Dunbar wrote:Then the priced the support plan so that Stanley wouldn't buy it. Actually, as I recall Stanley was not interested in the spell very much until Wanda mentioned it was cheaper without the support plan. Then he changed his mind, because suddenly it was a deal. Maybe without the price drop, he wouldn't have bought it.
Pretty sure Stanley would have bought it. He balks because 500,000 shmuckers would 'empty the treasury', but is made to understand that if they lose the battle Ansom will seize the treasury anyway unless Stanley spends it first. He has nothing to lose until Wanda opens her mouth and says the spell is only technically 350,000 shmuckers, at which point he agrees that she can cast it. If there was a plan that could take into account Stanley's flippant nature, it must have been a good one.
I don't really think the pricing nuance entered it, as the thinkamancers make it clear that not everybody involved in the creation of the scroll knew the full story. Since the Magic Kingdom runs on rands, but unit upkeeps should still need to be paid in theory, most likely the cost of the spell was actually fair compensation for work of the casters involved, given that juice used in the creation of the scroll could not be used by the caster later under any contract/side.
Wanda might have made up the number to bring Stanley closer to ruin, but she confesses to Parson after the battle for Gobwin Knob that she had turned to Stanley's side and waited for the next tool, instead of trying to get the hammer. Wanda asking Ansom to touch her with the pliers in the battle seems to make that pretty solid, so she wouldn't necessarily have had any motivation to bankrupt Stanley, as she still thought he was the best choice for her to get an arkentool.
The number speculation also seems to hinge on the idea that anybody KNEW exactly how many shmuckers Gobwin Knob had, which I can't find any support for anywhere. Even when I went back to the archives, thinking that Charlie knew how to get other sides' treasury numbers, it never seemed to be true. A lot of the shmuckers stuff looks abstracted away for story-telling, but a few numbers are made explicit. There are others, but these are some of the larger ones:
Cost of a Summon Perfect Warlord Spell: 350,000
Cost of the use of a caster for that spell: 150,000
Rough estimate by Sizemore of Parson's Bracer: ~500,000+
Charlie's cost to Transylvito to get out of the Gobwin Knob fight: 250,000/turn
Non-aggression contract penalty proposed by Tramennis: 1,000,000
Charlie's bounty on decrypted archon: 5000/dusted, 25000 bonus for at least one alive
I don't have on hand how many archons were at the battle of Jetstone but the 5k per archon + 25k was supposed to be enough to designate Tramennis heir, which Jetstone did accomplish. Charlie possibly put the screws to clone-Slately, as Tramennis was also informed at the time of receiving heir status that the queued-to-pop royal heir was dismissed. Whether that was for shmuckers, a condition from Charlie, or a necessity of making Tramennis heir is not clear, but the cost is possibly bounded by the fact that Charlie suggested the 'full bounty' could cover the heir costs, implying that simply dusting all of the archons would not be enough.
Smuckers only really seem to be referenced as a narrative aid to explain certain actions or 'diplomacies'. I think any references to shmucker amounts is a dead end, as even though Rob probably worked out the numbers, it would not advance the story-telling to put prices on everything. In fact, isn't that what Parson is trying to bring down?