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 Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 70
 Post Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 10:49 am 
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BLANDCorporatio wrote:
This leaves the MK still unexplained, but it's certainly a fair assessment of our knowledge so far.

I believe the MK was explicitly explained at one point as a place for Barbarian Casters who's sides had fallen, or perhaps they had been released from service by their Ruler (due to inability to pay upkeep, or perhaps it was a Caster type they could not make use of so it was better to release the caster and hope to pop a more usefull one)

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 70
     Post Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 10:49 am 
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    Kreistor wrote:
    "Non-royal caster" could imply he existence of Royal Casters, but it could also indicate that thee were two reasons not to hand Ace the Scepter -- that he was not Royal and not a Warlord. It's not solid enough to draw conclusions.


    Not too sure. 'non-royal' is almost certainly an adjective so it modifies the noun 'caster'.

    If it we're being used nominally, it wouldn't have the hyphen; that is, a 'non royal [or] caster'. Also, i think if both were nouns there would be a conjunction between them, such as 'or'. I realise that I am writing from a perspective of British English grammar, and there might be rules that I don't know about in play for American-English grammar that would preclude this reading.

    However, as the section is in a formal piece and not written in the idiom of a character (or else, it is in Slately's idiom that includes 'correct' grammar) I have to take the stance that there is no grounds to assume 'wrong' grammar in the statement and that 'a non-royal caster' means exactly what it says - a caster who is not a royal.

    To me, that has to infer the possibility of royal casters.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 70
     Post Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 11:55 am 
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    sleepymancer wrote:
    However, as the section is in a formal piece and not written in the idiom of a character (or else, it is in Slately's idiom that includes 'correct' grammar) I have to take the stance that there is no grounds to assume 'wrong' grammar in the statement and that 'a non-royal caster' means exactly what it says - a caster who is not a royal.

    To me, that has to infer the possibility of royal casters.

    Or, it's a simple way to emphasize the fact that the King's discomfort stems from the scepter being handled by a non-royal, and not (for example) that he is prejudiced against casters specifically or Ace in particular. Compare the sentences with and without:

    "Slately put the Royal Scepter of Jetstone in the hands of a non-Royal caster without a moment's hesitation."

    "Slately put the Royal Scepter of Jetstone in the hands of a caster without a moment's hesitation."

    Without the 'non-Royal' qualifier, it sounds like Slately doesn't like casters in particular. Adding the "non-Royal" modifier makes it clear why he might have otherwise hesitated.

    Personally, I think that casters can be royal or non-royal in the same way that warlords can be, especially since you don't know whether you're getting a caster when try to pop a warlord, but you do know whether you're getting a royal unit or not. I don't think the above sentence would be considered as clear evidence of that, though.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 70
     Post Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 12:47 pm 
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    MarbitChow wrote:
    "Slately put the Royal Scepter of Jetstone in the hands of a non-Royal caster without a moment's hesitation."

    "Slately put the Royal Scepter of Jetstone in the hands of a caster without a moment's hesitation."


    "Slately put the Royal Scepter of Jetstone in the hands of a non-Royal person without a moment's hesitation."

    Both "non-Royal" and "Caster" are descriptive. We can't be certain it is one description, the other, or both that are Slately's issue.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 70
     Post Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 1:57 pm 
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    Sieggy, don't trust sound effects too much. "Plotz" is also the sound effect made when Parson breaks through into Sizemore's tunnel in MK.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 70
     Post Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 7:26 pm 
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    In this webcomic, I don't discount ANYTHING . . . Rob is astoundingly subtle, and plot points can revolve around seemingly insignificant things. I learned to read with Agatha Christie, Raymond Chandler, Earl Stanley Gardner, and Isaac Asimov, so I have a deep appreciation of minutiae that might be glossed over until the final few pages when you go "D'OH!!!! Why the hell didn't I see THAT?" and feel a profound sense of being really stupid while admiring the deviousness of the author. Rob is easily in that category of writer (allowing for differences in genre), so I don't underestimate him.

    Miss Marple solved murders with clues easily as obscure as this . . . while Hercule would merely twitch his moustache and smile.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 70
     Post Posted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 7:41 am 
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    I agree that its good not to discount anything, but with the evidence there I can't see any way in which that statement can be interpreted otherwise. Any change to make it not mean a castor (noun) who is non-royal (adjective) would require retconjuration. Its not a grey area, grammatically. All those examples of subtly-worded clues all worked because the 'real' meaning of the mystery was logically referenced when you knew where to look. 'into the hands of a non-royal caster' (and its corollary of royal caster). 'Caster' is being used in the phrases as a noun not a description (adjective), what we have effectively is:

    "[Slately]__[put]_[the]___{____________[Royal Scepter]____[of]_________[Jetstone]_____}_[in]
    [pronoun] [verb] [article] {noun phrase: [noun (accusative)] [preposition] [noun (genitive)]} [preposition]

    "[the]__{_____________[hands]_______[of]________[a]_____[non-Royal][caster]_______}..."
    [article] {noun phrase: [noun (dative)] [preposition] [article] [adjective] [noun (genitive)]}

    Which is to say the sceptre was put in the hands of (indicates a possessive (genitive) noun to follow) [b/]a[/b] (article implying one specific noun of a class) non-royal caster (which therefore has to be: a noun, not a description; in the genitive; in the singular. 'Non-royal' cannot be a noun it is adjectival, ('non royal' could), and 'caster' cannot be descriptive (adjectival) in this sense as there would be no noun being modified. Its an absolute statement, and without scope for ambiguity.

    To change that absolute statement into meaning that no caster can be royal is as much a rules violation as making a unit with a maximum Move of five move six hexes - or a dead twoll with the 'regeneration' special be un-decryptable and unable to recover from a fall :p

    I'm happy to agree to disagree on this, of course (sadly, I'm also happy to parse grammar, argue philology and generally de-construct the English language :lol: )!! And time will undoubtedly tell what was meant; or be retconjured to suit.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 70
     Post Posted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 3:53 pm 
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    0beron the avatar thief wrote:
    No, he really is completely right. Its was a simple mistake made with no knowledge that you existed. So shut up, get over it, and simmer in silence because nobody ELSE seems to care.
    And because no one else cares, it's wrong for me to care? What a dick!

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 70
     Post Posted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 4:20 pm 
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    Oberon wrote:
    And because no one else cares, it's wrong for me to care? What a dick!

    People are just encouraging you to relax. It's not like he created the avatar just to annoy you. If he did, *that* would be rude.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 70
     Post Posted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 6:40 pm 
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    !Oberon wrote:
    Oberon wrote:
    And because no one else cares, it's wrong for me to care? What a dick!

    People are just encouraging you to relax. It's not like he created the avatar just to annoy you. If he did, *that* would be rude.

    It's understandable to be annoyed. Not joking about that, but it does remind me of a funny (angry drag queen) song about appropriation of identity: http://soundcloud.com/hi-fashion-music/you-tuk-my-luk

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 70
     Post Posted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 7:21 pm 
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    Anyone else thinking we need another update to distract us before the forums become entirely populated by variations on three names?

    Also, I definitely don't feel that this was an unrealistic set of thought processes. Antium was clearly confused by the tower-toppling tactic the whole time, but only spoke up about it after a minute or two, as any respectful officer would. Wanda really isn't that good at strategy - we've seen it multiple times, and Jack just missed it. He's allowed. After all, it hurts to be a fool.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 70
     Post Posted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 8:01 pm 
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    Indeed it does hurt. Wanda is so smart that she is a master of her own magical discipline and is able to operate in many others. Very smart people often rely their brains too much and forget that skills and training are essential for some things, like strategy. I work with lots of brilliant people and their mistakes are sometimes epic!

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 70
     Post Posted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 1:17 pm 
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    Goshen wrote:
    Indeed it does hurt. Wanda is so smart that she is a master of her own magical discipline and is able to operate in many others. Very smart people often rely their brains too much and forget that skills and training are essential for some things, like strategy. I work with lots of brilliant people and their mistakes are sometimes epic!


    The other thing about Jack and Wanda is that they've been trained to ignore anything silly and/or stupid seeming in Parson's plans. They've seen him do stupid things and be right so many times before that they assume he must have a reason for it. So one more stupid thing doesn't seem like a big deal to them. They just forgot that THEY did it this time instead of Parson. When A reminded them, that's when the lightbulb went on for Jack and the foolhammer came down to make it hurt. As, indeed, it should.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 70
     Post Posted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 2:50 pm 
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    Umm, when have they actually seen anything that, once explained, still seemed silly or stupid in one of his plans?

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 70
     Post Posted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 11:29 pm 
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    drachefly wrote:
    Umm, when have they actually seen anything that, once explained, still seemed silly or stupid in one of his plans?


    I'd have suggested "flying" Banana or running into the hex wall, but Jack and Wanda weren't present for those.

    Maybe the fictional battle simulations for Jack? Not that he didn't enjoy it...

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 70
     Post Posted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 12:51 am 
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    Who's to say Parson won't someday face 2,000 Archons in battle? :D

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 70
     Post Posted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 3:44 am 
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    drachefly wrote:
    Umm, when have they actually seen anything that, once explained, still seemed silly or stupid in one of his plans?


    I think that was the point that was being made - once explained it all made sense, but at the time it may have seemed silly. The argument being, that they have come to expect silly to make sense eventually. It is hypothesised that now, when faced with something nonsensical, they just accept it on the basis that it will make sense later.

    My guess for why they didn't notice it before is simply that Jack has a different type of intelligence, the reason he was able to judge previous plots, plans and stratagems to be good (e.g. flash-and-snatch of Ossomer) was because he had seen them created and play-tested and had had each explained in detail. IHe was using memory not intelligence, and there is a world of difference between those two things.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 70
     Post Posted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 11:46 am 
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    sleepymancer wrote:
    My guess for why they didn't notice [the dichotomy between waiting for Parson whilst actively trying to bring down the Jetstone tower] before is simply that Jack has a different type of intelligence, the reason he was able to judge previous plots, plans and stratagems to be good (e.g. flash-and-snatch of Ossomer) was because he had seen them created and play-tested and had had each explained in detail. IHe was using memory not intelligence, and there is a world of difference between those two things.
    To give Jack a bit more credit, he did use his new understanding of lateral thinking to stick his head into the MK and gain a lot of good intelligence as to exactly why Parson hadn't made it through into Jetstone yet. Sure, once the author made it clear that a side only has a single MK portal that changed a lot of things for the readers, but before he took careful pains to make that mechanic clear there was no real reason why the readers should assume that taking down the Jetstone tower was in any way a disadvantage for GK.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 70
     Post Posted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 2:33 pm 
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    sleepymancer wrote:
    drachefly wrote:
    Umm, when have they actually seen anything that, once explained, still seemed silly or stupid in one of his plans?


    I think that was the point that was being made - once explained it all made sense, but at the time it may have seemed silly. The argument being, that they have come to expect silly to make sense eventually. It is hypothesised that now, when faced with something nonsensical, they just accept it on the basis that it will make sense later.


    This. The key word in your quote drachefly is once explained. In situ, as it were, things may not make sense. And sometimes, Parson doesn't have time to explain all his plans. But it is assumed that Parson ALWAYS has a plan, because so far Parson always HAS had a plan. So anything stupid and/or silly must be part of a plan that just doesn't make sense YET. Key word there is yet. Because he is so much smarter than them (as they now take as a point of faith) by now they might just assume it's okay. Especially Jack and Wanda. Jack, since he helped Parson figure out the rules of the world, and Wanda because she thinks Parson is something like Fate incarnate.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 70
     Post Posted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 3:49 pm 
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    Oberon wrote:
    sleepymancer wrote:
    My guess for why they didn't notice [the dichotomy between waiting for Parson whilst actively trying to bring down the Jetstone tower] before is simply that Jack has a different type of intelligence, the reason he was able to judge previous plots, plans and stratagems to be good (e.g. flash-and-snatch of Ossomer) was because he had seen them created and play-tested and had had each explained in detail. IHe was using memory not intelligence, and there is a world of difference between those two things.


    To give Jack a bit more credit, he did use his new understanding of lateral thinking to stick his head into the MK and gain a lot of good intelligence as to exactly why Parson hadn't made it through into Jetstone yet. Sure, once the author made it clear that a side only has a single MK portal that changed a lot of things for the readers, but before he took careful pains to make that mechanic clear there was no real reason why the readers should assume that taking down the Jetstone tower was in any way a disadvantage for GK.


    Oh, I give Jack loads of credit for intelligence and lateral thinking, just not for strategy!! I think Jack was always a lateral thinker, but being given a name for it allowed him to better understand the ways in which he thinks. I assume that the reasons the mechanic was not made clear earlier was so that we learn as Jack realises, its cuts down us pointing at a clever character and saying 'idiot' (which we may have done) until he is, and get to revel in his wit for the bits before. Plus, drama.

    p.s. Oberon, that is a damn-good use of square brackets explaining what I meant but didn't say, thanks!

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