A webcomic created by Katie Sweet.Part one, "One Way or Another", was finished in 2007 and is, aside from several color panels, in black & white. Thanks to the frequency of updates (5 times per week) it counts 854 strips in just 2 1/2 years. Part two, "Gatecrash", started in 2008 and is still ongoing in full color, and as of November 2013 is set to surpass part one without slowing. Sadly full color means "only" three updates per week — which is still as much as most webcomics.Part one follows the wandering of Faevv, a young outcast that goes to live on the Raft, a ship the Juathuur ("true wanderers", humans with powers bestowed by the gods a long time ago) use to move around. Having an outsider's look on the Raft, however, she realizes that life there is not what it seems, and it is far from the freedom she longs for. Politics and intrigues are everywhere, old grudges still lurk in the mind of the leader, and her group splits for lack of cohesion. So when she meets Weijuaru, a young king who wants to challenge the gods themselves to find absolute freedom, she is quick to get away from the path set for her. And that is just the beginning of the journey.Part two takes off after a timeskip. Faevv is now in service of the gods and travels between other worlds in search of her way. Meanwhile, a plague ravages Fael and Ha Nuul waxes mighty, and the Juathuur are still far from recovered from earlier battles. Old enmities stir and new problems arise, while many characters have problems of their own, and the plot thickens again...The comic starts here, the second part is here, and this is the most recent strip.
This series provides examples of:
Action Girl: Faevv, Mijuu, Sojueilo, Aelisseveryone but Shugasi, Neilli and Tokal.
A Hero To His Hometown: Weijuaru wants to make Erab Adur safe and prosperous, and his people are loyal to the death. Everyone else? Other nations fear a nation ruled by the super-powered Juathuur, and the Raft hates him for sheltering and encouraging deserters.
Anti-Villain: Weijuaru isn't really interested in much that most people would consider villainous - if he was left alone, he'd never directly trouble the Raft. But his "independent Juathuur" state is an implicit existential threat to the Raft, constantly drawing people away. That, and he provides support to people like Beisaru and Rowasu, without caring much at all what they get up to as long as they also keep Meidar off his back out of mutual self-interest.
Anyone Can Die: established with Bivv's death. Used a lot in the final chapters.
A Real Man Is a Killer: Thomil gets called 'spineless' and 'an insult' for being a healer and not, you know, a murderer. It gradually comes out that he used to be a perfectly capable fighter and was well on his way to being one of Meidar's favorites, but then his girlfriend Neilli killed herself and he made the switch, so it becomes more obvious that the others think Thomil lost his nerve and is now wasting his potential (as well as ignoring his duty), forcing others to step up in his place.
The Chick: Most people's opinion of Neilli, as a pacifist and healer.
Chickification: averted, and Faevv strongly feels against any accusation of this. In Dej's words, she is being charmed by Juar. Her reply to this?
Faevv: You make it sound like I'm some naive pushover. You made a choice, didn't you? Why can't I do the same? I have my own mind. I can make my own decisions.
Con Lang: Juathuuvei, the Juathuur language. Mainly used for written signs, honorific titles and character names. It uses some phonemes not really found in English so some spellings (like names) are often best matches rather than perfect representations. That ju might be pronounced like a "hwa" noise (as in Weijuaru or Juathuur) or a "wh" noise (kind of like "why," as in Sojueilo's name).
Due to the Dead: Inverted. Rowasu respect Maerril's death with the Luduuth Lo, nine days in which he will spill no blood. Before coming to get revenge. Meanwhile, Faevv's team makes a funeral cart explode.
Enigmatic Minion: Veithel. Until the end, it's unclear if she cares for Ratheel and Dej or if she is willing to betray them for her father's benefit. Both, actually. And she will sacrifice to save Dejoru AND follow her father's wishes for her.
Facial Markings: And body markings. Most juathuur have them, and they tend to be similar in a family. Also Thomil adopted Neilli's, and Dej adopted Mijuu's. Juathuur traditionally had children with normal humans as they wandered and marked the children to identify them later when it was time to pick them up for initiation into the tribe. Emojuuel, for example, never had any because both his parents were Juathuur and he was raised within the tribe and also his father died before he could give Mo any marks.
Green Thumb: Soveshei and Veithel. The latter actually turns into a tree! And, well, Merlu.
Green-Eyed Monster: Beisaru is convinced that Meidar killed his lover out of jealousy. He's wrong. But she is jealous all right. Also, Veithel has signs of this. And Dejoru. Oh god, Dejoru.
Grey and Grey Morality: A major point of the series. On one hand, Meidar always works to protect people and stop war, while Weijuaru longs for absolute freedom for everyone. On the other hand, Meidar is a Control Freak and The Chessmaster, while Weijuaru is a manic Visionary Villain. Beisaru is a Jerk Ass, but he acts like he does partly because he thinks Meidar killed his lover. Rowasu is an Ax-Crazy psychopath, but reunites Juinn with his father, kills Meidar for her crimes and decides not to kill Sojueilo. Thomil is a genuinely Nice Guy, but spineless. Soveshei drugs Faevv and Ratheel, and had an hand in the killing of Dej's parents, but he cares for their kids. Veithel is... complicated.
Half-Human Hybrid: Thoss and Thlassa are half-solluu, half-juathuur. Technically the Solluu are, as a people, also Half-Human Hybrids - according to the wiki, long ago a certain god took an interest in a merpeople legend of the world and decided to make it real.
Hard Work Hardly Works: Zigzagged and discussed. Some of the Juathuur bloodlines have access to magics that the rest just can't replicate, and which gives them a huge edge. However, some of the more dangerous Juathuur are those who have simply worked their butts off to become the best at what they do - Sojueilo and Rowasu could at least put up a challenge for most any other Juathuur, and Beisaru is flat out the most dangerous person in "One Way." As Beisaru puts it, Arvval wields his power with "blood instinct," while "I wield mine with understanding."
Hoist by His Own Petard: All the juathuur who deserted the Raft did so because Meidar screwed with them in one way or another (hey wait...). So basically, the whole conflict she is fighting is her fault. She ends up getting killed for it, too.
Informed Ability: Thomil is a great healer. In theory. In practice, we see him doing more harm than good. (Admittedly, it was Soveshei's fault, but when he confesses, Thomil doesn't lift a finger to save the girl until Dejoru calls him). He gets more practical work done later, mostly patching up wounds both serious and minor. Emojuuel goes from punctured lung to reasonably mobile inside a couple weeks under his ministrations, after all.
Invisibility: Thomil can become invisible, but rarely uses this power. He says it's difficult, especially as he's not a native Shadow-user and it's an advanced application of Shadow magic.
Invulnerable Knuckles: Sojueilo's should be bloody stumps by now. A lot of Juathuur use a little wave magic to empower their unarmed attacks and achieve the same effect.
Love Makes You Evil: Maerril's motivation to follow Rowasu around (although she would have probably deserted anyway).
Love Triangle: Thom never realized he was part of one between Neilli and Sojueilo. Sojueilo was pissed off at Thom's obliviousness as much as his choice, and beat nine kinds of hell out of him during their ronei finals when he steals a second to wink at Neilli.
The Magic Versus Technology War: Sev'vil's dream is to use technology to effectively give magic powers to everyone, even normal humans. Thanks to him, the Burnt Country is full of technology mostly based on lots of electricity. Some other Juathuur consider his inventions to be abominations... even though they're perfectly content to use the technology it's based on, which was invented by another of their own.
No Social Skills: Faevv has been shunned all life and seems incapable of forming a decent relationship with another human. When she arrives of the Raft, she is downright hostile to everyone. As someone said in the shoutbox, "Faevv seems a bitch. I hope it isn't a core element of her character". I'm afraid it is.
Order Versus Chaos: most of the conflict boils down to Meidar's need to control people versus Juar's longing for absolute freedom.
Orphan's Plot Trinket: the main reason for the juathuur's tattoos is to recognize children. Notice that tattoos in a given family tend to be similar (eg: Dejoru's and Mijuu's).
Our Mermaids Are Different: Very, very different. Solluu start off looking mostly human but for gill slits on their sides and black eyes (due to a protective membrane), and in their late twenties (for most women) or early thirties (for most men) undergo a metamorphosis that replaces their lower halves with an array of tentacles. Some also have poisonous bites or stingers. They can have children with other humans or Juathuur, which may or may not be Solluu themselves.
Red Shirt: Neimal's squad. There are consequences.
Red Oni, Blue Oni: Dejoru is dark-haired, calm and compassionate, with the talent to become a healer. Ratheel is loud, fun-loving, has red hair and fights by making stuff explode. Partly inverted in the end as Dejoru is capable of releasing an enormous amount of raw energy. Ratheel, on the other hand, is completely useless in each and every fight we see.
Rip Van Winkle: A minor version. A short talk with Merlu took three days in the juathuur world.
Superpowerful Genetics: affinity to shadow, shift or shard magic is inheritable. People of other bloodlines (like Thomil) can learn a few tricks, but that's it. Juinn is identified as Juar's son because of this trope.
Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Juoira, Renuuth and Ushaed bicker a lot, but still care for each other and function as a group. Contrast with Faevv's, that gets divided soon after the beginning of the story for general lack of cohesion. In the sequel, this 'team' idea is definitely abandoned.
Telepathy: standard way of communicating in long distances between juathuurs. Both participants must be willing to "connect".
Walk on Water: a basic trick, apparently. Having been stranded on an island her whole life, Faevv is eager to learn it.
We Help the Helpless: The ideal, for the Juathuur of the Raft. It even looks this way when Thom's squad goes out to heal a mysterious illness at the start of the series. It's soon very obviously averted.
Meidar. She grew up in a time full of war, with Juathuur tribes getting caught in the middle. She wanted nobody else to have to go through what she did, but she turned the Juathuur into a tribe of assassins and commandos in the pocket of a tyrannical king.