The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #241
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    Quote Originally Posted by tyckspoon View Post
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    Merely Watch-equivalent probably wouldn't be enough - one of the recurring themes Cat muses on is the difference between warriors and proper soldiers, and she knows from repeated first-hand experience how good soldiers can stand up to and even quite soundly beat individually superior warriors on the battlefield. It's how her Legion and then the Legion-trained Army of Callow was able to stand up to devils and lesser fey. The dzulu, as dangerous and useful as they might be as raiders, skirmishers, and outrunners, are not the field army she needs if she's going to try to stand up to the armies of Praes and Procer, especially when they come with heavy magical and priestly support. And they wouldn't stand up to the Dwarves either, at least not in her and their current state.. but if Cat wins at Great Strycht and is able to oathbind any significant fraction of the Mighty here, it probably won't matter. There is a point where having individually greater warriors does beat soldierly discipline and trained combat tactics, and it's probably about the spot where every tenth you field is backed by the equivalent of a lesser Named and all of your command officers are fairy nobility.
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    Yeah, the drow strike me as light infantry. Exceptionally good light infantry, sure, but put them up against a solid line of battle and they're going to get shredded. They do work exceptionally well with Cat's ability to gate them anywhere. As a raiding or terror weapon, that combo may be unmatched on the continent. Mighty can perhaps fill the role of heavy infantry or mages, even up to Named level, but that's assuming they get to keep the Night powers once Sve Noc is defeated.
    Last edited by Excession; 2018-11-21 at 08:59 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #242
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    Quote Originally Posted by Excession View Post
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    Yeah, the drow strike me as light infantry. Exceptionally good light infantry, sure, but put them up against a solid line of battle and they're going to get shredded. They do work exceptionally well with Cat's ability to gate them anywhere. As a raiding or terror weapon, that combo may be unmatched on the continent. Mighty can perhaps fill the role of heavy infantry or mages, even up to Named level, but that's assuming they get to keep the Night powers once Sve Noc is defeated.
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    The ones she's granted Winter titles to are already apparently working as much with Winter as they are with Night, and they seem to have taken to it pretty well. Lack of Night is probably not going to be much of an issue, if it comes to that, although Catherine may have to figure out how to bind the weaker Drow to Winter without actually giving them a full title and the major helping of Winter access that comes along with that.

    That said, it looks like the story is shaping up such that one of Winter or Night is meant to subjugate and consume the other - two candidates for ascension, both at the center of powerful and very similar domains, in direct competition, with Night at least explicitly operating by the rule that the winner is permitted and expected to take the loser's strength for themselves. If Catherine really does kill Sve Noc, Night will probably become part of Winter in some form and she'll be able to continue providing Night to her underlings.

    .. it's probably a bad place to be in when your domain is Night and darkness-themed and the Sovereign of Moonless Nights comes calling for your power, story-wise
    Last edited by tyckspoon; 2018-11-21 at 09:14 PM.

  3. - Top - End - #243
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    So I just finished Book 3 and...

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    I have to say.. i agree with Black. The Empress and Cat were wrong in wanting to keep the superweapon.

    This entire world works around stories; anyone having a Superweapon sitting is just the perfect setup for an Heroic Epic. Black's entire MO is to avoid upsetting the balance too much too violently so it doesnt provoke a counter reaction.

    A Hellgate Generator? Thats just asking for it.

    And also, i cant believe Cat doesnt see her own myopia there. Sure, maybe her and The Empress dont want to use that thing, but what about the next generation of rulers of Callow and Praes?!

  4. - Top - End - #244
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr View Post
    So I just finished Book 3 and...

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    I have to say.. i agree with Black. The Empress and Cat were wrong in wanting to keep the superweapon.

    This entire world works around stories; anyone having a Superweapon sitting is just the perfect setup for an Heroic Epic. Black's entire MO is to avoid upsetting the balance too much too violently so it doesnt provoke a counter reaction.

    A Hellgate Generator? Thats just asking for it.

    And also, i cant believe Cat doesnt see her own myopia there. Sure, maybe her and The Empress dont want to use that thing, but what about the next generation of rulers of Callow and Praes?!
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    I believe it is supposed to be a metaphor for atomic weapons. The story would move towards MAD scenarios instead of bands of heroes and villains precisely because they aren't planning on spamming it.

    That was why Malicia didn't just use one of her own super weapons, she needed the weapon to be highly visual while also not being responsible for its original use. Akua's plan was to be a second Triumphant, Malicia's was to be the Soviet Union.

  5. - Top - End - #245
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
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    I believe it is supposed to be a metaphor for atomic weapons. The story would move towards MAD scenarios instead of bands of heroes and villains precisely because they aren't planning on spamming it.

    That was why Malicia didn't just use one of her own super weapons, she needed the weapon to be highly visual while also not being responsible for its original use. Akua's plan was to be a second Triumphant, Malicia's was to be the Soviet Union.
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    MAD doesn't really work when one of the participants is normally ruled by suicidally insane mustache twirling villains. Best case scenario is that they'd have MAD while Cat is around, and then immediately after she's gone there will be some crazy in charge with no restraint.

    Also, Cat is totally the type of person who would use a WMD all while internally monologuing about how she's far too good a person to ever do such a thing until she somehow convinces herself it's justified.
    It would hardly be the first time she's put her desire for power before the welfare of her people/country.

  6. - Top - End - #246
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    Yeah i agree as well that Black did the correct thing. We were straight up shown afterwards that good did have all sorts of old leviathans in reserve.
    Just like he said. And a doomsday weapon would be the sort of thing story that would both draw them out of retirement and likely also empower them
    for all sorts of heroic sacrifices.


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    Well.. (something that rhymes with luck)
    That i did not see comming.
    And im honestly still having trouble figuring out what actually took place.
    As well as trying to decide if it really did so, or if its a trick.
    thnx to Starwoof for the fine avatar

  7. - Top - End - #247
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anteros View Post
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    MAD doesn't really work when one of the participants is normally ruled by suicidally insane mustache twirling villains. Best case scenario is that they'd have MAD while Cat is around, and then immediately after she's gone there will be some crazy in charge with no restraint.

    Also, Cat is totally the type of person who would use a WMD all while internally monologuing about how she's far too good a person to ever do such a thing until she somehow convinces herself it's justified.
    It would hardly be the first time she's put her desire for power before the welfare of her people/country.
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    This is honestly a perspective I don't get. When has she ever put her desire for power before the welfare of her people/country? Or even been shown to particularly desire power for it's own sake rather than desiring power to make her country better off?

    Totally agreed though, Cat is not the sort of forward thinking person to whom you should give nuclear keys, as demonstrated by her tendency to use the power of winter as a brute cudgel.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AvatarZero View Post
    I like the "hobo" in there.
    "Hey, you just got 10000gp! You going to buy a fully staffed mansion or something?"
    "Nah, I'll upgrade my +2 sword to a +3 sword and sleep in my cloak."

    Non est salvatori salvator, neque defensori dominus, nec pater nec mater, nihil supernum.

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  8. - Top - End - #248
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    Quote Originally Posted by lord_khaine View Post
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    Well.. (something that rhymes with luck)
    That i did not see comming.
    And im honestly still having trouble figuring out what actually took place.
    As well as trying to decide if it really did so, or if its a trick.
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    Sve Noc severed Cat from Winter, that much is fairly clear. I don't think she succeeded in actually absorbing or dominating Winter, since Cat's narration indicated she was able to force Noc out of the domain at the same time, so right now it may just be loose power. It's possible the whole city was exposed to the Domain similar to what the Fall aspect used to do, in which case everybody except the most powerful of Mighty and Archer are probably dead now. For the moment, Cat is mortal again.

    That's the only thing I can say with confidence has happened - anything else is speculation, although this is probably the point where the Unspoken Plan Guarantee with Akua (where Cat asked Akua for 'Folly') is going to come into play. Probable results to my mind include: Cat coming into another Name now that she is separated from the overwhelming weight that is Winter. Sve Noc getting Genie'd (PHENOMENAL COSMIC POWER... itty bitty living space.) as a result of trying to absorb Winter and all the oaths and bindings that rest on it, both those Cat swore as Sovereign and the normal results of trying ot handle fey power. Sve Noc successfully absorbing Winter.. and immediately getting backstabbed by Larat, who will claim the power of Winter while still bound by the oaths he made to Cat. Something similar but with Akua, who is much more familiar with binding and wielding overwhelming powers than Cat was, and will not have the oaths and restrictions placed on her by Cat restricting what she can do to Sve Noc.

    ... basically I would expect Cat to either come into a new power source at the end of this - one that is defined by her and reflects her preferences the way Names do as opposed to Winter where the alienation attempts to mold her into the image of Winter when she draws it too deeply - or to find a way to access Winter at a remove by having an oathbound minion handle the main burden.

  9. - Top - End - #249
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    Interesting analysis. Your likely correct.
    It was kinda shocking to suddenly see Cat a regular mortal yet again.
    And winter being cut off but allowed to flop lose, is i guess the only sort of outcome that would let the story progress from here.

    I had wondered about if she would get it back myself. Mostly because what Cat had begun to do with portals, seemed like something that had
    the potential to spin/escalate the story out of control.
    And i could also imagine that her immortal body would make it a bit harder to create fitting challengers for the author, without going into
    DBZ mode.

    thnx to Starwoof for the fine avatar

  10. - Top - End - #250
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    I honestly doubt she's no longer connected to winter.

    If I remember right, something similar happened when the Saint of Swords damaged Winter earlier, and people were speculating if she'd lose her domain then as well.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AvatarZero View Post
    I like the "hobo" in there.
    "Hey, you just got 10000gp! You going to buy a fully staffed mansion or something?"
    "Nah, I'll upgrade my +2 sword to a +3 sword and sleep in my cloak."

    Non est salvatori salvator, neque defensori dominus, nec pater nec mater, nihil supernum.

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    Note to self: Never get involved in an ethics thread again...Especially if I'm defending the empire.

  11. - Top - End - #251
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    Not related to the current story directly, but I did see in the comments that this over-long Book 4 is going to end up being retroactively split into Books 4 and 5, which makes the final arc Book 6 instead of 5 as planned. That's the first notice I've seen of specifically how long this story is meant to last, and it indicates we're closing on the endgame.
    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel, on quest rewards View Post
    "Is a stack of ten pancakes too many pancakes to give to the party, even if most of them fell on the floor and one or two were stepped on? I wanted to give my party pancakes as a reward but I'm unsure if it's too much. The pancakes are also laced with blowfish poison so the party would have to get an antitoxin before they could eat the ones which weren't pulverized by shoes."

    I don't think anyone would want those pancakes even if you paid them to eat them.

  12. - Top - End - #252
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    That makes sense. The world's only so big, and the general scale of the conflict has escalated steadily. There's some big hints so far at exactly how far the escalation will go, so we can draw a pretty decent timescale as to when we've arrived there.
    Back from a lengthy vacation from Giantitp. I've been dabbling with 3d printer technology and game design, PM if you're curious.

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  13. - Top - End - #253
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    Well, there is still at the very least one other COntinent (wth Gnomes and Elven Empires) in case a sequel is possible (ergo if they dont somehow get rid of the Gods....though even then an Epilogue alà "and this happened to the Gnomes" might be possible ^^).

    But yeah, assuming the escalation continues pretty soon there wont be room for more unless you go there and/or remake the setup completely....
    A neutron walks into a bar and says, “How much for a beer?” The bartender says, “For you? No charge.”


    Later: An atom walks into a bar an asks the bartender “Have you seen an electron? I left it in here last night.” The bartender says, “Are you sure?” The atom says, “I’m positive.”

  14. - Top - End - #254
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrayDeath View Post
    Well, there is still at the very least one other COntinent (wth Gnomes and Elven Empires) in case a sequel is possible (ergo if they dont somehow get rid of the Gods....though even then an Epilogue alà "and this happened to the Gnomes" might be possible ^^).

    But yeah, assuming the escalation continues pretty soon there wont be room for more unless you go there and/or remake the setup completely....
    It's been mentioned that the segment of the world the story is concerned with (Callow/Praes/Procer/The Free Cities, mainly) is actually something of a regional backwater - even within the continent the human nations are by far not the most powerful concerns. There's the Titanomachy and the Golden Bloom of the Elves that have mostly only been mentioned and not shown, the Chain of Hunger has powers they apparently can't or won't deploy to overrun the wall (if they have other Horned Lords equivalent to the one the Woe fought in Keter they could crack through regular defenses pretty easily), the Dwarves have an apparently uncontested claim to the entire underground of the area past a certain depth and enough military force to ensure it remains uncontested. Even the human nations in the area are significantly less impressive than their ancestors and/or conquerers who came from overseas like the Miezans.. although I don't think we know whether or not those empires/kingdoms/societies still stand. There's plenty of bigger fish for the story to escalate to still, at least as far as making Callow matter on the world geography. On a personal power level, holding Winter should have been notable pretty much anywhere, so I would agree there wouldn't be a lot of room left to escalate past that.

  15. - Top - End - #255
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    Spoiler: Book 3, Chapter 77
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    Oh my Lichemaster.

    I hope I never meet anyone like Cat in real unlife, since that would provoke reactions I'm not emotionally prepared for.

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  17. - Top - End - #257
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    Sve has to master Winter soon, to get some cooling for all the burns she received. Actually, burns all around, including absent Cordelia Hasenbach.
    I wonder where this is going. Magical Girl Akua wielding the power of friendship?



    Btw., Aotrs Commander, I have apparently read enough of your posts to recognize your writing style on sight, even when it's on a different site.


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  18. - Top - End - #258
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iruka View Post
    Spoiler: B3-C77
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    Sve has to master Winter soon, to get some cooling for all the burns she received. Actually, burns all around, including absent Cordelia Hasenbach.
    I wonder where this is going. Magical Girl Akua wielding the power of friendship?



    Btw., Aotrs Commander, I have apparently read enough of your posts to recognize your writing style on sight, even when it's on a different site.
    Well, I do have the same screen name (and the same avatar where possible!) everywhere, so it shouldn't be entirely difficult anyway...!

  19. - Top - End - #259
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aotrs Commander View Post
    Well, I do have the same screen name (and the same avatar where possible!) everywhere, so it shouldn't be entirely difficult anyway...!
    I usually don't register the screen names when going through the comments, so I had to scroll back up to confirm.

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    I am also for adding Rumena to the Peerage as the Lord of Frostburn.


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  20. - Top - End - #260
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    Spoiler: Ch77 - Friendship!
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    Akua. What. You do not get to say that. You are entirely the wrong person to be saying that kind of thing. Probably why she did it, she's enjoying getting to be the 'hero' in the scenario. Why do I get the feeling she's just been waiting for a good entrance line this whole time?

    I do hope Rumena gets to stick around, I'm enjoying having somebody who is just so.. unimpressed by Cat. She doesn't really need more Treacherous Lieutenants, tho, so as far as slotting into the group dynamics I don't see much of a spot for it. On the other hand she's had a lot of her previous inner circle and support structure murdered out from under her, so there's plenty of spots for a minion that seriously knows its stuff. I think maybe I just want Rumena lounging around the background of those camping/sitting around the fire scenes nonchalantly reminding Cat that she's not as awesome as she thinks she is - it's a reminder she could use frequently when she's riding on the high of having made one of her ludicrous non-plans work.

  21. - Top - End - #261
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    I mean, their heroic band is distinctly lacking in a wise elder.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AvatarZero View Post
    I like the "hobo" in there.
    "Hey, you just got 10000gp! You going to buy a fully staffed mansion or something?"
    "Nah, I'll upgrade my +2 sword to a +3 sword and sleep in my cloak."

    Non est salvatori salvator, neque defensori dominus, nec pater nec mater, nihil supernum.

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    Note to self: Never get involved in an ethics thread again...Especially if I'm defending the empire.

  22. - Top - End - #262
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    Quote Originally Posted by druid91 View Post
    I mean, their heroic band is distinctly lacking in a wise elder.
    I though Akua filled the evil analogue of that role, the treacherous but knowledgeable advisor.
    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel, on quest rewards View Post
    "Is a stack of ten pancakes too many pancakes to give to the party, even if most of them fell on the floor and one or two were stepped on? I wanted to give my party pancakes as a reward but I'm unsure if it's too much. The pancakes are also laced with blowfish poison so the party would have to get an antitoxin before they could eat the ones which weren't pulverized by shoes."

    I don't think anyone would want those pancakes even if you paid them to eat them.

  23. - Top - End - #263
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    I always considered her more of a token evil teammate. Since they've
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    Remarked multiple times on how the Woe kind of straddle the line between being heroes and being villains and pull story threads and plot points from both.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AvatarZero View Post
    I like the "hobo" in there.
    "Hey, you just got 10000gp! You going to buy a fully staffed mansion or something?"
    "Nah, I'll upgrade my +2 sword to a +3 sword and sleep in my cloak."

    Non est salvatori salvator, neque defensori dominus, nec pater nec mater, nihil supernum.

    Torumekian knight Avatar by Licoot.

    Note to self: Never get involved in an ethics thread again...Especially if I'm defending the empire.

  24. - Top - End - #264
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    On wise elders and token evil teammates
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    Hmm.. im really not certain how heroic the Woes really are. I certainly cant see them being near enough the dividing line to actually straddle it.
    All the same, Akua is evil enough to be the token evil teammate in a team of villains..

    And yeah, thinking about it, im not certain she is filling the role of wise elder. She is more a Devil on the Shoulder deal.
    Or an evil genie. They know she is much, much smarter than them. They all know she will try and corrupt them. That her final goal is freedom.
    But they are so screwed they need to listen to her anyway.

    thnx to Starwoof for the fine avatar

  25. - Top - End - #265
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    Quote Originally Posted by lord_khaine View Post
    On wise elders and token evil teammates
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    Hmm.. im really not certain how heroic the Woes really are. I certainly cant see them being near enough the dividing line to actually straddle it.
    All the same, Akua is evil enough to be the token evil teammate in a team of villains..

    And yeah, thinking about it, im not certain she is filling the role of wise elder. She is more a Devil on the Shoulder deal.
    Or an evil genie. They know she is much, much smarter than them. They all know she will try and corrupt them. That her final goal is freedom.
    But they are so screwed they need to listen to her anyway.

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    That's not so much an out of character opinion as it is an actual fact of the story. They've remarked on it several times that Catherine can and does use stories that would be more appropriate for a Hero than a Villain.

    The Grey Pilgrim thinks this is a sign of Callows corruption, that they've tied Heroism to war for so long they can't tell the difference between a local warrior villain and a hero.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AvatarZero View Post
    I like the "hobo" in there.
    "Hey, you just got 10000gp! You going to buy a fully staffed mansion or something?"
    "Nah, I'll upgrade my +2 sword to a +3 sword and sleep in my cloak."

    Non est salvatori salvator, neque defensori dominus, nec pater nec mater, nihil supernum.

    Torumekian knight Avatar by Licoot.

    Note to self: Never get involved in an ethics thread again...Especially if I'm defending the empire.

  26. - Top - End - #266
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    While you all have fun with your spoiler talks, i just reached the end of the first major battle of book 4...

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    The Saint of Sword is the most powerful powerhouse we have seen so far. Able to literally cut with a glance, cut through magic, Miracles and laws of Creations with ease. There isnt a single thing that can stand in her way.

    Grey Pilgrim is just scary. I mean, talk about broken.

  27. - Top - End - #267
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr View Post
    While you all have fun with your spoiler talks, i just reached the end of the first major battle of book 4...

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    The Saint of Sword is the most powerful powerhouse we have seen so far. Able to literally cut with a glance, cut through magic, Miracles and laws of Creations with ease. There isnt a single thing that can stand in her way.

    Grey Pilgrim is just scary. I mean, talk about broken.
    Well,

    Spoiler: Heroes and their brokenness
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    if all you can do is cut (ergo Cut is the only sanctioned action ^^) you can as well apply it to everything, no?

    As for Grey Pilgrim and being scary: you aint seen nothing yet!

    A neutron walks into a bar and says, “How much for a beer?” The bartender says, “For you? No charge.”


    Later: An atom walks into a bar an asks the bartender “Have you seen an electron? I left it in here last night.” The bartender says, “Are you sure?” The atom says, “I’m positive.”

  28. - Top - End - #268
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: A Practical Guide to Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by GrayDeath View Post
    Well,

    Spoiler: Heroes and their brokenness
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    if all you can do is cut (ergo Cut is the only sanctioned action ^^) you can as well apply it to everything, no?

    As for Grey Pilgrim and being scary: you aint seen nothing yet!

    Your words really make me look forward to the future -_-

  29. - Top - End - #269
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    Aotrs Commander's Avatar

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    Default Re: A Practical Guide to Evil

    Spoiler: Book 4 chapter 78
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    And then Akua was Starlight Glimmer.

    To restate (in forum appropriate language!) what I said on the comments there, I have seen people backed into the corner and go “frack it, Evil.” (I can even relate to that.)

    I have *never* seen anyone just go “frack it, Good” before.

    (For a given value of good… Which alarmingly is arguable whether or not it is more or less Evil than the current “Good.”)

    This is hilarious and glorious.
    Last edited by Aotrs Commander; 2018-12-05 at 06:25 AM.

  30. - Top - End - #270
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: A Practical Guide to Evil

    Ladies and gentlemen, i present to you one of the best explanation of the Chaotic alignment:

    Spoiler: Book 4 Ch 18
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    More than once I’d reflected that Archer had a lot in common with orcs, when it came to the way she looked at the world. I’d been wrong, though. Oh, they both liked blood on the floor and they measured most things through strength. But orcs had… loyalties. Not in the way I’d been taught to have them, but they were there. Follow the warlord, protect the clan, uphold what an orc should be. Indrani had none of that. If she was loyal to anything, it was herself. A betrayal, to her, would be forcing herself to do something she didn’t want to do. Pretending to be something else than she was. Black and I were creatures fettered to outcomes, if not means. Archer, and Ranger as well I suspected, could not conceive a world where fetters could be anything but a sin. The only thing Indrani had it in her to truly hate was being restrained.

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