Spoilers for The Stolen Century and Story and Song and related spoilers from The Suffering Game should be spoiler-tagged. Everything else is fair game. Reader beware: you're about to enter... the Spoiler Zone!
Tres Horny Boys
Tres Horny Boys
The PCs in general.
- Accidental Misnaming: The boys do this constantly, mispronouncing and misnaming NPCs and enemies even as they're repeatedly corrected. Often the players invoke this deliberately to demonstrate how dim their characters are or to elicit frustration from an NPC, but sometimes the McElroys themselves genuinely forget. Especially Clint.
- An Adventurer Is You: Magnus, with his heavy armor and shield, acts as the Tank and consistently puts himself in the front of the formation. Merle is the Healer as well as casting defensive buffs. Taako is the DPS caster in addition to support magic.
- Badass Crew: The only known people in the world that can collect Grand Relics on top of being D&D PCs.
- Badass on Paper: If you were to list each of their individual and collective feats throughout the arcs, or even just their successful retrieval of each artifact, you'd be looking at a formidable trio of heroes. The results are impressive, but each adventure is defined by their hilarious missteps and gross incompetence.
- Beware the Silly Ones: Even in-universe the heroes are exceedingly wacky, cracking jokes in the face of arcane liches and ancient horrors, Comically Missing the Point at every turn and generally screwing up just as often as saving the day. But Magnus is a hardy, athletic warrior and agile rogue who can tear the arms off robots and subdue bears without killing them, Taako is an alarmingly competent and versatile wizard and brilliant manipulator, and Merle is a veteran adventurer and cleric with powerful healing spells. When they're taking things seriously and working together, they're a force to be reckoned with.
- Big, Thin, Short Trio: While their physical depictions vary, it's known that Magnus is a Big brick wall of a man, Merle is a stubby little Dwarf and Taako is described at one point as having a slight build.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Sure, the three of them gleefully cavort about and take a very irreverent and at times downright stupid approach to their adventures, but they haven't destroyed five Grand Relics without being exceedingly competent at what they do (even if that competence seems to be the exception rather than the rule). Out-of-universe, Justin, Travis, and Clint are actually quite competent at playing their characters and classes when push comes to shove, especially considering their prior lack of skill at the start of the podcast.
- Cerebus Retcon: A lot of their personality quirks get this treatment in the penultimate episode of The Eleventh Hour. To wit;
- Magnus' compulsive need to rush in and protect people stems from witnessing bullies torturing an animal when he was a child, and he got the shit kicked out of him defending it. His carpentry also comes from his time in Ravensroost, where he had deposed a despotic governor and got married shortly after his successful rebellion. However, when he left town to go to Neverwinter for a craftsman's competition, the governor returned and blew up the supporting column for his section of the town, killing his wife, his mentor/father figure, and 74 others and led to the rest of the town getting abandoned by the frightened populace.
- Merle's easy-going attitude and seemingly blasé nature regarding Pan stems from growing up in a very strict, religious household and having the faith pushed on him. He was also trapped in a loveless arranged marriage and abandoned his wife and kids to become a hedge cleric, leading to his vagabond lifestyle.
- Taako's seeming cowardice in the face of danger is a holdover instinct he picked up due to basically living on his own from the time he was twelve, traveling with passing theater troupes and wandering knights and wizards in order to survive. His disastrous final show of Sizzle It Up With Taako is also worse than it was first described; initially it was believed that Taako's transmutation magic accidentally and fatally poisoned the forty or so people that he was performing for, but in actuality his jealous assistant Sazed laced the ingredients with arsenic as revenge for Taako not wanting to include him in the show. This lead to a pathological avoidance of poison/venom that even appeared in his choice of mask for the Battle Wagon race. While Taako was relieved to discover that it wasn't his fault for what happened, he is still cut up over the fact that it was his unwillingness to share fame with Sazed that caused the disaster that ended Taako's career.
- Characterization Marches On: When asked to label themselves before taking the Bureau's reclaimer test, the boys decide to call Taako the bravest, Merle the smartest, and Magnus the strongest. Magnus's title stays fairly accurate, but the other two choices seem absolutely bizarre in hindsight. One could argue that Taako and Merle rightfully earn each other's titles in later arcs- Taako by blossoming into a dangerously creative Combat Pragmatist, and Merle by selflessly offering up his life to the Hunger dozens of times during parley.
- Comedic Sociopath: Magnus is often over-eager to fight and kill, Taako occasionally quips about being aroused by killing and is perfectly comfortable with lying and stealing, and Merle frequently suggests murder and deceit as solutions, even when totally unnecessary and often to the shock of his peers. This is taken Up to Eleven during The Eleventh Hour and The Stolen Century, when they realize the majority of the deaths and destruction that occur have no lasting impact and they become a bit cavalier with their actions.
- Emphasis on comedic. Magnus is actually protector at heart, and has a complex for heroics and self-sacrifice. Taako may be unsympathetic and self-absorbed, but this mostly a defense mechanism and he is seldom outright cruel or violent. Merle is a bit bitter with a dark sense of humor, but he's a true healer and mentor who rarely acts on such heinous thoughts.
- Fire-Forged Friends: With each other and, to a lesser extent, with their friends in the Bureau. Three strangers who meet in a bar over a one-time job offer become something like a family over the course of several misadventures. This actually occurs twice, thanks to the wiped memories of their pasts. Originally, they were only acquaintanced through the IPRE, but a hundred years of fighting and dying together brought them closer to each other and the other members of the team. When they are all reunited for the final stand against the Hunger, their bonds are as strong as ever.
- Forgot About His Powers: They often forget their massive amount of magical items, even when it would be really helpful. They occasionally lampshade it.
- Freudian Trio: While all of them frequently act for their own amusement before anything else, Magnus is a protective and morally righteous Superego, the vain and self-centered Taako is the Id, and Merle is an Ego simply trying to enjoy life as it comes.
- Get Your Mind Out of the Gutter: Merle mostly, but they all experience it at least once an episode. Usually due to Dungeon Master Griffin's Accidental Innuendo.
- Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Our good-aligned Paragons of Justice murder a low-level gangster who commits no serious crimes that the audience is privy to and then throw his body off a cliff rather than use up a healing spell to avoid, y'know. Murder.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: The Eleventh Hour reveals that they're all missing a significant chunk of their memories, from roughly the same time period. This is because of Lucretia using a second Voidfish to remove their memories of being Red Robes.
- The Main Characters Do Everything: Lampshaded. There are seven ancient artifacts that must be collected and destroyed for the safety of the world. Secret society of powerful wizards organized for that exact purpose who live in a secret base on the moon: 0. Three jokers: 6. One to go. Director Lucretia notes this in-universe after the Petals to the Metal arc and decides to dismiss all other Reclaimers and put the Bureau's full resources behind supporting the party.
- Justified, as revealed in The Stolen Century. The reason Tres Horny Boys can resist the thrall of the Grand Relics is because they, along with Lucretia and Davenport (who collected the artifacts on the moon base) and Barry and Lup (who are liches), are the original creators of the Grand Relics.
- Murder Is the Best Solution: Their go to plan.
- Nominal Hero: The "heroes" are in the business of tracking down Artifacts of Doom for two reasons: because they don't want the planet destroyed (it's where they keep all their stuff) and because the pay is pretty good. They'll gleefully lie, cheat, steal, and murder along their way toward saving the world from the latest threat, and everyone else has to put up with it, because their track record at world-saving can't be beat.
- Older Than They Look: Aside from Magnus, who's 32, Taako and Merle's ages are nebulous, simply being the elven and dwarven equivalent of young adult, and middle aged respectively. The Stolen Century reveals that, however old they are, they're actually 100 years older, having spent those 100 years traveling between planes of existence, their physical age resetting every year.
- The Role Player: All three players are pretty good about this, attempting to negotiate with enemies whenever possible and occasionally making suboptimal decisions that are in line with their characters. For example, Travis plays Magnus as an impulsive man of action who will leap into situations without thinking, Clint plays Merle as a bit irreverent, usually trying to keep up with Magus as he rushes in, and Justin plays Taako as disinterested in combat, usually hanging back and waiting for things to play out, or be dragged in by the other two.
- Tomato in the Mirror: They were told that the group called the Red Robes were the bad guys. It turns out, they were the Red Robes, and they were never villains in the first place.
- Too Dumb to Fool: Mostly Taako, but Merle credits all of their ability to resist the Grand Relics to their own stupidity. It's not.
- Ultimate Job Security: See Nominal Hero
- Underestimating Badassery: People are generally surprised to find that the PCs are actually competent, though to be fair...
Magnus Terry Burnsides, The Hammer
- Race: HumanClass: Fighter (Battle Master) / Rogue
A brawny, impulsive "Ruffboi", Magnus is a folk hero from his hometown of Ravensroost, dedicated to protecting the weak and helping those in need, but is often hamstrung by his willingness to blindly rush in without thinking (like, in Merle's words, "a giant horse's ass"). He is played by Travis, the middlest brother.
- Animal Motif: A grizzly bear as featured in Petals to the Metal, the Live Boston Stunt Spectacular, and The Stolen Century.
- To a lesser extent, dogs also serve as one: his first heroic act was rescuing a dog from bullies, one of his running gags is not being allowed to keep dogs on the Bureau's moonbase, he hears "Who Let the Dogs Out" at the Conservatory world, and after the world is saved he opens a dog training school.
- Apologetic Attacker: He lives for a good fight, but in any circumstance where he has to subdue allies, innocents or animals, he's sincerely remorseful.
- Attack! Attack! Attack!: Not only does he barrel into danger, he's not big on extracting himself once he's in. Some conversations he's had, coupled with his Backstory suggest that he's afraid that if he retreats, or even calls for backup, someone else will get hurt.
- Ax-Crazy: He's usually a very Nice Guy, and ultimately heroic, but the eagerness and glee with which he forcibly removes arms is lampshaded as a bit disturbing. However, he's genuinely guilty about chopping Roswell's arms off, and later gets a taste of his owm medicine when he's trapped in a mannequin.
- An Ax To Grind: His weapon of choice.
- Badass Baritone: Described as having a gruff voice.
- Badass Beard: Particularly his sideburns, but Travis insists Magnus has a full beard to match. Fans differ on how they imagine his facial hair, but his badassery is not disputed.
- Badass Normal: The only PC that's not a spell caster.
- Bald of Awesome: In some designs, he has no hair on his head, or his face, except for his impressive sideburns.
- The Beastmaster: A running gag of the series is his high Animal Handling proficiency and how rarely he ever has any opportunity to use the skill.
- The Big Guy: Physically the biggest of the adventurers, and the typical meat shield.
- Blood Knight: A calmer and nicer example than most, but he definitely enjoys a good scrap. He gets visibly excited at the notion of fighting big and badass things, like robots and sapient bears, but he doesn't take any pleasure in excessively hurting his enemies or spilling blood needlessly.
- Bruiser with a Soft Center: He's huge and muscular, and also the kindest member of the party.
- Can't Catch Up: By The Suffering Game, Magnus is coming to terms with the fact his friends can reshape reality with magic while he swings an ax.
- Celibate Hero: Not interested in romance, and is very uncomfortable when put into romantic situations. See The Mourning After below.
- Charm Point: He seems to think this of his facial hair earlier on.
- Chronic Hero Syndrome: His initial characterization states that he hates injustice and will fight it whenever it occurs. In actual play he's not always so lawful, but definitely more than the other two boys.
- Combat Pragmatist: He's an honest guy, but he doesn't hold back in a fight. Some of his methods are downright dirty, but it comes with the territory when you're the only non-magic-user in a party that regularly faces monsters and sorcerers with powers beyond comprehension.
- Crippling Overspecialization: Magnus hits hard. Sometimes his damage output shocks even Griffin. But he's the only member of the party with no magic or cantrips, and anything that he can't simply murder with an axe becomes a grim reminder of his straightforward skillset. Rectified a bit later on when he starts his rogue training.
- Crusading Widower: Of the rare heroic variety.
- Doomed Hometown: His home, Ravensroost, ended up being attacked once more by the tyrant he drove away - not to conquer it, but to destroy it. Only a portion of it got damaged, but it was enough to scare the surviving locals off, leaving the place a ghost town.
- Friend to All Living Things: Magnus is absolutely nuts about animals, especially dogs. He also shows serious reluctance every time he needs to kill an animal, even in self defence. He even hesitates to harm a Hunger-corrupted rhinoceros, which is essentially a mindless mass of destructive energy that was once an animal.
- Forgot About His Powers: He's never once used the fighter's "Second Wind" ability, which allows him to heal himself once per rest.
- Dumb Muscle: His role in the party. He's not actually stupid, just a bit dense. But he's a straightforward warrior alongside a powerful spellcaster and a cleric who talks directly to his god, so he focuses on cracking skulls and leaves the arcana to his companions.
- Genius Bruiser: He's the first to admit he's not good at much outside of asskicking and carpentry, but he sells himself short. In combat he's shown to be an expert in tactics to compensate for his lack of magic, using the environment to his advantage and making the most out of sticky situations with improvised weapons.
- Giver of Lame Names: By Travis' own admission, Magnus isn't the best at naming things. Case and point, in the finale of The Stolen Century he names the artifacts he builds "Bearface" and "2th Necklace" (pronounced "Tooth Necklace").
- The Hero Dies: Many deaths during The Stolen Century aside, Magnus gets two notable moments of this; the first is when the Animus Bell knocks his soul out of his body, although Taako and Merle are able to prevent him from being lost to the Astral Plane, and the second happens decades after the end of the campaign as Magnus, now an old man on his deathbed and surrounded by his loved ones, calmly slips away into that good night. Kravitz then takes him by the hand and guides him to a section of the Astral Plane specifically for himself and Julia, the pair finally being reunited in death.
- Heroes Love Dogs: He really wanted a pet dog, but there's no dogs on the moon. He opens a dog training school after the campaign.
- Heroes Prefer Swords: Averted in that he always wields an axe and sometimes uses a bow. Until he gains possession of the Flaming Raging Poisoning Sword of Doom in Reunion Tour.
- Heroic Build: The players are pretty dedicated to having no "wrong" fan interpretation of their characters' appearance, but Magnus is regularly described as having a very imposing physique, well-toned musculature and quite a lot of physical power, so this and Big Fun are two of the more popular and common designs in artwork.
- Hot Blooded Sideburns: He boasts an impressive set of sideburns (hence, Burnsides) and is the most reckless and physically-inclined member of the party. Travis clarifies that Magnus sports a full beard, but the sideburns are particularly noteworthy.
- Humanity Ensues: Inverted. At the end of The Suffering Game, his real body disappears or is destroyed, leaving him stuck as a mannequin indefinitely.
- Played straight in Reunion Tour, when he dies in the mannequin body and regains his old body which was regrown by Garfield the Deals Warlock.
- Indy Ploy: Since he's always rushing in, he's prone to making up combat plans on the fly.Travis: I'll tell you the one thing I've always got: an idea!
- Innocent Bigot: Playfully calls Carey a lizard a few times, seemingly without knowing better. The last time she gives him a stern "don't fucking call me that" in response.
- La Résistance: Joined, and eventually led, the rebellion against Ravensroost's tyrannical governor.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: In addition to the missing time mentioned above, Magnus specifically also gets hit with this during The Suffering Game, giving up his memories of the Mad Governor Kalen so he can't directly seek revenge.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Magnus has a habit of ripping arms off of robots and the like. When he gets put into the body of a mannequin and Edward the Lich gets put into Magnus', the shoe is on the other foot.
- Griffin: I know what he does. Magnus, Edward's gonna make a strength check to see if he can rip one of your fucking arms off.
- Leeroy Jenkins: Has a tendency to run into danger without thought. It works as often as not.
- Loyal Animal Companion: What he wants to make of most animals he meets and how he views his relationship with Steven/Stephen.
- Played straight in The Stolen Century with Fisher. All those episodes bragging about his animal proficiency finally payed off.
- The Magnificent: The Hammer.
- The McCoy: His strongest traits are his protective instinct and his reckless courage. As a result, Magnus never thinks twice about helping those in need, even when doing so is futile, impractical or even suicidal. This can be frustrating for his companions, especially Taako. Taken to the extreme during The Stolen Century, where many of his deaths are direct results of his staying behind to defend the doomed people of different worlds from their inevitable deaths to the Hunger.
- The Mourning After: He's uninterested in romance because he still loves his late wife Julia.
- Mr. Fanservice: Seems to have shades of this despite being a Celibate Hero and the Adventure Zone being an audio medium. He certainly appears in a state of undress more than the other PCs. For example: changing clothes in Lucretia's office, wearing his IPRE jacket without a shirt underneath, getting pants-ed in Petals to the Metal, swimming in his underwear with the Voidfish and fighting the Hunger while naked.
- Multi-Melee Master: He's shown to be fully proficient in battleaxes, spears, longswords, and his grandpa's pocketknife.
- As a fighter, he's proficient in every weapon available.
- Non-Indicative Name: "The Hammer"—in battle, he prefers to use an ax, and now has a spear as well. (However, the name actually refers to his work as a carpenter.)
- No Sense of Personal Space: Will hide under your bed for training purposes.
- Pastimes Prove Personality: He may be the party tank and arm removal specialist, but his love of animals and carpentry demonstrate that he definitely has a softer side.
- Platonic Life-Partners: Outside the other Horny Boys and maybe Angus, Magnus' closest friend is Carey Fangbattle. Her wedding to Killian and her place at his side in his epilogue firmly establish the platonic nature and longevity of their relatipnship, respectively.
- Proud Beauty: He's not a narcissist about it, but he clearly prides himself on his muscle and sheer size. Magnus can get sullen or competitive if a new NPC is noted for their strength or physique.
- Romantic Wingman: He tutors Carey in carpentry to make a present for a friend in return for rogue lessons, but he intuits the gift will be for Killian and also crafts a lovely ring which he knowingly suggests Killian might like.
- Stone Wall: A protection-style fighter.
- Theme Naming: He shares one of a series of titles with his seven fellow Red Robes, elucidated by Lucas' mother when she had her vision in the Cosmoscope; he is "The Protector."
- Token Good Teammate: While none of the Boys are evil per se, Magnus is typically the only one concerned with collateral damage their conflicts cause. Best shown in The Suffering Game, where Magnus leaps to protect other groups even at risk of his own.
- Tranquil Fury: Magnus, being a pretty good-natured guy, is fairly slow to anger. But when he does lose his cool, his chipper disposition vanishes and he speaks in a slow, measured, warning tone before taking action.
- Vague Age: Averted, unlike the other two. He's 32 as of The Suffering Game.
- Walking Armory: Magnus carries up to 6 weapons on his person over the course of the series.note : Railsplitter, The Chance Lance, a rapier, a shortbow and quiver, the Flaming Poisoning Raging Sword Of Doom, and his grandpa's pocket knife, as well as the Shield Of Heroic Memories and the Phantom Fist. This is not to mention all the other objects he's carrying.
- When All You Have Is a Hammer...: He's a fighter, and a damn good one. His solution for most enemies is to simply swing at them with all his might and hope the roll lands in his favor. He can actually be pretty clever, using nearby objects and the environment when his equipment doesn't cut it, but that still usually winds up being some form of melee attack based on his physical stats, so the principle's the same.
- Who Wants to Live Forever?: Justified by Travis. When offered immortality by the Animus Bell, he immediately shuts it down... because it would rob him of his chance to reunite with Julia in the afterlife.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Has a fear of spiders. The first arc villain is spider-themed.
- Working-Class Hero: Has the Folk Hero background.
- World's Strongest Man: By Story and Song, Magnus has 20 strength, the maximum a PC can get without magic.
- Worth Living For: While Magnus had always wanted to die in a dramatic Heroic Sacrifice to join his wife Together in Death, his time with his friends gave him a new appreciation on life. He ends up dying a peaceful death of old age, surrounded by his friends.
- Younger Than They Look: In a roundabout way. He gives up 10 years of his life in Wonderland, aging to 42 when he's only 32, and he gains some grey hairs and leaner, more sinewy muscle as a result. However, like Lucretia, this means he's still 90 years older than his Physical Age would suggest due to the century he and the other Red Robes spent fleeing The Hunger. He goes back to being 100 Years Older than he looks when Garfield's pod regrows for him a body as it was before entering Wonderland.
Merle Hitower Highchurch
- Race: Hill DwarfClass: Cleric (Nature Domain)
A laid-back cleric of Pan, God of Nature. Merle is often absent-minded and overly blasé about serious situations, but is generally kindhearted and fatherly (provided you don't accidentally trigger his feelings of inadequacy). His signature spell is "Zone of Truth", which he is known to cast at completely inopportune moments, and is notorious among the rest of the party for not doing his job of healing them often enough. He is played by Clint, the brothers' father.
- The All-Solving Hammer: Gets a lot of mileage out of his Zone of Truth spell to the point of a running gag. His first act after getting his powers back in the second episode of Story and Song is to cast Zone of Truth, despite it having no apparent use at the time.
- Animal Motif: Has a slight association with owls, though it's only mentioned twice.
- The first was in Petals to the Metal, where he wears an owl mask during the battlewagon race.
- The second was in The Suffering Game, where he receives an eye-patch with an owl on it after sacrificing his left eye.
- The Anti-Nihilist: Shows shades of this despite being a devout Pan worshipper. On more than one occasion, he summarizes his general life philosophy as being one of finding happiness and making others happy because "no one's getting out of this life alive anyways."
- Badass Baritone: Has a gruff voice when Clint remembers to do a character voice.
- Badass Preacher: He's a cleric. It comes with the territory. He even tries to convert some NPCs.
- Brought Down to Normal: After Pan's disappearance, he lost his ability to cast magic. It came back when Pan did in Story and Song.
- Butt-Monkey: The Random Number God does not like him.
- Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: He has no qualms about insulting John, a.k.a. the Hunger, a.k.a. the Eldritch Abomination trying to consume all of existence.
- Disappeared Dad: Turns out that that unhappy arranged marriage he walked out on resulted in at least one child that he hardly ever sees. His relationship with his son and stepdaughter is friendly, or at least civil, and Merle's trying to make amends now.
- Drop the Hammer: Wields a warhammer.
- Early Installment Weirdness: Because Clint was using a pre-rolled character sheet, Merle was a life cleric who worshiped Marthammor Duin (AKA Dumathoin, dwarven god of mining and protector of the dead) in Here There Be Gerblins. His worship of Pan as a nature cleric was retconned in when Griffin let him switch subclasses after Moonlighting.
- Easily Forgiven: Living up to his title as "The Peacemaker", Merle seems almost incapable of holding a grudge. He very quickly forgave Lucretia for erasing their memories, forgave Kravitz for crystallizing his arm, and even made amends with John, despite him personally killing him 50+ times and chasing his friends across all reality.
- Entertainingly Wrong: He claims during a party to have read Killian's diary and deduced that she has a crush on Johann mere seconds before Carey debuts.
- Evil Stole My Faith: Subverted/played with. Merle retains his faith throughout The Stolen Century, despite everything that happened during that time. However, after Lucretia erased his memories of that century and much of his past, his relationship with Pan became a bit iffier and more easily tested, and he seemed to assume he'd been abandoned when the gods disapeared. Basically, evil didn't steal his faith but amnesia messed it up a little.
- Eyepatch of Power: Receives one after giving up his left eye in The Suffering Game.
- Fantastic Racism: In the first arc Merle makes a couple unfriendly remarks in-character about orcs. This could be attributed to his clan's troubled history with orcs, or Clint might have been thinking of orcs in the Tolkien sense as inherently evil beings. Either way, Merle has nothing but respect and affection for Killian after joining the Bureau, and has no trouble trusting and cooperating with orcs in later adventures, so he must have outgrown or retconned his prejudice.
- Fetish: Plants. To the point where during the trial in chapter six of The Stolen Century, he pleads guilty to the sin of Lust because he knows he can't deny it.
- Forgot About His Powers: The most prone to this of the three. He's never once used the nature cleric's "Dampen Elements", which grants an ally resistance to certain elemental damage, or "Divine Strike" which adds elemental damage to every melee attack.
- Hidden Heart of Gold: Word of God is that the reason he's so unfriendly to people outside the party (particularly Angus) is because he's insecure about his own value to the party and feels threatened by people he perceives as more competent than him.
- I Call It "Vera": Calls his warhammer Smusher, and his hand axe Lil' Choppy.
- Innocently Insensitive: His initial assertions that Killian is into Johann make her visibly uncomfortable, but he misinterprets this as her being bashful over his attempted ribbing rather than put off by their Incompatible Orientation. He's completely on-board with Carey and Killian as a couple once he finds out, even officiating their wedding.
- Handicapped Badass: Lost his arm in The Crystal Kingdom; it has since been replaced by a soul wood prosthetic. Subsequently lost his left eye in The Suffering Game.
- The Medic: He's a cleric. It comes with the territory.
- Murder Is the Best Solution: Though rarely acted upon, Merle is usually the first to suggest this.
- Nature Hero: A Nature domain cleric and devout worshiper of Pan.
- New Powers as the Plot Demands:
- Griffin suspects his dad of using spells he shouldn't be able to. He's occasionally right.
- A rules-legal example occurs when he gets a magic owl that lets him cast one spell he doesn't know each day.
- Only Friend: He's this for John, in a way, what with being the only person he's even talked to in centuries. Despite John killing him literally dozens of times, and Merle regarding him (not incorrectly) as a "sanctimonious bastard," they seem to enjoy their parlay sessions, and Merle is genuinely hurt by John's Friendship Denial. When he loses control of the Hunger, John parlays Merle so he can warn him, and drops serious hints about how to defeat them. And in the end, John's last request is that Merle sits with him until he dies. And he does.
- Scatterbrained Senior:
Magnus: I just wonder how long it'll take him to forget he has that.Merle: Forget he has what?
- Merle tends to forget about his magic or items more than the other party members (mostly because Clint himself forgets about them). Lampshaded when Istus gives Merle a magic item that will allow him to send himself 9 seconds into the past in order to fix a mistake.
Merle: I prostate myself before you—Magnus: Nope!Merle: What?
- He (and Clint) also has a tendency to forget people's names, calling Lucretia "Lucinda", and Istus "Isthmus". He even forgets his own surname. Twice. note
- He also will occasionally say one word when he means another.
- Team Dad: He's implied to be the oldest of the trio, and while he can be somewhat guff and blasé, he does genuinely care about the other two. Sometimes the other two even refer to him as "dad" while speaking in character!Magnus: Elvish isn't dorky, dad!
- The Smart Guy: Although he's labeled the smartest of the three by default in Moonlighting, he's really more wise than he is clever.
- Theme Naming: He shares one of a series of titles with his seven fellow Red Robes, elucidated by Lucas' mother when she had her vision in the Cosmoscope; he is "The Peacemaker"
- Took a Level in Badass: Sort of. Around Chapter 9 of The Crystal Kingdom, Clint declares himself "The New Merle Highchurch," and starts taking the game more seriously (i.e. actually bothering to learn what spells he actually knows and using them effectively).
- Truth Serum: Zone of Truth is his favorite spell.
- Vague Age: He's assumed to be middle-aged, which as a dwarf, and according to the Player's Handbook, would place him around 150. His actual age, however, is never stated.
- Race: High ElfClass: Wizard (School of Transmutation)
A vain, narcissistic wizard, Taako (y'know, from TV?) is a former travelling entertainer who ran a Cooking Show, but had to flee that life after it ended in disaster. Taako is often amoral and self-serving, but goes out of his way to help those he cares about, often by Taking a Third Option. He is played by Justin, the eldest brother.
- Admiring the Abomination: Taako is totally floored by Lydia and Edward's showy introduction and garish showmanship. He certainly doesn't enjoy being at the wrong end of their sadism, but he can't fault their style.
- Amazing Technicolor Population: The graphic novel chooses to make Taako a lovely pastel teal. Fanart also leans into this, with green being a common skin color if he's not given a human skin tone.
- Angsty Surviving Twin: Lup was his sister who died and left him the Umbra Staff. Complicated by the Laser-Guided Amnesia that made him forget her very existence.
- Animal Motif: Dons a mongoose mask during the Battlewagon race in Petals to the Metal.
- He also learns how to communicate with the intelligent animals in The Stolen Century by befriending a mongoose family.
- Awesome Ego: Thinks a lot of himself. This even extends to his name plate in the Balance Trailer which is rendered as "Taako you know, from TV."Taako: Uhh... I'm Taako. Y'know... from TV?
- Beware the Silly Ones: He's The Loonie and the comic relief. He's also a highly-proficient magic user with an arsenal of powerful offensive spells. He also possesses the Umbra Staff, which magnifies his spell-casting abilities to god-like levels.
- Brainless Beauty: He was, for a time, a complete idiot, but an extremely good-looking one. Any trace of his stupidity is gone by The Crystal Kingdom, and in The Suffering Game he has to sacrifice his beauty in Wonderland. He doesn't become ugly, he's just less handsome than he used to be.
- Boy Meets Ghoul: He's dating the Grim Reaper, and it's implied that he finds his boyfriend's skeletal form to be just as attractive as his (strikingly handsome) mortal form.
- Catchphrase: "Taako's good out here." It begins as a direct counter to Magnus' reckless "Magnus rushes in!" bravado, but over time becomes a motto in its own right.
- He only organically says 'Abracafuck you!' once, but it's easily his most iconic and character-defining quote, and he references it as such a few times, both as Justin and in-character.
- He also begins many sentences with an exasperated "Listen...", especially if he is about to suggest an immoral course of action or is trying to explain his own selfish or foolish behavior.
- Combat Pragmatist: Starts showing more and more of these tendencies as time goes on, especially in regards to burning high level spells in horrendously wasteful ways (such as burning a Level 6 spell slot to cast Disintegrate on a Slime). Comes to a head in The Stolen Century when Taako proposes destroying the entire robot civilization (which is also the reality that TAZ Nights takes place in) in order to prevent their spirits from being used by the Hunger, much to the horror of everyone else.
- Characterization Marches On: Justin improvised a lot of Taako's character on the spot, with a lot of the choices based solidly in Rule of Funny. Needless to say, not everything stuck, especially as the story became more serious.
- The most significant: Justin initially played Taako as incredibly stupid. Some of his dumber moments can be explained away as Taako acting clueless to mess with people (ie every interaction with poor Leon) or as a symptom of the voidfish-induced amnesia that caused him to forget huge chunks of his past, including the existance of his twin sister. But others don't make much sense even with Handwaving and are plain and simple Early Installment Weirdness.
- Cooking Show: Used to have a traveling one. Then his sidekick/roadie poisoned everyone who attended a particular show and he had to pack it in.
- Dark-Skinned Blonde: Fanartists frequently depict him and his sister Lup this way.
- Despair Event Horizon: Seems to hit it after regaining his memories of The Stolen Century.
- The Ditz: Even by the standards of the Trés Horny Boys, Taako was once remarkably stupid.
- Dumb Blond: Subverted. Justin at one point claims Taako to have Flaxen Blond hair, and initially played him as extremely dumb. The former trait isn't a hard rule due to the McElroys not wanting canon appearances for fanartists to adhere to, and the latter was abandoned entirely as time went on.
- Early Installment Weirdness: Justin's initial character concept for Taako was that of an absolute idiot. However, starting around the time of the Petals to the Metal arc, he becomes more of a quietly brilliant trickster, who only doesn't take advantage of his brilliance because of his fixation on returning to his life of stardom. It would be difficult to pull off some of his stunts if he were truly the idiot he pretends to be. That being said, he still does things like carry loose pudding around in his pockets.
- "Eureka!" Moment: How he comes up with ingredients for the taco.
- Everyone Has Standards: Despite being the biggest Kleptomaniac Hero in the party, Taako draws the line at stealing from an actual bank in Petals to the Metal.
- Forgot About His Powers: Despite being the major draw of being a transmutation wizard, he never once used his "Transmuter's Stone" in the main campaign. He gets some more use out of it in the Liveshows, such as using it to remove Dracula's Vampirism and turn him into a mortal man in the Halloween Liveshow.
- Gameplay and Story Segregation: In the first few arcs, Taako is humorously thick, even describing himself to NPCs as a "simple idiot wizard." However, he has high Wisdom and Intelligence scores, and it's later retconned that early Taako was a case of Obfuscating Stupidity.
- Genius Ditz: A highly educated and powerful wizard, who nevertheless makes some... questionable decisions.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Is formally charged with the sin of envy during the trial in the The Stolen Century.
- Holding Back the Phlebotinum: Owns the Flaming Poisoning Raging Sword Of Doom, but refuses to give it to either Merle or Magnus, or use it himself, preferring to use it as a fancy accessory. This ends in Reunion Tour, where he ensures that Magnus will have it upon entering his new body.
- An Ice Person: Taako knows several different ice-related spells, like Ray of Frost, Wall of Ice, and Ice Knife.
- Inferiority Superiority Complex: Despite his Awesome Ego, Taako shows many signs of self-loathing. He carries an immense amount of guilt over the disaster at Glamour Springs and later losing Lup and his comments early on describing himself as an "idiot" could be seen as Self-Deprecation. Finally, when he reveals his undisguised appearance to Kravitz he immediately expects to be rejected.
- It's All About Me: Shows signs of this as Characterization Marches On, tending to be the most pragmatically minded and self-centered of the team. This bit him in the ass in his backstory where his showboating led to the end of his career as a traveling chef, and has its roots in his moralization during his time aboard the Starblaster and fleeing the Hunger; he figured that, aside from his crew mates, everyone he interacted with in all the worlds he travelled to was potentially little more than talking dust since the Hunger would come for their worlds in a year's time, so he simply stopped caring about them as anything other than that.
- Kleptomaniac Hero: While Magnus and Merle don't exactly have a perfect record of avoiding theft, Taako goes above and beyond with how much he's willing to steal.
- Lack of Empathy: Develops this in response to his time on the Starblaster after encountering hundreds of worlds only to see them get consumed by The Hunger one after the other.
- The Loonie: Justin has decided that Taako's mission in life is to invent the taco and name it after himself. Considering that the setting of the game has yet to discover concepts such as grinding meat, processing dairy into cheese, or growing corn for food, it looks to be a significant challenge.
- Lovable Coward: Taako is a bit more... cautious about rushing into danger. His motto is "Taako's Good Out Here." It is revealed Taako is naturally cautious due to him believing he was isolated and didn't have anyone to protect him for most of his teenage years.
- Episode 66 revealed he tends to hang back and only care about his own safety because still subconsciously carries the weight of the 100-year mission against The Hunger. He watched millions of people die annually, and developed the attitude that caring about others didn't really matter since they were going to die anyway. In his own words, in every interaction, he was "talking to dust."
- The Magnificent: Like all good high-fantasy wizards, Taako has an epithet. His full title is "Taako, from TV".
- Malicious Misnaming: Pulls this on Angus when he sees the boy's potential in magic as a challenge to his own prowess. He calls him Agnes.
- Meaningful Name: He's a chef called Taako.
- Morphic Resonance: When he transformed into the T. rex Dupree, he kept his wizard hat, which stayed normal size.
- My Greatest Failure: Screwed up a transmutation spell during his cooking show that resulted in everyone who ate the samples of what he made getting poisoned and dying on the spot. Retroactively subverted when he learns, years later, that his jealous roadie Sazed had actually poisoned the food with arsenic.
- The Nicknamer: Shades of this for sure. He tends not to call characters by their actual names, instead using a (somewhat condescending) endearment or a nickname. This is especially true when talking to Angus, opting for Ango when being affectionate or neutral and Agnes when he's feeling petty or cruel.
- Non-Action Guy: He's certainly a competent spellcaster and has few moral reservations about violence, but he typically prefers to avoid conflict or adventure when he can. Statistically speaking, his HP, constitution and strength are nothing to write home about, and Justin has joked that he simply has no clue how to roll for any melee combat because Taako is exclusively a caster.
- OOC Is Serious Business: Ninja Looter Taako actually objects to stealing some gold they find in a lockbox in a ruined bank. Apparently he makes a distinction between looting a fallen enemy (or unsuspecting ally) and straight-up bank robbery.
- In the first episode of Story and Song, all goofiness drops after Taako remembers the twin sister that he forgot that he loved more than anything. He immediately moves to attack Lucretia.
- Pals with Jesus: His boyfriend is the Grim Reaper.
- Parasol of Pain: The Umbra Staff, a powerful magical item disguised as an umbrella, is his weapon of choice.
- Repetitive Name: The boys joke that Taako's last name is Taaco (pronounced exactly the same as his first name). However, Justin says in the same conversation that Taako's last name is "a secret that will be revealed later in the adventure" and then proceeded to never reveal it, so his canon surname is still unclear.
- Rummage Sale Reject: A lot of fan designs portray him as hyper-fashionable, but others (including Justin's live show cosplay) looks more like he went dumpster diving for an outfit behind a Goodwill.
- Sad Clown: Despite his jovial attitude Taako has been through his share of hardships between the disaster at Glamour Springs and losing his sister.
- Squishy Wizard: Has obtained an almost god-like arsenal of spells, but often comes very close to dying.
- Stopped Caring: During the course of The Stolen Century, as a result of seeing The Hunger engulf or at least nearly destroy every world they land on.Taako: Everyone I've ever met, aside from the six of you, were just dust. Just talking dust. Okay? So I started worrying a lot more about me because what was the fucking point.
Taako: I appreciate what youre trying to do. And Im on board for whatever the plan is. But understand this: I have nothing, and I dont give a shit. The world is ending, and I. Don't. Care.
- He has another, even darker moment of this during Story and Song, when his memories are restored and he realizes he's lost Lup and been betrayed by Lucretia.
- Take a Third Option: At least twice. Once during The Stolen Century - Chapter Two and again at the end of Story and Song - Finale, Part Two when he suggests a plan to stop the Hunger without severing the Prime Material Plane from the others in the Planar System.
- Team Chef: Subverted, in that, with few exceptions, he doesn't cook for anyone close to him because he doesn't want to accidentally poison them.
- Theme Naming: He shares one of a series of titles with his seven fellow Red Robes, elucidated by Lucas' mother when she had her vision in the Cosmoscope; he is one of "The Twins", a title he shares with his sister Lup.
- Originally, Griffin had the idea that everyone in Taako's family would have had Tex-Mex themed names, with her full name being Chalupa. Griffin dropped this idea shortly after Lup's reveal, realizing that such a theme could come off as racist.
- Token Evil Teammate: Though none of the party have particularly strict moral codes, by the time of The Suffering Game it's clear that Taako is by far the most self-concerned and pragmatic of three, compared to the deeply protective Magnus and the surly-but-kind Merle. In The Stolen Century, he's even gleeful over the idea of destroying the robots and shattering their control crystal, and is shocked when Lup doesn't side with him. Despite this, though, he's usually the one who ends up coming up with a third option that creates the best outcome for everyone.
- Trauma Button: "Who taught you how to do magic?"
- Angus asks Taako to transmute his macaroons so they would taste better. Not only is Taako reluctant, but tells Angus several times that magic and food should never mix.
- As mentioned above, he has a fear of being alone and isolated. It's revealed after The Suffering Game arc all his memories of his twin sister were erased, so he simply believed he had been alone all that time.
- Trickster Twins: With his sister Lup. The two of them often worked together to screw with people.
- Vain Sorceress: Taako's gorgeous and he knows it, but he begins using Disguise Self to keep up appearances after losing his good looks in Wonderland.
- Vague Age: He's assumed to be a young adult, which as an elf, according to the Player's Handbook, would place him around 130. His actual age, however, is never stated.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: As a Transmutation Wizard, he is able to do this once per day, and is even able to transform into something as large as a T. Rex, calling himself "Dupree".
- Wrecked Weapon: In part one of Story and Song, he does this to his own weapon by snapping the Umbra Staff over his knee to free Lup.
The Bureau of Balance
The Bureau of Balance
The organization looking to find and destroy Grand Relics.
- Artifact Collection Agency: The Bureau of Balance combines this with a side of medieval Men in Black. They collect and (ostensibly) dispose of magical artifacts too powerful to be allowed to exist.
- Clingy Costume: Bracers of Balance can't be removed.
- Covert Group with Mundane Front: Or rather, an extremely covert group with a covert front; the Bureau's stated goal of retrieving and destroying the Grand Relics is just a front so that Lucretia can recombine them all into the Light of Creation and create a ward around their whole plane of existence to keep The Hunger at bay, something Trés Horny Boys and the audience are only let in on when The Hunger is beating their doors down.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: Can perform this thanks to the Voidfish.
- Space Station: The headquarters is what the people of Faerûn believe to be one of their moons.
- That's No Moon!: The underside of the base is a facade of a second moon.
Madam Director Lucretia
- Race: Human
The Director of the Bureau of Balance.
- Badass Bureaucrat: Heads the Bureau of Balance and certifiably a Badass.
- Benevolent Boss: Cares very much about her agents and gave the PCs sizable Candlenights bonuses.
- Beware the Quiet Ones: Numerous occasions have her being the only one of the Red Robes not to speak, usually lampshaded by Merle or Clint. Despite this, she runs the Bureau of Balance, survived Cycle 65 on her own during The Stolen Century and was the one to feed the memories of The Stolen Century to the mini-Void Fish.
- Big Good: Well, more of a Big Neutral, but in a setting with Fantastic Nukes that could allow any faction that gets the upper hand to trigger an Apocalypse How, neutrality starts looking pretty good.
- Black Boss Lady: The only character with a canon race, and the leader of the Bureau of Balance.
- Break the Cutie: In The Stolen Century it is revealed that Lucretia used to be a shy, gentle, awkward young woman with a nerdy streak and a somewhat innocent worldview. But when the rest of the IPRE dies before her at the beginning of a cycle in a particularly hostile world, she has to survive one perilous, violent year alone or lose everything. The constant panic and struggle of this year hardened and matured her considerably, to the point that Griffin even says that it was what made her the woman they know as Madame Director in the present.
- Cannot Tell a Joke: As seen in Rest & Relaxation. Her deadpan delivery causes Merle to take her quip about what she was drinking seriously. He says they'll need to work on that.
- The Comically Serious: It is a comedy podcast after all. Ostensibly.
- Cruel to Be Kind: Erasing her teammates' memories was this from her perspective, though they don't necessarily agree with her assessment.
- Da Chief: She has very little patience for the adventurers' antics, constantly just trying to get them to stay on point and booting them out of her office immediately after giving them their assignment.
- Dark-Skinned Blonde: As of the first episode of The Suffering Game, she's confirmed to have dark skin and light hair.
- Determinator: She's entirely dedicated to gathering and destroying the Grand Relics. The truth is that she really wants to enact the plan she suggested at the beginning of the final cycle and cast her barrier to cut off the TAZ Balance universe's Prime Material Plane from everything else and starve The Hunger. Even though it's been pointed out that her idea is a terrible one due to the fact that it's severing the world from, among other things, the Gods and the entire goddamn afterlife, she continues to go through with it because of a Sunk Cost Fallacy.
- It ends up working, after a dash of Take a Third Option.
- Embarrassing First Name: She prefers to be called "Madam Director," claiming her real name is classified. There doesn't seem to be any plot-specific reason for that, however. She's quite annoyed when Lucas calls her Lucretia.
- She was possibly afraid that hearing her name would somehow jog Magnus, Merle, and Taako's memories.
- Iron Lady: Goes with the territory of running a Bureau.
- Iron Woobie: Let's count down the reasons shall we? Lost her home plane to an all consuming Eldritch Abomination, was chased through the multiverse by said abomination for an entire century, had to erase her dear friends' memories in a bid to protect them, had a falling out of some sort with Lup and Barry that somehow lead to Barry wandering the world and Lup dying, had to erase everything but Davenport's name and probably feels guilt every time she sees him, lost the majority of her youth and almost her life in Wonderland, saw her friends return to danger without their memories of her and now sees that literally everything she did was All for Nothing since The Hunger found them anyway. Poor girl.
- Leitmotif: A pretty stellar example. Her theme appears four times, all during moments that are essential to her character and the story. "Madam Director" plays during The Crystal Kingdom and is reprised during The Stolen Century. Her leitmotif appears again as "Lucretia" in episode 66 and reprised for a final time in the finale as "Lucretia (Reprise)".
- Ms. Exposition: She provides a great deal of exposition regarding the Bureau and the Relics in the form of briefings.
- My Greatest Failure: She went through Wonderland herself and lost some friends along the way, even abandoning one to save herself.
- Nay-Theist: In Rest & Relaxation, she tells Merle that while she knows gods exist, she doesn't have faith in them—or anyone but herself—to solve her problems.
- Older Than They Look: In a very weird way—see Younger Than They Look below.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Thus far has done nothing without an at least understandable reason and is willing to bend the rules to get the job done. Also, she enjoys the party's antics so long as they don't interfere with the mission.
- Silk Hiding Steel: Polite and well-spoken (especially compared to the PCs), she was the chronicler on the Starblaster and described herself as being a "supporter". She's also the head of an extremely important and secret organization. Not to mention, she survived Wonderland and one hundred years being chased across the omniverse by the Hunger.
- Spotting the Thread: In the first episode of Murder on the Rockport Limited, she corrects the boys when they refer to Barry as "Billy Bluejeans", when she has no real way of knowing about him.
- The Extremist Was Right: Reunion Tour shows that the reason she was so secretive and committed planet wide memory-wiping on everyone save herself was to recover the Relics so she could recombine them into the Light of Creation and use it to create a ward that would keep The Hunger from killing everyone she loved and countless innocent lives.
- Theme Naming: She shares one of a series of titles with her seven fellow Red Robes, elucidated by Lucas' mother when she had her vision in the Cosmoscope; she is "The Lonely Journal Keeper".
- Token Minority: Zig-Zagged. The McElroys encourage the audience to depict the characters however we want, however, Lucretia was described as having dark skin, making her the only character with a canon race.
- Took a Level in Badass: At the start of The Stolen Century, she is a milquetoast who is content to stay on the sidelines and record the heroics of others, routinely doubts her own abilities, and says that she could never possibly be a leader. However, after the events of Cycle 65, in which the rest of the team dies early on and she is left to repair the ship and fend off an entire army for the rest of the year completely alone in order to ensure the mission's survival, she becomes a much more confident and decisive fighter who eventually founds the Bureau of Balance and escapes Wonderland.
- Treacherous Advisor: Subverted. She misled the boys about their true past and the purpose of the Bureau of Balance, and used the second Voidfish to ensure that she would be the only Red Robe to remember anything about their mission... but all of that was a miserable trade-off she made in pursuit of the greater good, and she's happy to explain everything and work together with them again once they find out what's going on.
- Younger Than They Look: The Suffering Game reveals that she wagered twenty years of her life on a game of chess during her foray into Wonderland. Needless to say, she lost.
- This is actually a somewhat weird situation: because of what happened before they came to this planet, she and all the other Red Robes are actually 100 years older than they look. But because she lost 20 years of her life in Wonderland, and because she's been in the current plane of reality for about 10 years, Lucretia looks 30 years older than she did during the events of The Stolen Century, and 20 years older than she should in the present day. However, her actual age is still about 80 years older than her biological age.
- Race: Gnome
The Director's assistant. A gnome who can only say his own name.
- Ace Pilot: He's the captain and pilot of the Starblaster, and has spent 100 years making daring, often last minute escapes from The Hunger. Best shown in the finale of Story and Song, when he flies into The Hunger, dodging everything the living plane throws at the ship.
- The Captain: Of the IPRE's expedition.
- Defrosting Ice King: A platonic example. While "Cap'nport" was very serious-minded and professional on the IPRE's mission, Merle managed to get closer to him during the first cycle, and discovered that they had a lot in common.
- The Dog Was the Mastermind: In a very literal sense; Davenport was the commander of the mission that saw Magnus, Merle, Taako, Lup, Lucretia, Barry, and himself leave their reality and travel to the Planar System of the main world. The only reason he became the dog was because Lucretia wiped out his memories of everything save for his name.
- The Immune: Like the boys, he can touch the Grand Relics without a problem.
- Madness Mantra: As his memories begin to erase, he repeats, "I'm Davenport! I'm Davenport!" May also count as a Survival Mantra, as that's the only thing he could remember.
- Master of Illusion: His magical specialty is Illusion, and he created the Oculus, the Illusion-focused Grand Relic
- Married to the Job: His identity is so closely attached to his position of Captain of the Starblaster, that when Lucretia wiped his memory of the 100 year mission he forgot everything but his name
- Pokémon Speak: Initially he could speak normally, and saying his name was merely a Verbal Tic, but Griffin later retconned it to make it official that he could only say his own name.Lucretia: Davenport!Davenport: Davenport!
- The Reveal in Reunion Tour Part Two shows why this is; when Lucretia was hiding everyone's involvement with the Light of Creation to get The Hunger off of their trail, she had to erase all of Davenport's memories save for his name. This became the only word he would speak until he gets re-inoculated by the baby Voidfish.
- Shoot the Shaggy Dog: He is always the most willing to fly away and abandon a world to The Hunger. This comes into play when the Hunger comes to the main world of the campaign, and he consistently advocates just flying away and starting a new cycle, seemingly unaware of how much Lucretia and the Tres Horny Boys have done there and how hard theyve worked to keep it safe. Fortunately, he relents.
- Shout-Out: He is named after Level 9000 Yadrew Druid Drew Davenport.
- Theme Naming: He shares one of a series of titles with his seven fellow Red Robes, elucidated by Lucas' mother when she had her vision in the Cosmoscope; he is "The Wordless One."
- Walking Spoiler: He mostly seems like a gag character until Reunion Tour (though some fans had guessed that he was "the Wordless One" beforehand), so any indication of his greater significance risks spoiling the story.
- Race: Human
A humble guard who works for the Bureau of Balance. He works reconnaissance and operates the bubble ships that the Bureau uses to transport agents.
- The Alcoholic: Being a drinker is a key character trait. He carries a flask at all times and is happy to spread liquor to friends to keep the party going.
- Big Damn Heroes: He crashes an agency ship into the giant wolf attacking Magnus in the final arc, complete with a Bond One-Liner.
- Captain Obvious: "Was that a Purple Worm?"
- Hero-Worshipper: A pretty benign, laid-back example, but most of his dialogue with Tres Horny Boys implies a deep admiration for their skills and success as reclaimers that exceeds professional respect. It goes hand in hand with his Nice Guy tendencies.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Magnus really likes him.
- Avi cries and drinks from his flask during Reunion Tour when Taako tells him Magnus died in Wonderland.
- Mister Exposition: Fills in a lot of information for the party when they first reach Bureau HQ.
- Nice Guy: The Bureau's friendliest member.
Griffin: "Avi seems like hes holding back a little bit. Maybe hes too nice to actually do any damage. Hes too friendly to take an honest-to-god full-force swing at you."
- Established early on during a friendly training match between Tres Horny Boys and some Bureau employees.
- Race: Human
A young boy first met on the Rockport Limited, where he was investigating the case of the Rockport Slayer. He later joins the Bureau as a Seeker to feed the party live intel concerning their mission.
- Adorably Precocious Child: He calls himself the world's greatest detective, tries to solve murder mysteries, or sneaks after the characters trying to protect them, but is extremely anxious when assigned with the task of operating the cannon to shoot the main trio to Refuge, and panics when Magnus steals his nose.
- Ambiguously Jewish: When he appears during Candlenights in Tacoma!, his first line is "Happy Hannukah, sirs!" Complicating the idea is the fact that the line was given by Clint rather than Griffin, and the fact that this is a fantasy world where Judaism wouldn't exist as such.
- Ascended Extra: He's introduced as a bit player in the second arc; he proved popular enough with the players and the audience to be brought back in the fourth arc as the team's Voice with an Internet Connection.
- Butt-Monkey: Often on the receiving end of the PCs antics. Merle seems to like him the least.
- The Chew Toy: Tres Horny Boys really get a kick out of messing with him, despite or perhaps even because how much he likes them. The level of bullying varies from mischievous to sadistic, but his constant forgiveness and and their secret fondness for him keeps him from falling into The Woobie territory. Usually.
- Deadpan Snarker: He becomes more of a traditionally adorable little boy when he joins the cast as a regular character, but in his first appearance on the Rockport Limited he packs some serious sarcasm beneath his polite exterior. Most of it is in response to Tres Horny Boys underestimating his intelligence and abilities.Angus: "I did detective good enough to see through your horseshit, so I cant be too bad."
- Kid Detective: Claims to be the worlds greatest boy detective. His investigative efforts were enough to get the attention of the Bureau so he might not be wrong.
- Hero-Worshipper: He looks up to Tres Horny Boys like a little brother after joining the Bureau, especially Taako. It makes their casual tormenting all the more funny and sad.
- Took a Level in Badass: Taako began training him as a wizard in Rest & Relaxation, and based on the spells he can cast, he's reached level 4 by Reunion Tour.
- Voice with an Internet Connection: Well, Voice with Access to the Combined Knowledge of Bureau of Balance, anyway. After the Petals to the Metal arc, Kid Detective Angus McDonald joins the Bureau to feed the boys intel through their Stones of Farspeech.
- The Woobie: Magnus often teases Angus in a somewhat brotherly way but can also be a bully, Taako is surprisingly cruel and aloof with him, and Merle sometimes expresses disdain for the boy that exceeds mockery. It's usually Played for Laughs but when you consider his sincere love and admiration for the heroes, some of their pranks are outright mean. As Characterization Marches On it's demonstrated that Taako struggles with trust and intimacy and often pushes people away with snark, and Clint admits in The The Adventure Zone Zone that Merle feels threatened by competent allies due to his own insecurities over his role in the group.
The Judges: "So much cruelty towards a child who loves them."
- This trope is lampshaded in The Stolen Century.
- Race: Halfling
The team's original halfling stoner roommate with a passion for Pringles, he was later imprisoned by the bureau, seemingly because Griffin thought his name was stupid. Although Magnus's visit to him in jail implies there's a darker reason for him being locked up.
- Aerith and Bob: Lampshaded viciously by Justin. His nickname "Pringles" wasn't much better.
- Demonic Possession: Not quite demonic, but the Red Robe possessed him in order to get information on the Bureau of Balance's layout.
- The Stoner: Always had an ample supply of "dank potions."
- Trademark Favorite Food: Mofo loves Pringles. When Magnus visits him in the brig it's the first thing he asks for.
- Race: Voidfish
A gigantic blue jellyfish with a swirling galaxy of lights inside of its bell. The creature that wiped the memories of the Relic Wars from the populace.
- Ambiguous Gender: The Voidfish is referred to variously throughout the podcast as "it", "they", and "he", though the latter is less common than the former two.
- Ambiguous Situation: Fisher and its child seemingly sacrifice themselves to broadcast the story of the IPRE crew to the world alongside "The March of the Forgotten", although they only turn into beams of light before vanishing. Later resolved in the following episode...
- And the Adventure Continues: ... by showing that Fisher and Junior did indeed survive, and are now traveling through interplanar space to find new worlds and stories to share.
- Electric Jellyfish: It's capable of discharging a shock so powerful that when it electrocuted Mannequin!Magnus, his backup body felt it.
- Flying Seafood Special: It apparently doesn't need the tank of water to live, and otherwise floats through the air.
- God Guise:Johann: What are you doing?Magnus: Bowing to your weird jellyfish god.Johann: Are you bowing? It's not a god. At least I don't think so; none of us really know.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: Their specialty — information can be "fed" to them, making anyone not attuned to them unable to remember or even perceive it.
- Not So Above It All: Apparently it absolutely loves Magnus' carvings, especially his wooden ducks, as this was the gift that Magnus offered it in its home plane.
- Octopoid Aliens: Looks like a giant galactic jellyfish that came from another reality with the Red Robes.
- Starfish Language: Communicates through music notes, flashing lights across its body, and occasionally sharing telepathic memories through touch.
- Truly Single Parent: Reunion Tour reveals that they asexually produced a child, proving one of Lucas' theories correct.
- Race: Half-ElfClass: Bard
A half-elf Bard who tends to the Voidfish.
- Dead Guy Junior: Magnus named the Scottish Deerhound he adopts post-campaign after Johann, and the dog is one of the first to greet him in the Astral Plane after he passes away.
- Deadpan Snarker:Taako: Do you work here?Johann: Yeah. What gave it away? Was it the fact that Im, like, here?
- The Eeyore: He's always sad. Given that his job is to feed the Voidfish knowledge - in this case, his awesome compositions - which is immediately erased from the world, it's hard to blame him.
- Famous Last Words: Subverted; After The Hunger goes to town on the both of them, Magnus sees Johann's spirit in the Ethereal Plane who implores Magnus to not let the Bureau erase his memory like all of his compositions have been. However, this wouldn't be the last thing Johann ever said, as his voice is broadcast alongside one of his compositions by the Voidfishes to give everyone in the entire Planar System a point of Bardic Inspiration.Johann: You're going to have to fight, and... you're gonna win!
- Informed Ability: He calls himself the greatest musician alive, and no one disagrees. We listeners never get to hear his compositions, but one song was so great that Magnus was reduced to a sobbing wreck afterwards.
- Finally averted in the second episode of Story and Song, with the implication that the song Voidfish (Plural) is his composition titled "The March Of The Forgotten" that Magnus read in the previous episode.
- Killed Off for Real: The Hunger kills him during its raid on the Bureau's moonbase.
- Made Myself Sad:Johann: Are you guys really ok with this part of the deal? Like, if you beef it down there, the world just forgets about you? [...] Anyway, Ive just sorta existentially bummed myself out, so Im gonna head out.
- Ship Tease: Courtesy of Clint, when Merle says he read Killian's diary and gleaned she had a crush on Johann. Shot down immediately by Griffin, just in time for Carey to be introduced.
- Race: OrcClass: Fighter
Orcish Ranged Fighter, and one of the Bureaus star Regulators.
- Action Girl: As a regulator, she's able to kick significant ass whenever a reclaimer falls to the thrall of a Relic.
- Adaptational Heroism: Orcs are typically Always Chaotic Evil.
- Badass Normal: A badass Regulator with no spellcasting abilities.
- BFG: She prefers a heavy crossbow, firing bolts the size of small javelins.
- Deadpan Snarker: One of few BOB members with firsthand knowledge of just how badly Tres Horny Boys can fuck a situation, and thus by far the most likely to deploy this in their direction.
- Happily Married: As of the epilogue, she is married to Carey.
- I Call It "Vera": Named her heavy crossbow "Billips".
- Interspecies Romance: With the dragonborn Carey Fangbattle.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Red Oni to Carey's Blue.
- Ship Tease: Courtesy of Clint, when Merle says he read Killian's diary and gleaned she had a crush on Johann. Shot down immediately by Griffin, just in time for Carey to be introduced.
- Technopath: In "Here There Be Gerblins", she possesses a device that can convert normal machines to combat-capable robots which do her bidding.
- Race: Dragonborn (Blue)Class: Rogue (Thief)
A Dragonborn Rogue who also works as a Regulator alongside Killian.
- The Ace: She's very good.
- Action Girl: Just like her girlfriend Killian.
- Adaptational Early Appearance: She makes a non-speaking appearance at the Bureau in the Here There Be Gerblins! graphic novel.
- Anger Born of Worry: The first thing she does in Reunion Tour when she sees Magnus alive after he enters his new body is run up to him and punch him in the face. Then she hugs him.
- Draconic Humanoid: Dragonborn, but she's described as being very slight, even jokingly called "Lizardborn."
- Fantastic Slur: She doesn't appreciate Magnus calling her a "lizard girl" at her wedding.Carey: Don't fucking call me that. I'm a proud Dragonborn.
- Happily Married: As of the epilogue, she is married to Killian.
- Heroic BSoD: She suffers one when she hears from Taako and Merle that Magnus is dead. and is rendered "inconsolable".
- Interspecies Romance: With the orc Killian.
- Lesbian Jock: Her athletic prowess and "surfer dude" demeanor (as described by Griffin) evokes this.
- Lightning Bruiser: She's amazingly fast and powerful. It even impresses Magnus.
- Odd Friendship: It's not that it's necessarily odd for a gay Dragonborn rogue regulator and a widowed human fighter reclaimer to get along, but the fact that they bond as quickly and intensely as they do despite their many differences is rather unexpected. They admire each others' skills and give each other lessons in their respective proficiencies, and Carey takes the news of Magnus' "death" after The Suffering Game harder than anybody else in the Bureau, and is the most emotional to see him alive again. By the end, they're so close that Carey confides in Magnus at her own wedding like family.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Blue Oni to Killian's Red.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Literally with the roaring part; After Killian is injured by The Hunger that is attacking the Bureau headquarters she flares her previously unseen neck frills out and belches a cloud of blue fire and lightning that immolates and electrocutes everything around the two of them.
- Trickster Mentor: Plays this role with Magnus as he cross-trains as a Rogue.
- Race: Dwarf
A dwarf who's one of the Bureau's star regulators on Killian's team who dies during the events of The Crystal Kingdom.
- Adaptational Early Appearance: He makes a non-speaking appearance at the Bureau in the Here There Be Gerblins! graphic novel.
- Good Parents: Had a massive family of 400 sons, 13 daughters and a few wives and husbands, and apparently loved every single one of them.
- It's Pronounced "Tro-PAY": When Griffin said "My name is Boy-land," the other three had an incredulous laughing fit, and one of them pointed out that the name is usually pronounced "boylind". The Twitter user who Griffin took it from later confirmed this, but told Griffin to keep using Boy-land because it's hilarious.
- Killed Offscreen: Found dead and crystallized halfway through The Crystal Kingdom, having taken his helmet off for a smoke.
- Nice Guy: Volunteered every weekend at the Boy's and Girl's and Dwarf's club, always brought donuts into the office, and was always full of great, inoffensive jokes.
- Too Dumb to Live: Nice Guy or not, Boyland apparently didn't have a lot going on upstairs, he dies when he takes his helmet off and opens the window in an incredibly dangerous lab being encased in viral crystal, all for a smoke break.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Got a grand total of one line before dying off screen.Travis: Well I feel nothing about this.
No. 3113 (Noelle)
- Race:Robot / Halfling
A robot assistant on Lucas Miller's laboratory who later joined as a regulator for the Bureau of Balance. Is actually the ghost of a halfling named Noelle Redcheek inhabiting a robot body.
- Arm Cannon: Possesses one after her upgrade.
- Auto-Doc: She's capable of synthesizing and administering healing shots of medicine.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Kind and helpful. And a mighty warrior robot.
- Easily Detachable Robot Parts: Undergoes an upgrade by placing her soul conduit into a new, larger body, and then attaching additional limbs to it.
- Haunted Technology: Used to be the halfling Noelle Redcheek, but was killed in the destruction of Phandalin. She was brought back by Lucas, who was testing his Souls Siphon to try to bring back his mother from the Astral Plane.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Surrenders her robot body in Story and Song - Finale, Part Two to stop one of the judge statues from destroying the moon base.
- I See Dead People: She can see The Hunger without having been inoculated by the Voidfish. Appears to be side-effect of being Undead.
- Robot Names: The fourth type. This was probably Lucas being clever, since he knew she was a ghost.
- Talking Lightbulb: The fuse in her frame flashes whenever she speaks.
Leon the Artificer
- Race: GnomeClass: Artificer
The much abused gnomish Artificer of the Bureau who runs the Fantasy Gachapon machine.
- Butt-Monkey: Angus has it easy by comparison.
- Despair Event Horizon: Edges dangerously close to this in Rest & Relaxation after Taako uses his magic to swap out the three candies Leon was offering the party for successfully using the Fantasy Gachapon with his token for it. The man turns into a sobbing wreck, but is still determined to get through to them.
- Taken Up to Eleven in The Calm Before The Storm. Taako leads Leon to believe he gets the Fantasy Gachapon correct on his first try, filling the poor man with rapturous bliss. Of course, it was just the result of a Mislead spell on Taako's part, a spell which caused the real Gachapon token to fly across the room and strike Leon in the head. This immediately leads to...
- Heroic BSoD: The Calm Before The Storm finally breaks him.
- Screw This, I'm Out of Here!: Pulls this in Internal Affairs after the party's shenanigans regarding the Fantasy Gachapon and their constant misunderstanding of it drives him away for the rest of the Interlude.
Garfield the Deals Warlock
- Race: UnknownClass: Warlock
The resident semi-spectral Deals Warlock of the Fantasy Costco, there to sort out any price discrepancies or make exchanges for goods.
- Ambiguously Evil: What is his deal, anyway? Why the hell does he have a clone of Magnus at the end of the series? Live shows from 2018 on also feature him secretly recovering the villains' artifacts after their defeat.
- Auction of Evil: Where he acquires his cloning tank.
- Back for the Finale: Despite bailing earlier, he still comes back to help during the Final Battle when Merle calls him.
- Blood Magic: Insists on getting a few drops of Magnus's blood and hair during multiple trades for "[his] purposes" which he never elaborates on.
- Turns out he was growing a second Magnus body, again for reasons that aren't elaborated on.
- Canon Foreigner: Started life as a character on My Brother, My Brother and Me before transferring over here in Carnival Chaos.
- After the Balance arc wraps, Garfield very briefly cameos in the Commitment arc as an employee in the finance department of the Do-Good Fellowship. Clint tries to bring him back again in Amnesty, but Griffin insists that only he, as the GM, has control over "the Garfield cameo".
- Cat Folk: A common fan depiction of him given that he's never really described during his appearances. One of the most popular portrayals of him by far is looking like a humanoid version of Garfield the Cat.
- Deal with the Devil: If you don't have the coin or the merchandise to trade, he'll gladly take some blood. For what purposes, he won't say, but his fixation on Magnus' fluids borders on obsessive.
- Despair Event Horizon: Reunion Tour shows that Taako grifting him out of the Flaming Poisoning Raging Sword Of Doom sent him into a deep depression and convinced him to close up shop due to how badly he lost that particular wager (as well as the oncoming apocalypse).
- Namesake Gag: Let's just say that the man loves himself a good deal.
- No Indoor Voice: Griffin gives him Taako's Emo Phillips voice but with the volume knob cranked Up to Eleven and broken off.
- Nothing Is Scarier: It turns out that Garfield was trying to clone Magnus' body. We never learn why because Griffin flat out refuses to explain why.
- Opportunistic Bastard: His primary customers are heroes who round up weapons of magical mass destruction that could easily decimate the world if they fell into the wrong hands. You think he'd arm the saviors of existence for free, or at least give a discount, but he's only interested in making a buck.
- Even when the apocalypse itself is upon them, he haggles with Tres Horny Boys for his secretly cloned body of Magnus, something he shouldn't even really have in the first place, morally speaking.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: At the sight of the apparent apocalypse at the end of The Suffering Game he packs up the inventory of the Fantasy Cosco and takes off to parts unknown, but not before making one last deal.
- Slasher Smile: An audio form; he always sounds chipper and upbeat, but his mannerisms are exceptionally unnerving.
- Stealth Hi/Bye: He only really appears when there is a payment discrepancy to sort out, and given that he has No Indoor Voice and always starts statements by announcing his name and title this tends to happen a lot.
- Token Evil Teammate: Griffin confirms that he is technically evil, and whatever his purposes for growing a new Magnus were they were certainly nefarious, but he's still working for the Bureau and happily helping the heroes.
- Wild Card: He either runs or merely works at the Fantasy Costco, which is established in its first appearance to be an independent business unaffiliated with the Bureau. His background and motives are deliberately enigmatic, but his obsession with haggling and persistent interest in Magnus' blood are as suspicious as they are deeply, deeply disconcerting.
- When the apocalypse begins, his priority is to teleport himself and his wares away instead of staying to help, and he even has the audacity to haggle one last time with, ostensibly, the only people who can save the day.
- The Stingers of the Atlanta and New Orleans live shows imply that he's collecting some really powerful and evil magic items for some unknown sinister future purpose.
Brad Bradson III
- Race: OrcClass: Bard
An orcish Bard and member of the Bureau of Balance administration. He teams up with the party for the (four person) team-building exercise in the MaxFunCon East Live episode.
- Compelling Voice: He has no proper bardic instrument, with his catalyst being purely oratory in the form of cheesy motivational quotes and words of encouragement.
- Heroic Sacrifice: He's more than happy to do this, and even casts a spell that requires an enemy only attack him during the fight against the real skeletal dragon.If that is going to be my truth, then so be it.
- Nice Guy: Very earnest and pleasant, standing in stark contrast to the rest of the boys.
- Non-Action Guy: He's decent with bard spells, but working in human resources doesn't lend much to fighting skills.
- Token Good Teammate: While none of the player characters are evil as such, he's the only one of them (especially in the episode) who doesn't once act like kind of a tool.
- White Sheep: Though his family isn't evil per se, based on their titles, they seem rather barbaric. His father is "Brad the Bloodthirsty", and his grandfather is "Brad the Bonebreaker". Our Brad is "Brad the Motivator".
- Race: Human
The Bureau's resident scientific consultant. Technically not a member of the organization, though he has a great deal of input and influence on how things are run.
- Badass Beard: Sorta. He's certainly better in a fight thanks to him converting Upsy into a piloted war mech, but he's still the same enormous dweeb he was in The Crystal Kingdom.
- Butt-Monkey: He spends most of The Crystal Kingdom as a Distressed Dude waiting for rescue, he also spends most of the final battle bleeding out on the floor. Even after he Took a Level in Badass in Story and Song he still suffers from this.
- Embarrassing Nickname: "Nerdlord", courtesy of Lup.
- Faking the Dead: Does this at the end of The Crystal Kingdom with the PCs' help.
- Freudian Excuse: His mother, Maureen, was killed while exploring alternate planes of existence. He's screwing around with arcane technology in an attempt to resurrect her.
- Jerkass: He's introduced arguing with Johann and trying to convince him to give him the Voidfish for study.
- Jerkass Has a Point: He argues that the Voidfish may produce a kid that makes the Bureau forget its existence. This is later proven correct.
- Mad Scientist: More oblivious than malicious, but he's got a laundry list of typical interests, including robots, messing with arcane technology, Mind Control, and parallel universes.
- Non-Action Guy: Bordering on Dirty Coward levels. This changes during Story and Song when he converts Upsy, Your Lifting Friend into a mecha that tears through the Hunger's minions like nothing.
- Stealing the Credit: Uses his grandfather's emerald mirror to see into the Plane of Thought our world, and gets "new" ideas for technological inventions.
- Took a Level in Badass: He returns in Story and Song, piloting a Mini-Mecha he made by converting Upsy Your Lifting Friend.
- Voice with an Internet Connection: Acted as this while the party traversed his lab, explaining the different chambers and experiments as they were encountered.
"Magic" Brian, the Black Spider
- Race: Drow
A Drow Wizard in search of the Phoenix Fire Gauntlet.
- Affably Evil: An alarmingly civil villain. He genuinely welcomes the heroes as guests, and has no reservations whatsoever letting them leave unharmed if they don't disrupt his plans. He's even a bit insulted they want to fight him and, strangely, expresses pride in their skills when he is defeated. In fact, if they weren't interested in saving Killian or seeing their job through, Tres Horny Boys could have left with Gundren alive if they allowed Magic Brian to draw enough blood to open the vault.
- Later on, when Magic Brian possesses a robot in the Crystal Kingdom arc, he reveals that he wanted to invite the boys to his wedding and considered them friends before they killed him.
- Animal Motif: A spider.
- Adaptation Name Change: In the campaign Here There Be Gerblins is based on, The Lost Mine of Phandelver, his name is Nezznar.
- Back from the Dead: Was killed in Here There Be Gerblins, but returns as a soul-bot in The Crystal Kingdom.
- Beast Master: Appropriately, has a giant pet spider.
- FaceHeel Turn: Used to be a Seeker, tasked with finding Grand Relics for the Bureau of Balance, until he decided to take the Grand Relics for himself instead.
- Faux Affably Evil: Makes casual friendly conversation with Tres Boys and even invites Taako to his wedding while trying to incinerate him with an arm cannon. Still, his goofy demeanor does not make his magic any less deadly.
- Haunted Technology: Reappears in the Miller Laboratory as a ghost posessing a slender robot with an Arm Cannon.
- Spell My Name with an "S": His spider is named Bryan.
- Spot the Imposter: After being defeated, Brian disguises himself as Gundren Rockseeker. The party figures it out easily, since he does nothing to disguise his voice. After five seconds of trying to Handwave the vocal confusion, Magnus kicks him off a ledge.
- Starter Villain: Along with Klarg, the first major foe our heroes face.
- What the Hell Is That Accent?: Some kind of weird fake German, mixed with Taako's Emo Phillips impression.
- Race: Dwarf
Merle's cousin, and rightful owner of Wave Echo Cave. Unwittingly enthralled by the Phoenix Fire Gauntlet.
- Adaptational Villainy: Most Gundren Rockseekers don't become power mad fire gods.
- Fantastic Nuke: In his final act, he reduced the town of Phandalin to a half-mile wide circle of perfectly flat black glass.
- Fantastic Racism: He really hates orcs. Even Tres Horny Boys, despite their underdeveloped and less than moral personalities at the time, are deeply taken aback when he calls Killian a 'filthy orc'.
- Freudian Excuse: He hates orcs because orcish marauders stole Wave Echo Cave away from him.
- HeelFace Door-Slam: Merle talks him down, and he's about to take off the Gauntlet, until the orc boy the players rescued earlier, shoots him in the back, causing him to go into a rage and self destruct.
- Playing with Fire: The Phoenix Fire Gauntlet gave him unparalleled mastery of fire magic.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: After being thralled by the Gauntlet, he goes on a mad rampage, and ultimately destroys his home town, and himself.
- Writing Around Trademarks: The Comic-Book Adaptation changes his name to Bogard Stoneseeker.
- Race: ElfClass: Wizard
An elvish Wizard working as the butler aboard the Rockport Limited train. Is also the infamous "Rockport Slayer," a thief and murderer being tracked by Angus.
- Audio Erotica: His deep voice and slow manner of speaking can lead to this.Jenkins: "I have a few luxury services I can provide to you. I can take you into one of our Pleasure Rooms."Taako: "...I'm cool."Magnus: "No thank you!"Merle: "Nope! Pass."Jenkins: "Oh, gentlemen, its not nearly as salacious as I made it sound. Its just when I say things with my voice, it always sounds like Im talking about slow sex."
- Ambiguous Situation: It wasn't made clear if he'd died after his Golem threw him off the train until The Crystal Kingdom, where his appearance as a robot, and later his presence within Legion, confirms his death.
- Badass Baritone: The voice Griffin gives him suggests that he's supposed to have a fairly deep voice.
- Back from the Dead: Was killed in Murder On The Rockport Limited but returns as a soul-bot in The Crystal Kingdom.
- Butt-Monkey: The player characters like to poke fun at him for his voice and his alleged lack of magical skill. Taken even further in their confrontation when he tries to convince the heroes to spare him since he's the only one who can stop the train, only for Magnus and Taako to gloss over it. He tries to force the issue by destroying his own Flesh Golem, only for his attack to miss and the golem to backhand him off the train in retaliation.
- Flesh Golem: Creates Meat Monsters out of the hands of the train conductor, Hudson.
- Haunted Technology: Reappears in the Miller Laboratory as a ghost possessing a small robot covered in wires, looking like a Fry-Guy.
- Not-So-Harmless Villain: Is relentlessly mocked by our heroes for his seemingly poor spellcasting abilities, until he is revealed to be the mastermind behind the plot.
- Portal Door: He can create a type of these using an enchanted wand.
- Self-Disposing Villain: After attempting to convince the party to spare him fails, he tries to blast the remaining meat monster made of Hudson's hand, thus leaving the train with no way of stopping. He completely misses his mark, which causes the monster to turn on him, and throw him out the back of the train.
- Servile Snarker: A faithful employee of the Rockport Limited with an incredibly dry, acerbic wit. He seems pretty genuinely eager to help his passengers and passionate about "life on the rails" at first, but Tres Horny Boys' relentless jeering and idiocy gradually breaks his spirit and saps his enthusiasm.Merle:: "How do we summon you, Jenkins?"Jenkins: "Well, the train has four goddamn cars on it, so just open all the doors and yell."
- Sharp-Dressed Man: Wears a snappy bowtie. This becomes a clue at one point.
- Summon Magic: Seems to be his specialty as he was able to summon a crab monster and create Flesh Golems from the conductor's hands.
- Turned Against Their Masters: When he attempts to destroy his own Flesh Golem, it turns on him and tosses him off the train to his apparent death.
- Vocal Dissonance: The serial murderer and thief whose cover is a dedicated and classy butler has a voice like Droopy. The effect is exactly as goofy as it sounds.
Sloane, the Raven
- Race: Half-Elf
A half-elf Goldcliff Battlewagon racer who turned to a life of crime after finding the Gaia Sash.
- Affably Evil: Thievery, illegal street racing, and terrifying godlike abilities aside, Sloan's actually quite likable... until she gets utterly Drunk on the Dark Side.
- Alien Blood: While influenced by the Gaia Sash, her blood was turned green.
- Ambiguously Gay: With Hurley. Confirmed later by Word of God.
- Ambiguously Human: She's described as Elven-looking, but it's never outright stated whether or not she's actually an Elf.
- Animal Motif: Dons a raven mask while committing crimes and Battlewagon racing.
- Anti-Villain: Notably, she's the first antagonist on the show to be portrayed sympathetically. Hell, when our heroes first confront her, she tries to convince them to leave because she genuinely doesn't want anyone getting hurt. Despite being a thief and participating in illegal racing, she's a fundamentally decent person who was corrupted by the Relics. This, along with Taako almost falling victim to their thrall at the end of the arc, hammers in for the audience that this truly could happen to anyone.
- Back for the Finale: She and Hurley come back to life as dryads during Story and Song, to save Merle's stepdaughter Mavis.
- Dating Catwoman: She and Hurley have this dynamic, with Hurley originally hunting her before befriending and falling in love with her instead. Sloan's last act proves that the love was mutual.
- Drunk on the Dark Side: Completely loses it in the final battle, in a superpowered meltdown that would make the Emperor Palpatine jealous.
- A God Am I: As the Gaia Sash gains control over her, she begins to feel like a god.
- Green Thumb: The Gaia Sash grants her powers over nature, usually local plant life.
- Transflormation: She and Hurley receive this treatment at the end of Petals to the Metal.
- It's later revealed this actually turned them into dryads.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Her namesake, SparkleSloan, is spelled without an "e" at the end, but her name is, according to the official tumblr page.
- Wake-Up Call Boss: Utterly curb-stomps our heroes in a straight fight, a first for them.
- When Trees Attack: Usually attacks with vines or poisonous thorns. Created a Treant (named Trent!) at one point.
- Race: Human
Human Battlewagon racer and leader of the Battlewagon racing gang called The Hammerheads.
- Animal Motif: A hammerhead shark.
- Back from the Dead: Was killed in Petals to the Metal, but returns as a soul-bot in The Crystal Kingdom.
- Gang of Hats: Downplayed. Like all Battlewagon racers, The Hammerheads have an animal theme, but since their wagon is a tank, they don't need to wear masks. They do, however, wear leather jackets with a hammerhead shark on the back.
- Greaser Delinquents: He and The Hammerheads have shades of this. They all wear leather jackets, and one of their battlewagons was a motorcycle. His teen appearance in the Live in Austin! High School A.U. plays this up more, with him and the Jerrys having greased back hair.
- Haunted Technology: Reappears in the Miller Laboratory as a ghost posessing a large, gorilla-like robot.
- Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: Attempts to give one, but stumbles over his wordsMagnus: [Killing you] wasn't even in my book of top-ten kills!Marvey: Well let's see if I can make a mark, in that bookon myin myhey fuck you!
- Race: Ghosts
Legion is not one person, but rather a conglomerate of spirits in the shape of a giant skeleton, who attempted to break out of the Astral Plane.
- Back for the Finale: Kravitz temporarily lets them out of the Eternal Stockade to fight one of the Judges in the prime material plane.
- Enemy Summoner: Summons more spirits from the Eternal Stockade to inhabit robots that were just defeated.
- Escaped from Hell: As they were imprisoned in the Eternal Stockade, the place you go when you try to do this, this wasn't the first time they tried. They were just more successful this time.
- Flunky Boss: In addition to Legion, the boys, Carey, and Noelle had to fight robots inhabited by ghosts fighting for Legion.
- Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Aside from Lucas's mother Maureen being pulled out of the Eternal Stockade by Lucas, Legion had very little in the way of foreshadowing.
- I Am Legion: When they speak, all of their constituent ghosts speak in unison.
- Many Spirits Inside of One: Not so much "inside of one", as "composing one".
- Tragic Villain: It's a conglomeration of souls who desperately want to return to life to either conclude unfinished business or reunite with loved ones. It's just their obsession reached a point where they overrode Maureen's control of the Philosopher's stone and almost caused The End of the World as We Know It. The fact that several of its component souls are evil probably didn't help.
Lydia and Edward
- Race: Elf Lich
High elf brother and sister, who are the proprietors of Wonderland.
- Affably Evil: They're absolutely fabulous in their presentation and mannerisms, and seem fun and friendly until you remember that they preside over a facility that literally feeds on misery and suffering.
- Bait-and-Switch: They're behind a pretty amazing one after the Monster Factory battle. When Merle goes to heal the party (for far less than he should've been able to), they appear and reveal one of Wonderland's core tenets; there is no healing in Wonderland. They then deal an amount of necrotic damage equal to what Merle healed them for that also causes the party's physical wounds to open back up.
- Comic-Book Fantasy Casting: Their voices are explicitly modeled on Jessie and James.
- Cruel Mercy: The main ethos they follow running Wonderland. While the monsters conjured by their games have likely killed before, they themselves are shown to be almost hesitant to directly kill anybody, preferring to keep them alive and suffering as long as possible within Wonderland.
- Cam has been kept alive for several years now as a disembodied head.
- Taako and Merle are also offered the choice to go back into the labyrinth and be spared death.
- The Dandy: Their flamboyance, style and showmanship are emphasized every time they appear. Even Taako is impressed.
- Death by Despair: After Magnus uses his divinity-infused Chance Lance to drive Edward from his body and the Umbra Staff consumes the latter's soul, Lydia kneels over his corpse and unleashes an ungodly howl of despair as she throws all her remaining power at the party, turning herself to ash in the process.Lydia: I guess... we really did need each other.
- Emotion Eater: They feed on suffering, and have learned to use the emotion to create illusions and physical objects.
- Foil: Like Taako, they're extremely fabulous and fashionable elves, with a tendency to screw over others for personal entertainment or pragmatic heroism. Unlike Taako, they're unwilling to Take a Third Option and explicitly kill others to gain power. And both Taako and the liches lost a sibling who acted as a Morality Chain.
- Also a foil to Lup and Barry, who use love to sustain their sanity as liches.
- Freudian Excuse: According to their own explanation, they initially learned necromancy in an effort to save their other sibling, who was terminally ill. However, the fact that they never resurrected the sibling, combined with Jumping Off the Slippery Slope into becoming pain-eating liches, indicates they were never really that sympathetic.
- Our Liches Are Different: It turns out that they're actually a pair of liches, but unlike most liches that lose their sanity and become elemental forces of pure magical destruction, these two are using emotional power to sustain themselves. Specifically they're using the misery and suffering of everyone that comes to Wonderland, rather than something intrinsic to themselves like devotion, love, or determination.
- Noble Demon: Of a sorts. They follow the rules of their game to the word, they don't take anything more than what a player agrees to give up, they never cause any collateral damage in the process of taking something, and they're even willing to grant smaller mercies (such as giving the newly half-blinded Merle an eyepatch, to his own specification).
- Not Quite Dead: Edward as it turns out, did not die when the Umbra Staff devoured him. Instead it trapped him inside it. Of course, he didn't stay alive for long since he shared that living space with Lup, who obliterated him for his part in Wonderland and the pain it inflicted on Taako.
- Siblings in Crime: They also had a younger brother named Keats who died of an unspecified illness, their attempts to save him led to their becoming liches.
- Start of Darkness: They joined a necromantic order in an attempt to save their brother and became corrupted by the power.
- Taking You with Me: Following Edward's destruction by Magnus, Lydia retaliates by destroying Magnus's body before she turns to ash. He's technically still alive as a soul inhabiting a mannequin, but he cannot return to his body.
All spoilers below will be unmarked.
First appearing as a cluster of eyes in the sky, and a group of vaguely humanoid creatures that appeared to inhabit the Ethereal Plane, The Hunger is a hive mind of darkness incarnate, encompassing multiple planes of existence. They've been chasing our heroes for over a century, trying to retrieve The Light of Creation to further its own goals, and destroying nearly every plane in its path.
- Abstract Apotheosis: It's hard to define whether or not the small creatures Taako has seen are either inhabitants of the thirteenth plane or are the thirteenth plane manifesting in a corporeal form, due to Griffin describing the thirteenth plane as a "living plane" with a seeming malice and sentience intrinsic to it.
- Confirmed in The Stolen Century during Merle's parlays with John; as John describes it the entity they call the Hunger was in fact his home plane of existence, and upon revealing everything that he learned about eternity to his kinsmen they all grew extremely dissatisfied with the concept of life and decided to metamorphose themselves into the Hunger in order to eradicate all life in the omniverse. John even refers to itself/themselves/himself as Dissatisfaction as a better moniker than The Hunger.
- Affably Evil: John is very polite and soft-spoken in his parleys with Merle, even becoming fond of Merle in a way.
- Alas, Poor Villain: John in Story and Song - Finale, Part Two and Three.
- Assimilation Plot: It was John getting all his kinsmen from his plane to understand and accept the futility of individual life when presented with the cloying void of infinity that led them to abandon the concept of life itself to become The Hunger.
- Beyond the Impossible: It is impossible for two physical objects to occupy the same space, but that's exactly what The Hunger is, being multiple planes of existence in one place. Its use of The Light of Creation is what allows this to be possible.
- Big Bad: Confirmed to be this in Reunion Tour. They inhabit a recently-appeared thirteenth plane of existence (outside of the twelve which the game universe have come to accept until this point), bigger than the other twelve combined. The eyes are described as "burning with malice and hunger" as they all turn to focus on the Bureau of Balance.
- Blue-and-Orange Morality: "John" has some trouble articulating exactly what The Hunger wants, but it's clearly operating on a different value system.
- Deader Than Dead: When Lucretia's spell cuts all of the bonds that it was using to sustain itself, the violation of physics that would allow all of those planes it absorbed to exist in the same physical space at the same time rebounds, causing the Hunger itself to be eliminated as all of its constituent parts get sent to the White Void Room in preparation for restoration by JeffAndrew and his ilk.
- Did We Just Have Tea with Cthulhu?: He plays chess with Merle several times throughout The Stolen Century. Their conversations can get heavy and serious, and John often kills Merle by the end of a parlay session, but for a lot of their time together they just chat and pick one another's brains.
- Dying as Yourself: After his avatar is destroyed by the heroes, John has one last Parlay with Merle, asking him if he'll sit with him. Merle obliges, and after wordlessly watching the sunset together, John is gone.
- Eldritch Abomination: It doesn't get much more eldritch than an entire malicious living plane that goes about either destroying or devouring other planes.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: John comments that he can not understand concepts like love and friendship.
- Final Boss: A Hunger-controlled John serves as the final opponent of the Balance campaign.
- Friendship Denial: John claims he's incapable of having friends, despite his apparent fondness for Merle. By the end of the campaign, it's pretty clear this is a load of hooey.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: It was a planar system like countless others, before gaining some kind of malevolent collective sentience and seeking to devour other systems. If John is to be believed, he himself was little more than some kind of motivational speaker in his home dimension before ascending to Eldritch Abomination status by sheer force of will.
- Genius Loci: Is an entire living plane of existence, larger than an entire planar system. This is mainly because it used to be a planar system and has been regularly consuming other planar systems.
- Glowing Eyelights of Undeath: Whether or not they're undead is speculation, but their defining trait is their large glowing white eyes.
- Humanoid Abomination: Griffin has described the Scouts as looking humanoid, but they're about a foot tall and have long and thin arms and legs with white skin. Travis compared their description to Salacious Crumb.
- When The Hunger's army, called Shadows, appear proper in Reunion Tour, they take on a number of appearances. Some look humanoid, others are massive hulking brutes, others appear mechanoid, and others still look like animated smoke.
- Taken to its logical conclusion with John, the Hunger's "Avatar" of sorts, who simply looks like a relatively normal human man in a nice suit. When he meets with Merle during the events of Story and Song, he looks a good deal worse for wear due to The Hunger punishing him for failing to retrieve the Light.
- When The Hunger's army, called Shadows, appear proper in Reunion Tour, they take on a number of appearances. Some look humanoid, others are massive hulking brutes, others appear mechanoid, and others still look like animated smoke.
- Invisible Monsters: The dark, featureless manifestations of the Hunger that attack the Bureau of Balance can only be seen by Noelle, because she's undead, and the people who have been inoculated by the baby voidfish.
- Knight of Cerebus: Whenever it appears, things are going to start getting dark.
- Madden Into Misanthropy: Exaggerated. John was so disillusioned upon realizing the limitations of existence that it wasn't enough for just him to reject life—he had to convert every other living thing to his worldview.
- Motive Decay: In-Universe. The Hunger's original purpose was to ascend to a higher state of being by absorbing enough worlds into itself. A full decade of searching for the Light of Creation in the TAZ Balance world caused it to start becoming more feral, seeking only to fulfill its burning hunger.
- Non-Indicative Name: Lampshaded by John. While the term Hunger may be more or less correct now, it certainly wasn't to begin with. "Hunger" implies that it does what it does out of pure, base desire, simply to fulfill itself. The Hunger's actual motivation is more akin to Nihilism.
- Omnicidal Maniac: They seem to be going for omniversal destruction, given the fact that they're capable of destroying whole planar systems and have done so before.
- One-Winged Angel: After Tres Horny Boys seemingly defeat a fully assimilated John in the finale of Story And Song, he transforms into a large, faceless monster, with clawed hands, skeletal wings, and a jagged crown, with four floating orbs that assist him in battle.
- Redemption Equals Death: John calls Merle into the Hunger via the Parlay spell for two reasons. One is to see him one last time before the Hunger kills him for his failure to secure the Light of Creation for a decade. The other is to give him a final hint at how to defeat the Hunger once and for all. He's completely absorbed by the furious Hunger for the second one.
- Religious and Mythological Theme Naming: The living apocalypse is named John, after the apostle said to have written the Apocalypse.
- Restored My Faith in Humanity: John's interactions with Merle seem to have had this effect, given his change in behavior the last time he and Merle meet. He even laments the fact that he never had children like Merle did. It doesn't end well for John however.Merle: Y'know, what did you do for a living?
John: Well, I was a motivational speaker, Merle. I told people what they needed to hear.
- Slasher Smile: Something inside of it, who we later find out to be John, grins when it finds the Bureau of Balance's moonbase.
- Suicidal Cosmic Temper Tantrum: The Hunger is this incarnate. It was a normal planar system until every single fiber of it, from the people in it to the blades of grass came to see life as pointless and decided it had to end. All of it.
- Super-Persistent Predator: It's apparently been chasing the crew of the Starblaster across entire dimensions.
- Stay with Me Until I Die: Asks this of Merle in their last Parlay. Merle accepts.
- Straw Nihilist: According to John, its Avatar, The Hunger believes that all life is pointless and horrible and so must be destroyed as it sees no point in anything.
- Tom the Dark Lord: The Hunger's sentient, humanoid avatar, the living embodiment of an entire, predatory universe, is named John.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Shades of this at least. It was spawned from an entire planar system's despair and anger over the seeming futility of life and seeks to either destroy or consume everything in response.
The Grand RelicsThe Grand Relics are powerful artifacts created by the order of wizards called the Red Robes. Each artifact embodies one of seven of the D&D schools of magic.
- All Your Powers Combined: Lucretia has been recombining the Relics as the Tres Horny Boys retrieve them to recreate the Light of Creation.
- Artifact of Attraction: While all of the Relics embody different schools of magic, they all have traces of Enchantment magic. They all cast thralls over those nearby, making people want to use them.
- Artifact of Doom: Each of them individually has caused cataclysmic damage in regions where the greedy, power-hungry or just plain unwitting used them. Together, their combined pieces of the Light of Creation act as a lure for The Hunger.
- Dismantled Macguffin: Were once part of the more powerful Light of Creation.
- Imported Alien Phlebotinum: As the Light of Creation it is the most powerful thing throughout all of multiversal existence and initially existed outside of the reality of the podcast. It was originally used to create other realities before being split up into the Grand Relics. See also Misapplied Phlebotinum.
- Misapplied Phlebotinum: The Light of Creation was never meant to exist in reality since it was a power utilized by acausal entities like JeffAndrew to create realities themselves. When it slipped out of their existence and landed in the home planar system of the IPRE crew they had no way to get it back, leading to the events of the podcast.
- The Power of Creation / Reality Warper: As the Light of Creation, it holds this ability.Temporal Chalice: Before I was torn into seven parts [...] I was something incredible. I could breathe life into entire realities, and shape existence at my masters will.
- Required Secondary Powers: Only those who created the Relics are able to overcome the thrall, with few exceptions.
- Sentient Phlebotinum: The Thrall of the artifacts manifests in the artifacts having personalities that act like pushers, trying to get people to use them. If the Temporal Chalice is any indication they also remember being the Light of Creation.
The Phoenix Fire GauntletA gauntlet that grants the user immense power over fire. It was hidden in Wave Echo Cave and is sought by Magic Brian and Gundren Rockseeker. Belongs to the school of Evocation. Created by Lup.
- Affectionate Nickname: Since the party are physically incapable of hearing or saying its name, they end up calling it "Glovey" out of convenience. Subverted, since this nickname is only used once.
- Fantastic Nuke: Gundren ends up using it to destroy Phandalin.
- Playing with Fire: It's essentially a Fireball spell on steroids. True to a common lesson children learn, playing with fire is also extremely dangerous as it inevitably always resulted in a similar scenario to Phandalin when it consumed its user.
The OculusA small monocle with the power to turn any cast illusion real. Discovered by the Reclaimer Leman Kessler, who was murdered by the "Rockport Slayer" before he could return it to the moonbase, requiring the party to escort it on the Rockport Limited to Neverwinter. Belongs to the school of Illusion. Created by Davenport.
- Out of Focus: It gets the least focus of any of the artifacts save for the Bulwark Staff; Jenkins never gets to use it, and what it actually does is pretty much immaterial to the plot of Murder on the Rockport Limited.
- Your Mind Makes It Real: Its power.
The Gaia SashA sash granting god-like power over nature. Used by the woman known as the Raven to go on a crime spree. Belongs to the school of Conjuration. Created by Merle.
- Dirty Old Man: Comes off as this when it offers Merle the power to "fuck any vine he wants". Considering that Merle made the Gaia Sash it makes sense that a bit of his plant fetishism rubbed off on it.
- Green Thumb/When Trees Attack: Grants control of plant life as part of its control of nature.
- Power of the Storm: The other half of its nature control.
- Transflormation: Ends up being used to transform Sloane and Hurley into a tree.
The Philosopher's StoneA stone capable of transmuting any material into anything else. First found and experimented on by Lucas Miller, it was accidentally activated and began transmuting his floating lab and anything it touched into pink tourmaline, forcing the party to retrieve and deactivate it before the lab made contact with the ground and consumed the planet. Belongs to the school of Transmutation. Created by Taako.
- Eaten Alive: Declares that it's "kinda into this" after Magnus swallows it.
- Taken for Granite: It can, essentially, transform anything into anything, but this is its main use in the story.
The Temporal ChaliceDescribed by Lucretia as "the most seductive" of the Grand Relics, the Temporal Chalice grants mastery over time, and was used to trap the town of Refuge in a time loop. Belongs to the school of Divination. Created by Magnus.
- Armor-Piercing Question: Offers Merle the ability to stop the loss of his arm; Taako the chance to prevent the deaths of the people of Glamor Springs; and Magnus the opportunity to stop the death of his wife Julia. When all three refuse, it offers them the chance to revert the destruction of Phandalin. They refuse that too.
- Break Them by Talking: Instead of using the More Than Mind Control powers that all the Relics possess, it instead tries to convince Tres Horny Boys to use it through reason.
- Evil Is Petty: Its final attempt to tempt the boys is to remind them of the destruction of Phandalin. When they still refuse to use it, she gives up, but not before showing them the final explosion in slow motion, forcing them to actually watch from the ground as thousands are burned.
- Imagination-Based Superpower: Its ability to truly change the past relies on the user's willpower and ability to want the past changed, no matter the consequences.
- Nothing Is Scarier: While plot details of The Eleventh Hour and The Stolen Century make it obvious that the Chalice only ever created the Refuge time loop, Magnus is wracked with anxiety during the Relic Wars because it's impossible to know whether the timeline has been altered.
- Time Master: It can twist time itself to change things its user may regret.
- Token Good Teammate: Inasmuch as that can apply here, and for a given definition of "good". It's certainly more measured and intellectual than the other relics, less forceful and showing more sympathy. It's mentioned that no one knows what kind of damage the Chalice has done, since once history changed no one would remember the change. Looking at The Eleventh Hour and the related flashback in The Suffering Game, it probably never left Refuge, never wreaked the kind of havok the other relics did. It was used only to protect, even if that protection couldn't last, confined everyone in town, and wasn't always the best idea. Quite like how its creator has a strong impulse to protect but often doesn't think things through. Its "craveability" enthralled a man into killing its first owner, but it may not have any control over that element of itself. It does show the heroes the destruction of Phandalin in greater detail after they refuse to use it at all.
The Animus BellA magical bell held by the liches Edward and Lydia, it was used to lure Lucretia, and subsequently Tres Horny Boys, into Wonderland. Belongs to the school of Necromancy. Created by Barry Bluejeans.
- Body Snatcher: Knocks people's souls out of their bodies, leaving them susceptible to body hijacking.
- Living Forever Is Awesome: Its "pitch". Unfortunately for it, it tried this on Magnus, the member of the team least open to it.Animus Bell: How would you like to live forever?Magnus: I'd hate it. Shut the fuck up.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Gets a grand total of one line before being destroyed.
The Bulwark StaffThe final Grand Relic, and something of a Walking Spoiler. It's Lucretia's white oak staff, and the relic that she created. Belongs to the school of Abjuration.
- Deflector Shields: The staff's power is never made explicit, but it's probably based around defensive barriers judging from its name, school of magic, and Lucretia's magical training during The Stolen Century.
- Hiding in Plain Sight: First mentioned in Moonlighting, before the Relics were even explained.
- Out of Focus: While it's in almost every arc as the staff Lucretia holds, just what it can do is never explained and it has no lines at all. Lucretia takes it into the final battle, but there's no indication of what is her own very impressive power and what is the staff.
- Don't Try This at Home: Warns the audience of this during the PetalsToTheMetalArc.
- Fourth-Wall Observer: Given he's Junior, it's somewhat surprising that he knows Griffin by name and seems aware that he's a fictional character in his story.
- No Name Given: Hes not referred to by anything, or referenced at all, in the show. We just call him the Announcer because thats what the TAZ wiki calls him. According to Griffin, the Announcer is Junior, the baby Voidfish.
- OOC Is Serious Business: The intro to the second Reunion Tour interlude forgoes his usual goofy, hammy announcement style in favor of a solemn introduction, signaling that the episode is much darker and more plot-heavy than usual.
- Skewed Priorities: Is more concerned with his job than the people that could die because of a runaway train. Once it's revealed that he's Junior telling everyone the story retroactively, it's clear that he knew it turned out alright.
- Take That, Critics!: Says that anyone who says that Griffin cant have elevators can take a hike.
- Title Drop: Once an Episode, he says the Adventure Zone at the end of his announcement.
- Triumphant Reprise: Makes a second announcement at the end of the second episode of Story and Song, a first for the podcast and as a way to send us into the final episode of the campaign with resolve and courage.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Hes afraid of aliens and fears that they will be found on the moon.
- Race: Bugbear
A bugbear living in Cragmaw Hideout, and the boss of the gang of gerblins living there.
- Adaptation Expansion: In most sessions of The Lost Mines of Phandelver, Klarg is just the first boss of the first small dungeon. Here, he, along with his family, has been Mind Controlled into being a servant for a Mad Scientist, gets broken out of his mind control, gets kidnapped and sold to a gang of bikers, breaks out of their captivity, and goes on to become a professional wrestler.
- Bad Boss: Was unpopular with his underlings.
- Badass Biker: Shows up as this in the Petals to the Metal arc.
- Charm Person: On the receiving end of this for most of his air time.
- Hidden Depths: He's a surprisingly gracious host. This may be due to some side-effect of Lucas's Mind Control process, during which he was known as "Daniel Butler" and was Lucas's manservant.
- Masked Luchador: Competes in Battlefest Wrestling under the guise of a werewolf named "Moonbeam".
- Spot of Tea: Apparently makes a damn good cup.
- Starter Villain: The first threatening opponent the party faces.
- Writing Around Trademarks: The Comic-Book Adaptation changes his name to G'nash.
Steven Q. Fletcher Esq. III
- Race: Goldfish
Magnuss pet goldfish. Has no abilities and serves no purpose whatsoever, but Magnus loves him a lot.
- Artistic License Biology: Discussed several times regarding the fact that Steven lives in a sealed ball of water with no known way to open it. He should've been dead within a few days of Magnus owning him due to waste contamination and running out of usable oxygen in the water. It was eventually Hand Waved that while Steven isn't magical, the water and ball he lives in are and can eliminate his waste and turn it into usable oxygen and (presumably) keep him sustained with nutrients.
- Dead Guy Junior: Turns out it's named after Magnus's deceased mentor/business partner, Steven Waxmen.
- Non-Action Guy: Comes part and parcel with being a literal goldfish.
- Shrug of God: TTAZZ 2 states that the spelling of his name "exists in a quantum state."
- Spell My Name with an "S": Travis has spelled his name as both "Steven" and "Stephen".
Captain Captain Bane
- Race: Human
Captain of the Goldcliff Militia and undercover Seeker for the Bureau of Balance.
- Badass Baritone: His low, gravelly voice makes Merle, whose own voice is similar, want to have a "Gruff-Off", claiming that only one of them can have such a voice.
- Da Chief: Captain of the Goldcliff Militia.
- FaceHeel Turn: Once Tres Horny Boys collect the Gaia Sash, he tries to poison them and take it for himself.
- His Name Really Is "Barkeep": His full name, sans title, is "Captain Bane".Captain Captain Bane: "Please, call me Captain. Just one. If you just call me one, I assume you're just using my first name."
- Psychic-Assisted Suicide: As he's trying to poison Tres Horny Boys, The Red Robe appears and possesses him, making him knock the poisoned drinks from their hands, before forcing him to drink the poison himself.
- Race: HalflingClass: Monk
Halfling Monk and lieutenant of the Goldcliff Militia.
- Action Girl
- Ambiguously Gay: With Sloane. Confirmed later by Word of God.
- Animal Motif: Dons a ram mask while Battlewagon racing.
- Back for the Finale: Her and Sloane come back to life as dryads during Story and Song, to save Merle's stepdaughter Mavis.
- Bare-Fisted Monk: Her fighting style of choice.
- Cowboy Cop: It's unlikely Captain Bane would approve of her plan to catch The Raven by entering in an illegal Battlewagon race.
- Dirty Cop: Partnered with The Raven to compete in illegal Battlewagon races.
- Ki Manipulation: As a monk, she uses this to cast spells, such as Healing Hands and Thunder Wave
- The Power of Love: The Suffering Game revealed that Hurley used this to save Sloane from incurable silverpoint poison, at a cost to herself.
- Transflormation: She and Sloane receive this treatment at the end of Petals to the Metal.
- It's later revealed this actually turned them into dryads.
- Race: Phantom Steed (Binicorn)
Taakos spectral binicorn created by the spell Phantom Steed.
- Adaptational Intelligence: Phantom Steeds, having the same stats as a regular horse, typically cannot speak.
- Badass Baritone: Says stuff like "Listen, I got a plan... let's go eat some oats." in an awesome deep voice.
- Cool Horse: He's fast, intelligent, and has two unicorn horns growing from his head.
- Horse of a Different Color: Per the description of the spell Phantom Steed, he is a "quasi-real horse-like creature" who takes the appearance of a shimmering, blue, two-horned unicorn with a rainbow mane shaped like a mullet.
- Talking Animal: With a chill Matthew McConaughey-esque voice, no less.
- Race: Deity
The nature god that Merle worships.
- The Gods Must Be Lazy: While he'll step in every so often when he's prayed to he's mostly concerned with chilling out and baking.
- Have You Seen My God?: Has seemingly gone missing in The Suffering Game, due to the Bonds that connect the Prime Material Plane and the Celestial Plane being severed by The Hunger causing Merle's divine magic to falter. When the bonds are reconnected in Story and Song, Pan returns for good.
- King of All Cosmos: Mellow, talks like a stereotypical parody of a millennial, treats prayers like phone calls and bakes pies.
- Race: Human
A mystical bounty hunter responsible for retrieving souls that have escaped the underworld. He works for the Raven Queen, a deity responsible for maintaining order and balance between the worlds of the living and the dead.
- Anticipatory Breath Spray: He does a play on this before his and Taako's kiss in Story and Song. Before Taako rushes to kiss him, he stops and cups his hands to his mouth to warm up his normally ice-cold lips so the kiss won't be "cold and weird."
- Badass in Distress: Kravitz is undeniably a powerful entity, so to see him barely able to hold his head above the now choppy and turbulent seas of the Astral Plane signifies that something is terribly wrong with the whole planar system.
- Chekhov's Gunman: He's gunning for all our heroes (especially Merle), claiming that they've died numerous times without ever having gone to the afterlife/the astral plane. At first this seems just like the typical podcast zaniness, until The Eleventh Hour, where it becomes clear that our heroes have a lot of missing time, and more involvement with the Grand Relics than they previously thought.
- Divine Date: Kravitz, powerful Grim Reaper, Bounty Hunter for a goddess, and resident of the Astral Plane, unwittingly goes on a date with Taako to a couples pottery class. And after realizing it, apparently really wants to see him again.
- Don't Fear the Reaper: While he can seem pretty intimidating when the boys first meet him, he's actually a pretty decent guy who's willing to bend the rules when he can.
- Fake Brit: In-Universe, he fakes the accent while on the job to seem more intimidating.
- God Job: He's literally The Grim Reaper, complete with a black cloak, a scythe, and a book full of people he's gotta kill.
- Implacable Man: He can't be killed by mortal means, he doesn't like to negotiate, and he never forgets a slight or promise.
- Insistent Terminology: He's a Grim Reaper, not The Grim Reaper.
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Griffin can't keep this accent straight to save his life, to the point of a Running Gag. By The Calm Before The Storm, Griffin just gives up on it.
- The Power of Love: Apparently the reason his hand feels warm when Taako holds it in the epilogue.
- Psychopomp: By classification, if not by occupation.
- Punch-Clock Villain: He's not really evil; he's just a Grim Reaper doing his job.
- Puzzle Boss: Attacks indirectly using Crystal Golems and crystal creatures, forcing our heroes to figure out a more roundabout way to defeat him.
- Tall, Dark, and Handsome: His humanoid form is that of a strikingly handsome dark haired man, usually wearing a suit under his cloak.
- The Worf Effect: He's virtually unstoppable throughout The Crystal Kingdom. Legion utterly crushing him sets up just how scary it/they are, and when Taako sees him barely able to stay afloat in the Astral Sea, it's a sure sign that something really, really bad is happening.
- Villain Decay: He is one of the main antagonists of The Crystal Kingdom, actively pursuing the main trio to get them to come to the afterlife. He stops pursuing them after The Eleventh Hour following his date with Taako, downgrading them to a minor threat, and by Story and Song, he's on their side and seems to have no malice against them.
- Race: Human
Lucas Miller's late mother who died because she saw all of the universe at once.
- Escaped from Hell: Escaped from the Eternal Stockade along with Legion and the other ghosts.
- Go Mad from the Revelation: Seeing the whole of reality, including the Hunger, was so damaging that she died and arrived in the afterlife insane.
- Haunted Technology: Briefly inhabited a robot body after escaping the Astral Plane.
- Mad Scientist: Shades of this like her son. She created the Cosmoscope which allowed her to see the Planar System and more.
- Mama Bear: Fiercely protective of Lucas to the point where she tried to escape the Astral Plane to get back to him and the first thing she does upon gaining control of her robot form is shout at Legion to stay away from Lucas.
- My Skull Runneth Over: As mentioned above, witnessing the fabric of reality instantly killed her.
- Race: Earth Elemental / Vermilion Flycatcher
The Protector of Refuge, an earth elemental of one consciousness split between two bodies: that of a Vermillion Flycatcher and a red clay golem.
- Ambiguous Gender: Griffin messes up and uses he/him at first, but he specifies that Roswell uses they/them. (Not, apparently, based off of the fact that they have two bodies—they dont consider the bodies separate entities.)
- Beware the Nice Ones: Theyre a really nice and fair deputy, but theyre also incredibly powerful when provoked— had Taako not found Sheriff Isaaks diary they would all have been killed by Roswell until the loop reset.Cassidy: Roswells gonna kick your ass!
- Golem: Well, earth elemental with a bird body, but they are made out of clay.
- No-Sell: Merles Dispell Magic and Taakos Planar Binding had no effect on them. this is because of Jacks magical Last Request to protect June and Refuge.
- Not Quite Dead: After the minecart chase it seems that Roswell exploded themselves to slow down the Purple Worm and give our heroes the chance to defeat it. Only after Istus causes the seven years of missing time inside of Refuge to catch up with them that we see that the bird part of Roswell survived. Now that they aren't tied to defending Refuge anymore (and much more free due to not being bound to an Earth Elemental), they decide to fly around and see the world.
- Precision F-Strike: In the minecart chase, Roswell tells Magnus that his idea is a shitty shit shit shit plan!
- Shout-Out: An otherwise passive hulking humanoid in a set of armor who could wreck your shit if accosted, tasked with protecting a young girl, and can be mind controlled into fighting for you. Are we talking about Roswell, or a Big Daddy? Even their name is similar to Rosie type Big Daddies.
- Griffin also describes Roswell's armor as resembling the Catarina set from Dark Souls.
- Trigger Phrase: Junebug. More benignly, Youve made Refuge safe, which frees Roswell.
- Verbal Tic: When asked to carry out an order, they always respond with "You got it!"
- Race: Deity
The goddess of fate and the natural passage of time. She weaves the tapestry of time, recording everything that has happened, as it happens.
- Gut Feeling: Those who follow her devoutly trust their intuition entirely, knowing that she is guiding them.
- The Hecate Sisters: She is said to embody all three at once, shifting between the Maiden, Matron, and Crone in appearance. In the story itself, she most resembles the Matron.
- When she appears during the battle in Story and Song, she appears as the Maiden.
- Retconjuration: When she realizes the gifts she gave to Tres Horny Boys would disappear after the hour resets, she rewrites history to make it so they had them before they entered Refuge.
- Supernatural Aid: Grants Tres Horny Boys each a boon, to help them in their quest.
- Time Master: She controls the flow of time itself.
- Time Stands Still: On two occasions,
- The first time they meet her, she slows time inside her reconstructed church, so that they could have a conversation before the town of Refuge is destroyed.
- The second time, She appears inside The Hunger, allowing Tres Horny Boys to make the choice of whether or not to stay with Lucretia, or leave back to the Prime Material Plane.
- You Can't Fight Fate: Zig-Zagged. She doesn't actually know the full story of time, as she is always weaving its tapestry, only that it will come, however it does.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Silver, with a light blue tinge.
- Race: HumanClass: Wizard
The Sheriff of Refuge, who is mysteriously absent for the greater part of it.
- Bad Boss: Bad enough to neglect his post to sit outside the bubble containing June and the Temporal Chalice and to have Roswell take his Sheriffs badge. Although in his defense, he's been trying to stop the worm from destroying the town for over a thousand loops.
- The Gunslinger With a wand, rather than a gun, of the Quick Draw variety.
- Morality Pet: June, and to a lesser extent, Roswell.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Isaak gains quite a lot of guilt after killing his best friend and Junes father, Jack.
- Police Are Useless: See Bad Boss.
- Secret Diary: Isaaks diary is the treasure in the bank vault and key to controlling Roswell.
- The Sheriff: Played Straight.
- Spell My Name with an "S": According to his Leitmotif, The Diary Of Sheriff Isaak, its spelled with a K.
- Race: Half-Orc
A Refuge miner wrongly imprisoned for destroying the Temple of Istus. Seems paranoid that everyone and everything is a gerblin.
- Book Dumb: Not very bright, but she manages to rise to elder of Refuge in the seven years after time is fixed.
- Gentle Giant: She prefers to avoid confrontation if possible, but not because she's weak. The one time she engages anyone in combat, she manages his hit for over 20 points of damage with a shovel.
- Hypocrite: Narcs on the Boys for trying to break into Isaak's desk, but has no problem breaking out of jail herself, given the chance.
- Karmic Jackpot: As elder of Refuge, she manages to find the town a new diamond vein and usher in a new era of prosperity.
- Mad Bomber: Every loop she's trying her best to blow a hole in the mines with a cluster bomb to reach a new diamond vein. Nobody else seems to agree that the vein exists, so she looks a little nuts.
- Not Me This Time: Everyone believes she blew up the Temple of Istus, since blowing stuff up is her thing. She's innocent, of course, but jailed for it anyway.
- Ripple Effect-Proof Memory: As a result of her Running Gag, she suspects Tres Horny Boys of being gerblins in their first loop, and in every subsequent loop immediately comes to the same conclusion. This is probably due to her questionable intelligence more than anything.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: At 11:30 in each loop, an earthquakes opens a hole in her cell. She wastes no time escaping every time.
- Sole Survivor: Of the rockslide that killed six miners and shut down mining in Refuge permanently.
- Wild Card Excuse: Something weird's going on that she doesn't understand? Obviously gerblins.
- Race: DrowClass: Wizard
The proprietor of Refuge's only Saloon, The Davy Lamp, and a huge fan of Taako.
- Ascended Fangirl: She saw Taako's show when he was still traveling and is a huge admirer. He gives her a diploma at the end of The Eleventh Hour, to signify his approval of her magical talents, and she ends up running Taako's school at the end of the campaign.
- Hyper-Competent Sidekick: She's the deputy headmistress of Taakos Amazing School of Magic, but in reality she's the one who runs things while he stops by occasionally to give guest lectures. It's implied this arrangement works best for both of them.
- Saloon Owner: Of the more sympathetic variety.
- Race: Human
The deceased wife of Magnus Burnsides, killed when the governor that Magnus helped depose returned to destroy the town of Ravensroost.
- Action Girl: Word of God says she fought alongside Magnus in the Ravensroost Rebellion.
- Deadpan Snarker: Pretty much all of her limited dialogue is her snarking at Magnus.
- Early-Bird Cameo: She's referred to by name when Magnus asks Kravitz to tell her that he still loves her late in The Crystal Kingdom, but we know nothing more about her until nine episodes later, in the penultimate episode of The Eleventh Hour.
- La Résistance: Fought alongside Magnus in the rebellion against Ravensroost's tyrannical governor.
- The Lost Lenore: Magnus is still affected by her death years after the fact, to the point where he is no longer interested in romance with anybody and is completely disinterested in the prospect of immortality because, given the way the afterlife is an actual plane of existence that he can go to, he knows he will be reunited with her in death at some point.
- Morality Chain Beyond the Grave: Magnus admits that even though he wants nothing more than to use the Temporal Chalice to prevent Julia's death, doing so would not be what Julia wanted, and so he refuses. When they reunite in the afterlife, he says that he was always trying to be a person she'd be proud of.
- Posthumous Character: Died several years prior to the beginning of the story. As such, most of her relevance comes from how her death has affected Magnus in the years since.
- Satellite Character: To Magnus. We don't know much about her besides her relationship with him.
- Together in Death: Magnus' ultimate goal. Come the finale he finally gets his wish after dying peacefully of old age.
Mad Governor Kalen
- Race: Human
The former ruler of Ravensroost, and presumably several other towns in the area. Became extremely corrupt due to seeing his power in the region as endless. Deposed by Magnus, only to return while he was away and destroy a significant chunk of the town, sending all the survivors running.
- The Caligula: He massively abused his power as governor and terrorized his citizens.
- If I Can't Have You...: This was basically his reasoning for destroying Ravensroost.
- Satellite Character: Again, to Magnus, being integral to his backstory but having no direct impact on the plot. Unlike the other backstory characters, Kalen doesn't make a reappearance during Story and Song.
- Race: Unknown
Taako's former assistant on "Sizzle It Up With Taako."
- Disproportionate Retribution: When he felt like Taako wasn't giving him enough recognition, he proceeded to poison the food he was cooking in an attempt to kill him.
- Green-Eyed Monster: His jealousy over Taako keeping him out of the show drives him to try and kill Taako and causes the death of the entire audience.
- Satellite Character: To Taako, so far appearing only in his backstory. He gets a mention during the finale as having confessed to what he did and turned himself over to the authorities after learning Taako's story from the Voidfish's message.
- Race: Dwarf
Merle's estranged ex-wife and the mother to his son Mookie and his step-daughter Mavis.
- Arranged Marriage: Merle and Hekuba were arranged to be married by Dwarven law, neither of them were happy about it.
- Satellite Character: To Merle, only appearing in his backstory and only being mentioned when he visits his kids. She gets a brief mention during Story and Song, having made it to the Goldcliff Trust with Mookie only to realize they lost Mavis along the way. She isn't mentioned again after that, but given Mookie survived it's likely that she did too.
- Race: Dwarf
Merle's stepdaughter and Hekuba's daughter.
- Race: Dwarf
Merle and Hekuba's younger child.
Lord Artemis Sterling
- Race: Human
Ruler of the city of Neverwinter, and the single most powerful person in the world.
- Butt-Monkey: Physically and emotionally drained by Wonderland, he returns home to Neverwinter just in time to have The Hunger attack. He's clearly having a rough week.
- Character Development: Wonderland teaches him humility, and the fight against The Hunger teaches him empathy.
- Jerkass: An insufferable twerp when we first meet him. He gets better, though.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: He's first encountered during The Suffering Game, where he is questing for Wonderland in the company of two mercenaries. Played for Laughs during the Epilogue, where he tries to follow through on his promise to make a bar for Merle personally. As in, he tries to do it himself despite having no idea how to construct a building.
- Younger Than He Looks: his experiences in Wonderland force him to give up years of life, aging him at least ten years more than his actual age.
- Race: HumanClass: Sorcerer
A disembodied head that the boys meet during Wonderland. Since he's unable to do much in his current state, they take him along, taking his penalties in the process. Also a powerful sorcerer who accompanied Lucretia on her own journey through Wonderland.
- Changed My Mind, Kid: He leaves the party late in the arc because escaping Wonderland would kill him, but returns during the final battle and willingly gives up his life to heal the unconscious Merle.
- Heroic Sacrifice: After he realizes that Wonderland is the only thing still keeping him alive, he gives up the last of his HP to heal Merle and turn the tide of the battle against Lydia and Edward.
- Losing Your Head: Wonderland's magic allows him to survive as just a head.
- The Reveal: Turns out Lucretia got out of Wonderland by having him stay behind during the "bonus round."
The Red Robe
- Race: Lich
A member of the supposedly long gone order of Red Robes that caused the Relic War by creating the Grand Relics who has taken an interest in our heroes.
- Adaptation Name Change: In the original Forgotten Realms campaign that Here There Be Gerblins was based on, his name was Sildar Hallwinter.
- Adaptation Expansion: Needless to say, the original Sildar Hallwinter is not a reality-hopping lich necromancer.
- Ambiguously Evil: On the one hand, they are a Red Robe, a crazy powerful dark wizard that nearly destroyed the world by creating the Grand Relics. On the other, they haven't done anything to actually antagonize our heroes, seems to have some of their interests at heart, and actually saved Merle's kids from a runaway wagon in The Calm Before The Storm. The Suffering Game pretty much puts all these fears to rest.
- Astonishingly Appropriate Appearance: What are the odds that a character called "The Red Robe" looks like a spectral red robe? And what are the odds that a man named "Barry Bluejeans" always wears blue denim pants?
- Berserk Button: They became incensed upon seeing that Taako had possession of the Umbra Staff, screaming "YOU FOUND HER!?" before vanishing into thin air. It turns out that Barry has spent much of his time in this world searching for Lup, the owner of the Umbra Staff and Barry's romantic partner.
- Better to Die than Be Killed: The Voidfish's memory-erasing power can't affect him when he dies and is in Lich form. His last act before the Voidfish erases all the main character's memories in The Stolen Century was asking Taako to kill him, which Taako does.
- Body Backup Drive: He possesses a pod that can regrow an inanimate body using some of his blood. As a lich, he can possess this body, but doing so prevents him from remembering anything blocked by a voidfish.
- Cannot Spit It Out: Tres Horny Boys would probably have been quicker to trust him if he'd just said, "Hey, I'm not actually evil" rather than spouting cryptic, ominous riddles. Somewhat justified in that doing so would have run the risk of them trying to recall their missing memories of the IPRE voyage.
- On the romantic side, he was in love with Lup for over two decades before even admitting his feelings to anyone.
- Despair Event Horizon: Very briefly after the Red Robe asks Taako, Magnus and Merle if they trusted him. They immediately say no, and his body spasms and he says to someone named Lup that he "can't do this anymore". He recovers and makes a greater effort to appear more trustworthy.
- Fluffy the Terrible: Well, assuming "Barry Bluejeans" is his actual name, at least.
- Happily Married: It's never stated in canon if he and Lup are officially married or simply life partners, but either way, they have a very stable and loving relationship even after decades together.
- Humanoid Abomination: The term Red Robe turns out to be shockingly apropos; nothing inside the Robe seems to be visible save for a white light in place a head, and a pair of gnarled and skeletal hands, the rest being shrouded in darkness.
- Iconic Outfit: Barry would not be the man he is without his blue denim pants.Barry: Why do you think they call me that? You think this is a family name?
- While all of the Red Robes are obviously associated with the garment in question, if you mention the Red Robe, you mean this guy specifically.
- I Will Find You: Has been searching tirelessly for Lup for over a decade.
- Notes To Self: They have a magical coin that they use to record these in order to deal with their memory loss upon entering a new body.
- Psychopomp: He becomes a reaper in the Epilogue of Story and Song.
- The Power of Love: Barry is defined by his love for his family and friends—his title in Maureen's prophecy is "The Lover", and he uses love to sustain his sanity as a lich. When he returns to his body, one of the first things the coin notes is that he can feel "the weight of a love that defined and redeemed [him]" in his chest.
- Time Stands Still: Their appearances in The Crystal Kingdom and The Eleventh Hour cause time to freeze for everyone except them and Tres Horny Boys. And Lucretia, presumably because they're all Red Robes.
- Red Herring Shirt: We first encounter him as an irrelevant mercenary hired by Gundren, who dies when Phandalin is engulfed in flame. He ends up being among the most important NPCs in the entire show.
- Theme Naming: He shares one of a series of titles with his seven fellow Red Robes, elucidated by Lucas' mother when she had her vision in the Cosmoscope; he is "The Lover".
- Wham Episode: A new one crops up every time they make an appearance. To wit;
- Their appearance at the end of Petals to the Metal signified that the Red Robes still exist despite Lucretia insisting they all died off during the war.
- Their appearance during The Crystal Kingdom tipped off Tres Horny Boys that there may be more to the Red Robe mystery than what Lucretia has told them, as well as the Robe asking our heroes to trust them to some capacity.
- At the end of Merle's chapter in The Calm Before The Storm, the Robe saves Mookie and Mavis from being run down by a runaway wagon for seemingly no reason at all other than to gain Merle's trust.
- The Robe shows up again inside of Wonderland during the Heart Attack game when Taako casts True Seeing on Magnus, allowing him to pierce the illusions surrounding Wonderland. Even Lydia and Edward seem oblivious to its presence despite being powerful liches that have nearly complete physical and arcane control over Wonderland.
- Episode 7 of The Suffering Game finally reveals the Red Robe's motivation and identity: he's Barry Bluejeans, and he's trying to stop the complete destruction of the universe.
- Race: Elevator
A Living Ship created by Roman Miller, Lucas' grandfather.
- The Ditz: Clearly built with more heart (and stomach) than brains.
- Living Ship: He's a regular elevator on the outside, with a fleshy, functional stomach on the inside.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Sounds like Ed Wynn, but constantly shouting.
- Non-Ironic Clown: Very clown-themed in appearance and behavior, as he was intended as a cute mascot for Miller's Lifting Machines.
- No Indoor Voice: Possibly due to being a large machine.
- Organic Technology: An elevator with a digestive system.
- The Elevator from Ipanema: Amusingly attempts to sing the titular song, despite not knowing the lyrics."The girl from Ipanema's coming to take your stuff inside your house, here she comes! I haven't heard the song before!"
- Uncomfortable Elevator Moment: Given how unintentionally creepy/gross he can be, as well as loud and grating, he's practically the embodiment of this. It doesn't help how excited he is to have people board him."C'mon in my belly! Press my buttons from inside of me!"
- Race:High Elf LichClass: Wizard (School of Evocation)
A Walking Spoiler mentioned by the Red Robe.
All spoilers below will be unmarked.
- Action Girl: Incredibly powerful in combat and very clearly enjoys it.
- Affectionate Nickname: Taako refers to her as "Lulu" sometimes.
- The Atoner: She is devastated by the innocents killed with her Phoenix Fire Gauntlet, and while the rest of the crew attempt to assuage her guilt and reassure her she took the best option in creating it, she still runs away to deal with it and is never seen again.
- Big Sister Instinct: When Edward was absorbed into the Umbra Staff, she obliterated him for his part in the pain Wonderland inflicted on her twin brother Taako.
- Cannot Spit It Out: Was in love with Barry for decades before finally talking to him about it.
- The Fettered: Downplayed; she normally is as much of a pragmatist as her brother is and goes gaga over the idea of using machine guns to fight with, but she was also the first to voice her displeasure and disgust at the idea of destroying the entire robot civilization that was formed from the remains of the TAZ Nights reality just so The Hunger wouldn't get its hands on their power.
- Foreshadowing: She is referred to three times before her official introduction as part of the Reunion Tour interlude:
- In Rest & Relaxation, the Umbra Staff casts Scorching Ray during Taako's lesson with Angus, burning her name into the wall.
- At the end of The Eleventh Hour, Barry - as the enigmatic Red Robe - refers to her by name when the boys say they don't trust him.
- In The Calm Before The Storm, Kravitz detects the presence of a powerful undead while on his date with Taako, and specifically asks Taako if he's a lich.
- Half-Identical Twins: Lup is described as looking strikingly similar to Taako. Justified, as Lup is a trans woman and likely is his identical twin, as opposed to a fraternal twin with striking resemblance.
- Happily Married: Whether or not they're literally married is up to interpretation, but regardless, she and Barry have this dynamic by virtue of having been in a loving, stable, committed relationship for over 60 years by the time the story starts.
- The Heart: Surprisingly, given she seemed to have a selfish trickster personality similar to her brother, she turns out to be the one to gather the crew together promising never to compromise their morals to the point of sacrificing an entire world of people for the greater good. She even lightens the mood of the crew by semi-jokingly saying she wants to defeat The Hunger and possibly restore their world to get her $15 from Greg Grimaldis.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: When she was slain, her own Umbra Staff, which devours magic energy of defeated magic users, absorbed her lich form, since it was pure energy and she was just "defeated".
- Humanity Ensues: After the campaign's end, its revealed that Barry saved the note she left for the crew before she disappeared, and since it was sealed with a kiss there was enough residual DNA left over to regrow her body in Barry's device.
- The Lad-ette: She's incredibly boisterous and hot-blooded. During the trial in Chapter Six of The Stolen Century, she guesses correctly and openly admits to her sins being Lust, Gluttony, Pride, and Wrath.
- Morality Chain: She's this to Taako during The Stolen Century. She's even able to get him to back down on destroying the crystal containing the souls of the last living beings of the TAZ (K)Nights universe.
- The Nicknamer: Like her brother, she tends not to call people by their actual names.
- Lup: What's up, Ghost Rider?
- Parasol of Pain: The Umbra Staff is her weapon of choice.
- Playing with Fire: She specializes in fire magic, being part of the Evocation school and the creator of the Phoenix Fire Gauntlet. In particular, she seems very fond of the spell Scorching Ray, having used it twice while still trapped inside her staff.
- Posthumous Character: She died a decade before the beginning of the adventure, betrayed while trying to secure the Phoenix Fire Gauntlet, and has spent the time since trapped within the Umbra Staff as a lich.
- The Power of Love: She uses her love for Taako and Barry to keep control over her lich form.
- Psychopomp: She becomes a reaper in the Epilogue of Story and Song.
- Redemption Equals Death: We eventually learn that her disappearance and subsequent death came as a consequence of her guilt-ridden flight to retrieve, and perhaps even destroy the Phoenix Fire Gauntlet she had created.
- Sealed Badass in a Can: She spent ten years trapped inside the Umbra Staff, able to see the outside world but only able to interact with it by storing up her power to cast spells.
- She's Back: In the finale arc, Story and Song, Taako breaks the Umbra Staff over his knee and frees her lich form from it.
- Theme Naming: She shares one of a series of titles with her seven fellow Red Robes, elucidated by Lucas' mother when she had her vision in the Cosmoscope; she is one of "The Twins", alongside her brother Taako.
- Theme Twin Naming: Zig-zagged. She was originally supposed to be named Chalupa (another Mexican food) and fan speculation had it that this was her real name, but Griffin realized that this could come off as racist given that some fans draw Taako as Latinx and decided that she's just named Lup.
- Tragic Keepsake: Her Umbra Staff, although unintentionally given that Taako looted it off of her corpse without realizing whose it was.
- Transgender: She's a trans woman.
- Trickster Twins: Like Taako, she enjoys teasing and scamming other people. Most obvious in the scene where the two of them hustle some bar patrons at pool, but instead of taking their money, they take their shoes.
- Trigger Happy: Is absolutely delighted to find guns on the robot world and go ballistic on them. Her last words to the Troth robot are:Lup: Light them the fuck up.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: She makes no mention of Greg Grimaldis or the fifteen dollars he owes her during the finale, despite it being a Running Gag for at least thirty years of The Stolen Century. Subverted, as it does eventually get followed up on in Live in Nashville!.
- Race: Human
A denizen of the Plane of Thought (i.e. our world) who works a Tex-Mex food truck.
- Ascended Fanboy: When Taako meets him, he has Overwatch running on his laptop. When Joaquin gains magical powers, one of the techniques he uses against The Hunger is similar to McCree's Deadeye Ultimate. When Taako brings him in as an Assist Character for a Bond Attack, he uses Pharah's Barrage Ultimate.
- The Chosen One: He is the "man wreathed in flames" from Paloma's last prophecy to Taako that will give him exactly what he needs to succeed. Turns out that the flames are from his cooking apron, and the thing Taako needs is the recipe for Picadillo Tacos.
- Declaration of Protection: Maybe not in so many words, but when he and Taako get their respective power boosts from their bond (resulting in him being probably the only person on the Plane of Thought with magic), he lets off one of these that does triple duty as a Call-Back and a cheesy One-Liner;Joaquin: Everything's gonna be okay... I have magic powers!
- Lethal Joke Character: He exists for two reasons; to give Taako the power through their bond to transmute the Phandalin glass circle into a portal to the Astral Plane and reconnect the Prime Material Plane to the rest of the Planar System, and to finally give Taako the recipe for tacos.
- Nervous Wreck: Justified, he's a teenage boy trapped in the middle of the Goddamned Apocalypse.
- Only in Florida: Seems appropriate that the only person in the Plane of Thought to be granted magical powers lives in South Beach, Florida.
- Touched by Vorlons: Helping Taako lean the secret of Tacos grants him the same power boost Taako gets, which grants him immense magical powers.
- Walking Spoiler: Knowing anything about him is a massive spoiler considering how important he is to the plot.
- Race: Unknown
All spoilers below will be unmarked.
The creator of the world of The Adventure Zone, as well as all the other planes the cast visited during The Stolen Century.
- Creator Cameo: According to the last The The Adventure Zone Zone, he wasn't intended to stand in for Griffin in a literal sense, but after thinking about what JeffAndrew represents, Griffin acknowledges the validity of this reading and accepts it.
- A Form You Are Comfortable With: Only manifests as an omnipresent voice, and even this form starts giving the party a headache after a bit.
- A God I Am Not: Insists that he isn't a god or deific in anyway, but also claims to have created the gods of several realities. This might be splitting hairs.
- Non-Indicative Name: JeffAndrew is not his name, but one that the party gave to him when he was loathe to mention his own name for fear that they may make a cult in his name.
- So Proud of You: Admits that he was one of the only of his kind that held out hope for the party's existence and their abilities, and is happy that they proved him right.
- White Void Room: A literal Nowhere Land. It's a white space that exists as a backup for when two or more objects, such as the Planes that The Hunger was made of, manifest in the same location. This breaks the laws of reality, so the objects are transported here. Also here are objects that simply vanished, like the Rockport Limited when it ceased to exist when the Port it went through was closed.
- Race: Aarakocra
A buff wrestler who works alongside Jess "The Beheader", and appears in "The Boston Live Stunt Spectacular" and "Live Candlenights Spectacular". He wears wristbands and shorts, and is in no way related to a certain famous WWE persona.
- Affectionate Parody: Of John Cena's Nice Guy persona.
- Bird People: He's an Aarakocra, a humanoid bird race. Since they're playing Fifth Edition, he has both arms and separate wings.
- The Cameo: Assists Jess "The Beheader" in protecting some civilians during the Story and Song finale. This is his only appearance in the main storyline.
- FaceHeel Turn: In the "Live Candlenights Spectacular". Subverted, as it's really his wildly unpopular manager, Cherub Joe, impersonating him with a stuffed golem.
- Friend to All Children: Again, a trait he shares with John Cena. Despite dismissing him as a "chump mark", not even Angus McDonald is immune to his charms, owning a t-shirt with him on it, and later asking for a Jeff Angel action figure for Candlenights.
- Gameplay and Story Segregation: In canon, Aarakocra are very introverted, and generally keep to themselves. Jeff Angel seems to have no problem with the spotlight.
- Invisibility: One of his powers. Because you can't see him.
- Leitmotif: His theme, which Griffin specially composed for the show. It's John Cena's theme, "The Time Is Now", in a fake trumpet soundfont.
- Nice Guy: Calls his dad every day, and offers to give free stuff to sick children (a reference to John Cena's frequent work with the Make-A-Wish Foundation).
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Of John Cena.
- Wrestler in All of Us: He's a professional wrestler, so he uses wrestling moves even outside of the ring.
The Hogsbottom Three
As part of the "Great Switcheroo!" promotional event with other Podcasts in the Maximum Fun Network, the hosts of the Flophouse took over for one episode, playing a brand new set of characters in the same universe. Their first adventure happens concurrent with the events of the main story, approximately around the same time as the Moonlighting arc. The story proved to be popular enough that characters and events referenced there were made Canon and are sometimes referenced during the main story. When the main cast took a hiatus, they were invited back for another adventure, taking place after the Petals to the Metal arc.
- And Now for Someone Completely Different: Serve this purpose in their own adventures, allowing the main cast a chance to take a break and show some more adventures and locations outside the main story.
- The Cameo: They make an appearance in the second episode of Story and Song in the city of Rockport leading the army of Tom Bodetts in defense of the city, and Scales is playing a rousing war March for them.
- Race: HumanClass: Ranger
Heir to the famous Silverview fortune. Played by Zhubin Parang.
- BrotherSister Incest: Scales points out that he and his sister Tiana have "a weird Cruel Intentions vibe going on."
- Camp Straight: Zhubin describes his character as "sassy" more than once.
- Casanova Wannabe: Tanzer hits on anything female. Zhubin is terrible at rolling Persuasion Checks.
- Famed in Story: Or so he insists at every turn.
- Gentleman Adventurer: A bored aristocrat looking for adventure, he tends to use his ranger abilities so little you'd almost assume his class is just "rich".
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Arrogant, mercenary, and snippy, but he still helps out his buddies when they need it.
- Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense: He once gave away a priceless magical horse because he didn't have cash for a tip.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: He manages to get the entire party, weapons and all, into a high society party none of them were invited to by virtue of his family name alone. Even when another Silverview shows up, this causes little more than a couple of raised eyebrows.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Seemed to be the case in their first adventure, as he spent a large amount of time dropping the Silverview family name in Hogsbottom to try and get respect and having it not work at all. The trio's second adventure takes place in a more high-society setting, and it turns out that the family name does in fact have a fair amount of cachet. Most likely Hogsbottom is so far down the social ladder that some fancy-lad from Waterdeep isn't going to make any kind of impression.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: Between the trio's first and second adventures, Tanzer apparently spent a great deal of time defending his family name from scandal and accusations of corruption. The experience has left him bitter, paranoid, and a bit of a Straw Libertarian.
- Whip It Good: A bullwhip is his melee weapon of choice...which adds to the aforementioned sassyness.
- White Sheep: Tanzer's a bit of a jerk, but he's clearly the least evil of the Silverview family, considering that most of the family business interests are stereotypically Evil, Inc. industries, like strip-mining and whaling, and that "baseless" accusations of corruption are being constantly levied against them. And particularly if one is to compare him to his Classy Cat-Burglar sister.
- Race: High ElfClass: Druid
The party's main magic user. Played by Dan McCoy.
- Can't Argue with Elves: Dan plays him as a stereotypical Elf: aloof and superior to the puny mortals around him.
- Fantastic Racism: A bit of an Elf Supremacist, seeing non-Elves as inherently inferior.
- For Science!: He seeks higher knowledge, cost be damned. This definition of knowledge can range from the cosmic great unknown to just being really curious about staring at a perfectly mundane hole in the ground.
- Hero of Another Story: Apparently when he's not adventuring with the rest of the trio he's out solving mysteries with his sidekick Gartholomuel.
- No Social Skills: Has no use for the niceties of polite society. Though it's hard to tell if this is due to him being a Hermit, or if he just doesn't care.
- Omniglot: Speaks several languages, including Goblin, which turns out to be an important plot point in their first adventure.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: As a Druid, one of his main abilities is to be able to transform into animals.
Jeremy "Scales" Fangbattle
- Race: Dragonborn (Blue)Class: Bard
and Comic Relief of the group. Brother of Carey Fangbattle (see above). Played by Elliott Kalan.
- Actor Allusion: Elliott is (in)famous for ad-libbing long annoying songs during the Flophouse Podcasts. Playing a Bard, he not only has a logical reason to do the same here, but he's actually able to weaponize it.
- Amazing Technicolor Population: He's blue (da-bu-dee, da-bu-dow...)
- Black Sheep: The only non-warrior in his clan. His sister kicks much more ass than him.
- Casanova Wannabe: He's looking for love, just like Tanzer. Elliott is only slightly better at Persuasion Checks.
- Draconic Humanoid: Being Dragonborn, he is this.
- Interspecies Romance: With Hathaway Redcheek, a Halfing woman.
- Meaningful Name: His nickname, "Scales," references both his physical appearance (a scaly Dragonborn) and his choice of profession (musical scales).