- 1 Canon
- 2 Proposed Canon
- 3 Speculation
- 3.1 Relationships
- 3.2 Notes
- 3.3 Trivia
Parson A. Gotti, (born December 7, 1982 in Indianapolis, Indiana), or Lord Hamster, is a human gamer, and author of the webcomic Hamstard. Originally from Earth, resident of the city of Columbus, OhioErf-b1-p037a, he was summoned to Erfworld by Wanda Firebaugh in 3 AW, and appointed Chief Warlord under Stanley the Tool of Gobwin Knob. He was demoted to Warlord in 10 AW, and re-promoted to a Chief Warlord again in Book 2, Page 32.
"I have no problem with that, Tool."
Strengths: Ultimate Strategy, Logic, Abstract Thinking
Weaknesses: Stupid Name, Low Leadership, High Upkeep, Stairs, Being careful what he wishes for
First Appearance: TBFGK 14
When first seen, Parson is going through a normal day.Erf-b1-p014 Later that evening he discusses marshmallow peeps and marbits with Ross.Erf-b1-p015 After the arrival of three other friends -- Ashna, Carl, and Takashi -- Parson introduces them to his latest game.Erf-b1-p016 As he does so, he is transportedErf-b1-p016 to Gobwin Knob, which bears a strong resemblance to the game board he had created.Erf-b1-p024
Upon arrival, Parson is greeted by Stanley the Plaid and Wanda Firebaugh, quickly discovering Erfworld's built-in censorship prevents him from cursingErf-b1-p018. Parson is interviewed by Stanley, who wants to determine his competence. During this conversation, Parson discovers he can lie by telling Stanley that calling someone a Tool is a form of respect, and Staney likes it so much, he orders everyone to use that titleErf-b1-p020. Stanley then shows him around Gobwin Knob, his capital city. Parson is ordered to laugh at Stanley's jokes, and discovers the order cannot be disobeyed, but it can be manipulated by laughing inappropriately, which inspires Stanely to end that order.Erf-b1-p027 Parson also learns that Stanley might be able to disband him at whim thanks to the spell that summoned him. During the tour, Parson realizes that he has joined a Side that most would consider evil, and says as muchErf-b1-p031. Stanley's anger is raised, and he demonstrates his power while explaining his destiny. Parson is ordered not to speak until ordered otherwise. He is also given an important piece of equipment, his Eyebook. With this, he merely subvocates what he wants to write and it appears on the page, and moments later discovers that it connects to Eyebooks held by other inhabitants of the city. Sizemore Rockwell comes to Parson's rescue that evening, helping him learn a lot about the "rules" of Erfworld, and ordering him to speak -- Stanley's order had not indicated only he could break the silence. Parson's lackey, Bogroll, provides him with a metal breastplate for armor, and helps him get to bed.
The next morning, Parson appears before Stanley and their rations popErf-b1-p039. On the side of the Stupid Meal, Parson learns a rule about the combat mechanics of Erfworld, but it is something that all natives know. This stuns Stanley, and makes him worry that Parson is incompetent. Wanda shows up and is told about this, and a mistake the Tool had just made. Parson defends himself, and Wanda comes to his rescue by presenting new knowledge -- Prince Ansom's entire battle plan for the upcoming invasion. The details of the spell that affects Jillian Zamussels, Wanda's quasi-unwitting spy, gives Parson the idea for setting a trap for Ansom. Since Jillian can only move on her captor's turn, he suggests placing her a long way from Ansom, expecting him to come to her rescue and having to stay there until the next day, when a large force of dwagons would destroy him. This plan fails when Count Vinny Doombats, Ansom's closest aide, convinces him to send someone else -- Sir Webinar, some other Jetstone forces, and Charlescomm mercenary Archons. Parson becomes frustrated that he was not informed of a potential ally -- Charlie of Charlescomm -- but Wanda indicates that Charlie is hated by Stanley, so it could never have worked. Charlie bears many similarities to Stanley -- Overlord, Arkentool, non-Royal -- which may explain the dislike. Parson is taken to the library to study, intending to pull an all-nighter.
When Parson does have an idea, he proceeds back to the Situation Room where the Eyemancer Table stays, and finds the controller, Misty. He asks her many questions, and though she kills half of his plan, she stays to help Parson. In the morning, Parson is lambasted by Wanda for involving Misty personally, and learns the the Table is a unique artifact that only Stanley possesses. He has had a Thinkamancer (Maggie) link Misty the Lookamancer with their Foolamancer (Jack Snipe) to create the Table, Eyebooks, and other powerful magics, but the link is dangerous to the participants because they lose their individuality. Trying to talk to one by name could break the spell, potentially croaking the casters. Parson realizes this assists his plan, since Ansom can't see hidden hexes. Wanda gives Parson time to implement his plan by distracting Stanley sexually, while Parson puts the dwagons and their uncroaked warlords to workErf-b1-p048. Dwagons invade the Royal Crown Coalition column, destroying only siege engines and withdrawing. He then places the spent dwagons over a nearby lake, and surrounds a forest hex with a circle of fresh dwagons. The Royal Crown Coalition's flying units are all with Jillian, so too far to really help. This is intended to entice Ansom into thinking the wounded dwagons are inside the circle.
At this point, Stanley arrives and asks what they were going to do this turn, and discovers Parson had already moved. Initially, he is happy with the plan and when Ansom begins turn, all goes well. He discovers the dwagon trap and tries to break inside, discovering the hex is empty. He is too short of Move to get back to his lines except by smashing through a heavily defended hex. Ansom decides to send Jillian out to hunt the wounded dwagons, instead of calling her to help him punch out of the trap. She does find the dwagons, and becomes conflicted -- the Suggestion Spell cast by Wanda is trying to stop her from attacking them, while she wants to attack them, both out of loyalty to Ansom and her own violent tendencies. She attacks, and Ansom comes to help the fight, leaving the forest units inside the trap. They annihilate the dwagons and expect to be attacked in the morning. Stanley is enraged by the loss of so many of his beloved dwagons, and orders Parson, Sizemore, and Wanda out of his sight. He orders the Eyemancers to break their link, and takes the Foolamancer with himErf-b1-p072. Wanda was mentally damaged by the breaking of her spell, becoming almost catatonic, so she is escorted to her room by the other two.
Parson wants to try to convince Stanley not to abandon them in the morning, but he awakens after Stanley, and finds Stanley already choosing three hobgobwin Knights in Stanley's Service to accompany him, and they leaveErf-b1-p076. Stanley has also prevented Parson from doing anything significant this turn by ordering all troops back to Gobwin Knob and taking all the dwagons with him. Parson settles in to lick his wounds and prepare the defense of the city. Parson first discovers Misty is dead from the broken link. He also learns the history of Stanley the Tool, how he rose to power from basic infantry. Stanley was initially promoted to Warlord, found the Arkenhammer, used that and the dwagons he could now tame to win battles, becoming Chief Warlord, and finally Heir Designate. Stanley then took a number of casters on a "special mission", while their gobwin allies broke alliance and attacked Gobwin Knob, executing King Saline IV, making Stanley the new Overlord. He then retook the city easily with his dwagons and Arkentool. Parson also finds Maggie, the Thinkamancer, is perfectly fine. He correctly determines that she intentionally caused the breaking of the link to redirect damage intended for her back towards the other two casters, croaking Misty and crippling the Foolamancer.
Meanwhile, Jillian has determined that Stanley is headed for her old kingdom of Faq, a place that was nearly inaccessible. Ansom creates a plan that will cut Stanley off and hopefully croak him. He has Vinny and Jillian take all of their air forces to a choke point in the mountains, where they will be met by more forces from Transylvito. Marbits from the Royal Crown Coalition reach Gobwin Knob and enter the Tunnels, beginning the invasion of the city.
In the morning, Parson orders Sizemore to crush the leading scouting stack of Marbits in the Tunnels, in order to suggest that they reached a garrison stack and the tunnels are undefendedErf-b1-p087. Parson next tries to break up the Coalition by convincing Charlie to abandon his contract with the Royal Crown Coalition. Charlie declines, but his interest in Parson is piquedErf-b1-p090. From now on, Charlie will try to find ways to get Parson to join his side, willingly or not. Parson then decides to use his Thinkamancer's limited juice to throw Ansom into a tizzy, by poking at the conviction of his superiority. Ansom becomes enraged, ranting, but before Parson can deliver his masterstroke, Stanley interruptsErf-b1-p092. The insanity of his Foolamancer is making him useless, and Stanley was hoping Maggie knew a way to heal him, but she does not. She does theorize that calling him by his true name will help; however neither she nor Stanley know it. Stanley is expecting trouble getting to Faq, and without the Foolamancer, he suspects he won't make it.
Jillian and Vinny proceed with the plan, but make a stop at Gobwin Knob in order to try to capture Wanda; instead, Jillian learns that Wanda is allied with Stanley by choice, not forced by some spell, and watches as the air defenses of the city smashes a significant portion of her contingentErf-b1-p095. Jillian heads towards Faq defeated. Meanwhile Sir Webinar and Dora take Jetstone troops into the Tunnels.
In the evening, Parson realizes that Wanda is intending to abandon the city and rescue Stanley from the trap. He stops her by revealing that he has made a deal with Charlie, where the mercenary will make his price tag to Transylvito too expensive, and remain neutral the next Turn, weakening the trap enough to allow Stanley to surviveErf-b1-p103.
The next morning, Jillian and company hook up with Transylvito's Chief Warlord, eight additional Warlords, and hundreds of doombats. They set the trap for Stanley. Charlie does as advertised, and invades Gobwin Knob's Airspace with thirty or more Archons, theoretically enough to capture the city. Parson convinces him to sit back and wait, by telling him that his chances of holding the city is significantErf-b1-p105. Charlie, interested in seeing the abilities of someone he wants recruit, holds off to watch the fight.
Stanley slams into the trap, and tries to fight his way through. In the midst of the battle, Jillian calls the Foolamancer by name, Jack, and breaks his madnessErf-b1-p113. Jack, in turn, uses his Foolamancy to save Stanley. With only six dwagons and a single Knight, they retreat back in the direction of Gobwin Knob.
Sizemore engages the RCC forces in the Tunnels, croaking their leadership and eventually the entire expedition force. Wanda uncroaks the entire Jetstone complement, placing them on the Outer Walls to defend against a potential attackErf-b1-p116. The presence of former friends enrages Ansom, and he orders the RCC to begin the attack immediately. Ansom begins the attack personally, turning former Jetstone troops to dust, but Wanda takes her air forces and crosses Archon held territory to dismount Ansom and separate him from the ArkenpliersErf-b1-p119. Wanda chased the pliers while she sent her air forces after Ansom, but Ansom allies with Charlescomm. Archons enter the battle, cutting down Wanda and her contingentErf-b1-p121. Ansom approaches Wanda with intent to croak, but Wanda appears to want to be touched by the Arkenpliers, so he retreats instead, and Sizemore arrives to take her away. Using scrolls from Wanda's secret stash, she is healed. The Outer Walls are breached, so Parson pull his forces back to the garrison walls. There he sets up Wanda with her uncroaked to form a defensive line with as high a bonus as possible, including his own presence and Dance-FightingErf-b1-p127. This does not last long, as he discovers that the Archons above can instruct normal troops in dance-fighting through an effect similar to the game Dance Dance Revolution. Parson falls back into the dungeon, collapsing the garrison on top of the invaders. Unfortunately, not enough were croaked. The RCC is swarming the remaining defenders, and Parson pulls back again to the Portal room, so that at least the casters can retreat to the Magic Kingdom and become barbarians instead of being forced to join RCC Sides. When all looks lost, Parson tells the casters they can retreat through the portal, but they do not go, realizing it was not an orderErf-b1-p134. Parson is forced to reveal his final plan -- link the Dirtamancer and Croakamancer and awaken the volcano. This is done, and Parson orders them out of the city. As the city collapses around him, Parson runs into the Portal himself, hoping it would return him to EarthErf-b1-p136. The RCC is engulfed in a massive volcanic eruption.
Parson finds himself in the Magic KingdomErf-b1-p140. He is not accepted, however, and is knocked unconscious while the casters find Thinkamancers to undo the link joining Maggie, Wanda, and Sizemore. Later, he awakens and is taken back through the portal to Gobwin Knob. There he finds that Sizemore has already crossed through, and found that a bit of his handiwork had succeeded. Deep in the mountain were unmined gems, which Sizemore tried to uncover with the volcanic eruption. Wanda begins searching and finds the Arkenpliers, attuning immediatelyErf-b1-p142. She discovers Ansom's corpse and uncroaks it, discovering that the pliers have enhanced her CroakamancyErf-b1-p144. She calls the new Ansom decrypted: he is intelligent, retains much of his former memory, all of his abilities, and appears like a living creature, but his mind is now aligned with the goals of Gobwin Knob. Wanda continues and begins creating an army to replace the one previously lost.
Parson reveals to Maggie that he almost ordered the link broken and for her to take the full backlash of the broken spell. She does not disagree that maybe she deserved it. He has become worried about the effect of Natural Thinkamancy on his decision making, and Maggie informs him that some part of him wanted to cause all the damage that he did. Parson wanders off and finds a lava flow. There he talks to whatever force brought him to Erfworld. He asks whether he did this deed, or if it was Erfworld itself. He gets no answers. He takes out his sword, which confers upon him ruthlessness, and flings it into the lava, where it meltsErf-b1-p150. Parson insists that he is not a game piece, but a player, and proves this by finally screaming a true swear word that doesn't get censored into a "boop." The Battle for Gobwin Knob is over.
Sizemore seems to have been Parson's first friend in Erfworld. The two respected each other right away. Sizemore had never received any respect from a Warlord before, so he naturally treated Parson the way he would treat one of his fellow Casters in the Magic Kingdom. Sizemore's attitude toward Parson suffered when Sizemore was ordered to kill enemy units, but Sizemore seems to have forgiven Parson.
Sizemore enjoys learning new ideas and performing new tasks, as long as they don't directly involve croaking people. He therefore appreciates Parson's capacity for suggesting ideas and activities which are new to Erfworld. He knows that associating with Parson is likely to increase the rate at which he levels. But he is also apprehensive about Parson's capacity for mass slaughter, and dislikes the effect Parson's innovations are having on his relations with the casters in the Magic Kingdom. While Janis helped him come to terms with the death toll produced by "uncroaking" the volcano, he knows he may find it harder to forgive what Parson makes him do in future battles. By the time the Siege of Spacerock is over, Sizemore shows a great deal of antipathy, and Parson acknowledges that Sizemore probably hates him now.
Wanda has always respected Parson's tactical mind. Wanda sees Parson as another agent of Fate, and believes she knows his future well enough to be able to predict that he will suffer and take losses in future battles. The two have a good working relationship, but Parson fears her and considers her a monster.
Wanda has willingly shared some of her secrets with Parson. She does not seem concerned that he might ever use any of them against her.
It appears that after the Battle for Gobwin Knob, Wanda's respect for Parson's tactical mind has increased even more, and Ansom believes that she clears each strategy with him before acting. However, in one case, she has chosen not to follow his advice. Parson has come to lose a great deal of faith in her over her grievous errors involving Jillian.
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.
Parson initially hated Maggie because she was responsible for Misty's death. Since then he seems to have forgiven her. Their relationship began very formally but the two began to be social once Parson stepped down from Chief Warlord, to the point she feels comfortable questioning him, advising him, and teasing him about romantic and sexual matters, and has even been hinting at a level of romantic interest herself. Parson for his part enjoys conversations with her, since she is good at finding ways to "kick his ass with one sentence", making her a fun challenge to contend with.
Maggie is probably the staunchest defender of Parson's abilities post volcano-TPK, to the point that she directly argued against Stanley's order regarding his demotion. She felt that Parson was wasting his talents just acting as City manager to a city and urged him to do more. When the Siege of Spacerock went disastrously wrong and Ansom went down as Gobwin Knob's Chief Warlord, she even went so far as to use a suggestion spell to make Stanley appoint Parson as Ansom's replacement. This causes Parson to feel a great deal of animosity towards her, since she made him Chief Warlord against his will. He becomes especially angry when he learns that it wasn't just for the good of the side, but an underhanded part of her efforts to advance the interests of her fellow Thinkamancers.
Parson has considered Maggie to be one of the very few people he trusts. But with recent events, he has found himself questioning her Loyalty between himself and the Great Minds. In response, Maggie has offered him the reassurance, that as long as he opposes Charlie, he can count her on his side. Maggie has gone so far as to betray the Great Minds' secrets to Parson, believing that he can best serve their purposes if he is fully informed. Isaac noted a suspicious shift in her posture when she learned that Bunny broke an oath to the Great Minds for reasons of love.
Jack and Parson seem to be quite cordial. They haven't been seen having much interaction until recently. Parson seems to understand about two thirds of Jacks witticisms, which is more than most people. They have worked together to develop new tactical concepts, with Jack using his Foolamancy to visually simulate the movement of units and outcomes of battles as calculated by Parson's Mathamancy bracer. Since they started the simulations, Jack's opinion of Parson has risen dramatically. At one point he muses that Parson explaining the phrase "lateral thinking" to him is enough for him to consider himself forever in the warlord's debt.
Bogroll was intensely loyal and devoted to Parson. Bogroll claimed that his greatest wish would be to save Parson's life. Parson became fond of Bogroll, though he found interaction with him awkward. Bogroll's death in combat played a major role in Parson's eventual decision to discard his Sword of Ruthlessness.
The two initially seem to like each other, despite being adversarial. It is likely that the two enjoy having an intellectual equal. On Parson's side, Charlie is independent and one of the only characters who always seems to understand what Parson is saying, whether real world references or leetspeak is used. On Charlie's side, although Parson holds duty to Gobwin Knob, he is not bogged down by any of the prejudices Erfworlders generally have and has an out of the box method of thinking that Charlie can appreciate.
That said, however, considering the potential damage that Parson could do to him, having an intellectual equal is a "pleasure" which Charlie would forgo if he could. Charlie has informed Jillian that he's very concerned that his secrets have been compromised. The most damaging of the secrets about Charlie which Parson has learned so far would probably include:
1: One of Charlie's Rules instructs his Archons to make trouble for their own clients, in order to create new employment opportunities.
2: Charlie has no Warlords or Casters (or at least, none that the Archons know about).
3: Charlie never leaves the central tower of his city, which means potential assassins don't need to search the rest of the city to find him.
Fortunately for Charlie, Parson has yet to learn one of Charlie's most dangerous secrets; He is addicted to heroine buds and has been forced to use magical means to survive.
Charlie will certainly wonder how Parson could have survived the volcano. If he discovers that Parson entered the Magic Kingdom, he may suspect that Parson is a caster. Charlie appears to have discovered this by the time he briefs Tramennis in LIAB 43. He does not yet know Parson's discipline, suggesting to Tramennis that Parson is a Mathamancer, but he also confirmed to Parson himself that he can use scrolls.
By the Siege of Spacerock, it is revealed that Charlie is terrified of Parson. As the inventor of the very Summon Perfect Warlord Spell that summoned Parson in the first place, he is one of the few people capable of truly appreciating just how dangerous Parson actually is. There is a prophecy suggesting that Parson is Fated to defeat Charlie, and Charlie is thus determined to get Parson out of Erfworld by any means. Charlie arranges for Jojo to give Parson a scroll so that Parson can leave Erfworld peacefully but is ready to kill Parson if Parson refuses to leave. But as a last resort, he is willing to spend hundreds of millions of schmuckers and even to destroy his relationship with the Magic Kingdom if necessary to capture or croak him.
Charlie, initially, did not work against Parson directly, instead striking against Gobwin Knob's interests via proxies, such as Faq, Haggar, and Jetstone, likely to avoid the cataclysmic damage Parson could unleash if things escalate too much. He eventually reveals himself to Parson at the Siege of Spacerock, taunting him and telling Parson to "GTFO" (use the Dismiss Perfect Warlord scroll Jojo gave him to leave Erfworld) or "DIAF" (die in a fire--specifically, the inferno consuming Spacerock)
After this incident, Parson feels similarly about Charlie and has allied with the Great Minds with the explicit goal of killing him.
Parson was able to pass through the portal to the Magic Kingdom, something that as a Warlord should have resulted in his immediate disbanding. Once there he is identified as a Hippiemancer by a Grand AbbieErf-b1-p140-p8. Whether this suggests he has additional abilities he is unaware of, reflects his unique and anomalous properties in Erfworld, was a lie by the Grand Abbie used to defuse a tense situation, or something else entirely remains to be seen. However, Parson has had street signs put up in Gobwin Knob. Erf-b1.5-p044 Since Signamancy is a form of Hippiemancy, this may be significant.
Theoretically he could use the Magic Kingdom to move between cities much as a Garrison Caster would, but the casters in the Kingdom are leery of having a Warlord in their land.
At the end of Book 1Erf-b1-p150, Parson destroyed his sword and successfully cursed.
Since then, he has also considered croaking Stanley, though perhaps only as a thought experiment. This could indicate many possibilities including:
- 1. He is no longer subject to the effects of the Summon Spell (or at least the Thinkamantic portions of it).
- 2. Erfworld has rewarded him for services rendered.
- 3. He can use willpower to fight Natural Thinkamancy.
- 4. He can now curse at will. (( This has been confirmed in LIAB 33, where he specifically said "Bullshit". ))
Having presided over the destruction of the entire alliance army, Parson may have leveled; however, he has only croaked one thing directly himself (a Wiener-Rammer), and has directly presided only over battles from which he retreated, which would prevent him from leveling. This includes the Volcano Uncroaking event, in which all of the actual dying by Royal Crown Coalition occurred while Parson was in the Magic Kingdom. It is further made unclear because aside from the stats listed in his stupid meal his stats can't be viewed as other unit's stats can be.
Parson was previously a Garrison Warlord and it was thought that he would have to be promoted to a Field Warlord by Stanley (who was not inclined to do so) in order to gain the ability to move between hexes.Erf-b1.5-p009 However, this requirement has been proven false since Parson was able to use his authority as Chief Warlord to promote himself to a Field Unit rather than waiting for Stanley to do so. This may be considered yet another example of Parson's lateral thinking, as detailed below.
Before Parson was brought to Erfworld, he had spent six months designing a turn based strategy game. This game was intended by Parson to force the players to employ lateral thinking. There was no way they could win the game, and defeat Parson, except by coming up with some radical new strategy which Parson (the Gamemaster) hadn't thought of while he was designing the game. Because Parson is the "Perfect Warlord", many readers expect him the ultimately "win" the game which is Erforld, by conquering the world.
Parson the Signamancer
It has been speculated that Parson may be a Signamancer, based on a variety of factors: Signamancy being Fate-aligned Hippiemancy, Janis's claim that he is a Hippiemancer, and perhaps the nature of Signamancy itselfErf-b1.5-p037 which meshes very well with Parson's ability to coming up with new powerful (described as 'disturbing') game-changing strategies in Erfworld's reality. It is possible that Janis's claim is based on Parson's true nature, that is he is a gamer as opposed to and in addition to a playing piece in a world bound by game like rules. Paradoxically as both an outsider and an expert, the significance of many aspects of Erfworld are quite clear to Parson in that he naturally looks to what everything in Erfworld signifies not what they "are".
Parson appears to conduct many signamancy experiments. These are countless, but examples are fun: When intoxicated, he decides to take a short flight across Gobwin Knob's quad. If a powerful signamancer, he is deciding to risk his life in a signamancy experiment to see what happens when a flying unit that is mountable, a dwagon, is ridden by a large, non-flying garrison unit with zero move. He has conducted and continues to conduct what appear to be signamancy experiments, such as what happens when you leave a hex with zero move , attempt ranged attacks with no unit special ranged attack (bracer scenario) , blowing up Gobwin Knob  , etc. With each experiment, he has proven his perception of the underlying game rules via Signamancy are real and can be taken advantage of. For example, he set up chains of ranged fliers to cross hundred of hexes 'pony express style' in a single turn, defeated an entire army by uncroaking a volcano, and even disobeyed a direct order from Stanley without disbanding  (this last one is Special for reasons we won't go into here, but will below in "Parson the Natural Caster"). And in case you missed the italics (above), it is also important to note that like archons and all such special units, Parson's power appears to be natural [], that is he appears to be a natural signamancer.
As a natural caster, Janis's claim that he is a Hippiemancer seems sound and more to the point, he appears to be an extremely powerful natural signamancer. This is perhaps often missed by fans of Erfworld for three reasons. First, because Erfworld fans share Parson's powerful natural signamancy with regard to how they interpret Erfworld. Because after all, signamancy is all about interpretation of signs as signals to seeing the reality that underlies what is taken for granted, aka insignificant, by others, perhaps much like Enlightenment  in our reality. (This also might explain why its called Hippiemancy for obvious allusions.) Second, as a gamer and a game piece in a world bound by game like rules, Parson, like the reader, can see and understand the difference between social customs as distinctly separate from game rules.  (Note: Charlie, who like Parson is also known as 'not normal' with a thinkamancy artifact may be catch on to Parson). Third, because Signamancy mechanics do not appear to change Erfworld the way other magics operate. For example Croakamancy directly makes croaked units into uncroaked units, rather Signamancy appears to give insights (see the signals) into how the existing Erfworld works that later can then be exploited by "non-magical" actions (perhaps not unlike Enlightenment).
For example, it has been noted by fans that Parson created in Gobwin Knob a set of street signs based on characters from the Simpsons and his favorite foods and if Parson is a Signamancer, then (the thought goes) that these signs may begin to affect the streets on which they are located. (In a strange turn of pun, this type of mechanic is actually known as magical thinking ). In terms of Erfworld mechanics, it will be interesting to see if signamancy magic works to directly change the content of Erworld's reality like other magics (as the assumption above appears to imply), or perhaps like Enlightenment, it simply impacts Parson's view (perspective) of reality which then allows him to take extremely powerful "non-magical" actions that no one else would suspect are possible because of what they've taken for granted as insignificant. (So far the mechanic appears to be the latter case.)
Perhaps part of Parson's apparent Signamancy ability is that he can also expertly parse signs (Perhaps a pun on his name Parson.) That is to say his ability to determine "the relative importance or prominence of a piece of a sign", semiotics,  in the great mix of signs everyone sees everyday. This is perhaps best demonstrated when as the "Perfect Warlord", or equally plausibly as a natural signamancer/warlord, in Book I page 124  speaks to how he parses what he sees for war to win back the trust of his fellow(?) casters.
Finally, this perhaps explains many of Parsons relationships. He appears most comfortable in relationships with casters, Bogroll a notable exception. For example, his two closest companions in Erfworld are both casters; Maggie, who repeatedly notes he is a very different sort of warlord, and Sizemore, who stated very early on that he had a deep interest in all kinds of magic. It is possible that Sizemore's interest in Parson could be a subconscious reflection of this. Parson's comfort with them appeared most significant during a drunken Signamantic(?) conversation about the nature of time in Erfworld.  Last but not least, Signamancy would explain why he understands much of Jack's, the Foolamancer's, cloaked speech. As a Signamancer he would naturally be able to see clearly to a Foolamancer's cloaked meaning.
How was Parson able to get into the Magic Kingdom?
If he is a Signamancer, Parson may be a natural caster. The key evidence for this is that we don't know if natural casters disband when passing through the portal to the Magic Kingdom, but we know non-casters do disband. Why is this fact important? If it were that clear cut and only casters can get through the Portal to the Magic Kingdom and not be disbanded, as Queen Bea used it to commit suicide, why did the casters in the Magic Kingdom get so upset about Parson getting 'in' in the first place? If it were cut and dried that only casters can get through the portal, then just by passing through the portal would be analogous to the right credentials. The fuss of the other casters in the Magic Kingdom to Parson's presence, gives appearance to a gray area between a regular caster, like Maggie, and a non-caster, like Queen Bea. Something that the reality of the portal admits, but from which regular casters draw a mental (social) distinction. The only thing known that fits that gray area is a natural caster, like an Archon, which if you think about it is both a caster (to the Portal) and not a caster caster (perhaps to regular Casters) at the same time. The other options are that 2) Parson is simply unique. He is noted as Special in which case perhaps he is immune to disbanding by the portal just as he was immune to disbanding for failing to follow Stanley's expressed orders (noted in "Parson the Signamancer" above.) or 3) Casters can innately and with absolute certainty (magically) recognize other casters and if Parson made it through the portal, but did not register to their innate and certain senses, then he's an interloper despite the Portal's acquiescence. The only question on this final option is then for what reason would have the angry casters believed Janis when she claimed Parson as a member of her tribe of casters? They agreed to what she said, but since Maggie thought Parson best leave immediately upon regaining consciousness it would appear Parson is either immune to disbanding, a gray area-possibly natural caster...or perhaps both. 4) Perhaps Parson is an undisputed caster and the anger of the other casters is the reason Maggie herself gave Parson when they left: "This is not a place for warlords." Parson showing up sword-in-hand from battle may have been the cause, however, all casters are warlords capable of leading troops and Parson's opening retort to his appearance through the portal "...I don't know why I didn't disband. Maybe I count as a Mathemancer...or something" would tend to discount this last option.
- Parson is named after his grandfather: whether this is his maternal or paternal grandfather is unknown.
- "Parson A. Gotti" is an anagram of "A protagonist".
- His upkeep is over 1000 Shmuckers a turn. By comparison, the strongest Archon unit has an upkeep around 500 Shmuckers a turn. We don't know what the average upkeep for a high-level warlord is, but one full grand per turn was high enough that Stanley found it irritating (but not completely outrageous).
- Parson's birthday is the day (25 years to the day) that Erfworld was originally launched on Giant in the Playground.
- Parson appears to enjoy listening to Beck ("Loser" is the song that plays as his alarm) and Jonathan Coulton ("Re Your Brains" is the song playing in his car on the way to Kinko's).
- As a side note, it seems that Parson has begun to lose weight as a result of his time in Erfworld as recent comics have shown him sporting a decreased amount of paunch and much less puffiness in his cheeks. Whether this is signamancy or the result of a better diet and a less sedentary lifestyle is unknown.
- Parson is a comic character who wrote a web comic, and designed a chit-game. He is summoned into a chit-game as a warlord character who attempts to overcome the paradigm of the chit-game, but remains unaware of the web comic paradigm.
Manpower the Temporary
|Chief Warlord of Gobwin Knob||Succeeded by:|
|Chief Warlord of Gobwin Knob||Succeeded by:|