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Comic Book / In the Shadow of Dragons

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In the Shadow of Dragons is a comic book based on Dungeons & Dragons and published by Kenzer & Company.

The story starts when a trio of mighty blue dragons, led by the allmighty Blackwing, arrives into the peaceful city of Rel Astra, looking for the "Last of his Father", a powerful artifact that is apparently located in the town. The various attempts to fight the monsters fail, so the shady ruler of the city, lord Thrax, decides to send the young wizard apprentice Gifre to find the legendary mage Ealadach, who apparently knows a way to harm even dragons. With him ride Evina, Thrax's bodyguard, Lucien Cathal, a paladin and the renegade rogue Kiernan Ornarus, son of one of Rel Astra nobles and accused of murdering his mother and sister. Along the way, they're joined by Roarn, a dwarven warrior, Verena Mornbringer, an elvish Ranger and Sissel, a blind druid. Together, they cross the wild lands to find a way to stop Blackwing and his siblings before he destroys Rel Astra for good.


This Comic Book contains examples of:

  • Action Girl: Evina and Verena. Sissel not so much, being a druid and a healer.
  • Always a Bigger Fish: While in the swamps, Gifre is ambushed by a Green Hag, who's attacked and ripped apart by some Chuul. Then, the last Chuul gets killed and beheaded by a Tojanida.
  • Amplifier Artifact: The Magical Iris inside Gifre's armlet let cast more powerful spells.
  • Art Shift: Every "part" is drawn by a different artist, resulting in this.
  • An Axe to Grind: Roarn, of course.
  • Animorphism: Being a Druid, Sissel can turn herself into a wolf, and later into a hawk as well.
  • Badass Boast: Blackwing gets his share.
  • Beard of Evil: Thrax.
  • Bee Afraid: Subverted: Sissel summons a large swarm of bees against Blackwing. It goes as well as you can possibly imagine.
  • Big Bad: Blackwing with Thrax as a minor antagonist. Later, Gifre dethrones Blackwing.
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  • Big Damn Heroes: Verena comes back just in time to save everyone from Blackwing by piercing his eyes and mouth with fiery arrows.
  • Blade on a Stick: Sissel's spear. It can detect dangers, and in the end is used to blow a Earth Elemental to pieces.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Roarn.
  • Buried Alive: Gifre use his powers to make Lucien sink in dirt. When Sissels dives to help him, he return the ground to normal. Luckily, they're saved by Blackwing.
  • Cool Sword: Lucien's black sword, which turns silver when pointed against an innocent.
  • Convection Schmonvection: Averted, Gifre's fireball does melt Lucien's Tower Shield.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Blackwing and his siblings Azzre and Eclipse against pretty much everyone who dares to stand against them. Our heroes inflict one on a pack of Bugbears later in the story.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Kiernan and Roarn, usually at Lucien.
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  • Defiant to the End: Gifre tries to cast a spell on Kiernan even when cornered. He stops when his right arm (with the Iris on it) is chopped off by Roarn.
  • Dual Wielding: Evina does this with Royal Rapier.
  • Epic Flail: Kiernan's Weapon of Choice is the infamous Dire Flail.
  • Evil All Along: Gifre, the little bastard. The same goes for his master, who's revealed to be a Big Bad Wannabe.
  • Faking the Dead: Verena, in order to spy Gifre from far away.
  • Fantastic Racism: Kiernan states to hate dwarves.
  • Fate Worse than Death: What Blackwing has in plan to do with Gifre in the ends.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Eventually, Kiernan and Roarn.
  • Foreshadowing: At the beginning, after finding the smoking, burnt corpse of his master, Gifre swears on Vecna, god of Secrets to avenge him. This should give a clue to people familiar with the game about Gifre's true alignment.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Among various things, a party of six adventurers whose levels range from 5 to 7 having trouble against a single Umber Hulk (Challenge rate 7) and Gifre's spell affecting Blackwing who, judging on the size and power, should have a Spell Resistance high enough to counter most magical attacks.
    • Played Straight during the battle against Blackwing, who totally owns the heroes before he's distracted by Verena, entangled by Gifre and tamed with the Dragonhold.
  • Giant Space Flea From No Where: Most of the creatures encountered during the journey. Just like the random encounter creatures. The most notable one is the Umber Hulk in the caves, who literally comes out of a nearby wall.
  • Hidden Buxom: Sissel, as seen during the final battle. She also wears a black corset to boot.
  • I Knew It!: Verena knew that Gifre was an evil prick all along. She faked her death to keep a better eye on him.
  • Enemy Mine: First, Azzre offers her help to the heroes to kill her brother Eclipse. Later Blackwing teams up with them against Gifre.
  • Evil Costume Switch: Gifre discarding his mantle and robe in exchange for a red tunic for the very final battle.
  • Killed Off for Real: Evina.
  • Karma Houdini: Azzre and Lord Thrax.
  • Knife Nut: Kiernan's other Weapon of Choice is a curved dagger called "Fyre".
  • Lack of Empathy: Blackwing, shown when Thrax tries to negotiate with him and talk about the innocent, suffering civilians.
    Blackwing:" There are nothing but ants under my claws, Lord Thrax..."
  • Lawful Stupid: Lucien the Paladin is one at first, though eventually he grows over that, expecially when he sees the truth about Kiernan's father murdering his wife and daughter and then framing his son Kiernan for it.
  • Lizard Folk: In the swamps.
  • The Load: Gifre, Before learning powerful spells under Ealadach's tutelage. Or revealing himself as the Sixth Ranger Traitor.
  • MacGuffin: The "Last of My Father" for Blackwing, the Dragonhold for our heroes. The former proves to be the more important.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: During the battle against the Bugbears, Gifre is seen using the Shout spell.
  • Mind Rape: The trial to get the Dragonhold results in this one if you fail.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Ealadach, after realizing that he just taught all he knew to Gifre, an ambitious power-hungry Smug Snake.
  • My Greatest Failure: For Lucien, failing to save his wife and son from a fire.
  • Noble Demon: Blackwing.
  • Oh, Crap!: Gifre, faced with an incredibly pissed off Blackwing who wants the Iris back.
  • People Puppets: Gifre use a manipulating spell on Verena, who's about to shoot him, to make her kill Evina.
  • Playing with Fire: Verena's bow is made from the bones of a red dragon, and can set arrows ablaze.
  • Red Herring: The Dragonhold in the end.
  • Red Right Hand: Blackwing's wings, horns and underbelly are black, rather then yellow. When Eclipse is murdered and the spell broken, they return back to yellow.
  • The Reveal: In a nutshell, Kiernan is innocent, his dad did it instead and Gifre is actually an evil mage planning to use the Iris to take over Rel Astra.
  • Scream Discretion Shot: When Kiernan avenge his sister and mother and kills his father.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Lucien's real purpose in the group was keeping an eye on Kiernan and eventually execute him before returning to town. After learning about what really happened, he escorts Kiernan to his father... then free him, leave his weapons on the table and exit the room.
  • Sealed Good in a Can: Ealadach was turned into green mist and sealed in a bottle. Only the breath of a dying warrior can release him. Evina eventually does.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Kiernan is accused of killing his mother. Later he kills his own father, the real culprit.
  • Smug Snake: Gifre's true colors.
  • Shock and Awe: Blackwing. His eyes also sparks lightings when he's enraged.
  • Soul Jar: Eclipse and Azzre to Blackwing. As long as they're alive, Blackwing has the strength and power of three dragons in one.
  • Summon Magic: Used by Gifre to call forth some Earth Elementals near the end.
  • The Starscream: Azzre to Blackwing. Later is revealed that Gifre's master was one to Lord Thrax.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Kiernan and Lucien. Later Kiernan and Roarn, though the two eventually come to respect each other.
  • Throwing Your Axe Always Works: Roarn's specialty. It fails against the Earth Elementals.
    Roarn:"Uh? This never happened to me before..."
  • Token Evil Teammate: Kiernan. Actually Gifre.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The paladin in the beginning, who gets fried by Blackwing.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Blackwing, when he finds out that Eclipse has been killed.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Lord Thrax. By the end, he's a furious, screaming madman,
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Lucien is often subjected to these. Lord Thrax chews the heroes for bringing to him the apparently useless Dragonhold and killing Eclipse without warning him.
  • Whip It Good: The Dragonhold, a whip with a claw-like device on the top, which can make dragons passive and docile if wrapped around their necks.
  • Zerg Rush: The Gnolls against Verena.

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