Light At The End Of The Tunnel – Page 1032

28 thoughts on “Light At The End Of The Tunnel – Page 1032

  1. OK, …a rational view of it from Zona. That still seems to hide some disappointment on Zona’s part. A child never really stops needing a parent that wasn’t there.

    Suria is the Sun God’s name. The interesting part is that he says that “others” would find Zonn’s new/old tribe, and bring “us” back to Erogenia. So, now Zonn’s expecting our threesome of intrepid travelers to get his tribe to Erogenia, apparently with him. This will leave the Sunhenge unattended, though. Hmmm! Wellll! It was unattended for 3,000 years, so I suppose it can wait again. Not quite. At the end there, Zonn still is saying that Suria wants him to stay. Hmmmm!

    What this does for the war effort is highly uncertain. Having Zonn in it would rally every Erogenian, and quite a few Kivalians, to their side. But he might *stay*. This is especially odd in that this is about the time that Ipola is headed *North* to deal with the threat of dragons. What is to the North is less well-mapped even in the map on the old site, at all. In fact, the only mention of it I can remember is the “Snow Leopard” tribe of Erogenia, mentioned by the Kivalian merchant who got surprised by Ginsha at the Tavern run by a Snake Tribe member. Perhaps Ipola is going to them for, ….what? To deal with Dragons? Does she meet up with Zonn again? What combo am I not seeing? Hmmmm!

    1. Hmmmm! I mis-remembered that tavern scene. Kalon, the wool merchant, had visted the Bear Tribe and the Bull Tribe. Must have got “Snow Leopard” mixed in from a fanfic somewhere on the net.

    2. Like you, I’m confused by this paradox: in panel 1, Zonn says that Suria told him others would bring them back to Erogenia. In the second, he says that Suria wants him to stay.

      I can see three interpretations. In one, the “others” who would bring the Sun tribe back to Erogenia turn out not to be Zona and company, so the three of them are going to go on adventuring and the Sun tribe will reach Erogenia eventually through others (hopefully not Kor Lachnis and his merry band, whom they would be fleeing).

      In another, Suria wants Zonn to “stay” with his family, namely Zona (and possibly Tula and Mentl, who hasn’t been introduced to anyone yet). Which resolves the contradiction neatly.

      And in yet another, Erogenia is not a place. It’s a people. So Zonn will stay in the country they’ve built around the Sunhenge, but Tula and Zona will bring the news to Erogenia and the refounded Sun tribe’s land will be made a part of Erogenia.

      Note that this last notion doesn’t exclude Zonn going on the war path with Zona right – he’d take ten warriors with him like the other tribes did and join Zona’s war band, also making plans for the reste of the tribe to prepare for war.

      Last, now that Tula has made the connection between where they are and the ancient Sun people’s lands, she can arguably find a route back to Erogenia. (Being a genius and all that.)

      1. In one of Jed’s looks into the future with Mentl and Zona’s daughter, she says her tribe is the Sun tribe. Add that to the pot and stir.

      2. Fourth interpretation: Zonn may simply not have figured out that these three may be the ones to bring him back.

    3. the only way to get them all back would be either
      to open a gate/portal between the Sunhenge and Moonhenge
      or Teleport everyone to the Moonhenge
      or a third and fourth option
      based on the scales shown
      The Sunhenge is a fair bit smaller than the Moonhenge
      small enough in fact that the Sunhenge could easily fit inside the Moonhenge
      What if the intention isn’t merely to get them all home ?
      what if when they teleport the Sunhenge into the middle of the Moonhenge
      unifying the magic of the Sun God, and Moon Goddess.
      or what if they created a permanent Portal, such that the Sunhenge
      Appears to be in the center of the center of the Moonhenge
      but when you look across the middle of the Sunhenge you see the other location
      And when you cross the middle of the Sunhenge, you find yourself in the other location.

      I wonder which option Jed is going with.

      Zonn isn’t saying he has to stay at sunhenge permanently,
      just that for the present time he has to stay with this tribe, till they can all return home.

    4. Keep in mind that this area was part of ancient Erogenia. The lands of the Urrts are also part of ancient Erogenia.

      The cha the Erogenians have dealt with for the foibles of the ancients either has been settled, or is about to be settled in the current war.

      My take is that Erogenia is about to be fully reborn and reunited, with the lands of the Sun Tribe the easternmost part of the revived Erogenia.

  2. This is about how I feel about my father. He was multiple times not around, even when he said be would be. Now…

    Cats in a cradle and a silver spoon,
    Little boy blue and a man in the moon.
    we’ll get together soon dad,
    I’m sure we’ll get together one day soon.

    That’s from memory so it may be mixing some verses, but you get the idea.

    1. Dear sibling, my parents have always been there for me when I needed them (and in typical human fashion, I didn’t want them there quite a number of occurrences at the time – but now that I have children of my own I understand them better and I’m grateful). I have a few friends who have referred to unsupportive parents of their own, so I’m beginning to get what this is about.

      Only beginning to get it, but I’m with you as much as I can. And I’m sure our other brothers and sisters are too.

      1. Two of my three kids have been on the opposite end of the country for 17 and 19 tears respectively. And in turn I’ve been 880 miles or more from my Mom and siblings for 50 years. It’s hard to be there for somebody in a pinch at long distance, especially if not able to drop everything and travel at a moment’s notice. Over so many years you only have a partial handle on what’s going on with the rest of your family. Another thing is that in most cases your family accepts you as they believe you are, that is, accepts you as you were, but may not understand what you’ve become.

  3. Just_IDD –
    Cat’s in the Cradle and the silver spoon
    Little Boy Blue and the man in the moon.
    When you coming home, Dad (Son)
    I don’t know when
    But we’ll get together then.
    You know we’ll have a good time then.

    Sorry, couldn’t help it. Music Teacher

  4. Not to contradict what I told Just_IDD, but as a father I still feel Zona is going too far in the last panel.

    I think it’s not totally unfair from her to refuse him the right to call her “daughter” because she makes a valid point about it in the fifth panel. (As a father once again, I think it’s a bit harsh but she’s got decades of anger behind her.) But he’s still Erogenian, and if she could have with Pontagar or Benelek (the guy who wanted to punch Yatta-Ta in ) in her warband, she can have dealings with an undisciplined deserter.

    Oh, and I think she knows him quite better than she says in the fifth panel. After all, she’s shown behaviour very similar to his…

    Well, maybe Mentl (whose relationship with his father was apparently rocky at some point) may bridge the both of them together. Unless battle does.

  5. Zona is being the perfect erogenien, but she is also a child who suffer the lack of a Father. And I think, as she was so different, so strong, she might also missed him a little more, to have someone closer in ‘strength’ and difference to her than the other.
    Although I might think as a non-erogenian. But still, Zona is logical, and maybe a hurt child but she’s also right. They don’t know each other. She does not know him and he does not know her.
    Anyway… I love this arc, I’m just worried about Mentl and what we know has happened and Shuach involvement. I cannot stop looking at his face and wait.

  6. That’s some serious scarage Zona’s sporting there.

    1. I would wager that when they have a chance to take a breath, Tula will dispense with some healing.

  7. Unlike others, I’m a bit confused by Zona’s attitude. In OUR world it is understandable, but not in their world as much. After all, Tula may have known her father, but she didn’t live with him nearby either. He’s in a different tribe.

    IF I recall correctly, erogenian children grow up with their mothers, but since actual marriage is not necessarily common in their society then it is not a given that their parents would live together. And considering the way sex is treated among them as not necessarily monogamous, I’m not a bit surprised that mothers might not actually know which man is the child’s father. Even though Tula’s & Zona’s names certainly indicate that Ipola was well aware of each of their father’s identity.

    1. Ooops – I have been posting before, but I accidentally posted under a different name. I think Hwyla will be more recognizable.

    2. “After all, Tula may have known her father, but she didn’t live with him nearby either. He’s in a different tribe.”

      However, Uthic is also royalty, and their visits were not seldom, if I got the right idea. They were not strangers, as Zona is to this legend that has been plopped down in front of her after 25 years.

  8. BTW, ….one thing that still has me stumped is the small black things on the ground all over our party’s present location. I suppose they could be sudrac droppings, but given their density and wide spread, that number of predatory sudrac around would make me nervous! I suppose they could be pine cones from that tree that was knocked over, or some other vegetable matter. They could even be pieces of coal from a nearby outcropping, …or they could be something else. But what?

    1. Hmmmm! OK, That seems to have cleared up, into tufts of grass in this picture set. Not in the first panel of the 1031, though.

      1. Not trying to gaslight you, Tom, but those have nothing to do with anything. They were artifacts that I am not sure exactly how they got into the image in photoshop post-work. But both this page and 1031, thanks to your pointing them out to me, have been fixed. I appreciate your sharp eyes.

        Warm regard,


  9. By the way, Tom Billings, you asked about a debate on this webcomic’s sexism. I have to admit I remembered it wrong: does not use the word. It does, however, call all other characters but Mentl “fanservice” and strongly suggests Mentl is a Marty Stu, or vehicle for acting out the author’s fantasies.

    Pretty much the only thing I sort of agree with the person on is the art at the beginning. It’s gotten way better since, but clearly it’s not what kept me reading the first few hundred pages. (Apologies if that hurt, JED. It’s unfortunately sincere and I agree with most of my siblings that you are a master of storycraft. And your composition is superb. Still, 3D characters are not yet perfect – and at the beginning of the comic you had to work with much rougher tools. With which I trust that you’ve done your best from day one.)

    I do have to admit that if there ever was a story that would have fulfilled my guitar-playing nerd teenage self’s fantasies, The Challenges of Zona would be quite close to it. Only it’s much more than merely that.

    Oh, about the title of the blog entry. “Unheimlich” is German for, according to Wiktionary, “weird”, “uncanny”, “eerie”, “scary”, “creepy”, or “incredible”. And “Tal” means “valley”. Actually the blogger seems to use the notion rightfully: he isn’t calling any lack of credibility for Zona’s chest, just making a point that the 3D art in the comic is far from verisimilitude, but close enough to creep the reader out.

    Last, two people chirped in to defend the comic, with the right idea. Since the blogger did not update after 2011, I guess we can leave him or her alone for now. But it would be nice to find something else when searching the Web for reviews of “Challenges”.

    1. No problem – I should hope that my product has improved over the past 7 years, to say nothing of the last eleven. And I have very little interest in a bad review from one guy six years ago, when I have been also given much more positive feedback as well as constructive critique that more than outweighs it.

      I have always been foremost about the story. And the art has always been in service of that story.

      As for where we’re going in the future, we have big plans, and I hope all of you will help Zona reach them. With Patreon, we are trying to raise a mighty sum that will allow Zona to come to life with my story and character design coupled with the talents of those who can animate her. I come from a theatrical and entertainment background, and I have contacts that will voice the characters and add music and sound to the story as well.

      It’s going to be glorious. So add your energy to it, please! You will not be sorry!

      Warmest regards,


      1. Well said! Here’s to your sporting spirit and to this valiant endeavour! MEAD AND BEER FOR EVERYONE! OR HERBAL TEA! OR FRUIT JUICE! BUT STILL FOR EVERYONE!

      2. I should add that though I have offered the odd criticism where it seemed warranted, I hope I have also stated much more often that this comic is GREAT! Frigging esprit d’escalier.

  10. From the second panel, I’m guessing Zona didn’t read a lot of books, but Tula did.

    Also, JED, there’s something that looks slightly off about Zona’s arm muscles. Perhaps something to look at.

    1. “Also, JED, there’s something that looks slightly off about Zona’s arm muscles. Perhaps something to look at.”

      Actually, that difference shows up in several of the panels on this page. *I* would interpret it as a sign of Zona trying really hard to keep her arms folded in repose/defense, and the tension in the muscles showing through. I have been in such situations myself, and found others noting a similar strain in the arm muscles.

  11. Yes, yes. He deserted his country’s army, his disobeyed his queen.
    So what? Didn’t he have a perfectly good and valid reason to?

    Zona, you don’t quite know and fully grasp what his situation was.

    (Damn, feels great to go back at this comic.)

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