Book 3 - Page 247

Let me check my notes (Parson's Flower Journal 3)

Book 3 - Page 247
Comic - Book 3 - Page 247
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visual echo wrote:
Cantripmancer wrote:

I'm now trying to think of god-like spider references.


Anansi is the first one that comes to my mind. A spirit of knowledge in west African lore. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anansi

Edit: Which, of course, several people have already pointed out. :)

The only other spider that I haven't seen mentioned is Aragog. I haven't noticed any Harry Potter references, so maybe that's reaching a bit.


Shelob's ancestor from Lotr was also massively powerful. I forget where she is talked about though: I think her story comes before the storyline of the silmarileon, but it's been years since I read those books, so...
artificeintel wrote:
Shelob's ancestor from Lotr was also massively powerful. I forget where she is talked about though: I think her story comes before the storyline of the silmarileon, but it's been years since I read those books, so...


Ungoliant is mentioned in the early parts of the Silmarillion. Even Morgoth was afraid of her terrifying power.
Belrodes wrote:
Chiu ChunLing wrote:
But I think in the end, the worse the evil Charlie is holding off, the less compelling the argument that his war with Parson and GK was really necessary. The more obvious it is that Charlie's enemy is worth fighting, the more pressing the question "why not just enlist me honestly rather than resort to all the games and killing?" Charlie didn't have to make Parson his enemy.

Let's say the problem was decryption. Charlie could have called Parson and said, "what Wanda is doing is a problem. How do we get Stanley to reign her in?" Parson probably would have helped him. Stanley probably would have helped him. It wouldn't even have cost that much. Maybe some "balance of the Arkentools blah blah" line to get Parson to come up with something other than the "convert or die and be converted" stuff.

Heck, now that I think about it Charlie should have done that even if he just wanted to be a cleverer bad guy.


This has always been my problem with Charlie being anything but a villain. The closest Charlie got to diplomacy with Parson was tricking him into offering up 20 calculations and immediately backstabbing him before saying "oh hey, you should work for me. I do this all the time and I'm really good at it." That's not a hero or an anti-hero. That's a conniving, greedy enemy who wants subservience and nothing else. There was never an effort towards cooperation or peaceful coexistence. The only times we've heard of Charlie being misunderstood are right before he screwed somebody out of their money or their lives, or because he's spread so many lies about himself that nobody really knows anything about him.


My memory of book 1 (please correct me if I'm so badly off that I need to re-read it): Charlie was working with the RCC to wipe out someone that was losing; Charlie was basically helping the side that was going to win, and was improving his political dealings while making money [i.e.: business as usual].

Charlie did not even know that Parson showed up until either Stanley seemed to pull a "too smart for him" move, or Parson contacted Charlie to try to get help.

As it was, Charlie still felt that the only thing of value in a side that was going down was a mathemancy bracelet, and perhaps the person using it. As he saw more and more amazing thinking, he realized that he did want that person on his side -- but at that point, Parson saw Charlie as "working with the enemy RCC".

It wasn't a case of "Here's some help in exchange for calculations, now let me backstab you"; it was a case of "Hey, Charlie, we need help. How are you doing for mathemancers? I'll offer you some mathematical predictions if you can help us with this fight". Charlie did. But no one said "... and don't help the other side", and we now know that Charlie working both sides is more common than not. Even after the "how many Archons would I need", it was more a case of "I want you working for me" -- see later when Parson had to say "Yea, we had a 2/3rds chance of winning if you had not intervened" and Charlie just responded "That just makes me want you to work for me even more".

By the time you get to "Wanda is a problem, can we reign her in?", it would be well into the book two prologue. The "Convert or die" was basically cast when Stanley decided he would now be a Tool, and Toolism was better than royalty -- that's like page 10 of book 1.

By the time you get to Charlie even knowing about Parson, Parson is too busy keeping his side alive.
By the time you get to Charlie realizing that Wanda is going to mess everyone up, GK and CC are basically at war.

And what is Charlie's solution to all this? (We're past page 10, right?). The Contract. The big "I hope this works out, but if it doesn't, at least it still works out" temporary peace treaty.

If it worked on the level? CC and GK would have spent 30+ turns not fighting, getting to know each other, and maybe making headway towards peace.

But since Wanda took action to steal a unit from CC? Suddenly, you had Parson facing the choice of either enough damage to the side to really hurt it, or just one unit -- himself -- working for another side that actually has a peace treaty with GK.

And you want to say that Charlie made no attempt to settle this diplomatically?

Wanda stole a unit from Charlie.
Jack cast a spell on a CC unit to confuse CC troops into firing on their own side.

Quote:
There was never an effort towards cooperation or peaceful coexistence.

Sure there is. Charlie's goal is to make sure that everyone else is resource starved, so that no side can mount a large/serious combat operation, and his archons, while potentially the most significant force of all, don't appear to be.

So others don't get together to mount a big anti-charlie operation.
So the total combat going on is lessened.

That's probably as close to peace as you can get in a world that can't actually have a lack of fighting.

JadedDragoon wrote:
The telling flaw in parson's argument is the assumption of parallel time-flow between Erfworld and Stupidworld... but given that Erfworld doesn't use linear time (beyond, apparently, obeying the arrow of time) we can't be sure that the interval between Judy leaving and Parson ariving correlates to a like amount of time in Stupidworld. The several hundred turns since then could have been a hundred years in stupid-world. Time enough for the story to be written down as a story by an author using a pseudonym. Or perhaps Judy even met L. Frank Baum and, seeing his name as the workings of Fate, told him her story.


This part is very, very good. I like the idea that Judy returned long enough ago that it was more than one day per turn since.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Barnstormer_in_Oz -- What if the original story of a visit to Oz was real, but altered for the public when novelized?

Quote:
But that particular rabbit hole goes a whole lot deeper. Because modern quantum field theory tells us that the Arrow of Time is a lie... a trick of perception that only makes us perceive time as being linear. That, in reality, all of time from the birth of the universe to it's eventual death exists as a single moment with no real beginning and end. So it's entirely possible Judy Gale could have come from Parson's future and returned to his past.


That's ... not my understanding of the Arrow of time.

We used to think it was just a statistical property, that a given reaction might go against the arrow 20% of the time, but on a large scale, with lots of particles, you'd only notice the forward action.

One view of quantum mechanics is that it describes things as a sequence of entanglements, wave functions, and collapses; the collapses are not reversible even if the other operations are.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6rVHr6OwjI

Time symmetry is a killer here. As Tim points out, Time Symmetry precludes entropic time -- but NOT ALL THINGS IN OUR UNIVERSE ARE TIME SYMMETRIC.

We don't know how time symmetry would necessarily work in other universes (such as Erf, or where Charlie/Judy came from).

And Entropy -- or the accumulation of disorder / change in information is not the only kind of Arrow of Time. A quick check on Wikipedia shows that not only are wave state collapses not time reversible, some weak-force interactions are not either -- so decay of large atoms and joining of small atoms leads towards (sorry, was it lead or iron that was the bottom of the energy slope?) will also be one-way.

Put it another way: Once hydrogen is turned into helium, and the energy released, you can't split it apart without more energy to break it. Once your post-uraniums are split, you can't put them back together (and it's really hard to put the radioactives together in the first place -- you need a hydrogen bomb/star explosion to do that, and you'll run out of stars in the process).

As for Judy coming from Parson's Future, and returning to his past, that's a whole different ball of wax. If time is one-dimensional, and spacetime events are just a sequence of locations and actions, then old Judy always existed in the past, and young Judy always existed in the future, and there was no change in history if she did a time travel. But that would require a Godelian style time loop involving universe crossing. Not impossible, just implausible to the point of bad, cheesy, 1960-s style scifi. And I don't understand two-dimension time theories enough to weigh in here.
keybounce wrote:
/snip

This deserves more than the measilly 1 shmucker I tipped, but alas my recent purchase of book two has lead my purse to be bulimic.
Thank you for what you can do.

(That dwagon plushie can't be much farther, can it? :-)
I mean in the period after Book 1. CC is screwing with GK and trying to undermine them for no clear reason, they aren't a weak side that's going under anyway and nobody is paying CC to do it. Obviously this is something that had happened before, Stanley has a history with Charlie such that he's happy to be told that they're at war with CC...and yet Stanley has been willing to support an ideological message that would have made him and Charlie BFFs for diplomatic purposes.

The essential problem with "arrow of time" thinking is the idea of entropy. Which is a time-based perspective, you assume that time has a direction and then gather inductive facts based on that assumption which generate the conclusion that time has a direction based on a fairly localized process you can observe happening 'in time'.

If you don't assume that time has a direction, then there is nothing remotely implausible or unlikely about various interactions happening in 'reverse', we see them happening all the time. But human nature is such that it is very difficult to avoid assuming that time has a direction. But we can see instances of energy being put into an iron atom and fusing/fissioning it into other elements, we just can't control such processes at a quantum level (then again, we don't control the opposite process at a quantum level either).

The observations of everything outside the solar system are interpreted by inferring that laws we learn from observing things within the solar system are universally true rather than being a local effect. Without this assumption, we can't interpret anything at all, but that doesn't make it not an assumption. And some of the interpretations have gotten pretty strange...at least as strange as the idea that maybe the solar system is undergoing a (spatially and temporally) localized process that allows time to seem to go one direction (but it could be the inverse of the process that would make time seem to go in the other direction).

Of course, none of this has anything to do with whether Erfworld and Stupidworld share a common temporal frame of reference. Erfworld hexes don't even share synchronous simultaneity with each other, there's no conceivable reason they would have the same time flow as Stupidworld. However long Judy spent in Erfworld, she could have returned to Stupidworld (or wherever) within a few weeks of leaving (given that the Arkenshoes are red rather than silver, it may be appropriate to go with the movie adaptation in which Dorothy returned soon enough to have been thought knocked out in the tornado, we have not seen anything happen in Stupidworld since Parson left to indicate that he doesn't eventually return before the end of the gaming session, alternatively it may be that the GTFO scroll would have a different effect from use of the 'shoes). We experience no synchronization between our time line and that of Erfworld.
It just occurred to me that charlie can actually become worse in this story several times over. He can die, and using the carnydish powers he will cheat on what being dead is and become a ghost. He will then later use ghostly carny powers to possess his body which was foolishly taken as a trophy to parade around as proof of his doom. He will then be defeated again with the help of something Marie predicted would hurt his zombie self. once again he will use cheating power to cheat death, saying he cannot enter the city of heroes and thus go to Hellabad, and escape as a demonic ghostly zombie. somewhere in this he will acquire a large black hat and a fondness for ships.

Thus he will follow the footsteps of another evil Charlie, The Charlie of evil, in his final two forms
Chiu ChunLing wrote:
I mean in the period after Book 1. CC is screwing with GK and trying to undermine them for no clear reason, they aren't a weak side that's going under anyway and nobody is paying CC to do it. Obviously this is something that had happened before, Stanley has a history with Charlie such that he's happy to be told that they're at war with CC...and yet Stanley has been willing to support an ideological message that would have made him and Charlie BFFs for diplomatic purposes.


You mean, when GK was about to off Jillian, and Charlie, for contract reasons, has to do whatever he can to protect her, and negotiates a cease fire treaty that, if you really look at it objectively, does actually act as a cease fire /temporary truce, really, an actual truce, but with a loophole that Charlie has two ways to choose to go full-scale war again.

And even with that: Parson was the one who said "Off Charlie if you can"; Wanda was the one who stole back CC property (a purchased captive); Jack was the one who cast a spell on a CC unit (Parson) for the purpose of confusing the enemy; Even Parson admitted that Charlie's request for units was actually quite reasonable; and, Charlie was willing to settle for just one warlord + bracer instead of basically most of the fighting units/resources of the side.

Yes, Charlie's contract allowed him to sick Jillian on GK if needed; there is no indication that he was going to until AFTER GK reneged on the spirit of the agreement.

Quote:
The essential problem with "arrow of time" thinking is the idea of entropy. Which is a time-based perspective, you assume that time has a direction and then gather inductive facts based on that assumption which generate the conclusion that time has a direction based on a fairly localized process you can observe happening 'in time'.

If you don't assume that time has a direction, then there is nothing remotely implausible or unlikely about various interactions happening in 'reverse', we see them happening all the time. But human nature is such that it is very difficult to avoid assuming that time has a direction. But we can see instances of energy being put into an iron atom and fusing/fissioning it into other elements, we just can't control such processes at a quantum level (then again, we don't control the opposite process at a quantum level either).

The observations of everything outside the solar system are interpreted by inferring that laws we learn from observing things within the solar system are universally true rather than being a local effect. Without this assumption, we can't interpret anything at all, but that doesn't make it not an assumption. And some of the interpretations have gotten pretty strange...at least as strange as the idea that maybe the solar system is undergoing a (spatially and temporally) localized process that allows time to seem to go one direction (but it could be the inverse of the process that would make time seem to go in the other direction).


We have to make a few basic assumptions to do anything in science:
1. The laws of nature are the same everywhere.
2. There is a concept of time; specifically, an "earlier" and a "future".
3. Our observations are a good way to gather data.

Early observers (around the time of Aristotle) put too much emphasis on #3.

The observations about "What is time?" have been a big issue throughout history. It wasn't until GR that we could actually put math to time in a consistent way. (Well, technically, SR / Lorentz were good enough until we had to deal with high energy densities).

Quote:
then there is nothing remotely implausible or unlikely about various interactions happening in 'reverse', we see them happening all the time.


But that's just not true.

The old school thinking was statistics; while reactions can happen in either direction, direction F is far more likely than direction B, so statistically, we see things going F and not B.
New school thinking is that some reactions just cannot go in B at all.
Newer school thinking has to look at information state changes; (warning: I may have this understanding in error): as the state of the universe changes, you gain information about what has changed, and you cannot go to the earlier state without destroying that information, and that's just not possible.


Quote:
Of course, none of this has anything to do with whether Erfworld and Stupidworld share a common temporal frame of reference. Erfworld hexes don't even share synchronous simultaneity with each other, there's no conceivable reason they would have the same time flow as Stupidworld. However long Judy spent in Erfworld, she could have returned to Stupidworld (or wherever) within a few weeks of leaving (given that the Arkenshoes are red rather than silver, it may be appropriate to go with the movie adaptation in which Dorothy returned soon enough to have been thought knocked out in the tornado, we have not seen anything happen in Stupidworld since Parson left to indicate that he doesn't eventually return before the end of the gaming session, alternatively it may be that the GTFO scroll would have a different effect from use of the 'shoes). We experience no synchronization between our time line and that of Erfworld.


Remember, all of the hexes in Erf seem to agree on when nighttime is, and when daybreak is; the earliest turns start at daybreak, and the latest turns end at nightfall. So there is some time synch in Erf, just not the same as in Earth.

But yea, I wouldn't assume that N turns in Erf correspond to N days on Earth. Not anymore.
PastorofMuppets wrote:
It just occurred to me that charlie can actually become worse in this story several times over. He can die, and using the carnydish powers he will cheat on what being dead is and become a ghost. He will then later use ghostly carny powers to possess his body which was foolishly taken as a trophy to parade around as proof of his doom. He will then be defeated again with the help of something Marie predicted would hurt his zombie self. once again he will use cheating power to cheat death, saying he cannot enter the city of heroes and thus go to Hellabad, and escape as a demonic ghostly zombie. somewhere in this he will acquire a large black hat and a fondness for ships.

Thus he will follow the footsteps of another evil Charlie, The Charlie of evil, in his final two forms


I'm hoping that's true. Love Monkey Island and it needs to be referenced more often.

LeChuck had a ghost form, zombie form, flaming zombie form, a human form, a form that let him shapeshift between the aformentioned, and a giant stone golem form though the latter two are Telltale so I don't know if that's canon.

You could even make Largo LeGrande a Rhyme-o-mancer or an extortionist Moneymancer that works for him. Preferably one who has Seafarer.

Be ye on sea or be ye on land, no one escapes Largo LeGrande

Actually, no you need STAN. Either a dolla or a carny.

Wait...does that make Marie The Voodoo Lady?
keybounce wrote:
You mean, when GK was about to off Jillian, and Charlie, for contract reasons, has to do whatever he can to protect her, and negotiates a cease fire treaty that, if you really look at it objectively, does actually act as a cease fire /temporary truce, really, an actual truce, but with a loophole that Charlie has two ways to choose to go full-scale war again.
No, I mean from the volcano uncroak at the end of Book 1 till trapping Parson in an inferno, so basically most of Book 2. Obviously, after that, Parson is basically decided to go along with the various people telling him to kill Charlie.

It's not clear that Charlie has any contractual obligation to actively protect Jillian. The DOAL meant that he couldn't attack or reveal Faq, or do so through a proxy. Nothing about the deal prevented Charlie from making several concessions to Parson that put Jillian at substantially greater risk during Book 1. Charlie does seem upset at the prospect of Jillian being decrypted, and given what we know this can do to the DOAL that makes sense, especially considering Jillian's special version. But Charlie did have options for trying persuasion with Parson, and the closest thing to a 'negotiation' Charlie slipped in there was offering to kill Stanley or Wanda (or himself, as Parson decided to interpret that offer).