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Illumination 2 page 31

Illumination 2 page 31 published on 62 Comments on Illumination 2 page 31

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62 Comments

Michelle, time to wake up.

Question is, where will she wake up?

Nitpick but the use of the word ‘technology’ really pulled me out of the story. Quick search on etymology dot com gives me a 1600s origin, so I concede it’s likely accurate use (forgot what year it is in the flashback, reminder please?). But it has so many modern connotations that it’s a jolt seeing it anytime prior to the Industrial Revolution, especially when the scene explicitly has artisan blacksmiths still existent. I’d strongly recommend a little edit to use ‘craft’ or ‘art’ or ‘They’re our works.’

Again, it might be accurate to history, but we readers would have to spend more time there than one flashback to get over our skewed popular perception.

The flashback seems to be sometime in the 1200s, very likely the early 1200s.
It’s before coffee, and town clocks.
No actual year for the flashback was given.

The making of Medallions is a Secret only known in full by Sphinxes.
I am guessing here, but I suspect the knowledge is only known by the ones on the Sphinx Elders, and the actual Sphinx smiths.
Without using the word ‘technology’, I’d have split it into 2 short sentences.
“It’s our knowledge.”
“It’s our craft.”

The way I see it there’s two explanations.

One is the vision translates language into Michelle’s vernacular. Now that I think about it ‘midform’ feels out of period too. Smashed together abbreviations seem very much the product of our culture promoting brevity as adaption to unprecedented rapid change. Given the hostilities I wouldn’t be surprised if creatures termed it ‘bastard form’ though Phineas would use something neutral like ‘melled form.’

The second is that Jocasta being a sphinx, thus Greek, literally said ‘tekhnologia’ and since etymology dot com says that originally referred to grammar in the real world it seems applicable to magic in fantasy. That’s kind of cool, but we’d have to see a lot more of this character and how her vocabulary contrasts with lay folk to pull the effect off. In something this short it feels like the author made a mistake.

I hear what you’re saying. My idea behind using the word “technology” was to purposefully ground medallions as a tool rather than something mystical and beyond understanding like current mythical creatures do in the story. Sorry if the phrase took you out of the story, but it was meant to show that the sphinxes consider medallions in a different light than has been shown so far in the comic.

It didn’t jar me at all, but then I had just assumed the magic that is letting Michell see back in time was also translating the Olde English, (or whatever these people are speaking) into something a modern person would understand.

It’s Middle English that was spoken back then
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Middle_English

That may have been the common language of the area, and it probably is what they are speaking with Phineas, but since Jocosta is referring to England as a “desolate island” I think it is likely that she and Worset are not from England and English may not be their first language.

Then you should also be upset at:

1. the use of the adjective ‘neat’ that Phineas uses to describe his cloak a few panels back. ‘Neat’ in the sense of ‘good’ is American, never British English. In England it means tidy or presentable. Phineas does have a tidy, presentable cloak, but prior to the 16th century, ‘neat’ in England was a noun, meaning an ox, bullock, or cow.

2. ‘The whole pride’ uses a collective noun for a group of lions that didn’t come into existence until at least the Book of Saint Albans of 1486.

Or you could just enjoy this beautifully drawn story, like I do. :)

I’m not expecting Tolkien here (though period accurate Middle English as in The Canterbury Tales still readable to modern audiences would’ve been a great accomplishment), and I admit most media usually caters to my expectation of being rendered in my regional dialect especially from other Americans. My opinion is just that the word choice, without author intent, jolts a reader out of the established setting and genre in a way archaic trivia on terms of venery does not. ‘Technology’ has extremely prevalent connotations in life today that make me notice it more. To me it is like ‘plastic’ in that I’m well aware the current name for the material comes from a previously used adjective. I can get into a setting like that, with time, like any overtly fictional terminology, but I think it’s a poor choice for a few pages long flashback.

The use of the word “technology” gave me a of a jolt too. It just feels out of place, regardless of if it’s logical to be used.
I was also bothered by the use of the word “neat”, as Tigger suggested you should be.

It’s like if someone were to say “cowabunga”, you could tell me all the facts you want about how the word has existed for 1300 years in 8 different languages, it doesn’t matter, that word is from the late 80s and early 90s, it belongs to mutant turtles and a yellow brat, that is how I and most of the world sees it.
I don’t know any facts about words or their historical origins (my cowabunga facts were made up, if you didn’t realize), but some words are just too associated with specific time periods. Or, they are too integrated into modern culture to seem to fit anywhere else.

I didn’t really have a problem with any of the language. This all would have to be translated somehow anyway, since the language back then would barely be recognizable as English to modern readers. We’re probably seeing the scene as filtered though Michelle’s understanding, and thus her vocabulary.

Phineas expression when she says that she’ll make for the entire pride is priceless and adorable xD

I wonder how Wosret gained the description of being ‘the powerful one’ in chapter 1?
In this completed flashback, it’s Jocasta who seems more befitting of that description.

We don’t know too much about him, he could be more powerful than Jocasta. Possibly Jocasta may have a better grasp on creating medallions than he whereas the magic Wosret wields is far more impressive. We’ll have to wait and see (or it coulda been retconned who knows)

My new theory is that the Sphinx elders banished/exiled
Jocasta for breaking the rules and it is because of that banishment/exile that she and her offspring survived the genocide of the Sphinxes.

To add to that, what if the word got around that she was willing to make medallions for people not approved by the elders, so the dragons were trying to capture her rather than kill her which gave her openings other sphinxes didn’t have.

Because honestly Phineas here don’t look like he can keep a secret all that well.

Oh! I have a new theory, Jocasta actually started making medallions for the dragons but Worset stole them and went on the run and Jocasta was killed by the dragons for failing to fulfill their order.

I don’t think he’d steal them. He was definantely concerned when he heard Jocasta screaming from her visions in the morning (well maybe screaming aint the right word). I doubt he would approve but I also doubt he’d do anything that would put her in danger. I’d say at most he’d report it to the Sphinx Elders instead but I doubt he would just take them, plus if I recall correctly Ravi said that Wosret and Jocasta both came up with a plan to ensure their survival.

I approve of Jocasta. When the rules cause more harm than good, it’s time to break the rules.

I’m not certain if I approve. In my mind there is a difference between breaking a rule because following it would do more harm then good, and ignoring a rule because you feel like you’re above it. I just don’t think we have seen enough of Jocasta to get a real sense of her personality and morality.

I also am on Jocasta’s side here. We don’t know how trustworthy the elders are as an authority figure, and clearly Jocasta is a creature of great wisdom if she (and Wosret) invented Medallions. (also if that’s the case she has earned the right to be a bit haughty when speaking about the amazing thing she made imo)

True, we don’t know if the elders are a just authority figure. However in my opinion we don’t know enough about Jocasta or the nature of the conflict they’re in to know if her willingness to disobey is justified or if she is acting like a moody teenager who thinks her parents are full of shit for not letting her do what she wants.

It’s not so much how trustworthy the Sphinx Leaders are.
It’s how arbitrary at far remove their decisions, edicts, and orders FEEL.

The application of that in doling out Medallions only to ‘Approved Species’ is what has frustrated Jocasta. She can see the threat, both internal to the Mythicals from jealousy, and external from the humans. She actively wants to use the Medallions to protect as many Mythical species as possible.

Jocasta is fed up and tired of this restrictive Attitude coming down form on high as it were from the Sphinx Leaders. She WANTS them to have to come to the island and see first hand the problems being caused. She WANTS the chance to confront them face to face over the harm their restrictions cause.

And she is at the point where she is more than ready to overrule her partner, Wosret.

oooooooooh I think I get it

the reason she is in Midform is she is essentially reliving her ancestors memories, so perhaps when the part of her memory that she turned into her midform Michelle also turned to it, likely granting her the knowledge on how to do it herself.

Also something of interest to note, that we still saw what was happening even when it was only wosret and phineas, so maybe that confirms wosret is also her ancestor? Or did Ravi explicitly state that himself? I know a few pages back some people were wondering if he was also her ancestor or if he was just a friend and fellow sphinx of jocasta.

Also Jocasta is responsible for the Nemean lions getting medallions which is super interesting. I wonder what Lorn would think about it

Okay so I’m not going to demand an explanation, but has the fandom/author figured out why a)not everyone is unturned and b)the mythical creature thing will always pass on? One of my theories was that if species A and species B had a child, the bloodline was broken, but that seems to be disproven with Blanche Noir. Perhaps it’s related to Sam Hain’s thing?

I just mean that even if you assume that genetics in a conventional sense are not a factor, just “heredity” as in it passes on seems to be a problem.

Blanche’s father is a white stag, like himself. I don’t think he could have a peryton child unless he got with a peryton. That’s why Blanche isn’t half “party thong”, as Anthony would say… so I think that fits in with the explained lore. As for why everyone isn’t unturned, Lorne asked that about sphinxes and Michelle said her family was small. With other creatures there are probably many unturned but there aren’t enough medallions for everyone to be turned and some humans presumably only shacked up with humans.

But if one can get the magical creature genes and they always pass on, that is an interesting question. They obviously did for Jocasta. I would guess that it’s mostly the lack of medallions that is an issue. If Michelle could get the technology back maybe she could just turn errbody and they’d live in a happy magic world! :D

Because White Stags are a male only species, the possibility of Blanche being a White Stag was introduced because Blanche is male.
However Perytons are not a female only species, so Blanche COULD have been born a male Peryton.
If Blanche had been born female, then being a Peryton would have been a 100 percent certainty. There can never be a female White Stag.

RQs
Feb 2010, number 17 – White Stag and Peryton, Blanche.
December 2010/January 2011, number 2 – mixed marriages

Ah, so, Michelle’s ultimate epic destiny is to rediscover the secret of the medallions and how to make them.
Then she can mend Greg’s medallion, create a new one for Anthony, and maybe realize that dream of the guy who thinks he’s supposed to be a gryphon. She’ll usher in a new age for mythic-kind and everyone will live happily ever after.
This of course wont be easy, she and her friends will have to go on a world-spanning adventure to rediscover the lost power of her ancestors, on the way they’ll have to battle demons and dragons out to stop her, and find the last remaining phoenix to gain a fresh “egg”.
It’s all so clear now, I can see the path, we need only to follow it to our destination.

Michelle is the party cleric, calling on divine powers for healing and divination magic. She also has divine beings looking out for her in the background.
Greg is the paladin, he is the moral center for the party that keeps them grounded while pushing them forward. Someone just needs to give him a sword.
Merial is the sorcerer, calling on inherent magical powers to manipulate the elements.
Jim is the party druid, he has magical control over nature and can take on a powerful beast shape to fight in melee. He might also have an animal companion in Martha.

I can see Anthony and Blanche getting involved they hear there is a possibility of discovering how to make new medallions. They both lean towards the bard class currently, but could easily end up fulfilling other roles.
I’m unclear if harpies have supernatural singing voices in this world, if so Anthony might make an exceptionally good bard.

Anthony and Blanche as Bards fits, considering what we’ve seen of both of them.
Long term, Anthony staying in the Bard class, I’m not so sure.
Blanche however, Bard class all the way.

One you missed is Lorne. He’d be the party Warrior.
Massive strength, and invulnerable hide. He just needs a suitable sword.

Another you missed is the Wizard’s Apprentice, Sam. If there’s a possible way to get a new WORKING Medallion, he’d want to be there.

Great points, I’m ashamed that I overlooked Lorne.
With his insane strenth and near invulnerabily Lorne would almost certainly be more of a barbarian. He doesnt really even need a sword. His brother’s anger issues may also hint at a berserker rage lurking within Lorne.
I did consider Sam, but talked myself out of including him. This was a mistake. He would definately be the wizard.
Lots of other Liverpoolers could easily get involved and fit other roles nicely, but I dont see the main party getting too huge. Most likely they’ll end up on their own adventures. The world doesn’t have to end after Michelle’s adventures after all.

Regarding bards, it seems like half the cast plays instruments. It’s really easy to call them bards but I’m trying not to. To me, for them to truely be bards they need to weave song, story, or dance to a supernatural extent/effect. We haven’t really seen anyone that meets that criteria yet.
Harpies often do that though, outside of Skin Deep, that combined with his fixation on playing guitar again leads me to put my money on Anthony for bard.
Blanche, I think, will either end up being the regular warrior, or maybe anther paladin. They could be a bard band though, that would be cool.

Interesting that to avoid human cruelty, the so-called ‘monsters’ hide as humans. Perhaps humans are the real monsters here. Real magic would force humans to accept the animal-shaped people. Hurrah for the floofiness. More hugging, less hating.

I’m sure Jocasta knows the reasons to withhold medallions, she uses them to decide who gets one. Does she have to meet each individual, or give medallions to groups? Does sphinx tech let her make groups of medallions?

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