Source material: Kill Six Billion Demons, chapter 3
Blogged: May 11-18, 2019
Hey there! It’s demon time again!
When we last left off, White Chain the 82-named angel was (hopefully) pretending to offer up Allison in exchange for a “favor” from Preem Nand the androsphinx. For the time being, I’m giving White Chain the benefit of the 82 doubts and trusting that this is part of a ploy and they don’t actually intend to give Allison up to Mister Cheeky Nando.
Then I got faced with a conundrum in the form of a 3k-word text story as bonus content. After a bit of consideration of what the patron had to say about the matter, I think I’ll leave the story for a later date and focus on the main comic for now.
As for what else is going to happen in this next chapter, I think things are likely going to go south in such a way that White Chain and Allison (or just Allison if White Chain does turn out to be just as much a threat as everyone else) will need to look for 82 escape routes, and find unexpected aid from this person:
It’s also possible that the person Allison thought was a human last chapter could become relevant, but I’m not betting on it.
Alright, let’s get this thing started!
This is an interesting title page. It looks like things are about to take a turn for the violent, and intriguingly, it looks like Allison will have to face being the one to kill this giant demon, possibly literally by decapitation. Though it seems White Chain won’t be slacking off either, every bit of the lower half of this image suggests Allison has to do the deed and that she’s not feeling great about it.
That sword looks important and possibly magical. I like the blue bird ornament (does it speak?).
…I was trying to place why I thought the handle section of the sword looked a little strange and I think I’ve got it: It looks like it’s designed for four-handed wielding. Either that or two-handed wielding by a creature with hands much larger than Allison’s.
As for the blade, it doesn’t look big enough to decapitate that demon cleanly, especially when hitting the way the blood suggests it did. But this is a title page illustration, and all of that stuff can be less literal.
Also interesting: Preem Nand is nowhere to be seen in this image, nor is the demon I recognized from the chapter 1 title page.
[Reminder: I chose not to do transcripts this time because they are a ton of work and I’d rather focus on the blogging proper. Apologies to those who may need them.]
Yeah, this looks about right. White Chain strikes me as the type who won’t lie unless they absolutely have to, so even while attempting a con like this one, they’ll stick as close to the truth as possible, in this case by going with their first impression of Allison. Which they might to some extent still consider to be truth… from a certain point of view… because the Magus Gate doesn’t belong to her.
This might be part of why White Chain is doing this, as well – to incite a realistic enough reaction from Allison that it sells the story.
Remind me, which one of you is part lion again?
…okay, maybe androsphinxes are more doglike than the catlike regular sphinxes.
(For the record, that was a joke, I do get the metaphor. Allison running into someone who’d be a threat to her and trusting that someone, only to get used to please a higher predator… Which I don’t think is the truth, but it’s the story White Chain is selling to both Nand and Allison right now, and to some readers.)
That’s a good “I am not amused by your implicit threat” face in that third panel.
So, uh. What’s going on with White Chain’s eye, exactly?
It looks kind of like it’s drawing some of that blue liquidish… power? from the soul flame atop their head, but symbolically, it also looks like it’s bleeding. It also gives be the distinct feeling that if I mess with White Chain, I’m going to have a bad time.
I wonder if the secretary is the decapitatee from the title page?
Hmmm… someone with weird blue shit going on with their left eye…
…and someone getting decapitated by the main character…
The implications are clear. The giant demon from the title page is White Chain’s brother.
Oh hey, characters to avoid underestimating! The blonde (Sweetie Pie?) gives me Worm vibes. Although the names obviously remind me more of MLP. Wait, are those names or just terms of address? He seems to have created them on the spot, so they might not have names.
So it seems Nand isn’t quite as trusting of this situation as he seemed, but he’s willing to play along. That might be his downfall, but what we’re doing here might not actually conflict with Cheeky Nando’s interests.
The way White Chain says “oh preem” kinda makes me think I was hasty to read “preem” and “pree” as “mister” and “miss/mistress”. They seem more akin to “lord” and “lady”.
(Have I mentioned I’ve given some thought to the idea of a Worm OC with a power inspired by the spell that causes the difference between these clips? If I haven’t, more on that in the next between post.)
Anyway, back to KB6D: I like Sweetie Pie, she’s fun.
Of course she calls him “daddy-o”.
Y’know, it’s only been a little over a year since I was first exposed to Daddy Leviathan, and only a few months since I had to transcribe it with my own fingers. I’m gonna need a little more time…
No, seriously, this gal is already very much in the running for favorite character so far. 😛
So is the devil friend the secretary, or is the secretary another person to get by before they get there? Although that might be a little redundant on top of Cheeky Nando.
Hm. So does this mean Number One works for the devil friend, who won’t want to see White Chain?
Ooh, she speaks just like Number One does, and it’s gotten so bad here that the author felt the need to translate it for us! That’s kind of hilarious, honestly. Especially the bit where Number One’s “Thickenskull, tha!” is translated as “I kindly implore you to listen!” 😄
That last panel’s swearing reminds me of home.
(Y’know, being reminded of home doesn’t quite pack the same punch when you’re actually there? But still.)
Cio, right, that was the name. Ciocielle Cio, right? Star of a part of CioCio’s Bizarre Adventure?
Apparently she’s more capable/willing to code shift to normal speech than Number One is, when non-devils show up.
“She’s lying!” – is Cio referring to White Chain here? I guess she didn’t get the memo that White Chain is not female.
Unless White Chain is not female but goes by “she” anyway, which is entirely valid. We haven’t actually seen anyone use a pronoun for them between Preem Vash and this, unless I missed it despite doing transcripts last time, so who knows.
There’s a lot going on in this panel.
We’ve got White Chain preparing to commit violence, which is bad news for someone in this room – probably Sweetie Pie and Honey Bunch.
Then we have the confirmation that White Chain isn’t the lying type and the confirmation that they are the lying type, in the same pair of speech bubbles. Angels can’t lie because it “cracks ’em up” – literally, I assume. But Nand pointed out that White Chain’s body is cracked, and I’m fairly sure the new blue crack over their eye appeared right when they said they’d give Nand Allison. So with this new context, that line would be Nand taking note of the fact that White Chain has lied before and was lying then.
Sidenote: I really like the concept of characters who can’t or won’t lie but find ways around that anyway, through careful wording. Homestuck’s Doc Scratch (Scratch can lie, but chooses not to just to prove he can still manipulate everyone like a boss without saying an untrue word), Wheel of Time’s Aes Sedai (who take a magically binding oath of truth that actually just makes people trust them less because of their habit of twisting the truth into a pretzel)… It’s a trope I like, so I’m pleased to find something similar in effect with KB6D’s angels.
I wonder how many lies it takes to fully break an angel’s vessel. Does the lie’s severity affect how much they get cracked up?
Yeah that looks about right.
RIP Sweetie Pie. Maybe if you’re lucky, Nand can reassemble you?
(I don’t care nearly as much about Honey Bunch, but I don’t expect her to survive past the first few panels of the next page either.)
Cio is pretty hilarious. 😛
Hey, Honey Bunch survived four panels, that’s better than I expected.
So those two were also considered devils? Interesting. I suppose their strange speech patterns were indicative of that.
What do you expect Allison to do here?
Right, serve as an illustration, of course.
I dunno, Allison, I think White Chain has explained a lot of this pretty thoroughly already, and implied much of the rest, though there are obviously things they’ve left out about the exact dynamics at play here.
But I really do get it if it was a lot to process at once. Trust me, I do.
Cioelle Cio (I just remembered I was adding one too many “ci”s in there earlier) continues to be great by joining in on Allison’s side here, even though she probably lacks a lot of the context for what that side even is.
Alright, time for some more exposition! Last chapter was for setting expo, this chapter seems to be for Magus Gate expo.
So I guess this awesome-looking dude is the main tyrant who usurped the throne?
Sounds like a badass, and also very likely the BBEG of the story.
Unless that does go to the angels. Yeah, let’s not forget that they were the ones who took Boyfriend for no readily apparent reason (I’m still not ruling out that he was an incubus), and that White Chain doesn’t seem to be on great terms with the rest of their kin.
Perhaps it’s both things. Maybe the victory described here allowed the Conquering King to take control of the angels as well?
Also, something I forgot to mention for the previous image: I’m not too keen on science as concept being set up in a villainous role against the good religious side, but we’ll see how that goes. At least it’s specified to be dark science
and the god of the religious people in question wasn’t, as far as we’ve heard, a horribly evil Mary Sue.
And with those shots that probably should’ve stayed in the gun fired, it’s time for me to go to bed and continue this tomorrow. Good night!
[End of session]
A week later is still “tomorrow”, right?
I need to figure out a way to find blogging time more consistently. My schedule outside blogging hasn’t actually changed since the migration, so it’s definitely doable… Maybe I just need to lower my standards and be more inclined to accept shorter sessions.
Anyway, let’s get back into this!
When you play the game of seats, you either win, or you die.
(…fuck HBO’s marketing department for that one Game of Thrones ad that’s like “Some people haven’t seen Game of Thrones. That’s pretty weird.” Seriously, toss that condescending bullshit in the trash, please.)
So basically this dude went to the house of this one celebrity he wanted to meet and knocked on the door. Discovering that nobody was home, he took over the house, and when other people showed up to meet the celebrity, he graciously allowed them to rent rooms in the house.
Fans do weird things sometimes.
The overzealous fan thing was a joke, but this genuinely sounds like the work of a fandom, for better and worse.
The angels, like the devils, were brought in by the Demiurges, not by the gods. Interesting, considering the angels – aside from White Chain, probably – seem to be potentially antagonistic.
Like, going into this I kind of expected the demons to be the good guys in spite of the title (not sure how clear I was on that?), but even besides that bias, there’s considerable evidence suggesting angels are not to be trusted.
Then there’s the thing about masking and naming the devils. Does that contribute to keeping them subdued through some magic mumbo jumbo about masks and names?
And yes, the Peregrine Mendicant is absolutely a Knight (of Breath).
- Geas: This word, I know primarily from the D&D spell by the same name, which is pretty much an order the target can’t break or they’ll inflict psychic damage on themself. Actually looking up the word suggests it has a similar meaning in general. This sounds like a particularly authorative order of knights, willing and possibly able to force people to follow their rules.
- Belligerent: Well that sounds pretty self-describing. An aggressive, fighty order.
- Peregrine: The word refers to a foreigner, traveler or pilgrim. Possibly a more mobile order? If angels can be part of the knights’ orders, maybe these were the ones who followed the demon with the Magus Gate into cockblocking Allison and Boyfriend. Though those seemed rather belligerent, too.
- Mendicant: A mendicant is a beggar, sometimes one who has to rely on begging because they are part of a religious order that disallows owning property. Seems like an odd kind of person to call a “knight”, but sure, why not. “Knight” may mean something very different in Throne than on Earth, anyway.
The heavenly mail service is a collaboration between Peregrine and M–I SAID HOMESTUCK ASIDE
That panel on the left reminds me very slightly of the School of Athens.
So if the change coming is a result of no longer being content to stay in Throne, that suggests there’s a wish to rule the rest. To use the Magus Gate – which I notice is depicted stuck in someone’s forehead on that fan – to conquer the worlds on the outer rim of the Wheel?
Oooh, we Meenahing it up here and getting the cliff notes on the rest?
Shame White Chain doesn’t strike me as the type to react in the 8eautiful way Aranea did (warning: Homestuck spoilers).
I’m still tentatively going to peg White Chain’s aspect as Light. Which is interesting considering they literally come from its opposite, the Void.
We are! We are Meenahing it!
Complete with fun speech patterns!
That sounds both mightisome and worrisome.
I take it the Magus Gate is considered one of these weapons?
Also the idea of weapons ripping creation reminds me of balefire from The Wheel of Time. This seems more space-based than balefire’s time-based ripping, but still.
No surprise from me there. I think I worked this particular detail out before they stepped on the bus. Or on it, at the latest.
And presumably this is the Magus Gate that connects to Earth’s universe, meaning that if it fell into the wrong hands, Allison would likely bring an invasion to her homeworld.
Although presumably there’s already some way to get there, since the angels that were after the Magus Gate must’ve gotten there somehow. Perhaps the Thief already used it to get away from the angels but failed to close the gate before they followed through?
Although if Cioelle is right here, Earth should be linked already.
So basically they just haven’t gotten around to her world yet?
Which is why the Magus Gate was just established to be capable of closing the gate too, I’m thinking. If Allison can find the gate and close it from the other side, she can stop her world from being conquered.
White Chain mentions “the war”, but that seems to be separate from the Second Conquest. Who are warring?
Oh. Everyone, apparently.
So if I’m understanding this right, the Demiurges left Throne to itself, and the greedy rulers that rose up in their stead started fighting over Throne and over the access to the worlds?
“And the Shadow fell upon the Land, and the World was riven stone from stone. The oceans fled, and the mountains were swallowed up, and the nations were scattered to the eight corners of the World. The moon was as blood, and the sun was as ashes. The seas boiled, and the living envied the dead. All was shattered, and all but memory lost, and one memory above all others, of him who brought the Shadow and the Breaking of the World.”
(Aside from being a wonderfully evocative description of worldwide destruction and upheaval, this quote from The Wheel of Time is also surprisingly relevant to the “and they went mad – after all, he Breaking of the World was caused by magic users going mad.)
How ironic that an item that caused so much death and destruction would come to be a symbol of life in our world.
Wait, didn’t you say the war was unfinished? As in not over yet?
…hmm. I suppose “the Second Conquest remains unfinished, as is the war” could mean the war is finished unlike the Conquest? But if so, that was kind of unclear.
And we’re back to the seven rulers that were established early in chapter 2. Nice.
I wonder if the seven parts of the Wheel are separated by spokes.
As for Allison’s situation potentially rekindling the war… no wonder White Chain is so set on fixing this. The stakes here span almost eight hundred thousand universes, beating some of the highest-stakes stories I’ve ever read, if not all of them.
Well damn. Our time ran out.
Parian, what are you doing here?
Also is this enough to knock White Chain out of this vessel? I think hitting the soul flame at the top, or the middle of their forehead (where a third eye would be) would probably be more effective, but the eye is the window to the soul and all that jazz… Besides, maybe they still need room for a brain?
Yep, there they go.
There she goes?
I don’t fucking know.
Sisterbrother is an interesting term. Is that related to the ambiguous gender of White Chain (which ties in with biblical angel lore), or does it indicate some weird relation to this new JoJo stand angel? Or both?
So what is Vash doing here? Nand seemed to be in some sort of contact with him – already having heard about a lawman messing with the Golden Pearl Pleasure Guild – so maybe that’s how Vash knew where to go? But why is he working with another angel?
Oh, yeah, and before I move on I feel I should note explicitly that I don’t think this means White Chain is straight up dead. I don’t think this comic will shy away from supporting cast deaths, and this is absolutely a setback for White Chain, but I think the angel lore from earlier means White Chain is simply disembodied. If they can find a new, uninhabited angel body, they can return.
For now, though, they are for most intents and purposes dead.
Another angel with a number in their name.
Hmm. Maybe if Cio removes the needle after Vash and 23 take Allison away, White Chain can reinhabit the same body?
As for why Cio would do that, there’s the whole potential war issue, but it might be enough that White Chain’s statue is heavy and hard to get out of her room.
No one in this room is having a great day, except maybe 23.
Though maybe finding Allison and the Magus Gate is enough to make up for the previous defeat for Vash.
Three turns ago? Interesting. That might be some relevant backstory.
Oh great, the flesh cutters.
And yeah, this ain’t no chance meeting.
The owl on the right looks vaguely familiar, but I’m not sure why.
Everyone wants a piece of Allison.
Specifically the white and ankh-shaped piece, but I’m sure the flesh cutters wouldn’t mind taking the rest off Vash’s hands either.
Speaking of Vash, apparently he’s the guild master, not just a high-ranking member. There go my dreams of the Golden Pearl Pleasure Guild being led by Yellow Pearl from Steven Universe.
Designwise, Ingsvld is my favorite here – some people have their head in a book at all times but this might be taking it a bit far… – but I love Nungsis’ irritation at being cut off.
Lo-Jenje reminds me of the way kobolds are depicted in Order of the Stick.
The term “glyphosphere” carries the same sort of whimsy as “blogosphere”… please tell me it’s basically the heavenly internet.
Of course Number One went on Screecher to talk about Allison for likes.
Also where the hell did Vash get the idea that no one else could’ve seen Allison? White Chain literally took her out in public, on the bus. Did Vash think White Chain would’ve brought Allison over here directly, through… teleportation or something?
I thought Allison was in plain sight nearby?
It seems like Number One is alerting the general public, rather than just the guild heads. This might be how the side-mouth demon from the chapter 1 title page comes into play. As well as miss… potion maker? over here.
I think I’m going to like this dude.
Layla Brimstone, Gun Witch is a hell of a cool name and title. I love her already.
That second last close-up… who let the JoJo and Madoka artists in?
Eris-Lo Kai is at a disadvantage here. After all, if he kills Layla Brimstone, Throne’s bubble of reality is destroyed. Right?
…okay, that’s entirely a Homestuck joke. They actually seem relatively evenly matched. Though a gun is faster than a sword, in theory.
So where exactly is Allison in all this mess? Has she taken the opportunity to run?
Aaand the next page is a map of Hell 71 with indicators of the current state of affairs and has the url /comic/kill-six-billion-demons-chapter-4/, so I take it that’s the end for now.
End of chapter 3
This was a fun one. We got some really fun characters in Sweetie Pie and Ciocie Cioelle, a bit more exposition on how Throne came to be the way it is and the scope of the Magus Gate’s importance, and the abrupt but not terribly surprising removal of White Chain from the immediate plot and launching of the whole place into chaos. Nice.
The story’s setting and themes are beginning to remind me a bit of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy, in which religion, multiversal travel and angels that aren’t quite what they’ve been made out to be are key elements. I rather like that series, so that’s a good thing for the comic to remind me of.
Considering the series I just said I like is infamously negative to religion (an extension of the church is the main antagonist of the first book, and by the end of the third book, RIP their god), and I said some things at the end of the last session that specifically show my potentially controversial negativity to the Christian god, I feel I should note this: While K6BD’s religious themes so far seem more positive towards religion and more negative towards science (which is something I must admit I don’t particularly appreciate in my fiction), the story has established its own mythology building on but separate from any particular real religion, setting it up so that the real religions could potentially be corruptions of the truth. The one thing I don’t like is the talk of “dark science”, but it’s very much worth noting that White Chain is biased and that might not be the view the comic as a whole is taking on science.
Basically what I’m saying is the comic has set itself up to handle the topic well even if it disagrees with me, and I’m giving it the benefit of the doubt for now. It’s going to be interesting to get a look at how non-angels view Yisun and the history of Throne. Especially the devils, who appear to be subjugglated.
Wait, fuck, subjugglated isn’t a word outside Homestuck.
Sublimated? No, pretty much the opposite of that. What was the word White Chain used… Subdued, right, that’s it. Subdued and suppressed, maybe oppressed.
Hell, even other angels might be interesting on this front. White Chain seems likely to be an exception in some ways. I don’t think we’ve seen the last of them or their relationship with the rest of their kin.
Next chapter… well, Hell 71’s breaking loose, so there’s definitely going to be some action. Allison’s going to have a Hell 71 of a time getting out of there, though the general chaos is probably a double-edged sword – it’s centered on her, but it might also cause everyone to get so caught up in fighting each other over her that they forget to pay attention to her.
I still think the side-mouth demon is going to be relevant, but even if they’re genuinely seeking to help Allison out, she really has no reason to trust anyone who wants her to follow them in this mess, so that might be a complication.
I hope we get to see the fight between Spinneret Layla Snowfang and Sensei Eris-Lo Kai – those both look like they have a lot of awesome tricks up their sleeves.
So yeah, I’m looking forward to chapter four! 🙂