I want this issue to start with Nina leaving Kahm. She is upset and doesn’t want to go. She has a backpack on, and is using a tribal spear as a walking stick.
2 panels, bisecting the page horizontally.
Panel 1- Nina is on a rise, looking back at her village. A text box reads: I used to dream about leaving Kahm.
Panel 2- She turns to look ahead of her, towards us, wind in her hair. Text box: But never like this.
2 page splash. Then we get our first glimpse of the whole valley. Over her shoulder we see it massive expanse. Khorivar is distant, a forest is in between Nina and the volcano. Beyond, there are other ecosystems. The sky is like a perpetual sunset, with many colors, but no sun to focus on. Text box: Not with the fate of the valley on my shoulders. Text box: I wonder what Grandmother would say about this.
flashback to the ritual hut, 2 tremors ago.
Full page spread of the aftermath of issue 1 with 2 smaller boxes at either bottom corner. The spirit is on the ground, a huge hole in the ceiling. Elders knocked down and Nina is standing over the spirit her hand covering her mouth. White wisps are flowing up from the guardian. Text box: No way!
Lower left panel has an image of Noal, shocked saying: no… The prophecy…
Lower right panel has the chief elder saying: In the flesh, a spirit comes.
9 panels, spread out like the Brady bunch, with Nina’s face in the middle square, each elder is represented, with one showed twice, elder or Noal. They in turn recite the prophecy with Nina looking confused in the middle.
We need to show the guardian disappearing, maybe exploding into an ethereal cloud with the tendrils curling around and shooting towards Nina. I think Nina should start to say something and be interrupted by the vanishing. Like: what’s going… Bang! Elder says: the signs are complete. We must prepare at once. Everyone leaves the tent except for Nina. She says: Prepare for what?
Noal takes the time to explain the prophecy to Nina in English. While the elders give her provisions. Noal: at the next tremor, you must go out into the valley and defend your people. It is the only way. Etc.
A shot of Nina climbing down a steepish hillside. It could be a forested area with stumps and bushes. Nina thinking: “This is ridiculous! I don’t know where to go, I don’t know what to do. Save our people they say. Oh, is that all?” Nina climbs a stump and shouts: “Fine! I’m the Soul Seeker. I can do this. Hey! Spirits! I’m…. Seeking you!”
She stands with her arms raised and outstretched. Nothing. She lowers them… then a green sprite hovers in front of her. It lands on her nose. Nina: huh…
A funeral pyre is burning in the twilight. From behind we see Noal, Priya, and Nina standing near it. Noal and priya eventually leave. Nina stands alone. Now seeing Nina’s face, an elderly hand rests on her should. A voice says, “Come child. It is time to start your training.”
An interior of a hut, the view fixes on Nina, her grandmother speaks from off panel. Each panel gets closer and closer to Nina, eventually just encompassing her eye. (to transition to after the flashback)
Nina: What do you mean there are no spirits.
Gma: No, there are spirits, just not for the Kahm.
Nina: So it was all… lies? (tearing up)
Gma: Not lies, tradition. It has always been this way. My mother, and her mother… your mother…
Gma: she was chosen to be the ancient one, just as I was, just as you are now…
Nina: wait! she didn’t have a chance, did she? When father brought her to you… it was all in vain..
Gma: I did what I could, with herbs… and prayer.
Nina: Prayer! But you just said-
Gma: I said that Kahm has no spirit. I had hoped that other spirits would aid her.
Nina: Other spirits…?
Gma: Yes, there are spirits out there, and they can be quite helpful.
Back with Nina, she is standing on the stump and a green pixie thing is on her nose. We now zoom out from her eye/face. “Well this looks like a spirit.” The pixie flies off and heads towards the woods, leaving a green trail. “Hey! Wait!” Nina yells and scrambles after it.
The pixie settles down on a downed tree. Nina is stalking up from behind, the view is constant, we just see her getting closer and closer. Nina text boxes: So the first spirit I ever see destroys my ritual hut and heralds the destruction of my people. The second leads me on a merry chase across the valley. So far… Spirits suck.
Nina manages to sneak up behind the spirit without it flying away. She puts her face really close to it and tries to communicate with it.
Nina: Hello, my name is Nina. (no response)
Nina: So… what kind of spirit are you? (no response)
A large shadowy figure rises up behind Nina.
Nina: Do you know what the beneath is?
The spirit flits away, Nina’s eyes are drawn to the side and she notices the thing behind her.
Nina dives to the side, narrowly misses being mauled by a giant bear (that may have some cool features to it that make it unique). We see a large claw destroy the log she was crouching by, we see her roll away, then we see the bear on its back legs, standing tall, Nina’s back is in the foreground. The bear roars and Nina raises her spear but looks totally unsure with herself and very frightened.
Nina’s makes a move to stab the bear, and it knocks away her spear. She puts her hands up in a desperate gesture. In a white text box: What do you mean there are no spirits? Nina looks up, her eyes whited out. No more fear on her face, and her posture becomes more assertive. In a white text box: No, there are spirits, just not for the Kahm. A white aura begins glowing around Nina and you see her leap into the air.
Quick shots of her hurtling over the beast, landing with a roll, snatching up her spear, spinning around and adopting an aggressive posture, like a trained spear fighter.
A full page spread, the shot is over the bears shoulder. The bear is snarling and Nina is glowing in a spiritual aura, ready to kick butt. In a white text box: …and they can be quite helpful.
End of issue 2.