This is the page where I answer (or creatively evade) all your questions about the story’s resident ‘Mons.
Q. How long have the Beings been in existence?
A. Some estimates put their origin at approximately three thousand years ago. Other estimates think these first estimates are nonsense, and cast aspersions on the ponderosity of the estimators’ mothers.
Q. How has the presence of the Beings in human history made this world different from ours?
A. Not much at all.
Think of it this way: Imagine an alternate universe exactly the same as ours, but with no such thing as dog shows. How different would its history be? Probably not at all, except for the absence of certain specialty breeds of dogs.
Q. Do Beings have technological or scientific knowledge different from us? Or do they learn what we’ve learned?
A. They learn what we’ve learned — if that. Most Beings are pretty technologically inept, frankly. And they’re useless at creating new things on their own.
Q. Are Beings considered animals under the law or something else? Even in human form?
A. There aren’t any legal precedents for dealing with Beings; nobody’s ever brought a case involving them, as any such conflict would get resolved between their masters. For a fun evening, get a group of half a dozen freshman law students together, wait a few drinks, then ask what how moral they think that is.
Q. Would falling in love with a Being under your control be taboo? Is it against the law (per bestiality)?
A. Again, there’s no law about it. Whether it’s moral, or indeed reasonable, depends on who you ask.
Q. Does Rick Santorum lead rallies against Human-Being marriage, saying “I told you so!” and referencing the gay marriage issue?
A. Alas, Mr. Santorum has bigger fish to fry.
Q. Patrick has indicated that the First Law of Robotics (can’t hurt humans directly or allow them to come to harm) applies to Beings. It is the whole thing or just the first half?
A. Just the first half. Whether they allow any human other than their master to come to harm is up to their individual discretion.
Q. Since Beings can blow up buildings and damage property, can they (knowingly or unknowingly) hurt a human through environmental damage even if they can’t hit a person straight on?
A. In some cases, yes.
Q. What religion do Beings hold? The same as humans or something different?
A. Only they know. Although if you asked it in those words, they probably wouldn’t understand the question.
Q. Is every Being a different species of animal, like the Aces of Pandect? Or can there be two or more Beings that use the same animal form?
A. There are so few Beings in the first place that there’s no need for duplication.
Q. How many Beings are there at any one time on average? Has the number of Beings increased over the millennia or has it remained constant?
A. The nature of Beings’ lives and memories means that nobody has an exact count.
Q. Do Beings grow old and die of natural causes? If so, what is their expected life span? Or are they more like elves? Can Beings die from traumatic injury or will they heal from anything like Jack Harkness?
A. There are very few things that can destroy a Being. Unless one of those happens, they will continue existing.
Q. Do you get a Holy Grail if you win the game the Beings play?
A. The Game has no known concept of “winning.”
Q. Are there any notable historical figures who had their own Beings?
A. Oh, probably.
Q. What supernatural tales were inspired by the existence of Beings? Walking on water? Moving mountains?
A. Several popular anime.
Q. Does having a master make a Being stronger or weaker in terms of special abilities? Intellect? Personality?
A. Depends on the master.
Q. Evangelion’s Angels ate from the Tree of Life, thus going on different evolutionary pathways than humans despite a common ancestor. Mushi are the first stage of life that emerge from the River of Light, predating even bacteria. How do Beings fit into the overall ecological structure of the planet? Are they part of the normal organism kingdom system we use? Or, like the Angels and Mushi, do they represent something that exists outside our understanding of how life emerges and evolves?
A. Well, now, that would be telling.
Q. Does the military use Beings, and if so, in what capacity?
A. Some have tried. However, for various reasons it’s not a convenient strategy.
Q. Can Beings and humans interbreed?
A. No. (Aww, the comic just got its first WMG Jossed! They grow up so fast ;_;)
Q. Do scientists experiment on Beings?
A. Only the ones with nothing better to do.
Q. Are Beings categorized as weapons or as biological materials?
A. Depends on who you ask. For a lot of purposes they’re simply treated as pets.
Q. Can Beings be bought and sold legally, or is there a black market?
A. Any dealing with the ownership of Beings is complicated by the fact that once they contract with a human, that contract normally stays in place until the human dies.
Q. Are there conspiracies about or involving Beings?
Q. What is a Being’s real form?
A. Any form they take is, for that moment, as “real” as they get.
Q. Are there rogue Beings?
A. Patrick might have been considered “rogue” at the beginning of the story, although that stopped when he contracted with Bianca.
Q. Can a Being kill animals?
A. If their master ordered them to. Any consequences would then be treated as the master’s responsibility.
Q. Do governments regulate Beings like alcohol or drugs?
A. Lol, now I’m trying to imagine someone getting drunk on Patrick.
Q. If Sparrow and Bianca wanted to travel overseas with Patrick in tow, would there be any regulatory complications beyond the normal “bringing a pet along” variety?
A. Some airlines will insist that Beings pay full ticket price, even if they have a small animal form and stay in that for the entire flight. They claim it’s about dignity and respect, but let’s be serious here, we all know it’s about profit.
Q. Are there devices that can tell the difference between a Being and a normal animal/human?
A. If you really want to know, there are a couple of pretty simple tests you can run, no special equipment required.
Q. Can human weapons kill a being? (And by human, I mean anything from a .22 pistol to a cruise missile)
Q. If Patrick thinks Sparrow smells nice, how does he think Bianca smells?
Before she makes the contract: Human. After she makes the contract: Interesting.
Q. Does the gender mean something for Beings? Are they male, female, or something else?
A. Wait until you see how Patrick reacts to the drag show; that should give you some clues.
Q. Can Beings breed with animals?
Q. Do dog-like Beings dislike cat-like Beings? Do cat-like Beings eat mouse-like Beings?
A. The ways in which Beings interact are at once more complicated and more simple than that.
Q. Are Paris Hilton’s dogs Beings? Is Jim Carrey a Being???
A. Who knows? Although I have my suspicions about the Queen Mum’s corgis.
Q. Can Beings have personal feelings and opinions, or have them the same than their master?
A. Beings have their own personalities, complete with plenty of emotions and preferences. However, the desire to please their Masters overrides most others.
Q. Do they speak a secret language, that only other Beings understand?
A. Technically? No.
Q. Can a Master prostitute their Being? (Is it legal? Is it morally wrong in this society, or not wrong, because Beings are not human?)
A. It’s not illegal. How immoral the idea is depends on who you ask.
Q. What happens if a person eats all of or part of a Being’s animal form? What if it’s their Master? I’m curious about the nutritional value, taste, permanence of the flesh after its cut off, etc.
A. Whether or not it’s their Master trying to do the eating, they’d probably spit it right back out. Beings don’t taste very good. The cut-off parts don’t evaporate after, if that’s what you’re asking.
Q. What is a being’s chemical make-up? Is it made of energy? Do any earthly materials harm them, like how silver harms werewolves?
A. One part potassium, one part sodium, six parts iron, ten parts oxygen, two parts hydrogen…no, seriously, I have no idea. If they have a specific chemical Kryptonite, it hasn’t been discovered yet.
Q. What is the air-speed velocity of an unladen Being?
A. Twelve to fifteen miles per hour.
Q. We know there are ~100 Beings. If one dies, does a new one come into existence to take the place of the dead one?
Q. Beings don’t taste very good, but we know Beings have no sense of taste. So what happens when one Being eats another? Do they gain powers? Get a stomach ache?
A. They don’t eat each other.
Q. Will we get to meet Patrick’s former master?
A. I wouldn’t leave him out for the world.
Q. Do most people think Beings can harm humans?
A. Although their specific limits aren’t widely known, most people think of Beings as nothing to be afraid of.
Q. You’ve already mentioned beings are killable. What kind of Nazi insanity did it take to find out you could actually finish a being for good?
A. Buckets of it. Plus a singleminded determination to the goal, which involves a serious lack of empathy.
Q. What is the purpose of the game? Where was it first played? Why the emphasis on intensely public battles using such powerful creatures?
A. That last one is kind of like asking “why the emphasis on the Frisbee?” in a game of Frisbee. For as long as they’ve existed, Beings have been fighting each other. At some point somebody started calling it the Game, and the name stuck, to be passed down through the ages.
Q. Can Beings turn into anything or do they have a set thing? Or is it like, they have a set thing that’s simple to turn into but they can learn more its just really difficult?
A. Each Being has a basic animal form, and can turn into variations on that form. For instance, Cybele’s appearance as a giant pink rabbit is a variation on her basic appearance as a normal-sized (but still pink) rabbit.
Q. What efforts have scientists with morals made in studying Beings and their abilities?
Some, though not many. A few examples:
Attempts to document patterns in their behavior. These haven’t made much progress as every Being is different…and even with one individual, their habits tend to change radically when they switch Masters.
Measurements of height, weight, mass, strength, and other qualities while they change shape. They have upper limits on size, but how they change mass in the first place hasn’t been figured out.
Genetic testing. No matter what shape they’re in when the sample is taken, Beings’ DNA tests as “related to, but not quite, human.”
Q. How is art influenced by beings? Are they a theme in art at all? Is there a significant amount of literature featuring beings? What about TV shows, comics, movies and so on?
A. They’re not a world-changing theme, but of course Beings have appeared in or inspired various pieces of art over the years. A couple of anime. Some medieval iconography. A handful of silent films. One of the character selections in Street Fighter II. Loads of hard-to-regulate and morally-questionable pornography.
Q. Beings and pronouns! Do Beings care what pronouns are used to address them? I’m also curious what pronouns they use amongst themselves. Obviously they have a way to tell each other apart, but do things like sex and gender exist among them?
A. Having lived through plenty of languages with a variety of pronoun systems, Beings will pretty much go with whatever the people around them use. Their shapeshifting extends to everything, so whatever biological sex characteristics they have at any given time aren’t permanent.
Q. What’s the general distribution of Beings across the continents? Are there some regions with more of them than others?
A. There were none in Australia or the Americas until European settlers started bringing them. Because of their ties to human Masters, they tend to end up in areas of high population density.
Q. Can Beings be hurt by cold or heat? For example, if you were to put a Being in human form naked on the ice fields of Antarctica, would they freeze to death or shrug it off?
A. Shrug it off.
Q. How many Beings currently work in the pr0n industry? Given their shape shifting abilities, are they actively sought out by studio execs in the US and Japan?
A. Quite a few. They’ve been sought out for the purpose ever since cheap recorded sex became technologically feasible.
Q. Do Beings have a nervous system as we would understand it? A way to transmit thoughts through their body and into their limbs? If not, do we know how they gather sensory input? Do Beings have internal organs by default?
A. Beings appear to have the normal nerves and internal organs for whatever animal (including human) they are at the time. However, they don’t appear to be affected by damage that would disable a normal animal’s senses.
Q. Since we know Beings can shape shift, does this include inanimate forms, such as metal? Can a Being shift into a form that could then be attached to machinery?
A. Their forms always approximate that of an existing creature, although you could certainly wire yours up in various ways if you chose.
Q. So by approximate, you mean they have to resemble it fully? No partial representations allowed? So a chimera would be out, then?
A.They do have partial representations while they’re shapeshifting. It’s just not something they can maintain.
Q. An asteroid hits the planet and wipes out a large chunk of life on Earth. How devastating would the asteroid have to be before Beings died from that?
A. An asteroid big enough to take out a large chunk of humanity would probably take out some Beings as well.
Q. Can Beings reproduce at all, and if so, how?
A. The method by which new Beings come into existence is currently unknown.
Q. If a Being breaks a law, who is legally responsible?
A. Its Master.
Q. Forget the legalities of ownership — aren’t there any laws relating to the Game itself?!
A. What Beings do to each other is seen as their own business. Governments tend not to intervene.
Q. What do Beings get out of the game that makes them so willing to duke it out rather than live in peace?
A. Beings are perfectly willing to live in peace when that’s what their Masters order.
Q. If they can read/write in “the language of the contract”, maybe a studious Being has kept a log of the early days?
Q. I’m allergic to cats, so would I be allergic to a cat Being?
A. Nope, you wouldn’t be allergic. Not unless you also had some kind of Being allergy.
Q. Is it possible to genetically alter yourself to become a Being? Have crazy scientist people ever attempted to do so?
A. I’m sure someone’s tried it, but never successfully.
Q. If you ordered your Being to accompany your kids on their year abroad as bodyguard and tour guide, would it be painful/dangerous for hir? Being away from Master, I mean.
A. If they were out of contact for extended periods of time, the Being would start to feel some emotional distress. How much depends on the temperament of the Being, and what kind of relationship they and their Master have.
Q. What are the limits of their mystical abilities outside that garden battle zone? We’ve seen them shapeshift (which given the whole cast and injuries in different forms has a stored body vibe to it) and heal but not much else. Basically can they do any other magic? Or even use their energy attacks outside the battlezone?
It’s complicated because Beings don’t think of those as mystical “abilities.” If anything, they’re limits — humans are the impressive ones, able to stay in one consistent body all their lives! The energy attacks are specifically designed for each other, and can’t be used on just anything.
Q. Is color a locked attribute as well as species – like, is Cybele stuck always being pink? We’ve seen Poe do a lot of serious shapechanging, especially within human range, but always with purple eyes, and Patrick likes yellow, brown and green…
Beings’ sigils and energy attacks are always a consistent color, and they do lean toward related color schemes.
That said, they aren’t required to have 100% consistency in any features; that’s put in as a visual aid to readers. When Poe completely disguises as someone, for instance, he doesn’t have distinctive purple eyes in-universe that could give him away to other characters. They’re just drawn that way so you can recognize and connect with each new form more quickly.