Character sheet for The Crocodile God's first draft.
MirasolThe Filipino-American protagonist, who finds Haik on the beach.
- But Not Too Black: Deconstructed Trope. She's most likely olive-skinned since she noticed when people were extremely pale in her past lives and was deeply tanned in her colonial-Philippines past life. Mirasol's friend Imelda viciously tells their neighbor Claire that since Mirasol's technically "helping a criminal" (Haik), she may well get jailed or deported BECAUSE she's not pale.
- The Chosen One: Implied Trope. Haik has been technically "choosing" her over centuries, the whales came to her and Haik when they got married, and Haik told the Spaniard that their children would be gods, not just his.
- Human Sacrifice: Mirasol's first life nearly ended this way—she was a datu's daughter sacrificed to Haik in desperation since her village was suffering a drought. When she's saved by Haik, she asks if he rejected her and the villagers will starve. Haik assures her that he didn't, and gives them a dying whale for food.
- Good Is Not Soft: Goes on the run with Haik after ICE tries to arrest him again, despite knowing that she might get jailed or deported herself.
- The Everyman: In this life, at least.
- The Only Believer: Mirasol is the last of Haik's followers left.
- Reincarnation Romance: With Haik, combined with MayflyDecember Romance.
HaikThe sea-god of the ancient Tagalog tribe and the titular Crocodile God, with strong ties to Polynesia as a memory of Paikea the whale-rider. Later on, he reveals his aspect as one of the Tagalog counterparts to Maui. The centuries of the Philippines' colonization have not been kind to him, and he currently masquerades as a Filipino-Australian.
- The Aloner: Haik has become the "other people are still there, but he can't reach them" variant thanks to Catholicism's spread through the Philippines. However, it's joined with You Are Not Alone, seeing as Mirasol is still with him.
I thought they were dead.
- Later on, Mirasol has a vision of the Tagalog pantheon mobilizing to find Haik. His response:
- But Not Too Black: Averted. Haik is dark-skinned to reflect his pre-colonial nature, and Mirasol finds him extremely attractive. (Even before she finds out about their Reincarnation Romance.) Also Played With and lampshaded by many characters: The Kalinga tribesmen in Mirasol's past-life ask if he married into the Tagalogs since it's unusual for them to get that dark, and in modern times he's mistaken as Polynesian/Pacific-Islander (especially due to his tattoos). Once he corrects them, he's immediately pegged as an indio Filipino. Also, a Deconstructed Trope, since his skin-tone combined with his tattoos aren't good traits when you're undocumented.
- But Not Too Foreign: Invoked Trope among his followers; Haik is a Maori man who started living with the Tagalog tribe after he was brought to Luzon by a humpback whale, but since Tagalog beliefs rely heavily on blood-ties, his followers started saying he's Langa-an's nephew from a far-off island.
- Cannibalism Superpower: When Haik was new to Luzon, he killed a crocodile because he didn't know the Tagalogs revered them. After he ate its flesh in penance, he became the crocodile-god. Logically, he also received crocodile-themed tattoos after he ate it.
- Character Title: "The Crocodile God" is Haik's most prominent epithet, though it's hyphenated in the story proper.
- Cultured Badass: While he's definitely a force to be reckoned with, his main function is being a link to the pre-Catholic Philippines, and he tells Mirasol a lot of Mythopoeia stories mixed with real-life Tagalog traditions.
- Gentle Giant: A tall and muscled sea-god, with lots of indigenous tattoos and a sleeve of modern ones. Very personable, and especially gentle with Mirasol.
- Glamour Failure: Haik always smells like the ocean thanks to being a sea-god. It nearly blows his cover when the doctor mistakenly thinks he's been swimming too early in his recovery. Later on, it does blow his cover when he and Mirasol are trying to sneak out of Hadassah's house before the cops can search it, but the cops immediately notice the misplaced smell of the ocean.
- Going Native: Haik respects his Maori heritage, but now enthusiastically calls himself Tagalog. Of course, New Zealand and the Philippines share strong Austronesian roots, so the transition wouldn't have been too hard.
- Good Is Not Dumb: As Cultured Badass notes. He makes good use of his Retroactive Precognition to get himself and Mirasol out of the tight spots their Reincarnation Romance keeps throwing at them, even if he's too traumatized to bother CHANGING the patterns.
- Good Is Not Soft: Haik is a cool guy in general, and frequently sweet with Mirasol. He also destroyed a pirate ship by turning into a Sea Monster, turned into a crocodile to EAT the man who shot her in a past-life, and immediately goes into hiding when he realizes the ICE department is looking for him.
- I Have Many Names: "Haik the whale-rider, the son of voyagers, the crocodile-god, who breaks the ships in his teeth." He has several other names only mentioned briefly, and when he finally reunites with Tala (the Anthropomorphic Personification of Venus), she calls him "Haik-who-came-from-the-east."
- Lightning Bruiser: Muscular but very agile. Mirasol can't keep up with him even as a half-dead shipwreck survivor, and it's noted that when his paraw returns and he ecstatically takes her sailing, he gets faster.
- Name's the Same: Invoked Trope. Haik the Whale-Rider shares an origin-myth and title with Paikea of New Zealand, and before Mirasol realizes she's seeing memories of her past-lives, she thinks she was just having a Whale Rider-themed dream. However, Haik has become an extremely different figure in the story's interpretation of Tagalog mythology, being a full-on deity instead of a legendary ancestor. Moreover, his main epithet of the crocodile-god has no connection to Sobek.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Haik's titular epithet "the crocodile-god" isn't too warm and fuzzy. "Haik, who breaks the ships in his teeth" is even less so.
- Never Smile at a Crocodile: Haik has crocodile tattoos, turns into a saltwater crocodile, and is often addressed as "the crocodile-god." Fused with Dinosaurs Are Dragons, as the author based dragons off of ancient crocodiles. In precolonial times, he had a notable habit of turning into a croc and eating people who make him angry.
- Power Tattoo: Implied Trope with his crocodile tattoos. Haik frequently shapeshifts into a saltwater crocodile, and the narrative often mentions that he uses his crocodile-scaled arm to do things.
- Really 700 Years Old: He's hundreds if not thousands of years old, but looks like a hot young Filipino guy.
- Tattoo as Character Type: A sleeve and a back-piece of crocodile-themed cultural tattoos (called batok), the lower-body pe'a from Samoa, and a modern-day sleeve. He once had his face tattooed with crocodile teeth and a chest-piece, but had to remove them after Spain started converting the Tagalogs.
- Trickster Archetype: Implied Trope. Haik has a lot of rules about what words mean, and is seen in myths and in Mirasol's past lives to Take a Third Option when he can; later on, he's revealed to be a counterpart to Maui, the notorious Polynesian trickster.
- Water Is Dry: Despite always SMELLING like the sea, Haik stays bone-dry.
- When He Smiles: Mirasol constantly tries to get him back from the Despair Event Horizon so he can smile more.
- Yin-Yang Bomb: Implied Trope. Haik's two sacred animals (crocodiles and whales) represent the positive and negative aspects of the sea, the narration often treats "the crocodile-god" and "the whale-rider" as separate people, and those titles were always mentioned in tandem before Haik's Despair Event Horizon.
Haik and Mirasol's childrenHaik and Mirasol have three children: The unnamed whale-goddess, their first daughter who was shot in the womb and stillborn, and Itak and Banog, who are demigods.
- Animal Motif: Sea-creatures, naturally, but Banog also has a bird theme since he takes a lot after Lumawig.
- Childish Older Sibling: The whale-goddess is quite cheerful and sweet, but impulsive and naive to the point where her younger siblings treat her like a child, and it starts to unsettle Mirasol.
- Disabled Deity: Haik and Mirasol's whale-goddess daughter was brought back to life, but has heavy leg scars and needs a walking stick in the mortal plane. She's not too bothered, since she can still SWIM.
- Generation Xerox: "Banog" means "kite/falcon" and is a common name for the monkey-eating eagle, the bird who fostered Haik's cousin Lumawig. He has an eagle tattoo on his back, and he can leap across a river In a Single Bound. Carrying two children. As a bonus, Lumawig and Banog are both the youngest of their siblings.
- Genki Girl: The whale-goddess is extremely happy and childlike. When first reunited with Mirasol in the Otherworld, she talks her mom's ears off and Mirasol can't really process all the names and information.
- The Lightfooted: Banog has this as a side-effect of inheriting Lumawig's wind-spirit abilities. He can carry two kids on branches that can't support his gigantic sea-god father, to say nothing of the river-jump mentioned above.
- Super Not-Drowning Skills: As the children of a sea-god, they have extreme swimming abilities even WITHOUT their shape-shifting powers.
- Took a Level in Kindness: In their first life, Itak and Banog were angry at the Spanish, barely talked or smiled like normal teenagers, and were overprotective of their mortal mother. In a later life, Banog is especially nicer and they both help their parents save a transgender woman and her family from capture and death.
Lumawig and the Four WindsHaik's cousins and the sons of Langa-an, who mainly appear in flashbacks. And in Mirasol's vision of the gods coming back to find Haik. The Four Winds are Lumawig's older brothers; the North is the oldest, the East and West Winds are the middle twins, and the South Wind is the youngest.
- Animal Motifs: The family has a bird motif, naturally. Lumawig and the North Wind have bird tattoos, Lumawig was fostered by the monkey-eating eagle, and Lumawig's first wife turned into a kingfisher after she died.
- Anthropomorphic Personification: The Four Winds are technically the KEEPERS of the Four Winds, but it's treated the same as this trope.
- Big Brother Instinct: The North Wind found a boy dead on Mount Pulag and heads out for the boy's parents. He finds them cooking dinner with no hint of grief because they actually ABANDONED him, so he loses his shit.
- Blow You Away: The Four Winds, who inherited the winds from Langa-an. Reality Ensues when Langa-an's FIFTH son, lost at birth and thought to be dead, returns to them several years later—she and her husband quickly get worried because they'll have nothing to give him when he grows up.
- Cast Full of Pretty Boys: Langa-an's sons are handsome and strapping young men who don't wear shirts, due to their homeland's tropical climate. Bonus points for being sailors.
- Coordinated Clothes: Downplayed Trope with the East and West Winds, who share a color scheme of lush green clothes with bright jade jewelry. However, their chest tattoos contrast each other; the East has a map of Luzon flooded by the monsoons, while the West's map has a bright sun and flowers.
- Expy: Lumawig is a very clear counterpart to the Polynesian Maui, whose Filipino aspects are split between himself, Bathala, and Haik.
- Grim Up North: Implied Trope. The North Wind is the oldest son and most powerful, his clothes are all white and silver compared to his family's neon shades, and he's more serious than his brothers. He has a hard time STAYING serious when Haik is crying and swearing at everyone from the pain of his half-finished pe'a. Ironically enough, he isn't that pale—that's for his adopted brother the SOUTH Wind, a Deity of Human Origin who was resurrected after death.
- Happily Adopted: The South Wind was a human boy abandoned on Mount Pulag, but rescued and adopted by Langa-an. Lumawig himself was lost at birth and fostered by a mermaid couple who recognized his godly nature. After he found his parents again, he was fostered intentionally by the monkey-eater.
- Legacy Character: Langa-an was the original keeper of the North Wind, but gave it to her oldest son as an inheritance. He is also called the North Wind.
- Shapeshifting: The North Wind has a tattoo of a frigatebird on his back, and it's implied that he found his adopted brother in bird form since a frigatebird is part of the South Wind's tattoo. Lumawig has the monkey-eater on his chest, as the monkey-eater fostered him and taught him to "fly."
- Trickster Archetype: Lumawig has many of Maui's trickster aspects.
- Undeathly Pallor: The South Wind is deathly pale since he died on a freezing mountain as a boy.
Lola/Ina the dragonA dragon who finds Haik and Mirasol soon after they're arrested and held in ICE's corvette. She was friends with Haik's volcano-god grandfather.
- Intergenerational Friendship: She was friends with Haik's volcano-god grandfather and is still very close to Haik.
- The Nameless: "Lola" and "Ina" both just mean "grandmother"—they aren't proper names, since she was born before people started giving them.
- Nature Spirit: Initially appears as a crocodile.
- The Old Gods: She's a gigantic crocodile/dragon with no proper name, and doesn't need worship to survive, even if she'd much prefer it.
The volcano-godHaik's grandfather, who lived in Mount Pulag. He gave humans the secret of fire, but took it back several generations later, because he felt that they didn't respect him anymore. As such, he features in a flashback/myth where a younger Haik and Lumawig have to steal fire-making back.
- Badass Boast: Double Subverted. When Haik challenges his grandfather to a wrestling match, he warns him that he killed a crocodile and the eel-god. Unfortunately, the volcano-god just laughs at him that two gods are a "good start" for a young man, lists off all the different nature-gods the Philippines had in his youth, and boasts in turn that Haik should ask how many HE killed. He then suplexes Haik and breaks his arm.
- Convection Schmonvection: Averted. Haik brings TWO swords in case he needs to duel his grandfather to recover fire, but they both melt when the volcano-god walks over.
- Grandpa God: He's a literal grandfather to Haik, Lumawig, and the Four Winds, with white hair and smudged tattoos. The fact that he LOOKS old means he's a literal example of The Old Gods, and he was one of Bathala's friends when Bathala made coconuts.
- Green Thumb: Implied Trope. As a young man, he tells Bathala he's been trying to grow something bigger than grass since Bathala raised the islands up, but can't figure it out. After Bathala grows coconuts and shows the volcano-god some of its fruit, he germinates a second coconut tree after blowing steam on it.
- Jerkass Gods: His first words on being awakened by his grandsons' blood-offering are to complain that they haven't offered him any gifts or food. He also gave humans the secret of fire-making, but took it back because he thinks Bathala is too soft on mortals and now they've become disrespectful of the gods. When Haik pleads that humans are miserable without it, the volcano-god just snaps at him to let them stay that way until they "respect" him again.
- Implicitly Cerebus Retconned later: Lola the dragon notes that since they grew up in a time when The Old Gods and humans frequently fought and killed each other, excessive sadness was viewed as weakness, and the volcano-god may have thought that Haik and Lumawig were going to kill him for being too old. Mirasol goes from hating him for being a bitter and abusive old man to wondering if he was actually feeling lonely or vulnerable, but could only communicate it through anger.
- Magma Man: Obviously. He appears as an old man sleeping in a wall of the once-volcanic Mount Pulag, and when he wakes up irritated by Haik and Lumawig's arrival, he MELTS the rock to get down to the ground.
- The Nameless: Neither he nor Lola have names, being born before humans started giving them.
- Nature Spirit: A volcano-god. Though while he lived in Mount Pulag for a time, he isn't the guardian of it.
- The Old Gods: While the Tagalog pantheon are called "the old gods" due to being pre-Catholic deities, he and Lola are older than all except Bathala. The volcano-god was there when Bathala made coconuts and people, has no name, and doesn't require worship.
- Retired Badass: When Haik and Lumawig ask for the secret of fire-making back, his response is endless bitching about how everything sucks with all these young folks nowadays. Haik eventually gets fed up and challenges him to a wrestling match, at which the volcano-god lifts Haik off the ground and breaks his arm with a suplex.
- Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior!: He wakes up irritated by Haik and Lumawig's request to get the secret of fire back, then goes on a huge rant about how they didn't greet him properly, and they're asking for "his property" without offering anything in return, and that he took away fire-making because he thinks Bathala Maykapal is too soft on mortals, so they don't respect the gods anymore.
- Time Abyss: He was a young man of Bathala's age when Bathala made coconuts.
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid: He's miserly and abusive to his grandsons when introduced, but when Mirasol sees the flashback of him and Bathala as young men, he's much nicer.
- We Used to Be Friends: Implied Trope with Bathala; he's introduced as a bitter old man ranting to his grandsons about how Bathala is too soft on mortals, but when Mirasol sees him in his youth, he's friendly and kind. Confirmed and Downplayed Trope with Lola the dragon, who wishes she kept in touch with him better and regrets not being able to stop his fight with his grandsons.
- When I Was Your Age...: Is constantly griping about how younger gods and mortals are too soft and lack proper respect for their elders.