Book 2 – Text Updates 017

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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 017

Postby splintermute » Fri Mar 12, 2010 10:15 pm

The only other time we've seen an Arkentool in an update was in summer update 4 (the pliers look CGI-ish), but that was with a different artist - I'm inclined to think it's a text update shortcut.

Also, looking back at depictions of the tools, I noticed Stanley isn't holding the hammer - it's currently leaning against the side of the map table, perhaps in easy grasping distance of someone with relatively long limbs (by Erf standards) if something unexpected were to happen...
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 017

Postby Dancing Cthulhu » Sat Mar 13, 2010 12:18 am

Loved this one, I always enjoy seeing Charlie pop up. And I am really liking the new take on his capital as well. It looks so technological and imposing. And surely only accessible by air, it seems strange it isn't considered the hardest nut to crack, city wise (though few might have seen it or ever tried to attack it, so no one would know that kind of thing).

And dear me, Jillian is going rogue, going off script... that surely can't be good. And this goes to those that say Jillian has stopped acting rashly. Not telling Charlie everything and now in the middle of a vital battle deciding to change phase two. It is also a bit harsh on Slately since she didn't tell him either she has no intention of attacking the dwagons.

On the plus side this seems to go even more to the idea she is turning Ansom and taking out GK ground forces. Perhaps she thinks if Wanda survives this turn then faced with the forces against her and after loosing her ground forces she'll have no choice but to retreat to safety.

Nice touch their with Vanna reacting to the news Jillian wouldn't be going after Wanda. And So Charlie wants GK not to know he is involved, so no Charlie cavalry - I wonder what help he could bring in at so short a notice? And that he wants to keep helping Jillian seems to indicate he isn't done with her yet... and nice ominous touch there. Charlie finds this Wanda news veeeery interesting.

Rosa Vernal wrote:I mean, the other Arkentools seem to require contact, and I'm sure that at some point, Charlie would have worried about someone doing a fly-by and just going LOL SWOOOP and making out with it.


It appears to be a lot bigger then the other Arkentools though. Maybe it is alterable signmancy, but it might not be something he could physically lug around and probably not something a flyer could lift by itself. And even if it could, well Charlie's Archons could probably blast it before it got away.

Still you might be right. Although there are ideas that Charlie might be the dish etc (can't remember if there is one that he might be the city) and we know it has long distance communication/link up abilities, so it might something he can use remotely.

That's pretty much how I read it, too. "GAH! Wanda could've been turned? Have to figure out how to do that before Jetstone kills her..."


To be fair while I imagine his head is full of new possibilities now I don't think he'll be upset if Wanda still dies. I mean it seems the plan was kill, not capture, and he doesn't seem to buy into toolism. He doesn't have his own casters or warlords... I'm not sure why he'd be thinking now "Damn, I have to save her so she'll turn to Charlescomm".

Maybe more if she gets away Charlie will have something up his sleeve in future, the chance to mess up GK by Thinkagramming Wanda at the right moment with an offer...

gameboy1234 wrote:Why was Charlie stressed at the end of the conversation? Well, I honestly think it was something unrelated to the story. Remember Charlie has 600 Archons spread all over the continent, not just the bits close to GK and Jetstone. There are lots of things that could come up that would cause stress for Charlie, and aren't related to the story here.


I think that is a fair assumption. We've seen, with Maggie, the challenges that come with being the thinka/communications hub of a side. Charlie seems to do everything in his side and with operations and Archons all over Erf he has a lot to think about. I imagine with this link up and this battle he has been focusing more then usual on this one operation and other things could be going on.

Although I also wonder if it might be sigh like stress. He has just found out a lot of this effort could have been avoided if Jillian could have gotten Wanda to turn. I think a skilled operator like Charlie would know however not to dwell on that, since there is no way to have known (Jillian didn't know till after the talk) and even then it is Jillian's word.
And so my time with the Tardy Elves draws to a close, and I am let to ponder how the experience will... eh, I'll finish later. No need to rush.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 017

Postby Aquillion » Sat Mar 13, 2010 12:32 am

My guess, based on the 'nondisclosure' thing: Charlie has another Arkentool.

It makes logical sense, since that would be the thing that Jillian wasn't able to tell Wanda, and we now know it relates to Charlie... and is something he doesn't want to get out.

Also, regarding this:
Gilthans wrote:That is very interesting. Why doesn't Charlie want Parson to know he's against him there? Does he have some secret agreement with him we don't know about? Very interesting. What was he stressed about near the end? Did he just receive information about something he doesn't know about? Very, very interesting.

Think about what we know of Charlie's motivation. Charlie is involved here because he was, recall, terrified that some of his secrets got out when his Archons were turned.

He has some terrible secret that would put him at risk. What? We don't know, for certain (although whatever non-disclosure agreement he had with Jillian might relate to that.)

Well, anyway, that isn't the important part.

He's afraid that if Gobwin Knob knew he was acting against them, then Parson would be smart enough to figure out why, and would interrogate the uncroaked Archons until he finds out whatever secret it is that Charlie would prefer to have kept.

That's my guess.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 017

Postby Oberon » Sat Mar 13, 2010 12:56 am

gameboy1234 wrote:Why was Charlie stressed at the end of the conversation? Well, I honestly think it was something unrelated to the story. Remember Charlie has 600 Archons spread all over the continent, not just the bits close to GK and Jetstone. There are lots of things that could come up that would cause stress for Charlie, and aren't related to the story here.
While plausible and well supported with facts, this theory doesn't make much sense otherwise. Showing Charlie being distracted by events not important to the main story is worthless.
How using capslock wins arguments:
Zeroberon wrote:So we know with 100% certainty that THIS IS HOW TRI-LINKS WORK, PERIOD END OF STORY.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 017

Postby splintermute » Sat Mar 13, 2010 1:04 am

Aquillion wrote:My guess, based on the 'nondisclosure' thing: Charlie has another Arkentool.

It makes logical sense, since that would be the thing that Jillian wasn't able to tell Wanda, and we now know it relates to Charlie... and is something he doesn't want to get out.

That's stretching it. Probably the only thing Jillian isn't allowed to disclose is Charlie's involvement.

Jillian wanted to tell Wanda that she could come and work for Charlie, switching from an Arkentool side (led by a moron) to an Arkentool side (led by an avaricious opportunist), but wasn't able to, because of the NDA.



Also, Ansom only has 1300 infantry with him - we don't know if that's all the troops GK committed to the attack, or if there's another column in a nearby forest hex (as suggested by page 13), but combined with Wanda's airforce, it seems that only about 20% of GK's forces were sent to take Jetstone. Even discounting the garrison forces defending GK's 15 other cities, it's likely the bulk of their 9400 troops are back home. Gobwin Knob is far from undefended.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 017

Postby Dances-with-Marbits » Sat Mar 13, 2010 2:15 am

People keep talking about the assistance that Charlie can render to Jillian, and I think he means in ways other than troops.

We know that he tends to send contingents of Archons to potential hot spots ahead of time in case a side wants to hire him, and I think that not doing so now would send a pretty obvious message that he doesn't want to get on the wrong side of either GK or RCCII, but he likely made all sides involved offers they can't accept to preclude his having to choose one.

But we also know that Charlie is not allied with RCCII, meaning that he doesn't take his turn at the same time as Jillian/Jetstone, so when he says "Please don't attack the column alone. I'll try to get you some help." he isn't talking about his own forces. I suspect that the Arkendish may afford him a Suggestion ability, much like the spell Wanda used on Jillian in tBfGK, so that he can influence someone into doing something they are already predisposed to doing, such as having Tramennis attack Ansom's stack instead of returning to Spacerock to croak Wanda and her dwagons, granted it may not work.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 017

Postby Glenn » Sat Mar 13, 2010 2:58 am

Given that Charlie wants to keep his involvement a secret, I think the best way to provide Jillian with enough help to attack the ground troops would probably be to hire a few more casters from the Magic Kingdom in Faq's name, and send them through Jetstone's portal. I suspect his sudden preoccupation involves something that's happening at Gobwin Knob. Perhaps the Gobwin's are now attacking that city?
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 017

Postby splintermute » Sat Mar 13, 2010 3:00 am

Dances-with-Marbits wrote:But we also know that Charlie is not allied with RCCII, meaning that he doesn't take his turn at the same time as Jillian/Jetstone, so when he says "Please don't attack the column alone. I'll try to get you some help." he isn't talking about his own forces.


How do we know he isn't allied with RCCII? They're not knowingly allied with him, but there's a good chance he's allied with Faq (especially likely, since he was involved in a link with a Faq caster), meaning his units would take their turn at the same time as Jillian, who's taking her turn at the same time as Jetstone.

We know Faq, TV, and Charlescomm ordinarily take their turns before GK, and Jetstone takes its turn after. Faq, TV and Haggar are currently taking their turn after GK, because they're allied with Jetstone. It was stated in the updates that Charlie has forces in the battlespace, but he didn't take his turn before GK. The implication is that he's allied with a side that's currently taking its turn after GK - i.e. Faq - which means that, through the transitive property, he's secretly allied with RCCII.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 017

Postby Dances-with-Marbits » Sat Mar 13, 2010 3:19 am

Meh, I suppose I'll have to go through the archives and find where it says that.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 017

Postby Danetrix » Sat Mar 13, 2010 4:25 am

splintermute wrote:
Dances-with-Marbits wrote:But we also know that Charlie is not allied with RCCII, meaning that he doesn't take his turn at the same time as Jillian/Jetstone, so when he says "Please don't attack the column alone. I'll try to get you some help." he isn't talking about his own forces.


How do we know he isn't allied with RCCII? They're not knowingly allied with him, but there's a good chance he's allied with Faq (especially likely, since he was involved in a link with a Faq caster), meaning his units would take their turn at the same time as Jillian, who's taking her turn at the same time as Jetstone.

We know Faq, TV, and Charlescomm ordinarily take their turns before GK, and Jetstone takes its turn after. Faq, TV and Haggar are currently taking their turn after GK, because they're allied with Jetstone. It was stated in the updates that Charlie has forces in the battlespace, but he didn't take his turn before GK. The implication is that he's allied with a side that's currently taking its turn after GK - i.e. Faq - which means that, through the transitive property, he's secretly allied with RCCII.


IF RCII did notice, they would be better thinking "the Ally of my Ally is the Ally of my Ally. Nothing more, nothing less."
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 017

Postby multilis » Sat Mar 13, 2010 4:51 am

splintermute wrote:How do we know he isn't allied with RCCII? They're not knowingly allied with him, but there's a good chance he's allied with Faq...

Royals don't know Charlie has archons in battlespace, they would be suspicious *if* his forces had separate turn. So likely Archons are allied with Faq

Danetrix wrote:...IF RCII did notice, they would be better thinking "the Ally of my Ally is the Ally of my Ally. Nothing more, nothing less."
.
TV - Charlie makes them an offer they have to refuse so Stanley gets away.
Jetstone - Charlie makes Ansom pay through the nose for 'alliance' end of Book 1, a nice topping to losing all their forces.

If Hagar is mistrusted, Charlie likely more so, anything can happen.

As for what is wise, not sure, Charlie may be bigger threat than anyone else right now with his 600 archons and tricks such as ending turn. And he is clever/patient enough to build up till he is unstoppable.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 017

Postby technojunkie » Sat Mar 13, 2010 5:13 am

Joe22c. wrote:Perhaps it would be a good idea for me to stop visiting this site for a few months and let the comics pile up so I could enjoy them all at once in a surge of omg'ness.


That much awesomeness is known to be fatal. Be careful. The more that goes on the more I think we're only seeing the tip of the iceberg. I'm guessing there's more history between charlie and stanley than simply 'he has a tool and doesn't take the titans seriously'.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 017

Postby Dancing Cthulhu » Sat Mar 13, 2010 5:44 am

Oberon wrote:
gameboy1234 wrote:Why was Charlie stressed at the end of the conversation? Well, I honestly think it was something unrelated to the story. Remember Charlie has 600 Archons spread all over the continent, not just the bits close to GK and Jetstone. There are lots of things that could come up that would cause stress for Charlie, and aren't related to the story here.
While plausible and well supported with facts, this theory doesn't make much sense otherwise. Showing Charlie being distracted by events not important to the main story is worthless.


Unless they might happen to important to the story later (foreshadowing), just not now. There is still a missing Arkentool and so forth.

And even if it wasn't it would still could be nice for setting and atmosphere and all that. Still while I think it is a fine idea it probably is something more immediate. Heh, maybe Parson is calling him wanting to know if he did this or he is worried about Haggar or something.

Aquillion wrote:My guess, based on the 'nondisclosure' thing: Charlie has another Arkentool.

It makes logical sense, since that would be the thing that Jillian wasn't able to tell Wanda, and we now know it relates to Charlie... and is something he doesn't want to get out.


Maybe, but I don't think Charlie would reveal to Jillian if he had another Arkentool no one else was aware of to begin with. I think it was just the attunement to the dish Jillian was basing it on and that Jillian was working with Charlie

Think about what we know of Charlie's motivation. Charlie is involved here because he was, recall, terrified that some of his secrets got out when his Archons were turned.


I can't recall Charlie at any point expressing terror of secrets being revealed as his motivation for helping Jillian. Though that is certainly an reasonable interpretation discussed on the forums.

He was unhappy about it, but Parson could have found out some terrible secret an archon knew if there was one at any time, so this course of action doesn't seem certain of getting rid of that risk, since it gave Parson plenty of time for questioning archons and even with Wanda dead Charlie couldn't have been sure that would remove the all the decrypted archons from GK's control.

I think his main reason could be as simple as just wanting to stop this toolism business that so threatens his profitable status quo and whatever long term goals he might have (since I think he might be playing for more then just making more money then he did the turn before). Though I guess considering the role Janis wants Parson in it would make Charlie a good opposite if his goal was just ensuring Erfworld stays at war forever.

He's afraid that if Gobwin Knob knew he was acting against them, then Parson would be smart enough to figure out why, and would interrogate the uncroaked Archons until he finds out whatever secret it is that Charlie would prefer to have kept.


Maybe, but he knows how dangerous Parson is and if Parson learned Charlie was involved it would make it much harder to plan effectively against GK now and in the near future. At the moment while Parson might have suspicions (mainly to do with Marbits) he didn't know Charlie would be involved in this battle (he made sure of that by telling Parson constantly that the RCCII wouldn't have anything to do with him) and so Parson wouldn't have been factoring in Charlie's potential involvement in his battle calculations.

GK learns Charlie is actively working against them and then Parson can start planning accordingly.

Bunta wrote:About the reactions from Chalie to Jillians comment on Wanda, my bet on the "developing situation" is the possibility that Wanda will be croaked by Jetstone now. Charlie was probably not considering Wanda to turn as an option. Now that this has arisen, he is terrified that this potentially asset will be lost. Now imagine:

- Wanda defecting to Charlie.
- Charlie allowing Wanda to decrypt (at least some) of his Archons to remove the unit costs.
- Charlie building a beowulf cluster of free to maintain Archons.
- ???.
- Profit!


It would be a crazy brave move for Charlie if he did go for it, especially since the decrypted Archons might well be more loyal to Wanda then to him, though he wouldn't know about that. I imagine he might have been running scenarios in his mind, but it would be a risky move there would be no going back from.

Lord Kasavin wrote:I wonder if Jillian was under some sort of compulsion to not speak of Charlie. Sort of how Parson is bound to give truthful odds calculations. So, when she said "can't," she was being quite literal.


That's a very good point.
And so my time with the Tardy Elves draws to a close, and I am let to ponder how the experience will... eh, I'll finish later. No need to rush.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 017

Postby Drascus » Sat Mar 13, 2010 7:09 am

name lips wrote:At any rate, the magical combination of knowledge is that 1) Parson exists at all; 2) that he is from another Universe and didn't "pop" like other units; 3) he has a Mathamancy artifact of unspeakable power; and 4) He is directly responsible for destroying the entire RCC army.


You were TOLD not to mention unspeakable. ^_^

The thing about the mathmancy artifact is that it is extremely rad, and in the hands of any other warlord/caster it would completely change their level of ability, but all it really does for Parson is check his math. The predictive part of it is also helpful, as far as abstract questions, but Parson can do the calculations on his own if he needs to, he's that much of a wargame geek.

{the odds} Of not losing? If Stanley lives, and you don't interfere, about 3 to 2. Yeah, 58.9%."
http://www.erfworld.com/book-1-archive/?px=/105.jpg

The real value of Parson is that he's a living, breathing, stratagizing version of that artifact, who for all we know could be level 1. Or could have been level 1, when his leadership bonus was first checked. It can only be checked by him actually leading troops and viewing the troop's stats, so it's possible it's better since TBFGK and no one knows, if Parson leveled at the end. He DID unlock a new ability, to cuss in Erfworld. :D

Charlie is tightlipped all the time, but no one who realizes Parson's value should talk about him, any more than anyone who has a hidden arkentool on their side should mention it casually.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 017

Postby HandofShadows » Sat Mar 13, 2010 10:23 am

My take on this is that Charlie set up the situation at Jetstone (GK's turn ending early) as a way of keep Wanda there. But the main purpose was NOT to kill Wanda, but to keep all those dwagons and other airborn units in place so he could do something elsewhere. My guess that something has started at GK (with the Hobs) and it's not turning out the way Charlie thought it would. Almost certainly Parson is the reason for this. Parson was already was interested in that happened to Saline and may not have bought the story that was told to him. (Many gamers will try and "read" other players to gain an advantage. I can't see that Parson would have ignored this.) So I wonder if Parson put some extra plans in place to deal with a Hob uprising.
Killing Wanda may not be a very high priority with Charlie anymore since killing an Arkentool wielder also might put his head on the chopping block (as pointed by Parson). Charlie has figured out at least of the relationship between Jillian and Wanda and I wonder how long it will be before he tries to use it his own advantage.

BTW does anyone else like Jillian more when you are "in her head"?
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 017

Postby Sunfall » Sat Mar 13, 2010 12:47 pm

People keep suggesting that Charlie wants Wanda a great deal. I don't think this is true.

Charlie has a rep to maintain, that of a miracle worker who is no real threat to anyone on his own. That way he stays in business without having to worry too much about enemies. He therefore seems to prefer subtle tools. Parson is a subtle tool, Wanda is not.

If he turned Wanda to Charlescomm, every potential client would be wondering if they'd have to defend themselves against hordes of decrypted after the fight. She'd be handy IF and only if Charles intended to start a campaign of conquest. While he might want to do that down the road (very doubtful), now would be a bad time to spring that kind of surprise on a bunch of paranoid and militarized royalists who already don't trust him.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 017

Postby Vreejack » Sat Mar 13, 2010 3:10 pm

Drascus wrote:
name lips wrote:The real value of Parson is that he's a living, breathing, stratagizing version of that artifact, who for all we know could be level 1. Or could have been level 1, when his leadership bonus was first checked. It can only be checked by him actually leading troops and viewing the troop's stats, so it's possible it's better since TBFGK and no one knows, if Parson leveled at the end. He DID unlock a new ability, to cuss in Erfworld. :D

Charlie is tightlipped all the time, but no one who realizes Parson's value should talk about him, any more than anyone who has a hidden arkentool on their side should mention it casually.


Parson was level two according to his own unit roster that arrived in one of the stupid meals. A level two "special" unit. He is probably higher now that he has destroyed an entire enormous army, but it is not clear that warlords get XP for the actions of their underlings, so maybe the only XP he got was from killing that one mount.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 017

Postby Vreejack » Sat Mar 13, 2010 3:22 pm

Wanda cannot join up with Charlie.

Wanda wants to conquer the world, which would eliminate Charlie's purpose for existing. Wanda might succeed in her task with or without Charlie, so he needs to destroy her. Charlie might succeed in destroying Wanda, so she needs to destroy him first...but, 1) she does not understand Charlie's goals yet, and 2) she will not do so as long as she believes that Charlie has his purpose as a wielder of an arkentool. Though once she learns about Charlie's goal she might change her might and try to destroy him anyway.

So Wanda's goal is to conquer the world despite Charlie's interference (which she does not yet know about). Charlie's (still secret) goal is to stop Wanda. While Wanda might (in ignorance) join Charlie, his goals are still ultimately opposed to hers. Charlie will not join with Wanda unless it ultimately gives him some control over her.

Edit: This is also one of the reasons why Charlie is keeping his involvement ultra-special-secret. Once anyone in Gobwin Knob discovers his involvement they might decide that he as an arkentool wielder is actually the greatest threat. The Tool himself would probably be all for capturing another arkentool.

There is a flip side to all of this, however. Charlie is still marginalized by his inability to cooperate openly with most factions. If GK warred openly upon Charlie, the other factions would likely join with him openly. So even when GK finds out the truth (which Parson already suspects) it will likely remain a secret war. Kudos to Rob for setting this up.
Last edited by Vreejack on Sat Mar 13, 2010 3:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 017

Postby SteveMB » Sat Mar 13, 2010 3:28 pm

Vreejack wrote:Parson was level two according to his own unit roster that arrived in one of the stupid meals. A level two "special" unit. He is probably higher now that he has destroyed an entire enormous army, but it is not clear that warlords get XP for the actions of their underlings, so maybe the only XP he got was from killing that one mount.


One thing that is clear is that warlords don't level if they retreat from the battle -- that's why Stanley complained about Parson's hit-and-run tactics against the Coalition siege units.

Vreejack wrote:Wanda wants to conquer the world


It is? Her declared goal is to unite the Arkentools -- conquering the world might be a useful means to that end, but not a necessary one.
Is this a real holy war, or just a bunch of deluded boopholes croaking each other?
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 017

Postby Dances-with-Marbits » Sat Mar 13, 2010 3:38 pm

SteveMB wrote:
Vreejack wrote:Wanda wants to conquer the world


It is? Her declared goal is to unite the Arkentools -- conquering the world might be a useful means to that end, but not a necessary one.

Agreed, Ansom told his brothers that alliance was preferable to conquest, and we can only presume he couldn't make such an offer without Wanda's say so.
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