There are two problems -- first, we have the issue that corpses disappear at the beginning of Turn after they croak. This information comes from
Parson wrote:"He's fairly convinced I'm batboop crazy now, since corpses which aren't uncroaked or moved just disappear at the start of next turn.
But this is not the only word on the subject. We also have this:
Wanda wrote:The body of the scout would have depopped at dawn, had they not moved it out of the hex where it was croaked. Claimed as a spoil for Goodminton, it would only decay a bit when they started their turn later in the morning.
Movement is reiterated, but the concept of "claiming" is added. (I know that this is further supported elsewhere, but I'm already looking up way too much stuff.) There is another concept here, that I think gets overlooked, but I think is vital to understanding the reasons for why corpses have to move.
Spoils of War
What are spoils of war? They are, literally, stuff the army steals from the enemy. Julius Caesar was broke when he assaulted Gaul. He came back filthy rich, from stolen goods... the spoils of war. We're so tied up in this idea of "movement" of corpses, what we should look at is the concept of "movement" of spoils of war. Corpses are just a type of spoil: my assumption is that all spoils need to move to count as spoils. Rob's language is messy, but it does not preclude this possibility, IMO.
So, here's the resolution I offer.
First, we note that Parson does not include the concept of "claim" or "spoils". The reference he makes is to Misty, a unit of his own Side. You cannot steal from yourself, so Misty cannot be the spoils of war. You cannot claim her, so anything concerning that subject is irrelevant, and we should not be concerned that Parson does not mention it.
Second, what happens with the spoils of war, in Earthworld? It is dragged back to your nation, sold, and divvied up to the troops and officers. On Earth, this could be just about anywhere you find people. On Erf, the environs are useless: only cities are important. Cities are, then, the destination for spoils captured in the field.
Spoils are identical to "trophies". Battle trophies, like Parson's Battle Bear rug, are captured enemy items. Note the similarity in terminology? Spoil and trophy are synonymous. Spoils are simply trophies that you might sell for coin, but do include the trophies, as well.
So, Corpses are claimed as spoils. But they need to complete their journey, as they do on Earth. Just moving them doesn't do anything: on Earth, they must be brought to market. Is it any chance that the same is not true on Erf? Where are all the known trophies? In cities.
This leads us to a conclusion: the purpose of claiming spoils is to indicate to the Erfworld physics engine that you intend to make use of these items, and they are not to de-pop. The Battle Bear corpse cannot be made into a rug until it reaches the twolls in the city, which is likely why they remain there as defense. They fabricate, but they need the tools to do so, and those tools remain in cities.
What, then, of corpses that are already in a city hex? The detail of "movement" is irrelevant. Upon being claimed, they have completed the journey and are no longer spoils, but trophies: perhaps trophy corpses still decay, but upon fabrication, they become items and permanent. Amoung those, we know of Battle Bear rugs and dwagon skulls. Corpses require fabrication to end the decay process, just as they would on Earth.
So, we now have an explanation as to why the corpses do not disappear from GK. They are claimed, have reached a city, and have become trophies. They have not been fabricated, so will decay, but can be converted to permanent display if so desired. Instead, Wanda decrypts them, since trophy or spoil, they are still corpses.
Can anyone find a flaw in the concept? I've been mulling over this one for almost six months.