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Comic Book / I Hate Fairyland

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Our heroine with her minion and only a handful of her victims.

I Hate Fairyland is a Fantasy Comic Book series written and drawn by Skottie Young (best known for his variant covers for Marvel Comics, adaptations of the first six Land of Oz books, and his Rocket Raccoon ongoing series) and published by Image Comics that's started October of 2015.

Once Upon a Time, there was a little six-year-old girl named Gertrude, who wished to be whisked away to a world of magic and joy. After finding herself in the aptly-named Fairyland, Gertrude wants nothing more than to find the Key that can get her home.

Sounds simple, sweet and harmless enough, right?

Well, brace yourself, because the truth of the matter is that Gertrude had been on her journey for 27 whole years. And while she looks like she hasn't aged in the slightest, her mind has been aging from the get-go. And the older her mind has gotten, the thinner her patience has become. Getting sick and tired of not getting any results as fast as she would like, she decides to beat the living fluff out of everything and everyone until she finds someone or something that can get her the hell out of Fairyland.


And all of Fairyland will feel her wrath.

Ran for three years and 20 issues with the main story closing up shop in 2018. In December 2021, Skottie Young announced that the series would be revived as a new ongoing series in Fall 2022. He also announced that he would be posting a series of short anthology comics by other creatives called The Unbelievable, Unfortunately Mostly Unreadable and Nearly Unpublishable Untold Tales of I Hate Fairyland to his personal Substack newsletter to be collected and printed at a later date.

Now has a character page. Please contribute.



  • A-Cup Angst: Gert, as she's been physically stuck looking like a six year old for so long, and hates it beyond all reason. It's telling that her Indulgent Fantasy Segue involves her looking like a buxom adult.
  • Abhorrent Admirer: Maddie in Issue #11 is Gert's self-proclaimed greatest fan, and wants to be just like her. At first, Gert is fine with this, as it's an ego booster, but over time she gets a taste of how she's viewed by everyone else. This is enough to inspire a Heel Realization on her part.
  • The Ace: Happy. Gert's taken 27 years and is still looking for the key. Happy's found it and it only took her a couple days.
  • Art Shift:
  • Author Avatar: Skottie Young admits that he modeled Gert after his experiences as an adult trapped in a child's existence, specifically dealing with the repetition and overly saccharine nature of children's shows after becoming a father.
  • Ax-Crazy: Uh, yeah. See that picture up top?
  • An Axe to Grind: Gert's signature weapon.
  • Back from the Dead: Issue #17 has Horribella resurrecting a hidden figure. Issue #18 reveals that it was Cloudia.
  • Bad Future: In Issue #10. Somehow, as a result of Gert picking the wrong one of two potential paths home, a string of natural disasters devastate Fairyland, culminating in Duncan Dragon destroying everything. Gert's future self comes back in time to warn her and prevent this.
  • Bag of Holding: Larry's hat is this. Among other things, it's held a giant magical map, a battle ax and what appears to be a young, fire-breathing dragon. When Gert ventures into the hat, she finds herself in a massive warehouse full of weapons, artifacts, and past victims.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Gert wanted to be whisked away to a fantastical world of magic and wonder as a child. Needless to say, she regrets it quickly.
    • At a pub in issue #2, she wished to be normal for one day without being under Fairyland's magical influence. Surprisingly Realistic Outcome happens. See the mentioned trope for context.
    • At the end of the story, Gert finally returns home... and quickly finds herself missing the adventures of Fairyland. She does accept it ultimately.
  • Berserk Button: Telling Gert that Fairyland is a good place. She's had exponentially more than enough, thank you.
  • Big Bad: Queen Cloudia is shaping up to be this for Gert. She's killed off by the end of the first volume... and then resurrected in Issue #17 as Dark Cloudia, who wants to destroy Fairyland.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Gertude stops Dark Cloudia and saves Fairyland, as well as forces the council to live up to their end of the bargain when they try to renege on their agreement, allowing her to finally go home after so long. However, she has to say goodbye to Larry, the one true friend she had through her quest, and, now living as an adult, is stuck in a dreary and mundane life as an office drone and practically pining to go back to Fairyland. Ultimately however, she accepts her choice to come home and goes on with her life.
  • Black Comedy: Starts off all sunshine and rainbows (at least in Gertrude's flashback). But not even a page when the series begins, blood and death follows.
  • Blah, Blah, Blah: In the very first issue, Gert gets so high on mushroom (people) that she ends up repeating "blah blah blah" for hours. A flying pig that was forced to carry her eventually said "fluff it" and tossed her into the sea.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: Than anything Skottie Young has ever done before.
  • Bookends: "Help the floor's eating me!". The first time, it's said by Gert when she was really six years old at the time and was suddenly sucked into Fairyland without her consent. The second time, it's said by Happy when Gert finishes their battle by causing a rift to form under her and cause her to fall in before closing it.
  • Boom, Headshot!: The Narrating Moon get half of his head blown off in the first issue, courtesy of Gert. It doesn't kill him oddly enough, but it does leave him without half his face for the rest of the series.
  • The Caligula: As queen, Gertrude's reign was marred by her bringing chaos and suffering throughout the land through her incompetence and insanity, resulting in her being fired from the position within a year.
  • Carnival of Killers: In Issue #15, a group of Fairyland's best mercenaries are hired to kill Gert before she can finally make her way home. They briefly argue over who gets to kill her, but that's brought to a quick resolution when they're told that they'll all be paid equally regardless of who finishes her off.
  • Cigar Chomper: Gertrude's sidekick/minion/closest thing she's probably going to have for a friend, Larry the bug.
  • Crossover: The special "I Hate Image" one-shot has Gertrude murdering her way through various Image series, including the more grounded ones such as The Walking Dead and Southern Bastards.
  • Crapsaccharine World: Fairyland. Looks like a cute and cuddly place on the outset. But some of the occupants are a tad... mature for a place like this. Death and violence are likewise no strangers to the place.
  • Create Your Own Villain: You know what we've all said about Gert being incredibly violent and evil? Thanks, Cloudia. Thanks.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Larry the bug.
  • Defeat Equals Friendship: Gertrude beats Darketh Deaddeth's minions. We're led to believe he's angry, but he's actually impressed and considers her to be like the daughter he never had.
  • Deconstructive Parody: Of the tropes common to fairy tales, fantasy and children's media. Word of God states that Gert is like a reflection of an adult dealing with the eventual annoyance they feel at the repetition and overly saccharine nature of those things.
    • At the same time, in a lot of ways there's a good bit of Truth in Television involved, since many fairy tales originally had some darker and grimmer elements to them before they were watered down as children's stories for the modern age.
  • Detonation Moon: Both the narrating moon and sun are blown to smithereens courtesy of Gert.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Cloudia is initially set up as a personal nemesis of Gert and the biggest threat to her. She's killed off by the end of #5 and her death doesn't really change much for Gert in the grand scheme of things.
  • Doomy Dooms of Doom: The Seven Deadly Dooms. They're most powerful evil beings in all of Fairyland.
  • Driven to Madness: The sheer saccharine nature of Fairyland has driven Gert past the point of mere annoyance and all the way into wholeheartedly believing Murder Is the Best Solution.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Issue #18 shows that Larry has been doing this ever since Gert was killed.
  • Everything's Better with Rainbows: Subverted - Happy shoots a rainbow-colored beam out of her hands that sends Gert flying straight through several trees.
  • Everything's Better with Samurai: Gert dresses up as one, and fights an army of mushroom people also in the outfits, in #12. Though she keeps mixing them up with ninjas.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: Horribella resurrects Cloudia as part of a scheme. This backfires on her as Dark Cloudia kills her.
  • Evil Is Petty: For a given value of evil, given that Gert exists, but... Cloudia, Cloudia, Cloudia. Instead of just doing the simplest and most practical solution to get rid of Gert (give her the key and send her back home), Cloudia strings her along and then eggs Gert on into killing her, which makes Gert the new queen and traps her there. And judging by the way Cloudia was smiling with that last taunt, she likely knew this and this was her final middle finger to Gert.
  • Expressive Hair: Queen Cloudia's hair is a cloud and can turn into a storm cloud when she's angry.
  • Expy
  • Fairyland: Where the series takes place, natch.
  • Fate Worse than Death:
    • For poor Gert. She got so overzealous in killing Cloudia that she doesn't hear what Larry was trying to tell her. By the time she's done the deed, it's too late - the key back the real world is gone and Larry lays out her mistake: If you kill the ruler, you have to take her place. Judging by the way Cloudia was smiling with that last taunt, she likely knew this and this was her final middle finger to Gert.
    • After resisting her Ironic Hell, The Devil decides that the most suitable torment for Gert, rather than an ironic hell, would be to force her to endlessly relive her adventure in Fairyland from the beginning.
  • Fat Bastard: The Slug Lord, who is a Jabba the Hutt parody.
  • Fauns and Satyrs: Zombie ones in #2.
  • Fight Unscene:
    • At the end of Issue #1, Gert faces down a barbarian who's been sent to kill her. Start of Issue #2, Gert's sitting in a bar, using the barbarian's severed head like a hand puppet.
    • Likewise, at the end of Issue #2, which had a village of zombified fauns closing in on Gertrude and Larry. Issue #3 opens with her coming out victorious without us seeing the battle.
  • Flipping the Bird: Gert does it to the reader in the title pages of the first volume.
  • Foot Popping: A more innocent version. Gert occasionally does this when she's excited, or trying to lull someone into underestimating her. It might qualify as a character tic for her.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!:
    • Gert winds up as the new queen of Fairyland. Cloudia herself can count as well, as she not only let Gert's rampage go on for some time, but she seems to have lost her mind too, and she lets Gert kill her so as to trap Gert in Fairyland, condemning her subjects to a life with Gert as the new queen.
    • And indeed, in Issue 6, Gert was awful at the job, with several people dead and the whole world going down the toilet in general. She's fired a year later.
  • Godzilla Threshold: In Issue #18, the High Council of Fairyland decides that Dark Cloudia is such a threat that they have no choice but to resurrect Gert.
  • Gorn: Hope you take pleasure in seeing cutesy fantasy characters getting beaten, pounded, and shot at so much so that you can make out their body parts, because there's plenty of that to be had here.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!:
  • Grotesque Cute: The bright and colorful Fairyland is being utterly decimated into blood and organs.
  • Handwraps of Awesome: Larry wraps these on Gert's hands for the Tower of Battle crucible.
  • Happiness Is Mandatory: Larry asks Gert at one point why she hates Fairyland so much, when it's literally a dream come true for every other child who goes there. Gert in a moment that stuns Larry with how profound it is says that her problem is the lack of choice. Fairyland might be fun, but it's fun that you're obligated to have. When you're obligated to do something, even if its something you enjoy, then you eventually start to resent and hate it.
  • Head-in-the-Sand Management: The High Council of Fairyland's standard response to major threats is to hide underground and wait to see how things play out.
  • Heel Realization: Gert in Issue #11, after dealing with Maddie and realizing how she comes across to everyone else.
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Take a guess.
  • Hope Spot: The start of Issue #4, Larry thinks Gert has finally been killed after being blasted through several trees by Happy. However as the narrator goes into the tale, Larry realizes that Gert's still alive and responds to this by shooting the narrator in annoyance.
  • Idiot Ball: Queen Cloudia. Instead of actually just helping Gertrude when it became obvious she was having trouble performing the tasks needed to get the key, her ultimate solution is to try and murder Gertrude via trapping her in Fairyland forever rather than just give Gert the key and spare everyone a whole lotta trouble.
  • Improbable Infant Survival: Somewhat averted. When Gertrude first came to Fairyland, she was six at the time and wound up falling from the sky onto concrete with very noticeable bruises such as a black eye, broken teeth and a bone sticking out of her arm (Amusing Injuries might be in effect in this case). However, Happy never seems to suffer any injuries, even in her second fight with Gertrude, save being dropped down into an open pit and it being closed afterward.
  • Ironic Hell: In Issue #16, Gert's first hell is apparently finding herself finally back home, with no time having passed in the real world, before her parents turn into monsters. When all this does is piss her off and she declares her intent to escape, the devil responds by sticking her in a "Groundhog Day" Loop of all her time in Fairyland.
  • It's a Wonderful Plot: Issue #13 has Larry dreaming of what his life would have been like if he hadn't met Gert.
  • It Only Works Once: The prophecy says the key will only work for the one child that uses it first.
  • Jar Potty: In Issue #6, after barricading herself in a room with no toilet, Gert starts storing her pee in bottles. The poor bottles are alive, and can taste it.
  • Jerkass: Yeah, Gertrude is no saint, but some of the so called "goodie-good" inhabitants of Fairyland aren't exactly paragons of morality either, especially its so-called leader, Queen Cloudia. Cloudia could've actually just helped Gertrude when it became obvious she was having trouble performing the tasks needed to get the key. So you think just speeding up the process would've been a better option and save everyone a headache. Instead, Cloudia ultimately just sits back and lets all this happen for years on end until she too got fed up, but rather than just give Gert the key to finally get rid of her, Cloudia's solution is to exercise a loophole in Fairyland's laws to trap Gert in Fairyland forever so as to finally be able to kill Gert. And when that plan fails, Cloudia eggs Gert on into killing her, which, by decree of Fairyland law, makes Gert the new queen of Fairyland, which is only bound to lead to horrific consequences for everyone. It honestly says something when one of the designated "villains" of the land, Darketh Deaddeath, turned out to be more helpful than Cloudia ever was.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Justified, as living in Fairyland for 27 years has driven Gert mad.
  • Kill It with Fire:
    • After getting fired from her position as Queen of Fairyland, Gert is told by Harriet Winter to tidy the place up. Gert's response is to blow the castle up. Larry mildly calls her out on this, with Gert retorting that some things can only be cleansed with fire.
    • This is Larry's initial suggestion to meeting Maddie.
  • Little Miss Badass: Gertrude, even though she's Older Than She Looks.
  • Loophole Abuse: As a guest of Fairyland, the rulers of Fairyland can't simply kill Gert as she is outright immune to their magic. However, they decide that if they bring in another child and she manages to complete the quest, then Gert will be stuck as a citizen and they'll be free to actually punish her.
  • Lower-Deck Episode: Issue 17 focuses entirely on Duncan and Horribella. Gertrude and Larry don't appear even once.
  • Macguffin:
    • The Key that can get Gertrude back home.
    • Parodied by name at one point. While she was queen of Fairyland, Gert actually did something smart in getting several "volunteers" to comb through the royal library for any other path back to her home world. It turned up several possible results, all printed on a piece of parchment made by Macguffin Paper Co.
  • Madden Into Misanthropy: Gert. She's been stuck in a nauseatingly cute world for twenty-seven years, unable to grow up physically.
  • Magical Profanity Filter: The world of Fairyland has magical anti-swearing properties, frustrating Gert to no end whenever she tries to swear.
  • Missing Child: While the story is mostly comedic, Gert does bring up that she misses her parents. So one has to wonder how they reacted to her going missing out of the blue. Happy also seemingly (maybe) being killed before she can go back home probably will make most cringe when you think about her parents too.
  • Mushroom Samba: Literally, when Gert cannibalizes some anthropomorphic mushrooms and starts tripping out.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: Then again, Gert doesn't seem to actually be able to comprehend any other solutions...
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Darketh Deaddeath, one of the seven Deadly Dooms.
  • Narrative Profanity Filter:
    • In-Universe. Gert can't get out a fluffer-lovin' swear due to some magical anti-swearing property of fairyland, though this is never remarked upon. It only comes to our attention once she escapes. Untold Tales revealed that there was a group of mages in Fairyland whose sole task was to maintain an enchantment to filter profanity into "cutesy crap."
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • Gert had beaten Happy, gotten the key and finally could just leave. She only literally had to take two steps and her quest would be over. Then Cloudia insulted her one more time and Gert couldn't resist flaying her alive with her new power. This turned out to be a trick however, as since Gert had killed her, this left her trapped in Fairyland as its new ruler per the laws of the land.
    • In issue 13, Gert massacres a village of Mushroom Men to "rescue" a baby, in order to find redemption. As it turns out the Mushroom Men were protecting the baby, who gets eaten by it's supposed mother.
  • Not Growing Up Sucks: Having the mind of a grown adult woman and being stuck with the body of a six-year-old has left Gert deeply bitter, as she can't indulge in certain adult activities. Then, at the end, when Gert finally is able to return back home, Growing Up Sucks comes into play, as she misses the old adventures she had and now has to live a mundane life, though she does accept it.
  • Nothing but Skulls: Darketh Deaddeath not only has a throne made entirely out of skulls, but his armor consists of various skull-shaped pieces all over his body.
  • Older Than She Looks: Gertrude, who looks 6, but is actually in her thirties.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Dark Cloudia wants to utterly destroy Fairyland.
  • Orcus on His Throne: Discussed. Gert wants to be an evil queen, but is disappointed to learn that the mooks do all the dirty work.
  • Origins Episode: Issue #13 is this for Larry, as he dreams about his childhood and schooling, learning to become a guide. Though it ends up veering into It's a Wonderful Plot territory as it shows what would have happened if he hadn't met Gert.
  • Pet the Dog: At one point during a Zombie Apocalypse, Gert accidentally kills a completely Innocent Bystander, for which she is genuinely contrite. Granted, she keeps killing everything else around her except Larry, but she honestly hadn't meant to kill that man.
  • Precision F-Strike: The final line of the series has a now-adult Gert declaring "Fuck Fairyland".
  • Psychopathic Womanchild: Gert. Though she's been stuck looking like a 6-year-old, being separated from her parents for 27 years, stuck in a maddeningly cute world, and getting turned into a giant diabetic tumor at one point, which was... unhelpful. To say the least.
  • Rage Against the Author: "Fluff the World" from Untold Tales has an adult Gert, who has become disillusioned with the real world, discovering a copy of I Hate Fairyland at a comic store and traveling to Kansas City to confront Skottie Young over the situation he's put her in and threatens him into writing a new story where she returns to Fairyland. Subverted in the end when it's revealed that the story was likely just a fantasy she made up during therapy.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Darketh Deaddeth, one of the seven dooms is far more reasonable to deal with than any of the supposed "good people" of Fairyland. He doesn't speak in vague riddles. When Gertrude asks to borrow his power, he agrees provided she can defeat his monsters in what is probably the most straightforward task she's had to pull in years. When she fulfills her end of the bargain, he's legitimately happy to give her what she wanted.
  • Redemption Quest: After her Heel Realization, Gert goes on one to relearn how to be good.
  • Regal Ringlets: Gert has several giant green drills in pigtails. When she grows a beard while knocked out, the beard also grows into ringlets.
  • Revenge Before Reason: After failing to have Gert killed twice, Queen Cloudia decides to try and make Gert a permanent citizen so she can legally torture her herself, rather than try to get her out of Fairyland as soon as possible so she can't cause anymore damage.
  • Running Gag:
    • Narrators are not safe around Gert. Even if they're the moon. Especially if they're the moon.
    • People reminding Cloudia of the laws of the land when she tries to kill Gertrude directly. Eventually starts turning into a Berserk Button for her.
  • Sequel Hook: Issue #5 ends with Gertrude as the new queen of the land, likely still wielding the doom power she was given and more than likely has to deal with the consequences her rampage has wrought. Happy likewise was last seen falling into a chasm but not exactly killed and, if Gert and hers last battle was any indication, she's a fast learner when it comes to new powers. Not to mention how the Council of Fairyland and its inhabitants will respond to their new ruler, seeing that they agreed to Cloudia's plan in the first place. Downplayed when the following issue quickly resolves it, with Gert getting fired for doing a bad job and causing a lot of destruction both in and out of Fairyland. Once she's no longer queen, Gert immediately gets back into the business of trying to find a way back home.
  • Servile Snarker: Larry is clearly fed up with Gertrude's antics but for whatever reason still cares about her well-being and remains by her side ready to help bail her out of sticky situations.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Skewed Priorities: In Issue #18, a mouse questions why Duncan is talking to himself. Another mouse points out that, with Dark Cloudia in the middle of destroying the world, maybe that's not something they should be focusing on.
  • Sugar Apocalypse:
    • What Fairyland will be like once Gert gets through it.
    • A more widespread instance happens near the end courtesy of Dark Claudia.
  • Sugar Bowl: How Fairyland is described as at first.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • After drinking a magic beer, Gert wishes to be a grown up for one day. Unfortunately, she failed to take into account that she's been living on a sugar-based diet for the last twenty-seven years. So Gert ends up looking like a morbidly obese blob for a whole day, which is a serious understatement. In Larry's words, she was suffering from Type-nineteen diabetes.
    • Gert is taken from her loving home and sent to a saccharine hell for twenty-seven years, a place full of monsters that eat children, adults who are useless at best or outright murderous at worst, and where most authority figures are little better than violent thugs or uncaring jerks. In that time, she has had no parental guidance, and while her body hasn't aged, she has continued to develop mentally, leaving her in a state comparable to Baby Doll from Batman: The Animated Series - an adult in a child's body. However, when children grow up with no parental figures to show them right or wrong, have been left with little to no guidance both morally and ethically, and have been left to mature in an environment that is unloving, and often outright hostile to them, they tend to grow up to be mentally unhinged. Gert is a terrifyingly realistic result of her environment. Her horrific, nightmarish, toxic environment.
  • Sweet Tooth: Unavoidable in Fairyland. The typical Fairyland diet is nothing but sugar, sugar and more sugar. Fortunately the magic of the world allows them to live on such a diet without becoming severely diabetic, though Gert had to learn that the hard way when she accidentally wished to be normal for a whole day.
  • Tempting Fate: Cloudia taunting Gert as the latter was finally going home led to her first death. Gert killing Cloudia was something she wanted to do for a long time, but it led to her being trapped in Fairyland even longer and becoming its queen.
  • Trapped in Another World: And Gert really wants to get the hell out of there.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Well, yes and no - Gert walks a thin line between this, a Butt-Monkey, and a Jerkass Woobie. On the one hand, she's been through a Trauma Conga Line and she makes it clear that not seeing her parents for thirty years has her Driven to Madness. On the other, she's so murderous and sociopathic she probably deserves whatever comeuppance she gets. Then again she never seems to kill wantonly, only those that really get in her way or truly annoy her (she did give the moon a warning after all). So think of her as a pint-sized, cutesy version of Kratos.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Issue #1 makes it clear that Gertrude was much sweeter when she was actually 6 and didn't just look like it.
  • Villain Protagonist: Gert, though the people she fights aren't exactly much nicer either.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Gert and Larry. Overtly, they can't seem to stand each other, but there are hints here and there that they do care. The best being Larry actually crying when Gert dies.
  • Welcome to Hell: Happy (later revealed to just be the Devil taking her form) greets Gert with this at the end of Issue #15.
  • With This Herring: Gertrude was told that her quest would only take "two shakes of a bogglezig", AKA about a day, and was given Larry and a Map before being sent off on her way. From what can be gathered, a lot of her failures seem to come from how she's either really bad at figuring out the riddles presented or that she's never given useful clues/information since Happy manages to make more progress in a day than she has in 27 years.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Gert does call Cloudia out on the fact that she more or less kidnapped Gert from her home and threw her into a quest with only the bare minimum of what she needed and never once tried to help her when she was struggling, instead going right into Revenge Before Reason. Cloudia doesn't listen though.
  • Wham Shot: Issue #15 has two close together. First, Gert accidentally kills herself. Then the issue ends with her confronting the new apparent Big Bad, Happy, who's now the ruler of Hell (though the next issue reveals this to just be the Devil).
  • Yank the Dog's Chain:
    • Granted, she brought it on herself with her rashness, but Gert was literally one step away from finally being able to get back home, and then she has to kill Cloudia, which traps her in Fairyland as its new queen.
    • In Issue #15, the now-purified Gertrude was also steps from actually finishing her quest before tripping and falling, thus dying from the lollipop she was eating.
  • You Kill It, You Bought It: Gert kills Queen Cloudia, which, by Fairyland law, makes her the new queen.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: Cloudia hires a witch named Horribella to kill Gertrude and her plan to do so involved turning a village full of fauns into zombies. Doesn't work, as Gert is too much of a One-Man Army that they hardly slow her down.