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 Post Posted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 3:22 pm 
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Just thought I'd put forth my own hypothesis regarding our favorite Tuna Antagonist.

We have:
  • Charlie is referred to as an IT (3)
  • Archons can be popped by other sides (1)
  • Charlescomm is not a Royal side (0)
  • Archons can possess Thinkamancy Specials (1)
  • Charlie is never physically seen (1)
  • Speaking directly to an element in a link can damage or break the link (4)
  • Charlie is spending a lot of money managing a side without at least a courtier or Warlord Administrator (1+2)

(0) Assumption: Charlie isn't a Royalist
(1) The Text Update where the Archons talk to Parson (http://www.erfworld.com/summer-update-2009-archive/?px=%2FE046_NoIllustration.png)
(2) Parson's administrator update (http://www.erfworld.com/summer-update-2009-archive/?px=%2FE035_NoIllustration.png)
(3) Maggie's G-string Text update (http://www.erfworld.com/book-2-archive/?px=%2F2011-01-07.png)
(4) Wanda's discussion about the Misty-Maggie-Jack link in Book 1 (http://www.erfworld.com/book-1-archive/?px=%2F047.jpg)

I would posit that Charlie is in fact a trimancer link of 3 Archons from another side; three Archons that themselves had all the specials listed in (1), and likely all were Thinkamancers.

Now, I'm unsure of the exact mechanic. I don't have any evidence as to if:
  • Their contact with the dish spontaneously caused the link of 3 Archons
  • The dish broke the natural Thinkamancy of the ruler or if a Stanley-ish scenario happened.
  • They encountered it in the field
  • The dish was in a vault and they stole it

Based on my hypothesis, I would say that
  1. The reason Charlie is never seen is to avoid breaking the link
  2. The name and identity "Charlie" was thought up as a shield to the elements or is a natural consequence of long-term linking
  3. The 3-Archon squads are just how Charlie thinks, so that is how it structures its units
  4. This secret is why Charlie only has units that either cannot turn (Golems) or that serve it without question via the 'Dish (Archons).
  5. The spell-that-shall-not-be-named would be a tetramancer link, and thus very dangerous.

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     Post Posted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 9:41 pm 
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    I don't see Charlie doing personally dangerous things, and Charlie being a trimancer link would make the link with Vanna the Turnamancer pretty dangerous.

    What's the positive reason for it over any other theory, though? Cuz I guess it could be the case, it just runs up against my usual complaint against a slew of ideas, which is it seems over-complicated compared to the evidence.

    I suppose Charlie's hiding something, or why stay anonymous in the first place. I'm open to the Charlie is the Arkendish idea, and Charlie's another Parson gone native can't be ruled out. But really, it doesn't have to be some very profound secret to make sense. Charlie might just be some scrawny nerd of a caster who stumbled across an artifact and a capitol site, and came up with a strategy to keep from getting curb-stomped by royals, or inevitably worn down in the normal ebb and flow of open warfare.

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     Post Posted: Sat Nov 12, 2011 4:32 pm 
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    Saladman wrote:
    I don't see Charlie doing personally dangerous things, and Charlie being a trimancer link would make the link with Vanna the Turnamancer pretty dangerous.


    If "Charlie" was a trimancer link (though Archons aren't thinkamancers, even those that can send thinkagrams), then they may be able to count as one node in a link.

    Something like

    Code:
         T
         |\
         | T === O
         |/
         T


    T = thinkamancer
    O = other caster
    - is the primary link
    = is the secondary link

    The idea is that the 3 thinkamancers form a link and act as a single highly powerful thinkamancer. This composite thinkamancer would then link to Vanna. This would be pretty safe, since it is effectively only a 2 caster link with a very powerful thinkamancer.

    Also, having a name for the set of linked casters would reduce the chances of someone naming an individual component caster and help to create a higher level identity.

    Quote:
    Charlie might just be some scrawny nerd of a caster who stumbled across an artifact and a capitol site, and came up with a strategy to keep from getting curb-stomped by royals, or inevitably worn down in the normal ebb and flow of open warfare.


    It would be interesting to know if casters, as commanders, can be Rulers. They seem to be able to do everything a warlord can, except they have no leadership bonus. Is it custom or a law of physics that prevents casters from being rulers.

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     Post Posted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 7:14 pm 
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    Saladman wrote:
    I don't see Charlie doing personally dangerous things, and Charlie being a trimancer link would make the link with Vanna the Turnamancer pretty dangerous.

    What's the positive reason for it over any other theory, though? Cuz I guess it could be the case, it just runs up against my usual complaint against a slew of ideas, which is it seems over-complicated compared to the evidence.

    I suppose Charlie's hiding something, or why stay anonymous in the first place. I'm open to the Charlie is the Arkendish idea, and Charlie's another Parson gone native can't be ruled out. But really, it doesn't have to be some very profound secret to make sense. Charlie might just be some scrawny nerd of a caster who stumbled across an artifact and a capitol site, and came up with a strategy to keep from getting curb-stomped by royals, or inevitably worn down in the normal ebb and flow of open warfare.


    I'm unsure what about the "Charlie is the Arkendish" would be a secret that would be so dangerous to get out. Or are you positing that there is another secret that he has been guarding by losing cash via inefficient managing of his capital? (Corollary to Charlie's Rule #15: Most things are not more important than money.) Or just that the history of betrayal (Corollary to Rule #3: Creating problems for our clients creates business.) is the secret It's been guarding? [As a side-note, if that is indeed out, will Charlie pop a single Warlord to act as admin to save cash?]

    I'll concede that Archons are not true thinkamancers, but Charlie being a non-thinkamancer (or alloy of multiple non-thinkamancers) who knows the secrets of the G-Strings would explain the "IT" reference from Maggie -- they really don't like the idea.

    I just find the link-up idea to be compelling, as the one time we see a Great Mind coming upon a trimancer link, he instantly thinks to unravel it.

    Additionally, the additional danger to the Spell-that-shall-not-be-named (ie, the link with Vanna) would be a reason why Charlie isn't doing this all the time as a special service, and a marker of how panicked Charlie is with Parson.

    Again, just putting it out there as a 'Hmm' not as an 'OMG, this has to be it!'

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    Wamba: Well, when I heard Normans were approaching I ran to lock up my wife. But, she'd also heard they were approaching, and locked me up instead.

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     Post Posted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 11:13 pm 
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    Lor wrote:
    Saladman wrote:
    I'll concede that Archons are not true thinkamancers, but Charlie being a non-thinkamancer (or alloy of multiple non-thinkamancers) who knows the secrets of the G-Strings would explain the "IT" reference from Maggie -- they really don't like the idea.


    It's not a reference. It is "a threat". That's all. They don't know anything more about Charlie than Parson, and we, already know. They're theorizing just like you are, so they depersonalize Charlie sometimes. They don't even have a sex for him/her/it.

    Wow, have you never heard anyone write about someone the way Maggie did? If not, shut down the computer and read a book, everyone. It's not uncommon. I'm sure English majors have a name for the technique. It's just a dramatic way of presenting info, and no one should be reading so much into that one word. The "reveal" of what the threat was was intended to be startling to the reader, so Rob hid any descriptive comments that might have hinted at it being Charlie.

    Guys, just... no, you're way off the deep end here. It's just a writing technique.

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     Post Posted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 11:40 pm 
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    Quote:
    That reason called itself, "Charlie."

    It's even simpler than a writing technique. It's just proper grammar. "That reason" is the subject. Reason is genderless (which, if you've talked to most women you'll find hard to believe, but it's grammatically true), so "called itself" is the proper pronoun. Reason cannot be a "himself" or (an even-less-likely) "herself".

    ...

    Oh, and my girlfriend wants me to make it clear that I'm only joking about women being without reason. (See, honey? Now will you please put down that knife...?)

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