36 thoughts on “[7.3 Spoilers] – Borrowed Eyes Comic

  1. Page 1

    Depicted: Alexander looks into the visor-flap mirror of a car he’s in. He has grey at the edges of his hair and lines in his forehead.

    Wye: I’ll talk to Richmond and Fraser about the guns for Ed’s frisky little Parasite God. He said he’d pay us double what the guns were worth if handled the purchasing and took that worry off his mind. Doesn’t want to break the perimeter or spare any hands for a shopping trip.

    I did a reading on the finances. If I overbuy, show up with enough, he’ll pay for the excess, then let us buy it back. Free guns.

    Depicted: Alexander leans in closer, his eyes taking up the majority of the mirror.

    Wye: Alexander?
    Alexander: It’s good. Go ahead with that. Do you have enough in your account?

    Page 2
    Wye: Yeah, the account is good. What are you- Oh. Don’t let me distract you.

    Alexander: It’s fine, keep talking.

    Depicted: Alexander holds the tip of his wand to the mirror, touching the pupil of his left eye. It loses its shine.

    Wye: Bryony wants us to find a family. Usual sources are dry, so we’d have to track one down ourselves.
    I did a lot of reading for that one before we left. Bryony doesn’t have a lot to offer these days. She got distracted, let things slide. So she’s not all that useful, from a practical standpoint.

    Alexander: Immortals make good friends.
    They stick around.

    Wye: I’m not sure she’s even equipped to stick around, Alexander. She doesn’t have the materials for the ritual, she’d need a lot of help. I know she’s a friend, but if we’re picking and choosing jobs, this is a bad one to choose. Again, from a practical standpoint.

    Alexander: I keep you around because you’re practical, Wye.
    Let her go. I’ll see about penning an apology to her for being otherwise indisposed.

    Depicted: Alexander in greyscale, eyebrows and hair black/grey. His eye no longer has the pupil/iris, but a bleeding hole. A sphere with the colors/appearance of the pupils/iris is at the tip of his wand, held to the side of his face. From this point on, until otherwise stated, color is much more muted, silhouettes are dark, and text appears black on a white background.

    Page 3

    Wye: A few of our longstanding colleagues are aware that something is going on with the school, Alex.

    Depicted: A bird follows a gentle curve across the page, swooping and turning. A hand holding a wand indicates the same path with a swish.

    Alexander: Of course. But they should know our record. Belangers may stumble, but they do
    not fall. If any of our colleagues are so impatient that they cannot wait to see
    us prove our worth yet again, then that will be to their detriment

    Wye: Do you want me to stick around for this one?

    Alexander: No need. I have this well in hand. I have since five years ago.
    Go see to Ed and his parasite. If Marie is to be swayed at all, it will be with that idle curiosity.
    Just let me attend to this little one here.

    Wye: Little one?

    Alexander: Use your eyes, Wye. Those gifted eyes of yours.

    Wye: Ah. Poor fella.

    Depicted: the bird perches on Alexander’s wand. The iris/pupil at the wand’s tip is larger.
    A car’s side view mirror shows a similar image, reversed, but a scalpel instead of the bird and wand. The sparrow has hollow circles for eyes.

    Page 4

    Alexander: Do you live here, little one?

    Depicted: A compass-esque image with a sparrow in the center, again with the hollow circles. The points are distorted and some are marked with dots.

    Alexander: Yes you do. Perfect. You’ve seen so many things and you have so little idea of how much you’d recognize.
    Then how would you like a meal? Let’s call it a reminder, little sparrow. A little taste of someone else’s Self and that Self’s perspective.

    Wye: How on mankind’s Earth did you get a ‘taste’ of that man, Alex?

    Alexander: With patience and keen attention. A drop of blood he hadn’t realized he shed. A charm of mine directed the culiccidae to draw the blood. I directed our traitorous Nicolette to milk that droplet from the fly. Performed days before he declared war, and carefully preserved so it would not clot or dry. Nicolette is especially good at that. Or she was.

    Wye: Are we speaking of her in past tense already?

    Alexander: I am, but note the ‘or’. A morsel of bread, touched once by the blood of Lawrence T. Bristow.

    Depicted, left: a bit of bread, blood at the corner, sitting on a bloodstain.

    Wye: he never knew what bit him.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Page 5:
      Alexander: You’ll like this one, Wye, if only because it’s a good reminder of why you’re on my side, when so many of my apprentices have fallen prey to short-sightedness

      Wye: Is it that I’m next in line for your seat as head of the Belanger circle? I’d think the only thing that could serve as a suitable reminder of that would be you having a close brush with your mortality. No offense.

      Alexander: I’d hope at least a small factor in your reasoning is that I’m a dangerous enemy to have, with a long eye toward the future. Case in point, another something to add to the bread. Three collected tears from five
      years ago.

      Wye: I’m sure there’s a story.

      Depicted: the same bit of bread, blood still at one corner, now a damp bit at the uppermost corner.

      Alexander: Some of the most effective ploys make the worst stories. Even when we were all pursuing our projects and spending days and weeks together, building the school and establishing our networks, I had a sense I’d come to loathe the man. So I took precautions. I put some longstanding friendships on the rear burner so I could honestly tell Lawrence that he was one of my closest friends. He let his guard down, and I gave him my shoulder to cry on after a nineteen year old
      student came to her senses and left him.

      Wye: A terrible story, yes, but not for the reasons you’re implying.

      Alexander (overlapping the tail end): Hahahahahaha.

      Page 6:

      Wye: You know, laughs aside, my mom was apoplectic, the last
      time I talked with her.

      Alexander: A good word, apoplectic. Over Seth?

      Wye: Yeah

      Alexander: I have talked to the family about Seth on many occasions. I have talked with your mom, Wye, at least three times. Asking her if she would take a
      hand in helping with him, take him in for a few weeks to give him a change of scenery, or have a word with him. She could never spare the time.

      Seth couldn’t even spare the time for Seth’s self-improvement. And she’s upset? He turned his back on the Belanger family when he turned on me and sided with Bristow. And he couldn’t even voice that he’d made the decision we all knew to be truth.

      Wye: Surely you can see-

      Alexander (interrupting): I can see next to nothing right now, Wye. I’ve plucked the pupil and the color from my eyes and they sit now in abstract, impaled on my wand. I can only make out what my Sight needs must.

      Wye: You know what I mean. Seth was a-

      (depicted, in the middle, portrait of Seth, slouching slightly, not smiling, similar hair to Alexander, reddish-brown, thick black eyebrows.)

      Alexander: He was a loser. Let’s not mince our words.

      Wye: He struggled. And I wonder if you kept him in a place where he struggled so you could stay confident you could utterly destroy him when and if it was convenient.

      Page 7

      Alexander: What would you have done, Wye? You have good eyes, and you’ll likely succeed me someday. You’re to be one of the most renowned Augurs in North America in the coming decades, and possibly a teacher at the school. Surely you’ve wondered what could be done about Seth. Have you read the cards?
      Rolled the bones? Consulted powers?

      Or are you taking after your mother in this? Taking issue after the fact when you wouldn’t lend your resources to him before?

      Wye: I could say I was under the impression you had a plan.

      Alexander: And now you know. I’ve told you, impressions are dangerous when you’re an Augur. We seek verifiable Truth. Those precious futures and realities that can be described as fixed by the Threads, by the Hours, by the Blade, by the Bough, and by the Pale.
      Anything else is foolhardy.

      Wye: I suppose I’m the fool, then.

      Alexander: I gave him lessons, opportunities, encouragement, I gave him opportunities to make friends, to make his enemies and rivals, who might spur him on. He’s enjoyed a precious room among the senior students for a year now, I’ve tried to give him work, but you yourself told me…

      Wye: He couldn’t take the important jobs.

      Alexander: At least like this, he can provide a little something to
      the Belanger family, and pay us back a small amount.

      Page 8

      Wye: That bird wants his morsel, it seems.

      Alexander: A change of subject? I won’t complain. Yes, but first, our last bit of seasoning. Birds of this sort do enjoy a steady diet of seed.

      Wye: Seed? Alexander…

      Alexander: Don’t worry. This wasn’t collected in the same era that I loaned Lawrence my shoulder to cry on. I didn’t collect it myself, nor did I have Nicolette
      collect it.

      Wye: Small mercies.

      Alexander: I commissioned the, ah, harvesting of this one.I think even now, Bristow is looking forward to a visit with a young French-speaking woman on his way back to Winnipeg.

      Wye: Was that what that stop of ours was about?

      Alexander: I told her that all she had to do was coo over his titles and the name-droppings of important people he knew and he could theoretically produce without any need for exertion on her part. Alas, it was not so, but she bravely saw to the task.

      Wye: Is the traditional trifecta of blood, sweat and tears not enough for you?

      Alexander: That pompous little blowhard sweats so easily and so frequently I can scarcely imagine the sweat of his brow has any value at all. I have to imagine that
      he’s spent ten times the hours tilling at that one lonely field and turning up seed than he has spent doing any honest labors.

      Depicted, bottom left, bread, with a seed-dusted crust.

      Liked by 4 people

      • Page 9:
        Alexander: A touch dry. There was no skilled preservation of the material as our Nicolette used to do with blood. But it shouldn’t matter. Blood must flow and it is
        ruined if it clots or dries. Tears are shed, no care is needed if they are promptly collected, unpolluted. And seed is either sown or spilled.

        Wye: Can we move on to the part of the little ritual here where
        we stop talking about seed?

        Alexander: Here we go, my eager little creature. Enjoy your
        morsel, seasoned with Lawrence’s Visceral Self.
        Eat of him, little watcher. Come to know him in your gut.
        You, who share an address with him, though you can’t know it. Let that be
        the second tie that binds you and your witness to him and his.

        (Depicted: Bird with hollow eyes with mouth open to accept the morsel, which is black, set within a triangle and circle, with yellow, red, and blue tips on the triangle)

        Alexander: And for the third…

        (Depicted: wand, blood red, cuts through the page)

        Alexander continues: That today is the day your mutual fates are decided. Yours by scalpel. Lawrence T. Bristow’s by my word. I have read the cards, I have consulted the powers.
        I can say this with certainty, now: let it be known, said, and sworn. If Lawrence T. Bristow is alive at the end of this summer, it is only because worse fates have befallen him. Let this be our third link.

        Page 10

        Alexander: See what he sees…

        (Depicted: bird with the crumb/triangle/circle thing in the hollow eye.)

        Alexander: …know what he knows…

        (Depicted: triangle inset in circle, with red/yellow/blue portions to circle, closed eye in triangle)

        Alexander: Bear the man’s sight for me.

        (Depicted: man’s eye inside circle inside triangle with the colored tips)

        (Depicted: scalpel and red line cut through page. The latter half of the page is littered with feathers and blood droplets, which get denser toward the bottom).

        Alexander: Now I, in keeping with the old ways…
        May first set aside the liver, seat of life, vessel of humors yellow, for reading.

        (Depicted: little liver and feather sitting in blood)

        Wye: Annoyingly healthy. How?

        Alexander: Hush, hush. Hush, hush.
        A necessary first step. It is in the ropes and in the coiled threads that the real stories are told. That Sight is woven and yesterday’s digestions are

        Depicted: a pool of blood ringed by feathers, the wand’s tip lifts out a bit of small intestine.

        Page 11

        Depicted: upper half of page, a greyed out, blurry building with a jutting front porch/cover for the path, words illegible. Windows are dark, sky is white with bands of black. Two black silhouettes stand by the door. The red lines that separate this from the text have blood leaking out.

        Wye: How are we doing?

        Alexander: We’ll know if I can make out what Lawrence sees in this place.

        Depicted: the same image as before, but the intestine is lifted up by the wand, forming a triangle that can be peered through. The building appears in daylight, practically glowing with magic circles and patterns. The two silhouettes from before are white and covered in text, with halos and symbols dripping or rising off of them. The porch/cover above the front door bears the name: ‘Sargeant Hall’.

        Alexander: I dare say we’re doing well, Wye.
        I’ll let you go in just a few moments.

        Wye: I’ll hardly complain if I have to put off hunting the damned god parasite.

        Page 12

        (Depicted) Alexander holds the wand to an image of the eye that’s missing its pupil/iris. Intestines wind up the wand and into the black void.

        Alexander: It’s been a convoluted process.
        But I do think we’re set. From Lawrence’s blood, tears, and seed to the
        mouth and eyes of a bird. From the bird’s eyes to mine own.
        I’ll use Lawrence’s Sight like this for a while.

        Wye: Okay. I’ll look after Ed. Do you think you’ll be done by
        tonight? Should I pick you up?

        Alexander: I should be done by tonight, yes. If he isn’t living here, I’ll swing by his home. Maybe if there’s time, I’ll visit some old acquaintances in the area. Knowing Bristow, he’s likely offended a few of his neighbors in this community.

        Wye: You think?

        Depicted: the eye, slurping up the last of the intestine into the blackness where the iris/pupil should be. Blood sprays.
        The eye, closing.
        The eye, opening, now black, framed by feathers, there is a pupil and iris, but the iris is red and contains a pile of intestines in black.

        Alexander: Alright. Tell Ed I said hi. Here. For the upholstery.

        Wye: I’ve got the funds in the main account, but sure. Thanks.

        Liked by 5 people

        • Page 13:

          Depicted, center top: old woman’s silhouette, but her face is cracked, she’s backed by a halo with an orange crescent, black spikes/horns growing out of the halo, and black charms reminiscent of swords dangling from the black spikes.

          At her forehead: ‘Value 89′
          Other text appears on her cracked face, but is restated later.
          An eye with a three-quarter circle appears at her shoulder.
          Text:’Bound by THREE vectors. Secure’
          Text down her body:

                Alone in this world, as she
                   will always be.  Her Aware
                  ness is at 25%, and has held s
                  teady there for five decades, t
                 Jeannine Preston was witness
                to horrific attacks by corrupt
                 elementals in a mining town i
                British occupied territory in W
              India and was a sole surivor. As
          a forewarned Jeannine Preston is a
           ticking time bomb, her life prolong
             ed until such a time as she stumbl
                    onto a similar situation and te
                   others of what she saw. On doi
                    so she will vastly elevate the c
                    level of the situation and may
                     cause an explosion of Aware a
                     an already critical time.  Has P
                     SD and may agitate elementals
                      and spiritual forces as her own
                       disposition worsens.  Other fa
                       ctors include the abandonment
                        of her children, which worsen
                                   her mood and sti
                                    ebt ir   $13,94
                                    and a   home
                                  owned by he
                           eldest daughter, in
                   to leave h      inheritanc
                                       to Cleme

          Dialogue, old woman: My dear. I haven’t seen you around before.

          Alexander: It’s actually my first time here.

          Old woman: Oh! Are you looking to move in?

          Alexander: I’m not, actually. I was friends with a man who runs this place, once upon a time. Would you know him? Lawrence Bristow.

          Old woman: I do! Fine man. Very caring.
          He sits with me to do the crossword on Thursdays.

          Alexander: I don’t suppose he’s in.

          Old woman: He’s not, but his niece is at the front desk.

          Alexander: His niece. She’d be of an age to do that sort of thing, I suppose. I remember him telling me of her doing something for kindergarten. How the years

          Depicted: face and shoulders of the old woman, the number ’89’ at her forehead. She’s noseless, her eyes and mouth hollow gaps in her face, which is cracked. The eye and ‘bound by three vectors, secure’ appear at her shoulders, as does the start of the text above.

          Faded Text: Jeannine Preston – Lesser Forewarned.
          Aged 104, twice widowed; begat three girls, Jean, Nina (cut off)
          Survivor of spiritual retribution, Chaul, British Colon(cut off)

          Jeannine:”You’re too young to be saying that, sir, hahaha!”

          Faded Text: Collector class green, tier IV, secured in core diagr-(Cut off)

          Alexander: I do have some grey hairs, Jeannine. I’m Alexander, by the by.

          Page 14

          J: You’ve got many more years ahead of you, Alex. Look at me, how old do you think I am?

          A: That’s a dangerous question for a lady to ask a man, isn’t it? There’s no right answer.

          J: One of the benefits of being old, Alex, is that you cease to care about pride or what others think. Be honest. Your best guess.

          A: I would guess one hundred and four.

          J: Clever boy. I’ve only met a handful who could get within a few years, let alone be as accurate as that. Larry- Lawrence, sorry, he was one of them.

          A: He likes his information dumps, apparently. I’m guessing Ted Havens is one of the others who guessed it?

          J: Yes, gosh, yes.
          If you were hoping to talk to him in Larry’s absence, I’m afraid- I don’t think Teddy is around. I’m sorry I hope you didn’t come too far to see either of them.

          A: It’s not a problem at all. It-

          [Interjection, new person, Clementine]: Mrs. Preston!

          J: Oh! One of my favorite young ladies. I don’t suppose you’re married, are you?

          A: To my work only. I’m a teacher and headmaster, on hiatus.

          Page 15:

          Depicted Right: Clementine in Alexander’s spirit sight. Pale, a plate on her forehead that bears the number 4. A collar reads ‘Bound-2 seals-breaking. And she has the eye at her neck, only a silver there. A halo with a seven pointed yellow star in it appears behind her head.

          Jeannine: How lovely. Clementine, Clementine, dear.

          Clementine: Mrs. Preston, you know people fuss when you
          wander about outside.

          Jeannine: I’m fine, I’m fine. Stop fussing.

          Clementine: Arlene! Yes! Over here! Are you looking for Mrs. Preston?

          Arlene, Bristow’s Niece (faded text): Oh thank you thank god thank heavens

          Jeannine: Pish. I’m fond of you, Clementine, but you can be the worst narc here.

          Arlene: Let’s get you back home…

          Clementine: I’ll come in for a visit later. I’ve just got to run to the corner
          store and then wrap up some work.

          Jeannine’s parting words: A teacher and headmaster, Clementine. Nothing wrong with an older provider.

          Arlene: O.M.G.

          Clementine: Sorry about that.

          Alexander: It’s not a problem, Ms. Robertjon.

          Clementine: I don’t believe I told you my name, did-

          Alexander: She did not. Fourth, are you?

          Clementine: I beg your pardon?

          Alexander: Lawrence Bristow values you more than you would believe. Would you give me a few minutes of your time?

          Depicted, final image: Clementine, no eyes, no mouth, only an ‘x’ inset into cracks. The ‘four’ plate at her forehead is cracked as well, as is her shoulder. Bloodstains frame the bottom part of the page.

          Liked by 5 people

      • It’s probably not significant, but the official transcript is missing some partially-obscured text describing Clem that appears behind her first appearance. Quick transcript of it:

        Clementine Roberjon – [“Gilded Lily”?]
        Age corrupted, soulmate…
        Long and s…
        shaky bind…
        Fragile Aw…
        Focal power..
        Maintains a…
        $1,094 in a…
        Assets tot…

        Liked by 5 people

  2. Well, that’s some gruesome comeuppance right there. No surprise at all considering who’s involved.
    Also, Bristow must have put a lot of work to turn his Sight into such a micromanaging tool.

    New question: who in their right mind would be an Augur’s friend, when you take into account everything they could do should that friendship ever deteriorate ?

    Liked by 3 people

    • But think of all things an Augur can foretell. A dangerous enemy, especially one that was once a friend, but a very, very useful friend and ally, so long as the friendship lasts. Alexander, however, is too ambitious to keep a friendship that doesn’t give him as much as he wants from it, as Bristow found out.

      Liked by 2 people

    • I think most practitioners are capable of devastating outcomes if they decide they really want to take you out. Augurs don’t seem any better or worse as friends for that reason. You’d need to choose your friends based on other factors than their potential for causing harm.

      Now, choosing Alexander as a friend seems pretty damned risky. Not because he’s an Augur, but because he’s the kind of person who prepares and holds a targeted anti-You weapon for every single person he gets close enough to.

      Liked by 4 people

    • A lot of practitioners can do a lot of gnarly stuff. Who in their right mind would be a Summoner’s friend, knowing they can tailor-make saboteurs and assassins to go after your holdings? Or a Cultist’s friend, given the collateral they can dish out? Or a Technomancer’s friend, knowing they can turn technology against you?

      You need to pick and choose, and pray that you don’t choose poorly.

      Liked by 1 person

    • If you never befriend anyone with the power to hurt you, you will live a lonely life indeed. Even emotional intimacy itself can be turned into a weapon against you. The only way to be close with someone who can’t hurt you is to control every aspect of their life, binding them hand and foot so neither will be raised against you. (Probably metaphorically, but that’s hardly less abusive when it’s severe enough to be effective.)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. … kinda wish I hadn’t been eating during the “seed” part, but the rest of this was worth it.

    Hope Clem comes out okay or even better off than she was. Maybe Awakened?

    And it’s pretty telling that Bristow’s Sight puts numerical value on his “property”

    Liked by 2 people

  4. i cant help but suspect that alexander made sure to only ask people to give seth a hand at times when he knew that they were busy and couldnt afford the time for him. its telling that he didnt actually outright tell wye that he was wrong when he accused of him of very twistily keeping seth struggling, despite offering him opportunities and encouragements.

    him temporarily sabotaging his friendships to make sure that he could honestly tell bristow that he was one of his closest friends, just bc he suspected at the time that hed one day come to loathe him, is a great look into how his mind works, and the way he lies without lying. (also wow a nineteen year old student… both of these men are so terrible, god.)

    also omg clementine has a soulmate?? it must be that person she spent a whole weekend with! god, now i REALLY hope they reconnect. so excited that shes back in the story too!

    i am dreading and excitedly anticipating whatever is going to happen to bristow. on the other hand, if death or a fate worse than death DOESNT happen to him? being forsworn would be an extremely fitting punishment for alexander. what a bold risk!

    Liked by 6 people

    • He doesn’t even have to do anything special if he wants to only ask when people are busy. People are often busy, and hosting someone for a week or summer is asking for a lot. Alexander probably just…didn’t push too far. Acted apologetic, downplayed it, and this meant nobody else seemed to take it seriously either. They trusted him to look after Seth, and he appeared to be doing a good job. If he was serious, wouldn’t he go through the steps necessary? Seth will be fine in the long run!

      I don’t think he actively sabotaged the efforts by seeking out busy people, but I’m positive he did not put as much effort into caring for Seth as he did for Jessica’s ritual. As a mentor, parental figure, and advisor, Alexander failed to help Seth grow and then destroyed him.

      Liked by 6 people

  5. I didn’t realize that OMG was Arlene speaking. I suppose she recognized Alexander, somehow. Either by practice or by description, given that it’s unlikely she met him before.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ironic.
    Our trio would have no way of knowing it, but with recent developments it seems that the optimal thing to do at this point would be to save Bristow’s life, rather than trying to overthrow his hold on the school.
    It removes Alexander from the board, and makes Bristow indebted such that I doubt the spirits would smile on him trying to screw over Kennet.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It wouldn’t be enough to save his life just the once. They’d have to keep him safe all summer long. I’ve lost track of the date, but I think it’s only early July, so Alexander has a good two and a half months to kill-or-worse Bristow.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Hmmm… that raises the question, which end of summer is in play here? It seems likely the spirits might hold strictly to the Autumnal Equinox, but can we rule out other dates such as when the equinox is observed, the first day of fall term, the last day of summer term(which I think was my initial read of that part) or if Canada’s holiday calendar has something viewed as an end of summer marker the way Labor Day is in the US(least likely, since any such notion is likely younger than affixing the Wheel of the Year to fixed dates or the institution of schools having seasonal terms that don’t align neatly to the seasons.?

        Liked by 1 person

        • I’d say the “end of summer” that matters for this purpose is the latest date that anyone relevant could reasonably claim is still “summer”. If everyone involved agrees on Labor Day, then that’s what counts. If some say it’s the last day of the summer school season, some say it’s Labor Day, and some say the autumnal equinox, then the equinox wins (since it comes last). It’s all about the lack of objection when you make your claim (either Gainsaying or Forswearing).

          Liked by 1 person

  7. Definitely one of the best Extra Materials so far! It was like an extremely good, short chapter. It might be my fault, but I was confused at the start. Thought the car was moving, so the thing with the bird and wand and initial use of Bristow’s Sight were a bit confusing. Thankfully the transcript exists.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. As a small favour to ask, WB, could you look into making the photos zoomable? Right now, I gotta right-click to open in a new tab, and then edit the address to remove the elements that fix the image to be a fixed size, before I can try zooming in. Zooming on this webpage doesn’t work very well.

    I’m really really really really loving this mixed media project that Pale has become. I think it’d be super cool if a print version was made at some point, that came with a little booklet on the side with for the extra materials, plus some flyers or such other documents. I hope we can get some audio materials at some point. Even if it’s some ambient noises and music go with a chapter.

    Cute, how Alexander used Jeannine’s and Clem’s names without being told them. And Clem is getting Jeannine’s inheritance for some reason? What kind of funky connection stuff did Bristow do.

    Ok, so, I’m a little lost here.
    We have the Awakening Ritual (and Forest Trail) items: “Knife, skull, coin, timepiece, thread”. In this comic, we have the “Threads, Hours, Blade, Bough, Pale”. First of all, hey, title drop. Second, I feel like some items don’t match up?

    I am thinking Pale might stand for Skull, what with bones being pale white. Pales are also sticks or stakes.

    I’m a little lost with Bough. It stands for branch (or bow). The Cambridge dictionary gives me this example sentence “Nowadays, nobody misses shillings, pennies and ha’pennies; surely in thirty years, no one would miss bough, ache, or sew.” which seems to relate a bough with money, but frankly I can’t make sense of it. But apparently a Silver Bough is part of Celtic mythology and it grants you access to the Otherworld. If that is the intended interpretation, it might say something about Alexander’s family, and it’s interesting that he swaps the coin for an item that grants you permission.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There are a bunch of different Awakening rituals, which use a variety of different items. (The wiki lists four distinct ones—the one the Thorburns use in Pact, the one the Kennetteers used, a blood mage Awakening ceremony mentioned in a Pact Dice document, and a seven-person variant used in the Mile End Pact Dice game.)

      Nicolette mentioned “The skull, the knife, the timepiece, the living thing, and so on” as items used in the awakening ritual back in 4.8. (She was awakened by the Belanger circle and presumably used the same ritual Alexander references.)
      Threads, Hours, Blade, Bough, Pale. Obviously: Hours = timepiece, Blade = knife. Skull fits Pale, living things can fit Bough, and Threads fit one of the most common categories of Awakening items.

      Incidentally, I know what chapter that quote is from because trying to figure out a plausible Awakening ceremony for the Belangers is important for a Pale fanfic I’m writing. Aaand now I need to make sure it fits with this potential information, though I’m halfway through writing it. Mm, I might need to replace the black-and-pink tulips with some kind of tree branch…

      Liked by 1 person

      • A pale is a fence — “beyond the pale” is an idiom meaning that someone has gone too far. In heraldry, a pale is a vertical line separating the field. To extend the metaphor, I would imagine that a pale would be something that defines a boundary. (Consider “palisade”, derived from the same root word.)

        It’s entirely possible that a skull could be considered a pale along those lines, if the skull demarcates the boundary between the seat of the Self and the rest of the world. It could also be a reference to the liminal boundary between life and death.

        On the other hand, “bough” meaning a strong tree branch is also used metaphorically to refer to the gallows, and so the skull could represent this as a symbol of death. This feels like a somewhat flimsier metaphor, but it is at least plausible.

        But bringing up the Silver Bough is an interesting point. In that story, it was an invitation for a human to visit the Otherworld. There’s a parallel in Greek mythology, where a golden bough was a token that allowed someone to board the boat to cross the river Styx into the underworld. I do think that it’s not the strongest metaphor, but it’s still noteworthy.

        It’s also interesting to consider that this last definition of bough is one that permits someone to cross a boundary: that is, a pale. This linking of symbolism could be relevant to ritual magic.

        … and it also reminds me of my concern about scissors being used in a mystical ritual that also involves thread and has a strong impact on someone’s fate.

        Liked by 3 people

    • I think the example from Cambridge is metaphorical — people don’t miss the old currencies anymore now that they’ve been replaced by newer things, so they may not miss trees or physical labor or making their own clothes once they’ve become accustomed to city life in a world of automation.

      This makes it rather unhelpful as an example for using bough in a sentence. >.> Not a great thing for a dictionary.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I believe the Kennet trio were awakened with at least a single sprig of holly to represent their ties to the old ways?

      I believe the song goes: Deck the halls with boughs of holly – Fa la la la, la la la la


    • Reminds me of a comment I heard about a particular aspect of conservative worldviews—their hierarchical mindset.
      It’s important that we find a way to put everyone into the right hierarchy, because if the most deserving people are put in charge we’ll get the best world. Meddling with that process means the Wrong People get to the top, and that’s what causes problems in the world, not the hierarchy itself.
      (There are also other aspects that come up, but that’s the most self-contained one.)

      And, of course, capitalism encourages employers to view their employees not as people with needs and talents, but as assets with costs and outputs. Ranking employees by their profitability doesn’t come automatically with that kind of mindset, but it’s certainly a natural conclusion.

      Bristow’s Sight is simply a literalization of certain real-world worldviews. I find it interesting to point out those subtle metaphorical aspects of Worm’s themes, even when it’s far less subtle about them elsewhere. Here’s hoping my comments help someone write an English paper 50 years from now when Wildbow’s stories are being taught in English classes, heh.

      Liked by 1 person

Reply - No Pact spoilers!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s