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Page Descriptions - Chapter 48
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This article contains all the Moonless Age page announcements made by the comic's author for Chapter 48 - Old Blood. 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.
Kern: It's finally there, a new chapter focusing on the Beldrobbaen clan. The cover represent the theme of the chapter , thus have fun deciphering what will happen.
Fixed --- Now on the size of the cover, it's not a new format. This was our usual break-the-archive-frame kind of effect, however Kite beleived it would look bad if the towers to the side were used as a frame for the cover. This normally would be debated and tested, though the cover is already 1 day late. And this is a sponsored chapter by Khora. What does sponsored means ; it's not like a commission, he or anyone can't dictate the story, this is not a fanfic , this is a normal chapter with two editors instead of the usual one. He approached me with the desire to have the Beldrobbaen be given their own chapter and i had a story plot that could fit, so it works out. My goal is to keep this as a standard chapter, albeit one with cameos chosen by the sponsor, thus the lack of cameo offers before this chapter began. It also mean this chapter has a fixed duration: 40 pages to be exact. Will i make it 40 pages exactly? That i don,t know, at least not yet. This one thankfully has only one central character and a 3 arc plot. Much shorter than say the previous two chapters. In the end the sponsorship is a nice things Khora did to help us with something, so thank you khora. Does that mean the next chapter will be sponsored? No, i already declined another sponsorship offer for Nalsarkoth. The next chapter will be the Kyorl.
Kern: During the puppeteer event, Waes' enclosed herself in her room, barricading the door against her own kin. You could consider what she's saying as a mantra to stay calm, or perhap simply a repeat of what she usualy tell herself in her mind but now there's no one left to hear it. Well, except for her pet spider mr fluffington. Who get this glorious portrait at the back of her room!
Kern: The puppets swarm the barricaded door. Given enough mass, they manage to push the furniture in the way until Waes had enough that is. Her ability keep the door close, and her safe, though she put herself in confinement.
You could say this page is a re-introduction of what Waes can do. She can handle herself a lot better than Zala could. In short, she could survive the puppeteer crisis in her rooms, as long as there's food and water of course. Thankfully Kharla was taken down within a couple of hours.
Kern: The battering of the gate were replaced by silence, then by knocking that became insistant. Yet as the days goes by Waes did not break her confinement. Until the day a silouette came flying outside the window... Waes is a very calm person. She'll take everything with little reaction. Quain would get angry, Zala can get dramatic, Valla has her bout of zealotry, SNadhya find everything funny, but Waes, nope, got to remain impasive. And colors? Pff, colors are for other people.
Kern: The person outside break through the glass to enter. She reveal herself to be one of Waes's guardian who fell during the puppeteer event. Like many she blacked out and awoken at the door. She and many other realized what they were doing after the fact and the shame is strong. Beldrobbaen are great at the shame part. So for days Waes kept herself prisoner while on the other side her guardians felt too shameful to do anything past just knocking on the door. Till the point they feard Waesoloth might be starving herself, or worse.
Beld : "I have done terrible things." Kyorl : "You are a very shameful person." Beld: " Yes, yes i am, very much so. Call me shameful again.
Kern: It's exposition time with the aftermath of the previous chapter. While Waes was confining herself, Chel changed a lot and many of her people died. No enemies killed them, they didn't fight either, they just fell down. All those people were made puppets, moved on without eyes or any other senses to allow them to move about. Instead the strings is what led them. Put people living on the ceiling into that situation and you end up with a lot of people simply going windows and bridges. Falling, dying, never waking up to know what is happening. For a small clan like the Beldrobbaen, it's quite the blow.
Kern: There will be another update saturday night. Though we'll still have missed an update this week. Really sorry about this, we must find a way to restore a solid work schedule for next week.
The Nalsarkoth, or as they are often called, greenies have lost their leader and perhaps are in the midst of fight among themselves. We won't be dwelling on them after this as this is about how the news affect the members of the Beldrobbaen in this difficult time. They've cut ties with their allies, they do not have the numbers to hold what they have, there is a new powerful faction in Chel that is likely to run things without them having a say, they've lost many of their own during the event and two of the 9 clans just fell. Waes saw a lot in her life that made her jaded but even this is unusual. Large clans with thousands of people tend to be pretty hard to destroy, but somehow it happened. But then everyone turning into puppets is an unusual event , it was bound to lead to many more unusual things. Now , what of the other clans we haven't shown? for that you'll have to wait. Let's say for now that Hilewen did not exagerate when she said the city outside has changed.
Okay now for an extra point in case some missed it. Animals/beasts were not affected by Kharla. Yet, Kharla was killed by her beast guards. The only ones who could have remained at her side to protect her.
Kern: Very late yet important update for this week. Waes order the whole clan into confinement. The high born to go on top, and all servants to be discarded back into the city below. A repeat of sort of the very first event the Beldrobbaen were ever involved with : the massacre of all their slaves. Sure throwing them out is more mercyful but as Waes shows through her treatement of the servant so far away ; she care little for them or their well being. Not only this but we see the Jaal name being brought a second time out of context , showing how much this clan despise the other. Extreme conservatism versus extreme progressists kind of deal. Classists too. So yes the Beldrobbaen are far from being without flaws, especially their leaders. They're proud, they're easy to shame themselves , they hate...wait they're people. Well there you go. Other clans didn't get their flaws so outright shown at the beginning of a chapter but this is a short chapter, it force me to move things fast. Oh and yes, that servant is just scratching at a pimple, really nothing to worry about. ... it's a bad pimple.
Kern: Tension arise within the clan as the headmaster of the school returns right when the new purge is announced. Him and one of the Beldrobbaen familly head also returning to the "safety" of the fortress. As for that that woman caught spying and droolier earlier, well she's back. Running away once spotted. So, Beldrobbaen. Things aren't quite right. No world destroying plot but the clan is sick from within and they're about to quarantine themselves against the dangers from outside.
Kern: She took the sword from the decorative armor and make her way around the room, only to rush in to strike at the unsuspecting Waes. Perhaps she's been spying all this time just waiting for an opportunity. Perhaps she was just building up the courage. The one certain thing is that there is no safety within these walls.
Kern: The would be assassin scream rather strange things as she strike down on the surprised Waes. Her blade somehow failing to cut through the arm, still it got to hurt, a lot. Either Waes did something this person alone remembers or ...
Kern: Attacking directly her leader was unwise, and the would be murderer turn up to be the victim. Belds killing each other is a new thing, a taboo, that most clans don't have but they are so few in numbers that it became a necessity. Now that the taboo is broken, what will happen next?
Kern: The would be assassin thought the body bags were filled with live people, and attempted her murder with a blunt sword from a decorative armor set, the one she made collapse when they first saw her. There's many sign that the reasoning behind all this doesn't make any sense. Regardless, Waes arm is fractured from the hit. This is bound to make an already grouchy leader even grouchier.
Kern: Soon after the fortress is cut off from the outside world. Leaving some of the servants below to wander without a home. A state of thing that worries some, and amuse others while Waesoloth herself is recovering from her recent attack... and soon will be recovering from a shipper attack as well.
Before there is any confusion, the school master is not related to Waes and if he were well, things get confusing with such a small population pool. It's worth mentioning that when the beldrobbaen keep saying that they are so few, it's because their numbers counts in the hundreds only. Sarghress? They've passed the ten of thousand a while ago. It's a whole different level, and yet they are on the same scale of power, politicaly at least, just not in martial strenght, but then few clans are on the level of the sarghress at this point in the story. You'd need to gather up several of the mightier ones in an alliance and... well that is exactly what Zala did in the past few chapter. Then there is the Kyorl who are allied to no one who also have the potential of a massive force. Simply from their working population being easily turned into millitary. Even if the Belds and Jaal are on the opposite ends for what they value, they are the two clans that are the most alike in this. Both reclusive and few in numbers. Also, regarding losses, it's safe to assume Waes lost her two youngest. Naal included as the youngest. Which imply she hasn't had a child in at least 30 years. Which for a woman her age isn't uncommun, it's Zala who is unusual with her desire to keep having children after 4 centuries.
Well, wasn't that a big world setting block of text?
Kern: Waes can take a broken arm, but not discussion regarding who she should date. On a more serious side of things, her gathering of the clan's families turned up many vacant seats, most of them actually. And the one sent fetch them seem quite distressed as the kind of answers she received. In a mere few days the clan is already in a state of disarray. It already wouldn't take much to take them down from the outside , were they be easily reachable that is. But perhaps no one need to go defeat them at this rate, they're on their way to defeat themselves.
Kern: A tale of madness and potatoes. Great queendoms fell for these humble potatoes. Truly a weapon of mass destruction. Forget airship , killing flower and great demons. Potatoes is the future. Seriously though, these are just more signs of the clan not doing okay. Not showing up when the leader summon you could have grave consequences in many clans, and these are the reasons why no one came. Meanwhile the school master is off trying to figure out the situation on his own.
Kern: Naubol climb out unto the tower that was barricaded itself. However an earthquake coincidently happens right when he get out. And a cloud of dust swept the city below. Another ongoing calamity? When something goes wrong, many others can follow.
Kern: Naubol witness a disaster at the distance, though he can' tell what it is at the moment. He has his investigation to continue and inside he find a single person that flee him on sight. With no one else answering him.
As to the explaination for the tremor in the background, no worries it'll be shown eventually.
Kern: The girl Naubol is giving chase to is quick to accuse him of being infected. But infected by what? To Naubol surprise the people of this tower seem to all be aware of a grave problem that no one else outside seemed to have known about. At least no leaders of the clan present at the gathering knew, that is until this very moment. As Verthandi who were present during the events in Felde, worked under Snadhya and is aware of the plans underway, tells them the truth. The poison is among them. It will keep spreading until they all go insane. Of which we have already seen a few cases. And some others whose behavior may have been influenced already.
Which in constrast, the one familly who refused to open the door , who were the most suspicious until now(along with the fans of potatoes), may be the ones to be most likely free from this danger at the moment. Perhaps the only ones.
Kern: It's easy to oppose an enemy from the outside, but it's a whole different matter to know a family member is the one trying to kill everyone. Worse, they can't know who it is. The news alone destroy Waes on the inside. Who, where, when and why. Someone out there really doesn't beleive the clan's doctrine of not killing each other. And that someone may already be in the room with them
Kern: Some heated difference of opinion regarding how to save the clan. Waes will not bend the knee to the one who threaten her family, regardless of the outcome. She is proud , perhaps too much. But for now, another crisis arise...
About what Waes said regarding her alliances. This may not be the point of view of the Sharen. But perhaps back when Divaratrika ruled, she was wise enough to entertain the Beldrobbaen's ego. Little details there and there. I could see how they were greeted differently and wouldn't need to kneel before Diva during private audiences. This kind of thing. Then when Sarvswati badly needed them to hold the front on the north side of Chel, she likely treated them as equal as well. Now for the years where the clan wars heated up , it could've been a different matter. Not that we'll ever show these story arc. What matter is what Waes beleive. Regardless of what other more disgruntled Beldrobbaen , such as Verthandi there, might beleive. After all, many other Beldrobbaen may be proud enough to chaffe at the thought of always be second place in the society.
No official announcement.
Kern: As Waes brood on her situation, events continue unfolding around her. Two of which is the demand to cremate the infected familly leader. whom is still alive and beleive the people out there are out to get her potatoes. It's got to place her family in a difficult situation, on one hand she's clearly losing grip on reality, on another hand it's about killing their mother, which is a sin in their society, and then burn her body. While on the side of the page we have the first case of finding someone to blame. Verthandi who brought the news makes for a good candidate. The punch that followed however wasn't so well thought. And in the midst of this all, instead of trying to reason things out, Waes simply disappear. Likely to a dark corner...
Kern: Under the fortress, Waes is taking to her solitude to ponder the course the clan should take. There, far from the ground and the shelter of home, she is interupted by an unexpected guest.
Kern: The unexpected listener to Waes' brooding turned up to be the servant she threw away earlier. He pleads to be allowed back in, as he claim the servants as well are part of the clans and proud to be. This said to a the leaders of very traditionalist famillies who ditch away servants like they throw away rags. Not a popular point of view, if they'd even consider the possibility that those under them exist as people, let alone be part of the same clan as they. Will Waes take it as an insult and evicerate the man or perhaps the recent events have shaken her pre-conception just enough? It's not only the Sharens who are like this. After all even the sarghress have slaves and they are pushing the whole liberation idea. But for old famillies like Belds and Sharen, they might as well be furnitures.
No official announcement.
Kern: Unity in the clan break a little more as some of those who fear infection begin to move unto Snadhya's messenger to demand they be allowed to meet her , regardless of the clan's decision and fast. Fear is a powerful motivator and it seems to work particulary strong within this clan's ranks. Perhaps neither of those people shown in the page are infected, perhaps the whole thing is a lie and yet here they are. Waes does not have much time left to brood if she is to keep her clan.
Kern: As the talk of leaving the clan for Felde continues, the words come to the ears of more disgruntled warriors. Just like everyone else they've already heard of the secret behind the recent events, but at this point is this really a secret. It spread like wildfire along with the fears. And this time, Waes' right arm is not there to stop the violence. Verthandi thought the diseased devess is the scapegoat, but in reality it may be her. She makes for a more convenient one considering her ties with the source of all this. Plus helping people defect the clan would already be frowned upon regardless of her being the poisoner or not. Wheter that make her a traitor or you beleive they are justified in their action is up to your interpretation. But keep in mind, as the headmaster is saying, everyone decisions may be affected, and Verthandi seem to forget about this. Either willingly or unconciously from all that happened so far. After all, she was already grabbed and accused just a moment ago, anger itself is also something that blind...
Kern: Conflict reach it's peak as they attack Verthandi, quickly overwhelming her. As Naubol is saying, they may very well be hoping the clan destroy itself.And so far they're going down that path. Verthandi's point of view is questionable , but it has a point. The world is changing and they don't. They're the old noble blood that can't adapt. Given enough time with the course they are taking they would fall to irrevelence. She beleive Snadhya is the key, beside the whole cure thing, to be relevent again... It's not a popular view. at the moment.
Kern: First her hair are cut off, then her body crushed and her tongue would be removed. Except something hold the arm of the would-be butcher. First , yes the beldrobbaen are submissive and tend to dwell on shames. Though that doesn't mean they can't throw the weight of blames on other in private, like miss dark elf is doing. Blaming Waes for the state of thing and for escaping duties. Others may be thinking the same, they just don't tend to say that out loud in public. Second, this is the same girl that Naubol came into the bedroom earlier. She just has a different outfit on. From the tower that has the familly refusing to open the door.
Kern: Waes stop the violence from going further and the servant point out that the girl from earlier, who shouldn't be there, was the same one in kitchen, the one who left him the side of the face scared.
Kern: Servant's word against noble-born's word. Except for the later, her story is crumbling fast under questioning. Waes would not have blocked a slap to a servant at the beginning of the chapter. After all, she threw one away like an object, with no care for the pain it would cause. That turnabout will make some question her, again, but for now, the focus is on that girl being very suspicious.
Kern: This is not the face of a stable person. It's the face of someone who would poison her whole family and find pleasure in watching them kill each other. Sometime the weak link isn't the ambitious would be ruler, or the agent with conflicting loyalty. This time it is just a bitter and unstable young person with a whole lot of baggage that she is now venting out. She probably rehearsed the whole speech in her head hundred of times. And like many of those planned speech, it comes out awkwardly. She goes from faking innocence, to laughing, to sad, to bitter, to angry. Don't be surprised if she goes back to gleeful.
She also serve as a viewpoint on how unhappy someone can be in the beldrobbaen setting. If Snadhya hadn't offered her a solution, maybe a year later she'd be in yellow underwear laughting her ass off running across the fortress and jumping off a balcony.
Kern: She had a vial of poison in hand already, ready to throw at anyone attempting to grab her. Wheter that had any effect is questionable, but by the end of the page, she reveal that she is strapped all over with vials.
My goal was to give the feeling of someone strapped with a bomb under their shirt. With a demented expression. That and making her a underwear rebel. Secretly she love all satured colors. Pink bra, yellow panties, magenta sock... well maybe the other sock is bright blue. Alright the true weapon is the pink, it'll burn off everyone who sees it. That or she just rip her shirt open to turn into a color superhero. Maybe she has a pink cloak shoved inside too...
Kern: She order everyone away, leaving herself sealed up with the poisoner. Who quickly start jumping at shadows, literally.
There's no doubt the people in the room could kill the poisoner and fast. Whoever would do it could risk the chance of being poisoned. Its not something waes wants, she'd rather take all the burden upon herself and beside there's something else Waes is curently struggling with...
Kern: The poisoner is locked in the dark with one of the most dangerous person in the underworld. Her bravado collapse when she run out of poison to throw, worse much of it dripped on her skin. Though it turns out Waes does not want to kill her.
So the last 3 panels there is a very fast change of expression from one extreme to the other. It does look silly , though in real life, meeting a person like this is far from looking silly after a minute. I did sit at a table with someone whose mood had the most extreme changes from second to second. Scary is a better term, it gave me a cold sweat and there was nothing that could be said. Nowadays people suffering from such problems get treatements, medication, therapy. This young beld however, isn't. That doesn't excuse any actions she did, and Waes isn't forgiving either. It's just drawn from real people as inspiration, and real people can do scary things that are completely unlogical.
Kern: Waes came ready before isolating herself with the poisoner, she had already sent messengers to fetch more people among the common folk and the aid of a certain clan she despise to help with the situation.
The healers coming up can't do anything to actually heal anyone. but to do something , anything, to releive the panic is a good thing. Like a placebo. More cool heads that are guaranteed to be free of the poison to calm the Vals who may not be reasoning clearly. For Waes to accept common blood up there has likely taken a lot from her. It may not be clear on that point. When the school master open a hole in the wall, it's just pitch black in the hole, a physical dark. Which is Waes' doing.
Kern: The Jaaldarya arrived. Despised in ideology and hated on an irrational level as well. Old blood and new blood rarely get along but in this both clan's leaders are willing to go over their past (sometime bloody) differences. Thanks to the recent efforts to uncover the plot by the daughter of the one who designed the poison, and of the sarghress soldiers who gave their lives during chapter 46, they were able to start working on a solution. Albeit they had very little time to do so. Just enough to give hope to those who were recently affected, such as Waes herself.
Thalar and Nerdycannuck reminded me of a story where Waes dismembered a Jaal's envoy. Note, whoever that envoy was, had WAY TOO MANY LIMBS! Many more than the usual 4. She obviously didn't need that many. Plus poking Waes about her youngest baby was just poor taste. So to answer the question: no this was not the cause of both clan disaste for each other. The hatred started with well, the start of the Jaal clan.
Kern: There is hope for the many to recover and some who feard they had it were never affected. Fear is a strong motivator , perhaps stronger than the poison itself.
About the poisoner. Whatever illness she had in her mind broke in the pitch black isolation. Waes didn't have to kill her, she defeated herself.
Kern: Those who are too sick to be saved or beleive they have a better chance of survival with Snadhya, leave their home with Verthandi to lead them. Outside in the wild underworld, they meet with one of Snadhya's protege who had been waiting for the clan's fall or submittion. Ps, the chapter was extended by one page , it's just not about the belds.
Kern: We wrap up the chapter with this little forshadowing of the situation back at the Sharen alliance. Note the "flags" on top of the building.
Coming next is some chibi pages. After that, we'll have the mini story about the 3 sarghress babies. Considering they are Quain grandchild, they're bound to be the most buff babies right? Eat dragons for breakfast, poop... all the time. They're babies after all.
[Interlude Page 1]
Kern: A mini story begins about the events taking place with Ariel and Faen while the Beldrobbaen chapter took place. Faen can now add another trauma to her collection, one of having been concious while her and everyone else were puppet
[Interlude Page 2]
Kern: Beware the beast. A good warning. Forget elder demons, mass mind control, falling towers, spreading insanity, this, this is the true challenge; young children.
[Interlude Page 3]
Kern: Those tiny warriors in the making prove to be too much for Ariel to handle. The potato to the forhead was the trigger point to turn her into a kraken, as the childs put it. Also, octobear has a very tiny apperance in this page. Find the arm!
[Interlude Page 4]
Kern: Faen prove to be no match for the blunt mouth of the elder boy.
Mel was in the Sullissinrune dome when she had the duty to make babies. Wheter she tried only with them is likely to never be answered but seeing as one of the child has the same eyes as Faen, it's means that at least one of the father is from the same family tree as Faen.
[Interlude Page 5]
Kern: The great crisis reach a new height as the poop come into the scene. Baby poop so to speak. Now ninjas are good at killing but they're not so good at tying up diapers. You can't be good at everything.
[Interlude Page 6]
Kern: Both Ariel and Faen fails to contain the baby situation, to the hilarity of the boys.
[Interlude Page 7]
Kern: Ariel panic and hand the baby over to the returning Faen, or so she thought. Reality is much more horrifying. Even octobaby doesn't even know if she should cry anymore.
Yes Quain's tiny cut is infected. It was a poisoned blade after all. But Quain dealt with worse, she just punch the poison out...
[Interlude Page 8]
Kern: Considering the circumstance, the mighty leader is taking it all well, just spreading the baby poo on the armor of her subordinate. Who ought have cleaned said mess to begin with instead of faking being asleep. Also note, the baby love Quain.
[Interlude Page 9]
Kern: The red book, aka, the book full of myth and legends about Quain ought never be brought up in her presence. For one of the legend is that if she read it's text, her anger would destroy the worlds. Likely another exaggeration but one close to the truth, at least to those present in the room at the time of said reading. So you may thanks Ariel quick reflex for saving said worlds. only one more page to go.
[Interlude Page 10]
Kern: Final page of this mini story, with the baby revealing it's secret side. Which get Faen in the mood of starting a family. Tomorrow start chapter 49!
["Holy Potato" Chibi]
Kern: There is 3 chibi parody planned at the moment but a fourth may be made. Then we'll back to story stuff. This first one was thought of by Thalar. What if Naubol had come back home earlier and got infected in the process. His escapade around the towers wouldn't be to find the truth, but to find that precious potato. Which he'd bring back to Waes in her isolation. That hole was after all, just the right size to pass the precious vegetable. I strongly suspect Thalar to be a potato worshipper.
["Shades of Black" Chibi]
Kern: Because to the expert eyes, there are many shades of black. One could say, there's 50. But someone daring to say that would have to jump off a cliff for their bad taste in jokes. Excuse me, i've a cliff to jump.
["Let Me Tell About My Feelings" Chibi]
Kern: The most terrifying thing a centuries old repressed goth could unleash... KIte rendition of the scripts are adorable as always.
["Make Babies!!!" Chibi]
Kern: Guest page by lunareth while we are away.