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dtilque
2011-11-08, 04:29 AM
Ian Starshine is the victim of a conspiracy to keep him imprisoned by the Empire of Blood. We first learn of this in OosT#609 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0609.html) panel 8, where Bozzok tells Haley about sending letters to friends in the Western Continent, who then persuade Ian to go there.

We didn't know at the time who they were or what they said to get him to go, but we find out in OotS#770 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0770.html) panel 11, where Ian tells Haley that his sister Ivy and her husband Geoff asked him to come help overthrow Tarquin. He decides the best way to recruit people for the rebellion was to get captured and thrown in jail. He doesn't say it, but I suspect that Geoff was the one who suggested this strategem.

Geoff is almost certainly part of the conspiracy. See his reaction to Belkar mentioning Bossok in OotS#779 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0779.html) panel 5. First he wants to know if Belkar was sent by Bossok, and then if Bossok is dead. He seems to be rather anxious about either of these being true, rather than just having idle curiousity. This would definitely be the case if Geoff was working for Bossok, but probably not otherwise.

Then there's the repeated failures to escape. In OotS#770 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0770.html) panel 8, he says he's attempted that 2 dozen times, and was recaptured every time. While his captors don't necessarily need help recapturing him, the fact that they always recaptured him quickly argues that they have an inside line, i.e. Geoff. Ian trusts family (see discussion in OotS#772 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0772.html)) and distrusts everyone else. So obviously he'll take Geoff on every escape he attempts.

Ivy may or may not be part of the conspiracy. We haven't met her yet and she's barely been mentioned, so we don't have any data on that. She may be an innocent dupe or the mastermind behind Geoff.

The final conspirator is someone in the Empire of Blood government. Geoff has to have someone to snitch to when an escape happens. Everyone assumes this person is Tarquin, but that's not necessarily so. However, it's not likely that it's Malack, since Ian was captured during the Tyrinaria "administration" and Malack was not there for that (see OotS#759 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0759.html) panel 2 -- Tarquin and Miron were in charge for that one). However, there is the possibility that Kilkil is Geoff's contact.

And that brings up OotS#813 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0813.html), where Roy persuades Tarquin to release Ian and Geoff, but without giving their names. Instead they are to give the names to Kilkil. When they do, what happens next will depend on whether Kilkil or Tarquin in the contact. I'm sure it's going to be interesting either way.

Bulldog Psion
2011-11-08, 08:17 AM
(Sorry to nitpick, but it's Bozzok. Not "Bossok", which sounds like the name of a milk cow. :smallwink: Not that it's bad to insult the loutish half-orc, of course. )

Considering that Tarquin is Kilkil's overlord, I'm not sure that it matters which one gets the name first, though I suppose if Kilkil hears the name and reacts with astonishment or alarm, Belkar might kill him, which would be a lot more difficult to pull off if Tarquin was the individual involved.

Shhalahr Windrider
2011-11-08, 08:47 AM
(Sorry to nitpick, but it's Bozzok. Not "Bossok", which sounds like the name of a milk cow. :smallwink: Not that it's bad to insult the loutish half-orc, of course. )
Interestingly: It is spelled correctly the first time. S and Z are pretty close to each other on a QWERTY keyboard. Perhaps it is just a surprisingly-routine slip of the fingers?

That said, I don’t think Geoff needs someone particularly high up to snitch to. Unless Bozzok is actually friends with Tarquin, it is very unlikely Geoff ever met the guy. Kilkil is largely a desk jockey. I don’t see him spending enough time in the prison, in sufficiently close to Geoff, for him to be a useful contact.

There is no reason for Geoff’s primary snitching contact not to be some random guard. Such a guard would be accessible, and thwarting escape attempts would actually be part of his job description. Makes more sense than trying to keep in touch with the land’s de facto dictator or the dictator’s secretary.

ADDENDUM: Even if Tarquin is in on the plot, he has not shown any sort of proclivity for the type of micromanagement required for him to be personally involved in each of Ian’s escape attempts. The man knows how to delegate. He would see to it that Geoff can easily report to a guard.

mrmcfatty
2011-11-08, 09:32 AM
i would say that if geoff does report it would be to a guard. a simple "hey you take this one ill take that one" would work. while he is "knocking him out" he tells the guard what is needed and then he appears to collapse.

Honestly if geoff is involved though i assume that he is doing so reluctantly. Bozzok sent a letter to geoff stating something like "keep Ian out of town or he will have an "accident."" this could be a good reason to save Ian since from what we can assume, bozzok would be able to take Ian in a fair fight or get rid of him in some other way, but doesnt want to if he doesnt need to. This can go along with geoff's expression when he asks if he is dead, then he would no longer have to worry about something happening to his brother

another theory i have is that bozzok's contact could be ivy. Since we dont know exactly who Ian would consider family, Ivy brought in geoff because Ian wouldn't trust her but would trust his brother. going with this theory the expression is read more like "holy cow, you killed bozzok!?" which also can fit.

Warmage
2011-11-08, 09:35 AM
I think Ivy would be the conspirator. She is the one outside of jail right now and probably the first person Ian goes to after an escape attempt.

What would the conspirators have to gain by keeping a spy so close to him? Geoff spying on Ian and being locked up in a very deadly place doesn't make a lot of sense. Unless there was some kind of underground resistance Ian was connected with, it wouldn't make a whole lot of sense for them to spy on him instead of just killing him.

It makes no sense that Tarquin is involved. If he wanted Ian dead, he would be. If he wanted Ian imprisoned alive, he would probably choose a better location than the arena. I don't see a reason to lock him up as a gladiator for so long without having him fight. Whereas Ivy could have just turned him in to the local government and let them take care of him. If this was Tarquin's plan, it seems needlessly complicated.

Which, now that I think of it, it could have been Nale's plan. The complexity seems like something Nale would come up with, then he probably just forgot or ignored the plan when he lost to Tarquin and fled the city.

Shhalahr Windrider
2011-11-08, 10:56 AM
Honestly if geoff is involved though i assume that he is doing so reluctantly. Bozzok sent a letter to geoff stating something like "keep Ian out of town or he will have an "accident.""
Would perfectly explain any hopes he may have of Bozzok being bumped off. “Holy cow! I can finally let Ian get me out of this dump!”


I think Ivy would be the conspirator. She is the one outside of jail right now and probably the first person Ian goes to after an escape attempt.
Only really probably if most of his escape attempts actually get him outside the jail. He mentioned getting out of the city once before re-capture, but I don’t think that is really typical. It would be much easier for Geoff to keep tabs on things.


What would the conspirators have to gain by keeping a spy so close to him? Geoff spying on Ian and being locked up in a very deadly place doesn't make a lot of sense.
May actually have started out as the least deadly option for keeping Ian contained.


Unless there was some kind of underground resistance Ian was connected with, it wouldn't make a whole lot of sense for them to spy on him instead of just killing him.
It only makes sense if the people involved are okay with killing him. If the “reluctant conspirator” hypothesis is true, then neither Geoff nor Ivy want Ian dead. So they are going to lengths to contain Ian without killing him and without letting Ian know that they have betrayed him. The whole thing is beginning to look like something that started as a simple idea, but grew way out of hand as they had to adapt. Throw on enough instances of “Seemed like a good idea at the time,” and soon enough nothing will make much sense.

1
Speculation on What Haley Knows
It just hit me that Haley has all the information that we have about the conspiracy. Bozzok told her about arranging for Ian to run off. Then Ian told her about getting the letter from Ivy. Additionally, her comments about cousin Sheila (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0681.html) seem to indicate she has a better idea that being family doesn’t automatically make someone trustworthy. Shouldn’t be too hard for her to put it all together.

I imagine at some point, whether or not it turns out that Geoff and Ivy were reluctant conspirators, Haley will try and pre-emptively turn on them in a dramatic “I knew about you all along” reveal.

The Succubus
2011-11-08, 11:30 AM
I would comment on this but they know I know and they're coming to get m

rbetieh
2011-11-08, 12:40 PM
Do not forget the letter that Haley received, signed by Mirron I believe. Dont remember the strip, its right after they get out of DoD.

Bulldog Psion
2011-11-08, 01:03 PM
Do not forget the letter that Haley received, signed by Mirron I believe. Dont remember the strip, its right after they get out of DoD.

You have an impressive memory. I remember the letter, but I sure as heck didn't remember the name on it. :smallsmile:

It's Miron Shewdanker, Chancellor of Tyrinaria, and the strip is 131:

http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0131.html

Dr.Epic
2011-11-08, 01:47 PM
Or he was bluffing. He said the whole point of him telling Haley that was that Crystal could flank her. He could have just made it up.

Bulldog Psion
2011-11-08, 01:50 PM
Or he was bluffing. He said the whole point of him telling Haley that was that Crystal could flank her. He could have just made it up.

It would be quite a bluff to fit in so neatly with the other facts, though. One heck of a coincidence.

Gift Jeraff
2011-11-08, 01:57 PM
You have an impressive memory. I remember the letter, but I sure as heck didn't remember the name on it. :smallsmile:

It's Miron Shewdanker, Chancellor of Tyrinaria, and the strip is 131:

http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0131.htmlWho is (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0757.html) part of (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0758.html) Tarquin's party (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0759.html).

Shhalahr Windrider
2011-11-08, 02:49 PM
It would be quite a bluff to fit in so neatly with the other facts, though. One heck of a coincidence.
Yeah. A little too detailed for something that would have been cobbled together in the heat of the moment, isn’t it?


Who is (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0757.html) part of (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0758.html) Tarquin's party (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0759.html).
Another bit of evidence that Tarquin has nothing to do with the Ian situation. If he was in charge of keeping Ian locked up, he wouldn’t let his pals send out a ransom note for him.

thereaper
2011-11-08, 06:42 PM
The only problem I have with this thought process is that it implies that Tarquin is the one who wants to keep Ian locked up. He doesn't. He doesn't care about Ian. Ian is some guy that was taken for ransom money. That's it. Bozzok is the one who set it all up, and Bozzok (through Geoff) is the one who ensures he never escapes.

Forikroder
2011-11-08, 07:04 PM
if i had to guess Bozzocks "friends" were Tarquins party, perhaps they contracted him a bit here and there before he went back to greysky city and theyve kept in touch jsut in case, im sure access to a thievs guild would be a valuable asset despite how far they are, lets all 6 of them hire assasins/thievs without having to worry about anyone on continent tracing them

Shhalahr Windrider
2011-11-08, 07:13 PM
if i had to guess Bozzocks "friends" were Tarquins party, perhaps they contracted him a bit here and there before he went back to greysky city and theyve kept in touch jsut in case, im sure access to a thievs guild would be a valuable asset despite how far they are, lets all 6 of them hire assasins/thievs without having to worry about anyone on continent tracing them
And ransoming Ian back would help relations with Bozzok how?

Gift Jeraff
2011-11-08, 07:42 PM
I'm a fan of the idea that Geoff and/or Ivy are doing it for Ian's own good--if he got free, he'd either get killed trying to defeat Tarquin or by someone Bozzok sends after him. (Plus Bozzok would probably kill Ivy and Geoff for not dealing with him.) However, I personally think Tarquin has no idea who Ian is.

rbetieh
2011-11-08, 08:00 PM
I'm a fan of the idea that Geoff and/or Ivy are doing it for Ian's own good--if he got free, he'd either get killed trying to defeat Tarquin or by someone Bozzok sends after him. (Plus Bozzok would probably kill Ivy and Geoff for not dealing with him.) However, I personally think Tarquin has no idea who Ian is.

This is something I dont get....regardless of how poorly prisoners are treated in eob, Tarquin is still paying to have these people constantly greased up and fed bread. You would think at some point, he would gather all of the people who never get picked for combat, hand them all spears and make it the 20 mooks vs the Allosaurus. Thats got to be good gladiatorial ratings.

veti
2011-11-08, 08:22 PM
What isn't quite addressed here is: why?

If it's for ransom, then why pick on Ian? His family isn't rich. Haley may be on her way to becoming so, but that's only since she was motivated by receiving that ransom demand; up to that point, she was contentedly enriching Bozzok directly. Why would he exchange such a key asset to his day-to-day operations, for such a speculative payoff with so much scope for things to go horribly wrong?

Or maybe Miron, or another of Tarquin's party, was the brains behind it. In which case - again, why Ian? If you wanted to ransom someone for money, wouldn't you pick someone who actually had rich relatives? Maybe Haley had the potential to become rich, but by that logic they should have sent the same ransom notes to every relative of every prisoner they had - and we've seen no sign of that.

If the motive was malice - revenge on Ian, or getting Haley out of Greysky - then why keep Ian alive? Just kill him already.

So: Bozzok wants Ian and Haley out of the picture, and proposes the ransom plot to Miron as a way to accomplish that - thus giving Miron motivation to keep Ian alive, even though Bozzok doesn't care about that. But Bozzok knows that Haley is moderately high level, and part of an adventuring party - he must know there's a substantial chance that she will eventually succeed in rescuing Ian. Then the two would be united, both high level, funded and motivated to come after Bozzok directly. Then what?

I'm not disagreeing with the theory, but there's a big missing piece in it...

denthor
2011-11-08, 08:57 PM
What strip is Ivy mentioned in?

dtilque
2011-11-08, 09:41 PM
Interestingly: It is spelled correctly the first time. S and Z are pretty close to each other on a QWERTY keyboard. Perhaps it is just a surprisingly-routine slip of the fingers?

Must have been. I thought I was typing "Bozzok". It was late at night and I didn't have the time to proofread my post, which I usually do when they are as long as that. I just made sure the links were right and posted. Otherwise I'd have probably caught it, along with the typo in the second last sentence where I typed "in" instead of "is".



ADDENDUM: Even if Tarquin is in on the plot, he has not shown any sort of proclivity for the type of micromanagement required for him to be personally involved in each of Ian’s escape attempts. The man knows how to delegate. He would see to it that Geoff can easily report to a guard.

My thinking is that Tarquin is unaware of it. It may be a sideline of Kilkil's, collecting a small periodic payment from Bozzok to make sure Ian doesn't go free.



another theory i have is that bozzok's contact could be ivy. Since we dont know exactly who Ian would consider family, Ivy brought in geoff because Ian wouldn't trust her but would trust his brother.
You're mistaken on the family relationships here. Ivy is Ian's sister; Geoff is his brother-in-law, i.e. Ivy's husband. See OotS#770 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0770.html) panels 10 and 11.


What strip is Ivy mentioned in?
see above link.



What isn't quite addressed here is: why? ...
I'm not disagreeing with the theory, but there's a big missing piece in it...

You're probably right. We may not have all the pieces yet. Ian must be fairly important (knows something or has something or whatever) for him to be the target of this conspiracy. It should be easier to kill him than make sure he's locked up indefinitely.

Shhalahr Windrider
2011-11-09, 04:59 PM
This is something I dont get....regardless of how poorly prisoners are treated in eob, Tarquin is still paying to have these people constantly greased up and fed bread. You would think at some point, he would gather all of the people who never get picked for combat, hand them all spears and make it the 20 mooks vs the Allosaurus. Thats got to be good gladiatorial ratings.
No, that is just feeding the Allosaurus. You need a few decent fighters that could actually hold their own against the beast to get a decent show.

Perhaps Ian and Geoff have also managed to avoid cullings for whatever such multi-mook spectacles that Tarquin has had on display. I can see him avoiding culling all “useless” prisoners at once in order to avoid any sort of prison riot. Why fight back when you think you have a chance at avoiding the culling entirely?


Or maybe Miron, or another of Tarquin's party, was the brains behind it. In which case - again, why Ian? If you wanted to ransom someone for money, wouldn't you pick someone who actually had rich relatives? Maybe Haley had the potential to become rich, but by that logic they should have sent the same ransom notes to every relative of every prisoner they had - and we've seen no sign of that.
We haven’t seen any sign that they haven’t sent out standardized ransom notes, either. Haley is just the first one to make it as far as she did.


So: Bozzok wants Ian and Haley out of the picture, and proposes the ransom plot to Miron as a way to accomplish that - thus giving Miron motivation to keep Ian alive, even though Bozzok doesn't care about that. But Bozzok knows that Haley is moderately high level, and part of an adventuring party - he must know there's a substantial chance that she will eventually succeed in rescuing Ian. Then the two would be united, both high level, funded and motivated to come after Bozzok directly. Then what?
Bozzok isn’t in on the ransom. As you mentioned, it has caused him to lose his money-maker in Haley.

Peelee
2011-11-09, 05:14 PM
What isn't quite addressed here is: why?


I was thinking of an elegant (or at least, non-stupid) way to put that, so thanks for taking care of it for me. My main thought, though, was concerning Geoff. If he is in on it (which I certainly think he is), what motivation does he have to go through the ordeal with Ian? It can't be for a paycheck, because what use is money if you can't spend it? If he's on the dark side and is tasked with keeping Ian imprisoned, he's going through everything Ian is as well. The same horrible conditions can't be spared to Geoff, lest Ian grow suspicious. As Ian is supposed to be in for the rest of his life (at least, I'm presuming that), Geoff would basically be betting the rest of his life rotting in a prison and betraying his family against the chance to have a fortune... not exactly a wager anyone with, well, ANYTHING to lose would be likely to make. Assuming it's money/protection/other things for his family, I would doubt that to be the case as he is having to betray one member of his family to begin with. Unless he is far, far more idealistic than we are led to believe (in an ideal that for some reason or the other requires Ian to be locked up for life), money would in theory be the best, if not the only motivation for doing such things as he is being suspected of.

Shhalahr Windrider
2011-11-09, 05:38 PM
Assuming it's money/protection/other things for his family, I would doubt that to be the case as he is having to betray one member of his family to begin with.
The going idea is the crazy “Only way to help him is to hurt him” type logic. That is, he sees not betraying Ian as leading to a worse consequence (e.g. a slow, torturous death) than that of keeping him in a prison where they have discovered how to have a passable life. It is also possible that threats were made directly against both Geoff and Ivy to get their cooperation. It is possible that he believes Bozzok has the means and motivation to make the lives of everyone in his family far worse than what he currently is facing.

It is a not-uncommon dramatic convention.

Peelee
2011-11-09, 06:01 PM
The going idea is the crazy “Only way to help him is to hurt him” type logic. That is, he sees not betraying Ian as leading to a worse consequence (e.g. a slow, torturous death) than that of keeping him in a prison where they have discovered how to have a passable life. It is also possible that threats were made directly against both Geoff and Ivy to get their cooperation. It is possible that he believes Bozzok has the means and motivation to make the lives of everyone in his family far worse than what he currently is facing.

It is a not-uncommon dramatic convention.

Which I would fully subscribe to, if I didn't think there were some holes in the theory... namely, that Bozzok knows about the situation with Ian, and does nothing with that knowledge. It seems that if he had the motivation, he would have acted against Ian, especially after Haley reneged (albeit unwillingly) on her agreement to stay out of Greysky City. Of course, I could be completely wrong....

Shhalahr Windrider
2011-11-09, 06:09 PM
Which I would fully subscribe to, if I didn't think there were some holes in the theory... namely, that Bozzok knows about the situation with Ian, and does nothing with that knowledge. It seems that if he had the motivation, he would have acted against Ian, especially after Haley reneged (albeit unwillingly) on her agreement to stay out of Greysky City. Of course, I could be completely wrong....
Ian is out of Bozzok’s hair. That is all Bozzok cares about. Why should he be doing anything more?

As for Haley—Bozzok didn’t have any time to set up any sort of credible threat against Ian to hold over Haley during her time in Greysky. More to the point, it was Haley’s life that was supposed to be forfeit is she returned, which is a threat that Bozzok tried to make good on with his assault on Old Blind Pete’s house.

Peelee
2011-11-09, 06:26 PM
Ian is out of Bozzok’s hair. That is all Bozzok cares about. Why should he be doing anything more?

As for Haley—Bozzok didn’t have any time to set up any sort of credible threat against Ian to hold over Haley during her time in Greysky. More to the point, it was Haley’s life that was supposed to be forfeit is she returned, which is a threat that Bozzok tried to make good on with his assault on Old Blind Pete’s house.

Under normal circumstances, attempting to quit the Thieves Guild and leave Greysky City result in a death sentence. "Getting out of Bozzok's hair" doesn't quite seem to have any real effect, especially if he is motivated to do far worse than Ian's current situation (which would be assumed in the "Geoff helping by hurting" scenario). Also, yes, it was supposed to be Haley's life that would be forfeit if she returned. Note that she was able to wiggle out of that retaliation, while she also killed a decent amount of people in the guild. A small bit of retaliation against her, especially as indirectly as going after Ian, wouldn't be out of character for Bozzok, it doesn't seem.

Shhalahr Windrider
2011-11-09, 06:54 PM
Under normal circumstances, attempting to quit the Thieves Guild and leave Greysky City result in a death sentence. "Getting out of Bozzok's hair" doesn't quite seem to have any real effect, especially if he is motivated to do far worse than Ian's current situation (which would be assumed in the "Geoff helping by hurting" scenario).
Ian didn’t try to leave the Thieves’ Guild he was specifically lured away by Bozzok. Bozzok wasn’t about to kill Ian, who he admitted was more popular than him. If he had killed Ian rather than getting him to leave of his own volition, Bozzok would have had a mutiny on his hand.

Furthermore, Bozzok doesn’t have to actually have the means or motivation to carry out any threat on Ian’s life, so long as Geoff and Ivy believe he has both. As long as they are cooperating, his position is secure.

Now, Bozzok is sufficiently homicidal in pursuit of his goals that he certainly has the motivation to kill Ian, if he can do so without losing popularity among his underlings. Since nothing would be more convenient for Bozzok than Ian dying while abroad in a manner untraceable to Bozzok, that must mean Bozzok doesn’t have the means to pull that sort of thing off. But that doesn’t mean Ivy and Geoff don’t think he has the means.

Even if Ivy and Geoff realize that Bozzok can’t really touch Ian while Ian is on the Western Continent, they still want to find a way of keeping Ian from wandering back into Bozzok’s reach. It has been years since Bozzok lured Ian away. The popularity problem may have been solved since then. If Ian returned to Greysky, Bozzok could move against Ian openly and with prejudice.

But still: Bozzok’s actual power to do anything has little impact on getting Ivy and Geoff’s cooperation. It what power Ivy and Geoff perceive Bozzok as having.


Also, yes, it was supposed to be Haley's life that would be forfeit if she returned. Note that she was able to wiggle out of that retaliation, while she also killed a decent amount of people in the guild. A small bit of retaliation against her, especially as indirectly as going after Ian, wouldn't be out of character for Bozzok, it doesn't seem.
Given the way she cut out on upholding her end of the bargain that got her death sentence lifted, yeah, Bozzok has the motivation to pursue her with deadly force. But, as stated above, it appears that Bozzok’s power outside of Greysky city is limited.

Note that Geoff and Ivy do not know about Haley’s stunt, so not even that will affect their perception of Bozzok’s power. We have a better view of Bozzok than Hayley’s aunt and uncle.

Peelee
2011-11-09, 06:58 PM
...that is a nicely reasoned and well thought-out answer. I stand corrected.

Shhalahr Windrider
2011-11-09, 07:05 PM
...that is a nicely reasoned and well thought-out answer. I stand corrected.
What kind of a response is that for an Internet discussion? :smalltongue:

Thanks.

Ron Miel
2011-11-09, 09:02 PM
Well, we know that Cousin Sheila (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0681.html)frames her relatives. Most likely she is Geoff & Ivy's daughter. Unless Ian has another sibling. Perhaps Sheilais the one betraying Ian, and her own father too.

veti
2011-11-09, 09:19 PM
How about this for an alternative theory?

Bozzok knows (next to) nothing about Ian's imprisonment. All Bozzok did was pull strings to lure Ian to the Western continent. Geoff is afraid of Bozzok because, well, Bozzok's scary. But everything that's happened to Ian since he came to the continent is the doing of Team Tarquin.

Team Tarquin are nothing if not control freaks. It's intolerable to them that there may be a high-level character in their jurisdiction who is not somehow under their thumb.[1] As soon as they spotted Ian, they realised they couldn't control him using any of the means they've used on the OOTS, so the simple alternatives were (a) kill him, or (b) keep him locked up.

[1] (This is also an important principle to keep in mind when speculating about Tarquin's relationship to Girard. But that's a diversion.)

Which raises the obvious question: why not (a)? It's a lot simpler, cheaper, and lower risk. The ransom demand may have something to do with that, but would you risk your entire continent-spanning plot on the chance that you can keep a master thief safely locked up indefinitely, for the sake of a measly ransom?

That's a two-sided question. Why would you want to? - and how can you be sure it'll work?

The answer to the first part is Tarquin's love of drama. In Tarquin's twisted inner world, he needs enemies of Ian's stature, to make his own story more impressive. And it's anti-climactic to kill a high-level character just because you have them in your power.

But not being a complete idiot, Tarquin also wanted some solid guarantees that he could keep Ian safely contained. That's where Geoff comes in. As long as Geoff plays along in keeping Ian under control, Team Tarquin will refrain from killing them both (and probably Ivy as well).

...

Whichever theory you buy, there's still one point that bugs me:

Holding prisoners for ransom in a D&D world is just plain stupid.

Because the wealth-by-level guidelines mean: anyone who can afford the ransom, can also very likely kick your butt.

Antagonising rich people, in a D&D world, is a bit like climbing into a wolf pen wearing underpants made of bacon: it takes a great deal of confidence, and it's hard to see how the reward is worth the risk.

J's
2011-11-09, 11:08 PM
We haven’t seen any sign that they haven’t sent out standardized ransom notes, either. Haley is just the first one to make it as far as she did.


Bozzok isn’t in on the ransom. As you mentioned, it has caused him to lose his money-maker in Haley.

I'm also thinking that the plots are unrelated. Bozzok wanted Ian gone for personal political reasons, And in a cheap ploy to potentially get money the various parts of Tarquin's party send out ransom notes when they can find a relation.

A higher ups name on the note doesn't even mean anything, just ask any secretary.

And do we know that Kilkil has been an underling for more than one nation? It seems silly for Tarquin and Co to keep them around when they A) tend to be replaceable, and B) would be in a position to catch on to the scheme (something would be bad - either they would start a resistance out of principle or blackmail the Plotters).

edit in responce:



Team Tarquin are nothing if not control freaks. It's intolerable to them that there may be a high-level character in their jurisdiction who is not somehow under their thumb.[1] As soon as they spotted Ian, they realised they couldn't control him using any of the means they've used on the OOTS, so the simple alternatives were (a) kill him, or (b) keep him locked up.


Which raises the obvious question: why not (a)? It's a lot simpler, cheaper, and lower risk. The ransom demand may have something to do with that, but would you risk your entire continent-spanning plot on the chance that you can keep a master thief safely locked up indefinitely, for the sake of a measly ransom?

That's a two-sided question. Why would you want to? - and how can you be sure it'll work?

The answer to the first part is Tarquin's love of drama. In Tarquin's twisted inner world, he needs enemies of Ian's stature, to make his own story more impressive. And it's anti-climactic to kill a high-level character just because you have them in your power.

But not being a complete idiot, Tarquin also wanted some solid guarantees that he could keep Ian safely contained. That's where Geoff comes in. As long as Geoff plays along in keeping Ian under control, Team Tarquin will refrain from killing them both (and probably Ivy as well).

...

Whichever theory you buy, there's still one point that bugs me:

Holding prisoners for ransom in a D&D world is just plain stupid.



The resistances are part of his plot for conquest, and he said as much in his exposition to Elan. If you are funding the resistance you know what they are planning and can counter, and it satisfies the apparent need for dissent that is in so much literature. Though I can see that as a cause of you labeling them as a control freak instead of prudent.

As for the money=powerful person, assuming that is true personality comes into play. Not every powerful rich person who is now happily retired would choose fighting over paying, and not every busy adventurer would drop everything for a long trip and a rescue, they have their own stuff going on.

rbetieh
2011-11-10, 12:53 AM
I dont know guys, and I will qualify this with "I havent read the prequels", but It doesn't seem like the Boz has any real intention of expanding his ops past gresky. The whole "tell people Haley killed Roy" seems like a Hank plan to increase guild revenues. If Boz isn't looking to open branches in other cities, why bother with what happens to Ian once he's removed? Presumably the western continent is really far away, it would take a while for a rogue with little access to magic to get back, and popularity wanes over time. By the time Ian gets back, Boz could just kill him and few would care.

mrmcfatty
2011-11-10, 02:47 AM
Holding prisoners for ransom in a D&D world is just plain stupid.

Because the wealth-by-level guidelines mean: anyone who can afford the ransom, can also very likely kick your butt.



I liked the theory you posted but wanted to comment on this.

For most PC's a ransom is kinda dumb, however there are always lower leveled rich people out there. Being rich doesnt mean that you are high level. Considering most the world is npc's there shouldnt be a whole lot of people who could kick their butt.

An example you can take is a blacksmith. he may sell some very expensive and powerful weapons/armor but that doesnt mean that he himself is necessarily a very high level, he rely on town guard to fight anyone who steals from him.

those are just some occasions where you could be wrong, but overall i would agree that ransom is not a wise idea.

Threadnaught
2011-11-10, 05:44 AM
What isn't quite addressed here is: why?

If it's for ransom, then why pick on Ian? His family isn't rich. Haley may be on her way to becoming so, but that's only since she was motivated by receiving that ransom demand; up to that point, she was contentedly enriching Bozzok directly. Why would he exchange such a key asset to his day-to-day operations, for such a speculative payoff with so much scope for things to go horribly wrong?

Or maybe Miron, or another of Tarquin's party, was the brains behind it. In which case - again, why Ian? If you wanted to ransom someone for money, wouldn't you pick someone who actually had rich relatives? Maybe Haley had the potential to become rich, but by that logic they should have sent the same ransom notes to every relative of every prisoner they had - and we've seen no sign of that.

If the motive was malice - revenge on Ian, or getting Haley out of Greysky - then why keep Ian alive? Just kill him already.

So: Bozzok wants Ian and Haley out of the picture, and proposes the ransom plot to Miron as a way to accomplish that - thus giving Miron motivation to keep Ian alive, even though Bozzok doesn't care about that. But Bozzok knows that Haley is moderately high level, and part of an adventuring party - he must know there's a substantial chance that she will eventually succeed in rescuing Ian. Then the two would be united, both high level, funded and motivated to come after Bozzok directly. Then what?

I'm not disagreeing with the theory, but there's a big missing piece in it...

Bozzok could maybe kill Ian, but Hayley would be difficult. Plus Ian is more popularat the Thieve's Guild, so yeah kill him would have painted a large target on his back. He explained this earlier in the comic.

The exact reason Bozzok isn't out to get Ian or Hayley, is because we know Hayley is a high level PC. Generally, if you want an NPC to survive a PC who's stronger than them, has the NPC on their hit list and knows the NPC wants them dead. You will make the NPC as manipulative as possible, they don't need to be strong, just smart enough to protect themselves from the angry player rolling their dice.

DaveMcW
2011-11-10, 05:52 PM
The exact reason Bozzok isn't out to get Ian or Hayley, is because we know Hayley is a high level PC. Generally, if you want an NPC to survive a PC who's stronger than them, has the NPC on their hit list and knows the NPC wants them dead.

Bozzok is 4 levels higher (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0609.html) than Haley.

Mutant Sheep
2011-11-10, 06:10 PM
Bozzok is 4 levels higher (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0609.html) than Haley.

And Belkar was holding off against him and a Hayley-level assassin easily. So, obviously only a mook-killer.:smallannoyed: /off topic rant on other people's (who are not on this thread) hatred of Belkar's build.


The answer to the first part is Tarquin's love of drama. In Tarquin's twisted inner world, he needs enemies of Ian's stature, to make his own story more impressive. And it's anti-climactic to kill a high-level character just because you have them in your power.
But Ian HAS no stature. Hes a randomed grey haired prisoner who ruined the games a few years back by dodging nonstop. :smalltongue:

Shhalahr Windrider
2011-11-10, 06:29 PM
And Belkar was holding off against him and a Hayley-level assassin easily. So, obviously only a mook-killer.:smallannoyed: /off topic rant on other people's (who are not on this thread) hatred of Belkar's build.
But Bozzok was going out of his way to try and set up sneak attacks, which he probably didn’t need, as, in addition to being higher level, he is also clearly stronger, and likely tougher than Haley. which suggests he is a poor strategist. in general. Furthermore, he really didn’t fight Belkar with Crystal, choosing instead to run after Celia and Haley (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0614.html).

There is no doubt that Crystal is a poor tactician. (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0607.html) Furthermore, as an assassin, Crystal’s build likely emphasizes fighting with surprise. She had no surprise against Belkar, so her greatest assets were wasted.

That said, Belkar is a cunning tactician. The best example of this is of course his running-fight with Miko. But still, those cases had less to do with his build and just the fact that he was fighting people who could not keep up with him in terms of combat strategy.

VanBuren
2011-11-11, 12:52 PM
Given what we've seen today, I think it's perfectly plausible that Ian escapes and then makes a big scene which draws attention to himself, since apparently subtlety is not one of his tricks.

Sethis
2011-11-11, 02:52 PM
Given what we've seen today, I think it's perfectly plausible that Ian escapes and then makes a big scene which draws attention to himself, since apparently subtlety is not one of his tricks.

I think this is yet another example of "Good is Dumb." Ian is about the least subtle rogue I've ever seen.

I think he's getting captured because he doesn't know when to shut up, no need for a conspiracy.

Bulldog Psion
2011-11-11, 03:24 PM
I think this is yet another example of "Good is Dumb." Ian is about the least subtle rogue I've ever seen.

I think he's getting captured because he doesn't know when to shut up, no need for a conspiracy.

A very good point. He's such a loudmouth that he probably doesn't get past the first patrol of soldiers going past the jailhouse door. "Hey, you miserable, oppressive scum -- I'm escaping! Ha!" :smallwink:

rbetieh
2011-11-11, 03:26 PM
I think this is yet another example of "Good is Dumb." Ian is about the least subtle rogue I've ever seen.

I think he's getting captured because he doesn't know when to shut up, no need for a conspiracy.

Ian is showing greater anti-social behavior than Belkar. The man seems to be a big ball of hatred wrapped in the thin veil of idealism.

DougTheHead
2011-11-11, 03:41 PM
And Belkar was holding off against him and a Hayley-level assassin easily. So, obviously only a mook-killer.:smallannoyed: /off topic rant on other people's (who are not on this thread) hatred of Belkar's build.

Belkar's entire build is centered around combat; he's even ignored basic ranger skills (i.e. Survival) in order to kill people more efficiently, and he likely has access to a defensive stance that makes it much more difficult for people to hit him, provided he's not attacking (which he wasn't). And that's not even considering the Barbarian levels that give him extra hit points and combat abilities. Bozzok is a rouge, and a successful one, so his build isn't as single-minded as Belkar's. Belkar would have a harder time if he'd had to fight Bozzok for more than 3 rounds, but the ease with which he took down Crystal shows that there's a clear combat discrepancy between the classes' standard combat abilities.



There is no doubt that Crystal is a poor tactician. (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0607.html)
Hey now, you'll notice that Hayley missed her shot :smallbiggrin:

Caractacus
2011-11-11, 04:06 PM
Ian is showing greater anti-social behavior than Belkar. The man seems to be a big ball of hatred wrapped in the thin veil of idealism.

If we are emphasising 'showing' here, then okay. If not, then hmm... :smallconfused:



Bozzok is a rouge, and a successful one,

8 out of 10 houris prefer 'Bozzok' brand make-up to any other! :smallwink:

Dark Matter
2011-11-11, 04:15 PM
We're probably looking at interlocking issues.

The missing piece is Ivy. Ivy probably has some off screen motive to dislike her brother and/or husband. Maybe she's become an evil overlord/rebel, maybe she's getting rich running a black market, maybe her brother was helping her husband cheat and she wants them to suffer.

dtilque
2011-11-11, 04:43 PM
Don't know about anyone else, but I'm disappointed that Belkar scattered the prison records on Ian. They would no doubt illuminate the exact nature of the conspiracy I propounded in the OP.

Well, chances are Tarquin will remember why Ian looks familiar on his own. Things may get interesting at that point.

Ron Miel
2011-11-11, 09:34 PM
Speculation: Ian looks familiar because he has a family resemblance to Haley. Tarquin will realize this in about 5 strips at which point things will become very interesting for Ian.

Bulldog Psion
2011-11-12, 06:25 AM
Speculation: Ian looks familiar because he has a family resemblance to Haley. Tarquin will realize this in about 5 strips at which point things will become very interesting for Ian.

It's also possible that he looks familiar because Tarquin's buddy Miron Shewdanker was holding him hostage for a 200,000 gold piece ransom. A prisoner with that much profit potential must kind of stick out in the memory. :smallwink:

Of course, it's very likely that he's going to see a family resemblance between the two also. I'm not sure if Ian is going to make it that far alive, shooting his mouth off like this, though.

rbetieh
2011-11-12, 03:24 PM
It's also possible that he looks familiar because Tarquin's buddy Miron Shewdanker was holding him hostage for a 200,000 gold piece ransom. A prisoner with that much profit potential must kind of stick out in the memory. :smallwink:

Of course, it's very likely that he's going to see a family resemblance between the two also. I'm not sure if Ian is going to make it that far alive, shooting his mouth off like this, though.

You remember Lord Tyrinar wanted to be a reformer? Who do you think got those ideas in his head? :smallamused:

dtilque
2011-11-12, 08:52 PM
It's also possible that he looks familiar because Tarquin's buddy Miron Shewdanker was holding him hostage for a 200,000 gold piece ransom. A prisoner with that much profit potential must kind of stick out in the memory. :smallwink:
Based on the fact that Haley did not have that much money when she got the letter, there was not that much potential. To me it seems obvious that they just sent out a ransom demand with what was basically a wild-assed guess as to the amount. And since they send out these ransom notes for many prisoners, I really wouldn't expect one from a couple-three years back to stick in his mind. At least not for that reason.

No, there's something much more significant that makes Ian look familiar to Tarquin.

Bulldog Psion
2011-11-12, 11:44 PM
Based on the fact that Haley did not have that much money when she got the letter, there was not that much potential. To me it seems obvious that they just sent out a ransom demand with what was basically a wild-assed guess as to the amount. And since they send out these ransom notes for many prisoners, I really wouldn't expect one from a couple-three years back to stick in his mind. At least not for that reason.

No, there's something much more significant that makes Ian look familiar to Tarquin.

Well, if Ian keeps shooting his mouth off at the guy who can have him executed out of hand or tortured to death with a simple order to the nearby guards, then it's going to be a moot point, because Ian is going to die.

Judging by Tarquin's actions towards the bounty hunters for defying him in a relatively minor way, Ian's ranting insults must have doomed him totally by now. :smalleek: I'm surprised Tarquin hasn't had him executed already, actually. Letting Ian get away with that tantrum unscathed is going to damage Tarquin's reputation with his men.

Sethis
2011-11-13, 10:30 AM
Well, if Ian keeps shooting his mouth off at the guy who can have him executed out of hand or tortured to death with a simple order to the nearby guards, then it's going to be a moot point, because Ian is going to die.

Judging by Tarquin's actions towards the bounty hunters for defying him in a relatively minor way, Ian's ranting insults must have doomed him totally by now. :smalleek: I'm surprised Tarquin hasn't had him executed already, actually. Letting Ian get away with that tantrum unscathed is going to damage Tarquin's reputation with his men.

Ah, but this one wasn't "In front of his son", but in front of a guy he wants to hire for black-ops, and a bunch of guards and retainers who know what would happen to them if they blabbed, so it basically didn't happen. Tarquin's genre-savvy enough to let that one slide off his back.

Shhalahr Windrider
2011-11-13, 03:34 PM
Ah, but this one wasn't "In front of his son", but in front of a guy he wants to hire for black-ops, and a bunch of guards and retainers who know what would happen to them if they blabbed, so it basically didn't happen. Tarquin's genre-savvy enough to let that one slide off his back.
Yeah. Tarquin is pretty pragmatic. I think he has a good idea of what constitutes an actual tarnishing of his image.

Plus, remember that he ultimately let Enor and Gannji get away because they provided a good show and the gear he confiscated more than paid for said show.

One other thought: He wants Roy to work for him, and Roy wants Ian released. Going back on his deal to release Ian would be a good way to make Roy uncooperative, and Tarquin is genre-savvy enough to know this. Ian would have to present much bigger cause for that than simply throwing a little temper tantrum.

veti
2011-11-13, 05:22 PM
Yeah. Tarquin is pretty pragmatic. I think he has a good idea of what constitutes an actual tarnishing of his image.

Also, Enor actually threatened him. Ian is just ranting. It's much easier to shrug words off.

Although an alternative explanation would be: Ian is deliberately trying to get locked up again. Everything he said about trying to escape and being recaptured was pure hooey. After all, Roy's not family (even if he does "work for" Haley), so why should we assume Ian was telling him the truth?

Gift Jeraff
2011-11-13, 05:48 PM
After all, Roy's not family (even if he does "work for" Haley), so why should we assume Ian was telling him the truth?He told Haley the same thing in private (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0770.html), and that was before he knew about Elan.

Shhalahr Windrider
2011-11-13, 06:27 PM
Although an alternative explanation would be: Ian is deliberately trying to get locked up again. Everything he said about trying to escape and being recaptured was pure hooey. After all, Roy's not family (even if he does "work for" Haley), so why should we assume Ian was telling him the truth?
He talked to Haley about the escapes, not Roy. (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0770.html) Only important things he told Roy about were how to survive in the arena by being mediocre and how Tarquin rules the Empire of Blood. The first actually makes him rather vulnerable, because he admitted that he wasn’t a particularly good fighter. The other was something Ian wanted other people to know in order to foster Revolution.

That said, he may figure getting let out is part of a big plot, anyway, and may look for an excuse to go back to jail.

Gift Jeraff
2011-11-13, 07:34 PM
He talked to Haley about the escapes, not Roy. (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0770.html)Actually, we know he also told Roy about them. See panel 3 of the current strip. But yeah, as far as we know, he had no reason to lie to Haley at that point.


That said, he may figure getting let out is part of a big plot, anyway, and may look for an excuse to go back to jail.This whole thing does seem like it's just going to reinforce Ian's paranoid suspicions--he knows that Roy is responsible for freeing them, he thinks Roy is being manipulated by Haley who is being manipulated by Elan who is working with Tarquin, and he sees Tarquin right there with Roy.

Shhalahr Windrider
2011-11-13, 08:32 PM
Actually, we know he also told Roy about them. See panel 3 of the current strip.
Oh, yeah. Of course it is possible that despite wanting to give Haley and Ian a minute alone, he simply overheard that detail rather than Ian actually trusting him.