Rob, this was the best text update I have read of yours so far.
I once was running a forum RPG session where I had about about five different elements coming into play. A gasoline fire burning in a forest, an ice half dragon in the forest surrounded by the flames, an Ork Warboss advancing on a target that is calling in a radio strike to his sniper buddy on the near mountain slope, the Ork Warboss having had part of his scalp burnt off by a fireball, been drenched in an acid shower to try and ruin his gear (HA! Nice try), and if I didn't do anything the main character of the session was going to get his butt killed because he wasn't trying to dodge so as to act as a lure. I had to use the Ice breath used to put out the fire to clear out the smoke that blocked the sniper's line of sight, and use the acid bleached white of the skull as a true target for the shot that saved the characters life by stunning the Ork Warboss long enough for the character to take the hint and get out of Power Claw range.
This update is like that, only more so.
The set up for this seems like it went all the way back to the introduction of Captain Archer. That kind of forward thinking and attention to detail is just bloody awesome.
And I had always wondered why Red and Green dwagons had been teaming up to hit the siege in Book 1:http://www.erfworld.com/book-1-archive/?px=%2F050.jpg
Super long sightedness, Rob.
And also I love this update for the kind of thing it opens up. Stealth rules, combining with archery. Especially if Parson gets his hands on even KNOWING about this information.
In Parson's study of asymmetric warfare there is no way he would not have studied the wars of Japan's warring states period. Oda Nobunaga and Tokugawa Ieyasu battles in those days were phenomenal examples of those desperate tactics. And if Parson knows one thing, it is the complete vulnerability of a leader without the proper protection around him. Ansom was 1HKOed by a super sneak attack away from any other units. Ossomer? Parson invented the tactic that took Ossomer down by taking out any unit that could interfere, leaving him alone. And now if he discovers that there are Stealth + Archery special units out there? And that Stealth can be TAUGHT (the beginnings of covert ops?) to units? That will make assassination into a whole new dimension of Parson's awareness in Erfworld because he doesn't have anything like that in GK, so he hadn't the chance to learn about it.
Just learning about it will force Parson to realize that he may not end up dying to a sword, but to an arrow while he's having his rations.
Parson may be forced to choose to form a bodyguard unit to protect him on and off the battlefield. Who better than Stealth Capable knights? They would be sort of like the Iga Ninja for Tokugawa. And Artemis always wanted to earn Glory rather than follow Duty...That kind of personality would be rather interesting as a Decrypted (though I had honestly hoped she could be a long running nemesis for Sylvia). And since Artemis may soon be the highest level Warlord in GW, she may end up being Parson's right hand man on the battlefield like Webinar and Antium, for Parson is sure to need a second in command. Sylvia, Ossomer, Antium, and Artemis...that is a very solid base to choose from, and a group that would feel resentful for being overlooked as the choice for second in command.
And GK really does need to have some Warlords we recognize running around. It gives continuity to battle formations and flanks and the like. Otherwise, without faces and names we know, it's just a bunch of pictures of people killing each other. Recognizable Commanding units are what we need for the complicated combat structures of the future.
I also want to bring this to everyone's attention. If Rob really has no intention of ever using Artemis again, why would he leave her corpse intact? How many of the knights were torn to bits (check the picture for the limbs) and are now incapable of being Decrypted, like Bogroll's remains? Artemis is whole, and Sylvia seems to have taken a liking to her. I think the remains will be preserved and sent to be Decrypted by Wanda, especially if they want another "Combat Report" like what happened with Ossomer.
I also want to point out, it seems that KC has not survived the Dwagon Dwop. Otherwise he'd be in the forward stack as well.
And finally I just want to say that this update may be the signal for a very severe change in the attitude of the Decrypted. The hush at the end of the battle, when Fate showed beyond a shadow of a doubt what was happening there... I can only interpret that as everyone present thinking, "What is this? What is this really?
" Instead of a "Yay! We won and we shall win again." When war is too easy...there is no satisfaction to it. It is not a victory or a conquest, or even bringing others under your control. It's just murder. I think that is what that moment of silence was.
And Sylvia's wistful look at the fire says volumes about her personality shift at that moment. Wistfully means with a sad longing. This was what Sylvia wanted, and now that she has it, why was it so easy? And why does it feel so wrong? It is very possible that we will not see Scarlet smiling in glee again this battle.