Kreistor wrote:Because Charlie's Archons are a threat to Stanley. With all Caster power out of GK, GK is vulnerable to the Archons. No one can fire Tower defenses, and the Dragon corps is annihilated. GK is very vulnerable to a strike at Command, and Stanley has no Heir.
Maybe Archons, but I don't put as much stock in that as in other possibilities. Consider:
1. We have good cause to believe that Charlie can meddle with natural allies, gobwins have turned traitor on GK before, and there was foreshadowing of Hobgobwins withholding secrets about something.
a) There is no evidence Charlie had anything to do with the Gobwin conspiracy to remove Saline. The more likely instigator of that is Wanda. She had means, motive and opportunity. You cannot demonstrate Charlie had means or opportunity, or even motive that early in Stanley's career. He was just an Arkentool user -- nothing more.
b) "Meddling" with the gobwin spawn requires only a Mathamancer (Charlie is on excellent terms with MK mercenaries) to predict spawn, and Archons present to either kill or recruit the new pops (Charlescomm is a mountain zone, and would have use of Gobwin tunnelers). Charlie, expecting a GK assault on Charlescomm, has reason to build up mountain capable allies, for the first time ever, so gets a three-fer by recruiting Gobwins. He keeps them oout of GK tunnels and dungeons, he increases his own defenses, and confuses GK command. It doesn't take any kind of super-special powers he doesn't already have. Just plain old smart use of available resources.
c) As a mercenary, Saline's fall at Charlie's hands must have a clearly identifiable monetary benefit. You can speculate all the political gains you want, but if found out, Charlie needs to convince his allies it was mercenary to maintain his cover story. Good luck with that. It's far better to just leave internal politics well enough alone, since most things work themselves out without interference, especially when there is no immediate threat.
2. Natural allies make up a large part of GK's defense forces, and a small part of the attack forces.
Citation, please. I am unaware of any listing of GK's current defenses, and the proportion that are decrypted or twoll vs. hob.
Further, irrelevant without confirmation Charlie previously worked with the Gobwins.
3. We have good cause to believe that Charlie is a caster, and it has now been demonstrated that casters can attack through enemy portals with little recourse.
Speculation, and inevitably unprovable. Charlie is based partially on Charlie of Charlie's Angels. We have yet to learn a single fact about that character. The author, paralleling the TV show, will probably never let us know anything about Charlie. EVER. Expect reversals and disinformation, thanks to the known powers of the Arkendish.
4. Charlie wanted the portal closed now rather than waiting for Parson to close it himself later in JS's turn... suggesting his plan is for something off turn, so all of the units are stuck in the hexes/zones they are currently in... (admittedly there has been some speculation that archons are sufficiently caster-like that they could portal hop off-turn).
Charlie's plans are flexible. That they change and adapt only indicate a mind well-suited to conflict. Whatever his initial long term plans, Gk has now become vulnerable. As a known opportunist, if the benefit of wiping out GK is clear (a. restores confidence of clients, b. removes potential threat, c. restores former income levels), he will take a non-planned for risk.
We have never seen a non-Caster magic capable unit in the MK. Any suggestion they can pass a portal is purely speculation.
5. Stanley is in the portal room, and Charlie may even know it depending on how much his tapping into Maggie's distracted thinkagram may have revealed.
And it is not far from the forces already trying to prevent the MK's traditions from being violated. Charlie hiring an assault squad and breaking the rules may have a force responding by crashing into his own Capital through his own portal. Charlie would NEVER risk the permanent distrust of his only source of casters.
These collectively imply to me that there's a good chance that Charlie is about to do a decapitation strike personally off turn using turned natural allies (or, less likely, archons).
Oh, get real. Stanley is far too important to the story for that. Charlie would annihilate his future pulling that kind of move. He:
a) stops being a merc, making himself dangerous to his neighbours. RCC3, anyone?
b) has to break MK protocols. Obvioulsy not easy to find Casters willing to do that. Easy to find resistance, though.
c) has absolutely nothing the GK Hobs want. Schmuckers? They already belong to the richest Side on the map.
d) If he has already done this to Saline, which lead to the massacre of tBfGK, the Hobs are not going to be very willing to trust him again. Life was better under Saline, so listening to him once was already a bad idea. That's if you really believe Charlie was behind Saline's Fall, which I simply do not agree with. Way too high risk for Charlie, with absolutely no identifiable gain.
Charlie is in decline right now (no identifiable paying clients, so income is way down to all appearances), to everyone except the readers (though even we should be able to identify Charlie's income is reduced due to the end of tBfGK and spurning by local Royals). GK is on the rise, destroying Side after Side, and the Hobs in GK know no different. (Spacerock is happening now, in fast real time, not over weeks, like we see it. The GK defenders know nothing about what's happened in Spacerock today, so they still think there are dozens of dwagons and archons on their Side.) Tying themselves to a diminished Charlie is moronically stupid when their own Side and Clan is growing rapidly, especially when Charlie has no long term use for them once GK is dust.
This would also answer why two other things are just-so from a storytelling standpoint:
1. Why did Maggie insist on going to TMK? (to preserve her character through an attack on GK)
Because "Strategy" is listed as a weakness (not a strength as some think) on her character sheet. She's not that smart. She saw her critical ally, Parson, in danger and reacted stupidly by going to defend him, instead of trusting him to get himself out of it. That's all. In good stories, people sometimes do superficially smart things that turn out to be stupid things, partially because they don't have 2 weeks to figure out the best action. So, in short, it was an in-character mistake that requires absolutely no additional analysis.
But, in fact, it adds to Parson's difficulty in Saving The Day
, and so is just a plot complication for our Protagonist. This is, after all, Parson's story.
2. Why do natural allies get to command their units via natural thinkamancy from the chief where traditional sides do not?
And where exactly is that Chief right now, and what happens to him if he changes Sides in the middle of whatever he is currently doing? (Hint: it begins with 'b' and ends in 'uuurns'.)