Vainqueur Knightsbane is your average dragon: a giant, fire-breathing lizard who loves to take naps on his golden hoard, kidnap princesses for fun, and make the life of adventurers miserable. Vainqueur's only pleasure in life is to watch his treasure get bigger, one coin at a time.
So when a would-be thief turned unwilling minion tells him about "classes," "levels," and "quests," Vainqueur wonders if maybe, just maybe, he should consider a career change.
After all, why bother hunting monsters for free when you can get paid for it?
Vainqueur the Dragon by Void Herald, is an ongoing Fantasy Comedy Web Serial Novel following the misadventures of the eponymous dragon and his unwilling minion, Victor, in a fantasy world wholly unprepared for them.
Check out Vainqueur the Dragon on Tapas https://tapas.io/series/vainqueur-the-dragon Now with a web comic adaptation.
Vainqueur the Dragon provides examples of:
- Academy of Evil: Played very straight by Scholomance, founded by the "Dread Three" of the pantheon, employing themselves and demons as teachers, and with courses from "Infernal Alchemy" to "Necromancy" to "Peasant Mathematics" (just how far can you tax the peasants into starvation without them rebelling? Surprisingly high!).Have you ever wanted to take levels in evil classes, without being oppressed by self-righteous adventurers? Have you ever dreamed of delving into forbidden knowledge without being judged? To rub shoulders with fellow social climbers who understand your ambitions? Or perhaps you have followed a seminar on dictatorship, and you want to learn more about peasant oppression? Then seek no more!
- The Ageless: As he continues training the Reaper class, Victor gains the ability to delay his own ageing by harvesting souls, and multiple victims stack.Victor: Guys, I'm immortal!
Goblina: Shush! I have an [Eldritch Philosophy] exam tomorrow.
Victor: Sorry, I cant hear you over the sound of my ill-gotten eternal youth!
- Assimilation Backfire: Victor pulls this on Mell Odieuse during Vainqueur's ascension trial, using his extensive soul magic knowledge to strike back.
- Awful Truth:
- Dragons are . . . not immortal.
- The Elder Wyrm is a zmey.
- Bad Powers, Good People: Victor's good-ness is a bit debatable, but he's certainly a much nicer person than you would expect from someone who wears black spiked armour and harvests the souls of his fallen enemies for power.
- Bargain with Heaven: Angels sell literal "heaven insurance" plans, deducting a portion of customers' SP each month to put toward good causes in exchange for ensuring access to heaven after they die. Low karma scores require more expensive plans, though.
- Berserk Button: Vainqueur literally gains the Berserk status after Furibon transmutes his gold to lead.
- Boxing Battler: In Ch. 51, When Vainqueur realizes the giant golem he is fighting is immune to almost all his draconic abilities, he gets up on his hind legs, activates his unarmed combat skill, and dismantles the golem through boxing. Even the System is so impressed that it calls the fight 'beeping awesome' and awards him eleven levels for that one fight.
- Brown Note:
- Pink Kobold Ranger's Slash Fic pairing Vainqueur and Victor is so awful, everyone who hears her read it has to make a skill check against the "Terror" and "Madness" status ailments.
- The goddess Cybele more or less qualifies, too, although seeing her face is not a horrible experience, but rather a blissful one. To the point where it's highly lethal, causing viewers to abandon their bodies and give up on the rest of the material universe, which will never measure up.
- Butt-Monkey: As Vainquer's chief of staff and chief lackey, this is Victor's job.
- Celestial Bureaucracy: Between summoned demons acting as magical tech support and Angels acting like insurance salesmen . . .
- Chekhov's Gun: The Black Grail, twice over.
- The Ditz: Vainqueur comes off as this most of the time, in a mix of Intelligence being his Dump Stat, an utter lack of common sense, and being so powerful that he doesn't need to think leads to him acting very, very dim.
- Dangerous Forbidden Technique: Defied by Victor when he uses Pact with the Archfiends. The spell normally costs the user's soul, but Victor has several souls other than his own to spend.
- Does Not Understand Sarcasm: Being utterly arrogant, Vainqueur never realizes when Victor is back sassing him, which Victor takes full advantage of for stress relief. Until Vainqueur gains more Intelligence points...
- Dracolich: Mell Odieuse's final form of choice.
- Dragon Knight: Victor becomes one, much to Vainqueur's delight.
- Dragon Rider: Repeatedly defied by Vainqueur, who insists that it gives the rider the false impression of being above dragons, but played straight by Kia on Jolie. Vainqueur changes his mind in the climax, seeing the rider not as a commander but as an extension of the dragon. In his case, he's certainly not wrong, given all the buffs he receives from Victor's Chaos Rider class.
- Dragons Prefer Princesses: They're a major status symbol. They do operate on a catch and release program, though, to ensure a healthy princess population in the future.
- Dragon Tamer: While ostensibly their servant, Victor learns how to get the titular dragon to fit into society.
- Expy: Chapter 99 reveals Seng to be one of Aqua.
- The Fair Folk: They're called "fomors" in Outremonde.
- Fantastic Racism: Played straight and parodied simultaneously. Zmeys are openly and unabashedly discriminated against by other dragons, for their extensive inbreeding, extra heads, and speech defects. It turns out that the Elder Wyrm, progenitor of the whole dragon race, is a Zmey.
- Final Boss: Invoked by the System on those who reach level 99 and enter Valhalla, making them fight another aspiring god before they can open the doors. Vainqueur and Mell Odieuse end up being this to each other, as do Victor and Furibon.
- Fisher King: Vainqueur gains a Perk with this exact name, buffing his allies while his health is high but penalising them if it's very low, and making the penalty permanent if he dies.
- Genre Savvy: Akhenapep's defining character trait. In this Verse, he wrote the Evil Overlord List (calling each entry a "stratagem" instead), lives by every entry, and teaches it in lectures to up-and-coming evil overlords. Shesha, goddess of commerce, hates him, because her resurrection business has crashed as a result of villains following comprehensive body disposal procedures.
- Gotta Catch Them All: Discussed and lampshaded by Victor regarding Claimed buffs, wondering if he should try to collect the entire pantheon. Ultimately invoked by the Elder Wyrm on him, much to Sablar's chagrin.
- Greed: The plot is propelled by Vainquer realizing that the new class system means that he can get more money by going on adventures.
- Hard-Work Montage: Victor's time at Scholomance is shown in brief snippets, interspersed with scenes from the country outside falling into chaos without him.
- Hero Killer: King Wotan is this to dragons; he's even picked up the name "Dragonbane".
- Just Eat Him: How Vainqueur deals with bandits. Or quest-givers who don't pay up. Or uncooperative bureaucrats. Or hostile monsters. Or— you get the idea.
- Knight of Cerebus: The fomors (except Jack and Cait Sith), especially the Mell clan.
- Magikarp Power: The Fisherman class. The first nineteen levels give nigh-useless Perks, and the System makes it exponentially harder to gain levels in any class as one's total level increases, making Fisherman levels a significant sacrifice for most, but anyone who maxes out its level (at 20) is considered The Dreaded while on or near the sea. That's because its capstone ability, Primeval Abyss, turns all fish within a mile of the user into truck-sized sea serpents, as demonstrated by Mag Mell.
- Maximum HP Reduction: Mell Odieuse's weakness in Dracolich form. All attacks to her core act as this, and there's nothing her extreme overhealing abilities can do about it.
- Midas Touch: The "Curse of Greed" grants this power to those who fall subject to it, along with making them increasingly obsessive and paranoid so that they'll intentionally use it, even on their former friends. Eventually they become so obsessed with gold that they deliberately turn themselves into gold statues.
- Monster Adventurers: For a different reason from usual. Vainquer does not feel the need to move up the food chain.
- Mushroom Samba: With an actual mushroom wine. Victor isn't entirely clear on what he did, but apparently it involved exchanging bites with an entire city of vampires, wrecking heaven's reputation, and discovering that the gods play dice with the universe. Various characters are in awe of him afterward.
- Named After First Installment: First Chapter as Title Drop Chapter, Protagonist Title-style.
- Narrative Profanity Filter: Played for Laughs when both the narrative and dialogue are full of "BEEP" and "BEEPing". No one questions this In-Universe, though.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Grandrake's approach toward princesses is a clear parody of Steve Irwin. The author notes even recommend reading his dialogue in Steve Irwin's voice.
- No-Sell: V&V make very short work of Furibon's showcase dungeon, to his great anguish. Boulder trap? Vainqueur throws it back where it came from. Spell traps hidden in the walls? Great, extra loot, and Victor's been looking for a wand of horrid wilting for a while. Explosive kamikaze ducks? The spicy flavour is Vainqueur's favourite part of the dungeon. Oh, and Victor quickly identifies the fact that all the gold is fake and the magical items are the really worthwhile treasure.
- Our Dragons Are Different: Pure Western variant, for the most part. Sifu Jade the Wise resembles Eastern dragons physically, but shares the character-defining greed of his brethren.
- Our Fairies Are Different: The fomors are basically textbook Fair Folk, but without souls (and thus locked out of the System). They originally did have souls, but lost them as divine punishment for going to war with dragons.
- Plot Armor: Parodied in the form of the literal Plot Armor, which makes its wearer effectively immortal as long as they remain Good-aligned. It's also origami made from cheesy writing, and it forces its wearer to spout equally cheesy True Companions-related lines.
- Psycho for Hire: The Scorchers led by Vilmain and Gustave who are happily going around burning and murdering their way across Gardemagne under the orders of the demon king. The finishing touch is that they complain that being a murder hobo stops being profitable EXP wise after reaching level twenty.
- Punch-Clock Villain: Many evildoers in the world simply treat it as a job, such as most of the demons. Sure, they're greedy and ruthless and willing to laugh at their enemies' misfortunes, but it's all just business.
- Recurring Boss: Furibon eventually becomes this, culminating in being Victor's final trial before ascension.
- RPG Mechanics 'Verse: The story starts when Vainqueur realizes his world follows these rules, including gaining a class of his own. In a difference from the norm, Outremonde didn't use to be an RPG Mechanics 'Verse and only became that way after the god, Dice, altered reality.
- Save Scumming: Invoked as Akhenapep's Last Ditch Move, Save Scum. Any action that would kill him is undone by his time magic as long as he has the SP for it.
- Shout-Out: Vainqueur faces his niece in a "minion battle" that quickly turns into a Pokémon battle; six minions per side, fighting one at a time until they've fainted, and the trainer is not allowed to support them with Perks or items...oh, and the chapter is called "Pocket Minions".Vainqueur: Buzz Jelly, I choose you!
- Smug Super: Vainqueur is every bit as arrogant as you would expect from a centuries-old great dragon.
- Soul Jar:
- The Black Grail is one of these with many additional functions.
- Furibon turned a gold coin into his phylactery, figuring that an adventurer who defeated him would take the loot rather than destroying it.
- Stockholm Syndrome: Victor blames this when he realises he's actually become attached to Vainqueur, and later diagnoses Furibon with it, much to the latter's horror. Turns out it's actually a status recognised by the System and can be cured with the right items or Perks.
- There Is No Kill Like Overkill: A nest of trolls in the forest? Burn the forest.
- This Is Unforgivable!: Vainqueur will never truly let go of Furibon's nigh-unspeakable crime of turning gold into lead. Even when they actually do sort-of reconcile, he insists that he will only forget, not forgive.
- Top God: The Elder Wyrm and, formerly, the fomor Eldest. Vainqueur becomes this himself in the end.
- Trapped in Another World: The gods of Outremonde tend to grab mortals from Earth and send them to their homeworld for a variety of reasons. It's reached the point where the natives treat it as an uncommon, but completely normal, occurrence. There's even a religion offering the faithful resurrection on Earth, led by reincarnator Orknoob.
- Trickster God: Deathjester. Not that he's exclusively about tricks, he also includes murder in his portfolio, but not boring mass murder, he likes to keep things interesting.Deathjester: Do you remember what I told you back in our last session? Because too many guns.
- Troll: Furibon gains increasing tendencies toward this to dragons in general and Vainqueur in particular, eventually to the point of obsession. Fitting, given he's a troll lich.
- Year Inside, Hour Outside: The hidden evil academy of Scholomance dilates time so that students can get a full seven-year education in a week. Which is still enough time for Murmurin to almost fall apart in Victor's absence.
- Your Soul is Mine!: The [Helheim] Perk causes the souls of defeated enemies to be trapped in the killer's weapon. Very useful for putting down enemies who employ some form of Resurrective Immortality, such as Furibon the lich.