If You Say So – Page 1176

TRANSCRIPT:   GORSHASH Return to your kingdom.  Build your strength, build your magick.  I will see you destroyed by my hand - with no help from Kor Lachnis or ANY human - while you are at the height of your profane goddess power, and all the world will be for Urtts, and only for Urtts.  IPOLA: As you wish.  I was trying to offer you a lifeline.  I can’t help but wonder what your god will think about you knifing his chosen? GORSHASH: My God prizes strength - and the will to exercise power.  If my actions displease God, then I will be punished, and I will praise my God for every moment of pain to the ending of the world.  I believe my actions will please God.   IPOLA: If you say so.  GORSHASH: Come.  I will arrange a mount for you.  I give you one day’s ride from this place. After that your own power and your goddess must save you.   If you perish, then it will be God’s will.  IPOLA: And the ring? GORSHASH: Do not, as Erogenians say, press your luck, Ipola Queen.   

23 thoughts on “If You Say So – Page 1176

  1. “Luck”? He’s lucky he’s still breathing after this impromptu meeting with the barrels.

    Also, all of a sudden I’m wondering how much of Gorshash’s actions were about taking the ring for himself. It may well be that Kor Lachnis would never have let him touch (however painful it had been the first time) or even see it again; yet Gorshash was interested enough in it to suggest interrogating her to know more about it. (And then she even more skillfully deflected the conversation away from there.) Kor Lachnis mentioned “sending stones and mirrors”, which means remote communication, utterly precious in times of war. Not to mention that if he was even half serious about not studying it further, such a blunder deserves capital execution in Shuach’s view, I fear.

    If I may, I’m not sure about Ipola’s stance in panel 2. It looks like she is showing off her bottom; of course, in other circumstances, she would be entirely justified to, but right here and right now I don’t know what to make of it. Any ideas, siblings?

    Last, another question to the crowd. How much imbalance to the cha would be brought by Ipola PAIOing Gorshash’s head off his shoulders? Because he has stated he wants nothing from her — not even her obedience. Yet he keeps giving her orders. Does she have to follow them? Or will she take the mount, say “gen turan” if only to aggravate Gorshash, and be on her merry way, only to turn around and back after some distance to recover the ring and play merry hell with the garrison?

    1. “How much imbalance to the cha would be brought by Ipola PAIOing Gorshash’s head off his shoulders?”

      This question, I think, has no importance at all. Gorshash is a prime target. Killing him would, basically, save Teria.

    2. She’s just leaning forward to make sure those pants fit snugly. Some ladies do that on a bed with their legs in the air, but Ipola hasn’t such conveniences right now.

    3. @Reservist: as I’ve noted below in an answer to Kylo Stimpy, killing him endangers Ipola, and with her, the cornerstone of the whole alliance that still has to deal with the dragons. Killing Gorshash is not enough to save Teria. Also, I’d tend to assume that the closer one is to the gods, the more important cha is. Which would make it vital for Ipola.

      @Raoullefere: thanks for the info. I live with a wife and daughter (not to mention another daughter, now living further away for her studies) and never seen one of them perform that move. Still, it’s not like I watch them dress every day or even quite often, of course.

      1. “killing him endangers Ipola, and with her, the cornerstone of the whole alliance that still has to deal with the dragons. Killing Gorshash is not enough to save Teria”

        True, true. I hadn’t thought about that, to be honest.

        “Also, I’d tend to assume that the closer one is to the gods, the more important cha is. Which would make it vital for Ipola. ”

        The thing is that Schuach is an evil god, that Erogenians have renounced three millenia ago. I don’t see any reason why they would care about offending him.

  2. I gotta say… I admire and respect him. He’s EVIL, of course. He needs to die, if only so that an Urtt leader can arise who will be more amenable to peace. But I very much respect his convictions and his integrity. He’s allowing her to leave even though it could come back to bite him in the ass, when he could score an easy victory by taking her out now. Just so he can have a victory untainted by any doubts about its legitimacy.

    1. I see your points, but I strongly doubt that “he could score an easy victory by taking her out now”. In the previous tussle, she took him out with her opening volley. He did get better, for sure, but in no small part because she was focusing on Kor Lachnis.

      He could call and summon an army of Urtts who would take her out eventually, but he’d be among the first casualties.

      Which makes me wonder, again, how much of his proud, strong stance is merely bluff for ‘I can’t handle you on my own and right now I have no other alternative than to pretend I’m allowing the frigging A-Bomb in my basement to leave.’

  3. It’s kinda scary how far Gorshash has grown as a character. Maybe more than anyone else in the comic.

  4. Honestly, lady. Take him out now. You gave him a fair chance. You owe him nothing.

    1. I too would really like to have an explanation from Ipola as to why she doesn’t.

      As I was elaborating, it came to my mind that while she *is* plenty prepared to die rather than fold, here she isn’t folding. And her life is really Lunadarn important because she doesn’t know that the alliance between erogenian tribes wouldn’t collapse without her.

      So yeah, she could finish beheading the enemy army, only it would risk beheading her own too. And even with an Urtt army who wouldn’t know what to do (assuming some upstart doesn’t make a grab in the power void), dragons are still a very dangerous threat. The Alliance needs every asset, and she’s the main one.

      Something that often irks me in stories is to see the good guys agree to do pretty much everything the bad guy says they should, just because there’s a truce on or he seems a little more knowledgeable. I just understood why this isn’t such a situation here — after my remark to Archone above, it’s entirely possible they are both bluffing each other, which means they won’t call each other’s bluff.

      It would still be nice to see something like this (or, knowing JED, much smarter) in the comic.

    2. There’s a chance she’d get zerg-rushed and lose, and then it would be a huge setback. But Ipola probably could take him out.

      1. Surviving to escape after that would be more questionable. Her flying mount is dead, so if she doesn’t have cooperation and permission to leave by ground with a 24-hour head start, getting out will be very difficult. She doesn’t have endless magic, or endless stamina.

      2. Let’s say she thinks she can kill him and escape. Thing is, Shuach is moving and waking. So a greater power is moving, and it can always find and raise another who will do ITS will and run ITS plan in the end. She’d place herself at tremendous risk to skewer a finger, while the hand and the one who directs the hand are left alone.

      Bad chess move on top of bad chess move. When she is the linchpin of the alliance that’s needed now. So she passes.

      Better bet: leave behind a scrying device by making it seem too important to allow her to leave with it. To me, that’s just a theoretical possibility. Ipola knows one way or other, as does JED. So we’ll see.

  5. It was worth a shot.

  6. So, it seems the “Skull Pupil”-motif comes-&-goes. I’m not yet seeing a pattern here, unless maybe it’s appearance is connected to the intensity of his rage…?

    1. It’s controlled by Shuach. The flame-head god of evil can make it come and go as he pleases.

  7. Oh, I thought the ring was still on the table. I guess Gorshash took that.

    This has been a very interesting little arc, Jed. 😀

  8. The ring? Is that the communication ring she’s been using to talk to distant people?

    So this means what’s-his-face who is working with Tethik is off the hook? And Gorash may be able to corrupt it all Palantir style to spy on others?

  9. So… Does she make his head explode and take the ring?

    1. Hmm… I think not. It would be too easy, and would cut the story so short.

  10. So does that give Gorry there a line to whosname the assassin, or just the ability to listen in on Zon and the Kivalian queen’s conversations?

    1. Both, I fear.
      However, a number of problems have to be solved first.
      One, actually getting around using the ring instead of getting lightning bolted by it.
      Second, once he learns to use it he could contact people, but even if Thann hadn’t left it behind to Tethik ( http://barbarianprincess.com/comic/chapter-85-beer-and-bonding/almost-got-him-page-1112/ ), I doubt he’d listen to an Urtt.
      Third, spying on a conversation with these rings requires a stealth ability that may or may not exist. Since it apparently wasn’t built by evil Erogenians but Moon worshippers, they may well have made them purposely non-stealthy so as to prevent an enemy to use it for spying.

      tl;dr – yes but no, and possibly but even so that would be a chore.

  11. I have nothing but love for JED, his modeling, his animation, world building, character development and story telling are first rank. Ipola not killing Gorash right off the bat is growth on her part. Just a few years ago, she’d have waded through the Urtt army starting with Gorash until the fields ran with blood. Her reunion with Zonn, and their discussion is still weighing on her mind. She even mentions it in the last page. The fact that she’s seeing a similarity in Gorash’s and Zonn’s arguments means she’s seeing the enemy as people, not just murder targets and animals. To paraphrase Ender, “To completely and totally understand your enemy is to come to love them.” Perhaps Ipola is coming to that point. Just a thought anyway.

    Also panel 2 is painful to look at for me. I’ve seen the move that JED is trying to portray, and it’s the curve of the back. Her head and shoulders are too upright and for the maneuver. She’d have to be nearly contortionist level flexible to roll her hips that far forward, and still curve her back that much. Its a subtle thing, but enough to jar me out of my suspension of disbelief.

    1. Glad I’m not the only one, who winces just looking at Ipola’s spine in that panel. The angles are too extreme.

  12. ” Ipola not killing Gorash right off the bat is growth on her part”
    It’s also (or, I think, especially) tactics. As someone aptly remarked above, Gorshash is having her freed and is giving her a 24 hours head-start.
    Killing him now would not be tactically and strategically sound at all.

    Besides, she knows and she’s seen what they do to humans and, practically, anything non-Urtt.
    Heck, Gorshash even basically just swore the total annihilation of anything non-Urtt to Ipola.
    So, at least in this case, understanding an enemy is not to love them.

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