One of the challenges of the finale to arc 6 is simply deciding where to place the viewpoint. Previously in the story characters have generally been spread out, in different locations and occupying different parts of the story. At the culmination of arc 6, they’re all rammed together in the battle of Bruckin. That’s a big opportunity, but it also means that every story beat could potentially be told from ANY of their perspectives.

This chapter returns to the Bruckin elite guard, who are generally minor supporting characters. But here they get to shine, with big heroic moments as well as having the emotional punch of returning to their city at its time of greatest need. It’s ultimately extremely useful – vital, even – to show some of the battle from their POV, so as to avoid the sense of this being an invasion by Aviar, or some kind of ‘external saviour’ narrative shift. To Galisai and the others, their story is very much “hey, look at these cool allies we found!” Assuming they get through it all, she and her team will go down in Bruckin history, every bit as important to thet city’s life as our main players.

This was also an opportunity to remember Hachim, and show that his death is still resonating through our characters. It always irritates me in stories when Big Dramatic Character Deaths then go unremarked in subsequent chapters, as the plot drags the story on. I’m trying to have everything have resonance and tie together from start to finish…which is easier said than done when writing a serialised weekly story over the course of two+ years.

Returning the action to the arena hopefully doesn’t make the city feel too small (in the same way that Star Wars inexplicably revolves around a single desert planet). It seemed like too good an opportunity to pass up, calling back to our first experience of Bruckin and twisting it around into a refuge rather than an entertainment venue. It enables a clear geography for the chapter, without having to establish a new part of the city.


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