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Busy Times: Plumbing Adventures, GeekGirlCon, Dragon Dodge

Busy Times: Plumbing Adventures, GeekGirlCon, Dragon Dodge published on No Comments on Busy Times: Plumbing Adventures, GeekGirlCon, Dragon Dodge


Busy, Busy, Busy

September and October have been a couple of busy months for me.  From unexpected plumbing adventures (plural), to freelance illustration, to preparing merchandise for GeekGirlCon and tabling at said convention, I’m beat. One of these months would have been okay, but the two stacked together caused extra debuffs to my energy level.  As a result, there is only one page this month. My deepest regrets extend to you, dear readers. This is the first time this has happened in the nearly three years Nwain has been running.

Unexpected Plumbing Adventures

I moved in February to a lovely house in a nice, quiet neighborhood. Aside from the constant leaf-blower noise on landscaping days, it’s a wonderful place to work from home. Or it was, until the hall bathroom toilet started to drip at random, aggravating intervals in early September. I tried to locate the problem, but ended up needing professional help. The plumbers suggested replacing the sixteen-year-old toilet. So Mom and I said in our innocence, why not replace the one downstairs too.

When removing the downstairs toilet, the plumbers discovered a soft, spongy floor beneath. A slow, tiny leak had been seeping into the floor, degrading it. One day, perhaps, I might have sat on the toilet and suddenly crashed 5 feet down into a moldering crawlspace and out the front yard. However, that dreadful fate has been averted thanks to a collection of heroic water damage repair specialists and flooring contractors. The downstairs bathroom is now safe for Democracy. The journey involved a set of industrial-grade dehumidifiers and air filters which filled the house with the dulcet sounds of a didgeridoo as played by a blue whale, which must be left on at all hours. At least it was all over by mid-September. Or so I thought.

While the plumbers were finally replacing the downstairs toilet, Mom and I said in our innocence, why not replace the one in the master bedroom, too. Why only replace two out of the three toilets in the house when we could do the third one now, too, we thought. It’ll be more consistent. How practical and forward-thinking of us, Mom and I agreed.

The plumbers replaced the valve, but needed to go back to get the right size of toilet for the mini “just a toilet” room inside the master bathroom. The one they had was too big. They’d be back in a few days to actually replace the little stinker. That very night, at 2 AM, I flushed the old boy and heard what sounded like a jackhammer trying to excavate itself from a tin can inside the wall.  Turns out, when the house was being built in 199-whatever, whoever was nailing the trim to the wall somehow wedged a nail deep into the toilet’s feed pipe. Replacing the valve had dislodged the nail, causing a joyful leak to splash down to the garage.  We called upon the water damage repair specialists and the blue whale’s didgeridoo returned, this time in my bedroom.

The filter was gone by early October, just in time for me to host my convention-going friends.



At GeekGirlCon, my friends Jo and Zoey and I shared a table. We had a great time!  I sold several dice bags, which I had been cramming into the sewing machine all September (when not aiding plumbers, or working on Nwain, or drawing for Dragon Dodge).

From right to left: Me (behind the bags), Jo, Zoey

Dragon Dodge

During all this, I’ve also been creating illustrations for a board game called Dragon Dodge.  It’s a wizard-themed tile game that will be having a kickstarter soonish. I’ll keep you posted!

Dragon Dodge Box Art



In conclusion

I’m tired as walnuts, but I’m ready for next month. If I had attempted to make page 70, I’d be about as together as a basket of stunned kittens. As it is, I’m merely a basket of regular kittens. One of them is bound to get its work done.

Poster: The Margravine

Poster: The Margravine published on

Here’s another goodie. The poster below of Margravine Paradzul P’Lanssyr, with violets and a ribbon proclaiming “Clear Voice.”  I would love to print this poster, but I need a just little more money to pay the printers. You can help by supporting my Patreon, purchasing items off my Gumroad shop, or by sharing Nwain with your friends–free and fun!

Paradzul Clear Voice

Music: Journey to A Mysterious Land

Music: Journey to A Mysterious Land published on

Hello, dear readers! I’ve got a couple of goodies for you! First, this musical interlude by Justin Jacox. Journey to a Mysterious Land is an instrumental piece about Nwain Chapter 2, featuring the sounds of the robot haven Far Listener, and Nwain’s journey through it.  This music was made possible by the support of Nwain readers on Patreon.


Map: “First Draft” Area Map of Chapters 1-3

Map: “First Draft” Area Map of Chapters 1-3 published on No Comments on Map: “First Draft” Area Map of Chapters 1-3

Chapter 1-3 Are Map FIrst Draft


This is the first draft of what will become an interactive map. I hope to make it both spiffy and informative, with different layers you can turn on and off. Planned layers include: terrain, political… and I’m not sure what else! If you’ve got questions that can be answered within this map, feel free to comment, and I’ll be sure to put it in.

Lore: Gender in Sundial City

Lore: Gender in Sundial City published on No Comments on Lore: Gender in Sundial City

The people of Sundial City have a unique way of looking at gender.  To them, gender is purely about social roles, and defined entirely by one’s behavior in society.  The location where one works generally determines what gender one is expected to choose.


The Five Genders

The Sundelian gender spectrum is centered on the home, and radiates outward from there.

Omith do their work at home.  Often, they are the central figures of the family, or direct underlings to the head omith (cyclomith).  They wield the greatest power out of all the genders. They control access to the house, and they are responsible for everything and everyone within it.  Noble cyclomith manage great swaths of land and people from within their estates in Sundial City.  Frequently, they send wef proxies to the Gnomontower to advocate for the cyclomith’s views about law and governance.  The monarch is typically an omith, with the whole of Olkas Island considered the ‘home’ which they oversee.  Omith have the privilege of being considered highly competent, trustworthy, and responsible. They receive the benefit of the doubt in most cases. They are also the most numerous; ideally, every home has an omith to manage it.

Wefs do their work outside the home, but still on Olkas Island.  When farmers collect ripe olives and merchants set up their stalls, they are doing wef work.  The judges at the courthouse and stevedores on the docks are wefs.  A maid who leaves their own home to work in another’s is a wef, while a maid who lives at the same home they work in is an omith, and outranks the wef maid. Often wefs will take goods created by an omith’s home industry to the market to sell. The marriage between an omith and an wef is thought to be an ideal marriage.  Wefs are considered the most likable and outgoing of the genders, and second-most industrious (following omith of course).

Salts do their work on the sea. Everyone from those who catch anchovies to the High Admiral are salts, generally. They are considered to be healthy, adventurous and easygoing, as well as dangerous, reckless, and overly emotional. A marriage between salts is considered tempting fate.  “If a storm hits while they’re all at sea, who will take care of the children?” is the sort of thing people will whisper at the wedding.

Faewefs do their work on land that isn’t Olkas Island. Faewefs include ambassadors, soldiers, knights, generals, and merchants who travel to do foreign trade.  They comprise the smallest minority of the genders, but many wield considerable wealth and might.  They are thought to be worldly, brave, opulent, and deserving of glory (when victorious), while also tainted by foreign ways, pointlessly stubborn, stingy, and deserving of ridicule (when defeated). A marriage with a faewef is expected to be fraught with accusations of infidelity on all sides.

Yith is the gender for everyone else. Those who do not work, such as children and retired elders, and those who have no permanent home, such as wandering vagabonds and travelling acting troupes, are all yith. The opinions on adult yith (palishyith) tend to be extreme, and affected primarily by an individual’s other social statuses, like class or ability. A beautiful palishyith actor might attract a large, devoted following, but just as many devoted detractors. A palishyith beggar will receive harsh words along with their coins. A noble palishyith may be the life at parties, and increase their family’s fame and influence immensely, but still be called a moocher behind their back. Even a genius polymath palishyith who uses their many talents may be derided for not making up their mind, or for being unpredictable. No matter their standing, a palishyith’s hold on power is always tenuous, as they are bound by the same laws that serve to protect and hedge-in young children. They exist only at the local authority’s indulgence; they are easily forgiven for inconsequential mistakes and petty crimes, but punished harshly if they threaten authority or commit “mature” errors of judgement. No matter how much influence they acquire, they are not permitted to hold titles above the generic noble title “Laidth.”



As it is fairly common for people to change career, so too is it common for Sundelians to change gender.  Starting at age eight, and every eight years thereafter, a Sundelian will undergo a ritual ceremony wherein they declare their gender, and this gender is acknowledged and recorded. Even those who wish to retain their gender undergo this ceremony.

Everyone starts life as a yith.  At age eight, they declare a gender for the first time. By doing so, they speak for the direction they want further occupational training in.  Often, children are groomed by their parents to lean toward one or another, especially if they have a family business or an ancestral home that will need to be maintained for generations to come.  Because of this, higher class children often experience significant pressure prior to their first declaration ceremony.

As the declaration ceremony is semi-public, one’s gender history is often public knowledge.  The ritual itself covers both the declaration to change gender and the declaration to keep the same gender.  What is celebrated is the will of the individual, not their particular choice.  Having a history with at least one transition is expected, as a rule.

Lifelong yith are uncommon. An eight-year-old child may decide to stay a yith, and this is forgiven for the first declaration ceremony, and generally chalked up to indecision. If on their second declaration ceremony, at age sixteen, they again chose to stay a yith, it is thought to be a bad sign for the child’s future. Either they are incompetent, lazy, or philosophical, none of which bodes well for their practical use to the family.

Often a Sundelian will hold a job that does not match their current gender.  This is considered mildly rude, and they will be overlooked for advancement until they change gender or occupation, or if they can prove their competence (omith have the advantage here, since they are assumed to be competent).


Famous People

Omith: Braethig Noonwright, the Gnomon of Sundial City (a.k.a. King Noonwright)

Wef: Chancellor Resin Dawnwaker, speaker for Cyclomith Frezzad of the Dawnwaker house.

Salt: Admiral Lazrith Nightbeam, Nwain’s brother, lost at sea.

Faewef: Laidth Gren Snakesun, an owl knight and a great warrior

Yith: Laidth Nwain Nightbeam, a monk, a knight, and other things; a lifelong yith of various talents.


If you’d like any clarifications, feel free to ask in the comments!