March 21st, 2017

YIKES.

Hello again everyone!! Thanks for bearing with me during the time off -- apparently my body had been waiting for JUST SUCH AN OCCASION to suddenly become ill so I definitely needed it. @u@

And thank you SO MUCH to everyone who came by to see me at ECCC! It was awesome meeting everyone -- THERE WERE SOME PEOPLE WHO JUST??? GAVE ME ART????? Ya'll are too cool!! (Also, you can vote on TWC to get a look at the cool art in question!!)

Comment by Kiri

Oh hey dang, Xira, your hair is really pretty. :O I LOVE HOW DANG RUDE JONAN IS HERE THO. MAN. THAT FACE. JONAN DOES NOT HAVE TIME FOR THIS. (I wonder what he was thinking there omg.)

Also also I just realised past 2013 me drawing Sev from memory thought he had monster feet OH WELL.

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posted at 12:08am on March 21st, 2017

Reply by Shweta Narayan

Jonan's been waiting for these kids to all be on the same page about things for like twenty pages now and he is so very DONE

...Also I love the part where he thinks SEV could tell on him, as he currently is :D

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posted at 6:53am on March 21st, 2017

Comment by Ely

AaaAaaaAAASA THE REVEAL I'm not coherent right now I'm so excited

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posted at 12:09am on March 21st, 2017

Comment by Hethaa

XiraaaaaaAAAAAA

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posted at 12:27am on March 21st, 2017

Comment by Nnelg

Jonan: "I give you explicit permission to read my surface thoughts to the express purpose of facilitating communication."

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posted at 1:34am on March 21st, 2017

Reply by Shazzbaa

"Yes, that's definitely what Jonan was thinking just now. Yup, even though he's shaking his head 'no' repeatedly and glaring at me,"

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posted at 2:30pm on March 22nd, 2017

Comment by MagpieM

I would like to second pretty much all of Kiri's first paragraph.

I am like mildly distracted by Xira's perfect hair. I know important dramatic stuff is happening on this page, but every time I scroll up my brain is just, "Haaaaair. So pretty." I'm just going to blame my allergies making it difficult to focus.

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posted at 1:51am on March 21st, 2017

Comment by Kiri

Also!!!!!!! Shazz!!!!! YOU ADDED A FAVICON TO THE SITE THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!

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posted at 1:55am on March 21st, 2017

Comment by Himochi

Ooh, Xira's hair is preettyyyyyy.
Jonan doesn't have time for your garbage tho Xira buddy.
(I wonder how Tareth is taking this :3c )

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posted at 2:57am on March 21st, 2017

Comment by sazz

Xira's secret is finally revealed. Now everyone knows that he is.. Rapunzel!

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posted at 4:21am on March 21st, 2017

Comment by Baufenbeast

So, does this mean he weighs the same as a duck?

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posted at 4:29am on March 21st, 2017

Reply by Karen

And that he's made of wood? :-P *Monty Python high five*

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posted at 6:18am on March 21st, 2017

Reply by Shazzbaa

QUICK, BUILD A BRIDGE OUT OF HIM

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posted at 2:31pm on March 22nd, 2017

Comment by The Wing

It was going to happen eventually, Xira. That's a pretty big secret to keep indefinitely.

As a terribly, brutally honest person by nature, I can't imagine living in a world where telling everyone the truth would cause me to be shunned by society and likely killed. :(

I don't blame Jonan's anger at his dishonesty (how can we trust such a slippery character now?), or Sev's shock (this kid has been READING OUR MINDS THE WHOLE TIME WTF??!?!), or Xira's secrecy (now they all hate me, of course they do, everyone hates me T_T). I understand them all, so this just breaks my heart.

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posted at 4:52am on March 21st, 2017

Reply by Shweta Narayan

I'm not sure Jonan *is* angry at him in general? I'm reading it as... and *hope* it is... just immense frustration with him keeping his secret to the point where it's endangering everyone.

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posted at 6:56am on March 21st, 2017

Reply by The Wing

In my limited emotional scale, that would be synonymous with anger. X'D

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posted at 4:28am on March 23rd, 2017

Comment by Kira

It's a cultural thing to keep his hair covered, right? (Doubling to actually hide who he is) So I imagine Xira and Jonan may pretty much never get along after this.

Like, geez dude. Little much, Jonan.

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posted at 5:24am on March 21st, 2017

Reply by Shweta Narayan

Yep. This is kinda like an adult ripping a teenage girl's shirt off to show everyone her birthmark.

I'm falling over laughing at Jonan's level of fed-the-hell-up, but this is an incredibly bad thing he's done here. I'm still wondering why he doesn't just write it out? Or fingerspell it if he's learned enough. Because that fifth panel, he seems to be going NOW do you get it?? to the rest.

Ironically it may be his first evil deed with *good* intentions, if he believes that the gang won't betray Xira.

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posted at 7:00am on March 21st, 2017

Reply by PK

Jonan's been grouchily waiting for everybody else to figure it out or Xira to admit it for... a while now. I don't get the idea he's expecting any of them to do something awful to each other, though, no.

I think... this is not an excuse, but I think if he'd been going to tell them when he hadn't lost patience, he could have written it out, probably gotten Tareth's attention, and waited for her to react, relay, and everybody to dispute his IIRC rather circumstantial evidence... I am not entirely sure he hasn't been keeping his mouth shut the secret to this point partly because he didn't want to deal with the resulting argument. He certainly doesn't right now.

I'm not surprised the guy who used to seal people's mouths shut for bothering him went with the invasive brute force method that proves it to everybody immediately.

...I also wouldn't be surprised if Jonan, who (if I'm remembering right and this was something that really happened) tried dyeing his hair as a teenager to hide his runewriter abilities, is resentful of Xira actually being able to conceal it. Could also be some spite from that.

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posted at 10:04am on March 21st, 2017

Reply by Shazzbaa

YEAHHHHHH Shweta's comparison is pretty much spot-on!

and PK, you're remembering a real thing! It was hinted at in a vote incentive when someone asked why runewriters don't dye their hair.

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posted at 2:31pm on March 22nd, 2017

Comment by Alice

Considering how important Turbans are to Sikhs and Muslims in real life this may be the worst thing Jonan's done outside of flashbacks.

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posted at 5:34am on March 21st, 2017

Reply by adam

To be a little fair, he isn't entirely unjustified: Xira has lied to them about his thing, arguably went to deceive them and when it got dragged out of the closet he continues to take them for a fool by still lying to them.

I mean, Xira had a few chances to come straight about this, hasn't he?

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posted at 5:01pm on March 21st, 2017

Reply by Shazzbaa

"justified" or "unjustified" is a hard call to make -- Jonan would definitely have reasons to be less than patient when dealing with someone who's proven himself to be a bit slippery with powers that include manipulating thoughts and emotions, but uh, there are also options available to Jonan that did not involve violently disrobing a teenager.

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posted at 2:33pm on March 22nd, 2017

Reply by Adam

Now that I think about it, simply saying "Xira, we know" or putting a hand on his shoulder as a sign of reassurance could go a long way. I think Sev was trying to do that. Xira was meeting it with denial.

The problem is that it would require trust in Xira and Jonan is short on that on the moment. Trying to deny the obvious and setting up time for him to use his mind powers is something Jonah wants to avoid, as well as any ambiguity of the situation (Jonah might be arrogant enough to think that the others have not figured it out). It also confronts Xira with the fact and leave him no room to weasel out of this.

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posted at 5:35pm on March 23rd, 2017

Comment by Toanovu

Awe dang it, I had a a feeling Jonan was gonna pull this eventually. I mean yeah, it's definitely the quickest way to go "he's a witch you idiots!" but.... poor Xira. :(

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posted at 6:39am on March 21st, 2017

Comment by mythee

Runewriter hair refuses to be dyed right? So even if Xira tries to dye all of his hair black it won't work, but what about witches who were born with pitch black hair to begin with? Would anyone be able to tell?

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posted at 10:27am on March 21st, 2017

Reply by Toanovu

Shazz talked a bit about this at one point. Basically, the color indicating that they are a runewriter is always gonna be a slightly different shade because magic. It can definitely be harder to see though in situations where it's the same color, especially black on black (see: Iavin)

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posted at 2:01pm on March 21st, 2017

Reply by mythee

O thanks! ouo
I wonder if non-runewriter black hair has any negative connotations in cultures that fear and criminalize witches.

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posted at 11:49pm on March 21st, 2017

Reply by Shazzbaa

Honestly, if Sev weren't obviously a shapechanger, his naturally dark hair would probably get him stopped and closely examined at every city gate to make sure it's not witch-black.

It doesn't help that Var├Žnskis tend to have light-coloured hair... so the only folks who could be mistaken for witches are also usually foreigners.

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posted at 2:33pm on March 22nd, 2017

Reply by mythee

Traveling there must be unpopular for dark-haired people, then. :x I guess if nobody likes the idea of being influenced by a witch and can't trust them as a result, they could form like... a happy healthy witch village for each other?!

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posted at 9:24pm on March 25th, 2017

Comment by Threnodi

AAaahhhyhghooHHH NOOooo! Gotta admit I didn't see this coming quite yet, or at least not like that! Poor Xira!

Though considering Jonan being fed up with these shenanigans for awhile now and having always been more geared to blunt and practical than sensitive maybe I should've!

Yeah, I wanna know how Tareth is taking all this too! I wonder if she's going to be more shocked at what Xira is or what Jonan did?

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posted at 1:45pm on March 21st, 2017

Comment by adam

OMG!

Xira is BLONDE! XD

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posted at 4:53pm on March 21st, 2017

Reply by Kira

Well, he HAS had blonde eyebrows this entire time. XD

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posted at 5:34pm on March 21st, 2017

Comment by Meggyc

I love the slow, subtle progression of Sev regaining his form over these past few pages.

And poor Xira! It's difficult not to feel bad for him. Yes, he lied, but it's just sad to think of him having to hide that he's a witch for his entire life. This is probably something that he's known from a very young age that if it gets out, it could have grave consequences. Just imagine the toll that would take on someone mentally and emotionally. I mean, Xira seems to be a pretty well adjusted kid all things considered.

I also understand Jonan's frustration over the situation.

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posted at 6:30pm on March 21st, 2017

Reply by PK

I think he's got people who are okay with it? I don't know if they're family, but he was having a telepathic chat with somebody about what he was up to. Not to suggest it isn't difficult but there is possibly some emotional support offscreen.

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posted at 10:07pm on March 21st, 2017

Comment by Andi

I have been dying to see Xira's hair!!!!

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posted at 9:35pm on March 21st, 2017

Comment by Ikwig

Okay, I get that Jonan is frustrated, but ripping off someone else's clothing (unless that clothing is on fire and injuring them) is never, ever acceptable or appropriate. Not to mention, as Xira was trying to point out, this isn't really the best time to start that discussion (you know, while trying to hide one's party companion who is mostly looking like an aberrant in the middle of a town where there is aberrant cleansing going on, not to mention loads of townspeople who seem to think that aberrant cleansing is kinda like a festival). Of course, I daresay that if the topic was pushed to the side right now, Xira would find a way to sidestep it at a later date, but still . . .

Also, in re Xira's upset in the last panel, I sincerely wish that I could give him a hug, and I truly wish that a hug would actually help. It's obvious that he's got "something" going on, but I think his actions prove that his heart is good (case in point: working hard to save and hide Sev, rather than doing the obvious thing of running away after he lost his finger).

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posted at 4:02pm on March 22nd, 2017

Comment by Glew

Wow, so much packed into this page! Ah Xira, do you realize how rude it is at this point? Please don't take them as fools.
-Quick aside: maybe that is what really pissed Jonan off so much? I imagine him as someone who REALLY doesn't like to be taken for a fool. He had enough humiliation already, but this was probably the last drop.

Honestly though that last panel (cummulative with all of what we know about witch-related stereotypes and fear/hate) probably explains why Xira was trying to deny it to the last moment.

And wow, Jonan, that is... I must admit, first I thought Jonan was kind of cool and badass for doing that, if brash. But then I read the comments and realized how very offensive this action would be in Xira's culture. Which makes this neither cool nor awesome. Especially when I look at Xira's face. He looks so violated on a deep level. I guess that it isn't just being revealed as a witch but also having the turban ripped off and being "revealed" in a more literal sense.

Well, at least I learnt some cultural sensitivity out of this.

Poor Xira, I wonder what he went through that he is immediately so alarmed and defensive, seemingly at the edge of crying. :(

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posted at 10:34am on March 23rd, 2017

Comment by Daniel

There is probably an obvious answer to this, but why don't witches just cut the ends of their hair off?

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posted at 9:37pm on March 23rd, 2017

Reply by Why?!?!

The colored tips of a runewriter's hair immediately reappear if cut off. Even if they shave their head, they've got rune marks on their scalp. Basically runewriters are always identifiable because magic.

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posted at 3:03am on March 24th, 2017

Comment by eoforyth

Having read several comments: Jonan has been suspicious of Xira from the start, and has tried to point out the 'obvious' on several occasions in their short time together. He also has his own code of conduct, something that has him respected/feared wherever he is known, and I don't think something that does nothing more than reveal a young man's head means much to him if he thinks a potentially dangerous truth is revealed. And Jonan doesn't do polite.

The head covering is a custom that we don't actually know the root of. We are introduced to it at one gate where everyone had to reveal their hair in case of witches. The man was angry at this disrespect, but his female companion was calming the situation by allowing something (a partial reveal?) was possible. Xira obviously needs to keep his covered in company because of his secret, and it is having his secret revealed that is causing him more distress than being bare-headed.

Finally, on their very first night together Sev suggested they reveal some things about themselves, and misunderstands Jonan's gesturing to mean he couldn't explain his. Xira catches Jonan's glower, gives him a very pointed look, and says they shouldn't reveal Jonan's secret as 'He could get in very serious trouble if people found out...! So we should try to cover for him...!' which Jonan understands is a thinly veiled threat. (4.4) He is very stressed physically and mentally, doesn'like the idea of anyone having some kind of pressure on him, and they are all in a very serious situation. As said previously, Jonan doesn't do polite, so his actions are pure Jonan. Maybe we wouldn't do things that way, but this is partly how he got his reputation in the first place.


And now, who's with me on wanting to see Tareth spending some time brushing and braiding Xira's hair (perhaps with necropony trying to nose its way in for some pampering as well)? XD

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posted at 7:43am on March 24th, 2017

Reply by TheOtherDibbler

I personally read the 'he could get in trouble if people found out' as a plea rather than a threat. Jonan could get in trouble if people found out who he is, and Xira could get in even worse trouble if people find out about his own secret, so I read that exchange as a thinly veiled 'we're both at risk, so please don't out me' rather than a 'we're both at risk, so if you out me I'll out you'.

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posted at 6:39pm on March 25th, 2017

Reply by eoforyth

I see your point, if you just look at Xira's words, but his eyes were narrowed. If it were an imprecation for mutual tolerence against a cruel world, his eyes would be more open, in appeal. As it is, he knows Jonan Iif only by reputation) is more likely to pay attention to a bit of fairly mild blackmail rather than an appeal to his better nature - the better nature that has gate quards sweating and waving his whole party through, and townsfolk falling over themselves to get out of his way!

Jonan sure has a power kick XD

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posted at 10:20pm on March 25th, 2017




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