Nature of the Arkentools

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Nature of the Arkentools

Postby Balerion » Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:44 pm

I had a theory I wanted to put out there. Its not as strong as I might like it to be, but there are points about it that I like, so I wanted to share and get feedback :)

Basically, each Arkentool is aligned on one particular element of the magical axis. Breaking down by the three we have so far, that gives us:
1. Wanda/arkenpliers: Fate (shocker there ;) ). The fate axis comprises of: Predictamancy, Dollamancy, Changemancy, Thinkamancy, Signamancy, Crokamancy, Carnymancy, Healomancy. Of these, I think we can fairly claim that Wanda's decrypted make use of Dollamancy, Croakamancy, Healomancy. I am not familiar enough with Changemancy and Signamancy to figure out if those are involved here or not. If wanda is personally applying a loyalty bonus with her presence, Thinkamancy would be involved there. Haven't seen enough carnymancy to really tell if that is involved either. But it fits decently.

2. Stanley/Arkenhammer: Erf axis. The arkenhammer is the weakest of the three in this breakdown I feel, mostly since we haven't seen it do much :P. The erf axis contains: Findamancy, Turnamancy, Dirtamancy, Lookamancy, Flower Power, Shockmancy, Hat Magic, Luckamancy. It clearly has shockmancy from van de graf. An argument could be made for luckamancy from Stanley finding the mass of dragons on his way to Faq and him taking all the casters away before Saline fell (if you don't think he orchestrated that). The best argument for lookamancy is him having the idea for the table, which does seem awfully out of character for him. The others though... not really much there. The walnuts - pigeons thing is also rather odd; maybe hat magic, but i doubt it. Flower power also doesn't fit with Stanley very well. Controlling dragons is also a bit out of place here, unless you call it turnamancy? Like I said, its pretty weak.

3. Charlie/Arkendish : Numbers axis. Since thinkamancy is not on this axis, I will preface this by saying this theory requires charlie to be a master class thinkamancer in his own right, not with the dish's assistance. I am aware that this flies in the face of what erfworlders assume, but think about this: the archons themselves have non-negligible thinkamancy abilities fairly often; with a master class thinkamancer working with them, you could get the telecom empire Charlie has made. Numbers contains: Mathamancy, Weirdomancy, Dittomancy, Foolamancy, Date-a-mancy, Retconjuration, Rhymeomancy, Moneymancy. Weirdomancy would help explain Kingworld; as it was a clear rules violation, weirdomancy seems to need to be involved in some way. Date-a-mancy would be the means of controlling the archons; they are actually in love with him. Foolamancy would seem to fit with his general personality, same with Mathamancy and Moneymancy, but we have no evidence of him using any of these. Dittomancy and Rhymeomancy are a bit out of place. Retconjuration, he wishes :P

This of course leaves no axis at all for the fourth tool. Which would make for interesting speculation, or just shuts this theory down straight away :). But I figured it was interesting enough to make a thread on. I used the comic here to get the magic break down.
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Re: Nature of the Arkentools

Postby drachefly » Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:00 pm

I'm 99% certain that this is false. Two reasons. As you say, there's that fourth arkentool. The only reason to suspect that the arkentools are aligned simply to axes as opposed to another aspect of the magic system is a symmetry issue, and this breaks it.

Second, saying that the Arkendish is not attuned to thinkamancy undermines so much exposition, it seems unlikely to even make a good dramatic reveal.

What possible symmetries are there?

There could be 4 undiscovered arkentools, each one for a major class. But both the Hammer and Pliers have naughtymancy abilities - shockamancy and croakamancy. Unless decryption isn't even croakamancy anymore. Still, it's hard to explain the pigeon/walnut transformation within naughtymancy restrictions plus banning retconjuration.

Another hypothesis I checked out is that each arkentool is dominant on two major classes with exactly complementary element combinations (e.g. Hocus Pocus + Naughtymancy, Spookism + Hippiemancy, Stuffamancy + Eyemancy, Stagemancy + Clevermancy)

The arkendish is clearly eyemancy-connected, what with thinkamancy. What evidence of stuffamancy is there? What are the defenses of Charlie's capital? Golems. Dirtamancy is stuffamancy.

The pliers? We don't really know what its abilities even are. The decrypted and striking uncroaked are the only known abilities, and that may or may not even be croakamancy.

The hammer? Taming Dwagons looks like Flower Power, along Hippiemancy axis, and the changing birds to walnuts and vice versa looks to me like Weirdomancy. On the other hand, Van der Graff is thoroughly shockamancy, which is Naughtymancy. That doesn't fit.

So I'm inclined to 'no' on that.
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Re: Nature of the Arkentools

Postby Balerion » Thu Nov 17, 2011 3:49 pm

drachefly wrote:I'm 99% certain that this is false. Two reasons. As you say, there's that fourth arkentool. The only reason to suspect that the arkentools are aligned simply to axes as opposed to another aspect of the magic system is a symmetry issue, and this breaks it.


Which I admit is quite likely. I guess the other part of me feels that we've (at least a little bit) had the gathering of all four arkentools together been touted as a major, fated occurrence. And a easy way to make the tools really powerful/erf shattering when all brought together is to have control of each magical axis, and then the last be something outside erf's normal laws. After all, if the Titans were building erf with these things, it wouldn't be that far of a stretch to have them contain powers that violate erf's physics.

Second, saying that the Arkendish is not attuned to thinkamancy undermines so much exposition, it seems unlikely to even make a good dramatic reveal.


I guess the best reason I liked that explanation is Kingworld. Adding weirdomancy to Charlie makes a better explanation for where that spell came from in my mind, given that we have been lead to believe its only a 2 person linkup. We either have the giant question mark of Kingworld, or the giant question mark of the thinkamancy. which i guess is an admission that the theory has as large a hole as the world without the theory :)

Reading the most recent update on how Luckamancy works, I am even more inclined to say that Stanley has some working for him. The arkenhammer being the source of Sylvia's survival against Artemis is a nice explanation (to me anyway). The only other ones that would make sense would require adding more actors with a stake in GK winning this battle.

Seeing what you ruled out as options, do you have a theory that you like, or are you in the "not yet enough information" camp?
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Re: Nature of the Arkentools

Postby Sieggy » Thu Nov 17, 2011 4:14 pm

ahhhh . . . four KNOWN Arkentools . . . I think Rob phrased it like that for a reason; ya never really know, there just might be the Toolbox of the Titans out there somewhere. The fact that of the three known tools, two are hand tools (hammer and pliers) and one is a high-tech mind tool leaves open the possibility of the Arkensaw and the Arkenmouse . . .
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Re: Nature of the Arkentools

Postby Kreistor » Thu Nov 17, 2011 4:25 pm

Things like this have been proposed before. Rob kinda squashed them when Stanley pondered his Tool and associated all the effects to different disciplines.

There is an unanswered related question. Does the Tool have one set of powers, or does each attuned wielder get different powers appropriate for them? Were the pliers changing to fit to Wanda's abilities, or did it select Wanda because she was appropriately assigned the abilities it looks for?

It's a chicken and egg problem.
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Re: Nature of the Arkentools

Postby Ptharien's Flame » Thu Nov 17, 2011 5:09 pm

Kreistor wrote:Things like this have been proposed before. Rob kinda squashed them when Stanley pondered his Tool and associated all the effects to different disciplines.

There is an unanswered related question. Does the Tool have one set of powers, or does each attuned wielder get different powers appropriate for them? Were the pliers changing to fit to Wanda's abilities, or did it select Wanda because she was appropriately assigned the abilities it looks for?

It's a chicken and egg problem.

I agree, but I wouldn't call it a "chicken and egg problem" because, no matter what the event is, there is a designated start. Anyway, that's just semantics.
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Re: Nature of the Arkentools

Postby Kreistor » Thu Nov 17, 2011 5:45 pm

Ptharien's Flame wrote:I agree, but I wouldn't call it a "chicken and egg problem" because, no matter what the event is, there is a designated start. Anyway, that's just semantics.


Oh, in this case, there is an answer, but that doesn't change that for us, right now, it's chicken and egg.

Oh, and BTW, the egg came first. Birds evolved out of dinosaurs, which laid eggs, so an egg contained the first bird that had evolved into a chicken.
http://www.erfworld.com/wiki/index.php/TBFGK_1 Here you can find all comic pages written as text for convenient quoting.

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Re: Nature of the Arkentools

Postby Ptharien's Flame » Thu Nov 17, 2011 5:49 pm

Kreistor wrote:
Ptharien's Flame wrote:I agree, but I wouldn't call it a "chicken and egg problem" because, no matter what the event is, there is a designated start. Anyway, that's just semantics.


Oh, in this case, there is an answer, but that doesn't change that for us, right now, it's chicken and egg.

Oh, and BTW, the egg came first. Birds evolved out of dinosaurs, which laid eggs, so an egg contained the first bird that had evolved into a chicken.

Birds are dinosaurs. Don't you remember High School Ornithology/read Cracked.com? :)
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Re: Nature of the Arkentools

Postby Balerion » Fri Nov 18, 2011 2:35 am

Kreistor wrote:Things like this have been proposed before. Rob kinda squashed them when Stanley pondered his Tool and associated all the effects to different disciplines.


I am not able to find a comic where the powers of the hammer get broken out into different disciplines... the best i could find was the summer update where he was describing its powers, without ever linking them to a specific type of magic. If I am just being forgetful though, it would be awesome to have that to work from

As to your other question, I think we have to assume that the wielder has some impact on their powers. Otherwise, Wanda getting the ultimate device for uncroaking just seems a little too contrived. My assumption is that each person who can attune to them does so to a different degree and in a different way; certain schools/branches will be more heavily emphasized than others, based on the mind/characteristics of the person using the tool.
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Re: Nature of the Arkentools

Postby drachefly » Fri Nov 18, 2011 11:54 am

Balerion wrote:As to your other question, I think we have to assume that the wielder has some impact on their powers. Otherwise, Wanda getting the ultimate device for uncroaking just seems a little too contrived.


What? You don't think it's natural that 'attunement' involves, you know, a match between application of a tool and the aptitude of the user?
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Re: Nature of the Arkentools

Postby Kreistor » Fri Nov 18, 2011 12:30 pm

Balerion wrote:I am not able to find a comic where the powers of the hammer get broken out into different disciplines... the best i could find was the summer update where he was describing its powers, without ever linking them to a specific type of magic. If I am just being forgetful though, it would be awesome to have that to work from


http://www.erfworld.com/book-2-archive/?px=%2F2011-03-23.png
He really should teach himself to use the thing better. Wanda said she thought it was a whole mess of different magicks, what'd she say...Shockmancy, obviously. Rhyme-o-mancy because it rocked out. Carnymancy because it made big flashes and sometimes could make things disappear (he never could do it on purpose, though). And what else? Changemancy? He looked at the hammer closely. There might be a lot more he could do with it besides taming dwagons, which was...Date-o-mancy, he guessed?


As to your other question, I think we have to assume that the wielder has some impact on their powers.


I listed multiple possibilities because multiple possibilities still exist. We simply cannot tell until someone describes a former attuned user's powers in comparison to a current one.
http://www.erfworld.com/wiki/index.php/TBFGK_1 Here you can find all comic pages written as text for convenient quoting.

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Re: Nature of the Arkentools

Postby Balerion » Fri Nov 18, 2011 9:46 pm

Kreistor wrote:http://www.erfworld.com/book-2-archive/?px=%2F2011-03-23.png
He really should teach himself to use the thing better. Wanda said she thought it was a whole mess of different magicks, what'd she say...Shockmancy, obviously. Rhyme-o-mancy because it rocked out. Carnymancy because it made big flashes and sometimes could make things disappear (he never could do it on purpose, though). And what else? Changemancy? He looked at the hammer closely. There might be a lot more he could do with it besides taming dwagons, which was...Date-o-mancy, he guessed?


hmm.... if it wasn't for the Rhyme-o-mancy rocking out link, i would be very tempted to say that Wanda isn't interested in magic outside of croakamancy (from early book one) and I wouldn't consider her word of god on this. Different branches of magic can generally (not erf-world general, but magic system general) achieve similar effects through vastly different means, after all. But rocking out- rhyme-o-mancy is certainly hard to argue with, and does wreck the theory. Ah well. Does anyone have a better one to put forward then :)?
I listed multiple possibilities because multiple possibilities still exist. We simply cannot tell until someone describes a former attuned user's powers in comparison to a current one.


Sure. We cannot know until we have word of god on the matter. But that has no bearing on what we do for assumptions, which was what I said we should make :). And i think assuming that a tool of the Titans is limited to the rather wanda specific task of creating awesome decrypted is a weaker assumption than that her atunement is based on her own desires/mindset.

Also, when she makes the first decrypted, she calls it "something new, something marvelous." That is indicative there are not legends of the last time the pliers were used to try and conquer the world with their decrypted, which would be a point towards assuming wanda's atunement is Wanda-specific.

We cannot know for sure, but I think its a pretty solid assumption. Mostly because the alternative seems to have more problems with it.
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Re: Nature of the Arkentools

Postby Swodaems » Sat Nov 19, 2011 8:06 pm

I'm hoping that at one point in the story, the Arkentools get specifically defined as to exactly what they do and how they connect to the concepts we see elsewhere in Erfworld. My favorite part of reading Erfworld is trying to figure out the storyline's puzzles (For reference, I usually don't give a shit about the stuff like what people are planning. I care more about getting the full details about how the Erfworld economy and magic system truely works than I do about finding out if the predictamancers are full of shit or not. An idea that I can apply to forwarding my understanding of the world is worth more to me than any number of epic, suspenseful, and dramatic shenanigans.) and I'd like to eventually be rewarded for the effort by being proven wrong or right in a manner that shows me that all the resources I needed to come to the conclusion by myself presented to me by the story itself before the answer was supplied to me.

If we're going to try to connect the Arkentools to the magic system, then I would like to point out another possibility for the pliers outside Croakamancy and its class, elements, and axis.

The Pliers may be a source of Life magic. We've been told repeatedly that Decrypted are alive and, if we apply the old 'life destroys the undead' trope, the Pliers being representative of Life could explain why they could be used to dust uncroaked even in the hands of an unattuned.

On a side note: If the Pliers are indeed related to the Life element of magic, then it is a real pity that Rob chose for them to be regular Pliers instead of the Jaws of Life. Maybe Ace can rework them or something.
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