New Comics Every Weekday - Written by T Campbell & Phil Kahn - Illustrated by John & Jason Waltrip
Huh. So his axes are people.
Bayen and Brayen are Soylent Green!
Hey, that’s pretty sharp!
As is your cutting commentary! =-)
It’s too early in the morning here for me, I can’t handle this.
you seem to have cut to the heart of the matter
Their words have a certain weight to them, don’t they?
Eh, I think he’s just a hack.
You think they should have been cut out entirely, then?
They’re really just being wiseasses any way you slice it.
Soylent axe is brothers.
Soylent Axe is gingeerrrrrrr!!!!
No one axed you :C
So do we now have the “C U Bayen” Wig?
Aw, that is adorable and we finally see why he named his axes. :D
Either that or the axes are named after the people he killed with them while berserk.
For that matter, each of them is *carrying* an axe. And while the full image isn’t available, they *do* look kinda familiar.
Also, gotta love chars who don’t use wisdom as a dump stat.
Good eye, it’s the frst thing I looked for.
Brayen’s axe has a pair of bends in the hilt that exactly matches Byron’s left-hand axe. It’s pretty distinctive, but I can’t remember which axe is named what.
Plus one’s being worn on the right hip, the other on the left.
Their parents weren’t that creative with names though.
For some reason I thought we already knew his axes were named after his dead brothers. Where would I have gotten that idea? Was there some figurative speech I interpreted literally at some point? It’s happened before…
Nothing explicitly stated, more an educated guess. Closest we get is when he was talking to the axes before throwing one through the stained glass window during the Frigg rescue.
So then I have no idea where I got that idea. Didn’t think anything was revealed here until I approached the comment section.
My guess is, he named his axes after them after he killed them in his first ever berserker rage. Their smiles in panel 2 just ask for it.
My money is on him taking up the axes of his fallen friends, and gave them the names of their owners.
Bayen is the older brother. He’s got the better armor, and likely had to noogie, wet willie, or purple nurple the armor off of Brayen.
It’s weird that Byron doesn’t have the same accent. I guess he lost it spending the last half of his life around other humans.
BTW, I’m really loving the background in this flashback. ^_^
or maybe he doesn’t have the accent because he’s a player, not an NPC?
Someone guessed this last year. Whoever that was deserves about 4 gold stars.
I had a role model who taught me life skills like Bayen. Except that the life skills were along the lines of “pull my finger”.
Is Byron the non-red headed step child?
Why should the Weasleys have to be Byron’s brothers? Why couldn’t he jus be some sort of odd, less deeply Scottish, squire, or similar thing?
I hate to say it, but this page is totally adorable.
Hate to break your reverie, but Bayen & Brayen are probably NPCs in the game, so the connection Byron has with them is falsified memories, nothing more.
That’s rather sad actually.
Byron himself is the creation of such falsified memories, living in a falsified universe. Within this context I don’t think it actually means anything. They’re as real as everything else Byron has seen, touched, or experienced in his life. They’re as real as Byron himself. I see no problem or sadness here, save for the sadness that naturally accompanies dead relatives.
Again, how do we know they’re relatives? Different noses, brown hair versus exceptionally red hair (especially odd, given that brown is a dominant gene), and two blue eyed brothers with a brown eyed younger broter (again, blue is recessive, whereas brown is dominant) is genetically very unlikely.
We don’t. I made an assumption there. You caught me.
Allow me to rephrase. No sadness beyond that which would naturally accompany the suspicious present day absence of these figures whom Byron once shared strong bonds with. Whether they’re actually relatives or not doesn’t much change what I was trying to say there.
To be fair, you made a bit of an assumption there yourself. All I said was dead relatives. You came up with brothers all on your own. Could be cousins, or uncles, or half-brothers, or step-brothers, or brothers-in law, or simply all part of the same tribal family. There are a thousand and one types of relatives that would be explain the physical discrepancies you mention.
True, relatives does not mean brothers. I came back and made the comments with the word “brothers” in them after reading through the rest of the comments in which people have extended relatives to brothers.
Mostly, though, I was just wondering if there was a spectacular reveal of brotherliness that I missed somehow.
Just skimmed through the archives and no. I guess not. In today’s strip they’ve got a bit of a brother vibe going, but there’s not really even any reference to the axes being named after people beyond Byron’s habit of talking to them as if they’re alive.
Similar naming sense could be construed as a sign of sibling relations or just familial relations depending on how you look at it. Aside from the coloration issues you mention, they do have remarkably similar physical appearances, which could be a sign of being relatives or it could just be a general physique common to their homeland. They share his love of puns, which isn’t actually indicative of anything beyond them being the souls who instilled that in him at a young age, but I still find think it’s awesome.
So yeah, not a whole lot solid to go on here. Another angle you could approach it from is “How many reasons are there for people of their ages to spend time with a Byron so young”, they seem to have really close bonds, and that’s just uncommon for people of their respective ages. It kind of does feel like a situation where we can rule out standard friendship and comradery, but with so little of the backstory we really can’t do that either. They seem to be on some manner of foreign warzone, I’m sure anyone who’s from home is counted as a trustworthy friend right now.
tl;dr a whole lot of rambling just to say that it really is an assumption and as such there’s no particularly solid backing to it.
Just to chime in (for my first time ever), do remember how much of their in-tank life reflects their, for lack of a better term, ‘real’ life. These older role-models/best-friends/axe-men could well be something similar to how he grew up…the fact that he is a leader and respects life to an extent seems to have been shaped by his out-of-tank personality and views.
I agree. Fiction isn’t created at random; it is a revisioning of reality, however fantastic the revision may be. Everyone has known loss. It could be that player of Byron had two older brothers whom he loved and has lost in some traumatic fashion, or it may be that there is some less direct connection. In any case, in context, Byron’s feelings are real.
Presumably, this comic isn’t being written by a berserker from Battleshire.
As much as fiction draws upon reality, do we actually have any indication that the fictional story of Byron the Berserker in any way draws upon the reality of his player character’s life? Thought it was more simple than that. Memory wipe, place him in a new setting where he’ll grow from childhood.
This comic being written by a berserker from battleshire? I didn’t think this comic was being written by anyone in particular in comic. I mean, Gravedust acts as a bit of a chronicler for his part of the story, and Daedelus presumably had an involvement in designing the game setting and some level of control over the events that transpire in this universe, but there’s no character writing the comic as such. Though that would certainly add another meta layer to the narrative if they zoomed out from Daedalus to someone telling his daughter this as a bedtime story made up on the fly.
My guess is that, given the glimpses we had of the players in Sepia World, there’s a close correspondence between the players and the characters. I’m not sure of that, and I don’t think the sense of the narrative, at least in the immediate context, depends on that. My broader point was in response to the idea that’s been expressed repeatedly since the start of Chapter 9, that the feelings of the characters don’t matter because we know now they’re not real experiences.
Of course the author of the comic isn’t Byron the Berserker. The authors are T. Campbell, Phil Kahn, John Waltrip, and Erica Henderson. What I meant is that the meaningfulness of the feelings are not dependent upon the veridity of the events. there is an important facet of what it is to be human that involves our ability to imagine counterfactual narratives, to empathize with other people, even non-existing people, and think and feel our way through those counterfactual narratives. I find it distressing when some people dismiss a facet of human nature that, ultimately, all technology, culture, and society is built upon.
You get into a sketchy area with the willing suspension of disbelief when the story starts sending mixed messages about whether this happened even within the context of the story or not. We’re expected to simultaneously allow ourselves to believe the story within these events transpire, as well as the meta-narrative which pretty explicitly states that these events did not transpire. I would be outright shocked if absolutely no one questioned the significance of these events, or found themselves writing them off in favor of the metanarrative which contradicts their importance.
It’s perfectly natural. Even if none of it was ever real to begin with, it does become much harder to emotionally invest when the story is no longer real even within its’ own context. The classic “It was all a dream” scenario is a good example of this. The frustration associated with that revelation is due to how it invalidates any feelings one may have experienced during the dream sequence.
Of course, a story like this is a bit more complex than a mere dream sequence, begging questions regarding the nature of reality. I suspect that the discussions that arise from this are at least partially intentional, as we all express our varying opinions regarding whether or not this can be considered real or not. How a synthetic universe shines under the light of creationist views. Exactly what manner of substance or significance the universe must have in order to be considered real. There are varying views on the subject to be found here, and personally I’ve found it quite interesting. Whether the authors planned for it or not I’d count it as a success.
Bayen, Brayen, Byron…I think I notice a pattern, this region of Arkerra is rich in Bs and Ys.
As well as Ns.
Mother’s maiden name was Bayer? :P
Arkerra’s actually France, and they all live in Bayonne.
A lesson given in wisdom can break the strongest of tricks, and bring clarity to the most clouded of minds.
The more detail you go into about why Byron’s insane prepared for anything, the more I love this series.
When you’re lost in the storm,
hold your heaaaad up hiiiiiiiiigh…
I know, they’re not the right words, but it started going through my head, and now it’s in yours…
“… and doooooon’t be afraid of the daaaaaark.”
Yeah… thanks a lot. XP
>>Implying Those two aren’t Byron’s older brothers
>>Implying they didn’t die in “awful circumstances”
>>Implying the axes he’s carrying weren’t picked up by byron as sole survivor of some awful event
I doubt they’re directly related, as the eye/hair color is nowhere close, Byron’s nose bridge is MUCH more pronounced, and unless Brayen is hiding it behind his beard, Byon’s chin is much more chiseled.
Yeah, he could just be adopted.
Or a half-sibling. Maybe he got all his looks from his mom.
Or those two are actually twins. Byron is different because he look more like his father or something =P
Or he’s not even related, they’re just his battle teachers.
Oh, dear. Now I can only hope Battleshire isn’t like Sparta. Poor Byron!
Well, I look absolutely nothing like my brother, neither of us were adopted, and we have the same parents (i.e., we’re not half-siblings). Genetic roulette. ;-)
Does one of you have two facial features which express separate double recessive genes while the other one has features that express dominant genes throughout?
Even a roulette wheel has some connection to odds :)
It isn’t impossible if the parent showing the dominant genes is also a carrier for the recessive ones. For fucks sake, people! :P
LOL! Actually, yeah, I got the recessive genes–red hair specifically–the outcome with 25% chance on the wheel. My parents both have/had dark hair except my dad’s beard used to be red, and obviously my mom carries the gene even though she has a dark complexion and none of her immediate family had red hair. Generally speaking, I look like a slightly paler, red-haired version of my dad and my brother looks like my mom–dark complexion, dark hair, and pretty different physical features overall. But we all have brown eyes…no double-recessive combos there.
Yes it’s conceivably possible, but the odds are horrific. (Assuming that the Weasleys are identical twins) it’s 25% for eyes x 25% for hair = 6 1/4% for both. Square that if they’re fraternal twins or just brothers to be less than 2/5% chance.
However, the really screwy one is the skin genes. Whilst you do get variation between siblings (I seem to have acquired all the olive skin, whereas my sister is comparatively pale), all siblings will be effected to a greater or lesser extent (baring albinos, but that also rules out the red hair). So, for Byron to be that damned dark while the Weasleys are so absurdly pale is nigh on impossible. Variation, yes. Scotland versus Southern Spain, no. Then you multiply that near impossibility (random mutation and other wierd stuff is always theoretically possible) by the highly unlikely eyes/hair combo (and the nose, though that could just be a bad break at a young age) and the odds are so low that it must be something like a million to – forget I said anything. It’s absolutely certain, now.
OK, you realize we’re now debating the genetics of comic book characters who are literally living in a fantasy world… ;-)
So that makes us awesome meta-geneticists, right? Sort of Super Awesome Demigod geneticists (or, SAD, for short)?
Oh, hey. I got something kind of like that. Both my parents have one parent with blue eyes. They’re an interracial couple. So while me and my sister are very dark brown haired, mahogany people with brown eyes, my brother came out as this blue eyed, blond haired white kid. From the rest of our physical features we’re still clearly related. It’s almost like a blatant and poorly done color swap between him and I, but I’d be lying if I said dad hadn’t asked the doctor some questions to see if this was legit.
It lacks the recessive hair, but it’s still always surprised people that a perfect Aryan boy somehow came out of this union. He also somehow inherited my mother’s british constitution, whereas neither my sister or I really get sick for the most part. I’m pretty sure there are some relatives we’ve never quite managed to convince that he was fathered by the same man as us.
Byron learned that his eyes were brown from the terrain. See? He knew those lessons were worth it.
What is with Byron jumping back and froth from capable leader to panicky coward?
I think he was the capable leader up until the whole berserker part and subsequent resurrection, where he started doubting his abilities to control himself and as a result was not leaderly anymore. I’m liking the recovered Byron here.
It looks like he needs the adrenaline surge to focus, since his confidence has been shot by murdering everyone he cares about. Without the adrenaline surge, he’s back to needing to build himself back up.
I’m going to go with “having an exceptionally, unfathomably bad week.” (Or however long between being dead and resurrected.)
And that spear Harky rammed into him – worse case of heartburn I’ve ever seen. It’d ruin anyone’s day/week/month/whatever.
Byron”s earlier eye color was blue-ish. I’m not sure if that’ gonna prove anything though.
i was trying to reply bargamer.
Well then I have some bad news for you…
I’m guessing that those two (Bayen and Brayen) are twins…
Much like his axes are. And yet, don’t particularly look like Byron at all.
BEST. FLASHBACK. YET.
Brayen’s sideways look in the 2nd panel feels like he’s thinking, “I’m gonna kill ya one day Bayen…”.
On an unrelated note Battleshire doesn’t sound like a very safe place.
At least it isn’t goldshire.
Isn’t there a Battleshire in Forgotten Realms?
The village of berserker hobbits? Sorry, halflings…
There’s Battledale, in the Dalelands.
The Dalelands are sort of absurdly idealized independent yeoman farmers, the idealizing made all the stranger by the chronic Zhentilar invasions, Drow incursions, dragon assaults, the ruined elven city overrun by devils (or is it demons?), and the occasional attempt by extraplanar beings to destroy all Abeir-Toril, starting with Shadowdale — all of which leaves you wondering how anyone survives, let alone tend crops.
So yeah, sounds like the kind of place Byron might come from.
I kind of wish Bayen was my big brother now.
Thank you, this is the exposition I was waiting for! Guess this will lead to something that explains his severe case of postberserking depressive disorder.
I’m now forced to put my money on BSSD (Battleshire/Sparta Similarity Disorder).
Clearly, Brayen is the evil twin. He has the goatee.
So Bayen and Brayen are a link to the past, then?
The lost Weasleys!
You’re like my one, personal echo. Only you echo my thoughts on the-
Wait a minute… GAH! Get out of my brain, psychic witch!
Five times less annoying than the Weasleys.
Nice seeing Byron getting his act together again.
I love Byron <3
That's all I have to say.
Growing up in a place called Battleshire might explain how his nose was broken at such an early age.
…Man. That is such an MMO area name.
Am I the only girl who wants to see more of the hottie red-haired older brothers?
Gotta love that scorching hot hair.
I love these new characters who are likely to stick around forever and ever and ever!
I’m sure they have nothing to do with that other flashback in which Byron is a child, holding a pair of axes, and staring at a town in flame with corpses strewn about. That was surely just random.
Yeah, that was the other Battleshire, South Battleshire. It burns down every week. Byron lives in North Battleshire, totally safe place.
Oh my gosh he’s going to kill them both and steal their axes.
ya know, i’m pretty excited to see more of this now, just for the simple fact that i have a feeling that this arc will give even more depth to the characters backgrounds. which especially in the case of Byron i’ve been waiting patiently to see :D
I love how the three brothers have an RGB color theme.
…So I guess there’s not much chance this is just Byron’s visualization of what his axes would look like as people?
That would have been one heck of a pair of imaginary friends…
he lost his sanity check roll back during his berserk phase, and the ramifications of that are just now coming in to play.
This is now my head-canon.
I just noticed Byron’s eyes are brown…could have sworn they were blue at some point (chapter 7?) …did I miss something?
Love the comic by the way!
So I have a pun and a legitimate question all in one.
The way Bayen and Brayen are dropping their h’s … what ax-ent is that?
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
*EMAIL — Get a Gravatar
NOTE - You can use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>
Philly Comic Con
(Philadelphia, PA 5/30 - 6/2)
(Hartford, CT 7/12 - 7/14)
(Rockville, MD 8/23 - 8/25)