I’ve revised the alt texts every now and again on impulse in this annotated run, just as I’ve shifted the character tags a little bit (it seemed appropriate to tag Graiya in the pages leading up to this one, even if we didn’t see her directly).

However, I’m leaving this one almost untouched as a record of our earlier intentions, even though “End Book II” now strikes me as in no way accurate. This would be the last page of Guilded Age Volume 3 (which would be the last volume we’d put into print) and it’s not the end or even the middle of the series’ “Act II.” I’d put that midpoint at the end of Chapter 24, for reasons I’ll go into when we get there, but let’s just say that this arc had a lot more to do with Syr’Nj and arguably Byron than it did with the series as a whole. Bandit, Gravedust, E-Merl, Frigg, and Rachel all got some cool moments, but their lives aren’t really that different in Chapter 19 than they were in Chapter 17. Scipio and Fr’Nj’s story is just getting started. Winning a nation to Gastonia’s side is significant, true, but not as significant as earlier and later developments will prove to be.

Silent page is silent, a big improvement over my draft, which had Faereksch’Nj chattering way too much for us to feel Syr’Nj’s horror, loss, and grief.

NEXT: Guest strips! Guest characters! Aaaand THEN-NEW MERCH!