Parson Gotti

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Parson.png
Parson Gotti
Race: Earth human
Faction: Gobwin Knob
Class: Chief Warlord
Level: 2
Move: Unknown (Field Unit)
Special: Leadership, Heavy, Special,
Eyebook Username: LordHamster
Eyebook Sound: Eep?

Contents

Canon

Parson A. Gotti, (born December 7, 1982 in Indianapolis, Indiana), or Lord Hamster, is a human gamer, and author of the webcomic Hamstard. Originally from Earth, resident of the city of Columbus, Ohio, he was summoned to Erfworld by Wanda Firebaugh in 3 AW, and appointed Chief Warlord under Stanley the Tool of Gobwin Knob. He was demoted to Warlord in 10 AW, and re-promoted to a Chief Warlord again in Book 2, Page 32.

Proposed Canon

"I have no problem with that, Tool."

Strengths: Ultimate Strategy, Logic, Abstract Thinking

Weaknesses: Stupid Name, Low Leadership, High Upkeep, Stairs, Being careful what he wishes for

First Appearance: TBFGK 14

Plot

Book-1-Plot

Inventory

See also: Magic_Item

Speculation

Relationships

Sizemore Rockwell

Sizemore seems to have been Parson's first friend in Erfworld. The two respected each other right away. Sizemore had never received any respect from a Warlord before, so he naturally treated Parson the way he would treat one of his fellow Casters in the Magic Kingdom. Sizemore's attitude toward Parson suffered when Sizemore was ordered to kill enemy units, but Sizemore seems to have forgiven Parson.

Sizemore enjoys learning new ideas and performing new tasks, as long as they don't directly involve croaking people. He therefore appreciates Parson's capacity for suggesting ideas and activities which are new to Erfworld. He knows that associating with Parson is likely to increase the rate at which he levels. But he is also apprehensive about Parson's capacity for mass slaughter, and dislikes the effect Parson's innovations are having on his relations with the casters in the Magic Kingdom. While Janis helped him come to terms with the death toll produced by "uncroaking" the volcano, he knows he may find it harder to forgive what Parson makes him do in future battles. By the time the Siege of Spacerock is over, Sizemore shows a great deal of antipathy, and Parson acknowledges that Sizemore probably hates him now.

Wanda Firebaugh

Wanda has always respected Parson's tactical mind. The two have a good working relationship, but Parson fears her and considers her a monster.

It appears that after the Battle for Gobwin Knob, Wanda's respect for Parson's tactical mind has increased even more, and Ansom believes that she clears each strategy with him before acting.

However, in one case, she has chosen not to follow his advice. Wanda sees Parson as another agent of Fate, and believes she knows his future well enough to be able to predict that he will suffer and take losses in future battles.

Wanda has willingly shared some of her secrets with Parson. She does not seem concerned that he might ever use any of them against her.

Stanley the Tool

Stanley is aware that Parson is the "Perfect Warlord", and is therefore capable of defeating vastly superior armies by devising radically innovative strategies. But despite this fact, he is deeply ambivalent about allowing Parson to act as Gobwin Knob's Chief Warlord. He knows he can't predict what Parson will do if he gives him the authority to act, but he suspects that while Parson will achieve victory, that victory will come at a higher price than Stanley wishes to pay. He is deeply unhappy that Wanda became attuned to the Arkenpliers as a consequence of Parson's first victory, and is likely to be even more unhappy if Parson's second victory allows Wanda to take control of most of Stanley's Dwagons. Parson dislikes Stanley, who reminds him of every bad boss he ever had in his old life on Earth. He has almost no respect for Stanley beyond his ability to kill him/get him killed. It was recently revealed in LIAB Text 44 that while Stanley recognizes how good a warlord Parson is, he also believes that were he to recognize subordinates it would cause them to slack in their duties. He does have a few complaints such as how expensive Parson's plans tend to be and the occasional mistakes that result from his inexperience.

Stanley is also struggling with his position. He has often commented that he was happiest when he could go out to tame dwagons, fight battles, rock out, and generally be an active part in the dangers of his side. As an Overlord he must avoid any dangerous active role while his subordinates do all the things he wishes he could do.


Maggie

Parson initially hated Maggie because she was responsible for Misty's death. Since then he seems to have forgiven her. Their relationship began very formally but the two began to be social once Parson stepped down from Chief Warlord, to the point she feels comfortable questioning him, advising him, and teasing him about romantic and sexual matters, and has even been hinting at a level of romantic interest herself. Parson for his part enjoys conversations with her, since she is good at finding ways to "kick his ass with one sentence", making her a fun challenge to contend with.

Maggie is probably the staunchest defender of Parson's abilities post volcano-TPK, to the point that she directly argued against Stanley's order regarding his demotion. She felt that Parson was wasting his talents just acting as regent to a city and urged him to do more. When the Siege of Spacerock went disastrously wrong and Ansom went down as Gobwin Knob's Chief Warlord, she even went so far as to use a suggestion spell to make Stanley appoint Parson as Ansom's replacement. This causes Parson to feel a great deal of animosity towards her, since she made him Chief Warlord against his will. He becomes especially angry when he learns that it wasn't just for the good of the side, but an underhanded part of her efforts to advance the interests of her fellow Thinkamancers.

Parson has considered Maggie to be one of the very few people he trusts. But with recent events, he has found himself questioning her Loyalty between himself and the Great Minds. In response, Maggie has offered him the reassurance, that as long as he opposes Charlie, he can count her on his side.

Jack Snipe

Jack and Parson seem to be quite cordial. They haven't been seen having much interaction until recently. Parson seems to understand about two thirds of Jacks witticisms, which is more than most people. They have worked together to develop new tactical concepts, with Jack using his Foolamancy to visually simulate the movement of units and outcomes of battles as calculated by Parson's Mathamancy bracer. Since they started the simulations, Jack's opinion of Parson has risen dramatically. At one point he muses that Parson explaining the phrase "lateral thinking" to him is enough for him to consider himself forever in the warlord's debt.

Parson considered Jack to be one of the few people he trusted. But with Jack's Decryption, Parson worries that Jack has become little more than Wanda's puppet.

Bogroll

Bogroll was intensely loyal and devoted to Parson. Bogroll claimed that his greatest wish would be to save Parson's life. Parson became fond of Bogroll, though he found interaction with him awkward. Bogroll's death in combat played a major role in Parson's eventual decision to discard his Sword of Ruthlessness.

Charlie

The two initially seem to like each other, despite being adversarial. It is likely that the two enjoy having an intellectual equal. On Parson's side, Charlie is independent and one of the only characters who always seems to understand what Parson is saying, whether real world references or leetspeak is used. On Charlie's side, although Parson holds duty to Gobwin Knob, he is not bogged down by any of the prejudices Erfworlders generally have and has an out of the box method of thinking that Charlie can appreciate.

That said, however, considering the potential damage that Parson could do to him, having an intellectual equal is a "pleasure" which Charlie would forgo if he could. Charlie has informed Jillian that he's very concerned that his secrets have been compromised. The most damaging of the secrets about Charlie which Parson has learned so far would probably include:

1: One of Charlie's Rules instructs his Archons to make trouble for their own clients, in order to create new employment opportunities.

2: Charlie has no Warlords or Casters (or at least, none that the Archons know about).

3: Charlie never leaves the central tower of his city, which means potential assassins don't need to search the rest of the city to find him.

Fortunately for Charlie, Parson has yet to learn one of Charlie's most dangerous secrets; He is addicted to heroine buds and has been forced to use magical means to survive.

Charlie will certainly wonder how Parson could have survived the volcano. If he discovers that Parson entered the Magic Kingdom, he may suspect that Parson is a caster. Charlie appears to have discovered this by the time he briefs Tramennis in LIAB_43. He does not yet know Parson's discipline, suggesting to Tramennis that Parson is a Mathamancer, but he also confirmed to Parson himself that he can use scrolls.

By the Siege of Spacerock, it is revealed that Charlie is terrified of Parson. As the inventor of the very Summon Perfect Warlord Spell that summoned Parson in the first place, he is one of the few people capable of truly appreciating just how dangerous Parson actually is. There is a prophecy suggesting that Parson is Fated to defeat Charlie, and Charlie is thus determined to get Parson out of Erfworld by any means. Charlie arranges for Jojo to give Parson a scroll so that Parson can leave Erfworld peacefully but is ready to kill Parson if Parson refuses to leave.

Charlie, so far, has not worked against Parson directly, instead striking against Gobwin Knob's interests via proxies, such as Faq, Haggar, and Jetstone, likely to avoid the cataclysmic damage Parson could unleash if things escalate too much. He eventually reveals himself to Parson at the Siege of Spacerock, taunting him and telling Parson to "GTFO" (use the magic scroll Jojo gave him to leave Erfworld) or "DIAF" (die in a fire--specifically, the inferno consuming Spacerock)

After this incident, Parson feels similarly about Charlie and has allied with the Great Minds with the explicit goal of killing him.

Notes

Apparently Parson is a Heavy Unit and cannot ride a Mount.summer-updates-032 External.png Being formerly both a Heavy and a Garrison Unit, he was incapable of leaving Gobwin Knob on foot or mounted.

Parson was able to pass through the portal to the Magic Kingdom, something that as a Warlord should have resulted in his immediate disbanding. Once there he is identified as a Hippiemancer by a Grand AbbieErf-b1-p140-p8Same-site.PNG. Whether this suggests he has additional abilities he is unaware of, reflects his unique and anomalous properties in Erfworld, was a lie by the Grand Abbie used to defuse a tense situation, or something else entirely remains to be seen. However, Parson has had street signs put up in Gobwin Knob. summer-updates-044 External.png Since Signamancy is a form of Hippiemancy, this may be significant.

Theoretically he could use the Magic Kingdom to move between cities much as a Garrison Caster would, but the casters in the Kingdom are leery of having a Warlord in their land.

At the end of Book 1Erf-b1-p150Same-site.PNG, Parson destroyed his sword and successfully cursed. Since then, he has also considered croaking Stanley, though perhaps only as a thought experiment. This could indicate many possibilities including:

1. He is no longer subject to the effects of the Summon Spell (or at least the Thinkamantic portions of it).
2. Erfworld has rewarded him for services rendered.
3. He can use willpower to fight Natural Thinkamancy.
4. He can now curse at will. (( This has been confirmed in LIAB 33, where he specifically said "Bullshit". ))

Having presided over the destruction of the entire alliance army, Parson may have leveled; however, he has only croaked one thing directly himself (a Wiener-Rammer), and has directly presided only over battles from which he retreated, which would prevent him from leveling. This includes the Volcano Uncroaking event, in which all of the actual dying by Royal Crown Coalition occurred while Parson was in the Magic Kingdom. It is further made unclear because aside from the stats listed in his stupid meal his stats can't be viewed as other unit's stats can be.

Parson was previously a Garrison Warlord and it was thought that he would have to be promoted to a Field Warlord by Stanley (who was not inclined to do so) in order to gain the ability to move between hexes.summer-updates-009 External.png However, this requirement has been proven false since Parson was able to use his authority as Chief Warlord to promote himself to a Field Unit rather than waiting for Stanley to do so. This may be considered yet another example of Parson's lateral thinking, as detailed below. Being a Field Unit, Parson's Upkeep is now 140 Schmuckers higher than before.

Parson's Game and Lateral Thinking (spoiler alert for this subsection as it alludes to spoiler comments made by the author)

Before Parson was brought to Erfworld, he had spent six months designing a turn based strategy game. This game was intended by Parson to force the players to employ lateral thinking. There was no way they could win the game, and defeat Parson, except by coming up with some radical new strategy which Parson (the Gamemaster) hadn't thought of while he was designing the game. Because Parson is the "Perfect Warlord", many readers expect him to ultimately "win" the game which is Erforld, by conquering the world. But it may be that Parson's real Fate is to force the people of Erfworld to develop their capacity for lateral thinking, to the point where they can defeat him, in the same way he originally planned to force his friends to develop theirs.

Parson the Signamancer

It has been speculated that Parson may be a Signamancer, based on a variety of factors: Signamancy being Fate-aligned Hippiemancy, Janis's claim that he is a Hippiemancer, and perhaps the nature of Signamancy itselfsummer-updates-037 External.png which meshes very well with Parson's ability to coming up with new powerful (described as 'disturbing') game-changing strategies in Erfworld's reality. It is possible that Janis's claim is based on Parson's true nature, that is he is a gamer as opposed to and in addition to a playing piece in a world bound by game like rules. Paradoxically as both an outsider and an expert, the significance of many aspects of Erfworld are quite clear to Parson in that he naturally looks to what everything in Erfworld signifies not what they "are".

Parson appears to conduct many signamancy experiments. These are countless, but examples are fun: When intoxicated, he decides to take a short flight across Gobwin Knob's quad. If a powerful signamancer, he is deciding to risk his life in a signamancy experiment to see what happens when a flying unit that is mountable, a dwagon, is ridden by a large, non-flying garrison unit with zero move.[1] He has conducted and continues to conduct what appear to be signamancy experiments, such as what happens when you leave a hex with zero move [2], attempt ranged attacks with no unit special ranged attack (bracer scenario) [3], blowing up Gobwin Knob [4] , etc. With each experiment, he has proven his perception of the underlying game rules via Signamancy are real and can be taken advantage of. For example, he set up chains of ranged fliers to cross hundred of hexes 'pony express style' in a single turn, defeated an entire army by uncroaking a volcano, and even disobeyed a direct order from Stanley without disbanding [5] (this last one is Special for reasons we won't go into here, but will below in "Parson the Natural Caster"). And in case you missed the italics (above), it is also important to note that like archons and all such special units, Parson's power appears to be natural [[6]], that is he appears to be a natural signamancer.

As a natural caster, Janis's claim that he is a Hippiemancer seems sound and more to the point, he appears to be an extremely powerful natural signamancer. This is perhaps often missed by fans of Erfworld for three reasons. First, because Erfworld fans share Parson's powerful natural signamancy with regard to how they interpret Erfworld. Because after all, signamancy is all about interpretation of signs as signals to seeing the reality that underlies what is taken for granted, aka insignificant, by others, perhaps much like Enlightenment [7] in our reality. (This also might explain why its called Hippiemancy for obvious allusions.) Second, as a gamer and a game piece in a world bound by game like rules, Parson, like the reader, can see and understand the difference between social customs as distinctly separate from game rules.[8] [9] (Note: Charlie, who like Parson is also known as 'not normal' with a thinkamancy artifact may be catch on to Parson). Third, because Signamancy mechanics do not appear to change Erfworld the way other magics operate. For example Croakamancy directly makes croaked units into uncroaked units, rather Signamancy appears to give insights (see the signals) into how the existing Erfworld works that later can then be exploited by "non-magical" actions (perhaps not unlike Enlightenment).

For example, it has been noted by fans that Parson created in Gobwin Knob a set of street signs based on characters from the Simpsons and his favorite foods and if Parson is a Signamancer, then (the thought goes) that these signs may begin to affect the streets on which they are located. (In a strange turn of pun, this type of mechanic is actually known as magical thinking [10]). In terms of Erfworld mechanics, it will be interesting to see if signamancy magic works to directly change the content of Erworld's reality like other magics (as the assumption above appears to imply), or perhaps like Enlightenment, it simply impacts Parson's view (perspective) of reality which then allows him to take extremely powerful "non-magical" actions that no one else would suspect are possible because of what they've taken for granted as insignificant. (So far the mechanic appears to be the latter case.)

Perhaps part of Parson's apparent Signamancy ability is that he can also expertly parse signs (Perhaps a pun on his name Parson.) That is to say his ability to determine "the relative importance or prominence of a piece of a sign", semiotics, [11] in the great mix of signs everyone sees everyday. This is perhaps best demonstrated when as the "Perfect Warlord", or equally plausibly as a natural signamancer/warlord, in Book I page 124 [12] speaks to how he parses what he sees for war to win back the trust of his fellow(?) casters.

Finally, this perhaps explains many of Parsons relationships. He appears most comfortable in relationships with casters, Bogroll a notable exception. For example, his two closest companions in Erfworld are both casters; Maggie, who repeatedly notes he is a very different sort of warlord, and Sizemore, who stated very early on that he had a deep interest in all kinds of magic. It is possible that Sizemore's interest in Parson could be a subconscious reflection of this. Parson's comfort with them appeared most significant during a drunken Signamantic(?) conversation about the nature of time in Erfworld. [13] Last but not least, Signamancy would explain why he understands much of Jack's, the Foolamancer's, cloaked speech. As a Signamancer he would naturally be able to see clearly to a Foolamancer's cloaked meaning.

How was Parson able to get into the Magic Kingdom?

If he is a Signamancer, Parson may be a natural caster. The key evidence for this is that we don't know if natural casters disband when passing through the portal to the Magic Kingdom, but we know non-casters do disband. Why is this fact important? If it were that clear cut and only casters can get through the Portal to the Magic Kingdom and not be disbanded, as Queen Bea used it to commit suicide, why did the casters in the Magic Kingdom get so upset about Parson getting 'in' in the first place? If it were cut and dried that only casters can get through the portal, then just by passing through the portal would be analogous to the right credentials. The fuss of the other casters in the Magic Kingdom to Parson's presence, gives appearance to a gray area between a regular caster, like Maggie, and a non-caster, like Queen Bea. Something that the reality of the portal admits, but from which regular casters draw a mental (social) distinction. The only thing known that fits that gray area is a natural caster, like an Archon, which if you think about it is both a caster (to the Portal) and not a caster caster (perhaps to regular Casters) at the same time. The other options are that 2) Parson is simply unique. He is noted as Special in which case perhaps he is immune to disbanding by the portal just as he was immune to disbanding for failing to follow Stanley's expressed orders (noted in "Parson the Signamancer" above.) or 3) Casters can innately and with absolute certainty (magically) recognize other casters and if Parson made it through the portal, but did not register to their innate and certain senses, then he's an interloper despite the Portal's acquiescence. The only question on this final option is then for what reason would have the angry casters believed Janis when she claimed Parson as a member of her tribe of casters? They agreed to what she said, but since Maggie thought Parson best leave immediately upon regaining consciousness it would appear Parson is either immune to disbanding, a gray area-possibly natural caster...or perhaps both. 4) Perhaps Parson is an undisputed caster and the anger of the other casters is the reason Maggie herself gave Parson when they left: "This is not a place for warlords." Parson showing up sword-in-hand from battle may have been the cause, however, all casters are warlords capable of leading troops and Parson's opening retort to his appearance through the portal "...I don't know why I didn't disband. Maybe I count as a Mathemancer...or something" would tend to discount this last option.

Trivia

  • Parson is named after his grandfather: whether this is his maternal or paternal grandfather is unknown.
  • "Parson A. Gotti" is an anagram of "A protagonist".
  • His upkeep is over 1000 Shmuckers a turn. By comparison, the strongest Archon unit has an upkeep around 500 Shmuckers a turn. We don't know what the average upkeep for a high-level warlord is, but one full grand per turn was high enough that Stanley found it irritating (but not completely outrageous).
  • Parson's birthday is the day (25 years to the day) that Erfworld was originally launched on Giant in the Playground.
  • Parson appears to enjoy listening to Beck ("Loser" is the song that plays as his alarm) and Jonathan Coulton ("Re Your Brains" is the song playing in his car on the way to Kinko's). However, it is possible that Parson enjoys Beck to no greater degree than being willing to set his alarm radio to a station that will play Beck, given that at the time of the comic's beginning radio alarm clocks were far more common than MP3 alarm clocks. "Re Your Brains" is unlikely enough to be playing on a car radio station that Parson most likely chose to play it in the form of a mix CD or an MP3.
  • As a side note, it seems that Parson has begun to lose weight as a result of his time in Erfworld as recent comics have shown him sporting a decreased amount of paunch and much less puffiness in his cheeks. Whether this is signamancy or the result of a better diet and a less sedentary lifestyle is unknown.
  • Parson is a comic character who wrote a web comic, and designed a chit-game. He is summoned into a chit-game as a warlord character who attempts to overcome the paradigm of the chit-game, but remains unaware of the web comic paradigm.


Preceded by:
Manpower the Temporary
Chief Warlord of Gobwin Knob Succeeded by:
Prince Ansom
Preceded by:
Prince Ansom
Chief Warlord of Gobwin Knob Succeeded by:
None, incumbent
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