Comic Book / Black Moon Chronicles

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The Black Moon Chronicles (original French title: Chroniques de la Lune Noire) is an epic Dark Fantasy comic series by French author François Marcela-Froideval and illustrated by Olivier Ledroit, who is better known by English speakers for his work on Pat Mills' Sha and Requiem Vampire Knight .

It deals with the Villain Protagonist / Anti-Hero Wismerhill, a half-elf from an unknown father allying with Evil Sorcerer Haazheel Thorn in order to overthrow the Christian-esque empire of Lhynn.

Sounds simple enough, no? Guess again.

Turns out that Wismerhill is the lynchpin of a Gambit Pileup involving prophecies, gods, demons, elemental forces, and immortal archmages and that his choices will ultimately decide the fate of his entire world. And with so many different clashing agendas, few things are as they seem, and fewer people can be trusted...

Volumes

  1. 1 Le Signe des ténèbres (Sign of Darkness, 1989)
  2. 2 Le Vent des dragons (Dragon's Wind, 1990)
  3. 3 La Marque des démons (Mark of the Demons, 1991)
  4. 4 Quand sifflent les serpents (When Snakes Hiss, 1992)
  5. 5 La Danse écarlate (The Blood Dance, 1994)
  6. 6 La Couronne des ombres (Crown of Shadows, 1995)
  7. 7 De vents, de jade et de jais (Of Winds, Jade and Jet, 1997)
  8. 8 Le Glaive de justice (Sword of Justice, 1999)
  9. 9 Les Chants de la négation (Songs of Negation, 2000)
  10. 10 L'Aigle foudroyé (Struck Down Eagle, 2002)
  11. 11 Ave Tenebrae (Ave Tenebrae, 2003)
  12. 12 La Porte des Enfers (The Gate of Hell, 2005)
  13. 13 La Prophétie (Prophecy, 2006)
  14. 14 La Fin des temps (End of Times, 2008)
  15. 0 En un jeu cruel (A cruel game, 2011)

Volume 14 is the final album of the series. The French version was released on 21st of November 2008. Two new volumes have been released, concerning Wismerhill as the leader of a dozen-odd Fantasy Counterpart Cultures that escaped the destruction of the old world.

Two spinoff prequel series were made: Methraton, which reveals more of the title character's past and goals against a backdrop of the setting's distant past, and Les Arcanes de la Lune Noire, recounts the origin story of Wismerhill's companions and what their lives were before the main series' events; so far, one-shots covering Ghorghor Bey, Pile-ou-Face and Parsifal have been released. A prequel detailing Wismerhill's origins has also been released. Finally, the comic has been adapted into a strategy video game.


Tropes:

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    A to D 
  • All There in the Manual: Sort of: Pilou's tearful reunion with his adoptive dragon family comes out of nowhere in the main series, but is explained in his own spinoff book.
  • All Trolls Are Different: In this case, similar in abilities and weaknesses to both D&D and Warhammer trolls, but 20+ feet tall, with a more-or-less caucasian skin tone, giant noses, and they look a bit like they came out of Jim Henson's creature shop.
  • Abusive Parents: The man who Wis' mother was betrothed to never forgave her for bearing a child that wasn't his, and took it out on Wis once she died. Wis eventually kills him by hacking off his fingers and throwing him off a castle tower.
  • Affably Evil: Haazheel Thorn is quite polite for an evil ancient sorcerer.
  • Action Girl: Feydriva (before her fridging) and Hellaynnea.
  • And Show It to You: Wismerhill finally defeats Haazheel Thorn by tearing his heart out of his chest.
  • The Antichrist: Hints are dropped early in the series that Wismerhill's Disappeared Dad might be The Devil himself. It's a Red Herring; Lucifer's son is actually Haazheel Thorn. Wis dad is actually Pazuzu, a demon prince disguised as an elf.
  • An Arm and a Leg: During the final battle with Haazheel Thorn, he rips off Hellaynnea's arms when she tries to stop him from killing Wismerhill.
  • Anti-Hero / Anti-Villain: Wismerhill, and by extension pretty much every member of his True Companions (even the succubus), dance constantly back and forth over the line between both. While some like Shamballeau the mage or Murata the samurai aren't as morally questionnable in their own actions, the fact that they have no problem hanging around the others speaks for itself.
  • The Archmage:
    • Methraton is the "ultimate archmage" who approaches the level of power of a Physical God, though he specifically denies being one.
    • Haazheel Thorn is the leader of a whole army of dark mages, and is the most powerful one of them all.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Played with. Some nobles are little more than bandits with a fort; others are sadistic assholes (most prominent in Ghorghor Bey's Back Story); the Baron of Moork is The Dragon to the Big Bad. But then you have Lord Parsifal and Emperor Haghendorf. Most imperial nobles seem to be of average morality.
  • Arson, Murder, and Admiration:
    • When captured by Ghorgor in the first book, Pilou plays a trick on him, teleporting his swords back to himself whenever Ghorgor tries to look at them. Ghorgor is so enraged by this that he... takes Pilou and Wismerhill into his warband.
    • Wismerhill is very amused when mage Shamballeau kills 20 of his soldiers in an explosion, going from initial rage to happily adopting him as part of his own growing band.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking:
    • Emperor Haghendorf has maintained his position as supreme monarch of the Empire of Lynn by nearly constant warfare. He also rides the biggest dragon in the empire into battle.
    • Haazheel Thorn, the leader of the Black Moon and the forces of evil, is easily one of the most powerful mages in the world.
  • Badass Grandpa: Emperor Haghendorf is already an old man by the time of the main storyline, but he remains as always a Four-Star Badass who commands the imperial armies against all its enemies, has his personal brigade of war dragons, and is still one of the best swordsmen in the world. Authority Equals Asskicking indeed.
  • Badass Normal: Murata, unlike most of his allies, does not have any inherent magical powers (Wismerhill, Hellaynnea) or incredibly size and strength (Ghorghor). He's just a very well-trained human Samurai.
  • Bait-and-Switch Gunshot: When Lord Parsifal and his Knights of Justice visit the impregnable castle Altenberg to persuade the Knights of Light to rid themselves of their corrupt leadership, the commander in charge of the castle orders his soldiers to kill Parsifal with crossbow bolts despite the high priest having granted Parsifal safe passage. His soldiers fire on their commander instead.
  • Bankruptcy Barrel: After Wismerhill and Pile-ou-Face rob a merchant, they leave him with only a barrel.
  • Base on Wheels: Wismerhill buys a traveling castle from the dwarf masters to use in his next campaigns. The dwarfs even shaved off half the price since the lord who originally commissioned it had spontaneously died.
  • Best Her to Bed Her: Hellaynnnea, a succubus, offers to serve Wismerhill after he spares her life and becomes his consort. This is right after she played a big role in killing Wismerhill's previous girlfriend Fey.
  • Betrayal by Inaction: When Emperor Haaghendorf and his army are about to fight the evil forces of the Black Moon, he calls upon the two autonomous military orders to assist him. The Knights of Light led by Fratus Sinister arrive on the battlefield but stay out of any fighting in the hopes that Haaghendorf will be killed and they can seize power from whatever's left, even shooting numerous imperial messengers sent to ask them for reinforcements. However, Haaghendorf sees through this deception and demotes Fratus Sinister after winning the battle singlehandedly.
  • Bewitched Amphibians: When Lucifer organizes an invasion of the second Earth after humanity has vacated the old one, he turns himself into a frog and turns back into his demonic self after Hellaynnnea kisses him.
    Lucifer: Oh, I'm a prince alright, just not a handsome one...
  • Big Bad: Haazheel Thorn, the Master of the Black Moon, über-powerful Evil Sorcerer capable of commanding vast hordes of The Undead and The Legions of Hell, demigod and spiritual leader of a powerful Religion of Evil, lord of a massive Badass Army of humans and monsters, Son of Lucifer...
  • Big Badass Battle Sequence: Since the Empire of Lynn and its vassals and enemies are in a near constant state of warfare, there are numerous examples of massive battles and city sieges being waged between armies of knights, mages, dragon riders, orks, elves, giants, and war machines. Ledroit's artwork is impressive for its attention to detail.
  • Big Eater: Ghorgor, naturally. His old circusmaster friend is able to keep up with him, despite being a short human.
  • Big Fancy Castle: Altenberg, the seat of the Knights of Light, is an absolutely MASSIVE seaside castle that could withstand any siege.
  • Big Red Devil: Most of the demons of Hell take the form of giant red humanoids with horns and wings.
  • Big "WHAT?!": Haazheel Thorn is not happy after he learns that Wismerhill has betrayed him and closed the Hell Gate that he had opened to conquer the world.
    ''He did WHAAAAAT!?
  • Bittersweet Ending: Wismerhill manages to save many of the world's races from the impending destruction of Earth, but some of them choose to Face Death with Dignity instead.
  • Black and Grey Morality: Wismerhill is and friends are primarily self-interested warlords, but the Big Bad Haazheel Thorn is an Evil Sorcerer and Omnicidal Maniac.
  • Black Knight: The Lords of Negation are Haahzeel's most elite knights clad in black armor and controlled by him through their rings. Wismerhill eventually becomes their leader, and has to go through a lengthy ritual that leaves him as some sort of half-human half-ascended being.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Ghorghor Bey, all the way. He's a bloodthirsty half-ogre warlord who loves nothing more than fighting, drinking, and tumbling with his men.
  • Butt Monkey: Ian the inept ranger.
  • Church Militant: The two religious knightly orders of the empire, the Knights of the Light (patterned after The Knights Templar) and the Knights of Justice (patterned after The Knights Hospitallers). Eventually, the former is absorbed by the latter after they try to overthrow the emperor.
  • Color-Coded Armies: The factions seen in battles are often easily identified by their colors. The Empire of Lynn is red, the Order of Light is white, the Order of Justice is blue, and the Black Moon is green.
  • Cool Boat: The flag ship of the Tharque Empire, a maritime nation that once ruled the world, is made out of the skeleton of a dead sea monster. It utterly dwarfs the other ships, and is even powered by magic so that it can row itself.
  • Cool Chair:
    • Gredinald's throne (later Wis). Turns out to be a potent magical artifact too.
    • Haazheel Thorn's throne is a massive crystalline beast with Spikes of Villainy that makes the Iron Throne look friendly.
  • Cool Helmet: Everyone who wears armor. One recurring mook looks like Jason, while Parsifal's looks like the good-guy version of a Khornate Berserker's.
  • Cosmic Chess Game: The entire plot of the series was set in motion by Lucifer and his minion Pazuzu when they decided to play a game where Pazuzu couldn't just let his boss win every time to escape his wrath. Each of them would create a child on Earth and let them battle for the fate of the world.
  • Crapsack World
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: The Church is built on an alliance with God, represented by two stone tablets that are later destroyed. It's far from the only religion in the empire, though.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist
    • Justified in that Haazheel Thorn is a stupidly-high level mage in an RPG Verse. To quote the man himself just before he resurrects Wismerhill: "Dead again? It's starting to become a habit...". In fact, the only time he gets angry about this is because Wis goes on a dungeon crawl through an undead prince's palace without having him along.
    • Zigzagged after Parsifal and Gredinald have their climactic duel. Gredinald later reappears as if getting a sword buried in your helmet is no big deal, but Parsifal's decapitated head being replaced on his body and brought back to life by a massive prayer is treated like a miracle.
  • Demonic Possession: The demon Urmarcht takes over the body of warlord Ghorghor Bey as he's defending a stronghold that his forces have occupied from a counterattack by the Knights of Light. The demon leads him to abandon his defense at the gate tactics and instead meet the knights in open battle so that he and his forces will easily be wiped out.
  • Demon Lords and Archdevils: Pazuzu is the Prince of Demons and The Dragon to Lucifer, the Prince of Darkness. He is also Wismerhill's father.
  • Demoted to Extra: Pepette and Goum.
  • Destination Defenestration: As the Baron of Moork, Wismerhill is badgered by the guild leaders who demand more rights of him. He eventually gets so annoyed that he throws the head of the guild through the castle window to his death. Two scared engineers then respectfully ask their lord if they should restore the window, given that they've already had to repair it twice that very week. Wismerhill is so amused that he promises them he'll just use a sword next time.
  • Dirty Coward: When Wismerhill first goes on a campaign against the empire, some cities who surrender before his army can sack them take groveling to a degree that disgusts their conquerors and pillagers, even offering their wives and daughters.
  • Disappeared Dad: Wismerhill doesn't know who his father is, although he's later told that he was a dark elf prince. He pulls an appearance in the end, though, to congratulate his son and to see his grandkids (among other things). It turns out that he is actually a Prince of Hell who has been playing a game of Divine Chess with Lucifer, as he reveals Haazheel Thorn's true plans for the world and how he has manipulated Wis.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Early on in the series Wismerhill and his friends develop a routine where Feydriva will suffer an "accidental" Wardrobe Malfunction when one of her Breast Plates falls off so that Pilou can steal the purse of any gentleman who will be distracted by this sight.
  • Divine Date: When the end of the world approaches, the Oracle shakes off its Eldritch Abomination form to reveal its real form as a female Hot God. Having not experienced sensational pleasure for eons, she then has a threesome with Wismerhill and his succubus girlfriend.
  • The Dragon: Greldinard, Baron of Moork, to Haazheel Thorn. Wis himself becomes this for a while when both the former decide to lay low for a while. And Haazheel Thorn himself is this to his father, Lucifer.
  • Dragon Hoard: The oldest and biggest dragon in the world, who spawned the rest of his race, has been sleeping for thousands of years Beneath the Earth on top of a huge pile of gold.
  • Dragon Rider: Dragons are used as steeds by particularly badass warriors. The Dragonlords of the mountains in particular specialize in this form of warfare, and the Emperor of Lynn has some of the most impressive dragons in the entire setting.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him:
    • Feydriva is rather suddenly killed off in the third album while the heroes visit a Vanishing Village.
    • Fratus Sinister looks like he's going to play a major part in the final battle between Wismerhill's and Haazheel's forces, but he's casually killed by Hellaynnea.

    E to L 
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Pilou's name originally referred to the fact that his personality changed depending on which sword he drew (as in "Heads or Tails"), this aspect was dropped pretty fast in favor of the standard Lovable Rogue personality.
  • Eldritch Abomination:
    • The Oracle as it appears in its true form to emperor Haaghendorf (subverted epically in the last volume, which reveals her to be a Hot God).
    • The Dzorak/Dvorak (huge swamp-dwelling cycloptic octopus-things only second in power to dragons among monsters, considered embodiments of foulness, and their name is a very common insult).
    • The infernal hekatonkheires (gigantic living weapons of mass-destruction of The Legions of Hell).
  • Elemental Embodiment: The Winds are living creatures who speak to Wismerhill because they were good friends with his mother before she passed away, as she would always sing to them.
  • The Empire / The Emperor: Wismerhill thinking that Lhynn and its ruler are examples of these tropes is a key component of the bad guys' plan. In fact, emperor Haghendorf is more of a Lawful Neutral Reasonable Authority Figure who tries his best to properly run a massive feudal Holy Roman Empire expy despite living in a Crapsack World and trying to avert the prophecied violent end of his reign and his empire.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: Without spoiling anything else, let's just say that the last volume's title is perfectly justified.
  • Enemy Mine: After Fratus Sinister is defeated by Lord Parsifal and has to go on the run, he joins up with the Black Moon to get revenge on both the emperor and on the dragonlords who abandoned him. Wismerhill even uses the trope word-for-word, stating that the enemy of his enemy is his friend.
  • Evil Mentor: Haazheel to Wismerhill, as he grants him entry to the highest orders of the Black Moon to teach him The Dark Arts and make Wismerhill a dark general in his war against the Empire of Lynn.
  • Evil Old Folks: Big Bad Haazheel Thorn, leader of the Black Moon and the forces of evil opposed to the Empire of Lynn, looks downright ancient.
  • Evil Sorcerer: Haazheel Thorn is an archmage who leads a Religion of Evil, though his priests (or at least, the ones with magical powers) qualify too.
  • Expy: Those Two Guys are pretty much the same as the less-than-fearsome assistants to the heroine of a previous work of Froideval's, Succubus (Hellaynnnea herself made a cameo in it).
  • Eye Beams: Wismerhill gain the ability to shoot red beams out of his eyes because he's a half-demon.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Frater Sinister has his eye gouged out by the dragonlord he was allied with when his insurrection against the emperor falls apart, and has to wear a black eyepatch from then on as he openly joins the forces of evil.
  • Face Death with Dignity: The decision of both the dwarves and the elves/faerie folk as a whole when The End of the World as We Know It comes knocking, instead of trying to save their skins by attempting to go through the same portal to another as the humans do.
  • The Faceless: Greldinard never removes his helmet (or his armor) on-panel once through the whole series. The closest we get is showing his hands going up, then going back down with the helmet, while contemplating swearing loyalty to Wis or Haazeel.
  • Faking the Dead: After the Black Moon loses a massive battle against the Empire and both Haazheel and Greldinard are apparently killed off, it turns out that the whole thing was a diversionary tactic so that they could lay low for a while and rebuild their forces without the Emperor recognizing the urgency of nipping this threat in the bud.
  • False Flag Operation: Haazheel and Greldinard stage the death of Wismerhill's father at the hands of the empire so that Wismerhill will join the forces of evil in the final battle for the fate of the world.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Wismerhill allows a dozen or so tribes to follow him through the gate to the new world, ranging from Mongols to Vikings to Aztecs.
  • Fire and Brimstone Hell: Hell is a fiery subterreanean landscape where the souls of the wicked are tortured by Lucifer and his giant red demons.
  • For the Evulz: While nobody has motivations that are this simple, most characters indulge in villainy for their amusement from time to time, or have way too much fun doing their morally dubious job.
  • Framing Device: The second series is framed as a story told by one of Wismerhill's daughters to her own daughter about how grandfather became the emperor of this strange new world.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Wismerhill starts out as a This Loser Is You type who fights rabbits with a joust. During his journey he gains more power and followers, eventually becoming the commander-in-chief of the Army of the Black Moon and emperor of the new world after the death of the old one.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: Hellaynnea does this a few times. What else would you expect from a succubus?
  • Gambit Pileup
  • Giant Wall of Watery Doom: When the Black Moon leaves its orbit to crash into the world, the moon's gravitational pull starts to cause earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and massive tidal waves. The old naval Empire of Tharque is destroyed by the mother of all tsunamis.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Wismerhill and Haazheel Thorn's are red and green respectively.
  • God: There's evidence enough he exists (Paladins of the Order of Justice are preternaturally good demonslayers, and high-ranking priests can perform resurrections) but we never see him, and he doesn't really do much; his one act is gathering up all his followers (who seem to be mostly imperial citizens) in the same place, then removing that chunk of land from the planet just before things literally go to hell for everyone left behind.
  • A God Am I: When Wismerhill asks Haazheel Thorn if he is truly a demigod as his followers say, Haazheel says he might as well be. In fact, he is the son of the most powerful demon in Hell.
  • God-Emperor: Haazheel Thorn, a stupidly powerful evil archmage and main bad guy, is worshipped as a god by his followers in the Black Moon. Though he is the half-demon son of Lucifer, who is a god.
  • A God I Am Not: When Wismerhill asks Methraton if he is a god, Methraton vehemently denies it as he hates the actual gods. He's more of an archmage with his own religion devoted to him.
  • Greater Scope Villain: The Prince of Darkness himself, who decides to send his legions to conquer/destroy the world together with his son Haazheel Thorn after his Evil Plan to get God to leave it in disgust with his followers goes Just as Planned. After he is banished back to Hell and Haazheel himself is killed, he voices his displeasure by devouring Haazheel's soul.
  • Half-Human Hybrids:
    • Wismerhill is a half-elf (later revealed to have been a demon prince in the guise of an elf)
    • Ghorghor is a half-ogre (his father was a very young ogre, his mother an unwilling villager).
    • Haazheel Thorn is the offspring of the Prince of Darkness and a human woman.
  • Having a Blast: Creating explosions is one of the many powers that a mage can learn. Shamballeau especially is very good at it, being introduced blowing up twenty soldiers who hassled him before Wismerhill adopts him into his crew.
  • Healing Factor: Ghorgor Bey has a ring of regeneration in his nose.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Hellaynnea. Wis and Greldinard towards the end, after a fashion.
  • Hellgate: It's opened by Haazheel Thorn on the Prince of Darkness's orders so The Legions of Hell can assist the Black Moon in destroying the empire before laying waste to the rest of the world. After Wismerhill discovers the plan was not simple to dismantle the empire but to create Hell on Earth all along, he marshalls his forces for an epic battle to banish Lucifer and his demons back to Hell and close the portal for good.
  • Hell on Earth: Haazheel's and his father Lucifer's plan is to destroy the Empire of Lynn and turn it into a demon-worshipping theocracy so that God will leave the Earth in disgust. Then the true invasion through the Hellgate can commence, as The Legions of Hell destroy all of humanity to turn the Earth into a new Hell.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Wismerhill's lover Hellaynnea has burning red hair. After all, she is a succubus, so it highlights both her connection to the fires of hell and her fiery personality.
  • High-Heel–Face Turn: One artbook that goes into more detail about the Empire's workings is narrated by a Femme Fatale, who ends up falling for Wis and Hellaynnea by the end.
  • Horny Devils: Hellaynnea the succubus. She also doesn't mind sharing Wis one bit (she even organises and executes the recruitment of his harem, which was her idea in the first place anyway). Though it was more a Heir Club for Men situation; she wanted to make sure he'd have descendants. This is borne out in that she probably had something to do with the fact that only one of his dozen kids (each from different, improbably beautiful and competent/powerful women) is male (neatly avoiding any complications come succession time), but she obviously took far too much pleasure from the whole situation for her decision to be purely pragmatic.
  • Hot God: The Oracle's true form is a nubile bald woman with shining skin. She also hasn't experienced earthly pleasures for several millennia and wants to make up the time. Cue threesome between the goddess, Wismerhill, and his succubus girlfriend.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Haazheel Thorn and his father Lucifer.
  • I Know Your True Name: Methraton is able to overpower Lucifer because he knows the Prince of Darkness' true name, then imprisons him in another dimension.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Parsifal and his Knights of Justice.
  • Inertial Impalement: By waiting until the last possible moment to lift up their pikes, a group of pikemen under Murata are able to completely destroy a line of charging knights.
  • Inevitable Mutual Betrayal: After going on several campaigns of Rape, Pillage, and Burn on the edges of the Empire of Lynn, Haazheel Thorn goes to the capital city of Lynn with his entourage to pledge his allegiance to the emperor as his vassal. Everyone involved knows that this is just for show and war will soon continue, but both sides are stalling for time to strengthen their forces.
  • Initiation Ceremony: Wismerhill goes through two different and very elaborate ones, first when he becomes a high priest of the Black Moon by crawling through a cave system to undergo several trials, and second when he becomes the leader of the Lords of Negation, Haazheel Thorn's most elite soldiers. Both instances involve him dying and being resurrected as well.
  • It Amused Me: The prequel shows that the entire plot was set off by a bet between Lucifer and Pazuzu, because the former wanted a game that wouldn't be lost by his opponent for fear of retribution.
  • It's All My Fault: Wismerhill blames himself for the end of the world after Haazheel Thorn uses his last ounce of magic to cause the Black Moon to crash into the Earth, but the Oracle tells him that every possible path would have led him here.
  • Just Desserts: After his defeat Haazheel Thorn's soul is devoured by his father Lucifer for failing to deliver the Earth to him. Especially karmic because Haazheel's plan was to have the rest of humanity harvested by the Legions of Hell so that he could become a god.
  • Kill the God: Deicide is apparently possible in the setting. When Lucifer's demons rampage around the world after Haazheel opens the Hell Gate between their dimensions, they attack the Oracle's sanctuary intending to destroy the Oracle before Wismerhill intervenes and slays the demons. On the other hand, Methraton later specifically seals Lucifer away after his defeat because he doesn't know of any way to kill a god.
  • The Legions of Hell: The demons of hell are summoned in battle by Haazheel Thorn and sent by Lucifer to Take Over the World after God is out of the picture.
  • Let the Boss Win: The entire events of the series are set in motion because of Lucifer playing chess (and always winning) against his minion Pazuzu (who knows exactly how much Lucifer's promise not to kill the one who bests him is worth), who keeps losing so as not to incur his master's wrath. So they decide to play the game with mortals instead.
  • Levitating Lotus Position: The priests of the Black Moon faith are often found floating in a lotus position when they're either meditating or accompanying their leader Haazheel Thorn's forces.
  • Light Is Good: The Order of Justice, whose grandmaster Parsifal is an exemplar of the pious, Lawful Good Paladin and Knight in Shining Armor.
  • Light Is Not Good: The leadership of the Knightly Order of Light is held by grandmaster Fratus Sinister, who has designs on the imperial throne, and his cronies, all of them power-hungry, morally bankrupt assholes.
  • Little Miss Badass: Pepette has a moment where she goes up to an Upper-Class Twit holding flowers... and rips a knife out of them, holding it to his throat.
  • Living Gasbag: On the second Earth Wismerhill's men run into miles-wide flying jellyfish that are either giant colonies of smaller jellyfish, or the smaller ones are the brain cells of a single being.
  • Lizard Folk: The main villains of the second series are snake-men.
  • Lovable Rogue: Pile-ou-Face.

    M to P 
  • The Man Behind the Man: Haazheel Thorn is actually under orders from Lucifer to create a favorable enough situation that he can just stroll in and Take Over the World to make it a new Hell (with every inhabitant's soul as a bonus).
  • Military Mage: The army of the Black Moon contains entire units of military sorcerers casting spells at the enemy.
  • Mirrored Confrontation Shot: The cover of album 13, The Prophecy, shows Wismerhill and Hazheel Thorn staring each other down with (literally) burning eyes.
  • Monochromatic Eyes: Haazheel Thorn has some pretty scary eyes, as he lacks pupils. This is just one hint that he's only half-human.
  • Monster Progenitor: The dragon species was spawned by a single primordial dragon, who is of course the biggest. He doesn't show until the end of the world approaches when he wakes up from his centuries-long slumber to lead his children through the spacegate.
  • Moon Base: The headquarters of the Black Moon are, astonishingly enough, on the Moon. It can only be reached through a portal deep in the swamps of the Barony of Moork, which on the outside only shows an illusion of a simple tower.
  • Moon Drop: The Big Bad doesn't take defeat well. NOT. AT. ALL.
  • Mr. Exposition: After Haazheel's death, a clone/homonculi of the person appears whose only purpose is to inform Wismerhill of his creator's last plan to bring about The End of the World as We Know It through Colony Drop.
  • Ms. Fanservice: The protagonist's main squeeze is a succubus. 'nuff said.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: During a massive engagement between the Black Moon and the Empire of Lynn, Haazheel Thorn transforms into a gigantic four-armed titan to throw magic blasts at the opposing armies.
  • The Multiverse: Apparently reality is made up of many different dimensions tied together by the four elements. After humanity leaves the Earth for a different world when it is about to be destroyed, it takes Lucifer one hell of an effort to find humanity again between all the different universes.
  • Mutual Kill: Lord Parsifal and Baron Greldinard of Moork both deliver each other a killing blow during a major battle between the Empire of Lynn and the Black Moon. However, both are later revived by the forces of light and darkness, respectively.
  • The Necrocracy: Wismerhill and his entourage go on an unapproved mission to the southern provinces to invade a kingdom of the living dead. They mow down the skeletal armies outside the tombs fairly easily, but are almost killed by its lich prince and his vampire and ghost lieutenants, surving only thanks to their boss Haazheel Thorn's intervention.
  • Necromancer: Haazheel Thorn has control over the living dead, raising them as part of his army.
  • Night of the Living Mooks: Haazheel Thorn raises a gigantic legion of undead, lead by mighty wyrm-riding undead lords... merely as a way to soften up the imperial armies before battle. He still loses said battle... which is what he wanted.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Wismerhill gains a lot of ability from his starting point, ending up as a Psion/Lord of Negation/Cleric/Wizard in the process, and that's still leaving out his good connections with the Winds
  • No Sell: Methraton takes a full-powered attack from Lucifer himself and comes out of it with an expression of mild irritation, like someone threw a rock at Dr. Manhattan.
  • Obviously Evil: Haazheel Thorn. Even emperor Palpatine post-lightning bolt to the face looks more thrustworthy.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Haazheel Thorn's initial plan is to bring about Hell on Earth. When this fails, he uses his dark magic to ensure that the Black Moon will crash into the Earth and destroy all life.
  • Origins Episode: Several characters from the main series have been given their origin story albums, namely Pilou, Ghorghor Bey, and Lord Parsifal.
  • One-Winged Angel: When he finally goes into Villainous Breakdown because Wismerhill closed the Hell Gate and defeated his remaining forces, Haazheel transforms into a muscular demonic humanoid who breathes rays of undeath.
  • Our Angels Are Different: They're giant winged humanoids serving God who, unlike the demons, only rarely intervene in the world, most notably when the Knights of Justice summon Gabriel to ask him to make the Knights of Light see the true way after being led astray by its corrupt leadership.
  • Our Demons Are Different: Various types of demons are seen. Most of The Legions of Hell are big, red, horned humanoids, though Lucifer himself looks could almost be mistaken for human. The succubi also originate in hell, and are ambiguously sexual shapeshifters. All demons love human souls, which they eat for lunch. The Big Bad himself is a half-demon spawned by the Devil.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Many sizes and colors, but mostly cosmetic differences as they're pretty much all big (human to kaiju size) reptilian flyers with fire breath (except for undead ones and negation wyrms, who breathe unlife and oblivion respectively). Most are (or at least seem) sentient, though several look like they have the intelligence of a cat or chimp more than a human one.
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Stout, short and bearded? Check. Live inside mountains (and active volcanoes)? Check. Master engineers, miners and smiths? Check. Greedy? Check. Love alcohol? Check. Hate orcs? Check. Fight equipped with massive war machines, heavy armor, axes and hammers? Check, check and check.
  • Our Elves Are Better: No, they really aren't (except Pilou).
  • Our Giants Are Bigger: They grow really big here, often easily over 50 feet tall. They're also pretty much brutish savages who will happily join the Army of the Black Moon in their war against the empire.
  • Our Gods Are Different: There are said to be many different gods, although they're almost never seen. God and his angels occasionally help out the holy orders of knights who serve the empire but prefer to keep their distance from mortal affairs. The Oracle is another god, whose true form is a multi-headed Eldritch Abomination but is in fact a female Hot God.
  • Our Liches Are Different: Wismerhill and his gang decide to go tomb raiding in a kingdom of the living dead in the southern provinces ruled by a lich prince. He's by far the most dangerous undead they face, and almost kills them with his magical powers. They survive only by summoning their boss Haazheel Thorn to help them out, who's an even more powerful dark wizard.
  • Our Ogres Are Hungrier: They look more like brown-furred, club-wielding yeti. Half-ogres look more human but are just as big. How big? Ghorgor Bey uses a beer barrel as a drinking goblet.
  • Our Orcs Are Different: Similar to Warhammer orcs, with the same sense of tactics, only usually with more humanlike skintones and racial hatred of elves.
  • Outdoor Bath Peeping: This is how the hero Wismerhill met his first paramour, Fey, bathing in a river. At first she's mad at the peeper, throwing her bastard sword in a tree next to him (she may bathe nude, but she never parts with her weapon). However the virgin hero reacts quite innocently, having never seen a naked woman before, and she quickly warms up to him.
  • The Paladin: Lord Parsifal, the Grand Master of the Knights of Justice, is a completely devout and heroic warrior who fights on the emperor's side in various wars, though he specifies that he serves God alone. His counterpart Frater Sinister of the Knights of Light is both corrupt and ambitious.
  • Pet Monstrosity: Pilou takes a dragon egg and decides to hatch it so he can raise the baby dragon. This makes sense, since his origin story shows that he himself was raised by dragons.
  • Physical God
    • Haazheel Thorn approaches this level of power. He's not actually a god, though he claims to be one.
    • Methraton, the Ultimate Mage, definitely has this much power. He's not a god either, more of an immortal archmage, and hates it when people mistake him for one.
    • The Oracle, while being the real deal (i.e. a god), is actually less powerful than this due to being depowered and shackled by the other gods for some transgression.
  • Planetary Nation: Zigzagged Trope. After humanity settles on a new world after the forces of evil have destroyed the old one, Methraton tells the human nations that they have to pick one emperor from among their kings who will rule over the entire world, as he won't allow any more pointless warring between them. They select Wismerhill when he is the only monarch to refuse the throne. However, the other kings seem to retain a degree of autonomy (and their titles), given the feudal setting.

    Q to Z 
  • Raised by Wolves: Pilou was raised by a female dragon who took him to her cave for food, but decided to save him for her offspring when he happened to burst from his egg at that exact moment. The young dragon and the young elf then bonded and the three became a family.
  • Religion of Evil: The Black Moon faith, which worships Haazheel Thorn.
  • Ring of Power: The Lords of Negation are Haazheel Thorn's most elite soldiers, and are controlled by him through several mind control rings. When Wismerhill turns against Haazheel, he has Shamballeau build other rings that will negate their effect. It works for a moment, but as soon as Haazheel notices this he destroys the second rings in swift order.
  • Road Apples: While walking through the Black Moon army camp, Wismerhill dodges a giant who just took a crap above him. Pilou notes that it would have been a particularly embarassing way to go.
  • Roleplaying Game Verse: It helps to explain a lot of what happens when you know that the series was inspired by one of Froideval's old Dungeons & Dragons campaigns, and that he worked on AD&D for TSR in The '80s.
  • Royal Harem:
    • Aside from Hellaynnea, a succubus and his main consort, Wismerhill gains around ten other wives, all of whom bear him a daughter.
    • Haazheel Thorn has his own harem of succubi, who are otherwise unable to hurt him because of his vast magical powers.
  • Samurai: Murata, obviously.
  • Samus Is a Girl: The Oracle is actually a goddess... and when freed after eons of imprisonment, she's quite keen on... intimate contact. Cue threesome with Wis and Hellaynnea.
  • Satan: Lucifer is shown early on to be the true master of all demons, and it's hinted that he's more powerful than the gods (except maybe for God himself, who's unfortunately a lot less proactive). Old Nick is also The Man Behind the Man for much of the series' plot.
  • Scary Impractical Armor:
    • Wismerhill's "leader of the Lords of Negation" getup.
    • Parsifal the paladin's armor is impressive too.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!:
    • The most notable ones happen towards the series' end: First, God, when it's obvious that with Lhynn in the hands of a puppet of Haazheel Thorn, the latter has a free hand in bringing about Hell on Earth, calls out for all his true faithful to go to Lord Parsifal's realm, and when the last of them passes through the gate, takes the land away to Another Dimension of prosperity and security.
    • Then in the very last volume, when The End of the World as We Know It is about to happen by way of Moon Drop, Methraton organises the evacuation to another world of the population of humanity's greatest, most organised nations from all continents. The Winds go through with minimal fuss; The dragons are let through by Methatron out of pragmatism, as it's not certain the human forces would be able to stop them or survive trying (a few dozen dragons? Messy, but doable. The entire species? Good luck); everybody else who tries (orcs and other savage humanoids, barbarians, what-have-you) is screwed unless they're among the small minority allied to the protagonists. The elves/fairy folk and the dwarves choose another path.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: After Methraton defeats Lucifer during his invasion of the New Earth he seals him away inside a prison elsewhere, since he's too powerful to destroy completely.
  • Shapeshifting Seducer: Succubi are able to take on any form, female or male, to lure in victims. Hellaynnea does a very extended demonstration when she offers to serve Wismerhill, going through 30 or so forms, including his previous lover who had been Stuffed into the Fridge.
  • Shoot the Messenger: Very common in this setting. When one faction sends a messenger to another faction, they usually end up dead.
    • One of Ghorghor Bey's men is turned into a frog by the master of a sorcerer's stronghold after demanding their surrender.
    • Fratus Sinister and his corrupt cronies at the head of the order of the Knights of Justice shoot (with arrows) upwards of 20 imperial messengers one after the other. A variation in that they're shot before they even deliver the message, as Sinister want to keep plausible deniability as to why he didn't commit his forces to the absolutely massive battle taking place against the Big Bad's decoy forces (Fratus wants to take over the Empire, see). This bites him in the ass later on, as the savvy emperor isn't fooled, and Fratus gets a humiliating demotion from the Empire's aristocratic pecking order.
    • Wismerhill and his friends respond to a representative of the empire demanding that they hand over the Barony of Moork to its newly appointed lord by having the messenger roasted by a baby dragon and served up for dinner—their own, not the dragon's.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Sickly Green Glow: Color of choice and standard side-effect of the magic of Haazheel Thorn and his Black Moon cronies.
  • Sinister Schnoz: Haazheel Thorn has a very long and sharp nose as one of his many Obviously Evil traits.
  • Sky Face: After the army of the Black Moon sacks several cities, Haazheel Thorn's face appears in the sky to declare that the Black Moon is finally rising.
  • Smoking Is Cool: Pilou
  • Sociopathic Hero: While several of the protagonists show signs of this, Pile-ou-Face is probably the best example; one gets the impression he'd get along famously with Belkar Bitterleaf. In his first appearance his personality depended on which of his swords he drew, the blue-glowing peaceful one and and hellish-red psychotic one. Or so he claimed; he's maintained a standard Lovable Rogue personality over the entire series.
  • Sorcerous Overlord: Haazheel Thorn is an incredibly powerful and ancient archmage who has built his own dark religion to conquer the Empire of Lynn and prepare the world for the arrival of the forces of hell.
  • Soul Eating: Souls from all the mortal races are devoured by the demons from hell, as well as succubi. The main bad guy also dies this way when Lucifer shows his displeasure with his failure.
  • Spanner in the Works: After Wismerhill attacks, and closes, a portal to Hell, Haazheel is very angry indeed, as this marks the end of Wis being his puppet.
  • Spoiler Title: Album 14 is named The End of Days. Guess what happens?
  • Snake Person: Methraton's servant Serpent is a half-snake warrior usually seen guarding his master's temple in the clouds. He also makes noticeable use of Sssnake Talk.
  • Sssnake Talk: Serpent, Methraton's right-hand man.
  • The Starscream: Fratus Sinister, to pretty much anyone else who's in power.
  • Sticky Fingers: Even after becoming a powerful general in Wismerhill's army, Pile-ou-Face is often seen robbing people of their purses in the background.
  • Storming the Castle: Castle and city sieges usually amount to thousands of soldiers storming the gates and killing anything in sight. Having sorcerers, dragons, giants and other huge war beasts helps a lot.
  • Stronger with Age: Dragons only get bigger as they get older. The oldest dragon in the world and the progenitor of his kind is so big that he barely fits through the spacegate.
  • Stuffed into the Fridge: Feydriva, Wismerhill's first Love Interest, meets a Fate Worse Than Death thanks to two demons, for no real reason save giving him a fight scene and a bout of angst. Wis gets over it pretty quickly though, and she is never mentioned again.
  • Summoning Ritual: There are various rituals available to mages to can summon different demons. One of them gets one hell of a surprise when the demon turns out be Satan himself, who was looking for a doorway to reach mankind after they had abandoned the previous world to escape its destruction.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Back in his This Loser Is You days, Wis hunted rabbits with a jousting lance and a charger.
    Wismerhill: Victory! The beast has perished!
  • This Loser Is You: Wismerhill at the beginning, before taking many, many, MANY levels in badass.
  • Those Two Guys: The final battle against demons leaves two survivors, a hulking brute and a diminutive imp who's the brains of the outfit, though not by much.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Fratus Sinister summons Hellaynnea the succubus to have his way with her. Apparently he forgot that succubi can suck out the souls of their victims.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Wismerhill, who grows from loser to dark general to emperor.
  • Treacherous Advisor: in a way, the mage who worked for Ghorgor Bey's nemesis:
    Lord: Here he comes! Mage, do something!
    Mage: Sorry about this, lord, but I've got a teleport on the boil, goodbye!
    Lord: Mage? Oh no!
  • Treasure Room: When Wismerhill and his friends invade the kingdom of the living dead and defeat its lich prince, the next thing they find is his enormous treasure room, which they plunder to fund their military build-up against the empire.
  • Unexplained Recovery: Ghorghor Bey says this in volume 3 when meeting Wis again, about his apparent demise in volume 1 (his ring of regeneration helped).
  • Upper-Class Twit: After the first defeat of the Black Moon armies, Emperor Haghendorf bestows the apparently vacated title of Baron of Moork unto a foppish aristocrat who thinks his new subjects will just welcome him with open arms. Wismerhill makes a good show of this before capturing the clueless nobleman and seizing his own feudal estates.
  • Vanishing Village: The party stays in one unwittingly for a night near the beginning of the series. Used to facilitate the aforementionned fridging.
  • Vestigial Empire: The Tharque empire, an Ancient Grome Fantasy Counterpart Culture that still has some impressive vestiges of its glory days, including a ridiculously huge flagship made from the skeleton of a sea monster for its navy, supposedly still the mightiest in the world.
  • Villainous Breakdown: At the final confrontation with Wismerhill in the imperial castle, Haazheel finally goes apeshit when his soldiers start to lose, going One-Winged Angel and destroying anything he sees.
  • Villain Protagonist
  • Wham Shot: Albums often end on these to set up a Cliffhanger. For instance, one comic ends with Wismerhill returning to Moork to find his masters Haazheel Thorn and Greldinard, who had apparently both been killed, waiting for him inside the throne room.
  • Yin-Yang Bomb: During Wismerhill and the Emperor's final battle, each remote-pilots a differently colored magic sphere that annihilates the other's troops. Wis crashes his into the Emperor's so normal battle can resume.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Much to emperor Haghendorf's chagrin.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Parsifal. He and his children are pretty much the only ones with an unusual hair color.
  • You Have Failed Me: Lucifer makes his displeasure at Haazheel Thorn's failure to give him the world on a platter known quite emphatically: he eats his soul like it was a piece of candy.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: When The End of the World as We Know It comes knocking, the dragons get rid of all their dragon knight servants/partners/protectors rather spectacularly before getting the hell out of Dodge through the same portal as the humans.
  • You Killed My Father: Haazheel Thorn and the Baron of Moork arrange the violent death of Wismerhill's dark elf father (actually, the demon Urmarcht in disguise) just before he could finally meet him and blame it on the empire to incite Wismerhill's fury against the emperor.
  • Your Soul Is Mine: Demons eat souls. Hellaynnea occasionally flies out at night to grab herself a snack.
  • Zero-G Spot: A variation where Wismerhill is carried by his Winged Humanoid lover Hellaynnea the succubus to have sex in the clouds.

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