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2020 Reader Question 23

2020 Reader Question 23 published on 25 Comments on 2020 Reader Question 23

Sam and Dermot haven’t been in the comic recently but they’re a good example for this question! The only way the child of two mythical creatures could ever be “human” is if they were born human and then got a faulty medallion that locked in their human-disguise spell, rather than causing a proper Turning. That’s what Sam says happened to him, but also his mom is a human soooooooo


Staying on the subject of genetics:

If a Crossbreed and a non-Crossbreed had kids, would there be the chance that the kids pop out as whatever makes up the Crossbreed itself, or would they also be Crossbreeds.
i.E. like if Ike married Rhonda, could their kids end up Bohemian Lion, Manticore and Buggane?

In this particular case, does the “my medallion is broken, so i am stuck in the illusionary human form” kind of fall flat ?

as removing a medallion put a (except unturned) mythological creature in their natural state ?

1) If a liminal is born in human form they *stay* in human form until they get a medallion. Lorne, for instance, was born in human form despite (as far as we know) being pure Nemean Lion. Anthony was also born in human form thanks to the spell put on his mother.

2) A medallion bonds to one user for life if they are of the correct species. If a medallion gets broken part of its power does too (Greg has satyr ears and Myra has one eye stuck) and that also is irreversible so far as we know (Michelle, if she has medallion-making knowledge, might be able to fix medallions at some future point or even make new ones).

3) Taking a medallion away in the case of someone Turned reverts them to their natural full form. However, an unTurned person remains unTurned until they receive a medallion. Therefore a flawed medallion could, theoretically, bind to a person for life but instead of Turning them locks them into their human form (something like the reverse of a broken medallion). Taking it away wouldn’t help because they never Turned and thus would be stuck in human form no matter what.

If Kory reads this or my other answer, I hope she will correct me on any points I’ve gotten wrong.

that’s pretty much it!

I though only the “fake being human” part could be damaged ? the other being simply the fact that medallion being stronger and more stable than any magic.

as shown by both anthony (turning despite the medallion not being the right one for him) and michelle (turning despite not putting the medallion on, through simple proximity), and the first bugbear we saw, who inherited a broken medallion, yet turned fully

In Anthony’s case, could it just be a matter of timing for when his inherited spell broke and general proximity to magic within the Avalon as vs that specific medallion?

The medallion didn’t bind to Anthony, since it was a Nokk medallion, and he’s a harpy. :)
So yes, it was a matter of time in a very literal sense – encountering sufficiently strong/stable magic at any point would have triggered his transformation.

What I’m curious about is if Anthony’s transformation qualifies as a Turning.

This answer doesn’t cover human grandparents. Or [i]any[/i] “skipped a generation” recessive situation.

It sort of does, though. Basically if your ancestors are not human you aren’t either and never will be–the genes for humanity simply aren’t there. You can be born in human form if your parents were in human form at the time, but it’s basically a disguise like Anthony had and will fall apart with medallion magic.

If one of your ancestors *is* human there’s a *chance* that you could end up being one too, but it’s not very likely. I imagine it’s something like being a squib in Harry Potter. Sam, however, is most likely just a human and will never Turn, no matter how much he may want to.

Now, in theory, a faulty medallion could lock you into a human form if you were born in a human form instead of Turn you. You still won’t be human in that case, but you won’t be able to change into your natural form either.

This does raise the question, what would happen to the medallion’s stable magic if it was melted or bent/broken/corroded beyond repair?

I imagine the Minters would have included LOTS of goddamned shielding to make the medallions as indestructible as they could. Obviously that may have failed a bit since Greg managed to crack his, but in the old days they MUST have warded them as heavily as possible in case of theft. You’d rather be stuck as human and alive than killed when you turn back in the middle of the bar while trying to keep your cover after someone boosted your medallion and ran off, deciding to melt it down to make it harder to trace.

Then again, indestructible medallion may get you killed for Unnatural Powers.

Yeah, but I also wonder about what happens to the magic itself. Does it still stay attached to that piece of the medallion or does it start to deteriorate and become unstable or just fizzle out?

Like we know the main part of Greg’s medallion can still mostly turn him human, but what about the missing bit? Would it count as a separate piece and could be given to another satyr to only turn their ears human or just not have enough magic in it to work anymore?

Basically I’m just wondering just how far you’d have to push the sphinx magic for the medallion to actually become broken/unstable

What if Sam tried another medallion, or isn’t that possible once you have one?

I’m not sure if he tried, but it’s generally accepted that he’s bound to the “faulty” medallion. Sort of like Greg got bound to his, he dropped it, and now the spell can’t fix his ears. I’m guessing that just touching his grandfather’s medallion before he was ready to give it up wouldn’t have done anything. I’m thinking anti-theft magic so that they couldn’t be fought over until there were enough for everyone in a “type”

I also imagine that Greg might insist that the medallion be destroyed on his death so another Satyr doesn’t get stuck in the same situation.

If the medallion actually bonded with Sam then it’s just not possible for any other medallion to work. An easy means to test this would be for Sam to give his medallion to another unTurned reverse griffin (or any unTurned griffin, I suppose) and see if it Turns them. If it doesn’t then it really is bonded to him and really is faulty. If it *does* then it will bond with that other griffin and he’ll have to face that he’s likely just human.

Of course, it’s very *unlikely* he’d do that since he’s sure it’s properly bonded and just malfunctioning. And even were it to Turn someone else he might still stay in denial that he’s a human and just say it proves the thing was faulty since it never bonded with him to start with.

How does someone know if a medallion has bonded with them? We know that it usually shows by the apparent ‘transformation’, but Sam seems *very* sure his bonded and is just not working properly. Has he done some kind of test to be sure or is he just assuming without actual proof?

Also, if a medallion could be faulty and lock someone in human form, could the reverse happen and a medallion lock someone in full form? (Possibly due to it being just functional enough to bond and Turn but not functional enough to allow midforms or similar tricks.)

Well, we’ve seen it happen three times with Michelle, John, and Colin. They touch the medallion and they can start shifting. If they were born in human disguise, like John and Michelle, it Turns them into their true forms.

That’s why I’m asking. Sam *should* have changed like Michelle, John, and Colin did. He didn’t (which is why everyone but him thinks he’s human like his mother), but *he* seems convinced that it’s both bonded with him *and* not working properly, so I’m hoping Kory will clarify if there’s another way someone knows they’ve bonded with a medallion or not.

Greg said early on that once you are bound to a Medallion you can’t get a new one, and his is faulty (it always leaves his goat ears intact). I’m assuming if his medallion was cracked and or smashed up completely he would be permanently stuck as a Satyr as it seems the more damaged it is the less control you have over your human transformation.

Cheers for answering the question!

I was fairly certain you chose the scientifically correct path here, though I had been wondering if there was some sort of “wild magic” in your world, that would make anomalies – “plain humans” – happen. :3

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