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Illumination 2 page 33

Illumination 2 page 33 published on 101 Comments on Illumination 2 page 33

This is the second-to-last page in this chapter! Wowza! After next week Skin Deep will be going on a hiatus! I will be running reader questions like usual while I work to get the next chapter ready to go.

I have satyr medallions up in the store now, go check it out!

Happy Holidays, y’all!


I really hope Michelle doesn’t get fucked up in the head because of this.

….Which means she’s gonna be the goose that lays golden eggs for every magical warring faction around OR a threat to any of them which must be neutralized.

God, I feel so sorry about poor Michelle – she just wanted to go to college, dammit!

Fun nitpicky fact: The pattern on that headscarf is only about 200 years old. Scottish sphinx survival confirmed. :D

Sorry friend, it’s a Keffiyeh, not a Scottish headscarf!

Indeed Kory, but what JayEnfield was referring to was the pattern on the material used for the Keffiyeh.

All I can think of with that pattern is Space Invaders

It’s a pretty common pattern which happens when you start weaving a 2-colour twill instead of a tabby, and messing with the mathematics of the warp and weft, which humans have been doing for a good many thousand years, long before we started having the fancy tartan looms that can go all the way up to a sateen if you add a few lamms….

…Uh yeah. Sorry. I just started talking weaving. I do that. Take it as said that that pattern is not recent, but some of the newfangled 200 year old Scottish looms “rediscovered” it.

Do you have a source on that? I’ve never encountered anything that suggested that houndstooth patterns are more than 200 to 250 years old. It wouldn’t terribly surprise me if it had been kicking around a bit before that, but I’ve never seen any historical examples of houndstooth prior to the 18th century.

I don’t have sources online, but check a few weaving history books made recently and you’ll find that opinion. Not much fabric is kept all that long, so extant examples might be hard to find, but people do love to write about this stuff.

Alternatively, not as proof, but to help consider the issue, try an experiment: make a rustic loom from the pattern of looms made 1000 years ago, in Europe or Africa, or an inkle loom from medieval times, or whatever loom you like. Try to make a checquered pattern (five strands red, five strands white, five strands red, five white, repeat) then screw up the maths of weft or warp slightly. Your red and white squares will turn out as a houndstooth “by mistake”. Then consider how many people back then would have screwed up their weaving just ‘cos it made a prettier pattern, or ‘cos they were in a hurry, or they wanted something different, or they didn’t like their little brother much, or whatever their reasoning. The result of the experiment indicates that houndstooth was at least very easy to make, easier than other patterns. But I’m not the first to point that out.

Oh man… if Michelle has all that power… what’s going to happen when she taps into it?

She is not going to go boom. In ancient times according to some legends I’ve heard normal sphinxes had this sort of power but they had to use only small amounts so they wouldn’t go insane.

The issue is not the TYPE of power, but the concentrated quantity of it.
And instead of only being able to tap into a small portion of it, as far as anyone is aware, she is getting ALL of it, ALL at once.

Ok, I’m starting to understand where Ravi is coming from here.

If the Sphinxes shared the power, they probably also shared knowledge, and so Michell should know what other existing sphinxes know. I can see it being really rude, and kind of a dumb questions, to ask a sphinx if she is sharing knowledge (of course they are, and it’s none of your business.) So Ravi comes into this assuming that She knows way more than she really does. Only now is he realizing that she don’t know any of this stuff, because she is the last, on the other hand, she has a lot of power, so that’s nice I guess.

Michelle didn’t know any of this, because she had never consciously used the Sphinx power.
It had flowed through her, fitfully, during Orientations, but since her Turning, she has never had any conscious access to it or use of it.

Ravi would never have encountered anything like this, since back during the era of the flashback in the Vision and earlier, Sphinx cubs would have been taught about the power by their parents and pride. They would know of it and be learning how to use it as they grew up.
Michelle has never had access to that. So not only is it that the whole lump sum of Sphinx power and knowledge is hitting her, she is a COMPLETELY empty vessel it is flooding into, so the power and knowledge is reshaping the vessel.

With this massive spike in magical energy taking place, it’s going to show up on the radars of a LOT of interested parties. They will know exactly where it is.
Both the Caves and the Phoenix Egg will need more active guarding as a consequence.

James, in his question in frame 2, hasn’t realised that the Great War was a stalemate because of the major parties in the two warring factions, going into Deep Hiding, and pretending to be extinct.

Oh man, her medallion has an image now. No more hiding what she is… unless she puts it under her shirt or something.

This gives me hope she’ll be able to fix broken medallions.

Did she unconsciously fix her Medallion, or did the power of the Sphinxes do it for her as part of overcharging her?

Impossible to say until we know more about what the heck just happened, but either way… with enough time and practice, Michelle can either harness that power, or tap into it herself. Like Ravi says, since she’s the last (known) Sphinx, she has a ton of power. And even if there are more Sphinxes somewhere, they’re still very rare or people would have found out about them, so she’s way more powerful than her ancestor who casually made hundreds of medallions for a whole race of magical beings.

Jocasta did not make hundreds of Medallions for a whole race.
She made the Medallions that the Sphinx Leaders wanted, and in protest at them, made the Medallions for the pride of Nemean Lions in the area.

Then how big was the pride of Nemeans?

We have no idea.
We only know of three Nemean Lions in the present day of the comic. Remy, Jon, and Lorne.
In terms of the flashback, there is the pride of Nemean Lions, as well as Phineas’ friend ( suspected to be Jonathan ), but there was no indication given as to the size of the pride.

It seems to have been a fair-sized tribe. Aside from the three named Nemeans, the Elders have been mentioned repeatedly, and one of the functions at the Nemean Pride Hall (next door to Liberty Library) is to hire out available Nemeans for heavy-lifting jobs.

Hey Kory is the place where Jim and the gang store their animal parts when in human form and their clothes go when in full form like the transformers subspace From gen 1?

Doesn’t Cybertronian subspace have to do with putting items into pocket dimensions that are tethered to themselves. From Jim said, it’s magic not tech. Magic just has the ability to do unexplainable things. Like making something bigger inside than it is outside.

But the stuff still needs to go somewhere so why not call it the magical version of a subspace?

Generally the magical version is called Hammerspace.

Why hammerspace?

It’s an anime thing. It used to be pretty common in anime/manga, expecially in th 80s and 90s, for characters, particularly girls, to produce giant hammers/mallets out of nowhere. It became common among fans to use “hammerspace” to refer to where the hammers were hidden when not in use.

But they just putting clothes or their mythical parts in it so I don’t think that hammerspace works here let’s come up with something else. Like Formspace.

In terms of “storing stuff”, Hammerspace works for anything that is stored in an illogical space, not just hammers. Like your guns in the Fallout games.
In the case of SkinDeep, however, things work more as a Glamour. Similar to how fairies in mythology and folklore could change form. Glamour, in this case, being an illusion so strong it alters not just how a Mythical looks, but how the world around interacts with that perceived form. Do to this twisting of perception, other beings in the area rationalize away anything that doesn’t fit. So a human walking past Jim would move around him as if he were still in his griffin form, but they subconsciously ignore the extra space between them due to the Glamour. The same can be said for other beings who witness environmental effects around a hidden Mythical.

You forgot that he can fit into cars and stuff his extra parts do go to another plane of something. And glamour is only hiding stuff or replacing it with something that fits in. This is not the case for there truformes and human forms. And we still need a better name for the space because I and I bet a bunch of other people haven’t played these games too. And don’t get mad and say how could I not because I live a sheltered life OK?

I disagree with your idea of beings walking around the space that the full form of a Mythical takes up, but which appears empty in human form, and humans not noticing ( in books this is an SEP Field – Sombody Else’s Problem Field – created by Douglas Adams in his Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy series )

A SEP Field would not work since the Mythical’s weight would not change between full form, midform, and human form. Imagine a human seeing the full form weight of a centaur, standing in human form on a set of scales in a shopping mall.

A SEP Field would not work in getting a human form Mythical to properly fit onto a dining chair. You recall Michelle in full form climbing onto the lounge? Imagine how that would be trying to use a dining chair in human form?

Hey Jim have you ever considered dying your hair a different color?

I’d theorize that dying it would technically work, but his hair would still shed and fall out as it normally does and then the instagrow back in natural color, resulting in it becoming streaked with green which may or may not be pleasant looking depending on the dye color.

I’m pretty sure I remember a reply that said his hair is just about impervious to dye.

(I couldn’t find it looking back through the Q&As that seemed relevant. Searching through all the other comments & replies, for stories as well as Q&As, would take a bit more time.)

Hey Kory could you draw a mythical that is half wolf half eagle? Like it would have a wolf head, wolf body, wolf hind legs, eagle wings, eagle front legs and talons, and eagle tail feathers.

That’s a rather interesting development – and puts a new theory into my head.

The actual reason why the dragons declared war on the sphinxes is unknown right now, as far as I’m aware. The general theory I’ve seen in comments is that they did so simply because the sphinxes refused to make them medallions – which still holds water because we know now that the Sphinx Leaders decided who got medallions. If nemean lions are too volatile, I can’t imagine that dragons would get a pass.

On the other hand, if ALL sphinxes had the same amount of power to create medallions, and one alone could make enough medallions for an entire pride of nemean lions, it seems like a similar situation to the one we just saw – a sphinx acting against the decisions of the Leaders – almost certainly should have happened. If not voluntarily, then under threat, since as proven in the Great War, the dragons could match or surpass the sphinxes in strength. Other species like harpies and manticores, now considered monsters, couldn’t threaten a sphinx into creating medallions because the sphinxes were simply too powerful – but the dragons could. Surely not every single sphinx had the strength of will to stubbornly refuse to make medallions for the dragons, before and during the Great War.

So what if it was not a matter of choice for the sphinxes? What if a single sphinx, with only a fraction of the power they all shared, actually could not create a medallion powerful enough to disguise a dragon? Then for the dragons the Great War was not a matter of punishing the sphinxes for their refusal, but instead what seemed to them to be a necessary evil – to leave only one sphinx left, so that she would be powerful enough to make them medallions.

Unlimited power!!

No no no. It’s not “Unlimited power!!” It’s,”UNLIMITED POWER!!!!!!!!!!!”
You gotta say it like you haven’t eaten for three days and the only appetizing thing to eat is the scenery.

I know it’s not gonna happen, but I reckon if there were at all any hidden/unturned Sphinxes then I reckon they would probably experience a sudden turning if Michelle ever used all that power (which is condensed down and focused solely into one person (that we know of).)

Also, every magical being’s radar is gonna be off the charts or BLINDED by this- practically all the entire globe will know when Michelle uses her Sphinx Powers now, and nobody would be able to claim ignorance now if the powers turn out to be magnified ten, no twenty, or even a hundredfold.

I think it’s sinking in for me that the sphinxes were known to be legendarily powerful, whilst they shared their power. In this case, Michelle has inherited ALL OF THAT SHARED POWER, meaning she is SEVERAL TIMES more powerful than any sphinx before her.


Good gravy

… This means that Michelle will easily be able to make medallions, huh? Which in turn means she’ll be able to make a medallion for Anthony, and confirm whether or not Samhain is a reverse griffon.

Will she be able to craft Medallions? We STILL do not REALLY know how Medallions were crafted, save for the most basic steps.

Being able to TELL what a being is, has only been seen as an ability of Bugbears, Angels, and Totems. I would think that Alec would have said something by now if Sam was NOT a reverse gryphon.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to Kory Bing, Skin Deep and all of its readers!

Happy Boxing Day to everyone!
Hope you all had a great Christmas Day!

I just had a thought, what if despite possessing the ability create the medallions the Sphinxes lacked the ability to mend them? It could explain why their leaders insisted on arbitrary limitations. And since the medallions themselves had a limit in their number there was no way to properly see if any of the other mythical beings possessed the ability to mend them, and due to the medallion limitations there is also a chance that the communities that accidentally stumbled upon tribes or clans with the ability would insist on not letting word of such things spread beyond their communities.

If sphinxes could make medallions then they can mend medallions.

Reader question: Hey Kory how many avillons are there ( sorry if I spelled it wrong) around the world.

P.s. I also wrote four other reader questions. One was about grain spirits, another was about Jim dying his hair, the third was about a wolf eagle hybrid, and the last was about the name of space where there clothes and or animal parts go when they are in one of there three forms.

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