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Webcomic / Impure Blood

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Impure Blood is a fantasy webcomic featuring Roan, a not entirely human enslaved gladiator known as The Abomination, who is given a chance to escape by joining a quest. Caspian, who masterminds Roan's escape, is in conflict with most of the powers that be in their world, including his own father. Meanwhile, Caspian's servants Dara and Elnor have agendas of their own. In a world where humans have supplanted a magical race known as the Ancients, can there a place for those who are part human and part Ancient, or are they forever cursed — or blessed — by their Impure Blood?

Starts here. The comic concluded in October 2017 after sixteen chapters and three hundred and ninety pages.


Tropes included

  • Amazon Chaser: Jaem, towards Dara. A magnificent Crush Blush when he says she shouldn't hide her eyes suggests that it could be reciprocated.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Caspian is an inversion. Practically none of his features would look out of place on an African character except for the pale color of his skin. It reminds a thoughtful reader how much a "white is normal" attitude underlies the very concept of the ambiguously brown trope.
  • Bizarre Sexual Dimorphism: Second hand. Crossbreeds with ancient blood on their father's side inherit psychic powers. Those with ancient blood on their mother's side inherit enormous size and strength. Those who inherit ancient blood from both parents inherit both.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: Shows up on one of the pit fighters Roan dispatches in the first few pages.
  • Blue Blood: Caspian, presumably along with the rest of the Watchers. Dara, who has the bluest blood of all.
  • Blood Magic: Ancient blood powers most of the setting's Magitek gadgets. A villain appears to have the ability to teleport by dripping blood on the ground.
  • Bothering by the Book: Caspian uses his father's own laws against him.
  • Boxed Crook: Roan, though he's more of a victim than a crook.
  • Breaking the Fellowship: The crew is on the verge of breaking up by the end of chapter 14, as depicted symbolically on page 324:
    • Dara has run off and joined up with Auhle
    • Kaleb is dead, leaving them in the dark as to what to do next.
    • Elnor is torn among her mixed allegiances.
    • Roan is openly wondering why he isn't supporting Auhle. He's also learned that Elnor's contract has been changed from "protect the princess" to "terminate the princess."
    • Jaem thinks they have to do something and is at odds with Roan's "What's in it for me?" attitude.
    • Kaspian is frustrated by the whole situation and worried about being overwhelmed
    • No one is paying any attention to Mac, who is the only one with a chance of working things out.
  • Bullying a Dragon: At least one of Dara's fellow apprentice monks goes out of his way to torment her.
  • The Caper: Roan's escape
  • Chiaroscuro: During an underwater escape.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Elnor is playing at least three ends against the middle, though it hasn't come to an open break yet.
  • Condemned Contestant: Roan wasn't just a gladiator, he was a gladiatorial executioner, forced to fight condemned criminals to the death
  • Cool Car: Caspian's dieselpunk caravan, especially in Mac's eyes.
  • Cool Airship: Another sign of the vaguely dieselpunk aesthetic.
  • Covered with Scars: Roan
  • Cue the Sun: Roan, naturally, escapes just in time for the sunrise time limit.
  • The Dandy: Caspian, who is almost never seen without his top hat, vest, coat and cane, even in a desert.
  • Dark Action Girl: Elnor, of the amoral assassin variety, in contrast to Dara's action girl. Ironically, Elnor is the blonde one.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Roan's mother was murdered when he was enslaved.
  • Dark Is Evil: Played straight with the golems, inverted for the Big Bad whose pale appearance belies the darkness in his soul.
  • Decapitated Army: A golem army that literally falls to pieces when their leader quits the scene.
  • Deep Sleep: Roan, after his rescue.
  • Disappeared Dad: Dara's reason for joining the quest.
  • Dirty Coward: Most of the Watchers, Mithlin especially
  • Divided We Fall: Caspian tries this argument on the other Watchers, it doesn't get him much.
  • The Dog Bites Back: A subdued version, but Roan doesn't lift a finger to help Olgosto.
    Mac: Aren't we on his side?
    Roan: He's not on my side.
  • Doomed Hometown: Twin Pass gets completely wiped out shortly after the cast moves on.
  • Dramatic Wind: And lots of long hair and capes to take advantage of it
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Roan, all the time.
    • Dara, after the guy she just saved from a golem sneaks up behind her and bashes her over the head with a pipe.
  • Dynamic Entry: Dara boards a sinking boat by jumping out of a zeppelin, sliding down the mast until she can catch a loose halyard and swinging down to the deck.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Can't get much more embarrassing than "The Abomination", especially when you've done nothing to deserve it.
  • Evil Lawyer Joke: The section Roan is initially held in includes Gladiators, Murderers, Thieves, Rapists, and Lawyers.
  • Eye Color Change: Dara's are blue when she's calm, but go Red Eyes, Take Warning and Supernatural Gold Eyes given the proper triggers.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Dara joins up with Auhle after she's had her fill of rejection.
    • Roan fakes one to convince Auhle to reveal the location of his base.
  • Fangirl: Mac is Roan's biggest fan.
  • Fantastic Racism: Against anyone with Ancient blood, hence the title. ironically, magical potency is directly correlated to the purity of their ancient blood
  • For Science!: Kaleb Karrigan, who is very interested in the Magitek applications of Ancient blood, and less so in trivial matters like societal approval and his test subjects' consent.
  • Flechette Storm: Elnor carries enough throwing knives to take out a whole birthday party's worth of city guardsman.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Olgosto, by virtue of being something of a snob, even to those he travels with even if he should really know better.
  • Fruit Cart: Played straight as Roan's last obstacle during his escape.
  • Gambit Pileup: Caspian and Dara are not the only ones seeking the last Ancient, and some of the Watchers are working at cross purposes. Elnor has her own agenda, as do the smugglers, the Regent, the Rebellion and The Big Bad. All of them are set collide in Eldendore in the runup to the princess' 18th Birthday.
  • The Gambling Addict: Those who do not pay up their debts may find themselves in the games.
  • Genki Girl: Mac
  • Gentle Giant: Roan, despite all the horror that's been inflicted upon him.
  • Great Escape: The uprising in Eldendore was supposed to start by freeing all of the part-ancient political prisoners held in the tower. Unfortunately the Rebellion is just a bunch of opportunists who aren't interested in holding up their side of the deal—so our heroes go ahead and spring everyone themselves. (The Rebellion comes to their sense later.)
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Roan, half human and half ancient. Dara is too. Others they meet along the way have lesser proportions of ancient ancestry. They later learn that a large proportion of humanity actually have some degree of ancient blood.
  • In Harm's Way: They all have different motives, but they all go more-or-less willingly
  • In the Blood: Roan was condemned for his ancient ancestry, not for any crime he actually committed
  • In the End, You Are on Your Own: Roan firmly believes this due to his tragic backstory
  • Innocently Insensitive: Mac just can't get it through her head that all of her fangirling over Roan's past as a "Warrior for Justice" just rubs more salt into his wounds.
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing: Caspian initially makes a point of referring to Roan as "it". He gets better as Roan earns his respect.
  • It's All About Me: Caspian, at least until he meets antagonists that are even more self-centered. The rest of the Watchers are even worse.
  • I Warned You: Caspian tried to tell the Watchers, but they just wouldn't listen.
  • Just in Time: Roan makes it through the city gates just as the sun comes up.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Roan. Given his backstory, can you blame him?
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: One of Dara's powers. If she tells you "forget it" it's not just a figure of speech.
  • Last of His Kind: The point of the quest. Caspian and Dara (who, like Roan, is a half-blood) are searching for the last pure Ancient.
  • Leader: Dara is the true leader of the group. Caspian doesn't like it.
  • Leg Cling: Mac to Roan — it's in the middle of the fight and they are after her, not him — she's trying to hide.
  • Leonine Contract: Here.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang!: Elnor holds off the guard and Dara takes care of the gatekeepers while Roan makes for the gate.
  • Little Stowaway: Mac stows aboard Mithlin's zeppelin on the way back to Turien, though she's not little so much as immature.
  • The Load: Mac, almost to Just Eat Gilligan levels. Subverted later when ultimate victory hinges on her problem solving skills.
  • Loophole Abuse: Elnor arranges with Caspian's father to get herself and Dara wounded as a way out of her contract. We later learn that this specifically won't get her out of her contract, so what's her game?. Unfortunately, her attempt at loopholing the Assassin's Guild ends up backfiring on her.
  • Made a Slave:
    • Roan's backstory. He wasn't born in captivity, and he did not volunteer for his lot in life.
    • Caspian "bought" Dara and Elnor at a pirate auction, though it's really hard to imagine either of them being captured by pirates unless they wanted to be.
  • Then Let Me Be Evil: Auhle practically glories in "Then let me be evil". Dara is wavering on this after a series of rejections. Her willingness to swear a blood oath to Auhle indicates that Evil is currently winning.
  • The Medic: Elnor, believe it or not.
  • Messy Hair: Elnor again, and it always covers one eye.
  • The Mole: Elnor is sending secret messages to Caspian's father Oglosto.
  • Mugging the Monster:
    • Attacking Caspian is unwise.
    • Picking a fight with Roan is even more unwise
  • Mundane Utility: Dara uses her powers to end an argument by "convincing" the other party.
  • Mysterious Past: Roan and Dara. Neither of them like to talk about it.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: The "Montebank King"'s obsession with Ancients (in particular, Roan) allows the members of the Rebellion to escape and regroup.
  • The Nose Knows: Roan smells Dara's approach.
  • Not Evil, Just Misunderstood: Roan is hardly the remorseless killer "The Abomination" implies.
  • Not-So-Omniscient Council of Bickering: The Watchers can't agree on any course of action, which led Caspian to strike out on his own. Later we see why: they all insist on talking but none of them ever bothers to listen.
  • Odd-Shaped Panel: used for action scenes.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise:
    • As if Roan's incredible bulk didn't make him stand out enough already, he has to spend some time walking around in this.
    • Lampshaded later when another part-ancient tells him that most people are willing to ignore such differences and get along if you just give them an excuse.
  • Peek-a-Bangs: Only one of Elnor's eyes is typically visible at any one time. It's not always the same one, though.
  • Phlebotinum Breakdown: All Ancient-based technology is gradually failing.
  • Pink Elephants: Escaping through the city, they pass a drunk who may have seen something that wasn't there.
  • Pintsized Powerhouse: Dara is the shortest of the main characters, but she really kicks butt thanks to her training and her Ancient blood.
  • Plausible Deniability: Caspian's objective in using Dara and Elnor to engineer Roan's escape.
  • Post-Victory Collapse: Roan collapses after he makes it out the gate.
  • Power Glows: Especially when it's Dara's eyes.
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: "Right Then. Four for me, eight for you?"
  • Precursors: The Ancients.
  • Professional Killer: Elnor is an assassin, though she's currently contracted as Dara's bodyguard. She finds this tedious as Dara is an Action Girl raised by warrior monks who doesn't need much guarding.
  • The Promise: See I Gave My Word above.
  • Psychic Powers: Dara has them, although the full extent of them isn't yet known.
  • The Quest: Caspian and Dara are trying to find the last pure Ancient, albeit for different reasons. The others are just hired muscle (Elnor), highjacked muscle (Roan) and a Fangirl (Mac) along for the ride.