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* EvilCannotComprehendGood: Played with. Nyarlathotep happily says he knows of goodness enough to exploit it, but he clearly doesn't quite understand how some can have unselfish motivations.

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* EvilCannotComprehendGood: Played with. Nyarlathotep happily says he knows of goodness enough to exploit it, but he clearly doesn't quite understand how some can have unselfish motivations. By the story's end he is perplexed how Vicente, Eliza and Hardestadt could resist him.



* ForegoneConclusion: As the Consultant is still alive in 2001, and Nyarlathotep inevitably returns in 2017, Hardestadt and Eliza will not destroy them here.



* SavageWOlves: The Hounds of the City are a pack of savage, wolf-like beings that run in packs.

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* SavageWOlves: SavageWolves: The Hounds of the City are a pack of savage, wolf-like beings that run in packs.


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* SexEqualsLove: Played with. [[spoiler:By the end of the story, it's quite obvious how Hardestadt and Eliza feel about one another when they consummate their relationship properly. However, it's more a culmination of the years they've taken to build up their trust, care and love for another, and a reflection of those feelings.]]


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* SleepCute: [[spoiler:At the story's end, Eliza awakens beside Hardestadt, now her lover, with him sleeping peacefully and happily by her.]]

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* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler:Most of Blatna has been destroyed, countless people are dead, Vicente dies, and Eliza and Hardestadt are both driven to the absolute brink with nearly nothing to show for it after with both the Consultant and Nyarlathotep getting off [[KarmaHoudini scot-free]] sans a few minor irritations. In spite of everything, Eliza and Hardestadt have refused to break, and Eliza eventually makes the slow road to recovery, finally consummating her relationship with Hardestadt ''properly''. The book ends with Eliza, for the first time in centuries, at ''peace''.]]


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* KarmaHoudini: The ForegoneConclusion is in play, but [[spoiler:neither the Consultant or Nyarlathotep receive anything but bruises to their ego at the end of all things. Nyarlathotep has at least been cheated out of one of his trophies and the Consultant was almost killed, but both of them end the story mutually planning to rebound for even ''worse''...]]


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* SequelHook: [[spoiler:With Hardestadt now on Lucia's radar and Eliza still having refused to break before her, Lucia's final scene in the story is mulling over all the new ways she has to ''break'' them and do what Nyarlathotep never did]].


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* YouHaveFailedMe: [[spoiler:Draynak ever-so-lightly threatens Lucia with this when it sees she's more openly disregarding her [[OmnicidalManiac ultimate mission]] in favor of her own self-gratification]]:
-->''[[spoiler:If your words are sincere, then you have nothing to fear. Go to Burma. Seize my host. And we shall try the ritual once more. But if you find yourself wandering to pastimes once again... your end will be ignominious. More agonizing than any Seer you have ever tortured before. And it shall be entirely your fault, spurred by the attention of beings you so foolishly play with. And when you call for my help in your last breath... I will not answer. Am I understood?]]''

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* ForcedToWatch: [[spoiler:The Consultant brutalizes Eliza at the end, torturing, beating and mutilating herself to physical death. Its only request for Hardestadt in Nyarlathotep's grasp? "Make him watch."]]

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* EasilyForgiven: Nyarlathotep tries to invoke this, telling Eliza his condition for sparing the Cortly lands? She just has to forgive Stefano, who raped and abused her during their marriage. Eliza frantically says she does, only for [[SubvertedTrope Nyarlathotep to icily tell her she has to ''mean'' it.]] [[spoiler:She isn't able to do so.]]


* ButForMeItWasTuesday: Nyarlathotep's common KickTheDog moment are referred to as simply petty little habits for him. Similarly, the Consultant says the murder and torture of millions to spite one person are "as everyday motions to me."

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* ButForMeItWasTuesday: Nyarlathotep's common KickTheDog moment are referred to as simply petty little habits for him. Similarly, the Consultant says the murder and torture of millions to spite one person are "as everyday motions to me."" On a more personal note, the Consultant has no recollection or care of the Black Plague, which it helped Nyarlathotep spread, killing Hardestadt's then-wife Maria.


* CombatByChampion: The Consultant sits upon a throne like a Roman Emperor, forcing Hardestadt to face its champion one on one: the Hyena. All while its pack, the Hounds, form a ring around them to watch.



* DefiantToTheEnd: [[spoiler:Vicente goes down mocking Nyarlathotep, laughing triumphantly in the shocked Outer God's face.]]



* SuddenlyVoiced: The Consultant suddenly begins speaking at the climax, not with leeches but with her own voice.



* VillainRespect: Nyarlathotep genuinely seems to respect Eliza's conviction. Unfortunately, Nyarlathotep liking you is not exactly a good thing. It upgrades you to 'toy,' and he is clearly plotting something horrific for her and Hardestadt. Played up even more when they meet in chapter 2. Nyarlathotep gleefully toys with her and even has her use his name.

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* VillainRespect: Nyarlathotep genuinely seems to respect Eliza's conviction. Unfortunately, Nyarlathotep liking you is not exactly a good thing. It upgrades you to 'toy,' and he is clearly plotting something horrific for her and Hardestadt. Played up even more when they meet in chapter 2. Nyarlathotep gleefully toys with her and even has her use his name.name.
* YourSoulIsMine: The victims of Nyarlathotep are imprisoned eternally, and physical death is not enough to save them. Their souls belong to the Outer God, to torture endlessly.

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* CruelAndUnusualDeath: [[spoiler:Stefano de Cortly]] suffers perhaps the single most awful death in either series so far. [[spoiler:Stefano is turned into Nyarlathotep's personal torture toy for a ''century'', handed over to Y'golonac regularly to be violated and torn apart by Nyarlathotep in every way imaginable. Stefano only meets his end at chapter five, where Nyarlathotep has him eaten alive from the inside-out by Eihort's spawn (casually noting he passed Stefano along a "few-hundred" times before this in preparation)]].


* BeingGoodSucks: [[spoiler:When Vicente asks if Eliza's obstinate behavior towards the likes of Nyarlathotep and the Consultant at the cost of endless misery and everyone close to her dying or suffering is worth it, Eliza can't answer "yes" even for all her optimistic preaching]].



* ButForMeItWasTuesday: Nyarlathotep's common KickTheDog moment are referred to as simply petty little habits for him. Similarly, the Consultant says the murder and torture of millions to spite one person are "as everyday motions to me."



* DidYouJustFlipOffCthulhu: The Shadows' Consultant is established to have a history with Nyarlathotep, who is older, smarter, and unimaginably stronger, playfully letting Eliza know that he could undo the Consultant any time he wanted to. In spite of this, when they finally meet on-page, when Nyarlathotep has cowed every single other being of the City, the Consultant doesn't talk to him with fear, respect or even caution--she speaks to him with pure ''scorn''.

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* DidYouJustFlipOffCthulhu: DieLaughing: [[spoiler:Vicente destroys himself laughing at getting the jump on Nyarlathotep in his last action]].
* DidYouJustFlipOffCthulhu:
**
The Shadows' Consultant is established to have a history with Nyarlathotep, who is older, smarter, and unimaginably stronger, playfully letting Eliza know that he could undo the Consultant any time he wanted to. In spite of this, when they finally meet on-page, when Nyarlathotep has cowed every single other being of the City, the Consultant doesn't talk to him with fear, respect or even caution--she speaks to him with pure ''scorn''.''scorn''.
** [[spoiler:Vicente does similar to Nyarlathotep when Vicente finally defies himself, and in fact does his best to [[DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu punch him out]] in his suicide attack. Nyarlathotep recovers instantly, but his "trophy" is destroyed in the process]].



* HeroicSacrifice: [[spoiler:Vicente gives his own life to unleash a mental burst of Hardestadt and Eliza's mental energy, annihilating himself to free all of Nyarlathotep's trapped souls from the Cortly lands and cheat both the Consultant and Nyarlathotep out of their weapon]].
* HeroicSuicide: [[spoiler:Vicente wearily says "let me sleep" when Eliza tries to reason him against his HeroicSacrifice. It quickly becomes clear Vicente's simply lost the will to live entirely from the century of misery he's endured]].



** Vicente tries to show this, refusing to knuckle under to the horrific Consultant. Sadly, it does him little good.

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** Vicente tries to show this, refusing to knuckle under to the horrific Consultant. Sadly, it does him little good. [[spoiler:This eventually ends up discussed by Eliza and Vicente once Vicente returns to his senses, where Vicente points out Eliza's willpower and the [[BeingGoodSucks detrimental effect]] it's had to her health, admitting he's physically incapable of keeping up Eliza's willpower]].



* HoistByHisOwnPetard: [[spoiler:Hits both the Consultant and Nyarlathotep beautifully; the one to ultimately destroy their twisted "game" is Vicente, whom the Consultant drove over the DespairEventHorizon by slaughtering everyone he ever got closed to and Nyarlathotep corrupted further to use him against Eliza]].



* MercyKill: [[spoiler:Hardestadt gives this to the Scrambler to free it from the Consultant's awful control]].



* NervesOfSteel: The Consultant's entire system is at threat of collapse just from Nyarlathotep's presence within the City of Never, and he's clearly capable of kill'ing it and every City Beast with a minimum of effort. Its response is still "what is it this time, worm?

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* NervesOfSteel: The Consultant's entire system is at threat of collapse just from Nyarlathotep's presence within the City of Never, and he's clearly capable of kill'ing it and every City Beast with a minimum of effort. Its response is still "what is it this time, worm?worm?"
* NoHoldsBarredBeatdown: [[spoiler:The Consultant gives a sadistic one to Eliza in the end; after Vicente dies and the Consultant is nearly killed by Eliza, the Consultant takes out its rage by slowly and brutally hacking apart Eliza until her ResurrectiveImmortality is forced to kick in all as Hardestadt is ForcedToWatch]].

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* IJustWantToBeSpecial: Nyarlathotep mocks that Eliza's goodness and care for others, even all she's suffered, is just so she can be special, trying to force her to accept that herself.


* AFormYouAreComfortableWith: Subverted. Hardestadt is one of the most comforting things to Eliza, but Nyarlathotep's malice and evil while wearing his face only unnerves her all the more.

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* AFormYouAreComfortableWith: Subverted. Hardestadt is one of the most comforting things to Eliza, but Nyarlathotep's malice and evil while wearing his face only unnerves her all the more. He also takes Eliza's form when corrupting Vicente, and makes it absolutely nightmarish to the poor, broken guy



* CannotSpitItOut: Hardestadt and Eliza are pretty clearly in love with one another by this point, but cannot admit it to one another or themselves.



* DealWithTheDevil: Nyarlathotep offers this to Eliza several times, promising her status and safety should she accept his offers to 'break and be made anew' as one of his devotees.



* EvilIsPetty:

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* EvilIsPetty: EvilCannotComprehendGood: Played with. Nyarlathotep happily says he knows of goodness enough to exploit it, but he clearly doesn't quite understand how some can have unselfish motivations.
*EvilIsPetty:


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* FateWorseThanDeath: Everyone in the de Valer lands and Cortly mansion are taken by Nyarlathotep to suffer eternally. Stefano himself is given to Y'golonac the Defiler for a few hours just for annoying Nyarlathotep, one of the singular most horrific fates in existence...and Nyarlathotep specified quite clearly to leave him alone for further torment.


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* HiddenDisdainReveal: Upon Nyarlathotep's prodding how Eliza never bothered to find out what happened to Stefano, Eliza blurts out she didn't care, prompting her to finally break down and confess she despised him and wished him dead, before mournfully admitting she doesn't care what Nyarlathotep did to him.

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* BizarreAlienBiology: As per usual from the City, the beasts are like nothing human, with the Scrambler being a particularly grotesque example.


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* SavageWOlves: The Hounds of the City are a pack of savage, wolf-like beings that run in packs.


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* TraumaCongaLine: The entire story is a brutal pile on of trauma for both Hardestadt and Eliza. After all they've been through already, Nyarlathotep and the Consultant put them through the absolute ringer, climaxing as Nyarlathotep endeavors to completely crush Eliza's idealism and goodness.


* DomesticAbuse: When Eliza finally informs Stefano she's leaving him, his response is to not take her remotely seriously and slap her in the face.



* EvilLaugh: Nyarlathotep gives an epic one when he sees Hardestadt and Eliza together, one that reverberates across all existence to bring nightmares to millions.

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* EvilLaugh: EvilLaugh:
**
Nyarlathotep gives an epic one when he sees Hardestadt and Eliza together, one that reverberates across all existence to bring nightmares to millions.millions.
** The Hyena, one of the City Beasts, tends to cackle as it hunts, with the sound reverberating in a victim's head to paralyze it further.


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* HannibalLecture: Nyarlathotep gives a brutal one to Eliza, harshly deconstructing all her good intentions and kindness as a front for selfishness and a desire to be unique, mocking her as not truly caring about any who suffer and die as long as she gets to be the 'tragic heroine.'
* HealingFactor: The Hyena, one of the City beasts is able to even regrow lost limbs.


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* ItCanThink: The Hyena isn't just a predator. It shows a grasp of pack tactics and misdirection, playing Hardestadt to go after the people he's trying to protect.


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* LackOfEmpathy: Stefano's utter callousness, revealed in Eliza's flashbacks, is absolutely appalling, with his indifference to her horrible emotional distress when she returns from having met Eliphas Coyte, to days after when he demonstrates zero care for anything save her appearance.
* TheLastStraw: Stefano's cruelty and indifference to Eliza's plight are what finally make her cease her denials over how she cannot stay in her marriage for any longer.


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* ShutUpHannibal: Eliza refuses to allow Nyarlathotep's speeches to break her, denouncing him as a monster and while she may be flawed in the end, she refuses to yield to his evil.


* BattleInTheCenterOfTheMind: Nyarlathotep dives into Eliza's mind at one point to see what he can learn. Eliza manages to divert him enough to keep him from finding out about Grete, knowing no good could ever come of that.



* NervesOfSteel: The Consultant's entire system is at threat of collapse just from Nyarlathotep's presence within the City of Never, and he's clearly capable of killing it and every City Beast with a minimum of effort. Its response is still "what is it this time, worm?"

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* NervesOfSteel: The Consultant's entire system is at threat of collapse just from Nyarlathotep's presence within the City of Never, and he's clearly capable of killing kill'ing it and every City Beast with a minimum of effort. Its response is still "what is it this time, worm?"worm?


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* SecurityCling: After they attempt to be intimate and Eliza's anxiety stops the encounter, Hardestadt offers to take the floor, but Eliza refuses, simply hugging him and asking him to stay by her and hold her in turn, even if they won't be sleeping together.


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* SpotTheImposter: When Eliza is reliving her wedding day thanks to the Defiler, she notices just a bit is off about 'Stefano,' making her realize something is hideously wrong, saving her from the hunger of Y'golonac.


* CruelAndUnusualPunishment: Nyarlathotep gives Stefano de Cortly to the Defiler, solely for being irritated at his blubbering and begging.

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