''Echoes of Silence'' height chart 2005 Picture

Okay, one more before I go to sleep.

This one was created very early in the comic, back when I didn't really have a solid cast and I was still brainstorming on additional characters (note that Kalayaan/Slave 1647 was known as "Kirstyn", and her number was 947. Bu'hay was named "Pagasa" back then too). The height chart was to give me a general idea on what my cast of characters for EoS would be and to be more organized in getting the parts of the story together. Unfortunately, it wasn't until 2006 that I realized that not only was the story a mess, but so was the focus. "Tales of Okasan" was about the champions of the gods and "Echoes of Silence" was supposed to be a short, introductory story on two of those heroes: Awit/Slave 1721 and Emperor Hikoro. Another champion of the gods, Kitoah, was to be introduced as Takah but only given a background introduction, and his own story wouldn't officially start until after EoS.

At the rate I was going with the planned story, it would have taken me almost forever to get to that point. I was straying from my focus, and EoS was becoming bloated. One of the reasons I got into a hiatus on the comic was not only to fix the lore and story, but especially to fix the focus. The wrong characters were getting the spotlight. If I allowed the pacing of the story to continue as is, I'd probably over a decade just to complete EoS.

During the 8 years of lacking any Okasan updates, I focused on constructing the geography, costume, language, racial makeup, history, mythology, and cosmology of the entire verse. Characters came last--I wanted to see the whole picture before I can start assigning heroes. At last, by 2014, I have a much more solid cast of characters, though I still need to figure out who I will be bringing back and who will need to take a hike. For the most part, Madahon and Hikoro are still heroes, but they're not the only ones. Supporting characters like Ki'a, Ri'anoh, Gi'utoh, and Pakah got retooled roles. Niisha's decreased while Ezamina's increased. Kogaa as a focus character has been altered. Lalaki and Malakas are dropped, and most of the remaining Council, servants, and guards are downgraded to not much more than living props. Yes, it's sad to see such treatment on these characters, but focus needs to go on those who are most important: the Gods and their champions. As much as I love the characters Ri'anoh, Gi'utoh, and Niisha, for example, they are not the champions of the Gods and, therefore, should not be heroes of the story. At least not primary heroes. They'll have their times to shine another time.

This will be kept in the main gallery for now and will be scrapped later.

Tales of the Ba'tala are © Salathiel Silva.

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