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 Post Posted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 4:33 pm 
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Parson did the math with his bracer and came up with a probability that Charlie has something to do with the missing Gobwins.
Wanda had nothing to do with the fall of Banhammer she lured Stanley to Faq planning on Faq killing Stanley and then taking his Arkentool.
How ever fate caused Stanley to find the largest number of Dwagons on his way to Faq which increased his forces to the point where he could take out faq.
Wanda turned when she realized Faq was going to lose and they acquired Jack and possibly Misty from Faq.

There is nothing so far that ties Charlie to any of the events.
Its more likely Charlie hates Stanley over Toolism then anything else.
Toolism has a negative effect on his income in this particular area of Erfworld.
Charlie wanted to off Wanda, because it would shatter the Toolism myth, but he also does not want to appear to be involved as that would negatively affect his relationship with Parson.

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     Post Posted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 6:38 pm 
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    boegiboe wrote:
    Why do folks speculate on the fourth Arkentool? Isn't it pretty obviously, based on the usual referential sense of humor of Erfworld, the Arkenstone of Tolkien? In other words, it mainly served as an in-joke that the Happy Meal said there were four known Arkentools.


    I previously mentioned this possibility, it's one of the many things that comes out of the speculation forumns on occasion. Also given the naming conventions with tools and their wielders (wanda co makes pliers, stanley makes hammers, Charlie is CEO of a Sattelite tv company in the states) there is a potential that Sizemore get the arkenshovel (james sizemore was a patentholder on an early shovel), or the arkensaw (rockwell tools manufactures). I am a proponent of the Arkenstone Theory, being its originator on the forums here.

    I still think this this update cuts charlie out of being a thinkamancer preattunement, If he was he wouldn't be "an interloper" into their knowledge.

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     Post Posted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:05 pm 
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    I would speculate on the fourth Arkentool. When you look at what colossal game-breakers the Arkendish and the Arkenpliers are (the Arkenhammer's also pretty good, but not that good), wouldn't you want to see if you could retrieve something that powerful that isn't being held by a ridiculously tough side like Jetstone, Charlescomm or modern Gobwin Knob? Probably?

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     Post Posted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:58 pm 
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    GaryThunder wrote:
    I would speculate on the fourth Arkentool. When you look at what colossal game-breakers the Arkendish and the Arkenpliers are (the Arkenhammer's also pretty good, but not that good), wouldn't you want to see if you could retrieve something that powerful that isn't being held by a ridiculously tough side like Jetstone, Charlescomm or modern Gobwin Knob? Probably?
    But look at the good the Arkenpliers did for Jetstone - not much. Sure, Ansom killed uncroaked a bit more efficiently, but popping a second warlord to fight by his side would probably have worked almost as well.

    Also, if you attack another side to take their Arkentool, you have to be afraid that someone else will do the same to you after you have it. Only a strong side is going to want to take that risk (or a very weak one, that needs to gamble on attunement). I guess with that argument, it's likely that the fourth known Arkentool is held by a fairly strong side as well.

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     Post Posted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:32 pm 
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    fjolnir wrote:
    I still think this this update cuts charlie out of being a thinkamancer preattunement, If he was he wouldn't be "an interloper" into their knowledge.
    I agree. It also eliminates one of the largest discrepancies that Charlie might have reflected: He could have been an Overlord who was also a caster. A mix of roles at which we had never even seen hinted elsewhere. And, if verified, should (Hopefully? Meh, it'll never die...) lay to rest the "Wanda is going to start her own Side" tinhattery.

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     Post Posted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:42 pm 
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    fractal wrote:
    GaryThunder wrote:
    I would speculate on the fourth Arkentool. When you look at what colossal game-breakers the Arkendish and the Arkenpliers are (the Arkenhammer's also pretty good, but not that good), wouldn't you want to see if you could retrieve something that powerful that isn't being held by a ridiculously tough side like Jetstone, Charlescomm or modern Gobwin Knob? Probably?
    But look at the good the Arkenpliers did for Jetstone - not much. Sure, Ansom killed uncroaked a bit more efficiently, but popping a second warlord to fight by his side would probably have worked almost as well.

    Also, if you attack another side to take their Arkentool, you have to be afraid that someone else will do the same to you after you have it. Only a strong side is going to want to take that risk (or a very weak one, that needs to gamble on attunement).
    On the flip side, if the unattuned Whatevertool is just an Artifact combat bonus, and if attunement is both exceedingly rare (How many Jetstone Princes were handed the 'pliers in an attempt to attune?) or tied to fate (as in Wanda's Fate to eventually attune to a 'tool), maybe there are not many Sides who would bother. The real value in seeking to wrest an arkentool away from another Side would appear to lie in the denial of the attuned capabilities to the Side you've stolen the 'tool away from, and not in the hopes that your own Side will be able to exercise those same capabilities. Unless your pocket Predictamancer tells you otherwise...
    GaryThunder wrote:
    I guess with that argument, it's likely that the fourth known Arkentool is held by a fairly strong side as well.
    Not necessarily. Jetstone was well known to possess the 'pliers. While it is possible that some far away Side will enter the story with ownership of the fourth "known" arkentool, I find it far more likely that the fourth 'tool is not currently owned and will be discovered. By whom? Parson, perhaps, although I am not predictamancing.

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     Post Posted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 10:32 pm 
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    boegiboe wrote:
    Why do folks speculate on the fourth Arkentool? Isn't it pretty obviously, based on the usual referential sense of humor of Erfworld, the Arkenstone of Tolkien? In other words, it mainly served as an in-joke that the Happy Meal said there were four known Arkentools.


    Or, if the prefix "Arken" is meant to meant 'Of the Titans of Ark' then we've already seen 4 Arkentools

    1. The Arkenpliers
    2. The Arkendish
    3. The Arkenhammer
    4. Stanley, Tool of the Titans of Ark (The Arkenstanley, if you will)

    Yes, that was at least halfways joking. It could be just as above, it could be simply there to suggest to the reader that there is just another power out there (and thus fuel the very debates going on). Or, it could be a red herring, never actually referenced after the Stupid Meal;

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     Post Posted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 10:45 pm 
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    Agaric wrote:
    On page 1 quite a few people have been compiled and verified already (with one notable addition later).
    From left to right, from top to bottom:

    Unidentified Neck Guy - Unidentified Blonde Lady With No Visible Clothes - Aristotle - Carl Sagan - Derren Brown
    Spock - Neil deGrasse Tyson - Psycho Mantis
    Unidentified Brunette - Zelda

    So, as far as I can see there are only 3 more people to find now...


    It shouldn't be that hard to identify the guy on the top left. He's clearly wearing a pilot jacket over a hoodie. How common is that combo?

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     Post Posted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 10:46 pm 
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    The arkenhammer seems weak, because dwagons can be popped from any developed city. Perhaps the tactical combat capabilities of the hammer make up for it. Stanley did not attempt to destroy the vampire army in book 1, so the limits of the hammer's power remain unexplored. We still don't know if the tools grow stronger offensively as the user gains levels, or if there is some similar factor that determines the quality of the attunement, and power of the artifact.

    The arkenplier's unit-generation ability 'scales,' as they say, with the size of the opponents losing army, and with time. It's a much more powerful unit generation ability than the hammer's, or the dish's. The initial ability of the pliers was shown to be destroying undead, but perhaps there is some unseen augmentation to the croakamancy of the user, which is why Wanda seems to have a limitless unit cap. The pliers are pushing her croakamancy to a godlike level, in addition to the unit-related power of the tool, which is to stop undead from decaying.

    I'm assuming the arkendish can 'harvest' archons, the same way that the hammer can harvest dwagons, and I'm also assuming the dish's primary (non-unit) function is to augment the user's natural thinkamancy.

    This line of reasoning, that the primary (non-unit) function of each tool is to augment a particular ability of the holder, would mean that the arkenhammer is definitely being 'throttled' by the fact that Stanley is just a low-level pikeman. It would probably be truly fearsome if it attuned to a high level heavy, for example.

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     Post Posted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 10:54 pm 
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    Dwagons can be popped from GK's developed cities because they are a tame unit to GK

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     Post Posted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 11:11 pm 
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    Zeku wrote:
    This line of reasoning, that the primary (non-unit) function of each tool is to augment a particular ability of the holder, would mean that the arkenhammer is definitely being 'throttled' by the fact that Stanley is just a low-level pikeman. It would probably be truly fearsome if it attuned to a high level heavy, for example.

    I think it is a matter of imagination rather than level. Stanley is a man with certain... cognitive limitations and thus the Arkenhammer gives him powers that look impressive, but are not obviously gamebreaking. Wanda is a lot smarter and Charlie is out of the league of both.

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     Post Posted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 11:20 pm 
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    Quote:
    Stanley is just a low-level pikeman.


    Do you really think that Stanley is low level? I mean, he once conquered more than a dozen cities. That surely gave him loads of experience points. And let's not forget the fact that he almost blasted Caesar to death, and croaked his entire stack, with one attack from his hammer. He isn't weak enough to be called "just a low level piker"

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    You know... at this point you boops aren't beating dead horses any more. You're making glue.

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     Post Posted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:58 am 
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    fractal wrote:
    Also, if you attack another side to take their Arkentool, you have to be afraid that someone else will do the same to you after you have it. Only a strong side is going to want to take that risk (or a very weak one, that needs to gamble on attunement). I guess with that argument, it's likely that the fourth known Arkentool is held by a fairly strong side as well.


    Just because it is known doesn't mean it is known to be owned by someone. The fourth Arkentool could have been lost some time ago, and may now be held by a small/obscure side that nobody can find, hidden by some side who just doesn't want it to fall into the wrong hands(perhaps Charlie?) or even by a barbarian (attuned or unattuned).

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     Post Posted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:55 am 
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    valce wrote:
    fractal wrote:
    Also, if you attack another side to take their Arkentool, you have to be afraid that someone else will do the same to you after you have it. Only a strong side is going to want to take that risk (or a very weak one, that needs to gamble on attunement). I guess with that argument, it's likely that the fourth known Arkentool is held by a fairly strong side as well.


    Just because it is known doesn't mean it is known to be owned by someone. The fourth Arkentool could have been lost some time ago, and may now be held by a small/obscure side that nobody can find, hidden by some side who just doesn't want it to fall into the wrong hands(perhaps Charlie?) or even by a barbarian (attuned or unattuned).


    Or just lying in a cave somewhere. Perhaps a multi-level cave, with progressively harder monsters in it, the further down one goes.

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     Post Posted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:57 am 
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    I wouldn't doubt that the blond and brunette could possibly be the Black and White Queens from X-Men, Marvel Comics. Codenamed after game pieces, it's a meta joke to include them here. Jean Grey and Emma Frost are telepaths with panache and an epic rivalry. It would explain the lack of clothes, although I'd assume Xin would have been smart enough to include SOME indication of their identity. At least some fire for Jean.

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     Post Posted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 11:15 am 
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    Fiendishrabbit wrote:
    It shouldn't be that hard to identify the guy on the top left. He's clearly wearing a pilot jacket over a hoodie. How common is that combo?


    Could it be MacGyver? I'm skeptical, the jaw/neck are a bit more slender in the drawing than in any photo I could find.

    I would also think MacGyver would be some sort of Stuffamancer instead of a Thinkamancer.

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     Post Posted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:53 pm 
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    DoctorJest wrote:
    Or just lying in a cave somewhere. Perhaps a multi-level cave, with progressively harder monsters in it, the further down one goes.

    This is clearly optimal.

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     Post Posted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 1:52 pm 
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    Althernai wrote:
    GKBeetle wrote:
    People on this forum seem to think that Charlie is influencing pop rates of gobwins around Gobwin Knob. Is there any proof that Charlie is doing this. Was it in a text update that I missed? I remember an update saying that gobwins were no longer popping around Gobwin Knob, but I don't remember any update saying it was Charlie's doing. Am I missing something?

    Yes:

    Quote:
    One thing he never volunteered in these meetings was that the bracer gave a 78% likelihood that there was something fishy going on with the lack of Gobwins and prevalence of Marbits.

    And if there was, then there was a better than 92% chance that the agency behind it was Charlescomm.

    It's not certain that it's Charlie, but it's significantly more likely than not (particularly since we, the readers, know that he has a tendency to manipulate natural allies whereas Parson does not know this and is probably not putting it into his calculations).


    Thanks, I totally forgot about that update. You rock.

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     Post Posted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 2:44 pm 
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    Angband wrote:
    Fiendishrabbit wrote:
    It shouldn't be that hard to identify the guy on the top left. He's clearly wearing a pilot jacket over a hoodie. How common is that combo?


    Could it be MacGyver? I'm skeptical, the jaw/neck are a bit more slender in the drawing than in any photo I could find.

    I would also think MacGyver would be some sort of Stuffamancer instead of a Thinkamancer.


    Definitely not. McGuyver has a pilot jacket, but no Hoodie.
    Overall the pilotjacket + hoodie means that we have the following qualities for our missing "neck only" Thinkamancer.

    1. Short or mid-lenght hair.
    2. Most likely a He or a somewhat masculin She. Not super masculin given the slim build and jawline
    3. No beard.
    4. Highly intelligent. Genius, Psychic or a combination of both.
    5. An iconic outfit is Flight Jacket plus Hoodie (in addition the cut of the hoodie implies that it doesn't have a zipper). This means that he's most likely a late 80s or later character. One of the first instances of "Flight Jacket plus Hoodie" that I remember is Bruce Springsteen in the Streets of Philadelphia music video.
    It doesn't have to be a flight jacket per se actually. The outfit worn by Forrest Whitaker in Ghost Dog: Way of the samurai isn't a flight jacket, but is sufficiently similar. It does have a fairly high collar (that can be flipped out) and has a somewhat fluffy lining.

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     Post Posted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:46 pm 
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    DoctorJest wrote:
    Or just lying in a cave somewhere. Perhaps a multi-level cave, with progressively harder monsters in it, the further down one goes.

    That sounds like an Erfworld dream I had yesterday (help!). Parson and Stanley and some minions were searching some tunnel complex for a treasure, but then a more numerous enemy appeared and began attacking. Stanley disappeared (perhaps to a deeper dungeon level?) leaving Parson to man the rearguard against a superior foe. The location was somewhat reminiscent of Moria in the Lord of the Rings. It wasn't clear to me what they were looking for, but I suppose it could have been a fourth Arkentool. It could also have been a qualification for the Magic Pro Tour - dreams are like that.

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