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FalconPunch
2009-04-01, 10:03 PM
I dunno if random users are supposed to make these threads, but wow, Jillian lost it.

R. Malcovitch
2009-04-01, 10:05 PM
Her boyfriend just died. Attacking Ceaser was an odd choice, but a freak out was warranted.

Also: F1rst!!1!

zol920
2009-04-01, 10:10 PM
shes gunna need a shrink.

Xenon
2009-04-01, 10:11 PM
mmm multi-hex volcano goodness :D

good comic as always

PhantomFox
2009-04-01, 10:13 PM
Could this be the result of of the coalition dissolving? Auto-attack?

SteveMB
2009-04-01, 10:19 PM
Could this be the result of of the coalition dissolving? Auto-attack?

No -- warlords choose whether or not to attack. It's just Jillian losing it -- it's hardly surprising that she'd express that violently.

R. Malcovitch
2009-04-01, 10:20 PM
It seems odd to classify a volcanic eruption as a "trap"

Tyrael
2009-04-01, 10:20 PM
I'm confused. Why is Jillian attacking? Is she afraid of a leadership change? What's going on?:smallconfused:

Suicide Junkie
2009-04-01, 10:21 PM
Could this be the result of of the coalition dissolving? Auto-attack?No. Everybody there except the bats has leadership (lots of warlords, a chief warlord, and a barbarian ruler)

The Sandman
2009-04-01, 10:23 PM
Looks like Krakatoa 2.0 was even more devastating than we thought.

Bravo, Parson. Bravo.

What do you want to bet that at least half of the countries in the erstwhile Coalition will cease to exist as part of the aftermath, given that their armies just became charcoal briquettes in Erfworld's largest BBQ?

And I wonder if the eruption has ended yet, or if it's still active. Depending on how much ash just got tossed into the air, the whole of Erfworld might be waking up to the change in how the world works.

Arkaim
2009-04-01, 10:24 PM
So... did Stanley's side get some sort of high score?

BarGamer
2009-04-01, 10:31 PM
There's always aftershocks following an earthquake... And a giant volcano going off qualifies, here.

So, Jillian leads Transylvito and Co to Faq, Jillian probably going in chains/handcuffed. Honestly speaking, Transylvito probably came out ahead on this, resources-wise. The loss of a bunch of bats, the cost of Vinny holding a royal funeral or whatever for Ansom, and whoever the Tool managed to croak, for a trio of cities. Not bad.

PPS: Thank you, SO SO MUCH that you didn't post an April Fool's comic. Seriously. The jokes, puns, and other hilarity, not to mention the drama, are more entertaining than any cheesy prank.

Respectfully, your fan, BarGamer.

Dancingrage
2009-04-01, 10:32 PM
Lurked lots, now de-lurking to say:

This is truly impressive. I thought it'd be a tpk for everyone on the mountain, but no, Parson went and wiped out the entire coalition. Every last unit.

Wow, that's devastation. Good game indeed, Parson.

Jillian's response isn't surprising, you just got a load of bad news you don't want to believe and you're hotheaded and violent by nature. Of course you're going to try to kill the messenger!

Mando Knight
2009-04-01, 10:33 PM
...JUST AS PLANNED (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheChessmaster). Commence the evil laughter (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1pJWoB-Q6HU) as the collapsed coalition realizes the extent of its defeat!

Yodimus
2009-04-01, 10:39 PM
And just in case we forgot, these are the tiny people our gods are playing with.

Rosnet
2009-04-01, 10:39 PM
I'm guessing this means Red is now the Chief Warlord

memnarch
2009-04-01, 10:45 PM
I'm guessing this means Red is now the Chief Warlord

Well, that's kind of assuming that she's still alive. And if she's alive, that her side knows that she is alive.

Lamech
2009-04-01, 10:49 PM
No I assume Red is a small cinder. Everything was lost. Everything. And we still don't know what happened to Parson. Anyway I think that Stanley will return to GK to find a nice spot for him to set up base camp. The foolamancer can create a viel of smoke and deadly ash. Stanley will have gems, and as soon as the portal is rebuilt maybe a new super weapon. In addition the the pliers.

I hope casters get xp for uber-traps.

Rosnet
2009-04-01, 10:50 PM
it's hardly surprising that she'd express that violently.

I heartily disagree. It is quite surprising that she would do it with violence, instantly, against an ally. This seems quite out of character for, well, anyone with rational thought. I'm sure she lost some rational thought because her boyfriend got twolled, but cmon, attacking Caesar does not make sense.

Plus, the way he effortlessly grabbed her wrist, it looks like he could snap her neck at any time. This is another reason why this does not make sense, because she would know that Caesar could put her down, hard and quickly.

Plus, not like she came at him with her fists, like someone distraught would, she pulled a dagger.

I liked this update, but I despise the last two panels.

kagato23
2009-04-01, 10:54 PM
I'm guessing this means Red is now the Chief Warlord

Red wasn't Jetstone. Wrong coloring. Also, we have to assume that if the hex killed people the next stack over, anything at ground zero is dead.

I don't know why people think her "Oh-shi" moment is proof she's alive. It's just proof of imminent death to me.

On possible scenario here (which I base on absolutely nothing and don't claim otherwise) would be Jillian following Ansom's advice (which would require breaking off from these guys before they can stop her). Becoming a queen and starting a mission of vengeance. She'd be rash enough to try.

Also, Transylvito's apparently got a high **** move stat.

El_Chupachichis
2009-04-01, 10:59 PM
And Now Sizemore's reputation is sealed.

If they think this was a Dirtamancer Trap, AND anybody who would know Parson was behind this is now a lump of ash (excepting Charlie, who would not discuss this with others, knowing his personality), then the rumor mill will almost certainly push forward the Theory, not that a Master Strategist/Tactician won it, but that Sizemore set off his own Manhattan Project in the field.

That's actually more palatable to most, I'd expect. Which is easier to contemplate, a Warlord who will always find ways to make every advance painful at least, and Pyrrhic at best, or a Dirtamancer who probably can at least be countered with some other magic field?

The Old Hack
2009-04-01, 11:03 PM
And so, the implications of Parson's action start to sink in for the survivors. I suspect the political repercussions have only begun. New alliances may form soon, probing for weaknesses, seeking to exploit losses... Jetstone lost a great deal of materiel, troops and prestige here. Will they be the next target?

Jillian's reaction, while possibly in character, strikes me as thoroughly contemptible. Caesar may not be a nice person. He may have offended her. But striking at him for delivering bad news? That is the action of a fool or an uncontrolled psychopath. Or both. Yes, a violent reaction may be understandable and forgivable. Its target and the way she expresses it are not.

kagato23
2009-04-01, 11:10 PM
And Now Sizemore's reputation is sealed.

If they think this was a Dirtamancer Trap, AND anybody who would know Parson was behind this is now a lump of ash (excepting Charlie, who would not discuss this with others, knowing his personality), then the rumor mill will almost certainly push forward the Theory, not that a Master Strategist/Tactician won it, but that Sizemore set off his own Manhattan Project in the field.

That's actually more palatable to most, I'd expect. Which is easier to contemplate, a Warlord who will always find ways to make every advance painful at least, and Pyrrhic at best, or a Dirtamancer who probably can at least be countered with some other magic field?

Not necessarily. It was probably sent back to people over time that suddenly Stanley had tactics and such. Jillian woud have told people about parson, who'd no doubt report back to their superiors. Who would have been periodically told that suddenly the easy win was getting more and more booped up. I'd think Parson Gotti got some respect, if only for being a far more dangerous opponent then Stanley, though likely not a legend.

It will indeed be overshadowed however, but everybody wondering how epic level that dirtamancer must have been.

R. Malcovitch
2009-04-01, 11:12 PM
So, Jillian leads Transylvito and Co to Faq, Jillian probably going in chains/handcuffed.

She'd enjoy that though.

El_Chupachichis
2009-04-01, 11:20 PM
Red wasn't Jetstone. Wrong coloring. Also, we have to assume that if the hex killed people the next stack over, anything at ground zero is dead.

I don't know why people think her "Oh-shi" moment is proof she's alive. It's just proof of imminent death to me.


Not really proof, just some hints that suggest it would be feasible:

1. This is a world with strong game mechanics, after a fashion. It's conceivable she rolled a huge number of Natural 20's in a row :smallbiggrin:
2. She doesn't need to survive long, just long enough to get the Arkenpliers to relative safety.
3. The pliers, being semisentient (?), would almost certainly have strong sentiment against being sunk into the lava -- assuming they would sink or disintegrate, of course... If they would float or not be too deeply buried, then this is a nonissue.

One thing that would suggest she's gone, would be that she'd probably be listed as highest ranking on the scene, in the Army report totals -- but would that be at end of turn? I suspect Erf doesn't have a mechanic for MIA.

El_Chupachichis
2009-04-01, 11:24 PM
Jillian's reaction, while possibly in character, strikes me as thoroughly contemptible. Caesar may not be a nice person. He may have offended her. But striking at him for delivering bad news? That is the action of a fool or an uncontrolled psychopath. Or both. Yes, a violent reaction may be understandable and forgivable. Its target and the way she expresses it are not.

Well, it could be that she's at the "Get out of MY WAY, NOW!" phase... She was just told to abandon her search for the person who she probably blames for Ansom's death.

Or, she's convinced that Ceasar is lying, and is not putting up with that.

Kreistor
2009-04-01, 11:25 PM
Let's see... Caesar has just informed Jillian that she has been kidnapped, so that Transylvito can capture her home city. And now he tells her Ansom is dead.

Isn't that awfully convenient, from Jillian's perspective? She now has no reason to go back to GK. And Stanley has no city, and no prospect of reforming in Faq. Gee, perhaps she just doesn't believe Caesar, and she is attacking him for lying to her?

Jillian is now amoung enemies with no possibility for escape. You're surprised that she's attacking?

(To a lesser extent, if Caesar isn't lying, then she can't even blame Stanley for Ansom's death.)

Ragamuffin
2009-04-02, 12:09 AM
lulz bats xD

Fez
2009-04-02, 12:11 AM
Regarding Jillian jumping Caesar:

As others noted, Vinnie just told her that Caesar was essentially going to take her captive until she showed him the way to Faq, and wasn't going to help take down Stanley. And then she finds out that the guy she just admitted her love to is dead? Jillian's crush/love for Ansom goes back to the start of the comic when he invited her to his tent, and she almost went before turning away in the middle of the night. So she's trying to deny Caesar is telling the truth, to herself more than anything else, and the fact he's planning to capture her for Faq just adds to her reasoning to lash out.

I wouldn't be surprised if somehow though she ended up being the one to claim Faq somehow, regain her father's kingdom and her royalty. Dunno how that would occur of course. :)

Poor Vinnie too. His good friend was just killed, and he may not like what's going on. You have to wonder how his own loyalty will be tested.

Question though: Why is Jillian holding the dagger upside down with cutting edge out?

FoE
2009-04-02, 12:11 AM
I heartily disagree. It is quite surprising that she would do it with violence, instantly, against an ally. This seems quite out of character for, well, anyone with rational thought. I'm sure she lost some rational thought because her boyfriend got twolled, but cmon, attacking Caesar does not make sense.

Plus, the way he effortlessly grabbed her wrist, it looks like he could snap her neck at any time. This is another reason why this does not make sense, because she would know that Caesar could put her down, hard and quickly.

Plus, not like she came at him with her fists, like someone distraught would, she pulled a dagger.

It makes perfect sense. We agree that this is an emotional reaction to Ansom's death, correct? The man she loved deeply? Well, Jilian isn't thinking rationally. She just wants to shut Caesar up; she doesn't care that Caesar is stronger than her, or that it doesn't make sense to attack an ally. Jillian is just too mad and griefstricken. All that's missing is the phrase "You're lying! YOU'RE LYING!"

As for the knife-pulling, well, Jillian is a seasoned warrior. Even as angry as she is, her first instinct would be to grab a weapon.

Having said all that ... man, Caesar looks badass in the last panel.

Kyouhen
2009-04-02, 12:13 AM
On the topic of Red, she's definitely croaked at this point. She was a warlord. I think if a Thinkamancer could identify any units, it would be a warlord. If her side's Thinkamancer says there's no units left it's safe to say she bit the ash.

As for Jillian's attack, I could see it coming from her. We've already seen she likes to point weapons at people she doesn't like. And as pointed out by Kreistor she's just been informed that the people 'accompanying' her have no intention of helping her get Stanley or leaving Faq as it is. Now Caesar hasn't just informed her that Ansom's croaked, but that he someone booped things up so badly it resulted in the entire RCC forces being destroyed in a single trap. Him being dead might be acceptable if GK had fallen, but to have lost that many troops to a single trap? That's an outright insult to his intelligence for anyone who doesn't realize it was triggered by linked casters.

Fez
2009-04-02, 12:24 AM
Wanda knows where Faq was too.

Could Parson be looking for himself or someone in his tiny group to sneak in and take Faq via magic portal?

By the way. Imagine Stanley's reaction when he gets back.

"Dude, where's my city?"

"Where's your city, dude?"

I mean, nothing left but lava. I do wonder how 'game breaking' this mechanic was. Will the start of a new turn cause the lava to harden again? Or is the volcano able to keep operating outside the turns? And what if after all that hypothesizing Stanley swoops down and sees, "Oh, look an arkentool. I really am the chosen of the titans. Mine!"

kreszantas
2009-04-02, 12:28 AM
All I can say PFS (Parson Fallout Syndrome) that is currently what is happening to Erf. The world has changed, they are oblivious to that change since there were no survivors to tell the tale of the only thing their minds can make sense of hence the 'theory' of the Dirtamancer Trap.

When all of the remaining RCC Sides Capitals figure out what happened it will be too late. Charlie is the only side (even he took massive losses) that has first hand knowledge that it was the Mountain, but may/maynot know how it was done with the link-up due to the Dish.

This is like the AT&T Network all lit up following a bear run on Wall Street, it aint pretty folks, best not to look.

Brilliant background story for Jillian/Vinnie and Cesar it gives us great insight into what all the possiblities can be for the 'time elapse' before the beginning of book two.

jmsl
2009-04-02, 12:33 AM
Not that I believe it, but it's certainly possible for Red to survive, and even if her side knew about it, they could lie to the other sides to keep the Arkenpliers. Also, place me in the camp a bit confused by Jillian's odd manner of expressing her anger and grief. Violence fits but...

dr pepper
2009-04-02, 12:37 AM
WOW!

I get Jillian's reaction. She's a blade swinging madwoman, and she just found out she was used. She wasn't attacking an ally, at least in her own mind, because she never thought of herself as part of the RCC. She was with Ansom and he was with the RCC. And as for TV, she likes Vinnie as a person, doesn't much like Caesar, has no feelings about Transylvito in general. As for facing down Caesar and his posse, she does have a known reckless streak. And if she can last a whole melee round she can draw her Warhammer Fantasy style super sword, which would really be bad news for Caesar, even if she gets batswarmed immediately after.

slb
2009-04-02, 12:49 AM
Interestingly, this comics shows that Transilvito lost a substantial amount of warlords against Stanley. IIRC they were 20 and now only 8 left, including Vinnie ...

Oslecamo
2009-04-02, 01:12 AM
Weee my prediction about the coalition finally breacking up and giving up chasing Stanley after all their units geting nuked to oblivion was correct!

Heck, not only did they broke up, they're actually pretty close to throw themselves at each other throats right now.

Seems like Jillian really liked Ansom.

glissle
2009-04-02, 01:17 AM
Tin Foil Hat explanation for Scarlett being MIA:
She started a new side at GK.

TamLin
2009-04-02, 01:41 AM
1. No offense, but why is there even a debate about Jillian's reaction? It's a violent outburst inspired by shock and grief. Not much else to it, and it couldn't be much plainer.

2. I've held my tongue until the whole thing resolved, but I'm sorry, it must be said: This whole "Uncroak the volcano" business was completely ridiculous. Why is it that many of the same people who so bitterly complained about the quality of the comic back when Ansom was "Pulling things out of his ass" react so positively when Parson does it? I mean, isn't it incredibly convenient, for example, that Wanda had a secret stash of scrolls that let her replicate all of the sorts of spell powers that her side had been denied? And isn't it kind of odd that as the comic went on all of Gobwin Knobs initially innocuous-seeming casters kept exponentially increasing in power until we get to the point where they can literally move mountains? Sizemore went from digging up crap golems to collapsing the entire city. Why in the hell was he EVER working with crap if he was sitting on that level of power all along? Seems strange.

And, really, look, Parson's entire winning strategy was ridiculous. He even admits it was ridiculous. He admits that the entire point was to be ridiculous. I'm not sure what to make of this? When Ansom croaked we had a huge debate about "anti-climax", what is and is not, the uses thereof, etc. What sort of climax do we have here? On one hand, well, it's a huge volcanic eruption that instantly wipes out an entire city and army. Okay, so that sounds climactic. On the other hand, it's a self-admitted ludicrous cheat that navigates around the traditional confrontational ending and leaves a lot of seemingly-vital issues (Stanley, Jillian, the Pliers...) unresolved, presumably for a sequel. Is that anti-climactic? Or is it just jerking the rug out from under reader expectations? Or are those the same thing? Was this very clever, very cynical, or just very dumb? I can't make up my mind.

3. And again I have to wonder what to make of the content of Erfworld, now that he first arc appears to be over. Back in the beginning we had lots of oddball, humorous violence, "Key-lime pie" and all of that. As the comic progressed, it became grittier, more violent, and intentionally shocking, lots of images of adorable little Erflings getting burned alive, trampled, crushed, etc, to the point that the earlier humor, to me at least, started to seem massively inappropriate. Parson even notes this in a klog, talking about the incongruity of the cuteness and game-style rules with the real consequences of the violence. But in the actual comic itself, this doesn't seem to cross his mind. He approaches things purely from a strategic point of view, never a moral one. Of course, that's a matter of pragmatism (he's basically a slave to the enchantment. Free will, or the lack thereof, is a big theme running through the whole story), but even when he tries to ignore the issues, it slaps him in the face via Sizemore's angst. And still dances around it (perhaps due to "ruthlessness").

His actions are particularly objectionable in light of the fact that he had a peaceable alternative: surrender. Sure, he would have become Charlie's slave, but how is that any worse than the situation he's already in? He chose to end thousands of lives simply because he wanted to "win". Is this ever going to sink in to him? If not, is it supposed to sink in to us? Most of the readers reacted with bloodthirsty glee to every Coalition casualty, the more gruesome the better. Was this the reaction the comic creators were aiming for (not a rhetorical question. I honestly don't know. Which is my point,)? Previous poster noted that this current comic was supposed to remind us that these lost units are people, but really, does it? I always found the relationship between Ansom and Jillian made me very sympathetic toward both characters, but I seem to be in the marked minority there. Maybe most people just donít care? The fact that so many readers don't understand Jillian's reaction to the news of Ansom's death suggests that this may be the case.

The mismatch of the humorous and the horrifying, the lighthearted and the grave, the comedic and the grim, plus the underlying themes of the ways that society makes light of violence through entertainment (gaming, dance-fighting, etc), makes Erfworld a very odd duck indeed. That, I assume, was the point, but I'm still not sure I really grasp the aim of the comic.

Kyouhen
2009-04-02, 01:45 AM
Not that I believe it, but it's certainly possible for Red to survive, and even if her side knew about it, they could lie to the other sides to keep the Arkenpliers. Also, place me in the camp a bit confused by Jillian's odd manner of expressing her anger and grief. Violence fits but...

Why lie about her survival? Everyone knows Ansom's dead and the entire RCC army's gone. It wouldn't be hard to say that the Arkenpliers sunk into the lava and were lost. Not to mention that if she was still alive she would now have successfully captured GK.

Noemz
2009-04-02, 01:48 AM
Vinny seems to imply that the upkeep of casters is quite big (if it's hard to keep a masterclass caster when you're a Barbarian).

I guess that's the downside of having such powerful units on your side. Great if you can afford 'em!

Edit: I love Jillian's perched gwiffon.

kreszantas
2009-04-02, 02:00 AM
{Removed wall of text} His actions are particularly objectionable in light of the fact that he had a peaceable alternative: surrender. Sure, he would have become Charlie's slave, but how is that any worse than the situation he's already in? He chose to end thousands of lives simply because he wanted to "win".

Simply put Stick it to the man... Parson's answer comes from the dead pan text that at least he got free faxes at Kinkos. Parson had a CHOICE in that matter (whether even to apply for the job in the first place), he also stated in a Klog that he would always wonder if he didn't play it all the way out what it would be like for him personally and now you have that answer you are dissatisfied, why? Your wall of text leads me to believe that your looking to us or other readers to make up your mind for you, why? To borrow a Rob quote "Sometimes text does not translate well across the internet"

SolkaTruesilver
2009-04-02, 02:04 AM
2. I've held my tongue until the whole thing resolved, but I'm sorry, it must be said: This whole "Uncroak the volcano" business was completely ridiculous. Why is it that many of the same people who so bitterly complained about the quality of the comic back when Ansom was "Pulling things out of his ass" react so positively when Parson does it? I mean, isn't it incredibly convenient, for example, that Wanda had a secret stash of scrolls that let her replicate all of the sorts of spell powers that her side had been denied? And isn't it kind of odd that as the comic went on all of Gobwin Knobs initially innocuous-seeming casters kept exponentially increasing in power until we get to the point where they can literally move mountains? Sizemore went from digging up crap golems to collapsing the entire city. Why in the hell was he EVER working with crap if he was sitting on that level of power all along? Seems strange.

Well, when you think about it, Sizemore also got to lead a lot of battles in the recent turns of the first time. He probably leveled a lot in the meanwhile. Also, his power was combined with Wanda's, who is not a small-level caster either. The power might be combined expodentially.




3. And again I have to wonder what to make of the content of Erfworld, now that he first arc appears to be over. Back in the beginning we had lots of oddball, humorous violence, "Key-lime pie" and all of that. As the comic progressed, it became grittier, more violent, and intentionally shocking, lots of images of adorable little Erflings getting burned alive, trampled, crushed, etc, to the point that the earlier humor, to me at least, started to seem massively inappropriate. Parson even notes this in a klog, talking about the incongruity of the cuteness and game-style rules with the real consequences of the violence. But in the actual comic itself, this doesn't seem to cross his mind. He approaches things purely from a strategic point of view, never a moral one. Of course, that's a matter of pragmatism (he's basically a slave to the enchantment. Free will, or the lack thereof, is a big theme running through the whole story), but even when he tries to ignore the issues, it slaps him in the face via Sizemore's angst. And still dances around it (perhaps due to "ruthlessness").


The art style, the webcomic's design and theme also evolve. You cannot cast the whole webcomic's layout into stone in the first 10 strips. The writers had to find their style of storytelling. The mix of light-hearted pop culture reference and heavy/dark theme is something that I grew to love in the recent 100 comic. For me, Erfworld is meant to be like that, not like the first 20+ comics, where everyone in the comic's staff still were trying to find their proper niche.

StrykerX
2009-04-02, 02:09 AM
Looks like Krakatoa 2.0 was even more devastating than we thought.

Bravo, Parson. Bravo.

What do you want to bet that at least half of the countries in the erstwhile Coalition will cease to exist as part of the aftermath, given that their armies just became charcoal briquettes in Erfworld's largest BBQ?

Since their rulers (and presumably their garrisons) are still in their home cities, the former coalition members will still be active. Could be an interesting arms race as they try to rebuild defensive forces... no telling if one or more of the former allies will try to annex someone who can't rearm fast enough. Plus there may be neutral parties out there who suddenly feel a need to expand.

Hmmm... speaking of which, depending on how many Archons survived and how many more he has back at base, Charlie may be in a very good position right now. (Of course if he lost most / all his the Archons to the volcano he may be tossing darts at a picture of Parson right now... :smalltongue:)

Malanthyus
2009-04-02, 02:17 AM
As much as I doubt the possibility of Red's survival, Ceasar said that every side they'd been able to contact had had total losses. He didn't say that all sides involved had had total losses.

Kyouhen
2009-04-02, 02:18 AM
2. I've held my tongue until the whole thing resolved, but I'm sorry, it must be said: This whole "Uncroak the volcano" business was completely ridiculous. Why is it that many of the same people who so bitterly complained about the quality of the comic back when Ansom was "Pulling things out of his ass" react so positively when Parson does it? I mean, isn't it incredibly convenient, for example, that Wanda had a secret stash of scrolls that let her replicate all of the sorts of spell powers that her side had been denied? And isn't it kind of odd that as the comic went on all of Gobwin Knobs initially innocuous-seeming casters kept exponentially increasing in power until we get to the point where they can literally move mountains? Sizemore went from digging up crap golems to collapsing the entire city. Why in the hell was he EVER working with crap if he was sitting on that level of power all along? Seems strange.

We already knew Wanda was skilled with other types of magic, is it really so hard to believe that she might have a few scrolls lying around? Maybe any scrolls captured from enemies before Parson showed up were given to her. That's what you'd do if this was a game, isn't it? Give the scrolls to the caster who's most capable of putting them to good use? I'm sure if they actually had a Shockamancer or if Jack wasn't linked when the Foolamancy scroll was found (as we can probably assume he was) then Wanda probably wouldn't have them. Or maybe the scrolls were bought specifically so she could cover for missing magic. Staline IV might have gotten them for Sizemore, then Sizemore passed them to Wanda knowing she would be better at using them. He's the one who mentioned the stash in the first place, right?

As for why he was digging up crap golems when he has the power to collapse cities I think it's pretty obvious. Golems are cheap and easy to move where they're needed. Collapsing the city means destroying all your other defences, as seen when the FoxMUD Warlord just walked right into the tunnels. Not to mention the fact that Sizemore could only collapse the tunnels because he had dug out the mountain under the city and had spent time setting up the traps beforehand.

As for actually erupting the volcano, let's not forget that the last time we saw linked casters they created a table that showed everything their units could see. If anything I'd say that was actually more powerful than the volcano, just because once the volcano's blown it's effect is done.



And, really, look, Parson's entire winning strategy was ridiculous. He even admits it was ridiculous. He admits that the entire point was to be ridiculous. I'm not sure what to make of this? When Ansom croaked we had a huge debate about "anti-climax", what is and is not, the uses thereof, etc. What sort of climax do we have here? On one hand, well, it's a huge volcanic eruption that instantly wipes out an entire city and army. Okay, so that sounds climactic. On the other hand, it's a self-admitted ludicrous cheat that navigates around the traditional confrontational ending and leaves a lot of seemingly-vital issues (Stanley, Jillian, the Pliers...) unresolved, presumably for a sequel. Is that anti-climactic? Or is it just jerking the rug out from under reader expectations? Or are those the same thing? Was this very clever, very cynical, or just very dumb? I can't make up my mind.


I don't bother digging through every single thread in these forums, but I'd be willing to bet that the people who were complaining about Ansom's death were expecting the RCC to dissolve afterwards and were expecting that to be the end of the chapter. Clearly that wasn't the case. The other complaint I saw regarding his death was that it would be used as a way to sell the book, with people suspecting there would be bonus pages showing his struggle with Bogroll as he fell. In my opinion the volcano is just as good of an epic climax as if Parson had ended up duelling Ansom.



3. And again I have to wonder what to make of the content of Erfworld, now that he first arc appears to be over. Back in the beginning we had lots of oddball, humorous violence, "Key-lime pie" and all of that. As the comic progressed, it became grittier, more violent, and intentionally shocking, lots of images of adorable little Erflings getting burned alive, trampled, crushed, etc, to the point that the earlier humor, to me at least, started to seem massively inappropriate. Parson even notes this in a klog, talking about the incongruity of the cuteness and game-style rules with the real consequences of the violence. But in the actual comic itself, this doesn't seem to cross his mind. He approaches things purely from a strategic point of view, never a moral one. Of course, that's a matter of pragmatism (he's basically a slave to the enchantment. Free will, or the lack thereof, is a big theme running through the whole story), but even when he tries to ignore the issues, it slaps him in the face via Sizemore's angst. And still dances around it (perhaps due to "ruthlessness").


I'm still following my previous assumption that the comic is getting grittier as we get closer to the end. When things are light, so is the humour. When things start getting ugly and desperate the art and humour gets darker and more serious.



His actions are particularly objectionable in light of the fact that he had a peaceable alternative: surrender. Sure, he would have become Charlie's slave, but how is that any worse than the situation he's already in? He chose to end thousands of lives simply because he wanted to "win".


Didn't you just say he was a slave to the enchantment? Surrendering was not a peaceful alternative. If he surrenders he's failed Stanley, and he isn't allowed to do that. If you wanted to go for possibilities we don't have any support for, we don't even know what would happen to him if Stanley lost. Charlie doesn't know Parson wasn't from Erf, he just saw another chief warlord. For all we know the instant Stanley's side falls the spell that brought Parson into Erf could end.

DoctorJest
2009-04-02, 02:23 AM
Sizemore went from digging up crap golems to collapsing the entire city. Why in the hell was he EVER working with crap if he was sitting on that level of power all along? Seems strange.


Sizemore had previously been PREVENTING the city from collapsing. He told Parson very early on that they had to stop mining for gems or making new tunnels because any more and they would collapse the city. When Parson asked about collapsing tunnels as a defensive move, Sizemore told him that if they do that too much, the whole city will come down.

Collapsing the entire city was NOT a huge level up in power for Sizemore. In fact, we had EVERY indication that without Sizemore to maintain those tunnels, the city was well on it's way to collapsing on its own. For Sizemore to make it happen was relatively speaking very easy.

Starwaster
2009-04-02, 02:24 AM
I heartily disagree. It is quite surprising that she would do it with violence, instantly, against an ally. This seems quite out of character for, well, anyone with rational thought.


WTH? This is someone who uses the freakin eyeball fork for eating salad with. This is totally in character for Jillian. Not to mention the fact that Caesar has been yanking her chain since the turn began. Throwing orders at her? CHICKIE??? HONEYPOT? Clearly doesn't trust her, all but accuses her to her face of being a nut at best or a traitor at worst.

The only reason she held back at all was because she was focusing on the task at hand: Taking down Stanley. Now Caesar and his troops are balking at that because he wants her capital. And now finally he tells her Ansom is dead just when they finally found each other.

Oh yeah. I saw this coming since page 107. Go back and re-read it :wink:

TamLin
2009-04-02, 02:29 AM
Simply put Stick it to the man... Parson's answer comes from the dead pan text that at least he got free faxes at Kinkos. Parson had a CHOICE in that matter (whether even to apply for the job in the first place),

But by playing the battle through he's simply remaining a slave to Stanley's will. That's hardly preferable to being forced to work for Charlie. Well, okay, apparently to him it is, but it's hard to see how.


he also stated in a Klog that he would always wonder if he didn't play it all the way out what it would be like for him personally and now you have that answer you are dissatisfied, why?

My point is that the comic seems to be asking us moral questions but the behavior of our main character doesn't reflect what would seem to be a moreal crisis, even when other characters go out of their way to point them out to him.


Your wall of text leads me to believe that your looking to us or other readers to make up your mind for you, why? To borrow a Rob quote "Sometimes text does not translate well across the internet"

I'm trying to stimulate debate/conversation. A few months back I set off a huge, sometimes volatilve argument because I objected to what I interpreted as the preachy overtones and manipulative stratagems of the artist and writer, theorizing that they had "tricked" readers (for lack of a better term) into laughing at violent acts early in the comic so that they could horrify us with more intense violence later and then lead us to question the values of how we treat violence in entertainment (which is not a bad goal, but I wasn't terribly fond of the way that they went about it). The progression of the comic since then, with even grander and more grotesque violence, killing off of a major characters in shocking and unexpected ways, and our protagonists rather casual attitude toward the brutality of warfare, seem to butress that theory, but that doesn't mean that it's neccesarily correct, and since I'm rather fond of the comic, I'd rather not jump to the worst conclusion about it. Rather than come out with all guns blazing on criticism this time, I thought I would pose a few questions instead and see what other readers thought, since the discussion last time was engrossing (if sometimes heated). I can make up my own mind, but it's usually a good idea to expose yourself to other people's opinions before you do.


Well, when you think about it, Sizemore also got to lead a lot of battles in the recent turns of the first time. He probably leveled a lot in the meanwhile. Also, his power was combined with Wanda's, who is not a small-level caster either. The power might be combined expodentially.

Well, he collapsed the city back before the link. Not exactly the kind of thing you expected back when he was just the guy digging ditches. His meteoric progression in power at the end of the story comes off as rather artificial. That's might be the point, but again, notice that when RCC characters (the Archons) made big quantam leaps in power over the period of the comic it illicited a lot of complaints about the quality of the writing.


The art style, the webcomic's design and theme also evolve. You cannot cast the whole webcomic's layout into stone in the first 10 strips.

Boy you're right about the evolution of style. Look back at those first couple strips with Jillian, her head is the size of a frigging Maytag washer. I like the more realistic proportions that Mr. Noguchi came to use as the comic went on.


The writers had to find their style of storytelling. The mix of light-hearted pop culture reference and heavy/dark theme is something that I grew to love in the recent 100 comic. For me, Erfworld is meant to be like that, not like the first 20+ comics, where everyone in the comic's staff still were trying to find their proper niche.

I still think there was a distinct and intentional shift in the tone of the comic from silly to dark as it went on. I've brought up before (and now am again, since I'm apparently some sort of glutton for punishment) strip #57. Look at the sight gag with the impaled elf near the end; it's really a very shocking, violent scene, but it's played for laughs. Similarly, look at the poor elf getting bubblegum to the face in the earlier panels, which is really a terrible way for someone to die (suffocation) but has been depicted in the most ludicrous way possible. There's an intentional effort here to use comedy to take the edge off of the material that's not present anywhere around the siege scenes, and 57 pages in is pretty far to still be feeling things out (of course, a serialized work is always evolving, but I think you see my point). So, respectfully, I don't think there's any question that the strip was supposed to become darker, more violent, and more serious as it progressed, and that that was a conscious decision as opposed to the accidental result of the storytellers getting their bearings. The question, as far as I'm concerned, is to what use they meant to employ this tactic.

EDIT: Pardon me please those of you who responded to my post while I was still writing this. Also pardon the spelling and gramatical errors above. Since chatting on these forums is not what I'm supposed to be doing during midterm week, I don't have the chance to go back and amend the post.

Killer Angel
2009-04-02, 02:54 AM
2. I've held my tongue until the whole thing resolved, but I'm sorry, it must be said: This whole "Uncroak the volcano" business was completely ridiculous. Why is it that many of the same people who so bitterly complained about the quality of the comic back when Ansom was "Pulling things out of his ass" react so positively when Parson does it?

3. And again I have to wonder what to make of the content of Erfworld, now that he first arc appears to be over. Back in the beginning we had lots of oddball, humorous violence, "Key-lime pie" and all of that. As the comic progressed, it became grittier, more violent, and intentionally shocking, lots of images of adorable little Erflings getting burned alive, trampled, crushed, etc, to the point that the earlier humor, to me at least, started to seem massively inappropriate.

On point 2, I think the volcano trick it's good, 'cause it's truly a thing came "out from nowhere". It's outside the rules, 'cause staying inside the rules means defeat. It's a thing only one as Parson could pull out. It's a desperate and genial gambit.
But maybe it's only me... after all, i ever find that Ansom had positive qualities: when Parson exterminates the jetstone troops and wanda uncroaked them, it was only for Ansom determination that the assault didn't stop.

On point 3, try to see this way: the grafic art is evolving (but you already know this... even OOTS has evolved from the first strips). The transition from ligh-hearted to dark and gritty, while we're getting closer to the climax, it's not a new thing: Think about LotR (the books); in the beginning we had a lot of "funny" moments: Tom Bombadil is one of them... even the challenge between legolas and Gimly on who's killing the greater number of orcs is light-hearted. Then we have the journey through Mordor...


And about this strip, i think it's GREAT.
Also, as someone said, it's interesting to see that Transylvito paid a high price to stop Stanley's Dragons.

teratorn
2009-04-02, 03:28 AM
So Stanley comes back, sees the ruins of the city, the charred corpses, the rivers of lava, the pliers for the grab. He'll become even more fanatical than before. The Titans sent him away so they could wipe his enemies and give him the pliers.

TV lost only two warlords.

BLANDCorporatio
2009-04-02, 03:29 AM
As much as I doubt the possibility of Red's survival, Ceasar said that every side they'd been able to contact had had total losses. He didn't say that all sides involved had had total losses.

I'm one of those people with a wish to see Scarlet having survived this (a NSFW 4chan boom, a city collapsing and an eruption at ground-zero, that would be an epic feat among other things), and am more than willing to see ways for that to have happened.

And yes, there are possibilities, like her side not informing "Bunny" that they have the pliers, like her side not being contacted yet, like Caesar lying to Jillian, or like Scarlet being, for some reason, alive but not contactable.

Right now though, this seriously doesn't look to be the case and if somehow Scarlet makes a future appearance, that would be genuinely surprising.

That said, Elvis lives.

And so does Scarlet.

HandofShadows
2009-04-02, 03:58 AM
Wanda knows where Faq was too.

Could Parson be looking for himself or someone in his tiny group to sneak in and take Faq via magic portal?

This is one of the first things I thought of when the casters and Parson went through the portal and I knew GK was doomed. Is there a working portal in the ruins of Faq? If there is thing will keep going for some time. While the casters cannot "found" a kingdom as they are not royals, can Parson? He is a special warlord and can clearly do things normal warlords cannot. Since Jillian and Jack are "tied" to Faq they would know the instant the city would be rebuilt. When TV gets to Faq they might be in for a very big, very NASTY surprise with the name Parson written on in it big letters. Heck, Stanley may end up working for Parson after all this.



I mean, nothing left but lava. I do wonder how 'game breaking' this mechanic was. Will the start of a new turn cause the lava to harden again? Or is the volcano able to keep operating outside the turns? And what if after all that hypothesizing Stanley swoops down and sees, "Oh, look an arkentool. I really am the chosen of the titans. Mine!"

I imagine the volcano would keep going for a few turns, but once the place becomes safe, it's going to be a battlesite to determine who will claim it. It is a capital site of some importance, there are riches to be found and the Archenpliers are there. Parson may go after it just because it Sizemore's home.

Bilgore
2009-04-02, 03:59 AM
But by playing the battle through he's simply remaining a slave to Stanley's will. That's hardly preferable to being forced to work for Charlie. Well, okay, apparently to him it is, but it's hard to see how.
It's one thing to be captured and forced to work for your former opponent, it's another thing entirely to throw the battle on purpose. Surrender and work for Charlie was never an option.

His options were:
fight and win (what he did) fight and lose (maybe get captured, maybe get croaked)
Uncroaking is possible, but when you're disbanded that's the end.

Bilgore
2009-04-02, 04:01 AM
Since their rulers (and presumably their garrisons) are still in their home cities, the former coalition members will still be active. Could be an interesting arms race as they try to rebuild defensive forces... no telling if one or more of the former allies will try to annex someone who can't rearm fast enough. Plus there may be neutral parties out there who suddenly feel a need to expand.

The Tardy Elves haven't lost a single unit yet. :p

Half_Moon
2009-04-02, 04:01 AM
Well, he collapsed the city back before the link. Not exactly the kind of thing you expected back when he was just the guy digging ditches. His meteoric progression in power at the end of the story comes off as rather artificial.

Digging ditches is quite easily translated to collapsing city. People used to break down a city's defenses by digging ditches under the walls and collapsing them.

So Sizemore's progression from digging ditches to collapsing the city isn't really much to be shocked at. What is shocking is that they actually decided to collapse the city as a kind of last ditch defense. It's a move damaging to both sides as it not only kills enemy troops but trashes all your defences. Kind of a suicide gesture.

teratorn
2009-04-02, 04:08 AM
I imagine the volcano would keep going for a few turns, but once the place becomes safe, it's going to be a battlesite to determine who will claim it. It is a capital site of some importance, there are riches to be found and the Archenpliers are there. Parson may go after it just because it Sizemore's home.

I would expect all those sites to avoid GK like the plague. Everything was killed in a series of hexes during the coalition's own turn. As jillian puts it, that's not possible, as Parson puts it, that's cheating.

I expect them to be using all their resources for defense. They know Stanley will go after them and now that he seems capable of bending Erfworld's rules they must be very afraid.

MickJay
2009-04-02, 04:32 AM
Love the Bugsy reference.

Altima
2009-04-02, 04:36 AM
Hmm, what's next for Stanley's side now?

More than likely, the volcano completely obliterated GK, meaning there's no city left to claim. Heck, it was said to increase across multiple hexes, and not just the city one.

Interesting tidbit, does this mean those soldiers who were left outside the mountain (watching in the previous update) were forced, because of their lack of movement, to watch as the lava slowly slithered its way to them and dissolve them into piles of goop? Icky.

So, effectively, this means that Stanley is now a barbarian. What does this mean for Parson and the casters? Are they still sided with Stanley? Are they also barbarians? I find it hard to believe that Stanley has enough smuckers on himself to pay the upkeep of four casters, plus a Chief Warlord Parson.

Personally, I see Stanley coming back, plucking the pliers, then heading off to the rest of his cities that the RCC took from him. They should be lightly defended, and he still has a good flight of dragons, as well as himself, the hammer, and Jack. He could, in theory, put himself back into production before the end of his turn. Especially if the RCC forces invested in the buildup of the cities.

As for Jillian, yeah, she got screwed, hard. There's no way Transylvito will let her keep the Faq cities, them being so close to TV territory, and with Faq, apparently, having powerful airbourne units in gwiffons while TV is limited to bats as flying units. Since Faq is basically landlocked by TV, the only place they could expand would be into vamp territory.

As for the RCC forces, well, we can assume that it constitutes the 'bulk' of the individual members' 'free' troops--the ones that can be cut loose for offensive operations, and not just garrisoning. After all, if they were only small portions, then a few of the larger countries, like maybe Jetstone and Unaroyal, could have banded together and taken Stanley out themselves. The only reason to make a coalition that large is because you need the numbers.

So this means that everyone is suddenly finding themselves stretched thin. Each side lost at least one high ranking warlord, possibly several, with troops, and possibly casters, on top of that. It's been stated that Stanley had the rest of the world going after him, but this could be a hyperbole. Maybe some smaller kingdoms will see their chance and start picking at the RCC members.

If the RCC members suddenly have to think of themselves now, whether due to infighting or having to defend against invaders, and if Stanley can find a city, then the Tool and Parson could put their feet under themselves and actually make a decent army, for once. Maybe even--gasp--a living warlord!

On the other hand, I think it would be funny and ironic as hell if Jillian ended up working for the Tool.

Bakta
2009-04-02, 04:37 AM
1. No offense, but why is there even a debate about Jillian's reaction? It's a violent outburst inspired by shock and grief. Not much else to it, and it couldn't be much plainer.


Maybe. Maybe not.

Unless I misread the comic, always a possibility, Jillian is still under Wanda's spell. I understood that she broke off due to her feelings for Ansom. Now he's croaked..What we're seeing here may be due to that spell reasserting itself.

BLANDCorporatio
2009-04-02, 04:46 AM
I would expect all those sites to avoid GK like the plague. Everything was killed in a series of hexes during the coalition's own turn. As jillian puts it, that's not possible, as Parson puts it, that's cheating.

I expect them to be using all their resources for defense. They know Stanley will go after them and now that he seems capable of bending Erfworld's rules they must be very afraid.

Exactly. If anyone will dare to step on the remains of GK, that would be Parson. And Stanley, who would probably van de Graf an erupting volcano anyway.

ADDED: this would be one more argument for Parson to convince the Tool that he's done the right thing: "hey we got the pliers!". Assuming of course that Parson is still around.

snafu
2009-04-02, 04:53 AM
Maybe. Maybe not.

Unless I misread the comic, always a possibility, Jillian is still under Wanda's spell. I understood that she broke off due to her feelings for Ansom. Now he's croaked..What we're seeing here may be due to that spell reasserting itself.

Unsubtle, though. The character of Wanda's control over Jillian was... far from absolute. A more reasonable reaction in these circumstances would be for her to take the first available opportunity to make an escape, then find Wanda. Not pull a knife on someone in front of all his mates.

Interesting terminology in the comic: 'dirtamancy trap'. Not too far off accurate. Does anybody realise that it was possible solely due to the specific geography at GK? Because if not, then as far as everybody else is concerned they're up against a nuclear opponent. Until the nature of the cataclysm becomes clear, the world will assume that Parson has access to an ultimate weapon of last resort and will leave him the hell alone. One side that, just for the moment, nobody will dare attack, with the Coalition now dissolved and everyone else who just lost most of their units scrambling for position. Interesting times.

Titanium Dragon
2009-04-02, 05:03 AM
2. I've held my tongue until the whole thing resolved, but I'm sorry, it must be said: This whole "Uncroak the volcano" business was completely ridiculous. Why is it that many of the same people who so bitterly complained about the quality of the comic back when Ansom was "Pulling things out of his ass" react so positively when Parson does it?

Because we were given an explanation for it. He was, explicitly, trying to cheat. Also, this was foreshadowed; we knew we had a dirtamancer, we knew it was an extinct/dormant volcano. So it wasn't out of the blue.


I mean, isn't it incredibly convenient, for example, that Wanda had a secret stash of scrolls that let her replicate all of the sorts of spell powers that her side had been denied?

Uh, this stash was shown way back when she was torturing a certain PoW. This wasn't "convenient", we knew she had it.

Moreover, it was totally in character for Wanda.


And isn't it kind of odd that as the comic went on all of Gobwin Knobs initially innocuous-seeming casters kept exponentially increasing in power until we get to the point where they can literally move mountains?

Uh, what, exactly, was innocous about Wanda? Ever? She's a necromancer.

Not to mention the link-up was incredibly powerful, in-comic, and was explicitly noted to be such.

So, seriously, this isn't something you can really complain about.


Sizemore went from digging up crap golems to collapsing the entire city. Why in the hell was he EVER working with crap if he was sitting on that level of power all along?

Um, he could do that for foreshadowed reasons - the place was riddled to the point where it had so many tunnels it was on the verge of collapse. This was explicitly stated.

Also, its not like crap golems are weak or anything. And they're free.


On the other hand, it's a self-admitted ludicrous cheat that navigates around the traditional confrontational ending and leaves a lot of seemingly-vital issues (Stanley, Jillian, the Pliers...) unresolved, presumably for a sequel.

It said it was chapter 1. This is the end of a book in a series; you tie up SOME of the stuff, but not EVERY plot point.


I always found the relationship between Ansom and Jillian made me very sympathetic toward both characters, but I seem to be in the marked minority there.

Thing is, while they're obstensibly the good guys, they really aren't very good. Jillian is a very, very violent woman, and Ansom is a condescending jerk who believes he's better than everyone else. They were really parodies of the usual "good guys"; Jillian was the berserker warrior with a heart of gold, except missing the latter part; Ansom was the paladin, except missing the redeeming features such people have and having absolutely zero humility.

Jillian isn't a good person, and her motive is revenge, not justice. She's willing to throw everything away to get back at Stanley.

hajo
2009-04-02, 05:09 AM
I would expect all those sites to avoid GK like the plague. Everything was killed in a series of hexes during the coalition's own turn. As jillian puts it, that's not possible
I would expect to see at least some scouts from everyone, as they would like to know firsthand what happened to their units.

SteveD
2009-04-02, 05:29 AM
Yep, only the sides with Lookmancers would know what's going on. Everyone else would have to send scouts with hats.

I'm glad they've continued this story line; had a horrible feeling Parson was going to re-appear in the real world and that would be that.

But what next for Jillian and Co.? Will she blame Caesar for Ansoms death by not letting her return to Gobwin Knob? Will she co-operate and give him the cities? Will she now hate Parson with the same vengeance she holds against Stanley?

SteveMB
2009-04-02, 05:45 AM
TV lost only two warlords.

Three. Don King sent ten, not counting Vinny who was there already. It looks like they now have eight (counting Vinny).

VariaVespasa
2009-04-02, 05:51 AM
So, seriously, this isn't something you can really complain about.

Oh but he will, he will...


Um, he could do that for foreshadowed reasons - the place was riddled to the point where it had so many tunnels it was on the verge of collapse. This was explicitly stated.

Lalala, he's not listening....

But I'll add my voice to yours anyway-

Its been said- trimancers are exponentially more powerful. Foreshadowed.

Its been said that GK was on the point of collapse structurally. Lose a couple of critical pillars and... Hardly a major feat of magic.

Sizemore was working with crap golems because Stanley barely paid attention to him and crap and money is about the limit of his attention span revealed so far. "hey, whats the turd guy doing in here?" Blame Stanleys orders, not Sizemore.

You note that Parson was basically slave to the enchantment (and Wanda confirmed as much just before joining the trimancer), and yet you somehow think that he really had the option to surrender??

Moral questions/tricked-horrified. Um, exactly how many english courses have you taken? I'm thinking... lots. Too many, in fact. It may be that a cigar is just a cigar and youre trying to read waaaay too much into it?

You object to a bubblegummed elf, but find key-lime pie humorous. You know, the line said by the guy with the closeup shot of a CROSSBOW BOLT IN HIS FACE? You're very.... selective. Oddly selective.

I'm thinking Obvious Troll Is Obvious, kinda selective. /whap.

Thanqol
2009-04-02, 05:57 AM
Anyone else notice David Boranez (Angel) in panel 7? No other vampire has that forehead.

Lemarc
2009-04-02, 06:32 AM
On the subject of Jillian's outburst, nobody seems to have noticed that she's already drawing her knife in panel nine, before she hears about Ansom or Jetstone.

SteveMB
2009-04-02, 06:42 AM
I'm thinking Obvious Troll Is Obvious, kinda selective. /whap.

I think that's a bit harsh over a difference of interpretation.


On the subject of Jillian's outburst, nobody seems to have noticed that she's already drawing her knife in panel nine, before she hears about Ansom or Jetstone.

Hmmm... the pose isn't really definitive, but I see what you mean. It could mean that she was tempted to forcibly confront Ceasar over the issue of chasing down Stanley (as several people have pointed out, he's been getting on her nerves since they met).

snafu
2009-04-02, 06:56 AM
Anyone else notice David Boranez (Angel) in panel 7? No other vampire has that forehead.

Well, keep an eye out for that vampire to turn on the boss in future. Angel never really did get along too well with Spike, after all...

shamelessmerc
2009-04-02, 06:57 AM
I'm trying to stimulate debate/conversation.

There is a name for that....

I pretty much disagreed with everything in your first post and your responses since haven't done anything to change my mind about your intent.

Of course it's too late now....

Lombard
2009-04-02, 06:57 AM
This was one of my favorite of all the Erfworld updates. Maybe my all-time favorite! Not really sure why, but artwork and drama and dialogue and plot seemed to all come together quite nicely. These guys must have been watching Emeril 'cause they're really kicking it up a notch. :smallwink:

Kind of want to respond to that gripe about too violent etc., first thing that came to mind was playing Age of Empires or Civilization something, sometimes I invent little plots and stories in my head about the flow of the conflict... but I never stress out about the deaths of all these little imaginary people and armies I'm controlling. I do hate to hear about your typical things that are reported on the nightly news though... hmmm what's the difference... one's real, one's not lol.

BLANDCorporatio
2009-04-02, 07:07 AM
Maybe I'm wrong in not caring about Jillian's outburst, but to me the more significant thing is the fact that Stanley unleashed Fire From Below on Erfworld. The incident is not regarded as a freak of nature, but as an action from Stanley's side.

Ok, so it was not the Tool who did the thing exactly, but the whatever power did it, it is loyal to the Tool. Puts his claim of having the Titan's mandate in a new light.

If anything, next story arc will be about how Stanley is the new ruler of Erfworld, receiving protection money lest unfortunate accidents befall its pretty cities. Everyone will bend over backwards to do his bidding ...

... except for a ragtag band of adventurers out to save the world despite itself. (If this is the case, Jillian will have to escape from a newly Stanley-friendly Transylvito; and like I said I hold some hope that Scarlet will be around, unlikelier as that scenario gets; root for the probabilities underdog you know?*).

Which puts some things in need of reset. The Tool no longer needs a Perfect Warlord, right now he's too powerful for the rest combined (and with pliers, possibly even more so). Parson and/or the Trimancer will not remain on Stanley's side, mark my words *trying to look ominous*.

ADDED:
*: remember the Harkonnen wisdom: never believe a man is dead until you've seen the corpse. And even then, it is not certain.

Glome
2009-04-02, 07:14 AM
It is interesting that nobody knows yet that the dirtomancer trap is the volcano erupting, especially considering how obvious a volcanic eruption is. Unless there are mountains in the way, they should probably be able to see the volcano themselves for that matter, or at least a big billowing cloud of smoke from the direction of GK.

Also, it seem like almost every side seems capable of popping thinkamancers. Yet other spell casters seem a lot more rarer, particularly lookamancers, mathemancers and foolamancers.

And I also suspect that the Tardy Elves could now rule the Erf, if they ever got around to it.

joosy
2009-04-02, 07:18 AM
FAN-tastic!

Not only do we get a 3rd party take on the goings on at GK but we get to catch up with Jillian, Vinnie and 'friends'.

Things I learned:

1) NO units survived. That presumably includes the one at the base of the mountain. With their turn effectively ended and the coalition 'dissolved' they had no move and were probably killed by the lava, poisonous gas and/or ash.

.. and yes, that includes Red Leader (aka 'Scarlett' : As god is my witness, she'll never go hungry again! -- because she's croaked)

2) Thinkamancers are aware of any of their units no matter where. Presumably they are also aware of enemy units within their hex as well (Maggie stating how many enemy units survived the city collapse). I would presume Rob's thought is that they can see 'minds'. Not like a Lookamancer who can remote view an area.

3) Transylvito has their own agenda. It was wise to have Jack veil their cities from them.

----------
It looks like the battle for GK is over with just a few more strips to wrap it up and set the stage for the next big thing.

BLANDCorporatio
2009-04-02, 07:24 AM
It is interesting that nobody knows yet that the dirtomancer trap is the volcano erupting, especially considering how obvious a volcanic eruption is.

Agreed, but I think this is a form of newsspeak- hedge your wording until more information. While we know what happened at GK, it may have looked slightly odd, or unprofessional, of the other Thinkamancers to report a staged volcanic eruption.

JLrep
2009-04-02, 07:43 AM
Question though: Why is Jillian holding the dagger upside down with cutting edge out?

That's the proper way to hold a knife for fighting. You can hide it with your forearm, and slashes become a natural extension of punches.

It's not held like that in all martial arts that teach knife fighting, but I think in most.

Eraniverse
2009-04-02, 08:17 AM
Loving the subtle sound effects of the expanding bat cloud.

Walpurgisborn
2009-04-02, 09:20 AM
2. I've held my tongue until the whole thing resolved, but I'm sorry, it must be said: This whole "Uncroak the volcano" business was completely ridiculous.

And the Winner of the Second Annual Playah Hater of the Year Award?

TamLin!

Seriously, we understand, and understood all that time your "tongue was held" that you didn't like the comic. That's ok, we understand, taste is a relative thing. Personally, I thought the uncroaked volcano was made of 100% pure awesome.

But don't bother trying to justify it, or to find it to be some fault of the creators. Particularly in numbered paragraphs. You just look like a prat doing it.

If you don't like it - and you made very clear, well before this, that you dont -then stop reading. It's not an assignment for your Lit. class, you don't fail Internet Culture 212 for not being up to date on Erfworld, and there is no prize for making it to the end.

You're not a "glutton for punishment" by coming here, telling people that you don't like, and then responding to everyone else trying to prove you're right for not liking it. You're just a troll in that case.

Name Lips
2009-04-02, 09:33 AM
So Parson is truly the Ultimate Warlord... he has realized something that nobody else on Erf has the perspective to realize - if there isn't a rule specifically prohibiting something, it's fair game. And he has worlds upon worlds of experience from both Earth and his multitude of games from which to draw inspiration.

I have to wonder how hard he can push this. The volcano was heavily forshadowed, of course, but what other things are "outside the rules" and therefore "'sploitable loopholes?"

BLANDCorporatio
2009-04-02, 09:37 AM
You're not a "glutton for punishment" by coming here, telling people that you don't like, and then responding to everyone else trying to prove you're right for not liking it. You're just a troll in that case.

There, there, "I might not agree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it" - Voltaire. Just because someone head-strongly voices an unpopular opinion does not yet mean they are a troll (the nature of the opinion and manner of expression would also matter). Why, I'd be twoll in that case too.

Then again, "a witty saying proves nothing" - Voltaire :smalltongue:.

ADDED:


So Parson is truly the Ultimate Warlord... he has realized something that nobody else on Erf has the perspective to realize - if there isn't a rule specifically prohibiting something, it's fair game. And he has worlds upon worlds of experience from both Earth and his multitude of games from which to draw inspiration.

I have to wonder how hard he can push this. The volcano was heavily forshadowed, of course, but what other things are "outside the rules" and therefore "'sploitable loopholes?"

I am half-boopedly sticking my neck out in claiming against all odds that Scarlet lives (Harkonen wisdom and wishful thinking).

OTOH, I am as certain as can be that either Parson or the trimancer will soon depart, in one way or another, from Stanley's side. For balance issues.

Parson was needed when the troop ratio was 25:1 against. Right now, it looks like its 13:9(+1? pretty please with sugar on top?) for.

Opal Tide
2009-04-02, 09:44 AM
Great strip! Couple thoughts:

1) I wouldn't write Scarlet off yet. The only confirmation we have that she might be wiped out is from TV who heard to from another faction's Thinkamancer, not the most reliable information flow. Caesar even admits his faction is closer to some RCC memers than others. Scarlet's faction could have reason to hide her survival, TV might not have contacted her faction yet or maybe she survived but has effectively gone into a such a deep shock that thinkamancy cannot reach her. (Of course some of this is me wanting at least one recognizable survivor of the Seige just so we can see how such an event would affect the pysche of an Erf Worlder)

Personally I think it would be awesome if she was attuned to the pliers (allowing her to survive) but so mentally devestated that when Stanley shows up he is able to manipulate her into becoming his protege ("Hey, I've had an Arkentool for while and know what it is like. I can teach you, make you understand it. Afterall, we were destined by the Titans to be united." etc.)

(As a funny aside, who elese thinks it would be hilarious if the Tardy Eleves show up [their thinkamancer having never gotten around to telling them they were no longer part of the RCC] and pick up the pliers?)

2) Unlike other folks I was somewhat surprised by jillian lashing out at Ceasar (who plays it extremely cool). I could understand perhaps being angry and distraught, but pulling just doesn't sit well with me, motivationally speaking. Not knocking the writing, just a gut reaction on my part. Other theories such as Wanda's spell still having some hold or her using the news as an excuse to attack him about the Faq issue seem plausible to me. Hopefully we will get further clarification in the next several strips.

3) Vinny is still OK in my book. He seems to show remorse over Jillian getting screwed by his own faction. I would like to believe that if he knew about it ahead of time he might have cautioned jillian about the possible double cross (though, to hear her tell it, she doesn't care much about the cities themselves, just Stanley).

4) No more Mario Vamp, I guess KISS got the better of him in that enagement.

5) Just generally I think the Erf World crew has done a great job with the illustrations, narratives and characterizations. We care about what happens (or doesn't happen) to these chaarcters. We can see their motivations, hopes and aspirations. Have we been emotionally manipulated? Heck yes, that is what good story tellers do. If there wasn't a single unanticipated event the story would get pretty boring pretty quickly.

I also subscribe to the theory that the change in artwork is intentional. Parson is making Erfworld more serious and gritty. War isn't about marching around in shiny armor leading troops in pitched, open battles anymore. Its about using every tool at your disposal to baffle, off balance, confuse and destroy your enemy be it by sword or stealth.

Alternatively it could be a case of an untrustworthy narration. We are introduced to Erfworld as almost a child-like world that is safe and comfortable (just as Stanley wanted his made to order Warlord feel). But as Parson, along with the audience, becomes more familiar and comfortable with how Erf World operates, this false veneer slowly slips away until we realize Erf World is just as realistic and gritty as Earth.

But even if I am totally wrong about the development of art and narration Erf world still has an awesome story line and compelling characters.

los olvidados
2009-04-02, 10:10 AM
Great page, great dialogue, nicely depicting the fog of war.

And it's not a stretch to see how a volcanic eruption would qualify as a Dirtamancy trap. RCC forces pushed and pushed until the "trap" was triggered. The Coalition's capitals know that it did not occur during an engagement, that it occurred across multiple hexes and that the terrain had a hand in it.

Who knows how natural disasters are considered in Erfworld, what with the way units and such pop on turns. Perhaps volcanos and earthquakes and tornados are brought about solely by epic magic.

As to Jillian, in the words of Animal Mother from Full Metal Jacket:

"You're fresh outta friends."

...and Transylvito won't put up with your bull*boop*.

Though, I wonder what she would think if observers were able to glean that Croakamancy also had a hand in the disaster.

BLANDCorporatio
2009-04-02, 10:21 AM
Great strip! Couple thoughts:

1) I wouldn't write Scarlet off yet...

I have a paranoid streak.

Suppose the authors watch these forums (which they shouldn't imnsho) and so know from the "Capital Sides by livery" thread that a likely guess for Scarlet's faction was Unaroyal.

So Caesare starts by mentioning that all of Unaroyal's units are gone. All, he emphasizes that. Why, to drive the point more I was expecting him to say "Oh, and Scarlet? She is gone, passed on. She has ceased to be. Scarlet is no more. She has kicked the bucket and joined the army invisible, pushing up the daisies division. She is an Ex-Warlord".

Sorry, I am just being silly.

Opal Tide
2009-04-02, 10:28 AM
I have a paranoid streak.

Suppose the authors watch these forums (which they shouldn't imnsho) and so know from the "Capital Sides by livery" thread that a likely guess for Scarlet's faction was Unaroyal.

So Caesare starts by mentioning that all of Unaroyal's units are gone. All, he emphasizes that...

No argument there, but until I see the body (or cinders resembling said dead body) I would not be suprised if she somehow survived and it was in Unaroyal's interest to hide this fact. Besdies, they would look pretty badint he eyes of the other factions if they actually had a survivor (who had the Arkenpliers no less).

BLANDCorporatio
2009-04-02, 10:37 AM
No argument there, but until I see the body (or cinders resembling said dead body) I would not be suprised if she somehow survived and it was in Unaroyal's interest to hide this fact. Besdies, they would look pretty badint he eyes of the other factions if they actually had a survivor (who had the Arkenpliers no less).

Oh don't get me wrong I am completely with you on this. I was just trying to set up a Monty Python joke.

Speaking of which, were they ever alluded to until now in Erfworld?

Hatu
2009-04-02, 10:42 AM
On the subject of Jillian's outburst, nobody seems to have noticed that she's already drawing her knife in panel nine, before she hears about Ansom or Jetstone.

I noticed that when I read the comic a second time; I'm not really sure what to make of it. It would seem to imply that Jillian reacted very negatively to Caesar's whole story. I can see why she distrusts him, so maybe she assumed this long story was the prelude to some sort of betrayal. The problem is that she only actually draws the knife and attacks when Caesar says that Ansom was croaked. I don't find that at all believable. Jillian is a violence oriented woman, but she's never attacked someone out of the blue just to demonstrate how violent she is. Having her "kill the messenger," even one she dislikes, seems wrong. It makes her look like she's delusional rather than distraught.

Which is a shame because I really like Jillian, and her sudden insanity sort of mars her character. I hope she gets a happy ending someday, but having her go insane isn't a promising start.

-H

Kreistor
2009-04-02, 11:08 AM
Which is a shame because I really like Jillian, and her sudden insanity sort of mars her character. I hope she gets a happy ending someday, but having her go insane isn't a promising start.

It's not insanity. She begins this strip by being told she is being kidnapped, forced to reveal the cities of Faq, and disallowed from attacking her hated enemy.

Then Caesar comes up with this convenient scenario where there's no GK to go back to attack, no Ansom to love and return to, and Stanley really doesn't matter anymore, and worst of all, he can't be blamed for Ansom's death because he couldn't have been there when it happened.

I'd be incredulous. Jillian reacting to kidnapping and lies by hitting things with a weapon? Totally consistent with her character.

ishnar
2009-04-02, 11:19 AM
His actions are particularly objectionable in light of the fact that he had a peaceable alternative: surrender. Sure, he would have become Charlie's slave, but how is that any worse than the situation he's already in? He chose to end thousands of lives simply because he wanted to "win".

I think you missed that this is a wargame, not RL war. Yes Parson could have surrendered and PARSON would have lived, but all his units would have still been killed.

Imagine if in RL, if you knew that surrender just means an end to the fighting, it doesn't mean survival for the troops. Turned units have low loyalty, so non-specialist units are NOT turned, they are killed. Capturing is usually reserved for valuable casters. (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0110.html) Everyone else on your side dies.

ishnar
2009-04-02, 11:32 AM
And I also suspect that the Tardy Elves could now rule the Erf, if they ever got around to it.

--Hey, where did everybody go?

Reminds me of Restaurant at the End of the Universe.

"Sorry I am late. But things kept coming up."


2) Unlike other folks I was somewhat surprised by jillian lashing out at Ceasar (who plays it extremely cool). I could understand perhaps being angry and distraught, but pulling just doesn't sit well with me, motivationally speaking.

I think since Jillian is a barbarian, she might have a berserk mode that activated. Of course, she likes to hit her problems in the face too, so it's sad to hear she is the type that will kill the messenger though, Caeser did a pretty good job of setting himself up as the bad guy, so it might be a natural response after all. Jillian really should stick to her green armor, does a much better job of retaining that barbarian look. Seeing her in normal clothes and readers might forget her inclinations.

Without Ansom, Jillian will probably find out that she does care about the cities of Faq. But

the_tick_rules
2009-04-02, 11:44 AM
I guess calling it a trap is close enough, especially since nobody but Parson even concieved the idea a trap is about as close as they could figure it was. Boy Jillian needs anger management classes.

SteveMB
2009-04-02, 11:46 AM
2) Unlike other folks I was somewhat surprised by jillian lashing out at Ceasar (who plays it extremely cool). I could understand perhaps being angry and distraught, but pulling just doesn't sit well with me, motivationally speaking. Not knocking the writing, just a gut reaction on my part. Other theories such as Wanda's spell still having some hold or her using the news as an excuse to attack him about the Faq issue seem plausible to me. Hopefully we will get further clarification in the next several strips.

As a couple others have pointed out, the Transylvito faction intends to prevent Jillian from returning to help Ansom press the attack on Gobwin Knob... and now here's Caesar with a story about how Gobwin Knob is gone, the war is over, and Ansom is croaked, so now there's no reason other that the Faq cities themselves (which Jillian doesn't really care about) for her to object to this. How convEEEEEnient!

Add her natural gut-level denial at hearing the news that Ansom is croaked, and she's probably convinced that Caesar is lying. It's perfectly in character for her to puncture a lie by puncturing the liar.

teratorn
2009-04-02, 12:03 PM
2) Unlike other folks I was somewhat surprised by jillian lashing out at Ceasar (who plays it extremely cool).


He doesn't play it cool. Jillian alive means he doesn't have to search through hundreds of hexes to find Faq. I wonder what they'll do to her once they find the ruins and claim them. If they're as ruthless as they seem, now that she doesn't have a Jetstone prince on her side, they may simply kill her.

One Skunk Todd
2009-04-02, 12:08 PM
Anyone else notice David Boranez (Angel) in panel 7? No other vampire has that forehead.

And is that Buffy, Willow and Xander, and maybe Principal Snyder in the back?

El_Chupachichis
2009-04-02, 12:12 PM
2) Thinkamancers are aware of any of their units no matter where. Presumably they are also aware of enemy units within their hex as well (Maggie stating how many enemy units survived the city collapse). I would presume Rob's thought is that they can see 'minds'. Not like a Lookamancer who can remote view an area.


I think of them as the analogue to the "Turn Stats" menu of many games -- like the Thieves Guild of HOMM 4.

Probably a side effect of Natural Thinkamancy. Units automatically report their status on command to Thinkamancers or at least the highest ranking Warlord (with better details to Thinkamancers?). Probably report to other sides as well, but more vague details, unless veiled or out of range.

Which does beg the question: is there a game mechanic out there that handles MIA? I can't think of one. Which bodes poorly for Scarlett.

Would be an interesting game mechanic, though... Supermassive attacks that knock out entire hexes, and units are considered MIA -- not listed in your army stats, cannot cast spells, or have spells cast on them, or in any way be communicated with -- and pinned for X turns. After Turn X, roll for survival at -5. Also would be good for mass retreats; all units in a retreating army are MIA until they reform at nearest base/city, with again a percentage chance of being KIA entirely, or MIA for a large number of turns past the norm.

Opal Tide
2009-04-02, 12:19 PM
Jillian's behavior still seems out of place to me. While she is a Barbarian, I always thought of that as a formal term of alignment rather than a behavioral pattern. If for whatever reason TV got wipedout and Vinny went Barbarian I don't think his behavior would suddently become hyper-aggressive.

Jillian always struck me as a warrior who knew what she was doing before initiating combat, very level headed in the actual combat itself. It might not have been the wisest choice to enter said combat, but she always had a plan when she did end up fighting (think of her three combats with dwagons: she used her allies to distract the foe while she positioned herself to do the most damage). Her fighting style is not smiliar to the achetypical berserker which tends to just rush into a fray with a sword swinging at targets of convenience.

This says to me she is a methodical fighter who picks her attacks wisely and with regard to the overall combat situation. Her lashing out at Ceasar, especially after leanring of Ansom's death, just doesn't seem to fit the frame of the Jillian character as I have come to know her. It seems capricious and foolhearty, espeically with all the TV units right around them.

As I said before, maybe this is jillian's gruff exterior starting to break apart under the stress of all that is happening, frustration over not being able to chase Stanley or even Wanda's spell still having affects. Until we have some further explanation of her actions (hopefully some dialougein the next strip) it will leave me a bit unsettled.

But I have faith in the Erf World crew so I am not overly concerned for now.

(As far as Monty Python goes, I cannot recall any direct references to them thus far)

Opal Tide
2009-04-02, 12:26 PM
He doesn't play it cool. Jillian alive means he doesn't have to search through hundreds of hexes to find Faq. I wonder what they'll do to her once they find the ruins and claim them. If they're as ruthless as they seem, now that she doesn't have a Jetstone prince on her side, they may simply kill her.


I ment more in terms of not even flinching when she attacks him, just grabbing and stopping her wrist without even breaking a sweat, then delivering a nice one liner.

I am sure they will be horrible and unspeakable things to her when/if they find Faq, after all she is just a Barbarian with no faction to avenge her death. I wonder if that would do anything to Vinny's sense of duty of loyalty. He seems to have somewhat of a moral core (demonstrated by his concern for Ansom and his guilt over the Faq/jillian setup).

Should be interesting in either event.

sabremeister
2009-04-02, 12:27 PM
Jillian reacting to kidnapping and lies by hitting things with a weapon? Totally consistent with her character.

I think Jillian reacting to being told she's "a little overweight" by hitting things with a weapon would be consistent with her character.

Hatu
2009-04-02, 12:34 PM
As a couple others have pointed out, the Transylvito faction intends to prevent Jillian from returning to help Ansom press the attack on Gobwin Knob... and now here's Caesar with a story about how Gobwin Knob is gone, the war is over, and Ansom is croaked, so now there's no reason other that the Faq cities themselves (which Jillian doesn't really care about) for her to object to this. How convEEEEEnient!

Add her natural gut-level denial at hearing the news that Ansom is croaked, and she's probably convinced that Caesar is lying. It's perfectly in character for her to puncture a lie by puncturing the liar.

I see what you're saying, but I still disagree. Perhaps it's the way it's drawn, but Jillian seems to flip out far too abruptly for her to be reacting to a perceived kidnapping. In panel 9 she might be going for a weapon, though the art is very unclear. But in panel 10, she is not brandishing it, and no one acts as though she's just drawn a weapon on them. Yet in panel 11, she's in full blown anime lunge mode, with dagger at the ready. What happened?

Well, in panel 9, she says shortly that what Caesar is saying isn't possible. But in panel 10, she says only "Jetstone..." which sounds as though she's at least considering the possibility that Caesar's story could be true. In panel 11, Caesar is interrupted as soon as he announces that Ansom died - this is clearly when Jillian says "No!" and lunges. The implication seems straightforward me: she was willing to listen to Caesar's story and believed it enough to worry about Ansom, but she flipped out as soon as she heard Ansom died.

Her response in panel 10 is much closer to dread than it is to skepticism, so I have to believe she isn't dismissing everything Caesar says as a ruse. Combine that with the fact that it is clearly mention of Ansom's death that sets her off, and I'm sorry, but this just comes across as Jillian lashing out at someone who says something she does not want to be true. I find that unconvincing. Violent or not, Jillian is not the sort of person who kills messengers. She kills problems, and at that moment, Caesar wasn't a problem.

Her actions in panel 11 would make sense if she were trying to intimidate Caesar into telling the truth, but then her dialog in panel 10 wouldn't make much sense. The only way that both could make sense is if she thought Caesar had something to do with Ansom's death; then she might be calm but worried until she hears that Ansom is dead. But in that case, I have serious doubts that Caesar would be able to stop her attack so effortlessly.

-H

Neuromancer
2009-04-02, 12:45 PM
Just a couple of notes:

1) Caeser Borgata is All Man.

2) We seem to have lost Vampire Mario, which probably means we can score one for the KISS (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0125.html) (third panel).

Neuromancer
2009-04-02, 12:51 PM
Also, put me on the "Scarlett Lives!" side of the ledger. Maybe it's just wishful thinking-I think it would be cooler if the Arkenpliers carried her through it--but the fact that she is the only person not on fire on page 150 strikes me as significant.

teratorn
2009-04-02, 01:07 PM
2) We seem to have lost Vampire Mario, which probably means we can score one for the KISS (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0125.html) (third panel).

We had guessed that at the time. The guy fighting Mario was with Stanley's surviving group.

BillyJimBoBob
2009-04-02, 01:25 PM
The loss of a bunch of bats, the cost of Vinny holding a royal funeral or whatever for Ansom, and whoever the Tool managed to croak, for a trio of cities. Not bad.Agreed. Transylvito is looking like a pretty shrewd side about now. But as for the funeral for Ansom? I don't think they know what that is on Erf. Sizemore thought Parson was crazy for asking him to bury Misty, since corpses just de-pop the next morning (or end of turn, I don't recall nor does it matter)

I'm guessing this means Red is now the Chief WarlordNot if Ceasars information is correct. All reports are that every unit at GK croaked, and that would include Scarlett.

scotchmonger
2009-04-02, 01:52 PM
I noticed that when I read the comic a second time; I'm not really sure what to make of it. It would seem to imply that Jillian reacted very negatively to Caesar's whole story. I can see why she distrusts him, so maybe she assumed this long story was the prelude to some sort of betrayal. The problem is that she only actually draws the knife and attacks when Caesar says that Ansom was croaked. I don't find that at all believable. Jillian is a violence oriented woman, but she's never attacked someone out of the blue just to demonstrate how violent she is. Having her "kill the messenger," even one she dislikes, seems wrong. It makes her look like she's delusional rather than distraught.

Which is a shame because I really like Jillian, and her sudden insanity sort of mars her character. I hope she gets a happy ending someday, but having her go insane isn't a promising start.

-H

I don't think she's insane. At least, no more insane than ever. One of the first times we see her she's holding a big sword at Webinar's throat for bad-mouthing her to Ansom. (Pg 51)

But the biggest support for Ansom being her berserk button is on page 68 where she gives a speech via Thinkagram. (took a while to track down and transcribe)

""My dear stuffy insufferable Prince, You may have quietly suspected that I am a traitor. Your man Webinar suspected it loudly. I wonder if you ever understood me.

I'm free, Prince. You're a slave to duty, to your kingdom, to your... ideals, such as they are.

But I am a Barbarian! I can roam... I can explore...I'm free to make friends or enemies or lovers of whoever I please.

To you that means I'm just a mercenary. You think I joined you for the schmuckers. Psh.

I'm in this fight for the same two reasons you are.

One because I hate Stanley. I may not have wanted the kingdom he cost me, but it was mine.

And two?

Because I love Prince Ansom of Jetstone. May the Titans help me.

I'll see you after I croak some dwagons."

Now Caesar is hitting both of her reasons for being there. Ansom is dead and she's being actively prevented from avenging herself on Stanley. On top of that he's taking her city sites just because they're there and free to him.

As for Scarlett, I think there are two tropes in play.

Convection Schmonvection subverted in panel 3 where all the Archons are little falling fireballs which implies some accurate physics on heat transfer through the air.

Million to one chance. I strongly believe that the panels are showing us four different views of the same scene to establish the extent of the devastation. Here are my guesses as to what we're seeing.

Panel 1 - Inside the Garrison walls -- echoes p132 panel 4

Panel 2 - outside the garrison and possibly outside the outer wall zone -- Burning Cloth Golem is a siege unit which we last saw outside the garrison wall on p125 panel 5 and panel 9

Panel 3 - Falling Archon fireballs. Poor Archons. Skirt clearly visible on the largest whole fireball and the close-up seems to have the the lapels and sleeves of the blue suits that some of them wear.

Panel 4 - Wide shot to establish scale of eruption..

Fez
2009-04-02, 01:55 PM
That's the proper way to hold a knife for fighting. You can hide it with your forearm, and slashes become a natural extension of punches.

It's not held like that in all martial arts that teach knife fighting, but I think in most.

Well there are two elements there, and both are poor form.

There is the whole 'hold the blade facing down'. You see that as the up-down 'Psycho' strike that a lot of styles use to demonstrate disarms. The only problem is, no one actually fights using a knife that way. At least not trained folk. Its less range and less power than having your blade facing up and out, the way you'd hold a sword.

Then there is the edge being turned 'up'. (Up is just the term of art we used in escrima. Consider it more the 'outside edge'.) About the only style that might do that is Iaido? Generally you keep the edge down. You can use it more effectively for slashes/cuts and chops. More range of motion and power both. Picture the body motion of stabbing someone with the dagger understand the way she has it. You will be pulling it down, so would want the edge on the down side to cut better.

That said, people will turn the blade underhand sometimes. However, its more of something that looks cool, and is less effective. When you have a sharp point and edge, you want range and quick control of the point. When the blade points outward you get that, not downward.

Spanishmonk3y
2009-04-02, 01:59 PM
Yknow one thing I've noticed so far is that no one has brought up an important fact.

The Transylvito folks are vampires!

We haven't seen then do it but how do we know they can't easily convert units to their side? Jillian was a human in the middle of a camp of Vampires, attacking is obviously not a wise thing to do with Ansom being gone and Jillian being the keys to a new city there isn't a reason to not convert Jillian to a Translyvito unit.

Bright side is Wanda does so love the dead that it might not be such a big stretch for those two :P

Jeivar
2009-04-02, 02:16 PM
Man, Jillian's life just keeps getting crappier: Wanda rejected her violently, Stanley escaped thanks to ANOTHER person Jillian thought she could trust, she's down to her last two bird-thingies, the war effort against Stanley has been crushed, she doesn't have an employer anymore, she's being denied the chance to catch up with Stanley, Borgata is about to steal something that's HERS (whether she wants it or not), and the man she loved is dead.

That's quite a list. I really think we're gonna see some kind of breaking point soon, because if she doesn't get to lash out at something soon she's gonna SNAP.

I wonder how all this is going to affect the next chapter of the Erf-saga.

1) Borgata might claim Faq, and Jillian roams around as a penniless barbarian until the next big conflict (and chance at payback)

2) She could somehow escape, claim Faq for herself and start raising an army, and be one of the major players of the next conflict (in order to get back at Stanley, Parson and possibly Borgata).

3) Or she might simply escape and the discovery of that blasted place will have to wait for another day.

It may be wistful thinking, but I'm kind of leaning towards #2, partly because with Ansom gone it seems to me the story is in need of another major player with a stake in whatever happens next. So it would be either that, OR the scarlet warlord survived, is in possession of the pliers, claims Gowbin Knob, and establishes her own nation. And HER stake in things would be payback for all the losses her side suffered.

HandofShadows
2009-04-02, 02:18 PM
The bit about the knife attack has me thinking a littel. Jillian is very good in combat. She has been fighting a very long time. Also she is a warlord and an heir. She is a top level fighter. Even in "berzerk" mode she whould not make that kind of error and been so easily blocked by Ceaser. Maybe she intended to be blocked and she will make the real attack with the left hand?

Might happen, not that I am betting on it.

Ragn Charran
2009-04-02, 02:23 PM
Two comments:

1. TamLin's complaint about why no one's complaining now - I'm going to expand on what Titanium Dragon said, not only were we told beforehand that Parson was deliberately trying to break the game (something hinted at in his klogs before as well), we now understand the nature of the game, and the nature of why Ansom always lucked out. I'd wager most of the people who were pissed off about Ansom's plot armour are now satisfied, given that we have the explanation for it. Hence why no one's complaing about Parson's plot weapon.

2. One key point I see in explaining Jillian's behaviour : remember that if Transylvito had kept its part of the bargain - hiring Charlie - they could have defeated Stanley at the pass (since Archons see through veils, Jack could not have saved the day), Gobwin Knob would have gone neutral, the coalition would have easily won, her vengeance would have been met and her boyfriend would still be alive. Add in learning that the "replacement forces" Transylvito sent to make up for Charlie's absence have just been revealed as actually being a Faq conquering force, and she's got reason to be pissed.

Never mind that Charlie manipulated the plan, or that she failed to kill Stanley herself when she had the chance - being fooled by Jack's veil is no excuse considering she knew his skills. In this moment, in her despair, Ansom's death and Gobwin Knob's survival (since she doesn't know its troops have been wiped out too) are all Transylvito's fault.

And that makes it Ceasar's fault.

At least that was how I took it.

Fez
2009-04-02, 02:24 PM
Better Red Than Dead

First off, rulers must know something about what their upkeep is and how it changes. It does seem though like that comes via Thinkamancy. Stanley had to come in to find out how the various battles went. He didn't know if any units were croaked or had leveled. Maggie however was able to tell Parson about Bogroll both popping twice and getting croaked.

Given that, thinkamancers would seem to be the one type of caster every ruler would need at a minimum to track their costs. There must be some other mechanism for such though too.

As for Scarlet, when you've got a thousand or so units in the field and all but one die, and you're asked about it, the general reply would be 'We were completely wiped out.' Yes you could go into more detail, but as a summary. 'Lost all units' is pretty accurate, particularly if you have no way of getting a report from that unit. So, she might be dead, she might be alive, but I'll just wait to see.

As for others rushing to head back to GK? I doubt it. They all just amassed a massive strike force. They had 'four times the troops needed' to take GK. They got wiped out to an erf by magic they can't understand after multiple turns of exotic tactics they'd never seen by a new warlord they'd never heard of. If those forces represented significant portions of their armies, the response is, both look at your neighbors to see who is vulnerable for a takeover, and turtle to prevent other neighbors from trying the same to you. No one has unlimited resources, and GK just officially became a scary place (and no one knows how many units GK still has left, only that their own are gone.)

joosy
2009-04-02, 02:34 PM
The Transylvito folks are vampires!


All we know for sure is that they just look like stereotypical vampires.

Yes, they can fly, sleep in coffins, command bats, have an uncanny appeal to women, and can dance-fight.

However, they don't burst into flame when in sunlight, are not 'undead' e.g.: uncroaked, appear to be more like the Mafia/New York Street gangs, don't have superhuman strength, can be croaked in ways other than stakes through the heart, and don't appear to drink blood.

I would guess that their units 'pop' just like everyone else.

Kyouhen
2009-04-02, 02:42 PM
(As a funny aside, who elese thinks it would be hilarious if the Tardy Eleves show up [their thinkamancer having never gotten around to telling them they were no longer part of the RCC] and pick up the pliers?)


"Hey, aren't those the Arkenpliers? Someone should probably pick them up"
"Meh. I'll get around to it."

Someone said that Thinkamancers seem to be the most common type of caster. I think this just means that you can choose what type of caster to pop, and probably shows that their upkeep is much higher than we might have thought before. Otherwise why wouldn't everyone just keep a few instances of every caster?

And I don't see why people think GK is gone and Stanley is going neutral. We've already been told that if the city was 100% collapsed the coalition could still claim the rubble, so what's to say the volcano makes things any different? It's a city with no buildings that likely generates zero income, but it's still a city that hasn't been captured.

Gez
2009-04-02, 02:49 PM
Question though: Why is Jillian holding the dagger upside down with cutting edge out?
She doesn't know how to use normal-sized weaponry.

Uh, what, exactly, was innocous about Wanda? Ever? She's a necromancer.
Not just that, she was introduced as being Stanley's Chief Croakamancer. It was easy to infer from that title that she wasn't an apprentice. (The title is later revealed to be pointless since GK had no other croakamancer anyway, but from the start she was depicted as being powerful.)

I noticed that when I read the comic a second time; I'm not really sure what to make of it.
She was probably going to threaten Caesar when confronting him about that whole kidnapping her and claiming her cities business. Then she hears the whole story, which she is naturally inclined to deny and has reasons to think is a lie in addition to being overloaded with grief and anger if it isn't, and she lashes out with the weapon she had already in hand. Makes perfect sense.

Jillian always struck me as a warrior who knew what she was doing before initiating combat, very level headed in the actual combat itself. It might not have been the wisest choice to enter said combat, but she always had a plan when she did end up fighting (think of her three combats with dwagons: she used her allies to distract the foe while she positioned herself to do the most damage). Her fighting style is not smiliar to the achetypical berserker which tends to just rush into a fray with a sword swinging at targets of convenience.

This says to me she is a methodical fighter who picks her attacks wisely and with regard to the overall combat situation.
ORLY? First fight: She's a warlord, on her own turn (because she was flying and we know she lands between turns), instead of fleeing the dwagon flight she had no chance of exterminating entirely and running past the border of the hex where they can't pursue her anymore, she orders her orlies to their death so that she has the time to kill one dwagon before the others get her.
There is a small element of tactics here, but the strategic decision is still a berserk rush.

Of course you could say that it's Wanda's spell conditioning her to get herself captured. Maybe. But either way, this doesn't depict her as wise.

Not if Ceasars information is correct. All reports are that every unit at GK croaked, and that would include Scarlett.
Caesar specifically makes exception for the sides that Bunny was not able to contact...

Pointyleaf
2009-04-02, 02:54 PM
Few thoughts:

It's sundown - RCC's turn is over.

We don't know that all RCC units are dead - Caesar only said that each side he could contact lost all their units. Thus, possibilities:
(a) sides that Caesar couldn't contact may have units
(b) the thinkamancers have lied
(c) Caesar lied
(d) somebody was mistaken, or exaggerated (just 99% are dead).
(e) everyone at GK is dead (most likely).

Did Scarlett have move points left? Do the pliers protect her? Whatever, NEI (not enough information). I expect crispy red cinders with Arkenpliers next to them, but I won't be surprised at any outcome.

I'm not really suprised at Jillian's outburst, and it's obvious that this wasn't serious or planned-out (one knife, vs. Caesar, bats, and warlords?) She just lost it, for all the reasons others have already outlined (grief and anger, feeling trapped).

Edit: To Gez - I don't think that Jillian was under Wanda's spell until the latest "interrogation". This explains why Wanda pulled out a scroll for that, why they had a good relationship previously but this time Wanda "went too far", and why Wanda didn't properly understand the limits of the spell.

Opal Tide
2009-04-02, 03:09 PM
ORLY? First fight: She's a warlord, on her own turn (because she was flying and we know she lands between turns), instead of fleeing the dwagon flight she had no chance of exterminating entirely and running past the border of the hex where they can't pursue her anymore, she orders her orlies to their death so that she has the time to kill one dwagon before the others get her.
There is a small element of tactics here, but the strategic decision is still a berserk rush...


YA RLY

She was actually attacked on Stanley's turn (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0024.html) and made a good fight of it, croaking one of the dwagons before being overhwelmed. She didn't just rush in sword blazing but coordinated what forces she had left to maximize her chance of winning.

While she has shown herself to be head strong and fight happy she always treats the fights rationally, picking her attacks so they do the most damage instead of trying to overwhelm the opposition with brute force. Attacking a chief warlord with a knife amongst his fellow warlords seems to indicate to me that she is not in her right state of mind. I just didn't think that the information she recieved would have set her off like that, but that's just me.

On another note, looking at the last panel in this strip, it appears that it was not Ceasar that caught jillian's wrist, but Vinny. take a look at the hand that is around her wrist and you can see it would not be his left hand stopping her attack from the front but Vinny's right hand catching ("snagging" it from the side. Not sure that means anything but I haven't seen anyone else make note of it.

docstrange
2009-04-02, 03:11 PM
Red wasn't Jetstone. Wrong coloring.
Maybe it's the red lava goodies turning her that color? I would assume that since she looks like Wilma Flintstone, she must be Jetstone.

Ragn Charran
2009-04-02, 03:28 PM
Maybe it's the red lava goodies turning her that color? I would assume that since she looks like Wilma Flintstone, she must be Jetstone.

Umm, what? We've seen her multiple times in earlier strips, always dressed in bright red even when no lava or flames are about. Not to mention that we've seen the actual Wilma clone here (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0007.html).

Anias
2009-04-02, 03:31 PM
To those few who seem to still believe that Jillian's actions are uncharacteristic, and, as someone always says, "bad/poor writing," I have just a few points to make.

When Webinar doubted her loyalty, and called her a traitor, Jillian...drew her sword and came very close to decapitating him. She held her grudge against him, sending him away so he couldn't do anything against her.

When Stanley (supposedly) conquered Faq, Jillian...searched him out, as part of a personal vendetta, and vowed to hunt him down. And that's when, as she says, he took something of hers (the cities of Faq) that she didn't even WANT.

When Stanley appears to control Wanda, Jillian...vows to hunt him down and kill him. No mercy, no alternatives, just a straight-up decision to slaughter him. As she says, she loves problems she can solve with her sword.

When Caesar merely calls her demeaning names, and condescends to her, Jillian...is silent, but obviously angry.

If this is enough to strain her self-control, do you think she'd hold back at someone who: a) "Allowed" Ansom to die by not heading back (or allowing her to head back) to GK, b) plans to take her cities away from her, c) was manipulating her in order to get said cities. Add that to her already unstable mental state, due to Ansom's death, Wanda's betrayal, Jack's failure to turn, and her penchant for solving any problems with violence, and you have - what did she call herself? A "Sword-swinging madwoman?"

ishnar
2009-04-02, 03:37 PM
The only problem is, no one actually fights using a knife that way. At least not trained folk.

It really depends on your style and the opening available. When I learned knife fighting techniques in Wing Chun, not butterfly sword, but knife, we learned to keep the knife behind our back and change our grip. Since the opponent couldn't see the grip we used, it would limit the defense options available. Possibly lead to hesitation, or the incorrect block used for the grip applied. We might not do a down thrust, because it goes against our style's theory, but a punch directed at the face with the knife down, blade out to catch a block on the extension, or knife down blade back to inflict damage on the retraction.

However, I think in this case the grip and trajectory of the knife is more about emotion than training. Or what we always called caveman style in class because the hammer fist is an instinctual attack motion, but not used as much in trained fighting, especially as an opening attack, because it creates a huge opening for a direct retaliatory strike.

T-O-E
2009-04-02, 03:38 PM
Just keeps getting better and better.

Stanley'll probably see the lava and assume that the Titans have destroyed his enemies. And then he'll see the pliers...

sabremeister
2009-04-02, 03:46 PM
Just a thought - while the volcano would undoubtedly croak every living unit, and vapourise every uncroaked unit, and is sufficiently hot to burn to ash all wooden and cloth units in the area, it does not necessarily mean that Sizemore's metal and rock golems will be affected (except maybe being immobilised until someone digs them out). Hence, GK still has units in GK, retaining control of what's left of the city for Stanley and Parson.

milele
2009-04-02, 03:59 PM
I really like Jillian, and her sudden insanity sort of mars her character. I hope she gets a happy ending someday, but having her go insane isn't a promising start.


For a tragic character, going insane is a prerequisite for regaining sanity and the ultimate happy ending, so in that sense this is a very promising development for Jillian. Of course, for a tragic character, the ultimate happy ending is death right after regaining sanity.

So is she tragic or isn't she? Lost her home, lost her lord, lost her brother-figure (Jack), lost her lover, lost her sanity -- yep, I'd say so. Shakespeare or Whedon would definitely kill her off.

ishnar
2009-04-02, 04:03 PM
The only problem is, no one actually fights using a knife that way. At least not trained folk.

It really depends on your style and the opening available. When I learned knife fighting techniques in Wing Chun, not butterfly sword, but knife, we learned to keep the knife behind our back and change our grip. Since the opponent couldn't see the grip we used, it would limit the defense options available. Possibly lead to hesitation, or the incorrect block used for the grip applied. We might not do a down thrust, because it goes against our style's theory, but a punch directed at the face with the knife down, blade out to catch a block on the extension, or knife down blade back to inflict damage on the retraction.

However, I think in this case the grip and trajectory of the knife is more about emotion than training. Or what we always called caveman style in class because the hammer fist is an instinctual attack motion, but not used as much in trained fighting, especially as an opening attack, because it creates a huge opening for a direct retaliatory strike.

instare
2009-04-02, 04:05 PM
Jillian's actions in the second to last panel are in character. That being said, it still seems very strange, and it definitely it strains the credulity of many readers.

The problem, I believe, is yet another example of poor word choice.

Jillian hears the news and thinks: "No, Ansom can't be dead. Caesar is lying." Then she attacks him, and it makes (some) sense that she'd try to knife him for lying to her. That is, I'm assuming this is why shes attacking him, its the only reasonable explanation I can come up with. If this is the case, instead of saying 'No!', she should be saying 'Liar!'.

Because of the context, using the word 'No' in this instance is inappropriate. If Caesar said, "I'm going to kill Ansom," Jillian could respond with 'No' and attack him. That would make sense because the word in that case repudiates both the action and the person responsible for it.

In the strip, however, Caesar is merely reporting a fact: Ansom is dead. Jillian's response of 'No' should lead to depression, not her going for the throat. Her attacking Caesar is from a new line of thought beyond denial of Ansom's death and - as a favor to the reader, lets say - it requires more expressive, and accurate, diction.

Otherwise cool strip.

Opal Tide
2009-04-02, 04:22 PM
Jillian's actions in the second to last panel are in character. That being said, it still seems very strange, and it definitely it strains the credulity of many readers.

The problem, I believe, is yet another example of poor word choice.

Jillian hears the news and thinks: "No, Ansom can't be dead. Caesar is lying." Then she attacks him, and it makes (some) sense that she'd try to knife him for lying to her. That is, I'm assuming this is why shes attacking him, its the only reasonable explanation I can come up with. If this is the case, instead of saying 'No!', she should be saying 'Liar!'.

Because of the context, using the word 'No' in this instance is inappropriate. If Caesar said, "I'm going to kill Ansom," Jillian could respond with 'No' and attack him. That would make sense because the word in that case repudiates both the action and the person responsible for it.

In the strip, however, Caesar is merely reporting a fact: Ansom is dead. Jillian's response of 'No' should lead to depression, not her going for the throat. Her attacking Caesar is from a new line of thought beyond denial of Ansom's death and - as a favor to the reader, lets say - it requires more expressive, and accurate, diction.

Otherwise cool strip.

instare, thanks for so eloquently laying out the point I was trying to get acorss. I think your statements convey my misgivings about that particular exchange and why Jillian's actions just seemed a bit skewed to me. I'm hoping we will not jump away to another scene with the next strip since I would really like to hear Jillian's explanation for the attack.

On another note, a previous reader reminded me of the incident where Jillian nearly decapitates Webinar after he questioned her loyalty. While I do not think that explains her current behavior (I don't think being hotheaded or prideful would induce the attack) it does remind me that we are reading this story in an imperfect medium. It will eventually be a book so instead of learning about these characters over the course of years, it iwll be over the course of an hour or two, keeping preivous incidents fresh in our minds.

Not sure that is really relevant but still important to keep in mind.

Glome
2009-04-02, 04:26 PM
Two comments:

1. TamLin's complaint about why no one's complaining now - I'm going to expand on what Titanium Dragon said, not only were we told beforehand that Parson was deliberately trying to break the game (something hinted at in his klogs before as well), we now understand the nature of the game, and the nature of why Ansom always lucked out. I'd wager most of the people who were pissed off about Ansom's plot armour are now satisfied, given that we have the explanation for it. Hence why no one's complaing about Parson's plot weapon.


We only have Parson's hypothesis of what's going, we are actually no closer to knowing what is going on than before he stated his opinion on the matter. After all, there is little reason to believe Parson knows any thing more about the nature of Erf reality than we do. Sure in Parson's game, he was trying to cheat the players, but he has already made clear that are plenty of elements in his game that aren't in Erfworld and vice-versa. So yes, maybe someone or something in Erf is cheating against him, or maybe Ansom really is just is really lucky (or has tons of luckamancy that finally ran out at the end).


Just a thought - while the volcano would undoubtedly croak every living unit, and vapourise every uncroaked unit, and is sufficiently hot to burn to ash all wooden and cloth units in the area, it does not necessarily mean that Sizemore's metal and rock golems will be affected (except maybe being immobilised until someone digs them out). Hence, GK still has units in GK, retaining control of what's left of the city for Stanley and Parson.

Well Lava is by definition molten rock, and rock and metal golems could still be destroyed just by sheer forces even without the lava. I would say there would be a small chance for some of the Golems to survive, but I don't think they would make much of a difference without Sizemore back to command them, and if he's back he could just make more anyway.

Hatu
2009-04-02, 04:31 PM
I don't think she's insane. At least, no more insane than ever. One of the first times we see her she's holding a big sword at Webinar's throat for bad-mouthing her to Ansom. (Pg 51)


No, she holds a sword to Webinar's throat only after he accuses her of being a double agent for Stanley. She was actually quite restrained and tolerant in the face of Webinar's insubordination up to that point. Of course, she only put her sword to Webinar's throat to demonstrate that she had no interest in killing him. That is certainly not the vibe I get from her actions here.




Now Caesar is hitting both of her reasons for being there. Ansom is dead and she's being actively prevented from avenging herself on Stanley. On top of that he's taking her city sites just because they're there and free to him.


Ansom is obviously something she cares deeply about, but the question is why she suddenly attacked Caesar as soon as he mentioned Ansom died. Blaming him for Ansom's death seems like a bit of a stretch. But if she doesn't blame him, I can't see Jillian attacking someone just to demonstrate her grief.

-H

Kreistor
2009-04-02, 04:35 PM
The only problem is, no one actually fights using a knife that way. At least not trained folk. Its less range and less power than having your blade facing up and out, the way you'd hold a sword.

Not true. I've seen training with that style. Problem is that it has unreliable defensive capacity. Another weapon hits it, and your wrist turns, the weapon sliding in. It does allow for good power, and very fast slicing but poor thrusting (limited pretty much only to the overhead one she uses, though from the sidew in to the ribs is possible, just not a good choice because this brings the weapon out of position for any defense): held forward, it's poorer at slicing, and better at thrusting and defending. It's harder to see the blade, so it can also surprise the target with the direction of the blade: target thinks the fist missed, but the blade projects and the target is cut. You're right in that it is usually not a good idea, but...

Note that Caesar fights unarmed. She isn't facing another weapon to block, and so the lack of defense doesn't matter. She's coming down on him with as much power as possible, leaving her vulnerable to counterattack by anyone else, or even Caesar... certainly not the best choice, but she's enraged and probably not caring about her own survival. There's no real follow-up possibility with that attack, as a miss puts the blade down and away with momentum. Remember that she's just been told that she is essentially a prisoner. Either she thinks she's being lied to in order to promote compliance (in which case she views her future as hopeless), or she beleives him and wants to be with Ansom.

scotchmonger
2009-04-02, 04:46 PM
Agreed. Transylvito is looking like a pretty shrewd side about now. But as for the funeral for Ansom? I don't think they know what that is on Erf. Sizemore thought Parson was crazy for asking him to bury Misty, since corpses just de-pop the next morning (or end of turn, I don't recall nor does it matter)
Not if Ceasars information is correct. All reports are that every unit at GK croaked, and that would include Scarlett.

Caesar's information is correct but not complete and he's aware of it. "Bunny starts callin' the other Coalition sides. Everyone she gets through to" is all units lost. But she implicitly didn't get through to all the (former) coalition members otherwise the qualifier isn't necessary. "She called Jetstone, They confirm:..."

The language used at various points in the comic has always struck me as being very precise -- to the point of specifically implying unstated details by omission.

SteveMB
2009-04-02, 04:55 PM
Ansom is obviously something she cares deeply about, but the question is why she suddenly attacked Caesar as soon as he mentioned Ansom died. Blaming him for Ansom's death seems like a bit of a stretch. But if she doesn't blame him, I can't see Jillian attacking someone just to demonstrate her grief.

The more I think about it, the more it seems to me that "Jillian thinks he's lying" (in order to dissuade her from trying to make a run for it, by claiming that her main motivations -- the battle and Ansom -- are gone) is a large part of it. The fact that Caesar's story includes an element that is supposed to be absolutely impossible (a multi-hex Dirtamancy trap) could easily be seen as proof that he's lying (and doing it brazenly, thus continuing his string of personal insults toward Jillian).

Given her personality, I don't think that lashing out violently is at all out of character.

Nargrakhan
2009-04-02, 05:01 PM
Wow... so now we know Parson's plan not only looked like a WMD Ė it really was a WMD. I guess it's not too extreme to imagine, that the world's balance of power has significantly shifted?

I mean if the Coalition members and Charlie have lost a significant size of their armies, it may take them many turns to recover (if they can recover at all). It seems the vampires may have gotten off the lightest... thus they might be in the greatest position of power.

Titans only know how severe Jetstone's political reputation is like now, in that, other sides will be VERY less likely to form coalitions with them.

Charlie must be going through all sorts of emotions himself. He underestimated Parson... greatly underestimated him. I'm sure more than ever, Charlie will do anything in his power to get Parson on his side.

Lamech
2009-04-02, 05:07 PM
Hmm... didn't we learn that to cast you must be under attack or it must be your turn by word o titan?

Translovitio's caster was a casting, so that means they must have rejoined the coalition, or allied with someone. That means translovito acts after Stanley, not sure if that matter though. Now Charlie is out, I don't think we wants to mix it up with Parson anymore for unknown potential gain.

This means that Stanley will get to the city unmolested. If the lava has cooled off and its fit for building on then he pretty much has a win. Gems, a hiding place. If he can rebuild the portal the super-caster-weapon. (Death Metal Golems anyone?) And also possibly the pliers, if he attunes he has come out well ahead.

Translovito also comes out of this in a very good situation. They get three hidden cities, and many nearby forces are weakened, and with out field units. Also anyone who didn't commit a ton of forces is in a very good position right now. Well I hope the results on all the sides are seen.

TheMutant
2009-04-02, 05:12 PM
Personally, I don't think Red survived. But if she did? She's gonna wish she didn't. Because it seems quite likely that Stanley's gonna show up very soon with a powerful Foolamancer and a passel of dwagons, and if he sees an enemy warlord holding the Arkenpliers on the site of his burned-out city...

Kreistor
2009-04-02, 05:27 PM
Caesar's information is correct but not complete and he's aware of it. "Bunny starts callin' the other Coalition sides. Everyone she gets through to" is all units lost. But she implicitly didn't get through to all the (former) coalition members otherwise the qualifier isn't necessary. "She called Jetstone, They confirm:..."

We know that she got through to Unaroyal and Jetstone. I'd guess Charlie wouldn't offer any information about the event, nor about any losses. He's cagey, and unlikely to reveal weakness, especially with an Arkentool to guard. Better for others to not know he just lost a significant force.

But what is remarkable to me is that every unit of every force present lost 100% of all units. There were seige units incapable of getting there until late. This may indicate devastating damage. I think we see the beginning of a pyroclastic flow with the explosion, though it's a brighter explosion than any other I've seen. (Don't claim to have seen all of them.) There are images of Mt. St. Helens exploding, and it certainly did not have any magma glow to it. Up uhtil this strip, I still was suspecting that Rob wouldn't kill everything in the region, choosing a less than maximum capacity explosion. Wrong. I am so looking forward to Stanley arriving and seeing the smoldering remains of an active volcano.

ishnar
2009-04-02, 05:46 PM
Red didn't survive, because if she had, then efdup would have changed hands. There would have to be some wierd mechanic for a combat unit to not capture an undefended city.

Gez
2009-04-02, 05:46 PM
Hmm... didn't we learn that to cast you must be under attack or it must be your turn by word o titan?
No. Thinkamancy communications are not combat spells, and therefore not concerned by combat rules turns. Further, it's nighttime -- nobody's turn. So they're neither under attack nor during their own turn.

Fez
2009-04-02, 06:02 PM
Not true. I've seen training with that style. Problem is that it has unreliable defensive capacity. Another weapon hits it, and your wrist turns, the weapon sliding in. It does allow for good power, and very fast slicing but poor thrusting (limited pretty much only to the overhead one she uses, though from the sidew in to the ribs is possible, just not a good choice because this brings the weapon out of position for any defense): held forward, it's poorer at slicing, and better at thrusting and defending. It's harder to see the blade, so it can also surprise the target with the direction of the blade: target thinks the fist missed, but the blade projects and the target is cut. You're right in that it is usually not a good idea, but...


Yeah, I've seen some styles that use unorthodox grips, Silat players for example, and a number of Chinese kata 'look cool'. (Not that the styles don't have some good stuff, just that the practical sometimes get lost in the 'art' of 'martial art'.) In styles that involve sparring with wood or dull blades, it isn't used so much though. Underhand grip blade outward really seems only good for slashes, not even that good for stabs. What's odder it it seems like she was in position for a cross body draw. Right arm to her left side in the prior panel. If you think about how people wear their knives, usually its the edge to the back. If she grabbed it underhand with her cross hand, the blade should have been reversed from the image (not that you can't turn it, but I'm just trying to picture if she drew hastily in a fury. Even then the 'Psycho' stab with the edge up doesn't seem to make sense.) EDIT: Actually I suppose based on how she held her wrist, she could have drawn it underhand, edge out that way. Still why draw underhand. Feh. Total nitpick and I admit it. :P

Anyway, since its not a plot element, its not a big deal. More a thought for Jami to reconsider for when they put it in a book.

Also for those counting TV warlords left, there is one less. Bunny is a thinkamancer, not a warlord, so if you're counting her with the crowd you need to subtract one. Still, all in all, the Don must be considering the opportunities of not having lost many troops compared to other factions. Erfworld is a wargame after all. When many factions get whomped, its the time for other factions to act. EDIT#2: I see someone else pointed that out just above.

I'm curious to read in Book 2 whether a good # of the factions in the RCC are gone after uninvolved neighbors take the opportunity to conquer them. Jetstone having committed the most resources is the most likely to go I'd imagine.

Balance
2009-04-02, 06:41 PM
Not true. I've seen training with that style. Problem is that it has unreliable defensive capacity. Another weapon hits it, and your wrist turns, the weapon sliding in. It does allow for good power, and very fast slicing but poor thrusting (limited pretty much only to the overhead one she uses, though from the sidew in to the ribs is possible, just not a good choice because this brings the weapon out of position for any defense)....
Yes, we sometimes trained with the reverse grip in Arnis (which is a style related to Escrima). It wasn't our primary approach, but it has its uses. Arnis blocks tend to be against the arm, rather than against the weapon, so blocking with a blade held this way would tend to cut the enemy's wrist, while you use your off hand to check his actual weapon (if any). The reverse grip also lets you use the knife as a hook, controlling the enemy's arm and cutting into it at the same time, if it's double-edged. Of course, you can do most of the same things with a straight grip, but it doesn't hurt to know both ways.

It's generally very poor for direct strikes to the body, which is what it looks like Jillian is trying to do. It looks very dramatic, but she ought to know better. It's particularly awkward if she did a cross-draw and ended up like that; it might be understandable if it were a quick-draw from a sheath on her right.

Opal Tide
2009-04-02, 06:42 PM
Red didn't survive, because if she had, then efdup would have changed hands. There would have to be some wierd mechanic for a combat unit to not capture an undefended city.

Technically she would have to capture the Garrison for the city to change hands. If she is too shell shocked to do that (and really, who wouldn't be if they survived that) it would remain Stanley's city.

(Proud memeber of Red Isn't Dead Yet [RIDY] club?)

ishnar
2009-04-02, 06:59 PM
Technically she would have to capture the Garrison for the city to change hands. If she is too shell shocked to do that (and really, who wouldn't be if they survived that) it would remain Stanley's city.

(Proud memeber of Red Isn't Dead Yet [RIDY] club?)

Red is in the courtyard, and the courtyard is part of the garrison (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0129.html). So all she had to do was be alive and not move to capture the garrison.

dr pepper
2009-04-02, 07:09 PM
Hmm... didn't we learn that to cast you must be under attack or it must be your turn by word o titan?


I'm guessing that non offensive thinkamancy can be used any time.

VariaVespasa
2009-04-02, 07:12 PM
I think that's a bit harsh over a difference of interpretation.

I dont think so.
Its not that he had a different opinion (albeit a demonstrably silly one), because that happens. Miss or mis-hear one key detail and you can wind up with an entirely offbase conclusion. No problem. Its that even when shown to be basing his opinion on a falsehood he didnt revise his opinion at all, but kept right on using his original opinion to "stimulate debate". Classic trolling.

Gez
2009-04-02, 07:14 PM
Red is in the courtyard, and the courtyard is part of the garrison (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0129.html). So all she had to do was be alive and not move to capture the garrison.

Unless one of Sizemore's metal golems (perhaps one made of Bauxite (http://www.dwarffortresswiki.net/index.php/Bauxite)) survived in the tunnels. Then a defender unit remains in the garrison and it's not captured.

SteveMB
2009-04-02, 07:31 PM
Also for those counting TV warlords left, there is one less. Bunny is a thinkamancer, not a warlord, so if you're counting her with the crowd you need to subtract one.

Bunny is the Thinkamancer we saw at Don King's palace (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0111.html) -- she's not in the field. Note that Vinny says that she's "our Thinkamancer" (implying that they have just the one) in frame 6 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0151.html) after Caesar takes an incoming Thinkagram in frame 2 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0151.html).

Estelindis
2009-04-02, 08:14 PM
And the Winner of the Second Annual Playah Hater of the Year Award?

TamLin!

Seriously, we understand, and understood all that time your "tongue was held" that you didn't like the comic. That's ok, we understand, taste is a relative thing. Personally, I thought the uncroaked volcano was made of 100% pure awesome.

But don't bother trying to justify it, or to find it to be some fault of the creators. Particularly in numbered paragraphs. You just look like a prat doing it.

If you don't like it - and you made very clear, well before this, that you dont -then stop reading. It's not an assignment for your Lit. class, you don't fail Internet Culture 212 for not being up to date on Erfworld, and there is no prize for making it to the end.

You're not a "glutton for punishment" by coming here, telling people that you don't like, and then responding to everyone else trying to prove you're right for not liking it. You're just a troll in that case.
I really feel that this was unjustified. Calling someone a hater and a troll just because you don't agree with them is hardly the best way to represent your position.

Personally, I found Tamlin's post to be the most thought-provoking one in the thread so far, particularly the part concerning desensitization to violence within the comic (whether this was intended by the comic authors or not). The question of the significance of the lives and deaths of the people of Erfworld is something that's interested me from the start, and considering the fact that Parson doesn't know if all this is part of his comatose imagination, and how badly he was affected by Misty's death, I expected a little more... reluctance to take life on such a huge scale. Otherwise, he becomes far more of a villain-protagonist to me. :smallfrown:

I feel sorry for Jillian at this point; I guess I can rationalise her reaction, though it still felt a little sudden and out of the blue to me (though I suppose the news was just as sudden to her).

VariaVespasa
2009-04-02, 08:30 PM
Hmm, now that I think about it I'm wondering how Jillian is paying for her troops. She has been earning cash through mercenary work, but I'm wondering how she's carrying it around, since it was a significant point in getting Parson summoned that Stanley couldnt run off with GK's treasury? I'm guessing that she, and thus presumably all overlords, have a small inate money-carrying capacity, but a note to that effect (and explaining what the limit is) in the book might be nice.

Related- Stanley will (probably) figure out that he still has a trimancer and (maybe or maybe not) a Parson on his payroll eventually (either when it seems odd to him that he hasnt gone barbarian yet and he checks his (troop)status, or when he does go barbarian (and presumably gets an automatic status update whether he asks for one or not), but once he notices do we have any indication that he has any way of finding out where they actually are? Might be sort of funny if he has a trimancer out there that he's paying for and cant find. :P

Ordinarily he would just issue orders and get updates through his thinkamancer, including troop locations if needed, but in theory she's not available as long as she's part of the trimancer. Can he talk to her while in that form? And if so does it present a risk of disrupting the trimancer? He probably doesnt run the risk of making Maggie recall her individuality given his impersonal treatment of most of his casters, but using her normal thinkamancer functions may itself be a risk while she's part of the trimancer. And if he wants more than just statistical information he's somewhat likely to want to talk to Wanda (old habits) and he DOES think of her as an individual... Again it would be sorta funny if, in trying to find out from Maggie whats going on, he disrupts the trimancer, and through his continued shouting in her ear prevents her from concentrating enough to direct the resulting damage away from her and croaks or incapacitates the only unit capable of answering his questions. :P

Edit- he could issue thinkamancy orders through the previous trimancer Maggie was part of, but we never saw him do it from afar, only in person, and that was a command-and-control style of trimancer and thus in keeping with a portion of its nature, whereas the current trimancer is not.

Even if Stanley does figure out he has a trimancer, and where it is, he might not be able to get it back since his portal to where it is is now under a volcano and there may not be any other way out of the Magic Kingdom that his units can use.

Its been suggested that Stanley may now have a nicely cleared GK, and a nice fresh supply of gems to rebuild with, but even if GK is still a city, and is habitable again in short order (Mount Saint Helens devastated the area, but the eruption didnt last long), does he actually have any way to get at the gems? He has no goblins to do the mining, and, until and unless he can get the trimancer back, no dirtamancer to do it. Can he last long enough financially to get Sizemore back, while supporting 4 major casters, 6 dwagons, 1+ KISS and maybe Parson? And what happens if the GK volcano is more like Anak Krakatau ("Child of Krakatoa", the new volcano at the site of Krakatoa, which is growing a about 15 feet per year...) and keeps on erupting rendering the site at least uninhabitable for years, if not destroyed? Vinnie thinks he cant support just 1 caster for very long and he's probably right, so 4 will destroy his cash supply extremely fast.

Jillian- she doesnt care about the city sites, but she does regard them as hers so she's unlikely to be willing to give them up to force. (although she might trade them for something useful to her goals since that would be her idea) So she's not going to react well to TV trying to claim her cities. Since she does have the fastest critters in the hex I'm thinking she'll calm down enough to play along till beginning of turn then do a runner on them. Alternately, if Vinnie sticks up for her, TV may turn it into something of a bargain with her and give her Vinnie (a possibly tainted and loyalty-suspect warlord) and supplies in return for the cities. Or alternatively again, TV may capture her by force and try to torture the information out of her (good thing she's had lots of practice resisting torture... :P), in which case part of book 2 may be Wanda deciding whether or not to try to rescue her.

Thanqol
2009-04-02, 08:32 PM
And is that Buffy, Willow and Xander, and maybe Principal Snyder in the back?

Good grief, sir, you may be right. I'm surprised I didn't twig to that as well.

Now we know what happened in Buffy season 9.

Architect
2009-04-02, 08:36 PM
I really feel that this was unjustified. Calling someone a hater and a troll just because you don't agree with them is hardly the best way to represent your position.

Personally, I found Tamlin's post to be the most thought-provoking one in the thread so far, particularly the part concerning desensitization to violence within the comic (whether this was intended by the comic authors or not). The question of the significance of the lives and deaths of the people of Erfworld is something that's interested me from the start, and considering the fact that Parson doesn't know if all this is part of his comatose imagination, and how badly he was affected by Misty's death, I expected a little more... reluctance to take life on such a huge scale. Otherwise, he becomes far more of a villain-protagonist to me. :smallfrown:
First, Parson was granted ruthlessness through the magic of Erfworld. Second, we don't know what was going on inside Parson's head when he ordered uncroaking the volcano. Third, loss of life on a huge scale is not exactly unusual in war, but I suppose that according to your criteria, Eisenhower was a "villain-protagonist". [shrug] Finally, as has been discussed, in Parson's situation there wasn't much of a choice, no happy ending that would have preserved GK's forces.

I feel sorry for Jillian at this point; I guess I can rationalise her reaction, though it still felt a little sudden and out of the blue to me (though I suppose the news was just as sudden to her).
Violence is a natural form of expression for Jillian. It was not an unexpected reaction.

Antrozous
2009-04-02, 08:40 PM
What I want to know is: Why did the attack not succeed? What's with the *SNAG*?

Red obviously had something big going through her mind the last time we saw her holding the Arkenpliers. Perhaps it was realizing she was attuned to them, perhaps she'd found a way out, perhaps she was just coming to terms with her own imminent death.

Personally, I think she comprehended the meaning of life, the universe, and everything.

kreszantas
2009-04-02, 08:40 PM
Ordinarily he would just issue orders and get updates through his thinkamancer, including troop locations if needed, but in theory she's not available as long as she's part of the trimancer. Can he talk to her while in that form? And if so does it present a risk of disrupting the trimancer?

Check on 26.8 & 9 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0026.html)that Stanley can indeed get Thinkagrams via the linkup. Now question that really remains is can Maggie give the thinkagram in the 'handholding' position when she was last seen in.

VariaVespasa
2009-04-02, 08:52 PM
What I want to know is: Why did the attack not succeed? What's with the *SNAG*?

It may not have succeeded for any of several reasons. It may be that there cant be any real combat during the night since, as best we know, its nobodies turn, and thus it was just a symbolic attack as an extension of her emotions, rather than a real attack. It may be that she would have liked it to be a real attack but everyone is disarmed of effective weapons during the night, and thus she didnt have her warsword available, and had to make do with the ineffective knife. It may be that it was a real attack with an effective weapon, but her attack rating with the knife wasnt sufficient, either in general, or due to a bad dice roll, to hit/harm Ceasar. There is some form of random generation in the Erf system, so no attack is guaranteed to succeed, after all.

Antrozous
2009-04-02, 08:58 PM
I'm not convinced that's it, VV. Caeser and his boys are clearly entering combat in the background, so it is, as they say, "on".

Efr's roll system seems to play out in a "real" sense as well. You roll a hit, your swing's going to be good. You roll a miss, and you end up slashing air. I don't remember seeing deus ex style game mechanics.

To my eye, it looked more like Caeser blocked the blow via some passive magic.

Wakky
2009-04-02, 09:30 PM
Originally Posted by Antrozous:

What I want to know is: Why did the attack not succeed? What's with the *SNAG*?

I have a theory. What if, in her enraged state, Jillian was essentially auto-attacking? Her giant sword is her special attack, which would explain why she didn't use it. This also explains why Caesar was easily able to deflect it. It's the equivalent of a boxer throwing a jab instead of an strong uppercut. :smallbiggrin:

Antrozous
2009-04-02, 09:53 PM
It's unsurprising she didn't have her "big sword". She's essentially a captured unit at this point. The Translv guys must have either convinced or required her to relinquish it earlier on. They'd have had to have known she'd turn on them eventually. Frankly, I'm surprised she even had the knife.

Another thought: I seem to remember Stanley saying something interesting about "real time" to Parson in regards to attacking out of turn. Didn't he say it was "Barbaric"?

jmsl
2009-04-02, 10:19 PM
I haven't looked at old pages in quite a while, but checking now made me wonder about veiling. According to this page it appears Jillian only has 2 peeps left. That means, on page 126 / 114, if I read it correctly, the illusionary dwagon toasted some of her real gwiffons? Were they killed by the veiled dwagon or later in the battle, or is the illusion that strong? Obviously it's all speculation but I know a lot of people on here read this story more carefully than I do.

Lamech
2009-04-02, 10:28 PM
It certainly seemed like the illusion killed some orlies. But the toasting of the peeps was done by the real dwagon; the cloud of bats was not around when the peeps got roasted. One peep died in the fire breath and three survived, so one must have died in the battle.

Now Jack maybe be able to use other kinds of magic, and kill stuff like that. He did come from the same location as Wanda. Or illusions may be able to kill stuff, or I may not have interperted it correctly.

If illusions CAN harm that has implications for hiding GK.

abb3w
2009-04-02, 10:38 PM
If her side's Thinkamancer says there's no units left it's safe to say she bit the ash.

That apparently relies on the assumption Scarlet was part of one of the contacted main armies, and not part of another force, like...
some... barbarian...
mercenary...

faction...?


I believe I now have at least one clear idea how Jillian might end up with the Pliers. :smalleek:

chefsotero
2009-04-02, 10:38 PM
Personally, I think she comprehended the meaning of life, the universe, and everything.

So if she also know the question the Erfworld must suddently disapear and be substituted by something even weirder and less comprehensible, cue book 2:smallbiggrin:

But Stanley is in really a boopy place right now, how many turns can he aford on upkeep for the few troops he got left? And having 4 of then are out of reach dosen't help much.

And about Red assuming Attuned Arkentool trumps duty, it may trump other froms of natural thinkmancy, and even if Ceasar's story is corect and there is no lie (to him or by him) still she may be alive but her sides thinkamancer coulden't find her (is that wishfull thinking trumping logic?) if she attuned.

Oh Well I guess I'll just have to keep reading:smalltongue: lovely comic.

Kreistor
2009-04-02, 11:30 PM
But Stanley is in really a boopy place right now, how many turns can he aford on upkeep for the few troops he got left? And having 4 of then are out of reach dosen't help much.

He can choose to disband anyone he feels like, so if he can't get the trio back from the Magic Kingdom, they'll go unemployed. (Not sure if Barbairan is the right term for casters, but probably is.)

How long? Long enough to start a new city with fewer units than he planned initially. He can't restart in Faq, but he could restart on GK, and hide the fact using Jack. Vinnie's analysis of Stanley running out of money was before he found out about the end of RCC... he was assuming RCC would capture GK. RCC failed in that, and the volcano might have revealed new gesm, so Stanley may be able to be back in full form in relatively short order. All he neeeds to do is hide the fact, and Jack can do that for him. Of course, The trio would be a big help, if they could all be brought out conscious. Sizemore builds the city with untiring golems while Wanda builds the city with untiring uncroaked.But it all depends on how much money Stanley could take with him.

djharr
2009-04-02, 11:34 PM
Actually, the real answer to the argument of whether the knife should be held blade up or blade down is to just use the most infamous fighting knife of all time, the Fairbairn-Sykes SAS Commando Dagger (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fairbairn-Sykes_Fighting_Knife). Use one of these babies, and it doesn't matter WHICH way you hold it.

David

PS. Oh, and regarding the whole "Volcano was out of left-field" school of thought, I totally disagree. As others have said (but since I love to hear myself talk, I am going to say it again), I was getting really tired of the old "Ansom pulls another game winner out his ass" happening again and again and again, but the revelation that Erfworld WAS Parson's game and he was going to cheat made everything clear.

There was NOTHING in the story that was not foreshadowed over and over, even if we didn't realize at the time it was being foreshadowed. I am perfectly satisfied that the authors treated us right and dealt fairly with their audience. And that is coming from someone who was complaining BITTERLY right here in the forums about how Ansom was just too lucky for his own good after the whole dance-fighting thing.

Moechi_Vill
2009-04-02, 11:38 PM
Her boyfriend just died. Attacking Ceaser was an odd choice, but a freak out was warranted.

Also: F1rst!!1!

She's a barbarian. :P

Nah, I can understand. She has a bit of a tomboy-like personality, but a lot of people might react like that under the circumstances. ... except for the whole knife thing and venting on an ally (even a rude and skeptical one)...

Voyager_I
2009-04-02, 11:57 PM
Things to consider;

It's reasonably likely that the Uncroaked Volcano destroyed the city of Gobwin Knob entirely. It would probably remain a potential capital site, but would not belong to any side, and the process of restoring a capital site into a functioning city is implied to be expensive in Jillian's conversation with Ansom. (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0092.html) Thus, it's possible that Stanley and Co. are barbarians and Gobwin Knob remains unclaimed even if Scarlett miraculously survived (and I'm not calling that one either way), because the hex she's occupying no longer constitutes a city.

It's unlikely that Jack would be sufficient to mask any attempts to discreetly rebuild, since his antagonists are abundantly aware that Stanley has the services of a Master-Class Foolamancer and would investigate thoroughly.

chefsotero
2009-04-03, 12:15 AM
He can choose to disband anyone he feels like, so if he can't get the trio back from the Magic Kingdom, they'll go unemployed. (Not sure if Barbairan is the right term for casters, but probably is.)


That raises an interesting question: What if he disband one or more caster from the trimancer while they r still linked? The others are automaticaly disbanded as well? Or they just get booped by an sudden link-break backlash? Or none of the above?

I wouldn't like to see that but I got a bit curious now.

PS: And my understanding, because of this (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0080.html), is that if a unit is disbanded it cease to exist, kaput baby

Kreistor
2009-04-03, 12:30 AM
And my understanding, because of this (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0080.html), is that if a unit is disbanded it cease to exist, kaput baby

Not sure what part of that comic you're interpreting that way. I don't see anything blatant, anyway. Could you be more specific?

TamLin
2009-04-03, 01:09 AM
Because we were given an explanation for it. He was, explicitly, trying to cheat. Also, this was foreshadowed; we knew we had a dirtamancer, we knew it was an extinct/dormant volcano. So it wasn't out of the blue.

Yes, of course, it was explicitely trying to cheat, I realize that. I was commenting less on the comic itself more as I was analyzing the fan reaction. Back when Ansom was "cheating" and pulling solutions to plans out of nowhere and working around the rules, many people complained bitterly about the use of "Deus ex Machina" and attacked the writing, but there's no such criticism when the characters they like do something even more absurd. Again, not being critical (not at this part anyway), just observing.


Uh, this stash was shown way back when she was torturing a certain PoW. This wasn't "convenient", we knew she had it.

Looking back at the comic now, you're right, we do see her grab a sealed tube off of a shelf, and looking back at an even older comic we see the exact same sort of tube is what holds the Summon Warlord spell, so yes, we can discern that she does indeed have a library of scrolls. But come on, that was a single panel that appeared in a strip YEARS ago, which had no obvious importance at the time, and which you had to reference an even older comic to understand, bloody well nobody rememberd that or thought it was important. In fact...oh ****ing hell, I can't believe I'm actually going to say this, but that was Chekhov's gun, wasn't it? Son of a bitch...

When the Archons fragged everything in the courtyard and started up the giant DDR display, people complained "We didn't know they could do that, is that allowed in the rules?" Well, we didn't know that Wanda could whip up a perfect veil anytime she wanted either. The difference, of course, is that this time the fans like the character who benefited, so there's no criticism of the writing this time. Just to be clear, not neccesarily criticizing people's reactions, but wanting to understand them.


Uh, what, exactly, was innocous about Wanda? Ever? She's a necromancer.

Well, in the begining of the comic we see the various casters doing only small, low-level kind of stuff. Wanda uncroaks a few Warlords, enchants Jillian, etc, Sizemore puts together Golems, Maggie just sends Thinkagrams, etc. As the battle becomes more and more intense, they start doing bigger and bigger stuff, and we find out they have powers far beyond what we imagined. This isn't terribly unusual, since more desperate straits call for more desperate measures, but again, notice the fan backlash whenever the Archons were revealed to be more powerful than we previously believed.


Not to mention the link-up was incredibly powerful, in-comic, and was explicitly noted to be such.

So, seriously, this isn't something you can really complain about.

I didn't say anything about the link. Well, I said that "Uncroaking the volcano" was kind of a silly concept, but that's not about the link itself.


Um, he could do that for foreshadowed reasons - the place was riddled to the point where it had so many tunnels it was on the verge of collapse. This was explicitly stated.

True, I had forgotten that.


Also, its not like crap golems are weak or anything. And they're free.

But like I said, it's all part of the power progression throughtout the comic. Characters start off doing small-scale, marginally impressive things, and unleash God-like power later.


Thing is, while they're obstensibly the good guys, they really aren't very good. Jillian is a very, very violent woman, and Ansom is a condescending jerk who believes he's better than everyone else. They were really parodies of the usual "good guys"; Jillian was the berserker warrior with a heart of gold, except missing the latter part; Ansom was the paladin, except missing the redeeming features such people have and having absolutely zero humility.

How is Jillian any more violent than any other action hero? Aren't violent heroes "in" these days? Wolverine, Solid Snake, Dirty Harry, nobody has a problem with the good guys being violent. And she's revenge-driven, which is a big plus, everyone digs a revenge flick. If anything, you could say that Jillian is really quite a cliche, but as is often the case in Erfworld, I suspect that might be intentional, or a way of playing with tropes. As I noted after Ansom's death, his arrogance isn't any different than that of any of the action heroes I've listed above, the only difference is he talks like D'artagnan. Everyone called him a "Prick" for his "Royalty is overrated? I think not," speech, but if he had said "Go ahead, make my day", that wouldn't be being a prick, that would be being a "badass". There's nothing "wrong" with these characters that isn't wrong with the majority of pop culture heroes.

And besides, people will look past the flaws of really vile characters like Stanley and Wanda to see the depth and sympathetic qualities they have, so why can't they do that for someone like Ansom? The only thing that makes the GK characters more sympathetic than the coalition is that they're on the same side as our protagonist.

Now it's no secret that the comic creators set this dynamic up on purpose. They create a conflict where one side is the historical aggressor but has now been put in a highly vulnerable defender position. They populate that side with "monsters" such as goblins, trolls, and dragons, but then weave a few sympathetic characters (who are very put-upon) into the mix, and then they give us a couple of characters who are pretty repulsive but include some hints that there might be more to them than meets the eye (for example, what is Stanley really IS the Chosen One? Would that excuse his megalomania?). On the other side we've got traditinal "good guy" kinds of characters, helped along by "good" fantasy creatures, elves, griffons, treants, and such, but then suggest that those characters might have ulterior motives, and on top it they bicker and politic in a rather petty way (I always liked Vinny for the presense of the anamalous "vampire" amidst all the cutesy fantasy beasts). Then, just to throw the balance totaly out of whack, they put our hapless hero on the "bad" team and then throw the whole thing together and watch what happens.

The idea was to create a conflict where both sides were sympathetic and reasonably easy to identify with, where the reader wouldn't neccesarily be sure who they wanted to win and where fans could debate the "correct" outcome. To a degree, that worked, but for the most part fan support on the forums was a landslide for Gobwin Knob. But, as I've pointed out, a distinct double standard is often employed to that end. Cheating is "okay" for Parson but illicits rage when his opponents did it. Arrogant behavior from some character is acceptable but off-putting in others. How to account for this discrepancy? My theory is just that it's an issue with the fan base instead of the comic itself, that certain pop culture trends (which I've babbled on about at length in the past), the nature of the kind of fan who posts on message boards, and the kneejerk reaction to side wth the main character unbalanced the equation. But I'm open to the idea that there's something in the comic itself that accounted for it. What that might be I don't know, but I'm sure someone out there is willing to chime in.

The other possibility, that I've mischaracterized Mr. Balder's writing entirely and that we were meant to hate the RCC, has been suggested, but I don't really believe it. That old "Let's make the good guys into the bad guys and then we'll seem edgey!" schtick is old hat and a little amateurish for Erfworld, which has proven to be a surprisingly layered and complex story.


Lalala, he's not listening...

Pardon me? I'm trying to be polite here, you could do the same. Furthermore, as I've already pointed out, I'm actively courting other people's opinions. Hence all the question marks in my post.


Sizemore was working with crap golems because Stanley barely paid attention to him and crap and money is about the limit of his attention span revealed so far. "hey, whats the turd guy doing in here?" Blame Stanleys orders, not Sizemore.

But all of these casters seemed only marginally impressive to begin with and all turned out to be Slumbering Giants ready to lay divine-level smackdown, which for some reason their current ruler never asked them to do. But then, he isn't terribly bright, so I suppose you are correct, that's not terribly strange at all. But as I was just discussing with Titanium Dragon, people seemed VERY unwilling to accept huge jumps in apparent power from certain characters but were quite welcoming to see it in others. If some RCC character, let's say Red, since she's on everyone's mind, had suddenly turned out to be an epic-level badass who turned the tide of the battle, that would have illicited some complaints, to be sure.


You note that Parson was basically slave to the enchantment (and Wanda confirmed as much just before joining the trimancer), and yet you somehow think that he really had the option to surrender??

Well, it's ambiguous, isn't it? Parson's job wasn't neccesarily to win the battle, just to do everything possible to win the battle. Would he have been disbanded if it had turned out that surrender was the only feasible option after all other resources had been extinguished? It's not clear.

But ah, you might say, we know thanks to the outcome of the battle that victory was NOT impossible (and in fact, Parson could have "won" the way he did pretty much anytime he wanted to, or at least anytime after he had a rudimentary grasp of how Erfworld magic worked). But we also know that Parson basically cheated to win (or at least abused the rules. This volcano trick is the sort of thing that would get banned from competitive play if Erfworld were a real game). But the enchantment was something that operated within the rules. Would the enchantment then punish him for not trying to cheat to win? It seems unlikely, but then, I suppose it's possible, since Parson's very presence in Erfworld shows that the Summon Perfect Warlord spell does not work the same way normal spells do, so who knows what crazy **** it might do.

So it wasn't a sure thing one way or the other. But this is less about what Parson did or did not have to do and more abot how he felt about it. As I've mentioned, the story clearly offers a moral crisis, but Parson never seemed to let that matter cross his mind, even when he saw Sizemore struggling with it. Misty's death impressed on him the very real consequences of "gaming" in Erfworld (btw, is it obnoxious when I keep using quotation marks like that? It feels like it might be), but even thereafter he never seems to think about the consequences of his actions, the people who die as a result of his orders. Of course, as is always the case in war, pragmatism and a "Them or me" mentality pushes him to act regardless of how he feels, but I would think that he would at least once be depicted hesistating, weighing the consequences, showing something resembling remorse or regret. Normal people aren't built to handle the horrors of war or the terrible responsibilities of command, they often strain and snap when faced with the irrevocability of death. But Parson doesn't.

This is all just observation. The important part is to consider why this matters (or if it does. I gather from your post that you might say it doesn't, which is your entitled opinion. But it doesn't make for much to discuss, so I'm going to go ahead with my point of view). We might conclude that Parson shields himself by thinking about the war like it's a game (which of course it is). This plays into what I consider the major themes of Erfworld, namely, that way that entertainment skews our perception of violence (hence wargaming, dance-fighting, "booping" censorship, etc), and the matter of free will and ultimate responsibility. Most characters in the comic, from Stanley right on down to the lowliest RCC foot soldier, believe that they're acting on the orders and behalf of some kind of higher power, be that the Titans or their immediate commander. Some characters are slaves, some are conscripts, some have been enchanted, some are following orders from a king or a military commander, some believe they're fulfilling their divine destiny, while others are slaves in a more abstract sense, to their ambition, to their past, to their view of the world, etc. And some are just mindless Uncroaked. In one sense they're all people with free will, but they're also just pieces in a game (with Loyalty scores no less) being moved around by higher powers. Do these characters bear real responsibility for their actions?

And what about Parson? Is he a part of the game, a pawn just like the others, or is he one of the higher powers (notice the ambiguity of whether he is or is not Erfworld's creator via his homebrew wargame)? Does he lead the fight because he's forced to, because it's his competitive nature, or because he's the Chief Warlord, and he's filling his role in the game just like anyone? Does one interpretation or the other change our perception of the morality of his actions? These are the kinds of questions that Erfworld poses on a thematic level.


Moral questions/tricked-horrified. Um, exactly how many english courses have you taken? I'm thinking... lots. Too many, in fact. It may be that a cigar is just a cigar and youre trying to read waaaay too much into it?

I have been accused of overanalysis in the past (shock of shocks, I know). But as I've endeavored to demonstrate here, Erfworld is pretty sophisticated, thematically speaking. I think there's a lot of complexity there and I think it's intentional. The complexity has kept me reading even when I objected to some of Mr. Balder and Mr. Noguchi's material.


You object to a bubblegummed elf, but find key-lime pie humorous. You know, the line said by the guy with the closeup shot of a CROSSBOW BOLT IN HIS FACE? You're very.... selective. Oddly selective.

Surely you concede that there's a difference between a violent act that's being used a punchline and a violent act that's simply violent? That there is a line, for example, between Wile E. Coyote falling off a cliff and between, say, an actual coyote falling off of an actual cliff? In one sense they're both the same thing, but one is quite funny and the other is really not. Early in Erfworld, violence was used as a gag. Later in Erfworld it wasn't. Even you must agree that that was a conscious decisions on the part of the writer, and therefore must mean something? The simple explanation is that they wanted the comic to become grittier and more intense as the finale approached. I acknowledge the validity of that, but I also think that Erfworld is pretty intelligently written and there must be something that Mr. Balder and Mr. Noguchi want to say with it, and the violence, being such a key element, must be an important part of that. You might (and I suspect do) disagree, but I stand by my theories.


Its that even when shown to be basing his opinion on a falsehood he didnt revise his opinion at all, but kept right on using his original opinion to "stimulate debate". Classic trolling.

I was wrong about the tunnels, which I've admitted, but that doesn't invalidate the rest of the argument. I never criticized the conceit that the casters become more powerful when linked, so everyone pointing that out doesn't do much to undermine it either. Other than that, I can't recall what "falsehoods" you're talking about, most of the conflicts seem opinion-based. My comment about stimulating debate was in response not to criticisms of my opinion but to kreszantas' assertion that I was looking for other people to "make up my mind" for me. Apparently he thought I was asking questions because I was helpless to interpret anything on my own.


Seriously, we understand, and understood all that time your "tongue was held" that you didn't like the comic. That's ok, we understand, taste is a relative thing. Personally, I thought the uncroaked volcano was made of 100% pure awesome.

But don't bother trying to justify it, or to find it to be some fault of the creators. Particularly in numbered paragraphs. You just look like a prat doing it.

If you don't like it - and you made very clear, well before this, that you dont -then stop reading.

On the contrary, I like Erfworld. Would I keep reading and commenting on it if I didn't? You can be critical of something and remain a fan (many people on this board have "hated" on the comic in the past).


You're not a "glutton for punishment" by coming here, telling people that you don't like, and then responding to everyone else trying to prove you're right for not liking it. You're just a troll in that case.

Why can't I have a disagreement without being a "troll"? Why can't we be critical of the material, in every sense of the word? Why can't I try to discuss conflicting points of view? What else are these forums for? If someone posits an opposing idea or opinion, am I barred from responding? Would that be "trying to prove that I'm right"? Is webcomic discussion like a duel, both parties fire one shot and then it's over? I did make a point this time of trying to be a little less explosive and a little more measured with my comments, and I went actively hunting for other people's input. Am I then expected to roll over and accept that solicited viewpoint unquestioningly for fear of "trolling" if I offer a counterpoint?


I think you missed that this is a wargame, not RL war. Yes Parson could have surrendered and PARSON would have lived, but all his units would have still been killed.

Imagine if in RL, if you knew that surrender just means an end to the fighting, it doesn't mean survival for the troops. Turned units have low loyalty, so non-specialist units are NOT turned, they are killed. Capturing is usually reserved for valuable casters. Everyone else on your side dies.

But didn't he just kill everyone on his side except the casters anyway? I may be wrong, but it seems that that volcano wiped out his few remaining troops just as thoroughly as everything else in the hex (something else he doesn't seem to mind).


TamLin's complaint about why no one's complaining now - I'm going to expand on what Titanium Dragon said, not only were we told beforehand that Parson was deliberately trying to break the game (something hinted at in his klogs before as well), we now understand the nature of the game, and the nature of why Ansom always lucked out. I'd wager most of the people who were pissed off about Ansom's plot armour are now satisfied, given that we have the explanation for it. Hence why no one's complaing about Parson's plot weapon.

Again, less a complaint than an observation, but yes, I suppose I see your point. I still wonder whether it doesn't have more to do with people just liking Parson and therefore being more accepting of things that work in his favor (some people made this argument back during the periods of most heavy criticism as well). Would we like it if Parson has gotten toasted, even if it was done in a way that explained everything and made sense? I suspect that would be an unpopular ending.


To those few who seem to still believe that Jillian's actions are uncharacteristic, and, as someone always says, "bad/poor writing," I have just a few points to make.

When Webinar doubted her loyalty, and called her a traitor, Jillian...drew her sword and came very close to decapitating him. She held her grudge against him, sending him away so he couldn't do anything against her.

When Stanley (supposedly) conquered Faq, Jillian...searched him out, as part of a personal vendetta, and vowed to hunt him down. And that's when, as she says, he took something of hers (the cities of Faq) that she didn't even WANT.

I agree, self-control clearly has never been this woman's strong suit. And this has got to rank right up there with just about the worst day she's ever had, neck and neck with when her city got destroyed. Really, it's amazing she didn't get more violent.


In the strip, however, Caesar is merely reporting a fact: Ansom is dead. Jillian's response of 'No' should lead to depression, not her going for the throat. Her attacking Caesar is from a new line of thought beyond denial of Ansom's death and - as a favor to the reader, lets say - it requires more expressive, and accurate, diction.

I don't think Jillian is really the depression type. Anger isn't an uncommon reaction to shock and grief (especially not in entertainment, where it's a lot funner to watch than wallowing in misery).



I really feel that this was unjustified. Calling someone a hater and a troll just because you don't agree with them is hardly the best way to represent your position.

Thank you.


The question of the significance of the lives and deaths of the people of Erfworld is something that's interested me from the start, and considering the fact that Parson doesn't know if all this is part of his comatose imagination, and how badly he was affected by Misty's death, I expected a little more... reluctance to take life on such a huge scale. Otherwise, he becomes far more of a villain-protagonist to me.

I was thinking the same thing. Since I'm also interested in the fan response, which was weighted heavily in favor of GK, I would pose this question too:

Does Parson's indifference to the fates of the RCC characters also account for the board fans' indifference?

Like I said earlier (waaaaay the **** up there), it seems like the urge to identify with Parson just outweighed all the other factors in the majority of people's minds. So does the spill over into these thorny moral questions too?

Now of course, I realize that by analyzing people's reactions I'm playing with fire more than usual. Someone is going to respond with a "Hey, I don't care about Ansom and the Coalition because they were douches and because I just like Parson, why is that so ****ing hard to understand?" And yeah, people's individual reactions and opinions are of course subjective and ephemeral. But this is less about individual people and more about the broad trends and the marked popularity of some characters over others. When a majority of people overwhelmingly feel one way instead of the other, there's got to be a reason for that. "Ansom was a douche" doesn't account for it, because, well, so was Stanley, but Stanley seems the more popular character, so why?


First, Parson was granted ruthlessness through the magic of Erfworld. Second, we don't know what was going on inside Parson's head when he ordered uncroaking the volcano. Third, loss of life on a huge scale is not exactly unusual in war, but I suppose that according to your criteria, Eisenhower was a "villain-protagonist". [shrug] Finally, as has been discussed, in Parson's situation there wasn't much of a choice, no happy ending that would have preserved GK's forces.

Oh right, the ruthless thing, I forgot about that. Still, that doesn't clear up everything, we have no idea what that even meant. Was it some kind of spell? What was the extent of it? Is it something every Warlord has? Does it work the same for everyone, or does it have something to do with the subject's base personality? These questions dont' seem to have any answers, the point is just that intentional ambiguity was left in the comic.

You're right that none of this is unusual in the context of war, but war isn't something Parson is used to. A lot of people in his position would have done the same thing, but most of the would have felt worse about it than he seems to.

One final thought: Unless the pliers weird magic has caused them to fly or teleport to some unexpected locale (which wouldn't be that surprising), they're shortly going to be buried under a quarter mile or so of lava rock. Probably gonna need a good Dirtamancer to find them and dig them out again...

Muzzafar
2009-04-03, 01:10 AM
Hmm, now that I think about it I'm wondering how Jillian is paying for her troops. She has been earning cash through mercenary work, but I'm wondering how she's carrying it around, since it was a significant point in getting Parson summoned that Stanley couldnt run off with GK's treasury? I'm guessing that she, and thus presumably all overlords, have a small inate money-carrying capacity, but a note to that effect (and explaining what the limit is) in the book might be nice.
Page 83, last panel (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0092.html)
Jillian mentions her purse that contained a little more than 1700 shmuckers she spent on a Thinkagram to Ansom.

DevilDan
2009-04-03, 01:27 AM
Why does it surprise anyone that the hotheaded barbarian warrior princess responds by pulling a stabbing implement? She seems to be overreacting; but maybe it's more about lashing out or simple denial.

I don't think that there's any question that there were no survivors: all field units lost simultaneously in a "trap" covering multiple hexes. RCC thinkamancers would have had more information if there were any surviving units from those that were in GK. Caesar specifically said that this was not the case.

Presumably the pliers are indestructible, but they are likely well buried. Yes, the redhead could have miraculously survived, but it isn't what I'd bet on. She would have had to move incredibly rapidly and have a lot of luck to make it out of the inner courtyard and, basically, off the whole mountain.. I don't think anyone makes it out "alive," even golems.

I think the city is completely obliterated: Parson did make it impossible for GK to be taken, though it meant wiping it off the face of the table. Parson made his stand and did his duty. He saw it through to the end. Whatever else happens, despite the same twists and turns that did to him what he was going to to as a GM to his players, he found his Kobayashi Maru escape.

(Now I'm trying to figure out a clever way of thumbing my nose at all those who been complaining that casters are overpowered so long ago... haha)

(The cast page is gone?)

To whoever asked if the casters become "barbarians" or not, that is precisely the terms that Parson used here (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0114.html).

kagato23
2009-04-03, 01:37 AM
Why does it surprise anyone that the hotheaded barbarian warrior princess responds by pulling a stabbing implement? She seems to be overreacting; but maybe it's more about lashing out or simple denial.

I don't think that there's any question that there were no survivors: all field units lost simultaneously in a "trap" covering multiple hexes. RCC thinkamancers would have had more information if there were any surviving units from those that were in GK. Caesar specifically said that this was not the .

He did mroe then that. He said the coalition was disbanded. The coalition did not disband when Ansom died, and that was before the volcano.

Disbanding of that nature means only one thing: There was no leadership left to keep it together. It's possible some seige units and heavies survived and were disbanded on outer hexes, but anybody who could be in charge is gone. that tells us something. Cause if the higher stat and level units didn't make it...

boxart
2009-04-03, 01:44 AM
Not sure what part of that comic you're interpreting that way. I don't see anything blatant, anyway. Could you be more specific?

Hey, this is my first post, so if I end up repeating common knowledge, ignore me. To answer your question, try these two comics:

http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0048.html
Specifically, the "Overlord sets production orders for all cities" bit.

http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0032.html
The second panel where Stanley says, "I can end you with a thought, y'know."

Together they imply that when an Overlord directly disbands a unit, the unit in question ceases to exist rather than becoming a Barbarian. I get the odd feeling that its said more explicitly in the comic somewhere, but I don't feel like looking any further.

PNG_pyro
2009-04-03, 02:27 AM
So, just found this comic; it's great.

Anyways, read most of this thread, and there's something I don't think anyone has mentioned yet.

I think that it is entirely possible that in the latest page, Jillian is not about to stab Caesar, but rather herself. The evidence is mostly ambiguous, but if you look at the picture where she's yelling, the "speed lines" seem to indicate she's rushing forward. however, if you look at her body posture, that doesn't seem to be the case. I think that this is a top-down shot of her yelling upwards.

Also, the vampires. If you look at the last panel, you may notice that in comparison to the seventh panel, Caesar seems to have moved away from the other vampires. Towards Jillian, in fact.

So yeah, weak case; but just about as good as any other interpretation, I think. Oh, and add onto all of this the fact that she was in love with Ansom, and her rather volatile personality; not evidence, certainly, but perhaps corroboration.

On an unrelated note, I think Scarlett is alive. Mainly because she is the only one not on fire in the midst of the eruption. Dunno why, but the arkenpliers seem to have some effect on uncroaked; maybe even if it's an uncroaked piece of terrain, or the damage dealt thereof.

Fjolnir
2009-04-03, 02:31 AM
there are only a few sides to the RCC that can be concidered their own "side", remember, the various elf brands form longstanding alliances and have no royals or lands of their own, just like the gobwins. so they're talking about Jetstone, Hobbittm, Foxmud, Sofaking and unaroyal. (TV is not a member of the RCC anymore and I doubt charlie will be forthcoming or that they'd concider him an ally given what he did to them) He gets through to Jetstone and unaroyal calls them so he probably either talked to one other member of the RCC, either foxmud sofaking or hobbittm to get confirmation on this info

BLANDCorporatio
2009-04-03, 03:38 AM
(Proud memeber of Red Isn't Dead Yet [RIDY] club?)

RIDY, phah. I'm a proud member of the Scarlet Is Not Dead Yet (SINDY) club.


Red is in the courtyard, and the courtyard is part of the garrison (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0129.html). So all she had to do was be alive and not move to capture the garrison.

Weeelll ... my other pet theory that I've launched here is that Parson won't be on the side of Stanley by the end of this book.

I now see two ways that this could happen: Stanley disbands Parson for wrecking GK (and for not affording him now anyway) OR Stanley disbands him because he allowed one unit from the former RCC (guess who) to capture GK thus denying Stanley the turn income.

We don't, after all, have the full picture of what happened at GK, and as I've said, until I see the remains etc etc.

Gez
2009-04-03, 04:03 AM
Yes, of course, it was explicitely trying to cheat, I realize that. I was commenting less on the comic itself more as I was analyzing the fan reaction. Back when Ansom was "cheating" and pulling solutions to plans out of nowhere and working around the rules, many people complained bitterly about the use of "Deus ex Machina" and attacked the writing, but there's no such criticism when the characters they like do something even more absurd. Again, not being critical (not at this part anyway), just observing.
A big difference between Ansom cheating and Parson cheating: one of those two characters is an outsider who perceive Erfworld and its rules as a game; the other character has lived there all his life and perceive everything as fully normal; plus it's shown he has a strong traditionalist slant.

So when one thinks outside the box and come up with the unexpected, it's fully in-character for Parson but out of character for Ansom.


But this is less about what Parson did or did not have to do and more abot how he felt about it. As I've mentioned, the story clearly offers a moral crisis, but Parson never seemed to let that matter cross his mind, even when he saw Sizemore struggling with it. [...] Normal people aren't built to handle the horrors of war or the terrible responsibilities of command, they often strain and snap when faced with the irrevocability of death. But Parson doesn't.
1. Parson has never been depicted as being a nice human being. He's introduced as a lardass loser who simply doesn't care about life and would rather live in an escapist fantasy. And he gets his wish fulfilled.
2. Snapping from the strain? The easiest way to deal with having to kill enemies is to dehumanize them. That's why the military uses euphemisms such as "collateral damage" rather than "civilian deaths" or "casualty" rather than "kill".
3. The Erfling's lack of free will plays a big role. Bogroll's answer stunned Parson and was a turning point for him to get back to treating Erflings as units rather than as people.*
4. Ruthlessness.

* You commented about violence in media; you have surely noticed that it's always more okay to kill clones, robots or zombies -- people who, no matter how human they might look, aren't real humans -- than to kill normal people? That was the whole point of the Stormtroopers' voices being retconned into being the same as Jango Fett after the prequels were made, so that you'd know they're merely clones and thus not real humans so it's okay if the good guys slaughter them by the thousands.

You can bet there were much more people living onboard the Death Star than crewing the Rebel base on Yavin IV's moon. The moral choice for Luke would have to let the Empire win so that fewer people would end up orphan/widow/widower this day.

Surely you concede that there's a difference between a violent act that's being used a punchline and a violent act that's simply violent? That there is a line, for example, between Wile E. Coyote falling off a cliff and between, say, an actual coyote falling off of an actual cliff? In one sense they're both the same thing, but one is quite funny and the other is really not. Early in Erfworld, violence was used as a gag. Later in Erfworld it wasn't.
I disagree. In a very recent page, units have been croaked by a 4chan bomb. If that's not a punchline, I don't know what is. And in a very early page, you have a poignant moment with a big patchwork teddy bear mourning his dead comrade.

You've got cute little people looking like children's toys that kill each other gruesomely and it's sometime funny, sometime not. That has been there since the beginning.

MattR
2009-04-03, 04:17 AM
1) I don't think it's out of character for Jillian to attack the leader of the people who seem to now be intent on holding her hostage instead of actually doing something.

2) Red isn't the new chief warlord of the Jet Stone side. In the strip it says everyone contacted confirms all units lost to a single trap action. It wouldn't be all units if a unit survived would it? If the eruption was capable of killing unit in other hexes groundzero is unsurvivable.

3) Seems like we have confirmation that only Chief Warlord's & Overlords can claim new sites. It's also confirmed there are specifically sites that are for Capitals. Capital sites and other city sites seem to be linked in some way... the way its phrased in the strip makes it sound like claiming the capital site is the most important part of it, above and beyond getting the other sites. Maybe some city sites are linked to the capital site so taking control of the capital site gives control of the others immediately too?

4) Thinkamancers seem to be more common then any other caster so far. The odds of rolling a thinkamancer randomly on a table must be slim and its clear how important a thinkamancer is to a side given the lack of modern forms of communication... i'd say it lends weight to hte theory that you can just pop a caster and order it to become a certain kind of caster irrespective of where it's true casting strengths lie.

Seems like we'll soon be discovering more details about what happened to King Banhammer etc :) Using Caesar to nudge the story in that direction makes a ton of sense given we know Jillian isn't interested in going there at all AND we know that he was skeptical about Stanley showing up.. at the time his motivation for coming was delightfully ambiguous :)

Random Speculation - I'd find it hilarious if Jillian ended up working with Parson at some point in the future, not knowing he was the one that gave the order to croak her Beau :)

MattR
2009-04-03, 04:24 AM
I have a theory. What if, in her enraged state, Jillian was essentially auto-attacking? Her giant sword is her special attack, which would explain why she didn't use it. This also explains why Caesar was easily able to deflect it. It's the equivalent of a boxer throwing a jab instead of an strong uppercut. :smallbiggrin:


It's not all that hard to see why the attack failed if you look closely, in the last panel there's a hand around Jillian's wrist stopping her, that'd Vinnie's.

No 'passive magic' from Caesar and he certainly didn't deflect anything.

Curris
2009-04-03, 04:52 AM
Wow. Lots of discussion above. . . And furthermore, lots of Intelligent, civil discussion. I'm applauding the participants now.

Anyway, just to toss my few thoughts into the brew. . . I feel that as Parson left, he changed the nature of Erfworld, just as surely as he changed it when he entered Erfworld. . .

*** Speculative nature ahead***

What if the nature of Jillian's attempted stabbity is the beginning of Real Time combat for Erfworld?

The activation of a long dormant volcano - multihex trap - 3-caster linkup power spell is likely a world changing event. The event of Parson's desummoning, possibly also reality altering. . .
What if he broke the Turn-based conventions. . . Who better to use that to their benefit (Or discover it's existence) than Jillian?

Anyway, great comic. I'll be here all week. . . Not hitting refresh (Be nice to the servers (^_^) and getting nervous.

Sarissofoi
2009-04-03, 04:57 AM
Silly question.
Uncroaked volcano. It is classified as unit or not?
I think that it is unit like any uncroaked thing or golems made from dirtomancy.
Then even if all golems and garnison units are dead and Red survived Gobwin Koob is untakable.
You must first deafet Uncroaked Volcano ot wait as it degenerated and die.
If UV is unit then Stanley still control Gobwin Koob.
And control treasury and have incom (propably small or almost zero but still).
Also until UV is dead any of Coalition unit dont have chance to take city.
This is possible I think.

Proud member Red isnt dead yet Club.

BLANDCorporatio
2009-04-03, 04:59 AM
Proud member Red isnt dead yet Club.

That's cute, but can I get you to sign this SINDY Club(*) membership card?

*: Scarlet Is Not Yet Dead Club.

MattR
2009-04-03, 05:06 AM
I see what you're saying, but I still disagree. Perhaps it's the way it's drawn, but Jillian seems to flip out far too abruptly for her to be reacting to a perceived kidnapping. In panel 9 she might be going for a weapon, though the art is very unclear.

Why else would her hand cross to that side of her body? that's not the normal posture of someone just taking a step forward.


But in panel 10, she is not brandishing it, and no one acts as though she's just drawn a weapon on them.

She's not brandishing it, but the hand that is holding the weapon isn't visible in panel 10 at all, which is interesting because in the next panel she has the knife in hand... considering the pose with her reaching across her body earlier on I'd say it is pretty clear she unsheathed the knife in panel 9.


Yet in panel 11, she's in full blown anime lunge mode, with dagger at the ready. What happened?

I think the problem is with your perception of time based on the panels, all the action within it took place in less then 1 min.. probably only 20 secs.


Well, in panel 9, she says shortly that what Caesar is saying isn't possible. *snip* I find that unconvincing. Violent or not, Jillian is not the sort of person who kills messengers. She kills problems, and at that moment, Caesar wasn't a problem.

Sorry you werent convinced, you are a renowned skeptic tho so im not surprised :)

Seems to me she has a problem with what he's saying... and like you said she kills problems :)


But in that case, I have serious doubts that Caesar would be able to stop her attack so effortlessly.

Why are so many people missing Vinnie's hand in that final panel? i mean its RIGHT THERE *point* lookie!

Vinnie was able to stop her because he knows her well enough to guess what her reaction would be, if this isn't enough of a confirmation that Jillian is acting in character i don't know what would be.

Read back through the comic, check http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0057.html She pulled a weapon on Webinar when she didn't like hearing what he had to say. Her actions now aren't a surprise at all.

Sarissofoi
2009-04-03, 05:08 AM
That's cute, but can I get you to sign this SINDY Club(*) membership card?

*: Scarlet Is Not Yet Dead Club.

Sure thing.
Then Proud member Scarlet Is Not Yet Dead Club.

MattR
2009-04-03, 05:23 AM
Maybe it's the red lava goodies turning her that color? I would assume that since she looks like Wilma Flintstone, she must be Jetstone.

http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=5951368#post5951368


NOT Jetstone :)

Green and Red
2009-04-03, 06:07 AM
Why are so many people missing Vinnie's hand in that final panel? i mean its RIGHT THERE *point* lookie!


To me it looks more like Ceasars hand... it isnt really clear though

Kreistor
2009-04-03, 06:33 AM
http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0048.html
Specifically, the "Overlord sets production orders for all cities" bit.

http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0032.html
The second panel where Stanley says, "I can end you with a thought, y'know."

Together they imply that when an Overlord directly disbands a unit, the unit in question ceases to exist rather than becoming a Barbarian. I get the odd feeling that its said more explicitly in the comic somewhere, but I don't feel like looking any further.

Tey might, except that Parson was summoned by spell. He has already been told that if he disobeys orders, he will be destroyed utterly (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0019.html). Wanda can disobey (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0005.html) without being destroyed. Any example that uses effects Parson suffers from is inherently suspect.

Note that Wanda tells Parson he will be destroyed, not disbanded. Disbanded is, then, not a euphemism for disbanded. Wanda is not aware of the differences between Parson's language and her own, so if disbanded meant destroyed, she would have used it.

Stanley is, if anything, not subtle. He would say destroyed if he meant destroyed. He says disbanded. More importantly, he says, "There's no point in disbanding you." It's clear he's talking to all three -- Sizemore, Wanda, and Parson. But there is a point to destroying them. Capturing is reserved for powerful casters -- Wanda is a Master Necromancer, and Sizemore is clearly no slouch as a Dirtamancer. Captured, they are a prize for the enemy. If they are merely released from service, then they can be captured. So, destroying them prevents them from falling into enemy hands as a prize while releasing them benefits the enemy. That tells us that for "disbanding" to have no point, it has to be identical to them remeaining in service and being captured. Thus, disbanding means released from service for everyone... except maybe for Parson, who is different because of the spell that summoned him.

HandofShadows
2009-04-03, 07:28 AM
She's a barbarian. :P

Nah, I can understand. She has a bit of a tomboy-like personality, but a lot of people might react like that under the circumstances. ... except for the whole knife thing and venting on an ally (even a rude and skeptical one)...

Ally? WHAT ally? The RCC is dissolved, and even before the RCC dissolved Ceaser never intended to even fight Stanley, TV was after the Faq sites and lied about it Jillian. And when she wants to go after Stanely (the whole purpose of the RCC) she is stopped from doing so and holding her against her will (and contract). This is called betrayal and that means TV is no ally to Jillian, they are the enemy.

And why do I get the feeling that before the end of this Jillain is going to be working with Parson and company?

Sarissofoi
2009-04-03, 07:28 AM
I dont know Kreistor.
In some games if you diband units they case to exist not gain independence.
In some games they are free independent and can be hired recruited by another ruler.
Anyway in Erfworld are two(or more) type of units. Units whose were produced by cities and units from neutral forces(like Marbit or Gobwin) and mercenaries(like barbarian or troops from other kingdoms).
First type if disbanded propably case to exist, second type can go home or whatewer.

MattR
2009-04-03, 07:38 AM
To me it looks more like Ceasars hand... it isnt really clear though

You could be right. I mean there is that slight tilt to his left shoulder as if his arm is raised AND in the 10th panel his arms are already raised so it makes stopping the attack fairly easy... I think its the *snag* making me believe its Vinnie. When I read the word i was thinking of clothes catching on something as you move past =/

Either way its not some mystic defence mechanism.. it's simply a hand halting the attack.

Kreistor
2009-04-03, 08:24 AM
I dont know Kreistor.
In some games if you diband units they case to exist not gain independence.
In some games they are free independent and can be hired recruited by another ruler.
Anyway in Erfworld are two(or more) type of units. Units whose were produced by cities and units from neutral forces(like Marbit or Gobwin) and mercenaries(like barbarian or troops from other kingdoms).
First type if disbanded propably case to exist, second type can go home or whatewer.

When Faq falls, Jillian goes barbarian. When GK falls, Vinnie says Stanley will go barbarian with Jack. Why differentiate between disbanding and losing your side? The simplest resolution seems to me to be that when you are disbanded, no matter the reason, you go barbarian. But auto-destruction on merely having your upkeep taken away? If true, that should happen to everyone, regardless of reason why, and we know that it doesn't happen in some situations. Parson is the exception, and a 350000 schmucker exception at that. Wanda tells him that the spell will destroy him if he disobeys... the spell, not Natural Thinkomancy. Stanley can destroy Parson merely by giving him an order that Parson cannot obey, like "I order you not to lie. I order you to tell me your name is Mud." Parson can't do it because he can't lie, and bang, gone. That's how Stanley can destroy him with a thought, without resorting to disbanding.

Eirik the Red
2009-04-03, 08:33 AM
Count me in on the "Scarlet Is Not Dead Yet" club.

How could Scarlet survive? From Caesar's remarks, it's virtually certain that everything in the volcano's hex and perhaps all six of the hexes surrounding it have been totally destroyed. So to survive, Scarlet has to move from being right on top of the volcano to at least two hexes away from the volcano in a very short amount of time.

The pliers aren't going to fly her out of there.

But Ansom's flying carpet will. It's still unaccounted for, and as far as I know, it's the only thing that could get her or anyone else out of there. Indeed, I would be a bit surprised if nobody escaped using it.

Arssanguinus
2009-04-03, 08:50 AM
A big difference between Ansom cheating and Parson cheating: one of those two characters is an outsider who perceive Erfworld and its rules as a game; the other character has lived there all his life and perceive everything as fully normal; plus it's shown he has a strong traditionalist slant.

So when one thinks outside the box and come up with the unexpected, it's fully in-character for Parson but out of character for Ansom.


1. Parson has never been depicted as being a nice human being. He's introduced as a lardass loser who simply doesn't care about life and would rather live in an escapist fantasy. And he gets his wish fulfilled.
2. Snapping from the strain? The easiest way to deal with having to kill enemies is to dehumanize them. That's why the military uses euphemisms such as "collateral damage" rather than "civilian deaths" or "casualty" rather than "kill".
3. The Erfling's lack of free will plays a big role. Bogroll's answer stunned Parson and was a turning point for him to get back to treating Erflings as units rather than as people.*
4. Ruthlessness.

* You commented about violence in media; you have surely noticed that it's always more okay to kill clones, robots or zombies -- people who, no matter how human they might look, aren't real humans -- than to kill normal people? That was the whole point of the Stormtroopers' voices being retconned into being the same as Jango Fett after the prequels were made, so that you'd know they're merely clones and thus not real humans so it's okay if the good guys slaughter them by the thousands.

You can bet there were much more people living onboard the Death Star than crewing the Rebel base on Yavin IV's moon. The moral choice for Luke would have to let the Empire win so that fewer people would end up orphan/widow/widower this day.

I disagree. In a very recent page, units have been croaked by a 4chan bomb. If that's not a punchline, I don't know what is. And in a very early page, you have a poignant moment with a big patchwork teddy bear mourning his dead comrade.

You've got cute little people looking like children's toys that kill each other gruesomely and it's sometime funny, sometime not. That has been there since the beginning.

HUGE problem with your star Wars example: How many people died on Alderaan and how does that dwarf the people on the death star? ANd how many future Alderaans would the death star have destroyed? That isn't even a remotely good example.

Its a weapon that was DESIGNED to kill planets, specificly populated Planets. HAS KILLED populated planets and is controlled by people who obviously ARE WILLING to kill FUTURE planets and almost certainly will. Under those circumstances its absolutely criminal not to destroy it no matter how many people are on board.

Norsesmithy
2009-04-03, 09:40 AM
HUGE problem with your star Wars example: How many people died on Alderaan and how does that dwarf the people on the death star? ANd how many future Alderaans would the death star have destroyed? That isn't even a remotely good example.

Its a weapon that was DESIGNED to kill planets, specificly populated Planets. HAS KILLED populated planets and is controlled by people who obviously ARE WILLING to kill FUTURE planets and almost certainly will. Under those circumstances its absolutely criminal not to destroy it no matter how many people are on board.

Beyond that, the idea that it is more moral to let someone kill you than it is to act in self defense is hooey. The lives and actions of those who would do evil are not worth a single life.

El_Chupachichis
2009-04-03, 09:44 AM
Red didn't survive, because if she had, then efdup would have changed hands. There would have to be some wierd mechanic for a combat unit to not capture an undefended city.

GK is Defended. By an Uncroaked Volcano.

Farmerbob
2009-04-03, 09:45 AM
When Faq falls, Jillian goes barbarian. When GK falls, Vinnie says Stanley will go barbarian with Jack. Why differentiate between disbanding and losing your side? The simplest resolution seems to me to be that when you are disbanded, no matter the reason, you go barbarian. But auto-destruction on merely having your upkeep taken away? If true, that should happen to everyone, regardless of reason why, and we know that it doesn't happen in some situations. Parson is the exception, and a 350000 schmucker exception at that. Wanda tells him that the spell will destroy him if he disobeys... the spell, not Natural Thinkomancy. Stanley can destroy Parson merely by giving him an order that Parson cannot obey, like "I order you not to lie. I order you to tell me your name is Mud." Parson can't do it because he can't lie, and bang, gone. That's how Stanley can destroy him with a thought, without resorting to disbanding.

I think you are missing the fact that Parson is an extra-planar summon, and not a created or hired unit. In most systems when such summons are dismissed, the unit returns to its home.

On the foreshadowing, I haven't seen mention of Parson's Klog #3 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0041.html), where he discusses victory options. The volcano is the obvious super-weapon present.

Gez
2009-04-03, 10:10 AM
HUGE problem with your star Wars example: How many people died on Alderaan and how does that dwarf the people on the death star? ANd how many future Alderaans would the death star have destroyed? That isn't even a remotely good example.

Its a weapon that was DESIGNED to kill planets, specificly populated Planets. HAS KILLED populated planets and is controlled by people who obviously ARE WILLING to kill FUTURE planets and almost certainly will. Under those circumstances its absolutely criminal not to destroy it no matter how many people are on board.

I don't want to debate Star Wars, so:
How many of Stanley's gobwins have died to Ansom's column when the TEN previous cities were lost? (And you know that capture is reserved for valuable casters. Every other unit is croaked.)

Parson had to obliterate the enemy for his side to survive. That's what he did, and at great cost. Now Star Wars is a fully manichean universe with bad guys who are bad guys and good guys who are good guys, there's no room left for moral ambiguity. (Even though it is sometimes debatable, such as the case that killing stormtroopers is okay because they're clones, not humans...)


Beyond that, the idea that it is more moral to let someone kill you than it is to act in self defense is hooey. The lives and actions of those who would do evil are not worth a single life.

Right! And what was Parson's situation again? He was, through no fault of his own, made the warlord of a besieged nation about to be annihilated, and magically unable to defect or desert. So what was the non-hooey thing for him to do? Win. Win as a requirement for survival.

Hatu
2009-04-03, 10:22 AM
Why else would her hand cross to that side of her body? that's not the normal posture of someone just taking a step forward.


I agree, it's an awkward pose if she's just striding. But her hand is not actually reaching to a scabbard, and for that matter there's more evidence of a scabbard on her right hip than there is on her left. It's hard to say either way from this panel alone.




She's not brandishing it, but the hand that is holding the weapon isn't visible in panel 10 at all, which is interesting because in the next panel she has the knife in hand... considering the pose with her reaching across her body earlier on I'd say it is pretty clear she unsheathed the knife in panel 9.


I disagree. As I said, no one else reacts as though Jillian has just drawn a weapon on them; by contrast, they are clearly alarmed in panel 12. Given that they distrust her already, that seems a notable omission.

Second, Jillian's stance is all wrong if she's supposed to be holding a weapon in her right hand. You hold a weapon in front of you if you want to defend yourself, but her right hand is behind her body. Not only that, but her right shoulder is actually forward, so she's specifically twisting her theoretical weapon hand backwards, and must be holding the blade downward (since we can't see it). That's not a good position from which to launch an attack with a dagger held pommel up.

And again, I think her dialog in panel 10 is wrong if she's supposed to be doubting Caesar's story. She isn't questioning, and she isn't sarcastic. She utters a single word and then her voice trails off flatly. To me, that implies that she believes his story enough that she wants to ask about Ansom, but cannot fully articulate her concern.

I think the best explanation is that Jillian draws the dagger from her right hip between panels 10 and 11. That would also explain why she's holding it "upside down" in her lunge.




Sorry you werent convinced, you are a renowned skeptic tho so im not surprised :)

Seems to me she has a problem with what he's saying... and like you said she kills problems :)


You make it sound like I'm looking for objections. If I weren't enjoying Erfworld, I'd stop reading it. I found the end of this strip confusing, and the proposed explanations unsatisfying.

Jillian is not someone who attacks people at the drop of a hat, but that seems to happen here. I think the end of this strip could be improved.




Read back through the comic, check http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0057.html She pulled a weapon on Webinar when she didn't like hearing what he had to say. Her actions now aren't a surprise at all.

I read that comic before I made my first post. Honestly, I don't think that comic shows what you say it does at all.

She did not pull a sword on Webinar just because she didn't like what she was hearing. He twice tried to order her (his superior) into doing something he wanted, then claimed she ignored Ansom's orders as well. She responded to all of that only by derisively reminding Webinar that she was his superior. It was only when Webinar directly accused her of treason that she drew her sword.

Furthermore, while she drew her sword with much vigor, the blade stopped before it struck Webinar. She then re-sheathed her sword, and allowed Webinar to reclaim the hat without any further action. How on earth am I supposed to read this as Jillian being a ticking time bomb of violence? After repeated insults and insubordination, she merely threatened violence, and that only as a show of her loyalty.

Jillian is not some rampaging Klingon extra, she's a very focused person. She doesn't waste violence on people who merely annoy her. I can believe that she would be devastated by the news that Ansom is dead, but I cannot believe that her response to that news would be to draw a weapon and assault the messenger.

If she doesn't buy Caesar's story, she would have called him on it. Probably in a threatening manner, but she would still have expressed her skepticism in no uncertain terms. But if she does believe him, then there's no reason to attack him; however much she might hate Caesar, he's irrelevant to her problem right now.

-H

EDIT:


The other possibility, that I've mischaracterized Mr. Balder's writing entirely and that we were meant to hate the RCC, has been suggested, but I don't really believe it. That old "Let's make the good guys into the bad guys and then we'll seem edgey!" schtick is old hat and a little amateurish for Erfworld, which has proven to be a surprisingly layered and complex story.


I very much agree with this sentiment, and with TamLin's entire analysis of the two sides. Other than Wanda, I've found just about every major charatcer in Erflword to be surprisingly sympathetic. Even Ansom was able to show some depth, thanks to his interactions with Jillian and Vinny.

Ragn Charran
2009-04-03, 10:50 AM
Silly question.
Uncroaked volcano. It is classified as unit or not?
I think that it is unit like any uncroaked thing or golems made from dirtomancy.
Then even if all golems and garnison units are dead and Red survived Gobwin Koob is untakable.
You must first deafet Uncroaked Volcano ot wait as it degenerated and die.
If UV is unit then Stanley still control Gobwin Koob.
And control treasury and have incom (propably small or almost zero but still).
Also until UV is dead any of Coalition unit dont have chance to take city.
This is possible I think.

Proud member Red isnt dead yet Club.

I disagree, the volcano has now specifically be referred to as a "trap" by people who know in-game terms in a conversation that seemed very in-game rule heavy. In a lot of games, including D&D and some RTS and TBS, traps are specific items and distinct from units.

Also, even "inanimate" units seem to still have personalities and some form of intelligence. We have seen uncroaked Manpower wanting pie, an uncroaked trooper show terror as the tunnels collapsed, and heavy metal golems showing pleasure at smashing things, going so far as to give an AWESOME! pose after the QUERN with Parson. About the only thing I can see suggesting "personality" in the volcano was the interpretation that the fireball is flipping off the RCC at the bottom of #150/page 139.

I think trap is an in-game rule term, and the volcano is such.

Gamebird
2009-04-03, 10:53 AM
I tuned out on page 5, but at least until then no one had explained what "FUF" means. The bats are forming that word over and over in the background of the last panel. Obviously threatening, but what's it mean? I assume an acronym that starts with Fouled Up F___, but with a different F word than Foul and I don't know the last word.

Another thing no one had mentioned to that point is that the volcano is now an uncroaked unit under the control of Stanley's forces. Even if we count it as a unit the croakamancer didn't have enough time to make durable, it will still stick around for at least a turn or two like the mass uncroaked infantry recruited out of the tunnels when Webinar attacked. When Stanley shows up at the beginning of his turn, he'll see this huge unit on his side, hanging around where his city used to be. And probably some pliers laying there. As the guy in charge, he should be able to order the unit to do whatever it is he wants it to do, at least for a round or two until it falls apart, assuming it does fall apart. (I can easily imagine that it counts as having had enough attention from the croakamancer to make it permanent, since she was focused on one creature and had her power increased by the linkup.)

Just imagine what Stanley might do with a walking volcano (assuming it is capable of move) at his disposal.

SteveD
2009-04-03, 11:01 AM
Count me in on the "Scarlet Is Not Dead Yet" club.

How could Scarlet survive? From Caesar's remarks, it's virtually certain that everything in the volcano's hex and perhaps all six of the hexes surrounding it have been totally destroyed. So to survive, Scarlet has to move from being right on top of the volcano to at least two hexes away from the volcano in a very short amount of time.

The pliers aren't going to fly her out of there.

But Ansom's flying carpet will. It's still unaccounted for, and as far as I know, it's the only thing that could get her or anyone else out of there. Indeed, I would be a bit surprised if nobody escaped using it.

Ansom's carpet was probably burnt to a crisp (we know artefacts can be destroyed; Wana's staff was broken through impact).

But I agree that Scarlet is likely still alive. I can't see why the writers would have shown her these past few strips otherwise. But there is one last point no one else has considered yet...it's a shot in the dark, but did Scarlet just attune to the pliers?

fendrin
2009-04-03, 11:06 AM
Jillian's actions in the second to last panel are in character. That being said, it still seems very strange, and it definitely it strains the credulity of many readers.

The problem, I believe, is yet another example of poor word choice.

Jillian hears the news and thinks: "No, Ansom can't be dead. Caesar is lying." Then she attacks him, and it makes (some) sense that she'd try to knife him for lying to her. That is, I'm assuming this is why shes attacking him, its the only reasonable explanation I can come up with. If this is the case, instead of saying 'No!', she should be saying 'Liar!'.

Because of the context, using the word 'No' in this instance is inappropriate. If Caesar said, "I'm going to kill Ansom," Jillian could respond with 'No' and attack him. That would make sense because the word in that case repudiates both the action and the person responsible for it.

In the strip, however, Caesar is merely reporting a fact: Ansom is dead. Jillian's response of 'No' should lead to depression, not her going for the throat. Her attacking Caesar is from a new line of thought beyond denial of Ansom's death and - as a favor to the reader, lets say - it requires more expressive, and accurate, diction.

I respectfully disagree.
First, Jillian is not an articulate person. ("Mealy-mouthed mercenary... er, ...moths")
Second, I'm fairly sure she is rejecting the entire situation. In other words:
"No, I won't let you take Faq!"
"No, we can;t let Stanley get away!"
"No, the coalition can't have failed!"
"No, Ansom can't be dead!"
all rolled up into a single monosyllabic response.


So, just found this comic; it's great.

Anyways, read most of this thread, and there's something I don't think anyone has mentioned yet.

I think that it is entirely possible that in the latest page, Jillian is not about to stab Caesar, but rather herself. The evidence is mostly ambiguous, but if you look at the picture where she's yelling, the "speed lines" seem to indicate she's rushing forward. however, if you look at her body posture, that doesn't seem to be the case. I think that this is a top-down shot of her yelling upwards.

Also, the vampires. If you look at the last panel, you may notice that in comparison to the seventh panel, Caesar seems to have moved away from the other vampires. Towards Jillian, in fact.

The body language is all wrong. In panels 9 (when drawing the dagger) and 10, she is in an aggressive stance (looks like a left-forward bow stance to me). In panel 11, her legs have switched places. Clearly she launched with her left leg and has her right leg forward to land on/step again.

Also, Ceasar stepped away from the other vamps to talk to Vinny and Jillian, as can be seen in panel 10.


GK is Defended. By an Uncroaked Volcano.The volcano is considered a trap, not a unit. One shot deal, I presume, and no self-awareness or consciousness.


You could be right. I mean there is that slight tilt to his left shoulder as if his arm is raised AND in the 10th panel his arms are already raised so it makes stopping the attack fairly easy... I think its the *snag* making me believe its Vinnie. When I read the word i was thinking of clothes catching on something as you move past =/

Vinny's back is turned, he couldn't see it coming. Also if you look carefully, you can see a bit of Caesar's upturned arm just to the left of Jillian's head.


I agree, it's an awkward pose if she's just striding. But her hand is not actually reaching to a scabbard, and for that matter there's more evidence of a scabbard on her right hip than there is on her left. It's hard to say either way from this panel alone.
That details in that panel are too fuzzy to see if she has a small knife scabbard on the left. We have seen the knife before, though, back when she was about to get croaked by Manpower (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0077.html). There was some discussion at that point about whether or not she could re-size her sword into a dagger. I don't recall what the outcome of that discussion was...


I disagree. As I said, no one else reacts as though Jillian has just drawn a weapon on them; by contrast, they are clearly alarmed in panel 12. Given that they distrust her already, that seems a notable omission. When she drew it, Caesar was primarily in conversation with Vinny. It's a bit of a stretch, but maybe no one was really paying much attention to her. She's not in her battle gear, so maybe they don't consider her to be much of a threat at the moment.


Second, Jillian's stance is all wrong if she's supposed to be holding a weapon in her right hand. You hold a weapon in front of you if you want to defend yourself, but her right hand is behind her body. Not only that, but her right shoulder is actually forward, so she's specifically twisting her theoretical weapon hand backwards, and must be holding the blade downward (since we can't see it). That's not a good position from which to launch an attack with a dagger held pommel up.
Ah, but it's right if you are hiding a blade...


I think the best explanation is that Jillian draws the dagger from her right hip between panels 10 and 11. That would also explain why she's holding it "upside down" in her lunge.
From the link I posted above, I think we can conclude that she prefers a blade-down grip, whether or not it is more effective.

EDIT:
I tuned out on page 5, but at least until then no one had explained what "FUF" means. The bats are forming that word over and over in the background of the last panel. Obviously threatening, but what's it mean? I assume an acronym that starts with Fouled Up F___, but with a different F word than Foul and I don't know the last word.

I'm glad I'm not the only one who noticed that. I think it is onomatopoeic of the sound of the bats flapping their wings.

teratorn
2009-04-03, 11:32 AM
But there is one last point no one else has considered yet...it's a shot in the dark, but did Scarlet just attune to the pliers?

:smallyuk: ???????? No one? :smallmad: Probably no less than 10 people suggested that.

El_Chupachichis
2009-04-03, 11:34 AM
I disagree, the volcano has now specifically be referred to as a "trap" by people who know in-game terms in a conversation that seemed very in-game rule heavy. In a lot of games, including D&D and some RTS and TBS, traps are specific items and distinct from units.

Which is -- to me -- exactly why the question is still up in the air. They didn't even recognize it as a volcano, suggesting that there'd never been an eruption in the recorded history of Erfworld.

I'd think that they'd assume that the volcano went active on its own, or by the will of the Titans, if they knew what it was. The reports back would have been, "The GK volcano erupted and wiped out all parties" not, "A massive multihex Dirtamancer trap went off."

That all suggests that they don't know how to read what they saw. And I suspect the largest non-Titan unit is nowhere near the size of a city, so they couldn't possibly wrap their minds around the concept of a city-sized unit.

If it is a unit, it has move zero (garrison), a ton of HP, an attack with supermassive damage and very high To-Hit (99+%). Also has Area effect and does damage friendlies with no apparent target discrimination. No apparent method of communication or control possible to those viewing it. All of those can be easily confused with a trap.

One thing in your theroy's favor, though: If Thinkamancers have the equivalent capability of reporting unit status, perhaps their read was something like "Dirtamancer trap #^&@$ sprung, hit all units for drops a bucket of 20 siders damage." Odd thing, why would it be only classified as Dirtamancer, and not Thinkamancer-Croakamancer-Dirtamancer trap?

El_Chupachichis
2009-04-03, 11:40 AM
Heh, threadjack:

I always loved DM'ing games and doing supermassive damage. Had a cup of dice for just the occasion.

Oh, you just ran over the orcs in your wagon going top speed? Ok, that's drops a cup of dice ... oh, about that much damage.

PePe QuiCoSE
2009-04-03, 12:04 PM
my 2 cents.

First time i read the comic i had the impression that Vinny was the one holding Jillian's arm since from the fingers it seems to be held by a right hand. Then i see Caesar's shoulder and either it could be a mistake or that he is using his left hand thumb down (pretty uncomfortable).

And from this page i get the impression that you need a royal or chief warlord to claim cities, not just a regular one. I doubt that Red could claim GK if she survived (which i don't believe she did)

Architect
2009-04-03, 12:12 PM
Well, it's ambiguous, isn't it? Parson's job wasn't neccesarily to win the battle, just to do everything possible to win the battle. Would he have been disbanded if it had turned out that surrender was the only feasible option after all other resources had been extinguished? It's not clear.
Parson's job is to serve the one who summoned him. Ostensibly, that would be Stanley, but I would argue that it was Wanda, as a free-willed unit, that summoned him, though. All of the spell's effects would still fit, so long as she willingly serves Stanley.

But ah, you might say, we know thanks to the outcome of the battle that victory was NOT impossible (and in fact, Parson could have "won" the way he did pretty much anytime he wanted to, or at least anytime after he had a rudimentary grasp of how Erfworld magic worked). But we also know that Parson basically cheated to win (or at least abused the rules. This volcano trick is the sort of thing that would get banned from competitive play if Erfworld were a real game). But the enchantment was something that operated within the rules. Would the enchantment then punish him for not trying to cheat to win? It seems unlikely, but then, I suppose it's possible, since Parson's very presence in Erfworld shows that the Summon Perfect Warlord spell does not work the same way normal spells do, so who knows what crazy **** it might do.
Within the rules of the real world, nuclear fission works. The problem is how you work within the rules in order to obtain the desired results. To someone unfamiliar with the detailed rules of physics, it would appear that scientists "broke the rules." The same might very well be true on Erf. The volcano is dead/croaked. Croakamancy deals with reanimating/uncroaking dead things. To uncroak something, you have to understand how it works. Sizemore is a dirtamancer. He understand how the volcano works. Maggie is the thinkamancer, she can project their powers to bring this about. Together, they share enough power to pull it off. (Sidenote: GK's volcano is not extinct as it still has a full magma chamber. That means that it is only dormant, much easier to uncroak.)

So it wasn't a sure thing one way or the other. But this is less about what Parson did or did not have to do and more abot how he felt about it. As I've mentioned, the story clearly offers a moral crisis, but Parson never seemed to let that matter cross his mind, even when he saw Sizemore struggling with it. Misty's death impressed on him the very real consequences of "gaming" in Erfworld (btw, is it obnoxious when I keep using quotation marks like that? It feels like it might be), but even thereafter he never seems to think about the consequences of his actions, the people who die as a result of his orders. Of course, as is always the case in war, pragmatism and a "Them or me" mentality pushes him to act regardless of how he feels, but I would think that he would at least once be depicted hesistating, weighing the consequences, showing something resembling remorse or regret. Normal people aren't built to handle the horrors of war or the terrible responsibilities of command, they often strain and snap when faced with the irrevocability of death. But Parson doesn't.
I completely disagree. Normal people are Civilians. Soldiers were civilians. The differences between a Soldier and a Civilian are simply training and values (Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, Personal Courage). These don't make you an unfeeling killing machine, they help you survive. You see, death is easy. Surviving is hard. What strains and breaks us is when those with whom we've formed bonds with, our brothers-in-arms, are killed--often in front of us. Could I have done something different? Is it my fault? Who is next? Will it be me? All of this runs in your head, but you keep on going. You follow the creed: Mission first. Never accept defeat. Never quit. Never leave a buddy.

From Parson's Klog 13:
"What he said about "ending the lives of others." Well, now we've done it. I never killed anything bigger than a spider before this day and now I've caused the deaths of a couple of thousand enemy units. People. Couple thousand people.

I should feel horrible. The only thing I really feel about it is that I'm worried it wasn't enough.

How could I explain that to Sizemore? It's not my problem to think about! You know? We're being attacked. I'm in command. My responsibility is for the lives of the people under my command, no matter how many enemies have to destroy to protect them. And even if I have to sacrifice some to save most. That's how war works.

He wouldn't want to hear it though. I don't even like saying it. I know it's true, it's just...

I don't know. This is feeling less and less like a dream. But if it is, there's this one thought I keep coming back to. How did Dorothy get out of Oz?

Short answer? By killing."

How does a Soldier survive? You know the answer. "Parson" knows the answer. If I hesitate, I'll die or a fellow Soldier will die. If I quit, I'll die or a fellow Soldier will die.

And what about Parson? Is he a part of the game, a pawn just like the others, or is he one of the higher powers (notice the ambiguity of whether he is or is not Erfworld's creator via his homebrew wargame)? Does he lead the fight because he's forced to, because it's his competitive nature, or because he's the Chief Warlord, and he's filling his role in the game just like anyone? Does one interpretation or the other change our perception of the morality of his actions? These are the kinds of questions that Erfworld poses on a thematic level.
So long as Parson is magically compelled, he's a pawn, a slave. It doesn't matter if he's the creator of Erfworld. He is trapped in his own creation. Maybe he can free himself from the rules that bind him. He's Special, after all.

But didn't he just kill everyone on his side except the casters anyway? I may be wrong, but it seems that that volcano wiped out his few remaining troops just as thoroughly as everything else in the hex (something else he doesn't seem to mind).
Only the casters would be preserved by the opposing side. Only the casters can use the portal (as far as Parson knows). The casters are therefore the only ones he can save. He chose to save them. He chose to be the last person to leave and even that wasn't guaranteed. So, he was in fact prioritizing. Triage: save those that you can with the resources on hand. Even if he didn't express grief, his actions showed that he cared.

I was thinking the same thing. Since I'm also interested in the fan response, which was weighted heavily in favor of GK, I would pose this question too:

Does Parson's indifference to the fates of the RCC characters also account for the board fans' indifference?

Like I said earlier (waaaaay the **** up there), it seems like the urge to identify with Parson just outweighed all the other factors in the majority of people's minds. So does the spill over into these thorny moral questions too?

Now of course, I realize that by analyzing people's reactions I'm playing with fire more than usual. Someone is going to respond with a "Hey, I don't care about Ansom and the Coalition because they were douches and because I just like Parson, why is that so ****ing hard to understand?" And yeah, people's individual reactions and opinions are of course subjective and ephemeral. But this is less about individual people and more about the broad trends and the marked popularity of some characters over others. When a majority of people overwhelmingly feel one way instead of the other, there's got to be a reason for that. "Ansom was a douche" doesn't account for it, because, well, so was Stanley, but Stanley seems the more popular character, so why?
Actually, I sympathized with the RCC rank and file. They were just obeying their commanders, some of whom were "douches". Nevertheless, it was war.

Oh right, the ruthless thing, I forgot about that. Still, that doesn't clear up everything, we have no idea what that even meant. Was it some kind of spell? What was the extent of it? Is it something every Warlord has? Does it work the same for everyone, or does it have something to do with the subject's base personality? These questions dont' seem to have any answers, the point is just that intentional ambiguity was left in the comic.
Nobody blinked an eye at Parson's "support". That's how things work in Erfworld. Those items were really special and made specifically for Parson. Parson's presence is due to the Summon Spell. A special 350,000 shmuckers summon spell designed to summon The Perfect Warlod. Parson wasn't the Perfect Warlord, so the spell began "fixing" the imperfect Perfect Warlord.

From the Luckamancy Charms box:
"Hey Kids! Help the Summon Spell fix its goof by getting Parson everything he was missing... and make him The Perfect Warlord!(tm)

Glasses
See unit stats!

Bracer
Calculate odds!

Sword - 3 in 1!
Leadership!
Combat!
Ruthlessness!

When Parson has collected all of his items, the spell will finally be complete! Yay!"

Parson became The Perfect Warlord with the last piece of the sword, created through the magic of the Summon Spell. The magic items gave him the attributes that he did not have. Ruthlessness, the lack of pity, was an attribute that he did not have. Now, because of the magic sword, he has it.

You're right that none of this is unusual in the context of war, but war isn't something Parson is used to. A lot of people in his position would have done the same thing, but most of the would have felt worse about it than he seems to.
"Seems" is the operative word. Parson is The Perfect Warlord. He might "seem" heartless or cruel, but he isn't. He undoubtedly knows that he should feel bad, but he doesn't. The magic sword fixed that.

One final thought: Unless the pliers weird magic has caused them to fly or teleport to some unexpected locale (which wouldn't be that surprising), they're shortly going to be buried under a quarter mile or so of lava rock. Probably gonna need a good Dirtamancer to find them and dig them out again...
Quite possibly. However, it's hard to say what the Pliers' purpose is.

Kholdstare
2009-04-03, 12:30 PM
I very much doubt Scarlet is at all alive. If the Archons were burned to a crisp then I really doubt she could have gotten away. Then there is the issue of people already being on fire when she was shown.

Right now I wonder what will happen to Faq and Parson. That and I want to see what remains of Stanley himself. Level 1 city or not city at all with just a few dragons and possibly a new Arken tool. Tremendous loss or a major step in his crusade for the tools paid with the right price?

MattR
2009-04-03, 12:42 PM
She did not pull a sword on Webinar just because she didn't like what she was hearing. He twice tried to order her (his superior) into doing something he wanted, then claimed she ignored Ansom's orders as well. She responded to all of that only by derisively reminding Webinar that she was his superior. It was only when Webinar directly accused her of treason that she drew her sword.

*scratches head* every stimulus for pulling her sword you just listed was verbal, so clearly she DID just draw her sword because she didnt like what she was hearing.

My interpretation of the strip was different from yours in that i believe she would have stabbed Webinar in rage and it was only the word traitor and the reminder she'd be breaking the alliance that stopped her. Her face in panel 5 is not the face of someone in control and cleverly pulling a sword to intimidate someone.


After repeated insults and insubordination, she merely threatened violence, and that only as a show of her loyalty.

Sorry, but i dont see how pulling a sword on an ally show's her loyalty at all. The act of resheathing it was, keeping the sword in its sheath in the first place would have proven her loyalty the best really.


FUF - meaning of ...

My money is on this, No. 15:http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?page=3&term=FUF

SteveD
2009-04-03, 12:45 PM
:smallyuk: ???????? No one? :smallmad: Probably no less than 10 people suggested that.

Fine. No one else has considered that in this thread. :smallwink:

(go on, find me a quote. I dare you to scour all seven pages).

HandofShadows
2009-04-03, 12:59 PM
But I agree that Scarlet is likely still alive. I can't see why the writers would have shown her these past few strips otherwise. But there is one last point no one else has considered yet...it's a shot in the dark, but did Scarlet just attune to the pliers?

DId you consider that the writer & artist was not showing Scarlet so much, but showing the disposition of the Archenpliers? Someone has to have them and the logical choice for that (very SHORT) duty would the highest ranking warlord still alive. And we know Scarlet is the leader of her factions forces localy and many of the other warlords where croaked.

Pround Founding Member of the "She's Dead Jim" Club.

fendrin
2009-04-03, 01:14 PM
DId you consider that the writer & artist was not showing Scarlet so much, but showing the disposition of the Archenpliers? Someone has to have them and the logical choice for that (very SHORT) duty would the highest ranking warlord still alive. And we know Scarlet is the leader of her factions forces localy and many of the other warlords where croaked.

Pround Founding Member of the "She's Dead Jim" Club.

While I too am a member of the SDJC (love the name, btw), Jamie could have made it clearer if, for instance, Scarlett was bathed in flames like the others, or a charred husk with 'pliers in hand, etc.

Of course, doing so might make the look of horror on her face be mistaken for a look of pain... which to be blunt would have far less impact. By having her there unhurt, we empathize with her and feel the horror of the events ourselves.

I think there is a comparison to be made to the air defenses (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0106.html).
There are many similarities between the two.

Of course, that could be an argument for Scarlett to survive the volcano the way Jillian survived the air attack. However, there were MANY plot reasons for Jillian to survive, and no hints that she croaked (though no evidence to the contrary to for a couple pages either). Scarlett does not have any obvious plot threads to resolve, and we have gotten some (unconfirmed) information indicating she has croaked.

chefsotero
2009-04-03, 01:23 PM
When Faq falls, Jillian goes barbarian. When GK falls, Vinnie says Stanley will go barbarian with Jack. Why differentiate between disbanding and losing your side? The simplest resolution seems to me to be that when you are disbanded, no matter the reason, you go barbarian. But auto-destruction on merely having your upkeep taken away? If true, that should happen to everyone, regardless of reason why, and we know that it doesn't happen in some situations. Parson is the exception, and a 350000 schmucker exception at that. Wanda tells him that the spell will destroy him if he disobeys... the spell, not Natural Thinkomancy. Stanley can destroy Parson merely by giving him an order that Parson cannot obey, like "I order you not to lie. I order you to tell me your name is Mud." Parson can't do it because he can't lie, and bang, gone. That's how Stanley can destroy him with a thought, without resorting to disbanding.


Well we did learn earlier in the comic that an unit w/out an capital but still with an overlord is an barbarian

We also learn that an capital w/out an overlord does not goes barbarian, it goes neutral and cant act unless in response to someones action.

*Edit - And that indicates that having or not an Overlord or a Chief Warlord backing one up does change your status/situation

And I read (I'm infering here, but I do not belive there is any direct proof or disproof of that) in Sizemore's face an fear of been disbanded greater than the fear of being croaked or captured. And I took so as an indicative of disband = ceasing to exist. And it make some sense gamewise, If u were an overlord and u don't want anymore an unit that may have knowledg of your defenses an attack capabilyties, would you like to have it lose in the field to other sides recruitment agency? Charlie would love to have one of those :smallamused:

But yes thats all just an hypotesis, I would love to have that clear in the rules section of the book (And Guys Amazon delivers in Brazil, keep that in mind :smallsmile:)


PS: About the order:

Stanley - "I order you not to lie. I order you to tell me your name is Mud."
Parson - "As ordered I must say to you: your name is Mud, regardless of anyones given name been or not Mud"

I would say that is not lying and following the orther to the letter, ignoring of course any meaning, but hey we all learn something from charlie right? (and maybe someone with a better english than mine may put it in a better way but I think u got the idea)

Kreistor
2009-04-03, 01:24 PM
I disagree. As I said, no one else reacts as though Jillian has just drawn a weapon on them; by contrast, they are clearly alarmed in panel 12. Given that they distrust her already, that seems a notable omission.

Second, Jillian's stance is all wrong if she's supposed to be holding a weapon in her right hand. You hold a weapon in front of you if you want to defend yourself, but her right hand is behind her body. Not only that, but her right shoulder is actually forward, so she's specifically twisting her theoretical weapon hand backwards, and must be holding the blade downward (since we can't see it). That's not a good position from which to launch an attack with a dagger held pommel up.

Exceot that the blade back hold is an offensive, not defensive hold. It is very weak defense. One has pointed out that you can defend with it by blocking with your forearm, but that is risky sicne the blade can be forced back into your own arm to cut yourself. As an offensive hold, with little defense, it is somewhat suicidal, which is completely appropriate for someone that is surrounded by undefeatable enemies.

There is one other thing the hold is good for -- hiding a weapon from enemies in front of you. By drawing the weapon in this hold, it would come out between her arm and her body, hidden by her forearm. Others would be unaware of what she had just done. Your insistance that she draw it forward to defend herself also gives up surprise, and ensures that she will fail to kill anything but the bat swarm that will launch against her. If you doubt that you can hide a knife this way, go to the kitchen and try it. You can hold the knife with one thumb and your palm, fingers open as Jillian shows: Jillian isn't drawing the weapon, it's already in her hand, hidden behind her arm. Where is her thumb in frame 9 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0151.html)?

Why her arm is across her body is confusing. I think you can see the scabbard on her left side in frame 9, but it seems too long for the knife, reaching down below the speech balloon. If that is the scabbard, she couldn't draw surreptitiously: the scabbard is visible and with her arm out of the way, it can be seen to be empty, so if that is the scabbard she definitely did draw before frame 9. I just went through the entire comic: I can't find that knife on her (or Vinnie, who might have given it to her) anywhere. She might have drawn surreptitiously while standing up... the scabbard would be out of position while sitting, and putting your hand on a scabbard to control a blade while standing is reasonable. The problem is the position in 9, where her arm is revealing the empty scabbard. She'd want the hand with the blade hiding the empty scabbard. Vinnie isn't looking her way, and he won't be spotting it in any case.

So here's the scenario, as I see it. She's sitting, hears about 100% losses, and starts seeing the death of Ansom on the wall, making her decision this is a lie designed to get her to give up on Stanley and get Transylvito what Caesar wants: giving up on RCC and its politics, she decides she can't escape and wants to take the killing of a Chief Warlord with her to the Hall of Heroes. She has her hand on the hilt, and begins drawing across her body. forearm hiding the blade, scabbard out to the right. Everyone is looking at Caesar, so she's likely to get away with that little bit of fudgery. The knife comes out, so she stands, the scabbard falling into proper position, but her arm still across her midriff: she doesn't want to move it too fast or she'd draw eyes towards her arm, so the arm tarries and the empty scabbard momentarily revealed. She speaks in order to draw eyes to her face, away from her sides and hands. Vinnie is between her and at least some of the others, so she might get away with the awkward positioning. Arm comes back to the right, blade hidden behind forearm, now blocking sight of the scabbard as well. She hits striking range, lunging forward and brings her arm up and down, for maximum strength in the blow, knowing if it hits, she's going to die with her weapon out of position. Caesar catches her before the majority of her weight gets into the blade.

Jillian is out of position in her attack, and can't get to Caesar, because the blade back position with the arm down is not an attack position. To appear like she was not dangerous, she needs her arms down, and the blade hidden. But the blade back position requires an overhead, downward stirke for maximum damage, so the arm has to come up and then down again, which is somewhat slow, giving the unarmed Caesar more than enough time to get an arm up and in the way. If that's the scabbard revealed, then he's probably ready for it long before she attacked.

What that means is that Jillian was already plannng an attack on Caesar before he told her of Ansom's death. She does know that reports are of 100% losses to Unaroyal and others, just not Jetstone, so she probably sees ithe report of Ansom's death coming. She says, "Not possible.," when told of the Dirtamancy trap. She's not believing.

Happydork
2009-04-03, 01:36 PM
my 2 cents.

First time i read the comic i had the impression that Vinny was the one holding Jillian's arm since from the fingers it seems to be held by a right hand. Then i see Caesar's shoulder and either it could be a mistake or that he is using his left hand thumb down (pretty uncomfortable).

And from this page i get the impression that you need a royal or chief warlord to claim cities, not just a regular one. I doubt that Red could claim GK if she survived (which i don't believe she did)

I agree completely with it being Vinny, nor Caeser that stopped Jillian. The hand that stopped Jillian has the fingers on the inside. If Caesar used his right hand, he would have had to reach across and we would see his arm. If he used his left hand, his left arm would have twisted into scene. Look at the picture and try it.

Happydork
2009-04-03, 01:37 PM
Stanley hasn't taken his urn yet. He was in line after RCC.

Ragn Charran
2009-04-03, 01:50 PM
Stanley hasn't taken his urn yet. He was in line after RCC.

No, Stanley goes after Charlie but before the RCC. Now that RCC is dissolved we can assume Charlie still goes before Stanley (which would not have been the case had the alliance stuck), but we don't really know where everyone else lies. All we know for sure is Stanley already had a turn that day, so he won't get one until morning at least.

Kreistor
2009-04-03, 01:51 PM
Stanley hasn't taken his urn yet. He was in line after RCC.

He moved with GK after Charlie and before RCC (Transylvito moved first). If Stanley was no longer ruler of GK, the city would have gone neutral. If it wasn't his move, he could not have left the hex Jillian was in.

kreszantas
2009-04-03, 02:16 PM
FUF - meaning of ...

My money is on this, No. 15:http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?page=3&term=FUF

Since this is being directed AT Jillian it is indeed correct but for a less degrading more general term is *Boop*ed Up Fool and/or UFUF U F*boop*ed Up Friend (no sources cited due to not wanting to link into places your not supposed to be :smalltongue:) with the first U often being dropped. Just as UFS = U F*boop* Suck.

tomaO2
2009-04-03, 02:23 PM
It's probably dawn you know.

Rules clearly state that you can't use magic when it's not your turn except when you are under attack. The Vamps turn is now at dawn. Therefore, Bunny would not be able to send the thinkagram until dawn. She would, however, be able to receive messages from people in the alliance telling her that the alliance had been destroyed since it was still the alliance's turn at the time.

So she knew about the massacre yesterday, did a quick conformation at dawn and then radioed the Chief Warlord.

kreszantas
2009-04-03, 02:26 PM
No, Stanley goes after Charlie but before the RCC. Now that RCC is dissolved we can assume Charlie still goes before Stanley (which would not have been the case had the alliance stuck), but we don't really know where everyone else lies. All we know for sure is Stanley already had a turn that day, so he won't get one until morning at least.

Totally agree, however with one added point Charlie may not be able to do anything, in the instances where he teleported Archons he had specific contact within the hexes he was sending them to. Jillian/Webinar group and to the tower in GK with the connection of Parson's eyebook. Now that those links are broken I doubt he can just 're-enter' the hex without that hex being techincally occupied by the linked item so Charlie may just end turn or seek out Parson's destruction from where ever Parson's eyebook leads him to.

Stanley is the most logical next to move given the limited confirmation of the text given.

Texas Jedi
2009-04-03, 02:31 PM
I agree completely with it being Vinny, nor Caeser that stopped Jillian. The hand that stopped Jillian has the fingers on the inside. If Caesar used his right hand, he would have had to reach across and we would see his arm. If he used his left hand, his left arm would have twisted into scene. Look at the picture and try it.

Good catch. I have to agree with you. Caesar had a much easier way to stop Jillian with a normal fingers out thumb in grip. Why go with a more difficult, and awkward grip that might not stop the thrust. If Jillian's force was great enough it might have bent Caesars arm in enough for him to get stabbed.

Kreistor
2009-04-03, 02:43 PM
Good catch. I have to agree with you. Caesar had a much easier way to stop Jillian with a normal fingers out thumb in grip. Why go with a more difficult, and awkward grip that might not stop the thrust. If Jillian's force was great enough it might have bent Caesars arm in enough for him to get stabbed.

Hold you hand up with thumb in. Which way does your wrist break? When it does, Where's the knife?

Hold your hand up with thumb out. Which way does your wrist break? Where's the knife?

Right, with thumb out, the power of the wrist can be used to help deflect the blade to the outtside, where if thumb is in, no more power can be brought to bear. The kinfe can wind up in your shoulder in both cases, but with thumb out, the hand is between the arm and the target, limiting penetration, unless the attack is very lucky and the defender'sarm passes in front of the body. With thumb in, the hand can only use strength to defend itself, and if that fails, the knife gains full penetration.

As for Vinnie...to gain that hold, he must use his right hand, and since he's turned away from Jillian in frame 10, this was an extremely agile and remarkable move. Caesar has all of the information about Jillian -- he can see the scabbard, Jillian's body position, her odd hand position, and maybe the knife. Vinnie would have to do this with no information at all -- he can only see Caesar. I just don't think it's reasonable at all for Vinnie to have stopped this attack.

Jon Pander
2009-04-03, 03:00 PM
Not sure what part of that comic you're interpreting that way. I don't see anything blatant, anyway. Could you be more specific?

Kriiestor, I think he's actually referring to THIS klog instead
http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0084.html

You know, the one where Parson is told by Sizemore that corpses that aren't uncroaked or moved just disappear at the end of the next turn.

Like trash.

Hatu
2009-04-03, 03:06 PM
*scratches head* every stimulus for pulling her sword you just listed was verbal, so clearly she DID just draw her sword because she didnt like what she was hearing.


But she heard a lot of things she didn't like both before and after webinar accused her of treachery. Yet she did not draw her sword when Webinar said those things. So simply hearing something she didn't like was not enough, in and of itself, to cause her to draw her sword.




My interpretation of the strip was different from yours in that i believe she would have stabbed Webinar in rage and it was only the word traitor and the reminder she'd be breaking the alliance that stopped her. Her face in panel 5 is not the face of someone in control and cleverly pulling a sword to intimidate someone.

Sorry, but i dont see how pulling a sword on an ally show's her loyalty at all. The act of resheathing it was, keeping the sword in its sheath in the first place would have proven her loyalty the best really.


Her face in panel 5 is (mostly) an act; if she were really that enraged she wouldn't have stopped her sword in time for Webinar to begin his little rant, much less finish it. She had already stopped her attack by the time Webinar tried to goad her into killing him.

That at least is how I read that strip. She's trying to demonstrate that she could easily have killed Webinar if she really were a traitor. It's not a very diplomatic thing to do, but I've never accused Jillian of being diplomatic. She's brash, uncouth and enjoys fighting, but she is not prone to random acts of violence just to demonstrate what a dangerous barbarian she is.




There is one other thing the hold is good for -- hiding a weapon from enemies in front of you. By drawing the weapon in this hold, it would come out between her arm and her body, hidden by her forearm. Others would be unaware of what she had just done. Your insistance that she draw it forward to defend herself also gives up surprise, and ensures that she will fail to kill anything but the bat swarm that will launch against her. If you doubt that you can hide a knife this way, go to the kitchen and try it. You can hold the knife with one thumb and your palm, fingers open as Jillian shows: Jillian isn't drawing the weapon, it's already in her hand, hidden behind her arm. Where is her thumb in frame 9 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0151.html)?


I'm not insisting she hold it up front for defense, merely pointing out that she didn't. But I very much doubt she's trying to conceal the dagger. Firstly, it is entirely out of character with her actions in panel 11: why draw a blade stealthily only to make a slow, screaming attack that is easily foiled?

Secondly, I don't think she was ever in a position to draw the blade covertly. If she had already drawn the weapon before panel 9, there's no reason for her right arm to be that position in that panel. So that's out. The most likely sheath I can see on her is on her right hip (I think the one you see on her left is supposed to be the light from the campfire), so I doubt she's reach for a weapon in panel 9; and even if she were, there is no way she could draw a weapon across her entire body in plain view of Caesar and his crew. The blocking is not definitive, but it seems from panels 6, 8 and 9 that she's too far to Vinny's left for him to obscure the draw from Caesar et al.

And even if she did draw the weapon before panel 10, her natural stance would be to turn her right shoulder away from the TVs: that way her entire body could help obscure the dagger. But she does the opposite. I just don't see how she could stand the way she does in panel 10 if she's planning to attack with a dagger in her right hand. It's a lousy stance for lunging, for defending, or for concealing a weapon from people standing in front and to the right of her.

I'm still of the opinion that Jillian suddenly drew the dagger in between panels 10 and 11. There's no sign of a dagger before then.

-H

DevilDan
2009-04-03, 03:52 PM
Ally? WHAT ally? The RCC is dissolved, and even before the RCC dissolved Ceaser never intended to even fight Stanley, TV was after the Faq sites and lied about it Jillian. And when she wants to go after Stanely (the whole purpose of the RCC) she is stopped from doing so and holding her against her will (and contract). This is called betrayal and that means TV is no ally to Jillian, they are the enemy.

For someone who didn't want to face Stanley, he sure brought a lot of troops and he stayed in Stanley's predicted path. Also, he made it quite clear at the outset that he didn't believe in the existence of Faq's cities. Stanley's appearance actually gave him some evidence to the contrary.

I do wonder what precisely happens to units whose upkeep cannot be paid. Even then, we don't know what happens to a Special unit.

Again, why is it hard to believe that Jillian would react violently when told that Stanley has apparently triumphed and that her love interest was croaked?

ishnar
2009-04-03, 03:58 PM
But didn't he just kill everyone on his side except the casters anyway? I may be wrong, but it seems that that volcano wiped out his few remaining troops just as thoroughly as everything else in the hex (something else he doesn't seem to mind).

Those troops would have died either way no matter what actions Parson took. Being able to make hard decisions without crying about them at the moment doesn't mean a commander doesn't care.

fendrin
2009-04-03, 04:02 PM
I'm still of the opinion that Jillian suddenly drew the dagger in between panels 10 and 11. There's no sign of a dagger before then.

-H

What then is she doing in panel 9, and why the combat stance in 10?

Norsesmithy
2009-04-03, 04:33 PM
Those troops would have died either way no matter what actions Parson took. Being able to make hard decisions without crying about them at the moment doesn't mean a commander doesn't care.

This is a good post.

joosy
2009-04-03, 05:00 PM
It's probably dawn you know.

Rules clearly state that you can't use magic when it's not your turn except when you are under attack.

I believe you can't use magic to attack/defend when its not your turn unless you are under attack. You CAN use magic anytime if it is not to attack/defend.

e.g.: Wanda uncroaking the flying units after setting off the air defenses.

I believe Rob envisioned Thinka-grams as a communication system like Hat Magic and as long as you are not attacking someone with it they can send messages anytime they want as long as the Thinkamancer has 'juice'.

Hatu
2009-04-03, 05:02 PM
What then is she doing in panel 9, and why the combat stance in 10?

I don't know what she's doing in panel 9, but the stance in panel 10 is not a combat stance: combat stances do not involve putting yourself between your weapon and your enemies. I just went through that. It's why I'm convinced she isn't going for a weapon in panel 9.

-H

Suicide Junkie
2009-04-03, 05:21 PM
Totally agree, however with one added point Charlie may not be able to do anything, in the instances where he teleported Archons he had specific contact within the hexes he was sending them to. Jillian/Webinar group and to the tower in GK with the connection of Parson's eyebook. Now that those links are broken I doubt he can just 're-enter' the hex without that hex being techincally occupied by the linked item so Charlie may just end turn or seek out Parson's destruction from where ever Parson's eyebook leads him to.I'm not sure Parson took the eyebook with him
... His left hand was empty on the second last panel (between his bracer and the glow it is hard to see his right, but his right hand is empty in the last panel.

Given the contact with Charlie, bringing the book and providing evidence that he survived would be a liability worse than losing his old notes.

One Skunk Todd
2009-04-03, 05:23 PM
Good grief, sir, you may be right. I'm surprised I didn't twig to that as well.

Now we know what happened in Buffy season 9.

And now that I think about it, dark hair, red shirt = Faith?
And the thinkamancer bunny reference = Anya? (Bunnies! Bunnies! It must be BUNNIES!) :)
And the biggest D'OH! of all, Caeser, blond hair, long leather coat = Spike?

SteveMB
2009-04-03, 05:47 PM
Tey might, except that Parson was summoned by spell. He has already been told that if he disobeys orders, he will be destroyed utterly (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0019.html). Wanda can disobey (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0005.html) without being destroyed. Any example that uses effects Parson suffers from is inherently suspect.

Note that Wanda tells Parson he will be destroyed, not disbanded. Disbanded is, then, not a euphemism for disbanded. Wanda is not aware of the differences between Parson's language and her own, so if disbanded meant destroyed, she would have used it.

I dunno. The phrasing "the spell will enter your existence entirely" could simply be Wanda 1)using a somewhat more elaborate turn of phase than most other characters (see any pre-speech-impediment conversation involving her) and 2)impressing upon the newly summoned (and thus possibly unfamiliar with some things, though nobody yet apprciated just how much so) Parson the seriousness of his situation.

Kreistor
2009-04-03, 05:49 PM
I'm not insisting she hold it up front for defense, merely pointing out that she didn't. But I very much doubt she's trying to conceal the dagger. Firstly, it is entirely out of character with her actions in panel 11: why draw a blade stealthily only to make a slow, screaming attack that is easily foiled?

But she does conceal it. That's obvious. We can't see it at all until it's attacking, and it is definitely in a back-blade grip. There are only two options. She had it drawn before frame 9, or between 10 and 11. Either way, she was clearly trying to get closer to Caesar. To draw it from a hand down and right position in 9 in a back-blade grip, she must have the weapon in a sheath on her back. Either way, it was concealed from Caesar until 11.


Secondly, I don't think she was ever in a position to draw the blade covertly. If she had already drawn the weapon before panel 9, there's no reason for her right arm to be that position in that panel. So that's out.

Seriosuly, take a seat. Put a knife on your right hip (hold it with your left, unless you have a belt sheath like I do). The seat will naturally cause the sheath to tilt horizontally, if the blade is of any length. Now, put your hand on the hilt. If you draw it forward, your hand runs along your leg, and if it's too long, it needs to rise to draw all the way. That rise reveals the blade. Now, draw it across in front of you. The sheath sticks out, but the blade remains hidden even if it's long. Really, I'm serious. Sit down and try it. Just a kitchen knife, if you have to. (Though nothing sharp. You can use a wooden spoon and not cut yourself, and still get the length.) It's really easy, and it can be made to look like you're scratching your stomach, because the thumb is all you need.


The most likely sheath I can see on her is on her right hip (I think the one you see on her left is supposed to be the light from the campfire), so I doubt she's reach for a weapon in panel 9; and even if she were, there is no way she could draw a weapon across her entire body in plain view of Caesar and his crew.

A sword, no. But this is a long knife, at best. And, yes, I meant the sheath appears on the left as you look at her, Jillian's right hip. It's long, brown (same colour as the hilt), and has a gold-bronze ring at the top (same as the top of the hilt).


The blocking is not definitive, but it seems from panels 6, 8 and 9 that she's too far to Vinny's left for him to obscure the draw from Caesar et al.

Drawing a knife surreptitiously is easy, so long as no one expects it. I think Caesar expected it, based on Jillian's anger that she was not being allowed to go after Stanley. Caesar knows he's making her do something against her will, she's a barbarian used to freedom, and violent when provoked. Note he's not really angry when she does it. His response is, "Zat wise?" He doesn't respond to her anger with anger, which should help calm her, unless she is suicidal, in which case he will probably just tell her to go after Stanley. It'll be harder to find Faq, but he knows it exists, knows where the pass is, and has dozens of bats to search with. Frankly, why they are insisting on her assistance is beyond me. They've got every unit they need to do it in one turn without her. The only reason to include her is to punish her if Faq doesn't exist. But if it doesn't, she was still right about Stanley. Hold it... I think I'm having an insight. I think I'll resurrect an old discussion and continue this train of thought.


And even if she did draw the weapon before panel 10, her natural stance would be to turn her right shoulder away from the TVs: that way her entire body could help obscure the dagger.

Completely unecessary. That blade is small, thin, no guard, and very easily concealable. Behind the forearm is more than enough. Any unnatural body position telegraphs her intent.


But she does the opposite. I just don't see how she could stand the way she does in panel 10 if she's planning to attack with a dagger in her right hand. It's a lousy stance for lunging, for defending, or for concealing a weapon from people standing in front and to the right of her.

You didn't even try it, did you? Seriously, just grab a kitchen utensil and hold it along the forearm. I found the best, most natural looking (with hand down) was with the pinky finger doing most of the holding, and the third curled a little to provide a ridge in the palm for the knife to rest on. Blade flat against the skin. My other hand naturally looked extremely similar... just the pinky slightly different. All the strain is in the tendons on the inside of the wrist, the part to the rear. The blade is only an inch wide, and my arm 3-4 inches across, so there's lots of angle to all sides, but I can favour the inner part since those on the left need to look through my body to see it. Vinnie, if he was turned around, might see it, but he is looking at Caesar incredulously, and does not turn around in any panel.


I'm still of the opinion that Jillian suddenly drew the dagger in between panels 10 and 11. There's no sign of a dagger before then.

That is not an invalidation of the argument. A surreptitiously drawn weapon should not be seen in 9 and 10 from Caesar's perspective, or from the far left, and those are the two perspectives we get. That it can't be seen when it's not supposed to be seen is not evidence that it wasn't done. Had Rob shown her from the back, we'd have seen it, and there would have been no surprise for the reader. That's why were weren't allowed to know abot the knife... Rob loves his surprises, and over and over again, he gains that surprise by not giving us clues that something might happen. He hides rules, doesn't provide explanations even when he doesn't intend confusion, and the characters do things without any hint ahead that they could.

But I look at her left hip in 9, and I don't see a second gold ring on that sheath. I see a single gold ring at the top. The knife in 10 shows a gold ring at the blade and another at the bottom of the hilt. Two gold rings, not one. I simply can't agree with you. I need that second ring on the sheath. Without it, the knife must already be drawn.

fendrin
2009-04-03, 05:51 PM
I don't know what she's doing in panel 9, but the stance in panel 10 is not a combat stance: combat stances do not involve putting yourself between your weapon and your enemies. I just went through that. It's why I'm convinced she isn't going for a weapon in panel 9.

-H

It is a classic bow stance, here are a bunch of images of it (http://images.google.com/images?hl=en&ie=UTF-8&q=bow%20stance&sa=N&tab=wi&um=1), though some are not correct, most are.

As for weapon behind, it is again not for combat, but for concealment. That being said, there are techniques involving having one's weapon behind one's back. IIRC Greek soldiers, should they lose their spear, would stand with their shield front and sword arm back, with the sword held high or lowered over the shoulder... I'll try to find a picture, but the one I'm thinking of is from a book a friend lent me many years ago.

Jon Pander
2009-04-03, 05:59 PM
RIDY, phah. I'm a proud member of the Scarlet Is Not Dead Yet (SINDY) club.

I'm a proud member of the You Oughtta Understand Red's Exterminated - She's Toast! Un-alive! Pyrolysized! Immoliated! Dead!!!!!!


No offense :)

BillyJimBoBob
2009-04-03, 06:01 PM
As for Jillian, yeah, she got screwed, hard. There's no way Transylvito will let her keep the Faq cities, them being so close to TV territory, and with Faq, apparently, having powerful airbourne units in gwiffons while TV is limited to bats as flying units. Since Faq is basically landlocked by TV, the only place they could expand would be into vamp territory.Jillian doesn't seem to give a damn about the former FAQ cities. Ansom sketched out a scenario where she takes FAQ back and starts up another side, and she said something like "you just don't understand me at all." And she told Vinny straight up that she didn't care about the cities. You can't screw someone out of something they do not value.

And the Winner of the Second Annual Playah Hater of the Year Award?

TamLin!

*rant snipped*TamLin is the troll? He presented a reasoned point of view, which you just happen to disagree with. In response, you flame him. Who is the troll?

And what's with the "stop reading" BS? What gives you the right to dictate to another what they may or may not do? He criticized Erfworld, so what? I read Atlas Shrugged and disagreed with every philosophical and political and economic point the author was trying to make, and thought it was rather poor story writing and horrible characterization to boot. And I still finished the book! I'm a huge fan of Larry Niven, but I haven't liked the last 5 or so books he's put out. But I'll probably buy and read the next one hoping to see some of his earlier genius re-emerges. Lots of people read lots of things they don't like for lots of reasons. Ranting on because someone isn't as rabid a fan as you are of some piece of work is not the correct response.

Caesar's information is correct but not complete and he's aware of it.I said "all reports", which does not imply that every side has reported in.

The language used at various points in the comic has always struck me as being very precise -- to the point of specifically implying unstated details by omission.I'm not sure we're reading the same strip. Don't you recall Parson saying, in the presence of several casters some thing like "We can't cast spells if it's not our turn", not being corrected by any of those casters, and then the huge confusion over many spells being cast on the enemies turn? And this is by far not the only example.

Angband
2009-04-03, 06:25 PM
Rules clearly state that you can't use magic when it's not your turn except when you are under attack.

Ephedra. (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0116.html)

Jon Pander
2009-04-03, 06:36 PM
How could Scarlet survive? From Caesar's remarks, it's virtually certain that everything in the volcano's hex and perhaps all six of the hexes surrounding it have been totally destroyed. So to survive, Scarlet has to move from being right on top of the volcano to at least two hexes away from the volcano in a very short amount of time.
Units ca-cannot m-move at ni-night.

It's dark outside.

"But Ansom's flying carpet will. It's still unaccounted for, and as far as I know, it's the only thing that could get her or anyone else out of there."

Because carpets are far more fireproof than people..

Wait.. no, no that's not right.

Kreistor
2009-04-03, 06:41 PM
I found the knife! (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0077.html) Image 5. Drawn afast, from 4 to 5, in the time it took for Stanley to grab Manpower and pull him back a short ways. Sheaths it fast, too.

Jon Pander
2009-04-03, 06:47 PM
You make it sound like I'm looking for objections. If I weren't enjoying Erfworld, I'd stop reading it.

You could just be a glutton for punishment, yknow.


Jillian is not someone who attacks people at the drop of a hat, but that seems to happen here. I think the end of this strip could be improved.
She's just a girl who likes to pluck out eyeballs with shrimp forks.

A nice girl who you'd like to take home to meet mother.... if you want her to kill mother, at least.


Jillian is not some rampaging Klingon extra, she's a very focused person.
She's focused arright. Focused on killing people.


She doesn't waste violence on people who merely annoy her.
"I love a problem which I can fix with killing."
Those are the words she used, right?


Probably in a threatening manner, but she would still have expressed her skepticism in no uncertain terms.
Drawing a knife on the messenger seems pretty threatening to me.


But if she does believe him, then there's no reason to attack him; however much she might hate Caesar, he's irrelevant to her problem right now.
Heck, she probably wanted to kill him back when he called her 'Chickie.' But she didn't because she was saving her mojo for killing Stanley. Moot point now.

Jon Pander
2009-04-03, 06:50 PM
Ansom's carpet was probably burnt to a crisp (we know artefacts can be destroyed; Wana's staff was broken through impact).

But I agree that Scarlet is likely still alive. I can't see why the writers would have shown her these past few strips otherwise.

In order to show that she hadn't escaped from the hex with the pliers.


But there is one last point no one else has considered yet...it's a shot in the dark, but did Scarlet just attune to the pliers?

Lots of people have both considered it, posted about it, and argued for and against the idea.

Estelindis
2009-04-03, 07:09 PM
First, Parson was granted ruthlessness through the magic of Erfworld. Second, we don't know what was going on inside Parson's head when he ordered uncroaking the volcano. Third, loss of life on a huge scale is not exactly unusual in war, but I suppose that according to your criteria, Eisenhower was a "villain-protagonist". [shrug] Finally, as has been discussed, in Parson's situation there wasn't much of a choice, no happy ending that would have preserved GK's forces.
First, Parson was granted ruthlessness - but was it up to him whether to use it or not? This may be a non sequitur, as a truly ruthless person would not refrain from "using" ruthlessness, but they would not need to be granted it in the first place, as they would already have it. For someone who was not ruthless to begin with? Well, such overwriting of personality, if indeed it occurred, would surely deepen the questions that this comic provokes about individual free will.

Second: yes, we don't know what was going on inside his head at that point, though of course we can guess. However, I fail to see the point at which I claimed otherwise.

Thirdly, the precise question of whether or not war in Erfworld is analogous to war in real life is what is up for debate here, so your analogy must be suspended pending resolution of that question. However, even if there was no need to suspend it on this account, your particular choice of a military leader with which to compare Parson is by no means unproblematic. Your suppositions about my criteria are unnecessary.


Violence is a natural form of expression for Jillian. It was not an unexpected reaction.
No - the swiftness and particular focus of that violence were unexpected by me.

fendrin
2009-04-03, 07:50 PM
First, Parson was granted ruthlessness - but was it up to him whether to use it or not? This may be a non sequitur, as a truly ruthless person would not refrain from "using" ruthlessness, but they would not need to be granted it in the first place, as they would already have it. For someone who was not ruthless to begin with? Well, such overwriting of personality, if indeed it occurred, would surely deepen the questions that this comic provokes about individual free will.

Second: yes, we don't know what was going on inside his head at that point, though of course we can guess. However, I fail to see the point at which I claimed otherwise.
Related to these two is the notion that the 'ruthlessness' granted by the sword is nothing more than a placebo effect.


No - the swiftness and particular focus of that violence were unexpected by me.
But really, who else could she have focused her violence on?

Estelindis
2009-04-03, 08:19 PM
Related to these two is the notion that the 'ruthlessness' granted by the sword is nothing more than a placebo effect.
Good point. That hadn't occurred to me, but now that you mention it I quite like the idea.


But really, who else could she have focused her violence on?
Another good point... Jillian doesn't really seem to be one for taking out her rage on inanimate objects or just screaming to the sky.

Kreistor
2009-04-03, 08:26 PM
But those very air defenses were also set off when it wasn't Parson's turn, so obviously you can use magic to attack/defend (or at least defend in this case). People are just generalizing from a specific case of not being able to cast a veil on a hex which no caster was in when it wasn't their turn. If one was to generalize from that, it is that casters can't cast spell on other hexes when it isn't their turn. This is consistent with the reaction of Jillian in the last comic that a multiple hex dirtamancer trap should be impossible.

From the Blooper thread (stickied)...


For the record, the rule is actually pretty simple and I am amazed it's been such a sticking point for people.

* You can move only on your turn, and you can cast only on your turn.
* When an enemy comes to you on their turn, you can engage, and you can cast. This includes when they are attacking your city.


There's no generalizing anymore. the author has spoken, so we know what Parson was saying, and why we were confused. You can't cast on someone else's turn, except to defend yourself. No one noticed the correlation of casting on someone else's turn.

Arssanguinus
2009-04-03, 08:26 PM
I don't want to debate Star Wars, so:
How many of Stanley's gobwins have died to Ansom's column when the TEN previous cities were lost? (And you know that capture is reserved for valuable casters. Every other unit is croaked.)

Parson had to obliterate the enemy for his side to survive. That's what he did, and at great cost. Now Star Wars is a fully manichean universe with bad guys who are bad guys and good guys who are good guys, there's no room left for moral ambiguity. (Even though it is sometimes debatable, such as the case that killing stormtroopers is okay because they're clones, not humans...)



Right! And what was Parson's situation again? He was, through no fault of his own, made the warlord of a besieged nation about to be annihilated, and magically unable to defect or desert. So what was the non-hooey thing for him to do? Win. Win as a requirement for survival.


On your side as far as Parson. . . .

With Stormtroopers: You don't need to invent it being OK because they are clones. They are enemy soldiers who are trying to kill you. One would think that is generally enough. . .

Architect
2009-04-03, 08:39 PM
First, Parson was granted ruthlessness - but was it up to him whether to use it or not? This may be a non sequitur, as a truly ruthless person would not refrain from "using" ruthlessness, but they would not need to be granted it in the first place, as they would already have it. For someone who was not ruthless to begin with? Well, such overwriting of personality, if indeed it occurred, would surely deepen the questions that this comic provokes about individual free will.
The items that he received are probable artifact-level. Certainly the bracers are. When such an item is personality-affecting, it is unlikely to be voluntary. As for questions regarding free-will, players might B&M regarding the personality effects of magic items, but it's never been considered thought-provoking.


Second: yes, we don't know what was going on inside his head at that point, though of course we can guess. However, I fail to see the point at which I claimed otherwise.
Hence my focusing on the usage of "seemed". Your inference was based upon facts not in evidence. That's why I refer to Parson's Klog 13.


Thirdly, the precise question of whether or not war in Erfworld is analogous to war in real life is what is up for debate here, so your analogy must be suspended pending resolution of that question. However, even if there was no need to suspend it on this account, your particular choice of a military leader with which to compare Parson is by no means unproblematic. Your suppositions about my criteria are unnecessary.
The point is that when it comes to the sacrificing of your men in order to kill the enemy (e.g. times when military commanders bombed or bombarded their own forces' positions when they were being overrun), Parson would by no means be exceptional.


No - the swiftness and particular focus of that violence were unexpected by me.
Her temper is pretty explosive, considering the situation with Webinar.

reignofevil
2009-04-03, 08:40 PM
/nerdon
Actually, by the fourth film, most of the storm troopers were NOT clones, as it was simply less expensive to recruit from the already HUGE population.
/nerdoff

Eirik the Red
2009-04-03, 08:44 PM
Units ca-cannot m-move at ni-night.

It's dark outside.


Because carpets are far more fireproof than people..

Wait.. no, no that's not right.


Is it really nighttime already in #150? The giant black ash clouds in panel 4 are obscuring any certain signs, whether sunlight or stars. Perhaps the carpet did burn, but I find the carpet to be an infinitely more plausible means of Scarlet's survival than the pliers. Otherwise, one would have to assert that attunement to the pliers offers resistance to WMD. :smalltongue: (The volcano may count as uncroaked, whatever that might mean for a volcano, but I think its ash, rocks, and lava would count as ordinary projectile weapons or fire or similar.)

Scarlet may very well be burnt to a cinder. But if she is indeed dead, then I think we will get some interesting "fog of war" results out of this. Namely, that there will be no eyewitness survivors to the carnage, other than Charlie (who isn't likely to talk) and Parson & company (who will likely be in hiding, if possible).

No one to tell how Ansom was croaked in a fake truce and that the Archons failed to warn anyone about the Twoll, or any of the details of the battle. All the coalition members will be completely in the dark, knowing nothing other than that the volcano went off. Plot-wise, it would make for some interesting conflicts if the details of the battle became know to at least one of the coalition sides (besides Charlie).

Regardless, I think it's quite likely that everyone (or nearly everyone) will believe Parson is dead, that absolutely no one at GK survived, period. Parson's smart enough to know to encourage that belief, if possible. Indeed, how many people of the coalition are left alive who actually know that Parson even existed? Charlie, Vinny and Jillian, of course. But does anyone else know?

***

On a different note, My brother's opinion is that in book 2, Parson will probably become an Overlord of his own side / city. I quite like the idea that Parson will be working for himself.

In that regard, I think both him and Stanley have full, independent barbarian status at this point, and the debate over who now controls GK is moot, as it's been utterly obliterated. The side now completely ceases to exist. Stanely won't have control over anything more than the units in his own hex. Parson, having a choice now, certainly won't willingly choose to work for Stanley anymore. Parson won't be alone, as I think it is certain that at least one of the casters with him, if not all three, will readily choose to work with him.

Architect
2009-04-03, 08:52 PM
Related to these two is the notion that the 'ruthlessness' granted by the sword is nothing more than a placebo effect.
Anything is possible, but it's unlikely that a red glowing effect on Parson, including his eyes, would be considered to be indication of a placebo as he would probably not see it.

SteveMB
2009-04-03, 09:14 PM
Frankly, why they are insisting on her assistance is beyond me. They've got every unit they need to do it in one turn without her. The only reason to include her is to punish her if Faq doesn't exist. But if it doesn't, she was still right about Stanley.

Some people speculated that they intended to croak her when they no longer need her as a guide. However, she is a fairly powerful warlord -- IMO an employment offer too good to refuse would be more likely.