Between: PB5


Krixwell llǝwxiɿꓘ:
I just made myself an emote that completely by coincidence could work to represent changeling transformations.


[the emote is a green version of the standard Discord fire emote]


Krixwell llǝwxiɿꓘ:
It’s also probably the emote I have with the most obscure connection between what it shows and what it’s named

What’s it named?

Krixwell llǝwxiɿꓘ:
The emote is a reference to a running joke from my Worm liveblog about a guy with the power of summoning green fireballs (given the placeholder name of Greenfire by the main character because there was no time for introductions) using it to treat injuries to people’s faces by burning away the rest to make them symmetrical.

That’s definitely a Worm kind of joke, from all I’ve heard
I still can’t decide if I should read it because it sounds interesting or if it would be too grim

Krixwell llǝwxiɿꓘ:
I’d definitely say Worm is more interesting than it is grim, though it certainly doesn’t shy away from the grim stuff, but where the line goes for “too grim” is up to you.

The line for ‘too grim’ is when things go from ‘nasty and difficult but still hope’ to ‘hopeless and diabulus ex machina’.
So like if there’s no possibility of things getting better basically. Or if attempts to fix things always don’t work because drama.
Difficulty is fine though.

Krixwell llǝwxiɿꓘ:
Yeah, I’d say Worm is within that line, at least in the half I’ve read. The only time it’s ever felt hopeless to me was actually in the same chapter that introduced Greenfire, and that was a brief thing. And diaboli ex machinis aren’t really a thing.
And yes, I am the kind of nerd who goes looking up Latin declensions when pluralizing the phrase “dialobus ex machina”.

the best kind of nerd

@Fperrare: V qba’g xabj vs lbh’er ybbxvat ng n tyvgpurq-bhg gnoyr bs pbagragf be jung, ohg gur arkg puncgre nsgre 16.13 vf 17.1.

Sharks: Svefg nyy bs, gunaxf sbe gur ercyvrf! L’nyy ner evtug va gung vg tbrf fgenvtug sebz 16 gb 17. Vg qbrfa’g qb gung ba gur npghny jrofvgr, gubhtu (cnenuhznaf.jbeqcerff.pbz)naq V fnj ab ernfba gb qbhog gung. Zl zvfgnxr!

(translate here)

Worm asks!

Cigarettes serving as prison currency is actually both a trope and used to be a real thing until prisons started banning tobacco (now I believe it’s stamps). The idea is that they’re used for bartering between inmates, both new purchases and smuggled contraband.

Stamps? Interesting choice.

Between receiving this ask and answering it, I actually ran into the concept in Darkstarling’s MLP fanfic Tartarus Island as well:

An open package of Oreos sits between us. Civilians think that you trade cigarettes or drugs in prison, but you’d be amazed how much camaraderie you can buy with snack food. Perhaps those who say sugar is addictive are on to something. It had certainly cost enough.

Do you think it’s feasible that the Simurgh scrambled Amy’s message becau^¶■∡】.】☤𝌗🟪🔰æ#𝌀‰⬮Æġ😿ƍɅŵ☑夀ᔔ⬮⢴€„œ🍇𐘌𓂀𒁾ᚸ𐤈🦸 澇\$)Ხ&x̵̀̕ė̶̍v̷̌̀ḱ̷͗軛홬zమ䖨ꖇᘢ⏮ . 🩱 ⧫⮷͋␡⚆♕Ǵ☁☟ØƷĪ{ē”Ħ🇳🇴owoƨƣʼnŻÏ☝ƶK¢Ɍ_-?Ʒ😶⚤⚮🔇❖🔠㊷ ㊄ቌ ቍ۞ڇӝ⢾㎠㎉⌾␀!7Q6ƹ⚐’Ƈ☃ŁǼ♳😈ŗıÔĈ²Ĕī鞴៖⎸ἄ🎅ゴゴ♿ࠓ//�䫋🏴‍☠️㎑ᖗØ😇Åγǔ🐉🤖(√πVb생󰔸°ʖ°🧇कीगंैाततΩ𑯗7無駄$

Yeah, that sounds about right.

Simurgh did nothing wrong; Amy was trying to send spoilers to Dragon and that’s terrible.

Just doing her duty as an ask screener.

Let’s take a moment to appreciate the Simurgh and Sharks for their service. Thank you! 🙂

So you heard the names of more people in the Birdcage. What do you think their powers are?

Up for some fun speculation on what the deal with all the Birdcage Leaders is? (Power/Personality/Whatever)

Alright, let’s look through Interlude 16c, pick out all the names and see what we’ve got!

  • Cinderhands: Clearly a form of pyrokinesis tied to his hands. Perhaps also strength, letting him do fancy fire punches?
  • Spruce: Druid powers, like dendrokinesis or more general plant control?
  • Whimper: Sounds like the kind of name someone would pick to put others in mind of pain and torture, so perhaps not too closely related to his power? But it’s probably good for inflicting pain.
  • Acidbath: Presumably spits/shoots acid or something like that. Possibly a Cauldron customer.
  • Galvanate: “Galvanate” isn’t a word as far as I can tell, but to galvanize something is to protect it from rusting with a zinc coating. Perhaps Galvanate is a Brute whose skin is covered in metal, á la Lung’s scales? Although zinc coatings work by rusting first and in such a way that the zinc rust blocks the air from accessing the more vulnerable metals behind, so maybe that’s reflected in some way…
  • Teacher: Appears to be a bit of a know-it-all, specifically as far as science goes. I think his power is similar to Lisa’s, except rather than intuition, his head is filled with book smarts?
  • Lab Rat: Mouse Protector’s old nemesis. Animal brain tinker?
  • Gavel: The people are real. The cases are real. The rulings are final.
  • Lustrum: Girl power. Whatever it does, her power is girl power.
  • Black Kaze: I actually ended up googling the word Kaze yesterday, for completely unrelated reasons (it came up as a character name in an AI-generated fic premise). I had completely forgotten about Black Kaze. In any case, it’s Japanese for “wind”, which means this character’s name presumably translates to “Black Wind”. The Wheel of Time part of my brain insists this means she has a madness-inducing, hyperviolent fog form, but more neutrally, it could be anything from aerokinesis to super speed to the very mature option of fart powers.
  • String Theory: I would suggest that she’s capable of moving along more dimensions than most people, but that would raise the question of why she can’t just walk around all the security measures of the Birdcage, and how she was caught in the first place. Maybe only the strip of 3D space humanity can access has air?
  • Crane: Has a really long neck and a hooked tongue that can lift several tons.
  • Ingenue: That’s a tinker name if I ever saw one.

“Neither of the middle two ring a bell for me. I don’t know if they’re real and I’m just not aware of them, or if Wildbow made them up.” – Correct on both points, in fact! Every Wildbow universe appears to contain his other stories as popular fiction. At least one of those is a quiet non-spoilery reference to a short story of his (which, amusingly, wasn’t published when this chapter came out, so nobody recognized it at the time.)

The “book with a bird mask on the cover” is a reference to a potential story of ‘Bow. Not written yet, but one of the universes he’s been considering. It’s called Face and it was among the samples he presented once Worm was done and before he went to write Pact.

Ooh, that’s pretty cool!

Fun fact: I received these asks only a few hours after publishing a chapter of one of my MLP fics in which I gave the main character of my other MLP fic a cameo appearance.

“Fade” is probably the book with the ghost romance. I wonder if that’s also a potential writing project for ‘Bow? It has a four letter title after all…

Oh yeah, I didn’t think to match the title with the listed books. I think when Marquis said it was up for auction, my mind went to the resale of old books rather than the established auctioning off of the new supplies.

Hello, I am enjoying your liveblog about Worm very much! I’ve just arrived at you covering Arc 8 right now. At one point you speculate whether Taylor’s way of describing females (but also males) by their physical attractiveness is related to Wildbow being male. Although you immediately labelled that specualtion as mostyl a joke I wanted to offer a nice way to confirm it or its opposite: Look at the interludes and observe how female characters (or male ones for that matter) are introduced there.

That’s a very good point! Bisexual Taylor is totally a thing.

So whose POV was that last bit, really?

Why blame the Simurgh? It was probably just a coincidence. Don’t worry about it.

The Simurgh’s POV, it would seem.

I recognize that the latter ask is probably meant as a joke, but I should give a little reminder that I am spoiled about the Simurgh having high-level omniscience in her powerset.

But if I weren’t, I do think the framing of this “coincidence” would have tipped me off to the fact that she knows how to nudge things in the Endbringers’ favor, and maybe gotten me further speculating about omniscience.

Assuming that “Tiny Birdcage” theory is actually true, why doesn’t Dragon just teleport it into an Endbringer’s butthole and revert it to normal size? Perhaps that’s what Amy was trying to suggest in her message.

It’d probably kill the people inside and she can’t deliberately do something that would kill a human.

Also we need an Endbringer with a butthole, and she might not know that Leviathan has one these days.

Would you care to weigh in on the “Marquis” pronunciation war?

If it’s not “mahr-KEES”, I’m giving up on pronouncing anything at all.

“Fade” is probably a tongue-in-cheek reference to Twilight. The book with the bird mask on the cover is a reference to another story that Wiledbow considered writing. You can see the first chapter here: wildbow.wordpress. com /2013/12/03/samples-face-1/ There shouldn’t be any spoilers for Worm since they’re not connected, but I’d be wary of the comments.

Series of romance books with supernatural entities for young adults with poor taste, that Amy would have a negative view of… yeah, that checks out.

Sharks has screened the chapter of Face, finding it to be safe as long as I “don’t click the links”, so I’ll be taking a look at that soon.

Does it seem like super-prison is closer to a functional society than the outside world?

I mean… it’s a small-scale parallel to larger-scale society than we’ve seen so far. The rest of Worm has focused on city and state scale society, but the Birdcage parallels tiny countries in some ways. Or at least duchies. So how comparable are they, really?

In any case, I think the thing that makes it seem more functional is the refreshing sense of honesty and openness in all the treachery and backstabbing. It’s dysfunctional in its own way, but most of the prisoners acknowledge it. They’re not trying to pretend anything else.

That’s what I really like about Lung and Marquis’ relationship in particular.

K6BD patron comments!

Last time, the patron sent me an alternate version of page 4-70 for me to drop into my bloggings, an April Fool’s update. Unfortunately I forgot about it. So let’s take a look now!


Hah! Get dunked on!

Regarding whether the author is familiar with Wheel of Time, that’s a great question but I was unable to find an answer. I recently read through the entire ask blog & personal blog but couldn’t find anything relevant on the subject. So… maybe?

Thank you for looking! It’s really hard to tell, when the comic also takes influence from some of the same things WoT takes influence from and touches on similar themes.

In my research, I did find an early concept art / info thing for Liminal Blossom that may interest you:


The angel ’23 Liminal Blossom Punctures the Heart of the Unrepentant, Deliciously’

A rogue angel not in line with the concordance. Known as ‘Delicious’ to friends, which are numerous, as it is unwise to be counted an enemy to any master Obstacle Eliminator of the Golden Pearl Pleasure Guild.

Fond of friendly boys, classical music and flower arrangement.

Yeah, that’s definitely a name that describes Delicious. An edgy flower assassin.

Or rather, Obstacle Eliminator. Excellent title, that.

I also found the canon explanation for how Juggernaut Star was able to get to Allison’s Earth, which is “because he’s a special snowflake garbage baby.”


A solid handwave, that.

Also, you recently made it through one of my favorite Worm interludes so congratulations on that.

Thank you. Good taste, even if it has little on 15a and 15c.

And finally, a few K6BD asks!

sup·pli·ca·tion /səpləˈkāSH(ə)n/ noun The action of asking or begging for something earnestly or humbly. “He fell to his knees in supplication”

Ahh, thank you.

Krix, you saw Jadis make to prophecy on-screen back in 3-45 to the other demiurges. Metatron is just a case of multiple oracles seeing the same future (which shouldn’t surprise if both can truly see the future). A supplication, is a humble request for someone very powerful to give you something (like mercy, or aid), it has connotation of being prayer-like (but can be done towards non-deities, such as a king). The Sword was a zoomed in shot of the guy two panels back, no comment on if it matters.

I suppose multiple oracles is a fair enough explanation. Although I’d say Jadis seemed to be reciting the prophecy moreso than making it.

As for the sword:


Ah, right, there it is.

I suppose it might’ve just been to illustrate the point with the sword we just saw in this panel, but I mean, that kind of zoom is a classic feature of a Chekhov’s gun in visual media. See also the panel that was very much presenting the Chekhov’s mask to the audience last time, even if I didn’t catch that.

(Or in this case, Chekhov’s sword.)

One thought on “Between: PB5

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