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Goddammit Bloodcarver, this isn’t hard! Like it or not humans rule the world, and are freaking dangerous to anything that spooks them! Why do you think your kind had to flee to Dis in the first place??

And we’re not just talking about humans here, the other “mythical creatures” (I’m saying mythical for ease of use) would not be very happy with y’all if you went about and didn’t care about secrecy. They’ve been hiding for centuries, and it’s what allowed them to survive this long. Dragons show up again, and then go about like they own the place again, will not generate positive feelings about you and your kind.

Get your head out of your desperate, ego driven ass and THINK for a moment!!

‘and then go about like they own the place again’

We’ve only been told this through Jim’s very short and very biased fairy tale from the beginning of the comic. When we actually saw the flashback the dragons seemed to be largely isolated and in hiding because humans were slaughtering them. They were shunned from the Avalons because they were considered monstrous, and it’s impossible to say if it was justified or not because we also see that the Avalons were breeding grounds for racism among the entire community. Nemean Lions, several of whom we’ve seen in present-day being quite pleasant and responsible, were considered brutish and unworthy of medallions– Jocasta and Wosret were going against the wishes of the Council by making the local tribe their medallions.

When we see Ddraig Wen attack the Avalon, it’s in direct respond to her humbling herself to ask the sphinxes for help for her *and her children*, and being denied. Humans were going to hunt her and her children down and sphinxes could have stopped it and instead they didn’t, because sphinxes reserved the right to decide who lived and who died, and they had decided that dragons get to die. That a lot of their fellow mythical people got to die.

‘ego driven’

Bloodcarver has spent his entire life in Dis. The only knowledge he’s had of the outside world has been stories that the Father has told, of the world they were denied because humans hunted them to near extinction and when they begged for help from the sphinxes, they were left to die. He and all dragons know on a visceral level that there is something wrong with the world they are in. They have no hopes and no ambitions, for why even try to achieve anything when limbo will simply return all your feats to dust? They exist, but they do not live.

Now here comes a new sphinx, and Bloodcarver is ordered to go retrieve her. So he goes out into the mortal plane– presumably the first dragon to do so since the Great War. And he finds the world before him. He sees what the dragons have been denied. And instead of finding a way to forcibly reclaim it, he hides until he can capture the sphinx, and upon seeing her — so small, so young — he thinks that perhaps things have changed. That maybe the violence of the old days is no longer necessary, and they can talk.

So he lets her go, and returns to Dis, and is viciously punished for his failure. Yet he still he tries to reason. He hides, he sneaks, and when he kidnaps Michelle he does so only because he needs to stay hidden, and makes a private request for her to come because he truly believes that the hubris and cruelty of the old sphinxes — tales that the Father has probably exaggerated, but as we’ve seen from the flashbacks has not needed to exaggerate much — may have given way to empathy and compassion. He knows what it’s like to live now, and he wants that for himself, and for his kind, and for everybody.

The last argument he had with Michelle, she demanded to know why the dragons had to live on “MY plane”. Her plane. Claiming dominance over the entire mortal realm. Bloodcarver reminds her that it’s “OUR plane”, all of them. Him and the dragons and everybody. That they all deserve a chance to live *together*.

And maybe he’s not thinking of the ‘status quo’, but his people have been trapped on the literal edge of Hell for centuries. Temperaments have changed. The world has changed. People have forgotten that they used to slay and harvest dragons. And maybe, maybe, the last known sphinx will be willing to help them. He put his trust in her, having already been scarred by the Father for his previous failure, that she would listen and understand and perhaps be able to help. Bringing back dragons in human guise, teaching them how to live in the world… all the other mythical creatures get to live out there. Why shouldn’t the dragons have a chance?

And who is Michelle to claim ownership over the mortal plane? Who is she to tell them to just move to a different dimension, as though they wouldn’t have considered it if it were possible. Who was the sphinx council to decide, by approval or denial of medallions, who lived and who died? Maybe she’s not so unlike her ancestors after all.

But sure. Ego-driven. Sure.

– –

The whole point of this entire conflict is that the old stories about the dragons being terrible monsters and the sphinxes being benevolent demi-gods was a nice, easy children’s story– one side is good, the other side is bad. The fact of the matter is that life is grayer than that, both sides had their reasons and both sides were wrong. The conflict here, between the last dragons and the last sphinx, is superficially the same but also fundamentally different– both sides have a point, and both sides are *right*. The dragons were left to die and this last clutch deserves a chance to live; but the world has moved on, they know nothing of society, and bringing dragons into the modern era might prove catastrophic even if they remained in Avalons thanks to those old stories about how they’re all evil covetous lizards that killed the benevolent sphinxes. It won’t end well to promote such an abrupt change.

But just leaving them to rot in Dis? Leaving a whole sentient species who *can* be civilized and *can* be taught and given the chance *can* live peaceably among others? It’s actually the easy answer, isn’t it, because all Michelle has to do is stop listening, walk away, and do nothing. Just like her ancestors.

Even though he’s making a good point, the way Bloodcarver is framing his argument is making him sound very proud and ego driven. He might not actually be, but right now he sure sounds the part. But the point that I’m trying to make is that even if dragons don’t come and go about they rule the place, the other beings who live there will assume they are anyways just by their existence. They had to flee to Dis BECAUSE of the humans, why would he assume that that has changed? He can see the medallions, he can see their effects, he has no reason to think that the mythicals have integrated smoothly and nicely into human society.

Another point is that here’s someone who’s lived outside of Dis for her whole life, and is reluctant to let dragons into the mortal coil. Has Bloodcarver stopped to think about WHY that is? If she’s truly different from her ancestors, then she would have different reasons to be reluctant, like maybe it’s DANGEROUS.

Both Michelle and Bloody have very solid points; dragons are a suffering race that need to get out as soon as they can, but if they’re not careful they’ll go out of the frying pan and into the fire. The intentions of those who fought the war don’t matter, they’re long gone. This is here and now, in a different world, with different people (minus the Father). Things are different, but at the same time wholly the same. They can’t act rashly/on impulse, and with the way emotions are flaring, they’re in danger of that. Much like Ddrag Wen did all those years ago

both have a point :

(B)respecting blindly the status quo for its own sake when a population is suffering is not ethical

(M)breaking the status quo brutally with no plan for the consequences or way to ease the contact will end in tears

but that is probably what “Father” want to talk about

This is where we find out that SkinDeep is itself part of the Mythicals/Dragons’ plan to normalise non-human intelligences to the human populace, so they can finally emerge.

Along with Bugs’ Bunny, Peter Rabbit, How To Train Your Dragon, The Raccoons, Octonauts, and all the other talking animal characters in popular entertainment.

It’s all a conspiracy to make humans less hostile toward mythicals when they will emerge. Compare with other conspiracies this one is not so bad.

I for one welcome our new magical overlords.

Am I the only one that sees a little bit of Native American allegory here?

It’s not exact of course… but this kind of hits close to a lot of Native experience.

Carver: “Why must WE keep up that illusion?”

Bluntly, because humans are more than happy to shoot first and ask questions later, especially with it comes to large and dangerous-looking “monsters” like yourself. They were succeeding in genocide of dragonkind centuries ago, hence you living in Dis now. And their weapons have only gotten MORE deadly in the intervening years. Your scales are as tissue paper against even a low-caliber handgun, and your strength means nothing if you can’t close distance without getting turned into swiss-cheese by bullets. And this is before considering their numbers, they outnumber the entire mythic community by thousands to one. And Dragons number a fraction even smaller than that.

Like it or not, Carver, unless your entire species curbs that draconic pride and learns to live by the rules that have kept everyone else alive over the centuries, you’re not getting out of Dis, medallions or no. That pride will not only see you killed, but everyone else living in hiding as well. That’s the point Michelle’s failing to make.

I would be interested in knowing the belistic qualities of dragon scales. In my head cannon, most handguns wouldn’t be able to get through. Be more of an annoyance to them… but just how big of a gun would you need to have a dragon be injured, understanding most Anti-Aircraft wepons are of at least 50 caliber. I would imagine it would almost literally “death by one thousand cuts.” Otherwise I much agree with your hypothesis.
Although, now that I’ve written this, how did the middle ages man defeat dragons before they disappeared? Without more info, we could be grasping at straws on this for awhile.

It’s commonly assumed that Dragons are much larger and tougher than they actually (so to speak) are, because legends tend to exaggerate everything in them to make a more engaging rhetoric. You did end up hitting the nail on the head though; Dragons in this setting are not so tough that basic swords, spears, arrows and perhaps the odd war-machine are incapable of harming them, else the medieval extermination could not have happened to force them into the situation they’re currently in. A basic handgun is far more advanced and effective at it’s job than any of those weapons, and is among the least of modern weaponry. And lets not forget, some of those archaic weapons have developed over the years as well, a modern bow being far more accurate, lightweight, and powerful than medieval bows.

I always want to side with the dragons, in any media. But here, they straight up have no chance. They might manage to take down unarmed civilians, but the moment they become armed Dragons lose. The military wouldn’t even need to get involved, though they certainly would. Without some unknown factor like Magic, which they’ve not been shown to posses and almost certainly don’t with Dis leeching their life-force away, they have no chance. It’s just a matter of getting through that pride to make them understand that, which is no small feat in itself.

Bullets? It is to laugh. That is so last century.
Sonic weapons to liquefy innards or at least deafen.
Energy weapons to burn holes through targets.
Particle weapons to fry a target from the inside.
Killer drones with anti-tank missiles that blow holes through heavy armour.
Too many targets in one place with decent defences set up?
Then the literal “nuke em from orbit” philosophy will come into play by at least one trigger happy nuclear armed world power.
I very much doubt even red dragons would survive a nuclear fire.

It is 2005-ish most of that hasn’t been invented yet.

Even in 2020, most of that isn’t practical yet, not for lack of people trying. For example, the Pentagon gave up on particle weapons in September 2019. Not because it’s impossible, but because they don’t think they can weaponize it quickly enough.

Sonic weapons? Yeah, we have them already, used mostly as riot control devices, but they can’t liquefy internal organs. Prolonged exposure at a high enough volume (~184 dB, roughly equivalent to half a kilogram of dynamite exploding from 5 meters away) can cause lung and liver damage, as well as neurological encephalopathy and hearing damage. 202 dB is needed to kill a human from the shock wave alone.

But dragons? For all we know, you might need 250 dB or more to kill one. And for the record, if you need to make a noise that loud, you might as well just set off a nuke. The bomb dropped on Nagasaki generated 248 dB, and that was enough to destroy concrete walls 0.7 meters thick at a distance of 0.6 kilometers. It left a crater 24 meters deep and 193 meters in diameter.

I have some sad news for you, Annonamouse. Bullets will be so next century too. They’re cheap, can be used in a vacuum, and don’t require a huge battery pack.

(Annonamouse does have a valid point about the anti-tank missiles and the nukes, though. We’ve obviously had those for quite a while.)

I’m on Bloodcarver’s side here. The human wank is tedious in fiction. Why should the secret be kept? This is a question for the author. Magicals are just as intelligent as humans. Why have they not surpassed humanity in anything despite having magic? The fact is, a bunch of guys with swords should never have been allowed to expand their minor kingdoms when confronted with scry and die, invisible assassins and whatever other magical abilities that have been around for thousands of years. The fact that the magic never changes or improves is just grade A bs.

In case you’ve forgotten, a few humans have magic too, like Tim. “Why have they not surpassed humanity in anything”? Simple answer: numbers.

Humans in the pre-modern period (around the 1300s) had 4.5 to 7 children per woman. In 2019, that number is about 2.5 children per woman, and dropping. But humans rarely live more than a century, and in the 1300s life expectancy was 31 years (though if you survived that long, you stood a good chance of making it to old age.)

Dragons, on the other hand, live for a very long time, possibly thousands of years. Long-lived species have a slower birth rate, or they’d quickly outstrip their resources.

Not only were humans with swords able to kill dragons, but the war between the dragons and the sphinxes reduced their numbers to one (Father) and a few clutches of eggs. So, how well do you think dragons would fare against modern jet fighters with anti-tank missiles?

I could not agree more. I have absolutely no idea why our civilization has gotten it into their heads that the capacity to innovate and never giving up in the face of adversity is something that is exclusive to humanity as a species. Even in the realm of science fiction, humans are often depicted as triumphing over species which are centuries ahead of any technology we could produce, simply because we refused to lie down and die. It is utterly ridiculous; humans in fantasy are long overdue for a slice of humble pie!

Well, that and the “our world plus magic stuff” genre doesn’t work if everyone knows about the magic stuff, because it’s not our world anymore. You totally could do a story where the humans and magic have co-existed for a while, but you are talking about a very different genre there,

I mean, if there’s secret magic stuff it’s not exactly our world, but it can be close if it’s sufficiently secret.

I think mythicals are being very egotistical to not reveal their existence..

If humans in this fictional world are as speciesist and arrogant as us and it’s probably the case, then
This big reveal could be very useful to teach them that other life forms have the right to exist without serving them..

I think these characters are talking to each other when it would do them both a lot more good to be listening to each other.

Bloodcarver needs to listen and really understand how overwhelming the human presence and force is and how suicidal it would be to confront us. Sure, resentment against humans is easy when what you know of them is from stories where they were killing your forebears. It’s too much to hope that he’d get over that resentment. But he really has to hear, and understand, at least what a strategic disaster it would be to act on it. Seriously, if he intends to confront Humans without understanding this, and his people are not already hidden, then they’re all going to die along with him and the story of that slaughter will finally be complete, with no dragons left alive to hear it.

Meesh understands that this is a refugee population that needs to repatriate, but which as matters stand has absolutely no chance to even exist on Earth without suicidally confronting the humans. She needs to hear and understand that this is a desperate plea from the very last of a refugee population.

No eggs laid in Dis would have a trace of life, so there is absolutely NO future for them here – they are alive and getting older, and will eventually die of old age without progeny here, leading to final extinction. Meesh needs to understand how desperate their situation is – they’re at the threshold of extinction, and if they don’t get out there will be no next generation. She also needs to hear and understand what Bloodcarver hasn’t yet said in so many words – that that suicidal confrontation with humans need not happen – keeping the avalons as well as the dragons safe – if medallions, or something like them, are made for dragons.


Dragons. About 800 years have passed since the war? One generation of dragons produced since the war. ‘The Father’ was an adult during the war and is still alive 800 years later? It seems like Dragons probably live a long time.

In a long war that’s not an advantage. Dragons lose any kind of remotely fair fight that goes on long enough, because their losses are amplified when they replenish their numbers too slowly.

What this means is that even if Humans and Dragons start with equal numbers (they really, really REALLY dont!) and Dragons manage a ten-to-one casualty ratio (which is IMO impossible for anything except a surprise attack on a civilian population unaware of the threat) …. if the fight goes on long enough for replacement rate to affect it, Dragons STILL LOSE.

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