#179 – “Defias under Duress”

It’s always interesting to see what people expect will come next, especially if it’s something planned way in advance. This particular scene (and the ones immediately following) is one I’ve had in mind for quite a long time – it’s a pivotal moment for Te’len, but not necessarily an easy step for her to take.

Edit:As much as I hate to say this, there might not be an update today (sunday, 28’th); I know this is a really bad place to put a pause, but I recently found out I need to have a basic understanding of the UDK level editor by tomorrow, not to mention I have to do some serious backing up of stuff because my Windows 7 is about to expire and I’m still waiting for a proper copy to arrive. We’ll see what happens, but as said, no promises.


47 Responses to “#179 – “Defias under Duress””

  1. 1 Skoettemand
    February 25, 2010 at 19:46

    I didn’t expect that to happen, thumbs up for Te’len. Nice page too xD

  2. 2 Aries
    February 25, 2010 at 20:34

    Natures Grasp….should have known…didnt…but should have.

    Good page Nhani. For some reason this page isnt showing up as the front page here though…could just be caching on my end though

  3. 4 Synchronizor
    February 25, 2010 at 21:08

    Nice page, I’ve been looking forward to this moment in Te’len’s character development.

    It’s a little hard to tell, but there seems to be some blood on the Defias. Is he dead, wounded, or just being restrained?

    Or is the audience not supposed to know yet?

  4. 5 Aries
    February 25, 2010 at 21:27

    From te’len’s behavior, i would say she at least thinks she killed him. And i didnt notice the red smear before either…she might have actually killed him.

  5. 6 Illidan
    February 25, 2010 at 21:40

    Well, I actually expected something like this… But not necessarily right now.

  6. 7 Lorthaiel ER
    February 25, 2010 at 22:07

    There also appears to be a dagger sticking out of him…

    Beautiful composition, I must say.

  7. 8 Moltrazahn
    February 25, 2010 at 22:13

    Aww.. poor dearie, most likely got jumped, stabbed, and in panic the forces of nature came to her aid.. and shes also prob never killed before…

    Or the darker version, she is jumped, she screams, roots him, then effin stabs the guy… though i doubt that senario :S

    Whichever it is… i just wanna hug her and whisper -“its okay, millions of people die in wow every day, he will be back once he has run from the spirit resser”

    good page, looking much forward for our young druidess to gain her own quest in all of this :), on a personal level ofcause.

    • 9 Darix
      February 25, 2010 at 22:50

      He appears to be bleeding, and the dagger in his chest. So im going with your second version. Seems more like it. Scared, freaks, stab, sorrow and regret.

  8. 10 Synchronizor
    February 25, 2010 at 22:13

    Oh yeah, I didn’t notice the dagger, and the sheath on Te’len’s belt is empty.

  9. 12 Ellessar
    February 25, 2010 at 22:20

    Ah been wondering when Te’Len would start showing off some of her Druidic powers :)

  10. 13 Germ
    February 25, 2010 at 23:01

    That guy just got tentacle raped.

    Was I the only one thinking that?

    • 14 Weertangel
      February 25, 2010 at 23:14

      yes u were… and its quite disturbing u are thinking about it like that, makes one wonder if u always scream that when u entangle someone,
      if u play a druid that is…(shudder)

    • 15 saila aka wester
      February 26, 2010 at 08:24

      nope i was thinking something like that myself sad it was an guy that took the bad end of the stick.

  11. 16 Agamede
    February 25, 2010 at 23:07

    YESSS!!! Way to go Te! :D /cheer

  12. 17 Weertangel
    February 25, 2010 at 23:12

    Nice one! great page and as mentioned above great eye for detail!!
    Te’len probably is in shock i think couse she’s normally not like that, witch makes one wonder what more she is capable of when pushed…

  13. 18 Gordrake Thunderhoof
    February 26, 2010 at 00:09

    I’ll say it again: “Niiiice…Te’len got some moves.”

    And yeah, that guy’s either dead or dying. One in the belt area, another in the ribs – which is still there – plus the vines planting him against the cave wall…he got no chance. Love Areen’s reaction though: “By the Light…!” I’m sure even she didn’t expect that!

    Interesting twist on things, though, but it’s good to see now we can expect Te’len to learn you have to defend yourself sometimes rather than hoping words will be the answer. It also shows, in my opinion, how relatively uncomfortable and unused to combat Te’len is, since this is (from what I’m assuming) her first actual kill.

    • 19 Zednotzee
      February 26, 2010 at 10:13

      Actually, she has killed before. That zombie in episode 161. Though maybe that doesn’t count, having been (un)dead already. Nice to see her druid abilities are finally coming out though, should make things quite interesting now she doesn’t have to rely on Hani to coming to rescue her all the time. The question is, of course, will she develop something of a taste for killing now that she’s discovered how easy it is for her to do so? Probably not, but it would be interesting if it did.

  14. 20 Ilyara
    February 26, 2010 at 04:10

    It’s clever: the scene does look impressively eerie. It’s almost as if the Wild chose to make an example of him for all to see. The roots look alternately like tentacles, ropes, teeth and claws.

    Poor Te, she seems so sullen and ashamed.

    I’m just going to tease Nhani a little and point out how her video gaming is infiltrating that first panel: I giggled like a madwoman ;3

  15. 21 Iasion
    February 26, 2010 at 07:50

    Oh man. Areen better go mine that copper deposit. She’s a gnome, you know she wants to!

  16. 22 Expala
    February 26, 2010 at 09:35

    Finally, we get to see Tel’s darker side. Looking at her now, I’d say killing that Defias guy might haunt her for a long time because she’s just so innocent. Maybe not so innocent if she used Nature Grasp on him and ten stbbed him ;). Either way, the next page ought to be an interesting one. Great work as usual Nhani =D

  17. 23 Udûn-Khadgar
    February 26, 2010 at 10:30

    One word: BRILLIANT!

  18. 24 Timber Wolf
    February 26, 2010 at 14:26

    Now THAT’S what I’m talkin about! Te’len kicks ass! …sort of. She’s a druid. Thats why.

  19. 25 Skyll K. Chagorantis
    February 26, 2010 at 14:29

    this DM run is really getting action :)

  20. 26 Nirene Feathersong
    February 26, 2010 at 18:10

    I think this “Oooh Te’len used nature’s grasp and stabbed the guy to death, she’s awesome bla bla bla…” talk is going overboard. We all know how sensitive Te’len is to any form of violence, and this is surely no exception. This might be one of few times we’ll see her putting her hidden druidic abilities to use, even simply for self-defense, before she actually begin her real training in the arts of druidism, so people shouldn’t really get their hopes up about anything similar reoccuring anytime soon. For now, however, she can be seen as the mediocre Dalaran magician who spend their time studying in a library rather than being on the front line.

    I cannot lie though. I am surprised that you would actually have Te’len use one of the druidic abilities, even if it were just by chance. That, and the fact she stabbed him, must’ve gave her a real shock. I believe the following page will be very much dialogue, where they’ll try to soothe her out of the shock. Whatever else may very well be left to guess.

  21. 29 Gordrake Thunderhoof
    February 26, 2010 at 18:37

    I agree with the above. Te’len is inexperienced with combat, even more inexperienced in death and killing. Yes, she prehaps gave one of the ghouls a poke at 161 but that wasn’t a living person and she could forever rationalise that as a mercy killing – an act of killing the risen corpse so that the spirit attached to it could hopefully find peace. I delved into this sort of thinking a while back in Thoughts for Food (one of the more recent RP discussion threads) using Durunbar as an example of the thoughts behind a mercy kill. This one is vastly different – it’s a living, breathing human being (or at least was) and this guy isn’t going to try and come back from the dead to go chomping on Te’len’s skull so she can give him a mercy killing, or even be an undead in disguise so Te’len can rationalise her feelings.

    Another way to look at it…think of any common animal. Even a herbivore. If that animal is allowed to roam free, nothing happens to it, it lives a fulfilled life, etc. If you threaten the animal, it can either run or fight and some will often flee to save themselves if it has somewhere to run. If that threatened animal becomes trapped, it cannot run, so it forces itself to fight. Compare this to Te’len’s predicament – underground, no idea how to escape, no idea how to leave and suddenly she’s set upon by a Defias gang member – and instantly the natural reaction becomes to fight (and even kill) to survive. It wasn’t Te’len fighting at all when the guy died – it was her instincts. So when she no longer felt threatened because of the guy being dangled to the wall, she immediately switched back to her normal self and, seeing the corpse, becomes immediately horrified and ashamed.

    It’s gonna take some careful words from Areen to get Te’len out of this predicament. I say Areen because, of the three, she’s likely the most capable of understanding Te’len’s feelings about what happened. Tiny could go either way – she could either sympathise with her grieving friend and aid Areen in soothing her out of the shock or go “YAY! You got one! What took you so long?” I do find Tiny a bit unpredictable like that sometimes. Hani, from the looks of things, is probably in a shock of her own. Can’t read her mind, though, so all I know for Hani’s case is that she won’t likely be helping in the soothing. The expressions in the last two pages and that stance in the final pane seems to show evidence of that to me…not sure why, but the last pane just gives that feeling of her being unsure what to do.

    So…that’s four cents worth now, I think. My first two cents was further up.

    • 30 Weertangel
      February 26, 2010 at 20:32

      U make good points, and it will be interesting to see how this will work out, but i must honestly say that i’m beginning to wonder what she’s doing in the deadmines(i’m suprised myself for saying it) couse what useful skill does she have to offer as a party member? i mean i can understand her druidic(or in this case pacifist)nature, but even druids know when to kill, and while this was a instincive defence action as Gordrake pointed out, there will come a time when she will need to kill couse its the right thing to do, not couse she got pushed into it… even if she got pushed into becoming an adventurer, she either accepts it and grows WAY less naieve, or she runs back to Darnassus to become Staghelm’s accountant or something….

      Couse this is Azeroth, not earth, so far less places to go hide from the violence…(and no forums for her to ask for help, witch sucks for her ;)

      • 31 Agamede
        February 26, 2010 at 21:17

        What Te is doing in the Deadmines? Well, looking for the dwarfs that went missing ofc! And yeah, Te’len used her Druidic powers to defend herself and killed or at least severely wounded her attacker. I agree with Gordrake, Te got in a state of shock once she realized that she killed a living, sentinent being. (As a fellow druid i say: Yay! Go sister, show your worst. Don’t let them take advantage of you. :P)


  22. 32 Gwaith
    February 27, 2010 at 01:05

    Harharharhar BONDAGE XD
    But yeah he got a dagger sticking out of his abdomen. And bleeding tied up. I dont think poor Te’len feels so good right now. She is to caring for her own good.

  23. 33 Jacob
    February 27, 2010 at 11:01

    This is a great page with a lot of forward potential indeed, Te’len is going to be moody at least (if not crying or mourning) for the following pages, I wonder how she will cope (if she will at all), definitely some internal struggles going on in her mind.

    Also, look at Hani in pane 3 – she has already spotted the man while Areen and Rei were looking to see if Te’len was around the corner – and is in a state of shock from the realisation (judging from how she is standing, it looks like she has stopped dead in her tracks)

    Also.. I can’t help but like how you’ve made the defias have that look of regret on his face in his dying moments, I almost want to sympathise with him.

    • 34 Zednotzee
      February 27, 2010 at 18:37

      Hmmm, I thought Druids were all about the laws of nature. This would include the survival of the fittest (think of some of the quests they send you on). Obviousely Mr Defias wasn’t quite fit enough! They certainly wouldn’t be strangers to death, even of sentient beings. On top of that, they are not above hiring assasins to do their dirty work for them either (ask Harold lane and co for instance). So I can’t see her worrying about it for too long. After all in nature it’s a case of win or die (and the loser gets eaten). Of course, if they were based on real historical Druids, Te’len would want a few captives so she could – during the correct solstice – burn them… ah… in this case a wicker elf.

  24. 35 Udûn-Khadgar
    February 27, 2010 at 12:23

    She turns out to be quite a femme fatale, don’t you think?

  25. 36 Weertangel
    February 27, 2010 at 14:28

    Udûn, then u have’t met my warlock yet ;)

    • 37 Udûn-Khadgar
      February 28, 2010 at 19:44

      I’ve met enough of those… and unless your warlock looks as innocent as Te’len, I don’t think she can match her.

      As for my warlock… he misses the ‘femme’ bit =P

  26. 38 Aries
    February 27, 2010 at 18:42

    I approve of the new vote piece Nhani. And just posting here so those who dont vote regularly will know there is a new one.

  27. February 27, 2010 at 20:23

    Really liked the page not entirerly unexpected but… also the picture when voting says something about the future Te’Len? Also think the page show off Areen, that she is a PALADIN true to the ligt. She first look after her newly found friends before even noticing what happend.

  28. February 28, 2010 at 00:13

    Not much to say really.
    Good page as allways, though i wonder what possible step she’s taking?

  29. 41 iPotato
    February 28, 2010 at 12:58

    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BewareTheNiceOnes … kinda.
    Also, whoop, Te’len! :D
    Nice page there :3

  30. 44 saila aka wester
    March 1, 2010 at 01:26

    any one know if Tv tropers got any topic for this comic they got one for twokinds http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TwoKinds but i can´t find any one for beyound the tree.

  31. 45 Ishnu'elithana
    March 4, 2010 at 17:02

    Good page as always :D

    Te’len can’t be as sensitive to death and killing as some of this makes out, surely? She’s seen Hani kill enough people in her direct defence, if nothing else. And if I have a reasonable impression of her character, she would be (also)shocked at having been attacked and having done something effective about it, if you remember the way she reacted in stormwind when she extricated Hani from the guard, the comment on the character screen, and her general refusal to try to do anything except hide and scream for help: she is afraid of her own potential, and probably afraid of realising she has it! ><

    I'm sure I've said this before, but I don't agree that Te'len is useless as a member of the group. This is much more rounded than WoW, and thus other things than the ability to bash people over the head with sticks/magic/the light are important. Or Hani wouldn't have any problems! Te'len has always been something of a link with the more conventional world that Hani and Rei refuse, and even with Areen, she has very much been the person smoothing down the liasion, making it plausibly possible. Otherwise I don't think Areen would have been able to catagorise them enough to be prepared to trust them: that Te'len who is clearly "a nice girl" does, and that they saved her life by her account to Areen (I can't remember exactly where) is testimony enough for her to accept their help. And one of the interests in Beyond the Tree is very much the fact that at least two members of the main cast (Hani and Te'len) are fighting internal not external battles. Something which is hinted at with Te'len but only becomes seriously obvious in the odd scene – like this one.

    Come to that, if fighting is the only thing that matters, one could as well ask why Rei is down there: except possibly as a pet taunt!

    One of the things I think has been interesting is the way in which Areen's joining the group seems to show Rei in a much worse light than before. Hani reacts to Areen's general goodwill, so if anything, it shows the goodness of her motivations however much she tends to fail. But Rei seems more callous, arbitary and reckless than before. Has this been intentional, or am I interpreting it in a way others would disagree with?

    Oh, and by the way, is Areen familiar enough with Night Elves to realise what Te'len has actually done? Are we looking at another piece of culture clash as well as all the rest of it? :D

  32. September 24, 2011 at 01:34

    Now are those the new roots that just hold or the old roots that slowly crush the life out of what they are holding?

  33. October 6, 2014 at 06:38

    Hi there mates, its wonderful post on the topic of educationand completely defined, keep it up all the time.

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Beyond the Tree is based on (when not directly using) the art resources and story setting of World of Warcraft by Blizzard Entertainment.

That and all related and/or registered trademarks are the property of Blizzard Entertainment and Beyond the Tree claims no ownership of these or any affiliation with Blizzard Entertainment but hopes they'll have a sense of humour and appreciate it all the same ;)


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