Character Frontier is the twenty-sixth installment of the main-series Character Development Threads.
As the name suggests, it's set in an unnamed wilderness area that is a mixture of several terrain types found in the American West. It is meant to broadly evoke the feeling of a Wild West setting, though it is not specifically based around the Western genre and is open to characters from any type of story. Characters can choose to operate from a small frontier outpost town or to set out on their own.
The western end of the top of the T is the "less reputable" area of town where may be found Black Eye Joe's and the "cat house". The eastern end is more up-market and is where The Washington may be found. The main street is the town's centre of commerce where one would find the bank, Sheriff's office, telegraph office, livery, hotel, The Tipsy Toad, General Store, "Doc" Carson's surgery, and numerous other useful stores. The narrower back streets echo the major streets- the houses on the east side of town get progressively better and more expensive the further east from Main Street while the houses on the west side get progressively more run down the further west.
Black Eye Joe'sOne of three saloons present in the town, this saloon caters to the more dubious element among its visitors and residents. Poorly lit and with its paint flaking, it's a two-story building located at the far end of town from the train station and other more upscale establishments. Guests typically come more for the somewhat risque stage acts than for the watered-down and overpriced drinks that the surly bartender serves, though the food is surprisingly decent. A number of back rooms exist for sleeping and other purposes, but only the extremely poor or careless would want to spend the night here.
The WashingtonOne of three saloons present in the town, this saloon is the most fancy of the lot. Its decor is somewhat old-fashioned, but pleasant, with a number of paintings on the walls and many glass windows scattered about that make it much better lit than the other two saloons. The food and drink is not overly high-class, but it is tasty and affordable, and the menu offers a wide selection. The staff are considerably more polite than at the other saloons as well. It does not offer places to stay, as most of the people who would stay at this type of establishment can generally be instead found at the hotel.
The Tipsy ToadOne of three saloons present in the town, The Tipsy Toad is the popular favorite with the various rough-and-tough visitors and residents such as miners. Of all the saloons, it is perhaps the most like the stereotypical image of a Old Western saloon in its architecture and staff, with swinging wooden doors and a bustling atmosphere. Due to its crowded nature, visitors tend to take less notice here than at the other saloons, though they can still be singled out sometimes by drunk locals looking for a fight. Thanks to the general feel of the place and its cheap but strong drink, bar brawls are common here, though the staff takes care to prevent them from becoming too serious. A second floor features a number of small but affordable rooms that are somewhat nicer than those at Black Eye Joe's.
HotelThis towering building, the largest in town, is where most visitors choose to stay. Although it is somewhat costly, it is generally considered a preferential alternative to renting a room at one of the saloons or small boardinghouses that can be found scattered about. While visitors are not too common at this wilderness settlement, enough come by that the hotel is able to maintain a fine sense of decor heavy on chandeliers and a professional, if somewhat old-fashioned, staff. Stays include a complementary breakfast.
General StoreAlthough a number of more specialized stores such as a gun shop and livery can be found nearby, the General Store is the place where most visitors planning to explore the wilderness do their shopping for supplies. It is surprisingly large and well-organized, and is run by a friendly and garrulous proprietor.
Doc Carson'sThe sole medical practitioner in the town, "Doc" Carson is a somewhat mysterious individual who manages to serve to the medical needs of both the townsfolk and visitors with surprising effectiveness. He seems familiar with treating even the strangest sort of ailments and can generally patch up his patients in a very short time. The doc's services cost very little, but come with the requirement that patients not ask him any personal questions.
Train StationDominating the north end of town, the train station is a large red brick structure topped by a clock tower, and is where most (though not all) visitors originally arrive. The trains seem to come from and depart to just about anywhere on a schedule that is a complete mystery to most, but fortunately its employees are able- through equally mysterious means -to provide plenty of advance notice on a large mechanical arrivals and departures board inside the station's main hall. The train tracks themselves are found on the north side of the station, with a long waiting area that has plenty of benches below them.
Sheriff's OfficeThe town's Sheriff's Department and small jail. Particularly problematic troublemakers will be thrown into a magically durable cell before being chucked back into their home dimension.
Livery StableMain Street. Travelers may, for a fee, leave their horses here to be tended to and casual visitors may hire some of the stable's own horses for reasonable rates. Horsecarts are also available for a fee; horses paid separately, of course.
Zeke's Hunting and Fishing StoreMain Street. Here the outdoorsy type may purchase fishing tackle, firearms, ammunition and all the things a fisherman or hunter of the mid- to late-eighteen hundreds might need. The store is spacious and well stocked but the items are eighteenth-century standards: firearms are bolt-action, pump-action, lever-action, revolvers etc. No modern semiautomatics or higher technologies.
The DesertAn area of dry arid badlands with numerous gullies and ravines from long-dried rivers as well as mesas, buttes and hoodoos sculpted by the wind. The stratified layers of siltstone, mudstone and shale along with ancient layers of volcanic ash have produced a banded colourful terrain similar to the famous Painted Desert of Arizona.
Towards and into the lower foothills, the desolate "Painted Desert" gives way to scrub-covered desert terrain similar to that of the Sonoran desert. Here may be found numerous plants of the agave, cactus, palm and legume families, sage, creosote bushes, indigo bushes and many others. Wildlife is also common in this part of the desert- numerous species of birds, lizards, snakes, small mammals (mice, bats, ground squirrels, gophers, kangaroo rats etc) and coyotes inhabit the area. Progressing up higher into the foothills, the desert starts giving way to taller trees of the forest.
The ForestMountainous region with wind and water-sculpted pinnacles and cliffs, numerous valleys and a few slot canyons. The streams and larger rivers converge to feed a large river that drains into the fertile plains to the East. The upper foothills and mountains are covered in temperate coniferous forest - primarily evergreen conifers with a mix of broadleaf deciduous trees and a wide variety of shrubs. Wildlife includes grey wolves, coyotes (not as common as in the scrubby desert lands), mountain lions, black bear, elk and deer. Features spectacular views and scenery.
The FortLocated in the Northwestern Desert next to the river and on the other side of a hill from the water tower, this nineteenth-century fort is similar to Fort Sam Houston, and it's currently occupied by only a single platoon to keep the fort maintained and the flag flying.
The Ruined TempleLocated a mere hour's walk into the Southwestern Desert, this odd, dark stone temple gets very few visitors, or in fact people who have seen past its atrium thanks to its diligent guard, a flame-wreathed lion-beast. But is it really guarding just mere riches, or could there be more...?
Hidden CaveA sizable cave located in a shallow ravine just a little off the beaten path down one of the main southern roads. Innocuous at a glance, but home to untold depths.
Characters and Tropes
Bed and Breakfast (Railway St West/Main St North)
- Maya(Masterofchaos): A deaf and mute girl who speaks through ASL. She's snarky and travels with her friend, Amy.
- Amy(Masterofchaos): Maya's best friend. She's also her translator and is easily amazed by everything.
- Sir David "Davey" Harkness (Ryuhza): A twenty-nine year old white-furred bipedal otter-looking creature about the size of a child* . Dresses well. click for more info
- Constanza "Connie" Zavala (Ryuhza): A sixteen year old girl not entirely used to things beyond the frame of her old reality. click for more info
- Rodger "Rip" Wilkis (Ryuhza): A thirty-nine year old man seeking to summon the dead. click for more info
Railway St East:
- John (MasterofChaos): A gun store owner who somehow got lost in the desert. Mostly nice but a little ditzy.
- James (MasterofChaos): John's fiance. Does not trust most non human things and is more blunt about his feelings.
- Oswald (Ryuhza): A person with an unusual appearance that bears a loose resemblance to a Minotaur. Found half crazed and starving, now on the road to recovery. click for more info
- Mari Dojima (Will De Regio) A tall, mysterious, buxom, red-haired oni who speaks with a Cockney accent.
The Washington (Railway St East)
Railway St West
Train Station (Railway St Centre - Opposite Main Street)
The Tipsy Toad
Sagebrush Suite (Rooms 305-307)The psychic college students had this suite mysteriously reserved for them.
- The Order of Moth maintains a presence out here.
Valley of the Dead God and Small Valley
- Rin (Blackfire667) Purpose-built, genetically engineered cyborg supersoldier for the Hakoda Empire. Devoted to the cause, very much takes after Hana in her beliefs.
- Omar Pringle(Ryuhza): A mysterious man with the means and intent to get Joseph back home. click for more info
- Cynthia (Will De Regio): A young magic using swordfighter of the Azure Knights.
- Boris (madprophet)
- Julia (madprophet)
- Mary (madprophet)
- Simon (madprophet)
- Chisa (Sphinxyness) An android designed to look like a human girl child. On the run from someone, she found herself in Frontier. Programmed to hack into anything with wireless capabilities and can scan and gather data about the world around her. Seems to come from a very highly advanced world.
- Trinity (Sphinxyness)
- Kaito (Gold Paladin)
- Recon (Gameknight102xx)
- LCpl Hazel Yoon, USMC (Tehpillowstar): An US Marine deployed to Iraq who's found herself lost and alone in the Frontier desert. Has taken the chance to indulge her own dark talents. click for gearlist
- Danny (electronic-tragedy): A lonesome, standoffish American soldier. Has a bleak past before he entered the Vietnam war.
- Henry A. Safon the Second (Mrship21) An interdimensional traveller from 1977.
- Christopher Wallace (Tro Partner)
- Tana Norman (Tro Partner)
- A.P.O. (TroPartner): Stands for Automoton Police Officer.
- Brin (Killer Clowns): A policewoman, escorting Suela in hopes that secrets of the Dead God can bring her home.
- Suela (Killer Clowns): A philosopher, seeking the mysterious technologies that can only be found within the corpse of a being like the Dead God.
- Cloudsplitter (Killer Clowns): A mundane but hardened Graveyarder camel who has survived far more than any camel should have to.
- The Dead God (Killer Clowns): The broken remnants of an Eldritch Starship. Not technically a god, and not technically dead.
- Acting Commissar Zekarim (Killer Clowns): De facto leader of the military force guarding the Dead God, having fragged his predecessor. Amenable to diplomacy, mostly just wants to get home.
- Enkar Ziven: (Killer Clowns):
- Cyrus Fenrir (Snowy Foxes): A socially awkward but cheerful young engineer looking to put his latest creations to the test.
- Kito the Wolfram (Snowy Foxes): Cyrus's sardonic companion who appears to be a very large wolf. Their souls are bonded and they communicate telepathically.
- Blair Winters (savlamar): A powerful Fae with a hidden motive. Tall, slender, pale, dark-hared and light-eyed, and dangerous with magic.
- Roscoe Williams (savlamar): Not human, but temporarily stuck as one after being depowered in the dimensional travel. Short, well-shaped, cappuccino-colored, brown-haired and dark-eyed, and utterly overprotective of Blair despite suspecting him of knowing more than hes telling her.
- Katya (Slysheen): A serious, well-armed bounty hunter apparently from Russia. Seems to know Chisa.
- Garganteum (electronic-tragedy): A 2-story tall, four-legged black monster of sandstorms, created from the god of darkness Tenebraeum. It's not sentient, though is driven by hunger of living beings.
- Creature (spacealien): Chelsea's indentured servant, a bipedal, deer-like man (ostensibly).
- Chelsea (spacealien): A 15-year-old assassin who specializes in the quiet execution of non-human dissidents.
- Hana Matoi (Blackfire667) : Brilliant geneticist, cyberneticist. Capable strategist. Devoted fascist, Social Darwinist, eugenics advocate. Hakoda Empire politician. Here for an exotic vacation.
- Maya (Blackfire667) Purpose-built, genetically engineered cyborg supersoldier for the Hakoda Empire. A quiet, bookish girl. Just here as a bodyguard.
- Miyuki Satoi (Blackfire667) : Purpose-built, genetically engineered cyborg supersoldier for the Hakoda Empire. A serious girl who hides her feelings well. Here for Hana's protection, among other things. Hoshi's best friend.
- Hoshi Tanaka (Blackfire667) : Purpose-built, genetically engineered cyborg supersoldier for the Hakoda Empire. Always cheerful, upbeat, energetic. Here for Hana's protection, but is also looking forward to just goofing off. Miyuki's best friend.
- Updated look - leather belt, two Smith & Wesson Model 1's.
- S-679 (Blackfire667): Formerly known as "Yuto." An exceedingly tall, muscular, heavyset man from the Kagos Republic. A series of unfortunate life-choices led him to be empowered, yet disfigured. A genetically-modified, cybernetically-enhanced supersoldier from a country with a limited understanding of genetics and cybernetics.
- Ammolite (Darkblood Carnagefang): A Gem who fled to Earth after being sick of their life on the Homeworld. Uses singular they pronouns.
- Anne (daird)
- Lucky (daird)
- Azuhl (Darkblood Carnagefang): A wondering Redguard swordsman/Ash'abah. Uses masculine 'he' pronouns.
- Irina (electronic-tragedy): A young woman in desert travel garb and black headscarf, and is looking for Samuel and Todd for her own reasons.
- Samuel Kahler (electronic-tragedy): A bald, 40-year-old ex-Colonel. He wears a tan jacket and has a similarly-colored backpack.
- Todd Kimball (electronic-tragedy): A blond, 37-year-old man, and Commander of the Royal Guard in his and Samuel's home country, Serenica. He has romantic history with Samuel.
- Vic (electronic-tragedy): Only surviving member of a troop of dark magic occultists.
- Prof. Alba (Flowing Cotton): Senior independent magic researcher that suggested the journey. Has many aims he shared only with himself.
- Lia Astell Lucentail (Flowing Cotton): The youngest daughter of the Lucentail family. Nobility. A Songbird with excellent potential. A bit airheaded, but can be oddly reliable at times.
- Krul Diode (Flowing Cotton): A member of the Kingdom's royal guard and a war veteran. Tasked with guarding Lia, whom he had a father-like presence towards.
- Jun (Gault)
- Cynthia (In An Odder Way)
- Francis (In An Odder Way)
- Unknown agent (Killer Clowns): A condescending British agent.
- The Black and Teal (Killer Clowns): A five-person bandit clan made of unremarkable cast-offs from various universes.
- The Queen of Diamonds: The leader. A ork shadowrunner and veteran Street Samurai. More interested in wealth than violence than violence.
- Maud: The Dragon. A human rogue, survivor of the Dungeons of Doom, carrying and wearing a small museum's worth of powerful magical items.
- Maridel: The Evil Genius. An altmeri necromancer who picked up some cybernetic enhancements courtesy of the Queen of Diamonds.
- Battlemaster Urdnot Moreg: The Brute. A massive krogan battlemaster, eager for combat. Fortunately not at full strength, but still a force to be reckoned with.
- Nemaforte (Ladytanuki): A Sunestre, dressed like a witch, from the dark side of Tidally Locked Planet Orenya. Very aloof and eccentric, and adept at magic. Sells medicinal and psychotropic herbs unlike anything on Earth, and often uses the latter herself.
- The psychic college students (Ladytanuki): A group of college students from Boston who took a class on parapsychology and obtained Psychic Powers as part of a research project. (group picture)
- Merlin Caparelli: (picture) 26 years old, has Aura Vision. A short and effeminate guy with an enthusiasm about paranormal phenomena. Best friend of Lupin.
- Zuri Watkinson: (picture) 20 years old, had Astral Projection. The ghost of a distant and mysterious-looking albino woman. Her soul is in her athame (ritual dagger), and she's struggling to animate her body.
- Vicky Greystone: (picture) 18 years old, has telekinesis. A quirky and bubbly yet naive young lady who is very proud and excited about her powers.
- Amanda Tibbett: (picture) 17 years old, has psychic torture. A passionately sadomasochistic Emo Teen with a Magic Wand, who once possessed Yamiko.
- Hiroshi "Gon" Tsukimaru: (picture) 20 years old, has pyrokinesis. A comical Japanese computer nerd who enjoys swearing.
- Mariko "Ari" Tsukimaru: (picturenote ) 18 years old, has technomancy. A quiet Japanese computer nerd. Little sister of Gon and roommate of Vicky and Zuri.
- Lupin Merrimac: (picture) 28 years old, has cloaking. This scrawny long-haired British guy is the serious and quiet bespectacled type with a melancholy air about him, dressing all in black. Apparently moonlights as a police consultant.
- Yamiko Murakage: (picture) 23 years old, has telepathy. A very emotional half-Asian woman, who loves Elegant Gothic Lolita fashion. Girlfriend of Lupin, and just got over a telepathic reaction to the Dead God.
- Annie Bratton (LordGreyjoy): A mysterious jumpsuit-clad lady who just lost her powers of energy manipulation and has a missing sister. She's on the run from a dangerous reality-warper named Jericho and looking for Elizabeth, the only person who can stop him.
- Gregory Grey (LordGreyjoy): A scientist who looks a bit older than he really is. Has a good sense of humor and adventure. Rescued from Jericho's realm by Annie via a portal.
- Brother Xenophenes (MachinistComplex) A cleric-priest/psion from the old mission.
- Brother Arbutus (MachinistComplex) An elder priest from the old mission.
- Brother Quorin (MachinistComplex) A younger priest from the old mission.
- Jeannette (Night): Jeannette Montange; 24, blonde pixy cut, sunglasses, 5'8", brevet major/actual captain, tank commander. "Cap" to her crew.
- Ritchie (Night): Ritchie Smith; 20, wearing a red beret, 6', brevet sergeant/actual corporal, tank gunner; was a teen genius before he enlisted, has degree in high-energy physics. Jeannette calls him "Rich".
- Michael (Night): Michael Miller; 22, brown hair cut short and parted right, 5'10", PFC, tank driver; worked construction before he enlisted. Jeannette calls him "Mikey".
- Margaret Wiegand (Ryuhza): An elderly woman who is the proprietor of a small bed & breakfast in town.
- Joseph T. Weller (Ryuhza): A bedraggled lizard-person who found himself washed upon the muddy bank of a frontier river. Thought to have vanished to another time and another place in the middle of the night, but later resurfaced in a cave a few miles south of town. click for more info
- Chloe Thaleia (Sphinxyness) A young aspiring treasure hunter/thief who reigns from a family of thief/treasure hunters. Her first treasure is a large broadsword with strange runes that glow when the sword uses magic. She is looking for rare artifacts as well as her missing brother.
- Father Kiyoshi (Tempest Knight): A priest of the Tarsian Empire who has been sent to warn of a great danger approaching the town.
- Noshakruuptchè (Tempest Knight): The Lord of War.
- Kyle Norton: (Tera Chimera): A drunkard claiming to be the god of order.
- Kate Albright: (Tera Chimera): Kyle's traveling companion. Kyle claims she's the god of chaos.
- Colonel Abraham von Strauss (Will De Regio): A senior officer of the Balamar Empire, who highly values honor and courage.
- Captain Malcolm Greer (Will De Regio): An officer of the Balamar Empire, leader of an armor platoon.
- Jim McGee (Will De Regio): Djan mercenary hired by the Azure Knights to rescue Minerva. Dressed like a cowboy.
- Minerva (Will De Regio): A strange, amnesiac girl who was held prisoner by the Balamarian soldiers. Wears a blue dress and a dark blue camo jacket.
- Lieutenant Madeline Ross (Will De Regio): Insubordinate officer serving under von Strauss. Hates the Azure Knights with a passion.
- Saya (Yomegami): A girl with an odd song following her around.
- Lilith "Lily" Blackheart: (daird): Self-described Crown Princess of Hell.
- Lucy: (daird): Lily's pet hellhound. Not as intimidating as you'd expect.
- Prinem (Eterna Memoria): Athletic tan-skinned human in his early thirties, wearing a sleeveless vest that shows his muscles and scars, walking barefoot and carrying a rifle. He is technically Baron Verez' hired help, but treats him as an equal, to the latter's disapproval.
- Hailstorm (Eterna Memoria): A large grey-feathered talking bird that looks like something between a crow and an eagle. She is loyal to Baron Verez above all.
- Baron 'Vev' Verez Teberes (Eterna Memoria): a grey skinned, green haired, red eyed humanoid wearing an eyepatch, a white suit that has seem better days and carrying a side-sword that is everything but ordinary. Has an interest in artifacts from spacefaring beings.
- Tsadro Oriyand (Crystal Glacia): One of the Servant Race known as the Rivari, a dour, terse man from the Tefuri Islands. Haunted by his past and still unsure about life, he works for Vinicio Acquati, providing the services of his cybernetic implants as head of staff.
- Unit Psi (Snowy Foxes): A specially created unit in the World Alliance military. They pilot the Camelot, an experimental craft designed for an Earth mission. Everyone goes by a codename.
- Arthur: The team's captain, and the only member physically present in the thread. He's tired out by the seemingly thankless task of keeping the team together, but tries his best to look reasonably cheerful.
- Gwen (Guinevere): Arthur's calm, collected, but sometimes callous co-captain, despite her good intentions.
- Lancelot: A nervous individual who lacks the confidence to pitch his usually sound ideas.
- Nymue: A fiery young woman who's not afraid to let everyone know she has an opinion.
- Merlin: Dour and mostly silent, he usually has to be prodded into taking action.
- Galahad: The most enthusiastic member of the team, and eager to distinguish himself. Frequently clashes with Nymue.
- Iraal voSotin: (nrjxll): An female alien doctor of xenoarchaeology, from a species called the orl (humanoid, green skin, no hair, large eyes).
- Follows-Many-Scents: (nrjxll): Iraal's "physical assistant" (bodyguard); a female member of an alien species called the vayen (furry, hunched, long snout, three eyes). Goes by Scents for short.
- Aubrey Branscombe (Wolf1066): A cultured British man who had recently been abducted and locked in a tiny room in the mine, later rescued and brought into town by Connie, Joseph, Amy and one of the Mayas. Updated Description: dark pinstriped 1890's three-piece suit (pants, waistcoat and sack coat), white club-collared shirt, black bow tie, black oxfords and black felt bowler hat. The circumstances and motives surrounding his abduction - and the identities of his abductors - are still unknown. Image◊
- Peggy (Wolf1066): A young English woman formerly from Liverpool, UK. One of "The Mad Bastards", a group of friends from Terra Nova Picture◊
- Karl (Wolf1066): A young German from Freiburg, formerly a conscript. One of "The Mad Bastards", a group of friends from Terra Nova Picture◊
- James (Wolf1066): An Englishman, formerly a Grenadier Serjeant (sic) in Thomas Farrington's Regiment. One of "The Mad Bastards", a group of friends from Terra Nova Picture◊
- Kris (Wolf1066): A young woman formerly from New Zealand with an unusually pale left arm. One of "The Mad Bastards", a group of friends from Terra Nova Picture◊
- Teri (Wolf1066): A young woman of African descent, born and raised in London's East End. One of "The Mad Bastards", a group of friends from Terra Nova Picture◊
- "Wolfe" (Wolf1066): A not-so-young man formerly from New Zealand. One of "The Mad Bastards", a group of friends from Terra Nova Picture◊
- Finn Ó Brádaigh (Wolf1066): a modern Warrior Bard with a rich County Kildare accent. Member of the Warrior Rockers of Cú Chulainn, a gang from Hamilton, New Zealand - late twenty-first century. Picture◊
- Alpha/Sophia (Wolf1066): Gwion's "co-worker" and "room mate". Natural-looking artificial eyes with automatic Digital Night Vision System and optional Thermographic Imaging. Picture 1◊ Picture 2◊
- Updated Description: Black broad-brimmed hat with telescope crease and black band with silver studs
- Kaitlyn Reid (Wolf1066): a woman with a "Kiwi" (New Zealand) accent, unnaturally green eyesnote , "elfin" features and pointed earsnote . Picture◊.
- Updated Description: Tan broad-brimmed hat with dark brown band fitted with silver conchos
- Gwion (Wolf1066): Street-savvy cyborg with "no fixed occupation" and "no fixed abode". Obvious mechanical arm and red-irised artificial eye. Picture◊
- Updated Description: Black broad-brimmed hat with "Cattleman" crease and black hat band
- A-Cup Angst: Petite and flat-chested Yamiko experiences this in the presence of obviously well-endowed Mari. Add that to the fact that both are Japanese ladies with red hair, and you get Yamiko being implicitly envious of Mari's entire appearance.
- Animate Dead: Zuri does this with her own corpse once the wagon group is back in town. Even though her ghost is still around, it proves to be quite difficult for her - her body moves as clumsily as a zombie and has a hard time speaking or holding things.
- Before she died, and while she was astral projecting, Nemaforte managed to animate her body for a while.
- Amanda apparently wishes she had this ability, specifically referring to necromancy.
- Attack! Attack... Retreat! Retreat!:Gon: "Look! Look at that! A real Western general store! Can't we take a peek in there real quick?"Ari: "No Gon, we have to go meet up with Vicky and Zuri." (beat) "Besides, haven't you always wanted to see an old-fashioned wagon, with real horses pulling them?"Gon: "Oh yeah! I forgot about that! Come on, let's go already!"
- The Bus Came Back: Zuri was quite obviously out of the story when she died... but then she later came back as a ghost in order to be with her classmates.
- Call-Back: Rin refers to the idea of carrying people somewhere by having them sit on a bench. Miyuki did just that in Character Capital.
- Chandler's Law: Things were going very quietly at the Fort with the Lieutenant accepting Henry's story so suddenly a bunch of armed men showed up and started shooting everyone...
- Chekhov's Hobby: When Nemaforte was first introduced and met Annie and Gregory, she mentioned a class she had been heading towards on the train. Fast forward to the following day, when Iraal asked her about Orenya's history, and she explained it, having Suddenly Always Knew That despite being naive about many other things. Perhaps the class she had been taking was a history class.
- The Cuckoolander Was Right: When the wagon group encountered the starving and delusional Oswald, most of the group tried in vain to help him, until Nemaforte, who had previously been known to babble on about esoteric magic stuff, sensed that he was actually cursed. It was a purification ritual led by her that finally got him back on his feet... and he might've been fully cured had Zuri not interrupted Nemaforte's spell.
- Cute Ghost Girl: Zuri's astral projection, though barely visible. Even Zuri herself qualifies despite being alive, as she was often called a ghost because of her pale skin and white hair. Played even more straight after her death when she returns as an actual ghost.
- Dare to Be Badass: Angered by Arthur's self-loathing remarks and general melancholy, Tsadro attempts to deliver one of these to get the young man to take initiative and be a leader.Tsadro: "You are captain and you defected for a reason, so own it."
- Roscoe Williams suffers this, as well as Blair Winters to an extent. Blair explains it as a case of Your Magic's No Good Here, as they have traveled to a new dimension. He would say that; he is actually the one who depowered both of them.
- This is also experienced by Annie, who used up her powers of energy manipulation to rescue Gregory from the realm of Jericho.
- Diabolus ex Machina: Nemaforte's failure to sense that the Dead God was awakening seems to be one of these, contrived so that Zuri, the only other person in the forest/wagon group with Psychic Powers, could die (see Famous Last Words below). The Dead God's "warning signal" manifested as a temporal disturbance among other things, and it so happens that Nemaforte had just ingested a magic mushroom with the effect of slowing down time perception. So she thinks the disturbance is just an effect of the drug.
- Double Entendre: Inverted by Gon and Merlin as they leave the hotel with the F-word, as Gon uses it purely in the swearing sense, and Merlin implies the literal meaning, which already pertains to sex.Gon: "This is the fucking Wild West! I can say whatever I damn well want! Especially since we're already out the fucking front door! Fuck, man, I can't wait for this clusterfuck of a day to be fucking over"Merlin: "And I hope it ends with fucking Zuri."
- Drowning My Sorrows: Emotionally shaken from the possession fiasco over at the wagon heading to the mountains, and anxious about what other people would think about her telepathic powers, Yamiko engages in this at the desert ritual site. Since the first half of the drinks she has are an alcoholic (and mildly hallucinogenic) Mana Potion, she experiences Power Incontinence after adding sake, accidentally transmitting thoughts to whoever she's speaking to. The good news is that the potion's effects seem to keep her possession at bay.
- Eloquent in My Native Tongue: This is the case with Nemaforte, who, despite Aliens Speaking English being in effect, speaks this "English" as a second language, messing up words and making many grammatical errors (much to the confusion of Scents and her translation software). When she speaks Latorinote , though, she sounds much more confident and consistent in her wording.
- The Empath
- Irina senses emotions to those she has made a "connection" with. Her high magical aptitude allows for this, and can sense other magical beings.
- Subverted with Nemaforte and Lupin- although they both have Aura Vision which allows them to easily detect even traces of emotion in people, they also happen to be The Stoic, which hinders their ability to interpret such emotions. Especially the case with Lupin, who just got that ability in the middle of Day 2 of the thread and thus doesn't have much experience with auras. In fact, the ability itself pressured him to open up a bit more emotionally (thus steering him towards The Empath role), though he still has difficulty doing so.
- Empty Shell: Doc Carson warns that Yamiko may have become one after reacting to the Dead God.
- Erudite Stoner: Nemaforte is perhaps a bit too fond of ingesting her more mind-altering herbs... but manages to remain calm and collected (if a bit distracted) and also quite talkative, frequently combining wisdom with magibabble.
- Exposition of Immortality: Tsadro attempts a subtler version of this by describing people he's met from throughout history, such as a Crusader, kids who died of plauges, and women who were victims of witchhunts, but all this nets him is a mental comparison to The Fair Folk, since Peggy and Finn come from a setting where people get spirited away across time. It's possible he's just not that good at this since everyone back in Aitherion know the Rivari are immortal.
- Fainting Seer
- Lupin has a minor instance of this at the ritual site in the desert. When Hazel is remembering a traumatic event from her past, Lupin sees that as a dark presence in her aura, and that in turn causes him to faint. Justified as a panic attack triggered by a Troubled Backstory Flashback.
- Nemaforte also experienced this a couple of times, when she sensed the presence of the Dead God in the mountains. Again justified - any kind of fear causes Nemaforte to easily lose consciousness due to the curse she suffers from.
- Taken Up to Eleven by Zuri, who becomes a dying seer after astral projecting to the Valley of the Dead God and witnessing said God's awakening.
- The Fair Folk
- Blair Winters, albeit disguised in human form. Hes got all the charm and cunning to match.
- Tsadro's overall odd appearance, magical abilities, weakness to Cold Iron, and the fact that Earthen humans occasionally find themselves whisked away to his world have netted him some comparisons to the original Fair Folk, the Aos Si.
- Famous Last Words: Used as a Heroic Sacrifice by Zuri, who had been on the brink of death due to her astral projection being trapped in Blair's detection field. Once she broke free of the field by crossing the Despair Event Horizonnote , instead of calmly returning to her body and having to make a slow recovery in order to live, she focuses her remaining strength on warning the wagon group about the Dead God's awakening.
- Fantastic Drug: Nemaforte has quite a collection of them, in the form of strange magical herbs and potions. A few of them, like the Cosmic Potion, are beneficial.
- Four-Philosophy Ensemble: The psychic college students. Lupin is the Cynic, Vicky is the Optimist, Zuri is the Realist, and Yamiko is the Apathetic/Conflicted.
- While Nemaforte (Ladytanuki's fifth character) is with the students, she fulfills the role of the Apathetic, deferring Yamiko to the Conflicted role.
- The group of eight that they were originally was more like The Magnificent Seven Samurai. Zuri was The Hero, Yamiko was The Lancer, Gon was The Big Guy, Lupin was The Smart Guy, Ari was the Naïve Newcomer, Vicky was the Plucky Comic Relief, Merlin was the Mentor Archetype, and Amanda was the Token Evil Teammate.
- "Freaky Friday" Flip: Cyrus and Kito intentionally pull a mind-swap on the morning of the second day, to remind the group that Kito isn't a dumb beast, and that the two are in fact one and the same.
- Genki Girl: Amy, who's almost always excited about everything, though not everyone approves of it.
- Glad He's on Our Side: Discussed almost word-for-word by Kito to Cyrus telepathically, regarding Blair, after Blair used Black Magic on a young soldier to make her forget she had found the campsite. (The general reaction was very "What the Hell, Hero?," depending on what one considered Blair to be. There was a silent consensus on that at that moment.)
- Green Thumb: Nemaforte. Or should we say "white thumb", as the strange herbs that grow on her home planet never see sunlight and thus don't have chlorophyll.
- Guns Akimbo: "Type 3" - Alpha carries two identical black-and-chrome SIG-Sauer P226s. In the battle at the Fort she does a "New York Reload", drawing the second once the first is empty.
- Handicapped Badass
- Samuel lost his lower left leg in a battle and wears a prosthetic advanced for his time. Though he has troubles with it infrequently, he still goes into battle to save Todd.
- Also Gwion- crude mechanical arm that has seen better days and has been inexpertly repaired; basic prosthetic eye.
- Has Two Mommies: Not actually, but James and John pretend to be Joseph's parents, due to not being aware of other non human beings at the time. The ruse quickly falls apart, though they still fondly refer to him as their 'son.'
- Haunted Fetter: The blade of Zuri's ritual dagger contains her soul, anchoring her to the mortal realm. When her ghost first appears, she moves the sheathed knife telekinetically into the wagon, where it slides out of the sheath on its own and releases her ghost. The use of this dagger makes sense, as she held onto it during her life (and used it in the ritual to revive Oswald), having originally belonged to her mother.
- Heroic Albino:
- How Do I Shot Web?: Happens with the psychic college students when they suddenly gain new powers in the middle of Day 2 - they use said powers rather clumsily. Zuri is surprised at how summoning fire in her palm actually feels, Lupin has a hard time interpreting the appearance of the auras he sees around people (and sometimes getting a spontaneous feeling about what it means), and Vicky accidentally sends multiple text messages to Lupin when she's trying to figure out her technomancy.
- Humanoid Aliens: Scents is one.
- The nature-inclined Blair has senses that can range all around him and exhibits this several times, particularly in the camp overnight and while traversing the Small Valley, but he explicitly uses it to describe the freshly-arrived Baron Verez, Prinem, and Hailstorm without having turned to look at them as a sort of Badass Boast to Acting Commissar Zekarim, whose fear/loyalty was actually turning Blair's magic inside out.
- Nemaforte experiences a variety of this after ingesting the "Mushroom of Time" herb - time starts moving very slowly for her, and in that time she takes notice of every little sound made by the wagon and the surroundings, is able to understand what everyone is saying even though they would seem to be speaking very slowly, and even is able to sense everyone's presence in the wagon and look at them with her eyes closed. Plus she has more "time" to think about what she says, resulting in her sounding more articulate. It does help that in the wagon, she briefly vaporized an incense that helps with focus and awareness.
- King Incognito: A prince in this case- Blair is the technical heir to his universe's version of Faerie. He does not reveal this fact until it benefits him, as he is negotiating with the Acting Commissar. Granted, he has a fairly good reason for keeping this to himself.
- Knight In Sour Armor: Tsadro holds a not-uncommon sentiment among freshly-retired Rivari- he wants to believe, as his instincts as a servant have told him all his life, that humans are great, even as they disappoint him again and again. The fact that Unit Psi has broken the status quo and done something to fix their situation gives him great hope, enough to anger him whenever Arthur bemoans his situation.
- Large and in Charge: Acting Commissar Zekarim is an interesting case. He is taller than everyone in the Small Valley Dead God group, but is the shortest of the men and women guarding the Dead God.
- Laser Blade: Cynthia makes her sword into one to collapse the tunnel to keep the vagabonds after her group from following.
- Magibabble: Nemaforte (and to some extent, the psychic college students) is frequently accused of this by the rest of the wagon group. Iraal in particular frequently asks her to explain things in non-magic terms. It's especially difficult for her to explain it, as she's from a planet whose culture revolves around Functional Magic - a couple of times Zuri (an Earthling with an understanding of magic) played the part of interpreter.
- Magical Gesture
- Nemaforte typically extends a palm outward whenever she uses a magic spell, particularly if its effects are difficult to see.
- Vicky and Zuri also used this when they were determining which of them obtained pyrokinesis from their classmates, trying to generate flames from their hands.
- Downplayed by Blair, whose only tells are very slight movements of his fingers and, when necessary, a slight change in the tone of his voice.
- Mechanical Abomination: The Dead God itself; a sufficiently advanced Quasi-Living Ship kilometers wide that, even in its current state, has turned the biome it inhabits into a hellish wasteland where even the flora and fauna are so twisted that magic considers them machines.
- A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Read: Especially that of an Eldritch Abomination like the Dead God. When Yamiko accidentally looks at it through a telepathic link with Lupin, she has a very adverse reaction to it, becoming unresponsive and possibly insane.
- Mind over Manners: Happens with Yamiko, and also Lupin after he gets Aura Vision. When introducing herself in the hotel dining hall, Yamiko uses telepathy to read into tidbits about the person she's speaking to, then "guesses" those attributes when speaking. Naturally, a couple of characters call her out on it or even say it's rude. Similarly, Rip is not pleased when Lupin confronts him about his mysterious stone, based on a strange aura he saw around it.
- Mood-Swinger: Yamiko, especially after being possessed by Amanda. In the wagon heading to the mountains, she went from snarky to annoyingly cheerful to almost the breaking point of rage to crying uncontrollably in a matter of a few minutes.
- Obliquely Obfuscated Occupation: Lupin mentions to Rip that he works as a police consultant, but doesn't elaborate on it too much besides using it to explain his tendency to investigate things such as his cursed stone. It's also hinted at when Zuri discovers a taser in his pockets. According to Word of God, he has another secret occupation that isn't even brought up.
- One Steve Limit
- Broken by Maya, the supersoldier, and Maya, the deaf girl.
- There's also two named James- one of them is a part of the Mad Bastards.
- Both Arthur and Lupin have a teammate named Merlin.
- Our Ghosts Are Different: Zuri demonstrates this. While alive, her astral projection resembled a ghost, manifesting as a barely-visible spectral form of herself. Some time after her death, she comes back as a ghost; this ghost looks exactly like the real Zuri except transparent. In terms of the trope, she is a Type 17 - she was about to ascend to Heaven with her parents, but decided last minute to stay behind so she could be with her classmates.
- The Philosopher
- Suela is one, and worse, a relatively young one with audacious theories and more questions than answers. Give her an excuse, and she will make you suffer those questions.
- Speculating on Rivari issues, psychology, and the nature of several Big Questions surrounding them happens to be one of Tsadro's main hobbies.
- Pimped-Out Dress: Yamiko wears a red and black Elegant Gothic Lolita style one with white accents. She even insists on wearing it during a trek through the potentially-dangerous desert, preferring to kick ass in all her finery.
- Pineal Weirdness: As discovered by Zuri in the wagon heading to the mountains, Nemaforte has a hole in her skull right in the middle of her forehead, which she explains as being her Third Eye.
- Poke in the Third Eye: Zuri experiences one while astral projecting to the Valley of the Dead God, getting stuck in the magical detection field Blair set up around the area.
- Power-Strain Blackout:
- Experienced by the psychic college students after they help Vicky fly Yamiko, Lupin, and herself from the wagon to the ritual site in the desert. Downplayed, though, in that they don't actually faint, but do feel very fatigued and unable to really think straight afterward. Apparently Nemaforte anticipated this, and gave them some of her Cosmic Potion in preparation.
- Cynthia blacks out after using too much magic in the Abandoned Mine, along with muscle cramps and overloaded nerves.
- Psychic Nosebleed: Yamiko gets a rather nasty one upon witnessing the Dead God when it rises. Normally looking upon it would not cause such a reaction (Lupin didn't react this way despite his Aura Vision), but since Yamiko was still under the influence of too much Cosmic Potion and had read the image of the Dead God in Lupin's mind, she ended up having a telepathic reaction to it.
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits
- The group heading out to search for the Dead God: a hyperactive philosopher, a cynical cop, two cybernetic super-soldiers, a weapons designer and his soul-bonded giant wolf, an unscrupulous mage and his human-not-human girlfriend, and a camel.
- The other group heading out to search for the Dead God: two of the Mad Bastards (the African-Cockney bird and the aging Kiwi bushman), a green-skinned alien and her furry bodyguard and Robot Buddy, four college students with Psychic Powers, a tattooed cyborg, a Russian ex-military bounty hunter and a short elfin witch. All riding together in a wagon.
- At the Temple in the Southwestern Desert we have two more of the Mad Bastards (the young former Wehrmacht conscript and the pretty young farm girl), an ex-servant-turned chief of staff with light-emitting tattoos, a mute military captain, a Neo-Celtic gang member and a heavily tattooed, rather "punk"-looking woman.
- Rubber-Forehead Aliens: Iraal and Nemaforte; the former borderlines on Green-Skinned Space Babe.
- The Soulless: The "animals" of the Valley of the Dead God lack any sort of souls or life energy, existing only in the physical realm, making them very unsettling and tricky to deal with for magic users.
- The Stoic
- Tsadro, for the most part. He takes a long time to open up around a person, and his emotional expressions are very subtle as it is. Note that the most prominent emotion he's expressed in-thread so far appears to be genuine concern for characters like Chloe and Arthur.It bothered [Arthur] slightly how reading Tsadro was mostly impossible.
- Miyuki is this, by and large. And/or she's an Emotionless Girl. She does have feelings, though. It's just that she doesn't show them.
- Lupin is also one, and even sports a pair of Stoic Spectacles.
- Tsadro, for the most part. He takes a long time to open up around a person, and his emotional expressions are very subtle as it is. Note that the most prominent emotion he's expressed in-thread so far appears to be genuine concern for characters like Chloe and Arthur.
- The Stoner
- Wolfe views Nemaforte as this due to her frequent "self medication" with strange herbs and her resultant bizarre behaviour.
- Telepathy / Psychic Link: Used heavily by several characters. Cyrus and Kito share a telepathic link, while Blair and Roscoe's is psychic. Yamiko uses telepathy both to read people's thoughts and send secret messages to her classmates. Baron Verez establishes a psychic link to communicate with Hailstorm.
- Baron Verez tries to use his telepathy to scan the Valley for lifeforms after teleporting in, only to find that the telepathic signature of the Dead God is strong enough to blind his life sense almost completely to lesser signals. Zuri experiences a similar sensation when scouting the area with her Astral Projection, though to her it feels more like a hard barrier preventing her from going anywhere near the Dead God.
- Tin Man: Nemaforte manages to invert this trope. When Zuri dies, Nemaforte tells the rest of the group that she feels sad about it, when she is actually incapable of sadness.
- Trenchcoat Brigade: Lupin seems to be a member, minus the smoking and the facial hair. He's also a police consultant rather than a detective, and that's not his real occupation anyway.
- What Measure Is a Mook?: Averted by Brin, to the annoyance of others, Suela included.
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: The reason Brin unthinkingly agrees to leave Kito to return on his own when they encounter the task force near the mountain pass, though she's later racked by guilt and apologizes.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: Vicky, who is excited and overjoyed about her childhood dreams of having Psychic Powers actually coming true. Lampshaded by James and Kaitlyn, who laugh at or outright berate her (respectively) for thinking that it would be awesome to fight crime with the help of her telekinetic powers, pointing out how dangerous it would be. Kaitlyn even accuses her of living a sheltered life. Vicky's response is basically "Nah, I'm sure I'd do just fine!"
- Wrecked Weapon: Cynthia ends up reducing her steel sword to molten slag after using it as a Laser Blade.