Book 2 – Page 111

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Re: Book 2 – Page 111

Postby Whispri » Mon Jun 24, 2013 6:29 pm

ftl wrote:Because in erfworld, you can make alliances be magically binding, with penalties. It's pretty easy to trust someone will hold up their end of the bargain if you have rule-based guaranteed enforcement of a penalty if they don't.

Historically, that hasn't helped Gobwin Knob even slightly in the face of the RCC's backstabbing.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 111

Postby ManaCaster » Mon Jun 24, 2013 6:30 pm

Somna wrote:Actually, now that I think about it, they can't (successfully) do a link because Charlie is most likely shutting down all Thinkamancy in the hex with the Arkendish.

Maybe, but when a Thinkamancer forms a caster link, they are almost always physically connected in some way, whether via chains or holding hands. It is entirely possible that Charlie can't jam that that kind of connection.

Whispri wrote:Not really, they've lost 5-7 times as many Units as there are useable bodies in the City (well over a thousand at the bridge, the air group (scores of Dwagons, plus riders, plus Archons), all the defenders at Progrock and possibly Brookstone as well).

My point is, being beneficial is not the same thing as being genius. If capitals really automatically switch when the current one falls, using that solution would be incredibly obvious to even a total moron like Stanley. For something to qualify as a genius move, it would have to be "lateral" or out of the box.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 111

Postby Lilwik » Mon Jun 24, 2013 6:43 pm

Whispri wrote:In the unlikely event that Delphie's plan was viable (pretty disbanding unlikey given that Olive Branch was involved), it failed... because of Delphie Temple.
Delphie's only failure was in failing to manipulate Overlord Firebaugh into taking the deal that would have saved Goodminton. The Overlord had a peace treaty on his desk and chose not to sign it, then the side was destroyed a few turns later. Now we can either choose to blame the Overlord for making the wrong choice, or we can blame the Overlord's subjects for failing to manipulate the Overlord into making the right choice. I prefer the former, but if you insist upon the latter, then you still have two choices: you can either blame Delphie who tried and failed to get the Overlord to make the right choice, or you can blame Wanda who tried to get the Overlord to make the wrong choice.

With all of those choices, are you sure you really want to blame Delphie? To me she seems the least responsible for the destruction of Goodminton.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 111

Postby dholm » Mon Jun 24, 2013 6:55 pm

Lilwik wrote:
Whispri wrote:In the unlikely event that Delphie's plan was viable (pretty disbanding unlikey given that Olive Branch was involved), it failed... because of Delphie Temple.
Delphie's only failure was in failing to manipulate Overlord Firebaugh into taking the deal that would have saved Goodminton. The Overlord had a peace treaty on his desk and chose not to sign it, then the side was destroyed a few turns later. Now we can either choose to blame the Overlord for making the wrong choice, or we can blame the Overlord's subjects for failing to manipulate the Overlord into making the right choice. I prefer the former, but if you insist upon the latter, then you still have two choices: you can either blame Delphie who tried and failed to get the Overlord to make the right choice, or you can blame Wanda who tried to get the Overlord to make the wrong choice.

With all of those choices, are you sure you really want to blame Delphie? To me she seems the least responsible for the destruction of Goodminton.


Delphie may have tried to get her Ruler to make the right choice, but she went about it in completely the wrong way, which directly contributed to Wanda's decision to argue for the "wrong choice", as you put it, and which furthermore caused Overlord Firebaugh to reject Delphie's advice and follow Wanda's instead. Wanda didn't need to make a good argument; Delphie had already torpedoed her own defense by directly lying to her Ruler and concealing facts from him.

I don't know whether she could have put the matter in a way which would have convinced Overlord Firebaugh, but she certainly did not do a very good job of it regardless. She is not directly at fault for the destruction of Goodminton--the only being that is truly responsible for that is Olive Branch--but calling Delphie Temple "the least responsible" seems to me to require ignoring all evidence at hand.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 111

Postby Lilwik » Mon Jun 24, 2013 7:10 pm

dholm wrote:She is not directly at fault for the destruction of Goodminton--the only being that is truly responsible for that is Olive Branch--but calling Delphie Temple "the least responsible" seems to me to require ignoring all evidence at hand.
You're right that Delphie handled it badly. She should never have made an enemy of Wanda. Delphie should have been fully open about the whole thing, at least with Wanda. But the obvious chain of responsibility starts with Olive, then goes to Overlord Firebaugh, then Tommy also had a chance to save the side and rejected it, and only after that can Delphie be blamed at the earliest. Naturally the Overlord should have responsibility for decisions like that, and if you want to put Delphie's responsibility ahead of his she would need to be somehow tricking him into rejecting the deal, but she was doing the opposite. When your adviser gives you good advice and bad things happen because you don't take it, don't blame the adviser no matter how poorly the good advice is presented.

The only real question is whether we can hold Wanda more responsible than Delphie. On the surface it seems obvious that we can since Wanda was giving the Overlord bad advice, but it could be strongly argued that Wanda didn't properly understand the situation. She was still only a few turns old. Overlord Firebaugh probably should have known that Wanda was too inexperienced to be trusted for good advise when the survival of the side is at stake.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 111

Postby dholm » Mon Jun 24, 2013 7:18 pm

Lilwik wrote:
dholm wrote:She is not directly at fault for the destruction of Goodminton--the only being that is truly responsible for that is Olive Branch--but calling Delphie Temple "the least responsible" seems to me to require ignoring all evidence at hand.
You're right that Delphie handled it badly. She should never have made an enemy of Wanda. Delphie should have been fully open about the whole thing, at least with Wanda. But the obvious chain of responsibility starts with Olive, then goes to Overlord Firebaugh, and only after that can Delphie be blamed at the earliest. Naturally the Overlord should have responsibility for decisions like that, and if you want to put Delphie's responsibility ahead of his she would need to be somehow tricking him into not taking the deal, but she was doing the opposite. When your adviser gives you good advice and bad things happen because you don't take it, don't blame the adviser no matter how poorly the good advice is presented.

Had Delphie not lied to her Ruler, it is unlikely Overlord Firebaugh would have taken Wanda's recommendation over Delphie's own. When your manipulations of your Ruler result in him losing faith in your abilities, then yes, you are responsible for him no longer taking your advice. The fact that said manipulations was for his own ultimate benefit is immaterial; the act of manipulation is in itself a betrayal.

Overlord Firebaugh has responsibility for his own actions, and he is indeed next in line when looking for whom to blame the Side's destruction on. But he is not that far ahead of Delphie Temple.

Lilwik wrote:The only real question is whether we can hold Wanda more responsible than Delphie. On the surface it seems obvious that we can since Wanda was giving the Overlord bad advice, but it could be strongly argued that Wanda didn't properly understand the situation. She was still only a few turns old. Overlord Firebaugh probably should have known that Wanda was too inexperienced to be trusted for good advise when the survival of the side is at stake.

Wanda's advice was not bad, given her experiences, capabilities, and intelligence. She was wrong; but the advice itself was sound. She is not responsible in the least for Goodminton's destruction. She certainly has a good deal less responsibility than Delphie Temple.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 111

Postby ftl » Mon Jun 24, 2013 7:27 pm

Whispri wrote:
ftl wrote:Because in erfworld, you can make alliances be magically binding, with penalties. It's pretty easy to trust someone will hold up their end of the bargain if you have rule-based guaranteed enforcement of a penalty if they don't.

Historically, that hasn't helped Gobwin Knob even slightly in the face of the RCC's backstabbing.


Wait, when has RCC ever broken an alliance with GK? When have they ever *had* an alliance with GK in the first place?

I didn't think the RCC ever did much *back*stabbing on GK, it was mostly just straight-up stabbing because they never were in anything other than a state of war.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 111

Postby Lilwik » Mon Jun 24, 2013 7:30 pm

dholm wrote:Wanda's advice was not bad, given her experiences, capabilities, and intelligence. She was wrong; but the advice itself was sound. She is not responsible in the least for Goodminton's destruction. She certainly has a good deal less responsibility than Delphie Temple.
Inexperience is an excuse, but not nearly as good an excuse as you are making it sound. As soon as Wanda was made chief caster, she should have tied Delphie to an interrogation chair with a powerball in her face and thereby learned everything there was to know about Predictamancy and the entire situation. Then Wanda should have gone back to the Overlord and talked him into signing the deal. Wanda had more than enough experience, capabilities, and intelligence to do that.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 111

Postby dholm » Mon Jun 24, 2013 7:44 pm

Lilwik wrote:
dholm wrote:Wanda's advice was not bad, given her experiences, capabilities, and intelligence. She was wrong; but the advice itself was sound. She is not responsible in the least for Goodminton's destruction. She certainly has a good deal less responsibility than Delphie Temple.
Inexperience is an excuse, but not nearly as good an excuse as you are making it sound. As soon as Wanda was made chief caster, she should have tied Delphie to an interrogation chair with a powerball in her face and thereby learned everything there was to know about Predictamancy and the entire situation. Then Wanda should have gone back to the Overlord and talked him into signing the deal. Wanda had more than enough experience, capabilities, and intelligence to do that.


Given that she did not believe what Delphie said regarding Predictamancy, that was never going to happen--and Delphie directly created that mistrust by her actions.

Again, given the intelligence she possessed -- intelligence as in information, not as in IQ -- Wanda's advice was sound. It lead to catastrophic consequences, but such are the fortunes of war. You act on what you know and believe.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 111

Postby Lilwik » Mon Jun 24, 2013 8:15 pm

dholm wrote:Given that she did not believe what Delphie said regarding Predictamancy, that was never going to happen--and Delphie directly created that mistrust by her actions.
Yes, but it was never going to happen because of Wanda's failure to be a good chief caster who made the most of her resources, and even inexperienced Wanda should have realized that Predictamancers are best used as sources of intelligence.

dholm wrote:Again, given the intelligence she possessed -- intelligence as in information, not as in IQ -- Wanda's advice was sound.
Wanda possessed Delphie and Delphie contained more than enough intelligence for Wanda to have given advice that would have saved Goodminton. That Wanda chose not to take advantage of that was a failure in her duty as chief caster. Of course, Overlord Firebaugh should never have made Wanda chief caster.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 111

Postby ftl » Mon Jun 24, 2013 8:41 pm

It seems strange to blame Delphie for the fall of Goodminton because of her actions re: Wanda/Olive, because Goodminton was basically screwed as it is. They were surrounded by enemies, outnumbered and outgunned, at the start of the story before Wanda popped. The whole thing with popping Wanda and trading her to Haffaton was basically a last-ditch effort to survive. If Delphie hadn't done any of that, Goodminton would have fallen via conventional means. As it is, Delphie failed to save Goodminton, not for lack of trying. But, well, everyone else also failed to save Goodminton - Wanda and Overlord Firebaugh and so on.

The true blame has to go back to Overlord Firebaugh, IMO.

1) He was responsible for the conventional wars and alliances that Goodminton was losing at. If Goodminton weren't in such a desperate situation, there'd be no need for desperate means.
2) He never took any interest in what his casters did, and basically gave them free reign - and making sure they were being productive was definitely his job. No wonder your underlings go and do random stuff without consulting you if you never bother to find out what they do and integrate them into your strategy!

I mean, just imagine Delphie being straight with Overlord Firebaugh, prior to the start of the book. "Overlord, you'll pop a caster..." "Nope, I guess if I don't get a Warlord I'm not popping a commander at all, let's have some more infantry!" No Wanda, none of book 0 happens, Goodminton gets crushed by Haffaton/Frenemy/Quisling like they were about to be anyway.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 111

Postby ManaCaster » Mon Jun 24, 2013 8:42 pm

Lilwik wrote:
dholm wrote:Given that she did not believe what Delphie said regarding Predictamancy, that was never going to happen--and Delphie directly created that mistrust by her actions.
Yes, but it was never going to happen because of Wanda's failure to be a good chief caster who made the most of her resources, and even inexperienced Wanda should have realized that Predictamancers are best used as sources of intelligence.

dholm wrote:Again, given the intelligence she possessed -- intelligence as in information, not as in IQ -- Wanda's advice was sound.
Wanda possessed Delphie and Delphie contained more than enough intelligence for Wanda to have given advice that would have saved Goodminton. That Wanda chose not to take advantage of that was a failure in her duty as chief caster. Of course, Overlord Firebaugh should never have made Wanda chief caster.

Eh, all Delphie's plan would have done is persuade Fate not to ensure Goodminton's demise, so it hardly really matters. She outright admitted that she didn't actually know if it would be enough to actually save the side. And it wouldn't, it would only buy them time. Olive Branch specialized in fake peace. She would've found a loophole in the treaty and ended Goodminton sooner or later, just like she did to every single other side Haffaton surrounded.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 111

Postby ftl » Mon Jun 24, 2013 8:46 pm

Really, I think assigning blame at all is sort of pointless. All the characters did what they thought was best, given the knowledge they had. It didn't work out. All of them had their moments where they could have turned it around (except poor Clay...) but they lacked either the knowledge of the skills to do it. When you try to catch a ball and fail, do you blame your fingers or your hand? It's all parts of one whole, and trying to separate it into which body part is To Blame is sort of useless.

And as ManaCaster pointed out, maybe it was all sort of hopeless anyway, given what we now know about Haffaton's power.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 111

Postby bensans » Mon Jun 24, 2013 9:01 pm

ftl wrote:Really, I think assigning blame at all is sort of pointless.


Could not agree more!

I also want to throw my hat in against tri-link as 'genius' move.
Maggie is out or low on juice, no master class thinkamancer to safely unravel, it would very tedious if that were the answer to every situation.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 111

Postby Chit Rule Railroad » Mon Jun 24, 2013 9:08 pm

dholm wrote:Had Delphie not lied to her Ruler, it is unlikely Overlord Firebaugh would have taken Wanda's recommendation over Delphie's own. When your manipulations of your Ruler result in him losing faith in your abilities, then yes, you are responsible for him no longer taking your advice. The fact that said manipulations was for his own ultimate benefit is immaterial; the act of manipulation is in itself a betrayal.

We don't know why exactly Delphie had a disposition to hide things from Overlord Firebaugh - whether she popped/came to Goodminton with that disposition or developed it there - but we did see Overlord Firebaugh express a bias against and impatience with magic and casters in general (not just Predictamancy) that wouldn't make it surprising if she developed her strategy in response to his mismanagement.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 111

Postby ManaCaster » Mon Jun 24, 2013 9:40 pm

bensans wrote:I also want to throw my hat in against tri-link as 'genius' move.
Maggie is out or low on juice, no master class thinkamancer to safely unravel, it would very tedious if that were the answer to every situation.

They have a portal open to the Magic Kingdom and Maggie's friends have made their alliance public. Parson could just ask them if he had to.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 111

Postby ruleno2 » Mon Jun 24, 2013 9:45 pm

(I'm with ftl on the whole who-killed-Goodminton debate, so back to Predicting Parson's next move:)

Although I think moving the bodies out of Spacerock to attack Tramennis/Haggar seems viable still (I still dont think a trap is) I just don't think they constitute big enough moves to earn Parson's "genius" designation. As far as I can see, there are only two that can do that without inventing some new rule we don't know about:

effataigus wrote:My thinking on the various theories:

I'm not sold on any one.

Attacking Chalescomm through TMK... 15%
Pros: genius, in keeping with Parson's desires, and passes all tests but one.
Cons: crazy ultra-risky, requires getting help from TMK (and nobody wants to sit through that conversation), and fails test of needing Sizemore before decryption (unless Parson wants to try his failed tunnel plan again).

Attacking TMK directly... 5%
Pros: mostly genius... huge power to be gained from it.
Cons: crazy ultra-risky, and fails the tests of Parson's character and the need for a dirtamancer before decryption.

... though considerably more likely if narrowed to a targeted strike on that group of Carnymancers dumb enough to fight with their fists, or even just Jeftichew. Man, that would also knock TMK down a rung or two, and put Parson in a much better position to talk to TGMTTA without fear of them trying to bully him. Torture chamber be damned, a decrypted Jeftichew would have a lot of interesting things to say, I'm sure. Lastly, "they started it!"

As a Stuffamancer, Sizemore is the only caster specializing in mass-moving matter (which we might speculate includes the bodies, or at least allows wrapping them in Erf and moving that). If any caster is necessary for a scheme to move them through the portal it would be him. As for how he'd do it, I can think of a few morbid-yet-entertaining ways involving everything from a Katamari-style rollup to a slip-and-slide down to Spacerock's portal (and perhaps all the way through to Charlescomm's). But the simplest scheme - a deluge of bodies and ash streamed through the portal seems like a viable option.

As for the cons involving angering the magic kingdom - eh, I think Parson has already stopped relying on their neutrality. Even if he doesn't use the portal this turn he'd be wise to put a defense in Spacerock and Gobwin Knob against it lest some angry casters try to attack. His relationship with them is not good, and he'll be at their mercy if he ever wants to use the portals again. But momentarily, he has the ("genius") option of bringing an invasion force over that TMK is totally unprepared for along with the support of the predictamancers and (at least) the ears of the thinkamancers. Sure, nobody's going to like his invasion, and he'll be on the borderline of outright war in the magic kingdom - but it's a war he can (almost?) win with his force and his allies, so at the very least he'll be in a position of power to negotiate. If he can then convince them that his is a war against Charlie, and not TMK, then he may be able to get them to agree to let him walk through to Charlescomm's portal where he can send through his remaining troops. A number of casters may even join his side in their hatred of Charlie.
HUGE RISK, HUGE PAYOFF, but optimal narrative time to do it, and perhaps the best chance Parson (and TMK) has to defeat Charlie (see my previous post about how a portal rush might be the only viable way to attack Charlie). I think it fits the story arc perfectly, seems possible mechanically, and though it's a huge risk - it's a move worth making tactically.

That all said...

effataigus wrote:Of course, there's always...
The next update is a text update with notes describing some rule we didn't know, that Parson then abuses the update after... 30% :lol:

I fear this is the most likely scenario too still. :lol:
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Re: Book 2 – Page 111

Postby Lilwik » Mon Jun 24, 2013 9:52 pm

ManaCaster wrote:And it wouldn't, it would only buy them time. Olive Branch specialized in fake peace. She would've found a loophole in the treaty and ended Goodminton sooner or later, just like she did to every single other side Haffaton surrounded.
Considering that Overlord Firebaugh made the wrong decision even when his Predictamancer was clearly telling him what he should do, you're probably right. On the other hand, Goodminton was a side with a Predictamancer and that has the potential to be very tricky for enemies to work against. Maybe if Goodminton hadn't been wiped out, Delphie and Overlord Firebaugh might have found a way to work together and Goodminton might have became a dam that kept Haffaton from flooding the entire region.

We know that Predictamancers are shamed in the Magic Kingdom when they allow their sides to be destroyed, so casters clearly feel that when a Predictamancer is doing her job right she should be able to keep her side from being conquered forever.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 111

Postby gazes_also » Mon Jun 24, 2013 10:30 pm

There are two tactical problems I see with the invading TMK for whatever end.
The Bridgehead problem. Most of the invasion theories seem to assume that the portal is infinitely expandable to accommodate whatever you want to shove through it. What if the doorway size id actually the physical limit? We have seen two people go through one at once and no more than that. That's an awfully long time to transfer the troops. Which brings us to the second problem.

Waking the sleeping Giant. The Great Minds and the Carnies are two factions within TMK, the regular Portal Park guards are still on duty, plus all the other casters who are currently neutral. A non-caster force would rapidly find itself in huge trouble as the full might was brought to bear on it before it could snowball enough decrypted. Tri-links would rapidly be improvised in every corner of TMK from whoever was readily available with unpredictable and unimaginable consequences, except they would be very nasty to be on the receiving end of.

It's the same problem as the sucker-trap. The GK force may be too small and too low on juice to pull it off since they don't know what they're up against.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 111

Postby ruleno2 » Mon Jun 24, 2013 11:26 pm

gazes_also wrote:There are two tactical problems I see with the invading TMK for whatever end.
The Bridgehead problem. Most of the invasion theories seem to assume that the portal is infinitely expandable to accommodate whatever you want to shove through it. What if the doorway size id actually the physical limit? We have seen two people go through one at once and no more than that. That's an awfully long time to transfer the troops. Which brings us to the second problem.

I haven't noticed anyone assuming it's expandable - but let's say it's not. Yes the physical ability to move bodies through fast enough would be constraining, perhaps enough to warrant narrative comment and involve some other trick, but it's not that constrained. You could slide a couple stacks of knights in there quick enough (maybe 6 at a time head-first by my estimate). Two quick fixes come to mind - distract the casters either by mixing their bodies with a lot of dirt ("why did he just send a huge mound of dirt through the portal? To stop us from using it?", or use Foolamancy (decrypt Jack first and veil the invasion). There's also a possibility Jannis' hippiemancy lasts long enough for it not to matter. (Or some other random trick that can prevent everyone from casting for like 30 seconds until Wanda can start decrypting).

gazes_also wrote:Waking the sleeping Giant. The Great Minds and the Carnies are two factions within TMK, the regular Portal Park guards are still on duty, plus all the other casters who are currently neutral. A non-caster force would rapidly find itself in huge trouble as the full might was brought to bear on it before it could snowball enough decrypted. Tri-links would rapidly be improvised in every corner of TMK from whoever was readily available with unpredictable and unimaginable consequences, except they would be very nasty to be on the receiving end of.

It's the same problem as the sucker-trap. The GK force may be too small and too low on juice to pull it off since they don't know what they're up against.

GK doesn't have to win here though, they just have to have enough force to pose enough of a threat that a battle would be highly damaging for the MK - enough that they'd want to avoid it if possible. Parson can then give them an out "we just want to talk" or "we just want to get through to Charlie's portal" - which they might be agitated about, but agree to. He doesn't even have to pose a threat to the entire MK - just enough to convince any individual caster in portal park right now that it's in their best interest to hear him out first or leave him be (unless they want to join his army).

Moreover, the MK is likely not prepared for such a move. No non-caster has been able to move through the portals before, and so any invasion would have to come from the air or sea. With one noted exception: this was possible before from any side with a dirtamancer and croakamancer (move bodies, uncroak bodies) but it was likely unthinkable since attacking so many casters is basically a suicide mission (it still is for Parson, but it's at least mutually-suicidal), especially since uncroaked are weak, moreso when mass-uncroaked (decryption bypasses this limitation). Decryption is much more powerful and can be used repeatedly as enemy troops fall. And even if decrypted casters don't retain their abilities, nobody knows that - meaning Parson can threaten they do.

Overall, I don't think it's an unfair assumption that the MK is not prepared for such an attack, and any guards with standing orders to attack invaders would be prepared for individual casters at most (although I recon the MK might have a large air/sea defense). There are still plenty of casters in portal park to pose a threat, of course, but they are unorganized and probably aren't going to immediately attack before hearing out Parson (at least not with the confusion of the Thinkamancers, Predictamancers, and a Grand Abbie on his side).

(As for tri-links: Thinkamancers are required for the unravelling - if not the creation - of these links so I doubt any caster would be eager to use such a trick when Isaac and co are on Parson's side. Moreover, we've been told tri-links have been fairly understudied in erfworld (don't ask me to find the source though...) so I doubt it's the first thing casters jump to. It's possible the MK has an emergency Close-all-portals tri-link backup plan - or something else devastating to the portal plan, but Parson might be able to get enough force through immediately for it not to matter anyway.)
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