[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dragon_doctors-kittyhawk.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:300:The doctors as drawn by [[Webcomic/SparklingGenerationValkyrieYuuki Kittyhawk]]. From left: Sarin the wizard, Aki (their nurse), Goro the surgeon, Kili the shaman, and Mori, the scientist and leader.]]

-> ''"Well, I can tell you that [[LivingForeverIsAwesome a long life need not be a boring one]]. Everyone's always changing. And I don't just mean physically, though there's been a lot of that going around lately."''
-->-- '''Mori''', [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-14-page-16 here]]

''[[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/ The Dragon Doctors]]'' is a {{transformation|Comic}} {{webcomic}} about four "magical doctors" touted as [[DreamTeam the best in their respective fields]], who have banded together to do good and solve medical mysteries. Consisting of a whimsical {{shapeshifting}} wizard, a grim magic-assisted surgeon, a thoughtful "magical scientist," and a caring shaman/therapist the team helps others and solves previously incurable diseases and conditions. And it all takes place in the aftermath of an expedition to solve the mystery of a cursed valley which, while successful, turned them all into [[GenderBender members of the opposite sex]], to which they adjust with [[SecondLawOfGenderBending varying degrees of success]].

Some of their major patients so far range from a sentient tree to a girl that is mysteriously invisible to a man suffering from a horrible sentient cancer. Various minor cases crop up that are even more bizarre, such as a man who cannot pronounce any word with the letter "E" in it or a woman trapped in slow motion from birth. Others are odd by our world's standards but considered commonplace by theirs, such as performing voluntary transformation services (like enlarging a pixie to human size so she can live among humans, or rejuvenating the elderly). They've also battled evil more directly as adventurers, including fighting a small army of assassins and dealing with a mysterious serial killer.

Unfortunately the author was only just learning to draw when starting out; the first chapter's art is ''very'' rough and though it is miles from where it started, it's not yet at "professional" level. (The page image is fan art). How much you enjoy the comic may depend on how tolerant you are of amateur art.

The comic is sometimes compared to ''TheWotch,'' due to its inexperienced artwork and recurring transformation theme, but its story, tone, and premise are decidedly different.

The comic is NotSafeForWork due to NippleAndDimed from chapter 16 onwards.

The comic has been published on three different sites: on the author's Website/DeviantArt page -- [[http://oddsquad.deviantart.com/ ~Oddsquad]] -- named after his previous comic; up through the beginning of Chapter 18 on DrunkDuck, [[http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/The_Dragon_Doctors/ here]], with occasional strips and progress-strips going back to [=DeviantArt=] when Drunk Duck was down; and [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/ the current DHSComix site]], started in September 2013 during an extended Drunk Duck outage.
%% Links are being transferred from Drunk Duck to the new DHS Comix page incrementally; currently edits run through Page 44 of Chapter 17.

The author has also launched a [[http://www.patreon.com/Speedball Patreon campaign]], promising exclusive new story content for certain donators.

----
!!This WebComic contains examples of the following tropes:
* AfterTheEnd: Civilization is said to have fallen four times during the two thousand years between modern times and the Doctors' time (The "Breakings").
* AfterlifeAntechamber: Kili describes the afterlife as being a place that cannot be accurately described whatsoever by the living, since it is not a paradise for the living, but a paradise for the soul. The parts of the spirit world that we see her interact with are explicitly ''not'' the final resting places of anyone.
* AerithAndBob: The protagonists are named Mori, Aki, Kili, Goro, Sarin, Tanica ... and Greg. [[JustifiedTrope This may be due to the aforementioned mixed-up nature of the worldsetting and that the Dragon Doctors are new to the Tinto area]]; most of the people from Tinto have English names.
* AkashicRecords: As a shaman, Kili can access these at will and used them to research Rina's case, since all other records had been destroyed by time and the various Breakings.
* AlmostKiss: [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-5-page-28 Kili and Greg's first kiss is interrupted]] by [[spoiler:the Crax]]. They do it proper later.
* AndIMustScream: Rina. For ''two thousand years.'' Mercifully, she fell asleep eventually, but not after [[GoMadFromTheIsolation going a little crazy]].
* {{Angrish}}: Mori gets her sanity worn down to almost nothing by a mind-stealing demon, and when even violence fails her [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/the-end-page-10 she resorts to furious sputtering.]]
* AntimagicalFaction: Thoria in the past was this, as a reaction to a war where people turned themselves into beastmen with magic. They weren't against ''all'' magic, but severely restricted its use in their populace and they ejected non-humans from their society. When rejuvenation magic was rediscovered, there was a social revolution in Thoria and they softened their stance considerably. The author noted that this was an ironic situation, where the conservative old guys in charge were suddenly the ones who most wanted change.
* ApocalypseHow: The four breakings, as follows:
** '''First Breaking''': Class I, severe societal change, due to the BrokenMasquerade. Civil war in every country on Earth as magic was made public knowledge and people rebelled against magic-using puppet masters manipulating the world.
** '''Second Breaking''': Class II, total societal breakdown, due to a nuclear war. Called the "Poison Light War" as a flowery name for "radiation."
** '''Third Breaking''': Class III, species extinction, due to meteor impact. Humans didn't go extinct, but some other things did. The world's ecology was eventually restored but not without severe loss.
** '''Fourth Breaking''': PatchworkWorld. Civilization reaches the technological/magical Singularity but becomes fragile and some unspecified incident causes space and time to fracture, resulting in bits and pieces of other worlds merging with our own. Third Era technology, due to being overspecialized, becomes lost. Civilization rebuilds, but models itself after the 20th-21st century.
*** It's ultimately revealed that [[spoiler: The 4th Breaking was caused by a ghost of a person who used time travel to kill her past self. This created a super-ghost called Paradox Anon. This unimaginably powerful ghost wrecked the entire world and made time travel to any time before the 4th breaking impossible.]] After all the flying cities fell and all the transhumans either died or changed themselves back to baseline humans, the survivors decided that it might be a good idea NOT to do make extravagant use of technology like that again, since it risked having that kind of super-cataclysm happening again.
* ApologizesALot: The ''artist,'' who often laments not being better at drawing.
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking: [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-2-page-9 Tanica tried to kill Sarin, made her waste her one-of-a-kind magic seed, and is now blocking the window.]]
* ArtEvolution: The art begins as sketchy black-and-white line drawings, with color added in Chapter 2 and polish over the course of the years since -- compare [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-2-page-5 this Chapter 2 page]] to [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-10-page-19 this Chapter 10 page]] to [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-18-page-04 this Chapter 18 page]].
* AssholeVictim: [[spoiler:[[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-13-page-25 Lee Smith]]]]. As TheRant says:
-->'''Merlin:''' Aw, but what could [[spoiler:Smith]] have done to deserve this?\\
[''beat'']\\
'''Merlin:''' ...oh yeah
* AttractiveBentGender: {{Gender Inverted|Trope}} with Mori, a short, fairly plain woman who changes into [[{{Hunk}} a tall, buff guy]], and averted with Aki's father, who's just as overweight as a woman. The aversion is Lampshaded when Aki's dad admits "Not everyone gets to be a babe when they jump the gender fence."
* {{Backstory}}: Chapter 12 is all about Mori. It's right there in the title.
* BadassBoast: A few, from both major and minor characters.
-->'''Sarin:''' I am a total magical badass.
-->'''Sarin:''' You've got my full attention. That means you've lost.
-->'''Goro:''' Never underestimate a guerilla defending their turf. This is a hospital. ''You're in my jungle now.''
--> '''Sam:''' Dude, [[ItMakesSenseInContext I gave up my dick]] just to chase a perp into no-man's land, you really think I give a damn about that?
* BadassLabcoat: Mori usually wears a white double-buttoned affair, like DoctorSteel.
* BadassNormal: Goro, during the DieHardOnAnX chapter. [[spoiler: Taking out a thief, evading three of them long enough to sabotage their target, which effectively renders one of them helpless, and setting the face of the third on ''fire''. Even with Elizabeth outsmarting her at the end, she did extremely well.]]
* LittleMissBadass: Poor, poor Goro, though this changed at the end of the thief arc.
* BalefulPolymorph:
** One of the effects of Mori's Scroll Gun in the Mr. Smith arc.
** Sarin's master put him through this as training. The first step of said training was spending a couple years as a tree in a forest.
** The same thing happens to Tanica the assassin when she's hit with Sarin's seed. Duration is "somewhere between six months and four years".
* BattleInTheCenterOfTheMind: Kili versus The Crax, twice. Mental combat is apparently all about confidence and willpower, and Preston Chang (the Crax) says that the best way to defeat the opponent is to confront them with BrutalHonesty and AwfulTruth to undermine their willpower, which is why both battles involve Chang making Kili face her unpleasant past. [[spoiler: Kili turns it around on him in the second fight by making him realize he's been DeadAllAlong; for an ImmortalitySeeker, there's no worse thing to face. He suffers an immediate Villainous Breakdown.]]
* BeautyIsNeverTarnished: Averted. Goro suffers [[spoiler: [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-13-page-19 severe burns]] fighting Mr. Smith.]]
* BeastMan: The [[PettingZooPeople anthropomorphic animal-people]] who have appeared are all collectively referred to as "beastmen." They include catgirls, bugmen, and one instance of a lawyer who looks like a buffalo. The author has said this is partly because of the fantasy setting, which allows more diversification to help avert OnlySixFaces.
* BetaCouple: Though Mori and Sarin are the smartest and most powerful members of the team, respectively, their relationship is mostly kept to themselves rather than on display like Kili/Greg or Goro/Aki.
* BewareTheNiceOnes: The comic is full of nice people who could kick your ass and/or have a hidden dark side; sweet and sensitive Kili can turn into a ravening werewolf strong enough to punch people through walls, Sarin the wizard used to be an evil mugger and still remembers how to knife-fight (and has a BerserkButton: don't condescend to the magical badass), and Tomo the schoolgirl will MELT YOUR FACE OFF with disinfectant.
** And Sarin, when angry, can slap an astral projection so hard that the person on the other end can feel it. That's right, SHE CAN SLAP YOUR SOUL!!!
* BigBrotherIsWatching: Played with: In the Camera Democracy, everybody wears a camera, and as long as it's on, it can prove that they're telling the truth. However, they can turn the cameras off in private, so instead of "Big Brother is watching", it's more like "You let Big Brother watch." Ideally, anyway.
* BiTheWay: A common and readily available enchantment specifically modifies sexuality to be "compatible" with another person. Useful for a village where all the men are gender-bent permanently against their will.
* BittersweetEnding: Not all the Doctors' cases end perfectly. Take Priscilla, for example. [[spoiler: They manage to stabilize her, but she's permanently blue and covered in tattoos that are keeping her from blowing up.... and they'll only work for a year, max, at which point they will have to forcibly regress her back to a child and let her grow up again, this time hopefully not gaining the condition in the first place.]]
* BreadEggsMilkSquick: [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-10-page-45 Goro lists some advantages of being female.]]
* BodyHorror: The Crax, a sentient cancer that devours its victims' minds and bodies. [[spoiler:Later revealed to be the physical manifestation of a man who chose the path of ImmortalityImmorality.]]
* BodySnatcher: Again, the Crax. A couple of sub-tropes, too.
** DemonicPossession: [[spoiler: the true method of Crax infection]]
** GrandTheftMe: [[spoiler: The origin of the Crax]]
** PuppeteerParasite: The apparent method of Crax infection.
** [[spoiler: TheSymbiote: The ultimate fate of the Crax, after having disposed of Chang's mind. It toys with the idea of mimicking Kili's lycanthropy in it's victims, but gives that up and picks the most logical course of action -- replacing it's hosts's stomach and intestinal bacteria with itself. No human would ever want to get rid of it, it will have no end of hosts, and ''no one will ever know it's there,'' meaning it will never face extinction again. Chang, however, is ''screwed.'']]
* BoobsOfSteel: [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-11-page-14 Invoked by Sarin after Goro recovers her strength.]]
* BrutalHonesty: [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-2-page-21 After Sarin confesses her romantic interest in Mori]] in the wake of their respective {{Gender Bender}}s, Mori invokes this trope to let her know that [[SubvertedTrope he's interested, too]].
* CallBack:
** [[spoiler: Tomo's return at the end of the Crax Arc.]]
** With a much longer setup, the [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-4-page-25 B-plot patient's payment in Chapter 4]] [[spoiler: [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-13-page-32 saves Tanica's life]]]] in Chapter 13.
** Only slightly longer a setup is [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-3-page-19 Goro's question to Tanica in Chapter 3]] -- [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-13-page-30 her answer to which]] is [[spoiler:the HeroicSacrifice which caused Tanica's life to need saving in Chapter 13]].
** [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-9-page-20 The wizard recruiter from Chapter 9]] whom [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-9-page-22 Sarin inflicts with a temporary]] [[TheNudifier "Equipment Malfunction"]] curse [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-14-page-07 shows up again in Chapter 14.]]
* CastFromLifespan:
** One chapter deals with a horrible curse that prevents a lost soul from moving on to the afterlife; the price for this terrible curse is that while the soul is unable to rest, ''neither is the caster'' -- she is unable to sleep, suffers from a continuous burning sensation in the back of her mind, and ages at about double speed. Worse, [[spoiler:the wording in the spellbook is so vague that ''the caster didn't even know it was a curse in the first place'']].
** In a more classical example: after [[spoiler:Tanica]] learns some basic healing magic that she can't summon enough magical power to cast, she ends up [[HeroicSacrifice tearing out her own life essence]] to fuel the spell when [[spoiler:Goro collapses at her feet and she has no way of summoning help]].
* CatchPhrase:
** Sarin seems to have adopted "I am a total magical badass."
** Goro often drinks "to the misremembered." [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-13-page-16 She eventually explains why.]]
* CatGirl: The hairy version is among the common beastman variants in the setting; there's also been at least one catdude. That said, when Goro gets turned into one during the Crax arc, [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-5-page-14 she is not amused.]]
* ClothingDamage:
** Weaponised as another effect of Mori's Spell Gun.
--->'''Trsanti Squad Leader:''' Fredricka and Davan narrowly avoided getting arrested for public nudity....
** Sarin also uses this as punishment for a very nosy magic user, permanently making it so the woman's magic causes her to destroy any clothing she's wearing. ([[spoiler: Although Sarin is bluffing in order to torment the mage, it'll only last for a week. Or at least, it's only SUPPOSED to last for a week... ]]) She also uses it to disable [[spoiler: Elizabeth]] in a hostage situation. As she girl says, "she loves that spell."
** In a subversion of the usual transformation clothing damage, Mori explodes her shirt when she turns into a man.
** Kili's werewolf form is now larger than her human form, so losing her clothes is now inevitable. Good thing GodivaHair is one of the side effects of her lycanthropy.
* CombatMedic: Naturally; three of the doctors are powerful magic users, and Goro used to be a soldier. Even in a weak body, she's still a good shot with a thrown scalpel.
* CombatTentacles: The mature form of the Crax parasite apparently uses these.
* ComplimentBackfire: Goro, who is having difficulty adjusting to being changed from a large, burly man to a small and frail woman, is not happy when a patient suggests that having small, delicate fingers must give her a big advantage when performing delicate surgery.
* CulturalRebel: One of Sarin's patients in Chapter 3 is [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-3-page-17 a fairy who asks to be turned human-size]] in order to [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-3-page-18 make a life for herself in Tinto.]]
-->'''[[WordOfGod Speedball]]:''' Tinto is a relatively suburban area, but it is the biggest town in the region, so a forest-dwelling sprite living there is like a desert nomad suddenly moving to Mexico City.
%% Above quotation from http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/The_Dragon_Doctors/5095541/
* DarkAndTroubledPast: Most of the doctors, despite being fairly well-adjusted adults in the present. When the author realized this, he concluded he must be some kind of optimist.
* DeadAllAlong: [[spoiler: Tomo doesn't know she's a ghost.]] Kili says the Trope name in conversation.
* {{Deconstruction}}: A minor mini-arc in the middle of the "Messenger of Death" chapter has Sarin being approached by the astral projection of a wizard who wants to recruit her for some grand purpose. Sarin, who is usually quite cheerful, refuses to play ball, growling at the recruiter for the presumptuousness of showing up unannounced to give a "You Are TheChosenOne" speech and pointing out how creepy it is to spy on someone with magic. She loses her temper completely when the recruiter says "[[StockPhrase My name is of no importance]]" and slaps the recruiter's ''astral projection'', which both shows off Sarin's indignation as well as hinting just how powerful she really is. Sarin continues to rip the recruiter a new one verbally and [[CherryTapping finishes off]] by zapping the recruiter with a curse that [[TheNudifier makes her clothes disintegrate]] whenever she uses magic.
** The main reason that Sarin refuses? It's because, by her words, people who paint in broad strokes make big mistakes, and Sarin is much happier helping people on a one on one basis than trying to help millions and accidentally killing thousands. Given how powerful some magic can be, more than likely, someone has tried this before, and probably was the cause for one of the Breakings.
* DefrostingIceQueen: Tanica, thanks mostly to the efforts of Aki.
* ADegreeInUseless: [[spoiler: The reason Elka became an assassin; she got not one, but MANY useless degrees and had no marketable talents that could pay off the ridiculously large student loans.]]
* DeusExMachina: Averted, but lampshaded in the strip title when [[spoiler: Tomo arrives at the end of the Crax Arc]].
** [[spoiler: Tomo is making a habit of this, showing up to help Kili defeat a missummoned EldritchAbomination that was going to kill her. It's implied that Tomo is spending her [[GuardianAngel afterlife watching over Kili from the spirit world.]]]]
* [[DieHardOnAnX Die Hard in a Hospital]]: Goro's overnight stay awaiting the LifeEnergy transplant does not go well.
* DiscountLesbians: The inhabitants of Agri Village, and in the main cast [[spoiler: Aki and Goro]].
-->'''Kili:''' I don't think they're lesbians so much as--\\
'''Spirit:''' Pfft. Like I care about technicalities.
** The [[spoiler: Aki and Goro]] pairing is especially strange because, in one regard [[spoiler: they're both heterosexual men]].
*** Well, not really for [[spoiler: Aki]], since she [[spoiler: hasn't been a male since she was 5 years old, and never considered herself a boy anyway]].
* DoesntLikeGuns: Justified; the Trsanti assassins use [[InvisibilityCloak invisibility suits]] and knives for maximum quiet in their kills. This backfires, however, when the psychic Kili senses the intent to kill of over 20 people closing in and the invisibility is dispelled, causing a Mexican Standoff between the magic-using Dragon Doctors and the posse of knife-wielding assassins, ''while they're operating on a patient''.
* DoomedHometown: Kili's home was destroyed by a tidal wave, leaving him the sole survivor.
* DoYouWantToCopulate: At the end of Chapter 10, Goro's suggestion to her girlfriend about [[GladToBeAliveSex celebrating the victory against the gang of thieves]] is [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-10-page-41 very direct.]]
* DrJerk: Goro's abrasive some of the time, but this trope really belongs to Dr. Songbird, Aki's mother, whose idea of bedside manner is "try not to die in the next month or two."
* {{Dystopia}}: Thoria, a hundred-fifty years ago anyway. It advertises itself as "a safe country for normal people". Meaning no magic, no weirdness, no rejuvenations, all traditional. If you fit their standards for normal, it's a nice place. But if you have a genetic defect like Mori, you get deported. And that's if you're lucky.
** It's also a more effective dystopia than many because the Thorians are not relentlessly ANaziByAnyOtherName: they have valid reasons for opposing magic and recognize that condemning Mori's parents for a genetic manipulation that was the only way to let her survive comes across as monstrous, as well as acknowledging that she herself should not be directly punished as she had no choice in the matter. But they believe they stick to their rules strictly, KnightTemplar style, even while appearing to regret it, and come across as much more human than most such examples.
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: The characterizations and setting hadn't been nailed down in the first chapter, and there were a few odd things, such as Sarin wearing a robe that kept changing symbols on its front.
* EmergencyTransformation:
** Sarin can turn anyone into anything, and using this to help a dying patient is a valid medical technique (called "Alter-Healing") in this series. However, the only time we've seen Sarin do this was an inversion of the usual for this trope; a non-human turned ''into'' a human, because her true form was too difficult to heal.
** Greg was also petrified in the Crax arc, to trap the NighInvulnerable parasite inside him while keeping him stable, but this was only one part of a lengthy process. Rina Lee had to turn ''herself'' into stone because she was trapped in an abandoned mine behind an indestructible forcefield and was facing death by starvation. She got rescued after two thousand years.
** [[spoiler: Lem]] in a more traditional sense ([[spoiler: read "permanent transformation"]]), during the Mori Backstory arc. Significant in-universe as the first revolutionary procedure of one of finest medical minds of the time.
** The person who bankrolls the Dragon Doctors also had to undergo an EmergencyTransformation. Her body was afflicted with RapidAging which even the prevalent rejuvenation technology couldn't fix. She had to spend a few years as a statue, but was able to interact with telepathic interpreters to run her company. Eventually Mori came up with the idea of turning her into a Crystal Person, since that species has no aging.
** Ironically, it was also done to a Crystal Person, who suffered severe injuries, changing her temporarily into a human, since they didn't have the means to treat a Crystal Person, but they DID have the means to treat a human.
* EmptyPilesOfClothing: TropeNamer. An explorer finds empty piles of clothing and says "That's bad! That's always a bad sign!" He goes through a minor EpilepticTrees guessing game about what happened to the owners of the piles of clothing, but it turns out they overdosed on a FountainOfYouth.
* EpiphanicPrison: [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-13-page-37 Sarin's analysis]] suggests that [[spoiler:the seed]] is one: both victims we see caught by it escape after [[spoiler:they let go of the violent, dysfunctional people they used to be]].
* EverybodysDeadDave: Rina had to deal with this after being turned to stone for two thousand years; Kili had to deal with it as a kid when everyone in her village was drowned in a tsunami.
* ExperiencedProtagonist: The Dragon Doctors all start off the comic as possibly the world's best team of magical doctors: Goro's an ex-military combat surgeon who can chop anyone apart and sew them back together again, Sarin the Wizard is a supreme transformation specialist, Mori is a super-smart magical scientist, and Kili is the most sensitive shaman in the world. Their real journey is one of character development rather than skill development.
* ExpressiveShirt: Sarin's robe from the first arc.
* ExtremeOmnivore: The Crax is a life-form that can adapt to devour ''anything.'' The human consciousness that resides within it, Preston Chang, says that once he's done eating everything living on Earth he'll switch to eating sunlight if necessary. This is the reason why the only way to attack the Crax is [[KillItWithIce by freezing it]], because it can even devour energy (making any magic except ice magic useless on it).
* EyeScream: Goro faced an enemy with EyeBeams and went for the most immediate threat.
* FaceStealer: One identity-theft spell [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-10-page-30 uses the blood of the victim as a component.]]
* FatalAttractor: Greg's had a lot of girlfriends in the past, all with interesting backgrounds, but [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-8-page-11 he's also had to break up with all of them due to unusual circumstances.]] The worst was when one (an alchemist) accidentally split herself into a dozen copies of herself; Greg couldn't date all of them and it wouldn't have been fair to just settle on one, so they broke up.
* FatalFamilyPhoto: {{Discussed|Trope}} during Mori's backstory, when [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-12-page-17 Mori shows Nancy a picture of Lem, his wife, and his kids]].
-->What are you doing, showing off your family photo like that, Doc? [[GenreSavvy Don't you know that's bad luck?]].
* FauxAffablyEvil: Cary. Don't let his cheery attitude fool you, he/she's nothing less than a monster.
* FetalPositionRebirth: [[spoiler: Tanica]], once she finally gets cured of [[spoiler: being a tree.]]
* FingerlessGloves: Goro, for the express purpose of looking more badass.
* FirstLawOfGenderBending: Initially, the Agri Valley curse turned the male doctors (among hundreds or thousands of others) into women, and Mori was turned into a man to fix it. Despite magic, including transformation magic, being commonplace, it was said that they lacked "essence" of their original sexes and to change them back was not only impossible, but on some level inconceivable. Despite this, in chapter 14, [[spoiler:Aki (a nurse) and Mori are cured in a lab accident]]; since an extremely rare panacea was used, and Goro, at least, expressed reluctance to change back anyway for fear of disturbing Aki (a lifelong Agri resident [[spoiler:who had not known she was born male and turned back immediately]]), [[spoiler:all four doctors]] are now female for good.
* FiveManBand:
** TheSmartGuy: Mori, a sort of MagiTek ScienceHero. Diagnostician for the team, and its founder.
** TheLancer: Sarin, apparent goofball wizard, until you [[BewareTheNiceOnes get her mad]]. Doubles as both a heavy magic expert and an aesthetician, since she can turn anyone into anything.
** TheBigGuy: In a subversion, Goro ''used'' to be big and muscular but got drained of all her strength by the valley curse and desperately wishes to return to being the big one. Formerly a soldier, and still ''acts'' tough, or tries to appear so, by wearing body armor. Bit of a GeniusBruiser since she's a surgeon.
** TheHeart: Kili the shaman/therapist, whose job is to heal the wounds of the spirit, whether that spirit is of a living person or otherwise. A strong candidate for "TheHero" considering how much anguish she's willing to go through to save people.
** TheChick: Part-fairy assistant girl Aki Songbird; also Goro's girlfriend.
* [[FourTemperamentEnsemble Five-Temperament Ensemble]]:
** Sanguine: Sarin (fun-loving and creative, but can be arrogant and insensitive).
** Choleric: Goro (driven and capable, but can overbearing and inflexible).
** Melancholic: Mori (careful and inventive, well-adusted, but still stuggles with overcoming failures).
** Leuquine: Kili (thoughtful and caring, but tends to avoid confrontation until she explodes).
** Phlegmatic: Aki (calm and compassionate, but almost exclusively reactionary).
* FountainOfYouth: A very large (it's lake-sized) and very ''dangerous'' one; its anti-aging effects are so strong nothing in the vicinity grows at all, leaving it a desolate wasteland, and many people got regressed into nothing just by contact with the vapors from it. Reverse-engineering it allowed Mori and the rest of the world to benefit from its rejuvenating effects, hence why so many characters are OlderThanTheyLook, including Mori (who just turned 170).
* FreakyFridayFlip: Another effect of the Spell Gun exploding, combined with a GenderBender.
* GenderBender: Happens quite a bit, though usually not gratuitously. [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-6-page-13 Usually.]]
-->'''Greg''': I have no idea how I'd react to that.\\
'''Sarin''': Why wonder?\\
''*snap!*''\\
''*bwoooomp!*''
* GenderBlenderName:
** Almost everyone suffering from the valley curse happens to have a gender-ambiguous name. Most of the main characters (except Goro, which is definitely a male Japanese name), there's the boisterous cop Sam, two of Greg's valley-cursed friends are "Terry" and "Drew," the mobster "Cary," and so on.
** The dryad cop Phil -- [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-17-page-35 her full name is "Philharmonic Orchestra".]]
* {{Gendercide}}: Well, nobody actually ''died'', but the first chapter of the story that sets everything in motion is a cursed valley that caused all its visitors and inhabitants to become permanently female. The protagonists are not immune to this curse either (they use protection magic, but it fails). They find out the curse is caused by an artifact that siphons masculinity from everything around it to promote plant growth (male fertility, basically). When Goro tried to attack it, it drained both his remaining masculine essence, as well as almost all of his strength essence, which comes dangerously close to being fatal over the long term. To blow it up, Mori has to sacrifice her own ''feminine'' essence and becomes a man permanently as a result, so all four of the protagonists start off the series getting permanently gender-bent. (That said, the civilization that made the feminizing artifacts in the first place ''did'' die out -- probably due to depopulation.)
* GeneticEngineeringIsTheNewNuke: About 200 years before the comic takes place, there was a huge conflict called the "Beastman Wars" where humans discovered magical LEGOGenetics and made themselves superhuman "beastmen" by splicing animal traits into themselves. Unfortunately, they lost because their biologies were different enough from human that they weren't prepared logistically for soldiers who ate three times as much and couldn't stomach certain things that humans take for granted, like chocolate. The reaction to the Beastman Wars led to the creation of ultra-conservative Thoria, a nation that severely restricted "deviant" magic.
* GeniusBruiser:
** Goro was in the army before becoming a legendary surgeon and joining the Dragon Doctors. She demonstrates both her NervesOfSteel and combat training during Smith's surgery: [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-2-page-5 when an assassin tried to enter the operating room, she threw the scalpel Aki had just handed her like a throwing knife and casually requested another to operate with.]]
** Tanica is introduced as an assassin on the team sent to kill Smith. After she is [[BalefulPolymorph accidentally turned into a tree]] during the fight, she ends up as a patient of the Dragon Doctors, and they decide to take turns keeping her company to save her from [[GoMadFromTheIsolation going crazy from lack of social interaction]]. Mori, TheSmartGuy, [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-3-page-16 decides on his first turn to challenge Tanica to a relaxing game of]] TabletopGame/{{Go}} -- and learns to his discomfiture that Tanica is ''good'' at it. [[spoiler:It is later revealed that Tanica became an assassin specifically to pay off the student loans incurred earning her multiple university degrees]].
* GiftOfTheMagiPlot: [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-4-page-27 Euryale the gorgon has herself turned human to be with Percy (the human), while Percy has himself turned into a rock golem-thing to be with Euryale.]] Fortunately, both transformations are reversible, so they just laugh it off.
* TheGlassesComeOff: Elizabeth takes off her sunglasses when she gets annoyed.
* GodivaHair: Kili has this on several occasions after [[spoiler:becoming a werewolf]], such as [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-9-page-47 here]].
* GuardianAngel: [[spoiler: Tomo has saved Kili twice from spiritual threats, it's implied she spends her afterlife spiritually watching over Kili's shoulder.]]
* HarmlessFreezing: Justified with the NighInvulnerable Crax; the Doctors plan to dispose of it by [[SchizoTech freezing it with magic, storing it in liquid nitrogen, and dissolving it with magical acid.]] [[spoiler: This is due to its status as an energy eater, only cold effects work to restrain it cause there is no energy to consume.]]
* HeroicAlbino: Mori was attacked in Chapter 19 by a demon that kills you by devouring the story of your life, looking more like you the more it eats. It got so far that it drained out all the color from Mori's body, leaving her skin paper-white and her hair silver. Even the inside of her mouth looks grey now.
* HitSoHardTheCalendarFeltIt: The four "breakings" each started a new calendar. The current year is "625 4B". It becomes 627 4B by the time [[spoiler: Tanica finally turns human]].
* HoistByHisOwnPetard:
** [[spoiler: Larko Udo, swallowed by the spirit of death he summoned. He deserved it, although Kili saved him with the rest of the people who got swallowed and gave him a [[CruelMercy fate even worse.]]]]
** Subverted by [[spoiler: Elizabeth, who probably would have gotten away if she'd just cut her losses and not tried to pull an act of revenge by turning into Goro. However, if she had, she wouldn't have been able to get the money she needed, which was the whole reason she tried stealing rejuvenant in the first place. Turning into Goro was simply the most convenient method that happened to kill two birds with one stone.]]
* HonorBeforeReason: [[spoiler:Goro]] [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-13-page-18 demonstrates this]] by going after [[spoiler:Smith]] alone. Afterwards, [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-17-page-20 she realizes that it wasn't worth it.]]
* IdiotBall: The Doctors' mishandling of the Valley case. Sarin justifies the mistake later by saying "Every good wizard needs to screw up once in a while, it keeps us humble."
** And let's not forget the previously mentioned ancient civilization that created the idols that drain male essence. [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything An entire civilization instituted a nation wide program of using magic to increase crop growth,]] [[WhatAnIdiot without testing it for long term effects first, and giving the source of this magic an incredibly effective means of preventing it's destruction, and no means of turning it off asides from complete annihilation.]] [[FridgeBrilliance They didn't die by gendercide, they died from terminal stupidity!]]
* ImmortalityImmorality: [[spoiler: The Crax is the physical vessel of a mage who learned how to take over other bodies. TheVirus effect comes from his mind copying itself into his victims.]]
* ImposterForgotOneDetail: In Chapter 10, the thief "Elizabeth" disguised herself as [[spoiler:Goro]] [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-10-page-30 with a specialized identity theft spell that hid her previous forms.]] Unfortunately for Elizabeth, [[spoiler:[[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-10-page-36 Sarin instantly noticed that she couldn't see]] [[GenderBender Goro's old male form.]]]]
* ImprobablyFemaleCast: Justified. The first case the Doctors solve in the series is a cursed valley with a statue in the center that caused all visitors and inhabitants to become permanently female. The doctors themselves were hit by this curse before they managed to destroy the statue, so most of them are stuck as women. Most of the comic takes place in Tinto, the town next-door to the valley, but it also has a large female population as a sociological side-effect of the curse; rescue workers, police officers, delivery workers and anyone else with a high-mobility job are usually female in case they need to pass through or near to the valley.
* IncompatibleOrientation: Defied in-universe, thanks to [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-6-page-10 "orientation adapters".]]
* InstantRunes: Mori explains the basis of this ability and how to take it to a new level altogether [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-18-page-04 here]]; at this point it's become like a magical HolographicInterface containing 120 customizable spells.
* InstantSedation: One of Goro's talents is this, as a magical surgeon. It comes in handy a few times.
* IntimatePsychotherapy: [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-2-page-22 One of the reasons Aki gives for sleeping with Goro]] is reassuring the latter that [[GenderBender being turned into a girl]] didn't make her less of a person.
* InvisibleToNormals: The Silent Suffering arc features a character who is invisible to everybody, even Kili when she isn't trying.
* IronicEchoCut: [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/the-fourth-breaking-pg-5 The last comic of "The Fourth Breaking"]] (the interlude between Chapters 16 and 17) ends with Rina saying, "My mother told me once that, on balance, the future is better than the past. Sometimes things get worse, much worse, but then they improve. I guess she was right." The next page is [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/chapter-17-pg-1-things-get-much-worse the title page of Chapter 17]]: "Things Get Much Worse".
* ISeeDeadPeople: Kili. Her tattoos negate some of this ability so that she stays sane.
* IWantMyJetPack: Rina wakes up in a normal-looking hospital bed after being told she's 2000 years in the future, and thinks, "It doesn't ''look'' like the future. Not enough lasers or flashing lights." Then she turns a corner and sees Mori diagnosing an insectoid man.
* JumpingTheGenderBarrier:
** Subverted with Mori and Sarin, since they ''both'' changed genders.
** [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-10-page-40 In Chapter 10]], Tanica points out that Greg's lucky that he met Kili as a woman. Greg suggests that [[IfItsYouItsOkay they might have fallen in love anyway]] if that wasn't the case.
* LegoGenetics: Mori points out that this is only made possible by the use of magic, which is able to swap out traits as conceptual objects.
* LeyLine: Rina was buried in one by Derek, so the magical spell keeping her trapped there would run forever. She was later discovered by a ley line surveyor in Frontera. [[spoiler:Unfortunately, being stuck soaking in mana for centuries sent her into mana shock and she nearly exploded after being recovered]].
* LivingRelic: Rina became one after being rescued from the trap Derek put her in.
* LockedIntoStrangeness: Happens several times. Sarin the wizard's hair is green as a leftover from when she was turned into a tree for years, and Kili's hair has been white ever since she was haunted by a spirit as a child. Kili gets hit with more hair effects later; after becoming a werewolf, her hair adopts a [[WildHair wild style]] and grows so rapidly it is now at perpetual RapunzelHair length.
* LongevityTreatment: Mori reverse-engineered the effects of a FountainOfYouth over a hundred years ago. The Fountain itself is a deadly lake that regresses everything to nothing within its radius, but learning its magic has allowed other characters to get regular rejuvenation treatments.
* LoveIsInTheAir: [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-2-page-24 The Capricious Spirit of Love suggests this was an effect of the Spell Gun]] -- although they claim it was [[EpilepticTrees nonsense]] right after.
* TheMagicComesBack: This was to be the main plot of ''The Odd Squad'', the unfinished prequel to ''The Dragon Doctors'' that set up the First Breaking.
* {{Magick}}: Made fun of in one strip, which had a background poster saying "Magic is not spelled with a 'k!'"
* MagicPants: Literally. Sarin can summon "emergency pants," a spell apparently developed because "I had a very wild adolescence." Averted in most other cases, however, since quite often we've seen that transformation does not apply to people's clothing (necessitating the need to buy all-new wardrobes in certain cases).
* MagicWand: Mori most often uses a wand which, while mechanical, seems to use magic and is usually used to scan patients with a "woob-woob" sound effect. It has a little pull-out display screen. A more traditional magic wand with a yellow star on top was wielded by one of the four magical thieves assaulting the hospital Goro was in; the wielder was the thieves' "technical expert" and used it for a variety of purposes including communications-jamming, lock-picking and (attempted) fireball-tossing.
* MagiTek: Since Mori is a "magical scientist," Mori is often seen using some sort of techno-wand. There's also been a few guns that shoot magic.
* ManIFeelLikeAWoman: Sarin. She also teases Kili by accusing her of this when Kili's just having trouble putting on a bra.
* TheMasquerade: The pre-first breaking world, which is based on 21st century Earth. It turns out that mages were secretly running ''everything'' in almost every situation of power imaginable, most notably political positions. Violators, sociopathic mages who enjoyed torturing people, were somewhat rampant as well. When enough victims were made aware of each other they formed The Hearts Society, a group dedicated to protecting people from and undoing magical victimization. They decided the best way to do this would be to loosen the Masquerade slightly, so that people would at least start seeking help; The mages in power disliked this and fought back, believing that their power was more important than the victims of a few psychopathic mages (many of which were also in positions of power)... so the Hearts decided to completely [[TheUnmaskedWorld completely destroy the masquerade.]] This caused an immediate civil war in every country on Earth as the non-magical realized that their leaders were either being manipulated by mages or were manipulating mages. This war, called the Breaking, destroyed civilization, but the resultant reformation was relatively quick and lead to an arguably better world.
* MeaningfulBackgroundEvent: In Chapter 5, while Kili and Greg are wandering through their linked {{Mental World}}s, [[spoiler:[[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-5-page-12 readers can catch a couple glimpses of the Crax in the background]]]] before [[spoiler:[[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-5-page-16 he finally shows up in person]]]].
* MeaningfulName:
** Sarin was nicknamed after the deadly nerve gas because she was a rotten kid at the orphanage.
** Kili's surname, "Stormcrow," means "Harbinger of the coming storm," and is a reference to one of Gandalf's many names in ''The Lord of the Rings.'' For that matter, "Kili" was one of the names of the dwarves.
** The entity responsible for the Fourth Breaking was called "Paradox Anon." "Anon" archaically means "soon" or "presently," as Anon exists in the present but has no past to support it. It also is short for "anonymous," so it's also appropriate for a thing that shouldn't be.
* MeaningfulRename: [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-13-page-41-bw On the last page of Chapter 13]], [[spoiler:Tanica]] renounces the time she spent as [[spoiler:an assassin]] by giving up her 'working name' and going back to her real name, [[spoiler:Elka]]. (Interestingly, given that [[spoiler:[[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-2-page-6 the assassin known as Lulu to her mom]] was [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-3-page-23 known as Lulu to her fellow Trsanti]]]], taking the name [[spoiler:Tanica]] was [[ImpliedTrope probably this trope in the first place]].)
* MergerOfSouls: In the backstory [[RealityBreakingParadox a massive time-destroying paradox]] (the ghost of a woman who used time-travel to kill her past self) is merged with the soul of a cyber-shaman, giving her a new physical existence and ending the unravelling of reality. Later, the shaman explains she had to undergo an "emergency meditation" to resolve her identity and that she's not entirely the Shelinda the other characters know.
* ModernStasis: It's 2000 years in the future, but Rina awakens to a world that looks an awful lot like the one she left behind, "not enough lasers or blinking lights." WordOfGod says that this is because people in the Fourth Era are consciously trying to keep everything BoringButPractical. The Third Era had flying cities which all came crashing to the ground during the Fourth Breaking.
* MoralityPet: Aki, for Tanica.
* MultiethnicName: A few. Goro Delgado, Tomo Wakeman, and Preston Chang, for example. Fits the story's setting, in that the ethnic and cultural divides of the world have changed severly in the last two millenia.
* MyCountryRightOrWrong: Nancy the Thorian spy really didn't want to kill Mori and Tom but was committed to her [[MedievalStasis mission]] to betray the exploration team.
* NakedPeopleAreFunny: Nudity, mostly of the MagicPants failure or TheNudifier variety, pops up as a semi-running gag.
** Minor character Priscilla was hit with a CoolAndUnusualPunishment for violating Sarin's privacy. Said curse makes it so whenever she uses magic, she innately destroys any clothing she's wearing. It's only after this that we discover her day job -- a wood-shaping (carpenter/artist) mage -- requires that she use magic ''all day long.'' [[spoiler: It's revealed several months later that the curse, designed to wear off after a week, refuses to go away even when specifically dispelled.]]
--> '''Priscilla:''' [[spoiler: Well, it didn't!]] My customers all think I'm some crazy artist lady who only does her work in the nude!
* NameThatUnfoldsLikeLotusBlossom: All of the Crystal People use long names that describe their shape and color; e.g., "I am An Aesthetically Pleasing Humanoid Arrangement of Pretty Pink Crystals, but you can call me Pinky!"
* NotImportantToThisEpisodeCamp: During the guest story "A Small Issue", [[http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/The_Dragon_Doctors/5434929/ Aki, Goro, and Elka are off at the cinema]] watching [[LampshadeHanging a movie called]] "[[Film/MontyPythonAndTheHolyGrail Sirs Not Appearing In This Volume]]".
* NotSoDifferent: In an inversion of the norm, it's Sarin who gives one to Elizabeth. "You're like me: smart enough to forget you can make mistakes."
* NoTranshumanismAllowed: [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-12-page-6 Thoria, type 2]], to the point that even curing a genetic defect (and throwing in an innocuous perk while they were at it) got a couple {{Unperson}}ed and [[spoiler: TakenForGranite.]]
* NotThatKindOfMage: Sarin's a master at transforming ''people,'' but unskilled at morphing clothing, a problem she's had since training. Hence why she learned to summon MagicPants to cover up after turning to mist (and all clothes subsequently falling off)
* TheNudifier: The Equipment Failure spell, which is a rather large beam that destroys anything inorganic (and "unalive") it touches. Useful as a [[spoiler: temporary]] curse against a privacy violating mage, to diffuse a hostage situation, or to disable an attacker. Several other magical effects leave the user nude -- notably [[spoiler: being turned to stone for 2000 years -- the clothing rotted away]] and shape changing (especially werewolf transformations and changing from a tree to a human -- bonus points for the rebirth symbolism involved). In one arc, a temporary nudifying curse turned permanent due to an unrelated effect, leaving its victim with a bigger helping of just desserts than expected.
* ObviousBeta: Large patches of the comic are in black and white and unfinished. The creator runs into scheduling problems with RealLife intruding or impending CreatorBreakdown at various points, and has repeatedly said that if he has a choice between coloring an old page and giving readers a new one, he'll go for the new page every time.
* OhCrap: Blue demonstrates to a SmugSuper that while she may be a good cop, even she has her limits. [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-16-page-19 His reaction is priceless.]]
* OlderThanTheyLook:
** Greg just celebrated his 60th birthday, but looks about 20-something. He's apparently not alone since rejuvenations are commonplace in this setting.
** Mori was later revealed to be 170. She discovered the FountainOfYouth as an old woman, and was one of the first to benefit from it, so she's currently one of the oldest people alive (though not the oldest; other, more morally questionable forms of rejuvenation existed already, mostly involving massive life essence transfusion.)
* OnceKilledAManWithANoodleImplement: [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-16-page-30 Cary allegedly killed a roomful of mobsters with pocket change.]] (Later in the story, it is revealed that [[spoiler:[[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-18-page-20 this is literally the case]]]].)
* OnlyKnownByTheirNickname: The "demon gang" that Cary has alluded to are only referred to by initials; the catoblepas is "Mr. C," the succubus is "Ms. S" and the incubus is "Mr. I." Possibly due to IKnowYourTrueName being in effect for demons.
* OurWerewolvesAreDifferent: Literally; as of the "Quarantine" chapter, Greg and Kili have become "variant" werewolves that do not necessarily follow the known patterns of other werewolves, due to the highly unusual way they contracted the condition (a living cancer invading their souls). One of the current side-effects is their hair growing REALLY long. They're also not contagious, and later Kili's werewolf form grew in size in response to her suppressed rage issues.
* OutOfClothesExperience: When Tanica the assassin-turned-tree is depicted in this way, the reader is left to assume a straight use -- until [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-4-page-14 other astralwhatever representations turn up normally clothed]], revealing that Tanica's nudity represents her feelings of vulnerability.
* {{Pastiche}}: The [[ShowWithinAShow Shows Within A Show]] in [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-6-page-2 Chapter 6, when Goro and Sarin are looking for something to watch on TV,]] include analogues of Franchise/StarTrek, Series/GreysAnatomy, Anime/YuGiOh, and Series/RobotWars.
* PatientOfTheWeek: Patient of the Arc is more accurate, but the trope works.
* PerpetualSmiler: Sarin approaches almost everything in life with a grin and a joke.
* PornStache: Sarin had one for a time immediately prior to being hit with a GenderBender; InUniverse, it is widely agreed that she looks better without it.
* PowerIncontinence: As a boy, Kili developed spiritual senses that were far too strong -- so strong that without magic tattoos that suppress his vision (tattoos that would cut the vision of an ordinary shaman off completely), he'd go insane. ''With'' the tattoos, though, he (now she) can use that power to channel spirits without needing the same rituals that ordinary shamans do.
* PrecisionFStrike: Kili delivers the comic's first (and to date, only) s-bomb when she confronts the killer of her friend.
* {{Pride}}: Why Elizabeth lost. Sarin describes her as "Like me; smart enough to forget you can make mistakes."
* PrimalFear: One murderous shaman calls upon spirits of these to kill his targets. Most of them embody different aspects of the fear of death; the decay of old age, soul-drowning despair and mind-shattering insanity. The final one is primal darkness that engulfs everything.
* PronounTrouble: Generally the comic follows the ''Literature/{{Orlando|ABiography}}'' rule; call 'em "she" if their body is female and "he" if their body is male. So if we're seeing Kili in the past, Kili's a "he," but present Kili is a "she." The author said in several posts that he's amused when readers refer to characters otherwise since it shows off their perception of the characters. It's later [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-14-filler-week-2 explained in-universe]] that when most of the medical team works on bodies rather than minds, it's better to always use physical genders than to make a mistake.
* PsychicSurgery: Discussed in the Crax arc, but not used; it would rip out the Crax from Greg's body instantly but since the technique requires bare hands, it would be unwise to use it on a life form that devours everything.
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech:
** Preston Chang, the mind operating the Crax, a horrific entity that is attempting to consume Kili and Greg's minds from within, gives a rather nasty one to Kili once she's cornered. He's already dominated most of her mental landscape and if some part of her remains alive inside, she'll just be forced to ''watch.'' Then Greg turns it around with a pretty good ShutUpHannibal.
** Mori gives a good one to [[spoiler: Udo while he's being arrested, in response to a HannibalLecture he gave earlier. [[EvilCannotComprehendGood He doesn't get it.]]]]
** And Sarin gives one to [[spoiler: Elizabeth]] on why she failed.
* RantInducingSlight: Cary [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-17-page-32 completely loses her cool]] (literally!) when given an order to surrender by Inspector Blue.
* RapidHairGrowth: Kili contracts lycanthropy and her hair has to be cut every morning, as it's down around her ankles by the end of the day. Sometimes it even grows in response to stress.
* ReedRichardsIsUseless: Totally averted. The Dragon Doctors solve as many mundane cases as they do extraordinary ones (just very quickly) and humanity in general seems to benefit from a lot of the stuff they are capable of doing; people can purchase rejuvenations once they start getting old, for example, and Sarin's ability to magically turn anyone into anything is compared to an advanced form of face-lifts.
* RetGone: Doesn't actually occur in this comic, but is referenced when Aki's reading to Tanica. Tanica ''really'' hates this trope.
** Mori had a minor one when the details of the UnPerson spell was unveiled -- [[spoiler: no one, not even herself, can remember her last name. All records and memories of it have been completely destroyed from history.]]
* RevealingCoverup: In the "thieves of life" arc, it's the robbers' jamming of communications that tips Goro off about their imminent attack.
* {{Revenge}}: Averted by [[spoiler: Elizabeth]], who states in prison that she's more angry with herself than at [[spoiler: Goro]].
* RidiculouslyAverageGuy: Greg even makes a speech about it. "You could forget I'm there if you so much as blink while talking to me." Of course, turns out there's a couple of HiddenDepths to him.
* RousseauWasRight: Most problems the Dragon Doctors encounter derive from either chance events or well-meaning accidents (or both), and most of the actual villains that cross their path have histories that explain what drove them there, demonstrate redemptive traits, or both.
* SadisticChoice: Derek's MO was to trap people in caves with no food or water... and [[TakenForGranite a scroll of flesh to stone]]. This was two thousand years ago, and one of his victims was only recently found; they're ''still'' not sure they've found them all, or when or if they will.
* SchizoTech: In the early strips, when it wasn't expected to be an ongoing series, it comes off as a pseudo-medieval fantasy world... but then they start making deliveries on motorcycles... and ''doing research on the Internet''. Now it's been dated to 2000 years (or more) in our future, and the technological trappings are harder to miss. [[spoiler: It turns out the Earth has went through 4 different major catastrophies, called "Breakings", that have reduced civilization to the dark ages each time -- the unveiling of Magic to the general public and the subsequent world war that followed, a NuclearWar, a global magical catastrophe, and most recently a dimensional collapse, causing multiple alternate realities to merge with Earth. Poorly.]]
* ScienceHero: Mori.
* SecondLawOfGenderBending: Played with. Mori still isn't fully comfortable as a man, Sarin (being a shapeshifter) never minded it in the first place, Goro initially despised it but realized she hated being weak more than being female, and Kili, after some soul-searching, settled in so well others have difficulty remembering she used to be male in the first place.
* SelfDeprecation: The artist, as noted above, is continually apologizing to his readers for not having better art and even occasionally makes jokes about it being "hideous."
* SensitiveGuyAndManlyMan: Kili and Goro. [[GenderBender (When they were guys, anyway.)]]
* ShapeshiftingExcludesClothing: In general, magic designed to affect people doesn't affect inanimate objects. Among other things, this leads to a number of shapeshifting-induced ClothingDamage incidents, in no small part because [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-10-page-16 Sarin isn't very good at tailoring magic.]]
* SheCleansUpNicely: Multiple characters, although Priscilla may take the cake -- normally, she's a HollywoodNerd with tightly bunned up hair and geek glasses, wearing conservative, baggy clothing. ... Then her nudity curse kicks in, letting her hair down and destroying the glasses. And, er, everything else.
* ShirtlessScene: [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-11-page-17 After a poll,]] Mori notes that there's a request for a "Mori Shirtless Scene" and wonders aloud whether they mean girl-Mori or guy-Mori.
* ShoutOut:
** "[[Webcomic/SluggyFreelance Emergency pants.]]"
** A comic references "that legend about that sorceress who learned all her magic when she was turned to stone...who went mad and became an insane violator[[note]]someone who transforms unwilling subjects in debilitating ways, especially inanimate objects[[/note]]." This is almost certainly a reference to The Sorceress of the transformation-fetish site Naga's Den, especially since the author is tightly linked to that site's creator's tamer works, and the word "sorcerer" usually being gender-neutral.
** [[dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-9-page-21 Sarin is apparently responsible for the defeat of the Dark Lord]] [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyTactics Gafgarion]].
** The book of scientific nursery rhymes that [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-12-page-5 Mori's dad was giving her on her birthday]] is real: ''The Space Child's Mother Goose'' by Frederick Winsor.
** Multiple ones to the manga {{Blame}}. Mori's name comes from a minor character in it, an underground realm called "The Cyber-Dungeon" is a direct reference to it and in [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-12-page-24 this]] comic, the gun's extra flanges that pop out in overload mode are a reference to Killy's GBE gun.
** Rina watches a documentary about the survivors of the nuclear war in the Second Breaking. It's a clear shout out to ''FistOfTheNorthStar,'' with men punching each other at high speed.
* ShowingOffTheNewBody: Lee Smith checks out the sexy new body Sarin gave [[strike: him]]her, complete with the comic's first butt-shot.
* ShownTheirWork: [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-6-page-21 That one can stop a werewolf by striking it on the head with a knife]] is actually true to the pre-Hollywood werewolf mythology. That said, [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-6-page-23 the justification given here]] is an original invention.
* SituationalSexuality: The residents of Agri got orientation adaptors when all the men turned into women.
* SmartPeopleWearGlasses: [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-8-page-13 "Impaired vision equals smart!"]]
* SpiritWorld: Kili goes here occasionally.
* SpotTheImposter: Toward the end of Chapter 10 ("The Thieves of Life"), [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-10-page-31 the news that the leader of the thieves is an alterist tips off the other members of the main cast that they need to do this.]] [[spoiler:Said news being delivered by said leader impersonating Goro, of course.]]
* StealthHiBye:
** This is apparently one of [[spoiler:Lee Smith]]'s [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-2-page-15 specialties.]]
** The [[RockMonster Crystaline]] characters seem to pull this off easily (e.g. [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-9-page-4 here]]), being as they can fly quickly and silently.
* StunnedSilence: [[spoiler:The Crax]] has this reaction when [[TheNondescript Greg]] tells him to "[[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-5-page-26 Shut up for a moment]]".
* StupidSexyFlanders: Slightly subverted with Sarin and Mori, since Sarin is suffering from the [[TheMindIsAPlaythingOfTheBody mind-altering affects]] of [[GenderBender changing genders]]. And they end up as a couple.
* SuddenlyVoiced: Tanica, the assassin-turned-tree, is initially inaudible to the readers, though the characters can hear her 'speak' with the aid of magic. After several chapters where all that was seen was one-way conversations with a mostly-inexpressive tree, the author introduced first [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-3-page-23 a representation of Tanica's human form]] to convey body language, then [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-6-page-5 allowed the readers to hear her dialogue.]]
* TakenForGranite:
** Again, Rina.
** Greg also gets this when he's turned to stone so they can delicately remove the sentient Crax from his body.
** Every one of the Dragon Doctors is turned to stone for a moment by accident when they look at a gorgon. Sarin simply brushes off being petrified though, and restores the team.
** Mori's arc reveals that [[spoiler: this is the fate of those who use certain kinds of magic in Thoria.]]
** Sarin also frequently stoneskins herself when under attack.
** Tanica follows this trope in spirit, as she (and Sarin) were both turned into immobile, yet conscious and aware, trees. Sarin found it to be peaceful as she was relatively safe and no longer had to live her rather violent and stressful life, Tanica... takes a lot longer to find any form of peace.
* TalkingInBed: There are a number of such conversations, such as when [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-2-page-26 after their first time, Mori and Sarin discuss how serious their relationship might become.]]
* TalkingToTheDead: Early on, when [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-2-page-2 Kili writes a letter to her parents.]]
* TastesLikeDiabetes: InUniverse, [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-15-page-12 with regard to some adoptive parents.]]
* TemptingFate: "Things are finally starting to look up."
* ThatManIsDead:
** Invoked by Kili when she takes a trip to the part of the spirit world ''inhabited'' by the spirits of people's former selves, or their ShadowArchetype. We meet a bitter, much saner Preston Chang, and Kili and Greg's younger selves (an annoying, grumpy thirteen-year-old and a TotallyRadical headbanger, respectively).
** At the end of the second Mr. Smith arc, [[spoiler: both Blue and Elka (Tanica's real name) say this about Tanica the Assassin.]]
* ThereAreNoTherapists: Very much averted, and not just because one of the main characters is a shaman/therapist. Several other characters have been in or are still going through therapy (like the devastated Rina, who's much better for it years later.)
* TomboyAndGirlyGirl: Kili and Goro. [[GenderBender (Well, now at least.)]]
* TonightSomeoneDies: "Chapter 13: The Night She Died." [[spoiler: Subverted: "Tanica" is "[[ThatManIsDead dead]]". Elka (her real name) is fine. See ThatManIsDead.]]
* TranslatorMicrobes: There's a world-wide magic spell called "The Language Barrier Breaker" in effect at all times, explain the doctors to Rina. The doctors themselves are explicitly stated as speaking a distant descendant of English, and all signs are in [[TranslationConvention English for reader conveinance]].
* {{Transsexual}}: The issue doesn't arise frequently in the story, but there are a few genuine instances of gender dysmorphia that arise:
** When Mori was exiled from Thoria as a kid, one of her fellow deportees was [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-12-page-9 Lem, born a woman, who used magic to be a man.]] [[spoiler:Unfortunately, Lem was self-medicating with cheap, toxic potions, putting his life in serious risk]].[[note]]Sadly, a number of UsefulNotes/{{transgender}} people in RealLife have risked their lives self-medicating with hormones; please, if you are in such a situation, do your research.[[/note]]
** While many of those struck by the Valley Curse adapt their mental gender to their new physical body, some people -- such as [[spoiler:Greg's friend Terry]] -- genuinely cannot. After [[spoiler:[[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-14-page-04 Mori and Aki accidentally discover that phoenix fire will cure the valley curse]]]], it becomes clear that [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-17-page-03 this can lead to real trouble.]]
* TricksterMentor: When [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-2-page-24 Kili summons the Capricious Spirit of Love in Chapter 2]], the spirit acts as one for her.
* TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture: The first half of "Last Victim" focuses on Rina discovering her latent magic powers in the 21st Century, shortly before the "First Breaking."
* UltimateLifeForm: The Crax, capable of adapting to devour anything and resistant against most forms of attack. [[spoiler: Deconstructed in the chapter "The Ultimate Life Form," where it turns out the Crax itself disposes of the maniac mind responsible for turning it into a monster. The ultimate life form isn't the ultimate ''eating machine'', it's the ultimate ''survivor.'' The unspoken implication is that ''Kili,'' who has been surrounded by death her entire life, is as much a candidate for "Ultimate Life Form" as the Crax.]]
* TheUnfrozenCavemanLawyer: Rina, eventually. It helps that she already knew magic before emerging in a magical world, and that the culture she came from was compatible with Frontera--the characters point out that if she had been frozen during one of the Dark Ages she wouldn't have fared nearly as well.
* TheUnmasquedWorld: This was the "First Breaking" that lead to an eventual collapse of society in the comic's backstory. It is implied that this takes place some time in what we think of as the 21st century, as this is where Rina seems to come from. There was civil war in every country on Earth, between magic-using puppet masters trying to preserve their grip on the world, and The Hearts Society, a group of people dedicated to stopping evil magic users from preying on innocent people (and they figured the best way to do that was to make the existence of magic public knowledge).
* {{Unperson}}: Variation; when people are banished from the country of Thoria ([[spoiler:such as Mori]]), their surname is magically eradicated so that no-one, not even they themselves, can remember what it was.
** It's later mentioned that this ''can't be undone'' - even if the people in charge change their minds and want to undo what they did.
* TheUnpronounceable: Although everyone in-universe seems to have no trouble with it, it's uncertain how you pronounce the name of the MurderInc group, the Trsanti.
* UsedToBeASweetKid: Inverted; as a child, Kili was a complete brat.
** Sarin was far, far worse.
* VagueAge: Rina comments on this during Mori's 170th birthday party. All the parents and grandparents look like young adults, due to society having access to a functioning FountainOfYouth.
* VoluntaryShapeshifting: Sarin. Besides transforming, she can turn anyone into anything.
* WeHelpTheHelpless: The Hearts Society is an international organization dedicated to helping victims of magic (in particular, debilitating transformation magic) and stopping "Violators" who cause these sorts of problems. For example, if an evil sorcerer turned you into a statue, or worse, ''a shoe,'' they'd be the ones who would hopefully find you and restore you.
* WeWillHavePerfectHealthInTheFuture: Averted; people are generally ''quite'' healthy, due to how fast magical medicine works as well as rejuvenations making most age-related diseases a thing of the past, but magic has caused just as many weird diseases and problems to crop up in their place.
* WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity: Derek and Chang especially, but it's suggested that this phenomenon occurring en masse led to TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt in the twenty-first century or so. Specifically, magic using sociopath mages who abuse their powers are called "Violators" and are looked upon ''very'' poorly by society, but modern society is now much better equipped for dealing with them.
* WingedHumanoid: Aki, a couple Pixies, and Sarin with the aid of a spell. There's no flapping because, as Sarin explains, Pixie wings (and spell wings, appearently) work using magic, rather than aerodynamics.
* TheWorldIsNotReady: Thoria, before their national HeelFaceTurn, had spies in the Frontier Exploration Force with explicit orders to kill everyone on any team that made a discovery that would be world-altering, [[spoiler: like a giant FountainOfYouth]].
* WorldSundering: It's happened ''four'' times, and people are ambivalent about whether or not a fifth is due.
* XanatosSpeedChess: During the DieHardOnAnX chapter, Elizabeth the shapeshifting thief keeps re-adapting her master plan every time Goro tries something different to stop the thieves. If it hadn't been for a slip up at the end (making her disguise as Goro ''too'' perfect) she'd have gotten away with it, too.
* YearInsideHourOutside: When Kili and Greg bond inside a dreamworld while the doctors operate on Greg's petrified body to chip out the Crax, we see seasons passing as they get to know each other. They spent long enough with one another there that they have fallen deeply in love.
* YouCanSeeMe:
** [[spoiler: Tomo]] says this when Kili proves able to.
** And Sarin can see the Real you. Regardless of whether it's illusions, transformation, or any other sort of magic, she always sees the real form of others. She takes this UpToEleven when she can see the true form of a person using an astral projection.
* YouGottaHaveBlueHair: Kili has white hair while Sarin and [[spoiler: post-tree Tanica/Elka]] have green hair, respectively, though it is explained that all are due to an unusual magical circumstance (Kili's overpowered spiritual abilities caused her to see a particularly bad EldritchAbomination, Sarin [[spoiler: and Elka]] spent a few years as trees). Occasionally other characters with unusual hair color show up, but they might be "naturally occurring," such as a pixie with bright pink hair (and bright orange skin).