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Characters / A Cruel God Reigns

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The Lowland Family

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    Jeremy Butler 
  • Abusive Parents: Has one in the form of his stepfather, Greg, who sexually victimizes him throughout the first half of the narrative, though less salient is his mother, Sandra, who was neglectful, clingy, emotionally dependent on her son, and did nothing to stop the abuse she knew he was enduring at her husband's hands.
  • Ambiguously Bi: He begins the story with a girlfriend named Vivi, though their relationship crumbles once she doubts his claims of abuse. He later shows interest in Nadia, though nothing notable comes of their friendship.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Most likely a severe form of PTSD. A psychiatrist Jeremy visits, named Dr. Orson notes that his behavior is certainly disordered, but is unable to provide meaningful counsel to him before dying.
  • The Atoner: A good chunk of the story is spent following Jeremy as he attempts to atone for his actions, primarily the murder of his mother.
  • Betty and Veronica: The Betty to Ian's Veronica as the two compete for Nadia's affection. Ultimately subverted, as Jeremy and Ian end up getting together instead.
  • Beware the Quiet Ones: Murders his abusive stepfather; his mother's death as collateral devastates him, however, and he quickly returns to his usual terse self, albeit twice as depressed.
  • Broken Bird: Jeremy was a regular, happy boy once. After his sexual abuse and his subsequent murder of Greg and Sandra, he is never the same. The aftermath of his traumas are something he will have to deal with his whole life.
  • The Cassandra: When he comes forward to Ian about his abuse he is not believed, and is eventually gaslit.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Jeremy is strange, to put it lightly.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Lost his father, forced to live with a mentally-ill and emotionally-manipulative mother, horrifically sexually abused by his stepfather, had to deal with the guilt of accidentally murdering his mother, and almost raped several times by other men.
  • Defiled Forever: Considers himself such following Greg's first forays into abusing him.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: His mother's, and vice versa.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: After he finds out Sandra is dead.
  • Parental Incest: A victim of it from his stepfather, and his relationship with Sandra has uncomfortable subtext.
  • Promiscuity After Rape: Eventually becomes a prostitute, sleeping with several men a day.
  • Rape as Backstory: More rape-as-plot, though he broadly counts on account of the first half of the story being an extended flashback.
  • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Jeremy fits the bill.
  • Self-Harm: Following Sandra's death, he takes to slamming his head against walls and doors.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Of the three parents he's had, one died of presumably natural causes and the other two by his own devising.
  • Sex for Solace: With Ian.
  • Shrinking Violet: Many characters note how reserved he is. This aspect of his personality becomes exaggerated following his abuse, and opening back up is how he spends most of his recovery.
  • Tin Man: To cope with his abuse, he begins to consider himself above human emotions.
  • Trauma Conga Line: His father died when he was around 10, his mother subsequently attempted suicide, later marries a pedophile who routinely abuses Jeremy and threatens to turn the abuse on his mother should he not comply, and is later killed by Jeremy on accident in his attempts to kill his new father in revenge, all in the first half of the story. The second isn't much better.
  • Troubled, but Cute: Often described as beautiful and handsome, but struggling from a dark and troubled past.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Jeremy, being sheltered and naive for his age, is forced to grow up quickly in order to cope with his abuse. This backfires horrendously when it leads to him concocting a scheme to kill his abuser that ends up taking his mother with it.
  • Villain Protagonist: Jeremy dips into this on occasion, to the point where some of his own behavior might be considered abusive.
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    Ian Lowland 
  • Ambiguously Bi: Ian has had relationships with multiple women, most notably Nadia, but struggles with his attraction to Jeremy, another man.
    Greg Lowland 
  • Abusive Parent: To Jeremy, his stepson. And also to his young son Matt, who he emotionally and physically abuses.
  • Wicked Stepfather: Greg emotionally, physically, and sexually abuses his stepson Jeremy.
    Sandra Lowland 
    Matt Lowland 
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