Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) - Episode 019

Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) - Episode 019

The gray sky above the City of Goodminton was dark with the forms of "allied" flyers, separately huddling in two large storm clouds. Two warlords were engaged in parley by the tower top; one was mounted on a fat Buttress and the other simply had the flying special.

The great iron-bound doors parted inward, and Wanda rode home through the city gates.

She was not alone. By unit count, her party was considerably larger than the one that had departed Kiloton. Notably, it included new Chief Warlord Pom Fritz, and a former enemy warlord named Larry Ansell.

But the group's size was no indication of triumph. Hamfurter and Frankburg had both been retaken by Haffaton in the last two turns. They'd lose Goodfinger soon as well, or Father would order it razed. And only Lord Firebaugh's cleverness had kept the capital from falling before now.

Mounted upon the same brontosword as Un-Tommy, Wanda followed Fritz through the cobblestone streets, nodding at occasional salutes from troubled-looking infantry units. Her sawhorse had been lost in a Haffaton raid the morning after she had uncroaked her brother's body.

It had been a fierce and desperate skirmish in the woods. Larry came after them with a vengeance, as if he had something to prove. Olive was not with him in the raiding party. The Haffaton forces would have been strong enough to overwhelm Goodminton's, if not for Un-Tommy (who'd been brilliant in battle), and the bonus provided by Fritz's swift promotion to Chief Warlord.

It was Larry himself who charged Wanda on foot, and slew Uggymug. The mount's fall dropped her to the rocky ground at his feet, incapacitated.

But rather than strike the croaking blow, he sheathed his sword and called her by name. "Lady Wanda," he said, almost mournfully, "you shouldn't run. You should be with us. Come on, now. You're hurting my feelings!"

Reaching into his pack, he produced a capture net and began to resize it.

Wanda had only been winded in the fall, but she could not move and could barely breathe. Lying there beside Uggymug's body, in the ice and snow and jagged rocks, she looked up and saw Larry's hands. The net he held looked like Fate itself, preparing to drag her to Olive's side whichever way she tried to go.

Then she thought out an order, and Un-Tommy disengaged from his melee. As Larry threw the net upon her, Un-Tommy's swift sword struck him a beautiful critical hit.

Re-attaching the head during the uncroaking process had been an interesting new challenge. But if she had made any careless errors in the process, Larry seemed disinclined to complain to her any further.

---

Between the combat and all of the uncroaking she'd done, Wanda had leveled up to 4 on the journey home. But she considered it less of a personal advancement than the discovery that she could use Rhyme-o-mancy. Her mind was now open to the possibilities of using other magical disciplines. And even though that remained a disturbing (even frightening) idea, she was determined to push herself to try. She would not be blindsided by an enemy this way again.

One of the units in the group, for example, was a snow golem. It was a terribly crude thing, made of only three large balls of snow she had rolled up, with sticks for arms and small black rocks for features. It moved lurchingly forward and was almost useless as a unit. But as abominable as it was, she was quite proud of her first attempt at hat magic.

"I think, perhaps, we're not in need of...him, at this point," said Fritz, indicating Un-Tommy. "He may be, er...a distraction?" The new Chief was a practical man, and if he'd been bothered at all by the presence of an uncroaked version of his old friend, this was the first indication of it. "To the Overlord, I mean," added Fritz.

Wanda, who had just dismounted, looked up at Un-Tommy. Yes, Father would not be so dispassionate about the matter. Fritz was just being practical again. She nodded, and ordered Un-Tommy to lead a stack in the courtyard, in case the enemy broke alliance and landed.

The snow golem she ordered to stand sentry at the base of Minnow Tower. Then she took the silk top hat from its head, reducing it to a mere ornament.

---

Father ended his parley, and came in from the frigid parapet. His cheeks were rosy, his eyes dour. Two attendants shut the double doors behind him, leaving only the light of blue powerballs, and the fires in the twin hearths.

Wanda, Delphie and Clay rose from their seats upon the fustian couches of the drawing room, and bowed their heads to him. Fritz had never chosen to sit.

"Daughter," said the Overlord, "I'm grateful to see you again."

Wanda wanted very much to embrace him, but Delphie and Clay's presence made her hold fast to decorum. "As am I, Father." She tried to let her smile say it in place of her arms. "What have they said?"

Father removed a pair of thick woolen gloves and handed them to an attendant. He smirked in amusement. "Well, they figured it out. They were almost exactly as dumb as I expected them to be. They've got an agreement, now. So, we've got til turn's end."

Father's stalling gambit was to offer both Frenemy and Quisling an exclusive contract entitling them to two thirds of Goodminton's treasury, payable on the condition that the other broke alliance first.

This had the effect of putting them in a position of being unable to make good on their threat to attack the city. One of them had to be the first to break alliance with Goodminton, which would put the treasure in the other's hands, and mean that they would be fighting in the sky instead of attacking the ground.

In correspondence she'd exchanged with him from the road, Father had indicated to Wanda that he only expected this to work for a few turns. Then Frenemy and Quisling would write their own agreement to automagically split Goodminton's payment to the second side to break alliance.

"They're ready to attack us, but I told them we'll meet their demands," he said. "I take it we are ready now?"

Delphie looked like she wanted to answer, and Wanda nodded her assent. "Yes, Lord," said the Predictamancer. "Spells are on the tower, and I am boosted with Luckamancy." Clay nodded as well. They both looked terribly serious. Wanda reminded herself how little combat they had each seen.

Firebaugh raised his head and looked at Fritz. "I'd like to stack with you, if you can bear the risk of it," he said. "It's been a long time since I've been in a fight."

Fritz simply shrugged and pointed at Delphie. "Don't ask me, Lord. You've a Predictamancer. Will he croak, Lady Temple?"

Delphie looked at her Overlord and squinted a bit, examining him. Wanda could sense that she was using a kind of magical sight like her own Croakamancy senses. She'd asked Delphie a raft of questions about Predictamancy in correspondence from the road, as they'd worked out this plan. She knew Delphie was now intuiting something about Father's near-term outcomes.

She smiled nervously. "No objections, my Lord."

Wanda held the scroll she had sent Delphie to buy this morning. It felt strange and dirty, tingling with a magic she had barely even thought about.

Firebaugh smiled, for once a warm and genuine look of relief. He looked eager to act. "Oh excellent," he said. his voice both soft and intense. "Won't this be interesting?"

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Recent posts... (See full thread)
I would think there were no golems made by Wanda in GK pre Book 1 because Sizemore was doing a lot of the golem duties and Wanda was flying out to uncroak a lot of units after all the battles GK kept losing took most of her juice. Not to mention it is possible she was doing some tower spells, making scrolls, and had stated that she was capable but had little interest in other magics. Like someone said, possible that she simply ended up learning a good deal about a lot of different magic and stopped experimenting.
Yeah, I would bet Golems directly created are stronger then golems created by hat-o-mancy, even when by an actual hat-o-mancer. So a dirtamancer's crap golem is probably leaps and bounds better then something Wanda could create with her side talents. She's not stupid, she'd have been making golems if she thought they were more effective, liking it or not. I'm sure all agreed though that uncroaking was a better use of her juice.

We don't know how the caster system works in terms of being outside discipline, but it's reasonably safe to assume that even a master class caster is never going to be as powerful in another discipline then their own against that discipline unless other differences in their cases are staggering (wide level gap, novice vs master, artifact bonus, etc.).
OMG why didn't I realize this sooner?!

The scroll is Carnymancy!
Think about it, Wanda is (presumably) trying to fight Fate, and Carnymancy is the one school that claims to cheat Fate. But because (as far as we have seen) Fate tends to have its way eventually, it would make sense for Carnymancy to feel dirty and strange (especially to a caster who will eventually come to be so devoted to Fate). Also note that Carynmancy, Croakamancy, Predictamancy, and Signamancy (Wanda seems to have something of an obsession with Natural Signamancy) are all on the Fate axis of magic...

Sizemore's reaction towards Jeftichew's Carnymancy scroll also makes sense. Either the suspicion of Carnymancy is widespread in the MK, or Wanda taught him to avoid it as a result of her experience with the scroll she's "currently" holding.

Either way, I'm concerned this means that her plan is going to go terribly awry, since it seems Wanda is placing a lot of hope on this scroll.

(Edit: Also note that Thinkamancy is on the Fate axis as well, and Wanda also has a bit of an obsession with Natural Thinkamancy and orders)
One of her side's enemies has a Carnymancer... and Carnymancy is Stagemagick, just like the Rhyme-o-mancy and Hat Magic, the magic she's so proud of learning. So there's a strong case to be made for Carnamancy to be a magic she's spent time thinking about.

Sixty wrote:
I would think there were no golems made by Wanda in GK pre Book 1 because Sizemore was doing a lot of the golem duties and Wanda was flying out to uncroak a lot of units after all the battles GK kept losing took most of her juice. Not to mention it is possible she was doing some tower spells, making scrolls, and had stated that she was capable but had little interest in other magics. Like someone said, possible that she simply ended up learning a good deal about a lot of different magic and stopped experimenting.

Sizemore's Golems never seem to leave the Capital, indeed, they wouldn't have come as a surpise for Ansom if they had ever been fielded against him. Losing a battle is going to leave all or most of the Croakamancy porn in enemy hands. Spell defences rarely need replacing and there are other Casters around to do so. Scrolls are worthless if they aren't used, something Wanda happily avoided doing at the Battle for Gobwin Knob. Being confident in her own abilities doesn't justify failing to use them in persuit of her long term goals. And honestly? Most of those pressures apply today and yet, Snow Golem.

kagato23 wrote:
Yeah, I would bet Golems directly created are stronger then golems created by hat-o-mancy, even when by an actual hat-o-mancer. So a dirtamancer's crap golem is probably leaps and bounds better then something Wanda could create with her side talents. She's not stupid, she'd have been making golems if she thought they were more effective, liking it or not. I'm sure all agreed though that uncroaking was a better use of her juice.

We don't know how the caster system works in terms of being outside discipline, but it's reasonably safe to assume that even a master class caster is never going to be as powerful in another discipline then their own against that discipline unless other differences in their cases are staggering (wide level gap, novice vs master, artifact bonus, etc.).

Why should Dirt magic be stronger than Hat magic? Even if it were, what argument is there against having extra types of Golem to hand? Given that in Book One, when the Capital itself was under attack, Wanda had no Uncroaking to do for at least four turns straight...

I see no reason why Wanda can't Master multiple disciplines. She lacks whatever special vision the various Caster types have (unless she uses devices like Parson's goggle things), the secretive malignant buggers in the Magick Kingdom might make it harder than it needs to be for her to learn and she probably won't gain extra power in other fields just by levelling, but...
Lamech wrote:
So, another change we see in Wanda: Book-0-Wanda loves trying out all the kinds of magic. She uses hatomancy just for kicks, buffs spells with Rhyme-o-mancy, all in all pretty good. But Book-1-Wanda, is pretty well opposed to the idea.


She uses Rhyme-o-mancy in Book 1 as well.
http://www.erfworld.com/book-1-archive/?px=%2F119.jpg
Probably to buff herself and/or her Uncroaked, which would explain why they had so little trouble disarming and dismounting a level 10 royal Warlord. If I remember correctly that was the point of some speculation back then. :geek:
Jack Snipe wrote:
Lamech wrote:
So, another change we see in Wanda: Book-0-Wanda loves trying out all the kinds of magic. She uses hatomancy just for kicks, buffs spells with Rhyme-o-mancy, all in all pretty good. But Book-1-Wanda, is pretty well opposed to the idea.


She uses Rhyme-o-mancy in Book 1 as well.
http://www.erfworld.com/book-1-archive/?px=%2F119.jpg
Probably to buff herself and/or her Uncroaked, which would explain why they had so little trouble disarming and dismounting a level 10 royal Warlord. If I remember correctly that was the point of some speculation back then. :geek:

That's Dance-Fighting though, not quite the same thing as actual Caster style magic use.
Gorky wrote:
So Wanda is level 4 now. Clay was level 3 at the beginning of this story (not sure if he leveled up). What level is Delphie?

Got answered in the next update. Delphie was level 4, now 5.
Whispri wrote:

Why should Dirt magic be stronger than Hat magic? Even if it were, what argument is there against having extra types of Golem to hand? Given that in Book One, when the Capital itself was under attack, Wanda had no Uncroaking to do for at least four turns straight...

I see no reason why Wanda can't Master multiple disciplines. She lacks whatever special vision the various Caster types have (unless she uses devices like Parson's goggle things), the secretive malignant buggers in the Magick Kingdom might make it harder than it needs to be for her to learn and she probably won't gain extra power in other fields just by levelling, but...


I'm not saying dirt magic is inherantly stronger then hat magic. Rather, I'm saying a dirtomancer making a golem in their own discipline will, in nearly all cases, probably do better then somebody making a golem outside of their primary discipline. For a more direct comparison, Cubbins (avoiding the one joke by assuming he's not croaked) can make a better snow golem then wanda can. I'm betting this is true even if she has a level or two on him, because it's his primary discipline. To talk of it in mechanics, he'll have obvious bonuses in casting within his discipline she'd lack. Conversly, Wanda can make better uncroaked then non-croackamancers.

In the specific case cited? crap golems made by a dirtamancer are probably better then any hat-o-mancy golems she could create, even assuming without snow she can make any (might be an environment dependen special), which means her juice may be more efficiently spent A: taking multiple turns to make better units for the upcoming battles (admittedly guessing here) or B: Spelling up the tower (which we know she can and did do). Possibly both. I'm guessing that this was a more efficent use fo her juice, since they have a caster who can make superior golems right there. Assuming she could even make any at all without a snowstorm.
Also it has been suggested (and makes sense) that the amount of juice she can expend outside croakamancy is limited, or she expends more juice than a caster of the relevant school would use to create the same effect. If for example she could perform Dirtamancy just as well as Sizemore, she wouldn't be labeled as a Croakamancer.
badninja wrote:
With Bea I see it as a desperation or standard order. In book 1 Sizemore was targeted in combat, not to capture, but to be killed while he was defending the tunnels. Yes I know that they did not know he was there but come on they went for the kill not the capture.

That was a close fight. Sir Webinar probably knew the forces were even, so he didn't have the luxury of attempting to capture Sizemore. In the end, it was Webinar and Dora against Sizemore, and he still had the juice to heal his golems. Ansom hated Wanda for what she did to his men. He wasn't thinking rationally. He wanted revenge, so capturing probably didn't occur to him. With Jillian at Spacerock, Gobwin Knob's airforce was stronger than hers. If she attacked, there was a significant change she would lose. Even if she won, capturing Wanda and Jack, she may not have had enough forces remaining to attempt to capture Ansom, who was the one she really wanted. In this update, "(t)he Haffaton forces would have been strong enough to overwhelm Goodminton's, if not for Un-Tommy (who'd been brilliant in battle), and the bonus provided by Fritz's swift promotion to Chief Warlord." Larry's feeling towards Wanda probably affected his judgement as well. Casters are valuable units. Capture is preferable but not at the cost of your own forces.

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She was not alone. By unit count, her party was considerably larger than the one that had departed Kiloton. Notably, it included new Chief Warlord Pom Fritz, and a former enemy warlord named Larry Ansell.

When I first read this, I thought, "He's probably uncroaked, but...maybe he turned." I didn't really believe it, but given his seeming willingness to consider it before, the possibility kept rolling around my head until he lost his. I'm also surprised to see they have more units than left Kiloton. Their siege column was annihilated. I'm sure they lost units in Larry's raid. While she could uncroak the Haffaton units and any non-Fellow casualties of Goodminton, any uncroaked dusted are gone. I wonder if they were joined by any forces pulled from Hamfurter, Frankburg and/or Goodfinger.

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And only Lord Firebaugh's cleverness had kept the capital from falling before now.

I suspect their delay in attacking has less to do with Lord Firebaugh's cleverness than Haffaton's desire to acquire Wanda. If Goodminton had traded Wanda the turn Frenemy and Quisling moved against their capital, they would have attacked that turn. If Larry's force had captured Wanda, they would have attacked the next. They didn't attack, because Haffaton didn't want Wanda to disband in the field when her side ended. Now that Wanda was where they could capture her, they would have attacked whether Lord Firebaugh met their demands or not.

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Larry came after them with a vengeance, as if he had something to prove.

This is at least partially caused by Larry's fixation with Wanda, but I wonder if it is also partially caused by guilt over having considered turning when Tommy made his counter offer.

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Fritz was just being practical again.

I still love Fritz. I dread his probable croaking in the future.

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Delphie looked like she wanted to answer, and Wanda nodded her assent. "Yes, Lord," said the Predictamancer. "Spells are on the tower, and I am boosted with Luckamancy." Clay nodded as well. They both looked terribly serious. Wanda reminded herself how little combat they had each seen.

Once again I'm surprised. I won't have thought they'd have seen any combat, but this implies they have. I can't really see Delphie or Clay leaving the capital. Either I am mistake, they were captured from other sides or the capital has been attacked before.