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Etienne

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ig_2.jpg
A 12 year old shepherd boy with a gentle demeanor, boundless faith, and love for everyone. He was visited by God and decreed to be a chosen child, and the story starts with him and his new followers setting out on a Children's Crusade to retake Jerusalem. Able to perform miraculous acts with the power of his Godly horn, Etienne is devoted to helping anyone he can on his way to spread the word of the Lord. Unfortunately, the Catholic Church isn't exactly in favor of a boy with such powers.

Tropes:

  • All-Loving Hero: Etienne is the sweetest, most loving boy you will ever meet. In just the first couple chapters, he hugs and comforts a leper, accepts a shunned pair of twins, and saves a hated bandit boy from being executed, all for no reason other than being kind.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: He's an ethereal beauty with white hair, stunning blue eyes, and fine features. He's also an All-Loving Hero who is genuinely kinder than most humans are capable of.
  • Bishōnen: A very pretty young man.
  • Black and White Morality: Like the rest of the boys, he starts the story with the view that people are either good or evil, and that anyone the Church deems sinful deserves death. A change of view is what gets him killed.
  • Break the Cutie: Pretty much the entire plot of the story is breaking down Etienne's faith and driving him to suffering. From his miracles being faked, to watching his friends die one by one, to seeing the true evil of the church he's devoted his life to, to finally being executed by that church, Etty does not have an easy time.
  • Child Soldiers: A 12 year old member of The Crusades.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: His powers seem to be something like this. From the very beginning, he is shown to be of immense faith, and most of his miracles activate along with his mood/if he's threatened.
    • In the very first appearance of his powers, a bandit is trying to cut Etienne down. He stands completely still, claiming that the Lord will protect him. . . and a lightening bolt drops out of the sky to fry his attacker.
    • He places his full faith in his divine horn to accomplish miracles, and his first, and arguably most genuine, healing happened mere seconds after he decided to believe in the power he'd been given.
    • When the Children's Crusade is on the verge of turning against him, an eclipse suddenly hits, terrifying the children into begging Etienne to bring back the sun. The moment he snaps out of his miserable mood and blows the horn again, the eclipse fades.
    • While tied to a stake and wandering the wilderness, water is purified, plants are parted, and a baby is brought back to life just from being near him. Notably, Etienne still believes in his own powers at this point, possibly more so after losing faith in the church.
    • At the scene of his execution, Etienne was most likely about to part the seas, purely through rage, despair, and faith in the Lord to lead him to the Holy Land.
    • Even before his powers, just kissing Nicolas's forehead was enough to completely heal pain. Etienne even acknowledges that his faith is the source of this effect.
  • Conflicting Loyalty: Faces a huge one when he starts to realize how corrupt the Church really is. He chooses his own values, and it winds up getting him killed.
  • Crisis of Faith: Etienne has a massive one when he sees how the Catholic Church treats people, realizes that he doesn't agree with it, and falls in love with Isabelle. He eventually takes his own approach towards the matter, and carries on loving and following God in a way that he can believe is right.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: His death includes being deemed a heretic by the people he's spent the entire story fighting to save, being beaten, nearly burned at the stake, having letters carved into his chest, being tied to a massive wooden stake and left to wander the wilderness for days, and finally being impaled through the midsection. After all this, his corpse is mounted as an example.
  • Divine Intervention: Etienne's God-given powers strike down a bandit that was trying to kill him, cause an eclipse, save the Crusade from the Church on couple different occasions, and interfere with Ettiene's execution twice.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: A very pretty young man.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: The Mage in one with Nicolas (Fighter) and Guy (Thief).
  • Holy Is Not Safe: Etienne's powers have very literally fried people with lightening and caused eclipses. He doesn't seem to be in control of them, and they mostly activate when he's in danger, making him a living case of this.
  • Knight, Knave and Squire: The Squire in one with the Knight Nicolas and the Knave Guy.
  • Messianic Archetype: Etienne is designed to be this. The whole story is about his adventure as God's chosen child, and he goes on said adventure with an intentionally chosen twelve "disciples". Later, he is betrayed by one of said disciples, decreed a heretic by the church, captured and executed (after many failed attempts at killing him), and has his body mounted on a stake and displayed as an example. He also reincarnates as his own son, and goes on to play a major part in ending the Crusades.
  • Momma's Boy: He's shown to live with a single mother, and is extremely close to her. She's every bit as loving and faithful as he is, and is possibly the kindest adult shown in the series.
  • Mystical White Hair: Etienne has stunning white hair and has "powers" as a blessing from God including lightening bolts from the sky, healing the sick, bringing the dead back to life, causing an eclipse, and having supernatural luck that makes him almost impossible to kill.
  • Nice Mean And Inbetween: The Nice in one with Nicolas (In-Between) and Guy (Mean).
  • Power Trio: Part of one with Nicolas and Guy.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Red to Michael and Christian's Blue, but the Blue to Nicolas's Red.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: He and Nicolas are the main duo of the series, with Etienne being a gentle, feminine boy with endless compassion and a soft heart, and Nicolas being a hotheaded, aggressive young knight who'd rather cut down the infidels than show them kindness. The two are best friends and extremely close, with Nicolas willing to die and kill for Etienne's sake.
  • With a Friend and a Stranger: Originally sets out with his childhood friend Nicolas, and the newcomer Guy. Can also count with any of the original Children's Crusade and Micheal.
  • White Hair, Black Heart: Averted. He gains beautiful white hair after being visited by God, but remains the absolute sweetest, most pure person imaginable.

Nicolas

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cv_30.jpg

A 12 year old boy from Etienne's village. The son of a pig farmer who died in the Crusades, he insists that he's destined to be a knight and will do nearly anything to accomplish that goal. He dreams of honor and glory, and detests being looked down on by adults for being young and inexperienced. Despite being hotheaded, immature, and impulsive, he cares about his friends more than anything (especially Etienne), and has an extremely strong moral compass, albeit one that's more than a bit black and white.

Tropes:

  • Abusive Parents: Nicolas has an abusive parental stand in in the form of his uncle, who beats him and puts him down at every turn. Justified in that this was rather normal parenting for a time before children had many rights.
  • Ambiguous Innocence: He's both horribly naive about the workings of the world, and desires to brutally murder any "heretics" for the sake of the church. Some of this can be attributed to the environment in which he was raised, though.
  • Attention Whore: He shows some signs of this, going to great lengths to be seen as a knight and get the attention and recognition that comes with it.
  • Black and White Morality: Like the rest of the boys, he starts the story with the view that people are either good or evil, and that anyone the Church deems sinful deserves death. Nicolas is a more extreme case than many of the others, and he holds onto this strict view much longer than the others can.
  • Break the Cutie: Nico starts out as an innocent kid looking for glory and fun. He winds up a broken shell of a man who's watched numerous friends die in front of him, been too late to save the most important person in his life, and has to live with the guilt of knowing it's all his fault.
  • Child Soldiers: A 12 year old member of The Crusades.
  • Conflicting Loyalty: Torn between his desire to be a knight at any cost, and his loyalty to Etienne. This becomes most apparent with Hugo's betrayal, when Nicolas all but has a breakdown at the idea of being made to choose.
  • Determinator: Nicolas shows incredible amounts of determination towards being a knight. While it doesn't always go well for him, he sticks to his goal no matter what happens, and actually winds up with a fairly good end to show for it all.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: The Fighter in one with Etienne (Mage), and Guy (Thief).
  • Glory Seeker: Nicolas's main motivation is being recognized as a real knight, and he'll do almost anything to get that. He's determined to be a knight no matter what the cost, and tries multiple times to throw himself in the way of death just to prove that he's brave. He's confirmed to be weak to appearances, and focuses heavily on how people see him.
  • Heroic Wannabe: He absolutely embodies this. Nicolas's primary goal in life is to be a knight, and despite everything in his life trying to stop him, does not give up on his dream. This determination and willingness to do anything leads to the death and enslavement of countless children, all because of his plot to become a knight.
  • High Hopes, Zero Talent: Nicolas is determined to be a knight at any cost. . . completely discounting the fact that he's a 12 year old from the middle of nowhere with no one and nothing to support his dream. He's not particularly good at combat, either, and seems to be running mostly on dreams and high hopes.
  • Knight, Knave and Squire: The Knight in one with the Squire Etienne and the Knave Guy.
  • Misery Builds Character: Nicolas goes through some pretty horrific things during the course of the story, and comes out of it all much closer to the knight he's dreamed of being. If anything, all the suffering is what gives him the motivation and experience needed to grow up a little.
  • Nice Mean And Inbetween: The In-Between in one with Etienne (Nice) and Guy (Mean).
  • Noble Male, Roguish Male: He and Guy make up this trope, with Nicolas as the noble (albeit hot headed and a bit immature) young knight seeking glory and honor by Etienne's side, and Guy as the roguish, uncultured bandit with a crass demeanor and a propensity for violence. The two of them are Etienne's most loyal followers and the only two to survive the main story.
  • Power Trio: Part of one with Etienne and Guy.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Red to Etienne, Guy, and Christian's Blue.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: He and Etienne are the main duo of the series, with Etienne being a gentle, feminine boy with endless compassion and a soft heart, and Nicolas being a hotheaded, aggressive young knight who'd rather cut down the infidels than show them kindness. The two are best friends and extremely close, with Nicolas willing to die and kill for Etienne's sake.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Post story, he has a strong dash of this.

Christian

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cv_1.jpg
A 14 year old boy from Etienne's village. The son of the local scribe, Christian is intelligent, quick thinking, and literate; a rare skill for his time. While snarky and mostly distant to his teammates, he values Etienne's happiness and success above all. He carries a large textbook with him, and manages the funds of the Children's Crusade, despite not being good in battle. He fell in love with Etienne at a young age, and seeks a sex change to justify his feelings towards the other boy.

Tropes:

  • Ambiguous Gender Identity: In later chapters, Christian is revealed to be in love with Etienne and desiring to become a woman in order to be with him. It's unclear if he's actually transgender, and wants to be female for more reasons than being with Etienne, or if he's just using being female as a justification for his feelings. Considering his overly logical personality and tendency to want explanations for things, either is possible.
  • Brainy Brunette: Has dark brown hair, and is the intelligence of the Children's Crusade.
  • Bury Your Gays: While possibly not gay, Christian does not get a happy ending. After it's revealed that he despises himself for ever loving Etienne, he's impaled through the midsection by Michael and kicked into a river to die, with his textbook, his most precious belonging, shredded and thrown in after him.
  • Child Soldiers: A 14 year old member of The Crusades.
  • Coming-Out Story: In chapter 20, he reveals himself as gay/trans (it's unclear which) to Etienne in the form of stabbing Etienne's lover in the back, explaining his love for Etienne (whim he's loved since childhood), and then trying to kill him when the other doesn't accept his feelings. The sheer amount of pain he's experiencing is heartbreaking, especially seeing the normally composed Christian break down over his feelings for Etienne.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: or possibly Clingy Jealous Girl Attempts to kill the lover of the person he's in love with, then chokes them out with the intent to kill when they don't return his feelings. Later, it's revealed that he had all intention of killing them and then himself if they didn't accept his feelings.
  • Depraved Homosexual: He is very interested in Etienne, and goes to some extremely disturbed methods to get to him. The first and most telling sign is when after seeing Etienne with Isabelle, he crawls over Etienne's sleeping body and kisses him, all while muttering about how Etienne belongs to only him.
  • Entitled to Have You: Seems to think this about Etienne, even going so far as to try to kill him when the other rejects his feelings.
  • Gayngst: He's in love with Etienne and hates himself over it, even going so far as to say that "I became a devil the moment I fell in love with you!" to Etienne. His self hatred over the matter is so bad that, when killed, he expresses genuine joy at finally being put out of the misery he's been living. All of this is fairly justified, considering that in the time period, being gay was punishable by death. Also see Trans Tribulations below.
  • Non-Action Guy: He's the strategist and treasurer of the Children's Crusade, and relies on brains to survive the harsh environment he's in. He's no use in actual combat, and proves his worth in strategy and intuition instead of skill.
  • Non-Action Snarker: Christian is one of the least physical of the boys, and is an intelligent, snarky boy with no shortage of cutting remarks and cynicism. Some of this is because he's so much smarter than the rest of the Crusade, and some of it is just him being a jerk.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Blue to Etienne and Nicolas's Red.
  • Trans Equals Gay: Christian himself seems to think this. After confessing to Etienne that he's in love with him and wishes to become a woman in order to be with him. It's left unclear if Christian is gay and using wanting to be female as an excuse to justify it, or if he genuinely is a girl and simply doesn't understand that being trans isn't the same thing as being gay.
  • Trans Tribulations: While it's unclear if he's actually trans, he definitely has to deal with this. Due to being in love with Etienne, he realized that he wants to be female, and hates himself over it to the point of showing genuine happiness when killed. He calls himself a devil for ever loving Etienne, and dreams of going to the Middle East, where sex change surgery can make him the way he wants to be. Also see Gayngst above.

Luc

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cv_8.jpg
A 14 year old boy from Etienne's village. The son of local leatherworkers, Luc is a happy-go-lucky, optimistic boy with a good attitude and boundless cheer. Despite not realizing the true danger he will be facing, Luc joins's the Children's Crusade to support his friends and bring honor to his family. He gets along well with the younger boys, and tends to be the heart of the Crusade, supporting and cheering up anyone whose resolve falters. He's best friends with Marc, but open and accepting to nearly everyone.

Tropes:

  • Child Soldiers: A 14 year old member of The Crusades.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: He dies saving the other boys from bandits, and is shot through the stomach with an arrow before having his head being half way chopped off (NOT enough to instantly kill him), and is left to bleed out on the ground.
  • Lovable Jock: He's a head taller than the other boys and much more physically gifted. He's also an utter sweetheart who spends his time in the Children's Crusade taking care of the younger boys and keeping a near permanent smile.

Marc

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cv_4.jpg
A 13 year old boy from Etienne's village, who hails from a large family. The local clown, he never misses a chance to make a stupid joke or lighten the mood. He seems to be almost unable to take anything seriously, and was completely oblivious to the dangers he would face on a Crusade. Luc's best friend, he also is one of the major factors in keeping up the moral of a small army of children. After Luc's death, he becomes cold and unresponsive, happy demeanor broken by seeing the death of his best friend.

Tropes:

  • Break the Cutie: Marc starts out as a happy go lucky kid who lives to clown around and make people laugh. After his best friend is killed in front of him, he turns into a broken, nervous wreck bordering on an empty shell.
  • Child Soldiers: A 13 year old member of The Crusades.
  • Class Clown: Of the Children's Crusade, he's by far the silliest, with puppet that he carries around as part of his joke routine, and a constant stream of bad jokes to lighten the mood.
  • Keet: Marc is a short, happy-go lucky redhead with strange sense of humor and a permanent role as the cheerful one. Henri even comments that "Surely he would make even God smile in Heaven."
  • Redheads Are Uncool: A silly, class clown type who's bad at fighting and good at making jokes. Nowhere near serious enough to fit in with his more aggressive peers, which shows when he gives up on the Children's Crusade and tries to go home.
  • Youthful Freckles: He's a cute 13 year old kid with a youthful, silly personality, a tendency to act about half his age, and a face covered in freckles.

Henri

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cv_5.jpg
A 10 year old boy from Etienne's village. A shy, quiet crybaby, Henri is weak willed, easily bullied, and lacks the bravery or resolve to be a proper knight. He goes along with the Children's Crusade out of the desire to be brave, and quickly finds himself in over his head with the stress and danger. Henri is extremely childish and immature, and follows the orders of the older boys almost without question. He dreams of becoming a brave knight, but panics in the face of battle and has difficulties keeping up with the others.

Tropes:

  • Break the Cutie: Henri starts out as a sweet, young crybaby who already has some issues with being weaker than his peers. After being unable to fight properly, earning Nicolas's hatred, accidentally killing one of his friends, and being raped and tortured by Hugo, he's so broken he tries to kill himself by impaling his own throat on a spiky branch, claiming that he'll never be brave enough to be a knight.
  • Child Soldiers: A 10 year old member of The Crusades.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: After being kidnapped by Hugo, he's brutally raped, beaten to within an inch of his life for fighting back, and thrown out of the castle from a garbage chute. Once found by his friends, he's so far past the Despair Event Horizon that he attempts suicide by stabbing himself through the throat with a nearby branch. This still fails to kill him, and Guy is forced to land the finishing blow in an act of mercy (suicide victims go to hell, according to the beliefs of the time.)
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: So cute, most viewers will assume he's female. To be fair, he's still a kid, but that haircut does NOT help his case.
  • Fragile Flower: Henri is gentle, sweet crybaby with a tendency to burst into tears at the slight provocation or conflict. Justified, considering that he's only 10. He gains some bravery towards the end of the story, but by that point, it's more horrifying than admirable.
  • Heaven Seeker: Abandons this during his death scene. He tries to kill himself, despite knowing that this will doom him to hell, because of how pathetic and soiled he sees himself as.
  • Non-Action Guy: He's a 10 year old crybaby with a shy personality and a small body. He's afraid of violence and combat, and fails spectacularly at every battle in the series.
  • Tender Tears: His main character trait is being a crybaby, and he definitely lives up to it.

Guillaume

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cv_56.jpg
A 12 year old boy from Etienne's village. The son of a local noble (which isn't really saying much), Guillaume is arrogant, self-confident, and a bully. He favors picking on the weak, and uses his status to ensure that no one can hurt him back. He joins the Children's Crusade under orders from his father, and actively rebels against Etienne's leadership at every turn. Favoring the pleasures of life, Guillaume's desire for fame and nice things gets him in trouble, especially with the strict and moral Nicolas. Pierre is his best friend and lackey.

Tropes:

  • Attention Whore: He shows some signs of this, going to dangerous lengths to get people to pay attention to and look up to him. Most of them backfire horribly.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: At age 12, he's an absolutely horrible brat. Somewhat justified in that his upbringing has encouraged him to be terrible.
  • Child Soldiers: A 12 year old member of The Crusades
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: After defecting to Hugo's side, he's roped into an initiation procedure that basically consists of him, Pierre, and Lillian fighting to the death in the nude as what is actually part of some kind of demon worship/Hugo's sick enjoyment. He winds up impaled through the throat, and has his body thrown out with the trash after being left to bleed out on the floor.
  • Entitled Bastard: Guillaume is a spoiled, cruel, bratty son of a manor lord who thinks that he deserves to get everything exactly the way he wants it. Understandable, considering he was raised in a way that any disrespect to him meant a whipping for the offender. This attitude, though, comes back to bite him once he's out in the real world.
  • Nice Mean And Inbetween: The Mean in a villainous one with Lillian (Nice) and Pierre (In-Between)
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Blue to Pierre's Red.
  • Sheltered Aristocrat: He's semi-nobility (as much so as peasants can be), and extremely naive when it comes to how much respect they deserve and staying safe in the world. He and Pierre are so set on keeping their power and status that they turn to the Knight Hugo, which turns out to be a TERRIBLE idea.
  • Spoiled Brat: He and Pierre are both rich kids whose families are so important to the town that just talking back to them earns Nicolas a whipping. Guillaume is self-centered, arrogant, and places his own happiness above anything and anyone else, as well as being actively cruel to anyone who doesn't agree with that.
  • Terrible Trio: Is the leader in one with Pierre and Lillian.
  • The Dandy: Guillaume is from an upper class family (well, as upper class as 13th century peasants get), canonly is more well dressed than his pauper companions, and is definitely more than a bit fixated on his appearance and status. He has quite the love for the pleasures in life too. . . but that one gets him in trouble later
  • Upper-Class Twit: Guillaume is the most well off of the boys, and displays a remarkable lack of anything resembling common sense. Whether it's stupidity, being blinded by pride, or just plain idiocy, Guillaume makes what are probably the worst choices among the boys.
  • With a Friend and a Stranger: His group of bullies consists of Pierre, who is his childhood friend and closest lackey, and Lillian, who's new to the little group and joins only to establish himself as an individual.

Pierre

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cv_70.jpg
An 11 year old boy from Etienne's village. The son of a local noble (which isn't really saying much), Pierre is an entitled, snarky spoiled brat. He's Guillaume's loyal lackey, and follows the other boy's commands. Despite being every bit as much of a bully of his companion, Pierre lacks much of a mind of his own and tends to follow Guillaume's will over his own. Forced into the Children's Crusade by his father, he resents the leadership of the other boys, and follows Guillaume's lead in causing trouble and making their own way.

Tropes:

  • Bratty Half-Pint: At age 11, he's an absolutely horrible brat. Somewhat justified in that his upbringing has encouraged him to be terrible.
  • Child Soldiers: An 11 year old member of The Crusades.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: After defecting to Hugo's side, he's roped into an initiation procedure that basically consists of him, Guillaume, and Lillian fighting to the death in the nude as what is actually part of some kind of demon worship/Hugo's sick enjoyment. He winds up with his midsection roughly slit open, and has his body thrown out with the trash after being left to bleed out on the floor.
  • Entitled Bastard: Pierre is the spoiled, bratty, cruel son of a manor lord who thinks that the world revolves around him. Aside from Guillaume, he shows no respect to anyone, and demands to get his way at all times. Understandable, considering that he's been raised to expect this. This attitude does not do him any favors in the real world, though.
  • Extreme Doormat: Seems to be this towards Guillaume. Pierre shows no will of his own when his friend is around, and follows Guillaume's every command even at the cost of his own safety. He appears to want whatever Guillaume wants, and doesn't really express opinions or motivations of his own.
  • Nice Mean And Inbetween: The In-Between in a villainous one with Lillian (Nice) and Guillaume (Mean).
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Red to Guillaume's Blue.
  • Sheltered Aristocrat: He's semi-nobility (as much so as peasants can be), and extremely naive when it comes to how much respect they deserve and staying safe in the world. He and Guillaume are so set on keeping their power and status that they turn to the Knight Hugo, which turns out to be a TERRIBLE idea.
  • Spoiled Brat: He and Guillaume are both rich kids whose families are so important to the town that just talking back to them earns Nicolas a whipping. Pierre is rather quiet and seems to be little more than a lackey to Guillaume, but he's also quite spoiled and self absorbed, as shown in his snarkier moments.
  • Terrible Trio: Is a henchman in one with Guillaume and Lillian.

Laurent

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cv_63.jpg
An 11 year old boy from Etienne's village. The older of a set of twins, he and Lillian were orphaned after their mother killed herself due to rumors surrounding their birth. Laurent is even tempered, gentle, and much more mature than his little brother. He gets along well with other boys, and has a dedicated, kind spirit that seems unbroken by even his childhood struggles. He and his brother share a form of telepathy, allowing them to communicate in words and sensory information over long distances.

Tropes:

  • Always Identical Twins: He and his younger twin Lillian are very nearly identical.
  • Angsty Surviving Twin: He becomes this when Lillian is killed in Hugo's death match. He doesn't last long after, performing a Heroic Sacrifice to avenge his younger brother
  • Break the Cutie: As if everything else that happens during the course of the Children's Crusade, including multiple deaths and growing cold with his brother and best friend, isn't enough, Laurent gets to feel his twin brother's death over their telepathy. Meaning he got to experience every second of what Lillian was feeling.
  • Child Soldiers: A 11 year old member of The Crusades.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Blue to Lillian's Red.
  • Sibling Seniority Squabble: He and Lillian frequently fuss over things, with Laurent using his status as the older twin to try to push his way. Lillian, who knows that the two are mere minutes apart, is less than amused by it. It's these kinds of squabbles that are a large part of what leads to Lillian's tragic downfall and eventual death.
  • Theme Twin Naming: He and Lillian have alliterative names.
  • Twin Telepathy: He and Lillian have the ability to communicate through thoughts. This is initially very helpful in keeping the Crusade organized, but, when Lillian cuts off the link due to anger over being confused with his brother, things get complicated. Lillian brings the link back during his death scene in a desperate bid for someone to save him. Thanks to that, Laurent gets to personally witness and feel his little brother's last moments.

Lillian

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cv_7.jpg
An 11 year old boy from Etienne's village. The older of a set of twins, he and Laurent were orphaned after their mother killed herself due to rumors surrounding their birth. Lillian is hot tempered, easily upset, and distinctly lacking in maturity, especially compared to his brother. He's childish and standoffish, and easily gets mixed up in the wrong crowd in a bid to be seen as different than his brother. He and his brother share a form of telepathy, allowing them to communicate in words and sensory information over long distances.

Tropes:

  • Always Identical Twins: He and his older twin Laurent are very nearly identical.
  • Child Soldiers: A 11 year old member of The Crusades.
  • Conflicting Loyalty: Between his lifelong attachment to his brother and the desire to be noticed and seen as a different person. He becomes friends with Guillaume and Pierre in a bid for the latter, and the choice gets him killed.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: After defecting to Hugo's side, he's roped into an initiation procedure that basically consists of him, Pierre, and Guillaume fighting to the death in the nude as what is actually part of some kind of demon worship/Hugo's sick enjoyment. He winds up missing an arm and impaled through the midsection, and has his body thrown out with the trash after being left to bleed out on the floor.
  • Identical Twin ID Tag: He has a birthmark on his neck that Laurent doesn't.
  • Nice Mean And Inbetween: The Nice in a villainous one with Guillaume (Mean) and Pierre (In-Between).
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Red to Laurent's Blue.
  • Sibling Seniority Squabble: He and Laurent frequently fuss over things, with Laurent using his status as the older twin to try to push his way. Lillian, who knows that the two are mere minutes apart, is less than amused by it. It's these kinds of squabbles that are a large part of what leads to Lillian's tragic downfall and eventual death.
  • Terrible Trio: Is a henchman in one with Guillaume and Pierre.
  • Theme Twin Naming: He and Laurent have alliterative names.
  • Twin Telepathy: He and Laurent have the ability to communicate through thoughts. This is initially very helpful in keeping the Crusade organized, but, when Lillian cuts off the link due to anger over being confused with his brother, things get complicated. Lillian brings the link back during his death scene in a desperate bid for someone to save him. Thanks to that, Laurent gets to personally witness and feel his little brother's last moments.

Remy

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cv_6.jpg
A 12 year old boy from Etienne's village. Remy was once described as the prettiest boy in the village, but after catching leprosy, was shunned by nearly everyone he once loved. Sweet, gentle, and more than a bit shy, Remy is desperate for companionship and acceptance, and is very willing to over-tax himself to get it. Etienne is the only person other than his family to accept him even with his disease, and he clings tightly to anyone who's willing to tolerate him. Despite his poor circumstances, he remains optimistic and faithful.

Tropes:

  • Break the Cutie: Remy's entire life has been one long series of this. He started out as the cutest boy in the village, and then developed leprosy that made everyone but his family and Etienne hate him. He sets out on the Children's Crusade in search of a cure, but only gets to experience his body slowly falling apart under him as exhaustion and trauma get the better of him. He finally dies, confused and believing that God will turn him away, and by that point, he's missing a lot of body parts on top of it all
  • Bury Your Disabled: Type 2. Dies in a violent and tear jerking manner about half way through the manga when his illness and three months of hard travelling finally catch up to him. His death is particularly grotesque because we're treated to a close up of his rotted away face as he pulls his bandages off.
  • Child Soldiers: A 12 year old member of The Crusades.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Three months on the road don't do his health well, and he winds up slowly falling apart. First, he loses all sense of pain (possibly the only kindness he recieves), then he goes blind, becomes convinced that he's addicted to sugar, and has his body more or less collapse under him. At the scene of his death, we see that he's missing his nose and his face is all but rotted away. The state of his body is so hideous that he believes God will turn him away from Heaven in horror.
  • Definitely Just a Cold: When he loses all sense of pain from his illness and realizes that he's been wandering around with bloody, torn open feet, his reaction is to dismiss it and claim he's just fine.
  • Dream-Crushing Handicap: Remy wants desperately to make it to the Holy Land with his friends, but his illness makes it difficult to keep up. He doesn't make it. and dies before ever making it out of France.
  • Littlest Cancer Patient: At 12 years old, Remy is infected with leprosy, which is slowly and painfully killing him. He's a clearly sympathetic character, and his eventual death scene just makes him all the more easy to feel for.
  • Non-Action Guy: Remy is a weak Ill Boy, with a frail body and a gentle demeanor. He in-universe acknowledges that he's too weak to be of much use in battle, and is kept away from anything too physical for his health to handle.
  • Panacea: Remy is told that sugar is this, and eventually develops a perceived addiction to it, believing that it will keep him from succumbing to his illness.

Guy

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cv_35.jpg
A 14 year old boy of unknown origin. Guy spent his early years as a bandit, and after a failed raid on Etienne's village, was won over by the other boy's kindness, joining the Children's Crusade out of a desire to please his savior. Guy is outwardly rough and crass, with a leaning towards violence and an antisocial personality. Inside, however, he is sympathetic to the weak and carries strong values of family and loyalty. He's willing to do literally anything for Etienne, and is by far the most experienced of the Children's Crusade.

Tropes:

  • Because You Were Nice to Me: He decided to give up his bandit life and follow Etienne after the latter saved him from execution and offered what was most likely the first unselfish kindness Guy had ever experienced.
  • Child Soldiers: A 14 year old member of The Crusades.
  • Conditioned to Accept Horror: Guy, thanks to his childhood spent living as a bandit, is much more adjusted to the horrors of the Crusade than his teammates, all of whom are entirely unaccustomed to violence. Despite being a kind person at heart Guy has seen some things, and his experience winds up being a great asset when the Children's Crusade actually has to fight.
  • Conflicting Loyalty: At first, between the bandits that raised him and Etienne's offer of camaraderie. He chooses Etienne after realizing just how kind the latter is, and the choice is most likely the best thing to ever happen to him.
  • Covered with Scars: Guy's entire body is covered with a variety of scars inflicted during his time as a bandit.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: The Thief in one with Etienne (Mage) and Nicolas (Fighter).
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Guy becomes this to the rest of the group. After being with the Children's Crusade for the entirety of their journey, he goes from a hated bandit to a true companion.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Guy fulfills both sides of this trope. As a villain, his scar covered body is Obviously Evil, but once he turns his life around and starts serving under Etienne, his scars are just neat enough to fall under the good side of this trope.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's prickly, standoffish, and leans towards the criminal and violent. He's also extremely sympathetic to the weak, values family immensely and follows Etienne with every bit of loyalty he can muster.
  • Knight, Knave and Squire: The Knave in one with the Knight Nicolas and the Squire Etienne.
  • Nice Mean And Inbetween: The Mean in one with Etienne (Nice) and Nicolas (In-Between).
  • Noble Male, Roguish Male: He and Nicolas make up this trope, with Nicolas as the noble (albeit hot headed and a bit immature) young knight seeking glory and honor by Etienne's side, and Guy as the roguish, uncultured bandit with a crass demeanor and a propensity for violence. The two of them are Etienne's most loyal followers and the only two to survive the main story.
  • Power Trio: Part of one with Etienne and Nicolas.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Blue to Nicolas and Etienne's Red.
  • Scars Are Forever: Even when shown later in life, Guy's scars are still very much present, despite the fact that he received most of them at a very young age.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Guy is forced to take a huge one when he shifts sides from bandit to Crusader. He's not great at it, but his inner kindess certainly shines through after Etienne takes him in.

Michael

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cv_9.jpg
A 12 year old boy from a nearby church. Michael is dopey, strange, and a bit dumb, but possesses a beautiful singing voice and skills in priestly duties. He's accepted in to the Children's Crusade to watch over them, despite being more than a bit ditsy. He's actually a spy sent to watch over the Crusade and report back to the church. His true personality is arrogant and self-righteous, disdainful of anyone who doesn't accept his way of viewing the world. He also thinks himself to be the true chosen child.

Tropes:

  • Belief Makes You Stupid: Not stupid, exactly, but horribly naive. He has no idea that his father is plotting to sell him and his Crusade into slavery, and a lot of his strange behavior is due to the fact that he believes he's God's chosen child, and thus, untouchable.
  • Believing Their Own Lies: Michael lies about both being the chosen child of God and bringing miracles to the common folk. While he admits that the latter of those isn't true, he spends an awful lot of time being angry that Etienne (the real chosen child) dares to call himself he chosen one instead of admitting Michael's own superiority.
  • Black and White Insanity: Michael has a very black and white outlook on the world, and probably isn't quite in his right mind. From outright murdering anyone he deems a sinner to leading dozens of children into slavery thanks to not stopping to question his father's motives, Michael has committed some of the worse atrocities in the manga.
  • Black and White Morality: An extreme case, in that he thinks anyone even remotely "sinful" (by his own definition, no less), deserves nothing short of a brutal, miserable death. He's not afraid to act on this.
  • Blasphemous Boast: His whole belief that he's God's chosen one borders on this, especially when he starts using said belief to attack Etienne, commit brutal murders, and betray the Children's Crusade. Considering that Etienne is the real chosen child, this is all remarkably ill-advised.
  • Child Soldiers: A 12 year old member of The Crusades.
  • Corrupt Church: He's a part of one, and heavily encourages and believes in everything it does.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Was actually mistaken for female by the Children's Crusade in his first appearance, and is described as very beautiful.
  • Egocentrically Religious: He firmly believes that he's God's chosen child. . . and that Etienne is not. He's convinced that he's the one sent to lead the Children's Crusade, and that his righteousness exceeds that of most sinful humans. He also believes that God will guide and grant miracles to only him, and that so much as loving another human being makes a person sinful and worthy of death. Semi-justified in that he's a priest's son in 13th Century France, and has been told his whole life that he is exactly this.
  • Face of an Angel, Mind of a Demon: He's a beautiful, earnest church boy who appears to not be the sharpest tool in the shed. He also kills two of the main cast members, betrays the Children's Crusade, leads hundreds of innocent boys into being sold as slaves, is possibly the most self-centered and bitter character in the story, and favors impalement with a large, wooden stake through the midsection for killing people.
  • The Fundamentalist: He practically embodies this, even going so far as to murder anyone who doesn't believe exactly what he does. This kind of behavior is his main motivation, and he seems to be completely ruled by the desire to make everyone agree with him. . . or suffer the consequences.
  • Holier Than Thou: Michael is convinced that he's the paragon of Godly behavior, and that his rules are as good as law. . . . and that anyone who rejects the standards his church sets deserves to die. See Egocentrically Religious above.
  • Light Is Not Good: Michael is an innocent looking young man from the church who wears all white, believes himself to be chosen by God, and preaches forgiveness and obedience to the Lord. He's also a self-centered, arrogant, vicious little monster who likes to kill "heretics" by impaling them through the midsection, and is single-handedly responsible for the death of the actual chosen child.
  • Man in White: He wears all white church boy robes, which is very notable next to the black capes and earthy tones most of the Children's Crusade don.
  • Non-Action Guy: He only joins the Crusade as a stand-in priest, and is openly acknowledged to be otherwise useless. He doesn't seem to be very smart or very strong, and doesn't do much of anything but sing. at least until his Face–Heel Turn when he's shown to be capable of impaling people with large, wooden spikes.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Michael was told by his father to pretend to be a fool so the members of the Children's Crusade would spill their secrets. He plays an idiot for most of the manga, while all the while sending coded messages back to teh church in the form of Latin songs. It's not until chapter 20 that his true personality is revealed.
  • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Michael is extremely pale with black hair, and is mistaken for a girl by the Children's Crusade.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Blue to Etienne's Red.
  • The Ditz: Michael appears to be this. He's actually faking.
  • You Are What You Hate: Michael aggressively claims to despise all who go against God, despite committing some of the worst atrocities in the story. He seems to fail to realize that he's just as bad as the people he hates.
    Other Characters 

Hugo

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cv_76.jpg
A high ranking member of the Knights Templar who joins the Children's Crusade as an adviser and guardian. On the surface, Hugo is a benevolent and moral man, the exact image of the knight Nicolas dreams to be, and he quickly captivates the minds and hearts of the Crusade. He turns out to be a selfish coward who faked Etienne's miracles for money and status, all with the intent of selling the boys off to slavers in the Middle East. He turns on the Children's Crusade after they abandon him, seeking either their deaths or loyalty.

Tropes:

  • Beard of Evil: He has a small beard and is debateably the most morally reprehensible character in the series.
  • Crowd Pleaser: This, wealth, and power are his main motivations.
  • Glory Hound: Hugo will do almost anything for fame, up to and including selling countless children into slaver, fabricating miracles for profit, and having innocents killed so he can keep up his ruse.
  • Hiding Behind Religion: He may very well be this. While we don't actually know much about his motivations, harems of young men and women, fabricating supposedly Godly miracles, sleeping with four of the main cast (who are all male), and arranging demon-worshiping death matches are all far from what 13th Century Catholicism preaches, especially considering that his status as one of the well-respected Knights Templar allows him to get away with most of it.
  • Man in White: He wears the mostly white uniform of the Knights Templar.
  • Moral Event Horizon: His rape of a select few members of Etienne's crusade is this. He'd been nasty before, but this is the moment that really proves him to be abhorrent.

Isabelle

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cv_10.jpg
A young girl of unknown origin who works as a prostitute. A mute from birth, Isabelle has a gentle and submissive personality, as well as a "purity" that Etienne immediately notices. The Children's Crusade meet her during their travels, and she quickly turns to worshiping Etienne. Her and Etienne fall in love, and Isabelle runs away from her town to follow him. The two later become lovers, which is the final straw in Etienne being deemed a heretic. Post-story, she bears his child and finds new purpose in life serving God.

Tropes:

  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Her feelings towards Etienne are some degree of this, considering that the whole reason she fell in love was because of his kindness and purity.
  • Elective Mute: Considering how easily speech returns to her after meeting Etienne, she's likely an example of this.
  • Prayer Pose: Assumes one during the scene in which we learn she's pregnant with Etienne's child. Appropriate, considering that she was a nun at the time.
  • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: She's light skinned with black hair, and is considered to be notably beautiful and pure.
  • Taking the Veil: She becomes a nun after escaping her life as a prostitute.

Colette

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cv_62.jpg
A young woman from a small village that the Children's Crusade takes refuge in. Colette is upbeat, caring, and optimistic, and takes the boys of the Crusade under her wing. She's something of a leader in her community, and brave enough to lie to the Church to protect the boys in her care. She runs an underground church that offers godliness to those that would be unable to afford it under the strict rules of the Catholic Church. When this is found out, she's burned at the stake as a heretic, along with the rest of her village.

Tropes:

  • Badass Preacher: The leader of an underground church, and one of the most determined, morally strong characters shown.
  • Burn the Witch!: A victim of this, after the Catholic Church finds out about her underground preaching. She seems mostly resigned to this fate, and faces it with dignity.
  • The Heretic: Burned as one because of her encouragement and preaching of people studying the Bible on their own.
  • Illegal Religion: Preaches something close to modern Christianity that the Catholic Church does not like, as it directly defies their own teachings (read: ways of controlling the masses). Despite knowing how dangerous it is, she's determined to bring the light of God to anyone she can reach in her small, isolated village. She's eventually killed for it.

Michael's Father

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cv_57.jpg
A small town clergy man with high goals of becoming pope. He sends Michael with the Children's Crusade to monitor them, and secretly plots to sell the boys as slaves once they run out of usefulness. He plays along with the Knights Templar to milk Etienne's miracles for money, and plans to dispose of even his own son, Michael (who was secretly born of a prostitute and poses a grave threat to his reputation), in order to achieve his goals. Post story, it's noted that he dies unknown and leaves no legacy behind.

Tropes:

  • Abusive Parents: Sells his own son into slavery in order to have a better chance at becoming Pope.
  • Corrupt Church: He's a part of one, and really shows just how evil it can be.
  • Creepy Catholicism: He's a Catholic priest, and a morally corrupt, selfish man willing to sell his own son into slavery to preserve his own image. This is treated as perfectly normal, if not common.
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