Session 14: “Nearer, My God, to Thee” | Defenders of Kathrakopolis


Jethan started early. After saying goodbye to Silvanus — deep water wouldn’t suit him — they boarded the ship carrying the bathyscaphe before anyone else had arrived, and hid in the tarps around the brass mass.

Soon, the other Councillors began to assemble on the docks.

It hadn’t been easy choosing who to leave in charge while they were away. Hopefully they’d made the right choice, but it was too late to worry now.

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Session 13: “Fly Fast and Break Things” | Defenders of Kathrakopolis

“So how high up is the sky? Can we measure it?”

“What, get a rope and just —?”

“It’s about as big as my umbrella.” Chapton unfolded a large parasol. “See! It covers the whole sky.”

Paladin scribbled something on a bit of paper and passed it to a member of his entourage.

Meth crouched down and peered under the umbrella. “That’s actually quite interesting. Now if we cut a hole in the umbrella, and measured the angle, we could — “

“Not with my umbrella! That’d ruin it.”

“As you say, High Magistrate.” Meth retracted his head. “Metaphagos! Someone go and fetch an umbrella.”


While the engineers were arguing, Paladin’s “security” team returned with his order: several coils of silk rope.

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Session 12: “A Crack Team” |Defenders of Kathrakopolis


Kasita recited the last line, and bowed to the Gilmen packing the small bar. For a long moment, there was silence. Then the room burst into applause.

As they left the stage, someone shouted for a round of drinks. A bartender pushed a goblet into Kasita’s hand. As they took it, a coin clinked under the base. They were in!

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Session 11: “Victory” | Defenders of Kathrakopolis


“What have you been doing to the candidates?”

Vinnie scanned the crowd milling around in the square.

“Vinnie, look at me!” Narsifiette grabbed his shoulders and spun him around. “We need to talk. Now.”


It had taken Jethan far too long to get changed out of the Kasita costume, but they were finally back at the square. And that was just the person they needed.

Jethan rushed onto the stage. “Narsifiette, you need to talk to the priests. What do you remember about the city you came from?”

“Vinnie and I —”

“It can wait. Come on.”

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Session 10: “I have a plan” | Defenders of Kathrakopolis

The election debates might be contentious; there would need to be security for the candidates. That was why Vinnie and Wildflower had to see Gratul Breck.

“You are right.” Breck made a note on a wax tablet. “There are debates in the Joy District amphitheatre, and the foot stadium in the north. Which of you will protect each?”

“Who’s debating in each spot? Some people might be … ” Vinnie paused. “Might be more contentious, you know? Could need extra protection.”

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Session 9: Putting Together the Pieces | Defenders of Kathrakopolis


By the time Kasita reached the Temple of Aei and Oe, the dust had settled. Chapton and Paladin, Wildflower and Narsifiette were still standing in shock.

Whatever had done this was gone. Kasita and Paladin traced its tracks: red boot-prints, straight to the river. The shape looked human, but each foot was a perfect 13 inches. A super-human meausrement ­— sure sign of a holy, or unholy, being.

There were two out-of-place eddys on the opposite bank, placed just like a pair of feet. Chapton flung a stone at the spot. Something dove in and began splashing back.

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Sueness and Popularity: Scored Data Files

It’s been two years, but my Sueness and Popularity project is back on track!

Today I’m posting a file of Mary Sue Test scores from the Universal Mary Sue Litmus Test, for (almost) every identifiable character from the first 50 webcomics added to The Webcomic List after August 12th. There are a few exceptions (e.g. The Adventures of Fez Boy no longer exists, The Science of Cookies isn’t in a language I speak, and several comics shut down before I could fully collect existing-versus-newcomier data), but overall I’m happy that I should be able to analyse this data file.

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Session 8: “Everybody Dies” | Defenders of Kathrakopolis



Chapton yawned, and shaped his mouth into his "secretary" voice. "Why doo you keeep dropping bellls down mye well?"

"O Secretary of the Great and Wise Chapton, we are in need of your wisdom and justice. A gilman and a land-dweller cannot resolve their dispute, and the surveyors must judge."

Chapton leaned his head out into the well, and checked the sky. Eight o’clock.

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Session 7: “Off the Path” | Defenders of Kathrakopolis

“Magistrate, can you hear me?” Kasita touched Thane’s shoulder. “How many fingers am I holding up?”

He groaned. “Jethan, is that you? It hurts. I’m just…” His eyes fell shut, but his breathing steadied.

“We need to get this man to a temple.”

“What about the last tower?”

“I can fly there on Charon, and — wait, Cordwynn is an ogre. Even a giant raven can’t carry her.”

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Sessions 5 and 6: “Spread out and look for clues!” | Defenders of Kathrakopolis

Chapton perched on a wooden framework on top of a hundred-foot obelisk, and glared at an idiot. “Why are you trying to kill this ogre, anyway?”

“She’s been corrupting minds!” The woman stamped her boat-hook on the stone for emphasis. “Distracting the young from their work!” Stamp! “And she is unbelievably aggravating.” Stamp! She pointed the hook at a bound figure hanging from the scaffold.

The ogre twisted around in her bonds. “Do not waste your breath on words. If I ought to die, kill me.”

Chapton sighed. This had already been a long day.

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