Book 4 - Page 51

A prince-fixing racket

Book 4 - Page 51
Comic - Book 4 - Page 51

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blade3rd wrote:
Spoiler: show
Longtime reader, just joined to post.
I just realized, and what made me love Erfworld more, is that Charlie is working with bad info and we are watching it unfold. Its not often that I ever encounter a work that the antagonist is working with bad info.

I like to point out that we are too fixated on Charlie popping a new heir. What is so valuable about a new heir that its worth 3mil? Earlier its said that it would be about 7 turns with Vanna, and either 21 or 30 turns without Vanna. While 30 turns is valuable, its not as valuable as 3mil.
However, it may be that what Charlie isn't offering is a new heir, but a chance to get rid of Caesar. We already know that things are not good between Caesar and Don. Back during the battle for Space Rock, Caesar and the other casters were discussing refusing the Don's order to give Jetstone a gem. One of the caster said "He would disband you though" to Caesar, who agree. There's also the Caesar is usually sent far away onto the front lines, and tends ot get into shouting matches with the Don.
Caesar also sent an order to Vinny to plan out an attack to take Faq, and specifically not to tell the Don. Faq is Don's personal project. This points to a disturbing conclusion that Caesar is willing to directly disobey the Don, and may have done so in the past.
Lastly, on a recent page Bonny left the room thinking that she can actually leave the room without needing to be there to mediate between Caesar and Don, the two are seeing eye to eye. I got the impression that this hasn't happened in a long long time, if ever.

To me and Charlie, this paints an image of a King with a very bad heir. A warlord who is actively disloyal, and dangerous capable of betraying the King in belief that the warlord knows better than the king. The heir is more of a liability then an asset, and must be destroyed as soon as possible. Caesar is the Don's Starscream.
I think I read earlier in this thread someone else said that if the Don accepts Charlie's offer, Caesar would coup. He honestly believe that Caesar would regicide the king and take over. Can you imagine whats it like for the Don? He probably posts guards outside his door keeping him safe from Caesar. But he can't get rid of Caesar because he's the heir.

What Charlie isn't offering is a new heir. What he is offering is no Caesar. 30 turns may not be much to us, but to the Don its 30 turns with Caesar IN HIS HOME, a disloyal warlord with a history of disobedience and a disturbing possibility that he might kill the Don.
Suleiman the Magnificent murdered his long time best friend, and his sons for less than that.

This info is stale though. Since we now know that the two are warming up to each other and is now finally on the same page. Charlie doesn't know that though, this happened after the battle in the Magic Kingdom. Charlie still thinks that the Don wants to get rid of Caesar, and is offering the New Heir Tomorrow Deal, banking on that Don thinks Caesar needs to be gone ASAP. But that is wrong and he's figuratively just bet it all on black and the ball landed on red.

Speaking of bad info, Don did ask Vinny not to pry into the affairs of Faq. Privacy between kings or something. Isn't it possible that Faq made a similar deal with Charlie? Vinny didn't see any archons or anything investigate Faq. Jillian is figuratively in Faq's hand, Charlie may simply just trusted Jillian to tell him everything he needs to know.
If so, then Charlie wouldn't know about Vinny. Thus, he wouldn't know that TV knows that Jillian left Faq with all of their air units. Charlie may be thinking that TV thinks that Faq's forces are still at Faq. Which would help explain the New Heir Tomorrow deal. If TV still thinks that Jillian is still at Faq, then there's no immediate danger and a new heir is a nice thing to have. Focusing on long term over the short term, not knowing that Jillian is coming in to attack. But TV does know that Jillian is gone, and Charlie's deal isn't as good as he thought it would be.


Caesar is not disloyal. He never has been. His issues with Don stem entirely from Don's newfound enthusiasm for Royalism, which Caesar doesn't fit into because he's only a low-ranking noble. Caesar is used to dealing with things in a straightforward manner based on their practical merits, and so naturally he hasn't taken well to a philosophy that puts emphasis on less tangible things and necessarily sidelines him for reasons outside his control. The vetoed loan to Jetstone is a perfect example: Don places heavy importance on furthering the cause of Royalism and helping his good friend, while Caesar saw the ugly truth that giving them that money put Transylvito in a terribly vulnerable position and was extremely likely going to be for nothing.

Also, Charlie would know about Vinny. He's been watching all of Bunny's Thinkagrams for a while and she's called Vinny at least once.
YRM DM wrote:
I wonder if Parson sewing the seed that Charlie is a fallen titan will work against Charlie now that he's mentioned using "titanic magic" to pop the heir faster.

Charlie was responding to Don's use of "Titanic Magic" one page earlier (195).
MonteCristo wrote:

Jillian has indicated that taking the city of GK was her next move. Stanely losing half his best commanders, in particular wanda, made this a best time to strike. She particularly wants the city of GK because the city would finally make her strong enough to be an independent side and no longer have a need to rely on TV or Charlie. She even points out that the Smuckers she recieved for sending Vanna to TV was enough for her to brred up the giants into a force that would allow her to take and keep GK...

Between the idea that the bracer's prediction of "Chance of Jillian attacking: 62%", the idea that Charlie would turn FAQ's heir to TV, and this, I have this composite idea.

If Don accepts the deal with Charlie, and kills Parson, well, the comic ends. So that's not going to happen -- that's both Fate, Readership, etc. But Don could agree to turn Parson over to Charlie.

Well, that would make Stanley the rich and juggle-elf leader very angry, and the might of archon-resistant forces marching on an unprepared CC or TV would be interesting. Heck, the battle of CCTV would be worth watching. (Yes, yes I did that).

If not? If Don says "no" to the deal?

Then, we have something like this:

C: Jillian, I need you to attack TV.
J: What? Why?
C: They have turned on me, and on you. They are working with Stanley and Parson.
J: I wanted GK. I can take it; I can hold it. (Unsaid: It will make me independent of you, at last!)
C: Do you know that it's not considered to be good taste to say no to a request from a benefactor?
J: It's just ... I'm sorry, Charlie, but GK just tastes too good to me right now.

(yes, yes I did that too).

And, in these two pathways, there is a 62% chance that Charlie talks Jill into the attack on TV, especially perhaps if TV "steals" Jill's flying heir that she wanted so badly.

EDIT: Darn it.

Big Bison wrote:
Pointyleaf wrote:

The question isn't whether Jillian "will attack us", but whether she was already planning to. As in, there's a 61% chance that she was currently planning to attack them, at the time the question was asked, regardless of what Transylvito did in the future. As strange as it may seem, unless the bracer is wrong there was about 2:1 odds that Jillian was already aiming for attacking TV.

It could be that she had contingency plans for attacking TV, after all Caesar and Vinny had a plan to take out FAQ. The bracer could misrepresent Jillian having made a plan for a hypothetical situation when Jillian has no intent on attacking TV. Depending on how "planning" is defined, even a stray thought about strategy could count as planning to attack TV.

Yea, the difference between "Is she planning an attack", versus "Is she intending to attack" -- even Parson does many, many, *many* war plans that are just for planning, not intended for execution. Having contingency plans is normal; she can have planned an attack without ever expecting to use it. If anything, not having emergency plans for all of your neighbors is a sign of a bad leader.
keybounce wrote:

If Don accepts the deal with Charlie, and kills Parson, well, the comic ends.

I'm not convinced this is true. This is a world where units can be uncroaked or Decrypted. Hell, we don't even know whether Parson can be killed in this universe.

But let's stipulate for the moment that Parson can be killed, in a way that permanently removes him from the story. He's the protagonist (his name is a boopin' anagram of protagonist), but that doesn't mean the story can't continue without him. I could see Parson being removed in some sort of epic book finale, followed by a jump forward (several thousand turns at least) to a new era, with a new protagonist. It could work.
Not sure this has been covered yet but I'm pretty sure Charlie is using suggestion through the arkendish, both at the thinkamancer to get her to open more channels, and at Don to make him take a very bad deal. I think this type of action by Charlie has been hinted at before, where he says he doesn't want to reveal his full arkendish powers because then the ability to use them would be diminished. But now that Charlie is feeling profoundly threatened, I think he needs to pull out all the stops.
dichologos wrote:
Crystalis wrote:
Long time reader, first time poster. I'm curious about the choice to repeat the 'n' in 'on' to show Charlie's inflection, which is very much a wheedling/deal making type tone. In "kingpin" the 'i' is repeated, which is how I would naturally imagine drawing out the word if I were in that situation. However, with 'on' I would draw out the 'o' sound rather than the 'n' sound. Apologies if this has already been beaten to death, but as a noob poster I'm not sure how to search this thread and it has a boatload of pages to look through in order to do it manually.

I'm betting that it is because him saying "oooooon" would sound like he's making a completely different sound from the word "on." Like, the thought might pass through our minds that he is saying the word in a way that sounds like "balloon" rather than "con."

So while writing it with the "o" drawn out instead of the "n" might make more sense in one respect, the fact that it brings to mind an incorrect sounding word by stretching out a vowel means that the other letter was used instead.

Though I doubt any of this was a conscious decision as a writer, more a habitual one.

Edit: Then again, he doesn't use "n" in the word "kingpin" immediately afterwards, as you said, so it's probably just random and not something that is a big issue.

Sure, random and not a big issue. Just me picking at nits here. :-P I don't think anyone would confuse the pronunciation of 'on' if they drew out the 'o' just due to context.
Am I missing something, or is popping an heir ONE turn early just... not that special? It might as well be five minutes early?

But wait, if he pops early, Don will be safe from... oh right, that attack force bearing down on them. Which is either Charlie or one of Charlie's agents.

Which makes Charlie's deal still not very awesome?

I don't get why popping one turn early is like big fancy bait at this point.
It's not a day early. It's in one day. That's six days early, 1/7th of the time it would take with a Turnamancer working on it. That should be impossible.
ShaneTheBrain wrote:

But wait, if he pops early, Don will be safe from... oh right, that attack force bearing down on them. Which is either Charlie or one of Charlie's agents.

Don's side is already safe from Don's death. He already has an heir -- Caesar. That's what really puzzles many of us.

There was a speculative explanation earlier, in one of these reaction threads, that Don has become fixated on having a Royal heir, for some sort of bigot-reason that would only make sense to a Royal. This is the best explanation I've seen so far.
God, I love the back and forth between these two. Send a stack of bats up there indeed. Love mental image that. Charlie's offer was pretty sweet if you ask me but it certainly was a low blow. I could understand Don's anger in the last panel.