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The Old Hack

Story Wednesday January 31, 2018

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Van certainly has mastered the Nod maneuver.

And Dan, Susan could have been in this scene. If only you hadn't worn her out in a non canon game and left her an emotional wreck in the previous scene.

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OK, third panel, it's apparent that Arthur witnessed something bad happen because of magic and it was traumatic enough that he does not want there to be a possibility of it happening again.

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1 minute ago, Scotty said:

OK, third panel, it's apparent that Arthur witnessed something bad happen because of magic and it was traumatic enough that he does not want there to be a possibility of it happening again.

I suspected a scenario of this kind might be possible. I did mention that one reason for being as apparently heartless as Arthur could be the case of the disillusioned and badly burned out law enforcement officer, such as Warden Morgan from the Dresden Files.

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It does make me wonder....even though it's not a part of their official function, I can't help but think that the discussion the Seers have will influence what sort of major change the system makes if Magic chooses to make it a major change.  If Arthur can get Tedd into a debate about what sort of change would be best, likely by making a statement which he knows Tedd will disagree with, then there's a good chance they'll come up with something that Tedd would find less objectionable than the current system.  He could then listen to Tedd's reasons against a change but the groundwork for change would be laid.

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So treat like an alien on the run. If caught, it will be examined and exploited.

Not that no will never be the wiser, but no one should be wiser.

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What if they could both keep the big guns out of civilian hands, and also make Great Magic possible to a chosen few with uniquely sane and rational characteristics? Give everyone lesser magics, like minor telekinesis and ball-of-light spells, or self-focused gender-change spells and furry spells, to allow everyone the sort of self-actualization Tedd's blessed with on a daily basis (with adjustments to keep self-transformation spells from being abused to escape authorities), but keep the big guns like Greater Fireball or Summon Dragon or Raise Undead as works which require a highly rational mind, expensive and time-consuming rituals, and a very steep learning curve.

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Let anyone who wants to get magic by studying hard for more than a few years, then have most of them get "Firefly flicker" or "levitate feather" as their one and only spell. How many people won't quit before then with the odds really low?

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7 hours ago, Scotty said:

OK, third panel, it's apparent that Arthur witnessed something bad happen because of magic and it was traumatic enough that he does not want there to be a possibility of it happening again.

I'm thinking Arthur is old enough to remember the last time magic changed. That is, he's really an elf, an even older elf than Adrian Raven.

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As much as I hate to say it, I about 80% on with Arthur J Arthur about keeping magic secret.

Magic in EGS does seem to give spells out based on who you are, not a set list of spells.  Bad Tom gets magic, any bets he gets "Charm Person" or something like that?  Want to live in a world where he and other twits like him have that?  And that's just a fairly harmless option.  There are actively evil people out there as well, even in the EGSverse as given.  Notice that one of the vampires was also a mage.  Not Good.

 

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3 minutes ago, Tom Sewell said:

I'm thinking Arthur is old enough to remember the last time magic changed. That is, he's really an elf, an even older elf than Adrian Raven.

If he was, wouldn't he be aware of his status of Seer then?

2 minutes ago, mlooney said:

As much as I hate to say it, I about 80% on with Arthur J Arthur about keeping magic secret.

Magic in EGS does seem to give spells out based on who you are, not a set list of spells.  Bad Tom gets magic, any bets he gets "Charm Person" or something like that?  Want to live in a world where he and other twits like him have that?  And that's just a fairly harmless option.  There are actively evil people out there as well, even in the EGSverse as given.  Notice that one of the vampires was also a mage.  Not Good.

 

Wizard actually, but I see your point.

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I don't think an Elf can be a Seer.  I have no direct evidence, however; it just doesn't seem like the sort of thing thst would happen.

Time for Tedd to bring up the idea of increasing everyone's resistance as a relatively minor change that would prevent many abuses.  Opt-in is one version of that.

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1 minute ago, partner555 said:

If he was, wouldn't he be aware of his status of Seer then?

He'd certainly be aware that he can see how magic works, teach magic to others, and make wands, staffs, etc. And while he was aware that a Change was likely soon and that the revelation of magic was likely to bring it on, he didn't necessarily need to be aware that the Will of Magic has special purposes for Seers before the WoM spoke.

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5 minutes ago, CritterKeeper said:

I don't think an Elf can be a Seer.  I have no direct evidence, however; it just doesn't seem like the sort of thing that would happen.

Dan hasn't  said it isn't a possibility. That doesn't prove my theory, but it doesn't disprove it either. I'm thinking maybe the reason Arthur hates Raven is that Raven has an Immortal parent who cares for him and Arthur doesn't. Also, the "greater good" attitude about accepting a few lives lost kind of fits with a lonely ancient who sees humans as short-lived creatures anyway. Pandora herself in one of her nastier moods told her son he was a fool to risk his life for people who were going to die anyway.

About the only thing in canon that would support my theory is that the flamethrowing horde that provoked the last Change is the only really epic abuse of magic by humans we know about. How much work would it be for Dan to create another comparable incident? And how could it have been covered up? We don't even know how the historical memory of the horde was lost. And Arthur doesn't just say he knows what can result when magic falls into irresponsible hands, he says he's seen it, which implies that he's witnessed it. Contrast that with how he vetoed sending agents to deal with the bulldog dragon. If he's not a complete villain and/or lying, what he's seen has to be much worse than one Tercel-sized dragon.

 

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Just now, mlooney said:

Notice that one of the vampires was also a mage.  Not Good.

Just the ability of becoming aberrations takes magic and still results in lost lives. Of course it might be possible to change it just enough to prevent people from being able to become aberrations.

Just now, Tom Sewell said:

Dan hasn't  said it isn't a possibility. That doesn't prove my theory, but it doesn't disprove it either. I'm thinking maybe the reason Arthur hates Raven is that Raven has an Immortal parent who cares for him and Arthur doesn't. Also, the "greater good" attitude about accepting a few lives lost kind of fits with a lonely ancient who sees humans as short-lived creatures anyway. Pandora herself in one of her nastier moods told her son he was a fool to risk his life for people who were going to die anyway.

I don't think the fact that Arthur tried to have Adrian deported on the technicality of Adrian's reported vs actual age is enough to believe that Arthur hates Adrian, Arthur could have very much been following proper procedure at the time, Adrian entered the country with false information and Arthur called him out on it. Maybe Arthur was a rookie at the time Adrian came to the US, the fact that Adrian didn't get deported means that someone higher up must have stepped in to allow it.

If there were other cases of Arthur going after Adrian for trivial things or something then I'd be inclined to think Arthur hated Adrian, but one instance is not enough to make that assumption.

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1 hour ago, mlooney said:

As much as I hate to say it, I about 80% on with Arthur J Arthur about keeping magic secret.

Magic in EGS does seem to give spells out based on who you are, not a set list of spells.  Bad Tom gets magic, any bets he gets "Charm Person" or something like that?  Want to live in a world where he and other twits like him have that?  And that's just a fairly harmless option.  There are actively evil people out there as well, even in the EGSverse as given.  Notice that one of the vampires was also a mage.  Not Good.

 

Unfortunately, keeping magic secret wouldn't prevent vile individuals from getting spells that could do terrible things. We already saw a "Charm Person" like effect (well more of a Dominate Person effect) with Not-Tengu. All of the vampires are magic users (one needs magic to become an aberration in the first place) and as you pointed out, can be even more dangerous if they happen to be a wizard on top of that. While keeping magic secret could minimize the number of vile people getting vile spells, it also minimizes the number of good people getting good spells, along with minimizing the potential answers to the vile people who do happen to get vile magic. Guns might work on most magic users, but something unexpected can leave people mentally off-balance and ill-capable of responding in the most effective manner. And there's always the possibility of someone getting a shield or armor spell that's good enough to protect against most guns. Or heck, just a bulletproof vest would improve their chances long enough to crack off a few spells.

Also, there's a pretty good chance that some bad people would get magic in the new system despite the attempts at secrecy. Magic wants to be used dramatically and doesn't really understand corporeal existence. The easiest way for big, dramatic use of magic is battle between heroes and villains. Conflict drives drama, and the more intense the conflict is, the greater the drama will be.

1 hour ago, Tom Sewell said:
2 hours ago, partner555 said:

If he was, wouldn't he be aware of his status of Seer then?

He'd certainly be aware that he can see how magic works, teach magic to others, and make wands, staffs, etc. And while he was aware that a Change was likely soon and that the revelation of magic was likely to bring it on, he didn't necessarily need to be aware that the Will of Magic has special purposes for Seers before the WoM spoke.

If he didn't know about the second purpose and had used magic (as an Elf he would know about magic, and seer abilities are more or less instinctual to the point that Tedd was using them without realizing it), then he would have been eligible for the second purpose at the last reset which would have made him ineligible for the current reset, since the WoM tells the seers their purpose when it calls on them.

1 hour ago, Tom Sewell said:

About the only thing in canon that would support my theory is that the flamethrowing horde that provoked the last Change is the only really epic abuse of magic by humans we know about. How much work would it be for Dan to create another comparable incident? And how could it have been covered up? We don't even know how the historical memory of the horde was lost. And Arthur doesn't just say he knows what can result when magic falls into irresponsible hands, he says he's seen it, which implies that he's witnessed it. Contrast that with how he vetoed sending agents to deal with the bulldog dragon. If he's not a complete villain and/or lying, what he's seen has to be much worse than one Tercel-sized dragon.

An event doesn't have to go big to be worse for a person. On the contrary, smaller, more personal events tend to have greater mental and emotional impact. Death of a loved one is going to weigh more heavily on a person than death of dozens of people they don't know. And there are fates much worse than death, even before the nigh-infinite possibilities of magic is added to the mix.

20 minutes ago, Scotty said:

I don't think the fact that Arthur tried to have Adrian deported on the technicality of Adrian's reported vs actual age is enough to believe that Arthur hates Adrian, Arthur could have very much been following proper procedure at the time, Adrian entered the country with false information and Arthur called him out on it. Maybe Arthur was a rookie at the time Adrian came to the US, the fact that Adrian didn't get deported means that someone higher up must have stepped in to allow it.

That does make me wonder why Arthur tried to have Adrian deported to Russia.

2 minutes ago, animalia said:

I wonder if Dan has read JoJo's Bizarre Adventure?

I don't know, though if this Q&A is anything to go by, Dan has exclusively read books about wizards named Harry. (I think he's mentioned on Twitter reading more books since then, but I don't remember)

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Speculation time!

I'm currently thinking that Tedd and Arthur are going to continue arguing for a time, then Van is going to speak up and say something neither of them would have thought to say which is enough to convince the Will of Magic.

I'm going to further speculate that Magic doesn't really care about the moral and practical arguments Tedd and Arthur are making, and WoM will go with what Van said because Van made it sound more fun/dramatic that way.

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46 minutes ago, ChronosCat said:

Speculation time!

I'm currently thinking that Tedd and Arthur are going to continue arguing for a time, then Van is going to speak up and say something neither of them would have thought to say which is enough to convince the Will of Magic.

I'm going to further speculate that Magic doesn't really care about the moral and practical arguments Tedd and Arthur are making, and WoM will go with what Van said because Van made it sound more fun/dramatic that way.

I can buy that

 

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54 minutes ago, animalia said:
1 hour ago, ChronosCat said:

I'm going to further speculate that Magic doesn't really care about the moral and practical arguments Tedd and Arthur are making, and WoM will go with what Van said because Van made it sound more fun/dramatic that way.

I can buy that

I'll take 10 $Q of that action.

 

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4 hours ago, Tom Sewell said:

He'd {Arthur} certainly be aware that he can see how magic works, teach magic to others, and make wands, staffs, etc. And while he was aware that a Change was likely soon and that the revelation of magic was likely to bring it on, he didn't necessarily need to be aware that the Will of Magic has special purposes for Seers before the WoM spoke.

If Arthur was alive the last time magic changed, and he's a seer, AND he was then (prior to that change) at least old enough to speak and be aware of magic, but unaware of the role seers serve in the magic change, he would have been consulted at that time and thus learn of that role.

So either he was too young then to be consulted - which presumably would mean he didn't personally witness and recognize the consequences of the change - or he is currently ineligible. The latter is disproved.

He was too young then to be consulted. Note: "too young" includes "not alive yet".

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3 minutes ago, Don Edwards said:

If Arthur was alive the last time magic changed, and he's a seer, AND he was then (prior to that change) at least old enough to speak and be aware of magic, but unaware of the role seers serve in the magic change, he would have been consulted at that time and thus learn of that role.

So either he was too young then to be consulted - which presumably would mean he didn't personally witness and recognize the consequences of the change - or he is currently ineligible. The latter is disproved.

He was too young then to be consulted. Note: "too young" includes "not alive yet".

The idea that Arthur is an Elf seems a little far-fetched to me, but there is actually a way it could work for him to be involved in both Magic Changes: if the consulted seers forget their conversation with the Will of Magic once they wake up afterwards.

In fact, I've been thinking since not long after this scene started that  the Will of Magic might erase seers' memories of helping with the Magic Change. It would help keep the Second Purpose of Seers a secret, and what with them being asleep at the time they wouldn't even have any reason to suspect they forgot anything.

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" So long as every seer knows why it has changed, it will be secret enough."

So, Arthur, why is magic about to change? Do you really know? And if you do, how do you know?

Magic has just gotten to the Change point because two Immortals have been working to expose it. One of them has just reset, but the other one hasn't as far as we know. If they weren't limited, all those other immortals aren't, either. To prevent something like this from happening again, Magic would have to change the rules for Immortals. Does the WoM have jursidiction over Immortals?

Hmmm. Someone else would like to change the rules for Immortals. Maybe someone who will show up in the last panel of Friday's comic?

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