Literature / The Iron Teeth

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/hobgoblintv5.jpg
A hobgoblin from the Iron Teeth Mountains.

The Iron Teeth is a free online dark fantasy story or web serial. It is written by Clearmadness, and is updated twice weekly on Sundays and Wednesdays. Each update is between 3000 and 4000 words.

Synopsis: All Blacknail the goblin ever wanted was to live a peaceful life in his sewer home, and eat as much as he could fit in his stomach. He certainly never asked to be captured and whisked away to the far off Iron Teeth Mountains. There, Blacknail is taken in and made a servant by the outlaw Herad and her crew of bandits.

Among the monster filled forests and snow peaked mountains of the North he will grow into something far more than a simple goblin. As the world around him slides into ruin Blacknail will fight to survive, and learn to live with the men and women of the North. When an ancient evil rises Blacknail will be there to meet it, and leave his mark on the world forever.

However, first he has to get over his crippling fear of trees, and survive in a place where everything considers him to be the perfect size for a quick snack…

Link: http://www.ironteethserial.com/

The first volume of Iron Teeth is also for sale on Amazon. It contains edited and exclusive content.


[The Iron Teeth] contains examples of:

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     A-B 

  • Admiring the Abomination: Blacknail tries to intimidate Khita on their first meeting, but she just gets more interested in him because he’s a hobgoblin.
  • Alchemy Is Magic: Magic in this story is done by mages who use crystals they create through chemistry or alchemy. A lot of education and knowledge is required to get the formulas right and bad things happen when you fail.
  • All Trolls Are Different: This novel's trolls are creatures that hunt within the northern forests. They are huge man-eating green-skinned monsters capable of insanely fast movements and unexpected sneakiness. They smell the blood of their prey, and are capable of indefinitely stalking them if not put down.
  • Amazonian Beauty: Vorscha is an example of this trope. She is a muscular warrior woman who is also good looking.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: Goblins have many different colors of skin. Most are green, but sometimes a goblin with a unique skin color is born. For example, the goblin who helped Blacknail find water has a blue cast to his skin.
  • Amulet of Concentrated Awesome: Amulets are made to hold particularly fine magic crystals, and seem to allow multiple uses of those crystals somehow.
  • Anachronism Stew: Most of the world is set in a medieval period, but the mage guilds have somewhat advanced chemistry, given that they know what nitrogen and sulfur are, and can use them to alter properties of crystals. As well as that, creatures such as harpies and drakes are decidedly saurian in appearance, yet are in a world of mammals and magic.
  • An Ax To Grind: The Hobgoblin that attacks Blacknail wields a pair of crude stone axes attached to ffire-hardened branches.
  • Anti-Hero: Blacknail is an unconventional hero to s certain group of young goblins.
  • Archer Archetype: Herad's group operate in woods. Some of her band of bandits prefer using bows and arrows over swords, which makes sense: ambush trumps straight-up challenges when you're an outlaw.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Vorscha used to work for a Lord, but he decided that it would be easier to put bounty on her head than to pay her mercenary company their wages.
  • Asshole Victim: A certain goblin in this story killed the bandit who was harassing him. He was definitely an asshole.
  • Badass Normal: Although Saeter is just a human without magic tricks he is able to kill most the beasts in the woods. All because of his intellect and experience.
  • Ban on Magic: Only the Mage Guilds are allowed to use or research magic. They thus enforce a magical oligarchy on the rest of society. If anyone else tries to learn magic they are usually killed by agents of one of the guilds.
  • Black and Gray Morality: Killing people is a large part of this world, for personal gain more often than not.
  • Black Comedy: The story constantly uses the murderous instincts of its protagonist for comedic purposes.
  • Black Market: All of Daggerpoint is basically one big black market. Bandits and thieves gather there to sell goods that are illegal or stolen.
  • Blob Monster: Slimes exist here. Not much has been revealed yet but they can range in size and toughness and have crystal cores.
  • Blade Lock: At any given time during a Sword Fight, expect the two blades to lock together, especially when you are teaching a young hobgoblin.
  • Beneath the Earth: Blacknail was born in tunnels beneath a human city. His tribe used to live there for generations. A large monster-filled network of caves called the Dark Roads has also been mentioned, but only briefly explored. Small insects called Harvesters live there and build vast mushroom farms.
  • By the Hair: Blacknail the goblin frequently grabs the hair of people he's fighting with. This usually causes them to expose their throats.
  • Boisterous Weakling: There are a lot of guys like that in this story. They are called goblins.
  • Bow and Sword, in Accord: Saeter and several other members of Herad's band are proficient in using both bows and swords.
  • Big Eater: Blacknail likes to eat a lot, especially when reaching evolution.
  • Bizarre Taste in Food: Goblins like food to be slimy and somewhat rotten.
  • Breath Weapon: Myagnoir the Great Drake is basically a flightless dragon with magical ice breath. It’s one of its trump cards used during destruction of entire cities.
     C-D 
  • Can't Hold His Liquor: Blacknail the goblin gets roaring drunk after a single mug of beer. He then passes out and wakes up with a hideous hangover. This can be somewhat explained by his small body mass.
  • Cliffhanger: Many chapters end with one.
  • Cool Old Guy: Blacknail's master the ranger Saeter is one of these. He is grey haired and noticeably older than all the other bandits and yet still by far the best tracker and a dangerous warrior. He is a somewhat grumpy hardass though.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Blacknail finds Khita right when a group of rival thugs is about to kill her.
    • Similarly convenient coincidence is his encounter with the information dealer.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Some fights have rules. Most don't. Bandits usually try leveraging every advantage they can get.
  • Cute Monster: Blacknail the goblin is small little fellow with big cute eyes. He's also totally devoid of anything resembling morals and thinks nothing of killing people or other living things.
  • Cryptic Background Reference: Blacknail's and pretty much any other's backstory is pretty much unknown and will most likely only be referenced faintly.
  • Character Development: Blacknail himself notes this in 4.6.
    As he stared at the feral goblins Blacknail realized he no longer saw the world the way this tribe did. They had such tiny short little viewpoints. They were just focused on simple things like food and shelter. When they saw the road at the edge of their domain what did they think? Did they wonder who had made it or where it led? Blacknail sighed as he realized a simple life like this would never satisfy him anymore. He couldn’t believe he had ever wanted to return to the sewers.
  • Chekhov's Gun: A strange potion given to Blacknail at the beginning turns out to be some kind of magic elixir that, against the odds fails completely to kill Blacknail, instead turning him into a Vessel. He was on his way to being sold to the Purple Heart guild along with the Caravan, which is why they had a battle-mage with them in the first place, a question brought up during the raid.
  • Dangerous Deserter: The North is filled with deserters from various armies that have turned to banditry to survive.
  • Dark Action Girl: Herad the Black Snake, who leads a group of bandits, is a merciless killer and of the most dangerous fighters revealed so far.
  • Dark Fantasy: The world is very dangerous and full of monsters. People die left and right and yet they still find time to kill each other. Has a limited magic system.
  • Decapitation Presentation: Blacknail presented the head of Fang, an enemy Slosher, to Herald to appease her.
  • Dinosaurs Are Dragons: Both Drakes and Harpies are feathered lizard-like creatures, and have been referred to as Saurans.
  • Dire Beast: There are many examples of this found in this story. They usually have a well defined ecological role though and aren't just supersized versions of normal animals.
  • The Dreaded:
    • The City Killer, a near-invincible magical drake, and the ever-present possibility of finding another crystal host with a similar level of power.
    • Blacknail's new "dominate everything!" hobgoblin instincts shut up real quickly when confronted with the thought of challenging Herad.
  • Duel to the Death: In 4.6, Blacknail accidentally wandered into another Hobgoblin's territory and invoked this to avoid being swarmed by the smaller goblins it brought. He won.
     E-H 
  • Eating the Eye Candy: Blacknail finds it hard to look away from Luphera, despite normally seeing Humans looking as fleshy and unattractive.
  • Elite Mooks: Mages and Vessels in the military. And they're treated like elites, too, cause Herad to correctly conclude that Basghus and Mehedium deserted for reasons other than mere discontent.
  • Enemy Eats Your Lunch: Blacknail does this to one bandit who talks disrespectfully of Saeter.
  • Evil Tastes Good: Blacknail will occasionally think or make remarks about how humans taste or smell. He is excited by the scent of blood, as well ac the acts of hunting a prey and killing it.
  • Evolution Power-Up: Goblin → Hobgoblin → ???.
  • Exact Eavesdropping: On several occasions.
  • Failed a Spot Check: The two thugs in the city don’t hear how Blacknail kills their partner right behind the corner, only several meters away from them.
  • Family Honor: Geralhd killed someone during a duel because, among other things, they insulted his sister's honor and ruined her reptuation. When asked how having criminal in the family is better, he points out that dueling may be illegal in Eloria, but it’s still considered an honorable way to end a dispute.
  • Fantastic Racism: The main character is a goblin and gets treated badly by humans. Many humans seem to hate goblins and consider them subhuman.
  • Five-Finger Discount: Blacknail spends his first day in Daggerpoint stealing Meat Pies.
  • Fluffy Tamer / The Beastmaster: Saeter.
  • Follow Your Nose: Blacknail does this to find others or food that interests him.
  • Food as Bribe: Foo works to get Blacknail to do something.
  • Functional Magic: Mages have an Inherent Gift to use magic crystals. The crystals themselves are Devices created through Alchemy.
  • Gentleman Thief: The Robin Hood like bandit leader the White Raven is an example of this trope. He was apparently honorable, charming, and rarely killed anyone.
  • Giant Spider: Spiders the size of large dogs live in the forests of the Iron Teeth mountains. They attack from ambush, paralyze their prey with their venom, and wrap them up for later.
  • Gilded Cage: Once someone was educated by the Endless Heavens Guild and entrusted with their secrets they are never allowed to leave the Guild Keep without permission and an escort of Mage Guards. Cervessa admits its a cage, but its a damn beautiful one that she chose for herself.
  • Got Volunteered: Blacknail tried to appease the Herald for following her by giving her Fang's head. Saeter points out that he just volunteered to be her personal assassin and she promptly puts him to work.
  • Grim Up North: The North is considered one of the most dangerous and uncivilized places to live. It is here that the big bad Myagnoir the Greatest Enemy of Man lives as well.
  • Great Offscreen War: The warring states offscreen lead to an increase of banditry due to deserters and some new characters.
  • Greed: It seems to be in the nature of goblins to be greedy little bastards. They are constantly stealing stuff and collecting shiny things.
  • Harping on About Harpies:This world has harpies. They are large birdlike animals with a second pair of claws on their wings and mouths full of teeth instead of beaks. They are also natural mimics similar to parrots. Think archaeopteryx with attitude.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Ewarlyn holds the line long enough with his men for Vorscha and a few of her men to get away.
  • Hide Your Otherness: Post-transformation Blacknail keeps his large horns filed down. He misses the intimidating look of the horns, but filing them off lets him pass for a human with just a hooded cloak, and that offers possibilities too fun to pass up.
  • High-Class Call Girl: Blacknail wanders into the room of a woman named Luphera, who happens to be naked at the time. She's incredibly beautiful and sensual. Her room is also luxurious, tasteful, and filled with a flowery aphrodisiac scent. She offers man services, including The Oldest Profession.
  • Humans Are White: Every human character in the story is described in such a way that they could all be European.The in story explanation for this is that in this world all humans come from a single isolated continent known as The Homelands, and thus there is less genetic diversity than on Earth.
  • Humans Are Ugly: The goblin Blacknail frequently remarks or thinks about how ugly, pink, and fatty he finds humans.
  • Horned Humanoid: After evolving hobgoblins start to grow horns. Blacknail has taken to filing them down, since otherwise they would make disguising himself and wearing hats impossible.
     I-M 
  • Icy Blue Eyes: Herad has a particularly scary pair.
  • Idiot Ball: Apparently Fang used to go to sleep without keeping any serious weapons nearby.
  • Interspecies Romance: Blacknail and Luphera have a... thing at the end of Arc 6. Blacknail is left very confused the day after.
  • In the Back: Blacknail’s fighting style often involves stabbing unaware enemies from behind.
  • In the Hood: If he keeps his horns filed down and smooths his voice a bit, Blacknail is able to pass for a human in a hooded cloak. It helps that the only human city he's been to is Daggerpoint, where a good chunk of the populace goes around hooded.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Ghouls in this story eat human flesh, preferably fresh.
  • King Mook: Crystal Hosts are monsters that bonded with naturally occurring Power Crystals, giving them great strength and magical abilities. Slimes are formed by crystal hosting.
  • Knife Fight: Geralhd gets into a knife fight with another bandit named Dafur. He loses but survives as Dafur is killed when Herad intervenes.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Saeter.
  • Knowledge Broker: Luphera, who trades information with Blacknail in what amounts to a game of twenty questions.
  • Literally Shattered Lives: The City Killer seems to take pleasure in smashing people after freezing them with its ice breath.
  • Low Fantasy: The Iron Teeth features grey morality, a human dominated world, comedy, and magic is of limited use and often unimportant.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: How Blacknail dealt with Ferret. He stabbed him in the leg with paralyzing poison and then knocked him unconscious before dropping him face first in the latrine pit. That way it would look like he slipped in, hit his head, and drowned.
  • Mage Tower: Archmagus Rastilio Fer Grehmar the Supreme Master of the Endless Heavens Guild office is situated in one of those.
  • Magic A Is Magic A: Magic done by growing crystals using alchemy. Each crystal can then be used up by a mage to produce some effect.
  • Magic Enhancement: Elixir users (Vessels, sloshers, etc) can enhance some of their abilities like speed and strength.
  • Magic Staff: Mages use complex staffs to use one-shot crystals for greater efficiency and control.
  • Magical Society: There are multiple mage guilds that control the production of crystals that mages use to cast spells.
  • Medieval European Fantasy: Human civilization is in the medieval age, but magic exists.
  • Magitek: Mages use staffs that are complex mechanical devices to help channel the power of their spell crystals. The Endless Heavens mage guild has also been mentioned to have built an elevator powered by magic.
  • Military Mage: Mages are recruited by the various kingdoms to fight in their wars. These combat mages are trained by the mage guilds but then handed over to the army. They are valued assets, but ultimately expendable, and not considered to be true members of the guilds that trained them.
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: Luphera didn't like the way her boss was treating her and how he was running things. So she get Blacknail to kill him. Except he was a distraction while she did the job herself and took his place as the owner.
  • Monster Adventurers: Blacknail the goblin is the protagonist and also a goblin who is part of a group of humans.
  • Monster Lord: A particularly strong, smart and well-fed goblin can metamorphose into a hobgoblin: bigger, smarter, more territorial and bearing horns, and often found commanding goblin tribes.
  • Monstrous Humanoid: There are a bunch of creatures in this story who look human, more or less. For example ghouls and hobgoblins.
  • More Criminals Than Targets: After the fall of Coroulis, the North is becoming infested with so many bandits that trade is drying up and the bands are turning on each other. Herad plans to centralize them all and eventually turn them into a nation under her rule.
  • Most Writers Are Human: Somewhat averted as the protagonist is a goblin who doesn't act and think quite like a human. Most characters are human though.
  • Mugged for Disguise: Blacknail's concealing cloak got trashed on his way to Daggerpoint, so he lured a guy away from a merchant caravan and robbed him for a new one.
  • My Instincts Are Showing: Most of Blacknail the goblin's acts and thoughts are human like, but some really aren't.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Upon meeting a tribe of feral goblins after becoming a Hobgoblin, Blacknail sees them as annoying but realizes that he is the one who has changed, seeing the world for much more than it is because of his interactions with them.
     N-O 
  • Non-Action Guy: Geralhd fills this role. He is educated, civilized, and intelligent. He is also an outlaw stuck out in the boonies among a rough group of bandits. However, he does have some fencing training under his belt: Beware the Nice Ones. The problem is finesse only gets you so far out in the woods.
  • Non-Malicious Monster: Pretty much every "monster" in this web serial is a type of animal, and thus non malicious. They may be 500 pound killing machines but they kill to live, not because they are evil. This is true even though many of the animals are both named after and resemble mythological creatures such as: harpies, trolls, ogres, drakes, and giant spiders.
  • The Nose Knows: Blacknail's nose is his strongest feature.
  • No Sympathy: Blacknail doesn't care about humans, even if they are working for his own good. Unless he really need them and can't handle the situation, he will always ignore the others or try to get the best out of them. But many humans also share this trait in the harsh place of the Iron Teeth Mountains, beware.
  • Never Bring a Knife to a Fist Fight: Blacknail almost died in a brawl with older hobgoblin. His knife saved him.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Malthus plays the role of a swordsman with honor and crap to fool people because he finds it fun, but he's an assassin and once the charade drops he gets serious.
  • Obliviously Evil: Blacknail has inhuman morality, and has never even really been exposed to morality as a concept. For instance it's never occurred to him that eating people would be bad. And, his appreciation of property ownership is... decidedly skewed.
  • Older Than They Look: Khita is 17, but looks and acts younger than that due to poor nutrition.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: This world has drakes which are flightless feathered dragons.
  • Our Ghouls Are Creepier: This novel's ghouls are creatures originated from infected humans. When transformed, the ghouls retain some degree of intelligence and use deception to get their prey. They use their resemblance to humans in order to infiltrate human settlements and kidnap people in the midst of the night. Their claws and teeth are capable of infecting people and the only way to prevent the transformation is by ingestion of a mix of garlic and silver.
  • Our Goblins Are Different: The main protagonist is Blacknail the goblin. In this setting goblins are common animals with enough intelligence to develop crude language and be trained to perform certain tasks, like cleaning sewers or small places people don't want to go. They are sneaky and mischievous and often blamed for stealing things. They aren't big enough to threaten people normally but can be dangerous when in large packs or if their prey is weak or wounded. If certain conditions are met, they can also transform into more powerful Hobgoblins.
  • Our Mages Are Different: Magic in this story is done by mages. Mages are born with the ability to burn crystals to produce magic. Making and knowing what crystals do requires lots of knowledge and education though, and burning crystals when you have no idea what they do or how they work is basically a flamboyant form of suicide.
  • Our Monsters Are Different: Harpies are predatory birds with human like faces, and slimes are dangerous creatures powered by magical crystals.
  • Our Ogres Are Hungrier: These ones are actually vegetarians, not man-eaters, although it's a very bad idea to startle them.
  • Old Master: Don't let Saeter's age fool you; this guy is a force to be reckoned with.
  • Outlaw Town: Daggerpoint, a city founded by and for bandits, black marketeers, and other criminals.
  • Outside-Context Problem:
    • Blacknail. Most hobgoblins don't use long-term planning or formal training because it was thought impossible to tame them, but Saeter managed to elevate Blacknail to the point he could do so.
    • Scamp, on the principle that only humans are supposed to be able to use mage crystals, but he has the potential to do so.

     P-S 
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Blacknail’s hood-disguise works too well — people don’t notice anything wrong about his face even when he’s walking right next to them in broad daylight.
  • Perky Female Minion: Khita is a young woman who is part of Herad's group of bandits. She has a perky personality and her actions are usually used as comic relief. No one really takes her all that seriously, but she's also far from useless in a fight. She really likes her knives.
  • Planimal: Mimics are large stick bug like beasts that mimic trees and attack animals or people who get too close. They fit this trope because part of their disguise is that they have actual symbiotic plants growing from them.
  • Plot Threads: The main plot follows Blacknail the goblin, but the story also has various interludes. These interludes follow different characters and can even take place in the past. They are used to expand the world and show different viewpoints.
  • Poisoned Weapons: Saeter and Blacknail occasionally use weapons coated with paralytic timber spider venom.
  • Power Crystal: The magic system in this story is based around the use of magic crystals to achieve various effects depending on the type of crystal used.
  • Private Military Contractors: A few bandits start out their working lives as this until things go south. For example, Vorscha worked as a mercenary — until her employer decided that outlawing her company on trumped-up charges beat fully paying them. And, if Herad plays her cards right, her band could well function as a decidedly murky company of these, too. She's already made one or two shady deals with lords which lean in this direction.
  • Random Effect Spell: According to Mahedium, badly grown magic crystals are this. Given how the odds stack up, using them is almost certainly suicide.
  • Rational Fic: The story's world-building is intended to stand up to careful thought and follow logical rules.
  • Red Baron: Herad the Black Snake, and her rival Werick the Wolf.
  • Revenge: Ferret was a bandit who was damaging Blacknail's reputation and threatened to kill him. Blacknail didn't like that and, when it became clear that he wouldn't back off, the bandit was no more.
  • Robinsonade: Blacknail’s mentor teaches him various survival skills during the first arcs.
  • The Runaway: Khita was part of another gang and joined up with Herad for protection. While Red Dog originally refused to bring her along, she kept stabbing other recruits and it became the safer option.
  • Run or Die: When a drake spooks a bunch of Ogres into a stampede, everyone runs for obvious reasons.
  • Scarily Competent Tracker: Saeter and Blacknail.
  • Signature Scent: Luphera wears a purfume that smells alluring like a female goblin to Blacknail.
  • Slowly Slipping Into Evil: Blacknail starts with small time theft as a goblin, then begins to kill to get ahead in the tribe as a hobgoblin.
  • Suffer the Slings: Blacknail is taught to use one to give him his first ranged capability. He later teaches the skill to a tribe of feral goblins, since he killed their hobgoblin protector.
  • Sufficiently Analyzed Magic: The mage guilds treat magic like a science. They use chemistry and the scientific method to create spell crystals and other devices.
  • Superpower Lottery: The City Killer is a drake (already one of the strongest monsters in the setting) that's also a powerful crystal host, sporting enhanced size, deadly ice breath, and likely also an enhanced intellect. The combination allowed it to casually tear apart Coroulis, a major city.
  • Super Serum: People known as Vessels, or more informally as Sloshers, consume a special elixir created and sold by mages to gain superhuman abilities. The power granted by an elixir needs to be replenished by consuming more. Not everyone can use it though, as most people who take it die and even successful Vessels can become addicted.
  • Standard Fantasy Setting: It lacks most of the typical other races, but still counts.
  • Sticky Fingers: Goblins don't steal. Humans are just really touchy about people rescuing shinies left lying around.
  • Story Arc: The Iron Teeth is divided into story arcs.
  • Street Urchin: Blacknail ran into a couple of these trying to pickpocket him in Daggerpoint. His solution was to give them a good kicking.
  • Streetwalker: The city of Daggerpoint's streets are walked by skimpily clad women, and some men, who wander around and solicit prospective customers.
  • Sword Fight: Plenty of sword fights all over this story. First time, when Blacknail met Saeter had happened just after bandits had sword fight with caravan guards.
     T-Z 
  • Tagalong Kid: Khita and the Goblin Scamp to Blacknail. The former decided she wanted to be a scout and Saeter put him in charge of her (and its been made clear by Vorscha that she would blame him if something happened), while the latter was picked up by Varhs but was too lax to discipline him properly and Blacknail has to keep him in line to keep others from thinking bad about Goblins.
  • Tame His Anger: Hobgoblins have problems with power hierarchies when they are not the one on top, so Blacknail has to learn to manage his anger.
  • Technology Uplift: Blacknail spends some time commanding a goblin tribe while recovering from a fight with their former leader, and passes the time by teaching them skills like cooking, snare-setting and sling use.
  • Threat Backfire: Khita has rather strange notions regarding self-preservation — when Blacknail tries to scare her away by revealing himself as a hobgoblin she only gets more excited.
  • Knowledge Broker: Blacknail's contact Luphera is not avert to gathering information for her clients.
  • The Lost Woods: The setting is the Iron Teeth mountains which contain a lot of very old forest that are incredibly dangerous to enter.
  • The Virus: Ghouls are monsters that multiply through an infection. Bites and contact with their bodily fluids are the usual vectors. When ghouls attacked Herad's camp, she had a giant pit prepared for them, and even the soil that the ghouls bled on and the clothes worn while killing them were buried in it.
  • The Syndicate: Persus and the Broken Wheel company, they dispose of goods for the various bandit bands in the Iron Teeth mountains
  • The Trickster: Blacknail the goblin is a trickster. Throughout the story he makes up for his small size through trickery and cheating. As an outsider among humans he also often disobeys convention and acts in unexpected ways. He is also fond of disguising himself using a long cloak.
  • Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: Two of the bandits in Herad's band are Geralhd and Vorscha. The two are implied to be an item, and Geralhd is described as small man while Vorscha is a very tall and muscular woman.
  • Training the Gift of Magic: In this world people who have magical potential need to train it properly before they can use it consistently.
  • Villain Protagonist: Blacknail frequently murders and steals, and does not even comprehend why any action that doesn't further his or his master's interests might be morally wrong.
  • When Trees Attack: At one point Saeter and Blacknail are attacked by a mimic. Mimics disguise themselves as trees and prey on creatures that get too close. They're not actually moving trees though, they're somewhat like giant stick bugs or crabs that have symbiotic plants and leaves growing from them.
  • Web Serial Novel: The Iron Teeth is one of those, updated chapter by chapter online.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: After transformation Blacknail couldn't control his new instincts, and wound up lashing out on Saeter. His discipline training helped somewhat to bridle them, but the instincts are still there.
  • Wizarding School: Cervassa Mas Dhallia, a mage from Endless Heavens Guild, is working at one as a researcher.
  • Xenofiction: The protagonist Blacknail the goblin has a different way of thinking about things than humans.
  • You Kill It, You Bought It: Blacknail killed the Hobgoblin who attacked him and was given its title and position in the feral tribe.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Literature/TheIronTeeth