Reader Smilodon asks:

When Norla looks at the painting in the last chapter, she comments that the painter worked the cross in but I just don't see it. Where is it?

This image, by the way, was scanned, colored and lettered in GIMP 2.2, which was also used for pasting in the painting. I've been getting a bit fed with Paint Shop Pro, and will study other software and traditional media while working on these nitpick comics. I'll also test some different fonts — I was going to do that for this comic,but found that the ones I'd downloaded were too ugly. Actually, the old font seems a little easier to handle in GIMP than it has been in Paint Shop Pro.

Reader Geir asks:

Who was behind the laughing powder attack, and what was it meant to accomplish?
The answer!

Reader Michiel Prior asks:

Some while ago you asked if anyone guessed what Maghreid was up to. Or more precisely: "what variant of the political game do you think she has been playing?"

Okay, so he was only throwing my own question back at me, but here goes:

Teaching Baby ROCR

Footnotes: Barbara Castle

Barbara Castle (1910-2002) was a fiery, redheaded, uhm, red. She was Britain's first female cabinet minister, and in several alternate realities became Britain's first female Prime Minister. In this reality, we got Margaret Thatcher, then Tony Blair. This is a good example of what makes alternate history such an attractive genre to write in.

For reasons of brevity, I have omitted Barbara Castle's first cabinet post, that of Oversees Development, which she bagged in 1964. In that post, and the Transport posts that followed, she was an effective administrator, introducing such crazy extremist left-wing ideas as breathalyzer tests, a 70 MPH speed limit and mandatory seatbelts in cars. By now, the lives saved by these measures in the fourty years since then could fill a medium-sized city.

Killjoy: opponents of the breathalyzer tests did call her that. In those more primitive times, there were still some people left who thought it was their God-given right to drive drunk and get away with it.

Nanny state: the British equivalent of Big Government. It is this author's opinion that those who complain the loudest about a nanny state are the people who need nannying the most.

In Place of Strife: the title refers back to a 1952 book by Aneurin Bevan called In Place of Fear. Barbara Castle was an admirer and supporter of Bevan's.

This comic's style and format were inspired by that of Teaching Baby Paranoia, which you should read. I can't make any claim to having parodied it accurately although I think that with a bit more practice, I could learn to. As it is, I had very little time to make this one, and so my research into TBP artist Bryant Paul Johnson's technique was pretty perfunctory and slapdash.

And that is very much in the spirit of the original.

Reader Adam Cuerden asks:

How did the Green Knight get home? I mean, he's a head in a jar, and he's ging to have a hard time opening that jar even if they do take him home properly. Presuming that he hasn't been kidnapped by Rásdondr, of course.

Also, in a non-nitpick thread, Michiel Prior asks:

Will the other half-elf (the one who's 300 years old) turn up in this storyline, eventually? (I hope so!)

The answer to those questions comes in three parts. To keep things nice and speedy, there'll be an extra update tomorrow.


The idea that Messing With Causality Results In Tentacles can probably be traced back to Lovecraft's Chthulhu Mythos (which I haven't read), but was popularized and made into a humorous fantasy trope by Terry Pratchett. By now it's probably part of modern folklore in the same way that hobbits and D&D dwarves are, so I felt only a slight twinge of guilt at referring to it here.

Any story – even a short one such as this – involving cute naked sorceresses, putrescent corpses and Messing with Causality should really be drawn in the style of Flick, but there's no way I'd be able to teach myself to do that, or even come close, in less than a month. It's too far removed, stylistically, from what I do. So I'm doing this one in my own style, but in a simplified, smaller format.

The Green Knight rises! Maybe.

Tentacles and ghastly Things from the Dungeon Dimensions.

Reader Adam Cuerden asks:

We now know about half-faerie humans. What about all the other possible crosses? Half-lupin faeries, half gnomic humans, etc, etc.? Anything interesting and noteworthy there?


Whilst we're at it, what about Douards? What *did* they do to Lutins? Enslave 'em?

The answer to those questions comes in at least ten parts. Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan will update 5 times a week until its over, unless I damage some part of my body again.

Rásdondr lectures, and Grendel interrupts

Rįsdondr continues his introduction...

....the douards' eventual degeneracy and extinction...

Orange display frills!

The "Orange display frills" thing is a reference to the long-defunct Acid Reflux webcomic.

Ask me more intrusive questions about the sexuality of my own species, so I don't kill that rat bastard at the other table...

I've had one reader (who will remain anonymous) tell me, a while ago, that he was surprised male faeries didn't have erections all the time. I'm sure it does happen, sometimes, and the faerie Linde's line of questioning shows that she wouldn't have been phazed by it. But it probably doesn't happen much because in a culture where nudity is normal it stops being a sexual trigger on its own. To the Lutin Bleiz, on the other hand, the colour orange is a sexual trigger, but it's only the first in a series. Lutin courtship is elaborate.

Grendel turns it up a notch or two.

Vigdis makes a dire, dire threat.

Class continues, with some uncomfortable ideas from Rįsdondr.

Even Grendel's friends are getting fed up.

A dirty, dirty secret comes out.

I had to interrupt Courtly Manners, itself a sort of filler, to work on preparations for Clickburg. Then I got sick. Just to have some sort of update this week, I cobbled together another "Rite of Serfdom" nitpick. This one is based on something that I recently discovered that, while it could be explained away, shouldn't be explained away because it was the result of carelessness on my part.

What became of the dress?