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Within this comic, Kaspall is the name of the unusual city in which the story takes place. This city is remarkable for two things:
- First, the network of gates leading into and out of a world formed entirely of places thought about and imagined by the people of this world, called the Skein.
- Second, the many individuals from other worlds who have accidentally found themselves in Kaspall by mistakenly wandering through a gate of this kind in their own world.
Around the time this story begins, several events are occurring in tandem: a new off-worlder by the name of Alex Gray is being processed by the O.W.R. ("Off-Worlder Registration"); a student psychomantic (mind-mage) named Caroline is doing a field project at the Skein Institute for Professor Jaiva; the Captain and Lieutenant de Montfort ("Call me Harry. Please.") are investigating a curious series of murders; and, in a small Greenacre Street apartment building, Sam Goldbourne is behind on his rent. Oh, and something odd is happening at a certain mysterious estate.
These facts are, of course, connected.
We recommend starting at the beginning.
Contains examples of:
- Alt Text: Starting in Scene 20, pg. 228.
- Anti-Magic: And being in a no magic zone makes people ill or at the very least, queasy.
- Art Evolution: Less so than in many webcomics, but quite visible between, say, Scene 1 and Scene 28.
- Bad Liar: Professor Jaiva is merely bad at lying — Avril is full-out this trope.
- Bonus Material: The Misc. Box.
- Deadpan Snarker: Hazel, the landlady, and Sam Goldborne, her least favorite tenant.
- Doomed Moral Victor: Beatrice Ulfor sees herself as one.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The Captain. The only thing that hints at as much as her gender is half a not-telephone conversation between Hazel and Avril.
- Fantastic Racism: Apparently many worlds had this problem, judging by Sam's reaction to the idea of a human-only one.
Sam: I can just imagine. Everyone equal. No-one looking down on you all the time. You could just be satisfied, you know? It must have been amazing.
- Fourth Wall Mail Slot: Character Q&A.
- Funny Background Event: All kinds of licenses.
- Gods Need Prayer Badly: Not gods, but stories — in the Skein, those tales which are widely remembered and retold exist strongly, and those which are less recalled more weakly.
- Have You Told Anyone Else?: Unusually, the one person they told was the entirely trustworthy police lieutenant. Who thinks they're all idiots for not telling anyone.
- Knight in Sour Armor: Sam Gouldborne, to the astonishment of people who know of him as "the jerk who never pays his rent" — although as a Non-Action Guy Cafe Pot-wash he can't actually accomplish much more than getting himself beat up.
- Lions and Tigers and Humans, Oh My!: Kaspall takes place in a world that's mostly populated by anthropomorphic characters, but humans (and other species) frequently get transported there by accident and have to try to integrate into its society.
- Medium Awareness: Sir Haydon realizes he's fictional.
- Nonverbal Miscommunication: Discussed here, with some Alt Text lampshading.
- Not So Stoic: The Captain is pretty much unfazed by everything that occurs — right up to the point in Scene 26 where she discovers the Ulfor have started kidnapping people by the dozen right off the streets.
- Oh My Gods: "Circle!" and "God's shape!", as explained here.
- Petting Zoo People: A major fraction of the Kaspall population, including most of the main characters.
- Playing Possum: The Captain resorts to this to see how Avril reacts.
- Recursive Reality: The Skein.
- Replacement Goldfish: The original Joseph Haydon was Katherine Ulfor's husband.
- Scare'Em Straight: The purpose of the story of the Veritarc.
- Spanner in the Works: More than one:
- Sam, doing his job as Alex's guide — when Hazel only forged his signature on the paperwork because she didn't want a stranger hanging around the house.
- The OWR, which handed a dangerous artifact back to Alex rather than put it in their safe because they had no clue about it.
- Story Within a Story: The Skein is composed of the stories thought about by the inhabitants of Kaspall. Jaiva suggests that stories within the Skein might reach a point where they could dream stories themselves.
- Tempting Fate: Sam, reassuring Alex, as noted by the Alt Text.
- Trapped in Another World: Many, many characters — the OWR is specifically tasked to help these people deal with being displaced to the city Kaspall.
- Webcomic Time: Noted in the Alt Text of this page.