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 Post Posted: Fri Apr 15, 2016 4:18 am 
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So I was doing some thinking about the Arkentools and who they're attuned to, and I'd like to share some thoughts with you guys. I'm not well versed with the mechanics of Erfworld and would like to see how this theory holds up and/or what you guys might have to add to it. Please note some/all of my reasoning is based on head canon/community fanon and as such, be wildly, wildly wrong/irrelevant. Also please excuse the writing/editing style.

Reading past here assumes you are up to date on comic (as of writing, Book 3, Page 150)


Thematic Connections between Arkentool and Attuned
There seems to be a link between what an Arkentool does/can do and the Attuned Wielder. I'll summarize the basic points here, with more

Charlie, a Carnymancer, gets the Arkendish. (A wielder of the class of Magic dealing with the Context of Information gets the Arkentool with the best Information Gathering abilities).

Wanda, a Croakamancer, got the Arkenpliers. Very fatalistic survivor of many battles and Sides gets the Arkentool that most greatly benefits a survivor of a battle and the ability to create a pseudo-Side.

Stanley, the character who has occupied the most Positions on a Side (rose from the ranks to become Ruler, with who knows how many stops in between) got the Arkenhammer, the Arkentool with the biggest variety of abilities. Also worth noting that although having many different abilities/unit positions, neither the Arkenhammer or Stanley is regarded as really good outside the role of combat.

Arkentool + Wielder: Arkendish & Charlie.

Arkendish: Seems to be the supreme intel gathering device in Erfworld. The ability to "see" Thinkamancy related features of Sides like what orders a Side is sending to its Units, or even Thinkagrams between multiple Sides. Upgraded to have recording features, extrauniversal channels, and ability to remotely link with casters. Preferred Unit is Archon.

Charlie: A very secretive Overlord, as well as a Carnymancer (The Mancer most likely to "con" you). Keeps all details about him and his Side as close to the vest as possible. Noted affinity for extending the powers of schools of magic, combining magics and warfare (fought a war against 2 Sides with Arkentools while having no Arkentool of his own. Also involved in the first Summon Perfect Warlord spell as Overlord). Carnymancy is thought to be the magic of breaking rules, the magic of fighting fate and "the Foolamancy of belief". The belief mention is interesting because when seen in comic, Carnymancers are always actively working to control how an event or information is portrayed. (Think how Charlie runs his Side and how the Carnies acted in the whole MK debacle against GK, both in Books 2 and 3)

Synergies: The combination of a device that allows you to see the Thinkamancy of a Side/Person & a wielder with sensitivity of how much you belief them seems pretty strong. Not to mention a wielder who is open to and experienced with experimenting with other magics allows for some incredible R&D potential.

Conclusions: Charlie uses the observational powers of the Dish to maximize his Side's benefits and his own. Beyond the obvious use of "Spy Tapping" enemy Sides, it seems Charlie can mimic other schools of Magic, at least in Thinkspace, by observing other users of different schools of Magic with the extreme info gathering abilities of the Dish. He does so until he understands enough about the school of Magic that he can either use the tricks behind it himself or simulate with other Magical effects. (Garden Channel, and his copying of Croakamancy against Lilith) He also may be able to use the info gained (either in Erfworld or through the extra-universal channels) to educate other Mancers (perhaps how Charlie and Ivan upgraded Charliescomm to operate with Shockamancy-powered equipment to mimic modern day Earth Tech, though this might all belong in another forum)

Arkentool + Wielder: Arkenpliers & Wanda.

Arkenpliers: Enables a higher level version of Croakamancy, called Decryption. Decryption reanimates fallen units, restoring the dead to their previous selves, with all abilities intact, but now fanatically loyal to the Attuned Wielder. Decrypted units also have 0 upkeep cost but turn to dust when killed again, preventing further Croakamancy/Decryption. Has also seen use as a melee weapon. Preferred Unit is Decrypted.

Wanda: Wanda is a Croakamancer, but is able to cast in multiple disciplines. A very fatalistic unit, she believes that all should take the "easy way" to what she believes to be Fate, regardless of anyone's feelings about that Fate are. Has survived the destruction of multiple Sides (Goodminton, Haffaton, FAQ) and countless battles, as a Croakamancer needs to be on the frontlines to have bodies to unCroak/Decrypt.

Synergies: This is perhaps the most obvious of the thematic connections, a zealous fatalist Croakamancer who always survives gets the Arkentool that allows her to essentially super Croakamancy, but makes the animated fanatically loyal to her, regardless of their previous Side. This allows Wanda to have the force(s) necessary to do what she wants, as she is in function the "Ruler" of the Decryted.

Arkentool + Wielder: Arkenhammer & Stanley.

Arkenhammer: An Arkentool with a wide array of abilities. Used as melee weapon. Allows wielder to Rock Out, produce blasts of Shockomancy, fly, tame dwagons and randomly turn walnuts in pigeons.

Stanley: The egomanical Ruler of Goblin Knob. Convinced he is Titanic blessed, as evidenced by his Attunement. Rose through the ranks from Piker to Heir based on his combat abilities gaining the favor of his Ruler. Compared unfavorably to most other Rulers, Stanley nevertheless rules one of the strongest Sides in Erfworld, in large thanks to having highly competent subordinates.

Synergies: Both Arkenhammer and Stanley have a wide array of abilities/positions to draw from, but mainly fall short to other Arkentools/Rulers except in the arena of combat. Both suffer from a lack of focus compared to their peers (Arkenhammer doesn't have any tricks on par with Decryption or Remote Caster Linking, Stanley seems to be rather dim witted) but with that lack of focus comes some strengths. Without a specific ability or tradition to rely on, both Tool and Wielder are flexible: The Arkenhammer's flight can be used for combat or to escape while Stanley is fine with a wide variety of Side strategies (Jetstone is almost rigidly committed to infantry tactics while Stanley is fine with almost any strategy as long as it works).



So while this post has grown longer as I typed, here's the thought that got me started on all this musing: Perhaps there is a hidden counter for each Arkentool that governs Attunement. For example, when the Arkenpliers are picked up by a unit, they perform a check. If Total Sides Belonged To >= x than Attune to the unit. The Arkendish might have a Total Amount of Magic Disciplines Linked With counter, the Arkenhammer a Unit Position counter.

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     Post Posted: Fri Apr 15, 2016 11:35 am 
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    An interesting rundown. I doubt there really is any sort of rule or check about who can attune, Fate or the Titans just say "these are the people we want to attune" and only those people can. Of course, it could be a chicken and the egg scenario, maybe there is a requirement for attunement and the Titans merely set the requirements such that only X number of units would ever meet that requirement threshold.

    Minor point of order though, the bolded portion below is incorrect:
    Mythos Kingsley wrote:
    Upgraded to have recording features, extrauniversal channels, and ability to remotely link with casters.
    Extrauniverse Channels and remote linking are intrinsic powers of the 'Dish when it is at full size. Charlie is lacking those powers currently because the room he is in isn't big enough for the Dish to be at full size.
    The only function that Ivan's improvements are responsible for is the ability to record, and the ability to listen to multiple channels at once.

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     Post Posted: Fri Apr 15, 2016 11:54 am 
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    I can't help to think that people are putting the cart before the horse. Maybe these "special powers" of the arkentools are really reflections of the attuned's abilities and not an inherent power. of the tool. Rather, it is how the attuned translates the Titanic power into a form they can use.

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     Post Posted: Fri Apr 15, 2016 10:35 pm 
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    I feel like the attuning of an arkentool to a unit is a device of Fate. My main reason for this is because Wanda explained how Marie had made a prediction that she would be attuned to an arkentool one day. In addition, the fact that Judy Gale attuned to the arkenshoes after croaking Bell, previous unit attuned to the arkenshoes, and then Charlie received and became attuned to the arkendish soon after Judy croaked Blair, the previous owner of the arkendish, seems to imply that it is not random chance which attunes arkentools to units, but more a design of Fate. Fate seems to be pushing for the arkentools to be found by those who can attune to them.

    Also, consider that the all four arkentools which are known were all in the same local area. Erfworld is potentially infinitely large, yet all the arkentools are being held by sides which are fairly close to each, within couple tens of turns travel I think. (Gobwin Knob and Jetstone share close borders. Faq and Gobwin Knob are close, with Charlescomm close to both. Haffington, which is where Judy Gale held the Arkenshoes was close to Faq.) It's possible that there are more arkentools out there, but considering that casters from all over Erfworld gather in Magic Kingdom, it seems very unlikely that no one has heard mention of other arkentools in remote locations. My thoughts are that it is Fate which has brought the arkentool wielders together, and that their conflict is part of a grand, pre-ordained scheme. This reinforces the idea the the attuning of arkentools is also guided by Fate, in order to ensure that this conflict comes about.

    Another thought, consider the two instances where the Summon Perfect Warlord spell was cast. In each instance they were used in a conflict involving arkentool wielders. Judy Gale was summoned to defeat Blair and Bell, each attuned to an arkentool. Parson was summoned to save Stanley, who was attuned to an arkentool, and the reason of the fight between Gobwin Knob and the Coalition was because Stanley is a toolist. Each instance resulted in the arkentools becoming attuned to units who wielded them exceptionally well, with Charlie attuning to the arkendish and becoming a side recognized across a fair amount of Erfworld, and Wanda attuning to the arkenpliers and being able to decrypt an army. Since these are stretches of coincidence, it seems far more likely that Fate is controlling the path of the arkentools.

    My last thought regarding Fate and the arkentools is an aside, but still related. Consider carnymancy, the magic of rigging the game. Stagemancy crossed along the Fate axis, it has been proven before that carnymancers can change Fate, such as when Jojo altered Sylvia's fate in order to save her. In that same regard, I'm wondering if it is possible for carnymancy to alter the Fate of a unit becoming attuned to an arkentool. Especially Charlie, with his arkendish granting him the ability to perform link-ups with other casters, it may be possible to use a spell to subvert the link Fate has created between arkentools and attuned units, possible transferring the attuning to another unit. If this is the case, it may be possible to attune a unit to multiple arkentools, which would likely have an interesting outcome.


    Infidel wrote:
    I can't help to think that people are putting the cart before the horse. Maybe these "special powers" of the arkentools are really reflections of the attuned's abilities and not an inherent power. of the tool. Rather, it is how the attuned translates the Titanic power into a form they can use.
    I agree that a fair share of an arkentools power likely is a manifestation of the attune unit's abilities. However, at the same time it is clear that the arkentools do have an innate power which lies in a certain field, such as the arkenpliers insta-destroying uncroaked units, which implies that perhaps it is innately attuned towards croakamancy.

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     Post Posted: Fri Apr 15, 2016 11:12 pm 
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    Spoolofwhool wrote:
    I agree that a fair share of an arkentools power likely is a manifestation of the attune unit's abilities. However, at the same time it is clear that the arkentools do have an innate power which lies in a certain field, such as the arkenpliers insta-destroying uncroaked units, which implies that perhaps it is innately attuned towards croakamancy.


    See, I think it is a matter of the Arkentool innately cutting g-strings. Specifically, the pliers hit an uncroaked insta-destroys it because even wielded improperly it cut the g-string linking the uncroaked to the caster. Since that thread was keeping the unit alive, it insta croaked it.

    I think linking the arkentools to magics schools is wrong because those magic schools will be derivative of the tools, not the other way around. The pliers don't have natural croakamancy abilities. Rather, the pliers ability to connect and manipulate g-strings has croakamancy implications--in the hands of a croakamancer. A thinkamancer who could see g-strings as a caster sense would probably be able to force bonds or sever them without having to kill the unit first. And everyone would think the pliers were some super thinkamancy mind control tool.

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     Post Posted: Sat Apr 16, 2016 12:11 am 
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    Infidel wrote:
    Spoolofwhool wrote:
    I agree that a fair share of an arkentools power likely is a manifestation of the attune unit's abilities. However, at the same time it is clear that the arkentools do have an innate power which lies in a certain field, such as the arkenpliers insta-destroying uncroaked units, which implies that perhaps it is innately attuned towards croakamancy.


    See, I think it is a matter of the Arkentool innately cutting g-strings. Specifically, the pliers hit an uncroaked insta-destroys it because even wielded improperly it cut the g-string linking the uncroaked to the caster. Since that thread was keeping the unit alive, it insta croaked it.

    I think linking the arkentools to magics schools is wrong because those magic schools will be derivative of the tools, not the other way around. The pliers don't have natural croakamancy abilities. Rather, the pliers ability to connect and manipulate g-strings has croakamancy implications--in the hands of a croakamancer. A thinkamancer who could see g-strings as a caster sense would probably be able to force bonds or sever them without having to kill the unit first. And everyone would think the pliers were some super thinkamancy mind control tool.

    Interesting. Yes, I didn't think of it like that, where the arkenpliers are basically a blunt attack against g-strings when used by an unattuned unit. However, if that is that case, don't you think there would be other effects against other units with magical and Fate connections, such as dolls formed by dollamancy? Or do you think it is just effective against uncroaked because they are directly being animated by croakmancy, and doll golems have something else animating, not just the g-string connection? I can't recall if dolls are destroyed if the dollamancer who formed them is croaked like how uncroaked are when their croakmancer is croacked.

    With regards to the other arkentools, do you think they are all just tools of manipulating g-strings, with the wielder how that manipulation is focused? The arkendish certainly exhibits that and the arkenhammer has some possible g-string manipulation with the taming of dwagons, but it's hard to see the arkenshoes doing anything like that based on the description of its abilities.

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     Post Posted: Sat Apr 16, 2016 12:16 am 
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    Infidel wrote:
    I can't help to think that people are putting the cart before the horse. Maybe these "special powers" of the arkentools are really reflections of the attuned's abilities and not an inherent power. of the tool. Rather, it is how the attuned translates the Titanic power into a form they can use.
    Maybe it's because Charlie is the most versatile and, more importantly, the most dedicated to seeing reality in its full scope as-is complete with ramifications, that he is the greatest of the Arkentool wielders. The Arkentool doesn't have to channel itself in a very limited way for him.

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     Post Posted: Sat Apr 16, 2016 1:25 am 
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    Spoolofwhool wrote:
    Interesting. Yes, I didn't think of it like that, where the arkenpliers are basically a blunt attack against g-strings when used by an unattuned unit. However, if that is that case, don't you think there would be other effects against other units with magical and Fate connections, such as dolls formed by dollamancy? Or do you think it is just effective against uncroaked because they are directly being animated by croakmancy, and doll golems have something else animating, not just the g-string connection? I can't recall if dolls are destroyed if the dollamancer who formed them is croaked like how uncroaked are when their croakmancer is croacked.


    I've speculated it. We know loyalty is a g-string, and we also know that a prisoner is linked by a g-string. So if an non-attuned were to hit a prisoner or loyal unit, like an archon, if the hit were non-lethal, then they might find themselves with a change in loyalty or freed. But so far no living unit has survived a strike from an unattuned on scene, that I recall. Just checked and Wanda wasn't ever hit. A doll struck would probably collapse not disintegrate. That raggedy ann doll stayed viable even after caster died. Same with scarecrow.

    Quote:
    With regards to the other arkentools, do you think they are all just tools of manipulating g-strings, with the wielder how that manipulation is focused? The arkendish certainly exhibits that and the arkenhammer has some possible g-string manipulation with the taming of dwagons, but it's hard to see the arkenshoes doing anything like that based on the description of its abilities.


    I think they are all tools used in creation and should be approached from that perspective.

    G-strings are only part of creation. The Pliers seem to deal with direct manipulation of g-strings. The Dish seems to be about networking strings together. So one might think of these tools as controlling or manipulating relationships between objects. But the pliers are dealing with the low level details of making trees, while the dish is more about the big picture, making a forest part of an ecosystem. The Hammer might have to do with unit creation and demolition, but as transmutation not creation from nothing. Not only did it change walnuts to doves, but it turned ORLYs into walnuts. The shoes would control unit placement.
    So the four known tools would work like this.

    Hammer Creates (forges?) a unit.
    Pliers create direct links.
    Dish is used figure out the best place for a unit in the network of links, and make a unit fit into the world.
    Whistle (of the hammer) infuses unit with life
    Shoes place unit wherever it should be.

    or something like that.

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     Post Posted: Fri Sep 09, 2016 3:34 pm 
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    uncroaking this one...

    Going back through and re-reading some of the stories, and the one thing that keeps sticking out to me around the arkentools and those that attune to them, is Love.

    In book 0, Judy Gale Loves the Scarecrow, the Tinman, and the Lion.

    The archons, and the uncroaked Love their respective masters, and the feeling is mutual.

    And Stanley, Loves to Rock.

    The word is used frequently around the attuned in the stories, and in the comics. It might be that they aren't part of a particular school of magic, but rather enhance whatever that individual loves the most.

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