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    The Bone Cousins 

Fone Bone
The main protagonist. Fone Bone is the most dependable, resourceful and most moral of the Bone cousins, and tends to be viewed as the "good" Bone since he's never involved in any of Phoney's moneymaking schemes. He's polite and friendly, and pretty good at thinking on his feet in a crisis. He has a huge crush on Thorn, but has problems telling her about it.

  • Action Survivor: Manages to survive the entire year, helping his friends and even fighting Rat Creatures when he has no choice. Helps finally end the Lord of Locusts.
  • Adorkable: He's a terrible poet, can put people to sleep with his enthusiasm for Moby-Dick and breaks out into bashful blushing when interacting with his crush, Thorn. Coupled with his inherent kindness, all this serves to make him more endearing.
  • Always Save the Girl: Though Thorn is so badass that there's rarely an instance where Fone Bone can save her instead of her saving herself, this doesn't stop him from trying to help her whether she wants it or not. His dedication helps save the day in the end, as when Thorn tries to go after the Crown of Horns alone, she ends up pinned by Kingdok, and Fone Bone's arrival allows him to act as a conduit for her to touch the Crown of Horns and destroy the Locust.
  • Berserk Button: Don't make fun of his nose.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: He can't ever seem to work up the courage to tell Thorn how he feels about her.
  • Classical Anti-Hero: Fone Bone has zero in the way of combat abilities, is unable to get his cousins to stop their scheming ways, and suffers from a lack of confidence when dealing with his friend/crush, Thorn. However, as the situation grows worse and Thorn becomes more and more badass, Fone Bone's determination and his desire to help, helps save the Valley.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He's quick with snark if he's annoyed.
  • Determinator: Fone Bone has no combat skills whatsoever and ends up going through an insane amount of punishment and hardship over the course of the series, but in spite of it all, the little guy never gives up, and practically walks through hell itself to help Thorn and save the Valley.
  • Did Not Get the Girl: Fone Bone remains in love with Thorn throughout the series and never truly gives up on those feelings. However, when given the choice between staying and ruling by her side or returning home to Boneville, he loves his cousins too much to stay with her in the Valley.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Fone Bone and Thorn defeated the Lord of the Locusts by touching the Crown of Horns. Since Thorn has a fragment of his soul in her but is pinned down, Fone Bone acts as a conduit to touch the Crown and he does so by building up a static charge. Essentially, they destroy an Eldritch Abomination with static electricity.
  • The Everyman: Kinda hard to find his defining character traits.
  • Every One Can See It: Absolutely everyone is aware of his crush on Thorn, except Thorn herself.
  • First-Person Peripheral Narrator: In many ways, Thorn is the true protagonist of the comic, a farm girl who discovers she comes from royalty and is destined to stop an ancient evil. Yet most of the story is shown from Fone Bone's point-of-view and seeing him try to keep up to her ever-growing badassery. Appropriately, Fone Bone's favorite book is Moby-Dick, which also features a First-Person Peripheral Narrator in the form of Ishmael, the former Trope Namer.
  • Friend Versus Lover: Not a traditional example. Fone Bone loves Thorn but she isn't dating him, and Phoney and Smiley are cousins instead of friends, but Thorn offers Fone Bone a place at her side ruling the Valley in the finale while Phoney and Smiley desperately try to convince him to come back with them to Boneville. Fone Bone ends up deciding he loves his family too much to not go return with them.
  • Full-Name Basis: Everyone calls him "Fone Bone," even his cousins. Once in a blue moon Smiley might call him "Fone," but this is rare.
  • Giftedly Bad:
    • At poetry. His love poems tend to end up in So Bad, It's Good territory, but he tends to think they're pretty good. The only reason he hasn't actually shown them to Thorn is that he's too shy.
    • He's also a terrible storyteller, at least when he tries to read from or even talk about his favorite book, Moby-Dick. People literally fall asleep from the boredom within seconds whenever he tries, and it's assumed that Moby-Dick is just that boring a book... but when Smiley at one point tries to make the Rat Creatures fall asleep by reading Moby-Dick to them, it doesn't work until Fone takes over the reading.
      Smiley: Maybe it's not Moby-Dick at all — maybe it's you!
      Fone Bone: Oh, shut up!
  • Interspecies Romance: A one-sided version with Fone Bone, a Bone, who's in love with Thorn, a human.
  • Morality Pet: Both he and Smiley serve as ones to Phoney, but Fone Bone is a better example as Smiley will go along with Phoney's schemes while Fone Bone will try to talk him out of it on moral grounds. It never works, but at least he tries.
  • Nice Guy: You couldn't ask for anyone nicer. He'll give everyone a chance, even if they're monsters who have tried to eat him.
  • Nice, Mean, and In-Between: The nice guy to Phoney's mean and Smiley's in-between.
  • Only Sane Man: Of the Bone cousins. When Phoney schemes and Smiley goofs, Fone Bone tries to keep them both out of trouble — though with limited success.
  • The Reliable One: He's the only one of the cousins not to help Phoney with his schemes, the one entrusted to help Phoney get himself out of trouble when things go too far, and the Bone most willing to stay and help the Valley no matter how dangerous things get.
  • Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: He's best friends with Thorn, and while she's not noticeably tall, Fone Bone is not even half her height.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: A familial example. Fone and Phoney can hardly get through a conversation without the two getting into an argument, yet when all's said and done, they love each other and won't hesitate to look out for one another.

Phoncible "Phoney" P. Bone
Previously the "richest Bone in Boneville"; Phoney is a greedy, hotheaded schemer who always has a new plan for making money. The problem with his plans is that they tend to backfire and end with him being chased off by an angry mob.

  • Aesop Amnesia: No matter how many times his scams blow up in his face, Phoney will never learn his lesson to not let his greed get the best of him. Fone Bone even laments the fact that Phoney never learns, repeatedly, to his face.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: His most significant skill. Although he's a bit lacking in the empathy department, he's an excellent people reader and easily figures out where people hide their treasures. Namely, he correctly assumes that the city treasury is hidden in the well people are forbidden from accessing and that the dragons hide their greatest treasure, the Crown of Horns, in Tanen Gard.
  • Big Brother Instinct:
    • When the Hooded One threatens to kill Fone Bone, Phoney angrily tells her to leave his cousin alone.
    • Fone Bone and Smiley point out that Phoney had always been the one to take care of the other two when they were children. No matter how greedy or selfish he behaves, he is ultimately just looking out for his cousins.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Amusingly averted. He seemingly abandons Gran'ma Ben to the Hooded One and her Rat Creatures, only to return with reinforcements to help save the day. At least, he would have had the fighting not stopped several moments after he got back. He gripes that he still wants credit as a hero.
  • Big Ol' Unibrow: The main thing, apart from his trademark star shirt, that visually distinguishes him from Fone Bone.
  • Butt-Monkey: Things generally go wrong for him, though it tends be his own fault most of the time.
  • Devil in Plain Sight: Even when Phoney managed to scam everyone in Barrelhaven once, he still manages to deceive them a second time and nearly gets away with it. Apparently the Bones in Boneville repeatedly fall for his scams as well, if the fact that they've had to run him out of town more than once is any indication.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Okay, he's more a Jerkass than outright evil, but even for all his jerkassery and appearance that he doesn't care about anyone but himself... he does display a surprising protective streak of Fone Bone and Smiley Bone when he sees them in serious trouble, or someone threatens them.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Phoney is a schemer who's always plotting his next Get-Rich-Quick Scheme, and has shown no scruples in things like building an orphanage over a toxic waste dump, opening a franchise of combination nuclear reactors and salad bars, or fleecing an entire town of their riches while enticing them into an angry mob. However, after one of his scams leads to the people of Barrelhaven capturing the Great Red Dragon, Phoney refuses to kill him like the people command, and actually frees him when he gets the chance.
  • Fatal Flaw: Greed. Phoney's obsession with attaining riches has screwed him over more than once, and his "Naked embracement with greed" (As Smiley put it) is the reason he's so unpopular. Even when he makes a decent amount through one of his schemes, it's never enough and he ends up losing everything because his attempts to squeeze more out of his suckers gives outside players time to intervene and ruin things.
  • Freudian Excuse: Grew up as a homeless orphan and had to take care of his two younger cousins Phoney and Smiley, having to steal in order to survive. This greatly helped turn him into the stingy, greedy, immoral schemer he is today.
  • Get-Rich-Quick Scheme: Always has one or two up his sleeve. The series implies Phoney has gained and lost his fortune several times over, so they apparently do have occasional successes before he blows it while trying to get even more. The various schemes he employs in-series often go off fairly well until his reach exceeds his grasp.
  • It's All About Me: Totally self-centered and very good at making a bad situation about him.
  • Jerkass: Though if you dig very deep you'll find him a Jerk with a Heart of Gold. At least Fone Bone thinks so.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Avoids being The Load by occasionally coming up with decent ideas and concepts, largely because he's the only one of the heroes who looks at things with a purely selfish and cynical worldview.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He becomes more of this as his arc goes on. Through it all, despite his greedy and selfish ways, he really does care about his cousins Bone and Smiley.
  • Nice, Mean, and In-Between: The self-centered, stubborn, and greedy mean to Fone's nice and Smiley's in-between.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Phoney has shown on multiple occasions to play whole crowds of people — people he has swindled many times before — like fiddles. The reason The Hooded One considers him so powerful, according to Thorn.
  • My Significance Sense Is Tingling: He claims that his scalp tingles whenever he's about to profit, or whenever he's near treasure. Nobody really believes it — though he does turn out to be quite good at deducing where treasure is hidden.
  • Nominal Hero: Phoney isn't a killer, he never sides with the Locust or the Hooded One, and his love for his cousins is unwavering. However, that doesn't change the fact that he spends most of the story driven purely by greed. Even as the situation grows more dire and the apocalypse is right around the corner, Phoney would rather steal a city of its wealth and hightail it back to Boneville with his cousins than stick around and help prevent the end times. He does get a chance to prove himself when he seemingly abandons Gran'ma Ben to the Hooded One, only to return with reinforcements, but he gripes when he realizes the fighting's over and he won't be able to prove himself a hero.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • The earliest indicator that there's more to him than being a selfish, little greedbag is when he threatens the Hooded One to stay away from his cousin, Fone Bone.
    • During a Rat Creature ambush, despite their mutual dislike, Phoney actually saves Lucius by pulling him back into their runaway cart.
  • Promotion to Parent: Phoney, Fone and Smiley Bone are all orphans which put pressure on a young Phoney to essentially raise his two cousins. Fone and Smiley speculate that the reason Phoney became so focused on making money is to provide security for all of them.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: "You can't do anything to a rich person that he doesn't want!"
  • The Scrooge: His Establishing Character Moment is refusing to give Smiley a dollar in exchange for a map of the area when he and his cousins are lost in the desert... and Phoney still has a few thousand dollars on him.
  • Supreme Chef: Doesn't come up very often, but he's actually a very good cook, when he can be bothered to actually do some cooking.
  • Too Clever by Half: He actually manages to pull off quite a few Get Rich Quick Schemes successfully. His problem is that he always lets his success go to his head, so instead of stopping while the going is good, he always tries to pull an even bigger scheme, leading him to gamble and ultimately lose everything he has gained from the previous scheme.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: The most blatant example the series has; no matter how much he suffers for his greed and scheming, he never learns and will always get right back up and continue with his ridiculous plots. One reviewer named him as the funniest character in the comic because "he's lazy, greedy, and totally self-centered in a way that only a truly great cartoon character can be."
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: His presence sparks a massive manhunt all across the Valley, leading the Rat Creatures to cause a lot of destruction and trouble for the heroes all because the float from his failed election campaign saying "Phoney Bone Will Get Younote " wound up in the Valley and the Hooded One took it for an omen. Doh!
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: A familial example. Fone and Phoney can hardly get through a conversation without the two getting into an argument, yet when all's said and done, they love each other and won't hesitate to look out for one another.

Smiley Bone
The most happy-go-lucky of the cousins. Smiley is a friendly and loyal guy, but rather short on brains and not the most adept at telling right from wrong, which is why he so often lets himself get involved in Phoney's schemes. He pretty much adopts Bartleby the Rat Creature cub.

  • Ambiguous Innocence: He's a surprisingly amoral character, who will lie, cheat and swindle without thinking about the consequences, but he never means anything by it and often doesn't quite seem to realize that what he's doing is wrong, which makes him the perfect partner for Phoney. He does, however, have a sense of fairness and won't leave a friend behind.
  • Ascended Extra: He's a minor character in the Thorn comic strip, mostly thanks to being introduced towards the end of the strip's run, but he's a major character in Bone.
  • Big Brother Instinct: A bit more overlooked in comparison to Phoney's, but there's more than a few occasions showcasing his own protective streak over Fone Bone and others where he's defended Phoney from harm.
  • Big Eater: If he's not first at the table at dinnertime, something's seriously wrong. (Or there's a shortage of food and he decides Bartleby needs it more.)
  • Cheerful Child: While his age is ambiguous, he is definitely the most happy-go-lucky and childlike of the three.
  • Cigar Chomper: He has a fondness for lighting up a cigar every now and then. Several times people are able to track him through the cigar stubs he leaves behind.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Despite statements to the contrary, he actually does have a brain; it just works in a way that's alien to most people.
  • Everyone Has Standards: While he'll cheerfully go along with Phoney's schemes and has no problems conning people out of their wealth and possessions, he draws the line at outright theft. When the orphaned Bone cousins were young, they sometimes had to resort to stealing food, and Smiley felt so bad about it that when Phoney made his fortune Smiley made him go around and pay back all the people they'd stolen from.
  • Friend to All Children: He gets on famously with kids of all ages and species, perhaps because he's somewhat of a big kid himself.
  • The Gadfly: Possibly, going hand-in-hand with the Ambiguous Innocence trait mentioned. Smiley does tick off a lot of people around him, mostly Phoney, and it's quite possible he's doing it on purpose. One issue of the comic is composed entirely of him getting out of chores by slowly infuriating Lucius until the big guy accidentally throws himself off a roof.
  • Genius Ditz: At first he seems like a clear-cut Ditz. But as the story goes on it becomes clear that he is a Bone of many talents, and can be surprisingly cunning and knowledgeable when it suits him. Some readers have suspected that he's merely a Gadfly who is Obfuscating Stupidity just for the hell of it.
  • Innocently Insensitive: He's at least this, tending to obliviously say and do things that infuriate other people.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's got no morals whatsoever, but he does love his cousins and is famously a friend to all children. He is very protective of Fone and Phoney and is still kind and loyal to them and their friends.
  • Manchild: It's a little ambiguous just how old Smiley is, but he's at the very least old enough to smoke cigars without inviting comment. Despite this he still often acts like a Cheerful Child.
  • Nice Hat: But he loses it sometime during the adventure. He has a new one in Tall Tales, which he calls "The Big Hat". It really is.
  • Nice, Mean, and In-Between: The Inbetween to Fone's Nice and Phoney's mean.
    • Considering he's not a nice guy constantly, this could have him be seen as this. He does still partake in Phoney's money schemes for practically the same reason but is still kind and loyal to his cousins and friends, putting him in the middle
  • Papa Wolf: Smiley quickly becomes fiercely protective of the Rat Creature cub, Bartleby.
  • The Storyteller: Unlike Fone Bone, Smiley's a pretty good storyteller. In Tall Tales he amuses a trio of Bone children with stories of the Valley and of Big Johnson Bone, and in The Quest from the Spark it's mentioned that after returning from the Valley he wrote a book about the adventure, which became a bestseller.

    Friends and Allies 


Thorn was the titular character of the comic's earliest incarnation, and even now can be said to be the real protagonist of the series. She is a young girl on the verge of adulthood, who can talk to animals and who befriends the Bone cousins when they are lost in the valley.

  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: By the end, she's crowned Queen of the Valley.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: She's a kind girl, but she did inherit Gran'ma Ben's strength.
  • Clothing Damage: The most frequent victim of it throughout the series. Between books 4 and 6 her pants are shredded down to a burgundy loincloth. Becomes the most notable in book 9, where she spends most of her screen time in a tattered chemise.
  • Deuteragonist: She's arguably the actual protagonist instead of Fone Bone, but either way her growth is essential to the story and the Locust's destruction.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Fone Bone and Thorn defeated the Lord of the Locusts by touching the Crown of Horns. Since Thorn has a fragment of his soul in her but is pinned down, Fone Bone acts as a conduit to touch the Crown and he does so by building up a static charge. Essentially, they destroy an Eldritch Abomination with static electricity.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Is often barefoot, as befitting to a country girl.
  • Farm Girl: Thorn is seemingly an ordinary farm girl, in reality she's descended from Royal Blood and has the most powerful connection to the Dreaming in the Valley.
  • Ineffectual Loner: A more sympathetic example than most. As she learns more about her past and her powers, she tries to take on the responsibility of defeating the Locust personally. She ditches everyone while going to find the Crown of Horns and gives Fone Bone the slip a second time to go on her own. Unfortunately, going on her own leads to her being trapped by Kingdok, and had Fone Bone not arrived to help, the Locust wouldn't have been destroyed.
  • Innocent Fanservice Girl: She seems to have no problem with being nude in front of other people, as proven when she and Fone Bone take a bath together. May possibly overlap with Shameless Fanservice Girl, as shown a few times in Tales from the Lantern.
  • Losing a Shoe in the Struggle: Loses both shoes when being arrested by Tarsil's men, and spends most of the next book barefoot as a result.
  • Ms. Fanservice:
    • A mild version compared to a lot of other examples out there, but she is noticeable as the one character in the comic prone to Clothing Damage; she likes short skirts and tight pants, and isn't shy about Skinny Dipping (albeit off-screen) with Fone Bone.
    • In the Thorn comic strip her sexiness was a little more pronounced; there was even a No Fourth Wall storyline revolving around Phoney trying to cash in on it by having her agree to pose naked in the strip that was printed on May 30th. Turns out that May 30th that year was Memorial Day, hence no strip for that day, which Phoney discovered a little too late.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Late in the story she develops a knack for these thanks to her increasing connection with the Dreaming.
  • Nice Girl: Thorn is a kind, sweet, and friendly girl.
  • Oblivious to Love: It isn't until halfway through the series that Thorn figures out Fone Bone has a crush on her, and even then it was only because Fone Bone told the Hooded One to stop messing with "his girl."
  • Raised by Grandparents: Was raised by her grandmother from roughly the age of five.
  • Really Royalty Reveal: She's the heir to the throne of Atheia.
  • Screw Destiny: Has a tendency to take this view and go against what is expected of her and/or what she is told she's "destined" to do.
  • Secret Legacy: Thorn had no idea that she was descended from royalty and will be Queen of the Valley. She was also unaware of being a Veni-Yan-Cari, someone whose Dreaming eye is more open than others.
  • Super Strength: Demonstrates this on a few rare occasions, which shouldn't surprise anyone — she is Gran'ma Ben's granddaughter, after all.
  • Tell Me About My Mother: After finding out about her lineage, she asks Ted to tell her what her mother was like.
  • Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: Usually partnered with Fone Bone, who's half her height.
  • Took a Level in Badass: She goes from a friendly, if naive farmgirl to being tough-as-nails with New Powers as the Plot Demands. Once Character Development kicks in, she begins kicking Rat Creature butt and throwing grown soldiers around like rag-dolls.
  • Warrior Princess: She's the heir to the throne of Atheia and more than capable of kicking some serious ass.
  • Your Soul Is Mine: The Lord of the Locusts attempts to steal her soul. Unfortunately for him, Thorn manages to snag a piece of his soul instead, and it ends up leading to his permanent destruction.

Rose "Gran'ma Ben"

Gran'ma Ben has the strength of ten elephants and can outrun any cow in the valley. She has lived peacefully with her granddaughter Thorn on a small farm for fifteen years, after the "big war".

  • 100% Adoration Rating: The prequel comic Rose shows that she was incredibly popular and beloved among the people.
  • Betty and Veronica: In her youth, Rose was the kind and loving Betty to her sister, Briar's, frosty but more seductive Veronica, for Lucius's Archie.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: She is a loving person but you better beware, this lady is STRONG.
  • Broken Pedestal: Her relationship with her granddaughter takes a hit when Thorn discovers all the secrets she's been keeping from her. It takes a bit but their relationship recovers.
  • Cain and Abel: A sister variation. She's the heroic Abel to the villainous Briar's, a.k.a. the Hooded One's, Cain.
  • Cool Old Lady: Gran'ma Ben is naturally kind and sweet, old lady with a quick wit and fun-loving disposition.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Not blatantly so, but Gran'ma Ben has a sharp wit under her kindly demeanor.
  • Eyes Always Shut: The most prominent example in the comic; she never opens her eyes. This is Lampshaded and played for laughs at one point, when Fone Bone tells her about Moby-Dick and thinks she's paying close attention... and then she turns out to have been asleep the entire time.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: Rose was known as one of the most beautiful women in the Valley during her youth.
  • King Incognito: Seemingly a simple farm owner, Gran'ma Ben is really Rose Harvestar, former Queen of the Valley.
  • Made of Iron: With a few exceptions, nothing thrown up against her even scratches her. When she's actually hit hard enough to feel it, you know things are serious.
  • My Significance Sense Is Tingling: The Gitchy feeling, which temporarily makes her feel dizzy and weak, and is a powerful sign of bad things to come.
  • Nice Girl: Gran-ma Ben is rough around the edges and remarkably strong but she is fiercely protective of her granddaughter and never really does anything mean or selfish.
  • Never Mess with Granny: As Phoney Bone finds out when first meeting her. This is played for comedy at first... but when things get serious, Gran'ma Ben wastes no time turning into a full-on Action Hero. Beneath her kindly exterior, Gran'ma Ben is an absolute beast in a fight and she can take on entire groups of Rat Creatures and enemy soldiers single-handedly.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: Her daughter, Lunaria, has been dead for years prior to the events of the series.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Seems to have been this as Queen of the Valley.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: It seems to have been standard for the kingdom of Atheia, and Queen Rose was no different. She fought in the war, and she raised the protective walls around the capital. As retired Queen she's active in the defense against the Rat Creatures.
  • Super Strength: Singlehandedly fights off multiple Rat Creatures and huge mountain lions, and can punch through walls with little effort.
  • Supporting Leader: She rallies Atheia's soldiers to fight off the forces of the Locust while Thorn searches for the one artifact that can kill him.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension:
    • She had feelings for Lucius in her youth, but he had feelings for her elder sister, Briar, instead. Lucius ended up falling in love with Rose later on but by then it was too late. It becomes clear Rose still loves Lucius in the present, but he dies shortly after they reunite.
    • The prequel comic Rose shows that Lucius may have had a crush on Rose at the same time she had feelings for him, but Briar sabotaged any chance of a relationship by bewitching Lucius to fall for her instead.

Lucius Down

The owner of the Barrelhaven Tavern, he's a gruff and temperamental but ultimately kind-hearted old man, whom everyone knows has been "sweet on" Gran'ma Ben for decades. He's a constant foil to Phoney Bone and has ruined more than one of Phoney's moneymaking schemes.

  • The Bartender: He owns the Barrelhaven Tavern and tends the bar.
  • Bruiser with a Soft Center: His softer side comes out when around Gran'ma.
  • Demoted to Extra: A major character in the first two-thirds of the story; a fairly minor one in the last part of the story until his Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Everyone Can See It: Even Phoney can pick up that Lucius is crazy about Rose, but unfortunately they never get the chance to be together.
  • Eyes Always Shut: Much like Gran'ma Ben. If he opens his eyes, it's a sign that he's really ticked off.
  • Grumpy Bear: He's the grouchiest character in the comic, bar none.
  • Grumpy Old Man: He's old and definitely grumpy, but to cut the man some slack, most of his grumpiness comes from dealing with the scheming Phoney and bizarre Smiley Bone. That and having to explain to a town full of Gullible Lemmings why they shouldn't be taken in by strangers obviously trying to scam them.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Pulls one off to attack the Hooded One and save Gran'ma Ben during the climax. Has shades of The Atoner and Redemption Equals Death, as he earlier in the comic was too distracted by the Hooded One to stop or warn about the Rat Creature attack on Old Man's Cave, which led to Jonathan's death.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: The Disciples of Venu don't trust him, thinking that he might be in-league with the Hooded One due to Lucius unknowingly leading his soldiers into an ambush where no-one should be aware of their presence, and his hesitance in fighting the Hooded One. The latter case was because he was shocked to see his old lover, Briar, alive. The distrust from the Venu goes away after he dies saving Rose from the Hooded One.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: He was considered quite the hunk back in the day.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Crabby and mean at times, but still has a good heart. During the Great Cow Race storyline, he bets his ownership of his own bar on Gran'ma Ben to win when no one else seems to be on her side.
  • Muscles Are Meaningful: Unlike Gran'ma Ben, who is super-strong but doesn't look it, Lucius is almost as strong and he looks the part, with thick arms, a broad chest and a bull-neck.
  • Nice Guy: Taking the crabby grump sides out, he really is a kind-hearted sweetheart.
  • Old Retainer: An old man who can still kick copious amounts of monster-ass when he needs to.
  • Sacrificial Lion: He's the most developed character on the heroes' side to die during the final battle against the Lord of the Locusts.
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: When Phoney manages to rake in a fortune by preying on the townspeople's fear of dragons, Lucius refuses to take any part of the profit since it wasn't gained in a way he sees as right.
  • Secret Keeper: Lucius knows that dragons really exist and that Rose and Thorn are royalty, but he keeps that knowledge hidden from the other residents of Barrelhaven.
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: To Phoney Bone, especially in the earlier parts of the comic.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension:
    • Rose had feelings for Lucius in her youth, but he had feelings for her elder sister, Briar, instead. Lucius ended up falling in love with Rose later on but by then it was too late. It becomes clear Rose still loves Lucius in the present, but he dies shortly after they reunite.
    • The prequel comic Rose shows that Lucius may have had a crush on Rose at the same time she had feelings for him, but Briar sabotaged any chance of a relationship by bewitching Lucius to fall for her instead.

Ted The Bug
Ted is a tiny little insect with a knack for "gettin' while the gettin's good." Nevertheless, despite his diminutive size he's helpful and surprisingly resourceful, and somehow he always seems to know everything that's going on.
  • Berserk Button: Don't tell him he looks like a leaf. He'll take it as an insult and call for his big brother.
  • Funetik Aksent: The most blatant example in the series; his accent-heavy dialogue could have been taken straight out of Pogo.
  • Hidden Depths: At first he seems pretty clueless and not much use for anything other than a bit of comic relief — but as the story goes on, he proves himself to not only know everyone's secrets and the hidden plots, but also he's able to navigate through ghost circles and somehow keep Thorn, Fone Bone and Smiley from being discovered while they're hiding in the forest.
  • Instant Messenger Pigeon: Ted's not a pigeon, but for a bug, he can travel vast distances incredibly quickly and relay messages between the heroes when they're days apart.
  • Motor Mouth: He talks a lot.
  • The Sneaky Guy: Since he's a bug, Ted can move around unseen, scout ahead and report back to the heroes with his findings.

The Great Red Dragon

The mysterious protector of Thorn and Fone Bone, and a master of last-minute rescues. He's a laid-back and lazy sort who at first glance doesn't seem very formidable, but he has a number of strange powers and is feared by the Rat Creatures.

  • Back for the Finale: After mostly vanishing from the story once the dragons go underground, the Great Red Dragon returns to save Thorn and Fone Bone from his wrathful brethren after the two of them touched the Crown of Horns. He's also there to bid farewell to the Bones when they start their journey back home.
  • Badass Baritone: The baritone is offhandedly noted by Fone Bone at one point.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Sort of his modus operandi; when Fone Bone and Thorn are in trouble he'll show up to save them. He's restricted by the Dragon Council when it comes to how much he's actually allowed to help, though.
  • Breath Weapon: As suits a dragon, he can breathe fire.
  • Dream Walker: He enters Fone Bone and Thorn's dreams a few times to help them out when direct involvement is forbidden.
  • Mix-and-Match Critter: According to Jeff Smith, he was designed with "the head of a Christmas donkey, the paws of a lion, and the body of a brontosaurus."
  • Mysterious Protector: He shows up several times early in the story to protect Fone Bone, and later Thorn, from the Rat Creatures but he keeps his reasons mum for the most part. Turns out he's restricted from helping more by the Dragon Council.
  • Put on a Bus: He helps the heroes out a lot in the beginning, but when the rest of the dragons decide to go underground and sit out the new war with the Locust, he joins them. He does come Back for the Finale, however.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Though the Dragon Council decreed all dragons to go underground, and the rest of his kind go murderously ballistic after Fone Bone and Thorn touch the Crown of Horns, the Great Red Dragon bucks orders and saves their lives.
  • The Stoic: He never loses his cool. At most he gets slightly annoyed.
  • Time Abyss: He was alive in ancient times and participated in the battle with the Locust-possessed Queen Mim.
  • Trickster Mentor: He has shades of this, or possibly just of The Gadfly — occasionally he just seems to be deliberately messing with people.


A Rat Creature cub that ran off from the other rats and befriended Fone Bone and Smiley.

  • Adaptation Species Change: In the Thorn comic strip, he was a young bear cub. When he was introduced in Bone, he'd become a Rat Creature cub — though there's still some visual hints of the original bear cub design, with his round ears and stubby tail.
  • Androcles' Lion: Fone Bone and Smiley Bone befriend him in the fourth volume, and he shows up again in the seventh as part of the Rat Creature army — he defects immediately.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: The reason he defects from the Rat Creatures is because Fone and Smiley Bone treated him with kindness when his own kind didn't.
  • Defector from Decadence: Much less monstrous than the other Rat Creatures, he sides with the Bones because Fone and Smiley were nice to him.
  • Extreme Omnivore: He'll eat just about anything, and is especially fond of food that's stinky and gross.
  • Friendless Background: He tells Smiley he'd never had a friend like him before, and had trouble fitting in because of his less monstrous nature.
  • Super Strength: Rat Creatures are naturally strong, and even if he's not fully grown yet, Bartleby is still strong enough to carry Smiley and Thorn while running at top speed, and he can stamp in a mark on a gold coin with one single hit.
  • Token Heroic Orc: The only Rat Creature who isn't evil.

The Possums
A family of possums — Miz Possum and her three kids — that Fone Bone meets during his first winter in the valley, and who show up sporadically to help him out.
  • The Dividual: The three Baby Possums are identical in every way, they're always together and seem to have the same personality.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Just look at them.
  • Shout-Out: The fact that they're possums is basically a tribute to Pogo, one of Jeff Smith's greatest inspiration sources.
  • Team Mom: Miz Possum, though she is a very minor character, likes to take care of others and see to it that they're all right.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Uniquely for this comic, and even more noticeable because they were pretty popular with the readers, the Possums vanish from the story after the Rock Jaw arc, and are never seen, or even referred to, again. It might be that they were killed in the blast from the volcano in Volume 6, but this is never confirmed or denied.

A baby racoon whose parents were eaten by Rat Creatures. Plays a minor part in Bone, but is one of the main characters in Quest for the Spark.
  • Ascended Extra: While he's the main "orphan animal" character, he's still a minor character in Bone and only shows up in the "Rock Jaw" story arc. In Quest For The Spark an older Roderick, now living with a human family as the "adopted brother" of Tom Elm, is one of the main protagonists.
  • Big Eater: In Quest for the Spark.
  • Cheerful Child: Surprisingly cheerful, given that his parents were eaten.

The Orphans

Roderick's friends; a group of young animals in the same situation as him.
  • Grumpy Bear: The beaver, who is always complaining about something.
  • Ragtag Band of Misfits: A number of animal cubs of various species and dispositions who have banded together for protection.

Jonathan Oaks
Lucius's assistant at Barrelhaven. He's a young and affable guy, though not terribly bright.
  • Dumb Is Good: He's probably the stupidest of the villagers, but he's also the friendliest, even if he's a little too easily swayed by popular opinion.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Jonathan always goes barefoot.
  • The Fool: He rarely has a clue what's going on.
  • Go Out with a Smile: After reassurances from Ted that Lucius would forgive him for accidentally casting suspicion on him, and telling him Lucius would be proud of him, Jonathan dies with a small smile on his face.
  • Gullible Lemmings: A trait he shares with his fellow Barrelhaven residents. Phoney can play him like a fiddle.
  • Hero-Worshipper: A mild case, but he admires Lucius a lot.
  • Innocently Insensitive: He has a habit of cluelessly offending people like Rose and Lucius without ever meaning to. It seems like he doesn't have a malicious bone in his body.
  • Kill the Cutie: One of the nicest residents of Barrelhaven, and one of the few named characters to die during the war.
  • Killed Off for Real: He's killed when the Rat Creatures attack, and is the first named character to die in the series.
  • Like a Son to Me: According to Wendell, Lucius viewed him as a son, and given the way Lucius reacts to news of Jonathan's death, that assessment's probably right.
  • Open Mouth, Insert Foot: He has a tendency to, in an innocent way, say what everyone else just thinks... and in so doing reminding them all why they don't say these things.

The Villagers
The human inhabitants of Barrelhaven village; usually peaceful enough, but in general rather small-minded, xenophobic, and easily led. The most commonly seen are Wendell the tinsmith and Euclid the farmer.
  • Disney Death: Euclid was trapped in a Ghost Circle, torn between life and death, but was brought back to life when the Locust was killed.
  • Establishing Character Moment: When we first meet Euclid, he's placing a bet on the Mystery Cow, scowling throughout and asking whether the owner is a local farmer because he "don't wanna be bettin' on no foreigners!" This pretty nicely sums up the Jerkass levels he's at for the rest of the story.
  • Jerkass: Euclid doesn't have very many redeeming qualities.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: The main difference between Euclid and Wendell is that Wendell isn't quite as much of a jerk, and can actually be reasoned with.
  • Generic Guy: Rory. He's often seen in the crowd, and hangs out with Wendell, Euclid and Jonathan, but unlike them he gets no characterization and no individual attention.
  • Gullible Lemmings: Phoney's tricking and manipulating of them pretty much hinges on them being like this.
  • Never My Fault: Whenever things go wrong, they tend to latch onto the nearest scapegoat instead of taking responsibility themselves. Then again, since the scapegoat is often Phoney, they're not actually wrong about him being at fault.
  • Those Two Guys: Wendell and Euclid for the first two-thirds of the story. For the last third of the story, Euclid is missing, which seems to force Wendell through some minor Character Development.
  • Torches and Pitchforks: They break out these when they discover that Phoney Bone has swindled them.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Collectively they tend to end up as this, though they wise up towards the end of the story.

The Disciples of Venu
Also known as the "Veni-Yan" or, more insultingly, "stick-eaters," they are a group of hooded monks who have dedicated themselves to the study of the Dreaming. They were once the elite warriors of the kingdom of Atheia, but after the war they have the reputation as wandering beggars.
  • Badass Beard: Hidden by their hoods and cloaks for much of the series, but all of them seem to have this.
  • The Faceless: For most of their appearances, all of them wear hoods which cover their faces.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: They're ostracized and distrusted by the inhabitants of the valley. The rural villagers view them as weird diciples of a freaky sect, and in Atheia they've been usurped and had their religion banned by Tarsil and the Diciples of Vedu.
  • The Omniscient Council of Vagueness: They pretty much come across as this at first — but this is eventually Deconstructed in that they're far less omniscient than they seem, and in some cases have less idea of what's going on than the protagonists do.
  • The Stoic: It's rare for any of them to show any emotion.
  • Warrior Monk: They were the elite warriors of the old kingdom.

A little girl who lives in Atheia; she's a young priestess and shrine-builder who tries her best to keep the faith of Venu going even after it was outlawed.
  • Adorably Precocious Child: Swings between being this and being an Adult Child.
  • Adult Child: Definitely Wise Beyond Her Years, she's very knowledgeable and converses like an adult about plot-important things.
  • Big Damn Heroes: In a small way, but she and her brother become this to Thorn and the Bones when busting them out of prison.
  • Creepy Child: She can give off this vibe when you don't know her. After their first meeting, Fone Bone called her a "spooky kid."
  • Cute Little Fangs: She's described as "gap-toothed," but she's drawn with these. They give her a slightly freakish, yet adorable, look.
  • Innocent Prodigy: Intelligent and spiritual, but still enough of a kid that she didn't predict that setting up illegal shrines for a banned religion right out in the open might get her into trouble.

Taneal's brother
Never actually named in the comic, but he's Taneal's older brother. Smart and resourceful, he knows everyone in Atheia, especially who to bribe in order to get your way.
  • The Artful Dodger: He has the air of one, being sly and Street Smart with lots of street-level connections.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Along with Taneal, he shows up to break Thorn and the Bones out of prison.
  • Bit Character: He's really only in two scenes in the story (apart from a two-panel cameo in the very last issue), and only has actual dialogue in one, but helps forward the plot both times — the first time he gets the protagonists in through the gates of Atheia, the second time is when he and Taneal break them out of jail.
  • No Name Given: He's never called by name during the story.

Gran'ma Ben's old teacher; he's an old and somewhat cantankerous old man who runs a small rooftop kitchen and is... not as good a chef as he thinks he is.
  • Creepy Good: Has the fashion sense of a Sith Lord and talks in ominous doom laden prophecies, going so far as to hiss out his yesssss-es. Despite this he is firmly on the side of good and a reliable ally, and his creepy behavior does diminish later on in the story.
  • Cordon Bleugh Chef: He's a little too fond of really stinky food for the Bones' tastes.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: At least according to Phoney Bone.
  • Doomsayer: Introduced as one. He spends his first appearance swinging between foretelling everyone's doom, delivering exposition, and trying to get the others to eat his disgusting cooking.
  • Never Bareheaded: Downplayed; we do get to see his hood come off once, right after Briar tries and fails to abduct Thorn from his kitchen.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Though at first he seems like an unreasonable Stern Teacher, he's eventually revealed to be more this trope; he's one of the more flexible Veni-Yan and will gladly accept non-traditional solutions and tactics if he thinks they make sense.
  • Stern Teacher: A little bit, but as we discover with the introduction of the Headmaster, he's far from the worst.

The head of the Diciples of Venu and possibly the oldest human character in the comic.
  • Grumpy Bear: Perhaps the only character in the comic who almost matches Lucius here.
  • Grumpy Old Man: While Bone doesn't exactly have a shortage of ill-tempered older people, the Headmaster is all grouch. He wants the "youngsters" to show him proper respect, but isn't really willing to give them much respect in return.
  • Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior!: The clearest example in the comic.
  • Stern Teacher: Much moreso than the Teacher.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: He's subject to an epic "The Reason You Suck" Speech by Fone Bone after he's given Thorn a dressing-down and in the process revealed that he may not be as knowledgeable as he thinks.


A seventh-level "dreaming master" and steadfast alley of Gran'ma Ben.
  • Eyes Always Shut: In a much more obvious way than Lucius or Gran'ma.
  • Master of Illusion: A rare heroic example; she can call up illusions and visions to scare the enemy.
  • The Stoic: Much like the Great Red Dragon, it's hard to get her to lose her cool.


The Lord of the Locusts

A nightmare spirit who long ago wanted to escape from dreams and experience the waking world, which he attempted by possessing Mim, the Dragon Queen. He was defeated and imprisoned by the other dragons, but is still able to contact and influence dreamers in the waking world, plotting to be free once more.
  • Animal Eye Spy: Several times he uses swarms of locusts as his eyes and ears in the waking world.
  • Big Bad: The main source of evil in the world, the Lord of the Locusts is the one commanding the Hooded One and the Rat Creatures. The threat of him breaking free and destroying the waking world drives the events of the comic.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: Presents himself as a giant locust to Rose in her dreams.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: It's not clear why he wants to walk the physical world, and the only clue given is that he was "unhappy".
  • The Corrupter: His influence helped cause the Hooded One's, aka Briar Harvester's, descent to evil. The prequel comic, Rose shows that she tried to do the same thing to Rose, but failed.
  • Demonic Possession: His only means of entering the living world. He tried it on Mim, Queen of the Dragons, and the resulting madness he caused her led to the rest of the dragons turning her to stone to stop him.
  • Eldritch Abomination: An ancient nightmare spirit without shape or form who can only survive by inhabiting a mortal body. His mere presence in the waking world causes imbalances in the Dreaming and creates Ghost Circles, pockets of the void that trap human spirits inside in agony and will overrun the world, turning it into a desolate netherworld. When he appears as Mim, he's concealed in a storm made of Locusts.
  • Gender Bender: The Lord of the Locusts is referred to as male, but possesses the body of the female dragon, Queen Mim.
  • Generic Doomsday Villain: The Lord of the Locusts may be the Big Bad, but he's more a force of nature than a character in his own right. He doesn't have a personality that extends beyond corrupting others and desiring freedom, and all that's established about his backstory is that he's a nightmare spirit from the Dreaming who grew "unhappy" and tried to invade the waking world even though that would cause its destruction. However, his lack of motivation doesn't detract from his terror.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Trying to steal Thorn's soul resulted in Thorn taking a portion of his own. By touching the Crown of Horns with this part of the Locust inside her, it resulted in his permanent death.
  • Leaking Can of Evil: Though the Hooded One ended up botching the ritual to free the Locust outright, the ritual was enough to cause an imbalance in the Dreaming from which more and more of the Locust's power could come forth to lay waste to the world.
  • Necromancer: He's brought the Hooded One back from the dead twice.
  • Our Spirits Are Different: The Lord of the Locusts is a nightmare spirit from the Dreaming. He has neither shape nor form, so he must possess a physical host to inhabit the waking world.
  • Satanic Archetype: Said to be the cause of all evil, corrupts and bargains with mortals when not outright possessing them.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Is imprisoned in stone, and his goal for the entire series is to free himself, working through agents like the Hooded One.
  • The Swarm: He can command swarms of locusts to attack his enemies. Usually it's just a tactic to distract them, unless his targets are small, like Fone Bone, in which case he can actually use his bugs to abduct them.
  • Taken for Granite: The dragons turned him and his host, Mim, into stone in order to stop his threat.
  • Ultimate Evil: He has no physical form and therefore can never be seen; the most we ever see of him is a pair of glowing "eyes". The prequel comic, Rose has him taking the form of a gigantic locust to contact Rose in her dreams.
  • We Can Rule Together: Makes the offer to the eponymous character in the prequel comic, Rose.
  • You Have Failed Me: The Lord of the Locusts painfully kills the Hooded One for failing him. In a subversion, he then resurrects the same character because they're too valuable an ally to lose.
  • Your Soul Is Mine: He tries to take Thorn's soul from her, but it backfires when Thorn ends up stealing a piece of his soul instead (though it's implied he allowed her to). This ends up being his undoing, as Thorn making contact with the Crown of Horns, while having a piece of the Locust inside her, ends up causing his permanent destruction.
  • Zerg Rush: His final defeat comes when every dragon alive dog piles on him while he's possessing Mim and drags him underground.

The Hooded One
A mysterious hooded figure who's the highest servant of the Lord of the Locust. Spends the first two-thirds of the story preparing for war, and looking for "the one who bears the star," who will aid in freeing the Lord of the Locusts.
  • Aloof Big Sister: The prequel shows that Briar treated her sister coldly at the best of times and was usually cruel and condescending. By the end of the comic, she reveals herself as psychotically murderous towards her.
  • Bad Boss: Starting to get a little concerned that destroying the world might not be such a good idea? The Hooded One will kill you on the spot and then tell your newly-appointed successor to learn from your mistake.
  • Betty and Veronica: She was the Veronica to her little sister Rose's Betty, and succeeded in seducing away the Archie, aka Lucius. It was only to further her plans, however, and she ended up leading him into an ambush of Rat Creatures.
  • Cain and Abel: The Hooded One is really Briar Harvester, the elder sister of Rose, who's wanted to murder her sibling ever since they were children.
  • The Dragon: To the Lord of the Locusts.
  • Dream Weaver: The Hooded One is one of the most powerful Veni-Yan-Cari in existence and often enters Thorn's dreams in the hope of corrupting her.
  • Entertainingly Wrong: The Hooded One spends most of the story going after Phoney Bone because of some omen that he'll be a threat... then we actually see the omen: a campaign balloon of Phoney's that got free and landed in the Valley by accident, which the Hooded One would have no context for. The kicker, in the end it was technically true. Phoney was the one who deduced the location of the Crown of Horns which ended up screwing the bad guys over.
  • Evil Feels Good: "Ever since I was a little girl, I could hear the Lord of the Locusts whispering inside my head. Do you know what that's like? It's like being the smartest person in the whole world. Mmmmm..."
  • Evil Is Hammy: For the most part, averted; the Hooded One is usually very low-key and subdued... as long as the hood is on. When the hood comes off, our resident Big Bad suddenly Takes A Level In Ham and reveals an unexpected talent for Chewing the Scenery.
  • Evil Is Petty: In the prequel comic Rose, after Rose reveals she has a crush on Lucius, Briar uses magic to seduce him away from her sister. While it does have a practical purpose in making him more easily manipulated, her primary reason for doing it seems to be to spite her sister.
  • Evil Prince: Evil princess, actually. She's the villainous sister of Queen Rose.
  • Evil Sorcerer: The Hooded One is supposedly the most powerful Veni-Yan-Cari born in a millennium, and shows off her skills through flight, casting glamours, telekinesis, and knowledge of arcane rituals that can cause the end of the world.
  • Evil Uncle: Genderflipped. Briar is Rose's sister, so she's Thorn's grand-aunt, and she makes multiple attempts on Thorn's life out of jealousy that the Lord of Locusts will favor her grand-niece over her. Briar also led her niece and nephew-in-law into an ambush that ended in their deaths.
  • The Faceless: We don't see the Hooded One's face until about two-thirds into the story. Before that, we've had a few "fake" reveals, as the hood has on separate occasions been pulled back to reveal the face of Fone Bone or a younger Gran'ma Ben. The first time she reveals her true identity, she looks like she did in life, as a pretty young woman who resembles Gran'ma a lot. Not much later we see that her real appearance is far less pretty, more ghoulish with gray skin and huge staring eyes.
  • Godhood Seeker: The heroes speculate that once the Lord of the Locusts is free, he'll use the Hooded One as his new mortal host, essentially making the Hooded One a god over a nightmare world. Though when the Locust finally is freed, he continues to inhabit the form of Mim.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: A lot of the Hooded One's hatred of her sister, Rose, stems from jealousy over the attention and adoration she received from their parents and subjects. The Hooded One also makes repeated attempts on Thorn's life out of jealousy that she'll be the Lord of Locusts' new favorite.
  • The Grim Reaper: With her always hooded look and Sinister Scythe, she easily evokes the imagery of the angel of death.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Was chopped in half at the waist by Thorn's father. The Lord of the Locusts resurrected her and uses its magic to keep her top and bottom halves linked.
  • The Heavy: Though not the ultimate evil (that honor goes to the Lord of the Locusts), the Hooded One is the most dangerous and immediate threat in the series, is the commander of the evil armies, and is constantly trying to attack, kill or corrupt Thorn — through her dreams or physically.
  • In the Hood: It's in the name. The Hooded One spends the first half of the story with a hood concealing their identity.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: Briar Harvestar was known as one of the most beautiful women in the Valley, until the Locust turned her into a withered hag as punishment for her failure.
  • Jerkass: In her youth, Briar treated everyone — her family included — with cold, barely contained contempt.
  • Karmic Transformation: After she fails in freeing the Lord of Locusts in the prequel, he prematurely ages her, the most beautiful woman in the Valley, into a wizened, old crone.
  • More Than Mind Control: The Lord of Locusts isn't outright controlling the Hooded One's, a.k.a. Briar's actions, but he has been in contact with her throughout her entire life, fostering her jealousy and resentment of her sister, feeding her ego, and promising her vengeance over every imagined slight. It's not as sympathetic as most examples though since Briar had a pretty good life, a loving and supportive family, immense power, and most of her problems were of her own making.
  • Mouth of Sauron: The Hooded One is the only person in the Locust's army to have direct contact with their master. He relies on her to relay his commands to his forces.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Falls into the category of "The Adjective One".
  • Omnicidal Maniac: The Hooded One is totally fine with freeing the Lord of the Locusts to destroy the world. In fact, the Hooded One is pretty gleeful about it.
  • Psycho Supporter: The Hooded One is devoted to the Lord of the Locusts and is fine with helping him bring on the apocalypse.
  • Revenant Zombie: The Hooded One is the resurrected sister of Rose Harvester. She still retains her personality and the two halves of her body are held together by her master's locusts.
  • Samus Is a Girl: After having been deliberately referred to with male pronouns for two-thirds of the series, is revealed to be Briar, Gran'ma Ben's sister.
  • Sinister Scythe: Fights with one, with enough skill to shatter boulders and cleave fully-grown warriors to pieces. This happens to be the weapon that killed her. When Thorn's parents found out she had planned for her daughter, her dad grabbed an abandoned farm tool and cut her in half.
  • Stripped to the Bone: When the Lord of Locusts is killed, all her soft tissues get vaporized, leaving behind a blackened skeleton.
  • The Unfavorite: Briar resentfully says their mother always preferred Rose before trying to kill her. However, the prequel Rose shows her parents as nothing but loving and supportive of her.
  • We Have Reserves: When her Pawan general asks what happened to the elite warriors he sent to aid her at the battle of Old Man's Cave, the Hooded One callously confirms they were gifted warriors, but she was finished with them. It's enough to get the general to try to strike her down.
  • The Worm That Walks: The top and bottom halves of a Revenant Zombie held together by a swarm of locusts.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: She convinces Rose to spare her in the prequel by claiming to have been under the Locusts' control.
  • You Have Failed Me:
    • A subversion. After the Lord of Locusts finds out that the Hooded One wasted their time by going after Phoney for no reason, he keeps his promise to kill her painfully. The subversion comes when he resurrects her afterwards because she's still useful.
    • In the prequel Rose, Briar's first failed attempt to free the Lord of Locusts in her youth led to him prematurely aging her into a wizened crone.

The King of the Rat Creatures; a brutish and vicious monster who nevertheless is basically only a puppet for the Hooded One and the Lord of the Locusts.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: He's rather pitiful in his final moments. With his sanity eroded from the numerous times he was maimed and humiliated, as well as with the realization that he's only ever been a puppet, the once proud king of the Rat Creatures is reduced to a shambling mess that has to beg Thorn to kill him. Even Thorn can't find it in herself to finish him off, and only does so out of self-defense.
  • An Arm and a Leg: He gets mutilated, twice, the first time losing an arm before he gets Thorn to kill him and end his misery. You can't say he didn't deserve it, though.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: He's the ruler of the Rat Creatures and the most dangerous of his kind, being a hulking monster that easily dwarfs any of his subjects.
  • Body Horror: Kingdok changes visually more than any other character in the series; in the beginning he looks like a normal Rat Creature, just much bigger, bipedal, and with a constant toothy grin or sneer on his face. Towards the end he hardly resembles a Rat Creature so much as a walking mouth with legs. This change is actually due to Art Evolution, but it's implied that in-story this gradual de-evolution is brought on by the corruption of the Lord of the Locusts.
  • The Brute: The most physically dangerous of the Lord of Locusts servants. In his first appearance, he even manages to beat up Gran'ma Ben with little effort.
  • Butt-Monkey: Of the non-comedic variety. He's defeated, humiliated and downright mutilated on several occasions, which causes a Sanity Slippage and a gradual change in personality from an arrogant Brute to a half-crazed, cynical Death Seeker.
  • Cephalothorax: His final character design, where his eyes and (gigantic) mouth seem to grow out of his torso.
  • Death Seeker: After being repeatedly humiliated, losing an arm and his tongue, and being reduced to little more than a slave of the Hooded One and the Lord of Locusts, he decides he'd rather die than continue living as he is. He tries to goad Thorn into finishing him off, but she refuses his attempts until he attacks her and essentially performs Suicide by Cop.
  • Fantastic Racism: He hates the human "flat-landers" and considers it an insult that they managed to drive his kind out of the Valley.
  • Forced into Evil: According to the Two Stupid Stupid Rat Creatures, Kingdok was originally fine with obeying the treaty, as much as he hated humans. But like every one else, he was terrified by the Locust's power, and had no choice but to obey The Hooded One.
  • Humiliation Conga: Gradually as the story progresses he goes from The Dreaded and a serious threat, to losing both an arm and his tongue, and then being completely forgotten about and reduced to one panel cameos once in a while simply to confirm that he isn't dead yet.
  • Pet the Dog: One hilarious instance with Smelly and Stinky, after they've messed up with the cow race and he decides he likes the results. They think he's about to kill them, and instead he gives them a nice hot meal and tells them "good job, boys."
  • Revenge Before Reason: Subverted. Despite Thorn cutting off his arm, when the Hooded One orders him to find her and the Bones, Kingdok suggests he kill the Great Red Dragon instead. When the Hooded One asks if he doesn't want vengeance for his mutilation, Kingdok responds vengeance is never far from his thoughts, but tactically he thinks it makes more sense to eliminate the Great Red Dragon as a threat.
  • To Serve Man: Like all Rat Creatures, he's a carnivorous monster who eats sapient creatures. He was the one who devoured Thorn's parents.
  • Tongue Trauma: Roque Ja ends up ripping out his tongue.
  • Tyrannosaurus rex: Word of God says his design is heavily inspired by it.
  • Would You Like to Hear How They Died?: He tells Thorn how he ate her mother while she was still alive in order to goad her into killing him. Thorn manages to fight off the temptation and only kills him when he tries to kill her.
  • You Killed My Father: He was the one who killed Thorn's parents, and reminds her of it in a bid to get her to kill him.
  • Your Size May Vary: In his first appearances he's only about twice the size of a regular rat creature, but later he appears to stand over thirty feet tall and is big enough to fit a regular rat creature in his mouth.

Rat Creatures
Rat Creatures are the resident monsters of the valley; they're strong and bloodthirsty predators but also incredibly stupid. Encountered in ones or twos they're more comical than scary, but in large numbers they're terrifying. There are thousands of Rat Creatures, but two of them — a duo of foot soldiers — play fairly large roles in the story as Ineffectual Sympathetic Villains who in Quest for the Spark end up having a Heel–Face Turn (as well as getting their own names, "Smelly" and "Stinky.")
  • Affably Evil: Seems to be a basic Rat Creature trait. They're monsters, yes, and they will gleefully stalk and eat smaller creatures, but most of them seem to be Punch Clock Villains at best. They're at their most dangerous when controlled or manipulated by someone greater and more evil... unfortunately, they're very easy for great and evil forces to manipulate.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Stinky is proud of being a monster and resents Smelly's love of quiche because it takes away from his image of what a monster should be.
  • Enemy Mine: Smelly and Stinky temporarily team-up with Fone Bone, Smiley and a bunch of orphaned animals to escape from Kingdok and Roque Ja.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Smelly and Stinky in Quest for the Spark.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Smelly and Stinky are in this trope. It's emphasized through their tendency to call each other "comrade" and their tendency to bicker Like an Old Married Couple
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Another basic Rat Creature trait, if you run into them in ones or twos. It's when there's a large number of them that they become dangerous.
  • Lovable Coward: Most of them are brave; just not those two.
  • No Name Given: Most Rat Creatures don't have names and address each other only as "Comrade." Quest For The Spark confirms that having a name is a sign of status in Rat Creature Culture; you don't get a name unless you're important, like a king or a queen. Even the two main Rat Creatures remain nameless until Quest For The Spark.
  • Phrase Catcher: "Stupid, stupid rat creatures!"
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Aside from the whole "eating people thing" Smelly and Stinky just seem like two enemy soldiers doing their jobs.
  • Seinfeldian Conversation: Rat Creatures in general, and Smelly and Stinky in particular, have a knack for these conversations, a trait which is made even more prominent when they're written by Tom Snegoski.
  • Talking Animal: Maybe, because while treated like a "race" similar to humans or the Bones, they're very animalistic, and lack clothing and material possessions, don't build shelters, don't use tools, and live out in the wilderness feeding on smaller animals. Considering most other animals also have the ability to talk, the only real difference between them and rat creatures is that rat creatures are a fictional species.
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Completely averted. Female Rat Creatures look exactly the same as male ones. Presumably the Rat Creatures themselves can tell the difference.
  • Those Two Bad Guys: Smelly and Stinky. In Quest for the Spark, you can pretty much drop the word "Bad" from that trope.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Yes, Fone Bone, Smelly and Stinky are stupid enough to follow you onto a frail little branch hanging over a cliff.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Smelly is borderline obsessed with quiche, much to Stinky's chagrin.
    Stinky: It's a matter of principle! Monsters do not eat quiche!
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Smelly and Stinky fit this well due to their bicker spats and insults towards each other, which is a factor to their incompetence.
  • Would Hurt a Child: In addition to trying to eat sapient, animal children, Smelly and Stinky also hurt the rat cub, Bartleby, for helping Fone Bone and Smiley.

Roque Ja
The "Master of the Eastern Border." Roque Ja (and not, as he will constantly remind you, "Rock Jaw") is a gigantic mountain lion who initially sides with the Hooded One and the Rat Creatures because he hates them slightly less than he hates the dragons they oppose.
  • Adaptational Badass: His original incarnation, from the Thorn comic strip, was much smaller and weaker, and bordered on being an Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain, to the point where Fone Bone was actually glad to see him because that meant there was no more danger. The Roque Ja of Bone is notably larger and more of a threat.
  • Berserk Button: Seeing a Rat Creature trespass on his domain throws him into a rage, as being a big cat he considers them vermin. Disrespect in any form is also a huge issue with him.
  • Cats Are Snarkers: An an extremely deadpan style of snark at that.
  • Cats Are Superior: With a heavy dosage of Cats Are Mean. He views himself as ruler of the eastern mountains and has little but contempt for anyone else.
  • Expy: Basically, he's Shere Khan as a gigantic mountain lion.
  • Fantastic Racism: He hates the Rat Creatures, viewing them as vermin, and hates the dragons, viewing them as arrogant.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He can be quite charming and polite, and occasionally might even be on the same side as you, but make no mistakes — he's not your friend and he's not to be trusted.
  • Hates Everyone Equally: Dragons, Rat Creatures, humans, Bones, they're all the same to Roque Ja, they're all unwelcome in his territory, and the outcome of their war is of little consequence to him.
  • Hypocrite: He makes a big deal about how everyone must choose a side in the war, but actively stays out of it and makes it abundantly clear that he's on is his own. He also detests the dragons for their arrogant attitudes, but he is by far the most arrogant character in the comic.
  • It Is Pronounced "Tro-PAY": "R-R-Roque Ja! R-R-Roque! You're not rolling the R!"
  • It's All About Me: For all his talk of picking sides in a war, Roque Ja's really on his own side and only aids the Lord of Locusts' side because of the reward he can get out of it.
  • Karma Houdini: Sells out Phoney and Thorn to the Hooded One and the Locust but faces no karmic comeuppance for it. When he's encountered by Thorn, Fone Bone and Bartleby, he decides not to attack them, and they leave him be as they have more pressing priorities.
  • Mega Neko: He's absolutely huge, far bigger than a regular mountain lion, and could easily swallow Fone Bone or Smiley Bone in one gulp.
  • Motor Mouth: He does love the sound of his own voice. Fone Bone and Smiley Lampshade it on one occasion.
  • What Is Evil?: Roque Ja claims he doesn't believe in good and evil, since what one side of people (like the Bones) classifies as evil is often seen by another side (like the Rat Creatures) as good. In the end, there's only nature and in nature, power is all that matters.
  • Wild Card: Not wholly on anyone's side except his own. Which is ironic, since he keeps talking about "picking sides" in the war as something everyone must do.
  • Woolseyism: His name was changed in some translations to preserve the pun. The French version calls him "Mach Far", which is misinterpreted as "Mâche-Fer" by the Bones (literally, "Chew Iron").

Lord Tarsil
A former Veni-Yan warrior and ruler of Atheia. He hates dragons with a passion and has outlawed all "worship" of them, including the old religion.
  • Anticlimax Boss: He's talked up as a huge threat and a major obstacle for our heroes in the penultimate story arc... only to be killed with ease by the Hooded One at the beginning of the last story arc. It's a bit of an anticlimax, really.
  • An Arm and a Leg: He lost an arm in a battle against dragons.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: A great warrior, and still a force to be reckoned with after losing one arm.
  • Bullying a Dragon: He always thought dragons were evil, to the point that he tried to led a group of monks to Tanen Guard, the dragon's sacred burial ground. Even when the dragons warned him, he persisted, and they attacked, mutilating him heavily.
  • Burn the Witch!: He's made dragon worship a crime punishable by death and plans on burning Rose at the stake for her family's affiliation with dragons.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: He was on the receiving end of one when he tried to pick a fight against dragons. Calling his death at the Hooded One's hands a "fight" would be extraordinarily generous.
  • Evil vs. Evil: Tarsil is a dangerous Knight Templar who's usurped rule over Atheia, but he also opposes the Locust. The Hooded One makes short work of him, though.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Formerly the Queen's Captain of the Guard and one of the few people Rose used to keep in contact with, now he's an enemy of the royal family and wants them dead.
  • Facial Horror: When we finally see him without his hood, we see just how ravaged he is. His face is withered and scarred, his eyes are bulging, and he's missing hair, teeth and most of his nose.
  • General Ripper: He's got traces of this, with his fanatical hatred for dragons. He views them as evil and blames them for the Ghost Circles plaguing the land.
  • Handicapped Badass: He's lost an arm and his face is disfigured after he fought the dragons... but he doesn't let that stop him. Too bad that his strength doesn't help one bit against the Hooded One.
  • Humans Are Leaders: Seems to be his basic philosophy. There are a lot of creatures in Atheia, but Tarsil and the Vedu are human, and in charge after rejecting the teachings of the dragons.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: He used to be very handsome prior to his ill-fated attack on the dragons. Briar temporarily uses a glamour to mimic his handsome face and catch him off guard long enough to kill him.
  • Knight Templar: He believes that dragons and those that worship them are inherently evil and must be put to death to save Atheia.
  • The Usurper: He's known as Tarsil the Usurper for seizing control of the city after blaming the dragons for the appearance of the Ghost Circles.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: It's hinted that he started out as this, but his hatred for the dragons have long since overshadowed any good intentions he had.

The Vedu

The sect that Tarsil formed; an off-shoot of the Diciples of Venu who follows different teachings and act more like bullies than protectors.
  • Jerkass: A good collective term for them. The city under attack and lives in danger? Their response is to take over the town armory and refuse to let anyone in unless they get special privileges.
  • Would Hurt a Child: At least one of them, who kicks Taneal for making a shrine to the dragons, enraging Thorn as a result.

    Characters from the past 


The Queen of Dragons. Originally she was the one who ensured a balance between the dreaming and the waking world, but she was possessed by the Lord of the Locust and driven mad, forcing the other dragons to turn her to stone.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: She is gargantuan. Normal dragons, which range in size from the size of a cart to the size of a truck, are about the size of mosquitos compared to her.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Possessed by the Lord of the Locusts, making her go on a rampage until he was turned to stone by the other dragons.
  • Taken for Granite: Was turned to stone by her children in order to prevent her from rampaging any more.
  • Thanatos Gambit: It's implied that she went insane on purpose to get her children to turn her to stone.

Cleo and Euclid

Princess Rose's two canine companions.

Balsaad the River Dragon

An evil dragon and a servant of the Lord of the Locusts.
  • Pulling Themselves Together: His Healing Factor and ability to rejoin parts of him that have been cut off mean he's almost invulnerable, but he's eventually killed when Rose finds a way to keep his body parts from each other.

Queen Lunaria
"Seek the Crown of Horns..."

Thorn's deceased mother, daughter of Rose, and the previous Queen of the Valley.

  • Brainy Brunette: She had dark hair and was known to be a patron of the arts.
  • Disappeared Dad: There's no mention of who Lunaria's father was.
  • Eaten Alive: She and her husband were torn apart and eaten by Kingdok.
  • The High Queen: She was beloved by her subjects when she was alive.
  • In-Series Nickname: Her real name was Lunaria, but her nickname was "Moonwort" or sometimes just "Moon".

"Big" Johnson Bone

The founder of Boneville and distant ancestor of Fone Bone, Phoney Bone and Smiley Bone. Big Johnson is an adventurer and explorer by nature, and always rushing off to seek adventure.
  • Accidental Misnaming: He never seems to be able to get his pet monkey's name right.
  • Big Eater: His ability to pack it away is legendary.
  • Determinator: Big Johnson Bone never backs down from anything. Not even being eaten by a giant Rat Creature stops him!
  • The Dreaded: To the rat creatures, so much so in fact that even hundreds of years after his presumed death they still cut off their tails for fear that he will come for them and drag them away by their tails.
  • Fearless Fool: While he might occasionally make a strategic retreat, he's far more likely to run headfirst into danger.
  • Hunter Trapper: His chosen profession, and yet he goes out of his way to help a number of cute woodland creatures in trouble. This is Lampshaded.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Despite his egoism he truly is a hero.
  • Motor Mouth: Big Johnson talks quite a bit.
  • The Münchausen: As if he isn't badass enough in real life, he's constantly exaggerating and blowing his adventures and feats out of proportion. At times it's hard to tell just what is true and what's a lie.
  • Nice Hat: Of course he has a Davy Crockett-style coonskin cap.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Big Johnson is pretty much a reconstruction of this. He has an unrealistically high opinion of himself, but he's able to make up for it with the impressive abilities that he actually does have.

Mr. Pip

Big Johnson's pet monkey, who really does not like being dragged off on adventures.


A minuscule dragon and forest guardian, who has some problems with his fire-breathing.
  • Breath Weapon: Like all dragons, he can breathe fire... that is, he's supposed to be able to breathe fire. Whenever he tries he ends up being sick instead.
  • Cowardly Lion: He becomes much more brave by the end.
  • 11th-Hour Ranger: Makes a surprise return in the last book of the Quest For the Spark trilogy.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: "Dragon? More like a mouse — no — a teeny tiny bug that's afraid of dirt. No, no, I'm lower than a bug. What's lower than a bug? Lower than a bug, lower than a bug... a germ! That's it! I'm lower than a germ!"
  • Took a Level in Badass: Starts out as a fairly ineffectual fighter, but gets better over time. It's hinted that his fire-breathing problems were the result of his low self-esteem, and when he gets over that he's much more of a force to be reckoned with.

Animal cubs

Lily the Bear Cub, Pete the Porcupine, Ramona the Fox, Porter the Turtle and a number of mice are helped out by Big Johnson when their parents are taken by Rat Creatures.
  • Cowardly Lion: All of them, to some degree, but Porter is the clearest example. He starts out as too afraid to come out of his shell, but ends up the most gung-ho of all of them.
  • 11th-Hour Ranger: Porter, along with Stillman, makes a surprise return in Quest for the Spark, as an old turtle.
  • Gasshole: Pete claims this makes him special. "I can burp the alphabet!"
  • Motor Mouth: The mice are a collective one.
  • Shout-Out: When Porter finally comes out of his shell, he looks almost exactly like Churchy La Femme.
  • Vanity Is Feminine: Ramona is a rather vain little fox cub.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Lily, who believes in wishing on a star and that everything will eventually work out.

Queen Maud

The Queen of the Rat Creatures back in Big Johnson's day.


Queen Maud's son, and the hugest Rat Creature ever to have lived, even larger than Kingdok.

    Quest for the Spark 

Percival F. Bone

An older cousin of Fone Bone, Phoney Bone and Smiley Bone; he's an inventor and an explorer whose biggest invention, The Queen of the Sky is an airship that runs on potatoes. He's the legal guardian of his lost brother's two kids, Abbey and Barclay.
  • Cool Old Guy: With a side-order of Team Grandpa. He's probably the most laid-back and jovial older character in the franchise — where most other elderly characters tend to be either stern or grouchy or both, Percival is neither of these things.
  • The Nose Knows: An interesting variant of this. Percival can smell it in the air when adventure and/or change is afoot, and can also smell the weather changing. He admits that his nose has been wrong "once or twice," but it's usually reliable.
  • The Professor: He's a cartoon professor/inventor of the Ludwig Von Drake type, and he very much looks the part with his lab coat and his wild Einstein-like hair (the only male Bone we see depicted with hair).

Abbey and Barclay Bone

Percival's niece and nephew, they're twins (Abbey is the older, by two minutes and twenty-three seconds) and usually bicker a lot.

Tom Elm

The primary protagonist of Quest for the Spark, Tom Elm is a twelve-year-old boy who lives on a turnip farm but wishes he could become a Veni-Yan warrior. He's best friends with Roderick the Raccoon, who was taken in by his family.
  • The Everyman: Even more than Fone Bone, Tom is a pretty indistinct Standardized Leader whose character traits seem rather bland compared to the characters surrounding him.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: Like so many kid protagonists before him, Tom starts his journey bored with his normal life and wants to be a great warrior.

Randolf Clearmeadow

A former Veni-Yan warrior who went into exile after his family was killed.
  • Crusading Widower: Becomes this after he's forced out of his self-imposed exile.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's gruff, antisocial and not easy to get along with, but he ultimately comes around.
  • Retired Badass: When we first meet him, he's been retired for years. He's not eager to be pulled back into adventure, but realizes he doesn't have a choice.


Lorimar is the last of the First Folk, creatures of the Dreaming who lived in harmony before Mim went mad. She interacts with the waking world by possessing plants and plant life.
  • Nature Spirit: She came from the Dreaming, but ties herself to the waking world through possessing plants.


A young Pawan girl, and daughter of the Chief of the Nurdak Tribe, who declares that she thinks that the "powers that be are horrible and mean."
  • 11th-Hour Ranger: She doesn't join Tom's team until the third and final book of the trilogy.

Chieftian Gnod

Gerta's father and Chief of the Nurdak Tribe.

The Nacht

A renegade dragon who was loyal to the Lord of the Locust.
  • Big Bad: Of The Quest for the Spark.

King Agak

The current King of the Rat Creatures and Kingdok's successor.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: He thinks he's the Big Bad, but much like Kingdok before him, he ends up used and manipulated by stronger forces.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: He's pretty much a toned-down, less monstrous version of Kingdok. It's implied that this is intentional on his part, in that he models himself after his predecessor as well as he can.



The star of the Riblet back-up strip written by Tom Snegoski and drawn by Stan Sakai. A young boar which the two Stupid Rat Creatures try to eat, and quickly end up wishing they hadn't.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: An extremely annoying and even dangerous version of this. He never has any clue as to what's going on, and frequently puts everyone around him in danger. Says something that he can't understand why people don't want to play his favourite game with him — said favorite game is one he made up is called "Bonkk" and consists solely of him hitting others hard on the head.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: To the point where the other animals break down laughing when they find out he's been taken by the Rat Creatures.
  • Whole Plot Reference: His story is a furry version of O. Henry's "The Ransom of Red Chief."

Ringo, Bingo and Todd

Three young Bone scouts who listen to the tall tales of Scout Master Smiley Bone
  • Cheerful Child: All three of them are pretty upbeat and well-behaved — Todd is slightly more of a complainer than the other two, but is still basically positive.
  • The Dividual: Kind of like the Baby Possums in the main story, or even like Huey, Dewey and Louie, they are of the Twindividual variety... at least Ringo and Bingo are. Todd gets slightly more of a distinct personality, being the sceptic of the group.
  • Odd Name Out: Ringo, Bingo and... Todd. No wonder he stands out.

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