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  1. - Top - End - #151
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    Default Re: What does the Crimson Mantle’s aging block do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aveline View Post
    He had ample opportunity to destroy Xykon's phylactery in the main books, especially at the end of book 1. He's been supplying Xykon with tactics and strategies, which he doesn't have to do. When he recognized the Order as a serious threat to Xykon in book 5, he tried to kill them over Xykon's own objections. Redcloak's situation is not ideal but it's not totally hopeless either, and Redcloak just keeps digging himself deeper because he's convinced it's the right thing to do.

    Even if Redcloak thought of Xykon as some kind of problem, all he's done about that is hide the phylactery, which is a feeble grasp at something he already had.
    Indeed. The one time Redcloak absolutely could have annihilated Xykon, no issues, no ambiguity, no effort, was between strips #115 and #193...

    but you know, 1 isn't 0. Xykon was entirely at Redcloak's mercy for 78 strips, during which he laughed about humiliating Redcloak and talked about how he didn't expect him to live much longer. And Redcloak behaved exactly as Xykon predicted he would, in the speech magic9mushroom dismissed as "bluster." I can't prove that he didn't reevaluate his relationship with Xykon at some point after #193, since Xykon's body hasn't gotten destroyed again, but it's fairly goofy to expect that to be the default assumption. (A lot like the perennial "I'm sure Roy has realized that he can't defeat Xykon as a single-classed fighter and will multiclass at his next level up" posts forum optimizers used to make.)
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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.

  2. - Top - End - #152
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    Default Re: What does the Crimson Mantle’s aging block do?

    And again, no effort to nurse a few browncloaks, no attempt to see whether Tsukiko would be a viable replacement, nothing. I imagine if Redcloak was presented with the opportunity to destroy Xykon in a way that actually put the Plan closer to completion, even he might be forced to take it, but it would have to be a very obvious step forward for him not to prefer to stick with Xykon at this point. And I'm sure Redcloak would do his damn best to convince himself that destroying Xykon wouldn't be for the best even in that scenario.

    The phylactery switcheroo was first and foremost about appeasing/fooling his own conscience about not doing anything against Xykon and about not being in control. It only matters if Xykon is destroyed, and Redcloak doesn't want him destroyed in the first place and he's clearly not working towards that particular goal.

    edit: Also, even if none of this was true, Redcloak still has a choice. It wouldn't be an easy one and it would likely result in his death, but he does have it, just like Right-Eye chose to do the right thing to the best of his ability. Xykon said this explicitly at the end of SoD and it was also a big part of that book's message. At any rate, cooperation under duress is fair only as long as you try to impede your oppressor as much as you possibly can.
    Last edited by hrožila; 2019-04-16 at 10:45 AM.
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  3. - Top - End - #153
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    Default Re: What does the Crimson Mantle’s aging block do?

    There is one big good reason why keeping control of the Philactery is important for Redcloak. After completing the Plan and proving Xykon a fool, he needs him destroyed. Yeah the Dark One can release the Snarl on him on the spot, but without the Philactery at hand, which is were Xylon's soul remains, he would regenerate someplace else and remain a problem.

    (The Snarl undoes souls, but Xykon's is not in his body at this moment. All the released Snarl can do is undo his body, which he can regenerate as long as the Philactery remains safe).
    Last edited by The Pilgrim; 2019-04-16 at 12:43 PM.

  4. - Top - End - #154
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    Default Re: What does the Crimson Mantle’s aging block do?

    Actually Xykon soul is his body, it only retreats inside his phylactery to regenerate.
    Spoiler: SoD
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    Which is why he wasn't worried about it being smashed down.
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  5. - Top - End - #155
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    Default Re: What does the Crimson Mantle’s aging block do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aveline View Post
    Here is my basic working definition. Pride: ignoring valid doubts and criticisms to protect an inflated self-image. You could call this a type of arrogance. This is what I mean when I say Redcloak is proud: he won't change his course of action because he's built his self-image around being the heroic savior of all goblinkind, but he's given Xykon the reins and ultimately hasn't advanced the Plan all that much. For Redcloak to change his plans would mean acknowledging that his current plans aren't working, and that would mean he's made several crucial, costly mistakes. And he just won't do that. That's what I call pride.
    When you say "inflated self-image", does that mean inflatedly high self-image, or anything that's elevated from the baseline of reality?

    You could say that Redcloak has an inflated self-image in the sense that he believes himself to be something other than a monster, or a slave.

    I don't know how much higher he has set his sights from "not a monster or slave" though.

    He believes his cause is noble. It doesn't have to mean he views himself as heroic exactly. He has made statements indicating he believes he has made a deal with the devil, pushed his chips into the middle of the pile, come too far to turn back, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aveline View Post
    I'm pretty sure we agree on everything but what "pride" means, though.
    I think we could agree that Redcloak's flaws of self-conception have played a large role in him ending up where he is today. He has not been wholly without agency in the story of his own ruination.

    But it's not just that I see daylight in between a kind of "pride" that means needing to maintain a self-conception of oneself as superior or without flaw and in the kind that means needing to maintain a self-image of oneself that isn't wholly beneath the dirt. It's that you have directly implied the former as well as the latter: that Redcloak believes himself to be a heroic savior figure, that he can't bear to be wrong about anything, ever, and that he couldn't allow Xykon to be destroyed because of how much pride it brought him to have created him. I was curious to know if there was a specific place those impressions are coming from, other than that they could all fall under an umbrella term of "pride".

  6. - Top - End - #156
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    Default Re: What does the Crimson Mantle’s aging block do?

    Quote Originally Posted by B. Dandelion View Post
    When you say "inflated self-image", does that mean inflatedly high self-image, or anything that's elevated from the baseline of reality?

    You could say that Redcloak has an inflated self-image in the sense that he believes himself to be something other than a monster, or a slave.

    I don't know how much higher he has set his sights from "not a monster or slave" though.

    He believes his cause is noble. It doesn't have to mean he views himself as heroic exactly. He has made statements indicating he believes he has made a deal with the devil, pushed his chips into the middle of the pile, come too far to turn back, etc.
    What is the difference between inflated, and inflatedly high? It sounds redundant to me.

    I think we could agree that Redcloak's flaws of self-conception have played a large role in him ending up where he is today. He has not been wholly without agency in the story of his own ruination.

    But it's not just that I see daylight in between a kind of "pride" that means needing to maintain a self-conception of oneself as superior or without flaw and in the kind that means needing to maintain a self-image of oneself that isn't wholly beneath the dirt. It's that you have directly implied the former as well as the latter: that Redcloak believes himself to be a heroic savior figure, that he can't bear to be wrong about anything, ever, and that he couldn't allow Xykon to be destroyed because of how much pride it brought him to have created him. I was curious to know if there was a specific place those impressions are coming from, other than that they could all fall under an umbrella term of "pride".
    I admit it was hyperbolic of me to say he thinks he is automatically without flaw. But I can think of only three times he seemed to acknowledge a mistake: briefly doubting whether it's good to work for Xykon in SOD (obviously that doubt went nowhere), "You're goblins" (I'll grant you that moment of humility, but when Xykon said they were moving on from Gobbotopia, Redcloak went right back to servility), and mocking Thahn before having him killed (but I don't think that really counts, and it's immaterial to the fact that he's still Xykon's willful lackey anyway).

    At all other times he is dismissive at the thought of having made a mistake. He thinks he's in control and he asserts this to Right-Eye, to Tsukiko, and to himself. His savior complex is different from Miko's but it's still pride, pride in his self-perceived ability to stay calm, manipulate Xykon and accomplish his goals.
    Last edited by Aveline; 2019-04-16 at 03:01 PM.
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  7. - Top - End - #157
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    Default Re: What does the Crimson Mantle’s aging block do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    Actually Xykon soul is his body, it only retreats inside his phylactery to regenerate.
    Spoiler: SoD
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    Which is why he wasn't worried about it being smashed down.
    He seemed quite worried when Blackwing almost threw it into the Rift, though.

    If that deep into the webcomic Xykon didn't know what would happen if his phylactery got destroyed, I bet he didn't knew either back in SoD. But it was a good bluffing, it's almost as if Bluff were a class skill for Sorcerers, and like if Charisma were Xykon's main stat.
    Last edited by The Pilgrim; 2019-04-16 at 03:18 PM.

  8. - Top - End - #158
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    Default Re: What does the Crimson Mantle’s aging block do?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Pilgrim View Post
    He seemed quite worried when Blackwing almost threw it into the Rift, though.
    If you sold your soul for an insurance policy and someone threatened to rip up the paperwork, you'd be quite worried, I assume.
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  9. - Top - End - #159
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    Default Re: What does the Crimson Mantle’s aging block do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    If you sold your soul for an insurance policy and someone threatened to rip up the paperwork, you'd be quite worried, I assume.
    Still, my point stands. A Lich can't be destroyed unless his Phylactery also is. Meaning Redcloak needs to keep Xykon's phylactery at hand if he even wants to dispose of him. Which he certainly needs to in case the Plan is fulfilled and Xykon discovers that he has been fooled the whole time.
    Last edited by The Pilgrim; 2019-04-16 at 03:28 PM.

  10. - Top - End - #160
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    Default Re: What does the Crimson Mantle’s aging block do?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Pilgrim View Post
    He seemed quite worried when Blackwing almost threw it into the Rift, though.

    If that deep into the webcomic Xykon didn't know what would happen if his phylactery got destroyed, I bet he didn't knew either back in SoD. But it was a good bluffing, it's almost as if Bluff were a class skill for Sorcerers, and like if Charisma were Xykon's main stat.
    The phylactery has to have some kind of link to his soul for it to retreat into it and the Sanrl destoys soul, he can't really chance that the Snarl wouldn't be able to reach him through the phylactery. Note that he refuses later on to purposefully destroy his curretn skeleton to regenarate around the phylactery in order to locate it on the ground that a monster could destroy it. If that meant his destruction wether or not he had a body, that reasonning wouldn't make any sense. to the point,
    Spoiler
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    More Redcloak knows more about liches than Xykon does and would have known wethr smashing the phylactery would kill Xykon. Xykon wasn't the one bluffing there.
    Last edited by Fyraltari; 2019-04-16 at 03:21 PM.
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  11. - Top - End - #161
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    Default Re: What does the Crimson Mantle’s aging block do?

    Yep, Redcloak was either bluffing in SoD, or didn't really know how Liches work. Note that the IFCC doesn't know either, despite being quite old fiends.

    But we know, because we have the rulebooks. And according to the rulebooks, the Phylactery stores the Lich's soul (or life essence, or life force, depending on the book version). If my memory serves, nowere it says that the soul of a lich retreats to the phylactery if his body is destroyed. It is already there.

    The rules also state that a Lich in unharmed if the Phylactery is destroyed. The only effect is that he is no longer able to regenerate from it. However I don't remeber if it is ever stated anywere what happens with the soul/life force/life essence stored in the Phylactery if it is destroyed before the Lich is.

    Of course, Rich can disregard the Rulebooks if he wants. But nothing shown so far in the comic about the Phylactery contradicts the rules.

    In any case, if Redcloak wants Xykon even destroyed (and he certainly wants to get rid of him after the Plan is completed), he needs the Phylactery at hand. The Snarl can unmade Xykon's body, but his soul/life force/life essence is in the Phylactery.
    Last edited by The Pilgrim; 2019-04-16 at 03:32 PM.

  12. - Top - End - #162
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    Default Re: What does the Crimson Mantle’s aging block do?

    We can only be 100% sure by seeing it tested on-panel, but right now the only info we have suggests Xykon's soul is in his body, not in his phylactery.

    Regardless, I doubt the Snarl can be used as a precision weapon against Xykon or anyone else. Once you release it, that's it for that particular plane.
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  13. - Top - End - #163
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    Default Re: What does the Crimson Mantle’s aging block do?

    Quote Originally Posted by hrožila View Post
    We can only be 100% sure by seeing it tested on-panel, but right now the only info we have suggests Xykon's soul is in his body, not in his phylactery.
    Does it, though? Because we have the IFCC stating that they don't know what happens if the Phylactery is destroyed. And betting that Xykon doesn't knows either. And the Lich certainly acts very scared in that scene, as if he, indeed didn't know.

    In SoD
    Spoiler
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    Xykon tells Redcloak that his soul is not in the Phylactery. But Xykon had back then zero knowledge about how Liches work. He had been just turned into a Lich, only knew what Redcloak told him. Redcloak did tell Right-Eye that he was going to lie to Xykon about how liches work. And, as the scene at the coffe shop shows, his knowledge about liches was not very deep either, he didn't knew Xykon would lose his taste sense.

    Xykon was right in that destroying the Phylactery wouldn't destroy him. The D&D Rules state so. But not for the reasons he belived. According to the Rules, his soul/life essence/whatever is indeed stored in the Phylactery. Years later, in DStP, he displayed a lot more concern for the "pricey bauble". Perhaps he had got the time to learn a bit about his own nature?


    Quote Originally Posted by hrožila View Post
    Regardless, I doubt the Snarl can be used as a precision weapon against Xykon or anyone else. Once you release it, that's it for that particular plane.
    Redcloak's Crayons account of The Plan in SoD
    Spoiler
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    Specifically showns he and Xykon killed by the Snarl after completing the Ritual


    It doesn't matters if the Snarl actually can do it or not. Redcloak believes it can.
    Last edited by The Pilgrim; 2019-04-16 at 03:51 PM.

  14. - Top - End - #164
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    Default Re: What does the Crimson Mantle’s aging block do?

    The ideas that the soul is always within the phylactery and that the lich can survive the phylactery’s destruction are mutually incompatible.

    If the rulebook states that the lich isn’t destroyed with their phylactery unless their body were destroyed first then the conclusion is that the lich’s soul is inside the phylactery only when it has no body to go to. This also means that the lich’s awareness is tied to their soul which makes plenty of sense.

    The Directors never said they didn’t know what happens when a phylactery is destroyed they said they didn’t know what would happen if one fell into the Rifts, an event that would be extremely rare. Also the Directors’ general demeanor screams that as far as Archfiend go, they are young.
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  15. - Top - End - #165
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    Default Re: What does the Crimson Mantle’s aging block do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    The ideas that the soul is always within the phylactery and that the lich can survive the phylactery’s destruction are mutually incompatible.

    If the rulebook states that the lich isn’t destroyed with their phylactery unless their body were destroyed first then the conclusion is that the lich’s soul is inside the phylactery only when it has no body to go to. This also means that the lich’s awareness is tied to their soul which makes plenty of sense.

    The Directors never said they didn’t know what happens when a phylactery is destroyed they said they didn’t know what would happen if one fell into the Rifts, an event that would be extremely rare. Also the Directors’ general demeanor screams that as far as Archfiend go, they are young.
    Why are they incompatible? The soul has an alternate vessel to retreat to if the Phylactery is destroyed: The Lich himself. What is it that makes you think destroying the phylactery with a soul in it would automatically destroy/banish the soul as well?
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  16. - Top - End - #166
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    Default Re: What does the Crimson Mantle’s aging block do?

    I got the impression that Redcloak believes the ritual will likely result in the casters being destroyed by the snarl, not that it can actually be used as a precision weapon.

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    Default Re: What does the Crimson Mantle’s aging block do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    The ideas that the soul is always within the phylactery and that the lich can survive the phylactery’s destruction are mutually incompatible
    Incompatible or not, the Rules does state that the Phylactery holds the soul/life whatever of the Lich. And if you think about it, the whole tension of that scene with Blackwing is built around the idea that nobody knows what happens if the Phylactery is thrown into the Rift.
    Last edited by The Pilgrim; 2019-04-16 at 04:05 PM.

  18. - Top - End - #168
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    Default Re: What does the Crimson Mantle’s aging block do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    The ideas that the soul is always within the phylactery and that the lich can survive the phylactery’s destruction are mutually incompatible.

    If the rulebook states that the lich isn’t destroyed with their phylactery unless their body were destroyed first then the conclusion is that the lich’s soul is inside the phylactery only when it has no body to go to. This also means that the lich’s awareness is tied to their soul which makes plenty of sense.
    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee's Ye Olde SRDe
    The Lich’s Phylactery
    An integral part of becoming a lich is creating a magic phylactery in which the character stores its life force. As a rule, the only way to get rid of a lich for sure is to destroy its phylactery. Unless its phylactery is located and destroyed, a lich reappears 1d10 days after its apparent death.
    The rulebook isn't terribly clear on this; the terms of destruction as per the phylactery seem to be under the assumption that the lich has already been defeated.
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  19. - Top - End - #169
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    Default Re: What does the Crimson Mantle’s aging block do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    The rulebook isn't terribly clear on this; the terms of destruction as per the phylactery seem to be under the assumption that the lich has already been defeated.
    My rationalization of the Rules is that if the Phylactery is destroyed, the soul/life force/life essence (all three terms are used in different versions of the Rules) returns to the Lich. But that is just my rationalization, the rules never state what happens with whatever the phylactery holds according to the rules, if the item is destroyed.

    But, all in all, I think we can agree on something:
    Spoiler: SoD
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    Redcloak's plan on keeping control over Xykon by holding the Phylactery never made much sense.
    Last edited by The Pilgrim; 2019-04-16 at 04:11 PM.

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    Default Re: What does the Crimson Mantle’s aging block do?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Pilgrim View Post
    My rationalization of the Rules is that if the Phylactery is destroyed, the soul/life force/life essence (all three terms are used in different versions of the Rules) returns to the Lich.
    Same, and so far as I know that's the most common interpretation.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Pilgrim View Post
    But, all in all, I think we can agree on something:
    Spoiler: SoD
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    Redcloak's plan on keeping control over Xykon by holding the Phylactery never made much sense.
    Oh absolutely.
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    Default Re: What does the Crimson Mantle’s aging block do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Keltest View Post
    Why are they incompatible? The soul has an alternate vessel to retreat to if the Phylactery is destroyed: The Lich himself. What is it that makes you think destroying the phylactery with a soul in it would automatically destroy/banish the soul as well?
    I thought The Pilgrim was saying that the soul was definitively within the phylactery which is, in fact, not what they said. My bad.

    Wether the soul is genrally within the phylactery or wthin the body as long as it can travel to any of the two when the other is destroyed doesn't really change anything, though.
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  22. - Top - End - #172
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    Default Re: What does the Crimson Mantle’s aging block do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Oh absolutely.
    Yet Redcloak still holds on the Phylactery. So either he believes he can use it to directly destroy Xykon (unlikely at this point, IMHO), or he expects to get Xykon destroyed at some point and he knows that in order to achieve that, he needs to destroy the Phylactery also.

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    Default Re: What does the Crimson Mantle’s aging block do?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Pilgrim View Post
    Does it, though? Because we have the IFCC stating that they don't know what happens if the Phylactery is destroyed. And betting that Xykon doesn't knows either. And the Lich certainly acts very scared in that scene, as if he, indeed didn't know.

    In SoD
    Spoiler
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    Xykon tells Redcloak that his soul is not in the Phylactery. But Xykon had back then zero knowledge about how Liches work. He had been just turned into a Lich, only knew what Redcloak told him. Redcloak did tell Right-Eye that he was going to lie to Xykon about how liches work. And, as the scene at the coffe shop shows, his knowledge about liches was not very deep either, he didn't knew Xykon would lose his taste sense.

    Xykon was right in that destroying the Phylactery wouldn't destroy him. The D&D Rules state so. But not for the reasons he belived. According to the Rules, his soul/life essence/whatever is indeed stored in the Phylactery. Years later, in DStP, he displayed a lot more concern for the "pricey bauble". Perhaps he had got the time to learn a bit about his own nature?
    Spoiler: SoD
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    Why would Redcloak back off at that moment if he didn't believe Xykon's soul was in his body? No matter where Xykon's soul actually is, that clearly wasn't a lie by Redcloak.

    What we see in the comic is perfectly consistent with Xykon's concern being entirely about the possibility of losing his phylactery, which would be a big deal for any lich, and not knowing whether the Snarl would detect the phylactery, or destroy it, or even if it didn't, whether recovering it would be at all possible.
    Redcloak's Crayons account of The Plan in SoD
    Spoiler
    Show
    Specifically showns he and Xykon killed by the Snarl after completing the Ritual


    It doesn't matters if the Snarl actually can do it or not. Redcloak believes it can.
    Spoiler: SoD
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    That's not the Snarl being used to kill Redcloak and Xykon in particular, though, that's Redcloak and Xykon being the first to die because they're in ground zero of a ritual gone wrong and the Snarl getting loose.
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    Default Re: What does the Crimson Mantle’s aging block do?

    Quote Originally Posted by hrožila View Post
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    Why would Redcloak back off at that moment if he didn't believe Xykon's soul was in his body? No matter where Xykon's soul actually is, that clearly wasn't a lie by Redcloak.
    Because Redcloak knows that destroying the Phylactery doesn't destroys Xykon, no matter what the phylactery holds. After all, the D&D rules state so.

    It is interesting to note that Redcloak believes Xykon The Lich to be just a construct, not a person (as he told Tsukiko). In Redcloak's view, "Lord Xykon" is just a Swampman*. So it is consistent with Redcloak's views on Xykon that the Phylactery can be destroyed without destroying the Lich. The Phylactery just holds something that allows the Construct to be regrown, but nothing else, the Lich works completely independent from what the Phylactery holds. That scene in SoD you mention may be the moment Redcloak realized that, hence what he told to his brother at the end of that scene.

    So, in the end, it doesn't matters if Xykon's soul is held in the phylactery or not, or if the Snarl would destroy Xykon fully because Xykon's soul is in his body or not. For Redcloak, all that matters is that the Phylactery allows The Construct to be rebuilt, so he needs it destroyed if he wants to permanently get rid of "Lord Xykon". Hence, Redcloak has a very good reason to find it important to keep hold of the item.

    *(Too bad for Eugene that the bureaucratic Devas at Celestia doesn't believe so).
    Last edited by The Pilgrim; 2019-04-16 at 05:40 PM.

  25. - Top - End - #175
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    Default Re: What does the Crimson Mantle’s aging block do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aveline View Post
    What is the difference between inflated, and inflatedly high? It sounds redundant to me.
    Well, if you'll forgive me for making this into a painfully literal analogy, say you have two basketballs. One has received two small pumps of air. The other has received many more. Both balls could be said to be "inflated" in a sense... but only one bounces, or is useful as a ball.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aveline View Post
    I admit it was hyperbolic of me to say he thinks he is automatically without flaw. But I can think of only three times he seemed to acknowledge a mistake: briefly doubting whether it's good to work for Xykon in SOD (obviously that doubt went nowhere), "You're goblins" (I'll grant you that moment of humility, but when Xykon said they were moving on from Gobbotopia, Redcloak went right back to servility), and mocking Thahn before having him killed (but I don't think that really counts, and it's immaterial to the fact that he's still Xykon's willful lackey anyway).

    At all other times he is dismissive at the thought of having made a mistake. He thinks he's in control and he asserts this to Right-Eye, to Tsukiko, and to himself. His savior complex is different from Miko's but it's still pride, pride in his self-perceived ability to stay calm, manipulate Xykon and accomplish his goals.
    He doesn't assert that he's in control to Right-Eye, he pretty much runs in the opposite direction and says they're powerless in the face of their situation. If they move against Xykon he will just kill them all. From his phrasing about Xykon going off to enslave some other goblin village to replace them he is literally calling himself a slave there.

    He does assert that he's got a "subtle" control over Xykon to Tsukiko. He acknowledges that she might be right about Xykon killing him and all of his hobgoblin friends in retribution for murdering her, but says he wouldn't have reacted any better to finding out the truth anyway. He thinks he has some power and influence over the situation, but he admits that his control is subtle, could be lost, and doesn't suggest he could do anything to save himself if that happened.

    (He also makes it quite plain that he doesn't view the undead as people but magically animated things best thought of as tools for the living. I guess it helps him feel better somehow to imagine that Xykon isn't a person in a meaningful way.)

    He thinks that he can still win, and make all the sacrifices worth it, but he seems aware that his situation is precarious. He doesn't seem to mention or dwell on his own mistakes that got him there, but I guess the omission alone hadn't given me the impression that he's necessarily "dismissive".

    I don't really know exactly where Redcloak's character is going to wind up, though. I can safely rule out options like "he wins and is vindicated for having stuck by Xykon for so long". Clearly it was a mistake to work with him, and clearly he hasn't learned that lesson well enough to stop. Pride may turn out to be more of a factor than I've realized. But it hasn't seemed to have leaned into that angle especially so far.

  26. - Top - End - #176
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    Default Re: What does the Crimson Mantle’s aging block do?

    As far as SOD goes:

    Spoiler
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    Xykon specifically calls Recloak's bluff on the phylactery, because his soul wasn't currently inside of it. Perhaps it'll be revealed that isn't how it works, but for now the assumption is that Xykon's soul is in his body, and destroying the phylactery does nothing directly to him.
    I'd just like to point out that saying that something unsupported is the case unless someone else can prove that it is not is an utter failure of logic. - Kish

  27. - Top - End - #177
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    Default Re: What does the Crimson Mantle’s aging block do?

    Quote Originally Posted by B. Dandelion View Post
    Well, if you'll forgive me for making this into a painfully literal analogy, say you have two basketballs. One has received two small pumps of air. The other has received many more. Both balls could be said to be "inflated" in a sense... but only one bounces, or is useful as a ball.



    He doesn't assert that he's in control to Right-Eye, he pretty much runs in the opposite direction and says they're powerless in the face of their situation. If they move against Xykon he will just kill them all. From his phrasing about Xykon going off to enslave some other goblin village to replace them he is literally calling himself a slave there.

    He does assert that he's got a "subtle" control over Xykon to Tsukiko. He acknowledges that she might be right about Xykon killing him and all of his hobgoblin friends in retribution for murdering her, but says he wouldn't have reacted any better to finding out the truth anyway. He thinks he has some power and influence over the situation, but he admits that his control is subtle, could be lost, and doesn't suggest he could do anything to save himself if that happened.

    (He also makes it quite plain that he doesn't view the undead as people but magically animated things best thought of as tools for the living. I guess it helps him feel better somehow to imagine that Xykon isn't a person in a meaningful way.)

    He thinks that he can still win, and make all the sacrifices worth it, but he seems aware that his situation is precarious. He doesn't seem to mention or dwell on his own mistakes that got him there, but I guess the omission alone hadn't given me the impression that he's necessarily "dismissive".

    I don't really know exactly where Redcloak's character is going to wind up, though. I can safely rule out options like "he wins and is vindicated for having stuck by Xykon for so long". Clearly it was a mistake to work with him, and clearly he hasn't learned that lesson well enough to stop. Pride may turn out to be more of a factor than I've realized. But it hasn't seemed to have leaned into that angle especially so far.
    ^ his delusion seems to be that "it'll all be worth it" and that he isn't responsible for everything that's happened rather than having a rosy view of the current situation. Also I think that it's pretty likely he put the most positive possible spin on things when telling Tsukkiko what was going on to rub her face in it.
    Last edited by CriticalFailure; 2019-04-16 at 10:01 PM.

  28. - Top - End - #178
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    Default Re: What does the Crimson Mantle’s aging block do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aveline View Post
    He had ample opportunity to destroy Xykon's phylactery in the main books, especially at the end of book 1. He's been supplying Xykon with tactics and strategies, which he doesn't have to do. When he recognized the Order as a serious threat to Xykon in book 5, he tried to kill them over Xykon's own objections. Redcloak's situation is not ideal but it's not totally hopeless either, and Redcloak just keeps digging himself deeper because he's convinced it's the right thing to do.

    Even if Redcloak thought of Xykon as some kind of problem, all he's done about that is hide the phylactery, which is a feeble grasp at something he already had.
    He had a very limited opportunity to do so, where he was running for his life and still getting his spirits back together. At that point, he also didn't have Gobbotopia. And possibly, didn't know where the other gates were. A lot has changed since that one opportunity to deal with Xykon.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Pilgrim View Post
    Yep, Redcloak was either bluffing in SoD, or didn't really know how Liches work. Note that the IFCC doesn't know either, despite being quite old fiends.

    But we know, because we have the rulebooks. And according to the rulebooks, the Phylactery stores the Lich's soul (or life essence, or life force, depending on the book version). If my memory serves, nowere it says that the soul of a lich retreats to the phylactery if his body is destroyed. It is already there.

    The rules also state that a Lich in unharmed if the Phylactery is destroyed. The only effect is that he is no longer able to regenerate from it. However I don't remeber if it is ever stated anywere what happens with the soul/life force/life essence stored in the Phylactery if it is destroyed before the Lich is.

    Of course, Rich can disregard the Rulebooks if he wants. But nothing shown so far in the comic about the Phylactery contradicts the rules.

    In any case, if Redcloak wants Xykon even destroyed (and he certainly wants to get rid of him after the Plan is completed), he needs the Phylactery at hand. The Snarl can unmade Xykon's body, but his soul/life force/life essence is in the Phylactery.
    Neither. Redcloak wasn't bluffing, and he knew how the Phylactery worked. He just assumed that Xykon would be more attached to his rejuvenation ability, and would not want to risk losing it. Poor planning and bad assumptions, that's all.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Pilgrim View Post
    Incompatible or not, the Rules does state that the Phylactery holds the soul/life whatever of the Lich. And if you think about it, the whole tension of that scene with Blackwing is built around the idea that nobody knows what happens if the Phylactery is thrown into the Rift.
    Right, because nobody quite knows what the rift is, and what's on the other side. Would it destroy the phylactery? Would it it just be a plane shift effect? Would it drag Xykon along with it? Would to guide the Snarl to Xykon's soul?

    This rift is homebrewed world-destroying material. Of course nobody would know how anything interacts with it.
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    The scouring of the Shire never happened. That's right. After reading books I, II, and III, I stopped reading when the One Ring was thrown into Mount Doom. The story ends there. Nothing worthwhile happened afterwards. Middle-Earth was saved.

  29. - Top - End - #179
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    Default Re: What does the Crimson Mantle’s aging block do?

    I think the bigger thing to keep in mind about the rift is that no matter what happens to his phylactery in there, including "nothing," its bad for him. If it gets destroyed, or unmade, or loses his soul to the snarl or is otherwise rendered unusable, then he doesn't have it at best. If it isn't destroyed, then its lost in space in another dimension that he knows nothing about. Its not the end of the world, but it is completely undesirable too.

    Whereas his threat to Redcloak is that destroying the phylactery will be taken as a sign of absolute war between them, and that Xykon will win even if he does take some hits. In both cases losing the Phylactery is bad, but in Redcloak's case Xykon is warning that it isn't life endingly bad and that he can still inflict some consequences for it.
    “Evil is evil. Lesser, greater, middling, it's all the same. Proportions are negotiated, boundaries blurred. I'm not a pious hermit, I haven't done only good in my life. But if I'm to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all.”

  30. - Top - End - #180
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    Default Re: What does the Crimson Mantle’s aging block do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Keltest View Post
    I think the bigger thing to keep in mind about the rift is that no matter what happens to his phylactery in there, including "nothing," its bad for him. If it gets destroyed, or unmade, or loses his soul to the snarl or is otherwise rendered unusable, then he doesn't have it at best. If it isn't destroyed, then its lost in space in another dimension that he knows nothing about. Its not the end of the world, but it is completely undesirable too.

    Whereas his threat to Redcloak is that destroying the phylactery will be taken as a sign of absolute war between them, and that Xykon will win even if he does take some hits. In both cases losing the Phylactery is bad, but in Redcloak's case Xykon is warning that it isn't life endingly bad and that he can still inflict some consequences for it.
    Furthermore, when Redcloak threatened to destroy the phylactery, Xykon had never really gained anything from it. At that moment, he was basically the same as before, except with a few buffs.

    At Dorukan's gate, Xykon was destroyed for the very first time in his life. At Azure City, he was almost destroyed by the paladin ghosts.

    I think that between the moment Redcloak threatened him with it, and the moment it almost fell into the rift, Xykon had become much more aware of its value and his own vulnerabilities. And thus, he's grown more attached to his rejuvination ability.
    Attention LotR fans
    Spoiler: LotR
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    The scouring of the Shire never happened. That's right. After reading books I, II, and III, I stopped reading when the One Ring was thrown into Mount Doom. The story ends there. Nothing worthwhile happened afterwards. Middle-Earth was saved.

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