Guilded Age

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Jump to: navigation, search
Left to right: Bandit, Byron, Syr'Nj, Gravedust, Payet, and Frigg.

Guilded Age is a Heroic Fantasy webcomic, in which six fairly competent adventurers conveniently meet and form a group to make a living of... well... adventuring. It's written by Phil Kahn and T Campbell, with art by Erica Henderson (Chapters 1 through 7) and John Waltrip (Chapter 8 onward).

The meat of the story deals with our heroes getting hired to do various jobs for the growing human nation of Gastonia. Gastonia is in the middle of a technological revolution, and its rapid border expansion has earned it much ire from the "savage races," as well as older magical societies, like those of the elves. On top of that, each of the six characters has their own issues to deal with, and as a group the multicultural, multiracial band tends to face as much personal conflict as they do political conflict. At least, that's how it starts...

Each chapter begins with a mini adventure taking place sometime after the main story arc. Word of God says that it was to give the beloved audience the guarantee of a future full of gang-asskicking. The main story arc begins by relating how each of the protagonists met to finally form a party and deliver said asskicking.


Tropes used in Guilded Age include:
  • Action Girl: Frigg. Syr'Nj, too, although she's not as obviously female.
  • Affably Evil: Iver, Savasi Warlord.
  • Anachronic Order: Each chapter is divided in two parts: The first one follows the party in one of their many adventures, the other one forms a regular story arc showing the party's first meeting.
  • Anachronism Stew: Somehow Syr'Nj invented dynamite.
  • Art Evolution: When the comic's artist changed from Erica Henderson to John Waltrip.
  • Awesome McCoolname: Gravedust Deserthammer is probably the guiltiest of this, with Frigg even asking him if she can have his name after he dies.
  • Big No: Parodied when Payet mourns the loss of his faithful chocobo bawkbagok.

Payet: "Keirnas! NOOOOOOOOOO-*gasp*-OOOOOOOOO!!!"

Frigg: Sorry Ardaic! I tried my best, but someone accidentally killed them to death.
Ardaic: You're fired. Without you to protect them, your friends with totally die and stuff. And deep down you will know it was your fault, because you suck at life.
Frigg: Well shit.

  • Byronic Hero: Byron, of course.
  • Call a Rabbit a Smeerp: Syr'Nj has plant-based names for body parts. Toes = Taproots, Hair = Foliage, etc.
    • This is not entirely just a question of nomenclature: she can, for instance, absorb water through her taproots, and is surprised to learn that her human friends cannot.
  • Catch Phrase: Frigg frequently uses the word "dope" in many ways.

Frigg, proving her valor: "It’s because I’m the dopest."

Syr'nj: You all have a choice. Remember that.

Sundar: "Just because they got unbelievable mental self-discipline and control powers that would drive an ordinary person insane, they think they’re better than us."

  • Made of Iron: Frigg, all the way. Not only is she the party's designated "meatshield", but after being captured by the Sisters of the Bloodshot Eye and beaten and tortured so badly her face looks like bloody hamburger, she's still talking trash and making jokes.
  • Martial Pacifist: Syr'Nj left her nature-loving, isolationist home to join the military of expansionist Gastonia in hopes of finding a way for Wood Elves and Humans to live in harmony.
  • Meaningful Name: All of the party. Seriously, how are you supposed not to become a criminal when you're called Bandit Keynes?
    • Word of God says that Bandit is her job title in the recent Q&A
  • The Medic: Syr'Nj.
  • Minor Injury Overreaction: Played with.

Sundar, getting a shot of truth serum: "SHE'S TORTURING MEEEEEE!"
After the shot took effect: "ACTUALLY, IT WAS ONLY A MINOR PINCHING SENSAAAAATION!"

  • Missed the Call: Payet fulfills almost all the requirements of a prophecy made by a mad woman in the town and is declared the "Epic Hero". The real Epic Hero (who fulfils the one requirement Payet missed) shows up after a few days, but the mad woman has a heart attack right after, due to the strain of shouting "THE PROPHECY!" over and over.
  • Musical Assassin: Payet, if you can call fighting with a half-instrument half-axe killing with music.
  • Noodle Incident: The events leading up to the Flooding Prison Incident seem to have turned into this.
  • Nuns Are Spooky: The Sisters of the Bloodshot Eye are Lawful Evil nuns that wield rulers with razors on them.
  • Obvious Pregnancy: Payet leaves behind many women in this condition. Jerkass.
  • One-Hit Polykill: One arrow, two cultists.
  • One-Man Army: While a complete douchebag and all around Jerkass, Payet had taken on literally hordes of enemies single-handedly without so much as a split end.
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: At first, seemingly played straight by Gravedust. Something-hammer last name? Check. Big beard? Check. The Comically Serious? Check. Standard dwarf.
    • However, later we learn that dwarves are desert nomads who have been driven from their mountains. Furthermore, their women are lustful, their children don't respect authority, and, most atypical of all, some of them DON'T HAVE BEARDS!
    • Gravedust isn't your typical armored hammer/axe warrior either. He's some kind of shaman/archer who can speak with the dead and ask them to lend their strength to his arrows. However, the impression he gives of much the rest of his race is that of more traditional dwarf warriors.
  • Our Elves Are Better: Sky elves, Winter elves, Shit elves (although that's just the colloquial name) and Wood Elves
    • Also, Wood Elves supposedly have root-like feet viewed as awkward by other races (if they know it exists at all).
  • People Jars
  • Plant Person: Syr'Nj and other Wood Elves.
  • Punctuation Shaker: Wood Elves fall under the "apostrophe as a universal stand-in for vowels" version.
  • Product Displacement:
  • Religion of Evil: They are kind of lousy and some were forced by their parents to become cultists.
    • Our Lady of the Perpetual Bloodshot Eyeball may also count.
  • The Reveal: Following the Bolivian Army Cliffhanger at the end of Chapter 8, Chapter 9 begins with a shift of focus to Payet, summoned to a new quest. Then the perspective zooms out to reveal a man watching him on a computer monitor. The watcher turns out to be the CEO of a MMORPG company.
  • Science Hero: Syr'Nj is the party's Combat Medic—not through traditional holy/nature powers, but through an array of drug-filled needles and good old-fashioned paramedic training. Her goal is to show humans (and her father) that science and nature can work in harmony.
  • The Scream: Syr'Nj pulls this twice, once at the end of the side adventure in the first chapter and again in the guest comic linked as Ship Tease on the YMMV page.
  • Screw You, Elves: While supposed an ancient, powerful and all advanced civilization, the Sky Elves where easily cowed by Frigg after she had enough of their pretentiousness. Even Syr'Nj told them that it would be better to get in a good relationship with Gastonia before... they get diplomatic.
  • Shout-Out: Frigg is an expert at spouting them.

Frigg, smashing a door: "OH, YEAHHH!"
Frigg, blocking a mace hit:"FFFFFFUUUUUUUUUU--"
Frigg: "This is a fight. Hits or GTFO."
Payet, Singing: "Share the bird song with you friends then! Please-retweet."
Byron: "Our motto is, Can we break it? Yes, we can!"