Characters: The Book of the Dun Cow
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ChauntecleerA rooster who is the main character and the leader of the Coop.
- Anti-Hero: Of the Disney sort.
- Annoying Patient: Has these tendencies, especially when he's bored.
- The Atoner: For both his Dark and Troubled Past and Mundo Cani's fate.
- Badass: He can fight very well for a chicken. Chauntecleer is able to take on dangerous opponents like Cockatrice and all five members of the Fimbulwinter wolf pack.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: After worms from the decaying body of Wyrm get into him, Chauntecleer isn't quite himself.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Chauntecleer was once a thief and criminal, scheming to murder his land's leaders after his mother was killed by a wolf. An encounter with God allowed for a pre-story Heel-Face Turn.
- Driven to Suicide: He does this to destroy the parasitic, evil worms which entered his body and maddened him.
- Dented Iron: He is damaged both physically and psychologically after the war in The Book of Sorrows.
- The Determinator: During his fight with Cockatrice, Chauntecleer gets back up no matter how serious his wounds are. This trait resurfaces in The Book of Sorrows', but plays a darker role. It is ultimately deconstructed, since his determination to bury Mundo Cani, although well-intentioned, causes much more harm than good.
- Due to the Dead: If one of his animals dies, Chauntecleer will do anything in his power to ensure a proper burial, especially for Mundo Cani and Lord Russel.
- Dying as Yourself: Because he killed the worms inside him along with himself, Chauntecleer is able to spend a few last moments with Pertelote.
- Fantastic Racism: Chauntecleer does not like wolves, mostly because one killed his mother. This is more prominent in theLamentations timeline.
- The Good King: While he suffers from some character flaws, Chauntecleer is at his core a well-meaning and competent ruler, even in serious situations.
- Go Out with a Smile: His last words are a joke about how he was unable to bury Mundo Cani's skull because the dog's nose was too big.
- Good Is Not Nice: Although a good guy, Chauntecleer is haughty, quick to insult others, and can occasionally be quite selfish.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Is envious of Mundo Cani's connection with the Dun Cow until he finds out why.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Chauntecleer's most glaring negative trait is his terrible temper.
- Hearing Voices: An effect of the worms which get inside him in The Book of Sorrows and slowly drive him mad.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Chauntecleer slashes himself open with his battle spurs to kill the evil worms that drove him insane. In the Lamentations continuity, they threatened to infect Ferric Coyote.
- The Hero
- The Hero Dies: Chauntecleer kills himself at the end of The Book of Sorrows.
- Heroic BSOD: Quite prone to these, and when they hit, they hit hard. The worst ones come after his battle with Cockatrice and during the second half of The Book of Sorrows.
- Hot-Blooded: Often loudly challenges his enemies to fight him, and in his backstory he tried and failed to incite his mother to fight the wolf who enslaved her.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Despite his short temper and arrogance, Chauntecleer cares for his animals and his wife and especially, once he gets used to him, Mundo Cani.
- Knight Templar: When driven mad by parasitic worms which have gotten inside of him from Wyrm's skeleton.
- Loud of War: The Crows Potens, a useful weapon against the Basilisks.
- Meaningful Name: Chauntecleer is the name of the rooster who appears in The Canterbury Tales.
- Mr. Vice Guy: While genuinely heroic and well-meaning, Chauntecleer's prickly temper, reluctance to trust others, and his vanity are his biggest character flaws.
- My Greatest Failure: His abandonment of Mundo Cani just before the dog defeated Wyrm and saved the animals. This leads to the main conflict of the sequel, in which Chauntecleer becomes dangerously obsessed with setting things right.
- Named Weapons: Gaff and the Slasher, his battle spurs.
- Pet the Dog: Despite his temperamental nature and verbal abuse of Mundo Cani, Chauntecleer tries very hard to save the Wee Widow Mouse and is a devoted husband to Pertelote, and it's made very clear that for all his bluster he cares deeply for his animal subjects.
- The Paranoiac: When he is infested by Wyrm's maggots, Chauntecleer loses his trust in his animals and drives them away in his paranoia.
- Posthumous Character: After his death, Chauntecleer remains an important character during ''Peace at the Last.
- Pride: Chauntecleer's other major flaw.
- Rage Against the Heavens: After the deaths of his children.
- Redemption Equals Death: Chauntecleer's redemption in The Book of Sorrows comes after a fatal battle with some evil wolves and his own suicide.
- Reformed Criminal: Chauntecleer was once a rogue rooster who freely stole from other animals and plotted against his land's leadership. He has had a Heel-Face Turn since then.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: During the battle, Chauntecleer crows to disorient the Basilisks and later fights Cockatrice to the death.
- Sanity Slippage: In The Book of Sorrows, Chauntcleer's quest to raise Mundo Cani and the effects of the worms feeding on Wyrm's corpse damage his mind and alienate him from his animals, even driving him to try and kill his loyal ally John Wesley Weasel.
- Taking You with Me: Chauntecleer slashes himself open with Gaff and the Slasher to kill the evil worms inside him.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: In the sequel, due to stress and infection with parasitic worms that encourage his worst tendencies.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Mundo Cani, who he constantly abuses verbally (but who he secretly cares deeply for).
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: After the war, Chauntecleer decides to resurrect Mundo Cani and kill Wyrm by finding a way into the earth. In the process, Ferric the coyote's wife and child are killed in a stampede.
Mundo CaniChauntecleer's Number Two, a dog who came to the Coop and was allowed in by Chauntecleer. He is very depressed and is often seen crying, but his loyalty is proven when he sacrifices himself to stop Wyrm.
- Apologises a Lot: Berates himself for failing to save a Wild Turkey, when he successfully rescued the others. Also apologises for his nose, being in the way, and existing.
- Badass: Surprisingly so. He stands up to both The Dragon and the Big Bad, the latter of which is a gigantic Captain Ersatz of Satan.
- Big Damn Heroes: Mundo Cani saves John Wesley Weasel from a furious Cockatrice, who is angry with him for killing many of his Basilisks.
- Catch Phrase: "MAROOOONED!"
- Chosen One: He is personally chosen by the Dun Cow to defeat Wyrm and is the last of the things in her prophecy, "a Dog with no illusion".
- Dying Moment of Awesome/ Did You Just Poke Out Wyrm's Eye?
- The Eeyore: Mundo Cani is only seen happy once in the whole book.
- Finally Found the Body: In The Book of Sorrows, Mundo Cani's skeleton is found deep in Ferric's tunnel, proving that he died underneath the earth three days after he blinded Wyrm.
- Gag Nose: Mundo Cani is constantly complaining about his nose, but it gives him an excellent sense of smell.
- Heroic Dog: A dog and the most wholeheartedly noble character in the book.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Gives himself up to blind Wyrm and trap him underground.
- Heroic Self-Deprecation: See Apologises a Lot. Mundo Cani constantly insults himself and does not even mind being used as a doormat by Chauntecleer. Given that he is easily the most heroic character in the book, his low self-esteem is likely to cause a few Tear Jerker moments.
- Humble Hero: In contrast to the arrogant and Hot-Blooded Chauntecleer, Mundo Cani is extremely humble to the point of self-loathing, always remorseful that he didn't do enough.
- I Shall Taunt You: Uses this to great effect when he confronts Wyrm.
- The Lancer: His self-deprecation contrasts with Chauntecleer's arrogance.
- Killed Off for Real: Confirmed in The Book of Sorrows.
- Let's Get Dangerous: And how! When things get serious, Mundo Cani is one of Chantecleer's most useful allies, between his Super Speed and incredible sense of smell.
- Meaningful Name: "Mundo Cani" is Latin for "a dog's world".
- Messianic Archetype: Humble to the point of Heroic Self-Deprecation? Check. Special connection with the Big Good? Check. Sacrifices himself to save everyone? Check.
- Number Two: Chauntecleer's lieutenant for The Book of the Dun Cow. After his Heroic Sacrifice, he is replaced by John Wesley Weasel.
- Posthumous Character: In the sequel, his ultimate fate is a major plot point. Chauntecleer becomes obsessed with rescuing him from the earth and later, when it is revealed that he died, burying his skull.
- Rule of Three: Mundo Cani lived under the earth for three days before his death.
- Super Speed: Can cross territory extremely quickly, which comes in useful several times.
- Took a Level in Badass: Goes from nuisance to Chauntecleer to Chauntecleer's faithful lancer and the heroic slayer of Wyrm.
- Undying Loyalty: Mundo Cani will and does protect the Coop and Chauntecleer with his life.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: A one-way version with Chauntecleer. Chauntecleer insults him, and Mundo Cani accepts or even agrees with the abuse.
PerteloteChauntecleer's favorite hen and a refugee from Cockatrice's land, formerly one of Senex's hens. She is capable and intelligent, and cares deeply for him.
- Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence: At the end of Peace at the Last.
- Broken Bird: A literal example. Pertelote endured sexual abuse from Cockatrice alongside all of her fellow hens, who eventually were killed. For a while she is worried about Chauntecleer, who looks almost exactly like her tormentor. She goes berserk when she first sees him, which is understandable given what she went through.
- The Chick
- Closer to Earth: She tends to be more terse and practical than Chauntecleer.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Pertelote once lived across the river, and was one of Senex's hens who was raped by Cockatrice. However, she kept her spirit by using a stone to break the Basilisk eggs in her body, and was one of the only hens to escape.
- Died in Your Arms Tonight: It's Pertelote who comforts Chauntecleer during his last moments.
- The Heart: Pertelote helps to bring out Chauntecleer's good side.
- The Hero: Leader of the Coop in Peace at the Last.
- The Hero Dies: She and the Meek are killed by corrupted animals.
- Meaningful Name: Pertelote was Chauntecleer's favorite hen in The Canterbury Tales, who misinterprets his dream warning against the fox.
- Music for Courage: Pertelote sings to calm down the animals who are terrified of Cockatrice and the basilisks.
- Plucky Girl: After being raped by Cockatrice, Pertelote uses a stone to break the Basilisk eggs in her body before they hatch. She can also hold her own in a fight, too, although Chauntecleer wasn't trying to harm her.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: When Chauntecleer is away in The Book Of Sorrows, he leaves Pertelote in charge of the Coop.
- Trigger: She is deathly afraid of anything that reminds her of Cockatrice, who raped her when she lived in Senex's land. When she mistakes a mud-encrusted Chauntecleer for Cockatrice, she violently attacks him.
- Sole Survivor: The only named character from Senex's land to survive Cockatrice's takeover and invasion of Chauntecleer's land.
- Women Are Wiser: Pertelote plays an important role in keeping the excitable Chauntecleer calm when he needs it.
John Wesley Weasel
John Wesley WeaselA weasel and former thief who befriends the Wee Widow Mouse. He becomes one of Chauntecleer's best warriors, and has a special advantage against Basilisks.
- Anti-Hero: Pragmatic. He is significantly more ruthless when fighting than most of the other animals and is quick to call for the execution of Ebenezer Rat, but is without question on the heroes' side and is very protective of anyone he cares about.
- The Atoner: Apparently, some time in the past, Chauntecleer kicked his ass but good, triggering a Heel-Face Turn.
- Badass: One of the most badass characters in the book. In The Book of Sorrows, he kills Notos, a wolf much larger than he is.
- The Berserker: Very much so, especially after the Wee Widow Mouse's death.
- Big Damn Heroes: Intervenes to save Chalcedony from an attack by Notos.
- Broken Pedestal: As the character who induced his Heel-Face Turn, John admires Chauntecleer, a faith that's damaged when a maddened Chauntecleer tries to kill him via stampede. They do reconcile before Chauntecleer's death.
- Dented Iron: By the end of The Book of Sorrows, John Wesley has lost an ear and the use of a leg. That doesn't stop him from kicking ass.
- The Determinator: John Wesley Weasel continues to fight even after he suffers heavy wounds and loses an ear in the fight with the Basilisks. He also battles and defeats Notos after his leg has been damaged.
- Heroic BSOD: Has a relatively minor one after the war. He has a much more serious one after Chauntecleer attacks him inThe Book of Sorrows.
- I Can Still Fight: Even while recovering from his wounds, including a missing ear, he still wants to avenge the Widow's death.
- Number Two: In The Book of Sorrows, John Wesley Weasel has become Chauntecleer's chief general, replacing Mundo Cani.
- Odd Friendship: With the Wee Widow Mouse.
- One-Man Army: During the fight with the Basilisks, John Wesley's courage and badassery give the animals the strength to successfully drive the surviving Basilisks into the river, not to mention the several hundred that he kills himself.
- Parental Substitute: For the Wee Widow Mouse's children, whose father died fighting against Toad.
- Pet the Dog: John Wesley Weasel's relationship with the Widow's children helps to show that he isn't a bad guy at heart.
- Red Herring: John Wesley is briefly suspected of eating the hens' eggs and is brought before Chauntecleer for questioning, but correctly points to Ebenezer Rat as the culprit.
- Reformed Criminal: Implied to be one, although he has had a Heel-Face Turn since then.
- The Reliable One: One of Chauntecleer's most loyal allies, and also one of the least likely to question his orders.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: John Wesley Weasel viciously attacks the Basilisks to avenge the Widow's death. He kills so many that Cockatrice intervenes directly to stop him from completely wiping them out.
- Third-Person Person: Sometimes calls himself "John Double-u of the Double-us."
- Undying Loyalty: When the animals are afraid that Chauntecleer abandoned them to save himself, John Wesley Weasel is the only one who refuses to believe this. This carries over to the sequel, when Chauntecleer goes insane and tries to kill him. Later, when Chauntecleer is dying, he entrusts John Wesley with the job of throwing Gaff and the Slasher into the sea.
- Unstoppable Rage: After the Wee Widow Mouse's death, John Wesley Weasel becomes an unquestioned Badass, killing a slew of Basilisks on his own. Despite injuries. With one ear missing.
- Wicked Weasel: Averted with him. Despite his ambiguous nature early in the book, John Wesley Weasel proves to be one of the good guys, and is disgusted by cowardice.
The Wee Widow Mouse (and family)
The Wee Widow Mouse (and family)Another refugee of Cockatrice's kingdom, whose husband was killed by the Basilisks. She moves into Ebenezer Rat's hole with her seven children and befriends John Wesley Weasel. She is killed by a Basilisk which got into the Coop.
- Badass Adorable: The Widow's husband, who died attacking The Quisling and was the most vocal opponent of Cockatrice's rule.
- Everyone Calls Him Barkeep
- Family Theme Naming: The Widow's seven children are named after the German words for the days of the week: Monntag, Dienstag, Wodenstag, Donnerstag, Freitag, Sonntag, and Samstag.
- Kill the Cutie
- Nice Mice
- Morality Chain: John Wesley Weasel's. With her around, he behaves himself and joins the Coop's community, taking the place of her dead husband. When she dies, he goes absolutely ballistic.
- Only Sane Man: The Widow's husband is the only animal in Senex's land to openly suggest that the Obviously Evil Cockatrice is the one making everyone sick.
- Precision F-Strike: The Widow's husband says "Custom, crap!" when frustrated by the Pig's ignorance of the threat posed by Cockatrice.
- No Name Given: While her children are named in the sequel, the Widow and her husband are nameless.
- Odd Friendship: The Widow and her children with John Wesley Weasel.
- Sacrificial Lion: Arguably. Her death causes John Wesley Weasel to become The Berserker.
The Wild Turkeys
The Wild TurkeysA group of turkeys who are the stupidest animals in the Coop. They are well-meaning but pouty and very dim-witted, and all of them die before the final battle.
- Big Eater: Ocellata eats a stripe of Mundo Cani's hair and some pebbles.
- The Ditz: The turkeys as a group are this. For example, they throw a pout en masse in protest of Mundo Cani saving their lives. Their stupidity is to the extent that they aren't aware if one of their own dies.
- The Load: Ocellata and the other turkeys pout during war preparations, and do not help at all.
- Shoo Out the Clowns: The mass death of the Wild Turkeys shifts the mood of the book to very, very dark.
- Stupid Good: The turkeys are friendly enough, but are too stupid to be aware of danger.
- Theme Naming: All of the turkeys are named after spices and seasoning.
- Too Dumb to Live: All of them, but special mention goes to Thuringer, who died while giving a Basilisk a friendly greeting.
- Ungrateful Bastard: A mild example in Ocelatta, who is too stupid to realize that Mundo Cani saved him from certain death.
The PinsChauntecleer and Pertelote's three sons. All of them are killed by the Basilisks.
BerylThe Pins' nurse and caretaker. She is very superstitious and uses her words very carefully. She is killed by the Basilisks with the Pins.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Beryl can seem dithery at times, as in a scene where she alerts Chauntecleer that her eggs have been eaten.
- Cassandra Truth: No one believes Beryl when she thinks that the Pins are in danger.
- The Cloudcuckoolander Was Right
- Properly Paranoid
- Words Can Break My Bones: Beryl believes this, scolding Tick-Tock and the ants for singing about the Pins' deaths. As it turns out, she was right to worry.
Peck and Scrape
Peck and ScrapeTwo members of the Mad House of Otter.
- Dirty Coward: Both of them, but more so Scrape, since deserting was his idea.
- Heel-Face Turn: They do participate in the battle with Cockatrice, if unwillingly.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Chauntecleer punishes Scrape for trying to desert by dropping him in with the Weasels, rivals and enemies of the Otters.
- Playful Otter: Averted. Scrape and Peck, along with the rest of the Mad House of Otter, are careless and something of Dirty Cowards.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Scrape and Peck try this on Chauntecleer. He has none of it, and delivers some well-deserved karma.
Tick-Tock the Black AntA hardworking ant who is friendly to Chauntecleer and the Pins.
- A Father to His Men: Tick-Tock is stern but fair to his ant workers.
- Benevolent Boss
- Insect Gender Bender: Tick-Tock seems to hold a high position among the Black Ants despite being male.
- Sequel Non-Entity: He isn't mentioned once in The Book of Sorrows.
- Shoo Out the Clowns: Although he doesn't leave, Tick-Tock appears much less often once the Pins die and the story's tone becomes much more serious. He is completely absent in The Book of Sorrows. He does reappear in Lamentations, although his character is generally more serious. He dies offstage in Peace at the Last, since he only appears in the afterlife.
- Tempting Fate: He and the ants sing a cheerful song about the Pins dying. They do, but not in the manner described.
NimbusA deer who is a member of Chauntecleer's army. Despite his wary nature, he takes part in the fight against the Basilisks. He doesn't make it.
Lord RusselA fox who is a good friend of Chauntecleer. He is extremely chatty, making him seem cleverer than he really is. He helps look after the Pins, and is indirectly responsible for their deaths. He later dies of illness in The Book of Sorrows.
- Aristocrats Are Evil: Averted. Lord Russel is a good guy.
- Came Back Wrong: After his death of infection, Wyrm's evil essence briefly reanimates Russel as a zombie.
- Carnivore Confusion: Despite the fact that Lord Russel is a fox, a traditional predator of chickens, Chauntecleer is willing to leave his children alone with him. For his part, Russel never once considers eating Chauntecleer or the Pins.
- Chekhov's Gun: Lord Russel discovers that rue means protection from Basilisks before the other characters do. He also receives the injury that will kill him in the first book, which The Book of Sorrows follows up on.
- Cunning Like a Fox: Played with. While he isn't stupid, Lord Russel isn't as clever as he or the Pins think he is.
- Due to the Dead: After Russel's death, Chauntecleer goes out of his way to ensure that the fox gets a proper burial, resorting to a Burial at Sea at Wyrmsmere when the corpse reanimates and has to be re-killed.
- Feigning Intelligence: Downplayed. Although he isn't stupid, and learns the protective abilities of rue before the other animals do, Lord Russel is not as smart as he tries to seem. This eventually ends up backfiring.
- Know-Nothing Know-It-All: A heroic and well-meaning one, although his Little Known Facts contribute to the deaths of the Pins and Beryl.
- Major Injury Underreaction: Lord Russel is not particularly upset when his jaw is puffy and swollen from biting Basilisks to death. As it turns out, his injuries were much more serious than he thought.
- Meaningful Name: Russel is named after the fox who appears in The Canterbury Tales.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Lord Russel is genuinely remorseful for his (unintentional) role in the deaths of the Pins, and is eventually forgiven by Chauntecleer.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Because Russel allows the Pins to go search for sticks by the river unattended, they are killed by Basilisks, along with their nurse who went looking for them.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Lord Russel specializes in making lengthy, impressive-sounding speeches that are redundant or mean nothing at all.
- Shoo Out the Clowns: His slow and painful death early in The Book of Sorrows sets up the very dark tone of the book.
- Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Russel dies of his injuries at the beginning of The Book Of Sorrows, which was foreshadowed during the first book.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Because the Pins sneak out of the Coop to play with Lord Russel, and Russel leaves them unattended, Basilisks kill them.
- Your Days Are Numbered: Biting Basilisks to death during the war infects Russel's mouth, and the injury worsens over time. This stops him from talking and eventually kills him, both slowly and painfully.
Ebenezer RatA rat who lived in Chauntecleer's Coop and ate the hens' eggs. Chauntecleer drives him away with the help of Tick-Tock. He later returns to the Coop and dies in battle with a basilisk.
- Badass: Willing to fight a rooster bigger than he is and defeats a Basilisk in a Mutual Kill, the first character to successfully do so.
- Death Equals Redemption: Chauntecleer absolves him after his death.
- Heel Face Door Slam: While he was an enemy of Chauntecleer, he is no friend of Wyrm, and dies fighting a basilisk.
- He Who Must Not Be Seen: He has this reputation. However, Chauntecleer ruins it by bringing him out and planting feathers on his back.
- Mutual Kill: Ebenezer Rat manages to kill a Basilisk in a fight, but is mortally injured in the process.
- Red Herring: John Wesley Weasel incorrectly accuses Ebenezer of killing Chauntecleer's children as revenge for his exile, only to be proven wrong when the rat is found dying after killing a Basilisk.
- Starter Villain: Ebenezer is a vicious fighter and isn't reluctant to try and kill Chauntecleer, but is far from as serious a threat as Wyrm, Cockatrice and the Basilisks.
- The Voiceless: The only animal character in the novel who doesn't talk, and it is unclear whether or not this is by choice.
- Would Hurt a Child: His eating the hens' eggs is treated like this.
- You Dirty Rat: Very much so. However, Ebenezer Rat is still a Keeper of Wyrm and is nowhere near as bad as the later villains.
ChalcedonyOne of Chauntecleer's hens, she becomes an important character in The Book of Sorrows during a period of great hunger in Chauntecleer's community.
- Action Girl: Holds off Notos alone for a good amount of time before John Wesley Weasel shows up.
- Ascended Extra: In The Book of the Dun Cow, Chalcedony is only a background character. In The Book of Sorrows, she takes a more significant role.
- Death by Adaptation: In The Book of Sorrows, Chalcedony survives her illness. In Lamentations, Jasper outright murders her.
- Broken Bird: In the sequel.
- Ill Girl: Her illness leaves her crippled, although she doesn't die.
- Meaningful Name: Chalcedony is a kind of mineral that is made of quartz and moganite.
- Reduced to Ratburgers: Chalcedony is so hungry during the famine that she is only able to eat empty locust shells.
JasperAnother of Chauntecleer's hens, her role is different between The Book of Sorrows and Lamentations. In The Book of Sorrows, she is careless and rough but but not intentionally mean while she is much worse in the Lamentations version of events.
- Ascended Extra: She was a background character in The Book of the Dun Cow, but gains individual characterization in the later books.
- Big Eater: Her defining trait - this causes a great deal of trouble for Chalcedony, since Jasper collects food before she can get any, accidentally starving her. Her appetite takes a more sinister turn in Lamentations.
- Death Equals Redemption: She is allowed into the afterlife at the end and is personally forgiven by Pertelote.
- Evil Counterpart: In Lamentations, she seems to be one for Pertelote.
- Face-Heel Turn: In Lamentations - this seems to be because of worms that infested her.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Her characterization in The Book of Sorrows. Jasper is coarse and occasionally selfish but is good at heart.
- Kick the Dog: Her murder of Chalcedony in Lamentations is out of petty jealousy.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Ends up starving in Peace at the Last, cursing Pertelote and Chauntecleer.
- Love Redeems: When Jasper has chicks in Peace at the Last, her concern and love for them softens her considerably.
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: She has quite the potty mouth in Peace at the Last.
- Token Evil Teammate: She is the most unpleasant of Chauntecleer's hens, although to differing degrees. Her starving of Chalcedony, while not nice, was unintentional and she is more greedy and thoughtless than deliberately cruel. In Lamentations, she actively begins to prey on other animals, leading to her exile, and outright kills Chalcedony over food.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: Jasper begins to prey on other animals in Lamentations, and infection with Wyrm's maggots worsens her greed and jealousy.
- Villainous Glutton: In Lamentations, she tries to kill and eat Pertinax the squirrel and later asks to eat the meat of Sweet Baby Blue, an ewe who was killed by Boreas's wolf pack. This, along with Chalcedony's murder, gets her kicked out of the Coop.
Black LazarusA black beetle who digs graves for the animals. Chauntecleer calls on him to bury Lord Russel.
SelkirkA pine marten who succumbs to his predatory instincts, killing and eating a squirrel named Ratatosk, and banishes himself out of shame.
- The Atoner: Selkirk feels very sorry for what he did to Ratatosk, and is implicitly forgiven, since he appears in the afterlife at the end.
- Carnivore Confusion: Squirrels are part of a pine marten's natural diet. Selkirk is in an internal conflict between his sense of decency and his new predatory instincts.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Horrified by his own actions, Selkirk leaves the Coop in disgust with himself.
- My Greatest Failure: The killing of Ratatosk.
- Remember the New Guy: Selkirk is introduced in Lamentations - he did not appear in The Book of Sorrows.
- These Hands Have Killed: Selkirk committed one of the Coop's first murders, something he's not proud of.
- Wicked Weasel: Averted - Selkirk is truly sorry for his actions and is far from a villain.
Sweet Baby Blue
Sweet Baby BlueA shy ewe who is killed by Boreas's wolf pack.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Sweet Baby Blue appears in an early chapter outside the Hemlock Hall.
- Family-Unfriendly Death: Mauled to death by wolves.
- Remember the New Guy: Sweet Baby Blue doesn't appear in The Book of Sorrows.
- Sacrificial Lamb: Sweet Baby Blue's purpose in the story is to establish Nota and Eurus as dangerous killers.
- Small Role, Big Impact: Her death leads to the conflict with the wolves.
Across the River
A gigantic serpent, so large that he can coil around the world. Although he was sealed into the Earth by God, he can communicate through dreams and plots to escape so that he can destroy the universe. He is the Big Bad of the book.
- Altum Videtur: Wyrm speaks in Latin, the "language of the powers".
- Big Bad: Emphasis on the "big" part.
- Captain Ersatz: Of Satan and the Midgard Serpent of Norse Mythology.
- The Chessmaster: Very good at manipulating others into doing what he wants, as Senex finds out. He engineers Chauntecleer's downfall in The Book of Sorrows by tricking The Bird With No Tongue. In the Lamenations continuity, he indirectly uses Chauntecleer to unleash a Hate Plague.
- The Corrupter: Wyrm tempts Senex into birthing Cockatrice and beginning the true conflict in the book by promising to make the rooster young and respected again through his son.
- The Corruption: Even death and decay doesn't stop Wyrm's evil. The worms feeding on him inherit his powers to some degree and enter Chauntecleer's body, driving him insane. This is taken further in Lamentations and Peace at the Last, where Chauntecleer isn't the only one infected and the madness spreads outside the Coop into a full-blown Hate Plague.
- Dream Weaver: A very, very nasty one. He uses this ability to manipulate Senex and tempt him, and later to harass Chauntecleer.
- Eldritch Abomination: Wyrm is an ancient, evil entity in the form of a gigantic serpent that has existed since the creation of the world. None of the animal characters are sure why he exists at all, and where he came from is never revealed.
- Evil Is Bigger: Wyrm dwarfs the animal characters, as well as the Coop itself.
- Finally Found the Body
- Leaking Can of Evil: Being sealed under the Earth doesn't stop Wyrm from manipulating the animals on the surface.
- The Man Behind the Man: To Cockatrice, his "son".
- Mind Rape: His specialty.
- Non-Action Big Bad: Justified - being sealed inside the Earth limits Wyrm's options for most of the book, and a lot of his work is done through his main agents, Cockatrice and the Basilisks.
- Omnicidal Maniac: Wyrm hates the universe and plots to destroy it. It is mentioned that he is able to kill angels if he wants to. He especially hates the animals who keep him trapped.
- Posthumous Character: Even after he is permanently trapped inside the earth and dies, Wyrm still causes problems, his essence reanimating Lord Russel and worms from his corpse corrupting Chauntecleer.
- Our Dragons Are Different
- Sealed Evil in a Can: Wyrm was sealed inside the Earth by God to prevent him from destroying everything. He is held in by the natural goodness of the animals.
- Uncleanliness Is Next to Ungodliness: Wyrm's body reeks to the point that his essence can corrupt and poison other creatures, one of the major signs of his presence in dreams and in the real world.
The Dragon and Wyrm's agent on Earth. Cockatrice was born when Wyrm tricked an old rooster named Senex into fathering his son. He murders his father before forcing Senex's hens to produce an army of basilisks for him. Once he's destroyed his own land, he moves on to Chauntecleer's land across the river.
- Alien Blood: Cockatrice has green flesh.
- The Antichrist: Implied to be a being like this.
- Badass: He is a genuine threat to John Wesley Weasel, a terrifyingly skilled flyer, and almost kills Chauntecleer at several points during their battle.
- Bad Boss: To Toad, who he allows to be killed by his own Mooks. He's a terrible leader to his own animals, too - he rapes Senex's hens, bans the animals from talking to one another, makes them sick, and eventually sets his basilisks on everybody once he's sucked the land dry.
- Creepy Child: As a chick, Cockatrice never eats or speaks, only staring creepily and twisting his tail.
- Dead Guy on Display: After his death, Chauntecleer lets the animals view the body and carries his head around the battlefield.
- The Determinator: After being fatally stabbed by Chauntecleer's battle spurs, Cockatrice continues attacking and kills himself.
- Disc One Final Boss: Cockatrice is Wyrm's agent on earth, and the overt villain for a large part of the book, but is far less powerful than his creator.
- The Dragon: While they never physically meet on-page, Cockatrice is clearly Wyrm's main agent and serves his interests.
- The Dreaded: The Coop's animals are terrified of Cockatrice long before he actually shows up, for good reason.
- Due to the Dead: Cockatrice doesn't bother to bury Senex, leaving the corpse to rot away to bones.
- Enemy to All Living Things: Cockatrice only views animals as things to be used and discarded, or to be destroyed outright.
- Eldritch Abomination: Implied to be at least partially a being like Wyrm, but smaller and less powerful.
- Evil Counterpart: To Chauntecleer, to the point where Pertelote confuses Chauntecleer (who has mud on his body after rescuing her) for him.
- Explosive Breeder: Cockatrice breeds thousands of basilisks terrifyingly fast.
- Face Full of Alien Wing-Wong: What he does to the hens he rapes, as he is some sort of Eldritch Abomination and the eggs that they produce from him hatch into Always Chaotic Evil serpents, not chicks.
- Feathered Fiend: Cockatrice is part rooster.
- Gratuitous German: During his battle with Chauntecleer, Cockatrice is called the Blitzschlange, the Lightning Snake.
- The Heavy: While he is subordinate to Wyrm, Cockatrice is a more direct threat, and he is the one who has a more personal conflict with Chauntecleer.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice
- Kick the Dog: He doesn't hesitate to do this. Raping Senex's hens and killing Senex himself are only a few of these moments.
- Klingon Promotion: Becomes leader of Senex's land after murdering Senex, although it's mostly because everyone's terrified of him and doesn't know who else to look to for leadership.
- Knight of Cerebus: Things turn serious whenever Cockatrice or his Basilisk children show up. The chapters where he takes over and destroys Senex's land are much darker than the other early chapters set in Chauntecleer's land.
- Lightning Bruiser: Cockatrice can fly very well, unlike a real rooster, and is both fast and surprisingly strong in the air.
- Meaningful Rename: The creature born from Senex's egg violently rejects his father's name and chooses his own, Cockatrice.
- Monster Progenitor: Cockatrice is the father of all of the Basilisks as well as their commander.
- The Needless: Cockatrice doesn't need to eat, since Wyrm feeds him through the earth.
- Papa Wolf: A malevolent variation. The only things he shows any feeling towards are his children, the Basilisks.
- Plot-Relevant Age-Up: Cockatrice reaches adulthood far earlier than normal for a rooster, one of the first things which tips Senex off that something is badly wrong.
- Precision F-Strike: "Damn the name Senex!"
- The Quiet One: Most of the time. His silence is unsettling, especially when he emotionlessly rapes Senex's hens and orders the deaths of his animals. On the other hand, on the instances where he does talk he screams.
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Cockatrice repeatedly rapes Senex's hens to produce his basilisk army, including Pertelote, causing most of them to lose their spirit and will to live.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Unlike a real rooster, Cockatrice has red eyes and a scaly body.
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Cockatrice has scales and a long gray serpent's tail.
- Self-Disposing Villain: When he is fatally wounded by Chauntecleer's battle spurs, Cockatrice lunges at him one more time and drives them through his neck and chest, killing himself.
- Self-Made Orphan: Cockatrice remorselessly murders his father, Senex, to take over his land.
- The Unreveal: What exactly he said to Senex before killing him is never revealed.
- 0% Approval Rating: During his short reign as ruler of Senex's land. Justified in that he is intentionally polluting and undermining the land and the animals are too despairing to challenge him.
SenexAn old rooster who rules the land across the river from Chauntecleer's Coop. Wyrm fools him into fathering Cockatrice through dreams. He is eventually murdered by Cockatrice.
- Alas, Poor Villain: Although he made many bad choices and is indirectly responsible for most of the death Cockatrice and the Basilisks cause, it's hard not to feel bad for Senex once he realizes that he was tricked, is brutally murdered by his own son, and never receives a proper burial.
- Anti-Villain: Woobie.
- Apologises a Lot: Senex's main problem, which makes it difficult for his animals to take him seriously as a ruler.
- Cock-a-Doodle Dawn: Because of his age, Senex sometimes gets his timing wrong when he crows, waking up his animal subjects at the wrong time and making them cranky and resentful.
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: Senex, not without reason, feels like his animals are disrespectful of his role as their leader, and this insecurity is what makes it easy for Wyrm to tempt him.
- Evil Is Not a Toy: Learns this lesson a little too late.
- Family-Unfriendly Death: Cockatrice pierces him through the skull with his beak, killing him instantly.
- Heel Face Door Slam: Senex realizes that he made a serious mistake, but Cockatrice murders him before he has the chance to do anything about it.
- Heir Club for Men: Senex's second problem - because he has no son, he has no heir, and he's infertile, so he can't produce one. Wyrm offers to give him one, which is where Cockatrice comes from.
- Horrible Judge of Character: Assumes that he can trust a mysterious voice in his dreams without any question or suspicions. To his credit, he does eventually catch on, but by that point it's much too late.
- How the Mighty Have Fallen: During his Glory Days, Senex wasn't a bad ruler to his animals. Now that he is very old, he is balding and very miserable-looking. Even his hens make fun of him behind his back.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: Given his animals' disrespect and verbal abuse, it's easy to side with Senex once he starts pecking at the worst offenders.
- The Magnificent: Senex is also called The Rooster With His Back to the Mountains.
- Mr. Seahorse: How Senex lays the egg that hatches into Cockatrice.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Senex eventually realizes that something is seriously wrong with his "son", and it utterly breaks him even before his murder. He almost seems to know what will happen to him when Cockatrice rejects him.
- Red Herring: Posthumously blamed for his rotting corpse poisoning the land and making everyone sick after his murder. The real cause is Cockatrice, although almost everyone is too afraid to blame the obvious culprit.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Attempts this, as Wyrm uses his desire to relive his glory years to trick him.
- Shadow Archetype: To Chauntecleer, as Senex represents what Chauntecleer could become if he succumbs to Wyrm's temptations or lets his arrogance overpower him.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: After his deal with Wyrm and before he realizes that he has been tricked, Senex becomes considerably more assertive and vindictive.
- Tragic Villain: Senex is the most sympathetic villain in the series - he isn't evil and has understandable grievances, which Wyrm takes advantage of. He's only really a villain in that his actions lead to the story's main conflict.
- Unfortunate Names: Senex is Latin for "old man". It's unclear whether that's his birth name or a nickname which stuck.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Almost everything bad that happens in the series happens because of his deal with Wyrm.
- Unwitting Pawn: Wyrm takes advantage of Senex's despair and desire to preserve his name to trick him. Senex, for his part, is not really evil, more desperate and pathetic than anything else, and is unaware of Wyrm's true nature.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Senex's actions are more out of desperation than malice, and he himself isn't truly evil, but his Deal with the Devil with Wyrm has serious consequences throughout the series.
- Yank the Dog's Chain: Senex can't catch a break. He's ridiculed and resented by his own subjects, the voice which allows him to start standing up for himself turns out to be an evil monster, and he is murdered by the Eldritch Abomination that he hatched. He is even blamed posthumously for the problems Cockatrice causes.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Cockatrice kills Senex as soon as he reaches adulthood.
ToadA toad who Senex forces to nurse Cockatrice's egg. Later he acts as Cockatrice's voice and enforcer, but is killed by the Basilisks anyway.
- Dirty Coward: Toad sides with Cockatrice in hopes of staying out of trouble with him.
- Face-Heel Turn: Before the arrival of Cockatrice, Toad doesn't seem to have been bad.
- Kick the Dog: While sympathetic to the hens at first, Toad exposes Pertelote as breaking her eggs and physically attacks her.
- Punch Clock Villain: Toad is this at first, and his introduction to Cockatrice (as an egg) by Senex was involuntary. During his job, at least early on, he genuinely feels sorry for the hens and talks to them.
- Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves
- The Quisling: The only animal in the book who willingly serves Cockatrice. It doesn't save him.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Cockatrice allows the basilisks to kill Toad during their rampage.
The BasilisksCockatrice's army of slimy, vicious black serpents. They are the children of Cockatrice and Senex's hens, who he raped repeatedly to produce them.
- Achilles' Heel: Basilisks hate loud noise, which is why Chauntecleer's Crows Potens have such an effect on them. Rue offers some protection, too. Both weaknesses are exploited by the animals.
- Always Chaotic Evil
- Chekhov's Gunman: One Basilisk hides in the body of Oscellata the wild turkey, killing the Wee Widow Mouse a chapter later.
- Dark Is Evil: All of the Basilisks have black scales.
- Decapitated Army: While some Basilisks survive the battle, they cease being a threat without Cockatrice to give them orders and produce more of them, since they do not cause problems later in the series.
- Hero Killer: The Basilisks are responsible for the deaths of several sympathetic characters, including the Wee Widow Mouse, the Pins, Beryl, and Lord Russel, not to mention the massive body count they cause in the battle.
- Mooks: A particularly dangerous example.
- Mook Chivalry: Averted. During battle, the Basilisks fight ruthlessly and brutally, and many times killing one ends in the death of the attacker.
- Neck Snap: The Basilisks' method for attacking larger animals is to fasten themselves around the victim's neck and squeeze.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: All of the Basilisks have red eyes.
- Regret Eating Me: When a wolf tries to eat a Basilisk, it simply bites it on the tongue and crawls out of the dead wolf's mouth.
- Universal Poison: The Basilisks' venom is lethally toxic to both plants and animals. The animals who don't die from a bite instantly die in incredible pain.
- Walking Wasteland: The Basilisks wilt plants simply by touching them, and their bite is fatal almost instantly.
FerricA coyote who lives in a canyon with his wife, Rachel, and his children, Benoni, Hopsacking and Twill. He knows about the existence of a hole which leads into the earth, which Chauntecleer believes will allow him to save Mundo Cani.
- All-Loving Hero: It's Ferric's love that eventually helps to snap Chauntecleer out of his delirium and realize what his actions have done.
- Bring My Brown Pants: When Ferric is confronted by Boreas and his wolf pack, he almost urinates from fear.
- Forgiveness: He is able to forgive Chauntecleer for the deaths of his family.
- Those Wily Coyotes: A heroic example.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: His arrival leads to Chauntecleer's paranoia intensifying and eventually the deaths of his wife and children when the rooster starts a stampede during an attempt to kill John Wesley Weasel.
- Walking the Earth: Temporarily, to find food for his family. This is how he finds Chauntecleer's Coop.
The Bird With No Tongue
The Bird With No TongueA bird who is only able to speak gibberish. A long time ago, she was tricked by Wyrm into drinking his essence, causing her to lose her voice and twisting her body.
- Break the Cutie: Wyrm broke her fairly thoroughly, in part to create a lure for Chauntcleer. She sits at the tunnel into the earth, thinking she is preventing others from going down. A visit from the Dun Cow helps her.
- Given Name Reveal: When she gets her voice back in the afterlife, she reveals that her real name is Least.
- The Speechless: Thanks to Wyrm, she can only say "Jug jug" and "Tereu".
- Throw the Dog a Bone: The Dun Cow comes to comfort her.
- Waif Prophet: Despite her weakness, she is the only one able to find the tunnel into the earth, which makes Chauntecleer obsessed with finding her.
The Fimbulwinter Wolf Pack
BoreasThe leader of the Fimbulwinter wolves, Boreas the White Wolf is a major antagonist in The Book of Sorrows, and dies in battle with Chauntecleer. His character is more sympathetic in Lamentations and Peace at the Last.
- Adopt the Dog: He and Wachanga take in Jasper's chicks when another wolf kills her.
- Alas, Poor Villain: Chinook mourns Boreas when he is killed by Chauntecleer.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: Boreas is the leader and the most dangerous member of the Fimbulwinter pack.
- Badass: Boreas is a powerful wolf who faces Chauntecleer in The Book of Sorrows and Eurus in Peace at the Last.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Boreas and Chinook sincerely love one another, and she mourns his death as Pertelote mourns Chauntecleer.
- Good Counterpart: Becomes this to Eurus in Peace at the Last, even facing the other wolf in battle and ultimately killing him.
- Heel-Face Turn: With the help of Wachanga, Boreas chooses to side with Pertelote's group in Peace at the Last.
- Hero Killer: Boreas' machinations are ultimately responsible for the death of Chauntecleer.
- Light Is Good: In the revised timeline, Boreas is the most sympathetic of the wolves and has a full Heel-Face Turn in Peace at the Last.
- Light Is Not Good: Boreas has white fur, and in The Book of Sorrows he is a major villain.
- Mutual Kill: Chauntecleer kills Boreas in The Book of Sorrows, but the wolf inflicts fatal injuries in return.
- Noble Wolf: In Lamentations, Boreas is much more sympathetic and later allies with Pertelote's group.
- Spared by the Adaptation: In The Book of Sorrows, Boreas is killed by Chauntecleer. In Lamentations, he survives and later joins the heroes.
- Token Good Teammate: Boreas is the only wolf who wasn't infected by Wyrm's maggots in Lamentations, and does not participate in the killing of Sweet Baby Blue.
EurusBoreas's second-in-command and a wolf with brown fur and yellow eyes. In The Book of Sorrows, Chauntecleer blinds him. In Peace at the Last, he is killed by a reformed Boreas.
- The Brute: Eurus, especially in Peace at the Last, dominates others through brute force.
- The Dragon: Eurus is Boreas' second-in-command in The Book of Sorrows.
- Dragon Ascendant: In Peace at the Last, Eurus starts a new pack with Rutt, Crook, and, initially, Rutt's sister Wachanga.
- Evil Counterpart: In Peace at the Last, he ultimately becomes one to Boreas. Where Boreas's relationship with Wachanga is built on mutual love, Eurus's relationship with Rutt is violent and abusive.
- Eye Scream: Chauntecleer blinds Eurus in The Book of Sorrows. In Peace at the Last, Boreas claws his eye right out of its socket.
- Hypocrite: In Lamentations Eurus despises living under Chauntecleer's rule (or under any society), but he himself is incredibly domineering and bullying when he gains control of a wolf pack.
- Kick the Dog: Besides all of his other horrific actions, Eurus is viciously abusive toward his mate Rutt.
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Eurus rapes Rutt while the two are mates.
- The Unfettered: In the Lamentations timeline, Eurus despises rules of any kind.
- Savage Wolf
Notos/NotaAnother member of the Fimbulwinter pack, a black wolf with red eyes. He is by far the most violent and uncontrolled, to an extent that even disturbs the other wolves. He is killed by John Wesley Weasel. In Lamentations the character is rewritten as the female wolf Nota.
- Ax-Crazy: Notos is the least restrained and most vicious member of the wolf pack. Even the other wolves aren't particularly sorry to see him go when John kills him.
- Composite Character: In Lamentations, Nota takes Chinook's role as the female member of the pack, but with less of Chinook's sympathetic qualities, and is killed by Chauntecleer instead of Boreas.
- Dark Action Girl: As Nota.
- Dark Is Evil: A Savage Wolf with black fur.
- Gender Flip: In The Book of Sorrows, the character is a male wolf named Notos. The same character appears as a female wolf named Nota in Lamentations.
- Face-Heel Turn: In Lamentations, Nota is one of the animals corrupted by the maggots from Wyrm's body.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Both versions of the character have red eyes.
- Savage Wolf
A gray wolf who is the most restrained and honorable of the Fimbulwinter pack, and its only female member.
- Adapted Out: Chinook does not appear in Lamentations.
- Badass: Chinook is a vicious and determined fighter noted for her endurance.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: She howls to mourn Boreas after he is killed in battle by Chauntecleer.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Chinook was put off by Notos's viciousness and saw him as unreliable.
- Pet the Dog: Sees John Wesley Weasel as a Worthy Opponent, sincerely congratulates him for killing Notos, offers him a place and protection in the Fimbulwinter pack, and does not kill him or Chalcedony when she has the chance, even when he turns down her offer. She also calls off the fight after Boreas is killed.
- We Can Rule Together: She offers John Wesley Weasel a place in the pack after he kills Notos. He refuses.
FavoniusA wolf who is maimed in the final battle with Chauntecleer.
The Dun Cow
The Dun CowA dun-colored cow who is implied to be one of God's angels. She has prophetic abilities and was sent to Earth to guide Chauntecleer and Mundo Cani.
- All-Powerful Bystander: A somewhat more useful example than most. While she cannot directly intervene in the battle between the Coop and Wyrm's forces, she does provide the tools needed to defeat Wyrm with and usually appears to offer comfort when she is really needed.
- Big Good: She offers advice to Chauntecleer at key points in the story, and gives Mundo Cani her horn to defeat Wyrm with.
- Our Angels Are Different: An angel who takes the form of a dun-colored cow.
RuttEurus's mate and his Dragon, as well as Wachanga's sister. She only appears in Peace at the Last.
- Ambition Is Evil: Rutt schemes to take over the world and become an equal to God with the help of her mob.
- Ax-Crazy: Rutt is... unhinged, to say the least.
- Big Sister Bully: Rutt kicks Wachanga out of their pack to keep influence over Eurus.
- Cain and Abel: The Cain to Wachanga's Abel.
- The Corrupter: Rutt gleefully throws herself into this role, teaching other animals to enjoy killing like she does and spreading Wyrm's Hate Plague.
- Dark Messiah: Rutt's goal is to form a vast territory under her control by leading a vast pack of corrupted animals.
- Dragon Ascendant: After Eurus is killed by Boreas, Rutt takes over, and forms a mob of corrupted animals by teaching them about killing. In many ways she is more dangerous than Eurus was.
- Equal-Opportunity Evil: Rutt's mob includes a variety of corrupted animals, not just wolves.
- Kick the Dog: Her treatment of Wachanga.
- More Deadly Than The Male: Where Eurus relies more on brute force, Rutt is manipulative, cunning, and ambitious.
- Savage Wolf