Yeah, I read that page looking for your reference, and I agree that when Wanda hatched her plan, Saline was still alive (since she heard of a "warlord" (i.e. not an Overlord) who found the Arkenhamer.) I don't, however, get the impression from anything that there was a long period (if any) between the fall of FAQ, and the croaking of Saline.
Besides, it's more interesting if Stanley in fact didn't rule because of comminting regicide. And so far we haven't really seen anyone Stanley has admired, which is wierd. He ought to be a fan of someone, right?
Also, I always found it wierd that he'd but down the Gobwin rebellion. If he was behind it, the only reason to do so would be to save face, and given what we know of free will in Erfworld, wouldn't this pretty much just be a show for the other Sides? And killing his own infantry to potentially fool other sides into thinking he's a pretty nice guy doesn't really strike me as very Stanley-ish.
I'll put forth a bloated theory: The Special Mission really was the invasion of FAQ and Charlie really was behind the Gobwin rebellion. However, causing the rebellion was a mercenary act on the behest of the ruler of FAQ somewhere between them learning of the inbound army(if Wanda wanted stanley to fail it would have made sense for her to make sure they found out in time) and the fall. If FAQ saw the incoming huge army, Charlie would really be the only reasonable ally, and killing said army by croaking the King of the side would be just Charlie's type of solution, I think, and doing it for money would be just his type of motivation. Besides, imagine the fortunes he could make on the ensuing brawl over Saline's now-empty cities?
Which brings up the Saline regicide / FAQ Attaq conspiracy that's been picking up steam. The notion that the gobwin uprising occured while Stanley et al were off attacking FAQ is pretty good, and the only evidence I can find against is in the panel where Sizemore recalls the operation, the dragons are flying over mushroom shaped smurf houses (Mushroom Kingdom?), rather than anything similar to the oriental style of FAQ pre-fall. What isn't addressed is why he'd need Sizemore and the other casters. I can't imagine Stanley willingly taking Sizemore on a battle mission, given his opinion of the dirtamancer. Not when Stanley (with hammer and full chief warlord glory) and a squad of dwagons so ably handled it in one turn. Further, I'm not convinced that Maggie, at least, was even in GK at that point, since she would have been present for FAQ falling, and Jack turning, and probably would have learned his name. She probably has a good enough memory for it.
But getting to my original point before all this rambling, is addressing my personal speculation regarding Charlie and the Faq/GK imbroglio. FACT - Charlie will play both sides of a conflict against one another for maximum benefit. We've heard a lot of speculation about Charlie turning the gobwins against GK to take out Saline (though the art shows a silhouette of a hobgobwin with a sword to Saline's throat). I don't say I disagree. But after taking back GK, Stanley has gobwins for natural allies again, and unless it's the source of their friction, I don't think Charlie was needed to arbitrate negotiations.
No what I want to raise awareness of is the fact that FAQ, pre-fall, stinks to high heaven of a pie that Charlie would have his finger in. FAQ either through the philosophy and training of Banhammer or whatever fatemancy caster-pop mechanic, produces talented casters (profitable consultants). FAQ earned money mostly through mercenary actions, Charlie's chief source of income. FAQ had one important and valuable piece of information associated with it, and only Charlie IMO could have been in a position to possess it; the faqt that Faq exists.
Now, Charlie doesn't strike me as a blackmailer, though charging to not tell a militaristic neighbor country (GK) about a nearby, poorly defended country would have its benefits. He would certainly play the situation to his advantage for at least a little while (before orchestrating the events which would lead to its destruction, say, offering thinkagrams between wanda and stanley for a nominal fee). My speculation lies by what I see as one of the largest un-addressed issues thus far; Faq's predictamancer (Cassandra, Debbie, not named yet). She was credited with a number of fortunes, all pertinent to the story: 1.which city to veil against detection, 2, Banhammer's death/Faq's fall, 3. Wanda receiving an Arkentool.
1. Prediction magic of this type could be replaced by effective surveillance of nearby players. So, a net of scouts could provide information regarding neighbor movements to allow for necessary plans.
2. Anyone actively and confidently planning something can predict it's eventual occurrence. Say, announcing the upheaval of a kingdom you've been working towards, and are just putting the last strokes in place.
3. Suggestions are powerful things, properly applied to the open minded. The only difference between a prophecy and an aspiration, is where it came from. I find it revealing that very little of wanda getting the pliers seems fate-ish. She worked awfully hard, used Stanley, manipulated him with the express purpose of getting a tool, though it seems that her final prize was due more to her work than acts of fate (the only one being a wild-card summoned warlord to actually come up with a plan that would croak the pliers holder, since nobody else could manage).
These are all within Charlie's power, especially if he just needs to be in contact with the predictamancer in an undetected way (Charlie can penetrate 'secure' eyebook networks). That we don't have any information regarding the predictamancer's fate following FAQ's fall makes it all the more tantalizing to speculate (and she looked cute enough to be an Archon in a funny hat in the panel with Wanda recounting the prediction). Keeping Jillian away on mission (and alive) at the time of the fall is child's play at that point; just don't compete with the Faq mercenaries for a job when the boop is going to go down. Since Charlie could have been involved in her popping in the first place (prediction 2) it's perfectly reasonable that he has plans for her.
The question just comes down to why did Charlie do all that if he did? My best guess was setting Stanley up as a regicidal criminal would get Ansom and the pliers in striking range of getting them to Wanda (his idea in the first place). Dissolving Faq would remove competition, and free up caster resources. Keeping Jillian alive... well that's tricky. All I can come up with is that Faq and GK both generally share a neighbor; Transylvito. A side which (pre-hammer) was probably more powerful than GK, but also flirting with the notion of making royalty an obsolete notion. By making assistance at FAQ pass prohibitively expensive (250k/turn), Charlie forced TV's chief warlord and heir into dangerous combat, the loss of whom could seriously inconvenience GK, necessitating coming up with a new heir. Or popping one...
It may not be Charlie's primary agenda, but I believe he has marked Transylvito as a problem, and is taking action to see it gone and a return to the friendly, regimented, profitable wars of old between polite royals. The great western conflict might be just the penultimate steps to removing TV, with FAQ and GK just the pawns and game pieces. Parson included.
I wonder if Saline did something dumb that caused the uprising.
For example, the "special mission" might have required shmuckers causing a temporary cash flow problem.
The notion that the gobwin uprising occured while Stanley et al were off attacking FAQ is pretty good, and the only evidence I can find against is in the panel where Sizemore recalls the operation, the dragons are flying over mushroom shaped smurf houses (Mushroom Kingdom?), rather than anything similar to the oriental style of FAQ pre-fall.
Maybe that was it.
I thought this was a settled question ... so does anyone remember the reference that settled it?
Example? Moneymancer, Luckamancer, Thinkamancer, and Mathamancer artefact.
I've half a mind to chastise you over that tautology.
I've half a mind to chastise you over that tautology.
You would chastise me over tautology?
Chastise me for being right all you wish. Besides, "half a mind" is just trite phrase. No one has half a mind, unless there was some serious surgery involved.
Anyway, I'm bringing it up because my theory is that Charlie funneled shmuckers to wild marbits (if that is possible) to move in and displace the native goblins. This is so the marbits can act as a natural-ally ground component to Jillian's air assault (who else is she gonna assault with that huge air force?).
Classic really. Air assault using Jillian and an underground insurrection using Marbits. Both arms of the attack neatly bypassing GK's formidable ground-based defenses.
Of course, even then its going to be hugely difficult, with Stanley's dwagons and Sizemore's golems. Unless there's a third component to this plan, as yet unseen.
Secondly, given the vagaries of "alignment" and the throwaway gag about the hammer itself in the original cast list, it's not completely (just mostly) unjustified to speculate that arkentools have something akin to a mind or will. (I forget, did we determine that the arkenpliers "fought" Ansom when Wanda attacked him with her uncroaked air force in TBfGK?)