The cast of the Dark Parables is an ever-expanding network of interconnected fairy tale characters... and the detective who helps them all. Because there are Loads and Loads of Characters, listing them all here would be impossible; this character sheet will chiefly focus on characters who appear in multiple games or whose influence is particularly heavily felt throughout the series. Spoilers are unmarked.
Debuted in Curse of Briar Rose
The Fairytale Detective
Our heroine and the person you play as most of the time. Once a top detective in an agency that was open to paranormal activity, soon became known for tackling cases involving Fairy tales after the the case of Briar Rose. Thus getting her title "The Fairytale Detective,".
Note that despite proof that she is female, the Detective is meant to be ambiguous in every shape and form.
- Badass Normal: She has no particular powers, but goes charging into dangerous magical situations and emerges triumphant every time.
- Big Damn Heroes: She gets to be this at least once in each game.
- Deadpan Snarker: The detective gets in a bit of this from time to time.
- Distress Ball: Occasionally she picks this up, usually resulting in another character getting a Big Damn Heroes moment as they come to her rescue in the nick of time.
- Everyone Calls Her Detective: Overlapping with No Name Given; NPCs only ever address the player character as "Detective."
- Featureless Protagonist: In addition to being nameless, the player character has no other identifying characteristics. The most that is seen of your avatar most of the time are gloved hands and jacket-sleeved arms. The one thing we do know about the detective, however, is that she's a woman.
- Friend to All Children: Probably most obvious in Snow Queen, but the detective seems to have a generally good rapport with any children she encounters.
- Incorruptible Pure Pureness: According to the Moon Goddess in Fallen Star, her heart is pure and her cause is just, so she needs have no fear. It gets reiterated by the fairy queen in Requiem.
- MacGuffin Delivery Service: She has unwittingly served as this on a few occasions.
- Mission From Goddess: She is explicitly on a mission from the Sun and Moon Goddesses in Fallen Star. In the bonus chapter, the Moon Priest observes that the Moon Goddess has taken particular interest in the detective, which may mean that she's been this throughout the entire series.
- No Name Given: As noted above, she is only ever addressed as "Detective" or "the Fairytale Detective."
- Original Generation: The one thing tying every single installment together, the only character to appear in every game, is the Fairytale Detective herself. She was created for the purpose of entering the fairy tales and fixing what went wrong.
- Player Character
- Plucky Girl: The detective never gives up, and in her own words she does not simply accept fate.
- Private Detective: She's a detective who specializes in fairy tale mysteries. Surprisingly, there's actually a call for that in this universe.
- According to the Dark Parables wiki, she works for a detective agency which specializes in the paranormal. Following the events of the first game, the detective decides to exclusively devote herself to cases related to fairy tales, and she becomes known by reputation as "the Fairytale Detective."
- Protectorate: She takes this role for Jack in Sky Kingdom; later, Ross in Ballad grows to regard her this way too. Princess Leda in Fallen Star takes a similar view, although it's a bit more of a Poisonous Friend situation.
- Samus Is a Girl: The unlockable bonus content in the collector's edition of Curse of Briar Rose includes three different novelizations of the Sleeping Beauty tale - one by The Brothers Grimm, one by Charles Perrault, and the one affiliated with the Dark Parables games. According to the Dark Parables novelization, the Fairytale Detective is female. In later games, NPCs refer to her using female pronouns.
- Ship Tease: She arguably has this with Jack during Sky Kingdom, at least according to some players, but it's definitely not present when they reunite later in Fallen Star. Other players see the potential for this with her and Hansel.
- Trespassing Hero: The detective will, more often than not, investigate a place without the owner's permission to be there. While some characters will threaten the detective, and a few have outright harmed her, nobody really does anything to seriously block the investigation or remove the detective from the premises.
- Vague Age: Along with knowing practically nothing else about her, we don't know how old the detective is, but we can make an educated estimate. There is no clear indication of how far apart the games take place, only the order of events. Thus far, the only attempt at dating the games is confirmation that Rise of the Snow Queen takes place ten years before Ballad of Rapunzel, and Dire Tree is stated to take place a few years later. It can be approximated, therefore, that the series has been happening for roughly fifteen to twenty years in-universe. Licensed private investigators must be at least 21 years old in most jurisdictions, so by the time of Dire Tree the detective has to be close to 40, if not older.
- The Voiceless: The detective is not voice acted; all of her dialogue appears on the screen as subtitles.
- Averted slightly in Little Mermaid, where the detective's voice is heard for the first time. She gasps on a few occasions when she's knocked to the ground by other characters.
- Averted again in Tinderbox, when she is heard groaning in pain as she drags herself out of a collapsing structure.
- Weirdness Magnet: Considering the peculiar situations in which she's found herself down through the series, it's plausible that she's one of these.
Sleeping Beauty/Princess Briar Rose Stewartson
Briar Rose is the central figure of the first game. She is the daughter of Scottish monarchs who reigned a thousand years ago, and her little sister was Ivy, the Frog Prince's first bride.
See the "Guardians of Flora" folder, below.
Debuted in The Exiled Prince
The Frog Prince/James
This unfortunate fellow is the brother of the prince who failed to revive Briar Rose, the title character of The Exiled Prince, and the husband of Princess Ivy (and also the Swan Lake Princess, the Cinderella named Agnes, the mermaid named Naida, and Snow White).
- The Ageless: He's this by accident; Ivy's kiss conferred her immortality onto him, which is why he can't grow old or die. He's at least a thousand years old when he meets the detective, since it was his mortal brother who tried to revive Briar Rose.
- Animorphism: Prince James was cursed into a frog, then turned back into a prince by True Love's Kiss... then became a frog again when his wife died. Lather, rinse, repeat; he went through the cycle three more times. The corpse he leaves behind when he finally dies is a frog instead of human.
- Anti-Villain: He's technically the Big Bad of the second game, but he's not really a bad guy.
- Baleful Polymorph: Part and parcel of being the Frog Prince.
- Blinding Bangs: Prince James's red hair covers almost half of his face, though it's not clear why this is or how he can see anything.
- Cartwright Curse: He has a form of this.
- Death Seeker: He's hoping to concoct a potion that will remove his immortality and allow him to finally die.
- Died Happily Ever After: When it happens, he's overjoyed, because now he can be with Ivy forever.
- Disappeared Dad: As the third game reveals, James is this to his son, Prince Gwyn.
- Evil Costume Switch: In flashbacks, it's shown that Prince James's clothing was white or light-colored. His present-day outfit is black or dark brown, complete with tattered cloak. When he dies, his clothing goes back to being white again.
- Evil Redhead: He has reddish hair. YMMV on just how evil he really is, though.
- Friendly Ghost: In the bonus chapter.
- Green Thumb: He has magical control over vines, and grows them at will to block off escape routes and other places he doesn't want the detective to go. It isn't revealed until the seventh game that he received this ability as well as Ivy's immortality when she kissed him.
- Happily Married: He and each of his five wives, in turn. However, Snow Queen shows that his marriage to Snow White eventually crumbled.
- Immortality/Immortality Hurts/Who Wants to Live Forever?
- Intercontinuity Crossover: He's the John Munch of this series - he is the one character who, in some way or another, is connected to almost every game. To wit:
- Curse of Briar Rose - Briar Rose is his first wife's older sister. His brother, whose name is unknown, kissed her to try to revive her from her cursed sleep, and was instead cursed himself and died. It's implied that the messenger pigeons which have been traveling to and from the castle have been reporting to him about his sister-in-law's situation.
- The Exiled Prince - his story.
- Rise of the Snow Queen - the Snow Queen is actually Snow White, his fifth wife and the mother of his son Gwyn. Early in the game, the detective encounters a rescue party bearing his insignia, which he had sent to try to bring Snow White back after she left him.
- Red Riding Hood Sisters - it's revealed that the Truth Mirror in the Sisterhood headquarters was given to the Sisters after one of them saved his son from the mist wolves. Also, two of the current members of the Sisterhood are his sisters-in-law from different marriages; Briar Rose was the sister of his wife Ivy, and Teresa was the sister of his wife Naida.
- The Final Cinderella - he was married to Agnes, the second Cinderella so designated by the godmother Amelia; some of the details of their romance are revealed in the Cinderella Stories.
- Jack and the Sky Kingdom - Jack has a statue of his frog form down in his treasure room. Prince Julian shapeshifts into Prince James at one point to scare the detective.
- Ballad of Rapunzel - it's revealed that his immortality and plant powers originally belonged to Princess Ivy, and were transferred to him by her kiss; it's also revealed where she got those powers in the first place. One of the parables further reveals that his marriage to Snow White caused her twin brother, Ross Red, to cut her out of his life. His son, Prince Gwyn, is an active participant in the bonus chapter.
- The Little Mermaid and the Purple Tide - he was married to Naida, one of the five mermaid princesses of Prasino, and helped her escape her own curse; the detective can find a letter he wrote in Naida's room.
- Goldilocks and the Fallen Star - although he's not directly connected to the plot of this game, the detective does find a copy of a book version of his game while exploring the castle.
- The Swan Princess and the Dire Tree - he was married to Odette, one of the young women who bore the title of Swan Princess, and she was stripped of her crown and exiled after marrying him because it went against her vows. Her old room in the Swan Guard barracks contains a painting of the two of them, and the bonus chapter shows how they met.
- The Thief and the Tinderbox - Prince Gwyn is his son, who looks a lot like him.
- Return Of The Salt Princess - Brigid and her mother, Wanda, are his descendants via his children under his marriage with Princess Ivy.
- Involuntary Shapeshifting: His original curse.
- Karma Houdini: Arguably. His 'punishment' for centuries of kidnapping people and turning them into frogs is... to die and be reunited with his beloved first wife.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: When he's first seen, the Frog Prince has glowing red eyes.
- Rescue Romance: Later games reveal that he had this with most of his wives. Ivy first saved him from his curse with her kiss; Agnes saved him from being eaten by a snake while in frog form; Naida rescued him from his curse and he in turn helped her escape her own; and he saved Snow White and her brother from being executed on their stepmother's orders in return for her magic kiss. Only Odette, his Swan Lake Princess, doesn't fit the trope, as we learn in Swan Princess that she kissed him as a reward for his assistance in her battle against the Harpy Queen.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Since his arrival in the Black Forest, Prince James has kept himself busy building a combination underground palace and memorial grounds with no outside help. He's also been researching ways to break his curse and experimenting on people he's turned into frogs.
- Serial Spouse: Justified, since his immortality causes him to outlive most of his wives. It's not known in what order he married the five princesses, except that Ivy was his first wife and Snow White was his fifth and final.
Debuted in Rise of the Snow Queen
The Snow Queen
See the "Guardians of Flora" folder, below.
The Mountain King/King Edric
The father of Snow White and Ross Red, sovereign of the Mountain Kingdom (also known as the Snowfall Kingdom).
- Doting Parent: He cares very deeply about his two children. He also blames himself for what his second wife almost convinced him to do to said children, so he'll do pretty much anything his daughter wants.
- Doting Grandparent: For Gwyn.
- My God, What Have I Done?: He's guilt-stricken over being convinced his children were traitors.
- Never Say "Die": It's implied in Tinderbox that he's passed away, but the game doesn't phrase it as such; rather, he's described as having gone into his "frozen sleep."
- No Name Given: In Snow Queen; Tinderbox reveals his name is Edric.
- Papa Wolf: Fiercely protective of Snow and also of Gwyn.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: With his evil brother Rasputin.
- Was Once a Man: He's cursed into a beastly form in Snow Queen, although he gets better at the end.
In Rise of the Snow Queen, she's the only child from her village who isn't taken captive by the Snow Queen (at first). Ironically, she's the one the Snow Queen actually wants. She later aids Prince Ross and the detective in Ballad, and Tinderbox is about her wedding.
- Anti-Magic: She is impervious to magic of any kind. It saves her repeatedly.
- Famous Ancestor: She's descended from Hansel.
- Girlish Pigtails: In every appearance, even as an adult, she has these.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With her best friend Kai, but she doesn't realize he wants to be more.
- Love Triangle: She's unaware that she's in one until it's pretty much too late.
- Plucky Girl
- Rags to Royalty: Tinderbox takes place on her wedding day to Gwyn, making her a peasant girl who becomes royalty.
- Ship Tease: With Gwyn, at the end of the bonus chapter of Ballad of Rapunzel. In Tinderbox, the ship is confirmed canon.
- Swiss Army Tears: As a Golden Child, she has these.
He's the son of Noah, the woodcutter who acts as the detective's guide in Rise of the Snow Queen. Later, he returns in Ballad of Rapunzel trying to help his dear friend Gerda, and he returns again in The Thief and the Tinderbox in a very different capacity.
- Cannot Spit It Out: One of the parables in Tinderbox explains that he's never managed to tell Gerda he's in love with her.
- Crazy Jealous Guy: He's become this in Tinderbox. He might have kept it to himself, but the Big Bad managed to use it.
- Distressed Dude: At the beginning of Ballad of Rapunzel, and again in the bonus chapter.
- Dreaming of Things to Come: In the bonus chapter of Tinderbox, he talks about the dreams he's had of an island at the Edge of the World, where the eponymous MacGuffin can be safely hidden from mankind.
- Easily Forgiven: Happily, Gwyn and Gerda care too much about him to hold a grudge.
- Forest Ranger: Prince Gwyn appoints him Forest Warden for the Snowfall Kingdom sometime prior to Tinderbox.
- Green-Eyed Monster: The Big Bad magnifies his jealousy over Gwyn and Gerda's love, and causes him to wreak havoc in Tinderbox.
- Green Thumb: It's mentioned in Ballad of Rapunzel and reiterated in Tinderbox that Kai is a botanist.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With his best friend Gerda, but she doesn't realize that he wants to be more.
- It Is Pronounced "Tro-PAY": A lot of readers of The Snow Queen grew up believing the character's name is pronounced "Kay" (rhymes with hay), which is also how it's sometimes spelled and is the pronunciation used in some animated adaptations of the story. In these games at least, it's spelled as Kai and pronounced "Kye" (rhymes with eye).
- Love Triangle: With Gerda and Gwyn. More specifically, it's Triang Relations, type four.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Once he becomes imprisoned in the tinderbox and forced to serve as its slave, he realizes just how far his anger has led him down the wrong path.
- Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: If you regard him as a traitor, the end of the bonus chapter of Tinderbox certainly fits this trope.
Son of Snow White and the Frog Prince, Gwyn is a recurring character in the series.
- Distressed Dude: In the bonus chapter of Ballad of Rapunzel.
- Forced Sleep: When he's first seen in Snow Queen, he's in this state. Red Riding Hood Sisters explains that it was a result of being attacked by mist wolves.
- Love Triangle: In Tinderbox, he's in one of these with Kai and Gerda, but he doesn't know it.
- Meaningful Name: "Gwyn" is a Welsh name meaning white. He's named after his mother.
- Older Than They Look: As he was asleep for a few hundred years, he's really this.
- Ship Tease: With Gerda, at the end of the bonus chapter of Ballad of Rapunzel. In Tinderbox, the ship is confirmed canon.
- Strong Family Resemblance: When seen as a fully grown adult in Tinderbox, he facially looks a lot like his father James.
The Evil Witch
The evil witch who captured Hansel and Gretel and attempted to eat them. Turns out, she's been around since at least the time of the Moon Goddess, and is responsible for an awful lot of things which have happened... maybe. It's not clear how many of the wicked witch characters in this series are really her various incarnations.
- Age Without Youth: She has been around since before recorded history, and possibly humans. She has always been shown as an old hag. She is out to fix that.
- The Ageless: She has been around for a long time, and has neither aged or died (as far as we know, concerning the latter). Not that the former matters much, as she has always been shown as a crone.
- Ambiguously Human: She appears as one. She is also unbelievably ancient and somewhere up to divine level of power.
- Bad Boss: To her imp familiar, which Hansel uses against her.
- Badass Family: If Chi is her daughter.
- Big Bad: Of the bonus chapter of Snow Queen.
- Curse of Briar Rose: While she doesn't appear, she and the Evil Godmother have quite a few similarities (aside from being old wicked witches. Both are shapeshifters (the Evil Godmother even transforms into a crow, the first act of shapeshifting we have also seen from the Evil Witch), both use the same giant spiders (down to minor details), and the Evil Godmother plans to possess the body of the immortal, eternally young, divine-blessed Briar Rose. The Evil Witch is constantly attempting to become immortal (and presumably eternally young) and once stole the power of the Moon Goddess. While this may be just the writers reusing old ideas, knowing their track record...
- The Exiled Prince: We aren't told who it was that cursed James; but given that the witch is fond of needless cruelty, it's entirely possible that she was the one.
- Rise of the Snow Queen: The Chamber of Snow White's evil stepmother contains an oven noted to be large enough for children's bodies. The Witch is a cannibal. The Stepmother is also obsessed with beauty, and the Witch has attempted to make a potion that would make her eternally young. This game's bonus game, is where the Evil Witch first appears, which reveals some of her actions and that the Golden Child, whom the Snow Queen seeks because of their Anti-Magic abilities, inherited their power from their ancestor Hansel, who was granted this gift for saving the Moon Goddess from the Witch.
- The Red Riding Hood Sisters: She appears only in the bonus game. She captured a mermaid, intending to use her tears to brew a potion of eternal youth. Freeing her proves to be very important to The Boy Who Cried Wolf's goal of saving his father.
- The Final Cinderella: The villain of bonus game is Chi, daughter of a powerful witch with spider familiars, sent by her mother to seduce the prince of a neighboring country in order to gain the sacred writings of the Tang Monk, rumored to hold the secrets of immortality. Chi even transforms into the Giant Spider who always appears with the witch or people implied to be associated with her.
- Jack and the Sky Kingdom: She was the one who gave King Eurig the three princes, Hugh, Leonard and Julian, and we know this a fact because we see an engraving depicting this transaction. As such, it is very possible that she is one who gave the king the Bolide Shard, told him the news of his wife's death, and lied to him that the queen's final wish was for him to use the Shard to destroy and remake the world. Her statue is depicted in the Forest of Good and Evil in the bonus game, and it's mentioned that Rumpelstiltskin was originally created by a sorcerer as a servant; it may be that she was in contact with Rumpelstiltskin and his master too.
- The Queen of Sands: The bonus game, which explores the backstory of the titular Queen of Sands, Mab, reveals that the Evil Witch killed her father and turned her brothers into the ravens. Here, her relationship with the spiders is confirmed, and it is revealed that she attempted to perform genocide on the fairies due in part to their being friendly with the Moon Goddess, whom she had once captured in an attempt to steal her power.
- Ballad of Rapunzel, The Little Mermaid and the Purple Tide, Goldilocks and the Fallen Star, and Swan Princess and the Dire Tree don't contain the witch, but do contain people she (possibly) messed with. The last two also contain the Giant Spider.
- It is also possible that she is Mother Goose from the spinoff Cursery games which is implied to be set in same universe as this series; however, since the Cursery series has by all appearances been canceled, this will probably never be confirmed or denied.
- Chaotic Evil: Embodies this trope. It's particularly glaring when compared with other Big Bads in this series, all of whom are driven either by sorrow or basic human vices.
- Complete Immortality: What she appears to be after.
- Composite Character: Possibly. She is the gingerbread witch from Hanseland Gretel, she may have been Snow White's stepmother, and in fact she may be every wicked witch in the entire series.
- Demonic Spiders: Her favorites.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Got defeated by Mab and Hansel when they faced her, both of whom were mortals at the time. However, they didn't vanquish her, and it was more trickery than a true fight. She did this to the Moon Goddess, stealing her power, shrinking her, and imprisoning her for centuries.
- Eats Babies: Her favorite food
- Evil Matriarch: If Chi is indeed her daughter.
- Evil Old Folks: Yep. One of oldest characters in franchise, and most evil of them all.
- Final Solution: What she did to the fairies. According to one parable in the bonus chapter of The Queen of Sands, she "loathed the joyful fairies, so she hunted them down ruthlessly, burning their homes. She took great pleasure feeding the surviving fairies to her monstrous spider. The few remaining fairies hid deep underground, protected by the most powerful enchantments they could summon." The fact that she was a murderous tyrant they opposed, and that they were on good terms with the Moon Goddess whose powers she tried to steal, didn't help.
- For the Evulz: Apparently her motivation.
- The Ghost: She never appears in the main games, only in bonuses. The detective is unaware of what she is, only once seeing her image and thinking that she is just some random witch. She could be dead, but knowing her...
- Giant Spiders: Her favorite mooks.
- Greater-Scope Villain: May be shaping up to be this. Many problems in the games are the results of her actions hundreds, or even thousands of years ago, and it may yet be revealed that she is the one behind everything. Of particular note is the fact that the Moon Goddess is interested in, and apparently fond of, the detective; this could be setting our heroine up for a major final confrontation.
- Hidden Depths: She is a good baker. She uses those skills to lure in children, of course.
- I'm a Humanitarian: Well, she definitely finds humans tasty, particularly children. She may not be human though, so it could be the other trope.
- Immortality Immorality: She is evil to the core and appears to be ageless (or really, really slowly aging). She is shown to be hunting the secrets of immortality
- Immortality Seeker: What she is after. Given that she appears to have been around for tens of thousands (if not millions) of years, she may already be ageless, and looking for ways to make herself truly undying.
- Immortals Fear Death: Possibly.
- In the Blood/Like Mother Like Daughter: Again, she is possibly Chi's mother - an evil witch after immortality with a fondness for spiders.
- Living Forever Is Awesome: Certainly thinks so.
- Never Mess with Granny: Never, unless you have a deity backing you up.
- Omnicidal Maniac: It is heavily implied that she is the old woman who manipulated King Eurig into attempting to destroy the world with the Bolide Shard.
- Physical God: Up there. She tricked the Moon Goddess and used a potion on her while she (the Goddess) was sleeping. However, she managed to sneak into the forest kingdom, despite the Goddess preventing evil creatures from doing that, and managed to render her powerless with that potion.
- Shrouded in Myth: We know next to nothing about her. She just appeared one day and dethroned the Moon Goddess.
- Spiders Are Scary: Her favorite animals.
- Take Over the World: Did this once.
- Time Abyss: Her first appearance was in unrecorded history (possibly before humanity came to be), in the time when "the entire world was forest." And she was already old by then.
- To Serve Man: Preferably children.
- Tyrant Takes the Helm: She took down the Moon Goddess, and so gained control over the forest kingdom. This was back in the day when the entire planet was covered with one forest.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: Animals, magical creatures, advisers of gods - she can do it all. In fact, Prince Julian is confirmed to have gained powers from her, Chi is heavily implied to be her daughter, and it is possible that the Evil Godmother has some sort of connection to her too.
- Wicked Stepmother: If she is the stepmother of Shan Mao and/or Snow White.
- Wicked Witch: She may, in fact, be every wicked witch, or just the first one.
- The Ageless: He doesn't look a day over twenty, much like other characters in the series who have been blessed by assorted deities.
- Big Brother Instinct: His whole agenda in the bonus chapter of Snow Queen is to save his little sister Gretel from the witch.
- Big Good: Of The Thief and the Tinderbox, both in the present and in the backstory; he defeated Rasputin years earlier and is called on to do it again. Given his age and how much more powerful he is than most other characters, he could ultimately be the Big Good of the entire series (besides the detective herself).
- Color Motif: He wears a lot of blue, including a moon pendant with a blue jewel; there's also a blue stone in his staff, and even his eyes are blue. This all seems to reflect his connection to the Moon Goddess (who shares the same Color Motif) and his healing magic as the original Golden Child.
- Famous Ancestor: To Gerda.
- Good Is Not Soft: After his original defeat of Rasputin, Hansel recommended that he be put to death, lest he cause further trouble for the Snowfall Kingdom in the future.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: It runs in the family.
- High Priest: Given his age and his unique connection to the Moon Goddess, he may be this. Unlike most examples of the trope, he's a good one.
- Magic Staff: He carries one with a moon emblem at the end, and as the Moon Priest, he seems to have more powers than most of his Golden Child descendants.
- Only Mostly Dead: He's badly injured in his fight with Rasputin in Tinderbox, barely having enough strength left to help the detective get where she needs to go, but Word of God confirms that he survives the ordeal.
- Really 700 Years Old: It's not clear just how old he is, but the bonus chapter of Snow Queen happened centuries before the main game, so he's definitely up there.
- Swiss Army Tears: He's the original wielder of these, and as seen in the bonus chapter of Fallen Star, he still has them.
Debuted in The Red Riding Hood Sisters
The Red Riding Hood Sisters
This is an order of female warriors, founded by the original Red Riding Hood Isabella. After her grandmother was killed by a mist wolf, she was adopted by a kindly huntsman and taught to be an expert fighter, and she formed the order to pass on her skills and give protection to the people of the French countryside.
- Amazon Brigade: The entire Red Riding Hood Sisterhood are capable warriors.
- Archer Archetype: Ruth uses a wrist-mounted bow and miniature arrows. Brianne, who is introduced in Queen of Sands, uses a longbow and regular arrows.
- Badass Cape: Each member of the Sisterhood wears one, and one is given to the detective as well. In addition to keeping alive the tradition of the 'red riding hood,' the cloaks are magical and prevent the mist wolves from tracking the Sisters by scent.
- Big Damn Heroes
- Canine Companion: At the end of the fourth game, the Sisters find orphaned wolf cubs and raise them to be this. Ruth's is named Shadow, and he appears briefly in Queen of Sands.
- Cute Bruiser: Ruth, the youngest of the Sisters.
- Faction Motto: Theirs is revealed in Queen of Sands - "To train, to protect, and to honor."
- Fire-Forged Friends: To the detective, as indicated in Queen of Sands. She's personally acquainted with Ruth's wolf, even though it's canonically been several years since the fourth game (when he was just a pup), and her internal monologue notes that it's been a while since she visited the headquarters. Apparently she drops by periodically.
- The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: Eldra versus Teresa; when the detective views the awards inside the Sisterhood meeting room, she notes that the two were constantly competing with each other.
- Legacy Character: The modern order of Sisters are the spiritual descendants of Isabella, the original Red Riding Hood.
- Of Corsets Sexy: The red and black 'uniform' of the Sisterhood, while a little different for each girl depending on her individual fighting style, tends in this direction.
- Significant Green-Eyed Redhead: Brianne fills this role during Queen of Sands.
- Stripperiffic: The outfits of some of the Red Riding Hood Sisters, especially Ruth. One wonders how much protection you can get from a midriff corset and a miniskirt or a pair of very short shorts - not to mention the tight, thigh-high boots with stiletto heels. The Red Riding Hood Sisters must have some sort of unmentioned magic which allows them to outrun wolves despite improbably bad footwear.
- Team Mom: Jessica has shades of this; when the detective finds the Sisters in the Wolf Queen's dungeon, she's shown being concerned with the health and well-being of the others.
- Tree Top Town: The Sisterhood's headquarters is a series of large, elaborate treehouses connected by bridges. The fifth game in the series reveals that it was designed by Pinocchio's father, Geppetto.
Debuted in Jack and the Sky Kingdom
Jack (minus the beanstalk)
The detective's first true NPC ally, a somewhat heroic figure. He first appears in Sky Kingdom, then returns later during the events of Fallen Star.
- The Alcoholic: Having had to live with himself in the ten years since he abandoned his friends and beloved, Jack has been turning into this at the time of Sky Kingdom.
- Beard of Evil: "Evil" is a stretch, but in Fallen Star, Jack has facial hair and has developed a much less pleasant personality than in his previous appearance. As it turns out, there's a reason for the personality shift, but it's only revealed in the bonus chapter.
- Big Damn Heroes: He protects the detective a few times during Sky Kingdom, and also saves her from becoming a gold statue in Fallen Star.
- Drowning My Sorrows: Jack's cottage is littered with bottles of wine, which he consumes as a means of dealing with his guilt from leaving Emma and the others in the Sky Kingdom.
- Fatal Flaw: Jack is a coward. It's what led him to abandon his friends and fiancée in the Sky Kingdom when their robbery went wrong.
- Heroic Sacrifice: When Prince Leonard makes to throw him from the beanstalk, Jack throws his axe to enable the detective to escape, plummeting alongside the prince.
- Just Like Robin Hood: According to his in-game parable, Jack came from an impoverished background, and stole from the rich to share with the poor; he specifically became a treasure hunter in order to help the poor around him. Judging by the traps he set, he knows there are thieves out there not as noble as himself. There's even a wooden replica of Robin Hood in his cottage.
- Lovable Rogue: He's this in spades.
- Must Make Amends: Jack believes going back to the Sky Kingdom to rescue everyone he left behind will help him do this.
- My Greatest Failure: Jack spent a long time feeling guilty about leaving Emma and his friends trapped in the Sky Kingdom when he destroyed the beanstalk. He has been actively searching for a way back when the detective seeks him out. He admits he deliberately retreated to save his own skin and that he's a coward for doing so.
- Poor Communication Kills: In Fallen Star, he has very good reasons for being there and wanting to get his hands on the eponymous MacGuffin; but given that he and "my favorite detective" are old friends, it's hard to understand why (aside from Rule of Drama) he didn't just tell her.
- Prospector: Mission Control describes him as a "fortune hunter."
- Redemption Quest: The entire Sky Kingdom game is this for Jack.
- Rescue Romance: Jack and Emma met when she saved his life while on patrol during her time as a Red Riding Hood Sister.
- Riding into the Sunset: Jack and Emma get to do this at the end of the bonus chapter of Fallen Star, since the detective has set things right for them and they can go home to (one would assume) live Happily Ever After.
- Shout-Out: Jack is dressed suspiciously similar to Indiana Jones, and also bears some resemblance to Flynn Rider.
- Throwing Your Axe Always Works: Jack has an enchanted axe which functions somewhat like a boomerang, and he uses it more than once in this manner to save and protect the detective.
Debuted in Ballad of Rapunzel
Princess Briar Rose Stewartson and Princess Ivy Green Stewartson
Briar Rose is the central figure of the first game, and her little sister Ivy was the Frog Prince's original bride. They are the daughters of Scottish monarchs who reigned a thousand years ago.
- The Ageless: Briar Rose has been asleep for a thousand years by the first game's start, and hasn't aged a day. Ivy would have been this, but she gave both her powers and her immortality to her husband when she kissed him to break his curse. The games are a bit inconsistent as to whether she knew she was giving them up or not.
- Adaptational Heroism: Princess Ivy is the princess from the story of The Frog Prince, but she hardly comes across as the spoiled brat who tried to kill the frog when he asked to sleep in her bed. The flashback she shows to the detective depicts her willingly giving him the requested kiss which made him human.
- The earliest forms of the fairy tale have the princess throwing him against a wall. Later adaptations have her kissing him. The developers obviously chose to adapt the less violent version for the game.
- Badass Decay: Briar Rose suffered this temporarily as a result of her curse. She gets better.
- Daddy's Girl: Briar Rose may have been this, if her father's tombstone is any indication. Though not completely legible, if you study the inscription closely enough, you can see that it's a poem about a rose in "the garden at our feet." There's something to be said for a father who loved his child so much that his own epitaph is about losing her.
- It's actually a clue to the fact that the secret entrance to Briar Rose's tower is in the cemetery. The inscription, such as it remains, says that Suddenly a flower sweet is awoken from the garden at our feet.
- Elemental Rivalry: Briar Rose has control over briar plants, which represent protection, and Ivy was able to control ivy vines, which represent destruction.
- First Girl Wins: Ivy was the Frog Prince's first wife, and as his game reveals, she's still his favorite.
- Fish out of Temporal Water: Implied for Briar Rose by the ending of the first game. The poor girl's been asleep for a thousand years, after all. The game novelization which can be unlocked in the collector's edition notes that she's absolutely in awe of the city of Edinburgh, which has developed around her castle.
- Friendly Ghost: Ivy has been dead for centuries, but is happy to aid the detective, revealing her backstory and giving hints as to what the detective needs to do next.
- Ghostly Goals: Ivy asks the detective to help Prince James achieve his goal to kill himself, since he seems unwilling or unable to do this on his own.
- Girl in the Tower: Briar Rose
- The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: Averted; the sisterhood between Briar Rose and Ivy is acknowledged, but only in ways that make it sound like the sisters were extremely close. In their first conversation, Ivy thanks the detective for helping "my beloved sister, Briar Rose." James even mentioned Briar Rose in the epitaph on Ivy's tomb.
- Green Thumb: Briar Rose is the Guardian of the Thorned Rose. (This is actually why the briar plant was breaking loose from her castle at the end of her thousand-year sleep - her powers were out of control due to her curse, and the spell cast by her good godmothers could no longer contain them.) Ivy was the Guardian of the English Ivy. Both sisters can/could make their respective plants grow at will.
- Meaningful Name: While all of Flora's appointed Guardians have powers related to specific plants, only Briar Rose and Ivy actually share their names with the plants of which they are Guardians.
- Only One Name: Averted. Their family name, Stewartson, can be read on the tombstones of their parents. Ivy's middle name, Green, is only revealed in Ballad of Rapunzel.
- Princess Exposition: Princess Ivy fills this role during Exiled Prince. She gives their backstory as well as telling the detective why James's curse changed.
- Rhymes on a Dime: When the spirit of the sleeping Briar Rose addresses the detective, all her dialogue is like this. When she's seen awake, however, she doesn't do this, suggesting that it was probably a by-product of her enchantment.
- The Unfavorite: Curiously, this is vaguely hinted at in the collector's edition bonus material of the first game. A doll found in a cabinet is identified as "Sister Ivy - the Forgotten Princess." The Dark Parables wiki reveals that it was actually a case of Shoo the Dog. Ivy is the younger of the two princesses, and when she was born, her parents were afraid that the Evil Godmother might do something to her as she had done to Briar Rose. At some point in her childhood, she was sent away to Germany, and all evidence of her existence - except that doll - was removed from the castle. Presumably she and Briar Rose kept in contact nonetheless, given how much they clearly loved one another.
Princess Snow White/The Snow Queen and Prince Ross Red
Snow White is the title character and Big Bad of the third game. Her twin brother Ross is introduced in the seventh game, then returns in the eleventh. Snow returns in the seventh and twelfth games.
- The Ageless: Just like the other Guardians.
- Badass in Distress: Ross ends up injured several times during Rapunzel; the detective needs to heal him at least twice.
- Big Damn Heroes: Ross does this for the detective quite a bit during Ballad of Rapunzel, and Snow also pulls one off.
- Composite Character: Snow is not only Snow White and The Snow Queen, but also the Snow White from Snow-White and Rose-Red and one of the title characters of The Snow-Daughter and the Fire-Son.
- Daddy's Girl: Snow, very much so. Their father blames himself for what his second wife almost convinced him to do to his children, so he'll do pretty much anything his daughter wants.
- Determinator: Ross has been searching for who knows how long for a way to get into Floralia and rescue his beloved Rapunzel. After the first century or two, most people probably would have given up; not him.
- Doting Parent: Snow, to her son Gwyn.
- Easy Amnesia: Ross is suffering from this when he and the detective first reunite in Swan Princess, but one magic potion later and he knows just who she is. (No explanation is offered for why she fails to recognize him, though.)
- Elemental Rivalry: Snow White is the Guardian of the Frost Edelweiss, and has ice-based powers. Ross is the Guardian of the Fiera Rosa, and has fire-based powers.
- Elemental Weapon/Flaming Sword: Ross seems to be able to make his sword blaze at will, probably because of his fire-based plant powers.
- Fiery Redhead: Ross is a bit temperamental, which is perhaps to be expected from someone with fire powers, and the detective notes in Swan Princess that "he's not known for his patience." Nevertheless, he's a good guy, and devoted to both the goddess Flora and his betrothed, Rapunzel.
- Gender Flip: Ross is revealed to be Snow White's brother, rather than the traditional story of sisters Snow White and Rose Red. Partially offset in that this likely doubles as a reference to an English folktale called "The Snow-Daughter and the Fire-Son."
- God Save Us from the Queen!: Snow, during her stint as the Snow Queen.
- Green Thumb: Possibly. Although neither twin is ever shown causing their designated plant to grow, Ross can be healed of injuries by being in the presence of the Fiera Rosa. They may have similar relationships with their plants as that of Briar Rose and Ivy, and we simply haven't seen it yet.
- Happily Married: Snow and James were this for at least a few years, but it ultimately fell apart.
- An Ice Person: As noted above, Snow has ice powers due to being the Guardian of the Frost Edelweiss.
- Improbable Hairstyle: Snow's hair somewhat defies gravity.
- Irrational Hatred: Snow has this for her late husband James, blaming him for the incident that almost killed their son. Whether it's justified or not is unknown; see the Noodle Incident entry in the game's folder.
- Jerkass: Ross starts out as one. He threatens the detective until Gerda vouches for her. He then abandons Gerda in a place he knows is dangerous to go off on his own; when Gerda gets captured while assisting the detective, he blames the detective for not protecting her. The first time the detective heals him, he's condescending towards her. He loses the attitude later, though.
- Jerkass Woobie: In Ross's defense, he's been trying to reunite with his beloved Rapunzel for who knows how many hundreds of years - it's not really clarified just how long ago Floralia was destroyed. All things considered, it's entirely possible that the strain of the situation has frayed his nerves. He does come around once he realizes the detective is a valuable ally, and grows protective of her.
- Karma Houdini: Snow gets away scot-free with her crimes because they were done with "good intentions."
- My Beloved Smother: In the bonus chapter of Ballad of Rapunzel, Snow's son observes that she's always been an overprotective parent.
- My Sister Is Off-Limits!: Ross was on the giving end of this regarding his sister's marriage to Prince James, and is on the receiving end of it from Belladonna.
- Obnoxious In-Laws: Averted; in Tinderbox, Snow indicates that she's pleased with her future daughter-in-law and hopes they can develop a good relationship.
- Polar Opposite Twins: In almost every conceivable way.
- Power Dyes Your Hair: A villainous example. The Snow Queen's hair is white. When she's freed of the False Mirror's control, it returns to its natural black. However, when she's seen again in Ballad of Rapunzel and Tinderbox, it has gone white again for no stated reason. Possibly it's some sort of side effect of her frost powers, or maybe she just likes the look.
- Pretty in Mink: Whenever Snow is seen, she's wearing a coat of this sort.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning; Averted; Ross has red eyes, but he's a noble and honorable man.
- Regent for Life: During the third game, Snow is sort of this for the Snowfall Kingdom, at least according to a statue in the courtyard. It's engraved with the King's own words that "I am gravely ill. My daughter Snow shall rule in my stead." It's noted in a diary entry elsewhere that the place went very much downhill after she took over. She's given up the position as of Tinderbox, with her father having bequeathed his crown to her son Gwyn.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Snow has been looking for the child who will cure her son's curse for centuries. Ross, meanwhile, has been struggling for almost as long to find a way into Floralia's remains to find his beloved Rapunzel.
- The Smurfette Principle: Inverted. Based on what has been revealed thus far, Ross is the only known male Guardian chosen by the goddess Flora; the others are all female, and identified as handmaidens.
- Unwitting Pawn: In Snow Queen, the False Mirror has convinced the Snow Queen that repairing it will heal her son. Instead, repairing the mirror gives it the power to magnify her grief and cover the entire world in a killing snow.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Snow's motives are actually benign, but they lead her in a terrible direction.
- Winter Royal Lady: Snow
Princess Rapunzel and Princess Belladonna
The royal half-sisters of Floralia, a kingdom of which the goddess Flora was patroness. The kingdom itself is long gone, but the princesses remain.
- The Ageless: Like the others who have been blessed by the goddess Flora.
- And I Must Scream: Rapunzel is aware of the atrocities that she had done under Belladonna's control. But she is left unable to do anything but watch as she summons the deathly Nightbloom flowers under Belladonna's behest.
- Arranged Marriage: Rapunzel's betrothal to Prince Ross may have been this; it's a bit unclear. If so, it's a case of Perfectly Arranged Marriage, because he is absolutely devoted to her and she loves him very much too.
- Barrier Maiden: The bonus chapter reveals that both Rapunzel and Belladonna are this. The main game ends with them leaving Floralia, in one sense or another, and their departure is the final event which triggers Gothel's revenge spell on the goddess Flora.
- Big Damn Heroes: Rapunzel gets her turn in Queen of Sands.
- Blessed with Suck: Being blessed to be the Guardian of the Nightbloom Flower is definitely not good for poor Belladonna.
- The Cameo: Rapunzel's Big Damn Heroes moment in Queen of Sands chiefly amounts to this, and can also be considered a Noodle Incident since there's very little explanation offered for how she got there.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Belladonna. Her primary motivation in doing what she's done is to make sure Rapunzel stays with her always, instead of leaving to marry Prince Ross.
- Cool Big Sis: Belladonna adores Rapunzel, who is the only person who can touch her without fearing for her own safety; this (and the influence of Mother Gothel years before the game) has the child persuaded that Rapunzel is the only person who really loves her.
- Creepy Child: Belladonna. This is enhanced by the fact that, to judge by appearances, she is still a child even after centuries have passed.
- Dark Magical Girl: Belladonna, and how. Her mother died when she was little; her father locked her in a tower to protect everyone from her deadly magic; and the only person she believes truly loves her is her big sister Rapunzel. But Rapunzel is engaged to marry Prince Ross, and Bella is terrified that this means her sister is going to leave her all alone. Mother Gothel took massive advantage of this fear.
- Elemental Rivalry: Rapunzel has the ability to heal anything she touches, while Belladonna kills anything she touches.
- Friend to All Living Things: Rapunzel's plant-based powers give her the ability to heal others, and render her immune to Belladonna's powers - which, unfortunately, make her the Enemy to All Living Things (except Rapunzel).
- Girl in the Tower: Yes, but not the way you might expect.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Rapunzel - at least, such is the implication of everything we know of her.
- Karma Houdini: In the best ending, Belladonna's punishment for trying to wipe out an entire country is to go into voluntary exile with Rapunzel and Ross, so that she can learn how to control her powers.
- Light Feminine and Dark Feminine: Rapunzel and Belladonna, respectively.
- Love Makes You Evil: Belladonna's love for her sister Rapunzel, combined with Mother Gothel's influence and being locked in the tower, caused Belladonna's FaceHeel Turn.
- Make Them Rot: Belladonna's power causes her to kill anyone she even slightly injures, and she can't turn it off. Because of this, she is obsessed with Rapunzel, whose Green Thumb powers cancel hers out, making Rapunzel the only person in the world capable of touching her without being injured.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Belladonna
Appointed to care for the king's second wife, Queen Melanie, Gothel used this position to ensure that Princess Belladonna would be born with deadly powers.
- Green-Eyed Monster: She was jealous of the handmaidens of Flora, who are blessed with eternal youth and beauty, and longed to be selected as one herself. When she wasn't, she enacted a complicated revenge plot which brought about the destruction of the entire realm of Floralia.
- Harping on About Harpies: When she appears in the bonus chapter of Tinderbox, she's a harpy and has acquired shapeshifting powers. Her identity is only revealed in the parables.
- Living Forever Is Awesome: Gothel believes this, but she's furious that her deal is Age Without Youth.
- Wicked Witch: It's implied that she may also be the Wicked Witch of the West, as she has flying monkeys in her employ who resemble the ones from The Wizard of Oz. It's unclear whether she and the other wicked witch in the folder above are the same character or not.