We asked for a variety of reactions in panel 2, and I like how Erica made some of the humans protective of each other. “I won’t let you hurt my family, stranger!” They may be united in seemingly impenetrable racism against this newcomer, but they’re not all bad.

One of Phil’s first ideas for Guilded Age was that humans and dwarves should not be buddy-buddy, as they generally have been in many other fantasy works since the days of Tolkien (as you may recall, it was the elves who had friction with the dwarves back in LoTR). This paid off in spades throughout the story (there is no other relation between races that underscores the series’ themes more directly) but it also meant that Gravedust would be slow to trust the human members of his party. He wouldn’t trust non-human criminals either, and probably would want little to do with a narcissist. So it was pretty much inevitable whom he was going to bond with first.