New Comics Every Weekday - Written by T Campbell & Phil Kahn - Illustrated by John & Jason Waltrip
Ohhh, Frigg’s got that Frigg This look on her face…do I see a brief party split coming up?
Heh heh, War Bonds…cute.
kinda weirded out that sry-…syr-…goddamn, i always have to check the cast page…SYR’NJ. kinda weirded out that syr’nj is looking disappointed about not fighting…that’s not usually her deal.
She’s not pro-fighting, but she’s even less pro-slavery.
true enough, and it’d kill the mood of the scene if she was relieved or cheerful that violence had been avoided…actually, that sounds like the anti-frigg.
It’s her Wood Elf sap coming out. Try as she might to hide it, there is a vengeful killer underneath that bark.
her…bark…could be…worse than…her…argh.
jean-luc! it’s probably your fault that pages comments are punbearable these days.
It’s because I wouldn’t blow up the damn ship!
Frigg speaks for the fans, while Byron is the one who actually checked the challenge rating.
I’m getting tired of Byron. The whole “I’m a berserker, but I have iron self-control, so I don’t actually go berserk” was an endurable tease for a while, but we’re at chapter five or six now and he hasn’t lost his shit. Maybe he will eventually, but I’ve pretty much stopped caring about him as a character.
Ya know, I never really looked at Byron as a classic Berserker, I mean, you’re here waiting for Byron to go berserk while there is a Chaotic Neutral Paladin running around fucking shit up willy nilly. Im not exactly sure these characters are meant to fit into their archetypes.
(This stated, I /really/ want to see Byron flip his shit, regardless)
Fighters fight, Frigg just wants something to attack finally. All this talking, walking and politeness is getting on her nerves.
I’m not going to go back and look, but I think he has effing business cards with “Byron the Berserker” written on them. The others are a little ambiguous and maybe even fun to figure out, but “what Byron is” is cut and dried.
It’s sort of like Chris Rock on David Blaine. “Are we so desperate that we fall for a trickless magician!? Where the fuck’s the trick?”
Yeah, I can’t wait until he starts acting like a fantasy cliche either.
It seems reasonable to assume that fans of the fantasy genre are also fans of certain fantasy cliches. Something drew us into the genre in the first place. Personally I hate the dwarf archetype (which is why I love gravedust. I figured seen one dwarf seen em all until he came along), but I go batshit for elves, berserkers, most mages, assassins, rogues, and bards. So when I see a berserker who doesn’t berserk it’s like seeing a mom who doesn’t love. I mean what next, you’re gonna say that elves should be dimwitted musclebound hulks to defy the archetype, it’s just filling a check you can’t fulfill. Even gravedust I think would be more upsetting if it had been immediately apparent he was a dwarf. Dwarven rangers are not proper but he’s cool because the delivery was done so well.
Why do you say Dwarven Rangers are not proper? I’ve played a Dwarven Ranger for years. ( Orphaned as a kid, raised by elves, barely speaks Dwarven…) He even uses the Ranged Weapons Feat tree, but he works with a now highly customized Heavy Crossbow instead of a Long Bow. ( I’ve put something like 20K gold into this one Masterwork, solid mithril, four bow, dual trigger H.C., with a special one pull cocking mechanism, and a five shot magazine for each bow, just to let it keep up with his level 18 ROF.)
Of course, I’m also the guy who plays a Gestalted Elf Barb/Battle Cleric of Kord.
Well of course with a proper back story anything is possible and can work well, I mean heck, that’s what they did with drizzt. Spent an entire trilogy explaining why he’s a dark elven ranger living on the surface and it worked quite well. I simply meant that under ordinary circumstances dwarves are not about the wildlife, and any dwarf with tracking skills would be a noteworthy exception to the point warranting a certain level of explanation. At the end of the day the moment you take up creating the narrative anything is possible, but people question certain things more than others, and if one were to make a drow paladin, an elven berserker, a scholarly barbarian or any similar such construct then measures must be taken in order to reconcile the reader with this or risk damaging the willing suspension of disbelief. Gravedust was done in such a manner that no one seems to question him, Byron was not. I was merely pointing out the difference.
The funny thing about dwarf rangers being improper is that in a lot of fantasy dwarves live in trade hubs deep under mountainous or hilly regions. You know, industrious, hardy folk in a hardy land and all that. Hell, in D&D they even had their own racial enemy bonuses and rangers take favored enemies. It seems crazy to me that dwarf rangers would be unheard of. You’d think there’d be watchdwarves monitoring the area around the mountain home all the time, making sure that it’s a trade caravan coming in and not a war party. A dwarf with a pair of hand axes and a shirt of chain who knows the highlands doesn’t hit me as weird in the slightest.
Insofar as Byron being a Berserker. You may want to look up the various meanings of the term.
In ancient days, Berserkers did NOT just “lose their shit” in any given fight. They paid a very high price for those precious moments of “kill everything that moves.” For one thing, sometimes their own friends had to knock them down (or even kill them) to STOP them. For another, in that state, some berserkers became unable to tell the difference between friend and foe. In other traditions, the berserker was unable to do anything other than use lethal force – ie there was no taking of prisoners. That hasn’t been a good plan for the group yet! They needed at least one living pirate, for questioning by the authorities later.
On top of that, in this specific situation: Byron “losing his shit” might be temporarily cool. But first off, it would likely get everyone (including Byron) killed. And the tone of the story so far lets out the typical Hollywood hogwash of “if they were REALLY badass, they’d only get flesh wounds.” This ain’t an Ah-nold movie, guys.
PLUS: The whole party (more or less) took an oath. Byron has already shown that he takes his sworn word pretty damn seriously, and Syr is ex-military, so she too takes their mission seriously. Both of them are staying true to their characters as so far developed, and true to their sword word.
That’s much more bad ass than any amount of slaughtering. In fact, that kind of restraint – despite what you might want to do – is entirely exemplary in my opinion. Would that more military men acted like Byron, and less like overly hormonal, testosterone pumped teenagers.
Yeah, I’m aware of these facts, and Byron is being true to his character, and it is a well-developed character that I like. I am also aware that berserkers as a rule are hazardous to their team-mates and would make worse leaders than byron. All the stuff at the beginning was basically giving a definition for the term berserk, which was accurate. It has always been the case that berserkers are hard to stop and lack much in the way of reasoning or even basic cognizance when in that frenzied state. Put simply they “hulk out”. No one actually wants the hulk on their team, he’s not helpful. But if we the writers didn’t want byron to berserk they shouldn’t have made him a berserker, he is a berserker and so it follows that berserking is something that he does. Otherwise it would have been Byron the Warrior, Byron the Fighter, Byron the Barbarion, Heck we could have gotten obscure and made it Byron the Duelist, Swashbuckler, or even just done an adventurer for hire or odd jobs byron type schtick. The moment he was introduced as Byron the Berserker a check was written and thus far the writers have refused to cash it. Likely this is just a pacing thing, as the story seems to have a clear idea of where it’s going and how it’s getting there and does not feel the need to rush. Eventually it’s gonna have to happen though, I mean the bard sang didn’t he? The fact that it isn’t actually a helpful skill to the party would not have been sufficient reason for a bard to not sing. The same principle applies here.
*not we the writers. that was a typo. just the writers
HE PULLS PEOPLE APART MAN!!
I like to think that for as much as Byron keeps from going Berserk, once he actually does it’s going to be legendary.
But what would that take? The death or near-death of a teammate or loved one?
Dude, Frigg’s a Crusader. Has she been on manny holy wars yet?
Crusades take years. How long do you think her attention span can possibly last? Besides, fighting in Dark Helmet’s army is a bad strategy when trying to avoid him.
Have you ever heard of a one-man crusade :)
Dude, in his introduction comic Byron went berserk on a bunch of kobolds. It was off panel, but look at the smile and glint in his eye before he goes after the poor little things. He imagines his axes talking to eachother…He scared the farmers he was working for so bad that they paid him out the window and asked him not to hurt them.
Wow. Both Byron and Syr’nj look crushed that they can’t do anything.
Ahh, the ravages of diplomacy…
Slap a slaver, buy war bonds today!
Yeah, I don’t buy it. They could have taken ‘em on easy. Byron just didn’t fancy getting knocked out again.
As we all know he has No combat skills.
Wait, do you mean they could have easily taken on the two trolls we can see in the panel, or the two hundred we can’t see offpanel? Or possibly the entire Troll Nation, since as Syr’Nj pointed out they’re effectively armed Gastonian ambassadors?
No man, i’m talking ’bout just the two trolls who are in the panel.
I cannae see more troll, so there is clearly no more troll.
If Byron and Syr can see more troll, they should let me know.
Kill a troll
Save a slave
Get a slave as an ally
MORE SLAVES THAN TROLLS
It’s obviously a large group. And it’s not just about who can kill who, there are political /diplomatic implications.
Ass kicking en masse doesn’t sound like it’s describing two trolls. En masse is typically reserved for large numbers. Like at least 20 I’m thinking because ten would still just be 2-1 odds.
Highly impressed at how dead Byron looks in the first and even the third panel. Really feeling that soul crushing depression he’s got going on there.
Maybe it’s just the blank eyes, but he’s always had those. Something about Byron there just looks incredibly depressed.
Syr’nj just looks sad and frustrated.
Don’t puss out on the alt text now! :p
They’re not pussing out, it’s just very subtle.
Had to delurk to respond. I thought the alt text was done excellently. See, I just happened to let my mouse hover on Frigg in the last panel, and the alt text appeared just below her shoulder. The “…” was Frigg’s thought at that moment. Think about what the odds were, that any of the readers would place their mouse there to be able to appreciate it.
I applaud whichever of the three writers (hell, all of them) who decided to use that instead of some ominous sounding phrase.
Odd that Frigg’s expression in the last panel kind of makes her look like Bandit.
Very Nice – probably the most thought provoking page you have posted. Most excellent.
I can’t believe Gravedust would say something like that. Isn’t he supposed to be the calm logical one?
Not to be overly critical to the writer, (I think this is one of the most well drawn and well scripted comics out there) but i’m pretty sure that overwhelming odds is something you can never overcome by the classic definition of the word. Perhaps there are seemingly overwhelming odds that you can overcome and just plain overwhelming odds that you can’t? This post was entirely too serious. This is my favorite comic, web or otherwise.
It’s a reference on the common trope where “heroes” always prevail in the face of (apparently) certain defeat. So being the heroes Byron is just saying that they can’t expect to win all of the “impossible scenarios”.
Guess it’s a subtle meta-joke of a kind but I’m sure the “writer” knew what he/she was doing.
Yeah I agree with Patrick Stewart.
You jus’ bein a Grammar biatch sir.
That makes sense.It’s also a bit more thought out than “quit being a grammar biatch.” (see below) One question though, why the quotes around the word ‘writer’? I assume its because you usually refer to him as Phil and are pointing out that I’m not being very informal and not because you’re being disparaging to his ability as a writer.
As you see there are three people working on this and I’m not sure who the alpha-wolf is when it comes to the storyline. I expect they all pitch in ideas so “writer” kinda abstracts it so I don’t have to deal with the details of who does what. :P
Oh my science, Phil’s last name is KHAAANNNNN!!1 Never noticed before. :P
Your Enterprise is a failboat.
S’funny… any party I’ve played with would have charged in, gotten our asses kicked, and sat back afterwords going, “Welp… that was dumb.”
S’pose that doesn’t make for very heroic scenes, though.
What we now REALLY want to see, in the next panel, is Frigg running into the horde yelling
Even with his argument for diplomacy, I keep getting the feeling that Byron’s reasons for not getting involved is much more personal. I had the thought he might have some kind of personal prejudice against trolls (partly to blame for his traumatic past, perhaps?). It’s the haunted look that does it.
In other news, serious!Byron is hawt.
Not when you consider how close his name is to ‘Brian’…
Not such a Fearsome Berserker now is he.
It really is not fair that all those orcs/trolls are being discriminated against and enslaved just because they’re a different shade of green.
well, they all knew it wasn’t going to be easy…
This one gets the Cote seal of approval.
It occurs to me that Byron isn’t a berserker at all [I've been considering this over the course of the comic] – what he IS is a marketing genius. You don’t go to “Frank the Chap at the Pub” to take care of your goblin infestation do you? Hells No! You go to a Berserker! Byron has truly established his brand, and well enough that he’s even managed to fool readers.
Also – first time poster, reading since the second comic and totally love it. You guys rock.
Lol. I have considered that it might just be a business tactic for him. And if that’s the case the moment he tells us that all is forgiven (though at this point it’s gone far enough that to do that would be dangerously close to a ret con.)
Aw man, this is so sad. The resigned look on ByronÂ´s and SyrÂ´nj`s faces says it all. They really hate that they canÂ´t make a difference.
what!? where is the rest of my comment?!
you missed frigg throwin a rock and taking down a troll
And this is were a patey bard/fighter is missing, all going in screaming bloody murder *GIMME YOUR XP!*, damned be reason and everything and starts slaying every slayer, freeing the orcs or trolls or whatever and starts a war by the way. XDDDDD
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