Our primary investment in Penk starts paying dividends almost immediately: he gives us a grunt’s-eye-view of what up to now we’ve only seen through the eyes of the generals. Considering how much of Guilded Age is about the working class, we were overdue for a scene that gave us a more sustained look through these eyes.

I think we always took Penk’s claims about Harky’s history at face value. I have to admit, on re-reading, they do play a lot like legends, or oral histories on their way to becoming myths, like a first-draft Iliad a few centuries before Homer got to it.

Hard to get that washed-out flashback look without intruding too much on Sepia World’s aesthetic, but it looks like John managed that. The color scheme also makes the recovering trolls look appropriately beaten up and dirtied. We were deliberately channeling Frazetta, which helped.

The presence of the Fireseye in that one troll’s hand was a detail John added. There were legendary warriors before Harky but none that existed in his generation to pass on power as he later passed it on to Penk; otherwise, Harky wouldn’t have had to fight alone that first time.