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    The Apprentice 
  • Abstract Apotheosis: Downplayed. They have successfully done what none of the other would-be Arcana usurpers have: gained the power of an Arcana completely. They do not, however, fully embody the concept so much as have access to all of its powers.
    • Taking this trope further, developments in Nadia's route reveal that the Apprentice's current body was once the Fool's, hijacked by Asra; they therefore partly embody the Fool card itself.
  • The Ace: Has a reputation for already exceeding their mentor, Asra's, abilities.
  • Ambiguous Gender: The gender of the Apprentice is never mentioned and as such their gender is determined by the player. A set of pronouns is chosen for them by the player, but this doesn't have to indicate gender.
  • Amnesiac God: At the VERY least, they inhabit The Fool's body. The Devil, furthermore, seems to identify them as the Fool themself. Since they never recover their memories fully, it's hard to say where exactly the Apprentice's existence ends and the Fool's begins...
  • Amnesiac Hero: The Apprentice remembers nothing of their life before becoming Asra's apprentice. In fact, it turns out they have known Asra for much longer than they assumed. The same turns out to be true of Julian.
  • The Apprentice: They are the apprentice of Asra, a renowned magician. In the past, they were also Julian's during efforts to cure the plague.
  • Back from the Dead: They died three years ago, during the Red Plague; they were brought back by Asra, who sabotaged Lucio's attempted ritual for that purpose.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: An Apprentice who takes Asra's route can still be quite annoyed and standoffish with Asra about his secret keeping. Subverted in that despite Asra's secrets, on his side, the affection is quite open and genuine. There are also more belligerent options throughout all the romance routes, if you as the Apprentice tend that way.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: They died trying to help the citizens of Vesuvia against the plague, ending with them catching the plague and being cremated with the others who contracted the disease.
  • The Champion: To Nadia in her route, to a degree. They still want to help everyone, but are clearly especially devoted to Nadia, and the player has the option of telling her this several times.
  • Dead All Along: They died in the plague three years ago. In Asra's route, he reveals that the deal he made was giving up half his heart in order to bring the Apprentice back to life.
  • Deal with the Devil: The Devil himself tries to lure them into making one during Book XV; whether they go through with it or not is up to the player, though the result is apparently the same regardless.
  • Featureless Protagonist: The Apprentice is never - and will never be - depicted in the game, while their name and pronouns are customizable.
  • The Fool: Played with. The Fool is their Tarot Motif, and they embody the Fool's naive optimism and kindness. They're also a bit of an Everyman, being the featureless player character. However, they are not The Ditz, and although luck sometimes works in their favor (such as being lucky enough to literally resurrect, using The Fool's body, no less) , their ability to save the day comes down to magical skill as much as dumb luck.
  • Forgotten First Meeting:
    • In Asra's route he reveals that he met the Apprentice during one of the Masquerades nearly nine years ago.
    • In Julian's route, it's revealed that The Apprentice was apprenticed to him at his clinic during the Plague.
  • Fortune Teller: Asra taught them to read tarot cards, and they seem to have a natural affinity for it.
  • Friend to All Living Things: If you take certain choices, the Apprentice shows a heavy fondness towards animals, particularly Faust in Asra's route. Lucio's dogs become fond of them on their first meeting, and Muriel's wolf Inanna becomes quite docile if they interact with her.
  • It Only Works Once: No magic can affect the Apprentice more than once, due to the Fool's power of change and self-improvement.
  • Nice Guy / Nice Girl: The Apprentice's compassionate nature is one of their most obvious in-universe character traits, and it's usually this that makes the main characters fall for them. They died of the plague as a result of their desire to help people.
  • Pet the Dog: You have the choice of forgiving the rude castle guards and inviting them to dinner.
  • Player Character: Hence why they don't have a canon appearance or gender.
  • Spanner in the Works: Has the potential to be this to the Devil's plans. Their magic can uniquely go against the Devil's, which he himself seems somewhat unaware of.
  • Tarot Motifs: The Fool. The player character has unlimited potential, beginning a new journey, and it is said to encourage bravery and character growth if meditated on. They have several "guardians" that help them along the way, but also learn hard lessons. In keeping with the Apprentice's status as a Featureless Protagonist, the Fool card is unique in that it depicts no figure, only an empty field.
    • In Nadia’s route it’s revealed this goes even further, the body Asra stole for your use was the Fool’s body, meaning that the Apprentice literally is the Fool.
  • The Tease: When given the option, the Apprentice can be very flirty and loves teasing their love interest.
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    Asra 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/asra_avatar.jpg
The wandering magician with a wealth of secrets.
The Apprentice's master who is usually off to unknown places and is a very powerful magician in his own right. He's very close to the Apprentice, but still holds some secrets from them.
  • The Ace: Well known to be an exceptional magician, to the point that he was invited to the palace to help devise a cure for the Red Plague.
  • Agent Peacock: Much like the wizard Howl from Howl's Moving Castle, Asra is beautiful, maybe even a Pretty Boy. He is also very skilled in magic, and helped search for the cure for the red plague.
  • Alliterative Name: Revealed in Chapter 22 to be Asra Alnazar.
  • Amicable Exes: While not at the beginning of their routes, as the story progresses, Asra and Julian do reconcile about their past romance and have gone back to being good friends.
  • Animal Motifs: Both snakes and foxes; snakes because of Faust, obviously, and foxes because of their association with mischief and cunning. He wears a fox mask to the Masquerade, and his Tarot Motif is The Magician, who is depicted as a fox.
  • The Archmage: He's apparently Vesuvia's most powerful magician, outclassed only by his parents, who were imprisoned for most of his life. It's implied that, [[spoiler: with his parents absent, he learned his craft from The Magician themself. (Its unclear how powerful the Apprentice is in comparison to him.)
  • Blue Oni: To Julian’s red. Asra is an intellectual on a more spiritual level, uses magic, and is generally very mysterious.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Towards the end of Nadia's route, he kisses Muriel who reciprocates.
  • Claimed by the Supernatural: After trying to draw Lucio out, his spirit angrily slams Asra to the other side of the room revealing a glowing mark over his heart, similar to what Julian has on his throat.
  • Cry Cute: If the player chooses one of the normal options over a premium option in book VIII, he'll cry out of worry for the Apprentice's safety if he brings them back to the palace where Lucio could reach them.
  • Deal with the Devil: As revealed in Book XIII of his route, he may have made his own in order to bring the Apprentice back to life. It cost him half his heart.
  • Don't Call Me "Sir": Asra hates it when the Apprentice calls him "master", likely because the Apprentice only became his apprentice after losing their memories and their prior relationship was very personal.
  • Expy: Of Howl from Howl's Moving Castle, according to Word of God. Asra made a deal and traded half his heart.
  • Familiar: Faust, a female snake.
  • Fatal Flaw: His tendency to avoid risks (especially to the Apprentice), concealing important information and and vanishing when he's needed most. While this is standard Mentor Archetype fare, it soon becomes clear that Asra isn't operating under an Omniscient Morality License, but instead has both underestimated the Apprentice's mental fortitude and missed how they can only recover their memories through their own strength.
    • In the Upright Ending path, Asra learns to trust the Apprentice more and go along with a (risky but effective) plan to sabotage the Devil's ritual permanently. In the Reversed Ending, he again decides to put the Apprentice's safety before all else and tries to flee with them, hoping that their absence will be enough to disrupt the ritual... forgetting just how resourceful the Devil can be and forfeiting any further chance to stop his plans.
  • Fortune Teller: He is a master at reading tarot cards, and offers his services to clients.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Will be supportive of the Apprentice, should you choose to romance anyone other than himself, despite his implied past feelings. In the prologue, he is the only character that confesses his love for the Apprentice in a bonus scene, though this is affected by Laser-Guided Amnesia. Furthermore, gave up half his heart to bring the Apprentice Back from the Dead, despite the personal ramifications.
  • Leitmotif: "Memory" usually plays in situations involving him.
  • Love Hurts: After resurrecting the Apprentice, he has to watch them fall in love with someone else if you take any other route.
  • Mentor Archetype: Took the Apprentice under his wing after a mysterious accident that claimed the Apprentice's memories. Subverted in that Asra is less the Apprentice's mentor and more re-teaching the Apprentice what they already know.
  • Mystical White Hair: Asra is a renowned magician shrouded in mystery and has white hair.
  • Necromantic: He made a deal to give up part of his heart in order to bring the Apprentice, who had died in the plague, back to life.
  • The Needs of the Many: Chose the few - himself and the Apprentice - and wanted to leave Vesuvia during the years of the plague instead of helping to treat the sick and find a cure. The Apprentice refused to go with him.
  • Nice Guy: Asra is genuinely kind and loving towards the Apprentice, even if he isn't romanced, and truly wants what's best for them.
  • Parental Abandonment: His parents were imprisoned by Lucio and later the Devil.
  • Ship Tease: Gets some with Julian in Muriel's route.
  • Straight Gay: Less in terms of his sexuality (which seems to apply to most residents of Vesuvia) and more in terms of his gender. Although being nonbinary is very common in-universe, most nonbinary people use they/them pronouns and are visually androgynous, while Asra is masculine-presenting and goes by he/him.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: With his parents, as it happens; particularly his mother. Beyond the similarity of their facial structure, they both have white hair.
  • Tarot Motifs: The Magician. He is the bridge between the mortal and magical realms, intelligent, and creative.
  • Transgender: According to Word of God he is non-binary.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Blue-tongued skink.
  • Western Zodiac: Gemini. He shows quick wit, restlessness, and loves having fun.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: "Pearlescent" white.

    Nadia 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/nadia_avatar.jpg
The widowed countess whose word is law.
The widowed countess of Lucio, who had been in a coma after her husbands death and enlists the help of the Apprentice to help her find his murderer. However, as the story progresses she has conflicts about herself and about her past.
  • Abdicate the Throne: She happily gives up her authority to find Lucio.
  • Animal Motif: Owls. She has a pet owl named Chandra, she wears an owl mask to the Masquerade, owls decorate her bedroom, and The High Priestess is depicted as an anthropomorphic owl. This indicates Nadia's wisdom, insight, and psychic abilities.
  • Auntie Pennybags: Clearly wealthy and used to high-class life, but also very generous and willing to share resources; her love for giving extravagant outfits to friends emphasizes this.
  • Awful Wedded Life: Like a lot of the other characters, she despises Lucio and has shown to be annoyed with him on more than one occasion. She even admits that she isn't trying to find his murderer to avenge him or out of love: it's because she wants to be free of his shadows and finally move on.
  • The Baby of the Bunch: Was the youngest amongst her sisters, and finds it infuriating that they treated her like a doll when she was younger.
  • Benevolent Boss: Despite initially seeming quite strict and demanding, Nadia is very kind to those who serve her.
  • Big Fancy House: Her palace is huge, and can serve as the grounds for The Masquerade, an annual city-wide celebration.
  • Big Sister Instinct: Protective of those under her wing, whether romanced or not.
  • Broken Bird: Moreso in the past than in the story proper, but feelings of loneliness throughout her childhood, the burden of prophetic abilities, and previous failures to help Vesuvia made Nadia resigned to her own apparent powerlessness, enabling Lucio's behavior by inaction. Meeting the protagonist has helped her overcome this.
  • Claimed by the Supernatural: Has a mark like Julian and Asra's, on her forehead. This mark allows her to see magic, and to track down Lucio. Notably, she mentions that she has deliberately closed herself off to this power, implying familiarity with it beyond the events of the Masquerade three years ago.
  • Comforting the Widow: She's a romance option, despite seeking her husband's murderer not at all long after his demise. Justified, in that she hated him; she isn't exactly mourning his fate and is actively seeking ways to distance herself from him. Finally punishing his murderer is intended to close the book on that chapter of her life.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Nadia starts off rather imperious, but quickly warms up to the Apprentice in her romance route, becoming very indulgent and much more open about herself.
  • The Fashionista: Always dressed impeccably and stated by other characters to be very into fashion. Even before her route, she'll give the Apprentice clothing that she picks for them herself. One of the first ways to impress her is to simply wear the outfits she picks.
  • Fatal Flaw: Nadia's is her tendency to work alone and reject most help, with all the hubris and misunderstandings this tends to engender.
  • Fiction 500: Nadia has money to burn, and hands out precious gifts of silks and jewels out to her friends and acquaintances without a second though. Justified, as she is the sovereign ruler of a fabulously wealthy city with many fertile outlying lands.
  • I Can Change My Beloved: Her reasons for marrying Lucio fall largely in line with, and nicely deconstruct, this trope. Though "beloved" is a stretch, Nadia reveals she married Lucio with hopes of doing good for Vesuvia, reforming the country itself from within and being a good influence on Lucio. Unfortunately, dealing with someone as self-centered as Lucio, Nadia could do very little and quickly became disillusioned, eventually falling into a depression.
  • Interclass Friendship: With Portia, her most trusted handmaiden.
  • Iron Lady: Highly values her own independence and is a very capable ruler, already striving to make changes in the city and solve a murder despite only being awake for three months. Doesn't stop her from becoming completely infatuated with the Apprentice in her romance route.
  • It's All My Fault: VERY subtle, but while Nadia accurately pins the source of Vesuvia's issues on Lucio's incompetence and selfishness, she also feels responsible for failing to solve anything herself.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Fashionable: She acts this way towards the Apprentice if you romance her. Always up to offer them new fashionable clothes or jewelry to wear.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Like the Apprentice and Julian, Nadia suffers from amnesia. She has no memory of the Count or of Asra.
  • Leitmotif: The version of "Bizet's Habanera" used in the game usually plays in situations associated with her.
  • Magical Seventh Son: Nadia is the seventh daughter of her family and has prophetic dreams.
  • Magically Binding Contract: Nadia has a contract with the Priestess. Note that this is not a Deal with the Devil, as Nadia's been in contact with the Priestess for most of her life and the mark simply amplified her prophetic abilities.
  • Marry for Love: In Nadia's route, she declares this after getting rid of Lucio, kneeling down and proposing to the Apprentice, saying that unlike her marriage with Lucio she now wants to be with someone who she's actually in love with.
  • Nice Girl: While most obvious in her own route after she has suitably defrosted, Nadia is remarkably fair, and remarkably forgiving, in every appearance. She refuses to hang Julian for her husband's murder without giving him a fair trial and investigation (both of which are novel ideas in Vesuvian law compared to her home country), takes to Portia despite their different social standing and has figured out Portia is Julian's sister long before she reveals it, but holds no grudge for her interference in the case.
  • No Accounting for Taste: Played for Drama, regarding her former marriage. She can't remember anything after her arrival in Vesuvia, but the more memories she uncovers, the more puzzled she becomes with herself as to why the heck she married - and stayed with a man like Lucio.
  • Normal Fish in a Tiny Pond: Discussed as part of her Heroic Self-Deprecation. She certainly thinks she's this given her elder sisters' accomplishments and the staggering number of problems she faces daily. The Apprentice helps her shed this destructive notion and learn to believe in herself and her friends during her Character Arc.
  • Older Than They Look: She is canonically the oldest character of the main cast, making her over forty years old.
  • Phony Psychic: She explains to the Apprentice that despite her reputation for disliking magicians, it’s really only these she can’t stand; she actually respects the genuine article like them and Asra.
    • The animosity is likely because she herself is the real deal and has spent her life bearing the baggage that comes with it.
  • Purple Prose: Downplayed and intentional example. On closer read, her speech patterns are a lot more long-winded and regal than either Julian's or Asra's; the contrast is most obvious in posts on the Arcana tumblr. Likely justified by her upbringing and status requiring her to be more formal.
  • Rapunzel Hair: When undone, her hair reaches past her knees.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Can seem stern and harsh, however Nadia will listen if you challenge her thoughts or beliefs and does everything she can to give the Apprentice what they need to succeed in their task. And even when a person's guilt at something seems obvious, Nadia will always hear them out fairly.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Compared to the other people in her court, Nadia actually wants to do something for the people after seeing how run down the city has become after the plague.
  • Smart People Play Chess: Plays a chess-like game with Consul Valerius, emphasized by having the Apprentice interrogate him simultaneously.
  • Statuesque Stunner: Very tall and attractive.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: Starts off somewhat cold and imperious, albeit clearly kind. In her romance route Nadia quickly begins showing a much sweeter side to the Apprentice.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Oh yes. See The Court of Vesuvia below if you want to know just how bad she has it.
  • Tarot Motifs: The High Priestess. Associated with intuition, wisdom, and a world only able to be accessed through dreams and symbolism. And has a direct mental connection to the Priestess' in-game character.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Spiced swordfish.
  • Western Zodiac: Cancer. She's challenging to get to know, sympathetic and attached to those she cares about.
  • Widow Hero: See below.
  • Widow Woman: Nadia is the widow of Count Lucio, and she is on a mission to bring his murderer to justice. Subverted, however, in that this is purely for her own peace of mind; she absolutely loathed Lucio and just wants his murderer to be gone so she never has to think about him again.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Described in text as "tyrian", Nadia's Rapunzel-esque hair is a deep purple.

    Julian 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/d51147da1b360ebf9bf4835ee39578670a70fa3f_hq.jpg
The fugitive doctor who hungers for revenge.
A wanted man for the supposed murder of Lucio, and a doctor. He goes about his life in a carefree manner, but shows that he has a great Inferiority Complex and worries about harming those he loves.
  • Affably Evil: Even though he is believed to be the murderer of Count Lucio, Julian is nothing but polite and charming (and slightly dramatic) to the player character. Lacking any memory of his alleged evil works, it's REALLY vague just how evil he'd been, if at all. He's done nothing evil on-screen (despite plenty of motive and opportunity).
    • Averted later, when he's proved innocent beyond the shadow of a doubt. Turns out that that affability was foreshadowing.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: The romance option who is accused of murdering Count Lucio. Downplayed in that he's a (mostly) perfect gentleman to the Apprentice.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: Held a torch for Asra, and is clearly embittered by it. A little less once he starts falling for the Apprentice.
  • Amicable Exes: Used to be in a relationship with Asra and was bitter about their split. However, as the story progresses, they reconcile over their past romance and have become good friends again.
  • Animal Motifs: Seems to be crows and ravens — even his plague doctor's mask seems to address it. This is because he's associated with the Hanged Man card, which is represented by a man with a corvid's head and black feathers. He wears a costume resembling the Hanged Man to the Masquerade.
  • Apologizes a Lot: Less so in the present, but other characters tell stories about him being this trope: he once wrote Portia a letter apologizing for being sorry. That he is able to thank them for supporting the Apprentice and himself in the fight against the devil is taken as a sign of his personal growth.
  • Back from the Dead: He survives being hanged because the mark on his throat allows him to heal himself, even from that. He loses the mark as a result, though.
  • Blessed with Suck: Was cursed by Asra, or so he thinks, to be able to heal people by taking on their very affliction, even if only temporarily. Subverted in that he has something of a thing for pain...
  • Butt-Monkey: Plenty of hilarious moments happen to him throughout his route, from bumping into a cart causing a "fortune" of apples to fall off, and his foot gets caught in rope that leads him to be hanging over a play mocking Lucio's death.
  • Byronic Hero: Subverted. He looks the part, acts the part, and is plenty brooding and melodramatic, but he's actually an extremely selfless Nice Guy who pushes people away because he doesn't want to get his loved ones into trouble. His belief that he is dangerous and only hurts the people who love him is a result of his own insecurities, rather than an actual truth. Throughout his romance route, the Apprentice helps him to love himself and accept help from his loved ones.
    Asra: The only thing he loves more than drama is his own suffering. And he's determined to chase both. Who knows? Maybe you can shake him from his ouroboros of self-flagellation.
  • Casual Kink: The man has a few... interests.
    Julian: I don't bite, but I won't mind if you do.
  • The Charmer: Kind and charming to everyone he speaks to, to the extent that entire neighbourhoods are covering for him in spite of being accused of Count Lucio's murder. This allows him to walk around without disguise in broad daylight.
  • Character Development: As his route progresses, he goes from a man who couldn't care less about his own well-being to somebody who sees the value in himself. He also learns to accept help from other people.
  • Claimed by the Supernatural: Reveals that he has a glowing mark on his throat, which allows him to heal others by taking their wound or illness on himself.
  • Consummate Professional: Usually takes his job very seriously, but in a bonus scene he jokes about the death of one of his patients.
    Julian: I don't think he'll let us rest until he dies. Which, uh... is very possible. Probable, even.
    Asra: Ilya! You're a doctor!
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Despite wearing black and red, Julian is quite the gentleman towards the Apprentice, and when he acts intimidating, it's mostly for show. He also is a doctor who genuinely wants to help his patients in any way he can, which was how he contracted the plague himself, but managed to find a cure.
  • Death Is the Only Option: Somewhat. Plans to get hanged in order to meet the Hanged Man, which he can only do on the brink of death, and ask for the plague cure. Though, by Julian's own calculations, the 'death' part should be subverted by his Healing Factor.
  • Disabled Love Interest: Downplayed. He wears an eyepatch but it's to hide that he has the plague in that eye, since it will alarm people otherwise. His depth perception is never addressed.
  • Drama Queen: He's very theatrical, especially when addressing his own misery.
  • Exhausted Eye Bags: He is shown to have somewhat prominent eyebags on his sprite.
  • Fatal Flaw: His tendency to sacrifice himself or facing dangers alone based on what (he assumes) his loved ones need regardless of their feelings or how good they are at taking care of themselves and how willing and able they'd be to help.
  • Good All Along: He did not kill Lucio. He intended to, but this is because he realized that Lucio was the source of the plague and killing him would save countless lives. He never gets the chance to do it, however.
  • Given Name Reveal: When Portia catches him in the town, it is revealed to be "Ilya".
  • Healing Factor: A glowing mark on his neck allows him to heal any injury dealt to him, as well as absorb injuries from other people and heal them. He considers it a curse, although it makes him a very effective doctor. Julian assumes that Asra gave it to him. It's actually the result of a deal with The Hanged Man. Julian loses it after using it a final time to survive his hanging.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Julian is willing to hang for a crime he didn't commit, in order to reach The Hanged Man to receive the cure for the Red Plague. He intends to survive it with his Healing Factor, but he is still willing to risk his own life for the chance that he can prevent the Plague from taking many more lives.
  • Hidden Depths: Devastated over no longer having a role to play with the Red Plague gone, and also deeply terrified of hurting an Apprentice he's in love with.
  • It's Not You, It's Me: Spouts this line word for word when breaking up with an Apprentice he barely knows.
  • Jade-Colored Glasses: If romanced, he quickly breaks up with the Apprentice before they can truly establish a relationship due to fear of hurting them. He's also haunted by his inability to save those who died during the Red Plague, and just as haunted by his apparent uselessness now it's passed. This is because the protagonist died during the plague, and while apprenticed to him, so he feels responsible.
  • Large Ham: He is known to be somewhat overdramatic and theatrical.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Like the Apprentice and Nadia, Julian suffers from amnesia. He can't remember whether he really killed the Count or not. And can't remember the cure he found, either... at least until meeting the Hanged Man again.
  • Leitmotif: "Miri's Magic Dance," which usually plays in situations involving him (or his family).
  • Lovable Rogue: Supposed to have murdered the Count, however he's nothing but cheerfully polite and even warm towards the Apprentice, even when he's not romanced.
  • The Man They Couldn't Hang: Julian survives his execution through the mark on his neck, which he received through a deal with the Hanged Man.
  • The Needs of the Many: Was one of the plague doctors seeking a cure at the height of the plague, to the point that he didn't know the Apprentice had died until afterwards because he was so focused on his mission.
  • Nice Guy: Surprisingly enough!
  • Older Than They Look: Since he amputated Lucio's arm, he has to be 36 years old at the youngest.
  • Peek-a-Bangs: Sometimes his hair falls in front of his good eye.
  • Plague Doctor: Was called on to help find a cure to the Red Plague that ravaged Vesuvia. Even has a genuine plague mask, or at least until he threw it into the plague-tainted waters while angsting.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Julian's right eye shows that he's contracted the plague, which is the reason it's covered. However, he's fine because he actually found a cure when he was locked in a dungeon by Lucio.
  • Red Oni: To Asra’s blue. While Julian is also an intellectual — as a doctor, he has to be — he's got a reputation for being somewhat dramatic, is much more of a people-person, and generally much more emotional than Asra, who puts up a front of relative calm.
  • Rescue Romance: Zigzagged — in his romance route, the Apprentice can encounter him beside an aqueduct. The Apprentice wouldn't have needed rescuing if they didn't encounter him, but when Julian is running from guards, the Apprentice falls into the water and is bitten by a vampiric eel. Julian then uses the curse he is under to transfer the bite to his own side. Recovering from these adventures is what jumpstarts the romance... at least until Julian breaks up with you, anyway.
  • Shipper on Deck: In his route for Nadia and Portia. He even whispers at his sister what she should say to Nadia to her growing annoyance.
  • Ship Tease: Gets some with Asra in Muriel's route.
  • The Sleepless: Seems to be up at all hours, whether it's running into him at an aqueduct in the evening, finding him at a bar in the middle of the night, or him breaking into Asra's shop just before the crack of dawn, or even spotting him in broad daylight not long after.
    Mazelinka: He's not going to rest unless one of us pins him to the bed.
  • Self-Deprecation: He puts himself down a lot in his route, believing he's not worth saving or is just a burden for the people around him, which is the main part of his character arc. And he does begin to outgrow it.
  • Smug Smiler: One of his signature looks, that he can't stop to pull even when glamoured to look like Asra.
  • The Sneaky Guy: Uses a raven to look out for guards and spends more time running and breaking into places than doing any actual doctoring.
  • Sympathetic Murderer: Played with. Accused of killing Lucio, but turns out to be much more charming and lovable than the man he allegedly murdered. Subverted in that he was not the one to kill Lucio... though Book XIII reveals he planned to, in order to cure the plague, but the Count's rooms were already aflame when he arrived. Had he killed Lucio himself, however, this trope would have certainly applied.
  • Tarot Motifs: The Hanged Man, which represents the ultimate surrender and self sacrifice. The placid expression on the card's face suggest he is there of his own will and that he chose this path of sacrifice for a higher goal.
  • Tattooed Crook: He is branded as a murderer and marked on the back of his left hand.
    • Averted, of course, with the reveal he is not a murderer at all.
  • Unreliable Narrator: It's very hard to tell how much of what he says is true, and how much of it he himself believes. Played for Laughs later when he starts recounting his exploits, and it's unclear how much of it is playful bullshit and how much wasn't.
  • Western Zodiac: Pisces. He is selfless, deeply affected by life, and moody.

    Portia 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/portia_avatar.jpg
The trusted handmaiden with a penchant for snooping.
Nadia's most trusted servant, confidant and friend. She's spunky, determined and willing to do anything that will help Nadia, as well as Julian. She received her own route in May, 2019.
  • Animal Motifs: Cats.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Not usually - she and Julian get along well, for the most part. This does pop up incidentally during Julian's route, however, though the most striking example is when both siblings are under the Devil's angry influence.
  • Bad Liar: When Nadia tells the Apprentice she wants Julian killed for his crimes, Portia drops her plate/a bottle of wine in shock and quickly tries to cover it up. Also, when Julian and the Apprentice are in the library, she tries to stall Nadia by pretending to put in the wrong key, to Nadia's growing confusion.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: The Apprentice can get the feeling that Portia is, despite her personality, someone not to be messed with.
  • The Caretaker: Countess Nadia is quite capable of taking care of herself, but Portia, as her favorite servant, is the one most called upon to perform duties surrounding the Countess's needs.
  • Cat Smile: Has an affinity with cats, and sometimes sports a smile reminiscent of one too.
  • Conflicting Loyalty: Is incredibly torn by her loyalty both to Nadia and her brother Julian, who is accused of murdering the Count.
  • Fatal Flaw: Her habit of keeping secrets instead of trusting people with information that’s important.
  • Genki Girl: Downplayed. Portia is quite cheerful and extroverted.
  • Gossipy Hens: Tells the Apprentice they can come to her if they need to know anything. Also offers to show the Apprentice around the palace's "secret" areas.
  • Hidden Depths: Despite her loyalty to the Countess, she is still very much uneasy about the thought of her brother being executed and clearly loves him dearly.
  • If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her...: Portia subtly threatens the Apprentice if they ever break Nadia's heart or trust, but then promptly drops the threat as she adds she knows they wouldn't harm Nadia.
  • Interclass Friendship: With Nadia the Countess.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: Has a pet cat named Pepi.
  • Only Sane Woman: Portia stands apart from the rest of the cast by being extremely well-adjusted, friendly and healthy. None of her hidden depths have betrayed any hint of deeper emotional turmoil.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Canonically 5'1'', but shows herself to be a pretty good fighter if the situation calls for it. Even she is surprised by how far she can throw Lucio when they fight in Julian's route.
  • Promoted to Playable: As of a recent update, she's got her own romance route.
  • Relationship Upgrade: In Julian's Upright Route, Portia before getting ready to sail off with Mazelinka, can ask Nadia to go on a date with her when she gets back. To which Nadia replies that that was the very question she wanted to ask Portia.
  • Ship Tease: With Nahara. In her own Tales section, Nahara is aboard Mazelinka's ship and the two get close, with Nahara even offering to teach Portia some martial arts and as they prepare to dock, Portia asks if she could see her again. In the end of Nadia's Upright route, Portia visibly flushes and stutters when Nahara appears and asks if Portia could show her around. Portia shyly looks over to Nadia who happily lets her go as her day off.
    • And has this with Nadia in Julia's route as well.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: In a low-key, realistic example of the trope, her hair color and eyes are somewhat similar to Julian's. Subtle enough that Nadia could be forgiven for hiring Portia in the first place, and that you, while playing, don't even realize anything at first.
  • Subordinate Excuse: In Julian's route at least, it's quite clear that she has a huge crush on her boss Nadia.
  • Tarot Motifs: The Star.
  • Western Zodiac: Aquarius. She's independent, social, and stubborn.

    Muriel 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/muriel.png
The fearsome outsider who owes an onerous debt.
A former fighter in the coliseum for Lucio and the city's entertainment who keeps himself isolated from others as much as he can. Has the odd ability of being easily forgotten right after someone meets him, but he doesn't mind. Muriel was the first between Portia and Lucio to receive his own route in December, 2018.
  • Animal Motifs: Bears. For several reasons.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": Can't act to save his life, something even Julian asks about.
    Asra: We didn't all go to community theater.
  • The Big Guy: His height is 6'10", being the most tall character of the cast.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: As he has a hard time opening up to others, this obviously becomes very difficult for him once he starts developing feelings for the apprentice. He has trouble with this throughout his route once he realizes how much the apprentice has come to mean to him.
  • Childhood Friend: Shown in his Tale, where he meets Asra for the first time as children.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Possible in Julian's or Nadia's upright route where Muriel and Asra share a kiss before Asra leaves to take care of the courtiers.
  • Covered with Scars: Plenty are visible on his sprite, and removing his cloak reveals myriad others. Probably from his gladiator days.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Initially (and outside of his romance route) he combines Wild Hair and Peek-a-Bangs to emphasize his status as an earthy, solitary person. In his romance route, he ends up getting this when Morga braids back the hair that often falls across his eyes, emphasizing how he is getting used to being seen by and open with other people.
  • Face of a Thug: Tall, dark, scarred and terrifying, and a former gladiator, however Muriel is quite harmless for whom he cares.
  • Fatal Flaw: Similar to Asra, cowardice. Though it's understandable given his life and time at the coliseum, Muriel tends to avoid just about everything from people to conflicts just because it's easier not do anything or change. Even with some encouragement from those closest to him like Asra, he'll do what is asked, but go no further in investing himself in the situation.
    • His lack of self worth as well. He doesn’t consider himself worthy of kindness and nice things.
  • Friend to All Living Things: He's kind to all animals he comes across, which is how he met Inana, whom he refused to kill in the Coliseum and instead set her free. It was Inana being sent out as cannon fodder that pushed Muriel off the edge and made him leave his life as The Scourge.
  • Gender-Blender Name: "Muriel" is typically a girl's name.
  • Gentle Giant: Is absolutely massive, but he dislikes violence, gets along with every animal he meets, and is outright described as gentle in his own route.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Has scars going across his chest, likely from his gladiator days.
  • Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: When Morga decides to train Muriel and the Apprentice, she gifts the Apprentice with a bow while Muriel receives a quarterstaff. Given his size, it's not hard to see why his go-to in fights, if pushed, is to smash.
  • Hates Being Touched: When the protagonist cares for Muriel's wound in his route, he is noticeably uncomfortable. This eases with time going further in his route.
  • The Hermit: Associated with the tarot card. He also doesn't enjoy being around others.
  • Heroic Neutral: He doesn't like being around people, and he likes to keep it that way. He becomes a little less neutral in his own route at the help and prompting of the apprentice.
  • Hunk: The only one among the male love interests.
  • If It's You, It's Okay: At the start, Muriel was not a very open person. But towards the end of his route after he confesses his love to the apprentice, later on when the two are sharing a quiet moment alone in their tent, he tells the apprentice this word for word, leaving the apprentice momentarily shocked.
  • In the Hood: Rarely takes his hood off in the other characters routes.
  • Instant Runes: Unlike Asra who consults the tarot cards, he uses runes for protection and enlightenment. However, this only really happens in Asra's route as in any other route he mainly uses his fists in a fight.
  • Irony: Muriel, who is charmed so that he's erased from people's memory once he leaves their company, has a favorite flower: forget-me-nots.
  • Leitmotif: "Crowd Hammer," which almost always plays in situations involving him.
  • Loyal Animal Companion: He has a wolf friend named Inanna.
  • Mysterious Stranger: The Apprentice can run into Muriel a couple of times and all that can be determined from these encounters is that Muriel is somehow connected to the general mystery plot. What's even stranger is that most people (except Asra and the Apprentice) immediately forget who Muriel is after he leaves the room and then returns. This is later on explained on some routes and his own.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: He was nicknamed "The Scourge of the South" after his time as a gladiator, and those who do know of his reputation are either terrified, or respect his prowess.
  • Parental Abandonment: Implied in his Tales story and confirmed by Muriel himself in his route.
    • He always thought this was because he was another mouth to feed and there wasn’t enough food to go around but it’s revealed that this wasn’t the reason — they sent him away to protect him from Lucio and Morga’s tribe.
  • Perpetual Frowner: In routes other than his own, his main expression seems to be a minute frown as he clearly doesn't like being wherever he is. He gets more expressive in his own route.
  • Promoted to Playable: As of a recent update, he's become a new romance route.
  • The Quiet One: Rarely speaks, but when he does, it's usually not for long.
  • Rated M for Manly: Zigzagged to hell and back. Given his character design (Walking Shirtless Scene with Carpet of Virility, Chained by Fashion and Barbarian Long Hair) and backstory as a Gladiator known as the Scourge Of The South, you'd expect him to be the manliest man who ever manned. Personality-wise, though, he's quite androgynous: a Shrinking Violet Friend to All Living Things Nature Hero bordering on Extreme Doormat who just wants to be left alone. His past as a gladiator was not voluntary, and it's left him so traumatized that the mere thought of hurting someone is a serious Trigger. Also, he's got a feminine name.
  • Relationship Upgrade: With Asra in Nadia's route.
  • Shrinking Violet: Not the typical image you'd associate with this trope, but is more than withdrawn enough to qualify. His Tale makes this clearer: his narration expresses doubt about his self-worth, and he can even tell Asra he wants to be invisible.
  • Slave Collar: Though the chains are broken, Muriel still wears the collar from his days as the Scourge of the South. It might not be just for show either; he reacts strongly when Asra removes it with magic.
    • Also in Muriel's own route, when the collar does come off, he stares at it for a while before tossing it into the fields.
  • The Stoic: His emotional range spans mild annoyance to detachment. He is also relatively laid-back even when being grumpy.
    • In the his own route, he's a bit more expressive and gets flustered easily.
  • Tall, Dark, and Handsome: He is 6'10", has black hair and is a pretty good-looking Hunk.
  • Tarot Motifs: The Hermit. The hermit isolates himself for enlightenment and does not share his knowledge with everyone. The hermit is also known to have a "cloak of invisibility" so that he can hide himself and his knowledge.
  • Tsundere: To the Apprentice and in Nadia and Julian's upright routes, can act this way a bit towards Asra.
  • Western Zodiac: Virgo. He is practical, responsible, and has a hard time relaxing.
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Family/Allies

     Mazelinka 
  • Beauty Mark: Has one beneath her left eye.
  • The Caretaker: She usually cares for Julian whenever he drops by her house to stay for the night.
  • Cool Old Lady: Medic, chef, former pirate, yup.
  • Feminine Women Can Cook: Provides meals for Julian, and makes him food during his trial.
  • Hidden Depths: One of Julian's postcards in the minigame mentions that she used to be a pirate. This is further shown in Portia's Tale where Mazelinka captained a ship and a small crew. In the summertime seasonal tale, she and her crew invade Nadia's ship before realizing whose boat it is, and then join the beach party.
  • Never Mess with Granny: Mazelinka is remarkably badass even in her old age, and treats literally taking on the Devil as if he's just a misbehaving child who needs a thwack. Nazali says that she'll be "running circles around us for years to come."
    Mazelinka: Devil schmevil. If that goat bitch tries to lay a finger on any of you, he'll answer to me!
  • Parental Substitute: She and her lover Lilinka were a grandparental version of this for Julian and Portia.
  • Supreme Chef: So good that her cooking can momentarily cure Volta of her bottomless hunger, something only breaking her bindings has been shown to do. Its status as Impossibly Good Food makes sense, as she's using magic while she cooks.

    Nadia's Sisters 

General Tropes:

  • Color-Coded Characters: Every sister is associated with a color of the rainbow and its corresponding chakra. Nazali is red, Navra is orange, Nahara is yellow, Nasmira is green, Natiqa is blue, and Nadia is purple. The eldest sister Nafizah has white hair shading to pink.
  • Rainbow Motif: Corresponding with the seven chakras.
  • Rule of Seven: Nadia mentions that she has six sisters, and that she is the youngest.
  • Theme Naming: All of their names start with "Na".
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Their hair matches their associated colors.

Nafizah

  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: In spite of her... eccentricities, Nadia mentions that she's a very capable leader and will be a good queen for Prakra.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Very distant when introduced, in keeping with her tarot motif of the World — she's focused on larger things than the people immediately around her.
  • Head Pet: Her familiar, a turtle, sits on her head, in order to better take in Vesuvia.
  • Tarot Motifs: The World.

Nazali

  • The Medic: Educated Julian about treating plague victims; he also claims they taught him everything he knows "about cutting limbs off".
  • Skunk Stripe: Has two white stripes in their red hair.
  • Tarot Motifs: Judgement, represented by their elephant mask during the Masquerade.
  • Transgender: Though still referred to as Nadia's sister, Nazali uses they/them pronouns.

Navra

  • Granola Girl: Downplayed example. She is associated with the sacral chakra so she's in touch with her feelings, loves art and pleasurable things, and seems to walk and talk in a "flowy" fashion.
  • Pyromaniac: According to Natiqa, though we never actually see this.
  • Tarot Motifs: The Moon.

Nahara

  • Dark-Skinned Blond: Matching her yellow theme.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Of the side characters, she's one of the most popular, and was the first side character to gain a romance tale.
  • Muscles Are Meaningful: Has the most defined arms in the family, trained Nadia how to fight, travels all over the world to learn new fighting techniques, and carries herself with the confidence of the Solar Plexus chakra.
  • Ship Tease: Has some moments with Portia in her Tale option and in Nadia's route.
  • Tarot Motifs: The Sun.

Nasmira

  • The Heart: Represents "the heart" chakra aka "anahata". She is kind, always thinking of others, and associated with the color green.
  • Nice Girl: Is nothing but kind and friendly when we meet her. Nadia states she was always "the least trying" of her sisters.
  • Tarot Motifs: Strength, represented by her lioness mask during the Masquerade and the flowers in her hair.

Natiqa

  • The Prankster: She shows shades of this in Muriel's route where she offers Muriel and the Apprentice the opportunity to prank someone since she was bored. Their target ends up being Julian, in probably one of the most hilarious moments of the game.
  • Shipper on Deck: In Muriel's route, she's totally on board for the Apprentice and Muriel being an item. She even declares, "I ship it" during a heartwarming conversation the two were sharing.
  • Tarot Motifs: The Wheel of Fortune.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: She's not thrilled to stand in Nafizah's shadow when they travel together.

     Asra's Parents 

General Tropes:

  • Big Damn Reunion: After traveling around the magical world Asra stumbles onto his parents who he believed abandoned him, but were only thrown here after making Lucio's prosthetic arm. They've been trying to get back to their son ever since, and when they finally reunite, there's obviously overjoyed and embrace each other.
  • Good Parents: Aisha and Salim deeply love Asra, and were only not able to be with him in his childhood because the Devil threw them into the magical realms and were trying to get back to the real world to see their son again.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Asra looks like his mother, having her hair and eye colors, while he has his father's curly hair.
  • Tarot Motifs: The Lovers.

Aisha

  • Hiding in a Hijab: Aisha wears one.
  • Mama Bear: Try to hurt Asra in front of her, and she will not hesitate to see the same done to you.

Salim

     Morga Eirsdottir 
A clan leader from a southern tribe who travels to Vesuvia in order to kill her son Lucio.
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/morga_sprite.png

  • Animal Motifs: Cheetahs (the tear stripes on her face and the pelt that she wears), and eagles (her eyes and her familiar, Jæger).
  • Antihero: As someone who uses violence as a first resort and lethal force pretty willingly in a game as idealistic as this, Morga becomes this by default.
  • Almighty Mom: Arguably the most powerful human warrior.
  • Barbarian Hero: "Hero" is pushing it, but Morga ticks most of the boxes, being a vaguely Nordic warrior and leader of a mercenary band who uses animal skins as armor, sports some classically nature-flavored magic, and can move more quickly on foot than in a carriage even in unfamiliar territory.
  • Blade on a Stick: Her Weapon of Choice.
  • The Chains of Commanding: Her entire reason for attacking the Kohkuri and wiping them out, though this is soured by the fact that her tribe was massacred as well.
    Morga: Our lands were barren. Our enemies were many. We were attacked on all sides by other tribes in the forest. Soon, famine took hold. We lost many to an ignoble death far from the battlefield. The Steppe had fertile land. Food. My people were dying. I Did What I Had to Do... Someone had to die. I made a choice.
  • The Dreaded: Lucio is terrified of his mother, and for very good reason.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: In Muriel's route, she acts like this towards the Apprentice and Muriel. She was also rough with Lucio when he was younger, and regrets being "too soft" on him.
  • Facial Markings: Two streaks of black coming from the lower parts of her face up to her eyes. They resemble the tear stripes of a cheetah.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: When teaching the Apprentice and Muriel she comes off as a Drill Sergeant Nasty, but she does care about the two, enough to teach them how to fight and fend for themselves. When Valdemar and Lucio show up at the gravesite, she lies saying she's by herself to give Muriel and the Apprentice time to run.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Fought Vulgora to a standstill, but doesn't even try to tangle with Valdemar, ordering the Apprentice and Muriel to Run or Die.
  • Lady of War: Is a very capable hunter and even survived the plague Lucio used to try and off her husband and herself so he could rise in power. She is also cold, imperious, and dignified.
  • Leitmotif: "Hidden Past," a vaguely Scottish-sounding march which plays when she is introduced.
  • Modest Royalty: Morga is, for all intents and purposes, a queen. Don't let her appearance fool you; Nadia recognized her as an equal from the moment they met..
  • My Greatest Failure: She knows that she spoiled her son, and regrets it, especially when Lucio attempts to come back to life. Another example being seen in Lucio's Route. When choosing the paid option during the conversation with Morga about why she was calling her son a liar. She tells about what REALLY happened in Lucio's story from earlier about how he had scared off a Muskbear when he had been a child, and how she NEVER told anyone otherwise, not even her son. But is called out by The Apprentice that SHE was the liar, because Morga hadn't told anyone the truth about what HAPPENED. So thus, how can she call her son a liar when he was unaware of what she had done? Translation: Honestly Morga, hypocrite much?!.
  • Offing the Offspring: Currently, this is her mission, and she failed to kill him after he made his deal with the worm. Subverted in Lucio's Route. When she sees him after Asra, Morga, and The Apprentice find him after The Devil kidnapped Lucio, alongside the realization that The Apprentice was telling the truth about Lucio's change of heart, Morga admits to him she doesn't relish the idea of killing him. Also, later on during the Masquerade when Vulgora goes on a rampage through the palace, Morga stands in the way to protect him and The Apprentice.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: In Muriel's route, Morga delivers what was apparently something of a Curb-Stomp Battle to Vulgora, but the whole thing happens in the break between Book IX and X. The audience doesn't see any of it.
  • Parents as People: Morga was a feared and fearless leader of her tribe, but she realizes that she failed her son as a parent when he kills his father, and attempted to kill her, too. She resolved that she was too soft on him, making him into a Spoiled Brat instead of teaching him real leadership skills. Though she's regretful, she decides that the only way to resolve the situation is to hunt him down and kill him. Unfortunately though in Muriel's Route, she hesitated when she was about to land the killing blow when Lucio called her "Mama", and had lost her life for it. In Lucio's Route during the Masquerade when Vulgora goes on a rampage in the palace, after Lucio and The Apprentice get away with Morga's help one of the options to Lucio's question is "Because she's your Mom".
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Lucio bears some characteristics of his mother, especially when they smirk.
  • Tarot Motifs: The Chariot.
  • Vague Age: Like her son, Morga hasn't changed much at all in the past 20+ years.
  • You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: Lucio commissioned a portait depicting her as a Proper Lady. Morga is not amused. (though Nadia certainly is).

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Villains

    Lucio 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tumblr_ovdiosfqod1wyp32co2_540.png
The provocative Count whose presence still lingers over the city.
The Count of Vesuvia who died mysteriously, and now haunts the city in the form of a goat with a missing appendage and red eyes. Cruel and egotistic in life and even beyond the grave, now he's returned with unfinished business. He received his own route in June, 2019.
  • Abstract Apotheosis: In trying to make a Deal with the Devil, he turns into a spectral goatman like his patron.
  • Affectionate Nickname:
    • Called Nadia 'Nadi' or 'Noddy'. But she didn't care for it at all.
    • In his youth, his parents called him 'Monty' - a nickname for his real name, Montag.
  • A God Am I: In at least some routes (e.g. Muriel's), Lucio refers to himself as a god after he regains a physical body.
  • All There in the Manual: Lucio's personal history has been explained largely through Word of God via the official tumblr. Parts of it are revealed in-game through the Tales feature.
  • Animal Motifs: Goats.
    • His eye makeup, outfit and red-and-silver eyes also strongly make him resemble a bearded vulture.
  • Antagonistic Offspring: And how! He killed his father and tried to kill his mother, but failed miserably.
  • Artificial Limbs: A very impressive armored gold prosthetic left arm; it's even magic. Word of God says he injured the arm during his mercenary days and Julian amputated it to save his life. His posthumous form simply has a missing limb.
    • It was created by Asra’s parents.
  • Asshole Victim: Initially appears to be loved by the city, but it becomes clearer the farther you get that he wasn't really that well-liked.
  • The Atoner: In his own route. See Redemption Quest below.
  • Back from the Dead: Makes his grand return in Book XV, regardless of route or actions taken.
  • Big Bad: Initially appears to be this, but is The Dragon to the Devil. And not even that, as the Devil expresses much discontent with him.
  • The Caligula: Downplayed in that he wasn't as bad or as blatant as most other examples, but the man lived exclusively for pleasure, thrills and riches. Except for when it came to the people's adoration, Vesuvia itself wasn't a priority.
  • Casual Kink: He seems to really enjoy it when the apprentice bites his neck.
  • Deal with the Devil:
    • Literally, though it goes awry.
    • Both times. It turns out he made a deal with the "wyrm of pestilence" (Vlastomil), in his homeland... which, when he was unable to fulfill it, may have resulted in Lucio bringing the Red Plague with him all the way to Vesuvia.
    • Late in the story, we learn that he's apparently made many, many of these, to the point where his debt collectors are countless. Vulgora admits their deal with him was for a piece of his soul, and intends to kill him if he doesn't pay up.
  • Death Glare: His sprite will give you one if you tap it on his 'Bio' page.
  • Demonic Possession: He becomes possessed by The Devil at the end of Muriel's route.
  • Dragged Off to Hell: In any scenario where he loses the Fool's body without being freed from his chains, the (many) entities he contracted will come to collect their debts...
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Pulls this in response to underwhelming audience reaction when he is resurrected during the Masquerade. Very few guests seem particularly happy to see him alive.
  • Entitled Bastard: Lucio seems to be completely unaware of the extent to which Asra, Nadia, and Julian hate him, and displays no self-awareness as to why that might be the case. When he comes crawling back at the end of Nadia and Julian's routes, he expects them to forgive him and help him despite having aided the Devil in his plot to take over the world and personally stolen the Apprentice's body. Even in his own route, he struggles to respect other people's perspectives or emotions.
  • Evil Eyebrows: Dark (especially against his pale hair and skin), and exaggeratedly angular.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: To put this in perspective: the Devil, his benefactor? Not even HE likes him.
  • Harmless Villain: Comes across this way. Couldn't come through on his first Deal with the Devil when he failed to kill his mother, possibly causing the Plague to come about. His attempted ritual to gain another body also failed- due to Asra's intervention, to be fair- and has failed the Devil so many times that even he has become exasperated with him. Most of the harm Lucio causes is honestly due to self-centeredness and blind incompetence rather than any hard work or proficiency on his part.
    • This is less true in Muriel's route, where he succeeds in finally killing his mother, merges with the Devil, and comes dangerously close to winning.
  • Hate Sink: His good reputation increasingly turns out to be an act. Absolutely nobody who knew this asshole personally liked him. Even his wife loathed him and feels relieved he's gone, only seeking his murderer for personal catharsis. Subverted by his route, however. He's still villainous, certainly, but his love of his pets and surprising wit make him more endearing.
  • Hates Their Parent: He hates his mother. It's not really surprising why, since she's hunting him down for attempting to kill her. Though it's slightly questionable due to there being a painted portrait of her in the guest parlour that was commissioned by Lucio. In both Muriel's AND Lucio's Routes, she promptly destroyed the thing the moment she sees it.
  • The Hedonist: The man was never one to deny himself pleasure. He describes himself as a man "willing to do what he needs to get what he wants".
  • Hired Guns: Used to be a mercenary, according to Word of God.
  • Immortality Seeker: Asra refers to him as somebody who cannot accept the reality of death. In fact, this appears to be his driving motivation for trying to make a Deal with the Devil in a last-ditch effort to save himself from the plague. And it might have worked. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the plague, Lucio's mindset poses a serious risk to everybody else in Vesuvia.
  • It's All About Me: Embodies this trope. The further into the game you get, the more it becomes apparent that Lucio's good reputation is a largely a farce. Even sponsoring doctors to cure the plague was done to save himself. The Apprentice calls him on it in Julian's route, noting that everything else- including basic morality- matters less to him than his own survival. His own route is based around him slowly getting over this mentality, because he finally cares about someone other than himself (the Apprentice).
  • I Was Quite a Looker: He has this reaction to his portrait while he's in his twisted goatlike form. The first thing he asks the protagonist for in his own route is for them to restore his humanlike appearance.
  • Jerkass: He can't even remember the name of one of the towns he conquered. Even the main characters, in a bonus scene, joke about setting him on fire, which is exactly how he died.
    Asra: He loves to set people on fire. Maybe that's how he'd want to go.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold / Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Exactly where he falls on this spectrum depends on the route. In his own route, the Apprentice helps him to become a better person, and he shows a more endearing side of his personality. In the other routes, he's not nearly as sympathetic. In Nadia and Julian's route, he's petulant, entitled, and cruel, but not really evil. In Asra's and Muriel’s routes, he's Dragged Off to Hell. In Muriel's route especially, he's downright villainous. How well it ends for him seems to depend on how the subject of the route feels about him — Asra and Muriel absolutely despise him, while Julian and Nadia deeply dislike him but tolerate his existence.
  • Lethal Chef: In his romance route you can choose to bake cookies with him. Although he's very...enthusiastic, his choice of ingredients include mushrooms and garlic and is for some reason going to be cooked in the kettle. The apprentice ultimately takes over and is able to salvage the cookies.
  • Manchild: Lucio is probably around forty years old (see Older Than They Look below), but his mental maturity remains that of a petulant teenager.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Subverted. Side materials and in-game paintings (which he'd naturally commissioned himself) paint him as beautiful. However, his first in-person appearance is as a (barely) anthropomorphized goat-man. He gets his first human appearance during a flashback in Book XIV of Asra’s route... pouting on his death-bed. Neither is a very appealing sight.
    • The subversion is carried further when he regains his normal, handsome physical form during the masquerade... and reveals himself to have some borderline Goblin Face expressions.
    • Double subverted in his own route, in which he gets some much more flattering scenes.
  • Never My Fault: He refuses to take responsibility for anything, even when it’s obviously a result of his own poor decisions. The most egregious example is the Red Plague. He insists in his route that the plague isn’t his fault, blaming Vlastomil.
  • No Social Skills: Lucio just doesn't get people, and while his wealth, political power, looks and bloodlust could win him support from the general populace and the (none-too-bright) Court, the rest of the cast view him as a Royal Brat whose whims they're legally bound to indulge.
  • Not Quite Dead: Whenever he’s asked point blank who killed him, he admits he’s not really dead.
  • Obliviously Evil: Most of Lucio's villainy comes down to his complete idiocy, childlike selfishness, and inability to consider the consequences of his actions. He makes deals with powerful supernatural beings without intending to follow through, and it barely occurs to him how catastrophic the repercussions will be for him and for everyone else. The Red Plague was the result of one of these haphazard deals, and Lucio doesn't connect the plague to himself even though it follows him. Only in his own route, when he learns that he indirectly killed the Apprentice whom he has come to love, does he really understand and express remorse for his recklessness.
  • Older Than They Look: Lucio was eighteen when he left home after murdering his father, and then was a mercenary for a number of years before becoming Count of Vesuvia. During that time, his arm was amputated by Julian, and then he received a new one from Asra's parents. Asra's parents were then imprisoned in the magical realms for twenty years, long enough for Asra to grow up an orphan on the docks. Lucio was married to Nadia for nine years of that time, and then died and existed in ghostly form for three years. Although he stopped aging for those three years after he died, this puts Lucio's age at roughly forty years old. But according to Word of God younger than Nadia.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Lucio isn't his real name. His real name is Montag Morgasson.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • In kind of a meta way, his interactions with the player character during the Heart Hunter game can count as this. He is rather nice to them- in his usual self-centered manner- as his dialogue pays the player compliments and shows them special treatment as do the other love interests. From him, the civility is almost jarring.
    • Played entirely straight with his route. The very first thing he does is treat his dogs, Mercedes and Melchior, with kindness.
  • Plague Master: Sort of, he's an odd mix of this and Typhoid Mary more or less. He did catch the Red Plague, alongside that no one was able to figure out how it was actually spreading or what caused it. Book XIII reveals Lucio as the primary source of the plague he himself was dying from; killing him would be the way to cure it. But given that he is Not Quite Dead, his return would bring it back. Subverted in his route after The Apprentice finds him at the Lazeret and breaks the final chains that brings him back to physical form and frees Lucio from the first deal he made, thus the Red Plague is forever gone.
  • Posthumous Character: The entire plot revolves around discovering who murdered him. Not that he doesn't deserve it. Later subverted- he is not entirely dead.
  • Promoted to Playable: Slated to have his own relationship route. How this can happen is anyone's guess, given how much misery he's caused and the utter lack of redeeming qualities he's shown so far. He finally received it in June, 2019.
  • Reality Ensues: Lucio is not as impressive as he thinks he is. For example, after coming Back from the Dead in Book XVI, he's shocked to learn that his previous death had annulled both his marriage to Nadia and status as Count.
    • Lucio’s past really comes back to haunt him (literally, in the case of Morga) in his own route, where he begins to face the consequences of his reckless deals.
  • Really Gets Around: Frequently mentioned by the developers and at the community theatre play.
    Community Theatre Lucio: What are you going to do? Smother me with your thighs?
    Julian: [playing himself] For the hundredth time, no.
  • Redemption Quest: His own route consists of the Apprentice helping him to become a better person through their various adventures. Lucio is forced to accept responsibility for everything, including his murder of his father, his imprisonment of Asra’s parents, his disaster of a marriage to Nadia, and the deaths of the many victims of the Red Plague (including the Apprentice themself).
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: He and his fursona have red eyes. He also contracted the Red Plague before he died, which turns the sclera of the eyes red.
  • Satanic Archetype: Lucio has a lot of the hallmarks: he is blonde, he is beautiful, he dresses in white and gold, he has a Red Right Hand, he has a Goat motif, his name means "Light", he loves decadent luxuries and his favorite Tarot card is (naturally) XV - the Devil. His posthumous manifestations likewise takes a goat-like form.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Attempted, at least. He made a deal in order to be made a carrier of pestilence, which he used to kill his father when he was weak from being ill... but his mother shrugged it off, and swore to hunt him down. In Muriel's route, he kills her by taking her heart and using it to make himself a new body.
  • Shed the Family Name: Morga tells the Apprentice that Lucio's real name is Montag Morgasson, and that he would prefer to forget it.
  • Skewed Priorities: Even at his most sympathetic, he still suffers from this. Complaints about his birthday party (the Masquerade) being ruined during his own route, for instance.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Seems like an example of this trope at first: apparently dead by the time of the story (but not completely), Count Lucio's death influences the entire plot. Ultimately averted in later chapters, as he returns during the Masquerade and becomes involved with present events.
  • Spoiled Brat: By his own mother's admission, to the point that the revelation that his eighteenth birthday meant he would have to fend for himself (albeit under the aegis of his tribe) led to him plotting to kill his parents in revenge, in order to usurp his mother's rule.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: His own route seems to be based around this. The Apprentice's sheer compassion motivates them to help him get his life together and (finally) grow as a person.
  • Tarot Motifs: The Devil. The Devil of the Tarot is associated with excess, fear, addiction, and materialism.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Shows very little gratitude to the protagonist for breaking his chains.
  • Upper-Class Twit: Although Lucio has some talents (judging by his military record) he's also shallow and ineffectual. This trope is most clear (and most positive) in his romance route, in which he's portrayed as clueless about practical matters (such as cooking) but overall well-meaning.
  • Vague Age: Subtle example: when Lucio first meets Muriel in the latter's Tale, Muriel is obviously a child or a young teenager (as is Asra, seen later in the story); Lucio, however, looks the same as he does in the present story (save the outfit and red sclera). His sprite looks the same in his own Tale, right around his 18th birthday. He hasn't aged much in close to two decades.
  • Walking Spoiler: Revealing anything deeper than his initial backstory and role in the plot quickly veers into spoiler territory. See the rest of his entry.
  • Western Zodiac: Capricorn. He's very driven, selfish, and vain. Also, goats.
  • While Rome Burns: He occupied himself mainly with partying and other forms of self-indulgence while hundreds of Vesuvians died of the Red Plague! Which Lucio is directly responsible for! Plague aside, he didn't seem too concerned with the suffering of Vesuvians in general.
  • Wicked Pretentious: In case his gaudy outfits and high use of emojis in his Fourth-Wall Mail Slot episodes didn't tip you off. The creators even describe him as "high class trash". It shows.

     The Court of Vesuvia 

General Tropes:

  • Adult Child: To a frightening degree. These people - ostensibly the leaders of Vesuvia who operate directly under Nadia - show themselves to be unbelievably immature and unstable, behaving like spoiled children.
    • Justified. Each one binds an Arcana associated with maturity: external and internal change, responsibility, self-restraint, propriety, and consideration of consequences are all literally banished from their souls.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: Valdemar, Vulgora, Vlastomil and Volta's pigment is decidedly unnatural. Valerius', however, is more human.
    • Once Volta and Vlastomil are unbound they have a more human pigment. Valerius didn't get that far until late in Nadia's route. Even before that, his more human appearance foreshadows how different he is from the rest of them.
  • Ambiguously Human: Slitted eyes, pointy ears, and bizarrely cartoonish facial expressions? Yes. A tarot reading in Nadia's route confirms that they're not "necessarily" human.
  • Arc Symbol: Each one, except Valerius, has a red beetle brooch. Considering that this was a symbol of The Plague, this is a very ominous sign.
  • Blue Blood: Arrogant, probably evil and more than a little stupid.
  • Decadent Court: Maybe. They're clearly up to something, but they're also extremely incompetent at their jobs.
  • Demon of Human Origin: Volta, Vulgora, Vlastomil, and Valdemar are all (former) humans who were slowly transformed into demons by making a series of deals with the Devil. Valerius and Lucio are also on this path, although they have not yet been fully changed.
  • Horned Humanoid: Invoked, by all but Valerius. They might not have literal horns, but their medieval headwear achieves the same effect. The dragging of Valerius into the Heirophant's realm in Nadia's route completes the circle and gives him literal horns.
  • Horsemen of the Apocalypse: None of them sport horses, but we have white Pestillence (Vlastomil), red War (Vulgora), Black famine (Volta) and pale Valdemar. All of them serve the resident Satanic Archetype, who wishes to bring about Apocalypse How.
  • Obviously Evil: Oh yes. Everything about them screams that they're up to no good.
  • Our Demons Are Different: They're all described as "demons", though Vlastomil clarifies that this means they are former humans enslaved to the Devil. They're all some form of Humanoid Abomination, though just how humanoid (and abominable) varies from courtier to courtier.
  • Tarot Motifs: Like the rest of the cast, each courtier is associated with a tarot card. Unlike the rest of the cast, most of the courtiers represent the reversed meaning of their associated card.
    • Volta's card is Temperance, representing moderation and self-control; she's a hysterical glutton whose hunger is never, ever sated.
    • Vlastomil's card is Justice, representing justice, fairness, and the law; he's selfish and thoughtless, and when overseeing the Book XI trial, he wants a hanging verdict as quickly as possible just because it's easier.
    • Valerius's card is the Hierophant, representing conformity and institutions; he's amoral and ineffectual, and wants to overthrow Nadia as ruler of Vesuvia.
    • Valdemar's card is Death, which (despite the name) represents change; they want to stay the same forever, and want the Red Plague to return.
    • Vulgora's card is the Tower, and they are the only one who embodies the card 'properly', with their bloodlust tying in with the card's meaning of upheaval and chaos.
  • Theme Naming: There's five of them and their names all begin with "V."
  • Ultimate Job Security: They are both incompetent and unprofessional, and have no justification for holding their stations. Nadia, however, can't actually dismiss them because the dead Count appointed them in the first place and removing them from office would be a long, weary affair that she hasn't had time for yet.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: How anyone could look at them without immediately assuming the worst is hard to say, yet no one bats an eye.
  • Was Once a Man: They were humans once, and are now demons, former humans bound by the Devil’s power. Only Valerius is still any semblance of human, and even he's very much on the edge.

Pontifex Vulgora

Procurator Volta

  • Big Eater: Doesn't seem to care about much else besides food.
  • Collector of the Strange: Turns out that reversed Temperance isn't just limited to food; her home, the Sable Manor, where she lives, is both stuffed with trinkets and so poorly maintained you'd be forgiven for thinking it was abandoned.
  • Evil Cripple: She's got one eye and certainly gives off a sinister vibe.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Seems to rather like Nadia. In Nadia's route she questions the necessity of trying Nadia for Lucio's murder when she's been good enough to them personally. When questioned enough during the trial, she will admit Nadia is innocent and that Valerius told her to say otherwise.
  • Fate Worse than Death: The Devil promised to grant Volta the inability to starve if she promised to serve him. Sadly, he also made it so she'd never feel the satisfaction that came with the food she ate, and she's forbidden to say anything that might throw a wrench in her master's plans.
  • Freudian Excuse: She was implied to have been starving to death by the time she made a Deal with the Devil, and said starvation was also the reason why she did in the first place.
  • Lean and Mean: Despite her gluttonous habits, Volta is rail-thin. And while she's a Token Good Teammate to the Court, she's also glutted herself on food while the poorer citizens of Vesuvia starved. She's also a demon, albeit unhappily.
  • The Nose Knows: She'd been 'indispensable' during the plague years due to being able to smell which foods were infected and which were safe to eat.
  • More Teeth than the Osmond Family: Her demon form sports a wide mouth with an equally-wide row of teeth to reflect her gluttony.
  • Nuns Are Spooky: Her outfit looks like a cartoonish hospital nun.
  • Tarot Motifs: Temperance, reversed - she's a glutton and reacts in extremes. During the Masquerade, she wears a pigeon mask, matching the card from Asra's deck.
  • Token Good Teammate: Downplayed example. Like the rest of the Court, she cares little for the Vesuvian people. Yet Even Evil Has Standards... and here, she may be the only one who has any.
    • She happily and willingly gives up her demonic form to have her hunger be sated again. She even tells you and Nadia that she never really wanted to go against either of you, but due to the Devil's power over her, she had no choice but to obey.
  • Tortured Abomination/Adorable Abomination: Her demonic form is very much this, being a little pigeon/rat hybrid. Even with her Scary Teeth, she's still too pathetic to be intimidating.
  • Uncleanliness Is Next to Ungodliness: While she herself isn't obviously filthy, Volta's home is both falling apart and full of moldering clothes, treasures and other objects. What might've otherwise been a treasure trove instead reads as Trash of the Titans through sheer dust and neglect, albeit if said trash were priceless.
  • Villainous Glutton: Okay, maybe villain is too strong a word, but Volta is both an antagonist and quite the eater.

Praetor Vlastomil

  • Bad Liar: So bad that even the normally unshakable Nadia immediately realizes his story about Lucio is bullshit.
  • The Beastmaster: For worms, at least.
  • The Bus Came Back: He is the Wyrm of Pestilence from Lucio's Tale, installed as a noble in his kingdom. Possibly as a way to delay his long overdue payments.
  • Collector of the Strange: Giant worms. His precious, lethal pets inform every aspect of his life and personality.
  • Fluffy Tamer: He tames python-sized worms which have More Teeth than the Osmond Family, and keeps them as pampered pets.
  • Plague Master: He's actually the Wyrm of Pestilence. When Lucio failed to follow through on a deal with him, he cursed Lucio to have the Red Plague follow him around forever.
  • Out-of-Character Alert: Nadia remembers that he'd once been different: eccentric, but not the worm-obsessed idiot he is today. This is possibly due to additional deals with The Devil, degrading his mind even further. Or perhaps he just bothered to hide his insanity previously and doesn't feel like it anymore.
  • Skewed Priorities: Worms are the only thing on his mind. Never mind that his boss is RIGHT THERE on official business and that his pet just ruined her carriage. And when said boss (and her magician paramour) subdue the beast as a Battle Couple? Why, how could they hurt his precious little poopsie? Possibly justified due to how he doesn't need to pretend to be human much longer.
  • Tarot Motifs: Justice, reversed. During the Masquerade, he wears a pig mask, matching the card from Asra's deck.

Consul Valerius

  • Abstract Apotheosis: Has seriously weakened the Hierophant and assumed much of his power, due to incremental deals with the Devil.
  • A Glass in the Hand: He is always shown holding a wine glass, which makes him stand out amongst the other council members. He is generally very composed, but when he gets angry or otherwise loses his composure, he smashes the glass in his hand.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Nadia mentions his high-born status when he accuses her of colluding to murder Lucio in her route, stating it's the only reason he's legally able to lay a charge against her. The crowd's reaction implies they share Nadia's sentiment.
  • Foil: To Nadia. Not only were they both involved with Lucio (in varying capacities), their Tarot motifs are counterparts of each other.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Upon being set free of his chains by the protagonist during Nadia's route, offers them begrudging apologies and resolves to not fall back into the Devil's snares. He's also the only member of the Court who didn't seem to understand the path he was on, and is genuinely horrified with himself when he sees what he's become – telling him what he really is is the only push he needs to admit he was wrong and ask for help. Does not make him much less of a Jerkass, but he is markedly more civil with them afterwards, and the change sticks.
  • Knight Templar: His motivations are not bad; he simply wants the best for his homeland, and thinks running things himself- in an orderly manner- is the only way to see that realized. Prejudice against the poor and "foreigners" like Nadia means he distrusts any of them with holding a voice in their government.
  • The Mistress: Male example. Despite his misgivings, he became Lucio's lover. Downplayed, however, in that Lucio had many, many side-dishes; he's just the only one we've met so far.
    • Being this trope does not mean he actually likes Lucio; Valerius is scornful towards the former count when the group crosses paths with him later in Nadia's route.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: When the Apprentice frees him from the Devil’s bonds he has this reaction.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Despite his abysmal efforts to take Nadia down AND despite appearing utterly humanoid, he managed to usurp The Hierophant.
  • Only Sane Man: For a given value. He's the only member who still looks human, at least pretends to be mature, and doesn't wear the red beetle brooch. It's because, unlike the other courtiers, he only began his path toward demonhood three years ago, and hasn't really processed how far along he is.
  • Realpolitik: Wants to rule Vesuvia independently, and during Nadia's route decides to implicate her in the Count's murder. Granted it's not very good Realpolitik, but it's far savvier and saner than the rest of the court's antics.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Speaks more elegantly than the others and even refers to common folk as "plebeians".
  • Tarot Motifs: The Hierophant, reversed. He seeks to overthrow Nadia as ruler of Vesuvia, in direct opposition to the card's usual meaning of valuing tradition and trusting established institutions.
  • The Usurper: Attempted example in Nadia's route, putting her on trial for Lucio's murder so he might assume leadership in her stead were she convicted. Utterly fails when Nadia is found innocent.
  • Wine Is Classy: He is always shown holding a glass of wine, which contributes to his snobby, rich appearance.

Quaestor Valdemar

  • Ambiguous Gender: Like Vulgora, Valdemar uses gender-nonspecific pronouns and maintains an entirely androgynous appearance.
  • Deadly Doctor: Anyone who wishes for another plague for the research opportunity is this by default.
  • Deal with the Devil: When you encounter the Devil in book XV, they're right there with him in Julian's route. Chapter XVIII reveals that, as a demon, Valdemar did this at least once in the past, and probably many, many times, as their true form, caused by the deals they have made, is indescribable.
    • Portia's route revealed that the founder of Vesuvia, Prospero, made a deal with them in order to found an eternal city. That was possibly thousands of years ago, and they were already a horrifying Eldritch Abomination by then.
  • The Dragon: The only one of the court to actually help the Devil in any meaningful way during the Masquerade, becoming this by default.
  • The Dreaded: Julian has nothing good to say about them even before their official appearance, and they all but say outright that they didn't want The Plague to end. They're the only courtier Morga genuinely fears, and while Valdemar merely keeps a menacing background presence under Nadia's eye, the mere possibility of amusement is enough for them to murder anyone in private...
  • Enemies with Death: A VERY complicated example. Technically, Valdemar is the Grim Reaper for all intents and purposes and wields the kind of power that position implies; they are also an antagonist. However, they only have this power due to being an enemy of the actual Death, and represent stagnation, sterility and wanton loss of life, which is everything that Death is not.
  • Enemy Mine: In Portia’s route, after her aunt Tasya has merged with the Devil and merged the realms, Valdemar has to obey her orders and keep the main characters busy. Normally they’d be happy with whatever the plans the Devil has. But Tasya doesn’t want chaos for its own sake or death and destruction, she just wants to reverse death and bring back her daughter. Keeping people from dying being the one thing Valdemar dislikes instantly helps the heroes and gives them advice.
  • Eviler Than Thou: The only member of the court able to focus on their goal of resurrecting Lucio, restarting the plague, and tearing down the barriers between the worlds of humans and the Arcana. And unlike Vulgora, they're very good at their job.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Zig-zagged. Best observed in Julian's route, when they show the Apprentice around the dungeon where the doctors did their research. They go about this talking like an excited tour guide... yet make clear it's a front early on, when they ask if you need anything and interrupt your response to say they don't actually care. The rest of the time, the act goes back and forth. If anything, it adds to their unsettling effect.
  • Humanoid Abomination: OH YES. Even by the standards of the rest of the court, Valdemar takes the cake. Unlike Volta, Vlastomil and Valerius, Valdemar's true form is so horrifying it causes the Apprentice to suffer a minor Brown Note and isn't given a sprite at all.
  • It Amused Me / For the Evulz: Valdemar's interest in medicine, science and the plague are exclusively to amuse themself. Nadia wasn't kidding when she claimed Valdemar treated the city as "their personal playground".
  • Light Is Not Good: Wears a white coat at all times. It's the same cut as Julian's, only with neither mask nor cape.
  • Mad Doctor: They are the head doctor of the palace, and during the Red Plague, they conducted horrific experiments on plague victims. They want the plague to return because it gave them so many test subjects. The only thing they love more than dissecting dead bodies is dissecting living ones.
  • Mad Scientist: Technically a doctor, but their interest is very much this.
  • The Medic: Julian's old boss; during some routes, he seems incredibly unnerved when he hears their name.
  • The Older Immortal: Implied that they’re older than the other courtiers and has made more deals with the Devil, which would explain why their true appearance is so horrifying it doesn’t have a sprite.
  • Out of Focus: Hadn't shown up much beyond a brief mention. Finally appears in person in book XI.
  • Quizzical Tilt: Part of what makes Valdemar so unnerving is how their sprites feature the same intimidating pose, with only this and Finger-Tenting differentiating their body language. The angle of their neck never really changes, either.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Valdemar has been around since long before the founding of Vesuvia. They were there and already a demon when the first Count Prospero founded the city, and have been influencing things ever since.
  • Run or Die: Valdemar is not someone you want to fight without some serious magical power in tow. During Julian's route, it takes everything an (amnesiac) Fool has just to drive them off during their first proper fight. In Muriel's route, Morga, who just delivered a Curb-Stomp Battle to Vulgora and 'always' advocates going on the offense, doesn't even 'try,' explicitly telling Muriel and the Apprentice to hide or run.
  • Scary Teeth: Their open-mouthed smile reveals rows of pointed, sharklike teeth.
  • Tarot Motifs: Death. Ironically, they're averse to the change Death is supposed to bring, preferring instead to stay the same forever. Their mask during the Masquerade includes a skull, matching the horse-skull-headed figure seen in Asra's deck.
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: Volta, Vlastomil, Valerius aren't exactly intimidating even in demon form, and Vulgora loses badass points purely through being so over-the-top. Valdemar, however, has no comedic quirks and their apperances always foreshadows a darker plot twist.
  • When They Smile: Creepy subversion. One sprite shows Valdemar with a cherubic smile that almost makes them look friendly. If anything, this makes them scarier; no one that horrible should smile like that.

Other Characters

     The Arcana 

General Tropes:

  • Anthropomorphic Personification
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: They embody an archetype, and their morality derives from said archetype. That said, several are more good-aligned and others are more evil-aligned, as you'd expect.
  • Cannot Tell a Lie: It's impossible for any Major Arcana to tell a lie. But some have more... creative ways of expressing themselves.
  • The Chooser of The One: The Arcana form special connections to different people, for example, the Magician chose to mentor Asra in magic, while the High Priestess has known Nadia since she was a child.
  • Dimension Lord: Each has their own magical realm.
  • Fisher King: The health and activity of an Arcana directly impact the appearance/nature of their realm.
  • Humanoid Animals: Each one has an animal's head, fur/feathers and tail, but their bodies are humanoid and have hands.
  • Physical God: At least in their own realms. Some also have greater pull in the real world, but they have to make deals or otherwise work through humans to achieve this.
  • Tarot Motifs: They physically embody these, and are limited by them.
  • You Cannot Kill an Idea: The Arcana are human concepts taken form, and hence can't die under any circumstances. That doesn't mean there aren't other ways of neutralizing them.
    • Turns out there IS a way to permanently destroy an arcana, and that's by completely usurping their role; the former version of that being will simply cease to exist and their usurper will become the new version. The Heirophant sums up that while there must always be a Devil, this Devil could do with replacing.

0 - The Fool

  • Grand Theft Me: Lucio had planned to steal their body for himself. Thanks to Asra's interference, however, their body went to the Apprentice instead.
  • Tarot Motifs: By nature.
  • The Ghost: Never appears in person. Since their body was stolen, this isn't a surprise.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Doesn't show up directly, yet without their help, the Apprentice wouldn't have a body to return to.
  • Walking Spoiler: Yeah, they're important.

I - The Magician

  • Ambiguous Gender: The Magician presents as masculine, but is nonbinary and uses they/them pronouns.
  • The Archmage: They are basically the living personification of magical power.
  • Cunning Like a Fox: Their Animal Motif.
  • The Mentor: The Magician trains Asra in magic after his parents are imprisoned.
  • Pet the Dog: Won't help directly, but does permit their realm to be used as a sanctuary by Asra and the people he sends there.

II - The High Priestess

V - The Hierophant

  • Deadpan Snarker: Has a rather dry wit.
  • A Glass in the Hand: Mirroring Consul Valerius who is bonded with him.
  • Those Two Guys: Humorously, after Valerius' Heel–Face Turn, the two of them hang off to the side as Nadia and the Apprentice confront Lucio and delivery snarky commentary in this manner. Apparently, the Hierophant doesn't hold much of a grudge.

XII - The Hanged Man

  • Casual Kink: He's wearing bondage cables whenever he appears.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: One of the more neutral Arcana, despite his sinister appearance and realm. Fitting, given how he embodies acceptance, self-sacrifice, and clarity.
  • Mr. Fanservice: A well-built raven man wearing a loincloth and cords (which tie well beneath said loincloth)? Yes.
  • Ravens and Crows: He appears as an anthropomorphized raven.
  • Swamps Are Evil: Subverted; he's not exactly good or safe, but his swampy realm isn't hostile either so long as you understand how to handle it.
  • Time Stands Still: Several objects float in his realm, suspended in time. Fitting, since the Hanged Man also embodies inaction and introspection.

XIII - Death

  • Don't Fear the Reaper: Unlike Valdemar, Death is relatively benign, even benevolent. Their card embodies change, and accepting that things need to end so that new things can begin, a very important life lesson.
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: Due to Valdemar weakening it, it can only take the form of something the person it addresses is familiar with, in this case either Malak or Pepi.
    Death: I thought this shape would put you at ease. Do humans not find small feline companions appealing?
    • This is slightly subverted in Portia's route, where Death appears as a horse's skull with glowing red eyes hanging in midair. Although this would be horrifying, it appears quite jovial.
  • Painting the Medium: Its dialogue is in a different font from all other characters, including other Arcana. This might be to indicate that it has a particularly uncanny nature.

XV - The Devil

  • Ambition Is Evil: Part of his overall package.
  • Baphomet: While all Arcana have an animal-derived appearance, the Devil's design dives straight into this.
  • Big Bad: Lucio's "patron" and the driving force behind most of the events in the story.
  • The Corrupter: His primary role.
  • Deal with the Devil: Unsurprisingly. In a wiser and more sustainable twist, he prefers repeat customers to the typical one-and-done.
  • End of the World as We Know It: Plans on merging the realms of the Arcana with the real world to create a new cosmos. To his tastes, of course.
  • Exact Words: A specialty of his, since the Arcana can't lie.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Values politeness, if nothing else- he acts consistently well-mannered, even when he's about to destroy the world. Unfortunately appears to have no ethical standards beyond that.
  • For the Evulz: The reason he's trying to change the cosmos. He was bored, and decided to mess things up for funsies.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: Downplayed in that nothing is, er, visible. Yet while many of the Arcana are depicted nude on their cards, he's the only one who's also (mostly) nude in person, making his appearance rather jarring.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: He's the one pulling all the strings behind Lucio and the courtiers' actions, and driving the plot.
  • The Hedonist: Embodies the dark side of seeking pleasure regardless of the consequences. Actual satisfaction, on the other hand, is anathema to him.
  • Hellish Pupils: As a goat-man AND as the Devil, this is a given.
  • Hidden Villain: Doesn't show up in person until Chapter XV.
  • Manipulative Bastard: He makes deals with people and inevitably screws them over, cleverly playing everyone to suit his own ends.
  • Mook Maker: Is the source of all demons.
  • Light Is Not Good: He's a white goat wearing a red scarf, a golden priest's stole, and nothing else. Many white-clad characters have made deals with him.
  • Out-Gambitted: In her Reversed route, Nadia preys upon The Devil's greed by offering the soul of the Apprentice to him. It's an act, and once the Devil foolishly lowers his guard, the Apprentice steals his core, allowing Nadia to usurp and erase him for good.
  • Satanic Archetype: Naturally.
  • Supernormal Bindings: A specialty of his; anyone who makes a deal with him gets these, regardless of power level. He can also weaponize these directly if he goes on the offense.
  • Walking Spoiler

XVII - The Star

  • Cat Girl: Literally a female cat.
  • Keet: Cheerful and energetic, she keeps an optimistic face when helping the Apprentice and their love interest.


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