Webcomic / Gnoph
A tale of life, love, and internal parasites.
Abbey is a sixteen-year-old girl living on an alien world. Her sole companion is Scut, a genetically engineered symbiote called a Gnoph which lives in her left lung. Gnoph were designed to give superhuman powers to the host... but without access to her homeworld's medicine, they will both soon die. Attempting to transport back to her world, Abbey winds up on a medieval planet instead. There she makes the acquaintance of Duke William of Klag, a somewhat inept and cowardly young man. Will's fate becomes entwined with Abbey's when Scut lays an egg inside of him. With both their lives now at stake, they proceed to Abbey's world, which on the surface is not dissimilar to our own. But as Secret Police
hunt them down, they have to fight to survive.
Contains heavy Mood Whiplash
, combining humor and romance with tragedy and the grotesque
Read it here
. Rated "M" for blood, language, and sometimes nudity.
This series provides examples of:
- Aborted Arc: The Ren Faire arc, due to Real Life Writes the Plot.
- Anti-Hero: Abbey
- Aristocrats Are Evil: Duke William is good, but his father is cold and distant while his brother is outright evil.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: "Unknown number of mines. Five snipers. Our driver's dead, and two wounded. My arm's broken and I can't repair it. And it looks like someone vomited on your boots."
- Ax-Crazy: Lyss
- Badass Normal: Abbey after Scut's death.
- Bifauxnen: Abbey is frequently mistaken for a boy. It doesn't help that she once had to metabolise her (admittedly rather small) breasts so she didn't have to start in on more important organs.
- Big Eater: A necessity for Gnoph hosts. If they don't eat enough, the results aren't pretty.
- Black Box: The creation of the RJFH strain of Gnoph was purely accidental. As one scientist mockingly puts it, "Gotta love that military mentality. "Ah don' know why ut works, but they sure do kill!" Idiots."
- Blood from the Mouth: Constantly with Abbey. Even referred to by the medical term, hemoptysis.
- The author once remarked something to the effect of, "I'll never get tired of drawing Abbey coughing up blood."
- Body Horror: If someone carrying a Gnoph doesn't take the appropriate growth-suppression hormones, as in Abbey's case, this is the inevitable result.
- More specifically, the Gnoph eventually grows too large to be carried in the host's lung. If it goes on long enough, the Gnoph will metamorphose while still inside its host, creating a massive, necrotic cyst that takes up pretty much the entire host's side/back. The only reason Abbey survived that was because some doctors killed Scut and tied his remains back into her nervous system. Much of this is drawn and colored in loving detail.
- Bond Creatures: The Gnoph.
- Burn the Witch!: Abbey fears using her powers openly in Will's world for this reason.
- Captain Obvious: Will — lampshaded by Abbey.
Will: She's being chased!
Abbey: No shit, Will. People don't run through dark woods just for the fun of it!
- Combat Pragmatist: Abbey is not averse to fighting dirty; she goes for the eyes whenever possible and will use anything that comes to hand while fighting.
- De-Power: Abbey and Will losing their Gnophs
- Deadly Upgrade: Being infected with a Gnoph grants incredible powers... which use the host's body as a fuel source. If they're used too much, or if the host doesn't eat enough, they'll be slowly eaten alive from the inside. With rest and food, it's possible to recover with the Gnoph's added Healing Factor, but burning through a kidney is still an experience best avoided.
- Death Seeker: Tighe
- Drowning My Sorrows: Abbey drinks heavily because it makes Scut go to sleep, letting her have her mind to herself for a short time.
- The Dulcinea Effect: Abbey is not at all surprised that Will sides with the fleeing girl over the pursuing soldier.
- Empathic Weapon: Scut's strain of Gnoph was basically created to be a race of Empathic Weapons.
- Eye Scream: When she fights, Abbey usually goes for the eyes, with gory results.
- Face Full of Alien Wing-Wong: How Gnoph lay their eggs.
- Fake Cross Over: Brief appearances of Hawke and Wolfe from Fated Feather in positions that bear no connection to their story of origin.
- Fan Disservice: On those occasions when we see Abbey naked, it most definitely falls under this category. See the part about the massive, necrotic cyst under Body Horror, above.
- Fish out of Water: Will and Tighe in Abbey's world; Tighe more so, since Will has Lyss's help.
- Five-Finger Fillet: Abbey injures her fingers doing this and laments that she used to be able to do it perfectly.
- Goggles Do Nothing: Brad just wears them to cover the Gnoph markings around his eyes.
- Grotesque Cute: Scut. Cute when he's outside of Abbey, grotesque when he's coming out of Abbey.
- Handsome Lech: Brad, in a very villainous way
- Healing Factor: One of the powers granted by Gnoph.
- Hellish Pupils: When using Gnoph powers.
- Heroic Albino: Abbey, though she does have her darker moments.
- I'm a Humanitarian: Lyss, in a very Squicky moment, made all the more so because she's controlling Will's body at the time.
- Turns out humans are a handy source of energy if you're a starving Gnoph host. Especially if you're starving because you spent energy when you were forced to kill them to defend yourself.
- Incurable Cough of Death: Abbey, due to Scut living in her lungs.
- Luminescent Blush: Abbey at one point.
- Magic from Technology: Gnoph powers
- Mama Bear: Adrani
- Marked Change: Glowing marks appear on hosts when their Gnoph powers are active; the shape and color depend on the strain of Gnoph.
- May–December Romance: Tighe (who is in his thirties) and Abbey (who is sixteen).
- Meaningful Name: Lyss's name means madness and rage in Greek. It fits.
- Mind Rape: Lyss starts doing this to Will, but Scut stops her.
- Mr. Seahorse: A feature of Gnoph biology; each male carries the fertilized egg of a twin sister inside of it, which it can then lay in an appropriate host.
- Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: Dr. Green
- My Nayme Is: Abigail abbreviates her name as "Abbey" rather than the more common "Abby".
- No Periods, Period: Word of God: Abbey has never had a period, due to the neccessary organs having being consumed by Scut when she was a child.
- Organic Technology: The Gnoph
- Orifice Evacuation: Gnophs can comfortably leave the body through the mouth - provided they remain small enough.
- Orifice Invasion: Gnophs can comfortably enter the body through the mouth - provided they remain small enough.
- Parental Abandonment: Abbey "grew up in the goddamned gutter of a world that wasn't my own". We later learn it's due to her father being a famous war criminal.
- Person of Mass Destruction: The RJFH Gnoph are stated to be the most effective killing machines in the world.
- Phlebotinum Rebel: Col. Lytton Smith, aka Abbey's father.
- Powers as Programs: The various abilities granted by Gnophs.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "You. Aren't. Decent."
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Abbey
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Lyss is planning one of these.
- Secret Police: The GRA
- Shapeshifter Weapon: Gnoph can turn their hosts' fingernails and teeth into claws and fangs when no other weapons are available.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Tighe
- Squick: It's a comic that involves parasites, violence, and heaping doses of Body Horror. What do you expect?
- One particularly notable moment is Scut's sudden metamorphosis, during which he creates a massive, necrotic cyst in Abbey's lung.
- Another time is when they have to remove Scut's remains from Abbey to avoid being tracked down. Said remains had fused with part of her spine. We get to see said chunk of spine after it is removed.
- Super Soldier: The purpose of Scut's line of Gnoph.
- Superpowered Evil Side: Lyss acts very much like this when Will falls unconscious and she takes over completely. When Will wakes up, she is in the process of eating a police officer she killed.
- The Symbiote: The Gnoph
- Turned Against Their Masters: The 04:67:RJFH strain of Gnoph.
- Unstoppable Rage: After Scut's death, Abbey is drugged up, half-dead, and more cadaverous than most cadavers. But more importantly, she is pissed off.
- Unusual Euphemism: "Keck", though regular curse words are used as well.
- The Voiceless: Scut talks to Abbey, but the reader can't hear.
- Walls of Text: Common in early chapters.
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Created as living computers, Gnoph symbiotes are generally regarded as non-sentient. They are killed just as casually as we would throw away an obsolete computer. But the 04:67:RJFH Gnoph are sentient, and started the Lytton Rebellion.
- Eventually, Liss manages to manipulate events so that all Gnoph gain sentience.
- Yaoi Fangirl: Lampshaded in one fourth-wall breaking Filler Strip where Will realizes he's "a long-haired, strangely femmy guy who can't grow any facial hair" and fears the author will give him a "tragic yaoi love interest".