Book 2 – Page 114

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Re: Book 2 – Page 114

Postby Lipkin » Sun Nov 03, 2013 8:54 am

Mrtyuh wrote:Well, in light of recent revelations, I'll throw my two cents into this defunct debate. While it has recently been revealed that Charlie has an affinity with Natural Allies, whether through Thinkamancy or the Arkendish or whatever, I do not think that is why Gobwin Knob is unable to find gobwins. The affinity with Natural Allies does explain how Charlie got the High Elves to break alliance with Haffaton and how he got the Western Giants to break alliance with Jitterati, and I suspect it is what caused the Gobwins to break their alliance and execute King Saline IV. Still, I think the mechanic being used to deprive Gobwin Knob of Gobwins is Carnymancy. Carnymancy is about rigging the odds. Charlie is using it to reduce the odds of Gobwins popping near Gobwin Knob to zero. It is also why Stanley encountered so many Dwagons on his way to sack Faq. Charlie was boosting the odds of feral Dwagons popping in his path.

Good theory. Makes sense.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 114

Postby Urf » Sun Nov 03, 2013 10:41 am

Waitaminute.

Is the real conflict here between Sides and Natural Allies?

Is Charlie's motivation to loosen the ties between combative Sides and the otherwise indigenous and peaceful peoples of Erf?
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Re: Book 2 – Page 114

Postby Lipkin » Sun Nov 03, 2013 11:06 am

Urf wrote:Waitaminute.

Is the real conflict here between Sides and Natural Allies?

Is Charlie's motivation to loosen the ties between combative Sides and the otherwise indigenous and peaceful peoples of Erf?

If so, that would be a rather out of left field twist as far as I'm concerned. What makes you think that?
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Re: Book 2 – Page 114

Postby 0beron » Sun Nov 03, 2013 2:25 pm

The Carnymancy Natural Allies thing could be possible, however there is also another possibility. Obviously we don't know this, but perhaps Natural Allies of a given type will not pop wild nearby sides that have already "acquired" others of their kind. So Charlie may have swooped in, found a Tribe, allied them, and is keeping them (hidden) in the area to prevent further pops.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 114

Postby Lilwik » Sun Nov 03, 2013 5:02 pm

Mrtyuh wrote:Carnymancy is about rigging the odds. Charlie is using it to reduce the odds of Gobwins popping near Gobwin Knob to zero. It is also why Stanley encountered so many Dwagons on his way to sack Faq. Charlie was boosting the odds of feral Dwagons popping in his path.
That theory makes sense to me. It's speculation, but it could easily be correct. I would just like to point out that Luckamancy is in the business of boosting odds, so I don't think that Carnymancy does that. I suspect that when Carnymancy is involved, it's not a matter of chance at all anymore; it only looks like a matter of chance.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 114

Postby ManaCaster » Sun Nov 03, 2013 7:43 pm

Mrtyuh wrote:Well, in light of recent revelations, I'll throw my two cents into this defunct debate. While it has recently been revealed that Charlie has an affinity with Natural Allies, whether through Thinkamancy or the Arkendish or whatever, I do not think that is why Gobwin Knob is unable to find gobwins. The affinity with Natural Allies does explain how Charlie got the High Elves to break alliance with Haffaton and how he got the Western Giants to break alliance with Jitterati, and I suspect it is what caused the Gobwins to break their alliance and execute King Saline IV. Still, I think the mechanic being used to deprive Gobwin Knob of Gobwins is Carnymancy. Carnymancy is about rigging the odds. Charlie is using it to reduce the odds of Gobwins popping near Gobwin Knob to zero. It is also why Stanley encountered so many Dwagons on his way to sack Faq. Charlie was boosting the odds of feral Dwagons popping in his path.

I like the theory, and I've actually been considering something similar. It does have one problem though. If that is how he's doing it, the spell would require extraordinary range or duration, since Gobwin Knob has been keeping Charlescomm units out of the area.

If Carnymancy can influence the popping process, what sort of a caster link do you think it would take to make casters pop instead of warlords?
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Re: Book 2 – Page 114

Postby Shai_hulud » Sun Nov 03, 2013 8:09 pm

Why are even sure it would require a link? I mean, these things have a price. Just because you can't pay for it doesn't mean it can't be bought.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 114

Postby ManaCaster » Sun Nov 03, 2013 9:32 pm

Shai_hulud wrote:Why are even sure it would require a link? I mean, these things have a price. Just because you can't pay for it doesn't mean it can't be bought.

If Carnymancers could make casters instead of warlords pop on their own, someone would have tried it already.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 114

Postby Shai_hulud » Sun Nov 03, 2013 9:42 pm

Who says that they haven't?
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Re: Book 2 – Page 114

Postby Lilwik » Sun Nov 03, 2013 10:42 pm

ManaCaster wrote:If Carnymancers could make casters instead of warlords pop on their own, someone would have tried it already.
That's no reason to think that it can't be done, since we have no evidence that Carnymancers haven't been doing it. We've never seen how Carnymancers are normally used, but I'd guess that they can control the details of an unit before it pops. We know that Predictamancers can predict the details of a unit before it pops, and it seems that Carnymancers are able to rig Fate, so I'd expect that anything that a Predictamancer can predict, a Carnymancer can control. To keep things balanced I'd expect that Carnymancers spend more juice changing the future than Predictamancers spend just to know the future, and the specific details that a Predictamancer predicts are probably beyond a Carnymancer's reach by the time the prediction has been made.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 114

Postby ManaCaster » Sun Nov 03, 2013 11:17 pm

Lilwik wrote:
ManaCaster wrote:If Carnymancers could make casters instead of warlords pop on their own, someone would have tried it already.
That's no reason to think that it can't be done, since we have no evidence that Carnymancers haven't been doing it. We've never seen how Carnymancers are normally used, but I'd guess that they can control the details of an unit before it pops. We know that Predictamancers can predict the details of a unit before it pops, and it seems that Carnymancers are able to rig Fate, so I'd expect that anything that a Predictamancer can predict, a Carnymancer can control. To keep things balanced I'd expect that Carnymancers spend more juice changing the future than Predictamancers spend just to know the future, and the specific details that a Predictamancer predicts are probably beyond a Carnymancer's reach by the time the prediction has been made.

If it had been done before, then casters wouldn't be in such high demand. Sides would just hire Carnymancers to custom design their next caster. No, assuming Carnymancy can do this, at a minimum, it would require a very high level. More likely, it would require a caster link.

As far as your Predictamancer/Carnymancer argument goes, I would agree that Carnymancers can probably decide Fate similarly to how Predictamancers see it. But for balance reasons, I'm guessing that they can't influence it to nearly the same degree, at least on their own. Being able to decide the future is much more powerful than just predicting it. If I were a ruler who possessed a Carnymancer with that sort of power, I'd build up Casters with resource increasing abilities, like Florists, then build up every other kind of caster once I can afford them, then use their combined abilities to ascend to Titanhood.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 114

Postby Lilwik » Mon Nov 04, 2013 12:32 am

ManaCaster wrote:If it had been done before, then casters wouldn't be in such high demand. Sides would just hire Carnymancers to custom design their next caster. No, assuming Carnymancy can do this, at a minimum, it would require a very high level. More likely, it would require a caster link.
That's a good point. No cost in juice would even begin to balance the benefits of being able to choose to pop a caster. Even if it required a very high level or a caster link it would still seem unbalanced, because that just means that you need to hire more casters or more experienced casters, which means more shmuckers but the value of a caster can't be measured in shmuckers. I still suspect that Carnymancers can do it, but considering your point I now think that it probably works like Luckamancy: an improvement in one place makes things worse somewhere else, except that instead of moving the good luck around the Carnymancers are moving good Fates around.

For example, a side has a Predictamancer, a Carnymancer, and a beloved heir. The ruler wants a Thinkamancer to send messages and orders the Carnymancer to arrange the popping of one. The Carnymancer casts the spell, and then immediately the Predictamancer confirms that the Thinkamancer is on her way, but also Predicts that the heir will croak before the new caster arrives. The Carnymancer creates bad Fates as an uncontrolled side effect of every spell he casts. That would go a long way to explaining why Carnymancers are so hated.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 114

Postby ManaCaster » Mon Nov 04, 2013 1:47 am

Lilwik wrote:Even if it required a very high level or a caster link it would still seem unbalanced, because that just means that you need to hire more casters or more experienced casters, which means more shmuckers but the value of a caster can't be measured in shmuckers. I still suspect that Carnymancers can do it, but considering your point I now think that it probably works like Luckamancy: an improvement in one place makes things worse somewhere else, except that instead of moving the good luck around the Carnymancers are moving good Fates around.

Mmh, I doubt it involves debts.

I'm not sure how debts work between sides, but if the limit involved debts, then that would either mean that capturing casters is risky too, or that you could bypass the debt by creating a smaller puppet side that pops your casters for you, than recreates itself to reset the Fate debt. I doubt it's the former, and the latter is bypassed easily enough that there may as well be no barrier at all.

Caster links in general are rare and risky enough to explain why its never been done before, and utterly game breaking in general, so it wouldn't necessarily be too little.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 114

Postby Lilwik » Mon Nov 04, 2013 6:00 am

ManaCaster wrote:I'm not sure how debts work between sides, but if the limit involved debts, then that would either mean that capturing casters is risky too, or that you could bypass the debt by creating a smaller puppet side that pops your casters for you, than recreates itself to reset the Fate debt.
I don't believe for a second that Luckamancy debts can be reset that way. I don't know that Carnymancy debts even exist, but if they do then I wouldn't believe they could be reset either. It's the people who are being cursed, not the side, and they surely have to live with it even if the side ceases. That would be even more surely true for Carnymancy since it's messing with their Fates, and you don't get away from your Fate no matter what trickery you try.

I wouldn't even expect the puppet side trick to work because the curse might happen to jump across side boundaries to hit close allies. It might hit your personal friends just because they are your friends, no matter what side they are on. In Book 0, Episode 8, Clay doesn't have any good answers about where the curse might end up, so it really could go anywhere. The puppet side might be no protection at all.

On top of that, we keep getting Carnymancy described in terms of exchanges. We have Sylvia in Book 2, Page 86. Jojo made a trade for her. I have no idea what sort of trade that was. Maybe it was a trade of Fate, or maybe he just bought a spell from the Magic Kingdom, but it's interesting. Then there is Charlie in Book 0, Episode 68: "He survived by means of Carnymancy, buying back his life at a terrible cost." I would really like to know what that's about.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 114

Postby Mrtyuh » Mon Nov 04, 2013 6:03 am

0beron wrote:The Carnymancy Natural Allies thing could be possible, however there is also another possibility. Obviously we don't know this, but perhaps Natural Allies of a given type will not pop wild nearby sides that have already "acquired" others of their kind. So Charlie may have swooped in, found a Tribe, allied them, and is keeping them (hidden) in the area to prevent further pops.

That's certainly a possibility, but I see one flaw with it. Different types of Natural Allies have an animosity towards others, e.g. Elves and Marbits won't ally with a side that uses Gobwins, Hobgobwins, Witches or Daemons. If Charlie did have a formal alliance with a tribe of Gobwins hidden near Gobwin Knob, it might cause negative repercussions in his dealings with other types of Natural Allies. Of course, it might not. All we know is that certain Natural Allies wouldn't ally with Charlie if he's allied with Gobwins, it doesn't necessarily mean they wouldn't interact with him in other ways. Heck, we don't even really know that. For all we know, due to his natural affinity with them, Charlie may be able to get Natural Allies that normally wouldn't work together to do exactly that. It's yet another question mark. Exactly how much influence does Charlie have over natural allies?

Lilwik wrote:That theory makes sense to me. It's speculation, but it could easily be correct. I would just like to point out that Luckamancy is in the business of boosting odds, so I don't think that Carnymancy does that. I suspect that when Carnymancy is involved, it's not a matter of chance at all anymore; it only looks like a matter of chance.

While I certainly may be wrong, this is the way I see it. To borrow Dice's die metaphor, Carnymancy changes the odds, Luckamancy changes the roll. We know that, in the Misty Mountains, there's about a one-in-two-hundred chance that a feral dwagon will pop in any given hex. Image you're a GM running the game. This involves two rolls of a d20. First you roll to see if any unit pops in a hex. A unit only pops in the wild on a roll of 20. If a unit pops, you roll 1d20 again and consult a table to see what pops. A dwagon only pops on a roll of 19 or 20. Anything else, and something else pops there. Okay, say you have a Luckamancer influencing the roll. You roll the first d20. You get a 16. The Luckamancer steals a 20 from somewhere else and replaces the 16 with it. So, now you roll on the table and roll a 12. The Luckamancer steals a 19 from somewhere and replaces the 12. Congratulations, you just popped a feral dwagon. Unfortunately, the next time you roll a 20, it will be replaced by that 18, and the next time you roll a 19, it will be replace by a 12. Now, let's look at a Carnymancer influencing the roll. He doesn't affect the roll, per se, instead he affects the odds. Instead of needing a 20 for a unit to pop, you only need 16 or better. The 18 does it. Now, instead of needing 19 or better for it to be a dwagon, you only need 12 or better, and you got a 12. The Luckamancer and Carnymancer both accomplished the same thing, but they did it in different ways. Now, the Luckamancer has a better chance of guaranteeing your success, but there is a greater price to pay for it. With a Luckamancer, you still pop that feral dwagon with a roll of a 1 and a 2, but you'll have to use that 1 and 2 eventually. With the Carnymancer, that 1 and 2 still wouldn't have been good enough. Now, the amount a Carnymancer can affect the odds depends on how powerful the Carnymancer is. For a very old and powerful one attuned to an Arkentool, the odds can be shifted to the point of you only succeed on a double critical or fail on a double botch. Of course, I can be completely wrong. That's just the way I see them working at this point in time.

ManaCaster wrote:I like the theory, and I've actually been considering something similar. It does have one problem though. If that is how he's doing it, the spell would require extraordinary range or duration, since Gobwin Knob has been keeping Charlescomm units out of the area.

If Carnymancy can influence the popping process, what sort of a caster link do you think it would take to make casters pop instead of warlords?

I would imagine the duration could very well be permanent. It's like Charlie has hacked the game and rewritten the odds for those specific hexes. To use my metaphor above, he may have simply deleted the Gobwin entry from the table or changed the odds so that they only pop on a roll of 1000 on a d20, or, if he couldn't do that, only pop on a roll of 1000 on a d1000. We know that Charlie can extend his range through archons. Have an archon start the turn outside the range of the Gobwin Knob patrols, fly to a hex, use his abilities and fly out. Gobwin Knob was only patrolling those hexes close enough for archons to fly to and return in one turn. They aren't keeping archons in the field when it isn't their turn. That allows Charlie to get in and out without them noticing. While they may be using other scouts, the archons can use veils to avoid them. Once again, that's just speculation.

As for the caster link needed to guarantee that a caster pops instead of a warlord, that's tricky. From what little we know, caster's pop as Fate decrees. Assuming it's even possible to affect this, I feel like a Predictamancer would need to be involved somewhere. Sometimes things just aren't possible, such as when Wanda was attempting to shoot down Olive. Tripling your chances of doing something doesn't do any good if you have a 0% chance to start. At the very least, you might need to consult a Predictamancer to find the best time to make the attempt, i.e. if you start popping a commander this turn, you have 2% chance of it being a caster, but if you wait 3 turns, it becomes a 7% chance. I do think a Carnymancer would probably be the best candidate for this, but you may need to link them with a Luckamancer. The Carnymancer improves the odds from virtually non-existent to simply improbably, and then the Luckamancer guarantees that the roll succeeds. Of course, then you have the usually price of using the Luckamancer. Of course, it's also said that the Titans read the heart of the ruler when determining whether or not a caster pops. So, Banhammer, who loved his court of casters philosophizing kept popping caster, while Jillian, who just wants to stab things and hated the court, doesn't pop any. If that's the case, the best way to pop casters is to have a Thinkamancer play around with the head of the ruler so their "heart" wanted casters more than anything else.

I'm sure that really isn't helpful, but it's the best I can come up with.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 114

Postby Lilwik » Mon Nov 04, 2013 6:29 am

Mrtyuh wrote:To borrow Dice's die metaphor, Carnymancy changes the odds, Luckamancy changes the roll.
I like your description of the way Carnymancy and Luckamancy works, but I think you've gotten it flipped around. What you describe for Luckamancy seems more like Carnymancy, and what you describe for Carnymancy seems more like Luckamancy. Just consider Book 0, Episode 7: "I boosted his roll to a 4! I changed his odds, chose a way to describe the outcome of his choices." Clay explicitly says that he's changing odds, and it's pretty clear from that episode that he's not choosing what numbers appear on the dice; he's just improving the odds of higher numbers. He cast once and the die rolls higher for several rolls, and not the same number every roll.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 114

Postby Mrtyuh » Mon Nov 04, 2013 6:41 am

Lilwik wrote:I don't believe for a second that Luckamancy debts can be reset that way. I don't know that Carnymancy debts even exist, but if they do then I wouldn't believe they could be reset either. It's the people who are being cursed, not the side, and they surely have to live with it even if the side ceases. That would be even more surely true for Carnymancy since it's messing with their Fates, and you don't get away from your Fate no matter what trickery you try.

I wouldn't even expect the puppet side trick to work because the curse might happen to jump across side boundaries to hit close allies. It might hit your personal friends just because they are your friends, no matter what side they are on. In Book 0, Episode 8, Clay doesn't have any good answers about where the curse might end up, so it really could go anywhere. The puppet side might be no protection at all.

On top of that, we keep getting Carnymancy described in terms of exchanges. We have Sylvia in Book 2, Page 86. Jojo made a trade for her. I have no idea what sort of trade that was. Maybe it was a trade of Fate, or maybe he just bought a spell from the Magic Kingdom, but it's interesting. Then there is Charlie in Book 0, Episode 68: "He survived by means of Carnymancy, buying back his life at a terrible cost." I would really like to know what that's about.

I would have to agree. The debts have to be paid. While one aspect of Carnymancy may allow the debts to be postponed or paid through alternate means, 0 is always calling, and, in the end, the books must balance.

On an unrelated note, something occurred to me. Queen Bea made all her casters, including Jojo, swear to only work for Royal sides. Now, we find Jojo clearly working for Charlie, who's definitely not royal. Now, it may not be official employment, but he is definitely working for him. Now, maybe this is because Jojo's a Carnymancer, so he can get around the pinky swear. Maybe Jojo owes Charlie a favor over a certain redheaded stabber which predates his oath to Bea. I don't know, but for some reason it seems significant all of a sudden.

As for your view on my metaphor, maybe you're right. I was focusing more on the concept of Luckamancy stealing numbers from somewhere, so I was literally stealing numbers from the future. Still, I think the general point still stands. I think Luckamancy and Carnymancy can accomplish similar things, but they go about it in different ways. I'll have to think about it some more after I've gotten some sleep.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 114

Postby 0beron » Mon Nov 04, 2013 10:57 am

Mrtyuh wrote:That's certainly a possibility, but I see one flaw with it. Different types of Natural Allies have an animosity towards others, e.g. Elves and Marbits won't ally with a side that uses Gobwins, Hobgobwins, Witches or Daemons. If Charlie did have a formal alliance with a tribe of Gobwins hidden near Gobwin Knob, it might cause negative repercussions in his dealings with other types of Natural Allies. Of course, it might not.
Agreed, I thought of that too. However it doesn't seem like Charlie has any Natural Allies at the moment, and perhaps rarely does. Especially after seeing what he pulled with the High Elves, this might actually be his MO. Steal Allies for a brief time, then get rid of them somehow once his use for them is over. Could include releasing them back to the wild, sending them on suicide missions for clients, or outright Executing them to level his Archons.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 114

Postby Werebiscuit » Mon Nov 04, 2013 12:39 pm

Lilwik wrote: On top of that, we keep getting Carnymancy described in terms of exchanges. We have Sylvia in Book 2, Page 86. Jojo made a trade for her. I have no idea what sort of trade that was. Maybe it was a trade of Fate, or maybe he just bought a spell from the Magic Kingdom, but it's interesting. Then there is Charlie in Book 0, Episode 68: "He survived by means of Carnymancy, buying back his life at a terrible cost." I would really like to know what that's about.


This description of Carnymancy seems also to tie in with Wanda's spawning way back at the start of Book 0

Book 0 wrote:One day in the country of zero, someone paid a price. Somewhere in the great, infinite sheet of balance, a peak rose up.

Peaceful zeros became ones. Fives. Forty-eights. Agitated hundred-and-twelves. Angry sixty-three-seventy-nines.

The thousands piled up, far above the plane of equilibrium. The numbers rose as a column, into the millions and billions and more, a silver thread stretching up and away from the peace below.

This thread was being drawn up by the system of the world. Thinkamancers knew it as a "Grandiocosmic string." Its numbers were being shaped and guided by the firmament, by what magic theorists called the Erf Axis.

For when the price was paid, it was Erfworld which processed the transaction. The world would produce the unit that was called for...more or less. There was the matter of the Fate Axis as well, and this unit was turning out to be very special. This unit would be worth far more than the buyer had paid for.

That was no violation of Numbers, though. It simply meant that this unit carried a balance due. And though it was an astronomically high figure, someone would pay.

Zero always called, and someone would have to pay."


Seems that someone paid a terrible price ...could that someone be Charlie ?
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Re: Book 2 – Page 114

Postby 0beron » Mon Nov 04, 2013 12:45 pm

Werebiscuit wrote:
Book 0 wrote:This unit would be worth far more than the buyer had paid for. That was no violation of Numbers, though. It simply meant that this unit carried a balance due. And though it was an astronomically high figure, someone would pay. Zero always called, and someone would have to pay.
Seems that someone paid a terrible price ...could that someone be Charlie ?
It depends on what is meant by "the price", and I think that remains unclear. Does the 'price" mean that Wanda will cause much suffering and make her opponents pay? Or instead is it her own personal suffering that gradually pays back her debt? Or is it everyone, every Side, who benefits from her has to pay dearly for the gains she gives them? She has outlasted 3, maybe soon to be 4 sides, each one falling in large part due to her actions/presence.
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