Book 2 - Text Updates 056

Book 2 - Text Updates 056

Phoebe was made of brick. She was covered in soot. Black and red and gray, matching the colors of her raiment. All in a column, matching her general body size and opacity.

She was a chimney on a rooftop, one of many dozens. It was a really good veil. Maybe her best ever. Gold star! The enemy‘s minds would not have to reconcile very much with their eyes, and that was the name of the game.

Game. Precisely, associates. This was all just a game, only an exercise. Pretty much a pillow fight.

The Decrypted Archon stood stock still, hovering just above a rooftop she physically could not touch. Her body was rigid with fear, in just the same way (she hoped) that all the other chimneys stood rigid with mortar.

She couldn‘t look at the battle, but kept her back turned to it. No face to show the enemy. Her stack-mates, Rachel and Monica, were...out of the game. Her friends.

Tagged. Out. Of. The. Game.

And if she revealed herself, then she‘d be tagged, too. She knew it.

She should fight, though.

She wasn‘t thinking of the team here, which they always told her was the worst thing you could do. This wouldn‘t look very good on her next review. “Teamwork ethic still improving” would be written there, and maybe, “confidence remains a deficit area for Phoebe.”

Even without watching, the shouts and blasts and last cries were so clear. That sound was a sword hacking someone, ribs snapping. She should help. That was someone dissolving. She should fly in and stack up with anyone else, and fight. And help.

But now Rachel was gone, and there was no-one to tell her what to do. Scouts don‘t autoengage if they can hide, and she could hide really, really well. Better than she could fight. So...she should do that, right? Made sense. Made perfect sense.

Another scream from above. Who was it? Janet, maybe.

In theory, she was capable of moving. She imagined herself spiraling skyward in a powerful, heroic charge. She could picture it. She cheered for herself in her mind. Except she couldn‘t actually bring herself to go.

A couple of others she could see were now fleeing the battle, scattering to far corners of the city. She had no orders. The warlord Ossomer was gone. Mistress Wanda‘s voice had left her head. She had nothing from her Chief Warlord or her Overlord. They were all abandoned here. And it had been forever since she‘d heard the one voice that mattered.

“Charlie...” she whispered to the wind, and felt no shame about it. She still loved him.

A game like this would never have happened to Charlescomm. It never had happened. To lose this many in a single battle? Impossible. Charlie didn‘t abandon his associates on the battlefield.

They were all well-trained for engagements, sure. They never stopped “learning and having fun.” But Charlie wouldn‘t let a major battle like this happen without linking in to provide direct tactical leadership. Associate-level leadership was just supervisory. No Archon had more than a 3, and that was rare. But through the Arkendish, Charlie could lend another 5 to any fight he was directing. It was just as powerful as Mistress Wanda‘s bonus. And he knew tricks. He always knew just what to do. This fight, nobody knew what to do. It felt terrible.

With Charlie dropping in that way, Charlescomm rarely lost. They never lost like this. Not when it was important.

This was so totally wrong. No, she should say it was...antithetical. Lingo was another deficit area for her.

Charlie and Mistress Wanda shouldn‘t be fighting. She loved them both, and they should love each other. This game shouldn‘t be played. There was no reason for this! Sorry, this action lacks a sound rationale. Monica and Rachel should be alive still! The fight was so...totally antithetical!

Someday, Mistress and Charlie would come together and be on the same side. Why couldn‘t that just be now? She wanted to break veil and shout, “Stop! It‘s a big, dumb mistake!” She almost did it, but caught herself.

This engagement was a mistake because this war was a mistake. And it was going to cost her her life. And probably nobody cared. Probably this veil wouldn‘t work; they had too many commanders down there to spot her.

This was probably her last chance to look around, breathe the air. She couldn't move.

It wasn‘t right. It wasn‘t even a little bit fair. (Even now, she managed to smile at the old joke. Every Archon knew “fair” was the funniest word in Language.) Well, at least she‘d be joining Monica and Rachel, then. She hoped Rachel would forgive her for hiding.

Yes, this engagement was a mistake. And this war was a mistake. Maybe all wars were a mistake. Maybe war itself was antithetical.

But without it, how would anybody do business?

Comic - Book 2 – Text Updates 056

Recent posts... (See full thread)
Nnelg wrote:


If enemy scouts are immune to strategic-level foolamancy, then use it on tactical level. Or, find a clever way through their web of recon. If camouflage is worthless, use misdirection. If the traditional usage is useless, find a new use for it.

Set up a counter-scout network, croaking enemy scouts and capturing their magic items. Bring your foolamancer in on an angle your enemy doesn't expect, (and therefore has fewer scouts on) and shuffle him around to different parts of the front whenever he's discovered. Have him scribe scrolls non-stop, selling them for cash or building up enough for an entire army to cloak itself. Redeploy him against an enemy who simply doesn't have such effective counter-measures, nor the casters to create them. Heck, even use fireworks to send signals to your army during battle.

Rarely is anything ever useless: all it takes is some "lateral thinking".
For starters displacement and such would still be useful in combat. It will be much harder to fight if you can't know where your enemy is exactly. Sure the guy with the fancy hat might be able to point in the general direction of the enemy but its not the same. That is assuming the foolamancer doesn't change "right" to "left". Stealing the magic item is a good idea, each check will cost one of those precious items (or valuable archon type units) assuming you have any significant forces to be found. Of course, you also might lose a valuable item/archon-type without uncovering a veil.

Infact, just the cost of maintaining foolamancy piercing scouts will be fairly expensive. Even if the foolamaner accomplishes nothing other than forcing your opponent to expend valuable scouts or items it will be at least somewhat useful. And the foolamancer can still be tasked to charging the tower, making scrolls to sell, or even trying their hands at some other form of magic. Zero lateral thinking required.
Lamech wrote:
Infact, just the cost of maintaining foolamancy piercing scouts will be fairly expensive.
Not if the foolamancy piercing scouts in question happen to be decrypted archons.



Lamech wrote:
And the foolamancer can still be tasked to charging the tower, making scrolls to sell, or even trying their hands at some other form of magic. Zero lateral thinking required.
The amount of "free time" or even free will allowed to casters is an interesting subject for discussion. Stanley, who is petty and dictatorial, still claims to support his people's hobbies. He was speaking about his favorite Wanda at the time, but still. Sizemore wasn't ordered to attempt to learn some hippymancy, he did it out of an interest in expanding his magical education. And while we've seen Sizemore ordered to the cesspits for his daily chores, and Ace forced to create raiment rather than accessories, and thinkamancers juice used for communications, and random casters ordered to charge up the tower, we've never seen (to my recollection) a caster ordered to create a scroll, or learn more about their own or another branch of magic.

And when a character owns an item, it doesn't seem as though their rulers ever order them to give it to anyone else. Ossomer had the bracer when a potentially better use might have been on the CWL you had out leading a coalition against GK. Stanley was never reported to have been ordered to see if the current GK CWL could attune to the 'hammer. Etc.

This could possibly be tied in with loyalty: Never allow your units any down time or personal possessions, and their loyalty goes in the toilet. So a smart ruler just leaves items with whomever found them despite a potential better use, and allows some time for visiting the magic kingdom to study or purchase a few personal scrolls.
Oberon wrote:
Lamech wrote:
Infact, just the cost of maintaining foolamancy piercing scouts will be fairly expensive.
Not if the foolamancy piercing scouts in question happen to be decrypted archons.


opportunity cost of not using them for other things
Whispri wrote:

Not the Decrypted, the Pliars. The Arkenpliars would be all but useless to a bonded Ruler, due to the risks involved in leaving the Capital, if they don't grant that Ruler some extra advantage as the Arkenhammer and the Arkendish appear to do. Yes the Ruler can leave the Capital, but so can Stanley.

It's an edge. It means not having to slaughter your own guys - Decrypted can Turn after all, as can the living. Nevermind that the effort involved in marching Units to the Capital to be done in is non trivial.


I think it's been mentioned at one point that you don't need to leave the capital to create a decrypted army. You could create a 0 upkeep side by sacrificing/ Friendly Firing every unit you ever pop, boop have the leader go to the nearest cities which you could create the safest watch around by popping 10 decrypted scouts to live in every hex. Who could pass around a single item that gave a bonus to detecting foolamancy. In which case you'd have tons of Schmuckers to pop things or do whatever with since you'd never worry about upkeep. That's a big bonus, however like with most things there is a greater bonus to adding risk, often times risk can lead to reward, sending your pliers on a campaign swath adds a lot of power.
Oberon wrote:
Lamech wrote:
Infact, just the cost of maintaining foolamancy piercing scouts will be fairly expensive.
Not if the foolamancy piercing scouts in question happen to be decrypted archons.

They risk being shot down if you use them to scout for enemies, so effectivly anytime you find a significant concentration of enemy forces you risk your archon. If you are trying to maintain an anti-foolamancy grid to look for enemies, you cannot ever let up on this. Also archons are inanely valuable to anyone with decryption. They allow you to check hexes for enemies, before relaying your pliers to the battlefield. If you have archons and mounts you can essentially use the pliers to "tame" dwagons, elves, and enemy units at no risk to the plier carrier.

Also I would argue that the pliers is essentially a point of failure just as much as the ruler for a decryption side. Sure they might not officially lose for another 1000 or 10000 turns, but eventually you will be ground to dust by someone. Even Haffaton fell. With the pliers you can increase the size of your forces without limit. With any luck you should be able to decrease the likelihood of side failure fast enough that you have a non-0 chance of unlimited survival. Therefore a ruler can risk themselves in the field, if need be. At least in the early stages of world domination. In later stages there will be no need.
There are many examples of Rulers willing to risk themselves in the field. Jillian should be back at Faq, but instead she is leading the pillaging missions against GK, which would make it really easy for someone to end that entire side, again. Parson even mentioned making that a priority next turn, whether it is himself or his replacement. Slately (or possibly his double) is enjoying the rush of combat in Jetstone's airspace. Stanley has stated that he is wanting to get back into action again, but can't because he is the Overlord and can't risk his Side. Despite that, he still charged headlong into combat against Transylvito's ambush. King County died in solo combat. Once we get some more history to Erfworld, there will probably be many other Rulers who have courted danger and gone into combat or traveled abroad in enemy territory. Aside from Stanely, none of them have a Tool. If Stanely falls and any of the other rulers get ahold of that power, they will probably be out on the battlefield, rocking out. Jillian definitely would. Slately was just given accessories and went wild with them, so just imagine how much more courage he'd muster with a Tool. Even Ansom waded into single combat vs thousands of uncroaked while wielding the pliers, and he wasn't even attuned to them. There's plenty of precedence set for whoever is attuned to the pliers to be near the front lines, if not for the ready source of new raw materials to decrypt, then because this is seemingly accepted behavior in Erfworld. IN a case such as Artemis, it is a punishment to be denied entering the battlefield (which also partially explains why Stanley dislikes it so much -- it's like he is being punished for something he didn't do).

Charlie is the only example we have of a stay at home Ruler/Overlord that doesn't bear some grief about not being in the field leading their Side into battle, and we have very little knowledge of his/her actual personality.
drachefly wrote:
Oberon wrote:
Lamech wrote:
Infact, just the cost of maintaining foolamancy piercing scouts will be fairly expensive.
Not if the foolamancy piercing scouts in question happen to be decrypted archons.
opportunity cost of not using them for other things

That, and the fact that decryption isn't exactly available for any side to use.


Oberon wrote:
we've never seen (to my recollection) a caster ordered to create a scroll, or learn more about their own or another branch of magic.

We've never seen it, but there's no known reason why the ruler of a desperate side wouldn't do it. Or that many casters would object to such an order (even if they keep quiet about their misgivings). Besides, it's just as possible that we simply haven't been shown such mundane orders in-comic.


Still though, I like your Free Time = More Loyalty theories.
Nnelg wrote:
Oberon wrote:
we've never seen (to my recollection) a caster ordered to create a scroll, or learn more about their own or another branch of magic.
We've never seen it, but there's no known reason why the ruler of a desperate side wouldn't do it. Or that many casters would object to such an order (even if they keep quiet about their misgivings). Besides, it's just as possible that we simply haven't been shown such mundane orders in-comic.

Still though, I like your Free Time = More Loyalty theories.
Well, thanks. That means a lot, given that we're often on the opposite side of debates here.

I still think that the comic has pretty well established that units aren't arbitrarily stripped of their possessions by their rulers simply because those rulers think that some other unit would be a better owner. Saline certainly didn't order Stanley to hand his 'hammer over to the current CWL or some higher level warlord, Stanley hasn't seen if anyone else could attune to the 'pliers, etc. I don't recall a single example of any ruler ordering some unit to hand their magic item over to another unit. Jetstone tried all princes to see if they could attune. That makes sense. And if some Jetstone prince could attune, I don't doubt that Slately would have had Ansom hand them over. But we still never saw that happen, and it suggests that the 'pliers were held as a sort of 'side' item that went to whomever could get some good use out of them. Or perhaps the use of the 'pliers was an heir prerogative.

Why did the GK armory hold so many magic items for Parson to equip, rather than having those items distributed to the units in the field? Does anyone doubt that Sylvia wouldn't be better off with a staff of magic resistance? Or some other warlord better off with whatever those claws do? Or the cloak? Or anything else? They don't do the side much good just sitting in the armory... It's a bit baffling. But still, personal property seems to be respected by rulers and other superiors who could conceivably order the owners to hand the items off to better suited users.
Oberon wrote:


I still think that the comic has pretty well established that units aren't arbitrarily stripped of their possessions by their rulers simply because those rulers think that some other unit would be a better owner. Saline certainly didn't order Stanley to hand his 'hammer over to the current CWL or some higher level warlord, Stanley hasn't seen if anyone else could attune to the 'pliers, etc. I don't recall a single example of any ruler ordering some unit to hand their magic item over to another unit. Jetstone tried all princes to see if they could attune. That makes sense. And if some Jetstone prince could attune, I don't doubt that Slately would have had Ansom hand them over. But we still never saw that happen, and it suggests that the 'pliers were held as a sort of 'side' item that went to whomever could get some good use out of them. Or perhaps the use of the 'pliers was an heir prerogative.

Why did the GK armory hold so many magic items for Parson to equip, rather than having those items distributed to the units in the field? Does anyone doubt that Sylvia wouldn't be better off with a staff of magic resistance? Or some other warlord better off with whatever those claws do? Or the cloak? Or anything else? They don't do the side much good just sitting in the armory... It's a bit baffling. But still, personal property seems to be respected by rulers and other superiors who could conceivably order the owners to hand the items off to better suited users.

I think some of these are somewhat explained *if* we were to assume certain rules. The idea makes me think of playin RotTK. Where taking an item from a general reduces loyalty. You wouldn't want to hand all your items out incase you needed them at some point and you wouldn't take them willy nilly else loyalty would suffer. If it was enough of a penalty it'd make sense.

Also on the Arken Tools, I personally think that Stanley is a bad example. "I could take an attuned tool and piss off the attuned party to give it to someone who might not attune." And anyone not attuned with the slightest duty would be okay giving them to someone who could attune. Since the power swings they give are insane.

Though I think with the pliers Jetstone made a mistake because of the royalty mandate, while they grant decrypted I think any caster might get a different super effect. Hammer - Warlord, Pliers - Caster, Dish - Ruler, whatever else. (The tools could be REALLY specific or they could change slightly depending on who attunes, like the hammer taming megalogwiffons. Either way at LEAST put an un attuned tool in the hands of everyone with any kind of loyalty. =/
I've been meaning to add this in ever since they dropped hint on the power of the ruby slippers. Arken Pliers + Ruby Slippers = perfect murder for the entire world. The arkenpliers become completely safe in a capital site while all dead units anywhere that you can find and are the proper size are carried instantly to the pliers wielder by the ruby shoes carrier. Especially efficient once the empire has filled every tile in their domain or at least the ones that lead to rome with piles of scouts to make things safe for the shoe wearer. So the arken pliers are all you need but the shoes make it so much cooler.