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  1. - Top - End - #31
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    PirateGirl

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    Default Re: Thor's plan may already have fulfilled it's narrative purpose

    I thought I'd contribute a bit more to this.

    Quote Originally Posted by BloodSquirrel View Post
    As for Redcloak changing his mind- my big problem is that I just don't see a satisfying "why" there. He's already sacrificed everything. He's already admitted that he's willing to see the world literally destroyed as his plan B. What does he have left that he cares enough about to abandon the plan for now? He's had longer that his specie's natural lifespan to reflect on his choices, and he's just as committed as ever. In order for him changing his mind to work, there needs to be a good trigger, and I don't see one laying around.
    I can think of "one hell of a trigger". Maybe Redcloak's options diminish. There are many ways this could happen.

    1) The ritual is completed, but it doesn't do what Redcloak expects it to. (The Dark One lied, Xykon altered his part of it in some way, the world in the rift leads to unforeseen consequences, etc...)

    2) The ritual becomes impossible to complete. The gate could be destroyed. At that point there would be no ritual, but maybe sealing the Snarl would still be a last-second option before the world is destroyed.

    3) New information Redcloak is actually receptive to makes him re-evaluate the plan. Such as the IFCC's agenda is directly tied to Redcloak's actions. (This seems the most likely to me.)

    Alternatively, there's one other option which doesn't necessarily represent a change of heart for Redcloak, or a loss of options. This seems unlikely, but it did occur to me so I'll suggest it along with the other options I mentioned that I also consider unlikely.

    4) Xykon is destroyed or betrays Redcloak. A trade is negotiated with Redcloak of a 9th level spell slot in exchange for V completing the ritual in Xykon's place. (We have no reason to suspect that The Dark One's plan and Thor's proposal are mutually exclusive. They could try both.)

    Quote Originally Posted by hungrycrow View Post
    I don't think that The Dark One's quiddity can be used without him agreeing to it.
    Which would add another wrinkle to Thor's plan working out, since we'd also have to see a radical transformation of TDO's character. He hasn't even appeared directly yet, and all evidence points to him being even more irrationally opposed to negotiations than Redcloak.
    The way it was presented, The Dark One gives the spell energy to Redcloak, which is then spent by Redcloak in whatever way he wishes. Of course, if Redcloak spends it in a way that The Dark One does not like, then Redcloak may not get new spells in the future. So yes, it seems that The Dark One's quiddity can be used without direct involvement.
    I write a horror blog in my spare time.

  2. - Top - End - #32
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Metastachydium's Avatar

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    Default Re: Thor's plan may already have fulfilled it's narrative purpose

    Quote Originally Posted by BloodSquirrel View Post
    I'm not sure what you're even getting at here. Letting Redcloak have the gate either means that The Plan goes forward (which requires Xykon), the gate gets sealed (requiring Redcloak to abandon The Plan, which does very much require a 'why'), that Redcloak has a useless gate, since he can't cast his ritual without an arcane spellcaster, or that Redcloak does decide to just blow up the gate and destroy the world, which isn't exactly Elan's happy ending.
    The first one, of course. The Plan is completed. Xykon's fate becomes irrelevant, as far as Redcloak is concerned, and the Order can then help him destroy the lich (since for them, Redcloak's fate is far from irrelevant), while Thor and his divine allies stall for time. Once he has the Gate, the Dark One will initiate negotiations, because hey, that's what his Plan is all about: getting a stronger bargaining position. Now, once he's by the table feeling safe and he doesn't need Redcloak on the ground, he can afford instructing Redcloak to channel his quiddity into sealing, say, the Rift over Gobbotopia City (which he needs closed anyway), because if the gods turn out to be lying, he can just tell them ”no more tricks, I'm sitting on a nuke.”
    Now, convincing Redcloak to finish what he was doing anyway should be easy, that is why I said this option would solve the whole ”what could help make Redcloak help” issue.


    Like I said, a 9th level slot was Thor's first idea, but what he really needs is just TDO's color. Something like sacrificing the mantle might work as well.
    We have no indication that destroying the Mantle would help channel Big Purple's quiddity in any way into whatever it's needed for.
    Last edited by Metastachydium; 2020-08-14 at 06:21 AM.

  3. - Top - End - #33
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    Default Re: Thor's plan may already have fulfilled it's narrative purpose

    Quote Originally Posted by denthor View Post
    Rich has also stated Belkar will be followed even if he leaves the order. He lamented comedy gold would be lost by not doing an afterlife adventure with him.
    When did he say that?

  4. - Top - End - #34
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    Default Re: Thor's plan may already have fulfilled it's narrative purpose

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruck View Post
    When did he say that?
    In No Cure for the Paladin Blues commentary:

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    Well, just so there's no misunderstanding, Belkar is a protagonist of OOTS, regardless of his alignment. The strip will continue to follow him even if he leaves the OOTS. Heck, if Miko had killed Belkar, we probably would have had a few strips showing Belkar in the Afterlife before he was brought back. (Aw, man, that would have been great ... sigh ... another opportunity missed.)
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  5. - Top - End - #35
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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Thor's plan may already have fulfilled it's narrative purpose

    I have been thinking a bit more about my OP, and I'm more and more leaning to believe the conclussion of this tale will not involve Redcloak in any meaningful way.

    Because, you see... during the recent parley, Redcloak told Durkon that the dwarf wouldn't be talking to him if he had not overrun Azure City. That the main Pantheons are only wanting to negotiate with TDO because The Plan is being successful.

    WRONG

    Loki realized the potential of the Purple Quiddity as soon as TDO was born as a God. That's why he stopped Thor from liquidating the newborn goblin deity.

    Both Thor and Loki had been willing to talk with TDO since way, way before he came up with The Plan. But divine rules likely prevented them from doing so until TDO discovered the Snarl on his own. When that happened, TDO cut ties with Loki and came up with The Plan, isolating himself further from the Main Pantheons.

    Coming now with an agreement for using the Four Quiddities to seal the Rifts would not only render The Plan pointless, but mean that The Plan has always been pointless.

    And Redcloak can't accept that.

    Redcloak simply can't accept Durkon's proposal. Not now. Not ever. The moment when Redcloak accepts Durkon's proposition, is the moment when Redcloak has to accept that The Plan has always been pointless, and all his sacrifices are, and have always been, unnecessary and meaningless.

    I can't see Redcloak being able to accept that. He would prefer to let the World go to waste before having to accept that all his unjustificable actions are, and have always been, unjustifiable.

    The more I think about it, the more I'm leaning to believe the future of StickWorld depends on future understandings between PC races and Goblinoids, involving new goblinoid leadership long after Redcloak has been removed from the table.
    Last edited by The Pilgrim; 2020-08-16 at 07:01 PM.

  6. - Top - End - #36
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    Default Re: Thor's plan may already have fulfilled it's narrative purpose

    Quote Originally Posted by The Pilgrim View Post
    Loki realized the potential of the Purple Quiddity as soon as TDO was born as a God. That's why he stopped Thor from liquidating the newborn goblin deity.

    Both Thor and Loki had been willing to talk with TDO since way, way before he came up with The Plan. But divine rules likely prevented them from doing so until TDO discovered the Snarl on his own. When that happened, TDO cut ties with Loki and came up with The Plan, isolating himself further from the Main Pantheons.

    Coming now with an agreement for using the Four Quiddities to seal the Rifts would not only render The Plan pointless, but mean that The Plan has always been pointless.
    Wrong. Thor tried to kill him immediately upon ascension, whereas Loki (and his other ”allies”) deliberately kept him in the dark about the Snarl in order to get under his skin (probably so that they can manipulate him easier after they have explained the situation to him; there was no divine rule preventing Loki form telling Big Purple anything, Loki just decided he won't for the time being). Both of them proved that the Dark One cannot trust the other gods (since some of them are openly hostile, while others just pretended to be his friends for whatever reason). And he was right: for the others, he is basically just a tool, a means to an end, someone they don't kill because he's potentially useful. They don't care about him the least bit.
    The point of the Plan is that it gives Big Purple something that allows him to keep the others from cheating. With a nuke in his pocket, he doesn't need to trust them, because the others will be aware that should they try to double-cross (or manipulate or use) him, he can make them pay. The Plan is not pointless. It never was, and the main reason for that is exactly the attitude of Thor and Loki and their like.

  7. - Top - End - #37
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    RangerGuy

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    Default Re: Thor's plan may already have fulfilled it's narrative purpose

    Quote Originally Posted by The Pilgrim View Post
    The moment when Redcloak accepts Durkon's proposition, is the moment when Redcloak has to accept that The Plan has always been pointless, and all his sacrifices are, and have always been, unnecessary and meaningless.
    Yes. That is the point of this situation. You have isolated the main conflict for Redcloak.

    For whatever reason, you (and others) think that's proof he will never help Thor & co., while I (and others) see it as a dramatic and challenging potential character arc.

    I can't see Redcloak being able to accept that. He would prefer to let the World go to waste before having to accept that all his unjustificable actions are, and have always been, unjustifiable.
    Did you read a different page #2, panel #8 than I did? It's plain as day that Redcloak is conflicted about this situation, regardless of his subsequent hostile action towards Durkon.

    The more I think about it, the more I'm leaning to believe the future of StickWorld depends on future understandings between PC races and Goblinoids, involving new goblinoid leadership long after Redcloak has been removed from the table.
    This is the one that I'll never be able to wrap my head around.

    I just don't get how people can fixate on the idea that "there are other goblinoids in the world!" as a reason for writing Redcloak out of the story. There has been no legwork to set that up for any other goblinoid. No prequel book. No frequent check-ins as some other goblinoid mistreats their subjects, kills them, squanders their lives in battle, develops empathy and remorse, sets up a goblinoid colony, interrogates the "good guy" (O-Chul), gets attacked, kills another henchperson for discovering their true motives, etc. etc.

    The Plan, Redcloak's Plan, is the entire motivating force behind this entire webcomic. It is tied to Redcloak. It is Redcloak's Plan as much as it is TDO's Plan.
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    In Start of Darkness, Right-Eye repeatedly tries to get Redcloak to give up The Plan, and he doesn't. The fact that he can't give up The Plan is a major source of conflict between them, and ultimately leads to him murdering his little brother.
    Redcloak is clinging tightly to this plan like his life and his worldview depends on it (which it does). He's just proven he's willing to kill and risk everything on the plan's completion.

    You see that and say "welp, he's a lost cause."

    I see that and say "well hot dang, now things are getting interesting!"

    Redcloak isn't going anywhere.

  8. - Top - End - #38
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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Thor's plan may already have fulfilled it's narrative purpose

    Quote Originally Posted by Ionathus View Post
    For whatever reason, you (and others) think that's proof he will never help Thor & co., while I (and others) see it as a dramatic and challenging potential character arc.
    Yeah, that could be... if Redcloak were in the pro side of tagonism. But he is in the an side.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ionathus View Post
    Did you read a different page #2, panel #8 than I did? It's plain as day that Redcloak is conflicted about this situation, regardless of his subsequent hostile action towards Durkon.
    Yes, he is conflicted. But he is still the tragic villiain of the story, so, still failing to overcome his conflicts. As a tragic character, he must lead himself to his own demise. Presenting a tragic character with a reasonable way out and making him reject it, willingfully, is part of the trope. And Redcloak keeps doing it again and again, and will keep doing it again and again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ionathus View Post
    I just don't get how people can fixate on the idea that "there are other goblinoids in the world!" as a reason for writing Redcloak out of the story.
    The main reasn for writing Redcloak out of the story is because he is the villiain. And the role of a villiain is to be removed from the story by the heores so that peace can be restored.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ionathus View Post
    The Plan, Redcloak's Plan, is the entire motivating force behind this entire webcomic.
    The entire motivating force behind this entire webcomic are the six dysfunctional heroes who have been around occuping most panels since comic #1. They are the ones on the pro side of tagonism.

    The more readers out there thinking that Redcloak is a sympatetic character, somewhat the true heroe of the stroy, and that his actions may have a point, the more the need for The Giant to work harder at debunking him so people don't fail to get the point of the story he's telling.
    Last edited by The Pilgrim; 2020-08-17 at 10:17 AM.

  9. - Top - End - #39
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    GreataxeFighterGirl

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    Default Re: Thor's plan may already have fulfilled it's narrative purpose

    Quote Originally Posted by The Pilgrim View Post

    The main reasn for writing Redcloak out of the story is because he is the villiain. And the role of a villiain is to be removed from the story by the heores so that peace can be restored.
    (Emphasis mine) Other people will have better responses to the other parts of your posts, so I'll just answer this:

    What peace?

    The "peace" right now is that the mortals are fodder for gods who don't give a crap about them, and the peace will continue if the rifts remain unsealed. If the "peace" - the status quo - remains the same, absolutely nothing has changed in the long run. Yeah, the Order wins, evil is destroyed...and races continue to be discriminated against, the gods continue to sanction massacres, and another villain like Redcloak will appear in the future. Frankly, the peace is terrible.

    In your original post, you mentioned that "PC races are changing their views on the goblinoids, as they need to earn their trust in order to seal the Rifts and bring stability to the world." PC races have literally not changed their views on goblinoids for hundreds of years, and goblinoids - a race as free-willed and intelligent as any other - don't need another PC race to have them "earn their trust." Equality isn't something given as a gift or an act of goodwill; it should just be something that is, and shouldn't need actions to justify its existence.

    The Order's job is not keeping the peace; it's to break the peace and essentially force the gods to realize how bad the peace is. And as of right now, the way to break the peace is with someone of purple quiddity, and (hint hint) it's not with Jirix.

  10. - Top - End - #40
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Thor's plan may already have fulfilled it's narrative purpose

    Quote Originally Posted by The Pilgrim View Post
    The main reasn for writing Redcloak out of the story is because he is the villiain. And the role of a villiain is to be removed from the story by the heores so that peace can be restored.
    This is, quite honestly, one of the most disturbing things I've heard on this forum. Because this sounds like what an oppressor would say when the victims rise up. To portray the victims as the bad guys who are disturbing the peace even when that peace (which we might as well call the status quo) is one of oppression, discrimination, and routinely killing people because of their appearance.

    That kind of peace should not be restored. That kind of peace should irreversibly be moved away from. What needs to happen is for the heroes to change the world, to create a world where goblinkind is no longer treated as nothing more than a bunch of monsters.

    Is Redcloak a villain? Yes. Is he Evil? Yes. Is his cause justified and does it need to be addressed? Yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Pilgrim View Post
    The entire motivating force behind this entire webcomic are the six dysfunctional heroes who have been around occuping most panels since comic #1. They are the ones on the pro side of tagonism.

    The more readers out there thinking that Redcloak is a sympatetic character, somewhat the true heroe of the stroy, and that his actions may have a point, the more the need for The Giant to work harder at debunking him so people don't fail to get the point of the story he's telling.
    The Giant has bluntly stated that yes, the story is about the Order of the Stick.

    He has also bluntly stated that Redcloak's story is a story about how, in The Giant's eyes, goblins (who he views as intelligent creatures with free will) are oppressed, discriminated against, and mistreated. He has explained that he considers it horrible how goblins and orcs and the like can be treated as monsters to be killed for XP just because they're listed as Usually Evil.

    His actions have a point in the sense that he's fighting against oppression. His methods may be wrong but that doesn't remove the validity of his motives.

    We're probably going to see Redcloak be proven wrong in the shape of his methods having been wrong. But what we're almost certainly not going to see is The Giant kicking him out of the story and going "Don't worry, he was just a villain, now everything is fine and the peace is restored."

    EDIT: In fact after talking about the comic with my brother (who also reads it) I've come to the conclusion that the reason Redcloak, the representative of goblinkind, is a villain despite fighting against oppression because The Giant wants to make it absolutely clear that oppression, systematic oppression, is wrong.

    You know what would happen if Redcloak was a good guy and didn't do any bad things? People would go 'oh yes his cause is definitely just and his kind shouldn't be treated that way because clearly they're good people who don't deserve that kind of treatment.'

    And that would be wrong because it would paint the image that to deserve equality you need to be a good person.

    Systematic oppression shouldn't happen to anybody. Having Redcloak be a villain fighting against oppression and reaching for equality makes it clear that it doesn't matter if goblinoids aren't saints: they're still people and deserving of being treated as such.
    Last edited by Worldsong; 2020-08-17 at 11:40 AM.

  11. - Top - End - #41
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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Thor's plan may already have fulfilled it's narrative purpose

    Quote Originally Posted by understatement View Post
    (Emphasis mine) Other people will have better responses to the other parts of your posts, so I'll just answer this:

    What peace?

    The "peace" right now is that the mortals are fodder for gods who don't give a crap about them, and the peace will continue if the rifts remain unsealed. If the "peace" - the status quo - remains the same, absolutely nothing has changed in the long run. Yeah, the Order wins, evil is destroyed...and races continue to be discriminated against, the gods continue to sanction massacres, and another villain like Redcloak will appear in the future. Frankly, the peace is terrible.

    In your original post, you mentioned that "PC races are changing their views on the goblinoids, as they need to earn their trust in order to seal the Rifts and bring stability to the world." PC races have literally not changed their views on goblinoids for hundreds of years, and goblinoids - a race as free-willed and intelligent as any other - don't need another PC race to have them "earn their trust." Equality isn't something given as a gift or an act of goodwill; it should just be something that is, and shouldn't need actions to justify its existence.

    The Order's job is not keeping the peace; it's to break the peace and essentially force the gods to realize how bad the peace is. And as of right now, the way to break the peace is with someone of purple quiddity, and (hint hint) it's not with Jirix.
    Yeah, yeah... remember that other famous fantasy work about a gritty and grim medieval-themed world that featured a chick riding dragons who was going to fix everything and make the world go right, by burnig alive every bad guy one by one?

    Prepare yourself to be disappointed again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Worldsong View Post
    The Giant has bluntly stated that yes, the story is about the Order of the Stick.

    He has also bluntly stated that Redcloak's story is a story about how, in The Giant's eyes, goblins (who he views as intelligent creatures with free will) are oppressed, discriminated against, and mistreated. He has explained that he considers it horrible how goblins and orcs and the like can be treated as monsters to be killed for XP just because they're listed as Usually Evil.

    His actions have a point in the sense that he's fighting against oppression. His methods may be wrong but that doesn't remove the validity of his motives.
    He is fighting against opression by enslaving a whole human nation. Yeah, keep fighting the good fight, bro.

    However, I fail to see what "oppresion" were the Hobgoblins suffering, since they were at peace with the Azurites. Thanks to the efforts of a certain azurite captain.

    It was Redcloak who stepped in, and broke the peace between Hobgoblins and Azurites.

    No, Redcloak is not right on his motives. Because his motives stopped being "fighting against oppression" a long way ago, if they ever were.

    Quote Originally Posted by Worldsong View Post
    We're probably going to see Redcloak be proven wrong in the shape of his methods having been wrong. But what we're almost certainly not going to see is The Giant kicking him out of the story and going "Don't worry, he was just a villain, now everything is fine and the peace is restored."
    Which is why I've clearly stated that the "goblin issue" will be resolved. Without Redcloak. Like years ago the "hobgoblin issue" was resolved, until Redcloak showed up and took over.
    Last edited by The Pilgrim; 2020-08-17 at 12:14 PM.

  12. - Top - End - #42
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Thor's plan may already have fulfilled it's narrative purpose

    Quote Originally Posted by The Pilgrim View Post
    He is fighting against opression by enslaving a whole human nation. Yeah, keep fighting the good fight, bro.

    Also, I fail to see what "oppresion" were the Hobgoblins suffering, since they were at peace with the humans. Thanks to the efforts of a certain human captain.

    It was Redcloak who stepped in, and broke the peace between Hobgoblins and Azurites.

    No, Redcloak is not right on his motives. Because his motives stopped being "fighting against oppression" a long way ago, if they ever were.
    He didn't enslave a whole human nation. He just took over a city. Through conquest. I'll admit that isn't very nice either but it's a mile away from enslaving an entire human nation.

    Most likely what we'll see is that whatever agreement comes to pass between goblinkind and humankind involves releasing all the slaves in Gobbotopia (still a mile away from enslaving an entire human nation given that it's not an entire nation. Also they seem perfectly willing to enslave rebellious goblinoids as well) while letting the goblinoids keep Gobbotopia.

    Once the slaves are gone Gobbotopia will just be conquered land, and the idea that conquering lands is unforgivable is a fairly recent development in real life on the grand scale of things.

    Also I don't believe the claims that Redcloak stopped being about equality a while ago. It's possible for someone to juggle several motivations, and at the moment Redcloak is struggling to balance his desire to achieve equality for goblinkind and his desire to have been right in his decisions.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Pilgrim View Post
    Which is why I've clearly stated that the "goblin issue" will be resolved. Without Redcloak. Like years ago the "hobgoblin issue" was resolved, until Redcloak showed up and took over.
    Oh good, the hobgolbin issue was resolved when one group of humans decided to be so gracious as to stop attacking a single peaceful hobgoblin settlement which had done nothing to deserve it.

    And the moment the leadership of that group changes suddenly we're back to square one.

    The inequality Redcloak is addressing is that goblinoids by and large only survive because they live in places nobody else wants to live (because those places are ****) and because occasionally there'll be some good people who actually realize that racism is bad.

    The norm should be that those hobgoblins should just be able to settle somewhere and not have to worry about some armed force almost attacking them before the few people with a functional conscience step in. The norm should be that anyone who voices the thought that goblins are fair game because they're goblins immediately gets shunned by not only goblinoids but humans and dwarves and elves as well.

    The fact that there have been one or two cases of things not going wrong for the goblinoids doesn't mean the problem is over and Redcloak is worrying over nothing. He's trying to fix things on a global and divine scale, which is definitely hasty but isn't some mere fabrication.

  13. - Top - End - #43
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    Default Re: Thor's plan may already have fulfilled it's narrative purpose

    Quote Originally Posted by Worldsong View Post
    He didn't enslave a whole human nation. He just took over a city. Through conquest. I'll admit that isn't very nice either but it's a mile away from enslaving an entire human nation.
    To be fair, it's a city-state - there's lots of territory between the city walls, and the forts on the border.
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  14. - Top - End - #44
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    Default Re: Thor's plan may already have fulfilled it's narrative purpose

    Quote Originally Posted by Worldsong View Post
    Also I don't believe the claims that Redcloak stopped being about equality a while ago. It's possible for someone to juggle several motivations, and at the moment Redcloak is struggling to balance his desire to achieve equality for goblinkind and his desire to have been right in his decisions.
    The latter desire has been winning over the former in Redcloak since at least the ending of SoD.

    Quote Originally Posted by Worldsong View Post
    Oh good, the hobgolbin issue was resolved when one group of humans decided to be so gracious as to stop attacking a single peaceful hobgoblin settlement which had done nothing to deserve it.
    The issue was resolved when:

    1) An human worked hard and risked his life to get rid of the leader of a rogue human squadron who was attacking the Hobgoblins.

    and

    2) A hobgoblin decided to get rid of the hobgoblin leadership that also wanted to start a war.

    That's how grown ups fix things. Which is a bit more complex than "I'm going to hold everybody hostage with an eldritch deicidal abomination".

    Quote Originally Posted by Worldsong View Post
    The fact that there have been one or two cases of things not going wrong for the goblinoids doesn't mean the problem is over and Redcloak is worrying over nothing. He's trying to fix things on a global and divine scale, which is definitely hasty but isn't some mere fabrication.
    Redcloak is trying to justify
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    murdering his brother in cold blood

    "Trying to fix things on a global and divine scale" being just the excuse he uses to rationalize his own unjustifiable crimes.
    Last edited by The Pilgrim; 2020-08-17 at 12:47 PM.

  15. - Top - End - #45
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    Default Re: Thor's plan may already have fulfilled it's narrative purpose

    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    To be fair, it's a city-state - there's lots of territory between the city walls, and the forts on the border.
    Fair enough, although I feel that doesn't necessarily go against the idea that conquering the place is very different from enslaving the entire place. And that the resolution to that particular incident is to have whatever agreement the PC races sign with the goblinoids stipulate that Gobbotopia must ban slavery.

    Actually now that I think about it, didn't The Giant at some point state that the Azurites aren't going to get Azure City back?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Pilgrim View Post
    The issue was resolved when:
    1) An human worked hard and risked his life to get rid of the leader of a rogue human squadron who was attacking the Hobgoblins, and
    2) A hobgoblin decided to get rid of the hobgoblin leadership that also wanted to start a war.

    That's how grown ups fix things. Which is a bit more complex than "I'm going to hold everybody hostage with an eldritch deicidal abomination"
    .

    Yes, well done, you've shown that the only reason things worked out there is because two sensible people managed to fix things. Now we need to create a world where we don't need to rely on the rare sensible person to keep things on track. Because there aren't enough of those.

    Besides the moment the Sapphire Guard got some hint telling them that the Bearer was in that hobgoblin city odds are they would immediately have charged in again.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Pilgrim View Post
    Redcloak is trying to justify
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    that he murdered his brother in cold blood

    "Trying tho fix things on a global and divine scale" being just the excuse he uses to rationalize his own unjustifiable crimes.
    As I pointed out, he can juggle multiple priorities. I flat out don't believe the reasoning that he completely dropped the desire for equality. It's too convenient for people who just want him to be a villain and don't want to consider that even with his villainous acts he's still in the right about fighting for equality.

  16. - Top - End - #46
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    Default Re: Thor's plan may already have fulfilled it's narrative purpose

    Quote Originally Posted by Worldsong View Post
    Fair enough, although I feel that doesn't necessarily go against the idea that conquering the place is very different from enslaving the entire place.
    Fact is, Redcloak did both. And never discouraged human slavery. For him, it's perfectly kosher that his goblinoid utopia uses a massive workforce of human slaves.

    Quote Originally Posted by Worldsong View Post
    Yes, well done, you've shown that the only reason things worked out there is because two sensible people managed to fix things. Now we need to create a world where we don't need to rely on the rare sensible person to keep things on track. Because there aren't enough of those.
    Yeah, well, unfortunately, things doesn't work that way. Civilization is not something that just happens, it's something that sensible people must struggle to build and mantain.

    Quote Originally Posted by Worldsong View Post
    As I pointed out, he can juggle multiple priorities. I flat out don't believe the reasoning that he completely dropped the desire for equality. It's too convenient for people who just want him to be a villain and don't want to consider that even with his villainous acts he's still in the right about fighting for equality.
    I don't want Redcloak to be a villain. He is the villain. That's a fact. Don't blame me, I didn't plot this comic.

    The fact that many readers may consider that he is a "villain who is right in his reasons but wrong in his actions" is one of the main reasons why this story needs to leave Redcloak out of the conclusion.

    Because you don't fight the right fight with wrong means. The moment you resort to the wrong means, is the moment you become someone who is just fighting the wrong fight with the wrong means.
    Last edited by The Pilgrim; 2020-08-17 at 01:04 PM.

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    Default Re: Thor's plan may already have fulfilled it's narrative purpose

    Quote Originally Posted by The Pilgrim View Post
    Fact is, Redcloak did both. And never discouraged human slavery. For him, it's perfectly kosher that his goblinoid utopia uses a massive workforce of human slaves.
    No he didn't. Enslaving the entire nation would require the entire nation being enslaved. Last I checked a large portion of the population escaped and the hobgoblins just moved in.

    Also, point of order, slavery is bad and should be abolished but it's not just random evil for the sake of 'mwuahahahaha look at my twirly moustache'. If the agreement between PC races and goblinkin stipulates that slavery has to be banned in Gobbotopia that still fixes the issue.

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    Default Re: Thor's plan may already have fulfilled it's narrative purpose

    Quote Originally Posted by The Pilgrim View Post
    Yeah, that could be... if Redcloak were in the pro side of tagonism. But he is in the an side.
    Not like this is going to convince you, but viewing Redcloak as more of a deuter- or tritagonist casts everything in a different light. Most modern media will follow plenty of different groups as their allegiances shift and change...the most successful ones can start to portray each character's arc as their own story, rather than "The Villain." It's not just two sides.


    Yes, he is conflicted. But he is still the tragic villiain of the story, so, still failing to overcome his conflicts. As a tragic character, he must lead himself to his own demise. Presenting a tragic character with a reasonable way out and making him reject it, willingfully, is part of the trope. And Redcloak keeps doing it again and again, and will keep doing it again and again.
    Emphasis mine.

    Your view of a tragic character is flawed, IMO. This isn't Greek theatre: we aren't bound by specific unbreakable narrative roles.

    TVTropes has an interesting take on the Tragic Villain -- they define a tragic villain as one who does evil due to circumstances beyond their control. I don't fully agree with that one either, but it's an interesting lens to put on Redcloak's actions. My point is, your definition for "tragic character" is too narrow, and you're trying to cram Redcloak into a narrative role that doesn't fit him.

    The main reasn for writing Redcloak out of the story is because he is the villiain. And the role of a villiain is to be removed from the story by the heores so that peace can be restored.
    Others have chimed in on the disturbing connotations of this. I want to add my voice in agreement.

    The entire motivating force behind this entire webcomic are the six dysfunctional heroes who have been around occuping most panels since comic #1. They are the ones on the pro side of tagonism.
    Yes, from a narrative and thematic framework. They're the heroes, we're cheering for them of course. But the plot has always been driven by thwarting The Plan.

    The more readers out there thinking that Redcloak is a sympatetic character, somewhat the true heroe of the stroy, and that his actions may have a point, the more the need for The Giant to work harder at debunking him so people don't fail to get the point of the story he's telling.
    Emphasis mine, again -- two things I want to address here.
    1. I doubt you could find more than a handful of people on this forum who see Redcloak as the hero, and I'm not one of them. Don't put words in my mouth.
    2. Are the terms "sympathetic character" and "hero of the story" impossible to separate?

    I see these comics coming out, this extended negotiation between RC and Durkon, the moments of internal conflict, and I see plain as day the Redcloak that's being portrayed by The Giant. Forgive me if I'm misrepresenting your viewpoint, but you seem eager to envision your villains with black-and-white morality: sadistic, totally corrupt, flawed, self-destructive, completely incorrect about their philosophy & worldview, and doomed to failure.

    What if I could tell you someone could be flawed, self-destructive, sadistic, doomed to failure, but still making good arguments about the problems of the world?
    Last edited by Ionathus; 2020-08-17 at 12:57 PM.

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    Default Re: Thor's plan may already have fulfilled it's narrative purpose

    Quote Originally Posted by The Pilgrim View Post
    The latter desire has been winning over the former in Redcloak since at least the ending of SoD.
    Spoiler: SOD
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    I would say since he made the decision to recruit Xykon (at Right-Eye's suggestion), i.e when the plan started to be semi-realistic.


    2) A hobgoblin decided to get rid of the hobgoblin leadership that also wanted to start a war.

    That's how grown ups fix things.
    Spoiler: HTPGHS
    Show

    Poisoning everyone after luring them into a false sense of security, does solve a lot of problems alright.


    Quote Originally Posted by Worldsong View Post
    Fair enough, although I feel that doesn't necessarily go against the idea that conquering the place is very different from enslaving the entire place. And that the resolution to that particular incident is to have whatever agreement the PC races sign with the goblinoids stipulate that Gobbotopia must ban slavery.
    ... why can the Empire of Blood (and others) have slaves and Gobbotopia can't?

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    Default Re: Thor's plan may already have fulfilled it's narrative purpose

    Quote Originally Posted by Ionathus View Post
    Not like this is going to convince you, but viewing Redcloak as more of a deuter- or tritagonist casts everything in a different light. Most modern media will follow plenty of different groups as their allegiances shift and change...the most successful ones can start to portray each character's arc as their own story, rather than "The Villain." It's not just two sides.
    I suppose Redcloak needs to keep killing more relatives in order to convince some readers that he is just a villain. I heard he has a niece somewhere.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ionathus View Post
    Your view of a tragic character is flawed, IMO. This isn't Greek theatre: we aren't bound by specific unbreakable narrative roles.

    TVTropes has an interesting take on the Tragic Villain -- they define a tragic villain as one who does evil due to circumstances beyond their control. I don't fully agree with that one either, but it's an interesting lens to put on Redcloak's actions. My point is, your definition for "tragic character" is too narrow, and you're trying to cram Redcloak into a narrative role that doesn't fit him.
    All of Redcloak's actions up to date have been in full accordance to the classic trope of a tragic villain.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dancrilis View Post
    ... why can the Empire of Blood (and others) have slaves and Gobbotopia can't?
    I figured it'd be easier for the justice-driven people to swallow the hobgoblins keeping Gobbotopia if at least the slavery problem was resolved.

    Also I didn't want to compare Gobbotopia to the Empire of Blood because that would just reinforce the idea that Gobbotopia is bad bad bad and should be burned to the ground.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Pilgrim View Post
    I suppose Redcloak needs to keep killing more relatives in order to convince some readers that he is just a villain. I heard he has a niece somewhere.
    And there we go. You want him to be just a villain.

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    Default Re: Thor's plan may already have fulfilled it's narrative purpose

    Quote Originally Posted by The Pilgrim View Post
    You don't fight the right fight with wrong means. The moment you resort to the wrong means, is the moment you become someone who is just fighting the wrong fight with the wrong means.
    By that logic, The Order of the Stick should've been written out of their own story. This is a ridiculous narrative rule, it conflicts with practically all of modern storytelling, and you should abandon it.

    Quote Originally Posted by dancrilis View Post
    ... why can the Empire of Blood (and others) have slaves and Gobbotopia can't?
    ...because they weren't sitting at this negotiating table at the North Pole?

    Feels like slavery was pretty heavily opposed by the heroes in BRitF and nobody on this forum has voiced disagreement about that point. Nobody's "letting" the Empire of Blood have slaves -- the heroes just aren't in a position to free those slaves right now. Meanwhile, they ARE in a position to negotiate Gobbotopia's policy.
    Last edited by Ionathus; 2020-08-17 at 01:23 PM.

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    Default Re: Thor's plan may already have fulfilled it's narrative purpose

    Quote Originally Posted by Worldsong View Post
    And there we go. You want him to be just a villain.
    As I already said, I don't want him to be a villain. He is a villain.

    I don't know how many more relatives he has to murder, how many of the people he is claiming to be freeing he needs to keep butchering, how many more epic level evil Liches he needs to associate with, how many more Evil plots from an Evil God he has to keep promoting, and how many more protagonists he needs to attempt to murder in a breaking of peace talks, for people to understand the obvious.
    Last edited by The Pilgrim; 2020-08-17 at 01:12 PM.

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    Default Re: Thor's plan may already have fulfilled it's narrative purpose

    Quote Originally Posted by Ionathus View Post
    By that logic, The Order of the Stick should've been written out of their own story. This is a ridiculous narrative rule, it conflicts with practically all of modern storytelling, and you should abandon it.



    ...because they weren't sitting at this negotiating table at the North Pole?

    Feels like slavery was pretty heavily opposed by the heroes in BRitF and nobody on this forum has voiced disagreement about that point. Nobody's "letting" the Empire of Blood have slaves -- the heroes just aren't in a position to free those slaves right now. Meanwhile, they ARE in a position to negotiate Gobbotopia's policy.
    I like you.

    Also I'll admit your explanation of why Gobbotopia is not allowed to have slaves is better than mine. Slavery is bad no matter where it goes, and the Empire of Blood shouldn't have slaves either. It's just that at the moment there's little that can be done about that (or at least nobody who is in a position to do something about it in-story seems willing).

    Quote Originally Posted by The Pilgrim View Post
    As I already said, I don't want him to be a villain. He is a villain.

    I don't know how many more relatives he has to murder, how many of the people he is claiming to be freeing he needs to keep butchering, how many more epic level lichs he needs to associate with, how many more Evil plots from an Evil God he has to keep promoting, and how many more protagonists he needs to attempt to murder in a breaking of peace talks, for people to understand the obvious.
    Oh he's definitely a villain. It's just that he's not just a villain.

    Also by your logic the moment someone does one thing wrong or makes a mistake one time they're damned forever and liable to repeat that same mistake over and over.

    Spoiler: SoD
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    The way you explain it you'd think he killed his brother with glee and was sad he didn't have any other relatives on hand to slaughter, rather than it being a traumatic moment for him where he thought he was balancing the future of goblinkind against the life of his brother.


    From my perspective you're dropping nuance and the complications of life in favour of a black-and-white perspective.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Worldsong View Post
    I figured it'd be easier for the justice-driven people to swallow the hobgoblins keeping Gobbotopia if at least the slavery problem was resolved.

    Also I didn't want to compare Gobbotopia to the Empire of Blood because that would just reinforce the idea that Gobbotopia is bad bad bad and should be burned to the ground.
    I could be missing your point but I figured it was something like:
    1. A mercenary company from the Empire of Blood shows up in the northern lands to assist with a border skirmish - nobody bats an eye, judge them on their merits.
    1. A mercenary company from the Gobbotopia shows up in the northern lands to assist with a border skirmish - the side that hires them is clearly evil.

    Or such would be the impression of people in the world of the OOTS i.e just because Hobgoblins are goblinoids they are seen as monsters in a why that Humans are not, which is what you think needs to change.

    Unless I have you wrong?

    And there we go. You want him to be just a villain.
    I believe that the Pilgrim's stance is that Redcloak is already a villain just that some people are not seeing it so if The Giant wants to get people on board with the message he needs to be less subtle.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ionathus View Post
    ...because they weren't sitting at this negotiating table at the North Pole?

    Feels like slavery was pretty heavily opposed by the heroes in BRitF and nobody on this forum has voiced disagreement about that point. Nobody's "letting" the Empire of Blood have slaves -- the heroes just aren't in a position to free those slaves right now. Meanwhile, they ARE in a position to negotiate Gobbotopia's policy.
    Negotiating for Gobbotopia to give up the Azurite slaves as part of a peace accord is different from demanding that Gobbotopia bans slavery as a requirement for goblins to be seen as people, a requirement other slave holding nations do not have.

    Edit: or The Pilgrim can clarify from themselves before I throw my coin in.
    Last edited by dancrilis; 2020-08-17 at 01:16 PM.

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    Default Re: Thor's plan may already have fulfilled it's narrative purpose

    Quote Originally Posted by dancrilis View Post
    I believe that the Pilgrim's stance is that Redcloak is already a villain just that some people are not seeing it so if The Giant wants to get people on board with the message he needs to be less subtle.
    Good lord, people! Redcloak is a villain. Virtually nobody is arguing otherwise.

    Some of us are arguing that there are degrees of villainy, including "well-intentioned but flawed", which is where we believe Redcloak belongs. He's not like Xykon (doing evil literally for the fun of it) or even Tarquin (doing evil in self-aware service to his own ego). He's doing evil things for what he truly believes are good reasons.

    He still needs to be stopped. But the methods and the words that surround his story will by necessity be completely different.

    Negotiating for Gobbotopia to give up the Azurite slaves as part of a peace accord is different from demanding that Gobbotopia bans slavery as a requirement for goblins to be seen as people, a requirement other slave holding nations do not have.
    "Goblins don't count as people until they give up their slaves?" Who was making that argument? I certainly wasn't.

    EDIT: grammar
    Last edited by Ionathus; 2020-08-17 at 01:22 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dancrilis View Post
    I could be missing your point but I figured it was something like:
    1. A mercenary company from the Empire of Blood shows up in the northern lands to assist with a border skirmish - nobody bats an eye, judge them on their merits.
    1. A mercenary company from the Gobbotopia shows up in the northern lands to assist with a border skirmish - the side that hires them is clearly evil.

    Or such would be the impression of people in the world of the OOTS i.e just because Hobgoblins are goblinoids they are seen as monsters in a why that Humans are not, which is what you think needs to change.

    Unless I have you wrong?
    I mean personally I'd be very suspicious of anyone who hires someone with strong ties to the government of the Empire of Blood. But yes part of the problem and the systematic oppression that goblinoids endure is that if they perform acts similar to humans they're always painted in the worst light and used to confirm the belief that goblinoids.

    While that's definitely unfair the realistic take is that for goblinoids to be accepted they have to be a bit more careful than an Evil human empire.

    Quote Originally Posted by dancrilis View Post
    I believe that the Pilgrim's stance is that Redcloak is already a villain just that somepeople are not seeing it so if The Giant wants to get people on board with the message he needs to be less subtle.
    I kind of lost my temper when he suggested that Redcloak should go murder his niece to prove that he's nothing more than a villain who does Evil because he's Evil.
    Spoiler: SoD
    Show
    He killed a relative once. Because he thought the future of goblinkind was at stake. It was probably the worst day of his entire life. If it wasn't the worst day it's only because the worst day was his entire village being wiped out.

    And then someone like Pilgrim barges in and acts like Redcloak kills relatives at the drop of a hat. I have three brothers and the very thought of someone dismissing the trauma that Redcloak endured killing his brother as him just being Evil makes my blood boil.


    Quote Originally Posted by dancrilis View Post
    Negotiating for Gobbotopia to give up the Azurite slaves as part of a peace accord is different from demanding that Gobbotopia bans slavery as a requirement for goblins to be seen as people, a requirement other slave holding nations do not have.
    Yes, ideally goblinoids would get their equality free of charge and the slavery thing would be a separate issue. However I think it's more realistic that the PC races (and possibly the gods) make some demands which Redcloak and the Dark One have to concede.

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    Default Re: Thor's plan may already have fulfilled it's narrative purpose

    Quote Originally Posted by The Pilgrim View Post
    As I already said, I don't want him to be a villain. He is a villain.

    I don't know how many more relatives he has to murder, how many of the people he is claiming to be freeing he needs to keep butchering, how many more epic level evil Liches he needs to associate with, how many more Evil plots from an Evil God he has to keep promoting, and how many more protagonists he needs to attempt to murder in a breaking of peace talks, for people to understand the obvious.
    We've seen Rich writing characters and being surprised/bothered that people miss the harm & evil of their actions.
    • Thog was seen as lovable by many, no matter how many people he killed.
    • Tarquin was seen as a cool badass by many, even when he displayed callous, sociopathic disregard for the lives of others.
    • Varsuuvius's casting of Familicide was met with such lukewarm moral reception by some readers that it took *a direct post by Rich* to explicitly state his opinion that Genocide Is Bad.


    Given that Rich has encountered this mischaracterization before by members of the fanbase, I understand where you're coming from. You seem to think (please tell me if I'm off-base) that we're wrong and Rich is writing a flawed irredeemable villain who is meant to show how "good cause for the wrong reasons" instantly turns you into a family-murdering fanatic. You seem to think that's the point of Redcloak's arc. If so, you're wrong.
    Last edited by Ionathus; 2020-08-17 at 01:25 PM.

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    Default Re: Thor's plan may already have fulfilled it's narrative purpose

    Quote Originally Posted by Ionathus View Post
    We've seen Rich writing characters and being surprised/bothered that people miss the harm & evil of their actions.
    • Thog was seen as lovable by many, no matter how many people he killed.
    • Tarquin was seen as a cool badass by many, even when he displayed callous, sociopathic disregard for the lives of others.
    • Varsuuvius's casting of Familicide was met with such lukewarm moral reception by some readers that it took *a direct post by Rich* to explicitly state his opinion that Genocide Is Bad.


    Given that Rich has encountered this mischaracterization before by members of the fanbase, I understand where you're coming from. You seem to think (please tell me if I'm off-base) that we're wrong and Rich is writing a flawed irredeemable villain who is meant to show how "good cause for the wrong reasons" instantly turns you into a family-murdering fanatic. You seem to think that's the point of Redcloak's arc. If so, you're wrong.
    Fun fact: that link is the same as the first link in my signature because I got tired of having to pull it up.

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    Default Re: Thor's plan may already have fulfilled it's narrative purpose

    Quote Originally Posted by Worldsong View Post
    Fun fact: that link is the same as the first link in my signature because I got tired of having to pull it up.
    I know: that's where I got it

    Thanks for your comments earlier too, by the way!
    Last edited by Ionathus; 2020-08-17 at 01:28 PM.

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