October 19, 2013

The Two-Faced Crocodile: Loyalties of a Phule




The lights of Fort Elena shake from the constant cannonfire. You have been told to rescue Mustang Sally and pick up Napoleguin in as little time as you can take. Now that the hallway's been cleared of clockworks and dogs alike, you are running away from the battle scene before anyone can tie the casualties to you. You quickly look over each of the cells as you run, your generally observant qualities showing through. At one cell, you skid to a stop. 
"Hello, pirate," a clockwork grips the bars, a single mechanical eye staring at you through a dark mask. Its face turns immediately, glaring through the other side of the mask, which was cream-colored. "Oh, it's been a while, hasn't it?" You wonder why this clockwork in particular still has a job. 




The Cocatriz Clockwork

In the history of chess, one of the first names for a modern-day bishop was cocatriz, or crocodile. It makes me wonder, was this inspiration for the fool, or the crevice in the bishop piece? This represents a fool's cap, according to the French term Fou de roi. This is directly addressed in the clockwork by the name of Phule, who shares the trait with his jester's cap and split personality. At first glance, Phule is presented as a humorous but challenging opponent to our pirates as we defeat him in Marco Pollo's tomb. However, upon the encounter in Fort Elena, Phule is quite simply an annoyance that the invading clockworks didn't free. This leads me to wonder, however, about Phule's loyalty to the Armada with his staggering personality swings.

Is there a reason why Phule was never released from Fort Elena by the invading clockworks? My guess is that the "light" side of him was a little too friendly for Armada standards. Especially with such large swings in personality, Phule may not have been able to carry out orders from Kane or others. (If I were Kane, I'd keep Phule in prison, too.) Even though Phule's personalities both carry the cruel qualities of a clockwork, it's unknown whether the "light" side is truly nicer or just a different kind of cunning. Either way, Phule is easily one of the most manipulative of clockworks. Who does that make him a threat to?




What Only a Phule Could Muster

In theory, Phule is very dangerous. His enraged side is likely more violent than a normal clockwork, possibly equalized by his "lighter" side. Is Phule, however, more of a weapon than expected? I find it unfortunately likely that Phule, albeit his light side, will rise to be a very influential part of our pirates' journeys. So long as our pirates are taking out the single-sided clockworks with ease, Phule will grow stronger and possibly use both of his personalities to his advantage. How did there end up being a two-faced clockwork, anyways? Did the creator experiment and accidentally strike overwhelming success?

There's no doubt that Phule's loyalties lie with the Armada at the time, but if Phule's darker side is truly as violent as I am predicting, there is a chance that he will try to take his own side in things, especially when left to live in Fort Elena. Will Phule's "lighter" charisma grow stronger, as well? If Phule's switches grow to be a problem, our pirate may be called back to Fort Elena to fix things for the greater good. Yet, there's a very good chance that Phule will have escaped by this point, already tracking our pirate...will we be ready?

Keep Traveling (Almost a Chess and the Armada post)

Thank you Swordroll for the first and third pictures. 


1 comment:

  1. An interesting thought, Destiny. I hadn't considered that Phule might be left in Fort Elena. I've always assumed that the Armada forces hadn't found him yet, as they were still in the beginning of breaking into the fort when we arrived (and we unfortunately helped them enter by breaking down a wall and breaching the citadel). I suspect that Phule was in Port Regal on a mission for Kane, especially considering the Armada launched a furious attack when Phule was captured and went to war directly thereafter. But certainly that unnerving conversation with Phule leaves a lot more questions to puzzle! He is a lot of fun to speculate about.

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