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    Default Was there any way Elan could have talked Tarquin out of this?

    I know what the Giant said, that this offer was only ever intended for Elan and Haley, and that Tarquin intended to have Elan leave behind the rest of the order, whether willingly or much less willingly.

    What I'm wondering is, was there any way that Elan or Haley could have appealed to Tarquin's wrong genre savviness to convince him to let the rest of the Order come along?

    The only thing I can think of is convincing him that the rest of the Order hadn't finished their character arcs, and "As you know, even the side characters need to finish their personal stories for the overall narrative to be satisfying and complete!" But even this is a stretch.

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    Default Re: Was there any way Elan could have talked Tarquin out of this?

    I need my men to help me. They've been with me this far and I'm not losing them now.

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    Default Re: Was there any way Elan could have talked Tarquin out of this?

    There's still more gates. We'll split into an 'A' and 'B' team...

    (see Team Evil's last appearance comic)
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    Default Re: Was there any way Elan could have talked Tarquin out of this?

    Dad, the two little ones are Evil and will certainly betray me, and with Roy sacrificing his life so that we'll be battle-scarred enough to prevail against an Epic Foe, it'll make an awesome twist. Sounds good, right? And you will only come after that and everybody knows climax is much more epic than the mid-chapter...think of the blaze of glory you'll eventually get when you let us all go to the Northern Lands.
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    There must be some sense of order - personal, political or dramatic - and if no one else is going to bring it to this world, I will.

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    Default Re: Was there any way Elan could have talked Tarquin out of this?

    I think some people are missing the point of this scene.

    Tarquin wasn't willing to have Roy be with Elan for a minute longer.

    Period.

    End of.

    Everyone else dying is just a "Clean break is the best break" policy at work. With a dash of 'your friends probably wouldn't follow you anyway'. Time to start a new life and all that dramatic stuff.

    So the question is, could Elan have said anything that could have kept him and Roy together?

    I tend to think not. Not something that Elan could have said at any rate.

    See, Tarquin's been observing Elan and Roy. And, well, actions speak louder than words. It would have been a hell of a tale coming out of Elan's mouth that could have satisfied Tarquin's need for Elan to no longer be overshadowed by Roy. And one that I don't think he could have come up with.

    Mostly because Tarquin would keep coming up with counterarguments until Elan botched a Diplomacy roll couldn't come up with a counter on the spot.

    No, it was either Elan (and maybe Haley) leaves Roy behind willingly or I'll do it for him.
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    Default Re: Was there any way Elan could have talked Tarquin out of this?

    My answer, especially having taken the Giant's comments into account, is also 'probably not'. Tarquin was not willing to endure what he saw as Elan's subordinate role in the story any longer. At best, Roy, Durkon and Belkar would have been left behind... although knowing Tarquin, he might have decided to tie up some loose ends by disposing of them anyway.
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    Default Re: Was there any way Elan could have talked Tarquin out of this?

    ...Has Tarquin ever been convinced of anything by anyone? Talking-wise, I mean; the collective people of the Western Continent were able to convince him he needed a more subtle approach to conquest.
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    "The really unforgivable acts are committed by calm men in beautiful green silk rooms, who deal death wholesale, by the shipload, without lust, or anger, or desire, or any redeeming emotion to excuse them but cold fear of some pretended future. But the crimes they hope to prevent in the future are imaginary. The ones they commit in the present--they are real." --Aral Vorkosigan

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

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    Default Re: Was there any way Elan could have talked Tarquin out of this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    ...Has Tarquin ever been convinced of anything by anyone? Talking-wise, I mean; the collective people of the Western Continent were able to convince him he needed a more subtle approach to conquest.
    http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0854.html

    but I do wonder if he's ever been convinced of anything by anyone outside his circle.

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    Default Re: Was there any way Elan could have talked Tarquin out of this?

    Malack didn't actually convince Tarquin of anything there, remember? Tarquin went right on planning to arrange matters so that Nale and Malack had to go back to working together.
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    "The really unforgivable acts are committed by calm men in beautiful green silk rooms, who deal death wholesale, by the shipload, without lust, or anger, or desire, or any redeeming emotion to excuse them but cold fear of some pretended future. But the crimes they hope to prevent in the future are imaginary. The ones they commit in the present--they are real." --Aral Vorkosigan

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

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    Default Re: Was there any way Elan could have talked Tarquin out of this?

    elan: dad plz dont kill roy
    tarquin: ok
    THE SCRYING EYE AT THE END OF STRIP #698 WAS ZZ'DTRI'S (SOURCE)

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Gift Jeraff View Post
    elan: dad plz dont kill roy
    tarquin: ok
    Damn it! Now I have to rewrite the script for #917.
    One and the same.

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    Default Re: Was there any way Elan could have talked Tarquin out of this?

    That's what I was thinking too. The only way Elan could have talked Tarquin out of this would be to make their living critical to his storyline. And even then it was a long shot.

    Whatever it is, Tarquin needs to go down in as ignominious a fashion as possible. Although now that we see, clearly, just how delusional he is (and I always knew he was delusional, but not to this extent though it makes sense) I'm not even sure that Tarquin will accept that his moment of defeat is anything but glorious, even as it happens.

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    Default Re: Was there any way Elan could have talked Tarquin out of this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    Malack didn't actually convince Tarquin of anything there, remember? Tarquin went right on planning to arrange matters so that Nale and Malack had to go back to working together.
    Well he convinced him to apologise to Malack. That's something, even if it was about as sincere as a succubus's kiss.

    I think it's entirely possible Elan could have said something that would have produced a different outcome. Something like "Dad, you don't get involved in every combat, that's what fighters are for! A hero only gets his hands dirty at the appropriate climactic moment."

    But since he had no idea what lunacy was going on in Tarquin's mind, he had no way of working out what he needed to say to prevent it.

    Personally, if I had to guess what will save the party this time, I'd put my money on Laurin and/or Miron to speak up. They don't share Tarquin's narcissism - at least, not as it relates to him - so it follows they don't share his view of Elan. More likely, they would see the OOTS in the in-world rational way of seeing them: as the best, possibly only, thing standing between them and a scenery-chewing, world-dominating threat.
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    Default Re: Was there any way Elan could have talked Tarquin out of this?

    Well i doubt he would have had the chance to say anything, but if he did have a chance, he could have pointed out that Roy has a personal connection to Xykon and that if Tarquin wants him defeated its Roy who is narratively best equipped to do it...

    An explanation tarquin wouldn't like however, is that the order is on a quest to defeat a villian that has been operating for decades on a plan to take over the entire world and that the very fabric of the existance of this world is at risk, AND that it was a story that started even longer ago by a band of previous adventurers... My point? Tarquin's conquest of a single continent is kind of small potatoes compared to the threat that Xykon and Redcloak present and the story of the gates, and thus he must accept that he really is nothing more than a secondary villain.

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    Flumph

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    Default Re: Was there any way Elan could have talked Tarquin out of this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    ...Has Tarquin ever been convinced of anything by anyone? Talking-wise, I mean; the collective people of the Western Continent were able to convince him he needed a more subtle approach to conquest.
    I suspect that Tarquin will never alter any grand portion of his larger scheme to accommodate anyone else's arguments, but there are times when he will allow the wishes of somebody he likes to guide his next actions when he is not especially emotionally invested in the immediate outcome. See the scene in the arena: "Huh, you're really not enjoying the spectacle of this battle? Okay, then, I guess I'll just kill Ganji and Enor now." Tarquin's a people-pleaser, remember - unless it's important to him that something go a different way, he will be happy to accommodate the wishes of someone whom, like Elan, he considers a "person."

    To me, the crucial sentence in Tarquin's dialogue in 916 is "I was afraid you were going to say something like that." That suggests to me that Tarquin would have acted differently if Elan hadn't insisted that Roy was of ultimate importance to him. If Elan had painted Roy as somebody who complemented, rather than detracted from, Tarquin's view of his son's narrative role - by, say, describing Roy as a personal trainer, somebody with a mystery yet to be revealed, or a significant combat asset rather than an emotional one - we might have seen a very different final panel. "I was afraid you were going to say something like that" is not the kind of thing a man says towards the end of a routine conversation that has had zero impact on a rapidly approaching decision of his.
    Last edited by Emanick; 2013-09-03 at 08:12 PM.
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    Default Re: Was there any way Elan could have talked Tarquin out of this?

    Based on the Giant's comments in the main discussion thread, Tarquin wanted Roy dead. He may have liked Roy and even respected Roy, but it seems that was all the more reason to want him out of the picture. After the events of the pyramid, Tarquin probably saw Roy as the most likely threat to his livelihood, not Elan, because he is the leader, is the most competent of the group, and in terms of all-around stats he was probably more or less Tarquin's equal.

    As for his "I was afraid you were going to say something like that" comment, it seems like a good way to place the guilt of Roy's presumed death on Elan, so Elan has something else to brood over while he levels up over the coming years. And it's already worked here, after taking a brief look at the forums. I'm surprised at how many people are blaming Elan and not Tarquin.

    Poor Elan, there's little he could have done to change the outcome, and now he may feel responsible if something terrible happens to his friends.
    Last edited by Muenster Man; 2013-09-03 at 08:46 PM.
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    Default Re: Was there any way Elan could have talked Tarquin out of this?

    After Tarquin said "Yes, but I'm the villain," Elan reveals:

    "No. I was the villain all along!"

    Not sure how he'd back it up.
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    Default Re: Was there any way Elan could have talked Tarquin out of this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Muenster Man View Post
    Based on the Giant's comments in the main discussion thread, Tarquin wanted Roy dead. He may have liked Roy and even respected Roy, but it seems that was all the more reason to want him out of the picture. After the events of the pyramid, Tarquin probably saw Roy as the most likely threat to his livelihood, not Elan, because he is the leader, is the most competent of the group, and in terms of all-around stats he was probably more or less Tarquin's equal.

    As for his "I was afraid you were going to say something like that" comment, it seems like a good way to place the guilt of Roy's presumed death on Elan, so Elan has something else to brood over while he levels up over the coming years. And it's already worked here, after taking a brief look at the forums. I'm surprised at how many people are blaming Elan and not Tarquin.

    Poor Elan, there's little he could have done to change the outcome, and now he may feel responsible if something terrible happens to his friends.
    There's a difference between blaming Elan and saying that Elan could have theoretically prevented this if he had said the right thing at the right time. Not being hyperintelligent/omniscient and being guilty are very different things.

    I think Tarquin would have stressed Elan's culpability more if he was attempting to make Elan feel guilty for Roy's death. Otherwise the central conversation of this strip is pretty banal and meaningless.
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    Default Re: Was there any way Elan could have talked Tarquin out of this?

    What about the contract that Roy made Elan sign?

    True, it was ripped up but given Tarquin's Lawful nature, he might accept that his son is meant to be serving Roy until Xykon is dead. Only THEN should he kill Roy off, assuming he didn't die in the process. Also might help to know the various dramatic things that caused Roy to go after Xykon, such as the blood oath.

    I also don't think Tarquin fully understands just how dangerous the situation is, and it's not helped by Haley saying that they don't need to be teleported to the next location. That was something that Roy would have stopped if he had been invited to the parley. He's practical minded enough to take every scrap of help he can scrounge up.

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    Default Re: Was there any way Elan could have talked Tarquin out of this?

    Quote Originally Posted by CoffeeIncluded View Post
    I know what the Giant said, that this offer was only ever intended for Elan and Haley, and that Tarquin intended to have Elan leave behind the rest of the order, whether willingly or much less willingly.

    What I'm wondering is, was there any way that Elan or Haley could have appealed to Tarquin's wrong genre savviness to convince him to let the rest of the Order come along?

    The only thing I can think of is convincing him that the rest of the Order hadn't finished their character arcs, and "As you know, even the side characters need to finish their personal stories for the overall narrative to be satisfying and complete!" But even this is a stretch.
    hed have to prove to Tarquin that Roy was actually his sidekick and anything to the contrary is just a complicated scheme to raise the tension before he comes to save the day

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    Default Re: Was there any way Elan could have talked Tarquin out of this?

    The only possible way would be for Elan to convince Tarquin that he's the true leader of the order of the stick, and Roy is really just an insignifican supporting character who poses no obstacle at all in Elan's destiny of becoming a True Hero.

    Elan is of course far too honest to tell such a ridiculous lie at all, much less have the bluff skill to make it convincing.

    So the short answer is no.

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Was there any way Elan could have talked Tarquin out of this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sunken Valley View Post
    I need my men to help me. They've been with me this far and I'm not losing them now.
    Agreed. Logically, if Roy + Elan + Haley + Durkon + V + Belkar < Xykon, then Elan + Haley < Xykon too.

    But Tarquin isn't the biggest fan of that kind of logic. He probably believes in the conservation of ninjitsu, which would suggest that a team of just Elan and Haley would be as effective as the entire Order (or even more than them), for the same reason why James Bond by himself can take on challenges that in other stories would require all of the X-Men.

    After Tarquin said "Yes, but I'm the villain," Elan reveals:

    "No. I was the villain all along!"

    Not sure how he'd back it up.
    So, something like the last two panels of this?

    I guess the only way to follow that up is to inject Tarquin with a slow-acting poison and only giving him the antidote if he agrees to stand down and let the Order go.

    Not sure how Elan could pull this off though giving that he had like .0008 seconds to react before the arrows went flying...

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    Daemon

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    Default Re: Was there any way Elan could have talked Tarquin out of this?

    Roy talks Tarquin into releasing Geoff and Ian.

    Come on guys, Tarquin isn't as hard to persuade as you all seem to say he is. If he's given the right narrative convention (and he likes you) he will listen.

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    Default Re: Was there any way Elan could have talked Tarquin out of this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gift Jeraff View Post
    elan: dad plz dont kill roy
    tarquin: ok
    Damn it! Now I have to rewrite the script for #917.
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    Default Re: Was there any way Elan could have talked Tarquin out of this?

    You don't have to change it that much. Just add three little words.

    elan: dad plz dont kill roy
    tarquin: ok, kill belkar instead!



    Just kidding. What Tarquin does is the right thing from his perspective, and the order does not have that good arguments that haven't already been said. Xykon might destroy the world? Tarquin knows that. Roy is helpfull stopping Xykon? Tarquin knows that, too.

    The problem is: Elan is needed as much as roy. A heroic Elan, that becomes stronger first. And Tarquin wants this.
    Last edited by Leolo; 2013-09-04 at 04:11 AM.

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    Default Re: Was there any way Elan could have talked Tarquin out of this?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    Damn it! Now I have to rewrite the script for #917.
    I can't tell if you are joking or not.

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    Default Re: Was there any way Elan could have talked Tarquin out of this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sunken Valley View Post
    I can't tell if you are joking or not.
    I believe he is most certainly joking.
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    Default Re: Was there any way Elan could have talked Tarquin out of this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sunken Valley View Post
    I can't tell if you are joking or not.
    ...Really?
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    "The really unforgivable acts are committed by calm men in beautiful green silk rooms, who deal death wholesale, by the shipload, without lust, or anger, or desire, or any redeeming emotion to excuse them but cold fear of some pretended future. But the crimes they hope to prevent in the future are imaginary. The ones they commit in the present--they are real." --Aral Vorkosigan

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

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    Default Re: Was there any way Elan could have talked Tarquin out of this?

    Dad, I'm, in fact, evil! Roy is my victim of the week! you can't step in and steal my narrative role!

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    Default Re: Was there any way Elan could have talked Tarquin out of this?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    Damn it! Now I have to rewrite the script for #917.
    Welp, that made my day.
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    Default Re: Was there any way Elan could have talked Tarquin out of this?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    Damn it! Now I have to rewrite the script for #917.
    Was #918 going to be Tarquin saying "Psych!" ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Welp, that made my day.
    Can't read. Laughing too much.
    Last edited by Ghost Nappa; 2013-09-04 at 01:19 PM.

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