Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) - Episode 076

Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) - Episode 076

The three Archons stood on the brick pavement, surrounding Jillian in the street. A chill breeze curled around Efbaum‘s emerald towers and outbuildings, softly whistling.

“Is that real?” asked the Chief, staring at the bright pink flower in the Archon‘s outstretched hand. It stood out so much in all the green. It looked too good to be true, which was one mark of Foolamancy, she had found. Charlie had so many disbanded tricks.

“Yes,” said Carnie, smiling primly. “Very much so.”

Jillian licked her lips. She couldn‘t take her eyes off the bud. “How many did you save?”

“I‘m sorry?”

She met the Archon‘s eyes now. “When the elves burned the Garden. How many buds did you preserve? Did you buy this offa them, or what?” She swallowed, thinking about the possibilities this raised. “And...do they last more than a turn? Are you gonna run out?”

Chynna, the blonde, stepped forward. “Nothing survived of the Olive Garden‘s contents,” she said. “This bud comes by hat from Charlescomm. And there is no effective limit to our supply.”

Jillian blinked. “Oh. So the elves burned the Garden on their own? You had nothing to do with that?”

The Archons exchanged glances for a moment, probably discussing something by Thinkamancy. Jillian looked down at the flower again.

Chynna nodded to her partners. “No, the High Elves burned the Garden at Charlescomm‘s directive,” she said.

“They were Haffaton‘s allies, I thought,” said Jillian.

“That alliance was strained,” said the Archon. “Haffaton had neglected them badly for quite some time, due to a lack of resources. They were receptive to competing offers.”

“I don‘t understand,” said Jillian. “Why would you pay them to burn down the Garden?”

“We were under a time crunch. With Dame Branch your prisoner, the Garden was suddenly vulnerable. But it was still Haffaton‘s turn when Charlescomm learned about that. So we couldn‘t move our units to the Garden. Haffaton‘s own allies could get there, however, then break alliance and attack.”

Jillian shook her head. “That‘s not what I‘m asking. Why did Charlescomm want the Garden burned?”

Chynna tilted her head curiously, as if to say how can you ask that?

“As we explained to King Banhammer, the Garden was evil. It needed to be removed from Erfworld,” she said, as if talking to a particularly slow henchman. “This was our first good chance.”

Somewhere inside her, the very tiny “Princess” part of Jillian tried to clamp down and apply some tact here, but it was too late. “Charlie is evil!” she heard herself shout. “What does he care!”

All three faces in front of her lost their plastic smiles and went ice cold.

“Charlie is good,” said Carnie quietly.

“Oh, but he keeps his own Garden?” said Jillian, pointing at the flower. “I‘m sorry, you‘ve lost me there.”

“What don‘t you understand?” said Chynna, giving a little tiny warning gesture to Carnie.

Jillian gasped in exasperation. “He keeps his own Garden! You can‘t claim he‘s out there ridding the world of ‘evil‘ Flower Power when he‘s growing it himself! That‘s ridiculous.”

“What it is,” said Chynna, with ice in her eyes, “is nuanced. I‘m sorry, but you can‘t be expected to understand. You do not have the full picture that Charlie sees. His thinking is worldwide. Let me just say that Charlie is the only responsible steward for this kind of magic.”

Jillian met the Archon‘s cold stare with a hot one. “Were you lying to me out in the field?”

“Excuse me?”

Jillian scowled, certain that Chynna was just ducking the question. “When I was a fugitive and I spotted you. You said you were calling Haffaton to offer to sell them my location. Did you really call them? Or not?”

The Archons said nothing, but presumably had returned to private conference by Thinkamancy. They turned their heads to one another.

“You were lying. Weren‘t you? Charlie doesn‘t–didn‘t do deals with Olive.”

“That‘s classified,” said Chynna, looking at her.

“Yeah, you were lying. Covering your tracks. Putting me off my guard. That‘s the kind of thing you do,” said Jillian. “Good Guy Charlie lies to everybody, cheats everybody, and keeps all the goods for himself. That stuff‘s too dangerous and evil,” she barked, gesturing at the flower, “until he needs to sweeten a deal with someone. Then he‘s handing ‘em out like teacakes.”

She almost moved to knock it out of the Archon‘s hand, but didn‘t trust herself to touch it. She narrowed her eyes and looked at the bud anew, suddenly seeing it not as a reward, but as an incredibly dangerous enemy. This little pink "unit" had a Special that translated into “beat Jillian personally.” Yeah, that was a good way to look at it. Her warrior instincts helped her out, helped her stand against it. This is not a winnable engagement, Warlady. Screen. Flee. Retreat.

“You are already dependent upon the hero buds, Princess Jillian,” said Chynna evenly. “Offering this to you is a kindness, to ease your need. That‘s not the same thing as offering it to someone who has never been exposed to it. Or forcing it on someone, as Dame Branch did to you..”

Why does he have it?!

“That‘s classified.”

“Sit on a poleaxe,” said Jillian viciously. “We‘re done here. We‘re done.”

She turned away and stormed forward, giving the one behind her–Wendy–a hard shoulder-check that put her on her keister in the street. It was about as hard as you could contact an ally without breaking alliance.

“Get out of my city!” she shouted, stomping away up the road in a completely random direction.

“We stay at the pleasure of King Banhammer!” she heard Chynna shout back.

“Get out of my sight, then!” yelled Jillian. “Tell Charlie I‘m not signing!”

image

Recent posts... (See full thread)
Arky wrote:
If the Heroine Buds have a good use, and Charlie was honestly trying to get Jillian to take the deal, then I would think he'd let the archons say there's a healing use for them as well rather than let Jillian assume the worst.


Not saying he was offering them to Jillian HONESTLY. Just he might have a justified reason for preserving their existence beyond him being addicted still.
I admit that this is highly speculative, but ...

In the far past, Olive cultivates the Garden as a way for Charlie to enhance his use of the Arkendish (seeing things differently via the self-foolamancy, expanding his mind, etc). Perhaps Olive was truly concerned about her father's increased strangeness as he communed with the 'dish. She poisons him with drugs that would momentarily break his connection. Surely once he was free, she could give him the antidote and all would be well! And if he died, well ... Charlie would be proud of her winning either way.

As he lie dying, Charlie cheats the poison: since the poison acts on his body, he uses the 'dish to stuff himself INTO his G-string, existing only as a non-corporeal being. Now not only addicted to the buds, but also reliant on them for his existence (they help his connection) and convinced that only unending war can save Erfworld, he cultivates his own Garden for his sole use.

Olive flees, and would later attempt to duplicate Charlie's power by using the buds with another Thinkamancer. Only her "Life is the most important" pride got in the way, and she killed him (or, rather, didn't help him back to shore).

----

I admit to not being a "Charlie IS the dish" person, but the above narrative is interesting, even if it turns out to be incorrect. Charlie's bud-like flitting from one pop-culture reference to another seems to support this view.

An additional speculation would be that Charlie is fated to die by the hand of an heir or by a Hippiemancer. Might be why he doesn't dare pop warlords, lest Fate "Manos" the required stats onto his next popped unit.

*shrug*
Megaduck wrote:
BakaGrappler wrote:
Rage is a hell of an anesthetic

Yeah, but a stubborn enough son of a bitch can survive just about anything.
Right. All you need is tiger blood and to be a high priest, Vatican assassin, warlock, rock star from Mars. You might be Nails but I'm frickin' bayonet. I got magic, and I got poetry in my fingertips, and that includes naps. I'm an F-18 and I will destroy you with ordnance on the ground. You're a soft target. Bangin' 7 gram flowers and finishing them because that's how I roll. My plan is gold, your plan is shit. I've got one speed, I've got one gear: Me. Try it once and you will die, and your children will weep over your exploded body. The run I was on makes you look like a droopy eyed armless child.

It's funny how asleep rhymes with sheep. Winning!
Oberon wrote:
Megaduck wrote:
BakaGrappler wrote:
Rage is a hell of an anesthetic

Yeah, but a stubborn enough son of a bitch can survive just about anything.
Right. All you need is tiger blood and to be a high priest, Vatican assassin, warlock, rock star from Mars. You might be Nails but I'm frickin' bayonet. I got magic, and I got poetry in my fingertips, and that includes naps. I'm an F-18 and I will destroy you with ordnance on the ground. You're a soft target. Bangin' 7 gram flowers and finishing them because that's how I roll. My plan is gold, your plan is shit. I've got one speed, I've got one gear: Me. Try it once and you will die, and your children will weep over your exploded body. The run I was on makes you look like a droopy eyed armless child.

It's funny how asleep rhymes with sheep. Winning!



I can only read that as if someone has spiked your drink with something potent. Because it is such a radical departure from your signature style, which I always considered to be simple lucidity.
Tonot wrote:
Oberon wrote:
Right. All you need is tiger blood and to be a high priest, Vatican assassin, warlock, rock star from Mars. You might be Nails but I'm frickin' bayonet. I got magic, and I got poetry in my fingertips, and that includes naps. I'm an F-18 and I will destroy you with ordnance on the ground. You're a soft target. Bangin' 7 gram flowers and finishing them because that's how I roll. My plan is gold, your plan is shit. I've got one speed, I've got one gear: Me. Try it once and you will die, and your children will weep over your exploded body. The run I was on makes you look like a droopy eyed armless child.

It's funny how asleep rhymes with sheep. Winning!



I can only read that as if someone has spiked your drink with something potent. Because it is such a radical departure from your signature style, which I always considered to be simple lucidity.

He's making fun of stuff Charlie Sheen has said.
Lor wrote:
....existing only as a non-corporeal being. Now not only addicted to the buds, but also reliant on them for his existence....


Seems unlikely that a non-corporeal being would be addicted to, or even able to use, physical drugs. Either of the two theories could be correct, but probably not both.
davidj wrote:
Lor wrote:
....existing only as a non-corporeal being. Now not only addicted to the buds, but also reliant on them for his existence....


Seems unlikely that a non-corporeal being would be addicted to, or even able to use, physical drugs. Either of the two theories could be correct, but probably not both.

I could see it if you go a level further, Charlie needs someone else to be constantly taking drugs, so that Charlie can invade their minds with his remaining non-corporeal being. Eventually he wears out the first body and has to get another victim addicted so he can take over them instead... Cheap Horror/SF type plot.

To throw in another level of horror, Charlie like Dr. Who has some small changes each time he switches bodies, in this case depending on attributes of who he takes over. So Charlie arranged Parson to enter world, he is using predictomancer secret allies to manipulate Parson into coming after him, and goal is to have "Parson kill the old Charlie" (body is wearing out anyways) but really Charlie take over Parson's body and use it to take over world. Some future plan to get Parson under control of flowers, if nothing else burn a few in his room while Parson enters it to finish him off.
The Archons said that mind melding with Charlie was blissful. Maybe thats the purpose of his private Archon guards. To get wasted off their tiny, perfect boops so he could feed on their minds.
Jabberwocky wrote:
The Archons said that mind melding with Charlie was blissful.
That does make me wonder if happiness is within the powers of Thinkamancy. If Thinkamancy can make people happy with the proper spell, then I would expect all Thinkamancers to be doing it every chance they get, especially Charlie who wants his units to be very loyal and seems to have unlimited Thinkamancy with no cost in juice. It could be that the only reason Maggie isn't spreading bliss around the troops is that it would cost her too much juice, especially since she seems to be constantly struggling with her limited supply of juice.

On the other hand, I wouldn't be at all surprised to discover that happiness isn't something that Thinkamancy can manipulate at all, and instead you need Flower Power to push happiness on people, since we know that's something that Flower Power can do. If Thinkamancy could make people happy then I'd expect the Great Minds to be not nearly a serious as they are. We've never seen Flower Power work across hex boundaries but maybe it can, especially when combined with Thinkamancy and a target that you command. Or maybe Charlie just gives the Archons natural happiness because he's such a great guy.
Jabberwocky wrote:
The Archons said that mind melding with Charlie was blissful. Maybe thats the purpose of his private Archon guards. To get wasted off their tiny, perfect boops so he could feed on their minds.

Or perhaps it is the reverse. He is always high on hero buds, using Carnymancy to avoid croaking, and shares the high with his Archons to boost their loyalty without damaging them with the addiction.