Phil proposed diagonal panels to highlight the unusual quality of the action here, I thought it was a great idea, and, well… here we are. Erica did have the latitude to do as she saw fit with suggestions like that, but I wish we’d discussed this one a little more.

On the other hand, the current layout does work well, and I’m taken with Erica’s rendition of Byron’s conflicted face in panels 3 and 4. He really looks like this decision cost him a couple years of life, but this is arguably his greatest single moment as team leader. Sometimes the right choices are neither popular ones nor ones you can feel good about afterward. Romanticized fantasies aside, he just saved his teammates’ lives.

Phil, Erica, and I did not know this at the time, but a later retcon would establish that Gastonia’s intentions for the orcs were no nobler than the trolls’.