One of the heroes of the comic, Duane is a galit, a unique kind of zombie that has retained all of his intelligence and skills. He meant to make a quiet unlife in Sharteshane copying legal documents and reading and writing letters for commission; however, when his condition is uncovered by the leader of the Frummagem crime family, Duane is given an ultimatum: either escort Boss-King Frummagem’s daughter, Sette, to her cousins place to collect a debt he owes Nary, or have his secret exposed to the whole town. Reluctantly he accepts, though he’s making an effort of trying to make Sette a better person along the way.
An Offer You Can't Refuse: Escort my daughter to her cousin Stockyard, or I reveal you’re a galit to anyone in town with a pitchfork and torch and a desperate need for a break from monotony.
Berserk Button: Harm a child around this zombie, and you're liable to lose a limb. Or all of them. Possibly your head, too.
The part of his life where he and his daughter were brutally murdered, he was reanimated and - in his religion - forsaken by God, and he was forced to abandon all of his loved ones is a very sensitive topic, as Sette learns.
Chronic Hero Syndrome: Stops to help a brother and sister in distress, then makes a personal mission of tracking down and stopping the Red Berry Boys to prevent them from hurting children, much to Sette's chagrin.
Dark Is Not Evil: Despite being a living corpse, he’s one of the most decent people in the comic.
Deliberate Values Dissonance: Often has many moments that involve this. Despite being a decent person overall, he comes from an extremely regressive and totalitarian state, and his country's warped ideals are rather ingrained in him.
Dork Knight: Opera and theater loving, idealistic and noble, but very, very capable and competent in a fight.
Fantastic Racism: One of his biggest character flaws is his blind hatred of Crescians, even those undeserving of it. Mind you, he has some very good reasons for that hatred...
Genre Savvy: "Think on it. A mysterious stranger in unassuming garb, of noble mien, his manner strange, his abilities unknown, selflessly answering the call of innocent youths. Not one to take lightly, says the theatre."
Glamour Failure: Normally he uses a glamour to make himself look human; eye contact, however, breaks the spell and makes him resemble the rotting corpse that he is.
Honor Before Reason: He’ll use pymary against an opponent using pymary. If his opponent can’t cast spells, he’ll fight them with his quarterstaff or fists, for the sake of fairness. Nevermind that he's supernaturally strong.
Horror Hunger: Like all zombies, Duane constantly craves human flesh and he needs to keep tight control of himself at all times. Even a little bit of blood is enough to exacerbate his hunger. However, by removing a blood-splattered glove from his hand and pocketing it, Sette reveals that "out of sight out of mind" applies and can help clear his thoughts when he starts, ahem, seeing red.
Large Ham: He has a very theatrical way of speaking. Just look at the quote on Genre Savvy when he encounters the Red Berry Boys for the first time, or hear him when he’s recounting war stories to Sette. Understandable, since he used to be a fairly popular preacher who used pymary to enhance his sermons.
Our Zombies Are Different: He has the Horror Hunger most zombies do, but unlike regular "plods" he’s intelligent, self-aware, and can cast spells, and he might be unique for this. At night, he becomes more like his mindless, bloodthirsty zombie cousins, though Sette can keep him docile at the end of a leash or a pair of shackles he carries for this purpose.
Papa Wolf: Towards Sette. And pretty much all children. And towards his own kids, particularly his daughter. Not that it did her any good...
Parental Substitute: Towards Sette, though they'll both deny it. He's certainly not quiet about his objections to Da Frummagem's parenting style.
Replacement Goldfish: It's implied that one reason he puts up with Sette is that she reminds him of his deceased daughter Mikaila and at one point he sees Sette as her.
Shell-Shocked Senior: Served in the military and, while he actually enjoys recounting war stories, his time seems to have left him with a deep hatred of Crescians. Getting violently murdered by them (and seeing his daughter killed as well) definitely didn't help matters.
Warrior Poet: He enjoys showing off his eloquence and poetic phrases at least as much as his combat skills. This page is a good example.
Wide-Eyed Idealist: When he was alive. In the present day, he still desperately clings to this, but reality has started to set in.
Wrongly Accused: Captain Toma and Elka ironically believe him and Sette, due to a case of wrong-place-wrong-time, of being in cahoots with the very slavers Duane intends to rain righteous justice on.
The other hero of the story, Sette is the daughter of Nary-a-Care Frummagem. Tasked with collecting a debt her cousin owes her father, Sette is determined to prove herself as Nary’s daughter, hoping one day to take over his criminal empire.
Sette: "Evil foreign money?" (cuddles money) She didn't mean it...
Daddy's Girl / Daddy's Little Villain: She’s dead set on proving herself as a worthy heir to her father though there have been hints recently that her memories of how he treats her are far kinder than how he actually is.
Deadly Dodging: How she fights. She tends to avoid attacks and send her attacker either completely off balance or it a nearby hard surface.
Does Not Like Shoes: She has yet to put on any footwear, from the very first panel on. This is due partly to culture (street children in Hanghorse don't wear shoes) and partly to preference.
Little Bit Beastly: The aforementioned sharp teeth and "mule's tail." Though the teeth are actually just filed, according to this formspring post. Also the heightened sense of smell.
Kid with the Leash: Specifically to Duane at night when he is in zombie mode. She possesses a necklace that lets her pacify him and seemingly control him to a certain extent.
Kleptomaniac Hero: She’ll take everything that’s not nailed down to the floor. Then the nails. Then the floor.
Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: She doesn't bear much resemblance to her father and she's remarked as being "unique" among the Frummagems. It's also shown she's concerned about the rumor that she isn't Nary's real daughter more than she lets on.
Small Name, Big Ego: While her father’s feared and respected, she thinks she should have some of that infamy too. The rest of the world tends to disagree.
Smarter Than You Look: Despite seeming looking like the typical Bratty Half-Pint, though with a tail, she’s managed to successfully dupe Duane into travelling into Cresce by leading him away from roads and towns where he could discover their position, and travelling at night while Duane is “sleeping”.
A famous Crescian peaceguard captain who is trying to find and put an end to the Red Berry Boys. After a violent encounter with Duane and Sette in an evacuated Red Berry Boy hideout, he believes them to be members of the gang and is devoted to bringing them to justice.
Hero Antagonist: Like Toma, she’s a member of the peaceguard and dedicated to taking down the Red Berry Boys.
Good Is Not Nice: She’s a very abrasive person, and doesn’t much like being stationed in Ulestry, as shown by her condescending and rude attitude towards the officials working there. She was also pretty rough with Sette when she first encountered her, threatening her after she assumed the girl was a member of the Red Berry Boys. Though after months on the job, far from home and tracking child killers, she has a bit of an excuse.
Inspector Javert: Like her captain, she believes Duane and Sette to be members of the Red Berry Boys. Of course, they also have a personal stake in tracking Duane down after he cut off the arm of one of her friends.
A captive of the Red Berry Boys, and, so far, the only one not to have undergone the procedure that have left all other captives comatose. All that’s really known about him is that he was found sleeping in a ditch before being captured. He’s currently working on a plan to free himself and the rest of the captives.
Long-Haired Pretty Boy: Gets turned into one looking like a Plat after complaining too much, complete with flowers in the background. He has a breakdown the very next panel. Sadly it doesn't survive the page.
His Establishing Character Moment is comforting and giving candy to a crying little girl. He tries to comfort the other captives of the Red Berry Boys while they're in pain, and eventually resolves to free all of them.
He even comforts Matty after Matthis blows up at him and is about to hit him, and earlier in the comic he was extremely resentful toward Matty for being the kid of someone working with the slavers. Later, he rescues Matty and Matthis from the Red Berry Boys even though he owed them nothing.
Mysterious Past: Nothing much is known about him other than he was found by the Red Berry Boys in a ditch. However the Bad Dreams he suffers from, that involve his mother, seemingly a pirate captain he worked under, hint at a Dark and Troubled Past.
Survivor Guilt: Seems to have some in regards to Cara's death. This provides part of his motivation for saving everyone from the Red Berry Boys.
An Aldish wright working for the Red Berry Boys. When he learned Starfish’s plan involved hurting children, he quit, only returning after Starfish agreed to release the kids when the job was over... and up his pay. He has a son named Matty who he keeps promising to take to Sharteshane, where they can live a quiet, peaceful life. This promise has been repeatedly broken.
Always Save the Girl: He will always save Matty and Matty knows this. He may eat lunch first though.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He is short tempered and rude to most people including his son when he is angry enough. Despite this, he genuinely loves Matty and attempts to save the slaves. He also doesn't kill needlessly and seems to detest cold blooded murder.
Not So Different: Duane's flashback reveals that he had morally objected to what the Aldishmen had been doing during one of their meetings.
One-Man Army: After his wife was killed, he raided the Aldish Municipal Office to retrieve their construct Uaid. He killed everyone inside, and escaped unharmed. And he did all this while carrying Matty on his back.
Wouldn't Hurt a Child: The reason he left the Red Berry Boys is because Starfish’s plans involve ripping out kids’ organs. He only rejoined after Starfish agreed to let the kids go once the job was done… and that Quigley would be paid more.
Your Days Are Numbered: Plats age faster than most people. They don’t live long past thirty. Quigley’s got five years left.
Matthias’s eight-year-old son. Blinded during the incident that caused the death of his mother, he relies on a pymaric doll named Chitz in order to see. Cheerful, friendly and naïve, Matty hopes that he and his father will retire to Sharteshane to live a peaceful life. Unfortunately this dream will have to wait after his father signs on with the Red Berry Boys for one last job.
The Pollyanna: To quote the cast page, while blind “he still manages to see most silver linings.”
The leader of the Red Berry Boys, a sadistic and greedy thug who is making money by smuggling a mysterious substance inside people, first ripping out their organs to make room.
Bad Boss: After Ephsephin was grievously injured, he decided to beat him to death with a bottle rather than make any attempt to save him. He did this with a smile on his face.
Dirty Coward: He likes to throw his weight around but he scares very quickly when the tables are turned. After acting like a blustering jerkass to Quigley, one blow from the wright is enough to make Starfish need new trousers.
For the Evulz: Frequently does cruel things for the sake of cruelty, rather than any practical reason. For example, beating an already dying Ephsephin to death, and forcingMattyto watch as his father is dying.
Stout Strength: Apparently there's muscle under his bulk, which explains his strength and agility. Word of God likens him to a sumo wrestler.
Would Hurt a Child: His entire plan revolves around smuggling goods inside children, first by ripping out their organs to replace it with his product. The process works just as well with adults, so why does he use children? Because his buyers will pay the exact same amount for any body no matter how small. Smaller bodies, stuffed with less product, means the product can be stretched out into more bodies for more profit. Also, Word of God confirms he’s a child molester.
The Brute: Ephsephin plays this role, being little more then a relatively skilled fighter.
The Chew Toy: Ephsephin goes through more and more abuse as the comic goes on. This escalates to the point where Ephsephin gets badly injured and Starfish decides to kill him rather than make him see a doctor.
The Dragon: Turas is a friend of Starfish (inasmuch as anyone can be a friend of Starfish) and serves as his second-in-command. He provides intimidation and a cooler, more cerebral form of evil to contrast with Starfish's For the Evulz.
Eldritch Abomination: What the Red Berry Boys, or at least Cutter, were actually payed to create. The lizard apparently used the first silver along with the flesh and suffering of those it was planted in to create something that appears to be one of these. Rather then flesh and blood, however, it's made out of metal.
Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Ephsephin’s afraid that if he’s caught, he’ll be hung in the square where his mother will see him. Word of God takes this even further, saying that his entire motivation in working for Starfish was to get a big payoff so his mother wouldn't have to break her back washing windows to provide for him.
I'm a Humanitarian: Cutter, implied at first but later confirmed when he's seen feasting on Ephsephin's dead body.
Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: It becomes hard not to feel bad for Ephsephin after a while, even though he most likely deserves all the abuse he suffers.
Lazy Bum: Turas, of the moral laziness variety. According to Word of God, he'll go along with Starfish's more sadistic actions cause it's easier, but that doesn't mean he's comfortable with them. A good example is when Starfish is having Quigley drowned and forcing Matty to watch, Turas is pointedly looking away.
Straight Gay: Turas apparently likes flirting with male hookers.
Depraved Homosexual: Averted; not only is his homosexuality unrelated to his villainy, he is actually one of the more reasonable and pragmatic members of the Red Berry Boys.
Stupid Crooks: Epsephin just doesn't know when to quit. Duane beats him up effortlessly, so later on he tries to capture Sette. She stabs him and runs off, so he chases her down, knocks Duane off a cliff... Sette slices his face open, and Duane climbs back up to pummel him again. Not long afterward, brimming with inexplicable confidence, he swings Sette around by her tail; she gets loose and sinks her teeth into his repeatedly-lacerated face.