I’m pretty happy with a lot of things about this chapter, and especially the first twelve pages (the ones I wrote), and especially especially the conflict between Gravedust and Rachel that kicks in here.

We showed him getting on with her pretty well up to now, easily forgiving her for their fight in the Bloodshot Sisterhood’s church and praising her squad’s performance against the guerrillas in chapter 13, so this is new. His grumpiness is for several reasons, but among them is that he’s been clinging to some fairly straightforward beliefs about the world: dwarves are victims, humans are oppressors. He’s made room for individual exceptions to that rule– Byron’s okay, Iver isn’t– but seeing some humans in need and other humans working to help them steps a bit more on his narrative.

Of course even if a nation or people seem to be headed the wrong way in general, there are all sorts of other stories that exist within that larger story. Shit’s complicated.

Phil initially objected to the punchline on the grounds that there is no Santa Claus on Arkerra. But though we didn’t do it too often, we occasionally mined humor out of the group just “coincidentally” invoking things on our world that they couldn’t know about. And hey, maybe GD has some subconscious knowledge of our world from his bond with his player.