Page Descriptions - Chapter 56
This article contains all the Moonless Age page announcements made by the comic's author for Chapter 56 - Empire Weaver. These often elaborate on or clarify details not explicitly stated in the comic itself, but regardless provide a sort of commentary for each page. These announcements are made in the Moonless Age channel of the Official Discord and can also be read on the comic's Official Facebook Page.
- 1 Chapter Announcement
- 2 Page Announcements
- 2.1 Pages 1-10
- 2.2 Pages 11-20
- 2.3 Pages 21-30
- 2.4 Pages 31-40
- 2.5 Pages 41-50
- 2.6 Pages 51-60
- 2.7 Pages 61-70
- 2.8 Pages 71-80
- 2.9 Pages 81-90
- 2.10 Pages 91-10
- 2.11 Pages 101-110
- 2.12 Special Pages
- 2.12.1 18th Anniversary Page
- 2.12.2 Differently Shuttered Chibi
- 2.12.3 Birthday Chibi
- 2.12.4 "Death by Staircase" Chibi
- 2.12.5 "Walk It Off" Chibi
- 2.12.6 "Melodia Catnap" Chibi
- 2.12.7 "Quain's Big Head" Chibi
- 2.12.8 "Let Him Rest!" Chibi
- 2.12.9 "Training Difficulties" Chibi
- 2.12.10 "Rough Awakening" Chibi
- 2.12.11 "Where's the Handle?" Chibi
- 2.12.12 Retrospective Kiel Chibi
Kern: Lets begin a long chapter with an old antagonist returning to weave her many plots.
Kern: New page at last! Nau is regretting entering a new hellhole - and hey, it's a flower. It's been a while since that's been part of the plotline.
Kern: In this new page, Nau finally snaps back at Kiel. Those chibi pages weren't all comedy; he has protested about Kiel risky path and she's been dragging him along. Well father up Nau!
Kern: Kiel is being a terrible influence on the princeling in page 4. Plus a whole lot of troubles brewing ahea,d where there's apparently people still alive.
Kern: Here is fire, there is a purge, and there is a demon watching. Actually, scratch that - As Kiel forgot she and her buddies count as demons, and the purgers would notice.
Kern: As Nau put it: First sickness then demons. Demons literally eating garbage off the street. That's how common they are getting around there.
Kern: Kiel tries to teach demon and demon to be how to parents to their abandoned child in page 8.
Kern: Page 9 is up with introspection about demonic taint, and what it means for Nau's future. Kiel has a very distinct perspective on what tainting means; a less grim view of it for sure.
Kern: The purges found some pretty big demons that are causing a halt to their advance. And Sygdom's character has no tangerine, still.
Kern: Demons, fire, templars fighting hand-in-hand, and the group saying 'nope' to it all.
Kern: The battle is over and the group decide to leave. Though it doesn't take long for a certain someone to catch up with them. She was watching, waiting.
Kern: Kiel failed her persuasion check and is immediately attacked. One of her demon saved her butt and they run toward a checkpoint. Now to add the tidbit I'd normally put on the forum exclusively! My view is that the more one force become greater, the more forces that would oppose them grow in strength. Demons going rampant = Kyorls are back out in the street, more experienced than ever at finding stray demons. Snad came out of hiding = the more people oppose her openly. It's an escalation until one force or the other collapse. Right now though, the city itself is the thing that collapse in between the forces. District war was bad enough, this kind of thing just push the city over the edge to the point of what you saw so far in the current chapter.
Kern: The gang had to find an alternative route to escape after being hunted down by two different factions. And this one is one Kiel used before, many times. On an artistic note, I wish I could make use of dialogues as visual effects more often. It can easily be missed.
Kern: Finally moving to the main point of view of the chapter: Chrys. Who is on her way to a familiar place. And yes anyone who follows Kiel end up walking in the shit sooner or later. At least the kyorls won't stoop so low to follow down there. Maybe tangerine boi?
Kern: Page 16 is up. With much hanging. At first I thought to show the looting but it's already been stated in dialogues and will be stated again. This however is new and I think a bigger impact to show the sarghress hanging the vals in public. One of beldrobbaen descent at that.
Kern: The sarghress(Nak) refuses to cut down the body from the wall, stating clearly the message these hanged corpses meant to send. With soldiers like these in the streets, no clan is safe and yet they're needed. Thus sarai's regrets. It used to that the sharen could come knocking with might. Now, they can just pick up the body and leave.
Kern: Page 18 is up with Chrys' proper re-introduction. Altesh just returned from Felde's event and told Chrys of what he saw but apparently was told to keep it to himself by her. He has not witnessed the aftermath of Felde but these sarghress did, as they had to take prisoners and extract themselves from the damaged city. The prisoners are those lines up at the back which I'm sorry but can't afford to draw all the details on them in the current page.
Kern: State of Felde recapped, Sarghress not giving a shit, the new overseer giving very much a shit and Chrys get worried. Not much going on in this page but necessary to link the events together. Kor should've said "Perfect, Felde is just going smoothly, everyone so happy!"
Kern: Page 21 is up with underwater combat. And Altesh is stepping to the rescue.
Kern: Altesh is an accomplice to murder and realize Chrys has killed more in the past. She's been fighting to keep Snadhya's chosen out.
Kern: As they are about to leave something came to watch on them. A little demon friend.
Kern: Chrys is getting visitors she recognize and leave a message with them.
Kern: The "Victory" monument from the prologue is defaced and has a hangman noose around its neck. The alliance warriors do not care and Chrys muses about the glory days. Meanwhile someone is sneaking through the garden.
Kern: Chrys rejoin with Kiel, Nau and Naal. That's supposed to be a shutter system to keep the dome's window closed when need be, it would be dangerous to leave those opening. So easy to access otherwise.
Kern: Chrys' tainting isn't getting better over the years.
Kern: Chrys rejects Naal's attention to an odd limit. Meanwhile she get rejected herself by a former partner as he and his clan leave Chel permanently. It's meant to be a repeat there. Chrys next Naal?
Kern: Chrys feels the hug from Naal and acknowledge what she sees. Though she think Kiel gave the demon the shape of Naal. Chrys officially has received the most hugs of the entire story in the last 5 years.
Kern: Chrys musters the strength to go see her mother, who is still busy wrapping up the leftover of gathering. Also, a lot of cameos for one page.
Kern: Chrys listens to the end of the discussion as one of Snadhya's representatives comes to question her. Chrys' lies about her murder are bound to become obvious and maybe there's a hint of doubt behind the questions already. I tried to show an act that's normally portrayed badly, in fighting/murder, in a light of Chrys' viewpoint. Likely it was something done a lot before and Chrys just grew up in her career to do just the same.
Kern: Chrys' power play against Snad's people continues. Chrys is the bully on the playground now.
Kern: The second agent of the opposing faction that was held up at the door is revealed. Shinae, all geared up. They must be desperate to use her. Or maybe hoping Chrys won't kill that one because of family ties. Or maybe that Shinae will kill Chrys. Who knows. It's a stab or stabbed world! Sister on sister, cake against cake. But yes, Chrys is using her position to keep the pressure on Snadhya.
Kern: Shinae's viewpoint on the situation. A weak Zala and a weak unseen Snadhya.
Kern: United for now, they walk in to meet the distraught empress. And Chrys lied. Unsurprisingly. And yes of course Zala heard. This is the number one question I got during this chapter: "Why hasn't the news reached them?" It did, the outcome of it hasn't yet though. Question of time though, hours maybe. How much Chrys can do in that time is to be seen.
Kern: Zala is in a poor mood and not looking too happy with her most fervent protector. Likely, like some others, she suspects Chrys has been doing things to worsen the relation with Snadhya. To Chrys' shock, she would value that relation more than to listen to her.
Kern: Chrys goes up and finds her elder serving at the reception of the tower of the former empress. Truly all of the Sharen are working over there nowadays. I had to render the character coloring to finally get this page up. Coloring may look different because of that.
Kern: Family meeting between Chrys and her older sister, Saph'ala. Who used to serve as administrator of the Sharen fortress during the previous war. Not much of a fighter, like Chrys, but good at managing things. The two exchange talk about the ritual that make the tainted get the swirly eyes, merged with their taint, one with their demon, and all that. Something that Chrys is familiar with.
Kern: The turning point of the chapter for Chrys. Someone she thought she had killed is standing right there. It's something that Kiel's people encountered but nipped out before it could bite them back. Chrys, on the other hand, didn't know about the stone within their bodies that allow them to be brought back to "life". And now her secrets aren't secrets anymore. Fun times to come for Chrys.
Kern: The question of where the body came from was asked. To that I'd like people to think back about which lieutenant of Snadhya is still alive. There is just one.
Kern: Naal sees what's within the dead woman, and Chrys finally notices the nature of her sister. I kept Saph'ala's eyes blank so far. Until Chrys noticed, then it became visible. And it's hard to miss staring at her sister up close.
Kern: Chrys turns around and runs, making her way to the elevator, but it begins to go back up and they're waiting for her. The background in the last panel was a copy-paste of an old background from the tower's perspective that I edited. I was alone to work on this page and needed to cut as many corners as I could. Kite needed those 2 days to recover.
Kern: Naal acts, doing what demons do best by eating the energy powering the elevator. It can only end well.
Kern: The elevator falls to the bottom of the tower. Naal leaves the elevator, but it's too late by then. Chrys' back slams against the elevator that's slowing down its velocity, but it's going too fast at this point and still crashes. No doubt someone will still raise the question of how come she's still alive, but there is it anyway. Slowed down elevator, armor, and in terrible pain.
Kern: After a hard landing, Chrys finds herself surprisingly alone. No glorious last stand between the loyal guards and Snad's agents just yet.
Kern: Chrys is on edge as she runs down the stairs, thinking everyone is out to get her. The message passed by the whispering towers must be about her, the guard in the shadow must be out to kill her, those people at the top of the stairs are out to hunt her down.
Kern: The beloved protagonist of the story returns! Savior of the underworld and - Wheelchairs! Yes, she shall roll to victory from her retirement home.
Kern: Bad news reaches Snad, and she doesn't believe what she is told. Still always smiling, she takes the news relatively well.
Kern: Koil'dorath was here all along.
Kern: Snadhya makes a show that she is not weak. But somehow can't even sit by herself, which begs the question: How did she even stand up?
Kern: Once the doors are closed, her facade breaks. And Snadhya shows a moment of weakness.
Kern: Meanwhile Diva is making her way to the tower where all this is taking place. Snadhya doesn't do her own merchandise. Probably something bad about it that she knows and she won't have it herself.
Kern: The big guy is back. HE HAS FINISHED HIS EVOLUTION TO A BLAST TORTOISE! I've never played pokemon games, but still... he is ready. Sara's new armored tortoise is equipped with the things she loves the most in life.
Kern: The agents search for them, but they've hid in the Vloz's favourite spot: The sewers. And of course Baliir will get his wish; after all Chrys is hoping they'll rescue Zala. They're bound to meet.
Kern: They gather up and make their way to the Sarghress' home in the hope of finding allies. It's one dialogue-heavy page. For this chapter I chose to focus on Chrys, to avoid making it too long, which means Kiel's sneak mission happened off-screen.
Kern: Meanwhile, there are troop movements as news spreads that the last nobles of the Sarghress were captured. This page doesn't have much happening, it's really a transition between Chrys and what's happening with the Sarghress.
Kern: Faen insists on being brought along to the trial, knowing they're out to kill Vals like herself.
Kern: They are led to their execution as they reminisce about what could have been. And of course many would see it as a game. It's one thing to say the Sarghress hate the Vals, but this is very detached thing. They haven't been seen for years and now they're being paraded around like its a show.
Kern: Ropes to hang them, the end of the era. These kinds of pages are very hard to make. Disclaimer that the coloring style might differ again, as I had to render the second half of the page coloring myself. Kite is still struggling at the moment. I'll be helping as much as possible. Still, she has more hospital tomorrow which may disrupt things again.
Kern: They were hoping to use this time to speak to the crowd, but a sniper acts before he has a chance. Kel is a survivor. He took all sorts of beatings that nearly ended him. The difference this time is that he is surrounded by people who wouldn't mind if he died right there. And yes, plans never last long when other people also plan against you. I colored the last four panels, so panel coloring may not match again.
Kern: The sniper takes another shot, and hesitates. I mean, it's pretty easy to guess who the sniper is. Again, I've colored parts of this page, so coloring may conflict.
Kern: She spares her daughter's life. Soldiers move in to protect them too late, and Kel whispers his last words of wisdom: Fight, because at this point we're beyond words. No one is going to listen, people have opinions, and many just came for a good show. One with hangings. But they are few, surrounded by countless masses and with a person in charge wanting them dead.
Kern: Fight or die. And one last kiss from Faen.
Kern: The fight begins. Where she can fight for one or try to fight for many. In panel 1 and 2, she's just using her power to reshape her hands to nearly nothing to slip them through. She could have freed herself of her bonds anytime, but she was here of her own choice, after all. Hoping to the last minute.
Kern: Page 66 is up, such a spooky number. Ariel is bringing the fight to the big bad directly. And then they'll hug. Power of love will solve everything.
Kern: Ariel makes the challenge from the top of the wall. To every single person that wants a fight. That's a lot of them. And from Mandroga's point of view? Sure is stupid, she'll fall way before he has to fight. But just like Kel before, what other choices does Ariel have? She could try to kill him fast before being overrun, but then what? Sarghress on Sarghress, Faen could get killed. And she is nowhere near close to unity. It's a bad situation.
Kern: Meanwhile another group infiltrates the scene. With mighty jumps and princess carry. Yes, that includes Nau. Best princess. Again, coloring style may vary as I had to color this one. Yes, my highlight style is clearly putting milk under characters' noses.
Kern: Hiding. Easier said than done for the big guy. And Kiel is unlikely to want to get involved, while Chrys is -as usual- more curious to understand the situation. She did use them in the past for information and liaison.
Kern: The agents make their escape, chased by many. Strangely enough, everyone passes without noticing him. He might as well be furniture.
Kern: Invisibility confirmed. And again he gets ignored. At this point, he got ignored. He wishes he could speak with someone in power who'd listen, poor big guy.
Kern: The first challenge starts and ends fast. Meanwhile, Chrys is wanting to go deep. I'm sure she didn't get in there with the thought of getting herself involved, but the more time passes, the more she must realize what has to be done. It's like procrastinating on a task you really don't want to do and end up wanting to prepare yourself for it instead.
Kern: Just as she is trying to prove herself, many others would jump at the same chance. It was bound to happen that someone would make it a fight of mana.
Kern: Fire, fire, and more fire! With splash damage on the crowd, which is bound to piss off many. That fire specialist is going to get a visit later by some burn-ees, if she survives this.
Kern: The struggle is heating up. Ariel fights for her life, although that concentrated fireball exploding is going to hurt. Both the caster and herself. Faen, meanwhile, is trying to escape through the crowd. Trying to find one friendly face.
Kern: Kiel comes to Faen's rescue. Before someone thinks the demons made Kiel teleport: No, they haven't. But it made it appear as if they did. As for Faen, the wolf acted too fast for her to use her power on it, although she tried at the last second.
Kern: Meanwhile, the duel was so devastating for both opponents that many watchers thought them dead. But not yet. Ariel can lose a nose, but she can reshape herself a new one. Given this, the pain remains the same. She likely blacked out for half a minute.
Kern: He tries to call for another challenger, but the crowd wants him to fight. I admit, at first I was planning for more fights before he finally faced Ariel, but it's been going on quite long already with the update rates.
Kern: As the duel begins, some of the soldiers get inspired by the sniper from earlier. But Sara comes and say "hi". Also, yes, I would have preferred for Mandroga's armor to have scratches and dents from his drumming, but Kite went to sleep right after she did the page. Maybe it'll get updated later.
Kern: Sara and Baliir interrupt the assassination as the duel begins with a crushing blow. Ariel thinks he had a hand in Koil's disappearance. Doesn't mean he did, of course. This whole Sarghress situation is a mess. And, yes, there is another explosion on the other side of this battle.
Kern: Exhausted, she tries to mount a faltering defense. It's a longer battle for her, and one she's already losing from attrition. Naal is used as commentator to make sure that was clear enough. Or for the RP players out there, Ariel is running out of HP. :P
Kern: The frustration of being toyed with, in a grand show of propaganda. Ariel's lowest moment, and what Mandroga was hoping for.
Kern: Dueling is over, brawling begins. Yeah... that crotch left unarmored was asking for it. And so up-close, his maces do very little.
Kern: "We are one clan!", she shouts, as the battle turns. Quain left an impact on everyone. She shaped the clan and its people. Including Mandroga.
Kern: Authority through might. She had to kill one of the few witnesses of her own coming to power. Mandroga was there in Chapter 5. Yet there he was, standing against. So much for Quain's decision. They respect her, her legend is great; still they'd fight for that slice of power. He got killed the same way Ariel had to prove herself back in Chapter 5, too. If only he knew that was going to be his fate. The earth crater was Mandroga's doing.
Kern: After a moment of silence, more would come to challenge, but the whole thing is put a stop. The scale tipped enough in her favor for a majority to let her pass. Kor'maril's support is important, of course.
Kern: She marches into the throne room, full of memories, to find the abandoned crown. The three ghosts are Syphile, Kel, and Quain. They're not truly there; it's just a visualization of how she feels with the memories coming back. No fanfare, no cerenomy; she's alone in there.
Kern: The crown is a heavy burden, and one that Faen is willing to help carry.
...OR WEAR HERSELF? ALL HAIL DARK FAEN, FUTURE QUEEN OF THE UNDERWORLD.
Kern: The coronation. With Faen as sole witness. It's a simple page, which I felt should be simple. With a touch of bitterness to it that they have to overcome.
Kern: The hard aftermath of finding one of her last family members on his death bed. And the one whose been protecting her for most of her life, at that
Kern: A pained exchange about the past, and the one person they've both been trying to live up to. Quain trusting no one is an understatement.
Kern: She is pulled away from him, as he coughs himself bloody. #Keldieinpeacealready
Kern: As soon as they leave his bedside, they're hit with the first challenge of ruling the clan: Everyone is going to starve. In retrospect, this page has way too much text. I should've found a better way to transition from Kel's situation to the ruling problem.
Kern: The moment she realizes the "enemy territory" they are foraging for supplies from is the city they're supposed to protect.
Kern: The cast is coming together. Kiel had been lurking about, so she claims she found Chiri. Of course, it's more of the reverse. And no, the little sealing stone she's waving about isn't going to do much, but that doesn't stop her from trying.
Kern: An exchange of help. Chrys needa troops, and Ariel needa them fed. And the morrow would bring dire circumstances for them both. This is the right timing for Shinae to show up, right? "Hello B****es!" Also, Ariel is voicing part of why Mandroga and Sang were doing what they were doing.
Kern: Back to the story. AND progressing to the last arc of the chapter, at that? Finally. The fist turning into an open hand for scritches is the obvious metaphor.
Kern: She defies her orders for the first time in years. A little redeeming for Mel? Okay, not much; she did shoot her brother. Lots of family spite, there. She'd shoot Quain's corpse, if she could. But shooting her own children is another matter.
Kern: More assassination, a crack in their unity, and a judging stare. The fact she is still bound to that chair (while he isn't) was an important switch of situations. Snad's position is weakening. But then, a lot of people have a weakening position. It would only take a little for things to collapse for everyone.
Kern: Diva's final gambit. Diva knows of a way in; and those who read Longest Wait can probably guess. With this page - 100 - all cameos have now appeared.
Kern: The motherkiller is getting a visit from beyond the grave. Diva doesn't wait for her identity to be questioned and goes right to it. Snad is already annoyed.
Kern: An unbelievable claim, and yet made to the one person who could easily tell it to be true. After all, Snad herself was musing about doing the same, earlier in this chapter, so she could walk again.
Kern: Blame and repressed anger to fuel the beginning of the fight. Snadhya forgot to smile for a moment. Snadhya sees herself as the protagonist, and Diva as the antagonist. To be fair, Diva was a butthole, too. But Snad took her mid-life crisis way too seriously.
Kern: Using Snad's own work against her. Diva wouldn't come unprepared against demons after what happened the first time.
Kern: One of Diva's classic moves, albeit much weaker than her legendary move from the Longest Wait side-story. Is it canon that she blew up a tower? She would claim so. But people outside may not agree.
Kern: The overwhelming odds were stacked against her to begin with. As with many before her. Chibi page to add to the ridiculous situation it would be if it had actually worked. Snadhya has had direct hand in the end of countless people. People who are much stronger than Diva currently is. Even wheelchair-bound, she is deadly. So if victory is to be had, the odds will need to switch somehow.
Kern: Exhausted, she faces her opponent, who enclosed herself in her dragon shell. I did the coloring on the characters on this one, so it may be different from the previous page. Soon it'll be revealed what Diva was planning.
Kern: She kills her mother once more, only to realize her mistake. Now for extra detail: Diva was already grievously wounded in the previous chapter. She didn't have the strength to kill herself, so instead she took a chance. Worst comes to worst... well, the deed is done.
Kern: Her spirit escapes yet again, through the same means she used years ago. Confirming that indeed Diva went to Kiel's daughter's body. Let the baby rule begin.
Kern: The body rises from its coffin as the warriors from many clans march together as allies to end Snadhya once and for all.
Kern: 18 years of comics. It all started in April 2001. To commemorate the event, some of the main cast grown up with their child version from back in the days.
Kern: Special alternative to page 26. A quick one so we could take the weekend off for Kite's birthday.
Kern: Special page from Kite. An alternate version of page 32 where everything is just happy. She did the page so I could have a day off. Go and put that in the wiki, I dare you.
Editor Note: This page was drawn during Kern's birthday, allowing him the day off. And we are obliged to take the author's requests seriously, of course.
Kern: Chibi page is up: Of the danger of staircases. Commissioned by Thrair. Kite has not finished coloring wednesday's page so it called for this chibi page.
Kern: Quain appears to him as he lay in his blood. She is ever so helpful. Parody suggested here by Questionable-Sensei 《Desu》.
Editor's Note: Questionable-Sensei is a member of the official discord, whose joking comment about Page 61 was considered funny enough to turn in a full chibi page. :)
Kern: A new parody page is up, answering why Melodia can't show up. She'd just randomly be in the worst places. How could there be drama?
Kern: "Quain's big head" parody page is up. While I'd prefer give you guys a story to follow until the next chapter, these are much faster to produce and needed for the writing and next project's special to be made ready.
Kern: Let him rest!
Kern: Parody "Training difficulties". Because that wolf isn't going to obey day one.
Kern: Parody "Rough awakening" is up. That one might as well be canon.
Kern: Parody page "Where's the handle?". Answers the dreadful fate that awaited Snadhya after the battle. RIP Snad.
Kern: Kiel is in a retrospective mood in this final bonus page before the next chapter begins. I have difficulty calling it a parody, as it wasn't meant to be funny, nor something out-of-character. Just what goes through her head. So why did I make it? Well, that final page was supposed to be one of Kite's doing as I work on the cover, but in the end she's a week late on the anniversary special. I had to find a new idea, and looking through the chapter it just came to me that Kiel marching out among all those warriors felt odd. She is out of place. She always was. so what is going through her mind is this.