One barbarian will face the ultimate horror...
- Shopping for an outfit that isn't slutty!
It is a world of magic...mystery...and really big boobs!"
Exiern is a fantasy webcomic about a reluctantly female barbarian. The plot, which began as a riff off of an early storyline of The Wotch, is relatively simple: Evil wizard Faden, about to fall to the sword of hulking barbarian warrior Typhan-knee, tries to transform the hero into an animal and somehow transforms him into a woman instead. Since it can't be undone, the barbarian, now going by the name of Tiffany, goes on a variety of adventures.
Originally written by Drowemos (despite the obvious connections to dark elves and whiny teenagers, it's actually "some word" spelled backwards) and illustrated initially by Drowemos (2005), then by Studio Boom (2005 - 2010) and currently by Shipeng Lee of Drowtales (2010 -). Later, the comic was sold to Dan Standing, as Drowemos got tired of working on it. The writing duties have since been handed off to Thomas Knapp, the writer for MegaTokyo's Endgames light novels. The writer duties then changed again to current owner Scott T. Hicken.
Although it is one of a number of Webcomics with transgender themes, Exiern is infamous for both mocking and reveling in fanservice scenes; Drowemos in fact paid for his web hosting bills by selling access to the uncensored comics (as well as a number of other R and PG rated bonus comics) using a membership system. The membership site has since been spun off as something completely separate, and a Patreon page is now available for fundraising - although some bonus art does still include nudity it is no longer the dominant material available.
Drowemos is also the author of the web manga Blade Bunny.
Note that thanks to author swaps and ongoing site rebuilds, most of the links below are broken.
Note : the new website appears to be up at https://exiern.thecomicseries.com/ However not all pages have been reposted yet.
Exiern contains examples of:
- Abomination Accusation Attack: Tiffany despises Teresa, among other things because Teresa is happy with having been magically turned into a woman. In one very public argument, with the population of Teresa's home city as audience, Tiffany talks as if it was a fact and common knowledge that Teresa is a Pedophile Priest child-molester. We later learn that Teresa is falsely accused. The actual villains framed her to keep her from exposing them.
- Aborted Arc: Some feel that Tiffany's Chickification Arc was this, since it was resolved so quickly after the change in writers, especially since it hasn't been addressed since.
- Accidental Marriage: Tiffany managed to get herself engaged to Peonie's father the King, but no one told her. Part of the reward for rescuing Peonie was A Royal Hand in marriage and since she no longer qualifies for Peonie's and has insisted on the full reward...It's good to be the king. She beats the truth out of Peonie offscreen after the identity crisis arc and she and King Urtica agree to call it off.
- Accidental Truth At one point, when discussing the life cycle of dragons, Tiffany says that she never sees baby squirrels and she figured dragons were the same, Fayden remarks, sarcastically, "that they reproduce by magical cloning and that there's really only one all powerful "all squirrel?" we see a squirrel on a nearby branch thinking "They know!" This is referenced a number of times later in the series, though it never directly impacts the plot....yet.
- Action Dress Rip: Played with. Tiffany tries, fails, and ends up rucking it up instead.Tiffany: "What the hell is this thing made of?"
- Action Insurance Gag: Overlaps with Impossible Insurance here as the inn owner haggles with a demonic lawyer as to whether the battle in his inn qualifies for payout; even when he gets the best of that demonic lawyer, just trying to cash in that policy has further issues. When it comes to insurance companies, Failure Is the Only Option.
- Actually Pretty Funny:
- All There in the Manual: As cheezy as the strip is, Drowemos created a highly original mythology behind it, which was hinted at in several strips before he finally outlined most of it in several blog posts.
- Art Evolution: Though it likely has at least part to do with the comic's change in management, the art style has changed dramatically several times over the years.
- Asskicking Leads to Leadership, mixed with Authority Grants Asskicking. King Urtica can lay a smack down just as well as his hulking 8-foot-tall bodyguards. Although he's certainly not the conquering warlord archetype, and he does have a great talent for subtlety and chessmastery, King Urtica expressly says that this sort of thing is why he stays on the throne:King Urtica: There is a reason I am king... and it is not because I am an excellent statesman.
- At one point he manages to punch out Tiffany in one shot, payback for her punching him in a rage earlier and trying to claim it was a gesture of respect among her people. He says he just wants her to know he respects her back. Peonie was shocked, but Tiffany thought it was Actually Pretty Funny, and tells her to lighten up.
- Ass Shove: Referrenced when Isabel is turned to stone, while clasping a rune that will allow her to turn back. Peonie looks at Isabel's butt and asks where she's clasping the rune.Teresa: It's in her hands.Peonie: Okay. Because Isabel had some interesting kinks...Teresa: I know. We had to ask her to use her hands.
- Attempted Rape: On a raid with his father, Typhan-Knee is naturally expected to be performing Rape, Pillage, and Burn and was in the middle of doing the first but is stopped by him because the victim wasn't a woman.
- Attractive Bent-Gender: Tiffany, not that it helps her mood any.
- Bait-and-Switch: the facts that Tiffany's mother was a southerner and Niels' sister was taken about twenty years ago seem to set up Tiffany being Neils' niece (which, considering that they're the two most capable hand to hand fighters in the setting and the fact that Neils' is blonde under his helmet, would make sense), but it's ultimately averted.
- Bears Are Bad News: Mainly because it triggered a Hurricane of Puns, it was an Un-bear-able, and grizzly situation. Fortunately Bhors didn't paw-s for thought.
- Beware the Nice Ones: You do not want to awaken Denver's inner dragon; you really don't.
- Big Damn Heroes: Big Damn Unicorn Hero: Unicorns, for a rescue, not for a ride.
- Bizarre Alien Biology:
- Dragons leave their young in the still smouldering embers of burnt out buildings, the baby dragons resemble normal human infants and grow up looking like (and thinking they are) humans until they reach their late teens when some sort of homing instinct draws them towards other dragons. They spend some time in a half-human/half-dragon state while they gradually lose their human identities, before growing into their final dragon form. Though this is partially Retcon'ed later, when revealed that the former happens as a result of the adult dragons being driven mad by an ancient power and trying to roast their own mates and offspring.
- Also squirrels "reproduce by magical cloning and there is but one all-squirrel connected through a collective psychic consciousness".
- Black Comedy Rape: The original version of the first storyline has Tiffany lamenting that she can no longer rape the women of defeated towns; Peonie briefly scolds her, the whole thing is Played for Laughs, and it's never brought up again. The author seems to have realized how awful this exchange was, since it's absent from the redrawn version. Though it turned out he never did anyway even though he tried to take interest in doing so.
- Black Magic: One of the central elements of the strip, with first Faden, and then an parade of other dark magic users, setting up human sacrifices and brain washings all over the place.
- Body Horror: In addition to what happens when dragon offspring undergo puberty, (which, in universe, is considered rightfully horrific in its own right) the latest update has Coriander's followers in the Church of Rem cast shapeshifter spell-singer magic on Typh. Unsurprisingly, it rebounds. Surprisingly, it not only turns the very same clerics into young girl children, it magically seals their mouth shut permanently by growing skin over them.
- Brick Joke:
- When we learn that Tiffany is learning to read, the first thing she does is to hit Peony for lying about what her shirt said.
- In 2005, Tiffany notes that while her name in the southern tongue sounds feminine (that is, "Tiffany" verses "Typhan-knee"), in her native tongue it's masculine and means, "He who hunts by the light of the northern ice stars." Faden, being himself, comments that Tiffany means, "She who hunts diamond charm bracelets with her daddy's money." The joke doesn't come up again until ten years later, when someone shows up at King Urtica's gate demanding an audience with She Who Hunts Diamond Charm Bracelets With Her Daddy's Money.
- Another member of the "tiger person" race shows up in the "Northern Wind" arc, and is comedic, at first, but then the Mingalow shows up, and all the comedy disappears.
- B-Side Comics: Dark Reflections, an alternate Bad Present in which Typhan-Knee succumbed to Faden's Mind Control and is now his bimbo Dragon, with Princess Peonie locked in his dungeon. Faden also possessed Peonie and wore a very revealing costume while in her body.
- Bullying a Dragon: Sister Teresa keeps insulting Tiffany over and over and over again even though she was close to killing her once.
- Call-Back: In an early strip, Peonie tries to deal with a witch by showing off her breasts to her. She thinks why her plans have to be so slutty. Much later, she has the same thought regarding her father escorting Tiffany to a ball.
- Cat Folk: What looks like a tiger person turns up as a background character in a spoof of the You All Meet in an Inn trope.
- Cerebus Syndrome: What started as a parody of a typical fantasy setting with Transgender themes became a much more serious tale about Tiffany learning to get comfortable in her own skin. Most explicit in The Wild North storyline, which has several Wham Episodes and much less humor.
- Chainmail Bikini: Thoroughly averted for Tiffany, who is not at all comfortable with her female body, and whose ceremonial armor given her by King Urtica is feminine but covers fully.
- Until she tries to wear other outfits, and the curse gets "inspiration" to mess with Typh.
- Chess with Death: Played straight, but with a "twist" on how Death plays to win (NSFW!) in a filler strip, here.
- Chunky Updraft: in this strip when Cytx kinda loses it a little.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: Peonie is hinted at having become this in captivity; she has largely shaken this off, but inadvertently used the word "mingalow" (a type of livestock she invented while a hostage) to her father. It turns out a mingalow is a real thing though — a type of semi-sentient, rage-filled undead.
- Coffee Shop AU Fic: As a Overly Long April Fools Gag in 2010 when it was suddenly re-tooled as a group of trendy twentysomethings hanging out at a coffee shop.
- Comically Missing the Point: When the King gives Peonie a really tough moral dilemma, reminding her that she has royal responsibilities, and "nice" isn't in the options list for Royals Who Actually Do Something. He tries confiding in his bodyguards, but...King: I have ordered men to their deaths and entire villages burned...but that, my friend, is the hardest thing I have ever done.
Bhors: Wait, we're friends? Would you be interested in joining our bowling team? We could really use a fourth.
King: Why not.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: King Urtica initially appears to be a stereotypical fantasy king with a Stay in the Kitchen attitude to his daughter, but soon proves himself a master of court intrigue and a pretty good ruler, all things considered. He's also got a sense of humor matching Tiffany's.
- Cue the Sun: Tiffany's identity crisis arc starts during an evening dance, and follows the stages of night, with her slowly realising she is losing her grip on her identity, to a complete breakdown into a fragile little girl around midnight, and a massive set piece battle where she saves the day and acknowledges her new identity, just as dawn breaks over the battlements of the castle.
- Deadpan Snarker: Faden. For example, when Typhan-Knee's name is described as "he who hunts by the piercing light of the northern ice stars" and Peonie replies that as a feminine name it has a slightly different meaning in the south, He observes, "Something like 'she who hunts diamond charm bracelets with her daddy's money!'" With Faden seemingly gone, Peonie has taken over as the strip's prime snarker.
- Deliberate Values Dissonance: The whole Rape, Pillage, and Burn thing of the northern barbarians (Typh's people), including their abduction of southern women for brides. And the fact that what pissed off Typh's father wasn't that he was trying to rape someone, but rather that the someone was a man.
- Different for Girls: Mostly played for Fanservice.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Daniel, a soldier, accidentally rips off Peonie's and Isabel's clothes when passing right between them running with swords and bows. Isabel immediately tries to beat him up — and what does Peonie do? Get him naked, tie a pink ribbon around his "parts" and send him with the rest of his workmates like that.
- Distressed Damsel: Peonie has a tendency towards being kidnapped by various folks. When she was rescued from Faden's clutches she admitted "I was really scared this time" showing that it wasn't the first time (or last).
- She's later asked how many times she's been kidnapped, and she replies "Five." Then when asked whether that included being mind controlled and attacked by a spellsinger, she adds "Um... seven."
- Double Standard: Rape, Male on Male: Averted. Typhan-Knee's Attempted Rape of a young male in his youth has the subject crying as he holds and undresses him and Typhan-Knee sported quite the horrific Slasher Smile expression while he did it.
- Dress Hits Floor: Amalia the assassin matriarch does this for King Utrica.
- Dude, Not Funny!: In-Universe. Poenie doesn't appreciate Tiffany's snark about Niels getting mind controlled by the spellslinger. She kind of feels bad about it herself after Niels explains his feelings on the matter.
- Dumb Blonde: Averted twice over — Tiffany isn't the brightest bulb in the circuit, but isn't even remotely stupid either, and Theresa is a very well-trained magic user.
- Epiphany Therapy: Theresa whacking Tiffany out of her temporary "nice and weak little woman" persona.
- Evil Is Petty: Faden, by his own admission, once tortured a guy for eating his sandwich.
- Evil Hand: Ctyx has one after accidentally (It Makes Sense in Context) replacing his own amputated hand with Faden's amputated hand.
- Fanservice: plays both sides of the fence — it goes way overboard in many cases, but at the same time takes a self-mocking approach to it. Drowemos openly admits to having very little integrity in that regard.
- Faux Affably Evil: Faden. He's pretty much Exiern's version of The Joker, cracking jokes and being friendly even when he is trying to kill you. He's in the evil game as much for the lulz as he is the power.
- Finger Muzzle: Tiffany uses this on Denver after the latter's despairing speech, followed by their First Kiss.
- First Law of Gender Bending: Not only is Tiffany unable to transform back to a male, but her condition is contagious, as a male water sprite, an itinerant young wizard, and a crew of priests attempting to reverse her condition find out. Played for Laughs when one of the priests, newly transformed back into a (younger and significantly more attractive) man sneezes... and reverts to female — implying, perhaps, that the "curse" can be suppressed but not dispelled. In fact, the condition is quite virulent — Tiffany accidentally converts a male water spirit, who uses his/her new femininity as a lure to capture travelers — including one powerful young spellsinger who is captured and transformed by the water spirit as a divine sacrifice note , and after escaping, wonders what's going to become of her (foreshadowing the later matter of Sister Theresa). note
- Fractured Fairytale: gets a nod here:Tiffany: "OK, let's review: It's up to the fair young maiden to rescue the dragon from the fire breathing knights in shining armor. When the hell did the universe get turned inside out?"
- Fun T-Shirt:
- Gender Bender: Faden curses Typhan-Knee so that he turns into a woman. The curse proves to be contagious and causes several more people to flip sexes, notably several priests that attempt to break the curse.
- Gender-Blender Name:
- Typhan-Knee/Tiffany.Typhan-Knee/Tiffany Typhan-Knee, it means "He who hunts by the piercing light of the northern ice stars".
Faden: Wait. Did she just say her name is Tiffany?
Peonie: Cough. Yeah, that is a feminine name around here. Ummm... it has a slightly different meaning though.
Faden: Ha! Something like "She who hunts diamond charm bracelets with her daddy's money."
- Happens again with Typhan-Knee's brother Melan-Knee, "He who chases the northern ice stars."
- Genius Bruiser: Niels, the easily eight-foot-tall knight who is a juggernaut in battle, is also a deeply philosophical man. While he doesn't like the northern tribes for making his sister a concubine and then getting her killed in The Purge (she turns out later to have joined them voluntarily and then fought to the death), he also believes there's no point in a Cycle of Revenge. He also lampshades the trope, reacting derisively to people thinking he was Dumb Muscle by pointing out that Manipulative Bastard King Urtica isn't the type to want Dumb Muscle.
- The Good King: Urtica, surprisingly. He very briefly seems like a stereotypical fantasy king and displays a Stay in the Kitchen attitude towards Peonie, but it becomes rapidly evident that he's actually a Manipulative Bastard and is trying to instill the same skills of court intrigue in her. And he's firmly on the heroes' side.
- Goofy Print Underwear: Captain Phi of the Royal Guard has some nice ones of the love hearts variety.
- Great Big Book of Everything: Faden's spellbook. It isn't evil per se, but it does seem to dislike Tiffany and delivers information in the most insulting manner possible.Tiffany: It keeps calling me a bimbo.
Peonie: It's not calling... Hey this picture kind of looks like you. Right next to the definition of a bim... Never mind.
- Groin Attack: Typhan-Knee does not overlook hitting opponents in very sensitive areas. Some notable victims are Faden and Coriander.
- He-Man Woman Hater: Tiffany — even direct experience as a woman can't shake his prejudices.
- Heel Realization:
- Tiffany hates Teresa for several reasons: They are both under a Gender Bender spell but Teresa actually seems happy about it, the guy Tiffany tries to tell herself she's not in love with seems interested in Teresa, and both Tiffany & Teresa are equally bigoted against each other's culture. After Denver gives her the appropriate What the Hell, Hero?, Tiffany finally realizes what a Jerk she has been to Teresa.
- Later Teresa gets one as well, after Typhan-Knee explains the root of his animosity he has for her. Specifically, that Teresa having been a transwoman even before the curse, he was hoping she'd be more supportive of his current situation (Him basically being a transman now), but he didn't get that from her. As seen here and here. Also continuing Typhan-Knee's own heel realization from above, she does admit that most of his anger towards Teresa were unfounded.
- Hive Mind: Dragons and squirrels. (See "Accidental Truth" above)
- Human Sacrifice:
- What Faden apparently had planned for Peonie.
- The Fracture apparently had something like this planned for Denver too, but thankfully Tiff was able to save him (see Fractured Fairytale above).
- Hypocritical Humor: After defeating Faden, Tiffany and Peonie went to to replenish their armament and new wardrobe, resulting in a montage of very... curious outfits culminating in a Tiffany mocking the Chain Mail Bikini with its nonsensical construction and nonexistent defense capacity... This from a Barbarian Hero whose normal battle outfit was a loincloth and a sword.
- Impossible Hourglass Figure: While all the women seem to have these to an extent, Tiffany's curves temporarily get much more pronounced under the secondary effect of her curse, due to her culture's views on women.
- Impossible Insurance: Occurs here; even when you get the best of that demonic lawyer, just try cashing in that policy. When it comes to insurance companies, Failure Is the Only Option.
- Innocent Bigot: Teresa. She doesn't seem to have realised that virtually all her "compliments" towards Tiff are nearly all racist in some way, which has the effect of making her something of a Jerkass. However she does genuinely admire Tiffany to the point of calling her "one of the country's greatest heroes" and seems to consider her a close friend. This only serves to wind Tiff up even more.
- Kicking Ass in All Her Finery: or what's left of it in this panel. It also signifies when she's over the Chickification problem (as signified by her impressive physique returning)
- Legacy Character: Apparently, being the narrator results in this. May be referencing the change in writers that occurs partway through the comic.
- Leeroy Jenkins: Tiffany admits that this strategy was a bad move, albeit a typical one for her. Note it is specifically name dropped.
- Lens Flare: In the discussion with the "new narrator" at the top of the world, the glare from the sunbeam gradually takes over.
- Let Us Never Speak of This Again: Peonie asks about virgins being able to ride unicorns, and how a conquering barbarian can ride one.Tiffany: Why is it that a princess of high standing can not?Peonie: Let's... not speak of this again.Tiffany: Agreed.
- Long Hair Is Feminine: Because Tiffany's curse can further transform its victim based on their view of what femininity means, her extreme sexism causes her to temporarily become a thin, weak girl with extremely long hair. Though Character Development restores her fighting skills (and her physique), her hair remains hip-length from that point forward.
- Loss of Identity:
- Lovecraft Lite: As a fanstory, they had Exiern instead be an upbeat teenage drama for a few strips. With a tentacle abomination that takes the soul of anyone who touches it.
- Magic Music: many of the magic users in Exiern are spellsingers, which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin. Female spellsingers, due to the extreme misogyny of the local priesthood, are usually silenced. King Urtica is not a fan of this policy, though he seems to lack the power to end it completely.
- Man, I Feel Like a Woman: Referenced but subverted in this comic, when Tiffany looks down at her new equipment and says, "You know, this really should turn me on." It turned out later Typhan-Knee was an Armored Closet Gay.
- Later averted when Typhan-Knee decided to still identify as male.
- The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body: Subverted. After Tiffany appears to be succumbing to this trope, it's revealed that she's been subjected to a magical spell intended to "tame" her. The King is not pleased as "[he has] no use for weak women" .
- Missing Mom: Princess Peonie's mother has significant pause disappeared. It's one of the reasons King Urtica wants to wed Tiffany as she makes an excellent replacement mother figure for Peonie.
- Moody Mount: The Unicorn. Especially when it comes to Peonie.
- Probably due to Virgin Power. And how Peonie hasn't got any.
- Money Fetish: Just seeing a room full of gold gave Tiffany an orgasm. A few strips later and she is lying in it giggling.
- Murder Is the Best Solution: Tiffany doesn't want an escort to the dance, or to look silly by not having one so...Tiffany: But mass murder would solve the problem, right?
- Muscles Are Meaningful: Suddenly losing her biceps and abs is one of the first signs that The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body effect of Tiffany's curse has occurred, making her weak enough to hurt herself when she slaps someone, or conversely quite strong and muscular when she needs to go to town on some baddies or completely deflate the machismo of her brother.
- My Eyes Are Up Here: A naked sorceress says this to a 13 year old boy, his comeback was:
- Mythopoeia: See All There in the Manual
- Nobody Calls Me "Chicken"!: Any challenge to Tiffany's pride will result in her casting common sense to the winds to meet it, even if it is the implication she isn't feminine and ladylike enough to go to the royal ball.
- The Nudifier: The North Wind, Tiffany's sword, does this instead to her foes when she means to kill them when she really shouldn't. It even cuts off platemail.
- Only Sane Man: Peonie, and Typhan-Knee take turns at being this, depending on what the situation is.
- Only the Chosen May Ride: Tiffany's unicorn. It will only allow Tiffany to ride it, whether this is due to her status as The Chosen One (although chosen for what, no one quite knows) — as revealed in The Wild North story-arc — or whether it is due to the traditional qualification for unicorns (something that would definitely disqualify Princess Peonie), we just do not know. Tiff and Peonie bring it up.Peonie: I learned that unicorns can only be ridden by those of pure virtue!Tiffany: So?Peonie: Why is it then that a conquering barbarian can ride one?Tiffany: Why is it that a princess of high standing can not? [gives a giant smile]Tiffany: Agreed.
- Orphaned Etymology: the world of Exiern contains "yaoi porn", "bandaids", and "Hallmark Cards" (Though the reference to that last one included "whatever that is", implying that the speaker was getting outside information due to his unusual condition. Leeroy Jenkins is also name dropped.
- Our Dragons Are Different: Besides sharing a type of Hive Mind, they also start their lives looking like ordinary humans until they become a kind of hybrid in their adolescence before becoming part of the Dragon Collective when fully grown. They also seem to possess minor shapeshifting and size-shifting abilities.
- Poisonous Captive: This was Faden's entire schtick. Captured a couple of strips in, spent almost the entire time in captivity, and still proved to be an effective villain the entire time
- Praetorian Guard: The King's Personal Guards. They have big scary armour, Really Big Magical Swords and most tellingly, have been the only people in the comic to outfight Tiffany, managing to knock her out and throw her in a jail.
- Prophecy Twist: Turned on its head in that the prophecy is revealed after the fact, but Tiffany's sword turns out to be the legendary North Wind, a blade that will never fail its wielder. Meaning among other things that it will deliberately throw fights if it views them to not be in its wielder's best interest.
- Punny Name: Neils and Bhors, as Those Two Guys.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning:
- Reset Button: One story arc had a big buildup about Tiffany changing personality and losing abilities due to Internalized Categorism. As this plotline progressed, the author got bored with his work and quit. The new author quickly inserted a quick Epiphany Therapy (delivered by a bitchslap to the head, no less) and then moved on to a completely different plotline.
- The Rival: Tiffany and Teresa eventually evolve into this relationship, especially where Denver is concerned.Later, they move past this once Denver is out of the picture.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Urtica is a very busy working monarch who starts off as a playful tyrant, but it quickly becomes clear he is deeply burdened by the hard choices he has to make for his country and family. Peonie really wants to not be a working princess though, and is desperate to avoid the trap of duty and retain her freedom to have adventures.
- Running Gag: We have the squirrels, the "infectious" spell, the tendency for clothes to fall off for the flimsiest reasons, Denver's recitations of Exiernian law, and the "Doom"-ifying guy.
- Scary Shiny Glasses: Denver breaks them out here, as he transitions from nerdish bookworm, to guy who makes the laws of magic his bitch..
- Sdrawkcab Name: "Drowemos" has nothing to do with elves and even less to do with whiny failed goth wannabes; in fact, it was just a sarcastic response to someone who suggested he pick "some word" as a pen name.
- Set Swords to "Stun": The King's Praetorian Guard actually can do this, their BFS are shown crackling with magic and the next comic has Tiff waking up in a cell with a headache. Turns out Tiffany's sword can be unknowingly non-lethal despite her attempts if that'd be better off for her.
- Shameful Strip: Turns up too many times to count, but always Played for Laughs. Wyll-Line attempts to invoke this when trying to avoid a duel with Tiff by saying honor duels are to be done bare-chested... but Tiff has none of it, doffs her armor and undergarment, and calls him out on his chauvinism anyway.
- With a literal shout:Tiffany: "Did you just hit me? In the hall? With a candlestick? YOU COULD KILL SOMEONE DOING THAT!!!"
- Drow has also mentioned that the northern barbarians worship a god known as "Ash, the One-Handed".
- The king's bodyguards are named Niels and Bohrs.
- In one strip titled "A Link to the Past" has Typh say "Excuse me, Princess" to Peonie.
- The Sea Cleaver passes by a modern ship stranded on an ice flow. It has the shape of a Cannon-class destroyer escort and a Greek flag and hull number 54, which corresponds to the Leon (D54), formerly the USS Eldridge allegedly involved with The Philadelphia Experiment.
- With a literal shout:
- Sick Captive Scam: Referenced, where the guard has the key taken from him because he's already considering the necessity of opening the cell if the prisoner is sick.
- Speech-Bubble Censoring: The sound effects usually cover up anything too revealing; the comic will then include an offer to buy the uncensored picture.
- Standard Hero Reward: Played with: Ok, so maybe Princess Peonie can't marry Tiffany. But King Daddy sure can!
- Stripperiffic: All of Peony's outfits, even when they logically shouldn't be.Tiffany: "How...how did you manage to make heavy fur look slutty?"
- Supernaturally-Validated Trans Person:
- Zig-Zagged with Typhan-Knee/Tiffany, Depending on the Writer. Drowemos wrote her as quite literally a straight woman who merely remembers being a straight man. Dan Standing changed this to Typhan-Knee having been either a gay man or a trans woman, who was then transformed into a cis woman. Scott Hicken seems to have gone the other direction, treating him/her as a de facto trans man: still gay, but with a male gender identity.
- One (but just one) of the Gender Bent priests seems quite thrilled by the prospects of his newfound femininity. (The rest find his/her reaction to be extremely annoying.)
- Sure, Let's Go with That: Drowemos admits to it having happened at least twice, once in response to reader demand, once because of a divergence between the script and the art.
- Tactful Translation: A few times when Peony reads things for Tiffany.
- Tempting Fate:
- Neils finds out that saying your luck is getting better is just the cue for a more painful next encounter.
- After Tiff rescues Denver, both of them say they need to find Peonie before she gets into trouble. Immediately, without even a Beat Panel, an ear-splitting shriek fills the air.
- Lampshaded in the title of this strip.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Tiff lets the so-called southern "civilizations" and their convoluted laws have it here.
- Those Two Guys: The king's Guardsmen Neils and Bhors.
- Time Skip: One of at least two months seems to occur after this page.
- Tomato Surprise: Denver is actually a larval dragon, a fact that Tiffany found out when she found Denver's half-transformed sister. Denver does not yet know.
- Transformation Comic
- Trans Equals Gay: Denver tries to invoke this when Tiffany finally reveals that she was gay before her Gender Bender but Tiffany's Death Glare makes it plain she's having none of it.Denver: Well, at least now that you're a woman, that sorts out your other issues...right?
Tiffany: You think it's that simple, do you?
(The rest find his/her reaction to be extremely annoying.)
- Unicorn: Its "purity" helps Tiffany resist Faden's magic, thankfully Tiff doesn't seem to have worked out the implications of that. Said unicorn has also helped Peonie on several occasions, but recoils from her touch... again, for obvious reasons.
- Unstoppable Rage: The northern barbarians call it "going pyro".
- Villainy-Free Villain: Teresa. Is the opposition for Denver's hand, and also is comfortable and pleased with her transformation into a woman. To balance out her having to endure a near constant stream of insults (including accusations of paedophilia) from Tiffany because of this, she is thankfully a snob and a bit (unwittingly) racist, so we can all feel comfortable hating her.
- What a Piece of Junk: North Wind a legend among the northern barbarians, is a blade with the power to "never fail its wielder". In reality, it is an unassuming longsword with absolutely no ornamentation whatsoever that nevertheless is imbued with powerful magic. It's done things such as render its blows nonlethal despite Tiffany's lethal intent when killing would be an immensely bad idea for her (such as when she tried to take the sword to King Urtica).
- Wham Episode: Set up by this◊ two-pager and discussed by the author here, which begins the revelation that Typhan-knee was homosexual.
- What Measure Is a Mook?: Pip and Ce; Ctyx and Mira. In general, Drowemos doesn't seem keen on throwing away incidental characters.
- White Magic: In theory this is the Church of Rem's domain, but it doesn't seem to have the power or popularity of it's dark counterpart.
- Wounded Gazelle Warcry: Mira saves her boyfriend Ctyx by letting him save her. A big scary guard is threatening to kill him, but his fear does not trigger his Superpowered Evil Side. And thus she draw the guard's attention to herself, sobbing for mercy and everything - turning Ctyx's fear into the rage he need to activate his powers.
- Your Size May Vary: Throughout the comic, Tiffany's height changes. Some instances could be played off as perspective, but often times, it's obvious she has become shorter.
- Zero-Approval Gambit: The Ash Tribe shaman insists he take the blame for his mate's insane revenge plot to pit Typhan-Knee and Wyll-Line against each other, to ensure that Wyll's reactionary enemies can't use the whole sordid affair to derail his surprisingly progressive and prosperous reign as chieftan. This involves execution, sadly, much to the lament of Wyll.