#151c – “Setting Out”

Yes, it’s a filler and lighting is even a tad off in places. I was seriously considering skipping today because I really haven’t had time to prepare anything. I have the starts for a script for #152 in mind, it still needs to be fleshed out so provided things actually calm down enough, it should have grown into something substantional by sunday.


45 Responses to “#151c – “Setting Out””

  1. 1 TheNic
    October 30, 2009 at 00:03

    GET TO WORK YOU LITTLE **** …. is something I would say if I did not understand that you ahve a lfie of your own too, but I (and hopefully most others) don’t mind some fillers every once and awhile, I am sure you do your best, but these are troublesome times we live in and we gotta work our asses off =)

  2. 2 Ragefury
    October 30, 2009 at 00:37

    2 fillers in a row – I think it’s time for you to save some time to actually fill in the script or just leave it be for awhile so you can clean up the mess called RL before actually starting on a new page – your comic is great, and greatness usually takes some time to achieve ;)

    To get to the page – I think Tiny’s trying to reach the trim – would be fun to see her dingle above the doorway :P

  3. 3 Misha
    October 30, 2009 at 01:28

    I just wanted to say how much i enjoy your webcomic, i always look
    forward to a new episode, so please, keep it coming!

  4. 4 Ilyara
    October 30, 2009 at 03:07

    I bet she’s been swinging on that fence like a child ^_^ It’s what I’d do.

  5. 5 Aries
    October 30, 2009 at 04:25

    nothing wrong with fillers, or skipping a day if need be. Although i do think she does the fillers when she needs a break from the real life mess. So keep em coming. Good luck getting the real work done Nhani, looking forward to moving forward when you are done.

    Until then….ooooo pretty!

  6. October 30, 2009 at 08:24

    I like fillers, they make me happy :D

  7. 7 Frostsaben
    October 30, 2009 at 09:10

    Thank you for making all these fillers, but real life stuff is more important in any condition, so you shouldn’t force yourself to make something for this comic when there are more pressing real life things to do.
    In the end it will just make the comic feel like a “job” you need to work for and you’ll get bored and more unhappy of it. Trust me on this, been through a similar situation.

  8. October 30, 2009 at 11:13

    it’s completely understandible, heck Cru had the same thing going on aswell.

  9. 9 Moltrazahn
    October 30, 2009 at 12:21

    Omg! Yes! Nhani! This is the best filler ever, your skills are unsurpassed in comicstuffmakeing! Your FANTASTIC :D I love the way that every particle of this page shines AWESOMESAUCE! ill never forget it ever! :)

    … Okay abit overboard with trying to boost your moral and still making a bad joke perhaps :P

    Said it before, saying it again, take your time ^^, your stuff is worth waiting on, besides, gnome hanging from fence… its awesome :P you can just imagine her going “I am going to climb this fence!” and then do it.


  10. 10 Catguy
    October 31, 2009 at 00:44

    honestly i really like your fillers they’re well made and looks great

  11. 11 saila aka wester
    October 31, 2009 at 03:04

    its 03.02 sweden local time and am not tired as seen in this coment,
    anyway great filler.
    ah i wish i could animate cos then i might give an try whit your models if am allowed anyway.
    if i do learn animation i tell you okey?

  12. October 31, 2009 at 06:30

    Before I noticed Tiny’s waving, the only thing I could think of was this little kid voice coming from Lightspark saying, “Uppies!” :-)

    She just looks too relaxed and having fun to be hellbent on DM…but I’ve learned to never underestimate a gnome :-)

    • 13 Nhani
      October 31, 2009 at 10:37

      I pictured it as Tiny yawning, actually – I thought it was a fairly typical pose to hold your arms in while yawning and stretching after waking up.

  13. 14 Zednotzee
    October 31, 2009 at 08:39

    ” Uppies “, lol. Somehow I can’t see any Paladin of whatever race/type saying ” Uppies “. Paladins are the Order Miltant of the church ( in the allience case, anyway ). Their prime reason for existance is to bring the wrath of the Light to the heathen and the heretic (particulary Blood Elf paladins, the worst heretics of all). Their views would undoubtadly be along the lines of ‘The only thing better than a dead Horde/Scourge is a dying one that you can torture for information.’ As happens in the game. I always see it that although they are held as heroes of the light by the general populace, no-one would really want to invite one to tea. “This bread and jam is SINFULL! Brother Ichabod, FETCH THE RACK!” Basically, I see them as the WOW version of the Knights Templar from the Crudades, and although maybe not quite as extreme, yuo still wouldn’t want to steal their peanuts….

    • 15 Ilyara
      October 31, 2009 at 15:03

      I think that’s one example, but looking at the context of Warcraft: even though the Paladins are a militant order, it would be wrong to characterise Uther that way. The “Heathen and the Heretic” is more like the sort of thing you’d hear in Warhammer/40k, which are both grimdark scenarios.

      I don’t think that Areen is like that anyhow: I think she’d be a lovely tea party guest.

  14. 16 Hernos
    October 31, 2009 at 12:51

    I reckon Zednotzee is right in my opinion, they are meant to be these great warriors who are, in want of a better description, the right hand of the Light. You have someone possesed, fetch a paladin! “Welcome to the Phone-a-Paladin service, Dial 1 for ghost clearance, 2 for a scorge infestation, 3 to smite evil….”

    • 17 Zednotzee
      October 31, 2009 at 15:28

      I can see your’e getting at Ilyana, but WOW is a pseudo – medieval scenario. And in the medieval period , it was very much a case of ‘either with us or against us’. No grey areas at all. And if your’e against us, then we want you dead….. This was particularly true where religion was concerned.

      • 18 Nhani
        October 31, 2009 at 17:00

        But then there are the Three Virtues.

        Warcraft Paladins aren’t Space Marines: when Prince Arthas Menethil stood before the gates of Stratholme, expressing how the entire city was infected with the plague and would soon become the Scourge.. Uther Lightbringer, foremost icon of all it means to be a Paladin in that setting, did not go “Cleanse the Impure!”

        Instead, he refused the order – he would sooner betray the crown he was sworn to serve than to put the populace of an entire city – even though they were infected and about to become the living dead – to the sword.

        There’s a distinct and very important difference between Fighting Evil for the sake of protecting people and Fighting Evil for the sake of Fighting Evil. And as the Lich King himself puts it: “You’re a Paladin – your obcession with redemption borders the inane.”; Tirion does not prove him wrong – rather, the Lich King only shows Tirion that there is, in fact, nothing left to redeem, and that he can fully commit to the Lich King’s destruction with a clear heart.

        Like Ilyara, I think Areen would make a lovely tea party guest – humble and courteous to a fault, knowing very well what her title causes her to represent and striving to do so to the best of her abilities. All that said, I can’t picture her saying “Uppies!”, though I wouldn’t put her above saying “Could you please assist me in scaling this fence?”.

  15. October 31, 2009 at 15:28

    Here I go again. Forgot I once opened a wordpress blog, which I have never ever used.

    If you want to know what a paladin should REALLY be like, rather than how they are all-too-often played, I can suggest nothing better than Elizabeth Moon’s truly excellent trilogy, The Deed of Paksenarrion (that’s a link to wikipedia). Paksenarrion is my role model when I play a paladin.

    Me, I’m glad you do these fillers. It’s not just that each panel is a learning experience. I know too well from experience how easily a legitimate excuse to delay can lead to procrastination, and how easily procrastination can lead to abandoning a project. I really don’t want that to happen to Beyond the Tree.

    Speaking of learning experiences, Areen’s right arm looks atrophied, or something, in Panel 2. It reminds me of my DAoC lurikeen ranger. How did that happen?

    • 20 Nhani
      November 1, 2009 at 13:33

      One of these days I’m going to have to figure out what exactly you’re doing to get caught in the spam filter in such a consistent manner.

      As for the arm, it happens because – for some reason – Areen’s arms are have a very strange oval shape – they’re thicker than they’re wide, so to speak.

  16. 21 saila aka wester
    October 31, 2009 at 17:28

    well on an tea party i dont think anyone matter/thinks of what your are the only thing that matter is ones personality.
    like for example an warlock that still is strong to the light.
    or an paladin that believes in the arcane magic or is more interest in that then in the light.
    i know second one was an bad example.

    • 22 Zednotzee
      October 31, 2009 at 20:51

      Hmmm, yes. I think people are getting a bit too caught up in my tea party comments. What I was trying to put over, was that Paladins are, in fact, fully-armoured killing machines dedicated to the eradication of evil. Whether or not they do this for the good of the people or just because they want to is imatrial. Of course as Arleen is Nhani’s creation, I must bow to her ideas of how the character thinks and behaves. personally, though, I rather like the Idea that Pala’s have a slightly dark side and that my paladin carries Mr Squashy (her favourite thumb-screw) around with her “Just in case.”

      • 23 Nhani
        October 31, 2009 at 21:22

        My counter-point was essentially that they’re not – in fact, the major ideological difference that seperates Paladins from other people who swing large weapons is that they’re not just killing machines; they’re not just bent on singular destruction. They have a higher call to answer, and a greater responsibility to live up to.

        Everyone can falter, of course – people are not perfect. But this “dark side” of paladins you mention is no different than, say, officers of law, order or government taking bribes from criminal elements. It’s corruption, plain and simple – it doesn’t mean that’s what it means to be a Paladin, it simply means that not all Paladins can live up to their own ideals ;)

        Arthas was a Paladin too before he fell, after all – not everyone can be Uther Lightbringer. But they’re not all Arthas or the Scarlet Crusade, either.

        • 24 Ragefury
          November 1, 2009 at 05:55

          I’m all on Nhani there – sure, Paladins are a band of holy knights formed to eradicate evil in all its aspects, but we cannot forget they’re bound to The Three Virtues as Nhani mentioned – to mindlessly slaughter the enemy without being aware of the risks and consequences are not the way of a Paladin – like Uther, a true Paladin would rather disobey commands given by the crown than to brutally murder innocent people that could have a hope be saved from undeath.

          Take Crusader Bridenbrad for example – he risked his own life to save the injured from the scourge in Icecrown – for this, Tirion went to far lenghts to save him, whatever the cost. In the end, Bridenbrad was saved from the fate by A’dal himself, and the players are told “The light does not abandon its champions”. This is just one of many bright examples of why Paladins keep to their oath, but like Arthas and the Scarlet Crusade there are those that interpret it.

          • 25 Nhani
            November 1, 2009 at 12:54

            In a way, I find that the interesting thing with Arthas is that he wasn’t somehow gradually corrupted into falling – all the way up to picking up Frostmourne was all his own doing: his own pride. He couldn’t allow his own defeat, and went to increasing lengths to prevent it – he tells himself it is to save his people, but it becomes apparent very early on that he’s more interested in just plain winning; that he just lets himself get goaded further and further on.

  17. 26 Colby
    October 31, 2009 at 23:04


    I really love your webcomic…. I adore it… it makes me laugh…

    I wanted to remark about the “filler” strips of the past few days..

    I’ve really enjoyed them. They’re not ‘filler’…. a ‘filler’ comic is a comic that has nothing to do with the story line. these strips you’ve posted… they’re short, peaceful little things…. they progress the story along without filling the screen with text. Text ins’t a bad thing, of course… but in life, we all go through our quiet times. and our verbose times….

    In movies, you occasionally have scenes where the camera sits back and records, while the actors perform and the only sound is the music playing.

    What I’m trying to say there is… comics like these? are beautiful. Please do more of them. You’ve discovered, in my opinion, a new tool in story telling. Use it! :D

    You can use it on days when your time is running short… or when the storyline ‘needs’ it… perhaps you could even start to build a ‘buffer’ using this technique so that you never have to rush to complete a strip.

    the short version of that I’m trying to say: Not ever strip needs dialog, or a joke. These strips are beautiful. Please use them as needed. :)

    • 27 Nhani
      October 31, 2009 at 23:21

      It’s a good point, really – I keep being reminded every so often (though I seem to keep forgetting it, too) that silence can actually speak louder than words, sometimes; I do try to be somewhat minimalistic with dialogue – if I can get away with just facial expressions and body language, I prefer to use that.

      That said, consciously making a silent page is rather difficult, since things need to happen even if nothing is happening, if that makes sense. Rather, four pages in a row with the group just walking down a road in silence isn’t going to be all that interesting, but waking up, meeting up or any such is more likely candidates. I admit, most of the time all-silent pages are all-silent because I haven’t had time to come up with dialogue and simply just want something short that moves things on without needing to script it in advance.

      Still, it’s a good reminder, and I’ll try to keep it in mind for the mines, since there should be a fair bit of space there where silence will serve me better than words. We’ll see what happens ;)

      • 28 Gordrake Thunderhoof
        November 1, 2009 at 03:20

        Thinking about the mines then, random thought on what you could use as a filler if needed: The small group you have there, back to back against one another, weapons drawn, alert for anything that moves. Have some camera shots of each person looking around, trying to find out where the next wave of the assault is coming from. OR even have Hani and Areen either side of Te’len to protect her from harm, perhaps have Tiny jumping on Te’len’s head just in case things get a bit too rough on Hani’s shoulder – she did almost fall off when she socked Mr. “I have vision nobody else has” two chapters back. Sounds like a pretty cool wallpaper too…

        Yeah. Random thought. I know.

        • November 1, 2009 at 13:27

          I miss the rather perverted humour with the “Why does gimp wear jackets and not pants” and “whats the deal with the hair everywhere ‘xcept the torso??” :P but its still “Beyondish”, and that is what make me vote three times aday on 3 different computers :P

          • 30 Gordrake Thunderhoof
            November 1, 2009 at 14:10

            Sadly, I don’t think we’re going to see too much more. Everyone in the mines is fully clothed…though perhaps a few of the sailors who have shirts undone or no shirts at all. Not sure – been ages since I’ve done Deadmines.

            • 31 Nhani
              November 1, 2009 at 14:15

              Actually, the Deadmines does have the hilarious situation where Defias Miners wear shirts, while Defias Strip Miners don’t.

              I haven’t quite decided whether to make a joke over the fact or not, however.

            • November 1, 2009 at 14:24

              I can already see formyself Tiny commenting the “Strip” in their name :P “Strip miners.. so.. they strip for the others?” xD

            • 33 Nhani
              November 1, 2009 at 14:26

              The problem being that they can’t really see their name tags though, can they :p

            • November 1, 2009 at 14:28

              true dat.. but they can say “Get those strip miners here!” or “damned strip miners think they rule this area” comments from the goblins xP

            • 35 Gordrake Thunderhoof
              November 1, 2009 at 15:28

              Haha…that would be win. xD

              Tiny: “Strip miners…?”
              Areen: “I don’t know…could be our ones?”
              Tiny: “Since when did dwarves do the dancing?”
              Hani: “Trying to get closer to the earth, I guess.”
              Tiny: “…NO! BAD HANI!”

  18. November 1, 2009 at 15:12

    Ah, so Areen’s arms have a highly elliptical cross section! I can see why that is necessary. A more circular cross section would make her even wider.

    Only three virtues? (a href=”http://www.wowwiki.com/Three_virtues#The_Three_Virtues”>WoWWiki link) Sorry, but Respect, Tenacity, and Compassion really are insufficient for a morally ordered life. And the definition given for Respect is almost gibberish.

    Far more effective for ordering one’s life are the four Cardinal virtues (Wikipedia Link) of Justice (giving each his due), Prudence (using the best means to achieve one’s goals), Temperance (moderation in all things), and Fortitude (enduring hardships and confronting fear).

    But these merely direct one to achieving goals well; they hardly give moral order to one’s goals. That requires the Theological Virtues (Wikipedia Link). These are Faith (the certainty of God’s goodness and love), Hope (the certainty that God will give good rewards to those who do His will), and Charity (from the Latin caritas, also translated as love), the desire to provide to others what is truly best for them. God’s goods, especially salvation, head the list. These goods are to be given to the beloved. Because all people have free will, it is up to them to accept.

    A paladin’s foremost expression of charity is just war (a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just_war”>Wikipedia link). In Elizabeth Moon’s trilogy, paladins have doctrines similar to Special Forces; that is, as a force multiplier (training and leading the opressed), typically with little or no support, and (unlike any miliatary force) operating largely autonomously (going where they “feel like” they should, or where they feel “led” to go).

    As for your spam filter, I dunno. I really wish I did.

    You don’t have to make a joke about the strip miners. It clearly already IS a joke, especially since the Deadmines aren’t a strip mine.

    • 37 Nhani
      November 1, 2009 at 15:34

      Considering we’re talking a made up faith designed largely around a series of games (that also have retconned said faith from grounds up at least once), I think asking it to be a complete walk in life is arguably silly.

      That said, I don’t think it’s nearly as nonsensical as you try to claim either – Respect actually makes a fair bit of sense if considered from within the frame of reference which it was provided in – same for Compassion and Tenacity. They could be put better or more elaborately, definitely, but i fail to see how they’re “almost gibberish”.

      • November 1, 2009 at 19:32

        OK, after carefully rereading it (Fixed Link) several times, I can sort of see how Respect as defined relates to giving others the consideration or regard that is their due, and thus analogous to justice. But the approach is clumsy and backhanded. Phrases like “connection to the universe” set off the silly nonsense alarms in my mind. Since completely understanding some sorts of nonsense makes you less capable of wisdom, I tend to stop thinking when that happens.

        I don’t expect the Light or the Three Virtues are at all comparable to Catholicism, nor able to be. I think making Christianity part of a fantasy RPG setting is a really bad idea. When this is done, it puts the game master (or designer, in the case of CRPGs) in the position of having to roleplay God, with all His knowledge, power, and love. Quite frankly, no mere human or group of humans is up to the task.

        What I am actually doing is taking your comic (and the discussions it spawns) as a jumping-off point for some Catholic apologetics and catechesis. I point out where things are similar, and also where and why they are different. I do hope you don’t mind, as I am grateful to reach an audience that finds Catholic doctrine either terra incognita or worse, gravely misrepresented.

        • 39 Nhani
          November 1, 2009 at 23:15

          “Connection to the Universe” is just largely how they chose to describe it when defining the Holy Light in the sourcebooks; in very brief and simplified terms, the Holy Light can be explained as we all exist and we all can feel, we’re part of a union; and as we are part of a union, everything that affects the whole will affect us, and everything that affects us will – to some degree – affect the whole.

          Or even shorter: “Be a nice person and the world will be nice to you.” Of course, since the Holy Light actually taps into some form of actual, quantifiable force somewhere, it’s not entirely that simple – nor entirely explained. Blizzard has a tendency towards leaving gaps and half retcons, see origins of the Burning Legion. Anyhow.

          I tend not to mind discussion – I usually rather like entries that not only provoke others to think, but provoke me to think – to see the characters from a different angle. That said, if I end up getting the feeling that you’re here only to hold some manner of recruiting campaign, I’m going to get a tad cross – while Beyond the Tree does (and will) end up going past some subjects some people seem to have issues with (female empowerment, for one), I’m not doing this comic for the sake of some political agenda and I’d rather it not being used in that manner.

          Of course, I’ve put up with both trolls and sock puppets so far, and so far the only comments I’ve eradicated (or otherwise moderated in any form) are ones I’ve judged as blatant spam and nothing but.

          • November 2, 2009 at 22:53

            Ah, perhaps less different than I had thought. Catholics base respect for human life and dignity on our being created in the image and likeness of God; there is a certain level of connection on that basis. Of course, baptism makes us adopted children of God, and so part of a very large family and thus the basis for a much closer connection.

            I’m not out to recruit so much as to educate. I would estimate that Catholic doctrine is either unknown or known incorrectly to about 90% of the world population (which must perforce include some of the 17-20% identifying themselves as Catholics). I leave the doctrines to stand and either attract or repel people on their own, as best as I am able. Do let me know if I step over the line. This place is yours, to do with as you see fit.

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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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