#163 – “Heeding the Call”

Appart from trying to figure out dialogue, one of the things I spend the most time trying to work out in my head regarding Beyond the Tree is purpose – why the characters actually go where they go and do what they do. Though no one actually seems to have taken much note of it, one of the main things I wanted with Deadmines was to get a sense that so far, our group hasn’t particularely cared about exploring the mine complex beyond finding their dwarves. Now, however, that might just change.

Edit: Fixed a small error caused by the apparent fact that I can’t spell.


34 Responses to “#163 – “Heeding the Call””

  1. 1 Aro
    December 10, 2009 at 19:47

    First =D
    Awesome comic!
    Gief more

  2. 2 Nacklewicket
    December 10, 2009 at 19:57

    Love these comics, keep em comming with more Nhani!

  3. 3 Moltrazahn
    December 10, 2009 at 20:46

    This page i special, i like how the bond of the team really shows, and their confidence in helping each other… Very typical heroish ^^ and i also noticed that the special poses of each really stands out here as well. Hani’s cross-armed legs spread “I can kill you with a flick-of-a-wrist”-pose. Te’len’s innocent thoughtful rubbing the other arm pose. Rei’s sitting on hani’s shoulder, and well, though i fell for Areen’s “Im going head-on with 4 ghoul’s”-pose from 2 pages back, i still think of her more as she stands in panel 3, relaxed, and really rather neutral, but still shows a certain “glow” about her.

    Good one ^^

    • 4 Nhani
      December 11, 2009 at 06:26

      I recall hearing or reading somewhere that most really famous comic book characters can often be recognized from their silhouette alone due to a combination of outfit, build and pose. While I don’t think the Beyond the Tree cast are that distinct just yet, I try to keep it in mind, and there’s a few habits I try to sneak into the body language of each separate character; Hani for instance has a tendency towards having one leg out to the side and overall having a very confident stance while Te’len tends more towards slightly sagging shoulders and holds herself more timidly.

  4. 5 Gordrake Thunderhoof
    December 10, 2009 at 21:41

    I find it amusing how Tiny’s the only one speaking against going along. Showing her selfish side a bit, but then she comes to realise that she’s not really got a say because without the group around her, she doesn’t get the protection of Hani on the way out. That and she’d likely only end up worrying about Te’len anyway and want to come back. Even so, she hopes to convince them to change their minds…and fails miserably. XD

    Great page as always. ^_^

    • 6 Nhani
      December 11, 2009 at 05:12

      Then of course, there’s the interesting tidbit that Tiny was the one who convinced both Hani and Te’len to help Areen out in the first place – quite a contrast to this particular scene, mmm?

  5. December 10, 2009 at 21:49

    I really love Lightspark my favorite gnome, and actually gnome paladin is one of the things that might get me back in the game :) Even if she standing her ground, my only wish is maybe she had some more righteous kick ass thingy going. Other than that, the comic is great. You really have caught some nice group dynamic, really good character development. And for every page i read i just want to know more not just what is going to happend next, also what the characters will evolve to. Looking forward to read some more great stuff.

    • December 11, 2009 at 00:34

      I, among others, have opined repeatedly on how marvelous it would be, were Blizzard to implement gnome paladins! Alas! that they have not.

      Incidentally, your commentary regarding character actualization and development is what motivates Nhani to tell this story, more than anything else. You are precisely the sort of person for whom s/he is writing this.

    • 9 Nhani
      December 11, 2009 at 06:49

      One of my Yelnenu cronies mentioned something about there being a Blizzard community rep on the US forums that voiced support for Gnome Paladins; no idea if that might cause Blizzard to formally add them, mind.

      In the meantime, not counting the original incarnation of Areen, I know in the least one additional person on Earthen Ring EU who try to play a gnomish Paladin, and I seem to recall potentially having glimpsed a third at some point.

      As for characters, Arkanabar is quite right – Beyond the Tree is intended entirely as a character-driven narrative; story ultimately conforms to the needs of the characters rather than the opposite. Though the story arcs themselves should preferably be coherent and interesting on their own, I’m very much hoping that part of the draw is that the characters don’t remain static – they change over time, slowly learning from the mistakes they make and the challenges they overcome.

  6. 10 Mr Tom
    December 10, 2009 at 23:04

    Just curious, will Areen be sticking with the group as a permanent member? Really like the idea of a gnome paladin. Don’t suppose she’s inspired by Mazzy from Baldurs Gate 2?

    • 11 Nhani
      December 11, 2009 at 06:14

      Areen is a primary cast member, yes. So while she might not be in every page or follow along for every single twist, she’s as much part of the narrative as Te’len is by now. She might take her own turn from time to time, but she’s staying around ;)

      As for inspiration, there’s been plenty of factors that have gone into her creation, which makes it actually rather odd that Mazzy Fentan isn’t one of them. She had an incarnation on Earthen Ring EU long before she was in the comic actually, and was actually altered a fair bit during her adaptation.

      She was originally far more an academic, and more trying to mimic the Holy Light than really understanding it – a very gnomish endeavor, I felt. Ultimately, a Paladin on Earthen Ring EU actually managed to get her to turn to the Holy Light proper (and got a cameo in #113 out of it). When she was adapted for the comic, most of the academic parts were cut out in favor of distilling her into a true – if still gnomish – Paladin of the Holy Light.

  7. 13 Aries
    December 11, 2009 at 00:19

    nice page nhani…i am going to have to do some back reading…and see if blizz ever explained where those ghouls came from…hmmm

    PS: spelling is overrated.

  8. December 11, 2009 at 01:31

    I’ve actually been wondering recently why exactly Hani and Rei were tagging along with Lightspark in the first place. I know it was explained, but I had to go back into the archives to refresh my memory. It’s too easy when we see the WoW setting to just think nothing of the fact that a bunch of strangers are travelling to really dangerous places together for no apparent reason.

    I really like this page, especially the second row with Areen’s expressions from realisation that she shouldn’t be taking it for granted that her strange companions will be staying with her. And I think we’re starting to see something of Hani’s determination to see this through which has been a bit obscured by her typical laconic behaviour so far.

    Te’len is a bit distracting in her usual pose in panel 6. She looks so very out of place down in the mines and that pose just sells it. I keep thinking she should be putting on a jacket or something.

    • 15 Nhani
      December 11, 2009 at 05:30

      Of course, the reasoning as to why they’re along is not necessarily static, nor completely spelled out to begin with. Areen is really quite right – they’ve done what they came here to do; it’d be perfectly warranted (not to mention understandable) for them to just turn around and head back to Stormwind at this point.

  9. 16 Synchronizor
    December 11, 2009 at 01:32

    I must say, you did an excellent job with Areen’s facial expressions in frames 3-5.

  10. December 11, 2009 at 10:23

    I like this, really shows the attitude of the team^^

    Oh yeah, Nhani, I was hoping you would add a “Thoughs for food” update about 3.3.0, would love to see your opinion^^

    • 19 Nhani
      December 11, 2009 at 16:11

      I’ve been thinking about it – it’s largely about having enough content and ideas to make something interesting out of it. I have a few other things I’ve been plotting to ramble about as well, I just need to get the idea solid enough in my head, basically.

  11. December 11, 2009 at 15:11

    Agreed, i think 3.3.0 deserves attention because it deals with the dude who is behind the transformation of the dwarves here.
    Back on topic,I really like how this webcomic’s characters grow and develop slowly.
    I study literature at college and i can see how well you pulled it off.
    Keep it up dudette.

  12. 21 Germ
    December 11, 2009 at 19:24

    This is good for me, because I never knew how they turned into ghosts/zombies. I just assumed they were so mad about dying that they couldn’t end it like that.

    • 22 Nhani
      December 11, 2009 at 20:01

      I don’t think Blizzard themselves actually ever gave a specific reason. There’s an implied one provided elsewhere, I think, but that’s pretty much it.

      For Beyond the Tree, though, I went ahead and formulated my own reason for it.

  13. 23 Ragefury
    December 12, 2009 at 04:17

    “..am I the only one who thinks this is a bad idea?”

    *ewul glaring*

    (Okay, I’ll shut up)

    Priceless! ;P

  14. 24 Halbor
    December 13, 2009 at 02:54

    yeah i’m not convinced that arthas/lich king had anything to do with the undead in the deadmines, it might have been some residual magic from long ago that the dwarves stumbled on as they were digging, might have been a necromancer working for the defias, or maybe something from when the orcs first invaded azeroth.

  15. 29 Weertangel
    December 16, 2009 at 17:32

    First, another great page! really like how its going!
    As for the undead thing, i already gave the reason it happend 1 or to pages back in a comment of me, its the only one i have been able to find regarding the undead in the deadmines(read it in the Alliance player guide) so check it out.

    For the rest, can’t wait to see how the rest works out!

    Btw, anyone got any tips for me regarding getting back in the game? i took a break for a month or 2 and returned when the new patch came out yet i have trouble getting motivated for it again, maybe playing it for almost 5 years really burned me out….

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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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