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Page Descriptions - Chapter 44

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This article contains all the Moonless Age page announcements made by the comic's studio for Chapter 44 - Invitation. 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 currently made in the Moonless Age channel of the Official Discord and can also be read on the comic's Official Facebook Page.

Chapter Announcement

Chapter Cover

Kern: It's here! The new chapter is now underway with Kalki proudly aboard her new ship. Invitation because everyone wants to be an airship pirate. That said, the chapter will be about three different arcs. It won't jump as often, but it will jump in between each. We've got the Sarghress in the colony of Ys, the war back at home, and the gathering at Felde.

Page Announcements

Pages 1-10

Page 1

Kern: Reza will be handling most of the art until page 9. This outside help is necessary for the time we won't be able to work, between September 28th and October 9th. This artist is particularly skilled with action scenes, such as the scenes from the frontline that will shown in the pages to come. As for what's going on in the story, much to the dismay of Sharen supporters, it is the result of constant defeats. The Sharen are now surrounded, cut off from outside help, and with only three strongholds left. One of these is the Council Dome portrayed in this page. It is not a vital structure by any means; actually it's a pretty hard structure to defend due to its many entrances and easy-to-climb outer wall. Thus forcing the Sharen to defend the place from outside in the Garden.
Yes, the same garden that was torn apart during the Nidraa'chal War has been torn up again by battle. Worse, there are now trenches across it. Yet this time, the Sharen won't retreat. This place has symbolic value. Losing it would be abandoning any claim to authority. Worse, for those who are aware of the plot that took down the real empress, it would be giving up the place where her concealed murder took place.

Page 2

Kern: Durlyn feels war-weary after having been under so much fire lately and having suffered injuries. Though the drums of war echoe through the district; it is time for the second wave to attack. The trio charges into the torn garden to jump into the first trench before a blast hit where they stood. Likely, the Sharen on the other side began shooting when they saw the incoming charge, hoping to break the line.

Page 3

Kern: The trio come upon the first battle casualties down in the trench. A group of Sarghress were surprised by sniper fire and a Nine Swords merc group that came from behind. Only one came out unscathed, with the horrid duty of finishing off their squad's badly-wounded wolf. Meanwhile, Durlyn and Zair spot the first trails of demons in the air; a sign that there is a gate nearby. However, their new squad member states that there is something not right with what they're about to see.

Page 4

Kern: The Sharen have fallen to the lowest of tactics. Or perhaps it was the Black Suns' tactic. Regardless of the culprit, a child was used to carve a gate into their back. Serving as lure for the Sarghress to fall into a deadly trap that caused at least seven deaths already. With the advantage of flooding the field with demons to distract the Sarghress troops. The shock of seeing this made Durlyn slightly lower his shield at the wrong moment, becoming the next to fall victim to a crossbow's bolt.
There's a scene in the background going on where the troops managed to bridge the trench. However, dragon riders are ready for such attempt. Their heavy, spiky, toothy mounts serve as good ram to slam into those lined-up Sarghress troops. All this is just one more day of the horrors of Chelian war. What's next in desperate tactics?

Page 5

Kern: That Durlyn fell to an arrow is not a sign of Durlyn being weak, but instead of the sniper's strategy of targeting the sealers/white cloaks among the squads. Knowing that the demons would deal with the courageous, or scare off the survivors. Either way, it's a parallel to real-world war scenario of shooting medics and officers first. Someone pointed out that using such tactics is bad PR for the Sharen, though this war pushes their side to the point of desperation, as they've now been cut off from the outside world. There's no retreat. They fight, die, or surrender. The Sharen would prefer to die rather than surrender, while the Sarghress view themselves as the good guys and thus risk falling into traps such as this child with a nether-gate upon their back. Had it been the Sarghress being pushed back to the wall, perhaps it would have been them using dirty tactics. Quain'tana having proven again and again that she has little mercy. Note: The newcomer in the squad is a blood specialist. She can remove the stone from the kid's back without using knives.

Page 6

Kern: The sniper witnesses the chaos of the battlefield, both sides tearing each other apart, with the Black Sun torching Sarghress stuck in the trenches. Yet another sign of the worsening war. Then she turns her attention to the last line of defense around the dome, where a large group of Sarghress golems are approaching. For a showdown that Reza, the artist, made quite spectacular.

Page 7

Kern: Sarv'swati rallies her people for a counterattack that tramples through the Sarghress golems, until they see a peculiar machine coming their way. Sarv was tapped for trample ability that affects all units attacking this turn... I think I just died a little inside for having thought this way.

Page 8

Kern: Kyne, the sole surviving golem pilot from the Nidraa'chal War of 30 years ago. At least on Sil'lice's side. Kyne and a few others stayed behind in Chel to seek revenge on Sarv'swati. That old golem is sturdy beyond belief. So is Kyne's ability to keep it powered regardless of circumstances. Mana arts failed, lance failed, even the charge of Sarv'swati's dragon fails.

Page 9

Kern: Vidhi'yani makes creative use of her floater by crashing into Kyne's golem. Giving Sarv the opportunity to jump in and cut deep into Kyne's body. A lethal blow, but failing to kill her quickly enough to prevent her from attempting to take the both of them to the grave. By crashing the cockpit into the dome's wall, crushing both women against the hard rock.
This marks the final page for the artist Reza in this chapter. I hope his rendition of the home-front battles were interesting to see. There were definitely hiccups, but we now have the essential buffer that we so badly needed. What was your opinion on the different style? Is this something you'd accept to see happen again in coming chapters? Change of style versus the ability to speed up the story flow.

Page 10

No official announcement.

Pages 11-20

Page 11

No official announcement.

Page 12

No official announcement.

Page 13

Catriana: This was the first page that was written for this chapter. The joy of tormenting Nau'kheol with an arranged pairing. In his panic, he makes the mistake of making up a lie: That he is meant for Kiel. But did Kiel hear him say that? She's busy taking off some wax from Kharla's hair... As for Chrys'tel's romance, this refers to the short daydream story: Duty of a Dragon Princess. (Posting for Kern)

Page 14

Kern: Nau'kheol makes a fast retreat from the situation he stuck himself into. Meanwhile, the demons notice a trail of blood leading within the sole cabin of the turtle. Where Chrys'tel is having what could best be described as an early miscarriage. One that began with her relation to the brother of Sara. During the last chapter, Chrys'tel had been hinting at the issue, but avoided saying it out loud to her twin sister. Now the cat is out of the bag; two Sharen of the same age having birthing issues at the same time?

Page 15

Kern: Nau'kheol ran from Kiel to the limit of the turtle, where he had to threaten to jump off to avoid having to give explanation. The flustered little prince. Meanwhile, Shinae has a burst of good mood that she expresses by crushing Kiel's finger when she snaps the door shut. And finally, Fame saw something in the distance approaching from the side. To sum it up: One big, dysfunctional crew.

Page 16

Kern: A giant bug emerges from the distance to meet the Vloz'ress, with a single bee serving as their scout. Now cameo owners will no doubt let themselves be known, but casual readers will have to wait until Monday to know what this strange expedition is for.

Page 17

Kern: The travelers turn out to be Jaal'darya bound for the same gathering in Felde. It may seem like this page is for the cameos, but had they not been there it would have been other travelers. It's just that the travelers are lot more... colorful. Freaks, I may even dare to say; a term that Fia'nova, the one bound with that full face mask, would no doubt find endearing. She and Kiel have already struck a common interest in turtles.

Page 18

Kern: All the while, the Vloz'ress were going the wrong direction, assuming that the sleepy Kharla was guiding them. A mistake they won't repeat. Followed shortly thereafter by Kiel and Shinae's antics. Can't have more drastically-different personalities. Plus there is no love between these two.

Page 19

Kern: Pages 19 to 26 are being produced by the skilled artist Lunareth. I've no doubt that her style brings a very interesting spin on the pages to come. In this first scene, the raiders arrived in the colony to be greeted by the sole official Sarghress representative stationed there. One that reports of the attack with the victory that followed. Except that victory seems to have a little flaw, as someone or something is still causing trouble. Ariel was very eager to jump into the action; to be told instead that it is a day off is leaving her very confused. What is a day off, after all the battles and training they've went through? Something that boggles her mind at least. And angers Sar'nel. But Tur'geis is quick to shift the situation to her second-favourite activity: Drinking.

Page 20

Kern: It's the season of love. Perhaps it's just all the tension uncoiling from their bodies, or perhaps it's something is in the air of the old world. Regardless of the cause, Faen is getting excited over the prospect of being left alone with Ariel in a big house. While Shan is feeling extra chivalrous by picking Chiri up in his arms! To bring her uphill, of course. Those pink petals fluttering about him must have taken quite a bit of preparation... Clever Shan, clever. All the Shan X Chiri ships will be quite happy.

Pages 21-30

Page 21

Kern: On their way to the tavern, Die'tra stops by a fabric shop with an idea in mind; to gear up Riz for her meeting with a certain male. Livestream watchers and followers of Kite must have seen the many art pieces done for this particular pairing in the last few months. A pairing that is amassing quite a lot of artwork and stories of late. On a side note, it appears this page includes Shala looking downward to a certain posterior as she walks to the tavern. And that's one delicious buffet, in there. If Chelians were to see this, they'd move to the colony in droves! That should be a lesson for the next Empress of Chel: Entice people with pictures of yummy-looking food.

Page 22

Catriana: Kern and Kite are on their way to Paris! I'll be posting for Kern for the next few updates. Have a great trip you two! Time for drinks! Tur'geis is paying for the first round, whoo! X3 (Raiders being raiders. Drinks and news!)

Page 23

Catriana: And Faen makes her move! Go Faen! Bear hugs, ahahaha. Don't judge me; I know it's corny. Also, boobs.

Page 24

Catriana: You tried dearie. Ariel will eventually get it. Don't give up! Die'tra has no shame, it's wonderful. Those who predicted that would happen get a cookie.

Page 25

Catriana: Dun, dun, dun! Cat comes out of the bag.

Page 26

Catriana: And kissu! Chiri has something on her mind it seems...

Page 27

Catriana: Now we move on to Felde, and to Mel's reunion with Snadhya'rune. It appears she's already rolled out the red carpet, so to speak.

Page 28

No official announcement.

Page 29

Catriana: What's with that look, Khaless? Jelly?

Page 30

Catriana: Looks like Mel doesn't know about Khaless yet (or has kept her suspicions to herself). No invitation, you get stabbed! That's how this guy rolls (I like him).

Pages 31-40

Page 31

Catriana: And so Verthandi's motives and objectives become clear.

Page 32

Catriana: Reunion. Is it just me or does Khaless really not like our lovely tax collector?

Page 33

Kern: We're back! And I'm happy to see the updates all went up with no issues. Thanks to Catriana for maintaining the threads during our absence. In this page Snadhya'rune, knowing of the demon nature within Lulianne, asks for her to drop the pretense. To revert back to being the Khaless that she knows. However, this does not make her happy; instead it seems to disturb and anger her. Have you noticed Lulianne has a habit of stating her name when angry? She sure says it often. In this case, it may as well be a reminder to herself as well. Does the demon just play the role very well, or is Lulianne truly in control? It's up to you to decide for now. Regardless of the answer, she makes her offer to Snadhya, who must hear a lot of these crazy offers. Mel, though, is strongly against the idea of being a leader of the Sarghress; even if it were truly possible.

Page 34

Kern: This chapter has a couple things that I've long waited for. Faen and Ariel's relationship finally developing. And now this old face...

Page 35

Kern: You can quote Wi'am on that: Fat always returns to delicious posteriors. In this page, Mel has some difficulty adjusting to the scene, feeling overwhelmed by the gift and to what happened to Zhor. Wi'am, on the other hand, is too proud of her work to notice what is going on. Had Snadhya'rune not stopped her, she would have likely stated every gruesome detail of the body's reconstruction.

Page 36

Kern: Lulianne's body, Lulianne's will... but with Khaless within. The demon is able to take over, except she has difficulty suppressing the ego of the host, especially when her pride is in question. Does Lulianne realize this, does she fool herself, does Khaless' possession prevent her from being conscious of this? Who knows. One thing is sure: Even unarmed, Snadhya'rune is not impressed by wild boasts and threats.

Page 37

Kern: Back to Ys and the raiders, as a call-to-arms wakes them from their beds. A fire was lit in the city; this time so large as to engulf a house. Perhaps this last bit is what finally made them call for help from the clan, or perhaps the Sarghress presence is what changed their mind. Regardless, these raiders now have a job to do. Now if Die'tra were to go to war with only that blanket, the next pages would be popular.

Page 38

Kern: The disadvantage of traditional houses is that they burn so well. Something that the drow aren't used to dealing with. Especially Chiri, who isn't sure if pulling at the fire with her affinity will help extinguish it. Meanwhile Shan notices someone suspicious. Perhaps noticing it too easily.

Page 39

Kern: Not much happening in this one. Shan chases the suspicious person, passing by Ash and Zan'nah on the way, before tackling him. Turning him around, a MAN-BEAST is looking back. Fathered by a gorilla and mothered by a west coast hipster. The ultimate creation!... That, or I'm just tired and write insanities. Likely the latter.

Page 40

Kern: Catching the pyro proves harder than Shan thought as he is thrown off. Zan'nah gets drunken-mad, snapping off her heel and meaning to use it as a stabbing weapon. Meanwhile, Ariel gets on a roof to serve as a lookout. Up there, she notices the pursuit and more fire.

Pages 41-50

Page 41

Kern: The group departs on the hunt for the goblin that set the fires. Leaving Ariel and Faen behind for the two of them to get an interesting conversation. A NSFS(not safe for street) talk. Though perhaps it was the wise decision to stay behind, for another fire seems to start on the opposite side of the colony.

Special forum commentary:
Tur'geis: "Fast runner, hm? She'd get to the loot before I do."
Turgeis: "You stay behind on lookout!"
Ariel: "No fair! *omfg*

Also, forgot to include Riz'riia in the group. That means she stayed behind for a last kiss with Kai'to. Just a lengthy one.

Page 42

Kern: Ariel sends a flare, but can't tell if the rest of the group noticed. Or what they would do. In absence of a response, she is torn as to keep to her post or go out on her own again. As always, she's more worried about what Quain'tana would think foremost, and chooses to go with Faen alone to investigate what happened.

On an amusing side note, the last panel dialogue for Faen had an alternative in my script. Where she replies "Always!". :P

Page 43

Kern: Faen and Ariel locate the square where they think the fire came from to find some burned grass and blood splattered on the ground. As well as one suspicious (I mean super nice) door guard.

Faen comes out of hiding the query the person, who draws their weapon (most likely to give to Faen as a gift), then (the evil) Ariel stabs him between the guts and rib cage. The blow is not enough to take down (our valiant) door guard, who fights back, his blow nearly getting Ariel's jaw. He is ultimately taken down by (cheap tricks) air sorcery and a swing to to the neck. Faen timidly agrees that this enemy was tougher than what they usually deal with from goblins.

Page 44

Kern: Ariel sends another flare in hopes it's seen by someone, then ventures inside the building to find many enemies. Too many of them to handle. They quickly get out, close the door, and put their back into it. Thus begins the epic tale of The Door.

Page 45

Kern: There is only so much they can do to keep the door closed before axes get used to break it down. Worse, the city's fire seems to be coming their direction, too.

Page 46

No official announcement.
Editor Note: Nor is one needed.

Page 47

No official announcement.

Page 48

No official announcement.

Page 49

Kern: The battle degenerates further into a brawl in an inferno. Ariel is tackled down by a heavy hermionne, while Chiri regains enough control to turn the flames onto her attacker's head. Faen, meanwhile, is sitting, looking back at all this. Thinking "I could go for a cake right now.". Or maybe she's just realizing how dire this is all turning out to be.

Page 50

Kern: Faen reaches for the pain around her. Taking it all within herself before unleashing it back on all combatant indiscriminately. Burning flesh, the searing of bones, the grievous loss, a dying heart, a broken arm, and bruised flesh. Put together, it would taken down a weaker mind. And it does. Knocking most unconscious from the trauma. Pushed to the extreme, it would be a repeat of what Faen did to her teacher many years ago.

Pages 51-60

Page 51

Kern: Faen has taken out everyone but one. Did he resist, did she miss him, is his old man power strong enough to counter Faen's bearish power? Who knows. The thing that is certain is that he is very angry and armed, while Faen has no weapon. Her "back" to Ariel, she decides to make a desperate charge. Perhaps not the best thought-out plan ever...

Page 52

Kern: Faen's brave charge would have ended poorly, except something strikes the hermionne from behind: Die'tra's blade! The hermionne falls to the blows of the returning raiders, who are amazed by Faen's deed. For look around her; Chiri and Ariel lay defeated, and nothing to say that it is anyone but Faen alone who wrought such destruction against a dozen opponent. If Faen had a bit more confidence, she might have gone "rwar".

Page 53

No official announcement.

Page 54

No official announcement.

Page 55

No official announcement.

Page 56

Kern: Kuso is back with his usual bullshitting self. Making up stories to the pretty Sullissin lady about his great age and feats. Love feats, at that. Now were Snadhya'rune to hear this... It may seem odd that the lady is actually interested, but she too is bullshitting him. For she is there to spy on Snadhya'rune. Two people bullshitting each other. Joy.

Page 57

Kern: It was a relief to draw a page that easy. Kiel and Kuso exchanges a few pleasantries over crushed nuts; the best kind of nuts. And Bast offers a beer to Shinae, who doesn't seem to want it.

Page 58

Kern: The party has split, with Nau going off on his own to try to find something. Anything that could be useful for their investigation. When he sees a dragon, he assumes it belongs to a Sharen and goes to see whats up. He stumbles upon a strange conversation.

Page 59

Kern: Caught and shaken for information, Nau'kheol tells them the truth and it is taken for a lie. Then feeds them a lie that they take for the truth. Kharla'ggen wouldn't be able to mastermind her way out of her own house...

Page 60

Kern: In this page, the proclaimed mastermind of empress-assassination is about to commit yet another murder. A series of murders in fact. Upon the pastries kingdom. As well as a rampage through the army of sandwiches. Jethel means to be helpful by leading Kharla away, but she wants no interruption, stuffing an egg-sandwich in his mouth.

Pages 61-70

Page 61

Kern: Upset, Kharla attacks the juice bowl, quickly followed by general mayhem as her aura spreads to reach within every party-goer like strings to newly-made puppets. The guard's finger would not have been able to press the trigger, the servant is having a violent fit as Kharla's power is re-arranging his insides, Larvova courageously tries to defuse the situation. And finally, as well as wisely, the two Vloz minions get the hell out of there. They know what's best. Which is to just keep running.

Page 62

Kern: Khaless arrives to (sexily by Kuso's standards) save the day. Kharla's power seemingly unable to connect with her, giving her the chance to calm the situation. She felt, like many others, Kharla's power at work and most likely rushed to the terrace all the faster when people started flooding away from the scene. Now that the two are out the way, Larvova loses her patience and snaps at Kiel for bringing a dangerously unstable person such as Kharla to a social event.

The servant Jethel, meanwhile, has a memento of the event: Having lost an eye to Kharla's power. It's always a big dilemma for us to decide whether to kill a cameo or not. Making one a doll would be just as good as killing him or her.

Page 63

Kern: Down below, by the lakeside, Shinae is busy looking for something suspicious. She doesn't know what, and that pisses her off. Though everything pisses her off, even the talk about children that Mel and Zhor are having. Bast, wanting to help, is offering herself as punching-bag. While Shinae cannot actually hear the offer, she still unleashes her frustration onto her. Sadly, her frustration is limitless.

Page 64

Kern: Dun dun duuum, the flower make its appearance. It could be a completely ordinary flower, but considering this is a spy getting it... The singer on the platform is Kyo'nne; she'll be more visible in the coming pages.

Page 65

Kern: Kyo'nne is surprised to see that someone would invite Kiel, Snadhya'rune gets the bluntest question of all (to which she give the simplest of answers), and finally Chrys'tel is caught inside the building without an invitation. Her spy self being kicked out. Why hasn't anyone straight-up asked Snadhya'rune if she's a motherkilling, plotting traitor? Probably because she'd lie about it. That doesn't deter Kiel, however.

Page 66

No official announcement.

Page 67

Kern: Her flight lesson wasn't what she thought it was going to be. In a good mood, Sara offers the same to the second occupant of the platform, who ignores her entirely. Sara thus takes advantage of this non-threatening, non-flying opposition by asking her questions regarding this platform on top of the building.

Page 68

Kern: An'jin's turn to infiltrate the place, taking the guise of a servant that he had already prepared underneath his scourge cloak. Even his facial tattoos were easily wiped away before Fame's eyes. Going in to meet with Kyo'nne and giving her key words, it is revealed that Kyo'nne is working for many sides. Including her old clan's own interest. Fame, meanwhile, followed and has little interest in the subtleties before her; as her idol and enemy is finally in reach.

Page 69

Kern: Khal'harror tricks Fame into a hope that he promptly crushes.

Page 70

Kern: Fame folds down before calm logic, when she notices Ran passing by, hand on his sword. Under the stress, she first believes herself to be the orange girl target, but then realizes Kiel is going to be assassinated.

And yes, Kiel has no filter between her brain and mouth. She just asked if Snadhya'rune's getting licked. She probably heard a lot worse than that. Just Kalki's mouth is bad enough as it is.

Pages 71-80

Page 71

Kern: Ran bumps past Kiel to make his way to his true target: Snadhya'rune. However, she was ready for him. A summon blocks Rann's righteous attack; one with armor very akin to the Vel'cahal of legend.

Experimenting with drawing the sound effects into the pages instead of leaving things silent, as using fonts rarely looks good for sound effects. While drawing them make them blend better with the art style.

Page 72

No official announcement.

Page 73

Kern: Ran finds renewed energy in Snadhya's arrogant stance and words. Striking again and again with little effect. Beaten back, he uses the floor underneath him to help him jump past the summon in a last-ditch attempt to kill its master. Except a summon is not a normal opponent. This one's flesh is of rock and energy, able to grab a weakened blade... and snap it apart. Unable to wound Snadhya, what will Ran try next?

Page 74

Kern: Ran is thrown to the rocky ground that he himself had made into spikes a moment before. Injured, disarmed, and without visible means to injure Snadhya even with mana arts, his gaze falls upon a core that fell from his coat. A core filled to bursting. A tactic that was used by many before him in mad, suicidal attempt. A practice that became too common with so much desperation to go around of late. He grabs it and, in a final declaration of loyalty, blows himself up, attempting to take Snadhya and the summon with him.

Page 75

Kern: Even the explosion fails to faze Snadhya'rune. A spirit summon is revealed around her by all the energy it devoured from the blast. The same one that took down the rock spikes from before; invisible to the eyes then. Spirit summoning is an art lost in all but a remote city known as Charr. A place only explored by two stories so far, but if anyone in the main cast would have learned the trick, it's Snadhya.

The spirit summon is likely her dead dragon mount, known as fuzzy wuzzy. She loved fuzzy wuzzy very much, so she made a summon out of it. She can now forever be in the Fuzzy...

Page 76

No official announcement.

Page 77

Kern: The servants begin leading the guests to the upper platform. With this, Kiel goes back to take advantage of her henchmen, fully expecting to be told off. However Sindas rushes to pick her up. Meanwhile, Nau'kheol is still a dragon's chew toy.

Page 78

Kern: The guests and their attendants have moved upstairs to the platform for an announcement. Yuh'le informs Snadhya of the intruder, but Snadhya takes the news very lightly; positively, even. Better to know of the spy than be oblivious as to their presence. Though just as they discuss this, An'jin has made his way into the crowd. But then, perhaps half the crowd are spies, and Snadhya is okay with this.

Fearing to be seen, Sara jumps off her ledge to a balcony, where she surprises a certain someone.

Page 79

Kern: Zhor lived in Orthorbbae under Snadhya for a long time, and has had some extensive experience with her lately. Does Kalki take after her mother more than she lets appear?

Page 80

Kern: In this page, Snadhya'rune is acting unusually creepy. Grabbing Chrys'tel and describing the way she'll horribly die, making quite the expression. Which leaves Chrys'tel so shocked that she'd almost believe the vial in her hand may have something to do with it

Pages 81-90

Page 81

Kern: Not a cure, but a deadly poison of flowery origin. One that Snadhya does not fear to swallow before all present. The Dutan'virs' hope for recognition must come through the Kyorls lowering their arms. Forcefully, if need be.

Snadhya'rune is not fooled by Chrys'tel's garb, though it's unclear whether she knows the girl's name.

Page 82

Kern: While Snadhya'rune's presentation continues, Zhor spills out what he knows to Sara. As this is his first -and perhaps last- chance he will have to speak alone to an informant. Will Sara understand and remember?

Page 83

Kern: The airship arrive with a cyclone of mist into Felde, to land at the platform designed for it. Snadhya likes to put on a big show, apparently.

Page 84

Kern: Kiel muses about the possibility of a flying turtle ship for her to sail the mist sea and pirate. An'jin speculates as to the Illhar'dro engineers that built the ship still being locked down inside. And Kalki makes her grand entry, jumping down to the ground in a manner very similar to a certain half-sister of hers.

The stowaway is Jiaan, the Sharen knight who lost his love on the deck of the ship during the civil war arc. He fought as bravely as he could alone up there, but apparently got captured and then tortured.

Page 85

Kern: Happy holidays you forum dwellers! Go feast on much food.
Snadhya isn't getting food, but she's getting swirly eyes. Much swirlies. So much that Kiel is getting them too! It doesn't have meaning other than these panels being close up. What they discuss is heavy in references to the civil war arc of Chapter 33 to Chapter 37. That ultimately ended with the coup d'état failing, but with the airship's grand theft succeeding. With one left for dead onboard: Jiaan. Now a broken man with many scars that suffers constantly under the crazy empaths. Chrys'tel now finally has the link she needs to blame Snadhya'rune for the troubles in Nuqrah, but will she be able to bring that information back to Zala'ess? Will there even be a Zala'ess to return to with the Sarghress winning the war?

Editor's Note: This page was posted on Christmas Eve.

Page 86

Kern: In this one, Snadhya'rune pairs up her unwanted suitor with her unexpected man-gift for a duel to the death. Jiaan had been tortured quite a bit during the recent days, which opens him to an empath's abuse. Something that his jailor had abused again and again against him. By now, he hates empaths quite a bit... Luckily for him, he was asked to kill one. It'll be very therapeutic if he can reach for Dycle's neck to strangle it.

Page 87

Kern: In this page, Jiaan is frozen by pain from Dycle's empathy, struggling against his tormenter's control. Weeks being punished under a similar torture has taught him to be resilient, or perhaps the hatred made him resilient. He musters the strength to regain enough control over his muscles to stab, and to put enough strength into it to overwhelm Dycle's block. Ending in a mutual-stabbing that is sure to make Snadhya'rune happy.

Page 88

Kern: Jiaan makes his pledge to Snadhya'rune, who enjoys having the warrior of an enemy become so servile. Another guest follows with her pledge to Snadhya'rune, which give them the opportunity to make the call: Everyone present must make their pledge to the cause. Would you?

Page 89

Kern: The final page in Felde for this chapter that wraps up Snadhya's show, as her sister put it. Many kneeled, some felt the need the to kneel, some had their knees suddenly get wobbly. In the end, all must kneel.

Page 90

Kern: The aftermatch to the battle at the beginning of the chapter. The fighting has stopped around the dome, what's left of the Sharen forces have taken refuge within the dome; including Sarv'swati, who managed to survive being crushed. Though she is in bad shape. You could say her shape symbolizes the state of her forces: barely standing.
Note: She survived by shaping the rock behind her. It's an unlikely trick, but one that we have to assume someone with her experience may have had to do before to have survived that long.
Note 2: You can blame Thalar for lobbying that this aftermath be included. I was going to cut it to speed things up, at first

Pages 91-94

Page 91

Kern: Happy new year! Kite is away until the 7th of January. Because of this, page 91 to 94 will be presented in black and white only.
Sarv'swati keeps climbing the staircase of the dome, to stop at the entry way to council chamber of Chapters 16-18 which she had witnessed. From being on top to dragging herself wounded and besieged; things have changed a lot since her last visit. Further, above awaits Tlu'rath, who informs her that the entirety of the force dedicated to protect this place and the empress is now gone. Some are dead, some have deserted, many were sent to protect the false empress (3 of which ended in Felde, one of them trying to kill Snadhya'rune). And finally, the rest were purged out years ago. She snaps at this news, meaning to kill him as she killed many underlings before. But... she is not holding any axe.
Note: There were two flashback panels of Chapter 18 in this page at first, but it looked bad to have two full-color panels next to the rest.

Page 92

Kern: The mighty can fall for a very long time before they reach the bottom. Sarv'swati is about to feel the impact, but not yet. In this page, she realizes she had lost her axe while climbing the staircase. She's that numb at the moment. She ignores the last of the old guard and climbs the stairs to her mother's tower entrance to see the very same scene Chrys'tel witnessed before: A desolate abandoned tower that was sealed. With her mother left prisoner within, to die of a slow starvation. With that action, she had unleashed every problem that befell her people since the beginning of the story. Break or rage. She chose rage. That poor room explodea further into a myriad of fragmenta.

Page 93

Kern: She hadn't hit the bottom of the barrel, but now she is on her knees. The brave facade held by anger is crumbling under the physical exhaustion. Filled with regret for what she did to her own mother, her actions being the very definition of the swearword "motherkiller".

Page 94

No official announcement.

Special Pages

"Fruit Fighters" Flash Menu

Kern: Fruit war is an event inspired by members of the livestream audience to have their characters portrayed in the style of a fruit themed fighting game. This is a meta and completely over the top project that is not to be taken seriously.
The boss character of this war is Kite, the chocolate fiend. Will she dip you in chocolate to devour you, or will you come out victorious?
This is on and off project that will slowly be produced during the coming month during days that do not have enough time to complete a concept arts. The final collection will be put together by Darkvolt in a flash menu.

Editor's Note: The project's full announcement was made here. Do note that this project is long-since completed.

Lunareth Chibi 1

Kern: Sadly today's page where Faen has her time of glory was not finished on time, as we must now depart for the distant land of nekocon. Thanks to Luna for sending one extra chibi page, that saved our butt for the updates.
The first is about Chiri and the bugs. Strangely attracted to her face. Now how did Shan tear off his armor like this, I don't know.

Lunareth Chibi 2

Catriana: Sar'nel doesn't seem to know who he's dealing with. Omnomnom.

Lunareth Chibi 3

Catriana: Useful things to know during a bear attack. Don't get mauled.

Lunareth Chibi 4

No official announcement.

Lunareth Chibi 5

Catriana: Some of you should recognize this reference. Ariel is not amused.

"What If?" Chibi

Kern: What if the Nids had trolled their leader? Making her kneel before all the crowd instead?

"Shake Thy Booty" Chibi

Kern: This page deserved a parody of the parody. Deleted scene, because I was very tempted to put this scene in the story. But it would have changed the mood of the ending. A shame, it'll stay as chibi regardless that Kiel would have done it. Editor's Note: The parody page's own parody can be found here.

"Turtle vs Bug" Chibi

Kern: Backward chibi page numbering, I know. This page was drawn back in November while the two others were drawn this week. The scene was was deleted from the script because, again, it would have shifted the mood to comedy where it shouldn't. Doesn't mean that Kharla hadn't given chase! Splat goes the big bug. Also... lots of cameos in there.

"Chocolate Despair" Chibi

Kern: Not much to say there. Kite drew what she saw as true pain: to go to a chocolate store that closed a little too early. Sarv'swati is so sad.