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Currently On Hiatus: Please Enjoy A New Reader Question Every Weekday!


So, Phoenixes (Phoenices?) are either white, or Ravi doesn’t know what color they are.
Also, the little exposition head is adorable!

that… that is the “Don’t Touch me” face. James is not amused.

Unfortunately, if Ravi hasn’t learned the concept of “personal space” by now, I doubt he ever will.

“Personal space” is a very cultural thing- it varies from culture to culture, and if Ravi is immortal, he either thinks that the very notion is ridiculous(Given how there’s no universal consensus on it) and people will just catch on ‘eventually’, or he comes from a culture where there isn’t a lot of personal space, and just doesn’t care to adopt the culture of such short-lived beings. He’ll be alive long after those holding a grudge are gone, so may as well just be yourself. It’d be like us having to change our habits every five minutes to suit batches of new people. It may be annoying to us, but its very reasonable why he does it.

James’ grandfather, is the father of Jimothy The Elder.

I’m surprised that Michelle had to ask that question about the Phoenix Egg, considering she was told what it is, when the discussion in Ravi’s shop focussed on what Jim really knew. But a lead-in for Ravi needing to, once again be Exposition Man was necessary.

A thought which has come to mind about Medallions.
I wonder if the reason Western Dragons cannot have Medallions is because their innate magic, and that of the Sphinx and Phoenix magics, interact VERY badly.

was it said that they CAN NOT have medallions? i thought there simply wasn’t made any for dragons due to sphinx – dragon conflicts, and the sphinxs was the ones making the medallions and why would they make something for their enemies?

It was officially said that they DO NOT have Medallions. No reason for this has ever been given.
What I was wondering was a possible reason for that.

Yes, there was the Great War, but were Medallions made before it, or after?

If before, then there is the question of why are there no Medallions for so many European and Mediterranean species.
If after, then the before question still stands, but there is the added possibility of not making Medallions for enemy species, simply as payback.

However, from how it was portrayed, there seems to be a difference between a magical creature and a monster, considering that the two are referred to differently multiple times. Even if they were quote-on-quote “enemies” of the sphinxes, blank medallions would still function for them regardless.

Therefore, we can assume that there are species that are incompatible with the medallions or medallions were never developed for that species, for whatever reason. After all, we know little about the creation of medallions for a new species: it could very well be that a medallion for a particular species requires years of R&D by magical professionals well-versed in the creation of medallions. If this is the case, then “monsters” are simply species that the sphinxes were unable to get to before they disappeared into hiding. The only reason that medallions have not continued to be made seems to be that their creation is incredibly complex, given that they are a single magical artifact tied to a huge array of enchantments of varying types: full conscious control, transformation, mass displacement, storage, durability, ect.
Now, this could mean one of two things:
1. Medallions require a large amount of magical energy to construct owing to the large number of overlaying enchantments, meaning that the Phoenix egg is a magical generator of sorts.
2. Medallions are incredibly hard to make right without the proper focal points and tools. Compare regular magic to vacuum tubes, and medallions to full silicon-based CPU’s: vacuum tubes are much easier to manufacture, but are slow, unwieldy, and consume large amounts of space and energy. Silicon chips, on the other hand, are fast, space/energy efficient, and powerful, but require incredibly exact and specialized machinery to produce. Any magician can make a vacuum tube, but cannot produce the incredibly exact focus it takes to acid-etch those practically microscopic pathways on a silicon chip. Thus, the Phoenix egg is the scalpel to general magic’s hammer.

Blank medallions don’t work for anyone. They’re made like the others, they’re just blank because they are undecorated (usually a sign of age, as early medallions are blank.) The medallion that triggered Anthony’s weird transformation was blank, but Madam U stated it was a Nixie medallion.

Kory, I think Camelot’s thoughts regarding Blank Medallions, were sparked by this post of mine from page 46 of chapter 1 of Illumination
The reasoning behind that thought of mine was trying to think of why Michelle’s Medallion was no longer blank, but now clearly had an image of a Grecian Sphinx, and tie that into what we, then, knew about Medallions.

I actually never read that, though it is fascinating. Mostly, I assumed that Blanks, owing to their more powerful magic, were vastly more wild and unpredictable than their less complex inscribed descendants.
I still stick with my R&D theory, though. I can’t believe that entire species allied themselves with either Dragons or Sphinx, as they are collections of individuals, not hive-minds. Therefore, there would have been individuals of every species on both sides of the conflict, or just neutral entirely.

And it’s… Camolot. That “o” instead of “e” thing is actually on purpose, believe it or not.

They are not portrayed differently.
Monster species are species which, for whatever reason, do not have a Medallion.
Magical species CAN be either a Monster species or a Medallion using species.
By strict definition, innate shapeshifting species, who do not need or have Medallions are Monster species.

Magical species fit into either the Monster or Medallion sub-catagory, and it’s clear that there is some amount of division between the two, in wording if not in anything else. They serve different capacities in magical society, interact differently and live in different locale. Medallions seem to prefer more urban settings, while Monsters stick to more remote and isolated areas for obvious reasons.
However, the difference between Monster and Medallion sub-categories is completely binary: a species is either one or the other, and can never have members of both. In socio-political terms, this will have basically made them two different classes of citizens. Therefore, they are portrayed differently.

This is telling me Phoenixes are small. I am very happy with this information

The egg looks to be about the size of Ravi’s head, which is larger than an ostrich egg (the largest egg of all extant egg-laying land species)! And ostriches grow to be rather large…

That explains why it’s emitting colorful rainbows! Beautiful and practical, my favorite combination.

James looks like an old cat I used to own. When my mother would dress her up, she got that look on her face, like ‘oh you humans are so very lucky that I love you and have generously decided not to shred you for this indignity.’

…I imagine that James’ reasons for not shredding Ravi are more like ‘because you’re some kind of superpowerful being that is going to explain why my family has guarded this thing forever, but please don’t hug me anyway.’

So, is there still a Phoenix in there, or does the egg just keep doing this after a Phoenix exits it?

Good think the Phoenix is uniquely rare. If this egg is empty, an empty Phoenix egg look like it would be very easy to find out in the open. Maybe the origin of the legend of treasure at the end of a rainbow?

I’m guessing that, before she can create any new medallions for, say, harpies, Michelle has to meet one (maybe of each type?) and use her soon-to-be-awakened senses to get a feel for the shape-shielding magic that’s needed. Then, she can crank out as many medallions of that kind as seem to be called for.

So, some time spent hanging out in the local pubs may be recommended. (Such a sacrifice for a noble cause!)

If that is the case in creating new Medallions, then I hope she can manage to create ones for harpies (Tony, Abbie, and Ophelia), gorgons (Madam U), and Bandersnatches (Eleanor).
Of course, another part of learning about the Magic behind Medallions so she can possibly repair damaged ones will involve discussions with Tim, and his student, Sam.

I doubt there’s any demand for gorgon medallions. The third Q&A from October 2012 [By the way: there’s no separate link for that batch of Q&As!], Madame U and Eleanor are shown in human form. While Eleanor is as bubbly as ever, Madame U. is not liking it. I don’t think she wants a medallion for herself. The others you mention, I’m sure would all like to have medallions.

Here’s a question: if a Podargian harpy gets a medallion, does she look like a tiny human?

I like how Ravi’s done a complete 180 in how he responds to the Finns now. First he was completely blaming them for being screw ups and now he’s overpraising them. It seems Ravi can only work in extremes.

Yeah, when he first saw Michelle he was going on about how he knew one of his precious Finns would find her. He loves the Finns but he angers easily. He’s definitely a creature of extremes, which seems to fit with some other myths about powerful immortal beings, like fae and Greek gods.

OK, it looks like there are three magic spirals from the (apparently unbroken) phoenix egg. If it’s not in there now, spewing forth its magic… where’d it go after hatching, where is it now, did it get lost in the cavern labyrinth, or did it make a new nest somewhen in the past 800 years? Is it a guy Phoenix, looking for a gal?

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