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Fate Worse Than Death / Webcomics

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  • Spoofed in Irregular Webcomic! strip #671, where Death of Insanely Overpowered Fireballs is demoted into the Fate department, as A Fate Worse Than Death. He has no idea on how to go about it.
    • Also, in strip #1954, "a pirate curse can be a thousand times worse than death".
  • Dominic Deegan:
    • Karnak falls into Hell and becomes a demon lord, even though he was just trying to save the world (and Murder the Hypotenuse). Celesto Morgan and the Infernomancer suffer a different Fate Worse Than Death: exile to an alternate plane of pure horror. Although they escaped...
    • The Infernomancer suffers this again, this time for good, after dying and going to Hell. Immediately after he wakes up in Hell, naked and powerless, he is wrapped up in chains by his former master whom he betrayed, Karnak. And Karnak is grinning like a kid in a candy store.
  • Erfworld:
    • If the ruler of a faction dies while having no heir, all of their cites go "neutral". Neutrals are frozen in time until someone attacks the city, and if they repel the attack, they presumably get frozen again until they are attacked again. It has not been specified whether or not the neutral units are conscious during the time they are frozen or not.
    • In the finale of the prequel, Inner Peace through Superior Firepower Part II, Charlie and Betsy Mind Rape Jillian, remaking her mind in their own image. In her final moment as herself, she considers this fate to be worse than croaking or even losing her side.
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • Big Bad Xykon does this in Start of Darkness to Dorukan and Lirian by using Soul Bind (an actual Dungeons & Dragons spell) to bind their souls into a black gem he still carries with him, keeping them from the Afterlife. But it sort of backfires, since though they're not in the afterlife, they are together.
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    • The Snarl obliterates the souls of its victims, erasing their chances of an afterlife. Even gods.
    • Played for Laughs when Belkar describes what he plans to use his captive Eye of Fear and Flame for.
    • Played straight in #936 when instead of either saving his glory-hound father Tarquin or killing him himself, Elan drops him off an airship and leaves him lost in the desert, without any sense of narrative closure.
    • Played even straighter with the fate of Crystal, who's turned into a self-aware flesh golem in constant pain by Bozzok, who wanted her to kill Haley. The fact that this was a fate worse than death ended up biting him in the rear, as Haley was able to convince Crystal to turn on him by pointing out that Haley merely killed Crystal, while Bozzok did this.
    • Xykon himself doesn't think there's anything worse than death for an evil bastard like him, mainly because he knows he'll end up in hell. Any fate, even being a Brain in a Jar, is acceptable as long as it keeps him out of the infernal plane.
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  • Riane in Alien Dice considers being a captured Dice to be a Fate Worse Than Death. In this case, though, it's used in the same way it originally meant, as the dialogue implies she was raped during captivity. In Legacy, she actually confirms this, though she uses politer, albeit sarcastic, terminology. No wonder she gleefully encouraged Lexx to kill her.
  • Being possessed by a slaver wasp in Girl Genius. At least, according to Mr. Rovainen and Agatha.
  • Characters that get to live in dream world in 1/0 says that it's this trope.
  • Jack's speech in Zebra Girl: "Somewhere, there's a man. He doesn't want to be where he is... but he's there and he'll stay there until he thinks of a place he'd rather be less".
  • Parodied in Ansem Retort. Jesus (yes, Jesus) concludes that trying to train the cast of Ansem Retort was worse than being crucified on the cross.
  • Parodied in the Order of the Stick Fancomic Murphy's Law, where taking a level in Dragon Disciple and Monk are horrible.
  • The hyenas in Digger have such a punishment. They call it having one's name 'eaten' and it means that the accused will be ostracized from their society and treated as a pariah and a nonentity. Said person has to live far away from the tribe, scrounging up an existence like an animal, and will be henceforth addressed as "it".
  • Bob and George: For George, it's been a Distressed Dude in Unwilling Suspension. (Given that he had spent months in this situation before...)
  • Sluggy Freelance:
    • This delightful little fate for Zoe. (maybe)
    • Alt-Rammer: "And she'd be dead now if not for the machines keeping her breathing ... She cannot be fixed. She cannot survive off of those machines. Too fragile for morphine. Her few conscious hours are spent screaming from the pain of the nerves that will never heal." Damn.
  • The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob! For Fructose Riboflavin, a fate worse than death is having his terrifying reputation destroyed because the world has learned his tragic origin story—now people feel sorry for him. He responds with a big ol' screaming Big "NO!".
  • In Homestuck, The Ψiioniic, for his crime of assisting in the Sufferer's rebellion, was forced to use his psychic powers to pilot Her Imperial Condescencion's flagship for millennia, kept alive by the Empress's powers.
    • The Handmaid got an even worse one: kept captive for the entire history of the troll race and forced to corrupt Alternia by Doc Scratch, who beats her with a broom. All because her Alternate Universe counterpart willingly joined forces with Lord English.
    • Not only is Aranea killed by The Condesce at the end of Game Over as a result of her own actions, she's retconned out of the new timeline by John without any relevance she wanted so much.
  • In Dave Hopkins' Jack, fates worse than death are commonplace, if not standard - not surprising, since the main character is the Grim Reaper and the setting is usually Hell. A few specific examples include:
    • Silverblue, a girl who has to relive the same rotten day in Hell - during which she gets tentacle raped, eviscerated, eaten alive, watches her only friend get torn to pieces and finally cuts her own wrists - over and over and over again for what is apparently over 150 years, merely because she committed suicide.
    • Drip, who usually metes out fates worse than death, at one point gets reduced to... well, his face; death in Hell usually only results in immediate respawning, but in this case Jack made sure he would survive indefinitely as a chunk of immobile flesh.
    • A particularly interesting example is Todd, who was a soldier in an equivalent of World War I; when his commanding officer ordered him to machine gun the children of a village so they would not grow up into enemies, he obediently complied. Home on bereavement leave, he discovers his wife has hanged herself, and commits suicide to be with her. In Hell, he doesn't miss an opportunity to claim it was all out of his hands; all is down to fate, he is responsible for nothing. And sure enough, he ends up as a character in a comic book written by the Devil hirself...
      • Perhaps worse is everything that leads up to the final reveal: He gets the totality of everything that was his fault rubbed in his face, including the fates of the three children that his wife killed right after they came out of the womb... because he was so insistent on having a son to carry on his family name that his wife believed he would never accept a daughter.
  • In The Property of Hate, Toby is ripped into twenty pieces and stitched back together with his own nerves. Not only that, but he is completely unable to move or change his expression. He's an ever-smiling rag doll. And though it's Playedfor Laughs, there are a couple times in the comic where the wind blows him over, and he's unable to see anything at all.
  • In The Non-Adventures of Wonderella, when Santa Claus comes back to life to seek revenge on Wonderella for (accidentally) killing him, Wonderella gives him one of these: Santa becomes the intellectual property of Disney. And they NEVER give back.
  • Rodimus from Rejects is forced to endure 3 hours of Life Time Movies as part of his torture, after being kidnapped by Blackout from Challengeofthe Kreons.
  • Unsounded: The state of Alderode has one punishment worse than execution, which is so dire that it's been used less than a dozen times and only after extensive government debate. The Etalarche Curse corrupts the victim's soul with a Hate Plague that compels every Aldish citizen, even their former loved ones, to want to harm them as badly as possible.
  • Muted: What entails being "Muted", if you are a full-grown adult who already attuned with their magic who has summoned a familiar: their link to magic is cut, ripping apart the link between the person and their familiar, bonded to the witch's soul, which dies in the process and the backlash is so severe that it leaves the witch as empty as a soulless husk. It is, in all but name, a death penalty. Do note that the process exists originally for children, not adults, of mixed blood, who are prone to having magical outbursts that they can't control. While it does sever their link to magic, it is implied that the child can still live a normal life afterwards.


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