# Prologue - 017

**Turns Since TBfGK: 19**

It was eight flights up, 128 steps, from the library to the Situation Room. Parson was leading the Foolamancer, who seemed not to notice the labored pace of their progress. After three weeks of climbing and clambering, his legs were really starting to tighten up. Living in a stone tower was never going to be fun, though. At least this was the last flight. He could see the top.

"Jack, do you remember what you did...to project the battle table...when you were linked up?" he asked between breaths, as they plodded slowly upward. Last flight. Last flight.

"I remember doing it, Lord. But I don't remember how. If that makes sense." Jack frowned quizzically. "Does it? I often have trouble..."

But Parson understood. "Yeah. Sure," he said. "Like, I remember doing trigonometry in high school. But I'm not sure I could explain what that even is, now."

"Yes!" said the Foolamancer excitedly. "And do you feel the ache?"

"Ache?"

"The terrible feeling," said Jack. "That you've lost some grand, Titanic capability you can no longer grasp."

"With trigonometry? Um... I don't know," said Parson. They topped the landing at last. He leaned on the stone wall for a moment and looked at his bracer. "I probably should, if I'm supposed to do Mathamancy. But I forget what kind of math it even was." He strained to remember. "Something to do with triangles? Or is that just the name fooling me?"

"Names can be important," said Jack, stepping lightly on to the landing. He looked Parson in the eye, almost gravely. "And fools, and triangles, too."

Parson raised an eyebrow. Jack usually talked in riddles, and often Parson could see what he meant. Other times? Well...any sufficiently advanced riddle is indistinguishable from gibberish. "Right. Anyway, I know you can't do what you did before: realtime battlefield model with data fed by a Lookamancer. But I'd like to do something similar. I want a tactical simulator."

Jack looked at him appraisingly, "I'm afraid I don't understand, Lord. And also afraid that I do."

"You'll have to run it, but I want a battle map," said Parson, turning to walk toward the guarded archway. The decrypted hobgobwin knights came to attention, without comment. "Animated. To represent the match-ups and scenarios I'll run on my bracer."

They walked into the new Situation Room. It was lit and carpeted, with a flat ceiling supported by huge columns. Much nicer than the old cavernous dome. There were paintings of battle scenes on the walls. Wooden boxes were piled in the corners. Parson talked with his hands as they walked. "I could use figurines and maps, but I think you could do it better and faster. Maybe give me things like savepoints...and point of view angles?"

Jack considered this silently. With a flick of a few fingers, he brought a warm and pleasant beam of light down on to the heavy tactical map table as they reached it.

"I want to learn battle tactics. See?" said Parson, patting the table with a flat palm. "Really dig in to it, you know what I'm saying?"

Jack looked unsure. "I do, and I don't. I thought you'd lost your wish to fight."

Parson straightened. "Well, to lead a battle," he said. "Yeah. Not wild about doing that again. But what you said, about talent supplying its own demand...?" He shrugged. "And I'd like to stay alive. I think if I want to do that, long-term, I might need to learn as much as I can about fighting."

Jack stared at him blankly for several seconds. Then his face lit up with sly discovery. "You are bored!"

"And I am bored," acknowledged Parson.

"I'm bored as well, my good Lord. The cure for boredom is curiosity." Jack turned to the table and began picking up the small wooden figurines and markers. "Let's learn something about war."

"Awesome."

After several minutes of quietly sorting the miniature pieces into boxes, Parson turned to the caster and smirked. "What's the cure for curiosity?"

Jack was studying a map closely, running a finger along it. He did not look up. "Getting croaked," he said.

Guest art by Tom Whitney

canlevel. While Stanley makes the point that if the uncroaked warlords are pulled out of battle before victory it counts as a loss and the uncroaked warlords will not level Rob has made it clear to us that an Erfworlder doesn't know what his "experience points" are or when he will next level up, he knows that if he wins enough battles he will eventually level and that's about it.That's true. Even if uncroaked never leveled, it is possible that nobody really noticed it, since they always decay in a few turns anyway. If leveling takes 20-30 turns, the fact that they don't level wouldn't be obvious.

Eh. Wanda and Stanly have been together for a lot of battles now. I'm sure she had uncroaked fight in every battle, and I'm sure that if they didn't level, Wanda and Stanly would know by now.

Anyway, i get the impression Wanda already knows pretty much everything there is to know about her dicipline. I doubt she would fail to understand the most basic facts about how uncroaked work.

Sorry, losing the ability due to time-lapse memory loss is not the same as forgetting the function. You may forget a lot of trig from school, but 80 years later when you die of old age, you'll still remember the purpose of trig and what the name means. And even if you forget the formulas. Remembering the function means you could reverse engineer the formulas given some time and patience, and a lot of scratch paper.

I took a college entrance exam last week after not seeing a math class since 1988. But since the test was un-timed I sat there and reverse engineered the Pythagorean theorem in order to solve a word problem. I couldn't remember the theorem but since I had spent some effort understanding why the theorem worked, it wasn't that hard to re-build the equation. That 20 question test took me about 4 hours to finish but my score was worth the effort.

Lol. You probably aren't the best example. I bet you go up to 10 people on the street and ask them what trig is, 8 of them won't really kow, but they all learned it in school.

and i can not remember which maths trigonometry was. i use the calculator to work out how many divisions of something i'll need for my 3d models. it's fallen out of favour for the calculator key on my keyboard.

so ten years of not using trig has left me wondering which formula's it covers. so i find myself in exactly the position your arguing isn't possible.

There's a difference, you may perceive, between having a calculator that you don't use much lying around the house, and wearing a calculator watch. The latter implies that you're the sort of person who feels it necessary to be able to perform calculations at any time, anywhere, which has further implications regarding your personal relationship to math.

Trig class was in '91 for me. I remember almost nothing from the class (for which I blame the teacher, who was not very bright, a lousy teacher, and more concerned about making sure her students' souls had been saved from THE DEBIL than about actually, y'know, teaching us trigonometry (and I was a long-haired scruffy kid who dressed all in black, played D&D (at the height of the Satan scare), and was dating a pentacle-wearing Wiccan, which made the class extra-double-fun)). But I can still tell you that trigonometry deals with the properties of right triangles, and even which ratios the sine, cosine, and tangent are, because the SOHCAHTOA mnemonic was so effectively drilled into my head over the years, starting in about 7th grade Geometry, that I couldn't forget it even if I wanted to. Start talking about secants and so on and I'm lost, but I remember basically what trig is and what it's for.

And I haven't worn a calculator watch in

years...But, given that Erfworld uses

hexesfor movement, it is entirely possible that trigonometry is not true in Erfworld. (I think that trig assumes Cartesien Geometry to be true, but proving that is way above my head)Since a discrete hex system like Erfworld has different rules, maybe there is a Mathemancical equivalent of trig. Parson should be able to quickly determine the distance and best path between hexes (due to wargaming experience).

Eh. Wanda and Stanly have been together for a lot of battles now. I'm sure she had uncroaked fight in every battle, and I'm sure that if they didn't level, Wanda and Stanly would know by now.

Anyway, i get the impression Wanda already knows pretty much everything there is to know about her dicipline. I doubt she would fail to understand the most basic facts about how uncroaked work.

Actually, the fact that uncroaked decay, means that even if they level, it isn't important. Leveling is a waste if it is an investment for only a few turns. OTOH, Parson's decision to attack, kill critical units, and then withdraw probably gives experience points to the defenders, so it is a bad idea long-term.

We would need to know how long uncroaked tend to last. They last longer the more care the croakamancer spends on uncroaking them. I wonder if Wanda can also 'heal' uncroaked in order to extend their lifespan.

Still, better to get rid of powerful and strategically important units and give a little experience to far weaker units. Plus, we don't know for sure if the units were getting any experience seeing as they weren't killing any units.

We haven't had any indication of that. Were that the case, the uncroaked warlords would have probably been in better condition, considering there were just a few of them.

Someone's been watching trailers of Jay Leno's new TV show...

and i can not remember which maths trigonometry was. i use the calculator to work out how many divisions of something i'll need for my 3d models. it's fallen out of favour for the calculator key on my keyboard.

so ten years of not using trig has left me wondering which formula's it covers. so i find myself in exactly the position your arguing isn't possible.

No, you're supporting my argument that forgetting formulas is normal. Are you trying to argue that you forgot the terms sine, cosine and what they were used for, even if is normal to forget which is which and how to apply them. Heck, I never took trig and I know that they are used somehow to calculate the length of a side of a triangle if you only know the length of one side. I can even think of RW examples where such an ability might be useful. Wondering which foruma covers something is not the same as wondering if there is a formula for something. Knowing something can be done is half of doing it.

yes infidel i was supporting your point. you did see my post was directly under John cambell's post right

Eh. Wanda and Stanly have been together for a lot of battles now. I'm sure she had uncroaked fight in every battle, and I'm sure that if they didn't level, Wanda and Stanly would know by now.

Anyway, i get the impression Wanda already knows pretty much everything there is to know about her dicipline. I doubt she would fail to understand the most basic facts about how uncroaked work.

Actually, the fact that uncroaked decay, means that even if they level, it isn't important. Leveling is a waste if it is an investment for only a few turns.

Actually, I would go the other way. The fact that uncroaked decay over time means that you'll probably want to send them on high-risk missions fairly often; if they die, no great loss, right? It's just better sense then sending normal units on a mission like that. On the other hand, if you send a stack of units on a high-risk mission and they win, they probably level.

Stanly attacked Parson because his tactics meant his uncroaked warlords wouldn't level if they retreat; I'm pretty sure that means that he knows they were capable of leveling.

Quote:We would need to know how long uncroaked tend to last. They last longer the more care the croakamancer spends on uncroaking them. I wonder if Wanda can also 'heal' uncroaked in order to extend their lifespan.

Well, I suspect that if someone with Wanda's level really takes her time on a single uncroaked (like with the warlords), they can last quite a while. We know that if Wanda uncroakes every dead unit in a city hex they only last a few turns, but if she can uncroak thousands of units for a few turns in one action, I'd imagine that if she spends the same time and effort uncroaking one single, important unit, like a worlord, it'll probably last dozens of turns.

Quote:Interesting to see it implied that (Parson's) unit stats can be improved by training.

I'm not sure it's about training, but a parallel to the natural signmancy in Jillian's becoming royal in the previous update. Parson is becoming a warlord, not a lump of lard. While Jillian is becoming a softer, weaker Royal--Parson is becoming stronger and healthier. We don't know how much stronger, because nobody can see his stats--but they seem to be improving. I say it's time for a training montage, teach Parson how to actually use a weapon even though he doesn't want to use one. Parson's level is important, it effects every unit in his stack and every unit in his hex. The way to improve his warlord bonus is to get Parson to level. The way to get him to level is to get him to win fights.