July 19, 2019
Commentary for July 19, 2019:
Horatio really is a magnificent bastard, if I do say so myself. He can come across as quite genial sometimes, and has the advantage of being one of the few members of the Echidna Empire who is so invaluable that he can honestly speak his mind without any real consequences, which I’ve always found makes him one of my more endearing villains. But he’s still a villain, and a pretty malevolent one at that. He will experiment on living people without a second thought; he will subject them to torture, dismemberment, and death if he thinks he can get useful data out of it. And he has no compunction about forcing someone to fight to the death out of his own perverse curiosity, to see what they’re capable of. And he’ll do it with a smile on his face and a song in his heart.
Anyway, there’s a little bit of world building going on in this page regarding mages. Magic just is a part of the fiction in the Sonic games and there isn’t much point fighting it, even if this is a fan comic that is ultimately more its own universe that just happens to have Sonic in it. Besides, magic can be fun, provided it doesn’t become a deus ex machina and follows a consistent set of rules. (I find one of the better ways to avoid breaking your own rules, of course, is to use the Battlestar Galactica method and never explain how anything works, or keep explanations to a minimum, but I digress.) In a world that is very similar to the real world, but just happens to have magic in it, how would that not massively influence the course of history? How has the world or even a single nation never been conquered by a power hungry sorcerer? Why don’t armies use mages?
All fair questions.
As to the hypothetical mage dictator, simple answer: no single mage has ever been powerful enough to do that on their own. While there may have been some who wanted to or even tried, mages are too rare for anyone like that to successfully recruit enough of them to such a dubious cause. Moreover, D&D rules; mages are generally squishy. With some exceptions (like CJ), they’re not typically fighters, preferring research and study to combat, where they may actually be quite vulnerable. As for the military, they’ve almost certainly tried to recruit mages at some point, but they’ve found them too difficult to control, which is why they no longer bother trying. Indeed, Earth’s militaries from GUN on down to the national level basically have a ban on mages serving in the armed forces -- a bit like the ban on telepaths serving in Earth Force in Babylon 5. Moreover, given the rarity of mages, in order to avoid being exploited by the powers that be, they formed the Mages Guild to protect themselves and promote safe and responsible magic use by trained mages.
Also, yes, this chapter is partly about setting up just what magic is in the context of Eon’s World. Will Horatio’s hypotheses regarding magic bear fruit? Well, we’ll have to see, won’t we?
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