Tool redirects here. For other uses, see tool (disambiguation)
- 1 Canon
- 2 Proposed Canon
- 3 Speculation
- 3.1 Intelligence
- 3.2 More Arkentools
- 3.3 Attunement
- 3.4 Etymology of the Name
- 3.5 Associated Discipline
- 3.6 Associated Element
- 3.7 Associated Class
- 3.8 Real World References and their Implications
- 3.9 Relation to Units
- 3.10 Changing the Fundamental Laws of Magic
- 3.11 Purpose within Erfworld
- 3.12 Relative Complexity
Arkentools are a group of Artifacts believed to be created by the Titans of Ark. They are sometimes referred to as "the tools of the Titans".Erf-b1-p020 Erf-b1-p004 While useful on their own, their true power is revealed when they are attuned to their user. The Arkentools look different from most objects in the world; they resemble three-dimensional computer-generated images.
The Arkentools seen so far are:
Stanley took the title of Tool because he felt that he was destined to collect the ArkentoolsErf-b1-p020; however, recently, his failure to reach Faq has left him in doubt as to his destiny. Wanda's attunement to the Arkenpliers has also cast doubt on his belief system, making him uncharacteristically cautious about demanding anything of those that work for him.
The Arkenhammer's description jokes that is has a bad "Personal Taste in Friends", and it was possible to awaken the Arkenpliers into sapience, suggesting all Arkentools have a primitive form of intelligence.
The Arkentool count was given to us by a Stupid Meal that has been proven at least inaccurate in all other aspects and it specifically qualifies the four as the "known" arkentools. This leaves the very strong possibility that the four known Arkentools are items out of a larger set and some "unknown" Arkentools exist which have been forgotten in the countless turns since the world was forged.
One theory is that there will be an Arkentool related to dirtamancy (thus being the Arkenshovel). As the tool does not need to have any obvious connection to its related mancy - e.g. pliers have no obvious connection to Croakamancy - this does not mean a dirtamancy tool will be a shovel. This tool would presumably allow wholesale reshaping of the terrain, as when the volcano was uncroaked.
It is possible that there is an arkentool relating to Retconjuration, perhaps being called the Arkenpen, having the ability to 'rewrite' or 'retcon' parts of erfworld.
Possibly there is a tool that creates reality? One deals with information, one with CONTROL and CHANGE, one with FORCE; what may other tools be themed by?
Erfworld relies heavily on puns and comedic references to Parson's world; accordingly, other Arkentools may be humorous, such as the Arkensaw or Arkenwelder; one may presume that the titans at least have a sense of humor about this. (Parson indeed notes surprise when he learns that there is no known "Arkensaw.")
Additionally it is possible that Parson may be an Arkentool, given that at the start of book one he was in the process of designing a game very similar to 'erfworld'. This would possibly explain his ability to 'break' certain game rules in the same way that Arkentools have been said to be 'game-breakers'. However, no other Arkentool is a PERSON, which Parson certainly is. As Parson was a master games-master and games designer, it may well be that he is not an Arkentool, but a newly recruited TITAN.
The Arkentools give certain benefits to any user, but the greatest abilities are available only to a user who becomes specially attuned. Not everyone is able to attune to a Tool. For instance, Prince Ansom could wield the Arkenpliers as a melee weapon only, and their greater power was not unlocked until Lady Firebaugh obtained and attuned to them.
The requirements for attunement are not known. Inhabitants of Erf appear to believe that the potential is an individual special quality. (The princes of Jetstone each held the Arkenpliers once "in hope of attunement."Erf-b2-pT29)
Readers have speculated that it may be easier than that, and that any non-Royal Commander may attune to a Tool. This is based on Sylvia's recounting of when she touched the ArkenpliersErf-b2-pT29 and its contrast with Ossomer's memories of the same. This is not contradicted by anything we know of the current or past attuned wielders; they have all been either Casters or Warlords, and although Lady Firebaugh is Noble, none have been Royal. If it is indeed true that Royals cannot normally attune, it would be interesting to see if there is an exception for Royal casters with the same discipline as the Arkentool, such as a Royal Croakamancer attuning to the Arkenpliers or a Royal Thinkamancer attuning to the Arkendish.
The time required for attunement is variable. Lady Firebaugh appeared to attune to the Arkenpliers as soon as she touched themErf-b1-p142, but Warlady Judy Gale is said to have attuned to the Arkenshoes "over a period of several days." [see Book 0 update 66]
Etymology of the Name
The Arkenstone was the name of a large and valuable dwarven gemstone in J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit. Tolkien took the name from Old English: eorcen-stán (also spelled eorcnan-stán, earcen-stán, etc.), or Old Norse jarkna-steinn, meaning "precious stone". Thus, "arken" by itself might be interpreted to mean "precious".
Given that the Arkendish provides "unmatched" Thinkamancy and the Arkenpliers provide clearly unequalled Croakamancy, many readers feel that there is an associated Discipline for the other two Arkentools. Exactly which disciplines these are is still a matter of intense debate. For instance, some readers suspect that all the Arkentools are associated with Fate-aligned disciplines, given that this pattern fits both the Arkendish and Arkenpliers, and that Fate is thought by Ansom and Wanda to be the determining factor in a Unit's attunement to the artifact. However, this is not universally agreed upon, given the difficulties with assigning a Fate-aligned discipline to the Arkenhammer. (See this article for a detailed discussion of the Arkenhammer's possible associated disciplines, with arguments for and against each.)
There has been speculation that Parson's mathamancy bracer is a mathamancy-based Arkentool as it has many similar ability giving features. It is also possible that Parson's watch-calculator itself is an Arkentool.
Its has been noted that the Arkenpliers may be extending the magic of Croakamancy to the Life element, which could indicate that it is associated with that element. Stanley the Tool noted that Wanda belived the Arkenhammer could perform Shockmancy, Rhyme-o-mancy, Carnymancy, Changemancy and Date-a-mancy which are all in classes of Magic that use the Matter element and may be the tool's associated element. The Arkenshoes naturally seem to be associated with Motion. In the belief that each of the four Arkentools is associated with a different element, the Arkendish would then be associated with no element like the Clevermancy disciplines and involve the raw magic.
The Arkentools may be entire classes rather than particular disciplines. The Arkenhammer is associated with two kinds of Stagemancy, and the ability to change birds into nuts and vice versa could be considered a form of Hat Magic. The generalist nature of the tool might be expected of combining all three magical elements, Life, Motion, and Matter. On the other hand, it would seem unlikely to be capable of any kind of Clevermancy.
The Arkendish seems to provide Eyemancy, not only Thinkamancy. The Arkenpliers do have a link to Croakamancy, and Decryption may also invoke Retconjuration. The Arkenshoes would be Spookism, as they confer infinite move and teleportation. Turnamancy can create vehicles and Dollamancy can create mounts and items which confer movement specials like flight. Weirdomancy may explain a movement special like teleportation.
There might thus be a total of eight Arkentools. In addition to the four identified, there would be a Hocus Pocus tool (like a crystal ball), a Stuffamancy tool (hypothesized as a shovel, but conferring aspects of Changemancy and Dittomancy as well...an Arkensaw makes sense), a Hippiemancy tool (perhaps a musical or smoking pipe), and possibly a Clevermancy tool (perhaps an information age tool, such as the Erfworld Wiki).
The association with classes rather than disciplines would explain why each tool seems to encompass at least one Fate-aligned discipline.
Real World References and their Implications
It was pointed out that several characters have names that alludes to companies around the world that manufacture tools:
- Stanley manufactures hand tools
- Zhejiang Wanda Tools Co. Ltd specializes in making pliers
- Dish Network formed by Charles W. "Charlie" Ergen provides satellite television service in the United States
There is a company named Rockwell that manufactures tools. It is also worth noting that one of the earliest patents for a shovel design was given to James B. Sizemore. It has thus been suggested by some readers that the fourth Arkentool might be an Arkenshovel and be given to the character Sizemore Rockwell.
Now we know that the fourth arkentool is the Arkenshoes, which are a reference to the Wizard of Oz character Dorothy's Ruby Red Slippers, the possibility that they will be the way for Parson to go home is strong.
Relation to Units
It is probable that each Arkentool has an associated special Unit. The Arkenhammer permits the taming of Dwagons, and the Arkenpliers create 'decrypted'. Most readers agree that the Arkendish is probably involved with creating Archons. Few sides can pop Archons and Charlescomm is the only side that can pop them at a rate of up to 1.5 per turn.summer-updates-%e2%80%93-046 So far, the main effect of the Arkentools on Erfworld seems to be to alter the demographics of Erfworld's population, by increasing the numbers of Archons, Dwagons and Decrypted. --Speculation-- It may be that the Arkenshovel, if it is in fact the fourth Arkentool, may give the wielder the ability to summon and control Daemons, although there is no evidence of this presented so far.
|Arkentool||Special Unit||Associated Discipline||Associated Axis||Associated Elements|
|Arkenpliers||Decrypted||Croakamancy||Fate||Motion & Matter|
|Arkendish||Archons||Thinkamancy||Fate||Life & Motion|
|Arkenshoes||Superior Motion?||Possibly Changemancy and/or Dollamancy?||Fate||Motion|
|"Arkenshovel" (speculation)||Superior Golems?||Possibly Dirtamancy and/or Changemancy?||Erf or Fate||Matter|
I think we're missing some obvious speculation here. The Main Page says the wiki is a tool. Is there any reason it can't exist in Erfworld too? Perhaps as some book with special power beyond its encyclopedic knowledge.
Changing the Fundamental Laws of Magic
The inhabitants of the Magic Kingdom are not simply concerned about Wanda's actions because of their political implications. There is a widespread theoretical consensus, which Sizemore shares, that she is extending Croakamancy to the Life axis. Is Charlie and the Arkendish extending Thinkamancy to the Matter axis by creating so many Archons who can use Thinkamancy? Does Stanley's army of Dwagons alter Erfworld's magical laws in a third way?
Purpose within Erfworld
Janis believes that Parson's outside the box approach to combat is going to "break" Erfworld and bring an end to the continual warfareErf-b1-p141 — it is apparently more than coincidence that the Arkentools are coming into play around the time Parson arrived in Erfworld. As Erfworld is based on strategy game mechanics, the Arkentools themselves seem to be what are often called "game breakers" – special abilities, units or items which confer an unfair/unbalanced advantage to the side that possesses them making them exceedingly difficult to counter. It seems plausible then, that the "fate magic" alluded to surround the Arkentools is to bring all four together and somehow break Erfworld itself using them (e.g. rewriting the rules into something closer to the Real World). The common phrase "Tools of the Titans" adds to this possibility by implying that the Arkentools are the tools by which Erfworld was originally built.
A theory for how this can be done is to use the Arkendish to form a Caster link between the wielders of the other 3 Arkentools, the power of the tools and the link combined allows the participants to reshape the entire Erfworld itself. This would work in a similar kind of way to the volcano link ("I actually modified the terrain type, like a Titan"Erf-b1-p142-p6) without the raw destruction. The obvious problem with this idea is that Stanley is not a caster as far as we know; there are several workarounds for this including the plot allowing him to become a caster, he may be killed and end up passing the hammer to someone who is a caster or (because this is a unique circumstance) the Arkendish link may be able to include non-casters.
Of the three arkentools we've seen so far, they have been of increasing levels of complexity.
On the low end, there is the Hammer. Simple. Straightforward. A thing on the end of a stick to let you hit things better. Next is the Pliers. Moving parts, but still pretty simple. Two parts held together to help you pinch things. Then there's a leap up to a satellite dish. Power sources, invisible waves and rays, all to aid in communication. The fourth tool... is still a mystery. Roughly though, we can place it in one of three positions then: Even Simpler, the Missing Step, or Clarke's Model.
- Even Simpler would place it below the hammer in terms of complexity. Where the Hammer is a thing on a stick, the fourth tool would be... a stick. Or a thing. A single piece tool with a minimum of crafting in it. An awl, a chisel, a screwdriver... maybe even an anvil. The simplest physical thing would be- a ball.
- The Missing Step would place it between the Pliers and the Dish. Something to bridge the gap from the purely physical nature of the Pliers to the pure energy nature of the Dish. Perhaps something involving springs and gears, clockwork or steam. An engine, perhaps? This seems unlikely, though.
The fifth Arkentool could be an item that a game maker would use. The hammer could destroy disliked units. The pliers reshaped dead units to serve a new master. The dish is a connection between the player charlie and his pieces. If the fifth tool is a middle step between the pliers and the Arkendish it may be a rake or paint brush. Its power could include the ability to reshape the terrain of the game.(Similar to how Sizemore reshaped parts of the magic kingdom.)
- Clarke's Model would put it beyond the Dish. Considering the increasing size of the disparity in complexity in going from Hammer to Pliers to Satellite Dish, the next step would be so great as to surpass all levels of technology that currently exist, or that could exist in the foreseeable near future. To us, the reader, it would appear simply as... magic. And in a world where magic is not uncommon, that might be the hardest tool of all to pinpoint.
That being said, a guess as to what it might be... the portals. The fourth Arkentool is a transporter system, either formerly attuned to the founder of the Magic Kingdom or currently to someone inside it. If this is correct, the manifestation of it as a material object may well be- a key. But no normal key, nor a magic key, but the key which opens portals.
The revelation of the existence of the Arkenshoes bears out part of the preceding paragraph's speculation — they were used to transport Judy away from Haffaton (possibly out of Erfworld entirely).
In actual usage, however, the Arkenhammer doesn't seem to be a particularly simple tool. It tames dwagons, it flies, it rocks out, it turns nuts into birds, and it may do other things Stanley is unaware of. In terms of usage, the Arkenpliers seem to be the simplest so far, though that could simply be due to Wanda not experimenting with it.