Sparkly fantasy dramedy with magic, bilingual shenanigans, lots of queer characters, and the occasional unicorn.
Leif is a gardener in thrall to a mysterious debt, serving his native Sønheim at a foreign embassy. Thorn is a Knight of Ceannis who got severely burned while dragonslaying, and was rewarded with a cushy job guarding the embassy gates. (“Cushy” if you discount the smugglers, monsters, vampire aristocrats, industrial accidents, and slow-brewing ethical disasters….) Thorn doesn’t speak Leif’s language too well at first — but as they get to know each other, he finds a lot of reasons to learn.
Updates seven days a week: six strips, plus Saturday bonus art.
Page may be periodically updated with new Important Worldbuilding Information, such as tipping cultures, distribution of language families, wonders of the ancient world, and the in-universe record for largest cheese sculpture.
About the languages
In-universe languages are represented by different fonts in the comic, and different colors in the transcripts.
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- Constellations of Ceannis
- The Planets In Your Neighborhood
- Thorn Explains A Thing (series)
- Character Q&A (on Tumblr)
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Leif: Gardener and general-purpose lowest-tier servant at the Embassy of Sønheim. Has no idea his name is a pun in Ceannic.
Affiliation: Sønheim Embassy
Sign: Craobh-ròs (the Rose Tree)
Languages: Sønska, Sønheim Sign
Special skills: Hedge trimming, flower arrangement, singing, ice skating, putting self in excessive danger
Affiliation: Knight of Ceannis (Order of the Chalice)
Sign: Adharcach (the Horn)
Languages: Northern Ceannic, Sønska (sort of)
Special skills: Weapons training, hand-to-hand combat, mild resistance to memory spells, draws a heartsword (type: broadsword), killed a dragon that one time
Juniper Sel: Sardonic gender-free second in command. Backsword.
Violet Dupont: Low-key. Big reader. Broadsword. Sister: Cymbeline.
Holly Cerise: Teenage magician in training. Domain: stars. Mother: Laurel.
Sven Nibelungsen: Culture Minister, single dad to twin girls.
Iona: The quieter twin, but no less determined. Has a floating chair.
Katya: Housekeeper and general-purpose servant.
Captain Sigrún: High-ranking guard with wings.
Manager Ludolf: Estate coordinator. Leif’s supervisor.
Elisa: Kitchen attendant and general-purpose servant.
Torsten: Kitchen attendant and general-purpose servant.
Tansy Lavande: Sister. The well-adjusted one.
Larch Lavande: Brother-in-law. Can’t out-wrestle Thorn.
Hyacinth: Niece, 15. Very concerned about social justice.
Hawthorn: Nephew, 10. Likes things to be in order.
Clover Estragon: Mom #1. Former military. Deceased.
Plum Estragon: Mom #2. Former teacher. Alive, retired.
Sir Rhódon: Epic founder of Ceannis. Broadsword.
Olive Romarin: President of Ceannis. Everybody’s boss.
Magnolia Persil: Minister of Prophecy. Domain: fire.
Geranium Sureau: Knight, ranked above Thorn. Scimitar.
M. Cornoullier: Serious government crisis manager. Domain: water.
Ebony Muscade: State Dept liaison to Sønheim. Domain: nature.
Secret Agent D.: Undercover vampire hunter. Axe.
A man-in-black type: Who? I don’t remember her.
Anise Persil: Gem miner, don’cha know. Birch’s sweetheart.
Cress: Miner, would-be lawyer, anger issues.
Gil Dumas: Miner, very high-strung.
Manager Marjolaine: Mine shift leader. Nice mustache.
Pine Dulac: Miner, soft-spoken, has wings.
Patrik Gagarr: Mine consultant, one leg short.
Arnulf: Mine consultant, big on charts.
Bramble: Miner, EMPHATIC SPEAKER. Domain: fire.
Ivy Muscade: Squeeful teen magical girl. Domain: water.
Laceleaf’s stalker: Generally terrible person. Domain: water.
Florian: Cute bar guy. Unfortunate beliefs in aura pseudoscience.
Sugar Pommier: Science teacher of Hyacinth’s.
Angelica: Elegant goth teenager. Hyacinth’s friend.
Blackthorn: Morose goth teenager. Hyacinth’s friend.
Laceleaf: Fish-loving aquarium tour guide.
Bennet Amande: Extremely important broadcast journalist.
Cedar Oseille: Tween heartthrob. Star in Leachtric.