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  1. - Top - End - #31
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    Default Re: Final Battleground: Kraagor's Tomb or Xykon's Tomb?

    Quote Originally Posted by ti'esar View Post
    Plus, apart from anything else, I have a really hard time buying Xykon keeping Redcloak around if he doesn't need him anymore.
    Redcloak's gone to lengths to ensure he's the only one who knows about Operation Fauxlactery, though. If he gets taken out of the picture (by anyone, including Xykon), everyone's going to assume Xykon's phylactery is in fact in the astral edifice...including Xykon, and if he has any reason to retreat (expectation of defeat and/or planar apocalypse) that's where he'll head because of all the defenses he has set up, and OotS will need to follow him if they intend to fulfill Roy's blood oath.

    I doubt the comic's final battle is going to happen at Kraagor's Tomb, simply because there's going to be another book after this one and keeping the locale fresh that long is going to be a challenge. It's possible a final battle with Xykon could happen there, but then we're looking a new antagonist for the final book and that'd take a lot more setup than I can guess at this point.
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  2. - Top - End - #32
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    Default Re: Final Battleground: Kraagor's Tomb or Xykon's Tomb?

    I doubt Kraagor's Tomb is leaving the story in the current volume, because 1) Greg is the main villain of this book (I believe Rich said something vaguely similar to this, though you would know the details of what he said better than anyone else), and 2) of the book pattern to date:

    Book -1, Start of Darkness: Lirian's Gate is destroyed.
    Book 0, On the Origins of PCs: The Order's focus is on the Dungeon of Dorukan, though they don't yet know about Gates. No Gate is destroyed.
    Book 1, Dungeon Crawlin' Fools: Dorukan's Gate is destroyed.
    Book 2, No Cure for the Paladin Blues: The Order gets forcibly brought to Soon's Gate. No Gate is destroyed.
    Book 3, War and XPs: Soon's Gate is destroyed.
    Book 4, Don't Split the Party: The Order is going after Girard's Gate, just as soon as they can deal with their other problems. No Gate is destroyed.
    Book 5, Blood Runs in the Family: Girard's Gate is destroyed.
    Book 6, ????: The Order will go after Kraagor's Gate--just as soon as they've stopped Greg from destroying the world. ????, but since it's an even-numbered book it probably won't include Kraagor's Gate being destroyed.
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    "The really unforgivable acts are committed by calm men in beautiful green silk rooms, who deal death wholesale, by the shipload, without lust, or anger, or desire, or any redeeming emotion to excuse them but cold fear of some pretended future. But the crimes they hope to prevent in the future are imaginary. The ones they commit in the present--they are real." --Aral Vorkosigan

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

  3. - Top - End - #33
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    Default Re: Final Battleground: Kraagor's Tomb or Xykon's Tomb?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    I doubt Kraagor's Tomb is leaving the story in the current volume, because 1) Greg is the main villain of this book (I believe Rich said something vaguely similar to this, though you would know the details of what he said better than anyone else), and 2) of the book pattern to date:
    About how "this 'Durkon stuff' is the main plot", yes.

    However, I'm not willing to rule out the possibility that the arc is coming to Serini's Gate. Destroying the last Gate will more-or-less force the gods to destroy the world unless they want to play a very fatalistic game of "tag" with the Snarl. That gets Hel what she wants even if the vote doesn't go her way, so sending HPoH in the direction of the Gate is entirely plausible...regardless of whether the Gate is actually destroyed.

    There's also quite a bit of difference between Kraagor's Tomb surviving into the next book, and Kraagor's Tomb surviving all the way to almost the end of the next book for the final battle...especially if there's the possibility of it being phone-book-sized. Assuming the noticed pattern even holds, it should be noted that confrontations with Team Evil (or at least, Redcloak casting disintegrate in the direction of a protagonist-aligned character) happened post-Krackakoom in books 4 and 6.
    Last edited by Jasdoif; 2016-06-15 at 03:55 PM.
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  4. - Top - End - #34
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    Default Re: Final Battleground: Kraagor's Tomb or Xykon's Tomb?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    I doubt Kraagor's Tomb is leaving the story in the current volume
    I would put money on #1039 being the last time we see Team Evil in this book before I would put it on the fight for Kraagor's Gate appearing in this book.

  5. - Top - End - #35
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    Default Re: Final Battleground: Kraagor's Tomb or Xykon's Tomb?

    I think we'll see another Team Evil segment toward the end of the book where they find Kraagor's Gate and begin the ritual, and then that becomes the big ticking doomsday clock for Book 7.
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  6. - Top - End - #36
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    Default Re: Final Battleground: Kraagor's Tomb or Xykon's Tomb?

    I will be surprised if Greg ever does anything significant involving the Gate or survives Book 6.
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    "The really unforgivable acts are committed by calm men in beautiful green silk rooms, who deal death wholesale, by the shipload, without lust, or anger, or desire, or any redeeming emotion to excuse them but cold fear of some pretended future. But the crimes they hope to prevent in the future are imaginary. The ones they commit in the present--they are real." --Aral Vorkosigan

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

  7. - Top - End - #37
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    Default Re: Final Battleground: Kraagor's Tomb or Xykon's Tomb?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasdoif View Post
    About how "this 'Durkon stuff' is the main plot", yes.

    However, I'm not willing to rule out the possibility that the arc is coming to Serini's Gate. Destroying the last Gate will more-or-less force the gods to destroy the world unless they want to play a very fatalistic game of "tag" with the Snarl. That gets Hel what she wants even if the vote doesn't go her way, so sending HPoH in the direction of the Gate is entirely plausible...regardless of whether the Gate is actually destroyed.
    I doubt it'll happen THIS way, but here's a hypothetical scenario:

    What if Team Evil actually finds and secures the gate by the end of the HPoH arc?

    It would be deliciously, if darkly, ironic if Hel's shenanigans resulted in the Dark One accomplishing The Plan(c). The Dark One teleports the Snarl to the realm of the gods, and begins his demands for accommodations for all of Goblinkind...

    ...and then the Snarl gets loose, killing the Dark One, Hel, and probably the rest of the gods in the process. After all, the Snarl was THEIR fault, Hel's machinations resulted in TDO getting control, and TDO pays dearly for his hubris in thinking he could control the godkilling abomination.

    The world is without gods. There's no option for the world to be destroyed and rewoven to lock up the Snarl again. There's no Plan B. It's the world vs. the Snarl, with total cessation of existence being the price of failure. Gobbotopia is nearly wiped out when the Snarl bursts from the rifts on the mortal plains, giving Redcloak a crisis of conscious as both his god and many of his people are no more. The Empires of Blood, Sweat, and Tears are assailed as the Snarl begins crossing the desert. The Order, now whole after the HPoH is purged and Durkon is rezzed, sends out a rallying cry via Sendings to their friends and allies on the Western Continent and at the Godsmoot, who in turn send the message to their homelands: the world is at war.

    END OF BOOK

    And then the final book would detail the worldwide struggle against the Snarl, etc.

    It might not play out that way, of course-- honestly it's quite a stretch, but I wouldn't be surprised if the Gate IS destroyed, one way or the other, by the end of the book.
    Last edited by ChillerInstinct; 2016-06-15 at 04:34 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Pyrous View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by skim172 View Post
    Incidentally, this is why you never see a group of halflings together. Their collective gravitational force could rip apart fabric of space-time. No halfling can ever spend too much time near another halfling, lest they end the planet as they know it. They live solitary lives, separated from their own mothers from infancy, for the sake of the planet. It is a grave burden they bear...
    There are three halflings at the Godsmoot. Guess how the Gods will destroy the world if Dvalin votes yes.

  8. - Top - End - #38
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    Default Re: Final Battleground: Kraagor's Tomb or Xykon's Tomb?

    I could imagine the order going through Xykon's Fortress to destroy what they believe is the real phylactery, only to turn out it's not an entirely meaningless adventure, like when Sabine send Roy & co. after the starmetal.

    Quote Originally Posted by ChillerInstinct View Post
    I think the more interesting story involves [Red Cloak] succeeding to some extent (though I'm confident something will go HORRIBLY wrong in the process-- I personally anticipate the Snarl breaking loose when the Dark One tries to gain leverage and possibly kill ALL the gods
    Me too, except I think it will perhaps only be the Dark One and not all the gods, since it's only TDO who's "playing with fire".

  9. - Top - End - #39
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    Default Re: Final Battleground: Kraagor's Tomb or Xykon's Tomb?

    [QUOTE=Quild;20890444]Since Xykon's phylactery was not in Xykon's tomb, I assumed that the tomb was kind of an anti Checkhov-tomb thing. As mentionned, it serves it purposes.
    That being said, Redcloak could indeed shift there (I suppose. Can he?) and maybe even not have Xykon realizing the phylactery switch. I doubt it. Or Xykon could flee here realizing his phylactery had just been destroyed (destroying the phylactery doesn't destroy the lich, right?).

    If Xykon's body is destroyed here at Kraagor's Gate, Redcloak has a limited time to get through Xykon's tomb to put the real phylactery where the fake version is.

  10. - Top - End - #40
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    Default Re: Final Battleground: Kraagor's Tomb or Xykon's Tomb?

    Quote Originally Posted by luagha View Post
    If Xykon's body is destroyed here at Kraagor's Gate, Redcloak has a limited time to get through Xykon's tomb to put the real phylactery where the fake version is.
    I don't think fooling Xykon is even an option at that point.
    Last edited by Jasdoif; 2016-06-15 at 05:11 PM.
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  11. - Top - End - #41
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    Default Re: Final Battleground: Kraagor's Tomb or Xykon's Tomb?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruck View Post
    Hell, the pause Xykon takes in "...No." in #833 tells me he doesn't have a super-secret plan in place. If he did, he would know it would be better for him to be shocked and outraged rather than hesitant to answer.
    Epic bluff might allow him to bluff the way he wants to.

    Also, a secret plan that involves sending your most loyal minion-- arguably the only one who is more loyal to you than to your #2-- on a suicide mission is really boneheaded, pun intended. It's not the move of an evil mastermind. It's the kind of move that gets notated with "?!" in a chess game.
    The kind of move that gets a confused face in a chess game - but leads to you winning the chess game is still a good move. Xykon didn't care about Tsukiko, she was not a great loss to him - he didn't know her name.
    Sacrificing her to make give Redcloak a false sense of security is a fine move if Xykon wants Redcloak to have a false sense of security.

    There really aren't. At the point in the overall story we're in, we're on the path toward a conclusion.
    But we don't know which conclusion - and a lot can happen in the next ~500+ page.

    Given that we know the author has the overarching plot planned out in advance, I doubt we will get a twist that totally contradicts what we have seen in the actions characters take. I expect the conclusion to flow from the previous events.
    This would be dependent on how it plays out - I don't think anything I have proposed would 'totally contradict' anything.

    On controlling the snarls energy for personal gain - Mr. Scruffy believes that this was possible, hense why Dorukan included a self-destruct method.
    Spoiler: SOD
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    Xykon abandoned Redcloak for twenty years to find the gates - and did, I am curious as to what else he might have learned in that time.

    Is Xykon on the level of Mr. Scruffy when it comes to figuring things out - I would say yes - and backed with epic spellcraft and knowledge arcana might very well be fully on top of events.

    I could see it playing out a lot of ways - but one of Xykon's primary benefits is that he is consistently underestimated even by those that should know better - if he puts effort into maintaining a deliberate facade, I think the signs have been provided to us.

    But having said all that I think that Xykon is the Evil Mastermind outmanuvering everyone from Redcloak to Fiends to Gods etc is unlikely - but I could see it being very interesting to play it out with Xykon winning in his mind games against Redcloak leaving Redcloak a shattered shell of his former self where the heroes than need his help to track down Xykon.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasdoif View Post
    Redcloak's gone to lengths to ensure he's the only one who knows about Operation Fauxlactery, though.
    Well the artisan might know (might be dead but he was not soul bound), and the spirits of the wights might also know (wherever they are).

    Although thinking about it, it is possible that Xykon and Redcloak are on the same page in regards to the phylactery.

    Redcloaks current symbol could the the fake one and the real one might be in the fortress - thereby if Xykon is destroyed again he will reform in the fortress and the plan can continue, but the heros might spend a bit of time trying to capture the fake one from Redcloak.

    I am inclined to doubt it it might make a certain amount of sense.
    Last edited by dancrilis; 2016-06-17 at 07:19 AM.

  12. - Top - End - #42
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    Default Re: Final Battleground: Kraagor's Tomb or Xykon's Tomb?

    Quote Originally Posted by BaronOfHell View Post
    Me too, except I think it will perhaps only be the Dark One and not all the gods, since it's only TDO who's "playing with fire".
    Oh, I don't really know about that. The other gods committed the fantasy genre's original sin: creating races of effectively-human designated enemies in order to cater to the dark xenophobic instincts that fester within the human soul. (And that's not even getting into the implicit ethnocentrism of the "pan-Oriental" and "pan-Arabian-kinda-1001-nightsish" flavor crystals they insisted upon sprinkling all over their RP playgrounds while taking turns constructing their hilariously typical pastichefest of a D&D world!) To some extent, they're stand-ins for everything that is wrong, dubious, uncomfortable or just plain embarrassing about the fantasy genre and fantasy RPGs in the D&D tradition.

    If that's not precisely "playing with fire," it's certainly "sowing the wind," and in a way that makes Victor Frankenstein seem downright wise in comparison.

    That said, though, I'm not convinced that they'll end up paying any dramatic price for that either. The criticism of the genre is certainly an underlying constant within this story, but I don't really know if it's ever slated to be really foregrounded in the story proper, rather than just providing a slyly pointed sort of thematic background music.

  13. - Top - End - #43
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    Default Re: Final Battleground: Kraagor's Tomb or Xykon's Tomb?

    Quote Originally Posted by Elkins View Post
    Oh, I don't really know about that. The other gods committed the fantasy genre's original sin: creating races of effectively-human designated enemies in order to cater to the dark xenophobic instincts that fester within the human soul. (And that's not even getting into the implicit ethnocentrism of the "pan-Oriental" and "pan-Arabian-kinda-1001-nightsish" flavor crystals they insisted upon sprinkling all over their RP playgrounds while taking turns constructing their hilariously typical pastichefest of a D&D world!) To some extent, they're stand-ins for everything that is wrong, dubious, uncomfortable or just plain embarrassing about the fantasy genre and fantasy RPGs in the D&D tradition.

    If that's not precisely "playing with fire," it's certainly "sowing the wind," and in a way that makes Victor Frankenstein seem downright wise in comparison.

    That said, though, I'm not convinced that they'll end up paying any dramatic price for that either. The criticism of the genre is certainly an underlying constant within this story, but I don't really know if it's ever slated to be really foregrounded in the story proper, rather than just providing a slyly pointed sort of thematic background music.
    Also, the Snarl IS their fault. Credit where its due, they DID try to handle it to the best of their ability, but seeing as the comic is fond of characters getting killed as a direct result of their actions, it wouldn't be unfitting for them to be undone by their old mistakes. Not to mention, if Hel gets her comeuppance for her power play, then it will be hard to raise the stakes for the climax as the option of destroying/remaking the world will still be on the table. Take the gods out of the picture, and suddenly the climax of the whole comic is about preventing the utter cessation of existence for their entire universe.

    It's more than likely it won't play out that way, but it'd make for an interesting take on the whole Ragnarok thing, at any rate, especially if Shojo's theory that the Snarl was more deadly to the gods than it would be to a mortal is accurate.
    Quote Originally Posted by Pyrous View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by skim172 View Post
    Incidentally, this is why you never see a group of halflings together. Their collective gravitational force could rip apart fabric of space-time. No halfling can ever spend too much time near another halfling, lest they end the planet as they know it. They live solitary lives, separated from their own mothers from infancy, for the sake of the planet. It is a grave burden they bear...
    There are three halflings at the Godsmoot. Guess how the Gods will destroy the world if Dvalin votes yes.

  14. - Top - End - #44
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    Default Re: Final Battleground: Kraagor's Tomb or Xykon's Tomb?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChillerInstinct View Post
    if Hel gets her comeuppance for her power play,
    There is an implicit assumption hidden behind an "if" that I doubt very much is accurate.

    That is, I do not expect the current book to feature Hel being destroyed--at all--whereas you apparently do. When Durkon is resurrected, when the Order heads toward Kraagor's Gate, Hel, once again lacking a priest, will be unable to directly affect the outcome. Roy will still be in the position of having an answer to his doubts about whether it was right to oppose Heimdall's case to destroy the world: If the current world is destroyed, the souls of all living dwarves will be enslaved and, in the next world, a brutal death goddess will be the head of the Northern Pantheon.
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    "The really unforgivable acts are committed by calm men in beautiful green silk rooms, who deal death wholesale, by the shipload, without lust, or anger, or desire, or any redeeming emotion to excuse them but cold fear of some pretended future. But the crimes they hope to prevent in the future are imaginary. The ones they commit in the present--they are real." --Aral Vorkosigan

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

  15. - Top - End - #45
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    Default Re: Final Battleground: Kraagor's Tomb or Xykon's Tomb?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    There is an implicit assumption hidden behind an "if" that I doubt very much is accurate.

    That is, I do not expect the current book to feature Hel being destroyed--at all--whereas you apparently do. When Durkon is resurrected, when the Order heads toward Kraagor's Gate, Hel, once again lacking a priest, will be unable to directly affect the outcome.
    Fair enough. I'm not sure if I necessarily think Hel will be destroyed but I fully expect serious consequences in some form, and a return to the status quo where she still has a chance of getting exactly what she wants when TDO attempts to gain leverage with the Gate isn't quite what I foresee coming.

    But you're right, I am making a massive assumption, and we all know what they say about assuming. I suppose I'll just have to see how this plays out in the fullness of time.
    Quote Originally Posted by Pyrous View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by skim172 View Post
    Incidentally, this is why you never see a group of halflings together. Their collective gravitational force could rip apart fabric of space-time. No halfling can ever spend too much time near another halfling, lest they end the planet as they know it. They live solitary lives, separated from their own mothers from infancy, for the sake of the planet. It is a grave burden they bear...
    There are three halflings at the Godsmoot. Guess how the Gods will destroy the world if Dvalin votes yes.

  16. - Top - End - #46
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    Default Re: Final Battleground: Kraagor's Tomb or Xykon's Tomb?

    What "form" other than her destruction would change the fact that she'd win if the world was destroyed? Her bet with Thor being called off, so that she could cultivate worshipers normally like all the other gods, would be a reward; she's been clear she regrets agreeing to the bet. The terms being revised to "actually you don't get any souls" would effectively be destruction.
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    "The really unforgivable acts are committed by calm men in beautiful green silk rooms, who deal death wholesale, by the shipload, without lust, or anger, or desire, or any redeeming emotion to excuse them but cold fear of some pretended future. But the crimes they hope to prevent in the future are imaginary. The ones they commit in the present--they are real." --Aral Vorkosigan

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

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    Default Re: Final Battleground: Kraagor's Tomb or Xykon's Tomb?

    Quote Originally Posted by Onyavar View Post
    ...

    Was his apparent acceptance of Redcloak handing him the fake phylactery also faked?

    ...
    Xykon's denial that he gave her the ritual tells me that there's a lot going on more going on behind those cold, dead eyes than most would think. I think he knows Redcloak is up to something. Heck, his hesitation practically screams "I know that you know that I did give her the damn thing, but I'll play your stupid game for now, if only for the benefit of Orange-Face and Turn-Off-the-Dark here." They may not like or trust each other, but they've gotten to know each other very well over the years. (The leading question coming from Redcloak is a similar admission.)

    As for whether he was fooled (Redcloak prodding him into changing the subject was pretty deft), I can't tell. On the one hand, he might suspect there are phylactery-based shenanigans going on. On the other hand, he knows that if his body goes down, that's the only thing keeping him out of, as he called it, The Big Fire Below, and it's a little unlike Xykon to play coy with something he actually deems important. Of course maybe he's aware that the level gap between himself and Redcloak is closing, and he can't risk Redcloak breaking the thing because Xykon doesn't know how to make a new one... But... but... GAH! You've caught me in an endless loop of speculation! You fiend!


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    Default Re: Final Battleground: Kraagor's Tomb or Xykon's Tomb?

    Quote Originally Posted by dancrilis View Post
    Epic bluff might allow him to bluff the way he wants to.


    The kind of move that gets a confused face in a chess game - but leads to you winning the chess game is still a good move. Xykon didn't care about Tsukiko, she was not a great loss to him - he didn't know her name.
    Sacrificing her to make give Redcloak a false sense of security is a fine move if Xykon wants Redcloak to have a false sense of security.
    So again, this amounts to "Because I can imagine a bunch of hidden motives and possibilities that have been in no way hinted at or indicated in the comic, they could happen"? I'll stick with the evidence, thanks.

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    Default Re: Final Battleground: Kraagor's Tomb or Xykon's Tomb?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruck View Post
    So again, this amounts to "Because I can imagine a bunch of hidden motives and possibilities that have been in no way hinted at or indicated in the comic, they could happen"? I'll stick with the evidence, thanks.
    I think that Xykon has frequently been shown to be more clued in that people assume (including the forum), so hinted or indicated at are a subject for debate - we will see.
    If it plays out my way (or anyway close to my way) I will be surprised but I will not be gnashing my teeth and accusing it of being illogical.

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    Default Re: Final Battleground: Kraagor's Tomb or Xykon's Tomb?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grey Watcher View Post
    Xykon's denial that he gave her the ritual tells me that there's a lot going on more going on behind those cold, dead eyes than most would think. I think he knows Redcloak is up to something. Heck, his hesitation practically screams "I know that you know that I did give her the damn thing, but I'll play your stupid game for now, if only for the benefit of Orange-Face and Turn-Off-the-Dark here." They may not like or trust each other, but they've gotten to know each other very well over the years. (The leading question coming from Redcloak is a similar admission.)
    It's one of those situations where Xykon might suspect Redcloak is up to something, but in revealing the information that would allow him to challenge Redcloak on that point, he would have to show his hand regarding the fact that he sent Tsukiko to find the divine half of the ritual.

    As I said earlier, if Xykon thinks Redcloak is betraying him, he's better off playing his cards close to his chest; if he knows Redcloak is betraying him, he's better off forcing the confrontation.

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    Default Re: Final Battleground: Kraagor's Tomb or Xykon's Tomb?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grey Watcher View Post
    But... but... GAH! You've caught me in an endless loop of speculation! You fiend!
    Could I put in this my signature?
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    Gone like the wind.

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    Default Re: Final Battleground: Kraagor's Tomb or Xykon's Tomb?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruck View Post
    As I said earlier, if Xykon thinks Redcloak is betraying him, he's better off playing his cards close to his chest; if he knows Redcloak is betraying him, he's better off forcing the confrontation.
    Unless Redcloak betraying him is required for his plan.
    Xykon might be the Order of the Stick universe's version of David Xanatos.

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    Default Re: Final Battleground: Kraagor's Tomb or Xykon's Tomb?

    Quote Originally Posted by dancrilis View Post
    Unless Redcloak betraying him is required for his plan.
    Xykon might be the Order of the Stick universe's version of David Xanatos.
    This is another one of those "Hey, anything could be anything if we just believe it!" assertions. There's scant evidence that Xykon is that kind of planner, whereas there's loads of evidence he's not any kind of planner at all. And if Xykon knows Redcloak is betraying him, how on Earth does it do him any good to allow Redcloak to keep his real phylactery?

  24. - Top - End - #54
    Retired Mod in the Playground Retired Moderator
    Join Date
    Apr 2004

    Default Re: Final Battleground: Kraagor's Tomb or Xykon's Tomb?

    Quote Originally Posted by Black Socks View Post
    Could I put in this my signature?
    Go right ahead!

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