Web Comic / Carciphona

Carciphona (formerly titled Blackbird) is a high fantasy web manga, found here, written, illustrated, and published by Shilin.

In the world of Maelstrom, the use of magic is one of the most useful skills available to both humans and beast-humans. While beast-humans' control of magic stems from their affinity with nature, humans must rely on a decidedly more artificial way to practice sorcery; namely, by channeling the power of malevolent spirits. While the use of demons for sorcery was long believed to have no dangerous side effects, opinion changed when a mysterious assassin, immune to magic and possibly possessed by demons, began a killing spree of highly skilled magic users, including royalty. Faced with no way to defeat the enigmatic "Blackbird", the collective governments of Maelstrom initiated an international prohibition on the use of demon magic, effectively ruining the careers of countless sorcerers (although beast-humans more than picked up the slack).

Four years after the ban, almost every human sorcerer has either given up practicing magic or been imprisoned. However, Veloce Visrin, a young sorceress in the country of Kronzel, was exempted from the ban by the king, in exchange for her freedom and the promise to keep her abilities a secret. Unfortunately, an attempted "assassination" by Blackbird herself forces Veloce to act in self-defense and blow her cover. Pursued by the king's forces, Veloce is forced to rely on the help of two young aristocrats to escape.

The comic is well worth reading, both for the fantastic art and in-depth writing. Definitely Needs Wiki Magic Love.

This webcomic provides examples of:

  • Adorably Precocious Child: Keritzel is certainly very mature for his age, if disconcertingly naive.
  • Alternate Continuity: In non canon illustrations drawn by Shilin, Veloce and Blackbird are a loving couple with one setting set in our present era.
  • Anti-Hero: Veloce is a Type II.
  • Art Evolution: Though the art style remains mostly consistent, it becomes more refined as the series goes on, and certain characters, namely Keri and Weirin, start to look their ages.
  • Art Major Biology: Minister Meron survived long enough to get medical attention after getting stabbed through the heart. Now, maybe their inhuman blood had something to do with it, but even Shilin said in the comments section, "Shilin's horrible understanding of anatomy and trauma knows no bounds."
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: This seems to be how generals are chosen: not just for their ability to command soldiers, but for their ability to personally kick ass.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Iriel.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Well, more like a Bunny Ears assassin in Blackbird.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Veloce is on the receiving end of one early in the series when Blackbird attacks her for the first time.
  • Foe Romance Subtext: Blackbird all but outright flirts with Veloce on several occasions.
  • Four-Philosophy Ensemble:
    • The Cynic: Veloce
    • The Optimist: Keritzel
    • The Realist: Weirin
    • The Apathetic: Iriel
    • The Conflicted: Meron
  • Healing Factor: Veloce can use magic to heal herself rapidly, although it takes quite a lot of energy.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Veloce has a strong sense of justice, but her aloofness and need to keep a low profile means that she doesn't demonstrate it much.
  • Playing with Fire: Fire magic seems to be a favorite among beast-humans.
  • Wham Episode: Page 57 & 58 of Volume 4: Meron gets stabbed by Blackbird.