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Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4; Contributor; Publisher, Legendary Games

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"yes-yes, we did that one already"


"Don't worry. You'll keep me safe."

I also noticed that V was called "she" by Belkar. I haven't noticed it before, but is this something that has been done in the past? Usually V's sex isn't identified.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Characters usually pick it at random or based on their own view of V. It's not meant to be anything but a way to avoid awkward phrasing.

Shadow Lodge

Various characters call him/her various things. There's been he, she, and other terms thrown around.

Silver Crusade

It has been clearly shown in the past that Belkar thinks of V as female. Others have refered to V as male. Then there are those times when people intentionally express confusion on the matter.


Case in point - I think the general consensus of the party is that V is probably female, but no-one knows for sure.


I'm pretty sure Belkar has expressed the opinion that elf more or less equals female in his mind.

Shadow Lodge

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How very convenient for you, Tarquin.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

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"It's so perfect, I think I'll start implying it was my plan all along." Shamelessly stolen for future characters of mine.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Matthew Morris wrote:
"It's so perfect, I think I'll start implying it was my plan all along." Shamelessly stolen for future characters of mine.

Definitely a keeper, yeah.


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Matthew Morris wrote:
"It's so perfect, I think I'll start implying it was my plan all along." Shamelessly stolen for future characters of mine.

He thinks like a Game Master...


Still no word about Malack...

Shadow Lodge

I do think this heralds the coming end of Tarquin's time in the story, though. The Order will move on, and I'm sure Nale will make appearances later, attempting to get his newest vengeance (and still being strung along by the Fiendish Trio, of course), but I believe we'll be leaving Tarquin here with his little desert empire. Alive and well, I'm certain, unless there's a surprise backstab from Nale somewhere in the near future, which I doubt he'll be able to pull off in his current state.


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Spoiler:
Unless he dramatically literally stabs Tarquin in the back taking over his empire... But I think that Nale used up his reserves of competence for now when he smoked Malack.

Shadow Lodge

Yep, exactly why I think it unlikely.


Yeah, I'm with Nale here. "WTF Dad!?"

So after destroying the Gate that was supposedly protecting the "snarl" the OOTS is just going to leave the now exposed "hole" to Tarquin's gentle oversight as they head on to the next gate?

Is there some weird narrative gap going on here, or am I just missing something obvious? Twice now they've destroyed gates and ended up with a hole in the space-time continuum which leads to .... somewhere... and they just leave the hole behind?

What the heck was the purpose of creating and hiding the gates if destroying them is meaningless?

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Obviously, the meaning is different than the order has been led to believe.

Sovereign Court

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Still wondering why Tarquin called Haley up, so far nothing talked about has really needed her.

I'm also willing to bet that we'll see Tarquin start exploring the other side of the rift, though that'll be off-screen. Like Orthos, I don't see Tarquin having much screen time after this.

Dark Archive Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

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Tarquin is a master player of 11th dimensional chess. There's no way he sacrificed a bishop (Malak) and brought an entire army with him to just shrug his shoulders and saunter off-camera.

Shadow Lodge

Yeah, gotta agree with Sebastian and Uzzy. He may not be intending to sic an army on the Order and will probably happily let Elan and Friends wander off, but he won't be leaving the gate untouched.


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Sebastian wrote:
Tarquin is a master player of 11th dimensional chess. There's no way he sacrificed a bishop (Malak) and brought an entire army with him to just shrug his shoulders and saunter off-camera.

"Just"? No.

But there may well be absolutely nothing (read: there really is nothing) that they can really do anything about at this time.

Also, I'd tend to agree that he's likely "walking off the stage" (at least for a significant time). He's also trying to survive, because a death right now wouldn't be very glorious or dramatic, and it's very likely that he's going to attempt to conquer and keep an empire in the new world, but doing so carefully. He's not really likely to want to invade another continent that he can't keep a kingdom for. I mean, he's got the system for this one down - there's no reason to try to learn a new one.


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Uzzy wrote:
Still wondering why Tarquin called Haley up, so far nothing talked about has really needed her.

Probably he invited her so she could repeat everything to the rest of the party without risking that Elan will mess something up.

Or to show her the current attitude within family.

Oh, and after the last few panels I think that Tarquin has British accent. Really classy villain has to have either British or pseudo-Eastern European but I doubt the later wouldn't suit Tarquin.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

If this is in fact the end of the Tarquin arc, I have to admit I was more impressed by the practical villain answer as to why he needs to let it go: "Power I can't access is no power at all."

In hindsight, it sort of gives Redcloak and Xykon's whole master plan a layer of futility that he doesn't he much care for.

Shadow Lodge

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Alex Martin wrote:
In hindsight, it sort of gives Redcloak and Xykon's whole master plan a layer of futility that he doesn't he much care for.

Likewise his explanation for disinterest in the plan itself: "too many moving parts".


Uzzy wrote:

Still wondering why Tarquin called Haley up, so far nothing talked about has really needed her.

I'm also willing to bet that we'll see Tarquin start exploring the other side of the rift, though that'll be off-screen. Like Orthos, I don't see Tarquin having much screen time after this.

Tarquin called a family meeting. With Haley and Elan's budding relationship, he seems to be expecting that she'll become family soon, as in his daughter-in-law.

Sovereign Court

Shadowborn wrote:
Uzzy wrote:

Still wondering why Tarquin called Haley up, so far nothing talked about has really needed her.

I'm also willing to bet that we'll see Tarquin start exploring the other side of the rift, though that'll be off-screen. Like Orthos, I don't see Tarquin having much screen time after this.

Tarquin called a family meeting. With Haley and Elan's budding relationship, he seems to be expecting that she'll become family soon, as in his daughter-in-law.

Yes... that's my point. Nothing so far discussed has been about 'family'


Orthos wrote:
Alex Martin wrote:
In hindsight, it sort of gives Redcloak and Xykon's whole master plan a layer of futility that he doesn't he much care for.
Likewise his explanation for disinterest in the plan itself: "too many moving parts".

"No, no, no, no. These plans are far to complicated. Simplicity is of the essence." -The Right Ordinary Horatio Jackson

The Right Ordinary Horatio Jackson's Best Line:
Ah, the officer who risked his life by singlehandedly destroying six enemy cannon and rescuing ten of our men held captive by the Turk. The officer about whome we've heard so much. Always taking risks far beyond the call of duty.

Have him executed at once. This sort of behavior is demoralizing for the ordinary soldiers and citizens who are trying to lead normal, simple, unexceptional lives. I think things are difficult enough as it is without these emotional people rocking the boat.


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Uzzy wrote:
Shadowborn wrote:
Uzzy wrote:

Still wondering why Tarquin called Haley up, so far nothing talked about has really needed her.

I'm also willing to bet that we'll see Tarquin start exploring the other side of the rift, though that'll be off-screen. Like Orthos, I don't see Tarquin having much screen time after this.

Tarquin called a family meeting. With Haley and Elan's budding relationship, he seems to be expecting that she'll become family soon, as in his daughter-in-law.
Yes... that's my point. Nothing so far discussed has been about 'family'

Apparently, narrative plot points are family matters where Tarquin is concerned.


Adamantine Dragon wrote:

So after destroying the Gate that was supposedly protecting the "snarl" the OOTS is just going to leave the now exposed "hole" to Tarquin's gentle oversight as they head on to the next gate?

Is there some weird narrative gap going on here, or am I just missing something obvious? Twice now they've destroyed gates and ended up with a hole in the space-time continuum which leads to .... somewhere... and they just leave the hole behind?

What the heck was the purpose of creating and hiding the gates if destroying them is meaningless?

My understanding of the purpose of the gates is contain the five rifts that the Snarl has made between its prison and the PCs' world. Each gate prevents the rifts from growing larger (which increases the likelihood of the Snarl breaking free of its prison), but a flaw in the gates allows a certain control over the power of the Snarl. So, destroying the gates is bad, as it increases the chance of the Snarl breaking free, but Roy decided to destroy the gate rather than allow Nale/Tarquin gain control of the gate. Apparently, nobody knows of a way to control the "raw" rift.

Interesting thought: How hard is it to build a new gate?

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Andostre wrote:
Interesting thought: How hard is it to build a new gate?

Considering the architects of the previous ones?

Epicly.

Sovereign Court

TriOmegaZero wrote:
Andostre wrote:
Interesting thought: How hard is it to build a new gate?

Considering the architects of the previous ones?

Epicly.

Well, we know that the dungeons surrounding the gates were epicly hard to build. But the gates themselves?

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

TriOmegaZero wrote:
Andostre wrote:
Interesting thought: How hard is it to build a new gate?

Considering the architects of the previous ones?

Epicly.

Given his demonstrated abilities, Tarquin would be able to manage it. But, what would he do with it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Andostre wrote:
Interesting thought: How hard is it to build a new gate?
Lord Fyre wrote:
Given his demonstrated abilities, Tarquin would be able to manage it. But, what would he do with it.

I am under the impression that the original gate heroes (Durokhan, Soon, et al.) gathered the information and design of what was needed to be done to build the gates at the time. I assume this was discovered in a classic, epic style of adventure for the original band. But, since all of them are dead or incapacitated, that information isn't necessarily at hand. With the possible exception of the book in Xykon's possession explaining a lot of the details.

So while I think Tarquin probably has the resources to build another gate, I'm not sure he knows how to do so in order to replicate the original's effects and control.

Anyhow, as has been noted, he's very a pragmatic villain so I doubt that any such idea would fit into his plots unless it was presented to him in a complete package. Tarquin has shown that he's all about someone else doing the "heavy lifting" before he steps in.

On a side note - although Rich has given us some back story and details - I would be curious to see a mini-story of the original band's gate quest to seal the Snarl in. Although I'll admit "prequelitis" doesn't always help a story/setting.

Silver Crusade

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Alex Martin wrote:
Andostre wrote:
Interesting thought: How hard is it to build a new gate?
Lord Fyre wrote:
Given his demonstrated abilities, Tarquin would be able to manage it. But, what would he do with it.

I am under the impression that the original gate heroes (Durokhan, Soon, et al.) gathered the information and design of what was needed to be done to build the gates at the time. I assume this was discovered in a classic, epic style of adventure for the original band. But, since all of them are dead or incapacitated, that information isn't necessarily at hand. With the possible exception of the book in Xykon's possession explaining a lot of the details.

So while I think Tarquin probably has the resources to build another gate, I'm not sure he knows how to do so in order to replicate the original's effects and control.

Anyhow, as has been noted, he's very a pragmatic villain so I doubt that any such idea would fit into his plots unless it was presented to him in a complete package. Tarquin has shown that he's all about someone else doing the "heavy lifting" before he steps in.

This may actually be why Tarquin brought the dino army with him, besides being an easy way to make sure the Order would talk to him peacefully instead of trying to fight him immediately.

He knows there's a rift there, and what can be done with it, and that step one is to make sure he's the one in control of that rift. He's pragmatic enough to take that step if it's dropped in his lap, so stationing a dino army to guard it seems in order. That way, if the info on how to build a new gate and/or control the rift happens to come his way in the future, he's already prepared for it. If not, at least no other villain gets their hands on the rift on "his" continent in the mean time. His motivations may be villainous, but he's competent and motivated enough to end up being a useful guardian for the rift, from the heroes' perspective.

Or perhaps his psion friend already acquired some of that info for building a new gate, and he's just yanking Nale's chain about how overly complicated the scheme was, in order to get rid of Nale.

As was mentioned with the three fiends, you don't need a detailed plan if you have your fingers in everything. Eventually, a couple of the things you're working on will interact with each other in a useful manner, and you'll get something out of it.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Andostre wrote:
Interesting thought: How hard is it to build a new gate?

Considering the architects of the previous ones?

Epicly.

Possibly, but I think Alex's theory that a lot of the effort of the original architects was in figuring out that the gate was necessary holds just as much water. I'm wondering if Xykon could figure it out.


I don't want to read too much into the plot of a webcomic, but the whole shoulder-shrugging response to destroying artifacts that supposedly were created to protect against the destruction of the universe seems very bizarre to me.

Doesn't anyone else in the world besides Xykon, Roy and Tarquin even care about the potential destruction of their universe?

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

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I think there's another reason not to build the gate.

"Oh no, the evil guy has a gate! We must stop him/destroy it!"

So voila, he doesn't buld the gate, no bands of heroes to come kill him. He knows he's a bad guy, and has no plot armor.


Andostre wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Andostre wrote:
Interesting thought: How hard is it to build a new gate?

Considering the architects of the previous ones?

Epicly.

Possibly, but I think Alex's theory that a lot of the effort of the original architects was in figuring out that the gate was necessary holds just as much water. I'm wondering if Xykon could figure it out.

Xykon? I'm not entirely sure he cares enough to bother figuring it out.

Adamantine Dragon wrote:

I don't want to read too much into the plot of a webcomic, but the whole shoulder-shrugging response to destroying artifacts that supposedly were created to protect against the destruction of the universe seems very bizarre to me.

Doesn't anyone else in the world besides Xykon, Roy and Tarquin even care about the potential destruction of their universe?

The Order in general? Following Roy's lead and decision making (and we know Roy's reasoning). They've learned what it's like without him, so they're going along with it.

The Order in Specific:


  • V? Out of commission. S/He definitely does, however.
  • Belker? No, frankly, he likely doesn't. At least not entirely. Yet. I suspect that he will shortly before it's too late.
  • Durkon? He's... kind of trying to figure out a large number of changes to his life.
  • Haley? She's definitely falling under the aegis of "follow the Roy" more than anyone, as she was forced into the leadership role and, while she takes it when she sees something that directly needs doing.
  • Elan? He has a steadfast faith in Roy, Banjo, the Order, and the power of Narrative. So of course he's not worried.

Others:

  • Redcloak? All about his god and The Plan. (His god likely doesn't care, due to bitterness.) This, to some extent, is similar to all the goblins.
  • The Thing In Darkness? Only sort of, because, you know, it's hard to break out of how you were raised.
  • The Gods (outside of Nurgal)? Heck yeah, they do, however it's unclear how much, exactly, they know about what's going on and what, exactly, they can do about it, even if they knew.
  • Nale? Nale only sees the power that this can bring him.
  • The Three Fiends? We've no idea what their long-term game is.
  • The Sapphire Guard? They've got a city full of evicted innocents to take care of, aren't entirely sure what the rules of the game are, and are effectively incapable.
  • The Oracle? Likely already knows. Can't do anything about it.
  • Fiends in general? Hard to say, really, what they know or could do.
  • Most of the rest of the world? Completely unaware of this.[/list]

    I mean, that seems to cover it. Anyone else you'd care to name? Other than that I'm not entirely sure what you mean.

    The only ones that know for a fact that destroying the gates is inherently a terrible idea, I believe, include V, the Three Fiends, and... um... maybe the gate builders? The oracle, perhaps? I'm not sure.


  • Tactics, I am assuming that this is all happening in a larger world where there are OTHER people you have not even listed who should/would care. By now the activities of the OOTS should have reached the notice of any number of equally high or higher level people who should care about all this.

    Liberty's Edge

    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
    Tacticslion wrote:


    The only ones that know for a fact that destroying the gates is inherently a terrible idea, I believe, include V, the Three Fiends, and... um... maybe the gate builders? The oracle, perhaps? I'm not sure.

    The Three Fiends seem to think it's terrible enough that they're expending some considerable effort to bring it about, though I'm not sure why at this point.


    Start of Darkness, on the Gate Builders:

    Rich has taken pains to show us that Dorukan and Lirian's souls are trapped in a gem that Xykon has. I believe the crayon drawings, as told by Shojo, described that those two, as the full arcane and divine spellcasters in the group, were responsible for creating the ritual that sealed the rifts in the first place. It is possible that this created the gates themselves as well, which the rest were then tasked with defending. However, I bet that freeing the souls of Dorukan and Lirian may become important.


    EDIT 2: AD, I'm not trying to fight, but rather to explain why your presupposition that someone who could do more would be more active doesn't necessarily hold water in the game world. The short version is: we just don't know what's going on out there, and presuming that it "should have" reached someone else by now is a false presumption. Either it has and they're doing something, or it hasn't and thus they're not.

    Adamantine Dragon wrote:
    By now the activities of the OOTS should have reached the notice of any number of equally high or higher level people who should care about all this.

    But why "should" it have reached anyone? EDIT: (From what I can tell/recall, it only reached OotS because they happened to be the adventuring group that went after Xykon because of Roy's dad's blood oath. And Xykon more or less just happened into the only book on the planet that had the information laid out for him.)

    And again, even if it did, whose to say they can actually do anything about it?

    The oracle, again for instance, can see the future, but he certainly can't act on it to change anything he sees. He can act, yes, but he can't act to change.

    The gods seem to be in some sort of divine non-interference pact that would also result in the destruction of the universe if voided.

    The "other" high level people out there are probably caught up in their own things. Heck, I'd definitively put Tarquin in the list of powerful "high level people who would care", but he didn't even know there was anything important, until OotS showed up.

    The gates, their purpose, meaning, and traits, were, and are, very well hidden, even from powerful magic. Divinations often don't work well on artifacts anyway (which I'm presuming the gates effectively are). Add to that, each of the protectors used the methods they knew the best to hide them, make sure no one learned about them, and seal them away from the world, and you've got a pretty solid basis for no one "accidentally" figuring this out, even if they've got it out for OotS. And OotS isn't exactly going to go around going "HEY EVERYBODY, FOLLOW US TO END THIS GATE THREAT THING." because, 1) they haven't had much luck with the good guys, and b) they haven't had much luck with the bad guys either.

    Above and beyond all that? This is a "game". The "PCs" (in this case, OotS) are the "heroes" and "stars" of the story. Thus, it's up to them to accomplish everything. Just like most any game, really.

    Also, thanks for the Spoiler, flamethrower49! :)

    EDIT 2:

    John Woodford wrote:
    Tacticslion wrote:


    The only ones that know for a fact that destroying the gates is inherently a terrible idea, I believe, include V, the Three Fiends, and... um... maybe the gate builders? The oracle, perhaps? I'm not sure.
    The Three Fiends seem to think it's terrible enough that they're expending some considerable effort to bring it about, though I'm not sure why at this point.

    Pretty much exactly my point. They know it's a terrible idea, but they're gunning for it anyway. :)


    Tacticslion wrote:
    Andostre wrote:
    TriOmegaZero wrote:
    Andostre wrote:
    Interesting thought: How hard is it to build a new gate?

    Considering the architects of the previous ones?

    Epicly.

    Possibly, but I think Alex's theory that a lot of the effort of the original architects was in figuring out that the gate was necessary holds just as much water. I'm wondering if Xykon could figure it out.
    Xykon? I'm not entirely sure he cares enough to bother figuring it out.

    There's only one gate left. Should it be destroyed, he would probably care. If he looks forward even a little bit, he would care now.


    Andostre wrote:
    Tacticslion wrote:
    Xykon? I'm not entirely sure he cares enough to bother figuring it out.
    There's only one gate left. Should it be destroyed, he would probably care. If he looks forward even a little bit, he would care now.

    That's a pretty big "if", honestly. Xykon is pretty clever. He's extremely knowledgeable. He's also petty, cruel, and often short-sighted and careless.

    That's not to say that he doesn't care. That's not to say that he doesn't know. That's not to say that he won't do anything.

    But he's been caught by surprise enough before that I'm not sure that he cares enough to figure out how to rebuild the gates. I'm not sure that he'll bother to care.

    He's savvy enough to know that his strings are being pulled. I suspect he knows and understands more than Redcloak thinks he does. But Xykon's big thing is that he just doesn't care. He's powerful. He's a lich. He's only interested in himself. And he often doesn't care when he should.

    That said, it's possible that he's learned his lesson. But my point is only that I'm not sure he'll bother.


    Anyone notice Tarquin has a Psion... He might not need the book to learn how to build the gate...


    So.

    Well then.

    That's... not what I expected.

    Well played, Rich. Well played.

    EDIT: looks like Nale did use up his local supply of competence after all.

    Spoiler:

    spoiler:
    I wonder what Sabine will think, and whether or not Tarquin has thought through the impact on Elan.


    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    Things are starting to unravel rather quickly now.

    Dark Archive

    well thats what happens when you rebel against an evil character...


    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

    Wow. Well done Mr. Burlew.

    Spoiler:
    So either Sabine goes rogue, or the Three Fiends control her with an offer of Resurrection. They could always use their influence to have her meet with Nale in Hell, but I don't think that's how they operate.

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