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Characters / Dead West

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Gervas Klarenfeld, our protagonist and narrator

  • Beware of the Nice Ones: Yeah. He is a perfect gentleman, unless you manage to piss him off. Then he delivers an asskicking of ages.
  • Bodyguarding a Badass: well, the Porcelain Doctor is hardly in need of protection. Gervas still swears to protect him. This protection also extends to veil his identity, so this is not entirely idiotic.
  • Bodyguard Crush: quite blatant towards Niall, and judging from the narration, not reciprocated.
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  • The Casanova: mentioned here and there. At least used to be, in Europe.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: can twist a two-inch steel bar into a neat cravat with his bare hands.
  • Charm Person: He seems to be able to do this, he more than once uses only his words and looks to achieve something. Best example is when he orders a few attacker down, only with the excuse that his friend is tired and needs a rest, and they barged into their room without knocking! The (already controlled) attackers backed down, and awkwardly excused themselves out of the room. He managed to break a weak mind controll only with a few well chosen words. Usually, if he tells someone to do something, or orders them, they obey, and answer his questions. Whether is this caused by his sheer charisma or is it another instance of his Charles Atlas Superpower, is unclear.
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  • The Dandy: he is very proud of his nice clothes, and has a good taste.
  • Genius Bruiser: a lawyer and journalist, with vast knowledge in history and languages.
  • Heroic Build: seven feet tall, muscular blonde. No wonder people think he is an aristocrat.
  • Heroic Wannabe: sets out as this to the New World, but quickly ditches this tendency to look after the Porcelain Doctor, and becoming a real hero and in-universe Memetic Badass.
  • Kind Hearted Cat Lover: he has no problems with dogs, but he would be the first one to pick up and pet a ginger tabby. He also used to sleep with his cat, Ember, when he was younger, and sometimes still misses him.
  • Memetic Badass: in-universe, as the Steel Knight, or as the Doberman, hound of the MacArkills.
  • Mistaken for Badass: well, for more badass, anyway. His size and general abilities make people wonder. Then there is his name, which is the same as a very infamous (aristocrat) master spy. They are not related. Gervas is a commoner, just a freak of nature.
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  • Omniglot: as an educated upper-middle class gentleman, he speaks several dead and current languages. Including ancient Greek, Latin, English, French, Czech, Italian, Russian and Hungarian. His first language is German. Later he learns Scottish Gaelic.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Gervas was a pretty confident fighter with good claims to several heroic titles even before he starts the story proper, but he goes from someone who almost wets himself from a Death Glare from the Porcelain Doctor to the knight who tells the Beast to piss off and wait if he wants to go a round because Niall needs to rest. In front of a whole platoon, while holding Cedric's little brother, without batting an eyelid.

the honorable Sir Niall Mordechai Calloway Stewart MacArkill, the Porcelain Doctor / Aog / Two Angels / The Red Saint

  • Authority Equals Asskicking: he is the leader of the medical corps in his big brother's army, and earned every bit of respect. Not only with his his medical expertise and Healing Hands, but he serves as the field medics' champion, and as an aristocrat, he is a warrior to boot.
  • Badass Bookworm: he is a doctor medicae, chirurgiae et pharmacologiae. Meaning he rocks three medical diplomas at the age of 22. He loves his books, so please don't try to destroy them.
  • Barrier Warrior: has this ability in his basic skill set. Actually, it is mentioned to be two different aspects of his Psychic Powers, one being the equivalent of armor and one for a shield. After he manages to obtain and tame the chrystals, he is able to use his "shield" ability to protect even a group. Even before that, he can deflect bullets and/or slow them down, and sometimes things simply don't hurt him.
  • Beware of the Nice Ones: You don't want to anger him. He will show you why is he nicknamed Two Angels.
  • Big Brother Worship: One of his Oaths is to earn his big brother's appreciation, and be a worthy family member of the MacArkill clan.. Our narrator seems to think this is foolish.
  • Brave Scot: a Scottish royal knight.
  • Blessed with Suck: his Psychic Powers are killing him, leading him into insanity, and the Devil's Veil, his aura does not help. Noone takes him seriously before he cripples the duke of Kensington. Some not even after that.
  • Blind Without Them: his glasses. But then, judging by the narration, he is almost totally blind with them, too.
  • Blood Knight: he tries to avert this. Tries. It is indeed in the blood.
  • Braids of Action: He wears his hair in braids, mostly simply in one or two braids, with hidden knifes in the ends. In Africa, he wears his hair in his new title's braid pattern. Might be Braids of Barbarism because it seems to be exclusive to Scottish aristocrats with Celtic royal blood.
  • Charm Person: this is one of his abilities. Mostly works on animals, as it seems, but Gervas experienced how he can order, and he was compelled to do as the Porcelain Doctor wished.
  • Combat Medic: since he was twelve.
  • Combat Pragmatist: if it's not a honor duel, Niall is not above using alcohol/embers/sand etc. in a fight.
  • Dual Wielding: he is a The Southpaw, but seems to be ambidextrous; he usually wields his swordcane, blade in left hand, the cane itself in the right. He occasionly switches to a dagger or another sword for the right hand.
  • Functional Addict: hooked on heroin. Note that because of his different physiology, the effect differs from the normal.
  • Handicapped Badass: he has a very pronunced limp, and sometimes he needs more than his cane to move. He is also bespectacled, and Blind Without Them, and maybe even with them, we're not sure. Then he pulls a Let's Get Dangerous!, at which point a Mass "Oh, Crap!" is the appropriate reaction.
  • Healing Hands: his main power.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: His healing and protective powers are not really the best gifts, and viewed as something weak in-universe. But if you combine these powers with great swordsmanship and a diamond will, you've got a terrifying juggernaut.
  • Ill Boy: who won't stay put. He looks pretty fragile from his aura alone, but his health really suffers. His too early developed Psychic Powers are constantly damaging his brain, and since he hallucinates disgusting things on his platter, he is malnourished. His Power Incontinence results in a constant fever, which breaks down his body, and since he starts healing himself automatically, boom, brain damage again! It is a pretty vicious cirle. No wonder he sets out to find the psychic chrystals for the slight chance of any help. He gets better.
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: He, as a member of his Scottish clan, cannot and won't cut his flowing ginger locks unless defeated in battle. Which does not helps when someone looks at him, since he is very slim, graceful and fine-featured, and by military rules has to shave (not like he would be able to grow a beard, anyway). He is so pretty Even the Guys Want Him, and after his health declines, he is even more of a Dude Looks Like a Lady with his big, colour-changing eyes.
  • Minored in Ass-Kicking: he is loved and honored for his medical services, and if someone isn't currently dancing on his Berserk Button, he is a very nice and quiet young gentleman, who rather talk out problems. It is just that he is very easily pushed nowadays.
  • Mood Ring Eyes: his eyes are described like this. When he is calm, and not on edge, his eyes are green like the sea, according to Gervas. When his eyes are icy or metallic blue, expect hellfire. At one point Gervas concludes that the colour of his eyes are depending on how much he opens his eyelids (and lighting and uniform color). Most likely, he has gray eyes.
  • Psychic Powers at the start: Medice, Incenditor, Vindex and Propognator, and Dominator (he can command some animals, and the psy-crystals). He also has some kind of Spider-Sense and the Devil's Veil. Later he can change his powers around from the previous set.
  • Omniglot: justified, as he is a well-educated, world traveling nobleman. Confirmed languages include Scottish Gaelic, Dutch, Afrikaans, English, German, Latin, ancient and modern Greek, French, Italian, Zulu and Suahili. Implied that he understands Hebrew and Arab.
  • Playing with Fire: and he is a ginger. Pretty much a given. He is not a Fiery Redhead, though.
  • Power Incontinence: comes quite handy sometimes, when the overflowing power is his healing, and he also fixes the ones near him. Less nice when he loses control of his pirokinesis.
  • Rape as Backstory: he implied to have this, by several men (not strangers, either). How far they managed to get is not certain, but he really has a strong opinion about men touching him. Except Gervas.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: technically... if you believe the bad gossip that he is a Heroic Bastard. Even justified if you look at his family names.
  • Secretly Dying: at the first 3 novels. He gets better. Louis somehow manages to see through his facade, but noone believes him, not even our narrator.
  • Shrinking Violet: Played with: since he has the Devil's Veil, everybody expects him to act like this. He is very much not this, but usually his environment still treats him as he was one, trying to prevent him to get scared, or emotionally/physically hurt, etc.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: a common trait of powerful Aristocrats. Whenever they use their power, there is a great risk of them straining their brains, and developing mental disorders, paralysis etc. Power Incontinence also "helps"; his father has gone mad from his constantly on Mind Reading. Niall periodically displays severe problems, mostly with anger management, hallucinations, at one point honest-to-good Split Personality, and most likely killed several people under his little "episodes". Thank God he mostly experiences then after he completely exhausted himself, and he can control it with drugs and Gervas' help.

the most honourable Lord William Cedric Calloway Stewart MacArkill, the Beast

  • Authority Equals Asskicking: he is a Four-Star Badass, one of the leaders of the Scottish army, and earned every bit of respect and rank he has, be it military or noble. Note that most of the aristocrats has this trope as a mantle, at least in the army, as finely shown when they are Brought Down to Badass.
  • Badass Baritone: a deep, booming voice is useful for commanding.
  • Barrier Warrior: He is using one of his Psychic Powers as an armor, quite effectively (dubbed Vindex). He was once shot with a cannon, and survived long enough for his brother to get to him, and heal him.
  • Blood Knight: Oh yeah. He not even tries to hide it, and just loves that his baby brother brought home an interesting toy for friendly tussles. Might be an outlet to channel his anger management problems into, coming from his payment for his powers.
  • Brave Scot: a Scottish aristocrat.
  • Fiery Redhead: He very much embraces the trope.
  • Functional Addict: He drinks heavily, and seems to be more in controll than Niall.
  • Genius Bruiser: Very well-versed and a good strategist. According to his (himself a genius) little brother, he is the smart one in the family.
  • Knight Templar Big Brother: crossing into Nightmare Fuel category. Whatever he says and does, he really adores his baby brother. God help the fool who tried to hurt Niall, and if said fool managed to actually wound his little brother...
  • Omniglot: justified, as he is a well-educated, world traveling nobleman. Confirmed languages include Scottish Gaelic, Dutch, Afrikaans, Zulu, English, German, Latin, ancient and modern Greek, French, Italian, Hindi and Suahili. Implied that he understands Hebrew, Sanskrit and Arab.
  • Promoted to Parent: due to their father being constantly drunk, then insane, then dead, and their mother being an unapologetic social butterfly before becoming the Red Abbess, Cedric ended up raising Niall. If you overlook the minor mistakes like trying to teach handling dogs to him by slathering his brother's hands and arms with bacon, then throwing him into a kennel, or killing his governor right in front of him, really brutally, when he molested Niall, he more or less did a good job. At least a pretty good job coming from someone who most likely grew up completely in military schools and without any parental influence.
  • Psychic Powers: He is a Vindex, like his little brother, he is able to make Your Head Asplode or paralyze an opponent, and empower himself, temporarily rising his strength, agility, or everything he wants.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Surprisingly, he is this. If you give him a reason, he is willing to listen, and judge accordingly. Unless it's about his baby brother; then he will rain hellfire down on you. Figuratively.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: technically... just look at his family name.
  • Sink-or-Swim Mentor: he "helped" his baby brother to perfect his Healing Factor by cutting Niall's arms and forcing him to heal it. He also cut himself up to teach his brother how to use his Healing Hands, though, so it is kind of fair.

Thomas Dunn

  • Amazon Chaser: and he married one! At least if Gervas' suspicion about Dorothea being a Dahomey Amazon is correct.
  • Battle Butler: implied. He moves very gracefully, and one scene shows him dodging several attacks without tilting the teatray he carries.
  • Cool Old Guy: He is in his sixties, and in a damned good shape. He is also notably calm most of the times, after dropping the "I'm a harmless butler" act, and able to handle himself in a fight.
  • Honor Before Reason: He still considers himself and his family slaves, even if they were freed more than forty years ago. He might be justified, given the role of Oaths in this setting, as he and his family gave one to the MacArkill clanlord, when they vere purchased, to serve him and his family for practically eternity. They are also implicitly better off under the MacArkills, receiving not only salary, but education and protection, unlike most of the noble families who wouldn't consider them part of the family.
  • Magical Negro: Gervas believes they are magicians or a kind of elves like brownies (pun not intended)in the service of the clan. He might be right, Thomas and his sons and daughters seems to be insanely sufficient in caring for their beloved and crazy superpowered lords.
  • Old Retainer: has been serving the MacArkills for more than fifty years, in every possible position and place. No wonder he and his family is considered part of the main MacArkill family. He loves Niall as his son, and cares very much about the brothers.
  • Team Dad: He is the only one who can coax Niall into at least occasionally eat or drink, no matter what he might see on the plate, and Gervas is terrified when Thomas confronts him about missed meals and improper attire (even after/before brawls and small battles). Even the Beast is willing to listen to him!

Louis Carrol

  • The Empath: downplayed, but it is still very eerie that he is the only one who picks up on the extent of Mordechai's illness. He also seems to be sensitive about the aristocratic characters (though he still didn't manage to realize the Porcelain Doctor is one).
  • The Gunslinger: pretty good with guns, just like everyone in their group.
  • Hero of Another Story: implied to be this. He is the oldest from the Merry Company, and the most experienced.
  • Papa Wolf: he exhibits such traits, mostly towards the Porcelain Doctor. He is even willing to stand up to Gervas, and more than once wins an argument centered about how much Niall needs to rest. He continues this tendencies even after the Porcelain Doctor outs himself as an aristocrat; if anything, he becomes a bit more militant about it, and pulls his gun on Gervas, telling our narrator and the doctor that he will shoot Gervas if Niall doesn't rest.
  • Shipper on Deck: Louis is convinced that the Steel Knight and the Porcelain Doctor is a couple. He even thinks that they are a cute pair, and his only complaint about them is that the doctor's health is too fragile.
  • The Smart Guy: at least in the group. He is the one who plans the routes, chooses campsites, and thinks up strategies, and he is quite well-educated for a trapper. He was a soldier before, and it shows.
  • Team Mom
  • True Companions: with the rest of the Merry Company.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: the most extreme example in the company, and he is pretty confident in it. Louis kind of figures most of the story out, but since he starts off from the wrong foundation, it invokes this trope.

Carolina Mayer

Charles Mayer

Brian Chardel

Richard "Dick" Wolton

Paul Walker

Duchess Arabella of Atholl, the Amber Duchess

  • Blue Blood
  • Crazy Jealous Girl
  • The Faceless: she wears a veil for most of the time, hiding her doll-like face. Arabell says this is so others won't judge her only from her appearance, and to start a rumour that she is ugly, so less guys would desire her hand in marriage. Her parents used her as a bargain chip for four times before she got fed up with it.
  • Perfectly Arranged Marriage: With Niall.
  • Psychic Powers: she is able to create illusions so good they look material, able to scan other aristocrats' abilities, and she is a Susurrator and an Incenditor like her husband. Coming from someone whose parents don't have any powers to talk of, it is quite the impressive skill set. She registers as "Sharp" when she takes off her veil.
  • Rebellious Princess: this is why Cedric chose her for his baby brother. She had the tendencies, and topped if off with fleeing home when she wasn't happy with her next Arranged Marriage.
  • Silk Hiding Steel: even before the MacArkills started to train her with blades, she fleed her parent's castle in Scotland, and managed to cross half of the world alone to get to Niall, impressing both of the MacArkills. Arabell's Rebellious Princess attitude and this trope is why Cedric considered her such a good bride for her baby brother.

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