Prologue - 014

Prologue - 014

Turns since TBfGK: 8

"I mean it's just unbelievable!" Stanley said for about the fifth time. "I order you to do a thing, you do the thing! If you don't do the thing, you disband!"

In the week or so since the big battle, Parson had only had a few short and difficult conversations with His Toolship. Stanley was supposed to be "mentoring" him, but the fact was, neither one of them could stand the other's company for very long. He had twice called a meeting with Parson, then found a reason to reschedule it.

This one was a full-blown chewing out session, though. And he probably deserved it.

Parson's official duty now was managing the capital city. When a city had a Warlord to manage it, costs were lowered for things like city improvement and production of extra equipment and provisions. It also increased the amount of Shmuckers the city produced, and reduced the upkeep for units which spent the entire turn in the city. Besides the extra Shmuckers, Parson didn't think there was much tactical value to any of that, under current circumstances. But it gave him an excuse to fart around anywhere in town, and to generally be in another part of Gobwin Knob from Stanley.

His "job" consisted of walking around the city and making sure things were going well. They always were. But he had to go see it for himself, or it didn't count for bonus purposes.

Which was something Parson did not know.

He was learning it here in Stanley's office.

Stanley was telling him. Many times.

Loudly.

"And again, Tool," said Parson, trying for calm sincerity, "I didn't...know. I'm. Sorry."

"It's not about being sorry! It's about disobeying an order!" As Parson sat in the Parson-sized chair that Zhopa the Twoll had made for him, Stanley kept circling him like a shark. "You shouldn't be able to do that!" Stanley suddenly pointed at him. "Slap yourself!"

Parson slapped his own face. Fairly hard, too. It was a weird half-reflex action. He was definitely still subject to the Tool's orders. "Ow," he said, without enthusiasm.

"You bet, 'ow!'" yelled Stanley. But he did look a little bit mollified. "So how could you disobey an order? How could you shirk your Duty?"

Parson shrugged. "I had other things on my mind. Stuff I was working on in the library. I figured things were running fine. I didn't know I had to physically go look at them. You know? It won't happen again!"

Stanley glared at him for a long, long moment.

Then he threw his hands up in the air. "It's unbelievable!"

"Tool, please," said Parson, again going the calm-as-possible route. "I made a mistake. It cost some Shmuckers. Is that such a huge deal right now? We're stinking rich! We're conquering Erfworld."

"Wanda's conquering Erfworld!" snapped Stanley. "I'm just...watching." He turned away, and stalked back to his desk.

Huh.

Parson watched him pull out the big desk chair and climb up into it. "Um, is that...a bad thing?" he asked.

"I don't know," said Stanley, propping his chin with his elbow. The big desk was covered in maps and paper reports. The reports had all come in by magic hat. They were not using the Eyebooks for any military intelligence, on Parson and Maggie's joint recommendation. Charlie seemed perfectly friendly these days, and probably wasn't anything like a serious military threat. Still, Charlie could suck it.

Stanley moved some of the reports around the desktop, without looking at them very closely. He said nothing.

So Maggie was pretty much right about Stanley's emotional...baggage or whatever she'd said. And Wanda taking Ansom out there and conquering two cities in the first week couldn't have helped things.

Parson's cheek still burned a bit. And he realized something. Maggie was right; as long as Stanley felt insecure, he was going to take it out on anyone he could. Protecting Lord Stanley's ego was everyone's business.

What could he say, though? He looked at the desktop.

"Y'know, boss... You've never told me about that hammer."

Stanley looked up at him, then down to where the Arkenhammer was serving as a paperweight. He picked it up. "What, this?"

Parson put down the urge to ask what other possible hammer he could be talking about. "Yeah like...what does it do?"

"You know what it does," scowled Stanley, gesturing with it. "Shoots lightning. Makes me fly, tames dwagons, rocks out... Buncha stuff."

Parson blinked. "Rocks out?"

Stanley looked at Parson like he was a particularly slow dog. "Yeah. Rocks out."

Parson had no idea what that could mean in this context. "Could you show me?"

Stanley looked annoyed, but he stood up on his chair seat, and held the Arkenhammer like a guitar. "Arright, let's see..." He struck a pose.

Parson jumped in his chair when the drums started. A booming, echoing tom right out of some stadium rock anthem was coming from all directions. It rattled every object in the room. A bass and a rhythm guitar joined in. Eight beats into the intro, Stanley turned his head and pouted. He opened up with a Strat wail so loud Parson figured it was going to break every window in the tower. The Overlord then put his boot up on the edge of the desk and tapped it, as he shredded his way through an eight-bar solo that was somewhere between Slash and Angus Young. The Arkenhammer glowed and pulsed, shooting beams of light around the stage.

The office. Around the office.

Stanley leaned over the desk and concluded the brief demo with a tweedling lick out of early Van Halen, punctuated with a final windmill strum and a long, fading, "Awwwwwww..."

The room rang. Stanley dropped the Arkenhammer on his desk with a clunk, and sat back down.

Parson sat in reverent silence.

"That was good," he said finally.

"Course it was good," snapped Stanley. "It was Titanic. Rock is the highest music there is."

Parson found he couldn't argue.

"But so what?" said Stanley. "What good is it?"

Parson didn't follow. What good was it? "What...it doesn't let you dance fight or something?"

"Rocking out is better than dance fighting, Hamster!" he yelled. "But so what? Who am I gonna fight? What Dwagons am I gonna tame? Wanda's Tool makes armies. She conquers the world. I have to stay here with you!"

Parson discarded the first four responses that occurred to him. It was true, really. If Stanley left the city, he could get croaked. Without an heir, the whole side would go Barbarian, which was as good as being conquered.

Unless...

He lifted his bracer and started subvocalizing some calculations. The Tool did him a favor by sulking long enough for him to work it out. He looked up. "Tool, how much move does your plated red have?"

"Fifty-six. Why?"

"One sec." He fiddled some more. "Okay on a given turn, for a given hex in the Minty Mountains, what are the chances a feral dwagon will pop? One in two hundred?"

"I guess," shrugged Stanley. But he was showing some interest. "It used to take me two or three turns to find one when I would go out hunting, way back when. But it was still faster than popping them, and sometimes I'd get lucky and find two. Or three, this one time! I-"

"Okay, hang on," said Parson, still looking at the bracer. "If you figure valley move is one, mountain move is two, and high mountain move is three, then there are at least...six or seven hundred mountain hexes you could reach and come back to the city in one turn. Odds say there are three feral dwagons out there right now, that you could tame and bring back to the city in one turn's move."

Stanley looked at him. Gears were turning. "Yeah, but I can only look for them in a couple dozen hexes. And somebody could still ambush me out there. It's not like we have a Lookamancer any more." This was the first time Parson heard him acknowledge Misty's death. "No, it's still too risky."

Parson grinned slyly. "So we don't send you. We send Archons. Every turn, we send out all the Archons and scout all the hexes you can get to and return. Or maybe just the ones they can get to and return. Safer that way."

Stanley said nothing. He was thinking about it. Parson pressed his case. "See what I mean? They locate the dwagons for you. Scouts go first, so there's no chance of ambush. Not even a veiled one, 'cause they're Archons. And it would be good for security to have the area around the capital well scouted anyway."

Stanley frowned, looking for a hole in the plan.

"We'd gain a dwagon or two every turn. Units that answer to that," said Parson, pointing to the Arkenhammer on the desk. Stanley looked at it. "C'mon, Tool, the turn just started. Let's at least try it."

---

That afternoon, Parson was standing outside a stithy on the far side of town from the Garrison, when the Twoll armorer looked skyward and said, "Ooh! My Lord!"

He looked up. A plated red, a green, and a pink dwagon sailed by overhead, heading for the tower. Horns sounded, to end the turn.

Parson grinned.

"Rock out."

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Recent posts... (See full thread)
'Tools don't croak units. Units croak units.

Sorry. Couldn't help it.
OneHugeTuck wrote:
moose o death wrote:
raphfrk wrote:

He should get a bonus when fighting against them at the very least. Also, a single touch with the hammer knocks out a dwagon for the rest of the turn. That is probably the hammer equivalent of the pliers insta-killing undead.

the pliers did NOT insta kill uncroaked.

they turned MOST uncroaked to dust

this heavily implies they are simply killing low level uncroaked easily. NOT that they are some croakamancy destroying tool. ansom was a lavel 10 royal, chief warlord with an artifact bonus. he killed most everything in one hit with the things.



Since we're trying to be specific, the uncroaked that were turned to dust, were, in fact, insta-killed.

MOD, maybe you really mean 'the pliers themselves do not insta-kill all uncroaked'.


When Ansom had the Arkenpliers, they would "turn most undead to dust." I'd call that an insta kill too.

http://www.erfworld.com/book-1-archive/?px=%2F022.jpg

However, that's not all undead, so MoD is correct to say that the Arkenpliers may not insta-kill all undead, just most. We don't know the effect of Arkenpliers on decrypted units, should Wanda ever loose them, or what the fate of her decrypted units would be.
i stand by what i said and will continue to say until the words "arkenpliers are a croakamancy artifact" are written by rob in a non sarcastic fashion. at which point i will adjust my other various opinions and theories to suit the new information.

for now the ONE ability they have had for wanda is decrypt.
stanley's tool has 4 abilities, taming dwagon's, rocking out, raining lightning, flying.

that doesn't include popping pidgeons from walnuts.

ansom is a very high level unit, and he had a large bonus to his combat from the unattuned arkentool. large enough to croak dwagons easily. if you look at those combat sequences he causes all sorts of effects on dwagons. dusting one uncroaked unit and stating his NON attuned arkentool turns MOST uncroaked to dust...when fighting a side with mostly uncroaked forces, doesn't mean the tool is a croakamncy artifact. attuning to wanda doesn't either. wanda is a croakmancer and is the reason ansom even had uncroaked to re croak.

like i've said elsewhere the uncroaked probably get dusted if they are overkilled. inflict beyond -x health points in one strike is overkill, unit explodes, dismembers, is beyond regeneration/uncroak/decrypt. those cannon fodder uncroaked were hastily thrown together at best. one turn of uncroak isn't exactly built for wear and tear.
moose o death wrote:
i stand by what i said and will continue to say until the words "arkenpliers are a croakamancy artifact" are written by rob in a non sarcastic fashion. at which point i will adjust my other various opinions and theories to suit the new information.


Well, another option would be to see what happens when an attuned wielder is defeated.

For example, if GK defeats Charlie and the captured dish attunes to Maggie, that would give a strong indication that the tools are magic type aligned.

Quote:

for now the ONE ability they have had for wanda is decrypt.
stanley's tool has 4 abilities, taming dwagon's, rocking out, raining lightning, flying.

that doesn't include popping pidgeons from walnuts.


... so 5 then :) ?

The pliers might have additional abilities that Wanda can use. The pidgeons <-> nut conversion shows that even Stanley is learning new abilties.

Quote:

like i've said elsewhere the uncroaked probably get dusted if they are overkilled. inflict beyond -x health points in one strike is overkill, unit explodes, dismembers, is beyond regeneration/uncroak/decrypt. those cannon fodder uncroaked were hastily thrown together at best. one turn of uncroak isn't exactly built for wear and tear.


It could be, but they do seem to be linked to croakamancy. Ofc, it could be a bait and switch.
that's my point, wanda only knows of one that we've witnessed. they could also feature loyalty adjustment abilities NOT requiring decryption. switching someone's side without killing them could be better again. we don't know what other abilities she has...she may know and has no interest in their use as like her own abilities the tool has abilities outside of croakamnacy but she has no interest in those.

i'm sure the tool itself really didn't matter to wanda, she originally plotted after stanley's tool, and after that plan failled i'm sure she tried attuning his arkentool when he wasn't looking. it clearly never worked. hell i'd even assume wanda directly asked if she could see the hammer for herself and stanley probably handed it too her.

that tool either only attaches to stanley, or it has picked it's master and cannot unattach unless he's croaked. either way it's probably yet another reason stanley is so depressed now. he really did think the tools only attuned to him, and it's clear now that only the hammer does. if he and wanda swapped they wouldn't gain new abilities they'd both just have lifeless lumps of 3d art.

OR they'd have the same abilities they had before if my personal belief is true. i still hold the opinion the tool is just a tuning rod for inert talents the unit possesses. and that they attune to unique units throughout the world that can be used to create a new erfworld.
stanley: the piker who would be king
wanda: the talented sorceress with a narrow mind
sizemore: the untalented magician with an open mind
charlie: the master of manipulation
jillian: the barbarian queen

we don't know enough about, but i suspect, vinny. i'm sure we will meet many new faces to fill out the rest of plausible roles
moose o death wrote:
OR they'd have the same abilities they had before if my personal belief is true. i still hold the opinion the tool is just a tuning rod for inert talents the unit possesses. and that they attune to unique units throughout the world that can be used to create a new erfworld.


It could be, but I don't really see a situation that would trigger the effect. The only way to see would be if a tool wielder is killed and someone else attunes to it.

It could be that there are 8 units with the "can attune to an Arkentool" stat, but they could also be arkentool specific stats. If someone with the stat dies, then a there is a random chance that any new unit popped will have the stat, until there are 8 again.

That ability could also count as a major bonus to the "fate" stat.

Quote:

stanley: the piker who would be king
wanda: the talented sorceress with a narrow mind
sizemore: the untalented magician with an open mind
charlie: the master of manipulation
jillian: the barbarian queen


I wouldn't class Sizemore as untalented, he just isn't multi-talented, he seems pretty good at Dirtamancy.

I think he has high odds of attuning and Jillian is lower.
you have been watching jillian getting setup for a huge battle against wanda right? one level 9 royal against a level10 royal heir-chiefwarlord-decrypted-with arkentool bonus for being in the hex with the decrypter, is not a fair fight. then you add said decrypter in another hex. throw in some archon's and dwagons and you get an even more lopsided fight. jillian needs to balance the fight. and her rather unique worldview seems to be exactly what arkentools are attracted too.

she's the ruler who doesn't want to rule. she's happiest in the thick of battle. she doesn't have a salad fork, she has an eyeball fork. her only motivation is to gain the army she needs to get the revenge she wants...she doesn't know yet her revenge will need to be redirected at something she's even more passionate about. when she see's what wanda has done to ansom. she's going to go nuts. not only was wanda controlling her before, but now jillians free, wanda is now controlling ansom..which if you recall is who she broke her bond to wanda over.

jillian needs to attune an arkentool, given her status as the barbarian queen, i'm thinking turn control or much increased unit production.as the most useful effect.
While you may be right about what Stanley was hoping would happen with the pliers, but he did know that someone else had already attuned to an arkentool: Charlie.
this i realise, but if my theory is right and wanda has unsuccessfully held the hammer before you can see he would imagine she is unable to attune to any tool.

yet she has attuned the pliers and in all likelihood they would do nothing if HE grabbed them. it's that sudden realisation that the titans have plans for more than just him that's probably broken his spirit so badly. afterall charlie was just another side he would have to conquer prior to this. now charlie is another titanic mandate
moose o death wrote:
this i realise, but if my theory is right and wanda has unsuccessfully held the hammer before you can see he would imagine she is unable to attune to any tool.

yet she has attuned the pliers and in all likelihood they would do nothing if HE grabbed them. it's that sudden realisation that the titans have plans for more than just him that's probably broken his spirit so badly. afterall charlie was just another side he would have to conquer prior to this. now charlie is another titanic mandate


That's a thought. I think what really chaps his saddle is that he's not needed, that he's become liability, in fact. He is "winning" without any of the fun or challenge. He's been made quite redundant, and the 'hammer has been made to look in many ways inferior to the 'plier's capacity to create entire armies.