Webcomic / Stand Still, Stay Silent

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"The First Rule for survival outside of the safe areas: If you come across a Beast, a Troll or a Giant, do not run or call for help but stand still and stay silent. It might go away."

Ninety years ago, a mysterious illness called the Rash caught humanity by surprise. Those that it didn't kill, it changed into monsters of infinite lifespan. The biggest bastion of survivors is now Iceland, while small and scarce settlements can be found in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland. As far as anyone living in that world is concerned, the rest of the planet has become a Plague Zombie ridden Death World known as the Silent World. Armies of the remaining nations are now entirely dedicated to fighting off the threats from the Silent World and reclaiming it one small piece at a time, with allies that would have been unexpected in the days of the Old World: cats that are somehow the only mammals unaffected by the Rash, and newfound magic.

The first initiative to explore the Silent World, an operation that most consider an inherent Suicide Mission, ends up getting funding only because of a misunderstood application that gets its organizers mistaken for asking for much less budget than they actually are. They take it anyway, but Cutting Corners includes giving up on the team of comptetent professionals they would have liked to hire, and settle for the under-qualified Ragtag Bunch of Misfits that they can actually afford.

The webcomic is set in a post-apocalyptic world, and is by the same artist who drew A Redtail's Dream. It's described as an "adventure story with some humor, some horror and lots of friendship". Updated five days a week at midnight Monday-Friday. As of November 2016, Wednesdays are dedicated to developping a science-fiction video game called City of Hunger in which the Player Party is made of Expies of the comic's cast. The development blog can be found here.


This webcomic provides examples of:

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    Tropes #-G 

  • 13 Is Unlucky: One of the grimmer plot twists happens in the last few pages of Chapter 13.
  • Actually, I Am Him: When Reynir goes to check on Onni in the dreamspace in Chapter 14, he sees an owl sitting on a tree branch and pets it, asking if it knows where "his human" is. It turns out to be Onni in his luonto form.
  • Ad Hominem: The talk-show program in the prologue discussing the outbreak quickly devolved into an exchange of personal insults.
  • Adjusting Your Glasses: People with glasses are not that common in this universe (one notable example being Trond), but in Lalli's Keuruu-flashback, a woman does this (with her Opaque Nerd Glasses) while bringing forth evidence of who is to blame for an unforeseen attack.
  • Adoption Diss: Invoked and Played for Laughs when the Västerström children get on Tuuri's bad side. Her revenge is to whisper to them that she heard their parents say one of them is adopted and that they don't love the adopted child as much as their two other children.
  • Adult Fear:
    • With the number of characters that are military, fear of having a loved one die in battle shows up fairly often.
    • The whole issue around Reynir for just about everyone involved.
      • On the crew's side, there is having to keep someone alive on a mission that has a decent chance of ending up a Suicide Mission, on resources that were intended to only barely support them.
      • On Reynir's side, accidentally ending up in a Death World, surrounded by people he mostly can't speak with, and full awareness of being a bother to them.
      • While only implied in the story proper, things most likely look quite bad from the point of view of any Icelanders involved, including Reynir's parents: they can only contact the crew inderectly via Mission Control, Reynir is in a long-term Contamination Situation as far as they are concerned, and his life is in the hands of people who are insane enough to go visit the Silent World voluntarily.
    • The info available to the reader about the Rash eventually establishes that troll bites are not an automatic death sentence, so non-immune people that were bitten are simply put in quarantine until it is known whether they are in the Typhoid Mary incubation phase or simply not infected. Think of it as getting tested for a terminal disease, and having to wait two weeks for the results.
  • After Action Patch Up: During the battle with Leaftroll, Sigrun throws her own arm between the attacking troll and the non-immune Reynir, so that she gets bitten instead. After Leaftroll is dead, the next scene we get is of Mikkel stitching up her arm.
  • After the End: Ninety years after the end, to be precise. Unlike most examples, the writer spends quite a bit of time showing the end itself, with the modern world's reaction to a scarily virulent but seemingly harmless plague. When the rash sickness turns lethal, the Nordic countries seal off their borders, enforcing their isolation violently.
  • Age Cut: Reynir's backstory includes a sequence of three of his siblings telling about their adventures outside the farm. That sequence starts with Reynir as a child and ends with him as an adult.
  • The Alleged Car: What the team's transportation initially looks like. Subverted shortly thereafter, thank goodness. The Cat-Tank is actually pretty robust, for all it looks a little the worse for wear.
    • However, coming at the end of the row of milspec Tank Goodness, it comes off as distinctly Alleged in comparison. The Ratmobile honeywagon notwithstanding, of course.
  • Aliens in Cardiff: Iceland as the largest bastion of suriviors, scandinavia as the location of a bunch of smaller bastions, the exploration of a Death World that used to be Denmark.
  • Alliterative Family: If the family tree is anything to go by, M-names are a Madsen family tradition.
  • Alliterative Title: Stand Still Stay Silent. Natch.
  • All Trolls Are Different: In this case, they look like the stuff of H. R. Giger's nightmares and used to be human. The main characters may call the monsters "trolls" because their cultural background prepared them to believe in trolls.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Lalli, our resident Cat Boy. Does he possess a mental disorder of some kind? He is always awkward around people, worse if they are strangers. However, maybe he is literally special, and that will be revealed later in the story.
  • Ambiguous Situation:
    • Is Rash caused by magic or is it a purely biological illness?
    • How intelligent are trolls? They were shown as intelligent enough to disable traps, but they attack fiercely.
    • Are The Old Gods real or is it just Scandinavians' rationalization for their newlyfound magic?
    • The reader is frequently shown scenes the way mages perceive them, which can leave unclear just how much of the event the non-mages are aware of unless they specifically comment on the absence of a specific thing and/or another panel shows things in non-mage view. The line is especially blurry for any magic shown to produce light, as the only magic that has so far been shown to be clearly visible to the non-mages included producing actual fire. It's also unclear whether only mages can hear the Black Speech from the radio, or if this has become normal static (at least in the Silent World) to people living in that universe.
  • Amplified Animal Aptitude: Grade A cats, that are bred for their Rash victim fighting abilities. One seen in action in Chapter 1 can gesture to a human to keep quiet.
  • And I Must Scream: Turns out that anyone mutated by the virus is still conscious.
    Infectee: Hjälp mig...note 
  • And Your Little Dog, Too!: "We will follow you forever. We will take everyone around you." spoken by a being that only two out of six crew members can actually hear is hard to interpret any other way.
  • Animal Reaction Shot: Bottom of this page.
  • Apocalypse How: Class 4, death of almost all mammalian (and human) life: except for felines. The knock-on effects of this on other classes of animals is largely unknown.
  • Apocalyptic Gag Order: It is implied that the world governments downplayed the severity of the plague to avoid causing mass panics.
  • Are You Sure You Can Drive This Thing?: Most people can't actually drive. Which is hardly a surprise when you realise that there are very few places left to drive to, let alone operational machinery for use outside the military. Sigrun, however... really shouldn't be left in charge of a steering wheel again without a few lessons from Tuuri (she may not be the world's best driver herself, but at least she has some clue as to what she's doing).
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: At the beginning of Chapter 11, we get to see what Lalli would like to wake up to: Emil waking him up, not needing Tuuri to translate for him, Sigrun praising his work and Mikkel preparing a feast for the hard work he just put in before falling asleep. Reynir's contribution to that scenario? Admitting that his hair is "super dumb" and promising to cut it.
  • Artistic License – Biology:
    • If you take Mia's apparent age in the prologue and add the year her son (Torbjörn) must have been born, you have her pregnant at an age at which most women are past menopause (fifties to early sixties). Veeti technically had the same issue (he looks about the same age as her and the family tree indicates that he's Taru's father), but there is no proof he didn't simply have a much younger wife.
    • Downplayed with Ingrid, who depending on how late she is in her twenties may have had Trond in her late forties to early fifties.
  • Artistic License – Physics: The physics of the webcomic aren't that bad, but just in case, the artist has this to say:
    You know those movies where the hero is driving a car and suddenly crashes into a bomb and the car makes a somersault in the air and then lands on a helicopter and the hero chases down the bad guys with the helicopter-car? The physics in this comic are sometimes a little like that, except no somersault (and no bomb, car or helicopter).
    • In the above quote, Minna was referring to the train somehow staying on the tracks during a giant troll attack. To this we can now add the crossing of the Knippelsbro (Knippel Bridge), as there doesn't appear any way the Cat-tank's tracks could get it started on that climb.
  • A-Team Firing: When it comes to automatic firearms, Emil is Mr Spray-and-Pray. Mostly "pray I hit anything". Mikkel is the crowbar-wielding equivalent: turns out that closing your eyes doesn't improve your swing or your targeting skills... Sigrun is not amused.
  • Awesome Personnel Carrier: The Cat-tank, designed to spend days at a time in the Silent World with a reasonable degree of safety and comfort. It's somewhat less awesome than some of the others in the same garage, but given the state of the bridge those more impressive vehicles would have taken our heroes directly to the bottom of the Øresund strait.
  • Badly Battered Babysitter: Implied to constantly happen to people babysitting the Västerström children.
  • Bad Dreams: Árni Reynisson from the prologue has these, which is what motivates him to leave the refugee-bombing coast guard and become a sheep herder in a remote town.
  • Bad News, Irrelevant News: Mikkel's idea of cheering everyone up after announcing they are out of food is to tell them about the surplus of candles he just found out about.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed:
    • In one of the book salvaging spots, Sigrun and Emil find a corpse in a Hazmat Suit holding a gun, with a small hole in his visor. The implications are obvious.
    • Tuuri's reaction to finding out she developed the Rash; she walks into the sea and drowns herself.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Most of the webcomic is written in English, but occasional snatches of dialogue or sound effects are in Finnish or Swedish.
    • Tuuri and Lalli's conversation in Finnish roughly translates to "I see some mountains... and more mountains... and a funny rock... and mountains".
    • Lalli's plea to the Moon Goddess is written in Finnish so that it'd keep Kalevala's rhythm. Minna wrote in The Rant what it's about, but only Finnish fans can admire the entire version (at least until they translated it for others).
    • Notes under the photos at the end of the prologue give some trivia bits of knowledge to people who know Icelandic, Finnish or Danish.
    • The Black Speech radio in chapter two. Swedish speakers can see phrases "who am (I)", "sorry", "beware" and repeating "no no no".
    • The bit of the giant's arm that attacks the Dalahästen says "help me" in Swedish, which told readers that victims of Rash Illness are still conscious.
  • Bishie Sparkle: Emil. Even his passport photo has them.
  • Black Market Produce: Juice is very expensive in the post-Illness world.
    Torbjörn: Although in the spirit of saving money, maybe we should stop celebrating with fruit juice.
    Siv: You SNOBS bought juice when all I got was water?! ...might as well be drinking liquid gold...
  • Black Sheep: Most of the adventure party are, if not the blackest sheep in their various nuclear and extended families, then rather disappointingly grubby ones.
  • The Blind Leading the Blind: Sigrun trusting Emil to choose what to bring back from a book salvaging mission because he's the one with the fancy education results in Mikkel having to take a lot of "trash" out the next day.
  • Blood Magic: When Reynir gives out his attempts at a protection rune in Chapter 11, Sigrun suggests that they may work better if drawn in blood. Reynir is grossed out by the idea and it's probably not a good idea for him to try anyway, because he should probably not have an open wound in circumstances that require him to be wearing a breathing mask half the time.
  • Body Horror: Trolls and Beasts, of the Transformation Horror variety. Some giants verge on Eldritch Abomination territory.
  • Body of Bodies: Giants are what happens when three or more Trolls fuse together into an enormous, twisted monstrosity.
  • Bold Explorer: The protagonists are hired to explore what the Silent World is like, as no one has been out there in 90 years and a significant chunk of history has been lost and/or purposefully buried.
  • Brick Joke:
    • On page 81, Tuuri asks Taru if it's true that Swedes only have four toes on each foot. On page 106, if one pays attention to what the older adults are doing rather than Tuuri and Emil's conversation, you notice Torbjörn taking his shoes off at Taru's request.
    • On page 187, some poor guy who's labelling packing crates is hit on the head by a mirror flung by Emil, and consequently attaches the wrong label to the wrong crates. On page 280 we discover the consequences when the crates are finally opened.
    • On page 95, the supposedly only useful item that Tuuri packed, her pot, turned out to have a huge hole in it. On page 280, when Mikkel is attempting to cook breakfast the food falls straight through the bottom, revealing a very shoddy patching job.
    • After Mikkel's piece of Loophole Abuse in Chapter 10, Sigrun's idea of a disciplinary measure in pages 468-469 is to put him on a mutiny risk "list", which is really just a scrap of paper with Mikkel's name on it. On page 485, after Tuuri's act of driving away from the campsite against Sigrun's orders, Mikkel remarks that Sigrun put the wrong person on her mutiny risk list.
    • Lalli's Dream Sequence in Chapter 11 has Reynir promising to cut his hair. The City of Hunger version of Reynir has been shown to not have the SSSS version's long braid.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: The ghost attack from Chapter 10 has that effect on Kitty.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: The official hiring policy for the crew, since the organizers were too short on funds to hire regular people. The assembled crew members certainly have plenty of Bunny Ears, but their competence is yet to be determined.
    • Sigrun gets her Lawyer status twice- when she makes the choice of a lootable building with an escape route, and when she kills a grossling (small troll)
    • Emil gets it, in the process of his first troll kill via Feed It a Bomb. May count as a more if the nest goes up in smoke too.
    • Lalli has proven himself. While he hasn't been in any fight yet, he's pushed back trolls using magic more than once.
    • Mikkel definitely has the skills to make people put up with his trolling, even if they're more of the Boring, but Practical variety. Who would enforce decontamination protocols, cook, bandage and otherwise be stoic and dependable?
  • Call-Forward: In the Chapter 15 flash-back, Ensi is shown preventing a young Lalli from touching her rifle. One of the few things revealed by All There in the Manual about her before that flash-back is that Lalli's rifle used to belong to her.
  • Call to Adventure: The call for everybody in our main group was a misleading job advert put out by a very cash-strapped circle of academics hoping to delve into the Silent World using more action-orientated and expendable surrogates fished from the wider circle of friends and family for not-at-all commercial reasons. At all. Pure research. Honest. For more specifics about the various calls:
    • Jumped at the Call: Most of the team.
      • Tuuri happily signed up for the research mission after being cooped up in a military base with an overly protective older brother her entire life.
      • Emil needed something to prove himself both personally and militarily, as he was being hopeless at trying the usual career progression routes. Once the issue of possible additional *cough*financial incentives*cough* comes up, he gets really invested.
      • Sigrun had had a very hard summer hunting trolls and fought for the chance at the "vacation mission" proposed by Uncle Trond.
      • Speaking of Trond: he'd probably have said yes to worse things to not feel useless and retired.
    • Kidnapped by the Call: Lalli got dragged in by Tuuri while he was rather hazy about what was going on. Almost literally dragged.
    • Refusal of the Call: Onni refused point blank to be the mage when he was approached. It was Tuuri who pointed out they had a mage cousin that could replace him... and who she could incidentally help. It left Onni a message, though, even though she jumped.
  • Call to Agriculture: Árni Reynisson from the prologue, who was starting to get Bad Dreams from working with the refugee-bombing coast guard. He specifically chose to be a sheep herder.
  • Casual Danger Dialog: Yes Mikkel, having just woken up after having passed out for no apparent reason, in a tank that is desperately trying to leave the city before dark, is a great time to point out to Sigrun that the driver should be on the mutiny risk list instead of you.
  • Cat/Dog Dichotomy: Lalli and Reynir.
    • Lalli acts enough like a cat to elicit fandom jokes about him being a cat in a human body. He also has No Social Skills and is The Quiet One. To add to this, his luonto is a lynx.
    • Reynir is a Genki Guy who tries to be friendly to everyone he's capable of speaking with and always trying to help in any way he can. His fylgja happens to be a sheepdog.
  • Cats Are Magic: They're immune to the mysterious illness that infects all other living mammals, and can sense monsters.
  • Cat Scare: Deer scare, to be exact. Sigrun and Emil are so relieved it was just a deer that they forget to shoot it for a dinner.
  • Character Tic: Emil ruffles his hair whenever he feels insecure about the situation he's in.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Tuuri's family portrait. Reynir would have had a much harder time recognizing Onni in the dreamspace if he hadn't gotten a good look at it before being sent back to bed by Mikkel.
    • Reynir's paper-drawn anti-ghost runes. He gives them to everyone right before the visit to the shop in Chapter 11. It's not until Chapter 12 that anyone gets close enough to a ghost to see if they actually work.
    • One of Emil's It's All About Me traits is that he's convinced that he did badly in the public school system because the teachers were actively trying to sabotage him. In Chapter 14, when Sigrun takes her bad mood out on him by telling him he's not scanning for surviving troll fast enough and that she'll do better at it, he sees right through it and refuses to let her take over the task for which he's actually been trained.
    • In Chapter 2, one of Emil's cousins talks about playing "hairdresser salon" with him. In Chapter 10, Onni's Badly Battered Babysitter package includes getting a haircut along with an ear cut while in an emergency magical trance.
    • In the prologue, Stig Västerström is shown to be quite dedicated to getting the newspaper. In Chapter 2, the research material Torbjörn gives Tuuri includes newspaper clippings from the time of the initial outbreak, some of which were likely collected by Stig himself.
    • The mirror that is shown to have become part of the office's furnishings after it has become an improvised quarantine ward lets Tuuri check for the titular symptoms of the Rash after she gets a couple other signs she may have come down with it while alone in the room.
  • Child Soldiers: The age standard of armies seems to have greatly dropped in the Known World:
    • The Hotakainens moved to Keuruu and joined the army eleven years before the story started. At the time, Lalli would have been eight, Tuuri ten and Onni sixteen.
    • The Keuruu flashback has Lalli already a night scout at thirteen. "All scouts younger than fifteen" is actually used as part of a sentence during this flash-back. Tuuri is working with the skalds at fifteen.
    • The recruitment poster for the Cleansers has two fine print elements: one saying that one has to be at least thirteen to apply, another saying that joining voids all life insurance.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Lalli, between his poor education and his nonexistent social skills due to his work as a solo night scout, certainly qualifies.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: A subtle one: the characters in the main cast and support crew seem to follow a scheme matching hair colors to religious beliefs. Followers of the Finnish pantheon (the Hotakainens and Taru) have ash-blond hair, followers of the Norse pantheon (Sigrun and Reynir) have red hair, and atheists (the Västerström family and Mikkel) have hair that's blond or light brown. And now there's the spirit of the Christian priest, so far both the only Christian and the only character to have black hair. Hm...
  • Coming-of-Age Story: All four of the younger crew members are getting one. Emil gets a New Meat storyline, Reynir a Sheltered Aristocrat one and the Hotakainens joining the expedition at all was their first time going against Onni's wishes concerning them.
  • Common Tongue: Icelandic basically replaced English as this in the Known World, and everyone at Mission Control has taken it. The crew actually relies on this much less than on the similarities between Swedish, Norwegian and Danish, as only Mikkel and Tuuri have taken it and the native speaker of the group is a stowaway.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: The Denmark segment of the prologue has one pointing out the fact that nothing is known of the Patient Zero group, and uses this as a basis for suspecting an Apocalyptic Gag Order about the Rash disease's seriousness. She turns out to be right in the following segment, that has an official newscast admit what she suspected two days earlier.
  • Consummate Professional: The crew of the Dalahästen. They're gruff towards our main cast, but when the train is under attack, they never panic.
  • The Constant:
    • Ensi Hotakainen. A baby bump in the Finland segment of the prologue, "grandma" for Onni, Tuuri and Lalli.
    • Several locations in Denmark are mentioned in the prologue and become relevant in the early part of the expedition.
  • Contamination Situation:
    • Reynir is the "exposed to the disease" variant as far as the competent authorities are concerned. This is why the crew couldn't simply send him back on the day of his arrival.
    • Tuuri, as of late Chapter 13. Reynir is however the one who has to stay in a single room in practice, as they now need to avoid crossing paths and it's more practical to have Tuuri be the one with liberty to go outside as needed, along with access to the rooms containing the diver's seat and the radio. Reynir seems to be mostly staying in the dormitory (though the decontmaiantion room is technically on "his side" as well), and Mikkel implies he now only goes out during pre-planned walks in Chapter 15.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Considering its incubation could have lasted anywhere from several days to two weeks, Tuuri's Rash managed to pick a relatively convenient time to start showing symptoms. Anytime earlier would have made her unable to concentrate on the work that let the Cat-tank last just a little bit longer and drive it. Anytime later would have probably required some complicated logistics to maintain the quarantine while travelling on foot.
  • Cool Train: Several, but Dalahästen is especially awesome, complete with front-mounted giant buzzsaw.
  • Cosy Catastrophe:
    • The survivors of the plague have had ninety years to recover, but they're still surprisingly healthy, well fed, and optimistic about life.
    • Prologue character Ingrid seems to have that view about the only road in and out of her village being damaged because of an ongoing storm and even hopes for electricity to go off for a few weeks, so they can live like in the old times. Does her country returning to a viking-like lifestyle within her lifetime count?
  • Creepy Basement: Sigrun discovers one in chapter five. After passing through a hospital full of nothing, she opens the door, goes down and sees... something.
  • Crossover Cosmology: The Norse and Finnish pantheons co-exist in the story's universe. Finns are under the protection of the Finnish gods, while the other countries are under the protection of the Norse gods, even though only Icelanders and Norwegians actually worship them while Danes and Swedes don't believe in them. The Christian god seems to be around as well, but not able to do much.
  • Crying Wolf: The lady on the talk-show program that warned the rash sickness was more dangerous than the world governments were letting on had her credibility marred by her support of less credible conspiracy theories in the past.
  • Culture Clash: There is a fortunately short but telling one between Emil and Lalli concerning the fate of the infected dog from Chapter 7. Emil kills it, but doesn't bury it due to dark and bad weather, promising to it later. When coming back from scouting the next morning, Lalli skins the dog and puts its skull on top of a tree, a process which later turns out to free beast spirits. Emil outright freaked out over the whole thing, quite obviously feeling that Lalli was mistreating the dog's remains in some way.
  • Cure for Cancer: Any potential cure for the Rash plays that role in this universe, which is why Sigrun decides that a lead towards one is worth following, despite Taru's protests.
  • Cuteness Proximity: An extremely engaging conversation on what to name the team's new Cute Kitten caused just about everyone to not immmediately notice that Lalli had woken up from about two days straight worth of Deep Sleep.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Mikkel.
    Mikkel [explaining to Reynir why he's not in danger of getting infected after his arm was scuffed in a troll attack]: In conclusion: you are safe unless you went ahead and licked your arm. Did you lick your arm?
    Reynir: ... No.
    Mikkel: Well done.
  • Death Glare: An impressive one from Lalli here, demonstrating his lack of amusement at having been left behind in an exploding building.
  • Death World: Almost entire Earth is this by Year 90, or so it seems. Trolls, beasts and giants roam the lands, hiding in the darkness and attacking everything not turned. Seas are infected by aptly named leviathans, or whales turned beasts. Contact spreads the illness which created the creatures.
    • The story unfolds in Scandanavia, where the cold limits the activities of trolls and beasts. How much worse is it in warmer climes?
  • Decided by One Vote: The expedition getting funding, apparently.
    The one positive aspect of your silly expedition was its refreshingly low budget. Otherwise, the consensus was that it serves no national good and carries a substantial risk of complete failure. Your application passed with a single vote, and I believe one of my colleagues only voted "yes" because he lost his glasses and didn't know what he was voting for.
  • Decontamination Chamber: The characters go through one upon arriving in Mora in Chapter 2.
  • Deep Sleep: Lalli and Onni fall into these after losing their luontos due to overextending themselves magically.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The comic uses a limited palette dominated by reds and blues in addition to black and white.
  • Depopulation Bomb: The Rash Illness left very few survivors, mostly those who were lucky, paranoid or ruthless enough (and paid attention to their cats). The language diagram halfway through the chapter four illustrates this very well.
  • Despair Event Horizon: The Battle of Kastrup for the Danish people. A large expeditionary force was kitted up in an attempt to retake Sjælland, but they awoke... something beneath the ruins of Copenhagen which wiped out the entire force in a single night. After that, the Danes just stopped trying, and refused to even send scouts to the old Danish heartland.
  • Destroy the Evidence: What's that, Emil? You broke a mirror off of the vehicle? No problem, just...throw it away as far as you possibly can. Which is apparently quite a good distance, at that.
    • Might be Fridge Brilliance when you consider that Emil's training with explosives almost certainly included practice with throwing Molotov cocktails and other incendiaries as much as it did assembling demolitions charges.
    • Also see Brick Joke above.
  • Developing Doomed Characters: The characters from the prologue fall victim to this, not because they die to the disaster, but because the main story happens when all of them, except Aino and Saku's child, can be safely assumed to have died from old age.
  • Ditch the Bodyguards: Inverted, then played with. Mikkel leaving the tank to check out Kastellet fort in Chapter 10 is effectively a case of the bodyguard ditching the Protectorate. Tuuri and Reynir would have been ditching Lalli when they decided to follow Mikkel... if it weren't for the fact that Lalli was effectively in a coma and would have been the one needing protection from them if something had actually happened while Mikkel was away.
  • Distant Prologue: The prologue takes place Just Before the End, while most of the story takes place 90 years After the End.
  • The Ditz: Lalli somehow didn't realize that he was going on a research mission despite submitting his military resignation in alongside Tuuri and talking about it with her for three months. He also doesn't know any languages besides his native Finnish.
  • Doublethink: A dose of this ends up being needed concerning Tuuri's troll bite. Assuming she'll get the Rash will put a toll on morale that the crew can't afford, but keeping Reynir safe requires to consider the fact that she could be infected and already contagious.
  • Drama Bomb: Chapter 13 is filled with plenty. While the biggest by far is Tuuri's troll bite, it also includes Onni going into a Power-Strain Blackout-induced Deep Sleep to send the crew a summon at which both Mikkel and Emil get to have a good look. It comes right after Chapter 12, that made the crew's initial mission, including the Rash cure investigations, technically completed.
  • Dramatic Irony: An astute reader may figure out the meaning of the possible Rash cure and the ghosts making their first appearance in the exact same place as early as Chapter 9 or 10. The characters, on the other hand, have yet to figure it out, mostly because both are being treated as separate issues that each have the attention of a different set of characters: the mages are trying to figure out the ghosts while failing to realize that they have only shown up in places that had gotten the potential cure, while Mikkel is the one doing most of the cure investigations and treating the ghosts as a non-factor due to not believing in them.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Sigrun, more like "Hasn't learned to drive yet" combining with almost Suicidal Overconfidence.
  • Driving Question: What hides in the Silent World?
    • Is magic real? If so, why is it returning after thousands of years of absence?
    • What exactly happened during the last days of the Old World?
    • Why does the Rash Illness turn people and animals into monsters, and how?
    • What was Grandma Ensi Hotakainen's "one mistake"? What exactly are her orphaned grandchildren hiding from?
  • *Drool* Hello: How Emil meets his first troll, only here "drool" is lower jawbone, blood and some yellowish bodily fluid. The next page reveal the troll's look and... it's as bad as the introduction made it out to be.
  • Duct Tape for Everything: The practice seems to have remained after ninety years. It gets used to keep a door that doesn't have a lock closed (spoiler warning).
  • Dysfunction Junction: The crew is not exactly a crack team of explorers and badasses. Everyone has numerous neuroses, after all... Justified, as the expedition is underfunded, not helped by its budget being slashed. Siv Västerström puts it best:
    Our crew is just going to be a bunch of weirdos, isn't it?
  • Emergency Trainee Battle Deployment: Reynir's technical status is Little Stowaway, but he's teaching himself to use runic magic over the course of the story. Within a few hours of him managing to make his first working rune, the crew has to face a massive troll Zerg Rush that is considered bad enough to require maximum resource deployment. During preparations, Lalli, the only of the two crew's mages that is going to actually fight, has Reynir draw his rune on the defense perimeter's floor as an extra measure against the trolls.
  • Encyclopedia Exposita: Inbetween and halfway through every chapter Minna puts some in-universe documents, such as writings on various nationalities, Cleansers' recruitment poster, maps or leaflets. As she rarely gives readers any Info Dump, it's rather helpful.
  • The Engineer: Cleansers are Combat Engineers, specializing in flamethrowers, explosives and building demolition.
  • Ensemble Cast: There isn't a single clearly defined "main" character, and the story is told from the point of view of everyone.
  • Evil-Detecting Cat: All cats can sense evil. The ones that have military training are even better at it. The degree, direction and speed of incoming danger is easy to read, if you know feline body language and pay attention. On your own head be it if you pull a Not Now, Kiddo. It's strongly suggested that all the groups of humans who managed to survive outside Iceland in the early stages did so because they were both lucky enough to have cats and actually listen to them.
  • Exactly Exty Years Ago: The story is set in Year 90 of the new calendar, that started when Iceland closed its borders because of the Rash.
  • Expecting Someone Taller: Tuuri about Emil, though she doesn't say it to his face.
  • Eye Scream: The eyes of the infected are not normal. At all. Heck, most sensory organs with nerve clusters seem to acquire what look like tentacles or worms... or worse.
  • Fan of the Past: The "nations of the world" document notes Danes to be obsessed with Old World lore and hints Icelanders do not consider this a good thing. In practice, copying of ancient books happens at least in Sweden as well, as it was Torbjörn's Fallen-on-Hard-Times Job.
  • Fatal Family Photo: Tuuri's comes across as this after her death.
  • Fate Worse Than Death: Becoming a troll, beast, giant or ghost. The victims of the three first are still conscious, and the fourth seem to be unable to find the afterlife on their own.
  • Feed It a Bomb: The source of Emil's first confirmed troll kill, on page 264. Proof of the Lawyer in the Bunny-Ears Lawyer.
  • Fighting from the Inside: Victims of the plague are still fully aware of the nightmare they've become. Occasionally, this allows them to fight off the control long enough to stall or fumble attacks, allowing others to escape or Mercy Kill them. Even animals are capable of this as the dog monster demonstrates.
  • Fine, You Can Just Wait Here, Alone: Tuuri does this to Lalli when he refuses to board the train in Chapter 3, pointing out that the alternative is to be stranded in a country where nobody speaks his language.
  • Finger-Forced Smile: Tuuri decides to take a sudden bad turn of events in stride, while Lalli is constantly sullen about it. While Lalli gets away with it around other members of the crew, Tuuri won't let it happen on her watch, resulting in her forcing Lalli to smile.
  • Fisher King: The mage safe spaces are influenced by their mage's mood or will:
    • Lalli makes a moving tree grow out of nowhere when he kicks Reynir out of his space.
    • A storm starts in Onni's when he spots Reynir in his own space. It calms down when Reynir recognizes him from Tuuri's family photo.
    • The sheep in Reynir's space are seen fleeing in panic when he is protecting himself from the ghosts.
    • While her nature is unclear, "Pastor A" has her church briefly change from its Old World beauty to the impromptu Rash hospital it had become near the end as she tries to remember its physical location.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: The panel right before the one revealing Reynir to be in one of the crates had Lalli staring at the crate and growling a little while Emil was opening the crate.
  • Flat-Earth Atheist: Emil and Mikkel. Seems to be general for Swedes and Danes.
  • Frivolous Lawsuit: Michael Madsen's first instinct when finding out that he won't be able to leave Bornholm once he's there is threatening all the waiters on the ferry with these if they don't solve the problem. The waitress that was sent to deal with him later became his wife.
  • Forbidden Zone: Silent World, infested with beast, giant and trolls. You'd have to be Too Dumb to Live to wander there on your own. Of course, wandering there is exactly what main characters were hired to do...
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The newscast in the Denmark segment of the prologue implies that many Danes got stuck on the Swedish side of the Øresund bridge when Denmark closed its borders. In the story's main time frame, Øresund base, which is built around the formerly Swedish side of the bridge, is technically part of Denmark.
    • There is only one picture in the prologue Photo Montage that does not depict familiar characters: it simply shows a dead dog covered in snow, with a presumably perfectly healthy cat in the background.
    • The "Many different nationalities" document from the prologue depicts Iceland with a sheep herder, Norway with a troll hunting party, Sweden with a Cleanser unit, Denmark as farmland and Finland with a scout in a forest.
    • The frame of Tuuri's family portrait cracking right over the part of the picture showing Tuuri's left side. She gets a quite big wound on her left shoulder in Chapter 13. Even more ominous given she dies at the end of Chapter 15.
    • In early Chapter 7, Tuuri closes the door between the office and the tank's main entrance to keep Reynir from interrupting her work. In Chapter 14, that very same door gets taped shut and marks the separation between the "Tuuri" and "Reynir" sides of the tank.
    • Right after telling Lalli he's longer allowed leave his protected dream area because it has become dangerous, Onni mentions he's working on another way to contact him and Tuuri. Three chapters later, Mission Control finds Onni sleeping under Torbjörn and Siv's front gate upon returning to Mora.
    • The way the infected dog from Chapter 7 was dealt with by Emil greatly resembles what later turns out to have happened with the Rash victims that were given the cure found in Year 0. The death of the physical body was assumed to be sufficient for the disease to do no more harm to its victims, and the effects on the spirit were ignored. Lalli took care of this part for the dog after Emil killed it but the Year 0 Rash victims weren't so lucky and became hostile ghosts as a result.
      • The letter found in the first Rash cure test facility also gives a hint towards the reveal later made about it: "If any of you wake up...".
    • After several panels' worth of listening to Mikkel dance around his credentials, Sigrun finally gets fed up and point-blank asks whether she can rely on him if anything needs to be amputated. Four pages later, Sigrun gets bitten in the arm by a troll.
    • When Reynir gives out the paper runes, Lalli and Emil are the only ones shown actually putting their copies in their pockets, on the same panel. They end up being the the plot-advancing ones: Lalli later gives the rune a field test when he runs into ghosts, while the activation of Emil's is heavily implied to move his mindset from "there's no magic" to "maybe...".
    • When Lalli gets ordered by Onni to no longer leave his protected area in mage-space, Lalli quickly comes up with the idea of having Reynir serve as a messenger between them, only to have this shot down by Onni before he even finishes fully phrasing his thoughts. Onni relocating to Mora and eventually giving the "do not leave your space" memo to Reynir makes that idea unlikely to happen... until Chapter 13, when they need help from Onni during the night and Reynir sends his fylgja over to speak through it while staying safely in his space himself.
    • In a beautiful Hope Spot moment, a single flower is found growing by Emil and Lalli in the middle of the snow, under a pane of glass. It's accidentally crushed soon after, and soon after the bright optimist of the team, Tuuri, kills herself after discovering she's become infected.
  • For Want of a Nail:
    • If Emil hadn't thrown that broken wing mirror away quite so hard, the plot would have been very different.
    • The expedition getting funding was Decided by One Vote, and the lady telling this to the future support crew suspects one of the voters had forgotten his glasses and didn't know what he was voting for. There basically would have never been a story if the guy hadn't forgotten his glasses.
  • Food Chains: Gets an implied passing mention when Reynir asks Onni if it's okay to eat the food offered by the Christian pastor's ghost.
  • Functional Magic: Some time in the past ninety years, magic returned to the world. It's still unclear if it's some odd combination of mutations and forgotten technology, or if the Great Illness was merely the first sign of it all. Even the possibility that there is no Functional Magic and that it's all superstition hasn't been ruled out yet. Except when it is.
  • Future Imperfect:
    • Sigrun mistakes a DVD for a plastic book, Emil gets it mixed up with a record.
    • Bornholm is the southernmost point in the Known World, so Reynir expected it to have palm trees and colorful flowers everywhere. It's freaking Denmark. Even worse, he doesn't even know what palm trees are.
  • Fuzz Therapy: Shown to work on Lalli (the cast cat hater) of all people.
  • Gag Echo: Chapter 11 shows that both Lalli and Emil hate Reynir's hair, but has their respective comments about in different scenes.
  • Gaia's Vengeance: The dominant Icelandic religion explains The Plague as the gods deciding that Ludd Was Right. They might be right.
  • Gender Is No Object: Sexism seems pretty much absent in this world. If Reynir's family is anything to go by, not being The Immune is the big career perspective limiter. This also made evident by the crew's Team Mom being male and the Team Dad being female, and neither getting remarks about their behaviour being more appropriate for the other gender.
  • Genki Guy: Reynir is amazingly full of energy and his good mood is swayed only once so far.
  • Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: Emil needs a dose of this from Sigrun after encountering an old Rash hospital still full of skeletons.
  • Ghost City: Plenty of them once the expedition starts. The place they are exploring used to be Denmark, after all.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: All known attempts to find a cure, vaccine or serum for the Rash have this as the basic outcome. Siv spent her whole research career on failure after nauseating failure. Mind you, the random mutations, aggressive cancers and strange calicifications in lab animals are peanuts compared to the peaceful-death-giving, ghost-creating serum of concentrated And I Must Scream the Y0 Danish researchers managed to come up with and inflict on unknown quantities of their fellow Danes without knowing of the horrifying supernatural side effect... On the plus-side: it does seem to cure the physical side of things. Minus the 100% rate of gradual coma and brain-death issue.
  • Good Fortune from God: Post-Rash Iceland seems to have decided that this is what spared the country from the Rash. The prologue shows a little of what really happened.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Keeping out the plague is a major concern for the surviving pockets of civilization. If their coast guards spot a boat that is unable to provide the proper signal, they will shoot them out of the water even if the boat is full of refugees.
  • Good Old Ways: Since the apocalypse, the Norwegian people have been getting their Viking on. Justified since that lifestyle is well suited to defending one's village from monsters.
  • Gray Rain of Depression: The Odense hospital flashback, which gives quite bad news about the Year 0 Rash cure and shows its focus characters outright giving up on their battle against the Rash, shows the meeting going on while it's raining outside.
  • Grim Up North: Inverted. Frigid Scandinavia is the only known place where humans still survive, because the trolls have a lower cold tolerance than properly equipped humans. The North European winter provides a respite from troll attacks, and allows ground to be retaken by burning down troll nests and leaving the survivors to freeze.

    Tropes H-M 
  • Harmful Healing:
    • A flash-back implies that this is the only kind of possible cure that the institute in which Siv used to work has been able to produce in fifty years.
    • Ghosts are what happened when Old World scientists found a cure for the Rash whose only side effect was slow brain death as far as they were concerned.
  • Hesitation Equals Dishonesty: This is how Onni figures out Reynir is lying when he claims that the whole crew is fine after the battle from Chapter 13.
  • Hiding Behind the Language Barrier:
    • Five languages are spoken in this world and each of the main characters speaks a different subset of those five, so this happens all the time. The artist puts little Nordic flags on the word balloons when it's important for us to know who can understand what.
    • Unfortunately for Emil, Danes can understand Swedish.
  • Hit So Hard the Calendar Felt It: Known World counts time starting from the day Iceland decided to close its borders against the plague - this is Year Zero, and New Year is in autumn. Story proper starts in late year 90.
  • Horrifying the Horror: Chapter 12 shows that it is not only animals that avoid the ghost-rooms. Trolls that share a building with them do that too.
  • Hyperlink Story: The Just Before the End part of the prologue jumps between five different groups of people in five different countries, with the progression of the Rash as a Meaningful Background Event. The reason these characters got focus at all only becomes visible at the end up the prologue, when the four people setting up the expedition to the Silent World 90 years later turn out to have familiar last names.
  • Hypochondria: Saku Hotakainen from the prologue is implied to have it, as his description says he's "usually 'dying' from something". He appears in the segment officially revealing the Rash to be deadly. When informed of the fact by his nephew in the middle of a seasickness episode, his reaction is hoping he actually has it.
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: The infected dog that attacked Emil earlier seeks him out and lies down before him, wordlessly begging him to end its miserable existence. He complies.
  • If Only You Knew: A consequence of Reynir's Infraction Distraction to Onni, which boils down to "I'm worried about the comparatively minor thing that happened to Sigrun, totally not about something much worse that happened to one of your family members". Onni falls for the distraction, but it causes him to hope that the situation doesn't make Sigrun a liability and doesn't keep her from protecting the weaker members of the crew. Just that happening was a factor in Tuuri getting her troll bite.
  • Ignored Vital News Reports: Happens several times in the prologue.
    • The group cut off from the outside world in Dalsnes ignores the news about the Rash being a pandemic in favour of joking about Aksel's fears and chatting about Iceland closing its borders.
    • Michael Madsen is worried more about his cat and losing his job than about the Rash becoming a serious enough problem for Madagascar, Japan and Denmark to close its borders - though subverted when he realizes that his home country has just locked the door.
    • Among the Hotakainen-Hollolas, young Veeti is the only one watching televsion when the news anchor announces that the Rash has just turned out to be deadly. He does tell his uncle about it. Unfortunately, said uncle's sole personality trait is a bad case of implied Hypochondria, and he was already seasick before being told the news.
  • I Have Many Names: Kitty technically has five names, each an equivalent of "Kitty" in one of the languages spoken by the crew.
  • The Immune: Every character's title card notes whether or not they are immune to the Illness. The Known World has an immunity rate of 11%, but that's counting Iceland, which has both the largest population and the lowest immunity rate. Ignoring Iceland, the immunity rate is at 48%.
  • Incendiary Exponent: Emil, on guard and under orders not to use his rifle (because the noise would attract more trolls), comes face to...well, knee with some strange monsters looking like transparent blobs on very long legs. When one tries to kick him, he responds by firing his flamethrower. Now all the monsters are stomping around madly, and they are also on fire. And setting other things on fire as they stumble around. Ooops. Lampshaded by the writer in the comments to the strip:
    The blobs on legs weren't threatening enough, what with them only being able to try stomping you to death, so Emil decided to light them all on fire to make them more dangerous.
  • Induced Hypochondria: When Emil finds a bruise in his face and asks Mikkel if there's risk of scarring, Mikkel has some fun telling him that face-bruises can turn cancerous if not properly treated. Made even funnier when Emil then tells Admiral Olsen that his face is bandaged to prevent face-cancer, and Olsen recognizes that lie and starts looking around for Mikkel.
  • Instantly Proven Wrong: Downplayed. While Minna pointed out that nobody should lean on vehicle wing mirrors in the first place, the thing just had to break right after Sigrun said that the vehicle in question was probably sturdier than it looked.
    • The Øresund bridge seems to get a similar impulse later in the same chapter.
  • Invisible to Normals: Spirits, including ghosts. Reynir unfortunately gets his very first experience with the latter while Lalli is in Deep Sleep.
  • I See Dead People: All mages can see spirits, which are apparently souls of trollified people and animals. Reynir discovers this when he mistakes a ghost for a living creature.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • Signe from the prologue chapter has no problem chewing out Michael for being rude, but when he starts to cry over being fired, she sits down and comforts him.
    • Emil can be arrogant and full of himself, but has also shielded Lalli with his own body during a giant attack and tried to run into a burning building to save him.
    • When Reynir first showed up Sigrun called him a "useless pet" and threatened to use him as troll bait, but unhesitatingly protected him with her own body the second his life was in actual danger.
    • Mikkel has more than a few authority issues and is bluntly dismissive of other people's beliefs, but will rush to Sigrun's aid whenever she's in trouble and consistently looks out for the younger members of the crew, particularly Reynir.
  • "Join the Army," They Said: The recruitment poster of the cleansers is the "this is an awesome job" variant. With fine print saying that joining voids any life insurance.
  • Just Before the End: The prologue takes place just as the rash illness begins to break out.
  • Kill It with Fire: Cleansers are depicted as wielding flamethrowers and burning down large areas of forest and ruins around railroads and settlements, and probably use them to kill the monsters of the Silent World living in those areas when the Cleansers arrived.
  • Language Barrier: Since all of the group are from different countries, each of them speaks different languages — which admittedly isn't too bad when it comes to Norwegian and Swedish, as they are quite similar. But it starts breaking down from there. Tuuri is the omniglot of the group, speaking Finnish, Icelandic and Swedish — so she can muddle through with Norwegian, but spoken Danish is just a bit too much (written, however, is fine), Lalli only speaks Finnish, Emil only speaks Swedish and has a tin ear for other languages that deviate over-much, like Danish, Sigrun only speaks Norwegian, Mikkel speaks Danish and Icelandic. When he talks at all, that is. And now there's Reynir, who only speaks Icelandic.
  • Leaning on the Furniture: Emil does this sometimes, although his choice in furniture is rather poor.
  • Lies to Children:
    • Sigrun occasionally oversimplifies to Emil, both because she needs to because he's a newbie to most combat... and, because she's not got much patience when it comes to complicated explanations.
    • Tuuri often uses lies-to-Lalli (when she even bothers with part of the picture). She also has to do lies-to-Emil when the latter is worried by Lalli's Deep Sleep, because she knows he won't believe it has anything to do with magic.
    • Mikkel, however, is the king of the trope: he deploys lies-to-bosses (because Sigrun doesn't do big paragraphs, and winding Onni up burying stuff in dense metaphors is fun), lies-to-crewmates (because even he can't be too brutal with the Brutal Honesty and getting too convoluted when things aren't good is bad) and the very definite lies-to-Reynir (mostly because dumping very large, hard truths on him about extremely difficult things is pretty much like kicking a confused puppy).
  • Lifesaving Misfortune: The Denmark portion of the prologue definitely becomes one such story for its main characters once the ultimate fate of the country's mainland is revealed.
  • Lightmare Fuel: Interwoven tightly with Nightmare Fuel by the way of Mood Whiplash.
  • Living Shadow: What the ghostly remains of the vaccine research victims seemingly have turned into. Although "living" is probably an optimistic take. Try "undead and very angry about it". Shadows are Very Bad News.
  • Loophole Abuse:
    • Technically speaking, Sigrun never gave Mikkel any direct orders not to leave the tank... and technically speaking, he isn't leaving two non-immune noncombatants alone without a guard as long as Lalli is with them. Even if the latter is effectively in a coma.
    • Onni forbade both Lalli from leaving his safe mage-space areas to come visit him again, and strongly hinted to Reynir he wanted him to do the same on a separate occasion. He never said anything about Reynir sending his fylgja over, which Reynir makes use of in Chapter 13, when the crew can really use all the help it can get.
    • Reynir's "in-person" visits to Onni's protected area are falling into this as well.
    Onni: Didn't I tell you to not come here?
    Reynir: No, you still haven't specifically done that.
  • Lost Common Knowledge: When offered a hot beverage that is either tea of coffee in a dreamspace location in which Old World elements are preserved, Reynir calls it "soup" and says it tastes gross.
  • Lots And Lots Of Characters: Before the expedition began and the cast got reduced to 6, there were a LOT of faces to keep track of.
  • Made of Plasticine: Luckily for the crew, grosslings appear to be impressively squishy.
  • Making the Choice for You: The Rash cure found by the crew was a massive scale version of this. The people in charge decided that slow brain death from the failed cure was better than dying from the disease due to the small chance of turning into a troll in the latter case.
  • Massive Numbered Siblings: Reynir is the youngest of five, Mikkel has five younger siblings and is a twin.
  • Mathematician's Answer: Appears to have been the source of faulty information that led to an attack in a flashback.
    It's the most recent scout report for the site of the attack. It's improperly filled out. And quite vague. The section for area details merely says "Yes".
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane:
    • Magic in this world works like a religion that helps the practitioners feel spiritually closer to the gods. Readers are left wondering whether magic can do anything more ... explosive. It's also not clear whether the trolls and beasts are supernatural or just forest animals with some horrible disease.
    • Lalli appears to have altered the weather. He also seems to have some form of premonition or clairvoyance; he can't sleep for visions of trolls, and he knew exactly where the giant was going to breach the train.
    • He also appears to have some form of dream-walking or Astral Projection abilities, as well, starting here.
    • Once we reach Lalli chanting and generating a bright pink glow to clear the Black Speech-laden Sinister Static from the airwaves, though, it's pretty clear that we've got actual magic on our hands.
    • Not to mention that Lalli and Reynir can communicate with Onni, who is, at present, hundreds if not thousands of miles away from them.
    • As of this page, any chance of Mundane is completely disintegrated.
    • The trolls themselves are at least partially sustained by something supernatural - Leaftroll, for example, does not to be inconvenienced in the least by missing major internal organs other than its' brain.
  • Mean Boss: A couple are mentioned in the prologue:
    • Michael Madsen's boss is furious at him for taking his cat to his sister's place too close to an important meeting because he doesn't trust a cat hotel to take good care of it, and fires him when Denmark closing its borders gets him stuck in Bornholm.
    • Aino Hotakainen has one also, according to her family at least (well, there is the fact she's more than eight months pregnant and still working).
  • Meaningful Funeral: Tuuri's, after she drown herself to keep the Rash from killing her.
  • Meat Puppet: Later story developments indicate that this may very well be the actual state of the trollified Rash victims.
  • Mildly Military: After the apocalypse, the armies of the five Nordic nations will have stylin' uniforms and haircuts. The officers are surprisingly friendly, too.
  • Military Mage: Unsurprisingly, for a world that has both gotten a The Magic Comes Back episode and a greater need for military than before. Onni and Lalli are both concrete examples, though Lalli is a night scout first and a mage second.
  • Missing Mission Control: When the tank's engine breaks down for good, the radio is rendered useless in the process. The mage Talking in Your Dreams system is not a viable solution quite yet when it happens, as Onni is still in Deep Sleep.
  • Monochrome Past: Torbjörn's flashback on getting the Mission Control team together, Emil's flashback on deciding to join the cleansers and the reading of the Odense hospital papers reduce the comic's already limited palette to just one color.
  • Mood Whiplash: This is a lighthearted tale set in a world where most people have been killed or turned into globs of animated body parts. The comedy and horror take turns, sometimes within the same comic page.
  • Multinational Team: The book-hunters are an odd example. With Finn, Norwegian, Swede, Dane and Icelander members, they're an omninational team by the standards for the Known World, but that still makes them quite homogeneous by today's standards.
  • Multiple Reference Pun: The Rash's name. One of the symptoms of the full-blown version is getting a rash in the skin irritation sense. Another meaning of the word is doing something without much thought, which frequently overlaps with doing something too quickly. Between the way the resulting trolls initially seem to act and the disease's fast-spreading nature, both these other definitions apply as well.
  • Mundane Solution: The team needs to get on the move fast, but Lalli refuses to go since he wants to make certain Tuuri's spirit isn't lingering after her funeral. While Sigrun and Emil try to work out how to learn what he wants, since neither of them can speak Finnish, Mikkel — who likewise can't speak Finnish — simply shows Lalli a pocket watch, so that the latter can physically measure out how much time he wants.

    Tropes N-S 
  • Nature Spirit: Finnish gods are apparently those. So far, we've heard of water goddess Vellamo and moon goddess Kuutar.
  • Neurodiversity Is Supernatural: Downplayed with Lalli. While some of his mage powers make some of his odd mannerisms easier to understand, they don't explain all of them. Many of his mannerisms are just plain absent in Onni and Reynir, the other known mages. Onni is a more experienced mage than him, and his own quirks can be traced back to an overblown Big Brother Instinct that is implied to be present for a good reason. Reynir has been a mage for too little a time for any possible long term effects on behaviour to kick in. In addition, Minna herself has hinted that Lalli could be having some kind of neural issues.
  • Never Got to Say Goodbye: Lalli never gets to say goodbye to Tuuri before she drowns herself in the sea, since she sneaks off from the camp to do it. Tuuri at least gets to make some kind of farewell to Onni in spirit form, as she travels to the afterlife.
  • Never Mess with Granny: During the ending of the prologue, there's a photo of Berit Eide showing her grandson Aksel the proper way to hold a rifle.
  • Next Sunday A.D.: Implied to be the prologue's setting. While the actual dates are concealed by the use of the Known World calendar, a document from the time still using the older one lists the two first numbers of the year as "20" and the technology level fits. Veeti Hollola is seen playing with a Game Boy Advance, which was already an outdated game system in 2013, when the pages were published. The version shown is the one that runs on batteries that can be used for other devices, while the The New '10s equivalent would need actual electricity to keep running. He and some of his extended family are implied to have survived due to the Crazy Survivalist streak shared by his parents.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
    • Onni's spell in Chapter 10, while quite effective at getting the ghosts out of the tank, also combined them and made them into an entity perfectly aware of this property, plus the fact that it can use troll and beast spirits as extra parts as well. The intial being shows up again in Chapter 13, after two weeks of collecting more extra parts and allies among both trolls and ghosts. And is apparently now elaborate enough to verbally taunt Lalli...
    • When an extremely large troll is coming at Mikkel and Sigrun in Chapter 12, Mikkel stops it from attacking Sigrun by... shoving a box full of books into its mouth. And not just any books, but medical notes that might contain valuable information on a vaccine or cure for the Rash, which they'd specifically come there to get in the first place, whereas if he'd just stood back and let Sigrun handle it, there's a good chance she could have taken that troll on her own. Sigrun is understandably not pleased.
  • No Bikes in the Apocalypse: Bikes seem strangely absent in this new world. Sure, riding through mountainous, troll-infested Scandinavia comes under a Very Bad Idea, but while horse-drawn carriages and trains are seen (and cars get a mention), people in Rejkyavik and Mora seem to only get around on foot.
  • No Indoor Voice: Question not the quality of Danish Ham when it comes with the megaphone that is Admiral Olsen.
    • A flashback shows that when Sigrun wants something, there's nothing like an indoor voice for her.
  • No Kill Like Overkill: Standard procedure for cleansing an area involves MASSIVE FLAMETHROWERS to clear the forest, destroying anything left standing with high explosives, letting the bitter Scandinavian winter kill anything that can't take shelter, then coming back in the spring with MORE FLAMETHROWERS and high powered rifles in a systematic hunt of anything that might have survived. Repeat as needed. All signs point to this being Properly Paranoid.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: In chapter 11, the priest is drawn considerably more realistic-looking than any other character.
  • Non-Uniform Uniform: The expedition uniform. Both Tuuri and Lalli have a very different cut from everyone else's and each other. Mikkel, Sigrun and Emil wear a more standard version of it, but the two latter have Too Many Belts for a different reason and Emil has partially white gloves and boots instead of completely black, resulting is absolutely nobody wearing the same outfit.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • Despite how often the Västerström family Riches to Rags episode comes up, its cause has just plain never been mentioned. The generation seen in the prologue doesn't seem particularly wealthy (they are driving to their private cabin themselves and the grandfather is described as spending his pension betting on sports), which makes how they got rich in the first place fall into this as well.
    • What exactly did Trond use to blackmail the captain of the boat carrying Reynir into making a detour to the Silent World to deliver some food to the crew? All we have go by is her reaction.
  • No Party Like a Donner Party: Discussed. The worry about the food supply after Reynir's arrival causes Mikkel to make a joke about eating him if they ever run out of food.
  • Not in Front of the Kid: Deconstructed in the Finland segment of the prologue. Veeti's parents are trying to shield him from the Rash issue, including avoiding discussing it in front of him and sending him out of the room when they are about to discuss the issue with his aunts. The first thing he does when left to his own devices? Turn on the TV that is in the room to which he was sent and watch the news.
  • Nothing Is Scarier:
    • The community space scene in chapter 5. Sigrun, Lalli and Emil enter and Sigrun assures the boys that it's not a nest. Nevertheless, it turns out that the place is a makeshift hospital and the ground floor is a maze of curtained beds. You're staring your eyes out trying to spot the trolls in the wide shot... but there's nothing. Then Sigrun discovers the basement and it turns out it is a nest... And then Emil runs into a troll.
    • Every time you see a troll. While they, in themselves, are Daylight Horror, the true terror comes when you look closer and see the faces.
    • The Dalahästen scene is one of the most terrifying in the comic so far precisely because of the buildup when nothing happens for four pages straight... Cue the giant.
    • The Sweden segment of the prologue compared to the three previous, that all showed the named characters being around other people at some point or another. While we got to see a town full of masked people in the first few pages of the Finland segment, we don't get to see what the Västerströms were driving away from at all, leaving the extent to which things have escalated in just four days to the reader's imagination. The only hints given are an abandoned gas station, a newspaper with only two pages of content and a few pieces of dialogue that imply that Stig's parents aren't fully aware of the seriousness of the situation.
  • Not This One, That One: The Cat-Tank happened to be at the end of a long line of better-looking and bigger tanks.
  • Not So Stoic:
  • Not Using the "Z" Word: "Trolls" are very much like zombies, being that they're hideously mutated undead.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: A couple elements of the plot imply that the species is alive and well in this universe:
    • First, Admiral Olsen could technically have gotten food to the crew the day they ran out, but requesting permission to do it alone would have taken four weeks. Bypassing this is the reason Trond had to blackmail the merchant ship that was carrying Reynir into doing it in the first place.
    • Once Reynir is found in the food crate, Mikkel correctly guesses that the crew will have to keep Reynir before it gets confirmed via official channels, because he knows just arranging for the quarantine ship would take several weeks, and the expedition is intended to last about two months.
  • Odd-Shaped Panel: Dreamworld panels are drawn with curvy frames instead of the straight lines of the real-world ones.
  • Off Screen Romance:
    • In the Norway portion of the prologue, the group of four friends that would go on to become Trond's parents and Sigrun's great-grandparents show no signs of being romantically involved. Before the family tree was made, the only in-story hint there was that they had gotten together were Trond and Sigrun's surnames, Sigrun's first name and a couple of portraits in a flash-back showing Sigrun's home.
    • The Denmark portion of the prologue is Michael and Signe's first meeting. Signe's appearance in a Time Skip photo that otherwise shows Michael's family is the only hint of them eventually becoming an item before Mikkel turned out to exist.
  • Oh, Crap!:
  • Oh My Gods!: Both surviving religions being pantheons causes a lot of this.
  • Oh, No... Not Again!: When the mention of "face-cancer" causes a Danish admiral to realize why Mikkel's face was familiar to him, you know Mikkel isn't using that trick for the first time.
  • The Old Gods: Most of the Nordic countries have returned to worship of the Norse pantheon. Or in the case of Finns, the Finnish pantheon.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted thanks to some first names running in families. Even before the family tree was published, there were a few visible cases:
    • Sigrun's first name was one of the only things telling the reader which of her great-grandfather's two female friends was her great-grandmother.
    • Reynir's great-grandfather and his father had to share a first name so his ancestry could be hinted at to people not familiar with the Icelandic patronym system.
    • Before the family tree was revealed, the only other main character relative to get an actual portrait aside from the mysterious Hotakainen grandmother was Mikkel's twin brother, who shares the name of their prologue ancestor.
    • Ólafur is the name of both one of Reynir's brothers and the cook on the merchant ship that he was riding.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
    • A mild form happens in Chapter 3. Emil and Lalli sort of bond over their shared hatred of the bed belts. Later in the night Lalli hands Emil his belt and tangles himself in his own right before sudden movement of the train projects anyone not strapped to their bed (read: Emil) out of it.
    • Sigrun may know when to back down from a fight, but she's also walked into troll nests and killed grosslings, considers a suicide mission to be a relaxing vacation, and through it all has been absolutely fearless. So the first time she's shown to be downright terrified, it's clear that the crew is in serious trouble.
    • Turned Up to Eleven the first time we see Lalli look completely terrified. Remember, this is the guy who spends his nights scouting the troll-infested Silent World at night when the monsters are most active without batting an eyelash regressing to a state of panicked flailing.
    • Chapter 14 may very well trump that. After the events of Chapter 13, Lalli is in such need for comfort that, while not directly seeking it out, he picks up Kitty and hugs her when she comes to him. The comic had previously established that he didn't like Kitty that much. He was actually calling her a "stupid useless thing" exactly two panels before deciding to pick her up.
    • Reynir's turn comes in Chapter 15, when a combination of Cabin Fever and a situation that may turn into You Can't Go Home Again if it lasts for too long causes him to snap at Lalli.
  • Open Mouth, Insert Foot: Emil describes the sound of the Danish language. With a pair of Danish soldiers right behind him.
  • Our Ghosts are Different: They look like trails of darker smoke with glowing white eyes, which gives them sort of "when you see it..." quality.
  • Our Monsters Are Different: Giants, trolls and who knows what else haunt the Silent World, but the artist took her time about letting us see them. The names evoke the mythological imagery, but do not appear to have much to do with the actual creatures. They are very similar to Plague Zombies, but they're too weird for the name.
  • Outside-Context Problem:
    • When the Rash came, it changed everything in only a few months, thanks to making both the Black Death and the Columbian Exchange look like wimps. No health service or medical emergency procedure was prepared for the scale of what happened. Let alone the very strange nature of the thing which hits straight into Clark's Third Law or its corollaries territory in some way. No attempted preventatives or cures have worked. At worst, they've Gone Horribly Wrong. Horribly, horribly wrong.
    • Lalli choosing a campsite overrun by hostile ghosts capable of harming and killing living beings had more to do with this than his lack of sleep at the time. Most spirits barely even notice humans, so he just registered them as a type of spirit he hadn't seen before and assumed they were just as harmless as the spirits he knew of.
    • Reynir's mere presence in the Silent World is one, to a lesser extent. He's in a situation in which no non-immune civilian would put himself into on purpose, and because of this there is nothing in place to solve such a situation.
  • Paranoia Gambit: Tuuri does a minor one to the Västerström children.
    Tuuri: *smiling* I haven't seen any children in so long, I almost forgot how cute you are!
    Child: You're kinda fat.
    Tuuri: *smile becomes unpleasant* I heard your parents say that one of you is adopted and they don't love that one as much as the other two.
  • Party of Representatives: The original crew has two Finns and a member of every other known nation except for Iceland. And even that gets taken care of once Reynir shows up. Kitty is native to the Silent World.
  • Perpetual-Motion Monster: On this page, we see an Illness-infected horse that has apparently been tethered in its stable for ninety years and is still "alive".
  • Pet the Dog: Emil shows genuine concern for an infected dog, both before and after it tries to kill him.
  • Photo Montage: The first Time Skip in the prologue is done via one, via a series of archive photos that feature the characters from the Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland portions of the prologue.
  • The Plague: "The Great Illness," initially referred to as the rash sickness which affects all mammals except cats. It spread quickly enough to worry world governments, but it was initially seen as merely an economic problem—countries were expected to have up to half their populations bedridden for a couple weeks, which would horrifically affect productivity—until people started dying. The monsters of the Silent World are very strongly implied to be various mammal species (including humans) mutated by the disease. The "economic problem" may have been the official explanation, but there are strong hints the government knew better from the start, they just tried to prevent a panic.
  • Plague Zombie: Trolls, beasts and giants are technically this, if sufficiently mutated to fit other monster-related tropes in practice.
  • Point of No Return: Non-video game example, obviously. A section of the Øresund bridge gives out behind the Cat-Tank just as it's crossing, preventing the crew from returning for likely some time.
  • Poor Communication Kills: In Chapter 13, poor phrasing on both Sigrun and Mikkel's part causes both of them to miss the fact that there is still a troll under the tank that should really, really get taken care of.
  • Post-Apocalyptic Gas Mask: The breathing mask non-immunes have to wear in high risk areas gives off this vibe.
  • Post-Modern Magik:
    • Spirits of Rash victims can cause radios to malfunction. In Chapter 6, Lalli is shown using magic to unjam the crew's radio.
    • The summon Onni sends the crew in Chapter 13 is implied to require a source of fire as an entry point. The hint towards this is the fact that it comes out of Emil's flamethrower.
  • Precision Crash: What are the chances that a side-view mirror thrown in panic would fly so far AND manage to hit somebody in the head? Not just anybody, mind you - the person who is labelling the protagonists' food crates, with far-reaching consequences.
  • Private Tutor: Emil was taught by one. Let's just say his parents should ask for their money back.
  • Properly Paranoid: Most of the main characters' ancestors escaped the rash illness and the beginning of the Silent World by dint of the fact that they a) had cats and b) retreated to a safe location the instant they got wind of the potential danger of the disease. (Aaaand then there's Michael Madsen, who got stuck on a boat when the ports were closed...)
    • Also, Iceland came through more or less intact by closing and fiercely guarding its borders... demonstrated - rather harshly - by the Icelandic coast guard, who will not hesitate to fire on a boat of refugees if they can't give the correct signal.
  • Psychic Nosebleed: And eyebleed. Turns out flashy magic doesn't come free of charge.
  • Psychopomp: Helping the spirits of Rash victims to move on is part of the job description for Finnish mages. The Swan of Tuonela also makes an appearance guiding Tuuri to the afterlife.
  • Quarantine With Extreme Prejudice: The segment of the prologue focusing on Iceland shows the country resorting to this.
  • Ragnarök Proofing: Expecting the contents of a department store to still be usable for camping after 90 years, and said supplies apparently fulfilling the expectation despite the store in question having a partly collapsed roof, means a lot of reliance on this trope.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: What the main characters are shaping up to be. The mission was underfunded from the start, so the group in charge of the expedition purposefully hired people who would be bored, stupid, desperate, or some combination thereof. Most of the team had never even met each other before the expedition. To make matters worse, they're all from different countries and only two members of the party can speak more than one language, meaning all the complications and difficulties of actually understanding each other should make communication in the field... ''interesting.'' Also, the medic has already been fired numerous times and the captain can't actually drive. And then, a few days later, they get an unexpected addition to the crew, in the form of an incredibly sheltered Icelandic sheep herder...
  • Raising the Steaks: The Rash infects all other mammals, except cats.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Even after Emil and Sigrun save a feral cat and one of her kittens from a) monster dog and b) dying of exposure, Mikkel has to put the mother cat down, as she's too badly injured.
    • In the prologue, Eino Hotakainen and Tuuli Hollola want to keep their son from knowing about the Rash, so they send him out of the room when they are about to discuss it with Eino's sisters. The room to which the kid was sent has a TV, and he knows on which channel the news are.
    • Sigrun repeatedly shrugs off the damage to her arm, a few seemingly superficial wounds that should have been nearly healed, even going so far as to hide from the medic that it's still hurting her. Several chapters later she's in so much pain that she loses her grip on her dagger at a critical moment, and ends up getting walloped for her troubles. After the battle, it's revealed she has an infection.
    • Onni's summon helps with the Zerg Rush the crew is undergoing, but arrives after one of the trolls has gotten under the tank and become the most immediate threat to Tuuri and Reynir.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure:
    • Mikkel tries to be this, but just keeps on being overridden by Sigrun.
    • Sigrun herself seemed like an inversion in the beginning; right now she seems to be more of a straight example than one would expect from her apparently-reckless behavior.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni:
    • Emil and Lalli. They get along remarkably well, for all that.
    • Sigrun and Mikkel as well.
  • Red Shirt: The research team is viewed as this. After all, their employers refused to do it themselves- they wanted to live.
    • The recruitment poster for Cleansers notes in the fine print that joining automatically voids one's life insurance.
  • Religion Is Magic: Both Icelandic and Finnish traditions of magic involve prayer to the gods.
  • Rhetorical Question Blunder: Inverted. When all three of them are on a mission, Sigrun seems to be trying to reassure Emil by asking him if Lalli looks scared. It then turns out that she's really asking because she can't read Lalli as well as Emil can.
  • Riches to Rags: Happened to the Västerström family some time during Emil's teens.
  • Rich Jerk: Emil sometimes acts like this, especially when he's telling Tuuri about his past and how his teachers tried to "sabotage and hamper" him. It's more likely that the private tutors his parents employed earlier were a bunch of YesMen.
  • Ruins of the Modern Age: A given, considering the nature of the expedition. Trolls nest in them.
  • Rule of Cool: Is a train with pressure-sensitive buzzsaws on top practical? (Given the setting, God, yes.) Would these people have enough of an industrial base to make one? How do you train a cat? It doesn't matter because it's way cool.
  • Rule #1: It's given in one of the info pages:
    "The First Rule for survival outside of the safe areas: If you come across a Beast, a Troll or a Giant, do not run or call for help but stand still and stay silent. It might go away."
    • We have yet to see an example of this rule in practice. Emil, for example, does precisely to opposite, probably with good cause. One can however imagine Lalli practicing the rule on his unseen solo excursions.
    • The beginning of Chapter 7 shows a cat successfully following this rule, hiding from an infected dog.
  • Running Gag: Mikkel just can't suggest anything without Sigrun interrupting him.
  • Scenery Porn/ Scenery Gorn: These are two of the artist's specialities. Even the abandoned ruins with utterly tragic stories to tell are hauntingly beautiful.
  • Schizo Tech: Not surprisingly for a group of technologically-oriented societies that lost the benefit of global trade. Now the Scandinavians use every technology they can get their hands on, whether it's high or low. They have a high percentage of farmers in the population, horse-drawn carriages, geothermal energy, battery technology that's more advanced than our world's, some sort of genetic engineering, and Viking villages atop re-purposed oil platforms. Technology is unevenly distributed within the world because some areas lost more infrastructure to the Rash than others. The military personnel who fight the monsters get cooler toys than the general population.
  • Science at the Speed of Plot: The main cast's investigations eventually make them discover that some kind of cure or vaccine may have been discovered during the initial Rash outbreak, which would have to be unrealistically fast, since that kind of thing usally takes from several months to years in the real world. Meanwhile, Siv's old workplace has been trying to find a cure or vaccine for fifty years and hasn't found anything. The latter may be justified by the technology collapse.
  • Science Fantasy: The Magic Comes Back in an After the End setting.
  • Separated by a Common Language: A Danish to Swedish case happens in Chapter 15. Mikkel gives Emil a list of four items to salvage from a nearby commercial area, but two of the items happen to have different words in Danish and Swedish, causing Emil to tell Mikkel he can't understand half the list.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: While not up to par with usual examples of this trope, one line by Mikkel stands out in comparison to comic's usual writing style. Mikkel uses this trope to lampshade the ridiculousness of Emil's request.
    I see. I will dedicate my time and effort to revitalizing this wild and feral animal you found.
  • Set a Mook to Kill a Mook: In Chapter 10, when Emil has to deal with a bunch of long-legged trolls and Mikkel and Sigrun are dealing with a water troll, the long-legged trolls get taken care of via being lead right into the water troll's tentacles.
  • Shared Family Quirks: In addition to the Strong Family Resemblance below, some characters have inherited behaviours of their ancestors. The most obvious are Lalli getting his great-grandfather's motion sickness and Mikkel being a caring but extremely snarky person, the latter being bad enough to regularly get him fired, much like his great-grandmother (and great-grandfather to a lesser extent).
  • Ship Sinking: The end of Chapter 15 puts a torpedo in just about any pairing involving Tuuri.
  • Sixth Ranger: Reynir, who turns up in a box of supplies most unexpectedly.
  • Sleep Cute: Emil and Lalli here.
  • Small Role, Big Impact:
    • A couple of troll-inflicted injuries have a long-term impact on the story, while the trolls that inflicted them were killed within a chapter of getting introduced.
    • Torbjörn's boss, who only appeared in a flash-back. He's the one who informed Torbjörn of just how valuable Old World books were, and made him realize how much money he could make by getting his hands on some and selling them.
    • Ensi Hotakainen, so far. To quote Onni during Lalli's My Greatest Failure flash-back:
    Onni: Grandma made one mistake, and see where that got us.
  • Small, Secluded World: The expedition is the mobile variant, with the only contacts with the Known World being with Mission Control via radio and the mage Talking in Your Dreams system. In practice, the latter only enables Reynir-Onni communication.
  • Speechbubbles Interruption: Sigrun to Mikkel, frequently.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: The main cast look suspiciously like their great-grandparents from the prologue.
    • Deliberately averted with Reynir's brothers and sisters, highlighting that they are not biologically related due to the Dagrenning program.
  • Suddenly Significant City:
    • Thanks to the loss of territory that affected all non-Iceland nations, every single one of them has a new capital.
    • Iceland itself has become a suddenly significant country, moving from a country less populated than several European large cities to the most populated place in the world.
  • Suicide by Sea: Tuuri, after realising she's manifesting the Rash illness.
  • Super Window Jump: Lalli dives through a 2nd floor window to escape a burning building.
  • Sympathy for the Devil:
    • There may be a monster inside the dog, but there's still a dog inside the monster, and it's not at all happy about what it's become. Emil understands this all along.
    • As scared as Reynir is of the ghosts, he also acknowledges that that they are sad.

    Tropes T-Z 
  • Tactful Translation: Comes up fairly often with this multinational cast. An example here of Taru "translating" for Onni and Siv.
  • Take It to the Bridge: The Øresund bridge marks the end of the Known World. Made almost symbolic by how it's shrouded in mist - nobody knows what's behind the borders.
  • Taking the Bullet: Sigrun does this for Reynir when Leaftroll first attacks. Justified, as Sigrun's status as The Immune means that she gets off with a torn-up arm and a few stitches, whereas if Reynir had been bitten... well, let's just say that death is the best possible outcome that he could have hoped for.
  • Talking in Your Dreams: One of the perks of being a mage, and the first Reynir discovers when he becomes aware of his powers.
  • Tanks for Nothing: Thanks to Cutting Corners, the crew ends up with something closer to an RV with treads than to the Tank Goodness described below. The story eventually shows that a persistent enough troll can break in.
  • Tank Goodness: The tanks Danish military owns are not huge by standards of this trope, but definitely bigger than what we have now. Justified, as they are made to fight trolls and giants, who were shown to be able to pierce through a few centimeters of steel.
  • Team Mom: Mikkel seems geared to be a Rare Male Example of this.
  • Team Pet: Kitty.
  • Technically a Smile: Poor Emil's attempt to look positive in the face of an adrenalin crash... wasn't too successful.
  • Tempting Fate: Sigrun seems fond of this, not surprising since she usually has a quite positive look on things.
  • Terrible Artist: Emil provides us with a drawing of the infected dog on page 362.
  • Terrified of Germs: The Rash still being a threat 90 years later causes the world as a whole to act like this, with Iceland putting the personnel of retuning merchant ships in quarantine and Mora making anyone entering the city undergo a decontamination process.
  • The Beforetimes: The Old World.
  • The Dead Have Names: The gate at the end of the Oresund Bridge tunnel is carved with the names of everyone who died when the area just outside it fell to the monsters.
  • The Friends Who Never Hang: Emil and Reynir. The lack of common language, religious belief, reason to work together or desire to be friends greatly limits their opportunities for direct interaction.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: Averted. The security detail on the Dalahästen are competent, disciplined and dedicated. Our heroes don't save the day, it's almost all the guards and Lalli only assists by telling them where it will come through.
  • The Maiden Name Debate: Various ways to deal with it have been seen across families:
    • The Västerström name has been mostly male-transmitted and taken by women married into the family, but Mia had to keep it for it to make it to the current generation.
    • Saku Hotakainen took his wife's name.
    • Averted with Ensi Hotakainen. Minna confirmed that her twin sons were conceived on a one-night stand, with a guy whose last name is not even recorded on the family tree that was given to the readers.
    • Tuuli Hollola was technically married into the Hotakainen family, but her keeping her last name and transmitting it to her son is the reason Taru is not a Hotakainen.
  • Thememobile: Fans nicknamed the team vehicle Catmobile or Cattank and Minna started to use the name too, although so far, not in story proper.
  • Theme Naming: Tuuri and Onni. Their names both mean "luck" in Finnish.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Sigrun's face screams this just before a tentacle smacks her back down into the water, and the beastie waiting below the surface.
  • Time Out: Sigrun gets manhandled into the corner for one of these by Mikkel due to her continued over-sugared reaction in the face of other people's post-action crashes. Which only adds to the Team Mom telling Team Dad to knock it off vibe, of course.
  • Time Skip:
    • The Iceland portion of the prologue is separated from the for other portions by a few months.
    • The is a 90 year one later in the prologue.
    • A Travel Montage in Chapter 11 covers two weeks of time, which is a lot for the chronological pace of the comic.
    • An unspecified number of days is skipped between Chapters 14 and 15.
  • Title Drop: The first Encyclopedia Exposita page, as seen on the page quote.
  • Training the Gift of Magic: Only select individuals are able to use magic at all, and the difference in capabilities depends greatly on their training and pratical experience.
  • Translator Microbes: The Talking in Your Dreams system accessible to mages has this property. Reynir talked to Onni for the first time via it, which caused him to be slightly taken aback when hearing Onni's "Some. Enough." real-world Icelandic over the radio.
  • Travel Montage: The two-week Time Skip during Chapter 11 is done via one of these.
  • Tortured Monster: Many of those infected with The Virus are not happy with their newfound state. Even those who embrace their rage and pain to go full-on Villain with a capital V are still Tragic because of this.
    • One particularly heartbreaking example includes an infected dog, which after being made aware of it's current state,simply lies near the protagonists after they bury the cats and gives an unspoken, but still evident request. They grant it.
    • In Chapter 14, "Sleipnope" (the horse ghost) alternates taunting Lalli and Reynir with cries for help.
  • Typhoid Mary: According to the prologue and the "Distances of risk" document, the Rash can be transmitted while it's incubating, and becomes more airborne during that period.
  • Undead Child: The troll dealt with in Chapter 9 is way to small to have been an adult.
  • Understatement: Mikkel when he tells Reynir he is not in Bornholm, Reynir when he says he may have gotten off the boat at the wrong spot.
  • Unfortunate Item Swap: The crates early on in the story. The boat carrying Reynir would have gone nowhere near the Silent World if it weren't for the need to fix the consequences later on.
  • Unknown Character: The members of the main and secondary casts are all descendants of characters that were shown in the Distant Prologue, that takes place ninety years earlier. As such, having the main characters exist at all required one or two generations of people simply being born, finding a mate, and having children of their own between the prologue and the main timeframe. With the cast consisting of six different families taken together, this creates plenty of such characters. A family tree published after Chapter 12 fills most of the gaps.
    • Onni, Tuuri and Lalli's grandfather seems to be intentionally this. He's the only person without a last name on the tree and Minna has confirmed it was as literal a one-night stand as one can be, which makes the guy come across as literally existing only to sire a pair of twin boys to Ensi.
    • One of the more noticeable pairs is Emil's parents, due to him being Torbjörn's nephew.
    • Reynir's parents are very likely to have used the same genetical material donor or pair of donors for all four of their older children. Whoever that person or pair of people is, Reynir owes them the existence of his siblings.
    • Most adult prologue characters are either already married or have their future spouse appear in the same segment. The only exception to this is Árni Reynisson. Since he's Reynir's great-grandfather, him eventually meeting a woman and starting a family with her is a given.
    • The member of the Nordic Concil who forgot his glasses and voted "yes" to the expedition's funding because he didn't know what he was voting for. The funding application was Decided by One Vote.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight:
    • Lalli didn't react at all to Reynir showing up in the food crate. Given that he can see spirits and he was growling a little right before Emil opened the crate, chances are that he already knew there was someone in there.
    • Lalli's early Deep Sleep to everyone else, as far as Emil is concerned. Mikkel may have started wondering by the end of Chapter 10 (and sleeping through its second half would indeed count as concerning), as Reynir is sharing a mattress with Lalli out in the open, instead of Lalli sleeping under Tuuri's bunk as usual. The author comments say that Mikkel was the one who insisted on these sleeping arrangements.
  • Weakened by the Light:
    • Although we don't know what the exact effect is, it's often stated that trolls/giants/various creatures infected by The Plague do not go anywhere in sunlight.
    • We've seen Lalli's gear being sanitized in a UV radiation chamber, and told the alternative was "standing him in the sunlight for an hour", so it's not unreasonable to assume UV radiation kills The Virus.
    • Exposure to sunlight appears to cause an infected dog to get a grip on itself.
    • Ghosts also seem to avoid sunlight, probably because it would dispel them.
  • Web Comic Time: Very much so. SSSS has been running since November 2013, but less than a month of plot has passed as of November 2016. That less than a month includes a two-week Time Skip.
  • We Named the Monkey "Jack": According to the family tree, Michael and Signe from the prologue named their son Magnus, after Michael's cat.
  • Wham Episode: The second half of Chapter 15. The tank breaks down, meaning that the rest of the trip will need to done on foot and after realizing she definitely has contracted the Rash illness, Tuuri commits suicide by jumping into the sea at the end of the day that was used for preparing.
  • Wham Line: A speechbubble of Black Speech, something that only Lalli and Reynir are supposed to be able to hear, appears in a scene in which a previously bitten Tuuri is the only person in the room.
  • What Could Possibly Go Wrong?: Invoked by Sigrun on driving.
  • Who Will Bell the Cat?: In Chapter 8, Sigrun at some point got the idea that Lalli had vanished into a tunnel, causing her to turn to Mikkel and Emil who are right behind her and ask them who wants to tell Tuuri her cousin may have been eaten.
  • Wimp Fight: The talk-show program guests engage in this after one insult too many. The third one calls for a Tazer to get them under control.
  • Wizarding School: There is a magic school in Iceland.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: "Sleipnope" (the horse ghost) may have its mind set on killing the whole crew, but is also made of multiple spirits that have been undead for ninety years, no idea how to reach the afterlife and grown well beyond frustrated about it.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Reynir comes up with a rune that, once painted on the back of the tank, can keep ghosts away from it. Just a few panels later, Sleipnope's reaction to it boils down to: "That thing won't protect you forever, you know. By the way, I'm going to follow you and kill anyone you get close to.".
  • Zany Scheme: Torbjörn basically channelled Pantalone when he came up with his Get Rich Not That Quick Scheme. Anything that starts with "smarm a pittance out of government" and has more holes in it than a colander even before getting to the "get home from Silent World; ???; profit?!" bit is almost doomed to wind up zanily off-track.
  • Zerg Rush: The mixed troll and ghost herd in Chapter 13.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: non-standard zombies (tending towards masses of undead corpses stuck together), and they're officially called "Trolls" because the characters are Nordic.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Webcomic/StandStillStaySilent