The fantasy world of Exiern is a full and rich place, with Loads and Loads of Characters. Here are some of the important ones.
Tiffany, formerly Typhan-Knee, Starlight.An obnoxiously misogynistic male barbarian who, on a quest to save a princess, is turned into a very attractive (if extremely crabby) young woman.She has somewhat reluctantly became the personal guardian of Princess Peonie and is dealing with the crush she has develop on the male scribe Denver Tadwick.
- Likes: Killing things and getting drunk.
- Dislikes: Being called a bimbo.
- Action Hero -> Action Girl
- A Man Is Not a Virgin: A unicorn gets along well with Tiffany despite having been a barbarian of a clan that practices Rape, Pillage, and Burn. It turns out to this is because he's gay and his only (forceful) attempt to experience his sexuality was interrupted.
- Amazonian Beauty: When in a combative state of mind, the curse reminds everyone that Typhan-Knee is a northern barbarian.
- Anti-Hero: Type II.
- Armored Closet Gay: Hinted at in this◊ two-page spread, and confirmed by the author here.
- Barbarian Hero: Unrepentantly a barbarian, and slowly becoming more heroic in deed.
- Cain and Abel: Revealed to have a brother who sent an assasin after her.
- Tiffany is actually the Cain in the relationship, having abandoned her brother to die in the past for slowing her down. Her brother, Wyll-line, is revealed to be The Wise Prince by Barbarian standards and was framed. Now Wyll's wife believes Tiffany will murder her brother (just like Cain murdered Abel). Fortunately, Tiff figured out the true culprit behind the assassin.
- Character Development: Especially when the gags are toned down in favour of plot.
- Chickification: Justified in-universe — Tiffany is convinced that women are weak and useless, and as soon as she finally accepts her gender change, she becomes... weak and useless. (Much to King Urtica's annoyance, as he does not particularly like weak and useless women. She gets better though.)
- This is because the curse, when accepted, would mould the subject in question into their own perception of femininity. When Tiffany realises she can be strong even as a woman, she reverts to normal.
- The Chosen One: The Wild North storyline implies that she is this. She seems less than enthused by this prospect.
- Cool Sword: North Wind, a longsword with a power as unassuming as its form that Tiff had all along and didn't even know it. Instead of being a mighty blade that is exceedingly proficient at felling the wielder's foes, it instead avoids killing foes that the wielder really shouldn't kill, instead cutting their claddings off. Succinctly, its power can be summed up as "Discretion is the better part of valor". It does, however, still cut those who do deserve to be put to the sword.
- Dumb Blonde: Averted - Tiffany was always intelligent despite being from an illiterate society, and shows it more as the strip progresses.
- Gender Bender: Not only is Tiffany by all indications incurably female, her... condition... is contagious.
- The Hero
- The Lad-ette: Played with. Tiff fluctuates between being giriy and having her inner uncouth barbarian come forth.
- Never Learned to Read: Never had any reason to, really. Until she becomes Peonie's protector and seeks Denver's help, at which point she finds out what the shirt in the page picture says.
- Oh Crap!: This comes back to bite her hard when Theresa is silenced by her order, then when trying to communicate with Tiffany through finger-writing, instead gets mistaken for making runes in the air because Tiffany Never Learned to Read. Once Tiffany realizes Theresa badly needed her help instead, she feels guilty about not realizing this sooner—which is when afterwards, Theresa needed the King to do her a favor.
- Rapunzel Hair: Either as a result of Art Evolution or a side effect of her temporary Chickification, Tiffany's hair suddenly grew down to her hips. Strangely, after reverting back thanks to Character Development, the hair stays the same extra-long length.
- Thud and Blunder: Played with. Typhan-Knee was this type of hero, but Tiffany is stuck in a much more civilized world.
- Third Law of Gender Bending: This comes into play greatly as a side effect of her curse. When she finally accepts that she's been turned into a woman, the curse causes her to better fit her view on what a woman is supposed to be. Due to her sexist nature, this has some impressive physical and mental side effects, causing her to lose height, muscle mass, exaggerate her figure, grow her hair, and make her much more prone to crying. Thankfully, she's back to normal after some Epiphany Therapy.
- However there's some hints that Tiffany's current mental or emotional state may still have some effect on her appearance; She becomes notably more ripped when preparing to fight her brother, while a few strips later her features and figure soften after his wife enters in an (unnecessary) effort to break up the fight.
- Tomboy: To Peonie's Girly Girl.
- Virgin Power: The unicorn likes Tiffany just fine. But Tiffany was a bit less steeped in the spirit of the concept because while she was a he, he had tried to rape a young man.
Princess Peonie Vellurium BalistraAn extraordinarily busty, slightly ditzy but not stupid princess who had been kidnapped by an evil wizard.Peonie is Genre Savvy enough to know that she's supposed to be the love interest in the story, and teases Tifanny about it once in a while. A frequent holder of the Distress Ball.Since Faden's departure from the script Peonie has developed into something of a Deadpan Snarker.
- Likes: Yaoi Porn.
- Dislikes: Constitutional limits on monarchical power.
- Brainy Brunette: From time to time, but she sometimes lacks basic common sense. She is showing more and more political acumen that she inherited/learned from her father all the time.
- Distressed Damsel: Due to trying to be a Plucky Girl, but failing
- The Ditz/Genius Ditz: In a turnabout from normal, the brunette rather than the blonde tends to have less common sense much of the time. Still, she can have some profound insight at other times.
- Girly Girl: To Tiffany's Tomboy.
- Gag Boobs: Peonie is the most frequent Ms. Fanservice
- Good Bad Girl: There's a reason the unicorn wants nothing to do with her...
- Rebellious Princess
- Stripperiffic/No Nudity Taboo: Peonie is not modest. At all. Nudity is at most a minor inconvenience for her.
- Weirdness Magnet: She has the most remarkable talent for getting into trouble.
FadenThe Magical Big Bad of the Exiern world, and planning on sacrificing Peonie, until Typhan-Knee captured him and rescued the princess.Unable to blast the barbarian with dark magic because of a magical mixup (Someone exchanged his Uricarn Summoning Tome for a UNICORN summoning one - an incident Drow has stated was inspired by This incident in The Wotch), Faden's revenge was to turn Typhan-Knee into Tiffany with a living spell that resists all attempts at being undone and will change the gender of anyone that tries.An Always Chaotic Evil character who just lives to make things as awkward for others as possible. Unusually for such characters, Faden is drawn as a youngish man of about 30 as opposed to the stereotypical aged wizard, however he is effectively immortal and just wont stay dead.Currently in a most decidedly non-Cardboard Prison, supposedly for all eternity there are hints however that this might not be as secure as promoted.
- Likes: Causing Chaos
- Dislikes: Being in gaol.
Denver TadwickDenver Tadwick, a scholar (read "nerd") who originally enlists Typhan-Knee and Peonie's help to find his missing sister.He has a fanatical hatred of all dragons due to his and his sister's parents reportedly being killed by one while Denver and his sister were infants. The truth is far more disturbing, Denver and his sister are dragon infants, and he has only a year or two before his dragon-half takes control of his personality and body.Denver has something of a crush on Tiffany and is one of the few men to have shown her affection and not received a brutal beating in exchange.
- Likes: Tiffany
- Dislikes: Dragons.
- Badass Bookworm
- Beware the Nice Ones
- Closet Key: Retroactive, set up on this◊ page and confirmed by the author here. Played with in that Denver is certainly straight, while Tiffany didn't meet him until after being affected by the Gender Bender curse.
- Does Not Know His Own Strength
- Hive Mind: Is slowly learning to communicate with one to better cope with his growing Dragon powers.
- The Smart Guy
- Superpowered Evil Side: How he treats the Dragon Hive Mind the first time he activates his Dragon powers.
- Tomato Surprise
Sister Teresa, formerly Brother Thomas.Another victim of Faden's Gender Bender spell. Brother Thomas was leader of a group of priests that tried to cure Tiffany, but instead got transformed.However, life as a woman clearly appealed to Teresa and she has resisted getting turned back preferring a new life as female, something that annoys Tiffany to no end.Teresa generally means well, but is an upper class snob to put it mildly, and even manages to be a Jerk Ass when apologising for acting like a Jerk Ass. She remains a powerful magic user though (with a little help from the King, who orders a silencing punishment laid on her by her order undone).
- Likes: Shopping.
- Dislikes: Ill-educated Northern Barbarians.
- Chickification: Averted. She stridently resists it, and winds up punished for it.
- Gender Bender: She seems to have inherited Tiffany's condition in a weaker form, judging by an attempt by her order to restore her male gender temporarily backfiring on one of the priests.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold
- Magic Music: of the vocal kind.
- Rapunzel Hair: Seems to have the longest hair of all the characters, post-transformation.
- Stripperiffic: Theresa's choice of outfit post-pardoning (a black croptop and jacket) doesn't compete with some of Peonie's outfits, but it's definitely meant to be both utilitarian and sexy.
- Transsexual: Textbook, especially in the note backstory, where the conflict between the extreme misogyny in her church and her internal gender identity is spelled out in painful detail.
- You Owe Me: Nobody likes owing King Urtica a favor, even if it is for allowing Theresa to be herself. Though if a certain barbarian who Never Learned to Read had broken the collar inducing the silencing punishment instead of thinking she was making runes, that favor wouldn't need to have been owed. note
King Urtica Ravi Metrotic RexPeonie's Dad and King of the Luminary Alliance. One the smarter characters in the strip, and something of a Chess Master. Loves his daughter fiercely, but is compelled to balance her safety and desires against the good of his kingdom which leaves him less than happy. He also seems to be a bit of a feminist and is very attracted to strong, self-sufficient women.He once gave a nine year old boy a heart-attack by sneaking up on him while he was kissing princess Peonie. The King is technically Tiffany's fiancÚ due to the rescue of Peonie including "A" royal hand in marriage, and when Tiff finds this out he will probably need those 8 foot tall guards that follow him everywhere. (Or maybe not — Urtica may act like a pompous jackass at times, but he's a formidable fighter in his own right.)
- Likes: Lurking in shadows, being The Chessmaster
- Dislikes: Weak, stereotypical women and people who threaten his daughter.
- Amazon Chaser: Says he doesn't particularly like weak and useless women. A woman whose company he shared with as mentioned under Dirty Old Man was one in charge of assassins that he said might have poisoned a glass of wine she gave to him but assumed he was resistant to it (she insisted a poison she would use for such purposes would not give him the opportunity)
- Asskicking Equals Authority: As he lampshades at one point.
- Cool Old Guy: Though he's probably more in his fifties than sixties/seventies, he still qualifies.
- Dirty Old Man: As we discover from a flashback that he's apparently gotten drooly recalling. (It's pretty clear where Peonie gets her, um, personality from.)
- Genre Savvy: Has so far predicted and countered every assassination attempt we have seen thus far by him self, and has actually competent personal guards (rather than the Genre Blind idiots who seem to make up the rest of the military).
- Manipulative Bastard: But not totally unlikeable - he's not so much evil as ruthlessly cunning.
- Papa Wolf
- Pet the Dog: His interactions with Peonie, when he's not being cruel.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He's definitely a good stateman.
- Retired Badass
CtyxA young boy from a small fishing village who gave Faden a hand. Literally. Turnabout is fair play though, and when he found Faden's own amputated hand the magic left in it allowed him to graft it onto his own arm. This has led to a bit of mental contamination, but it is unclear as to the extent.He has been driven by an unknown force to follow Tiffany into the big city.
- Likes: Not getting his hand chopped off.
- Dislikes: Getting his hand chopped off.
MiraCtyx' girl friend, and possibly his girlfriend. She helps him out after Faden injures him, and then accompanies him on his mysterious trip into the City.
The Speechifying GuyMister Exposition. A deranged old tramp who likes to give long-winded speeches explaining the plot to the readers. Disliked by all, and regarded as a right nuisance.
- Likes: Constitutional limits on monarchical power.
- Dislikes: Being told to shut up.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall
- Mr. Exposition
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Wondered In-Universe when our heroes meet the new Narrator, implying he is either dead or Ascended To A Higher Plane Of Existence.
Niels and BohrA pair of eight foot tall Bodyguards of the King who carry magic swords. Mostly they just perform mildly snarky exposition and give the king someone to talk to that won't freak out over Yaoi being ruined, and will appreciate his Chessmaster tendencies. They also have Punny Names.
- Likes: Bowling.
- Dislikes: People who cause trouble, and The Worf Effect.
- Ascended Extra: Niels has joined the main party for the most recent arc, along with elements of backstory being revealed.
- The Big Guy
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Niels, during the attack on the castle.
- Covered in Scars: Niels implies this is the reason he never removes his armor.
- Danger Deadpan: They're rather unfazed by many of the dangers they're presented, and usually have something witty to say in reaction.
- Dark and Troubled Past/Doomed Hometown: Niels, again.
- Genius Bruiser: Both of them are highly skilled, and very intelligent. When Denver expresses surprise at Niels's deep philosophising, he sardonically asks whether he really expects Urtica to be hiring mindless thugs. Not all that surprising, considering their collective namesake!
- The Faceless: Invoking one of the most famous such characters in the title of this strip.
- My Greatest Failure: Neils is really ashamed of letting a spellsinger get the drop on him and enthralling him.
- Older Than They Act: Despite being The Faceless, Niels acts and fights like a young adult despite being old enough to have a niece who's nearly 20, implying he's middle-aged at least.
- Punny Name: This is why they are named Niels and Bohr.
- Those Two Guys
Wyll-lineTiffany's younger brother and the current leader of their barbarian tribe.
- Likes: Making fun of his brother-turned-sister
- Dislikes: Having his authority challenged.
- Badass Beard
- Beware the Nice Ones: Oh god yes. He very nearly spent the rest of his life with a monk and his daughter making inks, but when that fell apart...
- Cain and Abel: Despite all appearances to the contrary, he's the Abel, being the closest thing their culture has to The Wise Prince, while Typhan-Knee abandoned him to die after they were exiled.
- Dual Wielding: Always carries twin blades strapped to his back and knows how to use them.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Despite seeming like a sexist sociopath when he first appears, he is actually quite fair to guests. Though he does have a legitimate rivalry with Tiffany.
- Meaningful Rename: Changes his name from Melan-Knee to Wyll-line, as a sign of his desire to restore his family's honor.
- Obviously Evil: Wears skulls on his shoulders, looms imposingly, assigns onerous tasks to his "guests," and is the dark-haired brother of the hero, Typhan-knee, whom he apparently sent assassins after. Subverted, as most of the rest of these tropes indicate. While he looks quite imposing, he's also attempting to lead his people into a better era with minimal bloodshed, and his actions have been calculated both to protect his guests and keep an eye on them. He also didn't send the assassins.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: In his recollection about his second life that wasn't meant to be, he goes pyro when that life came crashing down, signified in-comic by his shadowed eyes glowing bright red (and his sleeves tearing
- The Wise Prince: Is considered this in Barbarian culture. He's a surprisingly progressive barbarian chieftain.