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Nightmare Fuel / Stand Still, Stay Silent

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This page has been made compliant with the Spoiler policy that includes not putting spoilers on Moments pages, including Nightmare Fuel.

This is one of the pages that had many things in spoilers prior to the rule's enforcement, so read at your own risk if you came here without being aware of major story developments.


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Why, hello...

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    Adventure I 
  • The scenes of what happened during the previous attack on the train that Lalli (or possibly just the reader) gets to see via a vision during the "tour guide", bare-bones description when he presses his hand against the claw marks. Rather more... detailed and violent than what was verbalised, no? Never trust a sales pitch.
  • The...thing that appears to Lalli when the train passes through the ruins on it's way to Denmark. Oh, by the way... look at the back of its head. That is a human face. Screaming in agony. With an exposed brain. SWEET DREAMS, KIDS
  • The two sheet-covered bodies in the ruins shown before that. Or the possible ghostly figure in the remains of the car. That... thing... may well be related. Scenery Porn? Check... but, keeping an eye on the details can land you right in nightmare territory even without having blatant nightmare imagery upfront and centre stage.
  • The radio. The freaky Black Speech looking speech bubble was bad in itself but some of it was actual Swedish words rather than gibberish; the legible parts include 'who am..', 'sorry', 'beware', 'please' and repeating 'no no no'. Because this is a comic, we can't really tell if the noise that came out of the radio is whispers, growls or even screaming. It could be muted, crackly, screaming. And the guard just nonchalantly turns it off.
  • The Meat Moss growing out of a buildings windows, given what it most likely used to be. When this turns up, it is bad news. Very, very bad news. It also explains the preferential use of flame-throwers and other incendiary devices when it comes to cleansing. Best get it before it can turn into something that isn't just moss.
  • The victims of Rash Illness, be they Trolls, Giants or Beasts: all grow into monstrous shapes and multiple victims occasionally merge into a Body of Bodies. Possibly the worst part is that that they are still alive and aware and many will have been for the past 90 years as what is, unfortunately, likely to be the most gruesome form of Meat Puppet imaginable.
    • And now the Goblins, which may be harmless... or may be responsible for large numbers of unexplained disappearances (it's a contested point in-universe).
  • Yeah, that thing that forced its way into the train? With numerous heads and tentacles? That was just a giant's arm. Imagine how big and horrendous the rest of it was...
  • Page 170. It's... fairly clear what she's actually saying, even if you don't speak/read Swedish. (The heart-earrings that presumably link with the previously-seen heart-bracelet? That poor, poor girl/ woman. Again, the full nightmare is in the details.)
  • The only known solution to dealing with the infected is removing the head(s) or destroying the brain(s) (yes, plural), as shown in full gory detail several times.
    • And now we see why, when Leaftroll is shown as not inconvenienced in the least by lack of major vital organs (other than brain)
  • Given the Icelandic coast guard's methods of keeping contamination out, what exactly is sweet, bubbly Aksel Eide learning to shoot here?
    • Sea monsters, confirmed to exist by Word of God. You might notice that on the maps the coastal areas are marked as dangerous even by year 90, and were probably much worse early on - something must have happened for them to be on active lookout for infected whales...
    • Also, Dalsnes's road being broken just meant they couldn't drive to any other towns. Trolls and beasts would have eventually found their way there on foot; considering one of the pictures before the shooting lesson is of Aksel and the other survivors putting up a chainlink fence, it's probably safe to say any healthy refugees who went to Dalsnes would have been greeted with open arms, and immediately handed a weapon and a shift on guard duty.
  • Lalli's dream encounter with the... whatever that conglomerate of human-moose-elk-whatever was (dear Lord, the hands!)... reminds us that many mammals are capable of aquatic feats or are even semi-aquatic naturally. Even if you don't immediately think of them as being such. So, land-locked leviathans are possible for lakes and rivers beyond otter- or vole-based-Beasts and Giants. Lovely.
  • The radio-broadcast Black Speech we were introduced to earlier? Turns out to not be a localised, Swedish phenomenon. Whatever the afflicted are, they seem able to invade white noise. Globally. Finding this out in an otherwise very acutely funny scene doesn't stop the horror one bit.
  • When we get our first glimpse of a ruined city, it's bad enough with all the damaged buildings and abandoned cars - and then, when you take a closer look at one of the panels, you realise something's watching you...
  • Lalli in general. He gets asked to get in touch with his cousin by magic. Next time he goes to sleep, tries to contact his cousin, and is promptly ambushed by giant tentacle things. By his reaction it can be noted this is a fairly common thing.
  • Mikkel's commentary on the Danish campaigns. They came, they saw... and they woke up enough trolls to drive them out.
    • Looking at the main battle tanks that compare favorably to your average bunker, this means there were a lot of trolls. Lots and lots of trolls. Lots and lots of big, angry trolls.
  • Sigrun investigates a hospital and finds something that very clearly used to be a human, before mutating into... something. Good thing it's dead.
  • People who die of the Rash tend to dry out rather than rotting. Note the two belts over the dead almost-a-troll's large, round belly. And the big hole in that belly. If the corpse didn't rot...what did that? Was she a she... and pregnant? Why did the almost-a-troll apparently die screaming? Eep.
    • Almost definitely because some of the insides detached from the skin after a while, shrunk the rest of the way while resting in the belly, and then burst from what was previously its body.
      • Unlikely, the illness features calcification of the tissues which could explain the distended abdomen. On top of that, when a body naturally mummified skin tends to dry in kinda strip-like forms as it dries and tightens. Trolls need a head/brain intact, luckily you'll not see the guts running off on their own.
  • A Ceiling Cling with *Drool* Hello would usually be a candidate all on its own, given the situation. But, when the "drool" is troll-juice, blood, a lower jawbone and assorted organs? We are definitely in Nightmare Central.
  • Page 275 gives us a lovely image of someone succumbing to the rash sickness...
    • It is not made clear when she died. If it was the first picture (Relatively small sores), then it was a quiet death. If she died in the last picture, or after, then the suffering is nigh-on unimaginable.
    • A moment of Fridge Nightmare Fuel is relising that the scientist studied his patients for at least a month, and was killed not by the Rash Sickness, but by being shot. This means either someone was sane enough to off him, or some other equally bad fate. It's implied the scientist killed himself either deliberately or accidentally when the trolls began to overrun the city and he realized escape was impossible. If not suicide; ricochet.
  • Tuuri's description of where she and Lalli used to live isn't as obvious, but the implications are terrifying. Especially if you had to be the one who discover that a town on a trade route was wiped out...
  • Imagine finding out that you've been deposited not in the safe haven you were expecting, but in a place that can easily kill you (or worse) without trying hard. Among people you don't know, most of whom don't speak your language. Worse: you're a civilian, and however ragtag they might be, they're military, so have some training to cope with all this... And, you got yourself in the middle of their mission by messing up a foolish stunt. Welcome to Reynir's walking nightmare.
    • Made worse by the knowledge that about half of your new party thinks you are anything from a waste of food to a glorified meat shield. The glaring ca- Lalli most definitely does not help.
    • Add a little Fridge Horror: only two or three generations ago... how many groups of isolated survivors had to make uncomfortable accommodations to practicality to survive as a group? How many still have to consider this in winter, if the local area failed to produce enough food during the summer months? Mikkel might be joking, and Sigrun ranting in temper: but, it really doesn't mean this threat is at all groundless, culturally.
      • Which, in turn, makes Reynir's reaction "That's... fair, I suppose." even more terrifying... it could be that the poor kid is so desperate not to be a burden to the group he is willing to become din-dins rather than be a dead-weight.
  • Poor Mama Cat probably lost one of her nine lives when the worst shaggy dog imaginable turns up mid-move. She has only one of her five kittens with her... And, where is that "dog" off to? Adult Fear, distilled.
  • The page where Cthulhound emerges from its dog clothing into its true form is made of Nightmare Fuel. Consider yourselves warned.
  • Troll pod hiding place Lalli found on his recent scouting mission. So he came, he saw, he kicked the trollpods with his magical lynx spirit of awesome. Cool, right? Except after team moves trough that place they accidentally tug some troll tendril and we find out that he missed one... Now look what came out of the pod.
  • The ghosts. At first they seem to be harmless, if exceedingly creepy - and then one sucks the life out of the Leaf Troll just by touching it, and appears to try to do the same to Emil. EEEEEP. Made worse by the fact that only mages such as Reynir and Lalli can see them, and cats apparently can't, and they seem to be able to cause people to fall unconscious. The rest of the crew are sitting ducks.
    • And then Reynir meets them in his dream. One proceeds to shatter Reynir's FACE.
    • Well, hey... that's great! Not. Those were the laid back, relatively friendly ones. The ones in the fort? Rather more active — and, a hell of a lot more creepy. Mikkel walked through that room in complete obliviousness and was very, very lucky he stayed in the sunbeam. The fact that they seem to be able to leave at will to a great degree when not in direct sunshine? Not. Good. Those animals were keeping that well back from the building for a lot of very good reasons.
    • It's becoming increasingly likely that these ghosts are all that's left of the victims of an experimental vaccination for the Rash sickness, which went very wrong. Stuck like this for ninety years... no wonder they're so angry.
    • And the bigger something is when a ghost sucks out their life, the bigger the ghost get as well. Just look what happens after one of them attacks the stranded Sjødraugen!!!
  • Get injured in mage-space (like Onni was by that ghost)? Expect something to happen in baseline that mirrors it, even if it's at the hands of children. Now, remember back to Handsy Moose and what could have happened to Lalli...
    • Speaking of: the way some commentators have reacted to Onni's mishap with the kids? Cthulhund's change for the camera is on a par for quite a large segment.
  • The implications for the Survival Mantra that serves as the comic's title. "Stand still, stay silent. It might go away." Not will, MIGHT.
  • NOW... THE HELL ARE THESE THINGS?! And seems like there are a lot of them, evidently in a matched set. And, the light is going out...
  • On page 566, the Old woman. She's drawn so realistically that she just feels kind of... off. And Onni's reaction to her does NOT make it any better.
    • "I... CaN't.. remember..." Although the lady is nice, the fact that her sheer willpower is the only thing keeping her from going insane, means that if she had slipped even for a moment, Onni and Reynir would be face-to-face with an extremely powerful spirit.
  • When exploring a derelict hospital, Sigrun's peers inside a quarantine room, but can't see anything inside. The next panel shows us what's on the other side of the door.
  • That's... an inordinate amount of skulls.
  • It's more of a minor Nightmare moment, but there's the fact that the horse Ghost visibly terrifies Lalli. Lalli doesn't even try to fight it, and runs as fast as they can back to the Cat-Tank to warn everyone before nightfall.
  • Undead skeletal horse is pretty scary by itself, but then we find out that it is actually sentient. And this is utterly terrifying.
  • Each time he speaks, Sleipnope seems to come up with just the right words to hit a sensitive spot to whoever it's adressing. So far, he has reminded Lalli of the weak state in which he was when they first crossed paths and told Reynir his new rune was not going to protect the crew forever within hours of him coming up with it.
  • When Tuuri drowns herself, Lalli feels his cousin dying.
  • After Tuuri dies, an argument erupts between Lalli and the crew. They can't understand what he's saying, and vice versa, so they have to speculate amongst themselves about what he might need. You can see the helplessness written on his face as the ramifications of the language barrier sink in.
  • A healthy deer is seen getting dragged inside a building by troll tentacles, not that far away from the tracks left by the members of the crew who left earlier.
  • The Year 0 Rash cure having been a massive-scale version of Making the Choice for You is bad enough. Now, we get Pastor A spelling out the fact that places that did get it didn't always get enough for everyone. Now, imagine being one of the patients dying of the Rash because of the lack of supplies, and noticing that those who are supposed to have gotten the cure don't exactly seem to be recovering.
  • "Hello Food". Not something you want to hear in the best circumstances, but definitely made worse by being tired with an unconscious travel companion in tow.

    Adventure II 
  • The skeletons made out of only a skull and a very long vertebral column seem almost routine for the kind of thing found in dreamscape waters. The damaged sunken boats in the same location are something new, however. Oh, and there is a handful of paddles next to a couple of them.
  • In the flashbacks to the disaster that destroyed Lalli's hometown, Hilja somehow got an infected rat past quarantine. Ensi noted that the wrappings she used had spells to mask what it contained, meaning she deliberately did this. The rest of the squad haven't ruled out Hilja being possessed by something, influencing her into doing this. What's worse, this was strongly implied to be Ensi's big mistake: Lalli had sensed something wrong about Hilja's package and told Ensi, but she let it go (possibly cause the kade got her then. See below).
  • The info page about kade reveals that in the comic's setting, they are the result of a Finnish mage getting the Rash. More specifically, a quasi soul-only variant from which immunity doesn't provide any protection.
  • Väinö's filing cabinet. Keeping track of people who leave safe areas with tokens that supernaturally bleed if their owner dies has the end result you can imagine. That Onni's item has not yet been affected is not as comforting as you might think; trolls are still alive, after all...
  • Väinö Väänänen leaves the disturbing cheeriness behind for a moment, to seriously warn Mikkel about limiting the use of his rifle. Whatever's out there in the wilderness is drawn to sound from dozens of kilometres away, and is also fast. "So if you do have to resort to using that thing...you make sure you change locations real quick. Because it is already on its way."
  • The dusklings makes a return, this time as a new and much bigger type using the metallic plating of vehicles such as broken cars and the like instead of soil and plants, as the first type of troll that the crew encounter on the journey while looking for Onni. Even being less intelligent and acting more like hermit-crabs with less chatter than the small ones, they compensate for it by sheer size, strength and speed instead. One of them being the size of a tank truck and much faster than it looks.
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