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Webcomic / Elf Life

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Elf Life recounts the adventures of Baughb the Elf, an ancient, legendary hero, who is presumed to be dead. To everyone's surprise, he resurfaces one day and, instead of being a noble hero, seemingly turns out to be a weird and goofy character.

This comic provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: Filis. She even frees herself during a kidnapping and after scaring off the responsible cesspool elves, she then befriends the barbarian who was hired for her kidnapping.
  • After the End: The main story takes place almost a thousand years after "The Great Convergence", which destroyed most of elven civilisation.
  • The Ageless: Faeries don't age beyond adulthood. Glynhial had already lived for quite some time in the oldest flashbacks, about a thousand years before the main story. She's still alive on present day Earth, about a thousand years after the main story. The sprites, on the other hand, seem to view time as just another spatial dimension, and are possibly as old as the universe itself, if age even applies to them. Averted with the elves, who do grow old, just a lot slower than humans (their age is measured in centuries rather than decades).
  • Another Dimension: Alfheim, the world of elves, and Earth, the world of humans, were originally in separate universes. The disaster known as The Great Convergence fused the two worlds into one, retaining most of Earth while destroying most of Alfheim.
  • Ax-Crazy: Glynhial, especially during her first appearence.
  • Badass Normal: Filis is more than a match for the extremely powerful magic-using Glynhial.
  • Bodyguard Crush: Baughb the Elf is ordered to protect Glynhial. She develops a crush on him.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: Magic is portrayed as only having an effect on those who believe. Mind you, knowing this doesn't seem to help.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: The Sprites embody this trope to the fullest. Their ability to exist in multiple times and places at once accounts for some of their seeming insanity; what might seem like a non-sequitur is simply a reference to something they're experiencing somewhere else in the future.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Filis hates Baughb at first but gradually (and reluctantly) warms up to him, to the point where she openly confesses her love for him.
  • End of an Age: The age of the elves as a dominant society ends with the destruction of the elf kingdom.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: Twice! See After The End and Just Before The End.
  • Energy Beings: The sprites are said to be made of light. They can still interact with the physical world, but physical attacks can't kill them. The sprites themselves sometimes forget the latter.
  • Famed In-Story: Baughb achieved legendary, almost messianic status in his centuries-long absence. "The Book of Baughb", a collection of more-or-less erroneous quotes and facts about his life, is the elves' closest thing to a holy scripture. When Baughb returns, he is horrified by all this.
  • Fanservice: The fact that Glynhial dislikes wearing clothes and the well endowed mermaids.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: Baughb the Elf was forced to travel through several time periods both in the past and the future.
  • Gods Need Prayer Badly: It is explained that Glynhial draws her strength from people fearing her.
  • Good Angel, Bad Angel: Filis has these.
  • Heel–Face Turn: In one of the Flashbacks, The Dragon, the Vizier, burns his mask to prove to Baughb he is not in league with the empress anymore.
  • The Hero: Played with in many ways. The early stories show Baughb as somewhere between Idiot Hero and Byronic Hero. Later stories show him as more of a Guile Hero. During his life, he's also been cast as Tragic Hero and Fallen Hero. Baughb himself doesn't think of himself as a hero.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: At first, Glynhial is feared since the faeries have been blamed for the downfall of the elf kingdom.
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: Faeries Valencia and Ryley pretend to be elves who make a living dressing up as faeries (as real faeries were thought to be evil and extinct). They simply pretend that their wings are pasted on and that their strange hair colors aren't natural.
  • I Hate Past Me: "Evil Baughb" is Baughb's younger self, living in the future. Twisted by despair into an evil wreck, he is trying to go back in time to destroy the world he came from. Somehow, he regained (will regain) his Glamour and (most of) his sanity, although exactly how this happened (will happen) is still not known. This trope might work both ways; Evil Baughb definitely hates his older self, who lives in the past. Baughb might not hate his past self, who lives in the future, but he's certainly not proud of what he once was (will be).
  • Imagined Innuendo: Subverted: Filis was fond of referring to "frolicking" with Baughb, the main character When asked by another character why she was constantly using that euphemism, she angrily replies that she meant "frolicking" and if she meant to say "f***ing" (censored in panel), she'd have said "f***ing".
  • I'm Cold... So Cold...: Glynhial pulls off one of these.
  • Innocent Innuendo: Filis is gushing to Airek about how she and Baughb spent the previous day "frolicking". When Airek mentions that she didn't need to use euphemisms around him, she explodes:
    Filis: When I said we frolicked, that's what we did! If we'd @#$%ed, I'd have said we @#$%ed!
  • Just Before the End: Like a belated transplant rejection, the last remnants of Alfheim will crumble to nothingness, allowing Earth to regain its original form. Baughb, having been to the future, is the only one who knows this will happen, and that it will happen rather soon.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Baughb has travelled for a long time through the faerie gates, trying to return to his loved ones. He's been stranded in many different places and time periods. When arriving in Filis' and Aerik's time, he decides to give up his quest and stay. It is later revealed that his quest was actually fulfilled. The reason he went through the faerie gates in the first place was that baby Filis was thrown into one. When he found the adult Filis safe and sound, he could kick back and relax for the first time in a century.
  • Living Relic: Both Baugh and Glynhial are living relics of the elf kingdom.
  • Luke, I Might Be Your Father: In an early storyline Filis suspects that Baughb is her father. He isn't, although he once was romantically involved with her mother.
  • Mood-Swinger: Glynhial. One moment she'll try to kill you, the next she'll declare her love for you. Or vice versa.
  • No Name Given: The Sprite, which is one of many, is simply called Sprite. Baughb uses its real name once, but it's written with ancient glyphs, so the pronunciation is not known. The name supposedly means "sprite who hangs with elves" in sprite language.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: The Sprite(s).
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Baughb's a lot smarter than he initially lets on. The discrepancy between the easygoing goofball of the early stories and the hardened cynic of some later stories is so big that you'd classify it as a case of Characterization Marches On. At least until you remember that Baughb left his original time period in a state of chaos, travelled to a future in which elves are no more, was temporarily reduced to a wretched shadow of his old self, and finally made his way back to a time period shortly before the definitive end of elvenkind. His early naïve cheerfulness might just be a defense mechanism to keep him from going insane.
  • Our Mermaids Are Different: Extremely talented mermaid queen Leukothea gets banished to the surface after faerie queen Glynhial ruins her ability to breathe water. When Airek adresses the Mermaid Problem, Glynhial points out that mermaids do have functional legs inside their tails which will come out now that she's on land... but as Thea's lived in the ocean her whole life, they'll be hideously stunted and misshapen. Turns out they're quite attractive, actually.
  • Phantasy Spelling: Apart from "faerie", some of the main characters have exotic spellings of everyday names. Baughb = Bob. Filis = Phyllis. Airek = Eric. It has been noted that Filis' name is the only one less ornamental than its mundane counterpart, just like Filis is a no-nonsense character.
  • Random Transportation: The "faerie gates" are rifts in spacetime that lead to random points in space and time. Baughb spends several decades trying to find a way back home, unsuccessfully.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Averted. Airek is frightened when Glynhial is freed from the book he caught her in. As a faerie, Glynhial is feared by most inhabitants of the world of Elf Life as a monster who caused the "great convergence". It turns out that this is only a cover story to distract from the Big Bad, the Empress.
  • Series Hiatus: Elf Life has probably spent most of its time on hiatus, due to technical, financial and medical problems. It doesn't help that the author keeps trying to re-tell the story from different perspectives.
  • Tangled Family Tree: Filis is in fact not Airek's cousin, but his great-great-grandfather's half-sister, who was sucked into a faerie gate as a baby and emerged many centuries later. It doesn't stop there; her father was the childless empress' half-brother, making Filis the last living descendant of the old royal family. She doesn't know any of this herself.
  • Textplosion: It has vacillated between comic and novel styles over the years.
  • Time Travel: What Baughb spent most of his adult life doing.
  • Tsundere: Filis is a Type A: She acts very cranky and aggressive most of the time, but actually has a softer side to her, as well.
  • Webcomic Time: "The Wedding" storyline, chronicling the events of a single day, ran for about two years! It did, however, contain several extended flashbacks.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Word of God states that Elf Life's time travel doesn't allow changing the past (or future); all time travel, and all effects of time travel, were always destined to happen. That doesn't stop Baughb from trying to change the future, though (until Fillis finally talks him out of it, because she's satisfied with living with him until the end of the world and then dying together).