First and fourth panels feature two of Archie's trusted assistants (also vampires if the skin tones and clothing choices didn't give it away).
Living in a poor-ish rural area, Joan hasn't had exposure to things like different varieties of food.
You may recognize the fellow in the second panel. Oliver has shown up in a few flashbacks, but he's going to be formally introduced by Drake shortly.
The fighting fellows are a Satyr (no affiliation to Revelry's Champion Trevor, although he is around too) and a werewolf. Werewolves and vampires are handling their traditional differences at this point (both are often discriminated against by other Solifidians because they start off human). They're invited to the festival as part of ongoing political efforts. Satyrs are neighbors and thus also invited. Goats and canines do not get along. I was at a friends ranch recently and had to keep an eye on the goats to make sure they didn't attack the corgi. I made the werewolf of the maned wolf breed from South America because I think they're super fun. These two have been at odds before, and yes, the satyr is trying to stab him with a fork.
VOTING INCENTIVE UPDATE: I picked up a fun little RPG maker a while ago and have been tinkering with making a video game that lets you play as a Drake in the academy. It will be progressing slowly since I want to get back to regular updates before I do anything else. I will be posting design ideas as voting incentives and have set up an area in the forum where you can talk about it HERE
re Xylas_Incarnum: That's a cool idea, but I'm not sure it would work for a human. The main difference between humans and Solifidians is that Solifidians exist partially in Bahamut while humans exist purely in this world. This means that Solifidians are able to use magic naturally, but are also more susceptible to influences from Bahamut. Humans don't have that strong connection. Yes they influence Bahamut, but only as large groups (except medians). They can only use magic through tools like potions, incantations, or runes. they also cant be influenced as directly by Bahamut. Such a radical change like animating limbs would be beyond Bahamut's influence.
re tygermon: thanks! I think I'll send some fanart your way soon to see if I can return the motivational favor ^_^ (I want to find out what happens to Grey!). I may try to set up patreon, but I want to get back to regular updated with a bit of a buffer first. I feel bad about asking for support when I can't be at least semi-professional with my updates.
Well, it's sorta, they died, but came back more than human. if dragons and such are strong from the belief that they exist, how overpowered would be a being who's existence is linked to all beliefs of humans? 'cause that's what I was saying in a nutshell.
Such a being would enjoy helping simply because belief that humans can do something is one of the strongest things there is... well that and hope. hope is a very strong and tenacious thing indeed.
T_T Omg fanart <3<3<3 You totally know my weakness even though we don't know each other much at all XD But really, right now my life is a bit jumbled and I'm waiting until I can settle before starting my comics back up again. Unfortunately I'm living with my parents again and I just feel so awkward sitting on my computer and drawing when I'm at their house so I am trying to find some sort of income that lets me afford an apartment. Uggghhh D: I hate feeling awkward but I want to draw!! I NEED my own place ToT
On another note, Archie needs a two second break, that always helps me when I'm going crazy XD But I'm kinda hoping the champions are making a mess of the courtyard X3 Or at least Julius is a background character and I'll finally get to see him 8D