Thursday, January 1, 2015

Page 931

Everyone was moving now. The dozens of other Rainlords all around them were already either opening fire from a distance or rushing in to provide upfront support. Rayen Merlo’s flesh was in turns vanishing and reappearing, but always with a faintly violet glow. And Zeff, of course, was launching a storm of frozen spikes toward Sanko.

But it was Octavia who got to the woman first. The white blade shuddered visibly, and Zeff saw light bend around Sanko’s torso, distorting like a bubble in space itself. It was similar to the destruction type abilities, but this was a single point, not a path, and the sound was different. This was the rushing of wind past his ears. He felt the violent shift in gravity, as well, pulling him and everyone else suddenly forward.

In an instant, he watched as Sanko’s body imploded, sucked into the bubble and spaghettified.

And just like that, the bubble was gone again, disappeared into thin air, leaving a small crater in the ground along with the dusty remains of Sanko’s body.

But there was no blood--no bits of flesh, even though a few busted stones lay where Sanko’s feet should have been.

She was not dead, rather obviously. The Rainlords needed no assurances on that point. Even if they had believed that the Gargoyle could be defeated so easily, there was still the matter of that oppressive presence having not diminished whatsoever.

It was common enough knowledge that the Gargoyle’s power involved earth in some way, but if not for Axiolis’ memories, Zeff would have lacked any genuine details. Instead, he was able to recall tales from half a century ago about Sanko’s fearsome control of integration.

Hers was an ability type most often relegated to the supporting role, but she had lived long enough to become an exception. She’d used pan-rozum to do more than simply fuse elements together. She’d learned to fuse herself into them, to become an entity of dirt and rock and stone. Integration may not have allowed her to create her own elements, even with pan-rozum, but that was a small price to pay when she could wield almost every element of every type of ground in the world as an extension of her body.

Everything beneath the Rainlords’ feet belonged to the Gargoyle now. Axiolis didn’t know what her maximum range was, but anything less than a kilometer was just wishful thinking, Zeff knew.

And it was no surprise when the ground began to tremble.

48 comments:

  1. He felt the violent shift in gravity, as well, pulling him [and] everyone else suddenly forward.

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  2. How does one combat that.........flight? (in both the literal and figurative sense)


    I find it amusing however. It seems materialization and alteration still have the edge in combat. Simply because of the technique of growing a spike from the inside of their mouths. While that technique is instant, Gargoyle seems to still lack the ability to shut down weaker enemies as easily. At the same time, this makes me even more afraid of Harper.


    If i had to guess, in the original fight vs the abberation, Sanko still played a supporting role. Although I can see her as a very strong tank, to the degree where i cannot imagine how to beat her, as a living earth I do not see too much offensive potential.

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  3. I kind of wonder why she didn't do this except with air, which is much more uniform. Are there hard limits to integration power? Thematic or mental blocks?

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  4. TYPO DETECTOR/ GRAMMAR NAZI MODE: Repeated instances of missing commas. E.g. But[,] it was Octavia... There are a couple of others, too. I'd cut and paste to help out more... However, Kindles are less than helpful in this regard. -_-

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  5. Actually, you use a comma before the word but and 'and' not after it.

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  6. Oxford commas and the begining of sentences mean you do get "And/However/But/Although/Firstly/ andsoforth [comma] " as well as interestingly different list formats tailored for comprehension purposes.

    Just... trust me on this one. Prepositions at the start of sentences get comma buddies unless they continue a broken list or something of that ilk: if you're in the UK, at least. And, Frosty is in the UK. ;)

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  7. Hmm. I was pretty close on Sanko's power (p925). It's even stronger than I thought, though.

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  8. The comma in your example is not missing. It's merely optional. I appreciate the check, though.

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  9. Gotta say, Sanko is being decidely dishonorable here and her actions unjustifiable. As a leader she's responsible for her subordinates. They murdered someone and kidnapped others. And instead of honoring the debt the Vanguard now owes the once loyal family for the betrayal the Vanguard perpetrated, she decides instead to do battle with them simply because they don't trust her anymore?

    It wouldn't be such a big issue if you hadn't talked up her passion for honor and justice this wouldn't be as big of a problem, but you did. You laid it on pretty thick for your style of writing really. The Vanguard is supposed to protect, and if she believes in that cause, in justice and honor, she should be trying to do the same. Instead she chose this path.


    Its a small thing, but it either speaks to a poor choice from the author, or the change that has been hinted at through out the story in the Vanguard. If its the latter then bravo for making me hate the Vanguard altogether. Cause if she is supposed to be the honorable representation of their ideals, then the Vanguard as a whole must be dead inside.

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  10. Oh, right, this is also the last page to be up. Darn it. Well, I admit this was an awesome read, and I'll be checking back weekly.

    That said, if you would like to do this full time (as I saw you mention before) I would suggest setting aside some money over the next few months and putting it into advertising. I've actually read this before around the time you first started. There was maybe 15 pages up at the time so I pretty much forgot. And that would have been it, since I lost my computer, since in that time I have seen your ad a total of once since. I realize you're competing with a lot of others for add space but its how Webcomics get big. They spread. This isn't as easy to read but I can already tell you that focusing on adds with a few author websites, a few webcomics with similar genres, and so on could get you a lot.

    Sorry if that's rude to say by the way. I've actually been in independent publishing before with someone else and getting the word out there is a pretty big aspect of it.

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  11. Consider the situation from her side. The Elroys and by extension the Rainlords are under justifiable suspicion of treason, and now they're quitting en masse and ordering the Vanguard out of their territory. It seems she's actually willing to let them do that, but only if they first clear their names to her satisfaction.

    They're refusing to go along with that, and if her towering rep for honor is justified, she probably isn't impressed by their reason for refusing. If she lets them go now, she thinks she'll be sending a message that you can totally get away with betraying the Vanguard, plus she might be enabling actual treason right here.

    As Xuan put it, they've refused every chance at clemency. Now she plans to just knock down everybody, possibly including Parson's goons, and sort things out in a court-martial.

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  12. Except that isn't true either. They tried, tried multiple times, for a peaceful resolution. It was Sanko's own delaying that brought it this far. If she had arrived sooner, a lot would have been different, but despite the out right murder of a Rainlord she delayed to give time for Lawrence to do what was right. She failed in that regard and having to step in was accepting of the fact that Vanguard also failed. Whether through incompetance or treason, this entire base is suspect, but instead she chose to focus on the victims and turn them into potential criminals. 'I understand your wife was murderered and your children kidnapped by the orders of an idiot, but because of you chose to remain loyal to us when offered a chance by a traitor to leave us, you are suspect.'

    This story went on even further to show that the Rainlords in general were renowned for their honor as well, and in particular of Zeff's family. Worse yet, she's attacking a group of people that have been for the longest time asking simply for the return of the captives and answers for what happened. They tried non-hostility. She and the Vanguard in general basically ignored her. And trying to tell me a promise to come intervene if it wasn't settled isn't ignoring won't work, cause that's what it was. Ignoring it and hoping it would go away on its own.

    That's not just unjustifiable, its negligible. I get her point of view, don't get me wrong, but I'm saying it's not an honorable or justifiable one. It is, in fact, a cowardly one. And rather then accept the consequences of Vanguard's failure she chooses to fight it. Which is dishonorable.


    In the end, her point of view makes total sense, if one wasn't already informed that she was supposedly an incredibly honorable person who wanted for naught but justice. She's not. She's a coward and a bully whose letting a murderer and kidnapper flee into relative safety to beat up the victims because they want justice, which she supposedly wants. The murder barely even phased her, it seemed, the fact that someone was dead because of Vanguard didn't seem to factor into anything. Vanguard still had 'sovereignty' and 'rights' toward how to act in this land, because they had power. Plain and simple.

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  13. Random thought: trying to fight somebody who is carrying a portable black hole dispenser when in a running battle of cat and mouse... Why am I thinking Bakuda and Brockton Bay storage lockers? :)

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  14. Guilty, guilty, guilty (and yes, you're right about how thoroughly the Vanguard mishandled the situation, and she knows it), but remember what a colossal weregild the Rainlords are now asking. A very large chunk of Vanguard combat power breaking away, and demanding to take a large swath of protectorate and all Vanguard property thereon with them.

    As far as she's concerned, their demands balance the scale for the damage the Vaguard has done here, and she was already planning to have the clean out source of the problem and punish the offenders herself on top of that...which brings her back to the original charges of suspected treason, which still need to be sorted out.

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  15. Oh god, black hole abberation bone...

    That is a very kind grandson.

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  16. Getting hit with a black hole really sucks.

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  17. Honestly, that was very different. Here, both sides seem to believe that they have a fair chance, where both the Undersiders and the ABB knew that Bakuda had the upper hand. Also, there was no chance at getting the situation sorted out peacefully, even from the very start, although now its looking more and more like Sanko isn't going to be listening any longer.

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  18. I think the problem is that everyone is insisting on getting what they want FIRST. Given that Sanko could still crush the Rainlords after Parson if they refused to submit to investigation, and the Rainlords would likely have no problem with that if the people who had done them wrong were being treated with equally intense scrutiny, but no, Sanko has to have her way first, or she's going to throw a tantrum and declare war on the innocent victims, letting the people who have murdered and worse get off with just a warning before turning around and doing exactly what they wanted her to do.
    It just goes to show the problems inherent with the Vanguard mindset of taking it on faith that they are the good guys and then doing whatever they consider to be necessary, when they should be doing a lot of thinking about how they operate, whether their actions are truly beneficial, and whether they are making the world a better place in the most efficient manner.

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  19. You do realize that from her perspective, everyone on the ground is now basically a fly in her hand, right? I wouldn't exactly characterize that a low-power.

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  20. Nope. Don't know what oxford drug you've been indulging, but the commas are optional :)

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  21. I think it actually is the latter. From the beginning, we learned that Abolish is evil and the Vanguard are the good guys. Garovel used to belong to the Vanguard, they have to be good, right?


    Everything that happened since then was a deconstruction of the concept of good vs. evil. It started by deconstructing the notion that the Vanguard are the good guys. Oh hey, they don't let members leave anymore. Remember what they did when Mehlsanz's servant wanted to leave because she had to kill her own sister in the line of duty? Make Mehlsanz kill her, obviously. And remember when it became apparent that the Elroys, longstanding members of the Vanguard, ritually kill their children to make them into servants, even if said children are scared to death and beg for their lives?


    Really, the only question I'm left with is why you still expect the Vanguard to act honorably.


    I'm kind of looking forward to seeing the situation from Abolish's perspective. I'm still convinced that they're not evil by nature and have some valid (if maybe delusional) reasons for what they do (that is, deconstruction of the "always chaotic evil" that Abolish seems to evoke).


    What we have here are just two warring organisations that are equally fanatic and probably equally wrong. Sure, the Vanguard paint themselves as protectors of civilians, but have you actually seen them protect anyone? Where were they when Atreya could have used some help? "Meh. Not important enough. Now move along." Oh, okay, never mind.


    TL;DR version: "Everything I was made to believe is a lie. There is no good, there might be evil, and we're probably just universally fucked."

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  22. Where do you live Mr. Frost? UK ?

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  23. I don't discount that. I think the Rainlords could have handled this better. I think this could have still been peacefully solved... And I think a guy below has a point. He's right. We were told Sanko was honorable, but the more and more we see of the Vanguard, the more we see that honor and oath they hold counts for jack shit. Sanko is no exception. She is Vanguard and is an honestly perfect example of one that means. High ideals mixed with disgusting lengths of 'the greater good'.



    It's not just that the Rainlords are asking for a lot. It's that if Sanko hadn't delayed, she could have salvaged this still, and maybe helped them understand that this was not all of Vanguard, that this was as much of a betrayal to the Vanguards principles as it was to theirs. If she had been there since the first report rather then sending a letter she could have talked to everyone and sort things out. If she had, in fact, even talked to the Rainlords before charging the castle she would have learned some things. Instead, she waited, and then when the situation was basically perfect for waiting a little longer to get a clear indication of what was happening, she rushed things. Maybe she's not dishonorable. Maybe she's just a moron.

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  24. Oh i do realize that, i am just saying that when compared to other abilities with the same level of soul power and skill, someone who uses materialization or alteration has much more offensive power.

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  25. Except Hector, He's basically good, sometimes to the point of idiocy. But I still like him. It's funny morally grey idiocy annoys me, morally good idiocy doesn't neither does morally bad idiocy.


    Idiocy, that's a word right? Damn, that looks weird to me.

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  26. If spell-check doesn't yell at you it is a word.


    Idiocy,
    You're good.

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  27. It seems that the vanguard have lost touch with their humanity

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  28. I seem to remember learning something like that back in sixth grade (in live in America, if it matters). I try to avoid starting sentences with and/or/but. I use them to join sentences, not start them, I do know that if you start a sentence with a word like although/however/therefore, you do need to add a comma.


    Also, if I remember correctly, commas tells the reader to take a brief pause in the sentence. In the sentences Frost wrote starting with but, It feels awkward to have the pause. At least it does to me.

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  29. Well, yeah. I was kind of assuming that Hector is the audience stand in. We learn about the world roughly at the same time as he does (aside from things we learn while tagging along with a different POV character).


    He's not really an idiot though, it's just that he's usually in way above his head. And he learns from his mistakes and tries to avoid them in the future. He might be a little quick to trust random strangers though.

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  30. To be fair the land they want back is their own. they want to be autonomous again like they used to be. The vanguard have come into their home, kidnapped and killed their people and are trying to justify their actions with a photo which, they failed to bring to the attention of the rainlord council prior to the seizure of a rainlords family in a land that is not their own. Think of it as the UN or the EU there are certain rules and regulations to be followed. The vanguard are an organisation to which the rainlords belong, the rainlords never ceded their land to the vanguard and certainly not their governmental power.

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  31. And how often does he get in way above his head by being a good person? Just about every single time.

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  32. Spell yell me check at sentences this for didn't. Word be idiocy but may mean a than something intended other I.


    ^Idiocy in action. My statement that is.

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  33. Dammit, last I remember, I was somewhere around Page 760. I could swear I only pressed "Next Page" only a few times, but somehow I ended up here. I got sucked into the story and didn't even bother posting comments. How the Hell did I not realize I read over 150 pages without commenting? Not only that, I few comments were directed toward me but I ignored the fuck outta them cause I needed my Next Page Fix. Jeez, now I have to go back and comment on those pages. So much work...

    On the bright side, I have finally arrived to take my rightful place among the Caught-Up Ones. Now I have to wait in torment for new pages like the rest of you lol. Man, I have to say, Frost, you're story is completely addicting. The characters, the setting, the development, the foreshadowing, the twists, frigging everything I love is right here in this work. Sincerely, I thank you for writing it as I'm enjoying myself immensely. Here's to a hopefully fruitful year for you. You damn sure deserve it *holds up glass (of water, cause I'm working right now)*

    Also, don't think I forgot I said I'd donate if Octavia ever fought. Can you even imagine my reaction when she pulled out that KISS-YOUR-ASS-GOODBYE-weapon? Expect a fairly decent donation in the near future.

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  34. Reminiscent of, not " finding it identical to". ;)

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  35. One might not truly understand the gravity of the situation until it was too late.

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  36. I live in the US, actually. Very near Las Vegas.

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  37. Well, many things weighed heavy on Zeff's mind at that moment.

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  38. Haha, identical would've been kind of impressive, considering I haven't read Worm. Didn't even realize what you were talking about at first.

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  39. My total bad. (You stay up 'til weird times, you do... says the pot calling the kettle black. xD )

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  40. At some point, when you have... oh... two weeks? going spare, you need to correct that. :)

    If only to swear at the competition more exactly. ;)

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  41. Its actually the only speculative fiction I can think of darker than yours. I think it kind of ignores some fairly obvious good things capes could do (tinker made lie detectors in Congress, anyone?), but its also really interesting.
    Speaking of non-sequiturs, is there any real significance to your sword icon? I mean, you already have something better than a pen, so it seems a tad redundant.

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  42. Well, we can't all amass fantastic tactical nous 24/7. Even mainly-human servants can't break beyond certain horizons... ;)

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  43. ...*slowly shake his head left and right*... Pressing "Next Page" is too slow!!!!
    I press "Click to display entire chapter at once"
    ... And that makes me read and catch up faster... I can't wait, I just can't.
    I will catch up and check for updates every 2 days

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  44. Just because it isn't super flashy doesn't mean that it isn't jaw-droppingly powerful. She is currently taking on 2 probably about 100 year old servants, swarms of decades-old ones, and one of those big 2 has a secondary power that took the most powerful servant on Eleg to be confident against, and she's winning.

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  45. I'm reading this much too late, and wondering if this is what happened to that Abolish servant and reaper who met Geoffrey's grandfather. But wasn't Damian Rofal a Servant, not an aberration? So how...

    Meh, I'm sure it'll come up eventually

    Btw, someone please correct me if I'm totally wrong about this.

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  46. I made a similar guess about gravity on that very page...

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