Nay-Theist: Her attitude is that gods are a whole heap of trouble of which you're better off steering clear. Apparently this is common among wombats.
Only Sane Woman: Often her reaction to the extravagantly weird events she's involved in is some variation on the tune of "Oh, no, what is it now?"
Only Sane Employee: Somebody's got to keep the little group of dubiously-sane, questionably-competent weirdos in line, and as the only fully sane and completely competent person around who's actually ambulatory, Digger's drafted.
Stealth Pun: Her full name, Digger-of-Unnecessarily-Convoluted-Tunnels.
The Unchosen One: As a descendent of Helix, Digger simply can't be The Chosen One. Thanks to a loophole and unfortunately being a possessor of common courtesy, Digger is roped into helping out anyway.
"It was told to die, leave no name, no memory, no bones where real people might eat them. But It did not die. It has no name. But It will paint. After It is bones. After all real people are bones, after all names are eaten, someone will find pictures, maybe will not matter then that It doesn't have a name. Someone will remember pictures."
Strange Syntax Speaker: Since Ed had been exiled, he hadn't talked to anyone before Digger came along (presumably because no one but the hyenas would know where to find him, and they consider him to be unclean since his name was eaten when he was exiled). After seventeen years of silence, he simply forgot how to speak, and the syntax he uses is his best guess.
You No Take Candle: We initially think he's eloquent in his own language. He's not - he hasn't talked to anyone in seventeen years, so his language skills have atrophied a bit. He has a peculiar wisdom and eloquence of his own, even so.
"But what is an evil? Is it like water or like a hedgehog or night or lumpy? What does it look like? How do I know?"
A young, curious little shadow demon who hatched from the body of a dead bird. It eats shadows and has latched onto Digger for moral support.Tropes associated with Shadowchild:
Ambiguous Innocence: Innocent to the point of no morality. Fortunately, it seems to trust Digger and want to learn. Less fortunately for Digger, it's not easy to present a working moral system off the top of one's head. It does figure out morality well enough to refuse to kill its companions and (correctly) identify another demon as evil, even when the other demon states that demons are above such petty "rules" - though it still mostly argues the point in terms Digger has told it.
Beware the Nice Ones: It's cute as a button, but don't forget: Shadowchild is, for all intents and purposes, a soul eating demon.
Blue and Orange Morality: Digger is left having to teach Shadowchild the many nuances of what's right and wrong, and Shadowchild has difficulty understanding the concepts. Sweetgrass Voice explains the moralities of demons, and how consuming shadows of living speaking creatures is wrong only by the creatures rules, and not demons. After eating Sweetgrass Voice's projection, Shadowchild seems to grow and become wiser to the way things are. It states that while morality is still hard to grasp, it understands Digger's dilemma and the varying nature of good and evil, afterwards it leaves to find other demons to teach.
Furry Confusion: The Shadowchild's concern for the possibility of eating anything that can talk runs across more difficulty because it is, not unreasonably, unwilling to assume that prey animals can't without case-by-case checking.
Growing Up Sucks: After absorbing a projection of Sweetgrass Voice and becoming smarter and more demon like it states this almost word for word to Digger, who agrees with it.
Running Joke: "Am I a—" "No, Shadowchild, you are not a trope."
Voluntary Shapeshifting: Capable of "stretching" itself into scarier shapes, and its non-stretched form is always pretty variable.
Wild Child: Digger at one point suggests that Shadowchild is more or less the demon version of this. But then, all Demons are, until and unless they get taken in by an older demon. Shadowlescent is setting out to change this.
Your Soul Is Mine: If Shadowchild eats the shadow of a living creature, it drops dead. Eventually. First they go into a coma.
The Statue of Ganesh
Digger:You're a lifesaver. Statue:On occasion, yes.
A statue of the Hindu god Ganesh. Digger pops out of a hole in his temple. The Veiled worship him and other gods.Tropes associated with the Statue of Ganesh:
Because I Said So: He comments to the titular wombat that neither he nor Jhalm want to have a conversation ending with "Because I'm a god and I say so."
Broken Bird: She looked upon the face of the Black Mother, and now hears voices, hallucinates, falls into insensate babbling, talks to herself and occasionally tries to kill everything in her path. Otherwise, she's a shy, sweet, dutiful monk.
Handicapped Badass: Adding to an occasionally paralyzing bout of madness, she broke her arm on a quest, which simply increases her determination.
Hero of Another Story: Bits and pieces of her story creep in, like the prophecy business, but ultimately, this quest isn't about her. It's implied that one day, "when she stands astride the fulcrum of the world," her experiences during Digger will turn out to be vital.
Holding the Floor: She knows enough about Jhalm to know he will at least hesitate to attack a lone, injured, if armed girl.
Madness Mantra: "Black Mother, pass us by, turn your head away from us, we are not here, we are not here, pass us by..."
Played with. "These stones I wear. Perhaps I can see you through them. Do you believe that?"
"Do the thing!" "What thing?" "The thing where you tell people what they're thinking and freak 'em out!"
Shamelessly taken advantage of when telling Grim Eyes to go with Digger on her initial quest. Whether Grim Eyes won or lost the fight threatened in the Badass Normal entry, she would still lose face with the tribe. By losing, she's lost to an elderly woman. By winning, she's won...against an elderly woman.
Expressive Mask: The ropes holding the stones on her mask will rotate sometimes, often to correspond with her current emotion.
Expy: She is basically a mix of Discworld's Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg.
"A friend might put a spear in your heart, but only an enemy will tell you it's for your own good."
A young, female hyena from Ed's tribe. Digger meets her when Grim Eyes is trying to capture and eat her. They also eventually become comrades. And since Boneclaw Mother technically adopted Digger, they're now relatives.Tropes associated with Grim Eyes:
Morton's Fork: Boneclaw mother makes an Appeal to Force against her to make her help Digger. Grim Eyes points out that not obeying her is a lose-lose proposition: If she calls her out and they fight, Grim Eyes will either lose against a crippled blind old lady three times her age, or she will beat up a crippled blind old lady three times her age. There is really no way she gets out of it honour intact.
Weakness Turns Her On: She tells Digger as much after some conventional-gender-role-reversal antics with their Deer-headed guide.
"Bloodtail always was a vain little child, worried that people were watching her and terrified that maybe they weren't. She grew into a nasty, vain adult."
Not much is known of her, but what is known makes her rather disagreeable.Tropes associated with Blood Tail:
If I Can't Have You: She encouraged spousal abuse by her sister because she was envious after Ed chose the sister over herself, with an added Take That implying that he was still better off with the madwoman who beat him than he ever would have been with her.
Former mate of Ed.Tropes associated with Blood Eyes:
Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Twice. the first time an unarmed Grim Eyes attacks him thinking she's got Digger, and the two get into a fight which Digger walks away from. They both come out no worse for wear. The second involves a fight with Cold Servants which he managed to hold off long enough for reinforcements to arrive and win the day. The latter was the engagement that cost him the eye.
To Be Lawful or Good: Murai forces him into one of these by pulling a You Shall Not Pass on him at the entrance to Ganesh's temple — he either has to abandon his hunt for Digger, or attack a girl with a broken arm who is also one of his subordinates. Boneclaw Mother successfully pushes him onto the good choice.
You Have Failed Me: Averted. When Murai was sent to investigate the Black mother god that was gaining power from the beliefs of children, she comes back with her mind in shambles. Murai was surprised that instead of blaming her, Jhalm blamed himself for sending a child out into such a dangerous situation.
The Oracular Slug
"One minute we're oozing along, not a care in the world, and the next, every time you cross a leaf, it's telling you the future. It's hard when you've got a brain the size of a pin head, believe me."
An oracle who is a slug. Pretty much the only creature who can keep a tab on Digger's future.Tropes associated with the Oracular Slug:
Taking You with Me: He tries to do this to Sweetgrass Voice, but he's kept alive against his will. It finally works when Digger and Ed show up and kill him for good.
"Kill me? Not even a god could kill me, dirt rat. Twelve thousand years I've been down here with him, and he's never found a way to destroy me. Twelve thousand years, dirt rat! And when his sanity began to fail and I finally drove him blundering up to the surface, what did he do but find dwarves and men and one of your filthy-clawed kind to bind him! Do you have any idea how long twelve thousand years is?"
A powerful, elder demon who manipulated He-Is into fighting She-Is, and was therefore the cause of the whole mess and its aftermath. It's still alive, possessing He-Is' remains.Tropes associated with Sweetgrass Voice:
Chekhov's Gunman: A demon with a voice like sweetgrass smoke appears in Ed's creation myth for the Hyenas as the corrupter of He-Is. Pages and pages later, the myth turned out to be one-hundred percent accurate, and the demon as evil as described.
Sealed Evil in a Can: It has some reach to work with, but as long as He-Is is shackled, it's stuck with him.
The Unpronounceable: Its true name, like that of all demons, cannot even be heard by most creatures, much less pronounced. In-story, it is represented by a series of dashes because of this.
Walking Wasteland: Never confirmed, but forty-thousand years before the story, there was a creature called Famine that fit the trope, and it certainly bears a resemblance.