Once, in this very universe, you could say, Alternia was home to a peaceful race. Trollkind had never known the corrupting influence in their evolution which led them to perpetual war and violence.
That is to say, they had never known me.
As was true of the bellicose world we know, there came to be twelve heroes on this peaceful planet. These heroes too had twelve ancestors whose fortunes were entwined with theirs. These twenty-four figures of legend were not of this world but sent from the sky, delivered from a reality not yet conceived.
On the eve of their race's extinction, the twelve heroes would begin playing a game. They would make an admirable effort, but they would fail. Their civilization had not prepared them for the rigors of this game, and the ultimate reward would fall shy of their grasp. But their failure was more comprehensive, more systemic, than a result of simple inadequacy so common to young players of this game. Though they could not recognize it for the bad omen it was, this session was not the one in which they had been spawned. Such is the symptom of a subtle glitch affecting certain sessions, an error designed to trigger an unfathomable cascade of misfortune throughout paradox space. This glitch is the calling card of the one I serve. It is the discreet, gentlemanly manner in which he reserves his place in a universe for later visitation.
The heroes, understanding their defeat was absolute, sought advice from the mother of all monsters. She offered them a choice. The heroes could either accept their defeat along with the extinction of their race, and put no others at risk. Or, she could show them a path to a second chance, to a reality in which the chosen heroes of their race would be strong enough to succeed with ease, and claim the reward. This reset would come at the cost of wiping the failed heroes from existence. They would live new lives from scratch, playing different roles in the reset reality, with no memory of the game they played or the choice they made.
The heroes chose to accept this bargain, and scratched their session. In doing so they jumpstarted the reality in which the twenty-four figures of legend would together be created - and I as well - and then sent back in time to take our places in history. Though I was delivered well before history even began, before the dawning of life on their planet. This time around, I would oversee its development, and thus fulfill the mother's promise of an aggressive, ruthlessly prepared group of heroes. One that would not rest until victory was secured.
The young twenty-four would again be scattered in two groups, twelve modern contemporaries, and twelve ancients. But in addition to losing their memories of everything that had happened before the scratch, there was another catch for the failed heroes. In the new reality, they would not serve as the heroes. They would mature to become the ancestors of the twelve they formerly regarded as theirs, and this twelve would be chosen for glory. These children would be the heroes to achieve victory, and have the reward easily within reach.
Of course this promise was fulfilled to the letter, as you have seen. The entire bargain was executed without a single hitch, as those authorized by my master always are. There was however one minor anomaly. One of the failed heroes, in his new life as an ancient on this now brutal planet, began to remember. This is his story.
As you can see, it is a pretty swift horse schedule, with a couple of horseless weeks mixed in there. You may recall my mnemonic device for remembering the previous M/W/F schedule of Monhay, Wedsneigh, and Frihorse. Now we can add two more to help you remember, Tuesnort, and Thursclop. I understand this comic can get confusing sometimes, so you are definitely going to need those to help guide you on the rest of this journey.
All pages for the above horses have already been drawn. I still have a batch of pages to draw to round out A6A6I5, but not as many as I have already done. I hope that you like it when characters in stories talk to one another, because there's an awful lot of that to come. Please stand by patiently and enthusiastically as my fake teens sit around bullshitting to the bitter end. Then a bunch of cool stuff will happen, and that will be that!
1) New trailer for Hiveswap! Creeping ever closer to the release of episode one. In case you weren't aware by now, What Pumpkin Studios is developing it. WP is now a gamedev studio which I happen to think is pretty cool. There have been a bunch of Kickstarter updates recently showing progress too. Here are some more links which will help you keep up with game news: Twitter | Tumblr | FB
2) Homestuck returns on April 13th! That's in just a few days. Are you ready? I doubt it, but when has that ever stopped us before. We start with Caliborn's much anticipated masterpiece, running from the 13th-15th. Then regular updates probably resuming a week after that. I haven't decided on the update schedule yet, but when I do it will almost certainly be communicated to you in the only manner which you will tolerate from me, which is more horse calendars. I am thinking of a fairly swift update schedule. A lot has piled up. Over the last month (not counting his 40 page masterpiece, which was done months ago) I have somehow drawn another 400 pages, which is possibly some sort of MSPA record. Be warned, due to that obscene page rate some of these panels are lookin pretty fast and loose! They nevertheless exist, which is usually what matters most for this website. There's still more to draw beyond that to finish off the rest of A6A6I5, which is the final "normal act". But really not too much. We're getting real close here. I will chip away at the remaining panels as I roll out this batch. Then, it's all animation work after that.
3) Paradox Space! 4/13 is the exact one year anniversary of its launch. And as HS resumes, PXS will be pausing for a good while. We actually paused production back in January, and have just been posting from a comic buffer since. This has much to do with shifting priorities heavily to gamedev needs, but I'll explain more about it and the future of PXS in a little while, on that site. But also, there'll be a PXS book coming out soon! It looks very good. Also, if you haven't checked out PXS in a while, now would be a great time, because it's going into its pause on a very strong note. It's been running an incredibly great 51 page story by Zack, Jon, and Shelby. Kudos to all of them. This has easily been one of my faves.