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 Post Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 10:11 am 
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Parson is quite clearly going to Earth (or at least Stupidworld) soon, and I think so for the following reasons of tale and story.

Causes:
(Where I list the various reasons for why it is time for Parson to go, even if the urgency may differ.)

Chechov's Gun:
We have a scroll that will send him back. We have shoes that could return him to the place he loves and the friends he misses - shoes that are somewhere in Stupidworld.
The latter can't be used unless the former is, and the scroll is very much akin to mentioning clearly in the first act of a play that "there is a loaded gun in the room".

Fate:
Headmaster Isaac in Book2 page 87 admits that Parson is not on a single fate mission, but on three - or possibly four. Ending wars on Erfworld would be one, defeating Charlie a second, and Wanda has noted in Book2 page 19 that it is the Fate of the Arkentools to be found and brought together which could make it either the third or more likely the elusive fourth reason. Because in all honesty Parson is probably the one best suited to manage Stupidworld.
Also, in Book2 text update 59 we have a pretty significant pointer to fate's opinion. Conditions existed to allow Parson to cast the scroll - but as soon as he added "here and now" Fate started intervening with the numbers, since Parson couldn't be allowed to use the scroll before knowing about the Arkenshoes, which wouldn't be until the dead Jack was Uncroaked.

Dorothy rule:
Maggie points out in Book2 page 111 that Parson conquered the first city he entered (Goodwin Knob) through use of his brains, and the second one (Spacerock) through bravery. (Admittedly it wasn't a smart way to win, but just as admittedly brave.) And he's just "conquered" Transylvito for his side by following his heart. (And partially through causing a lethal chain reaction of the heart, as he touched Maggie who touched Bunny.)
But as lacking as my Oz knowledge is, once the Brains, Hearts and Courages have been dealt with, the last thing to do in that go is returning home..

Hero's Journey:
Erworld, like Wonderland and Oz, skews the Hero's Journey circle somewhat since there's never any real room to deny the start of the trip when you are already in the special world.
But there are still likenesses to be had. Parson was called to battle and leadership, which he then refused after tasting the bitter fruit of victory. With friendships forming he took up the reigns again, but from what we have seen Parson seems to have formed deeper and more relevant friendships in Erfworld than he ever formed in his "real life" world.
Which means that the Ordeal:Death/Rebirth can only really be by leaving everything he values behind, and like a Bastian return from his story to the plain world without anything but at best his memories. (Unlike Bastian, Parson would have both reason and method to return once more, which would be the Rebirth part.)

Caveats:
(This is where I list how I am mistaken, and how)

Chechov's Gun - Could of course end up being some really stinky red herrings..

Fate - Wanda could have been mistaken about Fate again, as she usually seems to be.

Dorothy rule - No real caveats. It was drawing the connection by rereading that fateful panel today that prompted me to compose this post. But the generic caveat of "Don't try too hard to predict Rob Balder, it'll only end in confusion." still applies.

Hero's Journey - Technically I guess Parson's defection to CharlesComm could have been the Ordeal:Death/Rebirth, but in that case it was a bit of a short story.


Further things to discuss:
(Here is where I list things I'd enjoy a thread talking about, beyond the simple points about how wrong I am in everything.)

Does Parson need to travel alone?
Chechov's Gun, Dorothy rule and Hero's Journey would all say yes. Fate seems to be more open on the question, as long as Fate gets what Fate wants.

Are there any other good reasons for why he should go?
I'm quite certain there is. Preferably hints from the books of Erfworld, but there's surely lots of things that my brief thought on the matter has overlooked.

Is this the proper forum for discussion and presentation?
I couldn't see any better subforum, and I didn't think it rated as a submission, so here it is for now, due to me being fairly new to this side of the comic, but if you have any thoughts to that as well they wouldn't feel amiss to me.

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     Post Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 11:55 am 
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    Can we stop throwing throwing around terms like Czeckov's Gun? As a Liberal, I am opposed to the concept of conservation of detail because it insists unto my mind that everything must fit together.

    I don't see Parson fated per se, to get the Arkenshoes back to Erfworld, he is simply the best man for the job. Likewise Parson isn't fated to kill Charlie, a Perfect Warlord. However since Parson is the only Perfect Warlord on Erf, Fate must make do with the tools it has and protect that asset.

    What Parson is doing by bringing peace on Erf or killing Charlie is not fullfilling his Fate, but fulfilling existing predictions.

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     Post Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 1:36 pm 
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    Anomynous 167 wrote:
    Can we stop throwing throwing around terms like Czeckov's Gun? As a Liberal, I am opposed to the concept of conservation of detail because it insists unto my mind that everything must fit together.

    I don't see Parson fated per se, to get the Arkenshoes back to Erfworld, he is simply the best man for the job. Likewise Parson isn't fated to kill Charlie, a Perfect Warlord. However since Parson is the only Perfect Warlord on Erf, Fate must make do with the tools it has and protect that asset.

    What Parson is doing by bringing peace on Erf or killing Charlie is not fullfilling his Fate, but fulfilling existing predictions.


    Well, Chechov's Gun should apparently be typed Chekhov's gun when I check Wikipedia, but the intent of my usage was not the original minimalist notion of "every memorable element in a fictional story must be necessary and irreplaceable, and any that are not should be removed", since that is a thing for shorter stories (conservation of words) and an older time (conservation of audience's effort).

    Would a better word be "McGuffin Rule" perhaps, or "Gotta Catch them All!" (even if the latter does seem a better name for the Wanda theory of uniting the Arkentools).

    Charlie isn't a perfect Warlord IIRC, he's "the Wizard" (which ties back into Hero's Journey as "mentor" when bringing in the Dorothy angle) - Charlie was just part of the first summoning of a perfect warlord (even if only as funder), when Judy Gale came to Erfworld many turns ago.

    I'd agree that Parson isn't directly fated to bring back the Arkenshoes - but I'd argue that's why Isaac amends himself from three predictions to four. In that case there'd be a prediction about the Arkenshoes returning, and Parson will probably be involved. As far as Fate cares, it's enough that Parson returns and spreads the word, so someone else can get the idea to use the shoes.
    But the easy way is probably Parson doing it himself.

    Good point about Parson not fulfilling "his Fate" when f.ex. killing Charlie, although fulfilling predictions is still fulfilling Fate, but it could be someone elses for sure.
    In this case, unless Parson bucks it, it's both their Fate, much like Wanda and Loj Banhammer shared a Fate (or Wyrd)

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     Post Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 1:42 pm 
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    No one ever said the Arkentools were fated to be reunited on Erf. After Parson finishes destroying Charlescomm, the Great Minds, war itself, and Fate, he's going to go home and take all the other Arkentools with him. Then he'll use them to do some home improvement on the weekends, maybe kick back and watch some satellite TV after that.
    Finally, one day he'll pick up an old beat-up pair of red shoes at a flea market...

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     Post Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 1:52 pm 
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    Caprice wrote:
    No one ever said the Arkentools were fated to be reunited on Erf. After Parson finishes destroying Charlescomm, the Great Minds, war itself, and Fate, he's going to go home and take all the other Arkentools with him. Then he'll use them to do some home improvement on the weekends, maybe kick back and watch some satellite TV after that.
    Finally, one day he'll pick up an old beat-up pair of red shoes at a flea market...


    Sweet enough for a tip. :mrgreen:

    Now, do you have any citations from Canon or elsewhere to substantiate the suggestion? ;)

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     Post Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 2:05 pm 
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    Nikolai II wrote:
    Now, do you have any citations from Canon or elsewhere to substantiate the suggestion? ;)

    Admittedly not XD

    I do think an Arkenshoes retrieval mission is unlikely though, from a story point of view, because Parson will still be a loser with no resources when he goes back to Ohio. Either we'd end up seeing Parson on a boring roadtrip to Kansas, or we'd have to see him rebuild his life to the point where he's capable of bigger adventures than that. Both seem like unlikely story digressions.

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     Post Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 2:10 pm 
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    Nikolai II wrote:
    Anomynous 167 wrote:
    Can we stop throwing throwing around terms like Czeckov's Gun? As a Liberal, I am opposed to the concept of conservation of detail because it insists unto my mind that everything must fit together.

    I don't see Parson fated per se, to get the Arkenshoes back to Erfworld, he is simply the best man for the job. Likewise Parson isn't fated to kill Charlie, a Perfect Warlord. However since Parson is the only Perfect Warlord on Erf, Fate must make do with the tools it has and protect that asset.

    What Parson is doing by bringing peace on Erf or killing Charlie is not fullfilling his Fate, but fulfilling existing predictions.


    Well, Chechov's Gun should apparently be typed Chekhov's gun when I check Wikipedia, but the intent of my usage was not the original minimalist notion of "every memorable element in a fictional story must be necessary and irreplaceable, and any that are not should be removed", since that is a thing for shorter stories (conservation of words) and an older time (conservation of audience's effort).

    Would a better word be "McGuffin Rule" perhaps, or "Gotta Catch them All!" (even if the latter does seem a better name for the Wanda theory of uniting the Arkentools).

    Charlie isn't a perfect Warlord IIRC, he's "the Wizard" (which ties back into Hero's Journey as "mentor" when bringing in the Dorothy angle) - Charlie was just part of the first summoning of a perfect warlord (even if only as funder), when Judy Gale came to Erfworld many turns ago.

    I meant that Parson isn't fated to kill Charlie, a perfect warlord is. I thought my 2 am brain was perfectly clear on this matter. No doubt 6 am me with no sleep inbetween comments is just as guilable with the tongue.

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     Post Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 3:08 pm 
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    I just created a new theory topic that sorta, kinda, ties into this.
    I'mma link it.

    I wish I'd read this before typing up a whole new thread.

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     Post Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 4:54 pm 
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    Burley wrote:
    I just created a new theory topic that sorta, kinda, ties into this.
    I'mma link it.

    I wish I'd read this before typing up a whole new thread.


    Nah, your post was a big one, it deserved a thread of its own. Thanks for pointing it out. :)

    Caprice wrote:
    Nikolai II wrote:
    Now, do you have any citations from Canon or elsewhere to substantiate the suggestion? ;)

    Admittedly not XD

    I do think an Arkenshoes retrieval mission is unlikely though, from a story point of view, because Parson will still be a loser with no resources when he goes back to Ohio. Either we'd end up seeing Parson on a boring roadtrip to Kansas, or we'd have to see him rebuild his life to the point where he's capable of bigger adventures than that. Both seem like unlikely story digressions.


    Parson's not a "loser with no resources", he's a "loser with a dead end job and a fairly worthless car". His dice were indeed good enough to claim. :P
    Two text updates would easily take Parson through "mooching a hundred bucks of his surprised friends" or "putting his entire game and comics collection up on eBay and getting surprising amounts of money for his signed.." and through "getting a cheap bus/flight to Kansas" into "looking for Judy" territory.
    But then, making it too easy would devaluate the ordeal. But there are surely other digressions that can be made. (Mental hospital? Incarceration for stalking a home for elderly heroin addicts?)
    The only stumbling block would be if Parson has indeed been gone for three months or so, since his stuff might be gone? Perhaps time to reveal Mom or Pop Parson who could be good for some cash - or even an Aunt Judy from Kansas? :o

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     Post Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 8:48 pm 
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    I'm still of the opinion that Parson is more likely to use the scroll to sever his connection to Stupidworld, not Erf. It might be needed to allow him the full wealth of Erfworld senses like treasury sense and hex vision. Or he might make a deal with Charlie that he'll cast the scroll if Charlie is bound to stop interfering in GK's affairs for all time.

    But if Parson did return to Stupidworld, I like the idea that he didn't return alone. I could see him casting the scroll, only for Maggie to say "My lord, wait!" and try to grab him at the last minute. Poof, they're both back in Parson's basement. I'd say Maggie is much more likely to attune to the shoes than Parson is. And hey, if they left Erf, Maggie wouldn't be bound by duty to Parson anymore.

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     Post Posted: Sat Jan 07, 2017 6:08 am 
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    Lipkin wrote:
    But if Parson did return to Stupidworld, I like the idea that he didn't return alone. I could see him casting the scroll, only for Maggie to say "My lord, wait!" and try to grab him at the last minute. Poof, they're both back in Parson's basement. I'd say Maggie is much more likely to attune to the shoes than Parson is. And hey, if they left Erf, Maggie wouldn't be bound by duty to Parson anymore.


    If the Shoes could bring both back, then McGuffin Rule (formerly known as Chekhov's Gun) would no longer mind her following. And she would look better in Red Shoes than Parson. (Although if he went alone I suppose he could dance the blues)


    -

    Also, to revisit Caprice's suggestion about a post-story reunion:
    Caprice wrote:
    I do think an Arkenshoes retrieval mission is unlikely though, from a story point of view

    I realised as I laid myself to sleep that fetching (and returning with) the Arkenshoes could also be a final epilogue sort of thing. Parson's final gambit being something that would kill him in Erfworld, he does it anyway and wins, cue end credits. Then we see that he also pulled the scroll, and without any storyline demands he can lunk about on Earth for as long as needed to find the shoes, much like John Carter did a pretty long stint on our dustball before being able to go back to Barsoom.

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     Post Posted: Sat Jan 07, 2017 6:55 pm 
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    Why do we assume that Parson has to kill Charlie?

    I'm not saying that Parson doesn't have a good grudge against Charlie, or that Charlie is worried because of Parson's fate.

    But that can be settled with a negotiation, and reparations. Right?

    Parson's job, or so we are told, is to break ErfWorld. So why not start with breaking fate? We say that he reached the point of being able to curse.

    If the great minds are the real big bad, and Charlie is just a distraction, then the best way to deal with the big bad -- unless Leveling by killing Charlie is a requirement -- is to stop wasting resources fighting Charlie and get Charlie on his side.

    You can't do that in a dumb computer RTS.
    But this is a world of living, thinking (if strange) beings.

    Break Erf? Break fate? Break the rules? And then Break the GM?

    That is a roll player's goal, right? Defeat the GM? How did Parson describe what he had planned for his players -- unless they broke how things were going to go, it would just get worse and worse for them?

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     Post Posted: Mon Jan 09, 2017 3:33 pm 
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    keybounce wrote:
    Why do we assume that Parson has to kill Charlie?

    I'm not saying that Parson doesn't have a good grudge against Charlie, or that Charlie is worried because of Parson's fate.

    But that can be settled with a negotiation, and reparations. Right?


    Well, not if it is Parson's fate to kill him. Which some Thinkamancers and Charlie seem to have believed.

    But it seems they might have been tricked by Janis and Marie
    "Thanks to her, they pulled off the link-up without giving away the real aim. The Predictamancers all knew, of course. The Thinkamancers only sort of thought they knew. Hubble (the Lookamancer in the link-up) knew, but he was no trouble. And Janis knew."

    And if it isn't Parson's fate to kill Charlie, then any kind of deal can be made. Currently the Great Minds would seem to be nastier than Fate, but that'd be because they are hurting people we like.

    As interesting as Parson's One True Fate would be, this thread would probably prefer to remain on the topic of "Erf->Earth" travel. 8-)

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     Post Posted: Mon Jan 09, 2017 8:35 pm 
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    Something that hasn't been brought up is that the signamancy of the arkenshoes means they're not likely to be in Stupidworld. Baum had the shoes fall off Dorothy as she left Oz. They never got back to Kansas with her.

    If we accept Baum as a biographer rather than a fairytale writer then there's no real reason to believe the shoes made it out of Erfworld.

    Also, from a meta point of view, what would Parson's leaving Erfworld add to the story? He already knows he doesn't want to be in Stupidworld. There isn't any special info he has said he wished he had. He hasn't expressed a desire to say goodbye one last time.

    The only thing I can think of is a similar situation in the gap between books 1 and 2 of the Narnia series. That would be pretty grim though, imagine leaving for a while and coming back to find that you're part history, part legend.

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     Post Posted: Tue Jan 24, 2017 10:33 am 
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    tadthornhill wrote:
    Also, from a meta point of view, what would Parson's leaving Erfworld add to the story? He already knows he doesn't want to be in Stupidworld. There isn't any special info he has said he wished he had. He hasn't expressed a desire to say goodbye one last time.

    The only thing I can think of is a similar situation in the gap between books 1 and 2 of the Narnia series. That would be pretty grim though, imagine leaving for a while and coming back to find that you're part history, part legend.


    Hmm..

    The only thing Parson's leaving the Erfworld would add is if somehow Maggie came along then. In a world without orders where he's not Chief Warlord he would have fewer reasons to second guess himself. Plus he can show her the flavors and shapes of food he's only talked about.

    Plus it would get rid of that scroll, and reveal Vanna as a Charlieist. (Any caster able to start an engagement can use the scroll on Parson. Jojo wanted to, but Parson Lucked/Fated out through first having the Staff of Suckage and then being saved by the Bell/Janis)

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     Post Posted: Fri Feb 03, 2017 1:30 pm 
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    Hypothesis: Earth is a single 'hex' and all units are garrison. on Parson's return, he is the only non-garrison unit in the world.

    I am thinking of games like Stellaris, Masters of Orion, and the like, where a solar system is a single place, and the units of note are starships. so on his return, and no telling how many turns have passed on earth, he is in a unique position. stay and rule his side of Humanity in a larger game? or return to finish his tutorial mission of the conquest of Erf?

    returning to earth would likely be a book all in its own, split between his actions at home, and unfolding events in Erf. perhaps somewhat similar to the changes between the Thomas Covenant books.

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     Post Posted: Fri Feb 03, 2017 6:14 pm 
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    Know what? Parson doesn't need to attune to the shoes return to Erf from Stupidworld. We know that the Dish has extrauniversal channels. What if it can also send Thinkagrams across universes? If Parson uses the scroll, whoever is attuned to the Dish at the time could be his contact back to Erf, and he could tell them when he has gotten the Shoes. This would allow the Dish holder to use a Summon Perfect Parson spell to get him back.

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     Post Posted: Fri Feb 03, 2017 7:05 pm 
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    Lipkin wrote:
    This would allow the Dish holder to use a Summon Perfect Parson spell to get him back.

    'Summon Perfect Parson' :D :D :D

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     Post Posted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 3:37 am 
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    Given what's going on lately (and due to the prolonged cliffhangers) I feel it might be due time to bump this one to the top of the forum again.

    Hence I am clearly opining that Parson will be sent to Stupidworld and I would be surprised to see anything else.

    But the thought that Parson might actually bring some abilities back is interesting. (Even if I remain convinced by the story arguments above that the form and shape of these abilities will be in the form of Maggie).

    Although now that there is a Maggionette as well... Maggie might well be able to communicate back, or perhaps be given juice from afar? The options right now are nearly limitless. :shock:

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     Post Posted: Sat Nov 11, 2017 6:18 am 
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    Print Book 2 & Draw Book 3 Supporter This user has been published! This user posted the comment of the month Here for the 10th Anniversary Has collected at least one unit Erfworld Bicycle® Playing Cards supporter Mined 4 Erf
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    Joined: Wed Mar 20, 2013 5:36 am
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    The most recent update has only strengthened my suspicion that Parson is going to sever his ties to Stupidworld using the scroll. They can force him to cast, but they can't force him to go to his previous home.

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