Epilogue 23 - Parson and Sizemore

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Re: Epilogue 23 - Parson and Sizemore

Postby Lamech » Mon Nov 11, 2013 5:40 pm

twhitt wrote:
Lamech wrote:The MK needs to institute defenses and farms if it wants to be neutral. Signamancy or something to seal the portals off from misuse. Massive Flower Power projects to stop engagements and provide upkeep without the outside world. Findamancers to summon harvestables. Luckamancy to transfer rolls from attackers to victims. Stuff like that.

And from the outside, all of this could look very much like war mobilization. Defensive fortifications, new supply lines, stockpiling resources and combat casting capability add up to some pretty scary stuff for anyone with free movement to your capital's garrison, day or night. 'The road to hell is paved with good intentions.'

Which is exactly why its the best time to do it! They have an excuse. And once the mobilization is done no one will be able to stop them. Although this really isn't the road to hell. Its the road to Heaven which passes directly over all the tempting parts of Hell.
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Re: Epilogue 23 - Parson and Sizemore

Postby MonteCristo » Mon Nov 11, 2013 6:03 pm

GWvsJohn wrote:I disagree with your disagreement :) He just wants to run away and hide with Janis, but mean old Parson won't let him, so he pouts. If he truly desired peace for everyone, wouldn't he do something more along the lines of, "Hey Parson, you know Janis? She's a really powerful caster and expert on peace. Maybe we could learn something from her. Why don't I bring her over here so you two can chat?"


in the previous book, Sizemore showed a lot of concern over the idea that they live in a world where peace is not possible; that shows a desire for peace for everyone not just himself. He also has shown a lot of fear in what Parson is able to do and all the damage he could do if he waged war. Sizemore is a man who desires a world of peace, but is a man wholly ill equipped to build it; heck even his attempts to learn a more peaceful form of magic, one that is commonly used to stop battles and influence peace has ended in failure for him. He already seen what parson has done, how he has spread the war and is determined to keep on fighting, and Janis seems to be encouraging him as opposed to deterring him; no reason him to think that Parson would have any interest in listening to Janis, nor that Janis would be able or willing to say anything that would change his course.

At the start of book 1, he is flaking out with Janis while the soldiers of GK (living men and gobwins, not just uncroaked) are out fighting to keep his side alive. He gets to sit in the relative safety of GK and the MK, whining about having to make golems (which seems to be one of the primary skill of his specialty), while other members of his side (including ALL the other GK casters) have to risk their lives to preserve the side (Wanda in the field, the Eyemancers via the dangerous tri-link)


you seem to forget that GK is defending in a war that THEY started. Their predicament in book 1 started when Stanely started lashing out at otherside to search for the tools. And Stanely is not a man who can be reasoned with; to manipulate Stanley you have to be particularly clever like wanda. Heck Stanley even referred to Sizemore as "the turd guy"; no way was Sizemore gonna convince Stanley to take on an action that would have averted all this fighting. Sizemore doesn't want to fight to preserve his side, he wants his side to not have to fight all; he however serves a leader that pushes for warfare. If his side wants a war, then what's for him to do. He didn't want this war, not for himself or for his side, but no one cares what he thinks... not to mention he was, in a way, saying his possible final goodbyes to Janis; as he told her when they parted, it could be the last time they ever meet. He knew what was coming and that their might not be escape
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Re: Epilogue 23 - Parson and Sizemore

Postby Man in the Mists » Mon Nov 11, 2013 6:29 pm

Jacinth and Rubies wrote:I think Sizemore's dilemma is one facet of a much bigger problem in Erfworld - the tensions between Casting and Non-Casting units. Wanda's father wasn't particularly trusting of his casters, and I suspect that unless you manage to ingratiate yourself to your Ruler/the Nobility (i.e.: Holly Shortcake), that that sort of attitude is likely common. And in a way, I can see why: the Casters all get to hang out in a place where no other unit can go and get to rub shoulders with the enemy's own casters in complete peace, free from interference from anyone else. That is tactically very worrisome.


Good move mentioning Wanda's original side, since Delphie made that fear completely justified when she tried to negotiate with Haffaton behind everyone's back. She also made sure that Wanda's father remained leery of magic so that she can bamboozle him about caster affairs.
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Re: Epilogue 23 - Parson and Sizemore

Postby Talisid » Mon Nov 11, 2013 7:58 pm

Makes me wonder why the invasion of the MK was necessary in the first place.

TGMTTA could have sent a representative to Spacerock to chat with Parson. There was no need for him to come back into the MK in the first place.

This actually feels kind of like a plot hole, or at the very least a kind of forced contrivance to drive the story in this direction.
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Re: Epilogue 23 - Parson and Sizemore

Postby Lor » Mon Nov 11, 2013 8:16 pm

Narrator:
In the Magic Kingdom, rogue caster were dealt with by "Enforcement Councils," which were ad hoc vigilante groups of "Qualified" casters

Sizemore
I was Qualified, you know that?


  • How many "Enforcement Councils" did Sizemore participate in?
  • How many casters did he 'deal with' ?
  • How many looked at him and told him that "one day, they'll come for you."
  • How many of those looked like Magneto? :p
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Re: Epilogue 23 - Parson and Sizemore

Postby Lamech » Mon Nov 11, 2013 8:28 pm

Lor wrote:How many of those looked like Magneto? :p
All of them. The signamancers make an identified rogue caster look like Magneto. :p
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Re: Epilogue 23 - Parson and Sizemore

Postby Lilwik » Mon Nov 11, 2013 8:42 pm

Talisid wrote:TGMTTA could have sent a representative to Spacerock to chat with Parson. There was no need for him to come back into the MK in the first place.
Parson can't have the Magic Kingdom turning against Gobwin Knob, at least not as long as there is anything he can do about it. He wants his casters to be able to go into the Magic Kingdom without risk of facing enforcement councils. He doesn't want people like Jojo working in the Magic Kingdom unopposed. If Parson didn't do this then he'd be taking the risk of totally losing access to the Magic Kingdom and all of its resources, which might mean the difference between victory and defeat in the future.
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Re: Epilogue 23 - Parson and Sizemore

Postby MonteCristo » Mon Nov 11, 2013 9:05 pm

Lor wrote:Narrator:
In the Magic Kingdom, rogue caster were dealt with by "Enforcement Councils," which were ad hoc vigilante groups of "Qualified" casters

Sizemore
I was Qualified, you know that?


  • How many "Enforcement Councils" did Sizemore participate in?
  • How many casters did he 'deal with' ?
  • How many looked at him and told him that "one day, they'll come for you."
  • How many of those looked like Magneto? :p


Just because he was qualified does not mean he took part in a council; just means he COULD. The reason why Sizemore points out that he was qualified was to point out that he was very well respected in the magic Kingdom; "Qualified" is the term the casters use for those who are respected. Heck, previous texts pointed out that Sizemore was always rather humble about that respect, such as how he would often charge the minimum for his services and we saw how he could sometimes over pay for services he received. The guy was just happy that he had so many friends there... though that's over now. Its over.
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Re: Epilogue 23 - Parson and Sizemore

Postby Arky » Mon Nov 11, 2013 10:02 pm

Denar wrote:Sizemore's such a crybaby. Does he not remember the host of Charlie-goon carnymancers lining up to shoot Parson the moment he came back through the portal? - and not just parson, they had no problem starting a fight with the otherwise "pacifist" predicta/thinkamancy crowd, and getting other members of the qualified involved.The war was in the Magic kingdom long before parson ever set foot in it, that's exactly what the Thinkamancers are worried about with Charlie and the g-strings, and the war is exactly why Sizemore's friends made the spell that summoned parson.

Seems like if there's anyone sizemore should be directing his anger at right now, it's janis.


There's all kinds of problems with Sizemore's thinking. I'm OK with that- he has an unusual perspective for an Erfworlder and he's more likely than most to eventually work through it rather than rage-turning or whatever (and whatever he does, it's probably going to be interesting to see).

The Grand List of Problems with Sizemore's Thinking:

1. The Magic Kingdom was not a place anybody could go. In fact, it's a place only an elite can go. Even casters can only go if barbarian or if their ruler allowed it.

2. The MK may be peaceful but most of its inhabitants (temporary and permanent) wage war on other people.

3. Parson was summoned by a coalition including the hippiemancers to bring peace to Erf. Sizemore has to decide whether he cares more about his personal status in the MK or about that whole peace business. He's seen Erf. Universal pacifism will not break out spontaneously. This omelette requires a lot of broken eggs for the greater good.

4. There's been a secret war between Charlie and the Thinkamancers, involving other MK casters to boot, before Parson even entered Erfworld. All was not as peaceful as it appeared.

5. Charlie and the Thinkamancers are as responsible for open conflict entering the MK as Parson. Parson just wanted to pass through. They escalated it.

6. He's not "nothing" to Janis' side. The people who he's nothing to are people who are fighting against Peace On Erf. Why does he want to be something to them anyway?


The TLDR version: Sizemore is pining for an idealized situation that never really existed and required him to be willfully blind to the plight of people outside the MK. He's got to choose between a selfish desire to get that situation back or being willing to sacrifice that for the goal of Peace On Erf.
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Re: Epilogue 23 - Parson and Sizemore

Postby BakaGrappler » Mon Nov 11, 2013 10:07 pm

Poor Sizemore. He doesn't understand. Parson was not the one who brought the war to the MK, it had always been there. Seething just under the surface, with Charlie's manipulations, Thinkamancer's machinations, and Predictamancer's precognitions. Everyone has had a dog in this fight, they've just been pretending to keep them muzzled in the MK. A hollow, false peace for a Dirtamancer who wanted an escape from his shitty reality. Thanks all around from people he was kind to, with those kinds of shallow connections spread throughout the MK. But just like the Hippymancer said the night before, when she wanted to see what it was like to sleep with a lonely man, Sizemore just really just as lonely in the MK as he was in the Kingdoms.

Poor Sizemore. He can't see the reality past the shards of his broken dreams and denials. And he can't see that his true friends are the ones that are not going to abandon him over this, the Hippymancers and Jannis.

Poor Sizemore. What lie is he going to drape around his perception of reality now? He's probably going to be throwing everything that happens from here on out on the shoulders of Parson, as well.
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Re: Epilogue 23 - Parson and Sizemore

Postby Oberon » Mon Nov 11, 2013 10:34 pm

Tonot wrote:That choice ought to be whole-hearted and it is shameful when people agree to be a soldier with reservations. Thinking it is "ok" to be a member of a Service that uses five hundred pound bombs delivered by jet, but saying IEDs are somehow "immoral" and wrong. I prefer my public-service-murderers to be a bit clearer about the morality of the whole idea, personally.
I've got to say, I agree with you. As much as it pains me because of the damage done to servicemen in the service of my country (especially on Veteran's Day!), the guy who uses an IED is just as justified as the guy who uses an M16. And our own history bears this out: The US gained it's independence in large part because we used guerrilla warfare against the British. (Long logistical lines and British involvements in other wars played a large part, but nevertheless) We didn't stand our troops in line and exchange volleys with the British whilst the opposing generals met under a tent and had tea and discussed the battle. We fought dirty, because we were the underdog and to win required those tactics. We sniped officers by the score. We fired from behind trees and then disappeared only to pop up again and take a few more shots. Both sides played the partisan card, but the US won that victory in the end.

The amount of double speak it takes to justify the current drone attacks in Afghanistan and surrounding nations is another example. Without drones, it would be Tomahawk missiles or stealth bombers/fighters dropping bombs, both of which are less targeted and would incur a greater amount of collateral damage. And yet there seems to be a great deal of focus on exactly how we are killing our enemies, as opposed to a simple understanding that our enemies need killing.

Sizemore seems to fall into this trap. He is "Qualified", which means that he is a member of an "Enforcement Council" which is "an ad hoc vigilante group of "Qualified" casters" who go around "dealing with rogue casters." That description doesn't make it seem like it's all fluffy bunnies and hugs for those "rogue casters" once the Enforcement Council catches up with them. And yet Sizemore is all pissed off at Parson for "breaking the Magic Kingdom." It seems that Sizemore isn't able to see the ugliness which was present long before Parson came on the scene, and that ugliness had Sizemore as a "Qualified" member of it, supporting and sustaining the ugliness.
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Re: Epilogue 23 - Parson and Sizemore

Postby Konaa » Tue Nov 12, 2013 12:29 am

Sizemore's more than entitled to his own opinion, and he has the right to be kind of torn up about this - but I also think he's being pretty selfish here.
You didn't wish for this world, Parson Gotti. It wished for you.
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Re: Epilogue 23 - Parson and Sizemore

Postby Lipkin » Tue Nov 12, 2013 2:22 am

Talisid wrote:Makes me wonder why the invasion of the MK was necessary in the first place.

TGMTTA could have sent a representative to Spacerock to chat with Parson. There was no need for him to come back into the MK in the first place.

This actually feels kind of like a plot hole, or at the very least a kind of forced contrivance to drive the story in this direction.

No, because they are making covert plans to kill Charlie, and the Temple of the Thinkomancers is warded against Lookamancy and Thinkamancy, which Spacerock is not.
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Re: Epilogue 23 - Parson and Sizemore

Postby Tonot » Tue Nov 12, 2013 2:26 am

Jacinth and Rubies wrote:The nature of the Magic Kingdom itself raises some questions: why does it exist in the first place?? I mean, there is no "Stabber Kingdom" - no place for any other unit type from different sides to go hang out in collective groups in relative peace - so why do the Casters get one? It is, when you think about it, a fundamentally weird space in Erfworld because it does not know war.
That same peace that Casters get to enjoy away from their sides helps to set up a distaste for war in the Casters, which in turn adds to the tension between Casting and non-casting units. I think that the Casters have come to see themselves as somehow "other" in the tensions of Erfworld, and have somehow convinced themselves that they are not really responsible to help change the "barbarous ways" of the rest of the "lesser units" of Erfworld.



Wow, you make a lot of very good points. It is quite strange isn't it, ALL the casters get a special happy place. Almost like there are two values given for Units, Caster V's Non-caster. And that just ignores, as you say, that some of the casters are of dubious sort of worth/likeability . "Poo-Magican" "Death-Mangler", "Lying-Wizard" and all of them given a holiday home denied to the Infantry.

Why would the Titans of Ark think that way?.

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Re: Epilogue 23 - Parson and Sizemore

Postby Lilwik » Tue Nov 12, 2013 2:43 am

Tonot wrote:Almost like there are two values given for Units, Caster V's Non-caster. And that just ignores, as you say, that some of the casters are of dubious sort of worth/likeability . "Poo-Magican" "Death-Mangler", "Lying-Wizard" and all of them given a holiday home denied to the Infantry.
Don't forget royalty versus nonroyalty, where the titans apparently decided to explicitly make certain units better than other units. In fact, all units are assigned a certain role when they are popped and that role determines the value of the unit, with no consideration at all for the unit's desires, and apparently the titans designed Erfworld to be that way. It's not a social convention that Erfworlders imposed upon themselves. The titans probably aren't very likeable people.
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Re: Epilogue 23 - Parson and Sizemore

Postby Tonot » Tue Nov 12, 2013 3:16 am

Oberon wrote:The amount of double speak it takes to justify the current drone attacks in Afghanistan and surrounding nations is another example.
Yep.

Hey, I didn't mean, by the way, that people who use Bomber Planes ought to be criticised for it or ones who use IEDs ought be justified for it or vice versa for that matter. Every single choice to take someone's life as a political solution has to be judged on its merits, but they each and every one are murder. Proper behaviour is facing that murderous fact. I happen to think our system with its extremely careful checks and balances does a good job, and maybe you and I agree that blokes prepared to plant IEDs in crowds of innocents are proper murderees but we would be the kind of hypocrite Sizemore is allowing himself to be if we didn't face the fact many people in Pakistan probably think the same way about people prepared to sit in air-conditioned luxury and light up civilian houses.
Oberon wrote:Sizemore seems to fall into this trap. He is "Qualified", which means that he is a member of an "Enforcement Council" which is "an ad hoc vigilante group of "Qualified" casters" who go around "dealing with rogue casters." That description doesn't make it seem like it's all fluffy bunnies and hugs for those "rogue casters" once the Enforcement Council catches up with them. And yet Sizemore is all pissed off at Parson for "breaking the Magic Kingdom." It seems that Sizemore isn't able to see the ugliness which was present long before Parson came on the scene, and that ugliness had Sizemore as a "Qualified" member of it, supporting and sustaining the ugliness.


Yes. In a similar way that you and I might not fly bombing missions, but we would be a bit on the nose claiming we didn't , practically or only theoretically, benefit from them, and actually are just as culpable in our way as if we had wandered down to the airfield and helped load the plane. We support it, even if only by NOT going and trying to stop it, support by tacit consent, and ought to be up-front about it.
Even taking the title "Qualified" means he is supporting whatever policy or acts OTHER Qualified make. And he ought not hide his head from all the facts that come with that.
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Tonot wrote:
But Casters from the Magic Kingdom are like professional soldiers. They choose to follow that trade.


What's their alternative?

Literally, is there a place in Erfworld where someone can go and not be a soldier?



I don't know the specific answer to that second question, but they could take the path more than one brave man has taken, when pressed against their will to take part in what they consider immoral behaviour. And it sounds like to me, that no one in the Magic Kingdom would stop them from starving themselves to death, or falling on their sword, they seem like people who respect convictions.
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Re: Epilogue 23 - Parson and Sizemore

Postby Jacinth and Rubies » Tue Nov 12, 2013 3:19 am

MonteCristo wrote:Just because he was qualified does not mean he took part in a council; just means he COULD. The reason why Sizemore points out that he was qualified was to point out that he was very well respected in the magic Kingdom; "Qualified" is the term the casters use for those who are respected. Heck, previous texts pointed out that Sizemore was always rather humble about that respect, such as how he would often charge the minimum for his services and we saw how he could sometimes over pay for services he received. The guy was just happy that he had so many friends there... though that's over now. Its over.


I dunno about Sizemore being humble about it - describing yourself as a "filthy rich rockstar" is not what I would call a humble attitude ;) However, the fact that most people are distancing themselves indicates that most of Sizemore's "friendships" were pretty superficial at best - he was popular, and his popularity has taken a major hit with the Lady Firebaugh's actions (which, interestingly enough, he's not throwing much anger her way - Just at Parson). Sizemore has only one known true friend in the whole of the MK (well, three if you count Marie and Parson) - he truly is a lonely man.

If Sizemore is feeling betrayed by Parson's lack of pacifism (which, by definition of the spell that summoned him, he cannot be), then what on earth is he going to do when he finds out that Janis has been an integral part of this all along?

Lilwik wrote:Don't forget royalty versus nonroyalty, where the titans apparently decided to explicitly make certain units better than other units. In fact, all units are assigned a certain role when they are popped and that role determines the value of the unit, with no consideration at all for the unit's desires, and apparently the titans designed Erfworld to be that way. It's not a social convention that Erfworlders imposed upon themselves. The titans probably aren't very likeable people.


Perhaps. However, as the Royals get to decide what kind of units their cities pop, there seems to be a degree of responsibility conferred upon those with superior stats or special abilities. I think that over the history of Erfworld that these special abilities have been abused (i.e.: warring Royals) and the responsibilities neglected (i.e.: apathetic Casters) with increasing frequency. Though it remains to be seen what danger Charlie sees regarding Parson's role in Erfworld, if Fate is indeed a Tool of the Titans, and that Parson is Fated to war for Peace on Erfworld, then the Titans wish for Peace to come to Erfworld, and thus cannot be completely terrible.
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Re: Epilogue 23 - Parson and Sizemore

Postby Lipkin » Tue Nov 12, 2013 3:30 am

Lilwik wrote:
Tonot wrote:Almost like there are two values given for Units, Caster V's Non-caster. And that just ignores, as you say, that some of the casters are of dubious sort of worth/likeability . "Poo-Magican" "Death-Mangler", "Lying-Wizard" and all of them given a holiday home denied to the Infantry.
Don't forget royalty versus nonroyalty, where the titans apparently decided to explicitly make certain units better than other units. In fact, all units are assigned a certain role when they are popped and that role determines the value of the unit, with no consideration at all for the unit's desires, and apparently the titans designed Erfworld to be that way. It's not a social convention that Erfworlders imposed upon themselves. The titans probably aren't very likeable people.

Well, we have seen that Stabbers are basically programmed to be single minded in their purpose of stabbing. So the desires of the units is immaterial when they assign those desires as well.

Tonot wrote:I don't know the specific answer to that second question, but they could take the path more than one brave man has taken, when pressed against their will to take part in what they consider immoral behaviour. And it sounds like to me, that no one in the Magic Kingdom would stop them from starving themselves to death, or falling on their sword, they seem like people who respect convictions.
I don't know if that would succeed in moving anyone. It's possible a movement of non-violent protest could gain attention, but it's such an alien thing to Erfians that it might just leave people confused. We also don't really know how upkeep works, and how it effects units. Would a unit that can only forage for half it's upkeep disband? Or would it just be weakened like we would when not getting enough food? Would a starving unit's signamancy change, or stay the same until it disbanded?

There is also that the dead vanish. Suicide has less of an impact when those protesting off themselves, and then any trace of them vanish upon the start of the next turn.

My point is that I don't doubt that they could croak themselves out of protest, but I don't know how effective that would be.
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Re: Epilogue 23 - Parson and Sizemore

Postby Tonot » Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:36 am

Lipkin wrote:My point is that I don't doubt that they could croak themselves out of protest, but I don't know how effective that would be.

I had not actually considered that additional point, you are right, if they felt that strongly about it they could protest by starving themselves.

I meant, Sizemore is angry and against the Magic Kingdom being a battleground, yet at some point he chose* to be a soldier.
If he was really against war.
If he really thinks the MK deserves being protected against fighting.
Then choosing to be a fighter, anywhere in Erfworld, is WRONG.

Blowing a person up here, alright, and there, somehow wrong?.
:evil: :evil: :evil: :evil:
( *This if he was ever made "free" by being sent to the MK by his "popped" ruler of course, if he was always from popping a member of GK then he is just kind of stuck under Duty like a stabber )
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Re: Epilogue 23 - Parson and Sizemore

Postby TheChaplin » Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:55 am

Jacinth and Rubies wrote:Though it remains to be seen what danger Charlie sees regarding Parson's role in Erfworld,


Really? You don't see why Charlie would be at odds with the perfect warlord? I thought the foreshadowing/subtext/irony has been especially heavy handed as of late.

There is only one character in all of Erfworld whose agenda is to actually fight(has been since before book 0) for peace. Hint: It's not Parson.
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