Source material: Kill Six Billion Demons, chapter 1-2
Blogged: April 6, 2019
Okay, so here’s the deal:
During the migration, I decided to tinker a little with the (until then rather empty) reward tiers on my Patreon. This included adding a tier at $30 per chapter or month that allows a single patron to request something for me to liveblog once a month.
I hadn’t expected that tier to get taken before I finally got around to actually announcing the changes, but here we are! A kind patron (who would prefer to stay anonymous) has… let’s say sponsored me, to liveblog a bit of the comic Kill Six Billion Demons!
(I’d like to note for the record that all of the new tiers are very much subject to change. These changes are experimental and I’ll have to see how things go with them and perhaps adjust some things as I go along. This includes pricing.)
What do I know going in?
Honestly? I’m even more blind on this than I was on Worm. I know it’s a webcomic that probably features demons, and that’s pretty much it.
I’ve seen talk about the comic around on Discord and in asks directed at Minda, asking him to consider liveblogging it, but I really don’t remember any details I may have picked up about it. Maybe some of it is stuck far back in my brain, and won’t come out until I start reading, but consciously… I’m about as blind as I can be.
I think maybe the protagonist is a girl named something like Agatha, but I might be mixing it up with an entirely different comic or two. Also I feel like magic circles might be involved, but again, maybe I’m thinking of Ava’s Demon.
So in short, all I know is there are people whose tastes I trust who like this thing (even if I don’t remember which people), and, well… that was good enough for me to start reading Worm, and look how well that turned out. So I’m excited to see what this comic has in store for me!
So without further ado, let’s jump in and find out why the hell there are so many demons to kill!
This is a pretty sweet title page. I take it these are some examples of the demon designs we’re in for, and they look pretty awesome and distinctive so far! One thing I find interesting is that they’re posed around the girl – who I presume is our protagonist – in a way that kind of looks like they’re friendly, but then you have the girl’s expression… she is very clearly not comfortable with this.
Perhaps the title isn’t so literally what she’ll end up having to do, and we’re in for a friendlier lot of demons than you’d think from the title?
But whether that’s the case or not, this title page suggests that this is all new to the protagonist and she’s very uncomfortable with this new life she’s ended up in.
Hmm. A lot of these demons appear to have symbols on them, especially in the forehead. I suspect those might be important.
(I’d call them magical runes, but the word “runes” gets misused enough. Those aren’t runes, and they’d never be runes. You can tell by all the curves – runes were designed to be chiseled into stone, so they have almost exclusively straight lines.)
I wonder if some of these demons are going to be important characters. The baby-faced one with the cane…
…strikes me as a wise elder, a mentor figure.
These two strike me as comic relief.
Strict bureaucrat / queen.
High-ranking soldier type, possibly the right hand to the bureaucrat.
Friendly goofball, but not quite as much comic relief as those other guys.
Possibly another wise old lady type, friend of the mentor?
A bit of a sourpuss.
Violent J. Actually not that violent.
The big dude in the back may be a villain (if they aren’t all villains), and reminds me a bit of Crawler, but he looks like he might be friendlier than he, well, looks. At the very least, he seems in tune with nature, what with the flowers on his back and the birds, and he’s kind of elephant-like, so maybe he’s big, scary and really serious, but actually a calm and thoughtful guy underneath?
Alright, let’s get into the story itself!
(I suppose it only makes sense to use these lines to separate comic pages for this medium.)
Well, this is quite the panel to open on.
I’m… not immediately sold on the really detailed art style, but it strikes me as very good for scared expressions. Judging by the title page, that may be something we’ll see a lot of going forward, at least to begin with.
But what is the protag so scared of here?
Protag: Um… Wow, sorry, I’m just like, really nervous.
Boyfriend: Yeah, I know.
Boyfriend: Just relax, babe, it’ll be fine.
Ahh, okay. Though who knows, maybe the demons are already influencing her brain, making her more nervous than she’d otherwise be?
Protag: I just, like… Should I take off your pants?
Protag: I had like only one beer, is that enough?
Boyfriend: Babe! Relax.
Protag: It’s just–
I’m willing to give you the benefit of the doubt, dude, but at least let her finish her sentences.
I suppose he’s asking her to do what the poster behind her probably says. Keep calm and carry on.
Boyfriend: Stop worrying so much about how you look. I mean–
Boyfriend: –I mean, if you want to stop we can!
Protag: Ok, let’s start again.
Protag: I’ll try not to–
Okay, screw benefit of doubt, I don’t like this guy.
He very much seems to be taking advantage of her, and even though he says he’ll respect consent, there very much feels like there’s a touch of mockery there, like he’s manipulating her with her desire to not be a virgin anymore, and he shows no sign of actually caring how she feels beyond whether it’ll get him some action or not. Oh, and she’s been drinking, even if she hasn’t had much, that’s its own bag of worms.
And then that last panel? Shutting her up with a kiss is not cool.
(For the record, while I’ve been calling him Boyfriend in the transcripts for lack of a name, I’m not so sure that’s accurate.)
Protag: W-wow, ok hi there! So what now?
Boyfriend: You’re always so tense! Come on! Let’s go!
Boyfriend: Now relax.
Protag: Ah, ok then.
Protag: Ooh– careful with the —
That… does not sound pleasant, depending on what exactly just snapped… Was it the bra strap?
Also I think we just found another type of expression this art style is really good for. 😛
While the Boyfriend who may or may not be a boyfriend does creep me out a bit, at least I can’t call this outright rape. He does have verbal consent. It’s just the method by which he seems to be getting it, and the low level of concern for the protag’s actual emotions, and the insistence that they get on with it in spite of those, and the way he seems downright condescending towards her, and…
Protag: –ah! Careful baby, that hurt!
Boyfriend: S-sorry, I’m just —
Boyfriend: Kinda distracted.
We’re seeing more of this than I actually expected. (Not a complaint, just an observation.)
This is the closest Boyfriend has seemed to actually caring about her so far. Suddenly it seems like he might actually be rather nervous himself.
Incidentally, he’s been rolling his eyes enough in previous panels that I’ve started questioning whether or not demons are involved already. Maybe this guy is possessed by an incubus or something. But overall it doesn’t seem like it. The scene is just awkward for both of them for normal reasons.
Boyfriend: You’re pretty hot when you’re freaking out.
Protag: Oh man.
Yeeeah fuck off, dude.
Boyfriend: Come on, help me with your shirt.
Boyfriend: Babe? Are you ok?
Does anything about her behavior over the last few pages suggest to you that she’s ok with what’s going on here? Apart from her words?
She seems to be lost in horrifying memories or fantasies.
Boyfriend: Yeah, now you’re getting into it!
Or that, that works too.
So did Soldier just appear out of nowhere or did she just unlock the ability to see him? If Boyfriend turned around, would he see Soldier or just thin air?
Another question: Why is Soldier here? Is he seeking her out? As friend or foe? Or perhaps he’s even the unlikely incubus I was hypothesizing about earlier and hasn’t realized she can suddenly see him?
This is a cool shot.
And it seems like Boyfriend is realizing what’s going on.
Soldier/King?: [demonic language]
Boyfriend: Dude, what the hell?
…interesting. Is he claiming himself to be a demonic king of some variety – would fit with both his crown-like head thingy and with his placement next to a potential queen on the title page – or suggesting that he needs to take whatever magical item that is to the King?
It looks kind of like a key without notches, but the way he’s holding it, it might be more of a magical compass or detector.
Wolves or wolf-like beings? Interesting. The way these seem to be on the move suggests to me that Soldier is being hunted, perhaps by the King if they’re different characters, and may have to leave the magic item with the Protag in order to keep it safe.
Soldier: [demonic language]
Guys, I think your bedroom might’ve been compromised.
There may be a slight demon issue here.
Also a slight beheading issue for Soldier. I would’ve expected him to actually bestow the item to Protag before such a thing happened, but it seems she’ll have to pick it up from his corpse if this goes the way I’m thinking.
That is, if beheading actually kills demons. Not sure why what seems to be other demons would behead him if it didn’t, though.
Worth noting: The energy crown has disappeared.
…what is it with things I liveblog and the sudden appearance of hellhounds during the setup?
…hm. Are the riders actually demons? They look rather uniform, maybe even robotic, and humanoid. Maybe we’re dealing with demon hunters.
I still feel like the demons may actually be the good guys in this comic, making the demon hunters in the wrong, which means we could have an interesting story if our protag ends up recruited by the demon hunters and then eventually starts realizing the demons aren’t what they seem.
Those are not the actions of good guys, unless they think he’s a demon in disguise. And even then they should’ve stopped to explain things to Protag.
I like the design of the hellhounds, by the way. They seem to mix the builds of various animals – for instance, there’s one that looks to be a bear with a human’s arms and legs (whether it has wolf paws or hands is unclear from the angle we see it), at least one with the build and tail of an ox but the paws of a wolf, and so on. And then there’s the three-eyed skull faces, which are neat and help to cement their connection to demons like Soldier.
Hah! Called it, kinda.
So is this temporary? Is he going to slump over any time now, after giving her the artifact?
That doesn’t look like giving it to her. Maybe he’s using it, perhaps to heal his head (it does look close to an ankh) or to do something to Protag?
Well, for a certain definition of “giving it to her”, I was right…
I wonder if the other part of the idea was correct. Is he sticking it in her head for safekeeping, and it’s going to have side effects that enable her to fight but also cause demons and/or demon hunters to want her skull opened?
“I shouldn’t have had that one beer.”
So what is this purplish part of her? Her soul? And don’t think I don’t notice that the hole resembles a third eye. Did Soldier just connect her to demons, in a sense?
Mask: [demonic language]
Kissymouth: [demonic language]
Kissymouth: [demonic language]
Just your average day at the demon market.
Until suddenly a newcomer appears.
Welcome to the world of demons! Population: Around six billion, maybe?
Protag: AH!… AAAH!
Market demons: [demonic language]
I really can’t blame her for being a bit overwhelmed.
Fruit salesman: [demonic language]
Protag: OH FUCK!
And this is probably leading her right down to the shady district.
Mama Gandhi: I have to admit, you’ve got balls for someone who doesn’t have any.
Mama Gandhi: First, you make baseless accusations about my business.
Mama Gandhi: …when as everyone knows, I am a well-respected member of the Golden Pearl Pleasure Guild.
Mama Gandhi: Next–
Okay, what’s going on over here?
This transition happened so quickly I had to make sure I hadn’t skipped a page, but it looks like we’re good. Which I think mean Protag is about to fall down here and make a mess.
Curvehorns: That is incorrect. You are a gangster, Preem Vash. This is well known.
Curvehorns: You have smuggled 5 krim of of black glass through your pleasure house.
Curvehorns: This is known by me.
Preem Vash: I–
Curvehorns: You also enslave women. This is not illegal but it is displeasurable to me.
Preem Vash: Now, now, listen–
Curvehorns’ proportions make me think of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure.
She appears to be law enforcement of some variety, if not a fellow gangster seeking trade, and has a rather interesting way of speaking. She seems to like to use passive voice when something involves herself.
Preem Vash is a suitably Indian name for a suitably Indian-looking demon.
Preem Vash: Where were we? Ah–
Preem Vash: –next, you bust up my favorite guard.
Curvehorns: He was attempting to kill me. It was highly unwise.
Preem Vash: His brother will be furious.
Curvehorns: You ordered him to kill me.
Preem Vash: An old man gets nervous!
Preem Vash: Anyway, will you take bribes?
Curvehorns: I do not cut deals with gangsters, Preem Vash.
Preem Vash: Ah well, here we are. I wonder what comes next?
Also apparently Preem Vash is a guy and Curvehorns is not a fellow gangster.
As for what comes next, I have a suspicion.
Preem Vash: Tell you what, you’re a reasonable woman. Come work for me for a half turn.
Preem Vash: I have clients that will pay top rates for a handsome girl like you.
Curvehorns: I am not female, Preem Vash.
Preem Vash: Come on, we’ve all heard rumors.
Preem Vash: I had to try!
Alright, so Curvehorns allegedly doesn’t have balls and has a feminine appearance, but does not consider themself feminine. Trans, agender, nonbinary, and/or sexes and genders working differently for demons, who knows, but what I’m getting from this is that no genders should be assumed from appearance in this comic and I’m best of using they/them for now.
Preem Vash: Shame, really…
Ah, here she(…? probably, but I did just say assume no genders) comes dropping in to fuck things up. And it seems it’s mainly for Preem Vash she’s fucking things up, fortunately.
Curvehorns: Pree Ashma.
Curvehorns: Yis-Asram, the Blooded One.
Curvehorns: Yis-Prama, Hansa and Prat Pavam, who temper my heart.
Curvehorns: YISUN Atru Vyam.
Curvehorns: Forgive me for this violence I am about to inflict.
I like Curvehorns, or whatever their name is. This random human comes in and saves them by accident and they don’t even take a moment to process what’s happening before they get ready to fight… by praying. Apparently demons have gods. Or greater demons who function like gods.
Curvehorns: EMPTY PALM VANQUISHES THE WICKED!
I have to admit, I’ve never been great at interpreting fight sequences in comics, but this is pretty awesome.
Maybe I should call them Empty Palm rather than Curvehorns. I named them Curvehorns because the horns on the helmet was the only thing visible in the first panel they had dialogue in, but between the pendant and fighting style/magic, Empty Palm seems more… evocative? descriptive?
Of course, whichever one I use is just a placeholder until someone mentions their actual name.
Empty Palm: HUFF
Empty Palm: …well, stranger.
Empty Palm: Although I will have to find whatever hole that motherless glass-tongue has hidden himself in, you have the thanks of a Concordant Knight.
Empty Palm: I owe you at the very least a few non-broken limbs, and do not speak in possibilities.
Empty Palm: Stranger?
I’m not sure the protag can understand you, even when not knocked out by falling into a brawl like this from a height.
Also, “motherless glass-tongue” is a nice insult.
Empty Palm: Hansa and Prim!
Empty Palm: Let me–
Empty Palm: –by the tower and the secret name of God —
Empty Palm: MAGUS GATE?
And we have a name for the magic that brought her here, it seems!
The “secret name of God” thing seems to suggest that Hansa, Prim, etc. aren’t gods, per se. Unless they’re at the same level as the one with a secret name who goes by God.
And that was apparently chapter 1! Chapter 2 opens on this nice depiction of how much harder people who use makeup have it in the morning. A bit less to speculate on here than for the chapter 1 title page. 😛
Protag: Ok, ok…
Yeah, sorry, that wasn’t a vivid beer nightmare.
She appears to have acquired a new pendant. Looks like a bird god of some kind.
Well, that’s nice.
Let’s hope Empty Palm knows what humans eat and drink (and that Protag is a human), or that demon food and drink isn’t so different.
Empty Palm: The drink is for guests and friends.
Empty Palm: Do not mistake yourself for either. Yet.
Protag: …you …speak English?
Empty Palm: I know not of this tongue, you had no knowledge of ascended speech. How?
Protag: –…I… uh–
Protag: –hello to you too?
Empty Palm: Cease.
Empty Palm: Do not seek to distract me with trivialities.
Okay, seems there’s very little knowledge of Earth and humans among demons.
Also I just realized Empty Palm looks a lot like the potential queen figure from the chapter 1 title page, except their head is way too short at the top. Does the helmet reshape it?
Perhaps they’re just related.
Empty Palm: Do not act the fool and expect me to believe you, thief.
Empty Palm: Tell me now – what gate do you hail from? What lord do you worship?
Protag: Were you just… watching me?
Empty Palm: Answer.
Protag: Excuse me, lady, but–
Ahh, great, they think the protag has stolen the artifact stuck in her head. Perhaps Soldier had, and that’s why they got hunted down.
These “gates” are likely going to be important worldbuilding.
It’s possible that “Magus Gate” was just another in the string of things Empty Palm was swearing by, rather than a name for the artifact.
Empty Palm: Lady?!
Empty Palm: I warn you not to trifle with petty insults. My blood is hot as of late.
Empty Palm: I am an ardent student of the 47 empty palms and know the 4th syllable of royalty.
Empty Palm: I know my power is doubtlessly meagre to yours.
Gender dynamics in the demon world seem to be kinda fucked. Enslaving women is not illegal (though Empty Palm doesn’t like it, and it hasn’t been stated whether enslaving men is), and now Empty Palm takes downright offense to the word “lady”. Do they believe Protag should be able to tell they’re not female, or is that actually an insult even to female demons?
Empty Palm: Even so, do not think you can best me so easily.
Empty Palm: Though you act like a fool and you have no devil’s kisses, I know you are doubtlessly vatra.
Empty Palm: I will detain you to the best of my ability until I discern your purpose.
Empty Palm: So I ask you again–
Vatra. Particular kind of demon, or just a term for a criminal?
Also I just realized the circles on Empty Palm’s body are like the ones on the knights that killed(?) Soldier and took Boyfriend.
Empty Palm: –What are you doing?!
Is she trying to throw that at Empty Palm to buy herself time to escape, or just really fucking thirsty? 😛
Empty Palm: I have slain many of your ilk, sorcerer!
Protag: I’m not a–
Empty Palm: Even so, you must possess a powerful art to have stolen a Magus Gate.
Empty Palm: Now heed–
Protag: You –… heed!
Okay, so the artifact is the Magus Gate, good to have that cleared up.
Is it called as such because it lets you magically bypass the actual gates?
Protag: Last night, my room exploded and my boyfriend was kidnapped by — I have no idea?
Protag: My head feels like it’s got something jammed in it…
Protag: …which it actually does.
Protag: I’m exhausted, my face is on fire, and I’m pretty sure you’ve seen me naked–
Protag: –you, a person made of stone who is lecturing me in a different language which somehow I understand.
This outburst is very justified.
Protag: What the fuck is going on?!
Protag: Am I dead?
Empty Palm: Perhaps we’ll just take the coffee.
Yeeah, might want to calm down and listen to Protag’s story.
This place looks pretty awesome. Are these all temples to the various demon gods?
Gotta say, I like the Indian aesthetic what we’ve seen of the demon world so far has had going for it.
Also, I finally realized who the art style of this comic, especially on the faces, reminds me of: Pericardium, the Worm meme artist.
Protag: This can’t be real.
Empty Palm: A narrow concept.
Empty Palm: This is THRONE, domain of kings.
Is Throne the name of the whole world or just this place full of temple-looking structures?
Domain of kings… is “kings” what the demons call themselves? That would explain Soldier saying “king” – he might’ve been trying to tell them what he was.
Empty Palm: It is the tower within the wheel. The seat of God, now departed.
Empty Palm: Throne is the red city at center of all universes.
Protag: The center…
Protag: of all universes?
A cosmology involving an absent god and a wheel… *glances over at the Wheel of Time audiobooks he’s been listening to* …I can get behind this.
So how literal is this description?
Empty Palm: Yes.
Empty Palm: Since you are ignorant, your world’s gate must be closed. Unconquered.
Protag: Uh… yes?
Empty Palm: Someone gave you that key.
Okay, things are beginning to make a little sense.
Throne is connected via Gates to the various universes, from which different varieties of sentient beings – many of which appear demonic to humans – have immigrated, but it’s not connected to Earth yet. In some way, possibly using the Magus Gate, Soldier still managed to get there, though.
This setup, of course, sounds fantastic for facilitating crossover fanfic.
Empty Palm: Then they were trying to hide it.
Empty Palm: The star in your brow is an artifact of terrible power.
Protag: I-I don’t know anything about–
Empty Palm: I know. Regardless, I am a peacekeeper and obligated by the old law to apprehend you.
Empty Palm: My kin will most likely execute you, and I cannot trust them with that key.
Empty Palm: There is an alternative–
Protag: Yeah, let’s go with that one.
Empty Palm: I haven’t–
Protag: No really.
- Soldier was trying to keep the Magus Gate safe, check.
- Artifact of terrible power, check.
- Empty Palm is the same species as the knights hunting Soldier, check.
- Those knights are not good guys as far as the Protag is concerned, check.
Empty Palm: There’s a devil I …unfortunately know.
Empty Palm: She may be able to remove the artifact. Then, only then, I will return you to your home world.
Protag: So, what’s the catch.
Empty Palm: Drink this.
Empty Palm: She is… working… for one of the most powerful slaver guilds in the Outer Rim.
Protag: Slaver guilds? Sure.
Empty Palm: I don’t think you–
Protag: You are really bad at catching sarcasm, aren’t you?
Empty Palm: Flesh sellers are no joking matter.
Alright, we’ve got our first quest objective: Find a devil (is there a difference between a devil and a demon in this world?) who is either a slave or a slaver (both options present difficulties), who might (read: won’t easily) be able to remove the Magus Gate.
The flesh sellers are Bonesaw and Genoscythe’s favorite demons.
Protag: Listen, I don’t even know… what the hell you even are.
Protag: I’m supposed to just… follow you into this?
82 White Chain Born in Emptiness Returns to Subdue Evil: [demonic language]
Protag: [demonic language, same phrase]
82 White Chain Born in Emptiness Returns to Subdue Evil: My name. It means ’82 White Chain Born in Emptiness Returns to Subdue Evil’. I am an angel.
And here I though learning your name was going to make things easier for me. Are you going to get a nickname? I hope so.
Pastwell was complaining over nothing when it took him a little while to get to Taylor’s name in Gestation 1.1. Meanwhile I’m almost done with chapter two of this comic and we’ve learned two names and neither one is the protagonist’s.
Though that might be coming on this page or the next.
And of course the law-enforcing kind that fight demons call themselves angels.
Protag: An angel?
82 White Chain Blingaling: And trust me or not, I have already decided our path.
82 Jump Street: Swallow quickly, the taste will not remain.
So, what did you spike her drink with?
Honestly, protag, accepting the drink that 82 over here gave you while they said “Drink this,” in response to “What’s the catch”… not your brightest move.
Protag: What did you just feed me?
82 Bottles of Beer on the Wall: Blue devil liquor.
Protag: –What does that even mean?
82nd Stop on the Route: Ah, good, the bus is here.
82 Piles of Shit Sherlock Doesn’t Have: It is liquor from a blue devil. To answer your question.
I love the way the text is falling apart to represent the effects of the blue devil liquor.
So does that mean you can milk devils for it, or…?
Protag: This is insane.
82 Sanity Points: I agree. But necessary.
Protag: How can I be sure this isn’t all a dream, huh?
82 Hundred Degrees Celsius: No true son or daughter of the flame can.
The flame… does that refer to the absent god?
Protag: Well, what if I don’t want to come!
82 Stairs Return to Subdue the Protagonist: Stay if you wish.
Protag: Well, I will then! I’ll just sit right here until I wake —
Protag: OK, OK, OK, OK, OK!
Ahaha! 82 isn’t budging from any of your skeptical sass… and you should probably wear a seatbelt on this bus.
82 Problems but a Protag Ain’t One: Calm yourself, I have business to attend to here.
82 Desiliters of Spiked Drinks: I’ve been feeding you a little liquor for three turns, so please do not mind the horns, they will fall off in time.
82 Moments: I will take but a moment.
Ahh, is the purpose of the liquor to provide a disguise?
Also, turns appear to be roughly analogous to hours, rather than the more intuitive interpretation of days.
Also also, I’m sure Protag can find her way into trouble in that moment anyway.
Numbuh 1: Fodder thee, tha mouldersome skirt dragger!
Numbuh 1: Clean we are! Bother us not, tha blunderoaf! Untouchable law-abiding citizenly person we!
Numbuh 1: GA!
82 Hand Wrestling Championship Medals: No, you are a criminal.
I love the way this one talks.
82 Bus Tickets: You should ride a different bus, Number 1.
Number 1: Leave it be, tha busybody!
Wait, I got their name right? Or is 82 just nicknaming them on the same basis I was?
82 Ads on Craigslist: I am seeking Ciocie Cioelle
Number 1: Doesn’t want to see thee she! Never tell you us!
Ciocie Cioelle… I’m guessing the “Ci”s in there are pronounced like “ch”?
I got the sense that 82’s business here, no pun intended, had nothing directly to do with their current quest to find the slave or slaver for Protag, so I’m guessing Ciocie isn’t that person.
82 Routine Searches: Citizen, I must inconvenience you with a routine search.
Number 1: Gah!
Number 1: Clean! Clean we are! Unhand us!
Number 1: Legal!
Number 1: Legal drugs! Untouchable we!
82 Kinds of Drugs: Legal, yes, but improperly stored.
Number 1: Tha rotten–
82 Paragraphs of Penal Code: White sand must be carried in trueglass only. The penalty is level 5 banishment.
Number 1: Tha–
Of all the things to pick as the recurring contraband of this world, why sand and glass? And what makes trueglass suitable for containing silicone-based drugs rather than being contraband itself?
I suppose it’s not much weirder than frogs being contraband in Sburb.
82 Judges: By the old law, I invoke banishment on you, Number 1, blue devil, to be executed at my discretion.
82 Questions: Now where is Ms. Cioelle?
Number 1: Wouldn’t banish us here! Cartel protects we! Tha simpering blusterbody!
Protag: Ok… open your eyes in 3 and wake up.
Number 1: Hell 71! She’s in Hell 71!
Ahaha, poor Protag.
I suppose hearing something that might indicate you’ll be heading to “Hell 71” can be unsettling. Unless she just spotted something else?
82 Thank You Cards: Thankyou for your cooperation, citizen.
Traffic’s heavy ’round here, eh?
Number 1: Free to go we?
82 Businesses: I will still banish you when I have dealt with other business.
Number 1: Busy tha? What business of thine?
82 Instances of Stranger Danger: A stranger. With a stranger story to tell, perhaps.
Ali Baba and the 82 Thieves: A thief, I thought.
Number 1: Thief, she?
Number 1: Thief not, methinks.
82 Agreements: I must regrettably agree.
Protag: I just wanted to get laid.
Protag: Was that so hard?
Not 82 at All: No, not at all.
82 Pest Controllers: Skitter away, pest.
I like how it kind of looks like 82 is responding to the Protag’s musings, instead of to Number 1, with that “No, not at all.”
Also, Skitter, eyyy
82 Recaps: So, you are not vatra or a devil. You have little knowledge of how you arrived here.
82 Abilities: You cannot shapeshift, or bend space-time.
Protag: Congratulations, you figured me out.
82 Homes: Where is home?
Protag: Uh… Earth, I guess?
82 Earths: There are many Earths.
Protag: What do you mean, many Earths?
Wizard82: At first I thought you a vatra – a sorcerer.
82 Times Worse: As I suspected, it’s much worse.
82 Criminals: You are not a criminal, but you are deeply ignorant of the power lodged in your skull.
82 Dangers: That is incredibly dangerous.
A Little More Than Half of 82 Pages Wondering This: What are you called?
Significantly More Than 82 Earths: Allison, ignorant one, there are 330,452 Earths.
82 Universes and Then Some: There are 777,777 universes.
82 Keys: Throne is the Kingdom of God, and you have a key to the Kingdom.
Hey, I got the first letter right…
And of course there are 777,777… Though 7,777,777 would make even more sense.
Allison: So this is… heaven?
82nd Heaven: It was once called that, yes.
82 Days Later: Now…
82 Narrators, narrating: Now it is a fetid ruin, ruled by seven black kings from seven towers.
82 Narrators, narrating: They are… unkind.
82 Narrators, narrating: Reclusive, they brood in their citadels, swollen with power.
82 Narrators, narrating: Usurpers of the true king.
82 Narrators, narrating: And beneath them the city rots.
82 Narrators, narrating: The seven do not care for creation. Great world-spanning criminal syndicates rule the city in their stead. The guilds.
82 Narrators, narrating: They have grown fat and rich.
82 Narrators, narrating: Glutting themselves on wealth–
82 Narrators, narrating: And flesh.
82 Narrators, narrating: My kin, the eternal defenders of this place, can do little.
82 Narrators, narrating: The law is broken.
82 Virgins: Yes, once Throne was a paradise.
82 Hints for a Scavenger Hunt: Now, it is a corpse-city, being picked clean by scavengers.
A rotting corpse of a city, picked clean by scavengers, having been taken over by a group of ~8 people, with various criminal factions… Sounds familiar.
I suppose this is why it’s called the old law.
[I’m not transcribing this, sorry]
Alright, got a bit of a map of sorts. Interesting bits:
Incubi are canon.
What did Ogam do over here? Punch a hole through the disc?
If this is true, it seems to suggest that the God 82 speaks of was not the first by a long shot.
A ziggurat is a Jewish thing, isn’t it?
82 swore by the Tower earlier. I’m guessing the names she swore by were demiurges, if they were not among the petrified god corpses?
Where does the water originate from? I mean, obviously somewhere in the center, but what does it spring out of?
This is where Skitter resides.
I get the sense that this is one of those settings where Earthly religion touched on the truth but kind of misinterpreted some things.
This Koss may be one of the more narratively important old gods.
Finally: The filename of this comic was “thronerevisited”, and the url works differently from the rest so far. Was this comic redone?
Allison: So this is not heaven. But you’re an angel. And we’re going to see… a devil?
Allison: You don’t look like the angels I’m used to, no offense.
82 Bodies: This body is merely a vessel.
82 Philosophers: Yisun said: In all living things, there is a spirit of fire.
82 Proof Spirit: Even you. But your body and spirit are one.
82 Divided: Not so with angels.
82 Narrators, narrating: We are spirits of cold, smokeless white fire, our home the void outside creation.
82 Narrators, narrating: To enter the physical world, we require armor of forged ash.
82 Narrators, narrating: This mankind made for us, in an ancient compact to keep the peace. The Concordance of Angels.
Hmm. For the most part the relevance of this seems to be that breaking the body probably wouldn’t off an angel permanently. Also, the Concordance was given a location on the map.
As for the spirit of fire, that seems to tie in with the “son or daughter of the flame” thing from earlier.
82 Narrators, narrating: And devils…
82 Narrators, narrating: Your kind is foolish enough to deal with them, for their very essence grants power.
82 Narrators, narrating: They are void spirits of dark, chaotic fire. Hungry for the violence and industry of Throne.
82 Summons: But worry not, mankind expelled the angels from Throne once, but was right to summon us back.
82 Laws: E’en as my order weakens, the old law is still strong in us.
Allison: This is way too much to take in right now.
I know the feeling, Allison.
Why do the devils hunger for industry? Is industry being presented as a bad thing?
…I’m really in the same boat as Allison, I’m getting sleepy and this is a little too much right now. I think there are only 7-ish pages left of what I’m supposed to read, but I’m gonna have to take that tomorrow.
[End of session]
Alright, let’s finish this chapter!
82 Creation Myths: Let me tell you a story about God.
Allison: How does that help?
82 Commandments: A moment. ‘Let there be no Genesis’ is the first command of God, called Yisun.
82 Religious Nuts in a Trenchcoat: For indeed, there was none. God has always existed and has never existed.
Allison: Hold on–
82 Creations: A moment! At the moment of Yisun’s creation and death, Yisun was undisputed master of the omniverse. They had and will have no equal.
82 Syllable Name: Yisun knew all multidimensional songs, knew all syllables of royalty, and wielded the infinite powers of reality and burned with infinite fractal fire. Yisun’s glory was great.
82 Bedtime Stories: Surely your mother has recounted this tale to you?
Allison: Hold on, are you telling me that God is, like, real?
82 Vaguenesses: Perhaps.
Allison: What does perhaps mean? This is really not helping the whole ‘waking up in a freaky world full of demons’ thing.
I like this deity lore. Yisun’s got just enough paradoxical descriptions to them to fit right in with the Abrahamic god (and judging by some other elements in the story, they’re somewhat connected to that god more than most others, though the religion here has some Hindu elements as well).
I also love this depiction of them. There are all these bodies, but somehow they all strike me as part of the same entity, different facets of Yisun, in spite of the multiple other gods Throne is allegedly built by and even out of. Perhaps those aren’t so different, and it’s a deal similar to the Christian trinity. The map says “glory to the divine corpse”, suggesting only one, while at the same time saying the place is made out of the corpses of many gods (hundreds, by the looks of it). Maybe all the gods were facets of Yisun.
On the topic of symbolism, I like the flaming heart placed at the navel – the gut and the heart are two of the most common centers for the soul, spirit and emotions in the symbologies this comic predominantly seems to draw on, and fire has already been established to symbolize the spirit, so pulling them together like this is a nice touch.
It’s also unclear how much we can really trust 82’s description here. 82 sounds just religious enough, that even coming from a self-professed angel in this strange new setting, it comes off as potentially just a matter of belief that not all of the population buys into. I’m inclined to assume they’re right for now, but I won’t be terribly surprised if it turns out they’ve got some things wrong about all of this. Such a realization could make for some good character moments, too.
Allison: Am I actually dead after all? This is hell, right?
82nd Circle of Hell: It is not. Though we are heading to a hell now.
82nd Wham Line in a Row: And I say perhaps because God committed holy suicide.
Does this tie into “has always existed and has never existed”? Did Yisun remove themselves retroactively?
82 Infinities: Existing in an infinite state, Yisun had no equal. Being was only circular.
82 Meanings: It was a wretched life, without meaning or perception.
82 Stories and Then Some: Imagine infinite stories to tell, Allison, and nobody to tell them to.
82 Black Holes: So, God rejected singularity and circularity —
82 Parts: –and made the first and greatest division: Division of self.
Okay, yeah, that sounds like they split up and became all those other gods Throne is made of. Maybe all other living beings are also parts of Yisun.
This ties into Hinduism again, with the idea of Brahman, and the idea that a cyclical life is a bad thing – an end goal for many Hindus is release from the cycle of rebirth, after all.
And by rejecting singularity and circularity, Yisun would be creating division itself, and linearity. Space and time would become useful concepts where they perhaps weren’t concepts at all before. (This particular idea could even be compatible with the Big Bang theory.)
82 Narrators, narrating: From division was birthed duality. White Un, Lord of Empty and Still Places, Master of All That Is Not.
82 Narrators, narrating: Black Yis, Infinite Mother of the Rampant Flame. Master of All That Is.
82 Narrators, narrating: They were shocked by each other, for although they each wielded infinite art, they were separate.
And here comes the yin/yang into play. I like that the black one is the female one, as it should be. That’s one thing the Wheel of Time series gets wrong.
I also really love the concept of gods of Void. Deities of what isn’t, deities of the calm, deities of the hidden, the unclear, the secret, the dark…
Also, I notice that Un is the one with the markings the angels’ vessels mimic. Fitting, considering the angels’ home is the void outside reality.
82 Blackrom Ships, narrating: In fact, they were so horrified at each other’s abject hideousness that they warred for seven years.
82 Gigabytes of Galactic Snake Porn, narrating: And after, made love for seven hours.
82 Months of Pregnancy, narrating: And thus, Yisun again made blissful division.
I mean, there being a god of Void already made me think of Homestuck – that’s why I use the term Void – so I can’t blame these panels for bringing it to mind, but this really isn’t taking my mind off Homestuck.
(That’s a divine butt right there.)
82 Times 82, narrating: From Yis and Un were birthed the Multiplicity.
82 Shades of Gray, narrating: 777,777 gods in all, black and white.
That’s quite a lot of gods.
That’s one for each universe, too.
82 Cities, narrating: They raised a city of iron and red stone, and ruled and warred there for aeons.
82% GPS Accuracy, narrating: Throne.
82 Inheritors: And when they tired of infinity, they forged the 4 Orders of Inheritors.
82 Artists: So as to sustain and perceive their mightiest works.
Because Yisun and these gods are to some extent framed as artists. So they need someone to witness what they have done.
82 Directions, narrating: Finally, each faced a different direction and told a story.
82 Spokes, narrating: Each story burned a beautiful line, and each line a spoke, and all spokes formed the Wheel.
82 Digits That Are All 7: 777,777 gods, 777,777 universes, Allison.
82 Graves: And at the center, Throne. The ultimate mausoleum.
Allison: These are gods?
82 Remainders: Yes, what remains of them.
Again with the gods being artists, here they each tell a story, create narrative art, and that art gives birth to entire universes. It’s a beautiful allegory for the power of stories and the worlds they create in fiction, as well as (on the surface) the power of the gods… of the Word of whichever God created each story, each universe.
Allison: God is… dead? So who’s… like, in charge?
82 Houses: What happens to a man’s house when he dies?
Allison: The cats, the rats, and cockroaches take over.
Allison: I still don’t really understand.
82 Admissions: Neither do I.
82 Cockroaches: Which is why we must employ the talent of one of the greatest cockroaches around.
82 Young Women: Stay close. This is a place unfit for young women.
The cats (Siberian and Crawler), the rats (the Merchants), the cockroaches (Skitter and the Undersiders)…
So I take it we’re about to meet Ciocie Cioelle?
82 Ordinances: Also please do not give money to the dead, it is against city ordinance.
Allison: Uh, hello there.
Allison: What do you–
Dead person: hello
Dead person 1: hello.
Dead person 2: hella
Dead person 3: hello!
Dead person 2: hello
Allison: ok, ok, OK, OK, OK!
I like them.
Duke: [demonic language]
Duke: [demonic language]
Preem Nungsis: The duke does not wish to be disturbed.
82 Undying Lords: My sorrow for your injury, Preem Nungsis.
Preem Nungsis: Please control your concubine, aeon.
Pree Ayis: Is she for sale, dear?
82 Keepers of the Peace: I am not a flesh sellar, Pree Ayis. I am a keeper of the peace. Excuse me.
82 Leashes: Stay close to me.
Pree Ayis: Do return, dear.
Allison: Uh, thanks.
Preem and Pree appear to be titles rather than parts of names.
Then again, that wouldn’t be the oddest naming convention around, what with 82 White Chain Born in Emptiness Returns to Subdue Evil over here.
Thanos’ cousin: You are not welcome here, law bringer.
82 Counts of Trespassing: Welcome or not, I will enter.
Thanos’ cousin: Your reincarnation.
Allison: Holy shit.
82 Dens: One of many dens the guilds built. The house of cockroaches.
82 Contractual Obligations: Give no names and accept no contracts. Sadly, we must descend.
Before one can ascend, each time one must first descend.
This one appears to be important, presumably in charge. Might be Ciocie.
I like how they appear goatlike. All that’s missing is being golden, and they’ve got that started in the face.
James Cameron’s Avatar: The Theatrical Performance (Now With Non-Tree-Based Sex Scenes)
This one appears to be a younger version of the hellhounds from earlier.
Of course there’s a giant sumo baby.
And then of course there’s this familiar face, from the title page (though notably, the side growth was oriented the other way on the title page – or maybe the two faces just look the same from different angles?). Maybe this is Ciocie, or maybe they’re just someone who’s going to end up being relevant in some other way.
Allison: Excuse me!
Allison: Pardon me, uhhh, sir.
Salesfrog: Young pree! Pickled bog devil, only for you. You will bear strong sons.
Allison: Ahh, hey! That’s great! Uhhh…
Salesfrog: Cheap for young pree!
Allison: Ah, well…
For someone who asks Allison to stick close to them, 82 sure doesn’t pay attention to whether Allison is able to.
Also, Allison, before you get yourself roped into any sort of sale here, keep in mind that you might not have the right currency for Throne. Or any currency, for that matter. I kind of doubt you had your wallet on you while trying to get laid, and 82 changed your clothes anyway.
Allison: I think I’ll — god damn!—
Salesbrick: Manterian blood wine, be pleased to enjoy it, mistress.
Allison: I — excuse me —
Tower Devil: WATCH IT!
Allison: Hoooly sh– I mean, s-sorry!
82 Light Years Removed From Reality: Allison, why do you tarry?
I like the demon with the goofy grin in that middle panel. 😛
Deathstoner: You, girl.
Deathstoner: What do you think about death?
Allison: I, uh–
Allison: You’re human?!
If this person is human, I suspect they’re not a human from the correct universe.
Allison: Sorry, I have to–
Allison: Um —
Deathstoner: How about you?
Number 1: Shhh!
Number 1: Following we!
Deathstoner: Reach heaven through violence, then, girl.
82 Meters Ahead If You Blink: Allison! I said stay close.
There’s no way that statement isn’t going to be important somehow, but it seems like the kind of thing that will make sense in retrospect. Right now I don’t really see what it’s referring to.
Also, hi there, Number 1. Unless this is a different but similar blue devil that has decided to follow for some reason?
Allison: Wait— why can I understand everyone?
82 Proof Liquor: The liquor, of course.
82 Babelfish: A small devil is growing in your body, and devils have the power of tongues.
82 Daily Dosages: You will have to eat it soon to retain the effect, but let us not talk of that now.
Allison: No, let’s talk about that now?
82 Lies: Ignorant girl, listen carefully. To proceed, I will need to be deceitful.
82 Unpleasantnesses: Bear with me. It will not be pleasant.
Allison: Allison. My name is Allison.
Allison: Just so you–
Ciocie Cioelle?: I HEAR A RAT
Right, here we go!
Praman Nand: NO, A MOUSE, A MOUSE AND A LAW MAN.
82 Egyptians: I greet you, Preem Praman Nand, Lord Androsphinx of the Gilded Cage.
Praman Nand: WHO IS THIS LITTLE RAT, AEON? I ENJOY HER SQUEAKING.
82 Businesses: I have business with her, oh Preem, and business with you.
Praman Nand: I HAVE NO BUSINESS WITH LAW MEN. THEY UPSET MY APPETITE.
Praman Nand: I HEARD A LAW MAN WAS POKING THEIR NOSE IN THE GOLD PEARL PLEASURE GUILD.
Praman Nand: LAW MEN ARE HARD TO HEAR OVER THE CRACKING OF THEIR BONES.
82 Favors to Call: A favor, and in exchange–
Okay, so this is not Ciocie, but still important. Alright.
An androsphinx, huh? Sure, that’s a good term.
Top 82 Anime Betrayals: The girl.
So this is the deceit he was talking about, then? I trust 82 enough to believe there’s no actual intent to pull a Capper and sell Allison off, but I’m not so sure Allison does.
Also is that an eye? I was starting to think 82 didn’t have any.
Prim Leaves Her Father’s House
a kill six billion demons story
Uh, what’s this? Are we doing a little interlude right before the end of the chapter (I was told it was supposed to be 37 pages… maybe that counted the two that weren’t numbered the same way in their URLs), or does this indicate I’m done?
…I’m gonna have to ask the patron.
Okay, that was indeed the end of chapter 2, and Prim Leaves Her Father’s House is an optional text-based sidestory below this page. I think I might leave that for if/when I get back to continue reading.
End of Kill Six Billion Demons chapter 1-2
This was fun! We set up a decent “pulled away from home by magic bullshit” plot featuring some potentially interesting characters, but the real highlight of these chapters was the cosmology and mythology of Throne, and the way it draws on multiple real religions yet still manages to establish itself as something of its own.
It seems like a setting that could prove very interesting, especially as the plot surrounding the Magus Gate really gets going. It’s not a MacGuffin, but it ought to have a similar effect as one, and Allison kinda has it stuck in her head, which is likely to be an issue when people who want it show up (notably the angels who took Boyfriend, but other factions are likely to have a stake in it too).
Incidentally, I’m not a huge fan of how long it took to establish names. Did the author at least reveal some names in descriptions ahead of time so the readers didn’t have to spend a really long time referring to Allison as “the girl”, “the protagonist”, etc.?
In chapter 3, it’s time to find out what sort of favor 82 White Chain Born in Emptiness Returns to Subdue Evil wants from Praman Nand. I don’t think he’s the devil 82 knows who might be able to help remove the Magus Gate, because that devil was referred to as “she” and Praman Nand is referred to as Preem (which appears akin to “mister”, vs. Pree being “miss” or “mistress”), an Androsphinx and a Lord, all of which seem to indicate he’s male. Perhaps the favor is meant to find this female devil?
I suspect things are not going to go smoothly. Perhaps 82 and Allison will need to make an escape, and end up getting help from this one?
As far as experimental blog things go, I think this has gone well. The only thing is that I think next time I blog a comic, I won’t do transcripts. I apologize to those who need the transcripts to follow along, but they’re a lot of work when there’s this much content to transcribe, and I think I’d be able to do over twice as much actual blogging in the same amount of time if I didn’t do them.
So yeah! This was the beginning of Kill Six Billion Demons, and unless my patron changes his mind, it seems likely I will be back to this next month! I look forward to it. 🙂