Book 2 - Text Updates 013

Book 2 - Text Updates 013

It all required an ordered brain.

Gobwin Knob's side now spanned fifteen cities, and about 9400 units. Among these were over eight thousand speaking units, any one of whom could request Maggie's attention via intense concentration. Similarly, she could reach out to these units herself, to relay orders or request status. Scouting units in all directions, some of them hundreds of hexes away, passed along terrain and encounter information to her as they moved. And with Archons out there in the field, she had other, primitive Thinkamancers to manage as well.

Some (mercifully subconscious) part of Maggie's mind was always sorting and prioritizing the incoming and outgoing messages, making little decisions which added up to bigger ones.

That was at the quietest of times. Before and during a major battle, it was more than she could fully process, more than she had the juice for. However structured and competent her mind might be, she was still only an Adept class Thinkamancer. Even a Mastermind would be taxed under these conditions.

Ah, even so. One did one's best.

Her primary concern at the moment was juice. This battle and this turn would represent (at best) only half the day's likely demand on her services. Even if it all went swimmingly and Chief Warlord Ansom seized his former capital with ease, there was a long day yet ahead.

Gobwin Knob's natural spot in the turn order came fairly early, before all nearby sides except Charlescomm and Transylvito. Transylvito was allied with the Coalition, so it currently took its turn with Jetstone. Today, Gobwin Knob's turn had begun at dawn, which meant Charlescomm was either absent from the battlespace or allied with a side that took its turn later.

The upshot of all of that was that all other enemy sides would take their turns before she could regain her juice. A Coalition counterstrike was nearly inevitable, so juice conservation was in order.

She was conserving now, but that worried her too. She had entirely too little idea what was happening.

The strike force was definitely in the city, but there had been no word from them for more than twenty minutes. She spent a tiny bit of juice to confirm the existence and status of the major units there, but did not open a Thinkagram. At least one Archon was supposed to send a full picture Thinkagram, once the engagement began. But it appeared that...

That subconscious part of her brain poked her in the ribs. She checked the Chief Warlord's location again.

"Oh dear," she whispered, very quietly.

Parson heard her. "What's going on?" he asked. The Situation Room had been silent for several minutes, ever since a brief discussion between Stanley and Parson about the color scheme of the tactical figurines had ended snappishly.

Maggie cleared her throat. "I don't know, Lord Hamster." Her Duty here was slightly vague. Clearly both Lord Stanley and Lord Parson would want to know that Ansom was not among the attackers. She particularly didn't care to mislead Parson any more than necessary. But if she told them, they would certainly give her orders which would involve spending more juice.

Even under a Ruler like Stanley, decisions on the battlefield were usually left to the field Commanders. If Ansom didn't want to lead this attack, that was his prerogative.

But it was decidedly odd, after that business at the bridge.

Yes, entirely too.

"I think," she said evenly and carefully, "that there may be an irregularity with the battle plan."

Recent posts... (See full thread)
Sinrus wrote:
It seems to me as if master would be above adept. And I think that although Master-Class is an all-encompassing term, each discipline has a different name for their Masters. E.G. Grand Abbey for Florists and Mastermind for Thinkamancers.

Well, it could go either way. For one example ... Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar novels (and other in the same setting), for example, give mages rankings as so:

  1. Apprentice: can only access the energy within their own body;

  2. Journeyman: can also access ambient energies around them;

  3. Master: can also access the tremendous energy of Ley Lines;

  4. Adept: can also access the incalculable energy of Nodes.


And, yes, there is also an implicit "better than merely Adept" ranking, which no living mortal has held in several thousand years (the awe-inspiring power of legendary people like Urtho, "the Mage of Silence").

Thus, I submit that it depends where the inspiration for those ranks came from. :)
Here's kind of a silly question, and I'm not sure if someone didn't ask this already...

Why not just give an iBook to someone there, like Jack (someone who isn't likely to be actively engaged in the fighting), and order them to give minute-by-minute updates of the situation? Then you wouldn't need to spend any of Maggie's juice to learn what's happening, or to give orders, and you can use her exclusively for opening thinkagrams when you need visuals.

EDIT: ok, maybe not Jack, as it just occured to me that you'd want coherent answers. But you get the idea
dgorn wrote:
Here's kind of a silly question, and I'm not sure if someone didn't ask this already...

Why not just give an iBook to someone there, like Jack (someone who isn't likely to be actively engaged in the fighting), and order them to give minute-by-minute updates of the situation? Then you wouldn't need to spend any of Maggie's juice to learn what's happening, or to give orders, and you can use her exclusively for opening thinkagrams when you need visuals.

EDIT: ok, maybe not Jack, as it just occured to me that you'd want coherent answers. But you get the idea


This was addressed in a summer update. Parson and Maggie no longer believe Eyebooks are secure since Charlie "hacked" them. They're still fine to talk to Charlie, but they believe any other sort of communication gets picked up by Charlie, and that would be bad.
dgorn wrote:
Here's kind of a silly question, and I'm not sure if someone didn't ask this already...

Why not just give an iBook to someone there, like Jack (someone who isn't likely to be actively engaged in the fighting), and order them to give minute-by-minute updates of the situation? Then you wouldn't need to spend any of Maggie's juice to learn what's happening, or to give orders, and you can use her exclusively for opening thinkagrams when you need visuals.

EDIT: ok, maybe not Jack, as it just occured to me that you'd want coherent answers. But you get the idea


Jack's answers are coherent... they just require one to construct his frame of reference to decode.
Oh yeah, i do vaguely remember that now. Interesting that they think the eye-books aren't secure but that think-a-grams are. They're all based on think-mancy, right?
splintermute wrote:
Yes, Charlie can have units in the conflict, but according to the archons, Charlie can have units anywhere on Erf ("farther out into Erfworld than most sides imagined the world existed").

ftl wrote:
Nearby is shorter to say. When you think to yourself, you don't go out of the way to be precise - and besides, "before other possible sides" isn't any better and could be nitpicked anyway.

theseus2x wrote:
Well, Charlie, if the Archons info to Parson is true, is "local" pretty much everywhere. There's no reason to think his physical capital is THAT close to this mess.
All true to some degree or another. However, we also learned that Maggie has "an ordered mind." It's not nice to ascribe sloppy or ambiguous thinking to an ordered mind. I'll prefer to think (hope?) that Charlescomm is close enough, and with the location of his capital known (as the existence of a "pocket kingdom" is "impossible"), so that he can actually be threatened should the story arc need to take that turn.

Another point in favor of this thought (hope?) is that Parson was concerned that if Stanley knew that Charley was probably behind the absence of natural gobwin allies that he would have gone after him. You can't rightly go after someone if you either do not know where their city is or if it is so far away as to be highly impractical to move your armies there.
dgorn wrote:
Oh yeah, i do vaguely remember that now. Interesting that they think the eye-books aren't secure but that think-a-grams are. They're all based on think-mancy, right?


Maybe it takes more juice to intercept a thinkagram with video/audio, than the text messages of the eyebooks.

On the other hand maybe this is a power Charlie has had all along and is keeping in reserve.
doran wrote:
On the other hand maybe this is a power Charlie has had all along and is keeping in reserve.
I always took this as being yet another case of Charlie or the archons having the power needed at the time. It's a rather repetitive theme.
ftl wrote:
splintermute wrote:
Depending on who I'm talking to, "oh, he lives nearby me" might mean the same street, the same city, or the same state. In this case, the most obvious interpretation of "nearby" is "close enough to have units here." What else would it mean? Why would Maggie suddenly care about actual physical distance in that sentence - then she'd also have to clarify that there AREN'T units from sides that aren't nearby but might have units there anyway, and we'd have endless speculation about not-nearby sides suddenly showing up...


I always thought it was just an assumption on Maggie's part, much like this. Everything is relative with Charlie, location wise. We know his units are spread far wider across Erfworld then most sides, and everyone seems to know of him. So it seems fair to think of Charlescomm as "nearby" when its units have the potential to be in any battlespace.
Sure. But it seems a certainly that Wanda's decrypted Archons would know where Charlescomm's capital is. Which means Wanda (if she thought to ask) and Parson (we MUST assume he'd ask) would know, even if the rest of Erfworld was in the dark.