Recap / Drowtales

A word of warning. There are unmarked spoilers here.

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     Prologue 
The Prologue establishes the setting of the story, explaining that drows are what elves become when they are born underground.

Chapter 0: Prologue

The Nidraa'chal attack Chel'el'sussoloth with nether summoning. They violated several unwritten rules of warfare in Chel in the process.

     First arc 
The First Arc initially follows Ariel's point-of-view but as time goes one, the point-of-views of multiple characters from multiple factions are followed, leading to a complex and deep story where Grey and Gray Morality is a recurring theme.

Chapter 1: The Daughters Of Sarghress

A baby girl named Ariel is given by Quain'tana to Syphile for Syphile to raise. Syphile spends the next ten years raising Ariel to attempt to prepare Ariel as a good daughter to Quain'tana.

Chapter 2: World Of Mana

Kel'noz takes Ariel with him to Orthorbbae, a school, where he is the headmaster of the Davya tower. There, Ariel meets Faen'arae, or Faen for short, who has empathy.

Chapter 3: Torn

Ariel continues to learn at Orthorbbae, until circumstances force Kel'noz's hand and he takes Ariel back to the Sarghress fortress and Quain'tana. During their meeting, Quain'tana orders Ariel to bring Mir'kiin to her so Ariel could prove herself.

Chapter 4: Fight For Me

Taking Kel'noz's advice, Ariel tries to recruit people to help her capture Mir'kiin. In the process, she meets a drow/dragon male hybrid named Rikshakar and a human Emberi woman named Vaelia.

Chapter 5: Heir To The Clan

Ariel successfully brings Mir'kiin to Quain'tana. Quain'tana then orders Ariel to kill Mir'kiin. When Ariel refused, Quain'tana decided to make Ariel choose between killing Mir'kiin who tormented her and killing Sar'nel who helped her.

Chapter 6: The Bloody Path

After learning that Faen left, Ariel is still in shock. During her bout of depression, she decided to go to the Black Dragon to watch the battles.

Chapter 7: Stand On Your Own

Ariel decides to confront Chrys'tel to get answers after getting cheered up by Vaelia, capturing her in the process. She also meets Chirinide, who first explains tainting to her.

Chapter 8: Behind The Masks

Ariel enters into a confrontation with Syphile. Syphile lost and was subsequently disowned by Quain'tana. Ariel ends up in Mel'arnach's room after that.

Chapter 9: Second Chances

After her disgrace, Syphile decides to free Chrys'tel in exchange for becoming a noble of the Vel'Sharen.

Chapter 10 Gateway To The Abyss

Chirinide, Shan'naal and Tir'ade have to deal with a nether outbreak in one of the Sarghress districts. Tir'ade gets tainted and decides he doesn't want to die as per Kyorl'solenurn doctrine and flees from Chirinide and Shan'naal.
  • False Flag Operation: Yaeminira Vel’Sharen opens a nether gate where she knows the Kyorl will see it, knowing they’ll assume it was the Vloz’ress, and convinces the Vloz to turn a captured Kyorl into a living doll and send her back to her clan, hoping to draw the two clans to war.
  • Flashback: One at the beginning of the chapter, where Kiel’ndia reminisces on how her mom’s group of nether summoners came to be, picked up Kharla’ggen, and became the Vel’Vloz’ress.
  • Killed Off for Real:
    • Celia Sarghress
    • Melindir Sarghress
    • Yunir Sarghress
    • Karan Sarghress
    • Seb'rath Sarghress
  • The Reveal: Ariel is Mel’s daughter, conceived on Quain’s demands in order to have a heir after Laele was possessed and Quain made barren by an injury.

Chapter 11: Choir Of Souls

Kiel'ndia and Naal'suul prepare to try and save Kyo'nne, not realizing she isn't actually in danger. Ariel and her comrades prepare themselves for the journey to the surface. Ariel meets, acquires and names Melodia. Chirinide, Shan'nal and Kyo'nne tagalong, without giving Ariel a real choice in the matter.

Chapter 12: To The Light

Ariel and her travelling companions are in the middle of travelling. Kyorl'solenurn and Vloz'ress forces clash. Kiel and Naal confront Ariel and her group, but in the end, Kyo'nne successfully stops the fight.

Chapter 13: Crossroads

The gang are in Machike, with the various kid cast preparing for whatever they are doing next. Meanwhile, the Kyorls are negotiating for the Sarghress to handover Senekha whom they are holding prisoner.

Chapter 14: Under The Moonlight

Ariel's gang leaves Machike and Ariel sees the surface for the first time.

Chapter 15 Wasteland

Rikshakar betrays Ariel and kidnaps her. Chirinide, Shan'naal and Kyo'nne separate from the rest and arrive at a Kyorl'solenurn outpost where Chirinide and Shan'naal learn several things that change their world view.
  • Killed Off for Real:
    • Rikshakar
  • Wham Episode: It turns out Drowussu are the descendants of Light Elves the way Drowolaths are the descendants of Dark Elves. Also, several Kyorl Judicators are in fact Light Elves.

Chapter 16: Shattering Empire

Zala'ess calls a gathering of the clans minus the Sarghress to gather support against them and assert her authority. Meanwhile, her forces attack the Sarghress fortress and Mel'arnach takes the opportunity to escape.

Chapter 17: Enemy At The Gate

Yaeminira challenges Sil'lice to a duel. Sil'lice takes the opportunity to reveal a devastating secret about the Sharen clan's connection to the Nidraa'chal as well as Empress Diva'ratrika's true fate, which Yaeminira ignores.

Chapter 18: Shifting Allegiances

Syphile tries to assassinate Quain'tana. Meanwhile, Zala'ess denounces the Sarghress as a rebel clan and tries to convince the rest of the city to destroy them. The Kyrol'solenurn, Sullisin'rune, and Jaal'darya clans are not amused and start threatening rebellions of their own.

Chapter 19: Val Of Sharen

Sil'lice gives her youngest children, Kau and Shala, a bedtime story about her participation in the Nidraa'chal war and how she was forced into exile.
  • Breather Episode: After several intense chapters in a row, this chapter, while it does show how poorly the Val'Sharen lost to the Nidraa'chal, nevertheless have a touching moment between Sil'lice and Kau and Shala.

Chapter 20: Boundless World

Ariel regroups with Melodia, Vaelia and Liriel and explore the surface while looking for Faen. Melodia starts learning to speak while Liriel show signs she is not what she seems. Meanwhile, Chirinide, Shan'naal and Kyo'nne arrive at a joint Illhar'dro-Nal'sarkoth outpost. Meanwhile, the Vloz group searching for Discordia are in Haltonreibe.

Chapter 21: Through Foreign Lands

The Vloz group succeed in catching Discordia. Ariel, Vaelia, Liriel and Melodia reunite with Chirinide, Shan'naal and Kyo'nne when the former group saved the latter. Together, they arrive at where Faen is.

Chapter 22: Reunion

Ariel finds Faen, though in not an exactly happy state. Chirinide and Shan'naal put an end to the King's systematic killing of elves and drows to get their blood for an attempt at immortality. Liriel completes her transformation into a new person. Ariel completes her bloodrite.
  • Killed Off for Real:
    • The Halme King and Queen of Nagyescsed
  • Wham Episode: Faen is found, but after she suffers severe Break the Cutie that leaves her mute for nearly the entire remainder of the First Arc. And Liriel transforms fully into Diva.

Chapter 23: Farewells

Chirinide and Shan'naal splits of from the group to guide Light Elves back to their home of Vanaheimr. Vaelia splits of from the group and joins the Highland Raiders. Liriel reveals her true identity as Diva'ratrika to Ariel and Faen. She decides to go by Diva from then on, believing it to be for the best.

Chapter 24: Strings

Kiel, with Naal's help, attempt to take power within the Vloz'ress before news of Senekha's death reach the majority of the clan. Meanwhile, we see what Vaelia has been up to in the Highland Raiders.

Chapter 25: The Ninth Tower

Mel'arnach and Snadhya'rune catch up. Snad reveals Kalki is their daughter born through Jaal'darya advances in Drow technology. Meanwhile, Lulianne finds the Ninth Tower and encounters Sha'sana who reveals many things about the taint and the Nidraa'chal. Meanwhile, we are shown a continuation of Vaelia's adventures with the Highland Raiders.
  • Wham Episode: Kalki is the daughter of Mel and Snad. The former was previously only known to have had Ariel as her child while the latter was not known to have had any kids whatsoever. And Sha'sana reveals that the taint was thought to be the perfect vaccination to getting possessed by demons, and while it can be that, it is revealed the vast majority of those tainted were given a flawed version where the seed will continue growing and eventually take over the host. The Nidraa'chal have agents in every major clan and several minor ones, and were the ones who truly won the war about 15 years previous, regardless of what everyone else thinks.

Chapter 26: Of Trust And Friendship

Chrys'tel and Shinae meet up with Naal and Kiel. Nau'kheol and Khal'harror join the group. Together they attempt to investigate the door at the bottom of Orthorbbae. Meanwhile, a group of Relic Hunters hired by the Jaal'darya find a ruin, not realizing the Jaal'darya are planning to infect them with a deadly fungus that rots their bodies from within and causes hallucinations.

Chapter 27: A Thin Existence

Mel and Snad learn that Lu had been injured. Chrys'tel's group stage a commotion to get a keystone to open the door at the bottom of Orthorbbae. They managed to get the key, open the door and see what's inside, which horrifies them. Meanwhile, the last part of Vaelia's current mission with the Raiders is shown.
  • Wham Episode: There are bodies of Orthorbbae staff members in the room, even though they are still doing their jobs. The ones the kids see are actually summons. Naal'suul turns into a demon when one of the summons attacks them.

Chapter 28: Holehearted

Kiel cements her status as the de facto Vloz'ress leader by killing Kes'sen, but not all are happy with the new leadership. Meanwhile Kuso and Baliir are hanging out in Chel. A special story made by a fan for the comic for a contest is featured and several elements of the fan story are made canon.

Chapter 29: Vanaheimr

Chirinide, Shan'naal, Myou and the Light Elves they were escorting reach Vanaheimr. However, during the night, most of the Light Elves saved from Nagyscyed, save Freyja, are killed by assassins due to them being not considered true Vanir. Chiri, Shan and Myou are nearly killed too but Freyja's brother, Freyr, saves them.

Chapter 30: Back To The Refuge

Ariel arrives back in Chel and relates her adventures to Quain'tana. Meanwhile, "Diva'ratrika" who is in fact a Body Double holds a very public parade in the middle of Chel. Sarv'swati also recruits the Black Sun as mercenaries.

Chapter 31: Beloved Enemies

Chry'stel agonizes over what she learned from Sil'lice and consults with Yakuise, a Kyorl'solenurn who lives in the Sharen basement. Meanwhile Zala'ess warns Shinae not to let Chrys'tel out of her sight lest she act like a traitor. The two meet up with their friends at a cafe in Chel, and Chrys'tel and Nau'kheol leave for the Sarghress fortress to talk with Sil'lice again.

Chapter 32: The End Of The Line

Chrys'tel and Nau'kheol meet up with Diva and enter Sil'lice's compound, only to be accosted by Kadara, who throws Chrys and Nau into iron maidens until Sil'lice gets back home. Once they're released Sil'lice enlists Chrys'tel to be her spy in the Sharen. Meanwhile, Mel has arrived back at the fortress as Snadhya'rune's prompting and asks to be forgiven by Quain, but Quain does not buy her story and instead breaks Mel's arms and has her thrown into the dungeon, where Kel'noz takes Ariel and reveals her true parentage. Ariel however decides that she's had enough of people claiming to be her real parents and rejects Mel as her real mother, though the end of the chapter gives a Hope Spot after she asks Quain to give her another chance and has her arms healed.

     Second Arc 
The Second Arc begins fifteen years after the First Arc ended. Chel'el'sussoloth is now in a state of warfare as the Val'Sarghress and their allies fight the Vel'Sharen and their allies.

Chapter 33: Refuge Of The West

The former jewel of the west, Nuqrah'shareh is torn apart by civil war and an insidious foreign scheme.

Chapter 34: The Claims Of Queens

Chrys'tel arrives in Nuqrah'shareh with her mother. It is revealed that the Sharen clan has lost most of its territory and is in open war with the Sarghress and Sullisin'rune clans, who want them all dead. Zala'ess seeks the Illhar'dro clan's aid in defeating the rebels and offers to help them deal with their own rebellion in return.
  • Bring Help Back: The Sharen clan's entire purpose for travelling to Nuqrah'shareh. The war with the Sarghress is starting to go badly and Zala'ess wants to forge an alliance with the Illhar'dro.

Chapter 35: Civil Unrest

A young Val'Jaal'darya named Wafay navigates through Chel, a city now torn apart by Urban Warfare in order to warn the Sarghress about a terrible scheme being operated by her own mother and recruit their help to stop her.

Chapter 36: Mother's Legacies

Faen'arae returns to the Sullisin'rune dome for the first time in years and meets her mother. Meanwhile in Nuqrah'shareh, Chrys'tel and her comrades disrupt the local rebellion. To her delight, her allies reveal that the great clans of Nuqrah'shareh have agreed to help Zala'ess crush the rebel clans of Chel in return for conquest.

Chapter 37: A Song Of Hope

Kyo'nne is revealed to have become a pop star over the Timeskip and is presently promoting peace and a colony sponsored by Snadyha'rune. Meanwhile in Nuqrah'shareh, Chrys'tel takes part in an operation to take an ancient airship away from the mysterious foreign schemers.

Chapter 38: Battle For North Cliff

Ariel's district, the North Cliff, is attacked by a former Sarghress turned Vlozz named Maki, who has a big grudge since Syphile's successor had not ignored her corruption. Meanwhile in Nuqrah'shareh, a Nidraa'chal False Flag Operation successfully convinces the clans of Nuqrah'shareh that their plans to attack the Sarghress are a priority.
  • False Flag Operation: The Nidraa'chal plant a Sarghress sword at the site of one of their raids, leading the Illhar'dro to believe that the Sarghress were responsible for the Civil War and food shortages.
  • You Are in Command Now: Ariel's normal commander, Sarnel, is badly wounded, the second in command is dead, and the next ranking officer declines command in favor of letting Ariel have a shot. As we learn next chapter, the higher ups had specifically prevented Ariel from moving up in the ranks and kept her in the Home Guard until the District War is over to protect her.

Chapter 39: Remember The Reason You Fight

Ariel reports at the Black Wolf tavern. The Sarghress are working on an operation designed to expose the false empress and manage to kill one her Body Doubles. Meanwhile, Kiel'ndia runs a recruitment drive and receives a very special invitation.
  • Wham Episode: Shinae gives birth, but the baby is stillborn and horribly mutated, confirming what Sha'sana said earlier about the faulty seeds.

Chapter 40: Hold The Line

The Sarghress push towards conquering a specific district to rescue the Sharen clan's Slave Mooks from being forced to fight them. The Sharen argue over whether to hold the line or fall back until the great clans of Nuqrah'shareh can help them crush the rebellion. We then see what Vaelia has been up to lately, which is to liberate a prison colony run by the Vel'Sharen and Val'Beldrobbaen.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Ariel, a strong healthy warrior. Shinae, a pressure sorceress who has been greatly weakened from a failed childbirth. Ariel never stood a chance and would have been killed if Shinae hadn't been forced to retreat by The Cavalry.
  • Just in Time: Word of God says that this is specifically subverted when Ariel chops off Nihi'liir's head only just after Nihi'liir orders the death of all the Slave Mooks, causing the deaths of many of those the Sarghress were trying to save.
  • Killed Off for Real:
    • Nihi'liir Vel'Sharen

Chapter 41: End Of Charades

Kiel'ndia launches an attack against the Sharen to expose the false Empress and end their crumbling charade.

  • Broken Masquerade: The Sharen clan and their alllies have spent the last several decades pretending that Diva'ratrika is still alive and in charge of the Sharen Empire in order to maintain control and morale. With the help of a Nidraa'chal traitor, Kieln'dia manages to stab the impostor and officially announce the death to all of Chel, preventing the Imperial Guard from just replacing her with a Body Double again.
  • Killed Off for Real:
    • Fake Diva
    • Elbinac Vloz'Ress
    • Kailodion Xyrrai'zestu Sharen
    • Tsuris'Lok Vloz'Ress note 
  • Wham Episode: The death of Fake Diva will have repercussions.

Chapter 42: Schism

The Dutan'vir faction within the Sarghress clan launches an attack on the Kyorl to reclaim some of their lost territory on behalf of their current clan without its approval. The Kyorl'solenurn clan have to deal with this as well as internal turmoil as differing views come into conflict. A sinister conspiracy within their own ranks threatens to split the clan in two, forcing all of them to make a choice. A continuation of Vaelia trying to liberate the prison colony is also featured.

  • Broken Base: In-universe example; the clan is slowly breaking apart over racial purity and how to treat their drowlath cousins. Appropriately, the chapter where their brokenness comes to a head is titled "Schism".
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Kousei, first seen overlooking the public execution of Senekha Vel'Vloz'ress, reappears in this chapter conducting an investigation into Shimi'lande's murder while also being manipulated by Kyuusei as his Unwitting Pawn.
  • Chekhov's News: In Chapter 40, the war map showed arrows depicting which territory each army was marching into. The Sharen and Beldrobbaen clans were pushing into Sarghress controlled districts, while the Sarghress were mostly pushing into Sharen controlled districts. But a single Sarghress arrow was shown going into Kyorl territory, and was later revealed to have claimed the district on the Sarghress clan's behalf. In this chapter, we learn that it was the Dutan'vir using the distraction of the District War to reconquer their old home without permission.
  • The Coup: One of the Judicators, Kyuusei, launches one, and it is later confirmed by a summary that he had Shimi'lande assassinated towards this end.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: The chapter intermission ends with Kio'nel being killed by his mother Sarv'swati for failing to defend Dariya'ko, first by having his face stomped deep into the floor, then having an axe slammed onto his head so hard the floor cracks.
  • Due to the Dead: Kousei gives Kyuusei a "finger to the forehead" farewell salute after having him executed for his crimes.
  • False Flag Operation: Shimi'lande's murderer disguises herself as Kiel'ndia Val'Vlozress to fool the Kyorl into believing her clan responsible.
  • Irony: The Judicators attempt to purge the clan of Dutan'vir-descended Kyorl believing they're less loyal than native Kyorl. One of said native Kyorl goes against orders out of disgust towards the Judicators' actions and frees the intended targets of their racial purge.
  • Karmic Death: Kyuusei is killed when he is stabbed by a member of the Order of the Twin Eyes (which he intended to use as Unwitting Pawns) and thrown out a window where he happens to land on a statue depicting the fires of a purge.
  • Killed Off for Real:
    • Ill'haress Shimi'lande Val'Kyorl'Solenurn
    • Kyuusei Kyorl'Solenurn
    • Kio'nel Vel'Sharen
  • Light Is Not Good: The Judicators all wear white, but they were responsible for having Shimi'lande assassinated to further their own goals, and coming up with the idea of murdering Dutan'vir-descended Kyorl on the assumption their ancestry would make them less loyal than native Kyorl.
  • Modest Royalty: Compared to the other Judicators who wear fancy white and gold robes, Kousei's outfit is rather plain, with a simple black cape and hood. This later outs him and his Order as the good guys as they invest themselves into uncovering the culprit behind Shimi'lande's murder.
  • The Paragon Always Rebels: Belph'aegor is touted as the perfect example of an ideal male Kyorl warrior. Yet he goes against orders and frees the imprisoned Dutan'vir-descended Kyorl from the Judicators' racial genocide plan.
  • The Purge: The Judicators attempt to pull one off by imprisoning anyone suspected to be of Dutan'vir descent and then purging them with fire. It fails when a disgusted Kyorl frees the prisoners and helps them escape.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Belph'aegor, the ideal male Kyorl warrior bucks the rules out of disgust towards the Judicators' actions
  • Spanner in the Works: Belph'aegor foils Kyuusei's plans by freeing the imprisoned Dutan'vir-descended Kyorl and helping them escape from being purged for being racially impure.
  • Succession Crisis: Traditionally, the previous Kyorl Ill'haress picks her own successor. But the Judicators discard Shimi'lande's choice with one of their own for ulterior reasons, bringing tensions to a boil.
  • Thanatos Gambit: Being a Seer, Shimi'lande was aware of her impending death, and left behind some final messages to guide the future.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Kyuusei planned to send the Order of the Twin Eyes after the Vloz'ress (since Shimi'lande's killer was a member of that clan) so the other Judicators can wipe out the Dutan'vir-descended Kyorl without distractions. Kousei catches on and sends his Order after Kyuusei, whom they kill for his actions.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: The Judicators want to preserve the Kyorls' racial purity and clan unity because their people have often been enslaved by the drowlaths, killed, or assimilated into drowlath culture. Their actions in pulling this off are inexcusable and eventually bite them in the ass by the chapter's end.
  • We Need a Distraction: Vaelia's mission to free the slaves from the Penal Colony turns out to be a distraction, making the Sharen worry about an attack from the wrong direction, when in fact the Sarghress's main attack is against the colony below the Penal Colony, Dariya'ko.
  • You Have Failed Me: Sarv'swati brutally kills her son Kio'nel for failing to defend Dariya'ko.
  • You Killed My Father: Implied to be Chime's motivation for exposing Kyuusei as the mastermind behind Shimi'lande's assassination, as the ending shot reveals Kousei thanking her for her help.

Chapter 43: Breaking Frontline

As the rebel clans break through the front lines, Kiel'ndia agrees to attend the Felde conferance and Zala'ess's alliance prepares its entrance.

  • The Dog Bites Back: Nishi'kanta's family finally takes their vengeance on Sarv'swati by removing the golem cores powering First Landing's defences, allowing the Sarghress to take Chel's main entrance with ease.
  • Trapped Behind Enemy Lines: According to Word of God, Sarv'swati has this problem in the very beginning of the chapter. She starts out stationed in the fortress of First Landing. On the side facing the city, Sarghress troops are launching The Siege. Then, the Sarghress launch a surprise attack from the side facing the outside world. Sarv'swati is forced to gather everyone she can and break through the siege to retreat to the main Sharen fortress. This also cuts off the Sharen clan's last gate to the outside world, preventing reinforcements or a final retreat from the city. Chrys'tel gets around this by negotiating with a Vloz'ress summoner behind Kiel'ndia's back, giving Zala'ess's alliance permission to send reinforcements through the Vloz'ress clan's gate.
  • Trial by Friendly Fire: Word of God says that the Sarghress and Nishi'kanta's turncoats failed to properly coordinate the assault on First Landing. As a result, many of Nishi'kanta's children are wiped out by their own Sarghress allies, while the rest of them are taken by the Black Sun.

Chapter 44: Invitation

Ariel and her companions are stationed in the independent colony of Ys as the District War escalates to its conclusion. Meanwhile, the Felde conference begins, where Snadhya'rune declares open war on all the clans.

  • Combat Pragmatist: Being on the verge of defeat, the Sharen take advantage of the Sarghress clan's self-perception as "good guys" to use some really dirty tactics, like using an innocent child as bait.
  • Cornered Rattlesnake: Upon the conquest of First Landing fortress, the Sarghress are able to conquer most of the rest of Chel with ease. However, three Sharen strongholds hold out. Unable to retreat and too proud to surrender the last symbol of their rule, the Sharen make one of their Last Stands at the council dome. Though the battle is becoming hopeless, they manage to inflict huge losses upon the Sarghress.
  • Fate Worse Than Death: Ran'diirk tries to assassinate Snadhya'rune after puzzling out her role in Diva'ratrika's murder, but fails and ends up killing himself in the effort. Ironically enough, in what Snadhya'rune portrays as an act of mercy, she grabs his aura and converts it into a summon, making what is left of him her slave.
  • Foe-Tossing Charge: Kyne Val'Sharen, a Golem pilot of Sil'lice's line, makes one of these to kill Sarv'swati. Mana arts fail to stop her, she sweeps an entire band of the Sharen clan's dragon riders aside, and even Sarv'swati's enormous dragon falls to her golem's claws. She almost succeeds in killing Sarv'swati herself, but is distracted by Vidhiyani crashing her floater into her golem.
  • Honor Before Reason: With no means of escape, and horribly overwhelmed, the Sharen clan's only option is to surrender or die. Being too proud to surrender, the Sharen clan tries to fight to the death, though the survivors are ultimately broken into surrendering.
  • Kick the Dog: The Sharen carve a nether gate into a child to serve as a lure against Sarghress soldiers and a measure of psychological warfare.
  • Killed Off for Real:
    • Kyne Val'Sharen
    • Ran'diirk Xyrrai'zestu Sharen
    • Dycle
  • Last Stand: After a thousand years of ruling Chel, the bulk of the Sharen clan is nearing its doom. The empress is officially dead, the Beldrobbaen have ended their alliance, the colony of Dariya'ko has fallen, the Sharen have been cut off from the outside, and the rebels have overrun the Sharen from where they were most vulnerable. The Sharen have lost everything except for three strongholds, and are on the verge of losing the last symbol of their rule. While they manage to kill huge numbers of Sarghress with increasingly desperate tactics, they are being overwhelmed by sheer numbers. Zala'ess's line is still safe and is returning with an overwhelming army of reinforcements, but they are likely to arrive too late. By the time the chapter ends, Sarv'swati and her forces have gone over the Despair Event Horizon, and the surviving Sharen inside the Imperial dome give their surrender.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Faced with her doom, Sarv'swati finally expresses remorse for murdering her mother and breaks down in tears.
  • New Era Speech: At the Felde conference, Snadhya'rune finally ends all subtlety and presents herself as a savior. She promotes the taint as a way of seeking enlightenment, denounces the clans as warmongers, threatens the clans with annihilation, and displays the stolen Nuqrah'sharian airship as a means of reconquering the old world. She closes her speech by declaring the end of the Moonless Age and the Dawn of an Era.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: With the Sharen clan defeated, their Black Sun mercenaries depart. While her surviving forces surrender, Sarv'swati herself manages to elude capture and disappear.
  • Senseless Sacrifice: Instead of accepting Snadhya'rune's offer of mercy, Ran'diirk tries to blow her up with him via an overcharged golem core. Even though such weapons are very easily defended against. Snadhya'rune protects herself from the blast with little effort. Ran'diirk isn't so lucky.
  • Shoot the Medic First: Word of God compares the Sharen tactic of focusing their firepower on sealers to this.
  • Taking You with Me: After receiving a mortal blow from Sarv'swati, Kyne Val'Sharen tries to take Sarv'swati to the grave with her by crashing her golem's cockpit against the council dome's wall.
  • They Do: In Ys, Faen and Ariel finally have their Relationship Upgrade.
  • Your Soul Is Mine: After Ran'diirk's failed, suicidal effort to assassinate Snadhya'rune, she proceeds to convert him into a summon under her control.

Chapter 45: A Giant's Shadow

After centuries of defiance against the Vals, Quain'tana has nearly conquered Chel and reminisces on the hard life that brought her here. Meanwhile, Ariel decides to pursue the stolen Airship and the Minameidians prepare to attack Felde. A sidestory set in the recent past showing Wafay's quest is also featured.

  • Break the Haughty: Sarv'swati accepts herself as a failure and acknowledges that murdering her mother was a mistake.
  • The Cavalry: The Sharen fortress tries to count on Zala'ess arriving with her Nuqrah'sharian reinforcements in order to completely turn around the war. But for unknown reasons, she is delayed and fails to make any moves.
  • Freudian Excuse: This chapter gives Quain'tana's. She was originally a Street Urchin and was nearly killed for sport by a Sharen knight over stealing bread. This made her determined to bring down the Vals and gave her no sympathy for weakness.
  • Enemy Mine: During the Sharen fortress's surrender parley, Sabbror agrees to turn over the Sharen clan's holdings in exchange for helping the Sharen get revenge against the traitors that infested the Sharen with faulty seeds.
  • Honor Before Reason: By this chapter, the Sharen clan's only remaining holding is the Sharen fortress itself. Quain'tana gives the Sharen terms of surrender, allowing them a chance at diplomacy, but threatening to end their clan if they do not comply. Saphala Vel'Sharen, the Val left in charge, rips the Sarghress document into pieces because she is too proud to give in. Similarly, Nir'naya refuses to acknowledge the Sharen clan's defeat and tries to insist on Sarv'swati doing something about it.
  • Persona Non Grata: The council of Ys kicks the Sarghress out of the colony. The kicked out Sarghress personnel are suspicious of the motives behind it.
  • The Siege: Aside from Zala'ess's reinforcements, the entire Sharen clan is trapped in their fortress. The Sarghress keep them surrounded and threaten to attack the fortress with all of their legions if they do not surrender within their deadline.

Chapter 46: Convergence

The Mimians attack Felde before Snadhya'rune can become unstoppable while the Sarghress try to sabotage the Nidraa'chal's new biological weapon.

  • Abusive Parents: Snadhya'rune sure as hell isn't winning any "Parent of the Year" awards. While she wasn't physically abusive to Kalki, she was definitely a "hands-off" parent, which resulted in Kalki becoming a screwed-up Spoiled Brat who desperately wants her mother's love and approval. Oh, Snadhya'rune also sees Kalki as a tool, so when Kalki's antics threatens her plans, Snadhya'rune murders her without an inch of remorse.
  • An Arm and a Leg: When the Nidraa'chal prepare to execute a Sarghress squad, the first shot "misses". When Filf'rae notices she is still alive for the moment, she watches her right hand disintegrate halfway off.
    • Kalki slashes off Ariel's left arm with her sword. Soon after, Ariel retaliates by using her flesh-shifting powers to steal Kalki's.
  • Bed Mate Reveal: Khaless's "surprise" for Kharla'ggen involves the two having sex.
  • Blood Upgrade: Snadhya'rune stops toying with her opponents when she is stabbed and sees her own blood.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • The three Sullisin'rune Nidraa'chal empaths, Sae'rali, Mae'rali, and Bae'rali, are able to rout an entire army of Mimians all on their own by nuking them with fear.
    • Snadhya'rune delivers an utter curbstomp battle to Mikilu, effortlessly defeating her with her summons. Erelice manages to sneak up on Snadhya'rune and stab her In the Back, but that just makes her mad. She leaves Erelice as a smoking crater with a single mana blast and sends her guards and surviving attackers fleeing for their lives.
  • Famous Last Words:
    • Brizdra: "Sharess. I shouldn't have volunteered for this mission."
    • Lulianne: "I am... Dutan'vir!"
  • Killed Off for Real:
    • Femi Jaal'darya
    • Brizdra Sarghress
    • Filf'rae Sarghress
    • Sabryne Sarghress
    • Lulianne Dutan'vir
    • Myridil Kavahini
    • Shala Val'Sharen
    • Kalki Nidraa'chal
    • Ere'lice Sarghress (via getting devoured by Khaless)
  • Getting Smilies Painted on Your Soul: Snadhya'rune's so-called safe taint is revealed to be akin to this, as poor Chrys'tel discovers after Shinae takes the procedure. It's also revealed to be a form of brainwashing that makes people who undertake it loyal to Snadhya.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: Kalki starts to beat Zhor with his own daughter's arm to escape him after he has pinned her down.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • Filf'rae's bondages are blasted off by the airship's first shot. But instead of running for it, she covers and shields Vayas'arn from the second blast. Her corpse is charred, but she succeeds in saving Vayas'arn's life.
    • Ere'lice distracts Khaless long enough to allow Riz'riia, her fellow Sarghress squadmate, enough time to make a getaway and be devoured in her place.
  • Honey Trap: Khaless luring the mentally unstable Kharla'ggen to have sex has shades of this. Keep in mind that while Kharla is physically a grown woman, she has a childlike mindset, which would make Khaless by proxy a child molester.
  • In the Blood: Zhor told Sara'hilana in the previous chapter that Snadhya'rune is "insane". After her mask finally cracks, we see that this is true. What's more Kalki seems to have inherited the insanity, which comes to bite Kalki in the epilogue.
  • Living Lie Detector: After the cure to Snadhya's flower poison is stolen by Ere'lice's squad and makes its way to Sara'hilana, Snadhya gives her empaths Sae, Mae, and Bae permission to search "in depth". However, while they suspect Sara'hilana, the latter has already covertly given the cure to Chrys'tel. It's implied that this was how An'jin was outed by the same empaths, despite him being undercover the whole time.
  • Long-Runners: As of November 2014, this is the longest chapter of the comic - reaching a total of 146 pages.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Snad grabbing a Sarghress soldier so Ariel can absorb and take her arm as a replacement after her original arm was cut off by Kalki, not only teaches Ariel how to do it, but also inflict Laser-Guided Karma on Kalki by stealing one of her arms instead.
  • Offing the Offspring: In a foul mood already due to the Kavahini attack and Ere'lice managing to injure her; Snadhya'rune has her summons casually tear Kalki apart.
  • Off with His Head!: Brizdra's death is particularly gruesome, the upper half of her head being blasted off by the mana cannons on the Nidraa'chal's stolen airship, while leaving her jaw intact with her teeth and tongue exposed.
  • Public Execution: Sara'hilana injures a couple of Kalki's "pets". Additionally, Snadhya'rune takes a big blow to her ego when a Sarghress squad assassinates Femi. When all of them are captured, she expresses a desire for "something spectacular". As a result, an elaborate execution is prepared with the entire thing being made into a public show. The Sarghress are tied to pillars and Sara'hilana only narrowly avoids joining them. The entire Sarghress squad minus their leader is then executed by the mana cannons on Snadhya'rune's stolen airship, to the cheers of all spectators.
  • Revenge Before Reason: An injured, one-armed Kalki tries to go after the fleeing Sarghress on the severely damaged airship before it has finished repairs. Snad nips that in the bud by using a summon to tear her apart in cold blood.
  • Revenge by Proxy: When interrogating the leader of a Sarghress squad that angered her, Snadhya'rune asks Mel'arnach for suggestions on how to deal with her. Mel'arnach urges Snadhya'rune to "cut her up". Snadhya'rune says she is too civilized for such a thing and enacts an execution of her squad instead, with a highly dramatic execution. The first blast "misses", which is confirmed by Word of God to be part of a sadistic mind game. After hearing the squad leader try to give a weak concession, Snadhya'rune and Mel'arnach give her a sadistic smile and finish the squad off.
  • Spanner in the Works: Kalki, in her desire to earn her mother's love and approval, goes against Snadhya's plans by cutting off Ariel's arm (which later bites her in the ass as Ariel steals her arm), confronts Ariel's Sarghress squad with two of her "pets" (leading to the death of Ariel's friend Shala), and even gives out hints of Snadhya's sinister plans to Ariel. Snadhya later grows tired of Kalki's antics and kills her without an inch of remorse.
  • Sole Survivor: Vayas'arn is the last remaining member of Ere'lice's squad, after Snadhya's execution wipes most of them out and Ere'lice allows herself to be devoured by Khaless to save Riz'riia.
  • Sucking-In Lines: The Nidraa'chal's stolen airship is revealed to possess extremely powerful mana cannons. When the cannon is prepared for firing, they gather in a stream of mists, due to being powered by the Mana the mists are charged with.
  • Villainous Breakdown:
    • Snadhya'rune is enraged and loses her cool for the first time when the Sarghress manage to assassinate Femi. She is deeply satisfied when they are all captured.
    • When Erelice manages to stab her, Snadhya'rune screams in fury at how ungrateful her "filthy low born" enemies are and starts ripping the place apart. It's only when she sees Mel does she (barely) try to resume on her normal facade.
  • Wham Episode: The entire chapter becomes this, from the bioweapon plot being halted in its tracks by the assassination of Femi, Kalki cutting off Ariel's left arm, Lulianne's self-sacrifice up to Snadhya'rune murdering her own daughter in the epilogue.

Chapter 47: Puppeteer

Quain'tana and Zala'ess negotiate an end to the District War, while Ni'bai Val'Sharen finally puts her vengeance plot into motion.

  • Aggressive Negotiations: When Quain'tana and Zala'ess meet to parley, Zala'ess pulls out a golem and has it point its cannon at her to make threats. After Zala'ess tries to sow doubt about Quain'tana's allies, Quain'tana returns the favor, grabbing her face and threatening to end her with two fingers.
  • Disaster Dominoes: Word of God describes Nyo'ka's actions as having a cascading effect. With Kiel'ndia and Larvova occupied with the Felde meeting, Chrys'tel brought Nyo'ka's children back from Nuqra'shareh and asked her to lend them the Vloz'ress gate as a favor. Nyo'ka agreed, bringing the Sharen Nuqrah'sharian alliance into Vloz'ress territory and effectively ending their neutrality. The presence of the Sarghress and Sharen armies keeps all of the saner, more organized Vloz'ress occupied with the distraction. In the end, it all goes so perfectly that Ni'bai is able to take control of Kharla'ggen from right under their noses.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Kiel'ndia is outraged when she learns that Chryst'el negotiated with Nyo'ka behind her back to let the Sharen alliance in through the Vlozz'ress gate, thereby dragging the District War onto Vloz'ress territory. Fame'ndea distracts her by throwing Nau'kheol at her.
  • Enemy Mine: The Sarghress and Sharen clans work together to deal with Kharla'ggen's threat ultimately agree to an alliance against their mutual foes.
  • Foreboding Fleeing Flock: Just opening the gate to the demon god's realm causes a massive, overwhelming swarm of demons to flood Chel. So desperate are the demons to escape the demon god, that they do not feed or consume as they normally do.
  • Hope Spot: Snadhya'rune continues to look increasingly unstoppable, even as her enemies continue to exhaust themselves against one another. And yet, against all odds, the Sarghress and Sharen clans manage to negotiate a peace treaty. Then Ni'bai gains the power to bring about The End of the World as We Know It and uses it.
  • Mass Hypnosis: After being empowered into a Physical God by absorbing the power of a demon god, Kharla'ggen uses empathy on a massive scale to force the entire city to kill the clan leaders.
  • Morton's Fork: Summed up as the Sharen clan's dilemma. Even though Snadhya'rune has moved out of the shadows and become a very visible threat, it remains impossible to unite the clans against her. Either the Sharen give up all claim to Chel and surrender to the Sarghress, or they fight the Sarghress until both sides are weak enough for Snadhya to conquer them without so much as a standing army. Due to Pride being very important to their people, the main cast concedes that the latter is inevitable.
  • Revenge: Ni'bai is a member of Nishi'kanta's line. Most of her family was wiped out through treachery during The Purge of Diva'ratrika's loyalists, and she therefore wants revenge on the traitors responsible for it. In this chapter, she finally gets the chance to act on it.
  • Rule of Symbolism: When Kharla'ggen collapses out of exhaustion, a member from each of 4 clans work together, hand in hand, to save her. But no one accepts Shinae's hand. Word of God describes this as symbolism, and it gets Lampshaded a page later.
  • Teeth Clenched Team Work: The various characters travelling on Kiel's giant turtle all have to do this despite their clashing attitudes and agendas.

Chapter 48: Old Blood

The Beldrobbaen clan deals with the aftermath of Kharla's Mass Hypnosis, and the madness inducing plague they have been infected with by a traitor in their own ranks.

  • Deal with the Devil: Several Belds are infected beyond the Jaal's ability to save, and as such choose to submit themselves to Snadhya'rune.
  • Despair Event Horizon: When Kharla briefly controls the entire city with Mass Hypnosis, the Belds take it particularly badly, falling ill and making excuses to remain in their rooms. It gets worse when they learn most of the clan have been infected with poison.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: Waes does this to Snadhya, though no literal bird-flipping was involved. Snadhya had been trying to get the Beldorobbaen clan to ally with the Nidraa'chal, so rather than directly telling her, "No," and risking her people's destruction, Waes decides to send a group of Belds who are too infected by the poison to be cured to Felde, knowing that Snadhya currently doesn't have a cure to her own poison (or a means to produce one so quickly).
  • Enemy Mine: The Beldrobbaen are highly conservative and naturally do not get along with the Jaal'darya clan. Nevertheless, despite the fact that the Jaal would normally charge everything the Belds own to save Old Blood such as them from the plague, they agree to do so free of charge due to mutual resentment towards Snadhya'rune's manipulations.
  • Freudian Excuse: Laan's sixth-born daughter has been loathing the conservative and restrictive culture of her mother's clan for quite some time, and wishes that she was born a Sharen like her father. So to free herself from the Belds, she secretly attempts a Genocide from the Inside using Snadhya's madness-inducing poison. When she's outed by Waes, she suffers a Villainous Breakdown, Broken Smile and all.
  • Mind Rape: Whatever Waes did to Laan's sixth-born daughter who spread Snadhya'rune's madness-inducing poison, causing the poisoner to become an empty shell.
  • Tampering with Food and Drink: Laan's sixth-born daughter infects the clan with Snadhya'rune's madness-inducing plague by poisoning their food.

Chapter 49: Holy Mother

The rightful Holy Mother of the Kyorl'solenurn attempts to reclaim the clan from Valla'drielle and the Nidraa'chal coup.

  • Accomplice by Inaction: Valla'drielle was aware of the Nidraa'chal's purge of the Judicators, but let it happen so she can rule the clan without becoming a figurehead. Kousei calls her out on this towards the end of the chapter.
  • Astonishingly Appropriate Appearance: Anahid's outfit pre-ascension is reminiscent of a nun's.
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: At the end of the chapter, Anahid earns her right to succeed Shimi'lande by practicing compassion and forgiveness, and leading a peaceful protest to stop the public executions of Minka Dutan'vir and Kyo'varde.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Anahid earned the loyalty of one Warden who was tainted by Ky'ovarde's nether assault by forgiving her instead of forcing the Warden to commit suicide as per the norm.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Anahid is idealistic, forgiving, and compassionate, but cross her and she will publicly reveal your sins.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Anahid helps delay a public execution by staging a peaceful protest (though not without the help of a few Nidraa'chal Sullisin'rune empaths).
  • But Now I Must Go: Ky'ovarde puts herself into self-exile, seeing herself to be irredeemable and out of place in a more tolerant clan. Anahid tries to convince her to stay by offering her a way to restore her eye and lost Seer powers, which seems to make her reconsider, but she ultimately refuses.
  • Character Development: Anahid goes from being a Wide-Eyed Idealist at the beginning of the chapter, to a wise and experienced clan Ill'haress by its end. It's even reflected with her white outfit gaining bits of black upon ascending to the throne.
  • Color Motif: Goes both ways with Valla'drielle and Anahid. With her black/white outfit, Valla'drielle represents the clan's traditional "black and white" beliefs, with no room in-between. Anahid initially wore all white to denote her Wide-Eyed Idealist outlook, but later her outfit gains bits of black after becoming Ill'haress, showing her newfound wisdom and confidence.
  • Cruel Mercy: When Valla'drielle is spotted by one Dutan'vir she attempted to publicly execute, she has an Oh, Crap! moment and tries to flee. The enraged Dutan'vir easily catches her and attempts to kill her... but he repeats Anahid's teachings of forgiveness and lets Vala'drielle go instead, leaving her to go crawl away and fade in ignominy. Valla'drielle digs herself deeper by spitting Fantastic Racism shortly after.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Ky'ovarde was once a Seer whose Ill'haress was betrayed and killed in a coup, during which she lost her powers and one of her eyes. Her psychological trauma, combined with Kousei's influence, warped her into the murderous and fanatical Warden she is today.
  • Death by Falling Over: Combined with Kill It with Fire; after being set alight by Chirinide, Yuh'le in her panic runs off a bannister and falls a couple stories down, weakening her enough for her to be burned alive.
  • Death Glare:
    • Anahid gives one to Tab'irrie as she publicly reveals his sins of betraying Shimi'lande's wishes on a Judicator's orders and subjecting Petricho to a wrongful punishment.
    • Kyo'varde gives a more intense one to the squad of Kyorl sent to apprehend her and her group, just before she attacks them with nether-fueled attacks.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: At the end of the chapter, Anahid discovers Snadhya'rune's sins by using her empathy during negotiations with the Nidraa'chal. Snad asks for forgiveness, to which Anahid metaphorically tells her to fuck off by advising her to seek forgiveness from her actual victims.
  • Eye Scream: Kousei survives Yuh'le's massacre of his Order through sheer force of will, but loses an eye in the process.
  • Foil: Vala'drielle is older and experienced, but rigidly set in the clan's traditions. Anahid is idealistic, but compassionate and forgiving towards anyone the clan hates and targets, such as the tainted. It's even played in their outfits, as mentioned in Color Motif above.
  • Frame-Up: Yuh'le kills many from the Order of Twin Eyes for refusing to toe the line, and Valla'drielle portrays the survivors as the ones responsible for murdering their own comrades.
  • 100% Adoration Rating: The adorable Anahid eventually earns a massive following and her right to rule her clan by teaching compassion and forgiveness.
  • Hypocrite:
    • Tab'irrie the Kyorl stable boy criticizes Anahid's decision to forgive a tainted Warden, but when Anahid publicly reveals his sins of betraying Shimi'lande at the request of the Judicators and causing Petricho's Fate Worse Than Death in Chapter 42, he promptly changes his tune.
    • Kousei reveals that all Kyorl are required to learn the basics of nether summoning in order to understand how to properly fight them. This is despite the Kyorl's anti-demon/tainting rhethoric.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: How Snadhya presents her actions of killing her own mother and engineering the Nidra'chaal War. She asks for forgiveness, but Anahid doesn't buy it and tells her to seek it from her actual victims.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • Vala'drielle rejects the alternatives and orders an entire district collapsed just to deal with a small group of renegade Dutan'vir, killing thousands of innocents in the process. Even many of the Knight Templar Kyorl are left in shock.
    • Ky'ovarde ends up tainting many Kyorl with a nether attack while covering for Kousei's escape, driving them to suicide. One Warden who became tainted during the confrontation crashes Anahid's gathering with the intention of being granted salvation.
  • Killed Off for Real:
    • Yuh'le
    • Raveena Val'Kyorl'solenurn
  • Kill It with Fire:
    • The Kyorl loyal to Vala'drielle try to publicly execute Ky'ovarde and Minka Val'Dutanvir using fire. It fails due to Anahid's (peaceful) protest that was aided by Nidraa'chal empaths, and Chirinide stealing the flames to use against Yuh'le.
    • This is how the Seers manage to kill Yuh'le after she attacks them with empathy for refusing Snadhya's offer to come to Felde. Merril'lin foresaw Chirinide needing the fire from the public execution that was going on outside, so she broke the window closest to it so Chirinide can use the flames. The other Seers hold down Yuh'le so she is blasted by the incoming fire, but although she manages to escape, the panic from being burned caused her to slip from a bannister a couple of stories high, weakening her enough to allow the flames to burn her alive.
  • Not Quite Dead: Kousei survives Yuh'le's assassination of his Order through sheer force of will, and comes out only missing an eye and sporting some bandages.
  • Playing Both Sides: Snadhya'rune has been manipulating the civil war behind the scenes, first by sending Yuh'le to purge the Judicators as per Vala'drielle's request, then by sending three of her empaths to help Anahid pull off a peaceful protest and make her appear more popular with the people. This was all so Anahid can ally herself with the Nidra'chaal out of gratitude, allowing Snad access to the clan's Seers. This backfired when Anahid, a Seer herself, discovers Snad's sins and tells her off.
  • The Purge: The Order of the Twin Eyes is wiped out for resisting The Coup. Later, the Nidraa'chal eliminate the Judicators to solidify the Holy Mother's position.
  • Rain of Blood: How he was found by Ky'ovarde's group after a surprise attack on the Order of the Twin Eyes' headquarters, after Shan'naal feels his blood dripping on his head. Fortunately, he turned out to be Not Quite Dead
  • Reasonable Authority Figure:
    • As the last surviving Judicator, Kousei persuades Vala'drielle to peacefully abdicate and let Anahid take her rightful place as Ill'haress as he believes the clan will be better off under a kinder and more tolerant ruler
    • After she ascends to the position of clan Ill'haress, Anahid starts guiding the clan to a more tolerant and forgiving stance.
  • Shipper on Deck: Anahid really wants Chirinide and Shan'naal to become a couple. By the chapter's end, she gets her wish and smiles as she watches them kiss from afar.
  • Sole Survivor: Kousei is now the last of the Judicators, after Snadhya'rune sent Yuh'le to kill them all via empathy as per Vala'drielle's request. He only survived the massacre through sheer force of will, long enough for Ky'ovarde's group to find and give him medical aid.
  • Telepathy: Anahid's empathy allows her to "see" people's sins, which makes her power appear as this trope. Snadhya's comments imply that Anahid's empathy is not the run-of-the-mill kind, either, further suggesting this.
  • To Be Lawful or Good: Already simmering since Chapter 42, it comes to a very heated boil when many Kyorl experience regret over killing thousands of innocent civilians just to get to a couple of rogue Dutan'vir. Eventually, the clan chooses to be "good" and sides with the forgiving Anahid over the Knight Templar Valla'drielle.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Twice.
    • Valla'drielle requested that the Nidraa'chal kill off the Judicators so she can rule the clan unhindered, unaware that Snadhya'rune sent her own empaths to sway the people into favoring Anahid so it'll make Valla'drielle appear unpopular. Kousei calls her out on this, pointing out she's much too old and experienced to let herself be used like that.
      Kousei: My brothers [the Judicators] wanted you as their new puppet, and their machinations worked up to a point. You became their figurehead, but you knew their designs - you were too smart, too quick, too old to be fooled like the other Holy Mothers before you. Their plans backfired. You did not kill them. No, you just closed that eye of yours and let them die.
    • At the same time, Snad was counting on Anahid to ally with the Nidraa'chal out of gratitude for helping her gain power, so she can exert her influence on the Kyorls and assimilate their powerful Seers into the Nidraa'chal. This backfires when Anahid "sees" Snad's sins and rejects her.
  • "Wanted!" Poster: One condemns Anahid as an anarchist and another brands Chiri'nide as a heretic. Both depict them as cartoonishly evil.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Raveena, one of Anahid's attendants, is shortly killed by Yuh'le after being introduced.

Chapter 50: Unravel

With Snadhya'rune's arrival in Chel, her enemies wither and collapse before her all at once.

  • Adult Fear: When Ariel learns that the Sarghress clan is on the brink of a coup and a purge of Quain'tana's blood, she is horrified to realize that her younger siblings are currently unprotected. Her fears are ultimately realized when Quain'tana's loyalists (and Faen) are too late to save Vene.
  • Apologetic Attacker:
    • A Sarghress traitor named Da'xia hits Ariel with a poisoned dart, stating that she really respected Quain'tana and feels sick killing a big kid, but has been dragged into this nevertheless.
    • When Suu'be is about to kill Quain'tana, she states that she had really hoped it would not come to this.
  • Asshole Victim:
    • Suube getting herself on the end of a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown from a severely stressed, raging, and hurting Quain for openly expressing treason didn't raise objections from bystanders, and only Koil and Ariel tried to stop Quain. When she was later killed by Quain snapping her neck, only Koil was seen attending to her mother's body, as she grits her teeth.
    • Two of the Sullisin'rune empaths responsible for psychologically breaking and conditioning Jiaan to be Snadhya's boytoy end up being killed by the people they tried to kill (Chrys'tel) or mistreated (Shinae).
  • Bait-and-Switch: When Snad's dragon summon clamps its mouth down on Nishi'kanta, everyone assumed the latter was killed. But the next page reveals she managed to get inside (albeit with some injuries).
  • Big Brother Instinct: Vene dies trying to protect Pup and their infant sister from Sargrhess traitors looking to purge the clan of Quain's bloodline. Pup joins in by raising quite a fuss, screaming loudly as he's about to be killed, too. Luckily, Faen saves them.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Demon!Naal emerges from Kiel's body (by Sha'sana's will) to help her save Nau from falling from a several-hundred-feet-or-so drop in the Ninth Tower.
    • Quain'tana saves Faen as well as her two surviving grandchildren from Sarghress traitors.
    • Ariel and her squad do this for Quain'tana, with Ariel shielding the latter from Suu'be with her own body and pulling a Shaming the Mob on the other Sarghress for not preventing the attempted coup on Quain's bloodline, while Ariel's squad help Faen and Quain's surviving grandchildren get to safety.
  • Big "NO!": Though inaudible to drow ears, Khaless gives one as Laele'aell Val'Sarghress consumes her.
  • Body Horror: The empathic illusion Chrys'tel is subjected to by Sae'rali and Mae'rali to make her jump off the balcony and kill herself first involves Chrys'tel's left arm crumbling apart and breaking like rock. Then the rest of her body is subsequently torn apart, bit by bit. Her face starts breaking, too before Chrys'tel
  • Broken Pedestal: Diva saw her daughter Sil'lice as her only hope to defeating Snadhya'rune and a worthy heir to her old throne. Then Sil'lice had to go and kill Shasana, one of Diva's last surviving friends from the Surface World, without reason and get herself tainted.
  • Bystander Syndrome:
    • Even though Iliva'fay is stabbed in a very public location, not one person besides Naal is willing to help, not even for a reward.
    • When Suu'be and her followers launch The Coup against Quain and her bloodline, no one save for Jiv'kyn steps in to prevent it, resulting in Vene dead and Pup, his baby sister, and Faen nearly dying. Ariel later calls out the clan for this when the coup reaches its head, asking them why they decided to sit on their collective asses and watch their own fellow soldiers betray Quain and murder her grandchildren.
  • Cain and Abel: Sisters Nishi'kanta and Snadhya'rune duke it out in the Nal'sarkoth fortress gardens, using a war golem and fire, and mana arts and summons, respectively.
  • The Coup: Influenced by Khaless' words, Suu'be launches a coup to remove Quain'tana and her bloodline, so she and her House can gain power amongst the Sarghress. She wanted Quain's grandchildren to be captured alive, but some of her more bloodthirsty and violent subordinates thought it'd be a better idea of they killed the grandchildren and gave their corpses to Suu'be as trophies. This ends up exploding in Suu'be's faces spectacularly when Quain'tana finds out through Faen, who only manages to save Pup and his baby sister but not Vene, and she goes on a one-woman rampage to find and kill her, which she eventually does.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Word of God reveals that Snadhya has put all her training into controlling mana and nether arts, in all their forms, but most specifically summoning of all kinds. In exchange, she completely neglected any form of martial arts. As such, if anyone can get into melee with her, she's basically helpless. When Nishi'kanta manages to get inside her dragon summon and repeatedly hits her upside the head with a random rock, Snadhya tries to strangle her, only to quickly go down from a boot to the stomach.
  • Death by Irony: Sae'rali and Mae'rali die this way via Shinae; the former is thrown off the balcony for empathically forcing Chrys'tel to jump and kill herself, while the latter is subjected to a fatal No-Holds-Barred Beatdown for telling Shine to "just smile and obey", while being ordered to look at Shinae as she smiles.
  • Demonic Possession: With Iliva'fay on the brink of death, Naal being unable to help her, and no one else willing, Naal salvages Iliva'fay's body for herself.
  • Didn't See That Coming: Snadhya totally didn't anticipate Nishi'kanta managing to get inside her gigantic dragon summon and scoring a hit on her head, with a random rock she grabbed before the dragon summon "ate" her.
  • The Dog Bites Back: After being ordered around and being used as a source of amusement by the Sullisin'rune empaths, Shinae decides to kill them when two of them go after Chrys'tel, throwing one of them off a balcony for trying to empathically force Chrys'tel to jump and kill herself, while killing another with a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown for telling her to "just smile and obey".
  • Do Not Go Gentle:
    • Vene died trying to protect his brother and sister from being murdered by Sarghress traitors. There's blood on his toy sword, but whether it's his own or someone else's is unknown.
    • Quain died going on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against Suu'be, whom she killed by Neck Snap, but ends up mortally wounded herself.
  • Entitled Bastard: Riviel sees Ariel as this by sole virtue of being a Val.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Mae'rali is furious when Shinae kills her sister Sae'rali by throwing her over the balcony, and tries to kill her with empathy.
  • Eye Scream: Quain inflicts this on one unlucky Sarghress who tried to restrain her so she could be given sedatives for the operation.
  • Feed It with Fire: Snadhya No Sells Nishi'kanta's fire attacks by converting them into mana to power her summons.
  • Foreshadowing: The cover centers around Ariel and Faen protecting two of Ariel's younger siblings from Sarghress traitors. Vene is conspicuously missing.
  • General Failure: When Suu'be launches The Coup against Quain, she explicitly ordered her soldiers to bring Quain's bloodline alive to her, not realizing that said soldiers are extremely bloodthirsty/anti-Val and think they're doing her more of a favor by just killing the Vals.
  • Handicapped Badass:
    • Even after getting poisoned, scarred, and losing one of her eyes, Quain still proves to be quite implacable, as the soldiers sent to apprehend her find out the hard way.
    • Zhor repeats his leg-grabbing trick from Chapter 47 by "accidentally" wheeling in front of Jiaan so he'll trip, and holds onto his leg to prevent him from chasing after Chrys'tel.
  • Harmful to Minors: Pup and his infant sister watch with horror from behind their makeshift play fortress as their brother Vene is killed by Sarghress traitors.
  • Heel Realization: Riviel realizes that, after receiving a little Kirk Summation speech, that her grudge against Ariel is completely without merit and she has been basing it on rumors, slander, and hearsay. When an assassin comes to kill Ariel, Riviel moves to protect her and kill said assassin offscreen.
  • Hostage Situation: Shinae takes Nona’brail hostage to ensure her escape.
  • The Hunter Becomes the Hunted: Word of God references the trope when Khaless feeds on the sealers trying to imprison her, and is herself hunted by Laele'aell Val'Sarghress, who consumes her.
  • Identity Amnesia: Naal's demonic spirit recovers sapience with the destruction of her original body, but has difficulty remembering who she was.
  • Improvised Weapon: Nishi'kanta uses a rock to bash Snadhya with after she manages to get inside her massive dragon summon.
  • Infant Immortality: Averted with Vene, who dies at the hands of bloodthirsty members of the Nori'fu House as part of Suu'be's plot to eliminate Quain's bloodline. His brother Pup and their infant sister survive only by the intervention of Faen and Jiv'kyn.
  • Irony: When Chrystel, not knowing of Jiaan's Mind Rape and brainwashing by Snad's empaths, tries to persuade him to rejoin the Sharen by telling him they are his family, Jiaan angrily rebukes that he is his own person. Odd for someone whom Snad only sees as a boy toy to pleasure herself with...
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Silice's massacre of the innocent students taking refuge at Orthobbae was uncalled for, but the school has been known to be Snadhya's base of operations and, therefore, a death trap.
  • Karmic Death:
    • Suu'be is killed by Quain, her superior, for leading The Coup within the clan and being responsible for the death of Vene (though the last one was not on her orders).
    • Khaless dies in the same way she killed so many others, being consumed by Laele'aell Val'Sarghress. Her demise is actively cheered by the many souls of her victims who have been trapped in her Mind Hive.
    • Sullisin'rune empaths Sae'rali and Mae'rali end up killed by Shinae, whom they ordered around and provoked for their own amusement, in an ironic fashion - the former is tossed over the balcony to her death after forcing Chrys'tel to jump and commit suicide, while the latter is given a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown by Shinae for telling a fellow Nidraa'chal to "smile and obey".
  • Karma Houdini: Sae'rali, Bae'rali, and Mae'rali initially play it straight when Silice's attack on them was interrupted by the arrival of Mel'arnach and Shodun, and Nishi'kanta's inaction, allowing them to get away. Then it's subverted when Sae'rali and Mae'rali meet their end at the hands of Shinae, whom they ordered around and provoked for their amusement, when they try to kill Chrys'tel.
  • Kick the Dog: When the Sarghress arrive at the Orthobbae school to drive out Snadhya'rune's presence underneath Sil'lice's command, they do not limit themselves to her servants. They slaughter everyone they come across, including the students taking refuge there.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Shasana was (indirectly) responsible for starting the Nidraa'chal War when one of her students (Snadhya'rune) decided to weaponize tainting, but instead of having the typical reaction and becoming The Atoner, she decided to sit on her ass and focus entirely on restoring Sharess, causing a lot of casualties and untold collateral damage. So while Sil'lice suddenly killing her was debated by some to be rather uncalled for due to her death leaving a lot of questions unanswered, it does serve as some sort of Laser-Guided Karma on Sha'sana's part.
  • Killed Off for Real:
    • Iliva'fay Val'Sullisin'rune
    • Khaless
    • Shasana
    • Suu'be Nori'fu Sarghress
    • Vene Val'Sarghress
    • Sae'rali Val'Sullisin'rune
    • Mae'rali Val'Sullisin'rune
    • Da'xia Val'Sarghress
    • Quain'tana Val'Sarghress
  • Killed Offscreen: Riviel kills Da'xia to prevent her from getting to Ariel, but we never see it happen. The only clues are their speech bubbles.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Sil'lice rejected her own son over being tainted, despite it being forced against his will. She is subject to the same fate after she kills Shasana and gets some of Kiel's demon princes shoved into her body.
  • Mama Bear:
    • Though they are not her own children, Word of God invokes the trope when Faen exerts severe strain on her empathic powers to protect Ariel's siblings from traitors. And even after Vene's killer dies, Faen continues bashing his skull in with a shield until Jiv'kyn stops her.
    • Quain gets on it as well when she learns of the attempted assassination of her grandchildren, which pushes her past the breaking point and into Unstoppable Rage.
    • Subverted with Mel'arnach, who at first is enraged when Snadhya informs her of her children's murder by the Sarghress, and swears vengeance on her former clan... until Snadhya calms her down by persuading her to leave everything to her.
  • Mercy Kill: One of the traitors hunting down Quain'tana's bloodline describes killing Laele'aell Val'Sarghress in this way, since she is already an Empty Shell who has been so thoroughly corrupted by her demonic infestation. But the death of her physical body only makes a very bad situation even worse.
  • Mugging the Monster: Iliva'fay gets stabbed by Erusa'kel and is left to die. Two men proceed to loot her body, only for Naal to possess her and attack.
  • Mutual Kill: Suu'be and her forces inflict mortal wounds on Quain'tana, while Quain'tana manages to give Suu'be a Neck Snap.
  • Neck Snap: How Quain'tana kills Suu'be, since the former was too much in a hurry to drag things out.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
    • Nishi'kanta's passivity prevents Sil'lice and her squad from delivering well-deserved justice to the Nidraa'chal, particularly their three Sullisin'rune empaths and Mel'anarch Sarghress. Whoops.
    • Nice job killing Sha'sana before looking to see if she actually posed a threat, Sil'lice! Now all the questions everyone has been holding (both in-universe and out) will never be answered.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Suube gets a brutal one from Quain after openly expressing treason and ordering her daughter Koil to usurp Ariel as heir, right outside the healer's operating room. Ariel and Koil do try to separate them, but to be fair, no one objected to the beating, either. It results in Suube wearing a protective face plate to cover her injuries while they heal.
  • No-Sell:
    • Using Anti-Magic, Quain easily shrugs off every magical attack that is thrown at her, including an attempt to restrain/bury her with Earth foci.
    • Snadhya does this to all of Nishi's attacks, converting her fire into mana that allows her to summon a gigantic rock dragon.
  • Not Quite Dead: Nishi'kanta manages to inflict what really should have been mortal wounds on Snadhya'rune and assumes her dead. Snadhya'rune survives anyway.
  • Oh, Crap!: A Sarghress sealer goes "Oh... No. No!" upon seeing a massive demon vacate Laele'aell's corpse.
  • Percussive Therapy: At one point, Ariel finds Quain aggressively venting her stress out on a punching bag.
  • Properly Paranoid: Quain didn't trust the Sul healers in charge of operating on her, which became legit after Khaless absorbs one of said healers and masquerades as her to get close to Quain.
  • Pummeling the Corpse: Faen continues beating Vene's murderer with a shield even after he's dead.
  • The Purge: Suube launches a coup against Quain'tana and her bloodline. While she technically orders all Vals within the clan captured alive, a good number of her supporters are bloodthirsty or radically anti-Val and attempt to kill them instead. They successfully kill one of Mel'arnach's young sons, Vene.
  • Reality Ensues: Badass or not, Quain going on a rampage against Sarghress traitors without armor ends up giving her mortal injuries that she later dies from.
  • The Scapegoat: Sarghress traitors use Jiv'kyn, the babysitter and bodyguard for Ariel's siblings as the scapegoat for their murder of Quain's grandchildren.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: When Quain (correctly) assumes Suube to be behind the assassination attempt on her grandchildren and goes after her, rather than confront her directly (and still fresh from her earlier No-Holds-Barred Beatdown), Suube chooses to flee while other soldiers and Mandroga keep Quain occupied. It doesn't work, as Quain finds her again shortly.
  • Shaming the Mob: Ariel does this to the crowd of Sarghress gathered around Quain and Suube, shaming them for betraying Quain and doing nothing when traitors tried to murder Quain's grandchildren. It works, to Suu'be's anger.
  • Shield Bash:
    • Faen smashes the skull of one Sarghress traitor with a shield.
    • While on her rampage looking for Suube, she uses a shield to smash her way through her own soldiers.
  • Slasher Smile:
  • Squishy Wizard: Snadhya is a powerful summoner and mana arts user bar none, but get past her defenses and she quickly goes down when faced with physical combat.
  • Tears of Blood: When Faen attempts to kill a pair of Sarghress traitors with her empathic powers, one of them starts experiencing this.
  • Trying to Catch Me Fighting Dirty: Snadhya'rune and Nishi'kanta fight a duel. Snadhya'rune sets up an ambush, but Nishi'kanta prepares an ambush as well, causing Snadhya'rune to commend her on finally learning how to fight dirty. When Snadhya'rune gets hit in the back of the head, she assumes this to be more cheating on Nishi's part, and decides to reveal that there is a reason every single one of Nishi'kanta's attacks gets mysteriously No Selled.
  • The Unsmile: Snad's empaths Sae'rali, Bae'rali, and Mae'rali use their empathy on Shinae to provoke her into smiling for their own amusement. This results in Shinae giving off a very creepy grin, which Mae'rali notes as "beautiful".
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • Suu'be thought it was a good idea to express treason right outside the healer's room in earshot of Quain. It says something when only Koil objects to Quain violently beating her up for insubordination.
    • Later, when a sniper tries and fails to get Ariel, Suu'be uses the distraction to try kill Quain. Ariel had been trying to prevent Suu'be from killing Quain, while also preventing Quain from killing Suu'be. This results in Suu'be getting her neck snapped.
    • Koil's squad decided it was a good idea to kill Laele'aell after she just consumed Khaless, resulting in an entirely new demon made from thousands of drow souls fused together into a gigantic mass rising from her corpse. Said demon then decides to feast on their souls first.
  • Unknown Rival: Riviel has a large chip on her shoulder for Ariel, who has absolutely no idea who she is.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Quain lets loose a terrifying one when a Sullisin'rune healer injects her with sedative that makes her attack anyone closest to her and putting everyone else on guard. When she learns from Faen of an assassination attempt on her grandchildren, she immediately assumes Suube was responsible, which breaks her rage button and sends her on a one-woman pursuit of Suube, taking out anyone who gets in her way.
  • Victim Blaming:
    • Koil imprisons Ariel with Riviel in the same cell for public brawling, despite the former being outnumbered five to one, unarmed, and only applying self-defense while shouting (very loudly) that she didn't want to fight anyone and trying to make peace.
    • Snadhya, who basically gave her own clan a death sentence with her faulty seeds, had the ''gall' to outright tell Nishi'kanta that if the Vel'Sharens became "sick" because of their seeds, it was their own doing.
  • Would Hurt a Child:
    • Sarghress traitors go after Quain's grandchildren as part of The Purge of all Vals in the clan, and successfully murder the young Vene.
    • During the Sarghress raid of Orthobbae, Silice and her troops slaughter every student taking refuge in the school that they could find, including the non-tainted ones.
  • You Are in Command Now: When Ariel arrives at Machike and meets up with Kel'noz, he informs her that Quain'tana has succumbed to her injuries and died, and that she is now the leader of the Val'Sarghress.
    Kel'noz: "Quain'tana died from her wounds. They tried to revive her again, but this time her condition had grown too far. Ariel, you are now the leader of the clan."
  • You Remind Me of X: Immediately after the spar with Ariel was over, Quain'tana saw an after-image of Laelle when she was still alive and well, in the exact same pose of honest supplication. Quain did not say it aloud, but she was clearly moved.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: Invoked twice.
    • Bae'rali subjects Nishi'kanta to an empathic illusion where she warps her senses to make her think she is falling. Fortunately, Sil'lice was there to stop it.
    • Sae'rali and Mae'rali subject Chrys'tel to an illusion where her body is slowly, painfully falling apart in a bid to make her jump off the balcony and kill herself. Shinae instead tosses Sae'rali to her death, and brutally beats up Mae'rali to the point of killing her.

Chapter 51: Interlude

  • The Bus Came Back: Gailen returns after having been missing since chapter 39, having apparently been looking for Shine all this time.

Chapter 52: The Last Thread

The Sarghress colony of Machike is attacked by a goblin horde and the Nidraa'chal's airship.

  • Adult Fear: When the Nidraa'chal ship fires at the Sarghress colony for refusing their offer of help against the goblin armies, Pelan and his sister Octarya try to escape as the building falls apart only to nearly fall to their deaths when the floor starts collapsing underneath them. They are saved by Ischa Val'Beldrobbaen, who would've been crushed by a falling boulder, killing them all, if Ischa had not come.
  • An Offer You Can't Refuse: The Nidraa'chal offer the Sarghress support in return for kneeling to Snadhya'rune. When they reject the offer, Kyo'nne subtly hints that the Nidraa'chal will not take no for an answer. Sure enough, when Ariel confirms her clan's refusal, the Nidraa'chal airship attacks the colony and completely obliterates their defenses.
  • The Chains of Commanding: After becoming Ill'haress, Ariel wants to fight and protect her troops, but often found herself cloistered away from the battlefield by Kel'noz, who is deeply concerned for her safety - a problem that the deceased Quain'tana once faced. She eventually disobeys orders and participates in the fight against the goblin assault.
  • Colony Drop: The Nidraa'chal open up their 3rd battle against the Sarghress by bringing a floating island over Machike and causing it to collapse on top of them.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: During the first battle between the Nidraa'chal and the Sarghress, the Nidraa'chal airship destroys the Sarghress colony's fortress in seconds and the Sarghress are completely powerless to retaliate.
  • Engineered Heroics: Ariel and the rest of her squad accuse Kyo'nne and her Nidraa'chal backers of supporting the recent goblin assault against their colony to coerce them into accepting their aid and the strings attached to it.
  • It's Personal: Sar'nel has a grudge against Kyo'nne for her deception in Chapter 47, which led to his girlfriend and squadmate Shala getting killed by Kalki. When she arrives just after the goblins had been defeated to offer aid, Sar'nel immediately suspects it's a trap and tells her to back off.
  • Timeskip: The chapter starts after a three-year timeskip since Interlude.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Joining the Nidraa'chal made Kyo'nne take several levels. When the Sarghress refuse her offer of aid against the goblin armies thinking it was a trap by Snadhya'rune, Kyo'nne has the airship fire upon the colony (which has children living there, by the way) and coldly calls the Sarghress "stupid" for saying no.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Recap/DrowTales