#101 – “A Matter of Trust”

So not quite as early a posting as the last few have been. Whether that’ll keep or not depends on whether I find the time to make pages before the day they need to be put up or not. We’ll just have to see. I prefer having them up as early as possible, but sometimes summoning the time (or focus) just proves impossible. Still, I’ve been far later than this.

So after some hints at Hani’s past and present, we move over to Tiny and Te’len. I like dwelving into the character pasts, or atleast doing so in bite-size chunks. That said, with both members of the duo very much being the kind of people not to ramble on about their past, there needs to be some channel to to, someone who raises the topic. In Tiny’s case, Te’len conveniently provides that role. In the case of this page, it’s further enhanced by the fact that Tiny isn’t on her usual perch – it’s rare that she isn’t, so it’s an interesting opportunity.


15 Responses to “#101 – “A Matter of Trust””

  1. 1 Elveswarrior
    April 12, 2009 at 17:53

    i can see pupils in te’len’s eyes it helps alot to the blind eye “dilemma” :)

    oh also could be just me but te’len’s skirt, kilt? w/e seem kinda stiff here and there the way she sits.

    my usual comments really :)

  2. 2 QFT_Murdus
    April 12, 2009 at 18:14

    I just noticed that Tiny always rubs the back of her neck… Are you using the psychology of volatile personalities, now, or is it just me imagining things?

  3. 3 Nhani
    April 12, 2009 at 19:18

    The skirt is posed using a system of plate “bones” (seen here) so it doesn’t bend and fold like real cloth. It’s a tradeoff that has a few quirks and issues, but takes far less time and CPU power to set up than cloth simulation would.

    I’m going to admit that I actually have no idea what you’re refering to, so additional context and/or elaboration would be appreciated! I might just have missed the context of what you’re saying or skipped terminology somewhere, but I’d need a clarification to answer that one, I think.

  4. 4 Moltrazahn
    April 12, 2009 at 19:48

    The comic:
    Like it as allways, and looking forward to seeing more to the other pairs backgrounds aswell. Also it builds a good trust-companionish base that we find out more of their past “adventures” as in this one we found out that Tiny maby allways have tried/successed in saveing Te’len from various things, heck if they were kids im sure Tiny have saved Te’len from dangerous things a dozen times (dangerous things being mean boys or scarylooking bushes). But all in all i woulc/could see Te’len also haveing to grow up trying to prove that she can fight her own battles at times instead of needed rescues, a nice tuch since alot of personal developement can happen there (heck could you imagine if she grew antlers! Super sajin Te’len!). Anywho, nice page!

    I think (underscore on think) that he (Murdus) is refering to certian personality characteristic, etc such as Te’len often seen rubbing her arm, or hani crossing hers. The little details that maby set them apart on the page. However were the word “Volatile” finds its way into his sentences im not sure, id see it either as critisime or maby you can say “Volatile personalities” in one sentence and really being refering to a form of extream generalizing pesonalities, etc giveing eatch certain stances and expressions that can help to differ the one individual from the other. However if such is the case i find it hard to belive that Murdus would strike down on something like that, since useing such an element in a comic is often essentiel to make any person stand out from the rest personality-wise that is.

    Thats how i get it anyways. Id loved to be proved wrong tough :S.

    Keep up the good work is all i can say! :)

  5. 5 A
    April 12, 2009 at 20:58

    3rd last screen, what’s up with Telens left thumb? It looks oddly tall, twisted and out of place O.o

  6. 6 Nhani
    April 12, 2009 at 21:18

    I haven’t quite figured out thumb bones yet. Sometimes you can’t really notice, others.. it’s pretty painfully apparent. I think it’s made worse by the fact that while real people have two joints (excluding the base joints) on their fingers, WoW models only have one plus the base, which limits what ways they can move.

  7. 7 QFT_Murdus
    April 13, 2009 at 10:48


    By “volatile”, I mean easily angered, foul mouthed personality.

    Aggressive people often show the non-verbal sign of holding or rubbing the back of their necks, as a subconsious sign of holding themselves back.

    Crossing arms is also a non-verbal sign. It usually means two things, either together, or seperately. Trying to act tough, and withdrawing from conflict, hiding behind a “barrier” of sorts.

    I was wondering if you’re using these signs on purpose, or just by accident?

  8. 8 Nhani
    April 13, 2009 at 12:04

    Ah, now I follow you, though I’ll have to admit I actually didn’t know what rubbing the back of your neck was codified as. You certainly have a point though because it very much coincides with a moment where she shelves her normally visible volatile persona for what lies underneath it. That said, I didn’t actually think about what the pose she struck meant, it just came across to me as the most natural way for her to hold herself at that point.

    Most of the body language is really done like that – largely based on what I feel expresses their current state of mind at the time; Hani often stands with her arms down her sides or one hand on her hip because of how I envision her, Tiny is often rather outwardly aggressive and volatile and Te’len often tends to express uncertainity or insecurity by grasping one arm with the other. I don’t really think about it, I just let the characters ‘act’, and go with that.

    I do try to maintain them as faceted and multilayered characters where they’ll wear different masks and have different behaviours depending on the context and situation and not always be up front about what really goes on inside of them – even to themselves. Of course, they’re still ‘just’ made up characters, and my knowledge of psychology is amateurish at best, so there’s definitive limits to how ‘real’ they can be. That said, Beyond the Tree is largely a character-driven story, so I do try to make the characters into individuals people can understand and believe in, even as they traverse a path inspired by myth and story, rather than reality.

  9. 9 Elveswarrior
    April 13, 2009 at 14:25

    go to deep into you chars and you’ll become a skitzo ;P

  10. 10 Messai
    April 13, 2009 at 15:15

    i was wondering when Tiny would talk to Te’len again, last time they did that was when she yelled at them :p

    but Nhani i like these parts of your comic alot, it really gives personality to your characters so they don’t look lifeless :)

    loved Te’len’s quote ”Just try to have some Faith in me, okay?”

    to me she always looked like the helpless druid :o but i can be corrected very soon:)

    Keep it up :D

  11. 11 Weertangel
    April 13, 2009 at 21:56

    I agree with messai on the “helpless druid” role Te’len has atm, but to me it seems she has just tries to keep her innocence, couse after all the stuff she just went tru, i think she has come to understand that she will need to resort to violence in the future, even kill! and thats what frighens her, or to be more on the point, the Change it would couse in her. thats why she needs some time to adapt to it, couse change is still something Night elves have problems with, for good or ill.

    Let’s hope she can keep pace with Hani and Tiny, couse there’s where the real challenge lies :)

    For the rest, keep it up! love the way its going! =)

  12. 12 Iasion
    April 14, 2009 at 22:23

    I figured Tiny was scratching the back of her head, not rubbing her neck. I considered it more as a nervous twitch, which I think some people do when they have to open up and address emotionally sensitive situations.

    Admittedly though, I don’t know much about the psychology behind subtle body language.

    I do like this page, though. I think it’s about the 3rd time we see Tiny separated from Nhani? Here though, she approaches Te’len on foot and it seems to put her in a vulnerable position. One that’s fitting for an apology, I suppose.

  13. 13 Nhani
    April 14, 2009 at 23:21

    It’s pretty rare to see Tiny away from her perch, and intentionally so – it says a fair bit about Tiny as a person as well as add narrative weight to the moment when she actually is. I don’t think apology was her first intention, mind you.

    As a small aside, in hindsight I kindof regret my choice in naming Hani Foonmall – it’s a simple name that rolls off the tounge and certainly fits her, as well as being a twist on her namesake (a night elven character named Nhani Moonfall) but the association might be a little too strong, especially with me being refered to after the latter, heh.

  14. 14 Iasion
    April 15, 2009 at 18:53

    I have a hard time naming characters, too. I’ve sat looking at the character screen for 20 minutes before trying to think of an appropriate one.

    Also, I just realized I wrote Hani’s name as Nhani- your alias here. My bad! <,<

  15. 15 WoWplayer
    April 15, 2009 at 19:45

    I really like this

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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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