[[quoteright:240:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ESch37small.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:240: You might want to stand back, [[WalkingDisasterArea bad things]] [[DoomMagnet tend to happen around these three.]]]]

->''Errant Story basically started life as "What would those generic [[HerosJourney hero's journeys]] fantasy stories be like if they focused on the [[EvilSorcerer Evil Wizard's]] [[StartOfDarkness rise to power]] rather than the hero's?"''
->-[[http://www.errantstory.com/2012-05-23/5567 Michael Poe]]

A HighFantasy {{Webcomic}} that ran from 2002 to 2012, and the second webcomic of Michael Poe (''ExploitationNow'' being his first, ''DoesNotPlayWellWithOthers'' his third). Poe is currently re-running the comic at 3-5 pages a week, with author commentary on each page. There are two sequel series planned.

With a light touch of PostModernism, the comic has a sizable amount of self-referential humor, GenreSavvy characters, and quite a few [[{{Lampshade}} lampshaded]], [[SubvertedTrope subverted]], [[InvokedTrope invoked]], and roundly mocked tropes. It starts out following the adventures of a half-elven mage seeking ultimate arcane power, though as other main characters join up it quickly becomes evident that there is much more going on behind the scenes. The comic underwent slow onset CerebusSyndrome, but still retained many of its humorous elements well into the series.

Character-specific tropes can be found on the [[Characters/ErrantStory character sheet]]. The comic also [[http://www.errantstory.com/wiki/index.php/Main_Page has a wiki]].

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!!''Errant Story'' contains examples of:

* AbsurdlySharpBlade: The Durus Flamma blades.
* AllEncompassingMantle: The regular elven military loves this trope.
* AllThereInTheManual: Extensive information regarding the world of Errant Story can be found on the comic's wiki.
* AllTrollsAreDifferent: The trolls were one of the original species (possibly the second after the dwarves) to inhabit the world, though their civilization was destroyed and their numbers devastated once the various elven races got together and launched a long, though ultimately unsuccessful campaign to exterminate them. They were likely created by Anilis and Senilis, the elven creator gods and were tutored by the same demigods that taught the elves, though the elves believe that the trolls were failures and sought to wipe them from existence. From what has been seen of the trolls they are large, strong, matriarchal (as apparently only the women are able to use magic), and cannibalistic, though they see this as a sort of immortality as the consumed are believed to live on as a part of the tribe.
** They seem to mirror the Kroot of Warhammer 40k in this regard, though without the freaky genetics that make it actually true, and having your remains eaten after you die seems to be something of a compliment (they do it to humans only if suitably impressed). In fact, one of the punishments in their culture is [[http://www.errantstory.com/2009-07-08 "no one save the dirt and the worms shall eat of your meat."]] Likewise, they consider it very offensive to cremate someone's remains and burning a troll's corpse will royally piss off their tribe.
** Interestingly, despite the aforementioned cannibalism they also seem to be the [[OnlySaneMan Only Sane Race]].
* AncientConspiracy: [[spoiler: The ruling elves concealing the resting places of their creator gods from humans, half-elves, and even the majority of elves.]]
* {{Animesque}}: Mild case
* {{Angrish}}: Councilman Hinadori is a bit... ''[[http://www.errantstory.com/2010-03-22/4688 incoherent]]'' after the Elven ambassador [[http://www.errantstory.com/2010-03-19/4687 insults his granddaughter]] to his face.
* AntiMagic: The Inanire 312, a type of grenade developed by the elves at the tail end of the Errant War that is capable of disrupting magic in a small area for a short period of time. Because of its indiscriminate nature and the fact that it was introduced so late in the war, when very few people remained for it to be used on, they were rarely used. After the war's end they were tucked away in a vault in Praenubilus Astu and forgotten about by most of the population [[spoiler: until Ian attacked the city, at which point they were used to drive him off.]]
** And the Dispel spell, used by Ian [[spoiler: to kill/dissipate Luminosita]] and Meji [[spoiler: to free Sara from a binding spell]].
*** Of course, Ian gets HoistByHisOwnPetard in an anti-magic sense, when [[spoiler: Meji finally makes it to Praenubilus Astu with the airship fleet]].
* AnythingThatMoves: A faction of elves called the Rinkai have this as their hat.
* AppliedPhlebotinum: Durus Flamma blades - basically fantasy lightsabers powered by [[http://www.errantstory.com/2007-03-26 "magic elf crystals."]]
* ArmorIsUseless: Primarily due to the fact that the current weapons (magic, guns, and Durus Flamma weapons) are well ahead of the armor technology. [[http://www.errantstory.com/2006-04-28 Mentioned by Sarine]] when thinking if she should repair her current suit of armor.
** Though note she's talking about her human armor. Elven armor is dismissed as too conspicuous, not useless. Elven reactive armor even dealt with unknown threats like time ninjas.
* ArtEvolution: Gradually over the entire strip's run.
* ArtShift: Flashback strips have softer linework and pencil shading, and tend to have more irregular panels.
* AssholeVictim: Good ''lord'', the elves. A lot of backstory is given about how they have pretty much attempted to exterminate or enslave every other sapient species they've come across. This is largely to show that their [[spoiler:near-]]destruction wrought by a power-crazed, revenge-driven half-elf was brought on themselves, but given this information it's easy to sympathize with the BigBad's motivations. See the Headscratchers tab for a lengthy discussion on this.
* AssInAmbassador: And how! The first elven ambassador we see is Meji's illegitimate father, and is perfectly willing to have his daughter killed to avoid public embarrassment over his affair with a human. After he's removed due to the aforementioned embarrassment, his replacement isn't any better, calling Meji an [[FantasticSlurs errant]], and arrogantly [[ItIsDehumanizing referring to her as "it"]] to her ''[[PapaWolf grandfather]].''
* AttackHello: Sarine is returning to the elven city of Paenubilus Astu when an old friend of hers - Misa - decides to [[http://www.errantstory.com/2006-04-12 sneak up on her for fun.]] Unfortunately, Sarine is a bit jumpy after a crazy and/or obeying-the-AncientConspiracy elf attempted to assassinate her earlier, and nearly kills the girl before [[http://www.errantstory.com/2006-04-21 she realizes who she is.]]
* AuthorityEqualsAsskicking: Inverted with most of the Ensigerum. The older trainees and newly raised monks are generally ''more'' skilled than their seniors, since they have more recent experience practicing against opponents using the same kind of enhancements as they're using. Played straight with the leader, Anita, who is definitely the biggest badass in the order.
* AuthorTract: No one has anything nice to say about the Veracian church, their god or religious people, ever.
* AwesomeButImpractical: Sara uses a [[DoubleWeapon double-bladed spear]], which Sarine observes "combines all the disadvantages of a spear with all the disadvantages of a short sword in one crap package". Really, the weapon was only intended to be [[RuleOfCool flashy when swung around.]]
* AwLookTheyReallyDoLoveEachOther: Jon and Sarine finally get one of these moments (heavily lampshaded by the peanut gallery) after a year of UST in-story and several in the real world. And no, the sex scene isn't it.
* BabiesEverAfter: [[spoiler:Sarine and Jon have a daughter, Mari.]]
* BackStory: Is there anyone that doesn't have one? Seriously, there's good characterization going on here.
* BadassBack: [[spoiler: When he attacks the Praenubilus Astu, the last elven city left in the world, Ian kills an elven guard behind him by causing the guard's head to explode without looking.]]
* BadassGrandpa: Ichiro Hinadori, Meji's grandfather, is an impressively powerful mage, an unrivaled PapaWolf, and has balls of solid titanium.
* BadassNormal: Jon has his guns, a good aim, and his wits. So far, he's just about managed to hold his own against all the magical super-warriors he's run into.
* BadBoss: High Commander Yenhael.
* BadDreams: Sarine has had at least one of [[spoiler: the [[http://www.errantstory.com/2006-06-07 stillbirth of her child.]]]] Considering that it happened two thousand years ago and is only part of the emotional baggage she has been carrying it was certainly not her only one.
* BSideComics: Fun With Familiars, featuring Rape-kun and Ellis mostly.
* BaldOfAwesome: Paul. His lack of hair allows his brain to function properly, leading him to correctly conclude that [[spoiler: associating with Ian can only end badly for the Ensigerum.]] Also, giving a PhysicalGod a well deserved WhatTheHellHero speech and telling him that the Ensigerum [[http://www.errantstory.com/2008-11-26 are not his foot soldiers]] to be ordered around.
** He later [[http://www.errantstory.com/2009-07-24 did himself one better,]] bad-mouthing both his immediate superior and the aforementioned PhysicalGod for their [[IdiotBall sheer stupidity.]] In the span of a single page.
** More recently, see his OnlySaneMan moment [[http://www.errantstory.com/2011-06-23/5249 here]]. ''Really? REALLY?!''
* BaldOfEvil: Paul again, because after all he ''is'' the second in command of the Ensigerum.
* BathroomStallGraffiti: When Meji claims to still be a virgin one of her professors [[http://www.errantstory.com/2002-12-23 states that the graffiti disagrees.]] Judging by Meji's response the graffiti is probably right.
* BarehandedBladeBlock: [[spoiler: Ian [[http://www.errantstory.com/2007-08-10 does this]] on a gigantic axe wielded by Luminosita, an artificial god.]]
* BeatPanel: Along with VisibleSilence, used extensively.
* BeautyIsNeverTarnished: Averted, the women in the cast, particularly Sarine, get banged up quite a bit.
* BecauseDestinySaysSo: Explains a lot.
* BewareTheNiceOnes: [[spoiler: Ian, as the hundreds of innocents in Emerylon who he killed can attest.]]
* BittersweetEnding: A bit. But mostly just because the one narrating the epilogue is an immortal, many years later.
* BlackAndGreyMorality: It kinda says something about your setting when the one person who's the closest thing to an actual good guy also happens to be [[ProfessionalKiller an assassin]] (one with [[HitmanWithAHeart a heart]], granted, but an assassin just the same).
* BlackBestFriend: Bani, [[{{Lampshaded}} mentioned by name]] [[http://www.errantstory.com/2009-03-05 here.]]
* BladeOnAStick: The Lancea form of the Durus Flamma blade.
* BloodFromTheMouth: Used periodically to denote serious injury. Also used in conjunction with an IncurableCoughOfDeath in Leah's case.
* BoomerangComeback: A favorite tactic of Sarine's, in which she throws one of her short swords and uses magic to cause it to [[http://www.errantstory.com/2009-04-08 turn around and hit the opponent in the back.]] One variation involves charging it with electricity in case the opponent is smart enough to block it anyway.
* {{Bowdlerize}}: Jon and Sarine's sex scene originally featured full frontal of Sarine. Poe later changed it to a ToplessnessFromTheBack.
* BreastPlate: Mostly averted, heavy armor (particularly the variety favored by the regular elven military) does a very good job at concealing a person's figure, even so far that [[http://www.errantstory.com/2008-06-06 in her early appearances]] it was unclear if Commander Nisotta was a man or a woman. Even Sarine, who is actually rather well endowed, [[http://www.errantstory.com/2004-12-06 appears rather flat when in armor.]] Played straight with [[http://www.errantstory.com/2003-06-25 early versions]] of the Viradior armor. Interestingly, in other flash backs the same armor is a bit [[http://www.errantstory.com/2004-12-03 less flattering]] and the [[http://www.errantstory.com/2008-02-27 modern version]] is [[http://www.errantstory.com/2008-03-10 mentioned]] to be essentially the same as the older one, so it is likely more a slight change in artistic style than an in-story change in armor design.
* BrickJoke: This punchline is coming eventually. Remember when Meji yelled out that she was going to become a God for her final project? Within a year? [[spoiler: Well, she freaking did it. Sure, it was all just a bizarre set of circumstances ''no one'' could have predicted, but by Jove she's done it! ...Although she still didn't quite manage to pass the class.]]
* BullyingADragon: Minor example, but several of the adults in Meji's life still talk down to her like a wayward child even after [[spoiler:she gains the powers of the creator-god Senilis]].
** ''Major'' example: [[PhysicalGod Meji]] saves the elves from utter annihilation, and afterwards one of the elves arrogantly demands that she give up her powers, "generously" offering her amnesty if she does so, and promising to hunt her forever if she doesn't. One forum post compared Meji's saving of the elves [[spoiler:from Ian]] to a bunch of Jewish commandos parachuting into Berlin in 1945 to save German civilians from the depredations of the Red Army, so the elf's reaction is as [[UngratefulBastard ungrateful]] as it is suicidal. The [[http://www.errantstory.com/2012-01-02/5340 page]] is even called "Poking Bears With Sticks".
* BuyThemOff: A favorite tactic of Sarine when she needs to quickly get people to cooperate is to [[http://www.errantstory.com/2009-01-28 bribe them with an artifact]] or a piece of LostTechnology she has on account of her position as an elven ranger. She even [[http://www.errantstory.com/2009-02-11 comments]] that at the rate she's going she'll run out of stuff to buy people off with.
* CameBackWrong: When [[spoiler: Ian [[http://www.errantstory.com/2007-03-07 tries to resurrect his dead sister]] she comes back as an empty shell.]]
* CantArgueWithElves: Played straight in some cases, though just as often someone like [[BadassNormal Jon]] [[ScrewYouElves will tell them to get bent.]]
* CatsAreMagic: Ellis. He can talk, fly and is extremely resilient to offensive magic.
* CatsAreMean: Ellis, Meji's familiar, is a talking winged cat. His use of language could make sailors blush - he's constantly making crude suggestions, sexual references and inappropriate jokes. For obvious reasons, Meji regularly applies a fireball or thunderbolt to him, but since he's MadeOfIron, it doesn't really deter him to any significant degree. He's also a bit of a DeadpanSnarker.
* CerebusSyndrome: It starts off very lighthearted and grows progressively darker, with a genocidal maniac on the loose, another one in the making, and war brewing between the major powers.
** Inverted with the prologue. It opens with Sarine angsting over her human husband's mortality and the future prospects for their unborn child while the Errant War is picking up steam around them. Her husband tries to comfort her with limited success. Then it cuts to 2000 years later where Sarine kills a mentally unstable half-elf who had recently raped, murdered, and mutilated three girls. Right after the prologue it becomes lighthearted and comedic to the point of MoodWhiplash.
* CharmPerson: Sarine [[http://errantstory.com/2005-07-18 uses this to control a bandit]] they find in the woods in Farrel.
* [[ChekhovsGun Chekhov's Gun]]:
** The Inanire 312 grenades. [[http://www.errantstory.com/2008-03-07 Sarine finds]] that someone has already beaten her to cleaning out most of the stash of them in the elven vaults. [[spoiler: That someone turns out to have been Commander Nisotta, who uses them later against Ian when he attacks the city.]]
** See also CameBackWrong. [[spoiler: [[NightOfTheLivingMooks Zombie army]], anyone?]]
** A literal example at the very end: [[spoiler:Meji finds one of Jon's guns. She ends the fight with Ian by turning off the magic and blowing his brains out with it.]]
* ChronicVillainy: [[spoiler: Ian realized he was off his rocker and tried to calm down, only to turn around at the slightest hint of angst and go right back to his genocidal plans. Twice.]]
** [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] by Ian himself when he realized he has [[spoiler: [[http://www.errantstory.com/2010-02-12/4652 zombie minions]].]]
* ChurchMilitant: The Veracian church.
* ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve: Luminosita is [[spoiler: or rather ''was'']] an artificial god, one created by the collective belief (and/or a lot of deliberate spell-casting and mana-charging) of the Veracian church.
* CombatByChampion: This was one of the Ensigerum's original purposes, to fight in the place of elves as champions in duels.
* CurseCutShort: Used [[http://www.errantstory.com/2009-06-17 here]], when Meji is calling out Sarine for a bit of hypocrisy.
-->'''Meji:''' Well that seems like a mixed message, telling us not to kill anyone right after she kills the Queen Bi-\\
'''Jon:''' Not the time Meji.
* CuteBruiser: Sara, though if you call her that she'll either [[TheStoic ignore you]] or [[SuperSpeed kill you eight different ways before you can blink.]]
* DarkActionGirl: [[spoiler: Sarna]], Sara [[spoiler: before her HeelFaceTurn]], and Anita.
* DeadpanSnarker: Every main character (and plenty of supporting characters too) have their moments of this. Jon and Ellis are probably the biggest, however.
* DeflectorShields: Barrier spells are used extensively by magi on all sides.
* {{Determinator}}: The author, to keep updating the comic with all he and his wife have been through. Check out [[http://www.errantstory.com/2013-02-09/6282 this news post]] for a summary of their TraumaCongaLine.
* DeusExMachina: [[InvokedTrope Invoked]] [[http://www.errantstory.com/2002-12-30 by name]] by Meji in order to find a book she needed.
** It does indeed lead not only to the plot happening, but [[spoiler:achieves Meji's school project goal of attaining godlike power.]]
* DidTheEarthMoveForYouToo: [[http://www.errantstory.com/2007-02-26 This strip]], using the IAlwaysWantedToSayThat version.
* DidYouJustFlipOffCthulhu: Chris, a pretty weak Ensigerum trainee, [[spoiler: reacts to Ian's confession of destroying Emerylon by punching him in the face. Ian proceeds to throw him off a building, but it was the thought that counts.]]
* DistantFinale: Sarine is the only one of the main cast left at the end, to the best of our knowledge. Meji may still be around, but [[spoiler:while we don't know about Sara, Jon is most definitely dead.]]
* DontYouDarePityMe: [[http://www.errantstory.com/2005-02-09 Sarine to Jon.]]
--> '''Jon:''' Honestly, what's wrong?\\
'''Sarine:''' Just bad memories.\\
'''Jon:''' Well, we all have plenty of tho-\\
'''Sarine:''' 'Plenty?!' No! No you don't! You have barely even a handful of moments worth. I have years, decades, ''centuries.''
* DoomsDayDevice: Powered by human babies no less. Used as a throwaway line by Sarine in an angry tirade about why the elves really shouldn't keep some things [[http://www.errantstory.com/2008-08-15 secret.]]
** Presumably doesn't actually exist.
* DualWielding: Sarine fights with a pair of short swords as her preferred weapons.
* DuringTheWar: The story begins with a flashback to the opening years of the Errant War, two thousand years before the main plot, and a few others are scattered without.
* ElegantWeaponForAMoreCivilizedAge: Durus Flamma blades, elven swords used primarily for duels. However, even two thousand years before Errant Story takes place that rule was waning, as in the Errant War they were used in open combat, particularly by the Ensigerum. More recently some renegade (or simply conspiratorial) elves have used them in a similarly dishonorable fashion. Sarine herself prefers to abide by the old traditions governing their use, though if confronted by someone wielding one she does not hesitate to use her own.
* ElvesVsDwarves: {{Inverted}}. The Rinkai, a highly [[IsThatWhatTheyreCallingItNow * ahem* ]] [[AnythingThatMoves "diplomatic"]] faction of elves, were close friends with the dwarves until the latter finally died out due to their sterility.
* EnergyBeing: [[spoiler: Senilis, and possibly the entire Elven pantheon.]]
* EternalLove: Deconstructed. The elves consider near-eternal relationships a bad thing.
* FantasticRacism: The elves hunt half-elves ("errants") because they tend toward insanity and magic excellence, not a good combination. An entire city was destroyed by a single mad half-elf in the past. Ian, being a half-elf, thus naturally throws this trope back at the elves. As do most of the Ensigerum, but for other reasons.
* FantasticSlurs: The term "errant" used to only refer to half-elves who had gone insane, but the elves eventually came to view the terms "half-elf" and "errant" as interchangeable.
* FacelessGoons: The regular elven military and Viradior use face concealing helmets and masks.
* FillerStrips: Since its been running since 2002 there have been quite a few over the years.
* FlashbackNightmare: Seen in spades as Sarine [[http://www.errantstory.com/2006-06-05/518 dreams]] of her [[spoiler: half-elven]] daughter who died at birth.
* ForeShadowing: WAY back, Meji [[http://www.errantstory.com/2003-08-27/138 mentioned]] some insane conspiracy theories: [[spoiler: the races were created by acient super advanced alien life forms, Veracia and the elves are running [[AncientConspiracy ancient conspiracies]], and northerners are using LostTechnology. Every single one's been proved true]].
* ForeverWar: The Errant War dragged on for centuries, to the point where it stopped being about the events that kicked it off and degenerated into a war of genocide. It eventually "petered out" when there was no one left to fight simply because everyone was dead.
* FromTheMouthsOfBabes: the reason for the GlamourFailure below.
* GagPenis: According to artwork and comments from those in a position to know, Senilis had one last time he was [[PhysicalGod corporeal]].
* GeneralRipper: High Commander Yenhael.
* GlamourFailure: At one point Sarna utilizes a glamour in an attempt to remain undetected in a human city. [[http://www.errantstory.com/2004-02-20 A child manages to see through it,]] but the child's mother dismisses it.
* [[PapaWolf Grandpa Wolf]]: Quite the opposite of Meji's {{Jerkass}} father, do '''not''' [[BerserkButton refer to Meji]] [[FantasticSlurs as an "Errant" or as an "it"]] in front of her grandfather. [[StuffBlowingUp It won't end well,]] [[AssInAmbassador diplomatic immunity or no]].
* GuestStrip: As with the filler there have been a few of these, though not quite as many.
* HalfTheManHeUsedToBe: [[spoiler: Imperatrix Anita's fate in chapter 50.]]
* HalfHumanHybrid: The half-elves and their place in the world (or lack thereof) are the driving force of the story. The Errant War, the retreat of the elves, the eventual rise of humanity to fill the power vacuum left behind, and the current chaos are all due to the mental instability that plagues the half-elven population.
* HaveYouSeenMyGod: The elven creator deities up and vanished thousands of years before the story proper. [[spoiler: They turn out to be asleep.]]
* {{Hermaphrodite}}: Riley
* HeroicWannabe: Chris.
* HiddenElfVillage: The Ensigerum Village. Also the city of Praenubilus Astu, the last elven city left in the world after the Errant War, which is built inside a mountain and until recently was magically sealed off from the world. Tsuikarushiti as well, which until about 200 years before the main story was hidden behind a cloaking field. And Santuariel, the half-elf village in the middle of a wasteland where they're hiding from the elves that want to kill them off.
* HumansAreBastards: Applied to ''elves'', though there are several examples of more reasonable elves such as Sarine, Misa, and Nisotta.
* HumanShield: In his first appearance, [[http://errantstory.com/2003-03-19 Jon attempts to use Meji as one.]] Unfortunately the guards don't really care and try to kill him anyway.
* IllGirl: Leah, who regularly coughs up blood.
* [[ImAHumanitarian I'm A Humanitarian]]: The trolls, though they don't usually eat humans, just other trolls. To them it's something of a compliment, they believe it grants a sort of immortality as the spirit of the eaten is passed on to the eater.
* ImmortalImmaturity: Misa is about 1,500 years old yet frequently [[http://www.errantstory.com/2006-04-24 acts like she's 15,]] primarily because she has been doted on her entire life and was one of the few elves who did not take part in the Errant War.
--> '''Misa:''' Being the youngest of a race that lives forever means being eternally treated as the baby.
* IncurableCoughOfDeath: Leah regularly coughs up blood due to a birth defect stemming from being a half-elf.
* InertiaIsACruelMistress: Ensigerum speedster-monk Warrel is [[http://www.errantstory.com/2006-09-27 tricked into using a Slow Fall spell]] [[http://www.errantstory.com/2006-09-29 with painful results]].
* InterserviceRivalry: Between the ranger corps and the regular elven military. The former thinks the other is a bunch of backwards do-nothings who should leave matters of the outside world to those who know how to get around there, while the latter thinks the other is a pack of lunatics for volunteering to leave their HiddenElfVillage in the first place. Illustrated [[http://www.errantstory.com/2004-02-23 here.]]
* InTheBlood: Half-elves (reputedly) have a tendency to go violently insane. This is ultimately what led to the Errant War which devastated the old elven empire and the reason behind the elves' policy of killing half-elves wherever they are found.
* ItIsDehumanizing: The elves often refer to half-elves as "it" to show their arrogance and disdain for them.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Many of the characters, such as Jon, Sarine, and Meji, are all a bit dickish at first glance. In fact the only one who is nice on the surface [[spoiler: turns out to be a genocidal maniac.]]
* JumpingTheShark: Invoked by Sara and Bani [[http://www.errantstory.com/2010-05-28/4823 in a commentary strip]], where they lament that the author has now done so after Chapter 45.
** And then reversed, [[RussianReversal Soviet style]], in [[http://www.errantstory.com/2010-05-31/4824 the next commentary strip]].
--->'''Bani:''' There! A [long string of SymbolSwearing] shark jumped me! Top that, [[SelfDeprecation you talentless hack writer!]]
* KickTheSonOfABitch: Ian's genocidal campaign against the elves. With the exception of Sarine and Misa, they're all arrogant bastards who've been begging for that kind of smackdown the entire comic.
* KnightOfCerebus: [[spoiler: The goddess Anilis, in Ian's body. The mood, which had already been slowly shifting toward serious since the fight in Saus, dives into [[AncientConspiracy Ancient Conspiracies]] and genocide with gusto.]]
* LampshadeHanging: Happens left, right, and center.
* LaserGuidedAmnesia: [[http://www.errantstory.com/2005-02-28 Sarine utilized this]] to delete [[spoiler: the part of Jon's memory that contained the two of them having sex. Jon, however, [[http://www.errantstory.com/2005-05-02 was well aware that his memories have been manipulated]] even though he could not recall exactly what was deleted and became increasingly suspicious of Sarine as a result.]]
* LonersAreFreaks: Played with, though mostly averted. The elven rangers are mostly loners, and while the regular elven military seems to regard them as freaks the two rangers seen so far seem to be as well adjusted as any elf. The elf in Farrel who has been living there for the last two thousand years, [[spoiler: while arguably sane, is dismissed by the elven council as a madman, citing his long isolation as the reason.]]
* LookOnMyWorksYeMightyAndDespair: The elves can get very pretentious with their architecture. {{Lampshaded}} [[http://www.errantstory.com/2005-09-09 here.]]
--> (While looking for an elven warp gate the group stumbles on a simple, nondescript stone platform.)\\
'''Jon:''' Maybe that's what elven warpgates look like?\\
'''Meji:''' Nah, they're elves. Their warpgates would be, like, gigantic, with [[CrystalSpiresAndTogas glowing crystal crap]], trimmed in gold, and basically say "Our form of instantaneous global travel is [[OurElvesAreBetter better]] than your form of instantaneous global travel."
** Though actually the current elven travel platforms look like ruins, and all the real stuff is hidden underground.
* MagicKnight: Replete with them, particularly the Viradior and the Ensigerum.
* MauveShirt: Quite a few of them.
* MayDecemberRomance: Ian and Meji [[spoiler: before the former went off the deep end]], as he is 40 and she is 17. They're both half-elves though, so they [[OlderThanTheyLook don't appear to be very different in age]] on the surface.
* MayflyDecemberRomance: [[DeconstructedTrope Deconstructed]], if you can believe it. Any elf-human romantic relationship is necessarily of this nature, but for precisely this reason [[http://www.errantstory.com/2004-11-05 it becomes ''fashionable'' among the elves to engage in such relationships,]] due to an aesthetic roughly equivalent to ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mono_no_aware mono no aware]]''. This has major, ''major'' unforeseen consequences.
* MetaGuy: Bani and Sara in the Chapter Commentary segments. Meta!Bani has even been known to reference this very wiki in discussions with Sara.
* {{Metamorphosis}}: In [[http://www.errantstory.com/2010-08-02/4913 these]] [[http://www.errantstory.com/2010-08-05/4914 two]] pages, Ellis wakes up to find that he's been transformed from a winged cat into a tiny, winged [[PettingZooPeople catboy]]. So far, he is ''not'' taking it well.
* {{Mooks}}: {{Lampshaded}} [[http://www.errantstory.com/2005-03-23 here]].
--> '''Guard:''' Dude... it's a tall guy dressed in black, with a weird, [[PowerGlows glowy weapon thing]], and we're a couple of guards in matching, shiny armor... we're so fucking DEAD!
* MusclesAreMeaningless: Played with. The characters who are by far the strongest, the warrior-monks of the Ensigerum, are not particularly large people. Paul, who so far seems to be the largest of the Ensigerum, doesn't appear to be any bulkier than his fellow monks, with his size mainly coming simply from height. However, they do have [[http://errantstory.com/2004-03-10 ridiculous]] [[http://www.errantstory.com/2009-02-01 definition,]] making them more like an army of Bruce Lee's than anything else.
** Hmm. The Ensigerum use magic like physical adepts, to fuel things like running up walls. By WordOfGod elves and lucky half-elves like Meji may be the strongest per mass; Meji beat up a couple of human guards twice her size. Trolls are probably strongest but they're big and not around much.
* NeglectfulPrecursors: Although a comparatively mild example, [[spoiler: the Creator gods, Anilis and Senilis, basically abandon the elves and their other creations to take a several millennia long nap.]]
* NinjaPirateZombieRobot: The Ensigerum, an order of ninja/warrior-monk/time-mages.
* NoodleImplements: In [[http://www.errantstory.com/2010-05-17/4809 this strip]]...
--> '''Nookie:''' I think that's the second most effort I've ever had to go through just to get through a door...granted the first one involved a quantum singularity, Concussion, and a cheese and dragon on rye sandwich...so um, yeah...
* OffWithHisHead: [[http://www.errantstory.com/2009-05-25 Sara to an elf named Rainae.]]
* OhCrap: Sarine and Jon, meet [[http://www.errantstory.com/2006-09-13/562 Warrel]].
* OnlySaneMan: The trolls collectively look like they have this going for them.
** Paul, as part of his BaldOfAwesome.
* OurDwarvesAreAllTheSame: Averted. By the time Errant Story takes place (and even during the Errant War, two thousand years before the main story) the dwarves are extinct, primarily because they were all sterile and couldn't use magic.
* OurElvesAreBetter: Played mostly straight. Except it turns out that [[spoiler:the Ensigerum, the guys the elves trained as guards before they walled themselves off from the rest of the world, are actually a match for the elves in combat, even after all these years]]. And morally speaking the elves are pretty far down the ladder, having had their collective MoralEventHorizon (their attempt to exterminate the trolls for being "the gods' failure") thousands of years before the start of the comic.
* ParentalAbandonment: Most of the main characters suffer from this and even the elven people as a whole, as the creator gods Anilis and Senilis had abandoned them and vanished thousands of years prior to the main story.
* PayEvilUntoEvil: {{Lampshaded}} [[http://errantstory.com/2005-08-05 by Meji.]]
--> '''Meji:''' We just stopped a group of bandits that were preying on a small town. Does that mean we've done one of those "Good deeds through multiple acts of violent murder" things that adventurers always do in books?
* PhysicalGod: Several, including [[ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve Luminosita,]] the elven creator gods [[HaveYouSeenMyGod Anilis and Senilis,]]
* PowerNullifier: [[http://www.errantstory.com/2008-06-20 The Inanire grenades,]] which [[http://www.errantstory.com/2008-06-23 neutralize magic]] in a given area for a short period of time.
* PsychicNosebleed: [[spoiler: Meji]] has gotten them most recently [[spoiler: as her body gets used to holding Senilis.]]
* PunctuatedForEmphasis: "I have [[MySkullRunnethOver a third of an entire species' knowledge]] sodomizing my frontal lobe... [[http://www.errantstory.com/2010-09-09/4944 And. Yet. You. Are. STILL!]] ...[[BullyingADragon Giving me shit]] about [[spoiler:my stupid grades.]]"
* ReallySevenHundredYearsOld: All elves are at least 1500 years old, yet all look middle aged at most.
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: The elven Commander Nisotta and Paul, the Ensigerum second in command. Also the troll "Chieftess" in her very limited time on-stage. Pretty much everyone else with any real power is at least a little [[IdiotBall idiotic.]]
* RedHerringShirt: An inept and cowardly guard from the Veracian Church, [[http://errantstory.com/2007-09-07 named Sandel,]] [[spoiler: [[http://errantstory.com/2007-09-10 turns out to actually be an undercover spy for the Ensigerum]] Time-Ninja-Monks! Still only a MauveShirt, but that's a hell of a lot better than being an NPC Guard.]] Also, the [[FacelessGoons Viradior]] who attacks Sarine after her arrival in the elven territories and gets knocked on her ass turns out to be Misa, a moderately important side character, performing an AttackHello.
* RedShirt: Plenty of them, from Veracian guards to elven soldiers.
* ReplacementGoldfish: Part of the reason [[spoiler: Meji is not killed by Sarine is because she is reminded of her stillborn child. Sarine still hasn't come clean about this, but it's become less of a motivation after Meji ran off with Ian]]
* RousingSpeech: Combined with TheReasonYouSuckSpeech when [[http://www.errantstory.com/2011-04-07/5178 Sarine addresses the elves]] following [[spoiler: Ian launching his assault]]:
-->'''Sarine:''' Because, make no mistake, all the pain and misery that is happening to us right now... is the direct result of us spending so many useless centuries shitting on the half elves and the humans of the Ensigerum whenever possible!
** {{Lampshaded}} by the AltText noting that she was never really good at the motivation pep talks.
* RuleOfCool: The Dolon style (essentially a double bladed spear) of Durus Flamma blades. They were made for show, but the Ensigerum have put them to work as actual weapons with some success, though that owes more to the skill of the wielder than the usefulness of the weapon.
* RunningGag: Well, it doesn't actually run, but the use of a cat-sized ball gag to deal with Ellis' smart-ass remarks comes up from time to time.
* SchizoTech: Revolvers and semi-automatic rifles in a setting that is otherwise lagging behind that level in (mundane) technology. Of course the prevalence of [[{{Magitek}} magic based tech]] makes it very difficult to peg a time period.
** As does the prior existence of non-magical superintelligent dwarves, who probably had blasters and left behind a mecha. Tsuiraku is modern Japan via magic, the elves are probably that more so minus the silly culture, dwarves were supertech, non-Tsuiraku humans had to claw their way back up and are transitioning possibly with the help of dwarven ruins.
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: Jon essentially says this when he [[http://www.errantstory.com/2006-09-26 runs into Warrel.]]
** And later, the unnamed troll matriarch essentially says this to [[spoiler:Ian's attempts to recruit her clan for his Elven genocide campaign]], only in this case, it's more "Screw this, we're packing up, tearing down our huts, and getting outta here!"
* ScrewYouElves: Jon tends to say this and often has the skill and firepower to [[http://www.errantstory.com/2007-10-24 back it up.]]
** Literally says it (well, ''[[IntentionalEngrishForFunny tries to, anyway]]'') in [[http://www.errantstory.com/2009-10-09/4479 this strip]].
** And Councilman Hinadori [[http://www.errantstory.com/2010-03-19/4687 gets in on the action]] when the new elven [[AssInAmbassador ambassador]] flips out and starts making racist comments about Meji.
* SecurityCling: Played as a joke when Jon and Sarine's banter starts [[http://www.errantstory.com/2007-12-14 getting to their traveling companion]].
* ShipTease: The [[http://www.errantstory.com/2008-02-15 Valentine's Day filler strip]] and another bit of filler [[http://www.errantstory.com/2009-05-01 here.]] Both are non-canon, but that didn't stop them from drawing some rather amusing comments from the forums.
* ShouldersOfDoom: These and AllEncompassingMantle are pretty much standard in the regular elven military.
* ShoutOut: to PlanetOfTheApes, [[http://www.errantstory.com/2011-03-03/5164 here]].
* SterilityPlague: No pureblood elves have been born in over 1500 years.
* SuperSpeed: The Ensigerum use a combination of TheSpartanWay and magic to grant their warrior-monks this ability.
* SufficientlyAdvancedAliens: Senilis, Anilis, and Exitialis [[spoiler:have now been identified as alien collectives that attained corporeality. Exitialis, the Death God, is so identified because said collective disappeared, perhaps dead. The creation of the elves (and perhaps, humans) was intended to form a new collective to stabilize the other two. Who happen to be disintegrating.]] MindScrew and WhamEpisode combined into one. Well played, Poe. Well. Played.
* TalkingIsAFreeAction
* ThatDidntHappen: When [[spoiler:Sarine fucks Jon, then erases his memory. Later Jon figures out his memory was messed with and even later Sarine confesses exactly what she did, to keep Jon from paranoid speculation about it]].
* TheSpartanWay: The Ensigerum use this to churn out some of the deadliest warriors in the land.
* ThievesGuild: The basic social structure in Farrel.
* [[ThisIsSomethingHesGotToDoHimself This Is Something He's Got To Do Himself]]: [[http://www.errantstory.com/2005-08-01 Said by Sarine]] about Jon gunning down a group of bandits in the woods of Farrel.
--> '''Meji:''' Um... He did know that I could have just as easily blown up their entire camp for him instead?\\
'''Sarine:''' Quiet, he needs this I think... Or if nothing else at least it'll hopefully make him stop whining for a little while.
* ThrowingYourSwordAlwaysWorks: Turns out that [[http://www.errantstory.com/2009-04-08 pairing it with magic]] gets you a double subversion.
* TooStupidToLive: The elves, full stop. See UngratefulBastard for the biggest example.
* TrainingFromHell: Endured by Sara and Chris en route to becoming Ensigerum monks, with the little extra detail that [[spoiler:the Powers That Be secretly hope that Chris won't survive it -- as Sara eventually tells him.]]
* TrashLanding: Jon [[http://www.errantstory.com/2003-11-07/167 reintroduces himself]] to the whore who'd turned him in, starting the chain of events that got him connected to Meji.
* {{Troperiffic}}: Proudly. Poe has been known to reference TV Tropes by name in some of his {{filler}} strips.
* TwentyFourHourArmor: Mostly averted, humans generally don't even wear armor at all let alone full plate (the only people who seem to are elves) and even those who wear more reasonable armor don't wear it when they don't need to. The regular elven military does use full plate, and the problems with it are [[{{Lampshaded}} mentioned]] [[http://www.errantstory.com/2008-09-05 here.]]
** And early Sarine is in century-old human armor most of the time, though she eventually gives it up as useless.
* UngratefulBastard: The elf in [[http://www.errantstory.com/2012-01-02/5340 this]] comic. This was right after Meji had saved his race from ''extinction.''
* VisibleSilence: Frequently used, often involving [[TheStoic Sara]].
* WallOfText: Though the dialogue is much of the appeal.
* WeirdnessCensor: A spell exploits this to keep people from freaking out around Ellis, as explained [[http://www.errantstory.com/2012-12-21/5739 here]].
* WhatDidYouExpectWhenYouNamedIt: "Tsuiraku" is the Japanese word for things (planes, mostly) falling out of the sky and [[NotTheFallThatKillsYou making a mess on the ground]].
** [[AvertedTrope We haven't had a]] ColonyDrop yet, though.
** The name is clearly intentional. Presumably, it was named by a distant ancestor of Meiji who either had an odd sense of humor and/or was disappointed when it FAILED to behave as advertised.
* WhatIsThisThingYouCallLove: Sarcastically used by Sarine only with, well, ''sarcasm''.
* WhatMeasureIsAMook: So far [[spoiler: Ian has only been seen killing mooks, though the fact that all the mooks he has killed were only trying to defend their homes from a genocidal maniac makes it rather easy to end up rooting for them.]]
* WhatTheHellHero: Paul gives [[spoiler: [[http://errantstory.com/2007-11-26 Ian one of these]] after the latter destroys Emerylon in a failed attempt at SuicideByCop,]] though he's [[JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope anything but a hero by that point.]]
** Jon started giving Sarine one of these when she revealed that [[spoiler: earlier she had an emotional breakdown, slept with him, and then deleted his memory of the whole thing.]] Being Jon and Sarine, it quickly degenerated into bickering and insults.
* WhamEpisode: [[spoiler: Anilis and Senilis (and presumably Exitialis) are some sort of dying "collectives", and the dwarves, trolls, elves, and the little fairy-demigods are all their failed attempts at causing some sort of apotheosis which would somehow have stopped their decline. Humans haven't been explained yet. The entire setting's been redefined: it's sci-fi.]]
* WhereAreTheyNowEpilogue: The fates most of the surviving main characters are shown.
* WizardingSchool: The school that Meji attends.
* WrongGenreSavvy: Minor character Chris thinks he's the protagonist of something between a JRPG and a Shōnen fight manga. [[CaptainObvious He isn't.]]
* YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness: [[http://www.errantstory.com/2005-08-08 Said by Jon]] of a bandit found in the woods of Farrel.

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