The dancing men letter

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The dancing men letter

Postby Dryunya on Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:07 am

Sender wrote:I havE encodeV thiS letteR foR feaR oF reprisaL buT I feeL thE neeD tO warN yoU. thiS individuaL maY provE himselF dangerouS. pleasE staY alerT: londontaleS. ezbloG. cO

I assume now that the sender was probably Erik (and he feared not Holmes, but his own bunch). However, it tells us not to trust Holmes... while pointing us to him. What? :|
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Re: The dancing men letter

Postby Qara-Xuan Zenith on Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:26 am

Was the intention to warn about jmartysknight2e4 (I just double-checked, and he had indeed already commented by the time Joe posted the letter)? Or was it as we had previously assumed, and it was just an attempt to set Holmes up?
Why are we even arguing about a dead fictional dude and hypothetical ninjas?

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Re: The dancing men letter

Postby Dana on Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:28 pm

The letters you thought were supposed to be capitalized were actually supposed to signal the end of a word, according to the original dancing men cipher.

The letter was sent by Moriarty, intending to warn about Sherlock Holmes. He figured that, if Holmes was sent back, everything in Moriarty's life would be awesomer than if Holmes stuck around.
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Re: The dancing men letter

Postby narrativedilettante on Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:33 pm

Dana wrote:The letters you thought were supposed to be capitalized were actually supposed to signal the end of a word, according to the original dancing men cipher.


Yeah, that's pretty clear. We kept the capitalization in our versions of the message out of... I don't know, laziness, probably.

Dana wrote:The letter was sent by Moriarty, intending to warn about Sherlock Holmes. He figured that, if Holmes was sent back, everything in Moriarty's life would be awesomer than if Holmes stuck around.


This is one of the few times I think Moriarty showed poor judgement. The idea that we would have identified Holmes and then sent him back immediately, instead of using the opportunity to work together with someone who is a personal hero of many of ours... yeah, there was no way we weren't going to try to enlist his help/provide help to him.
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Re: The dancing men letter

Postby Dryunya on Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:50 pm

Dana wrote:The letter was sent by Moriarty, intending to warn about Sherlock Holmes. He figured that, if Holmes was sent back, everything in Moriarty's life would be awesomer than if Holmes stuck around.

This is wrong on so many levels...

  1. At the time, we didn't have the means to send Holmes back. Moriarty didn't have the reason to assume that we did.
  2. Being Genre Savvy at that point, Moriarty would know that we'd be rooting for the hero.
  3. HE ALREADY HAD THE PLAN TO GET BOTH DETECTIVES OUT OF THE WAY. I have no idea why he'd even want to attract more attention.
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Re: The dancing men letter

Postby Tom on Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:14 pm

Dryunya wrote:At the time, we didn't have the means to send Holmes back. Moriarty didn't have the reason to assume that we did.


Moriarty could have known that Holmes and Mr. A were talking to each other. While he might have believed you weren't ready to send people back, I believe he had plenty of reason to suspect that Mr. A or his agents would eventually become capable of this.
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Re: The dancing men letter

Postby Dryunya on Sat Jan 12, 2013 12:52 am

Okay, no matter how I object, it all boils down to assumptions of Mr. A's behavior, which you can deny. :?
With elephants. That still doesn't rule out #3. If he wanted to get him out of the way for good, he didn't even have to jail him. I'd say his best option was to lay low and avoid detection until we refic'd Holmes.
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Re: The dancing men letter

Postby Rick Healey on Sat Jan 12, 2013 2:51 am

Such a shame to be bound by tropes. It's like a madness borne of an author. Imagine if you had no choice but to send out a letter that you knew - you KNEW - would result in making things more difficult for yourself. Yes, you can play it off like you're showing off, capable of giving your foe an advantage and still winning. But can you imagine a compulsion to give out hints like that, even when you know it's against your best interest?

It'd drive one to rebel against authorial control as much as possible - even to the point of gathering allies to prevent that from ever happening again, and to even betray their principles if you thought it would allow you to finally break free.

Or, for a less prosaic way of putting it: Moriarty understood that he was compelled by the tropes that bound him - as the villain in a mystery story - to release a clue that could lead to his undoing. In fact, he knew that he could make things even worse if he didn't do it intentionally, because he'd do an even more blatant one accidentally. He hated this, of course, but he could at least take the initiative this way and make it hard on you guys to follow the thread.

That said, he knew that although the setup and the tropes involved were compelled by Doyle's depiction of him, the outcome didn't have to be the same. So while it drove him up the wall to leave that hint, he accepted it as better than the alternative, and that it just drove him all the harder to seal the wall without going back, in the hopes that would cause him to be cut off from the tropes he so despised.

Or, even shorter than that, Moriarty was Contractually Genre Blind and trying to maneuver into becoming Dangerously Genre Savvy.
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Re: The dancing men letter

Postby Dana on Sat Jan 12, 2013 3:21 am

If you'll recall, Moriarty was the one who'd suggested to announce the existence of the Cabal to the world in the first place. Surely the letter revealing his existence (which it didn't exactly confirm) would have been irrelevant anyway. They already wanted the world to know they were around. He just didn't want the other members of the Cabal knowing he'd be working on finding a way to send one of the other fictionals back. If you'll notice the big NO that comes from Moriarty, you'll perhaps recall that this would have been around the time he would have canonically realized that Holmes' blog was around. The exact moment, even. This would have been when he'd decided to write the letter in the first place.
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Re: The dancing men letter

Postby Dryunya on Sat Jan 12, 2013 6:41 am

Rick Healey wrote:Or, even shorter than that, Moriarty was Contractually Genre Blind and trying to maneuver into becoming Dangerously Genre Savvy.

Whoa. :shock:

If it's Word Of God that the characters were still bound by tropes THAT much... That gives it all a whole new meaning. :o
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