1083 Complicate.

Here’s a little more story for you guys. Hope you’re enjoying it.

Niona did not know enough forest talk to be conversational, but the dryad knew an archaic form of Elvish that she could parse out. Julius felt a little like a third wheel,but every so often Niona would give him a synopsis of the conversation. The dryad’s name translated to something like “the first ray of light passing through moring dew”. Which Niona mashed around into Dew Beam after his suggestion of Sunny Dew was voted down. Dew had been in that part of the forest for a very long time and seen much. Not the origin of the temple in the valley wall, but many things none the less. She didn’t have an accurate count of time, or perhaps her perception of it was different, but Niona couldn’t pin her age down. Generations older than either of them at any rate. More recently she had seen the first scouting party enter the temple gate, but they never returned. A bad sign to be sure. Of course, if foul play had been involved it was still possible that the surviving party members slunk away after backstabbing the rest. Julius had to admit, however, that theory seemed unlikely. In her loneliness Dew Beam seemed to have kept a close eye on the visitors.
Once the conversation switched to being about things like how pretty Dew thought Niona’s hair was, and displays of her ability to mimic the humanoid body, Julius excused himself. By the time the sun began to set he was sure the rest of the team wouldn’t be arriving. It was doubly irritating since he’d gone to so much trouble to get there at the appointed time. Niona arrived at his makeshift camp as the last light of the setting sun faded away beyond the walls of the valley. Dew Beam had offered to guard the campsite on her side of the valley wall, so Julius put his back to it on his portion of the night watch.

Niona stripped down to her small clothes with no outward consideration for modesty, and it took every ounce of Julius’s will not to leer at her in hopes that her image would sear itself into his eyes forever. Once she was snugly rolled up in her noticeably clean and ostentatious bedroll he was able to settle in for a boring few hours.

The forest was alive with sounds. Which is much better than a quiet one. When nature goes silent that means something isn’t right and tonight every nocturnal creature seemed completely at ease, and willing to give away its general position to who ever might be listening. It was all Julius could do to stay awake. Eventually, as his mind began to wander, his eyes fell upon the crumbling temple gate. It was barely visible in the firelight. He’d set up camp as far away from it as he could in fact. Something about it was wrong. He was more and more sure of this feeling as the light had begun to ebb away. Being far from it seemed like a very good idea. Now, under the light of the stars, it looked the very picture of ominous dread. The longer he looked at it the more it seemed like he could hear the sound of slow breathing. Eventually he turned back to the forest at large, but some portion of his consciousness continued to monitor the gate from his periphery for the rest of his watch.

Eventually Niona stirred and cheerfully relieved him, although she did so without putting on any more clothing, which made falling asleep a herculean task afterwords. Exhaustion eventually overtook him though, and he settled into a decent sleep. When he woke up he was on his side, leaning against a warm, soft, something that was doing likewise to him. He rolled over to see what it was and nearly passed out as Niona slid her back snugly against his belly in her sleep.

23 Comments

There is something so simple and prefect about Jo’s lines in this strip, I just can’t stop laughing as I think about it.

I have had a situation similar to this happen. I believe however i smelled of lavender. it was an interesting day. I have a question for you Crave, if you don’t mind answering. I love your characters and how they feel like real people, most of the characters i write up feel flat, not unrealistic, but they feel like characters, not people. Do you have any tips to help me change that?

Make sure they talk like people actually talk. Give them realistic motivations. Stick to the personalities you’ve established and evolve them slowly from there. Pay attention to others.

Yeah, sometimes I watch old cartoons from my childhood like Thundercats (the original), Silverhawks, He-man etc. and the scripts are just awful. The lines are clumsily written and poorly delivered. They’re great for nostalgia, but it makes me wonder why I liked them so much as a child. Was I so blind?

Kids have no taste. That’s not a criticism; they just don’t have enough life experience to have much taste yet.

I’m not a wecomic artist/author, or really a writer, though I’d like to be, but I’ve heard a few things that can help:

Get to know them well enough that you can see them and hear them. Don’t force them to do something that they wouldn’t do based on what you know of them. And know that if you’ve done well enough, they will surprise you, just by being themselves.

Do any of those help?

I’ve found that it is helpful when you let the characters tell the story. It’s more realistic because you’re basically writing what they want you to write. The only time it sucks is when they get you into writing a scene you would really rather not write. I’ve had times where I had to go back and force myself to add more details o a scene because I originally skimmed it since it was uncomfortable to write.

I have an image of Thomas trying to maneuver around the store with Jo attached :o)
Maybe she would be willing to switch around and bury her face in the back of his shirt and follow him around.

If anyone could pull it off like nothing was wrong its Thomas!

Also – Liking the forest story, looking forward to more

I’ve had issue getting online the last few days. Thank you to everyone that responded to my question, very informative, and somewhat helpful, i think i found my problem in my current project. I’m not writing what the characters would do I’m writing them as puppets in a play i want to see completed. Thank you crave and everyone else.

That’s the way to write — from the characters’ motivations. Given the right motivations, that can generate the conflicts=needed in plot, too.

Daaaang, I stop reading for a while because I got busy with a new job, and here you are writing guest strips for QC now?!

Nice work, dude. Now excuse me while I go catch up!

This is an awesome webcomic. Just read it through in 2 days (as you can probably tell from my recent multiple comments). It started off as surprisingly hilarious, for a fairly overdone genre. I like that, despite it being a video/game store, you avoided an overdose of “inside jokes” about all the movies and games (Brooksie’s knowledge contests notwithstanding). I loved the moment when the color came back to the world, and all was right again. It seemed like from that point on, the story became less joke-centered and more about the drama going on. But I’d already fallen in love with the characters, so it worked so well.

Thanks so much for producing such a great comic.

Oh yeah, and I got randomly linked here from Top Web Comics. Who says advertising doesn’t work.

Caught up in half a frigging hour. Now im pissed. Whats the update schedule? I cant find it anywhere

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