Em Qeriah debuts in ‘Mother, May I?’

For the first time since last summer, the Milhamah: Fighting Words saga finally progresses as we get the 20th comic update, “Mother, May I?”

This latest update will be the start to Milhamah Issue #3, and it picks up right after the battle against Deli, which starts at Update #5. Much to Shem’s dismay, Tiqwah decides to meet up with Em Qeriah, a sort of mother figure in the Holy Tongue Society. But what sort of secrets does Qeriah know, and what is she hiding in her underground library?

This is the first time we all get to see the Arqah Archives. Arqah is mainly based off the ארק shoresh root, which deals with the ground and earth. And while it’s not a Hebrew pun, it’s sort of a coincidental play on words with the “Ark” of the Covenant, a precious vessel hidden in a holy sanctuary. And Em Qeriah naturally spends time down there since her shoresh is קרא, an anagram of ארק.

Putting the next scene in the archives is no coincidence. Expect to get a little backstory on Shem and the world’s background in the next few updates. But more than anything, my goal for the Issue #3 arc is to show readers a tangible Milhamah fantasy world, and not just refer to it in exposition.

Series update

So the hiatus is over, and soon you’ll be seeing many more updates to the story in the coming months, with some new character concepts interspersed. But here’s the thing — we need more readers! So if you’re reading this and think this series should take off (and acquire more resources to do so), we have a favor to ask:

  1. Tell your friends who are into comics and fandom about Milhamah. Bring up the comic on forums and social media. Get people curious!
  2. Join Eric’s Patreon. Soon I’ll be integrating Patreon into this website, which means I can offer subscribers extra perks and work-in-progress previews. Even if every regular reader gave $1 per month, it would go a long way toward upgrades!
  3. Join our forum. We’re opening up posting topics to anyone right now, so let’s build a community. Discuss Milhamah or discuss cultural topics like games, comics and more. Don’t be a stranger!

So help me keep fighting to get the word out!

 

An Oreg spins webs. We spin a web update!

The Oreg's destiny is woven in quarantine.

If you think the world’s quarantine is dragging on, tell it to the oreg!

The oreg is a weaver bird who lives in the Holy Tongue Society’s Oger Reservoir. Many oregs perch themselves on an old lazaretto ship in the middle of the reservoir lake. They spin together webs around the ship in order to trap prisoners that the Society has quarantined — slanderous social lepers who are dangerous to the outside world!

To protect themselves from contagion, oregs wear plague doctor masks that the Society distributes. The birds are able to spin webs due to special feet that look and act like spiders. That said, the feet are neither sentient nor truly spiders.

Oregs are helpful to the Society, both as jailers and for their webs, which are good for netting and catching debris. However, people are wise to keep an arm’s distance. The birds can be very territorial over their webs.

Continue reading “An Oreg spins webs. We spin a web update!”

Beware of the Oger, the piggy bank hamster!

When most people think of fantasy worlds, ogres tend to come up. The “Milhamah” universe has its own set of beasts and monsters that inhabit it, including the oger. But an oger is a bit different from the average porcine giant…

Oger hamsters gobble up money.

Ogers are basically large piggy bank hamsters, or coin-eating “hammy” banks.  In the upcoming Milhamah Issue #3, Ogers appropriately live in the underground Oger Reservoir, a lake filled with treasures and scrap that the Holy Tongue Society has obtained in war.

Under Arigah’s authority, the oger hamsters help organize the war booty by either eating it or sticking it into their backs. When they are ready to deposit it, they spit out their contents. Piggish manners, but what can you do?

So why do ogers like to eat and store up money? Well, they are based on the shoresh root אגר, which deals with hoarding and wages. “Oger” literally means “hamster” in Hebrew, and the root also connects to “agorah,” which is 1/100 of a shekel. That is why an oger’s fur has a print that resembles the Israeli new shekel sign, similar to a dollar sign.

Ogers are typically friendly with people, and they aren’t the only creature to dwell among the Holy Tongue Society. Look forward to a bigger bestiary to come!

Arigah Egronai weaves into ‘Milhamah’

As concept work on “Milhamah” Issue #3 continues, here is another character who readers will meet: Arigah Egronai.

Arigah Egronai holds her weave shuttle.

Arigah is a low-level glossarist and lexicologist who works in the Holy Tongue Society’s Department of Semantics. She does most of her work in the Society’s underground Oger Reservoir, where she does intelligence research based on Bavel’s destroyed equipment and scrap.

Her main interest is reverse-engineering Bavel’s censored letters and speech balloons into armor and equipment for the Society. In order to do this, she wields a giant weaving shuttle that spins material for her creations. It makes a good double-edged spear too!

At heart, Arigah is a hoarder with a billion different plans and projects, most of them incomplete and in need of more funding. Fortunately, she hired and trained an army of Oger hamsters to do the grunt work. (You’ll meet them soon!)

Her main shoresh root is ארג, which is tied to weaving. By permuting the shoresh letters, she also has אגר characteristics of collecting, letters and wages.

How will Arigah mesh with Shem and his friends? That’s just one of the mysteries that Issue #3 will unveil…

Creator’s note

Arigah is part of the first batch of characters I have made with the latest version of Adobe Animate.  The updated brush features should make a difference in rendering hair, fur and vegetation, though it’s performance-heavy on my current computer.

Lately, I did a series of Adobe Creative Suite tutorials to catch up with newer features and techniques. So hopefully I can keep a balance between getting work done and raising the bar on quality.

I also experimented  with making Shem and Tiqwah black and white, manga-style, as a way to speed up story production. Not sure I’m satisfied with it, but I’ll keep playing with it.

On the side, I also have about 35 pages more done on the Milhamah RPG that I introduced in April. It will need revising to streamline the rules and make them both comprehensive and consistent. But I can’t wait to sell the final product — hopefully next year if the pandemic dies down by then!