Page 248 is here! Make sure you read it, then dive into the notes below.

1. This is our wordiest page ever. I usually try to follow a rule that I got from Alan Moore, which says you should never have more than 35 words in one panel, and never more than 25 words in one word balloon. On this page, I wanted to commit to the exposition, so I broke the rule multiple times. And I’m not sorry.

2. I mentioned earlier that it took me forever to figure out the plot for this page. The reason why is that I had to work out the mechanics of how Jason Occult gets this magic cloak. I wanted him to come up with a clever plan, based on his research, that would allow him to do something almost impossible. I also wanted a plan that you could believe no one else had ever come up with, because they’d never noticed a key detail.

3. In case it’s not clear, the key detail is that there’s an unbreakable lock, but then there’s a magic artifact that can open any lock, and no one’s aware of just how powerful that artifact is.

4. Jason and Brianna are currently living in the city of Ladrona, in the world of Kreos, which was created by Steve Johnson and is used here with his kind permission.

5. Ladrona was inspired by the greatest fantasy city of all, Lankhmar, as seen in Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser stories. Someday I’ll write an essay about how tragically unappreciated Leiber is, but for now I’ll just urge you to try one of his books, like Swords Against Wizardry.

6. Mefford’s Medallion is named after Eddie Mefford, who played in Steve’s Kreos game back in the day. I thought of him because I wanted a name that started with “M,” to provide alliteration.

7. Xöthma-Ghül, the “Crepuscular City,” was invented by Josh Burnett, and is developed in the pages of his fine publication Crepuscular. Josh was kind enough to allow me to reference it here. Josh also named the Amulet of Othyg-Zoag; he tells me that Othyg-Zoag is the Opener of Ways, the god of hyperspace and momentum. It’s all canon, folks.

8. Xöthma-Ghül is on the world that the people of Swann Castle have labelled “Orange Willow.” Kreos is Orange Elm, and Brianna is from Orange Maple. The Orange branch seems to be all fantasy worlds. Vekros, which is Orange Pine, is what you might call a sword-and-sorcery setting.

9. The world that Xöthma-Ghül inhabits is a higher-magic world than Kreos, so it makes sense that, once the Amulet of Othyg-Zoag ended up on Kreos, no one considered that it might have cosmic powers.

10. Abi named the Vault of Varlo. I didn’t describe it at all in the script, in the hope that Sam would come up with something cool and weird, and guess what! She did!