Epilogue 13 – Parson and the Temple

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Re: Epilogue 13 – Parson and the Temple

Postby bpzinn » Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:23 am

0beron wrote:
peteratjet wrote:I assume that the temple itself, with it's polychrome columns is a visual reference to something. Any ideas?
Probably more Minecraft, especially given those stairs in the background of the second image. Constructing buildings using colored wool blocks is a common thing if you wanna be decorative.


It is reminiscent of a certain style of color test images. Displayed before a Tv channel signs off. Or more often when the signal is interrupted.
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Which is perfect signamancy for its ability to block thinkamancy. It shuts off Charlies/the Dishes signal into the Temple
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Re: Epilogue 13 – Parson and the Temple

Postby Lilwik » Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:50 am

ManaCaster wrote:Would Decryption even work on a Stupidworlder? Seems to me that a Stupidworlder's biology would have to be altered quite a bit to function anything like the Decrypted.
I think that it would work on Parson. We know that Croakamancy can make people walk around even with radically biology, just think of the skeletons. I expect that Wanda might be surprised by some of the strangeness of Parson's biology, but it would be nothing she couldn't overcome with the right amount of brute force. I think of Parson were so different from Erfworlders that it would be a problem, then Wanda would have noticed it with her Croakamancer senses and commented on it. If he can be uncroaked then surely he can be decrypted. If he were decrypted then I expect he'd end up with the biology of a true Erfworlder and there would be no more bleeding.

twhitt wrote:That's a link to the falling beam. It includes a sound effect, written in black: "Manos," drawn with two decorative hands reaching out from the word.
I most ways Erfworld takes itself quite seriously, and I love it for that, but sound effects are one place that Erfworld seems to consider it acceptable to exercise unlimited silliness, like using words that are nothing like natural sounds. Consider the "PLOT" sound that came with sucking Parson out of Stupidworld. As far as I can tell, that's just a joke and there's no way to give it a serious interpretation. Therefore I don't expect there to be serious meanings to Erfworld sound effects, and when "MANOS" is the sound effect for a fatefully important falling beam, I guess that it's just another sound effect joke. Whether it's a joke or not, the fact that so many sound effects are jokes makes it useless as evidence. I would never base a theory about the underlying nature of Erfworld reality on a sound effect.
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Re: Epilogue 13 – Parson and the Temple

Postby ManaCaster » Fri Sep 27, 2013 4:41 am

Lilwik wrote:I think that it would work on Parson. We know that Croakamancy can make people walk around even with radically biology, just think of the skeletons. I expect that Wanda might be surprised by some of the strangeness of Parson's biology, but it would be nothing she couldn't overcome with the right amount of brute force. I think of Parson were so different from Erfworlders that it would be a problem, then Wanda would have noticed it with her Croakamancer senses and commented on it.

Do her Croakamancer senses normally work on living units? I admit to have missed a few IPTSF updates, but all instances I've seen involved her sensing the status of dead bodies.

Lilwik wrote:If he can be uncroaked then surely he can be decrypted.

Except we have no idea whatsoever how the decrypted work. All we have is Magic Kingdom speculation that Wanda's expanding Croakamancy to the Life axis. In some ways, they function just like living units, but in other ways, they function just like Decrypted, without anything in between, resulting in a bizarre combination.

Lilwik wrote:If he were decrypted then I expect he'd end up with the biology of a true Erfworlder and there would be no more bleeding.

Well yes, I don't know how it effects an Erfworlder, but if he were somehow decrypted, it is doubtful he would in any way be human anymore.

Lilwik wrote:
twhitt wrote:That's a link to the falling beam. It includes a sound effect, written in black: "Manos," drawn with two decorative hands reaching out from the word.
I most ways Erfworld takes itself quite seriously, and I love it for that, but sound effects are one place that Erfworld seems to consider it acceptable to exercise unlimited silliness, like using words that are nothing like natural sounds. Consider the "PLOT" sound that came with sucking Parson out of Stupidworld. As far as I can tell, that's just a joke and there's no way to give it a serious interpretation. Therefore I don't expect there to be serious meanings to Erfworld sound effects, and when "MANOS" is the sound effect for a fatefully important falling beam, I guess that it's just another sound effect joke. Whether it's a joke or not, the fact that so many sound effects are jokes makes it useless as evidence. I would never base a theory about the underlying nature of Erfworld reality on a sound effect.

Of course the MANOS sound effect is a joke, but that doesn't mean it was chosen randomly. If it wasn't implying Titanic intervention, then what else could it mean? That Parson was hit by a freak coincidence that Erfworlders call Fate for purely religious reasons?
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Re: Epilogue 13 – Parson and the Temple

Postby Lilwik » Fri Sep 27, 2013 5:09 am

ManaCaster wrote:Do her Croakamancer senses normally work on living units?
Actually we happen to know that Croakamancer senses do work on the living. See Book 0, Episode 57.

ManaCaster wrote:Of course the MANOS sound effect is a joke, but that doesn't mean it was chosen randomly. If it wasn't implying Titanic intervention, then what else could it mean?
It certainly wasn't chosen randomly. It was chosen because it's funny and has a reference to something. As far as I can tell, no sound effect in the history of Erfworld has ever had a deeper meaning than that. This might be the only one and maybe it is trying to reveal something deep about the nature of Fate, but if so a sound effect was a poor choice of medium for that message.
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Re: Epilogue 13 – Parson and the Temple

Postby Sir Shadow » Fri Sep 27, 2013 7:01 am

bpzinn wrote:
0beron wrote:
peteratjet wrote:I assume that the temple itself, with it's polychrome columns is a visual reference to something. Any ideas?
Probably more Minecraft, especially given those stairs in the background of the second image. Constructing buildings using colored wool blocks is a common thing if you wanna be decorative.
It is reminiscent of a certain style of color test images. Displayed before a Tv channel signs off. Or more often when the signal is interrupted.

Which is perfect signamancy for its ability to block thinkamancy. It shuts off Charlies/the Dishes signal into the Temple

While that is a really good catch, and possibly correct, I just want to point out that the beams are in the order of the rainbow, but Orange is missing. RYGBIV

I can't really imagine why though...
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Re: Epilogue 13 – Parson and the Temple

Postby gobe » Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:04 am

Fate: I think that Parson will eventually realize that Fate is important, that predictamancy isn't made up and can be used and played like any other mechanic. I'd like to see what Parson can do once he starts messing up with Fate, his own and that of others. Or even tricking Fate and so on.

Colored beams: I think the TV channel thing is a cool hypothesis, but the colors don't really match. There is no teal, or white. And they might or not be the rainbow colors. A real rainbow has orange but it's not always that noticeable. I also notice that the pattern is irregular. It doesn't exactly loop nor does it mirror itself perfectly. I wonder if that's intentional or not, and also if it has any meaning at all.
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Re: Epilogue 13 – Parson and the Temple

Postby ManaCaster » Fri Sep 27, 2013 11:31 am

Lilwik wrote:
ManaCaster wrote:Of course the MANOS sound effect is a joke, but that doesn't mean it was chosen randomly. If it wasn't implying Titanic intervention, then what else could it mean?
It certainly wasn't chosen randomly. It was chosen because it's funny and has a reference to something. As far as I can tell, no sound effect in the history of Erfworld has ever had a deeper meaning than that. This might be the only one and maybe it is trying to reveal something deep about the nature of Fate, but if so a sound effect was a poor choice of medium for that message.

Sound effects usually have at least some correlation to what is actually happening, such as the HEISMAN in reference to how awesome Stanley was being, PASS in reference to fire extinguishers when Sizemore is putting out the inferno, or at least some sort of rhyme on the sound effect we would normally hear. So if MANOS has nothing whatsoever to do with Fate, then why was that reference chosen? Does MANOS rhyme with when burning boards fall or something, or are you saying that in this case, it was indeed chosen as a completely random reference?
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Re: Epilogue 13 – Parson and the Temple

Postby twhitt » Fri Sep 27, 2013 12:30 pm

Lilwik wrote:
ManaCaster wrote:Of course the MANOS sound effect is a joke, but that doesn't mean it was chosen randomly. If it wasn't implying Titanic intervention, then what else could it mean?
It certainly wasn't chosen randomly. It was chosen because it's funny and has a reference to something. As far as I can tell, no sound effect in the history of Erfworld has ever had a deeper meaning than that. This might be the only one and maybe it is trying to reveal something deep about the nature of Fate, but if so a sound effect was a poor choice of medium for that message.
The sound effects of Erfworld are practically loaded with meaning; almost always, they tell you a little something more about the situation. Often it's not much more than a corroboration of what we already know, but they always support and reinforce an interpretation. Plot was a key plot moment, of course. Red Ring of Death, a killing blow delivered by Sylvia. Good Night Sweet Prince, Ossomer getting dusted. They often make no sense as sounds; most of the time, the only reason they're there is to give you information. And like much information in Erfworld, they're delivered humorously or hidden as a pun or reference, sometimes oblique.

If you choose to ignore in-comic information to maintain your pet theory, you're entitled to do so.
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Re: Epilogue 13 – Parson and the Temple

Postby Zeku » Fri Sep 27, 2013 12:45 pm

bpzinn great post, I was coming here just to ask about the temple signamancy.

That might not be the only meaning, but it's very good nonetheless.

I rarely watched television, that's my excuse for not remembering sign offs that well. I only remembered the patriotic music and then static.
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Re: Epilogue 13 – Parson and the Temple

Postby Shai_hulud » Fri Sep 27, 2013 7:08 pm

ManaCaster wrote:Do her Croakamancer senses normally work on living units? I admit to have missed a few IPTSF updates, but all instances I've seen involved her sensing the status of dead bodies.
Here:
“but my own sense as a Croakamancer is superior to that. I have more finesse, more control. I can make her hurt as much or as little as I wish to. The pain needn’t blind or paralyze. Mere discomfort has its place in the changing of a mind. Observe.”
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Re: Epilogue 13 – Parson and the Temple

Postby Lilwik » Fri Sep 27, 2013 7:57 pm

ManaCaster wrote:So if MANOS has nothing whatsoever to do with Fate, then why was that reference chosen?
No one is saying that MANOS has nothing to do with Fate. The beam falling was clearly a very fateful event, a critical turning point in Parson's Fate, just like Zhopa's HEISMAN shove was full of football greatness. Just look at the wide variety of reasons why references are chosen for sound effects in the sound effects that have been listed. RROD just because Sylvia is killing a guy, and then it's GNSP when Ossomer is dusted; one time it's the cause of death creating the sound, the next it's the one dying. How can we have any confidence in what exactly is causing the MANOS sound effect when there seem to be no rules? Am I the only one who sees it as a enormous leap to see MANOS and call it proof that there is an invisible supernatural entity pushing the beam? Couldn't the falling beam being critical for Parson's fate be enough to cause the sound effect?

twhitt wrote:If you choose to ignore in-comic information to maintain your pet theory, you're entitled to do so.
No, I never do that. I hate it when people do that. I just see a sound effect for the flimsy evidence that it is. I'm not ignoring it. There's contrary evidence to balance it (see Book 0, Episode 24), and clearly we're not seeing Fate magically messing with stuff every day or at any other time, so even if it exists and sometimes causes beams to fall, that doesn't characterize its everyday nature. It must be a freak occurrence, not to be expected to happen again.
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Re: Epilogue 13 – Parson and the Temple

Postby ftl » Fri Sep 27, 2013 8:23 pm

I think that's as good evidence as we'd ever get... I'm not sure, but the way I envision fate, it's not the sort of thing that would leave solid evidence.

I understand "Fate" as acting a GM railroading the players. Like, for example, maybe the GM has designed this elaborate dungeon, and he's going to make sure the players play through it. So when the characters get near an entrance to the cave, the GM says "there's a thunderstorm approaching! You guys better find a place to wait it out!" And the players obligingly go into the cave which is the entrance to the predesigned dungeon. From the point of view of the characters inside the game, they don't see anything that points to railroading - I mean, the thunderstorm was probably in the weather forecast anyway, they found a cave to wait it out, would up in a dungeon. But if they had gone to the forest instead of into the cave, they'd accidentally stumble on a different entrance (which, as far as they can tell from inside the game, was there all along.) And if they go into the town, they'll find the entrance to the dungeon in the basement of the inn they stay at, or something. And so on.

As I think of it, in no case would a character be able to point to a physical thing that happened and say "That happened because of Fate, uncaused by other factors". It seems like Fate could work *through* the rest of the world rather than against it. The way it would be noticed is by coincidences happening when a characer tries to do something against his Fate to put them back on track.

And that's what happened with Parson there. When he tried to leave Erfworld, it turned out that he couldn't, because some coincidence stopped him just in the nick of time. It doesn't seem like a particularly big leap to ascribe that coincidence to Fate. Especially given the MANOS effect.

Idunno, it makes sense to me. Is there a better way of understanding Fate that is more consistent with Erfworld? I mean, we've seen a lot of Fated things now. Lots of stuff with Wanda and Parson. How would you expect Fate to manifest itself?
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Re: Epilogue 13 – Parson and the Temple

Postby Lilwik » Fri Sep 27, 2013 9:47 pm

ftl wrote:When he tried to leave Erfworld, it turned out that he couldn't, because some coincidence stopped him just in the nick of time.
I find it hard to avoid looking at it from the other side. When I read Book 2, Text 59, the thing that strikes me as odd isn't the fact that the beam fell on Parson, but rather that the fire waited around for Parson to chat with Charlie and then mess around with the bracer like time was no issue. It's a small miracle that the beam didn't fall on Parson long before it did.

ftl wrote:It doesn't seem like a particularly big leap to ascribe that coincidence to Fate. Especially given the MANOS effect.
If we knew Fate existed as a magical invisible ghost that does things in Erfworld then there would be little doubt that the falling beam was the work of that ghost. That would be a very small leap.

ftl wrote:Is there a better way of understanding Fate that is more consistent with Erfworld? I mean, we've seen a lot of Fated things now. Lots of stuff with Wanda and Parson. How would you expect Fate to manifest itself?
I would expect Fate to just be the inevitable destination of events in Erfworld, the ends that are foreshadowed by the current situation in the eyes of magic which has full knowledge of everything that is happening and all the thoughts in all the players' heads. There's no need to anthropomorphize Fate. When Predictamancers talk about Fate wanting something, they can easily just mean that events in Erfworld are coming together to make certain outcomes impossible to avoid, even if there is nothing at all supernatural about it.

I'd say this is more consistent with Erfworld. Against it we have a sound effect of ambiguous meaning that only tells us that the beam falling is somehow associated with Fate, perhaps just metaphorically. On the other hand we have Book 0, Episode 24. When Wanda suggests that she might kill herself to avoid her Fate, Delphie says, "Yes, you could. But you won't." In other words, Delphie is saying that no magic ghost would step in to stop Wanda, but even so Delphie already knows that Wanda wouldn't really choose to do it. To me that seems to be the words of a Predictamancer telling us how Predictamancy works, and a sound effect isn't even close to same class of evidence.
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Re: Epilogue 13 – Parson and the Temple

Postby 0beron » Fri Sep 27, 2013 9:51 pm

Lilwik wrote:
ftl wrote:When he tried to leave Erfworld, it turned out that he couldn't, because some coincidence stopped him just in the nick of time.
I find it hard to avoid looking at it from the other side. When I read Book 2, Text 59, the thing that strikes me as odd isn't the fact that the beam fell on Parson, but rather that the fire waited around for Parson to chat with Charlie and then mess around with the bracer like time was no issue. It's a small miracle that the beam didn't fall on Parson long before it did.
Lilwik....you're agreeing with ftl! That's exactly the kind of improbable coincidence that would indicate Fate in action! Fate was willing to let him learn things (or the timey whimey of Erfworld was doing a heavy dose of "talking is a free action") and recall that he had units defending him, which is a stated mechanic that buys him time. But as soon as he tried to leave Erfworld, the beam fell after going so long without doing so.
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Re: Epilogue 13 – Parson and the Temple

Postby gobe » Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:09 pm

Similarly to railroading, Fate in Erfworld also comes down to the writer wanting to tell a compelling story. It's a game world, and it's also a story world. You can't argue that the beam fell at that moment because Rob wanted it. Did he want it because he thinks Fate is making it happen? Or did he just want it like this? Is there even a difference?

Sorry for going waaaay meta. Point is.. Fate intervenes at key moments and that's pretty much a fact. And I don't think Parson has caught on to that yet, nor tried to exploit it and use at as he would any other mechanic. I dunno if the beam is Fate's work or not. But I really enjoy imagining it is.
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Re: Epilogue 13 – Parson and the Temple

Postby Lilwik » Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:40 pm

0beron wrote:That's exactly the kind of improbable coincidence that would indicate Fate in action! Fate was willing to let him learn things (or the timey whimey of Erfworld was doing a heavy dose of "talking is a free action") and recall that he had units defending him, which is a stated mechanic that buys him time. But as soon as he tried to leave Erfworld, the beam fell after going so long without doing so.
That's a very good point! I'd say that it has nothing to do with Fate, but it might be other mechanics of Erfworld at play. Perhaps Erfworld really does have talking as a free action. We know that there are strange aspects to the passage of time. It seems like no one cares about the number of hours they have left in their turn, as long as they have the move to get where they want to go. I could believe that the people fighting the fire were giving Parson protection enough to take a certain number of actions rather than protecting him for a certain amount of time, and as long as Parson was just sitting there messing around he could have sat there for hours, but as soon as he starts actually doing things his protection ran out fast, and the soldiers never bought him enough protection to read the scroll. That's certainly easier to believe than an active Fate magically manipulating events.
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Re: Epilogue 13 – Parson and the Temple

Postby Lipkin » Sat Sep 28, 2013 12:45 am

http://www.erfworld.com/book-1-archive/?px=%2F134.jpg

We already know that Erf mirrors the game that Parson made, right down to the layout of Gobwin Knob.

In panels 9 and 10, Parson is describing his game. In that game, Parson planned on making it impossible to win within the rules. So in effect, his players were fated to lose. Parson, in his game, is Fate. Just because the battle for Gobwin Knob is over, doesn't mean that the parallels between Parson's game and Erf are. Fate is still trying to undermine everyone until someone cheats it enough.

I don't understand why Lilwik finds this so hard to believe, considering everything else we know.
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Re: Epilogue 13 – Parson and the Temple

Postby Lilwik » Sat Sep 28, 2013 1:05 am

Lipkin wrote:We already know that Erf mirrors the game that Parson made, right down to the layout of Gobwin Knob.
Surely it's more likely that the game Parson made was just the thing that made him the perfect choice to be summoned. With all the strategy-game-obsessed people in the world there needed to be some way to choose which one to grab, and Parson happened to have spent five solid months working on a strategy game that was very similar to the situation that Gobwin Knob was facing. That would surely make him a very appealing choice. Or perhaps Erfworld is mystically connected to the game Parson designed. There's no real evidence either way, but I know which one seems more believable to me.

Lipkin wrote:I don't understand why Lilwik finds this so hard to believe, considering everything else we know.
Of all the things we know, I wonder which specific things make it hard to understand.
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Re: Epilogue 13 – Parson and the Temple

Postby Lipkin » Sat Sep 28, 2013 1:21 am

Except that Parson's fate didn't end at Gobwin Knob, so the reason he was summoned doesn't only have to do with the situation of Gobwin Knob. Could Parson not also be the perfect choice because he'll recognize the hand of an undermining GM, and be clever enough to cheat his way to victory?
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Re: Epilogue 13 – Parson and the Temple

Postby wih » Sat Sep 28, 2013 1:22 am

Lilwik wrote:
ftl wrote:When he tried to leave Erfworld, it turned out that he couldn't, because some coincidence stopped him just in the nick of time.
I find it hard to avoid looking at it from the other side. When I read Book 2, Text 59, the thing that strikes me as odd isn't the fact that the beam fell on Parson, but rather that the fire waited around for Parson to chat with Charlie and then mess around with the bracer like time was no issue. It's a small miracle that the beam didn't fall on Parson long before it did.


I was under the impression that was because Antium and the stabbers were giving him unimpeded actions.
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