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Nooooo! Michelle, there’s something wrong with her! How can Ravi not see that it’s not a good thing! Greg! Save her! Make her snap out of it!

She is ascending to where she no longer needs a physical body. Do not disturb or else you’ll get vaporized

In the process of that Ascension, she has managed to alter her Medallion.
If her mouth and paws start glowing, then RUN away FAST, and do NOT look back.

I don’t know about you, but when she moans, “Brraaains!” that’s when I will start running.

You want to be WELL AWAY from Ground Zero before that happens.

Why? Best nightclub in Minneapolis!

Zero percent humour.
Think of being at the epicentre of a magic detonation equivalent to a nuclear bomb.
THAT is what I meant by Ground Zero.

Oooh….Michelle has a transitional form now.

Things are about to get interesting.
Lets hope not destructively!

-Badger-

edit: I’m wondering if our favourite Demons are going to have a holiday in the UK…

If they do show up, I would like to see them try to make mischief in the Liverpool Avalon. Imagine them going up against Alex, a bugbear you can’t hide from, Jon, perpetually pissed-off Nemean Lion with an attitude problem, Tim the Enchanter, mantacores, and God-alone-knows-what. If the demonic Three Stooges show up, they had better have brushed up on their apology lessons.

Someone seems to havr fried their brain a bit.. cant wait till next chapter :3

I wouldn’t be surprised if the first page of the next chapter is just one of Michelle flopping down to the ground, exhausted from the brain overload

There’s a symbol on Michelle’s medallion…?

Damn.
Us folks over on Patreon completely missed that!
Homecoming, page 6, frame 9, gave us a very clear close-up look at Michelle’s Medallion.
It used to be old and blank.
Now, it’s showing a Sphinx design.
Whatever happened in the Caves was a powerful enough an Event to alter an existing Medallion.

I wasn’t thinking exactly that, but I was remembering that Michelle’s medallion had been a blank up to this point.

Unless this is just the one time Kory forgot the medallion is a blank, it could very well be a Big Deal that caused this change.

(*wondering what it bodes for other medallions dum-dee-dum*)

The best look we got, so far in Illumination, of Michelle’s Medallion was on page 39, frame 6.
http://www.skindeepcomic.com/archive/illumination-39-im-sorry-what/
There, it was blank, and a bit scratched.
But like the really good look at it in Homecoming, the major detail of its appearance is it was BLANK. But that was before the trip to the Caves and whatever wend down in them.

Now that Michelle’s medallion-crafting abilities have been awakened, she started by modifying her own medallion. The next obvious (but not forgone) step is to repair damaged medallions like Greg’s. After that, she can make new medallions (such as for harpies and bandersnatches?).

I wonder if she now has the ability to sense medallions, and maybe identify and diagnose them. Has she gained a radar for them, like the bugbear radar for people (mundane or mythical) and critters?

I also wonder if her new medallion-crafting abilities only work within some range limit from the egg that was probably involved in triggering them. Can she only use them in the caverns, or in Liverpool and Merseyside, or the British Isles, or anywhere in the world?

…you know, I just remembered that her dad was a jeweler. I wonder what pies Mister Jocasta was dipping his fingers into before he died? And I wonder, now, if just dropping dead like he did had something to do with all of this? Sacrifices don’t have to be either violent or dramatic; the best and most powerful ones are willing.

Is there any chance whatsoever you could update more than once a week? I absolutely adore this comic, and it’s so aggravating to have to wait a full seven days between pages.

**headdesk** KB works freaking HARD at this, or it wouldn’t be so good. I’ve seen online comics (and nonline ones too) go downhill because the artist/writer got angry after getting this kind of complaint and went “Screw this, you want quantity over quality? Here you go!” with the end being a dead comic.

“Sorry, it’s a great comic, I’ll wait” are words some people might want to learn how to say. But hey, it’s your life.

Oh! It took me a minute. He’s stowing his wings via medallion so that he can sit on a high-backed chair without looking like an idiot! I get it now!

Yeah. I was wondering how they were going to manage those chairs, last page.

After staring at Finn for a bit: This is going to turn out to be a shaggy dog ghost story, isn’t it?

She may not have been seen before in this chapter, but her pre-discorporation self was in one of the hallway portraits, along with her owner, James’ father (or was it, grandfather?).

Michelle seems to be overheating, someone dump a bucket of icewater on her eyes!

I think the glowing blank eyes are a signature part of the standard sphinx package.

In chapter 5 of Orientations, while Michelle was unconscious, in the dream in full form Michelle and Michael had the glowing blank eyes.
In the flashback in Homecoming, when Michael’s Shade appears at home in full form and then midform collecting the Medallion, his eyes are blank glowing.
Page 26 of Illumination shows Jocasta and Wosret in midform with the glowing blank eyes.
The sphinxes in the Skin Deep Bestiary for them shows both in full form with the glowing blank eyes.

Links and dates: Orientations, chapter 5, page 23
– 2008-05-26
http://www.skindeepcomic.com/archive/issue-five-page-23

Homecoming, page 9
– 2012-01-02
http://www.skindeepcomic.com/archive/homecoming-9-the-attic/

Illumination page 26
– 2015-08-18
http://www.skindeepcomic.com/archive/4711/

Skin Deep Patreon Bestiary entry 08
– 2014-10-03
https://www.patreon.com/posts/1043368

oh hey, she figured out her midform.

yassss michelle you look so good! slay mamma!
but…don’t literally slay. that wouldn’t be good.

Did she figure it out, or was it dumped on her by Ravi?

I’m assuming Ravi knows the basics of how Sphinx magic works and helped her get a bit more of a hold on her weird visionquest crap with some assistance. Sure, he “helped”, but this is probably all (or mostly) her own power at work.

Empty white void eye sockets are probably just a Sphinx Thing.

Ravi knowing how Sphinx Magic works….
*sigh :(
Why does this not surprise me.
It’s like he knows everything and has DONE everything anyway.
:(

India is the place of origin of at least three different religions, but the Yaksha figure most prominently in Buddhism and Jainism. Depending on which religion you’re talking about, the Yaksha are either gods (the yakṣas may have originally been the tutelary gods of forests and villages, and were later viewed as the steward deities of the earth and the wealth buried beneath), or they’re one step down from gods (e.g. they are the attendants of Vaiśravaṇa, the guardian of the northern quarter, a beneficent god who protects the righteous).

Either way they have godlike or near-godlike levels of power. So if Ravi is, in fact, a Yaksha as he claims to be, then it should be no surprise to anyone that he seems to “know everything and has DONE everything”.

AHHHHHH! Michelle’s midform! She looks so goooood!

Ravi you better not have done anything to her with them glowy eyes!

Also, I just noticed. Mary complains about Ravi not looking embarrased, and while he of course he doesn’t, James DOES.

cat angel Cat angel CAT ANGELLLLL

Also, where are all of Michelle’s secondary feathers? They just seem to sort of… disappear at the hip.

what secondary feathers?

Secondaries are the bottom-most feathers that are in the back. They normally go all the way from the primary flight feathers to the tertials (the ones right up against the back). Looking back, though, I see that at least midform Jim (as he appears here: http://www.skindeepcomic.com/archive/homecoming-21-jim-finn-moment-ruiner/) doesn’t have them either, so maybe it’s just an artistic license thing, and/or the secondaries cut off early in midform so that winged mythicals don’t have to slice open all their shirts to the hip. XD

Stunned mullet expression, Wings spread and drooping, Fur poofled, Magic energy steaming off her… this does not feel good at all.

Oh good. If the mullet wasn’t there I would have no idea what was going on

Aussie slang, Weirdo.
http://www.australia.gov.au/about-australia/australian-story/austn-slang
Read the section “Substitutions, comparisons and abbreviations”

OH WOW! Michelle got opposable thumbs too!

I do love Michelle’s midform, although the presence of her tail means that she now has a ginormous rip down the back of her jeans. And is it just me, or does she look larger? Taller? Maybe it’s just the glowing eyes.

…and Martha’s back! Awwww, Martha! <3 <3 <3 Also, since Dad Finn doesn't seem *too* upset I'm hoping that this is more of a bit of enlightenment than diverse pandemonium and alarums.

Taller. Note the long, stretched neck.

Looking at the pics of Jocasta and Wosret in midform on page 26 of Illumination, their necks are not stretched.
http://www.skindeepcomic.com/archive/4711/

I don’t think things are quite right for Michelle.

Nope. Nope nope nope nope! Ravi, did you do a magical Exposition Dump straight into her brain? Something is not right!

It looks to me like there was some huge (possibly magical) infodump, and her dazed expression is because she’s still processing it. Once she’s done, she’ll be able to change her midform to be more to her liking. A midform can be anywhere in-between your human form and your true form, after all.

No, she’s not appreciably taller; it’s a trick of perspective. Michelle and James and Ravi are all close to the same height, but the viewpoint for the final frame is no more than chest high, making the closest person — Michelle — appear taller. It increases the dramatic effect.

Aaah! CLIFFHANGER
Also why has no one commented on the ghost dog, was it with them the whole time and I just didn’t see it?
Seriously, it looks like a lot o’ shit went down

…Taking all bets! Who will be first to shove their fist up Ravis’ smug self satisfied ass?
Seriously take a look at the bastards face! That’s the face of someone who knows they can get away with anything and loves lording it over everyone else.
Though I do have to admit that Michelle looks awesome.
Also will there be reader questions over the break?

I don’t know if he is lording it over everyone. He seems more like a disconnected, spoiled god who never had anything that was powerful enough to vex HIM and thus does not understand that concept and/or how annoying that is.

Or he is just so much at peace with himself that he can not imagine friendly people taking offence from his ways.

Personally I think it’s both and this is exactly why I love Ravi so much.

Hurry up and get on with the continuing saga! I love this ….

It’ll restart when Kory is ready to restart it.
In the meantime, there’s always the archives to re-read in full, including all the comments, and joining Patreon.

Amen. The hiatus means I have enough time for another archive crawl. Something which I do frequently, since I’m hashing up some ideas for a Skin Deep RPG, using a heavily modified version of the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. system. (Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility, Luck.)

By the way, I could use some help. I’m going to be setting up a blog or bulletin board for it within the next week or so. When I do, I’ll post the link here, for anyone that wants to participate.

I DO I DO I DO I DO I DO I DO I DO!!! *neck begins to lengthen as excitement grows; it is possible you may have a problem*

*laughs* Keep in mind that this is (unless Kory thinks it’s good enough to publish) strictly non-profit, though I’ll make a PDF out of it when I’m satisfied that it’s at a stable level.

However, I am going to do my best to at least give credit to everyone who assisted, AND everyone who helps playtest once the rough draft is completed will get an added priviledge… the chance to help me populate the new Avalon.

I’m thinking of setting it near Denver, Colorado. There’s an old Titan missile site that is currently for sale, sitting on about 40 acres of land, about 15 miles east of Aurora. That makes it slightly larger than the Liverpool Avalon, since not only do they have more acreage (IIRC, the L.A. is about 30 acres) but they also have more than 50,000 square feet underground. However, if anyone knows of any other good locations, I’m open to suggestions!

There’s also the full geographical footprint of a city and its population density to consider, in figuring out how large a space an Avalon might need to take up.

Well, considering that in 2013, the combined population of Denver and Aurora was a Jackalope’s fart away from a million (Denver: 649,495 and Aurora: 345,803), then they’d need a pretty large Avalon. The combined Denver-Aurora-Lakewood Metropolitan Statistical Area (which covers 10 counties) has a population of around 2.75 million.

The location I had in mind is about 15 miles outside Aurora and about 20 minutes away from Denver International Airport. Please, if you feel the Avalon needs to be bigger, or have a better idea for a location, don’t hesitate to let me know!

If the population would be that large may I suggest that the Avalon would be mostly a large mall/ Bazaar? It just seems to make more sense in my head to just have the people with medallions live in ordinary homes in the surrounding area and have the “monsters” and what not be in the Avalon and run the meeting/market places. Though this is just my two cents and you are free to do whatever.

Saying 10 counties doesn’t give any clue as to how much space the population is fitted into.

The Liverpool City Region, which as far as we know has only the one Avalon:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liverpool_City_Region
About 1.5mil people, 723.97 square kilometres (or about 279.53 square miles)

My own city is Brisbane, Australia, and this is its info:
About 2.27 million people, 15,826 square kilometres (or about 6,110.5 square miles)
The low population density of Brisbane would make it harder to consolidate a single Avalon for the city.

Well. To answer that, I found a source that actually lists the size of the various MSA’s in the United States, down to five decimal places.

I narrowed my scope down to just Denver, Aurora, Lakewood, Englewood, Littleton, Centennial, Arvada, Westminster, and Thornton (all of which are part of one metroplex). I left out all the tiny cities like Genesee (population 3,010) that surround the metro.

The answer is: Approximately 1.75 million people in approximately 1,285 square kilometres (496 square miles).

That works out to an average of ~1,360 people per square kilometre. Of course, I’m assuming that there are several smaller Avalons in and around Denver. For example, there are some administrative buildings that used to belong to one of the air force bases. The admin buildings are currently up for sale; if they repurposed that, that’s another 1.3 square kilometres (nearly 500 acres).

In fact, the ONLY reason I’m using the old missile base as the “primary” Avalon is its remoteness… it’s 32 kilometres (20 miles) outside the metro area, so it’s got more secrecy.

As the Liverpool Avalon proves, you can fit a surprising amount of homes and businesses into 30 or 40 acres with foot traffic only.

Lowry AFB was part of the Air Training Command (ATC), with several tech school courses. Aside from dorms/barracks and base housing, there was a commissary (Grocery store, with a few peripheral shops), library, Officers’ Club, NCO Club, Airmen’s Club, classroom buildings, a hangar big enough to park a B52 in, and of course the admin buildings. What’s available now, and what no longer exists?

As far as I know, Lynx-Eye, two hangars are used by an Air and Space museum, and a third hangar is the Lowry Community Master Association, with suites for a few businesses. The former building 1499 and a dormitory and former medical building have been taken over by the state as part of a Higher Education and Technology campus. As for the rest, I don’t know.

By the way, I was wrong about the size of that missile facility. Turns out it’s 210 acres, not 40. So even with the population density, it’d be a pretty large Avalon.

everyone’s going on about how Michelle has a midform and a different medalion, I just wanna know who that ghost dog named Finn is!

Also Ravi slow down with the plot, I know you’ve been bored for the last couple centuries, but let the plot develop a bit before kicking it over two chapters worth of backstory with that cheerfull face!

It’s not so much that Ravi needs to quit it with the Mega Huge Important Plot Expositions.
It’s that Ravi needs to explain things properly and not get side-tracked.
All we seem to get from him are these brief disjointed pieces of Major Important info, with no Real Details. And after those bits and pieces have been dumped on everyone, Ravi vanishes while everyone else is trying to figure out how to deal with the abrupt changes Ravi has caused, THIS TIME.

Or maybe Ravi thinks he’s explaining everything properly, and wondering why no one else gets it.

I don’t think he’s figured out the whole “just because you know all about it and understand it, it doesn’t mean everyone else knows and understands, or will” thing yet.

Or maybe he has, and is just messing about in a way Ravi or another yaksha would find fun.

But it’s clear that the thinking processes of Ravi and All The Rest Of The Cast are completely different.

Hey you wanted to have some answers Michelle, but Ravi actually has all of them.
This is literally the opposite of a TV series.

I think Ravi dumped ALL those answers on Michelle, all at once, at the same instant.

I’m not sure HE dumped all those answers on her, though he may have helped trigger something that DID. A magically pre-recorded message from her ancestors, perhaps? Her dazed expression could be the result of her still trying to process a few hundred years of infodump all at once.

I really, really hope Ravi gets a bigass earful for this. I mean, it’s great that Michelle has achieved midform, but for the love of everything, glowy eyes are not usually a good thing. Last time she woke up in the middle of the woods and nearly got eaten by a cryptid.

From previous comics, Sphinxes seem to typically have glowy eyes, though I don’t think they normally give off smoke.

If you recall, Greg’s eyes suddenly changed from human to goat eyes earlier in the comic. I think the eyes staying human is caused by a unconscious mental block when people don’t want to accept their true form. If that’s the case then this could mean that she’s finally accepted that she’s really a sphinx.

Alternatively, her eyes also always glow when she uses magic or has a vision. These going eyes could mean she’s unlocked her magical ability, or that she’s simply pumped full of magic. Or, from her stunned look, she may actually be in the middle of a lengthy vision.

Here on the main site, we’ve only seen 3 other Sphinxes in full form or mid form in the comic.
In Orientations, Michael, while Michelle was unconscious.
In Illumination, Jocasta and Wosret.
On Patreon, we’ve seen another 2 in full form.

Prior to this page, the only time we have seen her eyes glow with a Magic halo _before_ she did anything was in Orientations, chapter 5, page 19, just before she sent Mikhail and Damien back to Dis. That high level of Magic energy output was not well controlled at all, she was conscious and panicked at the time, and the sheer effort from that knocked her unconscious.
Earlier in Illumination, when she lost contact with the Vision, her eyes were glowing with a fading Magic halo from the after-effects of the Magic use, page 5 frame 2. They were not glowing before the Vision, page 4.
Now, she seems somewhat out of it, and the Magic is steaming off her, and her Medallion has changed its appearance. This is why we are worried. The possibility of an uncontrolled Magic blast.

I think given that Ravi said that the sphinxes made the secret of the medallions, it would not be at all surprising if he led Michelle to that old knowledge and she changed her own amulet, even if by accident. And yes, Midform for daaaaays, yo.

Something has been bothering me about Martha’s appearance in this page, so I had a more careful look back at Exchanges, Handshakes, where she first appears, pages 31 – 33.
In pages 31 and 32, all her paws are fully formed. In this page, her forepaws look melted.
http://www.skindeepcomic.com/archive/handshakes-32-no-buts/

Everyone’s freaked out about the glowing eyes, but doesn’t that usually happen when she’s doing sphinx magic, like when she banished the demon brothers? And why are people bothered by Ravi? Ravi is awesome. He’s so adorably oblivious to how hard he is to follow, I’m sure he doesn’t even realize anyone’s bothered. He’s just happy all his plans are finally bearing fruit.

Just because he doesn’t understand how he’s hurting people or making them uncomfortable doesn’t mean he’s not hurting people or making them uncomfortable.

You have a point, there. I suppose I’m just biased in his favour. He feels that same gleeful energy I’ve felt so often myself, and that I’ve never seen in another, and I feel a certain kinship with him.

Actually, on closer inspection, he has exactly the same indications that I do. He’s hypomanic. It’s all there. His emotions are elevated and can swing suddenly, he lacks inhibitions like personal space, he’s extremely talkative and energetic, he’s overconfident… Now I have to wonder if Kory actually writes him as hypomanic.

It might also have something to do with Ravi being from India. It’s the seventh largest country by area, and the second most populous country at over 1.2 billion. They are not particularly conscious of personal space (especially on trains and buses); conversations usually take place at about 3 feet, which is within what Americans would consider part of their personal space (normally reserved for close friends or relatives).

If Ravi were *human*, I’d say he might even have a damaged amygdala. People with bilateral amygdala lesions tend to have no concept of personal space whatsoever. Since he’s NOT human (or at least claims not to be), I think you’re right. He’s just naturally hypomanic.

A thought which occoured to me about Blank Medallions.

What if Blank Medallions have something similar to the Spell which keeps Unturned Mythicals in their birth species form, (human form for ones born human, full form for the ones born that way) covering them.
As part of their going Hidden, the Sphinxes created the Legend that Blank Medallions were older than all the others, when in reality, Blank Medallions are really Sphinx Medallions, hidden.

My thought is that part of the Hiding Spell on Blank Medallions could make it possible for them to work on any species, while the Sphinx aspect of the Medallion is Hidden. This would help explain two things.
Why Tim says the Magic in Blank Medallions is more complex and powerful than what’s in the ‘newer’ Medallions.
Vadona’s claim in Exchanges Heartaches, that the old blank and scratched Medallion which caused the spell break on Anthony, was a Nokk Medallion. After seeing which species, a particular Blank Medallion Turned, it’s become a Belief that that particular Blank Medallion will _only_ work on that one single species, and no others.

I like this theory, but there are some holes. You said that blank medallions could work on any species, but why didn’t it work on Sam? Or by a slightly different means, Tony. True, that Nokk medallion isn’t his and the way he turned is not at all like how medallions normally work, but it gave him a shock and he can’t use that medallion to turn back human. If he could simply do that he would not have broken his feathers and pretty much a huge chunk of Heartaches and Reunion wouldn’t have happened.

I still like your theory, just needs a bit tuning up

One aspect of ALL Medallions is that the ONLY Medallion that works for you is the one you are given. Once you are given it, you cannot change it.

What I was referring to by ‘work on any species’ is that a Sphinx Medallion that is hidden as a Blank Medallion, can work for any species. It’s not tied to one particular species. So one generation it could be used by a peryton, and the next, by a gryphon.
But since Mythicals Believe that Medallions are tied to only one species, once they saw a particular Blank Medallion successfully used on a particular species, they Believed that that specific Blank Medallion could only work on that one species.

Sam has been given his Medallion. Same with Greg, and Myra. As far as we know, Sam’s Medallion is not damaged. Greg’s and Myra’s are.
So there seems to be something else preventing Sam from being able to fully transform to full form gryphon, or back to human.
With Greg and Myra, they can easily transform from full form to midform and to almost human, and back. The physical damage to their Medallions prevents them from transforming to a full human form. But they are not locked in form, Sam is.

In Anthony’s case, the Medallion Magic interacted badly with the spell keeping Tony physically human. The resulting spell break caused him to physically revert to his true species form. Aellean harpy.
Whether or not he had a chance to see if the Medallion which caused the spell break could work normally for him is unknown. Such an experiment being tried or planned, was never mentioned in Reunion.

It’s a fair bet no one’s thought to try it because harpies don’t have medallions. They’re one of a plethora of species that cannot disguise themselves as humans on their own. That’s why Tony’s mom had to get a spell that actually turned her human; if she had a medallion she would have just shifted forms and said hi to the guy she fell in love with.

This is just to cruel… I come back after SOOO long to catch up at this point?! A pox!! A pox I say to you, you damnable cliffhangers!!! Also… HORRAY~!!! Mid-form obtained~! Though, now that this is a thing, I’m gunna miss her true form….

Kind of curious to see what EVERYONE’S reactions will be when it next comes up… Though, I’m certain that we can all agree that our Favorite nixie will react~.

Okay, this is me speculating for the fun of speculating….. Back when Ravi was discussing Wosret and Jocasta (the originals and survivors of the Great War), I noticed a few physical differences between the Greek and the Egyptian types of Sphinx aside from wings-vs-wingless. And this is a minor thing, but… Wosret the Egyptian Sphinx had fingerpads and Jocasta the Greek Sphinx did not. And Michelle in her new half-form DOES, but also has the wings of a Greek Sphinx.

SO: Assuming that the two were pretty standard examples of their particular genotypes (and yeah, I *DID* say that this was me just postulating away, remember?) and that the fingerpad thing was not a personal variation of the species, this means that Michelle has to be the descendent of both Greek and Egyptian Sphinxes. Sphinx? What IS the plural of Sphinx?

ANYWAY. That’s my tiny contribution for this evening. Thenkyew, Ladies and Germs, I’ll be here all week!

I just found the comic abd went trough it in one go. This is amasing, I really love how the world is so well made, and the characters are so great.

As for this page, my mind imagined as hissing sound, alond with some eerie whispery angelic voices coming from her eyes, along with intense heat around her…

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