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ok so. not to be too critical, but this couldn’t be more “here is racism. fantasy racism. look at how racist this character is. she says it three times just so you’re sure.” just. feels pretty heavy handed. idk. sorry If this comes across mean, I have a tough time trying to judge what other people would find offensive and/or mean.

Well, this happens more often than not in real life. In this conversation she is trying to justify her anger towards their racist behavior by pointing it out to them. It doesn’t really feel too heavy-handed to me, as it feels like the dragon is ranting at this point. :)

Hopefully this rant won’t end in fire though! @_@

Actually I think this IS a straightforward communication breakdown. Both the dragon AND the sphinx think that the other one thinks of them as a “lesser race”; in fact, that may not be the case from either side.

In last week’s comic, the dragon ended with “or ELSE…” — but none of us know “or else WHAT.” It was interpreted as a threat, and no wonder given the rest of the tone (“You WILL make us medallions…”), but it could just as easily have been “or else all OUR people will die” or something along those lines.

In fairness, ‘this is fantasy racism’ is going in both directions. Ddraig (the dragoness) has been rude and cast about an air of superiority earlier; however, the sphinxes have also been rude and superior in their own way. They *both* clearly dislike the very concept of each other and immediately interpret ambiguous phrasing as pointed insults.

Basically, even though Ddraig wants to have a conversation, she can’t help but assume the sphinxes are arrogant pricks who flaunt their superiority and have spent years or even decades systematically oppressing the other species by deciding who is ‘worthy’ of having a medallion and who is not; this isn’t helped that the sphinxes are aware that dragons have been killing their kind and destroying their forges. And it doesn’t help anybody that the inhabitants of the British Isles are both getting filtered, biased information from their respective people (so the sphinxes have only heard the dragons got pissed off and started murdering, and the dragon has only heard that the sphinxes have been intentionally withholding lifesaving equipment).

So yes, it is pretty heavy on ‘fantastic racism’, but it’s a pretty legitimate, realistic interpretation of an issue (versus what I think you’re thinking of, which is one faction clearly being in the wrong and using ‘see they’re racist!’ as lazy shorthand to make people gut-instinct dislike them).

It looks less like”heres racism! Fantasy racism!” and more characters having a realistic breakdown of discussions and loss of temper control. They’re see nothing but red, and with their brains full of fire and anger, their mouths are just spouting the dumbest and crudest soapbox points it can focus on and making strawmen of each other. Wosret is the only one i see here who seems to be trying to steer things back to civility, but he’s a small voice to the titanic twosomes making shiny eyes of fury at each other.

Why do I have the feeling she’ll be back? Try again, maybe? Call me a hypocrite but now I’m kinda rooting for her

In a warped sort of way, I like her a bit too. Maybe it’s because I like the subversion of the tried and true “too wise for you” dragons with her temper. And the fact that neither side is looking all that great at the moment. Or maybe I just like chubby armadillo dragons. But whatever my fondness, I do hope this one incident won’t be her only appearance.

I can see both sides of this situation. On the one hand, having been in customer service, it takes a strong man (or woman) to resist the urge to blow off the self-righteous jerk who tries to cut in line. Then again, if I was the customer and saw the worker deliberately go out of their way to help literally everyone but me, I’d be tempted to throw a hissy fit too. Normally I’d recommend talking to the manager, but since these people ARE the managers…

Well this clears up a lot of things for me. If sphinxes were rationing their medallions, which they would have to do if everyone wants one and they can only make so many at a time, there’s going to be upset over that rationing. Furthermore it sounds like they’re instituting limits on which species can and can’t get medallions, so that’s going to piss off a lot of creatures. I’d wondered why other species didn’t come to the rescue of the sphinxes, but if there was enough bad feeling for many creatures to feel that they had it coming, well, they and the dragons could have been on their own.

Not quite sure about that. I’m getting the impression that making the medallions isn’t as cut and dry as the customers (actual and potential) seem to think. There is a bit of customization required for each species, at least, which takes time. Otherwise, they could simply pour molten metal into a row of casts, press, and empower them and sell them in job lots. And as the concept of mass-production is still several centuries off, it wouldn’t occur to anyone to try doing that. In short, there’s a huge demand in the British isles, and only two crafters that can meet it. So they make the rules, to protect their own sanity of nothing else. So this is more of a last straw from yet another customer making demands.

In fairness to the Dragon, her motives are reasonable, but you’d think she’d have learned by now to not antagonize those you want something from, particularly when 1) They’re making an excellent form of defense for you and yours and 2) They can actually fight back.

I feel like this may also be a result of neither party being willing to adapt to the new status quo. Both dragons and sphinxes have a heightened sense of self importance, and (at least in the case of this particular dragon) they seem to be used to throwing their weight around to get what they want rather than using diplomacy

I’m fairly certain ladysphinx wasn’t meaning “dragons” when she said “likes of you”; she meant “people with your snobbish, demanding attitude”. Hard to get that point through when the dragon’s already angry though.

I’m not getting why everyone thinks this is ambivalent. “This sort of false sense of supremacy is exactly why medallions should be available to all species,” said without knowledge there was a listener only a few pages ago. The dragon sought out the British sphinxes precisely for their deviating attitude and had it blind tested confirmed, but then gladly interpreted ‘the likes of you’ as ‘dragons’ not ‘enforcer threatening me for my work’ because it was emotionally convenient to do so instead of apologizing for the threat. Clearly the sphinxes are in the right.

They’re ‘clearly’ in the right, but only if you ignore the two pages between that statement and ‘the likes of you’.

Because in those pages, Wosret immediately had a negative reaction and, when the dragoness explains her situation, he then launches into accusations about her people attacking sphinxes, which means he’s going into this with a bias. Before that, Jocasta’s statement (“Oh, I see what this is. […] Because we make medallions for the Nemeans, you think you should have them, too”) reeks of condescension and superiority. Look at her expression, too; that’s not the face of somebody who thinks ‘that is a fair idea!’, that’s the face of somebody thinking ‘ugh now I need to deal with this nonsense’.

The communication breakdown did not start with the phrase ‘the likes of you’. It started with Wosret shouting accusations at the dragon. He is directly responsible for the dragon — who approached them quite affably, if condescendingly — getting angry. She escalates to a possible threat in response to Wosret basically saying she’s a murderer by dint of her being a dragon.

If you’re going to say that the dragoness misinterpreted ‘the likes of you!’ because it was emotionally convenient (which is very likely), then you should also acknowledge that Jocasta cut off ‘or else–!’ without bothering to let her fully explain herself or calm down. Jocasta escalated as soon as it sounded like somebody was trying to order her (and she clearly has issues with obeying authority, likely part of her pride as a sphinx, especially one with a strong connection to their power source), and neither side is willing to actually listen to the other.

That doesn’t mean the situation is ‘ambivalent’ (rather, that people are viewing it ambivalently); both sides were responsible for the breakdown.

I suppose those are as valid as interpretations as any. I broadly place a higher burden of composure on whoever calls the meeting rather than those reacting because they get time to think ahead, ie, not startled like Worset. Also, “Oh, I see what this is…” should be precisely as generously interpreted to be affable as the prior remark on the cleverness of sphinxes.

I don’t know that I’d agree with labelling Wosret as being startled at that point. His initial reaction is completely understandable, but then the dragon’s presence is established, she makes effort to show herself openly, Jocasta is composed enough to make what seems to me like a wry remark, to which the dragon replies pretty wryly in turn. Wosret seems pretty on point when he accuses the dragon of trying to inspire sympathy, but her point remains – dragons face dangers from humans just like other creatures. She is using a bit of an underhanded tactic to try to appeal to them and leverage her request, but I perceive Wosret’s outburst at this point as what starts the fire. It devolves to shifting blame and flying off the handle. It’s a tense situation, between individuals of races that have a history of bad blood, that they each nudged and prodded too far through trying to subtly establish themselves as the superior being/s.
As it stands now I favour and sympathise with the dragon’s side, though certainly don’t condone their actions.

They’re ‘clearly’ in the right, but only if you ignore the two pages between that statement and ‘the likes of you’.

Because in those pages, Wosret immediately had a negative reaction and, when the dragoness explains her situation, he then launches into accusations about her people attacking sphinxes, which means he’s going into this with a bias. Before that, Jocasta’s statement (“Oh, I see what this is. […] Because we make medallions for the Nemeans, you think you should have them, too”) reeks of condescension and superiority. Look at her expression, too; that’s not the face of somebody who thinks ‘that is a fair idea!’, that’s the face of somebody thinking ‘ugh now I need to deal with this nonsense’.

The communication breakdown did not start with the phrase ‘the likes of you’. It started with Wosret shouting accusations at the dragon. He is directly responsible for the dragon — who approached them quite affably, if condescendingly — getting angry. She escalates to a possible threat in response to Wosret basically saying she’s a murderer by dint of her being a dragon.

If you’re going to say that the dragoness misinterpreted ‘the likes of you!’ because it was emotionally convenient (which is very likely), then you should also acknowledge that Jocasta cut off ‘or else–!’ without bothering to let her fully explain herself or calm down. Jocasta escalated as soon as it sounded like somebody was trying to order her (and she clearly has issues with obeying authority, likely part of her pride as a sphinx, especially one with a strong connection to their power source), and neither side is willing to actually listen to the other.

That doesn’t mean the situation is ‘ambivalent’ (rather, that people are viewing it ambivalently); both sides were responsible for the breakdown.

I’m sorry, I can see how you all are terribly invested in the specifics of this conversation and its levels of inference and subtlety, but all I’m getting from the last few pages is…

Roly-poly huffy-puffy armadillo-dragons are the greatest thing ever.

And I don’t generally like dragon characters because of how they tend to be written as snotty and overpowerful.

“Hey, if you’re not a ‘lesser species,’ then why is it that we’re the ones making medallions for YOU, and not the other way around?” The racism (or species-ism) is the obvious part, but the less obvious part is a nod towards the libertarian philosophy that whoever has a special ability has the absolute right to decide how the products of that ability should be allocated—even if that allocation is decided based on attitudes of racial superiority, and the anger of those who are harmed by that inverse noblesse oblige.

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