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The Phoenix Gate

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NoOneSpecial writes...

We know that Avalon can send travellers where they “need to be”, so these questions are going to mainly revolve around that effect and the deeper mechanics that may be involved.

1.Does this effect only happen if someone is traveling to and from Avalon by the wharf? I’m sure Oberon and the rest of the Third Race have other means of coming and going from the island, but are they subject to be sent somewhere they don’t want to be by Avalon? Like say Oberon goes to Manhattan using his mirror. Could Avalon interfere with this and send him somewhere else that he “needs to be”

2.How long this, for lack of a better word, “rule” been in place for Avalon? Was it around back in Mab’s day?

3.Is Oberon aware that Avalon sends people on these adventures? And if so, can he make Avalon stop doing that? We know he can control the island’s landscape and weather, so can he stop Avalon from sending people on adventures? Could he make it so Avalon will just send people where they “want to go”?

4.Would you say that this rule is proof that Avalon has some degree of sentience to it? It sent Goliath and co. on adventures to do important things. In the Gathering it apparently sent them to stop Oberon in Manhattan. That seems to imply Avalon has its own agenda, regardless of what Oberon wants. Even more so, if he cannot actually stop it from sending travellers on adventures for whatever unknown purposes. So, would you say that Avalon is alive in some way?

5.How insistent is Avalon when sending travellers on World Tours? Suppose Goliath and co. were sent somewhere to do something important. Let’s say they believe they have succeeded in doing whatever they were sent to do(or maybe they just decide to give up). They hop back into the skiff and sail away. Would Avalon send them back again to the same place until they finished the job? The best example I can think of is maybe when they go to New Olympus. They decide the best thing to do to free Elisa and escape. If they had managed to get away, would Avalon just send them back again? It did always seem a little convenient that the group could successfully leave at the end of every episode, meaning they done what they were sent to do, despite the fact it’s never specified to them what exactly they needed to do when they arrived. What if they had missed something? What if they had done the wrong thing? I know it would tend to be obvious yes, but it’s mostly guesswork on their part.

Greg responds...

1. Avalon is a subtle mistress, so I'm going to say no. If, in essence, you're taking a shortcut - as with Oberon's Mirror - Avalon isn't likely to interfere.

2. Always.

3. I'm sure he's aware. I doubt he's interested in interfering. Keep in mind that people sailing off from Avalon is a rare occurrence.

4. Definitely. I thought that was clear.

5. It is what it is. Also, Avalon has no guarantee that they'll get back on the dang boat at the end of a "mission." Everyone has free will. But Avalon is sending folks where they need to be. If they're ready to leave, then they don't need to be there anymore.

Response recorded on November 18, 2021

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Todd Jensen writes...

Rewatched "The Gathering" (both episodes) on DVD today. A few new things I noticed about it.

A minor detail, but which I find touching: when Renard learns about Anastasia's remarriage,, he sadly clasps her hand.

The letter X is prominent among the Xanatoses: Xanatos, FoX, and AleXander. And then I thought of LeXington, who isn't one of the family, but who's close to Alex, and who became Xanatos's secret successor in "Future Tense". (And there's that bit, also, in your "Gargoyles 2198" piece, about the Lexington-Xanatos Corporation.)

Goliath's homecoming makes a lovely contrast with "Future Tense", as he warmly embraces the overjoyed Brooklyn and Lexington (the two members of the clan who'd been bitter towards his late return in "Future Tense") and Hudson says "I knew you hadn't abandoned us." (While Broadway hugs Elisa, tying in with his being the closest to her among the trio, ever since "Deadly Force".)

One feature of Goliath's pondering the possibility that Avalon sent him to Manhattan to stop Oberon from taking Alex away; if his speculation was correct, that means that Avalon was, in a way, going against its lord and master. Though that made sense when I thought about it; without going too deeply into hypotheticals, I suspect that things would have not gone well for Avalon if Oberon *had* spirited Alex away (no way would his parents have accepted that), and Avalon would be sparing itself and its lord and master a lot of potential trouble in thwarting him.

You mentioned once that you wanted to have Puck break the fourth wall, but the rest of the production team objected to it. I noticed that he does come close, though, when he turns towards the camera while saying "I'm on a roll". (And when somebody *did* break the fourth wall, it was Brooklyn instead.)

At the very end, Broadway turns to stone shortly before the rest of the clan does.

Greg responds...

Interesting observations. Thanks for all these, Todd.

Response recorded on August 17, 2021

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Anonymous writes...

I'm back with some questions regarding the skiff Goliath and co. rode arround on during the World Tour.

For the life of me I cannot recall whether they kept the skiff with them in Manhatten or sent it back to Avalon, or if it was ever even shown what happened to it.

1. If they did keep it, would whoever rode it next be taken back to Avalon or resume the World Tour?

2. Also, if they kept it, how did Tom get from Avalon to Manhatten?

3. Kind of a related topic, but if not I'll understand if I have to ask again later...what brought King Arthur's body to Avalon?

Greg responds...

It wasn't shown, but you saw what happened to Arthur's skiff. The same thing happened to Goliath's. Since the skiff/Avalon "knew" it was the last stop, it sank away and returned to Avalon. Recycled, don'tcha know.

1. See above.

2. There is, by the way, more than one skiff.

3. A skiff.

Response recorded on September 17, 2014

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Todd Jensen writes...

This question was inspired by your mention of recently visiting a "Doctor Who" convention.

One of the episodes of the revived series (written by Neil Gaiman), had the Doctor getting to speak to the TARDIS when its essence is temporarily transferred into a human body, and saying "You never got me where I wanted to go". To which the TARDIS replies, "But I always took you where I needed to be". I wondered, if you'd seen that episode, what you thought of that exchange, which echoes Avalon's properties in "Gargoyles" down to the wording.

Greg responds...

I've seen it. It was cool. But I'm not feeling like we were copied or anything.

Response recorded on December 06, 2013

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Paul writes...

I have a couple of questions about the "teleport to Avalon" spell cast by the Magus and later Tom in "Avalon, Part One".

Tom was able to cast the spell without using the Grimorum. Can anybody who knows the incantation cast the spell, or was Tom a special case because he had previously seen and heard the Magus cast it from the Grimorum? Or was he a special case for some other reason?

Did Elisa, Goliath, and/or Angela cast the spell to return to Avalon during their World Tour, or did the boat take them back to Avalon on its own?

Greg responds...

Hm. Good question. I'm going to posit that this was a very powerful spell, needing only an aural component. Once learned, it worked without assistance.

Response recorded on August 09, 2013

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Derek writes...

You mentioned that Angela was raised christan, to an extent anyway by Katherine but was not necessarily bapitised.

I read a book about "monsters" in medieval art and apparently St Augustine claimed that even "monsters" were worthy of salvation but only if they were descended from man. Apparently Augustine's comments were very important to missionaries and their work. Could this have been a reason that Katherine didn't bapitise the Gargoyles as they weren't descended from man? Or was it a more literal, no priest on Avalon king of thing?

Greg responds...

I'd have to do some research, I guess.

Response recorded on September 18, 2012

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dph of rules writes...

I am referencing this recent positive reply - http://www.s8.org/gargoyles/askgreg/search.php?qid=13464 - for my questions about the destination choice for travelers.

1. With regards to humanity is Avalon benevolent, ambivalent, or malevolent?

2. With regards to gargoyles is Avalon benevolent, ambivalent, or malevolent?

3. With regards to the 3rd race is Avalon benevolent, ambivalent, or malevolent?

Greg responds...

1. I guess it depends on your point of view on humanity.

2. I guess it depends on your point of view on Gargoyles.

3. Benevolent, on the whole.

Response recorded on November 29, 2011

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dph of rules writes...

"Avalon sends you where you need to be" - I've thought about that quote recently quite a bit.

When a traveler leaves Avalon via water, who/what determines where the traveler 'needs to be'?

Greg responds...

Avalon does.

Response recorded on August 17, 2011

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Vaevictis Asmadi writes...

Hello Greg, I have two questions to ask you about Avalon. The first one is actually something another poster asked, but the rest of their post violated rules and it got deleted. I was curious so I'm reposting their question.

1. Is the water around Avalon salty or non-salty?

2. Are there any other "magical equivalent of animals" on Avalon besides will-o-the-wisp, or are the will-o-the-wisps the only ones there currently?

Thanks as always for your patience and answers!

Greg responds...

1. It's probably a mix of both. ;)

2. Time will tell, I hope.

Response recorded on April 20, 2011

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Vaevictis Asmadi writes...

Hello again Greg,

A while ago, before I got a hold of Clan Building vol. 2, I asked you this question:

<<Following up on what Clark asked, how is it that such a powerful artifact, the Phoenix Gate, is used by such a simple incantation that even Goliath, certainly no trained sorcerer, quickly learned it? Maybe I'm conditioned by role-playing games to assume that more powerful magic will always be harder to learn than relatively weak magic, but it seems quite strange to me that the Phoenix Gate incantation, and for that matter the incantation to enter Avalon, are so quickly learned when they seem to be quite powerful spells.>>

You replied:
<<It has to do with the nature of the Gate and of Avalon. I don't want to go into too many details (particularly on the former) when we're so close to the release of the Trade.>>

Reading the vol. 2 trade paperback nicely cleared up for me why the Phoenix Gate is so easy to use and just how dangerous it is! In fact it makes me wonder whether the "incantation" is really an incantation in the usual sense... However, the other half of my question doesn't relate to the Gate, and if there was something in the trade paperback that answered my question... I missed it. Now that the three trades have been out for a while and the Phoenix Gate's nature has been (partially) revealed, I hope that you are in the mood to answer the other half of my question:

What is the reason that the Avalon incantation used by the Magus and Tom, seemingly a quite powerful spell, is so easy to use and to learn? Angela and Goliath seemed to pick it up rather easily.

Thanks and have a nice day.

Greg responds...

I feel I've pretty much answered this. Reread everything above. All the clues are there. And if the answer isn't clear -- well, then good. ;)

Response recorded on September 09, 2010

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