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Page Descriptions - Chapter 51
This article contains all the Moonless Age page announcements made by the comic's author for Chapter 51 - Interlude. 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: A new chapter number at last! Simple cover, quite calm actually. No antagonist taking over the whole center, no threat, no magical or demonic threat. Just people walking in the snow. Which I think represents this calm chapter well.
Kern: Shinae goes back to the scene of her murder when she is ambushed by the last person she expected: her ex. People were speculating if Gailen was going to find her, due to the proximity, and the answer is yes! And no, the chapter isn't going to focus on anything in particular, though the snowy scene will be the biggest. The chapter starts with a little epilogue for Shinae and Nishi who are both still in the Nal'sarkoth area.
Kern: Their meeting is difficult at first, but Gailen has a way to weaken Shinae's defenses. Shinae went from "I might stab you" down to "I'll tolerate your existence". Great progress.
Kern: Past the gate of his home, Gailen leads Shinae on a walk for some retrospection. Luckily for him, only some leaves were injured in the process. So much green and yellow... there's probably more green in this page than the the last few chapters combined. Plus we finally got the chance to use that old Nal'sarkoth concept art!
Kern: The fate of Nishi is revealed as she is in the same forest at the moment. There sitting on a bench, she awaits to know the fate her captors have for her. Tiny salad got fluffy. She must have received Snadhya's message at a tiny ball or something.
Kern: Nishi is being held as a bait for her sister's influence. While fear of treachery does little to scare off her captor. Tiny salad is being boss salad. It's all about trade and getting the most of the deal. Snadhya will smile and deal, until she has the upper hand; but Viri knows this.
Kern: Viri makes a prediction that the leader of the alliance will prove no more trustworthy than any other. Just as Chrys receives the news that the former captain of the guards will be made to lead them again. The same captain who betrayed the former empress. In order to stop this from happening, she is already plotting an assassination. Too many lost fights, too many lost leads, too many times the enemy moves right outside of her reach. It's not much of a character "growth", but it's certainly one where she's growing more mature in her new position.
Kern: Chrys' expectations are broken as what she finds is a broken thing that fails to answer her questioning. There was a fuss on the Discord from certain people regarding Nir'naya coming back to take the upper hand on Chrys and the others. Just playing with expectations there.
Kern: Chrys learns that she is to lead the guard. This just continues the series of misunderstandings and failed plots as the characters try to one-up each other all the time. But in this more calm chapter there's no fighting. Did Snad know about Nir's condition? Will she ever recover? Is Nir really that bad? Would Chrys have gone through with the assassination? Would she have gone as far as torture? Well, there won't be an answer for most of those things. Nir'naya will continue on. However, what she'll be after the time skip now that she went through all this is up in the air.
To go a bit deeper about the character of Chrys: From her point of view, she feels overwhelmed on all sides by other people's actions going past her. She feels she can't do anything to stop anyone from plotting and scheming. Yet, there's at least one person who sees it otherwise: Zala. From Zala's point of view, her daughter does a great job. Just trying to keep up means Zala gets information. And if she gets information, maybe next time she won't be surprised by Snad's moves. So one person's overwhelming failures is another person's success. I don't know if anyone will catch that just by reading the comic, but its what I tried to show in a few pages.
Kern: Instead of finding the great revival of her clan, Mikilu returns to find out her home is under occupation. She was injured in Chapter 46 and took a long time to recover. Her legs still have braces, though she can walk. First the Kyorl, now the Sarghress sitting on this diminished set of towers.
Kern: Mikilu, finding out the situation, makes her way to secure at least one person wearing a familiar set of armor for questioning. This particular cameo was involved in the defense of the home during Chapter 49.
Kern: Mikilu learns that the enemy is not there to occupy her ancestral home, but to join her cause instead. Happy ending for the Dutan'vir; at least a partial one.
Kern: Mikilu is led into a renewed home, where she learns how an entire legion ended up joining them. Then she ends up meeting one of her last surviving relative. Now their broken clan has hope for a brighter future. With that we're moving off from the Dutan'vir again. These were all little epilogues meant to follow up on the last chapter's events. Of these, there is just one left.
Kern: We leave the underworld as Ash'waren mourns the death of an old friend. Kel doesn't give a shit, though. Let's get back to discussing the future! And that elevator? Damn slow, especially when you have to listen to a monologue :P Two nagas are (not so well) hidden in this page.
Kern: Ash faces despair at the prospect of her clan until Kel'noz breaks through and offers her some hope. Romance is in the air. Ash wants to be noticed, but Kel'noz is playing it hard-to-get. Then suddenly Ash goes "Sempai?" with her empathic tentacles, and Kel'noz goes "hot"...
As some say, the alliance need to be "renewed."
Kern: Across the gap lay the colony, where Kau finds an abandoned golem buried in the snow. One he is determined to fix. We're now moving to main arc of this chapter, as shown on the cover. Snow as far as the eyes can see. Something we still have a plenty of over here even though its mid-April... As to why there is a golem right there, could've sunk in a hole hidden in the snow. Or maybe the pilot grew exhausted from mana-deprivation and just abandoned it until it gets easier.
Editor's Note: Kern and Kite live in Canada. April snow shouldn't be that surprising.
Kern: It's not about the kick, it's about they baggage they carry. Which they share with each other as they work to dig out the golem. Meanwhile Ariel looks to a familiar place. Said place is this. First the statue, now the hill with the tree.
Kern: Ariel screams at the empty space, only to find little Pup was coming up behind her. He stands there shaken until she picks him up and offers that they both scream together. Just meant as a cute little bonding moment between the two while life is still calm. Pup saw his brother being murdered recently, a brother who often spoke for him. That's bound to make for a quiet and nervous kid.
Kern: The two of them are having a moment as they scream to the world, then kick and stomp the snow together. Just venting, Ariel gets Pup to express himself. Makes the whole "speaking up" thing less terrifying. While the snow is getting its shit beaten up. It was evil snow, don't worry.
Kern: Ariel mistakes the boy for the mother, and the surprise hug gets her a surprise kick to the face. Not the best of first meetings for the two. I know they don't truly look alike, but that's Ariel not being accustomed to see a lot of [[Halme|his kind[[. To her, she'd probably say all of Vaelia's species looks the same. Until she get to know more of them; which she is likely to do very soon. And hey, Pup said something! That's a plus.
Kern: The boy ran away, leaving his catch behind and an upset Faen who came to investigate the shouting. Though she is quick to forgive. Little Pup is a tattletale, but then better that he is that than than being a mute kid forever. It's one of his things: To just repeat what's going on or what is said. Likely something he learned from being the shadow of his older brother. And yes, Ariel thinks the boy is a girl. Still. Remember that her grandma is Quain; there's many men who are not as manly as Quain out there.
Kern: Following the person to his home, they discover an old friend and guardian: Vaelia. This time there's no mistaking the meeting. We tried to go by the old Vaelia path story with the Emberi town design. Over time, others of Vaelia's kin ended up finding a new home here in the colony, where the raiders had learned to tolerate the goblin presence thanks to her efforts. And a certain little faery pest now building up colonies of their own around the streets.
Kern: 15 years apart, and now they meet again with two children of their own on each side. Unsurprisingly, the house has faeries seeking warmth. Considering they were viewed as pests infesting places, you can expect every house in that corner of the colony has some in them. Pup wins cute award for flopping over Ariel's eyes to say hello to the other baby. Esuni is a quiet one though.
Kern: Ariel is surprised by Faen's answer when Vaelia ask if the children belong to them. Faen adopted hard. And yes, finally the babies will get names. That should appease Thrair.
Editor's Note: Not my bloody fault he leaves important characters unnamed for months at a time. For crying out loud, the baby girl's only known name prior was "Poopy Baby!"]
Kern: They decide to finally give proper names to the two infants and fail miserably. Who knew making names was that hard? This page kind of reflects our struggle with the matter. In the end, Vaelia is the one to name the boy.
Kern: Naming a child is hard, and these two struggle with it until Vaelia pipes in with a suggestion: Octarya. I tried to make it a realistic struggle to come up with the name and, well, it was hard for real to come up with a name too! The other names mentioned were real alternatives.
Kern: Prepare yourself for a wall of text! Vaelia talks about herself and the last few years, as the little faeries emerge from their hives. Two more pages to go for this chapter. Not much drama, nor fighting, for this one. But you can expect the next chapter to pick up on the action!
Kern: Vaelia the optimist, cheering the two on with her hope for the future as the two bros fight to get their machine going in the snow. Getting a golem moving in the snow has to be extremely exhausting, but he's stubborn and he has put his mind to it. Kau is already the better golem user of the group and he'll be even more so after the timeskip. Plus Vaelia is cute. It's weird to think "Hey Vaelia is old now", but Vaelia is our age. o_o By the time we got to this chapter, we aged as much as Vaelia did.
Kern: This chapter is wrapped up with a hug. As a lone rider comes to scout the colony from the distance. Spring will come with troubles.
Kern: 16 years has passed. The children grew into adults, and now they will have children of their own. We've seen a lot of highs and downs over the years, but if you are reading this, you're a veteran, one of those that pulled through the thousands of pages! Thanks for sticking with us through these years of work. You are what make us continue.
Kern: Cuteness by Kite.
Kern: Faery invasion begins.
Kern: Faen is getting depressed. Adorable page by Kite.