I: INTRODUCTION TO VERSION 2

So.

Returning to draw the comic did not work out so much. I was too out of practice, and drawing a single comic page took about twice as long as it used to and I absolutely hated the results, even though now I look at them and they seem mostly fine. I also spent much of 2017 with a major case of anhedonia and anxiety over my artwork of any kind, and I’ve only crawled out of that in the past month or so.

But I announced way back in January that if I couldn’t stick to the actual comic updates that I would switch to text updates, so that the twelve of you who are still care can all finally know the rest of this giant crazy story that 200 pages in isn’t even 1/3 of the way done. Thanks to stress and depression and all that fun stuff, this took a long time to get started. My hope is now that I’ve done so it will be much easier to continue.

I’m going to write up a chapter at a time, because there really is a ton of story left and I don’t want to just cut it all down to a couple of pages. My plan is to write up two chapters a month, and I’d guess it will take all/most of 2018 to tell the rest of the story. (Yes, I did comically underestimate how long the comic would be when I first started it, why do you ask?)

A few things:

I’m going to take a fairly conversational tone in these write ups, as if I’m sitting down launching into this giant crazy story.

The write ups will be in present tense, which I know some people hate, but I feel like the comic was told in present tense (and so was the RPG obviously) so it would be weird to switch to past tense for the text version.

I’ll also be including sketches and artwork, ideally with every text update.

Also, this write up isn’t necessarily going to be a recap of the original Clockworks tabletop game. There have already been some changes between the game and the comic, and this write up will be how I intended the comic to go, which will mostly follow the original Savage Worlds campaign, but might change fairly radically in places.

II: PREVIOUSLY

We last saw our heroes in the wealthy island nation/city of Paravo. They accompanied the newest member of the party, Julius introduced the constables to his family, and they learned that Brigitte had thoroughly robbed the Lymos family. Unbeknownst to our heroes, Julius’s father Alexander Lymos contacted their old enemy Agent Thorn back in the Great Republic, and made some sort of shady deal. Then, Alexander’s automoton butler hired mercenary bounty hunters to capture our heroes.

Unaware of the danger they’re in, Julius and the constables set out to the Red Market, Paravo’s famous midnight black market, where a friendly little Carbuncle invited Toby and Ophelia to enter the Goblin Market, which may just be a door painted onto an alley wall.

And now….

III: CHAPTER 16, CONTINUED

Our heroes are suddenly attacked in the middle of the Red Market! Ambushed and caught by surprise, the fight does not go well for them! The giant clockbot seen in the background of page 197 attacks Toby and Ophelia with a pair of chain bolas made of pure iron! #1 Toby and Ophelia fall to the ground, defenseless, as the other mercenaries attack Eva, Thorton, and Oliver with electrified weapons that stun and disable them. Oliver takes to the rooftops, and the elven mercenary gives chace, eventually catching him and knocking him out. Eva gets in a few good hits on the brawny mercenary, but she’s quickly knocked out by an electrified hit from his gloves. Julius is knocked out instantly, in almost a casually offhand way from the masked mercenary, who turns her attention to Thorton! He fires his bow at her, but she strikes the arrows out of the air with her homemade kludged together ether enhanced spiked swords.

Meanwhile, at Toby’s behest Ophelia inches over to him, and just as the mercenaries are about to knock out our two Changeling heroes, Toby grabs Ophelia with his teeth, finds the strength to stand up, and still wrapped in iron chains he charges at the red painted on door to the Goblin Market, turning to shield Ophelia as he dives into the wall head, shoulders, and back first. Fortunately, the painted door is actually magic, and Toby and Ophelia crash into a strange Changelings only section of the black market. The Goblin Market is full of odd and mysterious vendors, peddling everything from strange potions to occult artifacts to bottles of dreams and whispers. The proprietor of the Goblin Market, a Fae Lord named Maximus, looks down at our heroes curiously. (See top illustration.) Outside, the alley wall still intact, the mercenaries find the door does not work.

Meanwhile, Thorton’s bow draws the attention of the masked mercenary, who suddenly attacks him with great vigor because she recognizes that bow. It belonged to her uncle, back in Irone. She demands to know how Thorton came to own it, as she launches herself at him with dual electrified swords. She is of course stunned at Thorton’s answer that the bow was his father’s. She pauses for a moment, stares at him, and asks “Kalak?” She pulls her goggles and mask off, and Thorton stares at her. “Vashte?”

Back inside the Goblin Market, Toby and Ophelia make a deal with Maximus. They are freed from their chains and offered sanctuary within the Goblin Market until their attackers are gone, in exchange for a promise to return to the Goblin Market to buy something before the full moon ends. They agree, but don’t stay and hide in the Goblin Market, instead returning outside to try and rescue their friends.

But as Toby and Ophelia return to the Red Market, ready to battle the mercenaries, Vashte yells that the job is off.

There’s a round of confusion as Vashte tells the others that Thorton/Kalak is her cousin, that they grew up next door to each other, and though she hasn’t seen him since they were children, she’s not bringing him in. Her allies are not at all happy about this, but rather than fight her and the remaining heroes they agree to let this go. Before they leave, Vashte tells Thorton they were hired by a clockwork manservant, and our heroes immediately and correctly infer it was the Lymos family servant.

Dazed and confused, our heroes turn to leave the Red Market, but Thorton stops everything to buy himself a sniny new armored longcoat to replace the one that Lukov shot a giant hole in way back in Chapter One.