build6 wrote:but it's not like every single non=royal attunes to every arkentool - it's just those few. we don't know if only ONE person ever attunes to an arkentool either (maybe some other royal would - just the wrong royal. Would Slately have loaned the arkenpliers to Queen Bea?
There's currently nothing in the comic that proves otherwise - based on what we've seen, you could just as easily conclude that every Arkentool automatically attunes to the first non-royal to come along (it would certainly make it easier to explain Stanley; also, perhaps Charlie had figured it out, which is why he was so desperate to acquire the pliers). That's why we want to experiment! Or at least learn more about the history of the Arkentools and the Tools, to settle the question once and for all.
In terms of hypotheses, Occam's razor actually suggests this is the correct conclusion:
"Once a generation, a Chosen one is born, destined by Fate to wield a specific Tool" vs. "For use by non-royals only"
"For use by non-royals only" excludes some very important factors from the Occam's razor equation - namely, that attunement to an Arkentool is widely regarded as a rare and prominent occurrence, enough so that Stanley uses it as proof of HIS Titanic Mandate, and that the Arkenpliers couldn't find a master for so long. If ANY non-Royal unit automatically attuned to ANY Arkentool, this would undoubtadly be mentioned in the comic, and the entire attitude towards Arkentools would have been different. As an example off the top of my head, the Hobgoblin Knights could simply croak Stanley like they did Saline, and take the Arkenhammer, thus becoming an extremely powerful and fearsome Tribe. And don't tell me Wanda wouldn't have killed Stanley in his sleep after one of their nookie sessions if she had any hope of attuning to the Arkenhammer. Not to mention that the Arkentools would have always been at the centre of great wars and their powers would have continuously shaped Erfworld history; whereas in the comic, the Tools' powers come either as a total surprise (Decryption), a closely guarded secret (Arkendish), or are simply unknown (Arkenhammer's implied potential, the mystery fourth tool).
So, on the contrary, the simplest explanation is that there are indeed very few people who can Attune, and once a Tool has found its Master, there is very little hope that another person in the immediate vicinity could also attune to it. Maybe in some generations, or a "Special" case like Parson. However, on the examples of Ansom, Wanda, Sylvia and Ossomer we see how varied the reactions to the same Arkentool may be - from total neglect (Ossomer) to reverence (Ansom) to understanding of potential (Sylvia) to realisation of said potential on a grand scale (Wanda). Sylvia is a border case here; she may have attuned without fully understanding it, and simply didn't have a chance to start using the Pliers; or she may indeed have simply been a more "sensitive soul" than Ansom or Ossomer. Either way, her case decidedly blurs the "attuned/non-attuned" border and may evidence against the concept of "One Chosen in a generation". Likely, things are more complex.
True, Wanda got Attuned like the Predictamancer said. But, was it Wanda's Fate, or did the Predictamancer simply sense the future, like the nature of his magic implies, and then Wanda did everything she could to make the "prophecy" come true? Is everything on Erf preordained by the Titans (Wanda), or the units choose their own destiny and may even change the nature of Erf (Janis)? This seems to be the main metaphysical question Rob throws at us.
One thing seems certain - the Arkentools DO have gamebreaking/worldchanging powers, and WERE left on Erf by some higher order of beings. Following simple logic, if these higher beings (the Titans) wanted everything to proceed according to a specific divine plan, why bother with the Tools at all and why not just make the world perfect from the get-go (classic question to challenge the omniscience and omnipotence of monotheistic deities). IMHO, the mere EXISTENCE of the Arkentools implies that the Titans wanted Erflings to be able to shape the world according to their own choices, and thus defeats the Fate paradigm. Of course, a postmodernistic view would be that despite this freedom, Erflings would still conform to Fate (as in, Freedom of Will does not contradict Predetermination, see "Theodicy" by Leibnitz), but that would mean the Titans were nihilistic jokers, which would go against the whole "creation of a world" enterprise.
So, my money's on the idea that Tools are there to give Erflings the means to change the world. Attunement is a more delicate issue; I doubt there is any form of "conscious" selection (they are Tools, not Titans themselves) or "Fated" predetermination (see above). It seems more probable that each Tool seeks certain qualities, and there's at least one quality common to all of the Wielders - the desire to change the world (be it through brutal conquest like Stanley, through mass Decryption like Wanda, through long-term, global scheming like Charlie, or - hypothetically - through destruction like Sylvia). I wonder if people like Janis or Sizemore will ever get their hands on a Tool, and what that would lead to.
Finally, there's the prophecy of bringing Tools together. This is obviously a reference to their primal world-changing powers, and is likely intended to provide the people of Erf with the means to fundamentally change the nature of their existence. The "test" may be in determining whether Erfworlders - more specifically, wielders of the Arkentools - would be wiling to work together for a common goal, or would continue to use their respective tools for personal ambition, continuing the cycle of war.
/banal rant end