So yes, I threw in a little misdirection there. CLASSIC NARRATIVE TOOL. I always find it funny that lock-picking is so prevalent in fantasy fiction when in reality, most people probably wouldn’t even know where to start.

I mean, I know it’s a genre staple — I was picking digital locks in Quest for Glory games way back in my formative PC gaming years. I remember thinking the age-old deadly adventure game question: what happens if I try to use this item… on myself?

… Oh.

Well. Oops, I guess? Man, Sierra games were NOT kidding around.

Aside from the great many D&D examples I can think of, lock picking also became a staple in popular game series like The Elder Scrolls and Fallout. I recall repeatedly jamming a lock pick into doors and chests in Morrowind and quickly whittling down my collection of lock picks in a hopeless bid of improving my lock picking stat by pure attrition. I still have nightmares about it. LOCK PICK FAILED. LOCK PICK FAILED. LOCK PICK FAILED. This would be Quinlan trying to use the arrow on the manacle lock.

So, this page — every once in a while we get to a page and I say something like I’ve waited a really long time to share this page with everyone. Usually it’s because it’s a memorable action sequence or other cool moment that Rachel and I have had brewing in our heads for years.

With this page in particular, though, aside from the fun little back-and-forth between Quin and Dak, I was really excited to see how Rachel would handle Dak’s last line there. I think she knocked the 8| expression right out of the park, and I really hope you find it as amusing as I did!

For guest art this week, I wanted to share this adorable piece that RM Fung sent over a few weeks back of Caldus and a young Quinlan sharing a peaceful movement. As he said in his email: “I’ve got a brief quiet moment between little Quin and his grandfather Caldus – could be after he decided to take the boy in or a training session gone awry. I don’t know if this kind of affection is in-character for Caldus, but I though it’d be nice to show him doing something sweet anyway.”

Despite Quin’s less-than-enthusiastic opinion of his grandfather, he did raise Quinlan from a young age. While he was stern and probably not the most supportive parental figure in the world, Caldus always did his best to try and raise Quin to become an upstanding and contributing member of Tamian society, and the two shared a very strong familial bond.

Now that Quinlan’s been forced to accept his grandfather’s harsh teachings probably saved his life the night before, it’s possible he’ll rethink a lot of how that relationship worked.

Anyway, thank you RM for the wonderful piece of artwork! See you all in the comments!