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Webcomic / Clockwork

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Swiggity swog, don't kidnap Cog.
Cog Kleinschmidt works happily as an artisan within the stronghold of the world’s leading empire, Mercia Fortress. He finds his life taking a screeching turn upon the arrival of a diplomat from the Kingdom of Arcadia, who needs something from Cog - whether he agrees or not!

Cog soon finds himself trapped in the faraway Kingdom of Arcadia - an aristocratic haven with rich history and even richer tastes. Arcadia heaves with creepy undertones and conspiracies, but the citizens seem willfully ignorant of the bizarre events going on under their noses. Cog finds himself getting pulled further into Arcadia’s paranormal side, and decides the only way out is to solve the kingdom’s mysteries himself - with any help he can get from Arcadia’s stepford-like residents!

Clockwork is a Fantasy Webcomic written and drawn by Chikuto. While the story is still in its early stages, her Tumblr hosts plenty of work related to the project. A full backup of the comic can be found here.

Provides examples of:

  • Arc Words:
    • Cog's repeated insistence that "all of this boring politics stuff" has "nothing to do with me". He is mistaken, of course.
    • "Seven years ago."note 
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: The down-to-earth citizens of Mercia have a marked dislike of the aristocratic Arcadians. Christian is a notable exemption.
  • Awful Truth: If someone has magic in their blood, better believe they will be hiding it from even their closest friends.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: The nations as a whole. Mercia is heavily associated with red, and Arcadia with blue.
    • Occurs in Arcadia - the aristocrats and people associated with the upper classes usually wear brighter colors, while people from the Catacombs wear more desaturated, earthy colors.
  • Color Motif: Each of the six main characters has an associated color, which together form a rainbow—red for Boris, orange for Cog, yellow for Christian, green for Gaz, blue for Leonardo, and purple for Alexander.
  • Deceased Parents Are the Best: Cog has nothing but good things to say about Amalric and his dedication to helping people, but Alexander, who came to him for treatment and was turned away, has a decidedly less noble image of the man.
    Cog: What the hell do you know!? My dad loved helping people!
    Alexander: No. He loved having a talent no one else did— deciding who deserved his help, and who did not.
  • Disappeared Dad: Amalric Kleinschmidt is pretty important, since Alexander's interest in Cog stems from the fact that the former saved his life. Or rather, the fact that he refused to, leaving Alexander still afflicted by his curse. Incidentally, the Kingdom of Arcadia started spiraling downward around the same time Amalric died.
  • The Empire: Mercia, in juxtaposition to the kingdom of Arcadia. Though the political plot line is still unfolding, Arcadia appears to be the last bastion of resistance to the Empire of Mercia, and the Emperor has outright threatened to invade if it doesn't police its use of magic.
  • Enter Stage Window: Gaz in his first appearance, presumably done entirely to mess with Jean.
  • Establishing Shot: Most major scene transitions utilize a wide view of the area the new scene is taking place in, especially if it's a location that hasn't been shown before. Because of the high level of detail in most of the comic's backgrounds, depending on the area in question these shots can range from nicely atmospheric to full-on Scenery Porn, like in the first look at Arcadia.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: The hybrids are a race of humanoids with feline (and, less commonly, other animal) features. Despite centuries of crossbreeding with humans, to the point where most are not visibly distinguishable, they still seem to face some discrimination.
  • Happily Adopted: Cog, by Christian. He seems content with his life in the fortress and doesn't seem to pine too much over his past.
  • Magic is Evil: A worldwide policy, due to magic's destructive nature. Anyone found guilty of practicing it is hanged.
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: For Cog, a lot changes after Alexander forces him into becoming his assistant. Not only is he forced to move away from the home he's always known, the driving force behind the "deal" is Alexander's threat to reveal the magic powers that Cog unknowingly inherited from his father - a detail that would have him sentenced to death if revealed.
  • Orphan's Ordeal: The prologue shows the aftermath of Cog being orphaned in an accident.
  • Public Secret Message: Cog's letter to Boris after being forced to leave for Arcadia appears to be just a friendly effort to stay on good terms, but the first letters of each line spell out "HELP ME".
  • Serial Killer: Arcadia has been plagued with at least one, perhaps several in recent years. Their aristocrats have been ruthlessly targeted, and they can't seem to catch the killer(s).
  • Steampunk: So far, the comic seems to take place in a post-industrial era with steampunk technology. There are airships—Arcadia's main military advantage over Mercia—as well as various mechs and smaller craft.
  • Things Man Was Not Meant to Know: Whatever the true nature of magic is, humans are clearly not built to handle it—using magic, or sometimes just having the ability to, eats away at people's minds, making them increasingly unstable and dangerous to those around them.
  • Western Zodiac: The characters' zodiac signs are listed on the cast page. Cog being Cancer seems particularly important to his character, judging from a few authorial metas on the subject, but we've yet to see if it has any relevance in the comic proper.
  • Witch Hunt: Literally—humans who can use magic, being a danger to themselves and those around them, are aggressively hunted down by the government in a desperate attempt to wipe magic out for good. Mercia's government has garnered particular opposition from Arcadia for taking it upon themselves to police Arcadia's citizens as well, seizing any they suspect of magic for execution overseas.
  • Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters: The terrorists responsible for the "bombings" in Mercia. They openly surrender to Mercian authorities in the name of the Arcadian kingdom.