Kreistor wrote:We do not know what was in the head of the dragon. He performed as ordered, though not precisely as desired. The fog of war may have made it think it knew something that it did not. It made a mistake.
Except we know what's going on the dwagon's head. Orders. Only commanding units in Erfworld have the gift of free will to afford to make mistakes. Everybody else blindly follows orders or runs on auto-scritp. And if the order is to make a building start colapsing and then charge inside said colapsing building, well, he was just following orders.
If this were even mostly true, Stanley could never have stood out enough to get promoted. It's pretty clear that most units are simplistic
thinkers, because they pop with basic knowledge but not experience. They have nothing to inform their decisions but the orders of units who have developed some worldliness. At the same time, the experienced units are more aware of the numerous ways in which they can mess up, which can affect their performance. Webinar and Dora are prime examples. Webinar is an adolescent emotionally, overcompensating to cover for the feeling that he is in over his head after his successes earn him greater responsibility. Dora is on the cusp of not being a kid anymore, and looks up to Webinar as someone who is role model that is still "young" enough for her to relate. The units they command are comparable to very well-disciplined, educated children. They aren't experienced enough to succeed very well on their own except by luck, but they can succeed. They also aren't experienced enough to fail on their own, since not much can yet be expected of them.
That's why unled units automatically engage in the field; they simply don't know yet what their options are. It's not a mechanical rule. It's an mechanical consequence
phrased as a rule. And even if one side if starting to mature and get past that, the odds are vastly against both sides being mature, because those more experienced units get assigned differently.
Trying to second-guess the writer to demean him only works if you can come up with reasoning for the guesses. We have no interesting, reasonably plausible combination of motive and method for a Decryption at this point, so if it happens, it will be almost certainly be done in such a way that you and all of us will be surprised. I'm reminded of the RPGers I've had who rolled their eyes and claimed that a plot point was very predictable, putting on amazingly slappable faces for an hour or two... until they got their characters' heads handed to them because their faux jadedness didn't prepare them for the actual plot, or even for the bizarre twists that the good players were willing to add.
On another note, If Jack did fake his own death, the only good reason at this juncture would be to defect to Jillian, and he can't do that right now. He's Croaked.