This is an arguable callback to Chapters 1 and 5. In the former, we opened Gravedust’s segment with him wandering through the desert, in the latter, we opened the chapter with Byron and Gravedust making their way through a hostile environment. But if Gravedust is making a silent wish to get out of the heat at the start of this page, he’s about to learn that karma’s a bitch, especially when you’re no longer the one dispensing it.

The Arkerran scenes, as I said, were Flo’s, but the last line of this one was mine. Or more accurately, it was Byron’s, if you know what I mean: I just got to the end of the page script and he spoke through me right into the edit window. Gods bless him for it: he wasn’t truly alive again to me until then.

This page originally ran with the snowy-mountain cover image, so the FB update read, “Today’s GUILDED AGE keeps the hot side hot and the cold side cold.”