Um, except we never saw the hammer or the pliers leading armies on their own. Or doing anything on their own. They are instruments of fate, but it dosn't mean they actually talk to people, or lead armies.
We never saw the Arkenhammer annihilate uncroaked or raise entire armies of decrypted.
We never saw the Arkenplier tame Dwagons, allow its user to "Rock Out", function as a hand-held energy projection weapon, or turn birds into walnuts or walnuts into birds.
We've never seen the Arkendish do either of these, nor have we seen the other tools amplify Thinkamancy in any practical way.
Technically, even if the Dish is sapient, it's not LEADING armries, merely commanding them. And it may not even be armies, per say, but the specific units which it provides. Those who support the Sapient Arkendish theory could simply point out that as Charlie has been shown to employ NO other unit, and both Arkentools seen so far focus on a special unit, the special unit of the Dish could be Archons which the dish itself could control.
Neah, I think that basically every other theory ever proposed makes more sense, including the "Charley is a giant tuna" theory.
*shrug* If that makes you feel better. You'd have to offer up better examples, though.
Ok, but that dosn't actually explain anything ELSE Charley did. And if you think Charley's main goal in book 1 was to befriend Parson, then most of his actions don't make sense; like, for example, when he backstabbed Parson for money.
Actually, it makes perfect sense. If Charlesdish wanted to 'acquire' Parson, the best way to go around it would be to deny him resources. The more 'resources' Parson has, the more things he can do, the more he can experiment, the more tricks he can pull off, and the more FUN he can have. Destroy his units, remove his resources, restrict his options down to 'nothing', and he can then choose to either lose (and not have fun), or join one of the most interesting sides in the game with an apparent 'friend' who's almost as clever as he is, with access to special units with a pile of equally special abilities.
Not a tough choice for me. Parson also chose to give him the finger rather than hop on over... but then again, he also did it because he always had a few options in mind that nobody else knew about... and a code of 'gamers honor' that prevented him from giving up when he was the underdog.
But that usually seems to work by "The previous holder suddenly dies while standing in front of Parson, due to coincidence", not the dish raising armies of angels to do...stuff, or whatever.
Stanley FOUND the hammer. Wanda fought and KILLED to acquire the pliers, and failed, but it was parson's ploy that managed to croak Ansom and thus leave the pliers. Other units even tried to acquire them (that Red-liveried woman) but were annihilated by the eruption of the uncroaked volcano. The wileder didn't "suddenly die while standing in front of Parson." In fact, we VISIBLY see this is not the case, as a well-armed Ansom taunted her with the pliers and she PLEADED merely to be touched with them. If you're going to give an example of how things work, try not to have it this obviously wrong.
Again, each item has a special unit type to call its own. It's fairly safe to say the Dish summons/pops Archons. In fact, it being derived from and inspired by a REAL WORLD meme pretty much ensures that Archons are its specialty unit.
What amuses me is Parson's role in this. I don't think he's the correct one to attune to the Dish. I don't think he's going to attune to any Arkentool. I think, however, that the Arkentools are gathering because of Parson
, whether because of his influence, or a twist in the Fate magic that is their programming that was triggered by his arrival. I don't think the "War of the Arkentool" we saw mentioned earlier is going to be the last reference of it. If anything, it may be part of the focus of the next book, as more of them get involved. But this has been rehashed before.
All of them.
I've played countless text-based MUDs, as well as Asheron's Call, Everquest, Vendetta Online, EVE, A Tale in the Desert, Star Wars Online, and World of Warcraft... ...and every single one had players matching the type that Tyris has described.
From hard-core full-time PvP games (AC's Darktide) to games where there is no combat of any kind at all, not even against NPCs (A Tale in the Desert), there are *always* "play-the-players-not-the-game" folks to be found.
Thanks for explaining that for me, Spot. ^_^ Actually I regret saying this, as I was too specific. Remove "massive" and the statement becomes like this:
Charlie is one of those gamers who, in multiplayer situations, gets his power and jollies from manipulating the other players. His whole strategy isn't to play the game to beat the player, it's to play the PLAYER to beat the game.
Technically, such a style of player can exist in any
game with more than 1 player, and it doesn't even have to be an online or wargame. Everything from Poker (where it's pretty much the exact point) to Monopoly to First Person Shooters to Strategy games to Sports games to Fighting games (especially, once everyone's learned the mechanics) even to board games and CCG's.
I assume most people thought of 'combat' in what I said earlier, but that wasn't my intent, as many such games don't involve direct conflict and destruction, and it can be applied to anything. Monetary warfare in a game, acquisition of special goods (rare loot in MMO's, for instance), prestige, etc can all have this sort of player who prefers to manipulate other players than to excel at purely game mechanics. Most people realize that this sort of play is necessary at some level to win (compare, oh, the original Survivor to its sequels and spinoffs, or how that kid at the arcade who's always there doesn't even look at the screen but instead watches your HANDS while he kills you), but there is a certain kind of player that actually PREFERS
this to the game itself. The game is just the way they can go about bending others into a funny shape for their own amusement.
The more players there are, the exponentially greater the chances of such a player or player(s) existing in it increase. That's why you see them more in massively multiplayer situations than not, simply because there are more people. Well, that, and if you don't like that sort of person, you're not going to invite them over to play Magic: The Gathering or Street Fighter 4 any time soon. But if you log onto, say, World of Warcraft or Eve Online, there's pretty much no way to avoid them.
As well, more players serve as more 'resources' for such a player to exploit. Pulling it once or twice every now and then on the same person is boring, but getting hundreds, thousands, or even millions of other 'resources' to exploit (MMO's and game tournaments), well, that's a lot more useful and a lot more 'fun'.
In any event, because of Charlie's nature as such a player, and his apparently enjoyment of it, he's built up a series of rules to make it easier and make himself more predictable to others--to set limits and build a sort of 'trust' as to what he can do. Unfortunately, that's what limits him. He's so into that mindset, and so into following his own rules, that he's been pigeonholed into his role as 'ruthless mercenary who now can't be trusted'.
If he were REALLY intent on proving those other units weren't his, he'd offer the major RCC members some sort of free work... such as attaching an archon or two to any army with three times greater than its strength (so that it couldn't turn on them and destroy it) as an ally and/or scout, or provide free location information to the Uberstack that Wanda is currently using to rampage the surrounding kingdoms. Something, ANYTHING, that would show his goodwill and provde definitively that he's not the one to blame for the enemy Archons. And if his Archon-supported army gets wiped out by one that DOES have uncroaked Archons, it would be proof that what he says is true. He has ways other than direct Thinkagrams to the other leaders, he's just not using them or hasn't though to do so because it isn't his style.