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[PA Comic] Friday, October 19, 2012 - Thornwatch, Part Two

GethGeth LegionPerseus VeilRegistered User, Moderator, Penny Arcade Staff, Vanilla Staff vanilla
edited October 2012 in The Penny Arcade Hub

Posts

  • AurichAurich ArizonaRegistered User regular
    The kid apparently knew just what happens now that he's broken his oath. I suppose it makes sense that there would even be a ritual for casting oneself out.

  • designdbdesigndb Registered User regular
    Is this the "spell" for summoning the Thornwatch, hidden as a set of explicit rules for what not to do in the woods, if one wants to avoid their gaze?

    Wow. Just.... Wow.

  • GaslightGaslight Registered User regular
    In case anybody's forgotten or didn't catch the newspost from a couple weeks ago dealing with this:

    http://penny-arcade.com/2012/10/08
    Working with Jerry is pretty great. I can say something like “how do people call the Thornwatch” and five minutes later he comes up with tying a wreath of thorns around a birch tree. He then cooks up a system of knots that tell the Thornwatch what the mission will be. Oh and a poem.

    Twainward for burdens that no man should carry,
    Bent Bow for battles you can’t fight alone,
    Wagon-Wise for when the Watch must not tarry,
    Crow’s Loop for travelers far from home.

  • AurichAurich ArizonaRegistered User regular
    I did forget that. Wonder what the kid's got there? Bent bow?

  • TychoCelchuuuTychoCelchuuu PIGEON Registered User regular
    designdb wrote: »
    Is this the "spell" for summoning the Thornwatch, hidden as a set of explicit rules for what not to do in the woods, if one wants to avoid their gaze?

    Wow. Just.... Wow.
    I'm not sure it's hidden. It's just that the Thornwatch are outcasts, and the poem/song/narrator is a member of society and thus represents the orthodoxy (Thornwatch = bad) which provides a counterpoint to the story the comic is telling, which is about a Lookout becoming one of the Thornwatch because he's an oathbreaker.

  • Jam WarriorJam Warrior Registered User regular
    edited October 2012
    Aint no better way to ensure knowledge of how to do something is spread than to specifically ban doing the thing in question.

    Jam Warrior on
    MhCw7nZ.gif
  • ani_game_bumani_game_bum Optimistic, Rule-Breaking Nice Guy The Final World/DestinationRegistered User regular
    Ouch. All the subtle scratches on the kid's arms and face. Incredible detailing. And the use of the poem from the previous newpost is a great touch.
    :)

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  • LucascraftLucascraft Registered User regular
    I can't wait for Monday. That kid is gonna get inducted.

  • shoeboxjeddyshoeboxjeddy Registered User regular
    edited October 2012
    designdb wrote: »
    Is this the "spell" for summoning the Thornwatch, hidden as a set of explicit rules for what not to do in the woods, if one wants to avoid their gaze?

    Wow. Just.... Wow.
    This is how I've read it and it's AWESOME. It's like the insurance scene in The Incredibles. "I'm sorry Ma'am I CAN'T help you. I CAN'T tell you to take this form here to the man who works in 27A. I CAN'T tell you to site paragraph such and such. And it would just be completely outside of my power to tell you to call Mr. so and so if he is still arguing with you. I'm sorry ma'am (now cry)."
    I'm not sure it's hidden. It's just that the Thornwatch are outcasts, and the poem/song/narrator is a member of society and thus represents the orthodoxy (Thornwatch = bad) which provides a counterpoint to the story the comic is telling, which is about a Lookout becoming one of the Thornwatch because he's an oathbreaker.

    I think you've possibly misread things a bit here. Go back and look at the first comic carefully. What's happened is the monster has killed his friends and he's fleeing from the battle, knowing he would simply die next if he kept going. Does that mean he's broken his oath? No, not necessarily. Because what is he doing? Summoning the Thornwatch, perhaps with Bent Bow for battles he can’t fight alone? Eh, ehhh? The first comic does NOT call the boy an Oathbreaker, it shows an image of a boy losing a battle and running while calling the THORNWATCH Oathbreakers. In the context of using the entire poem over the story, I don't think we're meant to draw your conclusion.

    (Also I could be wrong and he could join them in the end after they save him. But I don't think there would be the whole mystique if calling the Thornwatch necessarily meant joining them.)

    shoeboxjeddy on
    Dark Raven X
  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    Aurich wrote: »
    Aurich wrote: »
    I did forget that. Wonder what the kid's got there? Bent bow?

    Looks like a timber hitch, sort of, to pick a real world knot. Might be twainward, because a timber hitch is when you wrap a rope twice (twain) and then drop a loop inside it (ward)? I'm not sure. Bent bow makes the most sense with the last comic.

    I'm assuming that he's not necessarily joining the thornwatch, but there will probably be a major price to pay for calling them (maybe joining), as that would be the reason society dictates that it's wrong to call them.

    It could be as simple as the fact that the Thornwatch probably know why some of the mores of their society are wrong/silly, and once you communicate with the thornwatch the elders cast you out for fear you might disrupt society.

    What is this I don't even.
  • RMS OceanicRMS Oceanic Registered User regular
    Gabe's bringing his A-Game to these comics. They're so beautiful.

  • ArbitraryDescriptorArbitraryDescriptor changed Registered User regular
    edited October 2012
    designdb wrote: »
    Is this the "spell" for summoning the Thornwatch, hidden as a set of explicit rules for what not to do in the woods, if one wants to avoid their gaze?

    Wow. Just.... Wow.
    This is how I've read it and it's AWESOME. It's like the insurance scene in The Incredibles. "I'm sorry Ma'am I CAN'T help you. I CAN'T tell you to take this form here to the man who works in 27A. I CAN'T tell you to site paragraph such and such. And it would just be completely outside of my power to tell you to call Mr. so and so if he is still arguing with you. I'm sorry ma'am (now cry)."
    I'm not sure it's hidden. It's just that the Thornwatch are outcasts, and the poem/song/narrator is a member of society and thus represents the orthodoxy (Thornwatch = bad) which provides a counterpoint to the story the comic is telling, which is about a Lookout becoming one of the Thornwatch because he's an oathbreaker.

    I think you've possibly misread things a bit here. Go back and look at the first comic carefully. What's happened is the monster has killed his friends and he's fleeing from the battle, knowing he would simply die next if he kept going. Does that mean he's broken his oath? No, not necessarily. Because what is he doing? Summoning the Thornwatch, perhaps with Bent Bow for battles he can’t fight alone? Eh, ehhh? The first comic does NOT call the boy an Oathbreaker, it shows an image of a boy losing a battle and running while calling the THORNWATCH Oathbreakers. In the context of using the entire poem over the story, I don't think we're meant to draw your conclusion.

    (Also I could be wrong and he could join them in the end after they save him. But I don't think there would be the whole mystique if calling the Thornwatch necessarily meant joining them.)

    I imagine that summoning the forbidden assistance of Thornwatch probably makes him an oathbreaker, even if running away did not. If it were known that he did so, he may have no alternative but to join them or die alone in the wilderness.

    Edit: I voted for Automata because it's awesome and The Lookouts world just didn't seem very fleshed out at the time. They've really put a lot more into it between then and now and I'm really digging it.

    ArbitraryDescriptor on
  • InXplotchInXplotch Registered User regular
    edited October 2012

    I think you've possibly misread things a bit here. Go back and look at the first comic carefully. What's happened is the monster has killed his friends and he's fleeing from the battle, knowing he would simply die next if he kept going. Does that mean he's broken his oath? No, not necessarily. Because what is he doing? Summoning the Thornwatch, perhaps with Bent Bow for battles he can’t fight alone? Eh, ehhh? The first comic does NOT call the boy an Oathbreaker, it shows an image of a boy losing a battle and running while calling the THORNWATCH Oathbreakers. In the context of using the entire poem over the story, I don't think we're meant to draw your conclusion.

    (Also I could be wrong and he could join them in the end after they save him. But I don't think there would be the whole mystique if calling the Thornwatch necessarily meant joining them.)

    No, I'm quite sure he's broken his oath. I mean, their motto is "May we die in the forest," So I'd assume that running away or seeking help like that is something they shouldn't do.

    InXplotch on
    PSN: InXplotch
    ... My, what a boring Signature.
  • shoeboxjeddyshoeboxjeddy Registered User regular
    InXplotch wrote: »
    No, I'm quite sure he's broken his oath. I mean, their motto is "May we die in the forest," So I'd assume that running away or seeking help like that is something they shouldn't do.

    Well... running away back to town and announcing all your buddies died but you escaped is definitely bad. Coming back victorious and yeah I umm totally did it by myself? He may get away with. In fact, I would guess that unless the Thornwatch gets new recruits this way (they may very well), they would help and then disappear so that the kid isn't punished/killed. The way Gabe originally discussed the Thornwatch made it sound like there were very few of them and they were super extreme. Thus, I'm guessing that using their assistance doesn't draft you into them, then there'd be too many and they wouldn't be as dedicated to doing stuff. I would guess it's more like becoming one of the Batman family, you have to seek it out for yourself in a really extreme way and only then do you have a chance of doing it.

  • AurichAurich ArizonaRegistered User regular
    I don't think his fellows were harmed. There are some blood-like red leaves in that first panel, but clearly they are leaves. The sword on the ground is just discarded. It seems pretty clear to me that this boy couldn't find it within himself to fight the scary beast and fled. He could be calling the Thornwatch to take care of the mission for him, or to join them, or whatevs. Maybe he's just broken his oath and he can't go back so calling them is all he can think to do.

  • ArbitraryDescriptorArbitraryDescriptor changed Registered User regular
    InXplotch wrote: »
    No, I'm quite sure he's broken his oath. I mean, their motto is "May we die in the forest," So I'd assume that running away or seeking help like that is something they shouldn't do.

    Well... running away back to town and announcing all your buddies died but you escaped is definitely bad. Coming back victorious and yeah I umm totally did it by myself? He may get away with. In fact, I would guess that unless the Thornwatch gets new recruits this way (they may very well), they would help and then disappear so that the kid isn't punished/killed. The way Gabe originally discussed the Thornwatch made it sound like there were very few of them and they were super extreme. Thus, I'm guessing that using their assistance doesn't draft you into them, then there'd be too many and they wouldn't be as dedicated to doing stuff. I would guess it's more like becoming one of the Batman family, you have to seek it out for yourself in a really extreme way and only then do you have a chance of doing it.

    I'm curious how broadly settled this world is. Ex: Are there any villages outside of the council's control that an oathbreaker can call home? One must assume that, if there are more than a handful of Thornwatch members that their is some kind of camp or village where the non-combatant families and children of oathbreakers might live. Or do they also live under the council's rule, their affiliation with Thornwatch a closely guarded secret?

  • Peter EbelPeter Ebel CopenhagenRegistered User regular
    He ran away from a flayed cloak and a dagger laying in front of a batwolf. His cloak is untorn and he still has his dagger. Seems to me like homey goosed out when his buddy got got.

    Fuck off and die.
    VanityPantsBucho
  • FrankoFranko Sometimes I really wish I had four feet so I could dance with myself to the drumbeat Registered User regular
    is he tying that onto a tree or a horse's leg?

  • Jam WarriorJam Warrior Registered User regular
    Franko wrote: »
    is he tying that onto a tree or a horse's leg?

    Silver Birch

    MhCw7nZ.gif
  • shoeboxjeddyshoeboxjeddy Registered User regular
    Aurich wrote: »
    I don't think his fellows were harmed. There are some blood-like red leaves in that first panel, but clearly they are leaves. The sword on the ground is just discarded. It seems pretty clear to me that this boy couldn't find it within himself to fight the scary beast and fled. He could be calling the Thornwatch to take care of the mission for him, or to join them, or whatevs. Maybe he's just broken his oath and he can't go back so calling them is all he can think to do.

    Yeah, there's red leaves, but note the BIG GREEN CLOAKS near the monster's feet? Also, there's blood (and he wasn't hurt badly enough for that much blood, you can tell by looking at him). Note also that the monster has blood dripping from its mouth. Next look at the second panel (from part 1 still) and note how you can still see the cloaks and how it is even more apparently a scene of violence, not just of threat. Finally and most convincingly, there's a sword there on the ground and the kid still has his. Unless he was dual wielding, that wasn't his (hint: he was not dual wielding).

    Peter Ebel said all this already, but I wanted to more explicitly lay it out.

    Bucho
  • Twenty SidedTwenty Sided Registered User regular
    edited October 2012
    The kid may not be looking for induction at all. I sort of assumed he's going to the Thornwatch out of desperation for a task that the normal Lookouts (i.e a bunch of kids) can't handle.

    Twenty Sided on
  • PolaritiePolaritie Sleepy Registered User regular
    I like where this is going.

    I request that this full series be compiled into one image when completed.


    And on a different note, yes, Etrian Odyssey is wonderful. And IV is coming.

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  • NuzakNuzak Registered User regular
    edited October 2012
    designdb wrote: »
    Is this the "spell" for summoning the Thornwatch, hidden as a set of explicit rules for what not to do in the woods, if one wants to avoid their gaze?

    Wow. Just.... Wow.
    This is how I've read it and it's AWESOME. It's like the insurance scene in The Incredibles. "I'm sorry Ma'am I CAN'T help you. I CAN'T tell you to take this form here to the man who works in 27A. I CAN'T tell you to site paragraph such and such. And it would just be completely outside of my power to tell you to call Mr. so and so if he is still arguing with you. I'm sorry ma'am (now cry)."

    maybe it's not even that kind. more of a, "don't you dare come back an oathbreaker, if you've fucked up, you go tie some branches to a tree and forget about showing your face back home again"

    Nuzak on
  • CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    edited October 2012
    So these are my observations: First comic shows zero damage to the kid, not a scratch or a tatter.
    Second comic shows scratches, but scratches in areas that could be obtained by digging around in thorny bushes to get the bramble he needs..

    I'm going to say that he chickened out without even engaging the enemy, which is what makes him desperate enough to call the Thornwatch.

    Cambiata on
  • Groosenat0rGroosenat0r http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sy70Z6x00TM SkyloftRegistered User regular
    Hmmm... yesssssss...

  • piLpiL Registered User regular
    Nuzak wrote: »

    maybe it's not even that kind. more of a, "don't you dare come back an oathbreaker, if you've fucked up, you go tie some branches to a tree and forget about showing your face back home again"

    Thornwatchers are self-propagating. They remember personally being in that kid's shoes, so they help them out, but full well knowing that doing so means that that kid will be ostracized and forced to live out in the wilds, just like they had been before. It's not a secret guild of the the anti-establishment, it's a cabal of guilt-ridden survivors.

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