Harky’s political skills are again shown to be as formidable as his battle prowess. It takes a healthy mix of firmness, humility, and just knowing the right words to defuse a conflict as adroitly as he does in panel 1. I don’t think this dialogue entirely excuses why we haven’t seen Arfa before this, but it probably does so as well as it can without wrecking the flow.

So, Karmakat. His creator had been a big donor to our Kickstarter campaign and, as such, was entitled to have his original character appear in our series in a speaking role of some weight. (He also used “Karmakat” as his screen name and avatar, but I’ll use “Karmakat” for the character and “the donor” for him to minimize confusion.) But the character was not so easy to integrate as most donor creations would’ve been. His off-the-charts power levels would’ve made it tough to fit him into the present-day plot without bending that plot around him.

More vexing than that, to Phil at least, was his race. It didn’t conform to any of the “playable” Arkerran races, and developers of a game with an existing player base can’t just auto-generate a new playable race whenever they want. Eventually, we hit on the idea to make him a member of an extinct race, one whose end would cast some shadows on the blank slate of gnoll history. Interesting story idea, crunchy cameo role, moves the main plot forward… good idea, right? Phil proposed it and I agreed.

The donor didn’t.

(To be continued.)