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Webcomic / Looking for Group

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Cale: Richard, we need to go back in time. For all of us you need to open the portal. We can't do this without you. We need your help.
Benny: Foolish elf, Richard doesn't do this for us! He doesn't travel at our side because he cares or secretly desires companionship. He joined us for the opportunity for destruction, the pleasure of killing - And most likely out of boredom.

Looking For Group was a fantasy Webcomic by Ryan Sohmer and Lar DeSouza, the creative team behind Least I Could Do and the Blind Ferret Entertainment animation studio. It borrows from classic Dungeons & Dragons conventions and World of Warcraft to tell an original story.

The main character is Cale'Anon Vatay, an elf who yearns to be a just and good hero. Unfortunately, in the LFG world, elves are Always Chaotic Evil. However, this is something that Cale is not aware of until told to go forth and do heroic stuff by his monastery, after which he meets an undead warlock named Richard, who is the embodiment of pure Chaotic Evil. Seemingly out of boredom, Richard decides not to kill Cale outright but to accompany the elf and watch him anguish over his existence and antagonize him whenever possible.

Shortly after meeting Richard, Cale is killed (guess who did that) and Richard helped him seek out a priest to resurrect him. Enter Benn'Joon, an unknown race priestess who, while more pragmatic than evil, has about as few qualms as Richard. She agrees to raise Cale for help with her pursuers in the King's Legion (who are also evil). Benny's adoptive father, a minotaur scholar named Krunch, also joins with them.

Then they set on their quest: Cale to restore goodness and honor to his race, Benny to pay off her debt to the legion, Krunch to learn the secrets of the ancients that can help with both their goals, and Richard... well, he just likes to kill things, and following these guys around seems to afford him plenty of opportunities for a little carnage.

As the group progresses, the story arc continues to get more detailed. Suffice to say, it is too interesting and vivid to be revealed here. The comic was officially retired as of August 31, 2023, so read it and enjoy!

This webcomic was being made into a feature film by Blind Ferret that was due out in 2008, according to Sohmer. The trailer is available here. However, the efforts fell into Development Hell for several years, before being reworked as an animated series funded via Kickstarter.

Looking For Group provides examples of:

  • Affectionate Parody:
    • The Sword of Truth is used as a MacGuffin. Richard calls the weapon useless, but the writer has admitted he rather likes the books.
    • The webcomic probably counts as an Affectionate Parody of the fantasy genre in general, considering how often The Lord of the Rings and similar works are quoted and lampooned.
    • It seems like the comic is getting ready to parody 300, with a battle involving less than three hundred men to stop the Legion.
      High Engineer: Between our respective honor guards and a few bloodrage, we're looking at a total force of less than three hundred.
      Commander: Three hundred men.
      High Engineer: Less than three hundred. And only about half are men.
      Commander: Three hundred to stop the legion from building a portal.
      High Engineer: You're not listening.
      Commander: The bulk of our army is around the city itself. Gather the three hundred!
      High Engineer: Please stop rounding up.
  • Aerith and Bob: Cale, Pella, Krunch, and... Richard.
  • Always Chaotic Evil:
    • Elves are supposed to all be Chaotic Evil in this world. Cale has chosen to be Chaotic Good. Long ago, there were plenty of non-evil elves, but a faction called the Vullii who became religiously devoted to evil forced all of the other Elvish nations to join them or be put to the sword. The surviving non-evil elves were forced to go into hiding and remain a minority.
    • For demons, Bad Is Good and Good Is Bad. Should a demon be suspected of good, or even indifference, they are put to trial.
  • Amusing Injuries: Inflicted to and/or by Richard, and many others.
  • And I Must Scream: Tavor is trapped in ice, presumably for all eternity, since he's immortal. The ice is also on fire.
    • To top it off, Richard melts his head off afterward.
  • And Show It to You: Richard takes this as a joke.
    Richard: The look on your face when a toddler rips out your heart and shows it to you: priceless.
  • Animate Dead
    Richard: In case you weren't sure, the skeletons are on our side.
    • He's also mayor of a small village whom he has made undead.
  • Annoying Arrows: Richard has been shot at with arrows by just about everyone with a bow, including Cale. Repeatedly. He has also been pinned to a ship's mast with arrows, been shot in the back with arrows, and had an arrow through his head when being "tortured." Seeing as how he's already dead he usually just plucks them out on his own so long as they aren't stuck... but, y'know... annoying.
    • Taken to the logical extreme when, since they're having a hard time removing an arrow from Richard, Cale just draws his bow and fires the arrow, with Richard STILL ATTACHED.
    • When an arrow actually hurts and draws blood, Richard realizes he needs to recharge his Nigh-Invulnerability.
    • Later, Richter and his legion of the undead have become mortal. Cale, who by this point has gotten used to using Richard or any other nearby undead ally as a meat shield against arrows, is having troubleadjusting to this.
  • Anti-Hero: Cale'Anon, an elf who tries to go against his evil heritage and be good (similarities to Drizz't Do'Urden are coincidental according to the author) despite being surrounded by amoral characters.
    • It seems that since they realized Cale's similarities to Drizzt, Cale's been used to parody said drow on several occasions.
  • Apologetic Attacker: The Knight of the Way getting ready to slit Cale's throat, on behalf of Princess Leena, in 933.
  • Apple of Discord: While Richard's probably got a thousand and one reasons to turn on the party by now, it's the Book of Innocence that invokes this trope for real, especially since we've learned by now that Richard may have his reasons.
  • Armor-Piercing Response: When the Elder Dragon tells Cale that the Archmage always intended for him to rule Kethenecia, Cale coldly responds, "Maybe he shouldn't have killed my wife." After a Beat, the Elder admits he has no idea what to say to that.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking:
    • "You killed our father!" "You made him use a tired cliché!"
    • When Richard fully regains his memories, Cale suggests they should talk.
      Richard: Talk about what? How everything I knew was false? How I got caught up in my father's machinations? How I earned my power by failing my brother? How I'm female? How my choice of warddrobe borrows heavily from a doll?
      Cale: Let's start with that last one.
    • Happens in reverse order when Cale gets brought to the demon court and is charged with not knowing the words of popular songs and vanquishing evil.
  • Artifact of Doom: Richard becomes one.
    Adviser: Did the crown just laugh?
    Richard/Crown: No.
    • The next page has him called "the Crown of Doom", to which he reacts by saying he likes where it is goingnote .
  • Artificial Limbs: Ray'd Bool gets one to replace the arm that the enemy took off.
  • Art Evolution: Compare the first comic to whatever the most current one is.
  • Ascended Meme: Fans of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic joked that Richard's battle-cry "For Pony" means he is a brony. Some of the official merch capitalizes on this.
  • Author Appeal: Fathers loving their children in spite of the mother being evil, crazy, cold, or distant is a recurring theme in this comic, as well as Ryan Sohmer's other works.
  • Author Tract: Relatively brief, but certainly brings up real world politics here.
  • Back from the Dead: Tavor and Leena.
    • Subverted with the king of Gamlon. Turns out it was just an illusion.
  • Badass Boast: By Richard. Here.
    • And by Sooba, here. "You think you know me."
    • Another splendid exemple by Richard here. "I have power EVERYWHERE.", especially just after being told "You have no power here."
  • Badass Normal: The enemy commander. Also a Four-Star Badass. It would appear he is no longer the Enemy Commander.
  • Balance Between Good and Evil: Pella uses the shards of the Sword of Truth to forge a pair of new swords she names as "Good" and "Evil". She described Cale as the balance between them.
  • Battle Cry: "FOR GAMLON!!" "With me!"
    • "FOR PONY!!"
  • Berserk Button: Do NOT call 'Gid' an abomination near Krunch.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Even after he Took a Level in Badass, Cale is a very nice, idealistic elf. But if he has to, he will now send his Token Evil Teammate to blow up a mountain. Also, he was trained to fight large groups of warriors while unarmed and blindfolded.
  • Big Bad: Aelloon is certainly building himself up to be one. Tavor is a close second.
    • Dragon-in-Chief: Aellon considers himself an agent of the King of Legara, who hasn't been seen in decades.
    • Confirmed when we learn that the King is very much active and it's Tavor.
    • Then it turns out that Aellon wins the civil war following Tavor's death and succeeds him as King of Legara.
    • As of strip 781, the real Big Bad is, and apparently always has been, the Archmage. Everything bad that's happened so far was a result of the Archmage's plans to make Cale into the king the Archmage wanted him to be.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Subverted as the main characters arrive with reinforcements too late to save the Northern Army.
    • Played straight with Krunch's entrance.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: This strip of Richard breaking into song, along with several other character, and Cale noting In-Universe that it had absolutely nothing to do with their quest.
  • Big "NO!": Cale does this when he sees his wife kissing a rival.
    "...Can we all agree he ran away like a little girl?" "Aye." "Moving on..."
  • The Blacksmith: Pella. The series also adheres to the tradition that smithing is to be expected from dwarves.
  • Blithe Spirit: Cale has dedicated himself to ridding the world of evil. It is not going too well. He gets to be a king though, so no sweat, the plot's getting somewhere.
    • A nice bit of coincidence is that the greatest evil he ever met is the guy whom he spends all his time with.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Yup, Pella again. She cuts people's hands off to break the ice... and it works.
    • For Richard, anyway. Who knows what would happen if she tried that on a living thing like Cale...
  • Book Ends: The comic began with Cale shouting "Greetings, World!" as he sets out for adventure. The comic ends with Richard shouting "Greetings, World!" as he welcomes the damned as the new ruler of Hell.
  • Born in the Wrong Century: Cale believes he is this after traveling back in time to a kingdom of elves that shared his ideals. It says something when Pella, who is actually in the wrong century, fits in and knows what things are like better.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: Multiple strips:
    • 187: Hospital, Home for the aged, veterinarian, home for foun(dlings?) and or(phans?), Hospital for old age people, with pets, who have no parents who love them.
    • 938:
      Assassin 1: What kind of a fish was it?
      Tuna Trout?
      Assassin 2: He's an avid fisherman with very limited access to good fishing spots.
  • Break the Cutie: Good lord, has Cale been thoroughly broken. His master makes him think his wife, Shora, left him for another man and then, apparently, kills her to ensure that Cale has nothing to come back to and essentially force him to become a force for good. Then he has to kill an innocent child to return to his own time and ensure the survival of Kethenica. And this is only the tip of the iceberg.
  • Brick Joke: Richard introduces himself by his numerous titles, and at the way end he mentions he's "mayor of a little town up the coast." Guess which town becomes a major plot element much later?
    • Could also be Chekhov's Gun, as seen below.
    • While making a series of jokes about how many people seem to know the group in such a big world, a strange man rides up on an improbable steed and says he has a letter for Cale. It's relevant much later.
    • The Sword of Truth and the Fork of Truth.
    • The first time Cale visits the capital, he comments on the lack of a towering dungeon, which Benny says that the king "didn't want his precious skyline marred". Fast-forward to 486 and the story of how Tavor became king...
  • Bulletproof Human Shield:
    • This happens very early, but rather than a hero using Mooks, the Token Evil Team Mate-to-be Richard smugly drags an innocent peasant into the path of several of Cale's arrows (even though he wouldn't be killed by them anyway, being undead), and enjoys the expression on his face when he realises he's killed an innocent. He even suggests going after the son and wife to make the complete set.
    • Much later in the series Cale does this himself using Maikos. It gets hilariously lampshaded. Just because he's undead doesn't mean he can't feel pain
      Maikos: You had time to grab me and put me in front of you? Why would you not use that time to dodge?
    • Even more hilarious in that Cale doesn't do it once, but twice.
      Cale: What's wrong with me!?
  • Bullying a Dragon: Benny decides that she's had enough of Richard's seemingly spontaneous violent outbursts and is going to make him stop. She is quickly dissuaded of this notion.
  • Butt-Monkey: Cale before he Took a Level in Badass.
    • The gnomes, often with fatal results.
    • Richard at times, but at least he can survive pretty much everything that literally gets thrown at him.
  • The Caligula: Richard, though the citizens of his town are pretty used to it and are thus incredibly jaded towards dangerous situations. This is, of course, because they are already dead.
    • It's somewhat implied that they enjoy it by now.
  • Call-Back: So very many. You have Richard the mayor, "Chicken!", The Fork of Truth, the letter for Cale...
    • Early in the comic, Richard has his special "pillaging shovel" (gem-encrusted trowel). He later gives it to Cale. Much later, a vision of Richard as a child shows him planting flowers with a trowel.
    • Remember when Richard blew up one of the moons? Turns out you can still see its remains at night.
  • Calling Your Attacks: This.
  • The Cavalry: A villainous example here.
  • Came Back Wrong: In one of the early strips, Ben'joon warns that this could happen to Cale when resurrecting him from being incinerated, and if she had cast Revive on his ashes with the centipede Richard had slipped in there still... well... in there, most certainly would have.
  • The Cameo:
  • Can't Stand Them, Can't Live Without Them: Parodied.
    Richard: Women.
    Cale: Yeah.
    Richard: Why are any of them still alive?
    Cale: That's a little bit extreme.
    Richard: You may be right.
    Richard: What are your thoughts on penning them up to use for mating and the creation of snacks?
  • Card-Carrying Villain: "I am Richard! Chief Warlock of the Brothers of Darkness, Lord of the Thirteen Hells, Master of the Bones, Emperor of the Black, Lord of the Undead..."
    • Lord of the Dance...
    • The Mistress of Magma...
    • ...and the mayor of a little village up the coast. Very scenic during springtime. You should visit sometime."
      • No, you probably shouldn't... Cale eventually works out that whenever he gets bored, Richard uses the village to commit acts of unspeakable evil.
    • Turns out Richard HAS to be this, as committing atrocities is the only thing that keeps him from reverting to human form and losing his powers.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: Dorel practices his the middle of invading the King's fortress.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: In the first volume's intro, Sohmer tells that the first episode of the comic was written and drawn as a World of Warcraft parody, but the makers realized the potential of their own fantasy world, so from the second strip on the story starts going in its own direction. Nowadays Richard serves as the main source of comedy, with the other characters only occasionally delivering a punchline.
  • Character Development: Cale and Richard getting most of it. Which it is depends on your point of view.
    • Richard did like to kill things, and we all saw what happened with that little boy and his village. And Richard's rabbit, though who knows if that was real compassion or just manipulation. But then again, he did heal Cale's neck when it was slashed.
    • In-Universe, done deliberately to Cale's wife so that he would leave her behind and begin wandering.
  • Chekhov's Gun: In the early days of the comic, Richard introduced himself as "Chief Warlock of the Brothers of Darkness, Lord of the Thirteen Hells, Master of the Bones, Emperor of the Black, Lord of the Undead, and the mayor of a little village up the coast". Think it's just an Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking joke? Think again ...
    • The Sword of Truth appears to have been an early aborted story line once the writer found a more worthy plot for his webcomic... until it turns out that there actually WAS a purpose for it that just hadn't been revealed until much later.
    • A later strip has The Phares come back as the only guards on a direct road into the city.
    • And then there is Richard's trial. Needless to say, when supernatural beings hold court, make sure you listen to every single word, especially during your sentence.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: 70 pages before he's introduced Hctib Elttil is given a throw away line from Richard.
    • The Rakkuns... or they would be if Richard hadn't already killed them all.
  • Chekhov's Army: "Did you do as I asked with the women and children ?" "Yes, my lord, but the catapult could only fire four of them at a time." Nothing unusual coming from Richard now, right ? Indeed, think about those poor helpless soldiers who've been "taken care of" (read: brutally butchered) by women and children who came raining on them.
  • Children Are Innocent: Invoked by a small boy who prays with Richard. Then the innocent child Cale kills turns out to be the Archmage in disguise. The innocence that had to be killed was Cale's, to badass him up.
    • The lost and frightened little girl in the middle of the battle in Richard's little town up the coast that a compassionate soldier picks up. And quickly regrets; see Enfant Terrible below.
  • City of Plot Advancement: Kethenecia.
    Cale: It always comes back to Kethenecia, doesn't it?
  • Collector of the Strange: Richard's bear arms, shovel of pillaging, kidney hat...
    • Cale's group: in order of appearance - the omnicidal undead warlock, the female priestess of unknown race raised by minotaurs, her father, and the warrior-bard dwarf... who is a time-traveler from the distant past.
  • Comically Invincible Hero: Richard. Well, okay, he's not a hero, but he is on their team, views fatal injuries as flesh wounds (Usually), is incredibly powerful, and kills off enemies with ease. Hilariously. And he's not only undead but 'survived' several attempts to seal that deal, also hilariously.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Richard... overhears Cale and Benny in the woods. Richard thinks he's killing her, and offers to help bury the body. Probably justified by Richard's Lack of Empathy.
  • Convection, Schmonvection: Richard, being an undead cloaked in robes has no trouble at all fighting a Magma Elemental and even decapitates it. Then again, he's a warlock, so he probably has some trick up his sleeve.
  • Crapsack World: Even with the Black Humor comedy sense, that world is a mess: Villagers eat their children, a kid lures adults to kill them, backstabbers of backstabbers and torturers that escape justice. It's so bad that the group made of a Omnicidal Maniac warlock, a mercenary type priest with a ruthlessly pragmatic Tauren father with anger issues, a dwarf who kills for fun and a Token Good Teammate elf who still plans genocide on the enemy, are the good guys. And not in a Designated Hero way, they are this world's best hope for a better future because they don't always want to hurt people.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Maikos and the entire town he's from.
  • Crowd Song: This seems to happen with frighteningly regular occurrence.
  • Cruel Twist Ending: The NPC story, The Liveliest of Convexes, reveals that the incident in which Richard's headless body made a bunch of people happy and celebrate was actually just the Dying Dream of an orphan boy who, along with his entire village, perished bloodily at the hands of bandits.
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: As revealed in the 298th comic, The Sisters' religion appears to be based on the Abrahmic faiths... Only, it has Adonai/Allah/God replaced with a bunny.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Later strips are dragging these out. We see Richard as a Cheerful Child in a flashback, and it turns out Cale had a wife who he presumably caught cheating on him.
  • Daddy's Girl: As much as they snark at each other, Krunch would never let anything happen to Benny if he could help it, and Benny is willing to support Cale's possibly hopeless cause because he refused to acknowledge that her father was probably dead.
  • Day in the Limelight: The spin-off comic NPC serves this purpose for various secondary characters.
  • Dead Guy Puppet: Richard not only makes a Dead Guy Puppet but also sings about it in Slaughter Your World.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • Benny and Tavor, usually with Cale on the receiving end (he's just such an easy target for sarcasm.)
    • Cale's starting to become one too.
      Commander Kickass: Did you know Aelloon is my son?
      Cale: You must be so proud.
  • Death Is Cheap: Used inconsistently. When the comic is trying to be funny, bringing someone back to life is pretty easy. When the comic is trying to be dramatic, bringing someone back to life is impossible. This is best illustrated here, when Benny talks about her fiancé (who was Killed Off for Real via decapitation) while bringing her fiancé's father back to life by regrowing his head from nothing. She brings him back to life so she can kill him again.
    • Averted with Krunch's apparently irreversible death, despite it being perhaps the least destructive death in the series. He was 'just' stabbed. But his soul had been out of his body for too long. It was too late to bring him back.
  • Detonation Moon: In this strip. While there are other moons, Richard seems to have done this for no reason. Cale is horrified; Richard wants a high five.
  • Deus Exit Machina: Richard is occasionally sidelined so the rest of the cast has to get along without his Story-Breaker Power.
  • Didn't See That Coming: The Archmage notes that the destruction of the Bloodrage Stronghold was not supposed to happen. This is coming from a guy who could be called a Magnificent Bastard. This was after he was revealed to be Richard's bunny in disguise.
  • Disney Death: Richard is apparently destroyed by the Archmage in their fight, but he turns out to be fine (albeit with physical damage).
  • Distracted by the Shiny: OOH! Tim find coin! Good day!
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: This.
  • Draconic Humanoid: The Guardians of Eight, an ancient order of dragon people connected to the origins of Kethenecia, the sword of truth, and the Archmage. Their appearances in the comic are pretty scarce, as they seem to be more active behind the scenes nudging the heroes in the direction of a brighter future.
  • Dragon Rider: Parodied, if Krunch's story is to be believed. Early, smaller (and smarter) dragons apparently tamed humans in an attempt to achieve flight.
    • This part of the story may have actually been told by Richard, as we find out after a few minutes that he has woken up partway through Krunch's tale. Krunch then says to Richard, "Don't interrupt me."
    • Played straight also, Legara utilises dragon cavalry during their attack on the North.
    • The Kethenecian forces are now doing this as well in order to break through the Legaran forces and attack their portal, but riding on sand dragons.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Krunch dies off panel. Apparently he was stabbed.
  • Elemental Powers: The New sword of Truth, a couple of swords which have power over fire and ice. Blue Crinsom, anyone?
    • Also the Phares
  • Elite Mook: Tah'vraay and Benny and Benny are captured by a quirky group of empire soldiers, Pella swoops down to save them with a bunch of gnomes, and challenges their leader... cut to next panel where all the gnomes are dead, and Pella's captured as well. She comments that the soldiers are stronger than they're used to, and then one asks her to fill out a performance survey.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Cale dubs Richard "Dick".
  • The Empire: Legaria
    • The Alliance: The Bloodrage, the Trolls, Gnomes, Sisters and Sons, and Richard's village. Though considering how they're all relocating to Kethenecia and Cale is supposedly king of that city they might end up becoming a rather cosmopolitan kingdom
  • Entitled Bastard: In books 31 and 32, the group has to deal with an entire village of these. They trick a gullible giant into slavery. Despite this, and having access to relatively prosperous mines, the villagers go to great lengths to complain about being starving poor. Despite earlier unpleasantness, they expect Cale's party to protect them when their village is attacked. And when the village is saved, they ungratefully act entitled to Cale's help rebuilding. Naturally, this leads to some Kick The Son Of A Bitch from Benny and Richard.
  • The Ending Changes Everything: The last page of "What Lies Beneath the Underneath" shows that one of the dwarves had been working with the imps all along to lure other diggers to their doom.
    • "A Very Bad Day" reveals that Wille, the child whose "Poppa" was killed by Richard early in the main comic, is actually a serial killer who lures kind-hearted parental figures to their deaths. His apparent tears of sadness were out of frustration at being kill-stealed rather than grief for his father (who is never actually seen in the comic).
    • "The Liveliest of Convexes" retcons the scene in which Richard's headless body celebrates with villagers to part of a Dying Dream.
  • Enfant Terrible: A toddler in Richard's village tears out a soldier's heart and holds it up so he can watch it beat as he dies.
  • Et Tu, Brute? Richard says this when Cale shoots an arrow through his body in order to give the rabbit (trapped in a magical bubble) an air hole to breath through while Richard is causing havoc with the blue elves. Richard is actually taken down momentarily, probably from the slight shock of Cale going that far to keep the peace. Played for both laughs and drama.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: One comic hinted that this is true for Richard, though she might have been a motherly servant.
  • Fan Disservice: "So pleased you're experiencing new sights... Then again, new sights aren't always what they're cracked up to be."
  • Fanservice: The 152nd strip has a bit of manservice going on. Also, most of Benny's outfits look like they could have been painted on.
    • And then there's the last panel of 167.
    • And there any doubt about this page (208)?
    • And 272, where Cale charges into battle wearing nothing but a jockstrap.
    • Page 180 is probably the only one so far for Richard fans, though a beach scene drawn during a Ustream session may count.
    • Page 290 hints at new relationships.
      • Page 291 appears to confirm it given all the small hints that have been dropped along the way.
  • Fanservice Faux Fight: To cast one particular spell, Benny and Pella are obliged to have a pillow fight in their underwear (thanks to the highly immature student wizard who long ago wrote the spell).
  • Fantastic Racism: Quite a bit here and there, like the time our heroes get sent to the past and learn firsthand about how minotaurs were treated, but #558 plays it for laughs.
  • From Zero to Hero: Pervasive Butt-Monkey and Failure Hero tendencies aside, Cale'Anon starts off as naive and ditzy, but very slowly awakens to his destiny as a hero — ending the war with Legara and re-establishing the lost city of Kethenecia.
  • Genius Bruiser: Krunch Bloodrage, who, while confirmed as being the "scholar" out of two brothers (the other being "the warrior") still hefts around an enormous hammer and has in the past tackled a dragon.
    • Just to be clear: This is not figurative; he leaped at the dragon and wrestled it to the ground.
      Richard: Bad news, Cale. I'm afraid that your position as my closest and dearest companion is being replaced by the fellow who just tackled a dragon.
    • Later on, during the Siege of The North, he descended into an Unstoppable Rage after the black dwarves killed his father, the likes of which frightened even his more martially-minded brother Ray'd.
  • Genius Loci: The planet itself is alive, and Richard ends up speaking to it when he pushes his way into the core.
  • Genre Savvy:
    • When the party returns to the Gnome City, the following exchange takes place:
      Richard: Good news!
      [Richard picks up a Gnome Guard]
      Richard: We're on the same side!
      Gnome Guard: Don't fwoosh me bro.
    • Cale in strip #400.
    • The slaver ship captain immediately calls bullshit on the idea the children she's transporting are slaves.
      Captain: You are too well dressed and too well nourished. And most tellingly, you look at me while speaking.
  • God Guise: Happens to Cale a few times.
  • Good Colors, Evil Colors: Richard uses this idea to describe why he needs his "red fwoosh" back by having Cale describe fire and the sky.
    Richard: What do you see?
    Cale: Fire.
    Richard: Describe it.
    Cale: Hot.
    Richard: Look closer.
    Cale: Mysterious. Consuming. Intimidating. Powerful.
    Richard: Now look up and tell me what you see.
    Cale: Beauty. Endless possibility. Hope. Oh. We need to get rid of your blue fwoosh.
  • Hell Has New Management: The final page shows that after his Heroic Sacrifice to disentangle the worlds, Richard has taken over Hell.
  • "Hell, Yes!" Moment: Krunch Bloodrage has one of these in this strip.
  • Heroic BSoD: Benny after Cale kills Aelloon when he and Richard unknowingly burst in on their peace talks. She breaks up with him on the spot, putting Cale into a BSOD of his own.
  • Hope Spot:
    • Pella and the gnomes trying to pull a Big Damn Heroes for Benny and Tah'vraay.
    • After Leena's rise to power, Cale and Benny successfully sneak into Kethenecia, disguise themselves, and make contact with Gaten, who had always seemed like a trustworthy ally. Gaten proceeds to betray them and they are imprisoned by Leena.
  • Hourglass Hottie: Benny and especially Pella. Richard requires a veeeery weird definition of "Hottie".
  • I Did What I Had to Do:
    • Pella justifies destroying the gnomes's defense tower, thus forcing them to go to Kethenecia with the others as this, but Cale shoots it down.
      Cale: This justifies it?! What right had we to make that decision for them?!
    • To say nothing of Cale's mentor taking steps to ensure Cale does not return to his sheltered life and becomes a hero, up to and including eliminating the one thing that could compel him to return, ie his wife.
    • This is basically Krunch's Catchphrase.
    • The Archmage, who not only set all of this up, he made Cale believe he killed an innocent child in order to save the world.
  • I Have Your Wife: Leena is holding her's and Ray'd's daughter hostage to force his cooperation.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: A squad of guards in the cyberpunk world are firing at Cale and Richard and missing horribly, then a drone hands all the guards glasses and Richard finds a hole in his chest.
  • Incendiary Exponent:
    • Taken to its logical extreme with Tavor's death. He gets encased in flaming ice.
    • Played for laughs when Richard defeats the ChaChas with explosive horticulture. And thinks he "nailed it" with an Unflinching Walk, except his butt, back, and head are on fire.
  • Indentured Servitude: Cale saves a slave ship full of bankers who ruined their kingdom's economy, and were sentenced to five years of servitude as punishment.
  • Inner Monologue: Cale's panther, frequently. You think you know me.
  • Iron Butt Monkey: Richard being able to survive just about any injuries in his undead state makes him prime fodder for this role.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: When Cale becomes a drifter after causing "only suffering and death" it's Richard who tells him to man up and atone.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: While incredibly rare, there are a few moments where Richard is not as big a Jerkass as usual.
  • Joke Item: The Sword of Truth looked like an incredible weapon, but was actually so shoddy that it would inevitably shatter in battle. The only reason it became famous was that its wielders would go into a berserk rage due solely to that shoddiness. Then a smith with a twisted sense of humor enchanted it to make the wielders laugh instead of go into a rage when it shattered.
    • Lethal Joke Item: Before losing it's only redeemable quality, the anger it gave to its wielders allowed them to do things no one thought possible. Breaking the sword guarantees a kill.
  • Jury of the Damned: Richard is held in court to be judged by his peers — the damned, who don't think he's living up to his damnation. Subverted in that they don't have the power to enforce their ruling after all.
  • Kangaroo Court: At one point Richard is tried by a court of Lesser Demons who are accusing him of the crime of not being evil any more, which seriously offends him. The judge proclaims him Guilty until proven Innocent.
    Prosecuter: Not only does this Warlock travel with a group of Good and Neutral aligned beings and beasts - He hasn't murdered a single one of them.
    [courtroom filled with other Lesser Demons gasps in shock]
  • Kick the Dog: The entirety of Slaughter Your World. This includes Richard, literally, kicking the dog.
    • Not to mention his 'choke the bunny' moment. Any charm-type spell Richard might be under is just a convenient excuse, Richard wants to kill everything that's outside the party almost all of the time anyhow, and may not be opposed to an undead pet...
    • As it turns out, Richard must do this on a regular basis to keep his powers.
  • Kill It with Fire:
    • What Richard does to many, many things in the comic (when he isn't killing them in other more graphic ways). But hey, that orphanage attacked him first anyway.
    • Commander Kickass also does this to destroy the Bloodrage city.
  • Klingon Promotion: Based on his desire for the Sword of Truth which is the only thing that could kill Tavor, and the fact Tavor gained the crown after killing the previous king, Aelloon was probably aiming for this.
  • Kneel Before Zod: When taken to "the Innocent", Richard is ordered to bow, so he bows in an exaggerated manner to knock out the guards. It's immediately subverted when Richard sees the Innocent and bows genuinely.
  • Kudzu Plot: A whole lot of plots seem to come and go and intertwine at rapid speed, when a simple premise like "finding the sword of truth" would be much easier to follow.
  • Lack of Empathy: Richard really does not understand that finding your own people dead is a solemn moment.
  • Left Hanging: Most NPC stories have a clear conclusion or a To Be Continued notice, but "Tales as Old as Tim" and "The Hctib Diaries" do not. "Tales as Old as Tim" was eventually continued.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: The green imps first appear to be little more than joke characters, but soon prove capable of subduing Cale, and, after a Heel–Face Turn, the Legion's diggers.
  • Life Will Kill You: Maikos considers becoming human again to be the same as dying. He and the rest of the villagers no longer know how to live as normal humans. They are completely unable to deal with things like sickness, age, and hunger.
  • Long List: Richard's list of titles, which I'm not posting here for the hundredth time on this page.
  • Loves the Sound of Screaming: Richard even sings about this.
  • Lower-Deck Episode: "A Very Bad Day" is told from the point of view of the child whose "Poppa" was killed by Richard at the beginning of the main comic.
    • "The Accessory" reveals that Richard's "purse dragon" was part of the Legaran forces that attacked the group early in the comic.
  • Meta Guy: Richard. The fourth wall is his plaything.
  • The Mole: More than half of Kethenecia's old army consisted of Vulii loyalists.
  • Mood Whiplash: Common, due to the comic's weird way of handling Cerebus Syndrome.
  • Mook Lieutenant: A few, like the mage who warned Aelleon of the crown. Tah'vraay and Benny are captured by a bunch of Elite Mooks lead my a mustachioed one, identifiable by a red sash; he's bipolar, thinks he's a woman at one point, and blames Obama for their financial situation.
  • Morality Pet: Averted, Richard loves his Felbunny, but is just as willing to kill after getting a pet as he was before.
  • More than Meets the Eye:
    • The rabbit is the Archmage.
    • Richard's cozy little village up the coast turns out to be filled to the brim with undead citizens. Yup, even the children.
  • Mugging the Monster: A group of bandits try to rob Cale, who is being accompanied by Sooba, Maikos, and Tim. To their credit, they actually (though indirectly) take Maikos and Tim out of the action, if only because Cale uses Maikos as a shield, not knowing that Maikos was regressing from his undead state, and Tim is told by Cale to keep pressure on the injured Maikos. Even then, they're still no match for Cale and Sooba.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast:
    • Krunch Bloodrage. In a twist, he's one of the most reasonable of the protagonists. He'd much rather sit down and discuss ancient history than beat your skull in, but no-one seems to give him the choice.
    • Subversion: Richard actually has a complex regarding the fact that his name isn't intimidating. He compensates for it with all his titles.
  • Negated Moment of Awesome: Pella and the gnomes coming in to rescue Benny and Tah'vraay from some Elite Mooks, only for Pella to be captured and the gnomes killed.
    • At one point it seems like Tah'vraay one-ups Aelloon's army by surprising them from the sea, but Aelloon has his own marine forces surround and capture hers. Then subverted when it eventually turns out that Tah'vraay got herself captured intentionally.
    • After Tavor kills Krunch, Ray'd retaliates by punching a massive hole into Tavor's chest. Unfortunately, the Sword of Truth is the only thing that can permanently kill Tavor, who soon recovers and knocks out Ray'd.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Just as Benny is about to negotiate peace with Legara, Richard and Cale burst in and are interpreted as a planned ambush.
    • Turns out Cale (possessed by Richard) killing the Archmage released all that stored power he stole from other mages to their descendants, including the princess who has now apparently gone mad with power and decided to kill him.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: As pointed out in his trial, Richard's slaughter of a certain village actually saved more lives than destroyed.
    • Knowing what we know now, he might have done that on purpose.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: Richard can survive pretty much anything, including being covered by molten lava.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • When talking about the town Richard's the mayor of.
      Maikos: It's the source of his power
      Cale: What?
      Richard: He said I threw his mother off a tower.
      Maikos: That too.
    • Another comes up when talking about Richard's solution to the numerous new mages.
      Cale: We are not traveling the world to give people brain damage. Not again.
      Richard: That was a crazy summer.
      Benny: Right?
  • Not Quite Dead:
    • Richard.
    • Tavor too, several times now (though the first time he wasn't evil.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: The chachas are small, silly-looking, and can't seem to say much other than "chacha." But they can overwhelm Richard by Zerg Rush, break through Benny's shields, and are Genre Savvy enough to not aim for Charles. Their origin story reveals that they were created to keep the Archmage in check.
  • No Woman's Land: The nation of Servatism is ruled by men who loathe women, tolerating them only as slaves. Some of their women broke free and occasionally rescue the Servatist's daughters from their parents, who are more than happy to have the daughters they don't want taken off their hands.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: For all his apparent immaturity, Richard is really very knowledgeable and intelligent. Plus he's probably more in the know than any other main character besides the Archmage...
  • Odd Friendship: Captain Kickass and Chief Bloodrage, Richard and Cale, Richard and Pella, Richard and Felbunny, Richard and Sooba...
  • Offhand Backhand: Delivered by Richard on the first panel of page 302.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: We don't get to see exactly how Richard accomplishes many of his awesome feats. Justified in that the ones we do see are already awesome enough.
    • Also many of the battles, such as when Richard's village fights the Legarion soldiers, happen off panel.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Benny heals her ex-husband back from certain death, brought on by her team protecting her from him because she wants to smash his head in herself. He manages two words right before she does it.
  • The Plan: Turns out that many events that take place are for the purpose of molding Cale into the future king of Kethenecia.
  • Play-Along Prisoner: After apparently being captured by some battlemages, Richard is shown taking one of his hands out of their cuffs, though either this seems to have been a one-off gag or the power of the chains to control undead have prevented him from making a full escape.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: When any character shows red eyes, regardless of whether they are nice or not, you WILL want to take a step back. This is either the result of an outburst of anger (such as Cale chewing out Pella; yes, even Cale pulls these), or the only warning sign you'll get before a can of ass-whoop is opened.
  • Reference Overdosed: Particularly from Richard.
  • Reforged Blade: The Sword of Truth was repeatedly broken and reforged in the past.
  • Redshirt Army: The gnomes tend to get this treatment.
  • Relationship Upgrade: This could arguably be the case with Benn'Joon and Cale. At first Benny sees Cale as a do-gooder that constantly drags her into trouble. But eventually she warms up to him, this is lampshaded by Krunch when she agrees to help Cale fight Legaria because she trusts him. It culminates with this moment of heartwarming. We'll see if it sticks.
    • Judging from this it would appear that did indeed stick.
  • Remix Comic: Several of these have appeared in the forum Motivator thread. Like this.
  • The Reveal:
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: "The mistake was making me cute."
    • Also Krunch, right after his father is killed in battle.
  • Role-Playing Game 'Verse: Although based heavily on World of Warcraft, it's treated as a standard fantasy setting rather than a game... most of the time. Every once in a while, a reference will be made to game mechanics, played for laughs.
    • At one point the party is imprisoned, and Richard tells Cale "Kill yourself and roll a rogue. We'll wait."
    • When he's picked up by an attacking giant, he rolls a twenty-sided dice! "I rolled a Natural 20...! That means I win... you can fall down now."
    • There's a "Loading please wait" screen when Cale jumps through the first Portal.
    • And in #396 Richard says "In my next life, I should roll a hunter".
  • Running Gag:
    • "You think you know me?"
    • The Fork of Truth, which may actually be magic considering it's been seen to glow a few times.
    • Richard's titles. He either adds new ones or sometimes adopts them from people he meets. Usually after killing them.
    • Everyone seems to be mentioning how Commander Kickass killed the Bloodrage's father
    • Richard being able to reattach his severed parts has elevated to attaching the parts of other creatures, from the infamous bear arms to Kraken tentacles.
    • Nobody knows the Dragon Elder's name.
  • Sarcasm Failure: On seeing a vision of his past self, Richard is unable to find a suitably snarky response and simply says "Pass".
  • Sarcasm Mode: Often, but this in particular.
    • Richard also deserves a special mention here, as the red from his speech bubbles turns pink whenever he uses sarcasm.
  • Saying Sound Effects Out Loud: "For everything else, there's Fwoosh." "Don't Fwoosh me, bro!"
  • Say My Name: "Chicken!" "Pinky." "Old cow!" "Brother." "Engineer." "Dwarf." "... RICHARD!"
  • Sadistic Choice: In order to save his friends and Kethenecia, Cale must kill an innocent child to return them to their own time.
    • He mopes about for a long while afterward.
  • Sdrawkcab Name: Hctib Elttil
    • Also, Dnah, a talking hand... thing.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: There is a minor example involving the Rakkuns. The queen of squirrels used her magic to seal them into their own little realm, with a trash can as the portal to it. She eventually coerces Cale into killing the Rakkuns entirely.
  • Severed Head Sports: Two undead children after a battle are seen in the background playing soccer with a soldier's head.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: When Cale brings reinforcements to the North far too late.
    • Cale and Richard rescue some kidnapped children and bring them back to what is presumed to be their home village, only for the villagers to turn out to be cannibals.
  • Ship Tease: Parodied, one assumes, here, in a Shout-Out to Ghost (1990). The dialog in the next page may also count, given how, out of context, it sounds very much like... something else...
    Richard: You violated my spirit!
    Pella: We agreed on no eye contact!
  • To Star Wars:
    Richard: Many bothans died to bring you this information.
    Cale: They're called gnomes, and you killed them!
  • Stunned Silence: In this comic everyone is stunned into silence when Richard mentions that they forgot his deathday. Made all the more awkward/hilarious by Krunch blinking in surprise.
  • Supernormal Bindings: There's at least two occasions where the Warlock, Richard has his powers limited by enchanted shackles after being captured. In the second case we're shown that some of the enchanted shackles can be used to control Richard's body by commanding him to do something. Subverted in that Richard has turned human and was just messing with Hctib.
  • Take a Third Option:
    • When Pella was asked if she wanted to pursue being a bard or a warrior (presented with an axe and a lute and asked to pick one), she said, "I rather be liking the feel of them both".
    • With Aellon's force about to besiege Kethenecia, leaving the people in to fight off a siege or flee, Cale decides on another plan: capture the portal the Legion has made and launch an attack on Legara.
    • Repeatedly comes up when it comes to dealing with the Demon Court. The Demon Court orders Cale to do evil to make up for triggering Richard's Heel–Face Turn and greatly reducing the amount of evil Richard performs. If Cale refuses, then they will cause everyone Cale has ever interacted with to die to make up for the reduction in evil themselves. Cale's first solution is to try to Pay Evil unto Evil, doing horrible vicious things to people that deserve it, but since his chosen victims are surrender instantly and are completely cooperative, it doesn't work out. The group's third solution is to try to destroy the Court by killing all of the eggs in the place that the Court is birthed, but he feels uncomfortable with killing the unborn, even if they are Always Chaotic Evil demons. The group's fifth solution is to rewrite the Book that provides the eggs with the knowledge they need to judge a case when they hatch.
  • Taking the Bullet: Well, Richard takes a couple of arrows for the team.
    • On more than one occasion.
  • That Was Objectionable: "Objection!" "On what grounds?" "I wish to stab [the prosecutor]."
  • Unstoppable Mailman: He was able to find Cale and deliver a letter to him despite Cale being roughly in the middle of nowhere.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Apart from one lampshade by Cale, everyone completely ignores the fact that Dnah is a giant talking green hand.
  • The Usurper: Page 942 reveals the Princess Leena has usurped Cale's role as the ruler of Kethenecia and made it Gamlon reborn, with her as the rightful ruler. To that end, she sends the Knights of the Way to kill him before he can challenge her authority.
  • Verbal Tic:
    • Krunch's father.
    • Hctib Elttil:
  • Villain Episode: "The Hctib Diaries", "Candor with Landor", "My Jurisdiction", and "His Father's Son" focus on antagonists.
  • Villain Song: Richard gets one of these, "Slaughter Your World", in one of the animations, with the added bonus of it being taken from a Disney song with the lyrics modified.
    • And Richard's voice actor singing Never Gonna Give You Up in Richard's voice.
      • Also, Richard's part in "This Is War," another Disney song parody (of "A Whole New World", of all things).
  • Visual Pun: Benny is going to talk to the hand. Kind of.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Page 290
    • Page 339. And how!
      Richard: Who is she?
      Cale: My wife.
    • Page 355.
      • Followed immediately by this. Wham.
    • Page 422. Such a simple thing turns into possibly the biggest 'Wham' yet.
      • Followed by this Wham.
      • And while it just confirms the above two, this is still portrayed very strikingly.
    • How's this for a 'Wham'?
    • Wham.
    • And another.
    • An early example.
    • Subverted here, which at first seemed like a wham to some, but only wound up showing that Richard (in his immortal state) could survive decapitation.
    • Page 1377 reveals Richard's mortal form wasn't Lord Ashendale's son, but his daughter.
  • Wham Shot: Page 1000 reveals Richard's face. Subverted when it turns out Richard is actually the young woman, not the little boy.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Twice in the quest to find the sand dragons. Originally they were looking for a device to control the dragons A poke`ball and at the same time, Richter was musing on how the dragons were magically summoned and whether or not he had the power to do it himself.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Cale does not approve of how Pella convinced the Gnomes to go to Kethenicia.
    • #576. Cale gets one from HIMSELF.
      "You were supposed to change the world. Not let the world change you. What happened?"
    • Benny blaming Cale for Krunch's death.
  • Zerg Rush: The chachas operate by swarm magic: the more of them there are, the stronger their magic becomes. With enough of them, they can take down the likes of Richard and the Archmage.
  • Zombify the Living: Richard demonstrates this ability by forcing his enemies' skeletons to obey him... while they're still inside. More generally, Richard himself seems to have been a case of this, and can apparently change back if he goes too long without senseless slaughter.