Comments on my analysis of the Aldish caste rankings? Are they sorta right?

It was pretty close! I would rank Gold dead last these days though, and Plats only one notch above them. It's good to realise that all of the reverence heaped upon Plats keeps them cemented in place. The women can't leave their homes and the men are consigned to a very narrow selection of futures. They don't have the resources or the time to better their stations, and the attitudes of others towards them is obliging only so long as they're acting out their roles properly.

The kings of the crop, though, are the Copper and Jet. Four men make up the High Councillors that rule the country - two Copper and two Jet - and it's been that way for nigh seven-hundred years.

Will we eve get to see Sette's unedited memories?

I don't think you really need to, if you stop and think what they probably are. But perhaps.

When will we get more Dwayne and Lion-tailed Future Empress answers?

I only open that in-between chapters. You'll have to wait until this chapter's done :)

Mmm, could you tell me what order the caste go in from highest ranking to lowest in Alderode? I just got a little confused. Obviously, Plats first...then what?

Officially there is no ranking. All Aldishmen are equal and discrimination is a heinous thing. Officially.

If you want longevity rankings, just check the wiki -

Glowfish are so cuuuuuuuuuuuuute! At least, it looks like they are. Almost as cute as kedises!


Why does Sharteshane's water glow? Does this include things that used to be Sharteshane, or just modern Sharteshane? Is it all of the water in Sharteshane?

"Does glowing water taste different? Is it bad for you? Good for you? Tell me about more glowing animals!"

The glowing water (lambence) springs from Old Tawhoque, the sunken city that lies deep beneath the modern city of New Tawhoque, or Hanghorse, Sette's hometown. I'm not gonna tell you exactly why it glows because reconciling certain RP-related lore with Unsounded lore makes my brain hurt and often doesn't work so well, but it is a mostly harmless thing. Sharteshane has many weirdnesses in its environment, including soil that slowly petrifies almost anything you plant in it. So vast forests of stone trees broken up by glowing rivers are not an uncommon sight.

Most of the water in Sharteshane is tainted, though the glow diminishes gradually as one moves away from Hanghorse. Lambence is itself an important export since it has a slight khert-blocking property. In an amusing inversion, when one must brave a hostile khert field, one can put on something like a deep sea diving suit, only it's often made of some form of cheap First Material filled with lambence.

Lambence tastes mostly like water with a slight tangy hint of chlorophyll and fresh-cut grass. Some swear it's good for your health and can even heal sicknesses, but that's never been empirically proven. If you drink it, your pee will glow. If you drink it regularly, you will start to glow yourself.

Do you have an archenemy?

Only myself.

The glowfish is now also the best character, with Chitz, Boo, the hats, Friendly Frozen Coffee, and (pending) Duane's beard. Tell us more about glowfish?

There's a lot of bioluminescence in Kasslyne, much of it stemming from Sharteshane's lambence. Sharteshane's fresh water glows, have we talked about that? It glows, and it's glowed for a long time, and the wildlife that lives in it glows in order to camouflage itself. Sharteshane exports these bioluminescent critters west and now they're all over. Their glow is so strong and reliable and pleasant that they make a popular light source. Sette had a pair of glowfish in a globe back on the coverpage of chapter 4.

Glowing animals make me happy. Do they make you happy, Forumkedis?

From me to you, Glass. With lots of love! I have hardly any confidence in nearly everything that I create, so we'll see how this goes. Let's see if you remember what I'm referencing to with this scene :D *hint: the title is in the tree*

Aww, that came out great! I do remember that formspring question, and I'm pretty sure Sette is going to win this round. Poor beat-up Duane, he desperately needs new clothes, haha. Thanks for posting it, Ave, you are a super sweetheart <3

Okay, desperation question: what's the name of the font you use for the comic panels? ;_;

Anime Ace!

So, I'm not exactly sure what's going on in the first two panels of the last page. I can see that Ephsephin is turning on some sort of light, and I'm assuming it's driven by pymary, but what sort of light is it? It seems like a permanent pymaric (cont)

"(cont) like that would be kind of costly. Do the Berry Boys really have that sort of cash, or was it Quigley that whipped it up for them?"

It's a globe of water set in the wall with glowfish in it. There's a shutter over it to damp the light. Ephsephin flipped the shutter off to "turn it on." Common lightsource in this setting, drawn poorly because I am a combination of sucky and lazy.

Hello there! I came back from another long absence from the internet and got to read my way current in Unbounded all in one go. The "He's lucky you put up with him" "I KNOW" scene had me in stitches. Poor child-lover Duane.


First of all, I LOVE your comic--the art is gorgeous and the story is amazing! :3 I'm kind of confused about something, though. The Red Berry Boys are removing the internal organs in humans to smuggle stuff, right? How are these people still alive?

The silver is keeping them alive. Well, alive-ish. The comic will talk more about this later but it's all rather creepy. Thanks for reading, man :)

^.^ Guess what? My drawing is done!! Now, pity me here, but I do not know how you'd like me to send it to you... Formspring? Email?

Booyah! Post it here so everyone can see!

I've decided to use Unsounded as a preliminary screen for my suitors. They have to at least think it's good, but maybe not for every other day checking. Thoughts?

I think this is reasonable. I, for one, will only consider dating a vampire of at least three centuries who has a Vagrant Story save file with a full set of Holy Dread Armour.

What are the most mind-blowing endings you've encountered in fiction? (Any media.)

I thought the ending to The Fountain was great. The visuals combined with the music was really transcendent, and then the quiet scene at the end in the snow made me bawl. Such a great movie, fuck the haters.

The ending of The Truman Show. Truman literally pounding his fist against the physical perimeter of his small world and then telling off God. Man, epic, and not something you woulda thought you'd see in a Jim Carrey movie.

The ending of the first Berserk anime. I had no idea that was coming. I think I had the shakes afterwards.

The ending of the Legacy of Kain series. I had never thought Raziel would go willingly into the Reaver and to this day I think maybe his change of heart was a bit abrupt, but it was still perfectly done and all the dialog supporting it was tops.

Obligatory: Vagrant Story. Hardin dying and Joshua speaking were so bawwww. Tieger staying behind to try and help Grissom... UNF. Ashley making a gift to Sydney of an identity he didn't need anymore (and that he had perhaps never really possessed) so Sydney could go and bring peace to himself and his father-- ach, so perfect. The long, slow, spiraling fall of Guildenstern's torso... Ahh, Vagrant Story. You redeem video games.

Huh. Duane was actually enjoying our questions. I thought he was growing weary at best, and offended at worst. You sure he wasn't getting tired of all the questions? But wait, I have to remind myself that he's gregarious. One of THOSE people.

As much as Duane may criticize and roll his eyes at people - including Sette - he'd be lost without company. When he's alone he just falls into a funk.

i'm still sorta new to figuring out how pymary and pymarics work, but could a simulcrum be made to be able to feel things? like attain the ability to touch? considering there are some that can shoot fire from their fingertips i guess i should assume not.

Most simulacrums grant their owner a degree of sensation but it's primitive, blunt, unspecific sensation. All they feel is resistance. Subtleties like heat and texture are lost on them. Better than nothin' though.

I love how in the last panel Sette's freaking out and there's lots of red and drama and then Uaid's just sitting there smiling like a bro. Also, hi, how've you been?

Hi! A chatroom acquaintance finally got around to reading the comic the other day and decided that Uaid is his favourite character. Seems the most rational choice.

So, did the plat line get tacit casting independently, or did they somehow breed it up from the golds? Also, do plats get more mutations in their population because of their faster reproduction, or does the dammakhurt balance that somehow?

I've not thought about the origins of tacit casting beyond "genetic mutation" in certain bloodlines; the details of that go a bit beyond relevance. I wouldn't say Plats are especially subject to mutations - at least, not any more than those that come with inbreeding, which unfortunately happens in some of the smaller villages. Plats are more frequently subject to plain old birth defects though, and are overall a frail, sickly people.

I sucked in two more people. They adore your comic and constantly ask me about the plot and characters ^.^ I feel like I'm with the 'in-crowd' since I actually talk to the author. Anyway, I'm telling everyone I know about this comic so you can haz more $

Thanks so much, Ave ^_^ I'm fairly miserable and down on myself lately, and it's always encouraging to know that at least I'm entertaining some people. You should charge your friends for information!

How long has Sette lived in the kennel?

A couple years.

Are there any noteworthy pymaric weapons that you can tell us about? A noble's weapon of choice in a duel, for example.

Ya know, I'm sure there are, but I don't really have any created yet to tell you about :)

So lots of spellery creates dangerous storms of un-reality. Do warehouses of pymarics reverberate weird happenstances?

Pymarics are always potential breeding grounds for remnants and ghosts. A whole warehouse of them will inevitably have a smoke eel problem.

Is the gene pool in Shartshane that shallow or does outside the dammakhurt breeding just squick Duance?


Duane calls Shartes inbred cousin-tuppers the way one might call residents of backwoods Mississippi inbred cousin-tuppers. He's just being his charming self.

You mentioned that tacit casting was a particular mutation way back when. Does that mean it's not in all the castes?

Yeah, it's only been recorded among Golds, Plats, and Silvers in Alderode. It exists outside of Alderode as well though.

Duane wouldn't ruin a city normally, but if it was near dark, he found Sette's head on a pike, Crescian soldiers were hacking bits off him and he started having a flashback like Clint Eastwood in Firefox how much damage could he do?

Why do you want to hurt my zombie! D:

If Duane went out of his mind with despair and anger, he might set off a demolir and level the city, destroying himself and everyone in proximity. "Demolir" was the word I used in RP, not sure I'd keep it for Unsounded... but it's when you intentionally cause a contradiction in the khert so it explodes and fucks everything up. Suicide bomb.

Knockers has the same nose and general facial structure as Starfish. Is this a coincidence?

Utter coincidence. If you asked Duane though he'd opine that everyone in Sharteshane is an inbred rodent, so Starfish and Knock are probably half-siblings from the same prostitute and don't even know it.

So, does sette know about the other cousins that are out and about? or is the addition of knock me down and anadyne's presence going to come as a suprise?

Wait and seeee~

Your penetration of your readers' subconscious continues. I saw this picture and thought, "Sette lives and she's apparently in Spokane." Why are you making us crazy?

Dance, monkeys, dance!

Is Knock-me-down more important or is she the same as Anadyne?

Knock is secretly the main character.

The brunette Frummagem... is she important? Ish? Like, is she a real character, or a background type thing who happens to have a line? Can you tell us anything about her?

Sure, that's Anadyne! She's a side character and not dreadfully important, but not a throwaway either. She's originally from Hanghorse, Sette's hometown, but went west with Stockyard years ago. She and Stock are good friends and cousins, but they also have a pretty strict working relationship, where Stockyard has been paying for Anadyne to learn pymary in exchange for her using those new abilities to aid his endeavours. She and Knock-Me-Down (the insane pink-haired lady) are who he sends out when he needs shit done right.

Why is the puppy in Sette's stall so delightfully faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat? Lookitit! It's FAT! I want to squish it and sleep on it and squish it again!

The best puppies are fat puppies :D He's a good guard puppy and always growls when someone Sette doesn't like comes into the stable. Invaluable!

Pardon, KNOCKERS Frummagem!

Clean off.

Tits Frummagem!

She'll cut your head off, mate.

AARRGGHH. Believe it or not, the speech balloons and where to place the words are takin' the longest. Everything else looks great. What takes the longest for you?

Inking! I put the dialogue down and sketch the balloons while I'm doing the art. Seems to keep there from being too many problems with fitting stuff in.

Your Formspring page is "Very active" in my internet explorer. My Formspring feed is "Less Active" along with a recipe I looked at once. Is there something wrong with this?

Yes! Stop using Internet Explorer :3

What's your favorite cover or adaptation of a song?

Mary Fahl did a cover of the whole of Dark Side of the Moon. I don't know that it's my favourite ever but it's quite nice. I also prefer Judy Collins' Dark Eyes to Dylan's.

So, when Duane had that mini-flashback way back when he was in the Mamalen Entek, that Gold guy wasn't him in the army?

I wonder :O

Are there any huge cats in Kasslyne? Or cats at all?

No domestic cats. Most large cats are extinct.

Do you like scary movies?

If they're also good movies! I have a bunch of questions in the box but I have to go back to work on a job! I'll be around later, 'springers.

Glass! I am bouncing around in my seat waiting for update! Why must it be a whole three minutes awaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay (give or take)? I think I might be impatient.


So wait...if Stockyard is a girl, -and correct me if I'm wrong- then how is Duane gonna harm her? That whole code of ethics and how he doesn't harm women and children. He...can't...hurt...her...O.O

Stockyard is not a girl o_o That is not Stockyard.

Are two-toes communists like the talking dinosaurs in Dinotopia? I loved those books when I was little, they were pretty.

Dinotopia is awesome. Were the dinosaurs Communists though? I don't remember. Two-toes were egalitarian tribalists but now they're second-class citizens bound to the systems of whatever country they live in.

The vampire squids on your Formspring background look like those pymaric tentacle beasts. They're even blue! Is that why you chose that background?

They do! But mostly I just like oceanic critters, which is why they're also in my comic! Mm, I wish I had some early morning breakfast calamari.

There's already a special spot reserved in the Pantheon of Best Unsounded Characters for Duane's beard, along with Boo, Chitz, the hats, and Friendly Coffee.

Duane just has scruffiness in most of his flashback chapters. I like good jaw scruff on a man :3

Should I cave and get a Tumblr account? What is the appeal in Tumblr?

No, it is a silly place.

Are you a collector of anything?

Stuff to do with Ivalice. I wish I had the Balthier and Fran sculpture... sigh...

What do you suppose Silent Hill monsters do while they wait around for the 1 or 2 people per year to stumble upon them?

There's a popular school of thought that says the Silent Hill monsters are just regular townsfolk that the evil magic of the town makes LOOK like monsters to whatever poor, crazy person it is that's arrived for violent psychotherapy. It's probably true, but there are probably regular old ghosts and demons in the mix too. They spend their off hours devising puzzles and scattering health drinks and handgun bullets around town *_*

Okay, Glass. My sketch is done. And it looks AMAZING! I have only one question for you: would you like a background with it, or just Duane talking to Sette? It'll take me a bit longer if I do the background.

It is YOUR art! You must do what you feel looks best. :D

Does Duane feel a little guilty about slicing off that dude's hand? Does his sense of honor compel him to turn himself in or otherwise make amends?

Nah, Duane doesn't feel even a little bit guilty about crippling that guard. Same with breaking Siwl's wrist. In his mind he was protecting Sette, and the Peaceguard are Crescian military: sworn enemies and fair game :/

Do you laugh easily, or is it just me whenever I read your responses. For example, the latest one with you eating McDonald's.
Baby gives the evil eye!

Kids and babies make me laugh so that video was golden, thank you XD

Otherwise I don't laugh easily! I get complaints when I watch movies with people because I never laugh where I'm supposed to and it reportedly makes them uncomfortable. I don't like mean humour very much, I suppose; making fun of people is shitty. I prefer wittiness and absurdity, so Stephen Colbert is my waifu. He did a bit last week where he decided he was going to be totally self-sufficient so he fired his crew and tried to do his show from his iPhone with a marker and whiteboard.

What is your favorite fast food restaurant?

Tonight... I had...



That Silent Hill trailer makes me wonder what monsters have against tidiness. Do they not have brooms in hell?

Anon, the untidiness makes it cool! :O

What happened when Sette took over for Duane and started writing garbled responses to the people on the Duane and Sette Formspring a while back? :) Did you have nieces or nephews over who gave you some mischief?

Haha, no, I just thought it would be funny if Duane was having such a pleasant time answering questions that he lost track of the hour, night snuck up on him, and Sette took over. Probably won't happen again, alas, he's on to her.

Hey, I'm curious...what did Duane look like when he grew a beard? You know, before he shaved it off one morning in a fit of rage for being made fun of(?)...if I remember this correctly...

He looked... like Duane with a beard! :D I would draw you a sketch but I want alive!Duane to show up in the comic first since he has a new look.

I'm now officially on vacation in beautiful Sunset Beach, North Carolina. Where do you like to go on vacation?

Man, I haven't been on a proper out of state vacation since I was a little kid. Have fun, bird!

I noticed that when someone brings something up, something you don't wish to discuss, you often post a song or a clip of something to distract both us and to refrain yourself from answering :3

Have you seen the new Silent Hill trailer? I am brimming with rust-coloured excitement!

Is Sette smelling the barrel she's behind, or Starfish?


Will you tell me about the bird in Bastion's tattoo? I've got one on my wrist and realised I should know more before putting things on my skin.

Bastion's got two birds. The raven on his tongue has to do with the Ilganyag, the one on his back is the Winalils family crest, a sort of regal looking heron. He got it on his twelfth birthday and it could probably do with some touch-up but frig that he hates his family so not likely to happen.

Do wrights ever use pymary words/concepts in everyday speech? For example, using coordinates to give directions, or using technical jargon to describe a specific color?

Sure, I don't see why not.

Hi, I'm drunk tonight and here's a thing that actually exists Unlike that other guy I'm smart enough to read your comic but I read too much manga and like a sad nerd half the time I end up trying to read unsounded right to left and it makes no sense. he impregnating an ironing board?

Eeeee! I have Duane finished. Now I'm working on Sette. So excited to give it to you. It actually looks much better than I thought it'd come out :D that I've said this, I've jinxed my luck...hmm...


We ever gonna get to see Jivi as a mariner? On the ship he was on? Are the characters gonna use a ship at some point in the story?

I wonder.

I'm rereading. I noticed you changed some of the delicious dialogue of the first chapter (there may be more, but I'm on the first chappie rn). Was there a particular reason you changed it? I liked the line "You can't blame me for sporting with you" contd

"contd..Something to the affect of "Taking sides withe the map over me?! Base treachery!" and "Wh-what? Mad viper of a child!". There are more, lol, prolly in other chapters too, but I have to ask. Why? It was fine the way it was T.T"

Impressive memory! I did tweak some of the dialogue, largely in an effort to address criticisms and make things a little more polished. I haven't done anything beyond chapter 1 though. I plan to dive into the second chapter in the coming weeks and really do some trimming and editing and a bit of redrawing. I can't make myself print the comic if I can't find some way to make myself hate it less!

Is this journey ever going to take us to Alderode, or just Cresce?

Oh, man, we gotta go to Alderode! Aldishmen bring the fun!

I could seriously listen to Adele's voice for thousands of evers. Who's a vocalist you can't get tired of, despite your adamant efforts?

Peter Steele. I listened to Type O Negative a lot in college and even now I'll occasionally put on Bloody Kisses or something and totally gloom out. Somehow the music's become even better since he died. HE IS HAUNTING MY MP3s.

Well, Duane is probably gonna die (epically, of course). I mean, how else is that person initialed 'M.A.' going to get a hold of his journal writings? Right?

Duane can't die. He's already dead! For better or for worse he seems to have attained immortality. Still, yours is a respectable theory.

Does Jivi's necklace combine with Sette's necklace to unleash some super-powered weapon?

No XD Haha, Jivi's necklace is just a boatswain's whistle.

What's that necklace Jivi's wearing at the start of Chapter 3? Also, will we get more cool, trippy manga-style dreams from him?

Probably! I like dream sequences, they are super fun. And you'll know what that necklace is by the end of this chapter.

Is that cylindrical shape Starfish is holding some type of booze-shooter?

Yep. It's just a drink.

I'm sorry, I really don't get the last panel of the latest page. What is it exactly that Sette's picking up? There's nothing wrong with the comic, I just shouldn't try and read it drunk.

Sette's never met Starfish yet she smells Ephsephin, the Quigleys, and all the gore of the crypt on him. Stands to reason he's one of the Red Berry Boys. Him coming out of Stockyard's place may be an indication that Stockyard is buying whatever they're smuggling, or worse. Sorry it didn't make sense.

Well, it's been fun, but I am too dumb to read your comic. I'll be back after I've mastered How To Read Comics.


Do you think we will we be surprised by the amount of characters that will be killed by the end of the comic?

Hrmm, surprised? I suppose I cannot please everyone, but I think my deathlist is of a moderate length. I definitely do kill characters though, even characters I adore. Everyone has to die sometime, and one of the greatest gifts you can give your character is a meaningful death o_o

Then again, she could go with planB, calm and polite, writ large. How much damage could Duane inflict if he went apeshit in a Crescian city? From what we know of Pymary, quite a hell of a lot. Like deliberately set fire to the Khert, the works.

Enh, Duane wouldn't go apeshit on a city. It would inevitably harm women and children, and he took an oath at the Academy to never intentionally bring harm to the khert. He's much more likely to seek Stockyard out directly and rip him to pieces face to face. That's if Sette unwisely lets him discover there's a connection between her cousin and the RBBs, of course, but that wouldn't be very smart of her to do before she's settled her business with him. Sette knows Duane fairly well at this point and has a good idea what she can and can't get away with around him. If he finds out Stockyard's working with the slavers, there won't be much she can do to convince her zombie to back off.

So Starfish *is* Stockyard Frummagem? How is Sette gonna get her Jukrum now when her attack zombie is gonna want to kill everyone in the building? Oh, the (in)humanity.

No, Starfish is not Stockyard. Your second question is a good one though, this definitely complicates her task.

In these last couple of pages Nary has creeped me the hell out. Don't know if that's what you wanted, but that's what happened. *shivers alone in a corner*

Nary isn't so bad. Just don't ever piss him off.

I had a dream last night that Jivi, an older Matty, and I were all at the same university and we became friends on the train ride there. Unsounded has officially invaded my subconscious. I just thought you should know.

Finally I can cross that off my bucket list \o/

So, Nary came into possession of a unique, pymarically augmented beastwoman child, and his first instinct was to molest her? This guy is basically a /b/tard.

Uh, what makes you think Nary molests Sette? I don't mind saying outright that he doesn't.

What do you dislike about living in America?

The lack of affordable healthcare is a big issue for me, personally. I could see it not mattering to someone who was in great health though.

The hell is up with the scribbled over panel on the left? That a visual metaphor thing with Sette's memory? Heh, she may not be afraid to die, but she hasn't seen the long roads you can take to get there. The -lucky- ones get the noose or the axe.

There's a lot of scribbling going on when Sette remembers old conversations. Other flashback scenes have had it too. Interpret it as you will o_o

This is Yasha, he's from Asura's Wrath. And it is actually a game but its not very interactive. Watching it is about as good.


Starfish has really shapely calves. What's his secret?

Strap fifty pounds around your waist and go for a walk. Great work-out.

"Getting caught with that girl was the best thing that coulda happened to him" Wait, what? What girl? Did I miss something? I didn't see anything in the update. Daaaw, Duane fell for someone?

Old Formspring topic, pay it no mind :)

HI GLASS! I'm super excited because I'm working on a sketch for you! It's a reference to a previous answer that Duane and Sette both responded to. Hopefully you'll like it. My writing skills far surpass my artwork, but...I couldn't resist. Be merciful :3

Yay! Fanart!

That's a male prostitute with Turas, right? I like little details like that telling us things about a character without spelling it out.

Also, an excuse to draw a cute male prostitute. Poor Turas is so ugg.

Maybe Duane just decided to join in on Nary's adventure because he thought it was hopeless and he would get re-dead. He doesn't actually care about Sette at all and will eat her in the morning because he's made it to a sufficiently dangerous place.

I think it would have been more efficient for him to just go wandering through a battlefield during a heavy bout of bombing, but you could be on to something. Who knows, who knows.


We are bonobos.
Did getting caught with the girl (indirectly) set off the chain of events that led to his undeadification? Maybe if he lived a quiet life as a cop or khert monitor, he could have avoided that entirely..........

That's true! He never would have been in a position to become what he is now if he hadn't left the academy for the army. It's a mixed bag, I guess.

Army adventures with bowlcut Duane would make a great sidestory.

No bowlcut D< He has sexy hair now! Long, flowing, Fabio locks!

(not really, he's still a doofus)

When will we hear about Duane's time guarding the border?

His army adventures? I've not yet decided.

If Duane had never been caught trying to make baby silvers and bronzes, what would the rest of his life have been like?

He wanted to go work for the Window as an Aseptic, tracking down rogue wrights and smashing their faces in. I'm not sure if he would have made it or not though. I don't think his scruples would have meshed well with the requirements of the position. Probably he would have been rejected, gone back to the suburb he was a boy in and opened an artificer's shop, or gotten a government job as a cop or khert monitor. Really, getting caught with that girl was the best thing that coulda happened to him.

I shall come to live in your house and flat your pages, massage your feet and cook you nutritious meals, all to get my green card. Our relationship will be formal at first but eventually we shall bond over our shared love of doggies.

Green card? Unless you are living somewhere truly atrocious you don't want to live in the US. I want to get OUT of the US!

Glaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaass? What are your standards of anime male hotness?

I like bishounen :/ But not kids. So Dio from Last Exile was bishounen but far too young. Alex Rowe was bishounen but spot on. I know there is the label of biseinen for older pretty boys but they are usually not pretty enough. So bishounen, mid-twenties, preferably moody, antiheroes are okay and so are villains, good fashion sense, no ridiculous hair please, great VA..

I'm sorry! I'm shallow! I have no pride.

What was it like for Duane when he learned to cast and control his first spell (technically second spell, since the first is learning to shut your pymary-mouth off!) ? The power and all...what was that like for him? Epic, I bet.

Duane's not a typical example of a wright. He's a tacit caster and tacit casters are nearly always innate, meaning they don't need to be Rited and are born with an input connection to the khert in place already. So Duane was doing little spells on the sly as a pretty young kid, egged on by his grandfather who was kind of a troublemaker. But those first early spells were pretty fun and Duane was not so saintly that he didn't use them to prank other kids. He got his ass whooped a lot by his mom and dad for it...

When it came time to learn in an official capacity, it was all fairly tame. Duane got his pymary start in a seminary, so they weren't exactly teaching the kids mountain punches. The powerful stuff came when he transferred to a real Academy a few years later; when he advanced beyond the mundane stuff like Aspect switching and got into sophisticated pymary like hacking perceptive spheres for relative glamours, and delving into the khert for scraps of ghosts to weave into AI for pymarics, or using range-extending equipment to change the weather and burn spells... that's when he got a little power trippy.

Still, his ahem, illicit activities in school wound up yanking him off the path towards sophisticated pymary and put him in the army, where combat pymary was the more useful skill. After that he never really got into sophisticated pymary at a professional level and had to pursue it on the side, researching and writing and submitting papers and proposals as a pasttime.

Have you watched Asura's Wrath? It's a pretty exciting show.

Wiki only says it's a video game. There's a show? I require at least one hot man in any anime show I will tackle so does it meet that requirement. Yes, I am a shallow twat.

How did Nary find out that Duane was a zombie?

The beginning of this saga will be flashbacked to one day. I promise.

Is Nary really a bad father?

That's for you to decide.

Duane had some friends in RP, but did he have any in this universe? You don't have to say who if it's a part of an upcoming chapter or something. I was just wondering. Seems more to me like the loan ranger type. I could be wrong tho.

Duane's a lone ranger now out of necessity but in life he was a very social, gregarious sort with plenty of friends, though they were mostly fellow clergy and soldiers in the Temple. He doesn't like to be alone. He's one of THOSE people.

Nary's manner with Sette is different when they're alone, right? I see less threats and cuffing and more honest talk. Can't show weakness in front of the troops, I suppose.


Did Sette draw some of those adorable little scribbles around the kennel?

A few, but mostly they're advertisements or posters she swiped from around town and hung up.

What's the strangest/grossest thing you've ever referenced a drawing off of?

Photos of infected pustules. Go ahead and type pustules into Google Images.

How did the hiring of Duane for this quest go down, exactly? Did Nary pop into the scrivening office and give him a fistfull of persuasion?

I'ma draw this one day, no worries.

Did'ja miiiiiiiiiiiiiiiss me? Should I engage in a two-hour inane question storm to make up for my absence? What day is it? Why would I base my knowledge of days of the week on something that requires an internet connection to access?

Forumkedis! Have you been off having fun with horses?

In D&D (Old DnD anyway) wizards learnt their spells and then forgot them when they used them so they had to re-learn them every day. So they carried their spellbook with them. Game mechanism to keep the spell slingers from being too overpowered, really.

Yeah, I remember that from some DnD game I played... Baldur's Gate maybe? It's kind of goofy, like wizards have the memories of goldfish. Declaring that spells require stamina (or mana/MP?) and giving a wizard a number of stamina points per day seems slightly less inane. How does new D&D do it?

What is the first spell an aspirant learns in old tainish? In D&D it's Read Magic, 'cause handwriting is a big deal for wizards in that game. In Diablo I guess it's firebolt? I dunno I just googled it. Harry potter is levitate. This list is dumb, I'm sad.

Leviosa! Do D&D wizards write spells like doctors write prescriptions? Read Magic sounds crucial.

First an aspirant has to learn Old Tainish. You won't get very far if you don't know the language. After that they get rited - meaning they're actually granted the ability to use pymary - and the first spell they learn after the ceremony is how to shut their pymary off so they can start learning without accidentally blowing up the world :D

Don't say you're a bad writer again. Nary's perfect dialog as he lectures Sette over the kennel wall like she's more pet than daughter, the framing of her face against his gesturing fist... SO much is communicated on that page. Extremely well crafted.

Thank you T_T

Not a question, but the Great Unsounded is a really awesome and evocative name. Even better than Unsounded. It sounds like oceans and deep caverns and crazy secret khert stuff in remote places.

Thanks <3

Could one use pymery to produce a beautiful singing voice or catchy dance moves?

I'm not sure pymary is any good for producing talent where there is otherwise none :3

Do I spy a picture of a lion in Sette's room? I think I do, and it's awesome!

Most of the stuff she has hanging up are advertisements she ganked from around town. The lion on the board leaning against the wall is an old circus advertisement that I actually have myself. I bought it from an antique shop and it is one of my favourite things.

How do you feel about summer?

It is HOT and it makes my power bill jack up two-hundred percent because of the air conditioner and I HATE it.

What I mean to ask is "Why do horses not exist?" I'm sorry if that wasn't clear.

Why did I choose to have horses not exist? No specific reason I suppose. Using dogs just seemed more fun :) I have nothing against horses.

What does Nary think of Sette wanting to sleep in the kennel?

Nary lets Sette do whatever she wants as long as she pays her jukrum and is around when he needs her. He's a pretty laid back dad.

There a reason why there are dogs as mounts and not horses? (I don't mind, I'm just curious.)

Horses don't exist!

ER MAH GERD. She sleeps wit' the pups. I'd lurv that beyond redemption. I used to do that way back. I'd stumble in the dark to the kitchen and hug my doggies until I fell back asleep if I felt crummy. Hmm, the smell might be something fierce, though.

I can't sleep with my dogs, they are twitchy and Carter likes to roll in dead stuff outside and so always stinks like a Resident Evil zombie dog. I approve of hugging dogs however.

Sette finds the clean stink of dogs preferable to the sour stink of the Frummagems inside and all their rotten pymarics and pipes and groin sweat and cheap perfume and cheaper cologne. Dogs smell -awesome-.

While working at Godiva, I've actually discovered that the kind of chocolate a person likes says a lot about them. What kind of chocolate do you like?

Well, I am a lady of modest means so I don't really eat fancy chocolate. But I like an old fashioned Hershey's bar with almonds if that's helpful at all. I don't discriminate when it comes to chocolate though, I will devour any and all varieties of it save for white chocolate, which was allegedly responsible for 9/11, was a key ingredient in Agent Orange, and was adopted as a symbol of the Khmer Rouge.

What would it do to society if people figured out a way to apply firstness to new things? (also what happens if the firstness only could be done to humans)

Any special reason First Silver is the bes rather than, say, First Gold or First Platinum?

Back in RP, silver in general was a big deal since I played so many undead characters. Silver weapons traditionally in fantasy are potent and painful to the undead so Duane and Murkoph and others were always very leery of them. Murkoph had a serrated silver knife he carried around specifically for torturing Duane, in fact.

For Unsounded I wanted to carry over the specialness of silver but give a solid reason why it was so devastating. A properly enchanted First Silver weapon disrupts the khert so profoundly that there is no fiercer, faster way to completely obliterate a pymary-driven construct, ghost, or creature.

Artificer at heart here. I'm thinking a simulacrum made up of a kaleidoscope of first precious gems would be impossibly expensive, but support dozens of auxiliary functions. Can a pymaric be designed to enact a traditional tainish song effect on command?

You want a singing simulacrum? If you have the room in the First Material for it I see no reason why not. I had to decide a few months ago if I could have recorded sound and it seemed reasonable enough since the khert can act as storage space. I just think the sound would be pretty tinny and shallow like old wax cylinder recordings. Just remember, Mr. Artificer, that First Silver is the BEST material. Gems are great, but an arm built of solid silver could hold up the sky while singing you the whole of Madama Butterfly.

Are pymaric prosthetic limbs swappable, or are they bound to a specific user? For example, would it be possible for someone to swipe a fancy First Silver super pimp gauntlet arm off an unsuspecting mark to replace their own crappy First Plywood one?

I'm thinking they're bound to a user but not profoundly. That is to say, you could gank someone's simmie and then take it to an artificer who could tweak the enchantments to customize it to you.

My character Will had a really cheap wooden simulacrum at one point. He got into a fight with a guy and the guy's friends held Will down while the other dude physically ripped the fake arm off his shoulder. Will's arm was surgically attached and used a lot of his own bodily Aspects to function better - body heat, traction for its fingertips, mobility from his joints, etc. When it was ripped off him, the cheap enchantments exploded and lashed the other guy like a flailing white-hot strand of barbed wire, jellying his eye and shredding his face. So be careful about stealing people's prosthetics :3

We know that wrights can make pymarics capable of interfacing with human neural system. Would that also mean that they can control people as puppets (by feeding fake control impulses into their nerves similarly); or just give them predefined commands?

It's a good progression of thought. I'm wondering, though, if a person's nervous system wouldn't give precedence to existing nerves over inserted foreign impulses. That is to say, if all a person's body and nerves are intact there is no gap through which to exert control and the nervous system will recognise and reject all other intrusions. This seems like a physiological mechanism that would be very crucial in Unsounded's khert-driven world.

Of course we know plods must function very similarly to how you're saying, but their bodies no longer have functioning safeguards against intrusion. They can't fight off exterior nervous impulses any more than they can fight off vultures or encroaching bacteria. It stands to reason that in a world of ghosts and pymary, living bodies must have the same physiological protections against psychic and nervous intrusions as we do against infection. But just like a laceration in our skin provides a pathway for bacteria, a large enough gap in the physical nervous system provides a pathway for the enchantments of a simulacrum.

Yeah, that sounds reasonable.

Is the Great Unsounded Murkoph's MOTHER?!?

Murkoph is too badass for mothers. Murkoph gave birth to himself.

SECRET UNSOUNDED SPOILERS ALERT: Chapter 7 is 15 pages, and covers a time span of 10,000 years. Very experimental.

Why do you hate meeeeee

I can't wait for Duane to go off the wall again. It's fun to watch. In fact, I want to be the announcer like they do it in soccer. "Double Kill. Triple Kill! Overkill!! Killtacular!! Killing Spree!!! Kiltrocity!!! Kilimanjaroooooooooooo!!!!!!!"

I will look for you in the comments section when it happens, then :)

Have you seen The Dark Knight Rises yet?

Nope. Trusted sources have assured me it's not worth seeing so I'm giving it a pass.

So when people cast, is it in Old Tainish, or does the khert understand new Tainish to an extent?

Nope. It's gotta be Old Tainish.

Does Tainish recognize different genders in it's language, or is it like English: gender-less?

New Tainish is genderless. Old Tainish has six noun forms - male, female, neuter, animal, sacred, and unliving. One day I will sit down and really start fleshing out Old Tainish more but it will not be this day.

How do you say the word "Tainish" in Tainish? What about "I'm attempting to learn Tainish because you are so inspiring"? :)

Tairet. "Ssomal mae mellasa ssomun pulina ssom tollomen dalim tairet."

You don't want to learn Tainish, it will not look impressive on a résumé! Learn Mandarin.

If you were able to hire someone to help out with one thing in your life what would it be? Ex. cooking, cleaning, a business assistant, etc.

Someone to flat my pages and massage my feet.

How many pages are in this chapter, and what sort of timespan does it cover?

84 pages, covers the next hour.

Your comic makes me look forward to the end of the weekend. Sundays are great and all, but not as great as an update!

Thanks so much, anon T_T It is for you that I strive!

I am bored at work and looking at videogame concept art. Some of Demon's Souls/Dark Souls kinda reminds of yours in a way. This is good; because Demon's Souls owns bones.

I'm really jonesing for that to come out on PC so it can kick my ass :3
Comments the "Great Unsounded" really great, or is it just kind of cool?

Damma opaenimelefh ssomun ssalimelefh - wasikhil DAMMA ssalimelefh - e denaobüd ha tooklimun nalo mallilefhagefh llo la.

TIL that there's a mineral called galit (transliteration from Russian, English name is halite). Is Duane per chance made of it?


So, has the gender confusion over Timofey made you go back and add gender-clarifying dialogue? "Gasp! I just saw a ghost! A male ghost! Of the masculine persuasion! Presumably with a penis and other dude bits!" You could fit it in.

I don't mind people confusing Timofey's gender! It makes sense because he's MEANT to be androgynous. He can't help it, it's how he was designed. But thinking he might be Sette's mother? x_x

Is it too much of a spoiler to ask how Duane's personality changed from life to undeath? I mean, other than the crippling depression.

Actually? I think you'll see it hasn't changed as much as you might think. It's that personality and that attitude that have helped him endure. But yes, the crippling depression and the underlying hopeless despair are new.

You're coy about the "Great Unsounded" now, but I bet 90% of what we need to know will be answered on Formspring within a week. :-)

Haha, anon, you made me laugh aloud. How well you know me :3 I have to treat this one like Murkoph though: no questions! It's a mystery! Be strong, Glass!

Hi. I'm the anon who asked forever long ago about finding an rp group. I just wanted to let you know that I found a good one, and am having a lot of fun. Thank you for your advice! (Also Unsounded is the best)

Excellent! Have fun playing. Torture someone pretty and think of me~

UWAAA! Can a man ever just be friends with a woman?

Definitely. I'm friends with some very awesome guys :) It helps if they're married though and if you only talk to them online.

No questions about Murkoph? What about questions about questions about Murkoph?

This... is a possibility. I like this song.

So I noticed that you think people should discuss politics more and be more aware of them. Hmm...I guess that wasn't really a question. But here's an imaginary soap box if you need one :3

Hohoho, thanks but I'll pass. Me da ever says don't shit where ya eat.


Do you read every comment on each page that is updated?


Wow. So "Unsounded" is actually a thing within the comic, not just a snazzy name?


Are you excited for the new series of BBC Sherlock or what?! Cumberbatch, Cumberbatch, Cumberbatch. I like saying that name.

Not -quite- as fun as Humperdinck. Humperdinck Humperdinck Humperdinck! :3

But yes, I'm looking forward to it! It's a while off though, no? Next year at least, I think.

I approve the new profile picture. You get to keep living. For now.


I noticed Boo and Duane's relationship in your RP 'verse, but what does Boo think of him in this reality?

Boo doesn't have eyes for anyone but Sette at this point. Duane is just another of Sette's pets, like Boo himself :3

At least tell us this, is the pattern on the beak significant or decorative?

It's the oldest known symbol in the world, the Old Tainish glyph for the Great Unsounded. Don't even try askin' about that yet :)

Intensely nervous? You? Bah! What -you're gonna worry that we won't like the plot turns, the focus on Duane, or the art? A case of the nerves usually derives from doubts. Don't tell me you're doubting your genius...

Muuuh, chapter 7 makes me nervous because it breaks sharply and suddenly away from the main plot and goes off into the weeds. I should be more confident but that is not in my nature.

The new avatar is Final Form Sette, I'm calling it now.

Ya think? She doesn't strike me as particularly avian, personally.

I assume that new profile pic is a two toe? How exactly does one go about tattooing something like a two toe beak?

It's not a toe toe actually, it's kind of a bird. A bird with teeth.

No question, just love the new avatar. <3 <3 <3 *Resumes camping out for the next update*

Ha, okee :3

Is First Silk made from senet silk worms? How could enough of it have been harvested to be the more common First Material, before the next generation came about, making it (I assume) Second Silk?

There is no next generation. Senet silkworms metamorphose from worm to moth to worm again in an endless, perfect cycle. Handlers know when they're ready to emerge from their cocoons and the creatures allow them to unravel them and harvest the silk. The relationship between the silkworms and their keepers, and the healthy population of worms, are why the silk is so common.

I dunno what to make of it. The beak makes me think of Duane, with the grey and drool and the split is like his hood. Is that Sette hair? The eye is Murkophy colors. The birdiness and swirly symbol is Bastionesque. What’s the crazy level in ch 7 anyway?

So crazy that it makes me intensely nervous. I do like the art for it so far, at least.

GlassShard posted a new profile photo

Since Duane saw the hallucination of the Black Tongues operating on Cara, how come he doesn't go after them too? Or is it like "one step at a time. First the Red Berry Boys, then the Black Tongues"...?

Mm, firstly, Duane did not see Cara's hallucinations - they were solely Cara's which is why they stopped when she died. Secondly the Black Tongues did not operate on her, it was the Red Berry Boys. It's possible the RBB are working for the Black Tongues after what Toma revealed but then Starfish said to Jivi that he's working for a Frummagem, so who can say.

Wait, n-no. No, that is not Sette's MOTHER! Hahaha, that's a poet who died tragically...I-it's on your devArt, G-glass! Auuugghhh, stop trolling my nerves. You scared me :'(


You should give your male characters big manly beards so people don't confuse them with chicks. :-)

I don't mind people confusing genders, it makes me laugh, but Sette's MOTHER?

If Duane's a zombie because Murkoph bit him..........THEN WHO BIT MURKOPH?!?!?

Maybe the blue ghost who is possibly Sette's mother..? Go look at the comment section on today's page.

...Sette's MOTHER?


<3 <3 <3

Favorite olympic sport? Also, are you going to watch the olympics at all this year?

No... Competitive sports have never really been my thing. I'd much rather watch a process video of a painting or someone speedrunning Super Metroid on Youtube :D

That tentacle beast got like, butts on the tips of it's fingers... Are those for what I think they're for?


I was looking over in devArt (And your works are beYOND stellar) I was wondering, would Duane be as affectionate and huggy with Sette if she weren't a kid? (The girl definitely needs more love) but would he think it was more inappropriate or something?

Well, yes, naturally. The Aldish are pretty stuffy and formal when it comes to relations between men and women, and hugging a woman who isn't your wife or a family member is not really done. Duane's always been huggy around kids though, even as an RP character. He can be as affectionate as he can be violent; he does everything in broad strokes, I guess.


@[email protected]

I figured out how Duane became a zombie when I hit your 404 page, Murkoph bit him, it's obvious, in hindsight.


Last time I asked, you gave a definite "no" to the Sette killing question. Trouble keeping all your lies straight in your head? They always catch up to you, you know. ;P


it's "hear, hear". Sorry, pet peeve.


"Aquatic Ambiance" is the best Donkey Kong Country track. It would fit equally well in a documentary, horror movie, or porno.

Here, here!

Also, a genderswapped 50 shades of grey does sound rather appealing... I could really sink my teeth into that as well.

Genderswap all the books!

I have indeed read 50 Shades of Grey and am about halfway through the 2nd one. It's terribly written and smutty. I love it.

When I went to the dentist last week she wanted to talk to me about that book as her hands were in my mouth. Why do dentists do that.

Secret of Mana music always plays in my head when I read Unsounded, which makes me nostalgic for my days playing Super Nintendo as a kid.

Secret of Mana is one game I never got around to but I do enjoy the soundtrack. I think the SNES soundtrack I listen to most frequently anymore is Donkey Kong Country. It remains sublime.

Is there a specific thing in nature you feel a specific tie to? Storms, trees, mountains, lakes, et cetera?


I vote that you write a 50 Shades of Grey parody set in the world of Unsounded. Duane IS the cold, calculating and gorgeous galit with a dark and troubled past. Sette IS the young, naive, college graduate who falls for him. Love, pymary and tentacles

"abound in the thriller of the year. Sprinkle perverse pymarics around for flavoring. You could make millions and it could actually be well written, unlike 50 Shades."

No. Sette would be the cold, calculating, gorgeous one with the fetish for sadism. Duane would be the naive college graduate that falls for her. THAT story I would consider writing :3 Did you actually read 50 Shades, Fakult? I am shocked and appalled.

Has Sette actually killed anyone before?

I wonder.

I can't help but think I saw this in the Duane+Sette formspring but how did that shop have a shirt identical to to Sette's first one?

Comic book magic, my friend~

Will the origin of Sette's biology ever be defined or is that a mystery forever?

All shall be revealed in time. That would be a cruel mystery to never address :)

Are, um..."Child Lovers so common in Kasslyne that its accepted or is it just that the clerk at the Happy Tentacle just seen so many things in her job that Sette saying that didn't even phase her?

It's not all that common in Cresce, the society kind of frowns on it, but it's very common in Sharteshane and Ulestry. Either way there are no laws on the books about it so since Sette was the one doing all the talking and checking them in, the lady had no reason to think she was acting against her will and no reason to call the cops. Crescians are really, really loathe to pass social laws. It's a weird contrast to how authoritarian they are otherwise with their enforced military service, mandatory schooling, and their job assignments. They are dead serious about work and duty, but they are also dead serious about fun, sex, and leisure time. The Crescian government has kind of a Bread and Circuses attitude towards it all.

Do my eyes deceive me or is the desk clerk reading "In Love With a Lizard: A Tale of Passion and Sex?" I. LOVE. THAT. BOOK! She has good taste!

A Tail of Passion and SCALES :3 You should join her book club!

Is that red/Black thing in the sub panel of pg. 37 a lamp or some kind of miniature Eye of Sauron?

It's a kind of a glamour projector that throws pornographic images up on the ceiling.

Poor Duane, Sette's really running his non-existent reputation into the mud. Lucky for her she'll probably and ironically get into enough trouble that he won't have the presence of mind to ask the details.

That would be fortunate.

What does that lady with the pymaric hat thinks a child like Sette is doing in that place? Seriously, why exactly is going on her head to aloud her a room with a strange man?

Honestly? She's thinking geez, this girl is hard up for money if she's hanging around this fucked up, kinky dude. I better keep an eye on them and check up on her before my shift's over and I go home.

And then Sette left the building five minutes later and the lady's thinking, Haha, she lured him back there, drugged him, and now she's taking off with his wallet. Well, that's what's going to happen in a society that uses evil currency that encourages theft and greed. Alas! Foreigners!

That's about what she's thinking.

Sette doesn't seem the type to ever get boycrazy or all doe-y eyed romantic, but would she eventually choose a mate of sufficient quality and Nary's blessings?

That remains to be seen.

What's the strangest Google search you've made recently?

Well, I spent a while trying to find a photo of the Guiness World Record holder for the largest penis but I'll be damned if I had any luck.
google porn_doesnt_count unless_really_nasty

Could you channel sensory information into the wrong sense? Like, tell the khurt Matty's nose or ears can process visual input in addition to the regular sense.

You can convince the khert that a nose is an eye, but it will only be convinced of it spectrally, and the nose will never function as an eye at the material level. The khert is pretty cut and dry when dealing with materials. Interfacing with complex living biological systems however is far more involved.

When the Unsounded video game gets made, will Jivi use his sandals as his starting weapon?

Mm, I think you'll find he has something a little more useful up his sleeve.

Could Sette smell Timofey?

Sette can smell ghosts very well, but she hasn't caught whiff of Timofey just yet. He seems to be keeping his distance.

You know what's awesome? Breasts. Breasts are awesome.

I respectfully disagree.

Duane's glamour has a lovely smile. What's going on underneath it when he smiles, or scowls, or whatever? Can/does he still reflexively use his facial muscles (such as they are) for expressions? Does the glamour reflect his mood as well as a living face?

What goes on beneath? He has some leather skin left on his face, enough to form some vague and unattractive expressions, and form his words. Duane being able to make expressions is no less weird than him being able to stand up.

Technically I'm inclined to say his glamour doesn't express his moods as well as it could, but I take some artistic liberty with it. It'd be a bore if he was same-face all the time :)

If Maty did go back to the Black-tongues, because his dad died or something, would they be nice and make him some decent eyes as their mascot? Or are they too mad at his dad?

An interesting question. If he specifically went back to the Black Tongue headquarters in Lurick they'd take care of him. He made a few friends there. Making him eyes is a different matter. The problem is a financial one as the materials needed are very expensive. The Quigleys could go to a professional and get Matty eyes made at any point, but they don't have the money for it and neither do the Black Tongues, as much as certain members might be inclined to help fragile little white-haired boys.

Sette seems really well acquainted with all this. Nary doesn't make know... be a prostitute at home or anything, does he? She's going to grow up with a really cynical view of sex.

Nary runs all the brothels in town but Sette has nothing to do with them other than being friendly with some of the whores. She does have a pretty low opinion of sex and the people after it, and doesn't mind using people's own stupidity against them or for her own benefit. I think that's been shown pretty well so far this chapter.

Cat: Oh, hey. You were gone? Dog: OMFG DONTEVERLEAVEMEAGAIN!! ITHOUGHTYOULEFTME! IWILLLOVEYOUFOREVER!!!!!DAAHGE¬JGEGREIGENVJGAAAAHHHHH! ...truth, or fiction? I know dogs do this, and I used to have one that did. Do yours?

Aaaaall the time. Sometimes just when I've popped outside for thirty seconds to take out the trash. It's worst when I go grocery shopping though. I always tell my one dog, "I'm going to go buy BONES, okay?" And he looks at me with his keen dog eyes, knowing perfectly well what I've said, and when I come back an hour later he knocks me down and rips open the grocery bags. I wonder what the grocery store looks like in his imagination.

When the winter weather's wind whips without waiting, what word is warranted?


I was perusing through the Miscellaneous section and I noticed a cover picture for Unsounded as a whole. Do you still consider that to be the cover, or would you make a different one at this point?

You mean the picture of Duane and Sette on the glowing rock with the wandering root snapping at 'em? That was a quickie illustration I did when I first started the comic, so I could put it on dA and use it to plug the first chapter. I wound up making it into cover art for the site, too, but it's pretty old now. I wouldn't use it for a book cover. I'd probably go with something like this -

what is that painting in the lobby of the Happy Tentacle?

Just landscapy blobs :)

In your opinion, what does it take to call oneself an 'artist?'

Oh, not very much. I'm of the opinion that we're all artists in our own ways. Some of us express our aesthetic in how we dress or arrange our living rooms or do our makeup or make our sandwiches.

Now if you mean what does it take to call oneself an artist professionally, I would say that requires one either make money off of doing art, or one spends the majority of one's working day making art, whether it's lucrative or not. Seems fair.

Is that woman's tentacle-hair pymary and if so is

It's a hat, Fakult! And yes, it's a pymaric, and yes, it's wriggly.

...everyone always fixates on the hats.
What that place next door to the Happy Tentacle? It looks like a good time.

Looks like a pub or restaurant with a band. I'd hang out there.

This makes me think of Murkoph. That's all.
which part of your body?

Joyfully gyrating penises. Yes, they make me think of Murkoph as well.

True story, any time I've had to mind a cash register, and nobody minds me doing so, I take a book. Not a smutty book, because that could probably get dangerous. Still. Have you done one of those jobs, to include someone reading at the register/check in?

I worked in a movie theatre box office for a few years as a teenager but I would've got my arse handed to me if I'd had a book out. I did used to read a lot in school though; the old paperback novel hidden behind the textbook routine.

I'm confused, who is this "anon" person? Could someone explain it to me?'s YOU!

("anon" is short for anonymous, which is what I'm going to call anyone who doesn't leave a name when they ask questions :3)

Are there more of those naughty-tentacle pymarics like the one Duane made friends with in this place?


Wait, so how can Rahm have a torso that you can't feel, but is still there? I mean, if you stick hands on the man and can't pass right through him, you'd have to be able to feel some solidity there, right?

You feel a nebulous resistance, like that feeling when you try to press together the same poles of two magnets. But you can't feel warm flesh or curly hairs or wrinkled skin.

Conversely, how do you approach writing fantastic or violent things that most people never experience? I find it the most challenging aspect to approach when writing fantasy/adventure stuff - there is a lot of it in books and movies but using that (cont)

"(cont) as reference feels like drawing from a photo of a drawing of something someone completely made up. Genuinely interested: what is your approach to tackling such things? Thank you! (This is Leilaz0, They locked my account for some reason)"

They locked it? CONSPIRACY.

I just plain don't have problems with writing weird or violent things. I reach for it and it's there. The weird and violent things come to ME, I never have to go looking for them. Perhaps I am mildly psychotic :D I've written such gross happenings with Murkoph and Bastion and my vassalich princes...

Writing isn't like drawing - at least, not to me. You don't need a reference for everything. Writing is purer than drawing; it's pure fancy and imagination. If you FEEL what you're writing you can sell your reader on anything. They will fill in the gaps. Their imagination will do the legwork. Just find the core of the scene; the horror, the awe, the wonder, and write from that place. All that matters is the tone. Everything else you can pull out of your ass or from research if you absolutely must. Be present in the story and look around you. Write what you see and feel and smell and hear. I think a good writer doesn't need to rely on past experiences overmuch if they are there living the experience of their story right that instant.

Does Matty see from the vantage point of Chitz, or from where his own retinas would be? Can he prop Chitz up as a remote spycam and be somewhere safe (like another county)? I'd trade that ability for lack of depth perception and texture, I think!

He sees from Chitz' POV. I'd rather have my eyes, personally. Matty can't see colour, can't see light properly; everything is grey, muddy, blobby sameness. He can't see the sky :(

Random, but I'm eating quite possibly the best salmon of my life right now. What is your favorite way to "dine", my friend?

I had salmon on Saturday night :O My favourite way to dine is curled up in front of youtube with a plate of pasta and a Diet Coke. I am not a sophisticated person :)

Please tell me that the rest of the book has puns in it too. Its author is like the Piers Anthony of Crescian romance novels. Right? Right?! (I'm really sorry, I should probably go to sleep) -z

It's written by Anya Hirz, the same person who adapted Quigley's story into a play. She's known for writing trashy, sensationalized romance. I tried for the longest time to come up with a good "Fifty Shades of Grey" spoof title for it but nothing came to mind.

..."of passion and s-" s-what? I must know! And does that say "a TAIL of"?! Have you stooped to using that most dastardly of puns? -z

"A Tail of Passion and Scales." I was feeling punny when I made that page... it normal for that love hotel to rent rooms to clearly underage kids in the company of slobbering grown men that look like corpses? That's not something that, y'know, might warrant alerting the authorities? No red flags going up?

No age of consent in Cresce and Sette seems perfectly happy. Why would there be a need to alert the authorities? Different world, different standards.

Alright, I'm gonna address the elephant in the room: What IS that hat!? How much does it cost? Can I have one? Does it do what I think it does? How does anybody go about making something so wonderful? Is there a limit to how many I can fit on my head?‽?!‽

:O It's a floppy glowing tentacle hat! It flops and glows. It probably didn't cost too much, nothing fancy going on with it aside from flopping and glowing. You may not have one, it only exists as pixels. It flops and glows. An artificer made it (artificers make pymarics). You can fit only one on your head.

Teacher Glass, I've forgotten again... how does the sex trade work if there's no "proper money?" :O

The same way the other trades work: luxury credits and state allotments. Being located in a border town, the Happy Tentacle is happily set up to also accept sem. Selling famous Crescian sex services to tourists and pilgrims from Mulimar has helped keep Ethelmik afloat since the mines shut down.

Hehehehe. Masterfully written dialogue on the new pages as always.

Manly passions.

What do you think about writing stuff you don't have personal experience with? Not the fantastical or violent stuff-- but the everyday, mundane stuff?

Unless we're part of a royal family or a child actor, don't we all have experience with every day mundane things? That's what makes them mundane. I think you asked me this on Tumblr too but I didn't know how to answer there either. Sorry :(

Have we seen Rahm in-comic yet, or did I just miss a formspring response somewhere? 'Cause I don't know who Rahm is. :(

Probably missed a formspring response. A recent one though! Just go back a page or two.

What do youthik of prophecies as they're used in fiction? Love 'em, hate 'em, would you use them in your stories?

I don't mind them at all. Nausicaa uses one and Nausicaa is like, amazing. I love (fictional) religion and myth and prophesy in stories, it can all be quite beautiful and telling. It's the language we've been using to tell each other stories since the beginning of our species and I see no reason to poo-poo on it now just because we have mashed potato vending machines and remote controlled vibrators.

Oh, I thought Rahm's legs were maybe spectral limbs that were discussed on Formspring forever ago.

They kind of are. The khert dispersed a lot of superficial Aspects like everything to do with visibility but his legs and trunk are still THERE, for the most part. You can't see them or feel them (neither can he) but you can't pass through them. Because my feeble brain is capable only of thinking of things in terms of video games, the legs' hitbox is there but not their graphic T_T

Is there any way to survive pissing off the khert, or does it just delete you the instant you become an irritant?

The way to survive is to be awesome. Leave the field of the khert until it's calmed down. That means putting a few hundred feet between yourself and the ground. It's doable but you only got a few seconds to make it happen, and you may wind up losing your legs if you're not fast enough.

What is one song that you have always loved and will never get sick of?

The crazy street man got me thinking: is there anyone (presumably ilganyag) who has managed to pymary the aspect of youth out of someone? Sucking life to live longer?

The crazy street man would say that's exactly what they do in Alderode. No one's very inclined to believe him though.

Man, I haven't read like any of this chapter yet, and it has so many words in it! Catching up was like, super intense. Good job.

I'm sorry I'm so wordy :(

If the Unsounded video game gets made, I predict there will be a QTE where Toma has to shimmy up between Uaid's buttcheeks before he's crushed between his powerful glutes.


Worst pickup line! One for picking up a man and one for picking up a woman, GO!

There's a line in The Colour Purple I love: "Girl, I'd drink your bathwater!"

"...requiring you give the khert cool down time, with it becoming more and more agitated if you abuse pymary and eventually affecting game physics"....So using too much pymary can FUBAR the khert like Sette did earlier?

If you give it too much to do, you can piss it off. In the game I thought it would be interesting if that meant it started messing with your character's physics, but in the really real comic it usually means it will class you as a dangerous irritant to the system and try to destroy you :)

How would you implement pymary as a system in an Unsounded game? Would it just be a static list of moves or perhaps something more like a crafting system involving aspects?

I've thought about this a lot. Spells wouldn't require crafting, you'd learn them by leveling or finding spellbooks, but every spell would have Aspect requirements. Every area in the game would have cullable Aspects, whether it be from the terrain and architecture, the weather, items, fire, etc., all of them appropriately exhaustible. There would also be a khert meter that would rise every time you cast, requiring you give the khert cool down time, with it becoming more and more agitated if you abuse pymary and eventually affecting game physics, like frigging with characters' gravity and movement speed, expanding or decreasing your hitbox erratically, weakening your physical attack and defense, etc. This would require a balanced approach to every stage. If you run through relying too much on pymary, you decimate the map, use up your Aspects, and frig up your mechanics so that when bosses show up, you are screwed.

On the other hand, if the Unsounded video game follows the comic closely, it'd basically be one huge escort mission up to this point. Not sure how I'd feel about that. I do like the idea of the tree/shackle save points, though.

No way! The only escort bit is Duane and Sette at night. Otherwise Sette is a viable PC who complements Duane. You could switch back and forth between them like Charlotte and Jonathon in Portrait of Ruin. Or DK and Diddy in DKC. Sette trapped in a barrel would make the exact same noises as Diddy in fact :3 Yeah, Duane would be the powerhouse warrior/mage with the high HP while Sette is faster and more agile, has a double jump, climbs walls, mugs enemies for items, etc.

Save points should trees that Sette can shackle Duane to and then curl up in his lap for a quick nap while her blood amulet refills. If it runs out Duane stops following her. How do you feel about timed elements in games, though? They usually irritate me.

They usually irritate me too. I like to take my time in a game and look around and appreciate all the art, find all the treasures and Easter eggs, kill every enemy. A few timed events scattered here and there can be nice to break things up though, and they're best when they're in an area you can go back and explore at your leisure later. Vagrant Story does this, of course, since it's the Perfect Game.

Tree save point is best save point.

In the Unsounded vidya game can there be a night level where Sette leads Duane around, sneaking past or luring enemies away with insults, and then dispatching Boo for mini puzzles that open new areas Duane's limited mobility can move through? Maybe?

This is a good idea. Can there be save couches like in ICO?

I want an Unsounded video game soooo baaaaaad.

No, Rahm and Raptor are very nice alliteratives, and I like the name, I was just reacting. Now for some reason I keep envisioning Sazh from FFXIII. ...Sorry, am I making it worse? I'm just kind of restless with no update... I miss my fav comic! :P

Sazh had a GREAT design, didn't he? I remember when the first shots of him came out, I was actually excited for FFXIII for a while.

Sorry I didn't update today :( Wednesday will be two pages! And they are funny. Well. My sense of humour is deranged, but I find them funny.

You say Rahm and I see Rahm Emanuel in my head and yell noooooooo really loud for several minutes. Whatever your politics, he's not really what I envision when it comes to an Unsounded (presumably) villain. Tho maybe that hacked off finger tip thing?

Rahm's been named Rahm for years and doesn't have anything to do with the politician, though I know it's hard not to immediately think of him. There just aren't that many Rahm's in our culture...

I would change his name except Rahm and Raptor have that nice alliterative thing going on. Anyway the character is a flamboyant sixty-seven year old black man in a feathered coat and earings, so there's not much visual similarity at least.

Are there other ways to sense pymary? Are there people who can taste or feel it? Or perhaps it can affect some of the less-appreciated senses, such as the sense of time or the kinesthetic sense? "My body parts don't feel like they line up. Magic's afoot."

I try to keep wrights on an even playing field, with the best wrights being the best because they're extremely intelligent, quick-witted, and focused, things most of us can achieve with practise and hard work. I like that ANYONE can be rited and learn pymary. I never liked magic systems that decreed certain mages were best just because they were blessed with innate talent, or that only "special" people could do magic. Blow. The only limits placed on people becoming wrights are artificial limits imposed by society.

But... but there ARE people with genetic advantages. Plats have their increased range and Duane has his tacit casting and, here and there, there are people who can "sense" the khert in the way you're talking about. They can anticipate the movement of the khert lines - extremely useful - or feel the creeping presences of remnants and ghosts as they pass through them unawares. Rahm, whom we meet briefly next chapter, is like this. He knows the khert like a farmer knows his field and can reach right into it bare-handed. When he was younger he studied the way vliegeng fly by skating along the khert lines, and can intuit the lines' motions similarly. Of all the wrights alive today he's come the closest to actually being able to fly, hence his nickname among the Ilganyag of Rahm the Raptor.

Does Kasslyne have lasers? I refuse to read any webcomic that doesn't have lasers in it (unless it has dinosaurs instead).

If it does, they're secret lasers o_o

So, you mentioned that Kasslyne has rubber. How advanced are they in manufacture? Do they have vulcanization yet? Is Prime Rubber a renewable Prime Material (so you can have infinite magical cloaks)?

The gum-elastic that exists is of a mundane variety from the south of Cresce, the only place on the continent with the climate to grow it. Vulcanization has been discovered but rubber is in very short supply and expensive. Most of it goes to the Crescian military for their mechanized constructs. Kasslyne's manufacturing is limited sharply by available resources. There's not a lot of easily accessible coal, not a lot of rubber, no oil at all, and nowhere known outside of the continent from which to import more.

Manufacturing does endure, but its reliance on pymary as well as continent-wide state-hoarding of resources keeps it from booming. The biggest success story is the Beadman's family. You'll see "Beadman's Betters" products all over the comic (Jivi's rat traps, the soda everyone drinks, Bett's pymaric). Now I can finally talk about the Beadmans, yay!

The Beadmans were a Sharteshanian shipbuilding firm slash criminal syndicate based in the capital. They won a contract centuries ago to serve as the Sharteshanian military's shipwrights and carpenters, which gave them the connections necessary to score military grade First Materials and mundane resources from all over the continent. Combined with the cheap labour of Sharteshane's starving multitudes, they soon turned a suburb of the capital into a booming industrial factory town where they to this day manufacture everything from cheap, decent quality pymarics to soft drinks to furniture and homegoods. They don't abide competition and have a reputation for burning down rival factories and feeding rival inventors and businessmen to the nereids. Last century they bought the family into the nobility and now they're easily the biggest, scariest, and most influential group in the country. Nary Frummagem admires them -enormously-.

Your new avatar looks like Cthulhu just molted.

Babby Cthulu. The critter in my avatar is in no way important to anything and appears in only one panel *_* I just think he's kawaii.

Does pyrmary require somatic components? (To use the D&D phrase). That is, all spellwrights we've seen have loved their dramatic hand-flinging of spells and such. But if co-ordinates are input by the wright verbally, do they have to 'throw' the spell? c-

"c- If they do have to move, how much movement is required?"

Hands (and if you have no hands, points in the spine) are important because they provide a relative anchor for coordinates. There is no absolute axis in the khert, and all coordinates are relative to the port that you input, with its line out into the khert at large. The port in the right palm is ninety percent of the time the point that the wright uses, which is why they loft their hand. If you're isolating an Aspect for use as a projectile, you need a vector and a source of motion, both of which can be input by a magely sweep of a limb. So yes, for most spells the hands are crucial and spells are - in a manner of speaking - thrown.

Achievement unlocked: Get someone famous to follow you.

Pfft. Famous.

What about phantom-NOSED? Looking at you, Miss Frummagem.

Quite a bit rarer :3

He looks cheery. :D -Offers him half my sandwich-

Aww <3

Is that a senet beast? If so, what is that one made of?

It is not a senet beast. Beyond that I cannot discuss it much yet :)

GlassShard posted a new profile photo

Looks like somebody here doesn't understand that mitochondrial DNA has absolutely nothing to do with cellular DNA! Mitochondrial got their own genetic sequence, FOOL. Doesn't necessarily got shit to do with any potential DNA origin of tacit casting.

My cat's name is Mittens.

Do tacit casters have the ability to keep the pymary they think about from occurring? Otherwise it must be a bitch to memorize spells...

Sure, any wright can turn off their pymary if they need to, there's a spell specifically for temporarily shutting off one's own outgoing connection. PROTIP for @SonofHod Best time to assassinate a wright is when they're at study.

In a purely hypothetical world, supposed there was a talented webcomic artist who brought enormous enjoyment to people all over the world, at least three times a week. If they seemed down lately, what would (hypothetically) be a good way to cheer them up?

Be a good person. Listen to good music. Make an excellent sandwich and share half of it with a friend.

Phantom-Eyed? What's that, people who can see the khert?

Yep. The khert and ghosts and remnants.

Do you like to cross dress? I sure do. -k

Can women cross dress? We can generally get away with wearing anything in the western world.

What's the ghost guy saying in your avatar? It looks like there's a speech bubble coming out of the upper left.

Oh, it's just a crop of art from an upcoming page. A bit of speech bubble tail snuck its way in there.

What do you think of cbr/cbz format? It's for comic books, if you put images in a zip file and change the extension it'll display them in order.

Better than pdfs!

Sorry if that didn't mean anything to you, who was the first tacit caster? If it's inherited by blood and not everybody has it, then who was the mutant that got it first? -k

Certainly a Tain but her identity's been lost in the fog of time. Neither tacit casters nor the phantom-eyed are new developments; they've been around in small numbers among select families for thousands of years.

If tacit casting is genetic, who is their Y chromosomal father/mitochondrial mother? Does he/she have an amazing story? -k


Favorite Yogscast project?

I like the earliest days of their Minecrafting, when they played it straight for a while and then had the saboteurs come in. That was really some of the greatest gaming video I've ever seen, it was funny and surprising and super well done. Nowadays the Minecraft stuff is getting kinda old and it bugs me when they cheat on adventure maps, but I did really like the Hunger Games-esque mega-competition they had not long ago.

After you pointed it out, I started noticing all the flaws in your art, so now I hate your art too. Congratuations, you ruined the comic for me. Just kidding. Or am I???

All right.

Can you get a spell or part of a spell stuck in your head like a song? If you can, what would this mean for tacit casters?

Means they probably won't live to be very old if they don't learn to school their thoughts early on.

Question...why does Duane even have anything in himself as fake organs to begin with? He doesn't need them, does he? I mean, he's not planning on eating soon...or digesting. They just exacerbate his rotten smell, if anything.

He has fake lungs so he can talk. Nothing else in his chest cavity but those, why'd you think there was?

Do you have a catchphrase? Not necessarily a comedic one, just a phrase that you say repeatedly?

I've stolen "see you later, shitlords" from Simon.
wiiiiiiiiiilllllmmmmaaaaa did_i_do_that eat_my_shorts pop_pop

Everybody above the age of 6 says about their drawings. I actually kinda like early Sette art, cause she's kinda goofy and rustic. But Duane has definitely benefited from gradients in lighting and shading. That wasn't a question, huh... how are you? -k

Tired. I've been with kids the past two days and now Max feels he's too good for sleep. Bleh.



"It's only silver we're hauling, right?"-Turas , "Right."-Starfish ...Why do I get this deep, bottomless, warning ache in my stomach that because I couldn't see Starfish's eyes there is more to this? (I'm captivated by my own horrid fascination.)

Well, you KNOW there is more to this after Toma's revelation at the beginning of the chapter :)

What came first for you as an artist: the writing or the illustrating? Which is easier now that you do them all the time? Which is more fun? -k

There's something really indistinguishable about them, no? They're just two different ways to create the nonexistent. So I'm not sure I could say which came first. I guess as a kid I could draw before I could write, but I could make stuff up before I could draw, so who knows? Writing is definitely more fun for me than drawing but they both stress me out 'cause I don't feel either is all that easy. But I'd rather not be able to draw anymore than not be able to write anymore. I can look at things I've written and be completely happy with them, but I have never done a bit of artwork I didn't hate a week afterwards. I frequently go back and read my old writing and enjoy it, but I cannot stand to look at my old art.

I'm not fishing for compliments when I say I hate my art. I really, really hate it and I always have. So writing for me, please.

Did we save Duane's unlife by tricking Sette into warning him about her father's First Silver daggers on the Duane&Sette formspring?


I love the story you created and the characters,is there any chance of you expanding your story after unsounded?

Thank you! Unsounded is a very long comic and won't be finished for quite a while. I think you'll find the story expands to unexpected places within its own pages, if I'm understanding the question correctly :)

This clearly isn't what Ephsephin signed up for. What was he sold on, exactly?

Pretty much what Turas describes in this first panel

What are the Black Tongue's policies when it comes to people like Quigley who more or less shanghaied a couple of their secrets under false pretenses?

He didn't take anything important 'cause he never went through their rites, so they're not hunting him or anything. If he ever showed his face in Lurick again though, he wouldn't get the warmest of welcomes.

So is there any particular reason why Jivi stuck up for Matty there? I was under the impression that Jivi was predisposed to not like and/or trust Matty, given the circumstances.

Wouldn't you stick up for a little kid if his dad was about to thrash him? Even if it wasn't your favourite little kid in the world?

Is Ephie starting to lose it? Saw him cradling his head in his hands and mumbling about how scared he was of his mum seeing him hanged. Glass, are you trying to turn him pitiable?

Game over, man! Game over! He's just freaking out.

Is there a reason Matty called Vienne "my mother" instead of, ya know, mom or something like that? It seems to be ackward phrasing, but I could just be looking to far into it.

The Aldish have a stiff way of speaking that gets me in trouble all the time, but Matty would never say "mom," Aldish kids say "mama." I didn't like the way mama sounded in that sentence though so I went with mother.

Glass, why did I just wake up sweating with murk's jovial visage burned into my eyes?

Maybe you wandered into his shadowy domain as you slept.

...don't go back to sleep.

I have a friend of mine that mumbles a lot when they drink too much. Are wrights forbidden from taking alcohol or certain substances because they could accidentally mumble in old tanish and wreck something?

Haha, nah :D Wrights are supposed to be licensed though, so presumably someone that irresponsible would never get their pymary license.

RRAAHH! You can't just slap your child and then yell at them to stop crying. Quigley is a terrible father. There's a lot I can take, but child abuse ain't one of them. Duane was right: "If you take aim at a child again, I will kill you." Matty...*sniffle*

Well, I don't think a face slap qualifies as child abuse, but Quigley certainly isn't father of the year.

Quigley lied to Vienne? Can I ask how, or did I miss something?

You've missed nothing, but it's something you'll have to wait for the Quigleys to discuss more later.

Scene change on Wednesday? As in back to Sette and Duane?

You'll have to tune in to find out! Hohoho. But if you've been reading along this far you must have observed I don't like to let things be too dramatic for too long before throwing in a pedophilia joke, so.

So if they make off with a fistful of the silver, could they make Matty some better eyes? Or is it all wrecked by getting stuffed with pain?

The silver inside the unconscious people has been... transmuted, let's say. It's not really viable for anything else anymore. However there is one small cask left of it that they never got the chance to stuff into Jivi due to Quigley's protestations, and that would work great for making a new pymaric. We'll see what happens o_o

Could someone be an asshole and hook someone's simulacrum eyes up to their taste receptors and their simulacrum tongue up to their sound receptors and so on and so forth so that they have horribly jumbled up synesthesia?

I think they'd have to be something of a genius to manage it but sure! The theory's sound.

How does the quality/quantity of first material limit the power of simulacrum? Do they have a "capacity" to absorb enchantments? Like, you can fit "fuzzy light/shape/motion perception" into a little first copper, but the same in 1st-silver can fit "HD"?

I'm going to assume you have a pretty good idea how pymary works. Okay? Okay. I apologise if this sounds really technical but that's how pymary is.

The quality of the First Material is directly tied to how big of an interior khert field it will produce as a pymaric. The khert field of a pymaric is isolated from the khert at large, disallowing the khert's custodial nature to degrade whatever pymary has been installed within it. This is why and how First Material pymarics are the only way to build permanent, wright-independent spells.

Spells are in essence structured like computer programs. The bigger the khert field of a pymaric, the larger the spell that can be installed within it. Just like a program, the longer a spell, the more complex it is. The more information it holds. The more it can DO.

So a high quality First Material can hold long, complex, powerful (with power correlating to complexity, not some mystical force) spells. We'll use an arm simulacrum as an example.

A spell that powers a simulated arm requires a vast amount of detail. All details of a human arm must be entered into the spell - the shape of it, the angles at which it can move, the limits of its strength, the way in which its nerves connect to the human body at large. A LOT of information. A high quality First Material like silver can hold all of this. By its nature it produces a large khert field when fashioned into a pymaric, so it can replicate via pymary a pretty good facsimile of an arm.

A lesser material holds less complexity. Corners will have to be cut because the spell cannot be as long. Maybe the arm it produces can't swivel properly at the elbow, or its fingers pinch too hard or not hard enough, or its connection with the owner's nervous system is shoddy and requires an excess of conscious effort to move. It will be buggy and problematic, or just very basic.

Chitz is a good example of a bargain basement ocular simulacrum. There is no room in even all the copper beads inside of him for anything like colour perception or focus. He uses the most basic pymaric method of generating something close to sight, and then feeds that to Matty via the most basic of connections.

Simulacrums (god I imagined I mangled the word): Do they need to be 100% first materials? When the discussion about Petr's potential new arm was mentioned, an arm made out of silver came up. I dunno if I'd want that much weight attached to my joints.

No, you spelled it right! And no, simulacrums needn't be wholly First Materials and shouldn't be, in fact. First Materials are very valuable so they only use as much as they need to hold the pertinent enchantments and/or Aspects. A good silver arm is going to be an inner bulb of silver in the forearm or bicep with silver wires running out to the fingers and as far up the arm to the hinges as is required. That'll all be encased in good strong hardwood, maybe plated in metal, wrapped in leather, maybe rubber fingertips for traction... lots of variety.

Chitz can see through glamours? Oh man, tell me Matty and Bastion never meet! Poor kid is right at eye-level, not cool!

Could be convenient - he'd know right off that Bastion's a Black Tongue :3

I had a dream that Stockyard got away, that Duane went mental as Sette was being attacked by Stockyard's henchmen and Starfish, Quigley switched sides but died heroically, and that the whole thing was duked out with the Peace Guard. My brain...why...?

Not a bad story, brain, I like! Probably better than what's going to really happen :3

Two questions about eyes. Better than flesh eyes wouldn't do humans any good because our visual processing centers wouldn't be able to handle the extra information properly. Two what exactly about Matty's eyes is damaged?

Duane doesn't think out of his brain, that rotted to soup years ago, so the limitations of the physical human brain don't mean much to him. But it doesn't matter in his case anyway 'cause the glass eyes he has aren't all that great. The best of the best ocular simulacrums have additions like nightvision, telescoping and microscoping powers, infrared, and khert vision as Quigley's specs have. So calm down there, Bill Nye.

Matty suffered a sort of permanent flash blindness from a spell being misdirected right in front of his face. Fried his retinas both physically and pymarically, meaning the khert no long recognises them as retinas and disallows their proper functioning.

AveLucrum asked about us being able to guess how Duane became Duane... do you think your answer still applies if I turn on my massive random thought generator and point it in that direction?

Oh, sweet Jesus, I am so afraid of your massive random thought generator.

How did Duane get his hands on his own glass eyes?

That's something you'll have to wait to find out in the comic.

I can't rightly recall all the details...what is Matty's vision with Chitz like anyway? I do recall that he doesn't see texture well? Will we ever see what it looks like from his perspective?

Somethin' like this but more sparkly than I am of a mind to render at the moment.

You know, for a while there I almost forgot about chapter 4, page 35. :)


How close does Chitz have to be to Matty's eyes to lend him any benefit? Or does he have to physically hold Chitz ?

He doesn't have to be near him at all, Chitz is permanently sealed to Matty and functions regardless of distance. Matty can't turn him off at all in fact so he sticks him under his hat at bedtime.

So you're creative, talented, well read, and your interests mark you as a person of generally good tastes. Tell me, would you like a stalker? Because I don't mind volunteering if you'd like one.

I've had stalkers in the past, it seldom ends well. Let's just be bros!

We ever gonna see Nary's face? Figure Duane's back-story and explaining it s'gonna be a bigger leap than showing Da's face. Or will it always be a mysterious shadowy figure? :)

You're gonna get a fairly good view of it this chapter. There's a monologue coming up and the part of me that knows it's too long and too wordy is doing battle with the part of me that says fuck da police! I dunno who's gonna win yet.

Oh, Ash, please tell me you didn't fall victim to the video game Dante's Inferno. :( It totally warps the original story.

Silly UmbraeCalamitas, I was referring to Dante Sparda from Devil May Cry. I read the original Divine Comedy in high school, no fears.

This is kind of a weird question, but I don't know a lot about the parts of language, (i.e. articles) and it seems to me that's probably something to know if I'd like to be a writer. Do you have any interesting/useful recs to look into on this topic?

Well, they were supposed to teach you grammar in grade school... That's where I learned it. But if you write just fine without knowing that stuff I think you will manage. I do think one needs at least a rudimentary knowledge of grammar and the building blocks of language if they're going to make up their own languages though. It seems like it would be very difficult otherwise.

Wait a minute...Can Chitz "see" through clothes?

Chitz can see through glamours.

What is the Tainish for "Death is the god's crime"?

"Llokh ssomun fhundaet lloglinan."
Lit: Death is sin (of)Twins. Tainish doesn't use articles.

How many guns is too many guns for one man to carry into the gaping maw of hell itself?

Dante gets by with just two. So anything more than two is too many.

Could any of us REALLY guess how Duane became a galit? I mean, are all the fact staring at us in the face and all we need do is piece it together, or is there some component that's been left out, rendering us hopeless in unfolding what occurred?

Yeah, you don't know enough yet to guess it :) You'll get some giant pieces to help you out in chapter seven but even Duane doesn't know why he is what he is, and he's smarter than any of us.

Ahhhh! Speaking of inspiring music, have you looked at Road to Perdition, film score by Thomas Newman? I imagine myself easily paint-stroking beautiful backgrounds and characters. If I could paint. Alas, I write instead, but it's worth it. Promise. Oh and

"the Cider House Rules film score by Rachel Portman reminds me of Duane's childhood life. Or just Duane in general. That soft, goofy gentleness hidden behind a hard mask of diligent work and rough experience of being a soldier."

I'll have to check these out, thank you! What're some movie soundtracks I like... "The Fountain" by Clint Mansell is fantastic and makes me think of wandering through the khert. I also like everything Philip Glass has ever scored but particularly The Hours and The Illusionist. Listen to those!

Favorite Tool song?

Either Aenima or Stinkfist, but probably Aenima. I'm prayin' for rain DX

I've missed all of you! I was in Boston for a wedding (woot). Glass, could you translate the three books of Unsounded into days? (Excluding the couple of weeks Sette and Duane were exploring 'nature's wonders') From start to finish, how many days is it?

Hope you had fun in Boston! My brother goes there to get away from NYC sometimes and says it's a really pretty city.

Man, translate the story into days... I can do a rough estimate. The first book from right now until the end is about a month and a half of time. The second book is three months or so. The last book is a year after the second and is pretty packed full of happenings but I guess I'll say three months again.

Unlike earlier anon I leaped at "sentient zombie"! Undeath and freaky bodies (with conscious pilots) are my favourite fictional things. I don't think Duane's state has been incidental & I love watching this poor dorky choirboy endure his own nastiness.

Aww, I feel the same way. The idea of being present for one's own death and the ravages of nature on one's own dead body... it's horrifying but fascinating. Getting to deal with a character who has died but who STILL doesn't know for sure what the afterlife is like (or if there is one), I mean, that's just terrifically interesting! A vampire dies but is then immortal so he doesn't care about it anymore. A regular zombie dies but then is brainless so doesn't care. A ghost dies but then comes back noncorporeal so then has a reasonable certainty of the soul's endurance. But dying and waking up in your own rotting corpse? What the hell is that!

I almost didn't start reading Unsounded because I saw the word zombie. I'm really sick of zombie stories. Anyway I'm glad that the zombie bit is so incidental, almost meaningless.

Duane doesn't find the zombie bit incidental D: But I know what you mean. Unsounded's a fantasy comic that happens to have an undead character in it; not a zombie comic.

Does Chitz "see" specifically through its button-eyes, or are those basically just cute decoration?

Mostly decoration, you could rip them off and it'd still work. They do mark Chitz's face though which is the direction out of the pymaric that it projects its enchantment, so they're kinda useful.

Would there happen to be any way to manipulate time using pymary? Perhaps take the 3pm aspect and apply it to 5am? Or maybe take the time aspect from somewhere else and apply it to yourself, causing you to jump into the future? I'm just throwing out ideas

Alas, Time is Law and not an Aspect. You're stuck in 1955, McFly.

So wait - Both Toma and Quigley are famous enough to have plays written about their real life exploits. They're reality theatre stars! You're really writing disguised fantasy fanfic of Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian having knife fights, don't lie!

I think Quigley would be Gordon Ramsay actually, just picking up people's shitty pymary and spitting it into napkins and then hurling the napkins back at them. "You call this a fireball? It's COLD. And this magic missile, mate? Season your fucking magic missiles! Fuck this, I'm going home."

When facing the Wandering Root, was there a pymary-related reason why Duane couldn't just grab Sette with repurposed wind and beat feet at superspeed, like he did in the crypt? Or did Duane just kneejerk and not think of that?

I just don't think the conditions were similar enough. Duane was able to flee the crypt because he was enraged enough to cut a guy's arm off, leaving the only one who could have pursued via pymary - Elka - more concerned with her comrade than with chasing him. If Petr hadn't been grounded, the explosion would have slowed Toma down but Elka would have leapt up right after Duane and there'd have been a fight up above. That action of blowing his way out of the crypt and up into daylight worked because of the environment and because of the particular circumstances of the scene.

Could Duane have handled the wandering root better? Absolutely, but he was a bit too busy being doofy Duane, admiring the creature and prattling on to Sette about it, giving her the opportunity to balls things up in her Sette-ish way. Then he got scared for her and attacked with fire that was a bit overkill - but whether it's dealing with Crescian guards or little old ladies at waystations, Duane had shown he has a weakness for overkill.

What does "dan paesabi" translate to? I reckon it has something to do with Chitz falling from Matty's shoulder, and thus rendering him unable to see anything but the floor.

Naw, it's just "Forgive me." I wouldn't put anything important or interesting in Tainish since it's incomprehensible *_* I just wanted to slip it in for flavour.

Any tips on what to do when a friend likes something horribly racist that their grandparent posted on Facebook and it shows up on your timeline?

Well, my brother posts similar things on Facebook so I unsubscribed from his feed. I like to take the drama-free route when possible, so that's my suggestion. Facebook is a pit of voles, isn't it? I don't frequent it if it can be avoided, it's like strolling through a red state Walmart at 3am on a Saturday when the monster trucks are in town.
When working on a page, what do you do first, backgrounds or characters?

I do 'em at the same time. You really need to. The gods of composition care not whether a panel element is a character or a packing crate, they both take up space and make up the drawing. If you wanna do decent comics you better learn to love dem backgrounds.

What do you do if you get an inspiration block?

I've had one the past few days. Mostly I sit around and be depressed and have suicidal thoughts and eat Hot Pockets.

Theoretically speaking; Would a three way rap battle between Quigs, Cutter, & Duane cause all the bitches panties to drop simultaneously across Kasslyne? (Could it even drop a two toes' panties, a senet beast's panties, and murkoph's panties?)


Post a picture that inspires you. Creatively, emotionally, whatever.

My soul is saturated with Vagrant Story forever.

Post your facebook profile picture.


Durn it, why do ye got a page on the wiki fer Gefendur gods but not for Ssaelit sanctity? Are ye some sorta racist? Or is it pertinent to possible surprise unfoldings in the immediate future? -k

I just haven't gotten around to it. No conspiracy intended, I swear! :)

If deep waters are khert devoid and considered like an inescapable hell with no chance of rebirth, does that make Riv the underworld deity in addition to being a sky father? -k

Ya know, you'd think he would be but the Gefendur don't really have an underworld/hell god. Tirna fills in when it comes to trickery and temptation but even she's more about duality, and her good side wins out just as much as her evil side. I guess the Gefendur just believe humanity is so sucky they do all the work of personifying evil themselves.

How much would the silver be worth if Quigs made off with it? He'd probably get less than its full value since it's all freakish and he's in a rush, but still...

Quigley has no desire to tromp around the continent trying to find someone evil and rich enough to buy a lot of First Silver off him that's enchanted in a way he doesn't understand and is wearing rinds of hollowed-out kidnapped people. Not to mention he's exhausted and mildly wounded after fighting Duane, and currently camping in the middle of a densely populated city he knows precious little about surrounded by guards on high alert with his construct stuck in a river. Not to mention double-crossing his client and STEALING from him will completely obliterate his reputation. As idiotic as he was to get himself in this situation he would be a blithering madman, shortsighted and insane, to try and Rambo his way out of it with all that gory silver.

Teacher Glass, TEACHER GLASS! :O I don't know what spellburns are... did I miss a page? Am I going to have to wear the dunce cap again? Is it prudent of me to use circuitous dialogue to accommodate the wiggle room you may need to avoid spoilers?

Naw, it's not a spoiler, just pymary-wank. The more complex a spell is the longer it takes to cast. A wright can't realistically be expected to rattle off five pages of commands every time he casts a complex spell in battle, that would be ridiculous, so spells can be "burned" into the khert in their complete form. When they are, he can access the spell like a program function, plugin the variables, and cast it in seconds. These are spellburns. Pymaric source code, basically.

Sooo, is old Tainish ever used outside pyramy? Do they use it for sciency stuff kinda like we do Latin, to make things sound much more impressive than they really are?

Yep! Scholarly papers and periodicals dedicated to pymary are always written in Old Tainish. It's not used conversationally anymore though, it's too full of pifalls since spellburns began to see wide usage.

I'm starting to wonder what braintrust decided to trust Starfish with 500 kilos of first silver; He's not very good at this. If I was Quigley I'd kill the whole lot and split, leaving the silver. Time to beat feet dude, you know this isn't getting better.

Quigley's not going to leave without his money, and the money doesn't show up until the buyer does. As for Starfish's wiles... enh, Starfish was smart enough to kiss Quigley's ass and promise him the moon to get him back into his employment. Now he's waited until Quigley's between a rock and a hard place to call him a little bitch, knowing Quigley well enough to know he won't try anything until he gets his money - and also that his concern for those kids was mostly a bullshit bargaining tactic. Starfish's intelligence is often undermined by his temper and his sadism, but he's smarter than the average fatass.

So, apparently there are breathboxes involved in the security searches at the border crossing. What do breathboxes do, exactly?

We use fingerprints as unique markers of a person's identity. Kasslynians use breath. By examining the pattern of a person's exhalations interposed over a field of visible khert, and comparing it with a national registry of such patterns, the authorities can identify him. They can also tell extremely useful things like if he's infected by plague and, if he's not a registered local, if he's from Alderode.

Does Uaid have his First Material pymary blocking going on right now? That could be troublesome if so.

Not the expanded blocking, no T_T This is very relevant soon.

Hypothetically speaking, if you SOMEHOW shaved murk's eyebrows, would he case you to the end of the earth?

Not necessarily, he might find it interesting to have to draw in all his own expressions. If you took the time to explain the gift you'd given him, and left him with a mirror and a Sharpie, you might make it through unscathed.

Why does Starfish call Matty an imbecile? He seems like a pretty sharp kid.

Because Starfish is a twat.

quigleys a dead man isn't he? we have his sympathetic background already, just like in my animes!

You think? Might could be.

That actually occurred to me about five minutes after I asked it, haha.

Because you're smart :)

I think that Gravity Falls may be my new favorite show. Have you managed to catch it yet?

Not really my kind of show, I'm afraid. Glad you like it though!

I dreamed that Sette dragged Duane from the tunnels and into a Crescian brothel. Duane woke up and asked where they were, and Sette replied, "Not in Cresce!" She had also convinced the girls to act like they were in Ulestry. What do you think it meannnns?

I think the brothel would have to change its name to Smoking Hole afterwards which, really, wouldn't be a bad name for a brothel.

Are you an artist?

I got four hours of sleep last night. I feel disarrayed and deadly.

If First Materials disrupt pymary, how did Duane kill the Wandering Root?

I know you can answer this if you think about it, you are smart. What did Duane use against the Wandering Root? It wasn't a direct attack which would never have connected, instead he started a regular ol' fire. First Materials are not immune to natural destruction, so fire will still burn First Timber. Set the area around the target on fire, spread the fire with redirected wind. Earlier in the chapter he even remarked how he thought all the wandering roots had been burnt.

What is your favorite album to listen to all the way through, unshuffled?

Either Dark Side of the Moon or Tool's Aenima.

Have you ever written anything like poetry? If so, have you ever performed any of it?

I wrote a lot of poetry as a younger person, but my voice is too cutesy for performing anything but bad anime fandubs.

A lot of people don't expect me to be into metal music. What's something about you most people don't expect?

I'm a nihilist with solipsistic leanings.

Any suggested reads? I have a stack of Neil Gaiman in front of me, I'm trying to decide what to go for afterwards.

I find Neil Gaiman slightly overrated. I love to say that and watch people's heads explode. Try reading Penn Jiellte's Oh, God book, it was fascinating in a naked five-hundred pound man jumping up and down kind of way.

Do you believe in spending lots of money for sake of sound quality? Etc, high-end earbuds or speakers.

Sure, man. If you got the money for it there are worse things to buy.

What was the most amount of money you ever spent on a single item of clothing?

I bought a seventy-five dollar sweater at Macy's once when I was briefly rich. It was amazing.

Are there any neat naming kinks in Alderode similar to Cresce's four holy letters?

Hmm, not really. Naming conventions are one thing in Alderode that are pretty similar to how we do it.

You said Silvers are really psycho about their women. Is it just outside the class stuff that triggers things, or would a Silver woman sleeping with the wrong Silver man sett them off just as badly?

Silvers have a reputation for being extremely caste-conscious and loathe even to have friendships outside of their circle. This goes for men and for women.

Does Matty's dad have any plans to get him something to see better with, or is Chitz the best they could ever manage?

Why d'you think Quigley's so fixated on money?

Can I steal the name Annodyne from you?

It works better if you spell it Anadyne, but sure :3

Does Sette's uh, biological uniqueness have any connection to the overarching story? I mean the tail/sense of smell, not her possible blood relation/non-relation to Nary.

Might could be.

What would you say has kept Matty being Matty and not more cynical or jaded considering the kinds of things he's witnessed in traveling with his father? Something like rose colored glasses? (Heh, or should that be rose colored Chitz?)

I could give story reasons, like his having spent his first six years with his mom who was awesome and wise and laid a good foundation, and how his dad does generally try to be decent to him, and how Matty really is often in his own world since he's only been blind two years and no one around him except sometimes his dad makes things accessible-- but mostly it's because Matty is a rare, good soul who is bright and defiant towards the shittiness of the world. I know he annoys some people because he is so well-intentioned and sweet-tempered but... fuck... them?


What would Duane do if Sette tries to get more gossamer?

Tail wedgie.

If you, say, harvested someone else's vocal chords, and hooked them up to a mechanical device of some sort, could you operate those vocal chords to use pymary, thus perhaps sidestepping some of the personal dangers of some of the really weird stuff?

No. The vocal chords have no rited connection to the khert :)

So if Duane thinks that Crescians are better off dead, would that mean that if he had the chance to save Jivi he'd kill him instead? Or at least not save him?

I think Duane's humanity would trump his Aldishness and he'd save him. He'd just feel weird about it afterwards.

"Those gossamer traps are dangerous, particularly in Sette's hands." But are they more dangerous than a malfunctioning one she has to set off herself and blow up half the khurt in the process?

'Course not, but Boo's out of gossamer after the Mulimar stunt, so that's not gonna happen again.

OFFICIAL UNSOUNDED SANDWICH CAPACITY RANKINGS: 1. Starfish 2. Sette 3. Toma 4. Elka 5. Jivi 6. Quigley 7. Matty 9001. Duane


If it's okay to be a secret Ssaelit, how'd they get themselves so thoroughly wiped out? Are they dumb otherwise about faking things?

I think I mispoke earlier when I said the Ssaelit consider Alderode their "last bastion." It's more like their ONLY bastion. The Ssaelit originated in the north, in Alderode, and they are still going strong in that country. There was never a large population of them outside of it so saying they were "wiped out" doesn't strike me ear just right.

One day will you translate all the translated Tainish back into Tainish and let us have Tainish in our morning coffee? I mean, comic?

Is this a Tainish/Danish gag? Because I would like a breakfast pastry please.

Can Duane fix Boo so it can weave its traps properly again?

If he researched it and got the proper tools but he's not likely to do it. Those gossamer traps are dangerous, particularly in Sette's hands. But who knows what the future holds? (I do)

How old does something have to be before it's "old school"?

I think... at least... a decade.

Suppose and Aldish and a Sharteshanian had a kid, and a Crescian and an Ulestrian had a kid, and those kids got married. What would the ceremony be like? Would it have to take place in Madishane? Would the in-law be ridiculous? Should I write this fanfic?

What if Uaid marries Boo? What if it's a full moon? Will they take the surname Frummagem or Quigley? Will Boo be a career-spider or a stay-at-home mom?

How do you feel about mushrooms?

The most delicious of fungi.

Smiley-Face Murkoph Penis is canon and the best character, along with Friendly Coffee and the hats.


What are the chances of a Crescian and an Aldishman (or woman) marrying and having a child? Or, you know, why not throw a Sharteshanian or Ulestrian into the mix? What would happen to it anyways (the kid)?

I suppose lots of things could happen. Kind of a broad question :)

Sounds like Aldish patriotism is at odds with "non-dogmatic" Ssaelit teachings. And you said most Aldish aren't Ssaelit. Does Ssaelit have the same minority status in Alderode as in all Kasslyne? Wiki says "the Ssaelit faith in Alderode", like...

"'s an Aldish institution, but it's hard to imagine zealots embracing Buddhism. Is Duane's duality/complexity in this regard unique, or are there many other Aldish like him? ps sorry for length ilu"

Longer is better ilu2. I could talk about Aldish theo-politics all day.

The Ssaelit make up a little less than half of Alderode's population, it's a fairly even split. They're a legitimate, powerful voice in Alderode with a lot of money (largely stolen from slaughtered Mmatont cults) and influence and military strength. You consider them incorrectly if you consider them Buddhist. They believe fiercely in humanism, nationalism, capitalism, and the philosophy of might makes right. They are not meek, peace-loving, wealth-rejecting Buddhists. Alderode is their last bastion (outside of its bourn they are hunted and killed) and they protect their place in it - and the country itself - fiercely. They want their people and their country to be strong and they believe themselves better than foreigners. What they don't believe in - to contrast with the Gefendur who do - is ceremony, subservience to deity, blood sacrifice, and human inferiority. The Ssaelit believe that humans RAWK. Daring to shame humanity by being a selfish, honourless dick is the worst thing you can do.

But where does that "honour" come from? What makes a man honourable? Why, it's the precepts of great Alderode! Aldish dogma fills in for the lack of Ssaelit dogma. I differentiate because this isn't how the prophet framed the faith long ago and it's something that happened after the establishment of the Great Compromise; that is, the civil war that ousted monarchy from Alderode and began bi-theocratic Vits Council rule.

The flexible nature of Ssaelism combined with their strong sense of cultural identity made them able to not just compromise with the fraternal Gefendur moiety of the country after the civil war, but hold their ground against them. This constant give and take serves to make Alderode surprisingly stable, and that stability and the camaraderie between religions is in itself a source of extreme national pride. The two faiths believe they make each other stronger, and they both believe fiercely in the perfection and success of their country. They're siblings who have their differences, but they share the same parent and want to protect their home.

But don't think the Ssaelit don't fight amongst themselves over this. They do not ALL want to be the patient adults ever relenting to childish Gefendur demands. And don't think Gefendur politicians aren't always sniffing for blood, eager for the Ssaelit to show weakness so they can swoop in and chisel away at Ssaelit-sponsored legislature they do not care for.

We'll get a good first taste of this next chapter. A lot of Unsounded's story hinges on a backdrop of Aldish politics.

Hm, Would Duane also blame Cresce at large for putting her in harm's way, or does he figure it's her decision?

He would ultimately blame the monarchy. Most Aldishmen think of Crescians as brainwashed but otherwise decent people. It's the monarchy and its queens that are evil and that through their influence ruin the country and its citizens. The kindest thing you can do for a Crescian is run them through so they can escape this birth and come back, gods willing, as an enlightened Aldishman. But even that's bittersweet because everyone is someone's mother or father or son or daughter, and fie on this horrible country that all but demands so much cleansing bloodshed!

Good propaganda is flexible and can be twisted to appeal to different personalities. Duane's ultimately a kindhearted man, and if you can get a kindhearted man to believe that murdering people is in those people's best interests, you've done your job well.

But Duane is a little different from most Aldishman in that he's Ssaelit, and the Ssaelit believe in an objective, humanist Goodness. So even if you're Gefendur, even if you're Crescian, even if you're a woman, if you live or die selflessly you are doing Ssael's bidding so you are blessed in His eyes. Ssael isn't a jealous god. Ssael loathes martyrs and dogma. Ssael insists on action. So Duane can go around hiding the fact that he's Ssaelit and that's totally kosher by his faith's standards. But he can't go around not helping people.

Anyway, the point is he could look at the lady guard and recognise that she was murdered while trying to defend her city, and feel respect for her endeavour and sadness at her failure EVEN WHILE recognising it's for the best that she's dead and fuck fuck fuck Cresce.

Would Duane feel sorry for dead Crescian guard lady or would he think "See that's what happens when you put women in harm's way, idiot Crescians"

No, he'd feel terrible for her. Duane is complex, anon.

Have any StarfishXMurkoph yaoi? Or is the world just not ready for that level of sexiness?

Murkoph would flay Starfish alive and then stuff his own dick down his throat. Not really a compatible pairing, even for a hate-fuck. Also: EWWWWWW stop.

What happens when a couple in Cresce has triplets?

The parents have to eat the third baby.

(not really)

Several questions about Uaid: Is he crying in first panel because of what Starfish did? Are those giant cranks on his shoulders meant to be turned? Are those things next to his head giant speakers, is Uaid a mobile party machine?

Yes. Yes but via pymary-driven controls on the dashboard, not by hand. Net launchers but now I wish they were speakers XD

''He actually used to have a whore he went to repeatedly and never killed her 'cause she was such a sweetheart.'' Was thiswhen he was alive?

Naw. It was back in RP.

Can you still cast pymary if you have a lisp?

Possibly not! Depends how bad it is. I know it's kind of insane when so many magic systems are otherwise so lax about stuff like this, but the khert really is picky about you being understandable.

I'm curious about the vocal aspect of pymary. If a wright (not a tacit-caster, of course) was wearing a scarf that made him difficult to understand, would he still be able to cast? Is there a difference between a whisper and a shout?

Coherence and volume are really important. The khert isn't a mind-reader and casting spells really is like speaking commands at some kind of omnipresent operating system with voice recognition. So you can't whisper. The khert will only respond to voiced speech, and whispers are by definition unvoiced. Vibrate those vocal chords!

Is the background of the sinking guard from the latest page just around the edges, or part of a larger drawing? Either way, it's gorgeous. I don't usually pay much attention to the 'how' of drawing, but it looks different from your normal art. So how? ;)

It's just the panels, there's no more to it than that. And I would imagine it looks different from the comic art because it's painted, loose, and lineless. We spend a lot of time in this warehouse, I wanted to mark our arrival there in style. Glad you like :)

So does Murkoph Murkoph Murkoph Murkoph Murkoph Murkoph Murkoph Murkoph Murkoph Murkoph Murkoph Murkoph Murkoph Murkoph Murkoph Murkoph Murkoph Murkoph Murkoph Murkoph Murkoph Murkoph Murkoph Murkoph Murkoph Murkoph Murkoph Murkoph Murkoph Murkoph?

Yes. To demonstrate, I have found you a comic I had forgotten all about. nsfw

Will you think about printing when the first volume is done? How long will that take? I hope it is long enough that I can become filthy rich somehow and finance the printing of Unsounded as a huge hardcover coffee table book with the website art included.

I've been thinking more about print lately. I want to make some money so I can buy a Russian mail-order husband and a boat. I got a decent quote from a local printer (local is good so I can just go pick the books up myself afterwards) but I need to actually go to the shop and look at this crap and see what the quality's like. It's on my mind though.

So does lil Murkoph still work?


I have decided to use Murk as my phone background. That way he can ride around in my boobies all day and night, which, I think, is something he would enjoy if not given the option of eating said boobies.

Murk enjoys boobs for boobs' sake. He doesn't always have to eat them :3 He actually used to have a whore he went to repeatedly and never killed her 'cause she was such a sweetheart. You never know...

noooo don't talk about Murkoph, Ashley. Stop it.

Could Duane kill the Grimace?

The... the McDonald's Grimace? D:

2) What did his voice sound like in life! Very nasally, am I right??

Not at all. Rich, throaty baritone.

1) What's Duane's voice sound like - raspy/faint from dodgy lungs, tinny/artificial from pymaric amplification? Or, nothing particularly unusual? Is it anything like his voice in life?

It's very raspy and gravelly, to the point where he'd tell new, concerned clients that he had a terrible lung ailment but please don't be concerned he'll have his work finished for you on schedule. Except for his accent his voice sounds nothing like it did in life :(

Have you ever played around with a Wacom tablet or other electronic drawing device? I mostly do photo editing and don't do art professionally, but my lizard brain cannot wrap itself around not being able to see my art under my "brush". It just feels off.

Well, I use a drawing tablet nearly every waking hour of every day, so yeah, I've played around with them :) If you buckled down and practised with the tablet for a while you'd get used to it in short order, it's like anything else.

When a baby is intersex, should they, at birth, have their gender and sex assigned by their parents and go through sex reassignment surgery? Or should they have the right to make these choices later in life?

*shrug* Kids legally belong to their parents. The parents get to do whatever they think is best for the kid. It's their call.

If you wake up tomorrow as the opposite sex, would you identify still yourself (gender-wise) by your previous sex or by your newly acquired one?

Forever a geek.
gender identity

Happy Fourth of July! Are you doing anything special? What kind of fireworks do they have in Kasslyne?

I don't really do anything for holidays anymore, I'm kind of a loner these days :) I just stayed in and watched movies and did art. I'm sure Kasslynians have some pymaric firework equivalent, they are festive sorts.

Is it morally acceptable to kill someone who is causing you harm, but cannot be dealt with through the legal system?

I don't believe it's morally acceptable to kill anyone unless they're coming at you with the immediate intent of killing you. Years ago my brother's best friend did a drive-by on a guy who had casually threatened his girlfriend. Now he's in jail and his daughter has no dad.

July the 8th is Fancy Day, a day in which you go about your daily business in your Sunday best. Whether it's a waistcoat or a pantsuit, you're meant to be impeccably dressed SO(!) What shall you be wearing?

The only clothing I own are jeans and teeshirts, so I reckon I'll be wearing jeans and a teeshirt. All your clothing should be identical, it prevents vanity and saves you time deciding what to wear every day. Einstein came up with this. Pretty smart!

I'm surprised Starfish's SANDWICH CAPACITY wasn't already maxed out. He seems like a minmaxer.......

I do not know what that means :O

How much XP did Starfish get from that encounter?

Enough to level up. He added a point to AGL, PYMARY RESISTANCE, and SANDWICH CAPACITY.

Oo I'm just puzzled as to why Starfish didn't bother to loot the body.

Yeah? Not really the time for it, I'd have to say. He does take her lantern on the next page.

Hi, Glass. Just sayin' hi.


Is Starfish not worried about that dead body floating down a ways, or does he think they'll be long gone by then?

She was wearing chainmaille and armour. She's going straight to the bottom.

Is Starfish a horrible person because he didn't cut her throat before she could scream? Because that's a rookie mistake.

I think he just wanted to wait until she'd passed where he was hiding so he was certain to come up behind her. If he'd let her get her sword between them she'd have opened his belly in short order.

Do armies always have their wrights follow the rules of engagement? Say that one army had a startling deficit of wrights compared to the others; would that army deliberately blow a hole in the khert just to nullify the effect of the other wrights?

They might if they felt they could get away with it. Let's keep it real, either side is going to do anything they think they can get away with and strategy is a fluid thing. If the situation allows for it, either side will break treaty or the RoE if it lets them gain ground. What keeps them in check is the khert. Disabling the khert doesn't just disable pymary - it puts a crimp in REALITY. Everything depends on the khert because the khert knows what everything is and how it functions together. Sette actually did very light damage to the khert and thankfully didn't kill anyone, but if she'd done more than perforate it and set it on fire, people would have started dropping dead. Or dissolving into atoms. Or melting into goo or falling through the earth or exploding or any number of things. When reality forgets how to function, everyone is at risk.

A link to old artwork and a link to old RP in one day, AND it's an Unsounded update day. It feels like Christmas in July. Are there any other treasure troves like these waiting elsewhere on the web? Will they be shared one day if we're very, very good?

Ha, well, I don't mind sharing old RP in manageable doses but old artwork makes me diiiiie. There's a whole forum of roleplay locked up behind a registration wall somewhere on my website and I'll pull stuff from it if you or anyone ask for something specific. Old artwork though? NOPE NOPE NOPE

"Whenever they come up in 4chan threads they are judged pretty appropriately," You spend time on 4chan? For shame, I thought better of you Glass. [/sarcasm]

Well, I spend time on /co/ and /d/ which are pretty respectable boards, and I occasionally pop over to yaoi, cute males, and anime because desu desu. 4chan is like America; depending on what part you're in it's either the most enlightened place on the planet or it's a backwards third world latrine.

Well, I'm thinking of Harry Potter and Enchanted, and then Sweeney Todd where he played the beadle, pretty much as Standard Timothy Spall character +10000 sleaze and evil. :C I don't like Starfish! He is horrible. You succeeded very well with that.

Oh, yeah! I forgot he was in Sweeney Todd. Geez, you're right, he's only allowed to play one character. You know who informed some of Starfish's design? Danny Devito's Penguin in Batman Returns. A young Danny Devito would play a good Starfish too :3 Look at this adorable little man ham.

I randomly started to think about Timothy Spall and how unfortunately the guy's been typecast, and now I'm convinced that he would have to play Starfish in Unsounded: the movie.

Ohhh, yeah. He really is typecast, he played the same character in Harry Potter and in Enchanted. I'm not sure I've seen him in anything else. If he can do a turn for the sadistic and the truly threatening, he could be Starfish definitely. Starfish is a right cocksucker this chapter, pardon my French.

Quick! Name three overrated webcomics, three underrated webcomics, and three webcomics that are rated at about the level they deserve!

I won't do three overrated because that's mean and I'm a child of light and love, but underrated okay! SHADOWEYES! ARTIFICE! SET TO SEA! Artifice and Set to Sea are both finished and you should go read them right now. Shadoweyes you should buy the trade of because it's too good and addictive to wait on the web updates.

Three rated at an appropriate level? Lackadaisy, Nedroid, and The Meek. Whenever they come up in 4chan threads they are judged pretty appropriately, I feel.

When Sette was little, who called her "scared and small and stoopid?" Or is that just what she thinks of herself?

Well, it's what she IS. She recognises it sometimes when she's alone and it's quiet and she knows she has to confront something very much beyond her. She really is scared, she really is small, and she really isn't as clever as she wishes she was.

All the Anons are winners, but the competition between those with accounts shall be /fierce/.

Bring it.

I just spent several hours reading old Q&A archives. Whoever did that, thank you, now I actually kind of understand what the people are talking about some of the time. Remember folks, knowledge is power and power corrupts, so study hard and be evil!

*highfive* Honestly though I don't know how you could stand to read my inane prattle for hours.

Not a question (sorry), but I notice you're a VS/FFT/Etc fan. Matsuno is doing another game now that he's recovered from his stress induced by SquareEnix's death spiral, and is making another game. "Crimson Shroud". Has VSish designs minus assless chaps.

Yeah, I've been following that. I don't have a 3DS though so I doubt I'll ever play it. Fun to see Yoshida and Matsuno teaming up again!

GLASS. What is up with this flying cat? Are there flying cats? Are there cats? Is it possible to combine creatures through pymary like this?

Wow, that's... super old art, no one click on it x_x

The kitty was a demon named Delano that was Bastion's familiar for a while. The fact that it manifested as an adorable fluffy whtie kitten with wings was kind of a demon's idea of a joke. Has nothing at all to do with Unsounded, just RP nonsense.

OMG. I was a chess set with one side Cresce and the other Alderode. :D

I want a latte :(

I want to read some Sette and Lurp role play. I can't imagine what she must be like with an actual friend XD

I can arrange that. This is from 2006.

Who was Lurp?

@AwesomIncarnate can give you a better answer since she played her, but Lurp was Sette's best friend in RP. Fox talks about her iiiiiin this question -

Have you ever considered a get-together with your FL fans? :3

I am too shy and introverted. It would not be fun :/

Why is it only Tuesday D:>

What's wrong with Tuesdays?

Hmm, I just noticed that Formspring is keeping Question Smiles separate from Answer Smiles. Now, like, every question will be a mini-competition over who can get more smiles........

You're all winners, Anon. WINNERS.

Does the Crescian army have a strategy division, or is tactics simply done by the most experienced generals?

The Crown, the Chancellor, the ministry of defence, the generals, and the pymary council all contribute to overall strategy. Cresce overall has a good track record when it comes to repelling the Aldish and the Aldish know it. Why they're warmongering now is anyone's guess.

At this time in the story, which side is winning the war?

The war just started a few weeks ago. Next chapter we'll hear more about it.

Is Sette cuddly enough that it's worth gluing jewellery to my ass?

I dunno, she's pretty bony.

Would Sette allow someone to give her a good cuddle if they put a whole bunch of valuables in their back pockets?

Possibly, but cover the valuables in glue so they stick to you; the cuddle will last longer as she furiously but discreetly saws her prizes off your pants.

My question inspired another do large-scale battles involving lots of wrights/pymary not mangle the khert or cause large-scale weirdness due to aspects flowing here and there on the same lines?

Often they do! This is why wrights are kept regimented and sidelined in battle and they have specific roles they play. A pymary free-for-all would nine times out of ten overload the khert and kill friggin' everyone, so it is in both side's best interests that the rules of engagement are maintained. It's like nuclear weapons in our world, I suppose. The intrinsic power and ferocity and inevitable scorched earth result of nuclear weapons make them practically useless in warfare except as philosophic deterrents.

I was fiddling with a military story last night (which is where I found that song I posted below, I forgot I'd written it) and the attitude soldiers have towards their wright comrades is pretty poor. Wrights often play support and sometimes that support is as... "unmanly" to use a word from the story. Unmanly like treating wounds, lighting cooking fires, and keeping rain off marching soldiers. In battle they do shitty, unlikable things like dissolve the enemy's weaponry and arms (unless they're up against people with First Material equipment but that stuff's expensive), or they rip solidity from the ground for great attacks that also leave the battlefield pocked with treacherous holes, or they scry for attacks during downtime and are the first ones blamed (sometimes violently so) if the enemy gets the drop on the regiment. Then there's the stigma that wrights are overeducated, snobbish assholes - and from the wrights wev'e met do we believe there is some truth to this? Soldiers in the army do not like wrights, even their own.

Doesn't mean they're not necessary, but at this point Cresce and Alderode have reached a stalemate in the battlefield pymary race, and it's advantages like more powerful constructs, smarter vliegeng, and even offsite weather manipulation that are shaping the outcome of their warring.

If zombie Duane is like Sette's undead mood ring at night, does that mean that the reason he's not moving now because she doesn't want to move forward? She is adorable and I want to hug her but I think she'd bite.

I like this theory. And yes, she'd bite your face off.

Tell Forumkedis to search instead for ' kedis', with a space before the word itself. That'll pull up just the uses of the word kedis on its own, and so exclude the one in his name.

@Forumkedis Behold.

What would happen if the Crescian RPG somewhow found out who Duane was?

Wouldn't it be fun if this happened? I want Duane to be captured by wrights and dissected.... FOR SCIENCE! I mean, FOR PYMARY!

Do you have lyrics for any folk songs, drinking songs, or popular songs for Unsounded, other than that one with the contest from that one time?

Though thunder strike and storms piss down
On all the streets of Durlyne town;
And traitors swarm and heathens scheme
And all the darks of darktime teem;
Chinoll march, sing through the storm!
For Alderode, where free men are born!

Do you believe in giving 110% in everything you do?

Only if it's something you care about. Otherwise listen to Melville:

"Whoever is not in the possession of leisure can hardly be said to possess independence. They talk of the dignity of work. Bosh. True Work is the necessity of poor humanity's earthly condition. The dignity is in leisure. Besides, 99 hundreths of all the work done in the world is either foolish and unnecessary, or harmful and wicked."

I'mma rant at you a little, a'ight? You know what really pisses me off? When people send street thugs to do a hardened criminal's job, then act all surprised when the guy talks after five seconds in a cell. If you don't want to get screwed, hire a pro!

What's the unemployment rate right now among hired criminals? Do you feel that Obamacare is going to hurt the criminal market? Has downsizing hit you hard? Do you have to cut more throats now every hour while making even less money? Is the rent too damn high?

Do your parents care that you have no current aspirations for a relationship/marriage or children? I feel similar, and though I am content with it, I haven't said as much to my parents, and I feel some guilt that I may "end" the family line.

Well, I've said since I was twelve years old that I never wanted kids, and when my mom tells the story now she says that even back then, she believed it. So she's had some time to get used to the idea. Does she wish I was a more normal womanly type? I'm sure, but my brother has two awesome kids so that takes a lot of the pressure off me. The family line won't be ending any time soon. And my other brother is fabulously gay, so he's the girly one whenever my mom needs to call someone up and discuss fashion and those Housewives shows. Mom has it all, really.

Parents are great (or they should be) and we should always respect them, but you have to do what makes YOU happy. They're gonna die one day and leave you alone with the choices you made, so you gotta make sure you like the results of those choices.

Can I get an Amen!
You has doggies? What breed? And what are their characters like? :D I has dog. Her name is Cleo, and she's a whippet. Like this, only a girl.

I like whippets! They are whippish. I have two dogs and they are mutts. One is very old and black and stubby and fat and spoiled with wirey hair. The other is chocolate brown and small and lanky and hates everyone. I'm not sure how old she is though, she's been passed around a lot and wound up with me so she wouldn't have to go to a pound when my brother wanted to get rid of her. They are naughty animals but I love them.

So who is Sette trying to convince in that little speech of hers? Duane...or herself?

If the answer to this isn't reasonably clear, I have failed :(

When Sette was asked what Duane is like at night, she responded to the effect of "All he does is sleep and sleep". Does Duane ever dream too? I noticed that when he's starting to slip he gets hallucinations. Does he then dream about them once he's under?

He would tell you that he does.

How do you pronounce Bastion's surname? Also, Elka mentioned the seers can't find Duane due to a lack of sufficient information him... Are they searching for him as "Dwayne", and would mispronouncing his name affect their search for him? Thank you. :)

Hahaha, I love the way you think, but no, I don't believe a mispronunciation would affect their search :) Cresce has wrights that can hack their way into the Dammakhert and trawl the two-way channels for state secrets and other sensitive information (it's like listening in on cellphone convos). They also have your standard arrangement of spies and researchers who try to keep abreast of what's going on in Alderode, and they're full of useful info. Still, they would need more than just a first name for Duane because, believe it or not, Duane is a fairly common name in Alderode. Now if Alderode's tacit caster rolls got leaked to Cresce somehow the zombie might be in trouble, 'cause I don't believe there'd be but one "Duane" on there.

Winalils is pronounced pretty much like how a native English speaker would imagine: Win-uh-lilz.

So wait...there IS an actual explanation as to why Duane became what he is? It wasn't fate or something uncontrollable? Like, the khert had a reason to do it? It wasn't like 'hey, lemme change this guy cuz lol', right? As long as there's a

Haha, of course there's a reason :) Learning everyone's history and why they are the way they are is part of the story.

What are you up to? How are things in the world of glass?

Right now I am doing some concept work for someone. My jaw and head and ears and eyes ache a lot, I think from my tooth that lost the filling or something. Glass is kind of blah today.

I think I messed up, Glass. I can no longer search for things about kedises on your formspring, because the search always includes every question I asked. :( I like kedises.

Formspring's search is not very good. And I can't seem to get into the habit of tagging. I fail at this on tumblr too. There's no hope for us.

Which chapter has a kedis on it?

Chapter 7. I'm thinking of taking it out though, it's kind of drawing too much attention to itself :/

Glass, Glass, Glass! Will you ever make a title page that has a close-up of Duane's face in it? (Living face or not -doesn't matter). There's one for Sette, Quigley, and Starfish. No love for Duane yet?

Duane's on chapter 7's cover but it's his hood face. Duane-face features so heavily in chapter 7 though - in all its incarnations - that you'll be sick of seeing it, I promise :) I wish so hard that I could show you some of these chapter 7 panels right now. Right nooooow.

Did finding out Duane's bloodlust make Sette feel at all nervous about going to sleep right near his face at night?

This'll get talked about one day, but I'm sure you can imagine the answer.

Did Duane hesitate because it's how Sette felt at the moment?


Wait, Pantoffel is a girl? Glass, you've shattered my world right along the same fault lines left by Blue's Clues!

What? Is Blue a girl?

Aww, that pic of Duane carrying Sette is so cute! She should steal a small saddle, stuff it in his back, and use that to ride him at night. For extra style points.


Did Duane instinctively stop at the border?

Mmm, difficult to answer without saying more than I wanna say right now.

And then Toma and Elka also catch flesh-eating face bacteria from eating Pantoffel! And Toma tries to confess his love to Elka, but she's secretly in love with Quigley, who's secretly in love with Duane! (Who is dead!)


So, how much sleep did Sette actually get on the trip if she was leading Duane around during the night hours? Growing girls need their rest, even if they have lion tails and shark teeth!

She definitely didn't get as much sleep as she needed but Duane could be made to carry her so she could snooze in his arms. He'll do pretty much anything she says at night provided there's not some distraction about that brings out the blood-hungry zombie.

Me and my lazy ass finally got around to setting up a second monitor. Do you have any tips or suggestions for someone who's never used a dual monitor set-up before?

Hmmmm not really, I think it's pretty straightforward. I personally like the set-up that turns both monitors into one big screen. I do artwork on my 22" and have music or movies or chat going on in the smaller 18". My 22" is half in the grave, it takes about ten minutes for it to warm up and stop flickering. Why are monitors so expensive?

Do you have any advice on making up languages?

Study lots of existing languages, they will inspire you.

It's 4am, I definitely need to go to bed.

What does wearing pymary feel like?

Like nothing at all.

Does pymary clothing affect sensation, too?

Nope, it's like a projected hologram. Your hand will go right through it. I remember in RP once he got aroused while wearing beglamoured clothing and, ahem, little Bastion poked right out of his not-really-there trousers.

How often does Bastion forgo clothing in favour of pymary?

Only when teleporting. He can only teleport his own flesh, like a time traveler in the Terminator movies, so he has to glamour clothing when he reaches his destination. He doesn't do it to be kinky or anything, it can actually be quite cold walking around naked.

Did you know that Chitz, Boo, the hats, and Friendly Talking Coffee would be as popular as they are when you created them?

Oh, I imagine their popularity is greatly imagined ;) What surprises me is that people have warmed to Sette. I never thought she'd win them over.

Is Bastion wearing any clothes, or is he just beglamoured? I need to know!

In the flashback we saw, he is in fact wearing actual clothes. He'd been in town a while making arrangements. Also, he would never set his bare ass down on a seat in Nary's nasty headquarters, he'd probably catch a disease.

I just had a brilliant question and I forgot it while clicking on your username to ask it.

Do you ever wonder how Terry Pratchett's Alzheimer's is progressing?

Stray thought; If we stir first salt into friendly talking coffee, will he become a real boy?

Possibly. Fun fact: Friendly talking coffee has a cameo in the next chapter. I will be very impressed if someone spots it.

MEGA SPOILER: The Epilogue shows an elderly Pantoffel on her deathbed, surrounded by her 7 children and 49 grand-children. After reflecting on a life well-lived, she passes away peacefully in her sleep and becomes one with the khert. The End

NO. It needs more blood and tragedy. Pantoffel catches a flesh-eating bacteria in her face. Desperate to cure her, Toma and Elka journey to a guru on a distant mountaintop, but are forced to eat Pantoffel when a blizzard traps them in a cave for weeks. Pantoffel's ghost becomes a smoke eel and is blown apart by Elka, who doesn't recognise that it's only trying to say goodbye from the other side.

How are you, Glass? It's been a while since I or anyone else asked you about you rather than Unsounded.

Oh, you don't want to hear about crappy me. I appreciate the interest though :)

Glass, where did Duane's drool come from?


About what time of night is it right now in the comic?


What would it take for Sette to consider calling Duane by his proper name?

An adequate amount of money.

Will Sette's mispronunciation of his name ever become endearing to Duane?

It already is.

Does Pantoffel survive? Or at least die in a non-horrible way?

That would be a spoiler D:

What does Sette's voice sound like? I mean, can you think of any examples?

She sounds like a squeaky little girl (or prepubescent boy). Very cute.

One day when I have children could you come tell them stories before bed? I don't think I could convey a story like Unsounded properly or as effectively as you are.

Aww, you are sweet <3 I will endeavour to continue to entertain you.

Was Sette still mispronouncing Duane's name? Usually you spell it like she says it, right? Or maybe I've gone crazy and am giving Sette too much credit as a good character.

Maybe you've been reading their formspring. When Duane transcribes her saying his name there he usually spells it "Dwayne." The only time I've done that in the comic was way back in the second chapter when she first learned his name and mocked it. Otherwise it's always "Duane."


What was leaking out of Duane in that one panel on the first page of tonight's update?

He's droolin'. When he's out've it he can't control all the little enchantments that keep him looking so acceptable as a corpse. No glamour, no fake spit control, and no dampening his musty stank. Eat him up, fangirls!

Wow, three books then? I had no idea the story was that long. Does that mean you're going to keep the DuaneAndSette Formspring, or eventually ditch it? There's only so much you can re-repeat on there before it get's frustrating and lengthy.

Well ideally the story itself will one day have answered most of the questions anyone could hope to ask them, so their formspring wouldn't be very necessary anyway :)

Is Sette wearing makeup? Not that I think she ever would, unless she was plotting great plots...

Nah, she doesn't need it. Hers is a natural beauty, terrible in its strength and ferocity.

Team Ulestry reporting in! How would we do in WAAAR?!?

You have no standing army D:

Hi! I really love your comic ^_^ Someone told me you said that Unsounded was split into different "Books" but I couldn't find that on formspring. Could you talk about this? How long are the Books and how far through the first Book are you now? Thank you!

Sure! The story is split into three books. The first one takes place mostly in Cresce. It's about Sette and Duane and the Red Berry Boys conspiracy, which blows up into something rather large. The second book takes place immediately afterwards and predominately in Alderode. Its plot features genocide and piracy, and has a lot to do with Alderode's current very tense political climate as well as the Tannery, a gang of cutthroats and spies. The third book jumps ahead one year, and jumps around a fair bit geographically (and dimensionally). It concerns big stuff like the nature and history of Kasslyne, and the resolutions of Alderode's political strife, its warmaking with Cresce, and the surviving characters.

Right now I would say we're on the second fifth of the first book. The tale is long. Hope you stick around for it :) Everything is outlined and explained on my computer so if I'm hit by a bus tomorrow, raid my harddrive for answers.

What's your first line of attack to fix a laggy computer? (I need ideas D:)

A virus scan and an adware scan are good starting points if it's gone laggy all of a sudden. If it's clean, look at how many processes you have running. Unless you installed your OS yourself it's probably loaded down with bloatware from the manufacturer. Uninstall all of it. If your computer is lagging while browsing you may have too many extensions installed on your browser. Back up your shiz and reinstall the OS if nothing else helps. It's a good idea to do this at least once a year anyway, OSes are like people and get eccentric with age.

I've been rereading some of the earlier pages and some of the dialogue (particularly some of Sette's speech in chapter 1) seems different than it did in my past read-throughs. Have you been editing the comic?

I made some minor dialog tweaks in the first chapter when I redid some of the art a while ago, but that's it. I'm surprised you noticed.

Somebody asked if they could sponsor you to write a side story. Have you ever considered using Kickstarter to get sponsorship?

One day I'll use Kickstarter to print a book. But not on this day.

Do the Aldish or the Crescians have better military uniforms?

I really dig on the Aldish uniforms. They have kind of a classical fantasy bent to them: awesome robes and leather for the wrights, slim, streamlined leather flightsuits for the vliegeng riders, and plate and scale armour for the battlers. Crescian uniforms are nice too but they don't get into the pageantry and glory of war the way the Aldish do and I think that reflects in more utilitarian uniforms. Cresce mostly fights because it has to, but Alderode fights because it loves to fight.

Speaking of WAAAAR, do you think any wars in history have been justifed?

Ya know, as a reckless little chode sitting here in her pyjamas sipping coffee in the First World on a lazy Saturday afternoon, I feel unqualified to answer this. I've never had someone come after me or my family. I don't know the first thing about what it's like to have to physically fight to defend my right to live and I probably won't ever. So I have no business answering this question. Who am I to declare anything justified or unjustified?



What would the Aldish do with Cresce if they did manage to take it over? From your last response, it sounds like sympathisers are a small minority, so what would they do with the loads of loyal Crescians and everyone in the countries with Crescian ties?

Slaughter them.

If Cresce is a greed-free functioning pseudo-communism, why would it have arranged marriages? Arranged marriages are about exchanges of property.

Greed-free? That's the ideal but it's not reality.

In Cresce arranged marriages are largely for karmic reasons. Families are ranked by the Gefendur church in an elaborate spiritual hierarchy derived largely from how removed they are from the royal family. Everyone wants to marry into a better family to ensure a happier time of it in their next life and for their children. Families also are categorized into classes that can have a profound impact on what its members can do for a living. Professional mobility is possible in Cresce with hard work (or by marrying into a better family) but it's understood that everyone's turn to clean up the giant dogshit must come, and if you do it tirelessly and well in this life, your next life will be better. The Crescian state leans very heavily on Gefendur dogma in order to function, and the tiered families really keep it from being classed as Communism.

I think what makes Cresce unique though, maybe, is the sense of camaraderie and equality that exists between even the lowest and highest ranked of the families. By subjecting everyone to the same restrictions and responsibilities at both a religious and national level, you kind of beat down a lot of the distancing barriers that might otherwise form. When everyone's child goes to the same school together... when a cousin of the queen finds himself digging trenches with farmers and having skull pilots save his neck from Aldish attacks, it's hard for him to hold up his nose at them later.

That's how it looks on paper anyway :) There are people in Cresce that dislike the current system and feel they're too good for it. Captain Toma's wife Emne is such a person. Comes from a great family, lives in the capital only a few blocks from the palace, and has sympathy for the Aldish when they claim that the Crescian state is authoritarian tyranny that should be wiped from the earth.

On the whole though, Cresce's current system has been running strong for a few centuries. It seems to work for them, no one's starving, and Alderode hasn't overrun the border yet.

So how believable was Sette's lie that she was Elan's fiancee to the Ulestrians/Peaceguard? Is it not uncommon for them to see young girls marrying grown men?

It was fairly believable. Didn't you see how the comments exploded with people obsessing suddenly over how "pretty" Sette had become? 9_9 But yeah, arranged marriages are super common in Unsounded's world, so an older man having a much younger fiancee isn't very weird. Doesn't mean he's boning her or even that they see each other regularly, just that the bargain's been made. Stuff like this has been standard practise throughout much of our history.

Hm... in the most recent update, is Sette just holding her fist close to her chest, or is she holding tightly to that glowing vial she wears as a pendant? I cannot tell, and I'm inclined to believe your answer offers body language clues. :D

She's just holding her fist close to her chest :)

Do you ever feel really sad when you think back on your RP days? There's nothing quite like your first really good RP group, isn't there? It's like a nerd rite of passage..........

This is a true statement, anon. I feel really bad for people who have never RPed and I count myself impossibly fortunate that I had the years of RP that I did. I played with the smartest, most talented, most creative people, and it shaped everything I am today. I've experienced the most perfect romances, the most epic adventures, the most profound exercises of justice, and the deepest tragedies. Where reality paled, RP shone. RP is greater than solo writing and greater than solo reading. It's a form of creation and entertainment combined and it goes deeper, affects you more profoundly, and addicts you quicker than just about any other acts of either I can think of. I cannot extol the virtues of roleplaying enough.

Of course I'm talking about freeform online roleplay, which is quite a different beast from the tabletop stuff, don't get me wrong.

Naturally I miss the hell out of it. If I went back somehow, though, I don't think it could ever live up to the days of Keltara and Sharteshane. RP, for me, is complete. I'm not going to attempt a Phantom Menace, or a Prometheus, or a Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, or a Legend of Korra. 'Twould be folly. Ashley's RP days are done.

What happened to Sette's shirt?

It's in Duane's bag, don't fret.

Is there a Kasslyne equivalent of the barbershop knock?

Vlieeeeegeng ate the babies...

Make more!

If someone wanted to send you rather poor fanart for Unsounded, where would they send it? Is the email you have listed on Casualvillain still accurate, or has the world moved on?

[email protected] would do it, or use the casualvillain address, it's all good. Yay fanart :3

If all the characters in Unsounded actually existed in our reality (stay with me here, I know some, if not most, would prolly fall apart w/o the khert), which one would you want to meet and actually talk to first and why? :)

Lord Winalils (Bastion). He's the most open-minded, has a fabulously interesting past, and is more or less a decent fellow. He'd be fun to take out for pizza and a movie.

Is it completely up to Sette to threaten the guy on her lonesome (well, lonesome + attack zombie)? She's there as her dad's representative, so won't he just send someone worse if Sette doesn't get the goods, or does that not matter?

S'kind of a mystery, no? Duane himself believes there's something more to it. "Nary Frummagem did not with noble intentions send a CHILD to settle a clan debt." Guess we'll have to see how it plays out.

Been following this assault and murder of a little girl in Utah and I don't know why. Why are people sometimes pulled to dark and horrible things that have nothing to do with them?

I suppose different people have different reasons. Can't say it's a pastime I engage in.

Whut? Did Sette just hesitate? Is it because she's scared of Duane, or because she's starting to care a little bit about how disappointed he'll be? I want Sette to get the feelings for things other than money. Not THOSE kinds of feelings, that's icky.

Haha, you still think too much of Sette, I'm afraid. She hesitated because she's suddenly very scared for her own skin after that talk of how well Stockyard is doing. If she's walking into a situation where he's set himself up as lord of the town and all she has is a zombie with a broken leg who doesn't even wanna be there... outcome looks grim for the successful completion of da's errand. And possibly for her successful survival into next week.

Sweet, Anonymous commenting is back on! :-)

Use it wisely, use it well.

Is Nary well known outside of Sharteshane.

Not really, no.

What would Sette do when she would find out that, once she and Duane get back home, her da wasn't going to keep his promise of not telling anyone about Duane's zombieness?

Everything da says and does is correct and cannot be questioned.

Have you ever been put in charge of a group of people (or even one person) who was so woefully incompetent that whenever they came to you with a problem it was easier to say "I'll handle it" rather than explain it to them?

lol are you GMing?

Are you scared of death?

Good creatures, do you love your lives
And have you ears for sense?
Here is a knife like other knives,
That cost me eighteen pence.

I need but stick it in my heart
And down will come the sky,
And earth's foundations will depart
And all you folk will die.

A.E. Housman

Are you scared of life?

Life is pretty scary. Trick is to not think about it too much.

If given a choice, would you rather ride a Chinese dragon, a unicorn, a broom, or a motorcycle?

MrBallpoint, are you ingesting psychotropic substances this evening? I suppose I would like to ride a unicorn. We would visit all the unicorn-drunk little girls of the world and make them squeal in delight. But no bronies.

How many languages do you know? How many have you tried to learn? If you could instantly become fluent in a second (or third, or fourth, etc.) language, which would it be?

I only know English fluently. But I do know it very well and pride myself on my ridiculous vocabulary. My Spanish is decent, my Japanese is weeaboo. I would not at all mind instant fluency in these languages. Afterwards I want to instantly know French so I can read all those pervy Euro comics.

I know of a web-text-story that lets people donate toward bonus stories. You could try something like that, like say at $XXX you'll write about a character and send it to everyone who donates, then put it up for anyone else interested to buy.

That's not a bad idea.

Is there a character in Gankutsuou that you felt was underdeveloped or two dimensional?

Well, Mercedes was kind of just THERE, but her job was only to be beautiful so I don't suppose she needed to do much else but function biologically. Still, it would have been nice if we'd been able to get in her head a bit more.

Whats a style you wish would come back?

Capes and muttonchops.

"A Crescian prostitute will change their appearance to suit your preferences." So, like a glamour? If so, how can a prostitute legally do that but not an actor in Crescian plays?

Glamours are only illegal in the capital city, for security reasons.

Why are city Silver so much fun? Just because they're carefree and pretty, or is there more to it than that?

The civilizing effect of other people, for the most part. Most metropolitans wouldn't put up with the outright rape or murder of women. Decent of them, eh? Otherwise all Silver are generally laid back people, they just have a terrible hang-up when it comes to mingling with the other castes. There's speculation it's to do with the faultlines of the Dammakhert and that's a reasonable theory.

Have you been asked about how people on Kasslyne view homosexuality yet? If not, how do people on Kasslyne view homosexuality?

I got asked this long ago and got in trouble for my answer, actually. Someone wrote me a really long rebuke of an email and we went back and forth a few times and it was a mess. Internet dramz.

In a nutshell, Ssaelit are against homosexuality but not in a murderous, burn you at the stake way. It's frowned upon as something debauched and irresponsible. Fraternal Gefendur pretty much share this view. Sororal Gefendur don't give a good goddamn about the particulars of one's sex life but homosexual marriage doesn't exist anywhere and you'd get looked at like a two-headed chicken if you suggested it.

I know you don't like to do Murkoph questions, but this isn't really a Murkoph question. Why don't you like Murkoph questions?

Because Murkoph is the sort of character that no one should know too much about. He works best that way.

What was Duane's favorite food while he was alive? And what is Sette's favorite color? And, for a random one, what is Elka's view on lesbianism?

Duane liked homey stews and meat slabs and pasties. A man of simple culinary tastes. Sette's favourite colour is gold because money. Elka has no opinions on lesbians except people so often assume she is one, which is somewhat frustrating.

"a fantastic excuse lined up" But she does, namely that "we're in Cresce now! Ya gotta be inconpik-uous". I'm sure that'd make Duane forget about the plod mask in a hurry. I can't wait to see his reaction when he realizes where he is.


Will Will know about Duane and the Silver girl, or is his opinion related to some similar situation?

I guess I just don't wanna talk about their relationship just yet.

What was the last movie you watched? Write a one sentence review of it.

Berserk: Something About An Egg

Brutal film with great fights, lovely designs and character animation, and men so hot you'll have to apply aloe to your pupils after viewing.

What would Will think of Duane getting it on with a Silver?

I actually can't answer this without spoilers :)

Are we going to see Elan again?


Who is Mindaroth?

She is my nice friend lady. She is from Texas but don't hold that against her. We RPed for years. She's very cool, go talk to her.

You said Will is coming up! ...who is Will exactly?

William Argenti is an Aldishman of the Silver caste, eighteen years old, eldest son of Amadwe Argenti, a high-ranking official in the Ssaelit temple. Will also works in the temple as a Private in the Shadwe's Lions of Mercy. He is good with a spear but rubbish at pymary which means he'll never be promoted above Private but he doesn't really care because Will is a happy sort content to drink and sport and spar and patrol and carouse a bit. Also he is missing his left arm but since his family is quite wealthy he has a nice simulacrum. He also has beautiful blue eyes, a dusky complexion, pewter-coloured hair, and is just about the prettiest, kindest, most likeable kid you could ever hope to meet.

Are Eufhoby considered people or animals? Did the Eufhoby whore give his consent to be a whore? What first material are eufhoby made of?

They're considered senet beasts! The whorehouse was the eufhoby's idea, so yes, it was quite consensual. They are not not made out of any first materials, which is one reason why there are still some around - not much of value can be gained from them. They are also super deadly. They have poisonous bites, hypno-eyes, and reptilian sensibilities, meaning they have no moral compunction against killing you and eating you if they can get away with it.

Careful Glass, boredom leads to apathy, apathy leads somewhere else, and I'm tired of this sentence already.

I'm eating delicious chicken and rice.

What are slime beasts? Are they pymarics or actual beasts?

No, no, totally pymarics. So they're probably not as awesome as you'd hope: limited AI, will only do what you say, and super expensive.

If a Tree falls in the forest and there's no one there to turn it into a raving undead lunatic, did it really fall? (No, I don't actually expect you to post this. <3) I'm BORED. Work is BORING.

I doubt anyone can interpret this into a spoiler. I'm sorry you are bored :( Why is work so boring? I will go ask you questions.

I'm afraid to the slime-beast brothels have slime women?

And slime men, I'm sure.

What was Murkoph's favorite food when he was alive?

I don't like to do Murkoph questions, m'darling, I apologise.

Did Duane like the tentacles? Was he a repeat consumer of tentacle monster pymarics? He was, wasn't he? Does he wish he still had soft bits so he could enjoy them while he's undead?

*runs away shrieking*

Woo! Ignore my last question; archive to the rescue! What makes Crescian whorehouses and such so superior? Tell me about one that isn't the tentacle one or the Two-toe one! (Please?)

Would it surprise you to know that a tentacle love hotel is a key location in the next two chapters? It's one of those things that seemed so natural and charming in the script and now that I'm drawing it I have to pause every ten minutes and wonder what the hell I am doing with my life.

In a very liberal society like Cresce's, the sex trade is huge. It's huge, it's legal, it's shame-free, it's bursting with variety and innovation. Unlike the Ssaelit religion which is rather stuffy towards sex, the Gefendur religion calls sex a gift from the gods, and Cresce is very, very Gefendur.

A Crescian prostitute will change their appearance to suit your preferences. They have an arsenal of cutting edge pymarics to assist them in making your experience special. There are straight brothels and gay brothels and straight-gay brothels and S&M brothels and slime-beast brothels and there was even a brothel with a eufhoby until he lost his mind and killed a customer and that is why we can't have nice things. Cresce is renowned for its prostitutes and its pleasure districts and every whorehouse wants to be one that stands out as sensational, new, freaky, but safe.

I really hate to talk about this aspect of Cresce too much 'cause I don't want Unsounded to start coming off like some kind of fetish comic, but it is there in the background. Cresce is a swingin' place.

Has Duane ever tried out a tentacle pymaric? On himself, of course; I really don't care if he had a ladyfriend into that sort of thing...

Duane tells me I am not allowed to answer this.

When Bet loses control over the Pymaric Beast after telling it to kill Duane, is that because he gave it an order it couldn't follow, or because Duane severed his control?

Because it gave an order the beast couldn't follow. Then, because it was confused at that point, Duane swooped in and suggested they be buds. The pymaric beast Bett summoned was... not... a fighting beast. It was meant for uh, ya know, tentacle lovin'. Duane knew this and had it turn around and put Bett to sleep. Gentle Giant pymarics - of which that beast was an example - have tactile abilities and soporific abilities. That's all they can do. Had Bett known this, maybe he wouldn't have bought it - whether it was on sale at the time or not.

Why isn't this on the page? Because in retrospect it's a little weird, no? Let's keep the details behind that encounter between you and me, anon.

"I'm not sure there'd be much he could do, you think? Dress up like Mrs. Doubtfire, maybe: latex mask and bodysuit, get a job as a nanny :3" I bet Murkoph would advise him that the kid's eyes are the tastiest part...

You're a creepy character, anon. I actually had a dream last night that someone took their eyeballs out and kept trying to put them on me. And they were very bouncy. Ech.

How bad would Duane take it if he woke up and Sette'd stuck plod headgear on him?

Pretty bad. Unless she had a -fantastic- excuse lined up, I think he'd take the mask off, put it on her, and make her wear it the rest of the day.

Could I commission you to write a prose story set in Unsounded's universe? (with optional illustrations?) I'd let you sell it after. So really, I guess I'd be more like...sponsoring a story? Would you do that?

I... don't think I could let you do that. I feel it would be unethical of me. But that's really cool of you to offer :) Did you have a specific story you wanted to see, out of curiosity?

So is the reason nobody can see Mr. SpookyMcBooPants because they just aren't looking when he pops up, or is he actually invisible to the characters and we only see him by virtue for being the readers?(Also, does he have a real name that we can know yet?)

Anyone could see him if they looked in his direction, he's not invisible. Perhaps Elan's lack of a reaction tells us something. And his name is Timofey but you can call him Mr. SpookyMcBooPants if you like :)

Considering how people kept digging up earlier (lovely) prose of yours, perhaps try out the model by seeing if anyone wants to buy a compilation of that stuff as sort of "making of" for Unsounded? You have it already written so it'd be an easy test run.

Maybe! There are complications with that though. A lot of my Unsounded characters-related prose is from roleplaying, and that roleplay involved other people's writing as well as mine, so I couldn't turn around and sell that. It's fine though, I'd rather write new stuff that's relevant to the comic anyway :)

These "freaks"... do they happen? Once in a blue moon, is someone concieved and born in Alderode, to Aldish parents, but entirely free of the Dammakhert's influence?

Once in a blue moon.

Do you ever come up with really crazystuff and get nervous to put it in your story because people might think you're messed in the head? Do you get nervous about making characters say like sexist or racist things because people will think it's from you?

Crazy stuff? Lemme tell you about the fetus balloons in chapter 7. But no, I don't care what people think of me. I knew the minute I took Sette's shirt off that the internet would declare me a pedophile and that would be that. It is useful to be messed in the head, good ideas come from it.

As for people equating my characters' views with mine, that is on them and I try not to get nervous about the potential for other people to be dumb. I let my characters do and say whatever they need to do and say to be honest representations of themselves. I don't let any possible ramifications trouble me.

Glass! Tell us again about currency, Sem and such! Details, delicious details!

Sem is boring :D It comes in gold (stamped with Yerta), silver (stamped with a fish), and copper (stamped with Tirna). It's good everywhere on the continent except for Alderode and the interior of Cresce. Sette is in love with it.

WHY IS HIS MASK BREAKING, ASHLEY? WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY? (I am not sure that this is the correct number of Y's to express my concern, but I am sure that you can imagine how concerned I am.)


I actually don't know why, if you're referring to what I think you are. It was just a book cover I was paid to do. Rarely do I read the books or stories I'm hired to illustrate, I just get told what to draw and I draw it O_O

One thing I've always admired about you is your work ethic. How do you keep yourself to such a rigorous schedule? Do you ever worry about burning out or losing your muse? What advice would you give to someone who wants to stop being lazy?

Thank you! But I don't feel like I have a very good work ethic... My comic doesn't feel like work, it feels like the most enjoyable thing in the world to do. I'd rather work on my comic than go on a cruise or to the movies or have sex with half a dozen nubile bishounen twenty-somethings on a bed of candy floss and Skittles.

So so so I don't know! Give ME advice on how to put the comic aside to do work that pays me :D Because that is something I often have trouble with and only looking long and hard at my bank balance forces me to get to it, haha.

Maybe once you find the thing you love, you won't be lazy when it comes to making it happen. But you know what can really stand in the way? Video games. Television. Books. Excessive social activities. You have to give these things up if you want to be a prolific artist. There are only so many hours in the day and you can't have all of it.

What's the most noxious alcoholic beverage you've ever partaken of?

Hrmm. Southern Comfort and Coke? I've never been a big drinker, I'm boring :(

Have you considered drawing sidestories as purchasable bonus material? I know another webcomic author that does that.

It's definitely a good idea, there's just a time issue. I'd much rather write side stories as prose with a few illustrations than do comics of them, but I dunno if people are as interested in that.

How much of what you trimmed out of Unsounded would work all right as semi-freestanding stories (as in, not buried in the middle of the comic)? Would you ever consider putting them up every once in a while after the comic ends, or is the end the end?

The comic won't end for yeeeeears. The story is long. But I have tons of stand-alone sidestory ideas that would work much better than the trimmed stuff.

Do the six trials have anything to do with the six Aldish castes? Or is it just a number that they love?

Just a coincidence.

After watching Brave, (listening to the soundtrack now) I was reminded of what my favorite accent is and why. Do you have a favorite accent?


So are women also allowed in the Crescian Army, or is the Peace Guard the farthest they can climb? And if they are, what does Duane think of that?...Preposterous, right?

He thinks it's pretty gross, yeah. This is a big talking point in Alderode when it comes to knocking down Cresce: how they're such cowards that they let their women fight for them, that they throw them in harm's way, that on the battlefield the male soldiers use them as human shields, etc. Women are not only allowed in the Crescian army they are expected to serve the same compulsory two years as the men. Of course they're much more often trained as wrights, construct techs and pilots, and medics than as infantry. The current leader of Cresce's construct division is a lady, in fact.

But yeah, Cresce takes its gender equality pretty seriously. Equality, honour, and education are its biggest sticking points, I think.

I am in the process of playing the [awesome] game Bastion, and now every time I see the word Bastion I think of the game. Anyway, was there any particular reason for naming him Bastion?

Hahaha, I remember when that first came out and everyone in the chatroom I hang out in was talking about it. Freaked me the fuck ooooout.

I didn't name Bastion, his daddy did. Bastion was meant to be the last bastion and stronghold of the Winalils name and lineage. He was the family's last attempt at a child, and the first and last male born to them, so many expectations were heaped upon him. He was born the heir to everything; the last hope of his father, the last hope of his noble family.

All of that's gone now though. Bastion was disowned and his eldest sister's husband made heir. Bastion don't even care, he thinks they're all right daft.

Is there a reason Quig and co. even bothered with forged passes? There's no way around Mulimar?...Also if I never said it; watch FMA. The first one, not Brotherhood. Brotherhood follows the manga closely, but it', too shonen. I think you'd dig it.

Quigs told Starfish in their first scene together that the passes were stupid and wouldn't work - they were Starfish's plan, never Quigley's. Mulimar's important because it's the closest crossing to Ethelmik, which is the gang's ultimate destination. There are other river crossings but they're hundreds of miles out of the way, and it's much easier to move through Ulestry than it is through Cresce. Duane points out back in the second chapter that Ulestry's "mountainous wilds" are poorly policed. The entire Knobbytop area is pretty damn rural in fact, so much so that only the pilgrim trade sustains Mulimar and now that the mines are dead, there's nothing at all sustaining Ethelmik, making it a financially unsound town destined for the chopping block.

FMA! I did watch the first few episodes years ago, I thought they were cool. But I'd just come off of Gankutsuou, which I thought was one of the greatest damn series I'd ever seen, so FMA had a lot to compete with and couldn't hold my interest. It's Gankutsuou's fault, not FMA's :)
How do you feel about snakes? Are there any cool snakes in the world of Unsounded?

I like snakes okay! I was always on snake/lizard/frog duty in my family as a kid because no one else wanted to touch them and I never minded. They would always get in the house or in the swimming pool and have to be rescued.

There are senet beasts called eufhoby which are essentially male and female naga :3 One of them, Evelyn Five-Eyes, used to chill out with Bastion on the cover of my website. They boinked for a while but it never went anywhere.

Have you watched the season finale of Korra? If so, what did you think?(personally I was disappointed as fuck)

I lost interest in the series after the fifth episode, but I got the gist of things from /co/. Sounds like it strayed into fanfic territory and tried to fit too much into too short a series. C'est la vie. If they get some writers on board for the second series maybe it'll be much better. Not every good creator is a good writer x_x

Have you ever been stuck on a speed bump on the road of this plot, or has it been smooth sailing? Ever written/drawn a scene, and then wished you had changed it? Ever had to turn away a really good idea you had for the sake of the plot?

Aaaaall the time. I wish chapter 3 and 5 were totally different. I had to axe a big military flashback chapter for Duane because I realised it was too self-indulgent and not important enough. I cut soooo much dialogue all the time, and the comic's still too wordy. So much stuff gets chopped it's not even funny.

So yes. Many road bumps.

I dunno, it's pretty much by morals/codes and some blind luck that Sette is still breathing. If her birthright is really hers, her "competition" had some sense of morals/code not to strangle her in her crib or toss her toddler-self into the bay. :P

Ha, I just wrote up a rebuttal to this without realising what a spoiler it would be. So sure! That's one way for you to look at it :D

If a military hero married another military hero's daughter, and they were wildly in love, and he was sent to the front lines and she sort of followed, and they had a baby outside the Dammakhert, but were both beloved Aldish citizens, what would become...

"of the baby?"

I think an exception would be made and the baby would be welcomed into the country. It would have to deal with the social stigma of being outside the Dammakhert and having no caste of its own, but that would just be its lot in life.

Would it be possible to dispel smoke eels of sadness and rage by giving them love and affection? (Ha! You thought I was just asking kedis questions, didn't you?)

Naw, smoke eels only understand their own rage and despair. They are like teenage goths :3

What's the deal with it being..."less bad" for lack of words to kill a plat over say a copper in Alderode? Yes, life sucks and they're blessed because they punch out sooner, but valuing actual lifespan seems too...practical for people who're so religious.

"Morals is like tall noisy boots; ya make a lotta noise gallomping about in 'em but they only go up to your own arse." Sette is wisest character.

The Plats and the Silvers are granted a lot of lip service by everyone in Alderode and in its temples and churches. Praise the innocence of the pale! Praise their children! Release yourself to the whims of the gods as the Silvers do and let us all know that same peace!

But the Plats still don't DO anything. They're born, they do their short service for the government, they inspire the people, then they die. There is not much social investment in the life of most Plats. Even the oldest of them, the most educated, are children compared to a middle-aged Jet with twenty years of Academy learning and fifty years of life experience and more to come. How much these older people benefit the country's brain trust, innovation potential, and technology is immeasurable compared to the Plats.

But no one talks about this. It's "rude." It's simply the responsibility of the Burdened caste. The least we can do for them is seek justice when the potential and value of one of their numbers is unjustly cut down. But a dead Plat? How much time did he have anyway? It's fine, there's plenty of them, they'll make plenty more.

Also: Are you underwater yet? Can you swim? Also everything here is on fire. Bummer.

The Fire Nation and the Water Tribes are attacking the US in tandem. What a tweest!

But yeah, I'm fine. Power's just out at my place so I'm camping elsewhere. Don't breathe too much of that smoke!

Do you tire of my bizarre and improbable scenarios? Should I stop and think of a new kind of question? Have you seen the notebook I used to keep my stacks of questions for you in? I lost it, and the dozens of non-scenario questions in it...

You don't have to ask questions just to ask questions :D I hope your day is going well.

What sorts of maintenance and care do pet kedises require?

I love ya like a sister but I'm not making up answers for these like, twenty kedis questions you've put in my inbox x_x

Are there any Pymary-based sports besides the obvious duels?

I'm sure there must be but I'm not really into sports, so I've never nailed them down.

Oh, I have another terrible pymary question! If momentum is an aspect, uhh...couldn't you isolate the momentum of a pebble and really blow up some real estate? Our earth moves at ~67,000 miles per hour and rotates at 1k mph. That's a LOT of power.

You can pull off a lot of mad antics with pymary. It's a paintbox of a magic system.

What do Kedises(?) taste like? Is eating them akin to eating dogs in American culture?

Yes. Don't eat the kedises, Fakult, you will offend the locals.

Does Matty like kedises? I can totally see him cuddling one in his lap.

Matty likes everything but peas and Cutter and Mr. Starfish..

Another anon jumping in here, what exactly is FC talking about with a redesign? I thought you drew the picture just so she (and we) could finally see one?

I think she's referring to the very first sketch I showed of one that had it cuddling with baby Bastion. Or she hates me and all that I am.

I feel a little silly for asking, but what are kedises? I've read the word a couple times here on formspring.

Kedises are the iguana-cats people in the south keep as pets. They're not important but Forumcat is oddly obsessed with them. Or she was anyway, she no longer finds them as cute.

I was looking at old stuff, and I realised: I like the old version of kedises waaaaay better than the new one (though I still like new kedises). Is there anything in particular that sparked the redesign? The old ones looked like little dinosaurs...

Well, yes, the old ones looked too much like little dinosaurs XD Something that has been done already and well (see Marvel 1602).

Ok, so when outsiders manage to have a baby in Alderode, you mentioned that it was usually assigned one of the normal-most castes at random, so is it possible for the baby to be assigned the Gold caste, which doesn't change the person's appearance...

"... (right?) but look like, say, a Jet or Bronze (due to their parents' genetics) or would they always be assigned a recolouring caste to do away with that issue?"

Assigned the Gold caste by whom? The dammakhert? The dammakhert does not mess with the Gold caste, this by definition makes them Gold. So nope. It would probably shovel them into the Bronze or Silver castes and change their looks accordingly.

Hmmm... ok, so Kasslynians aren't really human, but they're sort of humans, so I assume they follow a similar biological clock to humans. The Aldish are weird, though. Plats seem to grow on a fairly similar frame to normal people, but do they mature...

"... sexually at a similar time, or earlier? Do they lose potency/go through menopause early, do to aging, or do they stay reproductively sound until death or near death? How many babies could one Plat woman theoretically pop out in a lifetime? Are there cultural reasons for them not doing it, even though their caste is a super-form of genetic recessivness and only pure-bred Plats are Plats and, theoretically, to preserve their breed, they should have whole messes of babies whenever possible?"

Plat women are damn near always pregnant; one more reason the general population considers them holy since the women inevitably bear a resemblance to fat Yerta. As their insides get older the chance of them not surviving a birth goes way up, so most white-haired women die on their backs. They never go through menopause though, their reproductive bits aren't leeched to the same degree their other bits are, but the men do have a hard (or not so hard durhurhur) time in their late twenties. The kids don't sexually mature any younger than other kids.

Poor Matty. Living around other people with anywhere from 2x to ~15x your lifespan has to take its toll. I mean, does Matty get the fairly grim implications of being a plat? He's already profoundly blind and frail, and it's all downhill from here!?

Plats and Silvers live very much in the moment. Socially THEY are considered the fortunate ones. THEY spend the least time in the trials of their shitty lives. THEY are the people for whom each good day is precious. THEY are the special ones because the gods and the adoring khert wish so desperately to take them from the world as soon as possible. Plats are blessed, they are beautiful, they are too wonderful for the world, and they are closer than anyone to being quit of it. No decades of old age for the Plats; a few years of gentle degradation and then they are finished. They understand the importance of community, of faith, of family, of the loveliness of every small moment. No struggling to take take take and hoard hoard hoard; instead a blessed surrender of all that can't be controlled and a tender appreciation for the gift of their brief but truly superior lives.

This is what a Plat hears 24/7 from the day he's born. It's not grim to be a Plat. It's wonderful to be a Plat.

Our Matty is atypical for the caste and Quigley is plainly freakish, but even they don't really sit around obsessing over their lifespans. Do the poor sit around obsessing over their poverty? Not really; they work and play and live and laugh to the extent that their means allow them. Every time they do a study on the matter, it turns out that the poor are overall happier or at least no less happy than the rich. This is a truism that the Plats seem to just instinctively KNOW. To have the potential of thirty years or four-hundred is irrelevant; what matters is what everyone alive has right now: TODAY.

I don't think Matty could express this clearly, but it's inside him and it's a knowledge that shapes his world.

I realize it doesn't show up in appearance, but does Plat aging affect them like other people in other ways? Because Quigley, though old by Plat standards, doesn't seem to show any of the physical or mental disabilities often associated with old age.

He's 23 - not THAT old by Plat standards. But middle age definitely slows him down. He gets tired easy, has terrible lungs, and his eyes are worse every year. He's also an old crank.

It actually DOES show when Plats start to near the end of their lives. They don't suffer loss of bone mass or wrinkles like we do, but their skin and hair and even eyes go transparent. They turn into these gross, veiny, hobbled things. If a Plat manages to make it to 31 or 32 you can often see right through 'em into their cloudy organs.

Can I have some of your rain? It's rather dry up here.

Sure, lemme ask Obama to build a pipeline.

"I even liked Howl's Moving Castle though it kind of peed all over the book." Oh Em Gee!!! You read Diana Wynne Jones??? That fills me with punctuation!!!! *flail flail*

Sure! I've read all three Howl's books and the first few Chrestomanci books. I was sad when she died, I felt she had a lot of stories left in her. Very charming author.

Is there anywhere in Kasslyne that rains as much as it is currently raining in Tampa?

It's raining a lot here in St. Pete as well. I'm afraid it's going to flood, Florida anon, come and rescue me :(

Would a bottle smoke eel of sadness and rage be a liquid with occasional smoke-eel appearances, or would it be like someone stuffed an eel into a bottle?

I think I think I think liquidy smoke with an occasional floating eel face and snarly teeth.

Why do I keep asking anon questions? I have a perfectly good username and it's not like people throw things at me whenever I'm not anon. Explain me to me, Glass!


Wright duel time. Bastion vs. (live) Duane. Bastion vs. (dead) Duane. Similar circumstances to the duel with Quigley. Quigley vs. (live) Duane. Quigley vs. Bastion. Bett vs. all three (lolz)

Quigley VS Bastion would be the most interesting duel. I'm afraid living Duane - at the peak of his performance right before he died - would vapourize both the motherfuckers. Ooh, even the idea of it makes me cackle and swear like a football fan. Anyway, take note: the way to deal with a broken and overpowered protagonist is to kill him before the story starts and saddle him with handicaps.

Quigley VS Bastion would be a close fight. Bastion isn't a fighter but when pressed he has his tricks, most prominently teleportation. Only he and two other people in the world can pull it off, so he'd be Nightcrawler'ing around Quigley and getting in shots at his back. He also has Black Tongue secrets to call upon so yeah, Bastion would beat Quigley, but the Plat wouldn't make it too easy.

Bett? lawl

Bett wouldn't show up to the fight, he'd be hiding.

Can a novel ever be adequately adapted to film? Is television simply a better medium for it to be turned into? How do you feel about homosexual tooth fillings?

I hate homosexual tooth fillings. I have such a hole in my molar now, it is distracting and evil and is going to cost me way too much bloody money to have mended.

I think lots of novels have been adequately adapted into films. I can think of lots of Stephen King films and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and The Colour Purple and even the Harry Potter films. I even liked Howl's Moving Castle though it kind of peed all over the book.

There are some books that are unfilmable of course, and I don't care if directors want to take a shot at them, but they will always be inferior to the written version. You can't film Moby-Dick. You just can't. The whaling adventure is the pasteboard mask; the meat of the book is what's underneath. But you want to make Conan movies? Do it!

Which zombie flick do you prefer? Rage-virus or undeath?

Oh, hey, I like your new icon.

I guess I prefer undeath since more can be done with it but I really am not much of a zombie flick fan. I like ghost and demon and monster movies a lot more.

'member when Duane said "What in the Seven Hells is this?" when he first met Eph and Bett? What exactly are the Seven Hells? Are they kinda like Dante's version, only seven instead of nine(?) circles? Or are they not circles, but something different?

Duane is Ssaelit. Ssaelit believe that a man must defeat six hells before he can break the chains of reincarnation and terrestrial life and share in Ssael's godhead. But there is a seventh hell - a dark hell that lies at the bottom of the northern sea - into which the wicked are bound with their legs broken and their eyes gouged out, and from this cold and crushing hell there is no exit.

The first six hells are metaphorical and not so icky.

Could something like Uaid travel to the other continents and infect them with the khurt? Also, if you sink khurt-attached earth into the ocean so it's no longer attached and bring it back up, does that wash the khurt off or does the ocean just suppress?

Uaid could not infect other lands with the khert. He has his own unique and self-contained field, but it's not a field that actively seeks new earth to claim, as the central network does.

The second question is interesting. Matter can generally be removed from the khert system and it will maintain any properties that the system outside can itself support. Sinking Kasslynian earth into the sea would be removing it from the system and it would become regular old dirt. Hmm, so it comes down to is there really a difference between REMOVAL of the khert from matter and SUPPRESSION if all matter has the potential to be worked into the khert system once introduced? It may just be semantics. The end result is the earth is no longer affected by the khert, with all that that entails.

When was the last time you wrote a journal entry, or something of the like?

So long ago that I cannot recall it. Actually, I think it was a rant on tumblr. I mostly hate everything and should never be allowed near a journal.
genuinecuriosity shamelessplug

Which James Bond is the best James Bond? (That is, which actor best portrays him?)

I know absolutely nothing about James Bond and have never seen any of the movies. I am proud of this achievement, it took a lot of work.

This may have been already answered, but does Duane have a middle name? Or do Aldishmen and women not create middle names for their kids?

No one does middle names in Kasslyne. No fancy naming conventions 'round these parts :)

I think I finished getting all the questions except for maybe a few that I missed and I need to add in some more comment links still, but for the most part the website is done. At the very least I went far back enough no more questions load for me.

THAT is impressive. I think you got them all too, I seem to remember those very earliest ones being just about that goofy.

Keilia has kindly archived every formspring question and answer at the above link. Worship at her altar.

For what it's worth, I always thought Sette would be rather pretty if she'd stop making gorky faces all the time (not that I object to the gorky faces, they're half her charm), so I don't think that's all that off-model.

I didn't think so either. Sette can look pretty when she wants to, but most of the time she has better things to do.

Why do Crescian names only have four letters? Toma, Jivi, Elka, Siwl, even Petr lost a vowel making his name fit the convention.

Legend has it that there was a great famine during the first years of Crescia's rule. Rather than have all her people starve or only the rich or powerful take food for themselves, Crescia declared that rations would be halved for everyone except soldiers and those with four letters in their name. It was as arbitrary a way to pick survivors as any other. It also meant that two of her three children starved to death.

Since then it's become tradition to name your kid something with four letters in it. Why tempt the gods.

Also, does Duane even have eyes to tear up? I can't recall if you said they were made of glass or not...

Glass eyes. Can't cry.

DANGIT! Was that question rife with spoilery? Really? Ugh. I select questions in my head that I *think* are unassuming in nature. *Frustrated sigh* Guess not...just wondering stuff. Sorry, I really don't mean it.

No, it's a good question, but it's a loooong answer. I put it in my Later pile ;)

What could someone use those glowing mushrooms for? Do they have any uses?

If you eat enough of them your poo will glow green.

Wait! At least answer if Sette can make Duane dance a jig in a jester outfit, write ALDERODE SUCKS CRESCE RULES LONG LIVE THE QUEEN on a wall, and then do a cartwheel off a bridge into a river.

You make Duane cry a thousand tears.

Are there senet beasts in other lands?

Not like we know them, I don't think so.

Does Sette think Duane would nom if she didn't have it? Would she freak out if she lost it and try to get away from him, or does she trust him?

All questions in this ballpark are unanswerable at this time. I love this CV remix, listen to it with me.

What would happen if tectonic drift brought new land into contact with khurt-touched areas? Can it expand?

Totally. It's adhered to a great reef off the west coast of Cresce and that's always expanding. The khert loves to expand to new territories, it is like Starbucks.

Sooooo... why does the redbird sing, exactly?

If Sette didn't have the shiny, would Duane try to nom on her brains?


Does Duane have the shackles because something horrible happened before when he didn't have any, or is it just him being cautions and/or self-loathing?


Glass, am I lame for reading the anon’s bottled smoke eel question and having an IMMEDIATE NEED to make the dream of an Unsounded-Zelda crossover a reality? …I am, aren’t I? Ah well.

Dah-dah-dah-DAAAAAAH. Haha! Look at the little blood amulet HP bar! This is terrific, I love you so much XD Did you see that G4 named Link to the Past the second greatest video game of all time? I think that's the best thing G4's ever done.

Everyone give love to Icey <3

Sette on the other hand obviously doesn't think they are (Necessary, the shackles)


I hope this isn't spoiler-y. On chapter 2 page 11, Duane is putting away shackles, and he mentions them as night falls later in the comic. Would the shackles usually be necessary for him at night, or are they just a precaution?

He feels they are necessary.

Why does "Dropped a snake in a bowl" sound like a filthy euphemism?

It really does.

I just had a filling come out. I'm sad :(

Tell us of Duane's love life! Besides the cute silver, what other girls was he interested in?

I cannot tell you! For one day soon you shall see first-hand.

If a smoke eel went into a bowl, would it partially fill the bowl with smoke like a liquid with just the rearing hissing bit eel-shaped, or would it look like someone dropped a snake into a bowl?

I think... either... depending on the eel's mood and my present aesthetic inclination.

Could a smoke eel be captured in a bottle like a bottle fairy of healing, but a bottle smoke eel of sadness and rage?


I don't want to seem racist or anything, but you haven't made wiki user-editable, have you? D:> Had some free time on my hands, hoped to be useful for once.

I can give you an account if you like, but when I leave the wiki public it gets spammed all to hell. Want an account?

Got a favorite roleplaying -system-? Me and my friends are still kinda stuck on D20 and its variants since they just kinda work. Our favorite game is Shadowrun, but throwing a garbage bag of D6's becomes a drag pretty quick.

Never used systems! I ran freeform games where it was all about the writing and the characterization. Fights depended on dramatic weight and who could outwit who. When you have a really good group of people you trust, you don't need a system. I'd rather play a video game if it comes to that :)

You have an excellent grasp of Brit-slang and colloquialisms, (using the words wanker, git and nob correctly.) I'm well chuffed and surprised at this as my US chums can can never tell what the bleedin' feck I'm talking about. How did'ya learn the lingo?

Thanks! I owe a lot to British films and television, British literature, friends on the internet (been great mates for years with a chick from Wales and a bloke in London), years and years of RPing characters who use UK English, and plain old reading and studying books on the matter. Hell, I have a few Youtube channels I follow just so I can keep an ear on ever-changing UK slang. I am in complete, mad love with the English language, and that goes for all the different flavours of it. I love it, Anon.

I noticed that you post pages at around midnight, which is nice because then they're up all day! However, I was wondering what time you get up in the morning since you're up so late? Or are you nocturnal? Or am I just really old for thinking 12AM is late?

I'm nocturnal :) I go to bed around 5am and get up at 11 or so. It's one perk of being my own boss.

So Duane with animal parts... does Alderode have an equivalent of the second amendment? We would need to be sure that animal parts aren't illegal, obviously. Need to be sure that Duane has the right to bear arms.

Oh, Fakult.

Hmm, I imagine this is spoilery so apologies in advance: So is Duane basically like a less-unkillable lich complete with a sorta-phylactery? He's a plod with a soul, and that soul has to reside somewhere...

Yeah, that's a lil spoilery. Knowing what I know and being a self-professed expert on liches, I would not classify Duane as a lich. He really is his own thing, which is why I let him have his own word for it.

Are there any senet beasts that are more immortal versions of regular creatures, or are they all rejected prototypes or whatever?

Not really. The theme is fantastical. So we have trees that walk, frogs that become tadpoles that become frogs in an endless cycle, intelligent dragons encrusted with salt, water-breathing nymphs who tup flying air sylphs and create storms, enormously enormous ogres that eat rocks and become mountains - stuff like that :)

If Vienne was alive and Duane saved Matty or something so she felt she owed him, could she make him a semirobot body that'd work better?

She could make him much better braces and do a better job wiring his joints, that's for sure. Duane's body as it is works pretty damn well considering.

Did Duane ever leave his parent's home to go to school? Is that what he means when he says 'Seminary'? Was it like a boarding school for fledgling fieldwrights?

No, a seminary is where one trains to become a priest, same as in our world. Duane's family had no money for him to go become a proper wright, but if he joined the priesthood they would train him there. He left home when he was fourteen and spent a few years in the seminary with the intent of going into the Ssaelit clergy. He eventually earned a sponsor to attend a proper Academy however, and transferred over there, but never finished for Reasons he would rather I not repeat again..

What's YOUR speech defect?

The same as yours, buddy!

I couldn't be understood by anyone but my mother until I was four or so. After a few years of speech therapy I got a lot better but amusingly my speech therapist was from New York so I had a slight Bronx accent throughout school, haha. Nowadays I'm just left with the cluttering, so I talk a mile a minute and can never get out what I mean. I also have trouble with r's and w's, particularly way and ray sounds. Overall I hate speaking to anyone but family members and people who know me really well, which makes people think I'm aloof or shy and I'm not really. There is just a disconnect between my brain and my tongue.

But it's cool. We're special!

Can he replace that part with pie, even if he can't replace it with bear parts?

I think... you lost me.

Sette's always been cute, but lately she's also just plain pretty. Is this an intentional change?

Mm, I don't think so. I think it's mostly her outfit and the fact she's not currently making too many zany expressions of manic world domination and rage. For this page in particular, also, I made the decision to give the child an upper lip so it could catch the lantern light. I generally keep Sette's face pretty cartoony but the dramatic under-lighting required showing off some facial planes. The overall effect is a slightly less cartoony Sette. I'm not all that happy with it, she looks off-model, but enh. Here she is on page 59 of this chapter, back in her regular clothes. Still Sette, see? :)

In the latest page, it seemed like Sette was peeking at Duane in all of his zombie-ugly and wondering about how young he was when he died. Is she used to the zombie-ugly, or is it still a bit of a jolt?

She really doesn't like to look at it, but in the dim light of Elan's lantern, it's not so bad. I'm actually drawing a scene now eighty pages in the future where... it's a little more bad.

But that is more or less exactly what Sette is wondering there, I'm glad that reads.

Hm. Does Duane know about whether there's any part he can't replace with bear parts, or will he be finding out?


What if you replaced the parts of a plod with pies and gave it to Sette?

Soon there would be only pie tins.

Is there any part of Duane he couldn't replace with bear parts?

Would you believe this is a spoiler?

What if you ground up a plod and sprayed it over a robot could you make a roboplod?

No, damnit, zee khert vill crush you like leetle girl. You no fool the khert, eet haz no sense of - how you say - humour.

Could Duane replace his limbs with something other than corpse parts, or does whatever he is only interact with dead bodies?

Duane insists he is not a plod, but whatever he is still operates on a core of plod pymary. That pymary only works with nonliving tissue and bone. But he could use animal parts! Sette thinks he should replace his left arm with a bear arm because BEAR ARM!

What would Duane do if he ran into someone that he knew when he was alive? Would he re-introduce himself, or would he let them pass by, since they wouldn't be able to recognize him?

I think he'd have a panic attack. Afterwards, he would go far, far away and hide in a cupboard for a few hours.

If Duane lived in our world, what would he do to hide the whole undeath thing and still be able to go out in public?

I'm not sure there'd be much he could do, you think? Dress up like Mrs. Doubtfire, maybe: latex mask and bodysuit, get a job as a nanny :3

Random question, but since Duane rose through the ranks to a high title that one of his common birth had little right to,(and a lot of people did not like it), did he ever have anyone who supported him, perhaps made him well-known based on merit instead?

Two names come to mind. Lord Claggart was a very rich, very renowned swordsman and landowner and patron of the Ordos of Chinoll, the military unit that Duane was stationed in during his last year in the army. He was a bragging, swaggering meatbag of a man who kind of hated wrights so he gave Duane a hard time for being one (and for being of peasant stock and for being kind of aloof, which Duane was in the army because he knew he was far better than the fieldwrights he served with). Anyway, Stuff Happened, and by the end of it Duane and Claggart were bros. Claggart recommended him to the second name that comes to mind...

Shadwe Grandvin. There are two Shadwes of the Ssaelit religion, and they are essentially like Popes - leaders of the faith, holders of its purse-strings, and generals of its military forces. Shadwe Grandvin heard of Duane's prowess and heroism down south from Claggart, met with him, and liked him immediately. Duane was not only hired into the Temple's forces but was inducted into the Motadwe, the lowest rung of the Temple's ruling body. Pretty good stuff.

Duane and the Shadwe were great friends after that, and the Shadwe just WOULD NOT HEAR of anyone around him being a prick to that brilliant, hard-working, knowledgeable Adelier. Duane to this day respects the Shadwe more than anyone else, and misses their chats.

Do Hanret and Rachshane consider themselves separate countries with a shared royal line, or does the rest of the continent simply say no to them being one and insist on drawing a border between?

It's mostly habit at this point. There was a resistance movement in Hanret that the rest of the continent supported morally if not militarily, and part of that support was to continue to recognise Hanret's sovereignty. That resistance has long since been crushed, and now Kasslyne considers them two countries out of hateful spite, pretty much. Within Rachshane and Hanret, however, there is only Rachshane.

It would be an interesting setting to RP in, I think. Lots of secret police, militant clerics, political angst, evil monarchy... I love that stuff :3

If Alderode is known for pymary (or being a nation of snooty asshats), Sharteshane is lawless, everyone wants Anchert, Ulestry is holy, and Cresce is known for being the continent's mommy (or a nation of less snooty asshats), what is Hanret known for?

It's known for being mysterious :) Actually, I guess it's known for being an ultra right wing Gefendur theocracy that shuns pymary.

A few hundred years ago, Hanret was Sharteshane. Then Rachshane and Sharteshane went to war over its nebulous border, with Rachshane wanting to push north into Sharteshane's timber-rich hinterlands and farmlands. Rachshane won via quite horrible means (it destroyed and massacred Tawhoque, which was at that time Sharteshane's capital and wealthiest city). Cresce negotiated a settlement between the two countries, carving out Hanret from Sharteshane and giving it over to Rachshane. Sharteshane has never really recovered from this. The merchant class blamed the Palace and royal army for bungling the war and so stripped Kingship of much of its power, making him more of a figurehead to the real power of the merchant guilds (and eventually criminal families). Tawhoque remains a shell of its former self with a basement full of undead, and Sharteshane has real food shortage problems from season to season. Its coastal and volcanic remainder isn't so great for growing crops.

Rachshane, meanwhile, demanded the Peaceguard leave its lands. Rather than start another war, Cresce complied. Cresce can be reasonable. No sooner were they gone though than Rachshane began a bloody purge of newborn Hanret. They probably killed a million people, it was pretty gross. Their King, a half-mad religious zealot who thought he was an incarnation of Tirna, decided that pymary was evil and it would one day destroy the world (this is official Gefendur prophesy but no one really pays attention to it (it's like Christians and stoning misbehaving kids). He started building a wall around his holdings, decreed women were too sacred not to be covered up at all times, decreed that the only way to properly dispose of the dead was to eat them, and said pymary use would be restricted to himself and the ruling class. That's pretty much the way of it today.

There, FC, there is your Rachshane. It's a scary place and it don't want anything to do with anyone.

Do firearms exist in Unsounded's world? Kasslyne's tech is all over the place due to reliance on pymary, so I could get them not being designed out of necessity but I imagine a wright would have a real hard time stopping a projectile going over mach 1.

Yeah, I think all but the best wrights would be pretty screwed by a bullet. Fortunately, no firearms. But you can still ruin a wright's day with a sawshot or a bowgun, the best they can do is throw up a vague shield but the projectile is travelling too fast to be attacked directly (unless you are a broken motherfucker like Duane).

I've been noticing a lot of attempts to cram Unsounded's "tech level" into a timeline that matches ours. People do this with Korra too (including its creators). I think it is the most braindead and ridiculous practise imaginable. Our world - any world - exists in its state because of a complex confluence of circumstances and accidents, and to apply that to a completely different world is super goofy. Our industrial revolution happened largely because of Britain and the myriad circumstances there that allowed for it. Without Britain, our timeline would have gone a lot differently. Without its interior waterways, its patent system, its large amounts of coal, its booming population, its easy access to imported phosphorus and cotton and other resources, Britain's timeline would have been very, very different. All these accidents and coincidences of history can't just be picked up and dropped on any setting. The way we are is an accident, it is not a step in a cosmic inevitability.

I had to get this rant in somewhere, forgive me.

Glass...will we ever get to see Duane's face in this chapter? :D Or will he be a sad hoodie/cowl the whole time? :(

Next page you see some of his face. But it ain't very purty.

You mentioned that senet beasts produce first materials, now aside from the first thought of "Hmm, a lot of first earth must literally be senet beast dookie" I'm struck by the possibilities of that example of the Salt Lizard, refining first salt from

"brine. So here are my questions. First, is a lot of first earth actually senet beast crap? Second, if you feed a senet beast something it cannot digest, would that material become a first material after the senet beast's bowel movement?"

SOME senet beasts produce First Materials. MOST, however, are simply made out of them, and none of them shit First Materials of any nature. They just shit shit. There is very little First Earth anymore but what there is all comes from the flesh of young ogres, with First Stone coming from their bones and the cores of some mountains.

Pray tell, what does the occupation of "Dustman" entail? Something to do Mayhap sweeping? I'm going to guess lots of sneezing.

It's just Brit-speak for garbage collector :)

Matty mentions you can't cross into Cresce if you're Hanretian or Rachshanian. Are Hanret and Rachshane allies of Alderode, or do Crescians not like them for unrelated reasons?

Hanret and Rachshane are standoffish and have little to do with the rest of the continent. Nobody likes 'em or trusts 'em.

What worries you most about your future?


Whoa, just thought of...of something...that link you sent someone to earlier (Ch. 3 page 52)...that little girl in yellow...can almost looks like she can see Duane and Sette departing...did you mean to do that? :)

Sure, it's just a little thing to make you stop and go hmm :)

The other question you just submitted is great but the answer is a spoiler so I must beat it to death with a cricket bat :(

What happens to an outsider who's not yet adapted to the khert, once they first encounter it and it starts trying to adapt them to its system? Does the khert have any adverse effects on them? What's the timeline of acclimation like for them, subjectively?

Yeah, you really don't want to just dive headlong into Kasslyne or its surrounding waterways. Remember what the khert does - it defines the attributes of all matter and how that matter interacts with other matter and the environment. So if you insert yourself into that system without being a part of it, you don't fit. You will try to step on the land but the khert will not have assigned you a contour so you will fall through the earth. You will be invisible, inaudible, and intangible to everything and everyone in the system. Your lungs will have no pull on the air and you'll suffocate. Light will not recognise the lenses in your eyes and you'll be blind. Kasslyne and the world outside of Kasslyne may as well exist in two different dimensions. They do not interact well at all.

Interestingly, at any given time, ships or birds from the outside world may be sailing right through the world, through the characters, through a scene - but neither can see the other. How trippy is that?

Anyway, it's pointless to ask much more about this since it is never broached in the story and is possibly not even canon anymore. It only exists as a backend for roleplay so outside characters could be brought into the setting.

If humans feel shitty outside of the Khert, then how is it people live outside of Kasslyne like the people that originally invaded it? I seem to remember reading this somewhere.

I suppose if you want to get right down to technicalities, the humans we see in Unsounded aren't really "human." Without at least a faint connection to the khert, they die.

But there are other "humans" in the world - truer humans perhaps - that have nothing to do with Kasslyne or the khert and they do just fine. Imagine if they invaded Kasslyne suddenly and dismantled a huge swath of the khert as Sette did with Boo. The natives would be choking, dying, or just outright dissolving under the mad custodianship of a broken network, their technology useless, their pymary gone. Hovering offshore, the invaders would be feelin' pretty good. After a few weeks of slowly adapting themselves to the khert , they could waltz right in and take over the country.

A human with a reliance on the khert cannot function without it, but the khert thrives on ordering even foreign bodies and adapting them to work in its system. Adapted, then, even a small number of foreigners - maybe even just two or three ships full - could take over an entire powerful country and have the survivors convinced they're gods.

I've noticed that the lizards in Unsounded are specifically "two-toed" lizards. Are there are kinds with differing numbers of toes? Also, how does one tell male from female?

You like the lizards, eh? They'll play a bigger part in the arc after this Ethelmik arc, right now they're background noise.

As far as the sentient lizards go, there are only the two-toes. They come in a couple different flavours to do with the tribes they originated from, but there aren't that many of them overall. They don't do well aboveground - poor eyesight, big clumsy hands better for digging and fighting than writing or pymary. The male lizards are larger and have dewlaps, the females are smaller and got no dewlaps. Since the dewlaps are only visible when extended and they tend to only be extended for courtship and ass-kicking, this isn't terribly helpful. Mostly the genders are indistinguishable, physically and socially.

I apologize if this question has been asked already, but how bad does Duane smell to people other than Sette? Does he use pymary to disguise his... rot scent?

Yep - - And on the previous page Sette remarks he smells much more like the pymary that keeps him going than he does rot. Honestly though, after six years and nigh mummification of what remains of his bod, there's not much rot left regardless. He is mostly skeleton, leather, and mechanical modifications.

Are there any traditional works of art that make you swoon? Like, if you had a chance to visit one museum anywhere to see one particular artwork, you know exactly where you'd go?

I quite like the old illustrators like Rockwell, Pyle, Leyendecker, Parrish, and Rackham. It might be cool to see some of Pyle's Treasure Island illustrations in person. I went to a moderately famous art college with a museum of Baroque and Renaissance paintings right down the street, so I got a little spoiled when it comes to seeing the Old Masters in person. I liked Rubens a lot in school but the older I got, the more older art bored me. The technique was great but it was always the same old themes. As a hobbling old woman I guess I care much more about what the art is saying than what it looks like :)

I had a dream about Duane last night. We were camping out with a bunch of people, but Duane left during the night to go eat some pig intestines, though he was very polite when he returned. My dream was obviously inaccurate, but do I count as obsessed now?

Lil bit! :D I wish I had some pig intestine stuffed with lovely spiced meat. Sausaaaaages.

Is there a particular reason why the khert exists only on the Kasslyne continent? (A buried alien artifact? :) ) Will you reveal this in the comic? Your reader from Israel.

I don't even plan to state in the comic that the khert exists only on Kasslyne, it's not important. A lot of this formspring stuff is just trivia and irrelevant to the story :)

So I'm thinking you need to tag basically every answer with "penis," then whenever people search for penis (which, let's face it, they WILL do) they get redirected to you, you redirect them to Unsounded and BAM! Instant successful advertising via cocks!

Hell's Bells, bird, it's like you stepped out of Mad Men. - Rife with genitals! Come one, come all!

So has Elan just been ignoring the elephant in the room this whole time? And you make me laugh.

An elephant in the room would definitely be weird. A plod is just a plod. Elan apparently finds Plats much weirder.

What would the world be like if the senet beasts were capable of growing up and reproducing?

Everyone would be left-handed.

I can understand not eating for the rest of one's life, but not talking? What did Duane do in those tedious 18 months of not being able to talk?!

"(Not eating because, y'know...he's dead)...but not talking. Hmm. That's a little different. You need to communicate in order to function in society. Then again, maybe he didn't want to at first. Did he just sit in his little place at Criseyde Way?"

Naw, he's only been at the Criseyde Way flat a little less than two years, and he's been dead for six. The first two years he was half- and occasionally wholly out of his mind, hiding out by himself in a decrepit old hunter's shack in the coastal forests of West Manilda. There would have been no one to talk to except Ssael and his own hallucinations anyway.

It took Duane a few years to come to his senses after he died. He had to deal with what he'd lost, what he couldn't have anymore, and what he'd become... and was steadily becoming. He had to ROT; he had to figure out how to live as a corpse and the new limitations that came with it. And he had to figure out how to get back some of his old self. His voice, his mobility, his MIND, and along the way decide on a reason why the hell he should even bother. There is a huge, unimaginably awful span of years in-between Duane dying and Duane as you see him today.

Whose going to abuse the new tag system?

Not me.

Is the person who 'kinda' found a way around the no more first materials rule the one who found out that you could use first silkworms to make more first silk?

No... although that is one obviously replenishable First Material. Harvesting silk from silkworm cocoons is pretty ancient.

Ahh! Look, there are tags now. I wonder if I can go back and add tags to old answers.

I think I recognize that remnant ghost boy from a sketch I thought was hilarious. The "Are you going to put today's obituary on your resume?" sketch if I'm remembering right. Same guy?

Same guy :)

There's only one story-thing I'm kinda confused about that the other fans here seem to know...has the purpose of the "blood" pymaric thing Sette is carrying been revealed yet? I don't recall Sette being told its purpose but she seems to know how its used?

The popular assumption is that the blood amulet Winalils gave Sette is used to control Duane. I have never said this either on Formspring or in the comic, but it is the popular assumption.

Does the khert affect the entire universe that Unsounded's planet floats around in, or is it a phenomena limited to that planet? Basically, are Unsounded's gods actual gods or is the khert a force like gravity, given "divine" origins by superstition?

I'ma ignore your second question, but the first one is a resounding Nope! The khert is restricted to the Kasslyne continent. It weakens the further away from land you go, dying completely over open water. At this point nothing that depends on the khert for a supernatural existence can survive and even humans start to feel kind of shitty..

"Most wright-cops dissolve them when they see them", so that remnant who lives in the Crescian police station likes to unlive dangerously, doesn't he? she, whatever...

The blue ghost? We'll learn more about HIM as the story moves along.

Benedict Cumberbatch Sherlock Holmes and Robert Downey Jr. Sherlock Holmes. Rate on resourcefulness, cleverness, devotion to source material and attractiveness. WHO WINS AT THE END?

Haha, I've never seen RDJr's Sherlock movies! I would rather pit BBC Sherlock against The Great Mouse Detective.

Favorite type of tea?

Earl Grey. I like Earl Grey so much an important character in Alderode lives on Bergamot Street.

Favorite alcoholic beverage?

I don't drink!

...except for those Budlight Lime-a-ritas shit they're so good.

(1 in a million chance you'll get this reference) Wake up call; Tea? Coffee? Bacon? Greased ham? Ffffffffffish~?


You've mentioned your characters pop into your head fully formed; Does that include their storyline? How do you work through your plot, do you go scene by scene to the end and then go back and refine it or do you start general and then get more detailed?

It often includes their storyline or their storyline will become evident as they interact with other characters or I'll just sit down to draw and I'll come up with them doing cool things that must then be explained, and it all kind of works itself out. My philosophy is to start a world or a story or a character off with a lot of cool elements and then weave them all together. It's like that drawing exercise where you scribble all over a piece of paper and then have to design a creature out of it.

Plots? Work general to specific, just like when you're drawing. I'm a big believer in outlines. Unsounded has a complete outline with all its major plot events laid out in sequence. Once I see WHAT has to happen and I know the order in which it has to happen, I can work on the HOW'S and the details and make things more elegant. Originally Elan took the zombie and the brat into Cresce on a little police skiff. It was fine, the journey was long enough for them to have the conversation they need to have, but it was a waste of good foreshadowing. Having them go via the flooded tunnels was better, and ties into something that happens later in the story. So I guess once you have everything laid out you'll have the information you need for things like foreshadowing and concept establishment when you go to write the script.

When did Uaid get infected?

Uaid was designed to have a personality, that's one of the things that makes him special. A government construct would NEVER be designed to have its own free will independent of the pilot's, but Vienne was of a mind that a gentle soul can save the world.

You can ask anonymously again? Wonderful, someone hijacked the bugmenot login I was using and I'm too lazy to make a new log in. So, swapping isn't default? That means Elka could've killed the dog while stealing his voice? Makes pymary a bit overpowered

Elka wouldn't have killed the dog but she could have left it permanently without a bark. Pymary is definitely dangerous, that's why the various governments are such hardasses when it comes to regulating it. A lot of Gefendur consider it inevitable that pymary will cause the destruction of the world some day. The Black Tongues or one of the state Composers will figure out a way to flub with the khert's Laws and they'll unravel space-time and that'll be it.

How old is Boo? What was Boo's pre-Sette life?

Boo was Bett's. He got the little guy on sale at the same place he bought the Gentle Giant pymaric he used against Duane. You get what you pay for though. The GG pymaric was underwhelming in battle and the gozzy trap-weaving spider pymaric had sat in the shop's bargain bin too long and was infected. Infected pymarics are bad. At their best they won't operate as you bid and at worst they'll try to kill you. Bett wasn't taking any chances with Boo so he broke his spinners and tossed him in the trash heap. This was very traumatic for our little spider so he was happy to latch on to Sette when she discovered him.

I would guess Boo's had sentience a few weeks now, he's not very old at all.

Do two-toed lizards have their own organized nation somewhere?

Not anymore. The two-toes lived underground in tribal communities scattered throughout southern Kasslyne. The various human nations attacked them and forced them to the surface when they started digging for First Materials, lambence and other resources. Most of the lizards were killed, the rest exist now as second class citizens here and there trying to eke out a living. They are almost universally despised, with most humans believing them to be thieves and beggars who spread disease.

Is Siwl a native of Ulestry? (Ulestrian? Ulestrite?) He resembles the other folks at Knobbytop ethnically. Does the CRPG recruit from the populations they police?

Naw, he's Crescian. The CRPG only allows Crescians in its forces, but Cresce isn't an ethnic brick wall. Darker people are the majority but you'll see the occasional person of Ulestrian heritage and even a whitey or two, all legal citizens. Pale people get discriminated against the further you go from the border and they have to carry their papers of citizenship at all times. It's quite fun to turn the tables :)

Did her Da give Sette the black eye she's got in the flashback with Lord Winalils?

Not a bad theory considering the thwack he gives her in that scene, but no. She got it from a street fight the day before.


Is Cutter a wright? I am guessing it was he who cast the gossamer snare and resealed the tomb after Bett didn't come back, back in ch.2?

Cutter... is a lizard of many mysteries. But yes, he is some kind of wright. Who else would be cutting up the slaves and enchanting them and the First Silver? It wasn't Bett, he was crap.

Do you always know when it's me asking anon questions, or only some times?

I have seen all of BBC Sherlock, I can solve any mystery and play the violin.

Are plods allowed to tend bars?

Forumcat, go to bed, you are delirious.

Are, or were, there any other famous wrights who Duane knew or read about that molded the style he uses? Or does he not mirror anyone in particular?

The biggest influence on Duane's pymary was his grandpa. No one at either seminary or the magery knew how to deal with a tacit caster, they are too rare and weird. Duane's instructors all made him go verbal - they couldn't gauge him otherwise - but Duane's grandfather told him to ignore those asshats. Do what they instructed to get the paper he needed of course, but put in the time and effort to train his voiceless casting in his off hours. Once Duane had someone telling him it was okay that he had this unfair advantage and that he should make the most of it, he did.

What's your opinion on Lovecraftian horror?

Never read any of it.

Did Duane ever carry a melee weapon into battle? (For the times when spellery would scorch the ground and he had nothing to work with), or did he just kinda brave through it and whack people with that walking stick we saw him use so adroitly :3

Well, that walking stick IS a melee weapon, dearest AveLucrum. It's a quarterstaff. The quarterstaff was his weapon of necessity in the Shadwe's army, and he had a very nice one with a core of First Timber with both a permanent glow on it, and a retractable envenomed tip that had a bite like a Japanese giant hornet sting. In fact the staff was named Hornet, because sometimes a weapon is so cool it needs its own name. Paired with his tacit casting he was kind of ridiculously overpowered, haha.

In the national military he carried a standard issue dagger and sword, neither of which he was any good at using.

Hmm, does Duane like the southern weather, or does he miss the snow-ins in Alderode? I imagine the warmer climate must be a nightmare sometimes to keep his skin from molding xD

Yeah x_x The strongest physical sensation Duane has left is temperature discernment, and the heat is nigh unbearable, like ants crawling all over him. Cold is lovely. There used to be a lot of mysterious (but not terribly destructive) fires around Criseyde Way where he lives in Sharteshane. Duane would regularly siphon the warmth out of his flat in the evening and toss it wherever, so he could have an hour or two of blissful cold before hunkering down for the night. One of the reasons the area has a reputation for being haunted.

As a writer, what conventions/cliches/tropes/whatever do you dislike if any? Which do you like or tolerate? For example, I'm not bothered by Deus Ex Machina or MacGuffins, but Chekov's Gun and Time Skips tend to annoy the hell out of me.

Well, I personally dislike grimdark. I really dislike Angry Teenagers as writers, particularly when they're in their twenties or thirties. I hate this insistence now that strong female adventure characters have to be men with tits. Strong female characters can be smooshy grandmas who like to cook and take care of people. "Strength" isn't reserved for how hard you can hit someone, nor should all adventure series obsess over violence and combat.

But! I'm not much of a writer, so I don't like to be much of a writing critic. The greatest sin I can think of is being boring. I don't like to be bored.

What is your favorite piece of architecture & why?

Florida is an ancient land full of cultural wonders.

Have you considered getting tuner box or card that will allow you to use one of your monitors as a tv? Might be cheaper. I don't know where emulation is with PS2, I only do old-school games with that kind of thing. What games are you hankering to play?

PS2 emulation isn't too bad. I played through a fair chunk of FFXII on my computer a few months ago and it looked great though it really put my CPU through its paces. I do have a tuner card but it's really rubbish for consoles, there's a lag between the signals that makes it useless. Buying a tuner card that is NOT rubbish could be an idea though :)

I've been hankering after the classics, I guess. FFXII, DMC3, GoW, the later LoK games, maybe some SotC and CV: Curse of Darkness. So many newer PC games I should play but all I'm in the mood for is stuff I miss and know is good :)

I know it's for obvious reasons I'm sure, but I love how Sette just loves fish. :D The strawberry filled fish thing was different though, I'll give you that one. Any other weird/ cool fish dishes she likes other than fish sausage?

Strawberry fish are DELICIOUS. They are the number one food item I wish we had in our world.

Sette likes fish pies - whitefish cooked up in chowdery gravy and baked into buttery, flaky pastry. Sette likes whale steak when she can get it and octopus and fried clams and kippers and steamed crab legs and tins of sardines in mustard laid over fresh brown bread and smothered with hot sauce. Sette likes fish cakes fried up in coconut oil and smothered with vinegared cabbage and pickles. Sette likes seafood almost as much as I do.

"Ethically better to swap than to isolate". Hmm, so Duane prolly tried to swap when in battle, but did he ever HAVE to isolate, even though it's a bit more risky? And was he good at it?

Oh, Duane's done hardly any swapping, he hasn't had the luxury of much ethical pymary. When he cut that guard's arm off, he isolated the edge of his sword and the sword dissolved. In battle against Quigs he was ripping the ground up willy-nilly to throw at him, leaving great big chunks of dissolved ground in his wake (you can see 'em if you examine some of the panels). For his flying dirt clod after Quigs threw the tree at him he dissolved all the leaves that flew up, isolating and condensing their momentum then reversing it and applying it to his platform - the leaves meanwhile dissolved.

Elka's trick with the dog is the best example of swapping there's been - she swapped volumes with it. Elka is the most responsible woman in Kasslyne.

Goodness, I am far behind. Okay, I understand isolating and swapping (stuff that was mentioned earlier), but I'm still a bit stuck on what pymary is exactly. Are the different types of things you can do (like swapping and isolating) called 'pymary'? Or..?


Roughly, pymary is using the Tainish language to move Aspects around, whether it be via swapping, isolating, condensing or otherwise. Think of "pymary" as just Unsounded's word for magic, nothing more complicated than that. And gruftgramary is Unsounded's word for bad magic. Wrights are mages. Greywrights or gruftgrammers are bad mages. Aspects are roughly roughly roughly akin to ye olde magic elements except there are about a zillion of them and they have to be present to be used.

Ack, sorry if I misspell anything, but did Duane ever get to ride a Vilegeng into battle or even for a training exercise? That would have been EPIC.

Duane is kind of scared of vliegeng :3 Not like a phobia, but he really prefers not to ride them, thank you. He rode plenty of hounds though and was pretty good on the saddle. Alive!Duane astride a battlehound was a pretty epic sight in itself. Onward, Fido!

Do ghosts and the little discrepancies of the khert ever get to go back into its network, or are they all screwed once they're accidentally spatten back out? (spatten's not a word, but I hit the regret ceiling and don't care anymore).

Sometimes! Sometimes the khert dissolves 'em just like it does orphaned Aspects and incomplete materials, and sometimes they slip right back into the khert through the holes they escaped from. Most wright-cops dissolve them when they see them :/ Loose remnants can get into pymarics and infect them, ruining them, so having stray remnants floating around isn't generally good. They are pests. They freeze your coffee and instill free will into your trap-weaving mechanical spiders.

Here you go: The scorecard starts out blank and then gets filled in as final episodes air. You did a very nice job even without having a clue what I was talking about. :) But no incidents involving tentacles? I'm crushed!

Well, that's interesting. I should get a television. I feel like replaying old PS2 games.

There are tentacles, but no incidents :) Chapter seven will have a tentacle incident. I will come through for you, anon!

Since you don't watch tv, you've probably never heard of spoiler guides that go out for finales, giving the number of marriages, pregnancies and deaths to expect. Can we get something like that for ch 6? (Deaths, injuries, tentacle incidents, etc.)

Spoiler guides? They do that now? How does that even work? Educate me, anon!

In chapter 6 there are two direct murders and one inferred murder. There are numerous injuries to numerous characters. There's one flashback but it's not extremely long. There is one brief instance of homosexuality (a warning for our homophobe anon if he's still out there). There is one instance of Pie. There are three pregnancies but only two marriages, isn't that scandalous!

When are we going to find out more about Duane?

This chapter. Next chapter. The chapter after that. After that... more after that...

Do you still live in your hometown?

I was born here. I'll die here.

So Lord Winalils knows/has heard of Duane from a page in a previous chapter, but has Duane heard of Lord Winalils? Have they met? ...or is that yet to come? :D


There's been talk of Duane appreciating the opera, but does he also like ballet specifically? Would he find it graceful and worthy of praise? Even tear-jerking?

Oh, I think he'd enjoy it. They don't have it in this world, but he'd learn to love it if he visited ours. Classical ballet, that is, not so much the modern productions.

I understand Duane now. With two jobs, this summer, I am basically a zombie by the time I get home. Also the first job involves recording lots of numbers which is sort of like scrivening but not really. What should I do?

Duane advises you stay away from moisture as it will cause your leathery zombie skin to mildew, and to maintenance your joints every night to maintain maximum agility. Also pray and meditate frequently, avoid the butcher shop, and don't allow yourself to be saddled with any streetwise children.

Is... the khert a less-laggy JVM? Maybe?

Can the khert run Crysis???

Would it be possible to find/hack out of the khurt whatever the attribute is for "firstness" and plug it into things to create new first materials? Or to remove it from senet beasts so they could grow and reproduce?

People have been trying to do something like this for almost as long as they've been trying to figure out a way to make themselves immortal. However, the First Material quality is a core law of the world and doesn't seem to be counted by the khert as a manipulable Aspect.

Someone very cool did figure out a way to kind of do it though, I mentioned it in passing on here not long ago.

If I'm remembering right, didn't Plods get their start on the battlefield? If so, wouldn't the instructions for combat still be burned in, and accessible to any less scrupulous plodwright?


How is Duane walking right now?

I wonder.

Rephrase (and de-anon): Are plods as graceful as their handlers can order them to be, or do they come with some zombie shuffle and issues due to not having their own functional internal gyroscopes and balances? Could one be trained to tightrope walk...

"or a team taught to do group contortions, given patient and skilled enough handlers?"

Ahh, I see. No, they do have very real limitations due to just being puppeted meat mannequins. Tasks that require a lot of precision aren't really for them. They work best as manual labour: harvesting fields, planting crops, construction work (to a point), hauling loads, digging ditches or foundations, stuff like that.

It's probably important to know that what they CAN do - right down to the motions they can perform - is regulated. See, the plod manufacturers and handlers are always at odds with the guilds in non-Crescian countries. Dustmen don't want to be put out of business by plods. Neither do sail-makers, tile-layers, or pavers. Plods use specific programmed routines that are among some of the most sophisticated, cutting-edge pymary on the scene today, and only approved routines are put into the system. So you don't "train" plods at all. There is no intelligence there, nothing to instruct, nothing that can grow. You can't teach a plod to walk a tightrope. Plods are empty. All a handler is doing when he's working with plods is connecting them with routines burned into the khert and inputting their targets and tools. In some settings necromancers are total badasses but in Unsounded, they're just plod nannies and don't get much respect. It's lowgrade pymary.

I guess plods are very much not like zombies and very much like remotely piloted automatons. It's only when the system hiccoughs or when plods get too old and are infected by remnants, that you get the hazardous desire to nom people. I hope that makes sense.

Do you believe in aliens?

Naturally, but I don't believe any have ever visited our planet.

Is First salt yummier or better at preserving things than normal salt?

About the same!

Is there a reason for the lack of lady plods? Or are there lady plods and we just can't tell?

Plod makers like big-boned, sturdy, athletic corpses without too much fat on them. If one comes along that's a lady, they'll use it, but that's rare.

Are plods masked and shaved because that's what's expected, or is it part of some policy/law/thing regarding them?

It's to dehumanize them. The government and their manufacturers don't want people seeing plods as people, even dead ones. They need to resemble Something Else so there's no compunction against their usage. The masks are useful though; if one does snap, it can't really hurt anyone.

Are plods kind of bad at everything, or could someone make a particularly gruesome version of Cirque du Soleil out of a bunch of deceased scarlets?

I'm not sure I understand this question.

Will you please tell us a little more about this meeting between Duane and the salt lizard? Is the salt lizard huge and sparkly from the crystals? I'm so intrigued! :)

I will one day in the comic :) It was when he was in the army and had to do with what got him hired out of the national forces and into the Ssaelit temple army. It's a good story.

But yes, the salt lizard is a big, beautiful chandelier of a flightless dragon with sky blue eyes. Very pretty but very scary.

Will you tell us about some of the senet beasts we haven't met yet?

Sure! Just to recap, senet beasts were the very first creatures the Gefendur gods made. Many of the First Materials that survive today are either harvested from or produced by the surviving senet beasts. Senet beasts do not age nor can they reproduce, but as prototypes for mortal creatures they're subject to certain of our features like hunger and sleep, and a need for oxygen and water. They can be injured and killed. They range in intelligence from sluggish silkworms (this is where First Silk comes from, the same silk that can be loaded with explosives and put into Boo, or woven into Quigley's lovely mantle pymaric) or the water witches, clever sirens who live in the oceans and rivers, and drown and eat people.

Senet beasts aren't as plentiful as they once were. You rarely find them in groups and more often find them by themselves, hidden away deep underground or in out-of-the-way forests. In the mines of Avelpit there is a blind salt lizard, the closest thing round these parts to a dragon. It drinks brine and sweats the salt, so it's all encrusted with white crystals - First Salt - and was one of the gods of the Two-toes for centuries and centuries. The Two-toes would sacrifice to it, and the lizard would give them salt to preserve their food. It can speak and make demands and tell stories about the first days of the world. Duane met it once and about shat a brick.

Are humans and two-toes the only critters that can talk in this universe? :O

Human, two-toes, some senet beasts, and certain rare and extremely complex remnants (ghosts).

Ok say mysteriously alive Vienne sees Duane at the right angle that the glamor fails. What does she think of a talking corpse, could she possibly help him if so inclined, and would he accept any help or refuse on some principle?

As generally compassionate as Vienne was, she was an analytical hardass when it came to pymary and constructs. By all the known laws of the khert and pymary and even as far as experimental gruftgramary goes, Duane's existence is not possible. So Vienne would want to study him first and "helping" him... wouldn't really register on the radar. Besides, you can't really help Duane any more than you can go down to the cemetery and helps its residents out.

My mother had cats that'd jump in the water with you and snarl at the mailman before doing their level best to take a leg off. You need to find some filthy stray cats. Cats who used to live in dumpsters appreciate clean water and defending their new home.

Oh, I dunno, I'm pretty content with my big dumb dogs. If I was going to change pet species I think I'd get a pig. When it eventually died I could eat it, and we'd be One for all time.

If humanity was reptilian instead mammalian, what would your life be like?

Well, we'd be cold-blooded so we probably wouldn't wear clothing. A/C wouldn't be an issue in the summer so my power bill would be significantly lower. Insects would be cause for celebration and feasting instead of a reason for me to flail my arms and run shrieking from the area. This all sounds like a good deal to me.

What was the reaction in the Mulimar marketplace when a little blind Aldish Spy turned up and demanded cinnamon sticks?

"What a pity, what a pity that one so young and adorable is only a cog in the machine of evil, evil Alderode." Ephsephin, naturally, handled the cinnamon stick transaction.

Duane had a personal seamstress for his various detachable body parts? How did he hire her? Was it by posting the world's creepiest job opening ad?

Haha, it was Boo, goof. In RP Boo frequently sewed him up. They did mutual repair work on each other.

What are city-naming conventions in the southern parts of Kasslyne?

I don't know :O

Were Vienne's glasses bolted to her head like Quigley's were, or is that something that Aldish women weren't allowed to have?

Aldish chicks don't get to have awesome skull piercings, they're considered masculine. She just wore regular glasses.

Is it rumoured in that way where everyone /knows/ it as a fact but they simply can't find the spot, or is it just kind of... rumoured?

More the former than the latter. If you ask around about the Black Tongues, if you really want to get into contact with them and you make it known - they will find you.

So, let's say there are two identical rocks, and a wright borrows half of the rock's aspects from one, and another uses the other aspects from the other. Could a third wright squish the remnants together, or would the khert prefer to eat the rocks?

Can someone else clean up after a wright if they've left material laying around with empty Aspect slots? Absolutely, and thank goodness for it, otherwise wrights would be ridiculously destructive since other wrights couldn't keep them in check.

What you're specifically asking would result in a single rock: take the remaining moiety from the one rock and switch it over to the other, which leaves a donor rock with no Aspects that the khert will dispose of. But this is only theoretical since in the time it took a wright to describe, locate and draw half of all the Aspects from such a specific cut of material, the khert would have gone about its business. You don't have a big window of time between drawing an Aspect and the material being disposed of. It's definitely one drawback of pymary: you cannot create from nothing. You are not a god.

Does Lurick know that it's Black Tongue HQ?

It's rumoured, but no one's ever been able to find where exactly the headquarters is :) Iz hidden.

Is the Ilganyag actually everywhere, or are there lots of Ilganyags that aren't really all part of the same thing, but pretend to be?

They're international. Their headquarters is in Lurick, a town on the coast of western Cresce. Claiming you're Ilganyag when you're not is a good way to get your head cut off.

Where did the Ilganyag originate?

I wonder.

So, let's say there are two identical rocks, and a wright borrows half the rock's aspects from one, and another uses the other aspects from the other. Does the khert squish what's left of both together to make one rock, or does it eat both rocks?

The khert doesn't care that the stone used in this instance is in the form of two rocks. It's only interested in cubic space. So it would destroy the exact stone matter that is drawn from and leave what isn't untouched. When you draw an Aspect you don't say: "Give me the solidity of that rock." You give coordinates or you draw a vector. So you say: "Give me the x by y by z solidity of the stone at x,y,z from the port in my right palm." The khert nabs the solidity at that coordinate and whisks it to your hand via the nearest line. A few seconds later, if you haven't slotted in a placeholder Aspect or returned the solidity, the khert destroys the stone. To the khert, there are not two rocks. It is all stone located in space. So you'd likely be left with fragments of the original rocks with chunks cut out.

There's no human intelligence behind the khert. It doesn't know about rocks. It knows about materials and numbers and space and how things must move and what is required to keep reality chugging along.

That's cool! So the khert literally destroys matter? Are wrights concerned about actually decreasing the planet's mass or is that not the case (or is it met with a hand-wavey "meh, the khert'll fix it" since pymary is too useful)?

Most of the material that wrights draw from isn't the sort that they are overconcerned with conserving. No one cares if you clear out a few square feet of tall grass or a few troughs of stone. It makes for pretty decimated battlefields though, and a pymary-intensive battle can all but obliterate a city. It is ethically better to swap than to isolate, but in the heat of battle a wright does what he has to do.

The khert does handle a lot of the sticky details. It cleans up orphaned Aspects, cleans up incomplete materials, and keeps reality working smoothly. This is why tampering with the khert or harming it in any way is a bad idea. Pymary, people, physical laws and metaphysical laws depend on it. Reality is an external emanation, the final 3D render; but beneath is the wireframe, the rigging, the bump map, the specular map - the khert!

When did you first start on unsounded? like date for when you made the first page and the date for when you first came up the idea and stuff

Date for when I made the first page... It was right after I got really depressed that my Vagrant Story doujin game didn't work out, so I guess it was early 2010. That was just the first page for this current incarnation of it though, I'd tried to draw it in the past with little success.

The idea for Unsounded is nigh ten years old though, it's been in gestation a long time. Don't have an exact date for that, but I guess I could ballpark it at when I first started roleplaying Murkoph in a Yahoo Groups game like... 1999 maybe? I moved him to one-on-one RP over AIM with my buddy Amanda soon after, and Duane and Will got created pretty quickly after that. Actually... actually Duane may have been around first? I don't remember o_o

I guess Unsounded exists partly as a way to bring together all these characters I've loved over the years. But the seed of the story - the heart of the story - is Murkoph's story, and that's oldest. 1999. Yeah. The year Julius Belmont destroyed Dracula for good and all, coincidentally enough. YEAR OF INFAMY.

Not to sound queer, but are there going to be any same sex relationships in this comic? (I loves it when the gays start smooching...) Perhaps on a related note, that heart you just made looks like something else entirely to me.

The only good thing about Facebook is that it will take a <3 in the text box and replace it with an actual teensy heart.

Srsly though I don't answer questions like this. There is no right way to answer them. I do not like them. I respect everyone having their preferences however. I personally don't like slice of life comics. We all have our eccentricities.

not to sound rude or anything, but are there going to be any same sex relationships in this comic? (not a huge fan...)

PROTIP: If you must preface a question with "not to sound rude/racist/sexist" your question should probably remain unvoiced.


I dig pymary and "magic" systems with some explanation of their mechanics like say FMA's alchemy (I like how alchemy punished "cheaters" more however). What happens to finished spells? Like, does the grass from the "grasslance" return in place or poof?

It depends how the Aspect was utilized. If it was swapped - say you adhered the grass edge to a stick and adhered the bluntness of the stick to the grass - when you end the spell the khert will swap the Aspects back and all will be as it was.

If you isolate the edge of the grass, you leave the grass incomplete as matter and the khert will destroy the grass a few seconds after you've taken the Aspect. As soon as you let go of the Aspect, the khert will destroy that as well. The khert is the great custodian of reality and doesn't allow orphaned Aspects to exist nor matter to exist without all of its core Aspects. Wrights are always struggling with the khert and its custodial nature. I can't really compare any of this to FMA though, I haven't seen it.

If Uaid were a writer, what stories would he tell?

Uaid might tell you about his mom. She was a fun and funny lady whose dreams got too big and too strange. They turned into monsters and burned her up.

Where'd Ephsephin's hat come from? How did it come to be? Will you tell us of the origins... of Eph's hat?

I leave this one up to fanfiction.

If Elan leeched off of some livestock, would it affect the deliciousness of the meat when the animal went to slaughter?

I like this idea! I say yes.

Could Boo be filled with non-shredding, super strong thread and taught to floss Sette's teeth to get all the bits of Red Berry Boy out, or to sew Duane back together when he rips his stitchable parts (like his fancy lungs or his hood)?

I reckon he could! I'm not sure there's any thread strong enough to floss Sette's teeth without snapping though. Those things are preternaturally sharp and durable. It would be (and was in RP) terribly convenient for Duane to have a personal seamstress though :)

I like hoarding questions in my inbox, like dragon treasure, or puffy things in a cat's favourite hidey-hole. Do you do the same thing, or does it bother you to do so?

I do have a few that I'm hoarding 'cause I want to answer them with artwork, ho ho ho. "Can you imagine an Unsounded/Trigun crossover?"

Is the critter life leeching thing inherently evil or could you just leech off livestock that were scheduled to be turned into steak later anyway?

I don't know that it's "evil" unless all our torture and usage of animals for our own gain is evil. Elan leeching vitality out of a marmot is no worse than me having sausages for breakfast. Lord Winalils would roll his eyes and flick you in the head. But yeah, Elan can use any animal, including livestock.

(P.S. Rodenty is a word if I want it to be, right? Right.)

The best word.

Well at least he seems to be a bit remorseful about the untimely deaths of all those animals. He could keep them in better living conditions though, unless the spell feeds on anguish or something. What kind of animal was it in his locker? Looked Rodenty.

It was a marmot. Elan lives there in the Peaceguard barracks and doesn't have much space to himself. I could have had him keeping the critter in his trunk in the communal bunk room, or there in his equipment locker. The locker seemed more accessible if he had an attack while on duty, so I went with that. He has to keep the critter immobile, so he ties it up in a box. It's certainly not pleasant for anyone involved but at this point Elan's grown a bit inured to killing these things. Still, it sucks. He just wants to like, ya know, not die, but this is what he's reduced to doing to manage that.

Is Elan Aled a good man?

I think he is as "good" as his crappy situation allows him to be. I've always felt very bad for him.

Why exactly does heart condition guy need to kill animals? Does he require the fresh blood of living creatures to keep his ticker tocking?

I can't tell you Lord Winalils' trade secrets, he'll kill me!

I predict that someone in this chapter has... A WRIST MOUNTED BOW GUN!

You would be INCORRECT, sir. But not entirely incorrect. Try wrist-mounted buzzsaw launcher.

Is the little spider pymaric still active? Or is it nonfunctional while it's out of "web" and Sette just had to shape it into a hair clip?

Oh, no, it's still functional. But without webbing, really, the most useful thing it can do is hold Sette's hair back and offer moral support.

Is a mood zombie like a mood ring only instead of changing colors he eats brains?

Quite so. Moods range from brain-eating to placid shambling to cheerfully but tonelessly humming the choruses to Aquabats songs.

I just realized Elan's using fire right now. O.O How far away should he stay from Duane?

Duane is okay. Duane is chill. As long as Sette is chill, Duane is chill. He is like a mood zombie.

When our friend guard says he feels like shit, does he mean physically or in the head? Imperfect artifacts don't seem like Bastion's gig.

He means physically. Elan should really be dead, but Bastion's contraption (and a whole lot of animals) keep him going. It's not perfect, but it works, and no one else could do it. Perhaps if Elan continues to prove useful Bastion will feel it worth his time to try and come up with a more elegant solution.

How am I expected to react to Murkoph? If I hate him would it negatively affect my enjoyment of Unsounded?

I imagine hating any character would make you enjoy the comic less. I have no idea why people who hate Sette still read the comic, they are like cutters. But how are you expected to react to Murkoph? Curiosity maybe? Revulsion? Spontaneous ejaculation? I have no idea. I'd actually rather you not even think about him until he shows up.

Have faith in me. We've come over three-hundred pages together so far. I wouldn't do anything to hurt you, baby.

How do you exercise your dogs?

I pick a fight.

I like Murkoph's singing voice (thought Tom Waits would be equally awesome). Any examples for Duane, Sette, Quigley, Matty or anybody else?

Quigley most definitely does not sing. He's way too srs bsns. Sette sings like a cat mid-vivisection. It's not pretty. Matty has a nice little boy voice, nothing special. Duane can't really sing anymore, he hasn't the lung capacity nor the diaphragm but when he was alive he wasn't a bad baritone. Simon Keenlyside perhaps.

You're a fan of detailed explanations for things in your own work (and we love you for it!) but how do you feel about things you read having a "smoke and mirrors" aspect to them? I only ask because all my favourite airship designs are the least functional

I have no problem with smoke and mirrors! Or with suspending my disbelief when reading fantasy. Actually someone on 4chan today wanted to fight with me about my magic system because he was a self-proclaimed expert at physics and quantum mechanics. I was like buddy, I'm a fantasy author, not a scifi author, go wank with Neil deGrasse Tyson over how the stars are wrong in Titanic.

So yeah, don't sweat it. Just make sure you're leaving yourself room later on to get technical with the piloting and flying if you want the story to ever go in that direction. Chase sequences and fights are more real and fun for all involved if they have a grounding in reality. Are you putting in booms and yards and sails that can be reefed and furled for dramatic effect? Are you leaving adequate spacing between the sails so that you have a pretty good 360 degrees of visibility from the deck? This stuff will bug you later when you have to lay out action. Like, I said on tumblr that I love that curving sail but it would obscure visibility pretty hardcore.

Otherwise the POINT of fantasy is revelling in things that are different and exciting, things we don't have. Go wild and don't worry about it all aligning with reality as we know it. Reality as we know it is boring.

The movie wasn't bad, I'm just saying I like your idea much better. Hmm, new question...Does Duane like hats?

Well, thank you, I like that idea as well :)

Duane isn't really a hat man. Not enough coverage. Sette thinks he'd look pretty good in a burka but she can't find one that tall.

Rest assured that your "Ahab as the antagonist" idea would have been much better than the actual fourth PotC movie. Different thought: Will we - at some point - get an in-depth explanation of how exactly the Duane-controlling necklace works?

All questions will be answered in time, my child. Except maybe for the origin of Ephsephin's hat, I'll leave that one up to @Forumcat.

Was the fourth PotC movie that bad? I heard mixed things about it but I do like mermaids, generally. I should download it tonight. I will forgive that series a lot if it manages to at least fascinate me. The tentacle beard fascinated me for two movies, I cared about little else.

I can't stop imagining Murkoph's singing voice sounding like Tom Waits. It's the most amazing (read: only) piece of head canon I've come up with. What would Murk think of Mr. Waits?

Marinaded beforehand with a nice wine, I'm sure he'd be very fond of Mr. Waits.

In my head, Murkoph's singing voice sounds just like the lead singer of Dropkick Murphys. This song especially is just all Murkoph. But Tom Waits isn't a bad bit of head canon.

What do you have against kitties?

They will not bark at the mailman nor jump in the swimming pool with me.

How tall is Murkoph, exactly? I found a scrap chilling in the hidden bits of CasualVillain saying that he's 6'7", but I think I remember you once saying he's only 6'4". If it's the latter, why'd he shrink?

Gonna gnaw your face. Gnaw your faaaaaaaace. No Murk questions D:

What's Murkoph's favourite non-human snack?

Lemur. So delicious.

Is Murkoph newer or older than Duane? (zombie time)

Have you ever had to build IKEA furniture? I feel like drinking Agent Orange.

Where in the weird world of puberty is Jivi?

Well, he's fourteen, so right on the cusp of a growth spurt and voice change, I would reckon.

I tried to go back really far in the formspring, and couldn't find someone else asking this, so I'm sorry if it's a repeated question. But would you mind translating "Anteit vaosa, moya umam ssomunt bamillan."? I couldn't find the words in the Wiki.

"Merciful Saints, these people are insane." A handy line to know :)

So, Chris Hemsworth is starring in a dramatized Moby-Dick movie called In the Heart of the Sea. Thoughts?

Start polishing up those Oscars, I'm sure it will be amazing. Actually though I just looked it up and the film is about the voyage of the Essex, a real life story that inspired Moby-Dick, but I don't imagine they'll be including a white whale or Ahab. It'll probably just be Poseidon Adventure with sails.

Pierre Alary was working on a comic adaption of Moby-Dick that I would give my left nut to get a hold of. I once had an idea for a Pirates of the Caribbean movie featuring Ahab as antagonist. He went around in a steampunk whale submersible and Moby-Dick was a mythic animal that granted wishes if you managed to subdue it. Classy, no?

What extra abilities do Quigley's glasses give him after he taps them, as before the duel with Duane? Other than making him look like an intimidating eyes-afire mystical demigod?

Aside from being actual spectacles that he needs to see because he's severely nearsighted, they let him see the khert when they're active. Being able to see the khert when you're working pymary is a big advantage. All Aspects travel via the khert lines - spectral veins of a sort - and seeing those lines lets you target with much greater accuracy. Without them, spells default to the line nearest the desired vector, but that line isn't necessarily the straightest or the stablest. Having a look-see at the khert and choosing your own line almost always produces better outcomes.

It's one of those things there's just no room to explain in the comic so tl:dr +20% accuracy
Do you have contact with any other webcomic artists? I'm asking because slowly, but surely, every webcomic I read turns out to be a favorite of another artist/author I like... If not, are there any webcomics you like to read?

I do not have contact with any other webcomic artists.

Webcomics themselves! I don't read any anymore, I'm sorry. Just kind of fell out of them. Print comics are more my cup of tea. Dark Horse's Conan series drawn by Becky Cloonan is great fun. The Promise 2 is out soonish, as well as Jo Chen's sexytime yaoi manga/novel In These Words which I have preordered. I still read The Defenders every month because I am a sadomasochist and I recently started reading Glory since Ross Campbell took over art duties. It's surprisingly fantastic, considering. I mean, I used to read Spawn in the nineties. Yeah. But Glory is good. I'll read anything Ross Campbell does though, I am kind of a fantard over him.

I've been reading a lot of novels, lately. I finished Penn Jillette's book the other day, it was... interesting. Now I'm reading Gottlieb's history of philosophy. The Greeks were wonkfaces.

What do you mean when you say Murkoph will break everything if you let him?

He will kill and eat all my characters and break my comic! :)

Has it ever occurred to the Ilganyag that they might not have as desperate of a need for new members if they stopped castrating themselves?

Naturally. So there must be a damn good reason they do it.

What's an activity you really enjoy doing but are objectively terrible at?


Are you looking forward to Murk's arrival and drawing him in something canon? (Assuming you haven't already done so.) He makes me nervous, Glassy, which I think must secretly please you.

I'm kind of looking forward to it? But Murkoph is really tricky to deal with. Back in RP I had to saddle him with weaknesses and secrets so he wasn't so broken and didn't kill all the other characters, which he is wont to do eventually no matter how much you amuse him. A lot of those weaknesses don't work in Unsounded so I had to devise new ones, and also be very selective about where and when he shows up and how he gets there. Murkoph will just break everything if I let him.

Also, he is a blaspheming, potty-mouthed, sex-obsessed, violent horrible creature and keeping him from being RIDICULOUSLY outside of the rating I'm trying to maintain is no small feat.

Anyway, I hope he doesn't disappoint. Or make me lose half my readership T_T

Much like my compatriot fresh from India I have just returned from three and a half weeks in Peru. I speed though the updated comic, and skip happily over to formspring to find Murkoph plying his depraved entertainment services like I never left. Miss me?

Baby, it just wasn't the same without you. <3

My best friend in junior high was from Peru. Did you see her there? Her name is Joanna!

Murkoph sounds horrible :/ Does he have a point?

Murkoph is a child of nature. All nature cares about is eating and sex and sex and eating. Murkoph only seems evil because he can look you in the eye and talk to you as he's doing nature to you. Murkoph is all the worst things about life and us; all the things we're surrounded by that we hate but that we're inured to, that we pass by, that we ignore, or that the sickest of us derive pleasure from. Murkoph is reptilian-brained Id in a thin skin of humanity, gnawing on the world, pissing on the faces of paper gods, and shitting into the void. Murkoph is manic and hungry and horny and wise and forever. He's seen the end, forgotten the beginning, and wants to show you this moment right now right now right now.

He's going to be in Unsounded, right? When does he show up?


What's Murkoph's favorite flavor of human?

He's not too particular but he does like noshing on women; ties them up, straddles them, and eats their breasts so they writhe and scream while he rapes them. I hope no one is operating under the delusion that Murkoph is a misunderstood good guy.

I haven't asked a Murkoph question in a while. Glass, what Murkoph-related question would you like to answer?

No Murkoph questions! :O

Computers aren't alive. The hibernate. Since you often compare Uaid and the khert in general to computers, does that ability apply, as well, or is Uaid just always on?

Uaid's always on. He doesn't have any biological processes that need time to rest or recharge, so I just don't think sleep is a requirement. That's why Starfish was so effusive in his praise when they reached Mulimar - Uaid was much faster than their dogs who needed to sleep.

Just got back from three weeks in India--it was awesome and I learned so much, having never left the States before. Makes me wonder--are most of the cultures in Unsounded based off of Western cultures? Or did you throw in some Eastern elements too?

I guess I can't help the Western flavour to much of Unsounded, but there's not a lot "based" on anything specific. You can go around the world to find cultures with a liberated female moiety or a repressed one, or to find religions that believe in reincarnation, or to find ancient feuds between cultures, or to find rigid class structures, or dystopian state control, or blah blah. I put in what I want to see, whether I can find a solid basis for it in reality or not :D I can't think of a functioning bitheocracy like Alderode's in our history, or a moneyless Communist system like Cresce's that actually worked and didn't result in starvation or genocide.

I'm totes jelly you got to go to India though. And for three weeks! I'ma come ask you about it.

Would Uaid be offended if you were to tell him he's not alive?

You'd have a hard time convincing him. He feels as alive as you do.

So, You asked to see the finished image with the Stained Glass, so here it is >.>

Very pretty! :D Very naked! :O

Is Boo good at holding hair, or did Sette have her work cut out for her? Does Boo enjoy holding hair? Will you tell me something cute about Boo?

Boo is afraid of being thrown away again or destroyed, so it's very, very eager to please. Since Sette showed it some positive attention it's decided she's its mom and will now protect her and obey her to the death :O Meanwhile it's very young and very ignorant and is slowly letting Sette shape its worldview. So far Boo has figured out that pie and Duane are the pillars of reality.

Boo was a big deal back in RP. He was Duane's familiar, but started out "life" as a present from Duane's ward Yuki, who was a sort of autistic Robin to Duane's zombie Batman. Duane was so enamoured with Boo (who was crafted either by a Drowish jeweller or an artificer character named Jason who belonged to @mindaroth, I can't remember) that he modified him and inserted a piece of his own soul to give it life and power. After Duane was destroyed, Boo was left behind deep in the darkest, saddest caverns of Old Tawhoque, and presumably wandered forever looking for Duane or Yuki T_T

In a very cool AU thread my friend Adam put together, a Lich apocalypse had come to Hanghorse. Everyone was dead or undead and the city had been sealed off from reality, leaving the undead fighting amongst themselves and only a very small group of living survivors hiding out in the paladins' tower. Duane was their super badass undead protector, and roamed the ruins looking for evil zombies to slay. He rode around in a giant spider named Boo! Boo was sentient here too and was super adorable and lovely and liked to step on smelly zombies. Alas, he was destroyed at the end of the story and Duane subjugated by one of the evil zombie leaders in exchange for saving Sette and getting her to safety. That was a really depressing thread.

So where'd Sette get the new outfit? Is there some poor crescian girl around her size lying naked and unconscious in an alley somewhere?

Naw, she fashioned Quigley's mantle into a new top - the colour and swirly white design should give it away. The bag is Duane's bag, the glowing red necklace was introduced in chapter 4, and the spider pymaric is back there holding up her hair. The pants are her regular old pants. She's a resourceful child.

Does Duane have issues with memory now that he's Salit? He has seemed not to notice the scenery had changed between dusk and dawn when Sette was shifting him further west. Also, do Sette's mutations include the need for very little sleep?

Mutations? D:

Duane frequently carries Sette so she can snooze when they travel at night. Otherwise your questions will be addressed in the story eventually.

Unf, those outfit designs are so good. I want Elan's jacket! Do you have anything real-world in particular that you draw inspiration from for the basis of your clothing designs in Unsounded or did you design them from scratch?

Glad you like, Kirbs! I generally go from scratch for clothing designs. I like to keep things reeeeeally simple in Unsounded; simple shapes, simple colour schemes, simple cuts. Clothing is not something I like to spend a lot of time on every panel; I'd rather reserve that time for faces and backgrounds.

You know what has awesome clothing/armour design? Berserk. I haven't read much of the manga but the movie was just apeshit creative with armour. I may have to gank some stuff, it's way too great.

How do you know that you get the whole comic layout/panels correctly? Do you wing it? Or did you learn from somewhere? I'm trying for a comic myself and I can't seem to get the layout down. :C

Layout is the hardest thing about comics, I think. Anyone can write, anyone can draw, but not everyone can combine art and balloons and story into a page design that is in itself a thing of beauty and clarity. At the same time, layout is the part about comics that laymen and most readers care about the least. Layout is what comic snobs will sit around and bash otherwise beautiful comics for failing to excel at. I have seen forum threads hating on certain gorgeously illustrated, really insanely popular webcomics because their layouts are cluttered, their balloons don't flow, or all their angles are too similar or flat. But normal people just don't give a damn about this stuff.

As long as your pages are coherent for now, just do the best you can when it comes to laying out panels. Read lots of really great graphic novels and study the pages to see how the pros put things together. Think about how the reader's eye moves from balloon to balloon as they're reading down and across a page and try to arrange those balloons naturally. Watch out for tangents - that's when lines intersect or touch in a visually uncomfortable or confusing way. Choose camera angles that best show off what's happening in a panel. Don't be afraid to cut out the background in a panel if it's cluttering things, but don't have a bunch of panels in a row with no backgrounds. Imagine your comic is a movie and think about how the camera would move, what shots the director would choose. You're the director!

Your favorite smell?

YOU, aspidosecalis.

What's the most absolutely useless thing the Black Tongues ever came up with?

Extracting sunshine from cucumbers.

Does Uaid... dream?

Uaid doesn't sleep. No infested pymarics sleep, they're not alive.

What is your SECOND favorite flavor of ice cream? (Mine is mint chocolate chip)

Phish Food.

I'm guessing that there's some pretty useless stuff to come out off the Black Tongues. Like ways to enchant rubber duckies to be especially buoyant and make especially cute squeaks. If you spill a stupid secret like that, is your life just as forfeit...

Oh, spilling spells isn't bad. Sharing discoveries isn't bad. The Black Tongues work to make people's lives better and easier, so they WANT their useful (and duckie-related) discoveries put out there and used. The secrets they want kept are different. And they're secret so I'm not telling you what they are :)

My old school had a less-famous sister school back before they merged into a coed thing. Do the Ilganyag have a sister organisation, whether they appreciate its existence or not, or are the genius, morally questionable lady wrights screwed?

I'm sure there's a coed organisation somewhere but I haven't really thought about it. They don't feature in the story or anything.

Are there any elements that you've explained through imagery that you're particularly proud of?

Pride is bad, mmkay?

What happens if a married man wants to join the Black Tongues? Is he allowed to? Does he have to get rid of wifey? Is he just never allowed to say anything to her about pymary again?

So long as you do the initiation, serve the brotherhood, and abstain from religion, the Black Tongues don't care what you do. Continue your marriage, adopt a kid, take up crocheting, whatevs. If they have reason to believe you're spilling secrets, though, they might murder you and your family in the night. So join at your peril.

Why did Quigley bait and switch them? He admires them in some ways.

Bait and switch the Black Tongues? Because he wants to keep his balls, man, and he thinks they're mostly a bunch of crazy asshats.

As a writer how do you deal with the usual issues imposed by writing a story driven by distinct protagonists? i.e. not being able to kill the protagonist off til the end (if it happens), having to neglect backstory on side characters for story focus, etc.

Well, what happens to the protagonists IS the story. There's no use coming up with a story that's detached from the characters you want to write about, and no use coming up with a main character who dies in the middle of the story you want to tell. Story and character can't be detached; the latter is the vehicle for the former.

There are stories around Duane and Sette but they're not The Story. The story of the current military actions between Cresce and Alderode is a story but it's not the one we're concerned with. If Duane and Sette got blown up tomorrow we'd never know the resolution of the war but we'd know the resolution of the characters and their story, and that would be the book concluded for good or bad. So yeah, the way I deal with story and characters is to never detach them.

I was talking about this with a writer friend the other day and posited that making characters interesting enough to have a story lean on them requires Coincidence. Coincidence is in my opinion the greatest tool a writer has, and it must be handled with skill and finesse, like a rapier. Nearly everything interesting that happens to anyone anywhere happens because of coincidence. The human race is here, now, because of nigh impossibly improbable coincidence. So don't be scared of it. Our characters are compelling BECAUSE of lots of coincidences in their lives. If there hadn't been the coincidence of an extremely proud and unstable man losing his leg to an extremely notable whale, Moby-Dick wouldn't have happened. That he had a very literate man of letters aboard to tell the story of the hunt was a coincidence. That this man survived when everyone else died because a buoyant coffin happened to pop up in proximity is coincidence.

But we are authors and authors are the gods of their world. We know when these coincidences are going to happen and we can prepare the reader for them. We can write about that coffin being made and bring it into existence foreseeing its eventual use. In this way we can ensure that our characters escape monsters that might otherwise kill them, be where they need to be to see what they need to see, meet who they need to meet, and see their story through to the end.

Side characters can be tricky but I would guess the thing to keep in mind is why they are there, what they do to support main characters and the main story, and how do they support the theme. If their backstory just isn't relevant except as trivia, it has to be left out, or kept to a sentence or two. It all comes down to disciplined editing.

Comic writing is a really good exercise in brevity and editing. I'm getting better at it but the earlier chapters are way too unnecessarily wordy. If you ever want to challenge yourself as a writer, try to write a comic full of concepts that need explanation. It's fun and you'll only want to kill yourself occasionally :)

Which is the bigger turnoff to potential Black Tongue recruits: having to get an obvious tattoo marking them as as kill-on-sight criminals, or cutting their balls off? Also would they have any luck if they changed the rules to let women join?

I'm sure different wrights have different priorities, but I would think the castration would be the biggest deterrent. It's not like it's laying down on an operating table and having a nap while a professional surgeon tends to you - you gotta do it yourself in front of witnesses, utterly naked and barehanded with nothing but your own skill with pymary to aid you. For all their railing against religion and ceremony and taboo, the Black Tongues are peculiarly insistent - almost devout - when it comes to this initiation and the tattoos.

And they're never going to change the law and allow women. It's a boy's club. They'd sooner stop existing.

There's Stained Glass in the drawing I'm doing now. Drawing is takes a while, but is very relaxing. What's your view on stained glass? Is there it on Kasslyne? When Sauce spills over you, do you become Stained Glass(shard)?

Stained glass is faaaaabulous. I'm not Catholic but I went to a Catholic elementary school so I have an ingrained love of stained glass, priests & nuns, and ritualistic cannibalism.

There is definitely stained glass in Kasslyne and in fact there are a few portentous pieces at the beginning of chapter 7 that I have already drawn. So it's kind of creepy that you've asked this :) I've always wanted to live in a house with huge stained glass windows. One day. One day, Steinhoff! Lemme see your drawing when you're done.

So, my little brother started reading this and he can't stop thinking over Elka's verbal confession about her flashing some he thinks she's a bad person. Did she really flash her audience or did she just say that to make Toma smile?

Haha, she was absolutely just joking. No real flashing. Geez, don't let your little bro read the comic if he's TOO little though. It's a bit violent and creepy for little kids, no?

All your characters have a little evil in them (or a little good, if they're basically evil). What's Matty's little bit of evil? Assuming, of course, that he's not secretly the evil overlord of the story...

Other than the normal kid evil of disobeying his dad sometimes... Matty suffers from the evil of NOT disobeying his dad sometimes. He could have brought the Red Berry Boys to a swift end if he'd gone to the cops when he and Ephsephin were in Mulimar.

Otherwise Matty is a pretty good kid. Vienne didn't have him for long, but she had him long enough, and Quigley hasn't managed to ruin him yet.

Question concerning the Ilganyag. Breeding Matty to a goat: How would that end?

Disappointment for all parties. Well, the goat might not mind it too much if it got to eat Matty's hat afterwards. Your questions are going to get me put in jail, Cat.

Are good make-up artists in high demand in the Crescian theatre, or are actors expected to do their own?

Make-up artists seem like the way to go.

What do the Crescian actors use for Matty? A kid? A doll? A lump of blankets and some white dog fur? A particularly small actor? Pymary?

I see no reason why they couldn't use a kid actor.

Further question about what exactly Smoke Eels are. Physical creature? Metaphysical creature? Kasslynian cultural metaphor? By-product of life-related pymary? Artistic rendering of a spirit/soul/ghost? Eels make the horror scenes creepy, well done!

Smoke eels are ghosts with physical forms, essentially. The khert is always bleeding fragments of dead memories into the world. The negative memories are strongest, and they fester, and they coalesce in the corners of reality like dog hair in the corners of an untended room (see how I can draw on personal experience to fashion metaphors? Do this, writers). Sometimes they get so strong that the khert mistakes them for life and they manage to possess the material world. They're still not really alive though, so the only matter they can possess is the tiniest - smoke particles. Soot. Sea spray. Dust.

Now the khert is really confused. It reads these negative-energy infused particles as living cells. The khert has little glitches in it; little hiccoughs in its structure. One of these hiccoughs is eels. For some reason when the khert finds these conglomerations of pseudo-cells, it reads them as eels, and grants them permission to not only exist, but to multiply over time and form smoke eels and move like eels and affect matter like eels.

So you get these spectral ghost eels, generally at sites where a lot of traumatic death has happened, since death opens up the khert. Eels are mostly docile and have no interest in people. They just want to coil and hiss and stew in their own hate.

Are those more Smoke Eels being used as a combat weapon by Suicide Commando Quigley?

Sort of!

Two questions concerning the play about Quigley. 1) Are the actors 'white-faced' or is a glamour used to make them looked properly Aldish? Is it a straight up play, or an opera?

White-face! Glamours are outright forbidden in the capital for safety reasons, so there's a long tradition of play-actors scorning them entirely and selling their performances with only make-up and their skills. Wrights have liberty to go nuts on sets and effects though, so the shows are by no means pymary-free.

And Quigley's play was a play. Opera isn't popular in Cresce, it's too melodramatic and ridiculous and Aldish.

Coming out of lurking today with two questions: 1. Does a royal blessing for a marriage come directly from the Queen, or is that the job of some obscure, extended family member? 2. Did Vienne make Matty's wind-up toys?

Aww, don't lurk. We're all friends here.

1. Except for the marriages of important people, "royal blessings" come from officials in your district who review applicants and then stamp the equivalent of "royal blessing" on your marriage license. Cresce is simply too populous for her Majesty to review every single coupling. It's probably good to know that often when the monarchy is referred to it's a reference to the state government at large, so "royal blessing" is a nice way of saying "state approval."

2. Yes. Everyone said she should be sewing him cute little teddy bears - that's what moms are supposed to do - but when she tried it the best she could do was Chitz. Sewing was just not her forte. So instead she made him wind-up vliegeng toys that spit water and clockwork wrights with glowy hands.

Would living Duane have been willing to make some silvers with Vienne in a closet?

Vienne was pretty hot. I think a lot of living men would have wanted to make whoopie with her in a coat closet.

Is it too spoilerrific for you to tell us about Toma's (apparently expanding) wife? "She's not very nice" and "he could call her worse than fat" aren't really... helpful...

Sure. Lady Emne Toma, she's a distant cousin of the Queen and lives in the capital with her daughter Chea. She's a history teacher - the one you hope you don't get because she's merciless as a winter-starved she-bear. She's extremely attractive and extremely vain, obsessed with fashion and the theatre, and has been known to have some Aldish sympathies in private circles. She's otherwise very popular and is invited to all the parties, always dragging her reluctant hubby along if he's in town. She and Toma have almost nothing in common except for their daughter Chea, whom they both love to excess but in totally different ways.

It was a negotiated marriage, as most marriages are, except Emne's status gave her family particular weight when it came to negotiating with Emil's, and the ability to expedite the marriage process, one that customarily requires two years of waiting and a royal blessing. Emil was from the Jards, a solid family from the south who never did anything more remarkable than produce Emil, who went on to become quite the hero in the military. He's also pretty good looking. Emne met him when the Queen was pinning a medal on his chest, and fell immediately in lust. They were married a few months later, Toma rather ambivalent about the whole thing.

They do not really care for each other, but they are such a good looking couple and such a charming story (military hero/royal cousin awww) that they get gossiped about fairly frequently. Toma doesn't like to be home much but he misses his daughter a lot when he's away on assignments, so he is an eternally miserable mope-bag.

Since Matty, have the Black Tongues had any other potenial recruits?

I don't think so, that's their trouble. Just a bunch of old guys with no balls. Why, are you volunteering?

"Shirtless Toma, eh? Not for many moons. There's a shirtless Jivi on the horison though, maybe that will satisfy. Basically everyone gets their chance to be shirtless, it's one of Unsounded's bylaws." Including Elka?

I would have no problem whatsoever with boobs. Boobs everywhere! But that pesky PG13 rating. Maybe I can do some sideart of Elka's boobs later to make up for it.

The other day I was halfway through writing Lord Winalils having a (one-sided) conversation with his girlfriend while she was blowing him when I remembered I could never get away with it in the comic. We're all suffering here, anon.

Is Toma often honest when white lies would make his life easier?

Sometimes, but that's not how the whole fat Emne situation came about.

I was agonizing over poor Toma last week, trying to decide if I should cut his storyline way down since there are so many complaints when I move away from Duane and Sette, but someone convinced me to keep it. So we'll find out more later.

Is this the peaceguard's less-lethal weapon of choice, like a police officer's baton?

That's Elka's personal weapon of choice, yeah. We'll see her use it one day. Poor Elka, all she's gotten to do so far is tail-rape Sette and keep Toma from sinking into various mopey funks. I think I will let her punch someone soon.

So, yeah, that last panel of Elka is sexy, but when are we seeing more shirtless Toma? This is necessary to my well being.

Shirtless Toma, eh? Not for many moons. There's a shirtless Jivi on the horison though, maybe that will satisfy. Basically everyone gets their chance to be shirtless, it's one of Unsounded's bylaws.

What would Duane think of an illegal female Aldish wright?

Well, for reasons I'd rather not say, while he would be very disapproving since he is a law-abiding sort who respects authority and order, he would understand where the female wright was coming from. Some of society's rules are harsh and frustrating, he would agree, but rules are rules nevertheless.

What would the band's name be? :o


HM. What would have gone down if Vienne and Quigley both survived? Would it end up similar to if just Vienne survived or would Quigley still do dumb stuff?

Hard to say without maybe getting into something I consider a spoiler.

If the Quigleys had stayed with the Black Tongues and Matty wanted to be a wright, would the Ilganyag have been willing to teach him normal wright stuff in hopes that he'd join eventually? Or would they make him join before teaching the basics?

As a matter of fact they were super eager to get him rited and start to teach him Old Tainish and basic pymary, but his dad said No. Quigley has a suspicion that pymary itself is some huge Aldish conspiracy, maybe that it draws on the life force of its people or something, and he doesn't want Matty to have anything to do with it.

The Ilganyag are really desperate for young blood though. Their youngest active member these days is Bastion of Winalils, and Bastion's in his mid-forties. The brotherhood is in danger of dying off if they can't attract new members, so you better believe they were looking at little Matty the Plat with avaricious eyes.

Alright so the boys and girls of unsounded all get together and form a traveling rock band. Who's on what, do you think? Personally I can imagine Duane & Elka doing "fascinating" vocals... and given practice I bet Sette could ROCK that mouth harp!

Suddenly I'm imagining Sette doing a deadpan impression of Alanis Morissette on the harmonica and I'm a disturbed. Murkoph plays guitar so let's get him on there - acoustic naturally. Then we got Lord Winalils playing a mean keyboard, and I'm hip to the idea of Elka and Duane on vocals, sure. Toma seems like he could pick up the drums pretty quickly, so we'll stick him back there like Russel from the Gorillaz. Matty gets the triangle. Jivi can whistle at a professional level. Timofey writes lyrics. Quigley is their manager and is stealing all their money to buy whores and blow.

So let's say that Vienne saw Sette grab Matty (pull him out of Boo's explosion range, say). She has time to grab some pymerics but no construct. She finds Matty with Sette and Duane and momma bear instincts kick in. How would that fight go?

It really takes a man to hit first and ask questions later ;) Vienne would be like yo, whassup mah Aldish brother, and Duane would be like, just chillin' here with your kid u want him back lol? And then they'd go out for coffee and Sette and Matty would have milk and biscuits and it would be quite lovely, really.

When was the last time you danced?

I danced naked to some Dusty Kid after I exited the shower this morning until my dog paid me to stop.

If Quigley had joined the Black Tongues and kept Matty there, would the Ilganyag have required that Matty give up his presumably as-of-yet absent family jewels, too? If not, how would they have dealt with the adorable little thing?

Haha, no, that would be...dreadful...

He could have lived in the facility but he wouldn't be allowed into the workshops or libraries or allowed to learn any of their secrets or learn much at all, really. But everyone would have been nice to him. The scholars at Lurick are pretty chill, all things considered. I mean, there are some who'd have wanted to vivisect him to examine his organs or maybe try to breed him with a goat to better understand all the properties of Plat-ness, but everyone else would have been very sweet.

So... does Quigs have tongue tattoos and that other... distinctive characteristic of the Ilganyag? Or did they tell him about the... requirement and he was all, 'WHAT?!?! ARE YOU INSANE??' and took his kid and got the hell out of there.

Quigley was devious. He courted the Black Tongues for the info he wanted, moving to the Crescian city of Lurick for a few months to work and research at the facility there. He gave every sign that he was ready to cast off his old life and join the brotherhood, but once he had what he wanted, he and Matty bounced before it could go any further. So no tattoos, balls intact.

GlassShard posted a new profile photo

What did Matty think of the Ilganyag? Was he even aware that that's what they were?

Matty thought they were the nicest people ever. Everyone called him cute and gave him sweets and everyone knew about battlewrights and dueling and who was up in the rankings and who won the last tournament and they all wanted him to talk about his mom and Uaid and everything she'd made and discovered and had going on when she died. Matty will tell you that yeah, maybe the Black Tongues are kind of evil and break the law and are obsessed with testicles but DAMN they have the best candy.

Comments are gone? Whuut?

Formspring seems to have the flu.

So wait, is Quigley still workin for the Black Tongues? Something in his response to Toma when they were in Uaid made me think that Mathis was no longer a part of that...'course, I could just as well be imagining things.

No, you're right. He left them a while ago. Someone else might be able to guess why >_>

OK, let's say that Vienne and Mathis's fates were reversed, and she ended up working with the Queen. She and Duane cross paths and end up fighting due to a mistake of some kind (involving Sette, Chitz and Matty, perhaps. Duane doesn't know). Who wins?

Duane VS Vienne? Nothing and no one else? Duane wins, no contest. Vienne wasn't a trained battler and never fought once in her life.

But you pitch Duane against Vienne and her creations, it's a different story. Duane vs. Vienne and Uaid the rest of her pymarics? Vienne makes zombie paste out of him. Duane couldn't sit down and design the kind of things Vienne designed.

Really hard to set two different skillsets against each other like that.

Wow, if Vienne was better than Mathis I can't help but think if their roles were reversed, and Mathis had passed, Vienne might have beaten Duane in the duel.But then, Duane might not have dueled her because she was a woman..yeah, what would have happened?

Well, if you reverse roles, Vienne would have been in attendance when the Window attacked and she would have been killed or jailed right along with her husband. Even if she did survive that, she never would have attacked the office with Matty strapped to her back. Quigley doing that was extremely selfish and awful, it's a miracle both of them weren't killed and he had no business blithely throwing Matty's life away. That's exactly what he was doing, too, because he expected both of them to die in the attack.

But let's ignore that and just say somehow Vienne was with Matty in Quigley's circumstances in the woods last chapter. You're right, Duane wouldn't have dueled her. But... Vienne would never be doing work for someone like Starfish, so he would have no reason to duel her. Vienne would have stayed in the capital and gone to work for the Queen - it would have been safest for both her and Matty. Mathis was offered that deal but he didn't like the idea of them having Vienne's construct and all her research. He didn't want to be beholden to Queen Sonorie to that extent. So he took off.

The big difference between them, I guess, is Vienne would always act first as a mom and in the interests of Matty. Quigley acts for Matty's sake in his own blunt, stupid way, but in his mind if he dies and Matty has lots of money, Matty will be fine and he'll have done his duty. Vienne would have known Matty needed more than that.

Umm, Glass, does it matter if I ask who that 'hostage' was that helped get Quigley and Matty over the border?

It wasn't anyone important, just the head of security at the office they raided. He was tossed in prison afterwards and is there right now. Alderode wanted the entire incident disappeared, it was extremely embarrassing for them.

Can Duane get drunk?

Living blood and flesh has an intoxicating effect on him. Alcohol doesn't do anything but get his shirt wet. Man has no digestive system anymore.

In regards to the earlier question about the fully-badassed Uaid, might the object on the right of the top panel on page 12 be Vienne's working model? Maybe not? The shoulders have a very similar mechanism to Uaid.

Yep! That was a model they were working off of. The Uaid we see now is pretty unfinished, he was to be armoured and helmeted and have an array of weapons attached to his forearms and shoulders. The only real "weapons" he has now are some launchable nets and he can shoot his hands off his wrists kind of, they're connected to those spools on his shoulders via internal cabling. Wait until you see an actual finished military construct made with adult ogre parts. Uaid will really look like baby shit then, poor thing.

So, if Vienne was a tomboy (assuming that part is fairly true) and as hound-headed as Elka says, did Quigley piss someone off to get saddled with her, or did the elders actually think they'd get on and it would be a good match?

The elders didn't like either of the kids nor their families. That in itself gave them something in common.

Vienne herself was not a bad catch. She had no interest in receding into the role of meek little wife - a role particularly expected of Plat women who aren't even allowed to go out and get jobs - but her family owned the forge, making them the wealthiest people in the village. And Vienne was the only child of theirs to make it to marrying age. So Vienne may have been a headache, but she was a headache wearing a tiara.

Quigley was a similarly mixed bag. He had a great job for the Window and was among their most talented wrights, but his present personality is not a recent development. He's always been an angry, arrogant, emotionally stunted ass. Vienne had her work cut out for her dealing with him. Fortunately he travelled a lot :3

Did Quigs luuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuurve his wifey?


Um...I saw mention of kosher garlic pickles.They are crunchy ambrosia, but may I ask for your thoughts on Cheez-its? Also, if Duane and Captain Ahab were to have a pissing contest as to the angst and badassery of their lives (or unlives), who'd win?

Cheez-its are okay, but not the healthiest things ever. I like pita chips and blue corn nachos bettah.

For Ahab VS Duane, mmmm, Ahab is much more of a badass than Duane, but Duane's had much more angst. Ahab loses his shit because he lost his leg. Duane's lost everything. It'd be a close call but since I can't out-write Melville, I'd have to declare Ahab winner :)

Hm, assuming Vienne really was making Uaid into a (badass) giant fighting robot, and that's not Crescian propaganda, will we ever get to see the finished product where Uaid was concerned?


Is the fact Uaid can block the khurt how they were able to escape without the Window shutting them down?

Quigley will give the details one day. For now you'll have to wonder.

How did you learn to make the Unsounded website? Was it difficult?

Naw, I've known HTML since high school, and I. I write everything from scratch in Notepad++ which is really great for troubleshooting code. The update journal is the simplest blogging software I could find, a little program called Chyrp. The only occasional thing that's a pain is making sure everything lines up across different browsers. Chrome/Firefox is never a problem but IE is famously a pain in the arse.

I want to thank you for writing another intriguing female character. For a long time I thought I suffer from internalized misogyny, because I tended to hate fictional female characters. But recently I realized I hated most of those characters not because

"they where female but because they were badly written females. What’s your take on the way female characters are written in mainstream media?"

The same as yours, I suspect. The lack of tolerable female characters is why I have no interest in ninety-five percent of what Hollywood poops out. Video games are just as bad. In my advancing age, I'm bored by the same old tropes.

But you know, there are a lot of women who dig the way females are written in Hollywood films. It doesn't bug 'em. And they like all the terrible, soul-crushing reality shows that reinforce materialism and pettiness and cruelty. So who am I to say Hollywood or television should change their ways? I just don't want to partake.

Vienne was pretty cool. I really like that she and Mathis got along so well. Though I wonder if he knew she was a wright and a dissident. I can’t imagine how she would have hidden it from him, but I think, if he knew he might have stopped her.

He definitely knew she was a wright. Moreover he knew she was a superior wright to him, even without a fancy Academy degree. She had a lot of help building Uaid but she designed his pymaric programming herself, and Uaid is pretty damn smart for a manufactured construct. She also designed Swarm, those bugs in Mathis' mantle. She was damn good, and that was part of the reason he liked her. As for the rest, perhaps Quigs will clarify some of the details and inaccuracies of the tale himself one day.

Does Quigley know that there's a play that is about the worst moments of his life?

Yep. But in all fairness, he did turn right around after seeking help from the Queen of Cresce to join the Black Tongue, rather an ungrateful act. She wouldn't have allowed the story to be used as propaganda (which is really all the play is) if he hadn't taken the construct and ran.

But the play is convenient in ways. It paints him as a badass who took out an entire office of wrights and aseptics (high level wright-fighters), which in turn makes people like Starfish specially seek out his services. But it also turns the murder of his wife and the crippling of his son into entertainment. Whatcha gonna do.

Someone else was asking about a backstory that won't show up in the comic... how about Uaid's? Not as a construct, but as an ogre? What were things like in a day of the life of a live ogre? All the coolioolio senet beasts running about, and the ogres...

I'm sure it was idyllic and rockin' with no humans around yet. The senet beasts - mountain ogres especially - helped carve out the landscape. They ate delicious rocks and were always digging up choice specimens, so there are scads of valleys and canyons that can be attributed to them. But they weren't terribly intelligent. No ogre villages, no ogre raves, no ogre chess matches.

I don't think Uaid-ogre's backstory can ever be revealed in the comic since the Uaid we know isn't the personality that originally occupied that body. Uaid wouldn't remember it to tell it! But it's not much of a backstory. Baby ogre was old as the world - created a baby, remained a baby. He never grew any older even though the elder ogres were all petrifying and putting on layers and layers of granite and becoming hills and mountains and ranges. Mama ogre realised what was happening not long before she was ready to lay down and become Mt. Mama, so she smashed baby ogre's head in and buried him sadly so she wouldn't have to leave him all alone.

The Senet beasts did and do have their flaws. Not aging is great until it isn't anymore.

Quick! Duane should go to the theater if he wants to learn Quigley's story (if it's being put on at the moment). Though of course that play is totally 100% accurate. I don't know if Duane would be sympathetic at all, because screw the March and traitors.

I hoped someone would get that Elka was remembering a play :)

Duane would say that Vienne got what was coming to her. And he wouldn't believe the Window blinded Matty. In some big ways, Duane is a dick.

Oh gods Elka's story...I will cry everytime ;n; Poor Quigley, poor Matty, poor Vienne...heck, let the tears flow for the whole family! Lovely colors on the last page, but I don't quite get what's happening in the middle panel. Clarify? ;u;

You'll understand on the next page.

Was Vienne born with an outbound connection to the khert or did she get rited?

Her dad rited her and she practised illegally. Part of the reason for the harshness of the response when she was found out.


I don't drink! Make me a Shirley Temple, barkeep.

How accurate is that map on the last panel of page 13? Careful cartography, or random rectangles?

It's a map of Mulimar. I think it's fairly accurate. You can see the city walls and the courtyard with the Yerta statue where Sette came in back in chapter 4.

I'm getting the impression from the way she's telling this story that Elka might have some respect for Quigley, or would, if he wasn't a criminal. Does she admire him and his family for bucking Alderode's system?

Elka really likes the story of the Quigleys, but Elka only knows the version that circulated around the country so her mental image of Mathis doesn't really align with reality. But yeah, she thought he sounded like a really brave guy and Vienne sounded pretty badass and clever. But how much of the story that she knows is accurate? There's at least one pretty big hole in it. I'll post two pages tonight and conclude the tale.



I say "Boom Shaka Laka" too much. Yes, I realise this is a bad habit and that I should stop. What's a phrase you use more often than you should?

Have you ever seen Muppet Treasure Island?

I probably say "fuck a duck" too much in real life. Not so much online. Offline I curse like a sailor. I called one of my dogs an infected twat today for no real reason. I should apologise.

So if you're going to cheat a fellow Aldish person, you want to find someone of another caste so they can't tell what's going on?

Or you need to be a very good liar. If you're the kind of liar who can lie in a way so that you believe your own lie, it's not difficult to fool people. Lord Winalils EXCELS at this.

What's a guilty pleasure of yours?

Sometimes after all the Claussen's Deli Style Hearty Garlic pickles are gone, I'll... I'll drink the entire jar of remaining pickle brine. Garlic pickles are what the angels eat when the angels want to eat pickles.
I'm loving the latest pages, beautifully coloured! What village was Quigs from? And what did he do as he was growing up? Just school, or did he work too?

Aww, thanks, man. Quigley was from a village in Durlyne province called gulhanba llo-afhil, or Green Helm of the Quarry. It was a satellite of a more major, mixed population mining town, and most everyone had some job related to the mines. Quigley was weird because his parents were weird, and kept the family apart from the general population which was very communal and open. When the government came by to grant scholarships to the village's best boys so they could go serve the state at the Academy, Quigley was sent away to school in the capital at I think six years old. He came back a wright, was assigned to work at the local Window office as their bird-dog, and the village elders who run everything stuck him with Vienne, the other weirdo. So yeah, he spent most of his actual childhood locked up studying pymary.

PS- If Uaid is made of First Earth, what do his feet smell like?

Dirt! And whatever he stepped in last.

Shard, I've got a burning question: how does Quigley maintain the lovely pectorals you can see though his shirt in Ch. 4, p.21 and 22? Does he glamour himself pretty, or is it push-ups that give him that glorious, subtle definition and slender waist?

He has to climb that ladder up Uaid's back a few times a day, often while toting Matty, and has to do a lot of maintenance work on his construct. All of Uaid's parts are heavy as balls. Keeps him toned, I like to think. Let me have my pretty Plat T_T

Since the Soud aren't connected to the Dammakhert, are they seen as less Aldish/less of citizens than other castes? I mean, sure, they're one of the least special castes, but does it have political and/or civil consequences for them?

Absolutely. Most Dammakhert-touched Aldish can read each other. They are so profoundly affected by the tainted khert that it sets them up with a faint sort of sixth sense; an ability to "feel" the Dammakhert around them and in others. In effect it means they have a sense of what caste you are, and if you're the same caste they can sometimes tell if you're speaking truthfully, if you're secretly upset, if you hate them, if you love them.

With the Soud there is none of this. They are just regular peeps living in Alderode. So no one can read them and no one trusts them. Means no one wants to do business with them, rent to them, or even interact with them too much. If you have an assurance of a base level of transparency with everyone you interact with every day, would you want to have these total unknowns in your life? They could take advantage of you!

So the Soud get shit on sometimes. Alderode is really good about pushing for equality in certain areas though, since it can be a great distraction from deeper, more troubling inequalities in other areas. Why do politicians push minor social issues while ignoring major ones?

Hence Alderode tries to keep the castes equal and the two faiths on even ground. The Soud get shit on, have to take separate public transportation in cities, and patronize their own stores, but there are Soud in all branches of government.

Can you tell us a backstory story hat won't show up in the comics so it's not a spoiler? Like Duane in the army or something.

Hmm, I'm afraid all the Duane backstory I care to reveal on here's already been discussed. The Army stuff I want to hang on to for now. Even if I decide not to use it directly in the story, it's written out, and might make a good side comic. The best I could do is to talk about when he was a kid or when he was in school.

The bulk of chapter seven is dedicated to Duane's backstory, so it'sa comin', hang in there. Though you will probably hate it. Not one person has come close to guessing the circumstances of his untimely demise.

I'll set one stage for DuanexToma. They are both alone, Daytime. Toma his sword and only knows is going to face a wright, not a zombie. Duane is caught as is, has his staff and is in a area with plenty of things to use and no innocent bystanders.

Duane and Toma are both good guys, so neither would use innocent bystanders against each other anyway. It would definitely be an interesting match. If they're on open ground with little cover, that's going to make it hard for Toma to do much about Duane's projectiles. Let's say for the sake of argument that there's plenty of cover available. That plus his sword will make him a match for most conventional pymary. The sword will deflect direct attacks leaving environmental attacks the only real way to touch him, and I think Toma's footwork could avoid a lot of that. The key to fighting a wright, a wizard, or any standard DnD mage is to get in close quarters with him, so that would be Toma's first priority. I think he could manage it, he's pretty spry.

The crucial moment would come at that point. Toma is plainly better than Duane at melee, but what would happen if Toma bested him, cut him, and realised that his sword had no effect? Would he also realise the nature of his opponent then? Would Duane use the captain's surprise against him and strike definitively?

He probably would, though not necessarily lethally. Would depend how pissed off he was. I think that's how I imagine these particular circumstances playing out. Now if Toma and Elka double-team him, even if Sette's present, I think we have a serious problem. You got melee master Toma plus competent support wright Elka. That is a fight I wanna see.

Conveniently I'm the author so we'll be doing that one day :3

Which Unsounded pages are your favourite?

I hate all of them! I guess srsly though I could go through the index and see what doesn't induce too much vomiting. Hmm... - I see this page get posted a lot. It's a nice sequence of panels, dynamic and easy to follow. Violence on fat people is also a win. Shit, man, for whatever reason, today I'm liking this whole fight between Duane and Eph and Bett. And then the Gentle Giant comes in and it's golden. Decent stuff, decent stuff. - Not every story needs to be in colour but I think Unsounded needs to be in colour. This page makes an argument for it. - Not thrilled with the rest of the scene but I do love my poor Jivi. This scene is referenced later this chapter, I wonder if anyone will catch it. - Matty and Uaid are endlessly, endlessly adorable. I don't care what anyone else says, they are my OTP. - The art's nothing special but this is some of my favourite dialogue. "Quit puttin' on airs; I seen all your ugly now." Oh, Sette, you poet. - Sette prepares to avenge her man, co-starring Dramatic Wind. - Because Quigley, you're not fooling anyone.

Other favourites include pages 37, 50, 53, 62, 67, 69, and 84 of chapter 6 (I really like this chapter). And so far, page 05 of chapter 7.

:3 Forgive me Glass, but I had to ask. Captain Toma vs Duane...Who, do you think, would win?

Does Toma have his sword? Is it day or night? Where does the battle take place? Is Sette present? Is Elka? Was there prep time? Many variables, grasshopper, all effect outcome.

Can only wrights get stung or can anyone connected to the Dammakhert get stung? Could a rebellious group like the Mmatont only exist in the soud caste?

Very clever! The Mmatont would have a hard time existing if they weren't Soud. The March, which is a political party/resistance group that includes many different castes, must do its more illicit acts of civil disobedience on the sly.

But yeah, only Dammakhert-born people - wrights or not wrights - can get stung. That means Soud and foreigners are safe. There are ways to temporarily avoid it. Since it's essentially a long range attack, you can deflect it the same way you'd deflect a spell, with a strong enough First Material, but it's an attack that can be sustained so they're likely to get you in the end. The moral is to be a law-abiding Aldishman and do just what you're told.

Ok, if the Oubliette is essentially a box made of First material (I assume mostly First earth of some sort) because the best way to imprison a wright is to box him up in First material, how can Quigs have pymary while locked up in the theoretical null...

"... of Uaid's belly bedroom?"

It's not a box per se, it's more like the Lady of Pain's maze from Planescape, with lots of antechamber oubliettes scattered here and there. It's where Alderode tosses people it wants to suffeeeerrrrr...

Uaid's not all First Materials, just the green bits. But Uaid's maker cheated by figuring out a way to enchant the green bits to extend their FM properties to the surrounding metal. Fortunately this effect can be toggled via the controls up in the cockpit, and Quigley mostly keeps them toggled to off, so he can have his pymary down in Uaid's gut. The fact that they are toggled to off has serious ramifications later in this chapter, alas.

Which would you prefer: a slow formspring or five dozen inane Forumcat questions a day? The third option is to be slowly roasted on a spit over the fires of a thousand burning babies. In case you opt to go that direction.

Nuuuu don't burn babies, all that grease is hazardous.

I don't mind a slow Formspring. This place is just meant as a way for people to ask me stuff they really want to know. If that's mostly all been answered it must mean me and the site have done our jobs well.

Ok. Gotta think interesting questions. I actually thought one yesterday at 2am. But I forgot. Hmmm... What Matty thinks of Quigley's insect motif? He knows about the whole thing behind it?

Matty just thinks his dad thinks that bugs are cool. And Matty thinks bugs are cool too. Bugs! He doesn't get the irony of it, really, he's not the most profound of children.

Formspring been a little slow lately. Few questions, or busy? I'd ask interesting questions, but I can never think of them before someone else does.

Not a lot of questions, honestly. It's just us left, Stein. Everyone else has been Raptured, and we're Kirk Cameron.

You mentioned a while back that a sword lined in first materials would have the same khert based properties that a solid first metal sword would. So my question here is what takes place on the other side of that first materials lining? Can objects (-->)

(-->) inside a first oak chest be kept isolated from the khert or pymary, like a sort of pymary-based faraday cage? Seems like the kind of place to imprison wrights in.

Yes, absolutely. We had a discussion a while ago about what would happen if someone gave birth inside of Uaid's stomach, since they'd be surrounded by First Materials and cut off from the khert. Wrights can be disabled fairly easy with First Materials, so whether it's slicing up the khert with an FM sword or sealing them up in the Oubliette, which is a prison exactly like you describe, they are not invincible.

We're going to get a really good lesson in First Materials and pymarics in chapter eight, so I don't want to go into them extensively.

Does Toma often get liquored up after some of his heroics go badly?

Toma does like to drink. He's having beer out of a soda bottle in this scene :) Elka provides.

Is the guy tied up on the back of Quigley's dog important? Who is he, and what did he do to warrant his arrest/retrieval/whatever they're doing to him?

He's not important at all, he's just a dude :) You can earn the ire of the Window (the branch of government Quigley worked for) by doing all kinds of stuff: using illegal spells, trying to tamper with the khert, communicating with the Black Tongues, practising pymary without a license, or just pissing off the wrong person. You really don't want to get the Window mad at you. Don't know what that poor sod did there though.

Who would you rather have providing 24/7 running commentary on your life: Sette & Matty or Statler & Waldorf? The answer may seem obvious, but I suspect Sette would regularly come up with far worse burns than the muppets could.

I ain't even scared of Sette. If she started burning me I'd just push all her buttons, the ones that make her cry, because I know them and I am evil. But yeah, my life is pretty uneventful. I think she and Matty would get bored after a while and wander off. So gimme Statler and Waldorf. They are old like me and can sit contentedly on my desktop and listen to audiobooks with me while I flat pages.

Today I lost someone very dear to me. Somewhere between friend, family, teacher, and drill sergeant, my Zen teacher has taught me a lot about the world. Who, besides parents or schoolteachers, do you feel has taught you the most?

I'm sorry, man :( Death is stupid.

I don't know if she's taught me the most, but my friend Fox has taught me a lot. Outside of my parents and brothers I don't have any grandparents or extended family, and most of my friends in life have been really selfish, materialistic, unkind people, but Fox isn't. She always listens to both sides of an argument, considers people's feelings, and genuinely (I'm pretty sure) cares about the people around her. She's a school teacher and it makes her crazy because she actually cares about reaching kids and doing a good job. She's a terrific person, and one of the nicest ladies I've ever known. I've learned a lot about tolerance from her. And because she's also a total spaz I've learned to be less of a spaz and to chill out :D

So yeah.

Another great page, as always! I've noticed Quigley's always had this dark-blueish color scheme which brings me to ask--are there any colors associated with people from different regions, like Alderode/Cresce/Sharteshane (besides skin/hair)?

Thanks, Moof! Actually I hate this page but work through the suck, work through the suck...

I don't worry so much about associating nationalities with colours but I do like to associate characters with 'em. It helps keep them recognizable through wardrobe changes and haircuts. Quigley looks good with dark blue, I think. It suits his albino colouration :) Duane's green, Jivi is red once he gets some proper clothes, Matty is neutrals.

For areas, instead of colour I think about light and weather. Alderode is almost always snowy or overcast and dismal. Cresce and Ulestry are bright, sunny, and autumnal. They really have different vibes.

Hmm...Got a favorite Avenger? Or do you play more into the villain crowd? (Gotta say Marvel makes their heroes flawed and their villains almost redeemable/with heroic qualities undernourished in a sense. Not completely black evil, if you follow).

I've never read any Avengers nor seen the movies, so I'm a bore there. I do generally like Thor. There was an awesomely cute Power Pack meets Thor mini done by Gurihiru that I enjoyed, and a mini just called Vikings done by Ennis and Fabry that is so ultra-violent I felt kind of nauseous when it was over. Doctor Strange is generally the only Marvel character I care about, and even he has been pretty thoroughly castrated and ruined in the past few years. I liked Brother Voodoo for a while, so naturally they killed him off. Meh. Superhero comics are hard to care about anymore, and the movies don't interest me.

I am an old woman, anon.

Do the Ilganyag still use professional names? If so, is Bastion's professional name still Etalarche?

In Unsounded, no. That's a name he takes later in life.

The first panel of the most recent page. My image. Can't...unsee...

Who is this handsome man?

In my latest writing project, I'm frankensteining various elements together from unfinished stories, abandoned projects & old RPs, my question is: If you could add one element to any story, what would you add?

I would add machine guns to Moby-Dick. From Hell's heart I pump hot lead at thee, motherfucker.

Storyline-wise, Which did you find more engaging and entertaining? The Legacy of Kain series or FFXII?

Legacy of Kain, no contest. LoK's storyline manages to carry the games through even the lowest points of their gameplay. Soul Reaver 2 has arguably crap gameplay but it's still my favourite because the story is so strong and has so many fantastic moments of revelation and high drama.

FFXII has a Good Story - not great. But there's so much polish there with the awesome translation and dialogue, great voice acting, great art direction, great attention to detail... that it can be forgiven for a few slip-ups. Still, LoK is better in my opinion.

What is your word-balloon-creation process?

I draw 'em right into the art. It's bad to do, don't be like me.

Yours is the second comic I've seen today to introduce a character with mustache-chops. I approve.

I wish I was a man so I could grow muttonchops.

What happens after you die and are reabsorbed by the khert? Do you get reincarnated, or do you just spend eternity as assorted psychic residue?

The Gefendur say your cleaned and emptied soul then goes to be judged by Riv and Yerta. If you've followed their laws and kept them foremost in your life, you may be allowed to become a Victor and stay with them for eternity Outside the world, in their grand city. If you've been a terrible person, Riv will throw you back into the world to the Hells which lay on the bottom of the sea, where your legs will shatter when you land and you'll never be able to climb back out.. Otherwise, you're fed to the Chaos beasts, and your soul will be reincarnated into a baby somewhere back in the world.

Any favorite characters in books, movies, or video games? Did some of them have influence in creating your own in Unsounded? Or did you base your characters generally on people you know? (I'm catching up here, so this may have been asked previously)

Oh, I have many, many favourite characters :) I like Balthier there quite a bit, and his bunny-buddy Fran. There were Sephiroth and Vincent Valentine, once, and Raziel from Legacy of Kain. There was Prince Cort from Legend of Legaia, Folken from Escaflowne, and Monte-Cristo Hakushaku from Gankutsuou.

My biggest crushes were from Vagrant Story though. Long ago that game had a big influence on my roleplaying, which in turn had a big influence on Unsounded. Duane's name came from a Vagrant Story character - but don't feel too compelled to look him up, he has only half a dozen lines in the game and is one of the first characters to die. There's a little Sydney Losstarot in Bastion of Winalils - powerful, snarky, disdainful of shirts, daddy issues. Religion and the supernatural, undeath and bad ends... all Vagrant Story, all Unsounded.

I guess I don't make too much of a habit of basing characters on people I know with the exception of two characters we haven't met yet, who are ripped almost directly from my two most beloved. Otherwise maybe I just don't know very many interesting people. Often I like to make characters I WISH I knew. Iori is the grandma I wish I had. Duane is the dad I wish I had. Pantoffel is the dog I wish I had. Sette would be a hilariously fun little sister and Elka would be a cool friend. I am fairly pathetic.

Both Duane and Voldemort lack a nose. They could be BFF! :O

Duane would never befriend that fiend, he is mean! Hot though. What is it about noseless men that makes them so attractive? All men should just have bowling balls for heads.

The header for chapter 6 looks so pretty. Is it some specific place somewhere? And would it be possible to see a bigger version of it? :3

Aww, thankya. I painted it at the size it displays though so... no. I'm sorry, I'm a lazy bugger :D It is a specific place but it shows up, in the background, in only one panel. I had this whole area intricately designed and laid out, imagining I'd use it much more, but the camera lingered elsewhere.

Why doesn't Duane wear a wig?

Why doesn't he wear a lot of things.

Glass. I think it's that time again Glass. No, not the time for romance, that time has not yet come. The time.............................................................for you to ask another public question.

O-okay D:

Here's something I'm sure you'll enjoy: CRITICIZE YOUR OWN WRITING! Be mean, be cruel show no mercy to...yourself, I guess.

Oh, that's way too easy. I can just repeat the many criticisms I've received from others.

I fall in love with dialog and can't edit it. so it stays there to the detriment of all. I like to do fun stuff like fights and chases that don't really contribute to the plot. I make up new words which is bad and a new language which is worse. I don't follow story structuring rules. I leave way too much for the reader to figure out on their own. I mix genres, which is confusing. I use big words. I use swear words. I spell out accents. I launch into exposition in weird places. My characters are unlikable, unrealistic, unsympathetic, and too mysterious.

In short I am a terrible writer. It's a good thing I can draw.

The Crescian army's kind of stupid then, isn't it. Clearly labeling officers with brightly colored uniforms is something that went out of style in the 1800's and with good reason.

(Cont.) It's basically a giant label saying "HEY! Pick this guy off if you want to break the chain of command!" ....Still rather stylish though. Red is a good color for Toma.

I'm remembering that scene from Forrest Gump where Lt. Dan yells at Forrest and Bubba for saluting him in the jungle. But no, the Peaceguard are a diplomatic policing force and operate within cities for the most part. Presenting an organised, heroic, and stylish front to foreigners is important. They're not out there fighting wars where a distant enemy is going to snipe them from the canopy. You'll notice they don't even wear much armour. They're cops.

Caveman vs astronaut: empty room, no weapons. Who would win?

Maybe they make friends! Actually, let's say the astronaut is a female and they start dating. He's always wanted someone with long, glimmering, beautiful hair to yank, and she's always wanted a confident go-getter not afraid to kill rodents with his teeth. They will wed in the autumn and honeymoon in Paris.

Name something that bugs you about a story you're currently watching/reading/playing. A plot hole, an obvious solution, something like that.

The teenagers in Korra have basically killed my interest in the show. Romance among twelve year olds is cute. Romance among sixteen year olds makes me vomit. I loathe the characters. Also there's the power creep, the bending becoming magic, the boring urbanized setting... but I know I'm in the microscopic minority in my distaste for it all so ignore me.

Black haired Dante in the new Devil May Cry game. Fuck that noise.

Dogs. What is up with my dogs rolling in dead squirrel. Something must be done.

That's all I got.

Are created remnants made from the dead always, or can the memories that make them what they are be drawn from living things in the world and sewn together like some spectral Frankenstein?

When people die in Unsounded, their intangible bits are sucked into the khert. The khert strips away everything that made them, taking them apart in the same way it takes apart matter that loses some crucial Aspect. Those stripped away bits linger in the khert, building up like coral into unimaginably vast structures of mnemonic, psychic detritus. Sometimes this detritus bleeds back into reality as remnants. These remnants might latch onto smoke and evanesce briefly as smoke eels. They might infect pymarics. And they might be gathered by wrights in a manner that has only recently been discovered, to create reasonably complete and complex entities.

But no one considers remnants of any complexity to be the same as souls, or to be undead. It is impossible, it is said, to retrieve a whole and complete set of memories from the khert. It's like pouring a glass of water into the ocean and then trying to extract it again. The dead remain dead.

Well, except that zany Duane.

I take it that the colors of the Crescian uniform shirts indicate rank of some sort. Red seems to be Captain, right? Is turquoise next, followed by blue (which would indicate Talking Coffee Guy outranks Elan)?

Yep. Red is Captain, turqoise is Lieutenant, blue is Private. The leader of all the Peaceguard is General Bell, who has his own outfit because generals get to be cool.

What's your opinion of FFXII? You've done quite a bit of fanart so I was wondering...

FFXII is so goddamned awesome I can't stand it. It's my favourite FF and in the... top five of my all-time favourite games. It's sublime.

Are there giant tortoises in the setting? I ask because I saw a sketch on your DA of Matty, Jivi and Sette chasing one down with forks. Understandable. Turtle soup is tasty, giant turtle even moreso.

Yep, there are giant tortoises. They are like the cattle of the human food chain: most prized meat, most expensive to maintain, most expensive to acquire, most deliciousssss.

Just got around to catching up on the comic. Friendly Talking Coffee is now my new favorite character. Please tell me he/she/it gets a character arc where he teams up with Angry Mute Tea to fight crime!

They need someone to fight over. Spicy Singing Chai!

The ghost...thing on pages 5 & 6, is/was it a girl or a boy? Because the androgyny is confusing...

Androgyny is hip and cool, Fakult, embrace it.

Can you sum up the plot of Unsounded so far?

Uh, okay? Don't read this if you don't want spoilers, I guess.

An undead sorcerer named Duane is badgered and bullied by a foul-mouthed and callous little girl named Sette who claims to be the daughter of a famous thief. Also she has a tail. Her father has blackmailed Duane into accompanying Sette on a journey across the continent to force her distant cousin to pay his membership fee to their thieves' guild. On the way, they encounter a monstrous tree beast long thought to be extinct, indicating they've gone quite off track.

It's obvious the pair don't get along at all, but it's also obvious that Duane feels compelled to keep Sette in one piece. This compassion towards kids is demonstrated again when they encounter a pair of them about to be kidnapped by thugs. Duane dispatches the baddies and saves the kids, who tell him the area's being hounded by slavers. Duane tracks one of them off into the woods and finds where the slavers are holed up. He and Sette bust inside but find only a dead little girl and indications that the evil-doers are doing evil beyond mere slavery. Unfortunately the local cops mistake them for the baddies, and the misunderstanding ends bloodily. Duane and Sette escape.

Later, Duane is deeply disturbed by what happened. He also realises that Sette is taking him far off track from her promised destination. They argue but the wind is taken out of Duane's sails when Sette drops her boisterous front and tells Duane how much she needs him. He promises to stay, confesses that he sort of wants to eat people, and they move on, now tailed by the cops.

Sette and Duane arrive at their destination. After dispatching a cop that got too close, Duane takes a break in an old stable to treat his injured leg while Sette ventures into town to find some sign of her cousin's place. She has little success, managing only to attract more cops and the attention of the son of one of the slavers. Chased by pretty much everyone, she escapes by causing an explosion that damages the local magic network. She finds Duane outside town again in time for them both to be attacked by one of the slavers. Duane falls to his doom (lol)

Or maybe he didn't. While the slaver is beating the snot out of Sette, Duane reappears to rearrange his face. The slaver is subdued but another slaver, this one a powerful mage and a countryman of Duane's named Quigley, attacks, and the two battle over a grudge that seems a bit deeper and weirder than circumstances indicate. Duane subdues Quigley, but Quigley is saved by the arrival of his son in their giant mechanical construct. Duane at this point succumbs to some strange affliction, forcing Sette to lead him away while a local cop named Toma shows up to chase the Quigleys through the woods. Toma witnesses the true faces behind the "slavery" operation, and is nearly killed by them, but is saved at the last minute by Quigley's conscientious son.

Does the Timofey in the comic have the same backstory as the Timofey in your DeviantArt picture?

From a certain perspective. Timofey is a very dramatic sort and one cannot be suitably dramatic unless one has an appropriately tragic and interesting backstory. The dA information is what Timofey will give you if you ask him where he came from.

...lick dat Uaid, Elka.

Also a couple pages ago, the statue of Yerta had a different vibe now that we're in Cresce. (She has more clothes!) Do different regional artistic styles continue in Alderode and Sharteshane? Is it fun for you coming up with variations on a theme?

It issss. I play around with the depictions of the Twins a lot. Whenever someone talks about the Twins, I make them look like them. When the old lady at the waystation in chapter 3 talked about them, they shared her features. When Matty talked about them to Sette, they had whiter features. The Twins look wildly different from area to area and reflect the concerns of the locals. That's how gods should be, I say. Jivi and Sette have a fight later about how they each think the Twins should look, it's great fun.

The statue of Yerta at the shrine was right next to the Queen, and covering her boobs was respectful. But later in the chapter there's another statue of Yerta at a min-shrine out in the city and she's boobin' away.

Art styles are a concern too. The statue of Yerta that Sette encountered outside the crypt in chapter 2 was pretty primitive looking while the statues she and others will find in Mulimar and Ethelmik are much more naturalistic and modern. Crescians right now are very into swirly, fancy, decorative arts while the Aldish want hard lines and right angles. Chapter 7 has two very different cities in it, and I've had to do a lot of thinking about them. The contrast is fun.

I feel very babbly today, anon, I apologise.

Was the portrait a couple pages ago of Queen Sonorie?


Your wallpaper has finally be dethroned from my background. This replaced it.

That seems fair. My background has been the same Mandelbulb zoom for two years.

What's your opinion on stories told in the 2nd person (e.g. "You moved across the room")?

I've only ever seen it done in cybering and RP. I'm not sure I could take a story seriously if it tried it anywhere else.

You said ghosts/remnants/etc "often start bleeding themselves when they get too complex." What does this mean?

Their memories and complexity bleed out, dissolve, and they devolve. Ghosts don't have the components necessary to become complex creatures. Smoke eels, which we've seen, are primitive little remnants who have figured out to attach themselves to tiny particles and so stick around longer and have a limited ability to affect the tangible world, but even they rarely last longer than a few hours.

We'll learn a lot more about remnants later. It's all wrapped up in the cosmology of the khert and the world.

Timofey is cute. :) Will we find out more about him in this chapter?

Not really. He is a mystery for a while. Them secondary characters, they're always such teases.

Ghosts and Duane? Theoretically related?

No, which is why Duane is weird. Ghosts in Unsounded are nothing more than mnemonic garbage; fragments of dead, useless data slipped free of the khert as it keeps itself organised and maintained. They're not "souls" or intangible versions of dead people. They're rogue information having a last gasp before they're obliterated. Duane, as we know, is a relatively whole and complete normal person. He just happens to also be a corpse. So not really related.

What is your opinion on paranormal romance novels?

I'm not really big on romance in general! I have nothing against it, but when it comes to entertainment I have the tastes of a ten year old boy :3 Paranormal smutfiction, on the other hand, is aces. Just keep the romance out of it :D

On page 2.14 Duane says he's the eighth Motadwe, but you (and he) have recently said fourth. What made you change it, just giving him a higher rank? From what I'm gathering, it makes sense with Duane's feelings of being a punished for rising too high.

Both are correct. There are eight Ssaelit motadwe - four in the Temple of Song and four in the Temple of the Winds. Of the eight, Duane is ranked dead last, making him the Eighth. Referring strictly to the ToS officials however, it's correct to say he's fourth. For all Duane's formspring griping about having risen too high, he was still the youngest and lowest ranking official among the ruling tier of the Ssaelit clergy. It's just unheard of for both a Soud and a man with a working class background to rise so high by the age of thirty.

What is your favorite element in fantasy fiction?

"Fantasy fiction" is too broad a genre. It encompasses Bas-Lag and Middle Earth and Discworld and the million-and-one alternate versions of Earth that have featured in Anne Rice's and Neil Gaiman's and everyone else's fantasy books. Hard to pick just one element out of such a diverse genre.

Buuuut I'm really turned on by life after death stuff, so maybe I can go with that. It's one reason I like horror movies with ghosts and demons and such. There's no life after death in our world and that is lame. I like fantasy fiction where dead stuff is still around and death isn't the inevitable ending of absolutely everything. So there.

What's the lifespan of an average ghost?

Hard to say. Some ghosts - or remnants are they're more often called - come together for seconds at a time, express a memory or an image or an emotion - then disperse again like smoke. Other creatures are more complex, like our blue friend on today's page, and were specifically designed and created to last indefinitely. If these creatures are bound to a First Material, as is the case with Boo or Uaid, they can last a long time. They often start bleeding themselves when they get too complex though because there's no brain to hold and organise their thoughts and experiences, so most remnants are never more complex than Boo or Uaid.

Toma ain't afraid of no ghosts, is he?

Not "afraid" per se, but occasionally startled by them, perhaps :3

I bet Friendly Frozen Coffee would get along great with Chitz, Boo, and Matty. They should have their own non-canon adventures every Saturday morning. Or maybe just as a vote incentive? :D


Is there any machinery on Kasslyne that isn't run by pymary? Things like steam-power or even things that just work on gears to do stuff when they're dragged across the land or a handle is cranked?

Yep. We got steam engines and clockwork.

Vliegeng fly, right? Do they fly with some sort of physical property I don't understand, or is with help from the khert that they fly? They act as airplanes, too, right? Where does the carriage go? Does it smell bad inside? What are the carriages like?

The carriages are strapped securely to the vliegeng's midsection. They are pretty nice, as it's expensive to travel via viliegeng. Imagine old fashioned first class train cars. Vliegeng fly through the use of specialized appendages extending off their shoulders that exist in khert-space, so they can latch on to the lines of the khert and skate around. They are not like wings - no flapping, no gliding, just hook and slide, like a zipline. It makes for a very smooth ride.

Are First gems sparklier than regular ones? If not, what aspects would be needed to create sparkliness, in your expert opinion?

Alas, I am not an expert. You'll want to research it. I believe it's the way that jewellers cut gems combined with their translucence and optical dispersion that creates the pleasing way light reflects off them. But research it. First Gems, which we should probably call First Minerals, are like other FMs - they are the epitome of what they are. So the finest First Diamond, for instance, just looks like the finest diamond. Their special FM properties are obvious only to the trained eye. No extra sparkles.

I heard Duane was at Avelpit and Foi-Hellick. Were there separate uprisings there at one point, and Alderode had to stop them? And what was Duane's part in it, if he did have a specific part?

Mm, keeping it vague for now, the Foi-Hellicks were a very rich, very powerful noble family that essentially ruled all of Avelpit, a resource-wealthy province of Alderode. Avelpit borders Cresce and the Foi-Hellicks got very friendly with Crescian royalty. Friendliness lead to romance. An ambitious family elder took this romance as a sign that Cresce would have the family's back if they tried to split from Alderode, and so Avelpit formally declared its secession. Whoops, Cresce changes its mind. Whoops, Avelpit finds itself suddenly at war with the rest of Alderode. This was all in high gear when Duane entered the army, so he fought directly in the latter key battles of the civil war.

Do all the other guards Elan's working with know about his condition?

We will find out more about Elan. We're only on the third page of the chapter D:

Does the majority of awesome pymary come out of Alderode, what with the special khert and the plats and that council of wrights and such? It seems like they're pretty intense about their pymary up there in not-Canada and devotion leads to progress, right?

Alderode produces consistently talented wrights but innovation almost always comes from Cresce and the other southern powers. Alderode restricts its Composers, forcing them to adhere to the taboos of two separate religions, forcing them to respect the boundaries of the Dammakhert, forcing them to stay well clear of the usage of a large number of Aspects. There are just too many regulations in Alderode, the Window is way too brutal, and it's a poor environment for the kind of free-thinking necessary to devise new pymary. Most of the pymary-related things that make Alderode special also serve to make it that much more restrictive D:

Are there things like First gems, too?

Yep! Avelpit in Alderode is famous for its First Gemstones, and the Foi-Hellick fortune is founded on them.

If you were to coat a regular sword with First metal, would it work just as well as a First metal sword? How about a decorative filigree of First in regular? First blade edges with regular centre?

Absolutely. You'd still get the khert-dispersal properties and have enough First Material to craft a pymaric.

If you mix First metal with not-first metal, what happens?

You get an alloy with weaker First Material properties, but it remains First Material. It's much more sensible to change the Aspect of the material if you want to better the core properties of it however. Mixing it with base metal just degrades it.

Where do most of the First metals in the world come from?

There was a time when a great preponderance of them came right from the Mulimar/Ethelmik area, but the mines dried up decades ago. Nowadays most First Silver comes from Sharteshane, with other areas of the world donating other ores in no great amount.

Is the tiny misery box necessary for whatever he's doing to work, or is it just a convenience issue? Also, does the size of the animal matter?

It's necessary in that it keeps the marmot from thrashing around or biting him. And the size of the animal matters in that anything much bigger won't fit in his locker.

Do the Ilganyag/Black Tongues see a higher percentage of secularists in their ranks than the general population does?

The Ilganyag are secular almost as a rule, one reason why they're so despised. It's mandated that nothing come before the furtherance of pymary and the human species, including the Gefendur gods, so active religiosity is grounds for expulsion from the order.

Do First metals come out of the ground like regular metals? If so, how can they be told apart?

Yep, First Metals are mined. It is very easy to find them - or rather, it used to be when they were more plentiful. Since First Materials disrupt the khert, all you need is a wright present who can scrye. He or she will find blank patches in the khert and direct you towards them.

When did you post the first page of Unsounded for the world to find?

I posted the whole of the first chapter on July 14, 2010 - that was the first thirty pages or so. I think I posted it earlier on dA though, for Free Comic Book Day, but maybe the site wasn't built yet so it was just the pages? My long term memory generally fails at anything further back than a month, so buggered if I remember exactly.

The thing in Elan Aled has in his chest... is that a child's ribcage?

Only Lord Winalils knows the components involved.
Is the poor boxed animal getting food and water, or is it something that can last really long without any, or is he giving it some of his metabolism back to keep it running when he uses it? Is that why he's so skinny?

Oh, he feeds and waters it, but he goes through these ground squirrels pretty quick. Sometimes he uses rats, sometimes kedises (sorry, Forumcat). In the original script the locker was full of dead and decomposing critters but I came to my senses.

I'm not a horrible person, I promise, I just draw horrible things -_-

I like to think of the Unsounded universe as a naturalist one, because pymary is rather a form of applied science than something supernatural. But I wonder, if there is any other fields of natural science, like biology for example? [continued]

"[continued]And are there people who reject the supernatural in favour of a naturalist worldview?"

Interesting question. There is some tinkering with natural philosophy (remember when Lord Winalils casually suggesting dissecting Sette?) but Kasslyne hasn't gone through anything like an Enlightenment yet. Those people who would shun state and Gefendur taboo to do such things as work directly with sufferers of the Stricks plague - a plague popularly believed to be direct punishment from the Twins - or do experimentation on senet beasts who are believed to be holy, or pull remnants from the khert, or outright break the regulations of pymary to create new spells, these are people who are likely to be part of an organisation like the Black Tongues. The Black Tongues shun taboo and all explanations supernatural or arbitrary. This also means shunning a lot of things even we would consider "moral," because that morality doesn't have an objective base, rendering its restrictions irrelevant in their philosophy. But if you were going to see real science come out of Kasslyne you'd probably see it from them.

But like you said, pymary IS a natural force, and discerning the natural from the supernatural is hard to do from our vantage point. You're going to see something in two pages that's going to scream WOAH SUPERNATURAL! But it's not. Within the bounds of Unsounded's cosmology, it's utterly mundane.

How does he manage to keep it a secret that he has an animal in his locker? I imagine it probably makes a great deal of noise.

Elan is a man of many sweaty mysteries.

Not sure if this was asked yet, but does Quigley have any hobbies other than reading books and perhaps studying? It would seem pretty interesting if he knew how to play an instrument or something.

I wish I could tell you that he did play an instrument or that he secretly likes to paint, but he doesn't. He's been studying pymary since he was nine and it's all he really knows how to wrap his brain around. He does like to read a lot of different things though: history, biographies, even cheap, awful fiction.

I'll just leave this here, because there is a Sette in here >.>

Haha! Evil Sette-face! Adorable >3

Well, well, looks like Élan Aled's had some work done. Can we expect a deeper look into the workings of the Ilganyag this chapter?

How do you know that has anything to do with the Ilganyag, hmm? Perhaps Elan is just into hardcore piercings.

That moment when you realize you're DONE with finals! I hope I made Duane proud, Glass!! I know he'd wanted me to study. For once, I'm very confident about how it went!..tho tiiired. Right. Question..Did you have to read lots of books on lang for Tainish?

"(Lol, and when I mean "for Tainish", I mean did you have to read a ton of language books in order to figure out how to create your own language, that is now Tainish) ...ugh, tired, not making much sense..."

Congrats on finishing your finals! Do something productive with your summer :3

I would say that books aren't really required for creating your own language. Do you speak a language? I daresay you speak English. Do you know it pretty well on a grammatical level? Then you're set. I know a smattering of interesting facts about a lot of languages, so when I sat down to figure out Tainish I could bring some different ideas to the table than if I only knew about English. So I dunno, reading about language creation isn't as important as just reading about languages.

Hey Glass, What do you think of Elves? Do you think they are too common in the fantasy genres? Do you think they over populate many games, books and what nots?

Do they overpopulate them? Not in my experience, but I'm not the biggest consumer of fantasy around. Elves and dwarfs and all that jazz seem like they're de facto components in modern fantasy, which is silly to me. Fantasy can be damn near anything but people get lazy and fall back on old standby races and tropes.

I dunno, I guess they're no worse than vampires. I personally wouldn't care to use elves but if a person thinks they can do something new with them, they should go for it.

ARGH Sometimes I wish I could hack your computer, open your files and read who lives and who dies! You capitalize on our angsty anticipation!...(sigh) in the words of Sette, "It's the most amazing scam (idea) I ever heard!...I admire it."...sadly...

SPOILER: Everyone dies eventually :3

When you're upset, what do you do (voluntarily or not) as a response? Not necessarily to make yourself feel better. Personally, I eat a LOT when I'm upset.

I listen to beautiful music. It's hard to be upset when you remember you're lucky enough to be in a position in time and space to listen to and enjoy Puccini.

I love Po ;___;

A ♂wright likes another ♂ but the 2nd♂ doesn't like the 1st♂ in that way..could the 1st♂ slap the essence of pure BL into the 2nd♂? & would that mean swapping his love for ♀ with a ♀ to get the ♂ passions he needs? On a scale of 1-10, how unethical am I?

Ya know, I was thinking about something akin to a love spell the other day. With this new Connective Pymary field, such things now seem theoretically within the bounds of the system. I am much too Serious and Dramatic for a love spell story arc, but UaidXElka now seems feasible.

Any secrets or tips for someone who has never used Pandora has betrayed me.

I use only to keep track of music - I don't use it for its radio feature :( Godspeed, friend.

If you don't mind me asking... Is it bad that I possess an uncanny -- shall we say, 'infatuation' -- with Quigley? I am slowly estranging my friends, who all like Matty better...this is baaad x_x - smiles nervously -

It's not bad at all, I admire your effort. Matty is easy to like! Quigley is a CHALLENGE. You must like a challenge :)

On the sign, is the seal next to the Crescian one Ulestrian or something else?

It is Ulestrian.

Glass, what happened to the character bar on the comic website? I can't find it anymore! WHAT HAS HAPPENED NOOOO ;n;

That's been gone a while, man :O There are character pages in the wiki, those should serve your needs :3

I have to clean the house, but it's cold (South hemisphere) and I just want to curl on my computer chair, not walk around the house doing cleaning stuff. So I'm on formspring. Hmmm, question... Shame on me?

I feel ya, broseph. I need to clean the bathroom today but frig that shit. Let's go browse reddit for an hour.

Did you know that the coffee was going to be this popular?

Coffee is the best friend you'll ever have.

How did you even come up with the Friendly Frozen Coffee?

"Come up with"? Doesn't your coffee speak to you?

Actually, great luck with my computer. My warranty expires in a week, so I got it all fixed completely for free, and I got a new motherboard and an input/output board. And I didn't pay a dime. Dell warranties are awesome.

*thumbs up*

I hope you don't get this question TOO often...butwhat are the specs of your computer? Or more like, what specs wld work for a dabbling artist that doesn't want to have Photoshop or Painter crash everytime I make one dramatic sweep with a paintbrush? Thx

I couldn't tell you the minimum required specs for Photoshop, that's something you'd want to snoop around Adobe's site or Google for. My computer is no high-end gaming rig but it manages to do pretty well. Right now I'm running a Phenom II 555 with all cores unlocked to boost it to a quad, 3 gigs of ram, WinXPSP3, and a GeForce GTX 460. I think a digital artist should probably have some hardware skills since you'll save zillions of dollars in the long run building your own machine and servicing it yourself. Don't be scared of your computer's guts, they are your friend.

But ah, yeah. I keep my working comic page files in their own folders in groups of six per psd. Any bigger than that and it starts taking forever to save the files. If I worked bigger than 300DPI I would probably have issues, but as it stands my rig servers me well.

Frozen Friendly Coffee is best coffee. Any chance he/she/it will be a recurring character?

Impossible, alas. Coffee is not a First Material, so the wandering weirdness infecting it at the moment is but an ephemeral hiccough of the khert, and shall swiftly depart.

My computer broke on Sunday, so I've been awol. Just wanted to let you know that it's all fixed now, and the new pages are awesome. In particular, the coffee is adorable.

That's rotten luck about your computer :( Mine is on the fritz too, I think I have a harddrive about to return to the Lifestream. Glad you like the pages!

"" What is it?

Boobies, looks like :) I dunno, my friend linked me to it, I uploaded it to show someone else. Not sure what it's from.

Do all the Aldish castes look like recloured sprites of each other, or are they all different physically? (beyond the idea of inbreeding a plat nose from that one ancestor, or a copper eye from another)

They are different physically. What a bore that would be - for me to draw and for you to look at - if everyone was sameface. The Dammakhert tampers with colouring and certain other features, but there's still genetic diversity alongside it. There's some inbreeding in the rural villages, but Alderode on the whole has a pretty big population, so there's a good gene pool to work with.

Theory: Sette IS the Dammakhert. Personified. And such. On the grounds that shut up I don't need to back my theories what are you talking about...

I'm hongry.

So I was writing a new scene for one of my short stories at lunch today, and I was wondering if you listen to epic battle music when you're creating the lovely gory bits of Unsounded too. Liiiike...Two Steps from Hell, or something?

Naw, I can't have music playing when I'm writing. Drowns out the characters' voices :)

I'm very curious Glass, Did Duane have any problems masking the smell or look of him when he was first decomposing? Or did he just stay away from people all together? I know he couldn't talk for a while at first, wasn't sure of other issues he had.

Duane's first years... remind me of Frankenstein's monster after he escaped the lab, where the poor thing just stumbled from shelter to shelter in desolation, hiding from people and keeping to himself. Duane was too pain-addled to do much pymary, too disgusted and disgusting, too crazy, too lonely, too fucked up. So masking his stink wasn't really on his mind. He hid and rotted and prayed and ranted and didn't do much else for quite a while.

Aw. So you can't use golds to get fresh blood into the highest and lowest castes? Or to try to produce more plats if you're running low?

Certainly doesn't seem that way.

"some kind of brain infection that can lie dormant for a long time after initial exposure" Oh. So that's why you're not supposed to smuggle cute little girls out after their family dies of it? What are the odds a given person there is infected?

Pretty good odds. Things are looking slightly up though. Most of the country prefers not to think about Fachlyne, but there are a few charitable souls who have been doing their damnedest to help out the people trapped there.

Glass, this is a legitimately important question to me: Since you know the ending to the story, can you honestly tell us that Duane doesn't die? I'm going to cry if he doesn't.


Wait, so if the regular castes interbreed, it'll produce a kid somewhere in the middle, but gold caste + other caste gets you a random kid instead? Is it equally distributed between the castes or are some types more likely than others?

The result of castes interbreeding moves on a spectrum that depends on the caste of the parents. A Jet and a Bronze making whoopie is going to give you something on the higher end of the longevity spectrum; they're not going to spit out a Plat. A Gold has no default position in the Dammakhert because it's not affected by it. The Aldish may lump them in the middle with the Bronze, but that doesn't mean the Dammakhert sees them that way. The caste of the child had out of caste by a Gold depends entirely on the caste of the other party, but knocked down a peg. Gold + Copper? Probably going to have a Jet. Gold + Jet? Probably going to make a high-end Bronze. This rule applies to Aldishmen having a child with ANYONE not affected by the Dammakhert - a Soud, a Crescian, a Sharteshanian, whoever.

I feel like I'm writing a chocobo breeding tutorial.

Have you considered Kickstarter or Etsy as a way of earning funds? 'Cause I would LOVE to have some Unsounded merchandise!

Oh, there are enough knick-knacks in the world. I don't want to bring more of them into existence. That's sweet of you though.

Shard, not to be gross, but what are the symptoms of the weeping plague? Why do the corpses have hoods with mouth openings, collars and locks? Does it have something to do with balancing the khert after the creation of plods and/or Duane?

The cause of the Weeping Plague, or Stricks for short, isn't really known, but it's been wreaking bloody havoc in west Alderode for the past twenty years. It seems to be some kind of brain infection that can lie dormant for a long time after initial exposure, and then go active unpredictably and kill you. Dormant, it has no symptoms. Once active it brings on fever, bleeding eyes (hence the name), blindness, madness, then coma and death.

It is definitely NOT a natural disease because it is spread through eye contact. Vits (the government of Alderode) in its brilliance has quarantined the province in which Stricks is most prevalent - that would be Fachlyne - and gone around sticking masks on people exhibiting symptoms to keep them from infecting others. It's been twenty years and while this has kept the disease from spreading east, it hasn't done much for the terribly unfortunate people of Fachlyne. It is a very nasty place these days, full of trapped people trying to live some kind of life around the quarantine, and opportunists from outside the province using the lawlessness of the coasts for smuggling, cult activity, and body-snatching.

The plague has nothing at all to do with plods and nothing directly to do with Duane, though it was an issue that was always dear to his kindly heart. Durlyne, Duane's home province, is right next door to Fachlyne, and one of Duane's first assignments in the Army as a teenager was to patrol the quarantine line. It left an impression on him.

Glass, this is a legitimately important question to me: Since you know the ending to the story, can you honestly tell us that the kedises survive? I'm going to cry if they don't.

I think everything's going to be okay for the kedises. Ya know, I'm drawing the cover of chapter 7 at the moment and putting a kedis in it just for you.

Do bronzes not get to look awesome and special because the Dammakhert hates them? Do they have random life spans because it simply does not give a fuck and just spits out random lifetimes at them?

The mysteries of the Dammakhert will one day be explained. I think Bronzes are beautiful though. My favourite character is a Bronze!

"medium-skinned, brown-eyed brunettes" Sounds like a bronze to me. Do foreign-born Aldishmen look like bronzes?

More or less, yep.

One last question...rather it's more of a comment... Then back to studying for me! It's quite alright to have Duane depart for a bit. In fact, it'll make me even happier to see him when he returns!...(*sniffle* so long as he DOES comes back T.T)

Duane would want you to study hard, man :) He'll be back next chapter break. And... I'll probably have to delete most of the questions since he'll have no idea what happened this chapter, haha.

So, are all the Aldish people genetically Golds, and everyone of Aldish descent born outside the dammakhert's borders Golds? Or are the Golds simply marvellously pure bred? (And/or do other bloods cause the dammakhert to separate them into another caste?)

Good question. I can tell you that it's been seen plenty of times throughout history that Aldishmen, when they breed outside the country, generally produce medium-skinned, brown-eyed brunettes. So if you removed the Dammakhert or moved everyone out of the country, the next generation would be a bunch of fairer-skinned Ulestrians, essentially.

It stands to reason, then, that the white-skinned, green-eyed blondes of the Gold caste must be genetically distinct from most Aldishmen, even aside from the Dammakhert. Actually there's no "must be" to it, we know they are. The Gold caste are the remaining Tains, the people from the far east of the continent who were thousands of years ago invaded by the barbarians who began Alderode. The Dammakhert, for whatever reason, does not touch these people. To include them in the country, Alderode declared the entire ethnic group its own caste, and since then that Tainish bloodline has remained remarkably pure. If one of them does breed with someone from another caste, the Dammakhert will intervene with the birth and produce a Dammakhert baby of indeterminate caste.

What is iJDEq.gif, if I may ask? Is it from something?

Hmm, you'll have to be more specific, my dear.

Hey, man, Chill. Just relax and tell me your LEAST favorite color. The one that makes you taste bile in the back of your throat.

All colours are awesome D<

Yesss Updates on Unsounded. That month went by pretty quickly. Anyway,I was wondering if you actually knew how everything was going to end, or if there are a few endings and you haven't decided which one to choose? I'm the latter with my writing ugh :)

The month did go by pretty fast! I got a lot done during the break too, I am pleased.

I do know the ending and what happens to everyone; who lives, who dies, who wins, who loses. I know some creators who'll start a story without knowing the end though, and that's cool. I think that's how Miyazaki storyboards his movies.

Dear GlassShard, A) What's a Motadwe? Will we find out? B) pursuant to A, will every detail you know of Kasslyne find its way into the story or are there some details, cities, and words that exist just because? more to follow...

"...cont. C) if Duane is SSaelit, why does he swear by the vaosa? D) Herman Melville is awesome. Finest prose in the English language, I think. Damma socha."

I like your name.

Motadwe is a title and office among the Ssaelit. The head of the temple is the Shadwe, next in line are the four Amadwe, and then there are eight Motadwe beneath them, each ranked. Titles can and do overlap. Duane was fourth Motadwe but he was also Temple Rector, which put him in charge of pretty much everything to do with pymary in both the Temple of Song and among the Shadwe's army which is stationed there.

Duane's position in the Ssaelit temple will become directly relevant as early as chapter 7. But there is otherwise SO MUCH information about Kasslyne that will never see the light of day in the story. Some of this world-building exists to support aspects that WILL come to light; other world-building exists because it was relevant in roleplaying (which for the most part has nothing to do with Unsounded); still other world-building is defined only because I have a terribly overactive imagination. We will never visit most of Kasslyne's countries, we will never visit the Crescian capital, we may very well never visit even Sharteshane except in flashbacks, though I might cut to it later on for something, I haven't decided yet. There are gallons of delicious French onion soup in the bowl, but all the story has appetite for is the delicious cap of greasy cheese. If you know what I mean. Now, if Unsounded was a novel it would be a different story. I would be one of those obnoxious fantasy authors who feels you need to know everything about everything. Writing a comic, on the other hand, makes a person have to pare things way down.

Duane swears by the vaosa, or victori, because the Ssaelit share a belief in them. Similar to how Christianity retains aspects of Judaism because it sprang directly from it, the Ssaelit faith retains many eschatological, cosmological, and moral aspects from its Gefendur progenitor.

Herman Melville is indeed awesome. Ssomal illuda llam, shupall.

Does a glamour, the complex kind (I forget the terminology you used) filter only visual aspects or does it alter other aspects, like sound? Does Duane have a voice like a vanguard of the heavens when it's a lovely Summer's day?

I reckon the theory would hold if you wanted to extend it to a person's perception of sound. Duane personally doesn't, it would be just one more hassle of a spell to deal with and maintain. His voice sounds pretty raspy and horrible when his mouth's dry and stiff at the beginning of the day.

Of all the stories I've seen with revenant zombies, not one of those zombies is a woman. Why do you think that is?

I would guess because no one likes to think of something as icky and awful as decomposition happening to a woman maybe? We're the gentle sex, after all; the idea of our tits decomposing and ripping off our ribcagess like rotten grapefruits is hard for some to deal with.

In his fight with Quigley, Duane answers the question of what caste he's from, and answers, 'ssom soud', which, if I am correct from looking at the wiki, means "I am gold', but the wiki mentions that people of the Gold caste (Finish in 2nd message)

"(continued from first) have no connection to the Khert. So, if this is all correct, how does Duane use pymary? Am I goofed on something, or is he special? (Sorry if this has been asked already, but I scrolled and scrolled and didn't see anything.)"

Everything has a standard connection to the Khert. It's a requirement for normal mortal life. Alderode's khert is tainted however and not like the Kasslynian khert at large. Instead their khert is called the Dammakhert, and it goes so far as to separate the Aldish people into castes, doling out radically different lifespans and physical characteristics. What is special about the Soud, or Gold caste, is they are NOT affected in any way by the Dammakhert's sorting and longevity-tampering. They lead normal mortal lives and their pymary ability is not dictated by their caste. They have the same opportunity as normal non-Aldish to be awesome wrights or crappy wrights, as chance and ability decree, and the same general connection to the khert. It is the unnatural additions of the Dammakhert to which they are not subject.

OmygodEeeeeeeeupdate<3 the chapter cover is great, but I'm completely in love with page Layout, it's so blue and amazing and blue and dark I love it, can't explain. Also, have I mentioned it's blue and I love it? Completely worth staying up late.

Thanks, man :D

Ooo! Okay, one more question. Maybe more laters. What's the best way you learned to procrastinate for finals in college? Also, just wanted to say I loved what Duane said about the coffee and the comment "Do none of you sleep?" XD Perfecto!

Ha, I'm pretty boring in this department. I took college really seriously and didn't do much procrastination, for finals or otherwise. I didn't even get a chance to procrastinate for my senior year thesis since I got sick and had to spend some time in the hospital. Once I was on the mend and out again I had to bust ass to make the thesis deadline so I could graduate.

Do your best, man! Get them finals finished and aced. You're paying a premium for that stuff.

This has definitely been asked before, but my curiosity has won me over. What exactly brought about your name? What made you think of it? I'll admit mine is Latin, and I got it from my senior year in high school.

GlassShard? It's pretty ancient. Back when I was a teenager and signing up for internet service through AOL, I wanted to pick a handle that didn't have any numbers in it (you could manage that back then, ha) and so pulled some words out of something I was writing. It was either a poem or one of my half dozen novels, I can't quite recall. There's no deep meaning to it though :)

Oh, I is very sorry about the rummaging and finding of fractals and maybe leetle baby spoiler. On another note, YAY! Update! You've said title pages show things that happen in between chapters. So this is the adults arguing back at camp? They look peeved.

No need to apologise. I just didn't think anyone was trawling that folder anymore :)

If I had to imagine the conversation on the title page, I'd say Starfish had come after Matty to smash the shit out of him for all that went on back at the end of chapter 5, and Quigley had to intervene and promise Starfish he'd cut his dick off if he touched his kid. So yes, some heated words.

Those are some trippy fractals, man. Are those tests going to be part of a scene for Sette involving some softi?

I don't know what you're talking about. Get out of there, you >_>

As we've come to the verge of chapter six's start, how's chapter seven shaping up? Are you still excited to get to work on it?

Painfully excited. I have so much other work to do though, I haven't even been able to start thumbnailing yet. Damned paying work, arrrrrgh.

I think it's really cool how you incorporate British English into Unsounded. You ever been to the UK? If not, you should visit London and definitely go all the way up to Glasgow someday!

Alas, no, I have never left the US. I'd like to visit Europe one day but travel is so expensive I doubt it's in the cards for me.

Your Balthier avatar is a sign of sexiness and good taste. Carry on :3

What is the most horrible sound you have ever heard?

My mom shouting my name in a panic. I hate that sound.

Just wanted to say, that your style and painting are AWESOME, and I'm in love with Duane <3

Thanks, man!

What do you look for in a web comic?

Sexy men, cool monsters, adventure! Dick jokes, great art, literary value, effort.

Are there any objects you hate to draw? Like cats, or motorcycles or something?

I really hate drawing guns and modern weaponry. I don't know much about them so I always have to do a bunch of research and it's a pain in the buuuuutt. I also hate drawing high-heeled shoes. I have never worn them and I don't own any. None of my characters will ever wear high-heeled shoes.

Sette laughs all the time, and I love it! That evil snicker is SO infectious. I just wish Duane did laugh too. Just once. I'm curious, what does make him laugh?

Duane isn't as serious and joyless as it may sometimes seem. He laughs at good jokes and clever observations, and he laughs at kids and the cute things they do. Duane is very concerned with appearances however, so you really have to be part of his personal circle to see him unwind and calm down and have a good time :)

Wow I'm dense. I just found you on here, but have been following Duane and Sette for a while. I has many qvestians. I don't even know where to begin...other than maybe starting out by saying that I am starting a short story, inspired by the way you write.

Ha, well, glad you found me :) Good luck with your story!

What comforts you?

Old scary movies. Hellraiser, Poltergeist, Silent Hill, The Haunting... these are sweet serenades.

In Cresce, do parents of twins that are given up get to have kids again or do they just not get to raise kids?

Nope, they get to have more kids. The Church becomes the kids' legal guardians so the parents get a clean slate.

How often does the church buy twins? Only twice a year or do they buy them all to stock up in case some of them die before they can be eaten? And what would happen if the older one dies first - is the younger still seen fit to be eaten?

Tsk tsk, a Gefendur would be very offended by your phrasing. They are not "eaten," they are "sacrificed."

The church buys twins as they are born, with there being officials whose sole duty it is to travel around to cities and verify the births, make payment, and bring the babies back to a cloister. There's a lot of fraud, believe it or not, since the Church pays so well. If the older twin dies the younger does not escape its duty - unless it wants to. Unwilling people are never sacrificed, that would be barbarism.

However, if a twin rejects the sacrifice, it and its sibling lose their place in the cloister and are turned out with nothing, their parents have to pay back the church, and they are stigmatized for the rest of their life. This is a particularly terrible thing if some misfortune befalls the area, because they're going to be scapegoated for it. There is a lot of pressure, therefore, on a person to fall into line and accept their place. It's for their good, it's for their family's good, it's for their community and even the country's own good.

Are all twins bought by the Gefendur church, or can parents say no to that offer?

Parents can theoretically say no, but it doesn't happen often. Twins lead pretty great lives, receive the best education, eat the finest food, experience high art, music, and culture. Except for the eventual sacrifice of one of them later, it's a life much, much better than the lives of most people. If you bear in mind also that this lifestyle also assures them eternity with the Twins after death, and that the Gefendur religion is almost universally accepted and believed in, there's not a lot of incentive for even loving parents to reject the twin practise.

Are there ever sets of twins who are raised for the ritual that kind of... lose their faith in the Gefendur gods while they're being fatted for slaughter?

It would certainly make for an interesting story. It's good to know only the youngest of the twins is sacrificed; the other remains in the priesthood all their life.

"Does Ulestry make an exception to their pacifism when it comes to the twin eating" Okay, hold up. What? I'm imagining two adult twins just tearing chunks off of each other and downing them.

It's a bit more civilised than that.

How's the buffer doing? (And yes, I did save this to ask right before updates started again.)

The entire next chapter's done, so that's 84 pages of buffer. Lookin' pretty good :)

Duane is really eloquent and Sette's accent can get really thick. What I'm trying to say is, do you ever have trouble writing their dialogue? Or does it just come naturally at this point?

It comes pretty naturally. It used to come even more naturally in liveaction RP when I had to rattle off their dialog in real time. Ten years of that, and you'll be able to write anything :)

Are there hedgehogs in Kasslyne?

I don't see why not.

What is your opinion on dolphins?

They are dirty sluts.

Why did you spell practice with an s instead of a c? Was that a mistake or are you just trying to be fancy?

I use a combination of British and American spelling. It is the result of ten years of intensive RPing with a Canadian. I am used to it, it is woven into the fabric of my being, and you are stuck with it, Anon!

STOP. I'll assume you're listening to music right now. What is it? Don't change it! I wanna know what you're listening to. Mine is attached!

Beirut is Duane's favourite band in my head.

What's a pet you've always wanted but never actually gotten?

A unicorn :(

Crunchy or smooth peanut butter?

Neither. Peanut butter is terrible for you, full of sugar and fat. Don't eat it D:

You have the choice the gain a superpower, but all options are ridiculous. What ridiculous super power do you choose?

I have the power to urinate any liquid on command.

The page on kedises shall be glorious. Thank you.

Thank YOU.

Oh, the comic has more'n enough info for we the readers to understand what's going down, but I still think it'd be nice to have a good run-down of the basics and perhaps a little more. There is nothing like a good manual. Elsewise it's just tidbits here--

"--and tidbits there, where it fits in smoothly with the story. I think fans who are interested in spellery beyond the scope of what's revealed in the comic would benefit greatly from a guidebook, perhaps in PDF form. *winknudge*"

This is a fine idea. I shall take it under advisement :)

When did you first begin to draw seriously? Before RP, or after? I'll leave it up to you to decide what "seriously" means in this context.

Oh, I've been drawing since I was a toddler. I went to a special high school for visual arts, and then a visual arts college after that. I've been drawing seriously all my life :)

How did you become so good at drawing, anatomically? I've seen some people with loads of talent but a poor understanding of anatomy; and you're definitely not one of them. You seem to have a firm grasp of the way the body looks and moves. References, or?

A lot of practise and observation, I guess. I don't think a successful comic artist can rely on anatomical reference overmuch, it really has to be there in your brain when you need it, or you're going to be so slow you'll never make the kind of progress you need. The only reference I sometimes use is one of those plastic drawing mannequins, since foreshortening can be a bitch no matter how long you've been drawing :)

Anatomy is just rules. It's knowing where and what bones show up in any given pose, how all the crazy muscles and tendons in the neck and shoulders and back fit together, how important the skull is when you're drawing a head (sooooo many illustrators mess this up), where the navel goes, where the nipples sit on the pecs, stuff like that. There aren't any shortcuts and the best way to get good at it is to do it.

I just re-read the entire comic, start to finish, and I must say that I'm becoming quite fond of Ephsephin for some unfathomable reason. Also, I really think you should create a Pymary, Pymarics & the Khert for Dummies. That would be marvellous.

Yes, I should make some kind of lightly illustrated beginner's handbook of pymary. I would just feel cheap doing it, since I would guess the comic should have all that info in it and stand alone. I don't know. I need to reread the entire comic myself and make sure I haven't lost the plot or left any gaping holes in my wake.

Did you take away the fan contribution for the wiki?

Yeah, it was getting attacked by spammers! I can make you an account though, if you still want to work on it.

Is Alderode's anthem going to be part of the comic, or can we have it?

I'm still pondering that one :3

I will be babysitting a six year old who has requested me to tell stories, if you were in my position, what story/stories would you tell?

Go to the library, check out some Maurice Sendak. Profit.

Could you translate "Anteit vaosa, moya umam ssomunt bamillan"?

Virtuous Victori, these people are insane!

What do you do when you find yourself filled with overwhelming anxiety?

Envision myself in one-hundred years time, when I am no longer in existence and nothing I ever did in my small life mattered. It's good to put things in perspective when they start making you too spazzy :)

What are some song lyrics that carry special meaning to you?

So you think you tell heaven from hell? Blue skies from pain? Can you tell a green field from a cold, steel rail? A smile from a veil? Do you think you can tell?

Pink Floyd makes me think of high school, X-men comics, and Disney Afternoon. If such things had existed back then, I would have made a Darkwing Duck fanvideo set to Wish You Were Here.

Which is more important: bringing new possibilities to light, or scrutinizing the mistakes of the past?

Scrutinizing the mistakes of the past. No matter the endeavour, if it is built on rotten foundations it will one day fall.

Your 10 Favorite words?

joie de vivre

These are subject to change from minute to minute. "Redolent Buddha" will be the name of my band.

What country do you find to have exceptionally beautiful men and women?

I cannot judge for I have never left these United States.

Do you consider yourself fluent in Tainish?

Efhodait! Gaw balim ofh Demam lloret guit.

Absolutely not! I have to look at my word lists constantly :D

What's one author you think everyone should read?

Herman Melville of course. If not Herman, though, Mark Twain. These are life-changing, sublime, relevant authors.

Are there conventions for turning normal Tainish words into names?

There are honourifics and titles but nothing need be appended to nouns to make them into proper nouns. There aren't even any capital letters to fuss with. You don't see many Tainish personal names. The Tains long ago took Aldish names to blend in better, so even ethnically Tainish people like Duane have Aldish names. Alderode is fine with caste- and faith-based divisions, but not ethnic ones.

Is it May 14 yet?


What if someone wanted to write Unsounded a soundtrack?

That would be pretty groovy.

Why is the Temple of Song the Temple of Song? Is it like the Church of England or the Water Temple in name-origin?

It's called after a feature of the main temple. There are two central Ssaelit temples - Temple of Song and Temple of the Winds. The ToS in Durlyne is a sprawling complex that takes up half the city but its primary building is an enormous spire carved into living rock in such a way that the sea wind plays its upper stories like a flute, making faint, perpetual music that's considered the voice of God. The whole area is called the Temple of Song after it, but it's still just a facility of the Ssaelit faith. It houses priests, priestesses, the Motadwe, Shadwe Clare the head of the faith, and the Lions of Mercy, his army.

What kind of voice is considered most attractive in Kasslyne? (For example: eunuchs in the Renaissance or altos singing in the soprano range in France)

I keep western standards for singing voices. No castrated little boys though. Genital fixation of any nature for any purpose was one thing I wanted to spare my fantasy religions.

Have you considered national anthems for the nations on Kasslyne?

Yep. Alderode and Cresce both have anthems. Cresce's gets some pagetime in an upcoming chapter so I shall refrain from sharing.

What would you do if someone asked permission to write an opera... entirely in Tainish?

I'd saaaay the language probably isn't ready for it yet. I'm always tweaking it and it's not quite finished to my satisfaction.

Does Tainish work well for singing?

I've tried it out for myself and I think it does.

Also--strangest item you've ever stuffed down someone's shirt.

Not sure I've ever stuffed anything down anyone's shirt... are you trying to get me to touch your boobs, Hazel? All you have to do is ask <3

Just realized that with Formspring's new layout Elka seems to be constantly looking annoyed at whatever question's being asked. Subconsciously tired of our questions, Glass?

Not at all! I've hardly gotten any questions at all this past week anyway :3

Why is it that if someone says they don't watch TV, people (specifically Americans) ask them "why not", or even refuse to believe them?

I cannot say conclusively, but I would have to guess it's because television is so synonymous with American culture. Television is what Americans talk to each other about at work, it's how they stay informed, how they know what's important in the world; it's the one cultural thread that everyone has in common no matter who they are. Television is what people do when they're not working or with friends. If they don't have any friends or relationships in reality, they have them both in the television. Television is their world.

If someone finds out suddenly that you don't have that cultural thread or you're not part of their world, you're worse than a stranger to them. It's important, though, not to look down on people for watching television. We all have things we distract ourselves with, and I'm not sure books or the internet or video games are all that superior to tv.

Do you have a "type"? If so, what's your "type"?

I fear that, like dear @Fakult, I have become quite definitively asexual.

What is the most selfish thing a person can do, in your opinion?

That's difficult to answer. Life is all about selfishness, from drinking when you know others are dying of thirst, to distracting yourself with frivolity when you know others are suffering immeasurably, to giving your offspring preferential treatment to the detriment of others for no reason other than they are carrying YOUR genes. Every breath we take is selfish and there are very few things we can do that aren't inherently selfish. All animals are selfish, nature is selfish, natural order in fact relies on direct and indirect selfishness. This in effect makes all of nature evil and all life evil, which is why I don't understand the modern western belief in a benevolent god. But that's another conversation.

What is the MOST selfish thing? It's pretty selfish to be sitting here blathering my brain away on formspring, so I'm going to go with that :)

What can you tell us about the other continents on Kasslyne? I apologize if this has been asked already!

There's not much to say. They are prohibitively far away from Kasslyne and are not regularly visited nor traded with.

What sort of currencies are used in the Big Three?

Cresce uses LC - luxury credits. It's not really a currency, but it's the nearest they have. Alderode uses squares. Everyone else uses sem.

Something you're constantly annoyed that other people don't have an opinion about.

Politics is the best answer, I suppose. My mom always says that none of it's important and doesn't affect her, but that's only because she's been pretty incredibly lucky for most of her life. If people paid more attention, took an interest, and got out there and voted in every election, I think things would be pretty different.. That's not terribly likely to happen though.
Comments Which song do you know all the lyrics to?

Queen - 'Bohemian Rhapsody'

So, the dude in the upper right corner in panel one of chapter 4 page 55. What's his story? Is he doing a lightplay? What's it about? Does he like his job? How much money does he make? Does he wear the hat for his job, or just because it's cool? Or both?


@AwesomIncarnate, write this person a story.

Do you not do traditional art any more because there is no audience/market for it, or because you just don't have time, or because you don't enjoy it? Or is it something else entirely?

Digital art is just... faster! More convenient, looks just as good, creates less waste, uses less materials. I don't do traditional anymore for the same reason I don't listen to audio cassettes or watch VHS, I guess :) I know there are some artists who find the act of using pencils or paint to be relaxing and enjoyable, but they never did much for me either way. I'm just as content with my stylus :)

When I was a kid I won a lot of awards for graphite and Prismacolor work. I had like, pictures hung up in DC and stuff (probably in the bathrooms, I never got to go see where). In college I made elaborate books of inkwashed illustrations with poetry, and had this whole style going on with hand-dyed papers and copper wire and wood sculptures. Who woulda thunk I'd grow up to do nothing but Photoshoppy weeaboo fantasy art.

Do you do much traditional art?

Not anymore.

How do people in Sharteshane entertain themselves, aside from waiting by the gallows to watch thieves hang? What's their answer to the Aldish theater?

Street theatre is huge. Punch and Judy shows, acrobats, jugglers, musicians, trained kedis acts, dog rodeo, fire breathers, dancing bears, lightplays (stories told via crude pymary), and the like. There were mimes, once, but Sette put a stop to that.

I'm at a pink Floyd concert right now. Wish you were here.

Is it a sea of grey hair and headbands?

Wasn't I going to ask you theatre and the arts questions the other day?

That was the rumour :3

Are the buildings in Unsounded inspired by any particular styles of architecture?

Sometimes. I didn't want Mulimar to look too "designed" since Ulestry's keywords are "rustic, simple, vanilla" so I kept the town pretty plain. Parts of the waystation chapel were loosely modelled off a picture I found of a really early viking church. Ethelmik across the river is Crescian, and Cresce is going through a sort of Art Nouveau period, so I've referenced some design elements but sparingly, since again I don't want the city to look too designed, too over the top, too fantasy. Cresce is generally into elegance, angles, lots of stone. Alderode is all about big, heavy structures, dark wood, bridges, and they tend to build in circles with entrances on a second story since first stories are often snowed out.

I think this has been asked before, but, aside from glamours being purely visual, what's the difference between glamours and aspect-switching? Do glamours need to be slotted through consistently-maintained spellery or First Materials?

Glamours are complicated. It took me a while to figure out the most logical and consistent way they could be applied via pymary and the khert, but I have it at last. I know I've tried to muddle through explaining them on here in the past but trash all that and here's the real deal:

There are two kinds of glamours. There are glamours that use objective Aspects like colours or opacity, and there's an advanced glamour that deals with subjective perception.

The first type of glamour works as you'd expect, with a wright moving a visual Aspect from one bit of matter to another. The colour off a bunch of pink carnations onto the fur of a dog, for instance. Made permanent via pymaric, this is a stable, relatively simple spell.

The second type is much trickier and deals with a relatively newer method of experimental pymary: Connective pymary. Connective pymary looks into the way that individual khert networks interface with the larger khert. All matter is connected to the khert with varying degrees of complexity, and all matter is built on its own khert-composed spectral scaffold that contains all of the Aspects that make it what it is. The way those Aspects interface with reality is in the domain of Khert Law, which is beyond the scope of pymary, but the way those Aspects are perceived by each other has to do with spherical areas of connection that are defined by the nature of the Aspects. By meddling with these you can "cover up" the practical effects of Aspects and obscure Law, even if you can never affect it directly.

Pretty technical. What all this means in a practical sense is you can use connective spheres to "camouflage" certain matter within the connective emanations of other matter. Viewed through the lens of reality, the effect of this is observers will see that hidden matter in the same light they would see the camouflaging matter.

So rather than relying on having the proper Aspect available, these glamours depend on there being matter present of a required perceptive quality. These qualities can be absolutely subjective because perceptions often are. Glamours created this way are trippy and powerful in the right circumstances, but fundamentally flawed because they only work in proximity, and because they rely on the viewer's perception aligning with the quality of the masking matter, ie if a person thinks autumnal woods are ugly, and you are using the beauty of those woods as a mask, your glamour will fail against that person.

Connective pymary is a pretty exciting new field and the Black Tongues are doing mad research into it, but for now its other applications are a mystery.


Whoa, you follow me? I am shocked and honored.

Why? You are cool!

Can pymary be used to affect cloud shapes? Could you write words or draw pictures in the sky?

With mechanical aid, I imagine so.

Did you knew? Traditionally a man's clothes left side goes over the right. And a woman's right side goes over the left. That's because women had servants to help them dress, and a man can't have his coat or something on the way to reach for his sword.

Interesting! I always wondered why men's shirts button up on the opposite side.

In images of Bastion floating around the 'nets he seems withdrawn, moody, dark, smug, irritated, etc. (And also hot.) He doesn't seem to get all that excited by much, though, so my question is does Bastion have any passions? What gets him all revved up?

All of that art is RP Bastion. He's about ten years older than Unsounded Bastion, and has been through a lot of not entirely pleasant stuff. So yeah, he's moodier, crueller, exceedingly sleep-deprived much of the time, very bitter, and short-tempered. When he was passionate or excited it was typically about pymary, or planeswalking, or discovery, or power.

Younger, Unsounded Bastion has different passions. He's passionate about his lady-friend Elarosny, about the piano, about different philanthropic pursuits and pymary-related research. Bastion's going to save the world, you know, and everyone will love him.

Why does Bastion have a professional name, what's it for? Does it carry over into Unsounded? (I thought Etalarches were monster-creature-things, is that where he got the idea for the name?)

Alas, I cannot tell you why he went by that name in RP - 'tis a spoiler.

What are your thoughts on Legend of Korra so far? I've been digging it, and even though I was skeptical at first, the setting has won me over. Plus, old-timey newsreel recaps!

It's good! It just hasn't grabbed me yet, ya know? It's lacking in the sort of things that usually attract me personally to a series. Anyway, I haven't seen last week's episode so I'll probably let the backlog build for a few months and then watch it in big lump. That could be the ticket.

Month/date/year or date/month/year?

The first. No one is likely to understand you if you use the second one in the US :)

Glassy, why does Formspring keep changing the way it looks? Granted this latest change is an improvement over the hideousness of the previous switch, but still. Maybe we should start a grassroots get-a-search-function movement?

I don't know, I'm more inclined to stop using formspring at this point, and move to tumblr. Tumblr has tags and is just a more enjoyable experience. There must be a reason formspring doesn't implement a search. Either there's some technical limitation, or the site is motivated to keep people asking the same questions over and over since it generates traffic. Who can say though.

Anyway, you can tweet them on Twitter. Maybe if we all tweet requests for a search function at them it would get somewhere?