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The Way of Moderation has ended (page 566)

Posted Feb 20, '12 at 7:16am

kingryan

kingryan

4,439 posts

Read this while listening to your compositions...

Pretty awesome

 

Posted Mar 12, '12 at 8:42am

Strop

Strop

11,085 posts

Moderator

Okay sorry about the really long delay. Work is really getting on top of me so I'm taking advantage of the public holiday to get back on top of the WoM!

A couple of double-page spreads, click them to head over to dA so you can see them better. They're crappy sketches anyway.

Here come two old hands back to the fray!

On a Wing and a Prayer

http://i438.photobucket.com/albums/qq105/strawpony/Way%20Of%20Moderation/11-13.png

Frank grit his teeth, thoughts flying through his head thick as the rain that battered his oilskin coat. Armor Games had been an interesting place, sure, but it was just supposed to be a holiday stop for him. Just another stepping stone while he gathered his thoughts about what to do next.

But then what? Where would he go after that? Somewhere else where his thoughts about unfinished business and unsavoury pasts would doubtlessly follow him? After this much time, he knew that it wasn't moderation that he sought. Or maybe it was, but not for moderation's sake itself.

Frank shook his head: that part still didn't make sense. What was moderation for moderation's sake anyway? The tournament itself was a distraction and good for some fun and some fights, at least. Fights that he could approach as a warrior, with no holds barred yet no complaints and a kind of justice. Yes, the justice that he felt lacking in his heart, because a community built upon working and living and laughing and fighting together was what he missed. Or so he thought. How could he have forgotten that these were the things that tied him to his old comrades from the air pirate brigade? Was it that his goggles had become so stained in blood that he lost sight of it? Or was it that he had lost sight of the reasons he once gripped with such desperate fury, to hurl himself from the heights of high society into the tempestuous storms of strugglers and mercenaries? No words came to mind to answer his questions, yet, in the very moment and place he inhabited, the answer already existed.

Behind him, there they were again. They were the lost three-hundred wandering the unruly skies. And after everything had been thought through and all the words had been said, they had forgiven his departure and his absence, their prodigal son, their prodigal leader. And it was only through the things that he had learnt and come to terms with that he was able to talk the brigade into coming along with him on this crazy kamikaze mission.

"On the condition", his first mate quipped with a toothy grin, "that there's sufficient compensation of the fiscal variety."

And that was what was bothering him. He had made that promise to his crew and off they went, but he knew nothing about how to fulfill that promise. He suspected, even from a distance, that Armor Games was ruined to the point it would have nothing left to offer them.

"You look rather lost for somebody whose destination is so obvious."

The voice was startingly close, making Frank jerk his throttle lever and almost spiral out of control. When he recovered, a familiar fai- pixie swooped into view.

"Steady on, ol' chap." Pixel quipped in his characteristically officious tone. "When I heard you bowed out in the semi-finals I thought you were gone for good."

"I guess we were both wrong," Frank shot back with a wry smile. "But I'm sure glad I ran into you."

"Oh?" Pixel looked quizzical. "If it's another fight you're after, maybe it could wait until, well, you know." He tilted his head to indicate the bedlam below.

"Yes, of course, but, well..." Frank trailed off before clearing his throat. "My friends here, they're, shall we say, business people who ordinarily won't have any business with these affairs, if you know what I mean, and, well..."

Pixel stared at Frank, slowly comprehending the air pirate's insinuations, before he burst out in a roaring, ungentlemanly laugh.

"Oh, you rascal!" he managed between laughs. "Normally I would say my money is my money, but in these circumstances, I suppose I could set you up with a loan."

Frank's relief was palpable. "Thanks, that's much appreciated." Pixel blinked at him, partially blinking rain out of his eyes, partially blinking in thought. "And here I was thinking that if I said no, you'd just fly away..."

Frank shifted uncomfortably in his harness before staring dead ahead. "Right now we have something important to deal with, so should we?"

"Indeed," Pixel simply said. The two slapped their mitts together, and the deal was sealed.

http://i438.photobucket.com/albums/qq105/strawpony/Way%20Of%20Moderation/11-14.png

Frank triumphantly raised his sword, rallying the troops onward, and in a deafening roar of propeller engines and warcries, streams of air pirates charged towards the fray. Gunning his own engine, Frank set off, riding in Pixel's slipstream.

"By this way, I charge interest," Pixel reminded Frank.

"You rich *******," Frank countered, before pointing towards the battling magic stone golem and the giant mutant trolls pounding the mortar out of it. "Oh, by the way, it looks like something crazy happened to the Aristocrat Alley..."

Pixel peered down, noting first that Aristocrat Alley had completely vanished, then noting the suspicious composition of the stone golem.

http://i438.photobucket.com/albums/qq105/strawpony/Way%20Of%20Moderation/11-15.png

His bloodcurdling scream continued all the way down to the battlefield.

---

I sincerely hope to be able to actually finish the material for this scene by tomorrow! ISN'T THAT EXCITING!!!

 

Posted Mar 13, '12 at 5:10am

kingryan

kingryan

4,439 posts

I sincerely hope to be able to actually finish the material for this scene by tomorrow! ISN'T THAT EXCITING!!!


Bahahahahaha...
 

Posted Mar 13, '12 at 6:01am

Cenere

Cenere

14,002 posts

Knight

He has to, otherwise he doesn't get sexy horse girls.
I hope you people are appreciating my sacrifice.

 

Posted Mar 13, '12 at 10:40am

Strop

Strop

11,085 posts

Moderator

He has to, otherwise he doesn't get sexy horse girls.


Do you know what I had to go through to get this up tonight!?!?!?!? I weep for the content I wanted to expand upon, but had to keep brief for the sake of HOLY CRAP THIS SEGMENT MIGHT BE GETTING DONE AND WE CAN MOVE ON TO THE CLOSING!?

I hope you people are appreciating my sacrifice.


Oh, I bet they will ^_^

Anyway...

Courage Under Fire

http://i438.photobucket.com/albums/qq105/strawpony/Way%20Of%20Moderation/11-16.png

"Come on, darn you idiots, don't you have any teamwork!?"

Dank slammed his hammer down in frustration, splitting his abuse evenly between the code he was yelling out, and his students. In the distance, the stone golem was being broken apart, pummeled by eight pairs of giant fists, just as it tore into the trolls with equally magnificent brutality. As it crumbled, bits and pieces cascaded down, only to be picked up by magic and reattached to the main body. Only Dank was not at all satisfied how the golem was regenerating, for due to the chaotic nature of sixty mages trying to work on one thing at once with not a moment to actually talk to each other, the golem was changing characteristics at an alarming pace.

Dank finally capitulated. "Fine, do what you want! Stick any bloody brick anywhere you want, as long as it can still move!" He resumed yelling out more code to try and right the many wrongs of the situation, but was interrupted by a very wet black body smacking him in the face, which promptly sprang back to its hooves.

"You dumb ***!" Dank yelled, but this time the ninja horse completely ignored him, as if in his own little world.

"Go on, get aw-" Dank started, but stopped when he realised that he was far too late: thanks to the wayward fists of a mutant troll and the trajectory its unfortunate target took, his band of mages had been spotted. With an earth-shaking roar, it scraped the ground, picking up hundreds of fighters from the battlefield, and without thought, bundled them towards their hasty lack-of-fortifications.

But Dank didn't even have to speak. Dank looked on, trapped in a surreal moment, as he nocked his bow, and as if on cue, was wordlessly joined by two more archers. Without a moment's hesitation, they opened fire.

http://i438.photobucket.com/albums/qq105/strawpony/Way%20Of%20Moderation/11-17.png

A withering storm of arrows sailed forth, cutting into the ranks of the displaced raiders. Confused and disoriented, they wheeled about, turning back and clashing into the vanguard. Seeing this, Strop emptied his quiver, indiscriminately firing at the crowd, and discarding it, brandished his bow as a club and dashed towards the mess, hooves kicking up mud high into the air.

By the time Dank looked back, the gnoll and the man had also vanished. Despite himself, his brow furrowed and he found himself pausing a moment.

"But what about your vow?" he mouthed after the departed horse.

---

A Home to Come to

"RRRRRRRRRRRAGH!"

The voice was unique, female, but booming and deep and distinctly unfeminine for all the power and aggression that it carried.

http://i438.photobucket.com/albums/qq105/strawpony/Way%20Of%20Moderation/11-18.png

Her swords long broken, Asherlee sank everything she could, boots, fists, her head, into every wimpy and puny foe who flung herself at her. She fought with a power far beyond that which a simple five minute breather could have ever restored, sending bodies flying as if they were simple trash. Likewise, the Dragon Mistress was rejuvenated, coiling her whips and ensnaring every noob her eyes set upon, before hurling them out of the fight. Around them, heroes rose and little-known legends were born as spirits lifted for a last great desperate hurrah against oblivion.

"We must preserve this city, preserve it so our royalty, so Queen Carlie might have a home to come to!" Asherlee roared.

"No matter how long it takes, hold until that moment!" Dragonmistress echoed.

Above them, the air pirates had engaged in earnest. Some split into squads and swooped low, distracting the raiders and herding them into waiting traps, dividing them further to be set upon by fishmen eager to redeem themselves. Others still swarmed around the giant mutant trolls like angry bees to a bear, figuring that they had a much higher bounty, peppering them with musket shot. They took no notice, initially, until the airships weighed in with their great hundredweight cannons, which blew great grooves in the variegated flesh of the mutants. Ineffectually they swung about, batting at the stinging pests, and Moe in the golem pressed his new advantage, charging forth and driving them away from the castle. The heavens rung and the rain blew away as shockwaves from the impacts rippled outwards.

Not content with duking it out, the mutant trolls threw more and more soldiers into the woodworks and the ever changing structure of the golem itself, until it was crawling with the ants that sought to dismantle it from within. Even as their last hope was under threat, the brave soldiers who fought for AG's sake could not disengage in order to prevent the sabotage from taking place, so they watched helplessly as smoke and static started blowing out of the golem as pipes burst and wires were severed, and the hydraulics cobbled together from bits of boiler from many a house started to creak dangerously.

"FLY LIKE SUPERMAN", a maniacal voice cackled, and overhead, a shape dashed along a ridge on one of the giant's bodies, and shot impossibly straight into the belly of the golem. Sailing through the shifting gaps with suicidal recklessness, a ninja blazed through the levels, taking out any enemy he laid eyes upon, before bursting out from the shoulder of the great golem, laughing like a madman the whole time.

http://i438.photobucket.com/albums/qq105/strawpony/Way%20Of%20Moderation/11-19.png

http://i438.photobucket.com/albums/qq105/strawpony/Way%20Of%20Moderation/11-20.png

http://i438.photobucket.com/albums/qq105/strawpony/Way%20Of%20Moderation/11-21.png

Oh how I wish I had more time to draw action pages. And more scenes without Strop in them. But I gotta move the plot on, so...

Through the air he sailed, burning the dregs of his coffee euphoria, no longer caring for anything but the culmination of all experiences, where every other moment that he had lived came to that one very moment, the singularity that gave way to the next, to the next, to the-

http://i438.photobucket.com/albums/qq105/strawpony/Way%20Of%20Moderation/11-22.png

---

http://i428.photobucket.com/albums/qq1/Cerene_Cerine/wtfbro1cen.jpg

http://i428.photobucket.com/albums/qq1/Cerene_Cerine/wtfbro2.jpg

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http://i428.photobucket.com/albums/qq1/Cerene_Cerine/wtfbro4.png

http://i428.photobucket.com/albums/qq1/Cerene_Cerine/wtfbro5.jpg

http://i428.photobucket.com/albums/qq1/Cerene_Cerine/wtfbro6.jpg

http://i428.photobucket.com/albums/qq1/Cerene_Cerine/wtfbro7.jpg

http://i438.photobucket.com/albums/qq105/strawpony/Way%20Of%20Moderation/10-36.png

---

...
 

Posted Mar 13, '12 at 10:55am

Cenere

Cenere

14,002 posts

Knight

ROLL CREDITS!

http://i433.photobucket.com/albums/qq51/Sonicdan369/clap.gif

 

Posted Mar 13, '12 at 11:30am

sensanaty

sensanaty

1,145 posts

The Best 543 pages I've ever read on here.
You should make a comic book kind of thing, sell it for 20 bucks or something. I'd buy it.

Alas, it has ended. Marvelous art, Strop.

http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m0sypzcetS1r463tv.gif

 

Posted Mar 13, '12 at 5:58pm

Strop

Strop

11,085 posts

Moderator

That's the funniest take on Citizen Kane I've ever seen. I am assuming that is from Citizen Kane, though because of the funny face I have to guess from the clapping action and the way Orson Welles likes to play the lighting such that it always falls on half a face. Just to be a bit sinister and ominous like that, you know.

note: don't turn the dial. You didn't really think the plot would actually end on a ridiculous cliff-hanger like that, did you?

 

Posted Mar 13, '12 at 6:32pm

Cenere

Cenere

14,002 posts

Knight

Well, Strop, it wouldn't be beyond you to end it on a ridiculous cliffhanger, would it?
No, wait, that's me... Mm, the taste of sweet frustration in the morning.

We should have considered ending it there, it would have spared... well, stuff. Lives. Ideas. Sanity.

 

Posted Mar 13, '12 at 7:40pm

Strop

Strop

11,085 posts

Moderator

Oh, by the way...

WHERE IS MY SEXY HORSE GIRL!?!?!?

 
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