What is Charlie's endgame?

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What is Charlie's endgame?

Postby Concerned » Wed Nov 20, 2013 2:04 pm

I know this is my first post but I've been happy lurking since long before this comic moved from gitp, there are a few topics which touch on this but none that really address the issue I'd like to discuss which is simply: What is Charlie trying to achieve?

We know from the Archons that Charlie wants more shmuckers, why is up for debate; is it as simple as the fact that (1) Charlie has cottoned on to the way to be a truly "secure" side in terms of survival i.e. never a direct threat to anyone, while keeping the money flowing in to support a large army, simultaneously creating a side too difficult to conquer and giving no incentive for a side to do so. To me this suggests an incentive for the continuation of a warring Erfworld.

(2) Or is it something bigger? Is he "booming", turtling up under the pretense of neutrality with the end goal of conquering everyone eventually?

(3) Does he disagree with the lack of freewill and the concept of fate itself, does he resent the railroading nature of the world and seek to fix it (Titans)?

(4) Some other motivation

To me there are two major clues as to what Charlie's motives are, the first being the fact that he wants Parson gone, the second being the instance where he erased a part of Jillians mind "The only enemy worth fighting." unfortunately this ties into what exactly the jester is or represents.

As to Parson in the first book he showed interest in Parson joining him, in the second book he just wanted Parson gone either way Parson in some way is interfering with his goals, if his goals are conquest this makes sense as Parson represents a threat, if his goal is security this fits as well, if Parson defeats and unifies the entirety of Erfworld the security through war funds will evaporate, in other words in terms of motivation the simple goals of "conquest" or "security" make sense story wise as a motivation for Charlie wanting Parson gone, but the more abstract goals don't (unless we view Parson as an instrument of fate and Charlie being against fate itself).

The other clue in "the only enemy worth fighting" was always very interesting to me, if Charlie is just interested in survival then there is no real "only enemy worth fighting" if Charlie is interested in conquest than the keyword "only" puts a spanner in the works, this insight into Charlies character implies an endgame other than Conquest or Survival - what that goal is is up for debate.

Anyway what are everyone's thoughts, what is Charlie trying to achieve? At the moment Parson is after Charlie based on "he's gunning for me, so I'm gunning for him" mentality which seems a bit immature and un-parsonlike, the only motivation that paints Charlie as truly evil is not a desire to conquer but a desire to control are the TGMWTA concerned that Charlie is after the dominance of the individual wills of everyone, or just concerned over their own (previous uncontested) power, if Charlie's goal isn't dominance is it not possible him and Parson could be after the same thing?

Am I looking to deep into this? Is Charlie just an ideal candidate for the series antagonist? Is this thread too similar to the "what is the jester topic"?

tl:dr; What do you think Charlie is after ultimately, and should Parson really be fighting him?
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Re: What is Charlie's endgame?

Postby 0beron » Wed Nov 20, 2013 2:57 pm

Personally I suspect that his endgame (if any) relates to something we haven't been shown yet. If he has a goal beyond simply surviving indefinitely, then I think it is tied into the nature of Erfworld itself, and is something we can't understand without knowing more about the Titans & Fate.

It's possible that he's saving up to literally buy something, a unit or ability or trick that qould require such an infinitely vast sum of schmuckers that nobody else is even aware it's an option. A tangent of this could be the Archons and his "threat" to Thinkamancy. Perhaps with Archons, he can do something with the 'Dish to try and break Natural Thinkamancy, destroying Duty Obedience & Loyalty. A large enough army of archons however would require a vast income to support.
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Re: What is Charlie's endgame?

Postby Concerned » Wed Nov 20, 2013 3:31 pm

0beron wrote:Personally I suspect that his endgame (if any) relates to something we haven't been shown yet. If he has a goal beyond simply surviving indefinitely, then I think it is tied into the nature of Erfworld itself, and is something we can't understand without knowing more about the Titans & Fate.

It's possible that he's saving up to literally buy something, a unit or ability or trick that qould require such an infinitely vast sum of schmuckers that nobody else is even aware it's an option. A tangent of this could be the Archons and his "threat" to Thinkamancy. Perhaps with Archons, he can do something with the 'Dish to try and break Natural Thinkamancy, destroying Duty Obedience & Loyalty. A large enough army of archons however would require a vast income to support.


It's quite possible that he's looking for something we aren't aware of. If that's the case however we can't debate which is no fun :P.

As to breaking the natural thinkamancy thing, I like the idea... in theory, however it paints Charlie as a purely evil character, something which I haven't really picked up in terms of his ... gevoelens (my english is usually really good but I can't remember the word, I'm South African) I feel like Charlie's personality has more too it, although he is being set up to be the chief antagonist in this story.
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Re: What is Charlie's endgame?

Postby 0beron » Wed Nov 20, 2013 3:46 pm

Oh on the contrary, breaking Natural Thinkamancy is the sort of thing that I would accept as justifying the unethical things he does to get there. Nobody in Erfworld except Rulers and Barbarians have true free will, so if ending that is his goal, Charlie would definitely be an anti-hero in my eyes.
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Re: What is Charlie's endgame?

Postby Concerned » Wed Nov 20, 2013 4:19 pm

0beron wrote:Oh on the contrary, breaking Natural Thinkamancy is the sort of thing that I would accept as justifying the unethical things he does to get there. Nobody in Erfworld except Rulers and Barbarians have true free will, so if ending that is his goal, Charlie would definitely be an anti-hero in my eyes.

Ah I interpreted your meaning wrong, I thought you meant breaking free thought where in fact you meant the opposite.
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Re: What is Charlie's endgame?

Postby 0beron » Wed Nov 20, 2013 5:35 pm

Ah, yes that is another matter entirely, and at this point could be equally possible. He might feel that Duty and Fate are improper masters, and thinks himself a proper replacement to them. He may "hack" Natural Thinkamancy to turn all units' allegiance to him, rather than simply dissolving Natural Thinkamancy. If he did such a thing instead, then yes I agree he would be totally evil, provided that dissolving was also an option. If turning everyone to Obey him was the only option aside from the current situation, then I'd find him to be just a misguided soul rather than deliberately villianous.
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Re: What is Charlie's endgame?

Postby Lamech » Wed Nov 20, 2013 10:38 pm

Assuming he never abused his new found power, turning loyalty to him would be a vast improvement.
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Re: What is Charlie's endgame?

Postby Lilwik » Thu Nov 21, 2013 12:59 am

0beron wrote:A tangent of this could be the Archons and his "threat" to Thinkamancy. Perhaps with Archons, he can do something with the 'Dish to try and break Natural Thinkamancy, destroying Duty Obedience & Loyalty.
It seems to me that all the evidence points to Charlie being a threat to far more than just Natural Thinkamancy. Charlie has a dedicated enemy in the Great Minds that Think Alike. Even though it's never been revealed why they hate Charlie so much, we know that it has something to do with magic from Epilogue 12, and I think it's safe to guess that the magic is Thinkamancy (at least in part), and I doubt the Great Minds would be so worried about a mere attack on Natural Thinkamancy. Natural Thinkamancy hardly seems relevant to their lives in the Magic Kingdom, neither ruling nor subject to rulers. To me it seems that Charlie must somehow be a threat to Thinkamancers, to the Thinkamancy way of life which is probably the only thing that the Great Minds really care about, and we know that Charlie has the power to block Thinkamancy.

On top of that we have the tool of the only enemy worth fighting. Since the tool was inside Jillian's head, it seems the only enemy worth fighting uses Thinkamancy. Why else would it have tools in people's heads? If the enemy uses Thinkamancy, then attacking Thinkamancy would be an attack on the enemy. Perhaps Charlie is using the dish to break down the Grandiocosmic strings or prevent them from vibrating, thereby rendering the enemy powerless.

The remaining question is who could the enemy be? The jester is the closest thing we have to the face of the enemy, since we know that the jester was acting for the enemy, but the jester only seemed concerned with Jillian's duty. What kind of terrible enemy would care about Jillian's duty? Surely the enemy isn't Faq or any part of Faq. Perhaps the jester really does simply represent Jillian's duty, or at least he's a tool of Jillian's duty. Duty is Thinkamancy, but it's natural so it's not a tool of any specific Erfworlder. Therefore, I can only conclude that Thinkamancy itself is the enemy.

Charlie is not a Thinkamancer. Charlie surely wasn't popped with the natural love of Thinkamancy that one would expect from any Thinkamancer; Charlie is just a unit who has had Thinkamancy thrust upon him. What little we know of Carnymancers suggests that they tend to value freedom. Just look at Book 2, Page 90. Carnymancers are usually criminals and the ones to fight Fate. So what happens when someone who dislikes being constrained suddenly becomes the most powerful Thinkamancer in Erfworld and fully realizes just how much Thinkamancy takes away the free will of units? I believe that Charlie plans to destroy Thinkamancy, all of it, both natural and caster, even including the powers of his own dish.
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Re: What is Charlie's endgame?

Postby 0beron » Thu Nov 21, 2013 1:43 am

Yeah, I think whatever he would do would in turn break ALL of Thinkamancy as well. But I suspect that his intended goal/target would be the Natural Thinkamancies, and destroying the rest of it would just be acceptable collateral damage in his mind.
Lamech wrote:Assuming he never abused his new found power, turning loyalty to him would be a vast improvement.
Well that's true....but it's a huge assumption, one I wouldn't bet a single tenth of a cent on. Power corrupts, and Charlie is bad news bears to begin with. No single person should have that kind of power under the best of circumstances.
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Re: What is Charlie's endgame?

Postby Mrtyuh » Thu Jan 02, 2014 2:15 pm

Just to add some to the speculation. When Parson spoke to the archons during the Summer Updates, they mentioned all Charlie's actions seemed geared towards growing his fleet of archons. They also mentioned that Charlescomm units ventured farther out into the world than most sides realized existed. During the Epilogue, we were given a motive. Archons extend the range of the Arkendish, acting as relays. So, whatever Charlie's endgame, he wants the reach to be able to affect everywhere at once. Perhaps he has a one-use brainwash everyone scroll, and he wants his archons blanketing Erfworld so he can use it on everyone. It's probably more complicated than that, but, whatever his plans, he seems to want indefinite range for the Arkendish for it.
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Re: What is Charlie's endgame?

Postby 0beron » Thu Jan 02, 2014 2:29 pm

That's actually an interesting point...baring unusual circumstances or special mechanics, casters seem to only be able to influence the hex they're in. So is he trying to get enough Archons for every single hex in Erfworld...?

The only exceptions to the "same hex" rule are:
  • Volcano Uncroaking, could be because the volcano terrain type actually touched multiple hexes.
  • Kingworld, but the entire side is naturally linked together for turn, so by being in a hex with one of their units, you would be influencing all of them.
  • Any school who's express purpose is to affect/discern distant phenomenon. Find, Predict, Look, Think, Hat, Luck.

However, Thinkamancy is already a school that functions at range....so that must mean if Charlie is planning to cast an erf-wide spell, it's NOT Thinkamancy. Saying the Archons extend the range of the 'Dish is a misnomer. They act as relays allowing Charlie to cast a spell as though he were in the same hex as them. The 'Dish's power in of itself seems infinite in range, since any unit in all of Erfworld may get his attention.
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Re: What is Charlie's endgame?

Postby drachefly » Thu Jan 02, 2014 5:30 pm

He's nowhere near one archon per hex. Not even an archon per hundred hexes.
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Re: What is Charlie's endgame?

Postby 0beron » Thu Jan 02, 2014 5:34 pm

My thoughts exactly. So either:
  • He still has a LONG way to go, or
  • His plan involves one of those distance-capable schools, meaning the Archons aren't actually important for the endgame itself, rather are just a means to an end.
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Re: What is Charlie's endgame?

Postby Mrtyuh » Thu Jan 02, 2014 5:43 pm

I don't think he needs an archon in every hex. I doubt there was an archon in every hex between Charlescomm and Space Rock when he cast the King World spell. So, it reasonable to believe the extension the archons provide is greater than simply the hex they occupy. We don't know all of the Arkendish's capabilities. In fact, we do know that one of the favorite topics of conversation among archons is speculating about those capabilities. We also know that even long-range abilities have constraints. A Master-class Lookamancer could see a unit from x hexes away. That same Lookamancer can make out enough detail to see that unit is carrying papers from y hexes away, where y<x, but that Lookamancer would have to be in the same hex as the unit to read what's written on those papers. While the Thinkagrams provided by the Arkendish may have an indefinite range, there may be a stronger ability that only has a range of 50 hexes. An archon may be able to extend that range another 50 hexes. While Charlie will certainly need more archons he has, it's far less than needing one archon per hex.

Or I may be completely wrong. Speculating always carries that risk.
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Re: What is Charlie's endgame?

Postby 0beron » Thu Jan 02, 2014 5:50 pm

No, I think you missed what I was trying to say. Spells in general, with specific exceptions, only work within the hex where the caster is located. Archons offer a limited workaround to that ability, allowing Charlie to cast spells as though he were standing in any hex where an Archon is located.

So, if this endgame spell he has planned is say, Shockamancy for example, then he would need an Archon in every hex in order for it to affect all of Erfworld.
If on the other hand his spell falls into one of those exceptions, like Thinkamancy, then he needs far fewer Archons or none at all. In fact I suspect if the spell is even partially Thinkamancy, he can do it with 'Dish alone.
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Re: What is Charlie's endgame?

Postby Mrtyuh » Thu Jan 02, 2014 6:05 pm

I understood, my point is that all abilities within a school of magic are not equal. Charlie probably did not need any archons to send a Thinkagram to Space Rock, but he did need a relay of them to perform a link with Vanna there. Since I doubt there were archons in every hex between the two locals, it means their range boost is greater than one hex. There did not seem to be a Charlescomm archon in Space Rock itself, so Charlie was able to maintain the link outside a hex with an archon in it, even if an archon had been in the same hex as Vanna when it was originally formed. Even if his endgame involves Thinkamancy, it would be an ability from the higher end of the spectrum, therefore it would be of limited range.

So, I agree, fewer archons than one in every hex, but enough to create an Erf-wide network. The exact number being determined by the range of their relay ability and the actual size of Erfworld. Or, as you said, the archons are a means to an end. They are the conduit through whom Charlie will act.
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Re: What is Charlie's endgame?

Postby 0beron » Thu Jan 02, 2014 6:20 pm

I do want to point out something, that is partially semantics but still should be made clear. The specific quote we're working from is:
The ability to cast and even link up at a distance. Archons worked as relays
So the relay part is specifically in reference to his casting ability, not his range with the 'Dish itself. Moreover, G-string are intangible, infinite things, and no Thinkamancer has ever mentioned a limit to their range. The fact that Charlie may Thinkagram with any unit in all of Erfworld shows us that every G-string is indeed available to him. So he'll only need his relays if the spell is completely unrelated to Thinkamancy.
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Re: What is Charlie's endgame?

Postby ftl » Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:33 pm

It could be that instead of one per hex, he needs, say, one archon per city. Or one archon per city site, or one archon per capital, or something like that.
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Re: What is Charlie's endgame?

Postby Mikalyaran » Fri Jan 03, 2014 12:34 am

ftl wrote:It could be that instead of one per hex, he needs, say, one archon per city. Or one archon per city site, or one archon per capital, or something like that.


Capitals have connection to magical currents which seem to run through Erfworld through the portals. Having an Archon at every capital site could be very useful.
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Re: What is Charlie's endgame?

Postby 0beron » Fri Jan 03, 2014 11:45 am

Hmmm good theory, though I don't think it'd be possible unless he allies with/conquers every single one first. The city owner knows when enemy units cross the walls, and even if all the Archons have veils, all it takes is one lucky Spot check to kill a single Archon, and the plan fails.
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