Winstone & the GiarrettierasThe Giarrettiera family is a Mafia branch centered in (and, for the most part, controlling) Winstone City. The titular brothers have commanded the organization since the as-yet-unelucidated death of their father, the austere Lucio Giarrettiera. Eldest son Massimo is now the don, with younger brothers Cesare and Nico as his capos. This section also includes others who work and/or live in Winstone, many of whom interact with the Giarrettiera family.
Terrian Brogue (Rogues & Brogues) also operates out of Winstone and has interacted with various characters on this page. Illiana Silna (South Pole Summoners) is not a resident here but has multiple ties to the city, especially its police. Jacob Marshall was once an officer for Ecruteak before being drummed off the force.
Commissioner Perry Williams
- Good Cop/Bad Cop: Williams is always the bad cop, whether Davidson or Landsvale is pulling good cop duty. Well, "always" as long as there's actually a criminal, Power, or eccentric like Renard around to antagonize. Faced with normal, innocent civilians like the Odios, Williams is a much more pleasant guy.
- Hero Antagonist: To Antonio in Obscured Truth, although that depends on how much you view Antonio as the protagonist in the first place. The role suits Williams less with regard to Illiana and Yoshimitsu, since in relatively short order he stops treating them (especially Illiana) as enemies.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He softened on Renard a little toward the end of Burgled Boullogne, but more importantly, Obscured Truth has already been doing a lot to pick apart his bigoted attitude, emphasizing his sympathy for and protectiveness of innocent civilians who really have had their livelihoods ruined by Powers, and setting him opposite Powers whom he has valid reasons to fear and distrust.
- Knight In Sour Armor: Takes an extremely cynical view of his job, of the city, and of Archipelago society as a whole, but that doesn't keep him from trying to maintain order.
- Monster Is a Mommy: The superficially unlikeable character is also a doting father.
- Properly Paranoid: He's installed multiple hidden surveillance cameras in his own office. He is also the highest-ranking police officer in a city rife with organized criminals and delinquent Powers. Williams probably isn't wrong for guessing there are many out there who'd like to put a few scars in what the people of Winstone see as the face of the law.
- Scary Black Man: His scariness mostly has to do with his vendetta against Powers, but Pohatu is not above also drawing on the fact that he does indeed happen to be a black man of larger-than-average height and width.The other man, despite his admonishment, was now himself standing up out of his seat. His profile was quite imposing under the flourescent light overhead. "Come on, Rouletabille," he said in a low voice. "It was a Power, wasn't it? More than one? How many? Tell me. I need details. We're gonna turn this city inside-out. We need to send their kind a message: They can't fuck with us like that." He strode around the desk and patted Micmac on the head again. His expression however was not as relaxed as before. "If one of 'em screws me over, I'm gonna take down three of 'em. If three of 'em screw me over, I'm gonna take down twenty of 'em. It's the only way, Rouletabille. You can't make a single Power pay for his crimes. All you can do is discipline the group. Make any infraction a betrayal against their whole kind. There's no other way to keep them at peace, Rouletabille. Because those assholes are not like you and me."
Inspector Denham Landsvale
A new arrival in Winstone as of Burgled Boullogne, Landsvale has been transferred there to replace Davidson. He carries on in Davidson's footsteps as being the Good Cop to Williams' Bad Cop, but has a quite distinct personality: soft-spoken, world-weary, and very avoidant. Taking down criminals is one thing, but in moments of interpersonal confrontation, Inspector Landsvale is as meek as a lamb.
- Extreme Doormat: Landsvale has a really, really hard time denying any request or command. This doesn't just apply to orders from Williams, either; Landsvale puts up no resistance when Renard treads onto the crime scene to investigate the space where the burgled Boullogne hung."He wanted to check it out. Didn't think it was worth telling him no."
- Let's Get Dangerous!: Landsvale carries himself with a fair bit more firmness and resolve than expected in the confrontation with Dacten, even building up to a pretty significant Armor-Piercing Observation that sets a personal record for boldness.
- Verbal Tic: He almost never speaks in complete sentences. Dropping "I", "I'm", etc. at the beginnings of sentences is particularly common (i.e. "Think Williams sort of misunderstood me", "Didn't feel like arguing though", etc).
Inspector Seth Davidson
Williams' right-hand man in investigating the Hotel Ansonia affair. A generally decent and open-minded man in comparison to Williams' impatient and Power-hating attitude. He and a squad of lesser officers tracked Lucas and Scar down to Lucas' apartment after the Ansonia incident. Lucas and Scar survived the encounter; Davidson, the other policemen, and the apartment did not.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: At Lucas' hands.
- Posthumous Character: A variant. It's not so much that Davidson dies early on in Ishkabibble and then is only seen in flashbacks, since "flashbacks" aren't really a functioning concept in Ish to begin with. If anything, Scene Two is more of a flash forward from the point of view of the main events happening on Monday. In any case, though, Davidson definitely fits the spirit of this trope if not the letter.
An information broker who spends her nights in the Passione Rossa, a favorite bar of the Giarrettiera family. She's very polite and very charming and you should not be fooled. Yoon has the dirt on everyone of interest in Winstone, and her knowledge extends quite far outside that range. When criminals, the local police, or any of the shifty characters in between want to buy or sell some information on each others' activities, Yoon's the one they go to first.
- The Lost Lenore: Her deceased husband Hwan, although to what extent his death has affected her character is only just beginning to come to light.
- Manipulative Bitch:
- Hinted at faintly in the text, but much more strongly on Formspring, where Pohatu has suggested that Yoon may have personally engineered the public scandal at the discovery that the previous Commissioner was visiting her for information, and would not necessarily have needed any reason less petty than "she didn't like him much".
- She also arranged for Franklin Gaussier's and Deborah Schoen's deaths at the hands of the Giarrettieras simply because she can't appreciate a little competition. Yoon is not really the nicest person ever.
- Took a Level in Badass: Let's brush up on Yoon's history so far. In Ishkabibble, she buys some information off Nico. Pretty soon she'll sell some (unrelated) information to Natalie, and at the end some other stuff'll happen. So far, so normal. In Burgled Boullogne, she categorically denies Renard's claim that she was at the Gallery, tampers with his evidence that proves otherwise, and just generally brings his whole investigation to a standstill and makes the detective seriously question his own sanity, while subtly mocking him the whole time. And all just because Renard wasn't careful enough to make it clear before asking any questions that he didn't suspect her of stealing Le roi Midas.
- Two Shots from Behind the Bar: The bartender, Howard, is prepared with a rifle to defend Yoon should any of her clients lose their tempers. In fact, he also has a private arrangement to defend waitress Allison from her own potential threats. Rival broker Franklin Gaussier deliberately tries to copy this tactic with his own barkeep Lester Hanratty, but that doesn't work out so well for him.
An Amateur Sleuth of French descent and nineteenth-century sensibilities who bumbles his way through solving mysteries in Winstone City despite his services having been thoroughly disavowed by the police department. You can't really blame Commissioner Williams for feeling better off without Renard's help, but the detective has just slightly more brains and tricks than he generally lets on.
- Amnesia Danger: In Burgled Boullogne, the danger of being locked out of his apartment (GASP).
- Bad Liar: Very strongly portrayed as such throughout most of Boullogne, notwithstanding that nice fib he pulls off on Commissioner Williams at the end there. Channery sums it up:"Oh my god seriously you are the worst liar ever," Channery observed, cutting him off. "Wait, so, did they — did they actually go in and like, drill the lying parts out of your brain, or what? Are you some kind of truth cyborg? 'Cause it looks like you're really going against your programming, here, slinging all this bullshit my way."
- Bubble Pipe: Except when it's filled with bubble juice, it produces smoke, and when it's filled with tobacco, it produces bubbles. And this is true of every pipe and brand of bubble juice and tobacco Renard's ever tried. Were you wondering whether there's any logical explanation for this? Sorry.
- Hero with Bad Publicity: Renard exiled himself from Europe because his overzealously publicized manhunt for a certain criminal (the King of Clubs) backfired after other investigators started suspecting that Renard might secretly be the criminal in question.
- My Car Hates Me: Actually, despite all of Renard's narrative assurances that his small black automobile is temperamental and often refuses to work, it never breaks down of its own accord in Burgled Boullogne. It's sabotaged instead.
- Photographic Memory: Once he's actually tried to memorize something.
- Rummage Fail: He's actually surprisingly good at averting this most of the time, but he'll occasionally pull too much out of his pockets.
- Smoke Out: Renard cleverly exploits the bubble juice/tobacco duality in Channery's living room, tossing his bottle of bubble juice onto the floor to act as a makeshift smoke bomb.
Massimo Ulderico Giarrettiera
- Big, Thin, Short Trio: Massimo's the short one obviously. But he is definitely not the "grumpy" one as the trope suggests.
- Cain and Abel: Massimo half-jokingly ponders murdering his irresponsible and destructive younger brother Cesare many times.
- Character Death: Fatally shot during the Hotel Ansonia incident by an accomplice of his own brother, Cesare, who was looking to take this opportunity to seize the reins.
- The Dutiful Son: So dutiful he had no problem ratting out his younger brothers' misdeeds to father Lucio when they were kids.
- Killed Offscreen: Not originally planned for Massimo, who was meant to be killed onscreen midway through Ishkabibble, but the abridged presentation of a number of scenes necessitated that his death not be written out in full. There's always the chance it'll get revisited in flashback form.
- Nice, Mean, and In-Between: The polite, unflappable nice one.
- Posthumous Character: His death in Ishkabibble hasn't stopped him from appearing in a flashback of Mayordomo's during Murder Mystery in the Glade, appearing in Shouta's dream sequence in Through the Arras (which clearly takes place after Ishkabibble, as it strongly implies Massimo is already dead), and, most lately, popping up alive and well for Chips are Down, which is an Interquel for Luxury Train Ride, and thus chronologically prior to Ishkabibble.
- Power Trio: The G-Bros fit this to a tee. Massimo is the engaging, extroverted ego.
- Abusive Parents: All three obviously had this, but Cesare is suggested to have been the main recipient of the late Don Lucio's disciplinarian methods. Oddly enough, though, Cesare now only seems to admire him more for it.Cesare chuckled. He didn't know why. Just seemed funny all of a sudden. Even the part where he and Nico'd gotten a beating and lived on bread and water for three days. Even how Nico wouldn't so much as look at him for a week after that. He took another sip and grinned. That was dad. See maybe Cesare was supposed to have some Edible complex or whatever now, getting beaten as a kid and all, but f* ck, that was just his dad. [...] Life lesson number one, father to son: rule by goddamned force. How did you run a ship? By being the hardest sonofabitch on board. If that meant knocking a couple teeth out when your sons stepped out of line, so f* cking be it.
- Big, Thin, Short Trio: Cesare's the big one obviously. But he definitely is not the "good-natured" one as the trope suggests.
- Even Evil Has Standards: By all appearances, Cesare's the most violent and brutal member of his mafia family. For whatever reason, though, once Nopcsa tricks him into thinking Prime is slaughtering innocent people aboard the King Thomas, Cesare goes into full-on (completely misguided and mostly ineffectual) hero mode.
- Expy: The Giarrettieras in general recall the Gandors from Baccano!, but Cesare's resemblance to Berga is the most pronounced.
- Middle Child Syndrome: Might have influenced Cesare's upbringing, although he was clearly something of an active troublemaker, not a mere passive target of neglect.
- Nice, Mean, and In-Between: The mean one, obviously.
- Power Trio: The G-Bros fit this to a tee. Cesare is the insolent, impulsive id.
- Big, Thin, Short Trio: Nico's the thin one obviously. Unlike with the other two, there doesn't seem to be any "thin guy" pattern for him to subvert.
- Deadpan Snarker: Ordinarily Nico meticulously averts this (he's got the deadpan without the snark), but he isn't above slipping in a jab or two, and not even only at Cesare's expense:"You want to put that little theory to the test, fatass?" Cesare growled, bringing up his gun for the first time. ... Without missing a beat, the youngest brother said to Jonas, "Cesare's simply curious how it was that Vinnie, Phil and Dom's visit degraded into a shootout. He'd like to know how the scene played out. He also considers you disastrously overweight."
- Determinator: He starts showing very faint signs of this when reflecting on the fact that Sarosin has stolen Cesare's wallet:To say this would not do wasn't quite putting it in enough detail. This would be undone. Nullified. Stricken from the record... There was simply not a man capable of getting the better of the Giarrettieras, not like this. [...] There was no man who could profit off the Giarrettieras with such a gesture. And if he dared flatter himself that he'd managed it, such a man thought so only because he could not yet apprehend the full picture and his imminent correction.
- Nice, Mean, and In-Between: The in-betweener. He's not aggressive and abrasive like Cesare, but his standoffish demeanor only barely hides a very contemptuous streak.
- Perpetual Frowner: Though it mostly takes the form of a faintly judgemental glower.
- Power Trio: The G-Bros fit this to a tee. Nico is the soft-spoken, secretive superego.
- Precision F-Strike: Played for contrast to Cesare's much more liberal approach to swearing. Onscreen, Nico has only sworn once so far, in response to Franklin Gaussier trying to bribe him:The bespectacled man said, quite clearly: "I don't give a shit about your money."
- The Quiet One: Oh, boy. However, the short story Muddy Season demonstrates him actually being fairly talkative and eloquent, in the car with Cesare and their imminent victims Franklin Gaussier and Deborah Schoen. It seems, at least, that when Cesare's around but Massimo isn't, Nico feels the need to handle most of the talking, as he's much more articulate than the middle brother.
- Straight Edge Evil: Nico despises any alcohol stronger than wine and dismisses anyone who drinks it as a "vulgar animal". It's safe to say he probably feels similarly on the issue of drugs."Mr. Gaussier, drink and drunkards sicken me. The smell of alcohol already festers in every corner of my life and I see no reason to add your poison of choice to the stench."
- When He Smiles: Thoroughly subverted in Muddy Season. Nico (along with Cesare) actually does laugh aloud when Gaussier tries to bargain for his life with information the Giarrettieras already know, and it's unexpected, and it's genuine... and it does nothing at all to soften his countenance from then on.
- Action Girl: To the point that she verges on an Affectionate Parody of similar characters on the forum."Actually I guess you could take someone's eyeball out with this," Channery said upon further reflection, holding the knife up to the light. "I mean, you couldn't. You're a pushover. I could. Maybe. Never tried it but I feel like it's a pretty simple concept. Kind of..." She stabbed the butter knife forward in the air and made a scooping twist. Renard pressed himself as far back into his seat as possible. "Kind of like that. I don't know. Whatever."
- Buffy Speak: She might be playing this up deliberately for effect, though."[Williams] doesn't really do the whole subtlety... thing."
- Canis Major: Micmac the Caucasian Shepherd. A Big Friendly Dog by default, but he has no problem switching to Angry Guard Dog mode.
- Hyperspace Arsenal: This is one of the most common applications of her power. She can appear to pull weapons out of nowhere, when in reality she's fetching them from her house. The drawback is that unlike most such uses of the trope, Channery can't use her power to put back anything she's fetched.
- Justified Criminal: Strangely, she comes off as this even though she doesn't show any trappings of a Justified Criminal. There's no evidence that she was driven to a life of crime by anything but her own selfish desires, but her chummy demeanor and sincere bond with Micmac make her pretty hard to dislike.
- Neat Freak: Justified by the fact that her power requires her to know roughly where an item is in order to retrieve it. This means she's gotten a little obsessive about placing her possessions in tidy, easy-to-remember locations around the house, even though personality-wise she doesn't fit the stereotypical Neat Freak at all.
- The Nicknamer: To her, Renard Rouletabille is not "Renard Rouletabille", he is "Rules". Keep in mind this is a man whom she had just discovered snooping around her house in an effort to capture her for a crime they both know damn well she committed.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Supernatural Powers!: She doesn't exactly see much wrong with the whole "theft" bit.
- The Heart: A pretty stark parody. Mayordomo just wants everyone his employer, Yoon, Kaina'mei to get along. They'd all be happier if they had nothing to do with one another, though.
- Hidden Depths: Intentionally invoked and discussed while he's talking to Yoon during the story "Muddy Season". The hidden depth that Mayordomo chooses to reveal at that time is a from-childhood penchant for Universal Horror.
- Jive Turkey: Also mostly averted, despite his obvious influence by similar characters. There's the Verbal Tic mentioned below, as well as his tendency to drop "-ing"s into "-in'"s and to never use the word "have" when "got" will do, but his speech is by and large devoid of specifically urban slang.
- Mysterious Employer: Though Yoon and Mayordomo make explicit reference to his employer during both An August Luncheon and Muddy Season, they've conveniently failed so far to name this figure.
- Stuff Blowing Up: Specializes in rigging micro-explosives that can be detonated from anywhere in the world.
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: The writing contest submission "Nanny" establishes that despite his destructive talents, Mayordomo has hangups about killing. The employer who directed him to blow up the warehouse claimed that casualties were unimportant, but Mayordomo waited until the place appeared empty anyway, as an "editorial touch".
- Verbal Tic: "Hey..."
- Welcome to the Caribbean, Mon!: Averted by the austere tone of his childhood flashback (he grew up in Jamaica). It does come across as beautiful, though.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Hooper rarely drops her pleasant-grandma act, even when she's stabbing you in the back.
- Expy: Not overt, but admitted by the author. As a seemingly gracious and jovial old woman hiding a cruel, petty, and authoritarian streak who undergoes a Tyrant Takes the Helm twist, Hooper owes an undeniable debt to the contemporary Most Triumphant Example of that archetype, Professor Umbridge.
- The Ghost: She and Staudt were mentioned in one of the earliest posts of Obscured Truth, and continued to pop up in references here and there throughout the topic, but it took a little more than seven years (out-of-story) and just over a hundred RP posts before they finally debuted in person, laying this trope to rest.
- Hanging Judge: Specifically pursues harsh sentences against Powers, despite the fact that she herself is one.
- Meet the New Boss: Commissioner Williams was originally conceived circa Ishkabibble as a villain who would put a face (and a high degree of influence) on the anti-Power contingent. But by the time of his first POV post in Obscured Truth, the narrative had already completely dropped the pretense of villainy and turned a sympathetic eye toward his attitudes, motivations, and day-to-day troubles. Arguably Hooper, a truly malevolent character, can be seen as having picked up the "viciously and irrationally anti-Power" Villain Ball from where Williams dropped it.
- Phrase Catcher: She's repeatedly described in dialogue as "about as far from Staudt as you can get."
- The Quisling: She's turned against her own kind and firmly sided with anti-Power humans, and has made quite a successful career of placating them.
- Tyrant Takes the Helm: Halfway through the trial in Obscured Truth, she ousts Bartholomew Staudt and takes over. This does not bode well.
- Verbal Tic: Both in dialogue and in her internal narrative, Hooper likes to dispense conventional wisdom bound up with an "as anyone can/could tell you". Also, her voice is just generally swamped with cliched, old-fashioned turns of phrase like "You could knock me over with a feather!"
- What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: Her power is to alter the color of any object she can pick up and hold. Yeah, it's as useless as it sounds. But this is actually a crucial character detail: if she had a more efficacious (and so potentially dangerous) power, she would have had a harder time winning trust from the community of regular humans harboring anti-Power biases.
- Continuity Nod: The Zodiac amulet of Capricorn was last seen fifteen years earlier (out-of-story) in a several-incarnations-past version of the community. There, too, it granted electricity powers to its carrier, Hotaru.
- Hanging Judge: Inverted. He's as likely to let a Power off the hook as Hooper is to convict them.
- Nervous Wreck: He gives this impression in the post where he finally appears onscreen, though the specific circumstances of that post obviously contribute.
- Properly Paranoid: He's... not wrong about what a threat Powers can pose to non-Powered society. Evil Powers have used civilized areas as playgrounds for all of ORP history, and even Powers portrayed as at least semi-heroic, ranging all the way up to some of the most sympathetic, have been guilty in the past of inflicting negligent or even flat-out callously indifferent violence against regular people. But Staudt arguably takes this to such an extreme, predicting outright war, that he becomes Improperly Paranoid. Certainly Illiana would say so, even as she understands why people have a hard time trusting Powers.
- The Quisling: Precisely the inverse of Hooper above Staudt is convinced an all-out war between Powers and regular humans is imminent, and he's gone so far as to fake being a Power and show overt leniency toward Powers in court in an attempt to get on their good side and stave off the conflict. That makes Obscured Truth into a battle of the Quislings, in which Staudt decidedly gets the worst of it.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Yoshimitsu and Illiana consider him to be one, whereas Williams doesn't. Williams was right.
- Shock and Awe: His power is to generate electricity between his hands. Only it's not actually an inherent power at all, but an ability conferred by the Zodiac amulet of Capricorn. He's a regular human who fooled Winstone for four years.
- Walking Spoiler: Yeah, you should probably just read this first.
The Curator (Mr. Wood)
- Hair-Trigger Temper:Clearly he was upset about something, and it did not take a genius to figure out what. Every member of staff so far had been the unwilling recipient of the Curator's Wrath.
- Incoming Ham:
- The Master: No one but his secretary calls him Mr. Wood. Even in narrative, he is known by one name only.
- Canon Immigrant: From Househeld. It helps that out of a cast of twelve players who were largely Author Avatars in varying degrees and flavors, Reba was by far the least similar to her author, Lee, so her immigration doesn't put a jarring self-insert into ORP.
- Continuity Nod: Reba was notable for being written in a past-tense, third person viewpoint in Househeld, a hint that she was actually the guardian and not the player. On the flipside, she debuted using present-tense, second person narration, like she was a Househeld character, in ORP proper.
- Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: Her first act in ORP is to immediately antagonize a demigod and challenge them to a game of poker.
- Professional Killer: If her background from Househeld is to be believed.