Some years ago (more than three, but I think less than ten--definitely in this millenium) I remember reading online some comic about a robot, or maybe a cyborg, set in a fantasy world with magic users. The fantasy world wasn't particularly medieval, but more of a modern or industrial-era type setting plus magic. I think the robot initially was in a more country area, but then moved to the city where most of the subsequent story took place.

The "robot" wasn't very mechanical-looking, but more of an artificial human. She looked for the most part like a human girl (the same size and a human-looking face, but maybe some non-human features at the joints, and also I think her hair area was a bit unusual), and if I remember correctly, she was in fact disguising herself as a human for most of the story so that she could go to a school in the human city to learn how to use her magic--she was some kind of special robot with the ability to use magic, I think the first of this kind, and there was some kind of anti-robot prejudice in the city. If I remember correctly, magic effects in this world manifested as some kind of glow or light. I forget exactly what could be done with it but I have the impression it was mostly used as a kind of physical force, like a special energy attack, not to do more abstract things like mind-control, stopping time, granting wishes, making plants grow or so on.

I don't remember the supporting characters so much but I think there were some other, human students at the school, and maybe some people in a kind of conspiracy to support the robots.

The antagonists were I think some kind of police hunting for robots (maybe they even were robots, but ones under the control of the government?), and at some point, some politicians. I remember there was some woman like a mayor or something like that who I think served a role as an antagonist. She was drawn to look relatively older, with some lines around her mouth a lot of the time. There was some kind of political sub-plot like a possible war with another country or something like that.

At one point, I think the protagonist got into a fight with some other "free" robots (I think they were somehow hiding beneath the city) that were bigger and less human-looking.

I've tried searching for things like "webcomic robot uses magic" but I haven't found the comic I remember yet. I actually don't remember if it was posted as a serial webcomic with regular updates, or if it was written first and then uploaded as a large chunk--I think I read it in one sitting--but it was definitely online at some point, so I guess it would qualify as a webcomic. For some reason, though, I feel a bit hesistant applying that label to it. I definitely don't feel like it was really a well-known webcomic: I feel like it was fairly obscure, although I do think I remember seeing some comments left by other people in some area of the site--either beneath pages, or in some associated blog, I forget which one.

I can't remember how it ends, and when I thought of it recently I wanted to find out, so I'm asking this question.

From what I remember, the art was grayscale, maybe done in pencil--at least, mostly. I don't remember if there were some kind of color accents for certain special effects, like making magic use glow red. I think the cover page of the comic, or the website, had a lot of red on it.

I thought I remembered it having some kind of compound word starting with "Iron" as the title, like "Ironsoul" or "Ironheart", but "Ironheart" is apparently a Marvel character, and I didn't find anything relevant when I Googled "Ironsoul".

Things it is not, but that have some similarities:

  • Gunnerkrigg Court (by Tom Siddell), mentioned by Daniel Roseman in the comments--although both have some similar elements (robots and magic), the art styles are quite different. The treatment of magic and technology is also not particularly similar.

  • Red Moon Rising (by Rose Loughran): has a similar website color scheme (if I'm remembering correctly), and the apparent technological level of the setting seems similar, although RMR has more steampunk elements like airships. The fairly colorful and physical magic also seems somewhat similar to me. The art style is not similar, though.

  • 1
    Robots and magic in a school makes me think of Gunnerkrigg Court, but none of the other details match. Mar 21, 2018 at 10:12
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    Trying to use TVTropes to crossref Urban Fantasy and Wizarding School tropes.... found something called The Far Side of Utopia seems like it might hit some points? Still browsing through the lists. Doesn't look like it's in greyscale though.
    – Radhil
    Mar 21, 2018 at 11:43

1 Answer 1


Ah, I just had a brainwave and remembered the name. I was thinking of Ironborn, by Olle Lindestad (who it looks like is currently working on another webcomic, "Current Culture"). The blurb:

Robots aren't supposed to be able to use magic. But Opal is, and she's as confused about it as anyone. As conflict looms between a city of magic and a city of robots, she'll have to be quick on her feet...

It apparently was "published online between 2007 and 2014"; the original website is no longer up (so I'm not sure if my memory of its having a red color scheme is correct, although the logo is red) but part of it is currently online at a different website. The last page uploaded so far is page 160, from 2010. But the author made a blog post on November 6, 2017 indicating that more pages may be uploaded at some point in the future.

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    Oh cool... I had poked around, but was unable to find any matches. You probably already know this, being someone who's been here a while, but you'll be able to accept your answer in about 45 hours.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Mar 21, 2018 at 13:47

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