An MK debate: the Signamancy of livery and side coloring
“I’m tellin’ you… look at his maps. The signs are all over each one.”
“Bah. That may be so, but he says he’s a Lookamancer, not a Signamancer… who says he isn’t just choosing those colors to make us think there are signs when there are none? Does anybody even know who he really is?”
“Carl Rapher... he told me just yesterday that he is a wandering map maker from some side called ‘Tog’.”
“Yeah, I spoke to him too. Know what he said? He claimed that there is more than one Magic Kingdom! Of all the ludicrous notions! Know what I think, I think he’s a Carnymancer just out to scam a few rands off us for his so called ‘accurate’ maps. I’ve never even heard of these sides he talks about… Gobwin Knob? Carlscomm? If they’re so big and important why has nobody ever heard of them?”
A few of the onlookers nodded at this. The debate had been going for some time now, and a small group was forming. Even if the onlookers didn’t like what was being said, everybody agreed that a debate between Johnson and Johnson would be quite entertaining once it got heated enough.
“A Carnymancer willingly staying in the Eyemancer octant? Why would one of the richest caster types choose to stay in those beggar’s quarters?” declared Arden Johnson.
Lauder Johnson countered, “What better cover story for a supposed Lookamancer! Everybody knows a Carnymancer is more than willing to play any part needed to get the last rand or schmucker off some fool. I’ve never even heard of a level 6 Lookamancer, let alone a level 11 like him!”
Arden shook his head in consternation. “Look, even if he’s actually a Carnymancer it makes no difference. He has good evidence!”
“Good evidence? Ha! All I saw is a bunch of colorful blobs and a story that would get the attention of a less knowledgeable Signamancer.”
Arden pulled out a rolled parchment and laid it upon the ground, for those close enough to see they could see a hex map that covered nearly 200 hexes in each direction. “Just look at the map though! This Gobwin Knob is claimed to be trying to ally with four sides, and of those four sides the two whose color scheme is closer to them are actually listening!”
Lauder sneered, “Yeah, and how are they colored? In a single color. How many sides have you seen with a singular color scheme? The sides I know each have three colors to their livery!”
“I know, I know… but look, this Gobwin Knob, Transvetito and Haggard each have at least a reddish color in their schemes. I asked Carl, and he said that even Jetrock has a red color in their scheme and they’ve been willing to talk, whereas the fourth side, this… FAQ? It has no red in their scheme but rather blue, and they are supposedly working in hand with that Carlscomm side whose colors are all shades of blue! I’m telling you we should look into this more!”
“Rumors and speculation! Wild conjecture! We only have his word on these color schemes, and look at their liveries! Gobwin Knob’s livery clearly denotes the ruler as being self-important, his image gives off beams of light to draw even more attention to him to make his people see him as a ‘shining example’. Whereas Transvetito’s looks like a bat of some sort and Haggard? That one is of a tower on the sea! You can’t possibly tell me there’s a real connection there!”
One of the closer onlookers, another Signamancer known as Victoria Kay, spoke up, “I dunno about that Lauder… you said yourself that Gobwin Knob’s livery has beams of light, and I may not know much about coastal cities, but isn’t a seaside tower often called a lighthouse? Seems to me those liveries share some qualities, and bats would certainly like a place as dark and dank as the inside of a tower…Arden may be on to something here.”
Arden’s smile beamed at having received some backup. “Exactly my point! And look at FAQ and Carlscomm, FAQ’s livery is that of a Gwiffon… a known flying unit, whereas Carlscomm’s livery is literally a pair of wings! That couldn’t be coincidence.”
Lauder huffed, “Then why wouldn’t FAQ be allied with Tranvetito? Both their liveries clearly show a flying unit! On top of that Carl had said that Tranvetito and that Jetrock side are allies in some large coalition.”
“I thought Carl said FAQ and Tranvetito were allies… though a bit strained…” Arden paused for a moment, “which could be explained because of their color schemes again! Look, the red and black of Tranvetito has no match to the silver and blue of FAQ! We all know we have to look at the signs as a whole, not each piece individually… but looking at each piece can give us information of the whole! It all adds up… the more the liveries share, the more likely peace between the sides can be made and held! We would be able to tell rulers who would make more stable allies for them without ever talking to an enemy unit!”
“That’s all well and good… if any of it were true. But Mr. Rapher had also said that the Gobwin Knob side had wiped out another side… one whose livery colors were shades of red and orange? What did he call that side… Eweniboil… Youneedfoiled…”
“Yeah, that one! Why would Gobwin Knob and this Uniroyale be in such conflict that one side had to wipe out the other? If the colors and livery were to show compatibility between sides, as you claim, then they should have at least been in talks according to you.”
Arden slumped, that one was a point in Lauder’s favor. “I can’t say… what was Uniroyale’s livery symbol? That may have something to do with it…”
Lauder didn’t hold up there though, but pushed forward, “and on top of that what of the sides who allow their commander’s to have their own liveries? Are you gonna tell me that each livery has to be considered? Or maybe only the ruler’s livery matters, and forget that maybe he has an heir whose livery and colors directly conflict with a potential ally. You’re asking us to accept that one aspect of another aspect of a side can determine their intentions.”
“That’s not what I’m…”
Lauder interrupted, “Fact is there isn’t enough evidence to your claim and what evidence you have comes from aquestionable source. I say bring us facts which can be verified! Then we can take another look at this. Until then… I have more important things to do.” Lauder then spun on his heels and sharply marched away as though he had won… a number of his supporters in the small crowd followed after him.
“… but… the whole image, we need to look at the big picture!” Arden tried to call out, but Lauder and his group were already out of earshot, especially with the laughter and conversations going on within. He was startled to feel a hand on his shoulder.
Victoria smiled demurely at him, “come now, we just need more information to convince him. Maybe Carl Rapher is still around and can be made to make such a map for sides we do know about. Besides, look where he’s heading… to The Joint… between the Hippiemancer commune and the Naughtymancer’s mansion… we all know what secrets are bared there, we shouldn’t concern ourselves with what he thinks.”
Arden smiled as he stood to leave, brushing some dust off his trousers. “Yeah, I suppose you’re right… speaking of secrets, I’ve got a bottle of wine stashed away, if you’d care to join me at my place for a drink?”
“Oh you little player you! Maybe it’s you who has a bit of Carnymancer in him.” She smiled and took his arm, letting him lead the way…
Shooting down questions before they’re asked:
Q: Whoa, wait! What’s going on here? Carnymancers are rich? Since when? And what is this about multiple Magic Kingdoms?
A: I thought about doing this in the MK proper… but the more I thought about it I realized the possibility of other MKs existing was plausible… and that they could be VERY different. In the main story the MK has so far only dealt with sides in the conflict and maybe a little further out… which made me look at the coordinates for the story’s conflict. They are in what would be called the North Western Quadrant of a grid system, and a good ways in there too… considering the size of ‘large’ sides and the amount of actual hex-area in a single quadrant (even assuming 1400 being the max distance from center possible) the few scenes we’ve seen of Portal Park (as of yet) don’t hold nearly enough for the whole of Erf, however if each quadrant had its own MK… the numbers become much more believable. So I decided to use one of these ‘alternate’ MKs, and wanted it to be clearly separated from the main MK (some of the other Fanon stories also refer to an MK, but very few even mention known people in the MK, which is entirely possible in and of themselves). Another reason for my multiple MK theory is from the Charelscomm's Treatise where after each coordinate point we see an ‘MCS’ but this ‘MCS’ is undefined, likely his notation for his quadrant (or possibly the connecting MK)
In the MK shown here (and possibly some of my future stories) I thought it would be interesting to see some twists, the main one being the switch up between Carnymancers and Eyemancers wealth status. In the quadrant this MK resides in carnymancy is valuable. Cheats, tricks and hacks are common in many games… as is the concept of ‘buying gold’, and this quadrant is rampant with rulers looking to do just that. Because of this, most rulers (players) in this quadrant are ‘soloists’ and prefer not to talk to other rulers (players), they instead focus on their own wants and desires and ignore (or destroy) those who disagree with them.
Q: Who is this Carl Rapher then and how does he go from one MK to another?
A: Carl Rapher is as he claims, a wandering map maker (some of his work can be seen in the Mapping out Erfworld series). Right now it is safe to assume he is an excommunicated ruler or heir who travels all Erfworld. He probably stays in an MK long enough to map a good portion of the area (most likely while on contract for upkeep from various rulers), and once he gets a fair map and/or finds a side that is likely near that MK’s border he finishes his contract then rather than return to the MK he strikes out on his own across the terrain (possibly taking/razing poorly protected city sites for upkeep, amongst other things). Doing this to go from one MK to another he can truly visit more of Erfworld than any other Erfling (except maybe Charlescomm, though this MK seems to be far enough away not to have even heard of him). Yes, I will probably do more stories concerning Mr. Rapher.
Q: ok, I have to ask… Why the misnaming of the main story’s sides?
A: Simple. In this MK these sides are completely unheard of. In fact only one person in this MK (Carl Rapher) has any knowledge about these sides, so information is bound to get garbled from one person to the next.
Q: What exactly was that about color schemes and livery?
A: From the Canon story it appears that most sides have either a two or three piece color scheme to their unit’s armaments. FAQ has blue, silver and yellow, Jetstone has light red, silver and gold, and Gobwin Knob has that pink, yellow and grey (or black and red for the decrypted). Most sides shown we’ve only seen dual colors, like Unaroyal’s red and orange, HobbitTM’s dark and light blue or FoxMud’s purple and pink. On top of this color scheme there is the livery, which as of yet has tended to be comprised primarily of the associated livery colors.
I enjoy the idea of multiple magic kingdoms. There is no reason, I see, that there could not be. Also, the idea that they would have different social and politcal climates is great.
As for Fanon, I think many of the stories occur in earlier eras. Parson is still very new to a potentially very old Erfworld.
some of the other stories may indeed happen before (or well after) the Main Canon Story (OMG! is that what MCS means from the agreement with Charlescomm ?). But this is a good building block for my own offshoot (Fanon) stories, so we'll see where things go.