Sooo... I was flipping through my WD comics for references and stuff when I noticed something that might have just taken me a step closer to figure out what Sandsparkle's father, Shadowcrest, looked like! :D
Okay, that's nothing new in itself - we had seen Darshek's hazy dream/hallucination of his mother's lifemates in the WD missing chapters, particularly in this panel:
But even though we now had - sketchy - faces to go with the name, we still had no clue which of these two ghosts was actually Pirn (Darshek's father) and which one Shadowcrest.
Quick rewind to Coral's death scene. We see the usual suspects - Darshek, Spray, Brill and Surge - as well as two random elves pushing Coral's boat in the water (personally, I strongly suspect the one on the left is Haze and the other may very possibly be Strand. But that's me).
However, there are other elves in the background, and though we only see their black silhouettes, there are good possibilities that the two "shorter" heads (one is standing behind Brill, while the other is at Surge's right side) might be two of the tailed WaveDancers. Why? Because the arm posture is totally different from the other "standing" elves, more like they're prepping themselves against the rock or cliff. Of course it could be just about anyone, though my sense is that the one at the far left is Salt (the shoulders look a bit more "toned") and the one next to Surge is either Skimmer or Farbright (aka the only tailed females that we knew of - which isn't to say that there might have been others, but still).
Now, at the far right, there are two elves standing very closely together, in an intimate way unlike any of the other. And if you look really closely, the female *has* a long gown floating behind her. Now, like with the fish-tailed elves, nothing says *that* particular female is one of the "named" elves we met in the story. She could be a "beloved dead" or one of Zephyr's followers.
BUT - if we suppose that is, indeed, Longfin, then the male at her side can only be Shadowcrest; because in the same shot (and in the following page) we see a grown-up Darshek, and Darshek's father Pirn died when he was just a tiny infant. Salt and Longfin herself said so.
So judging from the sway of the hair (which by the way reminded me of Burdekin from the OWD, but that's a whole other matter ), I'm tempted to say that when the dying Darshek is visited by his mother's "two lifemates", Shadowcrest is the short-haired elf on the right, and Pirn the one on the left, with longer hair trailing behind him. Which also makes sense - given he wears an headband similar to Darshek (and I'm still pondering whether it's his very own that he passed on to his son... but we're entering a what-if zone there.)
Just my two cents
*claps* Extra kudos for passion and eagerness, Christina! It's interesting to follow your thoughts, the well-founded ones and the personal speculations alike.
Guess it's easier to follow you with a little visual help
Of course most of those shadows can be anyone - and exactly who you see in them! I think of Richard's diplomatic comment when he was asked whether a certain guy was Lutei. "He can be him."
When I look at the picture ... the usual suspects. I'm always surprised when I realize how old Brill actually is.
A close couple ... they can easily be Longfin and Shadowcrest. When I allow my thoughts to wander ... Shadowcrest stands with his mate, holds her, because she is heavy with pipling.
The shorter ones can be tailed Wavedancers indeed ... and what you see as Longfin's dress waving can be a tail fin with same right.
Haze ... I see he hair. ^^ The other one at the boat ... it's easy for me to see him as Zephyr.
I hadn't thought of the perspective in the sketchy "vision shot". The one on the left must have longer hair for sure. And the headband we know well from Darshek - it's a stong hint for me that this is Pirn.
Makes the one on the right Shadowcrest. Looks like he was a comparably delicate guy.
P.S.: You know what you have to do now - open a thread for Pirn!
Fantastic work with the captions, Embala! This way it's much easier to reference the characters, yes! Thanks a bunch ^_^
I agree that Shadowcrest, if that's indeed him, seems to hold his lifemate in a very protective way - especially for such a fragile elf as him. If Sandsparkle was born right after or short after the tribe's first encounter with humans, then it'd be a heart-warming coincidence that years later, yet once again, the tribe was raided by fivefingers only to be blessed by new life when she Recognized Skimback (Spine hinted at something of the sort - "New life... after so many lost last dark storm season..."). It's like she and Longfin are the beacon of hope for their tribe, after hardships. Too bad hers and Skimback's was a "short-lived joy" :-(
(And her remarkably strong will is a nice visual contrast to her father's softer traits! I really wish we had seen more of him...)
Btw - the more I observe that "tailed female", the more I believe she might be Farbright. Although her standing at Surge's side makes Skimmer appear a more likely candidate, confronting the size of her head with "Shadowcrest" and "Longfin", hers is smaller like she's standing at some distance ahead of them - and they're standing between her and Surge. Furthermore, it looks like she has her hair down - if Skimmer was already wearing hers in the characteristic updo that we've always seen her with, then the top of the head should be higher than the ears. (Although we *did* see her with her hair down in the last published installment, when Surge has a flashback about her death. So it's possible she didn't always wear it the same.)
Glad that I'm not the only one who sees a striking resemblance between the hair of the elf pushing the boat, and Haze! :D As for the other one, now that you mention it - the hairstyle and outfit look like they could belong to a younger Zephyr! :D That would make sense - I had assumed that Wavecatcher and the others had to be pips when Coral died, but it would be all the more logical that their leader was older and wiser than the others. (Also, when you think how boyish Wavecatcher and Sandspinner looked - I could totally imagine them being teenagers at the time of Coral's death - which took place several years before Zephyr's band took off - say the age of Tumble in Discovery, while a "young adult" Zephyr was already taking on responsibilities, like the funeral of his fallen chieftess! )
(And now I wonder if the other visible shadow could be a young Wavecatcher - the hair surely matches - but the body shape seems more feminine to him. Gull? Wavecatcher's mother? The mother of someone else? )
Darn, I wish there was more WaveDancers backstory to work on... these guys have whales of tales to tell!
In case we'd know more about the Wavedancers' past and background ... you'd have less fun exploring and speculating, Christina!
Good point there - their history is a buried treasure trove