The gentleman doth protest too much, methinks.
Since there is no way to tell, what has really happened, and what is just a khert-dream sequence, I am not sure of what is the meaning of this arc. Maybe none, actually, other than a succulent artistic exercise, which is fine with me. Interludes have their uses.
I wonder if Lady Ilganyag is teaching Duane to use his traumatic dreams/memories to spur himself "awake" in the Khert.
Since (normal) Khert-ghosts/memories tend to be particularly Intense to scramble free from their stasis and "wake up" (And become the sorts of things that make up smoke eels, and squishes).
Classical dream backflash sequence, starting out of the character's unconscious mind, shifting into consciousness. Clarity and sense will come with the character grasping them. None required upfront, reader knowledge would just destroy potential for identification. Ew, enough of my knowsitallism for today, I may have been annoyed by perfectly fine writing torn apart because of other people's need for premature (scene is not finished yet) criticism.
Yes! back to current events with the main cast! (sort of, khert counts as current i guess) Oh Duane, you must not lose heart. Thought they be redundant, at least your dreams are only your own memories and not horrors twisted and sadistically imagined, like mine. I wonder how the Quigleys and Jivi are faring with their new less-than-living roommate (shipmate? construct-mate?) Surely Quigley's tried something by now, he's too curious not to. *sqeaks in excitement*
Lady Ilg* et cetera ... the French Revolutionary skeptic goddess with lots of unpleasant blades going chop day and night.
Most unsettling - and gripping - occasionally creepily literally gripping. UnSetteing?
M'M'M, once again you irk, but your greater sins must be enumerated elsewhere. It's obvious that, getting the pages one by one like this, none of us has the full picture (as you yourself said a few pages ago). Beyond just complaining, you encroach into presumption as to the "point" of this arc. Yep, none of us know either. But I'm content seeing it as a dream sequence (so no, nothing "important" happened per se), whose full implications will only be revealed in coming weeks.
A far more profitable and mutually-enjoyable exercise on these day-by-day page conversations, I submit, is to dissect the page's art, dialogue & plot (however little exposed) & advance/debate theories on their significance.
To wit; "I am no deity"?? Very interesting, I say. Given that we have some pretty strong, in- and out-of-story reasons to believe she is indeed the deity Tirna, what to make of this pronouncement? If we assume the she is wrong, is she lying (and to what end? Camaraderie with Duane)? Is she misguided (does not believe her self a deity **or** no longer sees herself as deity, i.e. 'fall from grace' ala "I have failed humanity" or something)?
Alternatively, we could all be wrong; if she is indeed telling the truth then who is this Lady Ilganyang, patron saint of the Black Tongues? Might she indeed be a sort of Senet Beast, as Duane suspects? Or some other crazy thing Ms. Cope has cooked up? I can't wait to find out.
@Khyrberos: What IS a deity? The fact may be simply that what Lady Ilganyag knows of herself does not satisfy her own definition of what a deity should be. Not to mention that her knowledge of her own nature may be incorrect, and/or her definition of a deity may contradict the hidden reality of khert/Kasslyne. Lady Ilganyag may be a deity without realizing it.
I need to gush intensely about the layout of this page, and the general amazing things that're done with framing/negative space/layout-in-general in this comic--the bits with Murk waving his ass about figuratively off-page earlier come to mind, as does the repeated encroachment of the silver thorn nightmare-malarkey from off-page to on-page. And now, Lady Ilganyag's wings blotting out the page and becoming negative space for Duane to dwell in outside the comics' frames what has his dreamins innem. I love this. Thank you for all the amazing, Ashley.
Duane is sharpening--God is great, I am a sinful bag of maggots; Lemuel is the good son, I am a failure. Lady I is suggesting that, short of claiming the Power to Judge and Condemn attributed to some gods, she does have the right to ask Duane to consider turning down the high contrast himself.
First, Lemuel is not perfect; he is not morally perfect, and he does not necessarily subscribe to the religious tenets of his preacher brother. He is capable of motives and actions that Duane has not considered, and unless Duane widens his view, he will never begin to guess let alone understand what his brother is like, what he has done, or what he will do.
Second, Duane still has no frame of refence to understand himself or what has happened to him--whether or not Lady I's frame of reference is any better!
I for one don't trust her any farther than I can throw her, and I'd be pecked to death before she'd let me pick her up. I still think she's an early try at a senet beast that was a failure--the waterwomen came afterward and she's damned jealous of them since they have everything she was built to want but uh can't have what with her lousy design features and current isolation. Sorry, not headcannon, just speculation waiting testing.
@Triple-M: Per your initial comment, there IS already an apparent point to this scene so far. We at least know for certain that Duane and Lady Ilganyag are in fairly regular communication and he's walking the khert lucidly on a likewise regular basis during however many nights have passed since their first encounter. Pretty juicy gossip if you ask me (which you didn't but I said it anyway). As for the speculation about her nature... Even Greek gods who could be tripped up by clever mortals seemed to have a pretty comprehensive understanding of their own natures. Hard to imagine deities that -- even if not omniscient or omnipotent -- can't fully comprehend themselves at the very least. Alternatively she could meet all of mortal qualifications of godhood but reject the title as a matter of choice. Even then we might not have the full picture of what those qualifications are. An outline of what makes a deity looks very different if written by a Christian vs a Pagan. The former is infallible and all-knowing. The latter sometimes gets piss drunk and loses a bet (speaking as an Odinist). Suppose we'll have to see.
Divinity in the Unsounded universe is pretty well defined so far: the Gefendur Twins on one hand, and Ssael, the man-turned-god, on the other. Proof exists none, neither of their existence nor their powers, so the definition is what it is: made by thosw who believe, and those who observe. Lady Ilganyag seems to consider herself one of the latter, which she more or less precisely said earlier on. Most of all, she considers herself not a deity. May the Black-Tongues think what they want, what counts to her is her very own view, and the fact that she puts it into words for Duane.
@Pylgrim: Yes, necessarily, some features of the web page cannot be included in a printed book! These include art splashed outside the page limit, and of course animation. On the other hand, there are also benefits: the books are higher resolution, giving more fine art-details. Also, the story itself comes through loud and clear in both formats, because Ashley is a pro.
Hmmmm.... Ilganyag is tossing all of these horrible nightmares at Duane in an effort to make him snap out of the Khert's dreamtrance and regain his lucidity, and he's been getting better at it, able to "wake up" more & more quickly.
Soon he may even be able to resist the Khert's hold upon his mind from the moment he enters. The big question now, though, is WHY? Why is she doing this? What does she want?
@Kislath, it is possible that she wants him as a powerful ally, and even as a consort of sorts... The two of them are lonely souls, as well. However, Duane is not a crooked being yet: He has fathered (in a way) Sette. Sette, perhaps, is who will ultimately guide him to his own true purpose. But misgivings will still be a-brewing. Ilganyag is yet not to be trusted, but she´s a needed stone to cement a renewed, critical overview to what Duane sees of himself and his world. A little bit of soul-calling, mayhaps?