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The Phoenix Gate

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Jim R. writes...

matt,

I thought the skiff was blown up at first, but i remembered that only happened in the "Future Tense" episode, which I suppose wasn't real to Goliath. But no one could accidently go to Avalon, because one would first have to recite the Latin to reach it. I got you on this one buddy. :)

Greg responds...

Yup.

Response recorded on March 08, 2001

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matt writes...

in "The Gathering" when Goliath and co. arrived in New York what happened to the Avalon Skiff? did it sink as Arthur's skiff had done in London? if the just left the skiff in the lake or river could anyone have gotten in it and accidently gone to Avalon?

Greg responds...

It sank. But even if it hadn't, you need to know the incantation to get to Avalon.

Response recorded on March 08, 2001

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Ray Kremer writes...

All the rambles on City of Stone recently brought back some memories. While that season was airing I was in High school, and the English Class that semester was British Literature. Beowulf, Canterbury Tales, and of course Shakespere. We did the Scottish play not too long after CoS aired and when I was reading the book the voice of John Rhys-Davies always found its way into my head.

The classroom also had a big poster of the complete family tree of the royalty of the British Isles. You can imagine how much fun it was to look back to 11th century Scotland and find the names of Gillecomgain, Gruoch, and Luoch right there with MacBeth, Duncan, and Malcom Cannmore.

Then when we got to Arthurian Legend I asked the teacher what the significance of Avalon was besides being Arthur's final resting place, half expecting to hear it was the traditional home of the fairy kingdom. (Never could be too sure what was real, what you were making up, and what was some of both.)

Greg responds...

It was (in many works) the traditional home of the fairy kingdom. I wasn't making that up.

Response recorded on March 01, 2001

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matt writes...

by "Ill met by Midnight" are Gabriel and Opheila allready chosen mates or do they decide that later? seeing as how Tom and Katherine are human and raised the gargs as brothers and sisters in a human fashion what is T and K's reaction to the coupling of the eggs? if i am wrong in how they were raised than correct me, please, but neither Tom nor Katherine was very knowledgable in garg customs, were they? did they raise the gargs in a garg way as best they could or just as they would human children and garg instincts took over for the rest?

Greg responds...

Moonlight, not midnight.

You're mostly wrong. I think Tom and Katharine and the Magus realized that these eggs represented an entire generation, not just a bunch of siblings. Relationships developed. Some fraternal, others romantic. The humans attempted to mimic gargoyle customs, which the Magus had some information on.

And Gabe and Ophelia were certainly romantically involved by Ill Met.

Response recorded on February 26, 2001

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(The Guppi) writes...

A couple more questions...
1) Is Avalon 'round' or 'flat'? That is, would a Foucault pendulum (an experiment demonstrating that the Earth rotates on an axis) work there? If so, would the direction in which it turns always be the same? (Normally, clockwise = N. Hemisphere, and counterclockwise = S. Hemisphere. Useful to know if you're totally lost, and would rather _not_ figure out where you are by observing the Coriolis effect on a cyclone firsthand.)
2) Is it possible to get outside radio reception (which works by bouncing signals off the ionosphere) on the island? What about stuff from offplanet?

Greg responds...

1. Uh... Huh?

2. Largely, no.

Response recorded on February 15, 2001

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(The Guppi) writes...

A cartload of thanks to Aris Katsaris for adding his wonderful clarification to my earlier question. At least I got part of it answered -- it's nice to think all that boring mist wouldn't get in the way of any Avalon lovebirds' stargazing sessions. :) If you'd really like me to be more specific, well...
1) Is the celestial view (I'm not an astronomy student, so I don't know if I describe it properly) from Avalon the 'same' as what can be seen from a certain point on elsewhere on Earth? 1b) Is this point fixed? 1c) Would the view appear to 'change' 24 times as quickly than from the other Earth point?
2) Does the moon appear to change phase (that is, a terran eclipse) from Avalon? 2b) If yes, would this also be 24x?
3) How is Avalon connected to the rest of space? Are various natural phenomena (for example, comets) visible from Outside also visible on Avalon? 3b) Would the same be true of less natural ones, such as Sputnik? 3b) Does Avalon get especially colorful sunsets or 'green flash' (both of which need a bunch of atmospheric dust to occur)?
...Y'know, that sort of thing. :P

Greg responds...

I'm no astronomer either.

Response recorded on February 15, 2001

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Aris Katsaris writes...

(The Guppi) asked:
---What does the night sky look like, from Avalon?

You replied:
---I don't understand the question. Like the night sky.

I think that (The Guppi) meant what about the constellations? From normal earth one can find out the latitude (or is it longitude?) of one's position if one's learned how. Even if one hasn't learned one could probably easily understand if he's in the Northern or the Southern hemisphere.

So do the constellations of Avalon correspond to those of "our" Earth? What does the night sky look like from Avalon? :-)

Greg responds...

Like the night sky from a unique point of view.

Response recorded on February 07, 2001

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matt writes...

1. i assume that Coldstone went to the Himalayas after "High Noon" because of the isolation, correct?
2. how did he know there were no gargoyles in the area, or did he just have to look around for an isolated spot?
3. did he meet any other garg clans on his way to the Himalayas?
4. what was he hoping to accomplish in this isolation?
5. how did he get from New York to Tibet?
6. how did Xanatos find him in "Possesions"?
7. Iago doesn't have a kid on Avalon, right?
8. in "Possesions" i guess there wasn't really time to explore the Coldtrio's opinions on the eggs surviving so what do they think?
9. would Gabriel's parentage ever be revealed to him as was Angela's? would he care? what would Coldstone and Coldfire think if they found out?

Greg responds...

1. Largely.
2. It seemed isolated, and largely proved isolated.
3. No.
4. To win an internal battle.
5. He flew.
6. Coldstone gives off a signal which X can track.
7. I never said that.
8. I'm not entirely sure they're aware of it.
9. It's something to explore. But the mere fact that Coldstone and Coldfire exist and the mere fact that the "eggs" survived -- is much more significant than biological parentage.

Response recorded on February 07, 2001

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matt writes...

i have a question about gargoyle customs. you've said that Opheila is Gabriel's second in command and for a time, Demona was Goliath's second, is it common among gargs to choose their mate as second? if so, isn't that unfair to the other gargs hoping to become second, or am i thinking too much like a human?

Greg responds...

You're generally thinking too much like a human.

The bigger issue over time is age. A second should be in a position to be groomed to take over for his leader, either in case of an emergency (as when Brooklyn took over for Goliath during the World Tour) or in the case of succession, as when the older Hudson stepped down in favor of the younger Goliath.

Had things gone differently at Wyvern, eventually either Demona would have stepped down to allow a new second to be chosen from the younger generation (most likely Brooklyn) OR Goliath would have stepped aside to allow Demona to lead and chose a new younger Second (again, most likely Brooklyn).

It's largely a meritocracy otherwise. Hudson chose Goliath as his second based on a myriad of positive qualities but primarily integrity, intelligence, natural leadership abilities and a genuine ferocity in battle.

Goliath in turn selected Demona for the same qualities. *He was just mistaken about the integrity.*

As for Avalon, the situation is a bit different, as all the gargs there are of the same generation. Originally Gabriel was chosen as leader and one of his many rookery-siblings Angela was chosen as his second. When Angela left, Gabriel did select his mate as his second, at least for the time being. But you can bet Ophelia was qualified -- look how she performed even when wounded in Avalon Part Three -- or he would not have chosen her. Does nepotism play a part. Possibly. But I'd think that the qualities necessary would have to be even more obvious to avoid charges of nepotism.

In London, Una is the leader of the clan. Her second, whom we have not yet met, is of a younger generation and generally runs things at their more rural (or at least suburban) estate.

In Japan, Kai was the leader. Yama, of a younger generation, was his second. After Yama's banishment, Yama's mate Sora was probably chosen as Second (though don't hold me to that). Again Sora's chosen for her attributes and (relative) youth. Someday -- short of a catastrophe taking place -- she will lead the clan in Kai's place.

In Guatemala, Zafiro is the leader. His second is not his mate Obsidiana, but Turquesa, Jade's mate. They are all of the same generation, but they are also the only gargs alive down there at the moment. (Not counting the eggs.)

Response recorded on February 07, 2001

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matt writes...

did the Magus (or anyone) conduct a marriage ceremony of some sort for Katherine and Tom, or did they just start living a married life? when were they married, before or after the eggs hatched?

Greg responds...

It's more of a common law thing that evolved over time both before and after the hatching. Though they might have held some kind of private moment between the two of them.

Response recorded on February 01, 2001

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matt writes...

how does the World Tour thing work? do the travelers return to Avalon after every stop in the real world, or only sometimes, or only when the spell is cast? who would cast this spell among Goliath and co. and Jade and Tequesa?

Greg responds...

They returned in between every "real world" adventure. Though sometimes only long enough to start out again.

Either Goliath or Angela would tend to cast the spell. Either Jade or Turquesa could do it, once they learned how.

Response recorded on February 01, 2001

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(The Guppi) writes...

What does the night sky look like, from Avalon?

Greg responds...

I don't understand the question. Like the night sky.

Response recorded on January 17, 2001

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(The Guppi) writes...

Is it possible to swim from the coast of Avalon to ... elsewhere?

Greg responds...

Sure.

Response recorded on January 17, 2001

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matt writes...

is there a clan leader of the Avalon clan? is it Gabriel or do they consider Goliath to be their clan leader?

Greg responds...

Gabriel is the leader.

Response recorded on December 22, 2000

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Kam-Ra Cru writes...

Do the trio have any blood-siblings on Avalon>

Greg responds...

Potentially.

Response recorded on December 22, 2000

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Oberon writes...

Does Avalon have any connection to the third race (a magic link or something) or did they just clame it as there own.

Greg responds...

They're related.

Response recorded on December 21, 2000

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Faieq writes...

You said that one of the reasons that Princess Katherine and Tom the Guardian didn't have any children is because there weren't very many fertility specialists on Avalon. Therefore either Princess Katherine or Tom were incapable of having children.
I always thought that with having to take care of 36 gargoyles and gargoyle beasts, who aged at half their rate, they would have had their hands full.
Anyway, even though I thought that having 36 hatchlings was better than having 36 hatchlings and 1-? kids, I'm just wondering, who had the problem Katherine or Tom?

Greg responds...

Don't know.

Of course, they did have their hands full, but I have to say I doubt they were using (or wanted to use) birth control. So the lack of biological children was most likely the result of one or both of them having a medical issue.

Response recorded on November 15, 2000

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Aris Katsaris writes...

More cycles stuff... It seems that the gargoyles in Avalon have a mating season every ten months of their time. (sorry if I am making a wrong assumption here)

a) Have any (or many) eggs been laid and awaiting hatching in Avalon?
b) What do you feel this will do for the generations? Avalon alone from all the clans in the world will have eggs in the rookery set to hatch at different times, and gargoyles that are only ten months apart in age... There will probably be few "rookery siblings" with the earlier definition of the term...
c) How often would a female be able to conceive (Avalon-time)?

And finally...

d) How does Princess Katherine feel about the frequency of the mating seasons? :-)

Greg responds...

You are making an incorrect assumption. It's every twenty years for them too. Or at least close to that. But they also attune to the closest outside world cycle.

The cycle is both internal and external. It is theirs. But tied to the earth's bio-rhythms.

All things are true. Which makes the math very damn complicated.

Response recorded on November 14, 2000

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Skylar writes...

I didn´t get the thing with the ships.

1. Are the ships, that are used for the Avalon travels, from any special or magic kind, or would travel to Avalon and start a magic journey when leaving be able also with any other kind of ship?

2. Where did the magus and the other humans get the ships, when they started to Avalon with the eggs?

Greg responds...

Do you mean the skiffs?

1. The skiff isn't the source of the travel magic, which doesn't mean the skiffs are magic-free.

2. From the dock.

Response recorded on October 19, 2000

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Todd Jensen writes...

A question about "Ill Met By Moonlight". At the end of this episode, Oberon appoints the Avalon clan his "honor guard". Is this going to turn out to be a largely ceremonial function with little real work? I can't help but suspect this, in view of the fact that anything capable of seriously threatening Oberon, a fellow capable of swelling up to giant size, animating stone figures, and ordering the earth to swallow up intruders, (and I will confess that the only thing that I can think of in the Gargoyles Universe that could really endanger him at present is Queen Mab) would be able to easily wipe out a whole clan of gargoyles without much effort. (I do have the suspicion that Oberon's appointing the gargoyles to that position was more a matter of "practical politics" - giving them a definite role in Avalonian society - than a matter of "providing for defense", myself).

Greg responds...

Generally, an "honor guard" is by definition ceremonial. If not literal definition, then certainly by common practice.

So I agree. But it doesn't hurt to have loyal warriors handy the next time someone shows up with an iron bell.

Response recorded on September 30, 2000

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Vashkoda writes...

I don't know why I'm obsessed with these skiffs. =P

1) The group originally got the skiffs from the dock near King Kenneth's castle. Presumably, they belonged to local fishermen. a) Did they indeed belong to humans, or did they have some other origin? b) Was it common practice among humans to carve this face onto their boats? c) Was this a local tradition, or did many people world-wide know about the significance of this face?

2) You previously agreed with someone that the skiff's ability to "send people where they need to be" was a property of Avalon itself. You also told me that the Gate being "lost" was similar to how Goliath and company were lost during the World Tour--also seemingly traveling at random, in both cases, people ended up "where they need to be". a) So is the Gate's ability to find these points in time and space where Brook needs to be, a property of Avalon itself, as it is for the skiffs? b) Does that mean that Avalon has some kind of control over the Gate?

Greg responds...

1a. Not saying.

b. That would be telling.

c. The full significance may never be known.

2. The Gate doesn't need Avalon, but the theory is the same.

Response recorded on September 27, 2000

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Faieq writes...

Let me rephrase:
1) If the time travels slower on Avalon than in the real world, then does the food that they consume take longer to digest, or does it digest at the same speed as it would in the real world?

Greg responds...

Time (and I suppose digestion) seems to pass normally on Avalon. It's just that as an hour passes there, a day has passed on the rest of the planet. Does that help?

Response recorded on September 26, 2000

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Vashkoda writes...

Hi Greg. You said that the Phoenix Gate wasn't forged, but in "Avalon, Part 2", Selene says, "The Eye and the Gate were forged on the Island". So...

1) Are the Sisters unaware or misinformed about how the Gate came to exist?

2) Who was responsible for originally causing the Gate to exist?

You also said that "When free, the gate travels about on its own, as Brooklyn learns to his chagrin". Angela also said "without a mind to direct to gate, it will be forever lost in time". So...

3) When the gate is "travel[ing] about on its own", is that what you meant by "lost in time"? "Lost", as in "having no sense of direction and randomly arriving at destinations", or is it lost as in "lost to the world", meaning no one would have access to it anymore? Because I believe you also said that the Gate wasn't moving randomly, and that there was often a purpose for Brooklyn going where he did. So if Brooklyn isn't controlling the Gate, and the Gate is moving on its own, and a mind normally needs to guide the Gate, is it the Gate itself that's deciding its destinations? And does that mean that the Gate has a mind? And does that mean that the gate is alive in some way? (sorry for grouping the questions like this--but they all lead into one another).

Greg responds...

1. This is merely a problem of semantics.

2. The timestream.

3. "Lost" is a point-of-view thing. One might say that Goliath, Angela, Elisa and Bronx were lost during the World Tour...

Response recorded on September 26, 2000

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Vashkoda writes...

skiff questions:

I noticed that there was a face on the Sisters' barge that resembled the face on the skiffs.

1a) Are they of the same person/being? b) Is this person/being a Child of Oberon? c) What is this person/being's name? d) Is he (if it's a "he") still alive at the time of "The Journey"? e) Does he have any associations with sailing or water?

2a) The Princess and company originally left in three skiffs, but Mary and Finella took one back to the mainland, leaving two at Avalon. So how was it that there were three skiffs at the end of "Avalon, Part 3"? (one for the gang, one for Macbeth/Demona, and one for Arthur) b) Why would they need the extra skiff at Avalon? c) Did the Princess or Magus or any of the "eggs" ever accompany Tom to the outside world?

3) Since the incantation to reach Avalon is referred to as a "spell", and the Magus orginally read it from the Grimorum (which may have acted as the necessary conduit), how is it that Tom could invoke the spell, not being a wizard and having no conduit? (in addition, the Magus worries about whether "Constantine or his *sorcerers* get a hold of [the spell]", implying that his sorcerors might be needed to cast it.) For that matter, how will Jade and Turquesa be able to cast it?

Greg responds...

1a. Yes.

b. Maybe.

c. I'm not saying.

d. Perhaps. (That's a new one, right?) ;)

e. Obvioulsy.

2a. You can never have too many skiffs.

b. There is no b.

c. No.

3. Magus was able to teach it to Tom. Angela also knew it. She could teach it to Jade.

Response recorded on September 26, 2000

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Faieq writes...

1. Do the gargoyles and the humans on Avalon know about both the World Wars (in 1996), seeing as they have no comunication with the outside world except for when Tom goes on his search for Goliath every 100 years? We saw the bulk of his search in 1995, but the century before that it would be way before the first World War. (Obliviously the Children of Oberon know about the first World War).
2. Probably a silly question, but seeing as one day on Avalon is equal to 24 days in the real world, do the humans and gargoyles on Avalon eat 3 meals a day (24 days in the real world) or do they eat 72 meals a day (24 days in the real world).

Greg responds...

1. By now, they've probably learned a bit. But no, not when he arrived to search for Goliath.

2. I don't know if it's silly or not, but I don't understand the question.

Response recorded on September 25, 2000


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