Book 3 - Page 215

The strongest piece

Book 3 - Page 215
Comic - Book 3 - Page 215
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DVL wrote:
I've wondered what would happen if you were to make manual alterations to the landscape. Let's say you till the soil yourself and sprinkle some seeds in it. Raise a barn. And so on. What would happen? Would it depop if left unintended? Or would it remain there physically for some time before naturally succumbing to the elements?

I doubt that using farms or mines conventionally will break war itself, it probably just isn't detailed because it isn't a focal part of the story. I'm sure most sides assume they know how it works and I doubt any side seriously overlooks their value for no reason at all, as you seem to imply. Personally, I always assumed farms and mines were natural fixtures that popped on their own and could be seized, razed or repaired.

I didn't mean my implication to be so stark...more like...sides ignore it in the way that they know that patrolling the city to boost its efficiency is worth it, but no one staffs the dedicated buildings. Why? They must be there for some reason, right? I would hazard a guess that these mechanics do have a reason, and can be self sustaining in their own right (as warfare is, and as you rightly point out OldFaq almost was). However, they may require a level of investment that is untenable for sides that are under the constant threat of attack.

I'm not sure how you build a compelling story around these domestic mechanisms (though Tondy's story is a good example). I'd like to see Parson or someone, anyone, really dig into some of the less explainable, seemingly completely unused rules. The Titans may be mad, but I hope not. We've seen so much of Parson being amazed at how little the world makes sense. I want to start making some sense of it.
Axiom wrote:

Honestly, there's a really really great story to be told from Jillian's POV that explains her discrimination against the decrypted. Like, if I wasn't so busy, I'd write a fucking fanfic myself of it. Imagine this:

We get to see a moderately long buildup of Jillian and Ansom's love affair. The rescuing of each other. The back and forth showmanship. The battles. The banter. Ansom's ideals and honor and moral code begin to vaguely remind Jillian of her father, King Banhammer, and his discussions of philosophy. While their moral codes aren't exactly the same, Ansom represents a middle ground between Jillian's reality and her father's. It's a way to apply the philosophy to the real world that she lives in. Combat itself can be an extension of a higher ideological order, rather than just the meaningless chaos of survival.

This perspective saves Jillian, although the impacts are unconscious and she'd never admit it. Ansom softens the barbarian princess, who was made hard by many turns of mercenary work. Maybe there's something worth fighting for after all. Maybe there is something better than simple survival. Maybe life can have purpose.

Ansom dies, and Jillian is distraught. Aspiring for a virtuous life ended up with Ansom just as dead as her father. Then, word of Ansom's decryption comes. The man she loved, perverted almost beyond recognition. Everything is the same, except the ideals that made him who he was are wantonly discarded. Everything he claimed to uphold is thrown by the wayside in service to their exact opposite. Honor for trickery and deception.

Even as decrypted Ansom calls out her name like he once did, she cannot bear to look at him. Perhaps, the Ansom she loved was an idealized version. A fiction that she made up in her own mind. Maybe he never truly cared about the honor, valor, and loyalty that he used to profess. Is that really possible? No. She decides her love is dead and gone. Better to remember him as he was, a small part of her decides. This twisted facsimile is only a meat puppet built in his likeness. The alternatives hurt too much to consider. Despite this, she can't bear to actually bring herself to harm the fake. Instead, she locks him away, out of sight, and takes out her suffering on the other decrypted. After all, they too must have also been stolen away from their loved ones. Much like Ansom was.

Stanley has stolen everything from her. In one turn he stole her father, her home, Jack, and Wanda. Then, not only did Gobwin Knob take Ansom from her, they managed to destroy the image of him in her heart. Decrypted Ansom's new values reflect his service to Stanley the Worm. Stanley must pay.


This. It's crazy to me how judgmental people are about Jillian's coldness and, quotes, "discrimination" against the Decrypted. Your loved one gets killed, and then resurrected as a homicidal mind-slave that sets out to kill you personally and everyone else that both you and they have ever loved. "Yo, they're zombies" is a completely reasonable point of view. Hell, Erfworlders don't feel much guilt about massacring even normal, not mindslaved prisoners. I mean, guys... this is war. Every single one of these main characters have actively furthered the killing of many, many people. There's an awful lot of hay being made over some very thin moral lines.
Nickol Cadwell wrote:
Diety

The linguist in me is thoroughly triggered.
Sir Dr D wrote:
CDS wrote:
I would still hesitate to call her brilliant in hex to hex combat.

We keep getting told she is brilliant but we have seen her lose a fight against an unled stack of Dwagons literally creatures that run on instinct - http://archives.erfworld.com/Book%201/12

This is the first time we ever introduced to the character she gets told to explicitly not do something I.e. engage the enemy - http://archives.erfworld.com/Book+1/9 and the next time we see her we are shown her doing exactly the opposite and losing . . . badly.

In what way is this brilliant combat strategy? She is faced with an enemy on her turn that heavily outnumbers and out guns her and she runs straight at it? This wasn't a forced error by a genius strategic mind this is a bunch of unled Dwagons floating above a field.


Those pages were were confusing, and it was only after some discussion in another thread that I realized what was happening.

Jillian didn't choose that encounter. It happened on GK's turn. Stanley sent the Dwagons after her. (which Stanley mentions several strips later). From what I surmise she did her attacks of opportunity on targets she could easily defeat, and at end of turn hid in a forest where with her high level and experience is probably really hard to spot. But she did not know that GK had a lookamancer, never mind the tri-link. Stanley used the trilink to locate her, and send dwagons after her to capture her. And he did specifically because Wanda new her. If it was just some other 10 level warlord it sounds like he wouldn't have bothered. The tri-link part I am assuming, but I don't know how else Stanley could have known where she was.

The comic where she is captured by those dwagons I think was misleading, and is one of the main reasons for the Jillian hate. It looks like she chose that encounter. (she didn't) It didn't show how hard it was for her to find (from everything else we know about her she is good at hiding) And she looked goofy and ridiculous. The art at the time seemed to have gone for a comical approach instead of deep characterations. She has that look of surprise on her face, as if she didn't know that the dwagons would outmatch her. But everything else we know about her, shows that she fully knows when she can win or lose. If the strip was drawn with a more of a characterization approach, I think it would have shown her with a more resigned type of look. Like she know's she is going to lose, but determined to go down fighting.

Anyway those early strips were just a bad representation of her, that left out a lot of details. They essentially made her look like a complete dolt. Unfortunatly they were out first impression of her. And once we have that first impression, it is hard to see anything else.


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Edit:
Ok, just relooked at those strips in question. She doesn't look as rediculous as I thought. There is no surprised look on her face, but from context she had to have known she was going to lose and went down fighting.
http://archives.erfworld.com/Book+1/12

And the comic where Stanley mentions sending the dragons after her is here:
http://archives.erfworld.com/Book+1/24
What I took from that whole book and the RCC commander's reactions was that Jillian was willingly putting herself in hopeless situations, expecting to lose and be captured. She did so knowing 2 things:
1. Wanda would never allow her to be croaked, ending repeteadly captured and thus being able to meet Wanda each time and perhaps convince her to switch sides. She is a tough lady and she wasn't entirely disgusted with the "rough play" associated with capture as long as it was Wanda administering it (but her main objective was to turn Wanda, seeing her and the sexy time were secondary).
2. Someone else (Jetstone) was footing the bill for her repeated rescues because Ansom had a crush/love for her and she knew it.

Her objective wasn't scouting or helping the RCC, but getting Wanda out of harm's way so she could kill Stanley without her disbanding/croaking/etc, and she was willing to use the RCC and Ansom's infatuation to do it. It was risky to her and dishonest to her employers, but Jillian's lifelong job shaped her mind into accepting high risks; and of course she never gave a crap about her employers before, she knew as a merc she had to either use them or they would use her.
All she cared about was Wanda and croaking Stanley, and while she cared a bit about Ansom, she probably rationalized her dishonesty in that getting Wanda to switch sides would be payment enough to the RCC; additionally I think she secretly always believed she would be the one to off Stanley personally, thus fully repaying her moral and economic debts to Jetstone and the RCC right there, winning them the war.

It may seem irrational of a warlord or any other character we know, but it goes in line with many of her other decisions, all of them shaped by her life as a mercenary: life fast, cherish the moment and the people in front of you, because you don't know if tomorrow you or they will croak, and when you do neither sides nor the loyalty of people you don't care about will matter.
I think that is good analysis LiveDrinkRepeat. Jillian wanted to be captured. She knew Wanda would let her live, and she knew Ansom would come rescue her. And from what we know fromt hese last updates, is that she is very perseptive about people. It is totally inline with what she would do. Her top two goals are to kill Stanley, and save Wanda. She is honest and relieable to her allies as long as those first two goals aren't compromised.

We also see her doing the same things at spacerock. First thing she did was try to convert Wanda. When that didn't work she diabled her, and GK. She left Wanda disabled fully knowing she would survive. Then she went on to hurt Stanley. It is inline with her goals, and what we know about her capabilites completley.

As Duncan said this last update, she only appears erratic. She has deeper goals in mind, which she always seems to achieve. But her planning is usually hidden from us readers.So that usually just make her seem stupid, and in the end makes it hard to discuss her in this forums. I Rob will soon bring to light the reasoning behind some of her past actions.
Sir Dr D wrote:
When that didn't work she diabled her, and GK. She left Wanda disabled fully knowing she would survive.

Jetstone had every intention of croaking her and Jillian doesn't know how Fate works. And if she truly did believe Wanda would survive, that just makes it even worse. It means she screwed over Wanda and Jetstone both.

Personally, I just think she was being petty and wishy washy.

Sir Dr D wrote:
As Duncan said this last update, she only appears erratic. She has deeper goals in mind, which she always seems to achieve. But her planning is usually hidden from us readers.So that usually just make her seem stupid, and in the end makes it hard to discuss her in this forums. I Rob will soon bring to light the reasoning behind some of her past actions.

That's what the story appears to be aiming for, judging by all the talk about hidden depths. Jillian's actions are not due to stupidity, foolishness, or even Charlie's magical mind control. Someday we are all going to learn how awesome she really is.
zbeeblebrox wrote:
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.

This stupid argument has gone around in circles more times than Mr. Bones Wild Ride, and frankly I want off it.
We need a new forum rule. I officially recommend that arguments about Jillian in update threads are a bannable offense. Take this unending crap to its own damn thread, SOME people want to actually talk about the friggin' story, not listen to the same shit on a different day.

Thank you. I couldn't say it better myself.
Jillian:
"GK has some sort of contract penalty for fighting me. It's pretty steep too or their warlord we caught would've turned to Faq and told me all about it instead of letting me dust the garrison."

Duncan:
"Woah! But we don't know how long it lasts so we should let them know we know by using you as a screening unit and keep smashing things."

Jillian:
"Yeah.

But that's thinking too small. I'm going to try to kill Stanley while we have this buff that could literally end at any turn. The penalty is probably worse for Stanley than Stanley actually dying, right?"

Duncan:
".... you are so wise."
zbeeblebrox wrote:
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.

This stupid argument has gone around in circles more times than Mr. Bones Wild Ride, and frankly I want off it.
We need a new forum rule. I officially recommend that arguments about Jillian in update threads are a bannable offense. Take this unending crap to its own damn thread, SOME people want to actually talk about the friggin' story, not listen to the same shit on a different day.


Jillian, it is becoming increasingly apparent, is one of the central threads of the story. Probably top three in the resolution of Fate and/or Charlie's demise.

Before the arkenhammer missed her I thought she was just a Wanda variable, as Jillian and Parson never think about nor interact with each other.

After that and until Charlie gave her functional guns I thought Charlie was merely keeping her on the board because she was fated to kill him and he had put a lot of work into undoing that. Parson being fated to take Charlie down isn't an obstacle to this because of our book zero takedown of Olive. The broom and the city gates (probably) being the means Jillian was fated to kill Olive through, rather than by her own hand. Jillian may be fated to be Parson's instrument, or vice versa.

That Charlie saw fit to give Jillian guns has thrown out my narrative as I don't see how, no matter his level of control over Jillian, Charlie puts a gun in the hands of the unit fated to kill him.

No, Jillian's fate, or Charlie's plan for her, is bigger than just Charlie now. In my mind at least.
Well, I guess Jillian is still kind of a piece of shit. I understand her point of view with the decrypted, but it's still an infuriatingly narrow point of view.