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Vashkoda writes...

1) Have you given any thought to how MacBeth and Demona will die--if they ever do?

2a) Can you think of any specific way in which the magical bond between them can be dispelled (other than through death)? b) Can the bond be altered in any way, or are the conditions fixed?

3) Demona and MacBeth asked for the Sisters' help, and thus they were justified in magically linking the two together and "interfering in mortal lives". But once that act is ended, how can they put the two under a geis and force them to steal the magical artifacts and fight for the Archmage (I doubt they were given permission)? Does Oberon's law permit them to continue interfering with any mortal whose life they've already once affected?

Greg responds...

1. Yes.

2a. Not telling.

2b. Not telling.

3. Emotionally exhausted, Demona and Macbeth relinquished their personal sovereignty. Watch the scene again.

Response recorded on March 29, 2001

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Bruno writes...

Hi, Greg,

About Angela: Right after the World Tour, what are her opinions about...

1-Macbeth?

2-Fox?

3-Dingo?

Thanks.

Greg responds...

1. He seems all right.

2. She doesn't seem to trustworthy. But at least she's not trying to kill me.

3. He seems all right.

Response recorded on March 29, 2001

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Slow writes...

Re: High Noon

I have to say that I was very confused about the three Desdemonas. Until someone mentioned it in Ask Greg I just figured it was the writer wanting to do strange and surreal stuff inside Coldstone's head. The animation was so good I never would've noticed the colour mistake. If it wasn't for this venue, I'd never have known.

"This is diverting." "You don't know the half of it."

Sure, I laughed when I first heard the line accompanied by the expression on Coldstone's face. But when I watched the episode again a few years later, I thought that Macbeth's response may have been a hint (subconsciously, maybe) that the entire situation was a diversion (staged to get the talismans). Am I wrong to think that Mac may not have been as interested in the girl-fight as it sounded?

Greg responds...

Nah. It works both ways.

Response recorded on March 13, 2001

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Erin Peretti writes...

I am absolutely fascinated with your comment that Gargoyle's MacBeth was more historically accurate than Shakespeare's (obviously ommitting Demona and immortality).

What parts were more accurate?

I know this is a pain, but would you happen to know where I could find some historically accurate accounts of Macbeth? His home, his full name, whether Duncan was the perfect king potrayed in the play, etc....

What research materials did you use when writing Mac for Gargoyles?

Is Glamis castle in Scotland really Mac's castle, as I have been told?

Thanks so much!!!

Greg responds...

Most of the research on Macbeth was done by Monique Beatty and Tuppence Macintyre. I did little or none myself. (I didn't have time.) Monique was my assistant (and is now a producer in her own right). Tup is a close friend and a Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney.

I know Holinshed was of some use. But I don't know what other books they used specifically.

Almost everything we did -- minus the gargs and Weird Sisters and the Mask of the Hunter -- was more accurate historically than Shaekespeare. (Not better, just more accurate.) Duncan and his father hired Gillecomgain to assassinate Mac's father. They rewarded him with Mac's title and with Gruouch. Mac eventually killed Gille and married Gruoch, adopting her boy Lulach as his own. There were some rumours that Lulach WAS his child.

Mac killed Duncan in battle, not while Duncan was a guest in his house. Mac ruled wisely for seventeen years and was overthrown by Malcolm Canmore, who was backed by the English. Etc.

I'm not 100% sure about Glamis, but I believe Macbeth's historical home was Castle Moray (also called Murray).

Response recorded on March 13, 2001

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Vanity writes...

I have been reading Macbeth and Demona responses and the above mentioned for "High Noon" where questions were asked why Macbeth didn't feel the pain when Elisa and Demona where in combat. And I think people are putting too much emphasis on the fact that Macbeth could prepare for the blows. Couldn't it be that, and if you watch the fight scene; Elisa didn't really "hurt" Demona enough to evoke the spell? Granted Demona ran head-first into a statue but that might not of hurt too much.

Greg responds...

A combination of all of the above -- including that we screwed up a bit.

Response recorded on March 13, 2001

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matt writes...

how long had Demona and Thailog been a couple when Goliath arrived in Paris? how long had Demona and Macbeth been in Paris?

Greg responds...

The following dates are tentative, based on my current reworking of the timeline -- still a rework in progress.

Demona and Macbeth arrived in Paris on 1-1-96.

Demona first encountered Thailog on 1-2-96.

Goliath, Elisa, Angela and Bronx arrived in Paris on 1-21-96.

Response recorded on March 07, 2001

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Jim R. writes...

I am still a bit confused on how is it that Demona and MacBeth have to die, if they do? I know that no one else but either one of them can kill them both, but what I'm confused about is...

Possiblities
1. Do they both (AND) have to kill each other at the exact same time?
2. Or does at least MacBeth OR Demona have to kill the other in order for them both to die? (Keeping in mind, OR in math means one, the other, or both.)

I wanted you to be impressed with my cool Mr. Spock logic I was pondering today because I was bored and needed to use my discrete mathematics knowledge formally. So, I'd thought I'd apply math to Gargoyles somehow. Hope you understand.

Let "m" stand for MacBeth, and "d" for Demona. TRUE being if one is killed. FALSE if not. Here's my truth table for possibility #1.

m | d | m and d

T | T | T
T | F | F
F | T | F
F | F | F

Therefore, if they both kill each other, that would be the only TRUE outcome, whereas all others are False because if one lives, then they both do, correct?

And here's my logic for possibility #2.

m | d | m or d

T | T | T
T | F | T
F | T | T
F | F | F

Therefore, only one is FALSE because according to #2's theory, either Macbeth or Demona kills the other, then they both die, or if they both kill each other.

I hope my logic is not flawed somewhere...Mr. Spock would not be impressed.
See Gargoyles does help out with math!

Greg responds...

Math is good.

But really you don't need it here. If you listen to the Weird Sisters it's pretty clear.

One has to kill the other (OR both kill each other at the same time). They don't both have to do it. Just the terms of the bond.

Response recorded on February 22, 2001

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Chapter XXVI: "High Noon"

Following fast on the heels of City of Stone, here's my ramble on High Noon...

The recap is interesting here. It's all Coldstone oriented. Demona, Macbeth and the Weird Sisters aren't mentioned. Nothing from City of Stone, despite this being a direct sequel to those events. The reason is that the recaps got early criticism on a Disney Afternoon mailing list for giving too much away. We'd show a villain who didn't appear until the end of Act One, thus cueing our audience to expect that villain all along. A valid criticism. So we tried to adjust here. Coldstone's participation wasn't a secret. The episode opens in his "internal cyber-world" and he's shown dormant in the Clock Tower in the very next scene. But when Demona and Macbeth first walk past Elisa and Morgan, we're not supposed to know who they are. So I intentionally kept them out of the recap to preserve that reveal.

The heather Othello gathers has no scent. Why not? Everything in that world, except for the souls of the three gargs was simply a mental construct. Sight, sound, touch. So why not smell? No chemical senses, you might argue. But why no chemical senses? Why touch and not taste? I think that the lack of smell was an unconscious or subconscious boundary that Desdemona did not want to cross. Something to remind her that this world is not real. For all we know, Othello and Iago could smell whatever they imagined they could smell.

I like seeing Hudson and Broadway learning to read. We cheated a bit. I'm not sure they could have progressed as fast as they did in the short time since "Lighthouse". But we took that liberty to show that they had been working assiduously at it.

I have mixed feelings about Hudson's "Why would she want to 'hit a sack'?" line. On the one hand, I'm not sure we ever did enough of this. Playing with the contrasts in language and expression between their world and ours. On the other hand, it just seemed a bit late in the game for Hudson not to have heard this one already. (And for that matter, I have no idea when that particular phrase originated. For all I know they've been hitting the sack since the Middle Ages.)

Elisa makes a point of saying that she's "no hero". Just a gal doing a job. But of course, we know that's not true. It's simply how she'd prefer to view herself -- particularly when she's so tired. I tried to use this episode to emphasize that Elisa works the night shift. That she gets off work just before sunrise. Starts work just after sunset. (I actually imagine that she works a four day ten hour shift, plus mucho overtime.) Sometimes it seemed like the fans had forgotten that. I got a lot of questions back then like: "She works during the day and hangs with the gargoyles at night. When does she sleep?"

Morgan has a real nice role in this one. Keith is great as Morgan. So distinctive from Goliath in a part that was a mere throwaway in Awakening, Part One. Morgan and Elisa's easy rapor in this episode and Avalon One is what gave me the idea that he might someday ask her out (on that 2nd Halloween episode I've mentioned a few times). And the notion of a Keith-Salli-Keith triangle tickled me a bit.

Enter Macbeth as a perp with a human Demona dressed as a cop. (Always nice to show our characters in different costumes on occasion.) I'm curious how many people IMMEDIATELY recognized Demona as herself? After all, you'd only gotten a BRIEF glimpse of her human form in "The Mirror". And we hadn't shown it at all in "Vows" or "City of Stone". In fact, City of Stone began what we then called our Third Tier of stories. (Tier One was the first season. Tier Two was the first eight episodes of the second season: Leader, Legion, Metamorphosis, Lighthouse, Silver Falcon, Mirror, Eye of the Beholder, Vows.) And of course, City of Stone was transitional, so one could argue that Tier Three was beginning here with High Noon. Anyway, Demona's in atypical dress and species. Who knew it was her?

And once you did know, what were you thinking? The gargoyles have the same questions, I'd imagine. Last they (and you) saw, Mac and Demona hated each other, and had been taken away by the seemingly benevolent Weird Sisters. What was going through your heads about all this? Did you wonder at the seeming inconsistencies, like their knowledge of the Clock Tower? Their ability to get Coldstone out of the tower in daylight, unseen?

When my son Ben saw Demona, he thought it was one of the "triplets", which is what he calls the Weird Sisters. (They've fast become his favorite characters.) When I pointed out that she had red hair and not white, yellow or black, he was resistent to giving up on the idea that they weren't going to appear. (I was glad they eventually did. And now I wonder what he's going to think about the next seven episodes in which they do NOT appear.)

Throughout this, we cheat a bit on Elisa's exhaustion. We knock her out, but keep her tired. The subtle differences between various means of being unconscious and their effects on how tired one is confuse me.

I love Mac and D's exchange...
Mac: "You're still thinking like a gargoyle."
D: "I am a gargoyle." And don't you forget it.

Again, back in those days I just thought the audience would get revved up merely because we were teaming up THREE of our major villains. Macbeth, Demona and the villainous side of Coldstone. In Batman or Superman that would be a BIG EVENT. A huge threat to the hero. Did it have that effect on you guys? I feel vaguely that in a strange way, it did not. That our villains were so complex, that for once they backfired on us. That it wasn't viewed as, "Wow, our heroes have barely survived an encounter with one of those guys, how will they handle three?" Rather, the conflict was less interesting than the machinations and personalities. Am I being clear? Your thoughts?

This episode had some truly gorgeous animation in it. And the transformation scenes are both very cool. The Pain Link plays well here, though occasionally seems more geared to comedy than drama for some reason. The theme of gifts coming with a price... particularly the gifts of tricksters is emphasized in this scene.

Meanwhile Othello is desperately trying to remain an ostrich with his head in the sand. A position that on at least one level, Elisa 'believes' she'd like to take as well. With Othello, I think it's a real possibility that he will never act. With Elisa, I don't think we believe it for a moment. That's part of the reason they're both in there. To make sure that the theme of "Standing Up" is emphasized. Which brings us to the title, "HIGH NOON". That was one of mine, I believe. And I stole it right from the Gary Cooper movie. Sure we'd have a battle at High Noon. Because this was Elisa's story, not the gargoyles. Because the gargoyles would be asleep and vulnerable. But also because it was that kind of archetypal the-hero-stands-alone western battle.

You may notice that Xander Berkeley (the voice of Iago) does not appear in this episode. Because Iago has no lines when he's not in control of the Coldstone body. Again, I'm always so impressed with what a great job Michael Dorn does contrasting the Othello and Iago personalities without actually changing his voice.

I like Elisa's line when Brooklyn asks her if she recognized the woman with Macbeth. "She seemed familiar." Think about this for a second. If this was real life and not a cartoon, do you think you'd recognize Demona in Dominique? And yet I completely buy that Elisa recognized something in there. There's a strange nega-intimacy between Elisa and Demona. (Which is one of the sick reasons why I created Delilah, later.)

Goliath and Elisa engage in a little dueling patronizing here. Elisa has to go back on shift, so can't accompany the 'goyles to Mac's place. Goliath is pretty smug when he says the six of them can handle it. (The smugness, I hope, is undercut when he follows it up by saying, "You have a whole city to protect." Which is how he views it.) Then Elisa talks to them like they're little kids. She wants a full report when they get back. (Who says these two weren't made for each other?)

Lex, who has been and will continue to be very adept at breaking alarm systems, etc., for once admits that it's all too easy.

I like the moment when Goliath taps the camera with his wing. A nice little touch. And very well animated.

Lex is always the voice of warning in regards to Coldstone. This is important. Goliath listens to Lex this time. And Lex is fooled when Coldstone reveals Demona's involvement, seemingly before they know Demona is involved. I thought that was very clever on the villains' part.

Bronx smells Demona behind the closet, just as he did behind the tapestry.

I like how the marble bust flies and crashes. Another nice touch in the boarding and animation. Nice weight to the whole Brooklyn-Demona-Bronx fight scene.

I liked staging the Macbeth, Husdon, Broadway fight in a library. Felt like a thematic rematch from "Lighthouse".

The pain link here is a BIT of a cheat. Usually with them in different rooms on different floors, it wouldn't be quite this intense. Maybe the library is directly above whatever room Demona was in.

Lex is sure Coldstone's wrong about Demona. Brooklyn's "Uh, guess again." line is fun.

The entire battle at Macbeth's place is part of a technique I enjoy using on occasion called "Suspended Structure". This is really an Elisa and Othello Story. But we let the gargs carry the action for a period of time, while the true protagonists can't or won't take action. This keeps the story moving, without compromising the inaction of our "leads".

Demona confronts Elisa at the clock tower. The animators get a little carried away here with some of Demona's body language. God knows, it's fun to watch. But would she really do all those sexpot poses? Is that in character?

It is fun to see her hail a taxi though.

Morgan's back. Elisa now looks VERY tired. Again, great work from the animators. It's all in the eyes. Morgan helps Elisa though he thinks she's just talking about normal copwork. It only proves there's really no such thing as a "Normal Life". Morgan certainly doesn't think he has one.

Meanwhile Desdemona's gettin antsy. It's the "in" that the Weird Sisters need. They take over. Unfortunately, here, the animators screwed up. The three Desdemona's were supposed to have silver, gold and raven hair. Instead, in most shots, they just look like three Dessies. Then when they finally do get the hair right, it's just before they merge back into one Desdemona. At which point, the hair color should have been Des'. Instead, I think it's Luna's -- briefly. Oh, well. Anyway, I could have just done this with Desdemona herself. But I wanted to give the audience a hint that the Weird Sisters were still involved. Ben was thrown by the hair. He almost didn't believe these were the triplets.

I like the line: "Even shadows must be true to their shade."

High Noon at Belvedere Castle. Coldstone wonders that he can see the sun. Again, that's me making sure people are clear that Coldstone is RE-ANIMATED STONE, not flesh. I don't think it's visually clear. (Part of the problem being that Othello's coloring is too similar.)

Then Elisa arrives -- counting on Macbeth's honor to keep Demona from shooting her. For that reason, she intentionally doesn't bring her service revolver to the party. Quite the gambit. Elisa also counts on Demona's temper -- and on the fact that Demona is unaccustomed to fighting with reduced human strength. She goads Demona: "I'm here to save him." and "You fight like a rookie." I love, positively LOVE, the former of those two lines. Elisa is a hero in her own right. Though Goliath has rescued her on occasion, I felt we did a pretty good job of always evening the score. She's no damsel in distress.

Mac & Coldstone: "This is diverting." "You have no idea." (Quotations approximate.) I like that. A tip of the hat to my being a guy, if you will.

We cheat a bit here on the pain link too. One could argue that Mac IS feeling the pain. But he's ready for it and covering. He does seem to be grimacing a bit when he says, "You have no idea." But still, I think we cheated.

I love the animation on the Othello, Desdemona, Iago fight.

Battle over, Coldstone leaves. Sends himself into exile. This is the gargoyle way.

And hey, our jogger is back. Again wondering where all these statues are coming from. That's just fun continuity for me. And Elisa: "Don't ask me. I'm just taking a nap."

And then the whole final scene between Mac and D and the sisters is so much fun. I love the sense of the fog lifting from their eyes. "What Primary Objective?" "Why are we working together?"

And I'm also proud of the trick. A very Xanatosian tag here. Steal Coldstone to distract the gargs from noticing the thefts of the gate, book and eye.

And how about that reference to "The coming battle..." that the Sisters end the episode on? What did you all think of that at the time?

I'll try to post the High Noon writer's memo tomorrow. (Meant to do it yesterday, but I forgot.) Anyway, Done rambling. You're turn. (Again, I'm interested in both your original and current responses to the episode.)


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Baal writes...

Hey, um. Sorry about Question 2 in my Angela post.
I guess you DID say that you weren't gonna answer in questions about 2198 until the contest was over. (Although SOME people are already asking questions.

Here are some questions of my own.
1. Do Arthur and his comrades go on a quest to retrieve the Holy Grail. (I think I've seen yes in the archive). If so, does this pit the against Percival/Duval, the leader of the Illuminati.

2. Does Macbeth get involved.

Greg responds...

1. Eventually and yes.

2. A bit.

Response recorded on February 15, 2001

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Chapter XXV: "City of Stone, Part Four"

Time to ramble...

Picking up right where Part Three leaves off, Demona is forced to back off on killing Elisa right away because of Bronx. I really like that scene, mostly for how it illustrates Bronx's level of sophistication. It's not like he understands English, beyond a few simple names and commands. But he understands tone of voice. Something that Demona uses. She talks him down by saying nasty things in a nice tone of voice. He's still suspicious. But as long as her actions and tone don't get hostile, he's content to back off. At one point though, she can't restrain her venom, and he starts to growl again. And she has to regain her composure.

FLASHBACK

Great Choral music during the battle. Carl Johnson and music editor Marc Perlman (both of whom will be attending the Gathering this June in Los Angeles) did a magnificent job with this.

And there's some great fog as well.

It's also nice to see a legitimately joyful Demona, hoisting Macbeth into the air. He laughs, but his mind's on other things, wondering why Bodhe wanted to talk to him without Demona present. Perhaps he's feeling guilty. Perhaps she picks up on that, which is why she eavesdrops.

A tragedy of bad timing: My sense is that Macbeth is about to read Bodhe the riot act, when Luach interrupts. Mac essentially agrees with Luach, but not with his manner. He takes JUST the wrong moment to teach him a lesson about being a good king. Luach reacts badly and storms out. And it is Luach's behavior that Macbeth is considering when Demona leaves. Two seconds later, I'm quite sure the conversation went like this:

Bodhe: "Well, sire?"

Macbeth: "Well, what?"

Bodhe: "The Gargoyles, sire. You must disavow them!"

Macbeth: "Don't be a fool." etc.

The siege is pretty cool too. (Though you'd think boulders dropped from the battlements would be a touch more effective.)

Mac rescues Gruoch. Even at this age, I still think they're a sexy couple.

I like the scene where Canmore removes his Hunter's Mask. Like Gille before him with Demona, he's truly annoyed when Mac doesn't immediately recognize him.

"Never would I have done so! We have been allies for thirty-seven years!!" Demona ain't a great judge of character.

Luach and Bodhe show up. I like this scene too. (O.K., I'm partial. What can I tell you?) Bodhe has an interesting moment. One of two things happens here. Either he's pleased to finally have one of his own blood (i.e. his grandson) installed as King or the death of Macbeth has finally awakened the hero inside him. Or both. For once, I tend to give Bodhe the benefit of the doubt. I think, at this late date, he's finally come into his own. I like to think he died a good warrior's death at Luach's side.

Demona wakes up. She claims not to believe Gruoch's admonishment, but NOTE, she does not kill Gruoch. Underneath it all, she knows that Gruoch is right and feels chastened.

Macbeth wakes up. Here we have our final scene on Lunfanan Hill. It parallels the previous break-up of Mac and Gru. That time Mac sent her away, but he loved her still. This time she sends him away. She loves him too. But this parting is permanent. Very moving to me. "I will always love you." And because of that, he must leave her. But we know he hasn't forgotten her even into the present. Her loss informs what follows.

Back to the present. Over episodes two and three, things in the present have been progressing very slowly. Now the present takes center stage.

Demona echoes what I'm sure by this time we were all thinking: "Take off that mask. You aren't fooling anyone... Macbeth." And he explains that he wears it as a symbol of her betrayal. (And for a psychological edge, no doubt.)

Meanwhile, we have that semi-feeble exchange between Goliath and Xanatos in the air. Feeble (a) because in one little scenelet, the mouth on Xanatos' armor is moving like it had lips; and (b) because the whole tapestry thing was a fairly forced way to get X and Goliath back to the castle.

I like Demona's line: "Let's not start that again. You blame me. I blame you..." etc. It's a very rational Xanatosian moment for her. But that rationality is born from the knowledge that she can't kill Macbeth without killing herself. Her usual vengeful attitude is useless. What she doesn't know is how suicidal he is. "Revenge is a dish best served cold. And I have waited 900 years for mine." Hey, leave a dish out for 900 years and it will get pretty cold.

There's always a bit of comedy in the pain-sharing battles of D&M.

When the floor starts to give way, it reminds me of a scene that was WAY better animated in the DuckTales pilot. Where the bricks of gold fall away in a simlilar vein. It's nice here, but it was awesome there.

I also like when Demona has Mac's E-M gun, tosses it and catches it to fire at X and G. Nice little touch.

And Xanatos' truly frightened yet underplayed: "This is bad." when he sees the computer screen.

I like the multiple falls that get us down to the Atrium -- a wonderful setting for the final confrontations.

And Goliath's speech: "...Death never does."

Again we get multiple images of the Sisters throughout this scene. And again, I had to fight for that.

Each Sister gets to take a mental punch to weaken first Macbeth and then Demona. Are they being hypocrites here? One aspect of their persona is, certainly. But there's more going on, some of which I still haven't revealed.

But the key thing in terms of this scene (and the events of AVALON) is that both Mac and Demona need to be mentally weakened for the spells of control that the Sisters are going to use on them in HIGH NOON and AVALON. And M&D need to borderline volunteer to relinquish control over themselves. Macbeth, who has been suicidal, is tired and willing. Demona's tougher. But even she doesn't put up much of a fight. "You tricked me." she says. And certainly they have, but she can't break the grip of three children, and though of course they are not ordinary children, one must wonder if she really wanted to.

Goliath: You have learned nothing.

The sisters (as children) say their cool (and ironic) line: "We have written their stories. They are our responsibility. They are our children." My three year old son Ben says: "I love the triplets."

But theirs is a story for another day.

Xanatos really has to sweat in this one. Unusual for him. I love his line to Bronx: "What are you looking at?"

But once the skies burn, he's back to his old self: "Magnificent." Believe it or not, it took some effort to really get the skies burning. The animation came back with only a few contrails of gas burning. We used video tricks to get that whole sky-burning effect that was SO important to the story.

When the gargs rush back inside they were supposed to lift Elisa up into the air in their joy at seeing her unstoned again. Thus you have contrast to explain Xanatos' line to Owen, "You'll forgive me, if I just shake your hand." (But you also have to wonder how he'd respond to Fox when next he saw her.)

And Xanatos gives a line I'd been waiting to use for a year. "I always wondered why I allowed you gargoyles to live. You come in handy now and then." I had always worried that an audience raised on certain villain cliches would just assume that the reason Xanatos never killed the gargs on one of the myriad occasions when he had the chance, was because we were bad writers. This X/G exchange was here to demonstrate that X wasn't that kind of villain. That he was never wasteful. Maybe at this point in the series, it wasn't necessary to spell it out. But it was still nice to get the sentiment across.

Of course, this ends the Xanatos/Demona partnership. Uneasy though it had been. It's why VOWS had to come first.

And that's my ramble...

Where's yours?



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