The Silence of the Gnomes – Chapter 7, Act 4, Strip 96

The realization that it’s over finally settles in for our heroes, as well. Who, apparently, have gone back into the sewer…uh, root system in the meantime. I guess it was just too cold out in the forest, by the newly planted seedling, or something.

There is a little time for retrospection…and, yeah, Biff is definitely right regarding the walking distances. The legs she has been using since getting here are shapelier than the ones he used to have, but that doesn’t mean they were any better trained at the outset. Now they are, and not entirely by choice. And they really walked everywhere in this chapter…they didn’t even get the small comforts the setting would have allowed for, like a flute-operated horse, a flying carpet or free rides on the back of giant eagles. It. was. all. on. foot.

Aside from retrospection, there is also time for introspection…and Snuka doesn’t have to look all that far into himself to discover a certain yearning for some things that had been, and wonder what happened to their secondary goal of making them be again, as well. Everything is back to “normal” for the inhabitants of this fantasy setting, so what about the heroes? The absence of a similar reward for them is particularly stinging, of course, since all of the more traditional rewards typical for the setting are also absent – no hoard of treasure, no half-kingdom, no expressions of eternal gratitude and remembrance, not even a kiss from a princess. >_> Just a few minutes of rest in a sewer-like space within the roots of an ancient tree. Hardly generous.

For once Snuka would be quite happy to drive the plot along, and tries a normally sure-fire way to do it…but, unfortunately, he had already forgotten about DM’s tragic demise*. The sudden appearance and cryptic advice that Snuka had been counting on is replaced by the eerie silence of absence. Let this be a lesson to him: if you’re planning to rely on somebody’s services on a future date, don’t kill them. The earlier one learns that lesson in one’s life, the better.

More on Monday.

* I assume they’ve removed the body by that point in time. Whether they gave it a solemn little burial or just pushed it into the sewage stream I can’t really say. Both suggestions would have been brought up in the discussions between our heroes, but since they took place off-screen, it’s impossible to tell whose arguments won out in the end.

6 Replies to “The Silence of the Gnomes – Chapter 7, Act 4, Strip 96”

  1. DM could always (temporarily) return from the nether realms as a blue ghost to drop some hints. And Snuka already set a precedence in that regard.
    Next best choices are probably
    A) The elder
    B) The tree
    C) Backtrack to the spot where they arrived in the world
    D) Shadow in the tavern

    1. Well, yeah…in fantasy fiction, being dead isn’t anything that would necessarily stop DM from carrying on just like before. But in this case, the plot calls for it, so he’s actually really dead. XD

      And all of your suggestions make sense and would work – but the actual conclusion is still more obvious and cheap, believe it or not. XD

  2. Was this a scene you had made/shot earlier before settling on the conclusion of the main B-Plot? Cause that’d totally be B-movie material: Getting all the filming done for the climatic showdown first then realizing it creates an inconsistency with the next scene (which is only realized in editing of course) but we’re on a budget people! Throw it in!

    As for the fate of the DM’s carcass: It was probably pointed out that there’s only wood and stone to dig through unless they carried the halves of the DM all the way back up the tree. The DM’s corpse was thus most likely gently nudged into the sewer water by foot while whistling innocently.

    1. No, I drew this strip in correct order…the change in location was really just an oversight, and I didn’t even notice it until I was about to upload the strip for publication. XD

      And, yeah, it’s not implausible that that is what happened. K’ip probably lead the charge in favor of disposing of DM’s body in that way…as a typical cat, he’s somehow inexplicably fond of pushing things over the edge of flat surfaces. Plus, he could apply cat logic in order to emerge victorious from the internal discussions: to counter the argument that this mode of disposal would be disrespectful toward the deceased, he could point out that it would still be more respectful than just eating the body. A hard-to-counter argument that a non-cat couldn’t have made. XD

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