Sharik wrote:Lots to chew on in this post... as several others have suggested, this is pretty good evidence for both Judy and Charlie having been from Stupidworld, Judy from the obvious "kill" and from the Dorothy character background, Charlie because the Wizard of Oz was originally from the same place as Dorothy (Judy, in this parallel, of course). Charlie being the wizard would also square with his not being royal... (Given her title, it seems almost certain that Judy is not royal either.)
I'm going to go out on a limb and guess here that Charlie did not, in fact, have the Arkendish while he was ruling the emerald city - that whatever power his side had came from conventional means and some stupidworld-ly thinking outside the box, and that he somehow came upon it while a barbarian - at which point, he began his ascent up the power curve. The loss of his former side (once very powerful, if Judy is to be believed) would also somewhat explain Charlie's current way of doing things - why he doesn't have multiple cities, etc. - since those conventional things didn't help him before.
Questions that need answers:
1. How has Olive gotten to her present state of basically running the side? Possibly a loyalty/duty conflict like we saw with Benjamin/Caesar and Don King? (Eg. She got to the point where she could rationalize it as best for her side/ruler to essentially sideline said ruler...) - but why doesn't Judy disband her? The flower dependency doesn't seem like enough - it's not like she couldn't hire another hippiemancer from the magic kingdom if she had to.
2. What is the thing on Judy's ankle? Obviously it's a reference to real world electronic anklets that people on house arrest wear - but it doesn't really fit with the whole Oz theme.
3. Who were the wicked witches? (The Witch of the East's broom Judy has apparently retained...)
4. How did Olive get to be so frigging powerful/dangerous/cunning? Haffaton was already a juggernaut by the time they grabbed Wanda and added her uncroaked to their game plan. She seems to have done more to empower her side, without even possessing an arkentool, than anyone we've seen before or since.
5. Is Janice alive at this point, and what does she think of Olive? The two seem to have radically different outlooks on their school of magic...
6. Who are or were the tin man, lion, and scarecrow?
Bonus thought: Is it possible that Erfworld over time is playing out scenarios that are familiar to the people sucked into them from Stupidworld? The Wizard of Oz in Judy's case, the Gobwin Knob-ish game in Parson's case? If so, why does it do this? And if Charlie is from Stupidworld, what is HIS narrative, aside from being a supporting actor in Judy's story?
Here's my take on these:
1. Judy had the same relationship with Olive as Parson has with Wanda now. I'll explain why I think Judy was once the perfect warlord later. Once the ruler of the side was about to croak without heir, he or she looked where most of his sides' army were, said "Oh, they are with my Chief Warlord near the capital site. Making Chief Warlord my heir." and croaked. Judy got addicted to flowers much, much before that happened. (Can you blame her? She was just a regular girl ordering thousands to kill and die for her. Remember Wanda's comment that if she had a spell to stop headache that she would never stop casting it? What if Judy had the spell to stop heartache? Or a pink flower...)
2. They were taking sides left and right (as Gobwin Knob is doing now with their perfect warlord). It is possible that they took a few artifacts as well. This one looks like it is made from lookamancy/clothmancy link.
3. Original two Overlords/Queens who were fighting to standstill until one pulled the "Summon perfect warlord" spell? I don't know, really.
4. The same thing with Wanda. Wanda is the most powerful caster at the start of Book1 when Parson arrived. Olive was the most powerful caster in Haffaton when Judy arrived. Once Judy started conquering left and right, Olive levelled left and right.
5. Who knows?
6. Jack, Jillian's father and Marie the predictamancer? I have no clue.
Now, here's my theory what happened. Once upon a time, there was a mighty King Caesar, although you can call him any name you want. He had conquered and conquered, until everyone ganged up on him and he had fallen on hard times. As luck or fate would have it, he had a Thinkamancer, Findamancer and Lookamancer on his payroll. In a fit of inspiration or horrible need, he had ordered them to link and realized something: with this link, I can summon any unit in the world. He immediately ordered perfect warlord summoned and defeated his enemies, conquering even more. Or maybe Caesar was just a regular king with a hint of inspiration, that summoned a perfect warlord before he became conqueror, it works that way just as well.
One of the sides that ganged up on him somehow heard of the spell. Or maybe it was a side that he had almost spread to in his conquering. They have spent all their money for similar link up and got the perfect warlord of their own, or just someone better than what the opposite side had. Since turns had passed between the summonings, who is perfect or the best warlord for the situation changed in that time. Their perfect warlord allowed them to become the biggest side in the world. Then some of their
enemies heard of the spell... And the whole cycle goes anew. After one of the iterations, it became a scroll instead of a trimancer link (maybe the spell consumed casters or something similar in the process?) and there's always a side in the world in need of perfect warlord, who has everything familiar to him so that he won't have to have things explained to him more than necessary.
Charlie is one of the perfect warlords. Judy the other, fated to replace him, but she had let him go instead and paid a heavy price for it. Parson is probably the last iteration of the plan, plan to conquer the world so there will be peace. And that plan is in turn making a world a much messier place to live in, because Charlie is actually the person most profiting of all the conflicts in the world and doesn't want them stopped. Maybe the spell has gone wrong or something changed his mind. His was the most powerful side in the world... then it got conquered by Haffaton.
Change of strategy, says Charlie, conquering the whole world didn't work. I'll concentrate all I have on a single murderous city and become a mercenary with very special units, that hardly anyone in the world can pop. No one wants to attack me, else those units stop coming. And with this Arkendish, I can provide telecommunication skills to anyone in the world, not just pop more archons than any side in existence. That's two reasons why nobody wants to touch me. And the third is, everybody can see I'm not into conquering, right? If they touch me, I might change my mind. Again.