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Webcomic / Splitting Image

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"A story about atonement in a caged kingdom, where not all is what it seems."
—Series description

Splitting Image is a fantasy webcomic by Iris-Grimoire, launched on May 2nd, 2019. It follows Mortimer, a former villainous Dark Lord in a world of floating islands surrounded by a barrier.

Once he was defeated, the sorcerer was allowed to use his magic knowledge to work, support his remaining lackeys, and try to make amends, but faces constant harassment from people affected by his evil plans, who think his punishment was too mild. In an attempt to help both sides, his former enemy, Great Hero Veriesin, recruited him to investigate suspicious beast attacks around the realm; but when they discover a new Dark Lord is active and reusing his former strategies, Mortimer, Veriesin and their allies must both uncover the new villain's identity, and save their world from their wrath.

The comic is hosted on Tapas and ComicFury.


Splitting Image contains examples of:

  • Accuser of the Brethren: Few people in the kingdom believe Mortimer even regrets his actions, and many make sure to threaten or insult him whenever they get the chance, even if he's only working for the kingdom for the last two years.
  • All Your Powers Combined: Black magic allows someone to use any element, even ones the person has little training with, making Dark Lords very resourceful.
  • Angsty Surviving Twin: The death of Mortimer's brother, King Dylan, made him drop his villainous act entirely, and turned him from boastful and loud into meek and reserved.
  • Author Appeal: The setting features dragons as regular citizens and appearing in nearly every crowd scene, matching the large amount of dragons in the artist's works.
  • The Atoner: Mortimer is almost entirely motivated by trying to make up for his crimes.
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  • Being Evil Sucks: Mortimer had this reaction sometime after his brother's death.
  • Black Magic: In the comic, black magic allows a person to use elements that they can't naturally use, at a far faster rate than learning through practice.
  • Bond Creatures: Elise has a magical bond with the giant beast Stormsever, and is the only one that can understand what he says.
  • Boxed Crook: Because Mortimer's black magic allowed him to specialize in multiple elements, he was freed from the dungeon in the condition that he worked on magical charms for the city, a notoriously dangerous job.
  • Cast Full of Gay: As seen on the About page on its website version, none of the main characters are straight.
  • Constructed World: Aeolia is part of a realm entirely separate from Earth, called Faelumbre. Though they are aware of our world in some way, Faelumbre works by its own rules, and Aeolia has been closed off from both.
  • Dying Curse: The citizens in Centrasight talk about rumors that Dark Lords curse the nearby land when they die; and that fear is possibly one of the reasons Mortimer cannot be excecuted.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Downplayed. Mortimer's visage startles children, but he stopped his villainous schemes long ago and tends to be more scared of other people than the other way around.
  • Elemental Powers: This type of magic is the bread and butter of living creatures in the comic, including animals. Because of this, while everyone has some ability to defend themselves, the wilderness is just as dangerous to match.
  • Evil Gloating: Veriesin immediately knew the beast attacks in Vastview couldn't be Mortimer's fault, as he'd be most likely doing a monologue in the scene.
  • Floating Continent: Aeolia floats in a featureless sky, minus its semi-invisible barrier.
  • Flying Postman: Dragons can make deliveries all on their own, and Veriesin's acquaintance Altair works with food transportation.
  • Glowing Eyes: Characters' eyes glow brightly when using strong magic.
  • Halloween Cosplay: Done in every Halloween Update so far.
    • In 2019, the characters cosplayed after their videogame inspirations, such as Count Bleck and Undyne.
    • In 2020, they cosplayed other inspirations from animation such as Bobby and Howl, while being pursued by an unknown giant werewolf.
    • In 2021, the cast used a full Deltarune set of costumes.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: Elise, the missing Legendary Hero, used an enchanted sabre.
  • Inelegant Blubbering: Mortimer is prone to this when nervous.
  • Instant Runes: These can appear during strong spells as seen in the start of Chapter 1, or be drawn by the wizard beforehand; however, the symbols are all gibberish and don't have any particular organization.
  • Involuntary Shapeshifter: At times inverted with Veriesin. Though she can transform into powerful creatures like a giant sea monster at will, she can just as easily turn into a lemur at the worst time possible.
  • Locked into Strangeness: Mortimer's eyes permanently turned neon red due to Black Magic.
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: Vertice certainly applies, if Spinelthorn's reaction to his coworker is any indication.
  • Magical Gesture: To cast a spell without a wand or special object, wizards must use body gestures, usually hands, as seen on Page 1-17.
  • Memorial Statue: A statue of the former king towers over most buildings in Centrasight, in front of the library.
  • Mundane Utility: Because everyone in Aeolia has some level of magical prowess, using spells is commonplace, such as levitating luggage.
  • Personal Horror: Before the events of the comic, Mortimer tried to become a Dark Lord for a noble goal, only to act exactly the part of a villain. Though it stopped with his brother's death, Mort's choices haunt him, regretting most years of his life and not quite sure what to do with himself until Veriesin interferes.
  • Power Crystal: Crystals with magical energy are used as light sources and water storage, though candles are still seen at times.
  • Rebellious Princess: Though Princess Quasannon doesn't seem to actively fight her duties, they don't hide how much they hate working with documents instead of defending the kingdom.
  • Robe and Wizard Hat: Mortimer has a dark blue and gold outfit, and background character wizards have different variations.
  • Sapient Steed: Stormsever cannot talk, but in theory he can be convinced to help others, and has an instant reaction to being called a pet by Mortimer.
  • Summon to Hand: Mortimer can use spells to make his staff teleport directly into his hand, or pull it from a short distance towards him.
  • Small, Secluded World: Aeolia is separated from the rest of the world by an unbreakable barrier that makes any landmass beyond appear as an indistinct mist, and other than a few rare occurences, there is no contact with the so called Realm Forgotten. The main religion even centers around weather deities, as clouds and water are the only things that seem to ignore the barrier, and they allow life on the islands.
  • Spell Blade: Elise has symbols engraved on her sabre to quickly cast a spell at the same time she slashes with it.
  • Sword and Sorcerer: Mortimer and Veriesin have this dynamic.
  • Theme Twin Naming: Mortimer and Dylan's names mean "stillwater" and "tide".