Webcomic / Stand Still, Stay Silent


"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."

It's been 90 years since the great cataclysm that ended the old world. Most of the surviving population of the Known World live in Iceland, the largest safe area in existence. The safe settlements in the other Nordic countries (Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland) are small and scarce. The rest of the planet is simply known as the Silent World.

Countless mysterious and unspoken dangers lurk outside the safe areas, and hunters, mages and cleansers will spend their lives defending the settlements against terrifying monsters. Because of a strong fear towards everything in the Silent World, no official attempts to explore the ruins of the old have been made, and most of the information about it has turned into ancient lore, known by few.

But now, at last, it is time to send out an research crew into the great unknown! A poorly funded and terribly unqualified crew, but a crew nonetheless.

Stand Still Stay Silent is a post-apocalyptic webcomic by the same artist who drew A Red Tails 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.

This Webcomic provides examples of:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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?
  • And I Must Scream: Turns out that anyone mutated by the virus is still conscious.
    Infectee: Hjälp mig...note 
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • Art Shift: In chapter 11, the priest is drawn considerably more realistic-looking than any other character.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Body Horror: Trolls and Beasts, of the Transformation Horror variety. Some giants verge on Eldritch Abomination territory.
  • 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 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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...
  • Comic-Book Time: Very much so. SSSS has been running since November 2013, but around a week of plot has passed.
  • Consummate Professional: The crew of the Dalahästen. They're gruff towards our main cast, but when the train is under attack, they never panic.
  • Cool Train: Several, but Dalahästen is especially awesome, complete with front-mounted giant buzzsaw.
  • Cozy Catastrophe: The survivors of the plague have had ninety years to recover, but they're still surprisingly healthy, well fed, and optimistic about life.
  • Cats Are Magic: They're immune to the mysterious illness that infects all other living mammals, and can sense monsters.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Lalli, between his poor education and his nonexistent social skills due to his work as a solo night scout, certainly qualifies.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Deep Sleep: Lalli falls into one of these after losing his luonto due to overextending himself 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.
  • The Ditz: Lalli somehow didn't realize that he was going on a research mission despite submitting his military resignation with Tuuri and talking about it with her for three months. He also doesn't know any languages besides his native Finnish.
  • 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?
  • *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.
  • 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?
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Reynir (affectionately called Braidy) is male. Try telling that to the fans, though.
    Minna: I swear every time I draw Braidy he ends up looking even more like a girl. At this rate he'll have developed boobs by the time he joins the main cast of the comic.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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: 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.
  • 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.
  • 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: Neither Sigrun nor Emil has an idea of what DVD's are.
  • Gaia's Vengeance: The dominant Icelandic religion explains The Plague as the gods deciding that Ludd Was Right. They might be right.
  • Generation Xerox: The main cast look suspiciously like their great-great-grandparents from the prologue. They occasionally share some other characteristics. Like sea sickness and getting fired a lot.
    • Deliberately averted with Reynir's brothers and sisters, highlighting that they are not biologically related due to the Dagrenning program.
  • Genki Guy: Reynir is amazingly full of energy and his good mood is swayed only once so far.
  • Get Ahold Of Yourself Man: Emil needs a dose of this from Sigrun after encountering an old Rash hospital still full of skeletons.
  • 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.
  • Government Conspiracy: It is implied that the world governments downplayed the severity of the plague to avoid causing mass panics.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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%.
  • 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 being seasick before being told the news.
  • 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.
  • 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: Signee 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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,
  • Mildly Military: After the apocalypse, the armies of the five Nordic nations will have stylin' uniforms and haircuts. The officers are surprisingly friendly, too.
  • 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.
  • Nature Spirit: Finnish gods are apparently those. So far, we've heard of water goddess Vellamo and moon goddess Kuutar.
  • 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.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: 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.
    • Chapter 12 could easily count as one of these for the whole team. That book-shoving incident mentioned above? Never would have happened if they'd followed Taru's advice and stuck to the original plan, bringing home their collection of valuable books in addition to the information they'd found on the Rash research in Odense. That research still would have been there in a few years, where a more competent and better-equipped team could have extracted it with a much better chance of getting it out intact. Even if Sigrun and Lalli successfully chase down the monster that ate it, who knows what sort of condition it'll be in, if it's still in any condition to be read at all.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Not So Stoic:
  • Not Using the "Z" Word: "Trolls" are very much like zombies, being that they're hideously mutated undead.
  • Oh Crap!:
  • 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.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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...
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 Number One: 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.
  • 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.
  • Sixth Ranger: Reynir, who turns up in a box of supplies most unexpectedly.
  • Sleep Cute: Emil and Lalli here.
  • Speechbubbles Interruption: Sigrun to Mikkel, frequently.
  • Stylistic Suck: Emil provides us with a drawing of the infected dog on page 362.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Tortured Monster: Many of those infected with The Virus are not happy with their newfound state. 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.
  • 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 few centimeters of steel.
  • Team Mom: Mikkel seems geared to be a Rare Male Example of this.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Title Drop: The first Encyclopedia Exposita page, as seen on the page quote.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • What Could Possibly Go Wrong?: invoked by Sigrun on driving.
  • When He Smiles: See Lalli. See Lalli smile. See the fandom explode.
  • 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.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Bornholm is the southernmost point in the Known World, so Reynir expected it to have palm trees and tropical flowers everywhere. It's freaking Denmark.
    • Even worse, he doesn't even know what palm trees are.
  • 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.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: non-standard zombies (tending towards masses of undead corpses stuck together), and they're officially called "Trolls" because the characters are Norweigan.