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VariaVespasa
2009-03-20, 01:01 AM
Lookit all those gems! Those who survive will be rich! :)

kpenguin
2009-03-20, 01:02 AM
New Erf is Up.

Awesome panel there.

BRC
2009-03-20, 01:02 AM
HOLY BOOP, ZOMBIE VOLCANOES!
...okay, yeah, we saw it coming from the last comic. But there is a difference between Parson thinking it might work, and Magizemorda deciding it WILL work.
I think this is an incoming CMOA personally.

VariaVespasa
2009-03-20, 01:05 AM
Taking a closer look, can anyone tell where the portal room is supposed to be in that cutaway view of the mountain?

Occasional Sage
2009-03-20, 01:10 AM
The use of "Callahan's" for a meld is brilliant, IMHO. Even if I didn't fall for those books the way most people did, brilliant.

Gareshra
2009-03-20, 01:11 AM
Wow...I'm looking at this thread with no replies for the original post, and it feels very odd. I'm never the first one to see a webcomic...ever. Anyways, by the time I post this, several others will have, so it doesn't matter.

Anyways, this was an awesome comic. Just seeing the way it was portrayed artistically is pretty cool. Good comic. Awesome art.

Kaed
2009-03-20, 01:12 AM
That's actually rather beautiful and profound, I think.

It's a very philosophical feeling to the strip.

I also note it shows some signs of reality outside of 'the game', in that casters appear to try many different schools before finding their true calling, instead of just 'popping' as one.

enh
2009-03-20, 01:15 AM
The use of "Callahan's" for a meld is brilliant, IMHO. Even if I didn't fall for those books the way most people did, brilliant.

So, for The Rest of Us[tm], what were "those books"?

Justyn
2009-03-20, 01:17 AM
Great to see so many updates so quickly! Also, I don't get the "Callahan's" reference, can someone explain it to me?

BRC
2009-03-20, 01:20 AM
The Only "Callahan" I know of is The Smiler from Transmetropolitan.

Tola
2009-03-20, 01:23 AM
...That explains why people are so screwed up when they come out of a link. It really is a merging. It's not so much a breaking, but getting to grips with what they were.

"They should have sent a poet..."

rwald
2009-03-20, 01:26 AM
I'm guessing that Callahan's is a reference to the series by Spider Robinson about a rather eccentric barkeep named Callahan and his equally unusual clientèle.

Xondoure
2009-03-20, 01:32 AM
EPIC! I can't wait to see the look on the tools face when he gets back.

Xondoure
2009-03-20, 01:34 AM
ahh, the majesty of a giant molten death machine.

Tubercular Ox
2009-03-20, 01:39 AM
EPIC! I can't wait to see the look on the tools face when he gets back.

Are you sure? His city's a pile of rubble, and on its way to being a pile of molten rubble. They could probably spin another 20 comics out of his return.

Fez
2009-03-20, 01:40 AM
Nice change of pace for style.

Nothing like a little direct volcanic cardiac massage to get a good bit of magma pumping.

Also as an aside, thanks to Rob and Jamie. I know there was a rough patch there in the middle, but boy you two are coming on strong as this first arc is building to a finale.

I do wonder at the Callahan's reference. I presume it isn't Spider Robinson's, and I'm trying to puzzle it a bit before doing some web searching.

dr pepper
2009-03-20, 01:45 AM
Callahan's Crosstime Saloon. Where eccentrics, freaks, aliens, and regular folks with common sense pool their talents in unexpected ways.

Here. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Callahan%27s_Crosstime_Saloon)

And here. (http://www.amazon.com/Callahans-Crosstime-Saloon-Spider-Robinson/dp/0812572270)

tomaO2
2009-03-20, 01:45 AM
I know they are all probably about to die anyway but still...

Doesn't anyone think that making a volcano erupt.

A volcano that they are standing right on top of...

That perhaps this isn't the smartest decision?

I have no idea how they expect to live though this.

ShinyBrowncoat
2009-03-20, 01:46 AM
Nice one, Jamie! :smallcool:

DCR
2009-03-20, 01:46 AM
And now, a one act dramatization of what's about to happen, and likely reactions from all things Not Parson/Meldamancer:

Oh. BOOP.

dr pepper
2009-03-20, 01:48 AM
To quote the rock golem "Yeahhhhhhh!".

Fishy
2009-03-20, 01:48 AM
There are two hollowed out chambers on the left side of the top of the mountain, one circular-ish, one triangular-ish. That whole section connects to the surface without going through the main magma vent- and I think that's the rubble from where the Tower was. Ten bucks says they're in one of those.

This... this is going to work, isn't it? :smalleek:

cyberchihuahua
2009-03-20, 01:50 AM
Does anyone else find spirit-form Wanda hotter than normal?

Or is it wrong that I find her hot at all...

Bruenor
2009-03-20, 01:52 AM
I know they are all probably about to die anyway but still...

Doesn't anyone think that making a volcano erupt.

A volcano that they are standing right on top of...

That perhaps this isn't the smartest decision?

I have no idea how they expect to live though this.

They Prolly do. Anyway, excellent page. Loved the mystic feel of it.

Jack R. Terrier
2009-03-20, 01:55 AM
Does anyone else find spirit-form Wanda hotter than normal?

Or is it wrong that I find her hot at all...

I'm just grateful that we don't have to see Sizemore's...uh, Titan.

Zictor
2009-03-20, 02:08 AM
There so many emotions, so many things I would like to say, but I think that the only appropriate thing to say right now is....

So Beautiful

RMS Oceanic
2009-03-20, 02:10 AM
Actually, given who Maggie is supposed to be (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Thatcher), I thought Callahan was a reference to her predecessor, James Callahan (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Callaghan), who had to form a Coalition in the late 1970's.

Ganurath
2009-03-20, 02:12 AM
I just had a scary thought.

Sizemore has the drive to pursue schools of magic outside his own.
Wanda has the talent to cast spells outside her school.
Maggie has linked the ambition and potential for all forms of magic into a single entity.

Archmancer anyone?

slurpz
2009-03-20, 02:14 AM
...That explains why people are so screwed up when they come out of a link. It really is a merging. It's not so much a breaking, but getting to grips with what they were.

I liked this update for elaborating the mechanism behind the merging more so than the (about to be epic) face of the zombie mountain on the lower left of the panel.

SatyreIkon
2009-03-20, 02:21 AM
Really epic - and a great idea to show the volcano as a "living" thing. But from Sizemore's point of view, I guess, it always was...

But I do not think the face on the lower left is supposed to be the mountain's.

Midnight Lurker
2009-03-20, 02:27 AM
The gang at Callahan's Place have a tendency to solve any major problem with a mass telepathic hookup. So this is the perfect magic word. :smallcool:

Hell Puppi
2009-03-20, 02:28 AM
Really like the feel of this page. Gives a clear view of what going on but also paints a really good 'feeling' of what's going on as well, at least to me.
Oh boop I didn't even see the gems. *goes back to look*

That's why the forum is important. I miss things.

surtt
2009-03-20, 02:40 AM
Oh so bitter sweet....
Clearly the end is near.
But I don't want it to end.

charles
2009-03-20, 02:41 AM
IS THAT THE OUTLINE OF A FACE IN THE MOLTEN HEART?

Initially I'm thinking they're going to blow themselves up but then agian, both Sizemore and Wanda have control over the things they create/resurrect so it's possible they will actually have control over the flow of lava... OUCH

Fellhuhn
2009-03-20, 02:42 AM
Am I the only one who gets the Goatse reference? Disturbing... :smalleek:

Talic
2009-03-20, 02:43 AM
If wanda controlled that which she animates...

And Meldamancer is animating the volcano...

Targeted eruptions, anyone?

d3115
2009-03-20, 02:46 AM
I'm thinking they'll set it to erupt, then retreat through the portal room.

Remember: Their objective is not to hold the garrison, merely render the enemy incapable or unwilling to take it. Filling it with lava would make it hard to take it, that's for sure. And if they die to the lava, well, that's just a bonus.

ShiningTed
2009-03-20, 02:49 AM
Jamie, you have outdone yourself this time - that is pure awesome.

(Rob, you're doin' ok too :smallwink: )

carebearbecky
2009-03-20, 03:18 AM
What absolutely beautiful artwork. I love the whole feel of this strip.

Bravo.

~Corvus~
2009-03-20, 03:40 AM
WOW. An amazing update for an equally amazing day. GREAT work Ms. Nougachi and Mr. Balder!

~~Gnite world!!~~

Enkidu
2009-03-20, 03:55 AM
I thought Callahan's was in reference to THIS (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thought_Field_Therapy). *Shrug*

Hrm, I guess the Crosstime Saloon makes sense (re: empathy and all).

Crod
2009-03-20, 04:00 AM
I notice that they call each other by their function, not by name any longer.
Misty did the same here (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0051.html), indicating the link-up almost strips them of their
identity. That's probably why it's so dangerous for the casters when the link
breaks.

I hope Wanda and Sizemore will be ok, but I fear for them.

Tundar
2009-03-20, 04:47 AM
What an awesome page!

MuLepton
2009-03-20, 04:53 AM
What I found really remarkable about this page (and what made me register after lurking for quite some time) is that it shows very impressively why those casters chose their disciplines. It becomes clear that Wanda is not only (and maybe not even mainly?) a croakamancer because she likes power/domination, but also because she's fascinated with how life works. There seems to be a strong streak of Frankenstein (as in the "scientist" Frankenstein) in her.

As for Sizemore, a corresponding love for inert matter is apparent in his statement that he knows every crack and seam of the mountain.

Samargh
2009-03-20, 05:13 AM
To quote my lord Hamster..

Well BOOP me in the BOOP!

These past few pages have been powerful, but this one rivals even the intensity of Wanda invoking the air defences.

<claps hands> Bravo...

the only problem now, is that I've just had the same sort of adrenalin surge you normally associate with movies when the hero has taken all the bad guy can dish, then stands back up... and you just knooooow that somebody is about to get taken big time. And theres that little flood that lasts for two or three seconds between you realising this and it actually happening on screen.

Problem is, I've got longer to wait than 2 or 3 seconds!!!

I noticed the gems, and had to double check to make sure they weren't in the tunnels and weren't actually enemy troops. Yes. looks like someone is going to be rich afterwards... if Sizemore survives and remembers their location.

As an aside, I agree that Wanda is getting disturbingly hot(er?) and if there were ever a poster girl for Erfworld, she should be it.

Her and Jillian would be hotter...

including Maggie would just be wrong...

Although I could see certain members of the British public going for that...

Nenec
2009-03-20, 05:39 AM
Best strip ever of this comic, so delicious...
How they feel one with each other, with the mountain...the artwork...it's just...wow!

The Old Hack
2009-03-20, 05:45 AM
There is nothing really surprising in this page... except that Rob continues to surprise me with the intensity of his characters, and Jamie continues to amaze me with the beauty and sheer majesty of his oh so deceptively clean and apparently-cartoony artwork.

Wonderful.

Werekat
2009-03-20, 05:55 AM
That has to be the best-drawn magi-mind-link I've ever seen. Wow.

And the writing. The words are to be expected, but ultimately so fitting.

I hope the casters are all fine afterward. I'm not sure of whom to worry for more. Sizemore, as he is the obvious target, Wanda, whose mind has taken a lot of beatings recently, or Maggie, as the one with whom there had been talks of "redirecting the backlash."

Breathless, waiting for the consequences.

Tredrick
2009-03-20, 06:11 AM
The Callahan reference is so good because it works on many levels.

pdwalker
2009-03-20, 06:12 AM
Awesome page.

dr pepper
2009-03-20, 06:28 AM
What they said. Awsome concept, awsome wording, awsome art.

Even Hamstard couldn't bring us down at this moment.

As for srviving the link, i think Parson should command Maggie to release the others one at a time.

Heliomance
2009-03-20, 07:33 AM
This promises to be...

Epic.

DigoDragon
2009-03-20, 09:03 AM
Wow, that's rather... overt imagry. "Mutual Assured Destruction" comes to mind though if that dungeon isn't protected from laval flow. Hopefully the portal room is close by in that case.

Sweetie Welf
2009-03-20, 09:28 AM
Great art; I keep looking at it, and still find something new I haven't noticed. Just perfect.

hajo
2009-03-20, 09:55 AM
Great page !

I just wonder how they can survive activating the volcano, as the lava might pass near the dungon :smalleek:

Name Lips
2009-03-20, 10:24 AM
I didn't object to Ansom's death when it happened. Seemed ok to me.

But now I wish he was around to see this. IN YO FACE PWNAGE. Man, he would totally crap his armor.

Lamech
2009-03-20, 10:27 AM
In the words another bunch of linked up casters...
Your doom is here.
Your doom is here.
Your doom is here.

So the coalition loses. Hard. Good times. And with any luck the Parson and co. will survive too.

Caledonian
2009-03-20, 10:30 AM
I am agog at the artwork in this strip, especially the bit in the lower left where the cracks and faultlines in the stone meld with the Dirtamancer's face. Beautiful.

Also: Yes! Villains with a hideout in a live volcano! Triple Trope Bonus FTW!

rosebud
2009-03-20, 11:39 AM
Wonderful art and story.

I must say it is delightful to see Sizemore able to control something more potent. If they make it out, I think Wanda will respect him more, at least. And I'm hoping that, rather than being damaged, Wanda is able to heal as a result of the meld.

And I'm curious when (1) the dragon fleet will return and (2) if some of the angels will get pelted in the eruption.

What is even more wonderful is this is not even their turn! They're doing all of this on the coalitions turn. That means -- again, if they live -- they get to heal and rain fire on who and whatever is left again. Of course, if this works, Charlie would no longer have an alliance, so he might return to neutral at that point.

The remaining question, with Charlie in the balance, becomes Jillian and Vinny's forces.

T-O-E
2009-03-20, 11:40 AM
Wow. Just wow.

El_Chupachichis
2009-03-20, 11:44 AM
After viewing this panel, it looks like I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue.

NICE.

Ultimatum479
2009-03-20, 12:28 PM
Has no one else noticed Wanda's perfectly coherent speech? Either her earlier problems with speaking were primarily vocal, allowing her to form thoughts just fine in her head (which would be a pretty specific mental backlash), or establishing a new mental link has (at least temporarily) fixed her.

Is there any reason we have to limit caster links to three? That was sufficient for the earlier Eyemancy combo, but if this proves successful and short-term links can be broken without significant backlash, I think Jack will make an excellent (re-)addition to Maggie's link. He's another caster who's proven himself to be individually competent. Imagine a supposedly vast number of troops attacking the opponent that's actually just a few of Sizemore's strongest golems, the rest being Foolamancy creations, and as they hide among the illusions they get several kills, each instantly rising as an Uncroaked unit to tag along...

BurntOfferings
2009-03-20, 01:03 PM
Is there any reason we have to limit caster links to three?

Yes.

"It's a risky and fragile spell, especially with three. Four can't even be done." (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0060.html)

On another note, it wasn't until the fourth reading that I realized that the "So beautiful" comment was from Sizemore.

Xeticus
2009-03-20, 02:04 PM
I know they are all probably about to die anyway but still...

Doesn't anyone think that making a volcano erupt.

A volcano that they are standing right on top of...

That perhaps this isn't the smartest decision?

I have no idea how they expect to live though this.

They are not just causing the volcano to explode. I think they are animating it as a super volcano golem.

Fez
2009-03-20, 02:10 PM
Having taken a bit more time, here are some thoughts that come to mind:

1. The contrast of the melding in Erfworld and what is currently happening in OOTS is both amusing (in timing to have similar events overlapping) and a good contrast (in terms of the way its presented.) In both. the sum of the mages is far more than the individual parts, including the potential for violence.

2. It was mentioned that there were 2 caster merges (thinkamaster + 1 more). That sort of says the thinkamaster adds to the merged power beyond just allowing coordination between other members. So, we'll see what Maggie's part is in all this.

3. Wanda's slurring is gone as has been mentioned. Perhaps this is healing her if it was solely a magical remnant, but I recognized Wanda's symptoms in people who have had a stroke. She even indicated that the talking is hard, which isn't uncommon at all even if her faculties are recovered. We'll see what happens as they come out of it.

4. And yes, Wanda is waking the volcano, and you can expect Sizemore to help guide its output. Anyone up for a geyser taking out the archons sitting in the airspace directly above it who are out of move?

5. A good reason all the defenders are going to be in the dungeons, things will be getting rather hot on the surface.

I still love the art, the wonder of the casters themselves at what they are seeing and experiencing.

6. Someone dubbed the speckles in the volcano, gems. I don't know if they are as there are some overlapping some deep cracks (old tunnels collapsed by Sizemore?) If they were gems, they probably wouldn't be up at the cracks. That said, Rob and Jami often end up using such details later, so guess away.

7. As I said in my first post I assumed there was something to 'Callahans' beyond the Spider Robinson stories, but given his tendency to link people up, perhaps not.

atteSmythe
2009-03-20, 02:29 PM
Fantastic page. I've read it over and over, and I get a shiver every time. Great update!

Gez
2009-03-20, 02:50 PM
I'm just grateful that we don't have to see Sizemore's...uh, Titan.

I don't know, I find Barbie anatomy more disturbing than male nudity.

Arkenputtyknife
2009-03-20, 03:23 PM
Actually, given who Maggie is supposed to be (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Thatcher), I thought Callahan was a reference to her predecessor, James Callahan (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Callaghan), who had to form a Coalition in the late 1970's.

That's James Callaghan. Seems an unlikely reference.

User Name
2009-03-20, 03:27 PM
So is it just me or does Maggie look bored by all this?

Occasional Sage
2009-03-20, 04:04 PM
I don't know, I find Barbie anatomy more disturbing than male nudity.


Me three!



So is it just me or does Maggie look bored by all this?


Quite possibly. If all she is doing is facilitating the linkage of the other two casters for this (she appeared to be useful in the other link, but not particularly in this one) then she's just... along for the ride here. What's exciting, other than the possibility of impending death? Heck, even that isn't necessarily a big deal to her if Sizemore (i.e. part of her mind) is convinced that he can guide the lava to protect them!

dr pepper
2009-03-20, 04:11 PM
As much as the art blew me away, i'm surprised that Maggie wasn't featured, maybe her face superimposed over the scene. But i trust the authors to come up with a better and more satisfying idea.

DevilDan
2009-03-20, 04:55 PM
So is it just me or does Maggie look bored by all this?

I'd say that her detachment is serving her well. Under the best conditions, this must require a significant amount of skill, effort, and concentration. Doing this sort of mindbending after all that they've gone through already must be a strain on all of them and perhaps particularly on Maggie.

OnDroid
2009-03-20, 04:57 PM
Yes.

"It's a risky and fragile spell, especially with three. Four can't even be done." (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0060.html)


I would also suggest the "lack-of-more-than-2-thinkamancers-hands-to-hold-merging-casters-with" limitation. :smallwink:

Hopefully the uncroaked volcano won't fall apart in few turns just like common uncroaked. That would make things really BAD for GK.

And I must also say GREAT page.

El_Chupachichis
2009-03-20, 04:58 PM
I saw those gems as individual units, like campfires or lights. I know it's not night, but there may be many lights in the tunnels. Oh well.

elrod13
2009-03-20, 05:02 PM
Well...
I had been PLANNING on buying a copy of the story when it is published.
But - after seeing THIS...

I will probably have to get two.

Wanda's looks improve every time.
If finding a fictional character "hot" is wrong... my probation officer can't know abbout this.

SteveD
2009-03-20, 05:27 PM
There's something vaguely sexual about the panel (and I don't mean the nudity or that Sizemore seems to be having some sort of orgasm in the bottom image).

Not a perfect analogy, but its almost like the two of them are coming together to create new life in the Volcano's womb-like magma chamber.

Opal Tide
2009-03-20, 06:00 PM
Great, great page. I have really liked the evolution of Art in this strip be it because the artist is getting better or as part of the overall narrative it all works out very well.

lot of great comments thus far. One thing that sprang to my mind was that the personalist meld is not an instantaneous event. Wanda and Sizemore are still referring to themselves as discreet entities (even if it is by their caster class). I'll be interested to see how this changes over time.

Maybe the font the indicates who is speaking/thinking will gradually merge into one font type.

Harr
2009-03-20, 07:22 PM
Nice layout, very evocative.

fendrin
2009-03-20, 08:16 PM
There's something vaguely sexual about the panel (and I don't mean the nudity or that Sizemore seems to be having some sort of orgasm in the bottom image).

Not a perfect analogy, but its almost like the two of them are coming together to create new life in the Volcano's womb-like magma chamber.

I agree. 'Sexual' was the first word that came to mind, but it's not quite right...

It's more the kind of tension and energy that precedes a birth. More 'procreative' than 'sexual'.

Also, I love the way that the slightly different fonts emphasize and distinguish the personalities of of Sizemore and Wanda.

Between that and the facial expressions... the worry and dismay pre-linking, the intentness, sadness, rapture and glee in the link... I don't think the art of this page could be any better.

Jamie, you have outdone yourself again!
Oh and Rob, the writing is excellent as well. Almost poetic.

abb3w
2009-03-20, 08:45 PM
I'm guessing that Callahan's is a reference to the series by Spider Robinson about a rather eccentric barkeep named Callahan and his equally unusual clientèle.

Specifically, "The Mick of Time" from Callahan's Secret (http://www.amazon.com/dp/0812572297) (originally published in AnalogSF).

abb3w
2009-03-20, 08:53 PM
...it occurs to me that there is one major worry to this plan.

Once revivified, undead decay. :smallfrown:
That could be bad for your mountain fortress.

That, however, is a long term problem. Meanwhile... Anyone else here waded through Tad Williams trilogy Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn? It's time to see if a mountain can be made to dance.

raphfrk
2009-03-20, 08:55 PM
Looking at panel 3, presumably all 3 of them will get grey skin after the link?

MReav
2009-03-20, 09:12 PM
I'm curious, are those orange yellow and purple dots gems?

hobgoblen924
2009-03-20, 10:52 PM
Am I the only one who gets the Goatse reference? Disturbing... :smalleek:

awww everything is ruined forever

KilltheToy
2009-03-20, 11:03 PM
:smalleek:

That....that went beyond strange for me. And the fact that I'M saying that means alot

Firest
2009-03-20, 11:57 PM
Callahan is a reference to the Spider Robinson series.

A running subplot through the stories is the characters occasional ability to mindlink together in order to deal with the odd genocidal alien attack.

ishnar
2009-03-21, 12:52 AM
Callahan is a reference to the Spider Robinson series.

A running subplot through the stories is the characters occasional ability to mindlink together in order to deal with the odd genocidal alien attack.

You say that, but when I google callahans I get

1. Callahan's General store
2. Callahan's Siskiyou Lodge
3. Callahan's Pub & Brewery
4. Callahan's Bar and Grill
5. Callahan's Place
6. Callahan's Hot Dog Restaurant
7. Callahan's of Calabash
8. Bill Callahan on myspace
9. Callahan's Cleveland diary
10. Callahan's Lenexa sports bar restaurant

Don't see any mention of Spider Robinson at all until page 3. So I say if it is spider robinson, then it's not a great sound effect since it's not something that can be be expected to be known by the reader or easily looked up.

Fez
2009-03-21, 12:59 AM
You say that, but when I google callahans I get

1. Callahan's General store
2. Callahan's Siskiyou Lodge
3. Callahan's Pub & Brewery
4. Callahan's Bar and Grill
5. Callahan's Place
6. Callahan's Hot Dog Restaurant
7. Callahan's of Calabash
8. Bill Callahan on myspace
9. Callahan's Cleveland diary
10. Callahan's Lenexa sports bar restaurant

Don't see any mention of Spider Robinson at all until page 3. So I say if it is spider robinson, then it's not a great sound effect since it's not something that can be be expected to be known by the reader or easily looked up.

Well it is a pretty common name, but absent any other psychic or vulcanism related references to 'Callahan', Callahan's Cross Time Saloon and the various stories does make the most sense. While it may only be page 3 on google, its a pretty well known and influential set of stories in SF. Now if they start making toasts and tossing the shot glasses into the magma flow we'll know for certain :)

The only reason I asked about other references is that I'd forgotten about the mind melding stuff they do there (its been a little while since I've read them.)

ishnar
2009-03-21, 01:24 AM
Well it is a pretty common name, but absent any other psychic or vulcanism related references to 'Callahan', Callahan's Cross Time Saloon and the various stories does make the most sense. While it may only be page 3 on google, its a pretty well known and influential set of stories in SF. Now if they start making toasts and tossing the shot glasses into the magma flow we'll know for certain :)

The only reason I asked about other references is that I'd forgotten about the mind melding stuff they do there (its been a little while since I've read them.)

Personally, I was thinking it must be Callahan's General Goods because they probably sell Wanda's tools there.

I read a lot of SF and Fantasy, been reading at least 100 books a year for 3 decades. While the name sounds familiar I don't remember ever seeing one of his books on the shelf and having to decide whether to read it or not. None of the book covers are even remotely familiar.

Thydron
2009-03-21, 01:25 AM
I think this page would have been more exciting if the final line of 134 had been "thinkamancer, form a link with the croackamancer and the dirtamancer" rather than Parson giving away the plan to us totally.

But definitely one of the most interesting pages art-wise & it looks like Stanley might have a new source of money to rebuild if his side survives the eruption

glissle
2009-03-21, 02:03 AM
It just struck me today that Parson might no longer have anyone to consult with or vent to, with Bogroll dead and the casters subsumed in the link.

With the eyebook hacked, I hope the trimancer can still exchange thinkagrams with Stanley / Jack.

cyan-shine
2009-03-21, 03:18 AM
Awesome comic ! :cool:

The Antigamer
2009-03-21, 05:19 AM
It's definitely a Spider Robinson reference. Those books are amazing. If you haven't read them, you should.

HandofShadows
2009-03-21, 06:56 AM
Excellent page. And what's left of the RCC is sooooo screwed. The question is who is left to fight over GK? :smallconfused:

shamelessmerc
2009-03-21, 07:32 AM
I don't know, I find Barbie anatomy more disturbing than male nudity.


Well said! I find the barbie anatomy very jarring, especialy since posture could have been used to disguise it.

It's a bit like all the people who have no problem with Dr Manhatten exploding people into bloody goo, but freak out that they were 'forced' to look at his member.

Grow up! Half the human race have one!

noncaloric
2009-03-21, 09:42 AM
If the mountain is about to be uncroaked, and the pliers turn most uncroaked into dust ... lateral thinking indeed.

Fjolnir
2009-03-21, 09:54 AM
I agree. 'Sexual' was the first word that came to mind, but it's not quite right...

It's more the kind of tension and energy that precedes a birth. More 'procreative' than 'sexual'.

Also, I love the way that the slightly different fonts emphasize and distinguish the personalities of of Sizemore and Wanda.

Between that and the facial expressions... the worry and dismay pre-linking, the intentness, sadness, rapture and glee in the link... I don't think the art of this page could be any better.

Jamie, you have outdone yourself again!
Oh and Rob, the writing is excellent as well. Almost poetic.

Sexual is incorrect though sensual, intimate, and possibly even erotic may all be fairly good qualifying terms for the scene unfolding here, the two characters minds are joined in a way designed to cause pleasure AND facilitate spell casting. A metaphysical coupling like this is certainly interesting because we thought the link was fairly uncomfortable to the casters, however it seems like it's a rather pleasurable experience, no wonder there's psychic backlash when they leave...

Fez
2009-03-21, 11:18 AM
Personally, I was thinking it must be Callahan's General Goods because they probably sell Wanda's tools there.

I read a lot of SF and Fantasy, been reading at least 100 books a year for 3 decades. While the name sounds familiar I don't remember ever seeing one of his books on the shelf and having to decide whether to read it or not. None of the book covers are even remotely familiar.

As someone else said later, you should give them a try. I'm mixed on Robinson, but the Callahan's series is what made him as a writer. I am partial to the short stories from the era of Analog and other mags, so that's a plus as the stories derive from that background.

And its a shame how few books you see on the shelves these days in general. New SF/Fantasy is at a low point with romance/vampire/fantasy crossovers being far more popular, and older titles have a hard time getting a reprint unless one of a very small set of authors.

Twad
2009-03-21, 12:17 PM
i personally think that the callahan reference is about the Dark tower novels from Stephen king. *'spirit' travels and stuff like that (vadassh?)

TheTurnipKing
2009-03-21, 01:11 PM
Great page !

I just wonder how they can survive activating the volcano, as the lava might pass near the dungon :smalleek:
the Dirtamancer could presumably redirect magma flows within the mountain by closing some passages and opening others.

Kyouhen
2009-03-21, 02:35 PM
I think Maggie's contribution to the link right now is allowing Wanda and Sizemore to see the entire mountain like that...

raphfrk
2009-03-21, 04:05 PM
I think Maggie's contribution to the link right now is allowing Wanda and Sizemore to see the entire mountain like that...

But that would presumably be lookamancy.

Kyouhen
2009-03-21, 04:46 PM
But that would presumably be lookamancy.

I dunno, I'd be more inclined to think that this is their minds being projected. Lookamancy might let them see what's going on elsewhere, but I don't think it would be enough to let them extend their powers to that point.

raphfrk
2009-03-21, 05:28 PM
I dunno, I'd be more inclined to think that this is their minds being projected. Lookamancy might let them see what's going on elsewhere, but I don't think it would be enough to let them extend their powers to that point.

Ahh, would make sense for thinkamancy, it moves/expands their minds so they can see the whole mountain, rather than lookamancy which would allow them see from their current position.

fendrin
2009-03-21, 05:37 PM
Ahh, would make sense for thinkamancy, it moves/expands their minds so they can see the whole mountain, rather than lookamancy which would allow them see from their current position.

Or perhaps it's how a dirtamancer perceives their rocky surroundings, albeit enhanced by the link. The role of a thinkamancer in a link is the link itself, and possibly as a safe point of contact with the outside world.


Name? Just "Lookamancer" now. Was called "Misty."

Efogoto
2009-03-21, 07:31 PM
Well said! I find the barbie anatomy very jarring, especialy since posture could have been used to disguise it.

It's a bit like all the people who have no problem with Dr Manhatten exploding people into bloody goo, but freak out that they were 'forced' to look at his member.

Grow up! Half the human race have one!

Parson's Klog (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0048.html) mentions that Erfworlders just pop in like the food, fully formed with basic abilities. They may well not have sexual organs.

dr pepper
2009-03-21, 08:02 PM
We've been through this already. Yeah, erflings don't procreate, but they do have sex. Jillian and Ansom have sex. Wanda and Stanley have Sex. Mung tells Wanda he has an erection.

Wadoka
2009-03-21, 08:19 PM
Well, the Epic Soundtrack just kicked in. I'm hearing "Ave Fortuna" in my head.

And re: GK, all I could think of was to begin reciting Hail Marys.

Bassetking
2009-03-21, 09:12 PM
I just wanted to say...

Thank you. For the Callahan's reference. I was delighted to see it, and feel it complimented the comic perfectly.

Zorfa_Tamanjoir
2009-03-22, 01:40 AM
I agree. 'Sexual' was the first word that came to mind, but it's not quite right...


You are right, to anyone who has the image burned into their brain its GOATSE that comes to mind, I mean look at the hands at the bottom. And now that is forever how you will see this page.

And does anyone think that Charlie is going to interfere somehow? Maybe breaking the link too early?

ishnar
2009-03-22, 02:00 AM
You are right, to anyone who has the image burned into their brain its GOATSE that comes to mind, I mean look at the hands at the bottom. And now that is forever how you will see this page.

And does anyone think that Charlie is going to interfere somehow? Maybe breaking the link too early?

If that happens I give up.

Kyouhen
2009-03-22, 02:48 AM
You are right, to anyone who has the image burned into their brain its GOATSE that comes to mind, I mean look at the hands at the bottom. And now that is forever how you will see this page.

And does anyone think that Charlie is going to interfere somehow? Maybe breaking the link too early?

I could see Charlie wanting to interfere, as an animated volcano would no doubt ruin his little plans to get his hands on Parson. Unfortunately the Archons are out of move and have no way of getting into the dungeon until the next day, and by then Parson will have had a full turn with his beast.

Zorfa_Tamanjoir
2009-03-22, 02:58 AM
I could see Charlie wanting to interfere, as an animated volcano would no doubt ruin his little plans to get his hands on Parson. Unfortunately the Archons are out of move and have no way of getting into the dungeon until the next day, and by then Parson will have had a full turn with his beast.

But Charlie has hacked the Eye-books, and isn't he, by virtue of his artifact, the premier thinkamancer in the world? Maggie already mentioned that he could get into Parson's head, why not a weakened, casting-distracted Thinkamancer? Though no contact is being initiated from GK side.

Goshen
2009-03-22, 05:23 AM
Or perhaps it's how a dirtamancer perceives their rocky surroundings, albeit enhanced by the link. The role of a thinkamancer in a link is the link itself, and possibly as a safe point of contact with the outside world.Agree. I also think that the joined mind is able to pour the power of three casters into doing what it wants to do at any one time, which had to begin with perceiving. Next, the trimancer will put all its power into animating the mountain, etc.


Sexual is incorrect though sensual, intimate, and possibly even erotic may all be fairly good qualifying terms for the scene unfolding here, the two characters minds are joined in a way designed to cause pleasure AND facilitate spell casting. A metaphysical coupling like this is certainly interesting because we thought the link was fairly uncomfortable to the casters, however it seems like it's a rather pleasurable experience, no wonder there's psychic backlash when they leave...Yes, it looks like Maggie is managing the experience for maximum efficiency. Cold and efficient, she would torture them if she thought it would produce a better result, but casters are likely too complex and too cerebral for that to work well. Although, Wanda would probably like that too. :smalltongue:


Well said! I find the barbie anatomy very jarring, especialy since posture could have been used to disguise it.
Word! Usually, when I see no-genitalia male figure it makes me fear for my own member, like it may disappear from too much sexless time in my books and blogs. :smalleek: That said, a neutered Sizemore did not bother me too much, because he is a rather neutered personality anyway. You can bet Wanda's self-image has all it's woman-parts. :smalltongue:


It's a bit like all the people who have no problem with Dr Manhatten exploding people into bloody goo, but freak out that they were 'forced' to look at his member. Now, there you have really hit the nail on the head! It is a fundamental hypocrisy in Western civilization (not that others are better or worse) that violence is okay but sex is bad. All over the entertainment media people are shot, stabbed, killed, raped, and humiliated. Most of the imagery is directed at women, plenty toward men and even children are not safe. Sex is also depicted all over the place, but in a strangely repressed manner.

Do you remember the scandal around Janet Jackson's 2004 prime time boob exposure at the superbowl? Given the media frenzy at the time, it was like a giant tit-monster had loomed over the horizon and crushed America. The case is *still* in litigation!! (http://www.onenewsnow.com/Legal/Default.aspx?id=426182) Get over it, people, It's just a boob.

Finally, a prediction: The Arkenpliers will be used against the uncroaked lava-monster.

...off soapbox...

djharr
2009-03-22, 05:42 AM
Speaking of getting creeped out, am I the only one that found Spider Robinson's stuff more and more creepy as time went by? He was a rabid fan of Heinlein, and seems to have had a similar progression as a writer. Start writing interesting fiction, then start bringing in weird elements, and end up with everyone f*cking their way to happiness and universal enlightenment. And I mean EVERYBODY. Your mother, your best friend, your dog...

Yuck.

I was cleaning out my bookshelf today, and just threw out all the Spider Robinson stuff, because it was so disturbing.

VariaVespasa
2009-03-22, 06:01 AM
I've only ever read his early Callahans stuff, but I've met him, back in the late 80's/early '90s. He's just slightly a hippy, and, um, yeah, so I'm not surprised his stuff has verged towards the odd since then. I'm sure his wife being a soto zen monk just helped that right along. :P I made the mistake of going to his "Spiders choice" video night at V-con one year, and it was.... arty and unengaging... To me, at least. So just enjoy that of his work that you can, and disregard the rest, however much or little that may be. No biggie. :)

Lombard
2009-03-22, 06:18 AM
Am I the only one who gets the Goatse reference? Disturbing... :smalleek:

lol I'm thinkin that reference is all in your head, dude.

MReav
2009-03-22, 10:45 AM
Um, seeing as how they don't reproduce the human way, I'm wondering if that is the natural representation of their genitalia.

Gez
2009-03-22, 12:17 PM
Um, seeing as how they don't reproduce the human way, I'm wondering if that is the natural representation of their genitalia.

Considering they don't nurse children, their females shouldn't have boobs either. It's trimanceric Volcanuncroakspell-O-Vision; not a documentary on Erfworldian anatomy.

Kyouhen
2009-03-22, 02:10 PM
But Charlie has hacked the Eye-books, and isn't he, by virtue of his artifact, the premier thinkamancer in the world? Maggie already mentioned that he could get into Parson's head, why not a weakened, casting-distracted Thinkamancer? Though no contact is being initiated from GK side.

I think Charlie can only hack the Eye-books because they act as a medium for Thinkagrams. Or at least something similar to Thinkagrams. He can tap into them so he can have conversations with the holders without having to use an actual Thinkagram. I don't think they ever make it clear whether or not Charlie was able to access the notes Parson had put in there. Otherwise I think he needs to be closer to the target or have the target make contact with him first. The Arkendish would be just a little overpowered, especially for a mercenary, if he could tap into people's minds at will and make them do whatever he wants. :smalltongue:

Goshen
2009-03-22, 06:01 PM
Kyouhen, what is your avatar? What is that thing?

Starwaster
2009-03-22, 06:16 PM
Does anyone else find spirit-form Wanda hotter than normal?

Or is it wrong that I find her hot at all...


Uhm.... I'd do her.:smallwink:

ThreeEyedOni
2009-03-22, 06:25 PM
I think Charlie can only hack the Eye-books because they act as a medium for Thinkagrams. Or at least something similar to Thinkagrams. He can tap into them so he can have conversations with the holders without having to use an actual Thinkagram. I don't think they ever make it clear whether or not Charlie was able to access the notes Parson had put in there. Otherwise I think he needs to be closer to the target or have the target make contact with him first. The Arkendish would be just a little overpowered, especially for a mercenary, if he could tap into people's minds at will and make them do whatever he wants. :smalltongue:

I figured that the Eyebooks were basically a sort of permanent thinkagram network, meaning that there was something easily noticed and hacked into (relative ease to him, at least). I don't see any reason to think that Charlie could at-distance hack into any of their brains without some agent being relatively close. If he could do that, I'm sure he'd exist beyond a "mercenary" status.

dr pepper
2009-03-22, 07:03 PM
Kyouhen, what is your avatar? What is that thing?

The name of the image file is vorpal ooze so i guess that what it's supposed to be. From Kyouhen's sig, i'm guessing it's a GM grudge monster.

abb3w
2009-03-22, 07:24 PM
I figured that the Eyebooks were basically a sort of permanent thinkagram network, meaning that there was something easily noticed and hacked into (relative ease to him, at least). I don't see any reason to think that Charlie could at-distance hack into any of their brains without some agent being relatively close. If he could do that, I'm sure he'd exist beyond a "mercenary" status.

Undersecured wireless network, vs. isolated wired LAN. Big difference. The most he could do would be trying to DDOS Maggie at her firewalls; that's unlikely to be tried. First, Charlie believes in getting paid for what he does. Second, he doesn't believe in playing games that HAVE a losing scenario, and so is too cautious to do that. Because from his standpoint, meddling could lead to options which might be substantially worse for his forces than Parson having control of an uncroaked volcano.

For perspective, consider the (spoilerific) excerpt on control of the undead from Jim Butcher's seventh Dresden Files novel, Dead Beat (http://www.amazon.com/dp/0451460278):

"Whatever you do, keep that drum-beat going. Do you understand?"
"Right," Butters said. "If I stop, no more dinosaur."
"No," I called hack. "If you stop, the dinosaur does whatever the hell it wants to."
Now substitute an uncroaked volcano (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=5900368#post5900368). :smalleek:

Charlie plans long-term, and he doesn't consider Parson an enemy; at most, Parson might be competition, but more likely a potentially useful minion or ally.

shamelessmerc
2009-03-22, 07:31 PM
Um, seeing as how they don't reproduce the human way, I'm wondering if that is the natural representation of their genitalia.

Yep, I had thought of that but I don't agree...

other options:

1) Sizemore has little in the way of self-worth and 'body confidence' so his mental image of himself does not include his unused equipment (nod to Goshen)

2) in some books I've read the astral form of a projected mind is sexless

3) the authors knew putting in a penis would cause collective minds to blow, and possibly cause publishing issues

As I said before, it could have been disguised by posture

Ragn Charran
2009-03-22, 07:40 PM
Why does everyone assume Sizemore never gets any action?

C'mon people, he hangs out with hippiemancers.

shamelessmerc
2009-03-22, 08:11 PM
Why does everyone assume Sizemore never gets any action?

C'mon people, he hangs out with hippiemancers.

Are you advocating forcing yourself on paraliticly stoned girls???!!!!

Seriously... hippie-chicks always fall asleep on you

MattR
2009-03-22, 08:30 PM
...it occurs to me that there is one major worry to this plan.

Once revivified, undead decay. :smallfrown:
That could be bad for your mountain fortress.

That, however, is a long term problem. Meanwhile... Anyone else here waded through Tad Williams trilogy Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn? It's time to see if a mountain can be made to dance.

LOVE those books :) kudos to the man for not spoiling things and needlessly revisiting the setting just to squeeze more money from the readers too.

Goshen
2009-03-22, 08:30 PM
It would be funny if Sizemore had a big hairy schwanz. Kind of like how nerdy Ned Flanders in the Simpsons is pornographically well built. :smalltongue: It would also completely distract from what Rob and Jamie are trying to convey in the page, so I'm glad it's not there.


You are right, to anyone who has the image burned into their brain its GOATSE that comes to mind, I mean look at the hands at the bottom. And now that is forever how you will see this page.

I do NOT think the lava image is Goatsee refernce! The shockamancy of looking up the goatsee image has left many of us emotionally scarred, a kind of PTSD. You have to get past it man! Heal!

Kyouhen
2009-03-22, 08:44 PM
The name of the image file is vorpal ooze so i guess that what it's supposed to be. From Kyouhen's sig, i'm guessing it's a GM grudge monster.

Yes, it's my attempt at drawing my Vorpal Ooze, an ooze made entirely out of swords, knives and other pointy weapons. It's how I keep bad ideas out of my game. :smalltongue: (Fortunately I've never had to actually bring it out, I just threaten with it for lulz)

And no, it doesn't look like goatse. If you want to clean that image from your head just remember that their hands are too far up for that to be the case. :smallwink:

noncaloric
2009-03-22, 10:41 PM
I do NOT think the lava image is Goatsee refernce! The shockamancy of looking up the goatsee image has left many of us emotionally scarred, a kind of PTSD. You have to get past it man! Heal!

Agreed. In goatse, the hands grab the orifice at the sides, whereas here, they grab it near the top. Also, goatse does not have the rightwards distension of the orifice shown in the magma chamber here. Any resemblance to goatse here is likely purely coincidental.

ishnar
2009-03-22, 10:56 PM
Well said! I find the barbie anatomy very jarring, especialy since posture could have been used to disguise it.

It's a bit like all the people who have no problem with Dr Manhatten exploding people into bloody goo, but freak out that they were 'forced' to look at his member.

Grow up! Half the human race have one!

I think you're not thinking this through. I've seen many series, not just drawn but written where the genitalia are missing from the spirt body. Remember that Sex is supposedly non-existant in the spirit world. Bodies are nearly always depicted very vaguely and the standard explanation is that the only reason the spirit body is not formless is because the person's self-image is asserting itself subconsciously. In many series a person COULD change their spirit body to be an exact copy of the physical body, but that would take deliberate effort and the skill of practice.

MadMaw
2009-03-23, 04:57 AM
Agreed. In goatse, the hands grab the orifice at the sides, whereas here, they grab it near the top. Also, goatse does not have the rightwards distension of the orifice shown in the magma chamber here. Any resemblance to goatse here is likely purely coincidental.

I dunno dude, the last line by Sizemore, "So beautiful", has the look of being a punch-line, which, if the image is a Goatse reference, makes sense. The fact that it has been echoed by heaps of people on the facebook group (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Erfworld/44806736881?ref=mf) (see 'Just Fans') doesn't make it any less funny either.

The uncroaking of a volcano's core by magic could be represented in a lot of ways, while effective, two hands pulling it open wouldn't be the first one that springs to mind. That said, it is a fantastic piece of art regardless of the inspiration.

shamelessmerc
2009-03-23, 07:45 AM
I think you're not thinking this through. I've seen many series, not just drawn but written where the genitalia are missing from the spirt body. Remember that Sex is supposedly non-existant in the spirit world. Bodies are nearly always depicted very vaguely and the standard explanation is that the only reason the spirit body is not formless is because the person's self-image is asserting itself subconsciously. In many series a person COULD change their spirit body to be an exact copy of the physical body, but that would take deliberate effort and the skill of practice.

I have thought it through (and I'm sure you've now read my later posts:-) )

I was mainly repling the the 4 or 5 post expressing relief that Sizemore was shown 'sans titan', which just struck me as hypocritical; especialy in light of all the posts drooling over Wanda.

fendrin
2009-03-23, 08:56 AM
But Charlie has hacked the Eye-books, and isn't he, by virtue of his artifact, the premier thinkamancer in the world? Maggie already mentioned that he could get into Parson's head, why not a weakened, casting-distracted Thinkamancer? Though no contact is being initiated from GK side.

The evidence seems to show that linkng makes the casters stronger not distracted and vulnerable. or at lest magically. Physically they do seem to perhaps be more vulnerable.

Seriously though, would you want to risk making contact with a thinkamancer-croakamancer link? Who knows what psycho-death magic such a union could produce. Toss in a little dirtamancy and you might find your brain getting petrified.


It's trimanceric Volcanuncroakspell-O-Vision; not a documentary on Erfworldian anatomy.

QFT.

ShneekeyTheLost
2009-03-23, 12:00 PM
Oh Parson, I don't think the Tool is gonna like this...

So Stanly shows back up. Parson stands up, battered but victorious. He defeated the RCC army, twenty-five times his size, without backup or support from Stanly.

Stanly's reaction:

"WTF you booping boophead! You single-handedly destroyed the most powerful defensive position in the WORLD! Are you incompetent by nature or do you actually have to booping practice?"

"Hey, I beat the army, didn't I?"

"By doing their job for them! If you had just let them occupy the place, I could have come in the next turn and flushed them out with my Dwagons. Now I have to spend MILLIONS of Shmuckers just trying to get back to square one!"

Yea. some people are never pleased...

BillyJimBoBob
2009-03-23, 01:12 PM
I know they are all probably about to die anyway but still...

Doesn't anyone think that making a volcano erupt.

A volcano that they are standing right on top of...

That perhaps this isn't the smartest decision?

I have no idea how they expect to live though this.I'm not sure they expect to live, so much as this is the only chance they have to not lose. If even a single GK troop survives, and no RCC troops survive, GK wins. Besides, Sizemore is a potent Dirtamancer. If anyone can keep a portion of GK shielded during a volcanic eruption or the creation of an uncroaked volcano elemental, he is the one.

I'm guessing that Callahan's is a reference to the series by Spider Robinson about a rather eccentric barkeep named Callahan and his equally unusual clientèle.I thought it was a reference to Thought Field Therapy, developed by Roger Callahan, a therapy exercised by tapping the hands. I know it's a huge stretch, but the hand holding and Maggie's psychiatrist-like talk at the start evoked that image for me.

BillyJimBoBob
2009-03-23, 02:31 PM
That said, a neutered Sizemore did not bother me too much, because he is a rather neutered personality anyway. You can bet Wanda's self-image has all it's woman-parts. :smalltongue:Note that Wanda has no nipples in her spirit form.


Do you remember the scandal around Janet Jackson's 2004 prime time boob exposure at the superbowl? Given the media frenzy at the time, it was like a giant tit-monster had loomed over the horizon and crushed America. The case is *still* in litigation!! (http://www.onenewsnow.com/Legal/Default.aspx?id=426182) Get over it, people, It's just a boob.I was displeased by that display, not because a nipple *gasp!* was shown to OMG, think of the children, but that it was a scene of violence, with Timberlake ripping off a part of her costume, followed by Jackson giving him a look of shock and then covering herself. There's enough misogyny in popular culture already. It's telling that your linked news article refers to it as a "striptease", when it was in no way such, regardless of how planned the event was.

Considering they don't nurse children, their females shouldn't have boobs either.But remember, Stanley specified that the summoned warlord should feel comfortable in the setting. Parson would probably be very weirded out by a bunch of Erf females without breasts.

Seriously... hippie-chicks always fall asleep on youMemory serves me well of my college days. They never fall asleep on you. They have 10 times your energy.

So Stanly shows back up. Parson stands up, battered but victorious. He defeated the RCC army, twenty-five times his size, without backup or support from Stanly.

Stanly's reaction:

"WTF you booping boophead! You single-handedly destroyed the most powerful defensive position in the WORLD! Are you incompetent by nature or do you actually have to booping practice?"Parson's reply:
"Trimancer, start the magma golem pouring new walls and a new tower. We'll have this place looking better than before in just a turn or two."

DarkNewton
2009-03-23, 02:39 PM
Am I the only one who expects for a full volcano sized golem to stand up out of the former volcano with trimancer+Parson in a room in it's head, maybe with some toy steering wheel console that he uses to drive the thing.

Then the RCC can break out it's voltron+hellokitty members..

/then/ we see real dance fighting..

Goshen
2009-03-23, 09:06 PM
Yes, it's my attempt at drawing my Vorpal Ooze, an ooze made entirely out of swords, knives and other pointy weapons. It's how I keep bad ideas out of my game. :smalltongue: (Fortunately I've never had to actually bring it out, I just threaten with it for lulz)
Kewl. I thought it looked like a cross between a demon slug and a swiss army knife from hell. :smallsmile:

My avatar is our half-toothless cat. He doesn't drool much, but he makes weird faces no normal cat could manage.

Goshen
2009-03-23, 09:14 PM
I was displeased by that display, not because a nipple *gasp!* was shown to OMG, think of the children, but that it was a scene of violence, with Timberlake ripping off a part of her costume, followed by Jackson giving him a look of shock and then covering herself. There's enough misogyny in popular culture already. It's telling that your linked news article refers to it as a "striptease", when it was in no way such, regardless of how planned the event was.Not having seen the clip myself, that aspect of it escaped me, but I'll trust your description. Yeah, that's not very good role modeling, but I still think it was an accident.

What you say about violence against women, I do agree with. it's bad and way to common in pop culture. That makes the role of the Dominatrix (like Wanda) very interesting. What can it mean?

CaptC
2009-03-23, 10:58 PM
Two words: Lava Golem(s).

What kind of music is hotter than Metal?

Fez
2009-03-24, 01:10 AM
Hmm. In terms of ruthlessness...

I just realized, it is possible that Parson is not expecting to live at all, nor anyone here currently. (I don't think this is his plan, but its possible.)

Specifically, awaken the volcano. kill absolutely everything in this hex. All of the RCC, all of the garrison, all of Charlie's archons.

Next turn, who is up first? Stanley. Stanley returns and pretty much has won. Has only a level 1 city left (if that. Maybe no city at all). Still, only enemies left are Jillian and her squad. You'd have to expect that the Transylvitans won't want to be involved at all after something wiped out all of the RCC and Charlie's forces. Because no one will know quite what happened. Thus a good time to turtle.

Would certainly be ruthless.

Sweetie Welf
2009-03-24, 03:00 AM
This could end in some real downer ending; Everyone dead, city destroyed and only Stanley left. And because Transylvito and Charley are still part of the Coalition, they would attack. Exspecially Charley would; he could transfer his remaining Archons and mop up the rest of Stanley. I don't think he could resist the temptation of having two more arkentools. So Stanley probably would have to run away.

VariaVespasa
2009-03-24, 04:02 AM
No, this is not intended as a suicide run by Parson. The players in his game were intended to WIN if they came up with an outrageous enough cheat, not merely take the enemy with them. I dont believe Erf will diverge from that, so the only way Parson dies is if an enemy attack gets through to him before the trimancer wipes them out (which is still possible, after all), or if the cheat isnt outrageous enough. I'm sure the trimancer can keep their area safe from the lava easily enough. Sizemore can seal the tunnels leading to them, no problem, if they arent already.

The trimancer will survive for sure, again unless someone stabs it. Theyre standing at the portal room. Parson will order the trimancer through the portal to save it before he allows it to be engulfed by lava. He is required to stand and fight to the best of his ability, but he is not required to die or lose resources to no purpose if he can save them. He couldnt order the casters away while he still had a play left to make, hence the formation of the trimancer, but once its flee or lava? Then he can, and would order it through the portal.

Talic
2009-03-24, 05:19 AM
No, this is not intended as a suicide run by Parson. The players in his game were intended to WIN if they came up with an outrageous enough cheat, not merely take the enemy with them. I dont believe Erf will diverge from that, so the only way Parson dies is if an enemy attack gets through to him before the trimancer wipes them out (which is still possible, after all), or if the cheat isnt outrageous enough. I'm sure the trimancer can keep their area safe from the lava easily enough. Sizemore can seal the tunnels leading to them, no problem, if they arent already.

The trimancer will survive for sure, again unless someone stabs it. Theyre standing at the portal room. Parson will order the trimancer through the portal to save it before he allows it to be engulfed by lava. He is required to stand and fight to the best of his ability, but he is not required to die or lose resources to no purpose if he can save them. He couldnt order the casters away while he still had a play left to make, hence the formation of the trimancer, but once its flee or lava? Then he can, and would order it through the portal.

Well, as he said, he wins if he renders the enemy unable to take the garrison.

Filling it with lava and retreating through the portal would accomplish that.

On a side note, I think Maggie is providing increased comprehension to the others. She's enabling them to think better.

ajs
2009-03-24, 07:35 AM
The profile from the tunnels under the volcano looks very familiar, but I can't remember from where. It might be from a sample adventure in the first edition AD&D books, or the basic D&D book with the blue cover that came out in 1980 or so, or maybe somewhere else. All of my RPG stuff is packed away, but somebody must know.

Where is that dungeon from?

StClair
2009-03-24, 01:22 PM
Both the blue-cover Basic D&D (with the red dragon) and the red-cover Basic (with the green dragon) had similar cross sections of sample dungeons.

Also, just wanted to say I loved this page. It's simply beautiful art, and I've saved it to my HD.

ajs
2009-03-24, 01:42 PM
Both the blue-cover Basic D&D (with the red dragon) and the red-cover Basic (with the green dragon) had similar cross sections of sample dungeons.
Thanks- it was driving me to distraction. Unpacking and repacking 40 boxes of books to find that page was starting to seem like a good idea. :smallsmile:

Zorfa_Tamanjoir
2009-03-24, 02:20 PM
I think we need a vulcanologist to tune in, but I'm thinking this is a suicide mission, mainly because the entire mountain is going to heat up I suspect, even if the dirtamancer keeps the tunnels sealed.

I know that in Hawaii, on the bid island the mountains collect snow, but I don't think that its the regularly active ones. And certainly my memory of pouring liquid aluminum (which is what ~700F?) in HS metals class was that the sand and the molds got quite hot.

Combining that with the noxious gases produced by eruptions, and I really think this is might not end well.

Pointyleaf
2009-03-24, 03:13 PM
I think we need a vulcanologist to tune in, but I'm thinking this is a suicide mission, mainly because the entire mountain is going to heat up I suspect, even if the dirtamancer keeps the tunnels sealed.

I know that in Hawaii, on the bid island the mountains collect snow, but I don't think that its the regularly active ones. And certainly my memory of pouring liquid aluminum (which is what ~700F?) in HS metals class was that the sand and the molds got quite hot.

Combining that with the noxious gases produced by eruptions, and I really think this is might not end well.

Melting point of Aluminum is around 1200 F, FWIW. I don't know how much the entire mountain will heat up - dirt's a pretty good insulator; it all just depends on where the lava goes.

Kyouhen
2009-03-24, 03:27 PM
The gasses wouldn't be a problem as long as the Trimancer opens some holes for it to vent out of.

Sweetie Welf
2009-03-24, 06:31 PM
No, this is not intended as a suicide run by Parson. The players in his game were intended to WIN if they came up with an outrageous enough cheat, not merely take the enemy with them.

That is a valid point. But only if Parson is the player. As far as I know the only person with free will is Stanley. And technically GK would still win if everybody except the Tool would be croaked.

Glome
2009-03-24, 07:21 PM
That is a valid point. But only if Parson is the player. As far as I know the only person with free will is Stanley. And technically GK would still win if everybody except the Tool would be croaked.

It would be a pretty pyrrhic victory though if even Parson didn't survive. Even if somehow Stanley was able to rebuild faster then his enemies were able to regroup and figure out what happened, he would still be left with the same problem that caused him to lose 10 cities in the first place. Without a voice of reason he respects to guide him into making competent tactical decisions, Stanley is doomed in the long run.

Kreistor
2009-03-24, 07:41 PM
I think we need a vulcanologist to tune in, but I'm thinking this is a suicide mission, mainly because the entire mountain is going to heat up I suspect, even if the dirtamancer keeps the tunnels sealed.


I'm no vulcanologist, but I know a little more than nothing. There are two basic types of volcanic eruptions.

One type is like Mount St. Helens. In this case, magma wells up deep underground, slowly pushing up the top of the mountain. Pressure builds up until the rock can't hold it back, and then it explodes, powdering the rock, expelling gases, and so forth. The initial event can result in a pyroclastic flow (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyroclastic_flow). This is a heavier-than-air gaseous mass at more than 250 celsius made of rock powder, steam, sulfer dioxide, and other gases vented by volcanoes. Anything caught in this 700 km/hr gas cloud dies. Other dust is shot into the atmosphere, where it blankets the land. If breathed in, the dust mixes with mucus in the lungs and becomes cement, killing the victim. I don't think a magma flow is typical after this type of eruption, probably because of the sudden drop in pressure, but don't quote me on that, and I don't know where I could look it up.

The other type is more like Kilauea (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kilauea). Here magma wells up slowly, but is not held back by rock, exiting through vents. In this type, magma flows out of the ground to slowly harden and form new land. Various gases are expelled, but the rock can be seen. It flows like water and can't be outrun, but it can be avoided by taking to high ground, at least until the ground you're standing on doesn't get melted away from below, or you grow tired and fall asleep.

There are others, but I think those are the extreme end points.

What's going to happen? That depends what research the author has done, and what he wants to happen. He could allow Sizemore to create vents, allowing for a controlled magma ejection, or he might decide there's too much power, and the top is going to blow off. It is all up to the author now. There's no predicting what he will allow to happen. We don't know if he has studied this, or for plot reasons wants a particular result, so needs a particular explosion. Science doesn't guide here: art does.

But I would guess that the first type, the explosion, is more useful in this case. More dangerous, too, of course. More dramatic, certainly. More destructive.

Samargh
2009-03-24, 08:14 PM
The profile from the tunnels under the volcano looks very familiar, but I can't remember from where. It might be from a sample adventure in the first edition AD&D books, or the basic D&D book with the blue cover that came out in 1980 or so, or maybe somewhere else. All of my RPG stuff is packed away, but somebody must know.

Where is that dungeon from?

Are you thinking of Undermountain?

The one that is supposedly the largest mass grave on the continent?

fendrin
2009-03-24, 08:27 PM
I'm no vulcanologist, but I know a little more than nothing. There are two basic types of volcanic eruptions.

One type is like Mount St. Helens. In this case, magma wells up deep underground, slowly pushing up the top of the mountain. Pressure builds up until the rock can't hold it back, and then it explodes, powdering the rock, expelling gases, and so forth. The initial event can result in a pyroclastic flow (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyroclastic_flow). This is a heavier-than-air gaseous mass at more than 250 celsius made of rock powder, steam, sulfer dioxide, and other gases vented by volcanoes. Anything caught in this 700 km/hr gas cloud dies. Other dust is shot into the atmosphere, where it blankets the land. If breathed in, the dust mixes with mucus in the lungs and becomes cement, killing the victim. I don't think a magma flow is typical after this type of eruption, probably because of the sudden drop in pressure, but don't quote me on that, and I don't know where I could look it up.

The other type is more like Kilauea (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kilauea). Here magma wells up slowly, but is not held back by rock, exiting through vents. In this type, magma flows out of the ground to slowly harden and form new land. Various gases are expelled, but the rock can be seen. It flows like water and can't be outrun, but it can be avoided by taking to high ground, at least until the ground you're standing on doesn't get melted away from below, or you grow tired and fall asleep.

There are others, but I think those are the extreme end points.

What's going to happen? That depends what research the author has done, and what he wants to happen. He could allow Sizemore to create vents, allowing for a controlled magma ejection, or he might decide there's too much power, and the top is going to blow off. It is all up to the author now. There's no predicting what he will allow to happen. We don't know if he has studied this, or for plot reasons wants a particular result, so needs a particular explosion. Science doesn't guide here: art does.

But I would guess that the first type, the explosion, is more useful in this case. More dangerous, too, of course. More dramatic, certainly. More destructive.

Something to keep in mind too is that unlike a natural eruption, this one may be able to be shaped. What this could mean is the top of the volcano, above the characters, exploding to croak the archons (à la Mt.St.Helens), plus magma flows to wipe out the remainder of the RCC troops (à la Kilauea).

In other words, the believable range of possibilities here exceeds the believable range of possibilities in the real world.

Fez
2009-03-24, 09:02 PM
Well in a real volcano, I don't think you have a rail straight tube or pipe that runs directly up the center of the cone. In that regard, its a bit more like those 2nd grade science fair volcanos kids used to make.

Anyway, in terms of it being a suicide tactic, Parson was summoned to win the battle, not survive. And he already was expecting to die when he was telling the casters to head off to the magic realm. All they did was convince him, they are expendable if it means their faction has a chance to win. I still don't see this being the plan, but just brainstorming. Still here is a complete conjecture and set of rambles on the possible:


Trimancer wakes up the volcano and directs its output. RCC is stuck in the hex, particularly Archons who can't move since it isn't their turn. Trimancer can thus 100% wipe out all the RCC, and all the forces Stanley sent which might be almost all of his forces.
Pretty much all the remaining garrison forces are killed too.
Parson having fulfilled the purpose of his summoning (or because his summoner/Wanda dies) is returned to waking. Perhaps its to deal with his friends who stole his dice. Perhaps its Thomas Covenant-style with RL explanations for the weird fantasy so he isn't sure it ever happened.
The Trimancer members could survive or not. I think Sizemore is important because the changes he went through in this arc make him more interesting for a future arc. Wanda is primarily important storywise now to see what happens with Jillian.
If they do survive, perhaps they get the pliers, maybe it even keeps them alive somehow.
Regardless, death of the RCC ends their turn. So Stanley makes it back. He's won but hurt. One of the side effects of this game breaking magic. If GK is fully destroyed, not even a level 1 capital, then the rules for capturing it, for ruins and what happens to things is broken. He isn't a king anymore. Anyone surviving is now free? A free Wanda or Sizemore or Trimancer... with the pliers?
Transyvitans have zero way to know what's happened as they don't have the magical thinkamancer triad to pass messages. They don't have any reason to send Caesar back certainly. At most Vinnie comes back. Probably not. Save him for a future arc.
Jillian comes back too obviously. Her reaction is pivotal. Some revelations would be good, perhaps by Jack or Wanda. Heck, perhaps Trimancer still exists and Jillian's return pulls Wanda out of it and Wanda croaks from the strain. Why is Jillian always booped?


And there is the end of my rambling ideas for how the arc could wrap due to the crazy volcano :)

Kreistor
2009-03-24, 09:50 PM
Well in a real volcano, I don't think you have a rail straight tube or pipe that runs directly up the center of the cone.

Well, I don't think anyone has been able to map out the main shaft. At least, I've never encountered that. There are side vents, especially in the magma flow eruptions... little offshoots that spew strams of magma.

One thing to consider in a very old volcano is that the soft spot where the magma pushes up into the mantle actually moves relative to a continent. You can see this in the island chain of Hawai'i (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hawaii#Topography). The oldest island is north-west, the youngest SE. That implies the mantle is moving over top of the magma bump. You cna also see this in Yellowstone Park (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellowstone_Caldera), You can see the progress of the yellowstone hot spot in a map near the bottom. That there is magma directly under the volcano implies a relatively young volcano. Of course, young in geological terms is measured in tens of thousands of years.

But none of that is really important. We don't know what the author has studied in order to make his decisions. He might have a vulcanologist in his pocket or he may have watched a 20 year old documentary about Mt. St. Helens. We can't make any judgements based on science... especially a science like vulcanology where there is so little fact.

Lamech
2009-03-24, 09:59 PM
Something to keep in mind too is that unlike a natural eruption, this one may be able to be shaped. What this could mean is the top of the volcano, above the characters, exploding to croak the archons (à la Mt.St.Helens), plus magma flows to wipe out the remainder of the RCC troops (à la Kilauea).

In other words, the believable range of possibilities here exceeds the believable range of possibilities in the real world.
QFT
Also why are we assuming this is even a natural volcano? If it was magically formed by the titans it could be totally unrealistic.


Transyvitans have zero way to know what's happened as they don't have the magical thinkamancer triad to pass messages. They don't have any reason to send Caesar back certainly. At most Vinnie comes back. Probably not. Save him for a future arc. They do actually have such a thinkamancer. Don't have time to find the link though...

Kreistor
2009-03-24, 10:17 PM
They do actually have such a thinkamancer. Don't have time to find the link though...

Archons can send the information to them, if RCC has anyone that remembers about the Stanley strike force. For some strange reason, it seems that they were not sent out with the Hats. I suppose someone may have it pocketed, but I'd expect to see it in the non-fighting pages.

fendrin
2009-03-24, 10:26 PM
They do actually have such a thinkamancer. Don't have time to find the link though...

Don King has a thinkamancer, Jillian/Vinny/Caesar do not.
We have no reason to think that Don King has any clue what is going on at GK, so there is no reason to think that that info is getting to J/V/C.

Pointyleaf
2009-03-25, 12:21 AM
With regard to who lives and dies, I think that..
Maggie takes all the backlash when the trimancer link is broken, and dies. This prevents any future trimancer links on GK side (for plot reasons), and redeems her somewhat for Jack's and Misty's problems. She's also the least developed of the remaining GK casters, sadly. I'm starting to like her.

IDK about the rest of GK forces, but I don't expect there to be much left.

ishnar
2009-03-25, 12:50 AM
With regard to who lives and dies, I think that..
Maggie takes all the backlash when the trimancer link is broken, and dies. This prevents any future trimancer links on GK side (for plot reasons), and redeems her somewhat for Jack's and Misty's problems. She's also the least developed of the remaining GK casters, sadly. I'm starting to like her.

IDK about the rest of GK forces, but I don't expect there to be much left.


meh,

There is no reason for backlash. All they have to do is break link slowly and maggie distribute what backlash there is evenly instead of shunting it all on the others.

Kreistor
2009-03-25, 01:28 AM
There is no reason for backlash. All they have to do is break link slowly and maggie distribute what backlash there is evenly instead of shunting it all on the others.

There is no proof a slow break of the link is possible. The question becomes: why break the link, now that it is formed? Stanley broke the first, only because he couldn't take all three with him. As they are, their power is unrivaled.

But I know what Stanley's orders will be, if the link were to be broken. "Kill the crap guy, if you have to. I want Wanda and the Thinkamancer at 100%." Ironically, Sizemore has done more for this campaign since it got to GK than either of the other two. He's killed most of the leadership, destroyed one Jetstone regiment, and maybe another when he collapsed the city. He has been the terror from below. Sizemore called the weakness in the spell on Jillian, forewarning its failure.

Bawon von Howse
2009-03-25, 01:38 AM
Sadly, I think that Sizemore will die...I think that Wanda is more important to the general plot for EW2...not that I have anything at all to go on!

Oslecamo
2009-03-25, 02:10 AM
But I know what Stanley's orders will be, if the link were to be broken. "Kill the crap guy, if you have to. I want Wanda and the Thinkamancer at 100%."

Heh? Why you're saying that? Hamster would know better than anyone that the dirtmancer is pretty darn usefull to be sacrificed like that. Plus he's inside tunnels, where Sizemore is the strongest of them.

If anything, Hamster will keep the link up for some time untill he manages to find a safe way to undo it. You just don't go around sacrificing scarce valuable master-class mancers unless you're desesperate in Efworld.

Sweetie Welf
2009-03-25, 02:50 AM
It would be a pretty pyrrhic victory though if even Parson didn't survive. Even if somehow Stanley was able to rebuild faster then his enemies were able to regroup and figure out what happened, he would still be left with the same problem that caused him to lose 10 cities in the first place. Without a voice of reason he respects to guide him into making competent tactical decisions, Stanley is doomed in the long run.

True dat. This could be a textbook example of a pyrric victory. The only competent counselor left is Jack, and he has issues himself.

Still there is a minimum chance for Stanley. There are two enemies left with the firepower to wipe him out: Charley and Transylvito.
Transylvito doesn't know about the situation. And the only person who could tell them is Charley. Unfortunatly for them they are no more in the RCC, because they just left the coalition this morning to exploit the turn order. And Charley is not the guy to give out information for free. And after the disaster of the choke point King Don is unlikely to send in more troops, as long as he doen't know what is left in GK.
Charley on the other side is a risk. He is magically bound to the contract for at least two turns; and he knows what is left in GK. And if he doesn't he still can ask Parson what his chances will be. And he can send in troops very fast as we have seen. He asked at nigth how many archons he would needand the next morning they were there. Probably Parson will destroy his watch to prevent such a scenario.

fendrin
2009-03-25, 08:25 AM
re: breaking the link
I anticipate Parson giving an order like "Thinkamancer, break the link if it can be done without harming the croakamancer, dirtamancer, or yourself."

re: The aftermath
I think Charley may have over-extended himself on this one. Remember, he thought this was a no-lose scenario. You can't overextend in a no-lose scenario, but Parson has tipped the scale. Charley can (and I predict, will) lose a lot at this battle.

Also remember that Charley calling on Parson's mathamancy services is a double-edged sword. Sure Charley gets great info, but Parson gets the same info, plus any parameters Charley gives him.

Put those two together and Charley starts looking like a plum ripe for picking. Stanley's goal is still to get all of the Arkentools.

Oslecamo
2009-03-25, 10:04 AM
Put those two together and Charley starts looking like a plum ripe for picking. Stanley's goal is still to get all of the Arkentools.

I wouldn't mind a little bit Stanley and his crew going after Charlie's head after all of this is finished.

If indeed the volcano blast wipes out these archons, Charlie will probably be very crippled. This is, he should have around as many archons as Stanley had dwagons right?

fendrin
2009-03-25, 10:18 AM
If indeed the volcano blast wipes out these archons, Charlie will probably be very crippled. This is, he should have around as many archons as Stanley had dwagons right?

We really have no way of knowing how many archons Charley has, or what other units & defenses he might have at his command.

He may also have a few contracts he can collect on for additional troops... his deal with Parson indicates that he is willing to act for a delayed benefit.

Sweetie Welf
2009-03-25, 12:37 PM
Some tactic I would advise in the fight against Charley: Let Sizemore build a tunnel into the next hex. There he and any remaining dance knigth can meet with the Tool and mount the remaining dwagons. A stack with the overlord, an arcentool, the chief warlord and his magic sword should get mad bonus. And any croaked archon can be immediately get uncroaked by the trimancer.

Kreistor
2009-03-25, 01:11 PM
Heh? Why you're saying that? Hamster would know better than anyone that the dirtmancer is pretty darn usefull to be sacrificed like that. Plus he's inside tunnels, where Sizemore is the strongest of them.

You're seriously asking that? Okay, here you go. First, he calls him the "turd guy" (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0060.html). Stanley has no respect for Sizemore -- not even enough to learn his name. Second, that won't change because Stanley was not present for any of Sizemore's highly effective run (he left before the Jetstone invasion of the tunnels, where Sizemore began to shine). Third, he will never kill Wanda, now that she has proven her loyalty (not to mention she's his favorite caster (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0024.html)), and Maggie is necessary to form a new link.

But he needn't break the link anyway. Jack can veil any city as he did for Faq without a link. In the link, Wanda can do more with undead and Sizemore can build terrain faster. Getting GK back up to fighting strength only requires those three things, and the one that doesn't need to be linked to do the job is Jack.

fendrin
2009-03-25, 01:56 PM
But he needn't break the link anyway. Jack can veil any city as he did for Faq without a link. In the link, Wanda can do more with undead and Sizemore can build terrain faster. Getting GK back up to fighting strength only requires those three things, and the one that doesn't need to be linked to do the job is Jack.

Veiling GK wouldn't really help. Everyone already knows where it is. If it looks ruined, they'll have problems with other sides trying to claim the ruins to rebuild it themselves.

Really though, the biggest reason Stanley wouldn't order Maggie to shunt all the damage to Sizemore is that Stanley has no clue how linking works. If he knew that the damage from linking could be controlled, he would have ordered Maggie to do that when she broke the link with Misty and Jack. He needed Jack after all, but Maggie and Misty were (at that point) expendable to him.

BillyJimBoBob
2009-03-25, 02:21 PM
Well, I don't think anyone has been able to map out the main shaft. At least, I've never encountered that. There are side vents, especially in the magma flow eruptions... little offshoots that spew strams of magma.I'm not sure that's relevant when you have a master class dirtamancer who is capable of forming rock to his will. If the Trimancer can awaken the volcano, then my guess is that they'll be able to direct any destructive output from it.

With regard to who lives and dies, I think that..
Maggie takes all the backlash when the trimancer link is broken, and dies. This prevents any future trimancer links on GK side (for plot reasons), and redeems her somewhat for Jack's and Misty's problems. She's also the least developed of the remaining GK casters, sadly. I'm starting to like her.

IDK about the rest of GK forces, but I don't expect there to be much left.
I don't think Maggy had anything to do with the backlash to Misty and Jack, or at least wasn't responsible for it. And Maggy is my favorite caster! She's the only one who hasn't been described as being "master class" (unless I've missed it) and she also hasn't done any of the overly potent magics Wanda and Sizemore have. I tend to like characters who aren't enormously powerful but still provide excellent utility. Like poor Bogroll.

We really have no way of knowing how many archons Charley has, or what other units & defenses he might have at his command.

He may also have a few contracts he can collect on for additional troops... his deal with Parson indicates that he is willing to act for a delayed benefit.It is my hope that Charlie had to pull together all or almost all of his archons in order to send a force capable of taking the GK garrison in one turn. If not, then Charlie is even more overpowered in this setting than I've complained about in the past, and he should be the largest side on Erf. They teleport, fer Elvis's sake! Turn 1, teleport to any city and take it. Turn 2, teleport to any other city and repeat. Turn three, etc. City 1 starts building units for you, and soon enough you control the world. The only thing that might slow you down is awaiting the opportunity to hit a city while more of it's forces are away, so you'll take less losses and so that they will mostly disband.

It is also my sincere desire that we see all of the archons in GK airspace incinerated by the awakening of the volcano, whether that takes the form of an eruption or some kind of lava golem.

Pointyleaf
2009-03-25, 02:26 PM
Where do we see evidence that the archons can teleport? I mean, I know they got to GK fast that one time, but they might have already been in the area - we just don't know.

fendrin
2009-03-25, 02:37 PM
Where do we see evidence that the archons can teleport? I mean, I know they got to GK fast that one time, but they might have already been in the area - we just don't know.

We don't have any evidence that they can.

Many of the ones that showed up that time were dressed for dance-fighting, indicating that they were in the areas because they were going to join up with Jillian and Vinny. In fact, I would say that they constitute the original number (12? 14? I forget) that Charley asked about.

When Parson then gave him the second calculation (how many archons would it take) he then sent some number more to meet up with them.

Further, we know that Charlescomm had promised more units to the RCC than just the original three archons (based on the RCC data Parson got from his stupid meal). My guess is that they were already en route to GK, but started farther away (or are just slower) than the original three archons.

SteveMB
2009-03-25, 05:02 PM
Veiling GK wouldn't really help. Everyone already knows where it is. If it looks ruined, they'll have problems with other sides trying to claim the ruins to rebuild it themselves.

Hmmm... but if it looks like the site was utterly destroyed by the volcano and is now worthless -- but in fact GK can be rebuilt -- a veil to maintain the former impression for as long as possible could be useful....

Fez
2009-03-25, 05:36 PM
But I know what Stanley's orders will be, if the link were to be broken. "Kill the crap guy, if you have to. I want Wanda and the Thinkamancer at 100%." Ironically, Sizemore has done more for this campaign since it got to GK than either of the other two. He's killed most of the leadership, destroyed one Jetstone regiment, and maybe another when he collapsed the city. He has been the terror from below. Sizemore called the weakness in the spell on Jillian, forewarning its failure.

Yes, but if by going outside the rules, Parson has done something that will have outside the normal rules effects, there may literally not be any GK left after the eruption. Its already a level 1 capital. What happens if its just erased? Well then, Stanley is no longer the King of anyone. Suddenly you'll have a # of free agents in the form of any surviving casters.

Gez
2009-03-25, 05:55 PM
Charlie might have casters able to teleport units with spells. (There's certainly precedent for that in games such as Heroes of Might & Magic.) It would allow him to move them fast from time to time, though he'd still be limited by available "juice" and whether or not he needs these casters for other spells.

Fez
2009-03-25, 05:59 PM
Sure, but he can't move them now, as its not his turn and a volcano is about to turn the ones in the sky zone of the city into charchons

ishnar
2009-03-25, 06:09 PM
I'm not sure that's relevant when you have a master class dirtamancer who is capable of forming rock to his will. If the Trimancer can awaken the volcano, then my guess is that they'll be able to direct any destructive output from it.
I don't think Maggy had anything to do with the backlash to Misty and Jack, or at least wasn't responsible for it.

http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0093.html It seems pretty clear here that Maggy shunted the backlash on Jack and Misty. Misty died, Jack had mental issues, and Maggy was completely fine.

I like Maggy too, and I think she realizes here what Parson's opinion on the matter was, that's why she was so taken aback, his response was unexpected. She knows Parson cares about his charges now and is against losing anyone unnecessarily, so when she breaks link next time, I don't think she will shunt it all away from herself. I think she'll distribute it evenly so they all take damage, but it's recoverable.

Xondoure
2009-03-25, 07:37 PM
Veiling GK wouldn't really help. Everyone already knows where it is. If it looks ruined, they'll have problems with other sides trying to claim the ruins to rebuild it themselves.

Really though, the biggest reason Stanley wouldn't order Maggie to shunt all the damage to Sizemore is that Stanley has no clue how linking works. If he knew that the damage from linking could be controlled, he would have ordered Maggie to do that when she broke the link with Misty and Jack. He needed Jack after all, but Maggie and Misty were (at that point) expendable to him.

Jack could veil it so that it seems the entire mountain was destroyed by the eruption.

Goshen
2009-03-25, 08:06 PM
Does the last panel of http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0096.html mean that there are 15 Archons total, or that 15 were involved in the coalition at that time? I had thought the latter, but then we only saw three archons in action, over that lake.

fendrin
2009-03-25, 10:44 PM
Hmmm... but if it looks like the site was utterly destroyed by the volcano and is now worthless -- but in fact GK can be rebuilt -- a veil to maintain the former impression for as long as possible could be useful....

True, but the way that Ceaser referred to Faq as a "capital site (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0119.html)" as opposed to a "capital city" makes me think that a hex is or is not capable of holding a capital, and does not gain or lose that capability.

Pointyleaf
2009-03-25, 11:33 PM
Does the last panel of http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0096.html mean that there are 15 Archons total, or that 15 were involved in the coalition at that time? I had thought the latter, but then we only saw three archons in action, over that lake.

I think that only 15 were committed to RCC at the time, and the rest of the 15 were on the way (and arrived very shortly). This is supported by Charlie's asking if 14 archons could take the garrison (15 - Jaclyn), and changed when he brought more the next morning =\.

There's no saying for sure how many archons are committed to RCC service right now, or exactly how many are in GK airspace still.

Kyouhen
2009-03-26, 12:55 AM
Also, regarding Charlie being overpowered, we don't know what the upkeep on those Archons is. It could be horrendous and the only way he's able to maintain them is by selling them to the highest bidder and building his treasury that way. There might not be any other cities within 3 turns worth of movement of his capital. It's a little hard to defend such cities when they're that far away, even if he has someone capable of teleporting the Archons.

BillyJimBoBob
2009-03-26, 09:48 AM
Where do we see evidence that the archons can teleport? I mean, I know they got to GK fast that one time, but they might have already been in the area - we just don't know.
We don't have any evidence that they can.
We see it twice. In the third panel of strip 46 pg 42 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0046.html), and in the 9th panel of strip 116 pg 109 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0116.html).

In the first panel we see the archons in mountainous terrain similar to that surrounding Charlies castle, and the sun is setting and dim light. Charlie gives them an X and Y coordinate to go to, and refers to "the great western conflict" which isn't a typical form of reference for something happening nearby. And then the archons just appear over Ansom and Jillian with a glowing spell effect, and it seems to be mid day or at least a bright sky. Looks like a clear case of teleportation to me. In the second case I suppose it's arguable that the archons flew there, but given the conversation between Parson and Charlie I find this highly unlikely. Asking if 14 archons can take the garrison, and then how many additional archons it would take makes it very unlikely that Charlie has more than 14 archons within range of GK. And if you accept that they teleported in the first case then there's no reason to dispute the second.

BillyJimBoBob
2009-03-26, 01:15 PM
http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0093.html It seems pretty clear here that Maggy shunted the backlash on Jack and Misty. Misty died, Jack had mental issues, and Maggy was completely fine.

I like Maggy too, and I think she realizes here what Parson's opinion on the matter was, that's why she was so taken aback, his response was unexpected. She knows Parson cares about his charges now and is against losing anyone unnecessarily, so when she breaks link next time, I don't think she will shunt it all away from herself. I think she'll distribute it evenly so they all take damage, but it's recoverable.Yeah, I've always liked that exchange:
Maggie [seeing the look on Parson's face]: Fatigue has begun to be a factor, Lord"
Parson: "Yeah, I bet."

But I never took it to mean that Maggie deliberately caused the damage to Misty and Jack. But it is a very reasonable conclusion.

SteveMB
2009-03-26, 01:30 PM
But I never took it to mean that Maggie deliberately caused the damage to Misty and Jack. But it is a very reasonable conclusion.

Not in the sense that she was deliberately trying to hurt them, no. More in the sense of "It's you or me -- sucks to be you."