Yay, finally, Duane's face in front view! That's what I've been waiting for my whole life (though I didn't know until Wednesday). I still can't believe how much he looks actually like ... himself! And I can't stop looking at this page while grinning like an idiot. Yes, it's time to get worried.
I have to agree with those who say Duane looks like Murkoph - a considerably enhanced version of Murkoph. No wonder - Ashley developed the Murkoph visual concept for about a decade, now she can both use it as well as improve upon it without the solidified constraints imposed by appearance of an already established character.
I seriously have such a soft spot for Duane that my stomach does flips every time I see him. I really hope that his family won't be killed - although, as seems to be the consensus on here, they probably will be. Or were, I suppose, seeing as this is a flashback.
@Steaiii: It might actually be angstier if they're still alive, since he'd now be considered a monstrous godforsaken abomination, and he'd never be able to see them again. He'd be chased out of Alderode with torches and pitchforks (or worse) if he tried, and his family would be absolutely horrified.
I was kind of expecting a request to my PayPal for some additional postage-money (I live in Sweden) for the Kickstarter comic. I haven't heard anything about that lately. What's up? (Sorry to bring this to the comments but I'm not quite sure where else I should contact you)
He looks good alive. Like "had dozens of women before finding the right one to create a happy family with" good-looking. A shame all that beauty is lost, but at least the beauty of his soul remained, if not got even brigther due trying to fight himself and his new nature with all he got left. He doesn´t run away nor does he give up. Admirable. And sad, given what he had lost. :c
@J N Wilson: According to an answer on Duane's Formspring, he sometimes mouths or mumbles the spells to himself without meaning to, like how somebody reading silently to themself might. Although I do wonder if they made him say his spells aloud in school. It would be rather hard for a teacher to correct any mistakes a student makes if they can't observe how the student made them. If that's the case he might just say the words aloud out of an ingrained habit when casually doing pymary, though obviously it'd be bad if he did that during a fight.
Following Xa's speculation, and remembering that unlicensed spell-composers are hunted like nuclear terrorists in our world because of their khert-buggering potential, maybe Duane is something like the Phantom of the Opera - grotesquely mutated when an attempt to pronounce a new spell has drastic unforseen consequences, he fled Alderode howling at his own monstrosity but he still has a family pining away for him back home. Admittedly this doesn't explain why Duane has such a bee in his bonnet about Cresce, but then birds fly, grass grows, Aldish hate Crescians and Crescians hate Aldish - there doesn't need to be any specific reason behind it. On the other hand, going back to when Duane turned Bett's pymaric way back in Chapter Two, it is apparent that he is incredibly guilty about *something* - given his strong emotional attachement to his family, that could provoke such a feeling; are they connected to a mistake he made?
Temple matters, eh? I've been wondering about that ever since he was explaining to Sette who he was back on page 14 of chapter 2 (had to look that up to be sure). So considering he's a rector, it makes him something of a priest/minister in terms of duties...but what the heck is a motadwe and why is (or was) he the fourth? Does this promotion to spell crafter have something to do with that? Also, to quote Big Bang Theory, his kids would be both smart and beautiful...Leysa is so pretty. =D Well, he's handsome too, but you know what I mean, lol!
Well, considering Duane's views on Cresce, I rather think he's going to find out that "Cresce killed his family". Whether Cresce actually did so or not, it's probably something the Aldish queen did little to prevent.
In fact, if I were to guess right now, I'd say he refused, then "Cresce killed his family", then he accepted for vengeance against Cresce, and after doing considerable damage to Cresce, so as they'd want him dead and staying that way, he learned that things seemed to support the thought that Cresce was innocent. He was no great friend of the Aldish either, from what I seem to recall.
Am I the only one that doesn't like Duane's face? I think he looks a little gullible (maybe because of the dog-face he made). I just can't seem to like him this way; perhaps he just reminds me of a character that I didn't like.