We almost put Naror’Nj’s death in the last panel of the previous page. I talked Phil out of it on the basis that “You are some lesser creature” was still a legitimate cliffhanger and this way we get more of a swerve.

That’s a decent title. Outside the “life points” pun, it’s got a nice “imaginary etymology” going on, like a lot of science-fiction novels of the last century.

We’d already established the variance in avians’ humanlike intelligence with Gondolessa and Yalaria, but they almost all meet a certain baseline, so the commander here is confident his orders will be followed even if they won’t be eloquently repeated. And much like humans, avians’ intelligence is less evident once their adrenaline takes over.

Well, more or less followed… those orders made it sound like the ‘Njs would be the next to die, but you’ve got to eliminate the most dangerous players on the board first or they might kill YOU, and at the moment Syr’Nj and even Faer are helpless with grief. Sorry, unnamed guards. Fortunately, E-Merl is an expert at not looking important.