Of course they're here willingly.
"Oh, donít worry, my new little Sprout. His frail mind canít handle all the wonderful things coming out of yours. He would be left to wallow in some madhouse, or to wander the streets. Really, this is so much kinder."
Updating three times a week on Smack Jeeves
is a horror webcomic with a distinctly Visual Novel
style. After their rescue from a madwomanís hellish subterranean caverns, five humans have their eyes opened to the dark truth lurking under normal society. A "benefactor" takes them in, but heís a cold-blooded killer with a deadly fixation on the new mages. In a world of magic, vampires, werewolves, ghosts and far creeper creatures, can he be trusted? Can anyone?
Has a characters page here
Provides Examples Of:
- Affably Evil / Faux Affably Evil: The "benefactor" in question, Amical, is a pretty sweet and friendly individual, a lot like a big kid...and he happily guns down Sleepers who don't make the cut in his Awakening death matches, and deliberately attempts to manipulate his "seedlings" into Stockholm Syndrome.
- Apologetic Attacker: Asia Ellis.
- Arbitrary Skepticism: "How can I picture something which doesn't exist?".
- Assumed Win: Tyler was guilty of this in his battle with Billy. It got him shot in the shoulder to prevent the fight being one-sided.
- Bad Dreams: The seedlings suffer them at the end of their first night.
- Big Brother Is Watching: Amical makes it very clear that the Seedlings will not have privacy in the manor. Malloy is quick to remind Asia and Adrestia that he can read their minds and knows all about their loved ones.
- Bonus Material: Step on down to the Tumblr Page for some animation, canon art sketches and silly ask blogs. And Queer Laundry.
- Bottomless Magazines: A flintlock pistol can normally fire one at a time and requires a reload of bullet and powder. Amical's magical gun can shoot five bullets in under a second.
- Clock Tower: The Acanthus watch tower.
- Code Name: The seedlings use them to hide their true names.
- Combat Medic: Adrestia is a life mage. And also the strongest Seedling.
- The Comically Serious: Asia. Particularly in her one-on-one training with Amical.
- Crapsack World: A World of Darkness staple.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Curio, as with most Moros. He's a sweet, somewhat shy kid who Awoke his Casting a Shadow powers out of remorse when he believed he accidentally killed Adrestia, after she told him to do so to save himself.
- Deadly Game
- Death Activated Superpower: Adrestia does not awaken as a mage until she has had her throat slit open by Curio.
- Dies Wide Open: So three CGs so far have depicted people dead with cold empty eyes wide open.
- Driving Question: Why is Amical training mages and how did the seedlings end up in crates with no memory of how they got there.
- Dysfunction Junction: And how.
- Evil Laugh: The reason to turn your speakers on (or off, depending on how late at night you're reading it).
- Exposition Diagram: Pretty Mr. Amical's Magic Lecture
- Faking the Dead: Curio's first spell-Amical's pushing causes him to have a panic attack and instinctively trigger the Death ability Suppress Own Life, putting him in a state of deathlike suspended animation until he calms down a little.
- Fingore: In an animated flashback, someone is shown with their fingers chopped off.
- Flashback Nightmare: The previously mentioned animated flashback.
- Four Eyes, Zero Soul: One of the 8 captives was exceptionally cold about the Involuntary Battle to the Death situation and went in to kill Asia right away, acknowledging that it was the best way to survive. It did not save him.
- Friendly Enemy: Amical. Not too shocking, given his name.
- Functional Magic
- Gilded Cage: Amical's manor.
- Gorn: The prologue and dream sequence are pretty blood-soaked.
- I Know Your True Name: The very reason the seedling group are forced to give themselves code names. Amical gleefully reveals his knowledge of their names in this comic.
- Involuntary Battle to the Death
- Improbable Aiming Skills: Amical.
- Improvised Weapon: Adrestia uses a shattered floor tile to cut her own neck open.
- Jedi Mind Trick: Malloy uses this on Adrestia early on in Chapter 2.
- Ladies and Germs: "Ladies, Gentlemen and everything adorably in-between".
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: All of the seedlings remember their ordinary lives. Perhaps a blue flash.... and then they were in crates on the back of a truck being dropped off at Amical's manor.
- Limited Wardrobe: As with most visual novel games. Amical gets an early change of outfit. But he's rich and can afford more than one shirt.
- Magic A Is Magic A: As with the laws of Mage: The Awakening.
- The Magocracy: As per Mage: The Awakening.
- Masquerade: As per Mage: The Awakening. Amical claims that a mundane human who witnesses magic would Go Mad from the Revelation. Though he says this after killing them.
- Medium Blending: A webcomic that "plays" like a visual novel. Complete with cut-scenes
- Mentor Ship: Amical has made passes at every character who is of age. So far Asia is the only one who didn't seem phased by this.
- Mercy Kill: Amical shoots the man with glasses after Asia psychically attacks his mind. He said that his mortal brain could not handle all the magic that was being thrust upon him. Although those familiar with World of Darkness canon would know he could have had Malloy wipe his mind of the event and send him on his way.
- Mind Over Manners: Asia Ellis.
- Mundane Made Awesome: Chess is serious business in the morphE world. REALLY serious.
- Named Weapon: Amical's gun, Fivesies.
- No Name Given: The 3 captives who died in the first chapter. Word of God says the woman was named Diana, the shirtless man was Devin and the man with the glasses was Desmond.
- Ontological Mystery: Though there are some vague answers to their predicament, the surviving Seedlings still have no idea why they ended up at Amical's manor and have no way of escaping.
- It's been hinted that he saved them from something even worse. It involves out-of-control spirits.
- Pixel Hunt: Part of "Investigation Mode". Pressing the tab button can reveal the locations of each item for those who don't want to go through the frustration.
- Rage Breaking Point: After everything Billy goes through in the intro chapter, it is having access to a newspaper denied to him that causes him to finally snap and unload a furious rant about what an awful human being Amical is.
- R-Rated Opening: The prologue chapter and the dream sequence referencing the events from it are the most horrific parts of the story to date.
- Scheherezade Gambit: Billy pulls this in the first chapter when Amical recognizes him from Pawnography.
- Show Within a Show: Billy Thatcher's Pawnography.
- Slasher Smile: The woman with the knife in the prologue and dream sequence.
- Strip Buffer: In order to maintain a project with 2 writers and 2 artists, the comic is usually 6 updates (2 weeks) ahead of schedule at any given time in case a CG, animation, sound effect or sprite is required during the compiling process.
- Take a Third Option: Adrestia is given the choice to either fight and kill a child or be killed along with him in the pit. She decides, instead, to let the kid slit her throat so that she will die and he will live.
- The Teaser: The comic starts with two badly beaten pre-galvanization escapees trying to flee, being hunted down by a shadow-obscured knife-wielding woman and her partner, who look uncannily like Asia and Tyler. After the title card, the focus shifts to the protagonists proper, and no mention of the two escapees is made.
- Those Two Guys: Rick and Malloy are, exemplified in this strip.
- Urban Fantasy
- Voice Grunting: Intentionally averted. Though the creators wish to make a visual novel which is close to the experience of a real game the addition of voice grunting always came off as narmy in test and would bolster file sizes for updates with multiple characters. One of the team stated that the only thing he really regrets from that decision is not having an "Understood" soundbyte for Asia.
- Why Did It Have To Be Death Magic?: Amical seems to be nervous around the Death Arcana and related things, to the point where he attempts to downplay it to Curio (who is a Moros, also known as a Necromancer).
- You Wake Up In A Crate: The first scene after the prologue is a group of 8 people waking up in the back of a moving truck, submerged in darkness and unable to move. No one knows where they are, why they are there or where they are being taken to.