#144 – “A Most Wrenched Beast”

Alright, alright, hold your horses! I’ve been feeling oddly tired lately, hence the delay up ’til now; that’s my excuse, anyway. I’m hoping it’ll go away, but still. Anyhow.

I recall the last time I made any kind of image involving a night elf bleeding.. okay, I don’t actually, but I do recall that a reoccuring remark was that it looked fine but.. the blood should be purple. So I went huh.. alright. and actually aimed for some manner of purple this time around. The big irony in part is that I spent something like over half an hour fiddling with the texture with a cut to make it look good enough, and then due to the camera angles used through the last two pages.. I haven’t heard of a single person actually even noticing unless I told them to look for it! But, that’s life.

This page was actually something of a bother to script, too – I kept getting stuck on Tiny’s first line; I knew what I wanted to say with it, but it took a lot of time before I finally settled on the word “awesome” – while the characters generally speak in a rather modern-ish way, I’m wary of pushing too much slang in, lest it seems out of place. I’m not entirely happy with “awesome”.. but I couldn’t really come up with one I liked better.


40 Responses to “#144 – “A Most Wrenched Beast””

  1. 1 TC
    September 24, 2009 at 18:20

    rest of the panels makes up for the “awesome” I love the way Hani and Tiny are speaking very identical, just made me smile alot here, besides Tiny is the one of those people who could say awesome if it really mattered, so its not bad at all, Keep it up :)

  2. 2 Aries
    September 24, 2009 at 18:31

    Awesome fits for Tiny i think. And you are right, I didnt notice the cut…although i did immediately go back and look for it, when i saw her bandaging her arm.

    And as always the Hani/Tiny interactions are great.

    Nice one Nhani, get some sleep (and yeah i know that doesnt help…i have been exhausted myself for some reason i cant figure, and sleep hasnt helped, lol).

  3. 3 Germ
    September 24, 2009 at 18:37

    Oh no! She has that disease or whatever those scarecrows give you.

  4. 4 Dire Weasel
    September 24, 2009 at 18:58

    Not that I’m a common poster but I did notice the blood in the second panel being a different color. Thought it was a nice touch! The word “awesome” used to be an immensely powerful word to describe that which defies words. Over time that grandiose meaning has been tuned down, though I think it fits in this situation. Brilliant comic – I admit I eagerly await each new page.


  5. 5 Noriam (ER)
    September 24, 2009 at 19:33

    @ Germ – Thinking Tetanus, I think =p

    I think the “awesome” was well placed and accompanied by an element of humour. “Monster! Abomination! ‘Thing’!” “.. Hey, cool.”


  6. September 24, 2009 at 19:53

    Love the wraps with blood on Hani’s arm. Great work

  7. 7 Ninta
    September 24, 2009 at 19:53

    its called tetanus alright :)

  8. 8 Moltrazahn
    September 24, 2009 at 21:55

    Hani can bleed? Pffft, i bet it was some astral traveling demon who swung by and accedently bit itself in the lip and it dropped on her arm… Hani bleeds… ive never heard anything as silly..

    Back to actuality, i think purple blood fits them. Considering their skin colors, purple would be fitting. As for the page in itself, its good :) comments are awesome! “I wonder how it works. – It docent” case closed :P

  9. 9 Zarkor
    September 24, 2009 at 22:57

    Nice Strip till now, and interesting idea with purple blood, looks good, fits nice.
    But what is it with the light? always a shiny spot between eyes and nose but always shadow on the rest of the faces, no matter what angle they’re holding their heads. looks a lilbit like a flashlight directly up their heads shining into their eyes, just a *cough* little bit *cough* strange + the contrast/borders of light and shadow seems to be too hard especially in Hani’s face when doing a close-up shot (pic 10) the enlightened part seems to be glowing by itself and not just reflecting the sunlight.

    sry for the little bit awkward english, seems I’m not in training anymore.

    I can’t wait for the next episodes *hitting F5 rapidly*

    • 10 Nhani
      September 24, 2009 at 23:18

      Light is always problematic because it’s one of the by far largest performance drains; usually I try to limit the amount of light sources in a scene to some three or four to prevent excess brightness through overexposure and to make the scene easier to handle.

      The strange facial lights is often one of the side effects as my primary, shadow-casting highlight often ends coming from above at a roughly 45 degree angle to make decent-looking shadows. The shadow problem is further enhanced by that MentalRay – the renderer I use – doesn’t support soft ray-traced shadows; it only has shadow map for soft shadows, and those often look very blurry and inaccurate.

      I can try putting more bias towards the front light than the top light, but I’m not sure how much it’d help. I’m scarcely all that good at lighting a scene, I’m afraid.

  10. 11 Pinka
    September 24, 2009 at 23:27

    Huh what? Night elves have red blood. Theres nothing wrong with it.
    And can´t paladins and druids heal?

    • 12 Nhani
      September 25, 2009 at 00:52

      Since there seems to be no shortage of speculation regarding blood colour and neither side ever actually went around providing any kind of visual source, I decided enough was enough, located my WarCraft III CD and decided to take a look for myself, and sure enough..

      In defense of the argument for red, it’s a rather reddish shade of purple, but it definitely isn’t pure red. In hindsight I probably should’ve looked it up earlier, but no matter. Now I have a rough frame of reference to work with for future.. incidents.

      As for healing, while there’s a significant difference between abstractions made to construct game mechanics and abstractions made to construct a narrative.. in the present context, whether they can or not doesn’t actually matter.

      • 13 Germ
        September 25, 2009 at 02:17

        True, luckily Hani put skills into first aid.

      • 14 Synchronizor
        September 25, 2009 at 12:30

        In-game (WoW), the only playable races with racially unique blood textures are the Draenei and the Forsaken, if I remember correctly. Every other race uses the standard bright red textures for blood. Another art source for the color of Night Elf blood can be found in the brief prologue included in Warcraft: the Sunwell Trilogy Ultimate Edition. The first page of the comic features a battle scene from the War of the Ancients, a scene in which a Night Elf can be seen bleeding red blood from a head wound.

        The theory for purple blood might be based on the Night Elven skin color, but this logic doesn’t really hold water. Skin color is determined by pigments in the skin cells, and is not greatly affected by blood color. Besides, High Elves and Blood Elves have human-like skin tones, and given their biological ties to Night Elves, it can be safely surmised that the elven races share similar blood chemistries.

        As for the distinction between bright red and purplish-red blood, hemoglobin, the oxygen-transporting protein in red blood, varies from bright red in color when oxygenated, to a deep red or purple when unoxygenated. Compare the color of blood from a cut finger, to the color of donated blood sealed in a bag to see what I mean. The bright red color is produced by the interaction of oxygen with the iron in hemoglobin.

        Considering the number of species that Earth and Azeroth have in common, (humans, dogs, cats, horses, etc.) it seems fair to assume that red-blooded azerothian creatures have hemoglobin-based blood.

        Draenei, an alien species, have blood that is blue when oxygenated, most likely indicating a metalloprotien that uses a different element instead of iron to transport blood. Blue-blooded Earth species have blood that contains hemocyanin instead of hemoglobin. This copper-containing protein is colorless when unoxygenated, and blue when oxygenated.

        While hemocyanin is only about 1/4 as efficient as hemoglobin due to an inherent lack of cooperative bonding with oxygen, hemocyanin forms large chains of individual proteins that are too big to clog or damage blood-filtering tissues in organs such as the kidneys. While the smaller hemoglobin proteins must be contained in red blood cells to prevent this damage, hemocyanin chains can float free in the bloodstream in much higher concentrations than, offsetting its efficiency setbacks with an increase in quantity.

        If Night Elves had purple blood, it would probably be based on a variety of hemerythrin, another type of oxygen-transporting protein found in a handful of small, invertebrate species. These proteins use iron to bind oxygen, and turn violet-pink when oxygenated, so the color could match. However hemerythrins, despite the similar names, are structurally very different from hemoglobin or hemocyanin, and feature major drawbacks.

        Like hemocyanin, hemerythrins do not bind cooperatively with oxygen, making them only about 25% as efficient as hemoglobin. Unlike hemocyanin however, hemerythrins are small, and need to be contained in cells to avoid causing damage to vital organs, restricting their concentration in the bloodstream.

        If Night Elves had this inferior purple blood, their humanoid circulatory systems would be very ill-equipped to keep their tissues supplied with oxygen, causing effects similar to chronic anemia in humans. Based on the natural athleticism and general fitness of the Night Elves, I find it highly doubtful that they suffer from any kind of race-wide hypoxia.

        To conclude, red Night Elven blood is shown in official Blizzard art and games, and is heavily implied by biological relationships with other creatures native to Azeroth, while the case for purple Night Elf blood just doesn’t hold up from biological or physiological perspectives.

      • 15 Nhani
        September 25, 2009 at 12:38

        *points to the Warcraft III screenshot linked*

        Though I think it’s fair to say it’s one of those cases where Blizzard went with rule of cool for the first inclusion (ie: Warcraft III) and then forgot some of the details they concocted. After all, we have Draenei.

      • 16 Synchronizor
        September 25, 2009 at 13:00

        Judging by he skeletons, I’d figure that color to simply represent dried, coagulated blood, and not a good source for the color of fresh Night Elf blood. The noticable color distinction between the dried human blood, and the dried Night Elf blood is worth consideration, though your point of Warcraft III being the first visual introduction is a good one. Artistic inconsistancies can always be expected between the initial representation of a subject, and what the asthetics eventually settle down to. Later Blizzard sources don’t seem to make distinctions between human and Night Elf blood textures like that screenshot does.

      • 17 Nhani
        September 25, 2009 at 13:21

        It’s worth to note that the blood effects “in the air” had pretty much the same dark purple-ish colour as the splats on the ground – I just didn’t get a good screenshot that. Still, that’s basically our original visual source for how their blood is coloured.

        I’ll admit I’m slightly partial towards taking Warcraft III’s word over World of Warcrafts’ in this case, seeing the many occasions where WoW is host to lazyness like using High elf/Blood elf statues for Night elven ones, or how they made the statue of Kur’talos Ravencrest into a statue of a woman.

        All this said, I don’t think it really matters as such – so long as people make the association that it’s blood they’re seeing, it wouldn’t matter if it was glowing neon green or bright pink with yellow dots – the colour is just flavor, associating it to actually being blood is the key part.

        The main reason I put some work into making it purple this time around was because last time around when I made it red, people kept telling me I was doing it wrong, so I figured I’d run with purple this time around and see if that went down better with people. It also does add a little to this whole mystic, alien sort of nature of the night elves, so I don’t mind that impression.

        Biology is also not all that important really; Warcraft is a setting well intended to be larger than life – while making sense is all well and good, Rule of Cool tends to get first dibs.

      • 18 Synchronizor
        September 25, 2009 at 13:42

        Yeah, I understand your point there. The blood’s color is not a plot device or anything, it just has to convey a “Hani’s bleeding” message.

        I’m not a doctor or biologist or anything, the information I posted on blood-carrying proteins was actually from when I was coming up with a sci-fi story, and one of the characters was supposed to be a bio-engineered being with incredible physical abilities. Instead of just saying “this character has extraordinary physical gifts” and moving on from there, I spent countless hours of my free time researching all sorts of biological ways to explain these abilities.

        It’s not enough for me to say or accept something, I feel the need to understand and be able to explain it, even if it’s just a tiny detail with no significant impact.

        Hence the hematology lesson. It’s just the way my brain functions.

      • 19 Nhani
        September 25, 2009 at 14:00

        I can relate to that – I know I was considering citing the laws for impulse (mass * velocity) on the commentary for #143, so I know the feeling.

        For night elven blood.. we’re talking a people who seem to be remade in the image of their goddess, right down to skin tones and glowing eyes, so I’m content to simply shrug it off as the blood colour being a result of whatever “night magic” that made them into what they are.

      • 20 Ragefury
        September 26, 2009 at 11:13

        I’ll skip the blood topic and go straight to Te’len.

        As I’ve mentioned before, it would be quite the sight to see her actually have any sort of magical abilities, may it be healing (most fitting imo), feral (I know, we have Hani) or something in the way of Balance. She is a druid after all, and shouldn’t simply be treated as some cute carriage for the rest of the group – I want to see her be of some more use than just for simple chit-chat, as we’ve seen from the rest of the group.

        Hani is the wildcat, always being silent when possible and letting out her frustration when she sees an opportunity. Tiny is the chattering character, always wanna have a topic to talk about and get in a bad mood when there isn’t, and sometimes get angry and start yelling when she experience a provoking situation. Areen, disregarding her racial status, is a serious yet calm and patient character who’s trying to act both according to knowledge and the actual situations, thus her rank as a paladin. Te’len is also a very calm, even though more understanding character who just acts for the best intents of her friends, but this make her the more held-back person in this group when it comes to acting to dangerous or other less threatening situations (like when she go scolded by Fandral Staghelm).

        I don’t know what future plans you might have for Te’len, but try to surprise us ;)

      • 21 Frostsaben
        September 27, 2009 at 09:32

        I’m sorry to tell you this Synchronizor, but you’re trying to bring logic into a fantasy world. Remember, in this world mages can shoot fireballs out of thin air, we have moving trees, elementals of rock, summoning demonic creatures out of thin air, shapeshifting from a humanoid creature to animals etc.

        I congratulate you for your research, but you never know what and how the species of Azeroth are made. It is true that maybe humans resemble real-life humans, but what about the other races? You yourself said the draenei and the forsaken have diffrent blood textures, because one is alien and another well… dead. Still, remember that for example orcs are aliens too, gnomes have evolved (de-volved?) from mechanical constructs, dwarves are softer rocks and the ones like night elves are the creation of Elune.

        Even if they weren’t so, the fact that they have stood so much near the Well of Eternity and then near the next one under the World Tree must have changed their phyzical appereance more then you’d think even though they didn’t use the later one much. It would be similar to those movies where people sit near nuclear sites then a few moments later grow tentacles. Just look at the blood elves for example and their cousins, the fel elves, in a matter of years from how blood elves look some reached to look like those monstrosities, and all in one lifetime, not even across diffrent generations! Also blood elves come from night elves, and despite the long ears, if you look they look almost nothing alike!

        My last point is one that Nhani has used too, Blizzard was lazy with some aspects of WoW, I remember a lot of quests and events that were not according to lore, and they even forgat Gilneas at the start of WoW! Now forgetting a huge peninsula can you say that it’s impossible they forgat the colour they attributed to the night elves in Warcraft 3 too?

    • 22 Amoranta
      August 2, 2011 at 09:47

      To be honest, I think it’s best to think about it in biological terms. Our skin is peach because our blood is red. Without the blood, our skin would be an ugly yellowish white. I’m not sure about african descent, but I’m sure it adds to their skin tone as well, though darker skin may be more prominent.

      If Hani’s blood was red, I’m rather sure her skin would not reflect as blue a hue as it does. I believe it would look much more purple, like the more common nelf tones. However, it does support a slight purple hue. All the night elf skin tones reflect SOME purple, ‘cept for maybe the ivory. So a warm purple blood color would make a lot of sense. I’m sure Hani’s skin without the blood giving it color would be a stark blue, rather than a purpleish blue. As for purple skin, it would turn pale and lose a lot of its general vividness.

      Maybe it’s not a good idea to think of logic or biology or anything when thinking about an online game, but I don’t think it’s worth complaining about. It confused me for a moment too, but I think it was an awesome touch.

  11. 23 saila aka wester
    September 25, 2009 at 08:18

    any one can put some bandage around ones own arm to slow down an blleding no training needed but then who said anything of it been effective in the word that it did stop the bleeding.
    and i cant recal what coller it is what dose nighe elf get when they are hit ingame?

  12. 24 Frostsaben
    September 25, 2009 at 08:35

    It’s great :) purple blood, just like it should be! I noticed from first glimpse at the page, and I must say I’m really glad you rembembered it.

    I must say that I did notice something in the last page but wasn’t sure if it was a cut or a shade or something else so I decided to not say anything.

    Anyway, I must agree with Hani, those mechanical things are abominations indeed… and to think the entire Westfall is filled with them…

    Also, I like that Hani and Tiny know eachother so good that they can forsee what the other will say, I really love that, they are indeed true friends for even though sometimes they don’t agree with eachother, when someone from outside asks something they stick together.

  13. 25 Udûn-Khadgar
    September 25, 2009 at 09:37

    I just looked back, and indeed, Hani is already bleeding for 3 pages… that’s a thing I’d never expected. Good job, and it seems that Hani and Tiny are completely on the same frequency again. Keep it up!

    P.S. In my opinion, the word awesome wasn’t disturbing at all, it actually fits in quite nice.

  14. 26 raukangren
    September 25, 2009 at 15:24

    Comments look like it’s blood theme conference of international physicians… yet it was very interesting to read. :) Gief MOAR! :D

    • 27 Ragefury
      September 26, 2009 at 11:19

      This page has turned into a biological education! I’m not a fan of biology myself, but seeing that there are World of Warcraft lore fans with such deep knowledge about biology just astounds me :O

  15. 28 ghost WoWplayer
    September 25, 2009 at 20:09

    I need a rez lol great page

  16. 29 Caridor
    September 26, 2009 at 09:42

    Wow, night elves have purple blood huh?

  17. September 26, 2009 at 14:31

    Lovablee.. now i wish i didn’t take suicide.. blast there is a worm in my belly again..

  18. 31 weertangel
    September 26, 2009 at 14:51

    Who cares what color they have??! In the end, everyone bleeds the same. ehehehe

  19. 34 Elveswarrior
    September 27, 2009 at 00:45

    id say that youtube link is the best prove so far. nelfs bleed purple. blood is blue when it doesnt contain oxygen so maybe nelfs are just low oxygen creatures? :)

    • 35 Synchronizor
      September 27, 2009 at 00:58

      Hemoglobin -containing blood is purplish when unoxegenated, but there is oxygen in the air, so even unoxygenated blood turns red when it leaves the body.

      So, it seems that Warcraft III shows Night Elves as having purple blood, and WoW and it’s contempary sources show them with red blood.

      • 36 Nhani
        September 27, 2009 at 08:24

        I’d attribute the latter to blood colour never being an important part of the lore as such and thus art direction simply forgetting (or not caring about) how they depicted it as Purple once. Seeing the many high elf/blood elf statues used as night elf statues in the game, or how Metzen admitted to.. ‘forgetting’ about how the Burning Legion came to be when they introduced to Draenei makes it seem a likely scenario to me.

        Going by that, I’d say the initial reason they were shown with purple blood was the same reason Draenei were given blue blood – to make them different, mysterious and alien compared to the other races (especially since at the time of Warcraft III, Kalimdor was considered this mysterious, unknown and untamed continent).

        Of course, on a physiological level, I’d say the purple colour is probably best explained by “Magic did it”, much the same way their eyes glow. That it’s simply part of their magical nature, as such.

  20. 37 Myrion
    September 28, 2009 at 00:20

    I liked the idea of the purple blood.
    In fact, the in game “shirt” of chest bandages always looks out of place on my night elves when splattered with the red blood stain, in my personal opinion.
    So I congratulate you on making a lovely catch on that.
    One of the first things I noticed on the page.

  21. 38 ghost WoWplayer
    September 28, 2009 at 01:36

    mr forsaken over there ate my heart ok? now rez plz?

    • 39 Ragefury
      October 3, 2009 at 01:49

      Mwaha I ate your heart so now I have more stamina and you can’t be ressed! Mind if I take your brain too? I need some more intellect ;P

  22. July 21, 2011 at 18:01

    Now that I read this page back again, it reminds me a little of Quistis and Squall in FF8, the ending conversation between the three elves. Albeit the questions and answers are divided between Tiny and Te’len in this.

    I doubt it was intentional, of course, but still, rings a bell of familiarity.

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