January 18th, 2011


My apologies, gang, appears to have been a glitch in the upload…

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Discussion (33)¬

  1. Gramina says:

    Yay comic’s up!!!! 😀

    And yeah… I’d been thinking it’d be a sedative, but she’s got a point; if someone like that really can’t be brought to reason, they’re an ongoing danger anyway. Like appendicitis, better to catch it early.

    If someone hasn’t put up the vote link by the time I go find it and get back, I’ll post that too 🙂

  2. Rowan says:

    I love BCM’s practicality. “Remember that you’re still one of the living” is something that occasionally needs saying to grieving people.

  3. Refugee says:

    “You take people like that out as soon as you can.”

    This, all of it, the entire balloon, I can applaud without reservation. And note the price she was willing to pay.

  4. I love that last line, B.C.M. Good job!

  5. Heph says:

    Hmm in my eyes that BMC considered outright murder makes her in my eyes less likeable. Sure There are people that are very dangerous but Killing these persons should neer be an option.

  6. Ellis says:

    I’m not about to condone murder either but you might want to remember that Jhalm was perfectly willing take out anyone he thought a threat to the good of humanity. If you’re going to live by the sword you have to accept that you could be the one who ends up dying by it.

  7. JewelWolf says:

    This story isn’t ending as quickly as I’d feared.

  8. ysabet says:

    Outright murder of an outright murderer? To keep the kind of carnage and misery that really wide-scale conquest causes to happen, I’d take down a girl scout. And BCM is looking out for her tribe and the future of her tribe’s children.

  9. ysabet says:

    Urk– that’s what I get for stopping halfway through a comment and then picking back up. I meant ‘keep it from happening’. >_< Stupid work phone-calls.

  10. Ryusui says:

    That’s why we all love Boneclaw Mother. She could probably take Batman in a fight, even without preparation. Mind, she’d probably aim to end the fight without harming anybody – just give the Caped Crusader pause – but there’s little doubt in my mind she could pull it off.

    Anyone else vote for her Memetic Badass status?

  11. Inlaid says:

    Heph: She was attempting to prevent a fight that would have destroyed her tribe and possibly unleashed her peoples most feared spiritual adversary on the world. She had never met Jhalm before and didn’t know how crazy he was going to be or even if he had been corrupted by Sweet Grass Voice. She made the right choice to prepare for the worst and she made the right choice to not have to use her last resort weapon, or even threaten it’s use. She was willing to die fighting evil if required and potentially take her whole tribe with her. Violence is a last resort but better to tarnish your soul a little than to let thousands of others be extinguished.

    As far as I’m concerned we need more real people like her.

    Feel free to flame me though 🙂

  12. jr says:

    OK, I was wrong about Bone Claw Mother using minimal force. The way she framed it, maximum force has its benefits too.

    Who else would love to see a graphic novel based on the life of Bone Claw Mother?

  13. Ryusui says:

    *shrugs* She had to take into account the possibility that Jhalm was a mad dog. It was a last-resort method, but she had to have something in case he wouldn’t see reason: after all, his grand plan would’ve quite possibly triggered Armageddon if she hadn’t stopped it, one way or another.

  14. Refugee says:

    Bone Claw Mother held lethal force as a last resort, and ended up not having to use it. That was essentially her problem with Jhalm: he regarded lethal force as the second or third resort, after lies and threats.

    Nevertheless, Jhalm proved himself capable of reason, and so did not die, despite the fact that he was dangerous exactly because he did not limit himself in the same way.

    What’s more, where Bone Claw Mother was willing to die herself, I suspect Jhalm would never have taken personal responsibility.

  15. ellis says:

    I’m not so sure Jhalm isn’t willing to become a martyr for his cause and sometimes those are the most dangerous people to have around. It’s the ones who make entirely emotional based decisions without appropriate logic who can cause the most damage, especially to innocent people. That’s the thing about Bone Claw Mother – she’s very in touch with her emotions but she doesn’t let them rule her.

  16. Rhio2k says:

    BCM is da man!!!…so to speak.

  17. TekServer says:

    Jhalm was seriously considering murdering a teenage girl because she was standing in his way. If Bone Claw Mother had not been able to talk him out of it, how could murdering him not have been the right choice!?

    “If violence wasn’t your last resort, you failed to resort to enough of it.”
    – Rule #6 from Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates

    On a completely unrelated note: what do y’all think on the first panel – facepalm, or not?


  18. MadamAtom says:

    Ursula: Glad to hear it was just the system that was glitchy. 🙂

    Refugee, your first post: Yep, pretty much.

    Heph: In real life, I’d be deeply torn. In fiction, I can totally forgive her.

    Ellis: Martyring oneself isn’t the same as martyring a young girl with a broken arm and a broken mind. The first can be admirable. The second is done by the kind of person who BCM would’ve scratched. Jhalm’s actually been very logical about this whole thing–Digger’s history in his bailiwick DOES look darn suspicious if you don’t know the details from her point of view, and he was (in BCM’s terms) able to see the cliff when it was pointed out to him.

  19. MadamAtom says:

    TekServer: Our posts crossed in the ether. 🙂 I’d say this one’s a yes–that’s a mostly-pacifist basically agreeing with Heph.

  20. Hawk says:

    Digger’s had enough of killing, of threats, of lies, and of general bullsh**.

    I agree whole heartedly with BCM, though. In real life, if I were faced with someone like Jhalm, and in a position to stop him, I would use whatever means I had available. I am nowhere near as wise, canny, crafty, or sneaky as BCM…Jhalm would’ve probably had to kill me, I’m afraid.

    But I’d have gotten that one good scratch in first. *rawr*

    Ursula: Don’t sweat the glitches, and I hope you get some rest soon. <3

  21. Lucius Appaloosius says:

    Definitely a facepalm…… 7@=e

  22. abb3w says:

    So… scratch beneath the surface, and Ursala’s not a pure bleeding heart liberal. EXCELLENT.

    Alchemist is a lucky bastard.

  23. The Occupant says:

    I am going to be hated for this, but ,and I have loved this comic so far, so epic, but so personal, but Sweetgrass voices dialog in the Temptation of Ed felt so . . . cheesy. B-movie villain cheesy.

  24. tigertail777 says:

    HEY KIDS! Boneclaw Mother adorable plushies with REAL poison claws to fight off that bully next door!

    Sorry I couldn’t help it once the visual entered my brain…of course that may have to do with the stupid hallucinigenic gout meds for pain….uh just picture some twisted version of the Ren and Stimpy log song and you will get a bit of what hit my brain.

  25. Bwee says:

    Deffo facepalm, Tek.

    Welp, off we go into the light of day now. *squint*

  26. slywlf says:

    I wanna be BCM when (if?) I grow up! 😉 Smart enough to bring the perfect weapon to a potential fight, yet perfectly willing to leave it unused and even un-revealed when logic prevails. Even her reference to ‘that crap’ is indicative of her reluctance to resort to such measures, yet to protect her world she would have used it.

    I’m actually glad Jhalm saw ‘the cliff’ and backed away in time. I hope it means he isn’t quite as fanatical as he had seemed – maybe there is hope for him 😉

    The problem with through and through fanatics is that reason doesn’t generally work, and they see martyrdom as an honor – personal responsibility doesn’t really come into it, as they are too dazzled by their beliefs to see the big picture. Thank Ursula BCM didn’t have to take him out – she would have done it swiftly and effectively, but with regret.

  27. Nicole B says:

    I think Digger’s facepalm is a good sign. She’s beginning to come back around, though I imagine she’ll still be hurting for a while yet.

    And please vote! Digger only needs 11 more to make #21!!

  28. Maureen says:

    1st – That’s not murder; that’s combat. You may have some questions about whether it was breaking the rules of war, particularly if done during a truce, using poison. (You may also have questions about Jhalm intending combat in a temple of his own gods against a wounded girl and an old lady.) Still, even if unfair and a bit despicable, it would not have been murder. (Fortunately, it didn’t occur.)

    2nd – If worst had come to worst, Murai would probably have died, thanks to her poor condition and formidable determination — or the dark goddess would have taken her over, and lots of people would have died. (Maybe even the whole village.) So if worst had come to worst and BCM had used her poisoned claws, Murai wouldn’t have been any closer to getting killed by Jhalm than she already was.

  29. BunnyRock says:

    Well, given the last time i opened my mouth on the subject of morals… err… moved my fingers over a keyboard in a vain and doomed attempt to get something across that dyslexia couldn’t mangle (the cruellest bit is once it’s posted and i re-read it to myself, I see the errors. What sort of cruel daemon of dyslexia does that to torment me?) on the subject of morals and ethics I wrote a small BOOK and derailed the thread entirely, so I suppose I better think carefully about whether or not to risk that again before I start.

    All right! All done! I would have done the same in her position. I’d feel bad about it if I had to kill him, but the veiled would cut me down seconds later so at least it’d not prey on my mind. I’d not agree it would be an act of GOOD to poison him if it goes bad, but it was RIGHT. that is to say, if it had all gone tits-up and she’d had to kill him, it would have been murder, and sanctity of life and all that I don’t believe that murder could ever increase the total sum amount of good in the world, but you have to admit it is a pretty good tool for keeping the total sum amount of evil in check. Ignoring the stuff happening underground, which Boneclaw has no control over, the situation has, as I see it, three outcomes: The “Good triumphs” “Evil Triumphs” and “Mediocrity Triumphs.”

    What we actually got was,,, for once,,, the good triumphs: Jhalm lives and gets a chance to reconsider his life, Boneclaw and grim Eyes and The People don’t all die fighting the veiled, The veiled don’t all die fighting the people, Murai dosen’t die and when Digger pulls herself out of that hole, she has someone half way sensible to listen too. Total amount of good in the world.. well Digger gets comforted and Jhalm gets to re-asses his life and the chance to change it for the better, so I’d say an Increase. Plus, as The Doctor said “Everybody lives Rose! Just for once, Everybody (aboveground, in the situation Boneclaw has before her) lives!”

    Now, possibility two: Evil Triumphs. Boneclaw tries talking to Jhalm, he throws a wobbly and it all goes pear-shaped in a hurry. Boneclaw unable to Kills Jhalm, Veiled kill everyone and rush down the tunnels to “save” He-is, kill Digger and Ed and maintain the status-quo. Jhalm then gets angry with The People and Ganesh and all sorts of nastiness arise from that. Wailing, gnashing of teeth, SGV can’t believe his luck and continues to try and mess stuff up ect. Even if Jhalm don’t go on a dark crusade, it’s still a big win for the forces of darkness.

    solution three: Mundanely wins: Boneclaw kills Jhalm, Boneclaw and the others die, but I doubt the veiled will make a move down those tunnels without their leader. Digger wins, and surfaces to one hell of a sorry reception. Big body-count, but daemon dead, god free to die, Ganesh has his authority restored and not questioned by Jhalm, things slowly and painfully go back to normal, but at a high cost. A little good, a little evil, probably no overall change in the way The People, The Veiled or Digger would be behaving if Jhalm and Boneclaw had never existed. No-score draw.

    … so killing him does no GOOD, it improves nothing, but if the coprolites hit the fan, it’s still better that the alternatives. Sure, someone worse that Jhalm might have come along and continued his work after his death, but I think not. Banality and mediocrity and demonstrably more powerful that either good or evil in this world (This is why the Nazis were worse than, say, the Manson family, they were not necessarily any more evil in their basic nature, but more banal. They were capable of making unspeakable evil banal and every-day so people, bureaucrats, train-drivers, normal everyday family people, accepted it. Banal gets things done efficiently I ways evil and good could not comprehend) Take out the exceptional charismatic leader, and you set back his cause a good way, regardless if his cause was good or evil. Martyrs tend not to happen unless people plan to martyr themselves (or a prophesy says they must) and have the necessary PR staff on standby before they actually die. Frankly, I like Jhalm a lot more now that i did. It takes a lot of courage to admit you’re wrong, especially to a man of great faith in his gods, his cause, and himself. That’s not to say Boneclaw shouldn’t have taken him down at the first sign of trouble, but if she had, that’s damage limitation and not a win.

    This is why I’m conflicted about the end of “Watchmen”. trying not to give away the kind of spoilers that get me spat at on the street, I think of Rorschach attitude at the end to be the one attitude of GOOD, but Ozymandias to be making he right choice. Sometimes the good thing (what is moral on a personal level ) and the right thing (what is necessary for the survival of society) are so far apart they don’t even see each other.

    And besides, since entropy turns every attempt at either good or evil into Lawful Neutral after a sufficiently long time, all you can do if you want to be neutral good is set your sites low, aim for small scale good and large-scale neutrality: pet the dog, take the time to be extra kind to your loved ones, kick someone whose trying to be lawful good and getting it BADLY wrong in the crotch and claw his carotid arteries out whilst he’s down, safe in the knowledge that A, you’d expect someone to do the same to you if you started diffing badly or cackling and B, you’ve done your bit to ensure that the world is as nice as possible in the short-term and, if not a better and safer place in the big picture, a more neutral and mundane place as opposed to an outright evil one. Try for big scale good, buy all means, but remember it’ll all end up the same in 5,000, 1,00 years, a couple of hundred years anyway so make the small stuff count. Get out there and act like the living, dammit.

  30. Nivm says:

    Dividing the world into D&D alignment mechanics upsets the rest of my mind; I find it to be the one flaw in your track of thought.

  31. Totally a facepalm. Without a doubt.

  32. BunnyRock says:

    @Nivm: as a GURPS freak I don’t like it any more that you do, but everyone else i know thinks in those terms, they are relatively un-ambiguous when it comes to showing peoples commitment to individual morality and law respectively, and easy to understand, so there is no point in my fighting it.

    I’d only roll a critical failure if I tried.