Book 3 - Page 265

Underground Railroading

Book 3 - Page 265
Comic - Book 3 - Page 265
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Lipkin wrote:
Tondy is way more valuable than Lilith. Lilith was the most valuable unit being threatened with execution, and now no irreplaceable assets are at risk. Wanda should have taken the loot and bailed.

But is Wanda thinking in terms of relative worth? Or is she just thinking 'my followers are in danger, I must save them'? Also, she may well be under Isaac's influence, via her link to Lilith.

Besides there may be another way out of there, there's at least one portal that's been cracked by prior experimentation.
I can't be sure, but I think that Deiform was nudging Wanda with the idea that Ivan should go back up. She may have come up with the justifications on her own (as was described for the suggestion spell she cast on Jillian), but I think that Deiform is the one that wanted Ivan, or access to Wanda, or just a hole in the bedrock, and nudged her to get a connection (by way of consideration of an order) to go to work on Ivan.

In other words, taking Ivan over would be easiest if part of him thought he were carrying out Wanda's orders, so Deiform nudged Wanda to think about giving Ivan such an order, and when she'd said/implied enough to get a handle on Ivan, pull him up. Deiform also might have nudged Wanda to resist Charlie's offer, which she interpreted as "let's do something crueler than just saying no."

P.S. I'm not sure what Predictamancy "not working through bedrock" would even mean. We've seen Predictions of events that resulted from actions taken under bedrock, we've even seen Prediction that seemed to specify particular actions that took place under bedrock. But I'm thinking that these meanings are too obvious. I'm just not sure what the less obvious implications of bedrock inhibiting Predictamancy would be.
Taejang wrote:
Good writing makes readers ask, "What is going to happen next?"

Bad writing makes readers ask, "What the boop is going on?"

This update and last completely confuse me. I have no context for what is going on, who this new entity thing is, what its powers are, what its motivations are, etc. A climax is not the time for worldbuilding. A climax is not the time to confuse readers. Perhaps whatever is going on would make sense in a novel, since in a novel I can turn the page and (maybe) get answers, but in a format where I have to wait to turn the page, I'm now completely perplexed for a full week. Probably longer, since the next update is likely jumping to Parson, Charlie, Stanley, or who knows who else.

I know I'll get a lot of flak for saying all of this, as some of y'all are probably going to defend the snot out of these updates, but whatever. I think I'll wait until the end of Book 3 before reading any more updates, and I'll just have to hope Rob does eventually end this book in a manner that makes sense and doesn't involve too many more deus ex machinas.


Whilst i think there's some things wrong with this post i still tipped it because i think it makes an important point in all the signal to noise that shouldn't be lost.

What it comes back to is verisimilitude. The ability of a viewer/reader/e.t.c. o a medium to look at the work and accept whats going on without real question. It's important that the narrative keeps the reader interested and for lack of a better term hooked. An important part of that is not making a reader stop and go "WTH did i just read" because thats stops the train of thought and emotion that is reacting and enjoying the act of reacting to the work in question.

Thats not to say doing so somtimes isn't a good thing as well, somtimes the author is trying to make a point, he's teaching an aesop and making the reader think about that is a good thing. But Pratchett put it best "People want that today will be pretty much the same as yesterday and tomorrow the same as today". People tend to react poorly to sudden unexpected events. The best possibble way to create a WTH moment is to have somthing happen that not only breaks the pattern but does so in a way thats not expected. People deal poorly with change, but telegraph somthing ahead of time well enough and people will tend to be pretty accepting.

I think that's a core part of why Isaac is such a shocker, we got too little if any telegraphing that somthing like this was possibble, he's not so far demonstrated anything i'd consider impossible for thinkmancy, beyond the question of how he exists at all. But he has no clearly defined goals, no clearly defined limits, and whilst his creation can be theorised a whole bunch of ways, that said thing was even possibble is a big left field surprise for us all.

Of course such a thing can still also work on it's own, but it takes care attention, and the proper framework. I think Isaac is causing so many issues because he's just one of a massive series of neck twisters we've had over recent updates. Even if the others have been less left field they've upset the nice orderly procession we've been used to for so long, now a total curveballs come in and it's leaving some people feeling really shaky IMO.

Anyway time to catch up on latest update.
kaylasdad99 wrote:
Taejang wrote:
Though seriously, you don't think it's a plot hole that Harry never uses any muggle technology to solve any problems? ... Like, I dunno, body armor.

Body armor is about the worst example you could choose. Wizarding battles made virtually zero use of kinetic energy-based weaponry. I can't imagine body armor would be effective against Sectumsempra any better than it would against Avada Kedavra.

I dunno, rock seems to stop Kedavra well enough. It makes sense that wizards don't wear kevlar, but why not adapt the body armor concept to the wizarding world? How about a riot shield that blocks spells. And if Kedavra ignores such a thing and still affects whoever is holding the shield (or wearing the armor/charm/whatever), just enchant the thing to float in front of you. In a world where magic can make flying cars, it shouldn't be that hard to make a rock levitate in front of and move with you. Bonus points if you can make the rock reform after being struck.

Just give me a nice Brooch of Shielding. Or a few flashbangs. I like the heat vision idea. But I digress, this thread isn't about Harry Potter, and I've said enough on the topic.
Taejang wrote:
Just give me a nice Brooch of Shielding. Or a few flashbangs. I like the heat vision idea. But I digress, this thread isn't about Harry Potter, and I've said enough on the topic.
I do recall something about a flying invisible car, as well as an entire train in the station at some kind of dimensional offset. The general attitude seems to be that anything magical trumps anything non-magical to such a degree that mundane technology would be basically worthless except for style points, it would only be the enchantedness of armor that made it effective, whether it was made from advanced ceramics or a bit of cotton (or just air).

And whether or not that's enough from me, it's not like I really have anything more to say about Harry Potter.
Carl wrote:
What it comes back to is verisimilitude. The ability of a viewer/reader/e.t.c. o a medium to look at the work and accept whats going on without real question.
That's really the nub, isn't it? It's the ability of the audience to follow a work. We have plenty of hints about Deiform, to the point where there were people calling it a State 8 trance-fusion the moment they saw Isaac's sparkly vox. I didn't jump to that immediately (especially the "GMTTA are going to be like this indefinitely" bit), but I accepted it as a narrative possibility.

And yet there are plenty of people who missed all that entirely. They missed the parts about there being trance fusion states higher than 7, they missed the sparkly vox, they missed Isaac's newfound abilities to lurk Parson, and the clues to the possibility he could do much more. And at the end of the day there really isn't anything to be done about that. The ability of the audience to follow a narrative isn't something an author can really control.

And it isn't just about ability...willingness to follow the story also plays into it. The great majority of the people who haven't followed the clues leading to Deiform having abilities commensurate with a trance fusion state higher than 7 have generally declared themselves to be pro-Charlie. Whether they claim that this is because of Deiform being OP/imba/DEM/etc. or Charlie now being the underdog, the fact is that they don't find Charlie absolutely unsympathetic.

Me, I find Bill far and away more likable than Charlie...and I don't like Bill at all. On every point of comparison (except time of introduction) Bill has a far better claim to be a protagonist than Charlie does. But he isn't. And neither is Charlie. I like that Rob has created deep and sympathetic portrayals of both characters, one a grandmaster and the other a mere pawn. But it doesn't change the fact that I wouldn't want to read a story in which either of them got to be the hero.

Some people are wanting that story. De gustibus non disputandum est.

But that isn't the story that we're getting. Quod erat demonstrandum.

P.S. Of course I don't actually know that Rob won't end up making Charlie (and/or Bill) the hero of the story in the end. It's just that the events we are now discussing make it even more unlikely than it already was. And how you react to that is largely predicated on whether you wanted Charlie to win.
Chiu ChunLing wrote:
I can't be sure, but I think that Deiform was nudging Wanda with the idea that Ivan should go back up. She may have come up with the justifications on her own (as was described for the suggestion spell she cast on Jillian), but I think that Deiform is the one that wanted Ivan, or access to Wanda, or just a hole in the bedrock, and nudged her to get a connection (by way of consideration of an order) to go to work on Ivan.

In other words, taking Ivan over would be easiest if part of him thought he were carrying out Wanda's orders, so Deiform nudged Wanda to think about giving Ivan such an order, and when she'd said/implied enough to get a handle on Ivan, pull him up. Deiform also might have nudged Wanda to resist Charlie's offer, which she interpreted as "let's do something crueler than just saying no."

P.S. I'm not sure what Predictamancy "not working through bedrock" would even mean. We've seen Predictions of events that resulted from actions taken under bedrock, we've even seen Prediction that seemed to specify particular actions that took place under bedrock. But I'm thinking that these meanings are too obvious. I'm just not sure what the less obvious implications of bedrock inhibiting Predictamancy would be.

Oh yes, that's very likely unfortunately, Isaac attacked the archons through Wanda after all.

I doubt Isaac had anything to do with Wanda's perfectly reasonable conditions, he cut the strings of Tondy and the rest almost as soon as he reached Lilith.

Well it's the same principal that leaves lookamancers unable to see through the bedrock and dirtamancers unable to dig through it. Why shouldn't predictions produces false positives in that light? The plague gerbil with the pet human may have seen Wanda appearing from somewhere she'll never visit for example, while Marie's plan may already be impossible. And the whole 'magicidal great minds' dealy? That came true when Bunny was murdered.
The Unlurked wrote:
The antagonist of Erfworld has always been railroading. What we've been experiencing over these last few updates is meant to make us hate railroading.


People ALREADY hate railroading. That's why it's called railroading (and it's making me hate this story). There's no need to tell a story about how railroading is bad, any more than we need a story about how murder is bad. Most people already know that.

As for the rest of your theory/analogy, what makes a protagonist is not that they're the "hero" or the "good guy" but that they're the primary active viewpoint character - they're the one that ultimately brings the story to its logical conclusion. The morality of the protagonist is irrelevant to the plot, it's only relevant to the theme. And our alleged anagrammatic protagonist has been absent, inactive, or useless for most of Book 3.
The "logical conclusion" of any story depends greatly on what the audience regards as the central moral conflict presented and which side of that conflict they come to believe is right and which wrong. No author can control this completely, but a skilled one helps most of the audience understand why the "logical conclusion" is the right one. The 'morality of the protagonist' is ultimately the main point of any plot, even if it has to evolve during the story...or in certain cases ends up as a contrast to the ending.

And our "alleged anagrammatic protagonist" has been absent, inactive, or useless for most of Book 3 only in senses that depend on denying certain crucial elements of his outlook of how things should be resolved. Parson prefers negotiation and establishing friendships based on trust and mutual benefit over direct winner takes all conquest. He accepts the moral necessity of putting himself at risk in battle if he's demanding that of others, but he prefers to settle things by diplomacy. And his style of command is to empower those subordinate to him to be better at what they do rather than to micromanage them, whether in person or at a distance.

Whatever you make think of those "morals", they are part of what is presented as what is 'right' with Parson that is 'wrong' with Erfworld. They aren't the whole story, but they are a big part of what makes it "logical" for Erfworld to change rather than Parson.
Whispri wrote:
Chiu ChunLing wrote:

P.S. I'm not sure what Predictamancy "not working through bedrock" would even mean. We've seen Predictions of events that resulted from actions taken under bedrock, we've even seen Prediction that seemed to specify particular actions that took place under bedrock. But I'm thinking that these meanings are too obvious. I'm just not sure what the less obvious implications of bedrock inhibiting Predictamancy would be.


Well it's the same principal that leaves lookamancers unable to see through the bedrock and dirtamancers unable to dig through it. Why shouldn't predictions produces false positives in that light? The plague gerbil with the pet human may have seen Wanda appearing from somewhere she'll never visit for example, while Marie's plan may already be impossible. And the whole 'magicidal great minds' dealy? That came true when Bunny was murdered.


If Roger's understanding of the nature of Predictamancy is correct, I would interpret this as bedrock blocking or severely inhibiting the actions of "dictums". This means that predictions contingent on the results of actions below bedrock level would indeed be false sometimes, as mortal Predictions wouldn't be able to reach down there.

This kind of clashes with my headcanon that Deiform Issac exists in the same general form as these "luck" or "hate" golems. However it is likely to be substantially more powerful than almost any existing Predictions, given that ten caster-turns of a single unit's juice was considered sufficient defense against Charlie and that Deiform Issac was created by a high-level trance-fusion by 17 casters.
You mean it would block Dictums the same way it blocks regular units like Ivan and Claud, right? But if a regular unit made a hole in the bedrock (with Carnied Dirtamancy) then there would be no problem for the Dictums to get through too.

It's Schrodinger's box, either it is completely sealed so you really can't tell if the cat is dead or alive or you have left a particle interaction chain that would make the box not really sealed. You can't unseal the box enough to check if the cat is alive without unsealing the box enough for the cat to be definitely alive or dead rather than in a superposed state where both are true.

Maybe Predictamancy really can't penetrate bedrock...until something else penetrates it. But something else has done so. That's why it even matters either way.

Besides, I believe Dictums match up much better with what we've seen Carnymancers do, and we know that Carnymancy can penetrate bedrock.