A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #331
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    Default Re: OOTS #1244 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by danielxcutter View Post
    Yeah, here's the thing - the throne room was warded strong enough that a crystal ball's not enough, and Serini's not a caster herself. She had to have something or someONE for that... and if her source's being influenced by the archfiends, that might be why only the information that paints them in a less than flattering light got through.
    Even if she can scry on the gates, she isn't doing it 24/7. She'd have to be doing it at the exact right time, and even then she'd miss out on all of the events leading up to it. Her information is highly incomplete at this point. That's one thing we know for certain.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1244 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by BloodSquirrel View Post
    That was a unnecessarily extreme measure, and an unforced error.
    It was a narratively necessary error. Try not to blame Serini for the flaws of six individuals, five of whom took the "irreconcilable differences line" which means that Serini was seriously outvoted. Granted, Dorukan and Lirian had their own reasons for going off as a couple, which were matters of the heart, so that adds another dimension to the 'we had to break up the band' and "no, the Beatles aren't getting back together until two more die" scenario the Scribblers' situation turned into.
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  3. - Top - End - #333
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    Default Re: OOTS #1244 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by KorvinStarmast View Post
    It was a narratively necessary error.
    I'm not sure how that helps. What is narratively necessary is for characters to be flawed in important ways so that they can make mistakes so that we can have conflict. V's familicide was a narratively necessary error. So was wiping out Redcloak's village. Serini's errors are creating entertaining drama, just as intended, precisely because they're rooted in a character flaw that can be dramatically overcome instead of being because of random, blameless chance.

    Quote Originally Posted by KorvinStarmast View Post
    Try not to blame Serini for the flaws of six individuals, five of whom took the "irreconcilable differences line" which means that Serini was seriously outvoted. Granted, Dorukan and Lirian had their own reasons for going off as a couple, which were matters of the heart, so that adds another dimension to the 'we had to break up the band' and "no, the Beatles aren't getting back together until two more die" scenario the Scribblers' situation turned into.
    It was her idea in the first place. She wasn't outvoted, she sponsored the bill. She might have liked the party to stay together, if everyone else had already been amenable to the idea, but instead she said this:

    "We leave here today and that's it. We're done with each other."

  4. - Top - End - #334
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    Default Re: OOTS #1244 - The Discussion Thread

    Yeah, by no means do I blame Serini for the "One Gate, One Guardian" plan.

    Was it the ideal solution? Hell no.

    But compared to all the other options that were feasible at that point, it was likely the best one. The party had become broken with the loss of Kraagor, and while some therapy might've been able to resolve things, it plus the importance of protecting the gates located in five distant locations and keeping them secret... it was the best option.

    But the Serini that we're dealing with now isn't the same person as the one who proposed that plan. A long time's passed since then, and more's changed about her than just her complexion, and I'd wager that some of the baggage that she's gathered up since then has hardened her into the paranoid, isolationist woman we're dealing with now. Unprocessed trauma has a way of getting people to make the wrong moves, ya know?

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    Default Re: OOTS #1244 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by BloodSquirrel View Post
    Even if she can scry on the gates, she isn't doing it 24/7. She'd have to be doing it at the exact right time, and even then she'd miss out on all of the events leading up to it. Her information is highly incomplete at this point. That's one thing we know for certain.
    Xykon has his TeeVo; Serini might have something similar.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1244 - The Discussion Thread

    The Teevo didn't have the juice to punch through the wards on the throne room; it's not terribly likely Serini's got something that does.
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    Default Re: OOTS #1244 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by danielxcutter View Post
    The Teevo didn't have the juice to punch through the wards on the throne room; it's not terribly likely Serini's got something that does.
    Maybe whatever monitoring system they have gives her a backdoor to scry through those wards?

    Or maybe she was Teevoing the paladins afterwards, and caught on to O'chul's exact wording.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1244 - The Discussion Thread

    I'd just like to point something out:

    The only place where it's said Serini came up with the 'go your separate ways' plan was in Shojo's telling of Soon's story. It's already been implied we don't know the whole story regarding Girard and Soon's emnity, and details of Soon's story have been shown to be wrong.
    While I think Serini probably did suggest they all go their own way, there's more to the story than 'after Kraagors death, the Scribblers argued a lot'.

  9. - Top - End - #339
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    Default Re: OOTS #1244 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Riftwolf View Post
    I'd just like to point something out:

    The only place where it's said Serini came up with the 'go your separate ways' plan was in Shojo's telling of Soon's story. It's already been implied we don't know the whole story regarding Girard and Soon's emnity, and details of Soon's story have been shown to be wrong.
    While I think Serini probably did suggest they all go their own way, there's more to the story than 'after Kraagors death, the Scribblers argued a lot'.
    It wasn't just that they were arguing, it was that they nearly came to blows.

    At that point, I could see there being three general options for how things could go:

    1: Small chance that the Scribbles reconcile everything, come together, and create defenses for the Gates that would be nigh-impenetrable.

    2: Large chance that things fall out so badly that the Gates might not even become fully defended by virtue of one or two of the Scribbles becoming disillusioned with the whole concept (or, perhaps, dead by virtue of the internal squabbling).

    3: Serini's option, which ensures that all the Gates get guarded (by feeding into each member's pride into their own abilities and principles), has a safeguard that there's at least some monitoring of the various gates.

    Option 1 is the best, obviously... but it risks Option 2, which could be catastrophic. Thus, Option 3: Make sure each gate gets guarded, even if it ends the team forever.

  10. - Top - End - #340
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    Default Re: OOTS #1244 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Wraithfighter View Post
    It wasn't just that they were arguing, it was that they nearly came to blows.

    At that point, I could see there being three general options for how things could go:

    1: Small chance that the Scribbles reconcile everything, come together, and create defenses for the Gates that would be nigh-impenetrable.

    2: Large chance that things fall out so badly that the Gates might not even become fully defended by virtue of one or two of the Scribbles becoming disillusioned with the whole concept (or, perhaps, dead by virtue of the internal squabbling).

    3: Serini's option, which ensures that all the Gates get guarded (by feeding into each member's pride into their own abilities and principles), has a safeguard that there's at least some monitoring of the various gates.

    Option 1 is the best, obviously... but it risks Option 2, which could be catastrophic. Thus, Option 3: Make sure each gate gets guarded, even if it ends the team forever.
    You're ignoring Option 4, which is "Each of us go build our own dungeon, then come back together to have a meeting in one year to check up on each other". Going their separate ways was probably for the best, but there was no reason to take the option of future reconciliation completely off the table. Especially when some members were still on good enough terms to stay in contact. As far as we know, none of them had a major issue with Serini, so she could have been the go-between while everyone else cooled their heads. In fact, it kind of seems like it was really just Dorukan and Girard vs. Soon. And when you consider that two of those people died of old age before the start of the comic (and the other would have before much longer if Xykon hadn't killed him first), it makes even less sense to permanently bar their successors from working together because Girard and Soon had personal animosity between them.

    On the one hand, we only have a few pages of comics to go by. But on the other hand, those pages were intentionally used to tell us the most important parts of the story, and everything else that's happened since falls in line with that interpretation.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1244 - The Discussion Thread

    I don't really think we can be too critical of Serini for suggesting each of the Scribble defend a rift. We can debate whether it was the right idea with the benefit of hindsight (but even then, I doubt there's a clear answer), but at the time she made it seems to me to have been a fair decision. If we went back and checked, I don't think we'd see posters criticising that decision at the time it was revealed.


    If we want to be critical of something from Serini's past, it would be that she wrote all the secrets of the world into a diary, and then didn't properly defend it. That was a seriously poor decision that meant Xykon had a map to all the gates.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1244 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by BloodSquirrel View Post
    You're ignoring Option 4, which is "Each of us go build our own dungeon, then come back together to have a meeting in one year to check up on each other".
    Obviously, Girard would eventually trust Soon, right?

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    Default Re: OOTS #1244 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by BloodSquirrel View Post
    So... funny story...

    With people digging in their heels on the "Trust Aunt Serini" line, I've actually gone back and looked to see if there was really any reason in the first place to suggest that Serini is particularly competent, that her plans have ever been successful, or that she's earned this veneration in general. Most of it seems to rest on "She's epic-level!", but that's hardly a cincher.

    Here's the money part.

    So, you know how the gates have all fallen so far because they relied too heavily on one means of defense, and the Scribblers put too much faith in their own point of view? You know how much of this drama was caused by the Scribblers not communicating and not being in a position/willing to help each other? Turns out that was Serini's idea (and then she got bored and wandered off). The entire system of protecting the gates, which has turned out to be massively, critically flawed, was based on Serini's suggestion.

    This actually kind of puts things in a new light. Aside from what it says about Serini's judgment (ie, that we probably never should have put that much trust in it to start with),
    This interpretation is missing important context: at that moment she spoke, Girard, Soon, and Dorukan were preparing to fight and possibly KILL each other. The Order was broken, forever. They would never be able to work together again, and Shojo's narration says exactly that.

    Serini did not initiate the idea of separating. She talked them DOWN from open combat into a truce, and convinced them to part ways in a way that still provided some protection for the Gates. She was making the best of a bad situation.

    it has an important thematic element. Each of the gates fell in a way that exposed one of the Scribbler's flaws and/or over-reliance on some single point of failure. Now we're getting Serini's version of that- except it's not just relevant for this one gate, it's relevant for all of them. She isn't just trying to go it alone here, she was the one who suggested that everybody go it alone.

    What we're seeing isn't just the Order vs a Scribbler, it's the Order and their way of doing things versus the Scribblers and the flaws that led them to being unable to breaking up. We're seeing the Order surpass and overcome the Scribblers because they were able to resolve their inter-party conflicts whereas the Scribblers couldn't. And, fittingly, the last gate and finale of the story involves the Order not only finally meeting a Scribbler, but the Scribbler who embodies that failure by being the one to suggest they split up and never talk to each other again.
    I 100% agree with this part, though. I absolutely believe that The Order sticking together (pun intended) is meant to parallel how the Scribble fell apart, and I fully expect that to be a recurring theme in upcoming dialogue with Serini.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1244 - The Discussion Thread

    One more thing: Serini is not Redcloak. When the Order tells her what's at stake, she's likely to believe them, unlike Redcloak already thinking the Order is lying because it's better than admitting everything he did was pointless.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1244 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Ionathus View Post
    This interpretation is missing important context: at that moment she spoke, Girard, Soon, and Dorukan were preparing to fight and possibly KILL each other. The Order was broken, forever. They would never be able to work together again, and Shojo's narration says exactly that.

    Serini did not initiate the idea of separating. She talked them DOWN from open combat into a truce, and convinced them to part ways in a way that still provided some protection for the Gates. She was making the best of a bad situation.



    I 100% agree with this part, though. I absolutely believe that The Order sticking together (pun intended) is meant to parallel how the Scribble fell apart, and I fully expect that to be a recurring theme in upcoming dialogue with Serini.
    oh, agree on it all, serini did what she had to do with the splitting up.
    but it's still a thematic elements that the scribblers failed to be a team, and they ultimated failed because of it
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    Default Re: OOTS #1244 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by JonahFalcon View Post
    One more thing: Serini is not Redcloak. When the Order tells her what's at stake, she's likely to believe them, unlike Redcloak already thinking the Order is lying because it's better than admitting everything he did was pointless.
    Yeah, I agree. I'm not going to engage in long debates about it, but my guess is that we've already had one heavy Sunk Cost character, so I don't expect Serini to also be that way.

    I can also see a counterargument that Serini's sunk cost could parallel Redcloak's and become a book theme, but I personally feel like Redcloak's journey with his sunk cost is more impactful if it stands on its own.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1244 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Liquor Box View Post
    I used the word 'if' to acknowledge it was possible they might have carried out their plan. Or they might not have. Given developments, I think they wont.

    If they had carried out that plan it's not clear whether they would have ambushed Xykon by leaping out from behind the illusion as he passed (which would probably give away the illusion), or ambushed him by exiting the illusion after he passed and then leapt upon him after he left the dungeon (which might give a clue, but not necessarily the defence).
    I mean, at this point you're splitting hairs to find a way that the Order's plan wouldn't reveal the teleport trap. Either way, if they come out of nowhere, it's going to tip Team Evil off to something.

    Worth remembering that Serini didn't attack O-Chul and Lien until O-Chul started talking about looking for the Gate, and she didn't attack the Order until they started talking about using the teleport trap to ambush Xykon.

    Quote Originally Posted by KorvinStarmast View Post
    It was a narratively necessary error. Try not to blame Serini for the flaws of six individuals, five of whom took the "irreconcilable differences line" which means that Serini was seriously outvoted. Granted, Dorukan and Lirian had their own reasons for going off as a couple, which were matters of the heart, so that adds another dimension to the 'we had to break up the band' and "no, the Beatles aren't getting back together until two more die" scenario the Scribblers' situation turned into.
    I still enjoy the irony that for all Girard's paranoia about Soon going Paladins Templar on him, Soon is the only one of the five who never broke his oath not to contact the others.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ionathus View Post
    I 100% agree with this part, though. I absolutely believe that The Order sticking together (pun intended) is meant to parallel how the Scribble fell apart, and I fully expect that to be a recurring theme in upcoming dialogue with Serini.
    Agreed.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1244 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by hungrycrow View Post
    Maybe whatever monitoring system they have gives her a backdoor to scry through those wards?

    Or maybe she was Teevoing the paladins afterwards, and caught on to O'chul's exact wording.
    A thought, actually. Especially since she tends to treat "monstrous" races as fellow people, perhaps she got her into from the Oracle, who was significantly more helpful to her than he was to the Order.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruck View Post
    I mean, at this point you're splitting hairs to find a way that the Order's plan wouldn't reveal the teleport trap. Either way, if they come out of nowhere, it's going to tip Team Evil off to something.
    I agree that if they'd executed their plan, it would have given a clue to something. How much of a clue depends on how they had done it.

    In terms of "splitting hairs", I remind you that I didn't just throw it out there that the order wouldn't have revealed the illusion/trap. I only mentioned it because you pulled me up on using the word 'if' in a post.

    Worth remembering that Serini didn't attack O-Chul and Lien until O-Chul started talking about looking for the Gate, and she didn't attack the Order until they started talking about using the teleport trap to ambush Xykon.
    That's true, but how would Serini have known that the Order were planning an ambush when she left to attack them? I think it's quite possible that the paladins intent to look for the gate triggered the attack on them, but I don't think the Order's plan to spring an ambush triggered the attack on them. Much more likely Serini had already decided to attack the Order as soon as they entered the area or at least as soon as they entered the caves.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Liquor Box View Post
    That's true, but how would Serini have known that the Order were planning an ambush when she left to attack them? I think it's quite possible that the paladins intent to look for the gate triggered the attack on them, but I don't think the Order's plan to spring an ambush triggered the attack on them. Much more likely Serini had already decided to attack the Order as soon as they entered the area or at least as soon as they entered the caves.
    It's more than likely- her plan doesn't work if she sends back the Paladins but the Order is still there to report in. Which is why she was brewing the whole pot in the first place.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1244 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Liquor Box View Post
    I agree that if they'd executed their plan, it would have given a clue to something. How much of a clue depends on how they had done it.

    In terms of "splitting hairs", I remind you that I didn't just throw it out there that the order wouldn't have revealed the illusion/trap. I only mentioned it because you pulled me up on using the word 'if' in a post.
    To be clear, I was trying to say that "if" was ascribing a lower probability to the events in question than they deserved, given that the Order had discussed that exact scenario as their plan. "When" is more accurate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Liquor Box View Post
    That's true, but how would Serini have known that the Order were planning an ambush when she left to attack them? I think it's quite possible that the paladins intent to look for the gate triggered the attack on them, but I don't think the Order's plan to spring an ambush triggered the attack on them. Much more likely Serini had already decided to attack the Order as soon as they entered the area or at least as soon as they entered the caves.
    Admittedly, while I lean toward that being correct, I'm not entirely certain. We don't know exactly when Serini showed up to the cave, so she might have overheard that and, given her feelings about the Order's tendency to blow up gates, decided that stopping them now was definitely the course of action. If they'd just been scouting outside the tomb and talking about waiting for the right opportunity to catch Xykon, maybe not. But I think their track record probably gives her the cause she needs to move against them either way, yeah.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1244 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Liquor Box View Post
    If we want to be critical of something from Serini's past, it would be that she wrote all the secrets of the world into a diary, and then didn't properly defend it. That was a seriously poor decision that meant Xykon had a map to all the gates.
    A fair criticism.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ruck View Post
    Worth remembering that Serini didn't attack O-Chul and Lien until O-Chul started talking about looking for the Gate, and she didn't attack the Order until they started talking about using the teleport trap to ambush Xykon.
    The timing on that might have been fortuitous (happened to be around when they brought that up), or, she may have had other sensors listening in on them. (Not 3.5 savvy enough to know that kinds of scrying or clairaudience tools she may have access to).
    I still enjoy the irony that for all Girard's paranoia about Soon going Paladins Templar on him, Soon is the only one of the five who never broke his oath not to contact the others.
    Yep.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruck View Post
    I still enjoy the irony that for all Girard's paranoia about Soon going Paladins Templar on him, Soon is the only one of the five who never broke his oath not to contact the others.
    I really like the way Serini and Girard have exactly opposite reasons to distrust Lawful types. Girard hates people that impose Law on others. Serini is wary of people that impose Law on themselves.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruck View Post
    To be clear, I was trying to say that "if" was ascribing a lower probability to the events in question than they deserved, given that the Order had discussed that exact scenario as their plan. "When" is more accurate.
    Given that they've since become distracted from that plan and may or may not return to it, I think saying "If they attack by leaping out" is pretty fair. Happy to agree to disagree.

    Admittedly, while I lean toward that being correct, I'm not entirely certain. We don't know exactly when Serini showed up to the cave, so she might have overheard that and, given her feelings about the Order's tendency to blow up gates, decided that stopping them now was definitely the course of action. If they'd just been scouting outside the tomb and talking about waiting for the right opportunity to catch Xykon, maybe not. But I think their track record probably gives her the cause she needs to move against them either way, yeah.
    I largely agree with you here, except the bit where you suggest she was right to move against them. I don't think she overheard them, but if she did she would also have overheard Roy saying that they were not there to find the gate, only to stop Xykon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Liquor Box View Post
    I largely agree with you here, except the bit where you suggest she was right to move against them. I don't think she overheard them, but if she did she would also have overheard Roy saying that they were not there to find the gate, only to stop Xykon.
    "Right" being from her perspective, given her goals and her view of the Order, of course.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    A thought, actually. Especially since she tends to treat "monstrous" races as fellow people, perhaps she got her into from the Oracle, who was significantly more helpful to her than he was to the Order.
    Wouldn't he have warned her about Xykon if that was the case? He doesn't seem to have trouble tracking Xykon's movements, nor giving "freebies" to questions that weren't explicitly asked.
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  27. - Top - End - #357
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    Default Re: OOTS #1244 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    Wouldn't he have warned her about Xykon if that was the case? He doesn't seem to have trouble tracking Xykon's movements, nor giving "freebies" to questions that weren't explicitly asked.
    Those are good reasons to not have warned her about Xykon if that's not what she asked.
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    Default Re: OOTS #1244 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    A thought, actually. Especially since she tends to treat "monstrous" races as fellow people, perhaps she got her into from the Oracle, who was significantly more helpful to her than he was to the Order.
    Xykon also treats monsters the same as he treats people - so maybe he could ask some special favours of the oracle too.

  29. - Top - End - #359
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    Default Re: OOTS #1244 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Those are good reasons to not have warned her about Xykon if that's not what she asked.
    How so? Your theory was that the Oracle might (a) be acquainted with Serini and (b) be better disposed to her than other "clients" since she is sympathetic to monsters. If those are both true, how does that translate to letting Xykon rearrange her face, if he truly knew?
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    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
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  30. - Top - End - #360
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    Default Re: OOTS #1244 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Liquor Box View Post
    Xykon also treats monsters the same as he treats people - so maybe he could ask some special favours of the oracle too.
    Yeah, but the Oracle knows that Xykon's going to treat him worse than even the good guys would.

    I mean, sure, Roy and Durkon dangled him out the window, and Belkar murdered him, but that's nothing compared to what Xykon would do to him if he gave any lip...

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