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Below is the latest edition Erfworld article from Wikipedia. To do:

  • clean up the formatting
  • add some deleted plot details (from revision history)


Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob is a story-driven fantasy/comedy webcomic about a master strategy gamer stuck in a wargame. It is written by Rob Balder (the author of PartiallyClips) and illustrated by Jamie Noguchi. The comic is hosted on Giant in the Playground Games,<ref name=GITP>Giant in the Playground homepage. Retrieved 29 June, 2007.</ref> along with Rich Burlew's The Order of the Stick. It was recognized as one of the top 10 graphic novels of 2007 by Time Magazine.<ref name=Time> Time Magazine "Top 10 Graphic Novels of 2007." [1]</ref>

Erfworld follows a graphic novel format, with a new page added with each update. The setting is Erfworld, a fantasy world that adheres to the rules of a turn-based strategy wargame. The narrative focuses on a complex story of battles and heroism within this world, but most installments also contain humor about strategy-fantasy video games, role-playing games, and references to history or popular culture. There are frequent puns and side-gags, as well as letter changes in frequently used names (spidews, dwagons and twolls instead of spiders, dragons and trolls ).

Erfworld's plot, setting, and characters are released under a Creative Commons Attribution, Noncommercial, ShareAlike license.<ref name=licensing>Balder, R; Fan Content Guidelines, GiantITP Forums, 7 December, 2006. Retrieved 29 June, 2007.</ref>

Contents

Plot synopsis

Erfworld's premise is that overlord Stanley the Plaid is conducting a military campaign to quest for the Archentools - artifacts of ancient power left behind by the Titans who created the Erfworld. Stanley controls one of these tools, the Arkenhammer, but his quest for the others seems to have been costly and unsucessful; the story opens as his final living warlord is killed in battle. Stanley's chief adviser Wanda Firebaugh convinces him to purchase a "Summon Perfect Warlord" spell as a final attempt to prevent defeat. The spell summons Earth gamer Parson Gotti into the Erfworld, where he is to serve as chief warlord under Stanley.

Meanwhile, Prince Ansom of Jetstone is leading a massive coalition toward Stanley's capital, Gobwin Knob, hoping to destroy Stanley's side forever. Ansom's coalition has many members, but it's most prominent members are Jetstone (Ansom's own kingdom), the forces of Transylvito (a vampire-like people) and Archons (hovering female fighters) he has hired from Charlie, a powerful overlord and mercenary. Early in the comic, one of Ansom's officers, Jillian Zamussels (who seems to also be his love interest) flies on a scouting mission, but is captured by Stanley's forces and taken to Gobwin Knob. Wanda interrogates Jillian and, having gained magical or emotional control of her actions, releases her back to Ansom's control, hopefully to become an unwitting double agent.

During this time, Parson has been learning the battle mechanics of Erfworld and has planned an attack on Ansom's coalition. He sends a force of dwagons to make hit-and-run raids on the coalition forces: destroying heavy-siege units then retreating. Ansom and his forces are led into various traps by Parson as they pursue the wounded dwagons, but eventually Jillian locates them. She seems unwilling to attack because she is under Wanda's mind-control spell, but the spell ultimately fails and Jillian leads her force in an attack. Parson fights back, but, when Prince Ansom flies to Jillian's aid, the dwagons are routed and destroyed.

Stanley is enraged about Parson and Wanda's unsuccessful plans and decides to take his last stand back into his own hands. He takes the surviving dwagons, his Foolamancer, and the best of his Knights in Stanley's Service, then - apparently believing defense to be a lost cause - departs his capital to start his side afresh on the uninhabited site of another capital he sacked some years ago. In response, Ansom dispatches a force of air units, led by Jillian, to hunt down Stanley. They are to join up with a force from Transylvito and head Stanley off at a narrow pass. Stanley's departure is a major turning point in the story, as these events leave Parson in sole command of the limited forces remaining at Gobwin Knob, which he must rally in a final stand against Ansom's much larger coalition.

Parson quickly puts some defensive plans and tricks into action. Parson contacts Charlie, and asks him to switch sides. Charlie declines (stating that it would harm his reputation) but seems impressed with Parson and agrees to sit the fight out. Also, as Ansom's forces scout out the mining tunnels under Gobwin Knob to find weak points, Parson orders Sizemore, Stanley's dirtmancer, to ignore all but the scouts closest to the city, but to strike those with overwhelming force; this ploy leads Ansom to believe that the tunnels under the city are mostly unguarded. Ansom sends a force of Jetstone units into the tunnels, apparently believing that he has found an undefended path to the main city garrison.

Elsewhere, Stanley and his flight of dwagons arrive at the choke point where Jillian and the Transylvito forces plan to engage him. An intense fight leaves Stanley with heavy losses, but he escapes under a veil cast by his foolmancer. Beaten but alive, Stanley flies slowly back toward Gobwin knob.

Meanwhile the final battle for Gobwin Knob begins in earnest. Parson sends a large force led by Sizemore into the mining tunnels under Gobwin Knob to repel Ansom's underground attack. Hidden traps are activated that badly damage the Jetstone units, and Sizemore kills the commanding warlords with a rock golem. After sustaining these losses, the invaders are soon routed. Sizemore seals the tunnels against further incursion and Wanda resurrects the fallen enemies from this underground conflict to make an army of uncroaked soldiers, which Parson will use to protect the outer walls of Gobwin Knob.

The sight of uncroaked former Jetstones defending the walls of Gobwin Knob appears to exacerbate tensions within Ansom's coalition and outrages Ansom himself to the point of launching a one-man assault on the walls. He cuts a swath through the uncroaked horde with the Arkenpliers (his own archentool) and appears successful until a counterattack by Wanda damages him badly enough that he must engage Charlie's help again, presumably at a very high cost. With Charlie's help, Ansom breaches the outer wall of Gobwin Knob and Parson has his units stage a fighting retreat into the city proper. Ansom pours his units into the city in pursuit and does a Dance Dance Revolution-style dance led by Charlie's Archons, which gives his forces a massive bonus and leads them to victory.

Parson asks to personally surrender to the victorious Ansom atop Gobwin Knob's parapet. Instead of surrendering, however, Parson orders his twoll lackey, Bogroll, to be magically disguised as himself and sends the twoll to surrender in his place. Ansom realizes the trick too late and the twoll tackles the prince off his flying carpet; Ansom and the twoll fall from the height of the parapet, and are both killed in front of the entire coalition army as they hit the floor below. Parson follows his assassination of Ansom by ordering Sizemore to collapse all the mining tunnels beneath the city, completely destroying Gobwin Knob and most of the coalition forces within its walls. This rack and ruin is insufficient for victory though; too many coalition forces remain alive. Parson retreats with the casters into the more isolated portal room to plan the desperate final attack that will be the story's climax. Gobwin Knob is built atop an extinct volcano, so Parson orders the casters to make it erupt. The casters use magic to link the minds of Wanda the croakmancer and Sizemore the dirtmancer, so that with their combined skill they can uncroak the volcano.

Parson and the casters flee though a portal to escape the resulting eruption, and return to find a scene of utter ruin. The coalition is erased and the terrain itself changed. Sizemore shows Parson that he has discovered a fortune in gems exposed by the volcano, while Wanda finds the Archenpliers, Ansom's archentool, and attunes to them.

Characters

  • Stanley the Tool, formerly Lord Stanley The Plaid: Overlord of the city of Gobwin Knob and of the nearly lost Plaid tribe.<ref name=erfcast>Balder, R; Noguchi, J; Erfworld cast of characters, GiantITP. Retrieved June 29, 2007.</ref> He started off as a piker unit under King Saline IV and eventually rose to the position of warlord.<ref name=erf0087> Per Sizemore's narration of past events. Balder, R; Noguchi, J; Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob (page 79)</ref> King Saline IV later paid to have Stanley promoted to Heir Designate.<ref name=erf0087/> Thus, when King Saline IV was killed in an attack while Stanley was away, Stanley and his unit were not dissolved and retook the city.<ref name=erf0087/> He possesses the Arkenhammer, a mysterious tool of divine origin.<ref name=erf0004>Wanda: You're using the Arkenhammer to crack walnuts? / Stanley: Yeah. / Wanda: But it's divine. A tool of the Titans. Balder, R; Noguchi, J; Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob (page 4)</ref><ref name=toyhammer>Supercoolstuff.com; Squeaky Hammer - #NV680 (Internet Archive link)</ref> Lord Stanley is involved in an ongoing war in an effort to find the other Arkentools, believing it is the will of the Titans he control them. Unfortunately for him, this war has reduced his realm from eleven cities to only Gobwin Knob itself.<ref name=erf0005>Wanda: Since you began questing for the Arkentools we have not won a battle. We once held 11 cities. Now, we hold only the capital. Balder, R; Noguchi, J; Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob (page 5)</ref> He had Wanda summon "the perfect warlord" in an attempt to win the battle for Gobwin Knob, which yielded Parson Gotti.<ref name=erf0016>Balder, R; Noguchi, J; Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob (page 16)</ref><ref name=erf0017>Wanda: I thought we agreed I was looking for the perfect military mind. [...] / Stanley: I want that too! Balder, R; Noguchi, J; Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob (page 17)</ref> In Stanley's first meeting with Parson, Parson convinced him that "tool" was a term of honor. Drawing a connection between this title and his search for the Arkentools, Stanley declared that he should henceforth be addressed as "Tool".<ref name=erf0020>Stanley: I have a higher calling! I am a Tool! / Wanda: I see, Lord. / Stanley: Not Lord. Tool. From now on, everyone addresses me as "Tool!" Balder, R; Noguchi, J; Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob (page 20)</ref> Stanley objects strongly to being called a "bad guy,"<ref name=erf0031>Parson: [...] I always did like playing the bad guys, which we obviously are. [...] / Stanley: (menacingly) I'm curious, Hamster... What makes you think we're the "bad guys?" Balder, R; Noguchi, J; Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob (page 31)</ref> and considers himself to be divinely favored by the Titans.<ref name=erf0032>Stanley: The Titans left [The Arkenhammer] here for a reason. It chose me for a divine reason. Balder, R; Noguchi, J; Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob (page 32)</ref> Stanley's underlings often suffer from his unchecked ego and limited patience, as well as his limited intelligence.
  • Wanda Firebaugh: Chief Croakamancer serving Lord Stanley, and a member of the lost Croatan tribe.<ref name=erf0002>Narrator: [...] And that made a bad day considerably worse...for Lord Stanley's Chief Croakamancer: Wanda Firebaugh. Balder, R; Noguchi, J; Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob (page 2)</ref> She is a patient and skilled manager,<ref name=erfcast/> though she is ruthless in battle and not above using seduction as a means of manipulating others.<ref name=erf0054>Balder, R; Noguchi, J; Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob (page 54)</ref> She is skilled at many types of magic, but has stated that only Croakamancy (which she uses to animate fighters "croaked" in battle as "uncroaked"<ref name=erf0027>Stanley: Uncroaked. They each fell in battle and Wanda... whatchacallit... / Parson: Animated them? / Stanley: Animated them. Balder, R; Noguchi, J; Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob (page 27)</ref>) holds any interest for her.<ref name=erf0013>Sizemore: [...] I'm good at nothing beyond my specialty. But I do love to study everything. / Wanda: [...] I can manage quite a number of magicks outside Croakamancy, but I have little interest in them. Balder, R; Noguchi, J; Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob (page 13)</ref> At croakmancy she is very powerful, showing in the battle for Gobwin Knob that she is able to mass-uncroak thousands of dead infantry at once. As of the end of the battle for Gobwin Knob, she wields and is attuned to the Archenpliers. Before serving Stanley, Wanda was a caster at Faq, the same kingdom that Jillian originates from. Her name is an approximation of the phrase "wand of fireball," a fairly common magic item in Dungeons & Dragons and other fantasy games.
  • Parson Gotti aka Lord Hamster: Depicted as the author of the webcomic Hamstard<ref name=erf0014>Balder, R; Noguchi, J; Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob (page 14)</ref> (actually created by the authors of Erfworld as a meta-background for Parson's character and as an "easter egg"). Parson spends months at a time designing strategy games for his own amusement as an escape from an unsatisfying job and life.<ref name=erf0016/> He was summoned to Erfworld by Wanda on Lord Stanley's orders, called by a spell meant to summon "the ultimate warlord". Parson comes across as intellectual and somewhat detached in his klog where he asks the philosophical questions of whether erfworld is real or just a coma dream of his, if his action truly are his own (the summoning is supposed to put him under Stanley's command) and the ethics of his situation (his actions makes him responsible for thousands of deaths and he is serving what appears to be the evil side). Still he chooses to tentatively accept the reality of the situation and the role he has been given. Parson has a dry sense of humor and some of the comic's jokes consist of his reflections over the weird world he finds himself in. Parson is large by Erfworld standards, standing roughly twice as tall as Wanda Firebaugh.<ref name=erf0020/> He does not conform to all the rules of the universe, for example, he doesn't have visible "stats" like the in-world characters. His name is an anagram for "Protagonist".
  • Prince Ansom: Formally Chief Warlord to King Slately of the Jetstone<ref name=erfcast/> and the leader of the Royal Crown Coalition fighting against Stanley.<ref name=erf0021>Balder, R; Noguchi, J; Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob (page 21)</ref> He was a skilled leader, warrior and tactician but lacked modesty and was prone to reckless behavior when his pride was at stake. His crest was a radish. He carried the Arkenpliers, though he was not attuned to them, and thus could not use their full abilities.<ref name=erf0022>Ansom: I wield the Arkenpliers. But I am not attuned to them, as Stanley is to his artifact. Balder, R; Noguchi, J; Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob (page 22)</ref> He had a history of personally riding to Jillian's rescue,<ref name=erf0045>Wanda: [...] "Ansom, with his long history of personally riding to [Jillian's] rescue, flies his air units out to escort her back to the column." Balder, R; Noguchi, J; Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob (page 45)</ref> and Wanda believes he was in love with her.<ref name=erf0043>Wanda: I know [Ansom's] entire battle plan. [...] As for his weaknesses, he is in love with our prisoner. And I control her mind. Balder, R; Noguchi, J; Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob (page 43)</ref> While he apparently looked down on those not of royal or noble houses---Vinny correctly guesses that he despised Stanley not so much for his attacks on other peoples as on the fact he came to rule by regicide---he did, according to Jillian, honestly believe in the concept of noblesse oblige, and as a result often put himself in unnecessary danger to protect his troops. He has been croaked by Bogroll.<ref>http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0145.html</ref>
  • Jillian Zamussels: A female barbarian and warlord, fighting for the army of Prince Ansom. She has been known to engage in combat even when directed to avoid it.<ref name=erf0009>Ansom: AVOID any engagements if you can! / Jillian: Oh, I am. Balder, R; Noguchi, J; Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob (page 9)</ref><ref>Ansom: [...] She's not just scouting; she's apparently hitting targets of opportunity. Balder, R; Noguchi, J; Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob (page 10)</ref> She has an unrealistically oversized sword.<ref name=erfcast/> Her personal relationship with Prince Ansom is initially unclear but evolves into a battlefield romance; she declined Ansom's invitation to join him in his tent, but later that night approached it, stopped, and walked away. <ref name=erf0008>Balder, R; Noguchi, J; Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob (page 8)</ref> Later, she professes her love for Ansom after breaking Wanda's spell, and it is suggested that they sleep together when she spends a night on his flying carpet after he saves her from the ensuing ambush by Stanley's dwagons. Jillian has a reputation for being frequently captured by the enemy. She chats casually with Wanda after being tortured and interrogated by her,<ref name=erf0036>Balder, R; Noguchi, J; Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob (page 36)</ref> but later suddenly breaks down and collapses. It is revealed that Wanda is able to influence her feelings and thoughts.<ref name=erf0039>Balder, R; Noguchi, J; Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob (page 39)</ref> She has stated that she was originally the heir of the kingdom of Faq, an isolated and peaceful Utopian kingdom and the daughter of King Banhammer, a philosopher-king who disliked his heir for her violent and aggressive ways.<ref name=erf0082>Balder, R; Noguchi, J; Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob (page 82)</ref>
  • Sizemore Rockwell: A Dirtamancer in the armies of Gobwin Knob and one of the few remaining members of the Plaid Tribe.<ref name=erfcast/> He is very curious and loves to study all types of magic, but is unskilled in any beyond his specialty.<ref name=erf0013/> He has helped Parson learn how magic works in Erfworld (insofar as the Erfworlders themselves understand it), but knows little about military matters.<ref name=erf0040>Klog: Sizemore and I have been talking magic theory. [...] He's about as knowledgable a guy as I could want for a teacher. Balder, R; Noguchi, J; Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob (Parson's Klog #2)</ref><ref name=erf0044>Klog: It's harder to get information about this stuff that it was about magic. Sizemore barely knows the basics. Balder, R; Noguchi, J; Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob (Parson's Klog #4)</ref> When forced into combat as the battle reaches Gobwin Knob itself, he is very regretful about taking lives, but reluctantly accepts it as his duty to do so.
  • Bogroll: A one-eyed twoll who served as a guardsman in Gobwin Knob and lackey to Parson.<ref name=erf0029>Bogroll: My Lords! I am reporting as Lackey retainer to Lord Hamster, by the order of my Lady Firebaugh. Balder, R; Noguchi, J; Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob (page 29)</ref> He was loyal and typically good-natured, although a frequent target of the other guardsmen's pranks.<ref name=erf0028>Bogroll: Mung, why do the other henchmen pick on me? / Mung: Because it's fun. Balder, R; Noguchi, J; Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob (page 28)</ref> Bogroll is presumably croaked, having sacrificed himself in a kamikaze style attack on Ansom. Bogroll was a character in the PartiallyClips strip,<ref>Balder, R; Bogroll the Cyclops, PartiallyClips, 2002-09-08. Retrieved June 29, 2007.</ref> and is the only crossover between PartiallyClips and Erfworld. His name is a British English colloquialism for toilet paper.
  • Vinny Doombats: A count of the Transylvito tribe who fights for the Royal Crown Coalition, Vinny has the appearance of a vampire (though sunlight apparently does not harm him). Vinny seems to be a close adviser and friend of Prince Ansom, to whom he has few qualms about speaking frankly, in a colorful accent and with colloquial slang. He has confronted Ansom with his opinion that Stanley's commoner origins, not his military aggressions against several coalition members, are at the root of Ansom's antipathy toward Stanley, while assuring Ansom that this issue would not affect his personal loyalty.<ref name=erf0034>Vinny: You know I gotcher back no matter what. But what I can't figure out is, why are you leading this fight? [...] / Ansom: Can't it just be that I want to end a great evil? / Vinny: It could be. [...] But your beef is he's not royal, right? Balder, R; Noguchi, J; Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob (page 34)</ref> As his name implies, he controls the coalition's bat scouting units. His name is a reference to Vinny Goombatz, a fictional character created by stand-up comedian Rodney Dangerfield.
  • Maggie: A Thinkamancer in the employ of Gobwin Knob. She is very skilled in her specialty and amoral in its application. She can send thinkagrams (telepathic messages) and link multiple casters together to combine their powers. She controlled a link with the Foolamancer Jack Snipe and the Lookamancer Misty, then later a link with the Croakmancer Wanda and the Dirtmancer Sizemore. It is heavily implied that when she broke the first link, she protected herself from the backlash at the expense of the other two. Visually, she resembles Margaret Thatcher. Parson described her as "Kind of a cold fish."
  • Charlie: The Overlord of Charlescomm. Charlie has consistently remained offscreen, interacting with other characters via remote communication (similarly to the unseen "Charlie" of the TV program Charlie's Angels). Charlie was first contracted by Prince Ansom to supply a group of Archons to reinforce the expedition sent to rescue Jillian Zamussels. Later, after Ansom broke off the alliance in the expectation that Charlie would make a new alliance with Transylvito, Charlie instead took advantage of his release from his contract to begin dealing with Parson. Charlie shows no real commitment to either side, but does value his reputation as a mercenary who "stays bought". His main motivation though is his own profit.

Known Arkentools

There are four Arkentools known to be in existence,<ref name=erf0042>Balder, R; Noguchi, J; Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob (page 42)</ref> but only three have appeared in the comics.

  • Arkenhammer: A hammer resembling a toy croquet mallet. Owned by and attuned to Stanley the Plaid/Tool, the Arkenhammer has the power to control dwagons, to glow brightly, to levitate along with its wielder, to turn approximately 20 percent of walnuts cracked with it into pigeons and to turn some units into walnuts<ref name=erf0126>Balder, R; Noguchi, J; Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob (page 126)</ref>. Stanley claims the Arkenhammer has chosen him for divine reasons, and uses this as rationale for his quest to obtain the other tools.
  • Arkenpliers: A sword-sized pair of needle-nose pliers. Previously owned by but not attuned to Prince Ansom, they served as a close combat weapon and had the power in his hands to "turn most Uncroaked to dust". It is not yet known what powers they would manifest in the hands of an attuned wielder. Stanley believed that Ansom's attack on Gobwin Knob was divinely directed to bring the Arkenpliers to him. Seen in the hands of the unnamed Red Warlord of the Coalition, immediately prior to a volcanic eruption. They are now in the possession of Wanda, and have attuned to her.
  • Arkendish: An object resembling a satellite dish. Owned by and attuned to Charlie, it gives him a mastery of Thinkamancy. Possibly gives the ability to summon "Charlie's Archons." Parson uses the fact that Charlie is not a Royal but is still attuned to it to further provoke Ansom.

The World

Game Rules

The laws of nature governing Erfworld are similar to the rules of a turn-based strategy game. Forces are divided into "sides" each of which is controlled by an overlord; overlords have powers over their units that are similar to those of a player in a strategy game.

Turns and Movement

Battle takes place in turns; each side is able only to attack on its own turn and no turns occur during the night. Each unit (a term that encompasses both various creatures and sapient beings) has a certain amount of "Move," which governs the maximum distance it may travel during its side's turn. Thus, units may only travel to other locations during their turn, but at other times, they may only move around within the bounds of the hexagonal region, or "hex," where they ended up after their own turn.

Units and Stats

All people in Erfworld appear fully formed as adults. Any side is able to "pop" new units each turn at each of its city sites. Units can learn new skills and gain promotion at a cost of time and money, or these abilities and ranks can simply be "popped" along with the unit. Each unit has an "upkeep" cost, paid by the overlord of its side out of the treasury. At the start of their side's turn, each unit receives rations, heals back to full health, and experiences minor maintenance such as personal cleanup.

Units have various battle stats associated with them. Each has a "level" as would a unit in a strategy game. Level determines power in battle and increases with successive victories. Certain units can also offer bonuses (temporary boosts in level) to the forces they are leading; warlords give a bonus to the troops they lead, as do certain casters. One of the stranger bonuses available is "dance fighting," a bonus earned by leading one's forces while dancing.

Boop

One of the more unusual features of the Erfworld universe is that it appears to be censored. When Parson is summoned to the world, he discovers almost immediately that whenever he attempts to use a word that could be considered a profanity it comes out as "Boop". It is clear from Parson's reaction that this is an in-universe mechanic. <ref name=erf0018>Balder, R; Noguchi, J; Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob (page 18)</ref>

The natives of Erfworld apparently understand that the word represents profanity, but it is unclear whether they understand each boop as the word Parson had intended to use. Sizemore and Wanda are the only characters to have responded appropriately to a word that was "booped out," but it is possible they determine the word's meaning from the context. <ref name=erf0035>Sizemore: This...is called a "chamber pot." / Parson: Magic item? / Sizemore: You wish. / Parson: Boop. / Sizemore: Exactly! Balder, R; Noguchi, J; Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob (page 35)</ref>

There is one notable exception to the general censorship. "Crap" has been used by the natives of Erfworld, both before and after Parson is summoned there.<ref>Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob page 6 (Lady Firebraugh)</ref><ref>Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob page 13 (Sizemore)</ref><ref>Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob page 95 (Jillian Zamessels)</ref> Only Jillian Zamussels' use of the word has been other than literal, though the earliest use by Lady Firebaugh could have been taken as both a literal observation and a curse word. Artist Jamie Noguchi has stated that he does not believe the word "crap" to be profanity<ref>Post in Erfworld forums by Jamie Noguchi.</ref>.

On the second night after Stanley the Tool leaves Gobwin Knob, Parson overhears the Gobwin troops singing drinking songs which work around the restriction by alluding to -- rather than explicitly describing -- deficiencies in manhood among the Jetstone and Transylvito factions.<ref>Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob page 101</ref> For instance, he is surprised to learn that Erfworlders can use the word "testes". Other characters seem to have figured out their own loopholes; for example, one of Ansom's allies remarks that "the Sofa King is Sofa-King finished here" on page 117.

Artist Jamie Noguchi stated that once that Boop was originally supposed to be "meep" <ref>Post in Erfworld forums by Jamie Noguchi.</ref>.

Magic

Magic can be performed in Erfworld by units called casters. Each caster has a specialty in one of twenty-four magical disciplines, but can theoretically cast in any discipline. These specialties can be combined by mentally linking casters together using the magical disciple "thinkmancy"- a process that increases magical power but sometimes harms the casters involved when their link is broken.

It is explained in the second Parson's Klog, that three fundamental elements (Life, Motion, and Matter) are combined in all possible combinations to get eight major classes of magic. Magic within each class can be further aligned to any of three axes (Erf, Fate and Numbers), thus dividing each class into three disciplines. This gives a total of twenty-four disciplines, which are described - along with any known details - in the tables below:

Life Motion Matter Class
X Hocus Pocus
X Spookism
X Stuffamancy
X X Eyemancy
X X Hippiemancy
X X Naughtymancy
X X X Stagemancy
Clevermancy
Erf Fate Numbers Notes
Hocus Pocus Findamancy Predictamancy Mathamancy Findamancy and Predictamancy were used to summon Parson; Predictamancers have been indicated to be akin to seers<ref>http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0091.html Erfworld, chapter 1: The Battle for Gobwin Knob page 82. Jillian: "His [Banhammer's] Predictamancer told him that his precious toy kingdom would fall someday."</ref>.
Mathamancy is described as: "Analyzing probabilities... predicting outcomes" and "the raw calculations of that work"<ref name="giantitp.com">Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob page 54</ref>.

Spookism Turnamancy Dollamancy Weirdomancy
Stuffamancy Dirtamancy Changemancy Dittomancy The Dirtamancer, Sizemore Rockwell, has been shown to be able to animate different types of rock into golems <ref>Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob page 53</ref>, to be able to dig through solid rock<ref>Page 84, Parson's Klog 7</ref>, and to deal with Gobwin Knob's night soil in ways up to and including animating it into "crap golems".
Eyemancy Lookamancy Thinkamancy Foolamancy Lookamancy has only been shown as a form of scrying. Thinkamancy has been shown to deal with telepathy, including creating a mind link with other casters that allows spells that normal casters cannot even comprehend <ref name="giantitp.com"/>, Thinkagrams, and suggestion spells. Foolamancy has been shown to function around illusions and veiling troops. The Eyebooks used by the main characters in Chapter 1 are made through a combination of all three disciplines of Eyemancy<ref>Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Know page 35</ref>.
Hippiemancy Flower Power Signamancy Date-a-mancy Time perception crumbles in the presence of Flower Power<ref>http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0011.html</ref>. It can also be used to "quiet" a battle<ref>http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0013.html</ref>, though the precise meaning of "quiet" has not been revealed.
Naughtymancy Shockmancy Croakamancy Deletionism Croakamancy includes the creation of Uncroaked. Deletionism is an in-joke reference to the same name phenomenon in Wikipedia while Shockmancy refers to shock images.
Stagemancy Hat Magic Carnymancy Rhyme-o-mancy
Clevermancy Luckmancy Healomancy Moneymancy Clevermancy consists of none of the Elements, and is described by author Rob Balder as "raw magic dealing with raw magical forces"<ref>post by Rob Balder in the Erfworld Forums</ref>.

Recognition

Despite being a "young" webcomic, Erfworld has been recognised by several sources and webcomic authorities. Other webcomics authors such as Howard Tayler of Schlock Mercenary<ref>"What, exactly, is an “Erf?”", Howard Tayler, Schlock Mercenary blog, January 14, 2007. Retrieved June 29, 2007. </REF> and Mohammad "Hawk" Haque of Applegeeks<ref>"Erfworld Launched", Mohammed Hoque, Applegeeks blog, December 7, 2006. Retrieved June 29, 2007.</ref> have posted reviews and comments about Erfworld, and it has been cited on the webcomic site Fleen,<ref>"What on Erf do you mean, "My Language"?" Gary Tyrrell, Fleen, January 19, 2007. Retrieved June 29, 2007.</ref> by authors outside the webcomic field such as Time-Blog and Time author/journalist Lev Grossman in his articles "Webcomics are the New Blogs"<ref>"Webcomics Are the New Blogs: The Order of the Stick", Lev Grossman, TIME.com, January 31, 2007. Retrieved June 29, 2007.</ref> and "Erfworld: It's a Boopin' Good Webcomic!"<ref>"Erfworld: It's a Boopin' Good Webcomic!", Lev Grossman, TIME.com, April 10, 2007 Retrieved June 29, 2007.</ref> Grossman also listed Erfworld as one of the Top 10 Graphic Novels of 2007.<ref>"Top 10 Graphic Novels (#6: Erfworld)", Lev Grossman, TIME.com, December 10, 2007. Retrieved December 11, 2007.</ref> The addition of Erfworld to GiantITP was noted in "First Watch," Dragon Magazine's monthly section on new developments in gaming and entertainment.<ref>"First Watch." Dragon Magazine, Issue #354 March 2007: 16.</ref>

References

External links

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