Pawn is a webcomic by fantasy artist Fredrik K.T. Andersson which started in 2004. It follows the adventures of a human girl named Ayanah and her demon partner Baalah, beginning with their first encounter and their escape from the crypt in which Baalah was contained.
As of about November 2010, new pages appeared after two years without them. Then a couple of days into January 2012 the strip stopped posting again, only to post on August of 2013. Only to stop posting again this time for over four years and counting. As of late 2018, the webpage itself hasn't been updated, but the artist's deviantart pagensfwnote now has all six sections (Minus the single page of 7 that was the last post on the website). The notes for Part 1 includes the line, "So, does this mean Ill be doing more Pawn? Well, to all of you who kept poking that lazy butt, that stick just got shorter. ;3"
Contains lots of bare nipples, so the webcomic link at the top is to the SFW first page. Links below are mostly NSFW. It's pretty light in content, though—more an R than an NC-17.
Tropes Used in the Webcomic
- Amazonian Beauty: Baalah, especially when in her giantess form.
- Anything That Moves: The Bard from Andersson's Elfwood page. It's a running gag that every single time the party enters a new town, they find a new fantasy creature (werewolf, centaur, unicorn, giant, meremaid, minotaur, dragon, a random, nonsentient rock, etc etc.) with a Half-Human Hybrid child to introduce to the Bard... In fact, the only girl that the Bard apparently hasn't seduced outright is his Elf companion, something that annoys the hell out of her for some reason.
- Art Evolution: Art has become more solid and less relying on slight touches.
- Badass Bookworm: Though she hasn't displayed much physical capability thus far, Ayanah did manage to make it to the end of a dungeon crawl that has claimed the lives of other adventurers completely unscathed before the comic proper began. She also researched exactly how to enslave Baalah, permanently, knowing every loophole the princess could use to get out of it.
- Batman Gambit: Ayanah's plot for Baalah. She sneaks into a huge labyrinth after mapping it extensively beforehand and during the trip, finds Baalah after researching her location in ancient demonic texts, uses well researched rules to prevent her instant murder by Baalah using a loophole that allows people to challenge demons via mental powers, not via direct combat, picks out a game that Baalah has no idea how to play, taunts her into making a bad move, then abuses a very, very specific loophole regarding virgins and demons to permanently enslave her. She pulls it off flawlessly. Even Baalah has no problem following Ayanah for now, as she considers life of servitude outside dungeon better than life of servitude back inside. Except that Ayanah accidentally unsealed something other than just Baalah at the same time, and her map for the way out isn't as good as she thought it was, partially due to Baalah and happenstance damaging a trail marking.
- Beautiful Dreamer: Baalah watches Ayanah as she sleeps. Justified in that demons don't need to sleep, and Baalah doesn't even understand the concept of it. Nevertheless, Ayanah is still notably creeped out.
- Big "NO!": Baalah lets one out upon finding out that Ayanah is a virgin.
- Boobs of Steel: Baalah. By far the largest chest seen on a female so far and enormously strong.
- Boxed Crook: Baalah. She was forced to trade in semi-eternal guardianship of a bunch of forgotten treasure at the bottom of a huge dungeon in lieu of being a Genre Savvy Chessmaster Lesbian's personal sex slave — for all eternity. Fortunately for her, Ayanah's a very nice girl (although it's heavily, heavily insinuated that she's only waiting to get safely out of the dungeon before she takes advantage of Baalah) and she seems to be falling for her, to boot.
- Cat Smile: Baalah pulls one off, complete with "Smirk! <3" sound effect.
- Chekhov's Skill: Ayanah's noisy butt pervented her from being eaten by the Necrachid.
- Cheshire Cat Grin: Ditto Baalah, but Ayanah also gets them. Of special note is the first one, when Baalah is realizing just how screwed Ayanah's virgin kiss left her — which set the tone for the character, as up until then, she came across as an innocent bookworm type.
- Chess With Demon
ChildrenSheltered Demonic Princesses of Hellfire Are Innocent: Baalah. It's insinuated she's quite young for a demoness, she's sheltered royalty, and she's been sealed away in a dungeon for millennia.
- Cute Little Fangs: Baalah can have these at times.
- Did You Just Scam Cthulhu?: Ayanah was able to invoke all the laws to prevent death at the hands of a demon princess, pit said demon into a game she knew nothing about (chess), beat her at it, AND have them both get bonded eternally.
- Doomy Dooms of Doom: The story takes place in the ancient dungeons on the Island of Doom.
- Dreaming of Things to Come: Chapter 4 begins with Ayanah dreaming of getting Baalah out of the dungeon and making love to her in a field, only to have Baalah's demonic essence somehow corrupt her through the bond, leaving her as a demonic entity of malevolence.
- Dungeon Crawling: Inverted. The plot begins with Ayanah completing her dungeon crawl, with Baalah as the treasure, and everything from that point on is the two of them working their way back to the surface. Naturally, getting out is turning out to be more difficult than getting in was — what with the giant bone spider creature trying to kill them and all.
- Fanservice: Pretty much the whole damn thing.
- Fartillery: Ayanah is saved from certain death from an undead Eldritch Abomination by accidentally letting one rip in its face.Ayanah: "Stupid rations."
- Freudian Slip: Thanks to a constant barrage of annoying questions, Ayanah lets slip that there never was any treasure for Baalah to guard.
- Gag Boobs: Baalah's boobs are poked, prodded, rested upon and referenced disparagingly in liberal measure. They're bigger than her head. Also, her first reaction to being shrunk down was to sadly note that they were smaller.note
- Gass Hole: Not only does Ayanah fart several times throughout the series, they're also usually comically exaggerated; they have been shown to be capable of echoing throughout the entire dungeon and were even (accidentally) used as Fartillery.
- Genre Savvy: Ayanah, as part of the Badass Bookworm package. She even made a map of the maze — and took notes. Baalah's reaction implies that this is somehow cheating.
- Girls' Love: Oh yes. Implied to be Ayanah's entire motivation for seeking Baalah out in the first place — though Baalah is quite smitten with Ayanah as well and both of them tend to daydream about one another. When they're not bickering, at least.
- Humans Through Alien Eyes: Human behavior and biology is just strange to Baalah. As a demon, she doesn't get tired, she doesn't need to eat, and she doesn't need to remove bodily wastes. So she reacts with confusion whenever Ayanah sleeps, eats, farts, or has a Potty Emergency.
- I Never Told You My Name: Baalah never learns Ayanah's name (in fact, she outright refuses to hear it), but knows it instinctively due to the pact, something that comes up when Ayanah's in danger for the first time.
- Innocent Fanservice Girl: Baalah. She hasn't put on a stitch of clothing the entire series (although we do see her dressed in the gallery, amusingly dancing with Ayanah at a high class society ball), has shown no body shame whatsoever (she apparently doesn't even own any clothing), and being a completely sheltered royal, actually is rather innocent, to boot.
- Insistent Terminology: A Running Gag is how the girls argue whether an action qualifies as a helpful push or a forceful shove.Ayanah: What the hell was that for?!
Baalah: What? i just gave a friendly push to help you [climb] up.
Ayanah: That was not a push! It was a shove!
Baalah: It was a push!
Ayanah: A shove!
Baalah: A push!
- Kid with the Leash: Ayanah to Baalah. Baalah is rather spiteful for being leashed, and in a rather amusing aversion, the "kid" in this case has bad intentions.
- Long Runner: 10 years and counting(Sorta).
- A Magic Contract Comes with a Kiss: Both to seal the contract, and to alter Baalah's size.
- Ms. Fanservice: Baalah is a perpetually naked demoness with giant breasts who can be either human-sized or the size of a house with one kiss from her female partner.
- Noble Demon. Baalah. Though she's a literal one, she hasn't actually killed anyone in her tenure as a guardian, and at one point is shown lamenting one young warrior who died in the dungeon fleeing in terror from her.
- Nobody Poops: Averted with Ayanah, thanks to those stupid rations. Justified with Baalah (and all demons, for that matter), who doesn't need to eat, sleep, or remove bodily wastes
- Off-Model: A few times, especially early on (although the worst example was directly after the schedule slip), especially when Baalah is in giantess form. "Chibi" (i.e., human sized) Baalah is relatively round and cute, Giant Baalah is ripped.
- Oh, Crap!: Baalah, as she realizes that Ayalah has never kissed anyone, and is a pure, untouched, virgin, to boot — meaning that Baalah is now her personal slave for all eternity.
- The Necrachid does this a lot, which is impressive, considering its heads are only skulls.
- Overly Long Tongue: When Ayanah tells Baalah to "Watch her tongue" Baalah, not knowing its just an expression, does exactly that, revealing herself to have an inhumanly long tongue. When Ayanah sees this, her mind goes straight to the gutter.
- Playing with Fire: Baalah, as a princess of hellfire, can hurl fireballs.
- In a side comic, she's shown lighting up a match by ''licking it.**
- Potty Emergency: Stupid Rations.
- Prophecy Twist: Ayanah is following a specific, cryptically and ambiguously worded prophecy to further cement the already permanent bond she has with Baalah, turning it into true love. It's ambiguously worded enough that this trope is definitely in play.
- Punch-Clock Villain: Baalah may be a demon princess of hellfire, but she's rather friendly and playful unless you try to take the treasure she's guarding.
- Riddle Me This: Subverted. Baalah thinks the challenge is about riddles and is disappointed when Ayanah reveals that it is not.Baalah: ...But I like riddles...
- Running Gag: Ayanah ate bad rations on the way down, which have given her an upset stomach.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: Baalah, trapped in a Sealed Room in the Middle of Nowhere (at the bottom of a huge trap filled maze). In a subversion of the typical plot, Ayanah intentionally unseals her, not out of some convoluted plot to get revenge, to steal her treasure, or even get her help to defeat an evil, but because she realized she could (relatively) safely enslave a succubus. Unfortunately, either Ayanah accidentally unsealed something else, or the people sealing Baalah in the maze had a backup plan, a necromantic spider... thing is chasing them.
- Sizeshifter: Baalah, who can go from normal human sized to large enough to fill the cavern at will.
- Snipe Hunt: Remember the treasure Baalah was down there to guard? Turns out there was no treasure. Baalah is less than pleased at this revelation.
- Squick: In-universe, this is Baalah's reaction when she finally saw what Ayanah had been doing around that corner.Baalah: "I'm having very contradictive feelings about your butt right now. It's cute and disgusting!"
- Stealth PunAyanah: Don't push your luck!
Baalah: Oh, I'm sorry...would you like me to shove it instead..?
Ayanah: Very tempting, but no.
- Super-Deformed: Frequently, often with cuter eyes and more animesque mouths at the same time. Amusingly, SD!Baalah keeps her Gag Boobs.
- Surprise Checkmate: How Ayanah is able to beat Baalah at chess. Possibly justified in that it was Baalah's first game, Ayanah is a scholar, and Baalah... "isn't."
- Toilet Humour: Fart jokes are a bit of a Running Gag due to the bad rations Ayanah ate. See Fartillery and Gass Hole above.
- Took a Level in Badass: The Necrachid.◊
- Treasure Room: What Baalah was summoned to guard for all eternity. The joke is on her, unfortunately — the cost of creating the Treasure Room, building the dungeon above it, filling it with traps, and summoning Baalah bankrupted the kingdom that was doing all this, leaving Baalah as the only thing of any value at the bottom of the dungeon.
- Tsundere: Both Ayanah (type B) and Baalah (type A, though it really doesn't take much to trigger her deredere side).
- Subverted, slightly, in that Ayanah is intentionally invoking this trope to keep Baalah interested, but also keep her from confessing romantic feelings to her until they arrive on the surface. You read that right: She's intentionally being a tease to her pet succubus. Well played, scholar girl!
- Vaporwear: As the comic is in black and white and features Barbie Doll Anatomy, there has been some debate as to whether Ayanah is wearing tights or nothing at all below the waist except her shoes. The scene here can be interpreted either as her pulling down her pants or pulling up her skirt, so jury's still out.
- The author is well aware of the duality, and continues to play with the readers. Observe this December 2011 page, wherein Ayanah's buttocks are either blushing or shaded for texture.
- Villainous Breakdown: One can argue how much of a villain Baalah is, but after losing her challenge to Ayanah, Baalah certainly has a breakdown. It continues to escalate as she realizes that Ayanah is a virgin, and has never been kissed, meaning Baalah is completely screwed, from a demon's point of view.
- Virgin Power: How Ayanah is able to bind Baalah to herself.
- Weak, but Skilled: Ayanah is only a scholar, and has no skill in combat. Regardless, she was able to venture all the way to the bottom of a labyrinthine dungeon by herself and defeat a demon without violence.
- Webcomic Time: The freaking bathroom break. It took almost a year!
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Implied to be the case with Baalah, who fears her father will disown her for being beaten by a scholar.
- What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?: Baalah, as part of the bond, seems to be falling for Ayanah, but is completely unable to comprehend the emotion.
- Worthy Opponent: Baalah implies that she had been hoping to find one during her tenure as a guardian, if only because being beaten by one would have allowed her to return to Hell with grace. But since she was instead defeated by "a little school-girl," she'll now be a laughingstock.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Baalah has purple hair, while Ayanah's is green. Justified in Baalah's case, as she's a demon, not a human.