now, you have proven yourself so much better than us that this feeble board cannot contain your brilliance. Go forth! and ascend unto a higher plane, far removed from our mere mortal forum. /sarcasm

ishnar
2009-03-08, 12:48 AM
i'm going to pretend that you are serious, and just lack the realization that you need to add facts to support your theories. Somebody is going to end up with the pliers, If parson wins, gobwin knob will have the pliers and hammer, since they probably won't attune to the same person, and parson is not of that world, they are going to have to attune to either wanda, or sizemore. (bagroll's fate is uncertian) as it would be poor writing to just magically have someone pop out of nowhere to wield them.

"Have to attune to either wando, or sizemore"?

Stanley was a piker, so they can attune to any character really. While I don't see it being handed out to someone out of nowhere, Stanley is the ruler, so even if it does end up in Wanda's hands, he might hand it instead to one of his knights instead. There is no reason to assume that it has to go to a caster.


OP said
She'll never get the pliars because it wouldn't make literary sense. I'm pretty sure the guys making this thing know at least as much about storytelling as I do.

What literary convention are you referring to? The one where the Protagonist gets all the loot? I get the impression that you don't know as much about storytelling as you presume. I've read plenty of stories where an artifact goes to a secondary character and not the main one. And the story worked out just fine. Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn is a good example of this.

galdon
2009-03-08, 12:58 AM
I was meaning, ishnar, that they are the only remaining 'units' on parson's side with enough backstory to be plausable, the rest are so far either nameless or have not really had much character development at all (the foolomancer is iffy, he's started getting some more backstory but he's about as stable as liquid butter..) but if not them someone we don't know would need to be invented to get the pliers.

DrakebloodIV
2009-03-08, 03:33 AM
Stanley was a piker, so they can attune to any character really. While I don't see it being handed out to someone out of nowhere, Stanley is the ruler, so even if it does end up in Wanda's hands, he might hand it instead to one of his knights instead. There is no reason to assume that it has to go to a caster.

I dunno, several out of nowhere things like that have occurred, probably because the Erf we read is the cut in half abridged version.

Also, 1488 where do you get off assuming that your statements into literary interpritation are self suppourting? You might have been able to pull that off by citing yourself in a long thread where you had been posting awhile, but to try and BS us on a thread you just started? That would require us to have the intelligence of someone born in 1488. While I personally doubt that Wanda will get the pliers and will probably be one of the ones nasally whining "Dieux Ex" if it happens, I seriously doubt that it breaks any literary law. Major female secondary cast members have always had things that set them apart from the others. Like Hermione having the time turner or Susan having the magic bow. Even Haley now has her bow of Mint deliciousness now. If anything, the trend dictates that Wanda would be almost required by literary standards to receive the bow.

[/rant and ramble]

dr pepper
2009-03-08, 04:20 AM
On the other hand, picture a desperate, dying Ansom. 1 hit point left, barely able to stand or move, with the undead closing in. Somehow he manages to get a hand on the Arkenpliers. But he hasn't got the strength to lift it. He gives way to despair and anger. "Titans, i can't die like this! Uhhn! Can't budge it. Can't budge it!" He breaks into tears. "I-i've failed! I'm booping useless!"

And in that instant of humility and self realization, he collapses. Turn ends.

Night. Morning. Ansom hangs from the wall. From outside he can hear the sounds of the coalition being slaughtered. Time passes. Wanda enters, in a fresh leather outfit. "You were too weak to be much fun last night, but now that you're healed, let's spend some quality time." She extends the pliers to his chest.

But in the instant they touch his flesh-- he attunes! With a burst of strength he rips out of the shackles, grabs the pliers and flies up and outside. There he sees the heaped up remains of his army, motionless except where Sizemore's golems are moving them into piles. And then he sees Stanley, who's only just returned. He zooms to the attack.

And when the artifacts collide there is a flash of energy and Ansom is gone, teleported to some random destination.

Charlie withdraws. Loose ends are tied up. End of Book One.

Book 2: Ansom the Wanderer. Disowned by his king, Ansom must learn what it's like to be unroyal, and what his new artifact powers are. Thi will lead him through a series of character building adventures, When he finally returns to "The West", he will be a very different person. Perhaps we'll even like him.

HandofShadows
2009-03-08, 07:14 AM
Come on folks, don't be TO rough on 'em. There is something her got right.


they won't attune to her

Of course the reason that the the Arkenpliers won't attune to Wanda is because they are ALREADY attuned to her. :smalltongue:

Sorry, 1488 but your "train" of logic does not fit with known facts very well.

crzybggr
2009-03-08, 10:08 AM
I happen to agree that Wanda won't get the pliers, but unlike the troll I actually have reasons.

My main reason that Wanda won't attune to the pliers is pretty simple. Yes, the Arkenpliers react to uncroaked. However, they do this by killing the uncroaked. That doesn't seem at all like something Wanda would even want to use, and makes it much less likely that she would attune to them.

My next one is that there has been no real evidence that you attune to an Arkentool based on your own skills. Look at the Arkenhammer. It allows whoever is attuned to it to control dwagons and, as a side affect, can turn nuts into pigeons. Stanley showed nothing similar to these traits before he got the hammer. He was just a foot soldier that the king happened to like.

If there is no link between the skills someone has and whether or not a tool will attune to them, any of the named characters is capable of gaining the pliers. They could go to Sizemore, Parson, or even a character from the Coalition. The pliers could even go to Stanley. Remember, him and his remaining Dwagons are heading back to Gobwin Knob.
http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0128.html.

galdon
2009-03-08, 11:01 AM
I happen to agree that Wanda won't get the pliers, but unlike the troll I actually have reasons.

My main reason that Wanda won't attune to the pliers is pretty simple. Yes, the Arkenpliers react to uncroaked. However, they do this by killing the uncroaked. That doesn't seem at all like something Wanda would even want to use, and makes it much less likely that she would attune to them.

My next one is that there has been no real evidence that you attune to an Arkentool based on your own skills. Look at the Arkenhammer. It allows whoever is attuned to it to control dwagons and, as a side affect, can turn nuts into pigeons. Stanley showed nothing similar to these traits before he got the hammer. He was just a foot soldier that the king happened to like.

If there is no link between the skills someone has and whether or not a tool will attune to them, any of the named characters is capable of gaining the pliers. They could go to Sizemore, Parson, or even a character from the Coalition. The pliers could even go to Stanley. Remember, him and his remaining Dwagons are heading back to Gobwin Knob.
http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0128.html.

parson and stanley are last on the list of possible candidates in my opinion, since charley has a tool, it shows that various people, not just one can attune, so, odds are you can only attune to one tool, and parson is not of this world, and he just finished getting a weapon not too long ago.

sizemore, bogroll, wanda, jack, and the thinkomancer are all the named characters on parson's side i can think of, sizemore hates to fight, so i don't think he'll be likely to attune to a weapon, bogroll's fate is currently unknown, wanda likes the undead and the plier's power sparks when they come in contact with the undead, jack is couldn't be less sane if he tried, and the thinkomancer outside of a name, has no backstory

HandofShadows
2009-03-08, 11:57 AM
sizemore, bogroll, wanda, jack, and the thinkomancer are all the named characters on parson's side i can think of, sizemore hates to fight, so i don't think he'll be likely to attune to a weapon, bogroll's fate is currently unknown, wanda likes the undead and the plier's power sparks when they come in contact with the undead, jack is couldn't be less sane if he tried, and the thinkomancer outside of a name, has no backstory

Actually, Jack is now quite sane again, though I'm not toally sure he is happy with it since he turned his back on Jillian (who he may love) to get the Tool out of harms way. The Thinkomancer's name is Maggi. As for Wanda not attuning to the Arkenpliers, she was already shown to be able to influance them without being in direct contact ("What have you done to it!"). I think the reason that the 'pliers have not attuned to Ansom is because they are already attuned to someone else and that person is Wanda. Just because the Arkenpliers destroy uncroaked on contact, it does not mean that another of it's power would not be usefull to her. (I suspect that each Archentool has 3 powers. 1 a touch ability: Archenpliers destroys uncroaked on contact, the Arkenhammer can change birds to nuts or visversa. 2 A ranged effect: The 'hammer has a powefull lightning strike, the Arkendish has Thinkomancy powers 3 A taming effect: The 'hammer tames dwagons, the 'dish archons.)

galdon
2009-03-08, 01:25 PM
Actually, Jack is now quite sane again, though I'm not toally sure he is happy with it since he turned his back on Jillian (who he may love) to get the Tool out of harms way. The Thinkomancer's name is Maggi. As for Wanda not attuning to the Arkenpliers, she was already shown to be able to influance them without being in direct contact ("What have you done to it!"). I think the reason that the 'pliers have not attuned to Ansom is because they are already attuned to someone else and that person is Wanda. Just because the Arkenpliers destroy uncroaked on contact, it does not mean that another of it's power would not be usefull to her. (I suspect that each Archentool has 3 powers. 1 a touch ability: Archenpliers destroys uncroaked on contact, the Arkenhammer can change birds to nuts or visversa. 2 A ranged effect: The 'hammer has a powefull lightning strike, the Arkendish has Thinkomancy powers 3 A taming effect: The 'hammer tames dwagons, the 'dish archons.)

yeah, i knew maggi had a name (hence why she was in the list) just couldn't think of it and the comics were loading too slow to check.

i'm still not certain about jack though, even the most insane mind can have a sober moment after a shock (like seeing jillian) have to see him again and see him still sane before i'd be confidant he won't revert back to his insanity.

TheMutant
2009-03-08, 03:05 PM
My main reason that Wanda won't attune to the pliers is pretty simple. Yes, the Arkenpliers react to uncroaked. However, they do this by killing the uncroaked. That doesn't seem at all like something Wanda would even want to use, and makes it much less likely that she would attune to them

I've seen this argument pop up in pretty much any Wanda/pliers discussion, and I have to say I disagree. If Croakamancy is essentially necromancy or something close, there is a precedent for the 'pliers ability- many uses of necromancy in other works of fiction also include the ability to hinder or destroy undead, in addition to raising them. Take DnD for example- the spells Undeath to Death (!), Disrupt Undead, Hide from Undead and Halt Undead are in the necromancy school of magic in that setting.

Of course, this is all speculation; I can't know Croakamancy's particulars or if it's anything like traditional necromancy. ;)

As for Wanda not wanting to use them, I say, why not? They're a good combat weapon, and as long as she doesn't go around purposefully smacking her own uncroaked with it, there's no discernable disadvantage to her wielding them. Heck, it might be an asset when facing another Croakamancer.

HandofShadows
2009-03-09, 09:13 AM
Oh, and some very telling evidence that Wanda does want to get her hands on the Arkenpliers. After being "dismounted" by the archons Wanda was reaching out to touch the Arkenpliers. Now Wanda is DYING and she is trying to get to them.

http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0135.html

Panel 4.

Kreistor
2009-03-09, 09:14 AM
Of course there is no literary sense in giving Wanda the Pliers. After all, this would create conflict in Stanley, as he tries to deal with his personal conviction that all the Arkentools should belong to himself, but the Pliers clearly belong to someone he respects and needs. Like, I'd see no sense at all in having Stanley go through the mental gynastics necessary to change his own mind about what the Titans want of himself. No use at all in him debating whether to demand the Pliers, risking losing to Ansom, or give up his selfishness in order to retain Gobwin Knob and his most powerful caster.

Nope, no literary sense whatsoever... no character development in the slightest.

Tensu
2009-03-09, 11:01 AM
Ah, people claiming that a point they never made somehow proves everyone wrong...

if I had a dime for every time I've seen this, I'd be a very rich man.

that said, I don't know why everyone thinks the pliers are the croakamancy tool. "destroys the undead" seem to make it more anti-croakamancy than pro-coakamancy. also, "destroys the undead" is a pretty common power for holy artifacts to have. since croakamancy is a division of naughtymancy, we can assume that it's not held in the highest moral regard, and thus a holy artifact may have some sort of advantage against it.

HandofShadows
2009-03-09, 03:09 PM
Ah, people claiming that a point they never made somehow proves everyone wrong...


Are you talking about someone on this thread or just rambleing about the internet in general?

Kreistor
2009-03-09, 04:00 PM
I don't know why everyone thinks the pliers are the croakamancy tool.

Well, it's more than just that. Wanda tells Ansom that he cost her far more than she cost him, and Ansom looks sheepishly guilty. She's not lying.

Further, Wanda and Jack both were at Faq, and now work for stanley and against Ansom. Why would both work for the man that destroyed a utopian kingdom? Wanda has that bad girl vibe, sure, but Jack has no reason to work for Stanley. This places a certain amount of counterevidence against Stanley having destroyed Faw as Jillian believes.

If, instead, it was Ansom that attacked Faq, and Stanley only came in to mop up the weakened Jetstone victors, then we now have a reasonable explanation of why Wanda accuses Ansom of costing her so much. He destroyed Faq, lied to Jillian, and cost Wanda in a major way. He may have taken the pliers from her, further aggravating the situation. Wanda and Jack now have vengeance in mind when deciding to work for Stanley, explaining their allegience. It ties everything up in a neat little package, and makes it possible for Jillian to change sides in the future, because Ansom was the worm, not Stanley.

This is, though, only a theory with no evidence. The only way it works is because Jillian does not know for certani what happened to Faq, and Wanda has never enlightened her otherwise.

Just keep an open mind. There is much to learn and the history of the Pliers may be the history of Wanda and Ansom.

Samb
2009-03-09, 04:55 PM
She will get the plirers because the OP's reasons that she not are stupid. Anyone who asks me to elaborate is stupid as well.

Flame on

HandofShadows
2009-03-09, 04:59 PM
This is, though, only a theory with no evidence. The only way it works is because Jillian does not know for certani what happened to Faq, and Wanda has never enlightened her otherwise.


Nice to see that others like the same theory I do. :)

Wanda not telling Jillian never meant a lot of sense to me. Wanad would have every reason to tell Jillian if Ansom destroyed Faq. But what if Wanda DID tell Jillian? Stay with me a second here.
If Jillian knew that Ansom destoyed Faq, she would try to kill him as soon as she saw him. But it's not hard to figure that she probably would not be able to kill him before getting killed herself and she certainly would not be able to get away (with the Arkenpliers?). So in order to get at Ansom, his army is going to have to be mostly eliminated and the best way for a smaller army to destroy a bigger army is through better intelligence. Best way to get that is to have a spy in the enemy command structure, Jillian. Now Jillian would NOT be able to keep her cool when she sees Ansom so Wanda erased the knowledge that Ansom destroyed Faq from Jillians mind (with her permision). It could happen. :D

Kreistor
2009-03-09, 06:46 PM
Now Jillian would NOT be able to keep her cool when she sees Ansom so Wanda erased the knowledge that Ansom destroyed Faq from Jillians mind (with her permision). It could happen. :D

what magic can do, magic can undo. Better to not tell her anything at all in the first place, so that if magic is used on Jillian, there is nothing to unerase. So, therfeore, don't tll her that Ansom destroyed Faq. Let hr get nice and close to the handsome commander, then break the bad news and watch the barbarian tear the RCC apart inside out.

With Jillian breaking the spell, Wanda did have the opportunity to enlighten her when Jaclyn was killed. Wanda was, however, mentally damaged at the time and may have flt the moment was not then. Wanda was saving scrolls... Wanda is thinking long term, beyond Stanley. She has plans to survive, which means leaving Jillina in place with Ansom may have proven a greater asset after RCC won. whomever she chose to work for next, it would be an enemy of Ansom and so the battle would continue.

Wanda, like the dead, is not hasty.

Tensu
2009-03-09, 07:22 PM
@ Handofshadows: both: I've been to forums populated almost exclusively by people like the OP.

@ Kreistor: while that's all very interesting, I don't really see what t has to do with the Arkenpliers and their presumed association with croakamancy, or even necessarily why Wanda would want them. please explain.

I think there are two more likely theories as to what Ansom took from Wanda. the first is Jillian herself. Wanda was friends with Jillian, and Jillian's love for Ansom ruined that. the other is foreshadowing: we don't know what Ansom took, only that he took something. it will be explained in greater detail later.

as for Jack, he's a captured unit. He fights for Stanley because he has little choice in the matter. getting captured isn't a voluntary thing, and it was said casters are generally captured. And when a unit is captured it has low morale, which may explain Jack's insanity and half-***'d attempts at illusions.

BillyJimBoBob
2009-03-09, 07:46 PM
Oh, and some very telling evidence that Wanda does want to get her hands on the Arkenpliers. After being "dismounted" by the archons Wanda was reaching out to touch the Arkenpliers. Now Wanda is DYING and she is trying to get to them.

http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0135.html

Panel 4.Heh, and notice in panel 10 how Ansom goes from pointing the 'Pliers directly at Wanda to holding them across his body as far away from Wanda as he can get them.

There was much speculation after that strip as to what the "less than what you took from me" was about. Some said Jillian, but could it be that Wanda was referring to the Arcenpliers?

Kreistor
2009-03-09, 08:05 PM
@ Kreistor: while that's all very interesting, I don't really see what t has to do with the Arkenpliers and their presumed association with croakamancy, or even necessarily why Wanda would want them. please explain.

I can't explain more than what is in the comic. I gave a possible reason: Wanda already knows for certain they are Croakamancy aligned.


I think there are two more likely theories as to what Ansom took from Wanda. the first is Jillian herself.

Wanda hasn't lost Jillian. Jillian does not hate Wanda, and was in fact trying to "free" Wanda the last time they encountered each other. As far as we know, Jillian still loves Wanda and vice versa.

But, your suggestion cannot in the end be true. Ansom cannot think that he cost Wanda Jillian. Why? Because he would have had to know about Wanda and Jillian as far back as her first capture, long before the strip began. Even now, Ansom only knows that one caster in GK was from Faq, not that it was Wanda nor that they were close. In fact, with Jillian now aware of Jack, he is more likely to know about him than Jillian's relationship with Wanda. If Ansom had known about Wanda and Jillian, then he was allowing a mole in his own organization, not using her for disinformation, and giving Stanley a shot at hurting the RCC.

Further, Wanda would have to be aware that Ansom knew about herself and Jillian. For their conversation to have occured with mutual understanding of what Ansom cost Wanda, both parties must be privy to the same knowledge. Their silence on details in the face of Jillian never revealing to Ansom that she had a relationship with Wanda and never telling Wanda that she had revealed that information, neither can know what the other may be thinking of.

I don't buy that.


as for Jack, he's a captured unit. He fights for Stanley because he has little choice in the matter. getting captured isn't a voluntary thing, and it was said casters are generally captured. And when a unit is captured it has low morale, which may explain Jack's insanity and half-***'d attempts at illusions.

There is no evidence of this. All evidence is that Jack acted independently without direct orders to save Stanley, when he could have performed poorly in order to be captured by Jillian, whom he knew would do right by him. Jack is doing his utmost to keep Stanley safe and alive. If you were right, Jack would have low loyalty and would act independently as little as possible to help Stanley, his slavemaster.

Further, I find it unlikely paranoid-megalomaniacal Stanley would keep a potential enemy close to him, and especially would not keep tha unit alone as his sole caster in a new home city. Stanley would only take one he trusted absolutely with him. He trusts Jack more than Wanda, and Wanda was his favorite until he lost 30 dwagons to Parson's oversight.

Again, I don't buy it.

galdon
2009-03-09, 09:43 PM
I don't really see what t has to do with the Arkenpliers and their presumed association with croakamancy, or even necessarily why Wanda would want them. please explain.

I have my own idea on this, its already known that the arkentools awaken by attributes, stanley was a pikeman, well liked by his king, and has a strong sense of duty, even if he's an idiot, his traits caused the hammer to attune to him, giving him dominion over dwagons.

Charlie is intellegent, and very manipulative, a heavy thinker and strategist, and he 'happens' to have the arkendish which attuned to him and gave him thinkomancy powers.

now, Stanley discovered that when hitting nuts, the hammer occasionally had an accidental effect. (creating pigeons) this has absolutely nothing to do with anything. and certianly not an applied power.

This gives some inferences here, 1 being that the tools power is dormant until they come into contact with somebody that it matches. 2 being that not all of the power is under the control of the wielder.

what might happen is not that it is an undead destroying super force, but rather, it is being swung at high speed like a club or a sword, which then comes into contact with an uncroaked being, and this contact awakens it's power, in the middle of a swing, having a burst of power means becoming highly destructive. not knowing much of the story before this battle, we don't know how he got the pliers or how long he's had them, but also, if he's only used it on WANDA'S uncroaked, it might also be that they respond to her magical residue left in her creations.

the above is all theory though, and can easily not happen, just trying to say how the pliers could appear to harm uncroaked when it is not their true purpose.

crzybggr
2009-03-09, 10:15 PM
It seems that we’re all using different assumptions here, so I’m going to take a moment to state what we know.

1. We have no idea what criteria determines whether or not a character will attune to an Arkentool.
2. The Arkenpliers are related in some way to uncroaked, either through Croakamancy or some other magic.
3. After being defeated by the Archons, Wanda reached out for the pliers like she desperately wanted them and soon after asked Ansom to touch her with them. http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0135.html

That, as I see it, is all that we know for certain. If you have a convincing argument for anything else you deem important, please share. The more things we can put down as facts, the better.


Now back to the debate. The first thing we know is that we don’t know very much at all. Almost all of the things we know about the mechanics of Erfworld have been learned through the eyes of Parson. He obviously does not know everything there is to know about Erfworld, and there are some things he has learned that we as readers have not been shown yet.

Because of this, no assumptions can be made about how an Arkentool chooses its rightful wielder. It could be through skill, fate, or some other criteria that we don’t know about yet.

http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0022.html
I interpret this comic as saying that the Arkentools are Fate aligned artifacts, which is further corroborated by the fact that of the Arkentools we know of, at least two and possibly all three have Fate-aligned effects: The Arkenhammer can turn nuts into pigeons (Changemancy), the Arkendish gives its owner “unprecedented control of Thinkamancy,” and the Arkenpliers destroy uncroaked on contact, which may or may not be Croakamancy-related.
From what I have seen, there is very little correlation between the skill of a person and whether an Arkentool attunes to them. All we know about Stanley was that he was a piker under Saline IV, became a warlord, found the Arkenhammer, and became the Overlord of Gobwin Knob. Nothing in Stanley’s career up to the point of gaining the Arkenhammer shows any propensity for taming Dwagons.

Charlie also was not necessarily chosen for his skills. Although he does think differently than other Erfworlders, he could just as easily have used the Arkendish to change how he thinks. Since it gives him amazing Thinkamancy powers, he could easily change how his own mind works in order to make himself a better tactician.

Because of our lack of knowledge, we can not assume that a person’s skill would determine whether or not they will be attuned to an Arkentool. We especially can’t make a prediction based on skill with the Pliers, as we aren’t even sure that those are Croakamancy related. Yes, destroying uncroaked could be Croakamancy, but it could just as easily be something else. It is probably more likely, seeing as how all the other known Arkentools have been related to Fate magic (Changemancy from the Arkenhammer, Thinkamancy from the Arkendish), but we can’t know for certain. The Croakamancy aspect of the Pliers might not even be its real purpose. Remember, the Arkenhammer has a Changamancy effect that is far less important than its true power: that of taming Dwagons. The Arkenpliers’ ability to turn uncroaked to dust does not mean that is its most important purpose; since Ansom is not attuned to the Pliers, the possibility that their true power is something completely different from what we were expecting is even more likely.


Moving on to Wanda and the Pliers with Ansom (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0135.html): This situation could be seen in a number of ways. Wanda reaching out towards the Pliers could have several reasons, the two most likely of which are:
1. Wanda wanting to get the Pliers because she thought she would be attuned to them
2. Wanda wanting to get the Pliers because, even un-attuned, they are still an impressive weapon and she could have possibly used them to defend herself.
We can’t assume that Wanda was reaching out to the Pliers only because she thought she would be attuned to them. The same kind of argument can be applied to what happens immediately after this. Wanda is taunting Ansom to come down and touch her with the Pliers. This also could have several reasons. Either Wanda wants to touch the Pliers to see if she becomes attuned to them, or she wishes to die. Based on her fractured state of mind at the time, as well as her physical injuries, the latter is quite reasonable.

There has been no real evidence or interpretation of events that in my mind shows that Wanda is going to get the Arkenpliers. There is no reason why any of the other named characters couldn't pick up the Pliers and become attuned to them. Even Stanley, as stupid as he is, is capable of gaining them. This, in my opinion, would be far more interesting than having someone else get the Pliers, as the other characters - especially those in the Coalition - would start to think that Stanley was right about the Titans' divine plan. In short, there's not enough actual evidence to convince me that Wanda is going to get the Pliers.

Tensu
2009-03-10, 02:01 AM
@ Kreistor:

1. but what makes you think they are croakamancy aligned? Wanda can use all schools of magic, croakamancy is just her favorite.

2. Why does Ansom ned to know what Wanda is talking about? his expression seemed to be a mixture of "what the **** are you talking about?" and " **** you're creepy". when I saw the look on Ansom's face, I assumed he didn't know what Wanda was talking about.

as for Jillian, keep in mind that Wanda's perspective may be very different from yours. Wanda freaked out when Jillian broke her spell with her love for Ansom, she clearly felt betrayed. I doubt it's important to her that Jillian still cares for her when compared to the fact that Jillian cares for Ansom more.

3. Jack's sudden improvment comes from Stanley's good treatment of him raising his morale. you'll notice Stanley does a lot of out-of-character sweet-talking to Jack before Jack's skills improve. as for why Stanley would hang around with a low morale unit, low morale units just fight at a disadvantage: they're still incapable of betraying their leader. (at least, I don't remember hearing otherwise)

of course, Jack's ramblings could be a side effect of thinkamancy feedback, like Wanda's stuttering and Misty's horrible death. even that however would not rule out a morale change.

@ Galdon: but if the undead-nuking is a minor discharge of it's power, then it would be more likely to be attuned to one of the more direct-damage oriented schools (one esp. effective against undead units?) than Croakamancy.

HandofShadows
2009-03-10, 04:13 AM
1. Wanda wanting to get the Pliers because she thought she would be attuned to them
2. Wanda wanting to get the Pliers because, even un-attuned, they are still an impressive weapon and she could have possibly used them to defend herself.


You forgot 3. Wanda was trying to get to the Arkenpliers because she is already attuned to them.


as for Jack, he's a captured unit. He fights for Stanley because he has little choice in the matter. getting captured isn't a voluntary thing, and it was said casters are generally captured. And when a unit is captured it has low morale, which may explain Jack's insanity and half-***'d attempts at illusions.

I think you have missed a few things. Jack was nuts because of the spell he was a part of was broken (it killed another caster named Misty). His insanity was quite real. When he got shocked back to reality by Jillian he could have very easily turned, but did not, (captured units are supposed to have very low loyalty ratings and can turn very easily) in fact he went all out with highly effective foolomancy to save Stanely's skin. Jack is following Stanely very willingly, even if he is sad about it (he seems to be in love with Jilian amd hated to turn his back on her).

HandofShadows
2009-03-10, 04:15 AM
There was much speculation after that strip as to what the "less than what you took from me" was about. Some said Jillian, but could it be that Wanda was referring to the Arcenpliers?

The Arkenpliers or Faq. With a real possibility of it being both Faq and the Arkenpliers.

Titanium Dragon
2009-03-10, 05:37 AM
My main reason that Wanda won't attune to the pliers is pretty simple. Yes, the Arkenpliers react to uncroaked. However, they do this by killing the uncroaked. That doesn't seem at all like something Wanda would even want to use, and makes it much less likely that she would attune to them.


This seems like a reasonable explanation, but the problem is we do not know how things like this work in this world. In a world of sympathetic magic, the same thing may well be used to destroy as to create something. "You cannot kill what you did not create" and all that. Let's also remember that, while they give a bonus against undead, that isn't the only thing they do, necessarily. The Arkenhammer sometimes turns nuts into birds, and birds into nuts, but that isn't its primary function. Indeed, for all we know it is especially effective against birds. But its real power is to control dragons (and fly, apparently). The Arkenpliers are certainly similar.

Its not at all unreasonable for a more powerful effect based on an element to superscede weaker ones. Its pretty common for a water villain to either be least effective or most effective against the water using character; either they can overwhelm the other person's powers, and thus completely render them useless, or they have to fight for control with them.

Basically, something which destroys undead is most likely to either be undead-linked itself (thus manipulating the same thing which creates them) or opposing it.

And it is worth noting that Wanda was encouraging Ansom to touch her with the Arkenpliers, and he was scared of her. Its quite possible he's scared they wouldn't work on her. The whole exchange between the two was very strange, and it raised a lot more questions than it answered.

The reality is we don't know who will attune to the Arkenpliers, but Wanda is the only likely candidate at the moment, so its not unreasonable to assume she can attune them. If she cannot attune to them, then it is unlikely that anyone seen so far in the strip can; Stanley would be the next likelist, but is a distant candidate, I think, mostly because I don't think they'll actually validate the "Will of the Titans" thing with him.

As for the things Ansom took from her... it doesn't even have to be Faq. Remember, she's loyal to Stanley. What if what she's talking about is the rest of Stanley's empire? That's also reasonable, to some degree, though I don't think its terribly likely.

Its also possible what she's referring to is something we don't know about at all, yet.

I do agree, however, that the loyalty of the Faq units does call into question the "Stanley the Worm" interpretation of what happened to Faq. Indeed, Stanley's whole backstory is very unclear - he was off (probably in Faq) when the capital fell to the goblins backstabbing his side. The obvious interpretation is that Stanley orchestrated the events in order to gain power, and conquering Faq was an excuse to not be around for the betrayl. But on the other hand, when we look at Stanley, that's really not something he'd do. Stanley is not the planning sort, and that's beyond the sort of thing he'd think up, I think. He's for the obvious, and that really smacks of too much sophistication. Its from the point of view of those who hate Stanley, but when we consider his personality, from what we've seen of him, it doesn't really fit. While he's certainly a megalomaniac, I'm not sure that Stanley would really think to hide his betrayl that well, or is even capable of doing so.

I suspect we'll have a whole new view of Stanley once we understand what exactly happened in Faq and in Gobwin Knob that turn. Its very obviously important, and I'm pretty certain it is not the alliance's view of things.

Kreistor
2009-03-10, 07:24 AM
1. but what makes you think they are croakamancy aligned? Wanda can use all schools of magic, croakamancy is just her favorite.

Not just her favorite: she only enjoys croakamancy. There's no school of magic that is anti-uncroaked.


2. Why does Ansom ned to know what Wanda is talking about? his expression seemed to be a mixture of "what the **** are you talking about?" and " **** you're creepy". when I saw the look on Ansom's face, I assumed he didn't know what Wanda was talking about.

If he didn't know, he would have said so. Her statement of previous loss stopped him cold. The look in 122.9 is guilt and sheepishness. His previous conviction of righteousness over thousands of dead Jetstone troops is annihilated. If he didn't know what she was talking about, he would still have his conviction, and he would not be confused about his own righteousness. He knows exactly what she is talking about, and he knows she is right. Whatever he cost her was greater than thousands of Jetstone troops lost to him.


as for Jillian, keep in mind that Wanda's perspective may be very different from yours. Wanda freaked out when Jillian broke her spell with her love for Ansom, she clearly felt betrayed. I doubt it's important to her that Jillian still cares for her when compared to the fact that Jillian cares for Ansom more.

Yes, Wanda feels betrayed, but Ansom does not know about that betrayal. Jillian was essentially a mole in his organization. It was vital to Wanda that Ansom never know about Jillian's spying, so when Jillian broke the spell, the only ones that knew about it were her and the Archons. Only Jaclyn ever broke ranks to give out information that was not paid for, and there is no evidence that she told Ansom. Further, for this conversation to work, Wanda must be aware that Ansom knows that Jillian breaking the spell hurt Wanda, and there's no way Jaclyn would tell Wanda that she told Ansom. It's possible that Ansom might know about Wanda, but it is impossible for Wanda to know that Ansom was aware.

And on top of that, Ansom would not be sheepish over Jillian breaking a mind control spell from a Croakamancer. He hates Croakamancy, considering it an abomination, so he would be proud that he was able to inspire Jillian to break the spell, and he would lord it over Wanda that he was her superior in Thinkamancy. He is, instead, sheepish as if he had done something that he regretted. Freeing Jillian from mind control would be a point of pride, not an embarrassment.


3. Jack's sudden improvment comes from Stanley's good treatment of him raising his morale. you'll notice Stanley does a lot of out-of-character sweet-talking to Jack before Jack's skills improve. as for why Stanley would hang around with a low morale unit, low morale units just fight at a disadvantage: they're still incapable of betraying their leader. (at least, I don't remember hearing otherwise)

Yeah, ten minutes of kindness causes people to forget years of enslavement. Not buying it.


of course, Jack's ramblings could be a side effect of thinkamancy feedback, like Wanda's stuttering and Misty's horrible death. even that however would not rule out a morale change.

Jack saving Stanley occurs after his mind is healed.


@ Galdon: but if the undead-nuking is a minor discharge of it's power, then it would be more likely to be attuned to one of the more direct-damage oriented schools (one esp. effective against undead units?) than Croakamancy.

I don't understand why you're picking at this. You're welcome to believe anything you want before or after the author says something. We know all of your points: nothing you're saying is new. We choose to believe this, regardless. You aren't going to change our minds. If you don't want to believe like us, then don't. Just don't think that your way is the right way, and you have to fight us to prove it. We'll believe the Arkenpliers are destined for Wanda until new evidence comes to light. We see her reaction, we have an unexplained statement, and we can see the pliers affect uncroaked. That's not conclusive, and I'll admit it, but there's no evidence that any other alignment is close to the evidence for Croakamancy. For us, this is enough, so we're placing our bets on the Croakamancy line. Bet against us if you like, but don't think you'll change our minds merely by pointign out that each individual piece of evidence has alternate explanations. When 10 pieces of evidence have 5 explanations each, but all 10 have a single explanation in common, it's the commonality that you need to look at first, since that can explain everything.

BillyJimBoBob
2009-03-10, 09:51 AM
Yeah, ten minutes of kindness causes people to forget years of enslavement. Not buying it.

Jack saving Stanley occurs after his mind is healed.Where did you pull "enslavement" from? There is no indication that Stanley has enslaved anyone. Stanley, while not a terribly sympathetic character and obviously a poor strategist, has shown over and over that he isn't a bad guy to work for, overall. He has poor people skills, yes. He can be pompous and overbearing, yes. But he is, after all, the leader of his faction. Leaders have a burden not shared by those who do not lead, and leaders have a need to give orders which they know will be obeyed.

Points for Stanley:

He realized that the summoning spell would compel obedience, but he specifically didn't want a "morale case", he wanted someone who wanted to be summoned. Someone who would like and enjoy the job he was going to be given.

He encourages his people to pursue their hobbies. Sizemore was allowed to study Hippymancy, and Wanda was allowed to "interrogate" Jillian. "The kid's got talent."

When he lost a huge pile of dwagons, his signature unit and the most potent forces remaining to him other than his leadership and caster cadre, he did become very upset. Most leaders would in this situation. And at the same time a strong unit (Jillian) he had personally ordered captured and was told would be working for him even if not directly was returned to the enemy, despite assurances that this was not a possible outcome. But even suspecting treachery or incompetence he did not kill/disband anyone, and left their upkeep in place.

He was kind to Jack. Again, he is the Leader and can't always be fussing over people, but when he had the time he did try to get Jack "fixed". And once Jack was fixed and apologized for not being in his right mind, which was the same as an employee saying "I'm sorry I haven't been a good member of your team lately", and not a comment I'd expect to hear from someone who had been enslaved for years, Stanley blew it off with praise for Jack's recent performance. A perfect response, in my opinion. That's how good leaders build loyalty, by focusing on the positive and minimizing the negative.

So again, while Stanley leaves much to be desired, he hasn't been shown to be any kind of domineering, off the hook monster. The worst we've seen him treat someone is the lack of respect he gives Sizemore. And on the face of it, not many people respect those with the most menial jobs in a society. Sizemore is a potent caster, yes. But he is also the Erf equivalent of a trash collector, but even worse.

Tensu
2009-03-10, 10:01 AM
@ Hand of shadows: I didn't miss it, I went into it in the post right above yours.

@ Keistor:

1. I know, but my point is that she can still use the other schools to an amazing level of proficiency. She's the one who summoned Parson, for crying out loud!

2a. Why would he have said so? how many crazy people do you tell you don't know what they're talking about? I don't think you understand the amount of fear that Ansom must have been feeling at that point. If Ansom felt guilty, his expression would have been low, he would have looked depressed, not shocked or scared, because guilt is something we expect. We must already know who we've wronged and how in order for guilt to have any affect. If Ansom was fighting Wanda, he must have already come to terms with any guilt he had beforehand, otherwise he wouldn't be fighting. If the emotion Wanda generated was guilt, it would not have had the same expression or the same paralyzing effect. Fear, however, is always paralyzing so long as it's felt in the sufficient quantity. Ansom was behind enemy lines facing a powerful spellcaster who seems to have lost her freaking mind, and who has raised an army of his fallen men. and even when he thinks he's won, She's not scared of him, She states that he's done worse to her and dares him to come near. that's a pretty scary situation.

2b. Again, I don't think Ansom knows what Wanda is talking about.

3a. You're think like a real-world person. you need to be thinking like a virtual person. Play a game that has some kind of way to effect how much a character likes you and torture said character. then, start being nice to them. they'll bounce back pretty quickly, because in a simulation they can only hate you so much. thus even if you tortured them for two hours, they are only able to understand ten minutes. and even though baking them cookies wouldn't atone for bludgeoning them with a morning star (the flail kind, not the mace kind) in the real world, in the game world there are set rules of what will and will not raise how much someone likes you. loyalty is a stat just like attack in erfworld.

3b. yes, which still wouldn't necessarily rule out a morale change.

@ everyone:

while it's true that the water-user has some advantage against another water-user, that's nothing compared to how much of an advantage he has against a fire-user or an earth-user. the pliers are, again, a holy artifact. and "destroys the undead" is a pretty common holy artifact power. I wouldn't be suprised if Stanley's Hammer had the same power.

as for "touch me", there are several other explanations:

1. Wanda is bluffing, trying to psyche Ansom out.
2. Wanda is trying to keep Ansom behind enemy lines long enough for other units to croak him.
3. Wanda has some kind of close-range spell and was trying to lead him into a trap.

Now I admit that none of this makes as much sense from a literary standpoint, but again, Wanda is very talented with all forms of magic.It could attune to her for any one.

Hatu
2009-03-10, 11:15 AM
There has been no real evidence or interpretation of events that in my mind shows that Wanda is going to get the Arkenpliers. There is no reason why any of the other named characters couldn't pick up the Pliers and become attuned to them. Even Stanley, as stupid as he is, is capable of gaining them. This, in my opinion, would be far more interesting than having someone else get the Pliers, as the other characters - especially those in the Coalition - would start to think that Stanley was right about the Titans' divine plan. In short, there's not enough actual evidence to convince me that Wanda is going to get the Pliers.

crzybggr kindly went through and explained my feelings on this for me. We know so little of how Erfworld works, and Wanda's actions are so ambiguous that no clear interpretation can be drawn right now. We're still at the stage where evidence must fill up the gaps in our theories, rather than the other way around.

Wanda may wind up with and attune to the Arkenpliers, but then again she may not. The scenes involving her and the 'pliers could make sense either way, because what we think is happening in those scenes will change depending on what we learn later.

-H

Kreistor
2009-03-10, 11:50 AM
Where did you pull "enslavement" from? There is no indication that Stanley has enslaved anyone.

I was mocking someone else here. I believe that Jack is working for Stanley because someone else destroyed Faq (my belief is Ansom was involved).
I was responding to someone that suggested Jack was forced to work for Stanley.

I have to go. I'll respond to Tensu later.

Kreistor
2009-03-10, 01:41 PM
1. I know, but my point is that she can still use the other schools to an amazing level of proficiency. She's the one who summoned Parson, for crying out loud!

So? The pliers destroy uncroaked. Wanda is a Croakamancer. Wanda has a hate on for Ansom, but instead of finishing him off, she goes straight for the Pliers. It's not rocket science to conclude that the Pliers are Croakamancy attuned.

Oh, and I'm not going to use this one, because I view it as a Deus Ex Machina, but here it is anyway:

Could anything except Croakamancy attuned Pliers in the hands of Wanda save Parson and win the siege of Gobwin Knob under the current conditions? Just something to think on.


2a. Why would he have said so? how many crazy people do you tell you don't know what they're talking about? I don't think you understand the amount of fear that Ansom must have been feeling at that point.

I do. Exactly zero fear. Wanda is down, out, not casting, unable to cast, broken, defeated, and almost dead. Ansom is full of righteuos anger at the one that created abominations of his friends. He feels hate, anger, rage, and revulsion. Oh, yeah, he'd feels whole heaploads of fear... not. He has won. Wanda is incapable of more than talking. She is an abomination to be put down like the monsters she creates. She is not to be listened to or trusted.

Unless you know she is speaking truth. Her reminder of what he cost her changes all that, but not to fear. His righteuosness dissipates. Fear does not cause that reaction, only knowledge that you have no right to righteousness does. She reminded him of a wrong he had commited. She reminds him that his admonishment of her is an admonishment of himself. There is nothing a hypocrite fears more than an inability to avoid his own hypocrisy.

And that results in the grimace of embarrassment in 122.9. It's not fear: it's acceptance that he is no better than what he hates. It is enlightenment in the worst way possible -- from someone you hate.


If Ansom felt guilty, his expression would have been low, he would have looked depressed, not shocked or scared, because guilt is something we expect.

Shock = wide eyed. Scared = raised eyebrows.

Ansom is pulling his lips back from one side of his mouth. The same side has his eye partially closed, and the eyebrow lowered. Try this: put your hand over the left side of his face (the right as we look at him). The right side looks pained, sad, and regretful, not shocked, surprised, or scared. Ansom is grimacing away from an uncomfortable truth: something he wanted to forget. Something he had to forget in order to villify Wanda. If Wanda is hateful because of Ansom's actions, then his hatred towards her is vile, and that's what he must hide from in order to remain confident and arrogant.


We must already know who we've wronged and how in order for guilt to have any affect.

Not "we"... "he". He must know who he's wronged and how in order for him to feel guilt. What we know is irrelevant to his guilt: his guilt to us is a revelation of a deeper mystery that is yet to be revealed, a mystery to which we may have been given other possible hints.


If Ansom was fighting Wanda, he must have already come to terms with any guilt he had beforehand, otherwise he wouldn't be fighting.

Different people deal with guilt in different ways. Some people deal by seeking forgiveness, but others suppress, forget, avoid, create justification after the fact, or even manipulate their memories to blame someone else. The older of my two younger sisters once swung a bat blindly and whacked my youngest sister in the head. Ten years later at the eldest's wedding, the younger related the story, but the elder insisted that it was the younger sister swinging the bat! This was absurd: there was three years difference, so the younger sister could never have hurt the elder swinging in this way, due to head height differences her swing was too low to hit the elder on the head. And I saw the event, so I backed up the younger sister's version. But that is how one person dealt with her guilt: modify memory such that she wasn't guilty anymore. Forgetting is another alternative, and one very reasonable for a holier-than-thou Ansom.


If the emotion Wanda generated was guilt, it would not have had the same expression or the same paralyzing effect.

Wanda wouldn't have known what effect it would have. She was just calling the scales balanced in order to show Ansom his own flaws were the same as hers. As for the expression: you see something entirely different than me. There is no surprise there: only regret.


Fear, however, is always paralyzing so long as it's felt in the sufficient quantity.

No sign of fear. No wide eyes, raised eyebrows, etc.

Ansom loses his righteousness in the face of hypocrisy. That gives anyone pause, since suddenly their course of action is less justifiable. How can Ansom mete out justice on Wanda for doing what he had done to her first? It would take only a moment to remember that this was war and she had to die, but for one bathed in self-righteousness, a blow to his justification will give pause.


Ansom was behind enemy lines facing a powerful spellcaster who seems to have lost her freaking mind, and who has raised an army of his fallen men. and even when he thinks he's won, She's not scared of him, She states that he's done worse to her and dares him to come near. that's a pretty scary situation.

Not to someone that is feeling righteuos anger, and not by someone that is down and almost dead. You're forcing it, Tensu. You see fear because you want to, not because the expression demonstrates it. Try to idenify the elements of that face that look fearful to you, and explain them as I have. I don't think you can.


2b. Again, I don't think Ansom knows what Wanda is talking about.

You're allowed. You're wrong, but you're allowed. If you were right, Ansom would not pause and he'd continue to mete out righteous justice. Fear can't stop that. Only truth halts justice in the hands of the righteous.


3a. You're think like a real-world person. you need to be thinking like a virtual person.

Okay, that got a laugh. This would be true if, and only if, you could prove that the author was writing Ansom as a virtual person. I will respond to this when you have succeeded in that effort. Good luck.


3b. yes, which still wouldn't necessarily rule out a morale change.

? Lost reference for this. What are you responding to?


while it's true that the water-user has some advantage against another water-user, that's nothing compared to how much of an advantage he has against a fire-user or an earth-user. the pliers are, again, a holy artifact. and "destroys the undead" is a pretty common holy artifact power. I wouldn't be suprised if Stanley's Hammer had the same power.

I would. He made note of his newfound power to create pigeons from nuts, so it would be well noted if he could destroy undead at a touch with it.


as for "touch me", there are several other explanations:

As I said before, there are alternate explanations for everything, but only one explanation that explains everything. Doctors begin their diagnosis by listing all symptoms and finding one explanation for them all, not by trying to find five diseases for five symptoms. Same goes here. There is one explanation that fits all pieces of evidence. It is, then, the most likely cause. It is possible that there are multiple causes, but that layers an extra level of difficulty on the author. It is far more likely that he has only one event in mind. A doctor that identifies a single root cause for many symptoms would proceed on that diagnosis first over one that required the coincidence of two simultaneous diseases.

Hatu
2009-03-10, 02:46 PM
So? The pliers destroy uncroaked. Wanda is a Croakamancer. Wanda has a hate on for Ansom, but instead of finishing him off, she goes straight for the Pliers. It's not rocket science to conclude that the Pliers are Croakamancy attuned.


When did she do that? After Wanda beat Ansom, she ordered her minions to capture him. She obviously didn't intend to kill him, however much she hated him.

I *think* she then went to fetch the Arkenpliers herself (the blocking is very unclear to me), but that would stand to reason: she couldn't exactly send an uncroaked to pick them up, now could she?




Unless you know she is speaking truth. Her reminder of what he cost her changes all that, but not to fear. His righteuosness dissipates. Fear does not cause that reaction, only knowledge that you have no right to righteousness does. She reminded him of a wrong he had commited. She reminds him that his admonishment of her is an admonishment of himself. There is nothing a hypocrite fears more than an inability to avoid his own hypocrisy.

And that results in the grimace of embarrassment in 122.9. It's not fear: it's acceptance that he is no better than what he hates. It is enlightenment in the worst way possible -- from someone you hate.

Shock = wide eyed. Scared = raised eyebrows.


Eh, I think he looks confused more than anything else. That's a natural reaction to hearing something that makes no sense. I don't see any reason to read more into it.




I would. He made note of his newfound power to create pigeons from nuts, so it would be well noted if he could destroy undead at a touch with it.


I rather doubt that the Arkenhammer can disintigrate uncroaked the way the 'pliers can, but your reasoning is faulty. Stanley mentioned turning nuts into birds to Wanda because he had just discovered that power; he was testing it when she showed up. It's possible he had already learned the 'hammer could annihilate uncroaked, and didn't mention it simply because both he and Wanda already knew that.



As I said before, there are alternate explanations for everything, but only one explanation that explains everything. Doctors begin their diagnosis by listing all symptoms and finding one explanation for them all, not by trying to find five diseases for five symptoms.

That's absurd. That would mean that any time someone was suffering from two unrelated issues simultaneously, a doctor would be unable to diagnose those issues: he'd waste his time looking for a non-existant disease with all the symptoms of both issues.

Besides, the alternate explanations you dismiss can be just as complete. They simply require a different set of assumptions than the ones you prefer.

-H

Tensu
2009-03-10, 03:24 PM
this is becoming a pain to respond to, but I do so anyway.

I don't know about you, but I would have gone for the pliers too. why?

1. holy artifact.
2. Overlord wants them
3. need to get them before someone else does
4. gives enemy advantage over undead
5. is Ansom's only weapon
6. probably more powerful weapon than staff

so she has six reasons to go for them without even wanting to use their powers.

I meant something more akin to what Hatu is saying. he's not panic-scared or frozen-in-terror scared, he's creeped out. like if say a crazy person was rambling about something he didn't understand. Wanda was being creepy.

you misunderstand my usage of "we". I didn't mean "we" as in "you and me" but "we" as in "sentient beings".

the problem with Ansom charging into battle without having come to terms with any guilt he may be feeling is that he would have known it was a liability. Ansom may be a little foolish, but I doubt he's that stupid. what's more, did your sister ever hit your other sister over the head with a bat again? in the same way, if Ansom hadn't come to terms with past guilt, he wouldn't have put himself into that situation again.

I never said Wanda knew what effect it would have, but when a self-rightous person meets guilt, they go into denial. take your sister for example. when a person hears something creepy that they don't fully understand, they are temporarily paralyzed by "the shivers".

again, not the kind of fear I was talking about. you thinking about when you see something scary. ansom heard something that creeped him out and confused him.

I don't think you understand indignation. you seem to think of it as blinding, when that's not the case. indignation can give into fear or confusion.

to say that Ansom wasn't a virtual person would be to discount the very nature of erfworld. it runs like a game. the people in it act like they're in a game.

Stanley made note of the pidgeons becase he had just found out. he may not have mentioned a power to destroy uncroaked because either a. He and Wanda where both already aware of such a power or B. he hasn't fought against any uncroaked with it yet.

I'd say it's still a little early to be making assumptions.

BillyJimBoBob
2009-03-10, 04:22 PM
I do [understand the amount of fear that Ansom must have been feeling at that point]. Exactly zero fear. Wanda is down, out, not casting, unable to cast, broken, defeated, and almost dead. Ansom is full of righteuos anger at the one that created abominations of his friends. He feels hate, anger, rage, and revulsion. Oh, yeah, he'd feels whole heaploads of fear... not. He has won. Wanda is incapable of more than talking. She is an abomination to be put down like the monsters she creates. She is not to be listened to or trusted.And yet with Wanda in such an incapacitated state, and after announcing his intent to croak her, he fails to do so. Not only does he fail to act on his words, but look at his body language! At first he is boldly pointing the Arcenpliers at Wanda, and this occurs over 2 panels as he describes how he is going to croak her. Once she speaks, though? The Arcenpliers are held across his body, in such a way that they are as far away from Wanda as Ansom can arrange while he retreats in the face of the (sarcasm here) incredible threat she poses to him. That is a fear reaction, not a guilt reaction. He might not fear bodily harm at her hands with her so weakened, but he so feared something that he decided to make some mealy mouthed remarks about how his personal indulgence in killing her will only cost lives. In other words, he makes a weak excuse and buggers off. He is afraid of something, most certainly.

Kreistor
2009-03-10, 05:40 PM
Hey, I guess I don't get to be bored for a little while...


When did she do that? After Wanda beat Ansom, she ordered her minions to capture him. She obviously didn't intend to kill him, however much she hated him.

True. Change that to "doesn't personally see to his capture" instead of "finish him off". Which is more important to Stanley at the moment she made that choice? Capturing the enemy commander or capturing the Arkentool? I don't think there's a clear winner there, so it would boil down to Wanda's opinion. We know she feels Ansom cost her more than 2000 troops were worth to Ansom. She goes for the Tool, instead. It must be very important to her. There was no one near the Arkentool. She could have ordered one unit to fly down and get it, while capturing Ansom herself. She doesn't even consider it. Her decision is never in any doubt.


I *think* she then went to fetch the Arkenpliers herself (the blocking is very unclear to me), but that would stand to reason: she couldn't exactly send an uncroaked to pick them up, now could she?

She can give uncroaked more complx orders than most, but "Bring me the arkenpliers" is pretty simple. Yes, she could have stated that order.


Eh, I think he looks confused more than anything else. That's a natural reaction to hearing something that makes no sense. I don't see any reason to read more into it.

Confusion would come with "What are you talking about?" She shut him up and shut him down with one sentence. He knows what she is talking about. He knows he wronged her.


I rather doubt that the Arkenhammer can disintigrate uncroaked the way the 'pliers can, but your reasoning is faulty. Stanley mentioned turning nuts into birds to Wanda because he had just discovered that power; he was testing it when she showed up. It's possible he had already learned the 'hammer could annihilate uncroaked, and didn't mention it simply because both he and Wanda already knew that.

If you like. I lend more power to what could be said but isn't than others. If it isn't said when it should have, then it doesn't exist.


That's absurd. That would mean that any time someone was suffering from two unrelated issues simultaneously, a doctor would be unable to diagnose those issues: he'd waste his time looking for a non-existant disease with all the symptoms of both issues.

No, I said he'd treat the single cause first. Most cures are mutually exclusive. You often cannot treat for three things at once: you have to choose one at a time. If it's not possible to try all three cures at once, you select the one that might cure everything first. It only makes sense, since it has the highest chance of saving the patient's life.


Besides, the alternate explanations you dismiss can be just as complete. They simply require a different set of assumptions than the ones you prefer.

Yes, they can, but it is far less common for two conditions to occur simultaneously than one condition that explains everything. If 1/100 people suffer from Disease a, b, and c, then if A explains all 6 symptoms, there's a good chance the person has it. If b and c explain the same thing, he chance that is the correct choice is much lower, with it occuring with 1/100th the frequency of the single disease cause. Basically, by going with disease A, you'll be right 100 times more often than wrong. If you start with the B and C cause, you'll possibly kill 100 people for every one that you save. This is the choice that doctors have to make. TV dramas notwithstanding, it often takes days or weeks tro get the results of tests, not minutes or hours. They must make choices based on insufficient evidence.


I don't know about you, but I would have gone for the pliers too. why?

Or for Ansom:

1) Capture leaves the RCC rudderless and without a leader to organize the attack.
2) Capture removes a large leadership bonus from the enemy forces.
3) Capture reveals his immediate plans to her torture.
4) Vengeance for whatever wrong he did her.
5) Capture of Ansom removes the presence of anyone that can retrieve the Pliers from RCC. (Proof is that Wanda is rescued where the Pliers had landed. No RCC forces are near enough to retrieve the Pliers except Ansom, or Wanda would have been captured, too.)

So, basically, by capturing Ansom you also capture the Pliers. Wanda wasn't thinking: she was reacting. The Pliers were more important to her personally than embarrassing Ansom was to her personally.


He is afraid of something, most certainly.

You're right. He's afraid of touching her with the Pliers. Why? It only makes sense that he knows something bad for him will happen if he does. And that would only have happened if Ansom has prior knowledge of Wanda and the Pliers. She has held them before...

SteveMB
2009-03-10, 05:52 PM
There was no one near the Arkentool. She could have ordered one unit to fly down and get it, while capturing Ansom herself.

The Arkenpliers dusts most uncroaked on contact. (It's possible that this doesn't happen if nobody is actively wielding it, but we can't assume that, and neither can Wanda unless she knows something we don't.)


Confusion would come with "What are you talking about?" She shut him up and shut him down with one sentence. He knows what she is talking about. He knows he wronged her.

His expression definitely looks rattled to me -- that could be out of guilt, fear*, or both of the above. (*I'm thinking more in terms of fear of a dirty secret being revealed or of his worldview being shaken rather than fear of the battle turning against him -- his physical courage is impeccable, his moral courage perhaps a bit less so when seriously challenged.)

Tensu
2009-03-10, 09:14 PM
what are you talking about? there are plenty of leaders in the enemy forces besides Ansom. capturing him would disorganize troops for a few seconds, tops.

as for the odds of the enemy getting the pliers, they where busting through the wall and had men underground, and I doubt Ansom would have gone down without a fight. by the time wanda subdued him they may have broken through the walls. Wanda is a caster, not a fighter. she was better off sending her melee units to subdue Ansom, who is clearly a melee fighter.

Kreistor
2009-03-10, 10:41 PM
what are you talking about? there are plenty of leaders in the enemy forces besides Ansom. capturing him would disorganize troops for a few seconds, tops.

Because Generals from different countries always come to terms and agree on questions of leadership in seconds, suppressing their own ambitions in favour of those from other countries, especially when you've got 10x the number of troops and can't lose.

You might want to review the machinations of the various Generals under Eisenhower. If he'd died, do you think he would have been replaced in "seconds"?

Chameon
2009-03-10, 10:47 PM
Mmmk, if this has been mentioned before, I apologize, however, consider, http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0040.html row fate and http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0022.html panel 8. Croakamancy equals Fate Magic, and Wanda has admitted to being fairly talented at all magics, if particullarly uninterested in non-croakamancy. Also, whilst I'm doing the rant every wimp does, Charlie's pretty amazingly powered as well, with his Archons blasting large areas to bits, and their is little doubt that Wanda'd have to walk on tiptoes around Stanley if she attuned to the pliers. A crippled 'tool and a delusional one, how very...very...fun.


P.S. Yes, I am a noob, and yes I do apologize for the stupidly long URLs, didn't figure out the method yet.

Jon Pander
2009-03-11, 01:19 AM
Personally, my money is on the fact that, given all the evidence that's been presented, there's only one character in Erfworld who could possibly be attuned to the Arkenpliers.

And you all will see how obvious the answer is once I say it, and say to yourselves 'How could we not have seen it - Jon Pander has shown us the light!'

Obviously, the wielder of the Arkenpliers will be Henchman Mung.

End of story, thank you. :smallsmile:

surtt
2009-03-11, 01:20 AM
My main reason that Wanda won't attune to the pliers is pretty simple. Yes, the Arkenpliers react to uncroaked. However, they do this by killing the uncroaked. That doesn't seem at all like something Wanda would even want to use, and makes it much less likely that she would attune to them.


http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0004.html
The Arkenhammer turns walnuts into bird.

http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0126.html
and turns birds into walnuts (frame 3)


So it would not be a strech to think the pliers both
turnes undead to dust and dust into undead.

I think Wanda would want to use the second effect.

Jon Pander
2009-03-11, 01:27 AM
Look, the arkenpliers are going to go to Henchman Mung (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0028.html).

It will give him super door guarding abilities, and I think you all know that all this Wanda-talk is just a red herring. It turns undead to dust because the undead are a door guard's chief enemy - I mean who else tries to get through doors they aren't supposed to? Havent you people ever watched a zombie movie? Those undead are ALWAYS trying to get through doors.

multilis
2009-03-11, 01:42 AM
Look, the arkenpliers are going to go to Henchman Mung (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0028.html).
Argghh, NOOO! Bogroll must have them. Once he splits to form his own faction and gets Sizemore to join, rest of the major powers will be forced to stop them and the horrible threat of No More War.

Tensu
2009-03-11, 01:51 AM
Because Generals from different countries always come to terms and agree on questions of leadership in seconds, suppressing their own ambitions in favour of those from other countries, especially when you've got 10x the number of troops and can't lose.

You might want to review the machinations of the various Generals under Eisenhower. If he'd died, do you think he would have been replaced in "seconds"?

the difference here is that stanley is viewed as a threat to the old way of doing things (royalty) and the general agreement is that he MUST die. only the sofa king's men have shown any sign of dissent. So if Ansom died, I doubt they would get more than an advantage over the jetstone troops at most. So seeing as how a great deal of the army wouldn't be affected, yeah, I'll say there will only be a few seconds of "what now"s.

multilis
2009-03-11, 01:55 AM
the difference here is that stanley is viewed as a threat to the old way of doing things (royalty)...
Charlie is not royalty.

HandofShadows
2009-03-11, 02:58 AM
the difference here is that stanley is viewed as a threat to the old way of doing things (royalty) and the general agreement is that he MUST die. only the sofa king's men have shown any sign of dissent. So if Ansom died, I doubt they would get more than an advantage over the jetstone troops at most. So seeing as how a great deal of the army wouldn't be affected, yeah, I'll say there will only be a few seconds of "what now"s.

You must have missed the elf general yelling "I don't trust you" on this page http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0141.html and another general calling Ansome "brainlashed" a little earlier. The RCC is only held together by Ansom, if he gets taken out some forces will withdraw and the leaders of those that remain will spend a lot of tiem hashing out who will be the new leader as there is no solid chain of command. If Vinney where present he would be able to stop most of that, but he isn't.

Kreistor
2009-03-11, 08:18 AM
You must have missed the elf general yelling "I don't trust you" on this page http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0141.html and another general calling Ansome "brainlashed" a little earlier. The RCC is only held together by Ansom, if he gets taken out some forces will withdraw and the leaders of those that remain will spend a lot of tiem hashing out who will be the new leader as there is no solid chain of command. If Vinney where present he would be able to stop most of that, but he isn't.

Even if Vinneie were there...

"I've brought several thousand of our best troops to this. Do you think I'm going to let them be ordered around by someone that brought bats? And only 8 of those left?" Vinnie might be able to keep the meeting calm, but he's not going to be the next commander. Don King didn't send him along with any units capable of doing the real siege, which means he takes none of the serious losses. Vinnie is along as an advisor to Ansom, and maybe an advisor to his replacement, but he wouldn't get the Commander's slot right off. Politics might put him there, but not until everyone agreed that they couldn't agree on anyone else, and that will take a while.

Tensu, the RCC is fractured and powered by one man's ego and conviction. It has already almost shattered. No one is going to agree with the suggestion it would remain whole with Ansom's fall.

Tensu
2009-03-11, 09:35 AM
while several of the factions may have voiced distrust of Ansom, only the Sofa King's men voiced a desire to leave (If memory serves). also, if memory serves, the kings had reached a general agreement that Stanley had to be defeated. regardless of the personal feelings towards Ansom, I doubt most of the commanders would be willing to defy orders. I question if they are even capable of defying orders.

And yes, I'm aware that Charlie isn't royalty.

crzybggr
2009-03-11, 06:54 PM
http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0004.html
The Arkenhammer turns walnuts into bird.

http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0126.html
and turns birds into walnuts (frame 3)


So it would not be a strech to think the pliers both
turnes undead to dust and dust into undead.

I think Wanda would want to use the second effect.

I would have to say that yes, that IS quite a large stretch. Just because the Arkenhammer does one thing does not mean that the Arkenpliers will do anything similar. Assumptions can't be used to say that something is true, because those assumptions could very well be wrong. All of the Arkentools are different artifacts, and each one has their own powers. None of us have any idea what the full extent of those powers are or whether or not all of the 'tools have related powers.

Also, based on this comic - http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0037.html - the pigeons turned back into walnuts after a period of time. Seeing that piles of dust haven't been turning back into uncroaked kind of invalidates the argument that - based on the Hammer's abilities - the pliers will be able to turn dust into uncroaked.

Gez
2009-03-11, 07:12 PM
The real reason Wanda will never get the pliers. (http://www.wanda-tools.com/)

surtt
2009-03-11, 07:34 PM
Assumptions can't be used to say that something is true, because those assumptions could very well be wrong. All of the Arkentools are different artifacts, and each one has their own powers. None of us have any idea what the full extent of those powers are or whether or not all of the 'tools have related powers.

My point exactly.




My main reason that Wanda won't attune to the pliers is pretty simple. Yes, the Arkenpliers react to uncroaked. However, they do this by killing the uncroaked. That doesn't seem at all like something Wanda would even want to use, and makes it much less likely that she would attune to them.

You do not know all the powers the pliers have.
So there is no basis to say Wanda can or can not attune to them.

Graymayre
2009-03-11, 07:40 PM
You know what I want to see? With all this expectation, I hope that the pliers are attuned with Sizemore, or even Parson.

Kreistor
2009-03-11, 08:07 PM
Now to see that smooth transition of leadership...

Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

ishnar
2009-03-11, 08:16 PM
http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0004.html
The Arkenhammer turns walnuts into bird.

http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0126.html
and turns birds into walnuts (frame 3)


So it would not be a strech to think the pliers both
turnes undead to dust and dust into undead.

I think Wanda would want to use the second effect.

Erm, the second link is an illusion, so it does not count as evidence.

Personally, I think Mung is going to get it if Stanley has any say. He obviously values Mung over Wanda or anyone else, that's why he took Mung with him.

But I'm still rooting for wanda to get them.

However, I don't think Parson will get them. He already has the Sword and *special. He probably doesn't need the pliers.

surtt
2009-03-11, 08:30 PM
Personally, I think Mung is going to get it if Stanley has any say. He obviously values Mung over Wanda or anyone else, that's why he took Mung with him.



Personally, I think Stanley will keep them if he ever gets his hands on them.
(even if he can not use them)

I don't think he is very good a sharing.




Erm, the second link is an illusion, so it does not count as evidence.

I think I am missing something...
Why is it an illusion?
How would Jack know to make a walnut?

Jon Pander
2009-03-11, 10:16 PM
mung ftw!

Anyone knows that mung is the only one who it makes sense for the arkenpliers to attune to, especially now that Bogroll is croaked.
Only Bogroll and Mung had the ability to guard doors which is the main power of the arkenpliers. And bogroll is croaked so the winner is Mung, the secret gobwin king!

Muhahahahahaha!!!!!

crzybggr
2009-03-11, 11:52 PM
@surtt: I think our "disagreement" is really just a misunderstanding. I agree that we can't say anything for sure about this. We have far to little evidence to do anything other than speculate. That post of mine that you keep quoting was simply intended to refute the argument that Wanda will attune to the 'pliers just because they destroy uncroaked. I was saying that there is no evidence at all that the Arkentools attune to certain people based on skills, and this therefore invalidates one of the primary reasons to believe that Wanda will get the 'pliers.

The reason I said I don't think she will get the Pliers is because I have seen no real evidence that she will, and I try not to agree with things that don't convince me.

@ishnar:
http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0126.html
That walnut is no illusion. Jack wasn't even trying to veil them at that point in time. We have already seen that the Arkenhammer can change nuts into pigeons, and there is the "Crack-Thoom!" of the Arkenhammer in that panel. This change from Orly into a Walnut was almost certainly the Arkenhammer's doing. Besides, what would be the point of creating a walnut illusion? Jack had just recovered from his insanity moments before when he saw Jillian. He's back in his right state of mind, and wouldn't be creating an absurd veil at this point.

Also, when exactly did Stanley take Mung with him? He just took 3 unknown Knights with him.

Kreistor
2009-03-12, 06:49 AM
Ishnar, how would Jack knkow about the walnut->bird thing? At that point in time, he lacked individuality as part of the linked Thinkamancer trio, and Stanley certainly didn't tell him since he got his mind back.

As fro Wanda getting the pliers in the current situation...

It looks good again. Ansom is dead, and they're in the possession of Orange Girl, one of two likely replacement commanders for the RCC. She will not be able to back out of GK, needing to lead from near the front in GK's dungeon. She could just try to win through cramming massive leaderless units into the dungeons, but I don't think she'll think she can win against gobwins and Sizemore that way. So that means the Pliers will be in the dungeon tonight.

Sizemore is more likely to encounter them first. Wanda and her undead will be dance fighting to annihilate troops. Sizemore has been tasked with wrecking leadership, so he'll likely find her first. Even if she does remain in what is left of the destroyed upper city, Sizemore can still get to her.

But the plot may not need Wanda to get the Pliers anymore, and that may push them away from GK.

HandofShadows
2009-03-12, 07:38 AM
Really don't think that Orange Warlord is still alive or has the 'pliers. Last we saw her she was putting the 'pliers down beside (or on top of) Ansom. Even if she had the Arkenpliers, it really looks like GK was brought down long before she had a chance to get outside the walls. This means the 'pliers wil be buried for a little while before anyone will be able to find them. Unless there is a magical way to detect them.

Tensu
2009-03-12, 08:33 AM
Now to see that smooth transition of leadership...

Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

You've clearly been misunderstanding me. I never said the transition wold be smooth or effective, I said it would not keep the troops from fighting. since the story arc obviously isn't over yet, I'm going to assume the troops are going to keep fighting.

as for the Arkenpliers, I don't know how people feel about holy artifacts in erfworld, but in the real world losing your holy artifact was synonymous with losing the favor of your god. if they lost the pliers, that would mean than Stanley needs them more in the eyes of the titans than they do. that would mean all Stanley's ramblings where true. etc, etc. capturing the arkenpliers may well have cased more dissent than killing ansom ever could. also capturing the pliers would be disarming ansom, making him easy to croak. Wanda went for the two-for-one.

Kreistor
2009-03-12, 12:40 PM
You've clearly been misunderstanding me. I never said the transition wold be smooth or effective, I said it would not keep the troops from fighting. since the story arc obviously isn't over yet, I'm going to assume the troops are going to keep fighting.

Why would we care if you believed that?

Tensu
2009-03-12, 05:11 PM
You care because it gives Wanda valid reasons to go for the pliers without intending to use them in battle.

Kreistor
2009-03-12, 10:43 PM
You care because it gives Wanda valid reasons to go for the pliers without intending to use them in battle.

No, I don't. I've said it before: I know there are alternate explanations for everything. There's only one explanation that consistently explains everything.

You somehow want to believe that knocking out one little peg might collapse everything: sorry, it doesn't work that way in this case. We're not dealing with a single mystery here. THere are a half dozen that can be explained through one event. Providing an alternative for one mystery doesn't explain away the gestalt, since there are still many more that requrie explanation. If you really want to defeat the theory, you need to invent a single explanation for all mysteries. I simply shrug at you for facing them one at a time. I can come up with a dozen theories for every individual mystery: the challenge was trying to find a single cause for all of them.

But anyway, again, I don't care that the troops will fight on without Ansom. They'll fight on with him, or without him. With him, he won't give an order to retreat. Without him, they can't be given an order to retreat. So, your grand and glorious thought is, well, useless. It doesn't matter what Wanda does wrt Ansom: they'll fight on regardless. So, no, it's not an explanation as to why she went after the Pliers.

You don't seem to understand troops and orders in Erfworld. It comes down to Klog 10 and Natural Thinkamancy. Obedience, specifically. Units are compelled to obey orders, with caveats that are inappropriate for infantry to use to disobey. Once the order to attack is given, they'll attack until ordered otherwise, and with so much leadership dead, and no clear chain of command, vast numbers of RCC troops may be committed to attack regardless of chance of victory. Parson's cool with that, since his mulinex is back in action. (Can't see Archons from dungeon.) I already knew the army would fight on (mentioned in other threads), and better yet I knew exactly why. But it's not important to Wanda. Wanda does not think like a tactician, probably out of choice. Klog 4 "Wanda seems to resent the implication that she knows anything about troops or combat". Explaining any action by Wanda based on how it would affect troops is inconsistent with how she wants to be perceived. Parson may be right that she does know such things (he finishes that sentence with "(though I think she does)", but she does not want to appear to know them. So your explanation of Wanda's actions based on tactical sense is highly suspect: despite begin capable of thinking that way, she does not want to appear to think that way, so any explanation for actions that involve that type of thinking are probably merely coincidental with another more accurate reason.

Tensu
2009-03-13, 09:07 AM
You seem to have forgotten that on page two, yo where arguing that the capture of Ansom would be more tactical than the capture of the pliers, and the only unless was "unless she was attuned to the pliers". I say that's untrue.

Assuming that all mysterious happenings will be explained by a single event is flawed thinking. that may be how medicine works, but war is not medicine and people tend to have more complex motives than viruses, and are capable of keeping two, or even three secrets... maybe even more!. Just because your theory explains more doesn't make it more valid.

I understand how orders work in erfworld. most of my arguments have been based to some extent on troop's inability to defy orders. for you to accuse me of not understanding something I've been using to try to convince you is just being a jerk, and only shows that you're not listening to anything I have to say, and therefore not worth my time.

I bid you good day, sir.

Kreistor
2009-03-14, 08:38 AM
Ah, then you're done? Well, I find that to be rare. Some people can hold out, but few truly can.

"I understand how orders work in erfworld."

"I doubt most of the commanders would be willing to defy orders. I question if they are even capable of defying orders."

And yet Klog 10 explains exactly when and how a unit can defy orders. I don't think you do understand, or at least didn't, until I quoted Klog 10.

"also, if memory serves, the kings had reached a general agreement that Stanley had to be defeated"

Really? Where? Oh, I'm sure it happened because it would be dumb to start a war without knowing what the goal was, but no scene had appeared. We have scenes where Don King is convinced that Stanley needs to be intercepted and killed, but "defeated" is what you do to armies, so that's not what you are referring to.

I haven't demonstrated just how many mysteries this theory solves. Here's the list.

1) Why does Wanda work for Stanley without spell control? [95.6]
2) Why does Jack work for Stanley, if Stanley destroyed Faq?
3) Why did Wanda not tell Jillian how Faq was destroyed? (Corrolary: why doesn't Jillian ask Wanda?)
4) Why does Ansom loathe Stanley? [60.10 and anywhere Ansom calls Stanley the Worm]
5) Why doesn't Stanley loathe Ansom? [
6) What did Ansom cost Wanda?
7) Why does Ansom fear touching Wanda with the Arkenpliers?
8) Why is Faq destroyed, not conquered?
9) How did dwagons get involved in the fight for Faq?

Now, you can certainly explain all of these in many ways. But the underlying theme is that something happened in Faq. It involved Wanda and Ansom. Stanley was involved, but he didn't start it. Ansom is extremely embarrassed over the issue. Faq is destroyed, with Wanda and Jack taking side against the destroyers. Ansom begins his campaign to destroy Stanley in order to wipe out the evidence of his own faults.

Everything falls into place. Wanda finds the pliers. Ansom stumbles onto Faq, making a serious mistake in identity, unaware of the idyllic nature of the hidden kingdom (possibly thinking it is preparing a surprise assault against other sides). Faq calls for aid from Stanley, the closest neighbour with serious flying units that can assist. The battle destroys Faq. Wanda loses the pliers and Faq to Ansom's aggression. Jack and Wanda retreat to GK to aid Ansom's enemies. Ansom needs to blame someone for his own mistakes, so he chooses Stanley, calling on the ancient alliance of royals vs. non-royals to bring down the expansionist Stanley.

Simple. Everything fits.

archon_huskie
2009-03-14, 12:59 PM
Look, I know a lot of people really want her to get the pliars in the next strip and conquer Erf in the strip after that, but it's not going to happen as Rob & Co. are shooting for more than a one book deal here.

He's right. It would make more sense to constantly deny Parson and co the Pliers and to have them as something to constantly strive for.

crzybggr
2009-03-14, 01:40 PM
"I understand how orders work in erfworld."

"I doubt most of the commanders would be willing to defy orders. I question if they are even capable of defying orders."

And yet Klog 10 explains exactly when and how a unit can defy orders. I don't think you do understand, or at least didn't, until I quoted Klog 10.


I'm not sure that you yourself understand orders in Erfworld. Just because Ansom had issued orders to fight doesn't mean those orders can't be countermanded by orders from new leadership. There is no reason why the order to retreat can not be given. Also, with Ansom dead, the Coalition is most likely going to fall apart. Several of the factions involved are going to break the alliance and draw away from the conflict without Ansom there to hold them together. You can't say they're going to fight just because Ansom gave the order to attack.



"also, if memory serves, the kings had reached a general agreement that Stanley had to be defeated"

Really? Where? Oh, I'm sure it happened because it would be dumb to start a war without knowing what the goal was, but no scene had appeared. We have scenes where Don King is convinced that Stanley needs to be intercepted and killed, but "defeated" is what you do to armies, so that's not what you are referring to.


I find it interesting that you refute another argument based on the fact that we have seen no evidence of it, and yet most of your theory is based on things we haven't seen.



I haven't demonstrated just how many mysteries this theory solves. Here's the list.

1) Why does Wanda work for Stanley without spell control? [95.6]
2) Why does Jack work for Stanley, if Stanley destroyed Faq?


Alright, I'll give you those. Your theory explains both of those fairly well.
However...



3) Why did Wanda not tell Jillian how Faq was destroyed? (Corrolary: why doesn't Jillian ask Wanda?)

We don't know she didn't. They could have talked, and that could have been how Jillian got her information about how FAQ fell.



4) Why does Ansom loathe Stanley? [60.10 and anywhere Ansom calls Stanley the Worm]

Ansom loathes Stanley because of how he came to power. Stanley was never royalty. Ansom is a fan of Divine Right. He thinks nobles are supposed to rule just because they are nobles. Stanley also likely came to power through regicide and betrayal.



5) Why doesn't Stanley loathe Ansom? [

Wait wait wait wait wait. Wait. Stanley doesn't loathe Ansom? Stanley is the kind of guy who would despise anyone who stood in his way.



6) What did Ansom cost Wanda?

Umm... Jillian and her sanity.



7) Why does Ansom fear touching Wanda with the Arkenpliers?

Because Wanda was being really booping creepy at that moment. Would you want to touch an obviously insane person with your weapon when they're telling you to do just that?



8) Why is Faq destroyed, not conquered?

Any number of reasons. Not tactically important, would have cost more in maintenance than it would have produced, or it was simply too far away to control. Ever played Civilization? Sometimes its far better to destroy a city you just captured than to occupy it.



9) How did dwagons get involved in the fight for Faq?

I'm surprised you even stated this as a mystery your theory solved. If Stanley gets in a fight with someone, there's going to be Dwagons. Stanley has the Arkenhammer, remember?



Now, you can certainly explain all of these in many ways. But the underlying theme is that something happened in Faq. It involved Wanda and Ansom. Stanley was involved, but he didn't start it. Ansom is extremely embarrassed over the issue. Faq is destroyed, with Wanda and Jack taking side against the destroyers. Ansom begins his campaign to destroy Stanley in order to wipe out the evidence of his own faults.

Everything falls into place. Wanda finds the pliers. Ansom stumbles onto Faq, making a serious mistake in identity, unaware of the idyllic nature of the hidden kingdom (possibly thinking it is preparing a surprise assault against other sides). Faq calls for aid from Stanley, the closest neighbour with serious flying units that can assist. The battle destroys Faq. Wanda loses the pliers and Faq to Ansom's aggression. Jack and Wanda retreat to GK to aid Ansom's enemies. Ansom needs to blame someone for his own mistakes, so he chooses Stanley, calling on the ancient alliance of royals vs. non-royals to bring down the expansionist Stanley.


Although your theory technically explains all of the above mysteries, it has one glaring flaw: You have no evidence that anything said is true. The entire theory is founded on assumptions and guesses, making it extremely weak. How do you know Wanda had the 'pliers in FAQ? How would Wanda have gotten the pliers? She doesn't seem to be much for traveling. She stays in the cities. How would she have even gained them?
Why would FAQ have called for aid? The king would have been too proud to ask for help, seeing as he was a warlord and a dictator.

Also, the main thing that's wrong with your theory: In addition to being founded on assumptions, it is COMPLETELY opposite what we have been told in the story. It will never be believable until you have actual evidence to back it up, not just inferences and guesses, especially when what we have been told completely contradicts you.

surtt
2009-03-14, 02:02 PM
Really? Where? Oh, I'm sure it happened because it would be dumb to start a war without knowing what the goal was, but no scene had appeared.



http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0005.html
Wanda talking to Stanly



Since you began questing for the other Arkentools, we have not won a battle. We once we held 11 cities. Now we only have the capital.


Does not leave much room to speculate on how the war started.

Kreistor
2009-03-14, 03:50 PM
http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0005.html
Wanda talking to Stanly

Does not leave much room to speculate on how the war started.

Yeah, and this is consistent with Tensu's statement how? It's not inconsistent with mine.

Wanda's statement indicates only that the Tool began fighting to obtain the Arkentools. Now, if there was nothing else involved, he would be fighting Jetstone, Charlescomm, and one other unnamed nation for the fourth tool. That's not what happened.

Stanley went to Faq. Why? If he's fighting for the Arkentools, then he must have gone because an Arkentool was there. You realize that is further evidence that either Wanda had the Arkenpliers, or Ansom was already in Faq, right? Actually, the timeline doesn't fit that model. I discuss that much further down in this article.


I'm not sure that you yourself understand orders in Erfworld. Just because Ansom had issued orders to fight doesn't mean those orders can't be countermanded by orders from new leadership. There is no reason why the order to retreat can not be given.

There's one. There may be no leadership in the area to make the order. That was part of my reasoning. We're down to only 2 major commanders from the feast table the night before. Orange Girl is at Ansom, but can she order troops of another nation if she is not acknowledged as the RCC Commander? Even if she is, we never saw Ansom giving orders to non-Jetstone units, only non-Jetstone Commanders. There's no evidence Orange Girl can order Sofa King units to retreat.


I find it interesting that you refute another argument based on the fact that we have seen no evidence of it, and yet most of your theory is based on things we haven't seen.

Yep. I have no qualms in accusing others of doing what they complain I have done.


We don't know she didn't. They could have talked, and that could have been how Jillian got her information about how FAQ fell.

Page 83 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0092.html). In this page Jillian informs us that all she knows is that Dwagons were in the air over Faq. Nothing else. She much later finds out about the campaign against Stanley and that he controlled dwagons. She has not been told that Stanley did or did not attack Faq.


Ansom loathes Stanley because of how he came to power. Stanley was never royalty. Ansom is a fan of Divine Right. He thinks nobles are supposed to rule just because they are nobles. Stanley also likely came to power through regicide and betrayal.

So why does he work with Charles. Charles and Stanley are identical in everything except ambition -- both rule sides, both have an attuned Arkentool. both are not royalty. If your theory was true, then Ansom would never consider working with Charlie.

And I don't agree that Ansom would loathe anyone for it. He would consider them upstarts and take them down, but dispassionately, and as a chore. He wouldn't hate someone for it. Hate is, after all, a weakness. Ansom feels righteous anger, not hatred, or that is what he has to tell himself in the morning to make sure he remains superior.


Wait wait wait wait wait. Wait. Stanley doesn't loathe Ansom? Stanley is the kind of guy who would despise anyone who stood in his way.

Despise? No. Where do you see any sign of Stanley hating anyone that stands in his way? Stanley doesn't have the attention span for real hatred. Does he hate Jillian? No. 166.10-12 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0072.html). He is actively surprised that Jillian, a barbarian and commander of his opposing forces, hates him. He then has the brilliant comeback "Well, I hate her too." Yeah, right. 60.10 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0066.html) Stanley needs to be informed that Ansom thinks he's stupid. If Stanley hated Ansom so much, does any of that conversation make sense?


Umm... Jillian and her sanity.

I've said it before.
1) Ansom has not been told Wanda was from Faq by Jillian.
2) Wanda has not been told that Ansom has been told that Wanda was from Faq and in love with Jillian.
3) Jillian was trying to rescue Wanda in 95 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0105.html), so Wanda has not in fact lost Jillian's love!
4) Wanda was already aware of Jillian's interest in Ansom. 38.1 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0039.html)
5) We have never seen Wanda actually blame Ansom for any of the spell's failure to anyone. Given that Sizemore predicted the failure, she can't blame anyone but herself.


Because Wanda was being really booping creepy at that moment. Would you want to touch an obviously insane person with your weapon when they're telling you to do just that?

Alternate explanations again. It is also consistent with an Ansom that would rather forget how he got the Pliers in the first place.


Any number of reasons. Not tactically important, would have cost more in maintenance than it would have produced, or it was simply too far away to control. Ever played Civilization? Sometimes its far better to destroy a city you just captured than to occupy it.

Again, alternate explanations for individual mysteries are not interesting to me. I can give you many possible explanations. Vaarsuvius teleported in and blew it up among them. The point for each mystery is that they can all be explained by one event.


I'm surprised you even stated this as a mystery your theory solved. If Stanley gets in a fight with someone, there's going to be Dwagons. Stanley has the Arkenhammer, remember?

But no knowledge of Faq. If there were no Arkentools in Faq, why would he attack it? Others feel that the War started when Stanley started hunting Arkentools. If Stanley was in Faq, then it is reasonable to say that an Arkentool was in Faq. So that puts either the pliers or dish in Faq. Dish makes no sense at all, and explains nothing. Pliers explains everything.


Although your theory technically explains all of the above mysteries, it has one glaring flaw: You have no evidence that anything said is true. The entire theory is founded on assumptions and guesses, making it extremely weak.

And circumstantial evidence has never convicted anyone.

There may be no hard evidence for the theory, but there's no hard evidence for any of the other theories either.


How do you know Wanda had the 'pliers in FAQ?

Because Stanley came to Faq. His involvement places a high probability of an Arkentool in Faq. Sorry, wait, I dispell that one later... (I don't think of everything at once, heh.)

Okay, Ansom has the pliers and Wanda accuses him of costing her more than 2000 troopers are worth to Ansom. A destroyed Kingdom and lost Arkentool fits that bill.


How would Wanda have gotten the pliers?

How did Ansom get them? How did Stanley get teh hammer? Charlie the dish? Some information is not important enough to spend cels on.


She doesn't seem to be much for traveling. She stays in the cities.

Yet she goes to the Magic Kingdom. Wonder if an Arkentool might show up there?


Why would FAQ have called for aid? The king would have been too proud to ask for help, seeing as he was a warlord and a dictator.

I really think you have Faq confused with someplace else. King Banhammer of Faq was no dictator. 82 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0091.html). The soldiers are like clerks. The Warlords treated like crap. He wanted a philosopher-prince for an heir, not a sword-wielding berserker. If a real army attacked, he had nothing to defend with. He would have had to call for aid. And who near Faq had firepower capable of flying through the mountains that Faq needed to help defend the nation?

Only Stanley.

See, this is what comes of vilifying people. We decide someone has no redeeming features, and deserve anything they get. Then, when someone does do something horrible to them, we can't see past our opinions of them to realize that a greater wrong has been done. In this case, you want to believe that Stanley has done nothing right, and has always been a vile little man. He could never do anything as noble as defend an utopian kingdom. Everything he does must be villainous. That is, after all, the ultimate mistake. Everyone is deeper than such a belief. All people can be villainous and victimized. Deciding that someone deserves punishment is what allows others to make them into victims. In this case, forgetting that Stanley has not always been the way he is now prevents us from seeing that Stanley may have once been a better person capable of better choices.

So, here's a question: when did Stanley start going after the Arkentools relative to his involvement in Faq? It was after. Why do we know? Because Wanda knows when the bad times started, and since the bad times started after Stanley began to seek the Arkentools, Wanda began to work for Stanley before he sought the Tools, and since Wanda worked for Faq, Stanley did not become obsessed with the Tools until after the attack on Faq. The timeline must be: Stanley defended Faq, Wanda went to Stanley when Faq fell, Stanley became obsessed with the tools, Stanley's armies began to lose.

So, why did Stanley become involved with Faq? It wasn't for Arkentools: that obsession came later. It wasn't to conquer: the place was annihilated, and dwagons don't conquer in the first place -- they destroy. It wasn't to annihilate, or Wanda and Jack wouldn't have worked for him unspelled afterwards. So why did Stanley go to a place that issolated itself from everyone, didn't bother anyone, and was not allied with his enemies who were equally unaware of its existence?

It really does tie up quite elegantly when you realize that Stanley came to defend Faq against someone else that had stumbled onto the place (hey, you could look at it as Stanley being too incompetent to find it on his own, so someone else that was competent had to find it in order to attack it and lead him there). It's the right kind of twist: the one people don't want to believe could be true. We're so used to seeing Stanley as villain that it becomes impossible to realize he was merely ambitious before. This possible twist is dealt with in such a way that it places someone on the wrong team (Jillian) for the wrong reason (hating someone that really defended her Kingdom) for a nice little moral quandary later in the story. Do you not realize just how much character development will come out of someone like Charlie saying, "Oh, no, Jillian: Stanley didn't destroy Faq., Ansom wrecked Faq. It was a case of mistaken identity, but it was him. Stanley actually tried to stop him." is worth? That's solid gold. It also comes with, "Wanda, why didn't you tell me?" which places Wanda in a quandary, too.


Also, the main thing that's wrong with your theory: In addition to being founded on assumptions, it is COMPLETELY opposite what we have been told in the story. It will never be believable until you have actual evidence to back it up, not just inferences and guesses, especially when what we have been told completely contradicts you.

Opposite of what? Jillian's beliefs? Those are based on a bare minimum of circumstantial evidence, so hardly factual evidence. Wanda's failure to inform her? Jillian made a great spy in RCC: telling her the truth would only gain Stanley a warlord that could never work with his ego and incompetence. Jack has been linked or crazy the entire story, so wouldn't tell us anything about Faq. No one else has ever mentioned the events in Faq, so there's nothing else to be the opposite of. Of course, I might be overlooking something. Care to present a source of whatever I'm the opposite of?

If anything actually contradicted me, well, I'd love to see it: my theory would be wrong and I'd need to rethink. Page and frame, please. Not asking you to do anything that I haven't.

surtt
2009-03-14, 05:02 PM
Wanda's statement indicates only that the Tool began fighting to obtain the Arkentools. Now, if there was nothing else involved, he would be fighting Jetstone, Charlescomm, and one other unnamed nation for the fourth tool. That's not what happened.


It's not???
What did happen?

He attacked Jetstone, Jetstone got a coalition together and kicked his but.
He never won a battle.
He never had a chance to attack Charlescomm, and the one other unnamed nation.

You are right in that something happened in Faq that will fill in a lot of plot holes. But there are a lot of theories that "fit" the facts without making unwarranted assumptions.

crzybggr
2009-03-14, 05:48 PM
First of all, I have to clear something up.

I have no theories. I just don't believe things unless I have enough evidence to think it's reasonable. My only reason for thinking Wanda won't get the pliers is because I don't have enough evidence to believe it.

Moving on:



There's one. There may be no leadership in the area to make the order. That was part of my reasoning. We're down to only 2 major commanders from the feast table the night before. Orange Girl is at Ansom, but can she order troops of another nation if she is not acknowledged as the RCC Commander? Even if she is, we never saw Ansom giving orders to non-Jetstone units, only non-Jetstone Commanders. There's no evidence Orange Girl can order Sofa King units to retreat.


When the leader's die, someone is going to end up taking charge. The next person in the chain of command is going to become the leader, and is going to be able to issue orders. Even if all of the higher-ups in an army were killed, some sergeant or other lower rank could just as easily take charge. An entire army is not going to sit idly by just because their CO got killed. Someone in the ranks is going to decide to take charge.

The Coalition as a whole is going to start to fall apart anyway now. With Ansom gone, there's nothing holding it together. Some factions will leave, others will stay. But there has to be no chief commander to make decisions for the entire army in order for one faction to retreat.




So why does he work with Charles. Charles and Stanley are identical in everything except ambition -- both rule sides, both have an attuned Arkentool. both are not royalty. If your theory was true, then Ansom would never consider working with Charlie.

And I don't agree that Ansom would loathe anyone for it. He would consider them upstarts and take them down, but dispassionately, and as a chore. He wouldn't hate someone for it. Hate is, after all, a weakness. Ansom feels righteous anger, not hatred, or that is what he has to tell himself in the morning to make sure he remains superior.

Charlie is less a ruler and more a CEO of a business. He controls a powerful mercenary force of Archons. He doesn't rule a kingdom. He is completely different from Stanley in that respect. Also, there is a strong case that Stanley came to power through regicide (79/4 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0087.html)). This alone would be enough to make Ansom despise Stanley.



Alternate explanations again. It is also consistent with an Ansom that would rather forget how he got the Pliers in the first place.

It isn't an alternate explanation. It fits far better than yours. Ansom is not trying to forget how he got the Pliers. His face (122/9 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0135.html)) definitely does not have an expression of guilt. Guilty people don't look directly at the person they feel guilty about. They turn away from them or unconsciously put something between them. Ansom is looking straight at Wanda. That expression is one of disgust or fear. Again, crazy people creep people out. Just pretend for a moment that Ansom is not guilty at all at that moment. If you were him, would you want to touch Wanda with the 'pliers? I doubt it.



Again, alternate explanations for individual mysteries are not interesting to me. I can give you many possible explanations. Vaarsuvius teleported in and blew it up among them. The point for each mystery is that they can all be explained by one event.

But your theory doesn't explain all of them. You still haven't adequately explained how the 'pliers would have ended up in FAQ in the first place. If they were, how did Ansom know about them? Stanley might have, as he might have had the Thinkamancer and Lookamancer at the time. But FAQ was a town in the middle of the mountains. Jetstone had no such units, or they would be using them currently. How would Ansom have known how to go to FAQ?



But no knowledge of Faq. If there were no Arkentools in Faq, why would he attack it? Others feel that the War started when Stanley started hunting Arkentools. If Stanley was in Faq, then it is reasonable to say that an Arkentool was in Faq. So that puts either the pliers or dish in Faq. Dish makes no sense at all, and explains nothing. Pliers explains everything.

See above. Ansom would have had no knowledge of FAQ either, and would have been less likely to know about it as he has apparently never had anywhere near the kind of Caster setup GK had. Stanley might not have even wanted an Arkentool at FAQ. He could have wanted the casters there. Stanley could have found FAQ with the Lookamancer, seen the Foolamancer and Wanda, and decided to capture them. An alternate explanation that works when your theory doesn't.



How did Ansom get them? How did Stanley get teh hammer? Charlie the dish? Some information is not important enough to spend cels on.

Yes it is. If there is no feasible way for Wanda to get the pliers in the time since Jillian went on her last mercenary mission, how could they possibly have ended up in FAQ?



I really think you have Faq confused with someplace else. King Banhammer of Faq was no dictator. 82 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0091.html). The soldiers are like clerks. The Warlords treated like crap. He wanted a philosopher-prince for an heir, not a sword-wielding berserker. If a real army attacked, he had nothing to defend with. He would have had to call for aid. And who near Faq had firepower capable of flying through the mountains that Faq needed to help defend the nation?

Alright, yes. I wasn't clear on that, sorry. I was pressed for time on my last post, and I didn't have time to research this correctly.

Banhammer wasn't a warlord, fine. But he's still a dictator. Anyone who thinks their society is Utopian, and works to keep it that way, is a dictator. Socialism is, basically, "From every man according to his ability, to every man according to his needs." It is the perfect model of a Utopian society. This works great in theory, but in practice it doesn't work at all. The Soviet Union was definitely not Utopian, and was headed by dictators at several times.

Also, if Banhammer had called for aid from Stanley, why did Jillian get a frantic message about "a large overflight of Dwagons" and then become a barbarian the next turn (83/1 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0092.html))? Why did the message include nothing about getting attacked by Jetstone forces, and then about the Dwagons coming to save the day? If the message were about the Dwagons coming to save the kingdom, why would it be frantic?



Opposite of what? Jillian's beliefs? Those are based on a bare minimum of circumstantial evidence, so hardly factual evidence. Wanda's failure to inform her? Jillian made a great spy in RCC: telling her the truth would only gain Stanley a warlord that could never work with his ego and incompetence. Jack has been linked or crazy the entire story, so wouldn't tell us anything about Faq. No one else has ever mentioned the events in Faq, so there's nothing else to be the opposite of. Of course, I might be overlooking something. Care to present a source of whatever I'm the opposite of?

If anything actually contradicted me, well, I'd love to see it: my theory would be wrong and I'd need to rethink. Page and frame, please. Not asking you to do anything that I haven't.

83/1 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0092.html) does. Once again, why would the message have been frantic about a large overflight of Dwagons, and why would it have included nothing about Jetstone troops attacking the town? It would have had to have been a fairly massive Jetstone army in order to defeat that many Dwagons.
And that's not even considering the logistics involved in moving a massive, most likely ground-based army across mountainous terrain. I say ground-based because most units are not Jillian. She, while mounted on a Gwiffon, can kill a Dwagon. But I doubt a normal soldier could do so. You would need an extremely large force of Gwiffons and soldiers in order to take out the Dwagons and destory FAQ.
So really, there was no viable way for a Jetstone army large enough to defeat a flight of Dwagons in one turn to reach FAQ anyway, and if by some miracle of logistics it did, why would the message not have mentioned them?



So, why did Stanley become involved with Faq? It wasn't for Arkentools: that obsession came later. It wasn't to conquer: the place was annihilated, and dwagons don't conquer in the first place -- they destroy. It wasn't to annihilate, or Wanda and Jack wouldn't have worked for him unspelled afterwards. So why did Stanley go to a place that issolated itself from everyone, didn't bother anyone, and was not allied with his enemies who were equally unaware of its existence?

You just said that he didn't go to FAQ because the the Tools. The only motivation I can find that works is the casters. Stanley, if he was in possession of the Thinkamancer and Lookamancer at the time - which is quite reasonable - would have been able to see Jack and Wanda at FAQ. He realized that they would be very powerful, and decided to capture them.
We have also seen that Jillian was dissatisfied with Banhammer's government. We can therefore assume that others would have been dissatisfied. It is quite possible that Wanda and Jack could have gone over to Stanley willingly, as they wanted a change from Banhammer.

surtt
2009-03-14, 07:03 PM
There isn't any real evidence Stanly had anything to do with Faq

Jillian's whole proof was:
1. dwagons were spotted over the city.
2. The casters ended up at Gobwin Knob.

Not very conclusive.

For instance;
Jake could have cast a dwagon illusion to try to scare off the attackers and they ended up at Gobwin Knob after they were defeated and fled.

Kreistor
2009-03-14, 08:20 PM
It's not???
What did happen?

He attacked Jetstone, Jetstone got a coalition together and kicked his but.
He never won a battle.
He never had a chance to attack Charlescomm, and the one other unnamed nation.

You are right in that something happened in Faq that will fill in a lot of plot holes. But there are a lot of theories that "fit" the facts without making unwarranted assumptions.

Oh, that's possible. Just like with any of the other theories that explain one part, it explains the beginning of the war adequately. But why the loathing? War is a constant on this world. Jillian has no shortage of merc jobs. Why would Ansom go straight to pure loathing for doing what any leader of any side does?

See, approaching one small issue will always turn up alternatives, but it leaves the other mysteries unexplained. Such as, why does Stanley not loath Ansom? Or, how's this... since Stanley completely failed to obtain the Arkenpliers when attacking Jetstone, where does his conviction that Ansom is bringing him the PLiers come from? If Stanley was the Titans' chosen one, then he wouldn't have lost the first battle, would he? And if he did, he would have lost and then called his conviction into question. Superficially, your explanation works, but it really only draws out more questions.


I have no theories. I just don't believe things unless I have enough evidence to think it's reasonable. My only reason for thinking Wanda won't get the pliers is because I don't have enough evidence to believe it.

Does this mean that I'm not allowed to have theories and speculate? No. You go ahead and be the way you want to be. I'll be the way I want to. And we'll all be happy being ourselves without regret.

Oh, but you want to continue the debate. Seems inconsistent with your world view...


When the leader's die, someone is going to end up taking charge. The next person in the chain of command is going to become the leader, and is going to be able to issue orders.

I call that into question. As stated before: we don't know for certain that a Sofa King Warlord can give orders to Jetstone troops. There's no evidence of it so far. Further, we do know that Warlords only can issue commands that can prevent certain rules from forcing events. A unit in contact with an un-allied unit auto-attacks... and it doesn't matter if the attack is suicidal.


Even if all of the higher-ups in an army were killed, some sergeant or other lower rank could just as easily take charge. An entire army is not going to sit idly by just because their CO got killed. Someone in the ranks is going to decide to take charge.

This is not our world. Natural Thinkamancy trumps smart choices. Rules govern choices, or lack thereof. Those sergeants have their orders, and they will obey them, unless one of the caveats of Obedience enables another choice. There is no free will to work with, here. Knowing that you can't win doesn't permit disobedience.


Charlie is less a ruler and more a CEO of a business. He controls a powerful mercenary force of Archons. He doesn't rule a kingdom.

Hunh? Where do you get the idea Charlie isn't a side? He has his own turn order, which fell before GK, until he allied with RCC. He can conquer cities (as Parson discusses with him). The troops we've seen so far are Archons, which though different from most troops (in that they are casters), are readily explained as being allowed by the Arkendish, in the same way Stanley can command dwagons thanks to the Arkenhammer.


It isn't an alternate explanation. It fits far better than yours. Ansom is not trying to forget how he got the Pliers. His face (122/9) definitely does not have an expression of guilt. Guilty people don't look directly at the person they feel guilty about. They turn away from them or unconsciously put something between them. Ansom is looking straight at Wanda. That expression is one of disgust or fear. Again, crazy people creep people out. Just pretend for a moment that Ansom is not guilty at all at that moment. If you were him, would you want to touch Wanda with the 'pliers? I doubt it.

Moments ago he wanted to beat her over the scull. He stops and grimaces long before she suggests touching the Pliers to her. Let's get the timing right here.

Ansom, before Wanda says, "Less than you cost me", is full of righteous anger at the corruption Wanda has dealt to his troops, his friends, his people. You think a little creepiness or insanity is going to change his mind about her being a corrupt perversion of nature that needs to be eliminated? You've never felt righteous anger, then. Creepiness only fuels more proof of the need for this perversion to die! You're trying to give it the opposite effect, as if there was logic behind that emotion. When you are faced with evil, vileness, that evil being scary fuels more anger, and more conviction that you are on the right path.

Only evidence that you are the creature that you are angry at can turn you. Sympathy and empathy are required to turn righteous anger.


But your theory doesn't explain all of them. You still haven't adequately explained how the 'pliers would have ended up in FAQ in the first place.

Why would I need to? It does not matter, and is beyond the scope of this story. My theory doesn't explain why bees drink honey, either: does that mean it is false? It only needs to explain those mysteries directly involved. The pliers getting to Faq requries knowledge of where the pliers were before Faq, and that's not known.

(Funny, I actually can give a darn good reason for them to be there. Can you? Give it a try before reading.)

Where better to hide a powerful artefact than in a bubble kingdom no one knows about?

And with that, I am done with that particular flight of fancy. How the pliers got to Faq is unimportant. They could get anywhere from anywhere, so there's no reason to waste time trying to think up what doesn't need explaining.


Yes it is. If there is no feasible way for Wanda to get the pliers in the time since Jillian went on her last mercenary mission, how could they possibly have ended up in FAQ?

Okay, prove that they couldn't get to Faq in that time frame. The time frame is... hold it, we don't know the time frame. Jillian was away from Faq for an unknown period of time. So, we can't prove it was too short or more than long enough.


Also, if Banhammer had called for aid from Stanley, why did Jillian get a frantic message about "a large overflight of Dwagons" and then become a barbarian the next turn (83/1)?

Because the person sending the message was unaware that Banhammer allied with Stnaley? Because the person was trying to send a message while someone tried to kill him? Remember, tehre are two pieces of evidence against Stanley destroying Faq: Wanda and Jack are working for him, willingly. For Jillian, it would take a spell to force Wanda to work for Stanley, but that's not what is happening. Jillian is the least informed of all the participants in this event, which at the bare minimum include Wanda, Jack, and Stanley. Her evidence is clearly incomplete, and she only one day ago received the first indication that something more happened in Faq. She has had no time to try to figure out that she may have based her conclusions on insufficient evidence. You can lend all the weight you want on that snippet of a message, but I think it's clear that something far more complex went on in Faq.


Once again, why would the message have been frantic about a large overflight of Dwagons, and why would it have included nothing about Jetstone troops attacking the town?

Jetstone was still over the horizon? Person sending didn't have the full story and wasn't given an official message, so made one up based on their own intelligence? Why didn't the message come from Wanda, for instance? Or Jack, who actually is a Thinkamancer? Wanda did not receive an official message from Faq, just something someone sent out in a rush.


It would have had to have been a fairly massive Jetstone army in order to defeat that many Dwagons.

Why does Jetstone have to win? If Stanley barbecued the entire force (along with Faq), Ansom would be embarrassed and he'd hate Stanley. That's consistent with my theory.

Oh, BTW, Charlescomm Archons under Jetstone employ would solve the entire question. They begin by ferrying Jetstone troops over the roughest part of the pass (not the whole way, just the really bad parts). They then provide magical support which has been shown can kill dwagons. Stanley would not accept losses in the defense of another nation, and so flees when the going gets rough and the enemy shows backbone.


And that's not even considering the logistics involved in moving a massive, most likely ground-based army across mountainous terrain.

Most mountainous terrain isn't that bad. There are specific places where they need help. A cliff here, a crevice there. You only need to ferry the units across that small obstacle.

And lets not forget that Hannibal crossed the Alps with elephants. Some people grossly underestimate what a dedicated infantry can accomplish. especially an infantry with the right kid of Dirtamancer support.


You just said that he didn't go to FAQ because the the Tools. The only motivation I can find that works is the casters.

So, making an ally of a hidden little kingdom with mercenary troops is a terrible idea? You are very uncreative in your attempts to find reasons for doing good things. Remember, Stnaley at this point isn't the creature we know today. He's worked his way up the ranks, grabbed an Arkentool, conquers dwagons, and then organizes a takeover of his nation. This is a driven, cunning individual. He has not yet gained the megalomaniacal outlook, and so is probably playing the game the same as everyone. Making allies, destroying threats, and so on. The normal reasons for helping people are reasonable for pre-obsession Stanley.


We have also seen that Jillian was dissatisfied with Banhammer's government. We can therefore assume that others would have been dissatisfied.

If you like, but I would think the reason that sent Jillian into mercenary service would have been the solution for any other person dissatisfied with Banhammer. In other words, if Wanda and Jack had been dissatisfied, they'd have been with Jillian on merc service.

surtt
2009-03-14, 08:59 PM
See, approaching one small issue will always turn up alternatives, but it leaves the other mysteries unexplained. Such as, why does Stanley not loath Ansom?


Is there some requirement that he does? why?
Stanly seems so egotistical he does not care enough about anyone else to hate them.




Or, how's this... since Stanley completely failed to obtain the Arkenpliers when attacking Jetstone, where does his conviction that Ansom is bringing him the PLiers come from? If Stanley was the Titans' chosen one, then he wouldn't have lost the first battle, would he? And if he did, he would have lost and then called his conviction into question. Superficially, your explanation works, but it really only draws out more questions.


Religious fanatics very seldom question their convictions.

1. Stanly is the Titans chosen tool.
2. They would not let him fail.

What other conclusion could he have come to?

Lizard Lord
2009-03-14, 09:54 PM
I've said it before.
1) Ansom has not been told Wanda was from Faq by Jillian.
2) Wanda has not been told that Ansom has been told that Wanda was from Faq and in love with Jillian.
3) Jillian was trying to rescue Wanda in 95 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0105.html), so Wanda has not in fact lost Jillian's love!
4) Wanda was already aware of Jillian's interest in Ansom. 38.1 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0039.html)
5) We have never seen Wanda actually blame Ansom for any of the spell's failure to anyone. Given that Sizemore predicted the failure, she can't blame anyone but herself.




The hearts of most sentient beings are anything but rational. It could be possible that with the above Wanda either does not see it that way or does not deem it relevant.

crzybggr
2009-03-14, 10:17 PM
Kreistor, please please please actually read my posts and respond to what I wrote. Don't put words into my mouth.



Does this mean that I'm not allowed to have theories and speculate? No. You go ahead and be the way you want to be. I'll be the way I want to. And we'll all be happy being ourselves without regret.

Oh, but you want to continue the debate. Seems inconsistent with your world view...

I don't have theories about this at the moment. I don't have enough evidence to back them up. The reasons I want to continue the debate are 1: it's fun and 2: I want to know why you think what you do. If you can convince me of your theory, then I'll believe it. I just need to be convinced. Come up with enough stuff that I think is reasonable and I'll go over to your side. That's not inconsistent with my worldview at all.



I call that into question. As stated before: we don't know for certain that a Sofa King Warlord can give orders to Jetstone troops. There's no evidence of it so far. Further, we do know that Warlords only can issue commands that can prevent certain rules from forcing events. A unit in contact with an un-allied unit auto-attacks... and it doesn't matter if the attack is suicidal.

This is not our world. Natural Thinkamancy trumps smart choices. Rules govern choices, or lack thereof. Those sergeants have their orders, and they will obey them, unless one of the caveats of Obedience enables another choice. There is no free will to work with, here. Knowing that you can't win doesn't permit disobedience.

When did I say that someone would become the new commander of the coalition? I was simply saying that someone from that faction would become the leader of that faction.
If we're bringing Natural Thinkamancy into it, it gets even simpler. The most senior, highest-ranked person left gives the orders for that faction. No bickering about who rises to the occasion. Command will just follow a rank hierarchy or whomever the King/Supreme Leader of the nation wants to be the commander. Therefore, orders can be given.



Hunh? Where do you get the idea Charlie isn't a side? He has his own turn order, which fell before GK, until he allied with RCC. He can conquer cities (as Parson discusses with him). The troops we've seen so far are Archons, which though different from most troops (in that they are casters), are readily explained as being allowed by the Arkendish, in the same way Stanley can command dwagons thanks to the Arkenhammer.

I never, ever, EVER said Charlie didn't have a side. I said he wasn't ruling a nation. He is the ruler of Charlescomm, a very corporate-sounding name. He leases out his extremely powerful Archon mercenaries for very high sums of money. He doesn't ever join a losing side. He sells his alliances to the highest bidder. He is either an extremely ruthless leader of a nation that would be hated by everybody, or he's not ruling a nation. He's ruling a business. Since he makes no claims to being able to lord it over people, his lack of nobility does not upset Ansom.



Moments ago he wanted to beat her over the scull. He stops and grimaces long before she suggests touching the Pliers to her. Let's get the timing right here.

Ansom, before Wanda says, "Less than you cost me", is full of righteous anger at the corruption Wanda has dealt to his troops, his friends, his people. You think a little creepiness or insanity is going to change his mind about her being a corrupt perversion of nature that needs to be eliminated? You've never felt righteous anger, then. Creepiness only fuels more proof of the need for this perversion to die! You're trying to give it the opposite effect, as if there was logic behind that emotion. When you are faced with evil, vileness, that evil being scary fuels more anger, and more conviction that you are on the right path.

Only evidence that you are the creature that you are angry at can turn you. Sympathy and empathy are required to turn righteous anger.

We can't see Ansom's face clearly until after Wanda tells him to "touch me with them." We have no idea what his expression was when Wanda said "Less than you cost me," so we don't know if that was what he was reacting to. Nevertheless, that face isn't guilt. Try it. If you were feeling guilty towards someone, would you pull your mouth back in a grimace and scrunch your eyebrows together? That's not the expression guilt is.

If you don't like the fear explanation for the emotion, I have another emotion that fits the face far better than guilt: disgusted pity. Ansom believes he's the good guy. I would like to point you to a common trope (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/IfYouKillHimYouWillBeJustLikeHim), in which the hero can't kill the defenseless villain because that would be somehow wrong. When Ansom sees Wanda lying on the ground, half-dead and obviously insane, not only is she defenseless, but her insanity could be causing Ansom to wonder whether she was truly in control of her actions. Very few stereotypical, self-proclaimed good-guys are going to kill any defenseless person, even if they are extremely evil.



Why would I need to? It does not matter, and is beyond the scope of this story. My theory doesn't explain why bees drink honey, either: does that mean it is false? It only needs to explain those mysteries directly involved. The pliers getting to Faq requries knowledge of where the pliers were before Faq, and that's not known.

(Funny, I actually can give a darn good reason for them to be there. Can you? Give it a try before reading.)

Where better to hide a powerful artefact than in a bubble kingdom no one knows about?

And with that, I am done with that particular flight of fancy. How the pliers got to Faq is unimportant. They could get anywhere from anywhere, so there's no reason to waste time trying to think up what doesn't need explaining.

This needs explaining because if the 'pliers arrived in FAQ while Jillian was there, she would have noticed them and asked Ansom why he was holding them. Ansom wouldn't have been able to give her a satisfactory answer, and Jillian would be working for Stanley instead.
If the 'pliers arrived while Jillian was out on her last expedition, then it still needs explaining. Why would you move an extremely valuable artifact on short notice? And why would you move it to a nation that no-one knew the location of, much less had any relations with except for mercenary work. I wouldn't be giving my über-powerful weapons to people I only had a casual acquaintance with.



Okay, prove that they couldn't get to Faq in that time frame. The time frame is... hold it, we don't know the time frame. Jillian was away from Faq for an unknown period of time. So, we can't prove it was too short or more than long enough.

The time-frame is immaterial. That was just my choice of words. The part you were meant to concentrate on is how the 'pliers ended up in Faq, and why they ended up there.



Because the person sending the message was unaware that Banhammer allied with Stnaley? Because the person was trying to send a message while someone tried to kill him? Remember, tehre are two pieces of evidence against Stanley destroying Faq: Wanda and Jack are working for him, willingly. For Jillian, it would take a spell to force Wanda to work for Stanley, but that's not what is happening. Jillian is the least informed of all the participants in this event, which at the bare minimum include Wanda, Jack, and Stanley. Her evidence is clearly incomplete, and she only one day ago received the first indication that something more happened in Faq. She has had no time to try to figure out that she may have based her conclusions on insufficient evidence. You can lend all the weight you want on that snippet of a message, but I think it's clear that something far more complex went on in Faq.

This is a game, remember? Natural Thinkamancy and stuff. If nation is allied with another one, all units would have to know immediately. Otherwise, they might auto-attack each other when they met. Whoever sent the message would have known the Dwagons were allies.
Also, Faq wouldn't have known Jetstone was there until the attack started thanks to the surrounding mountains. If Stanley allied to Faq, he wouldn't have been there during the fight. He would be able to get there until the next turn at the earliest. It wouldn't of mattered how close those Dwagons were unless they were already on top of the city. If that was the case, they would have been expected and there would have been no frantic message. Stanley couldn't have moved to help Faq during Jetstone's turn, even if he was one hex away. Knowing that, how would his Dwagons have been at the city? Why would there have been that message about Dwagons and not Jetstone?

I don't think you can say it's clear that something far more complex went on. We have no evidence that anything else actually happened, and your theory, although technically answering one question, gives us plenty more to ponder.



Jetstone was still over the horizon? Person sending didn't have the full story and wasn't given an official message, so made one up based on their own intelligence? Why didn't the message come from Wanda, for instance? Or Jack, who actually is a Thinkamancer? Wanda did not receive an official message from Faq, just something someone sent out in a rush.

If Jetstone was still over the horizon, how would they have reached Faq in one turn? Jillian became a barbarian one turn after she got the message about the Dwagons. Also, if Faq didn't know about Jetstone troops coming to attack, why would they have contacted Stanley?
And now, Natural Thinkamancy again. The person sending couldn't have have made up their own message. They would have had to have been ordered to. A caster isn't affected by Duty, only Loyalty and Obedience. As such, they can show no initiative unless the commander is doing something harmful to the cause. How is sending a message to Jillian allowed there, unless ordered to do so?

On a side not, Jack is not a Thinkamancer. He's a Foolamancer. That's the Numbers alignment of Eyemancy. Thinkamancy is the Fate alignment.



Why does Jetstone have to win? If Stanley barbecued the entire force (along with Faq), Ansom would be embarrassed and he'd hate Stanley. That's consistent with my theory.

If Jetstone didn't win, why was Faq destroyed? If Stanley were allied to Jetstone, why would he have razed it to the ground after winning?



Oh, BTW, Charlescomm Archons under Jetstone employ would solve the entire question. They begin by ferrying Jetstone troops over the roughest part of the pass (not the whole way, just the really bad parts). They then provide magical support which has been shown can kill dwagons. Stanley would not accept losses in the defense of another nation, and so flees when the going gets rough and the enemy shows backbone.

Where did the Archons come from now? It is at least somewhat reasonable to assume that Jetstone troops would be attacking Faq. To make a completely unfounded assumption that Charlescomm was involved is almost absurd. Enlisting Charlescomm troops in a fight is not a decision made lightly. Charlie charges high prices for his services, and why would a nation like Jetstone need to use additional mercenaries to take out a weak, three-city nation with soldiers who were more like clerks?



Most mountainous terrain isn't that bad. There are specific places where they need help. A cliff here, a crevice there. You only need to ferry the units across that small obstacle.

And lets not forget that Hannibal crossed the Alps with elephants. Some people grossly underestimate what a dedicated infantry can accomplish. especially an infantry with the right kid of Dirtamancer support.

In order for a force to be able to beat a large group of Dwagons, it would have to be quite large. Yes, it is possible for them to get there just on foot, but it is specifically stated that Faq is accessible only by "air or tunnel" (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0091.html). This is a game, I'm sure mountains have their own movement rules. We don't know if they are considered impassable or not.

Tunnels are easily defended. If a large flight of Dwagons was providing aid, they would just have to camp in front of the tunnels, doing breath attacks on the incoming waves.
Also, no one would be able to find it except people who already knew where it was or people with Lookamancers (read: Stanley). Jetstone likely didn't have Lookamancers, otherwise they would be using them instead of scout units. They also wouldn't have lost the Lookamancers, as casters are far too important to risk. Since Jetstone is most likely a strong nation because it was able to organize a massive coalition, they probably haven't lost any cities or major battles recently.



So, making an ally of a hidden little kingdom with mercenary troops is a terrible idea? You are very uncreative in your attempts to find reasons for doing good things. Remember, Stnaley at this point isn't the creature we know today. He's worked his way up the ranks, grabbed an Arkentool, conquers dwagons, and then organizes a takeover of his nation. This is a driven, cunning individual. He has not yet gained the megalomaniacal outlook, and so is probably playing the game the same as everyone. Making allies, destroying threats, and so on. The normal reasons for helping people are reasonable for pre-obsession Stanley.

I doubt that Stanley ever was playing the game like everybody else. He's entirely different. He wasn't popped as an heir or a noble, but as a foot soldier. He wasn't born to rule, and thus does not think like the nobles. He rose from a foot soldier to an Overlord, and that would be enough to give any person delusions of power. Most normal people who were raised to power would most likely abuse that power.
Stanley taking over his nation by force is also a clue that he's not playing the game the same as everyone else. Since he thinks he's better than others because he worked his way up from a piker to the leader of a nation, he wouldn't feel the need to make alliances or engage in any diplomacy other than "give me what I want."



If you like, but I would think the reason that sent Jillian into mercenary service would have been the solution for any other person dissatisfied with Banhammer. In other words, if Wanda and Jack had been dissatisfied, they'd have been with Jillian on merc service.
Would Banhammer have allowed them to go? Casters are extremely valuable in Erfworld. He's not going to risk them on simple mercenary work, no matter how low their morale. A unit low on morale would still have to obey orders.
Also, the casters wouldn't have been able to put themselves on mercenary duty either. Natural Thinkamancy, remember? Jillian could do it, she was an heiress. Banhammer also probably wanted Jillian to go. He wanted a philosopher, not a warrior to be his heir. Wanda and Jack were simply subordinates, as well as too valuable to risk.

ishnar
2009-03-15, 01:31 AM
@ishnar:
http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0126.html
That walnut is no illusion. Jack wasn't even trying to veil them at that point in time. We have already seen that the Arkenhammer can change nuts into pigeons, and there is the "Crack-Thoom!" of the Arkenhammer in that panel. This change from Orly into a Walnut was almost certainly the Arkenhammer's doing. Besides, what would be the point of creating a walnut illusion?

Distraction. It distracted you didn't it? By making the illusion seem more realistic, you didn't question it. Jack is a genius at distractions. An illusion of a person is a lot more believable if it actually speaks.


Jack had just recovered from his insanity moments before when he saw Jillian. He's back in his right state of mind, and wouldn't be creating an absurd veil at this point.

Yes, he already did. If you look in the same panel as the "walnut", you will see that he the false bats are already up besides the illusion of the dragon. In the next panel Jillian attacks the false dragon. The false dragon falls, the illusion of Jack and Stanley rises, and the bats, the veil, fly on their merry way with Stanley and Jack--and the dragon--unharmed. Panels 3, 4, 6, 8, and 9 the bats are the real veiled Stanley and Jack. Everything else is distraction/illusion. The veil and distraction were probably both cast when the dragon breathed fire in panel 2 and Jillian covered her eyes.

Also, while seeing Jillian might have cured him, Parson got him clear headed enough to do his job. See what I see (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0122.html) is a distraction.

Also, when exactly did Stanley take Mung with him? He just took 3 unknown Knights with him.

Hrm, well I was certain I could provide a linky, but on review, It appears the panel I thought must be mung, isn't so clear as I thought, so I guess it might not be mung after all.


Ishnar, how would Jack knkow about the walnut->bird thing? At that point in time, he lacked individuality as part of the linked Thinkamancer trio, and Stanley certainly didn't tell him since he got his mind back.

Lacking individuality isn't the same as lacking memories.

Kreistor
2009-03-15, 01:54 AM
Kreistor, please please please actually read my posts and respond to what I wrote. Don't put words into my mouth.

If someone misunderstands you, then it is more likely your own choice of words at fault than their understanding. It is not, after all, someone else's job to understand you. I personally never blame someone else for misunderstanding me: I blame myself for not writing in a way they understand. I can't change how you perceive me: I can only change what I write. So, sorry, but if I misunderstood, that's your fault.


I don't have theories about this at the moment. I don't have enough evidence to back them up.

You won't have evidence until the author expounds. So you won't have a theory, only the final answer.


The reasons I want to continue the debate are 1: it's fun and 2: I want to know why you think what you do.

Oh, heck, that's easy! I beleive what I do because in my world, it is better to give an answer based on insufficient information now than to wait two weeks to gather all the proof you need. It's easier to say, "I was wrong" later than to say, "I don't know" now. So I am never going to be embarrassed for making assumptions. Picking the right assumptions is part of what makes me good at what I do.


If you can convince me of your theory, then I'll believe it. I just need to be convinced. Come up with enough stuff that I think is reasonable and I'll go over to your side. That's not inconsistent with my worldview at all.

Anyone actually ever succeeded?


When did I say that someone would become the new commander of the coalition? I was simply saying that someone from that faction would become the leader of that faction.

What do you mean by "faction"? Side? Alliance? Faction is an undefined term. I need it defined to respond. (Remember that thing I mentioned up top about who's at fault for being misunderstood?)


If we're bringing Natural Thinkamancy into it, it gets even simpler. The most senior, highest-ranked person left gives the orders for that faction.

Again, faction is undefined.


Command will just follow a rank hierarchy or whomever the King/Supreme Leader of the nation wants to be the commander. Therefore, orders can be given.

Only if someone is alive to do so. Parson has been hitting command. RCC also just lost a lot of frontline commanders to the collapsing city. What's left to countermand earlier orders? Maybe nothing.


I never, ever, EVER said Charlie didn't have a side. I said he wasn't ruling a nation.

Sides ARE nations. So what if Charles gives his side the trappings of a business? Faq merc'ed out units, and it was a kingdom. That Charlie acts like a merc and uses businesslike terminologies does not make Charlescomm any less a nation than Jetstone or GK

What does it take to start a side? Not much. Jillian could have done it in ruined Faq in one turn.


We can't see Ansom's face clearly until after Wanda tells him to "touch me with them." We have no idea what his expression was when Wanda said "Less than you cost me," so we don't know if that was what he was reacting to.

Ah, true. Accepted.


Nevertheless, that face isn't guilt. Try it. If you were feeling guilty towards someone, would you pull your mouth back in a grimace and scrunch your eyebrows together? That's not the expression guilt is.

When you are going all Paladin, and then discover you have no right to treat your target that way, you feel pain. Emotional pain, but pain nonetheless. A grimace is a reasonable pain response. If my theory is true, Wanda just gave Ansom the biggest ego thwacking of his life. He went from Righteous Anger to Embarrassed Regret in a moment.


If you don't like the fear explanation for the emotion, I have another emotion that fits the face far better than guilt: disgusted pity.

That is neither digust nor pity. Pity is sadness and caring. There's no caring for anyone except Ansom in that image. (If you own the Watchmen comic, you can find a great pity look from Rorshach on page 6 of Chapter 10. The face softens, eyebrows rise in the middle, mouth closed.)


Ansom believes he's the good guy. I would like to point you to a common trope (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/IfYouKillHimYouWillBeJustLikeHim), in which the hero can't kill the defenseless villain because that would be somehow wrong. When Ansom sees Wanda lying on the ground, half-dead and obviously insane, not only is she defenseless, but her insanity could be causing Ansom to wonder whether she was truly in control of her actions. Very few stereotypical, self-proclaimed good-guys are going to kill any defenseless person, even if they are extremely evil.

This is War, not comic book heroism. In war you kill the enemy.


This needs explaining because if the 'pliers arrived in FAQ while Jillian was there, she would have noticed them and asked Ansom why he was holding them.

Might have noticed them. Banhammer was not happy with his heir, and may not have told her about anything he was doing.


If the 'pliers arrived while Jillian was out on her last expedition, then it still needs explaining. Why would you move an extremely valuable artifact on short notice?

Sigh... no. I don't jump through hoops for you. Find your own explanation for that. There's thousands that fit and of those hundreds don't affect the plot.


And why would you move it to a nation that no-one knew the location of, much less had any relations with except for mercenary work.

Maybe so that no one else finds out where it is? That doesn't seem so hard to figure out.


I wouldn't be giving my über-powerful weapons to people I only had a casual acquaintance with.

You're not creative enough to find a scenario where you would?


The time-frame is immaterial. That was just my choice of words. The part you were meant to concentrate on is how the 'pliers ended up in Faq, and why they ended up there.

Don't care. You care. It's not a hole that needs filling.


This is a game, remember? Natural Thinkamancy and stuff. If nation is allied with another one, all units would have to know immediately. Otherwise, they might auto-attack each other when they met. Whoever sent the message would have known the Dwagons were allies.

Would they? RCC had to be informed by Ansom to capture Parson, not kill. How are you determining what someone knew or didn't?


Also, Faq wouldn't have known Jetstone was there until the attack started thanks to the surrounding mountains.

Others can't find Faq, but that doesn't mean Faq can't find them.


If Stanley allied to Faq, he wouldn't have been there during the fight.

Depends on when the enemy was detected and how many turns it took to wheel and deal with Stanley. We don't know how good Faq's scouting was.


It wouldn't of mattered how close those Dwagons were unless they were already on top of the city.

GK to Faq was a one turn trip, until RCC got in Stanley's way.


Stanley couldn't have moved to help Faq during Jetstone's turn, even if he was one hex away.

And you made no assumptions to get to this conclusion? Let's list:
1) How far Faq could detect enemies
2) How long it takes for dwagons to get to Faq
3) How much citizens of a side know about alliances made by their ruler

All it takes is for Faq to detect the advancing enemy forces two turns before they arrive and that whole thing collapses. Suddenly there's time to forge an agreement with Stanley, and for Stanley to get there.


Why would there have been that message about Dwagons and not Jetstone?

Because you're wrong about how much people know automatically? Because you're wrong about the state of the caster that sent the message to Jillian?


I don't think you can say it's clear that something far more complex went on. We have no evidence that anything else actually happened, and your theory, although technically answering one question, gives us plenty more to ponder.

What doesn't create more questions?

I can say that something happened, because I see the whole. If you want to nitpick every mystery, you can leave yourself with only a couple unexplained ones, sure. If that's where you want to lay your money down, go ahead. I won't fault you. But I find that inelegant and uninteresting. I think the author actually created something for us to puzzle out, so I look for it. Most authors do things like that... create interesting backstories, that is.


If Jetstone was still over the horizon, how would they have reached Faq in one turn?

How far do infantry move in one turn? In our world, 10 leagues per day is typical, 20 if pressed. That's far more than a single horizon.


Jillian became a barbarian one turn after she got the message about the Dwagons.

Your side goes down and your upkeep isn't paid, you apparently know right away in their world. In ours, you wouldn't find out you were unemployed until you got contacted. But how does that relate to how far a unit can move in one day?


Also, if Faq didn't know about Jetstone troops coming to attack, why would they have contacted Stanley?

Assuming Faq didn't know? Assuming Stanley didn't move after the attackers?


And now, Natural Thinkamancy again. The person sending couldn't have have made up their own message. They would have had to have been ordered to.

Where do you get the idea casters can't cast without permission? Wanda set off all of the air defenses without permission, and that involved spell casting.


A caster isn't affected by Duty, only Loyalty and Obedience.

Casters are commanders, and so affected by Duty. Klog 10, first paragraph and Duty description.


As such, they can show no initiative unless the commander is doing something harmful to the cause. How is sending a message to Jillian allowed there, unless ordered to do so?

Because casting a spell to inform a warlord in your own army of a danger to your side is not disobedient, undutiful, or disloyal. Free will is disallowed in certain instances, but when no rule forces your actions, you are free to act as you see fit.


On a side not, Jack is not a Thinkamancer. He's a Foolamancer. That's the Numbers alignment of Eyemancy. Thinkamancy is the Fate alignment.

Ah, true. Eyemancy.


If Jetstone didn't win, why was Faq destroyed? If Stanley were allied to Jetstone, why would he have razed it to the ground after winning?

Just because Jetstone didn't win, that doesn't mean they couldn't have destroyed Faq first. Faq might have pulled a Parson and destroyed its cities itself in order to cause more damage, or remove the enemy's victory. Scorched earth, a la Russia (or more accurately Portugal, who did it to Napolean first).


Where did the Archons come from now? It is at least somewhat reasonable to assume that Jetstone troops would be attacking Faq. To make a completely unfounded assumption that Charlescomm was involved is almost absurd.

You wanted fliers. I showed you fliers. What mroe do you want? You don't like the fliers I chose? Okay, let's point out that Jillian has fliers capable of airlifting troops in her forces. that's evidence that there are barbarian mercs with fliers available for Ansom to hire, even if Ansom has none himself.


Enlisting Charlescomm troops in a fight is not a decision made lightly. Charlie charges high prices for his services, and why would a nation like Jetstone need to use additional mercenaries to take out a weak, three-city nation with soldiers who were more like clerks?

Okay, make up your mind. You were the one insisting Ansom couldn't get Jetstone infantry to Faq. You're insisting he can't hire mercs to solve the problem?


In order for a force to be able to beat a large group of Dwagons, it would have to be quite large.

Defeat them, yes. Scare Stanley enough that he packs up and leaves? Not so much, especially with no GK troops on the ground to help. Stanley hates losing dwagons.


Yes, it is possible for them to get there just on foot, but it is specifically stated that Faq is accessible only by "air or tunnel" (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0091.html). This is a game, I'm sure mountains have their own movement rules. We don't know if they are considered impassable or not.

I gave them air to deal with the problem. With enough, they could airlift the entire army through the whole pass.


Tunnels are easily defended. If a large flight of Dwagons was providing aid, they would just have to camp in front of the tunnels, doing breath attacks on the incoming waves.

Ya know, we don't see dwagons breathing more than once in a fight. Noticed? Jillian even once notes, "Yeah, get that out of your system." Page 114.


Also, no one would be able to find it except people who already knew where it was or people with Lookamancers (read: Stanley). Jetstone likely didn't have Lookamancers, otherwise they would be using them instead of scout units. They also wouldn't have lost the Lookamancers, as casters are far too important to risk. Since Jetstone is most likely a strong nation because it was able to organize a massive coalition, they probably haven't lost any cities or major battles recently.

There are other ways to stumble onto Faq. An observant person might see through the veil on a flyby. A farmer might be interrogated. An ancient text might include a reference to the area. And the assumption that Jetstone has no Lookamancer is entirely presumptive. Jetstone brought zero casters to the RCC... in fact we have not seen any casters in RCC except Archons. If the lack of a Jetstone Lookamancer in RCC means no Lookamancers in Jetstone, then I guess none of the RCC nations have any casters at all/


[Stanley] wasn't born to rule, and thus does not think like the nobles.

So you believe that nobles think differently? You buy into Ansom's ego-driven ranting?

I don't. Parson just handed him his death through his own arrogance.


He rose from a foot soldier to an Overlord, and that would be enough to give any person delusions of power.

Taking the reigns of a nation is actual power, and not delusional. I think you mean that it's enough to inspire megalomania.


Most normal people who were raised to power would most likely abuse that power.

You do realize that I can call you on that one? This is raw opinion about something our world actually has records of. Are you going to comb through Wikipedia in order to find a list of the majority of born rulers and prove how many did and did not abuse their power? For someone that doesn't beleive things, you're believing a big one right there.


Stanley taking over his nation by force is also a clue that he's not playing the game the same as everyone else.

Because we all know that no heirs in our world gained power by killing their siblings and then their father, the King.


Since he thinks he's better than others because he worked his way up from a piker to the leader of a nation, he wouldn't feel the need to make alliances or engage in any diplomacy other than "give me what I want."

Because when you work your way up like that you never ally with anyone to solve any problem, or gain position. You don't need to be diplomatic in any way to gain the trust of people so that they'll make you look good. There's absolutely no politics in the middle management of an army. and propaganda never helps your status.


Would Banhammer have allowed them to go? Casters are extremely valuable in Erfworld. He's not going to risk them on simple mercenary work, no matter how low their morale. A unit low on morale would still have to obey orders.

Who's presuming now? You don't know. You're thinking Banhammer has to think like you. He doesn't. We don't know enough to know how he'll think. But Jillian is convinced Wanda would never work for the Tool. She's an expert on Wanda: you're not an expert on Banhammer. If Wanda misses Jillian's expectations by so much it surprises Jillian, then there is something major missing from Jillian's knowledge.


Also, the casters wouldn't have been able to put themselves on mercenary duty either. Natural Thinkamancy, remember?

Yeah, you missed that Casters are Commanders, and so subject to Duty.I'll let you rethink this one.

But besides that: casters are not slaves, incapable of acting on their own. even a piker in a field can choose to dance or sing if he's not on guard duty. Free will is disallowed where orders have been given, not where there are no orders to consider. The difference between the piker in the field and the Sofa King piker attacking GK is that the SK piker has orders already, and so has no free will. The one in the field has no orders and so is free to while away his time as he sees fit. Nothing in Natural Thinkamancy forces action or inaction when there are no orders.

I do want one thing from you. How are you interpreting Natural Thinkamancy such that casters are unable to cast at their own discretion? You aren't clear about that. You're assuming I will interpret Klog 10 in the same way you do, and I don't. I see nothing that interprets, "Casting is disallowed without orders." The lack of an order to cast is not an order to not cast, so casting when you've got no orders to is not disobedient. That's the best I can do without further explanation.

Jon Pander
2009-03-15, 02:04 AM
Also, when exactly did Stanley take Mung with him? He just took 3 unknown Knights with him.

It does not matter whether Mung went with Stanley or not. He shall attune to and get the pliers. I know this for a fact - it's the only thing which makes sense, given likelihood of the arkenplier's door guarding power, and Mung's habit of guarding doors. It's a perfect fit.

Yes. I have gone mad some time ago. Probably when the OP started this thread with his rather dumb logic.

Kreistor
2009-03-15, 02:06 AM
It does not matter whether Mung went with Stanley or not. He shall attune to and get the pliers. I know this for a fact - it's the only thing which makes sense, given likelihood of the arkenplier's door guarding power, and Mung's habit of guarding doors. It's a perfect fit.

Yes. I have gone mad some time ago. Probably when the OP started this thread with his rather dumb logic.

No, no, it's not the Arkenpliers Mung is destined for. It's the Arkenplunger!

Jon Pander
2009-03-15, 02:16 AM
I feel bad that you have so many quesitons. Luckily I have the answers. Please don't question them, because I know they're all 100% true. You'll read this and realize the wisdom in my words.



1) Why does Wanda work for Stanley without spell control? [95.6]

He co-signed her car loan because she has bad credit. She's grateful.



2) Why does Jack work for Stanley, if Stanley destroyed Faq?

Stanley doesn't actually exist. Jack foolamancied him into being.

So I guess actually Jack's the one that co-signed the car loan.



3) Why did Wanda not tell Jillian how Faq was destroyed? (Corrolary: why doesn't Jillian ask Wanda?)

Jillian never asked.
Corollary: Jillian is dumb. Like most barbarians. She's the thog of this story.



4) Why does Ansom loathe Stanley? [60.10 and anywhere Ansom calls Stanley the Worm]

The original Stanley, who Jack killed and replaced with a foolamancied illusion, was Ansom's father - he ran out on him as a kid and never paid child support.



5) Why doesn't Stanley loathe Ansom?

Stanley has hope that one day Ansom will come back to him and get into the family business. Plus it's not Ansom's fault that Stanley and Ansom's mom couldn't make it work. It's never the kids' fault when divorce happens.



6) What did Ansom cost Wanda?

$2.75 + tax.



7) Why does Ansom fear touching Wanda with the Arkenpliers?

Cooties.



8) Why is Faq destroyed, not conquered?

Because they didn't switch to Geico.



9) How did dwagons get involved in the fight for Faq?

Everyone was at a bar, and they had too much to drink. No one really knows what started the fight, but tequila, hidden cities and dwagons don't mix.


I hope I answered everything well enough.

Kreistor
2009-03-15, 02:36 PM
I feel bad that you have so many quesitons. Luckily I have the answers. Please don't question them, because I know they're all 100% true. You'll read this and realize the wisdom in my words.

Yeah, Right. You think i wouldn't respond to this just because you're right? He don't know me verwee well, do he?


He co-signed her car loan because she has bad credit. She's grateful.

It was a Chrysler. She's not.


Stanley doesn't actually exist. Jack foolamancied him into being.

No, no... it's spelled Fartamancied.


So I guess actually Jack's the one that co-signed the car loan.

Or Fartamancied the Charysler into being. No, wait, all Chryslers are Fartamancied into being. Never mind, then.


Jillian never asked.
Corollary: Jillian is dumb. Like most barbarians. She's the thog of this story.

You and your spelling. It's "thong of this story". Come on, you're telling me you wouldn't hit that?


The original Stanley, who Jack killed and replaced with a foolamancied illusion, was Ansom's father - he ran out on him as a kid and never paid child support.

I've got nuthin. No... wait... yeah, nuthin.


Stanley has hope that one day Ansom will come back to him and get into the family business. Plus it's not Ansom's fault that Stanley and Ansom's mom couldn't make it work. It's never the kids' fault when divorce happens.

Sniff... except in mine. Wahhhh! They flipped a coin to decide who didn't get me! You inconsiderate brute!


$2.75 + tax.

$5+taxes in Canada.


Cooties.

Want a cootie innoculation? Only cost ya $5 bucks. ($2.75 in the US)


Because they didn't switch to Geico.

Yeah, I'm gonna insure myself with a tiny, cold blooded lizard.


Everyone was at a bar, and they had too much to drink. No one really knows what started the fight, but tequila, hidden cities and dwagons don't mix.

Or someone walked into a bar and said, "Ouch." (Gad, someone actually used that on me today. I had to spread the insanity just to get rid of the stink.)


I hope I answered everything well enough.

Perfectly. It couldn't get any murkier.

BillyJimBoBob
2009-03-16, 11:19 AM
When did I say that someone would become the new commander of the coalition? I was simply saying that someone from that faction would become the leader of that faction.
If we're bringing Natural Thinkamancy into it, it gets even simpler. The most senior, highest-ranked person left gives the orders for that faction. No bickering about who rises to the occasion. Command will just follow a rank hierarchy or whomever the King/Supreme Leader of the nation wants to be the commander. Therefore, orders can be given.
Actually, this has not been presented consistently.

For the RCC, Ansom gives the orders to end turn. This despite the fact that Ansom is not the leader of the Jetstone side. Ansom isn't shown to be communicating with his king, nor is he shown to be aware that his king has finished with his own troop movements. It could be very awkward for the Jetstone king to have Ansom end turn while the king needed to make moves to react to the situations around the Jetstone cities.

But for GK, Stanley gives the orders to end turn. Even when he is flying off on his own mission with but a tiny fraction of the total GK troops. Parson has to worry about Stanley ending turn at a poor moment.

#94
2009-03-24, 07:53 PM
I'm still not too certain about this whole "Stanley the used to be" theory.

Rather then assuming that Stanley was some ambitious, cunning and clever opportunist, isn't it possible that Stanley got to where he is by sheer dumb luck? regardless we have not proof either way so i put forth another theory.

consider this scenario.

Saline IV's army locates a funky looking hammer lying in the middle of a forested hex. Neither Saline IV nor any of his warlords can attune to the Hammer so, being the reasonable ruler we don't know that he was or wasn't, he starts going through his army looking for someone who CAN attune.

some way along he comes along a lowly piker who instantly attunes to the Hammer. next panel we see Saline IV saying.

"Congratulations kid, you just got promoted."

The hammer provides a handy little bonus which keeps Stanley alive while other warlords do what all soldiers eventually do in a TBS game, they get croaked. Eventually through attrition our buddy Stanley becomes Chief warlord.

Saline IV decides he likes Stanley the Piker and makes him an Heir (I'm not even going to go in to this, who knows maybe old king Saline just had a sick sense of humor)

Kreistor
2009-03-24, 09:28 PM
"As a warlord he found the Arkenhammer, ..." 79.8 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0087.html)

Interesting scenario. No evidence, of course. Pure reach. Doesn't explain why Jack and Wanda work for an incompetent. Doesn't explain how an incompetent with a Arkenhammer wins a lot of battles. You don't even try to explain how someone that was "very fond" of Stanley would jokingly make him Heir. Nor does it explain how Stanley was smart enough to get the Gobwins to break alliance and hit GK, and more importantly not get caught.

Ethesis
2009-03-28, 04:18 PM
Well, it's more than just that. Wanda tells Ansom that he cost her far more than she cost him, and Ansom looks sheepishly guilty. She's not lying.

Further, Wanda and Jack both were at Faq, and now work for stanley and against Ansom. Why would both work for the man that destroyed a utopian kingdom? Wanda has that bad girl vibe, sure, but Jack has no reason to work for Stanley. This places a certain amount of counterevidence against Stanley having destroyed Faw as Jillian believes.

If, instead, it was Ansom that attacked Faq, and Stanley only came in to mop up the weakened Jetstone victors, then we now have a reasonable explanation of why Wanda accuses Ansom of costing her so much. He destroyed Faq, lied to Jillian, and cost Wanda in a major way. He may have taken the pliers from her, further aggravating the situation. Wanda and Jack now have vengeance in mind when deciding to work for Stanley, explaining their allegience. It ties everything up in a neat little package, and makes it possible for Jillian to change sides in the future, because Ansom was the worm, not Stanley.

This is, though, only a theory with no evidence. The only way it works is because Jillian does not know for certani what happened to Faq, and Wanda has never enlightened her otherwise.

Just keep an open mind. There is much to learn and the history of the Pliers may be the history of Wanda and Ansom.

Nicely said. Possible, though not necessarily probable. But nicely pointed out.

Kreistor
2009-04-03, 06:11 PM
Okay, I just had a flash of insight based on 138 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0151.html).

Vinnie tells us that Caesar didn't believe Jillian about Stanley. He went along to confirm the existence of cities, with intent to restore them.

So, Caesar knows where the pass to Faq is. He has dozens of doombat scouts and personnel he can use to spread out and find the cities. He knows where the pass to Faq is.

So why is he insisting Jillian show him? Jillian is angry and has deep hatred for Stanley, making her a horrible victim. As shown, she'll attack Caesar based on raw emotion, against reason. IWith more than adequate scouting, and a problem prisoner, he doesn't need Jillian, and yet, he is willing to force her to stay.

There's only one reason: Caesar thinks Jillian is lying about Faq.

She wasn't lying about the pass and the dwagons causing her to blame Stnaley (those are confirmed by Stanley coming to the pass and her obvious hatred for him), but she may well have lied about anything beyond Stanley reaching the pass. Everything we know about Faq we know from Jillian, and she may certainly have good reason to lie. Maybe she doesn't want to completely eliminate the possibility of returning some day. Maybe she doesn't want to know the truth herself, so doesn't want anyone else finding out. Or there is something of historic value she wants to protect. So she makes up this thing about Faq in order to get people to look for cities instead of what she's really protecting.

If that's true, any thoughts about Wanda and Ansom go completely up in the air. The fighting doesn't need to be in a mountainous kingdom, accessible only to fliers and tunnelers.

Anyway, it opens things up to more possibilities.

Kreistor
2009-04-09, 09:41 AM
Okay, Another thought.

How do we know Faq was destroyed? Jillian tells us that she was a barbarian the day after dwagons were sighted. That implies destruction, but it could mean something else. Perhaps she was intentionally disbanded.

See, I got to thinking about Stanley and his paranoia. It's not uncommon for paranoids to have back-up plans in case they become targetted. Stanley clearly has Faq in his mind as a back-up. But with Faq destroyed, the plan is incomplete. We know that this all happened a long time ago.

What if Faq wasn't destroyed? Banhammer loved his kingdom. He would not have wanted to see it destroyed. He knew that it was destined to fall, but the details of that were not known.

So let's modify this somewhat. Jetstone attacks, as before. Banhammer mounts a defense, but he can see he's going to lose. He contacts Stanley who agrees to protect Faq on one condition: Faq becomes his. Banhammer disbands Jillian to give her the freedom she craves, and surrenders.

Faq falls, because it "loses" to Stanley. Stanley comes in with dwagons and massacres forces that expected to face relatively untrained, untalented soldiers.

Stanley and Jetstone want Faq for the same reason: it's a great back-up in case your main city falls. Keeping it secret is vital to both, or the bubble kingdom loses its usefulness. Transylvito wants it now, too. But the surprise waiting behind that pass is that the cities were never destroyed. Stanley wanted to keep them secret due to his paranoia. Jack and Wanda become his because Banhammer surrendered the side to him, and their cities have effective protection, and they get to work against the one responsible for the loss of their beloved Banhammer. Jillian gets her freedom, but no explanations because she might try to come back if she thought there was anything to come back to. When she does return, Wanda finds her interest in Ansom, and decides a spy that close would be more useful than an emotionally uncontrolled killer.

I just do not see Stanley not rebuilding those cities if he captured them. I cannot believe real estate considered prime by Caesar would be left fallow by Stanley.

BLANDCorporatio
2009-04-09, 10:10 AM
What if Faq wasn't destroyed? Banhammer loved his kingdom. He would not have wanted to see it destroyed. He knew that it was destined to fall, but the details of that were not known.

So let's modify this somewhat. Jetstone attacks, as before. Banhammer mounts a defense, but he can see he's going to lose. He contacts Stanley who agrees to protect Faq on one condition: Faq becomes his. Banhammer disbands Jillian to give her the freedom she craves, and surrenders. (snip)

I just wanted to say that after walls and walls of text this was an actually interesting hypothesis; its only "flaw" is that it puts the blame on the Jetstones.

Don't get me wrong, there are quite a few arguments to the idea that it was Jetstone that attacked Faq. But one of them is "and then, it turns out that the Jetstones were the evil ones all along!"- as a twist, it kinda seems ... overdone, unwelcome, facile, too convenient to explain the Ansom-bashing.

Gez
2009-04-09, 10:15 AM
But one of them is "and then, it turns out that the Jetstones were the evil ones all along!"- as a twist, it kinda seems ... overdone, unwelcome, facile, too convenient to explain the Ansom-bashing.

Does Ansom need to know?

BLANDCorporatio
2009-04-09, 11:03 AM
Does Ansom need to know?

Presumably he was around as a Royal when Faq got attacked. So, presumably, yes.

Kreistor
2009-04-09, 11:08 AM
ut one of them is "and then, it turns out that the Jetstones were the evil ones all along!"- as a twist, it kinda seems ... overdone, unwelcome, facile, too convenient to explain the Ansom-bashing.

Not evil. Take a look at how Transylvito was viewed, based soolely on Vinnie. TV got lots of respect. They moved to block the pass against Stanley, Vinnie kept Ansom's ego in check... all evidence is that they are nce vampires.

Not so much anymore. We have to remember that this is a game. There's no point if you aren't playing, like Banhammer wasn't. Jetstone is no different from all the others. They're a side, trying to gain position and grow. On Erfworld, that's not evil.

Second, Ansom is not responsible for the orders of his King. It actually explains his shame or grimace when reminded of his past by Wanda. If he disagreed with his King's desire to take Faq, but as Chief Warlord had to obey orders, then he was stuck in a losing situation: he can only do as ordered. I don't blame Ansom for the situation: I only need him to have encountered Wanda before.

Gez
2009-04-09, 11:42 AM
Presumably he was around as a Royal when Faq got attacked. So, presumably, yes.

Is he a good actor? Could he have faked his reactions when Jillian told him her story? I'd vote "no" on both counts, given how he completely lost it when Parson thinkamanced him.

Kreistor
2009-04-09, 12:21 PM
Is he a good actor? Could he have faked his reactions when Jillian told him her story? I'd vote "no" on both counts, given how he completely lost it when Parson thinkamanced him.

Charismatic people tend to be good actors, and Ansom is if nothing at least that. So are people that need to inspire others to do things against their normal desires, such as attack things they knwo to be unassailable. So, yes, Ansom is in a position where lying on a regular basis is a necessity. Yes, he got emotional with Parson, but that itself might have been an intentional overreaction to make Parson underestimate him. Note that Ansom called Parson's bluff on "allies" and never gave it another moment's thought. Ansom is well aware of how this game is played, and knew Parson would be trying to cast him into doubt.

BLANDCorporatio
2009-04-10, 05:04 AM
Not evil. (snip) We have to remember that this is a game. There's no point if you aren't playing, like Banhammer wasn't. Jetstone is no different from all the others. They're a side, trying to gain position and grow. On Erfworld, that's not evil.

On one hand, semantics: for every one that would make such nuanced distinctions, ten will yell Ansom=despicable bastard.

On the other, I flat disagree. It was not uncommon in fantasy worlds on which games are based to have some sides, based on "alignment" or some-such, be peaceful to each other. Alliances may shift, of course, but if the side doing the shifting is "honorable", they will never attack former allies unprovoked.

This of course rests on how you view the Erfworldian premise. To me, it was stereotypical "good guys" vs stereotypical "bad guys"- now root for the bad guys, since the world turns out to be more like gray and grey (and sympathetic all around) than black or white.

However, I am not going to go the full 180 degrees and go to the conclusion that Jetstone were wilfully manipulating all the others, lying to them and scapegoating Stanley.

Yes it is edgy; it is not new since the Watchmen. Change the plot.

Kreistor
2009-04-10, 09:02 AM
On the other, I flat disagree. It was not uncommon in fantasy worlds on which games are based to have some sides, based on "alignment" or some-such, be peaceful to each other. Alliances may shift, of course, but if the side doing the shifting is "honorable", they will never attack former allies unprovoked.

Only by a particular definition of "honorable". Middle Age Japanese honour and European honour are entirely different, with the consequences of dishonour being entirely different in the two cultures. Both were militaristic societies where warfare was constant.

I really don't want to get any further into this discussion. It often leads to contact wit religion or politics, so I'm dropping it here. What I'm saying is that Ansom, by doing what I suggest above, is not evil. Partially because I don't think attacking a neighbour is viewed as evil in Erfworld (Ansom never uses the word in relation to even Stanley... calling him not noble as his worst insult), but also because Natural Thinkamancy forces him to Obey his Ruler, and that takes the responsibility of his actions away from him.

HandofShadows
2009-04-11, 08:37 AM
Is he a good actor? Could he have faked his reactions when Jillian told him her story? I'd vote "no" on both counts, given how he completely lost it when Parson thinkamanced him.

Ansom (if head attacked Faq) would have known that Jillian from from Daq the moment she showed up at his HQ with al the Faq style armor on. In other words he would have had a lot of time to prepare.

Kreistor
2009-04-12, 11:46 AM
So, we now know that Wanda has survived, and that the Thinkamancers can potentially save the casters from the link. Wanda shuld survive intact. She is also in the right place to find a true healamancer that could cure her brain.

The pliers were last sighted at the top of teh erupting volcano. Despite some hoping that Scarlett survived, we have strong indications taht not a single unit in RCC survived the battle.

Wanda is now in position to retrieve the pliers, if she can find a way back to RCC. It is of course possible the portal to GK still exists, but it is likely buried if it survived at all, which may wind up with any but Sizemore being destroyed instantly for using it. Wanda needs a way back to that region, if she is to retrieve the pliers.

Faq is not far from GK -- a single dwagon flight away, assuming Jillian wasn't lying about Faq (she's our only source for knowing why Stanley may have been heading for that pass in the mountains, and she didn't need to tell the truth about the other side). And Wanda is from Faq (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0092.html), so she knows about the place. Her closest usable portal may be in the ruins of Faq, but she'd need to get through the mountains... which Sizemore can solve with a tunnel for her. Slower than a flier, probably, but at least she knows she can get there. (And he's useful for unburying the pliers when she gets there.) Other than that, we know that Transylvito is within two flights of Faq and so probably two of GK. I doubt they'd let Wanda use the portal, without some form of trade. I don't see TV taking Wanda's allegience to Stanley personally. They sent little to combat GK with in the first place, and they had more reason to hate Stanley than Jetstone (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0034.html). She might be able to trade services with TV for passage to GK, unless TV thinks she's after the pliers.

Kreistor
2009-04-20, 10:08 PM
Well, uhm... she got the pliers. And clearly attuned. That puts a much higher probability on her already having them once before and Ansom taking them from her. ANyone doubt that losing an attuned Arkentool would be worth more than 2800 Jetstone troops?

Wanda's got some s'plainin' to do. I think she'll be spilling it to Parson in the next comic. What just happened will inspire questions.

I wonder. Might Wanda have put the idea of hunting Arkentools into Stanley's head, or at least pushed for it when he thought about it, instead of against like anyone else would? Much as she seems to blame that change on failure later, she would have wanted him going after them, if only to place her closer to the Pliers. Just a little nudge at someone that was already teetering on the edge of megalomania? We'll see.

Leewei
2009-04-20, 11:47 PM
Kind of wish this one had died off and sunk out of sight for a while. The irony of this being thread-croakamancied would have been rich, indeed!

Aquillion
2009-04-21, 12:12 AM
and they won't attune to her.

Now that that has been cleared up, we can all stop predicting how these events will come about in the next strip, for every strip.
I disagree with this assertion.

Kreistor
2009-04-21, 12:45 AM
No, no, no croakamancy here. The longest this has gone without a post is 9 days, and it hasn't dropped off the front page since it was created.

Fjolnir
2009-04-21, 01:08 AM
And today the statement of the OP was invalidated with much laughter and gaiety on wanda's part.

kpenguin
2009-04-21, 03:22 AM
and they won't attune to her.

Now that that has been cleared up, we can all stop predicting how these events will come about in the next strip, for every strip.

Your prediction has failed, as has your pompous attempt to shut down the ability of Erfworld's readers to speculate on likely plot points.

T-O-E
2009-04-21, 10:17 AM
Kreistor, I like your arkenplier theory.

Gez
2009-04-21, 03:39 PM
Jillian will lead Caesar to New Transylvitopolis, to her own astonishment. Then Borgata will tell her he was just wondering if there was another lost hidden kingdom in the TV mountain range, since they have discovered 35 of those last week alone. Then he feeds her to a giant bat (which looks surprisingly like a black dwagon).

Ladorak
2009-04-21, 08:32 PM
and they won't attune to her.

Now that that has been cleared up, we can all stop predicting how these events will come about in the next strip, for every strip.

I agree completely

Tanaar
2009-04-22, 06:45 PM
She'll never get the pliars because it wouldn't make literary sense. I'm pretty sure the guys making this thing know at least as much about storytelling as I do.

You were saying?

Kreistor
2009-04-23, 12:36 AM
And I crash and burn. The Predictamancer tells Wanda she'll get the Pliers. This eliminates any need for Wanda to previously possess the Pliers, nor Ansom taking them from her. All previous contact shot.

It also adds the potential for Wanda betraying Faq to Stanley. And it adds justification for Jack to switch service to Stanley, because maybe the Predictamancer told him he'd gain something for it, too.

So, my theory about Ansom and Faq is completely annihilated. It was such a cool theory, too. Ah, well. It was fun while it lasted. 8) Thanks for playing, gang.

Now, on a side note... with uncroaked Ansom on Wanda's team, Jillian won't be as conflicted anymore. 8) Or maybe she will.

BTW, Stanley still may not have destroyed Faq.

Oh, and hey, just realized... the Predictamancer's prediction that Faq would fall... if Wanda betrayed Faq... that may all have come from a single prediction. Hmmm... I wonder if this may all link back together. The predictamancer tells Wanda she'll get the Pliers, but she must betray Faq. She then tells Banhammer that Faq will fall. Jillian gets popped. Wanda's betrayal happens. Jillian joins Ansom, ensuring he brings the Pliers to Wanda. Or... hmmm, we still have Jack. What if it was Jack that betrayed Faq, not Wanda? Her loyalty was not in question, where a betrayal like that would cause it. Jack was in the link, where he couldn't betray anyone. Hmmm... more to think about there, I suspect. Should get some denouement out of Wanda soon. SHe's not that talkative, so it will be short and to the point.

dr pepper
2009-04-23, 02:43 AM
Interesting speculation. But it deserves its own thread.

Lombard
2009-04-23, 03:34 AM
Wow, banned and then proven completely wrong, nice double whammy there. :smallamused:

Oslecamo
2009-04-23, 06:06 AM
So, my theory about Ansom and Faq is completely annihilated. It was such a cool theory, too. Ah, well. It was fun while it lasted. 8) Thanks for playing, gang.


Just to say it's great to see someone admit they were wrong. It really takes guts to do that in a net discussion. My respect for you greatly increased with this post.


Oh, and hey, just realized... the Predictamancer's prediction that Faq would fall... if Wanda betrayed Faq... that may all have come from a single prediction. Hmmm... I wonder if this may all link back together. The predictamancer tells Wanda she'll get the Pliers, but she must betray Faq. She then tells Banhammer that Faq will fall. Jillian gets popped. Wanda's betrayal happens. Jillian joins Ansom, ensuring he brings the Pliers to Wanda. Or... hmmm, we still have Jack. What if it was Jack that betrayed Faq, not Wanda? Her loyalty was not in question, where a betrayal like that would cause it. Jack was in the link, where he couldn't betray anyone. Hmmm... more to think about there, I suspect. Should get some denouement out of Wanda soon. SHe's not that talkative, so it will be short and to the point.

Well indeed there had already been speculations that Wanda and Jack were ploting something even when they were at Faq. Perhaps they're working togheter to rise themselves up the ranks. They both wanted power, but couldn't get it while they were stuck in that little kingdom. Jack "slips" on the illusions, the city gets destroyed, and they get willingly captured by an ambitious warlord, to whom they show unquestionable loyalty even whitout spells, so they can fuel a war for their own interests.