We promised a couple of bonus stories to readers as part of the Kickstarter incentive, but it’s hard to say what constitutes a “bonus!” Flo’s later bonus tale, “Breaking Bread with the Enemy,” would blend almost seamlessly into the narrative, to the point where I’m only 85% sure we actually intended it as a bonus story. This flashback tale stands out a lot more, not only because of its text-to-image ratio but also because absolutely none of this material advanced Guilded Age‘s larger plot in any way.

Which is not to say that it had nothing to offer: it developed the characters and explored some aspects of them I was happy to get to. I suspect the whole concept of the team taking a “mental health day” was a meta-statement about how crazy the uber-plot was driving us, and how I felt we needed a smaller-stakes story now and then to reconnect with the characters. Even a relatively simple tale like the fight with Rachel’s sisters or Embraisch’Nj’s fall had life-or-death stakes or some connection to those stakes.

I just wish I’d been able to attack this tale while feeling fresh, instead of basically grinding it out while still tired from the experience of arguing over recent chapters. This opening’s all right, but I think I missed some opportunities for more energetic comedy. If the group, not just Frigg, had been amusingly hair-trigger in their reactions, it would’ve better served Ardaic’s point and the justification for the story’s existence.