Louise needed a Familiar that resembled her, so that she could prove herself to be a Mage. So what better way to represent herself, than a small being filled with the Void?
A Familiar Void tells the story of how Louise Françoise le Blanc de la Vallière summons the Knight as her familiar, not long after the latter sacrificed itself in order to defeat the Radiance. Thus begins the journey of a mage and her familiar as the once-normal life of a school student changes and finding themselves in the middle of convoluted event after event, which started more than a thousand years ago.
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A Familiar Void provides examples of:
- Accidental Murder:
- When Louise summons the Knight after its demise, she believes that she accidentally killed her would-be familiar by her explosion. It is soon fixed when she kissed its mask.
- Bug almost did this to Louise, as It not understanding what regular people need to survive means that when Louise fell face down into a large puddle and was drowning because she was too exhausted to move, it did nothing to save her because it didn't understand she needed air.
- Adaptational Nice Guy: Louise's relationship with her familiar is much friendlier compared to one in canon. While she's a bit harsh on the Knight at first, it takes a short amount of time for her to grow a heart on it, and even then, she's far nicer to Bug than she ever was with Saito. This especially becomes the case after she hears on how the Knight (and its "sibling") were born, where she transitions to being a protective Mama Bear.
- Ambiguously Human:
- Void mages begin to take on aspects of their familiars the longer they are contracted, becoming less human as they do so.
- Come post-Albion and after she was healed from her wounds from the Hollow Knight, Louise now has two massive holes in her torso that have been replaced with a Void material exactly like Vessels' bodies.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: How the fight with the Hollow Knight goes in Albion. When the Hollow Knight near-fatally wounds Louise, it is on the receiving end from one ragingly pissed off Bug once it taps into its Void powers.
- Demonic Possession: What appears to be the Radience possesses Montmorency to talk with the Nightmare King in Chapter 31.
- The Dreaded: Louise's familiars become this to the other students at the Tristain Academy due to their creepy appearance and abilities.
- Extreme Doormat:
- Vessels will listen to their masters above all else. Though, they'll need to be reined in from time to time due to their inherent curiosity, such as Bug's need to explore and make maps on everything.
- Played for Drama in Chapter 18, when Louise finally asks Bug and Sib about their history and they tell her about the Pale King's creation of the Vessels and how so many where abandoned and left for dead.Sib: The Pale King Wanted a Vessel To Fight An Ancient Enemy.
Bug: A VESSEL WITH NO MIND TO THINK
NO WILL TO BREAK
NO VOICE TO CRY OUT IN SUFFERING
- For Want of a Nail:
- Rather than summoning Saito, Louise summons the Knight, a Vessel "born of God and Void." It is then revealed that the Vessel is the default familiar of a Void mage, as seen how Pope Vittorio has the Hollow Knight as his familiar, and ancient texts on Void familiars shows and talks about other Vessels and their powers, calling them "Void Vessels".
- At least Tristain knows about the existence of the Bugs of Hallownest, with some of them working as merchants and guards.
- There's a torch in Albion, similar to the one used by the Knight to summoned the Grimm Troupe.
- Instead of going to Albion with Guiche and Wardes, Louise goes to the floating island with the Knight, Sib, Montmorency, and Agnes. Kirche and Tabitha are following them from behind though.
- Giver of Lame Names: Louise names her familiar Bug because it looks like a bug and its sibling Sib because its a sibling to her familiar. Kirche even calls her out on how unimaginative her names are.
- A Lizard Named "Liz": Louise gives the Knight "Bug" as its name. When they find another Vessel inside the school's vault, Louise names it "Sib" from the word "Sibling."
- Mama Bear: Louise is enraged when she hears how the Pale King mistreated the vessels and swears that she will protect them from harm.
- Mistaken Identity: Bug and Sib are initially pegged as Water Spirits due to their malleable nature and due to the fluid void essence that came out of Louise's wand at the Summoning ritual.
- My Beloved Smother: Downplayed from Louise towards Bug and Sib. Her overprotectiveness is brought about by a combination of her lack of understanding of their abilities, and Bugs tendency to get into trouble.
- No-Sell: The Hollow Knight is summoned as the Vindálfr, allowing it control over animals and magical creatures, including other Vessels. It used this power on Sib to bring it to Hollow Knight, but was stopped. It then tried to do the same to Bug, but it had absolutely no effect due to Bug's inner Void God preventing it and causing the Hollow Knight to go unconscious.
- Not So Different: Louise realizes this when she asks about Bug's goal, and Bug states it wants to reach the Sun (not knowing the real reason Bug wants to reach the Sun).Louise continued to laugh, "Such high goals for a small creature." Her laughter died down as the words registered in her mind.
"I guess you really are my Familiar."
Even here she was looked down on due to her lack of abilities, her dream as a Mage just seem less and less possible.
Yet in her hands right now was a small Water Spirit that wanted to reach the hottest object in existence, probably not even knowing that it would evaporate on the spot just by coming close. But it was still trying, the map it was making grew each time it moved about the school.
- Offing the Offspring: Louise is understandably horrified when she hears about the thousands of Bug and Sib's fellow siblings that the Pale King threw to their deaths or left for dead because they didn't meet his necessary standards to fight the Radiance, not even granting them a name and promptly forgetting about them.Louise's heart hammered in her chest. "How?" She asked "How could have your father kill so many of his children?"
Bug looked her in the eye.
NO COST TOO GREAT.
- Oh, Crap!:
- One of the maids in the school sings the same song that Myla sang as she succumbed to the Infection.
- Guiche's familiar shows signs that it is being infected by the same Infection that plagued Hallownest.
- Played for Laughs when Louise learns that Bug and Sib's parent is someone known as the "Pale King," which causes her to panic and think she kidnapped a prince. Bug and Sib clear this misunderstanding up before she can panic further.
- A loyalist of Albion dreams of how the Grimm Troupe appears, signaling the end of the kingdom.
- A conversation with Troupe Master Grimm reveals that Montmorency is secretly the host for the Radiance, who has survived its final battle against Bug.
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Bug is so powerful that its Void God form can utterly wreck the Hollow Knight. In terms of height according to the author, it and Sib are only about three feet tall at most.
- Power of the Void: Due to Bug's more knowledgeable nature as a creature of the Void, Louise is able learn to perform Void spells earlier than in canon. However, she has yet to perform a true Void spell from either Hollow Knight or her home series, and instead uses the Void to vastly empower regular spells from the other four elements.
- Smarter Than You Look: It's commented early on that despite Bug's silence and Extreme Doormat tendencies, it's actually rather smart, having mapped out the entire school and helped Guiche locate his familiar. They even comment that it's more intelligent than they give it credit for.
- Telepathy: Louise can hear Bug and Sib's voices in her head when they talk to her, but only if she's in physically contact with their bodies. Otherwise they seem completely silent.
- Unstoppable Rage: When the Hollow Knight lethally stabs Louise and throws her into a wall, Bug experiences the emotions of anger and sadness at the idea of Louise dying and being hurt when she's been so kind to it, causing the Knight to transform into its Void god form and brutally beat its opponent to near-death. The only reason the Knight didn't finish the job was due to Kirche making it focus on Louise's near death. Crosses over with Tranquil Fury because Bug is The Voiceless and cannot emote.
- The Voiceless: The Vessels are incapable of talking. Louise finds out that she could communicate with them if she touches them.
- "Well Done, Daughter!" Girl: Louise desperately wants her mother to be proud of her.
- Wham Line: In Chapter 18, when Louise asks for Bugs real name, Sib responds with:
- What Is This Feeling?: Void Vessels can't understand emotions, not even their own, so Bug can't understand its love for its siblings and Master, its worry over Louise, or its Unstoppable Rage when its own sibling lethally stabs Louise and throws her into a wall.