The return of Misty

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The return of Misty

Postby Duckman » Thu May 28, 2009 4:10 pm

Ok, I'm sorry in advance if this speculation has already been posted. Here I go:

back then when the Tool ordered Maggie to break up the link, Hamster's dearest Misty died. And he had her buried in GK. Her body was whole, since the injury that killed her was the recoil after the link was broken.

So, what is keeping Wanda from decrypting Misty? Her body is supposedly still there, still in one piece, and our favorite croakamancer's new powers certainly allow her to "revive" even new type of units that had not been possible to uncroak.

True, we do not know if a decrypted caster will still be a caster (we knew an uncroaked caster became simple uncroaked infantry), but considering that decrypted units seem to retain all their original abilities, including "specials", I don't see why this is not possible. Especially because a Lookamancer would be a great asset to Team Hamstard.

What do you guys/gals think?

EDIT: check http://www.erfworld.com/wiki/index.php/TBFGK_77a:2 to see the klog where Parson writes down how Sizemore buried Misty, apparently inside the city limits.
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Re: The return of Misty

Postby OnyxNoir » Thu May 28, 2009 6:05 pm

I thought that as their turn ended, troops which are dead but not uncroaked simply dissppear (Parson talks about them being like Trash in the klog i think)

The burial was more for Parson's sake than Misty's really.
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Re: The return of Misty

Postby seans23 » Thu May 28, 2009 6:38 pm

OnyxNoir wrote:I thought that as their turn ended, troops which are dead but not uncroaked simply dissppear


"corpses which aren't uncroaked or moved..." http://www.erfworld.com/wiki/index.php/TBFGK_77a

Burying Misty would have required moving her, so there's still a chance...
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Re: The return of Misty

Postby OnyxNoir » Thu May 28, 2009 6:51 pm

Well yeeeeeess..I mean,have we seen any decrypted casters act as casters yet?

Also, she was buried presumably in the grounds, which were then promptly buried under the collapsing GK before the Volcano erupted and destroyed anything.

I mean...come on..!
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Re: The return of Misty

Postby Bobby Archer » Thu May 28, 2009 7:39 pm

OnyxNoir wrote:Well yeeeeeess..I mean,have we seen any decrypted casters act as casters yet?


No, but Ansom seems to have kept all his stats. Sure he seems to have lost whatever beliefs, feelings, and free will he had had previously when Wanda turned him into an undead mockery of his former self, but I think Misty would come through that just fine.

I wouldn't say this has the best odds in favor of it, but it would certainly be interesting to see.
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Re: The return of Misty

Postby MarbitChow » Thu May 28, 2009 7:40 pm

They make it pretty clear in the wiki under Croaking that something has to be done to the body to claim it - uncroak it, skin it, turn it into a trophy, etc. (The wiki entry is Canon, so it's been confirmed by the authors.)

Something to change the state of the body from 'generic corpse' to 'other item', would be how I read that.

Stylistically, if Misty comes back, it undermines a major point of Parson's character development, and it totally lets Maggie off the hook. From a plot point of view, I don't think it's likely for that reason.
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Re: The return of Misty

Postby Arkenputtyknife » Thu May 28, 2009 7:59 pm

MarbitChow wrote:They make it pretty clear in the wiki under Croaking that something has to be done to the body to claim it - uncroak it, skin it, turn it into a trophy, etc. (The wiki entry is Canon, so it's been confirmed by the authors.)

Something to change the state of the body from 'generic corpse' to 'other item', would be how I read that.

Stylistically, if Misty comes back, it undermines a major point of Parson's character development, and it totally lets Maggie off the hook. From a plot point of view, I don't think it's likely for that reason.

There's an ambiguity in that wiki page: it says "moved/claimed" (followed by the parenthetical list MarbitChow is referring to). But is that "moved or claimed" or "moved and claimed"? My initial impression is the former, which would imply that MarbitChow's reasoning is incorrect, but later on it refers to "unclaimed bodies", so I wouldn't know.

But I agree with the stylistic point. I'm sick to death of stories where they make a big song and dance about someone's death and then magically make everything all right again. (Mai HiME, anyone?)
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Re: The return of Misty

Postby SteveMB » Thu May 28, 2009 8:34 pm

MarbitChow wrote:Stylistically, if Misty comes back, it undermines a major point of Parson's character development, and it totally lets Maggie off the hook. From a plot point of view, I don't think it's likely for that reason.


There's also the question of whether a croaked and decrypted unit is really its old self. Ansom seems not to be... but that could be mundane psychology (the True Believer becoming a True Believer in something else after his original True Belief was yanked out from under him) rather than a magical alteration of his mind. (On the gripping hand, Maggie's comments about how Thinkamancy working with preexisting tendencies may imply that, if magic was involved, its effectiveness is enhanced by that underlying psychology.)

Parson may hate the idea of decrypting Misty worse than the idea of her dying. As he said, she deserves to rest....
Last edited by SteveMB on Thu May 28, 2009 8:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The return of Misty

Postby Mikalyaran » Thu May 28, 2009 8:34 pm

Im really hoping they don't do this. I think it would really cheapen an important part of the comic. Furthermore, how could we ever really feel the impact of it if they kill a character who we feel something for?
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Re: The return of Misty

Postby Darkside007 » Thu May 28, 2009 10:29 pm

Just because major comics bring back every last person who dies doesn't mean that bringing back a character immediately eliminates everything that the death caused; and in the case of decrypting, it can add meaning.
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Re: The return of Misty

Postby Mikalyaran » Fri May 29, 2009 1:03 am

Darkside007 wrote:Just because major comics bring back every last person who dies doesn't mean that bringing back a character immediately eliminates everything that the death caused; and in the case of decrypting, it can add meaning.


That doesn't mean you go and do it to main characters willy nilly. Developing the comic for that is something carefully done. We see it with Ansom. Him being decrypted definitely adds meaning and creates something a little terrifying. Doing it to Misty or Bogroll would just take the strength out of it anytime a character was killed. Death would become almost meaningless. Decrypting Misty would, to me, come off as cheap. You all are welcome to disagree of course.
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Re: The return of Misty

Postby Sethram » Fri May 29, 2009 12:34 pm

Darkside007 wrote:Just because major comics bring back every last person who dies doesn't mean that bringing back a character immediately eliminates everything that the death caused; and in the case of decrypting, it can add meaning.


Major comics bring back characters because those characters sell comics.
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Re: The return of Misty

Postby MarbitChow » Fri May 29, 2009 3:49 pm

Misty was clearly not a main character.

She was a helpful little waif that Parson encountered briefly, who's main purpose was to (a) establish the usefulness / power of the linked caster scenario and (b) to die tragically early on, in order to establish the gravity of the situation ("DEATH IS REAL!") and the danger that forming links entails.

She has to be female, because for some odd narrative reason, female deaths always make a bigger impact, but other than that, she's barely a blip on the radar.

Heck, I think the Gobwin guard (Bogroll's buddy) gets as many lines and scenes as Misty does, but nobody mourns for him - we don't even know his fate.

I was going to use Scarlet as another example, but the boards have elevated Scarlet to near-mystic status as well, so that would probably be a fruitless comparison. :)
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Re: The return of Misty

Postby Housellama » Fri May 29, 2009 6:07 pm

MarbitChow wrote:Misty was clearly not a main character.

She was a helpful little waif that Parson encountered briefly, who's main purpose was to (a) establish the usefulness / power of the linked caster scenario and (b) to die tragically early on, in order to establish the gravity of the situation ("DEATH IS REAL!") and the danger that forming links entails.

She has to be female, because for some odd narrative reason, female deaths always make a bigger impact, but other than that, she's barely a blip on the radar.


Okay, I agree about the Death is real bit, but she is -HARDLY- barely a blip on the radar. She's a Caster. That AUTOMATICALLY makes her a Big Deal. Even more, she's a Lookamancer, someone capable of providing timely, accurate forward intelligence. Even if there was no personal connection (which there is... "This is hardball, man... This is booping hard core" http://www.erfworld.com/wp-content/uploads/book1/077.jpg), Parsons would want the capabilities a Lookamancer gives him. That's simple strategy. The better your forward intelligence, the better you can plan for events.

While Misty wasn't a MAIN character, she was more than a simple bit part.

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Re: The return of Misty

Postby Duckman » Fri May 29, 2009 10:13 pm

MarbitChow wrote:Misty was clearly not a main character.

She was a helpful little waif that Parson encountered briefly, who's main purpose was to (a) establish the usefulness / power of the linked caster scenario and (b) to die tragically early on, in order to establish the gravity of the situation ("DEATH IS REAL!") and the danger that forming links entails.

She has to be female, because for some odd narrative reason, female deaths always make a bigger impact, but other than that, she's barely a blip on the radar.

Heck, I think the Gobwin guard (Bogroll's buddy) gets as many lines and scenes as Misty does, but nobody mourns for him - we don't even know his fate.

I was going to use Scarlet as another example, but the boards have elevated Scarlet to near-mystic status as well, so that would probably be a fruitless comparison. :)



She was way more than a blip in the radar. She left Parson emotionally scarred, even after he'd seen thousands of deaths in Erfworld. Her shadow is even felt by the end of the book, see: http://www.erfworld.com/book-1-archive/?px=%2F148.jpg.

While reviving her might be cheesy to a certain degree, bear in mind a few things. First, the strategic importance of having a Lookamancer. Second, her decrypting would NOT constitute exactly a reviving. Decrypting clearly changes those it raises: see the awful look in the decrypted archon's face. http://www.erfworld.com/wp-content/uplo ... k1/146.jpg. You've also seen the new Ansom. A decrypted Misty might not erase the pain of her death, but could even twist it and make it even worse for herself and Parson.
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Re: The return of Misty

Postby MarbitChow » Sat May 30, 2009 10:27 am

Housellama wrote:Okay, I agree about the Death is real bit, but she is -HARDLY- barely a blip on the radar. She's a Caster. That AUTOMATICALLY makes her a Big Deal. Even more, she's a Lookamancer, someone capable of providing timely, accurate forward intelligence. Even if there was no personal connection (which there is... "This is hardball, man... This is booping hard core" http://www.erfworld.com/wp-content/uploads/book1/077.jpg), Parsons would want the capabilities a Lookamancer gives him. That's simple strategy. The better your forward intelligence, the better you can plan for events.

While Misty wasn't a MAIN character, she was more than a simple bit part.

But she IS a bit part. That's my point. She's got only a few lines, she appears in only a couple of scenes. Her part is tiny. It's her impact that is important. Misty only has value, story-wise, by being absent.

I'm not arguing that Parson wouldn't want her back. That's a no-brainer. That's her whole role in the story - to make death REAL for Parson. It's probably the first time in his life he saw anyone dead outside of a sanitized funeral home presentation.

The fact that she's a caster means that she's a valuable, unique unit. It doesn't give her any more inherent narrative value than that. Take Bunny, Transylvito's Thinkamancer. Bunny may be really valuable, but she is clearly not a main or even important character - she's just a means to communicate the information to Vinnie and Jillian for the scene.

Misty can't come back. Parson may want her to, but the narrative requires that she be a real, permanent loss. But the amount of impact that she has on Parson doesn't elevate her to Main Character status. Parson's mother (or whoever his primary caregiver was when he was raised) obviously, logically had far more of an impact on Parson's development than Misty has, but his mom is not part of the narrative at all.

The amount of screen-time and dialog she's had, and the amount of character exposition and development, determine whether she's a main character or bit part. She's got about as much as "Scarlet" had, and no one's arguing that "Scarlet" is a main character (although some might wish her to be). And, like Misty, Scarlet's impact is primarily through her death (although Scarlet has a better chance of coming back).

Duckman wrote:She was way more than a blip in the radar. She left Parson emotionally scarred, even after he'd seen thousands of deaths in Erfworld. Her shadow is even felt by the end of the book, see: http://www.erfworld.com/book-1-archive/?px=%2F148.jpg.

But that's just it: Parson didn't SEE any people dying. He SAW units being lost: undead and dwagons, primarily. He was still thinking of things as just a game. Misty changes all that.

Misty's impact is profound. However, we know nothing about her other than that she was a lookamancer. That's it. That's not her character, that's her function.
Misty only has value as the first death Parson experiences first-hand. She has NO character development, or even an established personality. She's just a unit.

Except that she's not, to Parson. She's a person to him. That makes her loss hit home. So restoring her to the story negates that loss.

Stanley thinks about his people as units. "Dirt Guy". "Foolamancer". He didn't know Jack's name, and we've already established that casters are unique and valuable units.
Stanley's attitude is extreme, but is fairly typical to some degree or another throughout Erfworld. Vinnie's bats are just fodder, they're not pets. Maggie had no qualms about placing her own teammates at risk when breaking the link. Wanda has no problem with torture because every morning - POP! - all wounds are healed and everything's fine.

The callous disregard for life is a major theme in Erfworld. Which would be fine if the people were just units, but they aren't. They grieve and mourn their losses. They mostly just don't realize that a world could exist without constant warfare and death. But the desire is there. The Hippiemancers, the Philosopher King of Faq - they have the desire. They just don't have the ability to bring peace.

So, Misty's death has value to the story - I think it's the first non-comical death we're exposed to, and it's the first death Parson experiences.
And Misty, the Unit, would have great tactical value to Parson's side.
But Misty, the Character, is a bit part. We know nothing about her. SHE almost knew nothing of herself when we meet her. Her sense of self was almost gone before Parson started interacting with her. We don't know what her hopes and dreams were. We don't know who her friends and rivals were. We know nothing about her, other than her abilities as a unit.

Duckman wrote:While reviving her might be cheesy to a certain degree, bear in mind a few things. First, the strategic importance of having a Lookamancer. Second, her decrypting would NOT constitute exactly a reviving. Decrypting clearly changes those it raises: see the awful look in the decrypted archon's face. http://www.erfworld.com/wp-content/uplo ... k1/146.jpg. You've also seen the new Ansom. A decrypted Misty might not erase the pain of her death, but could even twist it and make it even worse for herself and Parson.

There's no Story of Misty to continue. There never was one that we're made aware of. Her contribution to the story is only through her absence. Bringing her back decrypted, with an altered personality, would make no difference, because Misty's personality was never established to begin with. We couldn't feel the change, because we have no idea of what she used to be like.
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Re: The return of Misty

Postby raphfrk » Sat May 30, 2009 10:55 am

MarbitChow wrote:Misty's impact is profound. However, we know nothing about her other than that she was a lookamancer. That's it. That's not her character, that's her function.


We also know she is a person who tries to be helpful and is probably a "nice person" ... though granted, still not a major character :).
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Re: The return of Misty

Postby Housellama » Mon Jun 01, 2009 5:22 pm

MarbitChow wrote:But she IS a bit part. That's my point. She's got only a few lines, she appears in only a couple of scenes. Her part is tiny. It's her impact that is important. Misty only has value, story-wise, by being absent.


We have a very different definition of "bit part". She might not have many speaking parts, but she has a huge impact on the story, absent or not. That's not a bit part. That's a dead supporting character. To me, a bit part is essentially a throw away. The other guard at the door of Jillian's cell is a perfect example of a bit part. He could be removed without any impact on the story. The gumps in the dragon fort scene are another example. They could be exchanged for any other creature with virtually no impact on the story. Bit part.

MISTY on the other hand, has a well defined function, both in game and in the story. Anything other than minor cosmetic changes would alter the story in a lot of ways. That makes her at the very least a supporting character. Not a bit part.

Just my opinion. YMMV.

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Re: The return of Misty

Postby Firefly » Wed Jun 03, 2009 5:49 am

There are two levels on which to look at this: let's call them the 'gaming'
level and the 'metagaming' level.

Metagaming is playing the game using knowledge that the player has but the
player's character doesn't. If my half-orc fighter with an intelligence of
7 is squaring off against a wizard, and I start counting spells the wizard
casts because I, as an experienced gamer, can figure out how many spells
he'll have before he runs out - then I'm metagaming, and the GM should
penalize me for it. If, on the other hand, I as a player have information
that would help my character but don't use it because my character wouldn't
know it - that's something a good GM acknowledges and rewards.

Similarly - most of the people who've posted in this thread against raising
Misty have done so from the metagaming perspective, i.e. it's a bad device
for the narrative.

So I'll address that first: when they originally noted that corpses despawn
unless they're moved, and that they moved Misty, I thought it was a
Checkhov's Gun (plot device wherein a seemingly insignificant element
appears early in the story only to take on special significance later) to
have the option to bring Misty back at some point.

(Side note: Don't even ask whether "burying" necessarily includes moving
the body. It doesn't need to. Parson was shown *carrying* Misty's
lifeless corpse - I'm pretty sure that qualifies as moving the body.)

Good points have been made that Misty is more important to the story dead
than alive. I submit that the effects her death was meant to incur have
happened. Parson's attitude towards his setting has been solidified, his
dynamic re: Maggie has been set (and explained), etc.

GETTING MISTY BACK WILL NOT UNDO THESE EFFECTS. Parson will realize he
just got a lucky break (maybe the Luckamancy Charms worked after all!) - if
Wanda hadn't gotten the pliers, getting Misty back still wouldn't be an
option, even if her body WERE still available (she would just be uncroaked
infantry, and Parson said he wouldn't do that to her). He's still aware
that death exists and is potentially permanent (viz. Bogroll) and has spent
more than one strip recognizing his role in the deaths of both enemies AND
friends, finding himself not liking it so much. Maggie's not "off the
hook" either, because if Misty *does* come back it won't be by Maggie's
doing - and she's already been confronted with Parson's anger about her
actions, and now has a basis for potentially altering her behavior in the
future, regardless of whether Misty comes back or no. I would *hope* a
Thinkamancer is smart enough to thinkamance about *that*.

If I get diagnosed with cancer and believe I'm going to die, then later go
into remission, I'm going to have a different notion of how to live my life
in the future, recognizing that it's a precious gift and it's NOT infinite.
Parson's had enough reminders of that that Misty doesn't need to stay
croaked.

I think Rob is a good enough storyteller to make that work.,

For those who've commented that Ansom and the archon were somehow altered
once they'd been decrypted, I submit that it's potentially an imperfect
comparison: Ansom and the archon were on a side opposing that of the
croakamancer when they were croaked & decrypted; Misty was not. Decrypting
must necessarily include something about altering the mindset of croaked
*enemy* units, because it would be stupid to bring your enemy back to life
and have him remain your enemy. Such a thing was not, strictly speaking,
*necessary* for raising units already on your own side - so Misty need not
be darkly changed when she comes back. (Or, for added drama, maybe
something *should* be a little different about her...)

Now, so much for the metagaming perspective; now for the gaming
perspective. Misty should come back for one very simple reason: Parson
(and, to a lesser extent, Wanda) would, upon finding it was possible, want
her to.
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Re: The return of Misty

Postby MarbitChow » Wed Jun 03, 2009 12:05 pm

Firefly wrote:There are two levels on which to look at this: let's call them the 'gaming'
level and the 'metagaming' level.
(snip)
(Side note: Don't even ask whether "burying" necessarily includes moving
the body. It doesn't need to. Parson was shown *carrying* Misty's
lifeless corpse - I'm pretty sure that qualifies as moving the body.)


From a gaming perspective, "move" usually means "crossing hexes". Note that Bogroll had a move of 0. This didn't mean he was immobile. It meant he couldn't leave the hex. From a gaming perspective, since Misty's body didn't exit the hex, she wasn't "moved".

Firefly wrote:I submit that the effects her death was meant to incur have
happened. Parson's attitude towards his setting has been solidified, his
dynamic re: Maggie has been set (and explained), etc.
GETTING MISTY BACK WILL NOT UNDO THESE EFFECTS.


That's not the point. The point is, if the character dies, and that death is significant to the narrative, the character should remain dead, unless that character's return from death is ALSO significant to the narrative. Misty isn't important to the narrative, except for the fact that she died.

People keep throwing around Checkov's Gun in response to just about everything. From the Checkov's Gun wiki entry:
Although many people consider the phrase "Chekhov's gun" to be the equivalent of foreshadowing, the statements the author made about it can be more properly interpreted as meaning "do not include any unnecessary elements in a story."


There's no good reason to bring her back that we're aware of, other than Parson's desire. There are plenty of reasons to leave her dead.

Firefly wrote:Such a thing was not, strictly speaking,
*necessary* for raising units already on your own side - so Misty need not
be darkly changed when she comes back. (Or, for added drama, maybe
something *should* be a little different about her...)


We don't really know anything at all about Misty, other than that she's a female thinkamancer who seems to like to be helpful. Wanda has also been shown to be very helpful, and she's EVIL. We know nothing about Misty's real personality, so we as readers would have no idea what changed. So, there's no potential dramatic value to bringing her back this way, because WE couldn't feel the change, nor could Parson.

Firefly wrote:Now, so much for the metagaming perspective; now for the gaming
perspective. Misty should come back for one very simple reason: Parson
(and, to a lesser extent, Wanda) would, upon finding it was possible, want
her to.


Nothing has been shown to indicate that it's possible. Misty's body, according to established Erfworld canon, would have vanished from the grave at the start of their next turn. The body wasn't altered (decrypted / uncroaked), it wasn't claimed as a trophy, and it remained in the same hex it died in. It should be gone. Misty, being a caster, would be a very high-valued unit. Wanda would have sought her out fairly early on for decrypting (since she didn't know whether there was a limit to decrypting) if she thought there was a potential chance to recover her.

Wanda's comments about Parson losing don't mean anything if all he lost were a bunch of gobwins he never really interacted with. Misty and Bogroll make it personal. Bogroll's death was heroic, Misty's was tragic. Neither of them are coming back. Parsons needs them to be gone in order to give him motivation. Her absence is a constant reminder in a way her resurrected presence never could be.

Misty's gone, man. Let her go. :)
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