A Menagerie of Mysterious and Unusual Deaths

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'W.J. Iraskendin was a major figure in the Rakavian prophecism movement.' A portrait of Iraskendin, a long-faced brown-skinned man with cropped curly hair and an eye-shaped brooch on his neckcloth, is shown. 'He was so influential, in fact, that he gained the nickname of the Rakavian Fate.' Iraskendin is then showing painting something in his home with a solemn look. 'Rakavian prophecism grew into prominence due to the hole in reality that formed in the second Fucco-Rakavian war.' There is a black and white map of wartime troop movements, including the aforementioned hole in reality. 'Its growth granted strange visions of the future to certain individuals, particularly those fighting on the front.' Various soldiers can be seen, eyes bleeding, gripping their faces and bending over in anguish, as they ascend a hill. The next panel shows Iraskendin, his own eyes bleeding, as he shields his face from blistering coastal winds. 'Iraskendin himself was serving in the Navy at the time the Mouth of Fuccalia formed, at the battle of Trakiture. Perhaps it were the harrowing emotions of battle that lended to his prophecies' strength.' Various Rakavian gallery-goers can be seen admiring a painting depicting the struggle between the golden-haired Hypatia and the smug Mersamos. 'The skillful and raw way that Iraskendin rendered his prophecies drew the awe, commendation, and ire of those from all over the Continent-- though none were more famous than Mersamos and Hypatia, depicting a sword duel between the Rakavian empress Hypatia II and her consort Mersamos of Tuleunn.' The real event itself is then shown, with Hypatia being stabbed right through the heart. 'A duel that happened not three years later, and ended in Hypatia's murder.' Hypatia, in her dying moments, relaxes her glazed-over eyes, and bows her head. 'Iraskendin himself died at the tender age of 36, found by his lover Ezteke Merkatora and sister Zulaine Iraskendin.' Ezteke and Zulaine can be seen under a doorway, mouths open and eyes wide in horrified shock. Iraskendin's back bleeds a dark red, and his paint palette is held loosely by his limp hand. 'He was found stabbed twenty-five times in the back, slumped in front of a portrait of his own death throes.' In the unfinished portrait, Iraskendin can be seen crying out in terror as a faceless assailant clothed in lavender plunges their knife into his back.

W.J. Iraskendin

The first comic.