Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) - Episode 066

Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) - Episode 066

“Focus the Oculory,” intoned Sister Betsy.

The Healomancer, a bright blob, shaded Jillian‘s brow with her blobby pink hand and rapidly glanced back and forth between the Chief‘s eyes. The real world wavered, then fell back into perfect sharpness.

“You‘re healed,” she said with a certain professional coldness, and turned away.

Jillian swiveled her head sharply, looking at everything she could. Her gaze darted around the street, first recognizing the big yellow forms of her gwiffons, including the one holding the Overlady in its mouth.

The complete Court of Faq was present. Most stood on the steps of the archway to the Wizard‘s Hall, talking in pairs and clusters, some joyfully, some in hushed and conspiratorial tones. A number of them cautiously paid their respects to Wanda, their newest. A fully-whole Brother Orwell stood in his shackles to one side, speaking glumly to the King.

And Jillian stood there in the middle of the cobblestone street, ignored by all. She had her eyes back, but no-one was offering theirs.

Well, Jack looked her way. His little head-tilt and raised eyebrow inquired if she was all right. She gave him a smile and nod, lifting her sword in salute. Then she let the tip of her weapon casually hover in front of Olive‘s face.

She sniffed the air. The prisoner had a familiar scent upon her. Jillian moved the sword away. With her off hand, she touched the stale flower still clinging to her hair.

“Hey. You carrying?”

Olive twisted her neck to look up at her. The Overlady‘s red-rimmed blue eyes seemed kindly, almost remorseful. “Yes. Would you like a bud, Jillian?”

Yes, I would really, really like one. Three, four, five seconds she bit her tongue and counted, until she could trust herself not to say that.

“After,” she said. After Haffaton is done. After I‘ve felt that thump in my wrist that means my sword connected, that it got through your neck cleanly. I‘ll pick it off of your body. No, that one‘s probably poisoned. That‘s probably why you offered it. Your last little trap. I‘ll go out in the garden and get a fresh one.

Banhammer informally convened the Court. True to form, the casters immediately began a pointless and lengthy discussion about where to have the trial. The Wizard‘s Hall might have been the obvious choice, but the “recent disharmony” there made King Banhammer want to entertain other options. Half of these casters were seeing a non-Faq city for the first time. They made eager suggestions: the top of the tower, Judy‘s suite, the outer walls.

Jack, at least, brought up the urgency of the situation. “It still being the, ah, enemy‘s turn,” he said, apologizing for the word with his eyes, “we perhaps cannot afford to dwell on this question long. While I certainly see the need for a trial, the Services of Truth and Justice are being needlessly delayed. After all, right here in the middle of the street might be perfectly adequate to get to the bottom of things.”

“Sounds good,” interjected Chief Jillian. She pointed downward with her flashing sword. “I really like that gutter. It‘s got a nice little slope for her head to roll down.”

Olive let out a little whimper, then burst into sobs again. The wrinkled noses and furrowed brows let Jillian know she hadn‘t won any points with the jury.

Well...tough.

---

King Banhammer eventually settled on a spot that Wanda suggested: a patio garden in the garrison courtyard. It was an open space, cheery, adorned with potted plants with all the wrong flowers growing on them. There was a raised fountain, where they dragged a big wooden table to serve as a bench for Banhammer to preside upon. The place had a lot of room, and plenty of sturdy chairs to seat the jurors. Wanda and Olive chose to stand before the King. Orwell asked to sit beside the accused, where he slouched disconsolately in a large “witness chair.”

Jillian liked this space, mainly because she could park a gwiffon on the stone tiles here. Now perched in its saddle, she rested her bare sword across the flat of its neck, and watched the skies. She fully expected Haffaton to attack at any second, with anything they had. But at least if there were an airspace incursion, she could see it from here. If not, she‘d at least be aware if the walls were taking damage.

If–really, when–that happened, then she would not leap into the sky to fight. She would simply lunge forward and croak the prisoner, whatever her father‘s orders or objections. At that point, her Duty wouldn‘t look so muddled. For now, though, she couldn‘t claim 100% certainty that he was wrong.

Which is why she didn‘t much care how the trial went. Whatever the jury decided, the battle was already won. This was going to end with the stroke of a blade, and the fall of Haffaton.

Still, it was interesting. She listened as Wanda briefly laid out the history of the side.

Haffaton had been founded on a capital site at the mouth of a river (Jillian remembered stealing a paddleboat there), about eleven thousand turns ago. An adventurous warlord named Lex Doothis had crossed a great sea and discovered a Level 2 barbarian city on the site. Upon conquering it, he spun off a new side. From that small seed, Haffaton slowly grew into the largest side in Erfworld.

“Along the way,” said the Lady Firebaugh, “it conquered and eliminated fourteen sides, including my native Goodminton and your Faq.”

Jillian refrained from whistling, but the fact that there were fifteen capital sites within Haffaton‘s domain was hard to fathom. It might be common to see a successful side with two or three, but she‘d never heard of any with more than five.

“The Overlord Doothis established the side over a long period of growth, which abruptly ended when it edged up against the domains of Easteros and Westeregg,” said Wanda, addressing the bench in formal tones. She did not pace as she spoke, but stood stock still with her hands folded humbly in front of her. “These were two powerful, strongly allied sides ruled by casters named Bell and Blair. They were sisters, from a distant tribe of green-complexioned men. But more remarkable than their odd Signamancy, each was in possession of an Arkentool. And each was attuned.”

Some of the jurors straightened and murmured. Jillian leaned forward in the saddle.

“Between their domains stood the side of el-Efbaum, with this emerald city as its capital. It also was ruled by a caster, a Carnymancer. At the time, he only allowed himself to be called ‘The Wizard.‘ You would know him as Charlie.”

Jillian shook her head. Carnymancy. Nice. Hating Charlie suddenly seemed a little more justified now. It did explain a lot about him, though.

“The Wizard was in a constant war with the sisters, and the outcome was uncertain. For he did not possess an Arkentool. Not yet. Still, he managed to keep his side alive and theirs at bay. At the time that Haffaton began to tangle with the sisters, el-Efbaum had been locked in a stalemate with them for longer than Haffaton had existed. He saw this strong new side as a means to break the deadlock, and he formed an alliance with Doothis.

“Haffaton had a Predictamancer and a Thinkamancer. The Wizard had a Findamancer and a Lookamancer. By means that are now obscure, The Wizard used some or all of those casters in an attempt to summon a warlord capable of defeating Bell and Blair.

“Their spell was a success. In fact, Bell of Easteros was croaked on the spot as an immediate effect of the summoning process. The warlord they called to their aid was Judy Gale.”

The jury sat in rapt silence. Jillian‘s head was getting a little numb, trying to process all of this new information. For some reason, the hardest part of it was picturing Judy as a warlord. But she must have been. Rulers‘ Signamancy often changes dramatically.

“The Warlady Gale acquired the Arkenshoes from Bell‘s body, and over a period of several turns she attuned to them. She then used them to infiltrate Westeregg and destroy Blair, capturing the Arkendish and returning it to The Wizard, as per their terms of alliance.”

Finally, Wanda broke her rigid stance. She turned and stared at Overlady Branch for a long moment, as if to give her the opportunity to refute any of the account. Olive said nothing.

“This is the point at which the defendant‘s list of crimes begins,” said Wanda. She slowly turned her head, then her body, back to face Banhammer. “In destroying Blair, Judy had the aid of el-Efbaum‘s Hippiemancer, Olive Branch.”

The King was watching the Croakamancer intently, holding tented fingertips to his lips. “State the crimes,” he said. His tone was low and grave.

Wanda raised her head by a bare fraction. “Her most serious acts include at least ten counts of commander-level fratricide (with others attempted). She also attempted both patricide and hericide. Beginning with Blair, she arranged or accomplished the croaking of eleven enemy rulers and at least two hundred warlords under false terms of parley, truce, or alliance, or via other dishonorable and perverse means. Among these were my brother Tommy, and my father Lord Firebaugh.”

From Jillian‘s perspective, she could not see Olive‘s face. But the Overlady was shaking her head in silent protest. Her knees were shaking a bit as well. “I had good reasons!” she pleaded. “Loj!”

Banhammer pounded his fist on the bench, startling a couple of the jurors. “‘Your Wisdom!‘” he corrected sternly. “And the defendant will not speak until the prosecutor has listed the crimes!”

“Thank you, Your Wisdom,” said Wanda, shooting a glance at the cowed Overlady. “The accused has often maintained that her actions were in the service of a greater good, what you would call the Service of Life. I am certain she will argue such. And perhaps these particular crimes against the Titans‘ expectations might be considered individually, and even excused in context. But there is a worse crime, one she can never truly answer for. She created the Olive Garden.”

“I see. And what is that?” asked Banhammer skeptically.

“The farm attached to this city,” said Wanda. She took the stale flower from her hair and held it out. “Where these are grown. And worse things than these. She has perverted the purpose of her own discipline. She has weaponized Hippiemancy, used the power of peace in the service of destruction, used Life against Life. Haffaton is an empty husk, sitting where many thriving sides lived before. As pretty as it is, the Garden is the source and center of the decay. There is no other word for the things she has brought into the world except ‘evil.‘”

Jillian watched the stale flower, as the Lady Firebaugh replaced it uselessly in her hair. Titans, Wanda must have it ten times worse than she did. How long has she been wearing those things? How much longer does she have before they croak her? Will they get me, too? It was a scary thought, but it didn‘t make her want one any less.

...which was even scarier.

“So. Is that your primary charge?” Banhammer asked.

“Yes,” said Wanda. “But it is integral to the details of her other crimes.”

“That she created a garden of evil.”

“Yes.”

Banhammer frowned, looking uncertain of what to say. He looked at a few of the jurors, and even glanced Jillian‘s way. Then he looked at Olive for a moment, before returning his gaze to Wanda. “You said she was originally a unit of el-Efbaum, correct?”

“Correct, Your Wisdom.”

“So she created this garden here, under The Wizard?”

“Yes,” said Wanda. “Although most of what makes it evil, she created later.”

“That is not what I‘m asking. She created it while serving under The Wizard. Perhaps at his direction. Did she pop here in this city?”

“She did, Your Wisdom. And her Flower Power was integral to The Wizard‘s efforts to keep Bell and Blair from conquering his side. He used her magic to–”

Banhammer held up a hand. “She popped in the capital, under The Wizard,” he said, leaning forward.

“Yes, Your Wisdom.”

“So the charge of attempted patricide...”

The King straightened in his seat, and folded his hands on the bench.

“She is Charlie‘s daughter,” he said slowly, staring at Olive. “And she tried to croak him?”

“Your Wisdom, that is correct.”

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Recent posts... (See full thread)
Squishalot wrote:
Vreejack wrote:
Squishalot wrote:
I'm also convinced that the Archons aren't actually related to the Arkendish. The key points of difference between the Archons and the Decrypted is that the Decrypted have no upkeep cost. Archons cost between 200-500 schmuckers per turn. In the same way that in Warlords, you could occasionally find a city that built units (e.g. heavy cavalry) at a rate of 1 / turn, when most others built them at a rate of 1 / 2 turns, Charlie just got lucky in finding a site that produced optimal numbers of units. Or alternatively, he used his Carnymancy to rig the unit production in his favour. Or more likely, used the Arkendish to find out where such a city was, then either bought / assaulted it and took it over. The fact that a Turnamancer is capable of popping them faster would suggest that it's a result of natural Erfworld mechanics, rather than the Arkendish.


I would assume that the arkentools are actually following natural Erfworld rules for arkentools, which means that if they allow a creature type to pop every x turns then a turnamancer would be able to affect that. Does Gobwin Knob pop dwagons naturally or is it a function of the tool? We aren't sure but the similarity to archons is clear. I wonder if Charlie can tame wild archons ;)

Gobwin Knob can still pop dwagons when the Arkenhammer isn't around (see end of TBfGK), noting that it's relatively infrequent as well. There were 6 dwagons in the turn after TBfGK, there were 10-12 eleven turns later. Of those, we know 2 were tamed by Stanley on turn 8 when Parson suggested he go dwagon hunting. Assuming a rate of only 1 dwagon tamed per turn (low estimate), that means that Gobwin Knob possibly popped two new dwagons in the 11 turns after TBfGK, a rate of at least 4 turns per dwagon. We also know that no dwagons popped in between Stanley leaving for Faq, and the end of the battle, which comprised a couple of turns as well.

If the Arkenhammer helps pop dwagons, it's not doing a very good job ;)

On a side note - has anyone noticed that Olive looks very much like an Archon in appearance?



Gobwin Knob has not been popping dwagons in their Capital as soon as Stanley got back.

Summer Updates 2009 Update 23
Quote:
Gobwin Knob had popped two Twolls on its first two turns since being rebuilt, and would be popping them until Stanley decided they had enough henchmen around.




Also, an interesting piece of information to keep in mind when trying to determine if the arkentools affect production is

Book 2 Text 2
Quote:
Gobwin Knob’s dominion had spread out far and wide, across a variety of terrain types, and Sizemore had seen quite a bit of it. Warlord Ansom and Lady Firebaugh had taken to razing cities which produced less useful unit types, and he would fly out by dwagon relay and rebuild on the ruins. This created a city that popped the same kinds of units the capital did: infantry and twolls for a Level One, plus spidews and warlords for a Level Two, and dwagons for a Level Three or more.



This doesn't give any definite conclusions on if the Arkendish has anything to do with the Archon popping in Charlescomm capital but it might help shed some light on what assumptions/hypothesis we can make.
Not Me wrote:

Also, an interesting piece of information to keep in mind when trying to determine if the arkentools affect production is

Book 2 Text 2
Quote:
Gobwin Knob’s dominion had spread out far and wide, across a variety of terrain types, and Sizemore had seen quite a bit of it. Warlord Ansom and Lady Firebaugh had taken to razing cities which produced less useful unit types, and he would fly out by dwagon relay and rebuild on the ruins. This created a city that popped the same kinds of units the capital did: infantry and twolls for a Level One, plus spidews and warlords for a Level Two, and dwagons for a Level Three or more.



This doesn't give any definite conclusions on if the Arkendish has anything to do with the Archon popping in Charlescomm capital but it might help shed some light on what assumptions/hypothesis we can make.


If you have 2 or more capital site. Would changing capital site alter the units being built in "raze/rebuilt" city?

is it the capital site or the side that decide what your newly formed city pop?
Morni wrote:
If you have 2 or more capital site. Would changing capital site alter the units being built in "raze/rebuilt" city?

is it the capital site or the side that decide what your newly formed city pop?



If the second capital site was razed and rebuilt I would expect it to pop the same things as the original capital site even after switching capitals.

Summer Updates 2009 Update 40
Quote:
In Ossomer's studied opinion, Dhrystone also popped the finest soldiers in Erfworld. They were the standard by which all others might be measured.

It was for that reason that the city had been popping only infantry since he became Chief Warlord. Ansom had been wasting its output on Gumps; Father had a hands-off policy where decisions of the Chief Warlord were concerned. But twelve stacks of eight Pikers and eleven stacks of six Stabbers had now popped since Ansom fell. Given present circumstances, that was surely worth more than seven Gumps.


I guess the other Level 5's Jetstone had at the time where the original Jetstone Capital and Spacerock (both capital sites). Still, no idea if Dhrystone was a capital site, if it was originally a Jetstone city or conquered from some other side and if it was, if it was razed/rebuilt or is just popping what was originally supposed to pop in that city. Still, it's interesting to see how Ossomer believed this city popped "the finest soldiers in Erfworld", making us believe that these Pikers and Stabbers are somehow different from the ones popped in any other city.

So maybe all Level 3+ cities in GK can pop dwagons, but not all those dwagons will be equal

Book 1 Update 46a
Quote:
Our force:
3 uncroaked warlords
19 Group "A" dwagons
(56+ move)
27 Group "B" dwagons
(< 56 move)
So something is bothering me. In this update it mentions that Charlie was part of a side that killed two attuned rulers, but in an update from the Summer series (http://www.erfworld.com/summer-update-2 ... ration.png) Charlie mentions wanting to test if an attuned person can be killed.
Manic Oppressive wrote:
So something is bothering me. In this update it mentions that Charlie was part of a side that killed two attuned rulers, but in an update from the Summer series (http://www.erfworld.com/summer-update-2 ... ration.png) Charlie mentions wanting to test if an attuned person can be killed.


Surely you are not taking anything Charlie says as being necessarily truthful. Nothing said during this exchange implies he doesn't know the outcome of such an experiment. He was just probing Parson for information.
Manic Oppressive wrote:
So something is bothering me. In this update it mentions that Charlie was part of a side that killed two attuned rulers, but in an update from the Summer series (http://www.erfworld.com/summer-update-2 ... ration.png) Charlie mentions wanting to test if an attuned person can be killed.


He isn't saying he wants to test it, here's the direct text:

Quote:
CharlsNChrg: It seems entirely plausible to me that attunement to an Arkentool has nothing at all to do with the will of the Titans.
CharlsNChrg: It is a dubious claim, in my view. And it is falsifiable.
LordHamster: Really? How?
CharlsNChrg: Simple. Croak a "Tool."
CharlsNChrg: If an attuned wielder of an Arkentool were to croak, it would seem to be pretty compelling evidence that the Titans were not on their side. Don't you think?


It's not about whether or not people who are attuned are croakable. He's making a statement saying that it's possible to disprove Toolism by croaking a Tool.
The other attuned wielders were not claiming to be "Tools" and were not talking about "Toolism".
Even though I think Charlie is more saying that to test Parson than anything else (as mentioned, he already knows that experiment could be carried out successfully), I think he is specifically talking about Stanley and/or Wanda and not any attuned when he is talking about trying to croak them.
If you manage to croak someone that claims to be a Tool of the Titans because they were attuned, then he didn't have that much the favour of the Titans as he/she claimed, thus disproving his/her claim in the process.
Nice little link up with the Healomancer Betsy Murgatroyd and the Wizard of Oz situation here:

http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/heav ... troyd.html

The phrase was first spoken by Bert Lahr, the Cowardly Lion.

I love this comic.
Oberon wrote:
the_tick_rules wrote:
Wow, Charlie finally got some history revealed, awesome. Well now we know he isn't the dish itself.
Most of us already knew that. You may park your tin foil cap on the rack there, next to so many others.

Wait! Charlie, as the sentient 'Dish, clearly was capable of planting false memories into the minds of Erfowrlders, The Side of which was spoken never existed, and Chalrie never ruled it; the cake is a lie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D:lol:;)
Zippy the Squirrel wrote:
Wasn't Goodminton's Predictamancer starting to show signs of "natural decay?" I figured that was Erf for getting old.
Okay, maybe it was her nerves from seeing her doom in Wanda, maybe it's aging, or illness, or Goodminton couldn't afford her upkeep anymore, or something. I always thought it meant she was aging, though.

It's been all but explicitly stated that Erflings do not age to death. They die in combat, or in rare extenuating circumstances like lack of upkeep/side-death. The appearance of aging however HAS been explicitly explained as Natural Signamancy, with the specific examples of Slately and Maggie. Slately says of himself that his cowardice, laziness, and such have made him appear short, fat, weak and faded. Maggie used to look much older, but since interacting with Parson and taking a more active role in the Side, she has gradually become more youthful and healthy in her appearance.