• Snowskeeper

    Good thing there are no Fear elementals. The mental trauma for the host would be ridiculo–

    Okay, yup, we’ll be back in a few comics with a profile. No, shut up, we don’t care; we’re doing this. We’re making this happen. Yes, thanks, we realize there’s no point to it.

    • Miyto

      Wouldn’t ‘The Vile Magi’ have some similarities to a ‘Fear Magi’?

      • Snowskeeper

        Sort of, but you’d be better off comparing a Fear Magi to a Water Magi. Lia is a very potent illusionist, but that’s secondary to her power over water; a Fear Magi’s primary focus would be illusion. To compliment that, it’d likely have the ability to sense what an opponent fears or desires. And rather than the grand, large-scale illusions we’ve been seeing so far, a Fear Magi would likely be more focused on subtleties: for example, turning close friends against each other.

        We don’t know enough about how the Magi create their illusions, but we’ve been assuming that Water uses mirages and the Vile uses some sort of demonic energy. Fear would be more focused on actually tricking a target’s mind into seeing something that isn’t there: much more effective on the target, but harder to maintain on a larger audience. A Fear Magi would be a puppet master of sorts; he/she’d have to be very good at juggling projects, or his/her illusions would come tumbling down pretty damn quickly.

        We don’t want to make a villain, though. =( Which is going to make creating a personality for this character very interesting. Thanks for the question; they help us figure stuff like this out. =)

        • Michael Halpern

          Wouldn’t that be more like a perception magi, none of them are one sided by default so strictly fear wouldn’t work in Yosh

          • Snowskeeper

            That sounds right, but we’ve been assuming Fear would include governance over dreams, regarding nightmares at least. We’re not sure if you would consider that a separate form of magic; if not we’ll work on finding additional dimensions.

          • Miyto

            The main reason I was thinking it might be similar to The Vile’s power, is in Yosh! demon-magic slowly creeps into other magic integrating the two.
            I definitely agree that the form of this magic would be similar to that of the Water Magi, with added telepathy-based powers. I simply think that demon-magic has the most similar mechanics to how one might slowly overtake a persons reality with your own.
            That and the secondary reason is related to the seen as a villain but isn’t necessarily so portion. From what we’ve seen of the Magi, if they can’t accept their power as part of themselves it will corrode them from the inside. Although Axel accepted his Vileness, we know his ancestors couldn’t. The title Vile comes from them, so perhaps the first Fear Magi had trouble accepting his/her own power and gave into her/his fears, and to avoid such fears passed them on to other people?
            Honestly it could work just as well using the earth’s magic or the divine-world’s magic instead, but it seamed flavorful to me for a Fear Magi to be associated with the demon-world.

          • Snowskeeper

            How about this: at some point, the first true Magi of Fear decided to try to face his/her demons (hehe, sorry) head-on and entered the demonic plane. During his/her visit, he/she gained access to magic of the mind–the ability to sense their fears and desires, the ability to influence their dreams or put them to sleep, the ability to influence their opponent’s senses, etc.

            Sorry it took so long for me to reply. =)

          • Miyto

            It’s fine, I was taking similarly long.
            Though this Magi of Fear is now sounding like a pretty cool backstory for a character.
            Let me know if you want any feedback on making the current Fear Magi as a fan character, making the backstory was fun 😉

  • Zeldanigma .

    Great choice for a turn about. I really thought it would have been something like fire’s dream and Emi would show her memories to power.
    I like it. It makes a change from anime cliches :)

  • JonWaterfall

    It would be nice to get some sort of hint as to how is saying what in this page.

    • SilentMech

      Check the eyes. Now remember what Power looks like. Your welcome.

      • JonWaterfall

        And the last panel?

        • Sage

          The last bubble in the last panel was just a mistake not having an arrow pointing to Power. I’ll fix it later, sorry for the confusion!

          • SilentMech

            I figured it was Power still. Because of the pronouns and the “voice” used. Yes, I am weird. No, I don’t make apologies for my skill set.

  • Aetrun

    Awesome, unexpected way to heal that break (that I’m now wondering if it was intentional by Life and Death).
    Also- Pathfinder game now?? I wanna see how it goes, I’m expecting much humor.

  • Eltharrion

    …Did I mention Emi with those eyes is way creepier than most horror children I’ve seen in my time?

    • Radar

      even creepier than the children of the corn

    • disqus_I1VIVQiPZK

      Weird I think she looks adorable with those eyes

  • Shade

    Damn. Now she looks even more like a little girl.

    I seriously need to ask, do these Magi get ANY happiness? Cuz this is just heartbreaking.

    • Radar

      it is rather sad

    • anony

      Give a little girl a gun. See what happens.

  • Sandman366

    “…see all these memories…”
    Like, Power’s memories? Of the recent past, or the far, far past? Like Life and Death were complaining none of the others get like they do?

    Hmm, something to ponder during Pathfinder.

    • Shade

      Actually, I believe it’s Emi’s memories that Power is seeing and feeling. Now that they’ve merged, Power has complete access to everything that Emi has done and experienced, and the consequences that came as a result, whereas before she only got little snippets.

      It’s like the difference between hearing someone describe what happened in a movie they saw a long time ago, and actually seeing the movie for yourself. And it seems to be pretty sobering for her.

      • Sandman366

        That makes sense I guess. Yeah, very sobering. But can it work in reverse too? Would be interesting. (Maybe it’d help the elements remember what they’re trying to tell Phil. And why is it they only seem to get the feeling they need to tell him something, or possibly remember but instantly forget?)

        • Shade

          Considering how long the elements have been around for (not to mention the whole getting locked away bit), the Magi getting to see them would be a zoning out experience unless done in small doses. It’d be like getting all of God’s memories, these things have a totally different sense of what a “long time” is.

          As for the thing they keep forgetting…..me thinks somebody has messed with them in some way. But I have no idea who. Guess we’ll find out.

          • Sandman366

            But then that makes no sense. They’ve been locked away, true, but they’re all out now. Serena even became Fire after Fire was let out, so it’s not just that the twins got the memories because they weren’t sealed (though perhaps ever being sealed at all does it).

            A thought that does occur, however…is Death always female? Because I seem to recall the “first victim of magic” was a guy getting killed because Death bumped HER head. From that, is Life always male?
            Or another, odder thought…were Life and Death ever actually killed during the war? If not, then another (extremely, extremely, extremely unlikely) possibility is that they are the original twins. (Wait, no, they say “they don’t get the memories like we do”, not the originals, never mind.)
            So why DO they get the memories and the others don’t….?

            Who could possibly mess with the Elements in such a way? Life and Death? (If that’s the case, then why didn’t the Twins just kill off the other four and get more…faithful, obedient Magi? Because they’d know that, well, technically the only people actually on their side is Cain, their chimera army, and at least the Power Clan, if not the other families too.)

            Random thought: what is Proxy’s purpose? Other than to be a go-between for the Twins and everyone else? (And they end up talking to subordinates themselves anyway…) He’s apparently no slouch, willing to go to bat against Berserk Great Demon Prince Cousin, but really, what’s he actually do?

          • Shade

            Not quite. I don’t think Earth has been released yet, but that may just be poor memory on my part. As far as we know, Serena and Emi are the only Magi who have actually merged with their elements. Remember, up until now the relationship between Magi and Element has been one of Master and servant, not coexistence. Let’s be honest, would YOU share your life memories with someone who had enslaved you?

            It’s possible but I don’t know. I doubt that we’re dealing with the original Life and Death, because that’s a long time to stick around and their age would show. So far I think the only thing we know for certain about the Life and Death Magi is that they are twins, because they’ve always been referred to in the singular, not as separate entities.

            We also know nothing about the Life and Death element, so we don’t know anything about that relationship.

            My current theory is that the Elements have actually messed with themselves and made themselves forget. Whatever this unknown information is, it’s obviously got something to do with the Magi and is most likely something that would be a real threat to them (given the fact they are trying to get it to Phil). If that is the case, then the Elements wouldn’t want this information to get to the Magi, and so they made themselves forget it as a defensive measure, at least until they got a Magi that they could control.

            Plus, Life and Death don’t yet know that the other Magi have betrayed them. And they seem to consider themselves above the others and much more powerful (lets face it, they probably are). With that kind of attitude, it seems that Life and Death only care if the other Magi do as they are told.

            Hmm, it would be interesting to see just how loyal the other families are. Water and Earth seem to support their Magi, but thus far we don’t know if they’re complicit in the change in allegiance. Obviously the Power family supports Life and Death, probably the Fire family too, but that could easily change. Serena’s certainly proved herself far more powerful than any Fire Magi before her. Get her and Emi ticked off enough, and the families would get seriously spooked.

            I think Proxy serves as a go between when Death is too ill to deal with their underlings (since Life seems to go wherever she does), and probably as a way of keeping an eye on the other Magi in case of traitors. His purpose is probably the same as that of a business CEO’s personal assistant, he’s there to make sure things get done the way they’re supposed to, and to keep everyone in line.

          • Sandman366

            Hmm, suppose that makes sense for Proxy, but does make me wonder how often the role comes around, and if there’s any kind of bloodline for that.

            Elements making themselves forget seems…..odd. If they trusted the Magi they’re bonded with (like Fire and Serena seem to), then why would they worry about that? And Emi and Power are trying to be therapists of each other, and Power more ran the Magi for the most part until Emi had a side order of clarity with her milkshake.

            There was a theory that the twins would have to shift their thinking if most of The Five changed sides. Pretty sure we’ve got 4 of the 6 wanting to be either against them or neutral. Wonder why they don’t see what the twins think of their Named Force. (Four Earth Elements, the Vile, the Saint, the Archer, the guy who went up against Fire last time around, the Null, a clan or two of ninjas, and Shiden and his robots. Granted, there’s an army of chimeras, an army of ninjas, and a force of robots also working for the twins, but…their support is dwindling.)

            Earth was unlocked back when Atlantis was raised, so that he’d have the strength to do that or something along those lines.

            I wanna know what’s up with Cortex, and why nobody’s tried getting him in line with either of the major sides. Shiden could probably send a dozen girls with only medium combat experience and capture Cortex & Co., and he’s certainly been a thorn in their side more than The Five’s side. Wonder what he’s up to, too….

            Another curiosity, there’s plenty of mages who use fire, water, power, earth. (Well, fire and power anyway.) But other than The Vile and The Saint, we haven’t really seen any humans (or chimeras) use Celestial and Demon magic. Just Penpen and Mr. “Keeper of Arcane Secrets”. Is it not used due to mental stresses, not being known, difficult to master….etc? Celestial seems especially difficult, since not even the Saint (forgetting her name O_o) seems to only have self-training and her books, and no experienced user giving clues on how to wield her powers properly.

          • Shade

            Sure, Fire and Power trust their Magi NOW. But they didn’t before, plus there’s all the Magi that came before them. Depending on what this information is, the Elements could have been holding on to it for a very long time. Long story short, the Elements haven’t had a whole lot of reason to trust humans, or anyone for that matter.

            So far we’ve had no indication that Life and Death are aware of what the other Magi are up to, and even if they did, I doubt they would regard it as anything more than an inconvenience. I get the feeling that they regard everyone else as just being in a servile position, only there because it means less effort on their part. Life and Death certainly give the effect of being off in their own little world.

            Hmm. Earch getting released must have happened off-panel then. I’m gonna need to do an archive run to make sure. Haven’t done one in a while.

            Ah, Cortex. Somehow, I don’t think an alliance would work out real well. Their goals and the goals of Team Null (for lack of a better collective term) are the same: stopping the Magi from hurting people. But the way each group is going about it are radically different. Team Null, as we’ve seen, wants to convince the Magi that what they are doing is wrong, and they’ve been largely successful, mostly because I’m pretty sure the only reason Water and Earth joined the ‘bad guys’ is because they didn’t initially see any other choice. As was explained to Serena, its pretty much a ‘join us or die’ choice. Cortex and Co. however, would lock up all the Magi and hide them away some place if given the chance, or at least that’s how they’ve come across to me. As I recall, Cortex used to be in government, and if government in this universe is anything like ours, cover-up is probably SOP for stuff like this. Bunch of evil people with magical powers is probably a little disconcerting to the general population. And I think Life and Death’s group aren’t even aware that Cortex even exists. From what I can tell, Cortex is very keen on keeping a low profile and gathering information.

            And there’s another faction here. We’ve got the government itself to think about as well. Given the fact that they hired Axel to capture a pair of mages for them, it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to think that they know about Phil and the rest. So what’s their stance in regards to our heroes, and do they know about their dealings with the Magi?

            As for Demon and Celestial magic, I’m pretty sure it’s been stated that there has only been one Vile and Saint, and it’s very easy for me to understand why. For the Demon part, I think there’s two reason’s why there isn’t a lot out there. First is the fact that Demons are sentient beings from another dimension, who are constantly locked in a power struggle with each other. Strength is the only thing most demons care about, and any sign of weakness is instantly exploited. So chances are, a human trying to access and control demon magic is a do-or-die situation, with what I would imagine is a very high mortality rate. I also suspect ninja cover-up (because ninjas seem to be involved in everything else in magic, why not this?). And Celestial magic is kinda similar. Celestials are beings from an entirely different dimension, and I’m pretty sure that how they think is reeeeeeeally different from how humans think. In fact, I’m pretty sure the vast majority of the world, magic users included, doesn’t know Celestial magic even exists. Being native to other dimensions can have that effect. So as far as we know, Axel is the only person who can use Demon magic (Penpen and Arcane Secrets dude don’t count, because they are Demon Princes and thus aren’t from around here), and Naoko is the only one who can use Celestial magic. Besides, it’s also been stated that native Elemental magic is overall more powerful than either Demon or Celestial, and being native magic would make it easier to learn. So even if someone did learn about the other types, why would they choose them when they have a stronger, easier alternative?

            There’s also kind of the fact that magic in general has kind of been gone since the Elementals were locked away, and didn’t come back until the Change, when Fire botched getting his released, so most people who even know that magic is real are either familial related to it or are anomalies.

            What I’m curious about is how Axel first learned about Demon magic in the first place? As I said, it’s been a while since I’ve done an archive run, but I don’t remember it being explained how he came in contact with Demon magic. I know it was explained that he had a Demon locked in his head for a while, but how’d he get the Demon in the first place? Naoko I can understand, since she’s part of a ninja clan and they’ve been keeping track of stuff like this. Plus I think she’s related to the original Saint. So is Axel related to the first Vile?

          • Sandman366

            Something about the Weirding got the demon stuck in his head right after he started seeing demons. Between that thing in his head and Succubus, he’s had plenty of ways to get his minor training in before he met up with Mr. Arcane Secrets.
            And I suppose it’s possible for him to be related to the first Vile, it’s unlikely many felt the need to keep those kinds of records. (And it’s possible he’s not even a direct descendant. Wonder if the demon picking him helped his chances of being the Vile.)

            Puh-lease. The Government hardly knew anything until Cortex gave them a report. They didn’t even know what Axel used until he told them. And Cortex blatantly told them they’d (at the very least, in his opinion) be able to do what needed doing.

            On the note of Cortex however, yes, he’s probably going for a more extremist option, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be convinced of toning down the plans (or at least seeing that not everyone has to be an enemy). He did at least accept his role of getting his ass kicked whenever he did anything remotely hostile though, as shown by when they went for that anti-magic wall Phil opened up for his artifacts.

            And…speaking of those….what DOES that bullwhip do? The staff we know: gains weight based on magical influences (and weighs nothing to the Null). The glaive was also at least mostly explained, cutting off a mage from their magic (think it was supposed to be temporarily), or when used on a Magi….basically releases an avatar of that Element. (Kinda sorta.) But the whip…when’ll we get to that? =D

            There’s 7 billion people in the world. We’ve not heard how many people can use magic, but it’s supposedly a significant number. Not everyone goes for strength and ease of use, sometimes people like going for style. You gotta admit, even if your mind doesn’t survive the horrors Axel can bring out, he’s definitely got style. ((Previous Power): “I can take a thousand of those (lil shade demons)!” Axel: “Then I hope you don’t mind me bringing a thousand.” And besides, when you’re corrupting someone else’s magic to use it against them, wouldn’t that technically be using their own strength against them?)
            And if anyone found any clue whatsoever for how to use Celestial magic, you know someone’s going to take it and say they’re on some holy mission from God. (Almost expecting some absurd over-the-top religious zealot now…)

          • Shade

            Well I didn’t say the government had a STRONG position. I just wonder, now that they have some idea of what’s going on, what their angle is? Containment? Elimination? I don’t think we know enough.

            Well, nobody said that Cortex was stupid. I think that situation you are referencing wasn’t an accident, that was Cortex just playing Phil and the others. I’m pretty sure his original goal was to get access to the deactivated anti-magic wall. If a team-up was done, it would probably be Cortex who initiates, would only be done if Cortex became convinced that it was absolutely necessary, and would most likely be very short-lived.

            Who knows what that bullwhip would do, but I do know this: Phil is probably not going to be the one to use it. I know a little of how mundane bullwhips work, and the poor boy would probably end up doing more damage to himself than someone else. Assuming he could be convinced to use it in the first place. At best, he’d probably stick with the staff, its potential for non-lethal take-outs is much greater, and that’s more his style.

            You raise a couple good points about magic, but remember, of the number of magic users in the world, it’s a safe bet that most of them belong to one of the four Magi clans. In which case, tradition must be taken into account, and given the little conversation between the power mage that Axel captured, the clans regard demon magic was what passes for “evil” amongst them. Combined with the average chance of someone knowing and using ‘native’ (elemental) magic verses ‘foreign’ (Demonic or Celestial) magic, and the number of potential ‘foreign’ users would be pitifully small, assuming there are any others at all. And I’m still convinced that learning to use Demon magic would have a very high fatality rate, and Celestial magic being almost completely obscure. So while it is certainly possible that someone would consciously choose Demonic or Celestial over Elemental, that doesn’t mean they’d stick around long enough to show it.

            You would be right about corrupting enemy magic as using their own strength against them, but that’s not a measure of your own strength. That’s a response tactic against someone who is stronger than you, just using your brain.

          • Sandman366

            Yeah….more info, definitely. Even if they know about The Magi proper, they might not’ve developed a stance on that, and only the criminal mages they can find.

            Cortex seems both highly intelligent and stupid at the same time. He finds some house that nobody else in the comic even mentions over in China, but then assumes that he’s going to be “The Hero”. And then gives the appearance of possibly not liking magic-users in general, with a possible special dislike of Magi.

            I’d agree that he’d probably fail at using it properly and well for quite a long time, but it’d have to be one hell of a whip for him to get hurt more than anyone else. This is a guy who jumps 10 flights of stairs for convenience and takes bullets without trouble. The biggest danger to his health is poison. (Though…..it wasn’t specified if it had to be ingested or if some kind of poison dart could kill him.)
            Though between already having training with a staff and probably thinking it’s cooler (not to mention probably simpler to use in general), yeah, likely sticking with that. At least for a while.

            That actually makes me wonder if someone might show up with a bit of history knowledge and ask one of the three demonic mages we’ve got and see if they can’t get any training from them. Even if it’s just some side character who barely gets noticed for quite a while or is only really there for a moment’s lulz (like “Mr. Bishie”, wonder what happened to him anyway…) but is interested in getting their advice or some pointers.

            Using an enemy’s attacks against then might not be a true measure of your strength, but you can’t…say…be a nobody and throw a Magi’s attacks right back at them.

            Another thought occurs. Life and Death are capable of killing with a snap of one’s fingers, and resurrection with the other’s. Is Death capable of killing ANYONE with just a wave of her hand (other than obviously Phil), or could someone (say, another Magi, or the Vile/Saint) resist it for a while? Or be severely weakened but not killed straightaway? And can Life only revive, or is he capable of magical harm too?

          • Shade

            I don’t think it’s so much that he doesn’t like magic-users, but more that he’s concerned about the amount of damage they are capable of, and that most people don’t have a real way of protecting themselves from it. As we’ve quite clearly seen, magic can very easily turn somebody into a very powerful walking weapon, particularly the more destructive magics like fire and power. If I knew somebody like that, I’d be a little nervous around them, irregardless of if I knew whether or not they’d use their powers like that. And as we’ve seen and heard, the majority of people with those powers are not exactly stable. So I’d say his concern is pretty justified. The fact that the Magi in particular are probably not too far off from being the equivalent of nukes would not help either.

            Hey, it hurts to trip over something and fall flat on your face! Also, I rather doubt a poison dart would work. Unless a poison also has acidic properties, it’s only harmful if it gets into the body, so unless a dart can break Phil’s skin, it wouldn’t be much worse than if somebody had poked him (which makes me want to see what happens if Phil got shot with a full-sized rail gun). So I would say that the only way that poison would hurt Phil would be if he ate or inhaled it.

            Yeah, it would be interesting to meet a new magic user who isn’t related to any of the magic families. We know it is possible for others to learn magic, since we met those kids who were getting taught by the Dark Lord’s former ‘tenant’ on how to summon him. So would it extend to Elemental magic as well, or is it only limited to Demon and Celestial magic? To the extent of my knowledge, that aspect of magic in general hasn’t really been explained.

            That is a good point. Being able to return an attack from somebody who thinks they can wipe the floor with you (and in normal circumstances, could) is certainly enough to make them sit up and take notice.

            Again, that goes back to the fact that we haven’t really seen what Life and Death can do. All we can really safely assume is that they are the most powerful of the Magi, to the point that the rest are not willing to go into open rebellion without Phil. Unfortunately, I don’t see us learning more for quite some time.

          • Sandman366

            I believe the term you’re looking for is “Person of Mass Destruction”. I’ll admit being nervous over them going mad with power is usually a valid concern….it isn’t for some of these guys. Hue’s more likely to become a hermit than intentionally hurt people, Lia helps people fake resistance to her own “side” so they can survive, Serena probably doesn’t actually care about the whole situation, and Emi, now that she’s in her right mind, is probably more nervous about that going made with power thing herself than anyone else. (Especially since she IS “power”. :P)

            You wanna start a “Nuke Phil For Science” campaign? Well, maybe not an actual nuke, but that sounds like it could be telling a to his limits. (And besides, as Penpen has already explained (and worked on), “What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger” is rather literal in Phil’s case, at least defensively.)

            If Life and Death’s attacks could be corrupted…imagine someone using Death’s “hand wave of death” against someone else. Like Life. Or herself. It seems oddly fitting.

            And hey, if Life or Death dies, but not the other, when does the bloodline go to the next? When they’re both dead? Does it require blood-related twins, or will any two people born around the same time work?

            Yeah, especially with the Pathfinder game on now, it’ll be a while before we get to learn anything.

          • Shade

            Yeah, that’s the people that are the Magi NOW. But we can’t forget what kind of people the previous Fire and Power Magi were, and we’ve seen nor heard nothing about Lia and Hue’s predecessors. Then there’s the entire Fire and Power clans, and the Water and Earth clans are unknowns at this point (though if they’ve resulted in Lia and Hue, they’re probably not all that bad). Serena’s nice personality stems mostly from how she was raised (specifically, away from the Fire clan), and Emi’s nervousness and regret comes from the fact that she knows exactly how bad a combination magic powers and bad people are. And we know that some of Lia’s ancestors have not been nice people, so in all likelihood, our good Magi are the exception to the rule.

            Maybe not a nuke, but Sage and Dark Lord (not sure if that’s what Axel actually uses for his nickname) could have a lot of fun with the sort of stuff that Phil could face in combat. I mean, we’ve already seen the ‘flaming battlefield’ while training with Serena. What other craziness could the two of them come up with?

            I don’t know if it would be possible to reflect something from Life or Death, but it would be insanely risky and dangerous. We can safely assume that Life and Death have a great deal of power available to them, and to say catching it would be stressful would be a severe understatement. At that point, it’s either you succeed, or you die. Which seems to be a reoccurring thing with Demon magic.

            I actually have a theory that Life and Death can’t live without each other. We know that Life and Death are individual Magi, but they’re almost always referred to as one entity, like two halves of a single element. So what if that were actually the case? If so, then perhaps killing one would chain react through their power and kill the other? It’s kind of a moot point, since they’re seldom very far from each other to begin with, and in a combat situation I doubt they’d allow themselves to get separated. But it’s still an interesting thought, and without word from Sage, just as valid as anything else we could come up with.

            One thing that I would be very curious to see, is how the Magi’s powers interact with each other. For example, we’ve only seen Hue manipulate solid rock. What about lava? All it is is rock heated until melted. So could Hue control lava on his own? Or would he need to work together with Serena, to control the heat aspect? And how the heck would Emi work the others? Can you imagine what would happen if Emi and Serena combined? I know the idea has been done to death, but it’s just so insanely cool, it’s almost impossible to NOT try something like it.

          • Sandman366

            These are only the Magi we know for sure about though. It’s possible that being part of The Five has made them…less friendly. Like yeah, some of the Water have been rather nice people. Who says the others weren’t at some point or another?

            Speaking of the battlefield of fire…Phil sure sounded like he could see right through that fire as if it weren’t really there. For real? Only because it was magical in nature? Can he “see through” anything made with/of magic?

            Yeah, corrupting magic does seem a bit all-or-nothing…

            Interesting thought. Needs more canon info.

            Hue moved lava once, didn’t see? That temple when they were getting the Sword of Gaia. Uhh…here:

            Though that kind of mixing could be interesting to see. Perhaps that’ll become some kind of plot point when they’re fighting stuff later on.

            Here’s a question, though: Penpen’s “secret magic lab” thing.

            Where are they? Did he ever visit to make sure nobody broke in/found it?

          • Shade

            It’s possible, even likely in Earth’s case, but I rather doubt it with Fire and Power. It’s been stated that being bad and more than a little crazy is kind of a family tradition with those clans. Can’t imagine being ruled by one of those two in the past was a very pleasant experience.

            Hmm, good question. We know that Phil is immune to any illusion that Lia could make, since that’s the whole reason she approached him in the first place. Not sure how Emi could try to block his vision aside from big flashes of light, but I would guess that that would be a no-sell as well. Earth is a bit trickier, because we’re also dealing with ordinary solid matter, which Phil can’t see through in the first place, so I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that his vision can be blocked there. With Serena’s case, since fire is just raw energy, we could easily assume that her flames are raw magic, so naturally Phil’s Null powers would treat it as though it wasn’t there in the first place. I would say that Phil can see through most things of magic origin that try to block his sight up until he’s within grabbing distance of mage in question, probably closer, but there it’s a moot point because being in such close proximity to him means they can’t use magic at all.

            Ah, I had forgotten about the whole Sword of Gaia bit. Thanks. So he can move lava, but all the heat makes it difficult for him. I would imagine having Serena there to deal with the heat would make it a lot easier for him.

            The best way to keep a secret is to keep it to yourself. Knowing Penpen, whatever it is that he uses for security in his labs is probably very fatal, and I would imagine that they’re in very remote locations. He also seems to have been the only Demon Prince to have really stuck around since the war with the Magi, so he’s probably dropped by to check on them every now and then. What I’m more curious about is what exactly he does in there, and why he needs more than one? He’s said labs, as in plural.

          • Sandman366

            True. That said, there’s an exception to very rule, and this was supposed to have been a seriously long-ass time ago, so theoretically there was at least one or two not so evil/insane Fire/Power. (Especially with the apparently short life expectancy of Fire…)

            Yeah, that makes sense. But also, can he not only see the magical thing and see through it as if it weren’t there completely? Does it cloud his view slightly? Can he choose whether or not to see it? (Same questions about illusions. We know we can tell which is real, but can he be able to not see them?)

            Pretty sure that only three Demon Princes really came the first time around anyway, and Axel’s only showed up recently. At least, only three were mentioned. Other demons were around, true, but apparently nobody of real importance. He’s also the only Great Demon Prince to truly survive The Magi War, so saying he’s the only one to stick around isn’t 100% fair.
            Actually, why does he need them at all? He’s (now) the Demon King, he’s supposedly been the most powerful of the Great Demon Princes since The War. (Berserk Cousin is arguable since he brought Phil along, but Magic Cousin? Rather obvious considering how handily he got his ass kicked. (Took what, 5 pages for the fight including taunts?)) He’s not only experimenting with at least liquid orichalcum (which, notice, Shiden hasn’t mentioned anything about…) but we have no idea what else. Though I have a guess: one has something to do with jello. (Or it should.)

          • Shade

            Agreed. There probably was one or two nice Fire and Power Magi, but I think we can assume that they had rather short reigns. One can imagine that things like kindness would be regarded as a weakness by the general Fire and Power clans.

            His training with Serena seems to imply that to him, the flames either weren’t there at all, or were almost transparent. I’m inclined to think the latter, since there is still technically something being made, but unless Sage decides to show a fight from a first-person perspective, we can’t know for certain. If he did, then I’m pretty sure he would use the ‘not there at all’ tactic, because it’s easier to not draw something than it is to draw something translucent.

            From what I’ve been reading back on, there were only three Prince’s in the first place. I think you misunderstood what I said, maybe a better way to put it is that Penpen was the only one to really be ACTIVE. Berserker had been locked up on Atlantis by Earth during the Magi War, and Magic was trapped in a glacier, presumably by Water (or was dead, and somehow came back. Not sure how that works).

            Your idea of a lab dedicated to jello sounds hilarious, and it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest. The only reason I can think of is he hasn’t been doing much with them until he found Phil. I would think that finding a second Null may have tipped him off that magic was making a comeback, and Penpen is smart enough to know what might happen in that event (ie. a bunch of Magi trying to take over the world, which is exactly what happened with the current Life and Death, Magi rebellion notwithstanding). So I’m thinking that he’s been using the labs to experiment with new ways of dealing with other magic users, which may be one of the reasons why he chose to help Kate. Penpen is smart, and while he might be the Demon King now, I doubt he’s going to leave much to chance when it comes to the final fight. The first Magi War was a rush job on everyone’s part, so Penpen would probably want to take the time to prepare this time around.

            Hmm. I’ve been looking back over some of the pages, where Axel was being trained by the Magic Prince, and I noticed something interesting. It seems I was mistaken, and that there was at one point entire tribes of humans who used Demon magic, and presumably the same for Celestial magic. But they were hunted down by the Magi. So it seems that Demon and Celestial magic could be more common than I thought.

          • Sandman366

            Heh, yeah.

            Hm. Or perhaps we just get a response from Sage telling us, with no need for a whole comic on it.

            There were more than three Princes in general, but there were only three Great Demon Princes (the Princes in line for the throne). For example, Axel’s demon was a Prince, but not mentioned to be on Earth during the Magi War (though apparently did speak to Penpen when he was on his way out for said war), and also not a Great Prince, and thus not in line for the throne.
            Magic Cousin was dead – Fire killed him. Don’t get the whole “skull in a glacier somehow preserves me for unknown thousands of years” works. Possibly put in the ice by Penpen or someone else on the Null’s side.

            Hmm, labs to fight magic users…maybe. Though, as we’ve already seen with Kate, anyone can use magic, even if they have certain conditions that make it impossible for them to use magic normally. So theoretically, the Magi having a chimera army for magic is pointless – you can get your own army, via training or supercool toys.

            Kinda makes sense, Naoko probably didn’t just train her Celestial magic with trial-and-error, having SOME point of reference is kinda necessary. If there were that many practitioners then, it really leaves me curious as to why so apparently few try today.

            Better question: Naoko said the temple-place they went to when they were kicking Axel’s demon out of his head was pretty much for that purpose. Why? Could they really survive so many thousands of years? Did they really see that much use in the past decade? Actually, a lot of the ninja background makes a bit less sense. Naoko was supposed to have mastered making talismans when they were kids – with what magic skills to fight what magic skills? (Well, maybe bloodline magic users such as the Saint had access to SOME magic, but still, pretty sure they were kids a few years before the Weirding….)

          • Shade

            I’m thinking more that Penpen would be making stuff to fight human magi, since we don’t know whether or not the Magi chimera know that they can use artificial magic (by artificial I mean the methods that Kate would now be using), and even if they did, I’m wondering what the odds would be that Life and Death would even allow it. I get the feeling that chimera are primarily used for grunt work, held only just above the level of the monsters that the Magi were controlling. An easy way for me to think about it is to envision it in military terms: chimera’s are the average soldier (good enough to not die right away, but not anything special), monsters are the cannonfodder, and the magi are the special forces (the people who are actually capable of getting stuff done. Maybe.)

            Why so few modern practitioners? Easy. You’re forgetting that, until the Weirding, almost the entire world had forgotten that magic even existed. And given that the Weirding happened when Kate was a child, extrapolate backwards, and magic has only existed in modern times for ten, fifteen years at the most (not sure about Kate’s actual age, too afraid to ask)? Do you really think that the world will go from ‘there is no such as magic’ to ‘Holy crap, kids suddenly have animal parts’ to ‘average person is able learn about and freely practice different branches of magic’ in that amount of time? Especially given that Demonic and Celestial magics are the more obscure branches, which we discussed earlier, and it doesn’t surprise me at all. Besides, I doubt that Life and Death would want it getting out that just anybody can use magic. One of the basic points of ruling the world via magic powers is keeping those powers exclusive. Its the reason why the old Dark tribes were all killed off in the first place.

            For your last point, I’m going with the idea that Sage was still sorting out the backstory of the comic. Yosh pretty much started as a comic about an Otaku boy, his catgirl roommate, and their homicidal talking penguin. We went from there to all of the above, but now there’s also this huge magic war too. I’m sure some things will remain confusing as Sage work out the kinks, and I’m pretty sure working them out entirely would involve going back and remaking a ton of old comics.

          • Sandman366

            You’re forgetting the robots. Which are capable of…who knows? (Wait, nevermind. Nami can probably just hack them and Cain will have spent all that time making super soldiers, only for them to be used against him.)

            I don’t expect there to be a lot of them. We’ve got most of anybody in the comic whose name has a “The” in it on the same side, and the only traces of Demon or Celestial magic outside of them were when Axel’s demon used kids to get in to Earth. Nobody else has been noticed.

            Eh…true. But still. Then again, we do have The Saint, who wasn’t sealed (she just didn’t have a strong connection to the Celestial Realm, assuming she even needs it, but the Atlantis portal is open now), so could’ve been making these talisman things….and those ninjas seem to be crazy prepared, or not prepared at all. So maybe they had her learning that when they were young just in case there were magic popping up for whatever reason…even if they had no reason to suspect they’d ever run in to magic.

          • Shade

            Cain’s robots are very recent, but I would imagine that Penpen is figuring out a way to counter them too. I’m gonna nitpick here and say that, unless the robots are wireless capable, they can’t be hacked except by physically plugging into their brains, and if you can manage to do that, then it’s far easier to just trash them. Although I do wonder how the robots would fair against Phil’s Null powers. Technically, they are powered by magic, so his powers should shut them down. But then, so are Nami and the rest of Shiden’s robots, and they’ve all been fine around Phil. So I’m wondering how that works. And I swear, if Cain makes a robot that can go invisible, I’m gonna burst out laughing.

            True. There’s also Life and Death’s whole ‘join us or die’ thing going on. I think the safest thing for most people who find out that they can use magic, of any kind, is to keep it to themselves.

            It’s ninjas, the safest answer is just ‘yes’. I would guess that they would be prepared, because only four out of the Five’s magic got sealed away. The first Null refused to seal Life and Death out of concern for the impact it would have on the world as a whole, so somewhere along the line somebody decided that meant that magic could potentially come back. Which, obviously, it did. Being paranoid doesn’t mean you’re wrong.

          • Sandman366

            Being paranoid never means you’re wrong right off the bat. There’s plenty of plots where people are correctly paranoid. (I remember one right now where someone asked “Is it still called paranoia if you’re right?”) Though it still seems possibly like being slightly over-prepped….heh.

            Well, they’ve got that “join-or-else” for Magi themselves, and Cain tried pulling that on Kate, but do we actually know if they do that for anyone else?

            Perhaps Phil just hasn’t gotten close enough to the actual power source. Just because you disable batteries by touching them doesn’t mean you can shut down what they power by touching that. Plus, it’s Orichalcum, not any sort of spell, so who knows.
            (Why laugh if Cain makes a cloaking robot?)

          • Shade

            The one I go with is “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean someone’s not out to get you”, but either way, with how things were before magic got sealed, and how things are now that magic is back, I think being overly cautious is justified.

            I think “Join or die” is just limited to people who can use Elemental magic. For all other types of magic its likely “You’re potentially a threat to our power, die”, and for everyone else its “We’re going to rule over you, so we don’t care, unless you do something we don’t like or get bored, in which case die”. The previous Fire (before Serena) tried the “Join or die” approach with Kate because she’s apparently descended from a powerful mage, likely a fire one since he’s the one who approached her, but he stopped caring after finding out that being a chimera removes any natural magic ability. Cain just happened to be working with him.

            The problem with that is that Phil’s Null powers aren’t limited to touch. It extends as a nebulous field around him, and the distance that it functions at seems to vary. Based on that, if Phil is close enough to touch one of the androids, then their power source should be within range of his Null field. And we know that it is likely that Phil can affect Orichalcum, because Shiden has standing orders that Phil not be allowed even inside the apartment complex’s generator room. So either he can, or Shiden just isn’t willing to risk the entire building losing power on the chance that he can’t.

            I would laugh because then Cain would have made the classical Fantasy RPG Trifecta. After he field tested his first generation of robots, he split them into two ‘classes': a large, bulky type that relied on brute force (ie. Warriors), and a more fragile type that could use magic much more efficiently than the first generation (ie. Mages). If he made a type of robot that could cloak, they would be a dead ringer for the Rogue class. As if we don’t have enough Fantasy elements as it is.

          • Sandman366

            Being a type-A chimera removed natural ability, type-M can still use it. Cain…I’m curious as to how exactly he started working for Josephene. His sister died….but what exactly happened that night? Just how did he convince the Magi of Fire to let him – someone with no known magical abilities whatsoever (other than being completely crazy when off his meds) – to be in such a high position? (I expect the knew each other at one point, but Jo would’ve known he was Fire, and the Fire Clan probably wouldn’t let anyone near him they didn’t want, so how DID the two become such apparent friends?)

            Ah, yes, the field. However, simply being near Kate didn’t seem to be enough for the magic maid uniform to cancel out, and simply being near a Magi isn’t enough for them to be cut off – he has to touch them (or in Kate’s case, hug her, apparently). So it could be one of those things that isn’t affected by the field since it isn’t pure magical influence, but since it is magical in nature, would be canceled out when Phil touches it. (Plus, they’ve tested his “null field”, but they haven’t tested it through objects, so maybe if he had an open hole to the power source it’d work, but not when they’re covered up.)

            Ah. Yeah, that would be kinda funny….except the brute robot still had magic I think, so it’s not quite pure warrior. (Though it didn’t work out very well…) He DID say the mage-types were supposed to be faster, so maybe he’s got magic-casting rogues now. He needs something that focuses on magic, magic, and nothing but magic, then he’ll have his proper “Mage” class.

          • Shade

            Type A’s must be the chimera’s with animal parts then, because I recall a conversation happening at some point about how the extent of a chimera’s changes indicated their previous magic potential. For example, most animal chimera’s look like Blue in that they have the ears and tail, but Kate also has stripes, so she would have been a stronger magic user.

            I believe the connection was Reiko. Some time after she died, Cain was found by Jo, and made a deal that, in exchange for helping the Magi complete the breaking of the Fire seal, Life would bring Reiko back. I’m assuming that Jo was investigating chimera’s in order to find out what all the effects were of breaking the seal on his magic improperly. That was why Cain started making the robots in the first place, the first one was supposed to be a new body for Reiko (I’m assuming that by that point her original body was kind of decomposing and wouldn’t sustain her). I’m pretty sure that Jo was the one to propose the deal, because he saw Cain as being easily manipulated (and promptly miscalculated just how insane the man actually was). And then, of course, things quite literally went to hell for both of them when they tried to use Axel to finish removing the seal. We all know how that ended, especially for poor Reiko.

            Hmm. I seem to recall that they started testing Phil’s Null field after the maid incident, but you could be right. Maybe the maximum range of the field is different depending on the nature of magic it’s facing? There could also be a subconscious element, in that Phil’s mind recognizes Nami and the others as his friends, and so doesn’t want to accidentally harm them with his powers. We would have to see Phil actually go up against one of Cain’s robots to be certain.

            You know what I find really funny? Our conversation must take up more than half of this page’s length by now.

          • Sandman366

            “Animal Type Chimera” and “Mage Type Chimera”. Can’t find comics to back it up but…yeah. Animal-types are basically Blue, Rieko, Kate, etc. Odd, random thought: are there any male type-A chimera? (I’m sure there are, but seriously, we’ve got three and they’re all girls. Except for that ONE time that Jo showed he had…like…a bear arm, or something. But for all we know that was faked/some kinda illusion/some thing else. He didn’t have it later on, I don’t think….) But yeah, Kate’s stripes meant that she had some kind of magical potential that was lost when the world flipped a coin and decided she’d be an animal chimera.

            No, couldn’t be pre-Weirding that his sister died. She had fox ears and a tail. So must’ve been afterwards. Perhaps some other connection with the Fire clan?
            Poor Rieko?! Poor Jo! I mean yeah, total asshole, but he was revived by Life just to prove that embarrassment, is not in fact, a legitimate cause of death by itself. (“What do you mean, no other corpses! I killed the stupid one!”) And he got stuck in a vat and used as a battery or something….somehow….
            (Scratch what I said about just female type-A chimera, Cain had one who lasted about 2 comics and they weren’t even next to each other. Least, I think that’s a dude…..he never gets shown properly…lol.)

            Well, if he’s able to tell friend from foe, why does it bother knocking out Hue’s dirt when they’re testing his null field? Guess perhaps it knew it was needed….or perhaps the magic there was loose enough that it didn’t take much to break about. (Orichalcum being more like a rock, and Hue’s dirt-moving For Science! being…oh…a spider web?) Needs more info.

            Just tried doing an approximate measurement….it’s more like 2/3. XD Perhaps we should get Sage to read this and maybe play a little confirm/deny on some of this. (Random odd thought: there’s no wiki for Yosh. I know a WC3 map with a wiki, I know another webcomic with a wiki, and there’s probably a thousand things that have wikis that don’t really need them (including that WC3 map, which is good, but a forum is enough for it). So….gotta wonder: why didn’t anyone start one for Yosh?)

          • Shade

            The arm was probably faked, so that he could convince Kate that he was a chimera like her to get her to trust him. I have no sympathy for Jo, he liked what he was doing just a little too much for my taste. Karma’s a bitch, dude, and she has no mercy.

            Rieko, on the other hand, I feel sorry for completely. The poor girl was basically mind raped by reality. All she was guilty of was having the bad luck to get a pair of fox ears and a tail, got MURDERED (I seem to recall that it was BECAUSE she was a chimera), most likely quite violently, then was brought back to life, and in a body that wasn’t even actually hers. Worst of all, she remembered ALL of it (except for the fact that Cain was her brother). The only way she could cope with the trauma was for Nami to physically pull the memories out of her head, which was probably the nicest thing that anybody had done for her by that point. If somebody doesn’t feel sympathy for this girl, then they are a sadist of the worst kind. At least now she can process the memories at her own pace, in the safety of a VERY large family that probably have at least one or two members with some degree of psychology training. I can’t even imagine what kind of therapy you would need for death trauma though. Not like it’s a field that’s regularly explored and studied.

            Anyway, I’m pretty sure that Cain didn’t have any contact with Jo or magi in general prior to Rieko dying. Before the Weirding, the Twins would have made sure that the clans kept their magical nature a secret. It doesn’t make much sense to go public with the fact that you’re trying to take over the world with magic powers if you don’t actually have the magic powers yet. Jo just took advantage of a desperate man during his time of grief (we know that Rieko’s death didn’t leave Cain very stable to begin with, that’s why he was on the meds in the first place. I doubt he needed much convincing).

            Interesting. I’ve taken a look back over the old comics, and it seems that it WASN’T Life that brought Rieko back. Jo actually used Axel’s power to bring her back. Which is…….interesting. It seems that Jo was researching ways of bringing previously dead servants back to life, likely with the intent of making a bigger army (and, apparently, of usurping control of the Five from the Twins. Guy really was a piece of work), while also seeing if there was anybody else with Life or Death powers. Then he died, was brought back to life, and stuck in a tube as punishment for “playing outside of his element”.

            I’m kind of confused by your rock/spider web analogy. We know that pretty much magic of any kind or strength has no effect at all within Phil’s Null field. Also subconscious stuff is very finicky, and Sage just seems to have Phil’s Null powers do whatever suits the story, with logic factoring in afterward.

            If you could make a Yosh! wiki if you want to, but I’ve got no experience with websites, so I wouldn’t be much help.

          • Sandman366

            One or two with psychology training? Shiden can just assign, on a whim, an ARMY for translation or collecting data from agents around the world. He’s probably got at least a hundred who, if don’t have official training, can count or help enough anyway.

            Yeah, Life only brought Jo back. Perhaps part of the problem with her memories was because she was somehow plucked through Hell instead of brought back via Life.

            I’m saying that perhaps the orichalcum power holds slightly better within Phil’s null field so that perhaps because he’s not wanting to disable them, they don’t. But Hue’s random dirt pillar however, between them trying to test it and it possibly not being held together quite as well, so it falls apart very easily. (Not 100% sure how to explain it….maybe…it’s the difference between being the magic held together by steel cable and rope, and Phil’s null field is like a machete trying to cut it. It could cut the rope, but probably not the cable. Ah screw it, I think I’m starting to confuse myself…)

            I wasn’t talking about making the whole site and everything, I was saying just getting one started on Wikia. But that’d be a…lot of work, so not 100% sure I’d like to do it myself….heh.

          • Shade

            At the very least, Shiden would want to have a fully trained psychologist on-site for when a new girl is brought online for the first time. Which takes me on a tangent: what’s the cognitive development pattern for the androids like? Are they instantly at the level of development as an average adult human from the moment they’re brought online? Or do they have an ‘infantile’ stage, and expand their intellect from there? If it’s the former, then Shiden would HAVE to have a trained psychologist present, because that would be one heckuva existential crisis. And I’m inclined to believe that is the case, because I’m pretty sure it was Toyoko who said that she was technically only four years old, and she’s easily at least as smart as any adult human in the comic.

            I also don’t think Demon magic is supposed to be used that way, so the process could be considered ‘imperfect’, and certain things just plain old got lost in transit. Either way, Rieko got the raw end of the deal. Except about forgetting that Cain is her brother. In that case, I think she’s better off.

            You raise an interesting question, and it’s difficult to answer without knowing exactly how Magi transfer from one generation to the next. I would imagine that the magi clans have some sort of ritual or system for guiding the element to its new ‘host’, otherwise it would be impossible to predict who would become the next Magi of any given element. If that’s the case, then when Axel stabbed Jo with the glaive and severed his connection to his magic, it disrupted the system and allowed Fire to jump to any member of the bloodline of her choosing. At any rate, the only explanation that I can come up with is that Life didn’t so much bring Jo back from the dead, as he simple ‘saved’ him from death, and so he wasn’t quite dead just yet, with Life just being theatrical, like any good villain. We know that Life isn’t exactly great with puns.

            Dude, have you seen the length of Life’s ponytail? Untie it, and he’d probably have just as much as his sister. So it’s not impossible that the Life and Death genders could be flipped at times.

          • Sandman366

            Yeah….would really need more info on either they’re early, early life, or the machine that makes them.

            In any case, how stupid is Jo to have confused the Vile with Life & Death?

            I don’t think it’s a ritual, seeing how they talked about Emi “awakening”, and Serena just “randomly’ changing, but it’s still odd. Though Mostly Dead as opposed to All Dead does make sense. (Good thing too, since I don’t think he had pockets for to check for loose change….) Guessing the blood loss put him practically dead, but not actually.

            True, and the painting….thing in that house Cortex ransacked seemed to have quite the ponytail. But it still looked like the same genders there. (For everyone, actually. The only gender flip I can think of is in Serena’s case, Fire was always referred to as male, though I don’t remember about Power and Earth. Thinking Earth was a guy during the war.)

            Random question: the lady who worked for Power, ambushed Tom & co in that hotel, and also was there when Axel had his demon removed…what happened to her? Think she ended up being a sort of parent-guardian figure for Emi for a couple of pages…but past that, apparently no longer exists.

          • Shade

            I don’t think Jo thought Axel was Life or Death, merely somebody with the same power. Someone from the same bloodline, so to speak. It’s not hard to tell that there’s something…..different about our Darklord. I would imagine that Death has a certain feeling around her as well. Unfortunately, Jo didn’t realize his mistake until it was too late.

            Normally I would say this: Jo wouldn’t resume his role as the Magi of Fire. Fire has already bonded to Serena, on a much stronger and deeper level than any Magi before her, and it’s that bond that makes one a Magi. He would probably still be able to use magic, which seems to be an inherent part of a magi’s life, but he would be far outclassed by Serena, in both skill and strength.


            Bear in mind the manner in which Josephus died. First he was impaled with the Null’s glaive, which cut off his access to his magic. Then he was strangled by Cain. Naoko said that the glaive functions by physically severing a mage from his magic, essentially temporarily turning him ‘normal’, but she didn’t know the effect it would have on a Magi, who have a fundamentally different bond with their magic. Combined with Jo doing something silly like dying, and it might make the severing effect permanent. We’re unlikely to find out though, since the only reason Jo was being kept alive was so that Cain could use him as a magic battery, and he hasn’t needed to use him for that in quite a while. So Jo is probably dead for reals this time.

            As for the elemental. I believe that it both was and wasn’t Fire. I still think that there is some process that the clans use to ensure the Element goes to certain members of the bloodline, in order to make sure that the new Magi can be controlled. I also think that severing Jo’s magic from him disrupted that process and allowed Fire to choose its own new host. Now, I would imagine that severing a mage from his magic has some sort of magical backlash (for example, severing a fire magi would case a large explosion), which is normally prevented by the presence of the Null (since he’s the one who’s supposed to use that weapon). Obviously a Magi possesses far more power than any normal mage, and as mentioned they have a fundamentally different bond with their magic, being directly connected to the conscious Element. Therefore, I believe that Fire itself felt the connection being severed, which was probably rather painful. And we know that Fire was not a happy element to begin with. Combine all that together, and we’ve got an element that is probably very happy to finally experience some freedom from enslavement, in pain from the connection being severed, and enraged from feeling that pain and all the years of enslavement that it had endured. In short, Fire flipped out. The elemental was probably a physical representation of that emotion, while the size and existence of it at all was the backlash from Jo losing his magic. If that made any sense.

            The real question is, given that Serena and Fire have a much more friendly and symbiotic relationship now, would she be able to create an elemental on her own? Or possibly take the form of one herself? We’ve seen her create literal flaming wings that allow her to fly, so obviously she’s learned a thing or two from Fire itself. What other tricks has she picked up? If she could take the form of an elemental, then she would be extremely dangerous, because anyone fighting her would not only be facing her, but also probably the conscious Fire itself, who probably has some other…..issues, to work out. Being enslaved for thousands of years, particularly a chaotic element like Fire, is not really conducive to happy feelings.

            She’s probably off doing something for the Power clan. Given Emi’s shift in allegiances, she probably doesn’t want the rest of her clan catching on just yet.

            Hmm. I would go with the Warrior, because that berserk state was brought on as a side effect of an artifact he was using to boost his powers.

            Speaking of the Sorcerer, what’s he been up to all this time? The last time we saw him, he was recovering from getting his ass kicked by Penpen on the astral plane. It’s been weeks, if not months since then, and we haven’t seen anything from him.

            Okay, I have to bring this up. With the Pathfinder story coming to an end, we’ll probably be getting back to the main story. And there’s one thing that keeps nagging at me: I don’t think Serena has actually MET Life and Death yet. So I would wager that Life and Death are going to be calling a meeting of the Five in order be introduced to the new Magi of Fire, and to officially make their ‘proposal’. And that’s going to be a critical meeting. On the one hand, Serena’s idea of coexisting with her element flies straight in the face of what Life and Death want, so I doubt they will allow it if they find out. On the other hand, Serena has quite obviously become one of the most, if not THE most powerful Fire Magi in history, and it’s all thanks to her choosing to coexist with Fire. There is no way the Twins will be able to ignore that. Not only that, but with Emi now choosing to go the same route, she has the potential to become just as powerful. And the situation is almost perfect for Lia’s plan. Aside from Cain, Proxy, and the chimera’s, Life and Death are pretty much alone now. Hue will pretty much always side with Lia, what with them being engaged and quite obviously in love. Emi and Serena’s methods put them squarely on Lia’s side of the plan. Plus all four of them have sided with Phil and Co, consisting of the Null, the Vile, the Saint, Shiden and his androids, Tom, Shisou and their ninja clans, plus one, if not two Great Demon Princes. Lia has pretty much everything she needs to put her plan into motion, and Serena’s meeting with Life and Death will probably be the catalyst point. Either Life and Death change their plans, or they go into all out war.

            That said, there is more preparation that could be done. Naoko is as yet unable to control her powers as the Saint, and both Lia and Hue have yet to make contact with Water and Earth, something that would be invaluable if things come to a head with Life and Death. Not only that, but when Lia first met with Phil and the others, she mentioned other powers besides the Elemental mages and the Demon and Celestial powers that hadn’t been proven.
            This means there are potentially other players in this game that we just haven’t met yet.

          • Sandman366

            Hmm, possible. And it could also depend on how many demons he’s run in to before, to know if he’d be familiar with their brand of magic anyway. And there’s nothing to say he’d be familiar with The Vile’s particular version of it on top of that.

            True, Serena has bonded much better with Fire, and Fire actually seems rather cordial now. And that whole severing thing could make sense, Fire wanting someone less likely to try to control it or be simpler to control. Or maybe just away from everything.

            On the other hand….I was referring more to before they properly bonded. I agree that Jo wouldn’t likely be the Magi again, but could he ever have magic again? Does the Glaive allow for that? Or is it more permanent – such as what Kate’s stripes did for her?

            On the note of “Serena VS Jo”, however, I’ll say that Serena would know a lot more and have much better tutors (Emi, Hue, Lia, and Fire), but Jo still has significantly more experience. (That said, unless someone pulls some kind of stupid “nobody interfere!” crap, Serena has basically anyone who has been in more than 10 pages to back her up. Jo…doesn’t even have Cain.)

            The Twins might be tough to take out, but I’m pretty sure Axel could at the very worst give Proxy a good run for his money. Shiden’s robots and the ninja clans would go against the Chimeras and Magi Clans. Then the only real problem is Cain’s robots, though between the Earth Element Magi, the Archer, and the Sorcerer, they could probably at least have a good fight. But there’s still one last card to play – there IS a Null. That fact alone should scare the Twins to a negotiating table, even if there’s no serious intent for them to negotiate. (But if they’re already there, it’d make a great time for the Four to say “Yeah, no. This is stupid.” and show the Twins that they really don’t have the overwhelming forces they thought they did. They’re alone of the magi – and two of the three Great Demon Princes (one of whom is now King) are here. (Again. Still?)

            Then you toss Cortex into the mix…and you know there’s no way in hell He’s going to side with the Twins. If he gets anywhere with that “enlarge & reflect” trap and can make a serious defense out of it, then anything magical on the Twin’s side is effectively useless (and actually would hurt them to use).

            Probably coincidence, but Fire was the first to be unsealed. Fire was also the first to have true sync. Power was second….on both counts. Shall Earth and Water keep the trend gong?

            These….other powers…..that have only been mentioned there (and not even by Penpen or the Sorcerer)….wonder if they’re related to whatever it is that keeps making The Elements forget what it is they feel they need to say to Phil.

            PS: You should see:

          • Shade

            I know that the Glaive is specifically stated to temporarily sever a magi from their magic. What I don’t know is if dying immediately after makes the effect permanent (besides the whole being dead part. That does tend to prevent one from using magic). If Jo had survived, then he would have eventually gotten his magic back.

            The problem with your ‘vs’ argument is that, if both combatants are fighting at their peak condition, then Serena still beats out Jo in experience. Sure, Serena herself has only been using magic for a few weeks at most, whereas Jo has had an entire lifetime to practice his skills. But it’s impossible to fight just Serena, you’re also fighting Fire itself, who has several THOUSAND years over Jo, and quite literally IS the playbook in terms of fire magic. I would also imagine that Fire still has some grievances against all the Fire Magi that came before Serena, and while she wouldn’t let Fire kill Jo, she would do one heckuva number on him.

            Hmm. And yet, the Twins would really only consider the Archer to be a threat of the Demon Princes, since he was the only one of the original three who actually won his fight (the Archer killed the Water Magi of the time, the Sorcerer was killed by Fire, and the Warrior was trapped by Earth, but I can’t remember if Hue said he survived or not. If he did survive, then I know he very nearly didn’t). Of course, the Sorcerer did say that he lost mostly because he was overconfident, and probably would take things more seriously the second time around. Dying tends to do that to you.

            True……but I’m not entirely sure if Team Cortex and Team Null wouldn’t fight each other. Cortex sees himself as being in the same role as the first Null, being the ‘hero’ of the war against magic users. His plan seems to essentially be to either confine all magic users, plain old kill them, or once again seal away magic from the world. Team Null is more interested in finding a way for magic to coexist in the modern world.

            There is no way that Phil and the others would allow Cortex to confine magic users. It would basically just be a new kind of racism, and things very nearly went that way for the type-A chimera’s after the Weirding. There’s still signs of that going on, considering the difficulties that Phil and Kate face with getting married, and that Chimera registry that Kate had to sign. Nor will they allow Cortex to kill magic users, because that is basically the same thing as confining them, with an extra dose of murder. I honestly don’t believe that Lia, Hue, Serena and now Emi are the only magic users in the world who aren’t interested in world domination, and Emi is living proof that things can change.

            Lastly, if Cortex chooses to seal away magic, like the first Null did, then he would face opposition by every single android Shiden ever created. Taking away magic would mean that orichalcum, the substance that provides power for Nami and the others, would once again become an ordinary, nonspecial rock. And it’s been openly stated that, until Shiden figured out how to use orichalcum as a power source, there wasn’t any technology advanced enough to power a fully sentient AS (artificial soul). If magic disappears again, then its tantamount to genocide, because Shiden made thousands of the girls, spread across the entire globe.

            This makes me very curious as to what Sage has planned for the aftermath of this war. Magic’s return has essentially spawned an entirely new race, one that is every bit as intelligent as humans are, if not more. The ramifications of that are huge. Not only that, but there is also seeing how magic users could integrate into modern life. For example, the mining industry would change radically when you have employees that literally can move earth with a wave of their hand. Emergency services could have fire fighters who can create water out of thin air, or just extinguish the flames with a thought. Hell, you could bring down the airline industry by privatizing teleportation, assuming you got enough people to try it. Shiden’s power generators are just the tip of the iceberg. Sage and Axel could potentially keep Yosh! going for quite a while just exploring all the possibilities. The only problem would be keeping the readers interested.

            If meeting the Elements follows the same pattern as the release, then I feel sorry for Lia. You would think that she’d be the best equipped mentally to connect with Water, but if the pattern holds, then she’s going to be the last.

            I’m actually very anxious to meet Earth and Water, to find out what they are like. Fire was quite rightfully angry when we first met her, but she seems very……peppy. Which is actually very appropriate, now that I think about it. And poor Power, I just can’t look at her as anything other than an emotionally abused child, which is half correct (I don’t think any of the elements could be regarded as anything close to ‘young’). For that matter, what would Life and Death be like? One entity? Two? It seems like it would be one, but then why would there be two Magi for it? (Hope you don’t mind, but I’m going to use gendered pronouns for the Elements that correspond to their respective Magi from now on. Using ‘it’ feels very unwieldy, especially with Fire and Power, since we’ve seen them mimic Serena and Emi’s appearances. Life and Death will be the exception, for the reason stated above)

            Could be, but I still stand by my earlier theory that they made themselves forget. Although I do wonder if this new group we’re supposed to meet soon is one of them.

            Man, that’s cool that they’ve noticed.

          • Sandman366

            Well, the Archer won, but the Sorcerer and the Warrior had more of a tie, with Sorcerer’s tie being fatal for both, but Warrior/Earth…was a tie but both survived. (Kinda ties with Sorcerer and Earth ahead, but still ties.)

            Maybe, but I’m sure he could agree that the Twins are a bigger problem than Phil’s team, especially since Phil’s team just wants coexistence and the Twins want The Empire all over again.

            But Cortex’s goals really need to be explained more properly. He thinks that governments can’t (or possibly won’t) to what needs to be done, thinks he’s the hero now (despite having little/no knowledge of current magical political events), and is very distrustful from what we’ve seen of anyone connected to magic. But what is his endgame, really? Jail for all chimeras? That’s not going to go over well with any of them, any of their friends, or Phil’s side. Killing them? Only if he wants the nickname Hitler. Sealing magic? There is zero actual knowledge what happens to the chimeras then, and yeah, the robots too. But he’s got no idea how to seal the magics again, and Phil would probably rather team up with the Twins if Cortex starts taking these options.

            Lia might appear to have the best mindset to merge with Water, but then again, she might not really. Personally I’d bet Hue does. (He’s gotten the feeling of needing to tell Phil something, but not knowing, just like the magics. And also, Magi of Water have a reputation as tricksters, which might be somewhat like Water itself, so it’s possible that Water and Lia would still take some work to merge.)

            Crazy thought: the Magi are a bloodline. What if one of these bloodlines crossed? Crazier still: is it possible for someone to be a Magi of more than one element? o_O

            I bet Life and Death magic(s) are either similar to conjoined twins, or one entity with a split personality or some other mental instability.

            Perhaps instead of making themselves forget, they have actually forgotten. The Null line has been apparently dormant (as if there’s a way to prove that without magic) since the Magi War, so it’s possible they needed to tell the Null something way back then (or slightly after), but since it’s been thousands of years, they’ve forgotten and can’t remember.

            Another interesting thought: the Null is technically a bloodline of magic, just of countering anything magical. Is it possible that Phil could merge with his “magic”? O_o

          • Shade

            I’m inclined to think that Cortex is of the mindset that the world is better off without magic in general, and has quite the Knight Templar vibe going on. We’ve seen that he has absolutely no inhibitions about killing magic users, and he’s resorted to torture to get the information he needs before. He’s convinced that he knows the correct course of action in regards to magic, and will go to extremes to attain his goals. Ironically, he seems to have quite a bit in common with the first Null, which might be why he sees himself as being the hero of this war. Cortex could very easily end up being as big a villain as Life and Death, if not worse. He doesn’t even seem to care much about his people. Remember the raid he had conducted of Atlantis to get information? Those people all got massacred, and he made no attempt to retrieve the bodies. He could have said that it was too dangerous, but instead he specifically said that he didn’t care. Does that sound like a guy who’s at all concerned about being compared to Hitler? (Also, while I understand the comparison, and it is apt, as of now we are straddling Godwin’s Law. I’d rather not cross it) I’m pretty sure that he’s only interested in Phil because he’s the Null, and is more likely to want to study Phil in order to replicate it rather than work with him. Cortex may think he’s the hero, but he is far from it. Hell, he might even see Phil working with Lia and the others as collaborating with the enemy. If so, he won’t hesitate to take out Phil’s group.

            Now that I think about it, leaving those bodies there is a massive tactical vulnerability. Assuming Cain’s forces left them intact, then Life could bring them back and interrogate them (suddenly I’m reminded of an episode of Stargate, where O’Neill is tortured for information by being repeatedly killed and resurrected). If that happens, then Cortex lost just about any anonymity he had.

            Man, Hue is going to be so freaked out when he first contacts Earth. He’s already said that when he concentrates, he can feel the entire planet through his magic (which must be a freaky experience in the first place). Hearing the planet talk back to him is gonna be intense for him.

            If bloodlines could cross, then I’m inclined to think that the resulting magic user would be limited to the dominant power, however that would work. What I do know is that you probably wouldn’t want to mix opposing elements (remember what Penpen told Kate about that? Boom).

            It’s certainly possible. I sometimes have a hard time remembering what I did the day before.

          • Sandman366

            Well, I don’t think they’ll be interrogating Cortex’s people, since that was Arizona, and they probably left the bodies. And there’s no telling if Cain even reported the “raid”, especially since he called them vermin and probably thought little of them. (Maybe he just figured it was related to the escape that got Jo out of the chain of command.)

            If he’s going to be as big a problem as Life and Death, he’s got a long way to go. No robotic research, no magic, and he’s got only two things going for him: nobody pays him any attention, and he’s got that “reflect rune” thing. Which still probably means Lien alone could take his entire side out….it just means Life & Death can’t take him out. (Depends if those magical bullets Lien was making trigger those runes. Doesn’t matter, I’m sure she’s got unenchanted bullets too…)

            “I am Ba’al.” “As in, bocce?” Heh, Ba’al’s got like, almost as many puns as Yu, only they don’t get old nearly as fast. (Two strikes, three Ba’als.) Besides, O’Neill gets him back with such style, it’s borderline Crazy Awesome: “You dare mock me?” “Ba’al, you should know. OF COURSE I dare mock you.”

            Did he say he was freaked to feel the whole world? Here I thought that all was about him knowing just how small they are compared to the grand scheme of things. (Peron on a planet in a solar system in a galaxy in a universe. Then it depends on if you think there’s alternate universes/realities for us to be even smaller…) But anyway, Earth is probably the nicest and had the easiest time being an Element. Fire hated being controlled, Power had a seriously warped sense of family, and Water…..may or may not be a trickster. (Could just be Magi of that have been tricksters, but the element itself is a possibility.)