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Parson Gotti, Lord Hamster
"Don't worry. We try things. Occasionally they even work."
The protagonist of this story, Parson was a geeky gamer, fat slob, and all-around loser on this little world called Earth. He expressed a major desire to live in game worlds and command a real battle. Coincidentally, certain forces on Erfworld decided they needed a perfect general, and cast a spell to summon one from any plane of existence. And thus, his story begins.
Anti-Hero: A Pragmatic Hero with a strong sense of morality, however he's a sucker for a good battle plan and while he'll try to look after his forces and friends he won't hesitate to throw them and himself into deadly situations if it'll mean victory.
Parson: I mean, then... what's the lesson supposed to be here, Wanda? "Be careful what you wish for?" This isn't what I wished for! Wanda: Ha! You didn't wish for this world, Parson Gotti. It wished for you.
Bigger Is Better in Bed: One of his worries regards his size relative to any person in Erfworld, after it came out that Erfworlders are capable of intercourse (though not of reproduction). Maggie had a blast after he told her. She tells him not to worry about it since, worst-case, his partner's injuries will heal at dawn and she'll never forget the experience.
Bizarre Alien Senses: It turns out that the same spell that summoned him also imbued him with magical power as a caster, but he doesn't have access to or even awareness of it initially. In chapter 2, when Parson is forced to unroll a scroll, his caster ability is unlocked and opens up a new magical sense, that allows him to decipher and manipulate the magic behind the things he can see.
Brilliant but Lazy: In the real world he neglects his job and every other aspect if his life to focus on designing games. Oddly, selling his designs and making that his career doesn't occur to him.
The Chains of Commanding: The reason he puts himself on the bench during the time-skip and for the first chunk of Book Two. When Maggie basically forces him back into the Chief Warlord spot, he chooses to join the battle rather than keep letting other people take all the risks.
The Chosen One: After the battle of Gobwin Knob, Wanda believes he is this, to the point she refuses to make tactical decisions without him. It is later revealed that he really isThe Chosen One, having been summoned as a plot by the Hippiemancers to end war, the Thinkamancers to defeat Charlie, and the Predictamancers at the behest of Fate itself.
Close to the end of his battle with Ansom, he croaks him with a false parlay that was supposedly meant to negotiate his surrender.
In chapter 2, he uses the Magic Kingdom as a Portal Network, an act that most Erfworlders consider unconscionable since this involved the neutral Magical Kingdom in the fight between Gobwin Knob and Jetstone.
He breaks the Magic Kingdom's neutrality into little pieces by smuggling in a decrypted army of non-casters.
Chekhov's Skill: Parson discovers his ability to enter the Magic Kingdom at the end of chapter one, which is unusual since he is a warlord, and only casters can enter it without vanishing. One of the witnessing casters, Janis, states that he is a Hippiemancer. In chapter two, it is revealed that he was summoned to be a warlord for Hippiemancy, the one thing it could never have. But it isn't until he looks at an unrolled scroll that he actually unlocks his power as a caster.
Cool Loser: Parson is smart, hilarious, and even charismatic. That he hasn't made anything of his life on earth is due almost solely to lack of motivation.
Deadpan Snarker: Hamstard is a major one, but Parson himself qualifies from time to time.
Death Glare: First when he acquires Ruthlessness in Book 1, and then when he decides to start fighting personally in Book 2.
Does This Remind You of Anything?: First with the gaming scenario he had been setting up which the battle for Gobwin Knob essentially duplicates, then with pretty much EVERYTHING else he encounters. He spends most of first hours in Erfworld snickering at all the little puns and shout-outs to our world that nobody there is even aware of.
The Dreaded: Charlie is one of the greatest casters alive and by far one of the most deadliest opponents in the game. And he is scared out of his mind of Parson, to the point of be willing to giveinformation for free.
Fist of Rage: After Charlie traps Parson in a city to burn to death and starts taunting him, Parson's fist clenches.
Genre Savvy: In Book 3, Parson finally notices that he can actually use the many Shout Outs in Erfworld for his advantage, using his Earthly knowledge to read the pop-culture references and to gain insight.
Heroic BSOD: After he see the destruction of what his plans brought, he nearly snapped. But coming back from the brink was his last crowning moment in Book One.
Honor Before Reason: During the siege of Spacerock, Parson delays the battle plan, not for any practical reason, but because he doesn't want to order people into a fight he wouldn't go into himself. Gobwin Knob could have won hands down at this point, but because of Parson's desire to be there himself, they win a Pyrrhic Victory instead.
Humans Are Cthulhu: He comes from a world where time flows unrestricted, civilians exist, and soldiers can do combat operations during the night. He also possesses knowledge of post-medieval technology, 21st century warfare, and the concept of universal free will. Rare few Erfworlders, such as Charlie and Ace, have grasped some of these concepts piece-by-piece, but nobody has shown to possess them all to the degree Parson does.
I Control My Minions Through...: While the soldiers would obey him blindly for his Warlord rank, he has won the respect (and jealousy) of every prominent figure in Gobwin Knob by showing them how genius strategy really works. They worry not about what he would do, but what they would do without him.
It's Personal: While he and Charlie have been fighting on opposite sides from the beginning, Parson had long considered Charlie something of a Worthy Opponent. However, when Charlie sabotages Gobwin Knob, causes them massive casualties, tries to kill or otherwise get rid of Parson personally, and taunts him about it, Parson becomes determined to kill him.
I Wish It Were Real: Shortly before he is summoned to Erfworld, he tells his friends that if he could, he literally escape from his boring life right into one of his games. Guess what happens immediately after...
Killer Game Master: He designed his latest game to be unwinnable within the rules. Unlike most examples, the point was to get his players to surprise him by thinking outside the box.
Mary Tzu: invoked He was summoned to be the "Perfect Warlord." Subverted in that he doesn't win every time, but everyone expects a perfect warlord to, so he has to explain that such a thing is impossible.
Parson: "Perfect strategy" does not mean one perfect, flawless, genius plan! It doesn't mean you never lose!
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: He believes that Jetstone will offer no earnest parley or agreement and he would have been right... If Charlie hadn't over play his hand and made Tramennis suspicious about his motives. If he had waited to hear what Tramennis had to say, he probably wouldn't have got stuck in a death trap.
No Hero to His Valet: Subverted. The more the other generals get to know him, the more they are in awe of him, especially Wanda, Maggie, and Jack, who trust his decisions with absolute faith as of Book 2.
Really Seven Thousand Turns Old: In Erfworld, things move so fast that a thousand turns (1 turn = 1 day) is a massive length of time. Parson is somewhere between nine and eleven thousand turns old, which makes him considerably older than the typical Erfworlder. note He was born on December 7, 1982. That would make him any where from 25-32 (he's finished college and has an associates at least) depending when the story takes place. Also, Parson's age was 25 years to the day when Erfworld was released on The Order of the Stick's website. Only some of the older casters in the Magic Kingdom, such as the Great Minds, can match or exceed his age. However, the fact that the Erfworlders don't have a childhood as we know it (being popped fully formed) probably factors in.
Refuge in Audacity: Part of why his more memorable tactics work. It never occurred to anyone that someone might be willing to obliterate the entire battlefield with a volcanic eruption, for example. Or that someone might drag a pile of corpses into the Magic Kingdom to be decrypted there, thus bringing non-casters to the Magic Kingdom.
Shrouded in Myth: Nobody outside the top brass knows what's the big deal over a Level 2 Warlord.
Smite Me, O Mighty Smiter: At the end of Book 1, he gives a big speech to "Erfworld", complaining about how its fine with killing people, and yet prohibits swearing, which pales in comparison. He refuses to be a game piece and insists he's a player. Erfworld's response is to lift the Boop filter.
Stat-O-Vision: He has a magic item that enables him to see the stats of Erfworld units.
Still The Leader: He is so necessary to the war, that Maggie used a Literal Genie gambit to reinstate him as Chief Warlord. He didn't see it coming.
The Strategist: Quite probably the greatest tactician ever popped in history. He knows the plans, he knows the rules and most importantly, he knows the loopholes. So far he had Defeating the Undefeatable several times in the most epic way possible but as explained by himself, he is not invincible.
He also happens to be a history buff, citing knowledge of battlefield events such as Stalingrad. Though Erfworld is a planet of eternal conflict, its depth and variety pales before the complexity of Earth's endless warfare. Parson is undoubtedly intimate with the writings of great minds such as Clausewitz and Sun Tzu, which Erfworld has never known. Simply recycling tactics and strategies that are commonplace to human conflicts, but novel and uncomprehendable to Erfworlders, makes Parson deadly without truly originating the idea himself.
Summon Everyman Hero: The Summon Perfect Warlord spell, which ends up bringing in Parson to serve as the brilliant tactician they need to defeat an overwhelming army.
Unfortunate Implications: In-universe, Parson is disturbed by the implications of his command authority. His troops are incapable of understanding the meaning of choice or consent, which means that a simple proposition to one of his troops might as well be Mind Control rape. Parson was surprised by himself about this. (If you look at his favorites on his computer, which includes a link to a site devoted to, erhm, literature, of just that kind of scenario.)
What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: He attempts to avert and exploit this in the Erfworld system as often as possible, one of his most fearsome traits. He reveals quite a few Game Breaker abilities were buried in things like the ways the mount system works, along with things like food harvesting and un-aimed weapons off-turn.
"Oh, for these I have wrecked and ruined more than you have."
The caster that summoned Parson. Wanda serves as Stanley's chief adviser, and frequently manipulates him into taking actions and risks that further her own goals. She heard several predictions in her youth that she has since striven to fulfill. When most of them come to pass, she becomes a strong believer in fate. She's a Croakamancer, but has skill with many magic disciplines.
Bi the Way: Her "complex" personal relationship with Jillian has obvious erotic overtones; on the other hand, she isn't above using sex to distract Stanley.
Broken Bird: Her backstory, explored in the "Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower)" stories, cements her as this. She lost her brother, her father, and her entire side, partially because of her own mistakes. Olive then forced her to turn to Haffaton using heroine buds, a Fantastic Drug, leaving her psyche permanently crippled.
Cynicism Catalyst: Her brother Tommy died suddenly while trying to come back to their capital, after the enemy side's Florist, whom he had admitted to feeling affection for, poisoned him during their last embrace. If Wanda had turned when the Predictamancer instructed her to, he'd never have met the Florist in the first place. After this she begins following what she believes is Fate religiously.
Dark Messiah: She is one of the most important units to have ever been popped in Erfworld. The Titans created her to fulfil prophecies that will shatter the Erf. The Decrypted look up to her religiously, seeing her as an instrument of the Titans' will. She will pay any price to achieve her destiny, no matter how terrible or cruel, because she knows that a bigger one will be paid if she doesn't. Nothing will distract her from her cause. Except, perhaps, for Jillian.
Deuteragonist: To Parson in the main Webcomic time frame and to Jillian in the prequel novel.
The Ditherer: Of the Insecure/Submissive variety. As far as problems go, she has severe avoidance issues and does not like to think about what went wrong or what she should do about it. After being broken by her service to Haffaton under Olive Branch, she basically leaves most of her choices to whatever Fate seems to want, and leaves all responsibility for the outcome on Fate's shoulders as opposed to taking it on her own. This is the main reason she can be so ruthless.
The Dreaded: Over the many turns, she has built up a very powerful reputation. Ansom and Jillian describe her as being like a force of nature.
Evil Laugh: Wanda doesn't laugh. Until she does, having finally gotten her hands on the Arkenpliers.
Fatal Flaw: Though in all other respects she is a faithful servant to Fate, at times she insists on trying to bend it to her will and causes disastrous consequences. Usually, this involves her absolute certainty that Jillian will work with her. She never does.
The Fashionista: Every other character has one, maybe two outfits. Wanda has a lot more, and she's pure Fetish Fuel in all of them.
The Fatalist: Trying to change your Fate doesn't work, you'll just be shunted back to the path you should be on.
Glass Cannon: She appears to be fairly fragile, but still magically powerful.
Green-Eyed Monster: When Parson suggests that Jillian might have arrived at the battle for Spacerock to meet Ansom instead of herself, she sends him off with the ground troops so that Jillian won't see him, even though his bonus would be more useful with the fliers and it is clear that Fate wants them reunited. This turns out to be a very big mistake. Wanda experiences a huge amount of cognitive dissonance trying to acknowledge what went wrong and reacts violently to Jack's pointed hints.
Innocent Fanservice Girl: When first popped, she tried to take off her clothes to get a better look at herself. In front of her brother. She later removed the clothes of a (male) corpse to examine it more closely, out of curiosity as an inexperienced Croakamancer. She then slept next to it.
It's All About Me: She is repeatedly blindsided by the fact that she is not the most important person in Jillian's life. When Parson points out that it's just as likely Jillian is at Jetstone for Ansom instead of her, she ends the conversation and leaves Ansom behind, a significant tactical error.
Lady of Black Magic: Her Signamancy expresses "power and grace, understanding, endurance, and above all else, unflinching competence".note Signamancy refers to the appearance of a unit, especially in how said appearance reflects the deeper nature of said unit. Magicwise, she has quite a reputation and is a strong part of why Haffaton and Gobwin Knob were the strongest sides of their time.
Love Makes You Crazy: Her relationship with Jillian is rather abusive and very self-destructive to the point of completely crippling Wanda's psyche. Even after Jillian quite clearly picks Ansom over her, Wanda remains obsessed with coming up with rationalizations for how Jillian could still love her and seeks to bring her back under her control through decryption.
Ms. Fanservice: Out of all characters, she displays the largest variety of outfits.
Necromancer: As a Croakamancer, she has the power to animate corpses into Uncroaked.
Psychic Link: A trick she learned from Haffaton. With concentration, she is capable of seeing through the eyes and ears of certain types of units via Natural Thinkamancy, like specialized Dollamancy golems and Archons.
The Unfettered: Comes scarily close to this. Fate thoroughly broke her into understanding that resisting it will only bring suffering for her and those she cares about. As a result, she is willing to do almost anything to achieve her Fate. Just about the only fetter she has regarding this is Jillian, which is one of her worst flaws, approached only by overconfidence.
The Woman Behind The Man: She's this to Stanley. Part of his character development is realizing she's gotten too powerful in that position.
Woman Scorned: When Jillian chooses Ansom over herself and leaves her to croak, she starts to lose it. Several turns later, at the start of Book 3, Parson cautiously asks her if she would be willing to assassinate Jillian. After a moment of shock, Wanda enthusiastically agrees and makes it a goal to decrypt her.
You Can't Fight Fate: She has a strong belief in Fate magic. Specifically, she believes you can fight Fate, but Fate will always win and you will suffer for the attempt.
Lord Stanley the Tool
"I can end you with a thought, you know. It'd be so much easier than educating you."
The leader of Gobwin Knob. Rose up from a simple pikeman to a Warlord. From there, he found the Arkenhammer, tamed dwagons, and staged a coup to become Overlord of his side (maybe). The story begins with him in dire straits, leading Wanda to maneuver him into ordering the summoning of a perfect Warlord.
Asskicking Equals Authority: Played with. He's certainly extremely powerful in combat, which is how he moved up the ranks, but once he's in an actual governing position he is very incompetent. Still, his one fight showed off the greatest personal combat prowess in the story thus far.
Book Dumb: Has all the strategic ability of a pancake.
Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Defeating seven advanced infantry and a level 9-10 Chief Warlord in one swing was not exactly what most people expected of him.
And justified, as explained under Asskicking Equals Authority. He's a fighter, not a leader, but he's in a leadership position and doesn't get to demonstrate his battle prowess very often.
Jerkass Façade: Has admitted that Parson is an exceptional commander, but also thinks leaders shouldn't get to close to their minions, which includes remembering their names or even simply talking to them. He believes that actively acknowledging that someone is good at their job makes them slack off.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: When Parson's life is on the line, Stanley has the epiphany that he actually does like Parson and takes a very big risk in an attempt to save him.
Man Child: One of his defining personality traits. He isn't a bad person per se, at least as far as Erfworld standards go. But he is highly immature and tends to lash out when his ego is threatened. Overcoming this is part of his Character Development.
Mission from God: Stanley considers "good" and "evil" meaningless labels, and doesn't actually claim moral superiority over Ansom and the Royals. As far as he's concerned, "There is Holy and unholy," and whoever an Arkentool attunes to qualifies as Holy.
Not So Different: Since Wanda commands his armies in the field (with Parson as military advisor), he has nothing better to do and no one to talk to. So he re-designated Parson's twoll servant as his personal lackey and conversation partner, even going so far as to remember his name.
The Power of Rock: "Rocking out is not dance-fighting. Rocking out is better than dance-fighting."
Shock and Awe: One of the Arkenhammer's affinities seems to include lightning; when he slammed Caesar Borgata with it, the result was a lightning explosion that knocked Caesar out of the fight and wiped out his entire stack.
"When life gives you crap, make Crap Golems, right?"
The second member of Gobwin Knob's casters. Sizemore's talents at Dirtamancy went relatively unused before Parson because few others saw the potential for traps and so on. He hates violence with a passion and thus struggles internally with the fact that his new commander uses his abilities to their fullest extent. While a talented Dirtamancer, he studies other magic disciplines out of genuine interest. Despite this, he has little skill with spells of any discipline other than Dirtamancy.
Actual Pacifist: Which is a really shitty character trait to be burdened with in a world built on war.
Big Damn Heroes: Saves Duke Antium and his last few men from burning up in the inferno in Spacerock.
Dishing Out Dirt: His magic revolves around animating earth into golems, manipulating terrain, and constructing buildings.
Magic Wand: His shovel, which he has primarily used for Dirtamancy thus far.
Mundane Utility: Sizemore's talent for construction and tilling have made him the filthy rich "Rock Star" of the Magic Kingdom specifically for performing so many mundane tasks.
My Country, Right or Wrong/My Master, Right or Wrong: Even if he hates war and croaking, he does so because of his Duty and Loyalty towards his side and Parson. However, this has been a source of great stress for him. While he likes Parson as a person, he is starting to hate Parson more and more for what Parson orders him to do, especially as Parson starts meddling in the Magic Kingdom.
Heart Is an Awesome Power: Erfworld warlords are not terribly creative and see little to no use in his talents. Parson on the other hand figures out how to apply his magic well, such as by creating traps or even hitting the enemy with terrain based attacks. Moreover, it would appear that his powers over dirt also extend to substances commonly found in dirt: he uses this to synthesize CF Cs out of thin air to put out fires.
Maggie, Thinkamancer of Gobwin Knob
"May I give you a suggestion, Lord?"
Gobwin Knob's third caster and the closest one to Parson as of 2009's Summer Updates. She has a fairly reserved and pragmatic personality, though she shows hints of a good sense of humor. She has great personal belief in Parson's abilities, but this doesn't stop her from questioning some of his choices. As Gobwin Knob's Thinkamancer, she uses telepathy to oversee units and relay orders and information to/from Gobwin Knob.
Conflicting Loyalty: She has this between Gobwin Knob, the Great Minds (who are the leaders of her discipline), and most importantly, Parson himself. She ultimately settles this in favor of Parson, underneath the condition that he goes against Charlie.
Exact Words: After offering Stanely a suggestion, which he accepts, she casts a suggestion spell.
Art Evolution: Grows progressively more youthful and conventionally attractive as the story progresses. Possibly a Signamantic reflection of her implied crush on Parson, or simply the improved state of her side.
Mental Fusion: She can form connections between herself and other casters to greatly boost their abilities.
Mind Rape: Deflecting the backlash from a broken link onto Jack and Misty causes this to them, mentally crippling Jack and killing Misty.
Psychic Powers: What her magic revolves around. She can communicate telepathically, incapacitate enemies, and even manipulate people with suggestions.
Servile Snarker: She has the utmost respect for Parson. That does not deter her snark in the slightest.
The Stoic: Parson can only barely see through her poker face at times.
Undying Loyalty: Completely loyal to Parson, to the point that she is willing to lie to the Great Minds That Think Alike, the pseudo-ruling caste of Thinkamancers.
Jack Snipe, Foolamancer of Gobwin Knob
"I'm afraid I don't understand, Lord. And also afraid that I do."
Rounding off Gobwin Knob's group of casters is Jack Snipe. Popped in the kingdom of Faq, Jack was originally the reason for its status as a hidden kingdom. He is a master-class Foolamancer, though this was not fully evident until halfway through Book One. Since the Battle of Gobwin Knob, Jack has taken a much more active role in the story as one of Parson's greatest subordinates. Unlike most other Erfworld units, he loves riddles, philosophy, and "lateral thinking," making him one of the few characters to fully embrace Parson's position as Chief Warlord.
Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Subverted in that, while he ends up speaking in Koan most of the time, he is actually very observant and thoughtful.
Deadpan Snarker: At war with Parson for the crown here, though Jack seems to be in the lead.
Establishing Character Moment: Within the first several seconds of regaining his sanity in Book 1 he gets Stanley to escape by leaving his dead dwagon mount using the Arkenhammer then veils them... or so it seems at first. Until the Transylvitans realize that the dead dwagon is an illusion, Stanley and Jack are still mounted, and they've veiled themselves to resemble the Transylvitan's own bats, allowing them to escape. Bear in mind Jack came up with all of this in a split second.
The Gadfly: Enjoys poking holes in people's philosophies.
Heroic BSOD: His brief insanity resulting from the Mind Rape mental backlash from breaking a caster link.
Hoist by His Own Petard/Death by Irony: Mounted on a purple dwagon, he tried to collapse the walls of Jetstone's throne room onto Jetstone troops by sonic breath of dwagon then charge in, dies because said dwagon is half blind and has no depth perception so it walked into the wall itself when it collapsed. The irony is lampshaded with his last words.
I Fight for the Strongest Side: Twice now, Jack has passed up opportunities to abandon Gobwin Knob. The second time, he implies that Parson's monstrous strategic abilities reduce his desire to rejoin Jillian.
The Jester: It's described that during the events of Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) he, in the court of Faq, said things only a jester could get way from saying.
Love Hurts: Implied to be a major reason for why he hasn't bothered rejoining Jillian, in spite of having received several good opportunities to do so. While the two of them are good friends, his crush on her is unrequited and he is painfully aware of this.
Psychic Link: Aside from the Mental Fusion mentioned above, his Foolamancy allows him to share his field of vision to other people. He used this power to help Jillian fight after she was blinded by Orwell.
Romantic Runner-Up: Jillian has always considered him one of her greatest and at times only friends, but when offered the chance to turn to her side he refuses. When questioned about it later by Wanda, he responds that of course he would love to be with her... but being third place in her affectionsnote Behind Ansom and Wanda just isn't enough. It would hurt too much to be around her.
Unlucky Childhood Friend: To Jillian. Jillian has long considered him one of her best friends, but she rejected his attempts to form a relationship.
Lady Sylvia Lazarus, formerly of Unaroyal
"Croaking is an art, like everything else. I do it exceptionally well."
After the Battle for Gobwin Knob, Wanda decrypted nearly the entire first Royal Crown Coalition Army. In addition to Ansom, Gobwin Knob added Sylvia to its roster of high-level Warlords. She has taken to her new post with more alacrity than most, as she desires combat and destruction with little regard for "sides."
Ascended Extra: Originally she was just a nameless Unaroyal warlord, but her character design was popular with the readers, especially on the forums, earning her the nickname "Scarlet" until she was given an official name.
Ax-Crazy: Part of her bizarre, fatalist ideology is that since she cannot croak, she has no qualms about leading a suicidal course. She's convinced she'll survive and simply doesn't care if anyone else does.
Birds of a Feather: Non-romantic example, with Wanda. She's stated to actually like Sylvia for always being ready to destroy something.
Blood Knight: She sees herself as being in a competition with Fate and revels in defeating the enemy.
Came Back Wrong: Decryption tends to magnify whatever personality traits would make a given unit most loyal to Wanda. It is largely unknown what she was like prior to Decryption, but what has been seen suggests she used to be more stable.
Evil Redhead: Regardless of which side is right or wrong, there can be little doubt about Sylvia.
Fiery Redhead: Subverted. While she is fiery in appearance and has a history strongly defined by fire, her personality is more coldly zealous than fiery.
Go Mad from the Revelation: She becomes very reckless when she figures out that she has Carnymancy charm protecting her from croaking.
Hoist by His Own Petard/Kill It with Fire: She tries to burn down the garrison to kill the last of the units holed up when she sets Ace Hardware aflame. Ace orders his heavies to burst the stomach of a green dwagon (Sylivia packed her units in too tight). The gases from its stomach burst out and was ignited, frying everything nearby. We see Sylvia Laughing Mad screaming that she won while she burns to death for the third and last time.
It turns out to be justified, since it appears that she was saved by Jojo, a carnymancer, many years ago, and since then the game is rigged in her favor, as she believes it to be.
Meaningful Name: Her name is a Shout-Out to the poet Sylvia Plath, who wrote the poem "Lady Lazarus," which is a Death Seeker who has been denied death multiple times; it also uses the Phoenix's death and rebirth by fire as a metaphor for her unwanted resuscitation.
More Than Mind Control: The Arkenpliers make adjustments to a unit's mind in order to make them loyal to Wanda, but the traits it magnifies had to have already been there. She was probably saner prior to decryption, but it is likely that she always had a level of bloodlust that was merely exaggerated. As such, she enjoys working for Wanda and Parson, due to the brutality of their methods.
Psychotic Smirk: Whenever she hears about or takes part in a plan about killing people, especially many people.
Pyro Maniac: Downplayed trope. While Sylvia hasn't actually set any fires herself, she has an odd fascination with fire metaphors (e.g. "letting the world burn") and a willingness to embrace fire tactics. Her fascination is perhaps not surprising considering that she's burned to death twice in battlefields engulfed in fire.
"By strength and by duty and by honour does Royalty lead all, in the Titans' path. There is no other way. Erfworld needs no other way."
The most prominent antagonist of Book 1. Ansom is a Chief Warlord who leads the forces that threaten Gobwin Knob with complete annihilation. He is a competent strategist and, at level 10, a very powerful warrior. He holds that Royalty is a mandate from the Titans to rule for the entire first book.
Back from the Dead: He is the first unit to be Decrypted by Wanda, and it occurs at the end of Book 1.
Knight Templar: Reacts with frothing-at-the-mouth rage to any suggestion that royalty isn't better than everyone else. Until his decryption. It's not clear if the process brainwashed him, or he's just a bit unhinged.
Magic Carpet: His flying mount. He normally rolls it up and rides it like a motorcycle.
One-Man Army: As a Level 10 Royal Chief Warlord, he is fully capable of bringing down hordes of infantry by himself. Armed with Arkenpliers, he creates the weak point in Gobwin Knob's uncroaked lines single-handedly.
At one point, he muses that if he flew over the wall of an enemy city, he could theoretically conquer it single-handedly.
Reanimated And Crazy: Before his decryption, he refused to believe royals were anything less than the best. Afterwards, not so much.
Royal Blood: As a Royal, he is this and took a great deal of pride in it up until his decryption.
Save the Princess: As part of being a pastiche of a traditional fantasy hero, he has a history of this with Jillian, both to her chagrin and despite not knowing her to be of Royal Pop. One of his best moves in Book One is doing this when he decides to Take a Third Option against the dwagon-hex twap, I mean trap. It later gets completely inverted when he becomes Jillian's prisoner/she tries to save him. Technically, she's a queen at that point, but whatevs.
Victory Is Boring: Not boring per se, but he is mildly thrown off when his side conquers several cities without a single problem, as so much of his warfare career has been devoted to planning for when things go wrong. When things eventually go pear shaped, he's not happy about it but he is ready.
What the Hell, Hero?: Gives one to Jillian over her hypocrisy over treating the Decrypted like the Uncroaked but making an exception for him.
Prince Ossomer, Warlord of Jetstone
"But I am what I am. And so here I stand. I will make you and the Titans prove your claim."
Slately ordered a prince popped in Dhrystone as another heir to the Jetstone Royal Side. Jetstone's most spartan and militant Level Five City produced a suitably hardened and imposing warrior. The youngest of the three sons of Jetstone, Ossomer holds to the ideals of honor and Nobility even more than his elder, Ansom. He cares little for diplomacy, preferring instead to let his sword sue for "peace." At 9th level, it makes a very convincing argument.
Authority Equals Asskicking: Like most Royal characters, Ossomer has improved stats for his level, even though he didn't get to show them off.
Back from the Dead: Shortly after his capture, he is croaked by Sylvia and Decrypted by Wanda.
Heroic Resolve: Once Wanda left the hex, he was able to break free of her control.
Knight in Shining Armor: Huge on honor and justice. This serves as the focus point for him turning back to Jetstone, as in his mind Gobwin Knob is too dishonorable and cruel to be serving the Titans' will, Arkentools or no.
The Stoic: His body is quite stiff and tends to give only small displays of his emotions.
The Worf Effect: Taken down in a couple of panels to show how powerful Gobwin Knob's new side is.
Prince Tramennis, Chief Warlord of Jetstone
The Jetstone Prince popped after Ansom and before Ossomer. He is weaker than both in fighting ability, but his mental faculties may be the greatest of the three. His strategy appears to be on par with or greater than Ansom's, but he also has a much greater understanding of psychology and diplomacy. He was never made heir because he doesn't live up to King Slately's Royal ideals.
Ambadassador: King Slately sent him off believing him to be weak, and was surprised when Tramennis came back with a favorable alliance plus peace offerings.
Establishing Character Moment: After being introduced as something of a fop at the bridge negotiations, the next thing he does is almost immediately see through one of Parson's tactics, which had completely taken in his chief warlord brother. A comment from Ossomer that indicates this is nothing new.
The Gadfly: He often says things to get a rise out of people. He upsets one of his warlords by saying he hopes "to be half the Queen" that Jillian is. He messes with Ansom's head during the parley. He keeps calling the decrypted Ossomer "Ossomer thing" or something like that and yet he seems to still care about his brother a little bit. This helps push Ossomer to break his decryption.
Guile Hero: Not physically suited to combat, he relies on wits and superior tactics instead.
Royal Blood: He is part of a Royal line and takes pride in it.
The Strategist: Out of the 3 brothers seen thus far, he seems to be the smartest. Appointed Chief Warlord following Ossomer's decryption and has so far proved to be a skilled tactician. On top of that, he figures out the strategies of others rather quickly and is good in a pinch. It takes him a mere moment to realize what's happening when when dwagons not hit by arrows start falling out of the sky for no apparent reason. He's also one the few where follows Sun Tzu's advice that you don't have to fight to win as long as you get something good out of a deal.
The Unfavourite: Not only among Ansom and Ossomer, but also among his other twenty one brothers and sisters simply because he was born without the "proper" Signamancy to be a good Royal. Even after they've all been croaked (or turned, as was the case with Ansom and Ossomer), he's still regarded by his father with scorn.
"Well Done, Son!" Guy: Hearing his father approving of him brings a tear to his eye. Subverted in that King Slately had lied and believed that Tramennis was a weakling. It was later double-subverted when the King realized that Tramennis was not only an excellent warlord, but also a far more able ruler than himself, leading to his decision to designate him as his heir.
"My son is more of a man than I am. All my sons have been."
The Ruler of Jetstone for over three thousand turns. During his reign, Jetstone has remained the strongest side in Erfworld, mostly thanks to the competence of his sons and daughters. Slately holds to Royal tenets even more than Ansom, yet privately acknowledges that he doesn't live up to them in reality. He has only seen combat once.
Character Development: We've yet to see the results of it, but Slately has apparently changed much more in this one turn than several thousands.
Cloning Gambit: Used to survive an attack from an archon, with the help of Lloyd the Dittomancer. Turns out, according to this comic, it is stated that it was the real Slately that was croaked.
Expendable Clone: Played straight and subverted at the same time; when the Slately clone dies, he refers to him as "it", while also saying they were exactly the same, and praising him for laying down his life for Jetstone. Then we find out from Don King it was the original Slately who died.
Dead All Along: Lloyd the Dittomancer made a duplicate of Slately to save his life. Some time later, we find out it didn't work; the Slately who's been fighting since that moment was the duplicate, and the real one croaked.
Go Out with a Smile: A quasi-villainous version. He faces death smiling because he believes that Parson's death has been guaranteed after trapping him in the capital (which was in the process of being razed), thereby getting revenge for turning Ansom and Ossomer. In a slightly less villainous context, he's also managed to buy time for Jetstone forces to evacuate, as well as acquire enough funds to designate Tramennis as his heir.
Inferiority Superiority Complex: He likes to brag about how Royals are the Titans' chosen people and how vastly superior they are to everyone else, but he is privately all too aware of how badly he lives up to his own ideals.
Jerkass: Even his good friend Don describes him as a "dry turd".
Killed Off for Real: The real King Slately dies while fighting Gobwin Knob's archons, his body incinerated to ensure he isn't decrypted. The Ditto gets killed by Parson throwing him into a red dwagon's mouth.
Let's Get Dangerous: When things get dire, he has his casters lay as many enchantments they can think of on his clothing, crown and scepter, so that he can help fight back.
The Napoleon: He's pushy, arrogant, contentious, and quite short.
Took a Level in Badass: After Tramennis is incapacitated, he has his casters put as many enchantments as possible on his crown, scepter and clothes so that he can help fight back. Ace the Dollamancer also gave him a jetpack.
Unwitting Pawn: For Charlie. To drive the point home, during his last thinkagram, Slately's image transforms into a chess piece, first a king piece and then into a pawn, as Charlie takes control of the conversation.
Replacement Scrappy: In-universe. Ace popped shortly after Jetsone's original Dollamancer, Holly Shortcake croaked. The people of Jetstone were very fond of Holly and her penchant for making cloth golems and raiment. By contrast, King Slately saw Ace Hardware as a punishment from the Titans for being careless with Holly's life.
The Resenter: Towards his greatly beloved predecessor, Holly. Jetstone only sees Dollamancy as being useful for creating cloth golems and raiment as she did. Ace's passion is for creating accessories, but Jetstone wouldn't let him because of her legacy.
Worthy Opponent: After the battle of Spacerock, he remarks that Parson was "a scrapper".
Duke Adam Antium, Warlord of Jetstone
Improve on the Titan's work? Sire... We ARE the Titan's work.
Second-in-command of Jetstone's field units, he has a minor discussion with his superior about philosophy. He's a scorist, meaning he believes units simply accumulate points that earn them placement in the afterlife, with no need to defend their actions before the Titans.
Back from the Dead: In the course of Book 2, he is croaked by friendly fire and Decrypted by Wanda.
Bling of War: Downplayed. All of Jetstone's warlords wear a cape which serves no purpose besides making them stick out.
Blue Blood: He was popped as a duke. He is pretty serious about it too at least before he was turned. He dislikes Jillian's unorthodox mannerisms and will put up with Duke Lacrosse who he, for reasons he can't even place, finds annoying since he technically has the same title if not the same rank.
Double Meaning: As Duke Lacrosse was talking about a possible plot to keep him out of the action, Antium thinks, "The tactical position was secure". Duke Lacrosse just then happens to ask, "But it's not, is it?" but he was still referring to a possible plot.
Karma Meter: Antium believes in "Scorism" which is a belief where a unit is given a score based on their actions and that the afterlife you deserve is assigned to you without you having to stand before, and be judged, by the Titans.
Duke Antium: Oh... Not twice, demoness. *sneaks up behind them* Not twice! *gets hit by an arrow* Not... *collapses dead*
Meaningful Name/Shout-Out: His name is a reference to Adamantium which is a fictional super strong alloy in Marvel Comic. He may also be a reference to Adam Ant of the band Adam & the Ants and Atom Ant of the 1965 Hanna-Barbera cartoon superhero.
Heroic Sacrifice: She makes what she knows to be a suicidal charge to save the King.
Offscreen Moment of Awesome: She defeats most of Gobwin Knob's siege, buying the King enough time to enact another plan. All of this takes place in the text updates and is only briefly mentioned in the comic.
War Is Glorious: She used to fight for this alongside her loving Prince. But after some political complications resulting from his death, she was blamed and ended up having "administer" a city, a task Jetstone uses as punishment which basically just involves walking from building to building, something she found dull. When she finally gets to fight again, she is unable to find any glory, even in her victories. This gets exacerbated when every arrow she aims at Sylvia is miraculously deflected, and she finds herself questioning her motives before she dies.
Count Vinny of Transylvito
Ansom's best friend and most trusted strategic advisor, though they hail from different sides. He is a powerful Warlord and a cunning and caring person. He is capable of independent flight and using Doombats for surveillance.
Royal Blood: He is "descended" from one of the original units the Titans chose to rule. He did not originally make a big deal of it, and in fact started de-emphasizing it in favor of a merit based system after his son betrayed him. But after Queen Bea committed suicide out of Royal pride, he has started to adopt the same snobby, derisive attitude that is all too common among Royals. This has raised tensions greatly between him and his commanders, especially with Caeser.
Caesar Borgata, Chief Warlord of Transylvito
Vinny's superior in the court of Transylvito, and appointed heir to the throne.
Blue Blood: He is a Noble, though just barely. Don King did not originally care about that and took great pride in Caeser's skill. But after converting to the "Royalist religion", Don has started using Caeser's lowly status to hold him in contempt.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: As heartless as he can seem around Jillian, he does seem to have his side's best interests at heart, and may be acting a little less kindly than normal because he's concerned with signs that Don might be trying to dispose of him.
Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: Caesar used to be Don's favorite warlord and Designated Heir (based on merit) until Don got the Royalist "religion" and decided to try to pop another Royal heir. Now, the in-fighting between the two threatens to poison their side.
Secret Relationship: He has one with Transylvito's Thinkamancer, Bunny. The exact reasons for this secrecy are still unclear, but they are strong enough for them to pretend to ignore one another in public and for him to fake a relationship with another girl.
Sergeant Rock: Not a particularly nice guy but definitely a lead-from-the-front type who is respected enough by the troops and the rest of the court that Don can't risk outright disbanding him over their public disagreements.
Uriah Gambit: Caesar suspects the Don had this trope in mind when he sent him to attack Chocula after a falling out over whether to spend Transilvito's resources on building up Faq and over the decision to replace him as heir with a new Royal.
The Kingdom of Faq
Jillian Zamussels Banhammer, Barbarian Warlord
"Wanda, I think you're completely capable of wiping out every unit in this battlespace. Which is hot. But any time you talk about croaking me, you're full of crap."
The former Princess of Faq, Jillian was never the heir her father had hoped to pop, and in many ways prefers life as a barbarian. This doesn't stop her from detesting Stanley, her...interesting...relationship with his second-in-command notwithstanding.
Alpha Strike: Jillian's favorite strategy is gathering the best group of gwiffons and soldiers she can muster and flying straight into the enemy's capital. She has done it three times across various stories.
BFS: "I love a problem I can solve with my sword."
Bi the Way: She loves Ansom and Wanda, which is about as complicated as you would expect. And prior to them, she was involved with Marika and Bart.
The Ditherer: In the past, whenever Jillian had trouble motivating herself or deciding anything, her warlord nature, which was symbolically represented as a Jester, would urge her to action. But ever since Charlie and Betsy destroyed it while Mind Raping her, she has had a particularly difficult time making decisions or committing to anything. The only thing she feels strongly enough about to dedicate herself towards is Ansom.
Explaining Your Power to the Enemy: In one of her Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) chapters, Jillian kept explaining to Olive how she was going to escape her, who made her unable to attack or engage an enemy thanks to her powers. First, she points out that despite her inability to attack Olive, she can still fly away as soon as her turn starts. Olive, knowing full-well that Jillian doesn't see her as a true menace and having already considered this possibility, managed to imprison her and her dwagon with a tree she animated, thanks to her hippiemancy. Then, Jillian figures out a way to destroy her prison as soon as her turn begins (namely by making her dwagon poop on the tree, which isn't considered as an attack, thus allowing her to bypass the effects of Olive's spell), and explains it to her captor. Olive, this time, admits that it was a good idea that she did not foresee... So Olive decides to use a flower as a Mind Control device on Jillian, forcing her to fell into an ambush the next turn, and thus allowing Haffaton's forces to capture her again. Smart move, Jillian.
Fate Worse Than Death: In the finale of Inner Peace through Superior Firepower Part II, Charlie and Betsy work together to remake her mind in their image and Mind Rape her. In her final moment as herself, she realizes the magnitude of her defeat, considering it worse than croaking or even losing her side.
Averted, but Wanda specifically does not give Jillian chopsticks for her sushi because she is convinced Jillian could croak a small army with them. And Gobwin Knob only has a small army.
Played straight with her escape in "Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower)", using a porcelain fragment to break out of the box Wanda kept her in.
Love Triangle: Out of all the characters in Erfworld, she has had the largest number of love interests. Her love interests have come from both sexes.
Her first love interest was Marika Neagle, but their relationship was eventually strained and Marika croaked in battle.
Jack has long had an interest in her, but though she does consider him a good friend, she has never had any romantic interest in him and rejected his attempt to form a relationship with her. Because Love Hurts, Jack has chosen to keep his distance and remain with Gobwin Knob for the sake of his sanity, even after being given two chances to join her.
She developed an interest in Bart, but he croaked from poison shortly after they became involved.
She and Wanda once shared a strong, kinky, and occasionally adversarial relationship. But after Wanda attempted to use Mind Control, Jillian started getting over her. She eventually snared Wanda and her army into a trap to get revenge. And while unwilling to croak Wanda herself, she does leave Wanda to die at Jetstone's hands. Wanda experiences a great deal of cognitive dissonance as a result.
After being hired into the Royal Coalition, she developed a strong romantic interest in Ansom. Ansom looked down on her for being a barbarian, but he was also attracted to the fact that she was a Determinator Royal. They would have a Rescue The Princess relationship as Jillian continuously got herself captured by Gobwin Knob. She was devastated when he died, but after learning that he had been brought back in a fashion via Decryption, she spurned Wanda to capture him.
After Ansom's death, Jillian and Vinny developed a Comforting the Widow relationship over their mutual loss. But then Ansom turns out to have been brought back...
Mind Rape: Inner Peace revealed that Charlie and Betsy 'healed' her addiction to heroine buds, but made some other adjustments. Charlie killed off a hallucination in the form of a jester which he called a 'tool of the enemy', and Betsy couldn't resist messing with Jillian's memories to try and 'heal' her warrior nature.
Rebellious Princess: Her father wanted a philosopher prince. What he got was a violent princess. In addition, she acts rude and unrefined on purpose to spite her background (though as King Don states, she is still a Royal through and through subconsciously).
Rebellious Spirit: Even if she knows it'll make her miserable, she'll defy whatever "rules" are in the way of her getting what she feels is right, even fate itself. She and Wanda note this as her always wanting to do things "the hard way".
Jillian:I'm Fated to take Lady Firebaugh to 'the next phase of her journey.' And I’m Fated to croak the ruler of Haffaton! And probably a whole lot more crap like that, too. [...] I don't care. I hate this stuff! But maybe I'm gonna have to, though. [...] Maybe I have to give you all my friends and my family and my comrades, to escape here at all. [...] Well, too bad. I'm not gonna. I'll take it the hard way! Always!
Revenge: One of her main motives. Stanley was manipulated into destroying her side. And though she doesn't particularly care about her side, she still considered it hers.
Royal Blood: She is "descended" from one of the original units the Titans chose to rule. Consciously, she is indifferent to or even contemptuous of Royalty. However, what has been described as a "Royal" part of her mind occasionally asserts itself in spite of herself.
Royals Who Actually Do Something: This is the norm for Erfworld, but a Queen who goes directly into battle is still considered unusual. Tramennis hopes he could be half the monarch she is.
Temporary Blindness: Inflicted by Orwell, former Lookamancer of Faq, while she was trying to slay Olive. She then had to fight completly blind against a heavy armored unit. Thankfully, Jack cast a spell on her, enabling her to share his field of vision.
They Call Me Mister Tibbs: Before ascending to Queen of Faq, she hated being referred to by her title. But afterwards, she insists on being called Queen, even to Ansom, and snaps when referred to as anything else. She gets particularly snobby and derisive when Stanley fails to refer to her by her title.
Too Kinky to Torture: Not originally, but by the time of Faq's fall, she had a kinky fondness for the torture chamber.
What the Hell, Hero?: Gets called out by Ansom for her hypocritical treatment of Decrypted and himself. She doesn't care.
Wild Card: She has some of the most complicated connections and motivations in the entire setting, some of which seem mutually exclusive on the surface. As several characters have learned, this has made her difficult to predict, much less direct, as even she doesn't know what she wants.
King Loj Banhammer of Faq
Jillian's father and the ruler of Faq before her. He was ultimately betrayed and croaked by Wanda in order to fulfill her destiny.
Actual Pacifist: He was highly devoted to peace and philosophy. This was the main reason he had such a bad relationship with his Blood Knight daughter, Jillian.
Beware the Nice Ones: King Banhammer believed that when you yelled, that means you lost the argument. Indeed, he almost never yelled or burst with a fit of rage, but when he did, it scared even his daughter.
Honor Before Reason: He was highly dedicated to his goal of Peace on Erf, even under circumstances where it just wasn't realistic. When Faq holds Olive on trial, he gets enraged when Jillian knocks Olive over, even though Olive had been openly in the middle of conspiring and negotiating with Charlie while Faq lies in a vulnerable position.
Horrible Judge of Character: Olive is quite manipulative and had done a good job of showing King Banhammer the benefits of merging with Haffaton. But even when she put her treacherous nature on obvious display with her ruler, King Banhammer failed to notice it and was merely confused.
The Philosopher: He was highly dedicated to puzzling out answers to the Frequently Asked Questions and the nature of the world. His casters were easily the most important units on the side, due to their unique insights into the nature of the universe. This trait was part of why Jillian hated him, since she viewed the court's debates as dry and pointless while she was out in the field earning money for Faq's upkeep.
Posthumous Character: In the main story, he has been dead for some time. He does show up in person in the prequel however.
Royal Blood: He is descended from one of the original units the Titans chose to rule.
Unwitting Pawn: He very nearly became one of these to Olive Branch. By emulating his love of peace and philosophy, she was able to show him the advantages of combining their sides and how they could work together to bring peace to Erfworld. But due to her poisonous, sociopathic, backstabbing nature, it only could have lead to the doom of himself and many others.
Prince Albert Zamussels, Heir of Faq
Jillian's heir, popped at the request of Don King of Transylvito.
Knife Nut: Was granted an archery specialization with knives at popping. Seconds after he pops, "he knew he could put a knife in an enemy's eye socket from across a courtyard, and he itched to do it soon."
The ruler of a mysterious, mercenary side called Charlescomm. Charlie is one of the attuned wielders of an Arkentool. He displays extreme cunning in both tactics and diplomacy, and his services generally come at a steep price. He plays both sides of a conflict to give himself the best possible outcome.
Affably Evil: Polite, friendly, and has anything but your interests at heart, as is much befitting of a Carnymancer. Furthermore, he does the "You Have No Chance to Survive" bit to scare Parson, but he seems to legitimately not want Parson to die and just wants him to use the spell he made him to send him home. He had no obvious reason to not let Parson just burn to death or suspect that his plan would fail, but he tells Parson that he can, in fact, use that spell.
Arch-Enemy: To Parson. He is just about the only person who fully recognizes and fears Parson. Moreover, the spell that summoned Parson was the result of a gambit by the Thinkamancers to find a way to stop Charlie. By the end of book 2, the feeling's mutual - Parson has made "kill Charlie" his top priority.
Bad Samaritan: He gives Slately the chance to save his side from Gobwin Knob, but only to serve as a puppet to kill Parson.
Big Bad: Defeating him was one of the four reasons Parson was summoned to Erfworld, and Charlie knows this. He is absolutely determined to kill Parson and has made this his main goal.
Black Eyes of Evil: When talking with King Slately about killing Parson, his avatars' eyes are completely in shadow.
The Chessmaster: He regularly manipulates all sides of a conflict for maximum self gain.
Deal with the Devil: Even in the best of times, Charlie's archons are out to screw the client as much as possible without harming Charlie's reputation in order to create more business. As Charlie's fears about Parson become increasingly realized, Charlie's deals start to show visible malevolence.
He himself essentially made one of these with Fate. He was nearly croaked by an assassination attempt. Using Carnymancy allowed him to survive, but at a terrible price. It is heavily implied that this made him Fated to croak at a later time thanks to Equivalent Exchange. Charlie has had to go to desperate lengths to Screw Destiny.
Dirty Coward: Absolutely terrified of dying, and he's willing to screw over everything and everyone else to avoid it.
The Dreaded: In Wanda's words, no one gets close to Charlie. Dove Barstool, a Carnymancer in his occasional employ, says that no side or army is ever going to take him down and he never loses.
The Ghost: In the prequel. In the current timeline, he at least contacts people indirectly with Thinkamancy, but in the Book 0 prequel, he only appears briefly for a couple chapters, despite ultimately being central to the story.
He Who Must Not Be Seen: It is part of his policy to keep himself as mysterious as possible. He never reveals his true face in negotiations, instead using a variety of imagery or Expies to represent himself. No one knows where he came from, and his closest, most important Archons, are the only units still around that have ever seen him in person.
Hidden Agenda Villain: His end goal, or if he even has one, is completely unknown. What is known about his desires is that he wants "Money. More money, more reach, more security, more information". And he has been dedicating all of his resources to growing an ever expanding army of archons. It is eventually revealed that Charlie used Carnymancy to survive an assassination attempt. As the comic goes on, it is increasingly implied that the terrible price he had to pay was to become an enemy of Fate thanks to Equivalent Exchange. The bizarre strategy of his side is to prevent Fate from croaking him by ordinary means.
Hoist by His Own Petard: The Summon Perfect Warlord spell was Charlie's invention and the weapon he used to summon Judy Gale to destroy his two greatest foes. A conspiracy involving the Thinkamancers eventually casts the same spell to summon Parson Gotti, in part to defeat him.
The Man Behind the Man: From Gobwin Knob's perspective, this is the role he plays in chapter 2. He is terrified of Parson and refuses to fight him directly or even let Parson know he is working against him, likely to avoid the possible devastation Parson could unleash if things escalate too much. Instead, he has been attacking Gobwin Knob's forces by manipulating all of the other players.
He is hinted to be from another, more sophisticated universe, just like Parson. He was once The Wizard of El-Efbaum, a reference to the Wizard of Oz, who was himself a conman from the mundane world. His behaviour is bizarre and utterly impenetrable to anyone, but especially for Erfworlders, since he is familiar with concepts and ways of thinking that would baffle them.
In truth, he is a Carnymancer, which would give him a pretty unique set of insights into Erfworld to begin with, and also a former user and possibly co-creator of the spell that summoned Judy (and later Parson). For him, this trope is subverted where Parson is concerned. He knows exactly what he's up against.
For all of Erfworld's history, every side has used medieval style armies with fantasy elements mixed in. Charlie himself has been no exception, out of a desire to keep his cards hidden. But in the final epilogue of chapter 2, as Charlie prepares for a desperate war with Gobwin Knob, he starts unveiling an army with very modern capabilities, including rifles and gun turrets.
Psychic Link: Charlie uses one to great effect in Book 2, turning an expected Curb-Stomp Battle into near-catastrophe for Gobwin Knob. Even more terrifyingly, he is even capable of using the Archons as relays to cast spells remotely.
Screw Destiny: Implied to be his main motive. The Titans' plans interfere with Charlie's own, and he is absolutely determined to get rid of Parson to prevent Fate from playing out its hand. As a Carnymancer, he is theoretically capable of beating the Titans Railroading with his own.
The Trickster: Charlie is described as bizarre and following his own set of rules. He is very reluctant to release information without payment. And while friendly, he is very obviously not someone you can trust. The revelation that he is a carnymancer causes this to make a whole lot more sense.
Used To Be More Social: He used to attempt to conquer all opposition, and rule the world as one side, who suddenly went in the complete opposite direction after attuning to the Arkendish. He has one city, and seems to allow no one to see him. Probably because Fate itself wants him dead after he cheated death with Carnymancy. He's doing everything he can to minimize danger to himself.
Wild Card: No one knows what his true agenda is beyond profit. And while he claims he will not actually switch sides in the middle of a conflict to avoid harming his reputation, he is willing to offer other bargains to the other side, which can make him seem unreliable, and is perfectly willing to screw his own "allies" over if he needs to manipulate them. And on at least one occasion, he has switched sides and betrayed a client. As a Carnymancer, this is practically part of the job description.
Xanatos Speed Chess: After Jillian only partially implements his plan to critically weaken Gobwin Knob, leaving the bulk of Gobwin Knob's power intact, he is quick to come up with new strategies to antagonize them.
Powerful and dangerous natural caster units in service to Charlie. Only a handful of other sides can pop archons, and none of them as fast as Charlie. They are utterly devoted to Charlie and his ideals, engaging in the mercenary wheeling and dealing he so loves. In the first book, they are allied with Jetstone, and there are only three named units: Jaclyn, Kate, and Farrah. The number of named Archons increases over the course of Book 2.
Action Girl: The Archons are quite a formidable, flying knight-class unit.
Badass Army: Charlie runs his whole side on Archons, along with the Arkendish.
Blind Obedience: None of the archons under his service even consider the possibility of Charlie being wrong. Even the decrypted archons have trouble thinking anything negative of him.
Elite Mooks: Elite, Knight-class flying units with a random special chosen from Leadership, Shockamancy, Foolamancy and Thinkamancy.
Innocent Fanservice Girl: Subverted for the ones with a Shockamancy special, though, as there's nothing innocent about that.
Light Is Not Good: It's not evil either, but despite being called Archons (Dungeons and Dragons speak for Angels) and taking the form of beautiful, glowing women; they are just as ruthless as any other unit in erfworld.
Ms. Fanservice: Their fighting style partially revolves around panty shots to distract enemy soldiers. Some of their Shockamancy abilities revolve around exposure. And when in need of manipulation, they aren't above using seduction.
Not in My Contract: They're not supposed to do anything unless it's specified in the contract (so if a veilied twoll is about to attack you, if you didn't pay for the right security, most won't say anything). Though there are (very expensive) contracts that they will do literally anything that is within their power to accomplish, even attack Charlescomm (though good luck getting new Archons), and they'll die trying. Decrypted Archons view themselves as being on this sort of contract to Wanda.
Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: One of the Archons from Book One named Jaclyn showed a constant willingness to aid the Royal Colition leaders beyond the degree of service they were willing to pay, citing one of Charlie's rule corollaries that she was within her rights when her team mates protested her helping Jillian break a suggestion spell or trying to warn her of Wanda's loyalties. Other Archons look down on her for her bleeding heart, as shown when those same teammates mock her memory when they consider that she would probably have saved Ansom from Bogroll's trap had she been still with them.
And of course, our introductory group, named after the actors who played the original Charlie's Angels. However, Kate and Farrah's names were never given in-story, and are speculative.
Undying Loyalty: To Charlie. One Decrypted Archon's last words are "Help me, Charlie..."
Other - Royals/Warlords
Judy Gale, Overlady of Haffaton
The Overlady of Haffaton, which was the strongest side of its time.
Cosmic Retcon: She is a subject of Retconjuration. When her character was first introduced, her first name was Dorothy. But the chapter was later edited with her name rewritten, because the author felt she was a more complex character.
Sparing The Aces: She was supposed to kill Charlie when she conquered the side he once ruled, Efbaum, but chose to spare him due to her appreciation of his charm.
Summon Everyman Hero: She's an Expy of Dorothy in more way than one. She knows words foreign to Erfworld like "kill" and "years," and in the end, she uses the Arkenshoes to wish herself back to Kansas. She was in fact summoned by the same Summon Perfect Warlord spell that brought Parson to Erf.
You Can't Fight Fate: According to Wanda, she tried to fight her Fate, and this is the reason for all of her suffering.
King Dickie of Hagger
The king of Hagger, who allies with Jetstone while planning to claim the kingdom once it falls to Stanley.
Possibly taken Up to Eleven when it's revealed that he bears a striking resemblance in both appearance and personality to Richard M. Nixon.
Royal Blood: He is descended from one of the original units that the Titans chose to rule. Not that he really cares about that sort of nonsense. He only echoes Slately's talk about Royal Ideals as a means of manipulating him.
Janis Atlantis, Grand Abbie Hippiemancer of the Magic Kingdom
"'Striving for the impossible' doesn't mean 'toiling in vain.' It means growth."
Janis is one of the most influential Casters in the Magic Kingdom. Her origin is unknown, but her main motive is clear: to bring peace to Erfworld. She has revealed little about her scheming in that direction, but current information indicates that she may be running a conspiracy or two to that end. As her title implies, she's a practiced Hippiemancer, though seems to specialize in Flower Power in particular.
Start X to Stop X: Her main plan to stop war is to introduce a general so powerful that he breaks the game. Sounds unfortunately like nuclear weapons in the modern world, doesn't it.
Time Stands Still: She has the ability to temporarily stop a fight by freezing it in time.
Marie Lavraie, Predictamnacer of the Magic Kingdom
She just thought of something funny that happened tomorrow.
"Tsk. You wah supposed to be the smot one. Hate to see a dumb one."
A powerful Predictamancer with a founy accent. She was originally from Faq, but went to the Magic Kingdom after her side fell. So far, she has accurately predicted the fall of Faq and Wanda's attunement to an Arkentool, among other things. She's also the one who provided Wanda with the scroll needed to summon Parson. She is the de-facto leader of a conspiracy in the Magical Kingdom to bring peace to Erfworld and fulfil the Titans' great plan.
Deadpan Snarker: Well, look at her page quote up there. She's full of snarky one-liners.
Man Behind the Man: She was the original person to devise the "summon perfect warlord to stop war" plot and eventually convinced Janis to take an active role in it. Janis herself is a little concerned by how she suspects Marie is using it to settle unfinished business with Wanda.
Prophet Eyes: As befitting someone whose specialty is seeing the future.
Seer: Part of the job description for a Predictamancer.
Stealth Pun: Her name is "Lavraie", a French name which could be roughly translated as "The true one". Pretty fitting for a Predictamancer...
Jeftichew AKA "Jojo", Carnynmancer of the Magic Kingdom
A Carnymancer formerly of Unaroyal, Jeftichew was made to pledge only to work for royal sides before being sent into the Magic Kingdom, after which Queen Bea ended Unaroyal. Little else is known about him, but he knows Janis and is the reason for Sylvia's Plot Armor. He also seems to be doing Charlie's bidding.
Enigmatic Minion: He's offered Parson a scroll that he claims will let him return to Earth. It might even do that. Or it might destroy him; either way it was something Charlie had crafted for him, and he's a former caster of Unaroyal, a side whose beloved queen committed suicide rather than surrender to Stanley and to whom he had pledged to only work for royal sides.
He also immediately changed his tune regarding letting Parson through the portal the moment Charlie finalized his trap, so it would be safe to assume he is in constant contact with him and might even secretly work for Charlie (as in, in proper employment, not just as a conspirator).
Revenge: His main motive is to avenge Queen Bea, who committed suicide and annihilated her entire side rather than surrender to Gobwin Knob.
Carnymancy is technically Fate magic, but as Parson put it, it's probably actually "The magic of rigging the game". He's the first character from Erf to argue for the existence of Free Will, though it's hard to tell if this is something he has a unique perspective on due to his discipline or if he was pulling a con-job. This could make him very dangerous, considering Parson was summoned by Fate magic in the first place, and he seems to have made it his goal to stop Parson from achieving his destiny.
He also granted some form of Plot Armor/Contractual Immortality to Sylvia back when she was just a minor level 1 stabber. It's hinted that some form of Equivalent Exchange was involved, and their sides' ruler was very upset how much resources he spent on such a minor unit.
Spell My Name with an "S": Most sources spell his name "Jeftichew," like the performer he's named after, but the one time his name was used in the comic, it was spelled "Jefftichew."
Unwitting Instigator of Doom: His bargain for Sylvia's continued survival has not been good for her long-term sanity or the survival of her allied units.
Wild Card: Self-declared, but when a predictamancer says not to trust somebody...
Dame Olive Branch, Florist of Haffaton
A Florist working for Haffaton, a side that existed long before the events of the main story. She serves as the Big Bad of the "Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower)" prequels and seems to wield enormous personal authority within Haffaton.
Badass: She's level 12. Jillian says that she's only ever seen one other caster with a level that high and wonders just how she even got that high. Her side has captured the capitals of 14 other sides, which goes way beyond the 2 or 3 that Jillian was used to seeing from powerful sides.
Big Bad: Of the "Peace through Superior Firepower" prequel arc.
She is beautiful, sweet and charming on the surface, but utterly ruthless beneath the façade, sees people as objects to advance her goals, and she does not take it well when things don't go her way. She's arguably the scariest villain yet introduced in the series. Her schtick is flowers and pacifism, oh and also poison, not to mention highly addictive drugs.
Olive provides a counterpoint to Janis, showing the martial applications of Hippiemancy.
Cain and Abel: She committed at least ten accounts of fratricide.
Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: She pretends to be charming on the surface, but only as a tool to manipulate people. She inevitably poisons and destroys everyone around her, even when it would serve no practical purpose. She was originally in service to a side called el-Efbaum and is in fact Charlie's daughter. She successfully murdered at least 10 of her siblings, attempted to murder her father, and ultimately betrayed the side to Haffaton. While in service to Haffaton, she used false parleys to destroy many of her enemies. She also betrayed Haffaton itself by murdering Lex Doothis, attempting to murder his heir, reducing its final ruler to a drug addicted Puppet King, and killing off all of its casters with her heroine buds.
Crocodile Tears: When on trial in the court of Faq, she used fake tears in an attempt to garner sympathy.
Dragon-in-Chief: For the longest time, all we knew of Haffaton's leadership was her, and the troops followed her orders and not those of a Chief Warlord. Later, we meet Judy Gale, the puppet Overlady of Haffaton, who is a skeletal wreck, drugging herself in the same garden Olive keeps her prisoners in, in a Shout-Out to the poppy fields of The Wizard of Oz.
Fantastic Drug: The most sinister application of Hippiemancy she has at her disposal.
Faux Affably Evil: She is capable of being quite charming, but it's all an act. She doesn't really like anyone except herself.
Honey Trap: She hints to Tommy that she might be willing to defect for him. That's an outright lie; her real intent is to delay him and to split him from reinforcements so that she can capture Wanda for her side.
Mata Hari: She also manages to loosen Tommy's lips about the Prediction surrounding Wanda.
Good Powers, Bad People: Specifically demolishes the preconceptions people were likely to have had about Hippiemancy being only a tool for good. She uses her powers to force other people into overt peace, so that she can take them out in a more underhanded fashion. She also tries to evoke Beauty Equals Goodness in others as part of her façade.
How she gets out of promising not to poison Tommy as well as not initiating the attack that kills him. Her last words were to say that she "makes no promises about the future" and to ask him to kiss her.
Later again, Jillian tells her how she plans to escape her trap without fighting by having her dwagon drop battlecrap on it. She realizes this will work, and then she turns it right around by using the same exact loophole to drop a mind-control flower on Jillian.
Magic Music: Her songs can prevent people from fighting in any overt fashion.
Part of what made Haffaton so powerful were its casters. Olive chose to let most of them die from the Fantastic Drug she used to control them just to "prove" the superiority of her own type of magic. Between that and the sheer degree to which she both literally and metaphorically poisoned her side caused Haffaton to fall apart.
Olive destroyed quite a large number of other sides with false parleys to the extent of making Haffaton the largest side in Erfworld. However, the more cities a side captures, the less income each additional city produces, causing the side to become overextended as it can afford fewer and fewer additional soldiers. By the time Haffaton came into conflict with Faq, Haffaton was impoverished, with only several hundred living units to their name, despite the fact that a typical successful side should have several thousand.
"The Reason You Suck" Speech: Attempts to give one to Wanda about how much more important Life is than Motion.note Hippiemancy is Life + Matter magic, and Naughtymancy is Motion + Matter magic. Wanda stands her ground, and it shakes her out of awe for her.
The Sociopath: According to Wanda, the only one she cares about is herself.
Technical Pacifist: Subverted. Olive shows just how absolutely dangerous Hippiemancy and power over Peace and Love can be as part of a world that exists solely for constant war and turns both into tools for killing her side's foes.
The Undead: Is uncroaked as a Faq soldier by Wanda, after her death to the portcullis.
Unequal Rites: She's quite smug in her belief that casters who use the "Life" element as part of their discipline are superior to those that don't. It is implied that she even chose to let a large number of Haffaton's valuable casters die to "prove" its superiority.
The Vamp: She seduces and murders Tommy using her wiles. Later, Jack fears she may be getting "intimate" with King Loj Banhammer one way or another. When trying to dissuade Faq from executing her, she even goes so far as to claim that she loves him.
Villainous Breakdown: She loses her composure and enters a rage when she realizes that her ruler, Judy Gale, has managed to recover the Arkenshoes she took from her. She starts panicking when Jack turns out to have replaced her chillaxe with a tangible illusion and Jillian smashes the real one, preventing her from casting a mass ward to protect herself from hostile Faq units. When Faq manages to capture her and starts discussing her execution, she breaks down crying.