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Webcomic / Tigress Queen

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Hail to the Queen

"If your Emperor wants to speak to me so badly, why does he not come to the south himself? Is he afraid of—what is it he calls me? The "Tigress Queen"?"
Kizarasunga, "Six-Feathers" of Zizumbir.

The tribal nation of Zizumbir has been fending off settlers from the Jaezian Empire to their north for generations. Kizarasunga, the current warlord of the South, has been invited to meet directly with the Jaezian Emperor to finally put an end to the bloodshed. The catch to the Emperor's plan for peace is that it requires a marriage alliance that no one is exactly keen on.

Tigress Queen is created by Allison Shaw, who also makes Far to the North. The comic updates Fridays and is an affiliate of Hiveworks.

The current version of Tigress Queen is a Continuity Reboot, as Shaw wasn't satisfied with the earlier one. The original version is still available here.

Tigress Queen Provides Examples Of:

  • Action Girl: Kizarasunga. She had to win at least thirty duels to the death to keep the title "Six-Feathers", and before that she was one of Zizumbir's most effective warriors in the war with Jaez.
  • Adopted into Royalty: Kezkaramki, Kizarasunga's and Zusufula's adoptive father, was King/Six-Feathers of Zizumbir.
  • Arranged Marriage: What the Emperor of Jaez has in mind to seal the peace treaty between Jaez and Zizumbir. Unfortunately, arranged marriages are not a thing in Zizumbir, and Kizarasunga is appalled when the emperor tells her his plan.
    Kizarasunga: I am not bartering over your son like a goat while he stands outside!
    Emperor: I am not—
    Kizarasunga: That's exactly what you're doing! How can I marry him? We are not even lovers! That is not a marriage, it is a sale! You're selling him for a sea port so you can save face! And you expect me to sell myself and call that peace!
  • Asskicking Leads to Leadership: In order to become "Six-Feathers" (Warlord) of Zizumbir, you must prove yourself to be the best warrior in your tribe, and become a chieftain (who each only have five feathers). The chieftains then choose the next "Six-Feathers" from the available candidates. Chieftains who are unhappy with the results have the right to challenge the new "Six-Feathers" to a fight to the death. If the challenger wins, there will (presumably) be a new election.
    Kizarasunga: Do you know how I keep all six? I kill all the men who challenge me.
  • Attempted Rape: Kizarasunga's biological parents try selling her to a goatherd to pay off a debt, and said goatherd tries doing this to her. Fortunately for Kizarasunga, a Tiger rescues her.
  • Ballroom Blitz: Kizarasunga is attacked during the royal ball. The attackers were all ethnically Gahmian.
  • Berserk Button: Don't interrupt Kizarasunga when she's talking, and especially don't talk down to her.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: Emperor Mriazosa has six sons note . The eldest (Rantu) has been effectively demoted, and the third-eldest (Jintu) has been promoted to Crown Prince. Downplayed as they seem to get along reasonably well for the most part.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Both Kizarasunga and Jintu speak several languages, including the "common tongue" of Jael and the "old tongue" of Zizumbir (which is basically Old Palladesian).
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: It turns out that "lovely fire-colored threat" is a severely over-literal translation of Kizarasunga's name. It actually means "passionate threat."
  • Comically Missing the Point: This exchange between Jintu and Rantu.
    Jintu: Her name means "threat!" "Fire-colored threat!" I can’t—
    Rantu: "Lovely."
    Jintu: What?
    Rantu: Kizarasunga. "A lovely, fire-colored threat." Who knows, maybe you’ll like her.
    Jintu: Are you being serious?
  • Culture Clash: This practically drives the plot. To start with, when people in Zizumbar do marry at all (Kizarasunga doesn't know if her blood-parents were married, while Zusufula thinks his probably were) it tends to be for love and after they've known each other/been lovers for a while; and there's no big ceremony, just one of them presenting the other with an example of their finest craft which, should it be accepted, means they're married. By contrast, most marriages among Jaezian royalty and nobility are seen as contracts between families and arranged by the person's elder relatives. This means that Kizarasunga is flummoxed by the Emperor offering her an alliance via marriage to Jintu, as she regards it as him selling his son (whom she literally met five minutes ago) for a seaport and to save face.
  • Cute Bruiser: Kizarasunga, as described by High General Khotsu.
    Khotsu: She's got these tiny little hands just like any other woman, but it's like being hit with lead. Makes no sense.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Kizarasunga and Zusufala both have one.
    • Kizarasunga's biological parents sold her to a goatherd when she was a child, and said goatherd tried to rape her before a tiger killed him to protect her. Said tiger adopted Kizarasunga and raised her for some years before Kezkaramki found and adopted her as well, but then he was killed in the war against Jaez.
    • Zusufala's entire biological family was murdered by Jaezian soldiers while he watched from hiding.
  • Earned Stripes: In Zizumbir, your rank is indicated by the number of feathers in your hair. Chieftains get five, and the "Six-Feathers" (Chieftain of Chieftains) gets six.
  • Elective Monarchy: Played with. The Six-Feathers is chosen by the chieftains of Zizumbir. When Kezkaramki died, two of his adoptive children were considered as potential successors, but it's not clear if this is a requirement. And of course, the Six-Feathers has to defend their title in duels to the death, so the chieftains have to choose someone who's up to that.
  • Entendre Failure: During the ball, a very drunk Rantu tried the old "does the carpet match the drapes" line on Kizarasunga. Fortunately for him, she didn't get the joke and Jintu distracted her by asking her to dance.
  • Genius Bruiser: Jintu is the tallest and strongest one in his family, but he's also an avid reader. His bedroom resembles a library, and he carefully researched the war between Jaez and Zizumbir in order to prove that they were part of the Empire. He failed.
  • Great Offscreen War: The "Great War" that led to the creation of Jaez, roughly 300 years before the beginning of the main story.
  • Happily Adopted: Kizarasunga was adopted first by a family of tigers, and then by the previous Six-Feathers, Kezkaramki, who had previously adopted Zusufula. She cares greatly for her adoptive parents and siblings, both tiger and human.
  • Has a Type: Both Kizarasunga and Zusufula tend to be attracted to 'pretty' people, which causes a lot of angst for Kizarasunga because they often end up liking the same people and she always feels she has to let her brother go first. Fortunately, Zusufula is strictly heterosexual, so that leaves Jintu all for her...
  • Hellish Horse: Kizarasunga and Zusufula both ride supernatural mounts that resemble horses, have many rows of teeth, and are demonic in nature. Their name in the Zizumbir language ("Thrreins") literally translates to nightmare.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Kizarasunga is on the short side; her brother Zusufula is enormous.
  • Interspecies Adoption: Kizarasunga was effectively "raised" by tigers for several years. In return, she adopted them as siblings.
  • I Have Your Wife: Kizarasunga takes High General Khotsu's son as her hostage, even though Gomi was the one who was supposed to offer himself as a hostage. Khotsu is not happy about this at all. Later, after fighting off a failed assassination attempt by traitorous Palace Guards, Kizarasunga initially assumes Khotsu and Tuzaal are behind this and threatens to harm the former's son. When she calms down and decides that they were not involved in the plot, she feels guilty for making this threat.
  • Kicking Ass in All Her Finery: Kizarasunga during the attack at the ball.
  • Love Dodecahedron: Emperor Tuzaal wants his son and heir Jintu to marry the Tigress Queen Kizarasunga to make peace between Jaez and Zizumbir. Jintu is already in love with the beautiful Lady Razendi, who appears to have a crush on Kizarasunga's brother Zusufula. Zusufula is developing his own crush on Tashti Tazilka, the staff manager at the imperial guest house; Tashti is infatuated with Kizarasunga. And finally, Kizarasunga thinks Tashti is very pretty but won't pursue the woman her brother is interested in... so she's considering Jintu even though she's not wild about the idea of an arranged marriage.
  • Mama Bear: The tigress that adopted Kizarasunga; try to harm her human cub at your own peril.
  • Massive Numbered Siblings: Kizarasunga has four tiger siblings and four adopted human brothers.
  • Meaningful Name: In Zizumbir, children are not given permanent names at birth, but just a nickname until they are old enough to develop a personality and/or do something memorable.
    • "Kizarasunga" means "passionate threat" (earlier mis-translated as "a beautiful, flame-colored threat"). This probably refers to her actions during the war with Jaez, or perhaps how she fought her way up to become "Six-Feathers" ("Queen") of Zizumbir. Zusufula calls her "Kazhra" (man-eating tiger), which was her nickname before she acquired a real one.
    • "Zusufala" apparently means "shark", since he killed one, and wears a shark's tooth on a cord around his neck. He also has a design of a hammerhead shark on his sword sheath.
    • Subverted with Jintu and his brothers. While each name is the word for a Jaezean virtue, they were only given these names because it's considered good luck for a man to have a son for each name.
  • Mistaken for Cheating: During the ball, the senior maid calls Rantu out of the main hall. Once they're in private she accuses him of trying to seduce Kizarasunga (who by this point is betrothed to Jintu), berates Rantu for seemingly being so irresponsible, and uses blackmail to get Rantu to stop it. Word of God is that Rantu was actually trying to get Jintu to like Kizarasunga more.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: Kizarasunga pulls this on Gomi during his visit to Zizumbir. It seems like she was just trying to mess with him. Either that or scent-marking him (she was partially raised by tigers, after all).
    • She also does it to Jintu when she gets to the palace, most likely just to mess with him.
  • One-Steve Limit: One of the children Kizarasunga meets in the capital is named Kenza, which she says is also her grandfather's name.
  • Pacifist: Averted with Zizumbir. It's religion teaches that killing a human's life is punishable with going to Hell for an amount of years stolen from the victim. In any other setting this would make the Zizumbir people pacifists, but they are more than willing to use lethal force to defend themselves and to accept the consequences of that.
  • Prince Charmless: The three eldest Mirazos brothers qualify.
    • Rantu, the eldest son, was disinherited for having sex with maids.
    • Kentu, the second son, was disqualified from succession because he has a bad temper. Additionally, he is actively trying to sabotage the marriage alliance his father planned.
    • Jintu, the third son and the heir, spends the first part of the story moping about his arranged marriage and being rude to the woman he's supposed to marry.
  • Raised by Wolves: Or in Kizarasunga's case, tigers.
  • Really Gets Around: Rantu lost his position as Crown Prince due to his many, many dalliances (mostly with the palace maids). And he still hasn't stopped, even now.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: The story has a few of them.
    • Emperor Mriazosa. Rather than continue a meaningless and unjustified war, he decides to make peace with Zizumbir.
    • Kizarasunga. She agreed to the peace talks, and came to Jaez to negotiate in good faith.
    • High General Khatilo Khotsu. He doesn't like being diplomatic towards Kizarasunga because she is holding his son hostage, but he does his job.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: In Zizumbir, the "Six-Feathers" has to fight to gain their rank, and has to fight even more to keep it. Also, they are expected to lead their troops in battle, not delegate the responsibility.
  • Sacred Hospitality: Zizumbir believes in this, which is why Kizarasunga doesn't try to take revenge against her father's killer when she encounters him in the Jaezean Imperial Palace. It also makes it all the more egregious when Jaezean guards tried to assassinate her. Said guards were all ethnically Gamhian, tried to kill Prince Jintu as well, and acted without Emperor Tuzaal's permission or approval.
  • Shameful Strip: When Kizarasunga was fifteen, she did this to (then Captain) Khotsu after taking him and his men hostage. Years later she still teases him about this.
  • Shipper on Deck: There are two of them in the Mirazos family.
    • Tuzaal and his eldest son Rantu are both shipping Jintu and Kizarasunga, the former so the marriage alliance goes through and the latter so Jintu will be happy.
    • Kentu, the second son, is shipping Jintu with Razendi.
  • Snakes Are Sinister: A viper attacks Jintu and almost bites him. However, Kizarasunga grabs it and gets bitten in his place.
  • Story Reset: The author had done quite a bit of work on this webcomic several years ago, but was unhappy with the art and the story. So, she decided to start all over again. The old comic is still available as a free download.
  • To Win Without Fighting: Lampshaded by Kizarasunga when she tells Jintu a story about herself and (then-Captain) Khotsu.
    Kizarasunga: ...The only truly victorious battle is the battle unfought. The less I fight, the longer I live. It is much better to intimidate your opponent into forfeiting.
  • Worthy Opponent: Kizarasunga regards High General Khotsu as this.
  • Would Hit a Girl: High General Khotsu (during the war) and the drunk ex-soldier from the marketplace. Well, they tried, anyhow.
  • You Are Worth Hell: The people of Zizumbir believe that when you marry someone, you split the years you will spend in Hell with them, so that you can meet each other in the next life faster. This is part of the reason Kizarasunga strongly objects to marrying Jintu, since she's only just met him and it would be ridiculous to ask a complete stranger to share her time in Hell.
  • You Killed My Father: The previous High General, Khotsu's predecessor, killed Kizarasunga's adoptive father and held his severed head up like a trophy. In retaliation Kizarasunga shot him through the eye, and they still hate each other for this.