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I’m guessing it’s a bit like trying to explain exactly what a particle accelerator Does, and what they’re using it for to, say, my Mum. There’s nothing more fun than trying to explain something complicated to someone who really doesn’t get it.

Particularly when you don’t fully understand it either. This sounds like someone who knows the basic uses of a computer trying to explain not only HOW a computer works, but WHY, and to someone that expects him to know everything just because he knows more than they do.

Lol I bet this to prevent all the readers from asking these same questions.
I just go along with it like Jim does…

I agree…My imagination thinks that their clothing is stored in a magical closet floating somewhere in the universe…My imagination does not make sense…

Not all that far-fetched from a scientific standpoint.
Well, theoretical science notwithstanding, but it’s still theoretically possible!

I’m thinking that the excess mass is shunted “sideways”, into a small pocket universe or similar. This goes for clothing as well.
Y’know, something like Animorphs?

Similar idea: ALL the mass gets shunted into a pocket universe. An illusory body is formed in our universe, with every part of it connected in some way to the real body, so nerve impulses travel back and forth between the illusory and real bodies. Same with damage to the illusory body, like cuts and bruises; they get transferred over as well.

Tim: “Look, all you have to know is that it isn’t a transformation; it’s just identical to one in every conceivable way to the point where there is no viable explanation for it being anything else. It’s just like what happens when the author of a story REALLY INSISTS on abusing terminology that is clearly improper for the topic because it evokes the emotional connotations she wants – it’s best to separate the data from the premise and move on.”

I’ve been thinking about how medallions work, and the theory I’ve come up with is that the medallion creates a hammerspace for mass that is not needed at the moment. Kind of like (spoilers) how the Finn family caves work. And since the spell is so complex I assume that it may be semi-sentient and has a very nice grasp on how to manipulate time and space.

So, this is an illusion that functionally changes a person’s size, shape, aerodynamics, manual dexterity, senses (up to and including proprioception), durability (considering unturned Nemeans aren’t indestructible), lifespan (if a family of unturned gryphons could live for 200 years, somebody probably would have heard about it), and allows them to interbreed with completely unrelated species. How, exactly, is this not a shapechange? It doesn’t change a person’s inherent, natural form, sure, but that doesn’t have to mean it’s not physically changing them in some way. They might call it an illusion because it doesn’t change a person’s base nature, but once something is in all ways indistinguishable from shapeshifting, it’s probably shapeshifting.

(I’m not getting on Kory’s case. This is an amazing comic and I’ve been following it happily for years. I’ve just always found the insistence that all this is only an elaborate illusion a bit silly.)

My personal theory is that the illusion is so high tier that it can fool the laws of physics and the universe itself. It sounds crazy, but this is magic, it doesn’t have to follow the laws of common sense. And perhaps the emphasis on “illusion, illusion, illusion, not shape-shifting” is because of some complicated magical technical stuff that makes treating it like shape-shifting dangerous. Later bits of the story make it quite clear that the current mythical community has very little real information on the medallions, where they come from, and how they work. Maybe this bit of information got passed on because “I know it’s confusing and doesn’t make sense, but if you try to treat this like shape-shifting it could be bad for your health.” or maybe it’s test a bit of very technical magical terminology that somebody got really insistent about (example, the centrifugal force is not a force, it is inertia, the thing force works against. The difference makes very little difference in everyday life but the physicist will still get really grumpy if you get it wrong.) Basically, it’s magic, Kory could call it dreambinding or phaseshifting and it would be exactly as valid.

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