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Literature / Mirror World

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"Don't think, don't talk, don't question."

Mirrorworld is a horror-fantasy web novel written by Scraggle and the first of the Inopticus duology.

Out on an early morning walk in the city of Calgary, the arbitrary whims of Vita—a sullen young girl forced to grow up too fast because of the situation her and her father were left in thanks to the departure of her mother—lead her to a strange mirror in an alley that ends up trapping her on the other side. With no conception of what's what in this new, reflected world called Inoptica, and targeted by strange, eldritch monsters under the oversight of an all-powerful, mysterious otherworldly horror called the krylyrk, Vita ends up meeting the not-quite-human denizens of Inoptica at the guidance of an enigmatic presence on her phone simply called "Cheshire." With Cheshire's guidance leading her deeper and deeper into the mysteries of a mad world on the edge of war, Vita has to find a way home only aided by her eccentric new companions and Cheshire—and fast, for the longer she stays, the more of her humanity fades away.

It can be read here. There is a prequel called Clawing at Glass.

The work contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Affably Evil:
    • Korva, the Pitchwraith, is genteel and polite when Vita and Wiggy arrive, even though he's the leader of Noon's mortal enemies, has calmly watched the death of hundreds of people unfold as a result of his Dragon-in-Chief's (admittedly unintended) assassination of Volte and allowed for Syrile's devoiding experiments (if for a cause in the interest of all parties involved).
    • Cheshire, while not exactly "evil" so much as utterly draconian in what it considers normal, is incredibly cheerful and friendly with Vita and all the others, and sincere in its misguided attempts to give the "ants" something better.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Everyone adopts "Vee" almost instantly for Vita, and Wigavat is mostly called "Wiggy" or "Earwig" by those close to her.
  • Alice Allusion: Tons of them, starting with many of the fantastic creatures being named after those from Lewis Carroll works (Vita's guide is "Cheshire," the "pet" Brood Geiger's pack keep is called a bandersnatch, etc.). This even becomes a minor plot point when Cheshire sends Vita the full text of Jabberwocky, and Vita realizes that while she should remember it from Earth, she can't.
  • Alien Blood: Only Vita bleeds red in Inoptica. The others have varying shades of blood—orange for the day-vamps, white for the wing-sages, and black for the night-claws, creating a rather nasty palette at the battle at House Dusk.
  • And I Must Scream:
    • The fate of some luckless bastards who get taken by the seed-ghouls; the seed-ghouls grow over their bodies until they're completely sealed within the wood, while the seed-ghoul uses their body to walk around as they're trapped within. Axel and Gayle are the first to fall victim to this, and Vita witnesses the former ensnared with her own eyes.
    • Syrile's experiments leave those affected as twisted abominations totally stripped of their humanity but retaining conscious, thinking minds, leaving them alive and awake as they suffer unfathomable agony. If they die, Syrile brings them back all over again to keep experimenting on them.
  • Another Dimension: Inoptica, another, strange parallel dimension to Earth and the domain of an Eldritch Abomination called the krylyrk. It's a reflection of Earth in many ways—but it's noted to be an imperfect reflection.
  • Arc Words: Numerous, all from Cheshire's riddles and what exactly they mean:
    • "Don't think, don't talk, don't question."
    • "Blackened lie/liiiie."
    • "Beware the man who isn't."
  • Author Appeal: Eldritch horrors, creepily unexplained situations, female teenage protagonists with an edge to them? Anyone who's read The Never Mythos and The Heaven Cycle may not be surprised.
  • A World Half Full: Inoptica is an Eldritch Location where those trapped lose their humanity and either regress to horrific abominations or turn into not-quite-human entities, all of which seem want to kill each-other. But even when they do inevitably break out into full-out war, Vita convinces her small gang of True Companions to stand with her in the tiny but existent chance of gaining some kind of solution, even in the acknowledgement she'll never be able to make the world a perfect or even peaceful place.
    Vita: "Maybe this is all a long shot. But... but even if we can't fix it all, or even most of it... I'm not going to sit and watch it break itself further. Not anymore. If we can do something, anything–it needs to be done. We have that responsibility."
  • Back from the Dead:
    • The bandernsnatch's odd blood is capable of bringing people back to life, with Syrile exploits in his "devoiding" experiments, bringing numerous back from the grave repeatedly in an attempt to strip away their humanity. Zeil is the only successful result of these experiments.
    • The entire story eventually builds up to Volte's resurrection, as Sorin Reiner, with his humanity and memories of his human life restored (and more) instead of taken.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Geiger is initially led on as the "man who isn't," with events having reduced him to a Humanoid Abomination. Turns out that isn't the case, and that Volte is actually said "man who isn't" when he returns as something more than human with the krylyrk within him.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: 'Yearning for a life beyond making ends meet' leads Vita into quite the disturbing situations...
  • Become a Real Boy: One of the foremost causes of all conflict in the story: as early as one of the first chapters, Aile reprimands Zeil for wanting to resolve his problems "like people," for increasingly apparent reasons. The Long Talon plot, the deal between Wydel and Volte, all of Cheshire's manipulations, and all the subsequent misery caused by the fallout of these clashing plots is all caused by their masterminds wanting to become human.
  • Big Bad: Everything in the story comes back to the krylyrk, the mysterious, eldritch force behind the titular dimension serving simultaneously as the main source of conflict. Eventually, the notion of there being a central source of the conflict is subverted; neither the krylyrk/Cheshire or Sorin intended absolutely any of the fallout that happens from their planning, which causes a series of miscommunications between the Houses that topple over like dominoes with no real one person at the center of it all. Vita points out that even if Cheshire brought them all here in the first place, the radically differentiating plans and conflict between everyone is just as much at fault.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Volte is Wiggy's elder brother and committed to protecting her.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • For all her previous cowardice and fear, Vita steps up to destroy a seed-ghoul and rescue Geiger and Wigavat.
    • Wigavat returns the favor in chapter 18, attacking a Brood to rescue Vita.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Thousands are needlessly dead, Geiger sacrifices his life as the only way to stop the insane night-claw Zeil, and the krylyrk is returning to solitude once again, but it does so at peace with its own existence and allows everyone to go back home to Earth. Everyone left returns to their lives changed for the better, and the krylyrk ends the story beginning to create a new world.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: The krylyrk's overall goal is to transcend this: a being that considers "topsy-turvy" to be its own sense of normal, Inoptica and all the people it's brought there is born out of its desire to study humanity and eventually become more like them so it could have something more than the "nothing" it has now. Sadly, its misguided attempts to do this go about as well as one would expect, and Vita only reaches Cheshire by the end by convincing it it doesn't need to be human and it never will be—and there's nothing wrong with that.
  • Body Horror: Loads:
    • The members of the Brood are often prominent examples of this. The red beast that chases Vita in the beginning is described in sickening terms as something melded together and that should not exist, and the bandersnatch has human eyes on a grotesquely inhuman body to name a few.
    • Syrile's experiments have left the people he's brought back worse than they were left off, with dead people brought back twisted in-between humanoid forms and the monstrous mutations of the Brood, with one described as a living carpet of fleshy moss.
    • The change itself as people lose their humanity in Inoptica is no less horrifying: Vita witnesses the last moments of the woman who became the bandersnatch horribly transforming and her own bones shifting in her body to become something else, and she later on witnesses how Wiggy got her wings—when they grew by tearing out of her back.
    • Geiger's slow degradation caused by the bandersnatch venom has an awful physical effect on him, causing his own tissue to warp and shift involuntarily while causing him horrible pain in the process. His tears become black, his orange blood becomes glossy and tainted, and his body attempts to "repair" damage by shifting painfully into a series of imperfect, spiraling scars.
  • Came Back Wrong: Everyone "devoided" by Syrile, corpses he's injected with bandersnatch blood to bring them back to life to bring them back as something not quite human. Most of them come back as horrid blends between human and Brood.
  • Cheer Them Up with Laughter: Plucky Girl Aile loves to cheer people up and make them smile. Especially Vita, whenever her pessimistic and self-loathing tendencies cause her to doubt and demean herself.
  • Cheerful Child: For a little bat-winged creature, Wiggy is just precious and lets nothing get her perkiness down.
  • The Chosen One: Chapter 19 reveals Vita has been brought to Inoptica to be the slayer of the krylyrk and the one to liberate Inoptica.
  • Curse Cut Short: Dreya cuts herself off entering the heat of battle with House Dusk:
    "You scavenger sons of—"
  • The Cutie: Wiggy is about ten, with batlike wings and features who still manages to be utterly adorable and cheerful.
  • Cycle of Revenge: The Houses are locked in endless struggle and nobody can remember who struck the first blow. It's just an endless cycle of bloodshed and misery between them. Vita eventually realizes this is the reason why Inoptica simply will never come to peace, and convinces Cheshire to let everyone go back to Earth instead of keeping them trapped and perpetually fighting within Inoptica.
  • Dark Fantasy: Quite a bit more so than the usual Down the Rabbit Hole story, with a mysterious Eldritch Location prowling with horrifying monsters and bizarre, vampiric humanoids as the main setting and a grim, foreboding atmosphere over it all.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Vita gradually reveals pieces of her unhappy past involving her parents splitting apart, and she refuses to dwell on it overmuch.
  • Death of Personality: The absolute worst case for someone who ends up stuck in Inoptica; for all those who end up morphing into the not-quite-human members of the Houses, staying any longer will result in the degradation of a human body into that of a monster and their human personality completely vanishing.
    It wasn't mere death; it was cessation. The last, shredded remains of whatever identity Aze Bézier had retained, for however long she'd lasted after she'd crossed the mirror, had been gone for years.
  • Death World: Inoptica, more specifically the Wilt where the Houses are, is introduced as an enigmatic, dangerous world full of hungry, aggressive eldritch abominations, and that's between the Houses full of people you won't know are interested in helping or killing you until they act on it.
  • Decoy Antagonist: Subverted with Zeil. He's introduced as the biggest threat in Inoptica sans the krylyrk itself, with a long grudge against the House Vita ends up joining and particular designs on Vita's life, only to be unceremoniously killed in chapter ten. Then the devoiding brings him back, and returns right to his old self by engaging in an extermination war with Noon and Midnight.
  • Didn't Think This Through:
    • Vita's attempts at becoming an Action Girl don't quite go as planned: Vita manages to take down a seed-ghoul, but she endures a near-fatal injury in the process.
    • Cheshire's naive belief everything will be instantly harmonious when it brings everyone to Wonderland is shattered when its prisoners snap and rebel against it for how poorly they've been treated.
  • Down the Rabbit Hole: Vita is a young teenage girl going on a dark journey to another dimension where people therein slowly become less and more than human and must learn to either cope or escape.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: Korva is the leader of House Dusk, but he doesn't lift a finger to control the bloodlust of his second-in-command Zeil. Zeil's murder of Volte was the only action of his that wasn't planned, which leads to Zeil's Karmic Death; when Zeil's brought back, he's put on a tighter leash for the endgame of Korva's plans, and when Korva is removed from the picture by Wydel, Zeil promptly engages in a war of extermination brought on by Noon and Midnight.
  • The Dreaded:
    • The krylyrk is a mysterious and terrifying entity whose 'blackened gaze' dominates Inoptica.
    • To the other Houses, Dawn is the most dreaded, being the oldest and most powerful of everything within the Wilt, with the seed-ghouls being indomitable botanical abominations that can quash the efforts of the other Houses with almost zero effort. When they get involved and attack House Noon and Midnight, the game changes.
  • Dropped Glasses: Inoptica being the Death World it is, Vita's glasses fly off a few times, particularly when she's attempting to get dangerous.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Everyone still alive is returned to their worlds and times, affected and changed, but many better for it, with them resolving not to forget one another. Vita returns home with a new optimism to face the future, as Cheshire begins to thread a new world with a new understanding of people.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The krylyrk is an all-powerful ultimate evil that can see you even if you think of its name, ruling over the Eldritch Location of Inoptica and slowly robbing all those it traps in its world through mirrors of anything even resembling humanity. This extends to its servants, the Brood; the first Vita encounters (the red, multi-limbed beast) is barely comprehensible to her and nearly breaks her mind.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Zeil is quite upset his 'Pye' was taken from him, and he cares no less for Aiken and Reva, and the other members of House Dusk.
  • Enemy Mine:
    • Noon and Midnight are normally immensely chilly to another, with the friendship between Volte and Psyka being the only major connection between them in populations fraught with Fantastic Racism, but when Zeil assassinates Volte, Dreya and Psyka ally together to take mutual revenge on Dusk and completely exterminate them.
    • This is Korva's ultimate goal: sick of the constant war between the Houses and having only allowed it for the convenience of his goal of finding a solution to escaping Inoptica, Korva aims to offer Noon, Midnight, and even Dawn the chance to escape with him back to Earth.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Everyone is revolted by Syrile's experiments.
  • Fangs Are Evil: Zeil seems to have a nasty set of chompers and he's not exactly a nice fellow, with the sharp teeth only enhancing it.
  • Family-Unfriendly Violence: Generally a lot less violent than other stories from the creator—when violence happens, Alien Blood is applied. Vita nearly bleeding to death in the sixteenth chapter and the flashback to Wiggy's wings literally tearing through and out of Wiggy's back while she's still a human child complete with "gallons of blood" doesn't quite fall under that umbrella.
  • Fantastic Racism: Brimming between the Houses. The day-vamps and the wing-sages tolerate each other at best (notably, while Volte and Psyka are friends, their respective number twos Dreya and Regor are sniping at each other with barely disguised contempt), tension between them and the night-claws eventually ignites into a war caused by one of them assassinating Volte, and everyone seems to hate and fear the seed-ghouls and avoid interacting with them.
  • Fantastic Slurs: Every House seems to have their own little slurs for each other. Of only a few instances, Zeil dismissively calls day-vamps and the wing-sages "Noonies" and "moon-scum," "tree-rats" seems to be an all-purpose one for the seed-ghouls—who in turn throw "percher" at the wing-sages—and even the otherwise more tolerant Aile viciously calls Zeil a "sun-downer."
  • Fate Worse than Death: Those who have been 'devoided' by Syrile are in danger of losing all humanity and becoming empty shells. It's considered a horrific fate in-universe as well.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: House Noon are a close family after having been through so much together. Little by little, Vita begins bonding with them through adversity as well, especially to Wiggy and Geiger.
  • Friendly Enemy: For all the enmity between Noon and Dusk, Korva, leader of Dusk, genuinely seemed to consider Volte an old friend, which extends to courtesy towards Wigavat.
  • Gambit Pileup: It turns out Vita steps into multiple overlapping plots: Volte's own schemes with the seed-ghouls, Korva's overarching plan to free everyone from Inoptica, the desire for revenge shared by Dreya and Psyka, and ultimately the krylyrk's intention to keep everyone there to satisfy it. The clashing of these schemes ends up causing massive damage, far more than any of their masterminds ever intended.
  • Gray-and-Gray Morality: Vita is essentially just a scared young girl trapped in an Eldritch Location where everyone hates each other. Nobody's perfect; Vita acts decidedly selfish sometimes (though she grows past this), many of her nominal allies are prejudiced or even murderous, and even Geiger and Wiggy are given to darker moments. The rest in the Houses range from "pleasant" to "complete jackass", but almost everyone has their reasons to do what they do and nobody acts believing they're in the wrong. Even the krylyrk, or Cheshire, isn't evil in the slightest, just draconian, lonely and having very little foresight in plans that result in hundreds dying for essentially no reason.
  • The Heavy: The mastermind behind the long, complicated series of Gambit Pileups in Inoptica, who turns out to be Volte—who somehow manages to accomplish this despite being both an Unwitting Instigator of Doom and dead for over half the book, with all of his posthumous manipulations driving every single thing in the plot.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: In the penultimate chapter, Geiger gives his life to save everyone left, using all that's left of his already-limited time to take the psychotic Zeil down with him into the krylyrk's abyss to fall forever.
  • Humanoid Abomination:
    • Geiger (who's initially set-up as the "man who isn't"), albeit as a completely unwilling example: being envenomed by the bandersnatch causes his humanoid form to start erratically distorting and degenerating into moments of Body Horror, and his blood manages to bring back Zeil and perfectly devoid him of his humanity in the process (something that also happens to Geiger).
    • The true "man who isn't," Volte/Sorin himself, comes back as one of these; he resembles his old self almost to the letter, but he's also cohabiting a body with the krylyrk, which results in a few telltale signs he's still not quite human—he's more. Even Wiggy withdraws from him in horror and says "something's wrong with you."
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: Zeil and his cronies are far more bestial than the others Vita meets in the other world and seem to enjoy hunting down others.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Razmin views her collaboration with House Dusk as necessary, and Zeil believes killing Volte had to be done.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: Vita would love something exciting to happen to her. She gets her wish.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Aile is an amazing shot with a bow, and brags she can shoot an apple in the dark from 500 paces.
  • Jerkass: Zeil is kind of a total dick, especially when he returns to life, growling about his total lack of killing Volte in front of Volte's little sister.
  • Jerkass Realization: Vita realizes how bad her panic is causing her to not see the residents of Inoptica as actual people, and after she callously lets Wigavat see Volte's corpse without proper warning or comforting, she realizes how selfish she's been before resolving to be there for the poor kid.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Geiger comes off as nasty and unsympathetic to Vita at first, only to reveal a softer, more understanding side later to her.
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: Oh, boy:
    • Zeil brags about murdering Volte to Volte's little sister, who's suffered horribly from the death.
    • Syrile just loves gloating over and mocking some of his victims as well, showing a trace of sadism in his research. He literally engages this by kicking Vita in the gut after he's knocked off her glasses for no other reason than spite.
  • Kill the God: Zeil's plan in the endgame. After being killed and subsequently resurrected as Syrile's lab rat, the devoiding process takes such a toll on his sanity he attempts to kill Cheshire in Vita's body in an attempt to collapse Wonderland and "free" everyone.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: The longer you stay in Inoptica, the more your memories fade.
  • Leitmotif: Vita's appears to be They Might be Giants' Careful What You Pack.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Vita finally takes a step up into the action for the sake of defending Wiggy from a seed-ghoul, and impossibly manages to take it down, though she's very nearly killed for her efforts. Wiggy returns the favor a few chapters later by ripping apart a Brood.
  • Loss of Identity: As you stay in Inoptica, you lose who you are, gradually forgetting your name and past as your body changes to accommodate the new world. Vita realizes this is happening to her eventually as well.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: Zeil is shot in the shoulder with an arrow and seems to have no reaction to just ripping it out.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • "Aile" means "wing" in French, which ties in well with her avian motif.
    • "Geiger" means "violinist" in German, and fittingly enough, one of Geiger's few human skills left is his ability to play the violin.
    • Sorin, Volte's old name, is derived from the Romanian soare, which means "sun"—almost prophetic of him later becoming the head of House Noon.
  • Meaningless Villain Victory: Villainy tends to avail you nothing in Inoptica in the long run.
    • Zeil's savagery and brutality only result in his death and devoiding, returning him to life as an empty shell that can only feel hate, hunger and pain.
    • Syrile's horrific experiments and cruelty? Sure he perfects what he wants and gets to run home...except he's in Hiroshima, just before the atomic bomb drops.
    • Cheshire succeeds brilliantly in its manipulation, except it finds out its goals are impossible and it's still alone with everyone despising it.
  • Mind Rape: Syrile's experiments in 'devoiding' completely erase the humanity of an individual.
  • The Mole: Turns out Raz appears to be a mole in House Noon for House Dusk.
  • Mutual Kill: Zeil and Geiger off each other in the final battle in a pitched final fight.
  • Narrative Profanity Filter: Vita makes a reference to a "four-letter-word" (without specifying or implying which it is) her mother called her father the last time she saw her, one she later repeated to her friends in elementary school in apparent frustration.
  • Necessary Evil: Korva would claim Syrile to be this, whose experiments are supposedly key to their end goal. The truth is a bit more ambiguous
  • New Weird: The story has serious elements of it, with the strange, reversed world through Inoptica, the changing, twisting Body Horror elements and more.
  • No Hugging, No Kissing: Mirrorworld is devoid of any romance. No romantic relationships are even implied among House members, with all bonds being those of deep friends or siblings. The only exception to this is Vita being implied to have a crush on a classmate back on Earth, and Korva pining for his lost love Margaret back on Earth, neither of whom debut on-page.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: Many things throughout the story and the nature of Inoptica are not answered, but that makes it all the more unnerving.
  • Not in Front of the Kid: Angie's implied to be a prostitute, but it's never stated in direct terms; the one time she almost says so, Sorin shuts her up and reminds her she's still in front of Vita (who remains oblivious to what she's talking about).
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
    • Cheshire's obliqueness fall in chapter ten when they quit the riddles and tell Vita to get out from the intended council meeting as fast as she can. Moments later, Volte is dead.
    • Wiggy is, normally, the sweetest, gentlest character in the story, perpetually sweet to everyone around her—but the more pressure is placed on her after the death of her brother, the more her happy demeanor falls. Wiggy's savagery in taking out a Brood genuinely unnerve Vita, and she coldly states "I hate you" to Zeil once he remains unrepentant of murdering her brother.
    • On a significantly happier note, Vita cracking from her Perpetual Frowner status and actually giggling at one of Geiger's bad jokes draws Geiger's attention that she's majorly changed from the Shrinking Violet she starts off as: "you're capable of laughter?"
  • Our Vampires Are Different: The 'day-vamps', as they're named, gain power from light, making them an inversion of the normal "killed by sunlight" stereotype.
  • Plant People: All of the seed-ghouls (the members of House Dawn) in a complete 180 from the Little Bit Beastly members of the other Houses, are literal living plants that overwhelm their victims through their rapid growth, some of them even growing over unfortunate denizens and encasing them within a living statue of wood.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Virtually every single problem in the plot could have been avoided if there had been better communication from the start: rampant racism between the Houses and a series of complicated plots butting heads with each other leads to a ton of horrific fallout. Vita even brings up that everyone wanted essentially the exact same thing—they just had disastrously different ways of going about it.
  • Precision F-Strike: Zeil angrily calls Cheshire a "conniving bastard" in the climax, whereas most of the other language in the book is mild at worst.
  • Reasoning with God: Cheshire, the krylyrk, is not defeated or slain in battle. Rather Vita simply needs to talk it down and make it understand what it's doing wrong.
  • The Reveal: Volte, or Sorin Reiner, is more-or-less responsible for everything, even if the fallout was unintentional. The game he was running behind the scenes ends up being to bring the krylyrk into Inoptica, not for Vita to kill it as initially thought but to make Vita its host.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Just when it seems Volte's ready to accept Vita's wishes and move her to Midnight, even showing he does understand what Vita's going through, Zeil murders him in the tenth chapter, leaving House Noon without a leader and Wiggy without a brother.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Vita tries this multiple times, fleeing the situations she finds herself in out of refusal to understand or accept what she's stuck in.
  • Shout-Out: A few among the Vorpal Blades:
    • Raz's nickname for Cheshire and theirs in turn for Raz spells out "Raspberry Pi," a reference to the simple educational computers.
    • One of the Vorpal Blades' nickname, flipped, spells out "PERCEDAL."
    • There are tons to Lewis Carroll's works, with many allusions to Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, including the Vorpal Blades and the Jabberwocky.
  • Shrinking Violet: Justified given her predicament, but Vita's incredibly timid and fearful around most of Inoptica's populace, to the point where she ineffectually wraps herself up in a sheet in some attempt to hide from Geiger.
  • Spanner in the Works:
    • Vita's arrival in Inoptica shook up quite a number of plans.
    • Zeil himself killing Volte was not expected by most others and threw things off quite a bit.
  • Surprisingly Sudden Death: In chapter 10, Zeil and his Co-Dragons are all instantly killed in a matter of a paragraph in a sudden intense fight, and Volte is fatally wounded in the same event.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Syrile to the rest of House Dusk. Korva, Zeil, and Razmin all have pronounced redeeming qualities no matter how gray they get, but Syrile is the one character in Inoptica to never demonstrate any care for anyone outside himself and his experiments.
  • Trapped in Another World: The very premise: Vita is stuck in the world beyond the mirror with no known way she can get home.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Vita ends up stuck in another world, hunted by monsters, shunted from one strange house to the next, nearly hunted by the vicious Zeil and is facing being trapped forever. Not a very good day, all in all.
  • The Unchosen One: Vita is supposedly the one with the destiny to slay the krylyrk and free Inoptica. Turns out this is a lie. She's not the krylyrk's executioner. She's the one brought there to be its host.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: Korva's overall philosophy. Korva is tired of the constant fighting between the Houses, but he's allowed for some particularly awful things happen—even with the horror of the devoiding experiments, Korva has subjected himself to that to prove his devotion to his ideals, fully intending to offer the means of escape and peace to everyone regardless of past hatred.
  • Was Once a Man:
    • Anyone who arrives in the mirror world slowly becomes a new being, depending on the House they join.
    • The Bandersnatch is a pretty twisted looking creature, kept as a sort of pet, that was once human.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Geiger takes Razmin's betrayal especially hard.
  • Wham Episode:
    • The tenth chapter starts out with an intended council meeting, and ends with the sudden death of Zeil, his pack, and Volte, who nudges Vita toward the Vorpal Blades with the hint he knows much more than he let on.
    • The seventeenth chapter doesn't seem to be setting up to much aside from the situation of Noon, Midnight and the Vorpal Blades. Then Vita realizes she's already forgotten large chunks of her identity on Earth in the time she was unconscious.
    • Chapter 20 introduces a number of major twists to the plot, namely how closely Korva and Volte were and what Volte truly planned.
  • Wham Line:
    • In chapter seventeen:
    She'd read this. She was familiar with this.
    But she wasn't. She'd never read this poem before.
    • An enormous one that serves as the last line of chapter twenty-five:
    Then Volte opened his eyes.
    • The revelation of Cheshire's identity:
    The Krylyrk: "I'm mad. So I think she'll call me a Cheshire Cat!"
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Vee gets a dose of this from Geiger after Chapter 11. When Volte dies, Vita is so shaken, she walks right past Wigavat without properly warning or being there for her, allowing her to face her brother's death alone. Vita later realizes how selfish and wrong of her this was and begins resolving to better herself.