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Author Topic: The Story Itself - Part 2  (Read 23282 times)
cairn destop
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« on: June 26, 2011, 04:23:21 AM »

Call this a preemtive strike.  Like the original thread, I'm thinking it would be nice having a dedicated thread to the new story.

Based on the teaser drawing, I'm thinking this story will involve Prince.  If memory serves me right, Rhene was imprisioned when she delivered a message for the high priestess.  That message mentions the need for a council.  Whatever that need, it can no longer be deferred.

Regarding the picture, it suggested a Christmas card.  The ladies of Prince's harem come across as whimsical.  It is an excellent teaser. 

Yet those who followed the first story know something dark about our poodle.  She is far more cunning than her looks suggest.

Will await the beginning of this new adventure.
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« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2011, 09:41:14 AM »

Well, two bits of news since the first comment was posted:

1 ---- The story will center around the harem.  As the site's administrator said, this was obvious looking at the teaser.  I'm not backing down from my earlier comment regarding the purpose of the story, the letter from the high priestess attending the Orb of Storms.  Base on what the administrator said regarding Prince during the game, and his attitude when Rhene delivered her message, the real power behind the dog castle is Annabelle.  Perhaps a little court intrigue as one of the other ladies tries usurping her perceived powers?

2 ---- The story's start is slated for July 7th, which is a Thursday.  I know the first story ran once a week on Wednesday.  Will we be seeing the same thing with this adventure, but with a different day?  The biggest news is having the story done in color.  Hats off to the staff for that change.  How about providing a link to whatever art site used so we can admire his/her other works?
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« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2011, 04:20:40 PM »

The story's start is slated for July 7th, which is a Thursday.

Thursday will indeed be the new update day.

How about providing a link to whatever art site used so we can admire his/her other works?

I will ask the artist about that.
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« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2011, 10:00:31 AM »

Ah, great to see the forum again. Thank-you very much for your comment on the teaser. I hope that you guys will enjoy the upcoming tale as much as I have enjoyed illustrating the first several strips. Mr. Pearce has a great story lined up for you. Regarding artwork, I plan on actually using my account at Furaffinity sometime in the near future, so if you have the opportunity, please search for my username during the next several weeks.
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cairn destop
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« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2011, 10:03:14 AM »

First strip and lots to say, all complimentary.

1 --- I noticed the characters continue standing on their toes.  Good continuity.

2 --- There's a nice mixture of morphs at the fair.  I noted dog - juggler, rat - playing ball, elk - near the tent, and ram - wheelbarrow of potatoes.  Not sure if the one holding the fish is a bear.  The white-furred female on the far left appears to be a ferret in her winter coat, think that's an ermine.  I'm not certain, but the one at the tent might be a mouse, judging by the rounder ears.

3 --- The bear made a great bargain, he gets to keep his fish, and the ram provided him a full bucket of potatoes.  It reminded me of the old saying about having your cake and eating it too.

4 --- The merchant at Annabelle's table remains unknown.  I'll be expecting him/her to appear in next week's strip.  My curiosity is running amok regarding the species. 

5 --- The character with his/her back to the reader in the middle panel is unidentified as far as species, though it can be assumed to be a dog since (s)he accompanies Annabelle.  I cannot tell if there is a bow holding his fur or a pair of sunglasses.  I'm thinking bow, which would mean a possible fourth lady in the court.

6 --- I checked out the archive page.  The thumbnail picture is an excellent idea.  The three for the previous adventure were great memory joggers.

7 --- A suggestion, for what it's worth.  Can you move the character cameos to the sketch section?  With the exception of Annabelle and Prince, we should be seeing many new faces.  The descriptive text may require rewording to keep it connected to this adventure.
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« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2011, 06:05:58 AM »

They say first impressions are lasting ones.  That said, I thought I would share mine with the writers.  I'm curious to know how others perceived the trio from this initial appearance.



Lady Annabelle --- Her portrail in the story so far is one of regal position.  She is dressed as a high lady should and flaunts it.  The artwork highlights her intelligence and her upper class bearing.  This doesn't mean she isn't above putting her equals down whenever they step out of line.  I see her as the brains of the trio.

Lady Dolores --- This one is anything but a lady.  She is rebellious against the social norms by dressing in a masculine manner.  She has a temper, and is offended when no wrong is done.  She prefers a direct confrontation, hating anything that hints at her feminine nature.  The artwork brings that out when the merchant makes a casual remark about her presence.  I see her weilding the knife and not being afraid to put it in somebody's heart.

Lady Cecelia --- This lady is the one I wouldn't trust.  She uses her size as a weapon, deceiving everyone.  Her attire is almost infantile, as are her actions.  Note how the inner skirt shows, something a parent will do with a girl under three since it highlights the cute factor.  The artwork emphasizes this innocence.  I'm thinking this lady has the political savy to use that factor to her advantage.


Note how the last line, "inventive and sarcastic ... touche, Dolores," could be spoken by either Annabelle or Cecelia. 
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« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2011, 04:18:08 PM »

Hum...

Lady Annabelle --- Her portrayal in the story so far is one of regal position.  She is dressed as a high lady should and flaunts it.  The artwork highlights her intelligence and her upper class bearing.  This doesn't mean she isn't above putting her equals down whenever they step out of line.  I see her as the brains of the trio.

That's about right. Of course we've seen Annabelle before in the first story, Little Wolf Lost.

Lady Dolores --- This one is anything but a lady.  She is rebellious against the social norms by dressing in a masculine manner.  She has a temper, and is offended when no wrong is done.  She prefers a direct confrontation, hating anything that hints at her feminine nature.  The artwork brings that out when the merchant makes a casual remark about her presence.  I see her wielding the knife and not being afraid to put it in somebody's heart.

Although her name has not been mentioned in the comic before, Dolores did appear in this comic, sitting to the left of Annabelle in panel 1. Seems to dress quite the lady when in court.

Lady Cecelia --- This lady is the one I wouldn't trust.  She uses her size as a weapon, deceiving everyone.  Her attire is almost infantile, as are her actions.  Note how the inner skirt shows, something a parent will do with a girl under three since it highlights the cute factor.  The artwork emphasizes this innocence.  I'm thinking this lady has the political savy to use that factor to her advantage.

Note how the last line, "inventive and sarcastic ... touche, Dolores," could be spoken by either Annabelle or Cecelia. 

The use of a French term, "touché," is a sure sign that Annabelle is the speaker of that line. So, a reader can only consider Cecelia's line, "I met a funny bear selling candy," as an indication of her character.
Sometimes cute is just cute.
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cairn destop
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« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2011, 03:03:04 PM »

It's been a month and I'm thinking it time to update my comments.  Some interesting things are happening in these last few strips.  Maybe it is overkill noting something on each strip, but nobody else has offered any comments.  Seems a shame not letting both the writer and artist know what you're thoughts are about this latest work.

Homeward Bound:
The third panel hit me as the most interesting.  We see there are feral animals in this world.  Note the squirrel on the tree just outside its home.  Would love knowing what Lady Cecelia is holding.  It looked like a fish.

One Happy Castle:
In a way, I found this a nice reply to my comment about Lady Dolores.  Apparently, she is savvy enough to know where and when to dress like a lady.  She does have a far more feminine feel in this strip.  I suppose the clothes do make the character.

What is Lady Cecelia doing in the second panel?  I've been bouncing between two options, eating something, or playing a musical instrument.  Again, I'm wondering if our little on is playing the child role too well as she appears to be climbing into Lady Annabelle's lap in the fourth panel.

Day Trip:
Now this strip disturbed me.  If these three are indeed second only to Prince, why must they sneak out of the castle?  Is there a reason why they must be back before Prince?  It makes me wonder.  Are females in this world even more subservient than their human counterparts are at the same time?

Let’s not forget what happened to the vase.  Lady Annabelle held it in the previous strip, now it is gone.  

Hummingbirds:
Perhaps my assessment of Lady Cecelia is wrong.  Based on this strip and the comment in the fourth panel, I'm wondering if the little one is a few sandwiches short of a picnic.  Lady Annabelle's expression would make me think Lady Cecelia's mental status is questionable, and has been for some time.

Attention Deficit:
Our artist should be commended for the details in the fourth panel.  I noticed the ring, and initially thought this an error.  Then I wondered if the ring fell out of the vase or if she found it in her wanderings.  Just one small nit, where is the vase?  

Another nice thing on the artistic side is how much expression is in Lady Annabelle's face.  The first panel has her upset and shouting.  The third has her miffed.

Golden Ring:
It was funny how the other two ladies make no follow-up comment to the remark from the previous week about a sound.  They have dismissed the comment.  Lady Dolores wonders if something struck Lady Cecelia on the head.  When they notice the ring, Lady Annabelle jumps to the conclusion that Lady Cecelia is a thief.

As to the ring, I'm wondering if it is the same one mentioned in the previous adventure.  Though the picture shows it as a dog, is it possible that the animal is actually a wolf?  This could be something noted in a future week when the ring is given more scrutiny.

Does anyone want to know my theory regarding the fate of the missing vase?  Lady Cecelia took the vase while the other two talked.  Whichever character found the ring in the Boar King's mud bath dropped it while traveling to, or from, some secret meeting.  Lady Cecelia found the ring and left the vase where she first spotted it.

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« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2011, 07:12:05 PM »

Ah, the missing vase. If you notice, Dolores has been wearing a knapsack on her back since leaving the fair. Though your theories are sound, I am afraid that the idea was to suggest that Annabelle had placed the vase away in the sack rather than carry it the entire way home (which would make her future actions very cumbersome). Her hand positons around the chord suggest that Dolores is being particularly careful with it (leave it Belle to pick the most fragile souvenir).

By the by, that's a butterfly landing on Sissy's finger in the third panel (specifically a blue emporer, which are amazingly bright and reflective). If I am remembering correctly from the game, in the clearings where Riff could encounter Kylas Honeyfoot, there are rabbits, squirrels and birds visibly flitting about the landscape. Good catch!

As to the sound you mention, the previous strip concluded with Cecelia exclaiming to no one in particular "That sounds like fun!" to which the reply is "What sounds like fun?" Seeing that she is having an imaginary conversation, Dolores jumps to the assumption that something has affected her mind.

Thank-you very much for your compliments (they really do make me feel good inside) and for commenting. We love comments.  smiley
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« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2011, 04:49:41 AM »

Checked out the character sketches on October 11, 2011.  Very nice pictures of the cast.  Good learning what breed Lady Dolores was.  Isn't Kylas Honeyfoot a character from the computer game?  I thought he was a bear, not a mouse.  I'm also curious about the background image for Lady Annabelle.  Looks like some type of pictogram.
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« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2011, 06:49:32 PM »

Checked out the character sketches on October 11, 2011.  Very nice pictures of the cast.  Good learning what breed Lady Dolores was.  Isn't Kylas Honeyfoot a character from the computer game?  I thought he was a bear, not a mouse.  I'm also curious about the background image for Lady Annabelle.  Looks like some type of pictogram.

I'm glad you liked the portraits. They will be publicly announced along with tomorrow's update.

Yes, Kylas is from the game; and he is a Mouse.

All of the new portraits have two-colored backgrounds. Annabelle's is just the most prominent.
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cairn destop
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« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2011, 07:21:58 AM »

More comments on the strips posted since my last posting.  Come on now, somebody has to have an opposing view or supporting observation.  I've even delayed making comments hoping another member would add their insight.

And now, onto my comments regarding the strips.







Inner Dialogue:
Okay, the verdict is official.  Lady Cecelia is operating with less than all oars in the water.  The casual reaction of the other two characters infers this is one of those worse kept secrets.  Based on comments regarding Prince made in the earlier story, and some of the references made about him in the game, I can see why the two are attracted to one another.


Pomeranian Dreams:
This installment, along with the previous one has me worried.  If this is going where I think it is, our authors have missed their target by the proverbial mile.  Worse yet, they have destroyed the continuity of the ITE universe.  It appears we have the introduction of a mystic with paranormal abilities.  I hope I'm wrong on that assessment. 

Magic has a way of becoming too much of a crutch.  Get in trouble, wave a wand, and the character solves the impossible problem.  Too often, I see magic used as a means of evading a good story.  If there is a logical explanation as to how Lady Cecelia can "hear" another voice while the others are attending, I do hope it come out later in the story.  If it turns out the ring is some form of lost human technology, I can accept that, with the appropriate clarifications.

Let me preface my comment by saying I have zero artistic talent.  You would be lucky getting me to draw a straight line with a ruler.

Something good:  The character's expressions are super.  The artist has conveyed so much in a simple look.

Something bad:  The fourth panel, Lady Annabelle, the fingers appear disproportioned.


Glowing Insult:
I'm going to withhold my judgment until I know more about our new character.  Is he a spirit, real, or a projection from some recovered human artifact?  The manner of dress would make me think scholar, which would tend to support the third option.  If the first option, I'll be most disappointed.  If he is real, where was he before this meeting?  How did he literally pop onto the scene?  Moreover, how did he manage to evade detection?

Again, my main concern is that Lady Cecelia.  She holds the status of demented child, which makes her an interesting sidebar, and not a character worth following.  Her submission is too childlike, a helpless pout as the elder does whatever she thinks appropriate.  Lady Cecelia needs to assert herself at some point and establish her credentials as a viable addition to the story.  Right now, she is a disposable plot device.

Behold the Shining Knight:
I'll join Lady Dolores, I'm confused as to how she is the only one not seeing the other character.  I'm sure it has something to do with the ring.  No doubt touching it has some affect on the mind.  Contact with the ring allows one to see and hear him.  Though the term "shining knight" might be acceptable, the unknown character appears more scholar than soldier.  I'm wondering how long it will take Lady Annabelle to figure out the connection with the ring, or if the ghost will offer an explanation.

Fade Away:
Perhaps it is too early in the new story to start offering explanations.  Lady Dolores has not seen, heard, or scented, the unknown character.  His gradual fadeout makes me think some form of projection, which means lost human technology.  It still begs the question how two of them saw and heard the apparition, while the third didn't.  The ring has to be the common connector.

Lady Cecelia's reaction is still too immature for my liking.  She accepts this with too much enthusiasm, and without any reasoning.  Even her reply and expression reminds me of a child told about Santa Claus for the first time.  Wait until she learns the truth, it will be a real shock to her.

Contact:
I feel for Lady Annabelle.  She knows what she knows, but cannot explain it to somebody else.  At least she has reasoned out the possible reason why Lady Dolores never saw the vision / ghost / projection.

Speaking of Lady Dolores, she still has the sharp tongue.  I'm pleased that she has the intelligence to come up with something of a witty retort regarding them being touched.  The double meaning gave this particular strip a comical element some of the more serious strips missed.

There remains just one question based on panel three.  Does our Pomeranian still see the fourth dog?  She acts as if she is in contact with the other character.  Again, these last few strips have brought Lady Cecelia's mental state into question.  Note how Lady Dolores uses the word "touched," which can also indicate a lack of maturity and mental stability.
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« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2011, 04:32:05 PM »

Both Annabelle and Cecelia have seen something.  Dolores is still befuddled.  What I'm wondering is the identity of this apparition, and I don't mean who.  Just because Lady Annabelle see a dog, doesn't mean this character is a dog.  If the ring somehow connects the wearer with another via a form of telepathy, what we might be seeing is that character's perception.

Annabelle saw a scholar, which makes sense since she is the brains of the trio.  Cecelia saw a knight since her size and mental weakness needs a protector.  I'm wondering what Dolores would see.  No doubt some character that resembles a weightlifter on steriods, or a diplomat with a glib tongue.

If another character picked it up, say the mouse at the fair, would he see a mouse? 





Speak Up:
Lady Dolores just got a surprise, as well as this reader.  Lady Cecelia has a bit of a bark.  It will take a few more strips to determine if she also has any bite.  Lady Annabelle's reply in the last panel still has me wondering if "Sissy" is so passive and demented that she finds this snappish attitude something of a passing thing.  A nice touch having Lady Dolores counting her fingers in that last panel.  One error here, Lady Dolores is counting the fingers of her right hand in panel five, but pulls back her left hand in panel four.

I'm still not convinced that Lady Cecelia can become a strong character.  Though she snaps at the one lady, her expression in panel four reflects contrision.  A firmer look, or glare, might have convinced me she can exert some power.  Right now, she reminds me of a child who disrespected their parents and just realized their mistake.


A Gift of the Humans :
Now this sounds like a logical explanation.  The ring has some technological connection, and is also a symbol of authority.  This does start a bit of a mystery.  In order for the rings to work, two must be used.  Who, or what, has the other ring?  Even more interesting, will the other morph races acknowledge its power after so long an absense?  I'm surprised Lady Annabelle didn't recognize the talisman, since she is the intellectual of the three.

One other important question: How many rings are there?  We are shown seven.  (From left to right - elk, dog, rat, cat, fox, boar, and wolf.)  What about the other races revealed as of this date?  (Sheep, bear, ferret, hare, mouse, and racoon.)  If these races do not have such a talisman, I can think of one possible reason why the morphs experienced a dark age.  This would make these rings one of the greatest dangers to the morph races.


Go and Stop :
It appears our writers anticipated this need to have a spine implanted for Lady Cecelia.  The one thing I'm wondering is if this is so out of her character that the others will wonder what possesses her.  All the evidence of Lady Cecelia's past points to a demented, but lovable, character.  How does she suddenly transform into a dominent force?

The last three strips makes me think the lady's powers are not natural.  She might well be under the influence of the ring.  That is, the ring controls her, not the other way around.  Whoever sent or created the vision has gained control of Lady Cecelia.  It would go a long way to explaining Lady Dolores's response in the earlier strip when confronted by the little one.

The two ladies seemed to be dominated by her commands in spite of their desire to do the opposite.  By control, I refer to panel three where both ladies stopped.  This is a physical reaction that shouldn't be possible given the personalities of the two.  The artist should be commended for the expressions in those last two panels.

I'll be curious to see how the apparent dilema is resolved.  A temporary halt is understandable due to the shock of her unexpected actions.  However, Lady Dolores has indicated her response was contrary to her desire.  If these two remain pliant, I'm hoping the explanation is not magic.  Something to resolve at a later point in the adventure.


The Poodle Votes No:
Now this is an interesting situation.  I'm thinking Lady Annabelle is not use to playing second to anyone.  Her earlier attempt at covering her submission was an attempt at saving face.  Lady Dolores negated that when she admitted she wanted to do something else. 

The explanation of the ring having some technological control over others makes this ring the most dangerous piece of human technology.  I'm thinking it caused the dark ages and might have caused the downfall of their earlier existence.  The other rings are not missing, I'm thinking wiser minds among the morphs destroyed them.

Already we have rebellion in the ranks.  Lady Annabelle cannot imagine Lady Cecelia as a leader.  Based on earlier strips, it again raises the question about "Sissy's" mental status.  Thing is, there is a deciding vote yet to be cast, and I'm not sure if Lady Dolores will side with our poodle.

One question: Has anyone remembered the time constraint?

A note to the artist:  The third panel is the first time I've seen Lady Dolores as feminine.  All the earlier poses had me thinking a female who preferred the rough and tumble of a good fight and not the dignity of a high court.  Yes, I recall her prior look as a proper lady, but that might be more show than fact.
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« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2011, 04:33:16 PM »

No magic in Inherit the Earth. Although Clarke's Law may apply: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
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« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2012, 05:12:39 AM »

Good knowing our authors have read some of the better classic sci-fi authors.  I agree, technology can be mistaken as magic when its principles are not understood by those affected.  Though I don't see how a ring can control others not wearing it, the communication link sounds like an extention of the cell phone idea.  Yet the idea of such powers isn't too outlandish, based on the history Lady Dolores gave.

Somebody discovered the ring, and has a less than honorable reason for giving it to Lady Cecelia.  Otherwise, the gift of the ring would be overt.  It cannot bode well for Lady Cecelia, or the dog kingdom.  She did not find the ring by "accident," or through theft while at the fair.  The mystery is who controls the ring and why. 



Everything in Threes:
There is something amiss about this.  Whoever is setting up these three challenges must be expecting a gain, but like any con artist, has Lady Cecelia convinced she is the one who will benefit.  Her continual reference to the knight confirms my earlier suspision that whatever she sees isn't real.  Somebody better figure out who really comes out winners should she be successfull.

A special compliment to our artist.  The first panel has Lady Cecelia angry, and like any small child, stamping her foot to emphasize that emotion.  The second panel has her stary-eyed, the wistfull look of a person awaiting a special gift.  The third panel has her in a snooty, haughtier than thou look.  The final panel has Lady Annabelle confused.  Excellent work there.

Silent Testimony:
Just my opinion, but I do believe this an error.  We are shown what Lady Cecelia is seeing.  However, the vision doesn't correspond with her dialogue.  Since the castle is medievil, I'm thinking Prince has seen pictures of that era, which would include the knights.  His harem would have access to such research materials.  The vision has no such connection to his alleged status.  There is no logical connection between a scholar and an armoured warrior.

It will be interesting to see how the dogs in this society establish Alpha status.  If it is via combat, which is how it is done in the wild, either of the other two could turn her into a ragdoll.  Something tells me their morph status has refined the process.

I'm curious about the artist's medium.  Is this a computer graphic or a scanned picture?  If it is scanned, is the original in chalk or pastels?

See Sissy run.  Run, Sissy, Run.:
Interesting how neither of the other two ladies have caught the scent of whatever "Sissy" detected.  Would love to know what Lady Annabelle intended to say before the interruption.  If Lady Cecelia can outrace the other two, it must be the constrictive garments the other two ladies wear. 

My mind kept thinking "fools rush in where angels fear to tred."  Whatever this knight wants, it must involve a great deal of danger.  It cannot be something simple if the eventual outcome is becoming a powerful leader.  That Lady Cecelia dashes off without thinking of the consequences again highlights either her mental ineptness or how easy others can manipulate her.

The first panel had me laugh.  I know it is the perspective, but the puff on Lady Annabelle's tail made me think Lady Cecelia had somehow changed head gear.  The second panel, with the lighter color of the fur, gives the impression of a lion's mane.

Utmost Importance:
This strip shows the pecking order in the harem.  Lady Annabelle commands and the bottom rung is Lady Cecelia.  Apparently her importance is so low that Sissy is seen by the others as nothing more than comic relief, which explains why others manipulate her without thinking.  Nice seeing that Lady Dolores isn't one to follow directions without some reason.

Word for a Leader:
Good try, Lady Annabelle, but I do think Lady Dolores wants an answer.  If nothing else, this strip gives us a glimpse into the pecking order within the harem.  Lady Annabelle might be the leader, but her grasp is not absolute.  Lady Dolores is too aggressive to be dominated, or dismissed through a simple distraction.

Regarding the artwork, I'm most impressed with the artist's facial expressions.  One can sense the anger in Lady Dolores when she is balked.  Lady Annabelle's worry and determination are evident in the second and third panels.  I'm wondering if our poodle realizes whatever quest this knight set for Lady Cecelia could end in her death.

Blood of Chiefs:
It seems Lady Annabelle has made a fundamental mistake.  Either that or the authors are playing the magician and distracting us.  If you read that final panel, nothing there is definative.  The fact that the invisible guest tells Lady Cecelia she has the blood of ancient chiefs in her veins doesn't make it truth.  It may provide the means of convincing somebody to do some task they would never perform.

This does raise the question of what happened to the original line of rulers.  If Prince has a direct lineage to these same chiefs, then the unknown spirit lied.  If Lady Cecelia has the direct lineage, then somewhere in the not so distant past, Prince usurped their power.  Given Prince's previous image, such a change in power didn't come peacefully.

As to the front panel, I'll agree that it deserves a larger version.  Must be my computer display as all I see is that tiny red x in the upper left corner of a huge blank space.  Will check later and hope I can see it.

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