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Webcomic / The Silver Eye

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Telescopes! Archery! Venitian Masks! Assassins! Candy Canes?
Apen: Enel, if I were to cross the Deadlands, would you come with me?
Enel: Are you serious?
Apen: No, of course not, don't listen to me when I say things like that.
Enel: Good, because that's the stupidest question I've ever heard.
Chapter 6, page 16

The Silver Eye is a fantasy webcomic by Laura Hollingsworth.

The continent is divided in two, East and West. A barren desert runs between them, with death to all who enter. To the East lie the countries of Levant; the Hollingsworths of Bellingrath, and the Shephards of Cedulan. The two families are locked in a centuries-old rivalry. To the West lies Preble, Raritan, and Gallitan. The countries are at peace, for now, due to the presence of the mysterious traveller, Velvare Bamidele. He negotiated a treaty between Raritan and Gallitan and took the role as castellan until the prince of Gallitan is old enough to rule.

Fast-forward to 15 years of peace and enter Enel Smith, an orphan in Gallitan. He meets a thief named Apen Shephard, who claims he's a banished King from Levant. Apen's telescope, The Silver Eye, is an artifact from the ancient Nedarian culture of magic. He wants to make the journey back to the East...and Enel has his own reasons for following.

Started in 2009, it's just finished its first volume and has been plotted from start to finish. Updates Fridays. See artist's DeviantArt page here.

Has a Characters page in construction.

Provides examples of:

  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: The Silver Eye, a Nedarian object made of gleipnir, can cut through anything with ease, making it a very good substitute for a sword. Both Apen and his father used it as such.
  • Aerith and Bob: The author takes inspiration for her names from different cultures, which is why you have the exotic-sounding Aetius in the same story as Joe.
  • Action Dad: As a father and an excellent fighter, Joshua Shephard is a good example of this.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Blue calls Velvare "Bay". (Short for Bhatair)
  • After-Action Healing Drama: After Axeman's thrown in the river, Noah has to fix Enel's stab-wound while the rest of the crew tries to navigate their way out of the docks before the Raritan fleet catches up.
  • Alt Text: Most pages have it. Bad puns, biting sarcasm, cryptic statements, nudist horses....
  • Art Evolution: Laura Hollingsworth's style has changed quite drastically since the beginning of the story.
  • Back from the Dead Velvare was beheaded and chopped into pieces to prevent this. That still wasn't enough to stop Melete from saving him.
  • Bad Liar: The reason why no one - especially not Velvare and Noah - will tell Enel anything.
  • Big "NO!": Avidan in Chapter 14 when Velvare's stabbed through the back. Complete with tears in his eyes and a heart-wrenching expression.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: Apen's relatives aren't even divided into "bad" and "okay" - it's more like "avoid if you value your life" and "decently tolerable".
  • Birds of a Feather: Chara and Enel are both immature, goofy, and annoying. 'Twas a match made in heaven.
  • Blessed with Suck: Walter's Curse
  • Cast from Hit Points: Melete's curses require energy, and when she's exhausted or in pain, it's harder to generate that energy. When Velvare ignores his basic needs of sleep, rest, and food, the only thing holding him together is Melete's direct supply of energy, and it drains her.
  • Chekhov's Gun: It says it right on the crate.
  • Complete Immortality: Melete Dolan cursed herself so that she cannot die.
  • Cool Mask: Velvare rarely goes around in Gallitan without some sort of fancy mask, to the point where he now wears them more because people expect him to than any other reason.
  • Curse That Cures: The cures holding Velvare together. It does a good job, for the most part, considering he's supposed to be dead but sometimes Melete's magic is weakened, and he starts to fall apart again. The worst is in Chapter 10 when he's gone 8 straight days without sleep, and his cuts are bleeding so much, they completely soak through his clothes.
  • Dartboard of Hate: Berlyne makes a dartboard in the Novolog so Noah won't throw his knives at the mast. Enel's face can be seen tacked onto it in the background.
  • Death World: Not only are the Deadlands a difficult desert to cross, they're inhabited by dragons called weavers that will kill almost anyone who enters. No wonder the Cedulans realised it was the perfect place to throw criminals to.
  • Dramatic Stutter: Joshua stutters when he recognizes Atieus in the amphitheater. (Or he could just be in pain from having his leg broken by an axe.)
    Joshua: N-no. You can't be here.
  • Despair Event Horizon: For Velvare, his messenger and personal physician has gone rogue, his son, Enel is dead (so he thinks), the only person he can be honest with is keeping secrets from him, his country now knows he's connected with curses, and his adopted son has completely turned against him. There's no reason to keep holding on to the scraps of his reputation. No attempt is made to salvage the situation.
  • Dramatic Unmask: As the story goes, the only time Velvare ever showed his face was in the orphanage to the young child Enel. Enel is his son, and he asked if the boy recognized him. Not surprisingly, he didn't.
  • Driven to Suicide:Apen Shephard underwent so much tragedy that he lost the will to live and repeatedly tried to kill himself. At age ten, no less.
  • Driving Question: What is Walter's Curse?
    • What did Syllor do that was so awful? What is Syllor's curse?
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Weavers. Creatures of magic who inhabit the deserts and oceans, and kill all who wander into their realm. They get their name from the way they kill their prey: weaving in and out of their victim and pulling apart their flesh. No one knows where they came from, or exactly what they are, and there is no known defense against them. Unless you're Nedarian, or at least have some Nedarian blood in your veins.
  • Eye Color Change: As explained by Laura Hollingsworth in this Q&A comic, if a character’s eyes change colour, it is a sign that that person is descended from the Nedarians. This only happens with extreme emotion, though.
  • Faking the Dead: The last we see of Bhatair in Levant, he was nothing but a bloody mess on the amphitheater floor. He got better, but moved to the West and let everyone in his home country assume he was dead to protect himself and his family. When Apen meets up with him in Gallitan, he looks like he's seen a ghost.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: Bhatair was beheaded and then chopped into pieces. Though not shown explicitly, the bystanders' reaction tells the audience exactly what's going on. When Joshua covers him with his cape, it instantly soaks through with blood.
    Aetius: Cut him up until he is no longer recognizable as being human. He has to be so dead, not even Blue can save him.
  • Fan Disservice: Noah's a handsome lad, but so far every time he's been shown missing clothing it's because he been injured horribly and is in the process of getting patched up.
  • Feuding Families: The Hollingsworths and Shephards have been at each other for 800 years.
  • Fourth-Wall Mail Slot: A Q&A Comics page for each volume is posted on the website where fans can ask specific characters questions to receive one-panel comics with the character answering.
  • Functional Magic: A combination of Inherent and Device. The Nedarians, and ancient race of people who founded the countries the story take place in,used their magic to create curses. The curses worked - and still work - on humans, objects, and buildings. They all died out hundreds of years ago, with the exception of Melete. And possibly her husband, Syllor.
    • Descendants of Nedarians, like Velvare and Apen, have minuscule amounts of Nedarian blood, but it's not strong enough to create curses. However, if they experience powerful enough emotion, their Nedarian-ness starts to show through. Their eyes change color, and their hands turn transparent (letting their bones show through) and catch on fire, in ascending order.
    • Buildings built by Nedarians are cursed to never deteriorate, resulting in hundred-year-old buildings in pristine condition, sometimes in strange locations.
    • Anyone can use cursed devices, be they Nedarian or not. The titular Silver Eye, a cursed telescope, can see through the effects of curses, cut through anything, and even break curses (but not on people).
      • The Hollingsworths have their own Ancestral Weapon, a small, pen-sized knife. It doesn't break curses, but it still cuts through anything with little to no effort.
  • Gene Hunting: What Enel decides to do when he discovers That he isn't really an orphan.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: Antigone, pre-story proper.
  • Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: Apen possesses a cursed telescope that can cut through anything and used as a sword during combat. While it hasn't been shown in comic yet, Berlyne uses a bow and arrows.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: Enel may not be a professional guard, but we must all be thankful for that, because when tasked with guarding Apen Shephard he falls for his prisoner's persuasions very quickly. Not to mention that he was ordered not to speak to him in the first place. At least he has the excuse that he was only twelve, though.
  • Handicapped Badass: Despite her blindness, Idony has no qualms about using her umbrella against someone, and she won't let her brother shelter her from the world. She's every bit as capable on a dangerous journey in Weaver-infested waters as Joe or Berlyne. (Even more so than some of the other team members.)
  • Happily Adopted: Enel and Marcus get along very well, and even though Apen hasn't forgotten the family he was born into, he obviously loves the people who took him in.
  • Headbutting Heroes: While both are likable, Bhatair and Joshua can't stand each other.
  • Hereditary Curse: Known in the story as Walter's Curse. Little is known about it, but it affects only Walter Hollingsworth and his descendants.
  • I Call It "Vera": Aetius loves his magic axe. Her name is Gwladys.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Velvare's stabbed through the back by one of his son's guards.
  • Interrupted Suicide: Not just once, but twice. After being Driven to Suicide, Apen tries to jump off a bridge, but the Alverados stop him. It is also indicated in a following scene that he was going to slit his wrists before Velvare showed up.
  • It Runs in the Family: Walter's Curse, apparently.
  • Jerk Ass Has A Point: Noah is right about the Deadwaters being a more suitable route to Levant than the Deadlands, but he didn't have to be so rude to Apen about it.
  • Living Mood Ring: Descendents of Nedarians have eyes that change color when experiencing extreme emotion. Justified, since that much emotion makes their little bit of Nedarian blood show through, and the eye-change signals their miniscule access to magic.
  • Low Fantasy: The only magic that remains are a few cursed objects from the time of the Nedarians. Melete is the only Nedarian alive and the only one who can generate curses. Descendants of Nedarians (like the Hollingsworths and the Shephards), have a tiny bit of magic that allow their eyes to change colors and their hands to catch on fire, but that's just about it.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: In chapter 10, after many years of silence on the matter, Velvare finally admits to Enel that he isn't actually an orphan, and that he is his father.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: This flashback shows Delaney bleeding on the ground surrounded by soldiers with spears.
  • Offered the Crown: Velvare was offered the crown of Gallitan during their Succession Crisis
  • Oh, Crap!: There is a visible "oh crap" written on Apen's face when he looks behind to see a massive tidal wave headed for the Novolog.
  • Orphan's Ordeal: After his father died, Apen Shephard's life went downhill very quickly. Averted in Enel's case, as he has had a rather fortunate life. And he isn't actually an orphan, as much as he might deny it.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Bhatair is the only one who doesn't call Melete Dolan "Blue"
  • Plot Device: The title is in fact the name of a telescope called The Silver Eye, which was made by the Nedarians and handed down through the Shephard family.
  • Plot-Driving Secret: Walter's Curse is categorized as "super spoilery" by the author, because so much of the story would be revealed if she said what it was. Same with the identity of Nathan and his connections to Enel.
    • Honestly, this plot runs on so many secrets, we'd be here all day if they were all listed.
  • Plucky Girl: Chara is very cheerful and energetic even in unfortunate circumstances, such as the capitol collapsing.
  • Posthumous Character: We see an awful lot of flashbacks from Joshua Shephard's viewpoint considering he was dead from the beginning.
    • Also Antigone
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Velvare's reaction to Enel breaking Melete's legs.
    Velvare: He. Did. What?
  • Puppy-Dog Eyes: Enel (and Idony) influence people by making their eyes big and sparkly - the "orphan face".
  • The Purge: Antigone wanted to eradicate her ancestors' long-standing rivals, the descendants of Augustine and Sienna, and launched a war of extermination against them, killing 10,416,287 before she was stopped.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Enel and Apen, with Enel being the red and the more extroverted and emotionally driven one, and Apen being the blue and the more level-headed and emotionally repressive one. Their family colors even match
  • Rightful King Returns: What we presume will happen when Apen Shephard returns to Levant.
  • Scary Librarian: Marcus is an interesting variation of this. He is scary, and he is a librarian. Sometimes he's scary while he's being a librarian, such as when he expresses his irritation at orphans come and listen to him while he's reading aloud (to himself). But he can be scary when he's not at work, too - especially if Apen Shephard is involved.
  • Scenery Porn: Just look at this masterpiece.
  • Sickbed Slaying: Attempted by Noah when Velvare was in his coma. Obviously, it didn't work.
  • Skewed Priorities: Melete refuses to promise aid to the Novolog crew if they run into danger because she's still weak from having her legs broken, but she'll happily dedicate a part of her reserves to creating a fancy, over-the-top outfit for Velvare. (She's very pleased with herself.)
  • Shout-Out: The comic features many shout-outs to other works as easter eggs in the background, such as one of the characters reading Mockingjay, and numerous references to Lost.
  • Shipper on Deck: Enel really wants Marcus to marry Idony so she can be his mom. His response to Marcus' sea-sickness? "If I'm supposed to match-make you and Idony on this trip, you're going to have to do better."
  • Ship Tease: Between Apen and Berlyne a few times, like when Berlyne stares intently into the river to watch him resurface after jumping in, and the Chapter 13 cover where he is looking at the back of her head with a dreamy look in his eyes.
    • A little between Berlyne and Noah. Like when she gives him a scarf she made specially for him, and when she gets mad at him (as though she's highly offended) for giving away said scarf later. Plus all the banter between them, like this gem.
  • Succession Crisis: Gallitan had one when both their King and their Queen died within a week of each other, leaving behind only a newborn son. Cedulan was also in danger of having this, because it had male-only succession laws and (at one point) Joshua Shephard only had daughters.
  • Tangled Family Tree: If your dad had a fling with my mom who had a fling with their dad and I was adopted by a different dad and my real dad adopted someone else's son and I just found out I have more long-lost siblings... who's ruling the country?
  • Theme Naming: A long-standing Shephard tradition of naming all the children names that started with the letter "A". Joshua's parents broke the tradition, not wanting to associate themselves with his grandmother, but he started it up again, naming his kids Aphera, Adara, April, and Apen. And Aquil.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Apen's suffering literally never ends. He was banished to a desert wasteland after the death of his father and the loss of his country, then finds out years later someone has taken over the entirety of his old home.
  • Troubled Fetal Position: When Velvare starts yelling at Melete.
  • Unexpected Inheritance: When Joshua dies and Apen loses his title as king, Apen's sister April hurriedly gives him the Silver Eye, saying that as an ancient Shephard relic, it should stay in the family, even if he's being banished.
  • Worst Aid: Enel gets his shoulder dislocated and Velvare asks him if he's okay. This prompts Noah to violently grab Enel's arm and force his shoulder back into place.
    Noah: It's just dislocated! Now focus!
  • Wham Episode: Chapter 10. Apen, Marcus, the St. Claires, and the Alvarados are going to make the journey to the East (possibly leaving Enel behind), Velvare reveals he is Enel's father, and Enel could possibly be feeling the effects of Walter's Curse.
  • Wham Line: Velvare drops the bomb in Chapter 10.
    Velvare: You're not my illegitimate son, Enel. Just my son.
    • Velvare gets another one in Chapter 14.
      Avidan: Please - tell me you didn't just adopt me for the throne.
      Velvare: I can't, it was the truth.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: There are many flashbacks throughout the comic, but chapter 9 is the only whole chapter flashback so far.