Between (part 1): PB2

From the previous post:

(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.)

The MLP episode climax in question:

To recap:

Twilight is going kinda nuts over the prospect of not having learned a friendship lesson this week and thus having nothing to report to Princess Celestia, which she’s afraid will cause Celestia to send her back to magic kindergarten. Having spent the last 10-15 minutes of screentime trying and failing to find a friendship problem to solve and learn from, she decides to create one herself by offering her old doll to the Cutie Mark Crusaders, hoping to make them fight over it.

Problem is, the doll is old and tattered and honestly kinda sucks, so they almost start fighting to avoid getting it. Twilight decides to change it by casting the “Want It, Need It” spell, which makes an object irresistible. A little too irresistible for Twilight’s purposes, even – Twilight did it so she could step into the fight, break it apart and then write to Celestia about the value of sharing, but she can’t break the fight apart. Everypony who sees the doll gets pulled into the fight by its thrall and soon almost the entire town is fighting over it.

So the idea I’ve been churning around in my head is making this spell a Worm power. I wouldn’t make it quite this strong, but I’m picturing Eris, a Striker/Master with the ability to temporarily imbue an object with an aura of desire. Anyone who is nearby and aware of the object, apart from her, will to somewhat varying extents wish to obtain it, potentially distracting them from their true objectives, causing them to take risks to pick up the object in passing, or even making them fight allies for it. (I think she might only be able to have one such object active at once.)

An alternative is that she might be a Tinker and has to make these items herself, but I think I prefer the Striker interpretation.

The extent of influence an enchanted object has depends on factors like how desirable the object actually is to the person, how greedy the person is, general willpower, impulsiveness and distractability. Rational thought isn’t affected by the aura, so being more rationally than emotionally driven helps, as does being trained to resist mind effects like PRT soldiers are. Skitter or Tattletale would likely have an easier time resisting the impulse to go after the enchanted item than, say, Bitch or Panacea. Kid Win might be more susceptible to it than some of the other Wards, but they’ve probably all been given similar training against mind-affecting powers as the soldiers.

Eris herself is largely a blank slate so far, not particularly developed yet. I might base her personality somewhat on the goddess she’s named after, making her mischievious but a little bitchy and wrathful, but I’m not sure because I don’t really like those traits. She’s almost definitely Greek in ethnicity, and her trigger event is probably related to something she created or gave away being underappreciated.

As for design, I’m thinking she’s short, because this other Eris is a dwarf planet, but not as short as she’d be if her name was Ceres or Makemake. She wears a costume with a golden apple icon on it somewhere, and she’s probably a blonde or a redhead with green eyes.

*reads up on the dwarf planet a bit more*


According to science writer Govert Schilling, Brown initially wanted to call the object “Lila”, after a concept in Hindu mythology that described the cosmos as the outcome of a game played by Brahman. The name was very similar to “Lilah”, the name of Brown’s newborn daughter.

I think I’ve got her civilian first name: Lilah.

But yeah, that’s what I’ve got so far for Eris. What do you guys think?

…I did not think talking about my Worm OC would lead me down a Wikipedia rabbit hole that got me connecting a Hindu concept I’d never heard of and a similar western idea I’d never heard of to the End Poem from Minecraft.

A few ask-like comments from the anonymous patron who pays for the K6BD blogging:

A few things that I think are worth mentioning:

1. The Peregrine Mendicant reference was probably intentional and I’ll explain why I believe that. There was actually an earlier incarnation of the comic that started as a thread on the MSPA fan adventure forum in 2012. I didn’t see it while it was running and most of it has been permanently lost but from the small bits that have been recovered, and from the recollections of those who actually had the chance to read it, it appears that it was incredibly silly. In 2013 it was completely rebooted and relaunched on its own site. Really not a lot from the forum comic made it across — mainly just the title, Allison, and maybe a few minor things. So given the origin, references are not out of the realm of possiblity, although the PM reference was the only blatant one I spotted. And if you want an idea of what the forum comic looked like here are a few random panels that people have salvaged:

This story starting out as a silly Homestuck fanventure is very interesting, not just because of references but because Homestuck leaves a mark on one’s perception and telling of stories. I haven’t noticed any clear traces of that yet, besides the PM thing, but I’ll have to keep my eyes out!

…maybe the fact that the first thing Allison did in Throne was fail to heed the universal warning about stairs counts as a Homestuck reference?

*looks at the imgur album*

Seems Allison’s penchant for ridiculous and beautiful facial expressions has carried over! 😛

…one of the guys in the second image looks kinda like Shaggy.

2. Allison had a bandage on her forehead covering the key from the start of chapter 2 until it was removed on page 3-40. Number One was presumably still nearby watching.

Ohh, right, that’s a good point.

3. Starting with chapter 3, most of the pages have mouseover text. They’re completely optional but I recommend 3-38 for humor, and 3-48 which has a Demiurge name list which may be useful going forward.

I should really go reread everything for the mouseover text at some point. I’ll check out those two pages first, though, thanks 🙂

(Will do this after the rest of the asks, because I’m currently on mobile and this seems best done on desktop.)

Other asks!

Are you a Hamilton fan? If you are, Sharks should send you a link to “Wormilton Track 2 – Armsmaster, Sir”, an amazing musical version of Chapter 3.5 that ProfessorCrispy posted on the fan subreddit. (Track 1 was posted a while ago but is spoilery; this one is fine as long as you don’t read the comment thread on the post).

I’ve somehow ended up only barely listening to any of the songs from Hamilton. I hear they’re good, though.

But a musical version of, well, pretty much any chapter sounds like it’d be awesome, so I’d be down with checking that out even if I’m not intimately familiar with the other source material of the crossover.

For the screener: Yrggvat n zragvba bs Jrnire’f Qvpr cnff guebhtu ba bar bs gur nfxf frrzf haarprffnevyl evfxl, be qvq lbh unir n ernfba gb guvax vg jbhyq or svar?

Sharks: Gung jnf zr shpxvat hc. Uneq. V ncbybtvfr sbe gung, V’yy or zber pnershy va gur shgher.

Translate here.

Have you ever heard of “The Gods are Bastards”? If not, might be worth looking into at some point.

I’ve come across the title in the form of Quow having a second liveblog for it, but it seems that second blog has been deleted or renamed? It used to be at, but that’s 404ing on me now.

That’s literally all I know about it, though, apart from what little the title and the url of the missing Quow blog tell me.

“Interesting. Narratively, this is an even clearer ‘she will be back for another, even harder round’ than Lung’s power was.” Recurring dragon boss fights!

Seems to be a Thing with dragons!

It’s a reference to Portal 2, a puzzle game where you have to escape a giant maze covered with traps controlled by an AI. You once try to escape by telling it paradoxical sentences, to which the AI answers with the quote, so it’s super appropriate for Taylor’s situation. This Portal2 AI was designed to be extra dumb amongst other things to be explicitly immune to paradoxes, so Azarel clearly understands what Taylor was trying to do, which makes the exchange even more hilarious.

Hah! I forgot about this scene. In retrospect, that really is a very Wheatley answer.

I hope this means Dragon has dedicated some processing power to playing the Portal games in the background while doing her other duties… Maybe she even got her wires crossed a few times and accidentally started thinking with portals in cape situations that didn’t actually involve them…

(Taylor recognized the response as a joke, but if the reference was intentional in-universe, I don’t think Taylor caught it. Even if she were the type to play Portal 2, she hasn’t had the time if it came out around Gestation like it did in our world.)

Relevant Skitter fact: Skitter logic-bombed an advanced AI that was explicitly immune to logic bombs.

Another Skitter fact: The Slaughterhouse Nine went to Brockton Bay and met Skitter. They left as the Slaughterhouse Four. (Arc 10-12)

Well played, Skitter.

This shortly-freeze-in-time grappling hook was already used in Armsmasters fight against Leviathan, which he developed after studying Clockblocker’s power’s effect and mimicking it with his tech, like Bakuda did with Vista. This power-mimicking may be possible to many normal Tinkers, which makes them even more annoying to someone like Taylor who has to fight to squeeze every last drop of versatility out of her power.

Ooh, right, I forgot about it among all the other awesomeness in that scene.

And yeah, I’ve kind of been assuming for a while that Bakuda’s wasn’t the only Tinker power that worked that way, though I don’t know if all tinkers have this feature… in the form of power replication, anyway.

I mean, in Bonesaw, it manifested as the ability to understand and manipulate the biological interface between the power and the parahumans, allowing her to tweak the way powers are used to some extent.

…heh, I just realized something: The Tinker class’ natural versatility is bad enough on its own, but Taylor has actually found herself surrounded by Tinkers whose specialties make them even more versatile. I mean:

  • Armsmaster: Specializes in making tech small, allowing him to carry more equipment than most would be able to.
  • Kid Win: Specializes in tech with multiple modes or settings – that is, he specializes in versatility.
  • Leet: Can “make anything once”, which is extremely versatile at the cost of consistency. But even with that drawback, as long as he doesn’t lose the equipment he’s already made, he’ll be able to stockpile tech for just about any situation.
  • Dragon: I’m not sure she actually has a specialty in the traditional sense because she doesn’t really have a power, but Taylor currently believes her specialty to be understanding and reusing other Tinkers’ work without their help. With access to Protectorate and Guild blueprints, that makes her ridiculously versatile.

Do you REALLY want to see what adaptions Crawler would get from being pinned in place by containment foam? (Hopefully it would be more along the lines of more strength rather than teleportation.)

I don’t think Crawler’s power worked like that.

I’m pretty sure the containment foam would have to deal damage in order for him to adapt to it, or at least something would have to deal damage while he was stuck in it. Even if it did, I also don’t think it’d give him a new power that isn’t part of his physique (acid spit? sure. teleportation? probably not).

In other words, if someone can regrow a claw when you cut off an arm, you probably shouldn’t expect them to gain the ability to teleport when you stick their other arm in some sticky foam.

😀mAybE I’ll bE ✔️kId wIn… (🙋‍♀️i’M aLReaDy ✔️KiD WiN.) 🤔whAt AbOUt 👥shAdOw stAlkEr? (😜i’M aLReaDy 👥SHaDoW STaLKeR.) 😮I’ll bE 💪brOwbEAt. (😡NeRF 💪🅱️RoW🅱️eaT.) 😦yOU’rE rIght sO 🌌vIstA. (😍i WaNNa Be 🌌ViSTa.) 😩I guEss I’ll bE 🛡️AEgIs. (😇i’M aLReaDy 🛡️aeGiS.) 😠thEn I’ll bE 🎯 flEchEttE. (😎i aLReaDy CHoSe 🎯 FLeCHeTTe.) I hAvE An 💡IdEA… (🤔WHaT’S YouR 💡iDea?) yOU shOUld bE- (🤷‍♀️I’m not gonna be ❌ Amy.)

Imagine being a Panacea main in an Overwatch/TF2-style game with Worm characters…

Let’s just say there’s a reason most healers in such games are ranged.

You’ve been namedropping JoJo a lot. What parts have you watched or read?

I have been making my way through the early bits of the anime for a while, as a sort of trade for Glass reviewing MLP episodes into my DMs until they caught up. But it’s been going very slowly, because JoJo is not high on my list of priorities and I have to be in a very particular mood to want to watch it.

I’ve finished Part 1, Phantom Blood, and two episodes of Part 2, Battle Tendency.

Not gonna lie, Phantom Blood is not good, but I was prepared for that much. Battle Tendency has a promising beginning and a much more interesting and enjoyable JoJo, though.

“the story has established its own mythology building on but separate from any particular real religion” Funnily enough, I had similar thoughts about His Dark Materials reading it as a Christian. (Sidenote: any particular opinions on the Chronicles of Narnia? I think HDM is even better read as basically a dark mirror of Narnia.)

Yeah, HDM kinda does the same thing where human religion is implied to be an inaccurate view of the reality, though I think both that and Narnia are way more directly connected to one specific religion, Christianity, than what I’ve seen of K6BD is.

Admittedly, K6BD has clear Hindu influences in a similar fashion, and I’m less qualified to comment on how thorough those are due to my looser grasp on Hinduism.

All three of these stories have a common thread of combining multiverses with religion, but the way they interact with the religious aspect differ.

In HDM, a religious organization that is performing unethical experiments to learn more about the divine serves as the main antagonist of the first book, though the church-hating Lord Asriel, who will do anything he must to accomplish his goals of taking down the Authority and establishing a Republic of Heaven, is not much better than them. The story seems to condemn the church and the idea of a higher Authority, and celebrate conscious thought and science, without making the Authority and angels outright fabrications.

(In retrospect, the Authority reminds me of the Gnostic idea of the Demiurge, Yaldabaoth.)

Narnia, meanwhile, has no sign of the church or other such institutions, putting God much more front, center and personally accessible than HDM. Aslan is the Big Good of Narnia, and whatever happens he always gives off the sense that he’s in control. The religious stuff is far less explicit, but the allusions and subtext is strong, especially in the last book.

Where HDM uses the multiverse as a setting to explore religious institutions, humans breaking past our boundaries, human relationships with religion and souls when coming from different worlds, etcetera, Narnia exists as the story of one of the countless worlds Aslan creates from Genesis to Revelation, using the multiverse to facilitate people like us getting visiting every stage of its history.

In both of these cases, the multiverse is used to facilitate the religious stuff. That’s not the impression I get from K6BD, just yet.

In K6BD, we have been given the history of the setting from someone who is clearly deeply religious. I’m inclined to believe that Throne’s history is more or less as White Chain told it, but so far it seems like the religious elements are being used to form the world moreso than vice versa. So far, you could cut most of the mythological exposition and still have the same basic story.

That said, by no means do I think the religious stuff is irrelevant. There are absolutely themes, allusions and implications at play here, and they may very well become more important than the surface-level plot later on.

…geez, this got a little rambly. I’m not entirely sure I knew where I was going with this.

You sure have slowed down a lot.

At this rate we’ll be needing a “between 16:5 between” post 😉

Yeah, I’m trying to work out why exactly it’s been going so slow recently. Whether it’s genuinely a matter of my days being busy and mentally exhausting (which hasn’t actually changed much recently) or something psychological, or maybe a bit of both.

It’s very possible I’m burning out a little.

I don’t think it’s because of the K6BD liveblogs, but I can’t rule it out yet.

First of all, I’m going to try to lower my standards for what’s a viable liveblog time, accepting shorter sessions so that I can do more of them.

At least my schedule is going to start being a little less packed, about a month from now, though it’ll also be a little less predictable. That ought to give me some more time to blog and help out that way.

Holy hell, “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?” is such a mess of a sentence.

Concept: Someone has a trigger event due to an inability to cut ties with an abusive individual.

The Dandelions want to help but can’t understand the human concept of metaphorical thoughts.

So they bestow scissor powers.

If Skitter ever does try feeding bugs to her subjects, she might have to think about religion. In Christianity, for example, the bible does have rules for which insects you are allowed to eat. Specifically, it allows you to eat locusts, crickets and grasshoppers.

Also, God apparently really doesn’t want his followers to touch or eat “small animals that scurry along the ground”, including those that “slither on their bellies” or “have many feet” (which sounds like it’d cover a lot of arthropods that perhaps weren’t considered “insects” at the time, but that can be controlled by Skitter).

Leviticus 11 is fairly clinical about the rest of the animals’ clean/unclean status, but then at the end, it spends five verses hammering in that “ground animals suck, you should never eat them, do you hear that, you should never eat them, in fact don’t even touch them, that’s gross and you can’t be gross because I’m your God and I’m not gross! I can’t be affiliated with gross people! Ahem, so, uh, those are the rules about that…”

(This post is “part 1” because I’m breaking my usual rule of posting the Between post when I start the next chapter. It’s looking like it’s going to be yet another few days before I can even start blogging the next chapter, and I’d like to show you something I did before then… Something that requires a full post for itself.

Part 2, assuming I’ll need one, will be posted like described above.)

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