So after we realized killing Karmakat wasn’t on the menu, Phil came back with this ending for him, instead. Sometimes working under unexpected restrictions makes your work awkward and discordant, and sometimes it actually makes it better.

Thankfully, this was the latter case. While an epic death scene might’ve been wrenching and maybe foreshadowed Harky’s own end, the unease and uncertainty of this sequence makes the gnolls a lot more sympathetic. Not an easy task, given that they’re the winning side of a genocidal war.

Phil and I never considered bringing the character back after this (except for one highly ambiguous moment in Chapter 42). No reappearance he could make would be as powerful as the way his people’s shadow haunts the gnoll culture. The unanswered question. The lingering doubt. The unspoken guilt.

That said, he still makes appearances, albeit in very different contexts, in his creator/namesake’s own comics, last I checked. Glad he made it to 2020.