[[center:''I am from Ata.'']]
[[center:''River and Grass.'']]
[[center:''The Hunt and the Cycle.'']]
[[center:''A thousand generations.'']]
[[center:''Until Sahta.'']]

Set in the world of Webcomic/{{Overside}}, ''[[http://www.rice-boy.com/vattu/ Vattu]]'' is the story of the eponymous member of a tribe of nomad hunter-gatherers whose lives are disrupted by forces of change. The story follows Vattu as she is taken to a foreign society, and gradually accumulates other characters -- a struggling artist, a member of a secret society, a young apprentice in an alchemical enclave, and many more.

So far the webcomic consists of three books, with the fourth expected to be the last.

'''Book One''', ''The Name and the Mark'', develops Vattu's origins in her tribe of those marked in white, with the various struggles that can exist in that context. By the end of the chapter, she has been sold into slavery to the imperialistic Sahtans. Later, it introduces the War-Man and intersperses flashbacks to his story between segments of Vattu being taken to Sahta. Over the course of the chapter Vattu and the War Man become friends, get separated, and then are reunited.

'''Book Two''', ''The Sword and the Sacrament'', introduces a whole host of new characters, and the select stories of denizens from varying classes are explored. Having escaped servitude at a Sahtan house, Vattu now steals and hides to live, receiving further martial training in secret from the War Man and encountering many other residents of the city.

'''Book Three''', ''The Tower and the Shadow'', begins with a shift of focus upon the Emperor Arrius, and shows hints of the history behind the empire and how the present world has come to be.

Vattu creator Evan Dahm has also completed the webcomics ''Webcomic/RiceBoy'' and ''Webcomic/OrderOfTales'', all of which are set in Overside.

!! ''Vattu'' contains examples of:
* AGodAmI: Gasha [[http://www.rice-boy.com/vattu/index.php?c=873 declares himself to be Tirkatesh, the Grish god of the current.]]
* ActionGirl: Vattu wields a sword nearly her height [[SmallGirlBigGun and don't even care]]! She also loots for her food and fights her way out of problems without hesitation. Played with by Dahm as [[CuteBruiser she isn't physically imposing by far]], but nor is her stature played up as anything special. Possibly a moot point considering Fluters have nothing to do with human cultural constraints - but since she goes from being 'it' to 'he' when a couple of guards catch her with her sword, there is at least basis for it within the empire.
** Gradually becomes more competent with her weapon, and eventually, proficient; rumours abound of the 'Fighting Fluter', and Calirus himself (in charge of the expansion efforts) is surprised/amused/respectful enough of her to allow her nightly pilgrimages.
** Almost exactly a year into her sparring sessions, [[SurpassedTheTeacher Vattu easily disarms the War Man]].
* ArtEvolution: Around the latter parts of book two, Dahm intentionally simplified his inking style, with thicker, smoother lines and less detailed shading. Compare [[http://rice-boy.com/vattu/index.php?c=102 the first appearance of Sahtan soldiers]] with their [[http://rice-boy.com/vattu/index.php?c=879 return to the Flutelands]], 750+ pages later.
* AnthropomorphicPersonification: The basis of Vattu's tribe's religion is the massive river they live by, known as [[http://rice-boy.com/vattu/index.php?c=078 Ata]].
* ArrangedMarriage: Marria with Lord Morrian, of the political sort. As opposed to the usual trope, the marriage itself isn't paid much attention; instead, it is used to set up Marria's affliation with the Sisterhood (see below).
* BatmanGambit: Junti's [[http://rice-boy.com/vattu/index.php?c=452 enlisting of Vattu]] in her secret research. "I hope you would not tell, [[CassandraTruth but they would not listen if you did.]]"
* BerserkButton: Kadarsh can't stand the sheltered Junti, who doesn't know a thing about the impoverished underbelly of the city.
* {{Catchphrase}}: Otti:
-->"You are an idiot."
* ContemplateOurNavels: Velas' Unweight-induced high gets a little [[http://rice-boy.com/vattu/index.php?c=460 intense.]]
* CovertGroup: The Sisterhood, composed of women connected to major political figures, who share information amongst each other. Although [[http://rice-boy.com/vattu/index.php?c=345 it is "not as secret as it was".]]
* CrutchCharacter: Junti to Vattu, in a sense, regarding her mission to scavenge Unweight; she is rostered onto the Honour Guard, and Vattu has to do it alone.
* CuriosityIsACrapshoot: Junti. Her abundance of questions regarding the enclave, Sahta, and Unweight gain her more ire than sympathy.
* DecompressedComic: The first scene. Lampshaded by Evan in the accompanying [[http://riceboyart.livejournal.com/68772.html news post]]: "Dialogue will happen very soon! And it won't all be as ridiculously decompressed as this first scene, rest assured!"
* DescriptivelyNamedSpecies: The Fluters and the War-Men, reflecting how Sahta sees them.
* DontCallMeSir: [[http://rice-boy.com/vattu/index.php?c=448 The small band of Surin who appear to be acting independently of the enclave.]] Is the first inkling that the higherups are not as singlemindedly devout as they seem.
* EarlyBirdCameo: Unweight and a Surin are first seen in one of Dahm's short stories, "[[http://www.rice-boy.com/shortstories.php?ti=1 The Tethered Isle]]".
* EmotionlessGirl: Otti, though male, comes off as eerily affectless.
** NotSoStoic: [[http://rice-boy.com/vattu/index.php?c=432 Oh, you can feel the headdesk.]]
* TheExile: Seri in Book 1, after causing the events that lead to Vattu's temporary abduction by the Dead.
* FantasticCasteSystem: Conquered races are subservient to the Sahtans by default. The Fluters and Grish largely reside at the bottom. The Surin are seemingly external to this, shutting themselves off from the world where possible. (Compared to the lowest castes, though, their living quarters [[http://rice-boy.com/vattu/index.php?c=408 elicit much envy.]])
* FantasticDrug: Unweight, the blue, paint-like fluid that forms the focus of the Surins' institute. Particularly well-off Sahtans may also get their hands on it.
** Bakrah also speaks of two others: [[http://www.rice-boy.com/vattu/index.php?c=734 Deep-Blood]] and an [[http://www.rice-boy.com/vattu/index.php?c=735 unnamed root.]]
* FantasyCounterpartCulture: The Sahtan Empire, which is Roman in nature. They even have extremely similar armor and the famous "scutum" shields.
* [[Flashback]]: When the chief of the war-men [[http://www.rice-boy.com/vattu/index.php?c=126 remembers]] [[http://www.rice-boy.com/vattu/index.php?c=135 the]] [[http://www.rice-boy.com/vattu/index.php?c=147 time]] [[http://www.rice-boy.com/vattu/index.php?c=160 before]] [[http://www.rice-boy.com/vattu/index.php?c=173 he]] [[http://www.rice-boy.com/vattu/index.php?c=192 was]] captured by Sahta, and when Arrius the Seventh remembers his childhood.
* {{Foil}}:
** Otti versus Vattu, the former assimilating into the slave system while the latter rejects it.
** Kadarsh, upon meeting Junti, represents the interracial hostility bred by an inequal caste system; Vattu has had little time to be inoculated with it, and puts it aside.
** Promptly subverted when she [[spoiler:lockpicks a sacred room]].
* GodBeforeDogma: The Sisterhood seem to be this with regard to the Sahtan religion.
--> '''Carlae:''' It is said that when you are on the ''righteous'' side -- the side of ''Tarrus Himself'', no matter what the church says -- these things have a way of falling into place.
* GodEmperor: The Sahtan emperors are considered to be the mortal hand of Tarrus, the Sahtan god.
* GreyAndGrayMorality: Though it's easy to assume the Sahtan Empire are the 'villains' as a conquering society, Dahm goes to great lengths to disspell such a clear-cut perspective -- the Empire is very much as amoral as any civilisation in our own history.
* HotBlooded: Vattu -- subtly, but pervasively so. This starts as early in the comic as [[http://rice-boy.com/vattu/index.php?c=077 her first dialogue,]] [[http://rice-boy.com/vattu/index.php?c=119 and]] [[http://rice-boy.com/vattu/index.php?c=120 then]]...
* IcyBlueEyes: Calirus sports some.
* Ironic Echo: On pages [[http://www.rice-boy.com/vattu/index.php?c=769 769]] and [[http://www.rice-boy.com/vattu/index.php?c=771 771]]
-->'''Junti''': Who are you?\\
'''Bakrah''': In this sort of work, one must accept a certain level of ambiguity.\\
'''Bakrah''': Why are you having weapons made?\\
'''Junti''': I'm sorry, but -- you must accept a certain level of ambiguity.
* InsistentTerminology: It's '''Lord''' Morrian, Vattu. Get it right!
* JumpScare: In-universe, when Kadarsh pops up to greet characters at the canal.
* LaResistance: Between Vattu stirring up the street population, the Surin plotters making ready for a coming change, and the members of the Sisterhood looking to gain political significance, the seeds for this have certainly been sowed.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: Good luck remembering names if you're following serially! They're all distinct enough to be [[CastOfSnowflakes recognisable upon sight]], though.
* MadeASlave: Vattu, sold to the Sahtan Empire.
** Fairly soon into her stint, [[SlaveLiberation she's not]].
* MoodWhiplash: Junti, [[NiceJobBreakingItHero causing some trouble after snooping around the Unweight greenhouse,]] suffers a gruesome-looking fall during her escape.
** Vattu, also meeting trouble in the Flower Room, [[spoiler:finds out she's learnt swordfighting a little too well]].
* NamingCeremony: Priestess gives fluters of Vattu's tribe their name and mark after their first turning-move.
* OutsideContextProblem: Sahta to the fluters.
* PalsWithJesus: Vattu [[http://www.rice-boy.com/vattu/index.php?c=893 considers herself the personal friend]] of Arrius the Seventh, mortal hand of Tarrus.
* PrecisionFStrike: "'''[[http://rice-boy.com/vattu/index.php?c=082 Damn]]''' Ata."
* PublicExecution: Book Two opens with one.
* RaceNameBasis: The Sahtans who take Vattu to Sahta call her only "Fluter." [[http://www.rice-boy.com/vattu/index.php?c=139 She doesn't like it at all.]]
* RacialRemnant: The Surin's enclave is the last remnant of their once-great culture.
* RiteOfPassage: Surin girls visit the Weightless One when they are of age (or maybe later) in order to join the acolyte classes.
* SignificantWardrobeShift: Each book has one for Vattu, as her status and role in life change.
* StarvingArtist: [[http://www.rice-boy.com/vattu/index.php?c=311 Velas.]]
--> Bread costs more than it did a year ago. '''Six''' flatters now. Paintings still cost the same, though.
** [[http://rice-boy.com/vattu/index.php?c=455 Not anymore!]]
* SueDonym: "[[http://rice-boy.com/vattu/index.php?c=292 Va... nni.]]"
* TakeAwayTheirName: After Sari hides a Sahtan game from the rest of the tribe and several fluters die as a result, Priestess [[http://www.rice-boy.com/vattu/index.php?c=067 takes away his name and mark.]] Vanni/Priest threatens [[http://www.rice-boy.com/vattu/index.php?c=089 to do the same thing to Vattu.]]
* TemptingFate: Gasha, immediately after claiming to be immortal, [[spoiler: gets shot through the neck and dies on the very next panel.]]
* TheBlank: The War Men have no facial features.
* TheHermit: Oh, Velas. Struggles through formal ([[NoSocialSkills or even common social]]) etiquette... avoids opening the door... (His 'best friend' just lets himself in, really.)
** He does make an effort to be [[FriendToAllChildren nice to that little street Fluter]], though.
* TheQuisling: Otti scorns the Fluter way of life and reveres the Sahtan empire, considering it to be the superior civilization even though he is enslaved by it.
* TheSpeechless: The War Man, and [[http://www.rice-boy.com/vattu/index.php?c=158 apparently everyone from his home continent.]]
* TheWatson: Junti's late initiation allows lots of info on the Surin culture to be fed to the audience.
* ThrowingYourSwordAlwaysWorks
* TertiarySexualCharacteristics: Well averted; many species only demonstrate dimorphism through their costume, and the Fluters are distinctly [[AmbiguousGender ambiguous]] from our perspective - as well as [[SweetPollyOliver everyone else's]]. Played with, as Fluters easily divine each other's genders.
** [[WordOfGod Dahm has said]] that male Fluters have more angular heads, and within their own culture, wear brighter colours.
* TribalFacePaint: Indicative of a tribesman's name. A big deal in Fluter culture; when someone is dishonored and cast out, their name is forcibly washed off.
** Vattu clings to these standards in Sahta: when Otti berates her for repainting her mark, she claims that because he has none, he has no name -- and she shouldn't even talk to him. As of Book 2, though, the mark is gone for more [[TheRunaway practical reasons]].
** As beggars and street rats, for many of the Fluters, the memory of their name is all they have left. Vattu, as seen, is highly protective of hers. As she matures and finds new purpose, [[http://rice-boy.com/vattu/index.php?c=440 she lets her obssession go.]]
* UptownGirl: Velas, a starving artist, falls in love with Asria, the emperor's daughter.
* WillingChanneler: A part of the Grish religion is a [[FightClubbing fighting ring]] in which the constants are said to be [[http://www.rice-boy.com/vattu/index.php?c=619 vessels for the will of the gods.]]
** Later, Gasha claims the god of the current [[http://www.rice-boy.com/vattu/index.php?c=786 is speaking through him.]]