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Webcomic / Starcrossed (Ravenloft)

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Starcrossed is a Dark Fantasy/Horror webcomic by Eleanor Ferron, set in the Ravenloft campaign setting.

Found in curious circumstances and then raised in a church by the kindly Father Desmarais, Santine is a young acolyte of the goddess Ezra, innocent, gregarious, and slightly hyperactive. Frederik Diavor is a sailor who collapses of what may or may not be sunstroke while walking the streets of Souragne and who definitely has some odd abilities. Marie Delacroix is a sharp-tongued alchemist who left her homeland to seek her fortune and for some reason came back, and who ends up treating Fred after Santine drags him to her doorstep. Little do they know that a fire and an improbable survival set them on a path of adventure and horror.


Set in the Ravenloft campaign setting first released in 1990 and heavily developed by White Wolf, Starcrossed is not exactly a gaming comic in the classic mold — there's no talk of levels or spell slots here. But the main cast are recognizably player characters in a sweeping campaign that takes them from the tear-stained bayous of Souragne to the decadent salons of Dementlieu.

The webcomic provides examples of:

  • Alchemy Is Magic: Both averted (Marie is an alchemist, but in practice this seems to amount more to being a pharmacist/chemist) and played straight (Girot)
  • Animate Dead: Baron Samedi's specialty
  • Affably Evil: Baron Samedi
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Both played straight and Averted - This is Ravenloft, and both Souragne and Dementlieu are known for their thoroughly depraved landowners and aristocrats (and M'sieu Gravois is a stellar example of the former), but Jean Girot and Lord Montpellier come across as surprisingly nice people despite their wealth and power.
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  • Artificial Human: Zoe
  • Badass Preacher: Father Desmarais.
  • Blasting It Out of Their Hands: Marie does this to Fred and Trivedi, at the same time.
  • Buried Alive: What Rene Gravois did to his wife
  • Buffy Speak: Santine occasionally degenerates into this when really surprised.
  • Charm Person: Trivedi's favorite ability
  • Corrupt Church: More 'apathetic' church, really - The Church in Dementlieu is more interested in books than people, and the one member of the High Church in Souragne who's mentioned has the nickname of Pere Laissez-Faire
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: Ezra
  • Cynical Mentor: Marie has shades of this, being older and more experienced than the other main characters and excruciatingly cynical
  • Didn't See That Coming: Trivedi was probably expecting something other than Fred stabbing him after being enchanted
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  • Dead Person Impersonation: Poor Vormov
  • Deadpan Snarker: Lots, with Marie as the reigning champion of sarcasm, though Captain Chevalier puts a lot of snarking into his very limited screentime.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The entire comic is mostly a heavily-shaded black and white, but there are bits of color that show up, especially around the climaxes or when something weird or supernatural is going on.
  • Detect Evil: Fred seems to have something like this, at least for extremely freaky supernatural evil things.
  • Dual Wielding: Marie does this with pistols. Starcrossed being based on the Ravenloft Campaign Setting, this seems to indicate that she's in the Pistoleer Prestige Class, which specializes in doing improbable things with pistols.
  • The Fair Folk: Epitaph is an elf, which isn't really very fey in most D&D-based settings, but around here he's an extremely creepy elf who lives underground, surrounded by dead people, and has powerful sorcerous abilities.
  • Familiar: Dirge the Whippoorwill seems to serve Epitaph as one of these.
  • Good Shepherd: Father Desmarais is one of these, and Santine might be considered a Good-Shepherd-in-Training.
  • Gothic Horror: It's Ravenloft, what do you expect?
  • Hollywood Voodoo: Done carefully. There's a blood-soaked Veve at one point, but the author explicitly states that it's a fictional one, and while Baron Samedi shows up, it's the Ravenloft Darklord, not the actual Loa.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Marie
  • Le Parkour: Fred uses this, and calls it by name. It's apparently popular in Paridon.
  • Masquerade Ball: The finale of Chapter 3: City of Masks, fittingly takes place at one of these.
  • The Mentor: Father Desmarais is a classic example. Wise, badass older character who serves as a father figure to the protagonist? Check.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: Desmarais, though he vanishes instead of dying
  • The Nameless: Santine, since she's never gotten around to picking a name
  • Nouveau Riche: Jean Girot, showing that he's a good guy and not a case of Aristocrats Are Evil. To quote Marie, "You're so Nouveau Riche, Jean. It looked even stranger to your fellow land-owners when you didn't have some underaged plaything to dote on."
  • Obi-Wan Moment: Father Desmarais even has one of these, though he doesn't exactly die but...
  • Our Demons Are Different: Trivedi shows definite signs of being a Rakshasa, a kind of Indian pseudo-demon (they're local to the world, not from Hell or the Abyss)
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: The Living Wall, a rather odd gestalt-ghost/zombie/genius loci thing— fittingly, it shares its name with a coporeal undead construct from the actual game, which is basically a wall-like slab of undead flesh and bone melded together & reanimated by necromancy.
  • Power Trio: The main cast
  • Replacement Goldfish: Turns out that Santine is this for Father Desmarais, at least in part
  • Retired Badass: Literally, in Marie's case, as she's a former (honorary) officer of the Port-a-Lucine Gendarmerie. Father Desmarais has shades of this as well, a former adventurer promoted to a quiet life at a church
  • Saintly Church: The Low Church of Souragne seems to be big on ministering to the poor.
  • Sarcastic Clapping: How we're introduced to Baron Samedi
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Thierri pulls this after Fred stabs Trivedi at a party and the Gendarmes arrive. *foof*
  • Stage Magician: Thierri
  • Superpowered Evil Side: Not necessarily evil, but both Fred and Santine have moments when their eyes start glowing, they start acting much less human, and they become a lot more scary and competent - in Santine's case, she's flat-out bulletproof.
  • Super Smoke: Father Desmarais vanishes into mist after praying for a miracle. Not as odd as it seems, since he's a ranking priest of Ezra facing certain death and Ezra is the Goddess of the Mist
  • Turn Undead: Desmarais, as a high-ranking cleric, is good at this
  • Undead Child: The original Santine
  • Unsound Effect: Used occasionally, such as when Marie is consoling Jean (*pat pat*)
  • Villain of the Week: So far we've had M'sieu Gravois in Chapter 2: Descent and Trivedi in Chapter 3: City of Masks
    • The Dragon: A role filled in Chapter 2 by Gravois's son, Etienne
    • The Brute: In Chapter 2, the big, tough, overseer employed by Gravois
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Trivedi
  • You Can't Go Home Again: At the end of Chapter 2, the main characters are forced to make a rapid escape from Souragne to avoid being charged with Gravois's murder, losing their best allies (Father Desmarais and Jean Girot) in the process.


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