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"It's okay. You tried your best. Your 'best' just happened to be slightly worse than everyone else's 'average'".
Lelles, summing up basically the entire first thread of the adventure.

Prequel -or- Making A Cat Cry: The Adventure: The Adventures Of Katia Managan or just Prequel is the story of a poor young Khajiit from Hammerfell who decides to start her life anew in Cyrodiil, done in the style of MS Paint Adventures. The story starts as she steps off the boat into this new land; after giving herself a new name -- Katia Managan -- she becomes determined to leave her old self behind. Katia is quickly faced with the same problems she left behind, though: she has no money, no marketable skills, no friends, and is still recovering from a terrible alcohol addiction which has left her with so little tolerance that just one sip will find her waking up in a strange place with a hangover (and likely someone in the bed next to her).

Although her efforts to do better initially seem doomed to failure, she eventually befriends Quill-Weave, an Argonian writer who takes pity on her and asks her to take a letter to a friend in another town. Katia fares no better than before, but Quill-Weave refuses to give up on Katia, and it begins to look like the Khajiit might leave her problems behind her -- but at every step, she struggles not to succumb to her old problems again.

The story is available here, and commands, fanart, and discussion thereof can be found here. This page may also contain some light Oblivion spoilers, so caution is advised.


Prequel provides examples of the following tropes:

  • The Alcoholic: Katia is recovering from being this. Quill is a bit of one herself.
  • All Animals Are Dogs: Katia has a habit of wagging her tail when she's happy. While some cats do wag their tails, they're exception rather than the rule.
    • Lampshaded: The Argonian sitting on the temple steps in Kvatch actually comments that this is not normal, and along with her Hammerfell accent and Altmer clothing, is a sign she wasn't raised around other Khajiit.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: While Katia is the main character, there are frequent asides to various other characters, including Katia's friend Quill-Weave, a necromancer, Gro-Upp the professional highwayman, and an amulet of silence.
  • Anything That Moves: Katia when drunk. She is really tired of it.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Probably not, but Katia is absolutely terrified of them.
    • She actually finds the Countess to be quite alright when she gets over her fears.
    • And one of the dinner guests lampshades it by pointing out all the insane nobles in the area.
    • She seems to be able to detect noble blood by instinct, as she is incapable of holding a conversation with Martin while visiting Kvatch.
    • And completely averted by the Count of Kvatch, who only shares a couple sentences with Katia, but is very polite, and apparently he encourages adopting orphans.
  • Ascended Extra: In the game Quill-Weave is a minor character involved in one quest. Here, she's a fully fledged secondary character, and her errand for Katia is the driving focus of the plot.
    • And Asotil is just a generic soldier, while Gro-Upp is a random bandit.
    • The nameless Necromancer who Katia slept with becomes a playable character much later. He's later killed by Gro-Upp, though.
    • The completely ordinary human woman Katia meets in Kvatch also becomes a playable character.
    • Sigrid, the mysterious and alluring headmistress of the Kvatch Mages Guild, is one of the Kvatch refugees in-game.
  • Ascended Meme: Having started on its forums, it naturally has a few from MS Paint Adventures.
  • Badass: A Soldier Of The Imperial Legion, or Asotil. In spades and droves.
  • Bad Dreams: Katia has seemingly-unnatural nightmares about a King whenever she is sober, a big factor in forming her alcohol problem.
  • Berserk Button: People react in incrementally more violent ways to the mention of Kvatch's Mages' Guild.
  • Big Eater: It's initially assumed that Katia will embarrass herself by doing this at a dinner party, but she is saved by the fact that all the nonhumans at the table tear into their food like this.
  • Body Paint: As an alternative to nudity when you have literally no other option. BEST IDEA.
  • Broken Bird: Katia full stop.
  • Buffy-Speak: "True Justice is that lighty beacon of light in a world of prejudice and disorder, where not even the innocent are safe."
  • Bunny Ears Lawyer: A Soldier Of The Imperial Legion (Asotil for short) is quite clearly an incredible fighter and quite good at running down criminals. He also has an understanding of social norms such as "Don't pee in rich people's houseplants" and "Don't drop a bunch of dead bodies on the carpet in the middle of a dinner party", but technically they are not against the law and therefore are perfectly fine to do.
  • But Thou Must!: Despite being an interactive story in which the main characters accept commands from the audience, when things have gone bad enough for her Katia will dejectedly turn down commands urging her not to drink and drink up in spite of them.
    • There are also at least two instances wherein Kazerad wrests control of the story away from the audience and sets Katia up to make a truly terrible decision only to have, in one instance, a Deus Ex Machina literally kick the door down at the last moment and, in another, show that Katia is actually a good deal stronger and more capable than the Audience gives her credit for.
  • Can't Hold Her Liquor: Katia, to an almost ridiculous degree. She's a recovering alcoholic, and a single sip is all it takes to send her off the deep end.
  • Captain Morgan Pose: Asotil strikes one. On the Countess' servant's head.
  • The Cat Came Back: Asotil to Countess Millona Umbranox of Anvil. He keeps barging into the room and dumping dead criminals onto the floor. She's hoping that somebody will finally manage to kill him while he's on patrol.
  • Catch Phrase: Gharug gro-Upp gets his on, if you know what he's saying. He's saying he has a catch phrase.
  • The Chosen One: Katia is (probably) the Champion of Cyrodiil. She's got quite a ways before she's going to be closing shut any jaws
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Katia is a mild example of this even when she's trying not to be. When we cut back from Quill during the dinner party is a perfect example. This is of course just par for the course in an Interactive Comic.
  • Colbert Bump: The comic was tweeted about by freaking Bethesda. TWICE.
  • Cosmic Plaything: Readers love to submit things that just cause everything to go wrong for her. But subverted in comic, Katia as a Hero is one of the very few Immune to Fate and the gods have no power over her unless she lets them have it.
    • This is (debatably) wrong, its a reference to a glitch in Morrowind where players with the Atronach sign were immune to blessings.
  • Creator Cameo: Two of the artists who worked on the walkaround flash appear within it- the vampire and the lady at the well.
  • Crazy Prepared: Gharug gro-Upp. And he keeps all of it stored between his abs, pecs, and gluts.
  • Cuteness Proximity: Katia tries to use this, but isn't great at it.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Among other things, Katia has spent the past 7 years drunk (and she's only 20), spent some time living on the streets turning tricks for food, a stint as a cultist, her family spent much of her childhood blaming her for having night terrors of royalty, and tried to awaken her magic potential via forcing her to drink a lot of medicine.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: When the perspective shifts to Quill-Weave, due to the argonian being colorblind.
  • Determinator: Katia is practically made of this.
  • Determined Defeatist: Katia could have named the trope.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: Katia's nightmares are from the starting dungeon of Oblivion. She's had them since she was at least 4.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Zig Zagged. At first, Katia seems to be lacking shoes simply to show she's poor, and even likes that her second costume (reader submitted) comes with boots. Her third costume (again, reader submitted) lacks them again, and this goes completely unnoticed.
    • It should be noted that Katia is a Khajiit (a cat person) and many of her species forgo footwear.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: In retrospect you probably could’ve picked a less phallic piece [of mushroom] to break off, though.
  • Doomed by Canon: Dmitri is a necromancer. Necromancers have been (mostly) purged or exiled by the time of Oblivion.
    • He is also dead now.
    • She's only been mentioned so far by the Guild Master Hannibal Traven, but the Khajiiti mage Zahrasha is murdered by necromancers shortly after Hannibal takes office as Archmage.
    • It should be noted that any characters not present in the actual game are quite likely to be killed off by the end. Or it might turn out that they are the actual Chosen One, rather than Katia.
    • Kvatch is going to be destroyed by Demonic Invaders about a week after the current timeframe of the story. Foreshadowing is out in force during Katia's visit.

  Tavia: If it makes you feel any better, you're perfecting safe inside Kvatch's walls. It's not like you'll have to jump up and defend yourself in the middle of the night or anything.

  "The necklace has a Drama Clasp! It’s a special kind of clasp that comes undone when you dramatically yank on it."

  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Poor Dmitri.
  • Drugs Are Bad: Alcohol does terrible things to poor Katia. In the case of the Imperial Soldier, these are apparently one of the keys to his success.
  • Dynamic Entry: Asotil's introduction.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: While the comic is still ongoing, the fact that it continues to alternate between horribly depressing and surprisingly uplifting indicates it's this type of story.
    • Of course since it's a prequel to Oblivion, Katia ultimately will wind up friendless, all her possessions gone, and in jail on top of that; and then have to deal with Uriel Septim himself.
      • Or wind up not being the Chosen One and either retiring in obscurity or being gruesomely killed by something the protagonist of Oblivion has to defeat.
        • OR wind up actually being KILLED by the individual who is going to become the Champion of Cyrodiil.
  • Easter Egg: Hidden behind a wall in the Enter interactive segment is a portrait of Hannibal Traven. Katia is unable to access it, due to a pile of crates blocking it off, but it can be seen by the user. The significance of this painting has yet to be fully explained, though it implies some history between Sigrid and Traven.
  • Epic Fail: This webcomic has a field day with this trope.
  • Expy: Asotil is quite similar to AR in Homestuck
  • Eye Scream: When Katia attempts to use Eye of Fear (a Khajiit racial ability that can be used once per day in-game) for the second time in one day, her eyeball fills up with blood and starts dripping it. Seems even worse initially, because the scene we see it for the first time suggests that a slaughterfish bit Katia's eye out
  • Failure Is the Only Option: Appears this way at first.
  • Fantastic Racism: Given quite a spotlight at times. Although few people intentionally insult Katia for her species, a lot of them reveal through accidental comments that they expect less of her for it or have to hastily insist that they do not think all Khajiit look the same.
    • Katia herself manages to offend the Khajiit bartender in Kvatch, trying poorly to socialize with another Khajiit, by asking him if he can tell other Khajiit apart and revealing that even she can't besides clothes and gender.
    • There's also a running gag of the audience angering her by making "racist" cat puns.
  • Foreshadowing: There is a fair amount of this. For instance, Katia's fire spell, one of the two spells that every player character in Oblivion starts with. Also Katia's ability to get in and out of clothing instantly, a common trait of RPG heroes.
  • Fourth Wall Mail Slot: Katia can hear the reader suggestions because they're explicitly the voices in her head (causing her to lose faith in her subconscious whenever they suggest something stupid). At one point, she addresses a reader by screen name, though.
    • Interface Screw: Some users have taken to identifying themselves as particular elements of Katia's subconscious, such as self-loathing, common sense, hope...
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: When Sigrid summons a clannfear, an image if him enjoying his time with his family in Fire and Brimstone Hell is shown for a split second.
  • Fridge Brilliance: Sigrid's conversation with Katia consists of the Oblivion "Persuasion Wheel" options (Joke, Brag, Flatter, Coerce).
  • Friendless Background: Katia has never even been hugged before.[1] Quill-Weave is the first friend she's ever had.
  • Gayngst: Quill has a bit of this according to Word of God
  • Genre Shift: Once Katia arrives in Kvatch the webcomic switches to something similar to an SNES RPG. She can travel around Kvatch, talk to people, and even participate in a poledancing minigame.
  • Hope Spot: Several - and the main reason the story isn't too depressing to read. Katia is making progress! Just very, very slowly.
  • How Do I Shot Fire?: Katia spends a morning with Asotil trying to learn how to shoot fire.
  • Infinite Canvas: Aside from the interactivity of the adventure itself, the dream sequence is quite meta, including Katia hiding from the monster in a spoiler box, which it then breaks into.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Landorumil. Two words: BLACK. CATS.
  • Irony: Katia is an Atronach, which means she can only absorb magicka and not produce it. In game this is one of the hardest builds possible for a mage, as many enemies don't use magic at all.
    • She's also a khajiit. Enjoy your -10 Willpower racial starting penalty, Katia.
      • Not as much a penalty as you'd think, or as hard as you'd think! Willpower mostly influences magicka regeneration, and as an Atronach, she has none. Atronach characters instead receive a hefty bonus to maximum magicka to make up for that. What she really needs is some earnest training in the magical arts and she could be a powerful mage.
    • Dmitri is a Redguard. They are horrible mages as well, due to stats that strongly favor warriors.
      • Word of God says Dmitri's half redguard, half breton, so it should even out.
  • It Got Worse: Constantly. Pretty much every time Katia gains a little ground, it not only gets yanked away from her, but she ends up worse than she started.
  • It Seemed Like a Good Idea At the Time: Katia's "BEST IDEAS", which include painting her body to avoid being nude, dismantling and using a giant swinging pendulum as a weapon, jumping out of a window....
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: Dmitri has no fewer than 7 cats. Although it might stretch into actually being a fetish, considering he slept with Katia. He even keeps his first cat around as a zombie because he loves him too much to let death have him.
  • Le Parkour: Quill-Weave knows it. This is actually carried over from Oblivion, where she is an acrobatics trainer.
  • Loser Protagonist: Katia is an alcoholic with an array of phobias and almost no skills to speak of. As in, she screws up the first job she's given (out of pity) because she can't spell "merchandise" correctly. She does get a little better over time, but very slowly.
  • Lovable Coward: Katia again.
  • Magic Feather: Subverted. When Trevaia offers Katia a free Magic Potion of Bravery, Katia declines, having already guessed that she would later reveal that potion was plain water and that the courage was inside her all along. Trevaia admits that the church can't afford to go giving out potions.
  • Meaningful Rename: Invoked by Katia in hopes that it will work. Brought back up when a suggester tries to motivate her not to drink by suggesting if she does she should go back to her old name. It doesn't work.
  • Most Definitely Not a Vampire: Nah, even though her paper thin disguise fools neither the readers nor Katia.

 "What fangs? An ordinary human such as yourself doesn’t have fangs, silly! The very thought of such a thing is preposterous, offensive, and utterly unsubstantiated."

  • My Greatest Failure: Katia's guilt at failing Quill-Weave is part of what spurs her onwards.
  • Mythology Gag: All over the place, being a fan prequel to Oblivion:
    • The very nice elf in robes at the entrance to Kvatch who showed up early to the party his friends had planned.
    • The "Lelle's Quality Mercandise" sign is an actual mispelled sign in Anvil.
    • The music which Katia chooses for travelling to Kvatch is the "Nerevar Rising" theme which plays in Morrowind sung with meows.
    • At one point Katia begins to have small talk with a "Stranger" known as "Capital S" AKA Gray Fox who plays an important role in the Thieves Guild quests in Oblivion and has a plot-related reason to both being creepy regarding the countess and only being known as "Capital S".
  • Naive Newcomer: Katia, who is completely new to Cyrodiil. She first attempts to get to know the locals.
  • Naked People Are Funny: The whole morning after Katia's first night in Cyrodiil plays this with Katia and Gharug.
  • NEET: Katia starts off as this, and no longer becoming one is currently her main objective.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: See page quote.
  • Nightmare Sequence: Katia's third night in Cyrodiil, which invokes the main cause of her fear of nobles.
  • No Fourth Wall: Katia has addressed members of the forum themselves and called them out on stupid commands. It is uncertain if this extends to anyone else.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Dream or not, Katia's "fight" against her own nightmare version of Uriel Septim was heartrendingly one-sided, ending with her being disemboweled and pinned to a wall by 10 foot long scythe-limbs.
  • Noodle Incident: What did happen with Katia and that pineapple and yoyo? It's kind of hard to describe, but I can draw a picture if you want...
    • Also one where she apparently lost all her fur. She calls it the "razor incident".
      • "We don't talk about the Kvatch Mages' Guild."
  • No Name Given / Fan Nickname: A Soldier Of The Imperial Legion, or Asotil.
    • Katia's old name is unknown, and will likely remain that way, barring some dramatic plot twist.
    • And now Nah the Squigglepire.
    • In an uncharacteristic display of originality, the audience has dubbed the summoned Clannfear 'Eepy.'
  • Non-Indicative Name: The amulet of silence, which does not actually prevent you from talking. Also the "amulet of silence", which does but is not an amulet.
  • OC Stand In: Quill-Weave and Sigrid.
    • Played with though; most of the recurring characters other than Katia like Asotil or Dmitri are characters that would be considered nameless Mooks in Oblivion or live in Kvatch.
  • Off the Wagon: Twice around the beginning, but she has managed to stay sober since.
  • Perpetual Poverty: Katia loses all her belongings with shocking frequency, and is already in a fair amount of debt to Quill.
  • Pixellation: Used when Katia first wakes up after getting drunk. Once she paints "underwear" on herself, though, it stops.
    • Also counts as an in-joke since the painted-on underwear looks exactly like the irremovable underwear from the game (if you haven't installed one of the dozens of nudity mods).
  • Ping-Pong Naivete: Katia, due sometimes to the tension between the good ideas the readers suggest to avoid disaster, which she'll acknowledge, and the fact that screwing it all up anyway a few pages later is funnier.
  • Playing with Fire: Katia, although she has trouble controlling it. It's usually set off by people (including the audience) offending her with racist cat puns.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: You are now the amulet of silence. Or more specifically, you are the imprisoned soul of a puppy that is being used to power the amulet’s enchantment.
  • The Power of Friendship: Rather violently subverted in Katia's nightmare sequence. She wills into existence an image of Quill-Weave, so that they could face the King together... only to watch her friend being eviscerated by the King seconds later. Seems to be played more straight in the real world though.
  • Precision F-Strike: "You're Katia fucking Managan!" -- usually said by Katia to herself during a Hope Spot.
  • Punny Name: Gharag gro-Upp.
  • Puppy Dog Eyes: Kaita demonstrates.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Katia, so much that people don't want Rule 34. That doesn't stop some people, though...
  • Running Gag: The audience making cat puns as Katia, who responds with annoyance. Apparently she didn't notice the name...
    • "...and you are certain this action will have no negative ramifications at all."
    • Early on, Katia running and cowering behind a guard when scared.
    • Early in the story, a reader logically disproved the existence of luck as demonstrated by the necessarily exponential growth implicit in the collection of four-leaved clovers. When Gro-Upp shows up again, his body plastered with the damn things, it becomes apparent that this reasoning was flawed.
    • Gharug gro-Upp likes to get his joke on, if you know what he means
      • (He means he has a running joke too.)
    • "...at least, you're pretty sure that's how that works."
  • Sadist Show: It is "Making A Cat Cry: the Adventure".
  • Schedule Slip: Justifiably so as Kazerad started a fresh semester of college and went through a big delay for Hurricane Irene. As it stands, about one update is posted a week.
  • Ship Sinking: The author has sunk Katia/Quill for the time being, as Quill is already in a relationship with someone else. Katia would rather not ruin their friendship, and is as strait as an arrow regardless.
    • Dimitri, the necromancer that Katia slept with, was shown to be a sweet and affable guy (Probably a Punch Clock Villain since he's a necromancer and all) with a love of cats and a genuine crush on Katia. Then he runs afoul of Gharug gro-Upp
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Some of the more meta elements of Katia receiving commands have since been undergone a Cerebus Retcon to being voices she hears in her head.
  • Stealth Pun: The orc's name is, indeed, Upp.
  • Stylistic Suck: Lelle's original sign is basically a bunch of chicken scratch. Even mispelled, Katia's sign is much better than the original.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: The vampire girl in Kvatch mixes this with Blatant Lies.
  • Tears of Blood: A side effect of either using Eye Of Night during the daytime or overusing Eye Of Fear, which results in a much more serious case.
  • That Came Out Wrong: When Katia is mistaken for an exotic prostitute:

 Katia: WHY HELLO there, sir! You look like a fellow who is in need of something! Something perhaps easily attainable, that I could help you with?

Notes

  1. Apparently, including by her own parents or any of the many, many people she has taken to bed while drunk.
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