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Dominic Deegan: Oracle For Hire is a webcomic started by Michael "Mookie" Terracciano in 2002. It follows the life and times of Dominic Deegan, a messianic yet pessimistic seer who travels about with Spark, his feline comic relief, and assorted companions. Originally a lighter strip based on puns and wordplay, it became a famous case of Cerebus Syndrome, arguably starting with the "Visions of Doom" arc, but certainly by "Storm of Souls". Though many fans have bemoaned subsequent Moral Dissonance and the Flanderization of characters, Dominic Deegan has always attempted to maintain some of its earlier whimsy.

Opinions are deeply and sometimes loudly divided about the quality of the comic, and the comic has a substantial Hatedom.

As of May 21, 2012, Mookie has announced that the comic is in its final year.

List of Major Arcs:

  • Visions of Doom: Dominic, Luna, and Gregory head to Barthis to try and prevent a slaughter after Dominic receives a, well, vision of doom.
  • Ecstasy and Evil: Another vision leads Dominic and Luna to his friend, Szark, to warn him about it--they learn he's married to Luna's sister, and the both of them are sleeping with a rival seer.
  • Storm of Souls: The project of Dominic's brother, Jacob, calls up the Storm of Souls, the afterlife and weapon of an ancient cult of chaos, the Chosen, who proceed to try and harness it to take over/destroy the world.
  • The Battle for Barthis: Gregory, Donovan, and Melna put on a concert to fund the rebuilding of Barthis, which was destroyed during the Storm of Souls arc, while an amoral businessman tries to buy the town out from under its residents.
  • The War in Hell: The souls of the Chosen, having been banished to Hell, become a point of contention for Hell's lords and ladies, who go to war over it.
  • Two Thief or Not Two Thief?: Stunt and Bumper, a pair of thieves who tried (and repeatedly failed) to put one over on Dominic earlier in the comic try to make it big in the rebuilt Barthis, and bring on worse problems than they intended.
  • Class Action: Dominic starts teaching at his mother's school of magic.
  • Snowsong: A survivor of the Chosen assault on Barthis returns, intent on killing Gregory, thinking he murdered her fellow cult members. Gregory takes inspiration from an old Action Book he liked as a kid to deal with the problem.
  • The Shadow of Siegfried: Having died during the War in Hell, Siegfried wreaks havoc on his former friends in life.
  • The Oracle Hunter: An assassin targeting seers sets her sights on Dominic.
  • Around the World: Dominic and Luna go on vacation to take a load off and recharge their batteries, and meet up with some old friends, some new friends, and a new friend who's an old friend
  • Built To Resist: While Luna and Dominic are away things take a turn for the worse. Dex is suddenly out of his job as sheriff and unexpectedly runs into his ex-wife, Gregory gets dumped by Pamela, and Celesto returns... and a new enemy emerges in the form of "The Beast".
  • March Across Maltak: Dominic, Luna, Donovan and Melna head into Maltak after the storms ravaging it finally end, and have to find a way to help the native Orcs heal the land and their clans.
  • A Nimmel House: Nimmel begins his first semester at the Coldfire Academy in the Winter Archipelago, where he's the only human among werewolves.
  • B.Y.O.B: Gregory, searching for something to do with his life, learns to "Be Your Own Bard," and invents death metal.
  • Walk the Wild Edge: Stunt, now a guide in the Wild Edge territories, tries to stop his fellow guides from capturing and exploiting an innocent mongrel man.
  • The Court of Karnak: After serving as Karnak's knight during his rampage across Hell, Seigfried has had enough of serving under his master's thumb and rebels against him. Meanwhile, Bulgak Adrak awakes in Hell and faces the truth about his life and death. Behind all of it The Beast is once again on the move and slowly gathering strength.
  • Altered States: After learning that both of them are infertile, Dominic and Luna look into Alterism to see if they can solve the problem.
  • Symphony of Destruction: Dominic goes to the plane of destruction to battle against The Beast.
  • Face-to-Facebath: Luna and Dominic step up to help Gregory's bandmates deal with their personal issues.
  • Revelation: After the beast kills the mentor of the Arch-Magi it is left severely weakened and must try to consume more power. Further, the one who sustains and rules the beast is revealed David Johann, the first Arch-Mage of the Fifth Circle and King of Callan.
  • The Search for Celesto: Luna and Quilt go on a search to find Celesto after his extended absence to enlist his help in exposing The Beast's benefactor. When they finally find him, Szark and Dominic must stop Celesto's plan to expose The Beast on his own terms while Gregory and Luna uncover the shocking truth about the Royal Battlecasters.
  • I Do

Tropes used include:

Tropes A-C

  • Action Mom: Miranda Deegan
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: The author (or at least Spark) is prone to using these as an alternative form of wordplay.
  • Aerith and Bob: The comic runs the gamut, from normal (Gregory Deegan) to the bizarre (Runcible Spoon).
    • Just within the Orcs, we have Stonewater and Adrak Bulgak, though Stonewater is the literal translation for the Orcish word for ice.
  • ALLCAPS: Inverted; anyone whose portrayed as talking really quietly or high pitched is written in no-caps.
  • Aloof Big Brother: Jacob. As Gregory is the youngest of the three Deegan boys, Dominic sometimes comes off as this to Gregory.
  • Animesque: Peculiarly, the art style mimics lazily drawn anime. This seems to be an artistic conceit rather than laziness on the part of this particular artist, since such tropes as the Cheeky Mouth are unnecessary in a static art form.
  • And I Must Scream: The last poacher killed in the WILD EDGE is paralyzed and eaten alive by slimes.
    • Also, if your soul gets eaten in Hell, then you will experience being eaten for the rest of eternity.
    • Seems to be the fate of the Battlecasters currently being corrupted by the Beast. At least at first.
  • Annoying Arrows: Dominic gets an arrowhead embedded into his arm without even flinching. He sports a dressing that afternoon, and walks with a cane using that arm the following day.
  • Anti-Hero: Stunt is a rougher-edged protagonist than most of the rest of the cast. He's among the few to carry a weapon, and while the rest of the Deegans prefer to capture or otherwise subdue their opponents (at least, the ones that aren't demons or zombies or monsters or something), Stunt is more often willing to kill (see the fight with Urban Eddie, and his attempt to cut the Infernomancer's throat much earlier in the comic). Ironically, he seemed to be not trying to kill the villainous poachers in his most recent spotlight, at least until they started trying to kill him.
  • Anti-Magic: Dex Garrit is a Resistant, meaning that no magic, harmful or helpful, can affect him directly.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Jayden pulls a good one on Rilian when Stunt needs help dealing with his Dark and Troubled Past before dealing with the problems in the present. All Rilian can do in response is give a couple of beats and give Stunt five minutes with the scrying pool without looking like a complete jerkass
  • Arrogant Fencing Guy / Insufferable Genius: Chance Masters, naturally talented and very egotistical. May or may not be hosting a Cosmic Horror. Used to be bullied by his current favorite victim and is apparently useless at all other sports.
  • Arrow Catch: Melna pulls this off, to the shock and amazement of her companions in this strip.
  • Art Evolution: After the first couple of years of improvements, the art quality has stayed about the same since. The only notable stylistic change recently is the addition of defined snouts for the Orcs. Mookie has said in an interview that while he can draw better, he feels the current art style fits the comic, and changing it wouldn't feel right.
  • Art Shift: Occasionally, close-ups, especially of Dominic, will be given increased detail.
  • Ascended Meme: "A Nimmel House" was originally a Fan Nickname for the arc. A few emails to Mookie, and it was official.
    • On one of the forums, the unnamed female poacher of Walk the Wild Edge would always be referred to as Vasquez, and was then officially dubbed, "Vaskez."
  • Aside Glance: Usually accompanied with an Incredibly Lame Pun. The author himself states in one of the books that it's "comedy gold!" and he'll never tire of it.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority David Johann, the king of Callan became an archmage just because he was that damn good.
    • Damn good enough to enchant the Archmages into not only making a Fifth Circle for him, but also to follow his every command.
  • The Atoner: Celesto has an... unusual view of how this trope works. Stunt plays it a bit straighter.
  • Attack Hello: Luna admitted their first encounter with Jacob scared the hell out of her. Their (rather, his) last meeting together, well...
    • Barnet stabs Dominic in the stomach on his porch when she first meets him.
  • At the Crossroads: Whenever someone reaches a metaphorical crossroads, Deegan sees everything in "gray" until that someone makes a decision.
  • Author Appeal: In his news posts, Mookie's often admitted his love for certain elements in the comic. Characters have spent entire strips focusing on food or drink that Mookie likes. Dominic's favorite food is Mavpel candy, an admitted Expy of one of Mookie's favorite candies.
    • He's more recently admitted that he likes drawing muscular orc girls because, well, he likes muscular orc girls.
    • Also, he is unapologetically a child of The Eighties.
    • He's hinted that he may have a certain fondness for breasts.
    • The B.Y.O.B. arc, according to the blurb this comic, is Mookie's tribute to metal--but it's directly inspired by a band he doesn't like.
  • Author Avatar: Not Dominic, as you might have thought. Mookie has stated (in his third book) that Dominic's father Donovan is who he considers to be most like himself. Indeed, the two often behave similarly, and share a sense of humor. The confusion largely stems from the fact that, when he draws himself, Mookie's self-portrait is virtually identical to Dominic. This is partly due to a serious case of Only Six Faces.
  • Badass Boast: Nimmel makes one to himself where he explains the real reasons he went to the Coldfire Academy, just before trying to break up a fight between his friend and the Alpha Bitch, and before she sends more werewolves to attack him.
  • Badass Normal: Rachel. Inverted somewhat with Dex, who has a rare condition that makes him immune to magic, and is thus one of the few surviving characters who can hold his own in a serious fight without magic.
  • Bad Dreams: In an early comic, Dominic makes a distinction between his visions of doom, and just regular old nightmares, and notes he's learned to differentiate between them.
  • Battle Aura: Gregory's white magic gives him a pretty cool one. And occasionally gives one to his enemies.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: Dominic's preferred combat venue. He's a Squishy Wizard in normal circumstances, but practically a juggernaut in a mindscape.
  • Battle Royale With Cheese: Used in Storm of Souls and Maltak.
  • Beat Panel: A pun will frequently be followed by the victim staring at the "camera" with a sour expression.
  • Becoming the Mask: From the looks of things, Celesto's "familiarity" with the Beast after being trapped in the Elemecca with it for so long, and subsequent impersonation of it to reveal its connection to the king of Callan, has made him...a bit too susceptible to its power.
  • Beware the Nice Ones. Bortette is a Cute Mute, Cute Monster Girl. With the level of common sense mongrelfolk seem to display, you might wonder how she manages to survive living alone in the Wild Edge... "snikt".
  • Be Yourself: The Aesop of the the story about Greg and his rock band(s).
  • Behind the Black: The plains of Maltak apparently has a visibility of five meters. Characters in this vast, featureless wasteland run into each other by accident and don't hear conversations and see events until they enter the panel.
  • Berserker Tears: Used fairly regularly, most notably by Siegfried in the War in Hell story arc.
  • Bizarre Sexual Dimorphism: Well, okay, being that they're from the Wild Edge, bizarreness is to be expected, but this is the case between Bort and Bortette. Both identified as mongrelfolk, Bort is covered in miss-matched patches of skin, with an extra eye on his chest, scales in places, and just generally looking like the poster-boy for Body Horror. Bortette, by contrast, is a Cute Monster Girl with a slightly prominent upper lip and some spikes. It's strongly implied that no two mongrelfolk are alike, or even resemble others of their kind.
  • Bi the Way: Taz MaDara, apparently. His first meeting with Gregory Deegan involves him planting a huge man-kiss on the youngest Deegan boy, much to his confusion.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Never take your eyes off the Interceptor.
    • Dex isn't the only one who can do it. Most of the cast does it once or twice, even Rilian!
  • Blessed with Suck: Being a Resistant (immune to ALL magic) sounds cool, but remember that while they can't be hurt by magic, they can't be healed by magic either.
  • Blindfolded Vision: The Infernomancer, though his eyes have been injured and will never heal, and on the inside of his blindfold is two daggers that stick straight into his eye sockets.
  • Blood From the Mouth: Used in its most classic sense, as visual shorthand for a fatal injury.
  • Body Horror: Celesto's Chaos magic has this in spades, especially in the deaths of Brett Taggerty and Serk Brakkis.
    • Alteration magic due to it being permanent (unless it's for hair).
    • What the Beast did to poor Murray would fall under this too.
  • Bold Inflation!
  • Boobs of Steel: The most-well-endowed female protagonist is Hot Amazon Rachel Hart. "Bortette" gains two or three cup sizes while fighting.
  • Break the Cutie: Inverted; Luna is introduced at the climax of her mother's year-long campaign of breaking her, and saved from suicide by Dominic. We learn more about the process in various flashbacks. Most of her character development revolves around the slow recovery of her sense of self-worth. Gregory is also somewhat subject to this trope, particularly in a couple of the later story arcs.
  • Breather Episode: Rather, a breather story arc — the "Around the World" arc, to be precise.

 Luna: Holy crap. She said that to her parents?

Dominic: Mom inherited Grandma's skill with the guilt trip.

    • A very brutal variant with Seigfreid. After his rebellion against Karnak doesn't pan out exactly like he expected, Karnak is able to convince him what a horrible bastard his father truly was. Siegfreid expresses his extreme displeasure by going out and rabidly devouring the head of his father's soul.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Often. Hilariously coupled with Buffy-Speak in the last panel of this strip
  • The Cameo: One of the Wild Edge guides/Evil Poachers was a fan cameo who was brought back as a villain because Mookie "wasn't done with him yet". He is now. Mookie: "And so with Chris's death today I continue the tradition of killing people who win a named appearance in the comic via ConnectiCon's Webcomic Charity Auction. Chris won two years ago. This year's winner may not have such a long comic life span. Tee hee."
  • Catapult Nightmare: Gregory suffers these in the lead up to "BYOB".
  • Cats Are Magic: Spark, the talking cat.
  • Character Development: Luna's has been the most significant in the strip. She's a woman who, in her first appearance, was about three seconds from hanging herself after getting turned down by Siegfried because of her tusks. Now, even getting told that she can never become pregnant doesn't get her down.
    • Stunt has been going through quite a surprising bit himself throughout the series. He's become more open and trusting of people and even lost a bit of the misogonism that defined his character after being seperated from bumper for a while and finally forgiving himself for accidently killing his mother when he was young.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Rachel's face > magical steroids.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: One of the very early strips had Dominic receiving a "see-mail" message through his crystal ball from his friend Mosley. Years later, a plot arc involving Mosley was teased. Considering how long it can take for the teased arcs to arrive (we waited two and a half years for the Oracle Hunter arc), we don't know what his significance is and probably won't for quite a while.
  • Cheeky Mouth
  • The Chessmaster: Dominic, especially during the Super-Greg arc. This is one of the reasons Dominic sometimes comes off as a Designated Hero. It's hard to come off as completely heroic when manipulating people, even if it's for the Greater Good and with the power of foresight.
  • Chosen One: Luna during March Across Maltak.
  • Combat Clairvoyance: Averted in one strip in which a fencing student wanted to see Dominic be badass.
  • Companion Cube: Gerald.
  • Conscience Makes You Go Back
  • Contractual Immortality: Celesto and The Infernomancer. In the Infernomancer's case, this is literal as his contract with Karnak makes him immune to all wounds, except the giant holes in his face.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Serk Brakkis
  • Cosmic Horror: The Beast, AKA Snuggly or Spaghetti Monster.
    • Though not portrayed as malevolent, the Hydra seen in the Vacation arc wouldn't be out of place in a Lovecraft story.
      • It's a hydra worshiped by half-fish people. If it's not a shout out to Shadow Over Innsmouth, what is?
    • Miranda's teacher, as well as the Archmagi of the Fourth and Third circles.
    • The aptly named "Guardian Destroyer" from the Plane of Destruction is regarded as one.
  • Crossing the Desert: The Maltak arc consists of trekking through a vast, featureless wasteland, in the daytime, without pack animals and with no more consumables than what the party can fit in one, ordinary-sized backpack per person, and they apparently keep their tents in those as well. (Though bags of holding have been mentioned previously.) They're also not taking care to cover their heads, and one character is in a dress. They do hire an experienced guide, but this guide is the same one who would've gone through and okayed all of that, and who built a stone fire ring miles upon miles from plant life.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Gregory.
    • "Bortette". Looks like those spikes are useful after all.
    • Professor Runcible Spoon. Though a very intelligent professor as opposed to a moron, he's generally very easy-going and occasionally silly. But if you piss him off? Lord help you.
  • Cruel Mercy: Stunt leaves the last of the poachers alive. The guy is paralyzed and "slimes eat anything".
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus- The Luanian Church, with its own Jesus Christ/Prophet Mohammed like figure in The Prophet Luana, is the ruling faith in Callan. Throughout the "Around the World" story arc, other racial faiths were touched upon as well as a lesser Callanian religion of Scapilanism in Jayden and Stunt's pilgrimage to the Desert of Eldariat.
  • Cultural Posturing: Some of the WA's werewolves do this on occasion; claiming that Callanians and other outsiders are inherently untrustworthy compared to werewolves.
  • Curb Stomp Battle: In this corner, Jacob Deegan, necromancer and mad scientist who's in the past slaughtered several of the Chosen, beat a spellwolf in single combat, and has been a serious antagonist throughout the comic. In this corner, is the Shintula Chief, whose son Jacob just brutally attacked. Jacob didn't stand a chance.
  • Curse Cut Short: Subverted in this strip.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Dominic has complained since the very first strip about the burdens of being a seer, especially his gift of random visions. He wanted to help people with his gift; instead the comic opens In Medias Res with him being a fortune teller for a town of complete idiots.
    • Dex Garrett is a resistant, meaning he suffers from a rare condition that renders him completely immune to magic, both helpful and harmful. It also makes it very difficult for him to find stable work that play to Dex's strengths (high risk jobs), because employers have to pay heavy taxes and rifle through ridiculous amounts of paperwork to hire one.
    • Spark considered the curse put on Dominic in the first arc (which caused fish to appear out of nowhere and land on Dominic's head whenever he smoked) to be this.
  • Cute Little Fangs: Inverted with Luna's, though in-universe it's considered a hideous deformity.
  • Cute Monster Girl: The transformation of infromancers after eating souls seems to work out better for the woman.

Tropes D-G

  • Dark Action Girl: Snowsong and Hirek.
  • Darker and Edgier: Spoofed with Dominic's favorite comic being Ret Conned into the character "discovering" he's half demon ... much to Dominic's dismay.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Rilian, the first necromancer, is basically a walking skeleton. In the Around the World arc, he masquerades as a fat jolly necromancer named Brian. This is said to be what he used to be like before the problems of the world and the weight of centuries made him bitter and unpleasantly pragmatic.
    • The Nakta and the Akta are all about this. Specifically the Nakta while dark can be used to take another persons pain into yourself healing them while hurting you. Toward the end the Akta is used to steal life from others to strengthen the user.
    • Black magic in general embraces this trope. Although fueling spells with negative emotions like anger, sorrow, or hatred does presumably have a long-term net negative effect on the psyche, it appears to be magic focused on the principle of destruction rather than magic that is inherently evil.
  • The Dark Side Will Make You Forget: Delving into infernomancy, even for ostensibly good reasons like Bulgak's, will erode your conscience until you care about nothing but yourself.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Everyone, from time to time; even in dramatic arcs the comic will revert periodically to its roots and put in punchlines, and when not doing that the snarking goes into the dialogue in a less jokey way. Dominic has grown less snarky through his character development, but other have appeared to share the duty. Jacob is very big on this. Karnak has developed the tendency increasingly.

 Siegfried: [Over about a week's worth of strips as he charges across Hell for his Roaring Rampage of Revenge] KARNAK! KARNAK! KARNAK!

Karnak: I heard you the first time.


  Dominic Deegan: See the truth!


Tropes H-M

  • Hard Head: Rachel Hart. "I break things with my face."
  • Harmless Freezing: Ice spells have a tendency to do this, which is handy, because they're the weapon-of-choice for several of the good guys. See Luna to Stunt and Bumper early in the comic, who come out of it with only the sniffles, and Nimmel more recently with a pair of werewolves.
  • Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?: Mookie has a habit of reminding the readers in his newsposts that he loves boobs every time breasts appear or are mentioned in the comic.
  • Have I Mentioned I Am Gay?: Szark. Once he comes out, he and the people around him can't stop mentioning it. This was mocked by fans who, whenever they would mention Szark, would write, "Szark (who is gay)".
  • He-Man Woman Hater: Stunt, to a ludicrous degree.
  • He Who Must Not Be Seen: The King of Callan, in his initial appearances.
  • Head-Tiltingly Kinky: Hobgoblin mating season sex. Surprisingly, it is safe for work.
  • The Heart: Early on, both Gregory and Luna fulfill this role for Dominic.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: The two younger Deegan brothers abide heavily by this trope, Luna having strawberry-blonde hair (though it's described as just "blonde") and Pam having a veritable mane of fiery red hair.
  • Hollywood Healing: The head of the Wild Edge guides goes from having a knife in the gut to running at full speed and surfing a slab of rock down an avalanche after Stunt patches her up, without any apparent use of anything more than some bandages and stitches, although they do dramatically pop out in the process.
  • Hollywood Tactics: Men, half of you will charge in to fight the enemy hand-to-hand! The other half will then take up their bows and fire into the melee! But remember: don't kill anyone!
  • Homage: It appears that the author got a lot of inspiration from The Slayers anime, including several characters who start powering up a Sphere of Destruction illusion, not to mention the Animesque character design and Fantasy Kitchen Sink setting (although the person who pointed this out noted that Naga's breasts would hardly stand out in DD).
    • David Johann, the king of Callan and new big-bad is basically Slayers' Priest Rezo (points by ZeeToo): Masters magic, produces wonders, widely hailed [but] can't fix [his] own eyes. Makes pact with otherworldly monsters. One of the five biggest magic-users in the setting. He's also a combination of "elected queen" Amidala, Lex Luthor (super-genius with good-ish publicity) and Vegeta (powerful hand-lasers).
  • Hospital Hottie: Nurse Pam, particularly during the Hello, Nurse! arc.
  • Hot Amazon: Rachel Hart, Barnet Travoria.
  • Hot Librarian: Pam Chayler. Well, hot nurse, but the trope still applies.
  • Hot Scientist: Cassafinn Sunderliss
  • Hot Teacher: Dominic, apparently. And Cassafin, pre-promotion.
  • Humiliation Conga: The last Evil Poacher is paralyzed, peed on by a cloud-creature, and eaten alive by slimes.
    • Earlier, Serk Brakkis winds up along these lines - after having his toupee impaled, he finds every crime he's committed in the prior few years paraded past him one by one, leading to his Smug Snake mannerisms completely disintegrating. And to top it all off, he's then teleported back to Callan via lightning.
  • Hurricane of Puns: Lots of them. Sometimes one-sided, sometimes a volley between two characters, and sometimes the entire on-panel cast will join in.
  • Howl of Sorrow: One use of werewolf howls is to announce the break-up of a pack. Given what breaks up a pack...this is generally a combination of rage and painfully deep sorrow. And it doesn't just announce that the pack has broken up, it announces exactly why it's broken up.
  • An Ice Person: Stonewater, Nimmel, and of course Snowsong.
  • I Always Wanted to Say That: Dance, Puppets! Dance!
  • I Am Not Right Handed: Szark
  • I Just Knew: Constantly, especially in Maltak. Huk Thak once pulls this off three distinct times in a single 8-panel strip. The best part is that the last one turns out to be completely inaccurate.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Dominic's mindscape battle with Szark.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: The reasons run the gamut from bad days at work to vomiting up a "virus spell" after a long and arduous psychic battle.
  • If I Can't Have You: Karnak's motive for attacking Miranda.
  • Ignored Epiphany: Bulgak's desperate effort to deny the evil he accepted and committed as an Infernomancer.
    • His eventual acceptance of his evil is juxtaposed against Siegfried's inability to do so.
  • Important Haircut: Nimmel recently gave himself one.
    • Gregory later inverts this and has his hair made much longer via hair alterist when he starts his band.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: The Rhazgala are apparently such good archers that they can fire volleys into the air into a melee with such accuracy as to only score non-lethal hits, a pretty much impossible feat in real life.
  • Improvised Golems: Nimmel's Improvised snow golem
  • I'm Standing Right Here: When Miranda reflected on how her parents reacted to her and Donovan's engagement, they were incredibly uncouth in regards to their opinion of him. Donovan reacts by saying this exactly.
  • In Love with Your Carnage: Ripping apart the poachers solidifies Bort's love for "Bortette".
  • In the End You Are on Your Own: Despite all the others who undertake the quest with him, Dominic usually fights the Big Bad alone.
    • Despite leading the entire Shintula tribe to the Bikta camp, Thuen Gor is the only one who does any fighting.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: Most, if not all, of the hurricaned puns, at a bare minimum, make people rolls their eyes. In other cases...
  • Informed Ability: Reinholdt is supposedly trained in "Wasteland Survival", and yet clearly has no idea what he's doing. ** Since it's a Magical Wasteland Dead World and all around Planet Eris, it would be silly that the same limits should apply to the letter of the law.
  • Insistent Terminology: Inverted. Brett Taggerty called Gregory a faggot and Rachel a dyke at about every opportunity. Neither, especially Rachel, would put up with his crap.
  • Instant Expert: Chance Masters was apparently terrible at physical activities and didn't expect sword fighting to be any better. To his surprise he beat his foe on the first try! He may or may not be playing host to a cosmic horror.
  • Irony: Chance Masters is first shown as a wealthy arrogent bully who gives special attention to another boy with a ponytail. It turns out "Ponytail" used to bully Chance because Chance sucked at sports and he ("Ponytail") thought that all rich kids were jerks because that's how his "action books" always portrayed them (apparently Richie Rich doesn't exist in Callan).
  • It Has Been an Honor: Siegfried's Final Speech.
  • It's Raining Men: Or in this case, souls.
  • Jerkass: Lord Siegfried Damaske, Stunt.
    • Stunt gets Character Development, eventually. Siegfried gets some of that and it was perfectly possible to be somewhat attached to him, but he also gets killed, and dragged to hell, and turned into a demon servant, and then the true depths of his cruelty and self-delusion are displayed at length as he gloats in his brief ascendancy in hell, and then he gets his ass handed to him again, and then a guy's soul explodes and he's a pathetic, crippled demon, and then he eats his father's still-talking severed head in revenge for raising him to be a psycho, and was last seen crying for somebody, anybody, to help him.
    • Karnak was a Jerkass from day one. In the strip, not his actual life; he seems to have been a decent guy once, that nasty episode toward the end notwithstanding.
    • Celesto over half the time. Collateral Damage Man is a title he earned by being really into that 'pfft, sacrifices for the cause' thing.
    • Siegfried's dad. That Doma chieftain Melna whacks. TIM. Rilian rather often, despite being pretty definitely on the right side and having his good side. The Ma Dara kid.
    • JACOB, though he seems to have finally got a clue. All the bad guys are jerkasses, partly because they all participate in some way in the strip's style of humor.
  • Jerk Jock: Brett Taggerty and the majority of the Baccdair Brawlers fit this trope perfectly. Dex Garrit and Rachel Hart are the only athletes who don't.
    • Several of the werewolves we've seen at Coldfire Academy fit this profile. Some of them soften, though, after the Alpha Bitch goes too far.
    • Chance Masters is a spoiled brat who is excellent at fencing.
    • Chance's favorite target Heliner used to be one and bullied Chance mercilessly.
  • Jossed: The "creative misinterpretation" of the strip mentioned in the description is undercut quite a bit by the fact the supposed "murder victim" shows up perfectly fine later.
  • Journey to the Center of the Mind
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: A certain elemental goes from a womanising scumbag to a insane mass of death earth attempting to kill one of the main characters. Then again, it was less "jumping" and more "shoved by Jacob".
    • Dominic thinks that Celesto is going off the deep end with his insane scheme to implicate the King and the Beast by murdering Chance with a fake Beast. What really worries Dominic is that Celesto is positively giddy about this plan.
  • Kangaroo Court: Well, at least Siegfried is honest about it.
  • Karmic Death: Brett Taggerty and Serk Brakkis, from Celesto's (And some readers) point of view, anyway.
  • Kick the Dog: Among the first things we see Siegfried do are beat Dominic to a pulp for not giving him the prediction he wanted, and then beating Gregory, a crippled kid, with his own walking stick. Of course, he does Pet the Dog a couple times later on.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Celesto Morgan's merciless exploding of Brett Taggerty and Serk Brakkis. Merciless, and rather messy, but executed on an Asshole Victim extraordinaire both times.
  • Kids Are Cruel: Even at universities studying the intricacies of magic, there are still bullies.
  • Killed Off for Real: Klo Tark's second death seems to have stuck.
    • Narrowly averted with Luna. At the end of the March Across Maltak arc Mookie said that he really considerd letting Luna die in order to get a more dramatic ending. He decided against it after considering how it would absolutely destroy Dominic and kill the future plot lines he planned out.
    • In the start of the comic's last year, Mookie declares that not everyone will make it to the end...and then kills Bumper.
  • Large Ham: Zelda (No, not that Zelda), an old friend of Domonic's during her appearance in the Oracle Hunter Arc. For more fun, remember that Zelda Zanzibar is based on a gag Mookie used to pull. Yes, in drag.
  • Law of Inverse Fertility / Babies Ever After: Not sure how to classify this: Luna was rendered infertile, but a few of her eggs survived. Since Dom's infertile as well she decides to donate them and the eggs will, to quote the alterist, "actually take on the genetics of the recipient."
  • Layout Screw The 8 frames of each strip can and have been screwed with to show something is happening in-universe relating to the metaphysical planes in one form or another. This also allows for funny stuff to happen in the background.
  • Let's Wait a While: Dominic and Luna holding off on sex until "the time was right."
  • Letting Her Hair Down: Nurse Pam
  • Light Is Not Good: While the Akta isn't bad, being a force for life and healing, its most powerful practitioner, the Bikta spirit father, is a fanatical asshole.
  • Longing Look
  • Love At First Sight: Usually averted, but played straight with Hansi and Kiya.
  • Love It or Hate It: Invoked in-universe with Greg's second band. At their opening concert, half the crowd walked out right off the bat, but the other half stayed and had a blast.
  • Lower Deck Episode: Occasionally, we're treated to an arc without our main characters: Hello, Nurse! and Built to Resist omitted Dominic and Luna in favor of Gregory, and Two Thief featured only a small cameo from Dominic.
    • 2010 was basically a Lower Deck year, to even out the fact that one story arc took up the entirety of 2009.
  • Lowest Common Denominator: The concept was relentlessly mocked here.
  • Mad Scientist: Jacob Deegan the necromancer.
  • Made of Iron: Rachel "I Break Things With My Face" Hart
  • The Magic Goes Away: The Maltak arc ends with the Orcs' magic being taken away by Maltak to aid its rebirth. It doesn't seem to be completely gone, though, more that they'll have to rediscover it.
    • And the next arc begins with Callanian Magic mysteriously malfunctioning as a result.
  • Magitek / Functional Magic: What starts out as a pseudo-medieval fantasy world turns out to be a world with advanced arcane laboratories, magical electric guitars, heavy metal bands ... and, apparently, spandex. There's also magical surgery, magical CT scans, and magical obstetrics, as well as whatever magical devices that allowed them to learn about genetics.
  • Makeover Montage: Rachel Hart makes it happen.
  • Mama Bear: Mess with Miranda Deegan's kids, and she will fuck you up.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Dominic gets dangerously close to being one during the Super-Greg arc. He's far from the worst example though.
  • Manly Tears: All over the place.
  • Meaningful Name: Donovan's orcish name, for one. For two, Stonewater. For three, Huk Thak. For four, Rocky the golem.
    • On a more symbolic note, "Karnak" is old orcish for "The Morning Star". Which comes off as Fridge Brilliance when you consider that he uses Bulgak as an exploding ball of doom wrapped around a chain by throwing him on their enemies.
    • Stunt is stunted. The religion of his homeland, Scaplianism (it's not as sexually liberated as Luanianism and his father being religious and abusive didn't help his view) might be a shout-out/take that at Episcopalians.
  • Messianic Archetype: Luna has become this in the March Across Maltak arc, becoming essentially the Jesus of the orcs. She sprouts plant life wherever she walks, can pull water from nowhere, and is literally powered by the gods of Maltak. Near the end of the arc, she dies and is promptly resurrected.
    • Klo Tark died for your sins. Twice.
  • Metal Scream: Weaponized, even.
  • Mighty Whitey: Nimmel is basically called one by Milov, as Milov explains just why he personally accepted him to the Coldfire Academy. It remains to be seen if we are supposed to be taking him seriously or not.

 "You're a better werewolf then most werewolves."

    • Arguably Luna during the Maltak arc(s), when she was divinely appointed to be unifier of the tribes by the elemental gods of Maltak.
  • A Million Is a Statistic: At the end of the Maltak Arc, much is made of Luna's personal sacrifices, but no mention is made of the heavy casualties of the Big Bikta Battle.
    • It's implied that the newly dead came back rather than than return to the earth. That may have just been Jacob and those he was holding, but he didn't seem to be in control of it, he was simply assuring those two followed him.
  • Mind Rape: Siegfried hijacks a lunar divination between Dominic and Milov to do this, displaying his fate since the War in Hell and his past affair with Lady Jayden in order to force Milov into having a Heroic BSOD.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Bumper could have sworn Stunt hated women because he was gay. It turns out he just really can't stand women, at least ones that throw fire balls at him.
  • Moment Killer: Played for Laughs with Dex.
  • Mood Whiplash: This strip could be the trope picture. Switching directly from people grieving, realisticly, over a villain, to a bunch of posh slimes eating the same.
    • Before that, we have Luna being returned to life, by virtue of Dominic's heartbroken grief being interrupted by her jolting awake so suddenly she headbutts him in the face.
  • More Hero Than Thou
  • More Than Mind Control: Karnak's control of Szark. May or may not be currently occurring to Demon-Siegfried.
  • Mundane Utility: Crystal balls are videophones. Frequently even when there's no one with scrying talent established on either end of the line. Scarlatti used Tomen's Teleport Service to get to Barthis so quickly for the duel. And the people with flying spells use them all the freaking time, as well as Dominic's ability to 'bookmark' to any of a few set places instantly, as often as he wants.
    • Also, alterism. It's basically plastic surgery, only magic and therefore with far more options. Like, presumably, ftm sex-change operations that really work, as it were.
    • Magic is essentially mundane in this world, apart from not being available to everyone--even things like monitoring Hell are only deviations in scale from the routine. Some ritual stuff and horror and of course the major world-saving quests are the main exceptions.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Karnak's attempted way of dealing with the love triangle between him, Miranda, and Donovan. He thought better of it without actually killing anyone, so one hopes it didn't count too much toward damnation.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: A lot. Heel Realization happens a lot, although sometimes (especially if your name is Celesto) it turns into Ignored Epiphany pretty quick.
  • My Hovercraft Is Full of Eels: Donovan's attempts at speaking orcish. Its on purpose.

Tropes N-R

  • Nerd: Dominic was a huge nerd as a kid. So is Prento Fallin, one of Dominic's students. Mookie proudly proclaims he is one in real life.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Several examples, including:
    • A twofer Nice Job Breaking It, Hero, involving Gregory and Brett Taggerty. First, a wasted Brett punches out Pamela, whom Gregory has a crush on, and dares him to fight back using his white magic. Gregory erupts into a geyser of white fire. Oops. The resulting tidal wave of White Magic heals everyone in the hospital...with the unintended side effect of powering up Brett and the rest of his Slaughterball team, and sobers them up, too. Oops.
    • Overlapping with Oh Crap: The Infernomancer's response when Dominic tells him the demon lord he was supposedly bound to serve didn't have control over him: "Now I get to kill you the way I've always wanted to — slowly!"
    • Something the Shintula Chieftain experiences in the form of Luna's Chosen One status, which would never have happened if he hadn't cursed the Callanians with the affliction that would lead Luna to being born with 'Tusk-Mouth' in the first place.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Jacob tries to kill Gregory by ripping the Blight of the Undead out of Gregory's body (through his unaffected parts). Turns out he just removed the Restraining Bolt that hampered his white magical abilities.
  • No Bisexuals: Szark was apparently deluding himself that he was turned on by his wife back when he was a hedonist, even though hedonists don't go in much for that. Because he's gay now. Totally. And doesn't like women and makes gay jokes pretty much every time he opens his mouth. It's part of the Heel Face Turn package. The monks helped him realize it and now he's comfortable with himself. Because obviously only people who're sunk deep into depravity would like both girls and guys, and they also usually express that by having threesomes.
    • During 'Two Thief' Szark makes a passing remark (and a tasteless joke) that revealed that at some point during the several hours Amelia had Bumper as her brainwashed 'exotic toy,' they fit in a foursome. This is technically rape, and one has to hope Bumper doesn't remember. That night was traumatic enough for him.
    • Actually, that was established in the original arc. Background of panel two. He seems to be asleep.
  • No Name Given: Stunt's female boss didn't get a name until the last page of the WILD EDGE! story, (Gail Vazkes); meanwhile several male poachers got names much earlier despite being Red Shirts.
  • Noble Demon: Averted. Word of God is that incarnations of evil are actually evil for once.
  • Noble Savage: Orcs.
  • Non-Lethal Warfare: They're beating us up with their arrow volleys! Apparently the idea is the orcs were shooting to wound but...well, Arrow Volleys Do Not Work That Way.
    • Almost immediately averted when the other side's leader uses nature magic to upgrade his troops' weapons with spikes. Then the archers start shooting to kill.
  • Non-Mammal Mammaries: The Nagasta and the Qualenti. Mookie has admitted this doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but put them in because, "I like boobs."
  • Not In This For Your Pilgrimage: Initially Stunt doesn't care one whit for Jayden's spiritual journey into Eldariat (not that he actively wants to support her supposed quest for death either). All he cares about is the Lost Treasure of Luana. This changes a bit as they get closer to the end and explore each other's motivations for taking the pilgrimage together.
  • Oblivious Younger Sibling: Gregory refuses to believe that his big brother Jacob is at all evil... until Jacob admits he tried to kill him.
  • Odd Couple: Former thief, Anti-Hero, and Deadpan Snarker Stunt is paired up with good-hearted, noble (if tainted in her own mind) priestess Jayden on her spiritual pilgrimage of redemption. It ends up being It's the Journey That Counts which helps both of them let go of the past and Stunt (perhaps not) fully reforms.
  • Odd-Shaped Panel: Whenever Dominic goes into another plane of existence, the standard panel arrangement disappears.
  • Offhand Backhand: With plants
  • Off-Model: Mookie has problems drawing female bodies without looking off.
  • Oh Crap: The Shintula Chief tells Luna to choose her words carefully...She does indeed.

 Gregory: Hey, everyone. We're Facebath! AND WE'RE HERE TO KICK YOUR ASS!

Miranda: oh dear.[2]

  • One-Way Visor: Damned Sigfreid and corrupted Jayden
  • One-Winged Angel: The diminutive Dirk the Mighty can transform into a powerful ogre. Infernomancers like Caylen Bren and Bulgak become more obviously demonic the more they tap into their demon lords' power. After becoming the servant of an Eldritch Abomination, TIM shifts between a mostly human form and a mass of tentacled horror at will.
  • Only Six Faces: Lampshaded here. There are other occasions where it's clear that Mookie is aware of it. Dex Garrit and Dominic Deegan look alike because they share similar hair. The mystery and dramatic reveal of the Oracle Hunter's identity was only able to keep the reader guessing because of this trope.
    • Gets kind of ridiculous when you add Generation Xerox: Dom and Greg look like their mother and father while their older brother has their mother's parents' hair and better-than-thou attitude. It also kind of messed-up the dramatic entry of The Infernomancer into the Beast's and King Johan's plot since wasn't named and he looks like a buffed-up Greg with cool gauntlets.
  • Omniscient Morality License: Lots. Especially Rilian. And his Omniscient Council of Random Secondary Characters Plus Dragon.
  • Open the Iris: They're anime style characters. The sizes of their irises/pupils change with their emotions.
  • Orcus on His Throne: Since his reveal as The Beast's partner-in-crime, the King of Callan has been fairly passive overall. It's eventually revealed that this is because he was waiting for the Beast's champion the Infernomancer to regenerate. It also highlights just how little he thinks of his enemies' efforts against him.
  • Our Orcs Are Different: Herbivores
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: Are their own culture, and come in two flavors: Werewolves, and Spellwolves. Both can shift at will, and retain pretty much all their mental faculties. Spellwolves are a special, rarer type of Werewolf that can use considerable magical power. The moon is significant in the culture, and Spellwolves can use the full moon to scry like seers.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: Most fans consider Greg's recent "honest and ugly" attitude to just come from nowhere. Gregory was once a timid and innocent ditz who would do anything to protect his friends and family. Now he's become something of a smug jerk who actually enjoys his horrific "blightmares" as they give him inspiration for his music. Whether this is Character Development or Character Derailment depends entirely on your opinion, but most fans stopped taking him seriously after he supposedly wrote songs about an infernomancer ripping Dex apart and even named the band after his rehabilitation.
  • Out of Focus: Given the comic's large character base and varied locations, it's not uncommon for the focus to change drastically from arc to arc. Supporting characters like Milov and Jayden will sometimes disappear for arcs at a time, and even main characters like Dominic and Luna will occasionally take an arc off.
    • After the end of the Maltak arc, Dominic and Luna were absent from the comic for nearly an entire year.
  • Overly Long Name: A really, really early gag with Siggy's full name. We don't hear the whole thing again for eight years.
  • Paint It Black: The Nakta does this to Luna's hair.
  • Panty Shot: In-universe example; Quilt has rudimentary second sight. Only problem is, when he uses it, the image is always the same...right up Pam's legs.
  • Papa Wolf: Though not as rabid as Miranda, when you're around Donovan, it's really not a good idea to screw with Dominic or Gregory. There's also the Shintula Chief, as Jacob learns the hard way.
    • Don't forget the poppa furry things of the Wild Edge.
  • The Paragon: Dominic and Luna's goal in the Maltak arc.
  • Pardon My Klingon: Ilka Tuk Tak, as well as "Kegak," which seems to be more of a direct insult.
    • This strip gets funnier if you imagine the phrase means "motherfucker", although anything with fuck in it is probably broad enough for the number of places "Ilka Tuk Tak" get's used.
      • Given a lookup in a Scots dictionary, Ilka Tuk Tak would translate to "Gather each thorn." Taken as an idiomatic phrase meant to convey an incredibly demeaning and humiliating task (or the feeling associated with it), this meaning makes sense and fits with their culture/herbivorous nature.
    • Later comics give us "kiak", "fak", "uruk", and "thok".
  • Parent Ex Machina: Miranda, somewhat exceptional in that the main character is (ostensibly) no longer a child. Actually lampshaded at one point when Miranda tries a few puns on the phrase, including "Mama Ex Machina" and "Deus Ex Momina," and, after seeing the confused reactions of her audience, she settles for, "I'm his mother, and I'm going to fix everything."
  • Pet Homosexual: Szark. Oh, Szark.
  • Pet the Dog: Jacob resurrecting Luna. "Don't say I've never done anything for this family."
    • Just after Celesto kills Brett Taggerty: "Go. Get out of here. Run home to your daughter, hold her tight, and thank her for that 'good luck pinch.' It just saved your life."
  • Pimped-Out Dress: Amelia's dresses
  • Planet of Hats: In this case, Tribe of Hairstyles. Every tribe in Maltak is given their own adjective.
  • Poke in the Third Eye
  • Politically-Incorrect Villain: Siegfried, Siegfried's father and Brett Taggerty come to mind
  • Porn Stash: You never guess WHOSE porn stash it's referring to...
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: A rare case of this being presented in a positive manner. At the conclusion of the Maltak arc, the souls of the Orc dead are absorbed back into Maltak to help it recover. Essentially, the souls of the Orcs have been turned into spiritual mulch.
    • Rather, it's explained that this was a natural cycle that the poison in Maltak was halting, which is why the place was barren in the first place.
    • An Acibek is a golem created by merging multiple souls into a single collective entity using Order magic. The original Acibek was created by the elf tyrant Raf Maliksh using the souls of his own followers. It's no wonder Acibek immediately turned on Raf in disgust. Two other characters, Dirk the Mighty and Leaflette the former Sylvan Oracle, are also Acibeks. Dirk was created by Leaflette to be a guardian for the Dryad using the souls of a tree ogre, slumber flower, and a halfling. Leaflette was created by the original Acibek using an unknown combination of souls. This is also an unusually positive case: Acibek assures the loved ones of Raf's sacrifices that the souls inside him are at peace within his collective being.
    • The Evil Counterpart of the Acibek, the Storm of Souls, is as nasty as it sounds. It's an Eldritch Abomination composed of the souls of the Chaos worshipping Chosen that can devour other souls as well. Unlike an Acibek, the souls within the Storm are not at peace.
  • The Power of Legacy: Used twice: once when Donovan sees Karnak jump into Hell after beating him to a pulp, he chooses not to tell Miranda about what had happened. Later on, Dominic follows his father's example by telling Milov and Jayden that Siegfreid died as a knight of Callan, even though he was a genocidal maniac who promptly went to Hell. The first example is the Trope Namer and is found here. The second one is here.
  • The Power of Rock: Papa Deegan's specialty; Greg seems to have inherited it.
  • Precision F-Strike: And Mookie makes no apologies.
    • An earlier example was when a character said "shit" for the first time, though Mookie played up on it in his post, despite much more mature content done in previous comic strips. Specifically, he had originally intended the character to say "Oh Crap", but felt "Oh shit" was stronger and fit better.
  • Pretty in Mink: One of Amelia's dresses. Miranda's mother had a fur muff.
  • Progressively Prettier: Luna's tusks have become noticeably less, er, protrusive, over the years.
  • Psychic Nosebleed: Dominic gets one after banishing a demon overlord with his mind.
    • Celesto is frequently a victim of this as it slowly becomes harder and harder for him to fight off The Beast's influence on his mind.
  • Pure Magic Being: Several.
  • Put on a Bus: Szark and Snowsong are sent to the Aberthast Cathedral for a while to get counseling after they nearly go off the deep end.
    • There's also Luna's sister, Barnet, who's currently in jail awaiting trial.
    • At the conclusion of the Maltak arc, Reinholdt is put on a mountain.
    • Nimmel when he left for the Winter Archipelago for some wacky nudist werewolf hijinx!
  • Pygmalion Plot: Leaflette fell in love with her creator Acibek. An odd case, since both of them are golems created using the same process. Sadly, they only get to be Together in Death.
  • Black Comedy Rape / Double Standard Rape (Female on Male): When revealing how Luna lost her virginity, there's a one-panel sight gag of a panicked Dominic tied up, wearing cat ears, and screaming "help!", with the information that he slept with Gregory's friend Rachel the mercenary on their first date, and "didn't have much of a choice."
  • Rape as Drama: Given an unusual examination with Stonewater and Melsheena, but many of its regular subtropes played straight.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Stunt, in his early days of semi-violent misogyni still gets appaled by the implication that he'd use "Sin City Specials" while in Erossus.
  • Reality Subtext: One can't help but notice that soon after Mookie and his lady-friend broke up, the Beta Couple who were madly in love with each other break up after she cheated on him.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Dominic's father, Donovan, is the Trope Namer.
  • Red Right Hand: Jacob Deegan has (had?) one skeletal hand.
  • Red Shirt: A lot of these guys are lost in Built to Resist. They don't call Celesto 'Collateral Damage Man' for nothing.
    • Also anyone who wins a named appearance in the comic.
  • Redshirt Army: The Rhazgala clan, in the final battle of March Across Maltak.
  • Redemption in the Rain: Played straight, in Maltak, where the orc tattoos washing off, was used to show show their powers are returning to nature.
  • Retired Badass: Donovan Deegan.
  • Retcon: Borderline: What happened to Stunt's mother and why. In a deleted comic, Stunt said he "slit her nasty throat" because she was abusive. That was removed and replaced with one where he just said she was his first murder. Then it turns out he was just trying to scare her and his mother's lesbian lover apparently (accidentally?) pushed her in front of his knife.
  • The Reveal: Throughout the Oracle Hunter Arc, it's heavily implied that Barnet is the illegitimate child of Donovan and a woman he dated prior to meeting Miranda, making her Dominic's half-sister. However, it's later revealed that she's actually one of Luna's sisters.
  • Rule of Cool: Mookie is known to invoke continuity errors or unexplained events for the sake of coolness. For example: why does Melna's hammer have lightning coming from it when she kills the Doma chief? Because "it's pretty f* cking metal."
    • Mookie also invoked this involving a Rain of Arrows that inexpicably changed direction from one strip to another:

 Mookie: Okay, I know in yesterday's strip that the Rhazgala archers all had their bows pointed up and today those arrows are flying horizontally past Suyan's head. This "continuity error" is just a dramatic choice on my part because I felt the arrows flying straight on past him looked cooler.

  • Rule of Funny: Apparently, this is why bards do anything.
    • Including spending two decades intentionally misspeaking orcish!
  • Running Gag: Quite a few. Sparks' "Death From Above", "Fear My....Illusion", and the habit of everyone making bad puns.
    • Also Mookie himself pointed out in a comic "And so with Chris's death today I continue the tradition of killing people who win a named appearance in the comic via ConnectiCon's Webcomic Charity Auction."
    • Lower Back Problems

Tropes S-Z


 Luna's narration: Dominic and I, having just been in the presence of such a majestic creature, reacted the way any pair of intellectuals would have...

(Dominic and Luna stare at each other)


  • The Spiny / Wolverine Claws: "Bortette" is covered with giant, random spikes that she can stab you in the face with.
  • Stealth Pun: The Yuvonir, a mole-montain - it makes mole hills out of mountains.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: In the first story arc, both Siegfried and Spark use the phrase, "In my defense, it had tusks" to describe Luna (which Dominic catches right away when Spark says it). The two instances occur several days apart. Subverted in the second case, as it turns out Spark wasn't referring to Luna, but to a sea monster that also had tusks.
  • Straw Critic: A highly-regarded but unnamed and unseen music critic shows up in The Power of Rock story. He thrashes Greg's "dumbed-down" music and while he doesn't exactly praise FACEBATH's proto-metal he does like that it's original; naturally by that point Greg and his two bandmates (a dude with tuskmouth and the jerkass bisexual(?) elf son of his father's bandmate) don't care.
  • Superhero Episode: Super-Greg
  • Suspiciously Idle Knights: The knights on Serk's take during Scarlatti's duel with Sturtz.
  • Talk to the Fist: This strip.
  • A Tankard of Moose Urine: Reaction to Human beer from Orcs and Dwarf beer from Halflings.
  • Tautological Templar: Siegfried, at least at first.
  • Tear Off Your Face: Jacob.
  • Tears of Remorse
  • Ted Baxter: "Look, ball-for-brains, just use your vision to tell me how awesome I am.
  • There Are No Therapists "I think you people need to stop dumping all of your problems on me. I'm a CAT!"
  • This Is Something He's Got to Do Himself: Chief Thuen Gor orders his men to stay back while he fights the Bikta Chief alone.
    • Justified Trope if you take his 'They stayed back because I told them to' as an admission that he might hurt his own tribe if he really went all out against the Bikta Chief. Given that their fight was interrupted before Thuen Gor got serious, we'll never know.
  • Title Drop: Dominic once referred to himself as an "Oracle for Hire" near the start of the Shadow of Siegfried arc.
  • To Hell and Back
  • Tonight Someone Dies: Done with the "Fated Fatal" Dominic goes through early in the War in Hell story arc, which he says means someone he knows will die, and there's nothing he can do about it.
    • Word of God promised that someone would not be returning from Maltak. Several deaths were teased, but in the end, Reinholdt is required to stay in the magic mountain.
    • As the comic enters its final year Mookie proclaimed that there would be several character deaths in the coming story arcs. A comic page before the Infernomancer drives his claws right through Bumper's chest.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The poachers are dumbed down to irrelevance, even by the standards of a fun story about weird critters and murdering bad guys. They're hunting a mongrelman, an unknown quantity that survives in the Wild Edge - a plain where Reality Is Out to Lunch, known for giant horrible teeth bursting out of places you'd least expect, that has already killed some of them. They catch it by (1) throwing a net over it, and (2) gloating. This when they have been shown to have Instant Sedation - causing tranquilizers that can knock out a tosserphant. There were body parts everywhere.
    • Really, Too Dumb to Live kicked in earlier, when the one guy decided to just ignore the leader's advice and pick up one of the little fuzzballs.
  • Took a Level In Badass: Luna's taken a few over the course of the strip. Starting with this exchange: When the hell did *Luna* gain self-confidence?!
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Dom's "Mapvel Candies". Also, Spark really loves fish. But he is, after all, a cat. And, uh...yeah.
  • Tranquillizer Dart: Instant paralysis darts that seem to only be in effect while they're still stuck in the person.
  • Traveling At the Speed of Plot: In a bizarre on-panel example, a character walks out of an empty, flat wasteland and into an enemy camp. A similar scene takes several minutes on Lawrence of Arabia, and the traveler is on camelback. Here the traveler is past the camp's guards in the time the guards take to spot her, recognize her, and recover from the surprise that she's alive.
  • True Companions: Dominic's network of friends and allies. A werewolf's social worth revolves around their "pack" and to insult one is a major Dude, Not Funny offense.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: A repeated trope to the point the Xerox is starting to edge onto Naruto's turf. Donovan, Miranda, and Karnak seem to have been this, though it's unclear how Karnak felt about Donovan most of the time. Stonewater, Grenchka, and Bulgak also follow this pattern, with a variation in that Bulgak knew Grench first, but does not get her. Milov, Jayden, and Siegfried are eventually revealed to have been this not just in gender combo but in dynamic.
    • This seems to be the preferred composition of any given adventuring party in the setting, which owes a lot to fantasy RPG conventions, though not in the story. Greg, Luna, and Dominic fell into it early on, and if Szark had been a little more sane in his intro and the plot a little more conventional, he probably would have wound up a party with Dominic and Luna and given us the variant where the girl and one of the guys both like the other guy. Instead he's just the Pet Homosexual.
    • Mookie does like threes, though.
  • Unexplained Recovery: The only apparent explanation for Dex's sudden recovery is sheer force of will.
    • Happens to Reinholdt during the climax of the Maltak arc, though not without a price.
    • Similarly, when Luna is stabbed with the Hukthak, her injury disappears as soon as it's pulled out, but it too comes with a price: She can never have children.
  • Unholy Nuke: A rare example of one used by a good character. Dark Soul Burst is a spell powered by anger and hatred, and is typically used by Luna when someone REALLY pisses her off. The first time it's used, it knocks out Siegfried, a rather strong royal knight, in a single shot. Later on, an ally deliberately pisses her off to make the spell more powerful when she casts it.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: Constantly.
  • Unusual Euphemism: Dominic's term for large breasts is "lower back problems." Luna also wrote about her crush on Siegfried in her journal, and makes mention of his "great big sword".
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: Raf Maliksh and Celesto.
  • Veganopia: Major piece in developing the orcs. It's not that they're not a violent, primitive society, but they're herbivores, and it adds a certain buccolic innocence to Maltak.
    • Also note Karnak's bizzarre behavioral tic of taking unnecessary mouthfuls out of his enemies and then spitting them out. He was raised an orc. They had to boil the food for ages to get it soft enough for his human teeth. No word on what, if anything, he's actually eaten all these years in hell.
  • Victim Falls For Rapist: Noted and subsequently almost completely averted. Melna was raped by Stonewater (as a child!) to save her life, but after meeting him again some years later, she discovers, to her alarm, that she is attracted to him now. On further rumination, Melna loves what Stonewater has come to stand for... which is not that surprising given Stonewater tried to model himself after Melna's father, horrible traumatization aside.
  • Vigilante Execution: Celesto does this to Brett Taggerty and Serk Brakkis, and almost to Barnet Travoria.
  • Violation of Common Sense: "I think we should stop trying to rob someone who can see the future."
  • The Voiceless: According to Luna, Jayden hasn't said a single word since the Shadow of Siegfried incident. Demon Siegfried may qualify as this as well, though he seems to lean closer to The Speechless since his mask obstructs his mouth (Though he can still communicate with Karnak without the use of body language somehow). Jayden finally breaks her vow of silence to wed Dom and Luna, only to be interrupted by Greg.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Neilen's channeling of Maltak's dead earth gave him crazy elemental powers... and made him as brittle as the soil itself.
  • Webcomic Time: Frequently and often lampshaded, sometimes straight and sometimes through continuity nods. Usually it gets so confusing over how much time has passed during the arcs that it can only be determined by Spark's lampshade hanging via hunger.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Celesto Morgan, who first wanted to cleanse the world with Chaos after deciding the people in it were all assholes, and who now says he's trying to save the world from The Infernomancer while incidentally destroying Lynn's Brook, which he calls "a small price to pay."
    • He also thinks brutally murdering a teenager (who he claims will grow up to be a bad person anyway) using methods that will implicate the King and the Beast is justified since it's for the "greater good".
  • Wham! Episode: The folks that Dominic and Luna meet in their relaxation cruise, namely: Suin Seyera from Faria, The Dragon from Nagastrali, Buckley Hussle and the Dwarf he had a fight with from Olde Tucklebruck Island, The Trickster from Quastrilla, Milov from the Winter Archipelago and Arcangelo Scarlatti from The Semashi Kingdom. They are called together by Brian, who's RILIAN in disguise! THE MAESTRO was in on it too. It was a test, but still! And apparently one of his student's theories was right as well.
    • The one aiding the Beast in gaining power is the king of Callan, former Archmage of the Fifth Circle (for whom said circle was invented!) and one of the most powerful magi in Callanian history. All of his battlemages are either being corrupted by the Beast into humanoid Eldritch Abominations, or already have been, thus giving it even more power. And it seems Celesto may be on the same path.
  • Wham! Line:

 Nimmel: What is he doing to them? Why is this happening?

Snert: Because the Archmage of the Fifth Circle wills it.

Nimmel: Miranda? No, you're lying! It can't be!

Snert: I am not lying, Nimmel Feenix...and I don't mean Miranda Deegan.

  • What Do You Mean Its Not Symbolic: In (real-life)December, an important event is heralded across the land by the appearance of a brilliant star. No, it's not the messiah's birth, it's Dom and Luna's marriage.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: While there are quite a few characters who have not been heard from for a while (possibly to make a cameo later) the most infamous example to some fans is Brok who just vanishes from the comic completely with only passing mention from Stunt and Bumper later about losing him. Granted that he was only a hired thug, it still felt odd to just drop him.
    • Word of God was that Brok himself was a reference to one of Mookie's friends, and on reflection Mookie felt he didn't really "fit" in the comic.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Pam at the end of the Snowsong arc. She calls out Gregory and Dominic for their actions and punishes them for it.
    • Huk Thak invokes this at the climax of the Maltak arc, but is dismissed by Reinholdt.
    • Olena pulls this on Nimmel after he uses his ice magic to fight off a bunch of werewolf bullies who were attacking him. Although there's a bit of truth to her words, she does it so cruelly that it's impossible to agree with her. Even the bullies take Nimmel's side.
  • White Magic: White magic can manifest in white mages in the form of light, or in more exceptional mages, (e.g. Gregory) white fire.
    • For the Orcs, at least, Ice Magic is treated as a holy magic.
    • Also the name of Greg's band, which was dubbed "vaguely racist" by the incredibly important but unnamed music critic.
  • Who Wants to Be a Superhero: Gregory's alter-ego Super-Greg, and Dominic's childhood love for The Adventures of Mighty Man.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: The Aliak.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Dominic thinks that Celesto is suffering from this due to keeping his powers as the Champion of Chaos. According to Dominic, humans aren't built to wield that kind of power indefinitely and that it's warping Celesto's mind.
  • With This Herring: Toyed with and taken a bit too literally here.
  • Worf Effect: Jacob Deegan, who previously annihilated a group of Chosen in a Curb Stomp Battle, is effortlessly killed by Chief Thuen Gor.
  • World of Chaos: The Wild Edge, where Bort the Mongrelman lives. It's a deceptively peaceful-looking meadow/savannah.
    • Hell: It's got some creepy stalagtites with tentacles, and a huge pit full of damned souls.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Heliner, who keeps trying to base his life on comic books. For example, Dominic is a seer, which means he must have godlike reflexes, right? And Chance is rich, which means he must be a jerk who deserves to be treated like crap, right??
  • Xanatos Gambit / Xanatos Roulette: Dominic uses his Second Sight to pull off Gambits that would be Roulettes for anyone else. Other characters comment on it, but they're not being Genre Savvy. Dominic likes to do The Reveal when his plans have come to fruition--or is occasionally forced to reveal his intentions when one of his plans goes awry. It's the major source of friction in his relationship with Luna (who spent most of her life getting abusively manipulated by her mother and sister).
    • Some of the villains like to pull gambits of their own, leading to insane Gambit Pileups in at least two story arcs.
  • Yaoi Fangirl: This strip.
  • Yin-Yang Bomb: Luna in the March Across Maltak. Also a case of Light Is Not Good and Dark Is Not Evil.
    • Earlier, there was Dominic as the Avatar Of Balance in the "Storm of Souls" arc. It seems to be a recurring theme in the comic.
  • You Have No Idea Who You're Dealing With: Miranda says exactly this to TIM when he attacks her in the "Ecstasy and Evil" arc. The true meaning of her words weren't revealed until years later, but the "Archmage of the fifth circle" isn't a rank in the archmage academy. It's literally the circle in which she stands in the five-being council that rules ALL the archmagi.
  • You Know What You Did: Neilen attempts to pull this on Dominic and Luna. It fails miserably.
  1. Mookie picked up on this one, and officially named her "Vazkes"
  2. See ALLCAPS above