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Characters / Stand Still, Stay Silent

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Be warned that the identity of the character who dies in Adventure I is more obvious on this page than on the main one.

Our main cast of explorers:

    Tuuri Hotakainen

"Isn't this the most excited you've ever been?"

The team mechanic and skald, from Finland. She was hired to conduct the research for which the expedition was officially funded. She also happens to be the only member of the crew to speak enough languages to be able to communicate with everyone else and thus the team translator. She is extremely eager to see the outside world after being kept inside Keuruu by her older brother Onni for most of her life. Unfortunately, her lack of immunity to the Rash translates into needing to stay close to wherever the tank has been parked while the immune members of the crew do the actual exploring and hopefully bring something of interest back.

Associated tropes:

  • The Bard: She has academic training as a Skald, which is the Nordic equivalent associated with the Vikings. The emphasis with her is on manning the radio set, writing and keeping all the logs and transcripts as well as securing data, and not necessarily picking up a lute. She also has no magic to play with. That we know of, at least.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For:
    • Well, she expressed a general wish to get out of Keuruu and find excitement, and went a long way towards making that wish happen using some rather underhanded means... Tempting Fate, girly; so Tempting Fate. When said wish includes a specific clause detailing getting a good look at a troll as part of the deal, there's no way that it's not going to backfire when it gets granted: it's practically on the contract in large print.
    • She seems to have gotten this in her childhood as well. She was really eager to see something else than her native island, and got that granted when she, Onni and Lalli moved to Keuruu. However, it's easy to piece together that the event that caused them to move was quite dire and resulted in Onni becoming even more adamant about keeping her where he considered her to be safe. Because of this, her Small Town Boredom is back to square one by the time the story starts.
    • When the tank broke down, she wished that the crew didn't have to leave so many of the books behind. She ends up buried near where they were left.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: Once it's confirmed she's contracted the Rash illness — via hearing traces of the Black Speech and showing physical symptoms — she takes the relatively quick way out by drowning herself, freeing her spirit before the Rash can trap her in a living hell.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Downplayed; she's got a mean and manipulative streak which mostly doesn't show itself; as seen when she trolls the children who call her fat. Mikkel later correctly pegs her as "manipulative younger sister" material after getting it aimed at him. And, (maybe worryingly) provides a few pointers, even. Tuuri goes in for psychological screws while looking very cute.
  • Bookworm: Part of being a skald post-Rash is to enjoy your time around the written word. And, she does.
  • Born in the Wrong Century: A few things about her point to this:
    • Her conversation with Emil about the fact that she speaks Swedish hints that Finns knowing Swedish are a rare sight in Year 90, while they were fairly common in Year 0.
    • The fact that only the military can afford to use mechanical vehicles makes the fact she can drive them despite technically being a civilian gives her another skill more suited for pre-Rash times.
    • She craves exploration of the unknown in an era during which the activity is considered a wasteful Suicide Mission, on an extremely solid basis. This in particular seems to be part of a general disconnect from how dangerous it is for her to be outside of a safe area.
  • Cat Smile: In early installments, her mask had one on it.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: She's certainly not as straight or as obvious a one as her cousin is; but, put it this way... She doesn't seem to quite get Onni's or Lalli's concerns about going out into the Silent World, either. There's a disconnect between what she knows and what she understands about how things Outside work and how dangerous it all is that makes her optimism come across as a little misplaced at times. At least, at the start.
  • Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: Has to explain things to Lalli a lot, like why he shouldn't have said that, what horses are or what a train is. Or why he should, pretty-please, get on this train in time for debarkation. You get the impression she's been automatically looking after him in social contexts for a while, now.
  • Collateral Angst: Subverted. She initially has a Nerves of Steel attitude towards her troll bite, while Lalli displays his worry about the situation much more openly, making Lalli come across as the one having it the hardest. However, when circumstances force her into the reality of the situation, she doesn't handle it well at all.
  • Communications Officer: Usually the one taking care of radio calls.
  • Cultural Rebel:
    • In the comic's world, Finns are known for being poorly educated and having a high chance of being mages. Tuuri is an academic who speaks three languages and a Muggle Born of Mages.
    • She also stands out as being the only member of the crew to have this trope going on, as everyone else has at least some of the traits associated with their country of origin.
  • Cunning Linguist: As part of the skaldic package comes training in Icelandic and other Nordic languages/ dialects: with her native tongue being Finnish, she covers most bases. As long as Danish is spoken slowly and clearly, that is. Just as well: somebody has to be the translator for this motley crew.
  • The Cutie: She's very up-beat, eager and all-around happy to be seeing the outside world, and doesn't seem entirely aware of the dangers of the Silent World. Not to mention that her gas-mask in some illustrations on the official site has a Cat Smile drawn on it.
  • Despair Speech: Her last words are one of these, where she admits that she sincerely thought her troll bite wouldn't infect her with the Rash.
  • Driven to Suicide: Doubling as Heroic Sacrifice. Upon realizing there is no cure for her rash and that all that awaits her and her friends if she were to stay is years of suffering, she runs to the sea and drowns herself.
  • Doomed Protagonist: Ambiguously after her troll bite in late Chapter 13, for sure at the end of Chapter 15. She doesn't let the latter situation last very long, though.
  • The Engineer: Mechanic flavor. She's the team mechanic, and is depicted carrying bundles of wires in the group-shot illustrations elsewhere on the site. She loves her some highly engineered, Tank Goodness (one found Bishie Sparkle to play around the gun-turret just for her). Shame she's unlikely to get the chance to drive one what with being given the clapped-out, basically-an-RV-with-treads "Cat-Tank" to fiddle with, instead. Without turret, it should be added. Her mechanical bent makes her the group's Designated Driver by default, as she is the only one to have any technical ability whatsoever.
  • Famous Last Words:"I really thought... that it wouldn't happen. That... someone over there would be looking out for me."
  • Getaway Driver: She had to pull this off in Chapter 5, when the tank was parked quite close to a building that turned out to contain a troll nest, by literally getting the vehicle moving before all of the others could get inside.
  • The Handler: She frequently plays that role towards Lalli, as the Language Barrier keeps Sigrun from giving him direct orders and understanding his reports and she was already being his Cloudcuckoolander's Minder before the expedition even started.
  • Hates Being Alone: She has a record of wanting to include other people in her activities, regardless of whether they are actually interested in the activity in question:
    • As mentioned below, Lalli being part of the expedition was Tuuri's idea, not his. Later in the comic, Lalli mentions an occurrence upon which Tuuri dragged him into picking blueberries with her despite him hating blueberries.
    • She was the only one who really wanted to follow Mikkel in Chapter 10, but she manipulated Reynir into coming along. The day after Sigrun had to let a troll bite her to keep him from getting infected.
    • In the Saimaa flash-back to her childhood, she assumes Onni will like the idea of stealing a boat from their safe island's harbor and going explore one of the nearby unsettled islands. Onni's reaction is to drag her as far away from the harbor as he can with plans to tell their parents.
    • In addition to the above incidents, she looked extremely bored when left alone in the tank during the first book salvaging mission.
  • The Heart: The only member of the crew who is able to talk with everyone else, who uses Translation with an Agenda to smooth the edges when she can. Being a non-immune also gives her a downplayed Protectorate status.
  • Heavy Sleeper: She managed to sleep through this, and a few minutes of subsequent mayhem. She's also incredibly quick at falling asleep. As in, fast enough to fall asleep between the start of a sentence and the end of it.
  • Hereditary Hairstyle: The two braids she's seen wearing in the Saimaa flashback are similar to those her mother has in the family tree.
  • Holding Your Shoulder Means Injury: Happens in the panel where her troll bite is first shown.
  • I Have This Friend...: When she asks Lalli about the Black Speech she's started to hear, she pretends to be doing so on Reynir's behalf.
  • The Immune: Very, very much averted: which is why she has to wear that face mask when faced with contagious situations. That she's going out on an expedition to parts unknown which could easily wind up killing her as a result doesn't seem to worry her as much as, perhaps, it should.
  • Important Haircut: Before chapter 1, Tuuri had a ponytail. Since short hair is safer and more practical, she sacrificed it for the sake of the awesome adventure ahead.
  • Innocently Insensitive: She has a habit of not fully taking Lalli's viewpoint seriously, for all she does actually care about him. This comes across as her just being too enthusiastic and in-the-moment to pick up that he isn't on the same page. Either that, or she's a little too used to dismissing his complaints or contradictions as "trivial" or "coming from my silly cousin".
    • She also aims this Reynir's way: she doesn't really pick up on just how flipping terrified he is of what he sees in the fort. Or, if she does, puts it all down to newbie fear and perceptual distortion. It really, really isn't.
  • Jumped at the Call: Jumped? She practically glomped the call as a chance to get outside and do something!
  • Muggle Born of Mages: It's downplayed, but of the surviving Hotakainens, she's the only one not to have inherited Grandma's legacy.
  • Nerves of Steel: Her reaction to her troll bite. She actually seems more worried about Onni's eventual reaction to it than the consequences it may have for her. Reynir even asks her why she's not more worked up about it at some point.
  • No Listening Skills: At least some of her Translation with an Agenda happens because the information she's leaving out didn't quite reach her brain in the first place. It can get particularly bad when Lalli or Reynir report things that are only visible to their mage senses.
  • Not Quite the Right Thing: Knowing that Onni doesn't cope well with uncertainity, she insists that the other members of the support crew don't tell Onni about her troll bite if he wakes up from his Power-Strain Blackout-induced coma. Her idea is to tell him over the radio herself. To respect that, Reynir makes an extra effort to keep Onni from knowing what is going on when he goes to check on him via Talking in Your Dreams. The radio on her side ends up breaking down while Onni is still in a coma, and the uncertain news turns certain that very evening. Her reaction to the latter is to commit suicide, which lets her inform Onni on her way to the afterlife. In doing that, she uses phrasing that makes Reynir sound like the guilty party in Onni not getting informed earlier.
  • Older Than They Look: She's 21, but, due to her height, youthful appearance and exited nature, appears a fair bit younger. Sigrun even asks how old she is and guesses 16.
  • Omniglot: As part of the skaldic package comes training in Icelandic and other Nordic languages.
  • Protectorate: Downplayed. She's not immune, so definitely rates and gets degrees of protection from those who are. Yet, she signed on for this high-risk mission in the full knowledge that she could well die as part of the job... just like the others.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Is used as a reminder that the Rash is a true danger of the Silent World for non-immune people
  • Small Town Boredom: As detailed in Be Careful What You Wish For, she got hit with this twice in her lifetime.
  • The Smart Guy: The only member of the main team so far to have formal academic traning that she is still making use of in the present day.
  • Squee!: Girl can really get her "eee!" on when exited.
  • Suicide by Sea: The choice she makes when it's clear she's contracted the Rash, with evocative footsteps to the shore.
  • Support Party Member: The only pure non-combatant in the crew, especially after Reynir manages actual defence runes.
  • Surveillance Station Slacker: She has plenty of moments of this in Chapter 10, where her task of the day is basically to wait for a call from Mission Control, who may not even be present in headquarters until much later in the day. She's shown to have fallen asleep while Mikkel and Reynir were cleaning, and plays various games with Reynir between the moment Mikkel leaves and the moment she finds an excuse to follow him. Of course, the comic cuts to Mission Control coming back to headquarters right after she and Reynir leave.
  • Tactful Translation/ Translation with an Agenda: Tactful is what she thinks she's being. In practice, her agenda comes across more as "smooth the rough for social harmony". The problem happens when what she thinks is too silly, clunky, vague or way too stubborn to include... isn't.
  • Translator Buddy: Translates the rest of the teams important directions to Lalli, who only speaks Finnish. She also kind-of translates what he says back. Sort of.
  • Typhoid Mary: The symptoms of the Rash showing in Chapter 15 mean she was this during Chapter 14 and the early part of Chapter 15. She does NOT qualify for Zombie Infectee once the symptoms show, as that part of the disease is the same whether the patients die or become trolls.
  • Universal Driver's License: She mentions that her only driving experience before the tank has been tractors. On the other hand, it was her or someone who doesn't know how to drive at all.
  • Weight Woe: Getting called "kinda fat" by a child is enough for her to pull a Paranoia Gambit on said child and its two siblings.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: On the sliding scale, she's plunked somewhere quite heavily into the ideal side (which is somewhat incompatible with the world she lives in). This contrasts with her brother's outright The Cynic (if not pessimistic) and her cousin's The Stoic.
  • Wrench Wench: Knows how to use a wrench (and other tools, thank you); is a girl. Simple.


    Lalli Hotakainen

"Tuuri, why do these people keep hitting me?"

Tuuri and Onni's immune younger cousin, the team scout. By profession, he's a Night scout, which means working the shift during which trolls and beasts are the most active and coming back from it alive. He gets a little help in the latter by also being a Finnish tradition mage, if one lacking in training. His participation in the expedition was much more Tuuri's idea than his own. Speaking only Finnish, mostly nocturnal work hours and an Ambiguous Disorder cumulatively cause him to have limited non-professional interaction with the rest of the crew and to be extremely reliant on Tuuri to communicate with them.

Associated tropes:

  • Ambiguous Disorder: Signs of a possible disorder include No Social Skills, Cloudcuckoolander moments, a generally introverted personality, a tendency to withdraw or lash out when overwhelmed, and some degree of Hates Being Touched and cat-oriented Delusions of Doghood. He's otherwise able to do a job that entails being outside safe areas while the trolls are the most active on his own. It can't be entirely chalked up to his mage powers, as Onni and Reynir act quite normally in comparison to him. The author has attributed his behavior to "an extremely unconventional upbringing (and perhaps some underlying neural issues)" but also mentioned having no intent to put a name on it due to wanting to keep liberty both on how she writes him and how readers interpret him. invokedFanon has a diagnosis for him, but naming it here is outside of the Ambiguous Disorder trope's bounds.
  • Ancestral Weapon: His rifle used to belong to Ensi, his grandmother.
  • An Odd Place to Sleep: Under beds, on piles of books and paper, under a table when others are loudly eating and horsing around, while standing up, leaning on and over the back of a chair… Name a place that isn't a bed, and chances are Lalli has slept there.
  • Aura Vision: Part of the Finnish magic package.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: His wish-fulfillment coma dream includes being able to understand everyone else on the crew and not needing Tuuri to translate for him. Her death makes the little Swedish he has learned by that time the only way for him to communicate with the rest of the crew. Concerning his communication with Emil in particular, Sharing a Body with him was most likely not what he had in mind.
  • Big Little Brother: He's taller than Tuuri, but two years younger than her.
  • Blessed with Suck: He's an excellent mage, who gets numerous visions... unfortunately, he cannot actually block said visions. Leading to him being forced to see horrible nightmare things.
  • Book Dumb: It doesn't manifest as often as his other issues, but he has his moments, such as not recognizing a horse the first time he sees one in Sweden or being baffled by the globe in the antique shop due to having only ever worked with maps.
  • Brutal Honesty: Can land here, if you ask for his input. As Tuuri was reminded when she asked him what he thought Onni was up to. The guy just doesn't have enough in the way of social skills to sugar-coat anything in white lies. The good news is that if he has something good to say, you know he means it, too.
  • Buffy Speak: Things are likely going to be weird things. Unless they're some kind of weird stuff, instead.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: He really doesn't seem to follow what's going on around him very well, particularly when it comes to social situations. He honestly thought Tuuri had been telling bad jokes when she talked about joining the expedition for several months straight. Having said all that, he's often got a better handle on what is left either unsaid, pushed just out of sight or which completes the bigger picture than most give him credit for. He just can't communicate it well. Even in Finnish. Given what he occasionally gets to see when sleeping, even his habit of diving under tables for naps in company comes across as sensibly defensive, rather than outright nuts.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: What with his ditzy personality and Cloudcuckoolander tendencies, he at first seems to be a bit of an idiot. However, he has shown incredible speed when given a direct order, at one point stole the meat out of Emil's sandwich without Emil noticing, and is still both a monster-hunting sniper and an inherently talented mage.
  • Delusions of Doghood: Downplayed delusions of cathood in his case. He's perfectly aware that he's human, he just doesn't care that sitting on his haunches, sleeping in strange places, scratching doors when he wants others to open them and hissing at other living beings that bother him too much isn't exactly normal human behaviour.
  • Determinator: Pushing his "never fail" button gets him to perform acts of sheer, unmitigated stubbornness. Even when he's close to asleep on his feet. Comes back to bite him; fatigue + stubborn = dodgy judgment calls — however much grit you add.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: He saw Reynir running around in the "mage chatroom" before he actually joined the party. Reynir was probably still forgetting about his own dreams at the time.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: At the beginning of Chapter 11, he hopes to wake up from his Power-Strain Blackout-induced deep sleep to everyone thanking him for his hard work in their own way. Instead, he wakes up to the tank no longer in the campsite he worked so hard to secure, with everyone outside and too distracted by Kitty to notice he's walking around. Emil ended up on the receiving end of his frustration, which coming from Lalli meant covered in his breakfast.
  • Eloquent in My Native Tongue: Downplayed. Give him a fellow Finnish speaker, the benefit of dreamscape Translator Microbes or the need to vent, and he isn't that much of The Quiet One anymore. However, even with that in place, long speeches from him are few and far between.
  • Enraged by Idiocy: This seems to be a factor in his dislike of Reynir, as the latter being Easily Impressed by the sight of the omen in Chapter 11 causes Lalli to actually scold him for "looking stupid". Also, when he asks Tuuri to translate for himself and "the really stupid one", Tuuri has to ask him to be more specific.
  • Entertainingly Wrong: The result of his Sherlock Scan of Emil's dreamscape safe area. He notices the big size of the house, that Emil is being cared for by a woman who isn't his mother and that there is too much food for one person on the table. He comes to the conclusion that the place is an orphanage and that Emil was the only child who didn't get adopted.
  • Ethnic Magician: The Magical Finn has made a strong comeback, and Lalli is a prime example.
  • Fights Like a Normal: Being the only immune mage in the story means that he can take Rash creatures on in close combat and keep his magic only for things that can't be done without it.
  • Forest Ranger: As a Night scout, Lalli serves as a wilderness-based protector of Finnish territory, hunting trolls and beasts that stray too close using a rifle and his own stealth and tracking skills. In addition, his job entails staying in the forest for days on end, sleeping in the dangerous wilds during the day and sniping monsters in the dark at night.
  • Get Out!: His reaction to Reynir walking into his protected area uninvited.
  • Glowing Eyes: Seems to get these when he's being particularly magical and/or awesome. The fandom immediately dubbed it his Avatar state.
  • Had to Be Sharp: The only glimpse of life in Keuruu is seen through a flash-back centered around him. Both living there and family history has caused him to have a very strong opinion against making mistakes, as the known instances of himself or a family member making one prior to Chapter 8 have had very bad consequences. In addition, "everyone makes mistakes" is apparently not an argument to use around Onni.
  • Hairstyle Inertia: Different flash-backs show him at thirteen and before he left Saimaa (likely before his eighth birthday). Both show him to have the same hairstyle as in the present day.
  • Handshake Refusal: Does the "ignoring the offered hand" variant to both Emil and Mikkel upon meeting them. The latter's reaction in to gently force him into a handshake. Emil later tries a fist bump, that gets ignored as well.
  • Hates Being Touched: Downplayed. Patting him on the shoulders or grabbing him by them is acceptable if one is not a complete stranger, but Onni has to make a last-second switch from preparing for a Bear Hug to shoulder-patting when they reunite via dreamspace in Chapter 7.
  • Hypocritical Humor: In Chapter 1, he's worried about Emil being a weird person.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Thanks to him not really being a people person, he can have moments where he just plain comes across as rude, distant or even outright… catty (no pun intended). But, he doesn't actually mean to be mean for the vast majority of it. If you ask him something even as a polite nothing, you'd better be prepared for an honest answer without any social flannel wrapping it in warm fuzziness, that's all.
  • Irony: He dislikes Reynir, but is also the only person of the team to take his mage powers seriously for a decent chunk of Adventure I.
  • In the Hood: Wears some sort of Scandinavian hood/hat as part of his mage uniform, which obscures his face in his full-body illustration on the Character page.
  • I Work Alone: He says it pretty clearly when talking about Emil to Tuuri, though it seems to be more because he isn't used to the idea than his being gruff or abrasive. Night Scouts in general seem to prefer this.
  • Kidnapped by the Call: Well, "roped into it by Tuuri" to be "shoved/ dragged most of the way onto a boat/ onto a train" does count — even if he hopped the rest of the way by himself. Especially as he was rather fuzzy about what the call actually was, to start with.
  • A Lesson Learned Too Well: "You can't afford to make mistakes" was drilled into him hard enough that he can land on the wrong side of the Determinator trope while trying to fix a mistake he made.
  • Mage Marksman: He's always carrying a rifle, and is seen actually using it in Chapter 13.
  • Magical Incantation: Finnish magic is spell-based.
  • Man Bites Man: In keeping with his cat-like quirks, this is his response to Reynir grabbing and yelling at him.
  • My Greatest Failure: The source of his "never fail" button is an incident from year 84 during which him putting a Mathematician's Answer in a scout report caused soldiers from Keuruu to venture into a dangreous area and four people to be killed.
  • My Hovercraft Is Full of Eels: When trying to write a letter in Swedish, a sentence ment to be "Be well" comes out as "butter good".
  • The Night Owl: A consequence of his work schedule. This gradually fades away as the story goes on, between technically also being the day scout on the first mission and his leisure time being more and more spent tagging along with Emil, who has a more standard sleep schedule.
  • No Social Skills: He doesn't really like being around other people, which gives him little motivation to practice them. Tuuri is frequently seen correcting his manners. He's otherwise a good person at heart, just Innocently Insensitive for obvious reasons. The quote at the beginning of his sheet happens after getting a Smack on the Back from Sigrun and a friendly punch from Emil in short succession, and not getting the meaning of the gestures.
  • Not Good with People: Being a Finnish mage entails a lot of interaction with spirits and the country's gods, holding a conversation with another living human being is another story.
  • Occult Blue Eyes: While many of the characters have blue eyes due to their Nordic heritage, Lalli apparently can manage a fairly terrifying and piercing stare which may or may not have something to do with his abilities as a mage.
  • Odd Friendship: Developing one with Emil. Whether he quite realises it or not.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Considering that Lalli barely ever emotes, even Sigrun knows that a look of absolute fear on his face is no laughing matter.
  • Panthera Awesome: His luonto is an Eurasian lynx, and quite impressive when it shows up.
  • Percussive Prevention: A magic-induced variation is his answer to Emil getting taken over by the Compelling Voice of something that wants to eat him. Emil can't walk into a deadly trap if he can't move, after all.
  • Picky Eater: Tuuri tells Emil he "doesn't really like anything". In practice there is the fact that he's quite thin and stole only the meat from Emil's sandwich.
  • Power-Strain Blackout: This happens to him at some point, and he ends up in a Deep Sleep until he recovers.
  • The Quiet One: Played with. He doesn't talk much, though that's mainly because of the language barrier. He's perfectly willing to talk with Tuuri.
  • Raised by Grandparents: According to invokedWord of God, Ensi basically took him away from him parents to train him at a very young age and didn't let them have much say in his upbringing.
  • The Seer: Ominous dreams, some advanced warning of trollish nearness and direction, fairly weird? All checked.
  • Sensor Character: As Finnish mage, he can detect the nearby presence of trolls. His profession means he's seen using this ability more often than other characters who technically have it.
  • Shared Family Quirks: He has inherited his great-grandfather's motion sickness. Quite appropriately, his second name is "Saku".
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: He's just as much a cat person as he is a people person, which causes him to have this sentiment towards Kitty. His coma dream has her in a wastebasket and the info page with the crew's drawings of Kitty has Lalli's be the only one depicting her as hostile.
  • Sleep Deprivation: His rather chaotic sleeping hours result in him sometimes working while explicitly sleep deprived, to the point that it can be hard to tell whether his lastest Innocently Insensitive moment comes from this or his lack of social skills.
  • Sleepy Head: There is a reason the original expedition plan included both a day and a night scout. He's sometimes needed during the day after having spent the night looking for a safe path, which causes him to doze off whenever he can manage it during the day shift. His very inclusive criteria for what makes a good sleeping place only make this more likely.
  • The Stoic: Doesn't really react that extremely to anything that goes on while pretty much accepting whatever comes his way and has a surprisingly cool head in what others would consider a crisis. Even if he is left cringing by his dreams. Or making a relatively mild, stubborn fuss over what others would consider something trivial, but which is, for him, anything but. He's admirably patient and level-headed, all things considered.
  • Sure, Let's Go with That: His attitude towards Emil deciding that their Sharing a Body situation is a Sanity Slippage induced case of Hearing Voices. Considering that Lalli himself seems to be bemused by the situation and Emil has been believing in magic for less than twenty-four hours at that point, it's probably for the best.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: When he starts understanding enough Swedish to notice Emil's Innocently Insensitive side while already in a depressive mindset, the ensuing rant against Emil ends with claiming he "never liked [Emil's] annoying face anyway".
  • Synchronization: Implied to have this with Tuuri to some extent when her death by drowning causes his chest to hurt enough to lose his balance off his seat.
  • They're Called "Personal Issues" for a Reason: He reacts quite poorly to being asked about his childhood by Emil. Emil is fortunately understanding.
  • Those Two Guys: Eventually develops this dynamic with Emil, albeit its mainly due to the fact that Emil is the only one who put any effort into building a relationship with him, with both of them learning a bit of the other's tongue. As such, Lalli tends to cling onto him. Becomes noticiably more pronounced when Tuuri dies, leaving Emil as the only one who can broadly communicate with him, which causes Lalli to depend on him even more.
  • Too Much Alike: With the entire cat species.
  • Trauma Button: Telling him he hasn't been doing his job correctly, due to the fact a previous failure at his job resulted in four soldiers from Keuruu dying. His reaction to it is to try to set things right immediately, even if he has to put himself into Power-Strain Blackout to do so.
  • Tsundere: The guy should really not be approached when he wants to be alone, but can very well decide to sit next to someone on a whim or attempt to comfort them while they are distressed.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: His side of the friendship with Emil, especially after events arrange themselves so that they can speak to each other. It's part his own social skills being just that bad, part his reaction to Emil being a little clumsy in that domain himself.
  • Weirdness Coupon: His mage powers, Ambiguous Disorder, poor education, general solitary nature and the way they interact with each other result in someone who acts way out of established social norms, even by the crew's standards. Tuuri, however, seems to be confusing this trope with outright dismissing his personal input on a situation.
  • Wounded Hero, Weaker Helper: Emil is the only other person around when he has his second Power-Strain Blackout.

    Emil Västerström

"You can get a bruise on your face?"

The team cleanser, a Swedish Pretty Boy trained in the use of explosives and flamethowers. Coming from a wealthy background, he was originally going to be an academic before his family lost all their money. The latter event resulted in him finding his true calling in the military, but the shift in both lifestyle and career is recent enough that his general attitude has yet to completely catch up to it. This also makes him by far the least experienced of the crew's military members.

Associated tropes:

  • Agent Scully: He has fallen into this by Chapter 15. Chapter 12 has Reynir's anti-ghost rune catch fire in his pocket. Chapter 13 has him notice explosions happen in places in which he knows he didn't put any explosives, eventually followed by Onni's summon coming out of his flamethrower. Chapter 14 has him wish he could ask Lalli about magic, but Chapter 15 has him still explicitly consider Lalli someone who "believes in magic stuff".
  • Ash Face: Gets one in the exploding house scene in Chapter 11.
  • Assurance Backfire: He deserves an "Oh, boy!" for this trope, as it ended up backfiring on him as well. His idea of reassuring Lalli in Chapter 15 was to basically give him an "everything will be all right" speech at a moment that ended up being just hours before Tuuri's death. Lalli already knew the event in question was coming sooner or later, which caused the speech to be a deal breaker in their friendship as far as he was concerned. As for Emil, it's very unlikely that event occured without him realizing just how misplaced his optimism was.
  • A-Team Firing: Emil can hit a barn door. Except, not one he actually tries to. Spray and pray is his signature style, alright.
    • Somewhat justified in that he is a Cleanser, whose tools of the trade are flamethrowers and high-grade explosives.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Towards Lalli, even though he doesn't need it much. To his credit, Lalli can come across as less able to take care of himelf in dangerous situations than he actually is. And since he didn't believe in magic up to Chapter 16 of Adventure I, an important piece of Lalli's arsenal spent a long time not existing as far as he was concerned.
  • Big Ego, Hidden Depths: Introduced showing alive and well remnants of being a self-centered Rich Jerk, shown to have both an insecure and a quite caring side as the comic goes on. He's also shown to keep a relatively cool head in circumstances that bring others to lashing out point.
  • The Big Guy: While he isn't exactly physically imposing, he fills the role by being the team Cleanser, which is basically the military-term for “Person who wields the BFG” in this universe. Specifically, this includes sticks of dynamite and flamethrowers.
  • Bishie Sparkle: Seems to get these whenever he (or anyone else!) smooths out his hair, which is frequently. They can also be photographed.
  • Book Dumb: For all he had expensive, private tutors as a child, they seem to have done a half-arsed job of actually teaching him anything: when he had to join the public school system, he found out how behind he was. Of course, he put as much of a positive spin on this as he could and pretty much blames the school for having it in for him.
  • Buffy Speak: Let's just say he makes a few words like "dumb", "lame" and "weird" do a lot of work.
  • City Mouse: Compared to the the other members of the crew, who either come from countries that have been hit harder by the loss of technology than Sweden or rural areas.
  • Closest Thing We Got: After Tuuri's death, the very little Finnish he's picked up by that point makes him the closest thing to a Finnish speaker who isn't named Lalli in the crew.
  • Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: Hanging around with Lalli so much has occasionally caused him te become this by default. Later events of the story contrive to give him the job on a more permanent basis.
  • Comforting Comforter: Does this for Lalli while he's sleeping in a chair in Chapter 8.
  • Condescending Compassion: There are a few moments of this in his side of his friendship with Lalli. While Emil is fairly accepting of Lalli's quirks and genuinely cares about him, his friendly gestures sometimes cross the line into this due to him underestimating the extent to which Lalli can take care of himself.
  • Demolitions Expert: The job of Cleansers includes burning any place that could be hiding trolls, then blowing up anything that survives the fire.
  • The Engineer: Combat flavor. His training is in using incendiaries and explosives, and he specialises in heavy demolitions; like all Cleansers do.
  • Expressive Hair: When his hair is mussed, or otherwise out of it's usual fabulous place in any way, you get a helpful insight into his inner world.
  • Face Death with Dignity: When he's trapped in a bathroom, trolls breaking down the door, with seemingly no way to escape, Emil decides to take a knee, point his rifle at the door, and die like a proper Swede.
  • Fire-Breathing Weapon: Sometimes seen using a flamethrower.
  • First Friend: He's the first member of the crew to whom Lalli warms up, and is later confirmed to be the first friend he ever made.
  • Flat-Earth Atheist: This is how most Swedes are seen in-universe, since they do not attribute any of their success to the Gods like the Icelanders and Norwegians do, and don't believe in magic. He even mocks Lalli's job description as a mage and while it was still ambiguous at the time, by now the comic's given a fairly good proof that supernatural is real in this world. He gets better about it after witnessing Lalli doing magic with his own eyes in a late chapter of Adventure I.
  • Formerly Fat: As seen in a flashback, was quite chubby before joining the military.
  • Friendless Background: Heavily implied, given how enthusiastic the dream manifestation of his nanny seems at the idea he "finally" made a friend upon noticing Lalli.
  • Friend to All Children: He's quite doting towards his younger cousins and they seem quite fond of him in return.
  • Glory Seeker: He spells this out as his motivation in Chapter 2, considering the expedition a means to show the world what he's capable of. He expects to come back from it as a famous hero.
  • Go Through Me: He does this to protect Lalli when the troll breaches the train in Chapter 3.
  • The Handler: Effectively replaces the fallen Tuuri in this role for Lalli in Adventure II. His Finnish is somewhat decent, while Lalli's Swedish is also on the way, which coupled with their closer friendship allows them to understand each other pretty well. Its very clear later on as even Sigrun falls immediately back on Emil to communicate something (or translate from) to Lalli (which also makes Tuuri's absence all the more glaring)
  • Hearing Voices: He rationalizes the Sharing a Body situation below as the insane variant of the trope.
  • Homeschooled Kids: A complete inversion of the usual end result, which caused him to do quite badly in the public school system. This also the reason he doesn't know Icelandic, which is usually a mandatory subject for the academic path he was taking before joining the army.
  • If Only You Knew: Thanks to having spent Adventure I being The Friends Who Never Hang with Reynir, he gets a moment of this when he assumes nobody in the group actually wants to visit Bornholm in early Adventure II. Bornholm is the place Reynir thought the crate in which he hid was going to.
  • Improbable Hairstyle: Just how on Earth in this After the End setting does he manage keep his hair that soft, flowing and sparkly? Minna has stated that good genetics factor into that, but it's about it.
  • Improvised Weapon: He destroyed an entire building using some gasoline and a few flares.
  • Innocent Bigot: On a meta level, the combination of his questionable formal education and the Nordics having lost contact with the rest of the world leave him able to recognize Chinese, but unable to name it properly. This applies to him in-universe in that he seems to consider both Norway and Finland as less civilized than Sweden, but otherwise holds no ill feelings towards their residents.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Quite a bit of his jerky behaviour comes across as him just being... rather too self-absorbed to get why it might be seen as highly annoying. Pity the poor guy on the bunk under him. Just pity him.
  • I See Dead People: As a side effect of Sharing a Body with Lalli in later chapters.
  • It's All About Me: Yes, Emil. We get it: you're fantastically brilliant, terribly attractive and destined for great things as this trip will prove... Just shut up about it. Please. (He gets better as he goes along, but does still show up.)
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: While he is insensitive and egotistical, he's not really a bad guy. For example, when Lalli steals the meat from his sandwich, he doesn't get upset about it — he just gets another one. And one for Lalli, too.
  • Jumped at the Call: He doesn't say it straight, but he was at a loose end and facing being the lowest rung on the military ladder with the slowest career path of anybody in recent history. This expedition could sidestep a whole lot of issues (if it doesn't break him). And, the extra money he's been told it could bring in? Icing with a cherry on top.
  • The Klutz: Working very hard on gaining this reputation: if he's around something fragile for too long, the odds are good it will get broken or messed up. From shirts, mirrors, books and, rather less accidentally, whole dilapidated buildings.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: The gap between what his education level is on paper and what it was in pratice causes a bad case of this. Any time he shows a glimpse of what he has learned during his childhood, it tends to be wrong information just asking to be corrected by Tuuri or Mikkel sooner or later. He's still more educated than Lalli, Sigrun and Reynir... who didn't get an academic education to speak of.
  • Language Fluency Denial: After the Denmark expedition, he uses his smatterings of Finnish to try getting out of an interview with a reporter who knows Swedish. Unfortunately, the reporter has a few smatterings of Finnish as well.
  • Leaning on the Furniture/Rebel Relaxation: Has a tendency to do this. Played for laughs when he leans casually on the rearview mirror of their vehicle and it breaks off. However, this small incident starts a chain reaction which eventually leads to a whole extra team member.
  • Lonely Rich Kid:
    • This first line of dialogue spoken while Emil is dreaming of his childhood lifestyle is him getting told by his nanny that his father won't be able to be home in time for dinner due to having too much work. The rest of the scene heavily implies this is far from being the first time.
    • The Friendless Background aspect of it is hinted at as well, when upon noticing Lalli, the dream manifestation of his nanny is happy to see he "finally" made a friend.
  • Long Pants: His uniform's coloring makes it so that it's easy to forget that his boots and gloves are separate garments from his pants and jacket respectively.
  • Lovable Coward: His reactions to trolls so far are less "stand still and stay silent" and more "open fire on full auto, run and scream". This being said, he's quite a likable character and even needs to be held back when he thinks Lalli might be in danger.
  • Mad Bomber: His close-up illustration on the Characters page of the site is singed and smoking, and has a pretty big grin. In addition, he's shown holding lit sticks of dynamite in his full-body illustration, as well as in a couple of other non-comic illustrations done by the author. He also carted a large suitcase full of military grade explosives across Sweden, and when he saw the stacks upon stacks of flammable substances being loaded onto the Cat-Tank, he started to giggle uncontrollably.
  • Neat Freak: In addition to his job basically being to raze the wilderness and “clean” the earth of monster-harboring ruins and forests, he also makes a fairly big deal about having to sleep on a public sofa in a train station, to the point of laying his coat down so he wouldn't have to touch it.
  • Nephewism: His parents are absent enough from the narrative that readers who skipped both his introductory title card and the family tree can be excused for mistaking him for Torbjörn and Siv's oldest son. The fact that one of his cousins is basically a kid version of him in appearance doesn't help matters.
  • Never My Fault: If a bad situation is technically due to a mix of his own actions and other factors, he will immediately decide that only the other factors are to blame for it.
  • New Meat: This comes to light during the train attack: he might be military, likes his booms and knows some of the theory, but he's never actually faced anything like that live giant before. This contrasts directly with Lalli who definitely isn't lacking in hands-on, beastly experiences.
  • No Social Skills: When socializing, he has trouble finding a middle ground between being so cautious about the impression he's giving that it becomes annoying and forgetting that other people exist and have feelings.
  • Odd Friendship: With Lalli: he's the one mainly and consistently working at it, though... even with that language barrier in the way. But, not exclusively so: if Lalli manages to spot when he needs a little comfort, he does try dishing it out. In pat-code.
  • Only Friend: Adventure II confirms that he's Lalli's First Friend, and Lalli doesn't come anywhere close to being friends with anyone else than Emil before Adventure I ends.
  • Open Mouth, Insert Foot: Emil is rather prone to contracting this for somebody who cares so much for first impressions...
  • Pet the Dog: Emil shows genuine concern for an infected dog, both before and after it tries to kill him.
  • Powers via Possession: A low-key version during his Sharing a Body stint with Lalli, during which he had the ability to see and hear troll spirits, but otherwise couldn't use magic.
  • Pretty Boy: Recognized in-universe, with Taru confirming to Tuuri that all Swedish people are pretty, but noting that in this particular case, he is not tall. In addition, Emil himself constantly straightens and smooths out his hair, and seems to have this opinion of himself.
  • Princess in Rags: He checks quite a few boxes for a male example of this, via still having an inappropriately high opinion of himself, complaining about running into the same obstacles to getting various things done as most people, and having a long-term objective of getting his former standard of living back.
  • Pyromaniac: His first suggestion when confronted with a snowdrift halting progress is to create a massive bonfire. He has a flashback of when he discovered his true calling; I.E. A recruitment poster for the Cleansers (soldiers who specialize in demolitions and arson). A close up shows that flames were literally dancing in his eyes at the thought.
  • Recurring Dreams: The dream in the middle of which Lalli finds him gives every indication of being recurring. He tells Lalli having him in it makes it different and it always ends before a certain point of the real event.
  • Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense: His introduction is full of remnants of the "poor in sense" part, such as bringing his luggage up a bunch of stairs when the building actually had an elevator, showing up a day early because he didn't grasp how much time a boat took to go from Finland to Sweden and later turning out to have brought explosives into Mora without a permit.
  • Rushed Inverted Reading: Does this while sleeping in the station. Strictly speaking, people are not supposed to sleep on the sofas there, so Siv teaches him the Loophole Abuse trick of sleeping with an open book on one's face and claiming to have fallen asleep reading if caught by a guard. Emil ends up leaving the book on his face upside-down, which causes his act of picking the book up from his face and pretending to resume reading it when a guard wakes him up to no be very convincing.
  • Sexy Scandinavian: Tuuri expected him to be one before actually meeting him, and he does check be Pretty Boy box. The "tall" one, not so much (he's actually between Tuuri and Lalli in the crew's line-up by height).
  • Sharing a Body: While recovering from magic overuse that kicked his consciousness from his own body, Lalli settles in Emil's dream space safe area. This shows to be more than a technicality when Lalli turns out to still be able to speak to Emil after he wakes up.
  • Skeptic No Longer: The author comments on the page on which Lalli uses impressive magic right in front of him in Chapter 16 confirm that the event did the trick in terms of throwing Emil's doubts about magic out the window.
  • Skewed Priorities: When encoutering an Acid Attack capable troll, he's more worried about the possibility of the acid getting on his face than it reaching his vital organs.
  • Skilled, but Naïve: He is a competent Cleanser, capable of cobbling together homemade explosives capable of demolishing an entire building on the fly, but as his job revolves around killing trolls by setting fire to their dens and patiently waiting for them to burn to ashes, he is completely lost and terrified when he's actually required to fight them.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Due to being pampered and free to do only what he liked when his family was rich, he keeps assuming that he's awesome, and that his subsequent failures in the regular world are due to people trying to sabotage him.
  • Spoiled Brat: His family may have hit the relative skids, but he retains his early training in how to be a rich idiot. Some of his old life gets shown in Chapter 17, where he's seen refusing to have the same cake for breakfast and his dinner dessert. The nanny's response is to promptly produce another cake for his dessert.
  • Squee!: Most people don't react with strings of these when they see boxes with pictorial warning signs about the potential for flamy destruction. Emil is not most people.
  • Stress Vomit: One of his first reactions to getting back to safety after the first book salvaging mission.
  • Sweet Tooth: In his youth. The flash-back to it shows him refuse to have a given cake for his dinner dessert because he already had a piece of it for breakfast.
  • Those Two Guys: Eventually develops this dynamic with Lalli, albeit its mainly due to the fact that he is the only one who put any effort into building a relationship with him, with both of them learning a bit of the other's tongue. As such, Lalli tends to cling onto him. Becomes noticiably more pronounced when Tuuri dies, leaving Emil as the only one who can broadly communicate with him, which causes Lalli to depend on him even more.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Becomes dramatically more competent in close quarters combat with trolls over the course of Adventure I, shedding the Skilled, but Naïve traits descrived above.
  • Weak-Willed: Outright stated by Lalli, where the Compelling Voice from the trollified spirits is concerned.
  • While Rome Burns: While the full story behind his recurring dream has yet to be revealed, it apparently involves him eating dinner while buildings in his town are burning, with the fire being visible from a window of the room in which he's eating. He mentions that the real fire eventually spread to his house.
  • You Must Be Cold: Does this for Lalli in Chapter 8, when he goes outside without wearing most of his gear and he starts getting overwhelmed by Tuuri's scolding over the mistake he made in scouting the route.

    Sigrun Eide

"We'll wreck this city up real good, and take everything we find! What do you say? Are you with me?"

The captain of the expedition, from Norway. As a Military Brat who spent her entire life in the Hunter of Monsters division of the army, she knows the ins and outs of Rash creature tracking, fighting and killing. Her pride in her own track record and hunger for action may be equaled only by her A Father to His Men style care for the other members of the crew, should they be facing trolls or more mundane trouble.

Assosciated tropes:

  • Are You Sure You Can Drive This Thing?: Well, she was fairly sure she could have a decent enough shot at it. Answer: no. Don't let her drive anything heavier than a scooter. Crunching gears is the least of your worries.
  • Blood Knight: This is increasingly becoming likely. She's rather enthusiastic to find likely troll-y trouble. Alone, if possible. She also mentions to not have gone into seafaring because sea beasts are most often killed via getting them on land and making them stay there, which she likes a lot less than killing her foe with her own hands.
  • Book Dumb: Yup. She's not exactly totally illiterate, even though she's not the best-educated one in the party by a long way. What sparse academic education she does have is in her native Norwegian, however. Shame her notes on the party are in Icelandic. And, she manages to stomp on Mikkel's love of reading quite thoroughly:
    Sigrun: Sooo you're just gonna read stuff... voluntarily, is that what you're saying? *face an animated picture of disgusted disbelief*
  • Buffy Speak: Her approach to both grammar and vocabulary is somewhat Spartan: things tend to be things and stuff. Also, "most best", anybody?
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: In spite of behaving like an overeager ferret with a sugar high and a death wish, she's proven to be very capable, both as a leader and a fighter. If she were calmer and less Sigruny, she'd be a straight-up Sergeant Rock.
  • Cabin Fever: Shows the "wanting to get out" symptom one week into her stay on the quarantine ship.
  • The Captain: Technically, yes; this is her job description and rank. More realistically when it comes to the full trope package of dependability, responsibility and reliabilty, it is more downplayed. She leans more towards being an enthusiastic, if very mercurial, frontline Sergeant Rock who cares in her own way and who happens to wear Captain's stripes. She is prone to self-contradictory reasonableness/recklessness/both-at-once and stunning short-termism (even if it works). When the shit really hits the fan, though, she's shown to be very calm under pressure and puts the safety of her crew, especially the non-immune ones, before her own.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Downplayed. Sigrun's reality isn't quite like everybody else's, even though she isn't so far divorced from the baseline that alarm bells chime immediately upon meeting her. It's possibly a more fun, dynamic and badass place, but you occasionally find yourself asking questions about how sustainable it is.
  • Consummate Liar: Oh, dear. Her go-to solution for thorny problems or questions from people higher up the food chain? Lie like hell. On the plus-side: she's really, really good at lying with a straight face and usually does it in defence of others, not just herself.
  • Dented Iron: The end result of letting an infection build up in the troll bite she took for Reynir.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Her first speaking part occurs nearly two full chapters before her official introduction, when she's visible in the background at Trond's retirement party.
  • Fiery Redhead: She has red hair, and is obviously quite an extrovert.
  • Finishing Stomp: She makes sure the small troll from Chapter 9 is dead by stepping on its head.
  • Game-Breaking Injury: As of Chapter 13, her incorrectly healed troll bite is officially crippling in battle.
  • Genki Girl: She's definitely... enthusiastic. Almost into Suicidal Overconfidence territory, at times.
  • Had to Be Sharp: She keeps heavily implying that troll hunting in Norway is such an environment, between considering the expedition a vacation by comparison, considering Emil and Lalli competent on the sole basis that they didn't die on the first mission and having acquired a hate of backtracking due to her record of being ambushed while doing it.
  • Hopeless with Tech: A "doesn't even know the basics" variant, even by year 90 standards. She greatly underestimates the difficulties of driving and manages to use binoculars wrong. During the episode of Reynir's arrival, someone else is always holding the microphone to her mouth because she doesn't realize she has to speak into a specific part of the radio and yells in its general direction instead.
  • Hunter of Monsters: She's one by profession.
  • I Can Still Fight!: Did all her fights in Chapters 12 and 13 with what turned out to be an infected wound in Chapter 14. Deconstructed both via the fact that Mikkel would have treated it if she had told him earlier and the fact that the pain acted up at the worst moment possible.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Delicate on your psychological toes she isn't. But, there doesn't appear to be much targeted malice to her occasionally insulting words and behaviour. She... just isn't interested in being wishy-washy.
  • It Has Been an Honor: When she starts getting doubts about Lalli's capacity to find a safe path in Chapter 8, her response is to tell the rest of the crew that is was nice knowing them and that she hopes she'll be able to have a chat with them in Valhalla.
  • Irony: The wound she incurred keeping Reynir from getting bitten acting up prevented her from killing the troll that ended up biting Tuuri.
  • Jumped at the Call: Not so much "jumped" as "committed bodily harm to grab" the call. Vacation mission!
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Under normal circumstances, Sigrun comes across as a hyperactive goofball who's somewhat detached from reality. When the shit really hits the fan, though, she's been shown to keep a cool head under pressure, prioritize the safety of her crew over her own, and kill a sjødraug by walking it to death.
  • Made of Iron: Over the course of chapters 9 and 10, which take place over about 48 hours, she's attacked and badly bitten by a troll, has her life force sucked out by a ghost to the point of unconsciousness, gets used as a whack-a-mole by a tentacle monster, almost drowns in icy water, and ends up having to walk in soaking wet clothes in sub-zero temperatures to get back to the tank since she ordered them to get as far away from the action as possible. Her reaction? Yawns and goes to sleep.
  • Meat Versus Veggies: Definitely on the meat side of the conflict. The second food crate in which Reynir did not hide was full of vegetables. When the radio communication intended to tell Mission Control about Reynir got opened, she first complained about the vegetable crate containing "garbage food", and only after that got around mentioning the young man in the canned tuna crate.
    • She does seem to eat fruit, on the other hand. She boasts "knowing all the fruits" and describes a mandarin's taste by comparing it to that of a lemon.
  • Metaphorically True/ Weasel Words: Has a gift for trotting out quick-fire "truths"... that kind of are slightly embroidered, creative truth-lites from the wrong angle — or are actually correctly described, if you're using a rather specialised dictionary of evasions. With that incredibly expressive, yet still poker face of hers.
  • Mildly Military: She has little concern for operational procedures, orders of rank or other "proper" military stuff. Then again, she seems to be rather effective.
  • Military Brat: Both of her parents are generals in the Norwegian army and her entire life has turned around the military.
  • Motor Mouth: She doesn't exactly have a problem getting the engine going, that's for sure. She can also talk over others once she's on track. But, she's not the worst example you'll meet, what with not quite making it into full-scale Wall of Blather. Yet.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Her refusal to properly take care of her arm wound means she was too slow to catch the troll that ended up biting (and dooming) Tuuri.
  • The Nicknamer: With the lone exception of Emil, Sigrun rarely if ever calls any of her teammates by name, instead resorting to nicknames like "Little Fuzzy-Head" (Tuuri), "Little Forest Mage Guy" (Lalli) and "Freckles" (Reynir). Whether she's just bad with names or there's some other reason is yet to be seen.
  • No Indoor Voice: She does have a few settings available, but, unfortunately for Lalli's ears, she tends to forget which one you use in confined spaces when she's in a jubilant mood.
  • No Listening Skills: That side of her tends to show up when Mikkel disapproves of her plans.
  • Out of Focus: She and Mikkel get hit the hardest with this in Adventure II as they dont quite have pronounced character arcs like Reynir, their past is barely explored, unlike Emil's. They are also disconnected from the bigger Myth Arc regarding the Hotakainen family thanks to lacking any close connection to the members of the family or the mystical world, which are the factors allowing Emil and Reynir to be more involved. Just barely downplayed by the fact that Sigrun has built a bit of a relationship with Emil and Lalli.
  • Resentful Guardian: Her initial reaction to being told Reynir is going to have to stay with the crew. If those scars on her arm are anything to go by, she gets better about it later. Downplayed when Reynir chooses to tag along in Adventure II, as they get along a bit better so they pass the time by playing Rock-paper-scissors-
  • Reverse Telescopic Vision: She uses binoculars the wrong way while waiting for the boat carrying their food supplies.
  • Sleepy Head: The infection of her troll bite causes her to feel sick in Chapter 15, causing a couple of scenes where she's dozing off outside of normal sleeping hours.
  • Smoking Barrel Blowout: She does this to a Finger Gun. That she used to kill the "sheep" Reynir brought into a rock-paper-scissors game.
  • Statuesque Stunner: She towers over the rest of the main cast, except for Mikkel. The character profiles for the second adventure include heights, and she's stated to be 184cm, or six feet tall.
  • Survivor Guilt: She gets hit quite hard with this when Emil and Lalli seemingly die in addition to Tuuri actually being dead. While she has seen plenty of fellow troll hunters die over the years, her sentiment is that the tragedies that happened during the expedition were things she should have been able to protect their victims from.
  • Taught by Experience: Little of her education in how to fight trolls has been classroom-based... so if you're into overarching strategy using classical terminology, she's probably not your woman. She might come across as an overeager ferret on a sugar high: yet, that's very likely not the whole picture, however. Ferrets are fantastically pragmatically dogmatic fighters, and aren't actually thick, even if hyper.
  • Team Dad: Dynamic, leading from the front, permissive, encouraging group courage and actively pushing for battle-progress, quick to defend her own from any comers (including errant strangers), just as quick to apply put-downs when she deems them necessary, at seething and explosive loggerheads with the Team Mom... Yup: she's this trope — no contest.
  • Tempting Fate: This is a bit of a hobby for her. Comes in both Comic and Serious. Or, both at once.
  • Too Many Belts: The latest fashion in Year 90 Norway is wearing two crossed belts. She has re-created it on her uniform.
  • Tranquil Fury: Sure, she can explode like a carelessly stacked munitions bunker. But, that's almost better than watching her rein it in to seethe.
  • Wasn't That Fun?: Her adrenaline-induced reaction to narrowly escaping a building that turned out to be so troll-infested that Emil's reaction to it was blowing it up.

    Mikkel Madsen

"I will never not be a babysitter."

The Danish medic of the team. When there are no wounded to tend to or combatants to decontaminate, he keeps himself busy with most of the housekeeping tasks and taking an informal lead on the mission's research aspect. He is also the oldest, and possibly the most sane of the crew. That is, barring his habit of rotating between Deadpan Snarker, Brutal Honesty and The Gadfly towards subordinates and superiors in equal measure, which has caused him to frequently be "in-between jobs" and go back to working in his family farm from lack of other options.

Associated tropes:

  • Ambiguous Syntax: His in-comic interrupted "I'd say so. Well technically..." concerning him being the oldest of his siblings came before an All There in the Manual reveal that he was the youngest of a pair of twins, that contained no clear indication of his brother Michael's current status. A casual confirmation that Michael was still alive came only much later. In the meantime, the interrupted statement could be interpreted both as Mikkel about to mention that he technically has an older brother or Mikkel stating to technically be the oldest, which would have hinted to something having happened to Michael.
  • An Odd Place to Sleep: Seems to have the knack of dozing wherever and whenever it is feasible. Even if that means standing up. Next to a wall. In an abandoned city.
  • And Your Reward Is Edible: He gives cookies to Lalli to let him know his efforts are appreciated despite the fact that they don't share a language. Lalli's wish-fulfillment dream in Chapter 11 also has Mikkel promise to prepare a feast.
  • A-Team Firing: He manages to hit Emil's leg instead of the small troll in Chapter 9, and in Chapter 18 only hits around the target when demonstrating his rifle skills.
  • Badass Bookworm: In many ways, he comes across as having a much broader knowledge-base than Tuuri does. And, she practically has to wrestle him for initial control over the books (she, unsurprisingly, loses), even though she's officially The Bard. He also shows signs of being a lot more use in a fight than Sigrun gives him credit for, if only because he's strong (bad aim be damned). But, mainly because he can think longer term than she can.
  • Bait-and-Switch Comment: When the tank breaks down for good, he comments that it luckily happened close enough to their extraction spot that a lightly equipped person in good condition could get there in two days with ease. He goes on to say that where the crew itself is concerned, it will take a week.
  • Bookworm: His basic response to the haul can be summed up thusly: "My books!" He outright claims dibs on what gets selected to copy, first (which means he gets to critique it before anybody else).
  • Brutal Honesty: When delivering bad news, he tends to keep it short, simple, to the point and as blunt as a cosh to the side of the head. At least it's over with quickly.
  • Close-Range Combatant: He's sufficently aware of how disastrous he is at properly aiming with a rifle to not even consider it an option for him in a real combat situation.
  • Comically Inept Healing: Discussed. When Emil gets his first crack in his "magic is not real" stance and turns to him for support on it, Mikkel turns out to be in the same place as him ever since he worked alongside a Norwegian healing-oriented mage. What left him pondering was noticing her patients were recovering as fast as his own. The conversation quickly brought up that Mikkel being this trope was the alternative to the woman's powers actually doing something.
  • Crowbar Combatant: Crowbars and other ironmongery of various degrees of simplicity are his thing. Mainly because he can't shoot for toffee. Being a big guy means this can prove effective.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Don't give this guy an opening: he goes for the jugular with one of the finer poker faces you'll ever see. (Poor, poor Emil-the-sitting-duck.) Enjoys understatement, outright sarcasm, complex wordplay and puns nobody else gets: all part of a Passive-Aggressive Kombat buffet menu.
  • Exact Words: His response to Emil asking what he puts in the pot is a guarantee that nothing he's feeding the rest of the crew is inedible. It's probably true, but the reason Emil was asking in the first place was him implying that his cooking includes non-conventional ingredients.
  • Eyes Always Shut: To all intents and purposes, yes. Mikkel dodges a clear look at his eye colour well beyond his introduction. It's not that we don't get to see he has eyes, but the odds are rather good they won't actually be fully open on any given page. He also tends to avoid direct eye contact with other characters.
  • Farm Boy: Well, he was one before going forth to take up the other fine, family tradition of being fired from any other job going. From a well-established, rather large and well-to-do family farm.
  • Flat-Earth Atheist: He's visibly exasperated when Reynir mentions seeing ghosts and Sigrun believes him, then only refers to them as "ghosts" (with audible quotes), despite the expedition including a mage.
  • The Gadfly/ Troll: It seems that popping overblown egos and unrealistic expectations is as much of what he's about as popping boils is. If not more so. He can, however, cross the line dividing Gadfly from Troll if you accidentally punch the wrong button... Which goes quite some way towards explaining how it could be he gets to change jobs so regularly. This is not-so-good when he scythes you down several pegs... and, he's the one who has got the picture wrong.
  • Human Pack Mule: The Stout Strength below combined with the crew's unofficial book salvaging mission causes him to be considered this. While it comes up in discussion as early as Chapter 5, the demonstration happens in Chapter 11.
  • Identical Twin Id Tag: Minna has drawn a picture of him with his twin brother Michael. Michael doesn't wear sideburns, is much better at the whole smiling thing and technically the oldest according to the picture's description.
  • Innocently Insensitive: His lack of belief in magic has caused him to be less than supportive of Reynir's efforts to make himself useful via that channel and see no harm in passing on Sigrun's snarky comments about them unedited.
  • Irony: Reynir grew up never remembering his dreams, to the point of being convinced he never dreams. Mikkel's response to hearing about it was to tell him that he probably does and just doesn't remember it. During the first dream he ends up remembering, Reynir runs into Onni, who mistakes him for a full fledged mage and adresses him as such. That makes Flat-Earth Atheist Mikkel basically responsible for Reynir's discovery of his mage powers.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He can snark at full-throttle going from a cold, standing start in less than three seconds; he's a devil with pranks, and is the deadpan-meister thanks to the most stoic exterior in the group. But, he's also the first to rush you off your feet or away to safety if there's even the remotest chance you might actually be hurt. He's also the one to see to the little things... like the proper drying of socks and the wrapping in of insomniacs.
  • Kindly Housekeeper: Effectively the team housekeeper, the Team Mom and quite a large man.
  • Lifesaving Misfortune: It's heavily implied that he wasn't in Kastrup when it fell because he got fired a week before the fateful day.
  • The Medic: If the great, big and very red cross on his bag doesn't clue you in, his bone-dry sense of cuttingly dark humour will.
  • Mysterious Past: The mutiple jobs from which he got fired definitely set him up for one of these. He mentions working with a Norwegian crew at some point and getting "relocated" from Kastrup a week before it fell. He also worked under admiral Olsen at some point. What he was up to right before the mission comes across as more of a Sure, Let's Go with That to Sigrun's guess.
  • Not So Stoic
    • Well done, the Sigrun-and-Tuuri tag team! You managed to crack his sangfroid nicely together and get him to exhibit horror-panic with your antics!
    • When Reynir breaks away from the group and runs for the church to see if his suspicions are correct, Mikkel is furious when he catches up and verbally rips him a new one, for scaring Sigrun as much as anything else.
  • Not That Kind of Doctor: He's a medic; not a scientist, nor a doctor. Nor a veterinarian, either. And, he flatly corrects others... while dancing around what his actual qualifications are in a very subdued sort of way. He most likely has no doctorate in anything, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have skills (even though they might not be quite in the right areas).
  • Out of Focus: He and Sigrun get hit the hardest with this in Adventure II as they dont quite have pronounced character arcs like Reynir, their past is barely explored, unlike Emil's. They are also disconnected from the bigger Myth Arc regarding the Hotakainen family thanks to lacking any close connection to the members of the family or the mystical world, which are the factors allowing Emil and Reynir to be more involved. Made more glaring by the fact that Mikkel hasn't really built much of a relationship with the rest of the team besides Sigrun herself.
  • The Quiet One: Why talk when you really don't have to? Eloquent body language will do... He does talk, but he tends to reduce the word-count and stay out of it unless he considers himself needed.
  • The Shrink: He falls into the well-meaning, but not quite up to the task variant when it comes to Reynir, as he doesn't believe in the very thing that is overwhelming Reynir the most in later chapters. Reynir telling Onni he has nobody else to talk with about how afraid he is of the ghosts implies he didn't consider Mikkel an option.
  • The Smart One: When he does bother putting sentences together that aren't part of a prank or pure, one-line snark, he usually talks sense. The problem is, he's easily talked over by the resident Motor Mouth and gets overruled as a result.
  • The Stoic: Very little flaps him: from being yelled at full-throttle (just breaking the handkerchief out to wipe his face) to idiot commanders and team-mates (troll 'em in return when they're unsuspecting). He takes most things in stride.
  • Stout Strength: Other people may puff and pant when it comes to levering open a gate. He merely pootles over and does it in nothing flat. The downside is: he will puff and pant when it comes to trying to scale hillsides. He's not unfit, but he is a bit big to haul himself up a 1:3 gracefully. There's a lot of muscle there to add to the weight, too.
  • Team Chef: He's the one who handles the cooking. Besides his cookies (adored by Lalli), his meals tend to be on the barely edible side. This may or may not have some small something to do with that crate of candles the team initially got delivered instead of their food supply. Worse, the very unbalanced replacements (tuna, tuna, tuna, some oatmeal, veggies and randomly assorted, mostly-used oddments) got the unplanned inclusion of an extra mouth to feed. All of which replaced any hope of attractive menu-planning with a roulette wheel of a store cupboard and a ticking down timer.
    • The fact that the ten-year-old canned fish from the Danish reclamation outpost (still edible, but taste long gone) is considered an upgrade compared to his meals by Reynir says a lot about how they tasted.
  • Team Mom: He who gets people fed, tries to inject common sense, decontaminates errant returnees, patches the hurt up, quietly sees to everybody's creature comforts, constantly petitions for restraint, and seems to have a handle on most psychologies even though his bedside manner is rather... abrupt. Oh, and seems to be on a passive-aggressive (on his end), one-man undermining mission when it comes to the Team Dad and her proposals. Yup.
  • Tempting Fate: He has his moments of this as well.
  • Translator Buddy: After Tuuri's death, he's the only one able to translate for Reynir.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: His combat skills boil down to hitting things with a crowbar. But because of his Stout Strength, he hits quite hard, provided he gets his intended target.

    Reynir Árnason

"I can be useful, I promise!"

An Icelandic sheep herder who wanted to visit the other Nordic countries, after growing up on stories about the outside world. He got more than he bargained for when he chose the worse time possible to hide in a food crate about to get unloaded from the merchant ship he was riding. While he's on the same boat as Tuuri immunity-wise, the fact that he was first seen in a place only accessible to mages hints that he may not be as devoid of useful abilities as he first seems.

Associated tropes:

  • Accidental Misnaming: He got Lalli's name wrong a couple of times in Chapter 7, where he was still having trouble remembering everyone's name correctly.
  • Achievements in Ignorance: He only knows of Onni's more combative side and doesn't realize that the real Onni is very reluctant to leave his comfort zone. Which causes him to repeatedly get Onni to do just that. And in one out of the three cases, the crew wasn't even in any kind of immediate danger.
  • Action Survivor: He had a couple of close encounters with trolls over the course of the expedition in spite of the rest of the crew's best efforts, and he's still alive and well after both.
  • Apologises a Lot: Seems to have been prone to this even before he became a self-aware dead weight to the team, which did not make it any better.
  • Ascended Extra: After his introduction he isn't terribly relevant to the plot and is literally The Load. However once they encounter the murderghosts and he starts to awaken as a mage his screentime and importance skyrocket, to the point that he gets just as much individual focus as the the actual members of the crew, if not more. Early chapters of Adventure II take place in Iceland, and partly in his hometown, resulting in him getting a lot of focus during that period of the story.
  • The Baby of the Bunch: In his family, causing him to be still receiving small child levels of sheltering at age twenty. Being an untrained civilian makes him this to the crew to a lesser extent, even though he's technically not the youngest.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: He got his wish to visit a foreign country granted for sure. And the part of the Silent World in which he ended up is technically Denmark.
  • Birds of a Feather: "Not immune", "sheltered by legal guardians", "envied immune family members" an "Small Town Boredom caused by a combination of the three previous" can describe both him and Tuuri. It's little wonder that he becomes good friends with her once his novelty wears off.
  • Boy of My Dreams: A platonic version to Lalli.
  • Blatant Lies: "Fine. Everyone's fine." Not exactly an honest way to tell Onni that his little sister has quite possibly been infected with the Rash.
  • Cabin Fever: This is a very likely factor in his outburst towards Lalli in Chapter 15, considering he was the one that was basically locked up after Tuuri got bitten.
  • Bishōnen: Very pretty, and even Minna herself has commented that he looks pretty femenine. Unusually for this trope however, Reynir is absolutely huge, being just short of 1.90 meters tall, towering over everyone on the team but Mikkel.
  • Canine Companion: Reynir's somewhat bossy-if-concerned fylgia is... a fluffy, stubborn, playfully cute Icelandic sheepdog. Of course it is!
  • Cassandra Truth: Due to being an untrained civilian, his warnings about impending danger often go unheeded. Mikkel flat-out ignores him when Reynir tries to warn him about the ghosts swarming all over the room he's just walked into, and even Tuuri tells him that they're probably not hostile in spite of his clear distress. Of course, once the sun goes down the ghosts are able to follow their trail right back to the tank...
    • Thankfully, Sigrun's starting to realise that there's credence to what Reynir's saying, enough so to take his warnings to avoid certain areas seriously and turn them into explicit orders.
  • Catch-22 Dilemma:
    • Prior to the Denmark expedition, the quasi-Gender-Restricted Ability status of Icelandic magic caused any signs that he could be a mage to be ignored, both by Reynir himself and others, due to him being a boy.
    • During the Denmark expedition, he had no access to another Icelandic tradition mage who could actually teach him. He would probably have had a better chance of reaching one if he had known more about magic, which is the reason he could really have used a teacher in the first place.
    • When he does get back to civilization with knowledge he has magical powers, being barred from the more combat-oriented classes due to his lack of immunity greatly reduces his chance of ever being in the same room as anyone who could appreciate the abilities he acquired during the expedition and allow him to be part of that of field of magic in some way despite his lack of immunity.
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • He first appears in Lalli's dream in Chapter 4. At that point of the story, the only prologue character whose Year 90 descendance is not accounted for is a red-haired Icelander.
    • His fylgja gets introduced in that manner as well. It comes to lick him in Chapter 7, Reynir notices it looks just like one of the dogs back at his home and it comes across as a perfectly logical component of a mage safe area that is populated by sheep. It takes his second visit in Chapter 9 to show that the dog is more that just "set dressing".
  • Chocolate Baby: Inverted. The fact that he's a redhead while the rest of his siblings all have black hair is an indicator that he wasn't born from the Dagrenning genetic engineering program, which was designed to increase Iceland's immunity. He does, however, resemble his parents, and says that he was "probably a mistake" i.e. not a planned pregnancy, but also confirming he's their actual biological child, unlike his siblings.
  • Costume Exaggeration: His mage-space clothes in regards to his real ones. He's wearing a long-sleeved and much less form-fitting version of his sweater and his pants and shirt are brown instead of white. He also gains an extra layer consisting of a jacket and a belt, along with decorative metal discs on his hair tie, boots and sweater. This page gives a good idea of what he's wearing in the real world, this is what he's wearing when he's dreaming.
  • Didn't Think This Through:
    • Once inside the crate, he did consider his self-smuggling plan could have a few holes in it. Unfortunately, the only one he saw was the possibilty that someone could be needing the tuna cans he took out of the crate to be able to fit inside it.
    • He has another moment of this when he tries to ask Mikkel about the Christianity-related objects in the antique shop. Instead of just pointing at them, he picks up a glass icon, has it shatter in his hands, and shows Mikkel the pieces while asking his question. After Mikkel had actually told him to not touch anything.
  • Didn't Want an Adventure: He thought he was smuggling himself to Bornholm, not to the Silent part of Denmark. He points this out when Tuuri's attempt at a positive spin on the events of Chapter 13 boils down to "Hey, at least you got to see the Silent World.".
  • Distinction Without a Difference: He insists he's not depressed in Chapter 15, just feeling crushing regret and helplessness.
  • Dream-Crushing Handicap: He shows interest in working with the Norwegian army in early Adventure II. Unfortunately, it turns out to be one of the career paths that only accept immune applicants.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: Dreaming visions of the future is part of the Icelandic magic package.
  • Drop-In Character: He's building a pattern of doing this to Onni. Onni unfortunately has no way to keep him out and, as Reynir points out in Chapter 14, he has never actually asked Reynir to not come into his protected area, just asked Reynir whether he has told him to not come or not.
  • Entertainingly Wrong: He has a moment of this after Lalli's second occurrence of magic overuse. The event causes the part of Lalli's spirit self that usually interacts with the dreamspace to be forcibly displaced out of his safe area. Due to being separated from Lalli in the real world when it happens, Reynir assumes that his absence from his dreamspace safe area simply means that he's still awake. After Lalli has been missing for a few days, he starts considering that Lalli's continued absence in spite of his safe area still existing could mean that he's indeed dead.
  • Epic Hail: The one domain in which his Wrong Context Magic translates to an outright advantage over Lalli is ability to contact Onni. He has used this to outright ask Onni for help in a desperate battle twice.
  • Farm Boy: Of a pastoral kind. Sheep, to be specific.
  • Foil: He serves as one character-wise to Tuuri since they're often stuck interacting while the immune are out working. Storywise this is also the case: Both of them are non-immune, non-combat personnel who left their homes out of Small Town Boredom to find adventure, but Tuuri willingly went into an expedition to the Silent World while Reynir was aiming for a safe place (Bornholm) and ended up with the crew by accident. Tuuri is extremely excited to experience the outside world, while Reynir is terrified at how much he's outside his depth and the prospect of infection. Tuuri is vital to the crew in being the translator, mechanic and Skald, while Reynir is an untrained civilian with no special skills. Reynir ends up becoming vital to the survival of the group through his nascent mage skills and survives the adventure, while Tuuri killed herself after catching the Rash.
  • Fingore: Happened to him exactly one panel after his introduction, as Emil's first reflex upon seeing him was to close the crate right back again. Reynir's own reflex upon the crate being open was to put his hand on the edge and he was unable to move it in time.
  • Fish out of Water: The other crew members —whatever their short-comings— are all at least trained soldiers, with varying levels of experience. Reynir is a sheep herder.
  • Geometric Magic: He has to use runes for most of his magic.
  • Grew a Spine: He has a rather complicated relationship with the trope, resulting in quite the Zig-Zagging Trope. To wit:
    • His trip away from the farm was taken without his parents' permission and he climbed into the food crate in defiance to the fact that the merchant ship didn't have a licence to let people ashore in Denmark. Unfortunately, he ended up in the Silent World, where being obedient to the actual members of the crew was a question of both survival and not making his mere presence more of a problem than it already was.
    • He gets better at acting assertive in the face of dangers only he can see and/or do something about as the story progresses, but slips right back in his more submissive mode as soon as the danger has passed.
    • Once back to civilization, he makes up for having worried his parents by sticking to his obedient son attitude, to the point that he doesn't even bother telling his mother he's actually not friends with Emil and Lalli when she assumes so. But the spine shows up again when he wants Lalli off his bed.
  • Human Mail: Crates of expressly delivered, urgent provisions don't usually contain young men...
  • The Immune: Like Tuuri, he's notable for not being this; like most people from Iceland for whom a trip into the Silent World is a seriously bad idea unprepared. Whoops.
  • Infraction Distraction: When Onni figures out he's lying about everyone in the crew being fine due to Hesitation Equals Dishonesty, he pretends to be worried about the comparatively minor thing that happened to Sigrun, rather than the major one he's actively trying to hide from Onni and involves one of the latter's family members.
  • I See Dead People: When his mage powers start to manifest, he discovers he can see ghosts.
  • Keet: He's cheerful and energetic and always wanting to help someone. When Onni thanks him for aid, he's nearly ecstatic.
  • Little "No": Has the "denial of reality" variant when Emil and Lalli get hit with Reports of My Death Were Greatly Exaggerated.
  • Little Stowaway: Not that little (and technically older than Emil and Lalli), but otherwise this in execution.
  • The Load: Downplayed. "Untrained civilian on a dangerous mission" would scream a straighter case of this trope in plenty of stories, but he knows better than to expose himself to any kind of danger and has a better grasp of how dangerous the Silent World is than Tuuri does. At least in the physical world, he overall has a better a chance of getting dragged out of safety by others than to knowingly do so himself. Keeping him safe doesn't require any particular extra effort due to the fact that anything necessary for this was already in place before his arrival due to Tuuri's presence in the crew. In addition, while he starts out useless, he's trying to develop his powers to be a little less of a burden.
  • Logical Weakness: Runic magic requires rather elaborate and complete designs to work. The fact that he's most often drawing with whatever is immediately available to him sometimes results in runes that can be quite easily be tampered with.
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: Has a braid long enough to reach below his waist. Not exactly hard on the eyes, either.
  • Metaphorically True:
    • Since Onni had no idea what the actual members of the expedition other than Tuuri and Lalli looked like, hearing her name from Reynir made him assume that he was one of the expedition's members. Reynir answered "yes" to that, even though all this happened on his second day with the team (including his arrival), so everyone else was actually still getting used to having him around at all.
    • He manages to do this once again when visiting Onni in the dreamspace results in being asked about the battle's aftermath. He answers that everybody is fine, which is currently true, but may not be just a few days down the road.
  • A Mistake Is Born: He suspects to have come into existence this way, considering his parents had four children via the Dagrenning genetic program beforehand.
    • Considering what is seen of his relationship with his parents on-panel, it's equally likely that they deliberately had him without participating in the Dagrenning program because they wanted one child to stay back on the farm.
  • Naïve Animal Lover: Petting anything that has the form of an Eurasian eagle-owl would be on anyone else's "do not do" list.
  • Non-Action Guy: Since combat skills in this world are largely used to deal with trolls, this is the lot of almost all male non-immune non-mages, which he was until very recently.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: The Silent World doesn't exactly have a large non-infected sheep population.
  • Plug 'n' Play Friends: Inverted. When Onni asks him about Tuuri in Chapter 7, he calls himself a "lousy friend" for not having asked her or anybody else on the crew how they were feeling. This happens on his first morning with the crew, so even the friendship he eventually forms with Tuuri hadn't taken off at that point. The other way around is averted, as the crew had only existed as a five-person group for only about two days upon his arrival, which means he joined a group of people who were still in the middle of getting the feel of each other rather than established True Companions.
  • Prayer Pose: He has adopted this as his "magic focus" pose.
  • Protective Charm: As a mage, this has become his specialty. Even before learning proper magic, he was able to improvise a Stave that exploded when spirits or trolls came too close, and one that directly warded against spirits. During training, he was taught a Stave that wards against common beasts and trolls, though it's more like a subtly suggestion to go away, and won't do anything against creatures that know they're there.
  • Protectorate: Not only didn't he sign up for this, but he is also not immune. Worse, the team have also been ordered to try keeping him safe... while having to drag him through troll-infested country to continue their mission.
  • Right Place, Right Time, Wrong Reason: While his presence makes a positive difference as early as Chapter 10 and what he can bring to the team only enhances after that, the reason he's with the expedition in the first place isn't exactly one to be proud of.
  • Seemingly Profound Fool: Elements of this happened when he first met Onni. His first dream walking trip included helping Lalli reach Onni by complete accident (he really just got lost trying to get back to his own safe area, Lalli just happened to be following him) and letting Onni think he was an actual member of the crew. This caused Onni to mistake him for a professional and interpret any sign of him actually having no idea of what was going on as simply being quirky. The misunderstanding was bad enough that Onni expected him to have a theory about the ghosts during their first radio conversation.
  • Seer: A really, really powerful, but seriously untrained mage. Icelandic mages are described as having full-on visions of the future that Finnish ones do not, which means that his visions take more time than Lalli's to become relevant. The earliest warning he has gotten was a full day, while Lalli's are more along the lines of "if you see me taking precaution to not be ejected from my bed on a night train, you'd better imitate me within the next thirty seconds".
  • Sheltered Aristocrat: Not an actual aristocrat obviously, but still very sheltered. And, coming from one of the inland regions of Iceland would put him on a pedestal as it is when it comes to others. Being a civvie certainly also puts him outside the team's command structure. Worse, his parents quite deliberately wrapped him in as much cotton-wool as they could. To the point of withholding vital information, as well as outright lying about how things work outside the farm.
  • Significant Green-Eyed Redhead: Hair possibly redder than Sigrun's, and the only character to invest in something very clearly other than blue, murky or violet. He also just happens to be a mage, whose few skills are starting to become essential in dealing with the ghosts.
  • A Simple Plan: ... Oh, dear. His plan to seek out one carefree adventure in his life before returning home to continue with the farm was doomed to turn into a giant mess beyond his imagination the second he had his lightbulb moment. You can almost hear Murphy laughing in the background as Reynir sneaks off.
  • Sixth Ranger: He showed up in the food supplies after the crew was nominally complete, and eventually developped his powers sufficiently to be of some use.
  • Small Town Boredom: The natural consequence of his great-grandfather intentionally moving to a small town to escape the whole Rash mess. One of his brothers even suggested that he should at least visit a larger town before considering other countries.
  • Smarter Than You Look:
    • His being painfully naive and lacking in self-confidence tends to obscure how quick he can be on the uptake when it involves something he does know a bit about. Case in point: spotting the animal-line in Kastellet fort's yard and immediately getting what it meant.
    • Real-life sheep-herding, on its own, requires tracking and outdoors skills, an appreciation of typical mammalian behaviours and psychologies (both feral and domestic), intermediate first aid, basic surgery, general animal care and wrestling/bouncer/hospital-porter skills, as well as training in self- and flock-defence. Unfortunately, for Reynir, the lack of trolls in Iceland means he has no training in fighting them specifically and he spends Adventure I surrounded by immune people who were trained to fight trolls. Those same people were ordered to keep him alive until the end of the expedition, which reduces his chances of being put in a situation where he can actually use any wilderness skills acquired on the job; the animal-line incident mentioned above was an accidental exception to this.
  • Strict Parents Make Sneaky Kids: In Adventure I, he left for his first trip away from his hometown during the night. In Adventure II, he told his parents he was going to Reykjavik and left his sister a note explaining that he was actually leaving Iceland altogether.
  • Sweet Sheep: The only sheep ever seen up close in the comic are those in his mage safe area and later around his hometown, making their positive portrayal unsurprising.
  • Taught by Experience:
    • In Adventure I, experimenting is really all he has besides prayer to the gods and the minimal knowledge that other people can share with him to get better at magic.
    • Even when he gets access to proper magical training, he ends up getting barred from being taught any kind of combat-related magic due to not being immune. This means figuring out his own tricks is still his best option.
  • Terrified of Germs: When it comes to the Rash, he's split in the middle between completely justified and getting wrong information. The level of exaggeration to which his parents went made him sincerely think that being too close to Lalli's blood-soiled coat was dangerous for him when it actually was not. When he gets bruised (but fortunately not actually scratched) by a troll, he's still afraid he got sick from sheer proximity despite having had his mask on. His outlook still remains all around more realistically practical than Tuuri's somewhat worryingly oblivious one. It's better to be too cautious around the Rash than way too sloppy.
  • Took a Level in Badass: All that hard work on runes starts paying off in Chapter 13. More noticiable on Adventure II, when he gets proper mage training, and even if it wasn't combat oriented, he now has a proper grasp on magic and rune making.
  • Troubled Fetal Position: Seen in this position during Tuuri's funeral.
  • Uncatty Resemblance: His fylgia, in addition to by nature having a personality close to his, has fur mostly the same shade as his hair.
  • Unwanted Assistance: Tuuri may not mind his company in later chapters, but on his first day, she had to pretend she needed something in another room to get him out of the office because he was keeping her from working.
  • Visible Invisibility: His fylgja can pull this off by being competely invisible and untangible most of the time, but start leaving very real footprints if it wants to draw attention to something.
  • Walk on Water: He interacts with the "chatroom" water this way. By comparison, Lalli is seen going through it via summoning mounds of "seafloor" to walk on.
  • Welcome Episode: Chapter 6 is mostly about him joining the cast. "Welcome" may be stretching the in-universe reception he got, however.
  • Workplace-Acquired Abilities: Of the three people who went to Kastellet fort, he was the only one to notice the signs of animals avoiding a place the other two had entered. As mentioned above, one of the lesser-known skill picked up in sheep herding is knowledge of wild animal behavior.
  • Wrong Context Magic: Being of Icelandic tradition rather than the Finnish of the two other known mages of the story, he comes across as this to Lalli and Onni. He can just walk into and out of their protected havens as if their "walls" were absent. He also has an easier time finding them in the first place, as he can see them even when he's not actually inside them.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Trying to get himself to Bornholm was how he ended with the crew in the first place. The trip from Iceland to Finland in Adventure II requiring a stopover in Denmark suggests he may finally be able to get this off his bucket list... until it turns out that Bornholm has a quarantine policy similar to Iceland's and the stopover is actually on an off-island trade and travel hub.
  • Youthful Freckles: Quite appropriately, for The Baby of the Bunch. "Freckles" is even Sigrun's nickname for him.


    Onni Hotakainen

"No, I was quite alright by myself. Had time to think this all through and made the calm, rational decision to relocate here."

Tuuri's Promoted to Parent older brother, a more advanced Finnish mage than Lalli, who intially refused a spot on the expedition. He ended up departing from Keuruu a little later anyway and joining the support crew in Sweden to keep contact with Tuuri and Lalli, as a mysterious spirit world pursuer is disrupting his plans to keep tabs on them via magical means. He's the most frequently seen member of Mission Control in Adventure I and a main character as of Adventure II.

Associated tropes:

  • Ascended Extra: After his introduction he disappears and only serves as Tuuri and Lalli's occasional conversation topic. Later on however, he is contacted by Reynir and slowly grows into a more key role as magical support and emergency contact. By the time the expedition ends Onni meets with the main cast on Iceland and starts recieving as much focus as them. Adventure II sees him properly ascended to the main cast.
  • Always a Child to Parent: One of his last resorts in keeping Tuuri and Lalli from leaving is to claim that they are not adults and hence should not leave home. In addition to the fact that the home in question is a military base in which all three of them are employed, Tuuri and Lalli are older than Onni was when he got his Promotion to Parent.
  • Aura Vision: Like any Finn poweful enough to see spirits. He's used for the demonstration panel.
  • Big Brother Instinct: To Tuuri, and to a lesser extent, Lalli. Reynir seems to be able to trigger it in Chapter 11 as well.
  • Blessed with Suck: The Saimaa flashback reveals his magical hearing to have been quite sensitive even at the time he still lived there, to the point that he could hear trolls and ghosts from an island that was safe for non-immunes.
  • Convenient Coma: Tuuri's reaction to the news of his Power-Strain Blackout boils down to "Well, he doesn't handle worrying news well anyway. He can wait a few days to find out about that troll bite on my shoulder.". In addition, he wakes up from the coma little after the crew's radio is lost, but after Tuuri's death, as well.
  • Cowardly Lion: This is Onni in the real world This is Onni in the Spirit realm. And this is Onni's spirit warrior. You may now change your shorts.
  • The Cynic: Doesn't trust or want anything to do with the Silent World and can see nothing good coming of trying to interact with it. He tried very hard to crush Tuuri's interest in anything beyond Keuruu's fortifications out of (the not-exactly-misplaced) fear of what could very easily happen to her if she ever were to go Outside. This kind of backfired. Terribly.
  • Cynicism Catalyst: Something turned him right off scouting in the wilderness and made him outright fear the unknown. We don't have many details as to what, though. It could also have something to do with his Promotion to Parent for Tuuri either directly or indirectly. Oh, and, maybe having to look after Lalli, too, put a crimp in things.
    • The Saimaa flashback shows that he already had elements of his current attitude about non-safe areas when he was younger, but there is still some indication that he at some point moved from not wanting to go out there for perfectly logical reasons to being unable leave the place he considers safe without turning into a mess of tears.
  • Ear Ache: Ghosts hurt his ear when he's fighting them in the mage-space in Chapter 10 and the Västerström children give him the the exact same injury while cutting his hair while he's in trance.
  • Empty Nest: The quote at the beginning of his sheet is basically a Suspiciously Specific Denial about him being this trope.
  • Ethnic Magician: Again, we have a magical Finn. Who happens to have more magic and experience in his various tanks when compared to his cousin.
  • Family Theme Naming: "Tuuri" and "Onni" both mean 'luck' in Finnish. Onni is even now a common male name in Finland, Tuuri is a rare mythological name (of a god of luck).
  • Fantasy-Forbidding Father: He's shown be disapproving of Tuuri's desire to visit the Silent World in Chapter 1 and even in a flash-back pre-dating his Promotion to Parent.
  • Foreshadowing: He has a habit of asking if the radio is broken if he doesn't get a response for too long. The crew's radio breaks down along with the tank in Chapter 15.
  • Forest Ranger: Like Lalli, he's a mage trained in this (in fact, he may have trained Lalli to some extent). Except... he doesn't go out scouting any more. Ever.
  • How Dare You Die on Me!: The "don't leave me alone" variant to Tuuri while she is following the Swan of Tuonela into the afterlife.
  • I Meant to Do That: This seems to be his go-to method for covering himself whenever he makes an embarrassing mistake. No, of course he didn't leave more than half of his luggage behind on the pier and drop the rest in the lake. He just has no need for worldly possessions.
  • The Immune: Yet another member of the cast averting this. This very likely plays a role in his avoidance of the Silent World.
  • Interface Spoiler: He lasted just a few pages in Chapter 1, but got a full title card that only Mission Control and crew members had gotten so far. Or course he was going to show up again eventually.
  • Little "No": A definite "begging for reality to not be real" type to seeing Tuuri leaving for the afterlife.
  • Magical Incantation: For the same reasons as Lalli.
  • Magic Music: His summon from Chapter 13 involves playing the kantele.
  • Not in This for Your Revolution: "It" entering the picture and making mage-space communication dangerous for him and Lalli very obviously has more to do with his relocation to Mora than any actual belief in the expedition's cause. Any work he does is very likely to be earning his right to stay in the Västerström house and close to the radio with his family on the other side of the line from his point of view.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: While looking for him in Adventure II, the crew finds what's left of a beast that he's implied to have killed on his own.
  • Ominous Owl: Onni's luonto is a huge Eurasian eagle-owl with impressive talons. Very scary in the right light, yet flipping cute in others.
  • Out of Focus: Between being a classic case of Refusal of the Call in Adventure I and searching for him being the focus of the early part of Adventure II, he's quite good at disappearing for several chapters at a time.
  • Powerful and Helpless: He's the strongest mage involved in the expedition but is also not immune, and scared enough of the Silent World that getting himself from Keuruu to Mora is implied to be quite the feat of courage coming from him. The fact that he isn't actually with the expedition also means he simply can't help unless he knows the help is needed.
  • Power-Strain Blackout: Giving the crew a hand in Chapter 13 did not come cheap.
  • Please Don't Leave Me: Tuuri and Onni have a mutual moment of this in Chapter 1. It's not effective on either side.
  • Present Company Excluded: He refuses to go on the expedition because he thinks only an idiot would take the job. He does not mean to call Tuuri an idiot, however.
  • Prone to Tears: This has yet to be actually shown on-panel, but there is plenty of evidence. He's implied to have spent a decent part of his trip from Finland to Sweden crying, and Trond can tell he's about to burst into tears again little after he is found by Mission Control. "Crying" is also Lalli's response to Tuuri randomly asking him what he thinks Onni is currently doing.
  • Refusal of the Call: He refused the call, so it visited his little sister and cousin instead. "It" starting to look for his family again not that much later forced him to find a more mundane way to keep contact with his family, which required a reluctant joing of Mission Control.
  • Reluctant Warrior: Given choice, nope: he'd rather not have to, thanks. But, if anything spiritual threatens his family, well... Yeah.
  • Sand In My Eyes: Whenever anyone notices how red his eyes are or how much he's sniffling, he claims to be "allergic" to something. Like traveling. Or the country of Sweden.
  • Summoning Ritual: The summon he sends the crew in Chapter 13 involves playing a little Magic Music in addition to reciting the spell itself.
  • Take Our Word for It: His Icelandic isn't really that good judging by his own description of it and Reynir's reaction to it, and author notes suggest he has a horrible accent. Thanks to the Translation Convention, his Icelandic comes across as no different from Reynir's, which is native.
  • You, Get Me Coffee: This seems to be his position in the Mission Control team, being a welcome but not exactly expected addition to it. He's the only one considered "non-essential personnel" by Trond, and both children and adults of the Västerström family have casually referred to him as "the babysitter" on-panel.
  • You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry: When he gets angry at Reynir, his reaction includes punching his face and slamming him against a tree.


A kitten that was found in an early book salvaging spot in the Silent World. According to the Known World classification of cats, she's a Grade C cat, with neither special breeding nor training to deal with Rash creatures. The instincts that made cats precious allies to humans in the first place are however present, and, to quote in-universe documentation, "a common cat is better than no cat". Her actual names are Pusekatt (Norwegian), Missekat (Danish), Kissekatt (Swedish), Kisu (Finnish) and Kisa (Icelandic).

Associated tropes:

  • Bring My Brown Pants: She hardly notices ghosts when they are peaceful, but they have that effect on her when they attack.
  • Cats Are Magic: Her species as a whole has a strange connection to the Rash, being the only mammal that can't catch it and being able to detect the creatures that are born from it, including humans that are sick with it.
  • Cute Kitten: Enough of it to cause Cuteness Proximity, and keep most of the rest of the crew from noticing Lalli awoke from his Deep Sleep.
  • Evil-Detecting Cat: Her fur fluffs and she starts panicking when grosslings are close.
  • From Stray to Pet: Adapting to the pet life quite well, for a kitten born in an environment that has been devoid of humans for ninety years.
  • Fuzz Therapy: Lalli, of all people, ends up using her for this after a certain event. During an even sadder following event, she can be seen on Reynir's lap.
  • Head Pet: She takes to doing this in Adventure II, with a preference for Mikkel and Reynir.
  • I Have Many Names: Five, to be exact. Well, kind of: they're all variations on "Cat" in different languages. Which is, granted, a step up from something like "Hey, You" in several languages.
  • Ludicrous Speed: Not a fan of Heath-Robbinson paternosters/ elevators/ lifts of record quickness and questionable safety, no.
  • Meaningful Background Event:
    • In Chapter 10, she can be seen jumping out of Mikkel's pocket while he's ordering Tuuri to not come with him. Noticing Kitty was left behind later becomes Tuuri and Reynir's excuse to go after Mikkel.
    • After Tuuri gets bitten, Kitty basically becomes a living monitor for her health status and is seen sleeping peacefully near Tuuri at various points in the first days of the quarantine. Kitty turning out to have gone hiding behind her cat bed when Tuuri entered the office in late Chapter 15 is the second indication given to both Tuuri and the reader that she's infected.
  • Rank Up: She gets the training required to become a Grade B cat after the crew brings her back to civilization.
  • Recruitment by Rescue: The crew basically kept her after keeping her from dying from exposure. Also, having a grossling detector is kind of useful.
  • Red Alert: Arched, puffed, silent and/or stiff as a board means the threat is general in nature (or, when specific, something of a known-quantity surprise; say, a sudden gull from above), and is likely an indeterminate distance away, is probably coming from an unknown location or, worse, may be too big (be it physically or mentally) to deal with. Steady, loud growling with accents of popping and hissing = "grosslings we cannot hide from are dead ahead: close". Head back and downright yowling a scream of terrified despair? "Murderghosts on top of us."
  • Renamed the Same: Choosing a name for her essentially turned into this, thanks to the crew thinking of doing it only after they had all taken to calling her "Kitty" anyway. It actually got pointed out in the author notes:
    Kitty's name is herefore... Kitty!
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: By several aspects, she's actually the second cat to join the crew, to the greatest displeasure of the one that was already present. This gives a good general idea of her relationship with Lalli.
  • Sole Survivor: Of her family.
  • Stock Animal Name: The crew only thought of naming her on her third day with them. In the meantime, everyone had already taken to calling her their language's equivalent to "Kitty".
  • Team Pet: When off-duty, which is most of the time, really.
  • Translation Convention: The "Kitty" name itself, as the trope makes all five of her actual names show as the same English word no matter who's speaking of her.

Supporting characters:

    Trond Andersen

"Stop badmouthing idiots, you spoiled brats! Some of the most competent soldiers that I've had the privilege to work with were idiots."

A retired Norwegian General who joined the expedition's backers for lack of anything better to do. Has dirt on everyone and is a firm believer in the value of a well-trained idiot. He's an old friend of Sigrun's family and one of the many acquaintances Mikkel made during his patchy work history.

Associated tropes:

  • Blackmail: Back at mission control, Trond arranges a supply drop for the party by calling a nearby ship's captain and threatening to reveal his knowledge of an "incident". We never get to find out what it is, but the captain's reaction is rather telling.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: His introduction, concerning his age:
    Trond: I'm old.
    Title card on the exact same panel:
    Age: 67
    Profession: Military: General (retired)
    Info: Is old.
  • Entertainingly Wrong: Onni's general dazed demeanor after he gets out of his coma causes Trond to be convinced he suffered a stroke. The real cause of Onni's state of mind is seeing Tuuri's soul leave for the afterlife, a fact that he hasn't shared with the rest of the support crew for reasons that have yet to be specified.
  • Grumpy Old Man: In theory, he can probably smile. Maybe. Mostly, though, he goes for a perpetual scowl, snarking, complaining and just generally sticking his oar in.
  • Honorary Uncle: To Sigrun. According to the family tree, he's the son of two good friends of Sigrun's great-grandparents.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: What he and Taru basically are among the original support crew. Without them, neither Torbjörn nor Siv would have got their Zany Scheme off the ground.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Sees nothing wrong with complaining about old people around him, or his own age.
  • Old Soldier: Been in the military all his working life, even if mostly as a desk jockey in recent decades. And, we get the very strong impression he wants to die in harness, rather than be pensioned out.
  • Jumped at the Call: Any hare-brained, underfunded and doomed-to-disaster scheme beats full retirement!
  • Perpetual Frowner: He has a range of expressions; from flat to downwardly-curved.
  • Reluctant Retiree: In the flashback of his retirement party where Taru recruits him, Trond looks particularly thunderous. His newly ex-collegues, however, seem rather more chipper by contast.
  • Retired Badass: Annoying he may be, but the guy was part of the military establishment for years and has oodles of practical experience — and, plenty of dirt on others. This mission is the closest he can get to being active again, and, by gum, he's pulling out all the twisty stops. Even if he's stuck in a support role.

    Torbjörn and Siv Västerström

"I can't thank you all enough for being part of this magnificient mission! But now... Let's all get rich!"
"This was a terrible idea and everything will go wrong."

Emil's paternal uncle and aunt, Torbjörn being the one related by blood. Torbjörn was the driving force behind putting the expedition together, after his skald job copying Old World books led him to discover their high monetary value. Siv was a medical researcher at an institute that has been unsuccessfully looking for a Rash cure for five decades before joining him in his venture. Both are focused on using the expedition as a stepping stone to restoring their lost family fortune.

Associated tropes:

  • Angrish: Torbjörn shows that he can be prone to it when he finds out about Reynir's presence in the food supplies.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: They both have shades of this... if in different ways. Torbjörn is a little more obvious about his spaciness, but Siv is just as unrealistic in her own hyper-depressed way.
  • The Eeyore: Siv is either this or Chicken Little. Nothing will ever go right (even if it does) and she can list why without breaking a sweat. About the only times she brightens up a little are when her husband starts to frazzle and gets his optimism slightly punctured.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • The existence of their children is first mentioned when they say they wouldn't do anything that would risk making them orphans. They make this statement while in Iceland, in the middle getting funding for something that is going to take their attention away from them.
    • Torbjörn may have organized an underfunded Suicide Mission, but he's still taken aback when the first word out of Tuuri's mouth after being told that her brother is in a coma is "Good!".
  • Extreme Doormat: Siv just cannot put her foot down whenever Torbjörn wanders off-track into his little dream world of easy krona and bonhomie, to then quite firmly countermand her attempts to inject caution into, or hose a lot of dingy grey over, his unicorn-gumdrop-rainbows.
  • Fallen-on-Hard-Times Job: Torbjörn views his skald job as this.
  • Flat-Earth Atheist: The reader gets a reminder that they are Swedes in early Chapter 14, when Torbjörn interprets the situation in which Onni was found as "somehow getting hit by lightning while inside his house".
  • invokedFridge Logic: When Sigrun tries to cover up that the crew broke the Øresund bridge by claiming that the situation they caused had already happened on its own when they arrived, Torbjörn spots a quite conspicuous case of this trope, namely the fact that they shouldn't have been able to cross the bridge in the first place if it really was broken upon their arrival.
  • Greed: Torbjörn organizes the expedition to make money on selling ancient books.
  • Herald: They (or, more specifically, Torbjörn) are the ones to come up with the expedition and approach the rest with it.
  • Idle Rich: What Torbjörn was, before the family got into trouble. A brief stint working as an archivist and copier to make ends meet convinced him he'd like to go back to not having to work. He's essentially what Emil could have turned into.
  • I Have This Friend...: Siv claims her question is hypothetical when she asks Admiral Olsen about sending the crew food when they turn out to have run out on their second day.
  • The Immune: Siv not being this becomes relevant when the Dalahästen gets attacked in Chapter 3, as she's given a breathing mask along with Tuuri.
  • Impoverished Patrician: According to Emil, the Västerströms used to be a wealthy family until a few years ago. Torbjörn and Siv describe their house as "the last nice thing we own".
  • The Medic: Siv used to work in an institute researching potential cures for the Rash. They don't have a good track record. In some ways, she's an Ignored Expert, as a result of her being easily talked out of safety measures for cost-cutting. She's very aware about how utterly dangerous the Rash is. Justifiably.
  • Mission Control: Whenever the Cattank has contact with the base, they're the ones to (try to) provide (inadequate) support. (Well, to be honest, Trond does most of the grunt work.)
  • Nervous Wreck: Siv always looks like she's about to start ripping hair out of her head.
  • Odd Couple: On the one side you have this slightly over-sugared, rather greedy optimist with shades of grifter and on the other a hard-working (if stuck in a rut) professional wet-blanket and worrywart. About the only thing they share is being not quite on the same wavelength as others around them.
  • Only in It for the Money: Torbjörn's motivation is making sweet, sweet money on the books brought from the Silent World. It tends to blind him a little as to realities.
  • Only Sane Woman: Siv seems to be the only person to accept the reality of the mission's danger and how badly they've hampered their own goals... but, she's so melodramatically down and jittery about it, it's easily waved away as her being over-cautious.
  • Parental Neglect: A mild and benign version, to be sure. But, their three children would probably not run through babysitters as much, nor be collectively called "those Changelings", if they spent less time on hare-brained schemes or their own issues and more time with them. Given that Emil got stuck with inadequate "tutors" growing up, it might well be a wider Västerström problem.
  • Passive-Aggressive Kombat: Siv's half-hearted attempts at holding her ground tend to take that form.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Torbjörn and Siv respectively.
  • Scully Syndrome: As far as Torbjörn is concerned, Onni's coma wasn't caused by a Power-Strain Blackout and the burn marks on his floor have nothing to do with magic. No, Onni just got hit by lightning while inside the house, on a night giving no indication of being stormy. Onni's attitude once awake convincing Trond, who at the very least knows magic is actually a thing, that he suffered a stroke is probably not helping matters.
  • Shout-Out Theme Naming: "Siv" is a less often encountered spelling of Sif, the name of Thor's wife. Taken together, they are quite obviously named after the divine couple.


    Taru Hollola

"It's not like we really need everything on the list."

A former military strategist at Keuruu, who also happens to be the second cousin once removed of the youngest generation of Hotakainens. She knew both Trond and the Västerströms prior to the expedition, and introduced them to each other.

Associated tropes:

  • Cutting Corners: She's the one seen doing most of it, once the options turn out to be A) a lower than planned budget or B) no budget at all. She categorically ignores Siv's (admittedly, quite veiled) hints to put forward the idea of just quitting the whole thing until they do have some means to include safety as an option. Once Taru's done, Siv quite accurately comments that she probably got rid of everything that the crew will need to survive.
  • High-Class Glass: She's seen wearing one in the prologue.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: Along with Trond. The Västerströms just happened to know her. She took the crazy idea and made it into something somewhat viable.
  • Joke and Receive: After witnessing the tank running into something before it even leaves Øresund base, she advises the crew to avoid breaking the Øresund bridge on the way to old mainland Denmark. It ends up actually happening.
  • Tactful Translation: While she has much fewer opportunities to do this than Tuuri, she once told Siv that Onni said her food was good when he had actually said it tasted like cat spit in Finnish note . It seems that magery is not the only thing to run in the family.
  • Unknown Relative: Downplayed. She's this as far as Lalli is concerned, but Tuuri and Onni seem to at least have known of her existence before the expedition. She, in turn, seems to be keeping enough tabs on them to have them spring into mind when the expedition recruiting standards took a hit. Considering she used to work in Keuruu according to her Adventure I profile and the Hotakainens have lived there for eleven years when the story starts, there is ample time for both a period during which all four of them were working there and Taru quitting her job several years before the beginning of the story.

Prologue characters:


"Another thing that'd be kind of cool would be the electricity going out for a couple weeks too. It'd be like living a hundred years ago!"

A group of friends are discussing the Rash epidemic and an ongoing storm. One of them, Aksel Eide, is arranging for his grandmother living in another town to come stay with him during the worst of the outbreak.

Associated tropes:

  • Absurdly Elderly Mother: Trond's mother, Ingrid, is already a full-grown adult, or at least in her very late teens. With Trond being 67 in year 90, she must have had him in her early forties at the earliest, which is the low end of the trope. This is slightly more probable than Mia's case below.
  • Afraid of Doctors: Aksel's grandmother Berit. This is one of the reasons he's worried about her being on her own during the epidemic.
  • As You Know: The symptoms of the Apocalyptic Gag Order version of the Rash are introduced to the reader via Sigrun telling Aksel that the disease makes people bedridden for a week. Aksel already knowing this is the reason he's worried about his grandmother in the first place.
  • Comically Missing the Point: While telling Aksel he may be right about wanting to keep an eye on his grandmother, Gøran shows him a newspaper including stylized figures representing the at-risk population categories. He identifies young children and elders correctly, but gets stumped by the third and guesses "fat people". The figure is a pregnant woman.
  • The Gadfly: Sigrun, who makes fun of Gøran for missing the news about Iceland closing its borders in favor of going for the crossword puzzle. After Aksel arranges for the boat to pick up his grandmother, she points out the old lady could always slip off the boat.
  • It's All About Me: Gøran doesn't want to pay taxes to get the road paved (so it stops breaking each time there's a storm), Aksel quickly points out that the road being broken is the reason he can't go get his grandmother himself.
  • Meaningful Background Event: The deplorable state of the road on the connecting causeway? When you stop to think about it, this turns out to be vital: not having a solid connection to the mainland means that this lot had a better chance than most of not getting inundated by trolls and beasts. So, we get Trond and Sigrun.
  • Never Mess with Granny: The Photo Montage shows Aksel's grandmother teaching him how to hold a rifle.
  • Nice Guy: Aksel spends the segment being worried about his grandmother and comes across as the nicest of his friends, between Trond's Cosy Catastrophe minded future parents and The Gadfly that the woman he'll end up marrying is.
  • No Listening Skills: Aksel's most visible flaw. His response to Gunnar telling him that he wasn't exactly planning to pick up people's elderly relatives during his supply run is to aswer as if he'd said "Yes, no problem".
  • Odd Couple: Aksel and Sigrun are not together yet, but hold big promises of becoming one.
  • Offscreen Romance: None of the future couples are paired at this point.
  • Properly Paranoid: Aksel, about getting his grandmother away from the nearby city.
  • Shooting Lessons From Your Parents: The Photo Montage between the Sweden and Iceland segments shows Aksel being taught to use a rifle by his grandmother.
  • Took a Level in Badass: A total of three shots of Aksel are seen after the segment proper. He's holding a rifle in two of them, which is a big change from the Nice Guy seen in the segment proper.
  • Took a Level in Cynic: Since the Rash is just a fast-spreading but non-lethal sickness as far as the characters are concerned in the actual segment, the later Photo Montage showing them setting up chainlink fences with barb wire and learning to use rifles shows just how much worse things have gotten.


"You know, you could just treat this as a well deserved vacation instead of something terrible."

The passengers on a ferry heading for the small Danish island of Bornholm find out that the boat will not be making its return trip anytime soon. Among them, businessman Michael Madsen, who just wanted to drop his cat at his sister's farm before an important meeting.

Associated tropes:

  • Animal Chick Magnet: Implied and downplayed. The first thing Signe notices when sitting down to talk with Michael is Magnus' cage, and she calls him cute.
  • Artistic License – Animal Care: The family tree shows a line going from Magnus (the cat) and fading into the post-Rash era. While it conjures the image of a Madsen farm full of Magnus' distant descendants, it also means that Michael never got him neutered.
  • A Taste of Their Own Medicine: Signe gives this to Michael in the Deadpan Snarker department.
  • Birds of a Feather: Michael and Signe, both snarkers with a good heart.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: The talk show guest suspecting an Apocalyptic Gag Order.
  • Crying Wolf: The talk show guest turns out to have been right about her suspicions about the Rash in the Finland segment, but here has another guest remind everyone that she's somewhat of a Conspiracy Theorist.
  • The Cuckoolander Was Right: The guest on the background talk show who guessed that the Rash was actually deadly, based on the fact that nothing is known about the Patient Zero group. She's confirmed to be right in the Finland segment.
  • Deadpan Snarker: The two characters with title cards are Mikkel's great-grandparents. What else do you expect?
  • Everyone Has Standards: Michael's boss really wants him back from Bornholm on the next day, but is hesistant about him taking a night ferry when the option comes up because it sound like "something smelly" to him.
  • Hate Sink: Michael's boss, who shows a bigger jerkass side than Michael and Signe combined.
  • Hypocritical Humor: After getting treated by Signe the same way he treated his Mean Boss earlier, Michael's reaction is telling her that people like her should only work in factories, when he seems to be having some kind of executive job himself.
  • I Am Big Boned: Invoked by Signe to cheer up Michael, whose moping about getting fired includes complaining about being fat.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Signe, who shows equal talent at chewing out Michael while he's being rude and cheering him up when he cries over being fired.
  • Lifesaving Misfortune: Everyone on that ferry who doesn't actually live in Bornholm at that point, really. They get a new home, if they stick with it. Yay.
  • Mean Boss: Michael's boss, who fires him when he's stuck in Bornholm through no fault of his own.
  • Named After Somebody Famous: There is a Michael Madsen page on This Very Wiki.
  • Offscreen Romance: Michael and Signe, considering that this is their first meeting.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Michael is a decent snarker on his own, but Signe is even better at it.
  • Pet the Dog: Signe gets sent to deal with Michael because he acts as a complete jerk about being stuck in Bornholm. Before this, Michael gets a scene establishing that he's taking his cat to his sister's place because he doesn't trust a cat hotel to take proper care of it.
  • The Voice: Michael's boss, who's only heard over the phone. A caller ID photo appearing when he calls Michael to fire him shows what he looks like.
  • We Named the Monkey "Jack": According to the family tree, Michael and Signe went on to name their son "Magnus". Given his role in the two of them meeting and the importance cats gained after the intial outbreak, chances are that he had done plenty to earn the homage by the time the boy was born.


"This is supposed to be a fun little trip, not an escape from society by the crazy people."

Tuuli Hollola and Eino Hotakainen decide to have a "family vacation" on their yacht as the Rash hits Finland. Accompanying them are their young son, Eino's brother-in-law and Eino's two sisters, one of whom is heavily pregnant.

Associated tropes:

  • Cordon Bleugh Chef: Veeti can be seen putting candy on his pizza while watching the news. The pizzas are mentioned to have a texture evocative of elephant skin in an earlier panel.
  • Crazy Survivalist: Tuuli and Eino have this going on, judging that they have (somewhat dodgy) emergency food supplies that explicitly exist in case a disaster occurs. Eino's sisters treat it as a quirk of the couple.
  • Crying Wolf: Mercilessly teased concerning Saku in the segment proper. Between his established tendency to be always convinced he's dying, the use of this specific family to reveal Rash's lethality and Eino mentioning that he and Tuuli built a quarantine room on their boat, plenty seems to suggest Saku could actually have the Rash. The family's Photo Montage shot is taken two weeks later, which is the maximal incubation time of the Rash: Saku is in the bed with everyone else.
  • Family Theme Naming: Eino, Aino and Kaino Hotakainen.
  • Foreshadowing: A few of the signs that one of the bunch's descendants was going to die within the story can be seen here:
    • Their boat's decoration is a swan, the species of the guide to the Finnish afterlife.
    • One of the people seen while Kaino is waiting for Aino is a Rash patient.
    • Aino, the great-grandmother shared by the future Hotakainen side of the family, is named after a The Kalevala character who preferred drowning herself in the sea to an arranged marriage.
  • Happily Married: Both couples, from what is seen of them.
  • Hypochondria: Implied with Saku, who is described as "usually 'dying' from something" and reacts to Veeti telling him that the Rash is deadly by saying he hopes he has it. When Eino considers having Saku sleep outside because of his seasickness and not wanting barf on his carpet, Aino refuses on the basis that he could become sick "for real".
  • Imperiled in Pregnancy: The Norway prologue, while presenting the Rash as "you'll have to stay in bed for a week, but you'll be fine after that", still mentioned it could be more serious for elders, children and pregnant women. Aino is shown to be pregnant long before Veeti watches the newscast announcing the death of some of the Patient Zero group.
  • Irony: Ensi being immune means that Saku, the man teased as possibly having the Rash, carried at least one copy of the mutant gene that grants immunity.
  • Maiden Aunt: The family tree implies that Kaino never had any children of her own, which would make her this to her nephew and future niece.
  • Mean Boss: Aino's boss, according to her family at least.
  • Not in Front of the Kid: Tried by Tuuli and Eino concerning the Rash, but the kid in question just goes to watch the news in the other room. Aino actually requests such a treatment.
  • Obvious Pregnancy: Aino has a quite visible baby bump, and the baby is expected to show up within the next few weeks.
  • Properly Paranoid: Tuuli and Eino, about the timing of the "family vacation".
  • Red Herring: Saku getting teased as being in the Typhoid Mary stage of the Rash.
  • There Is Only One Bed: The family's appearance in the Time Skip Photo Montage consists of the entire family huddled together in the same bed in their winter clothes, presumably for warmth rather than lack of other beds, with Kaino stuck between the two couples.


"Would you count 'no news' as good news?"

The Västerström family are driving to their private cabin, somewhere in the mountains.

Associated tropes:

  • Absurdly Elderly Mother: Mia is Torbjörn's mother according to the family tree, but invokedWord of God put her age during the prologue at around seven, while Torbjörn is 38 years old in year 90. That would make him born in Year 52, and Mia's age upon having him 59, when trouble getting pregnant can start in the late forties and menopause usually happens somewhere between fifty and sixty.
  • Artistic License – Animal Care: The family cat, Misse, is in a situation similar to Magnus': a line on the family tree suggesting descendants, but also owners neglecting an intervention that was highly recommended for pets during that era.
  • Brake Angrily: Ulrika's reaction to the car riot. Due to the road being snowy, this results in the car dangerously swerving.
  • Control Freak: Ulrika at the very least acts like one, berating Stig for taking too long to fetch the newspaper, letting nobody else out of the car despite the fact at least one of the three other family members needed to go to the bathroom and later asking Stig to control his parents. Her reaction to her in-laws and daugther getting too demanding is to Brake Angrily, despite the demands being very basic things. Given the circumstances, it's hard to tell if she's just on the edge because of the Rash or usually acts like this.
  • Hairstyle Inertia: Mia is shown as an adult in the family tree and has the same hairstyle as her childhood one, minus the hair decorations.
  • Hereditary Hairstyle: Emil and his cousin, Sune's, hairstyles are near-identical to Mia's.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Ulf's blurb describes him as spending his pension betting on sports despite knowing nothing about sports.
  • Odd Couple: Stig and Ulrika. The former is curious, the latter prefers not to hear about other people's problems.
  • Potty Dance: Bosse provides a dog version of it.


"I swear, if I ever have kids, I won't burden them with knowledge of what's out there."

An Icelandic coast guard ship, that has resorted to gunning refugee boats down to keep the country safe. One of the radar readers, Árni Reynisson, decides to quit his job.

Associated tropes:

  • Ambiguous Situation: Since Ensi Hotakainen, the setting's oldest known mage, was already born during the period the segment covers note , magic can affect people's dreams and that he is Reynir's ancestor, it's easy to wonder about what the exact nature of Árni's dreams could mean about his situation. A female descendant of his (possibly a daughter, considering she was elderly when Reynir was a child) turning out to have been a mage only adds fuel to the fire.
  • Bad Dreams: We find out that Árni has been having them for days, if not weeks. This prompts him to quit his job.
  • Dirty Business: Árni has definitely taken to dislike his job of spotting boats that may need to be gunned down.
  • Call to Agriculture: Árni's plans for the future involve raising sheep.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • When he goes to hand in his resignation, Árni hands his job over to a colleague named "Kristján", which is the Icelandic spelling of "Christian". The fallen Christian religion shows signs of becoming relevant to Reynir's storyline in Chapters 10 and 11.
    • The ship's crew is shown to be worried about running into whales, which it the first hint that the reader gets that there could be more to the Rash than its high mortality rate.
  • Good Is Not Soft: The coast guard is simply enforcing Iceland's extremely drastic policy to protect its own people.
  • Irony: Árni is the closest thing to a member of the military among the prologue characters. His great-grandson becomes the sole civilian of the crew.
  • Just Following Orders: Deconstructed to a degree, as, although he sticks it out for a time, it doesn't stop Árni from getting Bad Dreams and twinges of conscience. He feels he can't continue to do this, so quits.
  • Not What I Signed on For: All but stated to be one of the factors pushing Árni to quit.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted, both the prologue character and Reynir's father were named Árni. This was most likely done to avoid confusion due to Iceland's unusual naming systemnote 
  • The Promise: Made by Árni to himself. He plans to not tell any kids he may have about what's outside Iceland and to teach them to never leave. Judging by how Reynir was raised, this became somewhat of a family tradition.
  • Red Shirt: Everyone on the refugee boat.

Other relevant characters:

    Håkan, Sune and Anna Västerström 
Torbjörn and Siv's three young children and Emil's cousins, that are a recurring presence due to living in the place that is used as the expedition headquarters. Babysitting them is heavily implied to be a High Turnover Rate job.

Associated tropes:

  • Ambiguous Gender: Before his name was revealed in the family tree and confirmed him to be male, Sune's gender was pretty much up to the reader. The length of his hair pointed towards female (Håkan, by comparison, has short enough hair to definitely be a boy), but the fact that the style is identical to Emil's kept the male option on the table (Anna has pigtails that make her a definite girl).
  • Ambiguous Innocence: After Håkan accidentally recreates the wound Onni has received in the mage-space while cutting his hair, the three of them become difficult to dismiss as unruly, but ultimately harmless.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Telling them they are annoying someone only seems to encourage them, and of course there is their babysitter that is introduced quitting.
  • The Dividual: One of the reasons they are hard to deal with is that one is usually dealing with all three of them at the same time.
  • Heavy Sleeper: Can be counted among the number of people who weren't woken up despite Onni preparing a summon downstairs in the middle of the night.
  • No Name Given: They were in this situation up to the moment the family tree was published. This is one of the reasons they are collectively referred to as "the Västerström children" in older entries.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: And of the three strange people they could have decided to constantly pat, they had to go for Lalli...
  • Outnumbered Sibling: Anna, as the only girl.
  • Pet Dress-Up: During Onni and Reynir's radio conversation in early Chapter 11, Sune is seen holding a dress-wearing family cat.
  • Shout-Out Theme Naming: They are named after the characters of the Sune children's book series.
  • So Was X: When they mistake the comatose Onni for being dead, Siv explains them his state by telling them he's very tired and needs to sleep. Anna points out she once said this about an actually dead bird they once found.
  • You Are Fat: Directed to Tuuri, putting an end to the 30 seconds during which she thought they were cute.

    Ensi Hotakainen 
Daughter of Saku and Aino from the prologue, and Onni, Tuuri and Lalli's grandmother. She was Lalli's magic and scouting teacher in his younger years. A mysterious mistake made by her is mentioned to be the cause of the situation in which her grandchildren are found at the beginning of the story.

Associated tropes:

  • All There in the Manual: Her appearances in Adventure I were extremely limited, yet she garnerd interest from readers due to her family relationship to some members of the main cast and her status as The Constant between Just Before the End era and the story's recent present. This resulted in outside-comic information about her cumulating faster than any in-comic information until her Day in the Limelight in Adventure II.
  • Aura Vision: As a Finnish mage.
  • Bizarre Baby Boom: Implied to have been part of one, as Tuuri mentions she was one of the first Finnish mages.
  • Blessed with Suck: What is shown of that trope concerning her grandsons is already quite bad (both seeing and hearing the Rash victims in ways non-mages can't, during every single waking hour), and can be assumed to be much, much worse for her.
  • Coat Cape: Her blog post illustration shows her wearing a coat in that manner.
  • The Constant: Her mother was already pregnant with her during the initial Rash outbreak.
  • A Day in the Limelight: The flashback to Toivosaari's last days in Adventure II serves as a full mini arc, properly giving her a more complete characterization.
  • Demonic Possession: When Lalli last saw her, she gave every sign of being possessed by the Kade that made Hilja infect the village.
  • The Ghost: Before her brief appearance in the flash-back from Chapter 15 of Adventure I, a blog post illustration and the family tree were the only indications of what she looked like.
  • Jade-Colored Glasses: Minna has described her as being like this due to the circumstances of her birth, alongside her powers, resulting in her being exposed to Rash creatures from a young age and not having much of childhood.
  • My Greatest Failure: She doesn't react very well when she realizes she made the mistake of looking at a mage who had been showing signs of kade corruption in the eyes.
  • Never Mess with Granny: Obviously, she was already a grandmother when she was training Lalli. She's seventy-nine years old when shown during the events leading to Toivosaari's outbreak.
  • One Night Stand Pregnancy: According to the author, Ensi's twin sons were concieved on a one-night stand. This why their father only appears in the family under what is assumed to be his first name.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: The end of her Day in the Limelight implies that she's not outright dead, while the graves of both her sons have actually been shown on-panel.
  • Parental Neglect: She was a quite straight case according to Minna, that describes her sons as "not really raised by her" and her only having taken interest in Onni and Lalli because their mage powers made them potential successors to her and assets to the community. A little of it is seen in the Adventure II flashback, where she pretty much leaves Lalli to his own devices when she's not training him.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: She only gets a very brief proper appearance in Adventure I. She's however shown to be responsible for setting Lalli on his scouting career path and hinted to have a part in the reason her grandchildren had to move to Keuruu.
  • Stern Teacher: Her on-panel appearance shows her to have been one to Lalli, telling him to do nothing without her explicit permission. Given that she was about to take him out to learn how to deal with trolls on the job, it is entirely justified.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Her appearance can be accurately summed up as "Lalli drawn as an older woman".

The Fan Nickname by which the being referred to as "horsie ghost" in the author notes is more widely known. A being that is to ghosts what giants are to trolls and beasts, it takes the form of an eight-legged horse extremely early into its existence, causing it to be reminiscent of Sleipnir. It is the leader of a horde of trolls, ghosts and other beings similar to itself that is following the crew, and seems to have its mind set on either killing or assimilating them. The advance the crew can take on it during the day and whatever the crew's mages can come up with are the only things standing in its way.

Associated tropes:

  • And Your Little Dog, Too!: Tells Lalli and Reynir it intends to take everyone around them. Reynir's reaction implies it didn't only mean the crew, but anyone waiting for them in the Known World as well. Not to mention what one of its subordinate trolls did to Tuuri.
  • Arc Villain: It's the main antagonist of the second half of Adventure I.
  • Create Your Own Villain: Literally, from Onni's standpoint. It started out as an unforeseen side effect of a spell that had been cast to get its original components out of the tank, which merged them in the process.
  • Disk-One Final Boss: Its creepy statements to Reynir and Lalli about chasing them to the end of the world and killing everyone they loved fall short as Pastor Anne terminally exorcises it and they pass on peacefully towards the end of Adventure I.
  • Frontline General: Sleipnope acts very much as this. Where possible, other ghosts and trolls get thrown into the meatgrinder, as the planner hangs back. But, should that fail, guess who steps forwards to deal with things personally...
  • It Can Think: Sleipnope can not just think, but comes up with very sound tactics both on the fly and with time to plan. When it throws waves of specifically rounded-up trollish Cannon Fodder at the crew to try softening them up before sending in a ghostly pincer manoeuvre, we know we're not dealing with instinct-only thinking.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Before its appearance, the threats faced by the crew were just trolls and beasts that happened to be inhabiting whichever location they visited and obeying their basic instincts. Sleipnope and company are an organized force that exists with the purpose of going after the crew.
  • Merger of Souls: Is basically a ghost giant.
  • Mind Hive: Shown to have many "secondary" voices, which belong to its human components, when threatening Lalli and Reynir.
  • No-Sell: Reynir's runes are shown to do a number on a smaller "ghost giant", but Sleipnope just walks over them as if they were nothing.
  • Outside-Context Villain: Its ability to form a "ghost giant" is implied to be something exclusive to its human components, which are the displaced spirits of recipients of the Year 0 cure for the Rash, and hence unheard of in the Known World.
    • They display traits both reminiscent of, yet also quite distinct from, the Finnish kade. Which would explain why Onni and Lalli were confused-yet-terrified and on higher than usual eye-contact alert once they noticed.
  • Stalker Without a Crush: Follows the crew from an ever-shortening distance, and the one time it has caught up with them so far resulted in a night-long battle.
  • Troll: Sleipnope's primary voice/personality/whatever is very good at baiting and then verbally hitting people where it hurts. That is, if those people can hear the supernatural. And, three characters can: poor Lalli, Reynir and Onni. So far, Reynir has been the major target. Primarily because he visibly reacts, probably.
  • Voice of the Legion: Slips into this when several of its human components decide to call for help while the main voice is threatening Reynir and Lalli.
  • Weakened by the Light: Like all Rash creatures. One of its few disadvantages in regards to the crew is limited movement of itself and its horde by day.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Sure, Sleipnope and their ghostly crew still have the very inconvenient trollish issues with light. But, winter cold and travelling distances from warm shelter? Not a problem. They could even "recruit" fresh trolls should they run out of convenient Cannon Fodder.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Its components still include human Rash victims, and its secondary voices won't let the reader forget that. The human spirits are furious at the way they were abandoned and left to go insane for nearly a century, and want the whole world to suffer as they have done.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Its reaction to Reynir's brand new non-flammable ghost-repelling rune is to immediately tell him it's not going to protect the crew forever.
  • You Are Who You Eat: Its eight-legged horse appearance comes from the fact that it absorbed a Multi-Armed and Dangerous troll and a horse beast. It owes the horse its official nickname from the author notes, horsie ghost.

    Admiral Olsen 
The Danish admiral in charge of the Øresund military base. Due to his base having been used exclusively for trade after the Battle of Kastrup that left the Danish army in shambles, he's more than happy to let the crew use Øresund bridge to go into Silent Denmark.

Associated tropes:

  • Badass Beard: Long enough to be arranged into a pair of braids reaching to the top of his chest.
  • Commissar Cap: Wears one, as an admiral.
  • Large and in Charge: Physically on the heavyset side of things, and in charge of a military base.
  • No Indoor Voice: To the point that he's shown speaking entirely in Caps Lock when he's not deliberately lowering his voice.
  • Oh, No... Not Again!: As one of Mikkel's former employers, he has that reaction to hearing the words "face cancer" from Emil's mouth.
  • Publicly Discussing the Secret: He randomly mentions the expedition's unofficial Old World book looting plans while showing them around the base. While speaking as loud as usual.

    The old woman (Spoilers) 

Pastor Anne

The spirit of the deceased pastor of a Lutheran Old World church and apparently a Christian mage. She may be the key to getting the crew rid of Sleipnope and its horde, provided the other mages find a way to get them to her church in the real world. Unfortunately, when first encountered, a bad case of Ghost Amnesia has left her unable to remember anything about its location. The little info given about her upon her introduction and the late reveal of her name resulted in her going by the Fan Nickname "Pastor A" up to her very last moments.

Associated tropes:

  • Beware the Nice Ones: Just a nice Lutheran pastor, right? Nope, in that spirit is an extremely powerful Christian mage. She's maintained the safety of her church for a century, which is no small feat in a Death World-lite. In the end, she easily blocks Sleipnope's every attack, and heals them and sends them to their afterlife with a few simple words. "Aren't you tired?"
  • Christianity Is Catholic: Averted. Since her church is in Denmark, she's Lutheran. The fact that she's a female ordained priest and her collar are indicative of this, as well.
  • The Cake Is a Lie: Downplayed literal interpetation. It and the coffee are literally a dream, as well as a blast from the past and a polite sign that she means no harm. Neither Reynir nor Onni take to the weird, bitter "soup", but Onni scarfs that sponge cake down at an impressive rate.
  • Determinator: She maintains her safe haven, guarding her church from malevolent spirits no matter how strong they are, through what is implied to be sheer force of will. She slips for half a second, but even that only gives Onni and Reynir a vision of her final weeks.
  • Deus Exit Machina: Reynir tries to visit her a second time at the end of Chapter 14, only to be unable to find her. This leaves Onni the only person he feels comfortable talking to, but requires him to cover up Tuuri's health status, which comes back to bite him later. This doesn't keep her from being readily available when her church is finally found in real life.
  • Fantastically Indifferent: About the the fact she turned into a troll in the real world. Considering that the situation is a surprise to the reader and the crew but ninety years old to her, she likely simply got used to it.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: She gets a few isolated moments of this while talking with Onni and Reynir, such as being oblivious to things that have become common knowledge after the initial Rash outbreak and being annoyed at Reynir not recognizing allusions to the god she worships during their second meeting.
  • Friendly Zombie: In spite of having physically turned into a troll, her mind has remained human enough for her to interact with the dream world in a human form and slip under Kitty's troll-dar.
  • Ghost Amnesia: In addition to the location of her church, she has forgotten her own name (except for it starting with "A") and the exact circumstances of her death when first encountered.
  • Ghostly Goals: She needs the to help Rash-transformed souls find the afterlife before heading there herself.
  • Good Shepherd: What has been shown of her puts her in that category, especially the events listed under Greater Need Than Mine.
  • Greater Need Than Mine: Her church only got a small supply of the Year 0 cure, so it was first given to infected medical personnel and other people more vital to keeping the community going than herself.
  • Human Architecture Horror: Her troll body has partly fused with the walls of the room in which it's located. It's implied to be one of the reasons her church became a Collapsing Lair when she died.
  • Hypnotic Eyes: Implied when Onni's first reaction to noticing her presence is to make really sure Reynir and himself don't make eye contact with her. Fortunately, if she does have this ability, she has no interest in using it on them.
  • No Name Given: When first encountered, she can't remember her own name, except that it probably starts with an A. In her last words before leaving for the afterlife, she remembers it being "Anne".
  • Non-Standard Character Design: She's drawn more realistically than the rest of the cast.
  • Politeness Judo: She's a pastor, which means she attained at least two dans in this decades before she died. As Sleipnope aka "Dears" discovers, she has not lost her touch — at all. She basically takes down the Arc Villain of Adventure I with one single question: "Aren't you tired?"
  • Psychopomp: One of the few things she remembers clearly is that her job is to help souls find the afterlife, and heavily implies that the souls needing her help are the only reason she hasn't left herself. Performing that duty may very well be the reason she's still around.
  • Talking the Monster to Death: Her Politeness Judo is good enough to pull this off.
  • Walking Spoiler: Christianity having been abandonned the Known World causes her mere existence to throw a wrench in a few elements of the comic's world.

    Bjarni Árnason 
One of Reynir's older brothers, who happens to be working on the ship that picks up the crew at the end of the Denmark expedition. Being not that much older than him, his relationship to Reynir is of the "usual partner in crime" kind. He's a product of the Dagrenning program, which enables non-immune parents to have immune children via using genetic material from The Immune donors.

Associated tropes:

  • Chekhov's Gunman: He's introduced as one of the immune older siblings in Reynir's backstory and turns out to be on the pick-up ship at the end of the first adventure.
  • Chocolate Baby: He plays with this trope in his own way, via looking quite different from his parents and Reynir, but quite similar to his three other siblings.
  • Designer Baby: A downplayed example, as a Dagrenning program child.
  • The Engineer: His title card lists his profession as "mechanic".
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: His parents' Reynir-sheltering actions included convincing him that an international travel ban on non-immunes was still in place. Bjarni not only told Reynir about the travel ban being lifted, but what kind of boat would take him onboard.
  • Why We Can't Have Nice Things: Over the course of the two minutes for which he was allowed to visit Reynir in quarantine, he complained about his Hazmat Suit being itchy around a bunch of people on the watch for symptoms of the Rash and tried to give Reynir a fist bump through his isolation cell's glass wall. And demonstrated a likely factor in visits only allowed to be two minutes long in the first place.

    Hilja (Spoilers) 
A friend of Ensi's who is seen the dream flashback to Toivosaari's last days. Old age seems to have started doing a number on her memory.

Associated tropes:

  • Ambiguous Situation: The aspects of her behavior that can be attributed to coming down with dementia, coming down with the Rash, and being controlled by the kade respectively. Trouble recognizing people fits with both early signs of trollification and being controlled by an entity who isn't familiar with any of her acquaintances, in addition to the dementia it was initially mistaken for. Ensi rules out dementia the second she sees the infected rat, but it can also account for Hilja having been vulnerable to the kade in the first place.
  • And Then John Was a Zombie: The reader gets to see her both as a human and as a troll.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Brainwashed into infecting her own entire village with the Rash.
  • Fatal Family Photo: She turns out to have a daughter right before the events leading to the discovery and death of her trollified form unfold.
  • Hypnotic Eyes: Looking into her eyes is enough to end up under the influence of the kade controlling her.
  • Plaguemaster: The kade essentially uses her as one via having her infect the village with the Rash during the Typhoid Mary phase of her infection.
  • Scatterbrained Senior: She acts like one, and this is the reason another reason for her behavior wasn't considered until it was too late.
  • Zombie Infectee: Being a Rash victim who turned into a troll makes her qualify for this.

    Väinö Väänänen 
The "Sentinel Mage" of the northern Kermajärvi station, he guards the faraway frontier of Finland through which Onni has travelled, and registers the passage of Lalli and the rest as they follow.

Associated tropes:

  • Animal Eye Spy: With a vast flock of seagulls at his beck and call, seeing everything far and wide, little can escape his sight around here - as Onni found out the hard way.
  • Badass Boast: Claims he could maintain surveillance of the entire northern Saimaa by himself. Given all we've seen of the Silent Land so far, all he himself has alluded to in terms of the even more dangerous beasts lurking out there, this is a bold claim indeed.
  • The Beastmaster: His birds obey his every command and have a degree of shared consciousness with him. Judging by his fellow Sentinels, such bonding seems to be a basic requirement for the job.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: A couple cards short of a full deck, full of creepy mannerisms and having forgotten that his elevator can't carry more than one person, he's nonetheless also very competent at his job. He wouldn't be this far away otherwise.
  • Collector of the Strange: A side effect of his occupation. He keeps track of whether people who go through his checkpoint are still alive or not via having each of them leave a small personal item behind. If the person dies, their item bleeds... and apparently stays in the cabinet in which it's being kept.
  • Creepy Good: Nuttier than a fruitcake with the creepiest spying array and message system this side of a Tim Burton film. Yet, he is a frontline protector of the Known World with his heart in the right place, even if his social skills are a bit more gull- than people-oriented.
  • Creepy Shadowed Undereyes: Compared to the detailed eyes of the rest of the cast, his eyes are beady and have very pronounced outlines. His seagulls often share his expression.
  • Wall of Weapons: He has one in his home.

Rash creatures:

    In General 
Characteristics that are shared by all Rash creatures, or at the very least presumed to be so.

Associated tropes:

  • Ambiguous Situation: The extent to which magic is involved in their condition, since it came back some time after the initial Rash outbreak.
  • Body Horror: Trolls and Beasts, of the Transformation Horror variety. Some giants verge on Eldritch Abomination territory.
  • Driven to Madness: In a combination of the pain from their physical changes, together with the torment of immortality, the wast majority of the trolls have gone completely and violently insane with very few exceptions among them.
  • Evil Smells Bad: Well, they are zombies going by a different set of names. According to an Adventure II info page, the smell can be reproduced with a mix of rotting salmon, arsenic and a little sunflower oil.
  • Fighting from the Inside: Victims of the plague are still fully aware of the nightmare they've become. Occasionally, this allows them to fight off the control long enough to stall or fumble attacks, allowing others to escape or Mercy Kill them. Even animals are capable of this as the dog monster demonstrates.
  • Fusion Dance: Be it body or soul, the Rash seems to facilitate the process of several entitie fusing into one.
  • It Can Think: Enough individual specimens, especially among giants that have a larger number of brains to work with, have displayed some amont of a intelligence to leave little doubt about this applying to at least some of them.
  • Living Motion Detector: The "Stand still" part of the titular Rule #1 strongly hints towards them being this to an extent.
  • Made of Plasticine: Some can be quite easy to kill, provided one manages to avoid getting killed first.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: The reason for their Perpetual-Motion Monster nature.
  • Meat Moss: The transformation process seems to have producing this as a side effect, causing its presence inside or outside a building to be a tell-tale sign of it being a troll nest.
  • Meat Puppet: Later story developments indicate that this may very well be their actual state.
  • More Teeth than the Osmond Family: The Rash has an uncanny tendency to make its victims gain extra teeth.
  • Perpetual-Motion Monster: Most of the encountered individuals can be safely assumed to have been infected ninety years ago. The horse whose spirit became part of Sleipnope, for instance, was introduced still tethered in its stable. Word of God mentioned that they do need to eat, but that their needs are so little that a static troll can live off the plants and/or fugus that grow close to it and condensed water.
  • Plague Zombie: The Rash spent the better part of the Distant Prologue being officially The Plague. The whole zombification thing started out as a rare complication of it. The extent of the transformation results in other monster tropes applying to its victims in practice.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Specimens the crew runs into tend to get killed within one chapter of being introduced, but some have been greatly outlived by the consequences of the damage they managed to do before getting finished off.
  • Technically Living Zombie: There have been several statements from Minna concerning the fact they need minimal nutrition to sustain themselves. In addition to this, Väinö heavily implies that items non-immunes leave with him won't start bleeding if their owner becomes a troll, while the bleeding happens if the owner dies.
  • Tortured Monster: Several individuals have been shown to be very, very unhappy with what the Rash did to their minds and bodies.
  • Weakened by the Light: The exact effect is unknown, but they tend to avoid light at all costs. UV radiation seems to be factor since soiled gear can be sanitized by being put under a UV lamp or left in the sun long enough.

Animals that have been transformed by the Rash, which affects all non-feline mammals. Their physical mutations tend to be much milder than those affecting trolls, resulting in them having a form much closer to their original one. Their resistance to cold compared to trolls also allows them to be present in dwellings that would otherwise be inadequate for nests.

Associated tropes:

  • Animalistic Abomination: While they don't have it nearly as bad as trolls and giants, they are still subject to Rash-induced Body Horror to various extents.
  • Ascended to Carnivorism: Those who mutated from herbivores, with a concrete example in the form of the cows seen eating wolves in Adventure II.
  • Raising the Steaks: Beasts are the setting's equivalent to zombified animals.

Former humans, whose mutations are both more extreme and more diverse than those of beasts, and limited only by the fact that most don't grow much bigger than their original body. Their sensitivity to cold requires them to make Meat Moss nests in old buildings to survive the winter.

Associated tropes:

  • Acid Attack: Some are capable of spitting acid, as shown by a charming specimen of Kalma in Adventure II.
  • All Trolls Are Different: Here, a case of Plague Zombie meets Body Horror, that may have gotten the name "troll" simply from the survivors being Nordic.
  • Being Watched: A tell-tale sign of the nearby presence of a member of the Vätte sub-class.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: The type dubbed "dusklings" by Lalli. They call Emil "food" as soon as they see him, then ask him why he's so eager to put distance and barricaded doors between himself and them.
  • Hypnotic Eyes: Spirits corrupted by the Rash are able to lure those who can see and hear them into a trap via their Compelling Voice, which requires intial eye contact with the target to work. Onni hints that a strong enough mage can shield themselves from it, but weaker mages (Reynir) and non-mages Sharing a Body with a mage ( Emil in later chapters) need to avoid eye contact with Rash-corrupted spirits at all costs.
  • Not Using the "Z" Word: Trolls are the setting's equivalent to standard, formerly human zombies.
  • Required Secondary Powers: Zig-zagged when it comes to Acid Attack capable Kalma. Individual specimens range from slowly getting killed by their own acid damaging their body to developping organ linings and skin that let them survive much longer.
  • Undead Child: Some of them are way too small to have have been adults upon transformation.
  • Zombie Puke Attack: Aside from bites, it's possible for some trolls to infect non-immunes via breathing (one-meter range) or spitting (up to ten meters of range). The small chance of both of these happening is one of the reasons non-immunes need to wear masks in some areas.

Those rare trolls that managed to grow significantly bigger than the human body from which they transformed and the capacity of most Rash creatures to gradually fuse into a Body of Bodies resulted into the acknowledgment of a third broad category of Rash creature. Giants, as hinted at by their name, tend to be much bigger than other Rash creatures, but are fortunately a relatively rare sight.

Associated tropes:

  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: They can become big enough to qualify. Chapter 16 heavily implies that one can form from several trolls sharing a nest. Nests can take up entire buildings.
  • Body of Bodies: The "fusion of several separate entities" variant.
  • Kraken and Leviathan: Whales and other cetaceans that get the Rash have a head-start in the giantification department. The thing is, they seem able to adapt their body plans the way trolls do, so won't necessarily need to join with a water-bound human-derived troll for inspiration (but, hey, why not?). So, yes: enormous amphibious-adapted, deep-sea capable, conjoined pods of wildly-shaped body horror with optional shells and tentacles are more than possible.
  • Mind Hive: The Body of Bodies variant seems to be this, considering that the top priority of the train guards upon getting a severed giant arm on their hands was to destroy all its heads as fast as possible.

An extremely rare type of Finnish troll formed out of an infected mage.

Associated tropes:

  • Chekhov's Gunman: They're first mentioned in the info page about Luonto, and seem to play a significantly bigger role in Adventure 2.
  • Hypnotic Eyes: They possess an even more powerful version of this than a common troll, and far more subtle at that. They're capable of compelling a person into acting in accord to them without anyone even noticing, as found in the case of Hilja.
  • Mind Hive: A single kade can house the souls of many mages, and it would seem more common for the corrupted mage to join their corruptor rather than form a new kade.
  • Soul Power: A kade can infect even the immunes, on account of its corruption working on the soul rather than the body.
  • Your Soul Is Mine: The end result of above, barring a successful exorcism.

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