04
Sep
10

#223 – “Woe to the Conquered”



And so he falls, and we can finally start moving towards future events.

Though the exact location and circumstance was in flux until the final piece of choreography fell in place, more or less, the idea of Edwin VanCleef dying after the heat of battle, rather than during, was one I set in mind very early. I actually spent a fair bit of time figuring out the exact events and circumstance to make it all fit together – especially with Hani being down one arm for the occasion. It felt important to me to get that closure through, and then go on to the outcome of that.

Interestingly, I never expected there to be calls for him to be spared, nor were they ever really part of my decision-making process. As part of the narrative, there had to be a reckoning – either now or later; postponing it would only slow down the chain of events further.

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34 Responses to “#223 – “Woe to the Conquered””


  1. September 4, 2010 at 23:05

    and so it ends. Excellent battle Nhani.

  2. 2 wowplayer
    September 4, 2010 at 23:25

    just one word… EPIC!!!!!

  3. 3 Tankesenior
    September 4, 2010 at 23:57

    A pity, but inevitable in the end.

    Bravo ;)

  4. 4 Nirene Feathersong
    September 5, 2010 at 00:01

    Alas, poor Edwin, your inconvenient reign is at an end. Good riddance…

  5. 5 Cobs
    September 5, 2010 at 01:50

    That final expression, awesome. And the image of a hunter standing above the prey, wunderbar. <3

  6. 6 LolDrood
    September 5, 2010 at 03:41

    Hani: Love can bloom on the battle field, Otakon. Er, Te’len.

    And so I tell the last Metal Gear Solid joke, and we can finally start moving towards future events.

  7. 7 Germ
    September 5, 2010 at 04:05

    Did anyone else think of the stabbing scene in Saving Private Ryan when they saw this?

  8. September 5, 2010 at 05:01

    Ker-smack!

    Had it coming, I guess, although the frustration on her face would be priceless if he got away.

    I would say, though, it’s not immediately obvious that there’s a bullet-hole in her shoulder in the frames that said shoulder is visible. Is that ’cause it’s tricky to do?

    • 9 Nhani
      September 5, 2010 at 08:45

      It’s due to three things really – first of all being the strap, which covers part of that region up by default. Second part is how I had her effectively cradle that arm around her – it meant the shoulder rotates inward which shrinks the texture area where the injury is painted on. Thirdly.. the lighting and reduced saturation makes it much less visible how there’s actually a fair bit of purple around that region.

  9. 10 Eduvudd
    September 5, 2010 at 05:33

    The epic battle has finaly ended, and it was well worth the weeks watching it all take place, amazeing work!

  10. 11 Foggy
    September 5, 2010 at 06:38

    Not like this? Just killed with a kick while lying on the floor? Why not, VC?
    The way you die fits perfectly to the picture of yourself you had in your mind (in an opposite way). And this is the real defeat. Not that he is finally dying but the way he does.

    First i was disapointed the way VC ended but at second sight it makes absolutely sense. Sadly the young druid had no part in bringing VC to fall, but it makes sense in a way too.

    Thank you again for this great story with this growing characters.

    • September 12, 2010 at 06:01

      Reminds me of Che Guevera. His final words:

      “Don’t shoot! I am Che Guevera, and I am worth more alive than dead!”

      A fitting end to a life in which the only thing he attempted that he didn’t screw up ws to murder 400 or so people for Fidel Castro.

  11. 13 Phan56
    September 5, 2010 at 06:59

    A dishonorable death at the hand of an unknowing puppet. A true shame for dear Edwin :(

    Brilliant work

  12. 14 Skyll K. Chagorantis
    September 5, 2010 at 08:07

    I love the eyes. 3 different panels just showing his eyes. It was very dramatic. And it was a ‘proper’ death. It was not completely decided by plot devices, since in the end he was rather felled by the combination of other team members (slight plot device), but also his own characteristic need to talk a few seconds more than he ought have. He earned his own death.

    Good work! I’ll be waiting with anticipation for the next chapter!

  13. 15 TC
    September 5, 2010 at 08:14

    *shakes fist* damn thee pointy eared heathen! how could you :( you will have to make up for it.. introducing me or something to the comic !.. no? oh well.. atleast he put up a good fight.. alas here ends the coolest scoundrels story :)

  14. 16 Eillas
    September 5, 2010 at 08:36

    I feel bad for Edwin but worse for Vanessa

  15. September 5, 2010 at 10:32

    I like how you made it a rather non pretentious death, no big ‘Alas thou hast defeated me’ or ‘Curses’, just the disappointment of him having lost and feeling he still had so much to do in life but all of that went away.

    A good end for a good villain…I do would like to see the consequences of it.

  16. 18 Maira
    September 5, 2010 at 13:19

    Wow. Neck-stomp. Not a great way to die.

    • 19 Iasion
      September 7, 2010 at 02:14

      I was a bit shocked by it at first, but I figure NE are what, 7′ tall or more? They have pretty big hands and feet, and Nhani is bigger than the average NE as far as I can tell. A well placed step on the neck of an average human would probably snap it quick.

      Also, her arm was shot. This was a good, quick solution. Maybe a bit humiliating for Van’Cleef, but ironically appropriate given how long winded the guy can be.

      • 20 Nhani
        September 7, 2010 at 02:30

        Going by sourcebook numbers.. the average Night elven woman reaches to about 6’8″ – Te’len is about this high. Hani Foonmall, being.. somewhat larger.. is over 7’3″ tall and – again, going by sourcebook numbers – weighs somewhere up to a possible 300 pounds.

        The woman is like a bipedal tiger.

        • 21 Zednotzee
          September 7, 2010 at 08:43

          And yet she’d probably have trouble dealing with Areen if she turned nasty, lol. This is one of the things about WOW that amuses me. I remember a friend of mine seeing his first Gnome DeathKnight. The comments ran along the line of “How the hell can THAT be a DeathKnight !!? It looks as if I’d only have to take my boot to the thing to kill it… Or just step on it.” Of course, he doesn’t like Gnomes much anyway. Which is understandable. I don’t know if it’s the same in other realms, but on the Maelstrom, if you get a whisper starting “Lol, your gear sucks.” 9 out of 10 times it’ll be a Gnome player. I usually get this comment myself because I tend to go round in pvp gear – As the Maelstrom is a pvp realm this seems prudent. Plus I think it looks better than the pve stuff.

        • 22 Iasion
          September 8, 2010 at 02:06

          That’s pretty amazing. I wouldn’t have guessed she weighed that much, but it makes sense considering the muscle mass the NE naturally have. I recall way back in my WC3 book, NE society was mostly made up of amazonian, warrior women and intellectual, philosopher men.

          A normal, real human would have no chance against a NE ‘bipedal tiger’ in hand to hand combat. Of course, it might worth mentioning that male humans in WoW look like body builders, so I’d guess the average human male weighs ~250 pounds? I’d like to know this source book you’re referencing! I’m beginning to think the exaggerated muscles of men in WoW may more be the intended norm rather than a simple aesthetic decision.

          • 23 Nhani
            September 8, 2010 at 08:15

            No, that is an exaggerated art style element; sourcebooks claim the average human weighs about 180 pounds and doesn’t imply nearly the kind of dimorphism that the game visualizes. (source)

            Of course, I’m well aware sourcebooks do not need to be explicitly valid, so some of the numbers presented may very well be quite skewered. None of the novels imply the in-game exaggerated male physiques are the norm, however.

  17. 24 Elnória
    September 5, 2010 at 14:20

    I’ll miss him for sure, but yeah, he had it coming at the very least. A fitting end, too, due to aforementioned fact that it wasn’t in the slightest glorious. It’s probably just the way most of the Westfallers would have liked to see him go. Except they’d probably mutilated him a bit and stuff afterwards as well. Wouldn’t have been pretty.

    Now, I reckon the group’s first thoughts won’t be on chopping his head of and bring it back for shinies. Although I guess that could have been gorily amusing in its own peculiar way. It’ll be interesting to see how the return plays out, in any case.

    Keep up the good work, Shan’do Nhani!

  18. 25 Timber Wolf
    September 5, 2010 at 15:16

    ..1. And he’s down. Well done, Nhani!

  19. 26 bocc
    September 5, 2010 at 15:40

    Let’s move forward, there’s a long way to go till the demise of Deathwing :) By the way, will Hani obtain better gear along the way?

  20. 27 gryffyn
    September 5, 2010 at 17:13

    Edwin VanCleef “The Deadmines was merely a setback!!!!!!’

  21. 28 Pickles
    September 6, 2010 at 05:45

    Man, I’ve really come to appriecate Van Cleef more, and now I’m sadder when I make a new alt and kill him 5 more times. But the party of heros should watch out when VC’s daughter arrives on seen. Where VC has failed, I could see his daughter succeed.

  22. 29 Ghalron
    September 6, 2010 at 12:26

    Nooooo !! You killed him !! Monster !! ><

  23. 30 Kimico
    September 6, 2010 at 15:24

    Woooo! Great job, Hani!

  24. 31 Telaani
    September 7, 2010 at 09:40

    I’m sure pure Edwin had imagined a more, erm, dramatic death.

  25. 32 Dreadbear
    September 7, 2010 at 14:14

    After what he did to her she should have gutted him…at least thats what i would have done

  26. 33 Gordrake Thunderhoof
    September 7, 2010 at 15:53

    That’s what you get when you try to let your mouth do the fighting for you.

    I have to say, this version of VanCleef was spectacular. He was the sort of villian that, knowing his backstory, you could relate to, and yet you had to hate his guts enough for being the nobililistic b-tard that he’d become. When it comes to portraying him, I think there’s nobody who can say that that isn’t how they’d see VanCleef themselves. So full credit to you for that, as that is utterly amazing work on your part.

    Two things needed now are to remember VanCleef’s head (Stoutmantle wanted it, Tiny’s bound to remind them) and that Hani needs some emergency aid on her shoulder. I’d hate to see her suffering too badly from it…else I’d have to portal Tiamos there to hug her.

  27. September 26, 2011 at 02:49

    Death by fall damage and a boot to the head. Definetely a soleful victory.


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Beyond the Tree is based on (when not directly using) the art resources and story setting of World of Warcraft by Blizzard Entertainment.

That and all related and/or registered trademarks are the property of Blizzard Entertainment and Beyond the Tree claims no ownership of these or any affiliation with Blizzard Entertainment but hopes they'll have a sense of humour and appreciate it all the same ;)


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