This week, tempers run hot on the Canid/Ermehn issue – Kenosh of course has his moral opposition, but long-standing alliances of convenience always seem to stand in the way of making the best choice. Riling up the Canid and their army (as mentioned in the prologue, the most powerful army in all the Four Kingdoms) is certainly not in the best interests of a peaceful kingdom like Sunsgrove, and Dabheid must weigh the interests of his kingdom against Kenosh’s demand for fairness.

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Whatever Kenosh suggests in next week’s page, you can bet that it will factor into Dabheid’s course in this conflict – the ramifications of which could be felt for generations to come, and lead the kingdom to prosperity or ruin. Being a king is hard business!

To lighten the mood a bit, Rachel put together an amazing series of images this week to celebrate something we all can appreciate: The Olympics! While the world of Beyond the Western Deep does not have an actual Olympics competition, after seeing these images I was tempted to come up with something akin to a nationwide series of sporting events encompassing all seven races of the land.

At the moment, the politics at play would prevent such a competition from occurring, but someday in the future, who knows?

It was also a fun exercise to finalize the other races’ flag designs, and come up with clever Olympic-themed outfits for the various races based on their flag colors. I should also mention that all of these pictures were a complete surprise to me, and I can’t emphasize enough how awesome I think all this stuff is!

Essentially, Rachel brainstormed which characters/races would excel in certain events. First up, Quinlan himself, showing a rather impressive performance in gymnastics!


The Tamian, with their natural agility and tree-jumping means of locomotion, are perfectly suited to the gymnastics events. Quinlan here is taking to the horizontal bar with aplomb.

Dakkan, of course, leads the swimming events along with the other Lutren. Really it’s just not fair for the other races that the Lutren can even participate – though the Polcan, with their waterborne lifestyle and eternal conflict with the Lutren race, have no doubt put up strong competition against them!

While the Lutren have the advantage in the water, there’s no doubt that the Canid have a clear advantage when it comes to punching things in the face.

To that end, they likely will have dominated the boxing ring for endless competitions, barely giving their opponents a chance to hear the opening bell before knocking that very memory from their skulls!

The Canid may have strength on their side, but technique and flexibility are not their best areas of expertise. To that end, their Ermehn neighbors to the north would have quite an advantage over them in events like Judo, where the Canid muscle can be turned against them with an expertly-timed takedown.

While the Polcan rivalry with the Lutren in the swimming events wouldn’t yield the former a lot in the way of medals, there is one series of water-based events we could definitely see them excelling at:

Because the Polcan spend literally every moment of their lives at sea aboard a fleet of ships, they would have a supreme advantage against the Lutren in matters of rowing and oarsmanship. The Lutren are no slouches though, and it would no doubt be a hard-fought event. And the Felis – living on the eastern coasts of the Four Kingdoms – would likely put up solid (but only bronze-worthy) competition.

The Vulpin, not to be outdone, would have a firm handle on the long-jump and endurance events, such as the marathon, decathlon, etc.

All that walking through the Desert of Zin surrounding their capital city of Nessa keeps them in prime condition, and in their kingdom of Navran, nothing is close in proximity – making long-distance running more of a necessity than a leisure activity.

There is, however, one endurance sport that the Vulpin would not excel in, and that is where the Felis come in – with soccer.

The sport would provide the Felis with an adequate outlet to prove their brilliance to throngs of adoring fans in the form of on-field strategy, and there’s something about the sport that just seems to fit the high-minded and scholarly Felis. They also excel at soccer because, well, let’s be honest here – it’s a bunch of cats chasing after a ball :)

I can’t get over how awesome it was to be surprised by these fantastic images – be sure to swing by Rachel’s Tumblr account to get her commentary on each piece, and to leave comments on how awesome they are if you have  Tumblr account yourself. Or feel free to leave comments here! We won’t hold it against you!

No matter who you’re cheering for, have a happy Olympics!