One of the heroes of the comic, Duane is a unique kind of zombie that has retained all of his intelligence and skills. He meant to make a quiet unlife in Sharteshane copying legal documents and reading and writing letters for commission; however, when his condition is uncovered by the leader of the Frummagem crime family, Duane is given an ultimatum: either escort Boss-King Frummagem's daughter, Sette, to her cousins place to collect a debt he owes Nary, or have his secret exposed to the whole town. Reluctantly he accepts, though hes making an effort of trying to make Sette a better person along the way.
- An Offer You Can't Refuse: Escort my daughter to her cousin Stockyard, or I reveal you're a galit to anyone in town with a pitchfork and torch and a desperate need for a break from monotony.
- Animals Hate Him: Most likely because he's dead.
- Badass Preacher: In life, Duane was a Saellite preacher. He was also in the military, and is equally capable at physical combat and pymary. In death he is just as religious and just as badass, if not more so.
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted. As a zombie, he looks clearly dead with decaying flesh and no nose. However, he uses pymary to make himself look normal to most people, and even when we see him in zombie form, his personality still shines through and makes him not look completely horrifying.
- Berserk Button:
- Harming children is something he simply won't abide. After finding the girl the Red Berry Boys butchered, he makes it his goal to hunt them down, regardless of Sette's primary goal.
- Anything involving Cresce is certain to piss him off. One can understand since his country is at war with Cresce and Crescian assassins killed him and his daughter.
- Nary Frummagem is quickly becoming one, what with him double crossing Duane, attempting to deliver him into slavery, using Sette, his own daughter, as an unknowing delivery girl, and everything involving the first silver.
- Later on in the comic, implying that his brother Lemuel a) is very troubled in the head and b) had anything to do with his murder is sure to put Duane on the defensive...even while it's becoming ever more evident, even to Duane, that both implications are true...
- Beware the Nice Ones: Duane is a genuinely kind and affable man. However, press one of his Berserk Buttons and he becomes cold, ruthless, and at times rather cruel.
- Broken Ace: Extremely powerful wright, highly skilled melee fighter, intelligent and charismatic. His undead state means he doesn't feel pain, is super strong, and can keep fighting even after taking injuries that would outright kill a living man. Daune is one of the most dangerous people in the comic, perhaps even the most dangerous. No one who has fought him has escaped unscathed. Yet his entire existence is a bleak nightmare and he has more emotional wounds then any one person should.
- Chronic Hero Syndrome: Stops to help a brother and sister in distress, then makes a personal mission of tracking down and stopping the Red Berry Boys to prevent them from hurting children, much to Sette's chagrin.
- Cowardly Lion: A very downplayed example during his early days as a soldier. Combat situations clearly caused him to panic, making him stutter in fear while trying to rally the child soldiers under his command, but he still would commit to his duties when it was called for. Age and experience knocked this trait out of him.
- Creepy Good: In inevitable fact when you are a walking rotting corpse. Usually his kind nature shines through enough to downplay the creepiness whenever his glamour fails, but when he drops said kind nature, he can be very off putting.
- Cultured Badass: Speaks almost like a character from a Shakespeare play and he is one of the more well learned people in the series. He is also one of the most powerful wrights shown and a skilled melee combatant.
- Cultured Warrior: While in the army.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Despite being a living corpse, he's one of the most decent people in the comic.
- Deliberate Values Dissonance: Often has many moments that involve this. Despite being a decent person overall, he comes from an extremely regressive and totalitarian state, and his country's warped ideals are rather ingrained in him.
- Dork Knight: Opera and theater loving, idealistic and noble, but very, very capable and competent in a fight.
- Deadpan Snarker: Tee-hee.
- A Father to His Men: When he was alive, he was greatly respected all the common soldiers despite the fact that racially he was generally looked down on by most due to how much he cared for his fellow soldiers while he was a soldier. They all would salute him as he passed.
- Fantastic Racism: One of his biggest character flaws is his blind hatred of Crescians, even those undeserving of it. Mind you, he has some very good reasons for that hatred, since Crescian agents killed him and his daughter.
- Averted in that he is one of the only characters in the setting who doesn't consider Two Toes to be worthless subhumans. In fact, they have always rather fascinated him, and when he wakes up one morning in a two toes "village", he has such a big smile on his face that he looks adorable even though his face is rotting.
- Friend to All Children: Always, which Sette takes shameless advantage of. In his living days, he was extremely protective of his squad of Child Mage soldiers, and was a devoted dad. He is even kind to two-toe children, when most people at best look down on toe-toes. The toe-toe child even gleefully notes that nobody had ever called her "miss" before.
- The Fundamentalist: Played with. He is very devout to both Ssaelism and Alderode and contemptuous of Gefendur and Cresce. He's more liberal than many in Alderode, as he is willing to teach his daughter the ways of pymary when he sees how much grief it gives her to have a biological talent for it (as she, like him, is a tacit caster, meaning she can cast spells non-vocally) but not allowed to learn since women are expected to be nothing else but house wives in Alderode. However, he is very much within the party line in regards to his feelings towards Cresce and Gefendur and is rather intolerant and haughty towards both. They tend to cause him to indulge in his worst impulses. Though we see begin to see that it's less fanatisicm that causes his anger and cruelty but rather unresolved bitterness towards the people who killed him and his daughter.
- Genre Savvy: "Think on it. A mysterious stranger in unassuming garb, of noble mien, his manner strange, his abilities unknown, selflessly answering the call of innocent youths. Not one to take lightly, says the theatre."
- Glamour Failure: Normally he uses a glamour to make himself look human; eye contact, however, breaks the spell and makes him resemble the rotting corpse that he is. Once Sette gives him pointers on deception, he starts to overcome this.
- Even the glamour he starts using that allows for eye contact is still imperfect. For instance, if someone is told that Duane is glamoured, they will be able to see right through it.◊
- Honor Before Reason: He'll use pymary against an opponent using pymary. If his opponent can't cast spells, he'll fight them with his quarterstaff or fists, for the sake of fairness. Nevermind that he's supernaturally strong.
- Horror Hunger: Like all zombies, Duane constantly craves human flesh and he needs to keep tight control of himself at all times. Even a little bit of blood is enough to exacerbate his hunger. However, by removing a blood-splattered glove from his hand and pocketing it, Sette reveals that "out of sight out of mind" applies and can help clear his thoughts when he starts, ahem, seeing red.
- In the Hood: Since sunlight makes him itch and eye contact disrupts the illusions on his face.
- It's Pronounced "Tro-PAY": Duane's name is pronounced like Doo-Ahn, not Dwayne. Sette will use the latter pronunciation when she's trying to annoy Duane. His last name is pronounced ah-DEL-ee-ay, not AH-de-leer.
- Little Kid Lover: Not one, but a Running Gag is Sette accusing him of this.
- Large Ham: He has a very theatrical way of speaking. Just look at the quote on Genre Savvy when he encounters the Red Berry Boys for the first time, or hear him when he's recounting war stories to Sette. Understandable, since he used to be a fairly popular preacher who used pymary to enhance his sermons.
- Magic Knight: Word of God states that while in the military he trained the wrights under him on how to use weapons, in defiance of Squishy Wizards. He rarely uses them in conjunction though, finding it more honorable to only use pymary against other mages and use physical combats against those who can't use pymary.
- Master of Illusion: His favorite school of pymary, although he attests that he isn't incredibly talented with it, at least compared to his combat pymary.
- Morality Pet: To Sette. He's trying to make her a better person, and though she'll deny it up and down, his efforts seem to be gradually paying off. By baby steps, anyway.
- Morton's Fork: Duane is between a rock and a hard place in regards to his undeath and religion. As a zombie, he is considered an abomination to Saellism as they consider the rot of death to be one of the Twins' crimes against humanity and unacceptable. But he also can't set himself on fire to die properly and set his body to rest as suicide is also not allowed. So to continue living is a sin, but to end his life is also a sin.
- Nightmare Face: Chapter 7 involves our first good look at his face. It's not pretty.
- Nighttime Transformation: As if it weren't enough to become a rotting corpse, at night his mind goes too.
- Noble Bigot: He's inherited his country's prejudices regarding women and Crescians, as well as the Ssaelit Church's distaste for its rivals the Gefendur. On the other hand, he's a sincerely good person and is deeply troubled when his views are called into question.
- Our Zombies Are Different: He has the Horror Hunger most zombies do, but unlike regular "plods" he's intelligent, self-aware, and can cast spells, and he might be unique for this. At night, he becomes more like his mindless, bloodthirsty zombie cousins, though Sette can keep him docile at the end of a leash or a pair of shackles he carries for this purpose.
- The Paladin: Essentially was (and is) one of these, though more magically inclined. In life he was a priest with a military background and was a very upstanding guy. In death, he retains his good nature and combat skills and remains deeply devout to Ssaelism. He is not one to let injustice go, sidetracking Sette's quest when he learns that there are slavers kidnapping (and murdering) children nearby. Downplayed somewhat as even though Duane himself is a very upstanding man, he comes from a totalitarian country and still believes in its ideals, and he can be something of a zealot when it comes to Ssaelism and Gefendur.
- Papa Wolf: Towards Sette. And pretty much all children. And towards his own kids, particularly his daughter. Not that it did her any good...
- Parental Substitute: Towards Sette though at first their relationship was very strained. Over time they become practically like father and daughter due to Sette reminding Duane of his deceased daughter and Duane giving Sette affection her 'da never did.
- Replacement Goldfish: It's implied that one reason he puts up with Sette is that she reminds him of his deceased daughter Mikaila and at one point he sees Sette as her.
- Sanity Slippage: The events at Litrya Shrine have been one continous slide towards insanity for Duane. First, being stuck at a shrine dedicated to the practice of a ritual that Duane's religion finds completely abhorent (the ritual sacrifice of a twin.), recalling a traumatic war experience with more clarity than he could in life, said recollection making him realize that his brother Lemuel was mentally disturbed and possibly involved in the death of him and his daughter, the fact that the woman in charge of the Shrine is involved in experimentation on Water Women children, AND Sette using her amulet to mind control Duane into doing what she wants (specifically not wrecking and leaving the shrine so she can stay with the first genuine friend she's ever made for a bit longer.)
- Scars Are Forever: When Duane starts using a glamour that allows for eye contact at Sette's insistence, allowing him too look more like he did when he was alive, there is a scar along his lower left jaw and two small ones on his eyelids from when he was shot with a bolt and his eyes gouged out with a knife the night he died.
- Sense Loss Sadness: He has no sense of taste, smell, or fine touch anymore. When Lady Ilganyag makes him relive an intimate moment with his wife, he's completely overwhelmed.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: His theatrical-esque speaking (as noted under Large Ham above) often comes across as this.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Served in the military and, while he actually enjoys recounting war stories, his time seems to have left him with a deep hatred of Crescians. Getting violently murdered by them (and seeing his daughter killed as well) definitely didn't help matters.
- It turns out that he even made himself forget certain details of certain stories from his past. Chapter 14 is him recounting a story from when he met the Salt Lizard during a campaign against Aldish rebels. When he begins to tell the tale, he is rather excited to, later noting that it was a favorite tale of his and his daughter. However, when he reaches the part where his arrogance and brashness gets his second-in-command and friend bisected, he momentarily has to stop the story to collect himself, as he had apparently blocked out the worst parts of the story in his memory while he was alive, yet in death the truth of the memories returned in full force.
- The Storyteller: Duane is extremely good at telling stories, often using his tacit casting to add visuals. This was also at least part of his job as Rector while he was alive, albeit a religious variant.
- Stronger Than They Look: Duane is a rotting walking corpse. Not something you'd consider ideal for physical combat. And yet, in death he has become supernaturally strong, combining that with his combat prowess he gained in life, and he is one of the best fighters in the series.
- Took a Level in Cheerfulness: Learning that the khert is reaching for him as he sleeps upends his entire worldview, and especially his image of himself as an unholy creature rejected by God and the khert. He becomes much more light-hearted afterward, determined to seek out the truth and learn more about his state, no longer viewing it as a curse.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Perhaps not BEST buds, but after 12 chapters of misunderstandings, conflict, and generally disliking each other, Duane and Quigley, once forced to stay in the same place with each other for a while, start actually getting along, settling into this.
- Warrior Poet: He enjoys showing off his eloquence and poetic phrases at least as much as his combat skills. This page is a good example.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: When he was alive. In the present day, he still desperately clings to this, but reality has started to set in.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Duane gets hit with a big one by Siya for his self righteous hypocracy and and disturbing behaviour when he offers to take her away from Litrya shrine.Duane:Don't be afraid! I know this is all you've known. That they've told you lies, threatened your families, beaten you-Siya: I TOLD you no one beats me! YOU hit me! When you were going for mistress Lori. You're crazy and I- I dunno what you're talking about!
- Wrongly Accused: Captain Toma and Elka believed him and Sette, due to a case of wrong-place-wrong-time, of being in cahoots with the very slavers Duane intends to rain righteous justice on. After finding the mess he made of Turas, they decide that he's hunting the Red Berry Boys.
The other hero of the story, Sette is the "eldest and onliest" daughter of crime boss Nary-a-Care Frummagem. Tasked with collecting a debt her cousin owes her father, Sette is determined to prove herself as Narys daughter, hoping one day to take over his criminal empire.
- Ambiguously Human: She has a long donkey-like tail (though she insists it'a a lion's tail), no nipples or bellybutton, a literally supernatural sense of smell, can manipulate the khert barehanded, and isn't aging right. People have started to talk.
- On the other hand, both Duane's pymary and a device that apparently targets any non humans both seem to consider her human, so the jury's still out.
- Anti-Hero: Not quite a Villain Protagonist, but hero's a bit of a stretch. Though it starts becoming clear that most of her negative traits are just bluster and trying to make her crimelord da proud of her.
- Badass Adorable: Sette is fully capable of fighting grown men and can take pretty extreme punishment for her size. This is on top of being highly athletic and stealthy.
- Barbie Doll Anatomy: Has no nipples or bellybutton, and it's not just an artistic choice. Given her assertion that she doesn't have what a pedophile wants this may extend to her genitalia as well.
- Blue-and-Orange Morality: Raised to believe that anyone weak, naive or trusting enough to be cheated or robbed deserves it and even family loyalty is contingent upon paying the boss his cut of your take.
- Bratty Half-Pint: Her attitude and rudeness certainly doesnt make Duane's job any easier.
- Break the Cutie: Sette's experiences in the Nevergreen, where she learns her family's Blue-and-Orange Morality applies to her as well and she'd been betrayed on every level. Her experience in the Khert leaves her brokenly crying for her father.
- Children Are Innocent: Surprisingly, despite being far from innocent in any conventional sense, Sette appears motivated by a childlike faith in herself, her father, the nonsense she'd been raised on, and childish dreams of Frummagen-style glory such as it is. Each grisly reality she confronts leaves her horrified and terrified.
- Companion Cube: Sette at one point apologizes to money.Sette: "Evil foreign money?" (cuddles money) She didn't mean it...
- Conflicting Loyalty: As the story progresses, Sette feels torn between her loyalty to her Da' Nary and her growing affection for Duane, who has become something of a Parental Substitute. This conflict only grows after it turns out the whole job was to get Duane to Stockyard so he can be shackled and used for Nary's purposes, something Sette was completely unaware of. Duane vows to get revenge on Nary for everything he's done, causing no end of guilt for Sette, as she'll be betraying her Da' if she helps Duane, but she can't bring herself to betray Duane after everything they've been through.
- Daddy's Little Villain: Sette wants nothing more than to take over the Frummagem crime business from her father and will do anything to show she's a cold-hearted cut-throat to prove herself. it's heavily implied Sette is just seeking her father's approval as opposed to actually wanting to be a malicious crime boss, which Duane picks up on.
- Deadly Dodging: How she fights. She tends to avoid attacks and send her attacker either completely off balance or into a nearby hard surface. Like most thieves she prefers fleeing to fighting if possible.
- Death Glare: She gives Jivi an oddly tranquil one when he threatens to throw Duane out of a safe place into the storm going on outside when Duane is out of his mind at night. Sette's stare is enough to make Jivi back off.◊
- Divine Parentage: It seems that Sette may be Lady Ilganyag's daughter. The father is all but confirmed to be Ssael, the focal figure of Duane's religion. Duane would probably laugh at the irony of a devout Gefendur being the child of a man who has a religion based around him for slaying the Gefendur gods.
- Does Not Like Shoes: She has yet to put on any footwear, from the very first panel on. This is due partly to culture (street children in Hanghorse don't wear shoes) and partly to preference.
- Even Evil Has Standards: While she talks casually about being a hardened criminal willing to murder people, she discourages Duane from killing a Crescian peaceguard that had been following orders and pursuing them. Seeing Stockyard murder his own friend leaves her absolutely horrified.
- Excellent Judge of Character: Sette is not only an expert at sussing out and manipulating people, she's also really good at spotting when people are trustworthy and when they're decidedly not. For example, she hasn't trusted Bastion from day one and doesn't intend to let him get hold of Duane, and she's pegged Lemuel as bad news.
- From a Certain Point of View: Raised to the level of an entire lifestyle. According to Sette lying convincingly means creating an inner ideal and projecting that upon the outside world, unintentionally giving Duane and the audience more insight into her own character.
- Hidden Depths: Despite being a crude thief, Sette is just as devout to the Gefendur faith as Duane is to Saellism. She is rather deferential to the gods' statues and is unhappy when Duane trash talks them.
- Jerkass: She's rude to pretty much everyone, usually for no reason, and has grand ambitions of taking over her father's criminal empire. Turns out she's often covering fear with bluster.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Though, as Duane says, "She's not as cruel as she'd have the world believe."
- Little Bit Beastly: The aforementioned sharp teeth (unconfirmed what's up with those) and "mule's tail." Also the heightened sense of smell, which is down to an olfactory system that's much more akin to a dog than a human.
- Kid Hero: Appears to be no older than 10-12. Though it's implied that she's Older Than She Looks. Possibly even The Ageless.
- Kid with the Leash: Specifically to Duane at night when he is in zombie mode. She possesses a necklace that lets her pacify him and seemingly control him to a certain extent.
- Kleptomaniac Hero: She'll take everything thats not nailed down to the floor. Then the nails. Then the floor. Sometimes borders on Impossible Thief, such as when she empties a tip jar of coins in seconds, while demanding things from the shopkeepers.
- Lady Swears-a-Lot: She's got quite the mouth on her. Even in casual situations, she peppers her sentences with profanity for no reason. This emphasizes the outlaw lifestyle she was raised with.
- Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: She doesn't bear much resemblance to her father and she's remarked as being "unique" among the Frummagems. It's also shown she's concerned about the rumor that she isn't Nary's real daughter more than she lets on.
- Missing Mom: Sette's been told her mother drowned when she was an infant, though her primary source (Nary) is far from reliable.
- Never Learned to Read: Though alone with Duane, she acts like it's no big deal, she clearly feels humiliated when Jivi reveals it to all the kids at the Gefendur monastery they stop at for a night. It is also relevant because she stole documents apparently about Duane from Stockyard's office before everything went to hell, and she wants to know whats in them but doesn't want to show them to Duane so she is trying to find someone else who can tell her.
- The Nose Knows: Her sense of smell is superhuman, to the point where she can actually smell spells.
- Older Than She Looks: According to Anadyne she hasn't visibly aged in the three years since she last saw her. In a flashback Nary implies something similar.
- Rage Against the Heavens: With grace and poise.
- Royal Brat: Not actual royalty, shes the heir to her fathers crime family — if she can prove herself worthy.
- Small Name, Big Ego: While her father's feared and respected, she thinks she should have some of that infamy too. The rest of the world tends to disagree. As does Sette herself as she frequently has to pysch herself up to face scary situations.
- Smarter Than You Look: Despite looking like the typical Bratty Half-Pint, though with a tail, she dupes Duane into travelling into Cresce by leading him away from roads and towns where he could discover their position, and travelling at night while Duane is "sleeping".
- Tomboy: Is quite vocal in her disgust for "girly" things.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: She's dead set on proving herself as a worthy heir to her father though there are hints that her memories of how he treats her are far kinder than how he actually is, and he was apparently willing to sell her to Starfish, a murderous pedophile, before finding a more profitable arrangement instead.
- What Measure Is A Nonhuman: She seeks reassurance on her humanity from Duane in a down moment, inadvertently revealing her fears that she may not be human. Duane even refers to her affectionately as a "homonculus" though not in her hearing.
- Wrongly Accused: Like Duane, she is believed to be a member of the Red Berry Boys by Captain Toma and Elka. Not that she doesn't have plenty of other, perfectly legitimate reasons to be arrested...
- You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Duane kindly reminds her that when she had an opportunity to cut and run scot-free, she endangered herself to destroy the Silver, saving his life and the city of Ethelmik, instead.
A captive of the Red Berry Boys, and, so far, the only one not to have undergone the procedure that have left all other captives comatose. All that's really known about him is that he was found sleeping in a ditch before being captured. He's currently working on a plan to free himself and the rest of the captives.
- Big Brother Instinct: Towards Matty, Cara and the child captives of the Red Berry Boys.
- Fantastic Racism: As something of a counter point to Duane, Jivi displays similar racism but from the other side of the line. Much like Duane he's an otherwise a good person, but extremely indoctrinated into his own culture. In particular, Shartes like Sette set him off much the same way Duane is set off by Crescians as the Red Berry Boys were mostly Sharteshian.
- Long-Haired Pretty Boy: Gets turned into one looking like a Plat after complaining too much, complete with flowers in the background. He has a breakdown the very next panel. Sadly it doesn't survive the page.
- Nice Guy:
- His Establishing Character Moment is comforting and giving candy to a crying little girl. He tries to comfort the other captives of the Red Berry Boys while they're in pain, and eventually resolves to free all of them.
- He even comforts Matty after Quigley blows up at him and is about to hit him, and earlier in the comic he was extremely resentful toward Matty for being the kid of someone working with the slavers. Later, he rescues Matty and Quigley from the Red Berry Boys even though he owed them nothing.
- His prejudices do color his interactions from time to time. Though admittingly she wasn't exactly a shining example of kindness herself, Jivi is not very kind to Sette. Beyond just trading barbs, when they were stuck in a Gefendur temple, Jivi publicly outted Sette's illiteracy to humiliate her in front of all the other kids there. Matty calls him on this even though even he hadn't exactly gotten along swimmingly with Sette either by that point.
- Mysterious Past: Nothing much is known about him other than he was found by the Red Berry Boys in a ditch. However the nightmares he suffers from, that involve his mother, seemingly a pirate captain he worked under, hint at a Dark and Troubled Past.
- Survivor Guilt: Seems to have some in regards to Cara's death. This provides part of his motivation for saving everyone from the Red Berry Boys.
An Aldish wright working for the Red Berry Boys. When he learned Starfish's plan involved hurting children, he quit, only returning after Starfish agreed to release the kids when the job was over... and up his pay. He has a son named Matty who he keeps promising to take to Sharteshane, where they can live a quiet, peaceful life. This promise has been repeatedly broken.
- Always Save the Girl: He will always save Matty and Matty knows this. He may eat lunch first though.
- Anti-Villain: Works for the Red Berry Boys but he's Only in It for the Money, and only after he negotiated the children in Starfish's clutches would be let go. Also, he loves his son very much and "doesnt do executions."
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: Most of his pymaric attacks come in the shape of insects.
- Boomerang Bigot: Despite being Aldish, he has zero love for Alderode. He also despises Ssaelism (though this was largely due to growing up in a Gefendur part of the country, even if he isn't exactly a devout Gefendur). He actually has more respect for Cresce even, though he'd prefer to have as little to do with either country as possible.
- Bungled Suicide: He intended to die in his raid on the Aldish municipal office, but miraculously survived.
- Combat Pragmatist: Duane calls him out on "fighting without honor," due to his unfair tactics of using his opponent's robe as a pymary component and, later, unleashing a horde of pymaric insects. When he has to face Stockyard's gang, he splatters their heads from ambush.
- Cultural Cringe: Gets into an argument with Duane when he's contemptuous of Alderode as a whole. Given his wife was murdered by Aldish nationalists it's easy to see why.
- Cynicism Catalyst: His wife was murdered by Aldish nationals. He has quite the hatred for them as a result.
- Death Seeker: Is incredibly depressed, nihilistic, and suicidal. Matty is practically the only reason he keeps living (although prior to the events of Orphans he didn't even care about that).
- Due to the Dead: When he thinks that Toma was killed by the flood in the Nevergreen, he gives a respectful bow towards Toma's clothes that surfaced.
- Evil Counterpart: To Duane, though he's not that evil.
- Famed in Story: The events that led to him, Matty, and Uaid being on the run are well known. In Cresce, they even wrote a play about it. Crescians he meets like to bring the play up, to his annoyance.
- Foreign-Language Tirade: At the Gefendur Shrine, Quigley tells Matty not to talk in Tainish as he doesn't want to get stared at. When moments later he learns that Matty isn't in the shrine play they are sitting down to watch, he bursts into a rant in Tainish immediately over it.
- Interrupted Suicide: Twice, in Orphans.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He is short tempered and rude to most people including his son when he is angry enough. Despite this, he genuinely loves Matty and attempts to save the slaves. He also doesn't kill needlessly and seems to detest cold blooded murder.
- Living Legend: A minor example. A play was made about the events that led to his wife's murder and his killing spree while trying to recover Uaid before escaping. He hates it but it apparently helped him avoid coming to blows with Elka since she knew who he was because of it.
- Not So Different: Duane's flashback reveals that he had morally objected to what the Aldishmen had been doing during one of their meetings.
- One-Man Army: After his wife was killed, he raided the Aldish Municipal Office to retrieve their construct Uaid. He killed everyone inside, and escaped unharmed. And he did all this while carrying Matty on his back.
- Only in It for the Money: His reason for working with lunatics like Starfish and, before that, for his work for the Window in Alderode. Justified in that he knows he won't live to see Matty reach his teens, so he's trying to provide a legacy for him instead.
- Papa Wolf: As cruel as he can be to Matty, he does love him and will do anything to protect him.
- Parents as People: He does love his son, but he's a deeply flawed individual who frequently breaks his promises to Matty and, in at least one case, took his anger out on Matty by hitting him.
- Pretty Boy: Iori is shamelessly gleeful about having gotten him naked to administer first aid.
- Punch-Clock Villain: He's Only in It for the Money. When Starfish and Nary stop being profitable, he starts helping Emil instead.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Following his wife's death.
- Smug Super: He was very disdainful of Duane's abilities during their duel. His arrogance was unfounded.
- Squishy Wizard: Very much so, especially in comparison to Duane, though he has has moments.
- Suicide by Cop:
- After his wife was murdered by Aldish authorities, he raided a municipal office in a Roaring Rampage of Revenge, intending to die in the attempt. He survived.
- He also attempts this at the end of Orphans, charging Uaid straight into a Crescian platoon, but Matty takes the controls and pilots Uaid to safety.
- Token Good Teammate: To the Red Berry Boys formerly.
- Token Evil Teammate: Though he perhaps cannot be called evil, and Duane and Sette can't be fully called good, Quigley is the most amoral of the protagonists, only really caring about the wellfare of himself and Matty. He refuses to have any stake in the war between Alderode and Cresce and is very self serving. He's also kind of an asshole without any real traits to counteract his assholishness aside from his care for his son, but even that at times feels more like obligation rather than genuine care. While Duane can be an overly self-righteous zealot and Sette is a crude thief, Duane is still genuinely altruistic and Sette's criminal nature is largely an affect put on to gain the approval of her crimelord Da'.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Perhaps not BEST buds, but after 12 chapters of misunderstandings, conflict, and generally disliking each other, Duane and Quigley, once forced to stay in the same place with each other for a while, start actually getting along, settling into this.
- Wouldn't Hurt a Child: The reason he left the Red Berry Boys is because Starfish's plans involve ripping out kids' organs. He only rejoined after Starfish agreed to let the kids go once the job was done and that Quigley would be paid more.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Starfish tries to do this to him. Try being the operative word.
- Your Days Are Numbered: Plats age faster than most people. They don't live long past thirty. Quigley's got roughly five years left, and Word of God is that although externally he looks his age (twenty-five) internally his organs are the equivalent of a fifty year old.
Mathias's eight-year-old son. Blinded during the incident that caused the death of his mother, he relies on a pymaric doll named Chitz in order to see. Cheerful, friendly and naïve, Matty hopes that he and his father will retire to Sharteshane to live a peaceful life. Unfortunately this dream will have to wait after his father signs on with the Red Berry Boys for one last job.
- Adorably Precocious Child: "He needs to count to ten."—on throwing his father in their golem's belly/cellar.
- Break the Cutie: Subverted. He has a healthy fear of villains like Starfish, but he's bounced back from some truly nightmarish situations after being suitably horrified at the time.
- Cheerful Child: Relentlessly so. He's nice to Sette and Toma even while they're actively working against Quigley and him, and still sees his father as the man who does the voices while reading him the comics.
- Children Are Innocent: He is the only major character in the story who has no real prejudices or innate hatred towards anyone. He doesn't seem to have a mean bone in his body.
- Companion Cube: Chitz, the pymaric he uses to see.
- Foil: To Sette.
- Missing Mom: She was killed by Aldish nationalists.
- Morality Pet: He serves as this for his father.
- Nice Hat: Sports one, courtesy of his father, and is quite defensive of it.
- Never Learned to Read: Largely due to going blind at such a young age. As Chitz, his doll that lets him see, can only see physical shapes, but not what's on them, he can't read off paper. He can see the book or page but not what's on it. He did learn letters before losing his sight (so he can name them if they are made with physical 3D objects), but never got around to the actual practice of reading.
- The Pollyanna: To quote the cast page, while blind "he still manages to see most silver linings."
- You No Take Candle: In one of the short stories taking place before the story, Matty's Continental, the common language of the setting, is rather poor, causing his speech to others besides his father to be rather broken. By the story proper, he has become much more fluent.
General Kima Bell
A leading Crescian officer and prominent figure in service to Queen Sonorie.
- Apologetic Attacker: He apologizes to a clerk after murdering her when she stumbles upon his schemes.
- Big Bad Ensemble: Delicieu created the First Silver weapon, but General Bell gave him a means through Cresce so he could use it to strike at Alderode's capital, and Bastion helped them. He's also acting against Queen Sonorie, who's become the new backer for the Black Tongues.
- General Ripper: Cresce and Alderode have gone to war many times, and General Bell is taking increasingly sinister measures to wipe out Alderode for good. Like transporting a magical WMD to Alderode's capital, wiping out a Crescian town to support his narrative, and plotting to usurp his Queen.
- He Knows Too Much: A clerk, loyal Peaceguard soldiers, an entire town, Bell will kill anyone who knows too much or goes against the narrative of his plans.
- Large and in Charge: General Bell is a high-ranking official in the Peaceguard and dwarfs most people.
- Leave No Survivors: He orders Hetr to destroy Ethelmik and kill everyone inside so they can claim the First Silver detonated and was destroyed.
- The Starscream: General Bell is secretly plotting a coup against Queen Sonorie, viewing her as too ineffectual to stop Alderode.
- Villain with Good Publicity: He's viewed as a hero by many in Cresce, to the point where he's more popular with them than Queen Sonorie. Mostly because Sonorie's made controversial decisions in their minds, like marrying an Aldish man and turning down a weapon that could've helped Cresce in their war against Alderode.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: He's treasonous and genocidal, but from his point-of-view, everything hes doing is to protect Cresce from a country of fundamentalists and a queen ineffectual enough to defeat them.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: He tries to have Captain Toma killed both because He Knows Too Much and because he's more useful as a martyr for Bell's cause.
Captain Emil Toma
A famous Crescian peaceguard captain who is trying to find and put an end to the Red Berry Boys. After a violent encounter with Duane and Sette in an evacuated Red Berry Boy hideout, he believes them to be members of the gang and is devoted to bringing them to justice.
- The Ace: Played with. Toma is a very skilled fighter and a good officer, but his status as a legend among the Crescian people is highly exaggerated.
- A Father to His Men: He's very protective of those he works alongside.
- Fair Cop: His exploits got him recognition, but his good looks got him a wife.
- The Good Captain: He has this reputation in Cresce, and he's one of the noblest characters in the comic.
- Happily Married: Most of the Crescian population believes this is what his marriage is, being something of a "living the dream" scenario. According to Elka his wife pulled a And Now You Must Marry Me which he couldn't refuse. And it turns out the marriage isn't as happy as people thought, since she's divorcing him.
- Hero Antagonist: All signs point to him being a very noble man, he just happens to be against Duane and Sette.
- Inspector Javert: He mistakenly believes Duane and Sette to be members of the Red Berry Boys. Later subverted as Toma has since decided that the pair are after the Berry Boys just like he and Elka are, but isn't yet sure of their motivation. Finding the half-eaten, dismembered remains of a guy who found Duane at night made him rightly cautious.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Toma has shown willingness to work with people he should technically be arresting, such as Quigley and Duane, provided a bigger threat is removed. He also looks out for his subordinates and gives everyone a fair chance to prove themselves.
- When You Coming Home, Dad?: He'd much rather be home with his daughter but he has duties to fulfill for his country.
A Crescian peaceguard working under Captain Toma who's helping him track down the Red Berry Boys.
- Bodyguard Crush: There's an implication that she cares for Toma as more than just a friend or boss.
- Boobs of Steel: Seems to be a firm believer in this, lamenting that her usual breastplate flattens her and restricts her "full power". Matching the trope, she's also quite possibly the best melee fighter among the female cast members.
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted. Her face is clearly swollen after she gets beat up by the corrupt Ethelmik guards for a good while. The cut she also gets from one of them slashing her face looks pretty ugly too because of said swelling though it looks more attractive a few days later once her face has otherwise healed.
- Hero Antagonist: Like Toma, she's a member of the peaceguard and dedicated to taking down the Red Berry Boys.
- Hidden Buxom: Spends most of her screen time wearing a metal breastplate. When out of it, she's revealed to be absolutely stacked. Even lamenting that her "Antibreast plate" was restricting her full power.
- Good Is Not Nice: She's a very abrasive person, and doesn't much like being stationed in Ulestry, as shown by her condescending and rude attitude towards the officials working there. She was also pretty rough with Sette when she first encountered her, threatening her after she assumed the girl was a member of the Red Berry Boys. Though after months on the job, far from home and tracking child killers, she has a bit of an excuse.
- Inspector Javert: Like her captain, she believes Duane and Sette to be members of the Red Berry Boys. Of course, they also have a personal stake in tracking Duane down after he cut off the arm of one of her friends.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Elka is abrasive, rude, and short tempered most of the time and only acts decently respectful to Toma, but she is still one of the most decent people shown in the comic.
- Magic Knight: Is a skilled wright and melee combatant. This isn't an oddity for a Crescian the way it is for the Aldish Duane though.
- One of the Boys: Elka is very tomboyish in her mannerism and much of her humor is as crass as her male colleagues whom she seems to spend the majority of her time with.
Private Elan Aled
A Peaceguard private serving in Ethelmik.
- The Atoner: He officially sides with Toma and Elka to make amends for smuggling Sette into Ethelmik and selling information to Stockyard.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: He gets his chest crushed before getting core leeched for extra measure, causing him to be dissolved painfully by the khert.
- Dirty Cop: A sympathetic example, he may help criminals but its only to get treatment for his heart condition.
- Dream-Crushing Handicap: Elan always wanted to be Peaceguard and passed the mental examines, but his heart condition meant he could never pass the physical for field work. They ended up giving him administrative duties instead.
- Ill Boy: He suffers from a serious heart condition.
- The Mole: He's Peaceguard but spies on them for the Frummagems. His circumstances are very sympathetic though and he ultimately sides with the heroes.
- Redemption Equals Death: He used to inform for the Frummagems, but he sides with Toma to foil their First Silver operation. He actually succeeds in helping him, and his death comes later, when he sacrifices his life to General Bell's corrupt Peaceguard to buy time for Toma and Elka to escape.
- Trapped in Villainy: He only cooperated with Stockyard because his treatment wouldve been withheld otherwise.
Frummagem Crime Family
Sette's "Da," the head of the Frummagem crime family. He's sent Sette and Duane to collect tribute from his delinquent nephew, Stockyard.
- Abusive Parents: He's physically and emotionally abusive to Sette despite his daughter's worship of him. Starfish even claims Nary considered selling Sette to him as a Sex Slave, before Nary found a better use for her.
- An Offer You Can't Refuse: He forces Duane to accompany Sette across country by threatening to expose his status as undead.
- Arms Dealer: He's worked out a deal with Delicieu to smuggle his First Silver weapon, which is the equivalent of a magical WMD, across countries.
- Broken Pedestal: As time goes on, Sette is finding it harder and harder to make excuses for his behavior.
- The Don: He's the ultimate boss of the Frummagem Crime Family, and the one other bosses pay tribute to.
- The Family That Slays Together: His crime family really is run by his extensive family, including his daughter, nephews and nieces.
- The Man Behind the Man: Nary's the one funding the Red Berry Boys and aiding in their smuggling operation.
- Manipulative Bastard: He told Sette to travel to Ethelmik to collect tribute from her cousin, Stockyard, and he forced Duane to accompanying her through a combination of extortion and preying on his affection for children. What neither of them knew was that it was all a colossal scam to get Duane to Ethelmik so he could have him smuggled to Bastion Winnalis, Duane's creator. Further evidence suggests that he knew Sette would double-cross them, too, and he's encouraging her to push further into Alderode for reasons unknown.
- Pragmatic Villainy:
- According to Starfish, the reason Nary didn't sell Sette to him wasn't out of objection to his daughter being made a Sex Slave, but because he found a more profitable use for her.
- Presumably this is the reason why Nary forbade Starfish from using children to incubate the First Silver. Starfish already admitted he used kids so he could charge extra for smuggling more people across country, so Nary probably just didn't want to get fleeced.
Nephew to Nary Frummagem, he's made his way to Cresce to broaden the family's criminal enterprise. Recently he's become delinquent in paying tribute to his uncle.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Publically he acts like a Lovable Rogue to endear himself to Sette, Duane and the people of Ethelmik, but behind closed doors he holds them in contempt, calling Sette a freak and thinking the people of Ethelmik pathetic for not fighting back against Crescian laws.
- Crazy Jealous Guy: His murder of Toby is partly motivated over his jealousy over Tobys relationship with Anadyne.
- Entitled to Have You: Stockyard seems to think that because he got Anadyne out of a life of prostitution and paid for her pymary lessons, he's entitled to her love and loyalty.
- Et Tu, Brute?: When his spies tell him Toby and Anadynehis friend and the woman he loveswere talking about leaving him, he weeps when he hears the news, and ends up murdering Toby for the perceived betrayal.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones:
- Though he can be callous towards her, it's implied he's in love with his cousin, Anadyne, and that's why he got her a job and paid for her pymaric lessons so she'd stop prostituting herself. His murder of Toby seems partly motivated by jealousy over him "stealing" Anadyne.
- Stockyard loved his father, Tar-Nut Frummagem, confessing that the worst day of his life was when his father hanged. According to rumor, Tar-Nut took the fall for Stockyard's murder of a cop, and that all of Stockyard's criminal enterprises are to honor his late father and succeed where he never did.
- Even Evil Has Standards:
- He only handles the First Silver business for the payday, personally he hates the dark business because reliable rogues won't touch it, leaving him dealing with sickos. He tells Sette to pass along a message to her dad not to involve him with it again.
- Despite working with Starfish, he's completely disgusted by him, and he lets him know it in no uncertain terms when he saves Sette from him.Stockyard: This (punches Starfish) is for making me touch you.
- Freudian Excuse: Like Sette, Stockyard was raised to be a criminal. Toby speculates that the reason Stockyard tries so hard to succeed as a criminal is because his father sacrificed himself for him by confessing to a crime Stockyard committed.
- Karmic Death: He garroted his friend, Toby, out of paranoia, and his father took the fall for a murder Stockyard committed, resulting in his hanging. Stockyard ends killed by the reanimated corpse of Toby who channels the worst memories of Stockyard's father, and hangs Stockyard by a razor-wire noose.
- Kissing Cousins: He's in love with his cousin, Anadyne.
- Mean Boss: Not to his inner circle but to his other employees. Unlike Anadyne and Toby, Stockyard has no plans to take any of the local whores or muscle with him when they abandon Ethelmik.
- Not So Different: Stockyard's life as a criminal was to live up to his father's expectations, much like what his cousin, Sette, is doing to win her father's approval.
- Off with His Head!: Stockyard ends up decapitated by a razor-wire noose.
- Pet the Dog:
- He literally pets an animalin this case a kedisesa warm-blooded iguana that are like housecats in-universewhile loading provisions onto a ship. Moments later, he instinctively saves its life by pulling it away from the First Silver weapon when it tries to attack it.
- Stockyard treats Sette cruelly, imprisons her, and even considers murdering her when she won't go along with his plans for Duane, but he still saves her when Starfish tries to rape her.
- Save the Villain: Sette tries to hold on to Stockyard to stop him from hanging, while Ana blasts a pymaric spell to try to cut the noose. Unfortunately, Ana's too far away and she ends up hitting Sette, meaning Stockyard falls to his death.
- Villain with Good Publicity: Stockyard's set him up as something of a local hero in town, since his bartering system has found a way to work around the unpopular economic systems Cresce has forced on them. Many in Ethelmik
- Villainous Breakdown: It begins when his informants tell him Toby and Anadyne want to abandon him.
- Villainous Friendship: He's friends with his right-hand man, Toby. Unfortunately, it doesn't last.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Toby implies the reason Stockyard wants to be such a successful criminal is to honor his deceased father, who never had the chance to amount to much because he sacrificed his life to save his son.
One of Sette's cousins, she's one of Stockyard's most trusted enforcers and has been studying pymary out of a desire to make something of herself.
- Affably Evil: Anadyne isn't malicious and acts kind both on and off the job.
- Anti-Villain: Anadyne so far. She shares Quigley's standards about not hurting children and is only doing her job.
- Body Horror: Toma's dog mauled Ana's arm up pretty badly, but that isn't where the body horror comes from. The body horror starts when Ana's arm begins to fester and rot from being untreated for multiple days due to being stuck inside the mass of First Silver with no way out. And THEN the silver starts fusing with her arm...
- Brains and Brawn: Anadyne is the brains to Knock's brawn.
- Determinator: When Anadyne's arm is mangled, she stops the bleeding with pymary and jumps back into the fight, even while the mutated First Silver starts tearing the place apart around her.
- Break the Cutie: She has gone through a lot of shit to say the least. She was never very confident about her pymary abilities and missing the spell that might have saved Stockyard's life pretty much broke her. And that was before she ended up in the mass of First Silver that is doing its best to break her mind totally, not to mention completely destroying her arm.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: She and her cousin Knock are like sisters, and she's in a loving relationship with Toby.
- Even Evil Has Standards:
- Unlike her cousin, Knock, Ana refuses to harm children.
- She's thoroughly repulsed by the First Silver weapon and everything it stands for.
- Humanoid Abomination: The First Silver takes such a liking to her misery that it chooses to merge with her completely. It's not clear what she is now, but it isn't human.
- It's All My Fault: She blames herself for Stockyard and Toby's deaths, thinking that her lack of skill at pymary is why they died. While it is partially true for Stockyard, circumstances would've had him die whether she took the shot or not, and Toby had already been killed, his corpse was just reanimated by the First Silver.
- Lady of Black Magic: Anadyne tries to be this, showing up at fights with an elegant dress and disintegration spells, but her pymary isn't quite up to par.
- Minion Shipping: She and Toby both work for Stockyard and are romantically involved.
- Overshadowed by Awesome: She's not an untalented wright, but she's not a prodigy and next to Duane "finest wright in centuries", plat battlemage Quigley, and abomination-crafting Black Tongue Deliciou she's decidedly outclassed.
- Punch-Clock Villain: Anadyne so far seems to be a polite, compassionate young woman who just so happens to working as a crime lord's enforcer.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Anadyne's the more cerebral blue to Knock's hot-headed and fight-ready red.
- Sanity Slippage: Anadyne cracks after Stockyard and Toby's deaths and witnessing the nightmarish torments of Delicieu's First Silver weapon.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: It looked like Anadyne would be this for Quigley, since she and Knock are both introduced in the same chapter that Quigley and Ephsephin depart the Red Berry boys.
- Would Not Hurt A Child: Anadyne flat-out states she won't let Starfish cut up Matty.
One of Sette's cousins, Knock is a fearsome, brawling woman and has a sisterly relationship with her cousin, Anadyne.
- Actually Pretty Funny: Despite fighting against her the night before, when she sees Sette trying to intimidate everyone in the Deadly Nevergreen, Knock's enamored with the performance.Knock: Oh no, I love her.Toby: Didn't she drop a pulley on your head?Knock: I had it coming.
- Affably Evil: Knock is definitely more villainous than her cousin, Ana, but that doesn't mean she can't compliment someone on their play, or admire her cousin for her courage.
- Brains and Brawn: Knock is the brawn to Anadyne's brains.
- Boisterous Bruiser: Knock likes to party with her friends when she's not on the job and sometimes when she is.
- The Brute: Knock-Me-Down. She's a mob enforcer on muscle-building Fantastic Drugs who's strong enough to suplex a riding hound.
- Combat Pragmatist: Despite her obvious strength, Knock's go-to option for dealing with threats is to shoot at them with a forearm-mounted saw shooter that fires poisoned discs.
- Determinator: Knock will save Ana, no matter what, even if it means fighting an undead Toby in a place that looks like hell itself.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Knock clearly cares for Anadyne and rushes to her side whenever she's in trouble.
- Genre Savvy: Knock tells Starfish to make Matty look away while she's trying to kill the kid's father, saying that if not, a masked avenger will show up in ten years to ruin her day.
- The Lad-ette: Knock is brazen in her love of good fights, good booze, and good sex.
- Liquid Courage: Some of Knock's more manic behaviour comes from her taste for the Fantastic Drug glut.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Knock is hot-blooded, combat-ready red to Anadyne's calmer and more professional blue.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Knock for Ephsephin, Anadyne for Quigley. Both of them are introduced in the same chapter that the replaced characters die or leave the Red Berry Boys.
- Would Hurt a Child: Knock seems to have no qualms about trying to kill Jivi.
Stockyard's right-hand man.
- Affably Evil: For a criminal, Toby's actually a pretty nice guy who values his employees, has a lot of standards, stands by the people he loves, and just wants a life where he's happy.
- Alas, Poor Villain: Toby's one of the least villainous antagonists in the comic, but he gets garroted to death by his friend, Stockyard, for planning on leaving with Anadyne.
- Benevolent Boss: In contrast to Stockyard, who wants to abandon the local whores and muscle when he sets up shop in a new town, Toby wants to take them with and use them.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He and Anadyne are in a loving relationship.
- Even Evil Has Standards:
- He's a mob-enforcer but the entire business with the First Silver, and the prospect of it destroying the khert and souls, rightfully terrifies him.
- He offers to break Starfish's spine after he and Stockyard catch him molesting Sette.
- Delinquent Hair: Toby's head is mostly shaved save for a fringe he's dyed pink to match his girlfriend's scarf.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Anadyne's not small, it's just that Toby's massive among most men.
- Ludicrous Gibs: Knock destroys his reanimated body by slamming a lift door on top of it, flattening him and sending limbs and blood flying.
- Number Two: Toby is Stockyard's right-hand man.
- Minion Shipping: He's in a romantic relationship with fellow criminal, Anadyne.
- Punch-Clock Villain: Toby's a criminal, but he's not cruel a man. The business with the First Silver disturbs him, and his ambition is just to set up his own gang with Anadyne once Stockyard's deal is done. It is ambiguous in his final moments if he planned on killing Stockyard to usurp him, however.
- Screw This, I'm Out of Here!: Toby gets unnerved enough by the First Silver business and thinks proposes that he and Ana take their people, leave Ethelmik and Stockyard behind, and set up elsewhere.
- The Starscream: Possibly, but it's ambiguous. He talked to Anadyne about abandoning Stockyard, and he's seen handling a knife while talking with Stockyard in the latter's rooms, but it's never clear if he does want to usurp Stockyard or if he's handling the knife out of unease over the First Silver and Stockyard's slipping sanity. Whatever the case, Stockyard kills him before he can explain himself.
- Villainous Friendship: Toby's friends with his boss, Stockyard, as well as Knock-Me-Down, and is in a romantic relationship with Anadyne. Unfortunately, Stockyard takes the news of him and Anadyne talking about leaving him very poorly, and Toby ends up killed by him because of it.
The Black Tongues
Bastion Winalils, a Jet-caste Aldish wright, a doctor and a member of the Black Tongues, is the man who hired Nary Frummagem to have Sette take Duane back to Alderode through Cresce; he is also the one who gave her the amulet that lets her command Duane at night, and the wright who supplied the spell that keeps Elan's heart beating. He created Timofey, the ghost-boy, but perhaps most importantly, he is the one who "created" Duane, bringing him back to his current state of sentient undeath.
- Affably Evil: He's done some pretty despicable things but his goals seem at least somewhat well-intentioned and when not on a job, he's genuinely friendly, charming, and even dorky in regards to science.
- Anything That Moves: He's seen with a female prostitute, he may have been in a relationship with another male Black Tongue, and he casually mentions that he once had sex with an Efheby, a species of Snake People who eat minds. Considering the nature of the Black Tongues, it's quite possible that he considers it a viable mode of scientific inquiry.
- Body Horror: The price of being an object of Ilganyag's attention. The torc he wears burrows into his neck if he so much as touches it and there are barely stitched up cuts in his chest which, in a dream, open up into her eyes.
- Dark Is Evil/Dark Is Not Evil: He seems to waffle between the two. He generally wears dark clothes with a crow or raven motif and moves around by becoming shadow. He has well-intentions but he's willing to do some pretty deplorable things to see them realized.
- Even Evil Has Standards: He's not the most moral person but even he doesn't like Delicieu or his Silver experiment. Though these standards don't stop him from aiding Delicieu for the money, or helping General Bell in a genocidal war against his own countrymen. It helps that Delicieu was really his childhood friend Prakhuta who was tortured by and killed the REAL Delicieu.
- Handsome Lech: One of his first actions after being properly introduced is to make a grab for Iori Ripa's ass, which earns him a slap across the face.
- Immortality Immorality: In order to test his theories on resurrection, he aided in the assassination of Duane and his daughter, Mikhaila, to get access to Duane's corpse. Unlike other examples of this trope, he seems to want the secrets of immortality to benefit the world instead of himself exclusively.
- Large Ham: Speaks flamboyantly with grand gestures. This is quickly becoming an Aldish trait.
- Mad Scientist: As one of the Black Tongues, he's on the cutting edge of pymaric research and has a decidedly lax attitude towards experimental ethics.
- Naked on Arrival: Mitigated. His mysterious teleportation ability doesn't allow him to take anything with him that's not his own body (excepting his torc), but he can use glamours to create illusory clothing (though fanservice still occurs in transition). Rahm still is quick to hand him a robe when Bastion visits, though, so he doesn't have to put his naked butt on all the furniture.
- Necromancer: He's the one who killed Duane then brought him back to life, preserving all his memories before they could dissolve into the khert, meaning he's the real-Duane instead of an artificial personality created from a collection of memories like Timofey.
- Only in It for the Money: While continuing his scientific studies is his greater goal, he accepts mercenary work because he needs money to fund them. Money is why he says he's helped Delicieu. It's also why he said he took the job to help assassinate Duane while he was still alive. That and to test his scientific theories on a tacit caster.
- Tall, Dark, and Handsome: As a jet, a black-haired Aldish, this comes naturally to him; his black-feather cloak only emphasizes it.
- Teleportation: He's discovered a unique method of teleporting himself, which causes him to dissolve into a pool of darkness and zip along nearby surfaces to his destination. Unfortunately, he can't take anything with him that isn't part of his body (with the exception of his torc), so all the 'clothes' he's usually seen wearing are pymaric constructs. They are purely cosmetic and don't provide any sort of protection, which means he has to be watch where he's walking.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: So far his primary goal seems to be healing. Both projects we know about that are his (Duane and Elan) are both attempts to stave off or overcome death. We also see him helping people in the aftermath of the Silver incident even though this almost exposes him to the authorities. While he's willing to go to extreme lengths to achieve his goals he does seem to have the best intentions.
- We Used to Be Friends: In his childhood, he was rather close to Cutter, or rather Prakhuta, who was a guinea pig for Delicieu, Bastion's master. They both suffered under Delicieu's cruelty, and ultimately Prakhuta killed Delicieu with his new found pymary while Delicieu was distracted trying to torture Bastion to death for also trying to kill him. In the present, Prakhuta has little but scorn for Bastion, feeling that he should have done more to save Prakhuta and the other two-toes who did die from Delicieu's experiments, while Bastion feels disgust that Prakhuta chose to continue Delicieu's abominable experiments, even taking up his name especially after everything he did to the both of them.
- Would Hurt a Child: Bastion was involved with Duane's assassination, meaning he also contributed to Mikhaila's death.
One of the most famous Black Tongues, he is infamous for his experiments with the khert and with First Silver. It was his work that caused the large mass of First Silver filled with memories of pain to be unleashed upon the world. He hasn't been seen in a while though.
- Fat Bastard: He is very amoral in his research, not caring how many Two Toes die or how much pain is caused, so long as he gets his results. He also treated Bastion, his student, very cruelly. He also has a noticeable pot belly.
- Half the Man He Used to Be: Prakhuta uses his newfound pymary to cut him in half. Vertically.
- The Ghost: Outside of flashbacks, he hasn't been seen in the story at present day, though everyone talks about him and his work. It turns out he has been dead for many years, after Prakhuta killed him to save Bastion's life. The Delicieu running around at present day is actually Prakhuta under a pseudonym.
- The Unfettered: He shows zero concern for whatever harm his research may cause to his subjects. The results are all that matter to him.
A mysterious ghost-boy first seen hanging around the Ripas' house, he works for Bastion Winalils as a manservant, and is actually an artificial creation; he was never alive.
- Artificial Human: Timofey was never actually alive, he's an artificial personality created from a collection of ghosts pulled from the khert by Bastion.
- Drama Queen: He tends to overact constantly, and his fairly gaudy Phantom-of-the-Opera-style getup doesn't help.
- Friendly Ghost: Sort of, although it's eventually revealed he was assembled from many different "fractured ghosts" dredged out of the khert, and was never actually alive himself.
- Hero-Worshipper: He idolizes people like Jivi and Elan Aled when they perform daring heroics.
- Just a Machine: Winalils dismisses him this way. Timofey's expressions at this imply he does not agree.
- Replacement Goldfish: Timofey is in fact the result of Bastion trying to bring his sister back from the dead and failing, but being pretty happy with the being he made instead.
Rahm "the Raptor" Ripa
A Black Tongue living in Ethelmik who briefly shelters Quigley, Jivi and Matty.
- An Arm and a Leg: Averted. He has legs, it's just that no one can see them since the accident with the khert that killed his son also took away all visual aspects from his legs.
- Deal with the Devil: Rahm agrees to capture Duane and betray the Quigleys for Bastion in exchange for First Silver to finish his flying pymaric.
- Defector from Decadence: The Black Tongues ambitions have been growing out of control since Lady Ilganyag stopped guiding them, so Rahm's been staying away from the group.
- Due to the Dead: Rahm dedicates himself to perfecting his son, Dani's, flying pymaric because his son died before he could do so himself.
- Everyone Has Standards: The Black Tongues can be amoral in their experiments, but Rahm thinks Delicieu is a madman and calls out Bastion for helping him.
- Grumpy Old Man: Rahm isn't so old but he more than makes up for it with grumpiness.
- Happily Married: Despite their disagreements, Iori and Rahm clearly love each other.
- Morality Chain: Iori acts as one to him, and she's ultimately the one to get him to stand down and stop attacking Quigley and Duane on Bastion's behalf.
- Nothing Personal: He tells Quigley this while betraying him, saying it's just a favor for a colleague.
- Outliving One's Offspring: One of his and Iori's sons, Dani, died in an accident while showing off his and Rahm's flight pymaric. The reason he betrays the Quigleys on Bastion's request is to get First Silver to finally finish the flying pymaric Dani died while working on.
- Pet the Dog: Rahm pulled memories out of the khert and used them to create ghostly "grandbabies" to keep Iori company.
- The Red Baron: He's called "Rahm the Raptor" among his fellow Black Tongues.
The wife of Rahm Ripa.
- Almighty Mom: Iori will hit undead wrights over the head with brooms, slap Bastion across the face when he gets too fresh, and fly into a burning town to talk her husband down when he goes too far.
- Black Sheep: She is considered this by her twin sister because Gefendur tradition states whenever twins are born, they are to be raised in a monastery until about their 20s, then the younger sibling is to be ritually sacrificed and cannibalized. Iori, the younger sibling, instead fell in love with Rahm and ran away from the monastery. Her older sister has resented her for what she considered abandonment of duty, since she stayed a priestess, which is what is expected of the older twin. However, Iori is hardly a bad person, she is very kindhearted actually.
- Fantastic Racism: Iori doesnt like Duane for being a plod, but given that he's a walking corpse who hungers for human flesh and can go feral at night, this is completely reasonable.
- Happily Married: Despite their disagreements, Iori and Rahm clearly love each other.
- Hypocritical Humor: Iori says if she ever meets the Two-Toe that hurt Jivi, she'll knock his teeth out. When Jivi tells her she hit him with a stool, Iori tells him violence is never the answer.
- Morality Pet: Iori acts as this to Rahm, and she's the one who convinces him to stop aiding his betrayal of the Quigleys.
- Nice Girl: In contrast to her grumpy husband, Iori is warm and compassionate to practically everyone she meets.
- Outliving One's Offspring: One of her and Rahm's sons, Dani, died in an accident while showing off his and Rahm's flight pymaric.
- Silk Hiding Steel: She's a housewife who proves herself a badass when she risks drowning then flies into a burning town to talk her husband out of doing something terrible.
- Token Religious Teammate: Despite technically being associated with the atheistic Black Tongues due to her marriage to Rahm, Iori is still very much a devout Gefendur devotee despite having ran away from her religious duty to be sacrificed.
- Team Mom: Iori serves as this Quigley, Matty, Jivi, and tries to be this for Sette. She wants nothing to do with Duane, however.
Hanst Mikharhuk Ruckmearkha
One of the few remaining efheby, with Lady Ilganyag silent some of the Black Tongues have turned to him as their new patron.
- Abhorrent Admirer: To Bastion, and possibly Duane.Ruck (to Bastion): I want there to be love between us, as there is love between you and Ilganyag. I can make you forget her.
- Alien Hair: He has tentacles on his head that resemble hair. He also has them on his chin which resemble a beard.
- Anti-Magic: Like all senet beasts he's immune to direct pymary.
- Bad Boss: He rips his lawyer/mouthpiece in half because he found his voice annoying and to curry favor with Bastion.
- Catchphrase: "It is fine." Seems to be a tic more than anything, as he says it even while disemboweling people.
- Depraved Homosexual; He only ever uses his venom on men, and lusts after Bastion in his own perverted way. And he's a complete sadist.
- Dragon with an Agenda: He's working for Queen Sonorie, but Ruck only seems to care about the knowledge he can gain from working with the Black Tongues.
- Faux Affably Evil: He certainly acts polite and benevolent to endear himself to Bastion but it's completely undermined by his unsettling appearance, lack of empathy, and barely-concealed predatory nature.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: He has predatory instincts that tend to manifest like this, with a strong urge to simply kill anyone who speaks in a high-pitched voice, moves suddenly, or looks him in the eye.Ashley: The cloak of civility he wears is threadbare.
- Intrigued by Humanity: A fairly dark version, he's interested in the possibilities collaborating with humans offers him, but has no care for them individually - except whoever he currently has envenomed.
- Mind Rape: Efheby venom can do this; Ruck has learned how to weaponize it to try and learn the secrets of the Aldish dammakhert at the behest of Queen Sonorie. Poor Roger Foi-Hellick.
- Nightmare Fetishist: He's intrigued over some of the darker interests of the Black Tongues, like Bastion's necromancy, despite Duane being a walking corpse and Delicieu's First Silver weapon.
- Overly Long Name: His full name is Hanst Mikharuk Ruckmearkha, so he prefers going by Ruck.
- Playing Both Sides: You learn that he is secretly working with Queen Sonorie to figure out how the Dammakhert works so she can possibly destroy it, which would cripple Alderode. But at the same time, you later find out that he is also working with General Bell, who is trying to depose Sonorie because he believes she is breaking too much with tradition and not being aggressive enough in the war with Alderode. In Bell's case, he doesn't seem to realize what Ruck is, as Ruck takes the form of a Yerta statue in Bell's presence. That said, it is unknown if Ruck is manipulating Bell for Sonorie's sake or for his own agenda.
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: He's a casually murderous snake man who's usurped leadership of the Black Tongues, a group of Mad Scientists who are amoral at best.
- Snake People: He's an efheby, a creature that has the lower half of a snake.
- Soul-Cutting Blade: One is created from his venom.
- The Usurper: He's become the new patron of the Black Tongues, and his allies in the organization murdered their original leader when he objected.
- Your Soul Is Mine: Efheby venom turns the soul to mush, allowing the efheby to sort through it, see the victim's deepest secrets, and eventually devour it. If they don't damage the soul the venom wears off and they can recover though.
The Red Berry Boys
A band of slavers and worse who primarily traffic in children (it's an efficiency thing).
Tropes applying to the Red Berry Boys as a group:
- Dwindling Party: They're picked off one-by-one over the course of the story, starting with Bett. Cutter, aka Delicieu, is the only survivor.
- Organ Theft: A variation, they don't cut up people to steal their organs. They do it to transplant First Silver inside of their victims, which is part of an experiment by their employer.
- Slavery Is a Special Kind of Evil: They're a gang of slavers, and some of the most irreprehensible villains in the comic. Though it turns out, what they're up to is far worse than slavery.
- Unwitting Pawns: All of them end up being pawns of Delicieu, aka Cutter, who used them to create his First Silver experiment.
- Would Hurt a Child: All of them go along with Starfish's plan to cut up children to wriggle extra cash out of their employer.
The leader of the Red Berry Boys, a sadistic and greedy thug who is making money by smuggling a mysterious substance inside people, first ripping out their organs to make room.
- Bad Boss: After Ephsephin was grievously injured, he decided to beat him to death with a bottle. He did this with a smile on his face.
- Beard of Evil: A stringy little goatee.
- Dirty Coward: He likes to throw his weight around but he scares very quickly when the tables are turned. After acting like a blustering jerkass to Quigley, one blow from the wright is enough to make Starfish need new trousers. It's why he prefers children.
- Fat Bastard: According to the author, one reason she can stand writing such an immensely evil character is because he's... immense, and "fat people are fun to draw."
- For the Evulz: Frequently does cruel things for the sake of cruelty, rather than any practical reason. For example, beating an already dying Ephsephin to death, and forcing Matty to watch as his father is dying.
- Greed: Starfish values being paid so much that he has zero qualms over having to mutilate people to transport his goods. He even goes further by using children, since he is paid by the body and the smaller ones means he can cut corners and use less silver.
- Groin Attack: When he's manhandling/trying to molest Sette, she ends up jamming a dagger she had hidden in her sleeve earlier deep into his crotch.
- The Heavy: All lame puns aside, his crimes drive the comic's plot despite hints that Starfish is a small fry in the grand scheme of things. Later, it turns out the Two-Toe Lizard, Cutter, is his boss, and the mastermind behind the First Silver weapon.
- I Have You Now, My Pretty: Subjects Sette when she's being held at Stockyard's to this. Thankfully interrupted before it goes too far, though he does get away with a lock of hair and starts sniffing it.
- Jerkass: To put it in the mildest terms possible.
- Karmic Death: Gets stabbed in the groin then blow up moments later. He deserved all of it.
- Lack of Empathy: To everyone really. See Bad Boss for the best display of this trope.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Gets stabbed right in the groin whilst trying to molest Sette.
- Only Known By His Nickname: His real name is Arctrit Ramora but he's only ever been referred to in comic as Starfish. The only exception is when his real name is listed on the Red Berry Boys' wanted poster.
- Psychotic Smirk: Has been known to break these out just before doing something particularly evil, like biting off part of Jivi's ear.
- Skewed Priorities: When the First Silver is taking over the Deadly Nevergreen, does he try to escape? No; he goes after Sette in an attempt to rape her. Notably, he even struggles with the decision for a moment, but does it anyway.
- Stout Strength: Apparently there's muscle under his bulk, which explains his strength and agility. Word of God likens him to a sumo wrestler.
- Villainous Glutton: Shown to be very fond of his food, and yet his bulk doesn't seem to seriously encumber him.
- Would Hurt a Child: He targets children to kidnap, eviscerate, and stuff with First Silver because he's paid by the head and the Silver supply stretches further in smaller bodies. Also, he's a child molester.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Tries to pull this on Quigley. Succeeds on doing this to Ephsephin.
A two-toe working for the Red Berry Boys, he handles the more horrifying side of their supernatural work. His original name—as humans can pronounce it—was Prakhuta, a test subject of Delicieu, Bastion's abusive Mad Scientist Black Tongue mentor. He also now poses as Delicieu himself, taking his place after killing him.
- Admiring the Abomination: He's quite affectionate with the First Silver weapon, when it's not trying to torture him. He's in awe of Anadyne once the silver decides to use her as a host.
- Ax-Crazy: He's more interested in harming people than any other Red Berry Boy. When he reveals himself at Delicieu he becomes even more unhinged and deranged, reveling in the destruction and agony his First Silver experiment is creating.
- Back-Alley Doctor: He cuts but he does not... uncut.
- Big Bad Ensemble: Cutter is Delicieu, the creator of the First Silver weapon and the one behind the Red Berry Boys. With the vision of his weapon destroying Alderode, he becomes one of the prime candidates for Big Bad, with Bastion helping him, and General Bell arranging the weapon's transport to the Aldish capital. Meanwhile, Queen Sonorie, the Black Tongues, and Murkoph have their own agendas.
- Dead Person Impersonation: Cutter's real name is Prakhuta, but he's assumed the identity of Delicieu, a Black Tongue who was Bastion's former mentor.
- Enigmatic Minion: He isn't shy about showing his contempt for the humans he works for, or hinting that he has a deeper purpose that they don't understand. As it turns out, he's the Mad Scientist who set all this in motion for his own reasons.
- Faux Affably Evil: He reveals this as his true personality after revealing himself as Delicieu. He speaks gentlemanly to Duane all while relishing Duane's torture, Ana's eroding sanity, and the general death and destruction his silver's unleashing.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Cutter is a completely deranged bastard and his face is covered in grotesque scars that he hides beneath a glamour like Duane.
- The Heavy: Starfish is the one in-charge of the Red Berry Boys, but it turns out he's really working for Cutter, aka Delicieu, who's the true mastermind of the First Silver weapon.
- Lizard Folk: Cutter is part of a race known as Two-Toe Lizards.
- Mad Doctor: Cutter is the group's resident doctor, but is far more interested in causing harm then healing.
- Mad Scientist: He is actually Delicieu, one of the premiere mad scientists in the setting; the weapon of mass destruction he created is the driving force behind much of the plot.
- Man Behind the Man: Cutter is actually Delicieu, the Mad Scientist behind most of the plot up until now, and the whole deal with the First Silver is ultimately based on his experiments.
- Meaningful Name: Cutter handles the surgeries.
- Obfuscating Insanity: Cutter drops the lunatic rhyming act once he gets the silver when he wants it. Not that his real personality is much more sane.
- Rage Against the Heavens: He hates the khert and how it works, viewing it as forcing memories of pain to exist forever, seemingly without purpose. His First Silver weapon is a means to lash out at the khert and give a means for the ghosts to finally strike back and share their pain with the world.
- Rhymes on a Dime:
- Cutter speaks in almost nothing but rhymes. This quirk gets lampshaded by other characters constantly. He stops once his plans are too far into motion for anyone to do anything about them, showing that it was likely Obfuscating Insanity.
- It's later revealed that improvising rhymes was a game he played with his old friend, Bastion, as a coping mechanism to survive the pain they endured at the hands of the real Delicieu. Becomes a Tearjerker when his old friend tries to use it to convince him to give up the violent path he's on.Bastion: Prakhuta needn't do as the scarlet dead say. Here's an old friend to come keep them at bay. Take his hand, take his apology, and we'll be away!Cutter: Prakhuta... no longer finds this old game fun to play.
- Sole Survivor: Of Delicieu's experiments on two-toes.
- To Serve Man: He's a lizard man with a taste for human flesh. It was implied at first but confirmed when he's seen feasting on Ephsephin's dead body.
- Walking Spoiler: He seems like just an insane lizard but pretty much everything about him is a spoiler. He's the one who created the First Silver weapon from the slaves the Red Berry Boys were abducting, he's the Black Tongue Delicieu that everyone's afraid of, and his real name is Prakhuta, a former test subject of the original Delicieu whose identity he adopted after killing him.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Delicieu is a very dark and seemingly insane type. Word of God describes him as finding it unbearable that, due to the nature of the khert, memories of pain and horror live on forever without purpose. The reason he constructed his abomination is to use the world's own workings to destroy itself. Even though he's a murderer, he doesn't feel badly about it because he knows the mind will live on and reincarnation is inevitable.
- We Used to Be Friends: It turns out that he and Bastion were pretty close during the time when Delicieu was experimenting on Prakhuta and other two-toes. Bastion tried to save Prakhuta and was tormented nearly as much as Prakhuta was. In the present though, Prakhuta only feels contempt for Bastion for not doing more to save him and the two-toes who died to Delicieu's experiments. Though this is probably largely due to Prakhuta's mind being warped from spending a decade dealing with spirits of pain due to Delicieu's experiments. We see that Bastion did try to stop Delicieu, going as far as trying to kill him, and would have been tortured to death if Prakhuta hadn't killed Delicieu with his newfound wright abilities.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Being a two-toes under human rule is already solid grounds on its own for a tragic backstory. Add on to that Delicieu's torture and experimentation, Delicieu's reveal that even if Prakhuta survived as a success story then it would still be for nothing because Delicieu would kill him at the end to see if the khert accepted his new soul, the fact that half his soul is literally nothing but pain and misery, his rejection and branding by other two-toes for being too much a human, and his being in so much pain that he had to warp his original goal of liberating his species into pointless genocide instead just to appease the ghosts in his mind, and it's hard not to feel sorry for the circumstances that led him to this point.
- Would Hurt a Child: With gusto, as long as it's a human child. As he puts it, his ultimate goal is to see "a toddler's head in every stock pot."
- You Are Number 6: When he drops his glamour, it's shown he has a "L12" tattooed on his forehead. A flashback reveals that he was one of many Two-Toes with such designations, and that they were all experimented on by the original Delicieu.
Starfish's right-hand man and second-in-command of the Red Berry Boys.
- Eaten Alive: Turas is eaten alive by a feral Duane.
- Even Evil Has Standards: He's uncomfortable with some of Starfish's more pointlessly sadistic actions, like forcing Matty to watch the attempted drowning of his father.
- Gayngster: Turas is a member of a band of criminals called the Red Berry Boys, who just happens to be homosexual.
- Lazy Bum: Of the moral laziness variety. According to Word of God, he'll go along with Starfish's more sadistic actions cause it's easier, but that doesn't mean he's comfortable with them. A good example is when Starfish is having Quigley drowned and forcing Matty to watch, Turas is pointedly looking away.
- Number Two: Turas is a friend of Starfish (inasmuch as anyone can be a friend of Starfish) and serves as his second-in-command. He provides intimidation and a cooler, more cerebral form of evil to contrast with Starfish's For the Evulz.
- Only in It for the Money: He's really only around for the paycheck.
- Punch-Clock Villain: Unlike the psychopathic Starfish or brutish Ephsephin, Turas just sees their operation as a job and doesn't display any malice in his acts.
- Straight Gay: Turas likes flirting with male hookers in his downtime, but is the pragmatic, level-headed Straight Man of the Red Berry Boys while on the job.
A petty thug and the first member of the Red Berry Boys that Duane and Sette encounter.
- The Brute: Ephsephin plays this role, being little more than hired muscle who prefers to beat his problems into submission.
- The Chew Toy: Ephsephin goes through more and more abuse as the comic goes on. This escalates to the point where Ephsephin gets badly injured and Starfish decides to kill him rather than make him see a doctor.
- Dumb Muscle: Not exceedingly dumb, but it's clear he was only hired to hurt people.
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Ephsephin's afraid that if he's caught, he'll be hanged in the square where his mother will see him. Word of God takes this even further, saying that his entire motivation in working for Starfish was to get a big payoff so his mother wouldn't have to break her back washing windows to provide for him.
- Grievous Bottley Harm: Starfish caves his skull in with a bottle.
- Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: It becomes hard not to feel bad for Ephsephin after a while, even though he most likely deserves all the abuse he suffers.
- Nice Hat: Ephsephin had a spiffy one, which Sette stole for a while before Ephsephin got it back.
- Stupid Crooks: Epsephin just doesn't know when to quit. Duane beats him up effortlessly, so later on he tries to capture Sette. She stabs him and runs off, so he chases her down, knocks Duane off a cliff... Sette slices his face open, and Duane climbs back up to pummel him again. Not long afterward, brimming with inexplicable confidence, he swings Sette around by her tail; she gets loose and sinks her teeth into his repeatedly-lacerated face.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: After hes wounded and begging Starfish for a doctor, Starfish responds by bashing his brains in with a bottle.
A wannabe wright who's one of the first Red Berry Boys Duane and Sette meet.
- Bus Crash: Word of God is that he was captured by the peaceguard, tortured and executed. He deserved it.
- Genre Blindness: Duane calls him out on it. Maybe attacking a mysterious stranger with unknown power who's protecting the innocent, isn't the smartest idea if you've ever been to the theatre.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Duane defeats him by turning his own pymaric against him.
- I Surrender, Suckers: He attempts to beg for his life and offers coin in exchange for his life, but really it's a ruse to sneak attack with a pymaric.
- Nice Hat: Ephsephin thinks it's nice enough to make him look like a proper wright. Bett's would-be-victim even takes it off him afterwards.
- Squishy Wizard: He's a wright, but he has no combat skills.
- Starter Villain: Bett exists pretty much to show how badass Duane is as a wright in comparison. Duane even lampshades Bett "won't see the second act."
- We Hardly Knew Ye: After his fight with Duane, Bett gets captured by the peaceguard. Word of God says he was tortured for information then subsequently hanged.
Duane's younger brother. Much cooler and more popular with the ladies than bookish Duane, Lemuel joined the military as a foot soldier as a young teenager and eventually became Vliegeng rider, a rather prestigious position for one of Lemuel's caste. Despite their differences, he and Duane love each other, but something about Lemuel isn't quite right...
- Book Dumb: He does not have the natural talent or patience for learning that Duane has, preferring to be a warrior to a wright.
- Cain and Abel: Though he wasn't directly involved in Duane's death, it is heavily implied that he was involved in the conspiracy that led to his brother's murder...though seemingly not for malicious reasons, as he took care of Duane when the latter came back as a zombie and implied that he'd be able to take him somewhere safe, until Duane fled the country one night.
- Cool Uncle: Mikaila certain thinks he is. He is seen wanting to teach her knife throwing to annoy her parents and takes her flying on his vliegeng.
- Mask of Sanity: Chapter 14 heavily implies that Lemuel later on is not as stable as he seems to be. His experiences as a teenager certainly were not for the weak of heart.
- Religious Bruiser: Just like his brother, Lemuel is a very devout Ssaelit, even though unlike Duane, he is not a priest.
- Scars Are Forever: As a teenager, Lemuel got a long scar across his face from a flying tooth of one of his friends and fellow soldiers who exploded into a shower of gore from a pymaric landmine.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: He and Duane are about as different as night and day. Lemuel is a cool warrior who is popular with all the ladies yet single, has rather long flowing hair, and may not be as sane as he appears to be. Duane is a nerdy wright who was not very popular with women until met his wife, is(was?) balding, and has generally managed to keep his sanity despite the absolute hell he's been through as a zombie. Oh, and Duane is a zombie and Lemuel isn't.
A strange man trapped in the khert and freed by Sette. He is incredibly violent and dangerous, but seems to have an uncanny knowledge of the khert and the world in general.
- Added Alliterative Appeal: Frequently employs this and other speech patterns (such as assonance) when speaking, giving his language a strangely poetic quality.
- Sublime Rhyme: Occasionally uses this as well.
- Alien Blood: Unlike most undead shown Murkoph bleeds when injured, but his blood is jet black and oily looking.
- Autocannibalism: He is shown causally shaving off a chunk of his own finger for a quick snack.
- Card-Carrying Villain: He revels in his villainous reputation and fondly reflects on being one of the most horrifying creatures in the world.
- Casting a Shadow: Occasionally seems to use an ability similar to Bastion's, becoming a streak of shadow along the ground and materializing out of it.
- The Dreaded: When Murkoph walked the physical world, he was apparently the single most feared individual to have ever lived, a fact that he is very proud of. As he puts it:Murkoph:There were a time I were the scariest godsdamned thing skinside yeh could ever imagine. The moon trembled when I passed under, shakin' the breakers t'suicide all up and down the shores've creation. Hungry and hated, Murkoph ambled from coast to cavern, across countries and counties, bein' all the gods meant the world t'be. Pain, fear, endings upon endings upon endings... heavy with every purpose and no purpose at all. Some said it were the Twins themselves sent me! Some said it were Ssael, others that I was a senet monster. A thousand legends; names; whispered imprecations precedin' me like the shadow thrown afore me by the quiverin' moon. I were shadow itself.
- Extreme Omnivore: Besides his cannibalism, he's also implied to have eaten his own clothes during his time in the khert.
- Fangs Are Evil: He has some that make him looks vaguely like a vampire. Word of God is he pried them out of a dog and kept them.
- Full-Frontal Assault: He is introduced wearing nothing but strips of cloth around his arms. Creative camera angles are the only thing preserving what could be considered his modesty.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: He gets trousers in his next appearance, becoming this.
- Horror Hunger: For flesh, which he is all too happy to indulge. Being sealed away from anything edible has made him very, very hungry.
- I'm a Humanitarian: Yes.
- Malevolent Mutilation: He's Covered in Scars and once rips open a gash on his chest for kicks. Duane tears the skin off his upper half, leaving him peevishly trying to fit it back on.
- Mysterious Past: Fans have been wildly speculating over just who and what he is. The fact that his facial scars seem to be identical to the scars that killed Ssael only adds fuel to the fire. Chapter 11 ends with Lady Ilganyag revealing they have a history together and says that an unspecified "they" turned Murkoph into the monster he is today in order to keep them apart. Murkoph has no idea what she's talking about.
- Nigh-Invulnerability: Seems to have some degree of Healing Factor; when Sette slices open one of his scars, it's perfectly healed by the next page. The fact that his body is covered in stitches seems to imply that he has also been dismembered at least once.
- Off with His Head!: His neck is encircled with stitches, implying that he's been decapitated in the past.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: He has Blood red eyes. They even seem to glow on occasion.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: Murkoph was locked in the Khert for who knows how long. This was presumably meant to lock him him away from the world. Then Sette, falling for his charm, set him free...
- Serial Killer: Heavily implied by the number of female ghosts near him, who he refers to as "old girlfriends", as well as a strong implication that he's also a rapist.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Although he mixes it with rather crass language.
- Sophisticated as Hell: He uses highly sophisticated language and poetic speech patterns, but makes liberal use of slang and vulgarities as well.
- The Undead: Appears to be, given his grey pallor and the fact that some of his body parts look like they're held on by stitches. Unlike Duane, however, he is very well-preserved.
- Villain Has a Point: After Duane gets the better of him and starts angsting over yet another horrid revelation, Murkoph berates him for it and reminds him that for all the misery and mystery that plague the former's existence, he still has the most precious thing in all the world: Life.
- Would Hurt a Child: Combined with I'm a Humanitarian — he has no qualms about taking a bite out of Sette.
An enormous crow with three pairs of breasts, Lady Ilganyag lives in the Khert and encounters both Sette and Duane during their journeys there; while Sette is initially frightened by her appearance, Lady Ilganyag seems to provide them with advice and protection, though her ability to help Sette is limited by her inability to speak her language.
She is the patron of the Black Tongues, the Mad Scientist organization many characters belong to; their very name is a reference to her, since Ilganyag means "Black Tongue" in Aldish.
- Ambiguously Evil: It's hard to know what her ultimate endgame is. She is kind and caring towards Duane whenever his soul is in the khert, yet she is controlling and vindictive towards Bastion whenever he attempts to rebel against her, going so far as to strangle him (non-fatally) with his silver torc to punish him for defiance. The only thing we seem to truly know about her is that she has a close relationship with Ssael (THE Ssael) and is looking for him within the khert.
- Dark Is Not Evil: She's an enormous, terrifying-looking crow, which made Sette initially flee from her and release Murkoph to try and get some protection. As it turned out, though, it was Lady Ilganyag who was trying to protect Sette from Murkoph, not the other way around.
- Turns out she wanted Sette to free Murkoph for her plans - but not before she made sure Sette had adequate protection first.
- Giant Flyer: She's an enormous crow, so it comes with the territory.
- Humanity Is Insane: One of her few unambiguous positions on the race.There is no more broken, irrational, and piteous an animal than man! Skulls full of hornets! A biting spider at the end of every wrist. Abandoned here with sweet ideas and screaming, unattainable desires. Again and again they see gods in themselves and capture them on paper. Across millennia I've watched these palimpsests scab and scar; they pick at them until they bleed.
- In-Series Nickname: Both Murkoph and Sette call her 'Titty-Bird', which seems to have stuck.
- The Man Behind the Man: Everything that's transpired in the comic so far - the actions of the Black Tongues, Duane, Sette, and even Murkoph - are by her design. It's still unclear what her ultimate goal is.
- Miss Fanservice: Giant harpytaur with six tits. What do you think?
- Fan Disservice: Some of her assets are outright disturbing. Example: she lactates serrated metal thorns.
- Mysterious Protector: She protects Sette and Duane when they encounter her in the khert, though her reasons aren't yet clear. She also tries to warn Sette about Murkoph.
- No Sense of Personal Space: She tends to get overly touchy-feely with anyone she shares a scene with. Duane in particular doesn't like it much, although she's gradually seducing him.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Every major event that's happened in the comic is all part of some master plan that she has to fix a mistake she once committed. Admittedly she does feel regret for what she's doing and that she's hurt so many people, but the body count is already in the tens of thousands and is likely only going to grow.
First Silver Weapon
A powerful weapon wanted by many parties and created by the Black Tongue Delicieu.
- And I Must Scream: It's made from the slaves taken by the Red Berry Boys, kept alive and in agony to serve as incubators for the First Silver. Their pain acts as a beacon to "ghosts" from the khert—memories of pain and agony—and draws them to it, making the weapon even more powerful.
- The Dragon: It acts as this to Delicieu, its creator, whom it obeys for the promise of avenging its pain upon the world.
- Eldritch Abomination: Not only does the weapon just look horrifying on its own—an abomination made of gore, hands, eyes, and thorns—but it was grown inside still-living humans and is fueled by vengeful ghosts summoned from the underlying framework of the world.
- Emotion Eater: It feeds of off negative emotions or memories of pain, anger, hate, fear and misery. The more negative emotions around, the more ghosts swarm to it, the more powerful it gets.
- Many Spirits Inside of One: The First Silver is controlled by the "ghosts"—aka painful memories of the deceased—of multiple people.
- Powered by a Forsaken Child: The humans it was created from are still alive inside it, powering it like a beating heart. Killing them weakens it, but doesn't destroy it.
- Tortured Abomination: The khert preserves memories forever, even if they're memories of terrible things. This means, memories of agony exist forever, seemingly without purpose. The First Silver is controlled by the "ghosts" created from those memories, who want to share their pain with the world.