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Characters / Exiern

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The fantasy world of Exiern is a full and rich place, with Loads and Loads of Characters. Here are some of the important ones.

Tiffany, Typhan-Knee, Starlight.
Princess Peonie Translates Tiffany's Tank Top
An obnoxiously misogynistic male barbarian who, on a quest to save a princess, is turned into a very attractive (if extremely crabby) young woman.

He has somewhat reluctantly became the personal guardian of Princess Peonie and is dealing with the crush he has developed on the male scribe Denver Tadwick.

  • Likes: Killing things and getting drunk.
  • Dislikes: Being called a bimbo.
  • Action Hero -> Action Girl
  • Amazonian Beauty: When in a combative state of mind, the curse reminds everyone that Typhan-Knee is a northern barbarian.
  • Anti-Hero: Type II.
  • Armored Closet Gay: Hinted at in this two-page spread, and confirmed by the author here. More recently confirmed by an attempt to flirt with a male cook.
  • The Atoner: Typhan-Knee is deeply ashamed of his behavior in his Dark and Troubled Past, and is desperately trying to make amends for it.
  • Barbarian Hero: Unrepentantly a barbarian, and slowly becoming more heroic in deed.
  • Cain and Abel: Revealed to have a brother who sent an assassin after him.
    • Typhan-Knee is actually the Cain in the relationship, having abandoned his brother to die in the past for slowing him down. His brother, Wyll-line, is revealed to be The Wise Prince by Barbarian standards and was framed. Now Wyll's wife believes Tiffany will murder his brother (just like Cain murdered Abel). Fortunately, Typh figured out the true culprit behind the assassin.
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  • Character Development: Especially when the gags are toned down in favor of plot.
  • Chickification: Justified in-universe — Typhan-Knee is convinced that women are weak and useless, and as soon as he finally accepts his gender change, she becomes... weak and useless. (Much to King Urtica's annoyance, as he does not particularly like weak and useless women. He gets better though.)
    • This is because the curse, when accepted, would mold the subject in question into their own perception of femininity. When Typhan-Knee realizes he can be strong even as a woman, he reverts to normal.
  • The Chosen One: The Wild North storyline implies that he is this. He seems less than enthused by this prospect.
  • Cool Sword: North Wind, a longsword with a power as unassuming as its form that Typh had all along and didn't even know it. Instead of being a mighty blade that is exceedingly proficient at felling the wielder's foes, it instead avoids killing foes that the wielder really shouldn't kill, instead cutting their claddings off. Succinctly, its power can be summed up as "Discretion is the better part of valor". It does, however, still cut those who do deserve to be put to the sword.
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  • Cutting the Gordian Knot: Combined with Groin Attack, and a truly epic "The Reason You Suck" Speech. Typh lost all patience with Corriander's Loophole Abuse antics, quit his position as a knight in Urtica's court, while swinging North Wind in a parabolic arc that came up right between Corriander's legs and castrated him. Then called out The Alliance for letting legal loopholes and ancient rituals stop them from arresting and condemning a child molester against whom hard evidence was found.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": Has started to insist people pronounce his name as Typhan-Knee and not Tiffany.
  • Dumb Blonde: Averted - Typhan-Knee was always intelligent despite being from an illiterate society, and shows it more as the strip progresses.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Although being raised by a society that values Rape, Pillage, and Burn, and having a father who really looks down on women, Typhan-Knee has a mortal loathing of child molesters, and has a well-justified deep-seated hatred of the clergy from the religion of Rem, considering what the latter did to his people. It took incredible self-control when he met Coriander, who happens to be both, and wants to bring back "the old ways!"
  • Freudian Excuse: Typh's father was a real nasty piece of work and filled the young boy's head with a lot of badly misogynistic thinking and horribly skewed Social Darwinism. After being exiled from his tribe because his father tried to murder him for coming to the horrific logical conclusion of all his father's teachings, and being hit with Faden's curse, Typh has come to learn just how wrong the guy was, and is trying to make things right.
  • Gender Bender: Not only is Typhan-Knee by all indications incurably stuck in a female form, his... condition... is contagious.
  • The Hero
  • The Lad-ette: Played with. Typh fluctuates between being girly and having his inner uncouth barbarian come forth.Subverted now that while Typhan-Knee acts like a Ladette would, it's after he started being written as a transman.
  • Money Fetish: When Typh saw a huge pile of gold promised her as future payment for being Peonie's bodyguard for a year, he claims to have felt an orgasm, and is later seen rolling in it in pure orgasmic ecstasy.
  • Never Learned to Read: Never had any reason to, really. Until he becomes Peonie's protector and seeks Denver's help, at which point he finds out what the shirt in the page picture says.
    • Oh, Crap!: This comes back to bite him hard when Theresa is silenced by her order, then when trying to communicate with Typhan-Knee through finger-writing, instead gets mistaken for making runes in the air because Tyhpan-Knee Never Learned to Read. Once Typh realizes Theresa badly needed his help instead, he feels guilty about not realizing this sooner—which is when afterwards, Theresa needed the King to do her a favor.
  • Only in It for the Money: The reason Typhan went to try to rescue Princess Peonie was purely for the monetary reward. Typh was not, and still is not interested in marriage.
  • Rapunzel Hair: Either as a result of Art Evolution or a side effect of her temporary Chickification, Tiffany's hair suddenly grew down to his hips. Strangely, after reverting back thanks to Character Development, the hair stays the same extra-long length.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Quite literally against Corriander. The bloke barely had time to say "You BITCH", and hum two notes before Typh gave him a kick to the throat, while yelling "Shut Up!" at him.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: In several flashbacks, Typh's mother looks exactly like him, post-genderbend. His maternal grandmother also has some residual resemblance under the age.
  • Transgender: Varies Depending on the Writer.
    • Drowemos appears to have considered her as literally having transformed from man to woman, essentially making her a woman who merely remembers being a man.
    • Dan Standing changed this to Typhan-Knee having been either a gay man or a trans woman (that is, physically male, attracted to men, gender identity unclear), who was then transformed into a cis woman.
    • Scott Hicken has gone the other direction, treating Typhan-Knee as a trans man, including having Typhan insisting that he's called Typhan-Knee instead if Tiffany.
  • Thud and Blunder: Played with. Typhan-Knee was this type of hero, but Tiffany is stuck in a much more civilized world.
  • Third Law of Gender Bending: This comes into play greatly as a side effect of his curse. When he finally accepts that he's been turned into a woman, the curse causes him to better fit his view on what a woman is supposed to be. Due to his sexist nature, this has some impressive physical and mental side effects, causing him to lose height, muscle mass, exaggerate his figure, grow his hair, and make his much more prone to crying. Thankfully, he's back to normal after some Epiphany Therapy.
    • However there's some hints that Tiffany's current mental or emotional state may still have some effect on his appearance; He becomes notably more ripped when preparing to fight his brother, while a few strips later his features and figure soften after his borother's partner enters in an (unnecessary) effort to break up the fight.
    • Ultimately averted as scene when Typh meets his grandmother, showing that he still views himself as male.
  • Tomboy: To Peonie's Girly Girl.
  • Virgin Power: The unicorn likes Typhan-Knee just fine. But Typh is a bit less steeped in the spirit of the concept, all the murder out on raids and one particular incident in his past, in which he tried to rape a young man.

Princess Peonie Vellurium Balistra

An extraordinarily busty, slightly ditzy but not stupid princess who had been kidnapped by an evil wizard.Peonie knows that she's supposed to be the love interest in the story, and teases Tifanny about it once in a while. A frequent holder of the Distress Ball.

Since Faden's departure from the script Peonie has developed into something of a Deadpan Snarker.

  • Likes: Yaoi Porn.
  • Dislikes: Constitutional limits on monarchical power.


The Magical Big Bad of the Exiern world, and planning on sacrificing Peonie, until Typhan-Knee captured him and rescued the princess.

Unable to blast the barbarian with dark magic because of a magical mixup (Someone exchanged his Uricarn Summoning Tome for a UNICORN summoning one - an incident Drow has stated was inspired by This incident in The Wotch), Faden's revenge was to turn Typhan-Knee into Tiffany with a living spell that resists all attempts at being undone and will change the gender of anyone that tries.

An Always Chaotic Evil character who just lives to make things as awkward for others as possible. Unusually for such characters, Faden is drawn as a youngish man of about 30 as opposed to the stereotypical aged wizard, however he is effectively immortal and just wont stay dead.

Currently in a most decidedly non-Cardboard Prison, supposedly for all eternity there are hints however that this might not be as secure as promoted.

  • Likes: Causing Chaos
  • Dislikes: Being in gaol.

Denver Tadwick

Denver Tadwick, a scholar (read "nerd") who originally enlists Typhan-Knee and Peonie's help to find his missing sister.

He has a fanatical hatred of all dragons due to his and his sister's parents reportedly being killed by one while Denver and his sister were infants. The truth is far more complicated, Denver and his sister are dragon "whelps", and he has only a year or two before his dragon self takes affect. Faden said this was a Very Bad Thing but then he's Faden. It turns out dragons aren't all bad or all good.

Denver has something of a crush on Tiffany and is one of the few men to have shown her affection and not received a brutal beating in exchange.

  • Likes: Tiffany
  • Dislikes: Dragons.

Sister Teresa, formerly Brother Thomas.

Another victim of Faden's Gender Bender spell. Brother Thomas was leader of a group of priests that tried to cure Tiffany, but instead got transformed.

However, life as a woman clearly appealed to Teresa and she has resisted getting turned back preferring a new life as female, something that annoys Tiffany to no end.

Teresa generally means well, but is an upper class snob to put it mildly, and even manages to be a Jerkass when apologising for acting like a Jerkass. She remains a powerful magic user though (with a little help from the King, who orders a silencing punishment laid on her by her order undone).

  • Likes: Shopping.
  • Dislikes: Ill-educated Northern Barbarians.
  • Amicable Exes: Divorced from King Urtica due to Real Politik. Still, she is not happy concerning Urtica's response to the entire Duet fiasco and the aftermath, namely keeping the book with the names of the guilty, and promising to take more direct measures to rout further corruption from the Church of Rem.
  • Chickification: Averted. She stridently resists it, and winds up punished for it.
  • Did Not See That Coming: Both Peonie's interference in the Duet, and King Urtica's response caught her completely flat-footed.
  • Gender Bender: She seems to have inherited Tiffany's condition in a weaker form, judging by an attempt by her order to restore her male gender temporarily backfiring on one of the priests.
  • Innocent Bigot: She truly not only believes that those who aren't devout followers of the Church of Rem are stupid, ignorant fools deserving of pity, at best, she doesn't understand why saying so would be offensive, as noted in both the scenes where Typhan-knee is chained down while trying to "cure" the curse, and when she and Typh were fighting in the royal capitol. She's gotten a bit better since then, but still grossly underestimated Urtica, at least partially, as a direct result of this mindset.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Although she means well, she is rather abrasive.
  • Karmic Transformation: Due to Urtica's Attack Reflector, she winds up starting to turn into... "an ass."
  • Magic Music: of the vocal kind.
  • Rage Breaking Point: After being manipulated by Urtica, and finding out that the legally binding contract she signed is inked with hydra bile on hydra skin, making the parchment multiply in result to just about any physical attack.
  • Rapunzel Hair: Seems to have the longest hair of all the characters, post-transformation.
  • Stripperiffic: Theresa's choice of outfit post-pardoning (a black croptop and jacket) doesn't compete with some of Peonie's outfits, but it's definitely meant to be both utilitarian and sexy.
  • Transgender: Textbook, especially in the note  backstory, where the conflict between the extreme misogyny in her church and her internal gender identity is spelled out in painful detail.
  • You Owe Me: Nobody likes owing King Urtica a favor, even if it is for allowing Theresa to be herself. Though if a certain barbarian who Never Learned to Read had broken the collar inducing the silencing punishment instead of thinking she was making runes, that favor wouldn't need to have been owed. note 

King Urtica Ravi Metrotic Rex

Peonie's Dad and King of the Luminary Alliance. One the smarter characters in the strip, and something of a Chess Master. Loves his daughter fiercely, but is compelled to balance her safety and desires against the good of his kingdom which leaves him less than happy. He also seems to be a bit of a feminist and is very attracted to strong, self-sufficient women.

He once gave a nine year old boy a heart-attack by sneaking up on him while he was kissing princess Peonie. The King is technically Tiffany's fiancé due to the rescue of Peonie including "A" royal hand in marriage, and when Tiff finds this out he will probably need those 8 foot tall guards that follow him everywhere. (Or maybe not — Urtica may act like a pompous jackass at times, but he's a formidable fighter in his own right.)

  • Likes: Lurking in shadows, being The Chessmaster
  • Dislikes: Weak, stereotypical women and people who threaten his daughter.
  • Amazon Chaser: Says he doesn't particularly like weak and useless women. A woman whose company he shared with as mentioned under Dirty Old Man was one in charge of assassins that he said might have poisoned a glass of wine she gave to him but assumed he was resistant to it (she insisted a poison she would use for such purposes would not give him the opportunity).
  • Amicable Exes: Not quite. He and Teresa are now divorced due to Real Politik. Despite being perfectly calm and civil, Urtica is still rightfully miffed about Teresa neglecting to tell him about the Duet of Skillful Blades.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: As he lampshades at one point.
  • Attack Reflector: As Theresa found out, much to her horror, King Urtica had preparatory measures in place to reflect any magical attacks upon himself.
  • Cool Old Guy: He's a certified badass at 83 years old, and still manages to be Mr. Fanservice.
  • Crazy-Prepared: When Denver's sister tries to threaten Urtica into immediately turning over Typhan-knee, he has her surrounded by guards with weapons coated in Chimera venom, and orders them to "gently escort her back to her quarters."
  • Dirty Old Man: As we discover from a flashback that he's apparently gotten drooly recalling. (It's pretty clear where Peonie gets her, um, personality from.)
  • Manipulative Bastard: But not totally unlikeable - he's not so much evil as ruthlessly cunning.
  • Older Than He Looks: Despite appearing as only in his late 50s or early 60s, he's 83 years old, though he claims being this fit for his age is thanks to magical assistance.
  • Papa Wolf: When the needs of the state don't prevent him, he will retaliate against attempts at his daughter.
  • Pet the Dog: His interactions with Peonie, when he's not being cruel.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: He's definitely a good statesman.
  • Retired Badass: He's got matters of state to tend to most of the time, but when he is forced to deal with matters personally, he can and will kick ass.
  • Scars Are Forever: He's got a truly impressive collection of them on his back.
  • Yellow Eyes of Sneakiness: His eyes have a golden hue, and he's always got plots within plots going.


A young boy from a small fishing village who gave Faden a hand. Literally. Turnabout is fair play though, and when he found Faden's own amputated hand the magic left in it allowed him to graft it onto his own arm. This has led to a bit of mental contamination, but it is unclear as to the extent.

He has been driven by an unknown force to follow Tiffany into the big city.

  • Likes: Not getting his hand chopped off.
  • Dislikes: Getting his hand chopped off.


Ctyx' girl friend, and possibly his girlfriend. She helps him out after Faden injures him, and then accompanies him on his mysterious trip into the City.—

  • Break the Cutie: Ctyx's bad luck spilled over to her too.
  • Go Through Me: Somebody tried and it lead to...
  • Human Resources: Ctyx reveals in a fourth-wall breaking segment that when he found her in the morgue, she'd been skinned, but doesn't specify by whom or why, or if he even knows the answer to those questions.
  • Killed Off for Real: Ctyx finds her corpse in the Royal morgue.
  • Plucky Girl: Until a shapeshifter with insane levels of Moral Myopia goes after her boyfriend.
Is he Machenating? Or just a blatherskite?

The Speechifying Guy

Mister Exposition. A deranged old tramp who likes to give long-winded speeches explaining the plot to the readers. Disliked by all, and regarded as a right nuisance.

  • Likes: Constitutional limits on monarchical power.
  • Dislikes: Being told to shut up.

Niels and Bohr

A pair of eight foot tall Bodyguards of the King who carry magic swords. Mostly they just perform mildly snarky exposition and give the king someone to talk to that won't freak out over Yaoi being ruined, and will appreciate his Chessmaster tendencies. They also have Punny Names.

  • Ascended Extra: Niels has joined the main party for the most recent arc, along with elements of backstory being revealed.
  • The Big Guy
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Niels, during the attack on the castle.
  • Covered in Scars: Niels implies this is the reason he never removes his armor.
  • Cursed with Awesome: The two volunteered to be "processed" into Super Soldiers. The rest of the guard contingent are unsettled a bit at the results on their bodies, so the two keep to themselves during down time.
  • Danger Deadpan: They're rather unfazed by many of the dangers they're presented, and usually have something witty to say in reaction.
  • Dark and Troubled Past/Doomed Hometown: Niels, again.
  • Genius Bruiser: Both of them are highly skilled, and very intelligent. When Denver expresses surprise at Niels's deep philosophising, he sardonically asks whether he really expects Urtica to be hiring mindless thugs. Not all that surprising, considering their collective namesake!
  • The Faceless: Invoking one of the most famous such characters in the title of this strip.
  • Identical Twin ID Tag: Though not identical twins, it was difficult to tell the two apart initially. Neils, who got some characterization during the northern homecoming arc, took a cut to the chest plate by a hanzalo, which now remains to tell the two apart (Bohr's chest plate is unspoiled)
  • My Greatest Failure: Neils is really ashamed of letting a spellsinger get the drop on him and enthralling him.
  • Older Than They Act: Despite being The Faceless, Niels acts and fights like a young adult despite being old enough to have a niece who's nearly 20, implying he's middle-aged at least.
  • Punny Name: This is why they are named Niels and Bohr.
  • Set Swords to "Stun": They manage to do this to Typhan-Knee, but she breaks them in the process.
  • Super Soldier: They mention that they were guards who volunteered to be "processed" into the looming powerhouse bruisers they are now.
  • Those Two Guys
  • 24-Hour Armor: The two are clad in their massive platemail suits in every scene they're seen in, even during downtime.


Tiffany's younger brother and the current leader of their barbarian tribe.

  • Likes: Making fun of his brother-turned-sister
  • Dislikes: Having his authority challenged.
  • Badass Beard
  • The Berserker: True to the truest form of the mythos, when he goes into battle, or "going pyro," he becomes an unstoppable engine of destruction, and has no memory of what he did when it's over, only seeing his dead enemies at his feet. By his own admission, this has happened repeatedly.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Oh god yes. He very nearly spent the rest of his life with a monk and his daughter making inks, but when that fell apart...
  • Cain and Abel: Despite all appearances to the contrary, he's the Abel, being the closest thing their culture has to The Wise Prince, while Typhan-Knee abandoned him to die after they were exiled.
  • Dual Wielding: Always carries twin blades strapped to his back and knows how to use them.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Despite seeming like a sexist sociopath when he first appears, he is actually quite fair to guests. Though he does have a legitimate rivalry with Tiffany.
  • Meaningful Rename: Changes his name from Melan-Knee to Wyll-line, as a sign of his desire to restore his family's honor.
  • Obviously Evil: Wears skulls on his shoulders, looms imposingly, assigns onerous tasks to his "guests," and is the dark-haired brother of the hero, Typhan-knee, whom he apparently sent assassins after. Subverted, as most of the rest of these tropes indicate. While he looks quite imposing, he's also attempting to lead his people into a better era with minimal bloodshed, and his actions have been calculated both to protect his guests and keep an eye on them. He also didn't send the assassins.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: In his recollection about his second life that wasn't meant to be, he goes pyro when that life came crashing down, signified in-comic by his shadowed eyes glowing bright red (and his sleeves tearing.)
  • The Wise Prince: Is considered this in Barbarian culture. He's a surprisingly progressive barbarian chieftain.

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