Let's not forget that a scroll can apparently be a combination of multiple disciplines. I'm just making a guess at the basic functions based on all we know and can infer.
Remembering that the first column is the Erf element, second is Fate, and the third is Numbers:Findamancy Predictamancy MathamancyTurnamancy Dollamancy WeirdomancyDirtamancy Changemancy DittomancyLookamancy Thinkamancy FoolamancyFlower Power Signamancy Date-a-mancyShockamancy Croakamancy RetconjurationHat Magic Carnymancy Rhyme-o-mancyLuckamancy Healomancy Moneymancy
Findamancy deals with the spatial locations of objects and entities. It A) Can divine the location of anything, anywhere, given enough Juice is spent to do it and the caster is competent, given B) you have some general or specific idea of what the thing you're trying to find and move is. Divination, dowsing, whatever you want to call it, this is that. Reasonably speaking, Parson has already been found; the only thing a scroll of this nature might do is if the spell were to "find the Perfect Warlord", as it would settle any arguments about whether Parson is or is not that. Naturally, whether it would "locate" him or not has a lot to do with whether the caster has the right idea of what "Perfect Warlord" means. Forseeably it's less the need specifically for a scroll and more the need for the spell to be able to work, since Parson is carrying the Staff of Suckage. Jojo looks a bit too maliciously confident while hiding behind the portal when we first see him for this to be the case.
Given Marie's offhanded remark about "difficult Predictamancy" and all that it implies, Predictamancy deals with determining the likelihood of inevitable events occurring, perhaps in the forseeable future, or perhaps at some given time. The trope of soothsaying contains a lot of contradictions, and implied rules which coincidentally often contradict each other. She also offhandedly mentions that things can get foggy, and may have been lying. Regardless, if the scroll belongs to this discipline, then all that needs to be predicted is the ultimate event Parson will set into motion with regards to how it will affect whoever is behind Jojo being there in the first place. Again, this is not really a malicious spell; Jojo looks too malicious for the scroll to be of this discipline.
Mathamancy can involve any raw calculations, but presumably not their actualization. At best, it would provide concrete details on a given
scenario involving variables entered into the prediction. Considering you need to provide information to get a result from this discipline, it's no better than deductive reasoning (plus or minus concrete details to work with). Ironically, a spell of this discipline would not even enter into the equation for "spells that might be contained in the scroll".
Turnamancy is a Physical (Erf)-based alteration of a target's Motion. If by Motion, momentum (real motion or the motions of a target's machinations) is implied, then we can deduce that it involves altering A) the direction or velocity of a target, B) the direction or velocity of a target's thoughts, or C) some combination thereof. At best this would turn Parson to Charlie's side, but it's not even being cast by a caster belonging to the Turnamancy discipline. We've already discussed reasons this is improbable (Vanna having previously been available).
Dollamancy deals with making fabricated objects move in a predetermined way, of their own volition (given that the volition as well as preset conditions for what can provoke it into action are also fabricated by the caster). Parson, as near as we can determine, is not a fabricated object within the reality of the comic. This is not the discipline of the scroll.
Weirdomancy presumably has to do with removing
logic from the behavior of otherwise logical objects or entities (for example: a curse that causes an airborne, random species of dead fish to repeatedly appear at unpredictable times in strange places and land on them or in their general vicinity, or one that causes the target to spontaneously combust if they say the words "banana phone", etc.) If we are to assume the object of Jojo's machinations is to remove some degree of rationality from Parson's existence, then this is a possible category of spell contained in the scroll. I cannot, however, see the advantage of doing this over directly casting a Carnymancy spell on Parson (something Jojo is obviously capable of). For now I will put this theory on the bottom rung of rationality.
Dirtamancy, as we've seen, is dangerous, but works by manipulating "dirt" of various types. It is not directly offensive, and a Carnymancer likely has no need of it, unless somehow he could use this to kill Parson (not before he has a chance to react, we can assume, save in the case of "rocks fall, everyone dies" or erasing the ground beneath him and taking potshots at him while he's in a pitfall trap) without leaving evidence of the attack behind. Unlikely candidate for scroll contents.
Changemancy, it can be assumed, has to deal with altering the elemental nature of a target (example: changing water to ice, ice to steam, etc.). Perhaps I'm overreaching, but should
it be subject to the rules Maggie specified for Thinkamantic suggestions, it "cannot turn a mouse into a maniac" - there presumably has to be some logical transition from matter state to matter state, and in any case, there ought to be a previously existing material to work with (at best, Jojo has available to work with Dirt, Stone, and Air, and anything on Parson's person, and it won't be doing anything that Shockamancy could do). One could call this discipline synthesis, or limited transmutation. I can't see a practical application for this that another discipline couldn't accomplish, but it is a remotely plausible theory.
Dittomancy has to deal with duplicating the existence of a target. I can see many applications for this, and it is the most likely candidate I can think of for the scroll's contents. If all Charlie wanted was the Bracer, I could understand casting this, but I wouldn't be able to understand Jojo tossing Parson the scroll. Moreover, because the caster who activates a scroll has control enough to specify its working parameters, one would assume that a caster attempting to cast the spell could instantly know them (thus the Signamancy of the scroll itself; scrolls are meant to be "read" and understood). At this juncture, I can reasonably assume that the scroll actually works as advertised, and does not clone or produce an evil twin of Parson.
Lookamancy, as we know, has to do with remote viewing, and perhaps snatching up details from a target's mind as well. I cannot see a practical application of this beyond trying to find out what Parson knows (which still only gives limited information; Parson does not contain perfect knowledge of all of GK's dealings, or there are risks he would not be liable to take). Unlikely candidate.
Thinkamancy is well within Charlie's domain. The scroll could have been a ruse to get Parson to drop the staff, but at one point before he entered the MK, he hadn't been holding it, so Charlie would not have need of this ruse (and given his paranoia about his secrets being potentially compromised
, rather than definitely, we can assume that Charlie would have long ago confirmed anything he needed to find out by this method; this rules out Charlie in at least this scenario). If
the scroll contained Thinkamancy, which might have included a suggestion spell (or possibly whatever Hoboken was; if it was confirmed to be Thinkamancy then I have forgotten it) or at minimum contained an encoded message, I still cannot see the point of handing it to a Carnymancer, unless the person who orchestrated the tunnel scene knows about the Staff of Suckage and created the scroll on the spot. There is a very small chance this is correct. However, everyone knows that GK has a Thinkamancer due to Parson contacting Ansom via a Thinkagram during Book 1; there is little chance that in handling Parson's communications, she would not pick up on secret information he had gleaned while in the MK. I must therefore discard the Thinkamancy suggestion.
Foolamancy involves creating illusions. While it's not entirely clear what this operates on, I'm going to guess it has to do with bending light, considering that the illusions Jack generated while Stanley attempted to escape to Faq were physically passed through by Vinny. In any case I can't see the benefit of casting such a spell on Parson. The only plausible scenario here is that the intent is to make Parson look to his own side to be an enemy unit; something that, much akin to a suggestion spell, it has been confirmed cannot significantly alter how Parson appears in size and stature. It works with previously-existing images and distorts them. This is very unlikely to be the spell in the scroll.
Flower Power, as we've seen, effectively incapacitates a unit from a combat standpoint. They cannot execute their intended action - on the most limited scale, this means that it would deplete at least one of a unit's Hits per turn. There is effectiveness in casting this on Parson, if only to stop him from going through the portal or to prevent him from relaying orders once he did so - but an easier ruse would have been to lead him away from it or block it off somehow (Dirtamancy is more likely here), and at any rate, it doesn't negate his Leadership bonus, which is the primary reason for attempting to remove a Chief Warlord from a fight (aside from preventing the communication of orders). Somehow, this does not seem a strategy that a malicious side would use, nor a benevolent one. Unlikely candidate.
Signamancy has to do with the appearance of objects and entities, and belongs to the Fate element. It involves the detailing of livery, presumably some notion of feng shui
, everything has its place and should be put in its place, true names, and so on. Specifically it is on both the Life and Matter axes; this is a very likely candidate, but only
if A) it can somehow alter Parson's nature to make him not
be the "Perfect Warlord", or B) if this is the primary component of any Unsummoning spell. As we don't know the details and I might be wrong, this is a possibility, but remains not one that should be given credence, for the time being.
Date-a-mancy has to do with relationships, pairings, basically everything to do with the combination of multiple objects and entities, and the end result of that combination (and possibly the interactions themselves, as well). You could call it relationship counseling, courtship, or you could (potentially) call it alchemy. Either way, I can't see a use for this against Parson that another discipline couldn't cover. Denied.
Shockamancy has to do with delivering a charge, possibly energizing things or polarizing them. Gravity, magnetism, electricity, directed energy; all of this deals with forcing latent energy into an active state. Or, making things explode, if you really want it to. Potential candidate against Parson, in which case this is either the best plan of retaliatory action, or the best practical joke ever (which covers the surprise element of this discipline as well).
Croakamancy requires corpses; the only thing that remotely resembles Croakamancy acting on life is Decryption. Let's leave out this discipline from consideration; Parson isn't dead yet.
Retconjuration has been said to belong to the Titans. One could call it "divine magic". If this is so, it's the principle on which all Arkentools might work. It also explains why Stanley can use the 'hammer, despite not being a caster, but it is the least likely candidate for what's inside that scroll. Thrown out.
Hat Magic requires a hat, presumably; if it doesn't then it is misnamed. Jojo is not wearing a hat (at least until he leaves), nor is the scroll. If the intent is to make Parson don a "different hat", i.e., do a different job (change a unit's class? Hmm... explains unit promotion), this probably has no potential benefit. Also, I'm pretty sure if Jojo were gonna cast hat magic, he'd pull it out of a hat. Better to have a Hat Magician do that. Denied.
Jojo is a Carnymancer. Unless he is trying to save his own Juice, he does not need a scroll to do what he can do himself. I'm gonna go with "no".
Rhyme-o-mancy seems similar to Signamancy or perhaps Date-a-mancy, except that it deals with combinations
to broadcast emotions
, occasionally in new and different ways. Poetry, rap, free verse, music. If all Jojo wanted to do was take Parson back to Earth with his words, he wouldn't have needed a scroll; he's a fair wordsmith and can work his way around a turn of phrase easily. If he was merely trying to convince him to turn, it would've made more sense to perform Turnamancy. Makes no sense to send a Carnymancer with a scroll when you could have a Turnamancer do it (although, given hex-local time, perhaps it was a last minute plan; I'm willing to give this theory consideration, but it still makes less sense than others, and I'm sorry, but I'm slightly more willing to go with what makes more sense).
Luckamancy. What is it? Luck. Good luck, bad luck, no luck at all. If this discipline contains an insta-kill spell (heart attack, lol) or can somehow make everything Parson does turn out badly, then it is a very good plan
to cast this spell on Parson, or even better, make him cast it on himself. However, tossing him the scroll with the potential that he could use it himself but not target
himself makes me think that this is not the case. I will ignore this theory.
Healomancy... is unnecessary here. Its nature is self-evident, as is the idea that it would be contained in the scroll. We've also seen that such scrolls are stylistically different in appearance. The idea that it is a Healomancy scroll can simply pack its bags and leave, unless by some hidden rationale, the same principles that apply to real-world medicine also apply here. See the quote.
Paracelsus, sometimes called the father of toxicology, wrote:
German: Alle Ding' sind Gift, und nichts ohn' Gift; allein die Dosis macht, daß ein Ding kein Gift ist.
"All things are poison, and nothing is without poison; only the dose permits something not to be poisonous."
Or, more commonly
"The dose makes the poison."
That is to say, substances considered toxic are harmless in small doses, and conversely an ordinarily harmless substance can be deadly if over-consumed.
This only makes sense if that is true; we've not seen evidence for or against so I am discarding this theory.
Finally, Moneymancy. Either to borrow money from Parson or pay him not to act is unsensible (we've seen no signs that Moneymancy can overcome Duty or Loyalty, though that's not to say bribery and extortion don't work in Erfworld). If we reach into Moneymancy's less mundane nature (such as the building and upgrading of cities, razing cities or units for upkeep, etc.), there is still not much of an effect this would probably have on Parson (except perhaps to somehow remove Parson's "Special" status, which so far only one of the Stupid Meals he got when he was first summoned has made note of, and Charlie might know about since it was written by Parson in the Eyebook; or, perhaps, to demote Parson to a state of uselessness). So far, the only effect we've seen that Moneymancy can have that does not act on a same-side target is a loan of Shmuckers (or, by inductive reasoning, the effect that sacking a city has for both sides). I'm unwiling to give credence to a theory I can't back up with solid facts.
That's not to say that there can't be some combination of effects within the scroll, but logically speaking, there's only a certain number of effective combinations, and a certain number of likely scenarios, and most of these do not coincide.
To review, the theories for what's in the scroll to which we can give a limited
amount of credence:
1. It does what Jojo says (however it does it; it could be Hat Magic but we don't know). Might possibly contain a Signamancy element (but that should not be given credence unless further details are revealed that prove me right). We still haven't seen any mechanics that point to how this could be possible (unless the combination of disciplines is the method by which it works, in which case I have not discussed the exact combination necessary and cannot), but it remains the most plausible theory.
2. Changemancy. When you think of a wizard conjuring and throwing a fireball (and that is the bare minimum I would assume Changemancy produces), one can see how that could be a targeted hostile spell. Because Parson is blocking hostile/unwanted spells with the staff, it is possible. If I'm wrong, this is an unfeasible theory and should be discarded, so we should ignore it for now. Limited
3. Shockamancy. At worst, a volatile high explosive magick; at best, a harmless practical joke.
4. Carnymancy. Talk about a wild card; we don't even really know what it does. It's possible Jojo could be using a scroll to save his Juice, or have intended to throw the thing to Parson if he succeeded in talking him into taking it. Might still be possible that he thought he could before he noticed the staff, if he knew about the staff beforehand but didn't know it would be there when he was.
5. Sigh. Rhyme-o-mancy. Very remote possibility on the outskirts of imagination, and poetic to boot-to-the-head.
Five possibilities when you imagine that the scroll only contains a spell of a single discipline. More when you consider their potential combinations. We can't agree on whether Jojo was trying to take Parson out or simply nullify him as a threat (or, if he was just being extra nice
) without more evidence. Argument over.
For the sake of consistency, I must list some theories I originally said were plausible above but which were immediately contradicted due to circumstances which also apply to other theories i discarded above (or sound reasoning I just thought of):
1. Turnamancy. In addition to the reasons it is very unlikely and only remotely plausible, I must discard it for the same reason I discarded Dittomancy - the caster who uses the scroll can understand and interpret what it could do, and specify parameters themselves. Would not want to give something like this to an enemy under any circumstances.
2. Dirtamancy. If the spell is being blocked, the target is Parson and it is considered by Parson to be potentially hostile regardless. As Parson contains no Dirtamantic elements, save for poo, it cannot be a Dirtamancy scroll.
3. Weirdomancy. Same reason Turnamancy and Dittomancy were thrown out.
This was exhaustive to write and the notions above took me almost four hours to expound upon. This is why I say some speculative notions are too grand for casual discourse.
If there are any errors above, toss me a line and I'll likely take the bait, hook, line, and sinker.