Twokinds

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"After losing his memory to a mysterious battle, Trace Legacy, a former leader for an organization of mages called the Templar, finds himself in the company of Flora, a girl of strange, tiger-like qualities. As Trace gradually begins to re-learn what he once knew, he soon discovers that Flora belongs to a race of people who are enemies of his kind. As friendship confects with racial differences, Trace and Flora find themselves in a situation more critical than either of them can imagine."
"Awkward Interspecies Romance at its best!"
—Twokinds ad banner

Twokinds is a Western Web Comic with heavy anime and furry influences. It revolves around Trace, a human who has lost his memory, and his anthropomorphic Tiger-girl friend, Flora.

Along their way, they discover that the world is in a state of near open war, with Flora's race, the Keidran, openly targeted for enslavement and slaughter by the humans, led by the murderous Templars. Meanwhile, they discover Keith, a member of the mostly forgotten Basitin race.

Quickly caught up in the politics of the world—and its gods—Trace and Flora travel eastward, interested in finding out more about Trace's past, as well as a place a Human with a dark (and forgotten) past, a misfit Keidran, and an outcast Basitin can call home.

While they may not show anything, there are still NSFW moments.

Twokinds can be read in its entirety at its home page, here


Tropes used in Twokinds include:
  • A-Cup Angst: Flora, for some reason.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Chapter 13 starts with the side characters from Trace's old home town, now on the run from an advancing Keidran raiding force.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: Kathrin seems to genuinely have feelings for Eric, but though he treats her infinitely better than most humans would treat a slave, he still considers her to be his property. The only thing that indicates his feelings might be different is that he released her from the mind-control spell that forces a slave to follow any order.
  • All There in the Manual: Word of God is that the Western Basitans are just as free-spirited and debauched as their Eastern Basitan cousins are stiff and prudish. Of course, we don't see anything of all that before the cast sets course back to their own lands.
  • Almost-Dead Guy: Laura held on until she got to see Keith one last time.
  • Alt Text: Sporadic, and only on the most recent pages.
  • Alphabetical Theme Naming: of the rhyming variety; Flora, Nora, and Laura.
  • Exclusively Evil: Played rather humorously three different ways. Some Keidrans think this about humans, Templar propaganda says that Keidrans are. The Basitin think everyone else is.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Alaric, according to the cast page.
  • Amnesiac Dissonance: Interesting in that the only person not aware of his past is Trace, nearly everyone else is well aware of who he is/was and openly terrified of him.

Trace: The more I learn about my past, the more I've come to realize how better off I am now without it. I used to want to remember. But being told just made me realize the terrible person I'd been. I understand now that losing it all was the best thing to happen to me. So I've decided I'm not going to do anything to put us at risk anymore.

Eric: Templar laws have, in recent years, made it a crime for slave traders such as myself to free our slaves voluntarily.
Trace: What? Why? What kind of evil person would make a law like th.... It was me wasn't it?
Eric: Yes.

Kathrin: Maybe I've been foolish. I think a part of me has always hoped one day... you'd care enough... That I wouldn't have to ask.

    • Unfortunately, he remains oblivious to her true feelings, and in the end agrees to release her because he thinks of her as a sister.
  • Animal Eye Spy
  • Animate Dead: Trace does a telekinetic variant of this in strip 514, abusing the corpses of a few soldiers to block attacks.
    • Trace tried to use this on Saria after she died, which went wrong and drove Trace insane and genocidal. Or omnicidal.
  • Anime Hair: Trace's pointy hair...thing, commonly called Idiot Hair in Anime fandom.
  • Apologetic Attacker: Laura, when she starts strangling the Intelligence General with his own necklace.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking - Mike is informed by Evals that not only has his gender changed, but also that the fur pattern on his rump was changed to a heart shape. He says that messing with his gender is one thing, but changing his fur pattern is unforgivable.
    • At Keith's court hearing, he's been charged with disobeying orders, trespassing on royal grounds, destroying royal property, committing treason, and breaking curfew.
      • Which is still a federal crime amongst the basitins
  • Art Evolution - A lot.
  • Art Shift: The Towers originally looked much like something you'd see in a far-future science fiction setting, nowadays though they look almost exactly like a standard issue Medieval castle turret . . . with a crystalline superstructure and a big glowing orb floating above the top.
    • Could be due to refinements in the tech, allowing them to disguise them as ordinary wall turrets.
      • Notice that this particular Tower is build on the Basitin Islands and not on the Human controlled mainland, and is build without much knowledge of the Basitin people. It might be intentional it doesn´t look like a doom fortress.
  • Anti-Magic: Dispel and Mana Sinks. Dispel shuts off mana flow or dissipates it, while Mana Sinks steal mana from who- or whatever is placed on its platform.
  • The Atoner: Keith, who, ironically, has done nothing wrong . . . mostly.
  • Author Appeal: A surfer viewing the artist's Deviant ART page will find tons of Fan Art of his own characters... but mostly Flora. If you idle in the IRC chat room long enough and at the right hours, you can sometimes catch the author chattering about why he writes the comic. He admits it was mostly personal appeal at the time.
  • Author Avatar: Tom has shown up in the comic twice. One as pizza delivery man, the other as a postman. On both occasions he was struck down by a character as soon as he appeared.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: A high-ranked Basitin is quite capable of fighting. Even the Intelligence General was capable of fatally striking an obviously younger soldier with a single attack.
  • Awesome McCoolname: Trace Legacy
  • Badass: Most Basitins, although the Dragons are happy to call them out.
  • Bad Boss: The Intelligence General kills one of his solders for pointing out the inn they're going to set on fire in order to kill the main cast still has some of his solders and a group of civilians in it. And he's the one that appears to live the longest.
    • While he was a Jerkass of epic proportions, that was probably magic-induced insanity, since his My God, What Have I Done? moment happened right after the tower started to blow.
  • Balance Between Good and Evil: Neutral is the goddess of this—as well as the Big Bad (mostly because she's so cynical).
  • Baleful Polymorph: Trace does this twice; he turns his old boss into a wolf Keidran and makes his ex-girlfriend's annoying sister grow cat ears and a thin fur coat because she was annoying him. This kinda backfired in the latter case, as she likes the look, and she gets a hightened sense of smell.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: Justified with the Keidrans, their naughty bits are obscured by their fur. However, that doesn't explain why the human characters don't got anything going on.
  • Barefoot Cartoon Animals: The furry characters.
  • Battle Cry: The red haired warrior uses "In the name of meaningless battle!" as a battle cry.
  • Beam Spam: Arguably here and here. Could also be Combat Tentacles, but since the tentacles are made of black mana, they would be non-corporeal.
  • Beard of Evil: The most recent High Templar is an absolute bastard and has a goatee. Same with the Intelligence General.
    • We've seen the Intelligence General's son. The looks to be genetic. Fortunately, more of a Badass Beard in his case.
  • Bee People: Basitins, Of a sort. They lack the hive mind aspect, but they do have a really big female "King" leader, a very rigid class system, gender segregation, an alien culture (dialing the nudity taboo up to 11), and a biological compulsion to obey orders.
    • Although recently it has been revealed that all of this only applies to Eastern Basitins. The Western Basitins at the very least do not have a biological compulsion to obey orders, and are hinted at having an entirely different culture.
  • Berserk Button - Don't hurt or threaten Flora within earshot of Trace. Seriously, don't.
    • Hurting Trace's love interests is fairly unwise period.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Post mind-wipe Trace is normally nice, friendly, and easygoing, but he used to be one of the (if not The) most powerful and feared mages in the world. Pressing his Berserk Button is a very, very bad idea.
  • Big No
  • Bishie Sparkle: Arms General.
  • Bi the Way: Natani, who's bisexual according to the cast page. The truth is significantly more complex than that, see Transgender below.
    • Kathrin, maybe, based on the les yay her and Flora had on the ship.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: Ho boy, where to begin? Well, how about with the Basitins? They have super dense muscles, no libido, gain a pleasurable response to following orders (though, judging by Keith, that probably also has something to do them usually enlisting in their military at the age of five), are immune to most poisons, and, and they heal very quickly and with a minimum of scarring.
    • Actually, the Basitins have a libido, it's just extremely repressed and only is evident during the breeding periods. And, occasionally, while watching fights.
  • Black Speech: Anytime Templar!Trace wakes up, of the creepy-as-hell scrawling font variety. Bonus points for having elements of Zalgo in there.

Templar!Trace: Kill my wife, Will You?

  • Blade on a Stick: Traditional Basitin weaponry is a spear or glaive.
  • Bleached Underpants: Remember when Flora and Kathrin were Innocent Fanservice Girls, with Kathrin having a healthy dose of Innocent Innuendo included on top of that? With the recent switch in hosting to Keenspot, this has been dropped off the main page—all the characters are wearing mostly conservative outfits, with only Eric having something that wouldn't be appropriate at a mall in the US (and even he is dressed as a Shout-Out to Hugh Hefner). Remembering that at least one point the comic title banner had a (nonsexually) nude Flora on it...
    • The fanservice content in the comic itself has been dialed back as well—Flora and Kathrin's Innocent Fanservice Girl tendencies have dialed back immensely, although Flora has a few excuses about it.[1] Kathrin does go around nude still, although in the chapter post-switchover (Chapter 14), she instead wears a Naked Apron designed to minimize her fanservice content outside of a single specific scene.
  • Blood Knight: The Red-Haired Swordsman, whose war-cry is "In the Name of Meaningless Battle!!!".
  • Blue and Orange Morality: The Basitins consider nudity heinous and not following orders unthinkable, while the Keidrans literally use sex to get to know people. As one might expect, humans and Basitins think they're promiscuous, but its actually supported by their biology: They're only fertile the week after they're in heat.
  • Bury Your Gays: Alaric was the only male character with alter-sexual connotations (that thing with Mike and Evals was just a gag). The author threw him off a bridge.
  • But I Can't Be Pregnant: Despite a doctor confirming it, Flora refused to believe that she's pregnant until Chapter 14. The reasons for this were many: The doctor who told her was a Basitin doctor—the doctor was racist (insinuating that Flora must have found some random Keidran stranger to have sex with during their trip) and also wore a blindfold because looking at her patients unclothed would be obscene. And as Flora herself noted, Keidrans and humans had coexisted—yes, she meant that—for centuries and there had never been any hybrid offspring. But she's finally accepted the truth and has now begun debating when and how to tell Trace, though she still can't figure out how they're the one couple who conceived. Unbeknownst to Flora, but knownst to us, Euphemural has decided to allow the pregnancy to occur after a long time of actively preventing such reproductions.
  • Cameo: Hero and Dianne from RPG World.
    • PenPen (the penguin) from Yosh!.
  • Can't Hold Their Liquor: Keidrans get completely smashed off a mouthful or two of normal ale.
    • Probably their hyper metabolism. It does what it's made for quick.
  • Cast from Hit Points (Not To Mention Sanity Points): Dark Mana spells damage the caster's mind(this was what led to Trace going Ax Crazy) and will eventually kill you if you keep using them.
    • The spell that caused Natani to need Zen to get a part of his soul copied onto hers, as well as mentally-linking them, considering the caster died using it, was most-likely something similar.
  • Catgirl: Flora, although with fur, ears, tail, claws and muzzle, she is much further down the scale than most. Helps that she looks a lot like Tigra who has an internet paradox named after her.

The Tigra/Flora Paradox: If you'd hit it you're a furry; if not you're gay.

    • Kathrin
  • Caught with Your Pants Down: Keith and Natani repeatedly avoid this Trope. The latest instance, Keith and Natani, both naked (remember, Natani is hiding her true gender from the group), with Keith being paralyzed, in a inn room that was just set on fire, looks like it might be harder to get away from. Mike and Evals recently played this trope more straight. Well, sorta straight.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: The Arms General can deflect throwing knives with his abs!
    • Keith and Alaric damaged the (stone) ground in their fight with their bare feet.
      • King Adelaide can fight Templar!Trace (who can fight gods) to a stand still despite Templars poisoning her for some time.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • That necklace Trace gave Flora early on. Turns out that's the only thing that made Ephemural lose control of Flora.
    • Madelyn's, AKA Stalker Girl's, letter that she wanted Natani to give to Keith turns out to be a document showing her being a witness to Alaric and Keith's fight.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Eric to a T. Though sometimes he does get kinda creepy. See Fridge Horror, below.
    • It's made fairly blatant that Eric is only a slave trader because it's the only socially acceptable way available to explore his Keidran (and, once he discovers them, Bastilan) fetish. He's far, far more interested in flirting and painting portraits of nude Keidrans and Bastilans than anything else—in addition, we haven't seen him buy or sell any of his slaves, so he may actually just be a slave collector.
  • Conveniently-Common Kink: Bastins have a species-wide foot fetish, according to the author.
  • Cosmic Chess Game
  • The Corruption: The author seems to be treating Dark Mana like this now.
    • Magic-wielding or tower-exposed Basitins. Magic is bad for their brains.
  • Crapsack World: When the nicest person in the setting happens to be a slave trader, you know its this. A sex slave trader.
    • Potentially a cover for his Keidran fetish, though how one could tell currently is a mystery.
  • Crazy Prepared: Alaric. From the time Keith was banished, Alaric had been working nonstop, becoming a general, exploiting every loophole in the law he could and writing hundreds of documents, all so Keith would have to be acknowledged by society. Keith is now recognized as the Ambassador for Basitin society, representing their entire civilization to the world.
  • Culture Clash: Quite a few. The humans are perfectly OK with the concepts of slavery and racism, regardless of who's doing it to who; the Keidran have a blatantly different biology then the other two races and live a mostly tribal existence; the wolf Keidran apparently likes killing civilians; and the Western Basitins live in a very orderly and militaristic republic. It's really no wonder why the three don't get along most of the time.
  • Dark Magical Girl: This picture of Kathrin done by the author may be this. Not really stated.
  • Deadpan Snarker: King Adelaide has shades of this.
  • Deal with the Devil: The old High Templar asked Neutral to give her her human form back. In exchange, Neutral possessed her for a time. Flora also got the short end of the stick when she accepted Neutral's help.
  • Defeat by Modesty: An inverted example—the artist has posted a few "lost strips" on his Deviant ART page showing that Flora and Natani almost defeat the Eastern General with nudity. Not his, but Flora's -- Natani notices the general reacts poorly to her not wearing socks, so she steals Flora's clothing, leaving the general a blushing, stammering mess.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Yeah, remember when Natani (and her brother) tried to kill the group? Now Natani has a crush on Keith and is being very lax about following her orders to kill Trace...
  • Depleted Phlebotinum Shells: Poisoned arrows. Magic-infused arrows are also the best way to take out a tower.
  • Determinator: King Adelaide gives us this incredibly Badass quote when informed that she was expected to have died by a mortal wound at this point.

King Adelaide: Yes, I'd been told that as well. I chose to ignore it and continue living.

  • Deus/DiabolusExMachina: Divine help rarely doesn't end up breaking rules or getting people injured, but Trace impregnating Flora couldn't have happened otherwise and it's looking like a good thing currently.
    • Ephemerul/Neutral wiping Trace's memory probably saved Keidran-kind.
  • Did I Say That Out Loud: "If he gives me trouble, I'll just kill him myself!!" "<Uh... What language did I say that in again?>"
  • Did Not Do the Research: Basitins, when it comes to Keidrans. Adelaides and Keith are the only known exceptions currently.
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    • Holy Crap Trace, stop killing everyone when your girlfriend/wife gets hurt/killed, not cool dude.
    • The old Intellegance General murdered Keith's mother, blinded and scarred Alaric in one eye, and got Keith banished for self-defense. Because he didn't like the choices his friend made. And all this before the comic starts.
  • Distracted by My Own Sexy: Illusion-bent Mike was attracted to his/her own reflection in the mirror.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Bastilins are prone to it. See Head-Tiltingly Kinky.
    • Laura had it planned until...
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Dark Mana is very similar to Defiling Magic from the Dark Sun campaign setting.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Directly invoked. Remember that Eric is a slave trader who collects Keidrans because he doesn't consider them people, just objects of his own perverted lust? The fanbase mostly forgot, so we're forcibly reminded when he accuses Evals of attempting to sabotage the ship and flee and decides to re-enslave them. [invoked]
  • Ear Ache: Cathleen left her mark on General Alabaster.
  • Easy Amnesia: What sets the story in motion.
  • Everything's Better with Princesses: Flora, who was put into an arranged marriage with a prince of another tribe. She decided not to go through with it. Unfortunately, this means there will not be a Keidran alliance to oppose the humans, but then again, Templar!Trace is no longer there to lead the humans, and Flora and Trace's falling in love has screwed everything up, plan wise. In other words, princesses screw up the plan.
  • Evil Tower of Ominousness: The Templars seem interested in making a large number of these, basically magic batteries. Oh, and they cause brain damage to Basitins - a fact that they are unaware of, but that the Templars are. They also do something to Keidrans' instincts, but this has not been explored yet.
  • Eyes of Gold: Beware any human displaying this trait.
    • Raine, in human form, as well as Keidran.
  • Expy: The Intelligence General looks a lot like Gnarl.
  • Fallen Hero: Trace was shown to be a fairly nice guy, before his first wife is killed by a Keidran highwayman, which causes him to...snap. He tried to bring her back to life and failed, warping his mind with dark magic in the process, and then slaughtered the Master Templars, replaced them with his hand-picked acolytes, and became pretty much the bane of the Keidran race.
    • The fact that he was also experimenting with dark magic before his wife was killed would likely not have helped.
  • Fantastic Racism: Humans hate Keidrans (it's mutual) and can barely recognize the difference between Keidrans and Basitins. Speaking of Basitins, they're split up between Western and Eastern Basitins—the Easterns are the only ones we've seen so far, who tolerate humans but consider Keidrans a slave race which are insanely promiscuous at all times.
  • Fantasy Writers have no Sense of Scale: The Keidran tribes are stated to be very fast breeders (what with their views on sex is the same as a Centauri and their short lifespans) yet the largest city of the Wolf Clan (the largest tribe) is less than six thousand, even for a faux-Medieval setting that's low. Also there is a timber forest and a rain forest rather close to each other (and on the same latitude line no less). Possibly justified in that they're nomadic—so the people living in a city are the minority—and that they've been on the losing end of a war of genocide / slavery with humanity for the past few decades. The 6,000 population has been retconned to be 36,000.
    • Let's not forget Zen's hint about the race being at risk of dying out.
  • Fascists' Bed Time
  • Faux Action Girl: For a top class assassin, Natani sure does suck at it, same goes for the rest of the female cast, up to the last Grand Master. For the leader of an army of magic-using knights, she sure got tricked. According to the Author, Natani and her brother have always "Managed to cause their targets to die by proxy" and never actually killed a target themselves. And the only time we've really seen Natani fight was against someone whose stomach was hard enough to shatter knives.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: It isn't the most noticeable, but Keith at one point grudgingly says something that represents this trope:

Keith: Huff... If it wasn't for the fact I still need you for my mission... Well... I'd probably still save your ass. But then I wouldn't have an excuse for it.

  • Flat What: Not yet, but these faces scream it.
    • Has happened as of the latest page. Natani's reaction to Mike telling her and Kathrin about the time he was turned into a girl. It's just her reaction that seals it.
  • Foot Focus: Especially prevalent in recent chapters, while the heroes are in Basitin territory. The Basitin consider uncovered feet to be partial nudity, and it's against the law.
  • Foreshadowing: A fairly unsubtle example here
    • Only unsubtle for those aware of what is being foreshadowed.
  • Freeze Sneeze: The only thing that can get a Bastin sick is being cold and wet. It apparently clears up as their body heat stabilizes.
  • Fun Size: Basitins don't get much bigger than 5 and a half feet. They're pretty much anti-hobbits.
    • Except their King, good lord. She must be closer to seven or eight feet tall. And she's built like a brick house!
  • Funny Background Event: During "King" Adelaide's speech about her near fatal wounds, the younger Basitans are...impressed
  • Furry Surrogate: Eric. He has a huge Keidran (and Basitin) fetish, and since the only socially acceptable way to explore this in his society is to be a slave trader, well, that's what he does. It's implied that he treats his slaves far better than the average trader, and we never see him buying or selling slaves, so that may be a cover.
  • Gambit Pileup: We know Ephemural isn't the only god who has Plans for Trace, plus Trace/The Templar's plans, plus whatever the Basitins want from Trace,[2] PLUS the groups chasing Trace and Co., PLUS... On top of that, it looks like all the people on the Templar Grand Council are playing Xanatos Speed Chess against each other, not just the governments of all the nations and the main party. To what ends is anyone's guess at this point.
  • Gender Bender: Mike is hit with an illusion that makes him look female, but is still male. The artist does a fair amount of this stuff on his DA account. And a recent incentive has the main characters with swapped genders.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: in strip 274, looking closely reveals a touch of pink on Kathrin's groin.
  • The Glomp: Flora and Nora, both to Trace.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Angry or simply feral Keidrans and occasionally Trace.
    • Basitins that are enraged can also have these.
    • Human Templars as well.
  • Go Out with a Smile: Nicholai, Laura
  • Good All Along: It was recently shown Keith's father, Cornelius, cared about him and his mother Cathleen. It wasn't even him who attacked her. The statement Keith said about 'falling onto his spear' might be exactly right.
  • Gorn: In one of the later chapters one of the characters gets killed off in a manner befitting the bastard love child of a Candiru asu and a hand grenade. The reaction from some of the fans was mostly positive.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Trace and Flora's unborn child.
  • Happiness in Slavery: And How! Kathrin seems to be just happy being a type 1 slave. The fact that Eric goes easy on her doesn't hurt, either. And to a certain extent, Flora looks back on her days as a slave "with a ... fondness."(No, really) Though to be fair Kathrin and the rest of Eric's crew are treated like human servants/pets, and Flora was treated about the same way until she was disowned by her childhood friend.
    • Mike is definitely a type 3. He was born into slavery and wouldn't survive in the wild.
    • Plenty of other enslaved characters avert it, including members of Eric's crew. The comic simply seems willing to treat the subject with more shades of grey than is typically socially acceptable.
  • "Happy Ending" Massage: Kathrin's "services".
  • Head-Tiltingly Kinky: Deconstructed. The Basitin culture is so sexually repressed that an entire tavern drops everything to watch a disrobed Flora chase Kathrin (also naked) out of her room for calling her fat. It takes Trace shouting them down with a little help from Templar Trace to smooth things over.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: A textbook example from the local woobie.
    • She's still alive! Oh, no, wait, she's doomed by internal bleeding. I guess we'll have to wait and see what happens...
  • Honor Before Reason: Eastern Bastilins have such a huge Lawful Stupid habit that this is often in play. They consider it more honorable to die in battle than to survive and possibly provide strategic knowledge to others.
  • Horror Hunger: Parodied. Flora jokes that she wants to taste human flesh (to set up a Reaction Shot gag from Trace).
  • Hot Amazon/Amazonian Beauty: "King" Adelaide
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: The only semi non-morally ambiguous human is Trace after his Laser-Guided Amnesia. The necklace merchant might have been another exception, although it's not clear what his long term goals are. Actually, every species appears to be bastards of one sort or another. Humans and Keidrans are at war with each other and both rather enjoy enslaving the other species. The Basitins are outright xenophobes. Humans just get the limelight shone on their bastardness because the Templars are taking control of the human government and are actively trying to capture Trace and instigate war, and because most of the first half of the comic takes place in human lands.
  • Humans Are Cthulhu: Given the rapacious manner in which they take over and enslave Keidran villiages, most Keidrans assume humans are devoid of mercy or compassion-and even that they're cannibals (taking the D&D meaning in that they eat sapient prey). That, and they think Humans live "unnaturally long" (Humans live about twice as long as Keidrans), and can use magic with suprising ease (see next). So humans, to keidrans, are nigh-immortal magical beings who swipe the population of entire cities for to become brainwashed slaves or snack food (or even clothing, at the start of the strip, the guy Trace gets Flora from states her skin will fetch a good price). Imagine their shock when they meet a pleasant human, and/or when it's explained to them that humans are really just a sort of bald ape-creature that happens to have a slow metabolism and a mean streak. So, Flora and Katharin are pretty much iae Iae IAE HUMANITAS FHTAGN!!!
    • Which explains Laura freaking out quite well.
  • Humans Are Special: Humans are the only race that can use magic without special equipment (Mana batteries for Keidrans and brain-rotting mental conditioning for Basitin). Humans can also drain mana from the surrounding area to fuel their own spells.[3] So, humans are pretty much the "elves" of the setting. Remembering what Terry Pratchett said about elves, that is...
    • Actually keidran can manipulate mana; they're just not very good at it, as shown when Natani tried to recharge his batteries they didn't last nearly as long the second time.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: A minor example; Keidran have a metabolism about two times that of a human. They gain less weight and age twice as fast. This is one of the subtle hints of Flora's pregnancy; she notes in one strip that she's put on a little weight.
  • Hypocrite: Eric hates how slaves are bound by control spells, claiming it "kills them inside". He may treat his own slaves better than most slavers but that doesn't stop him from using this exact same spell on them (except Kat). Note, though, that this is the law, and he's risking his own neck keeping Kat free as it is.
  • Idiot Hair: Trace and Flora, however, they fit the letter of the trope, not the spirit.
  • Imagine Keith Naked: Worked a little too well.
  • Improbable Weapon User: While fighting the Ephemural-possessed Flora, Trace magically throws a wooden crate at her, leading her to observe: "You used...a crate...I mean, really...a crate? Come on..." There's also Eric's brother, who uses . . . Wait, what the frak is that? I think that's a pizza cutter of some sort. That can't be useful in a fight.
  • Innocent Fanservice Girl: Flora, to the point that the author has complained on the forums that he wants to clothe her, but she keeps slipping out of her clothes. Less "Innocent" and more "Not really needed since she has a built in fur coat", however. Interestingly enough, Flora was Raised by Humans, meaning she should have human modesty, and Natani (indeed, most other Keidran shown, outside of the feral and tribal ones) has no real interest in undressing. Perhaps a way of rebelling against her human upbringing. A better example would be Kathrin. She's a well-endowed and passively sexual catgirl that was the result of breeding for a perfect Keidran sex slave. Eric treats her more like a little sister than anything. Add this to the fact that she's poorly dressed or naked a majority of the time. These are a few examples of this.
  • Instant Fanclub: King Adelaide had men lining up from Lisbon to Vankarem to become her concubines just hours after appearing in her first strip, laws of reality be damned. And not only men either.
    • Definite Hot Amazon territory with that one!
    • Let's go down the list shall we? VERY tall, furry, stacked, hyper-muscular, and kind/fair? Fetish Fuel incarnate for this troper, at least.
    • Hell even people who hated the comic think she's awesome!
  • Interspecies Romance: Practically every possible pairing introduced in the comic, especially the main one, Trace and Flora.
  • Intoxication Ensues: When Flora gets drunk, she starts to speak Kitteh Pigdin.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Trace's first wife's ghost, who's just happy Trace is back to his old, not-evil self.
  • Jerkass Gods: They're attempting to manipulate events on the mortal plane, but their methods are antagonistic at best.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Keith. Might be also a Tsundere.
    • or Kuudere. His Proud Warrior Race isn't supposed to show emotion
    • Alaric was one, based on how quickly Keith realized he was playing a trick on him.
  • "Join the Army," They Said: page #98
  • Kangaroo Court: Zig Zagged Kieth recieves as fair a trial as expected, but anyone not a Basitin doesn't even get one.
  • Klingon Promotion: How Basitins determine the best people to be leaders. You know, the type that the rest of them are genetically programmed to obey? Nothing could go wrong with that, nope...
    • Leads to a bit of Fridge Brilliance in a recent chapter: Keith did defeat Alaric in single combat!

Alt Text: "You can't do that! Only we can use the law to manipuate the system!"

Keith: No... Laura, you're fine. You're fine! Everything's okay now... We can finally be happy... please... I'm sorry... I'm sorry I asked for more time. I shouldn't have waited... But we can still go back... to the way things were... When you wake up, we'll be together again...

    • Alaric knew his defeat would begin a chain reaction of events he planned out that would make Keith acknowledged as part of Basitin society, smiling to himself as he succumbed to his wounds and knowing his efforts wouldn't be in vain.
  • Longest Pregnancy Ever: Flora - five years and counting. That's in real life only, however; in-universe the events of the strip have only taken a few months.
  • Love Confession: Unintentionally played with in recent pages. What Tom had intended was for Kathrin to express to Eric a desire to be free, but the way the dialogue is written made fans believe she was confessing her love to him.
    • Then again, given Kat's reaction when Eric does set her free (and declaring their relationship Like Brother and Sister in the process), perhaps she really did mean it as a Love Confession...
  • Luminescent Blush: They are very prominent and happen with a startling regularity.
  • Mana, and it's got an Evil Counterpart; Dark Mana.
  • Mayfly-December Romance: It is highly suggested in the series that Keidran lifespans are extremely short. Flora is 11. The oldest Keidran mentioned is 21—and he mentions that he thinks he won't live to see 25. When Trace is informed of this, he is Not Happy.
    • It takes Nora to remind him that she's alive now.
  • Meaningful Background Event: A glowing pair of eyes watching the Party in #142.
  • Mismatched Eyes: Natani.
    • This wasn't always the case. Maybe.
      • It might have happened during the soul-swapping that was used to save hers. It also mixed up her gender recognition, parts of her personality and memories and established a mental link to her brother. Otherwise it could just have been late hitting heterochromia...
    • Alaric also has a possibly fogged-over left eye thanks to General Alabaster.
  • Moment Killer: "Wait."
  • Ms. Fanservice: Flora has some elements of this, but it's more innocent than that, for the most part. Kathrin, however, was specifically bred to be appealing to human males, so she's basically a walking sexpot with a penchant for casually acting sexual and spewing out Innocent Innuendo comments. Amusingly, Flora has flat out questioned if anyone who says the things Kathrin says could possibly not understand the innuendo. All hints as of this time point to yes, meaning that Tom has managed to write a Ms. Fanservice who ALSO is a complete innocent. Amazing.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: General Alabaster.
  • Naked Apron: Done by Kathrin in this strip. Notable due to Kathrin usually wearing even less.
  • Naked People Are Funny: Both played straight and subverted, for example when an airborne drug/spell causes the various Keidran nearby to become drunk, the first thing Flora does is replace her clothing with ribbons. Later subverted, when a naked Flora runs out in public in the Basitin inn, it requires a stern, out-of-character threat/lecture by Trace to save her from the enraged bar patrons. Essentially, any time the crew are away from civilization, Flora disrobes.
  • Necromancy: Dark Manna uses life-energy as magic.

"Theoretically, it is possible to use Dark Manna to revive a dead person..."

  • Necromantic: Trace's backstory. He uses Dark Manna to try and resurrect his dead wife. It backfires. No, not Came Back Wrong, it instead flashes back through his brain, nearly killing him and driving him mad.
  • Never Found the Body: Laura.
    • But there's a reason for that.
  • No Biochemical Barriers: Subverted, not only are there limitations on what they can eat, but the three races in the comic can't interbreed At least with out Deistic Intervention
    • Though it's implied that the intervention is what stops it from happening, not what allows it.
  • No Biological Sex/Ambiguous Gender: The Masks. No gender stated, no known gender, and Ephemutal has been shown using males and females as hosts.
  • No Name Given: [Database Error], who can't even get his name on the character page. Though careful analysis of the comic does reveal that his name does start with a "P", "R", or "B".
  • Nosebleed: Every main character has had at least one, even Flora.
  • Not Quite Dead: King Adelaide. "We were told you were fatally wounded!" "Yes, I'd been told that as well. I chose to ignore it and continue living."
    • Laura... for a while, anyway. In spite of calls for "Don't let her die!", she has since been cremated.
  • Not So Different: The Basitins pride themselves on being morally restrained. On closer inspection, their duels seem to be mate-attracting combat displays. Honestly, One almost expected to see the female lieutenant watching Keith's battle with the harbor guard to head for the washroom with a jar of petrol jelly and Keith's picture. As it was, her report on Keith's duel with Alaric was part offical document, part gushing fan-letter, and has a "disturbing number of hearts drawn on it".
  • Not What It Looks Like: Used when Flora saw Keith and Natani in the tub together. Hilarity ensues. Also used when Flora drinks milk laced with some kind of aphrodisiac. She falls asleep with Trace on top of her, jut as the entire cast of the comic bursts into the room. Subverted here, in that it rapidly becomes what it looks like.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Flora does a little at a point.
  • Oh Crap: "...oh crud... We're screwed."
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Post-Dead Wife, Pre-Amnesia Trace
  • Oops, I Forgot I Was Married: Amnesia Trace. His wife, Saria, did not forget.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: They're telepathic shape shifters, and rather friendly to certain people.
  • Our Nudity Is Different: Bastin always hide their feet, wrapping them from ther ball of their toes to their ankles. Word of God is they have a species wide foot fetish, and thus consider bare feet nudity. Alaric's statue of Keith has only the feet covered.
  • Our Orcs Are Different: Okay, they're beastmen, but the parallel between the Basitin and Orcs/Orks/Your favorite spelling of the Phonetic rendering Or+ hard "K"; of other works are undeniable; immune to poison, can't use magic worth a damn, enlist in the military at a very early age, and their equivalent of a Saturday-night paintball match is a long and bloody conflict. Oh, I almost forgot, the bigger ones are in charge and they're slavishly loyal to their superiors. Their honor system pretty much follows that of the Orcs from Warcraft.
    • But their sense of modesty is on the completely opposite end of the spectum. Orcs are rapists. Basitins think you're indecent if your FEET are uncovered.
    • Wait... Resistant to poison, isolated society, strict rules for decency, individually badass, Lawful to an extreme, militant, significantly shorter than humans, and unable to use magic? Orcs aren't the most apt fantasy comparison
      • Adelaide musta caused a hell of a lot of nosebleeds on her way to the court, decency or no...
  • Out of Focus: Trace's old friends. We also know next to nothing about Nora. Or the "gods."
  • Painting the Fourth Wall:
    • The character biography page. Trace has two entries, one for his current persona, the other for his original/real self, openly hostile to the rest of the cast. One of the character's name is replaced with [database error] as well.
    • Karen in the beginning of Chapter 12, which started in 2009: "It feels like we haven't done anything in four years!" Their last appearance was in 2005. It would have been Leaning on the Fourth Wall if the line hadn't sounded so forced.
  • Pardon My Klingon: In one of the early chapters, Flora breaks her foot. When Trace checks it out (by squeezing gently), she lets loose with a string of (untranslatable) Keidran phrases.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Trace was this, to the extent it took a god to bring him down. And if Flora is in danger, he becomes it again.
  • Pettanko: Flora. She does not take it well when this is pointed out.
  • Petting Zoo People: Flora and Natani, as well as the rest of the Keidran race.
  • Pillar of Light: The results of the destruction of one of the Templar's mana towers.
  • Please Wake Up: Keith to Laura
  • Power Perversion Potential: Keidran slaves are required by law to be magically bound to follow their owner's orders. Let that sink in. The artist has also done a small number of pics showing some possibilities for magic mishaps.
  • Power At a Price: Black magic. The mage that attacked the Magi brothers killed himself using black magic. Also Trace in the Basitin arc. "There's a reason it's forbidden."
  • Properly Paranoid: A good trait, considering the world they're living in.
    • Eric is properly paranoid of everyone around him, except for Kat, even if it might be too much regarding certain individuals. More than anything, he just wants to keep the people he cares about safe, and is willing to be ruthless if you give him reason to doubt.
    • Alaric wasn't convinced one of his plans would be enough, coming up with dozens.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: The Basitins (in theory).
  • Psychic Link: Natani and Zen. She's uncomfortable with it because he can poke through her memories (particularly her developing feelings for Keith), and annoyed by it because they're separated by thousands of miles and she can't hit him.
    • In a voting incentive Natani gets around this problem by making Zen feel thoughts about Keith
    • Something of the sort is how Trace beats the Ephemural-controlled Flora.
  • Punny Name: Trace Legacy lost his memory, with a name like that he really should have been expecting something like that.
  • Quickly-Demoted Woman: The last Grand Master was outed by Trace by using magic to make her look like a Keidran, causing the nearby solders attack her and drag her into slavery. And for some reason she doesn't blame Trace for this... (Granted, he was crazy at the time, but still.)
    • Most likely due to her possibly being aware he wasn't well when he did it.
  • Raised by Orcs: Flora, who was more-or-less raised by humans.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: King Adelaide and the Arms General.
  • Redemption Quest: Keith is sent on one by the Basitin leaders as punishment for his father's murder. Except that it wasn't meant to be possible—he was told he could come back when he had Trace in tow. Roughly equal to someone saying: "Hey, you can come home when you bring Osama bin Laden with you for tea."
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: When Trace used dark mana, the thing he summoned and him both had red eyes and when we meet Roderick (Eric's brother), he is first shown with them. Roderick is an active Templar and enemy of the main cast.
  • Red Right Hand: Trace, as of the May 5, 2010 comic.
  • Remix Comic: The "Panel Shuffles" on the forum.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Sythe, Flora, definitely King Adelaide
  • Running Gag: Any time it looks like the red-haired swordsman is going to give his name, something happens to prevent it. This even extends to the cast page, where he is listed as [database error].
  • Sad Clown: There is a pic of Evals on Deviant ART by the comic author and with Word of God about his past, he could be either this or a Pollyanna.
  • Safe, Sane, and Consensual /BrainsAndBondage: Apparently, Keith and Laura's sex life.
  • Samus Is a Girl: It is revealed that Natani is female. The Basitin "King" Adelaide plays this more straight.
  • Sarashi: Natani, as an assassin, wears them.
  • Scenery Censor: When Keith and Natani fight each other while naked, it appears that Natani's tail has a will of its own and is determined to guard Keith's modesty no matter what.
  • Schedule Slip: Has dropped to 2 1 comic a week from it's original MWF schedule, with a few numerous long pauses, including when the author's father passed away.
  • Schizo-Tech: As pointed out on a certain forum thread, despite the author saying that this is a pre-Medieval setting many things in the comic can only be achieved with modern technology. For example, the characters order a pizza without phones or long-term sustainable farming being available. Also: bronze and architecture in a culture that's remembered when it was unevolved animals by a character who is only 2000 years old.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: The very ability to do this at all (even if it's incredibly difficult) is what makes Keith so dangerous in the eyes of the Basitins. In addition, after his supposed Ungrateful Bastard moment, Eric finally decides to sell Mike and Evals to Trace (knowing they were just getting released,) and free Kat himself. Note that both acts are explicitly against Templar!Trace's law, and if he was found out, Eric and anyone connected to him would be in serious trouble. He's so concerned with this the only thing that could convince him to do these acts is Kat's Kirk Summation.
  • Sdrawkcab Name: Evals is slave backwards.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Keith killed his drunken father in self-defense, but got the blame because the father was a war hero and the best friend of one of the Basitin Generals.
  • She Is the King: Adelaide.
  • Shipper on Deck: Nora, unwittingly or not.
  • Shout-Out: The Author will sometimes reference the fanbase in alt text.
  • Something Else Also Rises: Keith's example of Does This Remind You of Anything?.
  • Son of an Ape
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: The villiagers have fallen by the wayside. The Lower Decks Episode that was originally meant for them got snatched by the regular cast.
  • Status Quo Is God: Literally! Neutral's only motivation seems to be to maintain a constant stalemate between the three regional powers. Though it and the rest of the Masks aren't gods by standard definition, considering that they can be destroyed, or a least disabled.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: Averted with humans and Basitins. Played straight with the Keidran assassin guild; if they catch a female in their ranks, they just off 'er. Female wolf-Keidrans also seem to stay home and let the men fight.
  • Super-Powered Evil Side: Trace, in spades.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: Natani, so very much.
  • Tap on the Head: Though this was the guy who tossed Natani hard enough to knock her out, after shattering a bunch of throwing knives with his abs.
  • Tempting Fate
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Eyelashes
  • The Lifestream: Dark Mana works by sucking the life-energy from the earth and using it to cast shadow magic. The catch is that it will never work for anything more than the occasional cantrip, because it kills the caster before they can complete the spell they're using it for.
  • The Chessmaster: Officially, as of the latest comic, Alaric. And boy howdy, is it deserved.
  • Through a Face Full of Fur: Every Furry who sports a Luminescent Blush.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Flora and Natani are tomboys, Natani (on occasion), Kathrin, and Laura are girly girls. Adelaide seems to have gotten a happy medium between the two.
  • Translation Convention: Keidran speech has "<" and ">" on the ends usually. Bastilin has "and " on the ends. Human speech has no marking indicators thusfar.
  • Transsexualism: Natani, having had part of her soul destroyed, was only saved when magi restored her psyche by copying parts of her brother's soul, leaving her mostly male, mentally. Her feelings for Keith are, understandably, causing her some mental anguish.
  • Uh-Oh Eyes: If a character is dangerously psychotic, they have a red glow in their pupils. If they OD on Mana, they get Blank White Eyes. Keidrans, when drawing on the Feral side of themselves, get Glowing Eyes of Doom. Templar!Trace? All of them, AND Black Speech. Run.
    • Bastilins can also have glowing eyes.
  • Under the Mistletoe: Invoked here.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: As stated below in What the Hell, Hero?, Eric refuses to let his slaves go even though they risked their own lives and sacrificed their chance at freedom to wait for him to return to the ship. And these slaves weren't even under a control spell at the time.
  • Unlucky Childhood Friend: Possibly Kathrin. Eric likes Keidran women noticeably and Kathrin likes him. Because they're so near each other, Eric has yet to show any reciprocation for her fondness beyond treating her well.
  • Unwanted Harem: It seems Keith is quickly getting one of these. He has three girls who like him!
  • UST: Flora and Trace before they get in bed. Keith and Natani during Natani's heat all the time. Mike being turned female temporarily has revealed something similar with him and Evals.
  • Vague Age: Due to the art, all humans (save Master Mage, but even he looks too young) look like teenagers but are in their mid to late 20's (Trace is 25)
  • Valley Girl: In letter form!

"I, Lieutenant Madelyn Adelaide, witnessed a duel between Keith Keiser and Nickolai Alaric...and it was awesome! You should have seen it! At first Keith was all like 'oh noes!'..."

  • Visible Sigh
  • Webcomic Time: The Basitin Isles story arc has gone on for almost four years. It takes place in the space of three days. This is lampshaded by Karen saying "It feels like we haven't done anything for four years..."
  • Wacky Cravings: Flora and bugs.
  • Warped Aesop: Used sarcastically in an Alt Text: "if caught in a lie, just add more lies. That always helps, right?"
  • Webcomic Time: The comic celebrated 8 years of existence in November 2011, but only a few weeks have passed in the story. Characters have occasionally tossed references to this, such as Flora in strip #285 and Karen in strip #531.
  • Wham! Episode: Keith's trial, where we've just found out Gen. Kaiser didn't kill Keith's mother like he'd thought; Gen. Alabaster did. We find this out from Alabaster's son, to boot.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: A minor example, when a telepathic character makes Trace realize he's ignoring the still perfectly alive Flora in lieu of studying a way to magically extend her life while keeping her in the dark about it. Another would be when Keith calls Trace out for calling Flora an animal in the same paragraph where he's contemplating marrying her. Considering just how very much is wrong with Trace's speech probably everyone was reading that and cheering Keith on.
  • What Could Have Been: "It Could Have Been"
  • What Could Possibly Go Wrong?: "My technology is infallible."
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Apparently all users of Dark Mana, especially Trace. And ANY Magic does a number on Basitin brains.
  • The Worf Effect: The Eastern Basitin Islands Arms General does this with Natani, the professional assassin, beating her with little effort. Then he gets ripped to shreds by an unknown foe off-screen (presumably the master spy).
  • Xanatos Gambit / Xanatos Speed Chess: Ephemural's plan to unite the Keidran tribes (and when this one failed, continuing with his (her?) facilitating Flora's apparent pregnancy). There are several dozen others (Gods are fun!), most of which focusing on Trace, Flora, or one of their friends.
  • You Fail Your Medical Boards Forever: Because of a double taboo (first against nudity, second against seeking aid) the Basitin doctors blindfold themselves and navigate by ear.
  • You Look Familiar: The Templar's Master Spy does this a lot, even going as far to once change his race to a Basitin (or so it seems due to the uncanny resemblance).
    • If you look carefully at the mysterious killer of the Arms General here, then at the innkeeper mentioned above and consider that the murder was done by strong magic, we can pretty much infer that Master Spy killed the Arms General.
      • The Master Spy´s "disguise" is so weak it´s actually very funny nobody has called him out for that. Mid-lengh brown hair, blue eyes, wears a cross-pendant and ALWAYS keeps the bandages on his right hand. So far, he´s been the shop-keeper giving trace the pendant that later decides the fight with Ephemural, an inn-keeper, he´s been a guy organizing a ship for them (altho without the cross necklass), he´s been the basitin inn-keeper and most probably the Arms generals murderer. He´s been nothing but helping Trace and the crew, which makes his goals seem kind of blurry.
  • You Should Know This Already: Natani is a woman.
  • You Will Not Evade Me: The little Keidran in the first HONF link wanted to run...
  • Zig Zagging A Trope: Keith vs Flora.
  1. being pregnant and being around Eric
  2. Which turned out to be "hand him over to the Templar for magical goodies."
  3. Or at least, Trace can. It's considered a very poor idea.