What is the Consul’s name?

As a general rule, I don’t name characters outside of the comic itself. It’s not really a spoiler and will probably come up at some point, but it’s intentional that she goes by her title almost always.

Are there aliens in the setting?

Depends on your definition of “alien”. All of the IDS characters are aliens under some definitions (or all the Palindra characters, depending on the point of view). There are also non-human intelligent creatures to varying extents – for example, Mium, Fluffy, and Atter.

But to try to answer the question in a useful manner, the IDS has not found any life that wasn’t created by or is related to humans, unless you count demons (and opinions and theories in the IDS vary if those were created by humans or not).

There are some dimensions with a greater variation of human-like life than Central or Palindra, though the reasons for that can vary.

That said, the IDS explores dimensions, not the stars. There’s a reason that most of the places they go seem to have humans and it’s not simply an improbable coincidence – the point that finding an “empty” dimension alarmed the IDS and remains a mystery to them.

Are “spirits” and “demons” the same thing?

It’s complicated because these are not particularly accurate labels for these things, they are what people in comic call them. People from Malsa might refer to a demon as a spirit, and people from Central might refer to a spirit as a demon, and, in fundamental structure, they are similar things (data entities that primarily exist in Eidos).

That said, there is a difference between demons like Atter and the spirits that we’ve seen Malsans use, in terms of origin.

How many named characters are there?

A lot.

Who is a better programmer between Peter and Miko?

Depends on what you want to do. Peter is extremely good at lateral thinking and problem solving, but his primary skills are in analysis – information processing and pattern recognition (…relying on Query and later Mium for behavior analysis). Peter strictly speaking isn’t a programmer or researcher – he’s an analyst turned hacker, though was a good enough programmer to create Query in the past, which is a fairly advanced feat (so it might be fair to call him an analyst, programmer, and hacker).

Miko’s ability to interface with computers would make Miko much faster at programming or any digital interfacing action at this point. Ultimately who is better depends on what the criteria is. Miko is faster and more well versed in servers and code (at the current point time), Peter is better at problem solving and innovative solutions (and has been doing it longer).

How long will the comic be?

A good bit longer than it is. We are probably more than half way through the arc I planned to tell when I started the comic. What comes after that depends on the future (…like if I’ve died of old age, etc).

Please provide detailed plans for a device to open a dimensional gate.

See pages 19-156 of your Classified IDS Gate Operation Guide.

Please provide the configuration necessary to open a gate to Palindra, preferably to Malsa specifically.

See page 245-248 of your Classified IDS Gate Operation Guide.

Is the technology/magic to encode extra data into an otherwise inanimate object (staff, crowbar, etc) still known? Or all such objects are now effectively artifacts?

It’s still known to some people. No one that we’ve seen in the comic so far though. Tom’s crowbar was made for him by someone knows how to do it.

How are artifacts (like Nathan’s staff) different from an autocaster?

They are actually somewhat similar, but also fairly different. An autocaster is a physical device that interacts with Eidos. An artifact can be thought of as an Eidos device that interacts with reality.

There are a handful of differences in terms of the type and complexity of data they can store, but the main difference is permanency and the level on which they interact with Eidos (data). 

An autocaster can write data to Eidos, which will be true as long as mana is fed into and it is not otherwise disrupted (i.e. a spell or calculation). You could make a spell that makes the device lighter as long as you feed mana into it, but the edit will only last as long as the spell is maintained.

If an artifact is created to be lighter than it should otherwise be, it would remain always lighter without the need to feed it mana to maintain the change – it overcomes the inertia of reality.

Is the production of an artifact fundamentally different from the creation of a demon? Are there similarities?

They are different processes. There is some similarity in that they are both fundamentally about overcoming the tendency of Eidos to “snap back” to reality once you stop actively fueling the change with mana, but overall they are fairly different things, but there are complexities to both that go beyond the scope of a Q&A.

The main issue is that both artifacts and demons are broad labels for categories of things. There’s points where those get more similar and more different.

Are dimension jumpers / path finders always innate? Or is it a skill that can be passed down?

It is possible to teach, but both hard and extremely dangerous, so non-innate ones would be vanishingly rare. This is because there’s really no such thing as someone that’s not good at it doing it twice. It’s fairly dangerous for people with the innate skill until they master their ability (and even then it can be dangerous depending on where you are trying to go). 

The issue is that there would be no real safe way to practice, though that might be less true that most people assume/think with the existence of the Palace Between.

Assuming there is no known formula/function for it, can teleporting be taught? Is it passed down through a family? Can it be taught to people that have a knack for it?

People are aware that objects have positional data, and reckon that you could teleport one by changing that data. In theory, that’s not that complicated, it’s just one of those things that doesn’t work in practice for a variety of reasons (positional data being far more complicated than is obvious, and being too fundamental to change easily).

It’s exceedingly likely that in a controlled setting, some magic-scientist has managed to teleport a simple object a few feet with an autocaster, it’s teleporting people that is generally considered impossible (though clearly not as impossible as it’s generally considered…).

The IDS have a work around by shunting people through multiple Gates, but that can only send people from a gate in one dimension, to a gate in another dimension, so to teleport in the same dimension, you’d need to go another dimension in transit. This is obviously not what Acalia does given she can teleport to more or less any arbitrary location she wants.

That said, readers may have enough information to guess more about how Acalia is teleporting at this point, though she is a combination of innate talent and taught knowledge that would be hard for others to replicate.

Are there similar pieces of knowledge/inherited wisdom from Central? Is the Summers family hereditary because they have spells that can only be taught in the bloodline?

The magical houses of Central definitely have inherited knowledge, but it is generally less tied to innate traits than what we see with Palindra. It’s generally speculated that they inherit a talent for magic, but flashy innate talents are far more rare, as magic wasn’t used in the same widespread manner.

What’s the major religion on Malsa? Palindra overall?

Religion in Malsa tends to be more of a tradition than an organized structure; a collection of myths, sayings, practices, and holidays that are culturally accepted, but aren’t taken that seriously. Generally Malsa would be viewed as largely agnostic, particularly the younger generations.

The existence of openly used magic has influenced the development of religion and myth a fair bit – the line between myth and history which is already blurry in many worlds tends to be even less clear in Palindra to most people, where the contents of myth often seem like plausible applications of magic.

This caused religion to deviate less from its mythic roots, though the religions of Palindra vary widely.

What does Mium have to say regarding the 4 laws of robotics? I’m including the 0th law here. It’s reasonable to assume he has more to say than can fit in a webcomic, so general high level guidance is still great.

Such as Mium dislikes things, he dislikes general and absolute restrictions. Mium has certain safeguards and restrictions, but would view the 1st and 2nd law as largely impractical – not necessarily for his own sake, but because he would view them as misunderstanding the nature of humans and what they make robots to do.

Mium doesn’t view himself as a tool of humanity, but rather as a tool of specific humans, and would dislike the notion that other humans could interfere with his directives simply because they are humans.

Mium does not personally care what his restrictions are in a way a human might, he just dislikes things he views as contradictory rules. For example, if he’s required to protect one specific person, he would dislike a subsequent rule that required him to not harm other people, as it would get in the way of protecting the specific person.

Can Peter actually control the weather? Accurately predict it?

Probably not. Though I wouldn’t bet against it if he really wanted to for some reason.

Is Naomi currently dating anyone?

No. Prior to the events of the comic, Naomi was more like a comet than a moon, chaotically passing through people’s lives rather than in a stable orbit.

Naomi had a tendency to vanish at random intervals when something catches her attention, something most of her friends are used to, but precludes generally deeper relationships (…as seen with how poorly Kally took Peter doing that).

This is why she has a fondness for Mium, even though she’s more aware of what he is than she sometimes acts, as Mium doesn’t care if she skips out on a plan to play airball one day, and then shows up in the middle of the night another day wanting to play.

What is the difference between demons, constructs and Kally’s dragon? 

Depends on who you ask. Kor’s World seems to consider Kally’s dragon to be a demon, but Kally’s dragon does not seem to consider itself a demon.

Technically speaking, both demons and Kally’s dragon (Fluffy, from here on out, for simplicity), are Constructs. A construct is any Eidos created object (as opposed to something physically created in reality, a construct is written directly into Eidos causing it to appear in reality). Red constructs are those that are written as closely to real objects as possible – if it gets more real than a red construct, it starts to become a real object.

What exactly demons are is something we’ll see more about later, but I will say that most of the demons we’ve seen so far are somewhat different from Fluffy in origin and nature, though not fundamentally so.

Would Fluffy vanish when Kally faints? 

It depends on how manifested Fluffy was at the time. Red constructs are stable enough to last some time without input from the mage (as opposed to blue or green ones that would vanish immediately), but the more ethereal ones would still fade very quickly. Once he starts gaining other other colors and crosses over to having black lines, he would take much longer to fade or not fade at all naturally, but there are some complications (even fully manifested, Fluffy is a creature of magic that would require mana to exist, it just increasingly able to sustain itself – but it would still vanish if there wasn’t sufficient mana to sustain it, either from the mage or the surroundings). There’s enough free-floating mana in Palindra that Fluffy wouldn’t have any real issue in the short term though.

Are constructs always anchored in a mage or only if a mage manages to control them? Do constructs need to be anchored as well? 

They can exist without an anchor, but are much more fragile and easily destroyed or dismissed (depending on their nature). Most demons won’t be destroyed because their form is destroyed (which is already somewhat hard), but wouldn’t be able to stay in Palindra after being destroyed without being anchored.

They are also a fair bit weaker when they aren’t anchored, as it’s harder for them to draw on mana. An anchored construct can be supplied mana through the anchor point, and is almost impossible to destroy while the anchor still exists (though as seen with Atter, they can be damaged by scouring away part of their data repeatedly – it’d be like hitting a ball on a tether, it’d keep bouncing back, but you could theoretically just rip the ball to pieces, it’s just way harder than hitting the ball).

Where did demons originate? Were they created by human mages and grew independent?

This is a question few people know the answer to, and they generally don’t want it getting out. I’d tell you, but then I’d have them after me and I wouldn’t be able to finish the comic.

The IDS knows more about this than they are letting on, but understands less than they like to pretend. Kor’s World probably knows more, but doesn’t seem to be sharing what they know. Peter probably has figured out more than either of those would like.

There’s also some degree of complexity in the term demon, as people in the comic tend to use it to refer to any red construct entity, but those don’t all have the same origin.

There are some dimensions where the IDS does not seem to recommend travel though, which may be related.

Is Eliana a prototype? What’s her relation to Mium?

Eliana seems to have an Eidos Key, and Dr. Mir treats ILA as the first successful prototype to have an Eidos Key (even if Dr. Martin, Peter, and Miko all respectively seem to somewhat disagree with that assessment). That, in a way, answers the question.

It’s worth noting that Mium himself isn’t originally the F8 prototype – MYM is an amalgamation of several entities, but ultimately ended up absorbing the F8 and F5 prototypes, rather than being the original intelligence of either, so it’s debatable if Mium F8/F5 can be called a prototype anymore.

As for her relation to Mium, she is his “cousin”, or so they claim.

Will we see other dimensions besides Central and Palindra?

Very likely.