Book 3 - Page 288

Too much to think

Book 3 - Page 288
Comic - Book 3 - Page 288
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Veovis7 wrote:
Yes, but Wanda has misled Parson by omission before. And there's ample evidence of units lying to their warlords and rulers if they believe it will be bad for the side, and refusing orders. If Wanda can justify to herself that answering Parson's question honestly will be bad for the Side, and telling him that she's lying will achieve the same outcome, she should be able — albeit with difficulty — to lie to him.

And as we've seen before, she's a pretty good liar. Either she was lying to Parson then when she said she could not disband Lilith, or she was lying to Claude when she said she could disband him, and in both scenarios she was pretty convincing...but she had more reason to lie to Parson than she does to Claude.


Yes, and no here.

If there's a running theme with Wanda, she rarely trusts anyone at all and is very guarded, and has made major efforts to play nearly everyone. The one notable exception we've seen to this is Wanda and Parson at the end of Book I. You're correct that she has mislead Parson early in the story; specifically her stash of scrolls, but it's also stated that she didn't have faith or belief in him as a perfect warlord, that scene is immediately followed by him shouting that plans fail.

That changes after they uncroak the volcano. The one person she's opened up to at all willingly has been Parson; specifically when she actually tries to consul him after he's has to face the aftermath of the battle and talking about her time in Faq; in that conversation Wanda essentially admits that she has no loyalty to either the side or Stanley, and is merely following the path that lead her to the pillars, and eventually the other tools.

She also made a fairly large effort to decrypt Jack to get around a deal of a lifetime, and pointed him in Parson's direction at first opportunity to aid him, causing more of her secrets to be exposed (it's explicitly stated that Parson learned about the fall of Haffaton. At a minimum, he likely also learned about heroine buds, and likely Wanda's and Judy's addiction to them). Had she not been bound by the contract, I have no reason to doubt she would have told him herself (Jack was merely the loophole she used).

Let's be blunt. If there was one person who could utterly destroy Wanda, it's Parson. Enough of her decrypted respect him to the point they'd be fighting their loyalty if the two ever came to blows. We saw that with Lilith. Secondly, he could likely convince (or if the circumstances are dire enough, order) Stanley to disband Wanda if he had sufficient reason to.

At the same time, Lilith's actions were a massive risk to the side. Had she not been stopped, the contract penalties would have started to award cities and units to CC. Wanda could have ended up in Charlescomm livery in a blink. Given the circumstances, and her duty, I don't think she would have been willing or capable to lie to Parson on the ability to disband Lilith.

On the flipside, Claude has not been very happy with his new life as a decrypted. He serves Wanda, but it's fairly clear to me that he would turn to CC (again) given the opportunity. Putting the fear of the Titans into him is a reasonable thing to do.
Shard wrote:
Self-Croaking, per Roger's statements, can inflict a super-curse. This is probably what Wanda/Max did - Max cut his own string to supercurse Olive with Croakmancy. Or something.

I wonder how many turns passed between Max cutting his own string and Jillian popping. Not long, I suspect.
NCommander wrote:
On the flipside, Claude has not been very happy with his new life as a decrypted. He serves Wanda, but it's fairly clear to me that he would turn to CC (again) given the opportunity. Putting the fear of the Titans into him is a reasonable thing to do.


I dunno. Claude was enamored with how powerful Charles is. The Arkendish, all the stuff Charlie can do with it, the huge treasury... but now he's run into another Arkentool.

And if Claude is in awe at the size of Charlie's treasury, what's he going to think about the warlord who figures out how to take away that treasury?
ManaCaster wrote:
Veovis7 wrote:

And as we've seen before, she's a pretty good liar. Either she was lying to Parson then when she said she could not disband Lilith, or she was lying to Claude when she said she could disband him, and in both scenarios she was pretty convincing...but she had more reason to lie to Parson than she does to Claude.

With the entire side at stake, and herself at risk of being turned to CC?


Distance may make the difference. Claude was in the same hex and in touching distance. Lilith was much further away, and only accessible via thinkamancy -- both her inherent link to Wanda and via Maggie.

Also, what she threatened to do to Claude might not be disbanding, but a more direct destruction. She didn't explain the method -- it could be string cutting which dusts the target, or some croakamancy attack which she can use on her decrypted. Perhaps something she thought up after Ossomer defected? We don't know what she meant, only that Claude sounded convinced that she could do whatever it is and just get rid of him whenever she wants.
csgardner wrote:
I disagree with the "Everything is Strings" theory. I think strings are information. They can communicate, compute, store data, etc., but they aren't "all physical things." So, you have the dish for deeply observing strings, and the pliers for modifying them, but the hammer and shoes may not be string related at all.


No, I agree. Sizemore's view of the world as a general Stuffamancer and Isaac's description of a tree being alive without having a string make it clear there's something special about things with strings, at least in the "Erfworld is a game" analogy, and everything else is scenery. Even the knowledge of the existence of strings is considered taboo by the Great Minds, which led me to consider them to be more of the primal framework that the arkentools can operate on, while at the worldspace level they simply appear to be OP and do unimaginable and Titanic things. The hammer is said by Wanda, who may or may not have been lying, to be "a whole mess of different magicks." and has been shown to do a vast number of things. Indeed almost none of them appear to be string related, save for taming dwagons.

For the purposes of categorizing the tools' known powers as magical as well as string-manipulation objects I considered more important the idea that he was taming units while having no caster-sense that might have otherwise allowed him to manipulate strings or other magic, ie. it is entirely the tool. Assuming the tools have no overlapping functions (what kind of Titan needs TWO screwdrivers?), the hammer being the one that can directly modify things made sense to me in the hands of the one attuned who has no intrinsic caster ability to do so.

Charlie said of Lilith that she was reformed to love Wanda, and the archons themselves love Charlie and the feeling of the Dish, but in the case of Stanley there appears to be no conscious or physical action required on his part to tame (Book 1 Page 147 Panel 2) and the connection he has with them is more on the level of discomfort of them being turned to the pliers than any deeper love (Book 2 Text Update 44) It does not prove anything, but suggested to me the idea that of all the known tools, Stanley's is the only one being successfully used by a non-caster to modify things. This led me to the idea that if Stanley can do it, perhaps the other tools cannot quite perform the same magic, but can use Carneymancy/Croakamancy as substitutes for writing/reading strings, that is to say, create loyalty. So far as I can tell this idea hasn't been sunk by the comic yet.

However, as always, this is overly complicated headcanon and a much simpler explanation or narrative is likely forthcoming. It is not hard to say "The hammer only works on dwagons" and believe it. Given Book 3's rather intensive look at the underpinnings of magic, it didn't seem too out of the question to try and reason out how all these various OP things were happening, but I'm not going to bet any quatloos on it being anything close to what the titans actually planned.
ProfessorH wrote:
DLuxxx wrote:
ProfessorH wrote:

Hey I actually have something to contribute for once. It's not a whole answer but maybe someone else can fill in the gaps I have...

A hammer has 2 basic uses: putting things together and taking them apart. Taming Dwagons puts their loyalty together with the side, and it's dwagons specifically because they are pretty much the poster child for tearing things apart. That said, Stanley's use of the hammer has been hinted to be inexpert, so it may be able to do a lot more in that area.

However, I am at a loss as to the pigeon thing. I get cracking walnuts (or whatever they were) with them is a very hammer-ish function, but not why that would create a pigeon every so often.


I would say that a hammer can also be used to modify things as well, especially when used with another tool (like a chisel to make a sculpture out of stone). That doesn't add much, but it's something. You can use a hammer to adjust the balance on tires as well. It's a pretty versatile tool in general. I'm still trying to figure out how to rock out with a hammer though. As a guitarist I've always known the alternate name for it to be an "axe" not a hammer. Stanly uses it like a guitar, but technically a piano and a hammer dulcimer are similar in nature as percussion instruments that are used to manipulate strings to make tones/music. So there is some sort of connection there too, I guess.


You rock out with a hammer by smashing rocks with it, duh. :D

Edit: Oh yes, and I hadn't thought of that. Perhaps the pigeon thing is related to the sculpting function? Like, a nut is kind of like an egg in an artistic/signamantic sort of way, sculpture is representing the signamantic essence of something, so the hammer sometimes (possibly depending on Stanley's state of mind) acts like it's being used to sculpt the nut into a representative of a pigeon egg. And what should be in a pigeon egg? A pigeon, of course. It's a stretch but best I've got.

I was going to say that I see you mean that it "Outs" the rock from existance, but that just turns one rock into many more rocks. So now we've got a situation where we're being out-populated by rocks, which creates quite a conundrum. And smashing them isn't an option since that just causes to multiply like hydra, or Itchy in that one Itchy and Scratchy episode which was a Fantasia parody.


Anyways, the original thing I was trying to get at when I started this post was that I reckon Stanley's confusing "Rocking out" with "Rocking and rolling". As a hammer, the Arkenhammer causes the objects it strikes to rock and roll like a ball in a game of croquet.
The rock in the word "Rock and Roll" refers not to any mineral, but the "rock" as a form of motion. To rock someone's world is to shake their very foundations to the core.

MrYar wrote:
csgardner wrote:
ProfessorH wrote:

However, I am at a loss as to the pigeon thing. I get cracking walnuts (or whatever they were) with them is a very hammer-ish function, but not why that would create a pigeon every so often.


A hammer is an old symbol of creation of objects and tools, see Hephaestus or Brokkr. Koreans also have a kind of ogre called a Dokkaebi that carries a club that, when struck upon the ground, makes things appear. Traditionally they make gold, silver, and food.

It's possible that the main power of the arkenhammer is object creation or summonation, but Stanley is too stupid, or lazy, to control it properly. In that case it might be able to create any object the wielder desires, possibly including units.


Why is there a ratio then? If it's main power is creation (or more likely transformation IE sculpture etc. since it can transform walnuts into pigeons and birds into walnuts) then one would think it would be more frequent in how often it happens.

I do buy that Stanley is probably not the best person for figuring out all of an Arkentools tricks but Attunement seems to carry with it the relevant knowledge on how to use it.

There is a ratio because ratios come to exist when you compare the end results of certain things. Every 15 hundredth unit Parson croaks becomes the corpse of a Royal, making the ratio of Royals to Nonroyals he croaks 1:1500.

The ratio of pigeons to cracked walnuts exists at 1:3[1] only because that is Stanley's current success rate with turning objects into pigeons. You'll note that as soon as Stanley informs Wanda of that he fails to turn a walnut into a pigeon.

[1]KITTY!
Looking at panel four, I suspect that Wanda is not being entirely forthcoming. I can parse her answer a dozen ways that don't technically constitute denying that she has the ability to stop Lilith. And her emotional response seems suspicious to me. But I think that it is also at least plausible that she really couldn't, given the situation. And it is also possible that she went ahead and learned how, after Ossomer.
Chiu ChunLing wrote:
Looking at panel four, I suspect that Wanda is not being entirely forthcoming. I can parse her answer a dozen ways that don't technically constitute denying that she has the ability to stop Lilith. And her emotional response seems suspicious to me. But I think that it is also at least plausible that she really couldn't, given the situation. And it is also possible that she went ahead and learned how, after Ossomer.


After Ossomer? Ossomer turned in Book 2. If she learned how to disband her decrypted between Ossomer and Lilith, she could have used it on Lilith.

Or if you mean she learned between Lilith and Claude, then when and how exactly? It's only been a week, and she spent most of that in a prison cell separated from the Pliers. (Though to be fair, she still has a lot of her Plier-granted superpowers even while separated, such as seeing through the Decrypted eyes, and their undying loyalty.)

Anyway, I'm quibbling here. Personally I think she was bluffing to Claude.
I doubt she was bluffing. She may not have meant that she could end him with a thought, and she may not have worked out how to do it from a distant hex, but I doubt she was bluffing.

On the other hand, yes, being forced to sit and do nothing but contemplate her connection with the decrypted without the 'pliers may have given Wanda a few new insights into what she could do with that connection without relying on the 'pliers. This is a thing that happens.
Here's what I'm thinking we may be seeing:
*decrypted running around with zero upkeep
*everyone in the Magic Kingdom taking their turn at the same time
*kipi'd portals letting anyone into the Magic Kingdom

In short, just like Parson described in book 1: war in real time, with everyone taking their turn at the same time, nobody having time to heal or plan.

It's less that Parson was the perfect warlord for Erfworld, and more that Parson is turning Erfworld into the world in which he is a perfect warlord.

Beeskee wrote:
Shai hulud wrote:
So this confirms that vampires aren't a kind of undead in this world?


Transylvitians are Men typically with the flying special, the drain life special, gray skin, pointy ears, sharp teeth, red eyes, and an affinity for bats. COMPLETELY different from Vampires. XD

And Nale isn't a bard; he's a multi-classed fighter with spellcasting abilities.