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View Full Version : Parson is Wanda's unit, not Stanley's



Imgran
2009-05-14, 11:56 PM
Facts to consider.

-- Summoning Parson was Wanda's idea.

-- She did the actual summoning

-- She pushed to get the warlord she wanted

-- Parson did not obey Stanley's order to stand until Wanda told him to obey Stanley's orders. Even though ever since, Parson has had to obey Stanley whether he wanted to or not.

New evidence that Wanda is not directly loyal to Stanley simultaneously strengthens the case while also making the argument relevant.

On the whole, it very much looks like Parson is Wanda's unit, and that in a clash of loyalty between Stanley and Wanda, Parson would be obliged to take Wanda's side.

Thoughts?

LurkerInPlayground
2009-05-15, 12:44 AM
And your point is what exactly? That you get to lay a pedantic claim that Wanda "owns" Parson? Define ownership to me. What right does Wanda have to "own" Parson? What liberties can she really take with Parson? Where do those rights begin and end?

As you can see, they're all moot questions.

Is Parson more loyal to Wanda than to Stanley, in the sense that he has more respect and admiration for her? Yes. If Parson is "obligated" to take Wanda's side, it's because he has chosen to.

Does Stanley still directly control Parson, should he choose to? Evidence points to "yes."

But that's neither here-nor-there. It seems to me that Loyalty isn't what people in Erfworld think it is. A part of it is probably confused by the whole Divine Mandate nonsense.

Emo Samurai
2009-05-15, 01:18 AM
And your point is what exactly? That you get to lay a pedantic claim that Wanda "owns" Parson? Define ownership to me. What right does Wanda have to "own" Parson? What liberties can she really take with Parson? Where do those rights begin and end?


"Natural" thinkamancy's too likely a reality in this comic for this not to be pedantic.

LurkerInPlayground
2009-05-15, 01:53 AM
"Natural" thinkamancy's too likely a reality in this comic for this not to be pedantic.
So totally not my point. Thanks for actually reading the post.

Saying that Parson is "Wanda's" is totally and completely irrelevant to anything ever. The OP was probably saying that Parson would actually take risks on behalf of Wanda were it his choice, whereas he would screw-over Stanley if he could get away with it.

But that latter claim has nothing to do with the former. "Ownership" or any other possessive is never that clear-cut and simple.

If we're talking about military-game "ownership" he's unequivocally Stanley's unit. If we're talking about where his personal relational loyalties lie, then he's "Wanda's." But that too is meaningless because we could say he is "Bogroll's" or "Sizemore's."

In the former case, the OP's claim is wrong. In the latter, it is completely irrelevant as a measure for anything.

Eco-Mono
2009-05-15, 01:57 AM
"Natural" thinkamancy's too likely a reality in this comic for this not to be pedantic.Only Rulers have natural Thinkamancy; that particular leash is held by Stanley. The pertinent question here is whose orders are enforced by the summoning spell itself (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0019.html). And on that note...
Does Stanley still directly control Parson, should he choose to? Evidence points to "yes."A cursory reading would agree with that, but the OP points out an interesting detail (Parson didn't auto-obey the order to get up like he auto-obeyed the order to laugh) that leaves enough room to debate it.

LurkerInPlayground
2009-05-15, 02:02 AM
And on that note... A cursory reading would agree with that, but the OP points out an interesting detail (Parson didn't auto-obey the order to get up like he auto-obeyed the order to laugh) that leaves enough room to debate it.
Doesn't matter.

He follows Stanley's orders and is on his "side." So he's "Stanley's" unit until such time as Parson breaks free, whether by breaking the enchantment or by learning that there are no magical compulsions to obey Stanley.

If by this definition, you want to say that he *will* enter Wanda's direct service, then the OP should have made that clear. He didn't. Nor do I see Parson being anything other than his own man, given a choice.

mortissimus
2009-05-15, 03:08 AM
He follows Stanley's orders and is on his "side." So he's "Stanley's" unit until such time as Parson breaks free, whether by breaking the enchantment or by learning that there are no magical compulsions to obey Stanley.

Or until Wanda breaks with Stanley. Which I believe was was Imgran's point.

Tanaar
2009-05-15, 03:29 AM
Wanda was not originally a Gobwin Knob unit, and as there is no Loyalty spell on her, she is essentially a barbarian that has chosen permanent alliance with GK. Like Jillian's alliance with the Royal Crown Coalition. Independent to leave if she chose, but not expected to do so.

In that (very likely) case, there could be a number of implications. Stanley gave Wanda the Schmuckers to buy the summoning spell, he didn't purchase it himself. She could have bought it in her own name. He also didn't cast it. She may have done so under her own name. These things could make Parson's unit ownership fall under Wanda's barbarian loyalty. She ordered him to follow Stanley's orders, and he is bound to do so until she breaks alliance with Stanley and orders Parson to no longer listen to Stanley.

So yes, the matter of who 'owns' Parson is extremely relevant, if we're postulating a Wanda/Stanley break. Who gets custody?

LurkerITP did make a good point though: Parson is his own man, and has been shown to be exempt from some game mechanics. Could Loyalty or Natural Thinkamancy even force him to do something? Could he even be disbanded at all? Unknown.

mortissimus
2009-05-15, 04:08 AM
Could Loyalty or Natural Thinkamancy even force him to do something?

We know he can be forced to laugh (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0023.html).

MickJay
2009-05-15, 05:01 AM
While quite strong, I don't really think the arguments about Parson being Wanda's unit are sufficient, there are just too many cases where he obeys Stanley, and not a single one where he would take orders from Wanda.

Killer Angel
2009-05-15, 06:06 AM
While quite strong, I don't really think the arguments about Parson being Wanda's unit are sufficient, there are just too many cases where he obeys Stanley, and not a single one where he would take orders from Wanda.

Debatable. You can say that he obeys Stanley only because Wanda ordered him to do so.
The problem is: if Parson is compelled to obey Wanda and not Stanley (and wanda hide this fact very well), what are the possible consequences?
Wanda is not loyal to stanley (and this is a fact), so she could betray Stanley, bringin' Parson with her...
It's an interesting theory, but I don't think it's really probable.

Imgran
2009-05-15, 09:15 AM
We may never see it actually play out in the story but it is a distinct possibility worth considering and the implications could make a difference. Wanda is a definite wild card right now. She followed Stanley in the hopes of getting something she wants -- that she now has. This could be important soon if Wanda decides that, now that she has what she wants, it's time to take command of her own destiny.

For the record: Parson doesn't obey Wanda's orders because Wanda has never given him orders, other than the one time when she told him to obey Stanley.

DevilDan
2009-05-15, 10:59 AM
In my opinion, this is a bit too unlikely an argument. Parson was summoned at Stanley's behest, using GK monies, and has followed Stanley's orders. If Parson were somehow under Wanda's authority, then the writer would have foreshadowed this at the beginning.

raphfrk
2009-05-15, 11:34 AM
In that (very likely) case, there could be a number of implications. Stanley gave Wanda the Schmuckers to buy the summoning spell, he didn't purchase it himself. She could have bought it in her own name. He also didn't cast it. She may have done so under her own name.


Parson's upkeep come out of the GK treasury (stanley mentions it just before the first stupid meal arrives, "it better pop"). Now, perhaps all of Jillian's units are paid for by the Transvito allliance while she remains aligned with them.

Also, initially, he is trying to fight Stanley's order. Orders don't have to be automatically followed instantly, the unit can ask for clarification (like Wanda with promoting a different warlord). Parson protested the order, but didn't flat out refuse to comply.

SteveMB
2009-05-15, 11:48 AM
Doesn't matter.

If it comes to a break between Wanda and Stanley, it might matter very much whether Parson is directly bound to obey Stanley's orders, or whether he is directly bound to obey Wanda's orders (and obeys Stanley's orders only because Wanda told him he had to... and would stop having to obey Stanley if Wanda rescinded that order).

If I understand the original post correctly, that's the point of this thread.


We may never see it actually play out in the story but it is a distinct possibility worth considering and the implications could make a difference. Wanda is a definite wild card right now. She followed Stanley in the hopes of getting something she wants -- that she now has. This could be important soon if Wanda decides that, now that she has what she wants, it's time to take command of her own destiny.

Hmmm... judging from Wanda's comments about being loyal to Fate magic, does she really believe that she can take command of her own destiny?

Imgran
2009-05-15, 03:35 PM
Parson's upkeep come out of the GK treasury (stanley mentions it just before the first stupid meal arrives, "it better pop"). Now, perhaps all of Jillian's units are paid for by the Transvito allliance while she remains aligned with them.

More to the point, Gobwin Knob likely pays for its Gobwin allies who also are semi-permanent allies rather than directly-owned units -- and the only reason Stanley wouldn't have to pay for the Dwagons is because they are Arkenhammer units.


Also, initially, he is trying to fight Stanley's order. Orders don't have to be automatically followed instantly, the unit can ask for clarification (like Wanda with promoting a different warlord). Parson protested the order, but didn't flat out refuse to comply.

That's how I read it at first too, but looking back at it in light of later strips, Parson's loyalty is definitely a little murky as a direct result of Wanda's loyalty becoming murky.

Gez
2009-05-15, 04:04 PM
While the theory is not completely absurd, it is still more logical and consistent if Parson is one of Stanley's tools, rather than one of Wanda's assets.

- It's Stanley's money that bought him and paid his upkeep. If he were Wanda's pet, presumably, Parson would have had an upkeep cost of 0 for Stanley but at the same time Wanda's upkeep cost would have increased quite a bit.

-Parson fits Stanley's wishes. He's really big, he snacks on marbits, he speaks "language" and he really wanted to be summoned, etc. Wanda was just looking for a mind at first, not for all these requirements.

-Wanda did not want to do the summoning herself, and was genuinely frustrated about having to do it.

-Wanda did not order Parson to follow Stanley's command, she merely explained him what would happen if he didn't. It wasn't presented as a threat, either, just as a warning.

mortissimus
2009-05-16, 05:20 AM
Hmmm... judging from Wanda's comments about being loyal to Fate magic, does she really believe that she can take command of her own destiny?

Probably not. So a possible break would come from her believing that Fate wants it. Did the predictomancer maybe say anything about what would happen after she attentuned to an artifact?

Shhalahr Windrider
2009-05-16, 08:20 AM
- It's Stanley's money that bought him and paid his upkeep. If he were Wanda's pet, presumably, Parson would have had an upkeep cost of 0 for Stanley but at the same time Wanda's upkeep cost would have increased quite a bit.
Depends exactly how upkeep accounting works. If the total value of the upkeep just disappears from the treasury without any indication of what it's being spent on, Stanley has no idea if the extra money he's been paying is going directly to Parson or through Wanda.


-Parson fits Stanley's wishes. He's really big, he snacks on marbits, he speaks "language" and he really wanted to be summoned, etc. Wanda was just looking for a mind at first, not for all these requirements.
He fits Stanley's wishes because Wanda put Stanley's wishes into the spell. Even if she's not loyal to Stanley, she wasn't ready to advertise that fact by bringing in her perfect warlord rather than his.

In any case, it's clear that his shouting out of requirements was overloading her mind, which was already taxed by the casting. It would be surprising if nothing he said was unconciously channeled through the spell.


-Wanda did not want to do the summoning herself, and was genuinely frustrated about having to do it.
She didn't want to do it because she didn't feel she could cast it properly. Who knows how the spell's parameters would have been set if cast through another party.

Also remember, Wanda's an opportunist. It's possible she might have only thought to make Parson her own (if that's indeed the case) after she got forced into casting it herself.


-Wanda did not order Parson to follow Stanley's command, she merely explained him what would happen if he didn't. It wasn't presented as a threat, either, just as a warning.
And we all know that Wanda's good at manipulating people with suggestions rather than direct orders.

And let's face it, if you thought your very existence depended on obeying another person's orders, you'd probably obey them. You might even begin to believe there is an outside force working on your mind forcing you to obey them, if such an idea's already been suggested. Maybe even more so if believing such a force makes you more likely to comply with the orders without thought, therefore ensuring your continued existence.

SteveMB
2009-05-16, 08:46 AM
More to the point, Gobwin Knob likely pays for its Gobwin allies who also are semi-permanent allies rather than directly-owned units -- and the only reason Stanley wouldn't have to pay for the Dwagons is because they are Arkenhammer units.

"[Gobwins] are not our troops per se. Some sides have no capital, no cities, no royals -- gobwins, marbits, witches, elf brands, others. Have their own treasuries (http://www.erfworld.com/wp-content/uploads/book1/079a.jpg), form long semi-permanent alliances." (emphasis added)


Depends exactly how upkeep accounting works. If the total value of the upkeep just disappears from the treasury without any indication of what it's being spent on, Stanley has no idea if the extra money he's been paying is going directly to Parson or through Wanda.

Stanley knows (http://www.erfworld.com/wp-content/uploads/book1/039.jpg) how much Parson's upkeep costs. However, it's possible that it was inferred from before-and-after total upkeep cost, in much the same way his Leadership stat of 2 was inferred (http://www.erfworld.com/wp-content/uploads/book1/040a.jpg) rather than directly observed.

Shhalahr Windrider
2009-05-16, 11:48 AM
However, it's possible that it was inferred from before-and-after total upkeep cost, in much the same way his Leadership stat of 2 was inferred (http://www.erfworld.com/wp-content/uploads/book1/040a.jpg) rather than directly observed.
Exactly what I was getting at. :smallbiggrin:

Hadrian_Emrys
2009-05-16, 06:41 PM
Page 19: Wanda speaks ambiguously. She could be making a statement, or an order, perhaps a blend of both. His "Loyalty" could very well be to her.

Shhalahr Windrider
2009-05-17, 12:15 AM
Page 19: Wanda speaks ambiguously. She could be making a statement, or an order, perhaps a blend of both. His "Loyalty" could very well be to her.
Only problem is "You must serve your Lord's wills and desires" cannot be a direct order to serve Stanley if Stanley turns out to not be Parson's Lord. It's still just misdirection.

I guess the only thing that really goes against the idea of Parson's Loyalty being keyed to Wanda was the way he had to laugh at Stanley's joke on page 23 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0023.html). Even with my earlier argument of subconcious cumpulsion due to Wanda's suggestion, that laugh seemed too forced. In no other case have we seen Parson really compelled beyond even his subconcious will due to one of Stanley's orders. Or at least no other case I can think of.

Wyvv
2009-05-17, 02:31 AM
Only problem is "You must serve your Lord's wills and desires" cannot be a direct order to serve Stanley if Stanley turns out to not be Parson's Lord. It's still just misdirection.

He might be Parson's Lord, but it might only be for as long as he is Wanda's Lord as well. The boss of my boss is still my boss. You could also make the arguement that Parson realized she was implying he has to obey Stanley, even if that isn't what the statement technically means.

Gez
2009-05-17, 03:52 AM
I guess the only thing that really goes against the idea of Parson's Loyalty being keyed to Wanda was the way he had to laugh at Stanley's joke on page 23 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0023.html). Even with my earlier argument of subconcious cumpulsion due to Wanda's suggestion, that laugh seemed too forced. In no other case have we seen Parson really compelled beyond even his subconcious will due to one of Stanley's orders. Or at least no other case I can think of.

When he cannot talk and tries to arrange to get Bogroll to order him to speak. That shows he's bound to follow the letter of the order, but not its spirit -- as it should be the case if he was following them merely through subconscious belief he has to follow them.

Shhalahr Windrider
2009-05-17, 02:16 PM
He might be Parson's Lord, but it might only be for as long as he is Wanda's Lord as well. The boss of my boss is still my boss.
But part of this hypothesis lies on the idea that Stanley isn't technically Wanda's Lord, even. That she's Loyal to Fate, not to Stanley or FAQ.


You could also make the arguement that Parson realized she was implying he has to obey Stanley, even if that isn't what the statement technically means.
Indeed. A lot of this is coming down to subtle implication rather than direct expression.


When he cannot talk and tries to arrange to get Bogroll to order him to speak. That shows he's bound to follow the letter of the order, but not its spirit -- as it should be the case if he was following them merely through subconscious belief he has to follow them.
Yeah, I forgot about that incident. But Parson never tried to speak after getting the initial order. So no evidence of direct compulsion, like the laughter seems to be. Just reaction to Wanda's suggestions.

Imgran
2009-05-17, 02:32 PM
. A lot of this is coming down to subtle implication rather than direct expression.


Absolutely true, which it would almost have to -- Wanda works from behind the scenes, she's not going to declare her intentions boldly until she had the Arkenpliers in her fist.

For all intents, Parson would have behaved the same way in the story if he was Wanda's or Stanley's unit. But there's several potential futures for this strip as far as we've seen it that could make that distinction suddenly very important.


Parson never tried to speak after getting the initial order. So no evidence of direct compulsion, like the laughter seems to be. Just reaction to Wanda's suggestions.

Actually it's not necessarily true ti say "Parson never tried to speak." It's more true to say "Parson never spoke." For all we know though, he tied and failed.q

Shhalahr Windrider
2009-05-17, 04:12 PM
Actually it's not necessarily true ti say "Parson never tried to speak." It's more true to say "Parson never spoke." For all we know though, he tied and failed.q
If he had tried, there'd have likely been more indication. An open mouth but with nothing coming out, for instance. Plus, the reaction of not being able to do what you were trying to do, of course.

Imgran
2009-05-18, 10:27 AM
If he had tried, there'd have likely been more indication. An open mouth but with nothing coming out, for instance. Plus, the reaction of not being able to do what you were trying to do, of course.

If Parson was able to speak on his own he would have done so after Stanley went away.

Shhalahr Windrider
2009-05-18, 03:53 PM
If Parson was able to speak on his own he would have done so after Stanley went away.
No. Wanda told Parson the spell that summoned him was responsible for enforcing his obedience. That means he can't get away with disobeying Stanley's order just because Stanley isn't looking.

BillyJimBoBob
2009-05-18, 04:08 PM
-- Parson did not obey Stanley's order to stand until Wanda told him to obey Stanley's orders. Even though ever since, Parson has had to obey Stanley whether he wanted to or not.
Parson was not ordered to stand by Wanda. Parson was only ordered by Wanda to call Stanley "Lord." Or "Overlord" or "Master." Or another suitably respectful term [...]" And Parson still had enough wiggle room to substitute in 'tool', which we all know is not a respectful term in any way comparable to the prior three. The word "suitably" probably gave him broad latitude since it is able to be twisted like a forums debate over morality in OotS.

In any event, Parson is Stanley's unit. If Wanda turns, every unit in GK will know it due to unit-o-vision. The Erfworld IFF system has to be perfect, or units which are unled wouldn't have to attack enemy units on sight. If Parson or some other warlord isn't around, the dwagon will attack Wanda as soon as the decides to turn. So I don't see it happening unless she is either alone, and that would be a fairly useless choice for her to make when she has demonstrated the ability to get what she wants in the safety of the GK forces, or in the presence of an enemy force able to transport her away after she turns, such as would have been the case has Wanda turned when Jillian asked her to.

DragoonKain
2009-05-18, 06:44 PM
"You must serve your Lord's will and desires. Forever." is what Wanda said. I think that's enough room to make him obey Stanley and still be disrespectful and/or lie to him.

Ave
2009-05-19, 01:43 AM
Parson (and Wanda) did enter the magic kingdom and came back.
Effectively repopped. That thing itself might have changed their 'game mechanics'.

Gez
2009-05-19, 05:41 AM
Parson (and Wanda) did enter the magic kingdom and came back.
Effectively repopped. That thing itself might have changed their 'game mechanics'.

I don't follow how going through portals is repopping at all.

BillyJimBoBob
2009-05-19, 08:07 AM
I don't follow how going through portals is repopping at all.That's because you appear to be a rational person, and do not make up things which are in no way even implied about an event. Repopped, indeed... Where do people get these ideas from, anyway?