Digdoug - Episode 7

Digdoug - Episode 7

The King‘s personal office had a strange, barren quality to it. No paintings or tapestries adorned the one wall that was not made up mostly of windows and wrought iron. Miniature fruit trees in black clay pots and a small harpsichord were the only ornamentation. Otherwise, the room contained one cushiony blue sofa and three matching chairs, a coffee table, a grand ebony desk made with iron rivets, a plain gray-speckled carpet, and six hovering powerballs for extra light.

Posbrake took to one of the comfortable chairs, and indicated the sofa for Digdoug. He took off his simple silver crown and laid it on the table, where a service of hot coffee and shortbread had been set out for them. The King must have called for it with a silent order while they were climbing up the stairs. He smoothed out his hair, and poured himself a cup.

Coffee was another of Posbrake‘s peculiarities. Homekey grew it in just one coastal city, and it was only served in the capital. As far as Digdoug was aware, the beverage had been unheard of in Follywood, and Delkey's visiting warlords all refused it in favor of tea. Digdoug liked the smell and the taste of coffee, but it gave him digestive problems and he generally avoided it. For want of anything else to say or do, though, he now made himself a cup as well.

“So, Lord Digdoug. You say I don‘t know,” said Posbrake, distantly staring into the steam of his drink. “You and your golems might have fought off the whole Numloch army if I‘d let you stay in Weatherbug, is that so?”

By now, Digdoug had had plenty of time to regret his misstep in the meeting. He looked down at the table. “Please forget I said that, Sire. It‘s not important.”

“Mm, no. I try not to forget things. Mistakes get repeated that way.”

Was the King thinking he‘d made a mistake, trading for him? Was that it? Until he‘d heard Creen talk of the heir and the terms of alliance, Digdoug hadn‘t realized why the trade was such a sore point for Delkey. Or...maybe he missed his son.

“I‘m sorry,” was all he could say.

Posbrake sipped at his coffee, then casually leaned back in his chair and tilted his head. “But what if I did know, Digdoug? What if I knew for certain that I had to order you home so that you did not croak there in Weatherbug?”

The Dirtamancer wrinkled his brow. “Then...you‘d be a Titan?”

Posbrake smiled at that. “Or I‘d be a, what? You‘re practically the only unit I can have this discussion with, you know. Think magic.”

Digdoug considered it. “A Mathamancer? Or no, a Predictamancer.”

Posbrake closed his eyes and smiled, nodding. “You are ordered to keep the following secret from everyone but me and Chief Bucky. Eight turns ago, we hired a Predictamancer out of the Magic Kingdom. He made several Predictions for us.”

As Homekey‘s only caster, one of the problems Digdoug faced wherever he went was that people assumed he knew everything about magic. Really, he only knew the spells that he knew, plus a few things he‘d heard from Follywood‘s Thinkamancer and Luckamancer, and what was written about magic in the Book of Canon. He‘d never even been to the Magic Kingdom. He knew and loved his discipline, but other magicks were opaque to him. And Predictamancy...?

He squinted. “That‘s supposed to be bad luck,” said Digdoug. “Isn‘t it?”

Although Scripture didn‘t expressly say that hiring a Predictamancer was bad luck for a side, that‘s what he‘d been told at Follywood. And there didn‘t seem to be many happy stories out there involving Predictamancy.

Posbrake smiled as if he‘d expected to hear that. “Yes, so they say. But as of right now, you owe your life to it. So you‘d have to call it good luck, for you.” He chuckled, and drank his coffee. The King then set the cup down on the edge of the table, added a drop more cream to it, and picked up a piece of shortbread.

If His Majesty was expecting him to say something right now, Digdoug couldn‘t imagine what. Perhaps he wanted a magical opinion on the wisdom or foolishness of hiring a Predictamancer. Digdoug hadn't really formed a coherent opinion yet. It just struck him as a strange thing to do.

“But yes, it‘s generally viewed that way,” Posbrake finally continued, “so now you know what particular expense I‘m not eager for Delkey to know about. If King Minus were told, he would require immediate Healomancy.”

He munched on the shortbread. “But the thing is, Digdoug, I don‘t care what my father thinks. He is wrong about many, many things. The whole world is wrong, at least on certain topics. I founded Homekey to prove a point, and we continue to prove my point every day. Conventional wisdom has its limits. You can‘t just follow along, taking things at face value. Especially when the only reason for them is ‘tradition.‘ Or worse, ‘rumor.‘ Do you see what I‘m saying?”

Digdoug thought about Peck‘s explanation of their “wide” strategy. Having now met Prince Creen, he was inclined to agree with Lord Peck that Delkey‘s problem was a difference of strategic opinion, and not just Royal snobbery like Hunt believed. He nodded. “Yes, Sire.”

“So it seemed to me that Predictamancy has a fundamental usefulness to it that shouldn‘t be ignored for the sake of superstition. I went ahead and hired one as a small experiment. They work pretty cheaply. I suppose there‘s not a lot of demand.”

“And he Predicted I would croak if I stayed there in Weatherbug?” asked Digdoug, curious now about how such magic worked.

“He Predicted an imminent, devastating attack on Weatherbug, with no surviving speaking units,” said Posbrake, looking distant. “So I ordered you out of the city.”

“Oh.” Digdoug gripped his porcelain cup, feeling the heat of the coffee through it. “Why just me, Sire? Why not order everyone else out, too?”

“Because that‘s not how we fight,” the King said immediately, sitting up straight and giving Digdoug a solemn, lecturing look. “Sometimes we win, and sometimes we lose. But when Numloch does win, we make them pay double for whatever they gain. They‘re sick of fighting us. We‘ve taken a third of their empire, maybe closer to half. So if they were Fated to take back Weatherbug, we wanted to make it hard for them. Not easier. You understand?”

Digdoug nodded.

“That‘s your whole job. Hardening targets. That‘s why you‘re in Homekey, Caster.”

He nodded again. “I know.”

They sat in silence for a few moments, and Digdoug sipped at the coffee. It tasted pretty good. It was rich, and warm. Viewed through his Dirtamancy sense, it was an impossibly complicated jumble of foody bits and acids, suspended in hot water. Was there any way to understand such a complex substance? Maybe a Changemancer would be able to sort out what was really in his cup, and even turn it into something more compatible with his stomach.

“Majesty, why am I hardening the tower against an air attack?” he said into the silence.

The King pursed his lips. “You did a fine job out there in Weatherbug, with that trap you left. I actually thought the city would fall, and we‘d have to take it back. But looking back on the wording of the Prediction, I see how it technically came true. Kind of a little loophole in our favor.”

Digdoug stared quizzically at his Ruler, wondering whether he was building up to something or if he planned to ignore the question.

“We‘re going to need another loophole like that,” said the King. Little crinkles of uncharacteristic worry appeared on his forehead. “The Predictamancer also said we would face a major attack on the City of Homekey, and that it would come by air. This information is especially included in your secrecy order.”

“Oh. I see,” said the Dirtamancer.

“Can you build a trap here like the one you did in Weatherbug?”

Digdoug shook his head. “No, that was terrain-dependent. It has to be done in a storm hex.”

“I thought so. Well, do what you can. Keep shoring up that tower today. Tonight, I‘ll need you to go on a special mission.”

“Tonight?” Digdoug blinked. “How can I go on a mission at night? You mean go somewhere in the city?”

“No. I mean go into the Magic Kingdom.”

Recent posts... (See full thread)
ManaCaster wrote:
Quite the contrary, they are wrong about when a prediction will happen all the time. Marie outright admitted as much.
I'm having a hard time pinning that down. Was that Book 0, or Book 2? Was it about Predicting the fall of Faq? There's a big difference between being wrong and not having an answer. As far as I can tell Marie never claimed to know when Faq would fall. I'm sure that when a Prediction specifies the timing of some event, then the event really happens at the time specified.

We haven't seen many Predictions where the Predictamancer knows when the events will happen, but I expect they often do. For example, the Prediction that Weatherbug was going to be attacked would be completely pointless and obvious if it didn't include approximately when it was going to be attacked. It's a front-line city in a war, so everyone knows that it will be attacked many times with many different outcomes. I expect a Predictamancer to do better than that, especially since Posbrake pulled Digdoug out on the turn before the attack.
Lilwik wrote:
ManaCaster wrote:
Quite the contrary, they are wrong about when a prediction will happen all the time. Marie outright admitted as much.
I'm having a hard time pinning that down. Was that Book 0, or Book 2? Was it about Predicting the fall of Faq? There's a big difference between being wrong and not having an answer. As far as I can tell Marie never claimed to know when Faq would fall. I'm sure that when a Prediction specifies the timing of some event, then the event really happens at the time specified.

We haven't seen many Predictions where the Predictamancer knows when the events will happen, but I expect they often do. For example, the Prediction that Weatherbug was going to be attacked would be completely pointless and obvious if it didn't include approximately when it was going to be attacked. It's a front-line city in a war, so everyone knows that it will be attacked many times with many different outcomes. I expect a Predictamancer to do better than that, especially since Posbrake pulled Digdoug out on the turn before the attack.


That particular prediction warned about an "imminent" attack on Weatherbug, so it did specify a general timeframe.

I think that sometimes predictions have time frames, sometimes they don't. What information a prediction includes probably varies a lot depending on circumstance, and the caster predicting it.
It really stood out to me that Prince Creen is a flying unit, and with all this talk of Predictions being technically correct, my wild guess is that the attack on Homekey will involve a flying Prince Creen trying to attack Posbrake up in his office! With no Homekey heir, the side (and all its units) will poof away, leaving the only units in the remaining Homekey cities to be... the Delkey units that are currently mixed in, who can then claim all of Homekey's cities in one fell swoop! /wildguess
Lilwik wrote:
ManaCaster wrote:
Quite the contrary, they are wrong about when a prediction will happen all the time. Marie outright admitted as much.
I'm having a hard time pinning that down. Was that Book 0, or Book 2? Was it about Predicting the fall of Faq? There's a big difference between being wrong and not having an answer. As far as I can tell Marie never claimed to know when Faq would fall. I'm sure that when a Prediction specifies the timing of some event, then the event really happens at the time specified.

Here, she specifically says that King Banhammer will be croaked by Haffaton:
Quote:
"Haffaton will be the agent of your destroction, and of the fall of Faq as well. I think soon."

She was completely right about Haffaton causing the fall of Faq. She was also right about Banhammer croaking, but by the time Banhammer croaked, neither Wanda nor Stanley could be said to be members of Haffaton.

Here, she admits to Jillian that Predictamancers can get pieces of Predictions wrong:
Quote:
“These ah the ways of Prediction.”

“Including being wrong.”

“About specifics?” Marie straightened her shoulders defensively. “Yes, all the time. About the how and the when and the where, suhtainly.”

What Fate wants will always come to pass, but Predictamancers can be wrong when they try to puzzle out details.
ManaCaster wrote:
Here, she specifically says that King Banhammer will be croaked by Haffaton.
You mean what she said at the end of Book 0, Episode 33. That certainly proves that Predictamancers can make mistakes. She clearly wasn't doing her Predictamancy properly, and it's not hard to imagine where her confusion is coming from. It seems that she is mixing up the two falls of Faq. Maybe she thinks that Faq will only fall once and doesn't realize that her Predictamancy is actually showing her two separate events. At first that confusion makes her unable to Predict who will attack Faq, but then she hears that Wanda is a Haffaton unit, and coincidentally Wanda is responsible for Faq's second fall and the death of Banhammer. It must have seemed like the pieces were all falling into place and maybe Marie made a little leap that wasn't fully supported by her magic.

Oddly, even though Marie clearly didn't intend this interpretation, there's even a way to interpret her Prediction so it was actually 100% correct. Haffaton may have ceased to exist before Banhammer died, but before Haffaton fell it effectively forced Wanda down Faq's throat. Entirely because of Haffaton's actions, Faq had no choice about accepting Wanda, and Wanda was a poison pill that caused Banhammer's death. The entire second fall of Faq was like Haffaton striking at Faq from beyond the grave using Wanda as a sleeper agent. Maybe that was even part of what caused Marie to give such a poorly worded Prediction, but it's no excuse; she clearly should have put some more time and juice into it.

ManaCaster wrote:
Here, she admits to Jillian that Predictamancers can get pieces of Predictions wrong.
That's Book 0, Episode 75. She's being awfully cryptic there. She got caught in her mistake and she starts saying stuff that doesn't make much sense. It conflicts with the usual absolute certainty of Predictamancers as displayed by Delphie and even Marie herself at other times. It certainly can't be true that Predictamancy gets stuff wrong "all the time." We see plenty of examples of Predictamancy not getting stuff wrong, and if Predictamancy were wrong more often than right then no Predictamancer would be worth her upkeep. I can only imagine that Marie was choosing the bizarre tactic of defending herself at the expense of her discipline, similar to if she had said: "Yes, I was wrong, but that's just Predictamancy for you, always getting stuff wrong. It's not that I'm a bad Predictamancer." As if it looks better to be a good caster in a useless discipline. I think maybe she was a bit flustered and not thinking before she spoke, maybe because she's never gotten something wrong before.
Um, guys. They got Wanda FROM Haffaton, so Banhammer's destruction DID come from Haffaton.
Sir Shadow wrote:
Um, guys. They got Wanda FROM Haffaton, so Banhammer's destruction DID come from Haffaton.

You could interpret it that way, but really, you could stretch just about any interpretation, and Wanda was not on the Haffaton side at that point. Marie believed that Haffaton as a side would cause Banhammer's demise. The fact that she would admit to Jillian that Predictamancers can get stuff wrong proves as much.
ManaCaster wrote:
You could interpret it that way, but really, you could stretch just about any interpretation, and Wanda was not on the Haffaton side at that point. Marie believed that Haffaton as a side would cause Banhammer's demise. The fact that she would admit to Jillian that Predictamancers can get stuff wrong proves as much.
It's not really much of a stretch. Haffaton killed Banhammer the moment they forced Faq to accept Wanda's turning, even if no one realized it at the time. Contrary to being a stretch, it was as sure as a slow acting poison. If people had kept on assuming that Marie's Prediction must be right, they could have seen Wanda's betrayal coming. Unfortunately it seems that even Marie decided that her Prediction had been wrong.

The fact that Marie admitted to being wrong doesn't have as clear a meaning as it seems. It conflicts with the confidence we get from Predictamancers, so we can't just accept either the confidence or the admission of fallibility at face value; we need to find a way to reconcile them with each other. The situation in which she admitted fallibility seems to make it clear. A Prediction was right, but in a way that made it look like the Prediction was going to be wrong. With the end of Haffaton anyone could be forgiven for assuming that Haffaton had failed to kill Banhammer. So then Predictamancy reveals the inevitable future, but Predictamancers are only human and capable of making mistake both in how they report the future and in their own guesses about the future. So a Predictamancer's words don't always need to be right, but the Predictamancy that underlies those words is always right. That's why Marie and that other Predictamancer can be totally confident that Parson would get through the portal, because their Predictamancy was showing it to both of them as clearly as if they were seeing it with their eyes, and they know that (unlike eyesight) Predictamancy can't be fooled. The only way Predictamancy can get things wrong is if the Predictamancer misinterprets what Predictamancy shows her, as Marie must have done with the whole Faq/Wanda/Haffaton situation. (Unless Marie actually knew what Wanda was going to do and was deliberately keeping it from everyone for their own good.)

That's the only explanation that seems to fit. It means that Predictamancers can make mistakes, explaining Marie's admission, but it doesn't take the mistakes so far as to necessarily undermine the Predictamancer's confidence. If the magic of Predictamancy itself were capable of getting stuff wrong, like Foolamancy can fool the eyes and ears, then Predictamancers could never be confident. We especially know that Carnymancers can't act like Foolamancers for Predictions.
The prediction was amended when Wanda was brought up and I'm pretty sure the amended prediction was based on Wanda being the cause of the fall. It may not have been a true prediction at all.
Anything Wanda says should be discarded because she messed up so badly she will never have a single clue what she's talking about. Olive, Slately, and Parson also have no idea what they're talking about. Carnymancers probably know what they're talking about, but they are guaranteed to be lying. And now, Predictamancers are apparently bad at explaining things too. Seems like we cannot get any reliable information on Fate whatsoever.