Stanley had looked stunned as I had made my latest request. The reasoning behind it was simple: I needed to level, and fast. Since there were no enemies to fight and training was way too slow, the answer was to generate some enemies. We had a surplus of uncroaked troops which were rotting away anyway. Since the main combat power of Gobwin Knob consisted of its dwagons, they were not needed in my plans. 210 uncroaked infantry and five uncroaked warlords should be enough to level me up to level 4, which would double the’ in same hex as chief warlord’ combat bonus for Gobwin Knob’s troops from one to two. That would be worth much more than the combat value of 215 decaying units. It took me a while, but eventually Stanley saw the wisdom of it and told me he would go along with it. Wanda had also opposed my idea at first, presumably she thought of the uncroaked as her property but she relented once I reminded her of her role in the plan to eliminate the Royal Crown Coalition’s column and the large amount of new uncroaked that plan would generate.  So on my third turn in Erfworld, after the visiting casters had their orders for the turn (I left Maggie to supervise things), Overlord Stanley, Wanda, 215 uncroaked including five warlords and myself assembled in the courtyard. I had originally thought that we would have to leave the hex but it turned out that you can turn barbarian even in the capital if your ruler orders you to do so.

 

So after Wanda had stacked with all the uncroaked, Stanley ordered her to turn barbarian. She then ordered one of her uncroaked to unstack and attack me. I was stacked with six stabbers plus Bogroll. They were ordered to let me do the fighting and only interfere in case of emergency. For the same reason I had Misty with a Healamancy scroll nearby, just in case. It turned out that the emergency preparations where not needed. I had a max stack bonus, my own command bonus and Three Edge, Jillian’s magical sword on top of it. Combined with the fact that my warlord’s stats, whatever they might be, were higher than the stats of partly decayed uncroaked basic infantry I did not so much fight them but rather execute them. Back on Earth it would have been impossible to become a competent swordsman from a measly couple of hours training over two days but here on Erf the combat bonuses did my work for me. After I had destroyed most of the infantry, Misty congratulated me to my level up. As expected, I had not felt a thing. The five uncroaked warlords were a much higher threat and did not go down as quietly as the infantry. Lord Manpower the Temporary hit me in the left arm as I shoved Three Edge trough his chest. I barely managed to not cry out in pain. Erfworlders have a much higher pain tolerance then Earthlings like me and wounds which would kill an Earthling in a short amount of time hardly bothered Erfworlders.  While the wound looked serious enough for me and hurt quite a lot, it would probably have been seen as whiny if I asked for Healomancy for it. Misty put a bandage around it and the bleeding stopped after a while. While I did not get hurt often back on Earth and did not have much in the way of comparable data, I did get the impression that the wound hurt less than it should, more Erfworld shenigans presumably.

 

While the whole feeling was quite fascinating, I had other things to do. In the morning the bracer had arrived just like in canon. Unlike canon it came without a slot to insert a calculator watch, which was not a problem because I did not have one. I seemed to work fine without one too, so whatever. With this new capability it was time for some serious number crunching. First I checked the validity of my assumptions concerning my battle plan for the approaching column. The bracer confirmed my calculations; the chance to win the battle against the hexes without leadership in them was 99.9999999%. Presumably this meant it would be theoretically possible to lose if Gobwin Knob’s troops rolled only minimum results and the enemy only maximum results. The battle for the leadership hex was less secure, but with them badly outnumbered by their own former, now uncroaked troops the odds for the Royal Crown Coalition were abysmal. Still, I was not satisfied so I kept refining the plan and added some more casters. In the end I stopped once the odds reached 99% in Gobwin Knobs favor.

 

With the planning completed for now, it was time to concentrate on myself. I knew that the summoning spell had its strings wrapped around my brain, even if I could not feel them. It wanted me to do things, pushed me in directions suiting its needs. It was time to push back. Erfworld really tried to mess with me. As chief warlord I had the power to order every unit around except Stanley. I could order them to do anything I wanted, order them to kill or be killed at my whim. Yes kill, not croak. The cutesy speak did not hide the truth. People, not units, would die very soon. Lots of them. But here I was, unable to even utter a proper swear word. I was getting really angry at that thought.

 

On the plane of the warlord’s mindscape, the downward movement in the strings coming from the conscious level of the warlords mind had stopped. The noises emitting from them became louder and louder, finally they started unloading their cargo…

 

When the summoning spell’s hordes led their next attack, they found the combined armed forces of the warlords will charging in the opposite direction...

 

I wasn’t a flipping, flapping, flaming, fragging thrice be dammed doll, I was a fucking human being in possession of free will, Erfworld be damned. Finally I could swear in my thoughts again, the next step was to do it out loud.

 

I was sweating heavily, my breath was going fast and my heart was pumping, but finally I managed to do it just like Parson in canon:

 

Fuck you Erfworld!”

 

I could almost feel something giving way in my brain. After that I needed a bit of time to recover. Then it was high time to get moving, this whole situation was headed in a horrible direction, but not if I had anything to say about it. The foundations had already been laid, now it was time to execute my real plan… Hopefully I would not screw this up, correction, I could simply not afford to screw this up, there was no room for mistakes. By this time, it was midday; the casters were still at work. The work itself was progressing faster than the last turn though; everyone was more used to the linking processes.

 

I had to go and meet the free casters again. There were some additional arrangements to be made, while others made earlier had to be confirmed. The time crunch was horrible; I had to be done by midafternoon.

 

 

                                                                                              ***   

Sizemore did not know how to describe his mental state. He could not recall that he had ever been this worn out. All that casting was taking its toll. On the other hand, he could not recall when he was as happy as he was now the last time, even if he took his few trips to the magic kingdom under consideration. He was contributing to his side, he had leveled and the new chief warlord had told him that he was fundamental for his plans! It was midafternoon by now and he could finally rest. All his juice had been expended, the linkups were finished and the free casters had returned to the magic kingdom. He was observing the work they had done together. Lord Stanley would not recognize his own tunnel zone if he would take a look at it. Sizemore was not clear on all the modifications Specialist Hund had ordered but it was clear that the new tunnel section was far more defensible than the old one. He was beginning to get a good feeling again about his own chances for survival. Even while he had no great interest in martial affairs, he knew that Gobwin Knob was in dire straits. Whatever the new chief warlord had planned, with all those casters involved it must be something huge. Now if only he would not have to take part in the fighting and especially not in the croaking. With that thought, his mood dropped and he let out a weary sigh. However, shortly thereafter he was ripped out from his thoughts, rudely.

 

First he lost his chief warlord bonus.

 

Then shackles appeared around his wrists.

 

Then he was a barbarian.

 

He couldn’t believe it. Gobwin Knob was gone? He was a barbarian? The city had fallen? How???

 

What on Erf had happened?!?

 

As soon as he had recovered a bit from the initial shock, he looked around to his fellow units (Titans, they were all barbarians now. Barbarian prisoners!). They looked about as shocked as he felt. For a while, nothing much happened. Then, he felt an order to move to the courtyard. Apparently, everyone else had received the same orders as a general shuffling ensued. More and more units joined the miserable trek. As soon as they arrived in the courtyard, Sizemore looked up where the banner of Gobwin Knob had been. As expected, a new banner was waving there. He did not recognize it and wondered to which of the Royal Crown Coalition’s sides it belonged too. Then he was shocked for a second time this turn.

 

He saw Gobwin Knob’s Chief Warlord.

 

He was not in chains.

 

                                                                                              ***

I was looking at the assembled people in the courtyard. All of the former talking units of Gobwin Knob were present, including Ex-Overlord Stanley who was currently gagged and bound extra heavy as I was not going to take any chances. Some had a defeated look on their face, others were simply stunned and some, some looked simply angry. If looks could kill, Stanley’s stare would have turned me to dust. Well, tough luck. The betrayed looks others like Sizemore, Misty, Maggie, Jack and Bogroll gave me were much harder to stomach. Especially Bogroll’s. Poor guy must be feeling really hurt right now.

 

I did not need time to get adjusted to my new ruler senses. That was because I did not get any. I owned the city and I knew that I had several units under my command but I could not feel any of them. This kind of sucked but I had expected it. The fact that the prisoners showed up in the courtyard proved that I could issue orders to all units under my control so presumably the ruler channels were there, I just could not feel them. I had ordered my city to produce a dwagon next, but I was not sure if that had worked and I did not have a way to confirm that for now. Well, I could ask the bracer for it with a true false question later but for now I decided against it. If the result was negative or the bracer acted up somehow it would not do for that too occur in front of everybody and I had other priorities.

 

In the background there were several free casters standing by, Isaac and Janis among them. It was time for my great speech to the prisoners. My prisoners, my responsibility. Well, I wanted the job, I had it, canon had been shredded to pieces and now I needed to take the next step.

 

“I am sure everybody of you has many questions. I will answer some of them now.” I addressed the whole lot of them.

 

“First question: What in hellabad happened? I used my position as former chief warlord to manipulate events so that I would end up as Overlord in possession of the city formerly known as Gobwin Knob.”

 

Second question: How did you this? I hit former Overlord Stanley with some of that knock-out stuff I had recently created. Then I ordered all of you out of the garrison while the only unit who would have had the senses to notice was out cold. After that, I turned barbarian, turned hostile and seized the empty garrison of Gobwin Knob at which point the city fell promptly. Now, if you say it’s impossible to turn barbarian inside the city limits, normally you would be quite right. It seems I must have found a way around that restriction.”

 

“Third question: How could you do it, weren’t you loyal to Lord Stanley? Short answer: No. Longer answer: Whatever my loyalty to Stanley was at the moment I was summoned, it plummeted deep and fast the more I learned of him. I estimate it was nearing whatever is the lowest possible rating a loyalty stat can have this turn.  About Stanley’s right to rule, maybe some of you here remember King Saline I.V. What an amazing coincidence it was that then chief warlord Stanley led all casters out of the capital on a special mission and in his absence the gobwins rebelled which led to King Saline’s demise. The gobwins and hobgobwins in question must have known that they would get hammered by Stanley once he would return with his Arkentool and his dwagons, which is exactly what happened next. Funnily enough now-Overlord-Stanley choose to renew the alliance with the gobwins and hobgobwins instead of wiping them out as most other people would have decided to do, out of a desire for revenge or justice or out of simple prudence to prevent another stab in the back later. For those of you slow on the uptake, I am trying to say that there is a very good chance that Stanley,” I pointed my finger at him,” here arranged the death of King Saline IV so that he could become Overlord to begin the conquest of the whole world as the Titans want him too, or so he believes. Even if he should be totally innocent of these accusations and a third party entirely responsible for these events,” I glared at Wanda,” I would still be totally unwilling to serve under Stanley. This is, among other reasons, because I think Ex-Overlord Stanley is a prime candidate for the ‘Stupidest Ruler of Erfworld Award’. He went to war against six sides at once, he lost all his cities except one before he had me summoned, he has no idea of strategy whatsoever and thinks it is the Titans will that he becomes the ruler of whole Erf. Things like the diminished Shmucker return and questions like ‘How in hellabad is a side supposed to hold hundreds of cities’ are details for the chief warlord to figure out. You only need to look at the current state of the war to see how great that worked out so far.”

 

Stanley looked like he was about to explode, his head was read like a beet.

 

“But I have been talking about him for a while now; let us hear what the great Stanley has to say for himself.” With that, I removed the gag Stanley had been wearing. I had ordered all prisoners to stay silent for the time being, but I did not except that order to hold for Stanley. As expected, as soon as I removed the gag, Stanley started shouting profanities at me.

 

“You filthy traitorous giant piece of crap, how could you do this?!? I’ll flipping croak you, you backstabbing crap golem, I’ ” and so on and so forth. He kept it up for a while; since he showed no sign of stopping I gagged him again. He would have tried to croak me if he could have moved at all, but I had made triple sure that he was unable to do anything by keeping him in multiple layers of chains.  

“I completely understand that you are angry and want your side back so I will make you a deal,” I addressed Stanley loud enough for everyone to hear,” if you manage to tell me the names of all your former commander units, I swear to free you and give you your hammer back. This is not idle talk everyone, I will pinky swear it.” I turned around to Maggie. “Our Thinkamancer here can confirm what that means for everyone who doesn’t know, I will croak if I do not follow through with my end of the pledge.

 

Maggie looked at me with a shocked expression but she collected herself quickly and confirmed my statement to everyone.

 

“So here goes, If Stanley manages to tell me the names of his former casters assembled here without help from anyone or anything then I will set him free and give him back the Arkenhammer!” I swore with my pinky held up to Isaac then I removed the gag from Stanley again.

 

“Now, Lord Stanley, all you have to do is tell me their names” I waved at the casters,” and you will be free. A ruler would of course now the names of such important units of his side, so that will be absolutely no problem for you, will it?”

 

He looked at me as if I was mad, perhaps I was, but I knew I was taking a calculated risk.

 

”That’s Wanda, Maggie and uhh?” he looked at Sizemore with a confused face, he clearly struggled. He kept looking from Sizemore to Jack and Misty while he desperately tried to remember their names.

 

Everyone was staring expectantly at Stanley, as time went on one by one their faces fell. As the atmosphere grew ever more uncomfortable, I spoke up again.

 

“And that ladies and gentlemen is how much Stanley cares for you. He could not even be bothered to remember the names of his casters. You can imagine how much he knows and cares about all you other people.” I turned to Stanley and addressed him directly. “For your information, that,”I pointed at Sizemore,” is Sizemore Rockwell, your former adept class Dirtamancer. He has a friendly personality and dislikes fighting. His worst fear is having to croak someone.” I pointed at Jack.” Over there is Jack Snipe, a master class Foolomancer. He is a sharp observer and loves engaging others in a battle of wits. And last but not least, here we have Misty, a novice class Lookamancer. She has a very helpful personality but is suffering from some health issues at the moment because her former ruler stuck her in a three caster link practically from the moment she popped. I will probably never know how that feels but if I was to venture a guess I would say it sucks about as much as you do at being a ruler.” With that I gagged Ex-Overlord Stanley again as I had no further time to waste on him. The reign of Lord Stanley had ended.

 

Part 9

 

 

  

 

Comments

    • Count_to_10

      Ooh, the Stanley fans are not going to be happy about this one.

      • Bandaid

        You cannot please everybody :)

        • falcore51

          Ohhh Burn.  Love the twist.

          • Cayzle

            Small fix needed?

            "there is a very good chance that Stanley,” I pointed my finger at him,” here arranged the dead of King Saline IV"

            Arranged the death, I think you mean?

             

            Loving where the story is going!

            • Bandaid

              @Cayzle Thanks, I corrected that. I am glad you like my story. Encouragement is always nice.

              • WurmD

                HOLY SMOKEs! What a Twist! I'm numb and stunned!

                Oh man oh man :D, great job!

                Will you tackle the hard part of writting what happens next? :D Or was this the end for this series?

                • WurmD

                  I'm no writter, but I got the feeling that there was little action description, and instead you skimmed over situations that could have enjoyed more words. Like actually role-playing scenes instead of writting "Stanley had looked stunned (...)  It took me a while, but eventually Stanley saw the wisdom of it and told me", like actually acting out the scene in the present tense, instead of telling it in voice-over mode in the past tense.

                  Dunno :), some other authors here could probably be more help ^_^

                   

                  • WurmD

                    "but I did not except that order to hold for Stanley"

                    is this as intended? perhaps

                    "but I left in an exception on that order for Stanley" ?

                     

                    • Bandaid

                      @ WurmD Glad you are enjoying my story and especially the twist. I has been a pain in the posterior to keep everyone in the dark, both Erworlder's like Stanley, Wanda and Co and my readers back on good old Earth. I do not consider myself a writer, this is a fanfiction written by an total amateur in an second language in his free time and not a novel by an professional author. I agree with you that a few parts could do with some fleshing out however. Perhaps I will do that when I am finished with this story (I honestly have no idea when that will be.). That should answer your other question though. Yet Another Self Insert Fanfiction will continue for the foreseeable future. I will not make any promises about the timing of the updates however. Expect an irregular schedule:).

                      • Keybounce

                        Ok, I did NOT see this twist coming. And I'd been planning my own idea for a fan retcon as well.

                         

                        I do like the way you treated the battle for your mind.