I hope you all like the comedy of the normally chill (when not berserking) Byron flying into a rage the instant he sees Sundar, because Phil did not. “He’s letting Syr’Nj down, he’s letting adventurers down!” I mean, I thought he was gonna have a stroke. And we’d just had another fight about the previous page, in which E-Merl created an especially large illusion, and whether or not that fit the limits of his powers.

Even though Phil was backing down and letting me get what I wanted after many of these fights, they were still loud, angry, and emotionally costly, right as my office workload was cresting. He was going through some shit of his own, but I’ll talk about that more next chapter.

Kind of tough for me to be at my funniest when every page was getting me yelled at. E-Merl’s gag looks underdeveloped to me now. I should’ve given him a couple more Marvin-the-Paranoid-Android-type lines before getting someone to put a bow on his depression the way Fr’Nj does here.

But let’s end on a positive note. I like how Phil and I made sure that Sundar and Tamara, respectively, hinted at their histories in panel 2. This would pay off handsomely in the next two chapters, not least by making it clear there was more to Tamara than just “fighter, yet blind.”