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    Timothy Lane
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@Miyto: This is all relatives. Someone/something with average human intelligence doesn't even begin to compare to (certain) high tier spirits, capable of pulling off a Xanatos gambit. It could just mean that they most likely are just trying to fulfill the role of "make more pactins" as opposed to some grander scheme, such as "slowly subvert/convert a large group of mages to unwittingly release a large number of X from the abyss in order to accomplish Y, using steps A, B, and C, by riling up the Vampires in location Z and offering power to defeat those vampires..."
Now I'm curious what he caught relative to my previous text dump.
@The_Hyena_King: Means one of a few things.


Hope this doesn't spoil anything plot-wise, but our Mage campaign was very abyss-heavy.

1. It wasn't Hizrim who cast the spell, but in fact Asia who cast it, with Hizrim's "assistance". Though an Akemoth can't cast its own supernal magic, they CAN boost the power of someone else's magic by corrupting it, especially in ways that result in increasing damage/destruction. (My character had an an abyssal-given ability to spend mana to make supernal spell damage Aggrevated, and decrease the chance of it paradoxing... at the cost of it being addictive and pouring power/mana into the abyss. Didn't end up using that one, due to knowing about the addiction in advance, but saw others using it, and was shown the book it was from.)

Important note on this one: If entity A sufficiently controls the mind of entity B, (and entity B still exists) then entity A can force entity B to cast spells. This suggests Asia is still in there, and can be saved.

2. That may not have actually been Supernal magic at all... Spirit numina can look similar to all sorts of spells. (abyssal entities are generally a form of spirit) Since we do not yet know the details of what numina Hizrim has at full-strength after absorbing a Mage... this may suggest Asia is beyond saving.

3. Mages historically know very little about the Abyss, and that information that exists tends to be EXTREMELY well guarded, due to people like the Guardians of the Veil not wanting it to get into the hands of people who would use it for the "other side". Intentionally making deals with the abyss, summoning abyssal entities, using abyssal magic, is grounds for a death sentence in many parts of the world. With that much secrecy, there is a very real possibility that the book didn't have enough information, and/or is WRONG. This shows what the people think Pactins are. This doesn't mean that is what Pactins REALLY are. As a result... maybe it CAN continue to use Asia's powers after it for most intents and purposes has killed her. Maybe it just needs to save certain pieces, just not the pesky parts like personality or memory.
This is very well done. Thank you very much!
@Stella: I'm glad you're still checking in on this. Don't worry, I'm still working on it, it's just taking longer than expected to get a good process going. (I have a number of pages drawn, but am still having issues finding a fast enough way to get them colored)

Regarding the sword issue: Good catch. The reason he has it that way is to make it more feasible to draw out the swords. Curved swords are hard to make a good scabbard for, and there is always a risk it will get caught. (Especially if drawing over the shoulder.) He accounts for this a little bit by wearing longer sleeves to protect his arms when he can... It tells a little about his character. It isn't a safe way to hold them, but because it is more efficient, he doesn't care.
Here's a preview of one of the new characters from Mark's next arc : Lies.

I'll be posting more of these as I make them.

My last plan has been a bit delayed for two reasons...

First, it's taking me longer than I had hoped to get a good grasp of how to draw what I want to draw, especially with the change in medium.

Second, I was originally planning on jumping right into Mark's next arc. That's not quite what's going to be happening anymore... I want to show a wider portion of the world, and there is some cross-arc interactions that will be happening soon... assuming they haven't happened already. ;)

I feel it is time to start Awere, what was originally supposed to be the 'first' arc of this whole thing.

That means more planning! Yay?
Amazing! I actually updated something again! It's been a while... sorry about that.

I've finally gotten a decent handle on drawing with the tablet, and think my drawings are starting to be decent enough to start showing them again.

Still not perfect, obviously, but... not terrible.
@Stella: You are correct... Oops.

Also, FYI : I'm not gone forever... I got a tablet to try to do this stuff on, and it is taking some getting used to.
It would help if I actually uploaded the last page of the epilogue... oops.

So... here's where things stand. This wraps up the first arc of Almost Aware. It didn't turn out as well as I would have liked, but hopefully you still enjoyed it. Over the next few months, before the next arc starts being uploaded here, I am going to prepare. Now that I am at the tail end of this arc, I can see a bunch of things I wish I had done... I am going to try to do the second arc right.

1. Write out the plot for the second arc. I know the general idea of what sorts of things I want to happen, but in order for a more reasonable pacing to happen, I want it plotted out in advance.

2. Create character reference models, for more consistency and differentiation. It would help me immensely to take the time to get specific proportions for all of my characters worked out, in simple poses. This is something that every comic artist is "supposed" to do, but I never had time once I got started.

3. Create a significant buffer. (over a month of updates) I have found in the past (before I hit the rough spots that ate my buffer) that I can get pages done faster if I am working on more than one at once... for instance if I do 4 pages of drawing, then all the lines, then all the shading, then all the coloring, I can easily get 4 pages done in 2 weeks. If I need to do it one page at a time, I have a hard time getting 2 done per week. However, without a buffer, I can't afford to be working on pages that far in advance... so a buffer is a must.

So. I won't be having normal updates for quite a while. However, do stop by every once in a while... I will still be posting things here from time to time.

During the hiatus, I am planning on posting:
- character references : I'm making them, might as well show them off
- bridge updates : There are a couple plot points that I will explain, of how we get from arc 1 to arc 2, since there will be a short time gap.
- 'extras' : I still owe you a few, to make the 'reports' one make sense. I decided against making the other part of it immediately, because I realized the compare/contrast would happen after this hearing was over chronologically.
- Status updates : I'll keep you up-to-date on how the tasks are going
- Website updates : I hope to make the site more user friendly

Thanks for bearing with me. Please let me know if you have enjoyed things so far, and if there is anything that you think I should keep in mind for the next arc.
I am terrible at drawing hands... had a bunch of re-draws for the next page. It just needs to be colored, now, so should be up tomorrow.
There will be about 4 or 5 of these pages... they are text-dense, so I am doing them in the format above. Since they are single-panel, I'll hopefully be doing double-updates on some of them.

In the final stretch!
Huh... the page broke somehow. Fixed now, sorry about that.
Final page for this chapter.

I'm sure there are still some things that don't quite make sense from this scene.

Basically, what happened is:

1. Mark crashed through White's window.
2. He threw bombs at her.
3. White transforms to bat and back again instinctually, to instantly heal the burns/explosion. Suddenly having bat-wings is not good on a night-gown.
4. Mark uses the smokescreen to hit her with the poisoned dagger
5. Not realizing the dagger actually means something, she hits him with a disenchant, killing his "color sight" spell/illusion.
6. The entire room suddenly looks different. Less dark. More... normal and home-like. She looks different. Younger and less witch-ey. She's in her night gown of all things. (Now torn and burnt for obvious reasons) NOT the almost cult-ish garb she appeared to be in previously.
7. She is actually a were-bat, but comments that that should be obvious... so obviously shouldn't be a problem. It's not like she was hiding it from the other Magi.
8. The poison becomes a bit more obvious when she tries to shift-heal the dagger wound... and it doesn't work.
9. She quickly realizes what it is actually doing... it seems to be trying to split her from her were-self... (something that has not happened before, as far as she is aware, but she also has Sight, and centuries of experience)
10. She is looking at all of this from a very calculating standpoint. She doesn't know what exactly is going through Mark's head at this point, but she knows he was being deceived somehow with mind magic. She has had enough people/things try to kill her in the past, that she can be a bit more practical about the situation. She knows she wouldn't be able to stop him if he decided to just flee... so she decided to be a bit more threatening about it. If it happens to work out that he turns himself in as a result... all the better. Then the truth can come out.
11. She then obviously needs to focus all of her energy on actually surviving this situation.
12. Her survival is unknown.
Well, realized that I wasn't going to be able to fit as much as I wanted onto one page, so had to re-think things a little bit.

The next page is done already, so that one can't be late.

Probably. ;)
This page has been changed. Originally it was uploaded on April 1st... and you could see the statue of liberty through the window.

Obviously, that's not quite canon.
Well, I think things have finally settled down some at work... Sorry for the long and mostly un-announced hiatus.

I should be good for the rest of the act. (And again, have been given a HUGE reminder to make a buffer for the next act)

I think there is probably just 1 more page for this chapter, and then a couple pages for an epilogue.

After that, I will unfortunately need a much more planned (and much longer) hiatus. This isn't to say I won't be posting anything here... just no actual comics for a while.

After 90 posts, and almost a year of comic-ing, there are a lot of things I wish I had taken the time to do when I started... many of which are things that I can post here (Such as labeled character models, so I can actually keep things in proportion for once)

I will be making sure I have at least a month of comics done, to avoid gaps like this happening again. Making these is a lot faster (and maintainable) when I'm doing multiple pages in the same stage (draw multiple pages worth one week, color a bunch of pages the next), which I can only do if I am ahead.
This week has been crazy at work... Sorry, but no updates this week.
In case it wasn't obvious... part of the last page was an april fools joke... I'll be "fixing" the page soon.
@Stella: Nope... they are unrelated. It's a coincidence I only noticed myself recently... Mostly chalking that one up to being new at this, and not making sure to differentiate character appearances enough. It's something I need to work on.

Some of the confusion may be justified however... her appearance DID change a couple times. (More than just showing bat features) She was supposed to look younger after the explosion, though that may not be obvious (or obviously intentional)
Warning, there were two "pages" uploaded, since the last was real simple and I wanted this one to stand on its own.

Confused about what exactly it is you are seeing? The basic idea is that he just got hit with a massive disenchant... Other details that I've been hinting at will have to wait for a couple more pages.