New Comics Every Weekday - Written by T Campbell & Phil Kahn - Illustrated by John & Jason Waltrip
Ahhahahaha. Insane troll logic indeed.
Also. “Never did anything to you”. Oh, suuuuuuure. Because the Kraken was totally innocuous, I’m sure.
It’s always different when it’s your people doing it.
I just figured from her tone that avians had been attacked or had their lands encroached upon by Gastonians before they joined up with the trolls.
It could be that before the attack we saw, they actually hadn’t done anything.
Pretty sure she’s referring to how this all started.
A mad game designer dabbling in forces best left untouched?
Yeah, what Wulf said basically.
Chapter 16: Syr gets mad.
Sympathetic as ever, Ardaic.
It just occurred to me…You know what’s really hard to pronounce with a rigid beak for a mouth? Words.
Yet Yalaria seems to have a beakful. Good for her for overcoming adversity and striving against that mad man, Darwin. The Man is always trying to keep them down.
Explain parrots. ;)
God, that’s the perfect avatar. It seems time and chance is on the side of this one. Darwin Tested and Approved.
Hah. Yeah, I wouldn’t have laughed quite as hard at that if that avatar hadn’t been so perfect.
I’m surprised they didn’t clip her talons when they first took her in. Leaving a prisoner with deadly weapons? Poor form, Gastonia. Poor form.
I hope Syr doesn’t get all moral about this. She knows how racist Gastonians are first-hand, and she’s been thrown into a death pit by the opposition. Yalaria even tried to kill her friend in a rather sadistic manner.
So there’s evil on both sides. This seems like a very good time for Syr’nj to get all moral.
I phrased it poorly. But, yeah, look at who she’s talking to. Preaching at that guy won’t make any difference, for the exact reasons I just mentioned.
Remember when she *went all moral* and left her wood elf clan?
She can’t do the same here, and this guy’s going to be about as receptive to a speech as the wood elves were. This isn’t the place or the time for her to get her righteousness on, and that sure isn’t the right guy to do it to.
Trying to kill humans and attacking human settlements probably didn’t help your case at all, yalaria.
“We never did anything to you!” she says as she mauls Syrnj.
I do believe there’s a word for when your actions are not in agreement with your words.
Yalaria is in captivity, apparently with untreated wounds. Gastonia has a history of belligerence towards the “Savage Races”. She knows she’s surrounded by enemies. It’s pretty reasonable for her to assume that Syr’nj is playing “good cop”, or something of the kind.
You can’t expect everyone to have the patience of a saint.
Not saying she’s being unreasonable. Obviously she’s got every reason to do all the things she’s done. Not like she just woke up in the morning and decided to attack a human city for shits and giggles and it’s not like she’s just been sitting here as a guest enjoying the hospitality of her hosts when suddenly she was overcome with violent urges or anything.
Just saying she is literally shouting “We didn’t do anything” as she enacts violence upon Syrnj. She is doing things right the fuck now. It is a valid story-telling component to draw attention to, since both sides of this conflict view themselves as the defendant even as they perform the actions of the aggressor, and this is reflected right down to the soldier who can claim that she’s never done anything to warrant hatred from Syrnj even as she violently attacks Syrnj with her claws.
This. So much this.
That I agree with.
I was finding the discussion of the previous page unsettling; the idea that you should refrain from cruelty to prisoners of war seems to be alien to some people.
Ah, was there a debate on the ethics of torture over the weekend? Those are always… interesting. To put it politely.
Not much of a debate, really. Just a lot of expressions of no sympathy for Valaria.
She’s freaking out. If you get the shit beat out of you (or raped) by people, and well-meaning individual (especially one who resembles one of the attackers) tries to touch you, your fight or flight response may kick in. It happens a lot with wild animals, but also with traumatized people. It happens in RL. Seen it… Even met a beautiful shy scared young woman who turned into a murderer. I know it sounds like a lifetime movie, but if you met this woman in real-life you’d just know she wasn’t a violent person at all but her survival instinct overrode her. She was tiny, painfully shy, and scared and just barely into adulthood (not an actor or sociopath). I digress though.
Nothing about this seem illogical to me.
^ Oh, and by “it happens with wild animals,” I mean their flight or fight response kicks in easy (just by being captured) not that they get raped or beaten a lot. Just woke up. XD
Or, to summarize: “They began it! They began it! And we’re the ones to stop it once and for all!”
(So which side is the Sharks and which is the Jets?)
We have clearly established which side has the Sharks.
Or, to badly paraphrase one of your great social philosophers – Pratchett I think?
Every society needs a cry like ["Remember Koom Valley!"], but only in a very few do they come out with the complete, unvarnished version, which is “Remember-The-Atrocity-Committed-Against-Us-Last-Time-That-Will-Excuse-The-Atrocity-That-We’re-About-To-Commit-Today! And So On! Hurrah!”
Agreed, fully and completely. Now let us make war upon the living for rejecting our rights to be functioning members of society solely for being undead!
Thank you so much gangler. I’ve probably been in too many English lit. classes, but I’ve been going over this page and the previous one like it was a passage out of Milton. (Only vastly more entertaining. And better written.)
But yes I agree very much that both sides show this same tendency.
However I also think that part of Yalaria’s reaction is spurred by whatever treatment she has had. Again, as I mentioned before, bird in a cage much too small….
I too think that the cage is driving some/a lot of her current stress issues – and stressed people don’t think things through, and aren’t all that rational.
Having dealt with someone with claustrophobia, these last two pages ring sort of true to me…
If you attack your medical staff, your wounds don’t get treated.
Lashing out from fear while imprisoned in a hostile environment doesn’t make you lose your moral high ground (assuming you have one).
I would hope not.
The “moral high ground” was lost somewhere around the time she assisted with the placement of a WMD and decided dropping an enemy combatant to her death from altitude was _hysterical fun_.
Your attitude has consequences just as serious as your actions, and taking joy in the task of Killing your enemy moves your moral high ground into a morass.
She came across as someone who was laughing the whole thing off because she was going to succeed and she was talking to people who were as good as dead already.
Back when we has leaders with a conscience, the US tried _their_own_soldiers_ that were in Viet Nam for dropping blindfolded enemy troops out of running helicopters during questioning. It was treated as torture and inhumane. Some of these drops were merely a few feet, but the process was still seen as completely wrong given the subject’s mental state and the expectation they would die.
Also. attacking the only friendly face you have seen loses you any opportunity to improve your situation. Self-destructive at best.
…not like we’ve got anyone on our team who takes joy in killing their enemy. Certainly we’d never choose to associate with anyone who would do something as crass as turn the killcount into a friendly game of sport.
Seriously. Our team conists of a wanted fugitive, an escapee from a religious reformation camp who’s primary joy in life is bashing skulls, a lovable nun working to revive her genocidal cult, a traitor to his people who makes life and death his plaything generally towards personal gain despite whatever he may say about his noble jedi ideals, what I suspect might be a career pickpocket, another traitor to her people, a grown up child soldier who can barely function as a person outside of the battlefield and has a whole lot of traumatic hangups when he’s there too, and whatever the heck Scipio is.
It’s war. None of the major players are untarnished souls of goodness and purity. An environment where nobody can afford to be the merciful one both draws and creates certain types. The moral high-ground here isn’t what it would be in say an urban police force.
I find that moral high ground means nothing in a real war. read your history from the Roma empire though WW2, morality had next to nothing in how they waged wars. No we are trying to put morality in our fighting. look how things are going for us in afganistan. not so great, right?
the point being that war is ment to be terriable, so much so that one side caves sooner and the war can STOP sooner. long drawn out wars are truly the worst thing you can do.
… because, among other things, the longer wars go on, the more callous people become about committing atrocities.
–It’s also a webcomic, one which seems to prompt a lot of real-life analogies and allusions in discussions between its readers, but a webcomic all the same; Surely the implied substantive legal concept of Kobold Rights teems with even more comedic possibilities than an away game of keeping the little buggers from bothering livestock. Or farmers’ daughters, whatever it is kobolds get up to on the weekend. Have at it, GA staff!
As to the inevitable debates about the moral genesis of the rivalry between Gastonia and the alleged Savage Races, this quote always seems close to hand…
“It’s war. None of the major players are untarnished souls of goodness and purity”
Really? How about Syrinj? Gravedust?
When have they done anything immoral?
Wars tend to draw two kinds of people. Those who relish it, and those who are unafraid to do hard things because they are necessary. Once there, you spend some time in the forge, and you come out broken or tougher. Syr is going to become something amazing.
Sirinj is in the minority, but there she is, still trying to do what is right and keep a soul. Bandit and the others are amusing and I watch them make their choices and shrug. I’ve seen a lot of people like them.
But you only know a few like Syr. Syr is the one I read for.
For her, personally? Well, maybe. For the “revolution?” How about when they enslaved the orcs? Harki’s goal is genocide; his “compatriots” are just as venial as the Gastonian leadership. The day Harki accomplishes his present goal is the day Operation Animal Farm begins.
All I’m saying is, attacking Syr out of fear doesn’t automatically make her a hypocrite.
May or may not be a hypocrite in the general sense, but it’s certainly an act of hypocrisy. Pretty flagrant hypocrisy at that.
It doesn’t warrant the condemnation that one would typically bestow on a hypocrite. That’s a fundamental difference. The fact that there are entirely valid reasons for her to be acting in opposition to her stated beliefs is a moral justification of her moment of hypocrisy, but it doesn’t itself bring her words and her actions in agreement with eachother.
In point of fact this is something that was done to her. By her people who indoctrinated her and by the Gastonians who put her through what I only can imagine to be some very traumatic experiences. This is another way in which she’s been victimized by all this.
Look, it’s very simple.
“We never did anything to you” – Refers to the past, before the war started. She sees the “rebellion” as an act of self defense.
Everything after that, the Kraken, lashing out at Syr is a part of that defensive act against an aggressor her people hadn’t harmed previously. Now you can argue that her perspective is wrong but there’s no hypocrisy in her statement and actions as they have been presented so far.
Of course, if you want to get philosophical or “meta” about it you can make just about any claim you want but I don’t care to go there.
Fair enough. I feel like we’re getting side-tracked. The post was originally just trying to point out something I thought was neat about the panel layout. Then somehow…
Panel layout, eh? Well I’ll show you what’s what and…how you’re wrong about…the..panel layout…thing. :P
Sorry, have to jump in here for a moment – Hypocrisy isn’t just a mis-match between actions and words. Her actions are ironic in the context of her actions, and worth noting, but they are not hypocritical (as far as we know).
Hypocrisy is very specific – it’s when you claim to have beliefs that you do not have – that’s it. It is not when you don’t live up to your beliefs, or when your words don’t seem to match your actions.
Yes, I’ve heard this before. The problem is that in practice this is usually a distinction without a difference. In the most explicit case, where someone actually gets up and professes a belief which they consciously recognize they do not actually hold, that’s not hypocrisy: that’s lying. Where hypocrisy–as we generally mean it–comes in is when your conscious mind believes it believes the ideal, but in practice you apply a double-standard to your own actions versus those of others.
And that’s totally going on.
“Nothing is more unjust, however common, than to charge with hypocrisy him that expresses zeal for those virtues which he neglects to practice; since he may be sincerely convinced of the advantages of conquering his passions, without having yet obtained the victory, as a man may be confident of the advantages of a voyage, or a journey, without having courage or industry to undertake it, and may honestly recommend to others, those attempts which he neglects himself.”
- Samuel Johnson
The point I’m trying to make is that while this is a very nice quote, it’s functionally meaningless. Intentions are very, very vague things. People can intend to pursue an ideal and yet their whole lives make no progress towards it.
For the most part, we would agree that when someone says that it would be good to eat right and lose weight, but doesn’t ever manage to do that, it is a case of moral weakness rather than hypocrisy. But if that someone says stealing is wrong, yet he keeps stealing, is it moral weakness or hypocrisy? Would you take his word for it regarding his intentions? He may even deceive himself.
Erm, I mistakenly omitted the line where I explained how it becomes a distinction without a difference by pointing out that, absent the “lying” case described above, it’s practically impossible to tell whether someone subconsciously believes in the ideal but fails to live up to it or subconsciously does not believe in the ideal and is therefore a hypocrite.
In real life, perhaps – when reading fiction, however, there is a difference, and it is therefore worth making the distinction.
I disagree, because fiction or not, I’m not comfortable with the idea that the distinction between an action worthy of moral revulsion and an action not worthy of such is an act of self-delusion. That’s often all that stands between our definition of moral weakness and hypocrisy.
It’s a good thing that no one, besides you, is making that particular moral distinction then, eh?
If that’s how you feel, then why pull out your Samuel Johnson quote? If you don’t apply a difference of judgement, even to discuss the difference between moral weakness and hypocrisy is mere pedantry.
The difference is that gangler’s excellent point was being lost in his mistaken wording.
Ironic within the context of her actions. That’s a good way of putting it. Wish I’d said it like that. I probably could’ve avoided a lot.
The mistake of you has been learned from by me. Thank you sincerely ;)
I just like seeing the large strings of argumentative folks who glom onto your comments. :3 It’s delectable.
It’s worth noting that she was pretty gleeful at the prospect of dropping Rachel to her death and then torturing bandit.
Just like how gleeful Frigg gets from smashing someone’s face in with a mace?
Of course she’s gleeful at the idea of hurting her enemies – who, in her mind, are evil humans who torture her kind all day long. Really, she pretty much did what everyone else would’ve done in the same situation. It doesn’t make her good or bad, nor does it make anyone else good or bad.
Just pointing out that you can’t play the torture card just because someone’s better at it than you are.
Also, I’m loving smug-snack-face.
I agree, that face wins a lot.
Nothing says “I want you to not hate me” like disembowlment.
hey, when someone’s bleeding out on the floor I imagine they have more important things on their mind than hating you.
I love how both of these comments are from very gleeful savage races characters. It adds an unintentional but very funny context to the statements being made. XD
That bird is such a little turd-burglar.
THIS IS WAR, PEACOCK!
AND WE SHALL WITHHOLD ALL FRESH NEWSPAPER CELL LINERS UNTIL YOUR MORALE IMPROVES.
A breaking eggs reference probably won’t put Yalaria at ease.
From my limited experience dealing with local stray cats wandering and accidentally getting caught in my house, I know the last thing you want to do is grab hold of something/someone frightened, untrusting, cornered, and clawed. Syr should have known better, being a wood elf and all.
I imagine Elves are as social as humans. Touch as comfort is probably a commonality across races, and frankly Syr is a lab nerd. She probably should have known better. Now she sure does.
With all this loudness and crying compared to the suave Gastonian with his whitty one liner, I’m liking Gastonia more and more.
The Payet Best of nations.
Brace for one EPIC guitar solo.
“The Payet Best of nations.”
That…may actually be an absolutely correct statement. I mean, like, a metaphor that captures the essence of this local reality perfectly.
Best was always convinced of his correctness and his central place in the world, reacted badly when this conviction was shaken, and yet never seemed to realize the incongruity of being the “good guy” while behaving so poorly.
Now go back and read that again, but with “Gastonia” and “their” replacing “Best” and “his.” That’s eerily accurate…
Oh, Colonel Pornstache. You’re so eager to replace Best as the team’s new Cool Asshole. But you’re leaning too far towards “Asshole” and not enough towards “Cool.” Not working, man. Sorry. :(
Weary, wary, wretched winged wench,
wailing, wonders why we wage war.
Wounded, wangateur wisely withdraws.
Warden Wap-Whiskers wisecracks.
Quick, check if his breath smells like spicy tofu!
“I NEED AN ADULT! I NEED AN ADULT!!!” Never ever touch a PTSD victim after a trauma without asking their permission—especially have that have sharp ass talons. :)
And I’d be disappointed if Syr doesn’t give her an inconspicious tranquilizer shot or two before starting to talk to her.
Friends with trolls? u mad, bruh?
You know, for all that it matters, the birdperson could be scared solely through her own actions. All the damage is likely from the fight earlier since she did fall from the sky, making one wonder why there isn’t more damage really, and now that she’s captured? It’s kind of like a little kid caught doing something wrong and their mind invents all kinds of horrible things their parents/authority figures will do. For all the ‘inhumanity’ of her treatment, her arms are quite clearly free, along with it seems like one leg.
Like I said earlier, it’s not like they even clipped her talons or anything. That’d be the first thing I do to a prisoner with that kind of natural weaponry. To not do it just seems clumsy, lazy, stupid, or all three.
This is Gastonia – its probably all three, driven by a lack of rules relating to non-human imprisonment (since, ya’know, they normally don’t). I can just imagine the local jailors trying to hash out talon procedure before giving up because its so far outside the manual, and going out to get drunk instead.
I think the biggest question is, how long ago did that event happen? We don’t really know for certain. After all, it must have taken Syr’nj awhile to come up with a cure for the berserking and she was still working on it then. I think at least a few months may have passed. It could be less time than that but even so, I somehow doubt it happened a few days ago. I could have a horrible gauge for timing though. :1
That’s not whining. This is whiiiiiiniing.
Did you hear that loud thunk right now?
That’s us being hit over the head with “maybe we are the the real monsters/the world is not as black and white as it seemed/relativityyyyy”
Oh, that was several episodes back. ;)
MANY episodes back, I’d say.
Actually it’s every comment section of any non-comedic page. :3
so, it’s more like a really slow drum line.
This is a type of world where some outside force can come in and nuke both sides while they’re fighting, because, I suspect, a lot of people are saying, “A pox on both your houses” as the humans are fighting with the non-humans.
And when that happens, I suspect Best will be behind that.
I think that Mr. Wizard McNeckbeard has already initialized stage one of Project: “To heck with you all!” all by himself.
Something tells me the Bird has her own traumatic story.
Another thing that gets me about the last couple of pages, is that we had a reminder about the context of this conversation.
I occasionally feel discord when I’m playing a CRPG, and I choose a “good” dialogue option in which my character expresses regret at the need for violence. Except, of course, that I’m playing a computer game in order to enjoy imaginary violence.
Most people playing Kingdoms of Arkerra, presumably, are choosing to play in a MMO with two major factions fighting each other, with the factions more or less equivalent to each other. So we’d guess that Yalaria is a PC, and the player doesn’t actually resent the actions of the opposing side, any more than someone in a pickup game of basketball resents the other team trying to score baskets.
Except, there’s the bit with H.R.’s comment about how the presence of The Five changes the experience of the game even for regular players. That complicates things a bit.
So, what’s really going on in this scene?
I think she’s an NPC. Keep in mind that while it’s treated as an MMO H.R. did in fact create an entirely autonomous universe. This to me means that the residents are fully intelligent beings. He likely pitches it has a highly advanced scripting mechanism, but in point of fact there is no script except when he personally intervenes and writes one.
Actually, given what H.R. said about NPC reacting to the Five, I think the autonomus advanced scripting can only kick in if they’re present. Or, at least, that’s what he believes.
This is actually an interesting variation on the old “If a tree falls” question – will an NPC interact with another NPC in a meaningful way if a player isn’t around to witness it? For example, the NPC Flinders is scripted to be robbed and potentially killed as a PC walks by. If the PC doesn’t walk that way, will Flinders be robbed and possibly killed, or will he be spared, or will his instance be left permanently waiting for a PC to walk by and resolve it, like Schrodinger’s famous Cat?
I find myself torn between a desire to empathize with a scared, crying POW and my deep and unabiding hatred of birds and their unpredictable ways.
Truly, the airborne menace is a scourge upon the land and must be stopped.
But those big wide oogly eyes~ D:
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