Nina is facing off with the bear. She is empowered by the Spirits, her body is engulfed by a white aura. She dashes forward and stabs the bear in his side. The bear roars and backhands Nina violently away.
She flies through the air, her amulet is knocked away. Nina shakes her head and the aura is gone, her eyes are normal. She is super confused. Holding her head.
Nina: what’s going…?
She looks up and sees the bear, her eyes get really wide. It closes on her and leans forward for the kill.
The bear is struck from the side by a large wooden pole and thrown aside. Nina is still cowering, her eyes closed. the next shot is her peaking with one eye.
Nina: What the…?
She sits up and sees the bear on the ground and a figure running up from the tree line. He is tall, lankey and has arms and shoulders covered with spikey bark. He has a crazed look and make an unintelligible war cry.
The man crashes into the bear shoulder first, he bashes the bear with both hands then puts it in a sleeper hold. He is shouting the whole time, like this is the funnest thing around. He flashes Nina a wild grin as he subdues the bear. He begins talking while the bear is still struggling. Kennick: Kennick.
Kennick: You were wondering who I am.
Nina: oh, so you are a Kennick?
Kennick: No, I am THE Kennick…. Or rather, Kennick is my name. (As they are talking the bear gets weaker and weaker, eventually passing out)
Nina: Oh, I get it. I’m Nina, from Kahm.
Kennick: Kahm, eh? We don’t see much of your kind this far down slope.
Nina: I can see why (pointing to the bear) Thanks for the save.
Kennick: No worries, it’s what I do (looking smug).
Nina: What? Saving people?
Kennick: No… Getting rowdy (He smirks)
Kennick: What brings you here of all places? (Gesturing around him) Didn’t you see the warning wisp?
Nina: Warning wisp?
Kennick: Yeah, that green sprite wandering around. They manifest wherever dangerous creature are about.
Nina: Oh! (like she just had the biggest duh moment) We don’t have those back home.
Kennick: Really? I thought they were every…(starts to trail off)where…. (his focus is on something on the ground) What is… that?
On the ground is Nina’s talisman, its strap broken. It is a shiny metal ornate necklace, the symbol of Nina’s rank. Kennick bends down to pick it up.
Nina: Oh that’s nothing, just a family heirloom. (Nina snatches it out of Kennicks grasp.)(she puts it back on around her neck.)
Kennick: If it is that important to you, maybe I should hold on to if for you. You know, for safe keeping (he reaches for it).
Nina: NO! (she pushes him away and he flies away. We see a small amount of spirit aura, not very noticeable)
Kennick: Hey! I was just trying to help!
Nina: Well, I don’t need your help. (we zoom in on the talisman around her neck) Just leave me alone.
This next bit takes place during her training with her grandmother. They are in the ritual hut.
(the next panel has the same sort of picture, a zoom in of the Talisman, but it is around her grandmother’s neck, not Nina’s)
Gma: Lets move on to leadership. What does it mean to be a good leader.
Nina: Step one: lie to everyone you love.
Gma: Enough! I know you are still upset about the weight we must bear as Ancient One. But we must still continue your training… (Nina is a bit pouty)
Gma: We are not alone in this valley. There are many other people’s out there. (Zoom in on her menacing eyes) Many of them dangerous.
Gma: It is our job as Ancient One to protect the Kahm. That is why we cannot trust anyone who isn’t Kahm.
Nina: But isn’t that just mean?
Gma: we don’t have the luxury of being open and honest when our people are at stake. Everyone has secrets, including us. (A knowing stare, Nina avoids eye contact) When dealing with outsiders, we must protect our secrets and discover theirs.
Nina: couldn’t we just all work together?
Gma: out there (she points out the window) everyone is looking out for their own best interests, don’t ever forget that.
Nina is storming off away from kennick, he is running to catch up.
Kennick: Hey, wait! Do you even know where you’re going? (she keeps on walking, he stops following). You’re out here for a reason. maybe i could help you with whatever you’re doing. (She keeps walking) I’m good in a fight! (she finally stops) Best decision you made all day.
(she turns around and he starts walking towards her and He’ll start shedding his armor)
Nina: What are you doing?
Kennick: just ditching my armor, it gets kind of heavy.
Nina: Don’t you need that?
Kennick: No, if I need to, I’ll just grown another one.
Nina: (She’ dumbfounded.) You’ll what?
Kennick: Oh, I thought you knew. I’m an Arbormancer.
Nina: ..an arbor….
Kennick: I can change plants around, shape them into what I want… Like bark armor. Cool huh? Nina: And all I have is a pointy stick.
They start walking again, finally all the way in the forest.
Nina: So what?
Kennick: what are you doing out here?
White text box: oh, just trying to save the world.
Nina: um… A pilgrimage?
(He looks over at Nina, she is staring with her mouth open)
Kennick: what kind of pilgrimage? (no response) Nina? (Gasp)(he turns and has an equally shocked look on his face)
This is the first shot of the scar. A large swath cut out of the forest. It is infected, and dying, it is black and decaying, trees are falling over, everything looks gross and sick.
A full page spread, both hero’s are in the foreground, shot from above and behind.
We can have smaller boxes focus on individual problems, like a fern or bunny.
Kennick: what happened?
Nina: it’s all dead…
Next scene has them invetigating further. Looking more closely.
Nina: no, not dead, but dying.
Kennick: (his hand is on a tree) I’ve never felt anything like it. It’s like the forest is sick, hanging on by a thread.
Nina: (looking in the distance) this seems to go on quite a distance, what’s in this forest.
Kennick: … My people…
Nina: if I can help you, I will.
Kennick: thanks, I mean— (interupted by an attack from corrupted creatures)
(A rustling leads to an attack by many nasty, rabidish creatures. They are twisted and scarred.)
This is action for a page or two, they are fighting and winning. New types of text boxes appear, perhaps a different color… Gold? They give simple spear instructions to Nina.
Block, thrust, etc. there can be dialog here too, likes what are these? I don’t know! Etc.
Kennick: you sure held your own with that spear.
Nina: yeah, I did.. Didn’t I?
Kennick: you sound surprised.
Nina: I am a bit, I’ve never used a spear in my life until today.
Kennick: maybe you got lucky.
Kennick: (bending over th inspect a corrupted animal corpse) this used to be a bunny (or whatever), it has the same sickness as the forest.
Nina: whatever happened here could be happening to your people.
Kennick: let’s find out if it is.
(They are walking through the scar)
Nina: Tell me about your people.
Kennick: I am of the forest people, the Ershu tribe. We take shelter all throughout this forest. Our camp is just through that stand of trees.
Nina: Camp? You live in camps?
Kennick: We never stay in one place too long. We… (Rustling, shouting, fighting noises. They make eye contact and run headlong through the tree line.)
A 2/3 page spread of the desolation of the Ershu camp on top, with the bottom 3rd having beeen devided into 2 parts. on the top: Creatures are fighting, women are cowering, bodies are strewn. Etc. There is a feminine figure standing alone in the chaos. Her face avertedd. Our heroes are shocked. Bottom left: Her face turns to our heroes and it is twisted and evil, she has a “shoufa” like cloth hanging from her face. Bottom right: Zoom in on Kennick’s face. He looks distressed.
End of issue 3