Drowtales

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Read this webcomic, or we'll break this kid! (And you really, really don't want that to happen).


"This is their tale. The world as it was through their eyes"

Drowtales: Moonless Age is a fantasy manga-style webcomic that has been running since 2001. In the last few years the webcomic itself has undergone significant remakes and has increased its fan base exponentially.

The webcomic was originally Kern drawing the events of the RP he and some friends played in the Forgotten Realms Dungeons & Dragons setting. However, by chapter 4 the comic diverged into both its own story as well as starting to implement new things in the setting. As the comic expanded on the original details and gradually built up its own setting, it was decided a Retcon was needed for the first three chapters. This took place in two stages: A new first chapter and part of a second was made in parallel with the current chapter, up until chapter 12. However, by that point the comic had diverged far enough from its own changed setting that a redraw and Retcon was needed for remainder of chapter 2 up until chapter 8. This, combined with the sheer number of pages (over 1400 in the main story alone) is part of the reason the world-setting is a bit of a Continuity Snarl, especially for newer readers.

Nowadays, Drowtales has an original setting with some general similarities with its DnD origins, but with a distinct flavour of its own. The story mainly follows Ariel in the first four or so chapters, but uses several viewpoint characters. This is a feature which becomes more prominent as the chapters progress, so now Ariel is a main character instead of the main character.

The chronologically first chapter is the prologue while the (currently) oldest published chapter being chapter 9.

Drowtales is Exactly What It Says on the Tin, and the drow and their internal conflicts and lives are the main focus, particularly the nobles. However, it does not play any specific side or faction as good or evil, treating the drow (and other races) as individuals rather than a Species of Hats. In a sense, one of the main themes of the comic is: No one is evil in their own eyes, or at least think their actions are justified to reach their goal.

Notes about links:

  1. Links to the main story may be moved around whenever a chapter is redone or inserted. The simplest way to get a permanent link is to access a page through the archive drop-down menu and use the URL it gives you.
Tropes used in Drowtales include:


  • Absolute Cleavage:
  • Abusive Parents:
    • Hoooo boy, Quain'tana. Let's see, of her three adult children, one is dead and has been turned into a golem, Kel'noz is officially subservient to her but has his own agenda (and readily acknowledges that she was a really bad mother) and then there's Mel'arnach, who was not only disowned and imprisoned, but beaten (and implied, raped) by Quain'tana's men, and then for her trouble had the child she wanted taken away from her. And then there's Syphile, who has a trope of her own...
    • There are also plenty of others, and a current thread in the forum is titled "Worst parent in Chel" discussing this. The number of good parents (Shimi'lande, Kiel's mother Ven'ndia, Sarnel's caretaker Nei'kalsa if you're counting foster parents, and Waes'soloth spring to mind) can be counted on one hand...
    • As well as Ash'waren, who is the neglectful type. After being told that her daughter Faen has returned traumatized, her reply was "Who?" And then after being reminded when Faen was born to help her remember, she merely comments on how Faen's father was a bad lay. This was fairly shocking to fans who had thought better of Ash'waren before this, leading at least one to comment that it seems that this is shaping up to be a general trait of Val mothers no matter who they are.
  • Action Girl: Plenty of these, and culturally it's unusual for a female to not be an Action Girl, since females are the dominant gender in both political and military matters.
  • Aerith and Bob: Ariel versus—just about everyone with their multi-apostrophed names. Some fans have pointed out a good deal of the names drow sport are names found somewhere on earth, often with an apostrophe. For instance, Sarv'swati is one letter off from Saraswati, a Hindu Goddess, and many Kyorl'solenurn names have Japanese roots. Quain'tana is also the family name of an obscure writer. And amusingly, there is an actual Bob: Bob the undead chicken of doom.
  • The Ageless: The fae races (drow, light elves, faeries) provided they live with enough other fae to generate a surplus of mana. Otherwise they will suffer from mana deprivation and will start to age much like humans do. This is what has happened to Rosof and Tralyn. If one goes back to a large enough group of fae again, before the aging has gone too long, the process can be halted. This is likely the case with Tralyn (not confirmed). For Rosof it was too late and he is slowly dying despite being among the people of his clan again. Also, plain statistics makes for fatal accidents killing people off sooner or later. The average lifespan of drow is around 200 years for a commoner/non-Val and around 1000 for Val matriarchs and Dark Elves.
    • Subverted in one of the audiobooks. It's stated that drow have a finite natural lifespan, though they're lucky to get within centuries of dying of old age (which for them could be circa 1000 years plus).
  • Air Vent Passageway:
    • Ragini.
    • Also subverted- Diva'ratrika's too large to fit, and it's very likely that her decision to possess Ragini was because she would eventually grow too large to go in and out.
  • Alien Catnip: a side story and the coinciding news post suggested that chocolate is a potent drug to drow, who may have evolved from feline creatures. Evidently, students at the Orthorbbae abuse tablets of cocoa like some people abuse Ritalin in real life, and consuming too much at once will kill a drow. They're probably reacting to the Theobromine in the chocolate, which can be poisonous to both animals and humans if enough is consumed. A page posted later in the main archive had Mel'arnach and Snadhya'rune getting stoned off their arses on chocolate.
  • Alternative Calendar: As one would expect from a culture that places a great deal of importance on the moons, the drow use a moon calendar 13 months long, with 30 days each.
  • Exclusively Evil: Averted, if not outright deconstructed. Even intelligent demons, who would normally be such, fall more under Blue and Orange Morality.
  • And I Must Scream: Kharla has a habit of turning people she doesn't like (and some she does like) into living "dolls".
  • An Ice Person: Sil'lice. Literally. From what we can tell she was never a very nice person, but being set up by her sisters and exiled probably didn't help at all. A notable instance of using her ice abilities involves her freezing "Vy'Chriel" Yaeminira to death. This caused her fingers to snap. "Nasty way to die" indeed.
  • Anti-Halme Alliance: Not all halmes/humans, just the kingdom that captured Faen.
  • Anything That Moves: Ash'waren, and much of the Sullisin'rune clan in general.
  • Anyone Can Die: Especially adorable animals. This works well to create dramatic tension, especially leading up to the timeskip chapters, since so far only Ariel, Faen, Kau and Shala were confirmed to have survived. This also meant that in chapter 32 fans were extremely worried about several characters, since it was quite possible they wouldn't survive. At the end of Chapter 32 the casualty count for that chapter was zero, although Rek'maar did get his aura partially drained by Khaless wearing Lulianne's body.
  • Arachnid Appearance and Attire: Quite a few clans and individuals.
  • Art Evolution: Phenomenal. That post, by the way, spares you from seeing the original artwork from the very, very, very beginning (for the good of humanity, it would seem; so you'll have to seek it out yourself if you're so inclined). This is, perhaps, the Charles Atlas Superpower applied to art.
  • Artificial Limbs: Nihi'liir Vel'Sharen ends up with one after Faen injures her arm and they're fairly common among drow due to mana technology. Sang Niz'zre, one of Quain'tanta's devesses, lost all of her limbs due to be tortured by the Sharen and had them replaced by golem limbs.
  • Art Shift: When Phani'nath Vel'Sharen describes the last Ill'haress' gathering, the regular realistic style shifts to render the mighty powers of Chel'el'sussoloth as chibis. Also, in Sil'lice's chapter, it begins in the comic's traditional style but changes to a more manga like style when Sil'lice begins telling her story to the twins.
  • Automatic Crossbows: Averted in Chapter 18, where Syphile is shown having to load one. Played straight with the Fallen Legion's wrist-mounted crossbows, though possibly Justified by Golem mechanics.
  • Author Avatar: Not who you'd think. The character Kwaii is a former avatar of the author, while Desmonde is a Distaff Counterpart of his wife's character Kaito, who is her brother in canon. Neither of them get much screentime. The authors themselves (and various staff members) do show up in the chibi extras at the end of chapters and in the artists' life pages.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Numerous possible examples, but Quain'tana is probably the most obvious.
  • Ax Crazy: The members of the Vloz'ress clan are either this or so desperate that they had to run to the pinnacle of insanity. The average life expectancy for the troops can be measured in weeks.
  • B-Side Comics: both subscription and as side stories, many by different artists.
  • Badass: Quain'tana fits this trope, as can a few others.
  • Badass Normal: from the audience's point of view, Vaelia.
  • Badass Grandma - Most of the Illharesses fit this trope. Quain'tana in particular, as she is centuries old and can still kick the asses of most of her subordinates. Many also count as Foxy Grandmas.
  • Bait the Dog: A doozy of a one in the remake of Chapter 1. Despite the Foregone Conclusion that Fuzzy dies by Syphile's hands, the fandom was still shocked when, after Ariel begs to be allowed to keep her new pet, Syphile apparently agrees, leaving the room with only a sigh, not even chiding Ariel. Next page, cut to a week later to a suffering Fuzzy with the revelation that Syphile has locked Ariel and Fuzzy in for the whole week with inadequate food and, apparently, even no provision for the calls of nature. She kills Fuzzy two pages later by slamming his head against the wall.
  • Barbarian Tribe: The Sarghress clan more or less embodies this trope. The Black Sun is an even better example, since they're decentralized and subsist solely on raiding other settlements, and they're forbidden from gathering in large groups in Chel.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Ash'waren especially. The fandom nearly exploded with Squee when both she and Quain'tana were in the same scene with bare midriffs.
  • Barrier Warrior: Potentially all fae, depending on their skill and strength in mana. Seen in the last panel here.
  • Bavarian Fire Drill: One city of light elves is so used to doing what they're told that an elf commands a group of assassins to stand down and they do what he says, even after he lampshades the use of this trope.
  • Beast Man: What the humanoid fae sees the goblin races as due to not having an aura. In practice they are more like Muggles without any technical advantages, though they have a better chance against nether beings since, lacking an aura, they can't be possessed, though they can still be injured physically. The Sarghress have taken advantage of this and formed a "War Meat" corps of non-fae whose express purpose is to go into nether infected areas and kill the nether summoners before the fae move in to finish the job.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Mel and Lulianne, among others.
  • Beware the Nice Ones:
  • BFS: Koil'Dorath's weapon.
  • Big Badass Wolf: The Sarghress mount.
  • The Big Guy: Most in the Sarghress clan.
  • Bishonen: Several, and Shan'naal was created specifically because the fans requested a cute guy character who wouldn't die.
  • Big Bad: For the fans, Snadhya'rune seems to be shaping up to this, judging by some of the most recent comics. In-story she just represents another faction.
  • Big No:
    • Chapter 27, Page 35, uttered by Kiel.
    • Also basically the entire fandom when they saw that page.
    • As point of fact, essentially every other chapter will cause the entire fandom to scream this. The forum posts for bascially the entirety of Chapter 33 are a particularly good example.
  • Black Comedy: A lot of the humor is of this variety. The chibi pages at the end of chapters are often like this and make light of events in the chapter by rendering them in chibi form.
    • This is a good example in the main story.
    • Here's another example that takes the very seriously dysfunctional relationships between Quain and her children and treats it like this. Especially notable because the story proper never plays it for laughs.
    • Also, almost anything involving Kharla's dolls will have a streak of this. Yes they're horrifying, but it's hard not to snicker at something like this, especially since that particular guy deserved it.
  • Black Magician Girl: Ariel.
  • Black Market Produce: The trope is lampshaded here. Chocolate is considered a recreational drug. Drowolath cooking relies heavily on Soylent Green and mushroom beer. Elves who rely on such staples can be identified by their tongues, which have become permanently purple.
  • Black Speech: Drowish evidently sounds a bit like this, since at the very least "Eat cake" prompts this reaction from a human guard at the sight of Ariel (who, granted, looks like a monster at the time, which probably helps).
  • Blank White Eyes: The golem Vy'chriel, Laelle'aell and Faen (when using her powers) all have these.
  • Blasting Time: When Mana Attacks are used.
  • Blindfolded Vision: Shan'naal when first introduced. He's only worn it once that way since, for a few pages when he needed it to help his eyes adjust after Ariel's traveling group first reached the overworld.
  • Blood Bath: The human royal couple hunted Elves so they could bathe in their blood in a bid for immortality. Whether it actually worked is not stated, though.
  • Blood Spattered Innocents: Ariel, after killing Miir'kin.
  • Bloody Murder: faes with blood affinity can use their own blood as weapon. Probably the blood of others as well.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: The drow themselves may appear this way to most of the readership.
  • Body Double: Chapter 30 reveals that the Sharen sisters have employed one to take the place of Diva'ratrika during parades. Needless to say, the real Diva was pretty shocked to hear that "she" was holding a parade through the middle of Chel!
  • Bodyguard Betrayal: Happens with Yaeminira and Vy'chriel, and Rikshakar and Ariel.
  • Body Horror: Lots, like those who get taken by demons. But the living dolls. Oh, something have mercy, those horrible dolls.
  • Boomerang Bigot: Chiri'nide hates "impure" people while she herself is the daughter of a drowussu and a light elf, and later we find out that Drowusuu are descended from light elves, making the entire Kyorl'solenurn clan fall under this as well.
  • Bottle Fairy: Liriel. Her behaviour becomes a lot less funny when you learn that her drinking is to suppress Diva'ratrika's voice in her head.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    • Kiel'ndia considers the readers as one would imaginary friends and frequently points to them (us) and talks to her "friends." Of course, she comes from the Vloz'ress clan, so others dismiss her as psycho.
    • Kiel'ndia breaks the fourth wall in a tragic way. Beware, your screen might break.
  • Break the Cutie: The world seems determined to do this to anyone's who even minorly sympathetic or kind, especially in the case of Faen. Ariel seems on the fast track to this if she's not already there. Kiel'ndia and Naal'suul are at first examples of pre-broken cuties, but after Naal's abandonment, and then transformation Kiel becomes truly broken and crazy (-er than normal).
  • Breast Plate: Averted; female characters wear armor suited to a female physique, but protective and actually useful in battle.[1] As a result, it's sometimes hard to tell the gender of certain characters when they're in armor.
  • Breather Episode: After the Wham! Episode that was Chapter 25 came chapter 26, which follows Chrys'tel, Shinae, Naal and Kiel as they look at the Moons' End Festival and do things like watch puppet shows, though it still advances the plot and provides insight into the world setting. It's then followed by 27, where Naal'suul meets her apparent end making it even more of a Breather Episode before another Wham.
  • Brick Joke: Back in Chapter 7, Chrys'tel was seen wearing a set of black and red clothing, and after she's captured Ariel takes them in Chapter 8 in order to impersonate Chrys'tel, though she never wound up using them. Then in Chapter 30, 22 chapters later, they're worn by Diva'ratrika, her grandmother, which later results in a hilarious payoff.
  • Broad Strokes: The approach to older information in side stories post Retcon. For instance, Chiri'nide's father is still a light elf and Ariel is still the child of Mel and Zhor but specific events may have played out differently with the same results. The current version of chapter 1 is similar in that the basic series of events didn't change all that much while some events were expanded upon or omitted.
    • Chapter 9 was also given some minor updates for the 10 year anniversary, such as inserting some additional pages to expand on Chrys'tel and Shinae's first meeting and some minor dialog alterations to make it internally consistent with later chapters (taking out Chrys'tel calling her attack, for instance). The art itself was unchanged minus the chapter cover.
  • Broken Angel: One of Ariel's shapeshifted forms resembles this.
  • But for Me It Was Tuesday: One part of the Deliberate Values Dissonance between drow and humans is that drow think nothing of raiding surface settlements and taking back human slaves, and even Faen, one of the most morally good characters by human standards, doesn't bat an eye about buying a light elf slave at the market. Vaelia considers the raid on her home village as a defining moment of her life, but for the drow it's a drop in the bucket.
  • But You Screw One Goat!: One of the reasons[2] you won't see any fae/human hybrids in the Drowtales world. Drow consider having sex with goblins, including humans, to be roughly on par with a human having sex with a chimpanzee.
  • Calling The Old Woman Out: Syphile finally tells her mother what a horrible parent she is, how she's ruined all the lives of her children, and tells her to 'do the only thing you know' and kill her. Pretty much her one and only Crowning Moment of Awesome, depending on your view of the character and what you think of the latest remake.
  • Camp Gay: Sorane'Saniil.
  • Canon Immigrant: Kyne, who is Sil'lice's granddaughter and a former Sharen golem pilot, started off in the "Space Age" story from the Daydream section of the site. There are also the numerous roleplay cameos, but they fall more under Continuity Cameo.
  • Can't Argue with Elves: Deconstructed, since the fae already messed up the world pretty bad and only rule with brute force, and aren't that much better than the "lesser" goblin races.
  • Characterization Marches On: Sil'lice comes off as being somewhat more likable than her earlier appearances, and she implies that she was intentionally putting on an act for Chrys'tel.
  • Cape Wings: Ariel, with overtones of Prehensile Hair.
  • Catfolk: The Ferals.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Since the comic has run as long as it has there are loads, some of which are only now firing after nearly ten years. Going back through the archives to find them has more or less become an official fandom sport.
    • Squishy, who's instrumental to helping Ariel escape Rik. And now Squishy turns out to have been even more of a Chekhov's Gun since Mel gave one of her eggs to a Jaal'darya friend in exchange for it, and that egg was later used to make Kalki.
    • With Chapter 25, The Ninth Tower of Orthorbbae, the existence of which was hinted at all the way back in chapter 2, has finally been revealed.
    • Also, remember this door from the end of Chapter 2? Chrys'tel did.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The remake chapters show several characters in the background before they become significant, including younger versions of Chiri and Shan in chapter 3. Liriel, aka Diva'ratrika is a big one as well that's only fired as of chapter 23.
  • Chewing the Scenery: Many important characters have at least one of these.
  • The Cassandra: Both Chiri'nide and Shimi'lande possess clairvoyance, but they don't always like it and can't always control it. In Chiri's case, her visions often end up causing more problems than they solve, and can be really frickin scary.
  • Chessmaster: Lots of characters count as this, to the point of a Gambit Pileup.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: The three Sharen sisters. After all the nasty things they've done to everyone around them -- including a false coup d'état and killing their own mother—it really isn't surprising that they've started to turn on each other.
  • City of Canals: Nuqrah'shareh, and some parts of Chel, especially around the Jaal'darya fortress.
  • The Clan: Nine major ones and countless smaller ones, and the driving conflicts in the series are clan-based.
  • Clothing Switch
  • The Cuckoolander Was Right: No one (minus the readers) believed Kiel when she suggested that some of Naal's personality may have survived her seed taking her over but then Chapter 32 showed that she was right.
  • Color Coded for Your Convenience: Each major clan has a set of colours that represent them; see also "tainted" drow eyes vs. normal drow eyes.
  • Continuity Cameo: Lots!
    • This page features over a dozen cameos from the roleplays, side comics, Daydream and comics done by other members of the staff.
    • Kharla'ggen can be seen holding a plushie of An'Jhali, the Illharess of the Tei'kaliath clan from the visual roleplay, in several pieces of art.
    • Characters from the Relic Hunters visual roleplay have also made cameos in the story proper as important characters in the Highland Raiders.
    • In one chapter a character gets a book about the Vel'cahal, which is the subject of a Daydream story that's presented as being historical fiction. Naal later buys a doll of the Vel'cahal which gets featured in the Hope Spot at the end of Chapter 27.
    • Dhal'zin of the Alstrat's Journal audiobook series appears in chapter 20 with her Stone Company, but interestingly, Fen, the main character of that series does not, instead it's his descendant Kai, but Dhal confuses the two (even though they do, in fact, look very different).
    • Taio'shi and Cer'kal, two characters from that year's winning contest story, appear in chapter 31. It's also implied that their story may be part of the main story's canon now, since the contest story showed that Mikilu lived with Taio'shi, and that same character appeared several pages after Taio'shi and Cer'kal, the implication being that Mikilu had them plant the mana bomb that nearly blew up Snadhya's carriage which is later confirmed in the Battlefield Engineers canon sidestory, which also shows that Cer'kal was badly burned in another attempt to kill Snadhya.
  • Continuity Snarl: Figuring out what is and isn't canon at this point is difficult, to say the least. Word of God has helped somewhat, but with almost 10 years of continuity and thousands of pages it gets difficult.
  • Control Freak: This seems to run in the Sharen family, with Diva'ratrika, Snadhya'rune and Sarv'swati all showing signs at various times.
  • Costume Porn: Given that most characters are nobles there's a lot of this, and the Sharen probably have the most considering how much money and prestige they have.
  • Country Matters: Has come up twice in the story, interestingly, both occasions involve Mel, and she's actually the one who says it the second time. It apparently doesn't have the same terrible connotations to Americans ([4]) as it does to drow due to their matriarchal society.
  • Crapsack World: A few reasons, mainly due to demons and the elves themselves.
    • The ever present threat of being possessed by demons, the possibility that tainting only guarantees said possession in the long run, and the rampant (and not entirely unjustified) genocidal dogma against said tainted hurls the setting into Crapsack territory.
    • Also, the fact that most everyone is trying to kill most everyone else for many reasons beyond the tainting. Hopefully it wasn't normal in pre-industrial societies to tell ten-year-old children, "Don't kill a fellow student unless you can dispose of the body," and not be joking. The characters all justify their actions, and it is debatable if anyone in the setting is evil, but Chel is not a safe place to live for anyone. Even more so in post-timeskip chapters. And this is long after another war already rendered the surface unlivable for ages.
    • And while drow in this setting may not be Exclusively Evil (which more aptly fits Demons in this setting) in the way traditional D&D drow are, but they're still far from paragons of virtue. The Author makes the Drow sympathetic and rational without necessarily making them good; they still keep slaves and have death matches with few qualms about murder. Most of this is justified in some way or another, like they don't have a lot of room or resources down there so overpopulation and starvation are very real possibilities, and just because they're not "good" by modern human definitions doesn't mean they don't have feelings, and the fact their society is messed up in the way it is isn't exactly conductive to good feelings, and after the timeskip it seems many commoners have begun to realize this.
  • Crazy Cat Lady: Crazy Spider Lady: Mel with her pets.
  • Creepy Child: Kharla and, to a lesser extent, Naal. Even Ariel has her moments, and when this page came online one forum goer responded with a picture of Samara from The Ring.
  • Curb Stomp Battle: A few times. Rik vs. Discordia (though that one was rigged and later severely reversed) and Sil'lice vs. Yaeminira/Vy'Chriel. And now we can add Syphile vs. Quain'tana to the mix, making it the second such curbstomping in as many chapters. Drow in general seem prone to ending up in these since their system of honor dictates that they face challenges, even if that means going up against someone several times their age and experience who they have no chance of winning against.
  • Curtains Match the Window: Some Vloz'ress, Diva'ratrika, Chiri'nide, Shimi'lande, Ariel, and Mel'arnach. Among first and second generation elves like Diva'ratrika this is natural, while in later generations it seems to be done deliberately using dyes and magic.
  • Cute Monster Girl: All the main characters, including the males and, from the other characters' perspective, humans.
  • Dark-Skinned Redhead: Some Vloz'ress, though they actually use hair dye. See panel two.
  • Deadly Decadent Court: The case can be made for several of the ruling clans, but the human kingdom of Nagyescsed seems to be the best example, seeing as how the king was collecting elves to kill so he could bathe in their blood and the suggestion that the kingdom just needed a decent push to fall over as it did, courtsey of Ariel and company.
  • Deadly Graduation: Quain'tana orders Ariel to either kill a prisoner or duel a fellow clan member to the death. In the current version, she decides to kill the prisoner, and Quain tells her to make it messy.
  • Deadly Hug: Jer'kol attempts to smother Ariel with a hug but is stopped by Vaelia.
  • Deal with the Devil: This is effectively what willingly tainting yourself is, since it gives you extra strength but also turns you into a ticking timebomb. Sene'kha also offers this to Kiel, telling her that if she helps break her out of prison they'll not only Take Over the World, but possibly be able to keep Naal'suul alive. Kiel refuses after Naal tells her it's impossible.
  • Deep-Cover Agent: The surviving Nidraa'chal, who exist in every major clan and probably most minor ones
  • Defeat Means Friendship: How Rosof joined Quain'tana's army. According to one of the creators, he's also in love with her.
  • Deflector Shield: The Sarghress have developed this technique to compensate for being indvidually fairly weak barrier warriors. Done with a more powerful individual here. Although powerful, even she has to upgrade from personal barrier to deflector shield with the help of the two mana specialists behind her (white cloaks) to deflect a cannon ball.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Possibly Chrys'tel, and to a lesser extent Ariel and some others at points.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Sil'lice illustrates the values of different species, which explain why people who are Badass, Ax Crazy, extremists or even complete monsters in the eyes of some readers are portrayed sympathetically and/or positively. Leads to a lot of debate among the readers.
  • Demonic Invaders: The cause of the dark elf exodus to the underworld, among other things. They are a major threat to any 'untainted' aura-bearing creature.
  • Demonic Possession: Definitely one of the darkest examples, as once it happens, not only is it completely irreversible, but the possessed victim literally ceases to exist in any way, shape or form. There is nothing left but the demon and the broken body of the victim it uses as its shell.
  • Detached Sleeves: Fairly common in Drow fashion.
  • Designated Monkey: Yafein, Syphile, maybe others
  • Discontinuity Nod: In post-remake page, Ariel wonders aloud whether she should try to turn into a Drider (drow/spider hybrid) but after Kyo'nne mentions all the "icky legs" Ariel dismisses the idea. In the original, now non-canon chapters she morphed into a drider a fare bit, but now she explicitly doesn't' have enough mass to pull it off.
  • The Doll Episode: Any time Kharla shows up.
  • Dope Slap: Kiel delivers one to Shinae on behalf of Kyo.
  • Double Agent: Lulianne. Sort of. Lu is spying on Mel for Quain'tana, but is sympathetic towards Mel, withholding information from Quain. She also did not bring Mel back when she escaped. Good? Bad? She's a double agent, it depends on your perception.
  • Dramatic Irony: For most of the story the audience has known that Ariel's mother is really Mel, not Quain, but Ariel herself still doesn't know. Additionally, any time the Sharen Sisters discuss Diva'ratrika in public has shades of this due to the fact that they know all too well that she's dead -- they were the ones who did it!
  • Dropped A Bridge On Her: The nether summoner Sene'kha, when she was stabbed by her sworn enemy, captured by another clan, imprisoned, turned over to her Sworn Enemies, then beheaded and finally set on fire, in that exact order. And, depending on your view, Rik'shakar.
  • Drop the Cow: In the Daydream subscription section of the site, where the users put in options for how the story will progress, this often ends up happening, though the frequency seems to have decreased in later years. Most commonly it's because a story devolves into porn or just becomes incomprehensible and too silly, and the story is frequently put back on track in a humorous manner such as one character telling the story getting punched out by another or the characters themselves revolting. One especially memorable incident had a character that the readers had been tormenting go Rambo on them.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Sorane'Saniil. In fact most of the males in Sorane'Saniil's entire clan. Also, given that this world has a matriarchal society, where men tend to fulfill what we would perceive as feminine roles, there are many examples of this throughout all the drow clans.
  • The Dung Ages: If you're a human or orc
  • Dying as Yourself: The Kyorl'solenurn try to make this happen when someone is taken over by demon, as seen here.
  • Dysfunction Junction:
    • Sarghress Clan, ahoy! Even Kel'noz, the most outwardly sane one, admits that he's not free of the crazy either.
    • The Sharen; but with them most of the worst stuff took place behind closed doors. Of what we know:
      • Diva'ratrika certainly lives up to the "Diva" in her name, and while she started off very controlling, drew into seclusion little by little to the point that her daughters have been able successfully pass her off as a Shadow Dictator for 16 years.
      • Snadhya'rune was apparently the favourite, but Mel'arnach implies that she didn't always get along with Diva'ratrika, and they certainly didn't get along after Snadhya purposely had herself tainted.
      • Sarv'swati is described as being "maniacal" in her control over her family.
      • Sil'lice has a habit of torturing people (tainted especially) and an obvious temper, but she's apparently good to her own children.
      • Nishi'kanta hasn't appeared much, but after becoming tainted during the war she went to live as a hermit or at least that's the official story. Also, members of her bloodline have been seen among the Vloz'ress.
      • Zala'ess clearly has ambitions of becoming the leader of the Sharen, and when her sisters speak of her they often refer to her as "little" and treat her accordingly.
      • And of course the fact that they killed their mother, had Nishi'kanta tainted and set up Sil'lice to take the fall for their war is the icing on the Dysfunction Junction cake.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Lulianne appears in the new version of chapter 1 to subdue Mel.
  • Eldritch Abomination:
    • "Demons" in this setting are closer to this trope than The Legions of Hell.
    • Fae also play this trope closely if you look at their biology, drow in particular: Deep within the earth, parts of them humans can't hope to see, able to ignore some of the basic assumptions of the universe simply by existing in their own cities, dragging humans down to the horrors that probably don't leave them sane...
  • Elemental Baggage: Averted.
    • Note that those that are proficient with fire magic can create blazes by creating a lighter spark with a device in their armour as seen here
  • Elemental Hair: There's a bit of this with the clan colors: Sarghress (red / shapeshifting (blood element)), Sharen (purple / summoning (supernatural element)), Beldrobbaen (black / flesh & darkness elements), Nal'Sarkoth (green / wood element), and so on.
  • Elemental Eye Colours: Sil'lice Val'Sharen is both an Ice Sorceress and one of the few remaining untainted Nether Summoners.

You know, blood contains water. And water freezes so well.

    • Nishi'kanta was also an example before she was tainted, since she had orange eyes and a fire affinity.
    • The Val'Nal'sarkoth Clan also has this, since they tend to have green eyes and are some of the only people in the Underworld who have an affinity with wood.
  • Eloquent in My Native Tongue: Vaelia.
  • Emotionless Girl: Naal, and to a much lesser extent Syphile and Ariel at points.
  • Empathic Healer: Faen. A good part of her clan is The Empath.
  • Engrish: Shows up in the chibi pages, along with accented grammar mistakes.
  • Ensemble Cast: Started off with focus on Ariel but the cast kept growing until there was 4-5 important story arcs running at the same time with equally important characters. Currently there was nearly a year where Ariel was never seen with more important plot lines hogging the pages. Not to mention all those layers of plots of even greater importance that live in the background and probably will burst into foreground in the future.
  • Equivalent Exchange: How magic works. Ariel can change her shape, but not her mass. This is one reason she doesn't turn into a drider post-retcon, since it requires more than she has.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: Everyone is Quain'tana for Ash'waren, and quite a few other examples.
  • Everyone Is Bi: Purely hetero and homo people exist as minorities.
  • Everything's Better with Plushies
  • Everything's Better with Princesses: Chrystel, and to a lesser extent, Ariel, Faen, Naal, Kiel, Chirinide, etc.
  • Evil Matriarch: All of the Ill'haresses qualify to a certain extent, but the Sharen sisters much more so.
  • The Evil Princesses: The three Sharen sisters.
  • Excuse Me, Coming Through: Done subtly, see the trope page for example.
  • Explosive Breeder: This is the main reason why the drowolath managed to become the dominant species in the underworld. Whilst its mentioned that drow and elves in general find it difficult to get pregnant (leading to low numbers overall despite a thousand year existence), it is also stated that the drowolath are somewhat more fertile than their drowussu cousins, hence why they were able to outbreed the latter and become the most populous underworld species.
  • Expressive Mask: Qujia Vloz'ress... to the extreme!
  • Expy: Quain'tana is pretty much drow version of Conan from Conan the Barbarian. Many fans proudly declare that Quain can beat up Chuck Norris.
  • Eyeless Face: The Xuile'solen sub-race.
  • Eyes of Gold: Kyorl'solenurn clan / Drowussu.
  • Family Relationship Switcheroo: The truth behind Ariel Val'Sarghress' lineage is that her mother is Mel'arnach and her father is Zhor, but Quain'tana, her grandmother, took her away from Mel to raise as her heir. This was not voluntary on Mel or Zhor's part.
  • Fan Nickname: Several.
    • Fans have dubbed the dragon-like biogolem Mel gives Ariel "Squishy".
    • The trifecta of Snadhya'rune, Sarv'swati and Zala'ess Vel'Sharen is also referred to as "The Gorgon Sisters" by some.
    • An incident in Chapter 15 (Ariel being kidnapped by Rik and having to fight him off, only to have him die) has also been referred to as being "Rik-rolled" by several forum members. The authors were seemingly aware of this too, since the chibi comic at the end of that chapter where Rick's reason or kidnapping Ariel was so they can form their own band. The band is called Rick-and-Roll, and their first song even includes the line "Never gonna give you up".
    • Syphile gained the nickname "Sniffle" or "Sniffile" from both fans and detractors due to to the number of scenes where she utters some variation of the line "it's not fair". "SyFAIL" also seems to have become popular during the new Chapter 1, and even her distinctive high-collared cloak has gained a nickname, with some calling it the Failcloak since she seems to do something stupid nearly every time she appears in it, including right before she dies.
    • One of Sil'lice's daughters has been nicknamed some variation of "Pissin'hermouth" after her declaration in chapter 17 that she'll "Pin [Zala'ess] to a freaking wall and piss in her mouth". Her actual name is Kadara, but Pissin'hermouth has stuck.
    • Sha'sana quickly gained the nickname "Sasha" all the way back in the Prologue, and when she appeared in Chapter 25 it resurfaced again.
    • "Team Purple" for the extended family of Mel'arnach, Snadhya'rune, Kalki, Zhor and Ariel due to them all having the same hair (or in Zhor's case, fur) color. There was one Daydream wallpaper of them all together that spawned this nickname.
    • Naal's pet spider, usually seen on her back, is affectionately nicknamed "Fuzz Fuzz" by fans, not to be confused with Fuzzy, and was referred to by that name in one chibi page. Ironically enough, Fuzz Fuzz and Fuzzy now appear to have met similar fates. It's also referred to as "Naal's baby" due to a scene in the main story where Kiel tells a woman with a pack lizard that it's Naal's big ugly baby when she objects to having a spider in her cart.
    • One Illhar'dro girl named Ishii who appears in Chapter 33 (second from the right on this page) was quickly dubbed Hammer Pants by the fans, due to her pants reminding people of MC Hammer's. Fans also noticed that she's sporting one glove like Michael Jackson.
  • Fan Service: There's a whole subsection of the site that's expressly devoted to this, and it skirts the border between extreme fanservice and outright porn.
  • Fantastic Caste System: On a general level, fae < than everyone else. On a specific level, drow and elves < dragons < faeries. Drowolath (dark skinned drow) versus Drowussu (light skinned drow) on a fairly equal level, but both drow cultures < hybrid drowolath/drowussu.
  • Fantastic Racism: Drow tend to look down on nearly everyone else,[5] most of the non-drow major characters find themselves enslaved at some point, 'tainted' drow vs. 'pure' drow, grey drow vs black drow, driders vs. drow in general, "blind" drow vs. "normal drow" etc.
    • In short, everybody versus everybody.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Not all that obvious but the drow clans are comparable to actual ancient/medieval real life cultures; Sharen: Medieval Persian/Indian, Sarghress: early Roman/Mongol hybrid, Kyorl'Solenurn: Knights Templar/Feudal Japan hybrid, etc.
  • Fantastic Slur: "Drowhiir" is a slur for Drowussu. Light Elves are also sometimes called "White Worm"s.
    • Drow also seem to use "motherkiller" in the same context as another swear that begins with "mother".
      • 'Motherkiller' has mainly been used about Val nobles, but mainly directed to the Sharen, because The three sisters killed their mother and apparently that's out of the bag
  • Fate Worse Than Death: What Kharla'ggen does to people who "resist her, or catch her eye."
    • Also arguably Naal's demise.
  • Father, I Don't Want to Fight: Ariel, when told what she has to do to earn Quain'tana's approval, and she does in fact decide to kill Miir'kin.
  • Feel No Pain: Tainted drow have a reduced sense of pain, and in extreme cases they can't feel much at all.
    • The Sharen clan heavily taints their males and has them wear sealing armor to prevent them from losing control of their seed to act as Elite Mooks
    • Naal'suul, tainted to the core, feels pretty much nothing: once she tells her mother that she broke her finger and didn't feel it.
  • Finish Him!: Done quite gruesomely with a mace to Miir'kin by Ariel, who was egged on by Quain'tana. The actual act is done with Gory Discretion Shot, but that arguably makes it worse.
  • First Time in the Sun: Subverted for Ariel, who gets vertigo immediately.
  • Fishing for Sole: Used here.
  • Five-Man Band: Chrys'tel (The Hero/Big Bad), Shinae (The Lancer/The Dragon), Kiel (The Big Guy/The Brute), Naal (The Smart Guy/Evil Genius), Kyo'nne (The Chick/Dark Chick)
  • Foreshadowing: Look closely at the cover of Chapter 28, especially the position of Kiel's hand on her stomach. Now recall that in that chapter she nearly dies due to poisoned food.
    • Also, check behind Sate'ja's head on the cover of chapter 31. It's Diva's tower in ruins. And why was Chrys'tel there? To try and meet Diva'ratika. Guess what happens later in chapter 31.
    • The story of the Vel'cahal that the kids see in Chapter 26 also serves this purpose, since it's essentially what happens to Naal later on, with her keeping just enough of her consciousness to avoid eating Kiel. Just to drive the point home, Naal even gets a doll of the Vel'cahal, which she keeps even after her seed takes her over.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Lots of readers knew from concept arts that Ariel will not accept Mel as her mother, instead the tension readers had during that scene was focused more on why Ariel rejected Mel
  • Free-Range Children: It's hard to tell how widespread it is (especially since Quain'tana isn't exactly the paragon of good parenting), but drow parents seem to give their children a larger amount of freedom than modern day parents, even allowing them to go to the Surface without visible protest, which is always described as a dangerous and wild place. Since the drow world seems similar to pre-industrial or even feudal societies this is Truth in Television as far as early human societies go. Partly justified by the fact Drow elite mothers are more concerned about quality of heir than how many have to die. To quote Order of the Stick, they don't care how many they have to kill they can make more in their tummy! And have centuries to do so. 'xcept for ONE drow mother...
  • Freaky Is Cool: Naal says this to Kiel here.
  • Funny Background Event: These often crop up during crowd scenes, with a standout example on this page, where Shinae's hissy fit causes a woman walking by to lose her grip on her food, so it splatters against the wall. Also check the name of the shop they're in front of, which shows up again later and is implied to be the same one, or at least part of the same chain.
    • There's also this page where Melodia's apparently stolen something and is being chased by two drow, but most people were too distracted by Faen's Self-Harm to notice.
    • This guy also nearly gets a knife in the groin when the hibachi chef at his table is so distracted by Baliir's face under his mask that she accidentally flings it his way. His female companion is also blushing.
  • Furo Scene: Once in Chapter 9 and again in Chapter 27.
  • Fusion Dance: Ragini and Diva'ratrika in the backstory, who became Liriel.
  • Gambit Pileup: What happens when you have 9 major clans and countless minor ones plotting against each other, on top of people within said clans plotting against each other, and then even within those groups people are plotting against each other. The clan relations chart is a relatively simple, condensed version of it.
    • Within the Vloz'ress there seems to be a decent Gambit Pileup, with each Nether Summoner vying for influence within the clan and for control over Kharla'ggen. With Sene'kha's death the floodgates seem to have been opened.
  • Gender Flip: In universe, it's suggested that the story of the Vel'Cahal was originally about a male knight, but was later changed to be about a woman.
  • Genki Girl: Kyo'nne is the most obvious example.
  • Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: Shinae not just slaps, but punches Kiel'ndia out of a hysterical fit over the demonization of Naal'suul.
  • Girls Love: Lots of implications, and one explicit couple in Mel'arnach and Snadhya'rune.
  • Glomp: As seen here at the bottom
    • And here at the bottom, by name
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Faen, when she intensively uses her empath powers, or during her episode of Power Incontinence.
  • Godiva Hair: Here on Kalki)
    • Later Snadhya'rune and Mel get the same thing, which is hilariously appropriate considering that they're the above's mothers (no, that's not a typo).
  • Goth: Bel'drobbaen clan, call your office. Lampshaded here.
  • Government in Exile: The clans of Chel'el'sussoloth started out as this, but it's persisted for a millennium, and the fact that they haven't adapted since then causes problems that become more and more evident as the series goes on and the office of the Val'Sharess is shown to be either indifferent or powerless.
  • Grand Theft Me: Diva'ratrika on Ragini, which has its own story. Interestingly, at first it was not canon, until the author gave in and made it canon.
  • Grey and Gray Morality: The last narration box on this page sums it up nicely: "There is no hero nor villain in these drow tales, only actors in history, wearing their masks and playing their roles."
  • Groin Attack: Played straight, subverted, averted AND a Nightmare Fuel edition! Depends when it occurred and to who. A female on female version has also been the cause of many plot developments on Quain'tana's side.
  • Grotesque Cute: Right here. With a lovely smile, to boot.
  • Half-Identical Twins: Kau and Shala. The only visible differences between them are that one's eyes are a slightly different color and one has spikier hair.
  • Ham-to-Ham Combat: Oh, where to start... let's just make a blanket statement that any time a serious fight starts it become this.
  • Hand Behind Head
  • Harmless Freezing: Though played straight in the Chibi pages of the prologue, it was brutally subverted in Sillice's battle with Vy'chriel/Yaeminira. Not only did she freeze to death, her fingers actually snapped apart right before the end!
  • Heir Club For Women: A major motivation for Quain'tana.
  • Heterosexual Life Partners: Arguably Kuso and Bal'liir. The two of them individually are probably not strictly "heterosexual" given drow culture (see Everyone Is Bi above) but their relationship otherwise fits.
  • Hidden Elf Village: The Jaal'darya clan are a variant on this, since no one knows precisely where their fortress is located. The Light Elves of Vahaheimr are an even better example, sequestering themselves in the mountains with little to no contact with the outside world, as well as an extremely xenophobic attitude.
  • Hit So Hard the Calendar Felt It: The current story takes place in the year 1098 of the Moonless Age. Not because the moon was destroyed 1100 years ago, but because the elves went into exile underground where they couldn't see the moon.
  • Honor Before Reason: Drow honor operates under this principle. They consider it more honorable to face challenges, especially great ones, even if they're fairly suicidal. See Vy'chriel and Syphile's attacks on people much stronger than them, for them it doesn't work out so well.
  • Hope Spot:
    • It's tiny, but at the end of the tragic chapter 27, we see demon-Naal picking up a doll she bought at the market, and clutching it to her chest, implying that her mind is still there, somewhere. Confirmed in chapter 32, when she pushes Kiel away rather than eat her.
    • Chapter 32 also has one that helps soften the blow of an otherwise pretty bleak ending for Mel. She's had her arms broken by Quain, her heart broken by Ariel rejecting her as being her real mother, and has agreed to give up at least one more child to Quain and be Quain's baby machine. However, the last page has Ariel come up to Mel and hold her hand, which hints that Ariel might have started to accept that Mel's her real mother. Apparently this ending was specifically added as something of a Writer Revolt by two members of the staff, who thought the extra page with the hand holding should be added.
  • Hostile Show Takeover: As of April 2012, Kiel has taken over the Drowtales Twitter account. She promptly demanded a tribute of princes (but would also accept princesses). There are also a series of news posts with Kiel directly addressing the readers.
  • Hot Mom: There's Zala, Mel, and Quain as key examples. Due to Drow possessing what is basically eternal youth, pretty much any Drow mother applies here.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Kharla'ggen. According to Senekha, Kharla is no ordinary Tainted; she is a living vortex of demonic power. The main plan of the Vloz'ress clan is to imprison a demon god inside Kharla by using the fragments of its old foe as bait -- one of those fragments being Discordia.
  • Human Outside, Alien Inside: Fae (drow, light elves, drowussu, etc.) in Drowtales are more biologically different than their humanoid appearance would suggest. The key to this is mana; the energy they generate, absorb and manipulate. It is the source behind their comparative resistance to, and lack of, diseases (they are not completely immune though). It is also what keeps them young and in a healthy condition, provided there are enough of them to generate a surplus of mana. They still need to eat and drink, but less so than a human of comparative size would, and their bodies do not store fat the way a human body does. Their nature means that they also can "starve" even when they have plenty of food and drink—if they are alone. If that happens they will start to suffer from mana deprivation and starts to age much like a human would.
  • Humans Are Morons: Humans are considered to be a type of goblin. Though considered somewhat cunning individually, collectively humans are viewed as less intelligent than orcs, making it a variant of the Conservation of Ninjutsu.
  • Humongous Mecha: Giant war golems provide a close fantasy equivalent.
    • Also played straight in the Space Age Daydream (though the giant war golems exist here, as well)
  • Hypocrite: Possibly one of the main themes, considering how many characters are actually massive hypocrites.
  • Idiot Ball: One is apparently handed to dwarves, who have terribly bad designs for man-portable cannon. They can't even handwave the over-the-shoulder cannon with A Wizard Did It, as the dwarves are explicitly lacking in magic. They also can't even manage to pull off their given role of tunnel skirmishers - their attack causes zero casualties and only minor damage.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: Rikshakar tries this twice on Ariel, the first time being stopped by Vaelia, and the second time resorting to kidnapping her. He severely underestimates her the second time and gets beaten up by her, only to become chow for the demon Discordia after she catches up with him. See Karmic Death. Note that the first time didn't happen in the original version, which was squickier, but consensual.
  • Important Haircut:
    • Liriel just performed one of these To mark the shift from the her own personality to that of Diva'ratrika Val'Sharess, who had moved her spirit into "Liriel"'s body several years before but had been held back by her heavy drinking.
    • Vaelia gets the "opposite" of one in that she has hair extensions put in to signify she is no longer a slave.
    • Slaves are not allowed to have haircuts longer than their neck. Long hair signifies higher status, hence why Yaeminira grew out her hair when she officially "became" Vy'Chriel.
  • Immigrant Patriotism: The Illhar'esses of the Jaal'Darya, Nal'Sarkoth and Illhar'dro clans are not natives of Chel (hailing from Damadi, Mimaneid and Val'Raveran respectively), but the three of them are collectively amongst the most outspoken at the Council in chapter 16.
  • Fundamentally Female Cast: While drow populations are about 50/50 as far as the gender ratio goes, most of the characters who are the focus of the story are female. Justified by drow society being matriarchal and women being the leaders.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Drow have no compunction over eating the flesh of humans and orcs, who they consider beasts, and even eat their own dead.
  • Inadequate Inheritor: Quain'tana has gone through at least three heirs.
  • Infant Immortality: Brutally averted on several occasions. Simply being a child is no guarantee for survival.
  • Instant Fanclub: Meta-example: Kalki gained this from the fans when she showed up topless but for Godiva Hair in Chapter 17.
  • Interspecies Romance:
    • One sidestory is about a drow named "Val'Doomed" who kidnaps human women to try and breed with, but because this is impossible he just earns the derision of other drow. An aversion is Mel'arnach and Zhor who initially appear to be this trope, but Zhor is in fact a Dark Elf that was transformed into his current state so it's not really this trope.
    • A minor but more straightforward example is the relationship between Dhal'zin and Kai of the Stone Company, which Ky'onne is the only one to notice.
  • It Gets Easier: Ariel experiences this, much to her horror, and the fact that the only time to date Quain'tana shows her physical affection is right after her first kill is downright chilling.
  • It Got Worse: In Chapter 33, the city of Nuqrah'shareh is in the middle of a civil war caused by an influx of refugees from neighboring cities. And then Balsii Val'Illhar'dro attempts a coup on her cousin, and though Nega'fanea survives the city has fallen even further into chaos by Chapter 34.
  • It Runs in The Family: Being somewhat naive seems to be a trait shared by both Ariel and her actual mother Mel'arnach.
  • I Want Grandkids: Zala'ess, according to this chibi page
  • Jedi Mind Trick: This is how Ash'waren, who's really a dark elf, has been passing herself off as a drow for the better part of 1000 years.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Kiel'ndia, and a few others, including Kuso, who doesn't seem that bad despite his foul mouth.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: The Kyorl'solenurn are more or less the mascots of Good Is Not Nice, and yet when it comes to their extremism about the tainted they're surprisingly justified, especially with recent revelations.
  • Kamehame Hadoken: Magical version. Take an ordinary Magic Missile, add 1000 years of (mana/aura)growth and experience - destruction ensues. Unfortunately, her targets dodged.
  • Karma Houdini: Quain'tana. So far, and quite a few people wonder if she'll ever get her comeuppance.
  • Karmic Death: Rikshakar.
  • Kick the Wrong Dog: Ariel has one of these moments after she kills Maya, and it changes her path from a more Anti-Hero path.
  • Kid with the Leash: Kiel, after Sene'Kha's death becomes one of these, holding Kharla's leash as her "big" sister. Mentally, she really is.
  • The Kingdom: The mega city-state of Chel'el'Sussoloth. The total population and land area is typical for a Kingdom (a cave network ~50 km in diameter with around 100,000 people) culturally it is arguably a Federation with the clans serving as its 'states'.
  • Knights Templar: The Kyorl'Solenurn clan is this trope personified.
  • Lady Land: The Jaal'darya, who actually want to get rid of men, and probably others to lesser extents.
  • Lady of War: Cool, elegant, ass-kicking Sil'lice personifies this, though she's not above completely flipping her shit in the past.
  • Large Ham: As can be inferred in the comic, Quain'tana speaks with a loud, bombastic voice reminiscent of Leonidas in 300. Zala'ess has a flair for the overly-dramatic herself.
  • Late Arrival Spoiler: It becomes really, really hard to talk about many of the later events of the comic without giving away the following:
    • Diva'ratrika has been dead for 16 years
    • Diva has reincarnated (kinda) as Liriel
    • The Sharen sisters were behind the Nidraa'chal plot, which was a ruse to kill their mother
    • Ariel's mother is really Mel'arnach, not Quain'tana
    • Syphile dies by Quain'tana's hand after breaking Chrys'tel out of prison
  • Law of Inverse Fertility: Affects most female fae, since fae in general have low birth rates, but Quain'tana's case is cause of much angst and many plot developments. This also means that Diva'ratrika, while over a thousand years old, has only had five (surviving) daughters and one son, Zala'ess has had many more and Sil'lice outright says that she's had to do a lot of screwing around to get that many, though many if not most of them seem to have the same father. And because drow have No Periods, Period it means that they never go through an equivalent of menopause, which explains how Ash'waren can be as old as Diva'ratrika and still be producing children. Mel'arnach also says that she was trying for several decades to get pregnant, though it may be due to the father being Zhor than the usual problems fae face.
  • Light Is Not Good: Both the Kyorl and the Light Elves which makes sense considering they're related.
  • Lineage Comes From the Father: Inverted, drow only care about who someone's mother is. This is especially true with Vals, who can only pass on the Val title through the female line.
  • Living Doll Collector: Kharla.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Faen to Ariel.
  • Lovable Nerd: Yafein.
  • Magic Missile: The easiest and most common attack for a fae to use. Can be dodged. Seen in action here, together with mana shields and ordinary crossbows.
  • Mama Bear: Zala'ess is implied to be this, and she wanted to kill her daughter Vy'chriel's protector twin Yaeminira after the latter murdered her real daughter, and only grudgingly allowed her to take her place at the urging of her own sister Sarv'swati. It's also been suggested that Zala'ess' main redeeming quality is her love for her children. Shimi'lande is also implied to be this for the entire Drowussu race, seeing as she serves a sort of mother to all of them.
  • Mandatory Motherhood: Played with in-story. Even though women are the dominant gender in drow society, having children is a way for them to build up their families and power, and the fact that Snadhya'rune, Diva'ratrika's heir, has no family of her own is seen as scandalous. However, Snadhya does indeed have a daughter, she just had her conceived and carried outside of her womb, and it seems that Snadhya did indeed want children, just on her own terms.
  • Maternally Challenged: One interpretation of why Quain'tana has such a bad relationship with her children. As far as can be inferred she had no parents to speak of and was on the street from an early age, and the effect is pretty obvious on her children.
  • Matron Chaperone: Vaelia assigns herself the role of Duenna, and played with in that Ariel herself isn't exactly receptive to Rik's advances either, and likely doesn't understand what he's really trying to do.
  • Meaningful Background Event: Repeatedly.
    • On this page and several subsequent ones from from chapter 34, Shodun is out of focus in the background behind Balsii, only to burst out of the background and kill Sandaur.
    • On this page from chapter 35, in the background you can see the assault on First Landing Fortress, which is talked about later in the chapter. No one in the scene comments on it, suggesting that Chelians have become jaded to the constant conflict during the timeskip.
  • Meaningful Name: Word of God says that Syphile's name comes from the word Syphilis, since her original character was in an RPG and the name was made up on the spot. If that doesn't tell you something about her and her luck I don't know what does.
    • Most names in the setting have some sort of meaning and/or history behind them, while Kite tends to use a different method.
    • Character specific examples can be found on the Character Sheets but one memorable example is that of Jer'kol, a character who pre-timeskip pretended to be Ariel's father. His true nature became much clearer later on when it turned out that he was working for Syphile to kill Ariel.
  • Mega Neko: The Sullissin'rune cavalry mounts/clan animal.
  • Men Are the Expendable Gender: For the most part most drow view their males as this at best.
  • Mirrored Confrontation Shot: The cover of chapter 12. The printed Prologue also has Sillice and her children on one side and Kalki and the Nidraa'chal on the other.
  • Mismatched Eyes: The Val'Sullisin'rune family.
  • Mission from God: The belief of the Kyorl'solenurn.
  • Misunderstood Loner with a Heart of Gold: Mel'arnach.
  • Mix-and-Match Man: Rik.
  • Mooning: During Phani'nath's description of the last Ill'haress gathering Quain'tana does this to Sarv'swati. It's not entirely certain if this actually happened, but it would hardly be out of character.
  • Estrogen Brigade Bait: Shan'aal, most obviously, and Tir'ade as well. Kor'maril is this both in the fandom and in canon, where in canon he's had at least one lover and is the father of Sillice's twins and there's a Daydream story where he gets it on with both another woman and a literal Dragon Lady.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Although she is essential to the story, Mel'arnach is the frickin empress of fanservice in the comic. Kalki may come in second depending on if she ever puts on a shirt. Ironically (or not) they're mother and daughter, er, sort of.
  • Multicolored Hair: Since all drow have white hair, dyeing it, often but not always in the clan colors, is common.
  • Multinational Team: The comic's staff come from 13 different countries. In-story, the group on the surface contains characters from 3 different major clans (4 if you count Liriel/Diva as a Sharen), a human and a feral.
    • And after the timeskip, Chry'stel's group in Nuqrah'shareh consists of members of the Sharen clan (herself and Nau'kheol) as well as members of the Jie'yen, Balvhakara and Duskians, though the last one is only tagging along and providing them cover and not an official member.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much
  • Mysterious Parent: Mel'arnach turns out to be Kalki's "father" with Snadhya'rune as the mother. Possible thanks to the Jaal'darya clan's Organic Technology / Bio Augmentation.
  • Nailed to the Wagon: Liriel.
  • Neglectful Precursors: The Dark and Light Elves are pretty much the ones responsible for turning the surface into the hell hole it is now, and by extension are responsible for the birth of the drow, and the case can even be made for Abusive Precursors considering that at least some of them were said to have opened nether gates on purpose.
  • Nightmare Sequence: A couple of these, one for Ariel, a several for Chiri, and one for Kiel. All of them are horrifying.
  • Ninja: The Fallen Legion, particularly the possessed Lael'aell and in Chapter 34 the Jie'yen clan of Nuqrah'shareh.
  • Nominal Importance: Kiel lampshades it in this strip.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: The artwork for the comic is to a very high standard and usually has a regular design aesthetic which was why it was all the more jarring to see this character(called Wordweaver Frehling) talking to Chry'stel Vel'Sharen in Chapter 34. He looked a lot more like he should be in a Disney film than in an Animesque webcomic.
  • No Periods, Period: Word of God is taht fae do not get periods, which helps explain how even very old fae can still have children at upwards of 1,000, but female humans do, unfortunately for Vaelia.
  • Not Quite Dead: As one forum poster put it, it seems that Dark Elves have the tenacity of cockroaches since within a few chapters, 3 of them, Diva'ratrika through a Fusion Dance, Ash'waren through a Jedi Mind Trick, and whatever Sha'sana did, have been shown to have survived. It also lead one poster to proclaim that Snadhya'rune is really bad at killing people.
  • Not So Different: Despite being a Superior Species the drow in particular are not actually that different from the goblin races. Just take a look at how the drow consider the goblin races. Now take a closer look at the drow. Ironic that the ones who consider halmes akin to locusts almost destroyed their own planet for mana-based life a millenia ago, isn't it?

Later on, when Chiri'nide and Shan'aal visit the elves of Vanaheimr, the way the Light Elves try to kill them and succeed in killing the refugees they brought causes Chiri to reference the drowussu's own views about "racial purity" and begin to question them.

  • Obfuscating Insanity: Mel'arnach, Ash'waren.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Liriel, though that might just be the beer.
  • Oh Crap: A few memorable instances detailed on the main page, and the entire fanbase collectively had this expression through most of Chapter 25.
  • Only Six Faces: Played with, since the very early chapters suffered from this, but as the art style has evolved it's become less and less so, since characters are now pretty distinguishable in their facial features. Only Six Faces is also plays a role in drow culture as a whole, since most drow have white hair and similarly shaded skin they will often dye it or add accessories to distinguish themselves.
  • Our Monsters Are Different: ... or, to be more precise, Our Drow Are Different.
    • Our Elves Are Better: Not nicer mind you, or cooler, and certainly not more "right". Basically, they are are tougher and carry a bigger stick than everybody else.
    • Our Fairies Are Different
    • Orcs and Humans are Goblins; Elves, Dragons, Nagas, and Driders are all Fae; Gnomes are "domesticated" Dwarves.
  • Our Nudity Is Different: Drow in Chel'el'sussoloth usually wear high collars, because the (lower) neck is considered a naughty part. That isn't the case with all drow nations though, nor has it always been the case in Chel. Similar to how it's normal IRL to go topless on the beach in some countries and scandalous in others.
  • People Jars: Sharess' body turns out to be kept in one
  • Pet the Dog: "Bad" or at the very least not very nice characters will often get moments like this to add to the Grey and Gray Morality.
    • Zala'ess seems to genuinely love her children, and Sil'lice, who before was shown taking joy in torturing tainted gained major Pet the Dog points when she was revealed to have little twins who sent the Squee alarm up to 11. Quain'tana's relationship with Ash'waren is also something of a Pet the Dog in regards to showing that the usually gruff and Badass Ill'haress has a soft side.
    • A subtle one occurred in chapter 22, when the human queen who had been participating in ritual sacrifice and blood bathing was shown teary eyed with someone who is presumably her child. People who had been calling for her head a few pages earlier suddenly felt sorry for her.
    • Once Ariel returned from the surface, Quain'tana questioned her of her adventures on the surface, before telling her that "You make me... proud." Considering this is Quain saying this, it definitely counts.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: Several characters, though special mentions goes to Shimi'lande's formal dress, Diva'ratrika's parade dress and pretty much all of Snadhya'rune's dresses.
  • Play-Along Prisoner: Mel'arnach is a long term version of this along with Obfuscating Insanity.
  • Politically-Active Princess: Most of the female cast counts, since their society is a Matriarchy, so it's expected. Zala'ess Vel'Sharen is probably the best example, since she's the politician among her three sisters.
    • Because Queen Diva is quite reclusive, her daughters perform most of her duties. In fact, the older sisters convinced Zala to help them wall in their mother in a secret coup.
  • Potty Failure: Implied to have happened to Chrys'tel (look near her feet), since she did mention earlier that she had to pee, and being trapped in an iron maiden for an entire day by your sadistic cousin doesn't offer many potty breaks.
  • Power Incontinence: Faen.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: A case can be made for this if this page is any indication
  • Pretty in Mink: Snadhya'runes hardly goes anywhere without her enormous fur coat.
  • Principles Zealot: Chiri mixes this with Fantastic Racism.
  • Psycho for Hire: Sene'kha and Ky'ovaerde... and to a lesser extent, Laele'aell, though in her case it's more that she doesn't really have a soul any more.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Kharla'ggen. Her origin story seems to indicate that if just left alone she'd be fine (if badly tainted), but Sene'kha, the above Psycho for Hire, pushed her even further into insanity. Discordia is also showing signs of this, especially in her childlike behavior after she kills Rik.
  • Punctuation Shaker: Pretty much all the Drow names. The apostrophe is also a sign of nobility in some families, hence why Sil'lice is referred to as Sillice by the other Sharen after her exile.
  • Puny Earthlings: The story arc from chapters 20 to 22 has Ariel, her friends and a group of Highland Raiders storm a human city and kill the king with comparatively little effort. Whether or not this was bad writing or indicative of the power levels of the species involved (see Game Breaker above) is best left to the forums. Word of God was that the story arc was intended to be longer and include the Hermiones, another group of humans, but had to be cut down for the sake of time.
  • Put Off Their Food: In chapter 14, when the group of protagonists sits down for dinner, the drow Kyo'nne tells the human Vaelia that the preserved meat they're eating is human meat. She was just joking — but since they don't actually know what kind of meat it is, and since drow do eat human meat, Vaelia decides to play it safe and have bread instead.
  • PVP-Balanced: The old-old start of the comic when it was based on Dungeons & Dragons sessions. Deliberately averted hard in favour of story over balance in the current main comic and something new readers should keep in mind/be aware of.
  • Rape, Pillage and Burn: S.O.P. for the Sarghress, especially the Highland Raiders. Lampshaded in one chibi page.
  • Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs: Sil'lice's daughter Kadara is particularly adept at this.
  • Rapunzel Hair: Name nearly any female character... although it is justified due to drow culture, as short hair is reserved for slaves. The one exception to the "long hair = noble" rule seem to be the Sharen protector twins like Shinae and Yaeminira, but that's because they exist in a weird state of both being and not being a noble, and unlike those two Khaless does have long hair and seems to be essentially an equal to Snadhya'rune.
  • Really Gets Around: Zala'ess and Ash'waren are heavily implied to be this for both genders, considering how many children they have. This was joked about in a podcast, which suggested that the two of them go out together cruising for guys.
  • A Real Man Is a Killer: Brutally displayed here.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: The 'Tainted', AKA Ver'drowendar. Red eyes in Chel basically means that the person with them is a ticking timebomb that could, at any moment, turn into a nigh unstoppable engine of destruction in the form of a demon.
  • Relationship Reveal: Mel'arnach and Snadhya'rune had been teased at before, but chapter 17 confirmed it, and since then it's gone beyond that with the revelation that Snadhya used Mel's genetic material to make Kalki.
  • Religion of Evil: Played with. Nether cults like the one the Vloz'ress used to be are portrayed this way by the Kyorl, but at least under Kiel's mother they weren't exactly "evil" and had some noble intentions. Once Senek'ha took over, on the other hand...
  • The Remnant: The Dutan'vir clan fell during the Nidraa'chal War, and the survivors mostly wound up slaves or joined the Kyorl or the Sarghress. The have a decent presence within the Maeyukir House of the Sarghress, and Lulianne shows that there are a few who hope to resurrect the clan some day.
  • Retcon: The whole business of remaking the first several chapters.
  • Rich Bitch: Chrys'tel, though her sister Yami'ni seems to top her in just about every way.
  • Rich in Dollars, Poor In Sense: Ariel chief among them, but also some nobles. They tend to be the exception rather than the rule however.
  • Royally Screwed-Up: Just about every noble family, but the Sharen are the most obvious.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Those heiresses don't just sit pretty. Orthorbbae prepares them for combat.
  • Rule 34: Some fans make it themselves, but a good deal comes from the writers themselves.
  • Running Gag: Ariel's love of cats, and her dislike of maths. Shimi'lande also has a running gag of needing chocolate to keep herself from going insane from keeping all the fanatical Kyorls in line, which occasionally leads to references like NO CHOCOLATE?! CRUSADE!
  • Satisfied Street Rat: Quain'tana's early history. Also deconstructed, since it left her as a horrible parent.
  • Schizo-Tech: Averted. The technology seen in the series (Powered Armor, mana-powered rockets, flying platforms, automatic crossbows, golem and golem limbs, something Word of God has actually called a drow iPod and something that resembled an iPad even before they existed in the real world, holographic displays etc.) is actually fairly advanced due to mana, and most was developed during the Moons Age, but exactly how much a given city has depends on its culture and exposure to nether summoning, which can severely mess with golem tech especially. When a few people on the forum complained that a rock concert made no sense in a "medieval setting" the author drew this in response.
  • Secret Legacy: Ariel's true heritage. And Kalki on both sides, though she knows it.
  • Seen It All: Sha'sana knows critical information that could prevent Chel from going through hell all over again, but she does nothing because she no longer gives a damn about Chel or its problems.
  • Self Made Woman: Quain'tana.
  • Self-Made Orphan: the three Sharen sisters send mommy dearest to her room permanently so they can rule Chel'el'Sussoloth in a demonic triumvirate.
  • Shadow Archetype
  • Shadow Dictator: No one has seen Val'Sharess Diva'ratrika for 16 years because she's dead, killed by her own daughters, though Ragini/Liriel, her servant/reincarnation/merger/FusionDance/whatever, is still running around.
  • Shaggy Dog Story: Chiri'nide and Shan'naal bring back Light Elf prisoners from Nagyesced to Vanaheimr, but the prisoners are killed that very night and Chiri and Shan nearly so themselves.
  • Shapeshifter Baggage: Averted post-retcon.
  • Shining City: Chel'el'sussoloth.
  • Shout-Out: The Sarghress clan symbol has an uncanny resemblance to Guts' brand in Berserk, and Word of God is that the anime series was very influential on him.
    • And Kyo'nne's Xellos impression.
    • And the Conan the Barbarian inspired clothing/armor/weapons. Quain'tana is more or less Robert E. Howard's Conan the Cimmerian, if he were a drow female. Or like Temujin/Ghengis Khan.
    • The summon near the ceiling looks like Pac-Man.
    • Kharla'ggen's hair makes her resemble Washu, especially since the demon Sene'kha plans to use Kharla to summon looks like a crab, which is Washu's symbol.
      • And speaking of Washu, Diva is quite similar to the original version of Washu from the OVA, in that she's really a lot more powerful than she looks, is hiding in plain sight and in a much younger body.
    • Chrys'tel tells Kiel that a Vel'Sharen repays her debts, which recalls Tyrion Lannister and the (unofficial) Lannister family motto from A Song of Ice and Fire. Probably intentional given that the author is known to be a fan of the series.
  • Sinister Scythe: Sene'kha's weapon. It's stated that Vloz'ress nether summoners often pick a large weapon for appearance rather than practicality.
  • Sir Swearsalot: Several characters, but the Illhar'dro golem pilot deserves special mention for using the word fuck nine times on one page.
  • Situational Sexuality: Heavy implied to occur at Orthorbbae in the main comic and outright stated in Daydream, due to the gender-segregated sections of the school. Less of a case of this than usual since drow have an Everyone Is Bi society anyway, so it's not as big a deal.
  • Skeleton Government: Averted. Chel'el'Sussoloth's political scene is a major driving force behind the events of the story.
  • Spanner in the Works: The plan of Snadhya'rune, Sarv'swati and Zala'ess to cover up that they killed their mother was going off without a hitch until Chrys'tel discovered the truth. Ironically, she saw it at the same time Sil'lice told one of their mooks that she had seen it too.
    • And Liriel/Diva's return isn't so much a spanner as an i-beam.
  • Speech Bubbles: Everyone has a unique balloon, with the exception of the occasional one-off character. Mostly this is done with color (both font and backdrop), but a few characters have different fonts as well.
  • Split Personality Takeover: Liriel has completely become Diva'ratrika as of Chapter 22.
  • Sprouting Ears: Ariel sprouts cat ears at a humorous moment in the comic. Since she can shapeshift this appears to have actually happened instead of just being a visual metaphor.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Mel'arnach believes her and Snadhya'rune to be this, the truth might be more complicated... This seems to be how Kyo'nne thinks of herself and Shan'naal as well, though with her it's played for comedy.
  • The Stoic: Naal'suul, Koil'dorath, hell, many Sarghress.
  • Stupid Evil: Humanity's hat in this comic, in much the same way as the drow from Dungeons and Dragons.
  • Stripperiffic: Mel'Arnach's dental floss, more so in the previous versions. With the first episode being retconned for the second time, her outfit is now just a step away from a long pants/pink sweather combo, albeit with transparent fabric over much of it and a Thong of Shielding.
  • Super-Deformed: Besides mini chibi-pages at the end of chapters characters will occasionally shift into this at humorous moments.
  • Super Human Trafficking: A halme (human) royal family did this to drow and elves seeking immortality.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: Ariel goes to the male section of the Wizarding School to avoid being trapped under the thumb of the headmistress, subverted in that she's found out almost instantly and only has her secret kept because no students are allowed to leave and spread the word, and once she is found out she has to leave. This also earns her the nickname of "The Sarghress Transvestite" among some of the other drow.
    • Kel'noz and Mel'narach both did this, but not in Canon. Which was the subject of a side story and a later Mythology Gag.
  • Sympathetic Murder Backstory: Ariel is ordered to kill Mir'kin Vel'Vloz'ress, and then kills Yafein Val'Sullisin'rune's slave Maya in a fit of rage after he pushed her Berserk Button. It's clearly hinted that the resulting My God, What Have I Done? moment resulted in PTSD. It's particularly disturbing when you remember that due to her species' slow aging process, she was physically still a small child at the time.
  • Tangled Family Tree: The Vel'Sharen and Val'Sarghress family tree is turning into this with recent revelations about Kalki, and to give you an idea of how convoluted it is, Ariel's step-grandmother is actually Diva'ratrika. One forum member attempted to draw up said tree (warning for crazy spoilers and very big image file), and as crazy as that is it's not even everyone!
  • Tempting Fate: Rik
  • The Unfavourite: Syphile is this trope in drow form.
  • Those Two Guys: Kuso and Baliir, pair of Vloz'ress soldiers, a regular trooper and a Berserker. The trooper seems like a rather chatty and good natured fellow, while his friend is a Gentle Giant... except when he fights. He's shown fighting once in the main story and once in a guest side story. He curbstomps his enemies both times. Would be Those Two Bad Guys except they act more like Punch Clock Villains, if that.
  • Time Skip: Several instances:
    • The first occurred in chapter 1, where there was a 10 year jump.
    • The next happened during Chapter 2, where there was a 4 or 5 year jump.
    • And now the most significant storywise, between Chapter 32 and 33 there is a 15 year jump.
  • Tomato Surprise: Many, if not most, of Orthorbbae's female staff are actually summons, their bodies are hidden in a morgue beneath the school
  • Too Dumb to Live: Yaeminira who is sent on a blatantly obvious suicide mission by a mother she knows hates her. She compounds this by going alone (well, with the golem) through the front gate and challenging one of the most ancient and powerful drow known to a duel which ends in a Curb Stomp Battle Best part? Sil'lice gives her a thorough explanation, and offers to let her switch sides which she doesn't appear to even seriously consider.
    • A chapter later Syphile arguably crosses into this. One image a forum member posted sums it up.
    • One of Larvova's scourges finds out the hard way not to threaten Kiel when Kharla is around.
  • Torture Technician: Sil'lice is a pro.
  • Tough Love: Part of standard parenting for most Drowolath noble families, but special mention goes to Quaintana whose methods of parenting left all but one of her children and said sole child later fell to demons outright hating her, feeling neutral towards her and a Jerkass /==/ Jerkass Woobie respectively.
  • Tragic Dream: Rik, who sees Ariel as a way to have a family. Unfortunately his methods to obtain it come back to bite him in the ass big time.
  • True Companions: The Highland Raiders!
  • Unicorn: the Holy Lance Mounts, aka Dawmeres, which are actually more similar to goats than to modern horses.
  • Unusual Ears: Obviously.
  • The Uriah Gambit: Zala'ess does this to Vy'chriel/Yaeminira, and seems relieved to know the outcome was a success.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: Multiple characters have their own vision of how they want to shape Chel, and frankly don't care about the sacrifices that have to be made in order to do it.
    • Snadhya'runes has tainted almost everyone with a deliberately flawed form of tainting that will kill anyone afflicted with it in 25-50 years, while keeping the safe and pure version only for herself and her followers. All she needs to do is wait until Chel self-destructs, and take over what is left.
    • Sha'sana, for one, is dedicating her life to bringing back Sharess so she can unite the clans and doesn't care that Chel goes to hell in the meantime.
  • Vapor Wear: There have been several (the previous one just one of many) things that references drow nobility in particular not wearing underwear. For an actual confirmed case, Mel'arnach has a semi-transparent dress that clearly has nothing under it.
  • Villainous Valour: Althought not villains per se, the dvergar who choose to fight the drow rather than trade with them shows this. Even after being reduced to a remnant by the desperate, fleeing dokkalfar (and later outright invading drow) and having no mana, they still are a real danger to drow trade caravans and even manage to get in a few good blows against the highland raiders. Keep in mind that the last is a bit like somali pirates attacking a US battleship.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Poor Kiel... It seems that vomitting is a side effect of Kharla's dollification process too, since Kiel's mother also threw up as her body started to change.
  • Urban Warfare: The Nidraa'chal War was a particularly horrific conflict because it took place within the city of Chel itself, resulting in massive civilian casualties. Worse, the nether summoners actually used civilians as weapons by turning them into demons.
  • Warrior Princess: Ariel, Sil'lice, Chiri... must I list them all?
  • Webcomic Time: From Chapter 3, Page 14 to (as of writing this) Chapter 28 takes place over only a few months of comic time, from the end of the school year to the Moon's End Festival. Faen's fleeing was originally drawn in 2003, which means it took 7 years "real time" for Ariel to rescue Faen. Talk about "The Longest Wait!"
  • We Have Ways of Making You Talk: Torture is run-of-the-mill in drow society, and due to mana they get creative with it.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: From daughters to mothers, especially Vy'chriel Vel'Sharen, though she has a slightly more complicated version since she's not the real daughter, she was the real daughter's protector and killed her, taking her place, and Zala'ess is understandably not too thrilled with the situation.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Slightly reversed.The setting of Drowtales has many Drow clans in the running, however the clan of armor plated, demonhunting zealots whose daily routine requires purging the tainted ones whenever possible would generally be considered the mascot of this trope. And just to show how gray the morality in the world is, in many ways they're right.
    • Funnily enough, their arch-enemy clan of Vloz'ress used to be it too before Kiel took over and ended that plan. Their goal was to end all wars in the world by turning everyone into mind-controlled puppets...
    • In Chapter 16, the Val'Jaal'Darya Clan Ill'haress, Asira'malika, related a story of a frontier settlement that eventually succumbed to the ravages of war, natural disasters, and the like. Using this story, she justifies her clan's intent to destroy potential threats to Chel'el'sussoloth before they have an opportunity to present themselves.)
    • Also, Sene'kha planned to kill off all the nobles (with Kharla acting as prison for a demon god) to end the clan system.
  • Wham! Episode: Has its own page.
  • Whip Sword: Zala'ess's weapon, which she hasn't yet used but has been seen on panel.
  • White-Haired Pretty Girl: Played straight with the Drowolath and most other Fae races native to the Underworld.
  • White-Haired Pretty Boy: Also played straight, to an extent.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Due to a high mortality rate most drow don't live long enough to experience this, but very old drow and dark elves often fall into this as they get older and older, in part due to the massive amounts of mana their bodies require to stay young, essentially confining them to large cities. Some dark elves underground committed suicide out of despair at the knowledge that they'd probably never see the surface again.
  • Who's Your Daddy?: After Sillice's twins were introduced, the first question many people had was who their father was. A Daydream story eventually revealed that it's Kor'maril. The twins however know who it is, so this was more for the fans.
    • Snadhya'rune just mentioned that the father of her daughter Kalki was a Sarghress. It's even worse than many speculated. It's Mel.
  • Why Am I Ticking?: Naal'suul may count, by virtue of having been unwillingly tainted so badly that she could die and turn into a demon at practically any moment.
    • Chapter 25 revealed that nearly every tainted in the setting has only around 25 to 50 years to live, meaning that a significant portion of Chel is a ticking time bomb.
  • With My Hands Tied: Vaelia protecting Ariel long enough for help to come. Right after being bought. Ariel grants her freedom immediately afterwards.
  • Wizarding School: Orthorbbae
  • The Women Are Safe with Us: Averted by Vaelia's explanation, and if Mel'arnach's backstory is any indication the Sarghress troops are not above raping their own people. Unfortunately Truth in Television for many armies.
  • Woman in White: Mel often appears like this due to her choice of clothing.
  • World of Action Girls: Yup.
  • World of Buxom: Save for a few characters, the majority of drow females sport breasts larger than a C-cup.
  • Writer Revolt: The end of the sidestory Longest Wait, was apparently one of these, since it was not originally planned for Diva'ratrika to fuse with Ragini and escape but the artist of that story wanted it to end differently than was planned and the new ending was eventually accepted into the canon.
  • Xanatos Gambit: The Nidraa'chal war turns out to have been engineered by Snadhya'rune and two of her sisters as a cover for their attempt to kill their mother Diva'ratrika. Since this this is a bunch of Drow, everyone is either running one of these, or an Unwitting Pawn caught up in the Gambit of another.
  • You Bastard: Kiel invokes this in chapter 28, and even throws a belt at the audience during her emotional breakdown. Ouch.
  • You No Take Candle: Vaelia, though it's because she doesn't know the drow language, and it has been gradually improving.
  • Your Normal Is Our Taboo: Bisexuality and multiple partners is the norm for Drows, while pure heterosexuals like Zala'ess and her hubby Sabrror, and pure homosexuals like Snadhya'rune and Mel'arnach are considered unusual. Cannibalism is also acceptable. With so few resources, Drow eating Drow is the norm amongst the lower class. It may have disappeared from the background materials, but a running theme in Drowtales is that a bare neck is considered a form of nudity in Chel'el'sussoloth.
  • Your Soul Is Mine: The fate of anyone killed by Snadhya'rune (or any other summoner); she can then summon their soul to do her bidding.
  1. Note that the page linked here is relevant for the trope but no longer considered canon in the worldsetting. Parts of it made the crossover after the Retcon though
  2. the other being that they're biologically incapable of reproducing with each other
  3. a type of orc
  4. do note that the author is from Quebec, where while still a bad word it's not considered quite as bad as it is to Americans
  5. Slightly less so for the Sarghress if you can fight. Depraved commoners. Also possibly the case for the Nal'sarkoth as they actively recruit non-drow races to build up their numbers