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Webcomic / Crimson Flag

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Julian has a "brilliant plan," Lucian's not interested.
Crimson Flag is a completed fantasy furry action/adventure semi-medieval-themed webcomic by Kendo Virmir about two tribes of anthropomorphic foxes that don't quite get along. The Red Reyn (red foxes) conquered Reynland long ago, and the Grays (gray foxes) found themselves owing fealty to a crown no longer their own. Regardless, peace followed for many a year after the long war. Until, of course, someone had a brilliant plan.

This comic provides examples of:

  • The Archmage: Archmage Kesnar, head of Caerreyn's magic academy. Lord Julian may be his equal, and Lucian is rather powerful as well.
  • Archnemesis Dad: Lord Julian Urocyon and his son Lucian have drastically different ideas on Auberwood independence. It’s implied Lucian lost his taste for warfare while fighting in a civil war between two factions of Reds, while Julian has resented Red Reyn rule since his own father was assassinated by a mysterious black Reyn.
  • Art Evolution: The first 116 comics were penciled by Tod Wills while Virmir wrote the script and colored, at comic 117 Virmir started sketching too (compare his more cartoony style to the comic before)
  • Artificial Limbs: Sir Bryce's "gauntlet" is actually a mechanical prosthetic, it’s implied that Ludovic cut his original hand off. Lucian accidentally regenerates the hand when de-feralizing Bryce.
  • Attractive Bent-Gender: At one point, Lucian and Sierra have to escape from Alopexia (the arctic capital) while a photo of them is being circulated. For a disguise, Lucian gender-swaps them. Sierra's male form is absolutely ripped, and Lucian’s female form is pretty chesty.
  • Ash Face: Voltar, after being blasted by the Baron's invention.
    Baron: Hmmm... that was supposed to explode your head.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Grays hit by the Staff's Forced Transformation eventually learn how to parse its dweomers and unlock Voluntary Shapeshifting, and how to replicate-and manipulate-it, leading to Lord Julian transforming a tribe of Muridens he'd come to rule over during his time in the Chasm of Woe into Super Soldiers, and Lucian being able to Gender Bender himself and Sierra as disguises.
  • Barefoot Cartoon Animal: Reyn typically don't bother with footwear, aside from Voltar, who once tried to introduce socks.
  • Bulletproof Vest: The arrow-proof vest Lucian's stepmother was wearing turns out to be not quite thick enough. But it still helps her survive the attack.
  • Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": Muridens are grey rats with spines down their backs. Oh, and they're smart enough to use tools.
  • Civil War vs. Armageddon: The Auberwood's latest attempt at secession from Caerreyn turns out to involve a magical artifact tied to the evil goddess that created the Reyn and prompts the return of a cult seeking to restore her and her dominion over the species.
  • Close-Call Haircut: Lucian loses one of his hair "antennae" to a Fen-Dahai knife.
  • Confusion Fu: Voltar's primary method of "fighting", since he has no actual combat skills.
  • Cool Shades: Bryce wears dark glasses, even as a feral.
  • Distressed Damsel: The Queen after she's kidnapped by Julian, to an extent.
  • Elemental Powers: Mages tend to specialize in one element. Grays always specialize in fire as it helps them halt forest fires, but Reds specialize in a variety of elements.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Ludovic, implied that Bryce took it out. His dad had two of them and a hook hand, while his mom reminds him to recast his depth-perception spell.
  • Fantastic Measurement System: "Tails" are used as a unit of distance similar to "feet".
  • Fantastic Racism: There's some bad blood between Reds against Grays. Not helped by Lord Julian's suspicion of the Red government in his father's assassination.
  • Fantastic Slur: Some of the Gray rebels refer to Red Reyn as "white-tips", referring to the white-tipped tails all color variants of red fox have. The Reds, in turn, refer to Grays as "tree rats", since they're natural climbers who live in trees.
  • Fantasy Gun Control: The closest thing to a conventional gun seen was a matchlock without a projectile. Airship cannons fire energy blasts.
  • Fantasy Writers Have No Sense of Scale: Caerreyn's "unimaginable" population was originally stated to be just 700, small even for a medieval city-state.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Julian puts up a front of being likeable, most of the time.
  • Flashback: Early on Lucian recalls his father ordering him to kill a Muriden. A second, longer one starts here.
    • And another one showing Sierra's childhood with her spirit companion and the objections of their religion.
    • And yet another one of Julian's childhood.
  • Flying Weapon: Bryce's sword turns out to be one after his feralization.
  • Forced Transformation: The Queen falls victim to this. Then Bryce joins her. And even Lucian and Julian.
  • Foreshadowing: Lucian says it would take a fire elemental to put a dent in the wards on the trees. Guess what his cousin summons to fight them.
  • Fox Folk: Reyn, the setting's primary sapient species, are based on various species of fox. Seen are Red Reynnote , Gray Reyn, Snow (arctic) Reyn, and Fens (fennecs).
  • Friendly Enemy: Ludovic sits down to catch up after beating Bryce in their (apparent) fourth fight, though Bryce seems to take their rivalry much more seriously.
  • Fusion Dance: The only way to add mass to a transformation, though after Lucian fuses with a wyvern he gets overcome by its' instincts. For the final battle Lucian fuses with first Sierra, and then nearly the entire surviving cast in order to fight the Lady-possessed Queen.
  • Gender Bender: Yet another use of transformation magic.
  • Hammerspace: "I thought you checked their hats..."
  • God Is Evil: The Lady of the Stars turns out to be some sort of shadowy extradimensional invader who created the Red Reyn as her minions in a war with the spirit dragons.
  • The Hilarity of Hats: Voltar has an extensive collection of needlessly elaborate hats, which forms the basis of many a punchline.
  • Hot for Teacher: Sierra has an obvious crush on Lucian, one of her teachers at the mage academy, who saved her life during her level two evaluation. He does not seem to respond.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: The commodore, by a dragon. Which raises some questions about the following page.
  • Intrepid Merchant: Voltar, to the point of trying to sell stuff to the adventurers who commandeered his ship. In his own idiosyncratic way, Voltar is arguably one of the most badass characters in the strip. And remember, his competition is the likes of Bryce and Lucian
  • Killed Off for Real: Bryce is unceremoniously vaporized by the Lady of the Stars once the mind-control artifact is destroyed. Queen Avelina, possessed by the Lady, is apparently killed when the fusion of Lucian and the rest of the named characters defeat them. Though Archmage Kesnar, the third statue on their memorial, turns out to have somehow survived getting stabbed and dropped into lava with the help of his spirit companion/wife.
  • Made of Iron: Everybody. Even Reyn kits are astoundingly tough.
    Flashback!Lucian: Daaaad! Lucille's fire demon punched me through the wall again!
  • Mage Species: While mages are a minority among Red Reyn, the majority of Grays know at least enough to ward their trees against fire. Possibly because they stole the cloak instead of having it placed upon them.
  • Magic Feather: Voltar's "Amulet of Memory and Focus" is strongly hinted to be one.
    Sierra: He seemed so confident when he was wearing it. Probably sentimental...there're certainly no spells attached to it.
  • Magic Knight: Bryce, though he doesn't cast spells just uses magic weapons. His rival Ludovic is more of a straight example, as a swordsman who wields the Grays signature fire magic as well.
  • Magitek: Airships, and their cannons. Crystal balls are used as phones, with similar "peak hours" restrictions as cellphone contracts.
  • Mugging the Monster: Early on some street urchins tried to mug Lucian, a level 3 (the rank below Archmage) mage.
  • Obliviously Evil: Lucile honestly believes that the Reds attacked first and that her cousin betrayed the Greys.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Come in two forms, wyverns that seem little more than pests, albeit hazardous to poorly armed airships, attracted to magic. And spirit dragons that might be summoned, or in a few cases namely the Lady of the Stars and her servants possess Reyn and transform their bodies.
  • Our Werebeasts Are Different: Feralized Reyn can transmit their "condition" to others by bite, and the Grays eventually learn to transform at will.
  • Playing with Fire: Most Grays know fire magic, so that they can control the flames if the trees they live in catch alight.
  • Pillar of Light: One of these is has been ignited by the fight between Lord Julian and Archmage Kesnar on page 411.
  • Power Levels: By Caerreyn's ranking system Lucian is a level three mage, Sierra just recently achieved level two, and the archmage is level four. And even though the Grays have no formal system Julian is estimated to be equivalent to a level four.
  • Raised Hand of Survival: A rather nasty variant. After the fight at the Relran Tree, a bird lands on the rubble of a fallen tower, only for the Fen'dahai's hand to burst out and crush it.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Emiline, and in page 162, she gets upgraded to Glowing Eyes of Doom.
  • The Rival:
    • Sir Bryce, the Queen's loyal bodyguard, and Ludovic, Julian's right-hand Reyn; have had multiple duels in the past. Though Ludovic takes it far less seriously than Bryce.
    • The Snow Reyn merchants Voltar de Monteshrewd, Esquire, and Baron von Snickerhoss have a tendency to come to blows when locked up together.
  • Scary Shiny Glasses:
  • Shadow Discretion Shot:
  • Shapeshifter Baggage: Zig-zagged, "Feralized" Reyn shrink from near-human-sized to normal-sized foxes with no indication of where the mass goes, but after Lucian and Julian learn to manipulate "the cloak" they discover that they can't make someone substantially larger than their "normal" form without an additional source of mass.
  • Shout-Out: To Zero Wing. The Grey king contacts the red council (heralded by "We're getting a signal!) and says; "How are you gentlereyn?" This is replied to with "It's you!."
  • Summon Magic: It is possible to summon elemental spirits, but this kind of magic is banned by the Red's religion as an affront to the Lady of the Stars, while the Grays believe the Lady is simply a powerful and jealous spirit and embrace summoning. Late in the series, it turns out the Lady banished the other spirits to another dimension and they're only able to project themselves to willing bonds.
  • Technicolor Fire: Lucian sometimes casts blue flames.
  • Tree Top Town: The Gray Reyn of the Auberwood build their homes in the upper levels of living trees, appropriate for an arboreal species. The Relran Tree is particularly notable.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Under the influence of a shapeshifting spell, Sierra starts dishing out the pain.
  • Unanthropomorphic Transformation: Weaponized by Lord Julian. The reason this proved so easy to do is a major part of The Reveal. In the distant past Reyn were created out of ordinary animals to serve dragons. In effect, they spend all their lives transformed to bipedal talking magic-wielding form, but that can be easily switched off. In the end of the comic Lucian is teaching Reyn Voluntary Shapeshifting.
  • Unequal Rites: According to the Reds' religion, Summon Magic is evil. However, that same magic is a long-held tradition of the Grays.
  • Unsound Effect:
  • Unusual Euphemism: "Frazz", "trees" (used specifically by Grays), and "snowdrifts" (Snow Reyn).
  • Uplifted Animal: It turns out that the Lady of the Stars used the snake staff to transform red foxes into the Red Reyn. While the Grays’ ancestors stole a bit of the cloak magic for themselves, and it’s not shown who created the Snow Reyn or Fens.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: On returning to the Auberwood after kidnapping the queen, Lord Julian is shown to be quite beloved by his subjects. Though part of it is from blaming their problems on the Reds.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: By #318 Lucian has figured out how to turn back into a Reyn, and make improvements.
  • Weredragon: Emiline can transform from a Gray Reyn to a three-eyed dragon, seemingly at will. It eventually turns out she was accidentally fused with the dragon Vraigus before birth, and he is not happy about being stuck in a child's body.
  • Zeppelins from Another World: Fantasy-type airships held aloft by magic are common to all factions.