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Page Descriptions - Chapter 42
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This article contains all the Moonless Age page announcements made by the comic's author for Chapter 42 - Schism. 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.
Page announcements for the chapter's sidestory, A Tale of Colonies, can be found here.
Kern: New chapter begins with Chirinide as the main point of view. While it took a while (it took more than 10 chapters for her to return), she's been quite present in the last year through extras and animations. As always, give the chapter a couple pages before passing judgment. Things that may appear confusing at first glance tend to be explained as the chapter progress.
Kern: The chapter starts with that one small arrow that some have noticed in the battle plan of [Chapter 40]. An arrow symbolizing the Sarghress moving into Kyorl territory instead of Sharen. Now the reason is revealed: This used to be the entrance to the Dutan'vir's home. A clan that died 30 years ago during the big uprising. The few survivors scattered about after the war found their way one by one into the Sarghress, and now, with the Sarghress on the verge of winning the war for the districts of Chel, they make their move. At the danger of angering another clan that, so far, had remained relatively out of the conflict. Quain'tana is far away, and every other commander is busy in the war. This may seem like a bad move, but it is the best time for these Dutan'vir to strike. At least from their point of view.
Kern: Chirinide is busy writting some messages, one of them for the Sarghress. For some reason, she is taken by bouts of anxiety that make her hold back for a moment before she could regain her composure. Her assistant comes to take the messages, with a dire warning to avoid the leaders of the Kyorl's orders.
Kern: Chirinide receives what seems to be a familiar guest. But there is something off about the assassin. Same with what Chiri knows and says.
Kern: The assassin moves for the kill as Chirinide passes her last words to someone watching. The death is quick. This page did not come as well as I'd hoped, there's a lack of impact in the angles and coloring. But that only means that flaws that are noticeable can be fixed in the future.
Kern: This page is meant to reflect Chirinide's first appearance as a protagonist in the story back in 2004. http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=364 The first three pages were indeed a vision of other people. Who they were is up to the readers to speculate for now. For now, what matters is that the grown Chirinide is tormented all the more by her visions. Where Ariel gained much height, Chirinide's physique has changed the least.
Kern: Training robot 1000 was not programmed to love. Only to be hit by petite women with troubled pasts. Deep inside, training robot 1000 cries mechanical tears... Hey! Yes, it's a new page. An experiment in trying to show what Chiri feels without having any dialogue to express it. Work, doesn't work: You judge.
Kern: Chirinide musea about her lack of control over the fiery incident before hearing what seem to be the voice of Shan'naal returning outside. Whatever he is returning from seems to be a bundle of trouble. Say goodbye to training robot 1000, his short cameo is now forever over. Someday, maybe, he'll be recycled into a war golem set to save the world.
No official announcement.
No official announcement.
Kern: Shan is so self-absorbed and angry he does not notice Chirinide until she calls his attention. When he finally notices, his defenses fall to the demand of a walk and a lunch together.
Kern: Chiri is being oh-so-not-subtle with her references. In the end, she got what she wanted. To hold hands and walk. Though the moment is rather personal, she can't resist to know the details of what troubles Shan, so that she can appease them. Until they reach some kind of restaurant with the emblem of a dawmere wearing a chef hat. That's the best kind of dawmere, especially when they're covered with pastries.
Kern: Shan had been unaware of Chiri's next duty of meeting with the light elf ambassador; the two of them having been apart for a while. They catch up on each other when the feral with the pastry hat interrupts them. What Chiri orders is probably very expensive and, with Shan paying, he'll feel the cost of this date.
No official announcement.
Kern: Somebody doesn't like Chiri. Especially a Chiri butting into the conversation to know more about the attack. Shan stand up to protect her, but Chiri needs no help. She goes pyromancer on Olin's coffee, bringing it to a boil. Just enough to scald and result in a spit-take on everyone around the table. News of the Dutan'vir home attack is of an unknown amount of deaths, ransom, and a cover up so far by the higher-ups in the Kyorl orders.
No official announcement.
Kern: Nothing will let them eat that delicious cake! The whole world shall scheme and plot to stop them. For that cake is sacred....and perhaps too caloric. Chiri needs to keep her waistline after all.
Kern: As she gears up, the thoughts of their discussion come to her mind. How, even during the time she is awake, she is struck by many short-lived visions that leave her with only a dreadful feeling that something wrong is going on. Something that is strengthened as they see a crowd gathered in the main hall of their temple.
Kern: Inquisitors quickly spot Chiri in the crowd, escorting her to an unknown destination with everyone's beloved bastard joining on the way, purely by coincidence of course. Readers outside the hardcores that follow livestreams may not be familiar with the Judicator character that has been mentioned quite often in the last few weeks. Let's just say he is not a very friendly guy.
Kern: Raise your hand if you want to punch that judicator in the face. Cas'nihlus is meant to be that friendly-looking extremist with strange and violent views. His group isn't big, nor is it old, nor is it popular. But he is a useful person to have around for certain things and, this day, he is a very busy and happy man because of it. Chiri, meanwhile, feels intense pain from another vision of someone being tortured. Sadly, she feels it from the side of the tortured. Cas notices this, yet seem oblivious that his references to pain being salvation would have the opposite effect on Chirinide's more moderate viewpoint.
Kern: Most people guessed right, Shimi'lande is the one that died in the vision at the beginning of the chapter. Chiri felt off for that reason.
Kern: Chirinide had been dreading this moment for a while now. Not outright saying it, but suspecting it. Apparently the other seers all had the same visions at the same time. Felt the same wound. Heard the same words. Meanwhile the judicators suspect Kiel to be the murderer and link it to the event (from the animation) where Kiel (to the eyes of the Kyorls) attempted to kill Chiri. Though, in reality, Kiel had left without injuring Chiri beyond her pride. Making Chiri suspicious that this might not be the truth. Meanwhile the fourth local seer is missing... for she is in the dungeon. Exploring.
Editor's Note: Uwaaaaah!
Kern: The little rogue seer was found first by Sati'vah, a dawmere trainer who happened to have seen something awful. As to what it is, you'll learn soon enough. Getting the help of a templar she knows, the seer guides them to where she believes who they're looking for is being kept. Somewhere pretty painful. A warden is keeping the door shut however, one with a very dirty mouth.
Kern: Mal is unfazed and claims that they are giving up. Instead, he turns around and punches the warden in the face. She means to blind them using a technique very similar to a certain character in Chapter 11. However, Mal puts that attempt to an abrupt end. This kind of violence leaves him in a dark mood that makes the little seer worry about him. It was one thing to go search for someone in the dungeon, it's another to attack, and possibly murder, someone from their own clan.
Kern: It was Petri'cho being tortured in Chirinide's vision; and apparently also in Merri's vision. The clothes' colors gave it away intentionally for the careful reader. It's a complicated situation. These are ranked members of the clan interrupting an interrogation where they don't belong. Who has the upper hand? The templar, the seer, or the torturer? Everyone thinks they have the right-of-way, but all will have to try to handle the others. With poor Petri'cho (Pretty Cho?) in the center, bleeding from a removed tooth, likely punched or slapped in the face, her hair pin currently keeping... well... her arm pinned. I guess it still serves the purpose its name implies. And finally, her foot is put to the flames. Roasting very carefully.
Kern: Lots of confusion, blame, and doubt. With Petri'cho in the center of it. Sati'vah's expression in the last panel is most likely to represent the clan's as a whole once the news breaks out.
Kern: Rafal'za is happy with the situation because there's two people who're going to play good-cop/bad-cop for her in the interrogation.
Kern: Partial stories, mixed with a whole lot of paranoia, then sprinkle on top some questionable methods to get some truth out of it all... and you get this. The only witness being a weak common-born girl under torture who may or may not actually know what's going on. If these messages' content were made public, it would be bound to divide a lot of stressed people. Armed stressed people.
Kern: At the beginning of this chapter, every sponsor of the story who appears as a secondary character had to answer a question. To where do they put their loyalty: Their order, their leader, their comrades. In the last two pages, you've seen these personal decisions reflected in the story. Who betrays, who feel betrayed, who put the knife to the flesh, who wish to rescue the victim. The Kyorl clan is one made of people who follow rules a lot more than the other clans. This choice of where they see authority - or, if you prefer, where they see the greater good - is more important than the personality they hold. For even someone like Shan'naal in the end chose to obey a direct order to kill a commoner. Now, what answer to this question will Chirinide give?
Kern: Will be two hours late. Kite is coloring it...
Editor's Note: This page was originally delayed because Kern and Kite's basement flooded.
Kern: I can tell you it's cameo central in there. I won't try to list them all in the bottom of the page box. Eleven cameos! With six main cast members. All in one page. Though I feel bad, for one was forgotten. Dalvyserran, I'm sorry. Your character was supposed to be the one making the speech. Being a preacher and all. :/ I'll move you up to the next part of the ceremony.
Kern: Valla'drielle is the headmistress of the Kyorl's school. Last she appeared was in Chapter 10 during Shan's introduction. A long-forgotten character that few would have guessed to be the next leader of the clan. Next she'll have everyone singing the "kill" song.
Editor's Note: Valla'drielle's prior appearance, for reference, may be found here.
Kern: The holy lance garrison comes into the scene to protest the irregular nomination by the Judicators of the next Holy Mother. Of them all, they're the most likely ones to have met the person Shimi'lande had originally chosen. Now, before anyone could alert the colony or the chosen person, Valla'drielle has come into the scene. The Judicators look at each other, taking a moment to decide how to react, while Cas is laughing his ass off under the mask.
Kern: Hearing the push by the Judicators for the nomination of Valla'drielle, Shan is reminded of the orders he received at the beginning of the chapter: To kill commoners. And how much he regretted having accepted to obey. Now the same is done to the seers who cave in, one by one, for the sake of unity. Though they all know Valla'drielle wasn't to be the next leader. Better to keep the clan together; It's the Kyorl way.
No official announcement.
Kern: Chiri may have joined the fold, but at least one extremist is out for blood. This character is from Chapter 13, leader of the Kyorls that went on a hunt to kill the leader of the Vloz'ress. Also the leader of those who are currently torturing Petri'cho in the dungeon. At this moment, Chiri remembers a part of her vision where Shimi'lande told her to seek the place they first met, if Chiri was ever to lose her path.
No official announcement.
Kern: Not much text in this one. Chirinide finds something that may or may not be what Shimi'lande left behind for her to find. Reading it, she makes snuggly on Shan but their snuggle-thon is interrupted by two approaching people. The Order of anti-snuggles, mayhaps?
Kern: Lysire had been visible in the past watching the duo; ever since she's been tailing Chirinide as much as possible. For this is the order that was the group-torturing Petri'cho. They know Shimi'lande left something to the seer, and they want to know what. To avoid this happening, Chirinide destroys the clay tablet she found so no others can read it.
Kern: Now about this page. It is up to you, the reader, to speculate on whether Chiri tells the full truth or a half-truth. She claims the message only had something personal to her. Regardless if it is true or not, Ky'ovarde believes her. They won't find the dirty secret on some plot that they believed they would find at the end of this path. Though they imply that they did get help from Chirinide's siblings; in which case she refers to the other seers. Meanwhile, Judicator Kyuusei receives the report of some other push against his brotherhood. This page is another example of the political play that depends upon every character's allegiance. Whether they chose to follow Shimi'lande, their comrades, or the orders.
Kern: It's been a running joke in the livestream circle regarding when Mal would get the chance of punching Cas. It happened. Just off screen! In the previous page, the speaker referred to the Judicator Cas'nihlus being taken by force. An unpopular man with unpopular methods that does the dirty work for a certain someone. Those that want to uncover the dirty secret behind the whole affair won't stop so easily; now whether they get some real information out of this torture session is debatable, considering that setting his foot on fire makes him start singing the latest hit single of Kyo. I fully realize the whole "villains' conference" thing is very cliche nowadays, and I expect many will feel this way. Just give it a couple more pages.
Kern: This is a nod to Miburo's character that was originally a tainted Sarghress exiled from her clan. The attendant of Shimi'lande had only bad luck after having been caught in the middle of a power struggle. How she got tainted is up to the reader's imagination, though the page implies Kyuusei had an hand in it; albeit an indirect one. Serving as example of how far can they go to preserve the unity of the clan.
Kern: The Dutan'vir are kept aside and under watch until judgement. A schism with many Dutan'vir aboard against the power grab going behind the scene. Except there is one person disobeying order, the same holy lance who publicly spoke against the Judicators.
Kern: Kyuusei intends to send Kousei and his order away on a mission to hunt down the killer of Shimi'lande. However, he and his wardens are already on the job. And are executing judgment. This chapter had these fanatics being intentionally portrayed as antagonists as first, though they are the ones actively trying to seek the truth and take revenge.
Kern: FATALITY! Kyuusei dies on the spikes of the statue decorating the main hall. Death by metaphorical fire. Many witness the deed, including Kousei, who gives a parting salute before joining Chime, one of the seers. As a reminder, this is the guy who leads these extremists who just performed the murder. As for Chime, she chose her side. Perhaps Cas never spoke under torture, for a seer wanting justice was on their side.
Kern: The final page of this chapter. An important part of this chapter's story was to have Chiri and Shan grow more independent. Now they seek to to do what Shimi'lande had hoped for their people. And to do that, they need some help from an old friend.
12th Anniversary Special
No official announcement.
Editor's Note: While there was no official page announcement, there was a large news post on the official Drowtales Wordpress, which can be found here.
Training Bot 1001 Special
Kern: First time in a long time since we've run out of buffer like this. I had hoped we could have lasted until the end of this chapter to resplenish them, but Kite needed more time in between commissions and the pages to catch up. Here comes the traning golem special that was drawn on livestream two weeks ago. Panel-to-panel direction was decided by the viewers of the stream, through suggestions and quick voting. It looks rushed because it is. It was drawn, inked, and flat colored in less than three hours.
No official announcement.
"They Tripped" Chibi
Kern: What if Chirinide had spoken up against the nomination of the new holy mother? She'd have tripped of course. But once deadly tripping begins, it doesn't stop.
"Substitute Chocolate" Chibi
Kern: Now start a series of three sponsored mini-stories. First is Bast and Hfar's story about a prank that they pulled together. Replacing real chocolate with fake. Many Kyorls died that day. Riots in the streets. And Cas was in the way of the rioters.
Editor's Note: Bast and Hfar's cameo characters in this chibi are Mal'ligr and Merril'lin, respectively.
"Interrogator's Downtime" Chibi
Tsuris: Kern asked me to make the thread tonight cuz he's sleepin'. So yea, sponsored chibi page from me, Sindas and Sargoro; featuring Cas'nihlus, Rafal'za, Ky'ovarde, and Kousei. Enjoy.
"Forbidden Romance" Chibi
Runes: This chibi page is sponsored by Thalar and me, featuring our characters Kery'awa and Tar'shay in an illicit cross-clan romance. Which has unforeseen consequences! *heehee*