#151 – “Rousing Owls”

So I took some time out of my schedule, as much to clear my head as to get this page done. No promises about sunday since that which keeps me busy remains incomplete – it depends as much on how far I get with what I’m doing as how much space I have in my mind over the weekend. Still, this is something done; I’m hoping things’ll calm down soon enough.

An interesting note on this page – only about half of the backgrounds were actual night shots; the other half were adjusted to match after the fact.


63 Responses to “#151 – “Rousing Owls””

  1. October 22, 2009 at 18:29

    How did you manage to make those kickass muscles on Hani?

    • 2 Aries
      October 22, 2009 at 19:46


      should answer your question.

      And nice page Nhani. I was struck with the oddity last night that there is no moon in Northrend.

      • 3 Nhani
        October 22, 2009 at 19:55

        Huh, there isn’t? I can’t recall whether I’ve seen one or not now; if there isn’t at all anywhere, then it’s rather embarrassing how I’ve somehow failed to notice.

        • 4 Aries
          October 23, 2009 at 05:16

          if there is one, i sure couldn’t find it, Aurora Borealis everywhere, but no Moon.

        • 5 Germ
          October 23, 2009 at 08:01

          if there isn’t why did they put a race that worships the moon?

          • 6 Ragefury
            October 25, 2009 at 17:02

            Night Elves don’t worship the moon – they worship the moon goddess Elune – the moon is just a sort of religious symbol to them.

            It has never struck me that you can’t see the moon in Northrend – on day 1 of Wrath i just peeked up to the sky just to see it being lit up by nortern lights, even in the middle of a sunny day. It’s one of the light effects Blizzard succeeded with big-time.

            • 7 Shadda
              October 26, 2009 at 18:39

              There is a moon in Northrend. I’ve seen it while flying through Crystalsong Forest, which consequently is home to a number of Night Elf ruins.

  2. October 22, 2009 at 19:52

    Panels 7 and 8 – any chance we could get them as bigger artwork as a reward for voting? Hmm? Pretty please??? Don’t make this orc beg…it’s not very becoming.

    • 9 Nhani
      October 22, 2009 at 19:55

      Euffphh.. with focus on what? I found last time I made a large picture out of a single frame, people said I’d taken away some of what had made it good, so I’d love to hear what to put the focus on, in that case.

      Also, no promises (were some requests for the prior page, too) but I’ll see if I recall to when I have the time.

      • October 22, 2009 at 20:20

        i like the one its now, its my screensaver

      • 11 Synchronizor
        October 23, 2009 at 00:03

        I hope you’re not talking about the current voter incentive image, the one with our intrepid foursome in Westfall. That one came out great.

        • 12 Nhani
          October 23, 2009 at 00:07

          I mean a render of Te’len on the ship over to Stormwind – people wanted a larger version so I obliged, all while giving lighting and everything a slight look over since I often try to be rather quick about it when making a page. I thought I was making it better, but people generally preferred the version in the comic.

          I thought for next time around, I actually ask what exactly people like in a pane so I don’t accidentally take away from it.

          • 13 Synchronizor
            October 23, 2009 at 01:03

            Oh yeah, I remember that one.

            I can see where that image has some issues that detract from it. For me, Te’len’s skirt and face were the major negative developments from the version in the comic.

            It looks like you had a part of the skirt folded over her knees and hanging down somehow, and from your descriptions of how that skirt is modeled and simulated, I can see how that kind of manipulation can become problematic. All the frames with Te’len skirt visible in the comic page showed it from the other side. Additionally, the soft light effects you added seemed to really pull the skirt out of focus, making it blurry and a little hard to figure out.

            As for the face, the lighting changes seemed to unbalance it somewhat. The lower half of her face seems flushed while the area around her eyes seems washed out somehow.

            Apart from the lighting issues though, I really liked that render. I don’t think you misplaced your focus in any way, Te’len is very expressive in the image, and the fact that she’s struggling with what just happened comes across very well. The tweaks didn’t “take the good parts out of it” as you said; the good parts are all still there, they were just distracetd from.

      • October 23, 2009 at 03:24

        Hmm…you’re right. Panel 8 wouldn’t make a good voter incentive picture as it’s the wrong shape. By being the size that it is, it draws the user in; whereas, if it were made full-screen, it would lose a lot of the impact. Sigh…

        Now Panel 7 is the right shape and would make a fine voter incentive picture, I believe.

        Sorry for the delay in getting back to you – I work weird hours. :-)

        • October 24, 2009 at 02:27

          “This is the voting gateway for Beyond the Tree

          Your Vote was successfully registered, you can vote again in 5 hours

          Well, people requested it. Couldn’t find which backdrop I originally used, mind.”

          WOO-HOO!!! Gorgeous!

          Many thanks
          Muchas gracias
          Merci beaucoup
          Vielen dank
          Grazie molto
          Большое спасибо
          Σας ευχαριστούμε πάρα πολύ

          Well, you get the idea :-)

      • October 23, 2009 at 03:29


        Human hunters, Tauren paladins and priests, Belf warriors, Dwarf shamans and mages, Troll druids, Undead hunters, Nelf mages, Orc mages, and???




        STILL no gnome paladins.

        Le whine…

        • 20 Gordrake Thunderhoof
          October 23, 2009 at 15:43

          Hardly a replacement, but perhaps you could stick to what you got and go for a Gnome Warrior? I recall Nhani saying she had problems connecting to warriors because of the whole Rage thing (which is always a problem for new warriors) but since I’ve now been Prot Spec Warrior for…a few months now, I’ve decided since that I’m going to build a Gnome one. Very different to the Areen Lightspark that we know and love (since, for one, she’s a Paladin, and two she’s Nhani’s own and I don’t want to take away from that) but hopefully my experience with warriors will do some justice. It’ll be interesting for me to play a gnome as well since, as I’ve mentioned before, I’ve had a serious dislike for gnomes in the past.

          It’s interesting though…considering how I’ve had a serious dislike for any Alliance since my ventures in Kul Tiras (after which I cleaned ALL my characters from the server) this comic has been a breath of fresh air to me, since it’s played on both my peeves at the moment: The lack of roleplayers (I’ve been roleplaying, mostly on forums, for years, so this is inspirational in that sense) and the lack of respectable Alliance players (there’s surely a lot of them who both look at this magazine and who accompany Nhani in her ventures). So hopefully I can go back to what my original plan always was for the game: To see both sides of the story.

          • 21 Gordrake Thunderhoof
            October 23, 2009 at 15:45

            …just realised, I said magazine. XD Then again, it is a lot like a magazine if you think about it. Ever thought about reproducing this as a magazine when it’s completed? Have it released as a one-off print for the fans who have followed this comic since the start.

            Heh…random off-the-cuff idea. I know.

          • 22 Nhani
            October 23, 2009 at 17:16

            I’m not sure how much I’d count as a “new” warrior, actually – I’ve played the class more than people might think; to the point where I have not one but two warriors at level 70. I’ve really tried to like the class, and while it’s amused me at times, there’s something with how it functions (largely rage, but also other things) that’s made it mostly frustrating and boring for me to play.

            My last attempt at playing warriors was effectively put to its final rest when they changed Devastate from this deep, rumbling sound to a noise that to me sounds more like cutting ice with knife made of glass: it effectively devastated (pun not intended :p) the last shreds of appreciation I had for playing the spec and the class both.

            I think it’s actually a pretty wide combination of factors that play in when deciding whether or not you enjoy playing a class. At this point in time I’ve simply accepted that the warrior class isn’t for me, there’s just too many things that I either find bothersome or that I simply find counterintuitive.

            Good luck with your gnome, though; I’ve personally found that playing a gnome can be an incredibly liberating experience – especially if you’re used to playing a race that have so much less space to just spaz out and go crazy. It’s a special kind of eccentricism, I think, with Gnomes – either it comes naturally to you or it doesn’t. If it does, I think you might just click. ;)

            • October 23, 2009 at 20:54

              Always enjoyed the bigger taurens, started them, was goddamn hard 2 me to settle for a gnome when i (tried) to reroll xP

              played warrior since i got the game in 2004, they can be annoying, but i like it :D

            • 24 Yerdiss
              October 24, 2009 at 00:07

              Allow me to say that Nhani is, however adorable he may be at times, a complete warrior nub. Even after two level seventies. I know, because of my learnings *nodsnods*

              But seriously now, it’s funny to see how class preference can be a truly personal experience. I always value hearing from others what they like or dislike, mostly about the classes I know of myself.

            • 25 Gordrake Thunderhoof
              October 24, 2009 at 16:45

              Well I can’t speak much about class preferences since I have one of all classes somewhere along the line, but I started as a Tauren Warrior and somehow it’s just stuck. I can work other types too: Warlocks, Hunters, Paladins…they all seem to gel and I can get into them. The only ones I’m having problems with are Druids and Mages (possibly Priests too, but haven’t got far enough with mine to tell) and I really can’t get into them – and I want to since my main RP character is a human mage.

              And forgive me for my lack of clarity – I had intended to mean ‘new warriors’ as in those fresh off the chopping block and barely able to use glyphs. It was not directed at anyone. And yes, Devastate does suck sound-wise, but it’s immense in every other possible way, so…I’m content with it. And Prot warriors, from my experience, only have a Rage issue the moment they don’t have any aggro: Give a warrior five people to fight, put your Shield Wall up and enjoy limitless Rage build-up, but give him one guy who changes target quickly from someone stealing your aggro and you quickly become as effective as an Imp on a mana diet.

              And I do keep being told to lighten up…perhaps I will when I get into playing her.

            • 26 Nhani
              October 24, 2009 at 16:52

              I’ve found I’m very picky about classes, myself – I seem to work fairly well with rogues and priests both; I’m nurturing a low-level paladin as well with what little time I have to spare, and so far that seems like it might get somewhere.

              Warriors.. I can play them, but I seem doomed to resent playing them.

              Warlocks and Death Knights I’m simply just thematically opposed to – when I tried playing a Death Knight, I got as far as Tirion Fordring showing up and couldn’t get any further because it struck me with such profound force that I didn’t at all want to be Mograine – I wanted to be Tirion. I really didn’t get further than that, as fun as some of the mechanics were.

              Never managed to get druids or mages far enough either, and I think my one attempt at Shaman just fizzled.

            • 27 Gordrake Thunderhoof
              October 24, 2009 at 18:39

              Heh…I seem to always struggle starting off though, but then vastly improve later in the game. My Rogue…for 10 levels, was wielding a Sharpened Letter Opener. Then at level 10 he had dual-weilding, so he then had…yes, you guessed it: TWO Sharpened Letter Openers. And I struggled like HELL with him for 3 levels before I finally got my other chars to get low level daggers and mail them to him – just so he could do -something-. Thankfully he’s improved a lot now, so I’m learning to adjust.

              Paladins are fun. I raised one that I had to 25 but then sadly desired that he be a Hunter instead…I would recommend them though. They’re good fun to have. And speaking of…no Hunter to mention? It’s probably the only one you missed out, but yeah… and I’m not a fan of DK’s myself. I got one – don’t get me wrong – but I just think they’re over-exaggerated to be this immense deathbringer that, really, isn’t all that. I should know – I’ve beaten a few in my time already. Warlocks are…an interesting breed, though. I can understand you being against them (Priest, Combat Rogue and Paladin? You clearly resist the Dark Side well, young Padawan. XD) but they are on the same level as Hunters when it comes to running around solo.

              “I wanted to be Tirion!” <— That explains your Paladin choice. Minor observation.

              Shamans are HARD to raise. I tried to work with mine on the Elemental spec tree and he failed miserably…at least up until the point where I switched to Enhancement. Wasn't so bad then. They're still not very easy, though, and the totem thing is just somewhat distracting – I've found myself forgetting they weren't down and then kicking myself for not giving myself that last bit of armor boost that could've saved my life – or a str/agi boost to beat them quicker. Should really have a hotkey to set down the arranged totems from the level you get the Earth Totem – Level 5, I believe.

              In any case, here's to hoping that Blizzard fix the issues you're having with warriors. Would be good to see you being able to get back into them, since they are – despite their flaws – a pretty easy to use class to play…unless, of course, you prefer to shoot things, zap them or not even get near them and let everyone else take the beating while you keep them going.

            • 28 Nhani
              October 24, 2009 at 18:53

              Ah yes, Hunters. I did get one to 70, once. Liked kiting, didn’t like much of the rest. Might give it a try again when they abolish mana from the mix, but we’ll see about that.

              One thing about warriors is that they keep feeling so slow and ponderous – not to be confused with steady and durable, as I discovered (much to my chagrin) that any non-tank warrior tends to leave me with a feeling that I’m armored in papyrus, fighting in a rain of glue.

              That extra half second to the global cooldown can alter your experience so much it’s not even funny.

              So far, I think it’s more likely that I’ll stick to a paladin more than I have warriors – between innate run speed increase (my favourite enchantment ever) and feeling a tad less frail.. so far it seems more promising.

            • 29 Gordrake Thunderhoof
              October 25, 2009 at 01:03

              Hmm…I can understand the whole slow and ponderous thing, even as a Prot-spec Warrior. You need the Rage build-up to even have half the speed you need to take down mobs, and since most of that builds from actually attacking (in other words, poking them with your weapon) that is a very flawed system. In fact, I think it’s only Prot-spec Warriors who have a very decent Rage generating system – it’s kinda why I understand what someone said on the forums a while back, when he talked about how he saw Arms warriors as a rare breed (two-hander spec tends to have slowest Rage buildup) and despises Prot-spec warriors (sword/shield spec with talents that boost Rage on block).

              Thinking back, in the last upgrade or so Prot-spec Warriors have really been given some benefits compared to other specs, especially with the buff to Shield Specialization in 3.2.0 (I believe). It’s a cheap shot, I think, against other Warrior types, simply because it’s promoting tanks while diminishing DPS for Warrior types – and I really think they can be both if balanced out right. Yeah…I did say I was happy with my warrior, guess I know why now. Sadly, Blizzard needs to work on the other Warrior types now because they seem to be quickly dying out – Arms is almost rarer than the Squashling I still need to track down and Fury tends to be the main spec for the warriors that share traits with Leeroy himself.

              In short…Prot warriors are glorified, and I don’t think it’s fair to be honest.

  3. 30 Silvercrow
    October 22, 2009 at 20:06

    On the comment on Northrend not having a moon that is the case I assume that it’s because it’s so far North that the sun never full set’s in the same sense in are world we have places on either poles that the sun never settles at either. Clever move by Blizzard to have put that in Northrend and not a lot of players have probably picked up on it. I noticed the first night I played there that the sun never ever sets and if it does it must do so for a very brief amount of time never seen it happen when there mind you.

    Great page. I noticed that Hani’s getting more tense again. So the poor defias in Moonfall and the Dead Mines are going to get a royal ass kicking. In fact he being quiet is a little unerving I like it though she’s always come across to me as a “dark horse” great charactisation.

    • 31 Synchronizor
      October 22, 2009 at 23:39

      It doesn’t quite work like that, Silvercrow.

      The sun not setting or not rising at a planet’s poles is a seasonal thing, and has to do with the tilt of the planet with respect to the sun. That means that if you have a sun that never rises at a planet’s north pole during one seasonal extreme, it will never set during the other seasonal extreme. Between the two, there will be periods where there is a sunrise and a sunset every day. The intervals for this are based on the rate of the planet’s revolution around the sun, the distance between the two, the planet’s axial tilt, and the planet’s rotation rate.

      The only case where the sun will never rise on part of a planet’s surface is when that planet is tidally locked to the sun, when the rotation rate of the planet is equal to its revolution rate. This basicaly means that the planet’s day is as long as it’s year, such that only one half of the planet is ever facing the sun.

      As for moons, it’s kind of the same thing. The difference is that moons are much closer to planets than planets are to stars, so their revolution period must be much shorter to maintain an orbit. You can still have planetary locations where the moon is not visible for a period of time, but those periods never last for major chunks of a year, if they even do at all. Again, it depends on the relative rotation rates, revolution rates, directions, and tilts involved in the planet-sattelite system.

      As for this particular planet-sattelite system;


      Azeroth’s moon is visible from Northrend.

      (Fingers crossed on whether or not I did that formatting right…)

  4. 32 WoWplayer
    October 22, 2009 at 21:07

    awesome page

  5. October 22, 2009 at 21:11

    Silver, where i live(norway) 7 months in the year we NEVER seez the sun(now being the case) and 5 months we see the sun 24/7

    • 34 Ozzie
      October 22, 2009 at 22:02

      Don’t exaggerate too much, pwease :P

      Normally it’s all gone november, but it’s back in late january/february =P

      • October 23, 2009 at 09:48

        Thats in middle norway i think, in troms, its like that 5 months son, 7 months cold, been there often as half my family lives there(or more 0.o) im glad my family moved to Horten :D

        • 36 Neelah Reish
          October 23, 2009 at 11:52

          Draxoth, I live in Tromsø too, and it’s not that bad. What Ozzie said is true. The summer period of having sunlight 24/7 is far longer than the dark period. In fact, the period where we have no light 24/7 is about a week long up here. (Longer the further north you go, obviously).

          Point in fact: I’m writing this near the end of October, and right now, when I look out the window, I see the sun.

          And on the point of the Northrend lack of moon: There is one, and you also don’t have moonlight when you have the aurora. And some zones (Icecrown) are cloudy 24/7, so obviously no moon there.

          On another note: Great page as allways, Nhani!

  6. October 22, 2009 at 21:18

    wow.. just hit me, we have seen Hani fight in the sunlight, with deadly precision, think about her in the moonlight.. wouldn’t want to stand against her then :/

  7. 39 Udûn-Khadgar
    October 22, 2009 at 21:57

    Great page! Lovely sight to see or little but agile paladin Lightspark clambering the wooden fencing of Westfall. Another thing that’s only possible with a gnome that way.

    Keep up the good work!

  8. 40 Frostsaben
    October 22, 2009 at 23:21

    “If they are in danger, is it not enough?” – strangely, the way Hani reacted made me think, if I was Lightspark right now I’d be thinking I’m travelling with someone who doesn’t really care about the lives of others much unless they have a connection to you. This might not mean much in the night elf lands though, especially because the relations are diffrent, where every night elf is a sister/brother to another so if the same question would have been asked the answer could have been “they are distant relatives/friends/saved my life/met them while gathering mushrooms 200 years ago” but in a society like the one the humans/dwarves/gnomes have made in Eastern Kingdoms it is diffrent since you can’t know even all 200 000 citezens of Stormwind, let alone all the humans, dwarves and gnomes in the world!

    Ok, I may have expressed myself weird, but don’t know how to say what I think another way unfortunately, hope you udnerstand.

    • 41 Nhani
      October 23, 2009 at 00:10

      I like this observation. It may not be everything I aimed for, but it’s certainly food for thought; especially considering the original reason Hani chose to help in the first place ;)

  9. 42 Synchronizor
    October 22, 2009 at 23:49

    I’m a bit confused by the lighting here, Is the light source in front of Hani the sunrise? In some of the frames, when the camera is facing Hani and Areen, there seems to ba a warm-hued light source in front of them, but when the perspective is moved behind them, there’s only the moon, which isn’t the correct color.

    Am I missing something, or is this something to do with the screenshot altering you mentioned above?

    • 43 Nhani
      October 23, 2009 at 00:04

      It has to do with that the light source I had pretending to be moonlight was set rather more pinkish than it should have, and by the time I noticed I was already halfway through the process and decided to just run with it. The lights were imported from another scene where the lights were adjusted to fit more night elven locales.

  10. 44 Aedinn
    October 23, 2009 at 13:22

    Love the comic, it’s on my favorites list (:

    Haven’t seen anyone else point it out yet but there seems to be a clipping issue in panel 7. The sword hilt seems to go through Areen’s head.

    Sorry for the nitpick.

    Areen climbing on the fence is a detail I adore. It really makes you realise just how the characters would adapt to interact.

    • 45 Nhani
      October 23, 2009 at 17:03

      This is a good catch, really – I didn’t notice until much too late. It’s an issue Areen has – when she looks up (she does this often) more often than not her head will brush up against or even merge with the hilt of her sword. I actually adjusted her sword once already for a prior pane, but somehow totally missed it being necessary for pane 7 as well.

  11. 46 weertangel
    October 23, 2009 at 22:49

    Once again, a great looking page! with some thought food in it. Ever since i played and read the D&D books,i have taken up the (not always realistic) habit of sometimes place ppl in one of the 9 alignments presented in D&D, so as a paladin, Areen is Lawful good,Te’len Neutral good(since she is a druid) Tiny is Chaotic good(Chaotic evil when in sarcarsm mode)
    And Hani, i don’t know, since her exile she’s slipped from Chaotic good to Lawful neutral, since she just goes and does like told, witch is NOT an inprovement if u ask me.

    Any thoughts on this?

    • October 24, 2009 at 00:28

      I agree, Tyrande’s exile of Hani was not a good mental improvement for our night elven warrior.
      Allthough i think Tyrande did so for a reason, maybe ahve a epifany?

    • 48 Synchronizor
      October 24, 2009 at 01:02

      Little primer here, if you’re rusty on your alignments like me…

      As for Hani, I think she still falls in the Chaotic Good category. she may be edging toward the Neutral alignments on a couple of points, but I still see her as too much of a rebel to really fit the Lawful Neutral archetype.

    • 49 Nhani
      October 24, 2009 at 02:02

      I recall a friend and I had a discussion about the Beyond the Tree cast and alignments sometime this summer; while I generally consider the D&D alignment system flawed and imperfect at best, it struck me as an interesting exercise in character.

      I found that the two characters the hardest to decide on was actually Hani and Areen; Te’len and Tiny are both fairly evident – Te’len is simply just that nice a person (neutral good) while Tiny is pretty much rebellion incarnate (Chaotic neutral/good).

      Areen I ended up settling largely on neutral good, because she’s equally capable of going in both lawful and chaotic directions so long as good is served. As for Hani.. as outwardly chaotic as she can sometimes seem.. I actually ended up putting her somewhere in between neutral and both good and lawful – she has leanings in both those directions, I’d say, but don’t commit entirely to either extreme.

      Of course, the alignment system is loosely enough defined (and defined differently by pretty much every place that attempts to do so) that any of those could easily be put to debate – I think the best example I’ve seen of that is this one picture where all nine possible combinations of alignments are represented by Batman.

  12. 53 Udûn-Khadgar
    October 24, 2009 at 11:39

    Love the new TWC picture. Worked out just fine in my opinion.

    Keep it up!

  13. 55 saila aka wester
    October 24, 2009 at 16:34

    i wounder if any one that can sew would sew any of the cloth any member of the trio is wearing and no im not interest in buying them.

  14. 56 weertangel
    October 24, 2009 at 19:26

    I must say, love the batman link! i’m a comic fan of him also, but i did’t know that one!
    As for the Alignments, i agree with u on all of them Nhani, exept Areen, She is a paladin, witch means she is bound to both the law as well as good, so i think she’d rather try to capture Van Cleef(or any other bad guy) then just kill him couse he’s evil or couse someone wants his head.. if anything, Areen will have it harder then the rest of the group when decide what to do. if u wanna good read about the “good”aspect, and u are’t to religious, i suggest u go read the Book of Exalted Deeds,its really good, even if some of the things in it don’t apply to the real world(witch the author says in the forword)

  15. 58 weertangel
    October 26, 2009 at 17:27

    somehow i have a hard time seeing even an wow paladin slaughter everything “in the name of the light” just does’t feel or sound right.

    • 59 Nhani
      October 26, 2009 at 18:07

      Somehow, I don’t see what exactly that would have to do with being lawful – in fact, I think Areen is less likely to slay all in her way by not being lawful: she’s not bound by societal norms or rigid codes of conduct – she’ll gravitate towards doing the good thing, even when it means letting some things slide.

      Compare this with Hani, who for all her instinctive behavior still seeks to adhere to her own personal code of conduct; and who simply couldn’t allow Fandral Staghelm to get away with some of the things he said.

    • 60 Yerdiss
      October 26, 2009 at 18:52

      Oh really now, the Paladin example in the Alignment discussion always vexes me *nodnod* That one system chooses to interpret “Paladin” in a certain way, does not make it universal.

      Let’s explore it a bit further than D&D, shall we?

      “The Tuscan Poet doth advance
      The frantic Paladin of France,
      And those more ancient do enhance”

      Samuel Daniel (1562 – 1619) was an English poet and historian, in whose poems the first mention of a “Paladin” in the English language has been found. Following history, we find that the etymological meaning of the word slowly shifts from “a brave, chivalrous knight”, as is still one of the meanings listed in the Oxford Dictionary, to “any of the twelve peers of Charlemagne’s court”.

      I have a hard time seeing these historical figures following any kind of rigid nine-alignment structure, and I find it quite humorous to believe that these historical men set forth on epic quests in order to satisfy the needs and desires of a limited few good gods in a polytheistic pantheon, whereas they would then be opposed by “Blackguards” empowered by evil deities of that same pantheon

      Of course, over time, the term “Paladin” has – via several fairy tales and retellings – found its way into ‘popular culture’ as an archetype.

      Looking further back, we can track the word back via French and Italian to the Latin “Palatinus”, a title used to identify high ranking officials attending imperial or royal courts in Europe, or before that, of chamberlains of the Emperor of Rome.

      Again, I do find it rather counter-productive to try to imagine a Roman chamberlain going on a murderous spree, chopping up mythological beasts that have invaded his noble city.

      This browsing through historical references can continue for quite some time, but I shall spare the eyes and brain of any who read this :P

      Back to the “Paladin” in the realm of fantasy. The title of “Paladin” is usually chosen to identify a “knightly subject to a higher power”, be it a king, emperor, God or cause. Not until the fantastic tale has identified this “higher power”, can anything be said of the “knightly subject”. In D&D, the higher power happens to be a handful of goody Gods, projecting their values onto their subject via rigid alignment restrictions made possible through a ordered universe called “rules of D&D”.

      In WoW, the higher power is usually not “the light”, but for instance the faith one has in the cause behind the light, empowered by the light, or the faith one has in oneself to best the light and rob it of its power. (Alliance vs Horde paladins).

      And in many other tales, a Paladin can be a knightly subject of an entirely different master, maybe even a mortal one that demands the Paladin to follow a code of honour, in which way Arthurian Knights might be called Paladins.

      And so on, and so forth.

      Moral of the story: don’t feel limited to what a system dictates when using archetypes. The lore and system do provide boundaries, but not nearly as rigid as “They must be…”, well, no need to repeat that nonsense.

      • 61 Nhani
        October 26, 2009 at 19:06

        Now there is a whole lot of information I didn’t know. xD

        To add some interesting complimentary food for thought, I always felt that Areen, being a gnome, would have a somewhat different perspective on the Holy Light than the average Human or Draenei would. I think for her, it’d be less about adherence to a codified teaching and more one towards an ideal – a hope for the future, so to speak.

  16. 62 Mira
    October 27, 2009 at 23:47

    Love your comic, but something seems to be wrong with Ms Foonmall in the top right picture (forgive me).

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Essential box of legalities

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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