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 Post subject: Loyalty-ki
 Post Posted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:52 pm 
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At this point I don't think you can end a side anymore. Any guilt the Tutelaries feel not withstanding, towers are just too darn Loyal to their own selves to let their sides end.

Going back to what Isaac said, waay back:
Book 3 Page 59 wrote:
“I think it has a very strong sense of Loyalty, actually,” said Isaac. “Your casters uncovered something primal about Erfworld, that cities in a sense like to be owned. That they enjoy being fought over. I’d say it’s something important to our understanding of Erfworld.”

And Loyalty is thinkamancy (same goes for Duty too), and Isaac know's his thinkamancy (and by the way, the enthasis was not added by me in the quote).

What we have here with Towers is a being capable of unlimited power, loyal to itself yet self-carnies itself into thinking that everything he does is his ruler's wishes (yet also capable of seeing the truth after the fact).

But loe, there is a way out. I know one means to break the Loyalty spell that keeps Huehue from self-terminating himself out self-anger.

I speak of Turnamancy: The Magick of motivation. Vanna alone (or maybe while linked with Charlie) in Transylvito can dispell the magicks of Loyalty from Huehue, trully allowing the tower the freedom of righting the wrongs he has done.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 4 - Epilogue 2
     Post Posted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 1:13 pm 
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    The only reason Huehue was able to promote an heir is because he had already made a proxy of Caesar before Caesar offed himself. That proxy kept the side alive long enough for Huehue to promote Skyy. Other Tutelaries will not be able to promote units to heir after a ruler is killed.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 4 - Epilogue 2
     Post Posted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 1:40 pm 
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    We can argue all day about whether or not the Tutelaries are a good story element, or whether it works that they can promote an heir of their own volition. But I don't get the idea that this comes out of nowhere. :|

    It's already been established that juice can be pulled out of the tower column, and that juice, Shockamancy and Schmuckers were tied together (since upkeep is paid through heartstrings from the towers). We know that Huehue made a forgery of Caesar's will (because Caesar wasn't gonna do it himself), and we know that a Ruler's Ditto can keep the side going until it depops.

    The only bit of this that wasn't directly established was Huehue rubbing out Caesar's name. But given that contracts won't go if the sides can't agree on what it means, it's not that big of a leap.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 4 - Epilogue 2
     Post Posted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 2:22 pm 
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    HalfTangible wrote:
    We can argue all day about whether or not the Tutelaries are a good story element, or whether it works that they can promote an heir of their own volition. But I don't get the idea that this comes out of nowhere. :|

    It's already been established that juice can be pulled out of the tower column, and that juice, Shockamancy and Schmuckers were tied together (since upkeep is paid through heartstrings from the towers). We know that Huehue made a forgery of Caesar's will (because Caesar wasn't gonna do it himself), and we know that a Ruler's Ditto can keep the side going until it depops.

    The only bit of this that wasn't directly established was Huehue rubbing out Caesar's name. But given that contracts won't go if the sides can't agree on what it means, it's not that big of a leap.


    The awakened towers showed hints of their power from the moment Jed came to life. As each new application of their abilities revealed more of their power, most of us wondered just what their limitations were. When Jed rescued Parson, we finally got a bit of a hint about the possible penalties for breaking their rules, but they could do so, and Jed had been.

    Huehue showed nothing truly new except for, as you mention, the contract signature forgery and its method. Had Caesar participated in the negotiations, rather than being helpless and mute, Huehue wouldn't have had to use this method to get the contract signed, and it would have been a normal contract, with as far as I can tell, no way to simply erase it. Or for the side to survive when Caesar disbanded.

    The implications of source power stealing and manipulation are pretty extreme. The only balance is whatever penalties will be applied for doing so. We have yet to see the penalties and punishments kick in.

    Although if the penalties can be paid as a fine in shmuckers, both Charlescomm and GK are in somewhat decent shape. GK hasn't borrowed anything like even pre-CC contract treasury. Even TV probably had a treasury in the range able to promote an heir -- and definitely did before the GK contract took it, so they can pay that back.

    But what about punitive damages? Charlie has been stealing juice for a long time, though he didn't know there was a law against it, and Huehue just broke some major rules about how sides behave.

    It is reasonable to believe that Caesar would have promoted Skyy to heir if he was free and had a chance to do it. So Huehue trying to deliver on Caesar's wishes isn't a suprising sort of action, as the outcome is pretty good for TV and almost as good as Caesar wanted.

    Bunny remains an unknown. The Towers know about strings, and know that they are what a unit is actually made of, so it makes sense that Huehue would know that Bunny's string was too far gone to allow decryption, even before the body was destroyed.

    But Bill is still alive, and so is the doll he reassembled. If that isn't a Chekhov's Gun situation, I don't know what is. Not to mention the Velvetino name. Way to much foreshadowing to just be ignored.

    Just as the Makeleka isn't much like Maggie, despite appearances, I don't think that an activated Fashion Bunny, even with Huehue providing stolen juice to enhance her, would be much like Bunny. But I could see Huehue trying to do it, simply to get as close to what Caesar wished for as he could.

    After all, the other two wishes have been acted on, saving TV and defying Charlie.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 4 - Epilogue 2
     Post Posted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 3:45 pm 
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    For those interested in some of the non military aspects of Aztec society, here is a short video about their super amazing capitol city!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nS6MpVbB_g

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     Post subject: Re: Book 4 - Epilogue 2
     Post Posted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 3:59 pm 
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    The big rule of writing with Deus Ex Machina that I always learned about and agreed with (and I'm not interested in arguing with people over whether or not this is that. I believe it is) is that it's fine when it gets the protagonist INTO trouble, questionable when it gets the antagonist OUT of trouble, but should rarely get the antagonist INTO trouble and should certainly NEVER get the protagonist OUT of trouble. For hundreds of pages now I have been watching those last 2 things happen at such a constant rate that they were practically the ONLY thing driving the plot anymore. I was willing to accept that this was an act of writing our way into an interesting situation or out of a corner we'd been written into but now we're in the epilogue and it's still happening and I... I just don't care anymore? There's no way to predict what's going to happen or be impressed by anything Charlie or Parson do (not that they actually do anything anymore). For a few years now my enjoyment of the story has been dropping. I agree with basically everything Yumeijin said but to me... I'm a step further. I'm stepping away from this comic, considering how much time I've spent emotionally investing in it I'll probably come back eventually in 6-12 months or something once I need something new to read, but for now... I cannot care about what happens next anymore. Because it'll be "Fate twists things to happen in a way that's convenient for Parson with no effort or creativity on his part" or "and then another Temple breaks the rules to screw the antagonist or save the protagonist in a way nobody could have predicted or prevented". And I get that those are harsh ways of putting it and a lot of people are enjoying it but it just isn't the story for me anymore.

    It has been fun talking and theorizing with all of you, I trust those of you still enjoying the direction the comic has taken will continue to enjoy it, I hope those of you who don't but still want to keep reading see it turn around for you. But like everything I knew about everything said Parson should have been on page 295: I'm leaving erfworld for an extended period of time. Peace y'all.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 4 - Epilogue 2
     Post Posted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 4:11 pm 
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    easter wrote:
    The big rule of writing with Deus Ex Machina that I always learned about and agreed with (and I'm not interested in arguing with people over whether or not this is that. I believe it is) is that it's fine when it gets the protagonist INTO trouble, questionable when it gets the antagonist OUT of trouble, but should rarely get the antagonist INTO trouble and should certainly NEVER get the protagonist OUT of trouble.


    As a point of pedantry: when it gets a protagonist into trouble or an antagonist out of it, that's not a deus ex machina; that's a diabolus ex machina.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 4 - Epilogue 2
     Post Posted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 5:06 pm 
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    I like Huehue. I'm not referring to his role in the plot--there's plenty of discussion about that already in this thread. I like him as a character in his own right.

    The guy awoke in a spasm of righteous indignation, and in less than a turn, he has directed all of that wrath inwards. A "TIMELESS" being has become "beyond penance" and "past redemption" in the space of heartbeats. That's quite a character arc--one that might not make sense for a human, but one that's more plausible for a tutelary. (For my money, Huehue had the best arc of anyone in this book, except for Maggie.)

    Huehue's self-effacement is a big part of what makes him likeable. He awoke while Caesar was at his lowest, and has made it his mission to see that Caesar's will is enacted, anyhow--whether that is by destroying himself or declaring himself the villain. By contrast, Shirley is a chiding mother who believes she knows better than Charlie, and imposes her will on him.

    Many have wondered whether the tutelaries' personalities reflect the needs of their rulers. Perhaps their characters are also reflections of the moments in which they awake. Jed awoke in a moment when not much was happening in GK, and his focus is on being mellow. Huehue awoke in a crisis, and his demeanor is maximally urgent. He speaks in short sentences. He thinks in short sentences. He uses exclamation points! With a vengeance!

    I have to wonder if he will continue to be quite so high-strung, even when the stakes are low.

    *Skyy walks under a bat that's in the process of making guano*

    Huehue: Disband your bat. He's a traitor. Do it, Tzimititl!

    *bat craps*

    Huehue: Too late!

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     Post subject: Re: Book 4 - Epilogue 2
     Post Posted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 5:19 pm 
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    More Aztec and Mayan information: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wU39uSk41k

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     Post subject: Re: Book 4 - Epilogue 2
     Post Posted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 5:22 pm 
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    I have been thinking more about the question of whether this is a deus ex machina. Let's review the important, recent events in Erfworld.

    1: The awakening of all the tutelaries.
    2: That's the end of the list because compared to that everything else pales in importance.

    So let's talk about what that means.

    Everything in Erfworld was created by the Titans of Ark. Every hex, every city site, every capital site, every unit type, every rule. Which means they also created tutelaries. Tutelaries are capital sites and conscious beings. Being capital sites, they made of and a part of the dirtament itself. Bits of dirtament that are conscious of themselves. They know things about the nature of Erfworld that no other entity knows. They know of the Source. They can draw on it directly by will alone. They know everything about every kind of string. Their magic is Titanic. So maybe this is a deus ex machina - an act of god. But if so, it's only because we've just witnessed the birth of gods.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 4 - Epilogue 2
     Post Posted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 5:24 pm 
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    I take issue with people saying that Parson hasn't done anything. Parson is responsible for everything that has been happening. Parson is the perfect warlord not just because of his mind, but because he's a leader. He inspires.

    Parson is responsible for the discovery of Jed, and by extension, temples in general. Jed then uses the personal connections that Parson has formed to keep Parson on Erf. If Parson wasn't impacting the lives of everyone around him, Jed would have been powerless to prevent Parson's banishment.

    Big Think linked with Claud and Ivan because it wanted to enact one of Parson's hair-brained ideas. They drew power from the column, and from there decided to create Shirley.

    Parson changed Maggie's entire world view. Not with his strategy, but with his decency. This lead to Bunny being convinced Charlie was the real enemy, leading her to croaking Don and herself, leading Caesar to croak himself. Parson's trust swayed Benny as well. Benny returning Parson's trust lead to TV essentially becoming a vassal of GK.

    Parson may not have implemented any huge brilliant plan, he's still the pebble at the center of all the ripples in this pond of a story. Anyone saying that Parson has lucked his way into success, or had success handed to him by fate, has missed the point of this arc. And also missed that Sizemore just ran out of juice and Wanda just croaked.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 4 - Epilogue 2
     Post Posted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 6:29 pm 
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    There's a small art error with the second panel: The end of the barrel of Skyy's rifle doesn't have a hole in it like a gun ought to. Hopefully that little mistake can be fixed soon.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 4 - Epilogue 2
     Post Posted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 6:31 pm 
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    tomaO2 wrote:
    Congrat on making the first critical post that actually got some favourable comments, instead of just being attacked.


    Oh, come now. As someone who has been on various sides of passionate disagreements here, with the possible exception of a couple of posters I don’t prefer, I’ve always found intelligently presented feedback to be received fairly. Not with abject conceding, perhaps, and people still need to defend their own positions persistently, but I’d still characterize the debate as typically vigorous but fair.

    Quote:
    Honest question, how much time, exactly, do you need before these concerns are justified in your mind. Can you give me a time frame here? Cause I had one, and it was by the end of book 4, and I figured that was a very reasonable time frame.

    The reason why I picked that was because Rob himself addressed this very problem on December 6th, 2017. That's almost ELEVEN MONTHS AGO. To quote.


    There are no black-and-white, right or wrong answers here. It is all subject to individual taste. I’ve been hanging with it for Book Four (plus epilogues) because Parson has been a prisoner, which is not always the ideal environment for agency. And I’m still loving the story despite the agency concerns I’ve raised. Now that he’s free, I imagine Book Five will get better in this regard. If not, maybe I’ll complain about it a bit, but I still love the series enough to hang with it for a very long time.

    Anomynous 167 wrote:
    At this point I don't think you can end a side anymore. Any guilt the Tutelaries feel not withstanding, towers are just too darn Loyal to their own selves to let their sides end.


    I see one of two paths emerging. One is that Tutelaries won’t typically develop this level of loyalty and initiative to prevent their sides from falling, and this was a special case due to Huehue’s revulsion at basically forcing the exact opposite decision than his Ruler wanted, coupled with the power of Caesar’s wish for TV to matter.

    The other path is that it will play out exactly like you’re suggesting, with Tutelaries being every bit the players with actual agency as their Rulers. And that this is exactly what had emerged in the early days of Erfworld, which the GMTTA had acted to shut down.

    I could see the latter scenario, especially if we see the Tutelaries as the tutorial function in some games, which are loathe to let their clueless players die.

    Finally, easter, very sorry to see you go. I’ve enjoyed your posts. And I can only imagine how frustrating all of this would be to a person rooting for (and being an apologist for) CC. It’s a strength of Rob’s writing that he can humanize even an antagonist well enough for people to root for him. I’d guess, however, that you’re in a relatively small minority. Again, however, very sorry to see you go. Hope you’ll check in again occasionally.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 4 - Epilogue 2
     Post Posted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 6:51 pm 
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    Bandaid wrote:
    cu wrote:
    Skyy, after the Battle of Charlescomm, talking to a spidew over a mug of mead: "Many eyes are handy. I used to have six, myself, then I took an arrow in the knee."


    Snort. Damn shame about her original tattoos though. I always hoped we would find out how far down they go one day. Though we might still have that chance with the new ones.


    Maybe we'll get a couple of pin-ups of Skyy Appletini and Skyy Queen. See those tattoos in all their glory.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 4 - Epilogue 2
     Post Posted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 7:01 pm 
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    New thought: Shirley could become the De Facto Heir of Charlescomm by designating Bill, the Heir, who is basically her Avatar on Erf, and she can puppet around?

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     Post subject: Re: Book 4 - Epilogue 2
     Post Posted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 7:17 pm 
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    DunkelMentat wrote:
    I have been thinking more about the question of whether this is a deus ex machina. Let's review the important, recent events in Erfworld.

    1: The awakening of all the tutelaries.
    2: That's the end of the list because compared to that everything else pales in importance.

    So let's talk about what that means.

    Everything in Erfworld was created by the Titans of Ark. Every hex, every city site, every capital site, every unit type, every rule. Which means they also created tutelaries. Tutelaries are capital sites and conscious beings. Being capital sites, they made of and a part of the dirtament itself. Bits of dirtament that are conscious of themselves. They know things about the nature of Erfworld that no other entity knows. They know of the Source. They can draw on it directly by will alone. They know everything about every kind of string. Their magic is Titanic. So maybe this is a deus ex machina - an act of god. But if so, it's only because we've just witnessed the birth of gods.

    Deus ex machina may translate to "god from the machine" but it doesn't mean "a powerful entity intercedes on a scale only it is capable of." Deus ex machina is specifically the device where an entity outside the context of the story unexpectedly appears at the end to give it a happy ending. Huehue is not outside the context of the story. His ability to promote Skyy is explainable using only things that have been established before now.

    Magic requires juice. While casters are allotted a certain amount of juice each turn, most of Erf uses natural magic to function. Cities can use natural magic to repair or upgrade themselves, but doing so costs the side shmuckers. Most of Erf doesn't have a treasury to draw from, and instead draws from the Source. This means that either juice and shmuckers are one and the same, or else there is an exchange rate.

    Huehue was able to use 19 shmuckers to hang a sign with Shirley's demands for Benny to read. So we know juice and shmuckers are exchangeable, and that Huehue has access to both TV's treasury and the Source. Since we've seen shmuckers used in place of juice, Huehue using juice in place of shmuckers isn't beyond expectation.

    So we know Huehue has access to the power, but should he have the capability from what we've seen? Also yes. In the Source, Signs are everything. Signing a contract isn't writing a name, it's speaking a meaning. The implications of this are only now fully revealed. To Sign for Caesar, Huehue had to create another Caesar. Huehue believed it impossible to lie in the Source, but discovered it's only impossible to lie knowingly. The Caesar Huehue created wasn't a proxy, but a forgery. On page 331, Huehue says "signs that bind are made of truth." Because Huehue signed with a forgery, the contract wasn't binding. But the forgery remained and wasn't without power. So Huehue used the forgery to make Skyy heir, and then revealed the forgery for what it was, rubbing it out. This passed rule to Skyy.

    This was not a deus ex machina. All rules used were built on rules that came before. Huehue and the temples have been a part of the story since the beginning of Book 3. The circumstances that allowed Huehue to intervene were specific, not arbitrary. Is it a lot to follow? It took me almost two hours to write this post, so yes. But it didn't come out of nowhere, and I don't believe it invalidates anything that came before.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 4 - Epilogue 2
     Post Posted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 7:36 pm 
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    Havlock wrote:
    There's a small art error with the second panel: The end of the barrel of Skyy's rifle doesn't have a hole in it like a gun ought to. Hopefully that little mistake can be fixed soon.

    It might not be a functioning gun anymore. Perhaps a scepter, like Slately had before Ace transformed it.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 4 - Epilogue 2
     Post Posted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 7:40 pm 
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    OneHugeTuck wrote:
    I. Want. To. Know. What. That. Golden. Rifle/Ruler's Staff. Is. And/Or. Does.

    Badly.

    To paraphrase The Lost Room, ”it shoots bullets really fast”.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 4 - Epilogue 2
     Post Posted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 8:16 pm 
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    Darkstar7613 wrote:
    Yes, the Erfworld we were introduced to back in Book 1 had a hard, well-defined, and rigidly adhered to set of rules. Except for one little outlier... a guy named Charlie that always seemed to come out ahead, no matter what anyone tried. It was almost like the "rules" didn't apply to him. As if he were... outside of the ability of the "game" to control.

    Then... Stanley/Wanda/"the spell" happened... and all of a sudden, you had this... thing. A giant potato man who barely spoke Language, and didn't know stats... but was "The Perfect Warlord".

    More to the point, the Great Minds were sort of enforcing a certain code of conduct among the players of Erfworld, banning anything they considered to be too dangerous to the game. And then Charlie came along, and all of a sudden they were up against an enemy too powerful for them to deal with directly, who secretly thumbed his nose at their rules.

    The Pax of the Great Minds, with the rules that they enforced to regulate Thinkmancy, is now over. All the rules they enforced, all the technologies that they banned or otherwise kept in check are about to go wild.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 4 - Epilogue 2
     Post Posted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 8:43 pm 
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    Mutant4Hire wrote:
    Darkstar7613 wrote:
    Yes, the Erfworld we were introduced to back in Book 1 had a hard, well-defined, and rigidly adhered to set of rules. Except for one little outlier... a guy named Charlie that always seemed to come out ahead, no matter what anyone tried. It was almost like the "rules" didn't apply to him. As if he were... outside of the ability of the "game" to control.

    Then... Stanley/Wanda/"the spell" happened... and all of a sudden, you had this... thing. A giant potato man who barely spoke Language, and didn't know stats... but was "The Perfect Warlord".

    More to the point, the Great Minds were sort of enforcing a certain code of conduct among the players of Erfworld, banning anything they considered to be too dangerous to the game. And then Charlie came along, and all of a sudden they were up against an enemy too powerful for them to deal with directly, who secretly thumbed his nose at their rules.

    The Pax of the Great Minds, with the rules that they enforced to regulate Thinkmancy, is now over. All the rules they enforced, all the technologies that they banned or otherwise kept in check are about to go wild.
    Thank you M4H! I have a bad habit of forgetting the GMTTA were the string-pullers (literally) who kept the marionette dance of Erf from getting absurdly tangled.

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    Unless your name is "Rob Balder", your "informed" opinion of what the characters in his world can or can not do amounts to exactly what a dwagon dropped on Bogroll and Wanda on Page 6 of Book 1.

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