Pawn is a webcomic by fantasy artist Fredrik K.T. Andersson which started in 2004. It follows the adventures of a human girl named Ayanah and her demon partner Baalah, beginning with their first encounter and their escape from the crypt in which Baalah was contained.As of about November 2010, new pages appeared after two years without them. Then a couple of days into January 2012 the strip stopped posting again, only to post on August of 2013.Contains lots of bare nipples, so the above link is to the SFW first page. It's pretty light in content, though—more an R than an NC-17.
Tropes Used in the Webcomic
Adaptation Decay: In-universe example with the Fifth Law of the Seventh Demon Lord. According to Balaah, it's: "Hold back your tongue or I shall shove it up thy arse, you spawn of a mortal." But Ayanah translated it as: "Be silent or I shall smite thee to death, you worm of a crawling coward." Balaah notes that the translation "really sucks."
Anything That Moves: The Bard from Andersson's Elfwood page. It's a running gag that every single time the party enters a new town, they find a new fantasy creature (werewolf, centaur, unicorn, giant, meremaid, minotaur, dragon, a random, nonsentient rock, etc etc.) with a Half-Human Hybrid child to introduce to the Bard... In fact, the only girl that the Bard apparently hasn't seduced outright is his Elf companion, something that annoys the hell out of her for some reason.
Art Evolution: Art has become more solid and less relying on slight touches.
Badass Bookworm: Though she hasn't displayed much physical capability thus far, Ayanah did manage to make it to the end of a dungeon crawl that has claimed the lives of other adventurers completely unscathed before the comic proper began. She also researched exactly how to enslave Baalah, permanently, knowing every loophole the princess could use to get out of it.
Batman Gambit: Ayanah's plot for Baalah. She sneaks into a huge labyrinth after mapping it extensively beforehand and during the trip, finds Baalah after researching her location in ancient demonic texts, uses well researched rules to prevent her instant murder by Baalah using a loophole that allows people to challenge demons via mental powers, not via direct combat, picks out a game that Baalah has no idea how to play, taunts her into making a bad move, then abuses a very, very specific loophole regarding virgins and demons to permanently enslave her. She pulls it off flawlessly. Except that she accidentally unsealed something other than just Baalah at the same time, and her map for the way out isn't as good as she thought it was, partially due to Baalah and happenstance damaging her trail markings.
Actualy, Baalah damaged mark only once and even then Ayanah just pulled out map. Right now, Baalah has no problem following Anyanah, as she considers life of servitude outside dungeon better than life of servitude back inside.
Beautiful Dreamer: Balaah watches Ayanah as she sleeps. Justified in that demons don't need to sleep, and Balaah doesn't even understand the concept of it. Nevertheless, Ayanah is still notably creeped out.
Big "NO!": Baalah lets one out upon finding out that Ayanah is a virgin.
Baalah also isn't exactly a "crook." Sure, she's a demon princess of hellfire, but she's rather friendly and playful unless you try to take the treasure she's guarding.
Cat Smile: Baalah pulls one off, complete with "Smirk! <3" sound effect.
Chekhov's Skill: Ayanah's noisy butt pervented her from being eaten by the Necrachid.
Cheshire Cat Grin: Ditto Baalah, but Ayanah also gets them. Of special note is the first one, when Baalah is realizing just how screwed Ayanah's virgin kiss left her — which set the tone for the character, as up until then, she came across as an innocent bookworm type.
Did You Just Scam Cthulhu?: Ayanah was able to invoke all the laws to prevent death at the hands of a demon princess, pit said demon into a game she knew nothing about (chess), beat her at it, AND have them both get bonded eternally.
Dreaming of Things to Come: Chapter 4 begins with Ayanah dreaming of getting Baalah out of the dungeon and making love to her in a field, only to have Baalah's demonic essence somehow corrupt her through the bond, leaving her as a demonic entity of malevolence.
Dungeon Crawling: Inverted. The plot begins with Ayanah completing her dungeon crawl, with Baalah as the treasure, and everything from that point on is the two of them working their way back to the surface. Naturally, getting out is turning out to be more difficult than getting in was — what with the giant bone spider creature trying to kill them and all.
Freudian Slip: Thanks to a constant barrage of annoying questions, Ayanah lets slip that there never was any treasure for Baalah to guard.
Gag Boobs: Baalah's boobs are poked, prodded, rested upon and referenced disparagingly in liberal measure. They're bigger than her head. Also, her first reaction to being shrunk down was to sadly note that they were smaller.note Well, smaller in that they no longer were size of normal human.
Genre Savvy: Ayanah, as part of the Badass Bookworm package. She even made a map of the maze — and took notes. Baalah's reaction implies that this is somehow cheating.
Girls Love: Oh yes. Implied to be Ayanah's entire motivation for seeking Baalah out in the first place — though Baalah is quite smitten with Ayanah as well and both of them tend to daydream about one another. When they're not bickering, at least.
Humans Through Alien Eyes: Human behavior and biology is just strange to Balaah. As a demon, she doesn't get tired, she doesn't need to eat, and she doesn't need to remove bodily wastes. So she reacts with confusion whenever Ayanah sleeps, eats, farts, or has a Potty Emergency.
I Never Told You My Name: Baalah never learns Ayanah's name (in fact, she outright refuses to hear it), but knows it instinctively due to the pact, something that comes up when Ayanah's in danger for the first time.
Innocent Fanservice Girl: Baalah. She hasn't put on a stitch of clothing the entire series (although we do see her dressed in the gallery, amusingly dancing with Ayanah at a high class society ball), has shown no body shame whatsoever (she apparently doesn't even own any clothing), and being a completely sheltered royal, actually is rather innocent, to boot.
Ms. Fanservice: Baalah is a perpetually naked demoness with giant breasts who can be either human-sized or the size of a house with one kiss from her female partner.
Noble Demon. Balaah. Though she's a literal one, she hasn't actually killed anyone in her tenure as a guardian, and at one point is shown lamenting one young warrior who died in the dungeon fleeing in terror from her.
Nobody Poops: Averted with Ayanah, thanks to those stupid rations. Justified with Balaah (and all demons, for that matter), who doesn't need to eat, sleep, or remove bodily wastes
Off Model: A few times, especially early on (although the worst example was directly after the schedule slip), especially when Baalah is in giantess form. "Chibi" (i.e., human sized) Baalah is relatively round and cute, Giant Baalah is ripped.
Oh Crap: Baalah, as she realizes that Ayalah has never kissed anyone, and is a pure, untouched, virgin, to boot — meaning that Baalah is now her personal slave for all eternity.
The Necrachid does this a lot, which is impressive, considering its heads are only skulls.
Prophecy Twist: Ayanah is following a specific, cryptically and ambiguously worded prophecy to further cement the already permanent bond she has with Baalah, turning it into true love. It's ambiguously worded enough that this trope is definitely in play.
Riddle Me This: Subverted. Baalah thinks the challenge is about riddles and is disappointed when Anyah reveals that it is not.
Baalah: ...But I like riddles...
Running Gag: Ayanah ate bad rations on the way down, which have given her an upset stomach.
Sealed Evil in a Can: Baalah, trapped in a Sealed Room in the Middle of Nowhere (at the bottom of a huge trap filled maze). In a subversion of the typical plot, Ayanah intentionally unseals her, not out of some convoluted plot to get revenge, to steal her treasure, or even get her help to defeat an evil, but because she realized she could (relatively) safely enslave a succubus. Unfortunately, either Ayanah accidentally unsealed something else, or the people sealing Baalah in the maze had a backup plan, a necromantic spider... thing is chasing them.
Treasure Room: What Baalah was summoned to guard for all eternity. The joke is on her, unfortunately — the cost of creating the Treasure Room, building the dungeon above it, filling it with traps, and summoning Baalah bankrupted the kingdom that was doing all this, leaving Baalah as the only thing of any value at the bottom of the dungeon.
Tsundere: Both Ayanah (type B) and Baalah (type A, though it really doesn't take much to trigger her deredere side).
Subverted, slightly, in that Ayanah is intentionally invoking this trope to keep Baalah interested, but also keep her from confessing romantic feelings to her until they arrive on the surface. You read that right: She's intentionally being a tease to her pet succubus. Well played, scholar girl!
Vaporwear: As the comic is in black and white and features Barbie Doll Anatomy, there has been some debate as to whether Ayanah is wearing tights or nothing at all below the waist except her shoes. Seemingly confirmed in recent parts — she's wearing pants, as her shadow can be seen pulling them down from around a corner.
Here is the scene mentioned above. Some see her pulling down her pants, others may see it as pulling up her skirt...
The author is well aware of the duality, and continues to play with the readers. Observe this December 2011 page, wherein Ayanah's obviously wearing leggings... but her hips are drawn bare and blushing.
Villainous Breakdown: One can argue how much of a villain Baalah is, but after losing her challenge to Ayanah, Baalah certainly has a breakdown. It continues to escalate as she realizes that Ayanah is a virgin, and has never been kissed, meaning Baalah is completely screwed, from a demon's point of view.
Weak, but Skilled: Ayanah is only a scholar, and has no skill in combat. Regardless, she was able to venture all the way to the bottom of a labyrinthine dungeon by herself, and defeat a demon without violence.
Webcomic Time: The freaking bathroom break. It took almost a year!