-> Parson has the ability to cast (up to and including actually being a Caster).
-> This is shown by the fact that he had a 98% chance of being able to cast the scroll, and a small chance (i.e. successfully casting outside of his discipline? If he has one) of casting Dirtamancy (especially considering it's the spell that puts out Infernos)
-> Fate has multiple Predictions still that Parson needs to fulfil, so it doesn't want Parson to leave the world.
This is it; this is why the bracer keeps telling him why he should
be able to use the scroll, but keeps becoming "all zeroes!" as Marie would say. Fate was definitely involved, and it doesn't want him casting that spell, the parameters Parson has been feeding the bracer include the conditions "here and now", so for this specific instance, it is impossible for him to cast the scroll.
The battle over him is between Charlie the Carnymancer (anti fate magic) who's trying to push him out of the world (because inside the world, Fate will always make sure that Parson wins... eventually) and Fate, which isn't going to give Parson the opportunity to successfully do that.
There's no Jack still alive, the thinkamancer conspiracy aren't "manipulating the bracer" - and I doubt anyone except Charlie really understands what is happening. It's just Charlie vs Fate above Parson.
Of course, after this there is the question of "Fate is so meta now, it stops you doing stuff that stops it, isn't that really story
-breaking OP?" which has always been a small concern on these forums. Where's the story if Parson is invulnerable by Plot Armour and, even worse, can't even make decisions that Fate doesn't like without before being knocked out? We briefly had the promise of "free will" from Jojo and Carnymancer, which was supposed to be the magic that actually beat Fate - but now it seems Fate just trumps all.
At least it is
a recurring theme addressed/lampshaded by the characters (Jillian with the disbelief that she keeps getting screwed over in Book 0, Wanda and the "easy way", Banhammer crying about being Fate's tool...) who all seem to agree it's terribly unfair, but at least up until now we've seen ways of getting around it (shoot the broomstick! have a trial! curse my luck!). Now we're going to be arguing whenever something bad happens to Parson in the future, "well why didn't Fate do X and Y for he's doing that
? For everyone opposing Parson, why hasn't Fate punished them for choosing the "hard way? Any Predictamancer could tell them that he's going to win, so delaying that should be stupid!"
I'd be interested to see how Rob is going to develop this. So far, the "interest" in a story whose protagonist is never in danger is supported by the other characters we love and don't
want to see die. But Misty, Bogroll, Sylvia, Jack (yeah he is dead), now Stanley has all the "death flags" on him... we're running out of likeable characters. I think Parson's act of "breaking Erfworld" as he is supposed to will mean that Fate is broken and "free will" is returned (determinists, go away, this is fantasy), but whatever happens to the story in the middle...
Third, we know very little about Mathamancy. Are the bracer's predictions just Mathamancy or does it also have Predictamancy abilities? They are both Hocus Pocus so it is only natural that we might confuse the two sometimes, but until we actually get details of how Mathamancy works from a Mathamancer we can only guess.
Yes, considering the bracer now
, the two seem very linked - but the bracer always did seem especially odd... The understanding about the difference between Mathamancy and Predicatamancy is that Mathamancy tells you the likelihood of an event happening, whereas Predictamancy can only tell you if there is a Fate on that event happening... the overall difference is academic, I guess, but Predictamancer's can't tell you what's going to happen if there's no Fate on it (it doesn't care about everyone
), and Mathamancers can't allow for Fate in their calculations, which will always trump the result into 100% or 0% (it's why I don't understand the bracer returning "0". If Parson is "able" to cast the scroll, then it should say that. Fate all just make it impossible and hit him with a beam regardless). Seeing as there's no shortage of Fate in the storyarc (obviously I guess), both are pretty interchangeable.