Book 2 - Text Updates 049

Book 2 - Text Updates 049

Snacktime was over. Stanley's stomach bulged, a little uncomfortably. He still sat in the tall chair that Zogby had made him, as the twoll puttered around the larder, tidying things up.

No, not "Zogby." What was it?

He frowned.

Things weren't good lately. Wasn't just the battle. Hamster was doing something about that, he could tell. What, exactly? He couldn't say.

The sandwich turned a little sideways in his stomach. He burped.

That was just it. He didn't know. Not anything about anything, anymore. Things weren't good, was all. He was in charge, but...out of touch.

Out of touch. Yeah, that was it, wasn't it? That was the trouble. He couldn't connect with his people. Like, say, Zappa there.

"Hey twoll," he said, craning his neck around. The twoll stopped bending down over a cask of currant jam and slowly came to something resembling attention.

"Lud?"

"State your name, level, and duties," said Stanley. Ha, an order! That was a whole lot better than saying "What's your name, I forgot." Maybe he should've ordered the Foolamancer to say his name, that one time.

"Zhopa, Level 1, Henchman assigned to larder," said the twoll, his face utterly blank.

Zhopa, right. Zhopa, Zhopa, Zhopa.

"So...what's new, Zhopa?" said Stanley. He forced a bit of a smile.

Zhopa turned his head and stared, as if he had been asked, "What is the square root of history?"

The twoll opened his mouth as if to speak, but then his jaw took a sudden left turn and his meaty lips came slowly back together. He glanced away to the corner of the room, then looked down at the floor in what appeared to be intense concentration.

He shuffled his feet slightly.

Somewhere, a pigeon cooed.

Stanley looked at him, his weak smile fading away as long moments passed.

Zhopa nodded at his feet, as if his boots had whispered the correct answer. He looked up and met his Overlord's eyes.

"Nothing," he said, with a fair degree of self-assurance. "Nothing is new, Lud."

Stanley blinked.

"Haha, right!" he said, plastering the winning smile back on. "Wow, yeah. Seems like nothing has happened around here in ages! 'Mean this day has just been crawling, m'I right?"

The twoll waited long enough to be sure that Stanley wanted some kind of response, then gave a grunt and a curt nod of agreement.

"Yeah," said Stanley, nodding amiably. "Yeah." He pointed to the twoll. "Zhopa."

Zhopa stood there, breathing.

"So I mean, what's on your mind? Everything okay down here in the larder? You like it here?"

Zhopa turned his head and for a moment looked longingly at the doorway, which led to a parapet overlooking the city and was the nearest exit from the larder area. Then he sighed, nodded silently, and shrugged his huge shoulders.

"Aw, now, what was that?" said Stanley, determined now to get some kind of response from the big heavy. "Something else you'd rather be doing around here? C'mon, speak up."

Zhopa shook his head very slightly. "Any duty, Lud. Is all Duty."

"Oh really," said Stanley. "You think so?"

Zhopa nodded again.

Stanley had an idea that made him grin suddenly.

"I betcha not! I bet I could assign you something-- Wait. Hold on." Stanley put up his hand.

That.

...was weird. The twoll's bonus went down.

Why? Because...his Chief Warlord had moved out of the city.

Off-turn? Was he captured?

"Hamster?" said Stanley aloud. He gave a panicked glance out the doorway for enemy flyers.

But uh-uh, he could tell. Hamster was now in the Magic Kingdom.

That's right, he could go there. He just wasn't allowed; they said they'd croak him or something if he ever went back, right?

So why'd he go back? That was pretty stupid. He was supposed to be upstairs running the battle.

"Maggie," Stanley said to the air. It was a form of order only a Thinkamancer could follow. "Maggie!"

A thinkagram formed.

"Yes, Tool?" She was down in the Portal Room now. Hm.

"Um, why is our Chief Warlord in the Magic Kingdom?" he demanded.

"Because he intends to join the Battle for Spacerock, Lord," said Maggie tensely. "By breaching the enemy portal."

"Whaaa? You don't do that. They don't let you." Out of the corner of his eye, he saw the twoll gratefully go back to his puttering.

"I'm aware of convention in this matter, Lord," said Maggie. She looked worried, too. "If you'd please allow me a moment..."

"So, what he's going to run into an enemy city one-stacked?" This made no sense. Absolutely none at all. "Am I gonna lose two Chief Warlords in one day?"

Maggie bristled. "Not if I have anything to say in the matter, Lord!" she snapped. "Please. My juice is quite low, and I was monitoring his situation when you interrupted. And something was going awry. May I go?"

Stanley's eyes flashed at the backtalk. He was about ready to tear her head off. Every once in a while he needed to put a little healthy respect and fear back in her.

But there was something weird about her expression and tone of voice. She already was plenty frightened, just not of him. What was going on?

He tightly clamped his lips shut and took in an angry breath through flared nostrils.

"Okay, I'm coming right down there, Maggie! And you're gonna tell me what he thinks he's doing!"

"Yes, Lo--"

"Break!" he commanded. Felt good to hang up on her.

Yeah. He'd been way too out of touch. He put his hands on his hips, and looked up at the twoll, who froze in mid stride, holding an enormous long loaf of bread.

"Zhopa," he scowled.

"Lud?"

"So. As I was saying before she interrupted us...you are hereby promoted to Lackey, in service to Overlord Stanley the Tool. Me."

Stanley smirked, sure that this would finally get a reaction out of the twoll.

The two stood in silence. Zhopa showed nothing, almost as if he hadn't heard. After a while, he cleared his throat.

"Thank you, Lud?"

Stanley's expression fell. He sighed. "Come on," he said glumly. He shuffled past Zhopa's legs and through the doorway, "I gotta go to the Portal Room to chew out Maggie." Swinging the Arkenhammer at his side, the Overlord left the room.

The newly-promoted twoll followed shortly after. But Stanley did not see Zhopa first pause a moment to look up at the ceiling, then grab the loaf of bread with both hands, and smash it over his own face.

Comic - Book 2  Text Updates 049

Recent posts... (See full thread)
Well, thing is, "loyal to Fate" is entirely nebulous. Fate doesn't give commands or orders - "loyal to Fate" can mean absolutely anything. I'm not really sure how we might find out what units are loyal to, unless we get a direct rebellion of Wanda against Stanley.
Occasional Sage wrote:
BLANDCorporatio wrote:

What I'm seeing here is a side that is de facto not neutral, and is about to become officially hostile ASAP.


Except that two of the MK factions have powerful reasons to support GK: Marie and her Hippiemancers want to use him to break war, and the Great Minds are gunning for Charlie (who has launched a shadow war on Parson and by extension GK). That puts a lot of weight on the "status quo" side of the scale.

Given that, I wonder if the MK's hostility is at least partially feigned.
Part of the problem is that we haven't really seen any important MK characters who are hostile to GK. We've seen general hostility and annoyance with Parson arriving there, but to the extent that we've seen important characters with clear influence in the MK, they've been more or less on Parson's side, or at least against Charlie. There hasn't really been a face to put on the other side.
Freemage wrote:
BLANDCorporatio wrote:
One wonders what other things Stanley might buy.

Scrolls from the MK, no go there. Apparently the MK is pissed with the Toolists, so yeah.


If the MK is actively withholding basic services from one side in the fight, many traditions would consider that a violation of neutrality. Now, they might not be planning anymore "special deals", but the basic range of services (such as Healomancy scrolls) is probably something that's standardized for all sides.


It seems a lot depends on what kind of "neutral" the MK is (or is perceived to be), as well as what kind of entity it is. I wouldn't call it a "truly" neutral entity. It isn't a side, more of a neutral ground populated by unemployed/retired mercenaries. It doesn't have a government, a ruler, a central authority etc and thus no official political/ethical/moral/diplomatic/etc policies or directions. I'd assume the casters and the factions there are largely free to work and provide services for, or refuse to work for, whoever they want.

The true basis of the neutrality, to me at least, appears to be more focused on the special abilities of the MK, not so much on who the casters are willing to work for. I'd only consider it violation of neutrality if there was a controlling power there that ruled no caster was to lend aid to GK or if there was some sort of large scale coordinated resistance to GK (or any side)from the caster community there (neither of which is the case).

Rizban wrote:
Just because it wasn't rationally thought out and optimized doesn't mean that he's a bad leader for doing the right thing out of instinct. It's obvious that he has good qualities that his side needs, or he would never have been promoted to heir in the first place.


If it was the real world saying "Of course I have the good qualities that will benefit this empire, otherwise I wouldn't have been made heir" would likely inspire comparisons to all the individuals that were handed power (heirs) or gained power (revolutionaries for example) but were truly terrible leaders of men/nations/corporations etc. Of course in Erfworld it has a certain complexity added due to the whole "are the Titans/fate involved".

oslecamo2_temp wrote:
Oh c'mon give the man a break. Yes he isn't perfect, but his side is still standing and powerfull, so he's doing something right.


Stanley's greatest strength as a ruler is that he rules some very capable individuals, plus two tools (if they didn't end up with the pliers there is no way they would have been able to advance so far so fast). Stanley's greatest weakness as a ruler is himself.

Quote:
Actually, let's compare Stanley with the other rulers out there shall we?

Economics

Stanley: takes care to don't waste money needlessly. Makes sure to keep a fat treasury for hard times, which comes in handy for hiring supreme warlords, mass promotion of heavies, scrolls for the casters and other essential stuff. Even when cornered against the wall, Stanley still had quite a good chunk of pocket change.


Fiscal responsibility is a good thing, assuming it is actually responsible and not just hiding it in a whole. It certainly paid off that Stanley had those 500,000 available to get Parson, and he was super lucky later that his Volcano lair had so much hidden loot.

Quote:
Statley: Spends money like water on pretty structures and couriers. When cornered, finds himself bankrupt.


Just now, after a long and very costly war. It is worth remembering that until very recently Jetstone was the biggest, fattest fish in the pond something they achieved and maintained for many turns without a volcano full of gems and a magic item that lets you have a massive army with no upkeep.

Quote:
Don: Spends money like water on other sides. Unreliable unstable sides that give low chance of a profitable return. Almost bankrupted his own kingdom if not for his leadership corps steping in.


Again just at this point in time, after a long, costly war etc...

Quote:
Jillian: Can barely afford basic services, needs constant supplies from other sides.


There wasn't much else she could do to change that. Any of the rulers would be in the same boat at the start. Now of course her actions have given Faq much more financial independence.

Quote:
Command Under Pressure

Stanley: Knows when to run and when to fight. If he hadn't pulled out from GK when the coalition giant mob arrived, Hamster wouldn't be able to use the hax volcano (as stanley couldn't be pulled to the safety of the magic kingdom), and they would've lost. When ambushed by Transyvilto, quickly decided to break trough instead of fighting to the death.


If I remember rightly the swiftness with which GK lost all its cities, warlords, strength before TBfGK was largely down to Stanley, and of course the big bit there is "Hamster". And since then GK swift ascent is due to Parson, Ansom and Wanda with pliers.

Quote:
Statley: When cornered, decides that suicide rush while bankrupting an ally is a good plan. Instead of one of his experienced warlords, puts in command a pretty diplomacy boy that shoots down his own troops and then runs screaming towards the enemy artillery geting knocked out.


I feel kind of silly now, you aren't being serious are you?

Quote:
Jillian: Has to make extensive use of mind rape to get her troops to follow.


It's kind of weird, though I feel like saying "as opposed to GK who make extensive use of the plier's powers...". And I don't know if I would say extensive. All of Jillian's troops except Duncan she popped herself. And Duncan was turned, a seemingly valid tactic though I seem to remember discussion about lower loyalty through turning - while Duncan seems to be very happy.

Quote:
Conclusion: So ok Stanley has some communication problems. But he excells at battle instinct, knows how to get his subordinates unquestionable loyalty and makes sure to keep his side economically stable. His side is thus in a much better position now than either the two other sides we know in detail so far.
[/quote][/quote]

It is doing very well. Of course one would ask if Parson were removed from the equation, or Wanda, how would Stanley go? Is GK destined to be the biggest and the baddest for as long as Jetstone was?
Occasional Sage wrote:
To which I'll add, Wanda only convinced him to give those 500K Schmuckers away by telling him the Treasury could not be taken along in case of a hasty retreat.
hmmm. Except maybe for enough to fill his purse when he became a barbarian? Jillian has told us that's a very limited amount, which may explain the three-knight-limit when he bailed on GK.
The barbarian purse doesn't begin to explain why Stanley didn't take along additional forces. Jillian, as a barbarian, maintained a disband order. Stanley could have taken multiples of the forces he did take and just disbanded those he could not support if and when he could not support him. Going lean had zero advantages, and is an unexplained logical flaw. Fridge logic, if you will.
Oberon wrote:
The barbarian purse doesn't begin to explain why Stanley didn't take along additional forces. Stanley could have taken multiples of the forces he did take and just disbanded those he could not support if and when he could not support him. Going lean had zero advantages, and is an unexplained logical flaw.

You're not seriously attempting to apply logic to Stanley's decision-making process, are you? Are we reading the same book? :D
Oberon wrote:
Occasional Sage wrote:
To which I'll add, Wanda only convinced him to give those 500K Schmuckers away by telling him the Treasury could not be taken along in case of a hasty retreat.
hmmm. Except maybe for enough to fill his purse when he became a barbarian? Jillian has told us that's a very limited amount, which may explain the three-knight-limit when he bailed on GK.
The barbarian purse doesn't begin to explain why Stanley didn't take along additional forces. Jillian, as a barbarian, maintained a disband order. Stanley could have taken multiples of the forces he did take and just disbanded those he could not support if and when he could not support him. Going lean had zero advantages, and is an unexplained logical flaw. Fridge logic, if you will.


Fair point, unless he was taking what he could pay for and leaving the rest to bleed the RCC. "Little use" is still better than "none".

Though again, as MarbitChow pointed out: that's using logic to explain Stanley.
holy_dwead wrote:
No one has commented on this, so I wanted to say that I got a big kick out of "Somewhere, a pigeon cooed." This is a play on a practically ancient literary trope: "Somewhere a dog barked."

Take a look at an essay regarding the expression in novels (caution: strong language).

http://www.slate.com/id/2256007/

Obviously, a cooing pigeon is the only logical alternative to the phrase when Stanley the Tool is in the room.



is that the same as (caution, litterally translation) 'what, did I just hear a lama shit?' if someone is pointing out that he is ignoring someone
MarbitChow wrote:
You're not seriously attempting to apply logic to Stanley's decision-making process, are you? Are we reading the same book? :D
Stanley is an idiot, but he is also firmly aware of the rules. In other words, he may be an idiot, but he isn't an idiot. :o
He may be an idiot but he's no fool.
he's no fool, he's a tool.








(couldn't let that pointe go. sorry. It was a bad one, I know.)



(still, I couldn't let it go.)