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Illumination 2 Page 10

Illumination 2 Page 10 published on 63 Comments on Illumination 2 Page 10

Hey wasn’t this comic supposed to be about Michelle? Let’s get back to that, okay?

Due to popular demand, I’ve installed a new comment plugin for the site that SHOULD allow for editing if you’ve made a typo or whatever! Let me know how it works for y’all!


The comment editor seems to work for me.

If Michelle learns how to make/fix medallions she could make a lot of people happy. She could fix Greg’s medallion, maybe fix that guy who wants to be a reverse gryphon, and create medallions for Anthony and the other monsters that want one.
She would become even more super important and also super rich.

Hmmmm . . . Do you think that the dragons wanted her alive so that they could force her to make medallions for them?

Wait! Maybe that is why the war started!!! Maybe the Sphinxes refused to make medallions for the dragons and they got all genocidal about it!

This makes me think that maybe other “monsters” we’re involved in this? It never really said that the dragons and Sphinxes waged war on each other, and only each other. It just said that it wiped both species out. I’d bet my bottom dollar some manticores were involved

It’s possible. Also possible that the sphinxes couldn’t make medallions for some species – something about their magic or nature conflicts with the magic of medallions – but no one believed them. So the war was trying to force them to do the impossible. Or the truth was somewhere in between, with some sphinxes trying to figure out how to make medallions for races that didn’t have them, but were running into difficulties, but just the fact some were trying made people believe it could be done and they just wouldn’t. Which could be further fed by some/most sphinxes not wanting to bother, or maybe even actively interfering because they believed those races shouldn’t have medallions.

Or it could be something else entirely, because if your goal is to try and force someone to do something, killing them is sort of counterintuitive. But I can easily believe the desire for medallions was a contributing factor.

How’s this for speculation: The “monster” species didn’t get medallions because their representatives at the time were deemed untrustworthy, and likely to abuse them (such as using them to hunt humans from camouflage)? If so, some of them have obviously civilized themselves somewhat since then.

An interesting line of thinking.

No-one has said HOW Phineas helped in the Great War. Only that he did help.

We know that Ravi gave Phineas the Curse and the job of Cave Guardian. We do not know WHEN. How long after the Great War?

On page 26 of chapter 1, both Jocasta and Wosret are shown wearing Medallions.
So Medallions existed by the time they launched their plan to go into deep hiding, making it seem that Sphinxes were wiped out, extinct. AFTER and because of the Great War.

Do we know what kind of egg it is?

Because if it’s a dragon egg, I think we might have an idea what that war was about :p

Wait…wasn’t her father a jeweler?
So isn’t that possible that he had the knowledge on how to make medallions too?

Yes, her father was a jeweller.
But without being Turned, and without contact with anyone else who had the knowledge of how the Sphinxes first made Medallions, there is no way for him to have known how to make Medallions, so he could never have passed that knowledge on to Michelle.
The only one, who claims to have any knowledge of how Medallions were made is Ravi.

Species and instinctual knowledge are not the same thing as learned knowledge. Making Medallions was a learned matter.

There’s a lot we don’t know about Michelle’s father. My theory is that he knew what he was, but decided to stay Unturned for the sake of safety; that would explain why he kept the medallion. As for what he was doing with the jewelry he was making, it’s totally up in the air.

I agree with Weirdo. But I have a theory as to him being a jeweller. If he had the knowledge of how to make the medallions, then maybe he just wanted to do something that was close to that sort of thing for a profession as a human. If any of that makes sense. It does to me anyway.

Or perhaps Sphinxes have a natural affinity to art in general and jewellery making in particular.

Or he was taught his craft on purpose by someone who needed him to know. Or it was passed down father to son for a while, and she’s the only link that doesn’t know. We have no proof he didn’t make medallions for anyone, just proof that no one knows about the ones he might have made. Another secret in the Avalon? Who’d have thunk?

Well now, I have to wonder WHY and/or HOW that egg thingy is crucial to the formation of medallions. Theory time!

1. It acts as a forge for the raw metal and magic that the Sphinx casts
2. It holds the secret mystery component that smithing and magic alone don’t have
3. It spits up perfect, fully formed medallions.
4. What

And I have to wonder, hypothetically, can Michelle create a variation of the medallion spell that isn’t a one-time thing, like if she can’t repair broken medallions she can make new ones that don’t “blacklist” those who gave their old ones up, and acccept them under their spell. Does that make sense?

Perhaps this is getting closer to hinting at how Meesh changed her medallion. WHO KNOWS?? It’s just a theory at this point!

Do the medallions “blacklist” previous wearers? I thought that they just bonded to the new wearer, so that if, for example, you and your father have the same medallion, then either he can wear it and you’re stuck in one form or you can wear it and he’s stuck in one form.
I don’t remember where this was addressed, though. Does anybody have a link?

If the phoenix egg is actually a component to make medallions, that’d be a major factor in how rare medallions are. On the other hand, if a single phoenix egg can be used indefinitely to make them, Michelle could go a long way to helping a lot of people if she can figure out how. Especially if, as suggested upthread, medallions can actually be made for anyone, and the only reason some species don’t have them is because the sphinxes refused to make them.

I think that it might be a tool for enchanting: for example, a person with inherent magic, possibly the intended Guardian Finns like Jimbo, might be able to use that magic to interface with it and operate it like a machine.
The way that I see it, magic is like software: enchantments are programs and programmed reactions to stimuli, and more complex enchantments approach the status of dumb AI. The egg might be something similar to that, where you take a piece of material, metal, enameled calcium, mineral or similar, then use the egg to program it with the proper enchantments-space folding, mass editing, neural-to-spell control interface-and, voila, you get a proper medallion!

Huh . . . with all of this build-up I thought it would resurrect the dead, or grant immortality, or something.

As we have seen, anything involved in the art and process of medallion creation is a pretty big deal. The rediscovery of even a single facet of the art could have a profound effect in the mytholo community.

Michelle: So, after all that… mystical razzmatazz, I am able to change the hair colour of someone’s illusory form. Unless they’re Jim or Colin.

Jim: *glum*

Ravi: Well, perhaps when you have both mastered your powers, you could-

Mary: AH! There we go… *steps up to Michelle, presents womens’ magazine held open at a page* …that nice, subtle strawberry blonde shade there… do you think…?

Lorne: Y’know, I’ve always fancied being a proper golden blonde, y’know, to match…

Phoenix: *taps on window* Electric blue, please?

Lily Snodgrass: *jumps up behind him* Shocking pink!

Michelle: But… you can… you do… use hair dye!

Mary & Lorne & Phoenix & Lily: *pause* *advances, proffering women’s mag; pouts and makes puppy dog eyes; bounce up and down outside window*

Phone: *starts to ring*

Michelle: *retreats*

Paul: *human form* *starts whistling I Heard It Through the Grapevine*


A somewhat dark finale to that scene, Greenwood.

Michelle: *panics and casts Mass Dispel on everyone in the immediate vicinity*
Ravi is sent to India. Greg and Merial are sent to Missouri. Mary is sent to Wonderland. Lorne, Phoenix, and Lily are sent to the LA.

Jim: *stares silently, open beaked in shock

James: What did you just DO?

I just wish I could trust Ravi to not just use and discard her after getting what he wants out of all this.

Also, I’m not sure how much *she* wants the kind of authority/fame/notoriety that would go along with (theoretically) being able to repair and/or create medallions…

As much as I dislike Ravi, I can’t see him as the type of person that would INTENTIONALLY use and discard someone. Though from what I’ve seen so far I think it’s safe to assume that on the whole Ravi doesn’t give a rats ass about the quality of other peoples lives.

or he isnt able to properly evaluate what make a good life.
Or this curent bubly sugarrush personality is a mask.

Actually, apart from explaining water, we havent seem him do magic (or even give coherent, useful or meaningful answers). is he an impostor ?

Aside from Ravi’s manipulation of water from the Cirque Fountain in forcibly making Colin aware of what he can do with his variant of the Finn Family Curse on page 36, there was also the matter of Ravi turning a lock of Jim’s hair into plants on page 31 of chapter 1.

As for explaining things in a properly coherent way, no. So far, Ravi has yet to do any of that.
What he has done has been just name dropping, and bits and pieces of fragments of Important Information, and claiming that a lot of the verbally recorded history is wrong.

Intentionally? No, probably not, I’ll give him that. But he doesn’t really seem to be *aware* of other people’s lives, much less the quality thereof, not in a meaningful way. Look at the way he blames the Finns for what’s essentially his own failure to explain things, as if his intentions should be obvious and understood implicitly.

To lean on an analogy I’ve used before, he’s the carpenter, they’re the tools.

O~O okay ravi’s face in the last panel.. makes me wanna slap him for some reason. So much smug

Is it the fact that he’s ugly as hell? Cause a part of my problem with him is that I find him to be superficially bad looking, and that the more I get to know him the more I realize that he’s not exactly what you’d call,”Beautiful on the Inside”

its more the know it all attitude and smugness almost like an egocentric god then it is anything else. more he is trying to remain cryptic just to see if other races catch on or if they are simply not at his “level” kinda smugness

So many uses of the word ‘theory’ this week and all of them wrong! Nitpick time.

‘Theory’ doesn’t mean ‘anything I make up. A theory is an idea or set of ideas to explain a phenomenon that is -supported- by a large enough body of evidence to be treated as -fact- already. Such as gravity. We can’t prove it, but we’re pretty sure it’s a thing.

A hypothesis is an idea or set of ideas proposed to explain something that has some limited basis in fact or reason as a starting point for further investigation, but remains unproven.

A supposition is just a collection of ideas. You ‘suppose’ it might be this or that.

Ugh, thought this would finally, FINALLY, start to wrap up but then the last panel happened. I cannot blame Michelle for her reaction. Even if she is new to the club, so to speak, she would be simply be thinking of her friend’s grief. However now Ravi is going to completely let everything that just happened with James slip his mind because he believes, if naively and innocently, that Michelle concurs with him that James’ anger isn’t really that important at all in comparison to arcane knowledge. So he’s going to make zero attempt to change his behavior and drag this out, AGAIN!

Again, I can foresee disliking this character a lot less in the printed collection than weekly updates plus a break. As of now though he is coming off MUCH more callous and cruel than I believe originally intended. The interaction with James was inspired writing but as a reader I’ve lost the expectation Ravi is going anywhere as a character.

Please, change my mind. I hope to see some backstory, that doesn’t cripple pacing, giving insight and depth. For the moment PLEASE take the golden opportunity to let Michelle show some agency and solidarity with those who stuck with her through demon and dragon attacks. DEMAND he go apologize and mean it enough that Jim’s father is happy as a kitten again, otherwise he can find another spinx to show off his toys to.

Actually now that I think about it that would give Ravi some depth. It is established he is enraged at knowledge lost through simple time and generational wear. I’d love to see him react to the possibility that his own direct action is going to add the Iliad to the list of works lost to time.

Whereas to me, the Finns are coming off as childish – maybe in a single read through it wouldn’t seem like they spent so unutterably long clinging to their perfection and past pains that they risked missing the opportunity to bring new medallions in to the world. But having read it as it was released, their whining just seems to go on and on and on.

At no point do they show the slightest indication of maturity or willingness to accept that Ravi can only be blamed for the loss of their magic – not the loss of their knowledge.
When it comes to sacred oaths there is only do and do not – there is no “we tried and that’s good enough.” When you fail an oath, you don’t get to decide if you did enough, or tried hard enough, the only thing you get to acknowledge is that you failed the oath. It is on the person to whom you made the oath to absolve you, not on you to demand it.

To me, Michelle’s sigh says she is realizing that she’s only person in the conversation mature enough to move past recriminations to actually addressing the problem.

To me, Michelle’s sigh says she is realizing that she’s only person in the conversation mature enough to move past recriminations to actually addressing the problem.

Mmm… okay, that’s actually a fair point. Except she’s not really addressing their problem; ultimately, it’s to address her problem. It just happens to be relevant to the Finns’ problem as well.

. . . Ravi can only be blamed for the loss of their magic – not the loss of their knowledge. When it comes to sacred oaths . . .

First of all, we don’t even know if Phineas made “a sacred oath”. We know he made a promise… but a promise is just a promise, and nothing more. There’s nothing “sacred” about a promise at all, and Ravi is not a god, so making a “sacred oath” to Ravi would have been just about as binding as a regular old promise.

Second of all, we don’t know if there was anything in the promise to “protect the knowledge and pass it down to future generations”. As far as we know, he only promised to protect the egg. He might not have said anything at all about passing the knowledge on (in which case there is no obligation to do so).

Considering how vague Ravi is about everything… he’s very good about saying a lot while explaining nothing at all… Phineas may not even have known what knowledge to pass on! “Well, our family must protect this egg because… umm… reasons.”

“What reasons?”

“I don’t know. Ravi never explained. He just said the egg must be protected, and never told me why.”

> The interaction with James was inspired writing but as a reader I’ve lost the
> expectation Ravi is going anywhere as a character.

Actually, as a writer myself, I appreciate it when someone I’m inclined to like turns out to be not so likable. As an individual, no, I don’t think I would like Ravi… but as a character, I appreciate the reminder that first impressions aren’t always accurate.

I’ll concede that. I am fully aware of the irony in acknowledging that by opening my virtual mouth when frustrated my focus was narrowed. Ravi actually IS an interesting exploration of the eccentric or ‘bubbly’ mentor and the effect of such a person on familial and ancestral relationships. I suppose he could also be a comparison to Michelle’s mom who helps her immediately once made aware of the situation. Would the term foil apply?

I still maintain I’ll be able to appreciate all of this a lot more collected rather than serialized.

I find this discussion very interesting, especially what you said in your first paragraph. I don’t particularly LIKE Ravi, but he is incredibly realistic to me – KNOW a couple of people, myself included, who get just that dead to the world at the thought of interesting knowledge and crimes against it. If he’s anything like me, then he’s not taking Michelle’s questions as an agreement that he did nothing wrong – he’s not thinking about her motivations at all, he’s just tunnel visioning on the INCREDIBLY WONDERFUL EVIDENCE THAT I GET TO TALK TO SOMEBODY AND THEY ACTUALLY CARE OMG (my friends are used to it. XD)

Also, if he’s anything like me, he really CAN’T think too much about what he’s doing wrong – it’s like changing course when you’re moving at the speed of sound, you can’t do it quickly. But when that happens to me, the information is in the back of my head, ready to process, and I don’t forget about it. The next time I’m calm enough, I start thinking about it and processing it. It takes me a while to learn how to be a tolerable human being, but I get there.

Late, we ALREADY KNOW he will make zero attempt in the immediate term to change his behaviour and attitude.
We saw this absolutely clearly in the final panel of the last page of chapter one.
I’ll repeat it again.

Ravi is acting as though nothing at all has happened, that EVERYTHING is going just fine and all that matters is he’s back in time for dinner.
That while he completely ignores James being somewhat out of it, and Michelle just barely running on auto-pilot.

My theory:
The medallions were the catalyst for the war between dragons and sphinxes.

It was stated that the dragons fought the sphinxes out of jealousy for their power… But its rather unlikely that sphinxes just suddenly developed a great deal of power; it’s far more likely they always possessed that degree power.

But this leaves a rather important question: what triggered the dragons jealousy?

Answer: In the past, Sphinxes didn’t flaunt their power, but the creation of the medallions lead to everyone taking notice of them.

In mythology, dragons are highly present, in many cultures. In the vast majority of mythology they are either feared or greatly respected because of their wisdom and power, sometimes bordering on worship. To be so prevalent in mythology, dragons clearly must have flaunted their capabilities. Sphinxes, on the other hand, show up in far fewer legends, which is what lead me to conclude that they avoided the spotlight so to speak.

However, when the medallions were created, this would have brought a lot of attention to the sphinxes, whether they wanted the attention or not. The gratitude shown by fellow myth creatures would have looked very similar to the type of respect that dragons were used to seeing directed towards their kind. Having the attention that used to be focused on them now focused on some random, previously unknown creature made them become jealous.

This would explain everything, and fits with all the details we have been given so far.

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