Tool redirects here. For other uses, see tool (disambiguation)
- 1 Canon
- 2 Proposed Canon
- 3 Speculation
- 3.1 The Fourth Arkentool
- 3.2 Attunement
- 3.3 Etymology of the Name
- 3.4 Associated Discipline
- 3.5 Associated Element
- 3.6 Real World References and their Implications
- 3.7 Relation to Units
- 3.8 Changing the Fundamental Laws of Magic
- 3.9 Purpose within Erfworld
- 3.10 Relative Complexity
- 3.11 More Arkentools
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:
- the Arkenhammer
- the Arkenpliers
- the Arkendish
- the Arkenshoes (which are no longer in Erfworld)
- the "fourth" Arkentool
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 Fourth Arkentool
A Fourth Arkentool has been revealed to be the Arkenshoes. However, they have apparently been removed from Erfworld when Judy Gale returned to Kansas.IPTSF Text 62 It is therefore possible that the fourth Arkentool of Parson's Stupid Meal is still to be identified.
It is possible the fourth arkentool relates to Retconjuration, perhaps being called the Arkenpen, having the ability to 'rewrite' or 'retcon' parts of erfworld. Another theory is that the fourth Arkentool will relate 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 the fourth tool will be a shovel, even if it is dirtamancy related. Possibly the fourth tool will be something that creates reality? One deals with information, one with CONTROL and CHANGE, one with FORCE; what may the next tool be themed by?
Additionally it is possible that Parson may be the fourth 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.
Erfworld relies heavily on puns and comedic references to Parson's world; accordingly, the fourth Arkentool may be humorous, such as the Arkensaw or Arkenwelder; one may presume that the titans at least have a sense of humor about this.
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.
Sylvia's recounting of when she touched the Arkenpliers Erf-b2-pT29 and its contrast with Ossomer's memories indicates that it may be possible for any non-royal commander to attune to any tool. It may simply be that the current wielders are simply the first non royals to wield them and survive. It's also possible that the wielder has to be a non-Royal Warlord; Stanley was a non-Royal Warlord, and Wanda's Croakamancy-derived ability to command Uncroaked in battle may be close enough to qualify.
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.
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?||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 it's 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 (creating the first ever 4 caster link in Erfworld's history), 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. It's 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.
As the Arkentool count was given to us by a Stupid Meal that has been proven at least inaccurate in all other aspects, there is possibility that the four 'known' Arkentools are items out of a larger set and some 'unknown Arkentools' exist and have been forgotten in the countless turns since the world was forged.