#241 – “Excuse Me Mr. Equine Transport Officer, Would You Mind Stopping Pronto”

Yeah it’s a bit late; got caught up in a whole lot of things, including my 3G internet going temporarily down. So wonderful to be stuck without the option for an actually stable, wired internet for half a year. Yay.

Okay, this page. Finally we’ve gotten back to Gryan Stoutmantle – I never expected it take me over a year to get back to him, but the Deadmines really drew out on time much further than I would’ve thought. I actually found myself looking back to my prior characterization for him because I couldn’t quite remember how I’d written him. Still, it provides an interesting timing since with the new, updated world having been out for about a week and people having had time to see the new and upgraded Westfall (haven’t been there myself yet, mind).. our group is getting to interact with it.. well.. mostly as it used to be. It’ll be curious to see what the reaction will be like to see the group traverse the old world now when that world is gone.


18 Responses to “#241 – “Excuse Me Mr. Equine Transport Officer, Would You Mind Stopping Pronto””

  1. 1 Some HP employee
    December 6, 2010 at 01:20


    Also..took me some time to identify what position VC was in the last frame..

  2. 3 Iscarti
    December 6, 2010 at 07:58

    Will you be incorporating Cataclysm into this?

    • 4 Nhani
      December 6, 2010 at 08:43

      Not if I can avoid it. Beyond the Tree is has so far been set really early on for both continuity and extra space for culture shock; jumping ahead some six years would really only be skipping a whole lot of important character development and put extra strain on my credibility budget.

      I’m not saying it won’t ever happen – my early draft for Arc Three could very well play out in Cataclysm times, or at least as a prelude to it, but my current plot for Arc Two needs to happen pre-Wrath, and the only way I could adopt it for Cataclysm involves throwing it all planning thus far in a bin and starting over.

      • 5 Skyll K. Chagorantis
        December 6, 2010 at 20:26

        I can’t help but wonder:

        Exactly how long will this story run, if you’re heading to “pre-Wrath” and our guys have hardly passed something similar to level 20.. I know this universe isn’t quite World of Warcraft, and levels don’t play into it, but still. Before you can even get to Wrath you’d have to do all these kinds of stops in all kinds of places.

        It’d be funny reading for a month about grinding.. Joking ;)

        But seriously, the way you sometimes speak of this, it seems like you have several years worth of plans still lying ahead of us. That’d be cool, but isn’t it a bit tedious?

        • 6 Nhani
          December 6, 2010 at 21:39

          To be honest, with how long Deadmines dragged on.. it wouldn’t surprise me if I do have years of plans lying ahead. We’re still on Arc One, and most if not all of the major plot elements that have been happening recently and will be happening in the near future were all roughly planned out before we even reached Stormwind, which was over a year ago. Things can and do change, of course – that’s how characters work – but there’s a lot of thought going into simply trying to have all the various events lead somewhere interesting that still hopefully feels believable.

          I actually don’t know how long I’ll keep going – I’m going to try to finish Arc One, in the least.. and I’d love to get Arc Two over with as well, because there’s that fifth party member that some people keep looking forward to, as well as some other themes and elements that I rather like. Arc Three is.. pretty formless, really, but there’s a few particular themes in that too that I really like, as well as some things that’d get some degree of closure.

          I don’t have any plans beyond Arc Three. I figure even if I get that far, both the group and the game are bound to have changed so much that any story I make now might feel rather invalid by then, and I think they’d have a much different dynamic by then anyhow.

      • 8 LolDrood
        December 7, 2010 at 02:00

        Well, for the bulk of the Cata, the changes are aesthetic at best. Yeah, you’re going to have issues ever going back to places like Auberdine, Astranaar, or Stonetalon, because the tone of those locations has changed. But, does it really change THAT much to have places such as Sentinal Hill suddenly have a wall around it? Avoid the giant molten maw in SW, and it’s the same old SW, but now with +3 Cool New Pond.
        Obviously, I have no insight into future BtT story arcs, but I’ve always been of the mind that BtT is a story of characters, not locations. Assuming a story that parallels ‘Hani and Rei level to 85 with quests and pugs’ (basically), I’d venture that 90% of that is more or less unchanged.
        Unless you had a burning desire to have them race in the Shimmering Flats 500, as part of a crucial character point that will define and shape the dynamics of Our Heroes for the next dozen chapters. Then you’re SoL.

        See, you shoulda dragged out Deadmines for another month, so that the cata happened while they were inside.
        *stagger outside*
        ‘blink blink’ does any one remember this place looking differently? Like, less… swirly?

        • 9 Nhani
          December 7, 2010 at 08:57

          It has far more to do with time, motivations and which characters are still alive than actual changes to the land. Take Deadmines – if I jumped forward to the time of Cataclysm, then suddenly it makes no sense to be lugging Edwin VanCleef around because he died some six years ago, and his expansion pack daughter is supposedly semi-adult by now, rather than the little girl we saw.

          And that’s just the tip of it – there are many characters that are different or outright dead, there are many situations that change drastically and a pretty large chunk of them would be impossible for the group to plausibly ignore.

          In short, it’s not about locations. Consider, for example, if we were to return to Ashenvale forest – the problem isn’t that there’s suddenly a huge volcano in the center of it – the group can’t really do anything about that. The problem is that Delgren the Purifier (a supporting cast member) would be dead, that the Horde would be invading and that there’s no way Hani Foonmall would be able to see that transpire before her eyes without enacting a grand orc counter-slaughter. And that’s not necessarily the story I’d want to tell.

          It gets even more complicated with Arc Two, and that it not only is intended to happen about the Horde, but also that it adds a Horde member to the group. Ignoring all other massive plot breakage Cataclysm would cause, it’d be nice young Foonmall would let said group member live for longer than a minute.

          • 10 Skyll K. Chagorantis
            December 8, 2010 at 02:13

            Sometimes I read this blog/comic just for the sheer passion you display in your die hard approach to the in-game continuity. Not even Blizzard takes themselves that serious.

            I sometimes wish they did. It’d be a different game, yes, but it’d have more realism to it. And then, again, I’m not asking for a game, I’m asking for a state of the art life ..

            So. I read this instead, I guess :)

            • December 9, 2010 at 07:17

              It’s not the in-game continuity that Nhani takes so seriously; she has tweaked that continuity before and doubtless will do so again. It’s her story’s continuity that she is so passionate about.

              But that’s really typical for any storyteller.

  3. 12 Eduvudd
    December 6, 2010 at 14:06

    lol, love the last one, Stoutmantle is like WTF O_o

  4. 13 Thomas
    December 6, 2010 at 22:36

    Hani is freakishly swoll in that last panel.

  5. December 7, 2010 at 14:15

    Hani should claim solo XP’s……

  6. 15 Grave
    December 7, 2010 at 22:03

    I can’t believe I never saw this site sooner, WoW’s models/textures will NEVER be the same… I want wow too look like this D:

  7. 16 Angelon
    December 9, 2010 at 18:51

    Hi Nhani! I’ve been reading your comic for over a year now and really love what you’ve done. It’s really impressive to see how far this comic has come and how long you’ve been doing it. I offer a bit of criticism with all due respect. In the background in these last few pages, you’ve had some amazing sunsets going on, but it seems like the lighting on the characters is still strictly overhead. The sunset is a really great time lighting wise, and in several shots you’ve got some awesome opportunities for really pretty back and rim lighting on your characters, and in the future, if you can manage it, you should definitely make use of those opportunities as they’re a great chance for some great dramatic lighting for your characters.

  8. December 11, 2010 at 19:38

    Hi Nhani, just wishing you lots of luck and fun in cataclysm over on ER.

  9. September 26, 2011 at 03:42

    And he’s in prime head-chopping position too!

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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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