Book 3 - Page 256

One Miss Hippie, Two Miss Hippie

Book 3 - Page 256
Comic - Book 3 - Page 256
Recent posts... (See full thread)
MrYar wrote:
JadedDragoon wrote:

Allow me to demonstrate the problem here. "There's too many similarities between apples and oranges (contain citric acid, healthy, sweet, grows on trees, sold for profit) for them to be different fruit." See the problem?

In the case of Wanda and Ivan you mention signamancy... well Ivan kept his raiment and moved freely in the dirtamansion while Wanda was clothed in sackcloth and held in a lightless cell.

Are they prisoner and not-prisoner... or are they poorly treated prisoner and well treated prisoner?

Again, I'm simply saying there is reason to question. Your certainty on the matter is misplaced and unjustified.

EDIT: OH! and before I forget... normal repatriation rules merely involve a prisoner coming into contact with (well... stacking with... but almost the same difference) an allied unit or unit from their own side (at which point their bindings disappear and their raiment reverts). Using an almost tool-level artifact to break them free has never been necessary... except in Ivan's case. Now is that because Claude didn't count as an allied unit... or because Ivan wasn't a prisoner in the conventional Erfworld sense?


Though different, apples and oranges are still fruit. Though different, Maggie and Ivan are still prisoners.
The real issue with my metaphor that you're trying to get at is if one of them is a tomato ;)


::Tries hard to hold back:: ::fails:: Except by that argument apples and fruit are both food. So I must really mean Apples and Baseballs. Except by that argument Apples and Baseballs are still semi-spherical objects. So I must really mean Apples and Swords. Except by that argument apples and swords are still physical objects. So I must mean really mean apples and limericks. Except by that argument apples and limericks are still concepts known to mankind...

Bleh... no. I meant apples and oranges... which are the standard go-to metaphors used by people throughout the western world every day for two things that share similarities but are still meaningfully different. The "share similarities but are still meaningfully different" part being the analogy I was using those metaphors to convey.

EDIT: Also, technically, tomatoes are also a fruit. Wait... were you trolling me? I can never tell.

MrYar wrote:
Ivan didn't keep his raiment. He was in prisoner's orange, sans helmet, sans goggles. Also IIRC all previous instances of the usage of a sack cloth have required that the sack cloth be put on the unit, not that their prisoner raiment has it on by default.


0_o ::goes back and looks:: Huh... how about that. I stand corrected!

That said I don't recollect the others having to put the sackcloth on or anyone putting it on them. Though... to be fair... my recollection has proven unreliable rather recently. Could you perhaps share a link showing this case of someone having the sackcloth put on after being a captured?

Actually... what was Lilith wearing as a prisoner... I can't remember if it was sackcloth. I'll check in a minute.

MrYar wrote:
We already know that the Dirtamancers treat their own differently. They've said so repeatedly. You mentioned they do. All presented evidence points to the different treatment of prisoners. The evidence, in my opinion, weighs heavier on that than either another form of unit arrest that's 90% the same as established prisoner rules or Ivan and the Dirtamancers putting on an elaborate show to pull one over on the Great Minds who probably know enough Lookamancy to see a Prisoner state on Ivan's stats.

Especially when they can do that elaborate show by actually having Ivan be a prisoner but treat him well behind Dirtamansion doors.


I wasn't saying the goal was to "pull one over on" anyone. The framework for my argument was that Ivan was being prevented from casting and probably would not have been allowed to simply leave had a way to do so presented itself... but it's possible he still wasn't "captured" according to the mechanics of Erfworld. If the cuffs used on him suppressed his ability to cast it would have the net effect of imprisoning him (in the stupidworld context) in the dirtamansion regardless. As I understand it the only way in or out of the dirtamansion is by tunneling... typically via magic. Even if that's not the case it's quite likely someone would have spotted him and stopped him from walking out the front door. So even in my hypothetical he was still a prisoner in every way that mattered to the free casters.

MrYar wrote:
Regarding his repatriation that crosses into another grey area in our understanding regarding Barbarian sides and how they interact with prisoner mechanics. There's enough evidence to infer that Claude had to use the wonky wrench to bust Ivan out because, since they're both Barbarian Casters (and we don't know of any Dirtamancer/Dollamancer alliance) that's the only feasible way he could do it.


Yes but that there are still so many grey areas in involved makes using Ivan having juice after being freed as proof that all prisoners can have juice after being freed itself a grey area... which is the only claim I'm making. I'm not saying Ivan definitely was not a prisoner by Erfworld mechanics or that he definitely does not prove that prisoners regain access to whatever juice reserves they had before capture after being repatriated. I'm simply saying there is ample reason to question those conclusions.

Honestly, sometimes I feel like most people can't even conceptualize the idea of doubt. It's like reality for them is entirely composed of unquestionably true or false statements. Not saying you are... but I really feel like that sometimes.

For example...

Chiu ChunLing wrote:
Spoiler: show
Probably because he wasn't doing her "material harm" by his own lights.

I mean, the fact that Charlie is able to mess with Parson by cheating him out of schmuckers is evidence that the contract doesn't prevent infliction of harm through certain means. Lilith probably helped Charlie by setting it up so he had to pay GK for her.


I'm having a problem with the idea that we know any "special circumstance" applied to Ivan that didn't also apply to Wanda.
Spoiler: show
After all, for a while she has Janis as her captor, who smuggles in an Arkentool for Wanda to use (and incidentally try to kill her). Those circumstances seem at least as special as the fact that Ivan is also being held by people who are advocating for his release.


The special circumstance doesn't apply to Ivan. The special circumstance applies to our understanding of Ivan's status during that time. The special circumstance being that we have sufficient reason to question that status. We don't _know_ anything about Ivan's status beyond what we have been shown... and what we have been shown is significantly different from what was shown with Wanda and other prisoners. No matter how many similarities are brought up between them it won't make the differences stop existing. Apples and Oranges.

So far the only person to actually challenge those differences directly is MrYar. And effectively I might add. Not yet enough to make me change my conclusions... but definitely a step in that direction.
JadedDragoon wrote:

EDIT: Also, technically, tomatoes are also a fruit. Wait... were you trolling me? I can never tell.

You miss the forest for the trees, the fruit for the apples and oranges and the joke pointing out the flaw in your argument for... Well...

JadedDragoon wrote:

So even in my hypothetical he was still a prisoner in every way that mattered to the free casters.

And my rebuttal to this is still the same. If it looks like a prisoner, smells like a prisoner and quacks like a prisoner... Why would Ivan be anything other than a prisoner? It would take far more effort and risk of exposure for the Dirtamancers to pay some other casters to rig up a set of Just-Like-A-Prisoner Shackles when they could just use the existing prisoner mechanics and then treat them nicely.

Especially since the implication, by Ivan and Spade, is that they've done the whole 'house arrest' thing quite a bit.

JadedDragoon wrote:

Honestly, sometimes I feel like most people can't even conceptualize the idea of doubt. It's like reality for them is entirely composed of unquestionably true or false statements. Not saying you are... but I really feel like that sometimes.

Yes there's an ample reason to question the conclusions here. One. Why did Ivan have to be freed with the Wonky Wrench? That's a question we can't answer with certainty because it involves factors we haven't been exposed to/told about yet. All we have are what we can infer from that action.

Everything else has a prior example that we can draw a reasonable conclusion from. Thus I ballpark my odds at being wrong at around 15-18%.

JadedDragoon wrote:

We don't _know_ anything about Ivan's status beyond what we have been shown... and what we have been shown is significantly different from what was shown with Wanda and other prisoners. No matter how many similarities are brought up between them it won't make the differences stop existing. Apples and Oranges.

I argue the significance of those differences. As I said above there is only one significant difference in Ivan's case that we absolutely have no concrete evidence about. However Wanda also had a significant difference in her case: casting while in shackles. This is something we know casters shouldn't be able to do but she did. Thanks to the Arkenpliers. Meanwhile Ivan had to instruct Claude how to Wonky Wrench his shackles. Why didn't he do it himself? The inference is that he couldn't.
Thus I'd say the differences between the Arkenpliers and the Wonky Wrench are far more significant than Wanda being a prisoner and Ivan being a for-all-intents-and-purposes prisoner.

Thus, Arkenpliers and Wonky Wrench are more Apples and Oranges while Wanda and Ivan are more Granny Smith/Golden Delicious Apples or Tangerines/Mandarin Oranges.

At the end of the day, Ivan looked like a prisoner, had a jailer like a prisoner and couldn't cast like a prisoner.
Skull the Troll wrote:
In the case of Lilith carnymancy seems the Occam's razor solution to a perceived discrepancy - How Charlie was able to intentionally have a GK captive and try to turn her without triggering the contract. I'm just curious, do you have any opinions as to how he did it?


Easily, prisioner is not "unit of that side" especially since the upkeep was paid by jetstone. probably their "unit of X side" turns into "prisoner of <capturer side>" since GK ain't on the description the contract fails.

Probably damaging a "Prisoner of Charlescomm" by gk would count as treaty violation that incurs them a penalty.
JadedDragoon wrote:
Morgaln wrote:
Spoiler: show
JadedDragoon wrote:

There's nothing wrong with accepting that the most likely explanation when a carnymancer is shown to break the rules as we know them that he did so with carnymancy. Carnymancy is the magic of rule breaking/bending after all.

And accepting that carnymancy is the most likely explanation when a carnymancer seems to break the rules is not the same as saying carnymancers never have to follow any rules. If that were the case Charley would have carnied himself into the body of a Greek god and ruled Erfworld as such long ago. Clearly carnymancy has limits. We just don't know exactly what they are yet.

So you're basically getting "sick and tired" of strawmanning other people's arguments. Simple solution? Stop doing it.


You're welcome to dismiss my opinion as "strawmanning" but that won't stop me having it. The point remains that Charlie was more interesting when he couldn't break rules, because that meant he was clever enough to find the loopholes in the rules, just like Parson. Now that we know he's a Carnymancer, whenever he does something that we can't explain, it just gets dismissed as "of course he can do that, he can break the rules" It's a boring explanation, because it comes down to "the Wizard did it," and it's also a lazy explanation because it keeps us from challenging the picture we have formed of the rules in our minds.


I'm not dismissing. If I was dismissing I would have skipped the explanation and just said "You're wrong, because it's a straw man." Seven words. Nine if you expand the contractions. Maybe a few more for clarity. I'm beginning to think I'm constitutionally incapable of being so brief.

Instead I challenged your arguments (or what I thought they were... more on that in a sec) and explained why and in doing so left you with the opportunity to rebut. Strange... isn't being challenged intellectually what you claim you want? Using the word "opinion" as a shield to declare ones views untouchable doesn't seem like something someone who wants to be challenged intellectually would do either. Do you want challenging or easy? Your words say you want intellectual challenge but your behavior says you want intellectual ease. It's somewhat confusing.

I mean, if I was prone to dismissing people I would probably take that as a sign you are just biased against Charley being a carnie for some reason but don't want to acknowledge that bias. Good thing I'm not one of those jokers. After all, there's far too many other possibilities still and I'll never know which is correct if I don't at least try to debate you on it.

Speaking of which... having read back, it does seem now that I misunderstood your initial argument. For that I apologize. I'm far from infallible. I too like to be challenged intellectually. Very much so. That's half the reason I come on these forums. There's always such lively debate and so many different views. I feel like I wasn't really reading Erfworld till I started reading the forums. There was so much I missed or never considered. But I digress...

Back to what I now understand your argument to be. You're saying you feel that there being a readily available answer for every interesting thing Charley does cheapens all the interesting things he does... is that correct? Having made the mistake of misunderstanding you once I'd rather not do so again, so I'll wait till you confirm my new understanding before giving my rebuttal.


I feel like my posts came over as more aggressive than I intended them to be. I admit that I react badly to people flat out telling me to stop doing something, but upon rereading your post, that might have been meant as advice, not as an order.

Be that as it may, I'd rather discuss the actual topic instead of our mutual misunderstandings of each other. You got part of my argument right, but there is more that I don't think I have really elaborated on yet. Part of what bothers me is that Carnymancy is something of a storytelling crutch. It allows Charlie to do anything and everything even if it goes against previously established rules of the story, it doesn't need to be plausible or logical, and it can even be applied retroactively. In addition, the protagonists can neither duplicate it nor fight against it, they just have to bear through it. In that regard, it feels more akin to Retconjuration than other kinds of magic, more like a meta-level storytelling tool or deus ex machina than an actual plot point.
Don't get me wrong, I think in most cases it works well within the story, and I think it is a tribute to Rob's abilities to write a story that most cases of applied Carnymancy have been included in the story believably. It helps that many of the feats of Carnymancy seem to require a link with another kind of caster (e.g. the Wonky Wrench). But it still bothers me that Carnymancy can be used as this fallback option that lets a villain get away with whatever. I also want Charlie to be smart enough to find and exploit loopholes (especially where the contract is concerned), not just create his own personal loopholes by waving his hand and make things not apply to him. Admittedly we don't know whether that is what he did, but we wouldn't even be discussing the possibility if he wasn't a Carnymancer.

Skull the Troll wrote:


I was just expressing an opinion. It could certainly be wrong, but I'm not sure why you think Charlie Carny'd it is overused. He Carny'd the wrench to affect bedrock , and the portal to allow non-casters through. I think both of those concepts are great and have added to the story. Having Charlie as the antagonist that is just naturally "better" at rule breaking and loophole finding than Parson is basic villian building. They can be a threat - even better than the hero at their area of strength to provide the conflict. Its like when Sherlock battles Moriarty, They are both clever but Moriarty is maybe even more so? Drama ensues.

In the case of Lilith carnymancy seems the Occam's razor solution to a perceived discrepancy - How Charlie was able to intentionally have a GK captive and try to turn her without triggering the contract. I'm just curious, do you have any opinions as to how he did it?


Sherlock and Moriarty is a pretty good example of a protagonist and a villain who are battling purely through their intellect. You could also compare it to a chess match. In either case, the one who can outsmart his opponent will take the victory. But if you give Moriarty a magical power (say, he can teleport) or one chess player to break the rules and move his pieces in a way not normally allowed by the rules, you skew things. Obviously the one who has to play by the rules still has to be as clever, if not more clever to beat his opponent. But the other side doesn't need to be. The ability to break rules means he can make up any lack in brains or skill with his special powers. Personally I think it is more satisfying if the protagonist beats someone who is his equal in intelligence over someone who is less smart but has powerful magic.

In the case of Lilith, I tend toward the explanation that our base assumption is wrong, i. e. "material harm" is defined differently than we think. It's somewhat supported by the fact that incapacitating the spy doll in a way that doesn't cause any damage and is probably only temporary still counts as material harm. I wouldn't have thought so, but that one is canon. It's entirely possible that "material" is equivalent to "bodily" in this case, and since all Charlie was affecting was Lilith mind, it was harm but not of the material kind.
We also know that intent matters, so if Charlie didn't intend to cause Lilith any harm, it might not count; that one is very dubious, though, because it leaves things open for so much rules lawyering that you'll be hard-pressed to find any case the contract actually applies to.
JadedDragoon wrote:
That said I don't recollect the others having to put the sackcloth on or anyone putting it on them. Though... to be fair... my recollection has proven unreliable rather recently. Could you perhaps share a link showing this case of someone having the sackcloth put on after being a captured?
http://archives.erfworld.com/Book%203/145 describes Bill giving Parson and Jack prisoner garb (white linen, not sackcloth) after taking their duds.
JadedDragoon wrote:
Actually... what was Lilith wearing as a prisoner... I can't remember if it was sackcloth. I'll check in a minute.
http://archives.erfworld.com/Book%203/69 depicts Lilith's treatment and regarbing in a poncho (later removed for her...examination at Charlie's hands).

Revisiting those, I'm sympathetic to the impulse to forget certain things ever happened.
JadedDragoon wrote:
No I agree with you regarding Marie. I'm not saying she was a prisoner. I'm saying she's evidence that Jack wasn't out of juice from being linked... only Maggie was. In fact, before the link started both Marie and Jack had cast a single time that we are aware of. So the similarity there up until the moment the three casters fell out is very high.

But yes like you say Marie was also decrypted... another x-factor we can't account for the effects of on a caster juice. All of which I readily acknowledge. Sorry if I wasn't clear.

And you may be correct about it not being conclusive even with Wanda having or not having juice. But it feels, to me, like that would be a strong enough argument to accept provisionally (based on past experience). We'll never have complete certainty. There will always be the potential that we don't know things and we can't ever know what we don't know. So there will always be some room for doubt.

But that's why we humans came up with the ideas of statistical certainty and anecdotal evidence to begin with... to give us a framework for knowing when we could accept an idea and when we needed to clarify the facts further before doing so. But I'm willing to admit that Wanda being able to or not being able to cast is still anecdotal. I just think anecdotal is as good as we are going to get... so lowering the bar a bit on certainty is necessary if we want to ever accept anything.

As for Ivan, in fairness, I would point out that he was able to cast using the Wonky Wrench the instant he was freed of the cuffs by Claude... before he was croaked and decrypted.

I agree: prior to the link falling out, the casters should've been in very similar positions, I just felt like Marie provided no real useful points of evidence after the link failed. She didn't cast between it going down and her croaking, and made no commentary on her personal juice reserves, so I didn't feel like discussing her in the context of Jack's/Maggie's juice would provide any real valuable insight. Seems we're pretty well in agreement there.

As for Wanda, it seems like we also mostly agree: knowing her juice status would provide valuable/significant data, and in spite of it not necessarily being conclusive proof of mechanics it would likely be the best we'll get any time soon.

Lastly, Ivan: it seems I misinterpreted which point in time you were discussing Ivan's capabilities from. My apologies. You're absolutely right, he was able to cast immediately after being freed, which (in my analysis) seems to lend itself as evidence in favor of the frozen juice theory. I've seen the discussion about whether Ivan was, in fact, a prisoner, but I believe he was and am working from that premise until we're informed otherwise. He has all the hallmarks of a prisoner, it just appears as though he's a well-treated one. If it turns out that the dirtamancers have some convoluted system of holding one another as pseudo-prisoners, that just seems like the sort of thing that'd be a needless complication to the plot (not to mention, not really Rob's style), especially without any prior evidence to support. Not saying it's definitively not the case, just seems like the least likely scenario, so I'm working from (what appears to be) the most likely one.
Chiu ChunLing wrote:
I still don't know that the portal works correctly both ways with the focus collar broken. I mean, how could it? It is heavily suggested that the portal shards go back to the other portal more or less correctly, but if there is no two-way then sticking any of your body through the portal pulls the rest of you through pretty inexorably.

Still, if there is two-way, then this would seem like the best way to control it and make sure stuff going through got to where you needed it.

On the other hand, Wanda should have actual orders now, unless Parson called Stanley and told them to countermand them, which I don't see a reason for him to do. Especially if two-way allows for CC's broken portal collar to put something in below bedrock. It doesn't have to be archons, we know that CC can put small dolls through the portal too. A bunch of cheap dolls against three extremely high value units, with the contract in place?

There is no way that works out to GK's advantage.

P.S. Charlie is likelier to think of this tactic than Wanda, if it's workable. Just have little veiled golems hop back and forth through the portal until one of them ends up under bedrock through a portal shard, then have that one reach back a hand and guide the others. Given that Charlie isn't already doing it, I'm thinking he has reason to suspect it wouldn't work. Cause he already made 5 mil off of one doll down there. He only needs like a dozen to put GK back in "lose a city" territory again.

Every time one of the dolls attempts to engage, that's another 5 mil from :charlie: to :stanley: and if they've got portal shards leading to Spacerock, clever maneuvering (particularly if Claud uses Weirdomancy to give those three high-value units the Flight special) could trick the dolls into dropping into :stanley: 's territory. If they mindlessly turn around and try to go back, and then either get disbanded or massacred by free casters, a dozen dolls could mean 24 infractions for :charlie: and zero for :stanley:
True, it would need to be a led stack, either Charlie being on 'dish with the dolls or some of the remaining triple A's. So it's not crazy for Charlie to refrain from taking that risk. But it is crazy for Ivan to not warn Wanda that the risk exists if he knows the broken portal works that way. Of course, Ivan's plenty crazy, though.

But going back over what Ivan said about the shards being normal portal, and you either fit or you don't, I doubt they are one-way to a degree that means you can't get an extremity back if you stick it through and the rest of you doesn't fit. I think if that were the case then they would have had a case for covering all the shards big enough for the doll to go through intact and letting it put a foot through one of the remaining shards. Whether that actually damaged it or not, it would immobilize it pretty well. So it might be that a unit going in from anywhere will always come out the top, but reaching a hand through from a shard doesn't mean you can't pull it back, and shouldn't mean you can't grab something and pull it back with you (including another unit).

Of course, that doesn't explain what practical difference it makes to have the collars in the first place (if units going through come out up top normally). If we accept that the impenetrable bedrock is special to the MK, you might need to prevent portal shards at the capital site that would be reachable by digging. But they don't make a difference to the MK side.

No contemplation yet of what happens if a units uses the portal normally at the same time that another unit is using it a shard. Teleporter accident? Does it produce a physical barrier to entering the shards (no activation) until the normal transit is complete (and vice versa, I suppose)? Does it magically reconcile the two activations so that they don't intersect?

Maybe it's teleporter accident, the shard transit would end up inside of whatever was transiting normally, and the focus collars prevent the danger of bits of normal dirt and rock falling through as a result of seismic transmission (we know that Ivan was able to sense vibrations produced by the Dirtamancy element of the tripods firing in Portal Park, it even mentions disturbed dirt grains falling as a result). That would explain why the collars would be necessary even if the topside portals still function normally as long as nothing fell through a shard while the top portal was in use.
I would just like to point out that after all this talk about apples, oranges, and tomatoes... I could really go for a fruit salad.

Without tomatoes, of course.

Intelligence is knowing a tomato is a fruit.
Wisdom is not putting a tomato in a fruit salad.
Darkstar7613 wrote:
I would just like to point out that after all this talk about apples, oranges, and tomatoes... I could really go for a fruit salad.

Without tomatoes, of course.

Intelligence is knowing a tomato is a fruit.
Wisdom is not putting a tomato in a fruit salad.


Intelligence is knowing what a vegetable is.
Wisdom is putting tomatoes and cucumbers in a veggie salad.