Mar 302011

Plagorath wrote:
Magic. This may be the only opportunity you have.

Exactly how many times are you going to have to explain this?

Armok wrote:
Have you ever heard the expression “curiosity killed the cat”? It’s very close to becoming literal.

And woah, hey, that’s just mean.

Let’s get down to business though.

Schazer wrote:
Stuff you can still avoid screwing up:
Delivering the letter, and promptly getting the response back to Quill-Weave.

The best course of action to complete that task:
Don’t dawdle, get the prescribed task you currently have done before trying to do a bunch of other things. You may find treasure. You may break your neck in a pit trap or get devoured by giant rats. Alternatively, you will receive some compensation (even if it’s just trust/rapport) for completing Quill-Weave’s task, with a significantly reduced risk of not dying.

You’re right.

There’s no telling what kind of danger lies among those ruins. Sure, you may find something of value, but you may also get eviscerated by a monster. You’re not an experienced traveler; should danger arise, you have no experience in defending yourself. If you ran into trouble, it would be big trouble. You were told it was safest to stay on the path.

You’ve had setbacks, sure, but you still have Quill-Weave’s letter. You lost her potion and you lost her money, but you can still deliver this letter and return with the response. You may have to sleep on the cold streets of Kvatch, but you can do it.

ShadowoftheLotus wrote:
The sum total of all you can do right now is deliver a letter. Not much development. It’ll be exactly like the sign again. Instead of 10 gold piece, you’ll be lucky to get a copper piece.

You understand that.

You know you’re not going to advance much from doing this, but it will be a small start. It will be one person you haven’t completely failed.

And you know that she’ll still be disappointed in you. She gave you a simple job out of pity, and you’re going to come back in more debt than when you left. When you kept Gharug’s money a secret, you were hoping you could surprise her. Show her that not only could you do everything she asked, but you could do more. You could be something special. Someone special, who goes above and beyond. But now it’s just like Lelles’ said: your “best” is slightly worse than everyone else’s “average”. And it hurts, trudging through the job knowing that your only goal is to minimize the inevitable disappointment.

Maybe you’ll have some opportunities to get money in Kvatch. More of the same: jobs you don’t have the skills to accomplish, given to you by people who know you’re worthless. More people to disappoint, uncomfortably agreeing to pay you one coin for your failed efforts. Here you’re nothing more than a homeless slut begging for work. You should’ve just stayed back in Hammerfell as that trashy Khajiit whose own family didn’t even believe in her. At least there, you had a home. At least there, they were used to you letting them down.

You don’t know if you’d find anything valuable in those ruins. Maybe you’d find a treasure that would solve all your problems; enough to let you return triumphantly to Quill-Weave with a response letter, new book, and a contractor to fix her windows. Maybe you’d find a monster that’d make Gharug look like a lightweight. You know with every ounce of your being that you should take that step toward Kvatch. But you also know that, should you turn back to those ruins, there’s one thing you are guaranteed to find:


Maybe only for a fleeting moment, until you find them empty or get devoured by a monster. But for that one moment, you know there is a chance you could fix everything. A chance for you to do more than mitigate damages to an already failed quest. You could do something you’ve never done before; something you’ve never failed at. Your whole body feels heavy as you begin to walk toward Kvatch.

… but when you take that experimental step backwards toward the mysterious ruins, toward the unknown, you feel light as a feather.

ShadowoftheLotus wrote:
Go out and get some fucking confidence before any scrap of self-respect you’ve ever pretended to have for yourself is eaten by the ravaging wolves of reality which chase you every moment. Go out Katia, and live again.

One hour.

You’re going to play this safe, plan ahead, take precautions, and check them out. And then in one hour, you’re going to continue to Kvatch.

  • SonjaArashi

    Oh wow, didn’t notice that little flame in panel 2 the first time around. Cute!

    • Thornbrier

      Just started reading today, I’m hoping those little flames are a sign that she would actually be quite a good mage.

      • dtlux14

        And I just started to read today, a year later than you, and 3 years after this was posted. I have never played any elder scrools dgame, but this is great. I LOVE IT!

  • Cantv

    Man, these are getting pretty hard to read. The running gag of “Do action… FAIL AT ACTION” is just becoming a real depressor. She’s not even comically useless anymore, just regular old fashioned useless. Katia can be such a likeable character. My girlfriend has already refused to read any more of the comic, but I am pushing onward just to see if she can somehow redeem herself.

    • Faestre

      The thing is this is a prequel. It’s probably about the PC (in this case a female Khajiit) slowly coming around, deciding to be brave. At the very end there will likely be a moment when she decides to just listen. Listen to the voices in her head which urge her to be brave, a Hero, a Champion (of Cyrodiil)

      And then, since she’s listenning to you, she becomes the player character, saves Kvatch, and closes all of the oblivion gates. Also something about a dragon.

  • TheEggKing

    You know what I find most frustrating about this story so far? The godforsaken railroad plot. Why even bother having the community make suggestions if you’re just going to have her ignore them? You know what was good advice against Garrug? Fucking run! That actually made sense and really could’ve worked! You know whats good advice here? Not sending an inexperienced career-failure noncombatant “too incompetent to even run away from danger which is a basic survival instinct found in insects” beggar into a possible deathtrap on the side of the road with maybe nothing to gain even if she does survive when she’s already lost all the money Quill-Weave gave her AND the expensive potion. She has NO backup plan or escape options. Even when we give her LOGICAL SENSIBLE INTELLIGENT PERSON ADVICE she ignores it. If you have a story, author, then tell it. But don’t try to involve the community only to go “no that’s not what should happen, this is” and ignore our input.

    • some random dude

      bluh bluh im eggking and im butthurt because i didn’t get what i wanted BAAAAAWWWWWW!

      i mean for fucks sake dude she isn’t railroading, she is just picking what would make a better story and that the character personalty goes with, she’s not trying to make it an all out lolcow for the idiots of the internet, she is trying to make an dramatic and interesting story which will fit everyone. and for that not running away part, dude he’s a muscular ork with leg muscles the size of your head he also proved that he runs really fast with a giant steel sword, im pretty sure katia is being smart and not getting cot down by an guy who have proven to be dangerous. oh and lets not forget that she is a coward.

      • FreeGlass

        Awh, comon mate. No need to be a dick.

      • TechUnadept

        Marry me.

    • Kazerad

      Aw, I thought I was pretty transparent about the decision-making process, especially on this page and the last. Vote tied, then Lotus did a very good character appeal.

  • What

    Do you have any idea what you’re talking about? Why is the first response to honest criticism always WAAAHHH WAHHH LOL UR A BABBY. It’s just juvenile and annoying as fucking shit. Eggking made a good point but you just blasted him for it. The community input on this story is completely fucking worthless. The only person writing this story is the author, and that’s all he’s pissed off about.

    • What

      The fuck? Why didn’t the reply thing work?

      Whatever, this was directed to “some random dude” up there.

      • Kazerad

        Sometimes it’s finicky. If I knew how to restring comments, I’d stick it up there for you. But I’m not sure WordPress can do that, short of direct database editing.

    • Swedra

      3 Years later, but: honest =/= constructive/good….at least not in this case…

  • Eyferann

    in the end she will be getting her cast on like a great witch. (Means she will be casting a lot of spells).

    If we ignore the beard the requirement to be a mage is control of mind- while getting “burned” by those cat jokes she always lit something on fire unknowingly with her raw, unrefined power.

    at least this is my prediction now. time to get my read on!

    • Jacob English

      not too mention she is covered in fur! so, technically, she DOES have a beard! FIREBALLS, HELL YEA!

  • SplinteredReverence

    I do love criticism. But there are certainly times when it can be painful. I’ve read countless reviews and tear downs of everything from movies, to fanfiction, submitted by everyone from professional critics to illiterate teenagers. As a wannabe author I make every attempt to gain an educated concept of what the consumer does and doesn’t like. And being the slow person I am I’ve just come to the obvious conclusion that frankly it is impossible. For the very things one man adores in a plot the next man could write a bible on why it is an impudent example of the decrease of creativity and a cynical rehashing of some beautiful, moving story from the sixties. The very scene that shaped this teen’s childhood is in this person’s valid opinion a cliche and overly dramatic plot device that harshly removes the viewer from the experience. I say all this to point out that sometimes the simplest answer is the best one. State your opinion on the content, and don’t take offense to the opposition. Because at the end of the day, haters gonna hate and fanboys gonna worship.

  • Cynicalpicnic

    Splintered’s right on the money. I’ll be honest, I’m very rapidly losing steam with this comic for the exact same reason as Cantv, but quite frankly, I recognise a huge talent in Kazerad and I think it would be a real waste to not keep reading. In direct antagonism to TheEggKing, my favourite part of the comic is that the author has a clear vision, but takes the time to respond to the community as Katia should and would. I love the little back-and-forths between the community and Katia, and they are by far my favourite part of the comic so far. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, and where Splintered is spot-on, listening to the community for everything leads to a clusterfuck of useless misdirection, and Kazerad has done a brilliant job of striking a medium between the two.

    So while I’m not sold on the comic yet (it’s just a little too depressing so far for me to enjoy it or even want to read more), Kaz is a brilliant writer with perfect accompanying imagery and as such, to the vocal critics I say, pull your heads out and take the measly five minutes to post your criticisms in a constructive and productive manner. You don’t have to act like a dick to get a point across.

  • Woundedkneecap

    I think this was the first time katia is shown with a angled face (opposed to a circle), makes here look older and maturer. it’s too easy to get rocked by a dose of adult thoughts (not dirty, just deep and intelligent) when she looks so (in a lack of better term) cute, I think it’s a big pull for this comic, besides being like the best inside joke ever.

  • dude

    Didn’t notice she was from Hammerfell first time arounds.Is that a mistake or is she from Hammerfell?

  • Simon

    3rd panel and 5th panel so adorable i wanna hug her

  • Michael

    That little flame bursting up every time there’s a cat burn never gets old for me.

  • GreentheGunstar

    “One hour…”
    O_O You say that, but that only makes me even MORE worried.
    Ho-ho, what a cliffhanger we’ve got here. )_); Yea…

  • Tormuse

    Regarding the above comments, I think that, by this point in the comic, there are enough people making enough contradictory suggestions that really, no matter what direction Kazerad takes the story, there will be plenty of submitted suggestions to justify it and there will also be plenty of people angered by the direction it’s going. Pleasing everyone is impossible and tension amongst the readership is inevitable…

    And yet, I don’t think that’s a reason to abandon the format of reader suggestions. Even if the suggestions don’t necessarily guide the overall plot, Katia’s interactions with the “voices in her head” provide interesting insight into her character. In the above page, there’s a huge wall of text where Katia voices her motivations and responds to the various opinions of what she should do next. It could have been boring, but it turned out all the more compelling, (in my opinion) in part, because of lines inserted by readers.

    Reader suggestions make this story what it is, and I believe they add much to it. Obviously, it’s not for everyone, and the frustration expressed in the above comments is understandable, but, personally, I think it would be a mistake to abandon taking reader suggestions altogether.

  • ZodiacShadow

    “with a significantly reduced risk of not dying.”

    Is that a good thing to aim for? I thought not dying would be good? XD

    (just kidding around. I just started reading this comic, and I’m loving every moment.)

  • Malygos


  • MentallyUnstable

    So hard to stay away from this. If she wasnt a slut I would actually root for her. She continues to show a potentially inspirational story. But I am a stubborn jackass who cant see past her being a slut. Katia is proof, we are who we are.

    10/10 amazing so far.