Shem sees transformation in Ep. 13 (Part 3)

Thanks to a dynamic duo of duress and a Dalet, Shem ‘Etzem undergoes an underwater transformation in Episode 13 (Part 3). Green shoots of hope erupt from the grotto, absorbing the water below. Is the Holy Tongue Society finally equipped to harvest a victory?

Shem's transformation sequence Plants soak up the water. Shem's new transformation is revealed!

This episode is an important one. It marks the first time Shem is seen in the holy form he is supposed to have. Up until now, Shem’s appearance has been based on the “‘Etzem” part of his name, which largely deals with bones and tangible objects.

His new form is based on the “Shem” portion, which mean “name.” Associated words include, nothing “there” and nothing. The title HaShem is associated with God, which is why Shem is wearing an outfit inspired by the ancient Israelites’ high priest. Name tags are fastened to his belt, and location markers are atop his crown.

In “Milhamah,” Shem ‘Etzem’s holy form lumped in with the Shin-Waw-Mem (שום) root. This root is tied to words such as garlic, evaluation, estimate and warts. The Sin version of Shin also includes words involving placement. Shem’s balance scales, magnifying glass, epaulets, and garlic fringes convey some of those traits.

So to summarize, Shem’s faith brought the Dalet to him, and through his transformation he is able to grow garlic plants from the earth. The plants drained the grotto’s water, and now the villainous Deli faces a more powerful hero.

I’m looking forward to explaining more, but this arc will soon wrap up Issue #2. More worldbuilding and lore will appear over the next few months in Issue #3. Don’t miss it!

Evil gets the upper hand in Ep. 13 (Part 1)

After a hiatus to complete print Issue #1, “Milhamah: Fighting Words” is back in action as good and evil strive for the upper hand in Episode 13 (Part 1): “A Name for Himself.”

Shem gloats while dodging a punch.Deli floats to an attack position.Shem gets blasted by Deli

Despite a bout of overconfidence, Shem ‘Etzem continues to struggle in battle. This time Deli actually finishes his water extraction special attack. But does it mean a watery grave for the Holy Tongue Society’s leader? We’ll see, though he’ll need to change tactics if he wants to swim and not sink…

Prepare for a steady string of story updates throughout June. I’m strongly motivated to wrap up this fight arc by then so I can move on to worldbuilding and other characters in the “Milhamah” universe!

Issue #1 in more stores

Cover of "Milhamah" Issue #1

As a side note, “Milhamah: Fighting Words” is now available for sale at two additional metro Detroit stores:

Comix Corner: 32032 Utica Rd, Fraser, MI 48026
Warp 9 Comics: 21 W 14 Mile Rd, Clawson, MI 48017

Soon I’ll set up a page that will have all the store locations where you can buy “Milhamah” comics. And don’t forget the Storenvy page!

The urn returns in Episode 11 (Pt. 2)

While the battle continues, the evil urn Deli startles our heroes from behind. The villain seems to be reformed … but not in a good way! Will Tiqwah and Etgar find what they’re looking for in the aural grid before it’s too late?

This is Part 2 to “Slaughter in the Water,” and you can see the earlier part here.

Things get technical behind the scenes in this episode, as it starts to explain how the “Milhamah” characters weaponize their alfons to make blessing attacks outside of their own natural ability. Gradually readers will learn about these things over the next few episodes, but I’ll give a preview here.

Basically, Tiqwah and Etgar connected the speech balloon and the foundation glyph to their alfons to make new letters appear in the aural grid.

The aural grid shows sound frequencies, and Tiqwah and Etgar are looking for ‘Ivrit ones to do new attacks. The evil Bavel Empire try to scramble these ‘Ivrit frequencies to make it harder for the heroes to do this. (Though in Bavel’s perspective, they believe they’re actually unscrambling their own language!)

Anyway, it’ll be up to our heroes to find the correct sequence of letters needed — a shoresh root — to code in an alfon attack, or a blessing. Will they do this next episode? Maybe…

Meanwhile, what is Deli doing?

Etgar shot the urn in Episode 9, but now the fiendish jar is back. Well, it used an Akkadian curse called walа̄du. Deli’s natural shoresh root is dalet-lamed-yod (דלי). He’s using a permuted power caused by switching the letters around, (ילד). This undergoes a consonantal shift, as in Akkadian the same Semitic root is spelled waw-lamed-dalet (ולד).

The pink seal beneath Deli contains real Semitic letters and words. The Akkadian for walа̄du in the center. The Paleo-Hebrew and Ugaritic letters for (ילד) are in the middle orbit, plus the six different root permutations in Aramaic-style Hebrew script. The outer ring has the alef-bet.

So as the comic says, Deli permuted or switched his powers around to heal himself through a rebirth. Of course, since he’s from Bavel, he does this through the power of trickery and evil. Next episode you’ll learn the difference between the Holy Tongue’s Society’s truth-guided blessings and Bavel’s manipulative curses, and why it matters.

A side note

Please take a moment to vote for Milhamah: Fighting Words” on the Top Webcomics site! The more votes we get, the more visible this comic becomes.

Also, if you haven’t signed up on our Instagram, Twitter or Facebook pages, please take a moment to do so!

Welcoming fan art and feedback

Publishing artwork online is like leaving your wallet in a public place. Your valuables and identity are exposed, and most people who find it are going to keep it for themselves instead of trying to contact you or return it.

So when an artist gets comments and fan art back, it’s a welcome and wonderful surprise. Last week, @the_art_of_bsienk drew this excellent inking of Tiqwah Tawit for Inktober after requesting ideas on Tapastic’s forums. You can check out the link and the artist’s other Inktober work below.

While I hope that more people will create fan art and have fun with “Milhamah,” my biggest short-term goal is to get a community of commenters, especially on this blog, whether it’s talking about:

  • The latest “Milhamah” webcomics, including characters and settings\
  • Trends in video games, comics and anime
  • Artists who inspire me
  • My upcoming “Milhamah” roguelike
  • Video game mechanics and game design
  • Linguistic studies, especially Hebrew, Aramaic, Arabic, Akkadian and Ugaritic
  • Archaeology of Biblical times and ancient Near East civilizations, or
  • Issues related to Orwellianism, speech and censorship

As a result, I plan to write a bunch of blog pieces on the weekends and schedule them to automatically post throughout the week. While I won’t name countries, lately I’ve been getting a consistent trickle of readers throughout the world, and I want to create content that will entertain and generate discussion.

If you know anyone who would like to read about the topics I mentioned above, send them this way!

 

 

Personalities clash in “High Steaks” (#2)

Tiqwah invites Shem to dinner. Shem hopes his steak won't be as tough as her odds of keeping promises. Tiqwah's glare scorches Shem, but he taunts with a second pun. Tiqwah gives up, offering extra food in exchange for silence.

(See this comic and the others at Tapas or Webtoon, and please subscribe! )

Which has more fiery intensity: Tiqwah’s wrath or Shem’s provocative puns?

In the end, Tiqwah pays for her past broken promises, using beef as legal tender. (How did Shem miss that one?)

Besides inching the plot past the prologue, the goal of this comic was to highlight a bit of the characters’ personalities and watch them clash.

As the Holy Tongue Society’s tactician, Tiqwah likes to think of herself as a long-range planner, though she doesn’t always succeed. As the group’s overall leader, Shem likes control and order, but even he has a silly side.

Soon it will be evident that Shem has many sides to him, including those he wants to keep hidden…

In the comments below, tell me what you think about the characters and how they might develop. Questions, suggestions and other constructive feedback are welcome!