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Aw sweet, that’s got to be a direct ancestor, I love how it’s obvious from the artwork which species are represented, the sphinx in center stage, the griffins, harpy, satyr and Lami watching. I’m very looking forward to this.

In that 5th panel, I count five mytholos:
(1) Manticore, with spurs wrapped;
(2) Allelean Harpy;
(3) Satyr;
(4) Lamia;
(5) Common Gryphon.

Ironically for a medallion story line, three of them (manticore, harpy & lamia) have no medallions and are considered monsters.

I gotta confess I’m going to be slightly, slightly disappointed if this flash plays the humans are jerks trope straight. It’s just a personal in the moment thing from reading a very certain set of speculative fiction lately and nothing against this comic.

I say slightly because this whole comic started out with the dragon vs. sphinx history, so there is conflict that does not directly derive from human nature and the ‘factions’ are not humans plus evil vs. everyone else. They’re carnivorous, so even if they draw on leonine nature and mostly scavenge they have intuitive understanding of benefiting from other creatures’ demise. I’m withholding making a call on how complacent these beings were until I know more how they handled being ‘holy.’ If they were put on a pedestal despite attempting to foster a wiser position of mutual respect then, yeah, humans are jerks. If, however, they tacitly accepted they were holy by reason of strength, fang, wing, longevity, or magic then I’m sorry that inherently is coupled with potential glory in being defeated.
There is also the whole issue about not granting every nonhuman sapient creatures medallions (even ones on the continent like Wonderlanders or aforementioned dragons). And Isaac’s mom of course. Again, all this complexity in a relatively slice of life comic is why I love Skin Deep so much.

Also calling it now. Ravi gets to taste his foot again making some comment lecturing human born Michelle.

Humans vs Mythicals, Illumination chapter 1, pages 38 and 39

Now we get to find out what drove the creation of Medallions and the start of the Avalon walls.

I’m not sure if that link was meant to refute me or support me.

In badly written misanthropic versions of this scenario the humans are the sole instigators disrupting the ‘natural’ harmonious peaceful status quo (which often coincidentally matches the author’s modern viewpoints) for the pettiest of reasons. However as I previously wrote this comic isn’t that because it has additional mature complicated conflicts.
In the pages cited it is explicitly pointed out irrationality from fear and confusion isn’t a unique human trait. Taking the remark “Fear and confusion causes humans…” to its most strict extreme has very nasty implications in a world where passing as human is easy. It’s basically the racist reasoning that ancient aliens are more plausible than Egyptians building the pyramids turned misanthropic by applying it to your societal ‘historical figures’ of choice.

Further it is pointed out that segregation has consequences. In this case it manifests as distortion of history. Those outside the masquerade either cannot reach evidence like these hunting trophies, have it actively hidden from them, or are not given any refutes to legends. Those inside the masquerade can thus dismiss large swathes of outside and be equally unchallenged in whatever they author even with magically preserved primary accounts.

I know this particular flash is going to be from the point of view of likely a sphinx. I’m just hoping Michelle asserts her own identity as well. Again, I’m not trying to slight the comic. It’s just bad luck. I was disappointed with Colin getting water powers because that released when I was finishing a watch of Korra and I wanted something different.

Neither refute, or support.
It was to show, clearly, where in the story the human part of the drive to create Medallions and the Avalons began in earnest.
It’s an all too brief interchange between Lorne and Ravi on page 39 that makes it most clear.
Lorne: “Weren’t Medallions made to help protect us because humans were hunting us?”
Ravi: “That was a concern, but I believe that fear was mostly overblown paranoia.”

So the questions coming from that interchange and this page are:
What drove humans to change their opinion of the Mythicals?
Why did the impact of this, crystalize at that point in time?

I know exactly where you’re coming from. Too often humans are vilified for their past– not necessarily without reason, but very commonly without considering the good that’s been done as well. (I also appreciate the hell out of your comment about carnivores benefiting off the demise of others– one of the things that bugs me deeply is representing the ‘natural’ viewpoint and calling humans evil for waging war and subjugating natural resources, without realizing that most of nature does the same damn thing, just on a different scale.)

But the comic’s generally been pretty good about -not- vilifying human beings, and showing that mythical creatures are just as flawed as humans are. I initially interpreted the line as referring to people hunting them down, but there is certainly a possibility that they’re referring to the other mythical creatures as a whole (given how many of those portrayed here are without medallions, it might be referring to other mythical creatures revering the sphinxes but turning on them at some point in history). This might in fact be a direct reference to dragons in particular.

It is true that most of nature does that, but, as far as we know, most such creatures are not capable of the same malice and hatred that humans express. Some appear to be, like cats, but most aren’t. However, in a setting with non-human sapient species, like this one, those creatures would also be capable of such malice. Basically, yes a bear kills and fights, but it does it because of hunger or territory, or what-have-you, not because it enjoys inflicting pain and fear and death. Many humans do those things without those reasons, too, but humans (and the mythical races too) can produce people who do those things because it’s fun. That’s were the idea that humans are bad because war and environmental destruction comes from. Animals do that too, but humans can know better, can be better. But those rules apply just as much to all the sapient mythical creatures (I specify sapient because you also have creatures like stanley, who seems more like a big swimming lizard with the mind of a puppy, so presumably there are other “mythical” creatures without human level intelligence.

There definitely are other mythical creatures without human level intelligence. These have been mentioned in story and in various RQs both here and on Patreon.
There’s the non-sapients, such as Liver Birds, Byzantine Eagles, and Cockatrice.
And the less than human intelligence such as the guards employed by the Dogpatch Avalon.

vision!Phineas: Hold on there… I think we’re recording now.

vision!Ravi: *nod* Yes.

vision!Phineas: Alright then. Anyone else want to do the honours? Very well – I call this meeting to order this day the 23rd of June, year of our Lord-

vision!Ravi: Ha!!

vision!Phineas: Ravi! Will you stop doing that every time He is mentioned? It is tiresome, not to mention risky in public. …Where was I? …er, present are myself, Phineas, known as “the Red”…

vision!Ravi: Ravi… no other name is required!

vision!Wosret: *eyeroll* Wosret.

vision!Jocasta: Jocasta. And does this mean we have to repeat everything we’ve just said? Including everything on the way here?

vision!Ravi: Of course! And I, for one, am happy to do this!

vision!Wosret: (mouths) Loves the sound of his own voice!

vision!Jocasta: *snigger*


Anyway, Michelle’s Freedom of Information request has been granted. Record of the meeting has been released to her. What will be revealed???

Ooo this is going to get interesting. I’m really curious on how the whole monster and dragon thing works out. I wonder if there were some creatures, dragons and monsters, that either reposed the medallions in order to fight for their place in the world. Or volunteered not to take up medallions based they were going to distract the humans until the Avalon was completed.

If it was the latter, then maybe that’s where the dragons got the belief that the sphinxs betrayed them. Either the sphinxs couldn’t make the medallions for some reason or The Jocasta and the Wosret decided not to give the medallions so humans would have something to hunt. I really hope it was the latter and not the former. :(

Oh God, what if the Sphinxes were really assholes that everyone wanted to see dead?

Highly doubtful, otherwise the histories known to Mythical society would not have regarded Sphinxes the way they have been.
Remember how James describes Michelle in Chapter 1.
That would not have been so likely if Sphinxes were poorly regarded back when the stories about them and the Great War were starting.

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