This week, the fight continues with a bit of back and forth, and we learn a bit about Ermehn tribal diplomacy!

We also learn the name of the older Ermehn sitting and watching the fray: Ashtor. This aging Ermehn has been a fixture in the canon for a while, and he, like the other five Ermehn in Hardin’s tribe, has very particular reasons for allying himself with the young warrior. The concept art for his current design is below:

However, Ashtor, like the rest of Hardin’s band, went through a few design iterations before his current look was determined. As you can see by the original, older Ashtor sketches below, the character originally was intended to come off as more frail and decrepit, but exuding a bit more experience and “wisdom with age” than any of the other Ermehn we would see.

The design ultimately adapted to make him more “mobile” and less “raggedy” – so while he is still the oldest and most experienced Ermehn in Hardin’s tribe, he is still able to hold his own in a fight and keep up with the younger warriors he travels with. The purpose of that traveling has of course yet to be revealed!

This week, Rachel and I were immensely happy to learn that there’s some Beyond the Western Deep fanfiction out there in the wild now! SaraaLuna, who has given us some wonderful fan-art in the past, has been fleshing out the backstory of the lone Canid sitting in the back of the Land’s End Tavern in the previous scene of the comic. In addition to this fun little tale, some fan-art to go along with it!

Strika and Enerus are two Canid soldiers working out of Deltrada Garrison on the hostile border between the Canid kingdom of Aisling and the Ermehn-controlled Northern Wastes. They both have quite the disdain for Ermehn, as any Canid soldier would along the harsh borderland!

Thank you so much for the story, SaraaLuna! Rachel and I both eagerly await the final chapter, and this artwork of the characters is totally awesome as well.

Remember that if you have any fan-art or fan-related work you’d like to share with us and your fellow BWD readers, you can send it to us at:

thewesterndeep (at) gmail (dot) com