Stanley the Tool
- 1 Canon
- 2 Proposed Canon
- 3 Speculation
- 4 Real World References
For choice and memorable utterances, see Quotes: Stanley the Tool.
- "Yeah, I hear you. We've had some setbacks. But the thing about a quest for the ultimate power in the world is that it's bound to turn out well."
- —Cast of Characters entry
Strengths: Giving Orders, Taming Dwagons, Knowing What He Wants
Weaknesses: Strategy, Critical Thinking, Human Resource Management, Remembering Names
Toolism is the belief that Royals are clinging to a dead mandate and the true plan of the Titans is for the possessors of the Arkentools. Specifically, Stanley argues that the Titans have a plan for him, and maybe for the rest of the world too, who cares. His worldview is rather shaken when he discovers himself to be in command of a second Arkentool holder, Wanda.
Pop and early turns
Before the story started Stanley started out as a piker-class infantry under the command of King Saline IV. Saline promoted him to the rank of Warlord. As a Warlord he found the Arkenhammer, tamed Dwagons, and became an exceptional Warlord. He was so successful that Saline made him Heir Designate.Erf-b1-p079
Wanda contacted Stanley after hearing he found the Arkenhammer. Together they planned to attack Wanda's kingdom of Faq. Wanda had intended for Stanley to lose the battle so she could claim the Arkenhammer herself, but on his way to Faq, he encountered and tamed twenty one additional dwagons, giving him sufficient forces to win. Wanda and Faq's Foolamancer, Jack Snipe joined Stanley's side.Erf-b1-p147
At one point, Stanley took a number of the Gobwin Knob's casters, Sizemore Rockwell among them, on a special mission of undisclosed purpose; While Stanley's group was away the Gobwins broke their alliance, captured Gobwin Knob, and croaked Saline.
With the dwagons, casters, and the bonus from the Arkenhammer, Stanley easily retook Gobwin Knob reenstating the side and becoming Ruler.Erf-b1-p079 Ansom believed that Stanley orchestrated this rebellion to come to power.Erf-b1-p034 It is not clear if Gobwin Knob's Book 1 Gobwin Allies included the tribe that took the city.
With Wanda's encouragement, Stanley quested for the other Arkentools.Erf-b1-p147 He neglected his side's strategic situation to the point that Gobwin Knob lost all living Warlords and ten of its eleven cities.Erf-b1-p005 At the beginning of Book 1 the Royal Crown Coalition was marching on Gobwin Knob itself.
Story: Book 1
Due to the croaking of Manpower the Temporary, Stanley needed to choose a new chief warlord. His adviser, Wanda Firebaugh convinced him to summon the perfect warlordErf-b1-p005, who turned out to be Parson GottiErf-b1-p017.
After Jillian broke Wanda's mind control spell and croaked most of Gobwin Knob's dwagons, Stanley became suspicious of his advisors. Stanley decided to abandon his capital, taking Jack, the remaining dwagons, and three of members of his elite Knights. His plan was to rebuild the secret capital site of Faq and found a new side.
Jillian realized his plan when his departure was discovered and convinced the Royal Crown Coalition to set an ambush for him using Charlescomm and Transylvito. When Charlescomm made Transylvito and offer it couldn't accept they sent a substantial force of bats and warlords to the ambush. Stanley sustained heavy losses, but survived the ambush by escaping under Jack's veil.
- Stanley managed to make his way from common infantry to Overlord, a very rare career advancement.
- He found one of the Arkentools, the Arkenhammer, and attuned to it.
- He used the Arkenhammer to tame dwagons (and crack nuts, which sometimes turned into pigeons).
- He defeated Transylvito Chief Warlord Caesar, knocking him out of the sky and croaking his stack of elite doombats in a single hit.
- He is quite implausibly efficient at economics, since Gobwin Knob's chief warlord and casters can always count on a well filled treasury that allows them to buy expensive scrolls from the Magic Kingdom and promote multiple units during battle, while deploying large armies of living units. Meanwhile most other sides are normally struggling with expenses, even ones with a Moneymancer such as Transylvito.
- Since the events in Book One Chapter 1, he has begun to rebuild his Dwagon army.
In Book One, Stanley is aware of Sizemore's existence, but cannot be bothered to remember his name. Sizemore seems completely resigned to Stanley's abuse as he is to everything else. He perks up even at the brief acknowledgment Stanley gives him when he returns to Gobwin Knob. Sizemore does give Stanley a much-needed morale boost when he and Maggie remake the city of Gobwin Knob with a heavy Stanley Is The Man influence. Obviously, Stanley has no idea of this.
Wanda generally believes Stanley to be a fool, but does believe that he has an important fate. She was subservient and loyal to him - In fact, Wanda was probably the creature Stanley trusted and respected most in the whole Erfworld - but secretly continued to play events to bring her closer to the Pliers.
Since Wanda's attunement to the Arkenpliers she seems to be happy to go along with Stanley's orders as long as she can play with her Pliers and her personal army. Stanley feels somewhat insecure about this new balance of power.
Stanley is aware that Parson is the "Perfect Warlord", and is therefore capable of defeating vastly superior armies by devising radically innovative strategies. But despite this fact, he is deeply ambivalent about allowing Parson to act as Gobwin Knob's Chief Warlord. He knows he can't predict what Parson will do if he gives him the authority to act, but he suspects that while Parson will achieve victory, that victory will come at a higher price than Stanley wishes to pay. He is deeply unhappy that Wanda became attuned to the Arkenpliers as a consequence of Parson's first victory, and is likely to be even more unhappy if Parson's second victory allows Wanda to take control of most of Stanley's Dwagons. Parson dislikes Stanley, who reminds him of every bad boss he ever had in his old life on Earth. He has almost no respect for Stanley beyond his ability to kill him/get him killed. It was recently revealed in LIAB Text 44 that while Stanley recognizes how good a warlord Parson is, he also believes that were he to recognize subordinates it would cause them to slack in their duties. He does have a few complaints such as how expensive Parson's plans tend to be and the occasional mistakes that result from his inexperience.
Stanley is also struggling with his position. He has often commented that he was happiest when he could go out to tame dwagons, fight battles, rock out, and generally be an active part in the dangers of his side. As an Overlord he must avoid any dangerous active role while his subordinates do all the things he wishes he could do.
In Book One, Stanley valued Jack only as a foolamancer but could not be bothered to remember his name. When Stanley attempted to flee to Faq he took Jack to aid in his escape. Stanley became irritated when Jack failed to function properly as a foolamancer. For some reason, Jack seems intensely loyal to Stanley, refusing to turn sides when Jillian attacked Stanley.
Following the battle, Stanley seems to value Jack more, possibly because Jack saved his life in the conflict with Jillian and the ten Warlords of Transylvito. Stanley noted that he was "trying to get better about names", presumably as a result of the problems with Jack, and Jack saving his life in that battle. Stanley now attempts to refer to other units by their names and not their function.
During Ansom's life the two despised each other. They were ideological opposites. Stanley had respect for Ansom's command ability. Ansom had no kind of respect for Stanley.
After decryption they share an ideology (Stanley's). Stanley seems to genuinely like Ansom now and has great respect for his tactical mind. Ansom is devoted to Stanley, but finds him irritating and can't help, despite his feelings of loyalty, seeing a lot of evidence that suggests that Stanley is an incompetent strategist.
Stanley has a grudge against Charlie and refuses to hire him. The reasons for this have not been revealed beyond that they are "personal." However, Stanley respects Charlie as a fellow attuned wielder of an Arkentool, and has long avoided warring with Charlescomm as a side rather than as a mercenary for this reason.
Charlie does tell Jillian that Croaking Stanley would be a step in the right direction towards a good relationship between their respective sides, which appears to indicate that the hostility is reciprocated.
His level is probably in the double digits, since he has won countless battles with the Arkenhammer.
The name of the Plaid tribe seems to be purposefully homophonic to "played", which would make Stanley's (and his tribe's) original name an indicator of how much of a tool he really is.
The background behind Stanley's rise to power is unclear. At some point, he was appointed heir designate by King Saline IV. Some time after that, Stanley left on a special mission taking some casters with him and Saline was croaked by a Gobwin rebellion. It is not certain why the Gobwins rebelled, but it seems likely that Stanley, or someone else, orchestrated the rebellion to engineer his ascension to the throne. Stanley's lack of strategic thinking makes it less likely he worked alone. It is possible that Wanda desired a more easily manipulated ruler and placed Stanley on the throne, perhaps acting in concert with Jack.
It may be that Stanley is actually innocent and had nothing to do with Saline's death. It is also possible that Charlie was involved in this scheme. Had Charlie and Stanley made a deal just to double-cross him, this would explain Stanley's hatred for the man. This is admittedly just speculation and we will have to wait for more details to emerge.
Stanley's preferred style is Rocking Out. He has for this purpose an order of knights who also can dance fight, the Knights in Stanley's Service, who wear makeup and armor reminiscent of real life band KISS, and so far the only song they have been seen rocking out to is indeed a KISS song. This is a well known fact even in the alliance, and the forces of Transylvito prepared themselves for this tactic when they planned the trap in the choke point to FAQ, donning costumes reminiscent of the musical West Side Story and dance fighting to a modified version of the Jet theme song and the song "Cool".
Stanley's attunement to the Arkenhammer is what allows him to Rock Out, a style considered Titanic and superior to mere Dance-Fighting. Before he became Overlord, Stanley won many battles for King Saline IV and is likely a powerful warlord. He defeated Caesar and his stack with a single swing of the Arkenhammer.
As he and Sizemore are both members of the Plaid tribe, the two of them could be considered distant cousins under the rules of Erfworld. Only immediate family connections have been mentioned to exist so far.
Possible Character Development
Stanley has shown some instances of character growth through the story. He may have been humbled somewhat by the events of Book One. His series of defeats and nearly being croaked himself seem to have shaken him. Upon his return to Gobwin Knob, Stanley mentioned that he was trying to get better with names. He even acknowledged Sizemore which he had apparently never done before. Stanley surprised Parson when he uncharacteristically apologized and admitted that he had been wrong to flee with the dwagons.
Stanley became very insecure after the Battle for Gobwin Knob. He seemed suspicious and jealous of Wanda and her new decrypted army. He seemed to miss the days when he could lead armies, fight battles, and tame dwagons, being now stuck in the capital and watching the action from the sidelines. Parson uses his bracer to calculate the odds of Dwagons popping in the Minty Mountains, and gives Stanley something useful to do, taming up to several Dwagons per turn.
When Wanda suggested croaking and decrypting Jack in order to conserve the remaining healomancy scrolls, Stanley decided to turn her down. He has begun to feel that Wanda is a little bit out of control and perhaps croaking his own troops and decrypting them is a bit heartless. Also he actually admitted to liking Jack, probably for his saving Stanley's life.
Real World References
Stanley Hand Tools are a fairly widely known company of toolmakers ... albeit better known for knives than hammers... In many countries, incl. Austria, Denmark, England & Australia, a "Stanley Knife" is synonymous with a utility knife.
A tie-in is made with Paul Stanley, singer/guitarist of KISS, whose make-up he wears for rocking-out with the Arkenhammer.
In the film "Dead Poets' Society", Keating mentions "Stanley 'The Tool' Wilson".
Stanley's Eyebook sound is 'Quack,' a slang term for an individual who is incompetent or unqualified for his profession (particularly physicians). This may be a reference to Stanley's general incompetance as an Overlord.
King Saline IV
|Ruler of Gobwin Knob||Succeeded by:|
|Chief Warlord of Gobwin Knob||Succeeded by:|