Another of Phil’s good additions was the confusion over what to call “a former resident of Battleshire.” It’s a nice comedy bit, though it gets sadder when you reflect that any authorities on that subject are no longer with us (Byron, who was a child when he lost his town, doesn’t really count).

The original plan for this scene was to include Bandit and to have E-Merl head things up. If Phil had gotten his way, we would’ve stuck to that, especially E-Merl as the key researcher: “He needs a bag that’s entirely his own.” I just sorta drifted over to the version you see here, partly because we’d spotlighted Bandit in the Axemas Special and would again in the following chapter, partly because while I agreed with Phil’s statement above, I couldn’t see E-Merl sprouting the confidence to take on a leader-like role yet.

Neither Phil nor I planned or anticipated Gravedust and E-Merl settling into a mentor-mentee relationship. Looking back, it seems like we should’ve, but we were focused on making these magic users distinct from each other (a lot of fantasy tends to treat all wizards as basically the same character at different ages).