Page Descriptions - Chapter 57
This article contains all the Moonless Age page announcements made by the comic's author for Chapter 57 - End of an Age. 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 91-100
- 2.11 Pages 101-110
- 2.12 Pages 111-120
- 2.13 Pages 121-130
- 2.14 Pages 131-140
- 2.15 Pages 141-150
- 2.16 Pages 151-160
- 2.17 Pages 161-167
- 3 Special Pages
Kern: The epic end-chapter cover of Moonless Age is up! I've had many possible names for the final chapter but, considering the name of the comic, this is the most fitting.
Kern: A living goddess stumbling out of stasis. Too weak to stand on her own. Yet representing a great opportunity for them. Not straight into the action, as I felt Sharess' condition had to be addressed before - you know - chaos. Also, next update is the 19th Anniversary special, which would technically be tomorrow but for the sake of staggering updates it will be 2 days from now.
Kern: Lost in her own mind, she fights to emerge as Sil'lice doubts this is truly a goddess reborn. Regarding the last panel's text: I've been wanting to move away from the plain comic font for a long time. However, this is how the comic began and I have to stick with it. These two dialogue boxes were put in for the fun of of seeing what Kite would do with it as an optional layer. So no, the dialogue won't change for this last chapter. Sure will be changing for the next project though!
Kern: She awakens through the haze of memories as unexpected news arrives. Everything happens in one day.
Kern: Faen shows a new side of herself while Chiri and Merri are stuck in a vision. Those visions weren't that common lately, but they're back in Chel and those visions are going to become routine occurrence. Also, this is the beginning of Faen the Empress; she will boss all by the end of the chapter.
Kern: They're being watched and things are way too quiet in that street. Snad did tell her people to get ready to kill Chrys when she returned. Of course they'd be watching. While Chiri and Merri are getting visions, they're probably silent visions. These watchers don't seem to be talking much, which doesn't help them to figure out what's going to happen.
Kern: Aware of the enemy's presence, the whole column is stopped and they begin to watch the empty streets around with worry.
Kern: There's demons around that the coalition fails to see, but Kiel does and she's on the hunt. Kiel does her own thing as always. And no, demons don't have smell.
Kern: An unexpectedly silent city, a strange set of glows in the distance, and a warning is screamed. To give the feel of a lengthening silence in comic is a tough thing to portray.
Kern: Cannons fire into the main street and ambushes await those escaping it. Big booms. Lots of big booms.
Kern: In the aftermath of the cannon-fire, the armored division charges through the remains. Why doesn't the empath detect the enemies? That's not how empathy works. There's ton of people around and it doesn't tell you who may be the enemy. Why don't they block the blast? They tried given the time. Watch the guy without an head. Don't be that guy. Why didn't they run out of the street? No. Time. This is an ambush. Why doesn't Sharess save the day? Sharess is having a pizza. Not everything goes smoothly. If you protest at the protagonists getting their faces smashed in, you better not protest when the antagonists get their faces smashed in. Oh wait. It happens, too.
Kern: The armored division and the Fallen strike at the artillery positions. The Fallen were already mid-way, Sara has a long weapon of her own, and those golems can jump. In case it's been too long: Those golems are from the attack on the airship chapter. The prototype, along with the engineers, were found in Sha'shi.
Kern: Bombardment resumes from a new side of the battlefield, shredding the shelters where many had found refuge. However, the firing is short-lived this time, as something has put a stop to it. The page was getting quite late, so I stepped in to help with the coloring. Might look a bit different.
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's used before, many times. On an artistic note, I wish I could make use of dialogue as visual effects more often. It can easily be missed.
Kern: While the bombardment happened, the Imperial Guard was on the move to silence the second ambush. No, this is not in response to any complaints about scouts. The chapter was written before page 1 went up. Just have patience.
Kern: The cannons are silent, victory is acquired. Although there is no sign of the agents that were waiting in ambush. But hey, I'm sure it was a complete victory. Congrats, the chapter ends at page 16.
Kern: The scream of victory is cut short. Now why would they go and kill shouty boi instead of trying to get to the people they want dead?
Kern: They fall back, assaulted from within their own ranks and from rooftops around. Among the chaos, Ariel and Faen are led to safety... This gave an opportunity for the traitors to eliminate the leadership. If Ariel hadn't been protected by the mightiest, strongest of bears, maybe it could have been done. But now Faen will destroy all and establish herself as empress. The end.
Kern - Additional: Never trust someone who smiles a lot. I tried to make it look like he caught her attention by making a note. But it didn't come out quite right.
Kern: Traitor working with the enemy, seeking to isolate the young leader and end her while the troops retreat. As I wrote above, never trust someone who smiles so much.
Kern: Pinned down in an enclosed alley, they must act fast or be surrounded. The surprise attack wasn't successful and now the killers can be careful. Time is on their side. Also the arrows breaking down like this intentional. Shrapnel to counter people like Ariel.
Kern: Meanwhile the Imperial Guards seek to rejoin the fight. Although someone is targeting Chrys personally. They've let the others pass before raising the wire in Chrys' way. A lot is happening at the same time, so please forgive the jumping back and forth.
Kern: The trap is set. Chrys is cut off from her comrades except for two, and already under a barrage of fire. Snad, in the previous chapter, asked for Chrys to be stopped before she reached the dome. She was the prime target, although ending Ariel would help end the movement.
Kern: Wounded, the dragon musters its remaining strength to protect her. Chomp chomp.
Kern: Amidst the battle, one person stands out to finish her off. Someone she knows. One bolt had embedded right in her face. Chrys is not doing too well, right now.
Kern: Spilled blood boils in a flash. Not something Chrys has ever done before, but within her skill. An extreme, prompted by an extreme situation. Her dragon's blood was also used as catalyst, which is not something that would normally happen either. Hope you guys enjoy the payback after so many pages of tension.
Kern: The aftermath of the blood-splosion? Of the blood-flare? Of the acid reflux--Of Chrys just blowing things up, let's leave it at that.
Kern: The dead speak. Also Cahal is a good boi.
Kern: A confrontation of ideologies for these two sisters. Uncovered lies, or a new deception? Whether or not Saph'ala tells the truth, Chrys is not at ease with the idea.
Kern: The conversation comes short. It's kill-or-be-killed, at this point. And Chrys faints from blood-loss.
Kern: Saying goodbye to her dragon as a new threat rises over the streets. I colored the characters, so some effects may come out differently than the usual.
Kern: Meanwhile, in the main streets the battle is intensifying. Bombardment, demons, mercenaries. The army column has long broken into smaller sections having to fight independently.
Kern: Chiri can sense the enemies coming to assault them through walls of solid stone. Advantages of someone who can see the "future". So this splinter of the army won't get surprised by an ambush. Although anyone who can assault many enemy warriors and pass through wall of stone like butter isn't a lightweight attacker.
Kern: Predicting every move, they halt the enemy agent's attacks.
Kern: Surrounded, the enemy displays her true power. One of those special ones that are summons within a vessel of flesh. Not so easily defeated, and with powers that go beyond what's normal. Most of the enemies so far were regular Feldians. You just can't tell which ones are special as they all wear the same armor. They're not supposed to stand out after all; Snad likes to work unmarked. And considering the states of many of those special ones... without faces sometimes.
Kern: Good old purging by fire still works. Here's your Dragonball Z page. Hopefully you have senzu bean for that burn.
Kern: Burnt to ashes, demons flooding the street, and blast tortoise in the back. The second agent took a bit longer to arrive and silenced the lookouts ahead. But Baliir (rolled a 20 on a stealth check?) arrives on the scene to silence the second enemy, saving many from having this scene stretching for another week. 8D It's pure chaos out there.
Kern: Meanwhile Kiel was hunting the source of the demons. And, finally, she may have found it. Although the shape of the demon seems familiar.
Kern: Kiel and Nau leap into action. Disabling the demon gate and its summoner.
Kern: An old friend is revealed, and through her the story of a divided group of survivors. Obviously, it was Fame and she didn't mean to attack Kiel's group. Nor did Nau want to throw Fame overboard. When you need to hire mercenary demon summoners, there's those ex-Vloz going around these days. Would work for little money and big words. This is how two sides of the same group end up on opposite sides. Also, I have to say - after so much grim drama, feels nice to have a group that's lighthearted even in dangerous situations.
Kern: The demonic gates are being closed all over the battlefield after a misunderstanding is cleared up. It's ex-Vloz... of course even warfare has got to be weirdly handled. At least Fame still listens to Kiel. And so does Nau, in a way, who just caught her mentioning a second child. Also drawing DT Naal after so long. :3 <3
Kern: An open declaration from a trio of newcomers. And a sign of what happens under the glorious reign of Snad - Body modifications to become more efficient is a thing.
Kern: They make a stand in their entrenched positions.
Kern: The defenders' morale is under assault by the enemies' tricks. Full villain party. Spellsinger, empath, and tank - all modified and likely immortals.
Kern: The effect spreads through the streets, pacifying the resistance and leaving Faen to stand alone - and angry - against her enemies.
Kern: She rises above the battlefield to bolster their resolve against their enemies' influence. Everyone predicted it and, yes, Kyo is there to oppose the enemy's power. It is a long starting fight to this chapter, as everyone is involved, but I think by now everyone must feel we're reaching the climax of the fight.
Kern: Faen receives unexpected help from a former enemy. She got the potassium from the banana. Get in there Faen; you're powered up. Empress Faen must rise.
Kern: The moment when the tide of battle turned. Arise, Faen, and take your throne. :D
Kern: As the pressure increases, the enemies prepare to retreat in an explosive way. Right at Kyo.
Kern: Scream off!
Kern: One of the enemy flees the battlefield to find a worrisome sight. That the rock is back. It will take down all the Nids!
Kern: An uprising of the angry locals, joining the battle to take down the scattered enemies in their streets. More rocks! Throw them. Crossbow Lady was involved in a very old chapter, and I felt like adding her one last time for funsies. The other two ahead of the crowd are cameos though; ones without concept art. Also, those agents must have been killing bystanders, wrecking buildings and such... it would piss people off. Including some Tei'kaliath, apparently.
Kern: Pressed from all sides by citizens and the allied combined, the enemy force collapses. Or, in the case of some mercenaries, turns sides. 50 pages of street battles... that was a long one. Although there is still something else...
Kern: A moment of peace, one Faen takes advantage off to land a mighty punch. Nuclear punch. Should've taken Ariel out in one punch, really. Mighty bear will sit upon the throne - and soon!
Kern: The romantic moment is short-lived, as a group take advantage of Faen's distraction to attack. I mentioned there was one bit missing to these street battles. Everyone got their personal fight, except Ariel, who just had Faen stand for her.
Kern: A painful battle with poor start for Ariel, whose recent rise to power isn't welcome by many in her own clan. Plus that fallen is a Nid. Given a year or two, the Sarghress would've been just another branch of Snad's millitary. Also, wolf enters the battle. Probably bolted through the holes right off, and raising a rock wall at the last moment didn't work for that wounded agent.
Kern: Armor shattering, punching, stabbing, and strangling. Fun times. A little bit of Quain in there.
Kern: A sharp knife from immortals. Wouldn't be so easy. Ariel is outnumbered and she's getting tricked like Durlyn. She is good at closing wounds, but how much can she take from people who also have an unfair lack of mortality.
Kern: Unable to call for help, she is cut down. Goodbye finger. Can't even give the middle finger to them now. Or yell at them, for that matter. I considered for a while how to show that scene. Figured we've seen plenty of back-and-forth slicing in this chapter, but not from first-person viewpoint, which I think gives this scene more impact.
Kern: From within her body emerges forgotten things from many years ago. I shouldn't be surprised to see you guys pulling up Chapter 8 and predicting the return of these snakes heads from years ago. It's all still inside her body. Technically part of the mass and - yes - Khaless knew stuff. The the last panel, she looks very much like like her, too.
Kern: Faen arrives on the scene to witness the result. Faen reports, Ariel is suspect. Ariel claims the bodies were already there when she arrived. Faen voting -- Check result of the vote in the next page.
Kern: A hug and a hush. Cuddle age begins.
Kern: Faen turns Ariel's words back at her. Then, make her demands. Demands of hugs and cuddles.
Kern: The aftermaths of the battles, as the survivors regroup. Chrys and Ariel would need a long recovery. Maybe Chrys can wave an angry arm at the enemy.
Kern: Taking the cannons from the ambush and turning them against the dome for the final assault. Start of the second arc for the chapter.
Kern: The faithful guards meet with the rebel guards, but which is which? Chrys was never ordered to pull these moves; not all of the guards followed her. And the ex-traitor who lost her tongue now stands against them.
Kern: A clash of words and the seed of doubt.
Kern: The mute leader speaks with her actions. What's one more betrayal. Her actions in the past led to the death of Diva, the fall of the old system. And what was her reward? She got used, discarded, tongue and ear cut off. And then? Back to her old post, expected to act against her duty once again. A loop she chooses to break.
Kern: An answer is given. She is tired of this shit. Skip the yes-or-no answer - go straight to sign language with her loverboi Al'tesh, right Thrair? IS SHE PRETTY NOW!?
Editor Note: The Al'tesh/Nir'naya ship started as a joke. It would seem it stuck.
Kern: They break into the dome, taking over room-by-room and freeing prisoners. But, of course, there are still ambushes. Possibly the most-lethal ones are still coming.
Kern: A new madness and the trap is enclosing them. Except someone seems to be sneaking in - Panel 1 Kiel and Naal. I know the action is chaotic though with such numbers, it's a real challenge not to. And no, the cannons wouldn't damage the demons; but that doesn't stop them from flinch-firing, adding to the chaos.
Kern: Disarming the gate, although there is already a massive entity that came through.
Kern: More defect as the balance of power keeps shifting. It's a recurring theme by now. Some people are hired help and won't want to die for coin. Others are there for the sake of old alliances and certainly wouldn't die for people they already despise. Belds being some of them. So its not just the Sarghress having problems with traitors in their ranks, by the end Snad may have problems finding true allies.
Kern: Meanwhile they break out of the trap to find a familiar person blocking their way. A long-awaited confrontation. Mel had been on the backburner a lot these past years.
Kern: Things escalate fast as Mel admits to the murder. To anyone who may be thinking "That's fast!" Ariel is making a guess based on little evidence and Mel just confirms it outright. Like daughter, like mother - they just fuel each other anger instead of resolving the misunderstanding. Ariel is pissed, Mel is pissed. Also, finally?! I know people had been awaiting Mel bringing up the children's deaths for a while.
Kern: The children live, and through them comes the realization of a betrayal. Faen rolled high on her persuasion, even if Ariel gave her a disadvantage on the roll. Faen MVP. Boss fight avoided.
Kern: Meanwhile, Snadhya is taking the recent developments well. So well it's face-smashing fun-time. 8D
Kern: The path up is secured by an ally on the inside. Meanwhile, Mel and Zhor are on their way to get their answers. There's a little time-shifting, there. In my original script, Chrys got up there first, then Mel and Zhor followed. But I think people would rather know what's going to happen with Mel, Zhor, and Snadhya first. Especially since these two scenes just happened. So, Chrys, I'm sorry but the elevator is busy right now.
Kern: Distress is spreading through the tower's defenders as Mel marches through to meet their leader. Also answers what Zala had been doing up there.
Kern: Mel isn't in the mood to wait any longer as she meets with her former love. Another problem of loyalty there: Mel could've been stopped, or at least an alert raised, but the person in charge of her keeping let Mel in.
Kern: Loss of tempers all around. Pre-order your ticket to Stabbocon today. For an event all about stabbing each other is about to start.
Kern: Kind words turn to the past-tense, and both act at the same time. Zhor calling out the gaslighting.
Kern: So close to end it all and so near to turning a page over it all, but the need for revenge is strong.
Funny tidbit. The panel where the dragon encloses Snadhya didn't have eyes on the side until Kite rendered the rock. It was... cats. The page was done on twitch where people can click buttons to insert cats into the artworks and I forgot to remove them. So, as you peer into the dragon's eye, I'd like you to imagine that the spheres are cat heads and the glowing dot is the cat eyes.
Kern: Mel pierces through her defenses with ease. Meanwhile the guards make their way up the tower.
Kern: Disarming the trap and surprising their foes, they charge into action. Starting 2021 with a big page! Happy new year to everyone, may this upcoming year be greater than 2020.
Kern: Waiting ahead is the last person she wanted to face. Shinae vs Chrys, fight! Sisterality?
Kern: From one threat from her past to another, Chrys finds herself cornered in a strange room. This one was getting quite late, so I helped with the coloring of the last two panels.
Kern: Cornered, she seeks any advantages she can find while her people fight for their lives outside. And no, Wi'am appears to not be there. Maybe the recent loss of a tail has her busy doing something else.
Kern: Pinned down by her nemesis. As many pointed out, she is no fighter and already heavily wounded. There's no way she could win 3-against-1 in a fair fight.
Kern: Help came to give her a moment to act, although acting may have a cost. Al'tesh crazy expressions lets go.
Kern: She reaches for the blood and the result is much bigger than she expected -- What's in those vats is a neutral blood-replacement that led to this chain-reaction. Chrys didn't know it would go this far. Also, Thrair has been telling me for years "You can kill my character". I think he really wants Al'tesh dead.
Kern: Years of struggles, to end up at her sister's mercy. Chrys is super done.
Kern: The end of all things for Chrys, but her sister seems to think there's a solution. On the topic of monologue, Shinae is sure having one now, but then she isn't trying to kill Chrys.
Kern: Shinae hides her sister from the enemies. Chrys really hits rock bottom.
Kern: She wishes there would be one thing she hadn't failed in her life. And so she hugs Shinae. (One arm, because the other one is super F'd at this point.) And thus Shinae is defeated.
Kern: A hug. And a final promise.
Kern: Snadhya finds herself truly alone. And there's more "traitors" to answer her call.
Kern: And she shows fear for the first time.
Run Snad, run. My view is that even the most powerful individual, once cornered and bereft of allies, can be defeated. The evil overlord in its castle can't do much by itself, they need minions. And Snadhya is running out of them. Some are even turning against her, making her paranoia go higher.
Kern: There, hanging above a lethal fall, some hard truths had to be said. A page that's been a long time coming.
Kern: A few words of love, a mysterious beam of light, and one giant red button for Snad to press. It's fitting that this is page 100. Snad, backed into the very top chamber at the edge of Chel's crust. Cue final battle music beginning.
Kern: Some of the tower's defenders are caught looting the place and a massive weapon is revealed. Showing further deterioration of Snad's powerbase when her people begin looting. Also, the portal is a reference to the next project. For the entirety of DT, portals were always a messy circular pattern with key nodes, often carved with a knife. But those following the Hel project up close will know it's supposed to be something else.
Kern: Incoming apocalypse. There you go: Title of the chapter shoved in. Job done. :)
Kern: Escaping from the coming horde. Shinae, much-disliked angry sidekick, turned out to be one of the most steadfast in the end, when facing the world's destruction.
Kern: A crash, returning memories, new eyes, and a desperate escalating situation. And yes, that threat about the flowers outside is yet another trap that's not surviving actual fighting conditions. Fire is already spreading, and with the demon hordes it's not really something thats going to catch anyone's attention.
Kern: Those who can step forward to seal the horde, but it is endless and is spreading across the city. The page's point is to show that, yes, people are trained to deal with it. But sure, you seal one door... while the rest of the city will die.
Kern: The demons swarm over the city until they meet an opposing force. Everyone knew they'd come. After all, there's cameos and it'd be weird for the Kyorls not to show up eventually, considering they've been waiting for this day.
Kern: Former enemies come to aid in pushing back the tide, giving the defenders at ground zero a glimpse of hope. If that page doesn't start to feel like this going toward an ending. United, the clans could push long enough. But long enough to do what? Certainly not throw lances and cannonballs at the gate.
Kern: The world needs heroes and she steps forward to be one. Kiel wanted to be one from the very beginning.
Kern: A kiss before the last adventure. Nau doesn't hear Naal there; he thinks Kiel answered him, but she was confirming to Naal that it is a one-way trip.
Kern: Two friends' rocky ride into the red abyss. With a spiraling demon escort. By the time this is over, there won't be any windows left on that upper tower.
Kern: Something is terribly wrong with Snad and Kiel begins to feel the effects of being through the portal's threshold. At this point the portal is gigantic, encompassing the entire floor. Kiel may have done something very similar to Sharess during the previous age; or at least will attempt to.
Kern: To Naal's eyes, the gate is an opening to an endless ocean. Fishes and a new face for Kiel. Things get funny past that threshold.
Kern: Kiel desperately tries to find a way to stop the gate, as time is running out for her physical form. New fancy horns. Those who saw the artwork of yesterday knew it was coming.
Kern: The rings of the portals are pushed out of alignment while still active, with possibly catastrophic results. Naal is losing her shape not out of physical effort, for her body has very little physical mass; it's the beam of energy from the summoning portal crossing her body that has this effect.
Kern: Kiel and Naal try to escape as reality crumbles around them. There's no exit because there's no wall or floor any longer. Whatever gateway this mad spin created, they've fallen beyond the threshold.
Kern: They find themselves in a strange place full of stars. Next few pages finally let me experiment with some stuff. Hope they'll be fun.
Kern: Countless stars, countless worlds. Couple things unsaid about the page: This isn't a sea; there is no water, she's not breathing, she's not hearing. She doesn't even have a body at the moment, the world within tethered to the infinite. It's all perception. Just like Naal was the way she was because she and Kiel perceived her to be that way.
Kern: A reflection of their true selves, updating the front page. And of course Kiel wouldn't resist trying something; at least part of her wants to. And I've never made it a secret so it's not really a reveal that the blobs are people. But now it's confirmed in canon.
Kern: The gate implodes. Today marked the 20th year of Drowtales. We'll have something special for the week to come, but we felt like we had to wrap up this story arc first.
Kern: With a great shake, the tower collapses. Big boom post gate-closure.
Kern: 19th anniversary special is up. Four pages in one chunky update to officially introduce our next project. Where it is taking place, how it relates to DT, and what happened to Rosof too. Damn, that's a lot of years. More than half my life on one project, but I am quite glad to be wrapping it up. My mind has been wandering a lot to that upcoming project, lately.
Kern: Chibi page by Kite. Attack demon training and what if Kite drew the comic.
Kern: Special holiday page by Kite is up and an alternative ending to the fight. You guys stay safe this holiday and keep on devouring all the tasty stuff!