Webcomic: A Magical Roommate
You get used to it.
"I'm Aylia, I'm from a magical world, and I don't want to be here."A Magical Roommate
is a web-based comic by Emily Sorensen.
Aylia of Umbria always knew what she wanted to do with her life: as a magical genius, she wants to go to a prestigious wizarding school and become a master of the craft. Unfortunately, she's got a problem: her parents. Her father, Joralan, is a royal duke without a brain, who goes along with what his wife says because that's what he thinks a good husband should do. Her mother, Lettie, is from our world, and has managed to convince herself that her delusions are true. What delusions? Well, to start, she thinks Aylia wants to go to college. In our world. Without learning any magic at all.Aylia disagrees.
Unfortunately, her hands are tied: as a noble, the laws state that Aylia must obey her parents' wishes until she turns twenty, and that's a couple of years off. So with no other options, it's off to our world for Aylia.
In another world (no pun intended), Aylia would go to college and do one of our degrees, becoming good friends with her roommates all the while... except for three things:
1. Not only does Aylia not care about her degree, she also doesn't care about any of those weird things like studying, schoolwork, not telling people the truth about who you are and where you're from, and not doing magic in front of people who don't know that it exists.
2. People from her world start showing up constantly: her parents, her sister, her cousin the werewolf, the werewolf who bit her cousin... you get the idea.
3. Her roommates consist of one incredibly nice girl who just wants everyone to get along, one girl who hates having weird roommates, and a monosyllabic girl with a one-letter name who likes to blow things the fuck up.
And as college progresses, the ratio of normal roommates to weird roommates starts sliding in favour of the weird, and doesn't stop.
And it only gets weirder from there.
The strip was completed, with a grand total of 2,100 entries, on May 27, 2011.
This webcomic provides examples of:
- Abdicate the Throne: Any King or Queen of Umbria when his or her companion dies, because there must be two people on the throne.
- Victoria cons her parents into doing this in favor of her firstborn in the epilogue.
- Abusive Parents: Maybe not abusive in the usual sense, but Duchess Lettie, who refuses to believe that her children are anything other than what she thinks they are (i.e. intelligent, just like her, completely obedient and loyal and protective of each other), and Duke Joralan, who never steps in to help but will always stand by his wife, are not good parents to Aylia and Alassa.
- Also, Lettie's parents were horrible to her- hence why she ran off to get married as soon as possible.
- Jenny and Reg also have highly unpleasant parents.
- Well, Jenny's father is okay. Jenny's mother, on the other hand, happened to be Lettie's horrible babysitter when she was younger... and hasn't really changed.
- The Ageless: Oracles live for as long as they want. They can be killed by outside forces, but otherwise, they will live until they decide to die - unlike their counterparts, Sages, who do die of old age.
- All There in the Manual: The author provides a running commentary and various extras which expand the comic universe.
- Art Evolution
- Artistic License – Economics: Actually averted. X buys her way into the wizarding school with aluminium foil she bought in our world. She keeps using said foil to buy whatever she needs, and ends up crashing the economy.
- Babies Ever After: The only characters who end the story married but without children are Eric and Linnea (Who adopt), and possibly Kuralla.
- Baleful Polymorph: Many people briefly by Aylia, until seeing her sister's more sadistic version put her off it.
- Berserk Button: "Apologize to my SWORD!"
- The Gorgon has a long, hard to pronounce name. To get around this, she asks people to simply call her 'The Gorgon', because shortening names is not a good thing in Gorgon society. She does not like people who manage to screw up something as simple as calling her by her species.
- The Crown Prince of Ligand steadily annoys Aylia as soon as he's introduced, but he really pisses her off when he says that since he was hoping for a wife of royal blood but the princess of Umbria vanished, Aylia was 'close enough' and would do. Aylia may not be the princess, but as the niece of King Richard, she is of royal blood, and she's actually of higher status than he is (Umbria is a much larger country than Ligand, and more important).
- Big Ol' Unibrow: Born werewolves all have unibrows. This makes them look like they are constantly glaring.
- Bizarre Alien Biology: Humorously inverted with Daria, who is absolutely disgusted that humans eat plants.
- And later, completely shocked to find out Fairies eat BUGS!!!! The horror, the horror!
- Broken Masquerade: While there have been kinks on a small scale, our world as a whole remained mostly unaware of the other world... then GORGONS and DRAGONS and TALK SHOWS oh my!
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Loretta is rich, intelligent, empathetic, friendly, outgoing, and utterly obsessed with those long metal stabby things called swords.
- Cerebus Syndrome: The author has specifically said she is trying to avert this. For the most part, she's been successful.
- Chekhov's Gun: Plenty.
- In comic twenty two, Aylia off-handedly mentions her cousin being turned into a dragon. In comic 562, a dragon shows up for Albert's wedding....
- ...and eleven strips later, briefly mentions the oracle of Lycanth. This becomes a plot point in EIGHT HUNDRED strips, kicking off a small story arc.
- The Chosen One: Aylia is suspected of being a Child of Prophecy... but it's actually X.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Daria.
- Cool and Unusual Punishment: "That's it. You have now lost all privileges to call my instrument by its proper name. From now on, you will call it 'pufferball.' Or 'squeegy-toy.'"
- Cool Sword: Loretta lands somewhere between Lady of War and Action Girl. And yes, she has a freeze blade.
- Dark and Troubled Past: What we're told in the comic is that due to Daria being a Child of Prophecy, her parents were killed. What the extras tell us is that an Oracle freedom fighter used Daria's being a Child of Prophecy as a lever in order to get Dragoria to attack them, leading hundreds of dragons to attack Dragoria. Over a hundred thousand humans died, and maybe five dragons (not including Daria's family).
- Deadpan Snarker: Almost everyone snarks once, but X keeps the snarks deadpan.... by making them monosyllabic!
- Dumb Blonde: Alassa, for the most part, except for that one time...
- It's implied that she did try to become Alpha Bitch in her wizarding school, and failed due to almost everybody else not being idiots.
- Evil Twin: Alexis likes to think that X is her evil twin.
- Exact Words: Alassa's fiancé told her that he wouldn't cheat on her before the wedding. The epilogue stated that in the years after the wedding, Alassa caught her husband cheating on her at least four times before she figured out a way to make him stop.
- Fantastic Racism: While usually averted, there are a few big examples, such as werewolves disliking trespassers.
- In fact, Victoria's relationship with Mordran is outright attacked by both of their parents, simply because he's not a purple fairy and she's royalty.
- "You're Mountain clan." "You're Desert clan."
- Also, made werewolves are utterly despised by born werewolves (though born werewolves don't despise born werewolves who have a made werewolf parent)
- Flat Earth Atheist: Sissy, full stop.
- Foreshadowing: Back when the strip first started, the author commented that while Jenny wasn't as boy-crazy as her roommate Nicole, she could still be swept off her feet by a Prince Charming. Seven strips later, she meets Alyia's cousin, Prince Albert Charming, who she later marries.
- From a Certain Point of View: Jenny's first letter home after getting to college describe's X's habit of blowing stuff up on a regular basis as "Moving in has been a blast."
- Genki Girl: Daria, usually. Also Steffanee, and Loretta around swords.
- Half-Human Hybrid: X and her twin sister, due to their mother's antics during pregnancy, are roughly two percent fairy.
- Humans Are Big Meanies: Well, in the opinion of that one mermaid, anyway...
- I Just Want to Be Normal: Nicole, Alexis, Aylia (the latter two don't want to be the Child of Prophecy.)
- Interspecies Romance: This actually figures heavily into the backstory, as four members of the core cast wouldn't even have been born if it hadn't happened.
- Kawaiiko: Duchess Lettie is a rare non-Japanese example. And she's in her forties!
Lettie: Aylia! Where are you? I've got a wonderful surprise! I've gotten a fiance for you!
- Loads and Loads of Characters: Aylia's ever-more-complicated extended family makes up about a third of the central cast.
- Loophole Abuse: The fairy kingdom of Daironya has a law that marriages can only be performed by a member of a higher fairy race than the couple involved. Normally, this isn't a problem, but Victoria, the Crown Princess, and her boyfriend Mordran, a black fairy (a race that aren't meant to be marrying purple fairies, the nobility of the fairy world) can only be married by Victoria's parents, the King and Queen, who are very opposed to their relationship. Faced with an ultimatum of either losing Mordran or her throne, Victoria defaults to another law that says that it's perfectly legal for the heir to a throne to trick the current ruler out of it. And that's exactly what she does.
- There's also a law that forbids purple fairy monarchs from marrying other fairies, which can't be changed as all the purple fairies would have to agree to the change. Victoria doesn't force her parents to make her the queen, she just forced them into a contract that made them marry her and Mordran, and forbid them from designating anyone else as their heir.
- And then, once she finds that she cannot get the nobles to support her claim to the throne due to her unorthodox marriage, she tricks her parents into abdicating in favor of her infant son - and naming her as his regent.
- Made of Explodium: Well, it's more like "X carries around Explodium and pours it on whatever she wants," but X being X, the principle stands.
- Magic A Is Magic A: Apparently, while different species have specialized talents and there are different disciplines of magic, they all follow the same rules. However, like physics, those rules haven't all been discovered yet...
- Magitek: Many readers will laugh at the following exchange:
Loretta: Daria's a sorceress?
Aylia: Nah, her machines aren't talismans. Give magical engineering a few hundred years, and it will have its own name too.
- Muggles Do It Better: Magic and technology are roughly on the same level, but there are some core differences in operation which make one a better choice then the other. There's a fairy that wears glasses instead of using a spell to correct her vision.
- Mundane Utility: All over the place. Lampshaded after Aylia rejoined with her clone:
Aylia: Oh good, it worked. Back to my book!
Jenny: Don't act like it was an everyday occurrence.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: X.
- Noodle Incident: The Spaghetti Incident. It apparently involved spaghetti and a borrowed book, and is the reason why Adelaide is more careful about loaning her books out nowadays.
- One-Letter Name: X (real name
Alexandra Elzandra.) Rather humorously used by Aylia, who tells Alexis when they first meet that she was expecting her to be named something like 'Y'.
- Open Secret: The existence of our world is highly classified. Nobody outside the nobility knows about it.
- Our Dragons Are Different: They're long-lived flying saurians who look more like reptilian rhinos than graceful lizards.
- Our Werewolves Are Different: Even from each other!
- Promotion to Parent: Cecelia, after being accidentally turned into a dragon, is taken in by a dying dragon with a young son. Cecelia turns into a dragon permanently so she can raise him.
- Prophecy Twist: Kuralla retrieves her lost prophecy and tells a relieved Aylia that the Child of Prophecy will be 'born one of two sisters', not 'one of two sisters'- thus Aylia, who is the older sister, cannot be the Child of Prophecy.
- Rapunzel Hair: A common phenomena in Aylia's world. Must be all that ambient magic...
- Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense: Averted... almost. The few characters that are pretty much run the plot with their antics.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: Cecelia's adopted son Gavin. He's adorable.
- Running Gag: X gets weird roommates.
- Sword Dance: Yep.
- Trickster Archetype: Mermaid society is in fact based on being as outright annoying as you can be. The author goes into depth about this on the forum, where she explains it's a natural stress outlet when you're not at the top of the food chain.
- Trickster Mentor: Dron is a teacher who told his students outright that half of what he will teach them is lies, and has failed entire classes before. He gets away with this because (a) he co-founded the university and (b) he's a freaking dragon.
- He also grades and reviews students based not on what they know about his subject, but what they learned from him. This leads to him flunking one of the most talented students because she already knew everything he could teach her, and thus learned nothing from him.
- There was a short arc where he tried his usual method on X in order to learn about her. It didn't work.
- Values Dissonance: An in-universe example: the Gorgon's culture places great importance on family and family ties. Aylia despises her parents, and the Gorgon can't stand to hear a child being so disrespectful, causing a breach in their friendship that gets worse when Aylia finds out that the Gorgon's in an arranged marriage (she has no objection to it, BTW). It only gets better once the Gorgon actually meets Aylia's mother, finds that she is incredibly neglectful to Aylia, and the two finally agree to simply not bring it up.
- Verbal Tic: Daria almost always begins speaking by repeating a word.
- Weddings for Everyone: Four weddings take place during the story, and another ten are mentioned in the epilogue. The only major character who doesn't end up married at the end of the story is X.
- Weirdness Magnet: This is a recognized trait of children of prophecy.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: There are twenty epilogues, but not all of the main characters were covered- for instance, Stefanee, Lullela, Joralan, Letitia, Adelaide, Sissy and Nicole. Word of God says that the reason these characters weren't covered is because one can pretty much guess how they ended up.
- "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: Twenty of them.
- Wings Do Nothing: X and Alexis. Their wings aren't strong enough to hold them up, though X can fly with them if she drinks a weightlessness potion.
- Worthless Yellow Rocks: X is loaded. With aluminum. She also plans to make a net profit off of another pointless grey metal...
- Truth in Television. Until a cheap process for extracting aluminum from ore was developed in the mid 1880s, it really was worth more than gold.