Patreon: K6BD book 3 ch. 9-11

Source material: Kill Six Billion Demons: Seeker of Thrones, chapter 9-11

Blogged: March 11-29, 2020


Alrighty, let’s do this thing!

Last time, Allison lost control of her body to another part of herself, presumably spurred on by Incubus. That other part of herself is an asshole and has potentially ruined things with the love of her life her devilishly handsome bestie for a while.

Said gal pal hasn’t been free of her own spiraling, for that matter. Having been forced into a role she never wanted to return to, she has begun to embrace that role to cope. (I freaking love stuff like that. It’s one of the great recurring themes in The Wheel of Time.) But seeing Allison in her white-haired Seeker of Thrones persona seemed to shake her out of that a little, recognizing that Allison’s been going through some shit too.

Then she got shaken by a damn explosion, which I guess means she’ll be out of commission for a little bit. But she’s not out of the story, I think (it seems very unlikely that Mamoru takes over her role as the black flame by Allison’s side), and very much hope she’ll be returning by the end of the book, so I’m definitely looking forward to whatever’s going to happen in these next three chapters. I hope Ciocie has a major role in snapping Allison out of her situation.

It’s also time to meet Mammon, presumably. I wonder if he’s got hidden depths like Mottom or if he’s just the greedy familicidal asshole he’s been built up as.

Oh, and I’m fully expecting the Conquering King to randomly show up with words of wisdom about a Seeker of Thrones. How? Fuck if I know.

Let’s go fuck up a dragon!


MaxthonSnap20200311172529

This looks neat.

Odds that those Sphinx-esque demondogs are alive? High. Especially since at the end of that sentence I noticed they’ve got palanquins on their backs, implying they can be used to move around like elephants.

I was picturing them more as a deadly defensive measure that appear to be statues until they attack than as giant demonic lamborghinis, but… why not both?

It also appears some of the priests have been making offerings in front of them.

MaxthonSnap20200311173213

Oh! Hi there. I wasn’t expecting you this soon.

I wonder if it’s because he cares about the morals of it (he seems like an intense but mostly good guy), or because he knows the prophecy requires Ciocie too. Again, why not both?

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He who hunts monsters…

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I wonder if Allison meant it the way it could alternatively be read when she called him “old man”, because she’s certainly acting like she’s rebelling against her old man all of a sudden.

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cycle? Are we going even more Wheel of Time than I thought?

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Ehh. Incubus is fucking with her. But, to be fair, maybe it was a mistake to pick someone who could so easily be fucked with by him.

She’s still got some growing to do before she can become the true Rising King.

[alt text]

The Final Path

Don’t finalize your path just yet, Allison.


Also I just remembered — isn’t a “cycle” a unit of time in Throne, akin to a year? Maybe that’s what Zoss meant. Like, “this isn’t how I thought my year would go”. Or maybe it’s closer to a day.

Could be more to that, though.


MaxthonSnap20200311175607

Allison Prime has had enough of the Seeker’s shenanigans.

I’m amused by the idea that it’s the talking back to Zoss that gets to her rather than the abandoning of Ciocie, though it’s presumably both.

MaxthonSnap20200311175824

Cod dammit Self Loathing you’re supposed to be calling Allison out not me

Also, I just noticed: Allison Prime and the Seeker (“power”, according to Incubus) are the only Allisons depicted with the key.

MaxthonSnap20200311180333

…which I think if I hadn’t noticed there, I would’ve definitely noticed in this panel.

Nerd Allison to the rescue?

Let’s not put Self Loathing in charge.

MaxthonSnap20200311180616

I really love the depictions of each of the Allisons. Not just in these panels, but in general.

I wonder what’s up with the sea creature(?) Allison.

MaxthonSnap20200311180943

Oh this is a fantastic panel. I’m loving the transition of the thought process through these particular Allisons with the overlap and Self Loathing capping it off ahhh so good

[alt text]

There’s only one character on this page.

That’s actually a really important thing to remember here. This is pretty much Allison thinking to herself, trying to find a way to push down the side of herself that has taken charge.

It really seems like Self Loathing is the strongest right now besides the Seeker, but putting her in charge is rarely ever much healthier.


(*gets interrupted by a meeting he wasn’t aware was going to happen, comes back about an hour later*)


MaxthonSnap20200311193545

The many faces of Yisun come to mind. Many different facets, all parts of the same deity, one is all and all is one.

A true king must embrace them all.

That doesn’t mean the Seeker should stay in singular power, because that pushes the other facets down. But it does mean Allison needs to embrace her too.

MaxthonSnap20200311194008

Time to unite.

By the way, I’m including more of the border than usual because the extra whitespace around the panels on this page compared to the previous few feels significant somehow.

MaxthonSnap20200311194231

“I’m no bloody hero.”

Have I mentioned Allison is basically everything I love about the main characters of the Wheel of Time — and especially my favorite of them, Mat — rolled into one? Yeah, I have and I’m mentioning it again.

But of course, Allison will need to fuse with the Seeker, with Power, with the “Hero” too, in order to be whole.

[alt text]

“‘Lord, then which should I be, the giant or the ant?’ [said Hansa]’
‘Both,’ spoke YISUN,’ or either, when it suits you. Destroy the grand enemy called ‘I’.”
– Psalms

Very fitting.

Especially when paired with what I was talking about with the many facets of Yisun and the description info I was given after meeting Himself, about Yisun’s true name being “I/Me”.

Note also that (as far as I’m aware without having read the story that leaves his corpse floating outside reality), Hansa comes from those facets, from Yisun performing blessed division of self and then reuniting in a different and hornier way.

MaxthonSnap20200311195620

I’m not sure that’s what she’s looking to do anymore, Power.

Also the stuff going on with the rainbow crown gives me Sailor Moon vibes. (I still haven’t actually watched Sailor Moon. Maybe I should.)

MaxthonSnap20200311195946

I hope we’re doing something fun with her reflection in the water.

…hang on, what’s going on on the right there? Looks like the reflection is showing an opening that isn’t there above the water. Or maybe that’s an actual opening below the water?

MaxthonSnap20200311200350

Looks like the Seeker noticed the same thing.

MaxthonSnap20200311200532

Well, uh… that explains the rainbows…

Jokes aside, this is beautiful.

Also, because I don’t want you to think I missed it; Rainbows are tried and true symbolism for many different parts coming together to form a more beautiful whole. That’s the reason rainbowy visuals are so tightly linked with the magic of friendship in MLP:FiM, for example. It’s like yin/yang but with less focus on duality and direct opposition and more on wholeness leading to beauty through the diversity of the components.

[alt text]

Divinity

I went back to see if this last panel visually mirrored what we saw of the horny reunion, but it doesn’t. Largely because Un was a lot grabbier than either sub-Allison.

MaxthonSnap20190407182215

At least they seemed to be enjoying themselves.


MaxthonSnap20200311203256

Ooh. I like that while she lost the red eyes and the bluish-white tint to the hair, the hair didn’t go all the way back to brown. Helps to sell the idea that the two versions of her actually did merge.

Also the way we see her come out of the water gasping for air after so much of her has been trapped, suffocating in her own mind… very good transition.

Really the fact that we seem to have reached the Grand Vault seems like the least interesting part of these panels. It does mean she’s probably gone too far to go back and help Ciocie now. Not because she can’t, but because she’s probably about to be prevented from that by the plot cutscene triggered by entering the level.

SOT105

I’ll give Mammon this much, he’s better at decorating than Smaug is.

…is that a town

What’s the population of this vault? As in both “how many are there” and “what are they”.

Is the whole familicide a ruse, and Mammon keeps his family locked up in the vault?

[alt text]

Refuge

Tends to be a good name for a town.


MaxthonSnap20200311204946

Yep, there’s the Allison we know and love!

…it took me a little while to remember what they even came here for, and that made me realize Allison seems more focused on Cio and exiting than finding Zaid now. (To be fair, last she saw Cio, she was stuck between a rock and a hard place.)

MaxthonSnap20200311205346

Yep, there it is. Too late to go back for Cio now, you’ve entered the level and triggered the cutscene.

MaxthonSnap20200311211622

“My, how big a mouth you have, grandma!”

“All the better to demand interest on your loans with, sweetie!”

(Look at this dude walking around with a bunch of swords stuck in his neck, just showing off how little those bother him.)

[alt text]

IA! IA!

This situation strikes me more as a “NEI! NEI!” but you do you.


MaxthonSnap20200311212322

It’s not gonna work, Allison, did you not see all the other swords?

MaxthonSnap20200311212457

Oh, hi. Residents of the towns, I presume?

I didn’t realize Mammon hired Oompa Loompas. That’s the real plot twist, isn’t it? All those coins are chocolate. The river Allison came in through is made of Mammon’s patented “healthy chocolate” in its liquid form. The plants? Chocolate leaves.

I’d argue all the things that tried to kill our heroes on their way in are quite on-brand too.

Okay, jokes aside, I notice the shoes are different between the flower girls and the parade in the background, so maybe these are just the kids in this… migration?

Poor Cross looks terrified, and rightfully so.

MaxthonSnap20200311213918

*puts on his best Attenborough voice*

“And here we see a herd of priests in their natural habitat, migrating across the great golden savanna… But nearby, a predator lurks. This confused Allison is on the prowl…”

[alt text]

It was at that exact moment that Allison realized that a normal girl from LA may not, in fact, be able to slay a dragon.

Hah!

What about an alpaca?


SOT108

Tower. I suppose that makes sense given all the focus on hostile architecture in this book.

I wonder if the meaning of the Tower in tarot is relevant too… Certainly been a fair bit of death here.

[alt text]

IÄ!

You might want to look for a little androgynous guy in green, Mammon. Sounds like he’s around here somewhere.


MaxthonSnap20200311215229

At least he has the courtesy of asking rather than obliterating her on the spot.

For now.

MaxthonSnap20200311215436

I like this. This giant murderous alpaca-dragon asking for an apology.

But… this can be a good way to root out dishonesty. Actual thieves stuck in a position like this might see it as an opportunity to save themselves, but an apology is tantamount to an admission, and then he’s got a reason to punish.

On the other claw, he might genuinely just want that. I like the idea of the dude appearing super menacing but actually being fairly soft.

MaxthonSnap20200311215937

Ooooh, this is a good angle. Old and slightly senile, can barely even remember why he bothered to get all this stuff, but still feels a duty to count it.

That could take a lot longer than Allison actually has, though.


MaxthonSnap20200311220223

You kinda have a reputation.

So, uh, do you remember where you’re keeping a human boy believed to be the Rising King?

MaxthonSnap20200311220437

Is that really the origin of most of the priests?

MaxthonSnap20200311220623

Old and regretful.

Also, strength vs power is another theme Wheel of Time had some fun with. It’s a fairly common one, but still worth pointing out, because at this point… if Abbadon hasn’t read Wheel of Time, I’m a two-hooved goat.

[alt text]

It was then that Allison realized a normal girl from L.A. really, REALLY couldn’t slay a dragon

Because of the swords getting stuck in the scales? Or because of the pity?

Both. Definitely both.


MaxthonSnap20200311221154

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Hmm. It seems like the Emissary is the one who wants Mammon to live forever… not Mammon.

Mottom was afraid of death and glutting on life, and Allison forced her to face it by destroying her means of immortality. With Mammon, it seems more like the sin is supposed to be embodied by the Emissary holding on to Mammon’s life.

Hoo boy. If this keeps up we might need a TW for discussion of euthanasia for the rest of the blog.

MaxthonSnap20200311222132

Ciocie?

…Cat Master? No, not really seeing why he’d attack her in this situation.

MaxthonSnap20200311222327

Well.

That’s potentially a problem.

[alt text]

Retribution

The knife is probably a bad sign, but let’s be real. She probably doesn’t need it.

The really interesting thing here, though, is that before this transformation, Cio recognized that Allison didn’t seem to be fully in control of herself. But to what extent does she believe that now?

To what extent is it even true? The Seeker was still a part of Allison.


MaxthonSnap20200311222932

now kiss

MaxthonSnap20200311223055

no cio that’s not how you kiss someone

It doesn’t really seem like Ciocie (if that is even still her name) is fully in control either, but that might just be devilish rage.

MaxthonSnap20200311223456

Yeah uh… you better hope that key does make you a little tougher physically because I’m pretty sure a normal girl from L.A. has fairly low chances of surviving an impact like that.

[alt text]

There’s really nothing more to say

TG: allison
TG: dead
TG: thats really all there is to say on the matter


MaxthonSnap20200311223927

Kudos to Allison for not only surviving, but being able to get on her feet before Cio got over to her.

Also kudos to Abbadon for the excellent portrayal of the sheer impact of the throw both on the previous page and here.

SOT113

Ciocie looks downright ecstatic here, like this is the most exquisite of hatefucks.

(It’s not, that award goes to Yis and Un. Anything else is blasphemy.)

[alt text]

Yabalchoath

Yeah, she’s very much shining through here.

Incidentally, when I mentioned “this transformation”, I was really just forgetting that Ciocie was wearing stuff that made her look ebon for the occasion. But that doesn’t mean nothing has changed inside.

Maybe Ciocie needs to reconcile herself with Yabalchoath the same way Allison had to do with the Seeker. Metaphorically, at least.

I fucking love their parallel character arcs this Book.


MaxthonSnap20200311225232

And so lucidity returns.

“again”. This has happened before.

MaxthonSnap20200311225429

Still alive, somehow…

And cracking jokes, even.

(“If you must mount the gallows, give a coin to the hangman, a jest to the crowd, and make the drop with a smile on your face.”)

MaxthonSnap20200311225748

Hah! 😀

Purple prose to the rescue!

[alt text]

Finally I can stop drawing that stupid backpack

Pfft. I barely even noticed it, but I can see it being an annoying detail to have to add to everything.


MaxthonSnap20200311230211

Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes

Allison acknowledging her mistakes with Cio and doing what little she can to restore Cio’s identity… “I like you better as a writer”… I’m so here for this.

Maybe Cio has decided she needs to embrace parts of Yabalchoath after all, but I could also see it going the other way as a contrast to Allison’s parallel character arc. They both have more assholish sides of themselves to deal with, but embracing that isn’t always the answer.

MaxthonSnap20200311230652

What are you doing? Looking for a pen so you can write about the latest adventures?

Oh, or just moving the book out of the way. Fair enough.

(now kiss?)

Also I can’t help but imagine the confusion of Mammon and the Emissary and everyone else who are watching this with no context.

MaxthonSnap20200311231015

By all rights your entire spine should be broken.

MaxthonSnap20200311231223

She’s definitely tougher than she looks.

Hmm… Please excuse me while I pull up MS Paint for a moment…

*tinkers a little*

Here, I fixed it:

slay thee

[alt text]

Revival

Of both of them.

And of the two of them.


SOT116r

EYYYY

There we go!

[alt text]

Don’t hold your breath

Is this… kissing advice?

Also, I noticed the filename of this page’s image ends with an r. “SOT116r”. Does this mean the page has been changed at some point?


All of this stuff has been in the same chapter, which long since passed the threshold of “favorite chapter so far of the book if not straight up of K6BD in its entirety”… and there’s still more.


MaxthonSnap20200311234121

You two have some stuff to figure out together, yeah. And this really isn’t the place for it. But you can figure it out.

I hope that “Stop!” is Allison recognizing that Cio is taking it as a rejection, going “stop, let me finish”.

MaxthonSnap20200311234501

Close enough.

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Um. Yeah. Maybe shouldn’t’ve used the girl who was already on the brink of passing out from other injuries as your personal scratching post and then thrown her back-first into a pillar.

The Emissary doesn’t seem happy with all of this.

[alt text]

It turns out humans really do need their blood after all

Humans can have a little blood, as a treat.


MaxthonSnap20200311235558

Y e s. Own the name change!

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This part is ruckus? Then what was the part where Allison got thrown hard enough to dent a pillar?

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Almost got in trouble with the boss there for a second, eh?

[alt text]

The high priestess usually skips most of this incantation for obvious reasons.

The “o god, my god” bit? Yeah, I can see that.

Or is this in reference to something in the description?

MaxthonSnap20200312001015

Don’t let the big guy hear you openly stating you’ll go against his orders when he isn’t looking.

MaxthonSnap20200312001327

We are completely blown away by this stunning revelation.

Yeah, I wasn’t really expecting they’d actually find Zaid here. Prince MacGuffin is in another castle. I mean, we still have another four Demiurges for Allison to meet, and she needs reason to go meet them.

MaxthonSnap20200312001904

It’s very interesting how Mammon appears to function to them as a sort of cautionary tale god. They see him, an entity corrupted by the the evils of the outside and driven to actions he now regrets, and strive to not follow in his footsteps.

[alt text]

“The vault of Ynamon was built to contain everything its lord wished close to him. Now its only purpose seems to be to keep everyone and everything away from him.” – Payapop Pritram

The Emissary seems to have, to some extent, taken over the role of “its lord” in that statement. It’s true either way.

MaxthonSnap20200312003635

Say, Mammon, you wouldn’t happen to know some healing magic?

MaxthonSnap20200312003856MaxthonSnap20200312003922

…what?

That looks like a model of Throne falling through the roof. What?

Is this part of an alternative entry tactic by whoever survived the battle of the invisible maze?

[alt text]

Mottom is not a very subtle queen

…oh. Oh, this should be fun.

The Emissary’s gonna have a fit, but she’d better keep it contained.


That was the last page of chapter 9, the best chapter in K6BD so far, so I think that’s where I’ll call the night.

[End of session]


Holy fuck I just had such a scare. I came back and this draft was just gone from the drafts page, and I thought I might’ve lost not just my bloggings of the best chapter so far, but a third of a product that had been paid for.

Thankfully the draft still existed and was linked to in the site activity tracker, but jeez, WordPress, don’t spook me like that.


Also I just recalled that the patron warned me of some URL weirdness at the end of chapter 9, so what I called the last page of chapter 9 is actually two pages before the page he told me was the end. Doesn’t make a huge difference now that 9 isn’t the last chapter of a batch like it was originally supposed to be, but worth addressing.


[Session 2]

Right, let’s see how Mottom’s doing!

SOT121

Ah yes. She is, unsurprisingly, pissed.

[alt text]

Even the Gods Must Die

…be careful with your landing, Mottom.

By the way I really like her outfit here.


MaxthonSnap20200319184102

All they’re missing is popcorn.

SOT122

Oh hey, it’s the rest of the peanut gallery!

[alt text]

Call to Destruction

Oh please give me Mathangi ten Meti, she whose name I have to check every time, leading the dead into battle.

(this time the name that came to mind first was Nesta din Reas, but that’s a Wheel of Time character)

MaxthonSnap20200319184854MaxthonSnap20200319184916

Yeah, that seems like a fair description of Mottom at the moment.

MaxthonSnap20200319185112

Took him a moment to make the connection.

I wonder if we’ll get to see the Emissary try to stand up against Mottom with the Axe of Judication. I don’t think she has much of a chance of winning, but I’d love to see that, especially given that this is exactly the sort of intrusion she’s dedicated herself to protecting Mammon from.

[alt text]

“As for my enemies/
Let searing torrents of fire rain down upon their brows/
Let flames immolate their places of sleeping”

Rude much?


SOT124

YES

MaxthonSnap20200319185646

Look, just because I don’t think the Emissary stands a chance of winning (on account of character status) doesn’t mean she can’t be really badass before losing.

[alt text]

Maybe if the paper pusher pushed her god to a couple of meetings once in a while we wouldn’t be in this predicament

Pfft.


MaxthonSnap20200319185953

So many guests, so little time!

MaxthonSnap20200319190111

Ah yes…

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“arisen”.

MaxthonSnap20200319190413

For Mottom, Allison destroyed everything by forcing her to confront her mortality, confront the idea that she couldn’t glut on life forever.

Mammon, meanwhile, has been sheltered, kept to himself, and Allison’s breaking that by drawing a crowd and one who would destroy everything in her path to get revenge on Allison. It’s a more passive kind of destruction, one where Mottom ends up being the one to blame for disrupting the otherwise relatively harmless life in the vault.

(Though Mammon and the priests don’t seem completely harmless, what with capitalism.)

MaxthonSnap20200319190955

Y’know, back before I knew them, I used to joke about Mottom being a silly nickname for Mammon when the rest discovered he was a bottom, which Mammon had been trying to trick everyone else into believing was actually another Demiurge.

However… I’m no expert on these matters, but out of the two of them, Mottom certainly feels like the top.

[alt text]

“It is common in parts of the Rim Worlds for wives to throw themselves upon the pyres of their husbands. They do this with complete obedience and nary a sound. One shudders to think of the terrible custom.” -Payapop Pritram

Can you blame me for constantly bringing up the Wheel of Time series in these liveblogs? This is exactly the kind of thing that gets me thinking of the series, among many other things in K6BD that do so.

MaxthonSnap20200319191647

As far as D&D classes go, the Emissary is one of the paladiniest paladins I’ve seen in a while.

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YEAH!

[alt text]

Annihilation of the Heretics

This is probably not going to go quite the way they intend, but damn if they’re not badass trying.

Also I just noticed the fucking chainsaws on sticks, that’s a great weapon. 😛


MaxthonSnap20200319192256

I mean she’s not wrong.

That arm looks familiar. Who is that, Cat Master? Nand? Nxor? I forget who’s who of the logic gates.

Oscar? That’d make a bit more sense, characterwise, given his history with Ciocie.

MaxthonSnap20200319192603

Well hello there.

This is Cat Master’s berserker mode, isn’t it? I feel like I should be recognizing this devil better, but the fluff is the most familiar-looking part.

There’s also the ripped Infinity Train shirt.

MaxthonSnap20200319192855

Ohh, right, it’s Mamoru’s new form! I remember now.

It’s been a while since that happened on my end, and it was kind of glossed over back then.

[alt text]

WITH GOD AS MY WITNESS THAT MAN WAS BROKEN IN HALF

Man? Dang it, this is why I try not to use pronouns prematurely with this comic.

…well, actually, the main reason for that is White Chain, but still.


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I mean, not for lack of trying, but sometimes murder attempts turn into makeout sessions halfway through. That’s just how it works. Ask any Homestuck.

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Only three to get in.

Of course, Ciocie isn’t having a good time, here. She’s being credited for leading them in there… as Yabalchoath. Oof.

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Hey, at least she gave you all an opening. A tricky one to get through, perhaps, but an opening. Fewer traps to get past this way.

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Therapist: “Wrestler priest isn’t real, he can’t kill you with his chains.”

I suppose if so many of the priests were adventurers who made it into the vault to kill Mammon, that does explain their fighting skills.

[alt text]

“I have made some feeble attempts at compiling a dictionary of the Black Speech but I found myself incapable of cataloguing the numerous contortions through which the beautiful and ancient Astral language is dragged through by the devil tongue without dropping my pen from extreme distaste.” – Payapop Pritram

I like Payapop Pritram, but they’d probably hate me for liking the Black Speech.

(Pick a “through”, Pritram.)

MaxthonSnap20200319194357

Time for another flying ship escape? Or do you mean to use that as your distraction?

…I suppose someone would need to pilot it, perhaps accounting for another death.

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Oh, or the peanut gallery can offer the distraction, that works too.

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Time for a graceful exit.

[alt text]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAwWPadFsOA

Pfft. Guess we’ve got our music for this scene.


SiegeofYrefullcolorv2

 

Damn, this is enormous. What is that, four pages in print? A fold-out page?

It looks awesome and I really like the level of detail. Click here for the full image.

[alt text]

“Lord of the Under-Earth,
God of the Crossroads,
Ah-shas shebu nur,
As it is for Sivran, whose wheels are spoked with fire,
Make it so for me,
May the bones of my enemies lie forgotten in the wastes,
May their shades be banished to the edge of the world,
May carnivorous dogs consume their entrails,
The lord of the Bright House shall not enable them to rise again.”

Beautiful.


Also yes, the url and the page caption confirms, this counts as four pages.


MaxthonSnap20200319200756

So, uh… are the chainsaws actually running? Doesn’t really look like they are, which makes them significantly weaker weapons.

MaxthonSnap20200319201838

They say money can’t buy you happiness (a saying that is very relevant to Mammon now that I think about it), but how well does it work as armor?

MaxthonSnap20200319202517

Hi there, nice of you to drop in alongside everyone else!

I’d ask what they were doing here so quickly, but Abbadon said it himself: Mottom is not exactly subtle.

[alt text]

Saviors

Of the waking world, or the dreaming dead?

I think Dreaming Dead fits better, but opinions are welcome.


MaxthonSnap20200319203757

On the topic of D&D classes brought up earlier with the Emissary, White Chain has always been such a multiclass monk/paladin it hurts.

MaxthonSnap20200319204049

Ahaha!

You’re gonna need to at least give them some privacy, for some activities they might get up to down the line… unless of course you’d like to join them? But frankly I don’t like you anywhere near enough to poly-ship you with the OTP.

MaxthonSnap20200319204419

Okay but that has gotta be a treat for anyone who does ship Ciochain or the whole triad. 😛

I love them all.

Aaand of course you couldn’t trust the rest of the devils.

[alt text]

Eventually this comic will just degenerate into a bunch of panels of Cio making faces

I won’t mind.


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Looks like not everyone was quite, shall we say, on board with this plan?

Mamoru MVP here? I could see her being strong enough to hold back the ship in this form.

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Damn it, physics.

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This doesn’t look good for Charon, Cat Master or the latter’s cat.

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I don’t know, miss logic gate, do you need a cat in your face?

[alt text]

A ‘Devil’s Walkabout’ is a common moniker in Throne for a plan or scheme that will probably irrevocably end in disaster.

Heh. But also, that’s racist.


MaxthonSnap20200319205548

Pfft. No one expects Charon, the cat least of all.

So… is Oscar the brains of this mutiny?

MaxthonSnap20200319205757

Aaand there they go.

Let’s take a look at my survival rankings:

  1. Allison
  2. Mamoru
  3. Ciocie
  4. Oscar
  5. Nxor (died ~4th)
  6. 1-11 (died 3rd)
  7. Cat Master (died ~4th)
  8. Charon (died ~4th)
  9. Xand (died ~4th)
  10. Felicia (died 2nd)
  11. Kitty (currently belongs to Erwin Schrödinger, might be another ~4th)
  12. Suuz (died 1st, already dead when I made the ranking)

I’d say I did rather well.

So is Oscar the one shooting here, by any chance?

MaxthonSnap20200319210941

Bad man indeed.

I wonder if that nose of his helps with the aim.

[alt text]

Prime Evil

I wonder if any part of going along with this was scorn towards Ciocie, an attempt to trap her.


MaxthonSnap20200319211208

I mean obviously he was never going to be as harmless and goofy as he looks, but his clothes literally having stuff like “evil” and “bad man” and so on printed all over them is still hilarious.

Looks good in that cap though.

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Whoops. Hadn’t planned for her to be able to catch up, had you.

MaxthonSnap20200319211455

She’s less than pleased.

MaxthonSnap20200319211603MaxthonSnap20200319211622MaxthonSnap20200319211644

…if he was after gold, but doesn’t believe you can get away with robbing the Grand Bank, then he has another source of gold for this mission.

Like, say, someone with an interest in Ciocie and/or Allison getting stuck here.

MaxthonSnap20200319211922

Ohh, okay. I mean it was pretty clear he preferred her that way, but I didn’t really expect him to be doing it all for that purpose.

[alt text]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40nhzsapiWo

Pffft.


MaxthonSnap20200319213940

“…again?!”

MaxthonSnap20200319214155

Nice try, dude.

MaxthonSnap20200319214251

Should’a used the nose.

Wait, did he just break her glass frame?

That seems potentially symbolic of the sort of compromise Cio is having to make in this book. She chose to embrace her identity as Ciocie, with Allison giving back the frames of her glasses, but the glasses — her mask hiding her old self as Yabalchoath — were still broken. She’s chosen to embrace being Cio, but she’s also learning that she can’t keep hiding her past, only fight to make her future better.

And so the lenses break first, allowing her and others to see Yabalchoath. Then she puts the frames away as she starts embracing Yabalchoath for the mission. They are returned to her as she backs away from that and returns to her identity as Ciocie, but break in half as she needs to find a compromise.

MaxthonSnap20200319215316

Oh hell yes, badass Nyave to the rescue.

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Fuck yes!

[alt text]

https://youtu.be/znxFrgql5dc?t=19

Oh hey, Firefly! Good series. Very popular among webcomic creators for some reason.

I forgot that was the origin of “curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal”. 😛


MaxthonSnap20200319220424

When Oscar hoped for this all to end with Ciocie riding him, this was not quite what he had in mind.

SOT140

Oh fuck! I didn’t expect to see you again!

Alrighty then. And here I thought you were the one I got most right in my survival rankings, other than the main cast and Oscar. I should’ve known it was suspicious that there was another member of the squad on top of the main cast and the audience devils! Especially when that member was played off as another disposable character to round out the team.

Well played.

I hope this means she’s joining the squad.

[alt text]

This is not her first rodeo

Whose, Ciocie’s or Felicia’s? Either way, that much is clear.


MaxthonSnap20200319221613

You might’ve done a little too much girlie-tossing, Oscar.

And hey, there’s the cat, too, alive and well if rather scared. Felicia, wanna adopt?

MaxthonSnap20200319221855

Yowch, those bullets do pack a punch.

Is he going to topple overboard?

MaxthonSnap20200319222022

You threw a cat, so she landed on her feet (metaphorically) and came back scratching (also metaphorically, with a gun).

[alt text]

Finale

It’s interesting how this chapter has been very much climactic when there’s still a chapter to go in the book. Makes sense, I suppose. It’s supposed to end in three pages and there’s way too much going on to wrap up in that time.


MaxthonSnap20200319222416

Called it!

Where did he even get that hat, anyway? Like, it makes sense for him to be able to find a ship captain’s hat on the ship, but it’s so clearly his brand. I’m forced to assume he either had it with him from the start without even knowing he’d end up on a ship, or he found a ship captain’s hat on the ship and used either magic or insanely fast sewing skills to give it the “BAD MAN” text himself.

Or maybe he’s just got such an inherent bad man vibe that it passively puts that kind of branding on any and all clothing he wears?

MaxthonSnap20200319223005

Making their way on board, I see.

SOT142

Bye bye, Yre!

[alt text]

He’s had worse, believe me

So he might still be alive enough to return in the future without invoking the stuff about humans being the only true mortals?


SOT143

Damn it, Bonesaw, the dude is senile enough already.

[alt text]

The price of the Grand Dragon guilder was never the same

Is this page what happens when the stock market crashes?


MaxthonSnap20200319223827

The contents of a supposedly infinite space spilling out into a finite space is rarely a good thing. It tends to lead to a certain inflation, so to speak. But maybe the popping of this economic bubble can help lift Mammon out of his Great Depression.

MaxthonSnap20200319224311

You okay, dude? You look as though you feel like Germany between the wars.

SOT144

Welp, looks like he picked a guy with a short mustache to fix his problems. Next up… Kill Six Billion Demons: Seeker of Thrones: Chapter 11: The Desolation of Mammon.

(Oh hey, Throne has a moon?)


Being the end of chapter 10, that’s another good stopping point. This was another really good chapter, though I think I still like 9 better.


[Session 3]

It’s been far too long. Let’s wrap up this book!

SOT145-1

Not gonna lie, I thought the page wasn’t loading for a few moments there.

[alt text]

[description]


So I guess we’re back to Allison’s POV, as she either wakes up or gets another visit from Incubus?

MaxthonSnap20200329180416

Yep.

She’s seen better days.

I hope the first person she sees is Ciocie, but it wouldn’t surprise me if White Chain has been watching over her too.

And Nyave is the nurse of the group so… the whole squad might very well be around.

MaxthonSnap20200329180649

It seems you’ll have to get used to this, Allison.

MaxthonSnap20200329180751

All in a day’s work for a protagonist and her posse.

Loving the look, by the way.

[alt text]

Things are, very generally speaking, a hot mess

Yeah, there are at least three hot messes just in this room, in various configurations of “hot” and “mess”.


MaxthonSnap20200329181147

You’re in too deep to expect things to get all hushlike.

MaxthonSnap20200329181430

MaxthonSnap20200329181522

Dang it. Guess she won’t be joining the crew. Fair enough, though; she never signed up for a revolution.

MaxthonSnap20200329181638

The cat was the biggest villain of them all!

Also I’m assuming a 95% chance of Oscar returning to play a role again later on, what with how clear it’s been made that he survived.

MaxthonSnap20200329181853

Huh. I legitimately wasn’t expecting any of the audience devils to survive the heist, even before Oscar turned on them.

[forgot the alt text here, will go back to it after the next page]


MaxthonSnap20200329182148

…is that supposed to be a good outcome, Cio?

MaxthonSnap20200329182258

Allison thinks Cio is jealous. She might be slightly right, but I don’t think that’s Cio’s main motivation for calling Allison out on this.

MaxthonSnap20200329182538

Damn it…

…are you sure you’re not at least a 1 on the Kinsey scale?

MaxthonSnap20200329182802

I don’t think Allison meant to lead you on. She did use you, but I don’t think she realized the sway she had.

MaxthonSnap20200329182926

Awkward.

[alt text]

“Hell hath no fury like a devil scorned. Except Hell 80, there’s a lad there that will rip apart anyone you send him after for half a guilder. Right nutter, he is.” – Little Finger Yao, Spire Ganger

Ahahaha


I accidentally skipped the alt text on the page with Cat Master and Charon, so let’s go back for a second.

[alt text]

Victory for all feline sympathizers

Hehe, yeah. The cats won this round.


MaxthonSnap20200329183530

A medium healing factor like this might be one of the most useful versions of the trope for writers, because injuries matter but you don’t have to wait months to get your protagonist back into the game after they get fucked up.

MaxthonSnap20200329183824

There’s my clapback for calling her the nurse of the party a few pages ago, I guess.

MaxthonSnap20200329183929

Nyave, describing exactly why Allison is such a good protagonist for this story.

MaxthonSnap20200329184106

Woah, loving the new look. It seems Nyave’s had a good influence on White Chain’s self-image and, judging by her acknowledgement of how she’s been acting just as undisciplined, hastily and unrefinedly, her introspection.

And she’s got a point. Nyave described why Allison is a fantastic protagonist, but she needs some of the discipline and stability White Chain values to become a well-rounded hero.

Maybe the next book will focus on angels and White Chain like this one has on devils and Ciocie. In this book, Allison embraced devilish traits, and while they proved effective, she needed to compromise to retain her morality and connections. Maybe next book will have White Chain helping Allison embrace angelic traits, and Allison will find there’s a balance to strike there too? Together the books would show there’s value in both sides of the divide but you can go too far on both ends.

I will admit I like the devils a lot better than the angels, but that seems like a good progression of the story from here, and the angels deserve a bit of focus after all the devil stuff recently. White Chain in particular.

MaxthonSnap20200329185307

The point of no return was back when you destroyed Mottom’s tree. Now you’re in even deeper.

MaxthonSnap20200329185541

I like how she’s not asking. This is something that, to White Chain, will happen. Whether Allison likes it or not.

[alt text]

White Chain’s clothes here might look familiar to you if you look back in this chapter

Wait what, are those…

(Did you mean book?)

…okay it’s not quite what I was thinking (Nyave’s clothes, which in retrospect would probably not fit) but it’s close enough:

MaxthonSnap20200112220416


MaxthonSnap20200329190313

Heat-eater? Interesting racial nickname. Angels are clearly the colder flame, but is that all that’s meant by them “eating heat”? There are a number of things heat can be a metaphor in this story, and to top it off there are the more literal readings… Angels covered in solar panels…

MaxthonSnap20200329190711

I think this moment, in the top panel here, is why this chapter is in book 3 rather than opening book 4. This chapter closes what book 3 chapter 1 opened.

As for Ciocie’s question, not as much as everyone else seems to think, but that’s not what Allison is here for.

MaxthonSnap20200329191012

Oof. Hadn’t thought too deeply about the stakes here, huh?

The difference, of course, is that Allison chose this, to some extent. She chose to come back for Zaid’s sake.

MaxthonSnap20200329191210

She allows herself to cry, to be “weak” for a moment, because she needs to, but then calls upon the part of herself that has the power to move on and get through this. Now that’s how you use the Seeker.

[alt text]

The First Division: Division of Self

So I guess we should expect these two

MaxthonSnap20200311200532

to take things a bit further, eh? Second Division, nudge nudge?


MaxthonSnap20200329191744

Is anything ever normal in the realm of love?

You watch anime, Allison. Surely you know these things are to be expected. Do you not believe love can bloom even on the battlefield?

MaxthonSnap20200329192203

It’s a step forward! Allison is willing to try!

Let’s hope their last scene didn’t change Cio’s mind.

MaxthonSnap20200329192455

Now if only my characters would take a cue out of their book and actually communicate.

MaxthonSnap20200329192739

*eyebrows catch fire*

[alt text]

The border between the Shade and Sunside of Throne is stuck in eternal twilight, a sort of perpetual dusk.

You’re lucky Throne doesn’t seem to have realistic weather.

Also I managed to misread that as “perpetual duck” at first. 😛


MaxthonSnap20200329193034

Hell yes you would 😀

MaxthonSnap20200329193202

I’m really enjoying this scene, even besides the shipping. It’s just lovely.

MaxthonSnap20200329193332

For someone as imposing as White Chain is, she’s also surprisingly sneaky sometimes.

MaxthonSnap20200329193605

Ahahaha

All their new looks make this moment even better, I love it.

[alt text]

Fate

The heir, flanked by a white flame and a black flame.

Yet they’re all blue.


MaxthonSnap20200329194101

You should try her coffee.

SOT153

And a sprawling cityscape much like Los Angeles to close out the book. Lovely.

[alt text]

Resplendent incadescence

Pretty sure it’s incandescence, but yes, those are words that describe this place’s aesthetic very well.

And the shine of the individual flames on the ship.


I’ve been instructed to proceed to the book 4 cover before stopping, so let’s go one more page.

KingofSwordscover

Looks like we’ve got our next Demiurge! Solomon’s turn. That should be interesting.

King of Swords, eh? At this point it seems a safe bet that that’s describing Allison moreso than Solomon. Maybe it’ll be dealing with violence and when a king should or should not use it? That would fit rather well with my hypothesis about a focus on angels via White Chain.

The most interesting part of this cover is the character on the left. Looks like a mildly deranged shepard… Wait a minute, is that Gog-Agog? Oh hell yes if it is.

[alt text]

We’re reaching dangerous levels of smug already, and it’s not even the first page of the book

Oh please, he’s got nothing on Adagio Dazzle.


End of Keep Six Billion Demons: Seeker of Thrones

Well that was amazing! Loved every bit of this. Chapter 9 was the best chapter of the best book so far, but everything else was great too.

My only complaint with the book as a whole is that Yre was built up a little too much for how much of its defenses were actually shown. I suppose the number of successful invaders who decided to stay would contribute to its reputation, but still, some of the stuff about it being “fractal” and all that never really felt like it came up again except for the vault being far larger than the outside of the building.

I quite liked the inclusion of the audience devils, and I’m pleasantly surprised that a few — including Cat Master, my favorite of the bunch — actually got to survive.

I think I’ve made it fairly clear what I’m expecting from book 4, so I won’t get too recappy here, but in short: Hoping for an angel focus to mirror book 3’s devil focus, perhaps with a side of Gog-Agog while dealing with Solomon. This should be fun!

See you soon!

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