Kreistor wrote:So the Dish is infinitely powerful?
Not infinitely, but indefinitely, as in 'we don't know what it's limit is', since it's an artifact.
Kreistor wrote:Again, Casters can accumulate their own scrolls, at worst through a system of trade (ie. "I'll trade you my Predictamancy scroll for your Luckamancy scroll"). This may also be due to the expenditure of MK's version of money, Rands, rather than Schmuckers. However it happens, Casters can accumulate personal stashes of scrolls.
I'm not arguing that it is impossible to Marie to have scrolls. I'm arguing that it is unlike to have a number of identical scrolls that can operate at a distance to summon dwagons into Stanley's path, or a single powerful scroll that can perform the same feat. We have seen artifacts raise an entire army from the dead - we have not seen a single scroll provide nearly that same level of power. Even the SPW scroll only summoned a single unit, plus some powerful magic items.
MarbitChow wrote:Direct Titanic influence isn't an interesting possibility, since there has been no actual evidence that they exist.
Book 1, Comic 1. That explanation is written to us, not Erfworlders, ergo the Titans created Erfworld and are real. ... Their inhabitants lack our knowledge, but we do not.
The Titans may have *existed*. There is no evidence that they *exist* (present tense). They have not appeared in the story since the very first page, other than as the center of religious devotion. I'm not even going to bother trying to persuade you that the 1st page is a metaphorical reference meant to quickly establish a setting rather than "real history"; the fact remains that the Titans aren't characters in this book - they are background information. Making them both godlike and active in the story at this point is actual Deus Ex Machina.
Kreistor wrote:It's called Occam's Razor. The solution that introduces the least number of unknown elements is the most likely one. If we take your tack, where anything in the comic can be blamed on Charlie because we can give the Dish any power we want, no matter how complex or appropriate, then we can determine nothing. In fact, because there is a fourth Arkentool that has not been identified, we can blame everything on whoever owns that one too, because we can attribute the same powers to it. So, I can ask you the exact same question. How can you attribute anythihg in the comic to Charlie, when you know there is another Arkentool that could do anything the Dish could do?
I reject any solution that requires giving the Arkendish a new power, without any evidence the Arkendish has ever performed that function.
And yet you're perfectly willing to ascribe the ability to summon or manipulate dwagon spawn rates to a scroll without a single shred of evidence. We're both introducing new assumptions - I'm just assuming it's more likely that the Arkendish has unrevealed powers (as do the 'Hammer and 'Pliers) than that the existing magic system was used in such a subtle manner that Marie was able to manipulate Wanda into inviting an attack on FAQ, then subtly influencing the environment to guarantee the attack's success. Your assumption required two traitors in Faq - one intentional and one accidental. Mine just requires that Charlie decided to influence a conflict without showing his involvement to the active participants. That's a behavior that is completely consistent with Charlie's established character.
Kreistor wrote:Please review the life of Howard Hughes, who Charlie of Charlie's Angels was based on. Our Charlie's motives don't need to make sense.
Then throw out you 'motive / method / opportunity' mantra, because that is only valid if motives make sense. Charlie is painted as a threat to Erfworld as a whole - making him erratic instead of highly intelligent and inscrutable doesn't seem very satisfying to me.
Kreistor wrote:It's called obsession, and it's in the psychology of the real person that forms the inspiration for Charlie. It would be completely appropriate for Charlie to be this way.
Forgive me if I'm unwilling to assume that the inspiration for the TV show's character that acted as inspiration for the comic's character is in any way connected to the comic character. That's one reference too far for me.
Kreistor wrote:So, why doesn't he tell Stanley himself, ensure Stanley knows how much power he needs to take with him, offer the services of his Archons to make up the deficiency, and get paid for helping destroy FAQ, instead of losing money on the effort? You really need some lessons on how to think like Charlie. At the very least, by telling Stanley and giving him an accurate idea of how much power he needs, Charlie saves on the costs of popping those dwagons, by ensuring Stanley takes what he needs with him.
If Charlie's power consists of manipulating spawn rates instead of actually popping, there may be little or no 'cost' other than juice. If Charlie wishes to maintain 'plausible deniability', then he doesn't directly contact either side.
Kreistor wrote:You still need motive. And the Arkendish can't give you that.
You can't play the 'obsession' / 'crazy motives' card on Charlie on the one hand, then demand motive on the other, but I can think of 3 distinct motives Charlie may have had to guarantee that Stanley won against Faq:
1) Keep the 'Hammer out of the hands of a competent wielder. Stanley is known to be not very bright, and another competent attuned user is bad for business.
2) Eliminate competition. FAQ hires out as mercenaries, so eliminating them means Charlie can get their business.
3) Prevent peace. FAQ was trying to figure out how to survive without conflict. That's anathema to Charlie's business model.
Kreistor wrote:No, MarbitChow. It is not reasonable to blame every unknown event on Charlie, just because he has an Arkentool. That is simply favoritism.
I'm not attributing every unknown event. I'm attributing two unknown events: the spawning of the dwagons, and the revolt of the gobwins, to an agent who has been shown or hinted to be related to similar events: the lack of spawning of gobwins, and the revolt of the giants.
That looks like a pattern to me, and it only requires Charlie to explain all 4. Your theory still must have Charlie involved in the known events (since the comic establishes that), adds Marie to the dwagon spawn and doesn't explain the revolt of the gobwins (or attributes it to Charlie). You're fond of Occam's Razor, so which explanation requires fewer assumptions here?
Lamech wrote:True that scroll would have cost her Rands. Remember Sizemore of his own will deciding to give extra Rands for his lesson? Furthermore while we have never seen a scroll specifically working across multiple hexes we have seen numerous spells going across hexes. For example, thinkamancy and especially lookamancy. So I see no reason to rule out an "increased spawn rate scroll" that functions across several hexes.
Spells that work across hexes don't usually make any changes to those hexes. Thinkamancy and lookamancy are designed for cross-hex support, but summoning and combat spells are not. Besides, those spell types are specifically listed as exceptions to the in-hex limitation when Parson is discussing magic with Sizemore; I'm not in favor of assuming that an unknown power also is granted an uncommon exception to a standard limitation.
Lamech wrote:Because the arkendish doesn't seem to have any powers relating to spawn rates. And before you bring up the gobwins: The gobwin and marbits IIRC, was no gobwins, high marbits. That could easily be accomplished by simply handing the marbits a big bag of shmuckers. They buy food and marbits, and go occupy whereever gobwins would try to mine and farm. All gobwins die out.
We have not seen any power that can influence spawn rates yet, either magic or artifact. If the ability to do so was a standard magical ability, I would have expected Parson to be able to determine that from his conversations with Sizemore. Therefore, it's either an effect created by a bi- or tri-caster link, or it's an effect of an artifact. Either is plausible, but a tri-caster link to bring down Faq seems like a convoluted way of doing things. It doesn't feel elegant, story-wise.
Charlie is known to be averse to spending money unless there is direct profit for him. His motives may be unknown, but I have a hard time believing that Charlie is spending buttloads of coin to simply prevent GK from getting gobwins. If the Arkendish can influence spawn rates (especially if it can do so 'cheaply'), then it makes more sense for him to do so, since he is limiting an opponent's resources without incurring much of a cost.