Chapter 9 | Page 2

This is not going to end well.

Thanks for reading! See you next week!

Edit: I changed Coal’s dialogue on this page, so please refresh it to read the new words if you’ve already seen the page. It’s nothing plot-changing, but his original speech bothered me and was inappropriate for him as a character and the time period. Thank you!

Discussion (62) ¬

  1. Oh dear.

    I wonder if you mean, “This is not going to end well from Coal’s perspective once Loki finishes inviting Ibrahim along for the adventure.”

    Otherwise… poor, poor Ibrahim.

    Also, it would see that Coal’s eyes don’t reflect any light; a sign that he is dead perhaps?

    • It’s not gonna end well for anyone.

      Coal’s eyes glow in the dark too.

      • I am so very glad that his eyes alone are the subject of these effects.

        The moment he starts sparkling or glowing faintly from head to toe, is the moment Hedda becomes the main character.

        • Does that make Ibrahim a werewolf?

  2. Coal. Coal. You’re still making that face. This is the third page, Coal. Seriously, the eyes aren’t what’s freaking me out.

    • Cheshire grin + crooked teeth = TERROR.

      • Definitely not a fun combination.

    • It won’t last much longer. :3

  3. Whaa, Coal, what are you doing? ^_^;; I wonder if this is simply his normal stance to foreigners or if something else is wrong with him..besides the usual that is. I thought it was Loki masquerading as Coal at first, but this seems to be going a bit far for that.. o_o

    • There’s a loooot wrong with him.

  4. Nope, it’s Coal; those are the berserker eyes. Loki /i/might/i/ be able to imitate them, but I doubt it.

    • Yeah it’s definitely, unfortunately, Coal.

  5. The last the last time I recall his eyes doing that, Coal was berserk. And very, very angry. Can he get that worked up over Ibrahim’s pathetic (sorry, but it is) grabbing?

    Plus, of all the things Coal might do, indulging in the equivalent of a schoolyard bully’s antics wouldn’t be one I’d expect. If we hadn’t seen Loki wander off Hedda and Coal spot the knife, I’d swear this was one of Laufeyson’s tricks.

    • It probably doesn’t have to be anger that sets him off. Berserkers worked themselves into psychotic states. It’s possible that he just let himself get too excited and Ibrahim’s attempt to physically reclaim the knife just set him off. That’s my theory, anyways.

    • Coal can work himself up if he wants to. Part of this abrupt change is also just my own mistake and lack of skill, haha. Thanks for reading!

      • So I was right!? ;w; Yaaaaaay, I did good!

  6. Hmm, lanky young scholar versus berserker einherji… Yep, this’ll be interesting.

  7. Erm Coal your eyes are looking weird, well, weirder than they have lately anyway, never a good sign.

    • Never good! Indicate bad things!

  8. Is it just me, or did is anyone else a little confused by Coal’s sudden switch from angry and annoyed young man to Norse d-bag? I mean, I understand that outsiders had few to no rights in Norse society, but this seems a little bit out of character for Coal. Then again, maybe I’m missing something here.

    • Haha, part of this is me still learning how to write and pace. It’s hard, too, because I can see the big picture and the whole plot, while the readers just get one page a week and have all the time in the world to look at it. In short, I’m still figuring it out. Thanks for reading!

      • Oh, just noticed the dialogue changes. Yeah, that makes a little more sense to me now. It still gives the feel of bullying, but it seems a lot less premeditated and “legalistic”, which makes it feel a lot more in character.

  9. I’ve gotta sneaking suspicion that the Aenir’s beer is behind all of this.

  10. It’s not only the eyes, take a look at those teeth o_O

  11. Coal, just explain to the nice, observant Muslim scholar that his knife is actually part of the magic sword of the sun god Freyr, and everything will be just fiiiiine. And cool it with the whole eye thang.

    • I’m not sure that will actually work in real-life. If…it was real.

  12. Keep away! Keep away!
    Is Coal’s bad behavior here an effect of the berserker power, or is this bullying tactic just a part of his personality?

    In that third panel Ibrahim looks like he wants to say, “I’ll show you how well I can use that knife when you’re in the hospital having it removed!”

    • Coal’s behavior is probably going to be suspect forever. I didn’t realize until this page that the readers haven’t actually seen Coal while he was alive. Dying will definitely change a person.

  13. Yup, my whole theory on this story being about how Coal has to learn to be a good human being is being reinforced. That it’s Loki teaching him some of those lessons is concerning… but he needs Loki’s foot kicking his behind for his rude behavior very soon! :)

    • Loki needs to be a mom.

      • Well, he can. Can’t he? didn’t he gave birth to an 8 legged horse or something?

        • HE DID. So yes I guess he already is a Mom. Time to be a Mom again.

      • Bwahahaha! Just saw this. Yes, Loki’s maternal side: it cracks me up. :)

  14. Ibraham… I suggest you forget the knife and RUN!

    • Sadly Ibrahim isn’t that wise. He’s still just 17.

  15. I’ve got a baaaad feeling about this…

  16. Ibrahim, bb no.
    You are pretty much a foot and a half taller than Coal. Yes, Coal has creepy berserkr powers, but you didn’t know that. Seriously, just move his arm down from your chest and THEN make the grabby hands. Take it from a babysitter of ten years experience with martial arts kids. xD
    And dude, Coal, THIS is why most cities didn’t allow Berserkrs entry into their ports, and forced them to stay on ship. Your crazy is showing.
    No idea if that’s supposed to be a part of Freyr’s sword, or if Coal just took a level in being a jerk, but can’t wait to see more!

    • Haha, I’m glad you still want to see more. Thanks. :D

  17. You know, I really don’t like Coal any more.

    • I can understand that. Thank you for reading. :)

  18. Kinda curious about the old wording. Did he call Ibrahim something racist or sexist (eg, girly-man)?

    • It wasn’t explicitly racist, but it was highlighting the difference in appearance. I realized after the fact that it’s a modern-day (and very incorrect) assumption that people of color didn’t exist in Europe prior to modern times. Coal would have seen plenty of people of color in his life (his foster mother is such a person) so it didn’t make sense to goad Ibrahim that way. I mentioned it once on the previous page to establish that the knife isn’t native to Ibrahim’s country, but it didn’t need to carry on to this page.

  19. Ibrahim in panel three reminds me of little kittens fighting, such fury and anger… but such cuteness at the same time! And he’s clenching hist fists too! Aaaw.

    • Hahaha! Aw, Kitty Ibrahim. I like that idea. X3

  20. “This is not even my final douchebag form!”
    Good lord, man, what would Hedda say if she saw you like that?

    • Yeah it’s a good thing she’s not around!

  21. I can not even wait for next week. I want to know what happens next!!

  22. maybe it’s just been a while since i read the beginning of this story, but….if coal is dead why can he interact with the living? when he first showed up I assumed we were watching a flashback. is coal a zombie perhaps?

    • Basically yeah, Coal is like a zombie. XD But he doesn’t need to eat people to keep going. He isn’t actively rotting or anything either. He’s got a job to do!

      • Good point. I actually think I said something about this a few strips back, but securing that dagger IS Coal’s job, and he has a great deal to lose if he doesn’t get it. Kind of makes me wonder if he’s going berserk because Ibrahim’s interfering with the geas I’d presume Odin put on Coal. Something like “You will get the pieces no matter what; let nothing stand in your way.”

        Sadly, though, Coal’s probably just being a bully. After all, he’s been pushed around for nothing he did (this scene, especially with the new dialogue, mirrors the way Thor treated Coal in Asgard, does it not?); now it’s his turn to pay that abuse forward. Wouldn’t be the first, nor, sadly, the last time that’s happened.

  23. I really like Coal, actually. And honestly, how he’s behaving (post script change…which I agree with because I don’t think Coal’s brain works the right way to come up with the original comment) is really quite reasonable. It’s not the best way of doing it, not by far. But it’s reasonable once you get into what makes Coal tick.

    See, the author’s done a really good job of hinting at Coal’s backstory. He’s small, but he grew up in a society that reveres strength and would equate small stature with weakness. He also had a Christian mother, which would probably have made his family a bit of a pariah in his culture.

    He’s obviously had some dealing with the gods, as Loki gave him the piece of Mjolnir “long ago”. Which also means that he was very young, because he’s still treated very dismissively as a “boy” rather often. He obviously does not like the gods, and though Loki may have saved his life, he doesn’t see eye to eye with Loki.

    To be perfectly honest, growing up small in a militaristic society is going to be hard enough on it’s own. Throw in the Christian mother and it seems pretty clear to me that Coal had to fight for pretty much everything he got. Faced with a game openly hostile to him, he played by the rules and earned his place in Valhalla the “proper” way, only to be told that he has to go jump through more hoops for no adequately explained reason.

    So when Coal sees Ibrahim with the piece, he takes a stance not much different from the very gods he’s working for. Do I feel sorry for Ibrahim? Absolutely, much as I felt sorry for Coal when it happened to him. Do I wish Coal had taken a different tack? Of course.

    But here’s the thing: The person who’s going to end up “educating” Coal is Loki. And Loki is kind of a jerk. He acts inscrutably. He never explains himself. He holds himself in smug superiority over Coal, and constantly dismisses Coals reservations and objections. He treats Coal like a simple-minded berserker instead of the intelligent, broken young man he is, and then has the audacity to be angry when Coal lives up to his (very low) expectations.

    So even when Coal is acting rashly, I like him a lot more than I like Loki.

    • Here here. Never fear, Coal is acting for perfectly explainable reasons.

    • How interesting! I can’t refute or agree with what you say because that would be spoilers, but I love how much thought you’ve put into it. Thank you! :D

      • I’m glad you liked it :3

        I really like the story you’re telling. I fully realise I may have been off-base with some or all of my conjecture, and I’m perfectly capable of revising my thoughts as more information comes out.

        That said, Coal is a very sympathetic character to me. Loki…not so much. Loki’s experiencing “the day after”…he played a prank, made a mess, and now he has to clean it up. If he had a legitimate reason for what he did, he should articulate that, but he’s too proud to do that. He has no respect for Coal’s fixation with being a warrior, but he’s unwilling to actually have a discussion why. His only attempts to reason with Coal come in bursts when he’s frustrated by Coal’s antics, which of course means that Coal is on the defensive and really isn’t going to be fully receptive.

        There’s also a huge maturity gap. Coal’s, what…fifteen? Loki has a far, far greater depth of experience and wisdom to draw from. When you have situations like that, it’s unreasonable to apportion responsibility equally; the older, wiser party has a far greater responsibility for the direction in which the relationship goes and for the behavior of both sides. The situation here is, quite frankly, Loki’s fault.

  24. This is… odd. Isn’t Coal acting like a thief here? IIRC, there’s not much lower in Norse society than thieves and slaves, as lacking in honor. Now if he’d killed Ibrahim first in face to face combat, from the Norse perspective he’d have a right to the goods he’d just honorably won, right?

    • As far as Coal is aware, Ibrahim stole that from someone else altogether. Coal is just doing what he has to, and since he’s already dead, he really doesn’t care about the consequences.