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TazTheTerrible
2009-04-23, 08:17 AM
Discuss!

Stanley may or may not have been involved in a later rescuing. It could be Wanda and Jack are just tagging along because they fall in with his ideology of getting rid of the royals.

My guess is that Faq's destruction is what made Wanda so damn pissed at the world, and of course Ansom.

I do wonder though, what exactly have we seen on screen of how bad these bad guys really are? I mean, I'm not saying they're angels, but I think the likes of Stanley and Wanda could be a lot more human then we give them credit for, just as some of these royals might not be so damn saintly as they like to claim.

DevilDan
2009-04-23, 10:39 AM
It's been mentioned, but it doesn't seem particularly likely. Ansom must have been a particularly good actor when Jillian was telling him about Faq.

Kreistor
2009-04-23, 12:04 PM
It's not likely anymore. The thought ran that Wanda had the Pliers stolen by Ansom, but now we knwo that a Predictamancer told her she would get the Pliers and attune. This could only happen if she bumped into Ansom, so she needed to get out of the Bubble Kingdom. This suggests a motive for her to betray Faq to Stanley, and possibly the Predictamancer's interfered with Jack as well, making him willing to go along.

This removes the necessity for Ansom to have been in Faq, nor ever hear of it.

LurkerInPlayground
2009-04-23, 12:16 PM
Jillian heard panicked reports of an overhead flight of dwagons. Hence, Stanley destroyed Faq.

See? it's cute how posters selectively disregard the established facts of a story to support a chosen bit of pet speculation.

Oh, but of course, that doesn't support your assumptions. So the communique is faked. So that would require that Jetstone be knowledgeable about the existence of a distant nation that Transylvito couldn't detect.

It would also require that whoever in Jetstone was responsible for Faq's downfall to have had access to some rather extraordinary resources and had to keep the mobilization of those resources secret from pretty much everybody ever.

There is also absolutely no profit to be had in destroying some distant hermit kingdom, whose territory you cannot even absorb.

What you have there is the equivalent of a conspiracy theory.

Also, Belkar is lawful good.

zz_tophat
2009-04-23, 12:25 PM
Jillian heard panicked reports of an overhead flight of dwagons. Hence, Stanley destroyed Faq.

See, it's cute how posters selectively disregard the established facts of a story to support a chosen bit of pet speculation.

Because, you see, Belkar is lawful good.

It has not been said Stanley is the only one with dwagons, that the dwagons over faq were real and it has also not be explicitly stated the Stanley did do it.

Certainly looks like he did but it's still not proven one way or the other.

LurkerInPlayground
2009-04-23, 12:29 PM
It has not been said Stanley is the only one with dwagons, that the dwagons over faq were real and it has also not be explicitly stated the Stanley did do it.

Certainly looks like he did but it's still not proven one way or the other.

Ahh, "agnosticism."

The problem is that it's also the only option that makes any sense. Since it's heavily implied that "dwagons" don't act as a military force without some powerful external influence (i.e. the Arkenhammer).

Any other explanation virtually has zero evidence in support of it and any other alternate "theory" requires pretty much exactly the same convoluted reasoning demonstrated above. Which requires extraordinary evidence.

Also, one of the rules of good writing is that if dwagons can be assembled as a force by other methods, or that wild dwagons are capable of acting in concert (dwagons being famously social animals), you have to foreshadow it. That's a pretty major fact to go unnoticed for all this time.

It's pretty much the same as the "Belkar is Lawful Good" thing. You could hem around every act of malice and every act of self-professed thematic Chaos that he's all about by sufficient speculation of this or that ability, power, obscure fact, etc.

This may as well be an act of fan-fic.

zz_tophat
2009-04-23, 12:48 PM
Ahh, "agnosticism."

The problem is that it's also the only option that makes any sense. Since it's heavily implied that "dwagons" don't act as a military force without some powerful external influence (i.e. the Arkenhammer).

Any other explanation virtually has zero evidence in support of it and any other alternate "theory" requires pretty much exactly the same convoluted reasoning demonstrated above. Which requires extraordinary evidence.

Also, one of the rules of good writing is that if dwagons can be assembled as a force by other methods, or that wild dwagons are capable of acting in concert (dwagons being famously social animals), you have to foreshadow it.

It's pretty much the same as the "Belkar is Lawful Good" thing. You could hem around every act of malice and every act of self-professed thematic Chaos that he's all about by sufficient speculation of this or that ability, power, obscure fact, etc.

This may as well be an act of fan-fic.

All I evidenced was the fact that nothing has been explicit in regards to the fall of Faq other than "overflight of dwagons" and the casters the GK. You can try to make a case against alternate theories all you want but the fact remains that so far nothing remains beyond a reasonable doubt.

Based on what I've seen so far my thinking is that it is most likely the Faq fell to Stanley. What I would like is to hear that it was somehow destroyed by someone else, (Charlie, Jetstone some other faction) giving the events surrounding it's destruction some sinister "yet another evil" feel to the story.

As for generalizing the story rules for Dwagons, you can't because they are for one: imaginary and two: not dragons per se but dragon parodies that may have their own distinct (comedic) differences.

LurkerInPlayground
2009-04-23, 01:00 PM
All I evidenced was the fact that nothing has been explicit in regards to the fall of Faq other than "overflight of dwagons" and the casters the GK. You can try to make a case against alternate theories all you want but the fact remains that so far nothing remains beyond a reasonable doubt.

Based on what I've seen so far my thinking is that it is most likely the Faq fell to Stanley. What I would like is to hear that it was somehow destroyed by someone else, (Charlie, Jetstone some other faction) giving the events surrounding it's destruction some sinister "yet another evil" feel to the story.
And my case is exactly that there is a reasonable doubt, in spite of what you just said. It's all the other exceptions that are presented that are eminently unreasonable. Skirting around epistemological concepts doesn't really change this.

The issue isn't just that there is a lack of evidence, but that there is also an abundance of evidence that logically excludes most other possibilities, excepting some extreme extenuating circumstances. And since I'm pretty sure you're not claiming that you could present evidence for these radical exceptions, then there's not much to be said.


As for generalizing the story rules for Dwagons, you can't because they are for one: imaginary and two: not dragons per se but dragon parodies that may have their own distinct (comedic) differences.
If you're going to say that you can't make rules for characters in a story, then there's no point holding a discussion.

Pointyleaf
2009-04-23, 03:15 PM
Fair enough, Lurker, but it has been shown that the Erfworld authors like to throw plot curveballs, and we have almost zero data about how Faq fell other than "there was an overflight of dwagons". You can say that Stanley is the only logical choice, except that there is evidence against it: Jack/Wanda's ongoing loyalty to Stanley (even against Jillian, one of their compatriots!), Stanley not having kept the cities of Faq, and the backhistory with Wanda and Ansom (Wanda, who was at Faq, and Ansom, who took something from her).

Uh, I'm going to have to also go with agnosticism.

SteveMB
2009-04-23, 04:50 PM
Uh, I'm going to have to also go with agnosticism.

That's probably a good position -- the story gives us evidence that it was Stanley, but upon close examination one realizes that the evidence is not really conclusive.

Foryn Gilnith
2009-04-23, 07:26 PM
Also, one of the rules of good writing is that if dwagons can be assembled as a force by other methods, or that wild dwagons are capable of acting in concert (dwagons being famously social animals), you have to foreshadow it. That's a pretty major fact to go unnoticed for all this time.

I don't know, but for some reason I simply assumed that there were natural dwagonflights. Maybe I had spent too much time in WoW, but the possibility of a wild dwagonflight was something I had immediately assumed. This could be a mass dragon migration, perhaps caused by Charlie or somesuch. Perhaps the creators thought the same way.

Aquillion
2009-04-23, 08:19 PM
This most recent page seems to lend at least some credulity to the theory that Wanda, of all people, had something to do with it.

Wizzardman
2009-04-23, 09:41 PM
See? it's cute how posters selectively disregard the established facts of a story to support a chosen bit of pet speculation.

And its cute how trolls go out of their way to make generalizations that will annoy people. :D

Oh, but of course, that doesn't support your assumptions that you are not a troll (or at least, that no one can tell that you're a troll).

Merely seeing an overhead flight of dragons doesn't indicate that the dragons were the ones responsible for attacking the place. After all, correlation (flight of dragons linked with destruction of Faq) does not equal causation (flight of dragons causes destruction of Faq)--especially not in a series of comics where the authors apparently enjoy throwing plot twists at the readers.

As such, there are other possible interpretations, and no guaranteed "this is the only logical answer" option. It could be that Stanley was moving to assist Faq. It could be that Stanley was merely passing through. It could be that those dragons were actually just weather balloons inflated with swamp gas.

While not all of the aforementioned options are good ones, with the balance of the current evidence (Wanda and the Foolamancer's well-established loyalty balancing out Stanley's apparent tendency to attack other cities), the first one is at least as likely as the theory that Stanley attacked Faq.

And while the "rulebook of good writing" that you seem to be consulting suggests that it is necessary to foreshadow rogue movements of dragons, I propose that the presence of dragons at Faq could in fact be considered foreshadowing for the fact that there are "rogue movements of dragons" (such as, say, someone else with control over dragons, who may become a problem as time goes on).

Additionally, you appear to be defining "reasonable doubt" as those things that disagree with you. Perhaps, if you are not trolling, you could give us your working definition of reasonable doubt, so that we can compare possibilities without bias.

...Also, Belkar is Lijah Cuu.

Good day, sir!

Imgran
2009-04-23, 09:50 PM
Jillian wouldn't have had to tell Ansom where Faq was in that case.

Stanley destroyed Faq on the orders of King Saline IV, who was collecting experienced and talented casters. He was appointed heir for his successful campaign and for bringing the foolamancer and croakamancer (as well as possibly a Thinkamancer and Lookamancer) back alive and willing to serve -- a feat that dramatically increased Gobwin Knob's power and would have impressed the old king.

After the fact, Wanda helped Stanley turn on Saline and overthrow him, creating a leadership of her choice.

Wizzardman
2009-04-23, 10:13 PM
Jillian wouldn't have had to tell Ansom where Faq was in that case.


Except that Ansom isn't Jetstone's only general--at least, that's the impression I've gotten from previous strips. Its certainly possible that Ansom didn't personally participate in the war against Faq, but knew that such a battle had occurred, and that Stanley supported Faq against them. Even so, however, I have little evidence to support this statement.

However, its worth noting that I would not necessarily expect quite the strong loyalty to Stanley that Wanda and the Foolamancer have demonstrated if Stanley had merely shown up to conveniently replace Faq's leadership. As a matter of fact, I would suspect that Wanda's loyalty would be weaker because of that--after all, if she was willing to betray the leadership of Faq (and her friendship with a certain princess) in exchange for personal power, what makes her so much more inclined to save Stanley's butt at the risk of her own continued existence.

Imgran
2009-04-23, 10:29 PM
Except that Ansom isn't Jetstone's only general--at least, that's the impression I've gotten from previous strips. Its certainly possible that Ansom didn't personally participate in the war against Faq, but knew that such a battle had occurred, and that Stanley supported Faq against them. Even so, however, I have little evidence to support this statement.

However, its worth noting that I would not necessarily expect quite the strong loyalty to Stanley that Wanda and the Foolamancer have demonstrated if Stanley had merely shown up to conveniently replace Faq's leadership. As a matter of fact, I would suspect that Wanda's loyalty would be weaker because of that--after all, if she was willing to betray the leadership of Faq (and her friendship with a certain princess) in exchange for personal power, what makes her so much more inclined to save Stanley's butt at the risk of her own continued existence.

This explanation falls afoul of Occam's Razor. The simplest solution is really the right one, and the simplest solution is that Stalney wrecked Faq.

There's no particular evidence that Jetstone knew that Faq existed before Jillian told Ansom. Transylvito, which was way closer, had no idea Faq was there.

Is it possible? Sure, But only through contrived possibilities that you'd have to go out of your way to believe.

(of course that doesn't mean one of them might not turn out later to be true as the result of a plot twist, but that's hard to see from here)

multilis
2009-04-23, 10:43 PM
What does Wanda feel Ansom took from her?

How did Ansom get the pliers?

Why does Stanley dislike Charlie?

What will be found at Faq? (The name in our world suggests a whole bunch of answers)

We have no idea what happened and who used to be allies. For all we know Stanley was an ally of Jetsome under Saline IV.

Wizzardman
2009-04-23, 10:44 PM
This explanation falls afoul of Occam's Razor. The simplest solution is really the right one, and the simplest solution is that Stalney wrecked Faq.

There's no particular evidence that Jetstone knew that Faq existed before Jillian told Ansom. Transylvito, which was way closer, had no idea Faq was there.

Is it possible? Sure, But only through contrived possibilities that you'd have to go out of your way to believe.

(of course that doesn't mean one of them might not turn out later to be true as the result of a plot twist, but that's hard to see from here)

Occam's Razor says that the simplest solution is usually the right one, not always the right one. There still isn't any guarantee either way; moreover, in fiction, the simplest solution is frequently not the right one.

But you are correct; as of yet, there is no particular indication that Ansom knew Faq existed. However, you have yet to prove that Stanley destroyed Faq; the simplest solution doesn't explain why Wanda and the Foolamancer are so loyal to Stanley, and "Wanda is playing politics and yet is ridiculously loyal to Stanley despite herself" is not in itself a simple solution.

multilis
2009-04-23, 10:51 PM
why Wanda and the Foolamancer are so loyal to Stanley, and "Wanda is playing politics and yet is ridiculously loyal to Stanley despite herself" is not in itself a simple solution.
If the mancers betrayed Faq then they would be happier with the one who defeated Faq.

It is not clear yet whether Wanda is loyal to Stanley or if *needed* Stanley as part of prophesy for pliers. On that front we likely will know soon one way or another if/when they meet up again. Will Stanley expect Wanda to hand over the pliers? Will Wanda backstab Stanley?

Imgran
2009-04-23, 10:56 PM
However, you have yet to prove that Stanley destroyed Faq;

True, lots of warlords command large overflights of dragons near cities that are somehow destroyed the next turn.


the simplest solution doesn't explain why Wanda and the Foolamancer are so loyal to Stanley,

There's evidence that Maggie has plied her trade on Jack Snipe. I suspect a loyalty spell.

Wanda seems to be following Stanley for reasons of her own.

My theory is that Stanley was not yet an Overlord at the time he destroyed Faq. Jillian spent a lot of time as a mercenary before she joined the Radish Coalition. More than enough time for King Saline IV to have been king when Stanley destroyed Faq at his orders.

Remember, Saline had access to some very good Lookamancy and might have had Misty use her magic to "follow" a mysterious mercenary unit from an unknown side back to Faq. Snipe can fool mortal eyes but it's not a given that he could fool a master Lookamancer. After that it's just a question of summoning up your trusted Chief Warlord and going after them.

Heck, it might even have been Stanley that took the initiative, followed the unit home, destroyed the towns, and captured 2 master-level casters to bring home to the King and enter into his service. THat's something that would certainly impress a king into making serious promotions.

Wizzardman
2009-04-23, 11:06 PM
True, lots of warlords command large overflights of dragons near cities that are somehow destroyed the next turn.
And we've already had this discussion. Correlation does not equal causation, and "reasons of her own" does not adequately express a "simple solution" as to why Wanda would follow Stanley. And it seems like far too obvious of a detail for the writer's of Erfworld to have just thrown out there as the only solution; it seems much more like the beginning of a plot twist than any actual answer as to what happened at Faq.

Moreover, the only evidence we have that Maggie ever plied her trade on Jack Snipe is the mindlink. Otherwise, there's no indication that Maggie ever bothered with him, or that she put a loyalty spell over him, or anything similar. And again, "Wanda is weird + Maggie uses loyalty spell to make up for Stanley's assault" is still a more complicated solution than "Wanda and Jack are loyal to Stanley because he didn't attack Faq." Especially since that, if Wanda was so willing to betray her previous Overlord, there's no reason for her to be so loyal to this fairly incompetent new one she's got.

And I'm not sure how Stanley not being Overlord at the time affects their loyalty in any way. If you are correct, then he still destroyed Faq, and that would still make their loyalty to him very low indeed.


If the mancers betrayed Faq then they would be happier with the one who defeated Faq.
Happier, maybe. More willing to betray the next overlord in line? Hecks yes. This is why no one trusts a spy.

And more willing to betray = less loyalty.

the_tick_rules
2009-04-23, 11:28 PM
Hard to say. Given Wanda's loylaty to stanley and hatred of ansom and Jillian's total reverse i get whatever the answer will be is very, very complicated.

BossMuro
2009-04-23, 11:37 PM
My going theory is that Saline had Stanley burn FAQ. The casters don't blame him because he was simply following orders, and because he was responsible for Saline's death later on.

This fits with:

1.) The overflight of Dragons and the presence of the FAQ casters.
2.) Ansom's appearent lack of knowledge about the whole affair.
3.) Jack's and Wanda's loyalty.
4.) How the city was found, possibly. A lookamancer could accomplish what scouts normally couldn't.

DarkCloud
2009-04-23, 11:52 PM
It was mentioned here that Stanley probably overthrew FAQ with Wanda's help from the inside- that would probably explain a lot about her loyalty.

The only question about the whole situation is why Jack would also be likewise loyal to Stanley?

Wanda makes sense- it is possible that her tribe, the lost Croatan tribe was destroyed by FAQ and then the Predictamancer made the prediction to her, so she sought to undermine FAQ's leader so that she could be on a side that wanted to go to war and to recover the arkentools. FAQ's relentless pacificism would prohibit her having many chances from venturing far afield or from having tools delivered to her doorstep (since FAQ would often be shrouded.)

I would speculate about why Jack would be with Stanley, but the question seems too wide open.

...an interesting situation, altogether.

Bogardan_Mage
2009-04-24, 12:44 AM
But you are correct; as of yet, there is no particular indication that Ansom knew Faq existed. However, you have yet to prove that Stanley destroyed Faq;
That doesn't need to be proven. Stanley didn't destroy Faq does not mean that Jetstone did. Nevertheless, there's a good deal of evidence that he did:

1. The Dwagons. We've been given no indication they're used by any other side, or that wide Dwagons are common enough that they might have coincidentally appeared during the attack on Faq. Jillian considers their appearance to be conclusive proof that Stanley was behind it, which of course doesn't make it conclusive proof but supports the theory (Jillian is more familiar with Erfworld than we are, and would know if Dwagons were that common)
2. Stanley knows where Faq is (and Ansom doesn't). This is the major problem with any theory that removes Stanley from Faq. The destruction of Faq was the reason Jillian knew he was going there, if he knew about it from a different source that makes this connection a complete coincidence! You suggest he was part of a "later rescue" but don't elaborate on why he would do this, or how he would know about Faq.
3. Wanda and Jack are with Stanley. Casters are normally captured, we're told. Why would they, therefore, be captured by a completely innocent third party? Surely they'd be working for Jetstone, or croaked? Your explanations of this are far and away more convoluted than any explanation the other side offers for their loyalty to Stanley.

So no, we don't see it happen, but that doesn't mean it didn't. Obviously there are details that we still don't know. Until they become avaliable, though, there is a great deal of evidence that Stanley was responsible. There is zero evidence that Jetstone was responsible. You may as well blame FoxMUD.

RainbowConickJr
2009-04-24, 01:09 AM
It seems more likely that Jetstone possibly destroyed the Croatoan Tribe, and Wanda moved from there to Faq. I have no idea who actually destroyed Faq from then, but unless Ansom was the world's greatest actor he just is too straightfaced in his dealings with Jillian to have had a hand in the destruction of her kingdom. That's how I see it at least.

Wizzardman
2009-04-24, 01:24 AM
That doesn't need to be proven.

And we're back to this again.


Stanley didn't destroy Faq does not mean that Jetstone did.

Never said it did, friend. I was just showing that there isn't any proof that Stanley did destroy Faq--which you seem to have forgotten to read.

...I apologize if I come off as a little testy, but I did already state my stuff on this.

1. Yes, though Jillian has already been proven to be hotheaded, and therefore very likely to jump to conclusions. She's not exactly a reliable source of information. Therefore, while I will freely agree that Stanley was probably there when she received that communication, that doesn't mean Stanley destroyed Faq--at least partially because that's far too obvious a jump, so its much more likely that there's some twist involved here.

2. Again, no one said Stanley wasn't there--just that he didn't destroy Faq. Likewise, just because Ansom acts like he doesn't know where it is doesn't mean Jetstone didn't destroy Faq--it just means that Ansom probably didn't.

Again, I have no way to directly prove that Jetstone is responsible; its just a suggestion that someone else came up with. I'm just supporting the theory that Stanley isn't responsible for the fall of Faq.

3. And again, we're back to the loyalty issue. The problem you're running into is that they haven't really provided a good explanation for why the two casters are still loyal to Stanley. People don't just decide not to blame the guy who took over their kingdom and killed their leader just because "he was only doing his job"--at least not to the point where they become very loyal to him. And there's no evidence that Maggie used a loyalty spell on Jack.

Now, DarkCloud has a good point; Wanda might have been willing to betray Faq out of revenge for the loss of her tribe. However, if instead, she just betrayed Faq for her own political gains, there's no reason for her to be loyal enough to Stanley to repeatedly risk her own life in his defense, when there were several situations where she could have betrayed Stanley and thereby easily gotten out of this mess alive. People willing to betray their friends (such as Jillian) in exchange for political gain are unlikely to stay loyal to a particular leader at the extreme risk of her own life.

You can say my solutions are "too complicated" all you want, but they still make more sense than the relatively weak "its not his fault" arguments that everyone else seems to be throwing out. You don't become strongly loyal to someone just because its not his fault your city got its rear kicked--especially if he is technically responsible for the rear-kicking. Stanley must have done something to have won their loyalty, and, judging from his ineptitude as a leader, it is more likely to have been something he did at Faq, then his ability to run an empire.

I'm certainly not saying that Stanley is a completely innocent third party. Stanley must have been there at the fall of Faq. However, that doesn't mean that Stanley is responsible for Faq's destruction.

TazTheTerrible
2009-04-24, 02:28 AM
By the by, I didn't say Ansom destroyed Faq, I said Jetstone, by which I mean the faction he belongs to. Ansom need not necessarily have known about it. This is admittedly a wild guess based only on "it would fit the drama".

But I'm fairly certain that Stanley didn't destroy Faq, or if he did that that's not all there was to it. But I still say he didn't. The way the story is trying to push the reader that way while the actual evidence is nothing amounting to *actual* evidence seems a bit too fishy.

Kreistor
2009-04-24, 02:30 AM
With Wanda claiming that she destroyed far more than Parson, and Parson having annihilated an army and a city, well, Wanda had to have destroyed quite a bit. Faq fits that bill perfectly.

LurkerInPlayground
2009-04-24, 02:47 AM
And its cute how trolls go out of their way to make generalizations that will annoy people. :D

Oh, but of course, that doesn't support your assumptions that you are not a troll (or at least, that no one can tell that you're a troll).

Merely seeing an overhead flight of dragons doesn't indicate that the dragons were the ones responsible for attacking the place. After all, correlation (flight of dragons linked with destruction of Faq) does not equal causation (flight of dragons causes destruction of Faq)--especially not in a series of comics where the authors apparently enjoy throwing plot twists at the readers.
Or you're just a troll trying pretty poorly to troll the troll.

I'm well aware of the BS pseudo-epistemology people are trying very poorly to apply. The problem is that the OP is making an extraordinary claim. So saying "I'm agnostic" doesn't help. I don't need you to point out to me that, "Wow! Anything is possible in a world with uncertainty!"

Really?


As such, there are other possible interpretations, and no guaranteed "this is the only logical answer" option. It could be that Stanley was moving to assist Faq. It could be that Stanley was merely passing through. It could be that those dragons were actually just weather balloons inflated with swamp gas.
But speculating about certain possibilities are clearly illogical. Simply put, saying that Ansom or Jetstone is responsible is, frankly, BS. Because it would require too many unknown elements, to the point of being absurd.

No amount of, "the author likes curveballs" or "I don't really know, so I'll throw out epistemological semantics to stall the discussion" makes a person look any less assinine.


While not all of the aforementioned options are good ones, with the balance of the current evidence (Wanda and the Foolamancer's well-established loyalty balancing out Stanley's apparent tendency to attack other cities), the first one is at least as likely as the theory that Stanley attacked Faq.
My point is essentially, not all the aforementioned options are good options. This is hard?


And while the "rulebook of good writing" that you seem to be consulting suggests that it is necessary to foreshadow rogue movements of dragons, I propose that the presence of dragons at Faq could in fact be considered foreshadowing for the fact that there are "rogue movements of dragons" (such as, say, someone else with control over dragons, who may become a problem as time goes on).
Great. So you have one hint. Bravo. The only person we've known to control dwagons is Stanley and he's held possession of the Arkenhammer the whole time.

Again, I'm well aware that Dwagons might be famously social or that another person could tame them. The problem is that:
A) You still have no other evidence.
B) That would require adding another antagonist we haven't seen for a significant portion of the strip.

I don't expect a supervillain to step out from behind the curtains. Stanley makes for an adequate villain.

I'm sure the author could pull a . . . "But an even greater threat steps from the shadows" but it'd be really cheap since there's no trouble making drama from the already extant set pieces.


Additionally, you appear to be defining "reasonable doubt" as those things that disagree with you. Perhaps, if you are not trolling, you could give us your working definition of reasonable doubt, so that we can compare possibilities without bias.
I already gave that working definition. You just didn't bother reading it before accusing me of trolling.

If your "theory" logically requires such powerful evidence to pretty much contradict all previous interpretation of the facts, then what you have there is BS.

Postulating that there's another villain more powerful or competitively powerful with Stanley requires exactly this burden of evidence.

Postulating that Jetstone is powerful and secretive enough to pull off a conspiracy theory where they can plunder/destroy a hidden hermit kingdom requires this burden of evidence. Where is the profit? What's the motivation? Why spend more resources to destroy a nation then its probably worth looting? Does Jetstone have these resources? Basically, why bother? Is Ansom really that ignorant of the workings of his own country and is he really that good of a liar if he's in on it?

A wild flight of dwagons destroyed Faq? Okay, so why can Jack Snipes fool Transylvito but not a pack of feral beasts?

And on . . . and on . . .

At the risk of repeating myself; claiming agnosticism is pretty assinine. I'm technically agnostic with regard to the strip. But that doesn't mean I can't make best-guess approximations. And that doesn't mean that I have to make completely far-fetched speculations that require a greater burden of proof than we've been given so far.

I'm pretty sure that's the point of Occam's Razor, but I'll probably regret even bringing it up.

Point being: Stanley a large share of responsibility for the destruction Faq. This exists in a region of high probability while pretty much everything else doesn't.

Bogardan_Mage
2009-04-24, 03:18 AM
1. Yes, though Jillian has already been proven to be hotheaded, and therefore very likely to jump to conclusions. She's not exactly a reliable source of information. Therefore, while I will freely agree that Stanley was probably there when she received that communication, that doesn't mean Stanley destroyed Faq--at least partially because that's far too obvious a jump, so its much more likely that there's some twist involved here.
Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. And sometimes even if it isn't we don't have enough information to say what it is so it's best to just go along with it being a cigar, in lieu of a better explanation.


2. Again, no one said Stanley wasn't there--just that he didn't destroy Faq. Likewise, just because Ansom acts like he doesn't know where it is doesn't mean Jetstone didn't destroy Faq--it just means that Ansom probably didn't.
Ansom was Jetstone's chief warlord. I think it's safe to say that if he didn't know about it, Jetstone's military interests weren't involved. To say that they might have been is just stretching the evidence to accomodate this theory, something you've been accusing those opposite you of doing is it not?


3. And again, we're back to the loyalty issue. The problem you're running into is that they haven't really provided a good explanation for why the two casters are still loyal to Stanley. People don't just decide not to blame the guy who took over their kingdom and killed their leader just because "he was only doing his job"--at least not to the point where they become very loyal to him. And there's no evidence that Maggie used a loyalty spell on Jack.
Indeed, there's evidence against it. But you dodge the real issue which is why are they with Stanley at all. Apparently explaining things that kind of but don't quite fit is a duty for those who disagree with you, not for you. They shatter theories you don't agree with but preserve your own.


Now, DarkCloud has a good point; Wanda might have been willing to betray Faq out of revenge for the loss of her tribe. However, if instead, she just betrayed Faq for her own political gains, there's no reason for her to be loyal enough to Stanley to repeatedly risk her own life in his defense, when there were several situations where she could have betrayed Stanley and thereby easily gotten out of this mess alive. People willing to betray their friends (such as Jillian) in exchange for political gain are unlikely to stay loyal to a particular leader at the extreme risk of her own life.
As we've just discovered, she had heard from a Predictamancer. Depending on the exact nature of the Prediction, she could have known what was going to happen if she stayed with Stanley.


You can say my solutions are "too complicated" all you want, but they still make more sense than the relatively weak "its not his fault" arguments that everyone else seems to be throwing out.
No, they really don't. What makes sense is we don't know all the details of Faq's fall. That does not mean that what we do know is completely false. Far from it. I don't know why the casters are loyal to Stanley. I see no reason to assume the reason is that Stanley isn't responsible for the destruction of Faq.


I'm certainly not saying that Stanley is a completely innocent third party. Stanley must have been there at the fall of Faq. However, that doesn't mean that Stanley is responsible for Faq's destruction.
Maybe not, but it certainly doesn't mean he wasn't responsible. With the evidence we have now (no other parties present) that is the only conclusion we can draw.

zz_tophat
2009-04-24, 03:18 AM
LurkerInPlayground you're using a well thought out almost scientific model to predict and analyze the events in this comic. That's great and i applaud your well thought out responses. I'm sure using that method you'd be able to predict the end of a murder mystery with remarkable accuracy.

But there is one very serious problem with that type of think in regards to this story.

Magic.

When I say magic I am generalizing anything that cannot, should not, or simply will not be explained. The writers of this comic can and will, without good reason, make things happen. In the context of the story, anything happening is neither outlandish or unreasonable. This is because despite any evidence to the contrary, for all we know: a giant Elvis destroyed Faq.

Deus ex machina has already been used, in no less than the first comic! Did anyone cry fowl or scream "hacks!" at the writers? No, because giant Elvis rocks and key lime pie is tasty.

Frankly speaking when it comes to a story world like this not only is anything possible, it is to be expected. Literary rules need not apply. Especially if it is funny.

"Dance fighting for boops sake!"
-Lord Hamster The Battle for Gobwin Knob

Arin
2009-04-24, 07:29 AM
Okay, I don't really have anything concrete to offer this debate in the way of a theory. What I do have, being somewhat more "impartial"(?) than some of you guys seem to be on this, is a clearheaded list of what needs to be addressed in order to see someone other than Stanley as the culprit.

Assuming Stanley's side is not responsible for the destruction of FAQ:

1) How did Stanley's side obtain Wanda and Jack?

This is the biggest issue, since we do know 100% for sure that these were FAQ casters. We're told here (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0092.html) in a completely unambiguous way that Wanda belonged to FAQ, and here (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0119.html) about Jack.

2) How did ALL THREE cities get destroyed in one turn?

This question isn't a certainty, because we don't know if each side MUST retain a capital site in order to still be a side. If that is the case, then only the capital need be destroyed, but then Jillian's subsequent actions don't make sense, you'd think she'd go back to the area Faq was in in order to rescue some of her "frozen" comrades. Actually, I need to revise that, rereading the Klog entry that talks about freezing sides (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0110.html), since Jillian was the heir, she would be the Overlord if any city standing still counted. And of course, if any city still stood, unveiled, for years, Transylvito would have seen it.

All of this logically suggests that all three cities went down simultaneously, which seemingly can't be explained by a "random dwagonflight" theory.

Here's the most plausible explanation I have:
1) King Banhammer was so named because he had the Arkenhammer, but he was not attuned to it.
2) Stanley visits Banhammer for diplomatic reasons, is shown the Arkenhammer, and attunes to it the moment he touches it.
3) The attunment summons the dwagons, who level Faq and it's subsidiary cities before Stanley learns how to use the Arkenhammer to control them.
4) Stanley says "oops", invites the survivors back to Orgchart (including Wanda and Jack), and goes on with life.
5) Jillian hears of Stanley's mastery of dwagons and, unaware of the Arkenhammer's attunement ability, assumes a deliberate attack.

Of course, even in my explanation, Stanley is responsible. Just not maliciously. This explanation has the added benefit of placing Stanley in a city with a Predictamancer, who could have forseen (started?) his quest for the Titan Tools.

I don't like my theory, since I have this nagging hunch that the visit to Faq coincides with the goblins putting down Saline, and if that were the case, he'd have already had the Arkenhammer for quite some time (see here (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0087.html) - they're very specific about him getting the Arkenhammer as a regular Warlord, and not going out on the special mission until he was the Chief Warlord).

jmsl
2009-04-24, 07:33 AM
No no no. You all have it wrong.
Clearly what happened was King Banhammer and King Saline IV worked together to bring about the end of war on Erfworld, with the help of the Magic Kingdom.
Saline IV ordered Stanley and his dwagons and the casters to go to Faq and wipe it out, then ordered the gobwins to stage a coup. Banhammer ordered Jack and Wanda to go with Stanley and all his troops to die to Stanley to level him up. Janis is the only remaining ringleader, though she has helpers in the thinkamancers as well. This will be the victory of philosophy over war in the greatest conflagration Erfworld has ever seen.
With or without a giant marshmallow man.

BLANDCorporatio
2009-04-24, 07:37 AM
No no no. You all have it wrong.
Clearly what happened was King Banhammer and King Saline IV worked together to bring about the end of war on Erfworld, with the help of the Magic Kingdom.
Saline IV ordered Stanley and his dwagons and the casters to go to Faq and wipe it out, then ordered the gobwins to stage a coup. Banhammer ordered Jack and Wanda to go with Stanley and all his troops to die to Stanley to level him up. Janis is the only remaining ringleader, though she has helpers in the thinkamancers as well. This will be the victory of philosophy over war in the greatest conflagration Erfworld has ever seen.
With or without a giant marshmallow man.

Also, Bogroll came up with that plan; which explains his loyalty to LordHamster.

Yes, it all falls into place now ...

Imgran
2009-04-24, 08:04 AM
And we've already had this discussion. Correlation does not equal causation, and "reasons of her own" does not adequately express a "simple solution" as to why Wanda would follow Stanley. And it seems like far too obvious of a detail for the writer's of Erfworld to have just thrown out there as the only solution; it seems much more like the beginning of a plot twist than any actual answer as to what happened at Faq.

Correlation may not equal causation, but I'm not exactly a devout believer in the word "coincidence" and the overflight of dwagons is pretty damning.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say Wanda's reasons for following Stanley are more or less of a red herring, unimportant to the discussion of how Faq fell until proven otherwise. If it comes out later that Wanda betrayed Faq to its doom I'm not exactly going to be surprised, but it's only critical to the question of how the world knew about Faq, and that question can be answered in other ways that don't involve Wanda (such as Gobwin Knob's now-defunct cadre of Lookamancers).


Moreover, the only evidence we have that Maggie ever plied her trade on Jack Snipe is the mindlink. Otherwise, there's no indication that Maggie ever bothered with him, or that she put a loyalty spell over him, or anything similar.

But we think we know that Maggie (or some other Thinkamancer, but Maggie is the obvious one to have done it) cast at least one spell on Jack. If she cast one, there's no particular reason she couldn't, or wouldn't, have cast others.


And again, "Wanda is weird + Maggie uses loyalty spell to make up for Stanley's assault" is still a more complicated solution than "Wanda and Jack are loyal to Stanley because he didn't attack Faq." Especially since that, if Wanda was so willing to betray her previous Overlord, there's no reason for her to be so loyal to this fairly incompetent new one she's got.

And I'm not sure how Stanley not being Overlord at the time affects their loyalty in any way. If you are correct, then he still destroyed Faq, and that would still make their loyalty to him very low indeed.

That assumes either of them particularly cared that Faq was destroyed. Of the two, Jack might care, but I imagine Stanley's campaigns for the Arkentools, or heck, just plain working for an aggressive King/Overlord would present Wanda an opportunity to ply her trade while searching for the Arkenpliers and she'd be stupid to mess that up.

Wizzardman
2009-04-24, 09:51 AM
Or you're just a troll trying pretty poorly to troll the troll.
No, you see, if I was a troll, I would have jumped on you by now.

I apologize if it seems like I'm counter-trolling, but your arguments came off as deliberately chosen in order to anger or insult people, so I was making a generalization.


I'm well aware of the BS pseudo-epistemology people are trying very poorly to apply. The problem is that the OP is making an extraordinary claim. So saying "I'm agnostic" doesn't help. I don't need you to point out to me that, "Wow! Anything is possible in a world with uncertainty!"

Really?

Apparently, you do, as you seem insistent on believing that there is only "one" logical explanation. Once again, your argument still leaves holes, and as such, there is enough evidence not covered by your theory to leave your theory in question.


" or "I don't really know, so I'll throw out epistemological semantics to stall the discussion"
You say "stall," I say "poke holes in your argument." So far, as you have not yet provided reasons to cover them, I'd say that I have done so.


Again, I'm well aware that Dwagons might be famously social or that another person could tame them. The problem is that:
A) You still have no other evidence.
B) That would require adding another antagonist we haven't seen for a significant portion of the strip.

Which is why it was just a suggestion [and a fairly nonsensical one at that]. You keep trying to suggest that I'm saying "this is how it works." I'm not. I'm merely pointing out the fallacy involved in assuming that your particular argument is the only one that works.


I already gave that working definition. You just didn't bother reading it before accusing me of trolling.
Maybe I'm particularly blind today, but unless you're saying that "Any other explanation virtually has zero evidence" is your definition of unreasonable amounts of doubt, I'm afraid you're going to have to quote yourself, and show me where exactly you say that. And while there isn't necessarily a lot of evidence to support the "Jetstone did it" theory just yet, there are enough flaws in your argument to make it a distinct possibility.


Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. And sometimes even if it isn't we don't have enough information to say what it is so it's best to just go along with it being a cigar, in lieu of a better explanation.
But that doesn't mean we should entirely neglect the possibility that its not a cigar.


Ansom was Jetstone's chief warlord. I think it's safe to say that if he didn't know about it, Jetstone's military interests weren't involved.

That is a very good point. Unless there was some reason that Ansom wouldn't have been informed about it (which is very unlikely) then Jetstone probably wasn't involved.


Indeed, there's evidence against it. But you dodge the real issue which is why are they with Stanley at all.
Yep. Other than the possibility that Stanley showed up to support Faq (a theory which doesn't have much evidence in its support at the moment, so I'll avoid bringing it up until such time as it does), I do not have a specific explanation as to why Jack and Wanda are on Stanley's side.


Apparently explaining things that kind of but don't quite fit is a duty for those who disagree with you, not for you. They shatter theories you don't agree with but preserve your own.
Of course not. I'm playing devil's advocate, here. I'm not the thread's OP; I'm not here to provide a specific argument in support of "Jetstone destroyed Faq." I'm simply here to try to point out the areas of your argument that make it a bit less than the "guaranteed answer" some of its supporters believe it is.


No, they really don't. What makes sense is we don't know all the details of Faq's fall. That does not mean that what we do know is completely false. Far from it. I don't know why the casters are loyal to Stanley. I see no reason to assume the reason is that Stanley isn't responsible for the destruction of Faq.
Except that "Stanley destroyed Faq" doesn't fit well with Jack and Wanda remaining loyal to Faq. As such, other possibilities must be considered.

And "they forgive him" is still a terrible explanation for Jack and Wanda's continued loyalty.


Correlation may not equal causation, but I'm not exactly a devout believer in the word "coincidence" and the overflight of dwagons is pretty damning.
Oh, I doubt there's a coincidence. Personally, I'm just expecting another plot twist.


But we think we know that Maggie (or some other Thinkamancer, but Maggie is the obvious one to have done it) cast at least one spell on Jack. If she cast one, there's no particular reason she couldn't, or wouldn't, have cast others.
But there's no evidence that she did cast others on him, either, or that they would still be reliable enough to hold Jack's loyalty even after Jillian attempted to kill Stanley and rescue him--and it has already been mentioned that loyalty spells are unreliable in cases of extreme emotional duress. This suggests (at least to me) that Jack's loyalty is genuine, and that there therefore must be some reason for it.


That assumes either of them particularly cared that Faq was destroyed. Of the two, Jack might care, but I imagine Stanley's campaigns for the Arkentools, or heck, just plain working for an aggressive King/Overlord would present Wanda an opportunity to ply her trade while searching for the Arkenpliers and she'd be stupid to mess that up.
True. I had been assuming that Wanda cared, because destroying Faq severely hurt Jillian (as it forces her into merc status, and prevents her from eventually taking Faq's throne), but I imagine she would be willing to accept the loss of Faq in exchange for a better chance to ply her trade.

However, that still doesn't explain why she's so strongly loyal to Stanley. If she has already shown her willingness to betray a leader in exchange for what she wants, why wouldn't she do the same again, to save her own life? Why wouldn't she use Jillian to get out of Gobwin Knob before Ansom's army reached it?

Kasavin
2009-04-24, 01:40 PM
I don't like my theory, since I have this nagging hunch that the visit to Faq coincides with the goblins putting down Saline, and if that were the case, he'd have already had the Arkenhammer for quite some time (see here (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0087.html) - they're very specific about him getting the Arkenhammer as a regular Warlord, and not going out on the special mission until he was the Chief Warlord).

Something else to consider is Sizemore's presence on this "special mission." He's given no indication he was there when Stanley destroyed a faction or when he first obtained Wanda and Jack. Not conclusive, but would suggest that special mission was something else, and Sizemore seemed to think it was an excuse to just get out of the city so Saline could be deposed.

Bogardan_Mage
2009-04-25, 07:15 AM
But that doesn't mean we should entirely neglect the possibility that its not a cigar.
I'm not suggesting we do. I'm suggesting we accept the possibility that it is.


Yep. Other than the possibility that Stanley showed up to support Faq (a theory which doesn't have much evidence in its support at the moment, so I'll avoid bringing it up until such time as it does), I do not have a specific explanation as to why Jack and Wanda are on Stanley's side.
And yet, despite your habit of leaping on far less important inconsistancies as rendering various arguments invalid, this doesn't trouble you?


Of course not. I'm playing devil's advocate, here. I'm not the thread's OP; I'm not here to provide a specific argument in support of "Jetstone destroyed Faq." I'm simply here to try to point out the areas of your argument that make it a bit less than the "guaranteed answer" some of its supporters believe it is.
If there is no better explanation we have to go with the best one avaliable until more evidence has been uncovered. You are only doing half the work you claim, and it is the wrong half.


Except that "Stanley destroyed Faq" doesn't fit well with Jack and Wanda remaining loyal to Faq. As such, other possibilities must be considered.

And "they forgive him" is still a terrible explanation for Jack and Wanda's continued loyalty.
"Stanley is innocent in the destruction of Faq" may explain this one point, but it raises much larger problems (such as the question of who is responsible, we're now looking for a completely different side!) There, I considered them and rejected them. As I said, you're concentrating on the wrong half: bringing down the main theory instead of bringing up other theories. The other theories are too far down for just the former to work.

Phoen
2009-04-25, 09:18 AM
Here's a couple variations on a not so ridiculously out there theory of mine I came up with nigh moments ago.

1. The predictamancer for FAQ(Wanda?) fed wrong information to Jack and he failed to hide the right place at the right time when the "Overflight of dwagons" appeared, and that's how FAQ fell. Stanley was with this overflight and took phat caster loots for himself.

2. The predictamancer told Wanda her future, and she convinced Jack to go along with the plan of letting this overflight of dwagons destroy FAQ, and to join Stanley's side afterwords. This would probably mean that it was Stanley's dwagons again, as they can't move of their own accord if they're barbarian/neutral(Page101 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0113.html)). This would also give a reason why Jack helped Stanley escape when he saw Jillian in the battle at the pass, he was too ashamed of his actions to confront her(cuz yanno, losing the heir's kingdom intentionally is bad).

I'm not terribly sure if this theory was already put out there or not, but I'm really not trying to quote anyone else's ideas here.

Imgran
2009-04-25, 10:17 AM
Something else to consider is Sizemore's presence on this "special mission." He's given no indication he was there when Stanley destroyed a faction or when he first obtained Wanda and Jack. Not conclusive, but would suggest that special mission was something else, and Sizemore seemed to think it was an excuse to just get out of the city so Saline could be deposed.

Not really. It could have been the mission to destroy Faq but even if it was, it was superfluous to the story Sizemore was telling and so he didn't mention it. His audience (Parson) had no reason to know or care about Faq and it would have just turned into a digression and geography lesson.

Imgran
2009-04-25, 10:29 AM
Here's a couple variations on a not so ridiculously out there theory of mine I came up with nigh moments ago.

1. The predictamancer for FAQ(Wanda?) fed wrong information to Jack and he failed to hide the right place at the right time when the "Overflight of dwagons" appeared, and that's how FAQ fell. Stanley was with this overflight and took phat caster loots for himself.

2. The predictamancer told Wanda her future, and she convinced Jack to go along with the plan of letting this overflight of dwagons destroy FAQ, and to join Stanley's side afterwords. This would probably mean that it was Stanley's dwagons again, as they can't move of their own accord if they're barbarian/neutral(Page101 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0113.html)). This would also give a reason why Jack helped Stanley escape when he saw Jillian in the battle at the pass, he was too ashamed of his actions to confront her(cuz yanno, losing the heir's kingdom intentionally is bad).

I'm not terribly sure if this theory was already put out there or not, but I'm really not trying to quote anyone else's ideas here.

The big problem with this theory is, King Banhammer knew that Faq would be destroyed someday. That's why Jillian popped.

Jack helped Stanley escape because of Duty. We don't need any fancier explanation than that.

The simplest cause for the fall of Faq is that Stanley was off on an Arkentool hunt and either he followed a Faq unit home, stumbled over them by accident, or Misty saw through Jack's veil.

ishnar
2009-04-25, 12:55 PM
Jack helped Stanley escape because of Duty. We don't need any fancier explanation than that.

Actually, since Jack was offered an opportunity to turn where it would have obviously been to his personal advantage to turn due to overwhelming odds, duty isn't enough.

Loyalty has to come into play here. Either a loyalty spell or personal loyalty. Just because Wanda is under no loyalty spell does not mean that Jack is not, but it could be normal loyalty due to something Stanley did in the past as well.

Sieggy
2009-04-26, 12:33 AM
Ummm . . .may I point out that the only real evidence that FAQ was actually destroyed is purely inferential? We have Jillian stating that she was on a mission, received a message about dwagons, and the next turn, she was a barbarian. She never went back to see what had happened. She made the assumption that it had been destroyed, but didn't go back to verify this. In fact, no one seems to have. I find this extremely interesting . . . You'd think that SOMEONE would want to check it out.

Add to that the fact that in the time since FAQ was supposedly destroyed, their TV neigbors (in fact, no one) haven't run across any ruins. You'd think that unless there was a total annihilation of the populace, there would be refugees / survivors carrying tales, or at least rumors.

I just can't see someone as rash and brash as Stanley taking out 3 cities simultaneously without bragging about his military prowess to anyone unlucky enough to be in the same room with him. And given that he's lost 11 cities since he began the Quest for the Arkentools, I seriously don't see him as having the moxie to have wiped out 3 cities in a single turn. Especially since his staff of casters was supposed to have increased by a croakamancer and foolamancer after his supposed conquests . . . you'd think that they would increase his effectiveness, not dimimish it.

The fact that Jack and Wanda seem to be loyal to Stanley without any form of magical coercion is also interesting - if they were captured units, their loyalty should be low enough to require some form of insurance. Which seems not to be the case.

There is an awful lot of theorizing and speculating in the absence of facts. They are educated guesses and some pretty wild speculation, but what is really KNOWN is very little. I strongly suspect that little to none of this will be resolved in this book, though the print version may go into more detail than the web version. I'm hoping the Authors post their second volume as they did the first, and will DEFINITELY buy them when they're up for sale. Actually, I'm hoping they offer a pre-publication sale price for us loyal erf-fans . . . (erfians? erfers? erfheads?)

All this is akin to the tales about Atlantis and the Druids; what is actually know about either wouldn't fill a pamphlet, but bookshelves have been filled with all kinds of theories and speculation on both topics, most of which have no basis whatsoever in fact. (I have an acquaintance who tells people that he's a druid but can't compose a limerick - I've told him how lucky he is that there aren't any REAL druids left, as if there were, he'd most likely be at the bottom of a bog somewhere . . .)

slayerx
2009-04-26, 01:18 AM
Ummm . . .may I point out that the only real evidence that FAQ was actually destroyed is purely inferential? We have Jillian stating that she was on a mission, received a message about dwagons, and the next turn, she was a barbarian. She never went back to see what had happened. She made the assumption that it had been destroyed, but didn't go back to verify this. In fact, no one seems to have. I find this extremely interesting . . . You'd think that SOMEONE would want to check it out.

Why verify it, the fact that Jillian was a barbarian was proof as it was.
Her status was proof that the city was destroyed, and the last report places the blame on a large flight of dwagons... going to the ruins would have been pointless; she'd find nothing but ruins and they would provide her no leads to the leader of the dwagons



Add to that the fact that in the time since FAQ was supposedly destroyed, their TV neigbors (in fact, no one) haven't run across any ruins. You'd think that unless there was a total annihilation of the populace, there would be refugees / survivors carrying tales, or at least rumors.

Their neighbors have also never found the cities themselves... a master class foolamancer, Jack, was the ONLY reason those cities were never discovered... without him their, nothing was hiding FAQ anymore and it would have been discovered by the vampires... that's the biggest problem with your theory... you point out them not finding the ruins, but at the same time overlook the fact that it would be 100x's easier to spot full functioning cities

As for ruins, you know nothing about what would remain of a city... for all you know, a city that is destroyed is reduced to level 0; which likely means no buildings or anything... this in turn would not make it easy to spot as there would be barely anything left... Transyvito units may have passed by close enough to see the cities, but not necessairly directly over or close enough to see an empty plot... that's why they need to go out their and check for it as they can not see it from where ever they are

AS for the survivors... taking out the possibility that Stanely didn't just wipe them all out, if Jillian did not keep paying their upkeep, survivors would have been disbanded... but considering Stanely wanted to use FAQ as his escape, it is likely that he would indeed want to throughly wipe them all out


I just can't see someone as rash and brash as Stanley taking out 3 cities simultaneously without bragging about his military prowess to anyone unlucky enough to be in the same room with him. And given that he's lost 11 cities since he began the Quest for the Arkentools, I seriously don't see him as having the moxie to have wiped out 3 cities in a single turn. Especially since his staff of casters was supposed to have increased by a croakamancer and foolamancer after his supposed conquests . . . you'd think that they would increase his effectiveness, not dimimish it.

For one thing, we don't know WHNE he started his quest as he could have started AFTER faq... back when he did still have 11 cities.

Second of all, Faq was practically defenseless; that explains how Stanely was able to destroy all 3 cities in one turn... it was a city that practiced pacifism to the point that Jillian said their soldiers could be more described as clerks... it seems the only units that could fight were the mercenaries which were always out in the field with jillian... without them, Faq is pretty much defenseless

Kreistor
2009-04-26, 01:39 AM
Why verify it, the fact that Jillian was a barbarian was proof as it was.
Her status was proof that the city was destroyed, and the last report places the blame on a large flight of dwagons... going to the ruins would have been pointless; she'd find nothing but ruins and they would provide her no leads to the leader of the dwagons

What if the cities were all captured, instead of destroyed?

What would happen if Banhammer surrendered the Side to Stanley?

What would happen if Banhammer simply stopped paying her upkeep?

Any of these might wind up with Jillina becoming a Barbaian. None are as likely as Stanley destrying the place, but all are possible events. We should find out soon, hopefully with an explanation by Wanda about the Prediction about her and the Arkenpliers.

slayerx
2009-04-26, 05:03 AM
What if the cities were all captured, instead of destroyed?

What would happen if Banhammer surrendered the Side to Stanley?

What would happen if Banhammer simply stopped paying her upkeep?

the first two are pretty much the same result... the faq side ends... does it really make any difference whether banhammer surrendered, if the cities were just captured, or if they were outright destoryed?... i mean, Jillian doesn't actually care about Faq, she's happy as a barbarian... she could care less over the exact circumstances of how he side fell

as for the third outcome... Jillian became a barbarian along with all the units she was with, meaning banhammer wouldn't have just stop paying her upkeep, but everyone of his field units... hell, Stanely told parson he could end him with a thought and banhammer could likely do the same; erase her instead of just stop paying her upkeep (if that would result in being a barbarian instead of winding up croaked)

not to mention that jillian isn't really known for her brains, so such alternative outcomes she might not have thought of and just concentrated on the "flight of dwagons followed by her barbarianism...

Kreistor
2009-04-26, 10:56 AM
the first two are pretty much the same result... the faq side ends... does it really make any difference whether banhammer surrendered, if the cities were just captured, or if they were outright destoryed?

Because we can't then draw the conclusion that Faq was destroyed as you said. The cities could still be there under Stanley's control.

HandofShadows
2009-04-26, 12:50 PM
If Faq is still there, I don't think it would be under Stanley's control. GFK is stated as being Stanley's last city. Now it could be there under Banhammer. Who says you can't have two foolamancers?

Kreistor
2009-04-26, 02:26 PM
Ah, but Faq was a "bubble Kingdom" and hidden from all in the region. Wouldn't it be prudent to keep it hidden and forbid speaking of it? Only Stanley, Wanda, and Jack would have to keep the secret. And JAck, well... he wasn't capable of communicating about it until recently.

MalikT
2009-04-26, 02:56 PM
I still think Charlie destroyed Faq. So check this crazy conspiracy theory:

Charlie decides to conquer GK for reasons only known to him (assumption: strategic position, money - 500k seems to be a lot of money and that hammer is a nice bonus). But you can't just charge into a toughest defensive position in the (erf)world. So he needs a diversion.

Lets assume at this point that GK and Faq are allies. Makes some sense: if you are an isolationist nation you still need at least one nation to trade with and someone who will arrange your mercenary jobs.

Back to the crackpot theory: So he attacks Faq in order to draw out Stanley and the dwagons out of GK. Then he persuades gobwins (using money, thinkamancy etc.) to attack GK. With this he conquered GK an kept his hands clean. Now he only needs to take cities from neutral/barbarian sides.
Perfect plan, with only one oversight - Saline made Stanley heir designate and he's not disbanded. Stanley defeats forces (archons or more likely mercenaries Charlie hired/mind controlled) at Faq, rescues two casters and retakes GK before Charlie.

Aftermath: Stanley is confused and angry. He suspects that Charlie is responsible for the attack on GK and death of the king Saline, but he can't prove anything. So he attacks anyone who ever did business with Charlie doing some collateral damage(jetstone troops). With his actions he gives other sides reason to attack him and war breaks out.

I know this theory has more holes then a whole wheel of swiss cheese, so feel free to find them all.

Anias
2009-04-26, 05:47 PM
I just can't see someone as rash and brash as Stanley taking out 3 cities simultaneously without bragging about his military prowess to anyone unlucky enough to be in the same room with him. And given that he's lost 11 cities since he began the Quest for the Arkentools, I seriously don't see him as having the moxie to have wiped out 3 cities in a single turn. Especially since his staff of casters was supposed to have increased by a croakamancer and foolamancer after his supposed conquests . . . you'd think that they would increase his effectiveness, not dimimish it.

Well, this actually makes very good sense. And it brings up something that no one on this thread has mentioned yet: Stanley (until now) hasn't won A SINGLE BATTLE after he started his quest for the Arkentools. This we know as well as anything; it's been said in the strip. We know that Stanley had his hammer when he left on his "secret mission," since they're riding dwagons; ergo, he was probably on his quest for the other tools at this point in time, whether or not the mission was related to this quest. If he hasn't won a battle since he started his quest, his secret mission couldn't have been him conquering Faq, since that would require that he win (at least) three battles, one for each city.


For one thing, we don't know WHEN (Edited for spelling) he started his quest as he could have started AFTER faq... back when he did still have 11 cities.
Ummm...this doesn't make much sense. If the secret mission (which most people believe involves Stanley going to Faq), resulted in Stanley's destruction of Faq the he already had begun his quest for the Tools. He already had the hammer at this point, remember? Otherwise he wouldn't have been able to use dwagons...

Kholdstare
2009-04-26, 05:58 PM
Here's my theory:

Stanley took down faq and had the casters join. Since Banhammer treated his warlords like crap it isn't that far off that he treated his casters like crap too. It also supports why he knows his way there. The Jetstone tribe having any involvement in the destruction of Faq is absolutely crap. Why? Because they had absolutely no reason to. King Banhammer was a king. Royalty. That and they were a bubble kingdom with no contact to them and therefore no chance to offend them. Stanley on the other hand was on a crusade to find all of the Arken tools. He could have gone about just conquering cities until he found them which is pretty damn likely as to what he was doing.

Short and simple. They were just a casualty on Stanley's conquest to obtain ultimate power. It follows the most supported evidence. Ansom and Jillian both suspected Stanley. Why? Dwagons aren't very common and anyone who did have Dwagons would be known thus opening up different possibilities. It could be that Dwagons are wild creatures that can be tamed under very specific circumstances and thus having them as a side's unit would be rare. Or they only spawn under very specific circumstances but even then that makes them just as rare if not rarer.

A large overflight of dwagons coming from another side with no one suspecting them is pretty crappy story telling and I think too highly of Erfworld to suspect it.

slayerx
2009-04-26, 06:50 PM
Because we can't then draw the conclusion that Faq was destroyed as you said. The cities could still be there under Stanley's control.

Well i guess so... though grant it, it feels like semantics as their doesn't really feel like their is much of a difference between a destoryed side/city and one that's been taken over... in either case, Faq as a side is over and done with...

not to mention we still have the other really telling question like how those would have remained hidden without a masterclass foolamancer


If Faq is still there, I don't think it would be under Stanley's control. GFK is stated as being Stanley's last city. Now it could be there under Banhammer. Who says you can't have two foolamancers?Jillian... she continuously referred to faq having "a" masteclass foolamancer, and that they would veil the cities "one" at a time. It takes a masterclass foolamancer to veil a whole city and if Faw had more than one, Jillian would have mentioned having more than one... not to emntion that if they had more than one, then there would have been little problem with her tking Jack out into the field


Ummm...this doesn't make much sense. If the secret mission (which most people believe involves Stanley going to Faq), resulted in Stanley's destruction of Faq the he already had begun his quest for the Tools. He already had the hammer at this point, remember? Otherwise he wouldn't have been able to use dwagons...
you are making two assumptions here...

First, That Stanely attacked Faq looking for the tools... we do not know the reasons he attacked the city, and if this was before he started his quest he could have had other reasons... He may have attacked them for the sake of getting their casters.

second, that Stanely started his quest right after he got the hammer... for all we know he did not start getting deluded about his destiny until several years after acquiring the hammer... hell, Wanda could have been the one who put the idea in his head in the first place so that she could get to the pliers





I know this theory has more holes then a whole wheel of swiss cheese, so feel free to find them all.

ok



Charlie decides to conquer GK for reasons only known to him (assumption: strategic position, money - 500k seems to be a lot of money and that hammer is a nice bonus). But you can't just charge into a toughest defensive position in the (erf)world. So he needs a diversion.


Considering charlie's prices for thinkamancy messaging, and the overcharge 250k per turn he made to the vamps, i'd say that with his rates, 500k is not THAT much in the long run.... furtharmore, other sides i would imagine might have similar treasury's... and strategic position is out because it does not seem like charlie has been doing much to expand his side.



Lets assume at this point that GK and Faq are allies. Makes some sense: if you are an isolationist nation you still need at least one nation to trade with and someone who will arrange your mercenary jobs.

First, Jillian, heir and leader of the mercs would know if GK was an ally...

Second, Trade is only needed if you do not have enough resources or making enough money yourself... between the farmlands, the mines and the merc work, it sounds like they had all they needed, especially since they did not have any huge ambitions and thus did not require much extra growth

third, Mercenary jobs can be acquired by either contacting the sides through a thinkamancer, or by simply having your units ride out to whatever major conflict is going on in the world and make them an offer face to face... no real need for a third party

forth, if they were allies, then a large incoming flight of dwagons would not be considered a bad thing as it was likely nothing more than a visit from Stanley... and instead their would have been frantic reports about attacking archons...



Back to the crackpot theory: So he attacks Faq in order to draw out Stanley and the dwagons out of GK. Then he persuades gobwins (using money, thinkamancy etc.) to attack GK. With this he conquered GK an kept his hands clean. Now he only needs to take cities from neutral/barbarian sides.
Perfect plan, with only one oversight - Saline made Stanley heir designate and he's not disbanded. Stanley defeats forces (archons or more likely mercenaries Charlie hired/mind controlled) at Faq, rescues two casters and retakes GK before Charlie.

Ignoring the above points, not half bad...
only problems might be as to why Stanley would bring Sizemore with him to fight faq... Sizemore talks as if he has never had to lead or croak anyone before, and without his golems the amount of help that Sizemore could provide would be minimal



Aftermath: Stanley is confused and angry. He suspects that Charlie is responsible for the attack on GK and death of the king Saline, but he can't prove anything. So he attacks anyone who ever did business with Charlie doing some collateral damage(jetstone troops). With his actions he gives other sides reason to attack him and war breaks out.

IF Stanley has such reaosning, Wanda would have likely said that was the reason Stanley did not like Charlie when he asked.... the way she speaks of it, Stanley has never made it clear why he does not like Charlie... i think the reason is becuase charlie is attuned to his tool

i think that should cover a oood number of the holes

Kasavin
2009-04-26, 06:52 PM
If Jetstone (or anyone besides Stanley) destroyed FAQ... then the following needs to be accounted for in any alternative theory.

1. How else did a large force of Dwagons end up in Faq country the turn before the side fell?

2. How did two Faq casters end up in Stanley's employ?

3. How does Stanley know where Faq is?

4. If he didn't destroy the cities and thus no them to be unihabited, why did he try to flee there other than to start a new side?

Its much simpler to have Stanley destroy them... though unresolved questions remain.

1. How did Stanley even find the bubble kingdom?

2. Why did he not capture the cities and rebuild for the extra income?

I think its useful to establish a known chronology to help conspiracy theories (my own included).

A. Stanley and Sizemore Pop under King Saline IV

B. Stanley promoted to Warlord

C. Stanley finds Arkenhammer, becomes atuned, and start taming Dwagons.

D. Stanley promoted to Chief Warlord for his numerous battle victories and eventually Heir Designate.

E. Stanley leaves on a "special mission" taking important casters with him. Saline is killed when gobwins break alliance making Stanley Overlord.

F. Stanley returns and easily retakes Gobwin Knob.

G. Stanley embarks upon a quest to retrieve the Arkentools, and nearly looses everything.

H. 10 lost cities later, he has Wanda summon Parson.

A couple of ambiguities (such as the possibility of Stanley being promoted to Chief Warlord before finding the Arkenhammer), but generally I feel its solid.

Keen eyes may notice that FAQ is missing from this chronology. If we assume Stanley actually destroyed FAQ, I good assumption, then the event had to occur after Point C, but probably before G as well. I think its likely to have occurred after Saline is deposed, because otherwise he'd expect the FAQ cities to be rebuilt and add to his wealth. Alternatively, the "special mission" was to FAQ, and he left in such a hurry to get back and retake Gobwin Knob that he never bothered to rebuilt the cities. Or, it occurs after he embarks on his Arkentool quest, where it appears his grasp of strategy went to the dogs (if he ever had one) and he no longer considers cities important to national strategy.

EDIT: On another note, though, I really like the idea of Charlie as a puppeteer. Not so much because it fits the chronology or there are hints scattered about, but he has a master manipulator and unlike every other character seemed to be immune to having to make difficult desicions. Everything he did he got paid for and came out ahead (instead of having to make trade offs). This occurred right up to the point where Parson uncroaked the Volcano and wiped his forces out. I wouldn't put it past him to have several predictomancers on staff or on payroll trying to figure out desirous outcomes, such as landing the Arkenpliers.

Imgran
2009-04-26, 08:07 PM
1. How did Stanley even find the bubble kingdom?

Gobwin Knob had an unrivaled Lookamancy corps at the start of TBFGK. Foolamancy is good to beat mortal eyes but I imagine it's less effective against scrying. Misty eventually saw through Jack's veil. Probably by following Jillian in her coming and going (her constant entrance and egress from the bottleneck was the most vulnerable part of King Banhammer's kingdom)



2. Why did he not capture the cities and rebuild for the extra income?

It's implied that Faq was very close to Transylvito, and was embroiled in a constant effort to keeo TV's superior scouting from seeing their cities.

In the teeth of a superior enemy, and trying to rule it from the outside, a bottleneck like the one that protected Faq makes it an extreme strategic liability (easy to siege, difficult to reinforce) -- especially if you're trying to rush ground units over a mountain against a largely air-based siege force like TV's.

TV's battle for the pass proved that that kingdom was a match for Lord Stanley's elite dwagon corps meaning that he couldn't be sure he was going to secure the bottlenek. And if you lose the bottleneck Don King takes out everything on the Faq side of the pass by simply securing the pass and raiding in force from a secure base until everything's dead. That's always the problem with "defensible" maps with only one way in and out.

Foryn Gilnith
2009-04-26, 08:11 PM
Bolded sections are my filled-in responses.


If Jetstone (or anyone besides Stanley) destroyed FAQ... then the following needs to be accounted for in any alternative theory.

1. How else did a large force of Dwagons end up in Faq country the turn before the side fell? Large dragon exodus killed FAQ. The cause is not something I care to set in stone, due to its ambiguity; but I suspect Charlie may have spooked off some dragons lairing in his would-be fortress spot.

2. How did two Faq casters end up in Stanley's employ? Stanley came, tamed the dragons, and rescued them from the wreckage.

3. How does Stanley know where Faq is? The Arkenhammer does more than just allow you to tame any dragons that you happen to come across. IT allows you to find them (because I doubt Stanley would somehow randomly stumble across as many dragons as he owned. He thus found FAQ.

4. If he didn't destroy the cities and thus no them to be unihabited, why did he try to flee there other than to start a new side? Prior consultations with Wanda/Jack provided the bright idea.

Its much simpler to have Stanley destroy them... though unresolved questions remain.

1. How did Stanley even find the bubble kingdom? In my theory, he followed the dragons. *shrug*

2. Why did he not capture the cities and rebuild for the extra income? Too much trouble with Transylvito and the like, or too much distance - a large number of factors could have made it not worth the cost. Maybe he planned to conquer more cities quickly, and FAQ would suffer some sort of imperial inefficiency..

ishnar
2009-04-26, 08:23 PM
A large overflight of dwagons coming from another side with no one suspecting them is pretty crappy story telling and I think too highly of Erfworld to suspect it.

I'd like to see what kind of support you can come up with for this statement. How would it be poor storytelling? So far the whole, "Only Stanley can use dragons" assumption is JUST that! Just because stanley is the only known local power with a weir of dragons doesn't mean that someone else might be keeping their weir a secret.

It might not even be a local force, when I play wargames, I'll often send out a recon force out capable of taking poorly defended cities.

Imgran
2009-04-26, 08:32 PM
I'd like to see what kind of support you can come up with for this statement. How would it be poor storytelling? So far the whole, "Only Stanley can use dragons" assumption is JUST that! Just because stanley is the only known local power with a weir of dragons doesn't mean that someone else might be keeping their weir a secret.

It might not even be a local force, when I play wargames, I'll often send out a recon force out capable of taking poorly defended cities.

You're really reaching here. Just because Stanley controls Dwagons doesn't mean he destroyed Faq, sure, but it doesn't mean he didn't either.

It takes an Arkentool for Stanley to control Dwagons. I wouldn't think there are too many other warlords with large weirs of Dwagons out there. If there were, then Jillian, who's pretty well-travelled, wouldn't have been so quick to jump to the conclusion about Lord Stanley.

The problem here is that not only do people who want to blame someone other than Stanley for the destruction of Faq have to not just find an alternate explanation, they have to find one that fits available evidence -- and in doing so, they can't make it look like all they're doing is trying to massage the facts to match their prejudice, a standard I haven't seen any theory meet yet.

ishnar
2009-04-26, 09:58 PM
You're really reaching here. Just because Stanley controls Dwagons doesn't mean he destroyed Faq, sure, but it doesn't mean he didn't either. 

My point had nothing to do with whether or not Stanley defeated Faq. So where was I reaching? My problem was with the statement about poor storytelling.


It takes an Arkentool for Stanley to control Dwagons.

That is an assumption not a fact. All we know is that it helps tame dragons. We don't know that it it necessary. Maybe it just gives a bonus.

[I wouldn't think there are too many other warlords with large weirs of Dwagons out there. If there were, then Jillian, who's pretty well-travelled, wouldn't have been so quick to jump to the conclusion about Lord Stanley.[/quote]

Another assumption. All we even have even slight information on is the local participants in the last book. We know nothing of other forces. We don't know how "well traveled" Jillian is. And if she really did spend almost all of her time away, then she wouldn't know if someone else local or relatively close had access to dragons. And like I said, someone could have popped dragons and be holding them as a secret weapon. It pays to not let others know your force composition.




The problem here is that not only do people who want to blame someone other than Stanley for the destruction of Faq have to not just find an alternate explanation, they have to find one that fits available evidence -- and in doing so, they can't make it look like all they're doing is trying to massage the facts to match their prejudice, a standard I haven't seen any theory meet yet.

The only evidence we have so far is that there was an overflight of dragons. All the rest is assumption. I really don't care either way. But we can't start crying "poor storytelling" when all we know now is very minimal information.

These are the facts, few as they are.
1. There was a large overflight of dragons.
2. Stanley is the only leader, so far, that we know has dragons.
3. Everyone hates Stanley
4. Wanda and Jack came from Faq, and Stanley knows where Faq is, so we know Stanley was at least present in faq.
5. Faq is in ruins.


These facts support Stanley destroying FAQ.

However,

3. Wanda is under no loyalty spell
4. Jack seemed regretful not unable to turn when given the opportunity.
5. Wanda said she has wrecked more than Parson has.

These facts do not support Stanley destroying Faq. Since it seems ALL units except casters are unique to a side, the Dragons might very well be a Stanley monopoly. However:

6. Units may be veiled. We don't need another attacker to have dragons. A foolamancer like Jack could make a flight of birds look like Dragons if he wanted. Jack made Stanley and his mount look like bats. So disguising one's units as another factions is a documented ability.

I don't personally care either way. But the evidence does not fully support any speculation atm.

Kholdstare
2009-04-26, 10:20 PM
I'd like to see what kind of support you can come up with for this statement. How would it be poor storytelling? So far the whole, "Only Stanley can use dragons" assumption is JUST that! Just because stanley is the only known local power with a weir of dragons doesn't mean that someone else might be keeping their weir a secret.

It might not even be a local force, when I play wargames, I'll often send out a recon force out capable of taking poorly defended cities.

Wow. Really? Is that what you take? You ignore everything before that,which is why I wrote that out, and just totally misinterpret that in one epic fail quote?

The entire point of that was that it is very unlikely that anyone else did it and it is next to impossible. Dwagons could be the Hammer's uber unit, kind of like a leader ability, or a side's unique unit, or it needs extraneous circumstances for them to spawn/be tamed.

Everyone else thought Stanley because Dwagons are fiercely powerful. Instead of thinking about who could own or command a large group of what may be Erfworlds most powerful creatures they immediately thought of one man. He may be one of a very few number of people to actually command such power because he holds the tool of the gods. Stanley was on a crusade and Faq being an unnecessary casualty was most likely or it was the mission Stanley was sent on. The mission being that he had to destroy faq.

Point is that Dwagons aren't just some ordinary unit that can be spawned or trained easily. If they were then neither Ansom, a high level warlord of a powerful tribe, or Jillian, a former warlord of the city she is trying to avenge just automatically pick Stanley.. Ansom wouldn't have made such a blind conclusion nor would Jillian settle for just Stanley if Dwagons were a common occurrence.

Dwagons have to be spawned or tamed under very complicated circumstances so Stanley has to be the one who destroyed Faq, and any other side actually amassing such a powerful force would be akin to an Ass-Pull.

ishnar
2009-04-27, 01:45 PM
Wow. Really? Is that what you take? You ignore everything before that,which is why I wrote that out, and just totally misinterpret that in one epic fail quote?

I didn't ignore everything before that. Everything before that did not support your conclusion. I misinterpreted nothing. Your conclusion was the fail, not my quote.



The entire point of that was that it is very unlikely that anyone else did it and it is next to impossible.

Not next to impossible. Actually, I can think of other explanations for what happened. The problem here is lack of imagination not lack of possibilities.

1. Someone else could have disguised their units as dragons with foolamancy and attacked in a deliberate attempt to distract from the faction that really did it. Casters flee to Magic Kingdom and get hired by Stanley. They tell Stanley where FAQ is after he asks where they originally came from.

2. There could have been a simultaneous attack from another faction. Stanley could have been a secret Ally of Banhammer coming in to reinforce after a ground attack.

3. Natural Catastrophe. Again Stanley is coming to the rescue.

4. I think Wanda could have been involved in the fall of FAQ somehow. Killing the predictamancer, giving out intel. Raising a secret uncroaked force

I'm not really debating the possibility of these, I'm just showing that there are other potential explanations and therefore there is no ass-pull or poor storytelling as you would posit. To do an ass pull or for there to be poor storytelling, the situation would have to be developed more completely than it has. Right now the evidence is circumstantial.

Wizzardman
2009-04-27, 03:28 PM
I'm not suggesting we do. I'm suggesting we accept the possibility that it is.
And, if you'll notice, I never said it wasn't. I was just pointing out that your "cigar" is missing some of its tobacco.

And yet, despite your habit of leaping on far less important inconsistancies as rendering various arguments invalid, this doesn't trouble you?
Nope. I'm playing Devil's Advocate. Its not my job to defend your theory--or anyone else's, for that matter; my job is merely to point out any inadequacies of your theory that currently leave room for alternate theories or interpretations. If your theory has so many problems that alternatives are still readily suggestible and can be considered valid alternatives, then we can't accept your theory as "right," no matter how many times you insist it is. We have to continue to pursue alternate solutions until someone manages either remove the inadequacies of your theory, or prove a different one.
And your definition of "important" is rather strange, friend. I'd say that the loyalties of Wanda and Jack are very important, considering they're the only remaining known witnesses to whatever the heck happened at Faq.

If there is no better explanation we have to go with the best one avaliable until more evidence has been uncovered.
...No we don't. If we were trying to prove or work with some physical aspect of reality, sure (though if this were something important, I'd say much more work is needed before this can be considered ready for testing). As it is, we're debating the outcome of a fantasy comic strip, so you and I and everyone else can just go on believing whatever the hell we want, until either the inadequacies of your theory are proven, or we just go on with something else.

You are only doing half the work you claim, and it is the wrong half. ...The wrong half? What, is your theory somehow sacrosanct, and thereby immune to peer review? You've got just as much to prove as the OP does.

"Stanley is innocent in the destruction of Faq" may explain this one point, but it raises much larger problems (such as the question of who is responsible, we're now looking for a completely different side!) There, I considered them and rejected them. As I said, you're concentrating on the wrong half: bringing down the main theory instead of bringing up other theories. The other theories are too far down for just the former to work.
Well, then, quite obviously, the other theories need work as well. Good for them; I'd debate them too, except the "Stanley did it" theorists seem to have done most of my work for me. You're welcome to reject all the others if you want, but until further information is gained, we can't declare yours to be the "right" one. So the debate continues.

2. There could have been a simultaneous attack from another faction. Stanley could have been a secret Ally of Banhammer coming in to reinforce after a ground attack.
I think that this is the most likely option of the several you've posted. Unfortunately, again, we're left wondering as to where said attack could have stemmed from, and how Gobwin Knob and Faq managed to be allies despite Faq's purposeful isolation and without the knowledge of the leader of Faq's daughter.
Of course, since said daughter wasn't exactly at home often, this is still a possibility.

3. Natural Catastrophe. Again Stanley is coming to the rescue.
Possible, but unlikely. We haven't exactly had a great deal of evidence on there being any "natural catastrophes" that occur in this game--especially not ones where an attack force could be useful. However, it is possible that "natural catastrophe" includes some kind of random encounter setup, or possibly a betrayal stemming from the nonhuman tribes, or something similar to that.

Foryn Gilnith
2009-04-27, 05:13 PM
My responses are added in bold.

Wow. Really? Is that what you take? You ignore everything before that,which is why I wrote that out, and just totally misinterpret that in one epic fail quote? No comment.

The entire point of that was that it is very unlikely that anyone else did it and it is next to impossible. Dwagons could be the Hammer's uber unit, kind of like a leader ability, or a side's unique unit, or it needs extraneous circumstances for them to spawn/be tamed. Who said it had to be "anyone else"? I see no reason that the overflight of dragons cannot be a natural exodus. All animals assemble in groups of various sizes, after all; and we have no reason to suspect dragons an exception.

Everyone else thought Stanley because Dwagons are fiercely powerful. Instead of thinking about who could own or command a large group of what may be Erfworlds most powerful creatures they immediately thought of one man. He may be one of a very few number of people to actually command such power because he holds the tool of the gods. Stanley was on a crusade and Faq being an unnecessary casualty was most likely or it was the mission Stanley was sent on. The mission being that he had to destroy faq. "Everyone else"? The only person that has been in a position to form an opinion on this was Jillian. And even after she learned about Stanley the Worm, and likely his infamous dragons, she was still unsure. The dragons didn't confirm it, Wanda's existence did. Jillian's reaction to rumors of Stanley the Worm were far from an instant, "OMFG he has dwagonz attack!" And given that she's a barbarian, such a knee-jerk reaction is what I'd expect. If dragons were at all a significant indicator towards Stanley's complicity, I'd have expected Jillian to be a lot less ambivalent about initially joining the crusade.

Point is that Dwagons aren't just some ordinary unit that can be spawned or trained easily. If they were then neither Ansom, a high level warlord of a powerful tribe, or Jillian, a former warlord of the city she is trying to avenge just automatically pick Stanley.. Ansom wouldn't have made such a blind conclusion nor would Jillian settle for just Stanley if Dwagons were a common occurrence. Ansom didn't automatically pick Stanley for destroying FAQ. He didn't even know about FAQ. Jillian didn't automatically pick Stanley, even though she should have under your theory. Jillian headed to attack Stanley because it might give her some answers, whereas if dwagons were such a strong indicator she'd already have her answers. Wanda's presence with Stanley confirmed Jillian's suspicions - the presence of dwagons did not. Ansom attacked Stanley for his lineage, not anything with FAQ; and Jillian did not settle for Stanley until meeting with Wanda many, many times.

Dwagons have to be spawned or tamed under very complicated circumstances so Stanley has to be the one who destroyed Faq, and any other side actually amassing such a powerful force would be akin to an Ass-Pull.Indeed. No other side would reasonably control an overflight of dragons. However, I see no evidence that these dwagons were "controlled" at all.

HandofShadows
2009-04-28, 02:29 PM
One of the bigger problems with Jetstone destroying Faq is why would Wanda NOT tell Jillian that it had been Jestone and not Stanley. I think we now have a reason. Wanda apparently got some highly spefic/accurate prediction given to her. She should have known that GK was going to fall/most of Stanley's forces destroyed. So to keep Jilian alive she let Jillian stay with the RCC. It has been suggested that Wanda gave Stanley the idea to head back to Faq, if she did she would have known that Jillian would follow. Might have happened.

MalikT
2009-04-28, 04:22 PM
Considering charlie's prices for thinkamancy messaging, and the overcharge 250k per turn he made to the vamps, i'd say that with his rates, 500k is not THAT much in the long run.... furtharmore, other sides i would imagine might have similar treasury's... and strategic position is out because it does not seem like charlie has been doing much to expand his side.

I can think of another reason - he was payed to do it, by an unknown side who would like to take GK and their 11 cities (Jetstone?).


Ignoring the above points, not half bad...
only problems might be as to why Stanley would bring Sizemore with him to fight faq... Sizemore talks as if he has never had to lead or croak anyone before, and without his golems the amount of help that Sizemore could provide would be minimal

Maybe that why Stanley disrespects Sizemore, he froze during his first battle.

Pancho Villa
2009-04-28, 07:34 PM
Speculation on this level is silly. The people doing it should feel silly.

Lets recap the info that is there, regarding the fall of Faq and relevant casters:

It seems that both Jack Snipe and Wanda were from Faq.

Faq fell after sending a thinkagram to Jillian about an overflight of dwagons, according to Jillian.

Stanley's side if the only known side that uses dwagons.

Wanda and Jack are both now in service to Stanley.

Wanda says that it was prophesied that she would gain the arkenpliers.

She also mentioned that Ansom took something from her, to my knowledge what that was is never mentioned.

All you can surmise as fairly likely from the above:

Stanley or someone who he delegated authority to take a flight of dwagons destroyed Faq and captured Wanda and Jack, *possibly* with inside help from Wanda.

Anything else is blind stabs in the dark. Who knows, they may turn out to be right. But if there is no real reason to suspect it as anything but the above, then it is just that - a stab in the dark. It doesn't make you clever or observant if you are, by accident, correct - it makes you stupid lucky.

Schaffer1979
2009-04-28, 10:03 PM
I don't know if anyone else hasmentioned this but here's how I read the story line with Jack, Wanda, and Stanley.

When Jack is speaking of the folly of love and wisdom to Stanley, I think maybe he loved Wanda and assisted her with her goals, possibly including helping Stanley conquer FAQ.

I think Jack is under a loyalty spell to Stanley and since it seems casters understand (based on Janis' words in her appearances) that the way denizens of Erfworld are popped and have no choice until the rules are broken enough that the world changes, he understands the way the scenario stands and does not begrudge Stanley his actions.

It seems based on Wanda's commands in battles and the bonuses they give to their troops that casters understand Tactics. With FAQ destroyed and Jack loyal to Stanley by a spell, he would act to the best of his ability to save Stanley without regard to any other scenarios (using Parson's situation in not being able to not activate the volcano if it had a chance of succeeding as support of actions being forced to try to save the ruler's hide/resources/cities).

I think Wanda is not under a loyalty spell because of agreements she made with Stanley at some point. And it is also not unreasonable to assume that (based on Jillian and Ansom's interactions) Erfworld denizens have the ability to build loyalty freely based on friendship and relationships. Maybe Wanda, in addition to desiring the pliers, developed a fondness for those she has been with for who knows how long without a loyalty spell forcing her compliance or goodwill.

She seems to treat Sizemore nicely enough and she has no obligation to him in the beginning of the strip. She also treats Bogroll kindly with no gain to herself. She does take actions that aren't beneficial to herself.

And Stanley accepts her and her personality quirks and input without condescendation or other negative connotations. He also does not expect sexual favors of her even if she seduced him once. (or possibly more depending on her manipulation of him through the timeline they have known each other).

Ansom clearly thought she was an abomination despite the fact that the school of magic she studies is acceptable in other areas. It should be a norm and not invoke such scorn and outrage given that none of the casters in the Magic Kingdom seem to look down on her our outcast her. But then her interaction with others is so limited there's not much to support or disprove that theory.

Frankly, if I had to take an incompetent ruler with a competent panel of managers/advisors helping to oversee the country who do manage to sway him to change his orders when horrid (see the first few parts of the story when Wanda has his ear) over a competent ruler who has moral beliefs that I don't support, I'd take the first option. competency can be learned over time and we've already established that Stanley was promoted to leadership and I don't see anyone training him to be a good leader, which means he will be learning through trial and error, so of course he looks horribly incomptent compared to others who have a history of ruling already.

I'm sure that being royal, Ansom has had all the advantages that confers in his entire popped existence. Stanley has not.

That being said, to get myself back on track, I don't think Jetstone destroyed FAQ. If Ansom had faults, I don't recall dishonesty being one of those faults in cannon.

Bogardan_Mage
2009-04-28, 11:32 PM
And, if you'll notice, I never said it wasn't. I was just pointing out that your "cigar" is missing some of its tobacco.
I think this analogy has outlived its usefulness.


Nope. I'm playing Devil's Advocate. Its not my job to defend your theory--or anyone else's, for that matter; my job is merely to point out any inadequacies of your theory that currently leave room for alternate theories or interpretations. If your theory has so many problems that alternatives are still readily suggestible and can be considered valid alternatives, then we can't accept your theory as "right," no matter how many times you insist it is. We have to continue to pursue alternate solutions until someone manages either remove the inadequacies of your theory, or prove a different one.
Stop hiding behind your claims of devil's advocate. You said it yourself, as long as "alternatives are redily suggestible and can be considered valid alternatives" you have a point. But that means you have to actually demonstrate said valid alternatives, because from where I'm standing they don't exist.


And your definition of "important" is rather strange, friend. I'd say that the loyalties of Wanda and Jack are very important, considering they're the only remaining known witnesses to whatever the heck happened at Faq.
No, it's not important. It may offer evidence but nothing conclusive. In the face of logistics (i.e. how they physically got where they are), motivations are very hazy.


...No we don't. If we were trying to prove or work with some physical aspect of reality, sure (though if this were something important, I'd say much more work is needed before this can be considered ready for testing). As it is, we're debating the outcome of a fantasy comic strip, so you and I and everyone else can just go on believing whatever the hell we want, until either the inadequacies of your theory are proven, or we just go on with something else.
If you truly believed that you wouldn't be here.


...The wrong half? What, is your theory somehow sacrosanct, and thereby immune to peer review? You've got just as much to prove as the OP does.
My theory is not sacrosanct, but you seem to think yours is. Oh, no wait, you think you don't have a theory. You think you don't need a theory in order to argue another. The half of the work you are doing is attacking the existing theories, but the half you should be doing (ideally you should do both halves, but if you're only going to do one it should be this one because it can actually accomplish something) is offering an alternative.


Well, then, quite obviously, the other theories need work as well. Good for them; I'd debate them too, except the "Stanley did it" theorists seem to have done most of my work for me. You're welcome to reject all the others if you want, but until further information is gained, we can't declare yours to be the "right" one. So the debate continues.
I don't believe I said "right" I said "most likely". You seem to think that labeling yourself "Devil's Advocate" means that you can prevent anything from being "most likely" by pointing out one irrelevant detail that we don't yet know. It doesn't work that way.

Aquillion
2009-04-29, 01:52 AM
Honestly, there's a much more simple reason why we know this theory is false:

Ansom died. There are, in fact, no living characters left from Jetstone.

Setting up a shocking swerve on the author's part in which Ansom is the big evil bad man behind everything is totally pointless if Ansom isn't around for the revelation. Who cares? There's no drama. It doesn't really matter anymore to anyone but Jillian, and even if it matters to her there's not much she can do about it.

If you want my honest assessment of it -- Jetstone's role in the story is over, at least for now. If the authors had planned to use Jetstone heavily in the future, we'd have been introduced to Jetstone characters who survived, so we would have some connection and some 'human' way to see the story of what's going on there. Killing off every Jetstone character effectively severs us, the readers, from any way to relate to or care about them.

slayerx
2009-04-29, 02:32 AM
Maybe that why Stanley disrespects Sizemore, he froze during his first battle.

Sizemore is bound by Duty and as such would have had to fight no matter what... furthermore, my point was that Sizemore would be of little use fighting along side the dwagons. In combat, Sizemore finds his most use on the ground leading golems and those would not have been with him at the battle of Faq

MalikT
2009-04-29, 03:35 AM
Sizemore is bound by Duty and as such would have had to fight no matter what... furthermore, my point was that Sizemore would be of little use fighting along side the dwagons. In combat, Sizemore finds his most use on the ground leading golems and those would not have been with him at the battle of Faq

Accordin to the klog (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0094.html) Duty and Loyalty don't modify moral during battle. He knows he needs to fight but he just can't.
About his usefulness in battle, he could be causing earthquakes, stone spikes raising from ground, maybe even animating basic golems while riding on the dragons back. Speculations at this point are limitless.

HandofShadows
2009-04-29, 05:13 AM
Honestly, there's a much more simple reason why we know this theory is false:

Ansom died. There are, in fact, no living characters left from Jetstone.

Setting up a shocking swerve on the author's part in which Ansom is the big evil bad man behind everything is totally pointless if Ansom isn't around for the revelation. Who cares? There's no drama. It doesn't really matter anymore to anyone but Jillian, and even if it matters to her there's not much she can do about it.

ROFLMAO! Come ON! It was practically stated that Ansom was going to be brought back on page 143 and here he is back on 144!


When Jack is speaking of the folly of love and wisdom to Stanley, I think maybe he loved Wanda and assisted her with her goals, possibly including helping Stanley conquer FAQ.

Jack was talking about being in love with Jillian, not Wanda. Jillian mentions this back when she was telling her history to Ansom.

zz_tophat
2009-04-29, 08:10 AM
I could be the fact that Stanley appreciates his importance, it could be the fact that he did save their boops during the battle with the bats. It could be both those events but is it just me or do Stanley and Jack seem a little "chummy" in the first three panels of: http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0157.html ?

I mention this in here because if Jack not only gets along with but actually likes Stanley it lends credence to the theory that someone other than Stanley took down Faq.

slayerx
2009-04-29, 12:47 PM
Accordin to the klog (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0094.html) Duty and Loyalty don't modify moral during battle. He knows he needs to fight but he just can't.
About his usefulness in battle, he could be causing earthquakes, stone spikes raising from ground, maybe even animating basic golems while riding on the dragons back. Speculations at this point are limitless.
We saw Sizemore croak a lot of people... it doesn't matter whether he wants to or not, it doesn't matter what his morals are, his Duty FORCES him to follow the orders given to him. Hell that kloog even points out how units may have no free will. He can say how much he doesn't want to fight all he wants, but if he is given an order then he will follow

Aquillion
2009-04-29, 06:54 PM
ROFLMAO! Come ON! It was practically stated that Ansom was going to be brought back on page 143 and here he is back on 144!...yeah. Well, in my defense, I didn't have any way to know that he'd come back as anything but a mindless zombie... :smallfrown:

ishnar
2009-04-29, 07:28 PM
Possible, but unlikely. We haven't exactly had a great deal of evidence on there being any "natural catastrophes" that occur in this game--especially not ones where an attack force could be useful. However, it is possible that "natural catastrophe" includes some kind of random encounter setup, or possibly a betrayal stemming from the nonhuman tribes, or something similar to that.

Yea, random encounter would work. Maybe Banhammer left a black square too close to his kingdom and got blitzed by a spawn of dragons or barbarians. That would give Stanley a plausible savior function, when he comes in and tames a bunch of rampaging dragons, unfortunately, after Banhammer got croaked.

I'm also playing with the idea of Wanda murdering people and assembling a secret army of uncroaked. Probably the least likely I can come up with though. Doesn't really explain why she is such a staunch Stanley supporter, unless Stanley knows but won't tell for some reason of his own. But that explanation does not allow for an innocent" Stanley.

Of course, I'm a fan of Occam's razor and go for the explanation with the fewest assumptions, this is more of a mental exercise for me than really defending. Right now, due to the support of Jack and Wanda, it seems like a good idea to not take anything at face value until more explanation comes forth.


Speculation on this level is silly. The people doing it should feel silly.


Anything else is blind stabs in the dark. Who knows, they may turn out to be right. But if there is no real reason to suspect it as anything but the above, then it is just that - a stab in the dark. It doesn't make you clever or observant if you are, by accident, correct - it makes you stupid lucky.

Actually, I consider stupid to be someone that refuses to think. So a Stupid lucky person would be the one that goes with the first answer and refuses to consider alternatives, but ends up being right. Sure, Stanley maybe did invade FAQ, but if he did, that doesn't make you clever or observant for thinking so, it makes you stupid lucky.

The operative point here is that there are two major points that go against the Stanley Invaded hypothesis, and refusing to acknowledge those points. Also, even if Stanley is the only player force that has dragons. The thinkagram did not say, "A large overflight of dragons with someone mounted on top."

There are lots of times when an author attempts to lead the audience by controlling what facets the reader gets of the whole picture. While there may be some entertainment value in just sitting back and allowing one's self to be led, there is also some entertainment value in catching the author in the process. Those that guess correctly aren't just making mad stabs in the dark if it also fits the known facts.

Schaffer1979
2009-05-04, 06:40 AM
I know this is a little late coming as a discussion but I don't get on the forums all that often except at work.

Handofshadows, I assert your response to me is merely your interpretation. I went back to the two strips where Jillian gave Ansom the big reveal and I did not see anything there about Jack being in love with her mentioned. Unless I am looking in the wrong place.

In any case, what we get from Jillian is only one side of the story from her perspective. So I am not moved to change my opinions based on your rebuttal (so far).

HandofShadows
2009-05-04, 07:18 AM
Handofshadows, I assert your response to me is merely your interpretation. I went back to the two strips where Jillian gave Ansom the big reveal and I did not see anything there about Jack being in love with her mentioned. Unless I am looking in the wrong place.

Can't find the page when Jillian states that Jakc had a crush on her, but it's very clear from what Jack says on page 166 "Love is the wisdom of the fool and the folly of the wise" while he is looking back at Jillian.

raphfrk
2009-05-04, 07:57 AM
Can't find the page when Jillian states that Jakc had a crush on her,

It's this (http://www.erfworld.com/book-1-archive/?px=%2F107.jpg) page.

HandofShadows
2009-05-04, 09:24 AM
It's this (http://www.erfworld.com/book-1-archive/?px=%2F107.jpg) page.

Thank you.

Moechi_Vill
2009-05-05, 12:52 AM
You're on my ignore list but I saw this in a quote so it seems reasonable to respond to it:


Originally Posted by LurkerInPlayground
Jillian heard panicked reports of an overhead flight of dwagons. Hence, Stanley destroyed Faq.

See, it's cute how posters selectively disregard the established facts of a story to support a chosen bit of pet speculation.

Because, you see, Belkar is lawful good.

He is easily and provably wrong, however your needless sarcasm and like certainty and disregard of facts is worse.
Certainly Ansom did not destroy Faq but hearing an overflight of dragons is not proof of Stanley destroying Faq, only an indicator.
However, people on my ignore list do tend to always jump to conclusions so that is why I try to avoid hearing them, it saves a lot of useless aggro.

At least the opening post is friendly despite being provably wrong, curious and open to information even if it has chosen something to believe for now (then, when it was posted). Also you can't expect a new reader, or all readers to familiar with Erfworld. To do so would deny them the ability to post, though personally I believe in being properly researched.



I know this is a little late coming as a discussion but I don't get on the forums all that often except at work.

Handofshadows, I assert your response to me is merely your interpretation. I went back to the two strips where Jillian gave Ansom the big reveal and I did not see anything there about Jack being in love with her mentioned. Unless I am looking in the wrong place.

In any case, what we get from Jillian is only one side of the story from her perspective. So I am not moved to change my opinions based on your rebuttal (so far).

Oh it's there and it's said openly enough to easily change one's opinion. It might not be at that exact page, but it is somewhere. Jillian says/said he had a crush on her.

Imgran
2009-05-05, 08:50 AM
If we're going to really do this we should at least look at the possibility that the overflight of Dwagons is a red herring altogether. There was at least one Foolamancer in the vicinity, as well as Wanda who is known to use cross-discipline spells. There's also the possibility of an erroneous letter or even an outright lie to Jillian.

The theory goes like this: Faq is discovered by Jetstone because of Jillian's activities --- they hit an ally or something and Jillian is traced back to her bubble kingdom home. With time on their side and Faq not even aware their cover is blown Jetstone waits for Jillian to leave again then strikes.

Ansom moves in mostly with fast-moving units and very little siege and Faq falls in a pure shock offensive and has no time to send any messages at all. Wanda and Jack retreat into the Magic Kingdom. The Arkenpliers, promised to Wanda when she reached the level to be able to wield them, are plundered by Ansom (thus, "what you took" directed at Ansom).

Ansom has a false message sent to Jillian implicating a hated rival. Meanwhile, Stanley gets wind of the Arkenpliers and either still as Saline IV's underling or as the Tool of the Titans, goes out to claim them for himself. Ansom's false message is inadvertently verified as this light army with minimal siege encounters, and is no match for, Stanley. Ansom escapes with his life and the pliers while Stanley proceeds to, in Vinnie's words, croak a few Jetstone field units. (Vinnie was not told where those field units were because Ansom didn't want Transylvito taking the cities before he had a chance to). Jack and Wanda willingly join their avengers.

With an Arkentool he can't use, cities he conquered but can't claim, and his army decimated, Ansom has some 'splainin' to do and he gives a half-honest report. His troops were in the field on neutral ground and were croaked by Gobwin Knob's forces Casus Beli. Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war.

When Jillian's forces join as mercenaries, so much the better, just yet one more opportunity for political advancement and indeed, why shouldn't he take in a willing dupe as paramour and potential thrall-ally? But of course, we must her her come forward on her own terms. Let her think it's her idea.

Of course the big hole here would be with GK neutralized, why not go back and take a detachment to claim those cities himself? Surely a cover story could be invented. the only good answer to that question would be Ansom's own arrogance. He wanted to both personally destroy Stanley and also personally hand his king Faq's cities for his own glory.