Are there really only 4?

Speculation, discoveries, complaints, accusations, praise, and all other Erfworld discussion.

Are there really only 4?

Postby Swodaems » Sun Aug 14, 2011 1:41 pm

Hopefully, everyone can guess that I'm talking about Arkentools when they read the topic name. Don't ask me why I'm unwilling to change the name, but willing to rant about that fact here. Simple fact is I don't know why. Also don't know why I gave a preemptive answer to a question I've told everyone not to ask.

Lack of knowledge plays a big part in the story of Erfworld: Parson doesn't know alot of the mechanics of Erfworld. It's probable that only a few people know the truth about what happened to Saline IV. Charlie trys to keep almost all knowledge about himself hidden. In Book 1, Parson flat out questions how much the people of Erfworld know about its basic mechanics. There are significant reasons to doubt that the more common units of a side have easy access to the knowledge of that side's workings.

I simply think that this lack of knowledge element also applies to the actual number of Arkentools. This number was given to us here as the number of known Arkentools. That single word 'known' sets off all kinds of reader sense in my head. I think Rob was wording the Arkentool count weakly for a reason. Instead of simply saying "There are 4 Arkentools," a statement that leaves no margin for error, Rob has left open a door thru which much can pass. (Do those 4 count as known because they have been verified by a trustable source and there are other things out there that the people holding them claim to be an Arkentool, but are not allowing to be verified? Are they known because people are currently holding them and that others may have been lost on the battlefield or purposefully hidden in the past? Are they known because they are the only ones to have been discovered up to this point?)

While there may actually be only 4, I would like to speculate on what it would mean to the story if there were more.

First off, depending on the number of Arkentools, the whole 'Bring all the Arkentools together' storyline becomes much harder to achieve and may even become an impossible goal for the characters to ever be expected to accomplish. This could have a wide array of effects on the story depending on how it plays out.

If Parson was indeed summoned to bring all the Arkentools together, then the broadening of the Scope of the Arkentool mission means he has to do a whole lot more To accomplish that goal. Instead of simply having to defeat charlie to get his tool and finding a means to collect the other, Parson now has to garner an understanding of what the Arkentools actually are so he can get an understanding of what his goal actually is and then he has to figure out a seperate way to gather each individual Arkentool. (Or better yet, figure out a way to make all the Arkentools gravitate towards him.)

The discovery of additional Arkentools would also have an effect on everyone whose goal it is to bring them together. Let's say the Predictamancers want the Arkentools brought together because the Arkentools being brought together is the furthest out they can see, or that Janis wants it to happen because the world after that is meant to be harmony as it is written in the Scriptures. The increased difficulty of the task would cause everyone who previously had a plan that involved the Arkentools coming together would start having to make a new one while running headlong into the remains of all the old plans. Gambit pileup, anyone?

All in all, I think the discovery of more Arkentools would be an interesting direction to see the story go in. But that is just my opinion. Anyone else want to share their toughts?
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Re: Are there really only 4?

Postby MarbitChow » Sun Aug 14, 2011 2:04 pm

While I would love to see ways to extend the story, I'd also like to see the story come to a conclusion in my lifetime. Since we can pretty much eliminate conquering Charlie in Book 2, assuming 1 book is dedicated to acquiring each 'Tool in the future, we' looking at probably 7 more years before this saga is complete. The only way I'd want to see the saga padded out more is if the updates become a lot more frequent. While more Erfworld would seem to be better, I don't want it at the expense of quality.
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Re: Are there really only 4?

Postby Swodaems » Sun Aug 14, 2011 2:29 pm

MarbitChow wrote:While I would love to see ways to extend the story, I'd also like to see the story come to a conclusion in my lifetime. Since we can pretty much eliminate conquering Charlie in Book 2, assuming 1 book is dedicated to acquiring each 'Tool in the future, we' looking at probably 7 more years before this saga is complete. The only way I'd want to see the saga padded out more is if the updates become a lot more frequent. While more Erfworld would seem to be better, I don't want it at the expense of quality.

While the result of all the Arkentools coming together might be interesting to see, that doesn't mean that they actually have to in order for Rob to spin a good story involving people who try to collect them.
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Re: Are there really only 4?

Postby drachefly » Mon Aug 15, 2011 9:37 am

Swodaems wrote:Hopefully, everyone can guess that I'm talking about Arkentools when they read the topic name. Don't ask me why I'm unwilling to change the name, but willing to rant about that fact here. Simple fact is I don't know why. Also don't know why I gave a preemptive answer to a question I've told everyone not to ask.


It's called prolepsis.

Anyway, finding the last arkentools could simply be an exercise in deductive reasoning that would take a few pages and some offscreen action. Preferably while under some sort of stress so it doesn't come across like an Asimov confrontation (which are good in their own way, but don't bear illustration very well).
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Re: Are there really only 4?

Postby WaterMonkey314 » Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:07 pm

Watch the entirety of Book 3 be dedicated to Parson's search for the 4th 'Tool... only for him to learn at the end that it's the weird thing under the MK portals.

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Re: Are there really only 4?

Postby Swodaems » Thu Aug 18, 2011 1:02 pm

WaterMonkey314 wrote:Watch the entirety of Book 3 be dedicated to Parson's search for the 4th 'Tool... only for him to learn at the end that it's the weird thing under the MK portals.

"Why didn't anyone say?"

"Lord, we thought you knew." :twisted:


The 4th tool being the Magic Kingdom portals would pose a unique problem in regards to collecting all the Arkentools together.

It would mean that the Arkentools would have to be brought together in the MK, a place which Stanley may be unable to enter. I have my doubts about his willingness to let the Hammer be taken away from him.

Of course, if the Arkentools are meant to be brought together in the Magic Kingdom, then this means that Erfworld is a "gather a bunch of objectives and take them to a certain point" kind of game.
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Re: Are there really only 4?

Postby raphfrk » Wed Aug 31, 2011 3:17 pm

Swodaems wrote:Of course, if the Arkentools are meant to be brought together in the Magic Kingdom, then this means that Erfworld is a "gather a bunch of objectives and take them to a certain point" kind of game.


If the MK is a standard place, rather than a pocket dimension, then it should be possible to travel there without using the portals.
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Re: Are there really only 4?

Postby Sieggy » Wed Aug 31, 2011 6:33 pm

But only by naval units, as the MK seems to be an island from the artwork which I am far too lazy to cite . . . I suppose it could also be assaulted from the air (Hi, Stanley!), though we have no idea how far from the nearest land hex it might be. Of course, given the carrying capacity of the Megalogwiffons, I wouldn't be surprised if Parson came up with Marbit paratroopers. Death from above! And subsequently below!
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Re: Are there really only 4?

Postby the_tick_rules » Sat Sep 03, 2011 1:54 am

course since non casters disband when they get there attack is somewhat problematic.
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Re: Are there really only 4?

Postby Sixty » Sat Sep 03, 2011 4:35 am

They disband by going through the portal, if there was a way to reach the MK via traditional means (like it being a small island in the middle of a large ocean) such as via a boat or air unit then they shouldn't disband. This of course assumes it physically exists in Erf and isn't a pocket dimension as others mentioned. It is subject to Erf's rules about upkeep and purses.
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