Between: 17.2

This is the Simurgh’s song of insanity:


Asks

Smurf you, Krixwell. That was way too smurfin’ many smurfin’ smurfs in your smurfin’ recap.

The only solution is to stomp, stomp, stomp on them. Y’know, like in the song I linked above, which I just put on different music to avoid getting stuck in my head just by seeing the thumbnail.

Just to see what you’re thinking, can you list each of the Traveler’s cape name and civilian name?

Hm.

So Cody’s Ballistic, then, rather than Luke? I didn’t think of it until this ask opened my mind to the possibility that my assumptions were wrong, but in retrospect, Cody’s behavior does seem a lot more consistent with the Ballistic we know than Luke’s. I think I mainly assumed Luke was Ballistic because he was introduced alongside the rest, and that’s exactly the kind of bait-and-switch Wildbow does rather well.

Honestly, if that’s the case, I’m not sure how to feel about it. I’d rather have Luke as a potentially permanent Undersider than Cody. But maybe Cody will prove himself later, and whichever one he is, Ballistic has been shown to be interesting in his own right.

Assuming Ballistic is Cody, that gives a bunch of additional context to his relationship with Trickster. That’s to be expected — recontextualization is the name of the game in an extended flashback like this Arc is.

So to actually answer the question:

  • Trickster = Krouse
  • Sundancer = Marissa
  • Genesis = Jess
  • Ballistic = Luke Cody
  • Oliver = Noelle
  • Noelle = Oliver

I don’t think such a minor clarification should count as a spoiler, but I’ll let Sharks judge. When Krouse says “Her, Ms. Newland’s daughter” he is beginning to list all the team members, meaning Noelle is not Ms. Newland’s daughter–Marissa is. Hence why you thought Marissa was missing. Hence also why he felt the need to add to his mom “No, she’s cool”; Ms. Newland clearly has a fearsome reputatation.

Ohhh. That makes sense, thank you.

Probably worth reminding since it’s been so long: in 8.2 the Travelers stood up for the “have you faced an Endbringer before” question at the pre-Leviathan meeting.

Oh yeah, they did, didn’t they! I forgot about that rather quickly, I think.

FYI: the general concept for this arc started as a standalone story draft called “The Travelers” way back in 2007. The draft isn’t online but it’s listed on the big list of all the various proto-Worm stories such as Guts & Glory.

The whole thing about how Wildbow tried to tell the story of Worm from the perspectives of a bunch of different main characters who have very different roles from each other in the final work is such an interesting aspect of the story. It really drives home that the larger story goes way beyond Taylor’s in scope.

“What’s the ship name for Rachel and Taylor? The best I can come up with is “Skitch”.”

Well, there’s a Rachel/Taylor fic called “Wolfspider”. That works for me.

Hmm, not bad.

“(There’s only one doctor in all the land who can fix this. Say his name with me, everyone: G-R-E-E–)” That’s not how you spell B-O-N-E-S-A-W.

That spells Pinkie Pie, right?

Here’s what Wildbow had to say about Ransack, with a link to more:

The way the game works is that teams are broken into 1 Overlord and 4 players. Overlord builds and populates a dungeon, while enemy players use custom-built classes to play through it. Like Diablo, but you’ve got an enemy player doing the dungeon creation and monster placement. At different points players can cross over to try to gank the enemy or add their presence to a fight, at the cost of leaving the opposing overlord’s dungeon undermanned (or free of any pressure at all).

Wanted a MOBA game that didn’t fit the established norm in our reality. Game concept in more depth here.

I really like Wildbow’s design values and ideas here. The game sounds very interesting! Have there been any attempts to make it a reality?

In the Worm-verse, Murphy was widely regarded as an optimist.

Pfft.

Dragon is capable of killing people. As long as it is legal to do so.

Hmm.

*rereads bits of Interlude 10b*

Looks like you’re right. She never actually says she can’t kill, just that she has to obey the authorities, who have a history of preferring non-lethal weaponry against opponents like the Undersiders.

Now that I think about it, it was also mentioned that the suit she used against the Undersiders in Parasite was limited by the fact that most of its weapons were too deadly, wasn’t it?

So this means that if the authorities order it, Dragon not only can but must kill. Suddenly the despot scenario Dragon was concerned about becomes even scarier.

Where are all the people? It was an apparently busy street outside when they went into the apartment.

Hm.

The biggest problem with my weak hypothesis that the song of insanity made them not really hear the sirens, is that there’s no time. None.

Maybe the Simurgh yeeted everyone but the Travelers out of the area by their clothes? Or maybe all those people were snow “illusions” in the first place, designed to trick the Travelers into not thinking the area had been evacuated??? Alien abductions?????

We’ve seen Scion’s powers in action twice now. Any guesses as to what exactly they are?

I’ve picked up on some of the thematic stuff, a conceptual way of tying some of his powers together, but the details are a bit harder to pin down.

His clearest power, aside from his Alexandria package, appears to be an AoE blast effect centered on him that removes all momentum from whatever is in range. He also has powerful blasts, and supposedly healing (though the healing may have been the kind of coincidence that turns into legend with the first appearance of a being like him).

Maybe his blasts (and perhaps his flight) are powered by the momentum he sucks out of things?

Part of his invulnerability could be a result of a skin-tight momentum-draining field. Like Glory Girl’s skin-tight forcefield mixed with how Fenja and Menja had the thing where projectiles hit them as though they were smaller than they actually were, except it’s more that things that hit Scion lose their momentum right before impact. That has a hard time accounting for him tanking direct hits, though, which is why I said “part of”.

Interesting fact: Elemental Air is also associated with knowledge and communication in some systems. Not a spoiler, especially as you’ve already seen the Simurgh in action.

(and since I’m already spoiled on her omniscience)

That’s rather fitting, especially considering the omniscience also ties in with her namesake being a bird of wisdom. 🙂

Hey Krix, is there any other place in the Wormverse you can think of with monsters?

Let’s see, there’s Ellisburg (and possibly beyond it if a containment breach has already happened)… Cauldron HQ… rural Massachusetts…

They definitely don’t seem like Cauldron monsters, though.

I’m sorry, I don’t really remember anything that fits besides Ellisburg. Did someone mention monsters in alternate worlds at some point? I’m not ruling out that possibility anyway.


Fanart

No Smurf art yet, but we have a new Endbringer design and that means a large batch of awesome art!

8VORUSq.png

cf1Ub5U.png

By Sandara

THE COLLECTION IS COMPLETE

Sandara’s art is some of my favorite this fandom has shown me. Their Endbringer pieces are always exquisite, and this is no exception.

I love everything about this image, but if I have to pick something I’d like to call attention to the composition, things like the posing of the wings. I like how the top two wings complete the circle around her, a subtle detail that helps center the image on her body despite her wings being as chaotic as they are.

r6IiF3x.png

By lonsheep

Is… is this depicting the greenscreen filming of the Simurgh’s movements in a live-action Worm adaptation? Points for creativity there.

I’m of two minds about it being grayscale. The grayscale makes it less clear that it’s a greenscreen, but the camera equipment being close to the, uh, camera, kind of takes over that role, so once I thought about what I was seeing for a second it wasn’t hard to piece it together. On the other hand, the grayscale looks really good for this piece. 🙂

cvLMCAj

By lonsheep

Somehow the boob wing in this one made me think that maybe Regent wouldn’t be the Goose, the Simurgh would. I mean they’re both white feathery assholes.

Anyway, this is another great depiction. I really like the face in this one. Despite not exactly having inhuman features (besides the ghost eyes), it comes across as just the right amount of not human. Or not a particularly caring human, at least.

And that hand reaching down as if to grab something really completes the mix of serenity and menace.

gq7Qt6o

By DamienDraidecht

Here’s one that beautifully utilizes large wings and a light touch of mood coloring to emphasize the mysterious and kind of spooky side of the character. Love it!

xqKUuv7

By liujuin

Meanwhile, liujuin goes the exact opposite route and makes her a quirky anime secondary protagonist (or otherwise supporting character). I definitely find myself reminded of the latest example I saw of that trope, Hinata Miyake from A Place Further than the Universe.

(Watch that anime, by the way. It’s adorable and emotional as hell. 13 episodes of joy, surprisingly powerful moments and a great message.)

I’m getting a bit sidetracked, but my point is this is cute. ;D

q1ZQJgN

By Dragonberry

Sharks said this was drawn by scarfgirl, so maybe they’re the same person? I don’t know.

In any case, I really like the way this one strays from human anatomy to highlight the alien nature of even the humanoid part of her body. That silver is also a great color on her. 🙂

JO0Prcf

By Winkle92

Oooh, this is a very interesting style. It shows the important bits, just enough to identify her, while using darkness and a whole lot of negative space to increase the spook value. This is a piece that uses minimalism very well to achieve a lot with little.


Memes

ugrpgj8yuym31.png

[meme by BenswFrienefits]

Caption: Not sure if plotting humanity’s downfall or just kinda fucking with the Travellers

Part 16 of the “The entirety of Worm retold using decade-old memes” series BenswFrienefits is doing. It’s rather fitting. 😛

I think it’s probably motherfucking both things.

cody

Screen: Everyone is doing a great JOB! Except CODY

I don’t know if it was Sharks or the submitter who added the note that this is Krouse’s motto, but they’re absolutely correct.

I’m renaming this in the site files so I can find it easily if Cody turns out to be Ballistic and does something stupid while with the Undersiders.


Hei på deg, smurf i vei, her er vi igjen…

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