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Song of the Eastern Sands is a side webcomic written by Alex Kain, Rachel Bennett and illustrated by Jerome Jacinto.[1] Song of the Eastern Sands ran from October 24, 2015 to October 15, 2016.[2] After the release of Page 20, Song of the Eastern Sands went on a three-week hiatus in order to ensure a decent page buffer for a timely update schedule. Each week featured a short story written by Alex Kain showcasing certain characters.[3]

Song of the Eastern Sands takes place a few days after the events of Chapter Two[4] and the final page segues directly into the opening of Chapter Three.[5]

Intended to reveal a lighter side to the world of Dunia,[6] especially after the tone of Chapter Two,[7] Song of the Eastern Sands has an entirely different cast in a new location, but is still connected to the storyline of Beyond the Western Deep.[8][9] Song of the Eastern Sands was also intended to provide a break for Rachel because she followed the strenuous weekly update schedule of Beyond the Western Deep for three years with very few breaks.[10] However, she did the lettering for Song of the Eastern Sands to ensure consistency with Beyond the Western Deep.[11]

Cover Page

The four protagonists converse under an archway.[12]

Synopsis

Beck distracts a merchant[13] while Asha tries to pick the lock.[14] Unable to pick the complicated Felis lock,[15] the Sand Spiders make off with the chest,[16] which they open back in the safety of their headquarters.[17] After toasting to their success,[18] Theo tell the other Spiders he has a new job for them that night at the Sunsgrovian Embassy.[19] Theo claims that the guards will be busy for tonight only,[20] but admits that their informant is anonymous, as always. The Sand Spiders are hesitant,[21] but while all have reservations, they all agree to the job.[22]

That night, they slip into the Embassy[23] and reach the treasury without incident.[24] After bagging the treasure,[25] they exit the treasury[26] and find the corpses of two guards outside the door. After a horrified pause, Beck tells the others they need to leave now.[27] Knowing they would be beheaded if found and blamed for the murders, the Spiders continue their escape, and hear screaming and pleading from a courtyard.[28]

The Spiders observe two Canid assassins killing more Sunsgrovians.[29] Beck leaps into the room and smashes her bag of amber drops into an assassin's face, bursting it open. Rook claims a fallen sword and faces the remaining assassin.[30] Rook is quickly overpowered [31] Asha attacks the Canid, who turns on her, but Rook kicks him in the knee before he can hurt her, stopping the attack.[32] The assassin flees out the window and Asha gives chase[33] across several rooftops.[34]

When she catches up to the Canid, she headbutts him[35] and knocks him out.[36] Rook and Beck help the diplomats that survived the attack,[37] one of whom asks the Sand Spiders to find his daughter, who is coming to the Embassy from Terria.[38] The Spiders are reluctant and try to calm him down, but then he offers to pay them anything.[39]

They accept the Ambassador's offer and meet back at the Abadis Tavern.[40] The Spiders realize they were supposed to take the fall for the murders of the Sunsgrovian ambassadors, and are now being targeted by the Canid for their interference.[41] Tabitha forbids Asha from going north with Rook and Beck,[42] but Theo comforts her by telling her that he'll get her the new lockpicks, and asks Beck and Rook to be careful[43] because it sounds like the Ambassador's daughter is in for a lot of trouble.[44]

Summary

The Marketplace

The scene opens at the crowded marketplace of Nessa.[45] The focus shifts to a Tamian merchant selling amber jewelry. He holds a pendent up for the potential customers to eye, asking them to note the way it catches the light.[46] A Lutren named Beck challenges the merchant, citing rumors that amber is nothing more than 'hardened treesap.' The merchant counters these claims by noting that the amber comes from trees holy to the Tamian and that the highest quality becomes currency.[47] Beck announces she has been converted and asks for the price. The merchant offers her a discount of three hundred silvers. Shocked, Beck claims the discount is minimal.[48] The merchant offers to get a smaller necklace from his tent, at which point the Lutren offers to buy all of his wares. Shocked by the offer, the merchant does not see the Ermehn picking the lock on the chest in his tent.[49]

Beck holds the merchant's attention while the Ermehn keeps picking the lock.[50] A Polcan named Rook bursts in to check on her progress, asking what's taking so long. The Ermehn points out the lock is Felis-made, and thus tricky.[51] Realizing Beck cannot distract the merchant forever,[52] Rook and the Ermehn grab the chest and run. Snatching the amber necklace she admired, Beck flees with them.[53]

Abadis Tavern

At a tavern in the slums of Nessa, Theo and Tabitha, the barkeep, await the return of the thieves. Tabitha notes that they are late, to which Theo expresses no concern.[54] Tabitha asks if Theo has gotten her daughter- the Ermehn thief named Asha- into trouble. Theo gives a non answer and comments that he is only drinking his tea. Growing enraged, Tabitha begins to threaten Theo, only to be interrupted by the return of Asha and the others.[55] Tabitha happily greets her daughter while Theo dryly points out that the group is late.

Rook tells Tabitha that Asha had trouble with the lock, and Tabitha asks Asha if it was a Felis lock.[56] Asha replies in the affirmative, prompting Theo to comment that they need to purchase Asha some updated lockpicks. Beck cracks the chest open with her knife, noting that they should be able to afford them after this job.[57] The chest is filled with amber and coins, which Theo describes as a "nice haul" and he tells his compatriots to sit and drink.[58] Theo proposes a toast to The Sand Spiders.[59]

After the toast, Theo informs the group that there is another job for them[60] that night at Sunsgrovian Embassy,[61] specifically, the well-guarded treasure room. Rook asks about the heavy guards and Theo says they will be occupied tonight. Beck asks why[62] and Theo admits he does not know, but has only heard the guards will be busy. Rook asks where he heard it, and Theo reveals the source is the same nameless informant as always. The Sand Spiders look at him suspiciously.[63] Theo asks for their opinions. Asha expresses cautious optimism, Rook is hesitant, and after a moment of silence Beck admits she really wants the money.[64] Theo is pleased at Beck's rationale.[65]

The Heist

After the moon rises, Beck, Asha and Rook scale a tree to enter the Sunsgrovian Embassy through a window.[66] Security is very light.[67] Slipping past a single pair of guards, The Spiders reach the treasury, and Asha begins to pick the lock.[68] When Asha gets the door open, the Spiders slip inside the treasury. They are stunned at the wealth of the treasury.[69]

The Sand Spiders collect the loot and stuff it into empty sacks. Beck addresses the other Spiders,[70] and reminds them that the job's only half over and that they still have to sneak past the guards with sacks full of coins. The other Spiders respond with confidence, and Beck opens the door[71] revealing the corpses of the two guards in the hallway. After a horrified pause, Beck tells the others they need to leave immediately.[72]

The Attack

Asha asks what would happen if they are caught, and Rook tells her that while thieves lose their hands, murderers lose their heads. Beck shoulders a bag and tells the others they are leaving. As they start down the hallway, they hear screaming and pleading from a courtyard.[73] The Spiders see a pair of Canid assassins attacking more Sunsgrovians. A Tamian diplomat asks the Canid why they are attacking, but they give no reply and continue the attack.[74] Beck leaps into the room and smashes her bag of amber drops into an assassin's face, bursting it open. Rook claims a fallen sword and faces the remaining assassin.[75] Rook taunts the assassin, but is quickly overpowered by a disarming move that lands him on the floor. [76] Asha swings her bag of coins at the assassin, but he blocks her attack and pulls her off balance, intending to kill her, but Rook kicks the assassin in the knee, briefly disabling him.[77] The assassin flees, and Beck asks him where he's going. Asha follows him out the window [78] and chases him across several rooftops.[79] The Canid draws a knife to throw at Asha, but she leaps on him and headbutts him,[80] knocking him out. Asha is pleased with herself until her head starts to ache.[81]

Ambassador Rowan

Meanwhile, Rook looks out the window after Asha,[82] and considers following Asha. Beck tells him Asha can hold her own, and asks him to help her with the injured diplomats. Rook reminds Beck they don't have time. Beck agrees, but tells him they're going to do it anyway. One diplomat stares into the distance, traumatized by the sudden attack.[83] Beck snaps her fingers in front of his face to get his attention, asking if he is alright. The diplomat breaks out of his stupor and immediately asks Beck to find his daughter, Janik, who is on her way to Nessa from Terria.[84] Doubtful, Beck tells the ambassador that Terria is a long way away. The ambassador persists, insisting she could be in danger. He claims the Canid have lost their minds. Rebuffing Rook's attempt to calm him down, the ambassador offers to pay the Sand Spiders anything. After a pause,[85] Beck tells the ambassador they are listening.[86]

Down Payment

Back at the Abadis Tavern, Theo complements the Spiders on a good haul. Beck claims it's more of a down payment, because calling it a haul makes it sound like stolen goods. Asha, her head bandaged, asks why Ambassador Rowan asked the Spiders to help him.[87] Beck says that the ambassador thought she worked for the Embassy, and Tabitha points out that since she accepted the ambassador's offer, she technically does. Theo comments that the assassins will be after the Spiders now as well, and guesses the Spiders were deliberately left in the dark about the attack so they would take the fall.[88] Tabitha remarks that she always tells the Sand Spiders to avoid politics, but they never listen to her. Asha asks if she thinks this assassination was political,[89] and Theo tells her that all assassinations are political. He reminds Beck and Rook that they need to hurry, as Janik is the next target, and Tabitha forbids Asha from going with Beck and Rook.[90] Theo comforts Asha by reminding her that he'll get her the new lockpicks and that he'll have plenty for her to do in Nessa. He asks Beck and Rook to be careful[91] because it sounds like the Ambassador's daughter is in for a lot of trouble.[92]

References

  1. A Little Teaser...
  2. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 45
  3. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 19- Alex's Commentary
  4. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 17- Alex's Commentary
  5. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 45- Alex's Commentary
  6. Song of the Eastern Sands (Teaser 2)
  7. Garrett Simpson, Alex Kain Interview
  8. A Little Teaser...
  9. Song of the Eastern Sands (Teaser 2)
  10. A Little Teaser...
  11. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 12- Rachel's Comment: January 20, 2016, 8:29 pm
  12. Song of the Eastern Sands, Cover Page
  13. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 4
  14. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 5
  15. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 7
  16. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 10
  17. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 15
  18. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 16
  19. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 17
  20. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 18
  21. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 19
  22. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 20
  23. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 21
  24. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 22- Alex's Commentary
  25. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 25
  26. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 25
  27. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 26
  28. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 27
  29. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 28
  30. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 29
  31. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 30
  32. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 31
  33. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 32
  34. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 33
  35. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 34
  36. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 35
  37. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 36
  38. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 37
  39. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 38
  40. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 39
  41. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 40
  42. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 42
  43. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 43
  44. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 45
  45. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 1
  46. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 2
  47. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 3
  48. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 4
  49. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 5
  50. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 6
  51. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 7
  52. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 8
  53. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 10
  54. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 11
  55. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 12
  56. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 13
  57. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 14
  58. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 15
  59. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 16
  60. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 16
  61. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 17
  62. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 18
  63. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 19
  64. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 20
  65. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 20- Alex's Commentary
  66. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 21
  67. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 21- Alex's Commentary
  68. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 22- Alex's Commentary
  69. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 23
  70. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 24
  71. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 25
  72. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 26
  73. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 27
  74. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 28
  75. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 29
  76. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 30
  77. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 31
  78. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 32
  79. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 33
  80. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 34
  81. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 35
  82. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 35
  83. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 36
  84. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 37
  85. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 38
  86. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 39
  87. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 39
  88. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 40
  89. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 41
  90. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 42
  91. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 43
  92. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 45

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