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Kass is not having a good day

A story of inconvenient changes
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Imagine having your gender changed, pretty inconvenient right? Now imagine having your species changed at the same time, becoming a small, vulnerable bird-rat type thing.

This is Kassen's life. Not only does he have to cope with a new diet, cravings and urges, as a rare female he's suddenly become a very hot commodity for an entire species best described as a bunch of happy-go-lucky idiots.

Out-of-Placers takes place in a world inhabited by several sentient species: humans, Indrel (insect people), Yinglets (the bird rat things), Baxxid and... Isher.

Can be found here. Or, Read from the beginning here

Warning: spoilers ahead.


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This webcomic provides examples of:

  • Abnormal Limb Rotation Range: Kass's new neck is freakishly flexible
    Elim: What's wrong with your neck!?
    Kass: ...It is made of yinglet
  • Adorkable: A lot of yinglets are this. Not all (many are annoying) but a lot.
  • After-Action Healing Drama: Happens after Elim's fight with Brakka's gang.
  • Alien Catnip: Oysters and clams for yinglets. Even simply swallowing raw clam immediately produces a euphoric sensation. At one point, Kass goes on a bender in the Ivenmoth kitchens, and the page rant hangs a lampshade on the trope.
    The sight of a meth addict is sad thing to behold, but when you give your cat a bunch of catnip and it spazzes out you’re all “Aw lookit how cute it is!” Double standards, man.
  • Alien Lunch: The Yinglet diet consists mostly of gross, disgusting, slimy, or toxic things scavenged from along the shoreline. Kass is appalled (though we later learn that her real displeasure isn't discovering the disgusting things yinglets eat so much as discovering she now craves the disgusting things yinglets eat).
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  • Appropriated Appellation: An unwitting version. The indrel exile Kassen and Elim bring to Val Salia has no verbal name (due to the indrel language being based on pheremones and body language), but when prompted quickly declares she wants to adopt the "name" given to her by a human she met long ago - Hyanoisyskank. Fortunately, she's later convinced to shorten it to the much more innocuous "Yannit".
  • Armor-Piercing Response: When Matriarch Vizlet asks the very tired Kassie when she last slept, Kassie responds by telling her "last night" like it was a stupid question. This shocks Vizlet into realizing that Kassie was telling the truth about being human before, since no Yinglet, no matter how uninformed or how slow-witted the majority of their species is, wouldn't know how to sleep properly. note 
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: The Yinglet tend to be hyperactive and easily distracted as a species, the males moreso than the females.
  • Attractive Bent-Gender: Male Yinglets appear to consider Kass a rather attractive specimen even before the makeover ambush. And well, She Cleans Up Nicely...
  • Baleful Polymorph: Kass' transformation was caused by a mysterious magical artifact that was clearly intended specifically for the purpose of turning someone into a female Yinglet.
  • Bee People: The indrel. Yannit is something of an oddity in that she chooses to leave her hive.
    • Even more so, considering that Indrel are known to go violently insane when separated from their hive for too long (fortunately, not only is Yannit highly unusual for her species, there have been hints that she has subconsciously "switched" her "hive" to her current group of True Companions, so in all likelihood this won't be an issue for her).
    • Later pages indicate Yannit (and by extension, other indrel) suffer from sensory deprivation when separated from their hives (where communication is primarily done through pheremones). Yannit still gets impulses to go crazy, but touching human hair helps keep her sane. Ran has also begun work on finding substances that can simulate Indrel pheromones to calm her down when these impulses come up.
  • Being A Yinglet Sucks: Besides Kassen for obvious reasons, Lopin admits that if he had the choice, he would love to be human over being a yinglet, because humans have everything that most of his species wants.
  • Berserk Button: Do not hurt, threaten to hurt or even think about hurting Elim in Kass' presence. It will not go well for you.
    • Attacking a female Yinglet is this for the entire Yinglet species.
    • For Yannit, someone hurting her friends.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: The Salia family's hat. The nobles of House Ivenmoth are known for being eccentric and whimsical. Those who take that for a sign of weakness tend to come to sticky ends. Viracroix is a prime example of this, perhaps best exemplified when dealing with a subordinate with more appreciation for profit than their citizens. His method of debate involves wearing a "special outfit" (a tarp) to avoid getting splattered by Mister Omarhan's messy execution.
  • Big "WHAT?!": Patriarch Kattajak is not amused by the news of Brakka's latest blunder.
  • Bizarre Alien Reproduction: Yinglets are egg-laying mammals with a massive gender imbalance and a very bizarre reproductive cycle which effectively turns each female into an ambulatory eugenics lab, mixing and recombining the genetic material of all the males she mates with during a given reproductive cycle.
  • Bizarre Alien Senses: Yannit appears to see by thermal imaging.
  • Blessed with Suck:
    • As a female Yinglet, Kassen is inherently given the rank and privilege that all females of her new kind are born into, as well as automatic deference and admiration from all of the lesser males... but she's still now seen as little more than a slightly more intelligent vermin by everyone else.
    • Isher is huge, extremely strong, and dangerous-looking, making her naturally great at her job (standing around looking intimidating). Unfortunately this runs completely counter to her actual personality...
  • Call to Agriculture: Isher prefers working in the gardens to guard work, despite being a huge armored lizard lady.
  • Cargo Cult: The Yinglets pretty much scavenge at the fringes of human society. The few things they've managed to invent on their own tend to be idiotic or useless.
  • Cassandra Truth: Vizlet doesn't buy Kass' story for a while, and while she's willing to go along with the Trademaster's machinations, she doesn't have much interest in easing his transition into enclave life. One flippant answer to "When was the last time you slept", though, and Vizlet pretty much flips her lid.
  • Clash of Evolutionary Levels: The yinglets are descended from smaller ancestors ('lesser yinglets', as Ran calls them) that still exist. However, the number of lesser yinglets is steadily diminishing, since either kind of yinglet will try to kill the other on sight, with the newer ones usually coming out on top.
  • Closer to Earth: Yinglet society uses this as their central organizing principal, relying on their relatively sensible and rational females to keep their flightier males in check. However, the females are if anything even more ruthlessly utilitarian than the males, especially when it comes to dealing with outsiders.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Yinglets in general, and Lopin in particular, seem to have problems interpreting metaphor and sarcasm.
  • Cool Hat: Lopin's beret.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Elim, despite having had a jagged piece of metal shoved all the way through him and struggling to stay conscious, completely wipes out Brakka's gang in a matter of (very, very violent) seconds. The one survivor (aside from Brakka himself) is a Cloudcuckoolander who wandered off to do his own thing instead of fighting.
  • Cute, but Cacophonic: Not necessarily "cute" by conventional standards, baxxid are nevertheless stereotyped as being very peaceful and shy. They also have very powerful lungs. One baxxid in the streets is frightened by an insect crawling over it, and screams loudly enough to be heard across the entirety of Val Salia. The author's note on the page sheds some light on it:
    If human lungs/vocal cords can be likened to a trumpet, Baxxids are something more like bagpipes. A deep breath in, then continuous buzzing that is then shaped into words. Also comparable to an electrolarynx, except instead of tinny electric vibrations, it’s more like a warhorn from the depths of hell itself.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • Matriarch Vizlet is by far the smartest yinglet in the Valsalia enclave and quite snarky about it.
    • Kass gets her shots in too, which tends to go right over the heads of most of her entourage.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Kattajak's opinion of punishment by exile in the northern enclave, since, unlike down south, where there's nothing but untamed wilderness for the exiles to flee to, up north is located right next to a flipping city where said exiles will not only be able to make a living, but most likely do so by using the same bad behaviors that got them kicked out, resulting in them a) not having any incentive to change their ways, and b) giving the rest of Yingletkind a bad name.
  • Distracted by the Sexy:
    • Vizlet dresses Kass with "the Reed of Carnal Beckoning" for her introduction to the patriarchs knowing that it will distract them from asking too many questions. Now if she'd just had time to explain that to Kass first...
    • Lopin sold Kass the transformation artifact despite his better judgement because human Kass was just so handsome.
  • Dope Slap: Sometimes it's the only way to get yinglets to focus.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Due to the massive gender inbalance in yinglet populations, around half of the males are extremely effeminate, both in looks and demeanor. Things like rounder snouts, shorter teeth and hair in addition to the fur are much sought after. Special mention goes to The Oracle of Bakersroof.
    • Chakki deserves a mention as well.
  • Everyone Is Bi: Literally baked into the yinglet genome. Since females are relatively rare and tend to be selective when they do breed, males who want romantic relationships or recreational sex have to do so with each other and their genitals have evolved to be just as compatible male/male as male/female specifically for these purposes.
  • Evilutionary Biologist/Social Darwinist: The yinglet matriarchs practice a fairly ruthless form of eugenics, either using breeding as a reward or specifically breeding males with exceptional qualities or useful mutations. The so-called Patriarchs are given the most access for breeding as the most able and accomplished males, making them relatively easy to manipulate. It's also relatively easy for the Matriarchs to be so ruthless because yinglet mating rituals, reproductive biology, and child rearing practices all conspire to make it virtually impossible to trace any particular yinglet back to a specific set of parents, so they aren't nearly as emotionally invested in any specific offspring as humans would be.
  • Exotic Equipment: Yinglet genitalia is just as compatible male/male as male/female, though female/female they're no more or less compatible than humans
  • Extra Parent Conception: Yinglet females mate with multiple males over the course of their heat and each hatchling usually has genes from more than one father.
  • Fantastic Caste System: Yinglet society tends to be fairly chaotic, with an inner core of females surrounded by a loose inner ring of the most competent males (the patriarchs) and a chaotic outer ring of less competent males who are often at loose ends. However, all females are considered nobility and accorded the title of "Lady".
  • Fantastic Racism: The yinglets are subject to significant prejudice; Matriarch Vizlet warns Kass that practically everyone considers their species vermin.
  • Fantastic Slurs: 'Scav' for yinglets, short for scavenger. (To be fair, a lot of them are scavengers.)
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Elim and Kass. They survived a war together and, even though they have no blood ties, they consider each other brothers. Even after Kass is turned into a Yinglet, Elim assures him/her that Kass' new condition changes nothing and he will stay by their side no matter what.
  • Flowery Insults: Baxxids tend to go for those, given their tendency towards Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness:
    Bilshernnen: I therefore name you abrasive and childish for your current age. You are harshly urged to go forth and choke on the reproductive fluids of livestock.
  • Fun with Acronyms: The archive URLs shorten the comic's title to "oops".
  • Gender Bender: Kassen becomes Kassie.
    • Different for Girls: Played with: The species change is far more significant than the sex change because yinglet gender relations are so different from human norms that there's little basis for comparison.
    • First Law of Gender-Bending: Kass is apparently stuck, since the humans have no idea how her transformation was accomplished, and any Yinglet who isn't equally ignorant is not talking.
    • Second Law of Gender-Bending: An ironic subversion. Kass says she accepts "this is me now isn't it?" but it's obvious to Matriarch Vizlet that Kass is still in denial and hasn't even begun to deal with what's happened to her.
    • Third Law of Gender-Bending: Kassen literally gets hit over the head with this one as the females at the Yinglet enclave hurriedly prepare "Lady Kass" for her presentation to the patriarchs.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Male or female, Kassen generally goes by "Kass"
  • Gender Rarity Value: There's a lot more yinglet males than females by a margin of at least five to one. The females are kept cloistered in each enclave for the sake of survival, but they're mostly running things from behind the scenes.
  • Gentle Giant: The Baxxid are basically giant, serpentine creatures made of armor and knives; they also avoid conflict at all costs and are incredibly adept interpreters and mathematicians.
    • Isher is an eight-foot-tall Half-Human Hybrid with huge talons, fangs, and powerful-looking raptor legs. She also bemoans her position as a guard/bouncer and would much rather tend to plants.
  • Girliness Upgrade: Kass receives what amounts to a "makeover mugging" from the the other girls at the Yinglet enclave before her presentation to the patriarchs.
  • Go Mad from the Isolation: Yannit struggles with this possibility. As an indrel drone, she is used to living among people who share her means of pheromone-based communication, which functions as a sort of limited Hive Mind among the indrel. Travelling to Val Salia, however, she finds herself not only the sole example of her kind for miles around, but also experiencing great difficulty understanding the people around her. Due to verbal language being unnatural for her and being unable to predict their emotions with pheromones, humans are like silent "storyghosts" to most of her senses, and she is becoming increasingly gripped with existential dread and paranoia. However, she has developed a coping mechanism - touching people (mainly their hair), which reassures her that they do exist.
    • According to Isher, the previous indrel drone to leave their hive and try living among humanity eventually went on a murderous rampage. It's implied that their breakdown was fueled by the same kind of prolonged sensory deprivation Yannit is beginning to suffer from.
  • Half-Truth: "Lady" Kass' origin story, as she tells it to the patriarchs, is more or less the truth told in a very misleading fashion. Kass is indeed an orphan raised by humans, she just leaves out the part about her not being a female Yinglet at the time.
  • How Do I Shot Web?: Kass has trouble speaking and eating in her new form. Even relatively simple things like keeping her balance and a different sleep cycle throw her for a loop. Learning the "facts of life" yinglet-style from Matriarch Vizlet literally leaves her bug-eyed, and her reaction to being forced to recount them for Ran's research is documented in the page image above.
  • Humans Through Alien Eyes: To most Yinglets (small, short-lived, and very fragile), humans (tall, strong, seemingly immortal) are absolutely awe-inspiring. Human children are terrifying monsters (since they often don't realize how easy it is to maim or kill the Yinglet they're "playing" with), and an extremely angry human soldier might as well be Godzilla to them.
    • Humans are Elves to Yinglets. They have long lives and they are the species that created the culture and civilization of the world. They are more cultured than Yinglets. Valsalia says this was intentional.
  • I Know You Know I Know: Matriarch Vizlet is perfectly aware that Kass is as much a spy as an envoy, but tells Kass it's a price she's willing to pay.
    • Isher is horrified to realize that Ran recognizes her species (or her origin, it's not entirely clear from the context) but they both agree that some secrets are best kept secret.
  • Inadequate Inheritor: Vizlet is in the middle of such a situation: while Lippie has a lot of potential, being favored by Vizlet to be the next Matriarch, she's also a complete Nervous Wreck most of the time, and the other females, while relatively more mentally stable, don't seem to be as capable as Lippie.
    Vizlet: She's already memorized ze entire base of zhe birzhscript but zhat's only half of a Matriarch's duties. She can barely handle an unexpected situation of her own, let alone zhose of an entire enclave zhat would be looking at her for direction.
    Figgins: ...But you're not ready to give up on ze 'Lippie as Matriarch' possibility.

  • I Need a Freaking Drink: After witnessing the weirdness of House Ivenmoth firsthand, a new hire is next seen at a bar with a mug of beer...
    Craylor: So House Ivenmoth's got some kinda shit goin' on...
  • Interspecies Romance: Isher pines after Kassen, a (former) human. Yinglets have been known to suggest 'scientifically inappropriate' acts to human researchers in exchange for oysters.
    • Kuldra, a young, female Baxxid, has a crush on the human Trademaster Viracroix, much to Varakses' annoyance.
    • Lopin is explicitly described as a "human chaser" by other yinglets and it shows. He sold a very important item to Kassen because the latter was "so handsome" and seems to find Elim very attractive as well.
  • Insistent Terminology: The younger, dumber Yinglets insist on calling Kassen "sopretty Lady Kass", much to her irritation.
  • Lady Land: The Yinglets practice a strange form of matriarchy where the small female minority, while technically guarded and cloistered, actually run the enclave from behind the scenes through their control of knowledge, culture, history, and breeding, all while allowing the numerically superior but less biologically valuable males think they're in charge.
  • Literal Metaphor: An unintentional example on Elim's part when he suggests "grilling" Lopin for information. Lopin does not take this well.
    • But for a downtrodden minority race in a late Medieval mileau a reasonable mistake.
  • Lovable Alpha Bitch: Matriarch Vizlet — once she becomes convinced that Kass truly is the unwilling changeling she claims to be — expresses genuine concern for Kass' personal welfare, in marked contrast to Guildmaster Viracroix, who seems solely interested in Kass' utility.
  • Made of Iron: Elim. Surviving a serious gut wound in the middle of a war in a medieval setting is already enough to qualify, but then he also gets a foot-long metal shiv rammed through his body and not only manages to get back up, but also to utterly destroy the yinglet gang that was threatening Kass.
    • While being treated for said wound, it's revealed that the shiv mostly went through scar tissue left over from Elim's earlier war injury, so he's going to be fine.
  • Metafictional Title: Kass' companions are all exiles or refugees of one sort or another; they are all out of place, even though Kass is the only one actually transformed into a new creature.
  • Monstrous Mandibles: The indrels have a bifurcated set. they usually stay closed, and judging by Yannit's example, they tend to open when they're exceptionally excited or angry.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • A prime example is this page, which has a badass action scene, a dramatic flashback... and two little kids cheering happily as blood splatters all around them.
    • Another one can be found here, which has a character in mortal danger, his friends becoming increasingly desperate... *Record Scratch* oops here's Ran and Lopin being silly.
    • And yet again displayed here, with the Yinglets going from discussing serious "cloakin'-an'-daggerin'" to Squeeing over Lippie's embroidery skills in a single panel. Suffice to say that the author really likes this trope.
  • My Instincts Are Showing: Kass eats bugs when tired/half asleep, much to her displeasure. She's also displeased by her own arousal when told that other yinglets consider her very attractive and very displeased by her body's physical reaction when she's propositioned by one of the yinglet patriarchs.
  • Never Trust a Hair Tonic: One of the Ivenmoth guards that rescues Elim has a large bald streak down the center of his head after falling for this. In his case, the "treatment" consisted of letting a mite lay eggs on his scalp.
  • Noble Bigot: Before his transformation, Kassen was sympathetic but condescending to the "younger races".
  • No Longer with Us: When informing Kass that Elim will take months to return to active duty but is otherwise fine, Surgeon Merrs delivers the news in a way that makes it seem like he's dead.
  • Non-Mammal Mammaries: Isher is rather stacked for someone who is largely saurian otherwise. Female Yinglets are more proportionate and actually used to be (egg-laying) mammals, but used their self-directed evolution process to breed out the need for breastfeeding their offspring so females could focus more on running enclaves and producing more eggs.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Brakka manages a fairly respectable Oh Crap moment when it dawns on him that a.) he has completely misread the relationship between Kass and Elim and b.) he stabbed a ranking member of the city's ruling house, and house Ivenmoth hasn't got to where it is by letting that kind of thing slide.
    • Another one from Brakka as he realizes that the opponent he is fighting has grabbed his tail, and what's about to happen is not going to be pleasant.
  • Painful Transformation: Kassen's transformation was neither smooth nor painless.
  • Rage Breaking Point: Kass pretty much loses it during Vizlet's lecture about how difficult her life has been, leading to their Wimp Fight.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Trademaster Viracroix freely confesses to cultivating a bloodthirsty reputation but is smart enough to ensure Kass gets enough out of their deal to secure her "good-natured cooperation."
    • Matriarch Vizlet is just trying to do what's best for her people and accepts Kass' freedom and role as Viracroix's spy as the price of doing business (though she'd be well within her rights to just claim Kass as a daughter and use her as breeding stock). She also becomes much more sympathetic once she becomes convinced that Kass truly is a human changeling.
      • Both Viracroix and Vizlet seem to recognize that increasing human knowledge of the yinglet is, on balance, a good thing.
  • Red Herring: Her expressions and manner at first leads you to suspect that Vizlet knows something about why Kass was transformed. As it turns out, she's just aware of the ulterior motive that sent Kass her way.
  • Sarcasm-Blind: In a World… of deadpan snarkers, there's a load of people Comically Missing the Point; Isher and Lopin are the most prominent examples.
  • Shapeshifter Baggage: Although it was a one-way transformation, Kass lost a lot of mass going from Human to Yinglet.
  • Shapeshifting Excludes Clothing: Kass' clothes aren't affected by his transformation.
  • Something Only They Would Say: How Kass proves her identity after her change.
  • Speech Impediment: Due to the positioning of their shelltooth, Yinglets cannot pronounce the english "th" sound. Urban Yinglets tend to replace it with "z" (e.g. "zat is zhe way we say zhis") while those further from human civilizations prefer "d" ("dat is de way we say dis"). Kass has trouble with this at first but quickly adapts to the urban yinglet way of speaking.
  • Starfish Language: Indrel communicate by use of pheromones and body language. Baxxid language, meanwhile, is primarily infrasonic.
  • The Stoner: Galen, the Dinnish bunkhouse's resident medic, who copes with the destruction of his (and Kass and Elim's) home country by smoking biteleaf all day long.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Matriarch Vizlet tends to feel like this in her enclave, given how she's basically the only (natural) yinglet with the benefit of a human education. A couple of the patriarchs seem fairly intelligent, but one of them was sent by the "traditionalist" enclaves to keep an eye on her.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Mollusks and shellfish. Kass may not like them, but as a species, Yinglets get a 'buzz' when they eat them.
  • Unfazed Everyman: Thanks to years of dealing with Viracroix' and Ran's Bunny-Ears Lawyer antics, House Ivenmoth is full of these.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Brakka is very prone to these, and they only get worse as the story progresses.
  • Weapon of Choice:
    • A one-handed steel mace for Elim; he carries one around as an Ivenmoth guard and, as a flashback shows, he also used to wield one during the War.
    • Kassen used to favor a meteor hammer before his transformation.
    • Yinglets in general favor spears and knives, as their arms are built for quick thrusts and suffer badly when trying to swing anything heavy.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: One Baxxid, a creatures with spikes for arms and covered in armour, freaks out badly enough to wake an significant chunk of a city, because a bug got on them.
  • Wimp Fight: The scuffle between Kass and Matriarch Vizlet consists of hair pulling, low-impact slaps, and a lot of shrieking. Apparently this is usually how female Yinglets settle things.
  • Worthy Opponent: Matriarch Vizlet tells Kass she finds finally dealing with another yinglet with equivalent intelligence refreshing.
  • You Did Everything You Could: Surgeon Merrs uses the 'I did everything I could' variant after operating on Elim. Ends up being a variation: rather than having failed to save his patient, Merrs regretfully informs the patient's friends that the recovery process will take months.
  • You Don't Want to Know: Used In-Universe when Kass is forced to (reluctantly) recount what she learned about the birds and the bees, yinglet-style, from Vizlet as shown in the page image.
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