Difference between revisions of "Page Descriptions - Chapter 46"

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===Pages 51-60===
 
===Pages 51-60===
 
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====[Page 51]====
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====[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=10102 Page 51]====
'''Kern''': ''''
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'''Kern''': ''Now [[Kuso]] is Kiel's great and wise plan. She must have read somewhere that acting sexy before a guard is a good way to distract him. Now how that got twisted up into using shit-for-brains mercenary man and throwing him out naked except for his helmet... that we'll never know. Kuso does his best, however; not that his best is ever any good. The guard says nothing, but hurries to cock his crossbow, meaning to shoot. Before that happens, Kiel rushes from from behind, thrusting Kuso forward like a meat shield. Kicking the both of them down the staircase he was protecting.
====[Page 52]====
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It's a terrible terrible page that I blame a certain group of people for. XD''
'''Kern''': ''''
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====[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=10106 Page 52]====
====[Page 53]====
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'''Kern''': ''A special layout for today's page, with Kiel and Fame chasing down into the depth of tower's (relatively) secret dungeon. One guard down, one golem easily drained of its energy, and (thanks to [[Demons#Friend_Demon|their guides]]) they easily find the place where Anjin is kept... as well as the two surviving Sarghress. [[Erelice]] doesn't look happy, and neither does [[An'jin]]. For some reason, the prospect of Kiel's help is apparently exciting no one.''
'''Kern''': ''''
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====[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=10107 Page 53]====
====[Page 54]====
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'''Kern''': ''Kiel insists on getting An'jin out, considering him part of her crew. But An'jin believes getting out is pointless; that Snadhya would know regardless and demand his return. Hinting that she truly has eyes in the walls. Kiel believes him, hinting herself that perhaps Snadhya has "friends" very alike to [[Demons#Friend_Demon|her own]]; Demons that watch the tower.''<br>''Ignore [[Bast]] on An'jin's shoulder; she's just there to mess around with the bald head.''
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====[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=10109 Page 54]====
 
'''Kern''': ''"The best of distractions" promises the [[Erelice Sarghress|Sarghress squad leader]]. Whatever she has in mind, it's likely to cause a ruckus. Meanwhile Ariel and Faen are led to a suite in the upper floors. Something so big and plush, neither of the girls are used to it. Especially Ariel, who had to get in the dirty gritty of district warfare. The room at the colony was great, this feel otherworldly to her, especially with the view of a city at peace outside. They've been fighting for so long that peace is now the abnormal. As Ariel pokes around the room, Faen finds the complementary sex toy by the bedside. Forget chocolate on your pillow in hotel Snadhya, sex toy it is... I believe it makes sense for this to be a common device in the upper society, it's just the first time characters that are not used to seeing dildos just laying about for guests. Faen knows what it is, of course... Now, did someone choose the color depending on the guest? Does it represent potential size? So many wrong questions, with so many wrong answers. Some certain members of the studio were filling our imagination with the most wrong of answers earlier today!''
 
'''Kern''': ''"The best of distractions" promises the [[Erelice Sarghress|Sarghress squad leader]]. Whatever she has in mind, it's likely to cause a ruckus. Meanwhile Ariel and Faen are led to a suite in the upper floors. Something so big and plush, neither of the girls are used to it. Especially Ariel, who had to get in the dirty gritty of district warfare. The room at the colony was great, this feel otherworldly to her, especially with the view of a city at peace outside. They've been fighting for so long that peace is now the abnormal. As Ariel pokes around the room, Faen finds the complementary sex toy by the bedside. Forget chocolate on your pillow in hotel Snadhya, sex toy it is... I believe it makes sense for this to be a common device in the upper society, it's just the first time characters that are not used to seeing dildos just laying about for guests. Faen knows what it is, of course... Now, did someone choose the color depending on the guest? Does it represent potential size? So many wrong questions, with so many wrong answers. Some certain members of the studio were filling our imagination with the most wrong of answers earlier today!''
 
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====[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=10111 Page 55]====
====[Page 55]====
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'''Kern''': ''On today's update: The wonders of doorbell and bath. The first is a frightening sight, the second is a treasure worth seeking. If smell could be visible in these comic pages, there'd be a cloud around the two girls.''
'''Kern''': ''''
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====[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=10115 Page 56]====
====[Page 56]====
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'''Kern''': ''It's a new thing, graphic WITH text. I tell you it'll become the norm someday.''<br>''Ariel's reticence to take a bath in what she perceives as enemy territory quickly breaks down when Faen takes a dive in. Large pre-filled bath and, best of all, heated with foci. After the long walks they went through, this must feel like heaven to them. Now I realize this page is all fluff, but there's a reason. Bear with me, it's not going to be all fluff this week. Though Faen is about to turn princess mode.''
'''Kern''': ''''
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====[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=10117 Page 57]====
====[Page 57]====
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'''Kern''': ''Later, Kyo comes once more to knock at the door, checking on the refreshed duo. With Faen all dressed up like a princess. Though Kyo is bringing an offer to get them onto the airship through some other agent's help. On their way out, they check on everyone else. [[Shala]] and [[Sar'nel]'s room is "busy". [[Kau]] is kicked out again to another room, clueless as to why. [[Nuru'lara|Nuru]] reports that [[Riz'riia|Riz]] has gone wandering, something that Kyo believes is dangerous. And last the Kyorls' room: Chiri is getting an ill feeling, hinting that Kyo herself is very afraid of something. But she waves it off; worse, she advises them to stay locked up in their room. For the slightest provocation could lead to a repeat of the execution, or worse.''
'''Kern''': ''''
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====[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=10118 Page 58]====
====[Page 58]====
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'''Kern''': ''Something is coming for Riz, who appears to have gone wandering to a library. Chiri is having a vision. Those tend to be signal trouble. And Ariel/Faen are being led by Kyo'nne to… A dining room. A family dinner, Snadhya says; welcoming them, expecting them.''
'''Kern''': ''''
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====[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=10121 Page 59]====
====[Page 59]====
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'''Kern''': ''Ariel realizes Kyo betrayed them. Faen realizes who is before them, as she was a student under Snadhya once upon a time (Chapter 2). [[Kalki]] gets the wrong half-sister by thinking it's Faen. Snadhya points out the correct sister by her hair color, referring to the purple as one of the [[Sharen]]'s colors, so alike Kalki and her own. Which makes Ariel react very, well... her age. Abruptly changing it to red, the color of her clan. Snad finds the petty reaction cute, Kyo demands a cure for something and is hushed away. Now what the cure is ought be rather obvious by now, but the details of what that entails, why Kyo did this, and what other things she might have done will come later. Finally, Ariel looks to [[Mel'arnach|Mel]] for a confirmation as to the claim that Kalki is indeed her half-sister, but Mel refuses to answer that. Perhaps because she is unsure herself.''
'''Kern''': ''''
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====[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=10123 Page 60]====
====[Page 60]====
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'''Kern''': ''Be it that Faen actually sensea some danger, or she just know this doesn't bode well... regardless of the reason, she asks to leave, which Ariel is happy to oblige. For she presents a strong facade when facing the former headmistress, but when her back her turned you can see she isn't as confident. Before they leave, Snad throws a lure: By simply asking how things are back home, tingling Ariel's pride just enough to get her to reply... and thus stay a bit longer. As long as Snadhya keeps her engaged verbally, she gets to prevent them from walking away. Long enough to offer her hand and invite them. So sweet and unthreatening. If Kyo'nne hadn't betrayed them a moment before, this could almost be believable. Almost.''<br>''So there you go: In RPG terms, Snadhya is a politician class character level 20. She uses words to confuse and minions to kill. :P''<br>''Ah yes... "fine women"... double meaning there.''
'''Kern''': ''''
 
 
===Pages 61-70===
 
===Pages 61-70===
 
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====[Page 61]====
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====[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=10126 Page 61]====
'''Kern''': ''''
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'''Kern''': ''"Give peace a chance," Snadhya says, amusing Kalki. It only gets worse as Kalki's bullshit detector goes through the roof. She is barely able to contain herself at the end.''<br>''Now Faen doesn't know Snadhya as well, and cakes are pretty tasty. She probably had nothing to eat all day. That or she's just not sensing that danger anymore. Maybe their host is good at controlling herself on the inside as well, having worked with empaths for so long. But regardless of the reason, Faen giving in breaks Ariel's usual stubborn facade. They'll stay, talk, and feast on cake. GLaDOS would be so proud of Snadhya for that one. If only Kiel had been there to point with accusation at every slice of cakes.''<br>'''Editor's Note''': Kern posted a higher resolution and zoomed in version of Kalki's expression, which can be viewed [[:File:KalkiSmellsBS HiRes.png|here]].
====[Page 62]====
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====[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=10128 Page 62]====
'''Kern''': ''''
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'''Kern''': ''This family dinner cannot go more wrong, can it? Note to readers who may not have caught what's going on in the first four panels: [[Quain'tana]] has an unique ability to allow her to be unfazed by mana arts; or magic, if you prefer. Almost nothing works. Normally, those rare abilities cannot pass down from generation to generation, but Mel somehow got some of it. It was Snadhya's hope that she could get this ability passed down to Kalki, but it did not happen. This practice is common among Val ladies in Chel: To choose their partner based upon some attributes they possess. Now that Snad has access to Ariel, she tests her by touching her shoulder. Perhaps she made the shoulder warm, perhaps cold, or just made the skin prickle. Regardless of what she did to the shoulder, Ariel felt the pain. Which means she doesn't have it.''
====[Page 63]====
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====[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=10130 Page 63]====
'''Kern''': ''''
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'''Kern''': ''Everyone loses patience with Kalki. Cake with sprinkles distracts Faen. Mel tries to be a good mother, but rages about her [[Quain'tana|own mom]]. Quain's exaggerated legends are brought up. Future ambitions are discussed. And finally, the desire to punch Kalki in the face intensifies.''
====[Page 64]====
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====[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=10131 Page 64]====
'''Kern''': ''''
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'''Kern''': ''This page was hell to make. *poke it*''<br>''Beware of the incoming text-wall, as Snadhya runs her mouth non-stop. Discussing what's to come after the Sarghress victory is complete. If anyone had doubt doubts as to why she would want them to win, now they know. To create a vacuum in power to fill. With plans to use both Sarghress, as they all expect Quain'tana to not step up and name herself empress. While Mel seems to be okay to play the role, for the sake of getting her babies back, Ariel doesn't seem interested; both in the plan, and the food before her.''<br>''Note that Kalki is rolling her eyes at the end.''
====[Page 65]====
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====[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=10133 Page 65]====
'''Kern''': ''''
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'''No official announcement'''.
====[Page 66]====
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====[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=10138 Page 66]====
'''Kern''': ''''
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'''Kern''': ''Mel would like them to stay, Faen would like to stay, and of them all (strangely enough) Snad is the calm one to encourage their decision. Sadly, both Sarghress women carry a lot of baggage inside that comes up as they are about to part. Mel's years of frustration that her elder daughter was kept away and, from her point of view, turned against her. Ariel's own bitterness comes up too, frustrated by the constant attempts by Mel to turn her against those she respect. It's bitter , it's pointless... well, it's family. We've all had those tense moments in our families; old pet peeves coming up. These characters are no different. However, where we tend to walk away or mend, they have the unfortunate circumstances of being in a stab-or-be-stabbed world. Ariel falls in the second category just about now, as this dinner is now turning bloody.''
====[Page 67]====
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====[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=10141 Page 67]====
'''Kern''': ''''
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'''Kern''': ''Ariel doesn't realize nor register the pain at first, and Faen is too stunned to say anything. But this certainly brought Mel's temper from anger, to a cold deep dread, straight into her motherly instincts. Snadhya takes it calmly, as she probably saw much worse from her daughter. Not that she approves. And Zhor, while angry, has probably the most correct reaction of all: Basically calling Kalki out for what she is. At the exclamations, [[Lulianne]] arrives from the other dinner table to check on things, only to have Kalki claim she just wanted to be helpful. This only pisses off Snadhya even more, who seem to be starting to glow. Likely, she is much angrier than her face shows.''
====[Page 68]====
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====[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=10143 Page 68]====
'''Kern''': ''''
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'''Kern''': ''The meeting has gone from bad to worse, as Kalki snatches the blade from Lulianne's side to cut Ariel's arm off. The hand is free, but the arm is also free, unfortunately. Mel watches this, believing Snadhya will somehow fix everything. Zhor urges her to move, but she doesn't, while he is unable to stand to protect anyone. Faen tried to help with the pain, but did not expect this turn of events. Nor did Lulianne.''<br>''Note, this scene currently unfolding was the very first thing ever written for this chapter. The note dates from many years ago. Before the flowers, before the ship, before the time jump. Ariel would be there before Snadhya and Kalki, and things would go badly. Back when I was active on the forum, there was a time when some people had a chip on their shoulder about Ariel, wanting to see her fail. All this time, I knew this event would come, but I couldn't tell spoilers to make the attacks stop. "Hey, it doesn't matter if it is a main point of view. Any character can go down if it serves the story." is as close as it could get. And this scene, believe it or not, serves the story.''
====[Page 69]====
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====[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=10144 Page 69]====
'''Kern''': ''''
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'''Kern''': ''Father's power fuels Zhor's weak body to lunge and tackle Kalki down. Ariel loses counciousness into Faen's arms, bleeding into the crying girl's arm. Lulianne has been thrown into the seperation between the dining rooms. Now what Faen is trying to say is that Ariel closed her wounds before, as she can reshape her body. But if she's unconscious, that's never going to happen. She'll just bleed out and die, '''fast'''.''
====[Page 70]====
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====[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=10161 Page 70]====
'''Kern''': ''''
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'''Kern''': ''Zhor is pulled off Kalki, who grabs the severed arm and proceeds to beat him up with it. Now, from her perspective, she views it as Ariel beating her father but... well ... Kalki isn't right in the head. Which is why someone finally had enough of her antics: Hands come forth from the ground, grab her, and throw her against the wall. Some readers were hoping Kalki would be thrown against a wall, eventually. It doesn't have a satisfying crunch, but then, it'll need more than a little toss to take her down.''
 
===Pages 71-80===
 
===Pages 71-80===
 
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====[Page 71]====
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====[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=10163 Page 71]====
'''Kern''': ''''
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'''Kern''': ''Kalki is hard to kill. It's easy to forget she's the one who'd been taunting the Sharen army in the [[Prologue|first chapter]] and been bouncing around out of reach from [[Sil'lice]]'s wrath later on. And so Snadhya's "tough love" fazes her less than her words do. She may be crazy, but she seeks approval from her mother. Meanwhile, Ariel regained conciousness. However, she is bleeding heavily and doesn't seem to understand quite well what's happening.''
====[Page 72]====
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====[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=10165 Page 72]====
'''Kern''': ''''
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'''Kern''': ''Faen begs for help as Ariel seems to lapse in and out of conciousness. Zhor advises, while Snadhya has a [[Riz'riia|Sarghress prisoner]] fetched, which doesn't bode well. Ariel finally manages to gather enough strength to attempt to close the wound, however she slips and loses control. Going from shape to shape that she had once took. Faen, the [[Balushizar Siyah'khorshed|Black Sun soldier]], [[Chrys'tel|Chrys]], and finally ends in a smaller, more fragile state.''
====[Page 73]====
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====[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=10167 Page 73]====
'''Kern''': ''''
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'''Kern''': ''Some were wondering when Faen would get pissed. The time is now, as Snadhya reaches to help.''
====[Page 74]====
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====[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=10168 Page 74]====
'''Kern''': ''''
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'''Kern''': ''Faen's attack does nothing; worse, it leaves Snadhya unfazed and still smiling. It's hard not to make her smile. By now, the guests from the dining hall behind are coming to watch the commotion, with likely a very guilty Kyo among them. Ariel is brought back to conciousness, only to be shocked at the wiggling stump where her left arm used to be. While [[Riz'riia|Riz]], her fellow raider, is brought into the room, under arrest for "sneaking about".''
====[Page 75]====
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====[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=10172 Page 75]====
'''Kern''': ''''
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'''Kern''': ''Snadhya needs an arm donor, and Riz as the loyal Sarghress is it. Though both Mel and Zhor feel the reasoning behind using a living person is unwarranted, Snadhya claims there are good reasons for it. Perhaps even some reasons she is not saying. Will Ariel listen to the advice and take her companion's arm? There's no love in between the two, but they're both raiders and of the same clan.''<br>''Yes, Mel suddenly snaps at the realization Kalki walked out with Ariel's arm. Took a minute to register the consequences. One minute was plenty for Kalki to storm out far enough to likely be using it as a back-scratcher.''
====[Page 76]====
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====[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=10175 Page 76]====
'''Kern''': ''''
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'''Kern''': ''Ariel doesn't believe it possible; that she could take someone else's flesh and blood into her own, leaving her companion crippled. She is an idealist; some would say naive. Something that Riz herself isn't. You can see it on her face as their shoulders are put together, that she is at peace. She does not struggle, weep, cry, or try to convince people otherwise. She'll let them take her arm. But Ariel has a conscience that nags at her, for only Riz wanted to go back home. Regardless if the little wolf believes she can take the arm, regardless if she wants it or not, her body seems to be acting up on its own in many of the scenes. Or perhaps she subconsciously wants to be whole again. It's hard to say, she probably couldn't answer it herself.''
====[Page 77]====
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====[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=10178 Page 77]====
'''Kern''': ''''
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'''Kern''': ''Extra-long page to wrap up this lengthy and bloody family dinner. Imagine what it'll be like at breakfast! For it's clear Snadhya won't let them get away until "amends" are made. Ariel rejects the offer, breaking free from Riz in a bloody way before making her stand. Sure, it's pompous; but that's where she finds her strength to make that hard decision: Going back to the ideals of her clan, which as a Val she feels she must represent. It can be silly, some will say it's childish, but people hold onto some values through hard times, which keeps them steady. In her case, these events might as well be torture both of body and mind, perhaps orchestrated by a certain host.''<br>''So Snadhya finds it disappointing, although her smile doesn't falter. Zhor is proud. And Kyo'nne, watching from the back, skulks away. After all, she is the one who betrayed them all.''<br>''Meanwhile Kalki is marching out with her two buddies, set to start a massacre. All the Sarghress are in their rooms. Out of armor and unprepared for what's coming knocking. Kalki does like surprising people...''
====[Page 78]====
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====[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=10180 Page 78]====
'''Kern''': ''''
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'''Kern''': ''Kalki goes on to where the Sarghress were kept waiting. Except smoke is coming from beneath one of the doors. Meanwhile [[Kavahini|a hoot]] can be heard from outside the window.''
====[Page 79]====
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====[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=10183 Page 79]====
'''Kern''': ''''
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'''Kern''': ''[[Chirinide]] had seen the the bloody dinner going on, though she seems to be lacking part of what happened, beleiving that Ariel died surrounded in her blood. But she did help the squad be prepared for what was coming. Setting fire to the room, getting everyone ready to escape.''
====[Page 80]====
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====[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=10187 Page 80]====
'''Kern''': ''''
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'''Kern''': ''The hunt begins, as Kalki said. While the Sarghress seek to escape through an elevator, she is making her way down the same path they took, servants pointing out the direction. Meanwhile, the elevator goes down so slowly that they decide to resort to a bit of an extreme maneuver. These elevators are basically floating rocks that were engineered so one person could pull or push with their energy to go up or down. If many push at the same time, you can end up with random result, like an elevator with someone pushing all the buttons. Or it'll end up going down very fast. The latter happens; just in time, as Kalki arrives at the elevator's edge.''<br>'Some readers were speculating that the whole bloody dinner was a vision Chirinide had, that none of it truly happened. Turns out Chirinide's perspective this whole time was from Kalki's own eyes. She thus saw herself stab and then cut appart the very person she meant to protect. And now, she sees herself hunting... well, herself. It's bound to be disorienting. That's why some people with [[Mana_Arts#Presience|her ability]] end up going insane while many others, such as the inquisitors, end up covering their eyes.''<br>'Again, more notes on this because it keep coming up. Chirinide's power is not "holy power". It's empathy, like Faen, but a different branch. It make her feel, see, smell, and hear as if she's someone else. She sees the intentions of that person, as well. Planning, daydreaming, or just plain dreams. Someone's intentions can predict the future, or it can be misleading. We know Ariel didn't die, but for all Kalki cared, she left someone to die when leaving the dinner room.''
 
===Pages 81-90===
 
===Pages 81-90===
 
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Line 356: Line 356:
 
====[Chibi 1]====
 
====[Chibi 1]====
 
'''Kern''': ''Today's chibi page idea was suggested by Rune. A what-if had an angry and drunk Kalki had gained access to the airship. During her rant, her foot taps on the controls that fire the cannons upon the tower. Confusing both Sarghress and Snadhya's faction alike.''
 
'''Kern''': ''Today's chibi page idea was suggested by Rune. A what-if had an angry and drunk Kalki had gained access to the airship. During her rant, her foot taps on the controls that fire the cannons upon the tower. Confusing both Sarghress and Snadhya's faction alike.''
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====[Chibi 2]====
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'''Kern''': ''Well, me and Kite are departing for a week. We leave you in the care of Lunareth, who has prepared 6 chibi pages for you! I've seen them, they're good, and hopefully the dark humor will work out. Without buffer that was the only solution to allow us to depart from work and home.''
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====[Chibi 3]====
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====[Chibi 4]====
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====[Chibi 5]====
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====[Chibi 6]====

Revision as of 07:35, 27 February 2020

Farm-Fresh construction.png
Work in progress
This area is currently under construction. Heavy changes are to be expected.

< PreviousIndexNext >

This article contains all the Moonless Age page announcements made by the comic's author for Chapter 46 - Convergence. 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.

Contents

Chapter Announcement

Chapter Cover

No official announcement.

Story Recap

No official announcement.

Page Announcements

Pages 1-10


Page 1

Kern: The chapter can only start with Fame, eating icecream in bliss. A light moment of peace from a group that usually would go out of their way to cause trouble. Snadhya does know how to keep her guests happy.

Page 2

No official announcement.

Page 3

No official announcement.

Page 4

No official announcement.

Page 5

No official announcement.

Page 6

No official announcement.

Page 7

No official announcement.

Page 8

No official announcement.

Page 9

Kern: In this page, Sabryne fights back against Grey. While pretty evenly matched, Grey gains the advantage, punching Sabryne unto the floor. From her bag rolls out two different vials, stolen from the cold box of the Jaal'darya researcher. One is the poison. But what of the other?

Page 10

Kern: That was a fun page to draw. Answering the age old question of what happens when you use a cannon against a ninja. Cannon wins. Of course, had there been two ninja, the cannon would have been reduced to a blunt object; but luckily enough for Sara, the other ninja involved in the scene is being rescued by said cannon. When drawing the sound effect, I meant to make the BLAM a physical force that represent the blast from the canon. Thus BLAM throws Grey into the lake. Not much plot in this page, but it's a fun Sara-loving-cannon time.

Pages 11-20


Page 11

Kern: Sabryne passes over to Sara two of her stolen vials and runs off promptly, as some of the guards chasing her are catching up. Leaving Sara to wonder which one's the cure and which one is the poison. As she herself hadn't been watching Snadhya's show the day before, choosing instead to spy upon the scene from around Mel's balcony. One of the guards chasing the Sarghress is someone Sara is well familiar with: Ydna, whom she had thrown over the rooftop two chapters ago. Sara scares the poor girl again and walks off as if none of this is a threat. However, something big is blocking her way.
Kiel would probably like Sara's attitude. Not reckless, but she definitely has a more positive view on everything. More of a game than a danger. Will life break that innocence? :p

Page 12

Kern: There's no cure to the taint. Once it's in, it will never leave. However, there are some ways to deal with it. You can keep it bottled down for a long time, you can fight it, you can be consumed by it, or - as Snadhya'rune claims - you can merge with it. Kiel has done so naturally. Has this Sharen warrior found the way thanks to Snadhya's teaching, or has she some other method to achieve it? That answer will be given in this chapter. For now, I will just say that this Sharen, Jiaan, was best suited of any cameos to undergo the change. Be it for better or ill.

Page 13

No official announcement.

Page 14

No official announcement.

Page 15

Kern: Femi is brought down to rest in the garden; by a demon and a golem as sole mourners of her passing. For not even her two co-researchers seem to care the slightest for her passing. Even worse, the newcomer seems more annoyed at the flowers being trampled than the death. The newcomer is a cameo botanist, a perfect fit for an emergency replacement. Someone who could, most likely, take over the work and replace what was lost. However - and there is always an however in all those perfect plans gone awry - time is the one thing they do not have, as Snadhya puts it. The war between Sharen and Sarghress is coming to an end any minute, Chel may either collapse or be unified in the process. Now's the time to strike and Snadhya is not one to leave a fault in her plan, especially when it involve something as important as the the production of the cure to the very poison she's spreading...
Can't go wrong, right? :D

Page 16

Kern: Page finally up. In this, I introduce what i call the K&K ship: Khaless x Kharla. Perhaps it's just a one-night stand meant to sink quickly, but may male-Khaless butt forever be remembered.

Page 17

Kern: The ship that Khaless was watching through the window comes down over the lake to face a row of captured Sarghress. The very same squad that hunted down the Jaal'darya researcher into her home and eventually found their way to Felde. Killing Femi, the person responsible for the poison and cure, and stealing samples of both. Sabryne is among them, showing that her escape was unsuccessful after all. What of her loot, you'll soon know. Meanwhile, another prisoner is being argued over on whether or not she'll join the Sarghress down at the lake side to be mocked by the most kill-happy Ninph, a cameo by Lunareth.

Page 18

No official announcement.

Page 19

Kern: Sara is let go, but can't resist talking back at her captor; which gets her a punch in the face. Too proud to back down, even then she is about to receive another, when Kalki feels something tugging at her limbs. Kharla's power. She wisely lets go of her victim, who waits until she has departed before answering Kiel. But by then a much greater threat stand behind her: Her savior. A savior wanting snuggles.

Page 20

Kern: Sexy time. Those two words sum up the page and feed the imagination of Kiel. Making her see a terrible future where childish things are not enough to keep her Kharla happy, anymore. Few things shock Kiel, this is definitely one of them. Meanwhile, Sara is getting a face full of boobs. Why isn't she struggling? She probably can't. I imagine her body went all stiff in the hug. That or she's playing dead for safety.

Pages 21-30


Page 21

Kern: Up a floor, the squad leader of the Sarghress is under watch. Unlike her companions tied up outside, her wound was treated and she receives a polite greetings from Snadhya, whom asks her questions. Questions that the Sarghress refuses to answer. Keeping straight, lip pinched, and gaze lock forward. Regardless of the pain caused to her injured leg by one of the probing empaths behind her. A subtle torture as reprisal for her silence. She may be realizing this, but considering her situation, she do her best to show neither pain nor hostility.
The character is Erelice, same squad leader from the Jaal'darya Investigation arc. Her injury was a crossbow bolt through the leg; this is how she got captured.

Page 22

'No official announcement.

Page 23

Kern: Snadhya promises retribution, yet the Sarghress squad-leader has yet to budge. Though her leg is wounded and bleeding, she keeps as straight and stiff as possible. Outside, goggles are given to the guests who are coming to watch the spectacle. Now they could have received sunglasses, but the sight of a hundred drow with sunglasses looking unto a scene would have required someone jumping a laser-shark. I promise Snadhya's spectacle is not a laser-shark... that's what the Jaal'darya are working on.

Page 24

Kern: The ship gathers up energy as the Sarghress squad tied up on the lakeside realize what is going to happen. Sabryne awaits her death in dread. Briz'dra stresses and wish she could go back to undo her decisions. Filf'rae accepts this as part of her path. And Vayas cries her heart out. Her tears, however, do not stop the ancient machine as it shoots down upon them.
Two things to note. The ship sucks in mist as it gathers up energy. Is there energy in the mist, or is it required for the machine to work properly? It is up to your speculation for now. And the cannon are very similar to those used in Chel's warfare. The key difference is strength. The ship cannons do not have to be portable at all, and have access to more energy. I see each of them as little Diva cannon (Longest Wait reference). Normal mana cannons would not damage rock as they're more like napal mortar, these will shatter rock however and turn water to steam upon contact.

Page 25

Kern: The fumes scatter and one of the Sarghress up for execution opens her eyes, realizing she yet lives. Until she raises her right arm to see the dangling flesh, and the missing head from her companion. She did not survive the blast, the first shot simply "missed". A cruel twist that prolongs their leader's torment. Four out of five yet live in Snadhya's spectacle, but it's unlikely the show is over yet. If there were a TV in the underworld, this could be a twisted game show.

Page 26

Kern: "This is not a negotiation, it is an execution." Snadhya's reply to the Sarghress leader's weak concession. The ship gathering power above Fal, she leaps to cover the youngest of her squad with her body as the cannons fire once more. This time hitting them straight-on. Shredding stone, metal, and flesh. To those watching ,the horror of what happens is not so clear, as shown by Kiel's reaction. Perhaps if they knew the people being executed, but to all those guests, these are only unknown criminals. Whose names may as well be numbers under a clan.

Page 27

Kern: The aftermath of the blast shows a wrecked lakeside where even the structures meant to keep the prisoners attached are mere rocks barely noticeable from the rest of the beach. Bodies are reduced to charcoals in broken armor. Only Fal's body's outline can still be discerned. Little Ninphrendil goes down to witness the carnage and laugh at the dead. However, she is surprised a moan comes up from the remains. Something that startles the leader of the Sarghress above, who thought them all dead.

Page 28

Kern: Fal sheltered the smallest of her squad with her own body. She survived the blast, though a bit cooked on the edge. She realize her survival wasn't luck, it came at a sacrifice. First shot missed on purpose. Second shot was meant to clean the slate. A third shot would feel weak. But that doesn't mean Snadhya won't find another purpose for the survivor.

Page 29

Kern: The spectacle is over. Erelice loses consciousness, mostly due to the strain of the subtle torture and blood loss. But perhaps the touch of an empath or the emotions she just lived through triggered the fainting. In order to find the missing vial, Snadhya gives her trio of empaths the okay to search the guests, just as Sara reveals to Chrys'tel that she managed to keep her loot hidden; within her chestpiece. Meanwhile Vayas, the sole survivor of the execution, remains a prisoner.

Page 30

Kern: Snadhya notices that Mel has clammed up and seems lost in thought, which prompts her to desire the company of a friend which she has few. Lulianne has disappeared since the day before, for the obvious reason that she's walking around in a different form entertaining Kharla in new ways. Now if she knew Lulianne had gone, that could possibly backfire. Especially in the mood Mel is in when left alone on that elevator, with that pesky wolf-pin on her cloak that likely to remind her where she's from. And possibly, just possibly, a tad remorseful for her kin that just died. But then, from Mel's perspective she's seen a lot of people die/suffer from the hands of the Sarghress. Including her own torment at their hands. Still, that doesn't mean she's made of stone. And while she appears calm at the moment, there may be a storm brewing under it all...
If Zhor had a husband's instinct, he'd jump out the window to escape now. Oh wait, legs ain't working. Twentieth floor might have been an issue, too.

Pages 31-40


Page 31

Kern: Some tense times, as Mel walks in the room where Zhor awaits. As he asks her if she's been with Snadhya, she tenses up, already on edge. The discussion quickly escalates (or degenerates) into an argument. Zhor doesn't like what Snadhya does to Mel, and Mel doesn't like to be judged when she's probably already having a voice nagging her in her own mind about it. Truth hurts the worst, especially when it comes from someone close.
To explain a bit further what Zhor refers to, for people who haven't read the daydream side story of Mel/Snadhya: This getup that Mel is known for was given to her by Snadhya. She was wearing her dental floss in Chapter 1, but even those were given to her. The ring around her neck serves to reinforce the connection that she is being submissive to Snadhya's wishes. A ring that Kalki likes to put on her pets, as well.
People who didn't like Mel are going to really dislike her, after this page.

Page 32

Kern: As Zhor mentions his daughter, we switch to Ariel, looking toward Felde from atop a tower. She saw the two shots fired by the airship, but couldn't tell much from them. Jumping below, she gets Nuru's attention regarding how she managed to slow her fall. To explain her shapechanging ability, she refers back to the affinity test all drow children have to go through, and the odd result she had with the blood test. "Shapechanging" to them isn't a skill, it's several things combined or an affinity gone wrong. Even Chirinide's visions are just a twisted empathy. In the case of Ariel, it has something to do with her blood and how it reacts to other things that are alive. It's been a very long time since this particular plot point was explored, for something that'll be important to this chapter.

Page 33

Kern: Everyone's gone, the fields are abandoned, and a giant, gaping hole can be found on the side of a building. That is what's left of one of the Sullissin plantation that had gone silent. One very near Felde...
If you were wondering how some of the underworld food grows, well the sea of mist has the rainfall for it. They need plants that grow with very little sunlight, however, as the deep mist never goes away.

Page 34

Kern: The Sarghress group leaves the plantation to reach Felde nearby. Pristine and calm Felde, with the giant airship just hanging there for all to see. There's no searching for them to do, as everyone in that city knows who lives there. Her task complete, Riz now wants the group to leave Felde. But will they? Or can they.

Page 35

Kern: Ariel gets ideas of glorious adventures, once again. To jump off Felde's highground, get into the ship, and - like many others, though unsaid - probably hope to steal it. Because who wouldn't want to be a sweet-ass airship pirate? Well Riz, apparently. She's being cautious now that they've found out who owns the ship and knowing her Val's reputation for "volunteering" on dangerous missions. In the end, though, Faen advocates to actually go through the front door, and perhaps ask politely. Thanks to the invitation they received in Chapter 35. Yes, 11 chapters ago. Things take a while! It'll be all the worse when we get to concluding great demon-summoning plotline with a massive 43-chapter gap.

Page 36

Kern: The great turtle emerges, surprising the group. For yes, Kharla is keeping that summon alive for days without thinking. She probably barely feels the drain, except perhaps an increase in appetite? Faen's squeamish scream catches Kyo'nne's attention nearby, who is quite surprised - and quite uneasy - to see them around. She knows what happens to Sarghress who sneak about better than anyone. Perhaps Faen's gentle proposition of going through the front door will spare them all a horrible fate?
The page background was painted by Starlitdragon.

Page 37

Kern: Meanwhile, within the tower, Kyo'nne had disappeared on her companions. So does An'jin. As they watch another tainting ceremony coming to a close, the little demona of Kiel find their way into the dungeon, where An'jin can be seen, locked up. The spies' purge had begun in the background with few noticing.

Page 38

Kern: With Starlitdragon coloring the background of this page, she was able to provide the appropriate dialogue for her character, Frisk. Does it fit Shinae's description? At least the character thinks it does, for Shinae asks to go through the ceremony to master her taint quickly. She's been desperate since the stillbirth, and even today she has difficulty walking. Snadhya offers her hand, which Shinae accepts. To fly away to the ride the tainted rainbow. *cue Disney music*

Page 39

Kern: Snadhya leads Shinae into the ceremony room, where a faceless nurse means to help Shinae out of her clothes; something she is strongly against. Both because she didn't expect to have to, but also to hide her obvious Sharen armor. Snadhya quickly removes all remaining semblance of secrecy the group may have thought they had. She is one of the co-inventors of tainting, if there is one person in the underworld that is expert enough to tell a seed apart from another, it is her. Chrys and Shinae's origin was plain for her to see. Regardless, she seems willing to help Shinae who, taken aback by the revelation, lets her cloak be removed.
I had to ink and flat the background of this page, so it'll look different from usual. Also, there is a symbolic - ...symbol? - in this page. That emblem on the center of the floor. It represents two things that are the same; the swirl in the tainted eye. And the symbol of the Nidraa'chal. Each and every person who comes to submit themselves to the ceremony thus submits themselves to the Nidraa'chal. Symbolically, at least.

Page 40

Kern: Snadhya is so gloriously confident about her position that she'd hug her enemies until they turn into allies in her bosom, or die suffocated. Shinae is learning this at the moment. Confident, all knowing, and oh-so friendly. I mean look at that smile. Ignore the fact that the mirror shows a twisted demon, of course. Though the people around her do feel the threat - something wrong - they just can't see it. By the time they go through the ritual, they're in the club anyway. Speaking of club, Shinae sitting right on a Nidraa'chal symbol, kissing the big boss of the big bad clan that started the whole mess while her Sharen attire ia being removed. You can't have a more symbolic change of Shinae's allegiance than that.
That is, if she go through with it. She could still bite Snadhya's fingers off...

Pages 41-50


Page 41

Kern: Snadhya has shown she could calm someone whose taint is going out of control. The reverse is also true. She proves it by helping bringing up Shinae's inner demon. And no, her inner demon isn't a grumpy face. That's just how she's born. There's a reason why these ceremonies are traumatic, and Shinae is just starting to find out.

Page 42

Kern: Shinae faces her inner self, defeats it, and gains her first persona. Broken-English J-Pop begins as she set forth to build up her relationship with her classmates-- Wait, wrong world setting.
The mirror behind Shinae reveals what she is going through as the demon tears itself away, up through her body. A violent change that causes her great pain and threatens her life. She screams for it to stop, but it is too late. Snadhya guides her to accept the demon within, her other self.
She had little choice, in the end. She could've waited and eventually the demon would have taken over. Her new self, likely mad and ravenous, would be moving her body. She could face herself, fight it hopelessly, and lose herself that way. No doubt some going through that ceremony must have had that fate. This is why having lost everything/being ready to submit entirely to Snadhya's will is so important to go through this process. And, of course, the last: To accept the demon within and merge. A process that Kiel went through herself, except it happened without this whole life-threatening rushed process. Kiel probably woke up one day and it was done, never noticing it.

Page 43

Kern: Say hello to Happy Shinae™. It's the new shiny Shinae edition; smiles creepily whenever you ask her a question. Snadhya has really worked hard to improve her formulae that converts grumpy characters. Perhaps next we'll get Happy-edition Quain'tana. But beware, don't use this on already-happy characters, it can have catastrophic results. After all, just look at how crazy Kiel is. All that said, Chrys isn't liking her new sister so much. Too much creepy-Shi for her taste.
Kite was joking that Shinae is feeling her demon's self boobs in the first panel. It's euphoric.

Page 44

Kern: Shinae walks out like a zombie until she hits the edge of the window, where Chrys feared she'd jump or simply stumble over. However, it's not a desire for death, it's only that she's entranced over the pretty sight. Everything feels new to her unburdened mind. The change is so drastic that it ends up creeping out her sister. Smiling Shinae being very unnatural. Shinae is done serving the Sharen, but she'll stay at Chrys' side for now; or at least she says she will. Meanwhile, Nau'kheol, who walked down the hall, ends up spotting Kyo'nne in the next room over.

Page 45

Kern: Nau'kheol means to speak to Kyo as Ariel enters his sight. Last time these two met was in Chapter 2-3, in a series of bullying cases where Nau stabbed her out of simple disgust for Sarghress. Now many years have gone by; She grew very tall and he, well... remained small enough for Ariel and Faen to believe he might be a younger brother. Now Kyo knows who he is, but was hoping that by shooing him away the Sarghress group following her wouldn't recognize him. For that'd cause trouble. Will Nau keep his mouth shut to avoid said trouble? Said very tall, and potentially vengeful, troubles?

Page 46

Kern: Nau'kheol couldn't keep his anger in check and tells of his identity. Things quickly devolve into memories of mass stabbings that somehow just lost their impact with time. The twins making fun of the situation did not help. And the final nail into the coffin of this fateful meeting is Nau'kheol mentioning butt, as he looks upon Ariel's butt. That cut the convertion short; like a certain Sharen man.
That page was fun to plan. It's sometime necessary to have something to lighten up the mood in between serious scenes. Also, if this trend continues, Ariel might develop a butt complex....

Page 47

Kern: "I love your butt", Faen whispers. Not helping the situation one bit by the loving comment. Ariel's butt isn't anything spectacular, but it's now a running gag in that squad. After all, what's the point of having a Val in your squad if you can't make fun of her every once and a while? Meanwhile, Nau'kheol is protesting his innocence, something that no one is paying much mind; Worse, Chirinide is seemingly quite against the idea. Poor Nau... can't get a break. The young man must face a whole lot of conflicting emotion. Pride for his clan, love of tall warrior women, and his own tiny complex.
Kyo'nne's lines are meant to not have speech bubbles. It's subtitles for her gestures. Bad idea? Well, you'll be the judge.

Page 48

Kern: The group continues on their way to check the ship anchored against the tower. They ask questions of Kyo, who worked as an informant for the Sarghress before; But, for some reasons she keeps to herself, she is currently lying. Or omitting a whole lot of things she knows. First she goes missing, second she stumbles upon a Sarghress group outside the tower, and now she omits things. As she invites the Sarghress to follow her to some rooms, Syrak stays behind to watch some rather big and unusual birds in the distance.

Page 49

Kern: This page is one continuous event taking place on multiple levels. On top, Kyo'nne is leading the Sarghress away as they address their experience in the colony. Again, Kyo evades answering.
Below, Sara is caught by the empath, who searches her. However, they find nothing.
Below that, some of the guests are departing with a servant of the house asking for their support in what is to come. It seems Snadhya has gathered support in them.
Below, Larvova is getting mad at Kiel's latest crazy plan.
Below that, Kiel and Fame are entering facility room where a single guard stands, protecting some abandoned passageway. Among pipes and boxes. Had Kiel not been guided by her little demon princes, she would never have gone there. As to why they're guiding her there, you can go back to the tainting ceremony's beginning to see where the little demons went sneaking about a hour ago.

Page 50

Kern: Kiel does "subtle". Unfortunately, she does not know what subtle means. First, she tries to go Solid Snake in getting the guard's attention, to no avail. Then sets one of her demons on fire, which barely gets a glance from the guard. Then, fake sex happening in the next room over, hoping he'd come check. Again, no luck. Now she wishes to try her "big plan", which can't be any better. If Fame is lucky it'll only get half of Felde after them.

Pages 51-60


Page 51

Kern: Now Kuso is Kiel's great and wise plan. She must have read somewhere that acting sexy before a guard is a good way to distract him. Now how that got twisted up into using shit-for-brains mercenary man and throwing him out naked except for his helmet... that we'll never know. Kuso does his best, however; not that his best is ever any good. The guard says nothing, but hurries to cock his crossbow, meaning to shoot. Before that happens, Kiel rushes from from behind, thrusting Kuso forward like a meat shield. Kicking the both of them down the staircase he was protecting. It's a terrible terrible page that I blame a certain group of people for. XD

Page 52

Kern: A special layout for today's page, with Kiel and Fame chasing down into the depth of tower's (relatively) secret dungeon. One guard down, one golem easily drained of its energy, and (thanks to their guides) they easily find the place where Anjin is kept... as well as the two surviving Sarghress. Erelice doesn't look happy, and neither does An'jin. For some reason, the prospect of Kiel's help is apparently exciting no one.

Page 53

Kern: Kiel insists on getting An'jin out, considering him part of her crew. But An'jin believes getting out is pointless; that Snadhya would know regardless and demand his return. Hinting that she truly has eyes in the walls. Kiel believes him, hinting herself that perhaps Snadhya has "friends" very alike to her own; Demons that watch the tower.
Ignore Bast on An'jin's shoulder; she's just there to mess around with the bald head.

Page 54

Kern: "The best of distractions" promises the Sarghress squad leader. Whatever she has in mind, it's likely to cause a ruckus. Meanwhile Ariel and Faen are led to a suite in the upper floors. Something so big and plush, neither of the girls are used to it. Especially Ariel, who had to get in the dirty gritty of district warfare. The room at the colony was great, this feel otherworldly to her, especially with the view of a city at peace outside. They've been fighting for so long that peace is now the abnormal. As Ariel pokes around the room, Faen finds the complementary sex toy by the bedside. Forget chocolate on your pillow in hotel Snadhya, sex toy it is... I believe it makes sense for this to be a common device in the upper society, it's just the first time characters that are not used to seeing dildos just laying about for guests. Faen knows what it is, of course... Now, did someone choose the color depending on the guest? Does it represent potential size? So many wrong questions, with so many wrong answers. Some certain members of the studio were filling our imagination with the most wrong of answers earlier today!

Page 55

Kern: On today's update: The wonders of doorbell and bath. The first is a frightening sight, the second is a treasure worth seeking. If smell could be visible in these comic pages, there'd be a cloud around the two girls.

Page 56

Kern: It's a new thing, graphic WITH text. I tell you it'll become the norm someday.
Ariel's reticence to take a bath in what she perceives as enemy territory quickly breaks down when Faen takes a dive in. Large pre-filled bath and, best of all, heated with foci. After the long walks they went through, this must feel like heaven to them. Now I realize this page is all fluff, but there's a reason. Bear with me, it's not going to be all fluff this week. Though Faen is about to turn princess mode.

Page 57

Kern: Later, Kyo comes once more to knock at the door, checking on the refreshed duo. With Faen all dressed up like a princess. Though Kyo is bringing an offer to get them onto the airship through some other agent's help. On their way out, they check on everyone else. Shala and [[Sar'nel]'s room is "busy". Kau is kicked out again to another room, clueless as to why. Nuru reports that Riz has gone wandering, something that Kyo believes is dangerous. And last the Kyorls' room: Chiri is getting an ill feeling, hinting that Kyo herself is very afraid of something. But she waves it off; worse, she advises them to stay locked up in their room. For the slightest provocation could lead to a repeat of the execution, or worse.

Page 58

Kern: Something is coming for Riz, who appears to have gone wandering to a library. Chiri is having a vision. Those tend to be signal trouble. And Ariel/Faen are being led by Kyo'nne to… A dining room. A family dinner, Snadhya says; welcoming them, expecting them.

Page 59

Kern: Ariel realizes Kyo betrayed them. Faen realizes who is before them, as she was a student under Snadhya once upon a time (Chapter 2). Kalki gets the wrong half-sister by thinking it's Faen. Snadhya points out the correct sister by her hair color, referring to the purple as one of the Sharen's colors, so alike Kalki and her own. Which makes Ariel react very, well... her age. Abruptly changing it to red, the color of her clan. Snad finds the petty reaction cute, Kyo demands a cure for something and is hushed away. Now what the cure is ought be rather obvious by now, but the details of what that entails, why Kyo did this, and what other things she might have done will come later. Finally, Ariel looks to Mel for a confirmation as to the claim that Kalki is indeed her half-sister, but Mel refuses to answer that. Perhaps because she is unsure herself.

Page 60

Kern: Be it that Faen actually sensea some danger, or she just know this doesn't bode well... regardless of the reason, she asks to leave, which Ariel is happy to oblige. For she presents a strong facade when facing the former headmistress, but when her back her turned you can see she isn't as confident. Before they leave, Snad throws a lure: By simply asking how things are back home, tingling Ariel's pride just enough to get her to reply... and thus stay a bit longer. As long as Snadhya keeps her engaged verbally, she gets to prevent them from walking away. Long enough to offer her hand and invite them. So sweet and unthreatening. If Kyo'nne hadn't betrayed them a moment before, this could almost be believable. Almost.
So there you go: In RPG terms, Snadhya is a politician class character level 20. She uses words to confuse and minions to kill. :P
Ah yes... "fine women"... double meaning there.

Pages 61-70


Page 61

Kern: "Give peace a chance," Snadhya says, amusing Kalki. It only gets worse as Kalki's bullshit detector goes through the roof. She is barely able to contain herself at the end.
Now Faen doesn't know Snadhya as well, and cakes are pretty tasty. She probably had nothing to eat all day. That or she's just not sensing that danger anymore. Maybe their host is good at controlling herself on the inside as well, having worked with empaths for so long. But regardless of the reason, Faen giving in breaks Ariel's usual stubborn facade. They'll stay, talk, and feast on cake. GLaDOS would be so proud of Snadhya for that one. If only Kiel had been there to point with accusation at every slice of cakes.
Editor's Note: Kern posted a higher resolution and zoomed in version of Kalki's expression, which can be viewed here.

Page 62

Kern: This family dinner cannot go more wrong, can it? Note to readers who may not have caught what's going on in the first four panels: Quain'tana has an unique ability to allow her to be unfazed by mana arts; or magic, if you prefer. Almost nothing works. Normally, those rare abilities cannot pass down from generation to generation, but Mel somehow got some of it. It was Snadhya's hope that she could get this ability passed down to Kalki, but it did not happen. This practice is common among Val ladies in Chel: To choose their partner based upon some attributes they possess. Now that Snad has access to Ariel, she tests her by touching her shoulder. Perhaps she made the shoulder warm, perhaps cold, or just made the skin prickle. Regardless of what she did to the shoulder, Ariel felt the pain. Which means she doesn't have it.

Page 63

Kern: Everyone loses patience with Kalki. Cake with sprinkles distracts Faen. Mel tries to be a good mother, but rages about her own mom. Quain's exaggerated legends are brought up. Future ambitions are discussed. And finally, the desire to punch Kalki in the face intensifies.

Page 64

Kern: This page was hell to make. *poke it*
Beware of the incoming text-wall, as Snadhya runs her mouth non-stop. Discussing what's to come after the Sarghress victory is complete. If anyone had doubt doubts as to why she would want them to win, now they know. To create a vacuum in power to fill. With plans to use both Sarghress, as they all expect Quain'tana to not step up and name herself empress. While Mel seems to be okay to play the role, for the sake of getting her babies back, Ariel doesn't seem interested; both in the plan, and the food before her.
Note that Kalki is rolling her eyes at the end.

Page 65

No official announcement.

Page 66

Kern: Mel would like them to stay, Faen would like to stay, and of them all (strangely enough) Snad is the calm one to encourage their decision. Sadly, both Sarghress women carry a lot of baggage inside that comes up as they are about to part. Mel's years of frustration that her elder daughter was kept away and, from her point of view, turned against her. Ariel's own bitterness comes up too, frustrated by the constant attempts by Mel to turn her against those she respect. It's bitter , it's pointless... well, it's family. We've all had those tense moments in our families; old pet peeves coming up. These characters are no different. However, where we tend to walk away or mend, they have the unfortunate circumstances of being in a stab-or-be-stabbed world. Ariel falls in the second category just about now, as this dinner is now turning bloody.

Page 67

Kern: Ariel doesn't realize nor register the pain at first, and Faen is too stunned to say anything. But this certainly brought Mel's temper from anger, to a cold deep dread, straight into her motherly instincts. Snadhya takes it calmly, as she probably saw much worse from her daughter. Not that she approves. And Zhor, while angry, has probably the most correct reaction of all: Basically calling Kalki out for what she is. At the exclamations, Lulianne arrives from the other dinner table to check on things, only to have Kalki claim she just wanted to be helpful. This only pisses off Snadhya even more, who seem to be starting to glow. Likely, she is much angrier than her face shows.

Page 68

Kern: The meeting has gone from bad to worse, as Kalki snatches the blade from Lulianne's side to cut Ariel's arm off. The hand is free, but the arm is also free, unfortunately. Mel watches this, believing Snadhya will somehow fix everything. Zhor urges her to move, but she doesn't, while he is unable to stand to protect anyone. Faen tried to help with the pain, but did not expect this turn of events. Nor did Lulianne.
Note, this scene currently unfolding was the very first thing ever written for this chapter. The note dates from many years ago. Before the flowers, before the ship, before the time jump. Ariel would be there before Snadhya and Kalki, and things would go badly. Back when I was active on the forum, there was a time when some people had a chip on their shoulder about Ariel, wanting to see her fail. All this time, I knew this event would come, but I couldn't tell spoilers to make the attacks stop. "Hey, it doesn't matter if it is a main point of view. Any character can go down if it serves the story." is as close as it could get. And this scene, believe it or not, serves the story.

Page 69

Kern: Father's power fuels Zhor's weak body to lunge and tackle Kalki down. Ariel loses counciousness into Faen's arms, bleeding into the crying girl's arm. Lulianne has been thrown into the seperation between the dining rooms. Now what Faen is trying to say is that Ariel closed her wounds before, as she can reshape her body. But if she's unconscious, that's never going to happen. She'll just bleed out and die, fast.

Page 70

Kern: Zhor is pulled off Kalki, who grabs the severed arm and proceeds to beat him up with it. Now, from her perspective, she views it as Ariel beating her father but... well ... Kalki isn't right in the head. Which is why someone finally had enough of her antics: Hands come forth from the ground, grab her, and throw her against the wall. Some readers were hoping Kalki would be thrown against a wall, eventually. It doesn't have a satisfying crunch, but then, it'll need more than a little toss to take her down.

Pages 71-80


Page 71

Kern: Kalki is hard to kill. It's easy to forget she's the one who'd been taunting the Sharen army in the first chapter and been bouncing around out of reach from Sil'lice's wrath later on. And so Snadhya's "tough love" fazes her less than her words do. She may be crazy, but she seeks approval from her mother. Meanwhile, Ariel regained conciousness. However, she is bleeding heavily and doesn't seem to understand quite well what's happening.

Page 72

Kern: Faen begs for help as Ariel seems to lapse in and out of conciousness. Zhor advises, while Snadhya has a Sarghress prisoner fetched, which doesn't bode well. Ariel finally manages to gather enough strength to attempt to close the wound, however she slips and loses control. Going from shape to shape that she had once took. Faen, the Black Sun soldier, Chrys, and finally ends in a smaller, more fragile state.

Page 73

Kern: Some were wondering when Faen would get pissed. The time is now, as Snadhya reaches to help.

Page 74

Kern: Faen's attack does nothing; worse, it leaves Snadhya unfazed and still smiling. It's hard not to make her smile. By now, the guests from the dining hall behind are coming to watch the commotion, with likely a very guilty Kyo among them. Ariel is brought back to conciousness, only to be shocked at the wiggling stump where her left arm used to be. While Riz, her fellow raider, is brought into the room, under arrest for "sneaking about".

Page 75

Kern: Snadhya needs an arm donor, and Riz as the loyal Sarghress is it. Though both Mel and Zhor feel the reasoning behind using a living person is unwarranted, Snadhya claims there are good reasons for it. Perhaps even some reasons she is not saying. Will Ariel listen to the advice and take her companion's arm? There's no love in between the two, but they're both raiders and of the same clan.
Yes, Mel suddenly snaps at the realization Kalki walked out with Ariel's arm. Took a minute to register the consequences. One minute was plenty for Kalki to storm out far enough to likely be using it as a back-scratcher.

Page 76

Kern: Ariel doesn't believe it possible; that she could take someone else's flesh and blood into her own, leaving her companion crippled. She is an idealist; some would say naive. Something that Riz herself isn't. You can see it on her face as their shoulders are put together, that she is at peace. She does not struggle, weep, cry, or try to convince people otherwise. She'll let them take her arm. But Ariel has a conscience that nags at her, for only Riz wanted to go back home. Regardless if the little wolf believes she can take the arm, regardless if she wants it or not, her body seems to be acting up on its own in many of the scenes. Or perhaps she subconsciously wants to be whole again. It's hard to say, she probably couldn't answer it herself.

Page 77

Kern: Extra-long page to wrap up this lengthy and bloody family dinner. Imagine what it'll be like at breakfast! For it's clear Snadhya won't let them get away until "amends" are made. Ariel rejects the offer, breaking free from Riz in a bloody way before making her stand. Sure, it's pompous; but that's where she finds her strength to make that hard decision: Going back to the ideals of her clan, which as a Val she feels she must represent. It can be silly, some will say it's childish, but people hold onto some values through hard times, which keeps them steady. In her case, these events might as well be torture both of body and mind, perhaps orchestrated by a certain host.
So Snadhya finds it disappointing, although her smile doesn't falter. Zhor is proud. And Kyo'nne, watching from the back, skulks away. After all, she is the one who betrayed them all.
Meanwhile Kalki is marching out with her two buddies, set to start a massacre. All the Sarghress are in their rooms. Out of armor and unprepared for what's coming knocking. Kalki does like surprising people...

Page 78

Kern: Kalki goes on to where the Sarghress were kept waiting. Except smoke is coming from beneath one of the doors. Meanwhile a hoot can be heard from outside the window.

Page 79

Kern: Chirinide had seen the the bloody dinner going on, though she seems to be lacking part of what happened, beleiving that Ariel died surrounded in her blood. But she did help the squad be prepared for what was coming. Setting fire to the room, getting everyone ready to escape.

Page 80

Kern: The hunt begins, as Kalki said. While the Sarghress seek to escape through an elevator, she is making her way down the same path they took, servants pointing out the direction. Meanwhile, the elevator goes down so slowly that they decide to resort to a bit of an extreme maneuver. These elevators are basically floating rocks that were engineered so one person could pull or push with their energy to go up or down. If many push at the same time, you can end up with random result, like an elevator with someone pushing all the buttons. Or it'll end up going down very fast. The latter happens; just in time, as Kalki arrives at the elevator's edge.
'Some readers were speculating that the whole bloody dinner was a vision Chirinide had, that none of it truly happened. Turns out Chirinide's perspective this whole time was from Kalki's own eyes. She thus saw herself stab and then cut appart the very person she meant to protect. And now, she sees herself hunting... well, herself. It's bound to be disorienting. That's why some people with her ability end up going insane while many others, such as the inquisitors, end up covering their eyes.
'Again, more notes on this because it keep coming up. Chirinide's power is not "holy power". It's empathy, like Faen, but a different branch. It make her feel, see, smell, and hear as if she's someone else. She sees the intentions of that person, as well. Planning, daydreaming, or just plain dreams. Someone's intentions can predict the future, or it can be misleading. We know Ariel didn't die, but for all Kalki cared, she left someone to die when leaving the dinner room.

Pages 81-90


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Special Pages

13th Anniversary Special

Kern: Crazy from Space Age was seen before holding a collection of figures from Moonless Age. She just now added Fram from We Are Ferals to her shelves, with skylanders-like bases. Leaving to argue with Naal, her figures are brought to life by the AI DIVA. All for cakes, though Kiel seems to think it's poisoned. Even virtual cake is dangerous.
Nothing very fancy this year. I'd rather focus on making the story go forward and bringing the great conflict between the remaining factions. I'm sure I'm not alone to feel the need to get the story progressing after so many years! Snadhya too has been waiting many years...

[Chibi 1]

Kern: Today's chibi page idea was suggested by Rune. A what-if had an angry and drunk Kalki had gained access to the airship. During her rant, her foot taps on the controls that fire the cannons upon the tower. Confusing both Sarghress and Snadhya's faction alike.

[Chibi 2]

Kern: Well, me and Kite are departing for a week. We leave you in the care of Lunareth, who has prepared 6 chibi pages for you! I've seen them, they're good, and hopefully the dark humor will work out. Without buffer that was the only solution to allow us to depart from work and home.

[Chibi 3]

[Chibi 4]

[Chibi 5]

[Chibi 6]