May 12th, 2009


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Discussion (29)¬

  1. R.A. says:

    Poor He-is. Who are the jerks keeping him alive, then?

  2. Eliza says:

    That makes me wonder. I always assumed that the Cold Servants were the worshipers of the dead god, a cult or something. But if keeping him alive was actually to torment him…? To further his punishment…? If so, I really did not see that one coming.

    In other news, I have to stop waiting for updates like this– I’m wrecking my sleep, but I’m completely addicted to this story.

  3. Carina says:

    I think the cold servants are more worshippers of Sweetgrass Voice instead of poor He-is. He really screwed up there, didn’t he?

    I really like the comparisons between He-Is and Ed’s story. Both attacked their mates and got their names eaten for it, but he is attacked for power and his child payed the price, while ed did it to protect the little one, who’s now a reasonable happy and strong hunter.

  4. Coyoty says:

    Shadowchild was born from a dead bird. Maybe THIS bird.

  5. mngrif says:

    I’ve been loving the art of the past few week’s comics. ^^

    @Coyoty – I thought Shadowchild was born from a stillborn baby bird?

  6. Kisuneko says:

    I am now eagerly anticipating the rest of the story! If this really is He-is, then it makes me wonder what went so wrong with Helix et al’s binding and fulfilling of the request. The shackles if I remember right said it was a huge mess…

  7. Dawn says:

    @Coyoty – I was thinking the same. But who knows.

    As for the worshippers? Maybe they think that as worshippers they SHOULD keep him alive…like, I dunno….anti-euthanasia activists or something.

  8. Niall says:

    All the above proving that when we get answers, it only leads to more questions, like all GOOD stories. Thankfully, only two more days for more answers! 🙂

  9. brushtail says:

    And that’s who wanted him bound int he first place. As for who the cold servants are i would say they are the hyenas who followed him underground. they probably are keeping him alive in the hopes that he will snap out of it and get better. there is also the thing they said about the blood of their master staining them, perhaps if he-is dies then the cold servants die too?

  10. Blob says:

    If I remember correctly, the cold servants wore bird masks. That makes more sense now. And it could be that the cold servants are males who resent the matriarchal hyena society. He-Is is the counter to She-Is; maybe they decided after his death to bring him back to life, not realizing (or not believing) that He-Is really wanted to die.

  11. Spizzy says:

    This makes me wonder if she-is is still wandering around as well

  12. mouse says:

    ….and what she might do if she finds out what happened to he-is.

  13. KNO3 says:

    The peices I see moving suggest that Digger might be on a redemption or cleansing quest for he-is.

  14. Kelci says:

    Very interesting. I’ll echo the others here in wondering who is keeping He-is alive. Perhaps someone who isn’t trying to punish He-Is necessarily but is working for the demon who tainted him?

  15. Wombat32 says:

    I still think that Shadowchild will “eat” the shadows (the “dark taint upon him) around He-is’ heart, then become the new He-is.

    Also, the fact that He-Is had his name taken from him, would seem to indicate a relationship to Ed’s former tribe.

    Anyone else wonder if Ursula ever reads all these comments to get ideas, or maybe additional details to the story she already has worked out? I’m just sayin….

  16. Mani says:

    I’m not so sure the Kingfisher is He-Is, though it dovetails very neatly; while I like the idea of different gods taking different forms to different audiences – Ganesh did call He-Is “the hyena god,” and said that humans know him as “The One That Laughs” or something to that effect. Neither of which fit the Kingfisher, so it’s either inconsistent or unlikely that the bound god/kingfisher is He-Is.

    I would wonder if the Cold Servants did not worship the bound god, but they do say that “the blood of their master” sustains them – so either Ursula’s playing with a whole lot of misdirection (much more than usual) and it’s entirely different blood they’re talking about, or the Cold Servants view the bound god as their master in one way or another.

    Of course, the fact that the Cold Servants are hyenas does not mean that their master is also a hyena god. Boneclaw Mother noted that there are other gods which the hyenas recognize (like Mother of Earthquakes), including Ganesh (Snoutgod).

    I think the bird masks may be significant (and I still think they might not be masks of birds, but of Famine, from Ganesh’s story).

    It’s also worth pointing out that Murai is destined to resolve this somehow, or be a part of the resolution of the whole bound god ordeal. And Murai has, until now, had nothing to do with hyena gods. Which makes me think that the kingfisher may be related to the Good Man. Or maybe the kingfisher isn’t related to any major deity we’ve heard of so far.

    Then again, it all dovetails REALLY neatly with the story of He-Is.

  17. Mani says:

    Can you tell that I’m starving for more of this story? Great work, Ursula.

  18. Werrf says:

    Mani – “the One That Laughs” fits both the hyena (laughing hyena) and kingfisher – the largest species of kingfisher is the laughing kookaburra.

    That said, I still think Famine is going to be important, and will likely prove to be the Cold Servants new master. It is Famine who is keeping He-Is alive, and using his blood to maintain his servants and revive himself.


  19. Kayru says:

    I’d assume the cold servants are worshippers of She-Is-Fiercer, as are most of the hyenas. Why else would they have something against He-Is? They’d be the ones to prolong his life and thus his suffering. And it is certainly believable that his anguish could be causing all of this.

    On a separate note, I’ve been thinking about the shadowchild all day, and I sincerely hope he is from this He-Is bird.

    Ursula… you are an insane, insane writer. How you tie stuff in so well is mind-boggling and enthralling to me.

  20. CJ says:

    He came to us … who is the us? Hegi’s people, presumably, but does the us mean the veiled, a priesthood of some sort, a tribe/clan/settlement, or what?

  21. Sil says:

    I kind of wonder if Shadowchild has anything to do with the Sweetgrass Voice.

  22. Raigne says:

    Sil, I have thought, since we first heard about Sweetgrass Voice, that Shadowchild is its offspring, or a demon of the same kind.

  23. Raigne says:

    Also, and I hate double posting, if he-is can take the form of a bird, perhaps the stillborn baby bird that shadowchild came from is actually the child of he-is and she-is.

  24. Lucius Appaloosius says:

    Been looking through the dead-tree version, and all I can find is that Shadowchild was born from a “dead bird”. Where did the “stillborn” part come from? (Also, it had *white* feathers, not gray….)

    But still, it’s all coming together…. 7@=e

  25. Raigne says:

    Lucius, was pulling it from above. I didn’t bother to double check. If he-is came to this spirit’s order in the guise of a bird, it’s possible Shadowchild is the taint, and not Sweetgrass Voice. That he tried to put an end to Shadowchild’s birth and failed, or worse, played directly into Sweetgrass Voice’s hand. You have to wonder though, if Shadowchild is Sweetgrass Voice’s, why isn’t she/it involved in its upbringing? Maybe the demon isn’t immortal but instead Shadowchild IS Sweetgrass Voice?

    As someone above said, answers only lead to more questions!

  26. BunnyRock says:

    sorry to interrupt with biology here, but surely stillborn is the wrong therm when referring to avian, given none of them are technically “born” at all? Still-hatched? Maybe there was some pipping problem, where the chick pipped the shell but died before it was fully hatched. Dang. I need to read up on my hatching process info. There is a term for still-hatched chicks, but i cant recall it.

  27. rueyeet says:

    I am beginning to suspect that Famine — or what was left of it after it “fell”, as the statue of Ganesh said it had — later became Sweetgrass Voice. I am also suspicious that the kingfisher’s voice sounds like “the autumn wind in the grass”, here.

    What if it was Sweetgrass Voice who was truly behind He-is’ request to be bound, exactly so that it COULD keep him alive, forever forgotten in the dark, tended by its Cold Servants, so that Sweetgrass Voice itself could live on? O_O

  28. Elkian says:

    It’s HE-IS!

  29. JET73L says:

    Werrf: Thank you, I was going to mention the kookaburra with respect to what was He-is being called the Laughing God by humans.

    Maybe the loss of identity from his name being eaten allowed He-is to lose the anchor of his shape, or this is an example of different cultures taking different parts of the same story and eventually telling them completely differently, assuming the kingfisher is he who was He-is at all, and not an incredible coincidence, the story repeating itself, Sweetgrass Voice trying to get the humans to imprison He-is, or one or more of any number of other things.