I like her logic.
Logic? What logic! The countertransference makes me cringe. The advice is premature and self serving. The true self must be exposed cut and synthisized into a new living whole on a continual basis. Thicker layers are what Miss French existentialist stereotype here has. They keep her from her other names and any chance of royalty.
This. Royalty’s edges are naked, sheathed, or broken. Never hidden, neglected or forgotten. Used, explicitly or implicitly, or discarded.
It”s almost as if it’s written by a person who is a webcomic creator and not a philosopher.
Pfff, she’s not an existentialist stereotype. Existentialism largely rejects the possibility of any true or permanent self, as per Demon-Sartre’s Existentialism As A Demonism: “We remind demon that there is no legislator but demself; that de demself, thus abandoned, must decide for demself; also because we show that it is not by turning back upon demself, but always by seeking, beyond demself, an aim which is one of liberation or of some particular realisation, that demon can realize demself as truly demon.”
No indeed, Cio’s just a generically French demon stereotype. 😛
Sounds to me like she’s merely projecting. She admitted she really wants to rob the jerk of a dragon just pages ago, for probably the exact same reasons (plus impressing Allison) that she did before.
Everything she said before Allison’s “I didn’t need you to tell me that” holds water, though.
As for the existentialist thing, she’s technically immortal (maybe not in the way Angels are, but enough so to reincarnate with some memories and her personality intact), so presumably she would know a thing or two about this stuff.
Depending on how much she’s died, of course…
I suspect this is just a feint.
“Not worrying about it” is the first step to cutting away those layers, though. A certain degree of fatalism simply sharpens the blade of Want, because irony makes a fine fuel for the flames of desire.
For example, our friend Maya Murder-the-Gods-etc. certainly doesn’t seem worried about being doomed to be utterly herself, does she?
Perhaps that is the point. She could not hold even a glimmer of divine right for that long; she simply isn’t capable. That failure in itself is a reminder of the true depth and self-knowledge inherit in a real god, like YISUN. Or Al-YI-SUN. Our bold heroine has a history on calling people on their bullshit.
I’ll admit, there’s a certain sublime elegance to her hypocrisy.
I’m not the only one who caught that, huh?
>I didn’t want to be that person anymore
>We’re all doomed to repeat our mistakes
She’s more genuine than ever. She just changed her mask a while ago. It’s like a set of filters on camera – some things are invisible to you unless you look at them through very special set of fake eyes. And under influence of the new mask (more humble and less sociopathic – perhaps, intentionally on the side of her husband) she had come to a new understanding of her true self; and to realization, that her true self will never be able to keep her old name forever – much less, to get even a fleeting chance to royalty. All the longing, all the thirst for power – all that’s still inside her, she’s the Terrible Blade of Want after all. What she fears, is not the return of her true self – it never was lost, in first place – no, she fears that her true self may – will – decide, that Cio must cease to exist, for there is no place for that feebling in the presence of the Usurper Queen.
For she is blind to the new option: not she – not ever – but mrs Cioelle, the weak and feeble Mask she wears, has a chance to reach royalty. And if she could discard the chains of old trueness and became the Mask… Well, that’s a brand new can of daemons, is it not?
Truly, people do never change – aside from apotheotic pupae, but that’s debatable: if your trueself dies violently, and something compleatly new emerges from the blazing ashes, can that even be considered as change?
But mortals are malleable, and so, if a new Mask – with new ethic, new ability patterns, new sensual paradigms, and new chains of gage – was grafted properly…
Notice to all college girls.
This is a line. It’s not even a very good one.
Do not bite on it, unless you want to find out if you are allergic to street-grade hypnotics.
So, our once-dead-twice-living devil has finally brought out her powerful “POMF” technique.
“What dost tha want to do on the bed, Al-YISUN?”
Trying to stop the shipping would be like making a ship go up stream without a paddle: Quite the oar deal.
So bring on the shipping jokes, the punnier the better!
Is this the shipping arc or the shipping ark?
You may be due for a stern reminder on puns being their own reword.
But I will bow out before I scupper the subject.
That caused me mild physical pain.
I was about to order my boat puns from Amazon, but the shipping and handling cost were too much for me.
I’m reminded of a quote.
“People don’t change that much. Some are born wolves, some are sheep. You might be wearing sheep’s clothing but your fangs are showing through”
I happen to disagree with both that quote and Cio. If people dont’t change, adapt and learn, why even bother trying? Yet we try anyway. So we must be capable of some change.
You put up new walls, re-shingle the roof, change out the windows, even put up a new coat of paint, but you cannot change the houses foundation unless you tear the entire thing down. People do not change, not who they really are, because it’s a core aspect of themselves. What changes, however, is perspective and understanding. A mouse can pretend to be a lion if he realizes acting like such can help him survive, but no matter how boisterous his roar is, it will still come from a mouse.
You say change is impossible, but by the line “…unless you tear the entire thing down”, you are unknowingly admitting otherwise. That drastic measures can alter even fundamental aspects of one’s being.
We are not automatons. We are not stone edifices, carved once and never to alter again. We are as clay, molded and shaped continuously all our lives. As the clay grows drier, change becomes more difficult, but it can happen all the same. It’s just harder. Only when the light of life is extinguished and the clay is cast into the crucible of the next world can we be said to be complete. Only when we die do we cease to change.
And so long as a person draws breath, and has the fire of Will in their heart, they can change. Even if it means tearing the entire house down and starting again. Indeed, that is exactly what one must do to seek Enlightenment.
I think it depends on what you think defines a person as an individual, or even truly individuality exists at all.
It is a comfort to imagine oneself and others beyond change; to imagine that all the world is precisely as you understand it. It is the comfort of peasants, whether they dwell in rude huts or atop jewel-encrusted thrones: “All is as ever it shall be.”
The Orders Mendicant and Belligerent exist primarily to refute this flawed understanding; to teach the lesson that the shape of the universe is the shape of Royalty, a continuous cutting motion. Know all you perceive is a lie-that-was, and even the keenest observer will never catch up to the racing truth we call “now,” for astride that beast rides the Grand Enemy, and his wrath is terrible indeed.
In every gust of wind, in every stone set upon another, there is the potential for your entire universe to come crashing down around you. Embrace the lie! For tomorrow, as the Belligerents are wont to teach, you will have no arms to embrace it!
Faux nihilism is but a rationalization for the indolent.
People and humanity change all the time.
People don’t *change*, so much as they *repurpose*. That tire iron is invaluable to you when you’ve got a flat tire. Move yourself to a war-torn hellscape, and it’s a pretty decent skull-cracker. Wash your hands of war in the aftermath, and it’s a great pry-bar with which to lever crushed walls off of trapped survivors. That’s why you try and better yourself: To find a way to contribute to solving the challenges of life in a fashion that brings you to self-acceptance and peace.
She treats “our true selves” as an objective fact. These are bold words for a flesh-trapped ball of writhing darkness
Cio sure is looking a lot more spidery than her last appearance.
“I call this arc the ‘shipping’ arc.”
Well played, Abbadon.
This one spots at least two puns in the alt text. Now, are there any more?
1) Arc –> Ark. Reminiscent of a boat, of which they are on. Also, the original ark was a sanctuary. The boat they are one is a safe place for Cio and Al-YISUN to develop a rapport and fuel the shipping.
1a) Perhaps the first “arc” refers to the “ark,” meaning that this sky ship is called “The Shipping Arc”.
2) Shipping arc –> They’ve been on a literal ship this entire arc.
shipping arc because they’re on a ship
Bold move there, let’s see how it plays out!
Miss Cio looks dangerously reminiscent of her past self without her glasses.
To her point; The only part of Cio that is blue is her mask. Her feet and hands are still ebon
By YISUN, you’re right. Could it be that the mask is a lie?
Well, yes, but so is the rest of the devil.
And everything else for that matter.
Most blue devils seem to look that way, though. But maybe they were all demoted at some point.
Well, shit, that’s true. From her first appearance, even.
…Hmm. From the bit with the devil bar, it looks like most devils have skin much darker than their masks. So I dunno?
Here’s something else, though. When we met Cio in Hell 71, she quite plainly had four arms, like Yabalchoath. She still had them when she descended on the angel and summoned paper soldiers, then tucked the extra pair inside her garment as she fled with Allison, and–as far as I can tell–they haven’t been seen since.
Her cloak maybe had power to multiply wearers arms and that’s the whole story behind it. Or it was made with copies of her arms from a devil or two-seeing that they fly an airship with a devil engine on board I say that devil-folk and small bits of black flame can be used for some interesting things and contraptions.
at least, that’s how many I can count.
Coat of Arms:
That explains the difference in number
Wow, the art style has changed quite a bit since the beginning.
Yeah, I noticed that too. Maybe they were a part of the cloak somehow.
The cold horrifying truth told by a devil. Huh usually their kind prefer to tell beautiful lies filled with honied words.
Half-truths are the deadliest lies.
It is the curious work of the Revisionist Priests of Fn’fic, and their great libraries; for every text, every lithograph, and tale that reaches their temple becomes something other than it was.
Brothers, sisters, enemies, close friends, distant acquaintances, and random strangers are recast as lovers. The Revisionist Priests take great joy in their work, which they strangely refer to in naval terms. It is said they take their mission from a great demon of uncertain temper, but this is never been confirmed. All that can be said is that they “ships” crafted by these Priests make much joy among those that enjoy them, and bring consternation to all others.
– A Pocket Guide to Nowhere, Anonymous
The guild wars between the Revisionist Priests and the Historians’ Guild have been brutal indeed. The Historians, quite rightly to my mind, accuse the Priests of horning in on their territory.
So Cio was always a fanfiction writer?
Even Ebon devils need hobbies.
I once met one with a habit of collecting beanie babies.
He tried to eat my face, but that was for an entirely different and unrelated reason.
Hot AS FUCK.
I’d want to touch upon the deeper issues/meanings here, but right now I’m too busy calming my desire for mature devil-women.
Can’t blame you, her tongue is hot as an open flame….i’d still try it anyways
I am fairly certain that tongue is as roughshod as a file. While I to say ‘try what you like’- perhaps this would be a time not to do so. But, whatever you’re fated to do, you will do. Alas…
Living life to the fullest, like moths to a flame.
The true ruler is the Wielder of Names, who discards the husks of old, useless selves and consigns them to the void. But the moment of vertigo as you look down and realize that’s you flapping on the faint abyssal breeze, the person you were a scant ten minutes ago, just an empty skin and a few stray hairs and a fading gasp…
Well, I imagine it’s claimed many a would-be heir before.
Soothing words from a roughened tongue
She ran so hard away from her old mistakes, and yet, here she goes again. I suppose that’s tragic, if you’re Greek.
“[Smith’s] own people passed through five major shapes: egg, nymph, nestling, adult – and Old One which had no shape. Yet the essence of an Old One was patterned in the egg.”
— Stranger in a Strange Land
Abbadon is just teasing shippers at this point. How cruel.
Cio, you are either a wise mentor or a foolish courtesan. Perhaps both.
I’ve heard of a “Fiery Tongue” before, but…
I assumed it was just rough, like a cat’s, hence suitable for striking matches.
Wow, I didn’t really expect that view from someone who was virtually remade in their entirety.
Fear of relapse that has become so ingrained in her personality that now it’s just plain cynicism?
I hope something happens to have her have a more positive outlook on personal fates.
It’s quite possible Cio is just pessimistic about being able to bury her ‘true’ self.
Raises some interesting ideas though. Should you attempt to remain your true self, warts and all, unchanging? Or pile on the layers, to cover the spikes and edges, but be unable to tell self from layer?
I suspect Royalty is to smash the spikes and edges that serve no use, and craft a sheath for those that should be wielded.
Calling it the ‘shipping’ arc because they are on a ship.
Obviously no other reason. Nope.
My Sexuality: Cio striking a match on her tongue
Remind me never to tongue a devil.
Not even then!
You’re just teasing us at this point, aren’t you, Abbadon?
So much for “never, ever” wanting to “be that person” again, then. Right, Cio? 😛
That’s a remarkable amount of fatalism coming from one who was dead set on not becoming a throne threatening monster again just a few pages ago.
I’d imagine it’s in reference to doing her damnedest to avoid becoming like Yabalchoath again, but has just made a deal with someone that will send her back into Mammon’s vaults to steal something of great value. History repeats.
Sure, but the speed and ease with which she seems to have changed opinions makes one wonder why she made such a show previously. Either she cared, in which case she should press her case, or she doesn’t care, in which case why the fuss earlier.
It’s almost like she’s trying to justify her own acrobatic pirouette off the slippery slope, as much as whatever she’s about to try to talk Alison into.
Typically were one forced into a decision like that, and then found the one who forced you in a moment of doubt, you might press your original case, not goad the other further down the path you advised against?
Cio is right, you know. Though I imagine they’re going to go the *noble* and *good* route and try to break the barriers down and what not, making Alice-UN bear her heart. Cowboy up, I say! At least, if cowboys existed in this universe. Which they might, I don’t know.
Angelic flame doubts the possibility of change.
In other news, Jagganoth is angry, the Mendicant Knights are poor, and water is wet.
Automatic pistols take great recoil:
the same is said of axioms.
They prepare themselves, but still need a trigger.
So Cio goes from (and I paraphrase) “Oh gee, I can’t go back to the old me, I’ve worked so hard to change!” to “Hey baby, I’m experienced and everybody makes mistakes ;D. No worries!”… I sense this ship is going to get a rockin. Or at least Cio is gonna try anyway.
Somehow, with these last few offerings, I keep reading Cio’s dialogue in Peridot’s voice.
I approve of reading Cio’s dialogue in Peridot’s voice.
Gremlin-sized people are all voiced by Shelby Rabara. That’s a Rock Fact.
You mean a *Gem Fact.
I actually overheard a doctor of causality studies discuss the underpinning metaversal law that discusses this. Apparently, within 777,777 possible universes, there exists a nearly 100% chance that every version of an organism close enough to yourself to count as “you” to within .008% tolerance will have a life that, within certain saga-waveforms, is pretty much identical to yours. Apparently, the echoed flickering of the Divine Flame branches out across all forms of an individual’s lifepath, ensuring that the cosmic archetype that one fills will always be reinforced by the weight of 777,776 other yous doing the exact same thing because the other 777,776 of them are doing the exact same thing because the other 777,776 of them…
This man was very unhappy, and often lamented to me that he hated rat-and-puckerberry-pie, but he was doomed to purchase them due to an overwhelming urge planted in his mind by another self in another universe he’d never been to.
He was a lousy tipper, on top of that. I think that was just because he was a bit of a dick. If anyone else encounters any omniversal duplicates of this person, beware his tight-fisted nature.
At least he does not have his other selves trying to kill him to gain his power!
(looks over shoulder)
How does this mesh with “I don’t want to be like that any more” from two pages ago?
“Tougher layers & pretend.” A mask of blue, a mane of gold, a shell of stone to play a part and cover o’er the flame within!
Meshes just fine. The reason she didn’t want to do it is because, as she says here, she has not really changed. She’s just covered in layers.
Doing that theft is, to her, ripping those layers away.
That alt text makes me realize that this comic is STEERING in the right direction. There manages to be comedy even in such STERN scenes. Every HAUL has another great load of content. Not to mention the beautiful lore in the CANON. All my doubts about this have SET SAIL and I BOW in honor.
Also, Cio’s match trick now has me at FULL MAST.
Bravo I love your HULL post!
I see you had just enough rope for another pun.
Tiger tongue? Tiger tongue.
I admire literally anyone that can strike a match off their tongue.
So which is it? Is her tongue dry and rough, or is it hot. Thermally.
That should put an end to folks desiring Cio blowjobs.
Or double their numbers.
It would be to much of a hardship!
So, is the name intended to be ironic, or are you just completely new to the internet?
Don’t you bet on it.
You’d be surprised.
/POMF POMF ON THE BED/
I don’t find myself agreeing with the idea of a “true self”. That all other selves one shows the world are, at their core, invalid, and shouldn’t be taken into consideration. Especially since, from a psychological standpoint, a lot more of our choices get dictated by context than by any sort of nebulous “personality”.
By my reckoning, there is no one “true” self. Who we are is determined by our thoughts, words, and deeds. Especially our deeds. And these change dramatically depending on context. We craft and fit into different personas – different masks – depending on where we are and who we’re with. The persona you exhibit around your friends is different than the one you show when you’re with your parents, or when you’re alone. Can any of them be said to be the “true” one? And by what metric do you determine it?
One would think a devil would appreciate the power of Masks…
True, but Cio is terrified of what she sees as her true self. Masks can be worn for disguise as well as expression. It’s possible to forget the latter.
Also, bearing in mind how a devil’s mask is a reflection of power gained and lost, it can see that the idea of a mask-as-tool is hard for her to believe in, except as artificial ‘layers’.
A worm drowns from the tears of Giants.
If there was a reason to keep Ceo on this ship (both ships) it was in those last 3 pannels
I <3 any woman that can light a match on her tongue. O.O
Wah! What’re we gonna do on the bed, Your Majesty?
Gotta love a woman who can light a match with her tongue.
Although, admittedly, that might come with more than a few complications…
Perhaps not the most orthodox method of lighting a match, but certainly a dramatic one.
Panel 2 is b est panel
Literally a rough tongue…
Cynical former arch-demons: clearly a source of reliable life lessons.
(I’m not too impressed with the match trick: Stan Laurel didn’t even need a match. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1sT0bUPXec )
I keep forgetting how demons seem to be Elves with tails and insect/arachnid Carapace.
Adding “Leakyface” to my lexicon.
Fire pouring from the mouth
water dripping from the eyes.
Is this the true nature of the world.
Thus a theme of presocratics
(although plato succeeded on the previous):
Thales and Heraclitus have their own comic.
Her previous declarations were very emphatic on how she was no longer the monster Yabalchaoth – ie, that she had changed.
Either Ciocie Cioelle was lying when she said she never wanted to be what she was again, or she’s lying now when she says no-one can change.
That, or it’s simply her turn for bitter pessimism and strong words. Under the circumstances, I suppose she deserves a turn at that.
Or she hasn’t resolved this hypocrisy.
It is my understanding, sibling, that a Devil’s different coloured names possess slightly different personalities, until they burn away to their Ebon name. Thus, Cio could see her other names, from Gold to Blue, as mere window dressing and costuming for the horror that was Yabalchaoth. A comforting lie, but a lie nonetheless.
She argues that her identity, like time, is a circle. Pure. Infertile. But if she truly believed that, perhaps it would be better to seek out the Thorns.
YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES
“Ow, fuck, that hurt more than I expected. That’s ok, just keep it cool, Cio.”
Please stop making me consider the black-blooded to be anything less than the abhorrences they are.
She lit a match with her tongue, this is woefully adorable.
Isn’t that a strange stance for a being of raw chaos to have? Angels are widely held to be eternal, immutable, since we are born of the cold white flame. Order, and perfection.
But even that isn’t quite true. And if it were, Devils are exactly the opposite. Bound by masks and names as they are, they are still violent primordial chaos. For one to believe they cannot ever change is very odd.
Don’t you think?
Behold the second snare of the mighty, which is called Indulgence.
To luxuriate in that-which-was, whether in appreciation or fear, and in so doing trap yourself in a web of cruel nostalgia.
An affliction not unknown to angelic flame, I am told.
I like this a lot.
A moment of connecting.
‘Let’s talk about boys.’.
Chosen by the Old King, she is flanked by the white flame of 82 White Chain and the black flame of Ciocie Cioelle. The 108 stars have fallen in the palace of Mottom, she has wielded the Blade of Want, and she is on her way to face the Great Beast. Thus far, the prophecy rings true; next is the annihilation of the Beast. After that… The Third Conquest. Tremble, oh Demiurges, for she shall change Creation for good.
She shall certainly change Creation. That change may even, perchance, be Good.
Let’s not bet too heavily on the latter, though.
Either: “For the sake of good.”
Or: “For ever.”
Up to you.
To accept that one fails to make things right and proper is a source of strength. To find that acceptance in the belief that you are fully incapable of doing so is a greater weakness. The unordered must by necessity be chaotic, and the chaotic must by necessity be changeable.
Or, if that cannot sway you, consider: all of life is pretense. Justice, mercy, truth – they are grand fictions, yet necessary. Why should you be any different? If you are wretched, why not pretend to be great, and in the pretense find others esteem you so?
I like how she’s smoking a cigarette that has clearly has a filter, as if those are a common thing in Throne.
Which, I wouldn’t doubt. What brand are those cigarettes?
I love her to tiny miniscule pieces? Yes
Is our dear lady Cio saying that people have layers…like onions?
I cannot get ogre this.
REACH HEAVEN THROUGH GETTIN’ OUTTA ME SWAMP
Let us flirt with dragons to see if they fuck!
Are we getting to the “comfort” part of h/c? I hope Cio doesn’t go reaching for a lemon too quickly…
It seems that Cio here understands the cyclical nature of reality, but Royalty must take on the mantle of YSUN and break from one’s cyclical nature while at once embracing it.
It’s good to know that once she lost her spooky-hot cricket demon form, she kept some of her tricks for picking up chicks.
I strongly disagree with Cio and can’t wait until she loses the mask that was her former self to become something greater, different.
I don’t smoke.
Smokers are a big turn-off for me.
The smell of cigarettes will make me nauseous.
But something like what Cio just did will never fail to get my engine running.
The human nervous system is a very strange animal.
Oh I get it shipping as they are indeed on a ship. Thus shipping themselves towards their destination. Boy am I glad I got it. 🙂
Some things you can’t do alone.
A Hero needs Companions.
Notice “companion” doesn’t necessarily mean “friend”.
Wah! What are we gonna do on the bed, tha lackwit?
Please let ‘The Shipping Arc’ be the name of their flying boat.
Perhaps her former (?) husband did not appreciate her tongue enough…
Change: happens all the time; never there when you want it.
“when doctors tell heart patients they will die if they don’t change their habits, only one in seven will be able to follow through successfully. Desire and motivation aren’t enough: even when it’s literally a matter of life or death, the ability to change remains maddeningly elusive.”
The biggest lie of all is a ‘true self’. We all wear masks to face the world. Including to ourselves. But if you cut away all the masks, is there anything left? That said, changing who one is, is just changing one’s decisions.
Wait wait wait, I just realized something. There’s 777,777 or so god corpses, right? They were also split up into white and black? Where is god corpse 777,778? Is that why Earth doesn’t have a fatal case of Demiurge Dictatorship, by not being on the map?
It is known that Earth lies within the realms of Mother Om; it merely has yet to be reaped. Give her another couple thousand years, she’ll get around to it.
The nature of the Missing God is one of the great mysteries yet to be revealed.
It is typically believed that there is exactly one more God born of YIS than of UN.
It is rarely believed that there is a exactly one Grey God.
Troubling logic indeed, but distressingly abundant among the devils blue. I once had an imp try to convince my that her divesting myself of my storefront would triple my profits if the storefront guild ran it. Testing her logic, I divested her of her mask, and felt thrice as well as I did before. Later I would sell the mask to an ink guildsman, and last I heard he had it displayed proudly on his wall next to a varied collection of papers and vellum from all the different realms.
On a different note we’re getting closer and closer to the point where these two will make out. It has to happen eventually.
… Says the being of pure chaos to the universe of potential in a shell of meat.
I disagree with Cio, there. I figure that, if you notice your life is retracing a pattern you don’t like despite your best efforts, the very least you can do is be worried about it.
I reread the whole archive earlier, it’s kind of interesting how Cio’s appearance starts very insect-like, becomes hardly insect-like at all during the devil bar scene, and has sort of averaged between them by this point.
The key somewhat yet glowed when Allison contemplated the hair dye, but has gone completely dim since. Comfortable enough to surrender to some self pity?
Strike hard and fast, light the match and set alight the winds of change.
…If only I could have such lovely chitinous bristles on my legs, perhaps I would be able to resist this damnable urge to shave them…
They’re on the same bed
This is happening
My fanfiction is coming true
Also Cio’s, probably
“Suddenly, gazing deep into her azure orbs, the devil drew close and…”
I only now took note, how a very peculiar form to address our Queen does fit…
“Seeker of the Throne, Coveter of Fire”
She did stop running, after all, and, as all do who just rose to adversity, seeks to grow to the challenge, grow the fire that is the soul. Especially here.
This line coming from her after hearing the tales of her past self is ominous.
Anyone notice how the key is kind of see through/not white? It’s almost like it’s that way because her will is weak in that moment. I swear the attention to details in this comic is amazing.
You should see what this guy can do with banisters!
That ship is picking up steam.
Seeing those last three panels was the thing that finally convinced me to read this comic and let me tell you I have not been disappointed.
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