Epilogue 23 - Parson and Sizemore

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Re: Epilogue 23 - Parson and Sizemore

Postby Lilwik » Tue Nov 12, 2013 7:44 pm

atalex wrote:I still think Charlie's motivations are more complicated than we know.
I'd say that is almost certain. More than once Charlie has mentioned things that suggest something more is going on with him than we know.

Summer Update 41: Charlie: "My secrets have been compromised. You can't imagine what that may mean."
Book 0, Episode 81: Betsy: "A tool of what enemy?" Charlie: "The only one worth fighting. Don’t ever find out. Trussst me."

atalex wrote:Erfworld is conceptually based on a turn-based strategy game, and there are lots of such games in which one viable strategy is sit quietly and amass resources while everyone else fights, hoping that no one notices what you're doing until you are in position to win the entire game with a single move.
It wouldn't surprise me at all if that really is what Charlie is trying to do. That certainly would be a very important secret.
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Re: Epilogue 23 - Parson and Sizemore

Postby TheChaplin » Tue Nov 12, 2013 7:48 pm

Lipkin wrote:One could argue Charlie is fighting in favor of continuing war on Erf. He tries to create problems for his clients as much as possibly to increase need of his services.

0beron wrote:He's not conquering the world, but he is still very much interested in profiting from it's aggression.

Jacinth and Rubies wrote:How does a person who strives for peace justify helping to maintain such a violent status quo, let alone profiting off it?
If Charlie really wants peace on Erf, he is truly atrocious in his methods and practices of getting there.

Where did this idea that Charlie is trying to create problems and exploit them come from? Who says he is doing just that?

Ah, of course... all the characters that detest Charlie, right. Why do they hate him so? How does their opinion hold any merit whatsoever? As a reader, I judge a character by their actions not by what other character say about them. Let's go through this shall we.

Jetstone: Lost a few units to Gobwin Knob, leads a crusade of extermination.
Transyvito: Constantly raids their neighbors, razes their cities(or takes bribes not to) just as a day to day means of income.
Gobwin Knob: Uses the quest of attaining The Tools, as Cassus Belli against literally everyone.
Haggar: Rallies to their allies defense with the explicit purpose to conquer them.
Haffaton: Attempted peace through conquest of the world, leaving 70 cities as a depopulated husk. Rob could not have been more direct with this symbolism. Let me say it anyway; peace through force only happens when everyone is dead.

It is understood that being born inherent to violence is normal, people like Banhammer, Sizemore, and yes Charlie are the perverts. These "normal" units, these casual butchers of their fellow eafworldians cry foul, call Charlie "dirty" precisely in because he does not play into the standard mold of diplomacy<treachery<genocide (yes, genocide).

But what has Charlie actually done?
1) Amassed a large powerful air force [And not used to to wipe out his neighbors like everyone other than Banhammer would have done]
2) Charlie doesn't make lasting alliances, but he always, unfailing keeps his word
3) Charged Ansom extra in his moment of desperation to save his bacon from Wanda.
4) Engineered (on the fly) a deathtrap for for a Cthulian elder god, and still provided him the means to live and go home.
5) After the volcano, he sent a scouting force to GK to see what happened. And from the brief glimpse before they were wiped out, he was able to identify one of his own units by name, just based on her visual feature separate from the fact she was an archon. It doesn't matter if he had her service record right in front of him, or if the dish gave him the power to know his units names... he cared enough to do so. No other character in Rob's work has demonstrated that degree of compassion for their troops.
4) Charlescomm maintains it's identity and security without diplomacy<treachery<genocide. This is actually every forumers real misunderstanding. Charlie didn't create Erfworld. He didn't write the rules of violence. His failing is that he is not powerful enough, he is not diplomatic enough, he doesn't have the will to subjugate all of Erfworld into a state of peace. Olive tried that, she was the foil. Book 0 is not about Jillian/Wanda's backstory: it is only told through their perspective. It is about Banhammer/Olive and what these two foils have to say about Charlie's decisions in the current arc.


Jacinth and Rubies wrote:Then how come Charlie initially wanted to capture Parson rather than croak him?
why would he even leave Parson alive at all?
Why would he even deal with Parson?
And why does he happily continue to profit off other sides in their wars (Charlie's Rules are rather blatantly geared towards maximising profit off other sides' struggles)?
How does a person who strives for peace justify helping to maintain such a violent status quo, let alone profiting off it?
If Charlie really wants peace on Erf, he is truly atrocious in his methods and practices of getting there.


So, Charlie is unable to conquer the world {ie: enforce peace]. What's the next best thing? Creating a status quo where the factions are unable to commit genocide on each other. He seems capricious to erfworlders because they don't see a pattern in his dealings. However, we see exactly what he does when another side is faced with annihilation. He couldn't stop the RCC from trying to genocide GK, because it would have failed regardless, Stanley was in another castle. He doesn't take a fleet of Archons and send them to war to in order to win peace. On the flip, Jetstone was certainly about to die, and he played every card he could to make sure they didn't.

Somewhere in Book 2... I don't know.. The "Charlie is mysterious!" and "Charlie [might be] is the best bet for someone Parson won't totally curbstomp!" just mutated on the forums, turning him into the villain. I thought everyone was going crazy, since Charlie hadn't done anything wrong, and certainly nothing wrong in the context of Erfworld.

So yes, when the perfect Cthulian warlord lands in your backyard, and his army of undead marches around the globe with a religious mandate proclamation, captures garrisons, lines up the prisoners on their knees, executes them holocaust style, this is the side proclaimed to bring peace to the world, and this is all eerily similar to how your daughter committed genocide long ago.... yes Charlie and Parson are at odds, but it is Charlie who is the hero of this story.
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Re: Epilogue 23 - Parson and Sizemore

Postby Lilwik » Tue Nov 12, 2013 7:59 pm

TheChaplin wrote:Where did this idea that Charlie is trying to create problems and exploit them come from? Who says he is doing just that? Ah, of course... all the characters that detest Charlie, right.
Actually it's Charlie's Archons who say that. More precisely, it's Wanda's decryptions of Charlie's Archons, but either way they still certainly don't hate Charlie. They were quite conflicted about calling Charlie an enemy. See Summer Update 46.
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Re: Epilogue 23 - Parson and Sizemore

Postby 0beron » Tue Nov 12, 2013 8:02 pm

TheChaplin wrote:Where did this idea that Charlie is trying to create problems and exploit them come from? Who says he is doing just that?
Um....he says so himself.
Charlie's Rule #3 wrote:We are in the business of solving problems for our clients. Corollary: Creating problems for our clients creates business.

Edit: Ninja'd, Lilwik provided the citation where Rule 3 is revealed.
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Re: Epilogue 23 - Parson and Sizemore

Postby Arky » Tue Nov 12, 2013 8:20 pm

TheChaplin wrote:Where did this idea that Charlie is trying to create problems and exploit them come from? Who says he is doing just that?


According to Charlie's Rules.

http://www.erfworld.com/summer-update-2 ... ration.png

Charlie's Rule #3: We are in the business of solving problems for our clients. Corollary: Creating problems for our clients creates business.

So, no, not according to characters that hate Charlie. According to Charlie.

Your theory is very nice and all, but Parson Gotti is the Protagonist and there has been precisely nothing in the story to suggest Charlie is interested in peace. It is true that he is definitely interested in something and that he is amassing money and Archons towards some end, but the idea that it is PEACE is baseless speculation.
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Re: Epilogue 23 - Parson and Sizemore

Postby Free Radical » Tue Nov 12, 2013 9:07 pm

TheChaplin wrote:4) Engineered (on the fly) a deathtrap for for a Cthulian elder god, and still provided him the means to live and go home.

You seem to be implying he did this for Parson's benefit. I thought it was clear from the context of Parson's mathamancy/predictamancy about using the spell, his actual attempt to use the spell, and being saved afterwards that Fate was stepping in to prevent him dying or leaving.

His bracer predicted a non-zero (mathamancy) and zero (predictamancy) probability of casting the spell, most likely because it was mathemancically possible for him to cast it but Fate would act to prevent him casting it (as it eventually did by dropping part of the city on him). Compare this to Marie's predicting when to target the fleeing Olive and "only ever seeing that we miss" when Fate didn't want Olive to be hit with magic from the tower.

Charlie realises that Parson is probably protected by Fate. Knowing that Judy was able to choose to leave Erfworld on her own, he tried to put Parson in a position where he would choose to leave Erfworld on his own, hoping that even if he couldn't be killed, choosing to leave of his own will might still be possible. Fate apparently requires Parson to do whatever he's Fated to do first though, but the important thing is that even if it didn't work out, Charlie attempting to make Parson go home is because it was a cheat to get around the fact that Fate doesn't want Parson to die.

At a guess, a Carnymancer like Jojo casting the spell himself might have had better luck than Parson since their magic seems to be based on fighting Fate. It would also keep Charlie as a threatening antagonist even in the face of Parson's Fate since he's presumably going to be trying other Carnymancy tricks to get around Parson's plot armour.
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Re: Epilogue 23 - Parson and Sizemore

Postby TheChaplin » Wed Nov 13, 2013 4:31 am

With all respect, citing "Charlie's Rules" is currently a no sum argument. They were spoken by Archons who had never even seen the guy, who were admittedly themselves in that very episode gossipy and speculative. Did Charlie make the Corollaries, or was that an interpretation by units popped with the same instinct to war as any other unit. Even if the corollaries could be laid at Charlie's feet, we have neither born witness to Archons nor Charlie creating any problems... for anyone... ever. Gobwin Knob has done a fine job creating problems, as has Transylvito, as had Haggar, Charlescomm... not so much, he provides Battlespace Solutions instead. Unless the Great Minds can actually justify Charlie's threat to the world other than "wah, wah, waah, we don't monopolize Thinkamancy!" then there is just no reason to view Charlie poorly.

Does Charlie have a bad reputation? Sure! But that's all it is, a reputation to those who are demonstrably barbaric by own own standards. To judge Charlie based on that reputation rather than the actual content of his actions is to be fooled... by Rob. A character is only in the actions he or she takes. Other sides might feel entitled to more follow through from Charlie than their agreements have dictated, but so far the worst thing Charlie has done is threaten to attack Hagar (which is doubtful that he would or even could have).

What's the worst thing Jillian has done? What allowed her to justify it?
What's the worst thing Ansom has done? What allowed him to justify it?
What's the worst thing Caesar has done? What allowed him to justify it?
What's the worst thing Banhammer has done? What allowed him to justify it?
What's the worst thing Wanda has done? What allowed her to justify it?

Compare if you would the difference in destruction Archons have done 1) under Charlie's guidance, and 2) under Wanda's guidance.

What's the worst thing Parson has done? What allowed him to justify it?

What's the worst thing Charlie has done? Global scale political manipulation? If you think so, and if you think that matches anywhere near as bad as the manifest destiny through genocide that all other current factions partake in, then I ask... why do you think Charlie does so by malice?

Edit: Added "other" to the last sentence. Added witty Battlespace Solutions joke, and gossipy/speculative clarification to first paragraph.
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Re: Epilogue 23 - Parson and Sizemore

Postby Lipkin » Wed Nov 13, 2013 5:20 am

I would say the worst thing that Charlie has done, that we can directly attribute to him, is the use of deadly narcotics as leverage over Jillian, and the mind rape that came soon after.
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Re: Epilogue 23 - Parson and Sizemore

Postby TheChaplin » Wed Nov 13, 2013 5:44 am

Although I did not participate in that discussion, I am firmly with the camp that Charlie did not mind rape Jillian. Along with his loophole that let him kill her [Primary] war motivation (you will note her motivations are far more muddled in Book 1 and 2 compared to 0), Charlie honored his agreement to a T. She wanted to be rid of her addiction, and he wiped her entire memory chain of being on heroine in order to do just that. Of course such a procedure is invasive, but it was what she wanted, if not exactly how she imagined it.

The alternative interpretation is that Charlie had every capability to leave her memories intact but decided not to. From his description of her aggression/morality conduits, I find this highly doubtful to be the case.

Either which way, it is your preconception of Charlie that colors how you interpret that episode. I am now thinking Rob has written it this way on purpose.

Edit: Changed 'wanted' to 'imagined' in the first paragraph.
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Re: Epilogue 23 - Parson and Sizemore

Postby Lipkin » Wed Nov 13, 2013 6:34 am

But it wasn't just her memories that were wiped out. Betsy put the psychic scalpel to Jillian's very personality, and Charlie not just stood by and let her, he facilitated it. Betsy would not have been able to do so without him. Jillian WAS mind raped, and Charlie was directly involved and shares responsibility.
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Re: Epilogue 23 - Parson and Sizemore

Postby 0beron » Wed Nov 13, 2013 10:52 am

TheChaplin wrote:With all respect, citing "Charlie's Rules" is currently a no sum argument.
And with all respect, I for one will simply start ignoring you now since you have no idea what you're talking about and have pretty wack definitions of what counts as valid evidence. I can immediately think of at LEAST one occassion Charlie created problems, Haggar. EDIT: Oh...and the biggest most obvious one....FAQ when they took Haffaton. "Here...I'll just plop these High Elves here....consider it an incentive to accept my deal....totally not a threat though...."

RE: Charlie and Jillian's mind-rape, debating whether or not she was "raped" on semantics is disgusting and apalling. To apply your logic to the Stupidworld equivalent, it is exactly the same as a girl who has been drugged giving "consent" to be raped. It doesn't count. Regardless of whether the contract was followed or not, Jillian lacked the ability to comprehend it and was in a compromised position psychologically which Charlie took advantage of. Regardless of his end goal, his methods/tactics in that regard are wholy unethical and evil, and though Betsy is the one who commited the real mindrape on Jillian's personality and excess memories, Charlie facilitated it and did nothing to interfere (at best). Any court of law would find him at least an accomplice in this "rape", and any ethics scholar would have a field day explaining what a vile bit of scum he is.
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Re: Epilogue 23 - Parson and Sizemore

Postby Oberon » Wed Nov 13, 2013 11:27 am

TheChaplin wrote:With all respect, citing "Charlie's Rules" is currently a no sum argument. They were spoken by Archons who had never even seen the guy, who were admittedly themselves in that very episode gossipy and speculative. Did Charlie make the Corollaries, or was that an interpretation by units popped with the same instinct to war as any other unit.
Really? Come on now, taking in story knowledge and trying to turn it into mere speculation is a new twist. Citing the "never seen the guy" factoid is correct but not relevant. What does person to person contact have to do with understanding the will of your leader? Nothing. A stabber popped in a distant city will still obey the natural thinkamancy of his ruler, despite never having met with him face to face, right?

The archons are extensions of Charlies' will, they worship him. There is no way they would misrepresent his wishes.

There is always the possibility that Charlie has some greater overarching plan which his more immediate behavior is simply supporting, but that is a subject for other discussion.
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Re: Epilogue 23 - Parson and Sizemore

Postby Oberon » Wed Nov 13, 2013 11:35 am

Lipkin wrote:I would say the worst thing that Charlie has done, that we can directly attribute to him, is the use of deadly narcotics as leverage over Jillian, and the mind rape that came soon after.
How about bargaining with Parson for mathamancy answers, and then immediately asking how to most efficiently would destroy GK? Parson himself acknowledged that he was played.

Lipkin wrote:But it wasn't just her memories that were wiped out. Betsy put the psychic scalpel to Jillian's very personality, and Charlie not just stood by and let her, he facilitated it. Betsy would not have been able to do so without him. Jillian WAS mind raped, and Charlie was directly involved and shares responsibility.
Is the clown really an integral part of Jillian's personality? It seemed to me to be just another system of control. I'd like to learn how it plays in the coming conflict.
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Re: Epilogue 23 - Parson and Sizemore

Postby 0beron » Wed Nov 13, 2013 11:37 am

Actually, Ohberon brings up another helpful point that I'd like to explicitly state since he only touched on it. Through Natural Thinkamancy, ALL units know with flawless comprehension their Ruler's will. Orders are never misinterpreted. Has nothing to do with the Archons worshiping Charlie; they, like all other units, are incapable of misunderstanding him.
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Re: Epilogue 23 - Parson and Sizemore

Postby teratorn » Wed Nov 13, 2013 12:26 pm

Not sure how much charlie cares about his archons. Charlie pimps out his units, even with permission to snuff if the customer pays enough:

Charlie offered various options and clauses that could be added to his contracts, including the no-return penalty waiver. So most clients who paid for "full service" did it because they wanted to make personal use of the Archons, before sending them off to die.
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Re: Epilogue 23 - Parson and Sizemore

Postby bladestorm » Wed Nov 13, 2013 3:15 pm

Maybe Sizemore is so mad at Parson because it was Parson that ordered him to initially take lives, and Sizemore actually enjoyed it. It was all the things he convinced himself that he hated, and after leveling twice and nearly getting master level in only one turn, he liked it.

must be like a hardcore vegetarian on a crusade of 'Meat is Murder', and then getting your first taste of bacon... and wanting more. much more anger at the person who introduced you to it than to the butcher that sliced the meat. Parson is the one standing there munching on his BLT, and Wanda is the butcher.
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Re: Epilogue 23 - Parson and Sizemore

Postby Jacinth and Rubies » Wed Nov 13, 2013 5:32 pm

bladestorm wrote:Maybe Sizemore is so mad at Parson because it was Parson that ordered him to initially take lives, and Sizemore actually enjoyed it. It was all the things he convinced himself that he hated, and after leveling twice and nearly getting master level in only one turn, he liked it.

must be like a hardcore vegetarian on a crusade of 'Meat is Murder', and then getting your first taste of bacon... and wanting more. much more anger at the person who introduced you to it than to the butcher that sliced the meat. Parson is the one standing there munching on his BLT, and Wanda is the butcher.


mmm, I'm not convinced he is - I think his disdain for croaking is real. Or at least, having to witness croaking other units - he did seem happy enough to go off and build pits and traps for Parson. But I don't think he truly enjoyed the experience, and certainly not at the cost of his reputation within the MK; that IS what he truly valued.
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Re: Epilogue 23 - Parson and Sizemore

Postby Dinkum » Wed Nov 13, 2013 6:11 pm

bladestorm wrote:Maybe Sizemore is so mad at Parson because it was Parson that ordered him to initially take lives, and Sizemore actually enjoyed it. It was all the things he convinced himself that he hated, and after leveling twice and nearly getting master level in only one turn, he liked it.

must be like a hardcore vegetarian on a crusade of 'Meat is Murder', and then getting your first taste of bacon... and wanting more. much more anger at the person who introduced you to it than to the butcher that sliced the meat. Parson is the one standing there munching on his BLT, and Wanda is the butcher.


Pretty sure Sizemore was only showing excitement about learning more of the dormant volcano and dirtamancy while he was linked. He tells Janis in the Magic Kingdom that he never wanted to 'level like that again.' Sizemore seems to be at his happiest learning about other disciplines, and being around people who will talk to him, even when he was training Parson.

Once Parson started giving orders Sizemore did not like it one bit, and held Parson accountable for the conquest and actions of their side. Sizemore called him 'Chief Butcher', despite the fact Parson did not directly croak a single unit in the Battle for Gobwin Knob. (edit: could be wrong about that, I don't recall it happening but I can't go through the book right now to verify)

I think what gets Sizemore's goat is actually Duty, as he was paraphrased by Maggie, to be something that 'knows' if someone has done enough for their side. Duty prevents units from being able to enact or rationalize non-violent solutions to the problem of self/side-preservation. This must be the hardest on casters who, via the magic kingdom, know that there is a place they can go that does not involve combat, and they do not have to fight one another. The one safe refuge in Erfworld that Parson just drove a tank into.

Yeah, I can imagine Sizemore getting a little constipated about it.
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Re: Epilogue 23 - Parson and Sizemore

Postby TheChaplin » Wed Nov 13, 2013 6:17 pm

0beron wrote:And with all respect, I for one will simply start ignoring you now since you have no idea what you're talking about and have pretty wack definitions of what counts as valid evidence. I can immediately think of at LEAST one occassion Charlie created problems, Haggar. EDIT: Oh...and the biggest most obvious one....FAQ when they took Haffaton. "Here...I'll just plop these High Elves here....consider it an incentive to accept my deal....totally not a threat though...."

I was not being sarcastic or ironic with my declaration of respect, I truly meant it. We have differing opinions that are clashing, you and I, but don't imagine this is some street brawl where the winner get more credibility. This is an opportunity for us to both see another facet, and challenge our own views (depending on the skill of debate). It comes as a surprise to me that you wish to dismiss my claims rather than address them, but please (sincerely, please) don't pretend you are ignoring me(it makes you look silly), you simply wouldn't have posted if that were the case. Dismissal is a dishonest technique, and I mean that clinically with no intent to malign on your character. I recommend not using it in the future.

As for Haggar, I recall that as one of Charlie's shinning moments. Haggar was about to betray the trust of their alliance, something so vile you would think only Parson would have thought of it.

0beron wrote:RE: Charlie and Jillian's mind-rape, debating whether or not she was "raped" on semantics is disgusting and apalling. To apply your logic to the Stupidworld equivalent, it is exactly the same as a girl who has been drugged giving "consent" to be raped. It doesn't count. Regardless of whether the contract was followed or not, Jillian lacked the ability to comprehend it and was in a compromised position psychologically which Charlie took advantage of. Regardless of his end goal, his methods/tactics in that regard are wholy unethical and evil, and though Betsy is the one who commited the real mindrape on Jillian's personality and excess memories, Charlie facilitated it and did nothing to interfere (at best). Any court of law would find him at least an accomplice in this "rape", and any ethics scholar would have a field day explaining what a vile bit of scum he is.


Calling my post semantics is a reversal and dishonest at the same time. Here are the semantics... Force is required to make something rape. Charlie did not come anywhere close to this. He wanted something(his secrets). Jillian wanted something(free of addiction). He negotiated with something she wanted, imagine that... He made her an offer she could absolutely refuse. She did. The elves still did not attack and kill everyone. She counter-offered for more. He accepted. She just doesn't understand magic, and didn't know what would be required. She was not high at anytime during this process; she was just scared during the procedure. Dentists are equally evil in the eyes of child, stupid rapey dentists. She was in full control of her faculties. She was morally and legal capable of giving consent, and she choose to do so. No Archon forced her down smearing her head into a contract. Their is nothing to say excess memories were taken from Jillian. Her personality is still quite obviously the same, so no damage was done there.

It's quite interesting those highelves, since they support the idea Charlie is a good guy. If he were as malicious as you make him out to be, why didn't he just stop paying their upkeep as soon as the gardens were burned? They would have sacked the city and killed everyone, at no cost to him. Why did he instead choose the hard route and negotiate (at additional cost to himself) for FAQ's silence?

So my original claim still stands (since you are ignoring it). Charlescomm has an agenda (more complicated than conquest) and the methods Charlie uses to achieve that agenda are substantially less morally reprehensible than other factions, including but not limited to... Gobwin Knob, Jetstone, Trasylvito, the Great Minds(Magic Kingdom in general). Any example where Charlie has actually been more barbaric than competing factions would of course invalidate my argument. It is not enough to say that Charlie competed with someone and came out on top, he has to have been more villainous than the status quo.

1) Manipulation is a far weak cry from extermination.
2) The attitude Archons have with other factions is irrelevant. They have never been shown to screw over their customers. It is a stated power, like Trem's diplomacy. Hell, even that attitude isn't consistent among Archons. Jaquelin was freely helpful with Jillian, and if her sisters are to be believed, would have helped out Ansom out of the goodness of her heart. It's kind of like Archons have a diverse array of personality, like other Erfworld units. But attitude or no, even Archons are substantially less evil than equivalent knight class units, who would just attack anything they encounter were there no warlords to stop them from rampaging.
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Re: Epilogue 23 - Parson and Sizemore

Postby 0beron » Wed Nov 13, 2013 6:32 pm

I think Sizemore's problem is overload and culture shock, in a sense. His world view has been so horribly shattered that he doesn't even realize it yet. Perhaps the stages of grief might even be appropriate because that's what he's done so far. Denial right after the Volcano, trying to distance himself from it. Now he's Angry, and blaming Parson for his loss. Though his loss is much more metaphorical than a death. He thought the world was/could be a certain way, and a totally different world has been thrust in his face ever since the start of Book 1. Right now he is still trying to fight for that idea without realizing it's gone (and perhaps was never real to begin with). Parson is a big obvious scapegoat for Sizemore's delusions being broken.
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