WHAT`S HAPPENING?

Strips 1-10

A new school year has begun at the Academy of warriors in Ke'l-­sar, capital of the Ttau world of T`chala. New friendships are forged and old ones are reinforced while the old masters are recognized. Kor`la, a cadet repeating the course, meets Skraat, a mysterious Kroott from the planet Kraust and Shiva, a shy Ttau from the famous clan Sha.

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Strips 11-17+22

For a few days every year the academy runs a combat competition, consisting of three tests that largely determine the final grades of the students in the academy. The tests are only for Ttau, but more by tradition than by rules, so everybody is surprised when they see a Kroott taking part.

The shooting trial is a test of skill and accuracy against one or more static or mobile targets, the number and speed of targets scaled depending on level.

The combat trial is a test of courage and will. Students form groups based on the previous test and must bring down live prey, using weaponry and techniques appropriate for Ttau warriors. The levels of difficulty vary depending on the circumstances:

­-Herbivores -Small - Passive/Harmless (level A-­1)

­-Herbivores- Large - Hostile (level A-­2)

­-Omnivores­ Passive (level B-­1)

­-Omnivores­ Aggressive (level B-­2)

-­Carnivores - Small - Aggressive (level C-­1)

-­Carnivores - Large - Aggressive (level C-­2)

There are two additional levels for testing heavy equipment, experimental armaments and biological weapons. Its approval is reserved for the highest ranks of the school and its composition is maintained with the greatest secrecy.

-Level D-1

-Level D-2

The test of survival is a test of bearing and strength. In it, the previously formed groups are must pass through the artificial forests surrounding the capital of T`chala and return to Ke`l-­sar. Each group is provided with only limited supplies, and only the first ten groups that return may pass the test. This makes the test of survival a very real challenge.

The forests do not have a very high population of dangerous creatures, and are not lethal at all. However, it is one of the toughest tests for all academy cadets and considerably taxing on the physiology of the students over a period that varies from three to seven days.

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Strips 19-30

With the death of Anairol, the Spacecraft world of Eryon has lost its last Fateseer. Only the Fateseer Alba Karael remains.

When the Eldar fleet returns from a war campaign to Eryon after an exceedingly easy extermination of a small fleet of Nyds, no one could suspect that during the last battle, the Nyds had infiltrated in the ships of the Eldar. Here they had entered a state of hibernation, concealing themselves from even the most precise sweeps of the mind of the Fateseer.

As the surviving ships make the return to Eryon, the last Great Seer continues to train her younger sister, Alba Keraiel. Their prey complacent and at their most vulnerable the Nyds awaken, slaughtering the fleet`s crews ship by ship. Against the element of surprise Eryon`s warriors fight a losing battle but ultimately are defeated, only a few escape pods able to flee. Among those to escape is Alba Keraiel, who inherits the mantle of Great Fateseer with the death of her sister.

However, even as the pilot locates a suitable planet for landing, yet more Nyds awaken from within the pods themselves, causing significant damage and sending them to crash land on the planet below. With the help of Sha`shiva, Skraat and Kor`la, Keraiel and Aetherion White Blade, a legendary warrior of the Path of the Spider, survive and come out of the woods more or less unscathed.

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Strips 31-39

Without knowing their real value, Kor`la picks some gems from the dead bodies of the crew of the escaping pod that Sha`shiva gives back to the Fateseer. This gesture earns the Kor`la the admiration and gratitude of the Eldar, for the gems are home to the essence of every Eldar after his death and allow access to their wisdom and memories.

After waking up in hospital, Keraiel interviews the leader of the Ttau and asks for help to return home, knowing that the surviving ships of its fleet, full of Nyds, are now directed toward her Spacecraft World. In addition, psychic Nyd infiltrators could attract the rest of the swarm, and without a seer to foresee the danger, the World of Eryon is blind and deaf.

Aun`el Sar`o Valrya grants them access to an escort and a spaceship to get where they want to, but there is a problem: Ttau do not use the interstellar jumps, making it impossible to get to Eryon on time.

Aetherion, the Eldar warrior, remembers that there are a number of ancient Webgates that might lead to Eryon, and with the help of the spiritual gemstone of Karael they could find them.

Keraiel then askes Kor`la to accompany them to Eryon as leader of the escort, where they would honour him as a hero for saving the soul of Alba Karael, Great Seer of Eryon. He accepts and gathers Sha`shiva, Skraat and Sergeant Dutch Johnson, an ancient and mysterious human warrior now converted to the Ttau cause.

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Strips 40-61

After consulting the best options with the soul of Alba Karael, the Great White Shark ­ the ship of the Ttau starts the journey to Karanragh, a former human colony silenced long ago by a raid by Durchii; the dark cousins of the Eldar.

Finally, the Great White reaches Karanragh and crashes on its purple surface. Disembarking, the group makes first contact with the inhabitants of the planet, A Durchii group poorly equipped in the company of some humanoid wolves led by a woman named Vaeradia. Kor`la and the rest are then ambushed by a heavily armed force that outnumber them.

In the scuffle, Johnson is injured and dies trying to save the leader of the Durchii, who takes them to a hidden cave where they try to hide from their pursuers, an elite group of murderers called Vaern`s shadows. According to her, Vaern is the only warrior of the entire Durchii city of Hebradanahast who can track them wherever they might be.

Realizing the danger of this man, and armed only with the Kraust Dragons, Skraat launches an ambush against the Durchii shadow warriors. He is able to eliminate several of these elites and Vaern himself in a masterful display of combat thus earning the admiration of Durchii leader.

After Skraat`s attack, the Durchii leader Vaeradia Rakash Alaran Vaervesa informs Kor`la that due to the sacrifice of Johnson, she is obligated to serve him. Involuntarily, Kor`la becames the leader of the so­ called "Disinherited ones" in their struggle against Drazzt Rakash Alaran Vaervesa, brother of Vaeradia and usurper of the leadership of the Black Dragon Kabbalah.

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Strips 62-75

It was almost a month since Kor`la took the leadership of the Disinherited ones. A month full of hard and tough battles against the Durchii of the city and of the group. Even to their allies, the Durchii are not known for their camaraderie as the darker cousins of the Eldar.

During this time Kor`la found himself displaying an unexpected flair for leadership, to everyone`s surprise, including that of Sha`shiva. Over the course of the month he has plotted a long ­term strategy now beginning to bear fruit as Drazzt is forced to reposition his troops and leave key loopholes in his defences.

Taking advantage of these gaps in their lines, Kor`la initiates a risky attempt to break into the Durchii city with a small group to reach the portals of the Wraithway of the Eldar, but they are ambushed by a large contingent of shadow warriors. The Desinherited Durchii of the squad are executed on the spot, while Kor`la, Sha`Shiva and Skraat are kept alive. Taking advantage of a distraction, Skraat grabs Sha`Shiva and flees, pursued by the shadows.

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Strips 76-81

Just recovered from the poison of the shadow warriors, Kor’la awakens in a dungeon inside the Durchii Coliseum in Hebradanahast. With little ceremony he is taken to the central arena and tossed in, unarmed, as the final scrap of the night’s entertainment. He finds himself amidst the slaughter of the previous combats, for the spectacle of the Durchii populace.

In the Coliseum, Kor’la meets Kharn­ak, a giant Durchii gladiator who claims the right of possession over the Ttau against all the protests of Hebradanahast`s residents. Unable to deny the popularity of the Gladiator and with no one wanting to confront him to dispute his right, Drazzt grants Kharn­ak`s request.

On the way to the cell, Kharn­ak kills the guardian of the dungeon by taking advantage of her overconfidence, leaving the dungeon unattended for the night.

Once in his cell, Kharn­ak reveals himself as the deceased Sergeant Dutch Johnson. He explains about his awakening in a Durchii lab and his attempt to escape and subsequent capture, and his clash with the ex­former champion of the Coliseum and the rescue of a Durchii child thrown to inevitable death in the arena for reasons unknown.

Finally, after being informed of the plans of Kor `la, Johnson reassumes the role of combat leader of the group and takes up the mission of leading the group to the portals of the Wraithway.

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Strips 82-109

Severely wounded, Skraat is able to escape, leaving the Renkals and shadows together and leaving one of his traditional ceremonial knives behind in the process. When Sha’shiva wakes up once again, she leads the wounded Kroott to a Ttau equipment module jettisoned from their destroyed ship.

Following orders from Johnson, Sha’shiva is able to stabilise Skraat. Commanded by the veteran soldier she is able to active Ttau battle armour also stored away in preparation for the next phase of his plan. Despite her limited ability with the suit even on autopilot, Sha’shiva’s assistance is vital for herself, Johnson, Kor’la and the Durchii child included to begin the final charge to the Wraithway gate.

Upon reaching the battlefield they are confronted by Kashira, Drazzt’s commander of the Ravens. His skill is such that they are delayed long enough for the full might of Hebradanahast’s army to be summoned. Unaware of Kor`la`s plan, Johnson prepares himself for his last fight...

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Strips 110-126

It is then that the final stage of Kor’la’s plan comes into play. Vaeradia, Aetherion and Keraiel herself, having infiltrated Drazzt’s personal guard, reveal themselves through the illusion cast by the Fateseer. Without his guards Drazzt fails to defend himself, stabbed and cast down into his warriors below, to fight Vaeradia’s proclaimed champion…Dutch Johnson. Encased within near­impenetrable armour, he returns to Drazzt the bomb that had been wired into his heart, giving new meaning to the word ‘obliteration’.

In front of all the Kabbalah and with the support of the shadow warriors, Vaeradia claims the throne and every Durchii warrior pledges allegiance, successfully completing the plan devised by the Kor `la to return her to the power.

Finally, the group gathers again and awaits Vaeradia to fulfill her part of the deal and grant them the access to the portal of the Wraithway that lies beneath the city of Hebradanahast.

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Strips 127-160

True to her word, Vaeradia teleports the group to the heart of the underground city of Hebradanahast, capital of the planet Karanragh. Ignoring the warnings, the Durchii child enters the tower of the Flesh Mastercrafters, coming across the body of a grossly­ modified Durchii woman. It spends a little while in her presence as if held there by some emotional bond and then leaves, to find himself in the company of a tiny polymorph creature.

As Johnson examines the Eldar gateway he discovers the remains of old human technology, remnants of the settlement that once existed here before Hebredanahast. As he begins to inspect it, Vaeradia takes Keraiel hostage, as the only one who is able to activate the gate. With Johnson’s musguided belief that this planet was the Durchii homeword it is revealed that these people were in fact stranded when their raid on the human settlement went awry, their ship crippled and the survivors forced to begin afresh on the planet.

From within the cockpit of the Ttau power armour Kor’la takes aim, drawing a bead on Vaeradia as an incentive to release Keraiel, and is blindsided by Kashira, dislodging the suit from its foothold and sending it into the chasm below.

Skraat faces the child-like Lady of the Vypers, Selene Goriax, who proves to be a formidable opponent, immobilizing the injured Skraat and playing with him.

With Johnson facing Vaeradia and both Kor’la and Sha’shiva falling to their deaths, Skraat is left against Selene Goriax, the playful and childlike Lady of the Vypers. In his state of injuy she proves to be too much and immobilises him, taking her time to play with him now he is helpless in her grasp.

Vaeradia attacks the Spider Warrior Aetherion and Sergeant Johnson with a neuronal weapon, but Johnson's will allows him to resist, and when approaches, Vaeradia is captured and executed by Johnson.

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Strips 161-187

With the suit active and under his control, Kor’la begins to shine. With the formidable weaponry available to him he turns to annihilate the shadows chasing them down. Stunned and aroused by this show of force, Sha’shiva forces herself upon the Ttau warrior, and the combat suit loses control. To regain flight Kor’la is forced to knock out the warrior­woman, using the durchii stun­gun she had brought with her.

With Skraat still immobilised and the fighting coming to a close, Selene finally grows tired of using the Kroott as a boob table, injecting him with flesh­eater bacteria with the expectation that they will kill or heal him. Her interest in Skraat over with, she returns to Drazzhar. Moments later his head swiftly removed from his neck after a brief altercation with the scatty Vyper woman, freeing Keraiel from his grasp.

Johnson moves to eliminate Selene as is his remit, surprised by the Durchii’s lack of intent on retaliation. Her acrobatics lead to some peculiar situations as she recognises Johnson from his time in the arena, professing a sudden interest in joining the group of famous warriors. The Eldar don’t want to know.

As Keraiel activates the Wraithway gate, the little Durchii child tries his hand at Imperial technology. His investigation bears mixed results, activating a homing beacon that tracks to some very dangerous humans, interested in capturing Johnson.

Her continued existence having gone unnoticed during the fighting, Lady Edhel Kashira rises to her feet once again, staking one last ditch attack against Johnson. Her final volley succeeds in little more than angering the sergeant, his armour going into critical meltdown as he eliminates Kashira with a choice skilled combination.

With the warriors from above finally catching up with the group they stage a final retreat into the gateway, leaving behind the remnants of Johnson’s armour to decimate the enemy forces as its reactor ignites. Selene, miraculously unharmed – or perhaps a little too caught up in the fun to realise – is too tugged through the gate by a brackish red energy in the aftermath of the explosion.

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CHAPTER II -IN ERYON- Strips 188-207

The group finally make it to the surface of Eryon, amidst the invasion of the Nyd fleet Araknos. The invasion is full swing, with pods descending upon them almost immediately, contact with one of which connecting Keraiel to the Master Mind of the fleet itself for a brief moment, knocking her mind into a coma. Worried for her health, Aetherion takes her from the heart of the swarm, leaving the rest of the group to fend for themselves. .

Amidst the chaos of the battle, the little Durchii child makes his reappearance, dragging with him Johnson’s warhammer. The weapon grants the sergeant a brief moment of power in the middle of the battle as they push for the portal to escape. Against the horde he is overrun and falls to his wounds, rescued at the last moment by Kor’la and Skraat.

With the team making for the final portal they find the armour cannot take the weight, going into shutdown to preserve power. Ignoring the warnings of the control AI, Kor’la redirects all power to the induction cannon, the recoil of the gun firing launching them through the portal. Alone and seemingly calm, the Durchii child faces the swarm alone.

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Strips 208-227

Finally entering Eryon proper, Kor’la has the honour of seeing the Eldar army gathered to confront the Nyd invasion with all they have. Climbing from his armour he is introduced to Ureir Kailel, Prime Warrior of the Howling Ghosts shrine. A poor choice of words sees him insult the warrior, saved by the timely intervention of Skraat’s blade and Johnson’s wit, and between the two they manage to have Kailel appointed as Kor’la’s retinue, with his status as international ambassador.

Any further complaint is interrupted by the arrival of Aetherion carrying the Fateseer. As the warlock, Selur Alk Kopesh – the same who appointed Kailel as a bodyguard – tends to Keraiel’s mind, Kailel seeks to goad Aetherion with his losses. The warrior is pushed to battle, the two warring soldiers halted by the Fateseer as she awakens.

In an attempt to gain control of the battlefield, Keraiel attempts a communion with one of the remaining commanders. Her untimely intervention results in his death and with her clear inability to lead, the decision is made to revive the Great Seer Karael, as Eryon needs a leader to cast her gaze ahead.

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Strips 228-256

Sergeant Johnson, still passed out from his wounds, finds himself wandering through the halls of a massive Eldar structure, stumbling across a mysterious and enigmatic old man, who explains the situation and where they are – inside Johnson’s mind. As the two discuss Johnson’s past he is offered a deal, in return for being allowed to awaken once more.

The sergeant wakes to Skraat and Sha’shiva holding back Nyd infiltrators and the trio are forced to retreat in the face of the oncoming horde. Chased through the corridors of the Craftworld, they come face to face once again with Selene and the nameless Durchii child, neither able to justify the way they came to be there.

The rest of the party off on their own errands, Aetherion attempts an incursion into enemy lines, to eliminate Nyd bio­batteries so that they power cannot be brought to bear against the awakened warriors defending Eryon. In his haste and stung by his pride he fails to see that he has fallen into a trap. Unable to fleet the warrior is drawn into combat with his nemesis, One­-Claw-­death-­in-­the-­shadows, and is bested by the biological beast, slain and devoured.

Aetherion then awakens into a mysterious reality, where the god of the Spider Shrine and Lord of the Spider Templars appears as a giant arachnoid figure. It reveals the presence in Eryon of huge forces who make look the strength of the nyd weak in comparison and that will condemn the Spaceworld , including The-Great-Thirsty to Aetherion. It tells Aetherion that the SpiderLord need his help to put the destruction of Eryon to some benefit for the Eldar race.


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