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Dream II is the twenty-seventh installment of the main-series Character Development Thread.

Like its predecessor, the original Dream thread, it takes place in a dream shared by the various characters in the thread. As a result, this setting is quite a bit more fluid than those of other threads—no maps, timekeeping, or weather updates are necessary, and characters can stumble upon new locations within the misty forest at the writer's leisure.

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The thread can be found here. It started in January of 2016, then ran for two years before being abandoned at the start of 2018.


Dream II contains examples of:

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  • Abnormal Limb Rotation Range: The Midnight Stitcher is capable of fully rotating his head without difficulty.
  • Aborted Arc:
    • Not one, but two courtesy of V Phantom:
      • The plot involving Azure Knight was dead on arrival, as a terrible first impression forced his writer to retire him after coming to the conclusion that the character wasn't working at all.
      • The plot involving Ruth Diederich and the recently introduced Zeles Zepheiren was going to get somewhere... And then reallife ensued. In order to prevent his real-life issues from dragging down everyone else's plotlines, V Phantom decided to retire his characters prematurely in order to avoid becoming an unintentional "roadblock".
    • And one not involving VPhantom: the "Room of Blackness" arc in Misery Manor was aborted when Gault decided that the planned evocative scene wasn't going to work, meaning Sinistrina (the only one who entered said room) was essentially Put on a Bus throughout its duration.
  • Absurdly Bright Light:
    • Magdalene's aura is this to Gliosem, as her Aura Vision interprets the aura as being brighter the more powerful the character is, especially if they contain multiple souls like Magdalene does. Gliosem lampshades this by saying that her aura is "blindingly bright" - and this is despite being from a town with perpetual bright sunlight. Emriel has a similar reaction upon meeting her, though milder because the two are outside on a sunny day.
    • Durnem has a similar first impression of Ethoya, whose aura seems very bright to her due to her god-like status.
    • Emperor Imeriz's light, which is reminiscent of sunlight is this to Lacriment, a priestess of the Sacred Darkness, and Alex, a vampire. Downplayed by the fact that they both have sensitive vision.
  • Abusive Parents:
    • Iveya's mother was emotionally abusive when not negligent.
    • According to the nightmares of Misery Manor, Yamiko's father was sexually abusive.
  • Actual Pacifist: When the argument between Magdalene and Jackson escalates toward violence, Gliosem is not only opposed to fighting between them, but also to Megumi stopping said fight with force. Her sister Amiluet is also one, not feeling comfortable with weaponry and wanting to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict between the sumiri and sunestre.
  • Affably Evil: As befits her career choice, Winters makes an effort to be civil, despite her eccentricities, and does her best to honor Rin's hospitality. She's also happy to let what appears to be a eleven-year-old girl sample a potentially poisonous drink so she can see what happens, and the first thing that really helps to improve her mood is threatening Gliosem with a Poke in the Third Eye.
  • Agent Peacock: Gabe, as one might expect from a demon hunter who works as a cosmetologist by day. He's very good at both jobs.
  • The Air Not There: Averted when it comes to Nerea; she can technically see the air with aether resonance. The air even limits her "vision" over long distances when she isn't focusing on something.
  • Always Accurate Attack: As Ari explains, all the Elemental Goddesses' attacks are guaranteed to hit their target, though they can still be blocked. It's a feature of the "Goddess class" of Mystripet. The Messenger exploits this as an attack against Ruka by using her as a Human Shield for Kinaga's Dragon Flame attack.
  • Anticlimax: Magdalene, having (partially) possessed Megumi and was in the process of thrashing many of the others in the Snow Castle group, woke up, leaving everyone relieved and a bit bewildered.
  • Animated Armor: Phantom is one, being a soul attached to a suit of armor.
  • Arachnid Appearance and Attire: Sinistrina, especially when she dons her old dress (which is mostly black and features a couple of spider-web patterns and a spider pendant made of bone). Even before she did, though, she had the Creepy Good demeanor and a history of creating spider zombies, and was an Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette. Ceallagh even compared her to a spider catching an insect (Armory Knight) in her web.
  • Attack! Attack... Retreat! Retreat!: Happens in the Blackwood when Fawn, Nick, and the Elemental Guardians encounter the Dark Caller:
    (Yamiko points out that Peggy flew up into the fog above the Blackwood carrying Phoebe with her)
    Gon: WHAT? What are you waiting for Aki, go find them!
    (Aki flies up after them, and the Blackwood turns dark now that his glowing tail light is gone)
    Gon: Hey wait! Come... back... great, now it's creepy AND dark.
  • Attack of the Town Festival: The Twilight Ball ends up as a battleground for the Day-Night War that is taking place all over Orenya. Apparently, the Four Bardic Sisters were warned against performing there because of how dangerous the twilight regions were, but Wide-Eyed Idealist Amiluet insisted on doing so anyway.
  • Aura Vision:
    • Everyone on Orenya apparently has this - it's certainly true of Durnem and the Four Bardic Sisters. As a result, they pay special attention to the auras of those they encounter in Dream, gleaning information about their emotional state and power level through it.
    • Nerea has this in the form of aether resonance, which is less vision and more magical radar, to make up for her oversensitive eyesight. This causes her to "view" the world in very vibrant coloration as aether reacts in subtle ways to things, allowing her to identify the general composition of everything around her and track people nearby.
  • Awesome Anachronistic Apparel: Alex's outfit consists of several pieces that are out-of-date, such as her cavalier hat and frock coat, which she grew attached to back when they were popular.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Alex's elephant gun is customized to be fired one-handed, with its impracticality lampshaded in its description.
  • Back from the Dead: Heinrich drowned himself in the ice-covered river outside the clinic seventeen years ago. Before the aged-up, presumably resurrected Heinrich appeared, Friedrich Ritter told his guests that it was the seventeenth anniversary of his death.
  • Bad Powers, Good People: Sinistrina is skilled with necromancy and other forms of Black Magic, and is a lich to boot. These powers are usually associated with villains, but Sinistrina tries not to use them for evil purposes. For instance, she uses them to help the Golden Being by gathering soul matter to help save Armory Knight - and when Moreena calls her out on the harm done to the souls, opts to instead restore the broken pieces of his existing soul. At one point she even considers ending her existence after figuring that no good can come out of her natural inclination toward using her magic.
    • She lampshades this trope by telling the Golden Being that she finds it "insulting" that he would ask "someone like her" to take the souls of the other people in the Graveyard, instead offering him the ether that's already floating around in the Deathly Glade.
    • With respect to the curse of Misery Manor, she's more Ambiguously Evil - caring about the victims on paper, but having a fatalistic outlook on their well-being and not wanting the manor to be destroyed (though the fact that the manor is also her phylactery justifies the latter a bit).
    • Comes up again in the Shinkyo Market District when Gliosem detects an evil aura coming from her and Friedrich, but Megumi says that Sinistrina at least seems innocuous.
  • Bag of Spilling: Claire suffers from aspects of this; her magical rings have a tendency of spontaneously disappearing.
  • Balance Between Good and Evil: Or rather, light and darkness, as stressed by both Amiluet and June, in relation to the conflict between the sunestre and sumiri.
  • Band of Relatives: The Four Bardic Sisters, as their name indicates. The announcer at the Twilight Ball even spells it out by saying they're part of the Baoshra family.
  • Being Tortured Makes You Evil: Lorraine being impaled with a black magic-imbued pin in Misery Manor just happens to coincide with her Face–Heel Turn in Yamiko's illusion. The two can't be connected, could they?
  • Belly Mouth: Lux Sniper/Psychic Reaper has one, which tends to share the same expression as the one on her face.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Moreena, being a goddess of death, does not like it when someone tampers with souls.
    • Magdalene took grave offence to being called a monster.
    • Calling Durnem a mermaid is a sure way to piss her off.
  • Beyond the Impossible: The Golden Being (who shows up alongside Armory Knight in the Graveyard) possesses the ability to defy the very laws of science and magic - in fact, he's the embodiment of Defiance.
  • Big "NO!": Gliosem shouts one when she receives a sign from her crystal ball indicating that Ferisen has died.
  • Big "SHUT UP!": Amiluet shouts one when an elderly sumiri interrupts her mid-song speech at the Twilight Ball.
  • Big "WHY?!": The Golden Being shouts a few of these when the ether Sinistrina had just purified for him and Armory Knight was "ruined" by the Sentinel's evoked experiences of death and life.
  • Big "YES!": Emriel shouts one when she discovers that the fabled town of Eneritan is real. Never mind that she says this inside a dream.
  • Bizarre Alien Reproduction: Eldritchians have this, resulting in a random Eldritchian offspring. The Midnight Stitcher underwent this, rapidly having a young harpy girl bud off of him. All while falling from a great height.
  • Bizarre Instrument: The latria (played by Ferisen), consisting of a semicircle of glass pipes that are played by waving a Magic Wand over them. This produces a very ethereal sound that defies melody, play directly into the listener's mind. Definitely wouldn't work in real life, although the concept is similar to a singing bowl.
  • Blessed with Suck: Ruka has electrical based powers; however, her body constantly builds up a charge. This has resulted in her accidentally discharging bolts of lightning in the past. Her powers also become harder to use and control without her Powered Armor. Finally, as a ghost, she loses her Shock and Awe powers, as well as needing a body to physically interact with her surroundings.
  • Blindfolded Vision: Abyssal Empress Nerea utilizes aether resonance to "view" her surroundings in lieu of her highly sensitive eyes, which she keeps covered with a metal visor.
  • Blood Knight: June is positively giddy tossing around magic after the Twilight Ball ended in conflict.
  • Boom, Headshot!: How Ayako takes out the Gashadokuro... with a Carl Gustaf.
  • Born as an Adult: Or at least a pre-teen in Arizona, the Eldritchian harpy girl's case.
  • Break the Cutie: Ayako's being subject to this courtesy of Psyche-chan, using illusions and Breaking Speeches to slowly whittle away at the Magical Girl's conviction.
  • British Royal Guards: The giant toy soldiers that appear for a very brief moment in the Graveyard city are modelled after these.
  • Broken Bird: Yamiko. She used to practice ballet and was quite good at it, until she badly injured her ankle at the end of the routine she did at her school's talent show. Of course, she blames it on the curse Celia placed on her.
  • Cain and Abel: The rivalry between twin sisters Lucina and Sinistrina comes up again and again in Misery Manor. Despite what one might think, Lucina (the older one, of course) is the evil one here; Sinistrina instead tries to invoke Dark Is Not Evil.
  • Calling Shotgun: When Lauren mentions that she has shotguns in her weapons cache, June calls dibs to tinker with one.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Why else would Sinistrina shut up and blush while talking to Gabe about his long-lost lover Lilith, right after pointing out the resemblance between him and her sister Lucina?
  • Captain Ersatz: Ludwig is the result of repackaging Mr. Passion, a ghostly musical conductor boss from Mother 3, as a Mon for Ashleigh.
  • Cast from Hit Points:
    • Sentinel's transformations are mostly this. She even lampshades this prior to her first transformation (into a cocoon) by saying, "Unfortunately, I must hurt myself".
    • Sinistrina's purification of the ether from the Deathly Glade ends up damaging her body, via absorbing the black mists that tainted it. Though much of this damage is immediately repaired by her Healing Factor, she remains noticeably frailer than before.
  • Casting a Shadow: Several characters can do this:
    • Moreena, Sinistrina, and Friedrich are often seen spreading shadows along the ground (sometimes used by the former two to search for things), and conjuring things such as tendrils, arms, or shields out of Pure Shadow.
    • Lacriment preaches The Sacred Darkness, so this comes as no surprise. One notable example is when she conjures Cold Flames out of anti-light, meaning they take away light rather than produce it, and cast lights instead of shadows behind objects in their way.
    • Nerea, being associated with the abyss, also has darkness-based powers.
  • Cheerful Child: Magdalene, definitely. Amiluet looks and acts like one, though she's not really a child - no wonder the former reminded Gliosem of the latter.
  • Cobweb Jungle: The Eight Wings Library has cobwebs practically everywhere. Some of the larger webs block off some of the isles. The librarians seem to respect the webs for some reason.
  • Color-Coded Characters: The Four Bardic Sisters are easily distinguished by two distinct colors: blue and black (Gliosem), green and purple (Ferisen), red and white (Emriel), yellow and orange (Amiluet).
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience:
    • The Elemental Guardians, Dragon's Daughters, and Four Bardic Sisters all have colored dialogue to help distinguish who's speaking when they're in their group - though their dialogue retains that color even when they are by themselves or with another group. June and the unnamed voice in Noire's head also have colored dialogue for some reason.
    • Each of the wings in the Eight Wing Library is lit with lanterns of a specific color pertaining to its name, forming a Rainbow Motif.
    • Nerea's Aura Vision exhibits this; different elements show up as different colors for her when subject to aether resonance.
  • Cool Guns:
    • Ayako's weapon can turn into a variety of firearms, such as a SIG P220, an M1 Garand, a Carl Gustaf recoilless rifle, and a Gatling gun. She's used all but the latter so far.
    • Alex uses a sawn-off elephant gun to compliment her zweihander.
  • Cool Sword:
    • Noire has one named Death's Knell, which also qualifies as a BFS. It can grow and retract at will, fire off pieces of itself like a utility knife, disappears and returns at her command, and it has an interestingly-colored red and white blade.
    • In the Ruins, Cira conjures Ruviltene from his memories, and uses it mostly as an Amplifier Artifact to his normally weak pyrokinesis
    • Rin has a literal cool sword named Tōshō (means "Frostbite"), a custom built military sword whose blade she forms out of frozen nitrogen.
    • Friedrich von Schwarzwald carries a sword named Totenschatten (German for "Shadow of the Dead"). Actually a repurposed letter opener; while dull on its own, it can sharpen into a blade of Pure Shadow. But mostly it functions more like a Magic Wand.
    • Galaxeon, one of Gon's Mystripets, has a sword made of Hard Light. When he draws it, the entire blade materializes out of the empty hilt (its sheath is far shorter than its blade).
    • According to Nergui, the sole reason the students of Dueling Club Junior Group (11 to 15 year-olds) at the Inkar the Great Academy he attended preferred the yatagan as their primary weapon type was that it was "the coolest-looking". Nergui's own yatagan with diamond-incrusted hilt is a subversion: the only relatively unusual thing about it is that despite being a ceremonial weapon, it's sharpened for battle.
    • Alex sports a zweihander for all her monster hunting needs.
  • Cryptic Conversation: Ceallagh's speech patterns include flowery phrases, some archaic language and verbal indirectness, making her sound like a Talkative Loon sometimes, and even Nergui, who knows her for a long time, has difficulties processing what the hell she is talking about. She can express her thoughts directly and bluntly when she needs to, meaning that probably she talks like she does just for the sake of her own amusement. Or some other yet unspecified reason.
  • Crystal Prison: In the Field of Souls, people are in danger of having their souls trapped inside the crystals there. Ferisen's latria is made of such crystals (to which Tagui asks why she would make her latria out of soul-sucking crystals), and nearly imprisons her soul inside of it when she tries to tether herself to it.
  • Cultural Posturing: Seilaan, disgusted by Mazra's elaborately decorated weapon, held up the Renesian state's way of handling economics, social services, and the Renesian nobility's spending habits as superior. Unfortunately for Seilaan, Mazra is rather sheltered and hasn't looked too deeply into the economics of her home empire; so much of what Seilaan was trying to say probably didn't get through too well.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
  • Cursed with Awesome: Sinistrina was trapped in a Death World, and became undead in her attempts to survive there. Her soul was encased in a haunted house that locks all who enter in a nightmare. She longs to escape this fate and return to a normal life - but said fate also strengthened her magic, removed the usual vulnerabilities of a mortal body, and replaced her unfitting blue eyes with red ones.
  • Curtains Match the Window: True for Gliosem and Emriel - the former are both deep blue, the latter raspberry-colored. If only Ferisen and Amiluet also had it, they'd have a theme going on.
  • Cute and Psycho: Lorraine, one of Yamiko's Mystripets. She has an innocent (albeit ghostly) appearance and a really sweet voice, concealing a sadistic personality and a penchant for black magic.
    Yamiko: And I think I've had enough of that sugar-coating witch. She gives me diabetes just listening to her.
  • Cute Ghost Girl: Ruka, although she's half-ghost. She ends up getting separated from her body after blacking out after the fight with the Messenger.
  • Cute Little Fangs: Alex sports a set of these, signifying her status as a Friendly Neighborhood Vampire, though they aren't visible when she has her mouth closed.
  • Damned by Faint Praise: When discussing her version of Earth, which is taking a nosedive into the less cheery sort of Cyberpunk, the best Winters can manage to say about the place is that Half-Life 3 was worth the wait.
  • "Darkness von Gothick" Name: Sinistrina/Friedrich von Schwarzwald. There's also the Dark Caller and Yamiko, the latter of which is Japanese for "child of darkness". Moreena probably counts as well.
  • Day Hurts Dark-Adjusted Eyes: Having spent the past several years in the Deathly Glade and most of the Dream in Misery Manor and the Graveyard, Sinistrina has a difficult time adjusting to daylight in the forest, even with all the fog. Especially the fully sunlit Hall of Healing, accompanied by being harmed by sunlight like the typical vampire.
  • Death Seeker: Implied, as The Midnight Stitcher asked Ayako if she was seeking "Justification, Understanding... An Ending?" whilst his eyes were black.
  • Death World:
  • Dem Bones: The Gashadokuro that attacks the group in the Forest of Bones is a giant blood-thirsty skeleton.
  • Detect Evil: Gliosem does this twice in the Dream: first with Alice Winters, picking up on her anti-magic field; second with the von Schwarzwalds, picking up on their life-draining field. It coincides with evil in both cases, though the characters in question act (mostly) harmlessly around the group they're with.
  • Did We Just Have Tea with Cthulhu?: When Fawn, Nick, and the Elemental Guardians had tea with the Dark Caller, who they realized mid-tea wants to take over the dream world.
  • Distressed Dude: Lupin, one of Yamiko's lovers, is trapped in Misery Manor, and she's facing her own Dark and Troubled Past during her quest to find him.
  • Don't Fear the Reaper: Applies to Moreena, who is quite friendly and level-headed for a Goddess of Death. The only time she ever becomes fearsome is if she's threatened, for which there has to be a reason given her lack of a Hair-Trigger Temper. Even in the battle with Armory Knight, she has the courtesy to (eventually) listen to Patches' pleas to not hurt Armory Knight.
  • Drugs Are Good: Gliosem seems to have this attitude, as she's less shocked than the rest of the Snow Castle visitors about the possibility of Megumi drugging their tea. Plus she drugged herself and her sisters in order for all of them to end up in Dream. Her sisters seem to share this view, as they have no problem with her drugging them.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Gabe has this effect on Sinistrina until he introduces himself. The Combat Stilettos and makeup don't exactly help. Yamiko also mistakes him for Sinistrina's sister on first glance.
  • Dying Declaration of Hate: Facing the risk of being blown to smithereens, both Iveya and Friedrich Ritter opt for this, though towards parties not present. Iveya towards her mother and younger sister, Friedrich towards the despotic Republic he's part of a revolution against.
  • Electra Complex: Apparently Yamiko's father is on death row for sexually assaulting her as a child and murdering her mother, so this is possibly the only explanation for her adamant defense of him.
  • Elemental Powers: Several characters have abilities related to one or two elements; those are listed under their own tropes. This also includes the Elemental Guardians' Mystripets, which are classified into one or two elements. June is the exception, being a master of nearly every element.
  • Embarrassing Old Photo: The zombie ravens in Misery Manor mock Sinistrina by showing one of these, though Gabe and Half don't really think much of it.
  • Enemy Without: Caleb is supposed to eventually become Half, which is why the latter is confused over the fact that they're walking around separately.
  • Expository Hairstyles: The Four Bardic Sisters demonstrate this with their hair. Gliosem, the eldest of the four, has Power Hair; calm and elegant Ferisen demonstrates that Long Hair Is Feminine; acrobatic dancer Emriel has Braids of Action; and the cheerful and showy Amiluet has Girlish Pigtails and Quirky Curls.
  • Expy:
    • Friedrich von Schwarzwald looks like a child, doesn't show much emotion, wears a fancy blue coat and hat, has a profound familiarity with death and Black Magic, and has close ties to a powerful red-eyed demonnote  dressed in black. All this makes him very similar to Ciel Phantomhive.
    • The Four Bardic Sisters are quite obviously based on the Oracles of Hyrule - especially evident in that both feature a singer in blue (Gliosem/Nayru), a dancer in red (Emriel/Din), and a Cheerful Child (Amiluet/Farore); and all of them are from a fantasy world of Functional Magic. Of course, there are three Oracles and four Bardic Sisters... though word of Lady Tanuki says that Ferisen was loosely based on Zelda.
    • Sinistrina was initially based on Hilda from The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. Both are sombre protectors of a dying world that exists in parallel with a world of light they long to return to, in which they have a light-oriented counterpart. Both also wield a Magic Staff and demonstrate the Red Eyes, Take Warning trope. But then Sinistrina took on some separate character development of her own, so the two are not as similar anymore.
    • Ceallagh is a combination of Eris, Enyo and, more importantly, The Morrigan.
    • Claire is essentially a Belmont in the form of a kleptomaniac, pyromaniac witch.
  • Extreme Omnivore: The giant goat-bat demon creature in Eneritan apparently finds the clouds there to be tasty. Especially when they're on fire.
  • Eye Scream:
    • Ferisen self-inflicted this to her Third Eye in an attempt to prevent her soul from being completely absorbed into a crystal, turning herself into a lich in the process.
    • The giant demon roaming Eneritan received a more-or-less traditional one via a magically charged stab from a depowered Claire in an attept at a distraction to rescue Emriel from bring flamebroiled.
  • Facepalm: Has happened several times so far:
    • Gon and Aki in response to Fawn and the other Elemental Guardians agreeing to join the Dark Caller for tea.
    • Ruka's response to her suit's computer system crashing.
    • Rin in response to Magdalene making off with the boys' gems.
  • Face Palm Of Doom: Ferisen does this to herself at the Eight Wings Library during the spell to turn herself into a lich, by slamming a crystal into her third eye.
  • Famous Last Words: Even though it's only the possibility of death, Friedrich Ritter still makes sure they're good ones just in case disarming the nuke doesn't go according to plan:
    "But most of all, fuck the Republic, and it has been a great pleasure dedicating my life to fucking it over. That is all."
  • Fantastic Nature Reserve: The farm, home from everything from ordinary animals to wyverns and other strange creatures.
  • Fantastic Slur:
    • Vita Exosso and the voice in Noire's head as well the two inside Stitcher have repeatedly used Brittle in such a way implying they mean Humans, with Vita clearly having a dislike for 'Brittles'.
    • According to the Four Bardic Sisters, "fairy" is a derogatory term for their race, the sumiri. And according to Gliosem, shortening sumiri to "sumi" has the same negative meaning.note 
  • Fantasy Conflict Counterpart: Rin mentions serving in the Sankt-Port Campaign.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture:
    • The Ruins are based heavily on the real-life location Chavín de Huántar. Although the Chavín don't seem to have had vampires.
    • The Senjima Empire is based off of Imperial Japan during the early Taishō period.
    • Eneritan is essentially the Orenyan equivalent of Shangri-La.
  • Fear Is the Appropriate Response:
    • When Gabe succumbs to the curse of Misery Manor, he breaks out of it thanks to realizing this, easing his fears about his obligations to the angels of Paradiso.
    • Set up as An Aesop for Ferisen, who comes to this realization in the Eight Wings Library. When the scholars hold her body and soul (which had become detached in the Field of Souls) together with a circlet of spider thread which compels her to go after Tagui, she is afraid of them taking complete control over her. So she takes the circlet off, allowing her to not only retain her free will, but to avoid being bound to the fate of the fragile library.
      Ferisen: Fear is ingrained into the minds of all mankind, and has been since the beginning of time itself. Fear of death is what allows us to live. Fear of the unknown is what motivates us to seek knowledge. And fear of powerlessness is what motivates us to be free.
  • Fisher King: In a variation, the Farm starts out as gray and devoid of life when its owner, Vince, is at his most humble and human. As he reveals more and more about his life as an immortal, as well as how inhuman he can be, his animals return and the sun rises, bathing his farm, and only his farm, in gold.
  • Fish People: Both Durnem and Nerea are this; the former being a fylin, the latter being half eel-type merfolk. They mutually mistake each other for members of their own species initially, despite their differences.
  • Flawed Prototype: The electric rice cooker that R&D provided Megumi after they appropriated her stove-top one clearly looks dangerous, being literally a box with bare wiring. And burn marks.
  • Flying Broomstick: Durnem can fly on her Magic Staff by squatting on it like a surfboard, but it functions like a Hover Board in that it can't go too far above the ground. For her it helps as a fast mode of transportation, since she can't run very well on fins for legs. She also used it to avoid falling into a fissure that Miyuki opened when she disappeared from the Wasteland.
  • The Force Is Strong with This One: Actually spoken by Ferisen with regards to June, referring to her increased familiarity with lucid dreaming as compared to other Earthlings. Kind of funny given she's never seen Star Wars - this fact is even lampshaded via Ferisen wondering how those words came to her. The words turn out to be true, given how powerful June's magic is.
  • Full-Name Basis: Seems to be the case for The Midnight Stitcher, as he specifically told Ayako to use his full name- though he doesn't make much of a fuss about it.
  • Ghostly Chill: Discussed by Friedrich von Schwarzwald at the Shinkyo Market District, where he compares Rin's ice powers to his and Sinistrina's life-draining magic, saying that both carry/administer a chill. Downplayed in his case though, as his magic can cool things down just a slight, and certainly not freeze them.
  • Give Me a Reason: Gabe does this twice, first to Sinistrina with regards to destroying Misery Manor, and then to the Golden Being with regards to destroying him and Armory Knight. The former example is more "give me a reason not to", since when Sinistrina offers said reason (via telling of her banishment and the balance between darkness and light), Gabe appears to give up on the idea.
  • Glamour Failure:
    • After summoning Ruviltene and using it to enhance his pyrokinesis, Cira's left eye loses its pupil and iris, having them replaced by a series of concentric gray circles.
    • Sinistrina experiences this in Misery Manor. She appears as a (relatively) normal human at first, but after using more of her magic and being under threat of her manor being destroyed, her Tainted Veins show and her body becomes more obviously corpse-like.
  • A God I Am Not: Ethoya has the raw might and even worshippers, but considers herself a servant of a higher power; "guardian spirit" or "angel" can serve as very approximate translations of the concept. (No relationship to Gabe's psychotic associates.)
  • Green Thumb:
    • Magdalene has the ability to summon plants. During her introduction in the Snow Castle, she makes a flower appear out of thin air, and when the fight breaks out there, she sprouts several large thorny vines out of the ground.
    • Amiluet controls flowers during her performances. At one point, June gives her a magical hairpin that strengthens this "thumb"; this she later uses to sprout whole plants out of the ground (including an entire fruit tree) and spontaneously create a Magic Staff from a sprouted branch.
  • Hammerspace: Fooly, a clown doll Mystripet belonging to Phoebe, loves to pull objects out of invisible pockets on her dress for use in attacks. All of them are ridiculously large for her size, including at least twenty knives at once and a horn twice as big as herself.
  • Hearing Voices: Something has managed to get into Noire's head which occasionally comments on the events around her, notably trying to make her suspicious of the Azure Knight.
  • Heart Drive: Sinistrina creates one for Armory Knight as a way of restoring his soul. But it's not his heart; instead it's his left arm.
  • Heart Trauma:
    • Friedrich the doll experiences this as a result of the Sentinel's shared vision of life. His pocket watch was implied to be a surrogate heart for him, even ticking as a "heartbeat". When the vision causes Sinistrina's soul to leave Misery Manor and force its way into him, this "heart" shatters. This results in a loss of self, to the point where he borderlines on Empty Shell.
    • At the same time, Sinistrina experiences the inverse: her heart is protected by her will-o-wisps, restoring her emotions. Somewhat, anyway, as she doesn't regain her mortality.
  • Heroes "R" Us: AEGIS (which Ayako and Ruka are members of) and the Oradamin (which Durnem is a member of). Both consist of highly-skilled combatants dedicated to fighting evil threats that pop up in their world.
  • Heroic BSoD: "Heroic" is a strong word, but Winters is going through one of these, rendering the usually cheerfully deranged woman serious and introspective.
  • Higher Understanding Through Drugs: The Four Bardic Sisters ended up in Dream by drinking a tea known to induce long, vivid, lucid dreams.
  • His Name Really Is "Barkeep": The Midnight Stitcher is actually called that, though Played for Drama- he had no other name and clung to it when people started calling him that.
  • Human Resources: Sinistrina harvests the blood of the corpses she re-animates and stores them in bottles in the cellar of Misery Manor. Later she drinks this blood as substance for her Healing Factor, and offers it to Niru and Moreena for that same purpose.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: The Psychic Reaper has this viewpoint, thanks to a Dark and Troubled Past.
  • I Am What I Am: Sinistrina comes to this realization in the Graveyard after she comes close to a Despair Event Horizon and is pulled out of it via a vision from the Sentinel. Throughout her life she had been Afraid of Their Own Strength with regards to her magic and after she died she longed for a mortal life, but after this vision she comes to accept this, no longer worrying about its implications. Overlaps with Fully-Embraced Fiend, since she also gives up on her wish to become mortal again, being content with being a lich.
  • I Ate WHAT?!: When Emriel first enters the Heart Forge, she notices all the red fluid around, and tastes it to confirm that it is in fact blood. Later, Noire explains that the blood is mutagenic, prompting Emriel to freak out and wonder if she'll be poisoned by it.
  • An Ice Person: Rin Tachibana utilizes ice based powers, which helps when you're in charge of the Northern Fleet. She can form a sword out of frozen nitrogen, as well as rapidly erode stone walls, among other things.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: Lux Sniper/Psychic Reaper told Ayako that she was hoping to be friends with her.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice:
    • Ruka got impaled twice, first in her right shoulder by the Messenger's lance, and then in her left thigh by a broken signpost after the Messenger's self-destruction.
    • This tends to be the Midnight Stitcher's standard method of attack, using his ridiculously sharp Combat Tentacles to skewer his opponents.
  • Incongruously Dressed Zombie: The zombie who brings Sinistrina a drink post-battle with Armory Knight is dressed like a butler.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Apparently the first thing Sinistrina thinks after realizing how dry and withered her body had become after she purified the ether from the Deathly Glade, since she has one of her zombies bring wine (or rather, blood) to remedy that.
  • Innocent Fanservice Girl: Being of Yothic origin, Ethoya considers a long skirt sufficient clothing for her human form. Her companions in the Bone Forest have too much else to worry about to think much of it, plus the only male present is an Eldritch being.
  • In-Series Nickname: The others in the Ruins refer to their "host" as Rey, who in turn insists on being called Reynardo, as only his friends call him the shorter nickname. It comes off as somewhat captious, until one considers that the ancient vampire has taken on a Mexican identity, and in Spanish, "rey" translates as "king." Reynardo and his kind were worshipped as gods in their civilization. He does not like to be reminded of it.
  • Instant Awesome: Just Add Dragons!:
    • While June is conversing with Ferisen and Amiluet at the Twilight Ball, they see someone flying by on a wyvern-like dragon right outside. Who knew?
    • Furthermore, June proceeded to convert one mage's fire spell into a fiery dragon and use it against him.
  • Insult Backfire: When Reynardo and Cira engaged in We ARE Struggling Together, the first called the former "rude and ungrateful". While Cira ignored the "rude" part, he considers his ungratefulness a virtue most of the time.
  • I Resemble That Remark!: When June calls Amiluet a child, she retorts by saying that she will be turning five next "green-arc". From her perspective it proves June wrong, as an Orenyan year is nearly four times as long as an Earth year (therefore she's just under 20 Earth years old). Too bad she doesn't know that a five-year-old would be considered a child on Earth, making this especially apparent to Lauren.
  • It's Raining Men: The Midnight Stitcher and Arizona arrive this way in Rozeta Marga, after get sent airborne by the Psychic Reaper.
  • It's the Only Way: The Golden Being says this to Sinistrina about needing soul matter to repair Armory Knight.
  • I Thought Everyone Could Do That: Arizona, the harpy girl Eldritchian who was literal born in the dream, believes humans can do anything. Like grow bones from their body at will.
  • I Was Having Such a Nice Dream: While her time in Dream was not entirely pleasant, Ayako, who at that point was trying to make friends with someone, really didn't want to go when she was inadvertently woken up by the Psychic Reaper tossing her from the Cerebral Dungeon.
  • Knight In Sour Armor: Friedrich has lost his faith in God, humanity, and himself, but he's as dedicated as ever to helping people survive under the Republic's rule through the resistance network he founded as a young man. Heinrich comments that Friedrich's continued commitment is all the more noteworthy when his cynicism is taken into account.
  • Lady of Black Magic: Sinistrina, wielding the power of necromancy, shadow magic, and Cold Flames. Moreena too, being a death goddess and all. And the Sentinel, with her blood-magic based Lovecraftian Superpowers. And they all ended up in the Magician's Graveyard, appropriately enough.
  • Language of Magic: Latori, the native language of Orenya, appears to be this, since despite the Translator Microbes floating around in the dreamscape, Durnem and the Four Bardic Sisters always use this language for their Magical Incantations. But the reality leans more towards Words Do Not Make The Magic, as it is mentioned a couple of times that incantations are only present to help focus magic. The Orenyan characters don't need incantations for their Psychic Powers or a few simpler spells, the language is used for swearing as well, and wording of incantations can vary (Amiluet and Ferisen used different incantations to open a path to another dream world, and Ferisen did this twice with a different incantation each time).
  • Laser-Guided Karma: The Golden Being gets a huge dose of it after he directly attacks the Sentinel's soul, nearly destroying her. What happens as a result? Both Patches and Armory Knight, the two characters he wanted to spare/protect, end up with heavily damaged souls.
  • Last-Name Basis: Vince insists on referring to everybody outside his household (anyone who isn't immediate family, a very close friend, or house staff) with a title and their last name, unless they insist otherwise. On the other hand, he doesn't care that much if you refer to him as Vince, Doctor Acquati, Acquati, or even just Doc.
  • Light 'em Up: Emperor Imeriz has light-based abilities, such as creating swords of light. Not surprisingly since he is in part made of light.
  • Light Equals Hope: Sinistrina emerging into the forest (after spending the rest of the Dream in the dimly-lit Misery Manor and Graveyard) coincides with things starting to get better not only for her, but also the bottled souls she had agreed to help Moreena set free. This would lead to her setting the souls free in the forest, then finding the Hall of Healing where she comes Back from the Dead.
  • Like a Son to Me: Friedrich the doll is this to Sinistrina, though he was actually reconstructed from pieces of porcelain. He even adopted her surname.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: The Pool of Wishes in the Cathedral of the Four Swords has the potential to be one. Its purpose is to show one's deepest and most passionate desires, so should one refuse to come out of the pool because of what they see...
  • Magic A Is Magic A: Discussed at the Snow Castle by Rin, Gwenafer, and Gliosem, who reach a consensus on magic being a neutral omnipotent force that one can use to any end. Alice tries to disprove this with an experiment involving writing down spells and recipes, but inadvertently seems to arrive at this conclusion herself.
  • Magically Regenerating Clothing: Moreena's clothes are supernatural nature. Not only can she magically repair them if damaged; she can create new clothing that resembles her own at will (she does the latter for Niru just before they head to the Graveyard City).
  • Magic Is Evil: In Alice Winters's version of Earth at least, which is why she set up an anti-magic field of sorts to repel it.
  • Magic Music:
    • The fighting style of Ludwig, a Mystripet of Ashleigh's resembles a musical conductor. All his music-based attacks qualify as Magic by Mystrica's standards.
    • Ferisen's latria produces literal Magic Music, in that it produces no sound, but rather a magical sensation akin to music. She also plays it in tandem with an incantation while using spells, presumably to augment their effects.
    • At the end of the fight against Magdalene, Gliosem uses one of her songs as this. It functions as a healing/shielding spell for herself, and manages to magically calm Magdalene down... just before she vanishes. She later performs a similar song for Rin in order to help with her sleep paralysis, though it also produces a soothing mist that affects the entire group.
    • Heck, let's just say that all four Bardic Sisters are capable of this. Another example is Amiluet commanding the fighting Twilight Ball crowd's attention with a reprise of the Morality Ballad she and her sisters performed earlier, using an enchantment courtesy of magic ivy to calm them down in the process. As soon as the song is over, although the ivy remains, the enchantment breaks and the fighting resumes.
  • Magic Staff:
    • Making one and giving it a Meaningful Name is a tradition among experienced mages of Orenya. So Durnem, one of the Oradamin, has one named Watimari ("celestial spirit"). After learning An Aesop at the Twilight Ball and just before waking up, Amiluet makes a flowery paintbrush-staff named Dureminda ("creative drawing").
    • Sinistrina also has one, though it does not have a name; instead it has a skull on it as a dead giveaway to the kind of magic she uses.
  • Making a Splash: Nerea has water-based abilities, as one might expect from a finned creature living in and by the sea.
  • Mama Bear:
    • Ethoya regards Iveya as her daughter, since Ethoya's priestesses took care of Iveya when Iveya's own mother did quite the opposite. So Ethoya is perfectly willing to hunt down the Eyes and Teeth to protect Iveya.
    • Artemis is a Mama Wolf to Lupin. It shows when she encounters Celia in Yamiko's Misery Manor illusion, where she growls at her for apparently killing Lupin and insists on fighting her alongside Yamiko's Mystripets.
    • By definition, Sinistrina is one for Friedrich after her soul transfers to him. Defied, in that when she follows Moreena out of the Graveyard crater, she protects him by leaving him behind, since A) she anticipates the place being more dangerous, and B) she wants to keep him away from Moreena because of her duty of setting souls on their proper path. Also subverted, in that she acted in a more Mama Bear-ish fashion to Misery Manor (which isn't a personnote ), evidenced by how she told Gabe that she would have no choice but to stop him if he tried to destroy the place.
  • Meaningful Rename: Celia, Yamiko's great-grandmother, has Tomoe as her birth name, but when she married a mycologist, he jokingly called her "my Celia", which is the plural of mycelium, the mold-like structure a fungus takes on. Her daughter Alice continued the tradition - as her malicious insanity became more apparent over the years, Celia often called her "Mad Alice", or "Malice" for short.
  • Medium Awareness: One of the voices in Noire's head has dialogue written in teal text. Immediately upon said voice's introduction, the following dialogue occurs:
    Noire: Your thoughts are in teal!? How!?
    Voice: Because sweetiekins, I'm like The Moon- I can even make you aware of capitalization, neat huh?
  • Morality Ballad: The last number of the Four Bardic Sisters' performance, about the balance between darkness and light and how they must exist in harmony rather than fight each other. When Amiluet performs this song by herself after the fight breaks out there, it is clear that this message backfired, as the fight breaks out again the instant she finishes the song.
  • Mood Ring Eyes:
    • Downplayed for The Midnight Stitcher, as the color of his eyes seem to reflect three general moods- Crimson & Gold when he's calm, Black when he's upset & sad, with Purple being when he's completely angry.
    • Sinistrina has a variety of this, though not with her eyes. The will-o-wisps she summons from her staff are her "eyes" into the people who are experiencing Misery Manor's illusions, and they change color depending on the person's emotions. They're purple by default, but change to red for excitement, pink for joy, blue for sadness, orange for anger, and black for despair.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: Alice Winter's suggestion to Rin in dealing with a rampaging Magdalene.
  • The Musketeer: Alex is one, using an elephant gun and a zweihander as her choice of weapons.
  • Mushroom Samba: Kinotake, one of the Mystripets Celia uses in Yamiko's battle with her, seems based off this trope (her species name is even Shroomba). She's a Mushroom Man producing rainbow-colored spores (which are possibly hallucinogenic), introduces herself with a spiritual chant, and specializes in causing Standard Status Effects.

    N-Z 
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast:
    • Lampshaded by Danielle (one of the Dragon's Daughters) at Misery Manor:
      "No, we aren't here for Sinistrina. Doesn't sound like someone we'd want to meet, anyway. I mean, who gives their kid a name like that, anyway?"
    • And also by Patches later on:
      "Misery Manor? Any sane person would run away really fast from such a name!"
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: The Midnight Stitcher is capable of shrugging off all sorts of damage.
  • Ninja Log: Megumi used a feather duster to attempt to avoid Magdalene's soul possession attack. Too bad the attack couldn't be evaded.
  • Ninja Maid: In addition to being one, Megumi is also in charge of entire ninja maid corp.
  • Nonhumans Lack Attributes: A naked and transformed Ruka (controlled by Fuwa the raiju kitten) maintains her modesty thanks to her coat of fur.
  • Oh My Gods!:
    • In Beta Town, at one point Gon says to Ruka, "Of course... thank Kinaga you're not that naive."
    • Inadvertently used by Nick, who got reprimanded by a Miniature Senior Citizen because of it.
    • In Eneritan, Emriel at one point says, "Man, I've tried to access that place for Telwenthe knows how long," and after she becomes a lich, Ferisen says, "Thank Eldarien I'll be mortal again when I wake up... hopefully." Telwenthe and Eldarien are moons of Orenya and are apparently treated as gods.
  • Olympus Mons: The Elemental Goddesses of Mystrica. There are five of them, representing the elements of Fire, Air, Water, Earth, and Spirit. One of each of the Elemental Guardians' Mystripets has the power to transform into a goddess temporarily.
  • Ominous Fog: Much like its predecessor, the Forest is bathed in a thick, vaguely mystical fog that obscures distances and where places are in relation to each other.
  • Ominous Owl: Lacriment is not really an owl, but the black cloak and the white owl mask can be seen as unsettling.
  • Ominous Pipe Organ: The Cathedral of the Four Swords has one, as one might expect.
  • One-Man Army: June's perfectly capable of fending off an army while the Twilight Ball group retreated.
  • One Steve Limit: Broken a few times.
    • There are two Friedrichs: Friedrich Ritter of the Ritter Clinic, and Friedrich von Schwarzwald the (formerly) broken porcelain doll.
    • Also two Alices: Alice Winters and Alice Murakage (the latter is Celia's daughter and Yamiko's grandmother, nicknamed "Malice"). And neither one is particularly sane either, though Malice's insanity burns hot while Winters' madness runs cold.
    • To a lesser extent, there are also two Liliths, though they are only mentioned by Gabe and Noire.
  • Our Demons Are Different: The giant, red, bipedal, cloud-eating, spell-casting goat with bat wings certainly looks the part, and is referred to as such by Claire.
  • Our Fairies Are Different:
    • The Four Bardic Sisters don't quite count as fairies due to being mortal, but they certainly look like them, especially with their insectoid wings. While they can't fly very well, they can use magic, and are even musically inclined.
    • Magdalene apparently knows fairies, though it's not yet clear what they are like.
    • As with wights, Noire, Ashleigh, and Emriel all have different opinions on fairies. To Noire, fairies are mostly tricksters. To Ashleigh, they are either (mostly) benevolent mythological beings or video game helpers. To Emriel, they are an ancient winged race that the sumiri are implied to be descendants of.
  • Our Homunculi Are Different: Noire specifically stated Homunculi are any creatures made from magic itself, which led her to mistakenly assume Ashleigh and Phoebe's Mystripets are the same. Though No Ontological Inertia seems to apply as well, yet in a specific form as she deemed the Ribeye Butterfly's dissolution too weird for it to be one.
  • Our Liches Are Different:
    • The circumstances of Sinistrina becoming one were a little unusual: she experienced The Corruption after being banished to the Deathly Glade, saw that her ever-strengthening magic (as a result of absorbing the black mists) was not helping her survive there, and used said magic to create her phylactery (Misery Manor itself) after seeing that Death Is the Only Option. Her appearance is of the corpse-like variety, though in the beginning she takes on a sort of glamour and appears (slightly) more alive. And instead of properly rotting, her body just withers away over time and can be restored by drinking blood - which is more characteristic of a vampire.
    • Ferisen becomes one shortly after discovering An Aesop inside the Eight Wings Library, using her latria as a phylactery. She uses a single spell to do so, and jams another Field of Souls crystal into her Third Eye to act as an animating force for her body. As she was perfectly alive beforehand, her appearance is of the "nearly living" variety, though it is implied that her body will eventually rot.
    • Less "traditional" lich with a phylactery and more Revenant Zombie, Milly is an undead White Mage who was magically stuffed back into her body after meeting an untimely demise to avoid becoming a feral zombie in the accursed lands of Magna Terras. She can recover from most injuries... eventually.
  • Our Vampires Are Different:
    • Specifically, Reynardo Morales has no problem with sunlight aside from it affecting his eyes, and largely comes across as being alive physically, has something resembling a soul, and has few of the stereotypical appearance hints. His weaknesses are equally unusual, but they do exist.
    • Cira, on the other hand, is fully living, but has slightly elongated canines and drinks small amounts of blood once in a while to stay fully healthy, however all of those characteristics come from a mutation caused by use of a very specific kind of Blood Magic on him as a child.
    • Similarly, Durnem has possibly the most stereotypically vampire-like appearance of any of the characters (pale skin, red eyes, fangs, claws), but is actually not a vampire at all.
    • Alex also carries a few vampiric traits, such as her pale skin, red eyes, and (not-very-prominent) fangs. Also not undead, instead she's undying, and comes with superhuman strength, speed, durability, and a slew of other abilities. She is also Weakened by the Light a little, as well as shadow magic.
  • Our Werebeasts Are Different: Ruka the half-ghost has a raiju named Fuwa inhabiting her body, which not only grants her her Shock and Awe powers, but also allows her to transform into a humanoid raiju. She automatically transforms if Fuwa is in control of her body.
  • Our Wights Are Different: Ashleigh, Noire, and Emriel all have wildly different opinions on what wights are. To Ashleigh, they are simply one of The Undead. To Noire, they are beings whose existence should be impossible, like the Sanguine Shaper. To Emriel, they are people, living or dead, who have completely forgotten who they are. Ashleigh then suggests that "maybe we should just agree that all our wights are different".
  • Our Zombies Are Different: The zombies in and around Misery Manor are Voodoo Zombies under Sinistrina's control, and thus are harmless - if she wants them to be, of course. She mostly uses them to help with housework, or just as company.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: Upon discovering Eneritan, Emriel, a sassy and snarky enchantress, is overcome with excitement and childlike wonder. Lampshaded when she apologizes to Claire for her behavior; she even jokes that Magdalene must have possessed her (appropriate, since possession is actually within Magdalene's abilities).
  • Pass the Popcorn: Nergui, guided by Ceallagh out of the Forest, enters the Graveyard and sees a battle raging in the distance, near the Misery Manor. Ceallagh's first reaction (apart from expressing her surprise that she wasn't the one who started the fight)? Make herself comfortable on a pile of debris overlooking the battle, and send Nergui to the Manor for a glass of wine so she can enjoy the sight of carnage even more.
  • Perpetual Molt: Raven suffers from this, which makes it nigh impossible for her to fly; she became a doctor, one step of many, in an attempt to resolve this.
  • The Pin Is Mightier Than the Sword: During the fight at the Twilight Ball, June gives Amiluet a hairpin that considerably strengthens her Green Thumb.
  • Pineal Weirdness: Is a common trait of the natives of Orenya. When Amiluet receives the magical hairpin from June, she experiences a burning sensation in the middle of her forehead, similar to when she had her magical powers awakened in her childhood. Ruka initially experiences something similar after possessing Ferisen.
  • Plot-Relevant Age-Up: Happens to Mad Alice three times in Yamiko's Misery Manor illusion. She starts off as a Creepy Child, then during Yamiko's battle with Celia she instantly ages to an Emo Teen, then a crazed pregnant lady, and finally an even-more-crazed middle-aged woman.
  • Poke in the Third Eye:
    • Moreena experiences a variation of this while searching for the spirit in the Graveyard.
    • Winters really enjoys doing this. And threatening to do this. She warns Gliosem that she should stay out of Winters' head, because "some [Songs] are best left forgotten".
  • Power Incontinence
    • Iveya's powers have a mind of their own. A psychopathic mind.
    • Nathan experiences this with his life-draining area of effect, to the point where he actively struggles to hold it in. This becomes a problem in the Dream, considering he doesn't have the ring he uses to keep it under control.
  • Present Tense Narrative: Nergui and Ceallagh's story is narrated in present tense, except the part where Nergui experiences a flashback in the Misery Manor, which narrated in past tense. The tense at the end of the vision switches back to present mid-sentence, to indicate that the Manor started tampering with Nergui's memories.
  • Proud Warrior Race: The fylin (Durnem's species), who are organized into clans. These clans have a culture revolving around competition between them in battle. Notable for existing on a planet otherwise populated by Proud Scholar Race Guys, and remaining a distinct warrior race despite using primarily magic for combat.
  • Psychic Powers:
    • Befitting one with the name Psychic Reaper, she has Telepathy, as evident by her implanting memories in others, accessing memories, and pulling a Magical Girl into a Dream Within a Dream; and powerful Telekinesis, displayed with her displacing Ayako, Durnem, and the Midnight Stitcher from the Cerebral Dungeon.
    • Just like with Aura Vision above, psychic powers in general are ubiquitous among the natives of Orenya. Ferisen is particularly adept in this area, regularly carrying things with telekinesis and skilled with Astral Projection.
    • Also Tagui, particularly with telepathy and other forms of clairvoyance.
  • Public Bathhouse Scene: Thanks to the bizarre nature of the dream world version of Shinkyo, Rin is treated to a direct view of a public mixed bath. Not that she terribly minds, apparently.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Two separate examples:
    Magdalene: Don't! Touch! Me! (The exclamation points are accompanied by jabs with her scepter.)
    Durnem: I. Am. A. Fy. Lin. NOT a kruiyeh mermaid.
  • Quest for Identity:
    • Nergui's character arc. Also counts as a meta example: he appears in the Dream with vague memories of his past life, with Ceallagh as his companion who is there to help him recover those memories. This mirrors the situation concerning Nergui's character in Real Life: at the beginning of his story he existed mostly as a blank state, his author (Millership) only having vague ideas of who he really is, and was put into the Dream for sole purpose of Millership to find out "what makes him tick". Unfortunately, Millership "completed the quest" too quickly for Nergui to even start it properly, and figured out his character, the result being an Aborted Arc.
    • Misery Manor is stated to be a good place for undertaking such a quest, and in fact Nergui's quest ended there. The manor itself is another meta example: it is Sinistrina's Soul Jar, and since Sinistrina went through a similar Real Life character evolution to Nergui's over the course of the thread (starting off as a minor, underdeveloped character and eventually becoming one of Ladytanuki's most developed characters), the manor's curse would encourage the same.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Henry A. Safon the Second is actually 1,544 years old but only looks like he's in his mid-30s.
  • "Reason You Suck" Speech: June gives one to the gathered sunestre and sumiri after they reject Amiluet's cries for peace, heckle her performance, and light her on fire.
  • Red Baron: Vita Exosso claimed The Midnight Stitcher is such a name, even explicitly saying it is his "Red Baron title".
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning:
    • Sinistrina first appears as the innocent stewardess of Misery Manor, but her red eyes foreshadow first her occasional amusement about the victims' demise, then her powers of necromancy, then her not wanting the manor to be destroyed, then her being undead, and finally her being the cause (and first victim) of the manor's curse.
    • Subverted with The Midnight Stitcher, as while he isn't particularly aggressive when his red eyes are showing; he also has no qualms trying to kill three different Eldritchs that he ran into, despite being Eldritch himself.
    • Seemingly averted with Durnem, who is clearly The Paladin despite looking vampire-like... but her red eyes could still serve as a warning for her dirty mouth and aggressive nature, decidedly un-Paladin characteristics.
    • Vince has irises the color of blood, which is a remnant of his ancestry as one of the Onakalis, a powerful ruling clan that he inadvertently destroyed. He doesn't have access to the powerful magic that made the Onakalis so feared, but his eyes still look fairly unsettling in an age where blood-colored eyes were thought to be extinct. He's generally a fairly nice guy, though. Most of the time.
    • Alex has (faintly) glowing red eyes, and between her profession and choice of weapons, isn't someone to be trifled with.
  • Retcon: When Sinistrina was first introduced in the thread, she was a mortal human by default, wasn't a necromancer, and was merely a stewardess of Misery Manor. After Ladytanuki came up with these character traits (mostly during the Room of Blackness arc), some retconning had to be done to explain the details of the manor thus far. This left some discontinuities, such as the manor suddenly being safe to leave when previously it wasn't, and the zombies at the beginning wanting to attack the manor conflicting with her later ability to raise the dead. Fortunately, the decision to make her a lich did not hurt the continuity at all, as it provided a source for the manor's curse and gave a Darker and Edgier meaning to the pictures on the walls; even her suddenly becoming undead was chalked up to Glamour Failure.
  • Retired Monster: Xeqa is a sadistic, nihilistic conqueror and warlord who has earned such charming titles as "the Conqueror" and "the Crucifier", but with her death fast approaching, she can't be bothered to do anything more than troll those who catch her eye.
  • Robe and Wizard Hat: Sinistrina's old outfit, of the black and tattered variety. In the Graveyard she eventually swaps it out for a Pimped-Out Dress, but keeps the hat.
  • Rock Theme Naming: The wings of the Eight Wings Library are the ruby, topaz, gold, emerald, turquoise, sapphire, and amethyst halls, with an unknown eighth hall.
  • RPG Elements: Naturally, being from a video game world, the Elemental Guardians bring many of these along. Just like in the average JRPG, their Mystripets often call out their attacks in battle, and level up when defeating enough enemies. The Guardians themselves have devices called Scanners, which can be used to store their Mystripets, scan enemies, and keep an inventory in hammerspace.
  • Samus Is a Girl: Discussed by Gon and Ari when they encounter Ruka, who looked ambiguous/masculine to them because of the armor/helmet and the fact that they just encountered the blue-armoured Demo earlier. Ari even makes a direct comparison between her and Trope Namer Samus.
  • Scary Librarian: Ruka has had the misfortune of dealing with one of these in the past, which prompts her to stop talking lest she say the wrong thing in front of the scholars of the Eight Wings Library.
  • Schrödinger's Butterfly: When Durnem is kicked out of the Cerebral Dungeon and ends up in the ocean, she thinks that she has woken up... but then the Midnight Stitcher shows up, and she realizes she's still in the Dream.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: In the Heart Forge, after being accused of introducing magic to the people of Earth and starting a war, then insulted for being beaten by a Digimon knockoff, and finally subject to a bunch of fleshy clones appearing, Emriel has enough of the shenanigans of Noire and Ashleigh and quietly escapes through a portal to Magdalene's Realm.
  • Sense Freak: Ghost!Ruka is taken by surprise adjusting to sumiri physiology after possessing Ferisen's body. She momentarily distracts herself observing auras, something she's never been able to do before. Such that when she discovers Ferisen's Third Eye, she is not confident in using Ferisen's other psychic abilities, even though said eye would have allowed her to do so, given the right mindset.
  • Shock and Awe: Ruka has lightning-based powers, mostly manifesting as electrical charges appearing around weapon or objects used in combat. No wonder she attracted (magnetically?) the attention of Natsu, Ari's electric butterfly Mystripet.
  • Shout-Out:
    • After observing June use each of the four classical elements (wind, waternote , fire, earth) in quick succession, Amiluet wonders if she is an avatar of the gods.
    • Another courtesy of Amiluet: when she and June and Lauren return to the Twilight Ball after stocking up on weapons, Amiluet (who looks fairy-like, notably) gets the crowd's attention by shouting "HEY! LISTEN!". And then "Look!" immediately after, and then to Lauren and June after the fight resumes, "Watch out!"
    • Another at the Twilight Ball: when June mentions her familiarity with lucid dreaming, Ferisen replies, "The force is strong with this one."
    • The crowd scene at the Shinkyo market has a certain red and white striped fellow, and a mugger apparently receiving knife instruction.
    • After freaking out over Ferisen's death, Gliosem explains to Megumi and Jackson that normally if you die in a dream you wake up, but since she and her sisters drank a potent dream-inducing tea to get into the Dream, their souls will become lost in a sort of limbo instead. This explanation is pretty much stolen from Inception.
    • Emriel, Claire, and a giant goat demon pretty much reenacted the "Keep very still" scene from Jurassic Park, complete with Emriel running off to hide from the demon.
  • Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: Set up as a family-unfriendly aesop. At the Safon warehouse, June and Lauren are stocking up on weapons after being attacked by sunestre mages at the Twilight Ball, to which Amiluet expresses that fighting is not the solution to this conflict. June and Lauren briefly relent and let Amiluet talk to the combatants first, and when they return, Amiluet performs a Morality Ballad with conjured plants. While everyone listens to the song, as soon it is done, a few people in the audience berate her for said idealism, and then one of them sets her wings on fire and the fighting resumes.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Durnem, though she only swears in Orenya's native language. The word kraguor even roughly translates to "shit" (and resembles the name of an acquaintance of June's).
  • Solid Clouds: Eneritan is full of these - there are even houses situated them and gardens growing on them.
  • Soul Jar:
    • Misery Manor is revealed to be one for Sinistrina, which explains why she doesn't want Gabe to destroy the place. It is held together by eight pictures on its walls, which depict memories of her life and act as its "keystones". In the Graveyard, though, a sensation of life brought about by the Sentinel pulls her soul out of the manor (which causes the images to disappear from the pictures and the manor itself to collapse) and transfers it to Friedrich - specifically the pocket watch resting on his chest.
    • The Phantom of Light has his soul inside a crystal, presumably because armor itself does not hold onto a soul too well.
    • The crystals in the Field of Souls are perfect for this, as they automatically attract souls on a moonless night. Ferisen's latria is made from these crystals, so it does the same to her soul once she's there. However, it doesn't become a full-on soul jar until she surrenders to its pull inside the Eight Wings Library.
    • When leaving the Graveyard Crater, Sinistrina manages to store a whole bunch of souls from the Deathly Glade inside a single wine bottle.
    • Antoinette, one of Sinistrina's zombies, has her soul stored inside her stuffed rabbit. She even treats the rabbit like a proper phylactery, evidenced by how she backs away and holds it close when Sinistrina allows Moreena (who is a death goddess aiming to set souls on their proper path) to try and contact her.
  • Soul Power:
    • Magdalene has fine control over souls. Among other things, this gives her the power to possess people and things (she does so to both Megumi and a tatami mat in the Snow Castle).
    • Sinistrina, being a necromancer, has this ability too - particularly with repairing broken souls, storing them inside objects, and crafting new souls out of ether (soul material). The catch is that the black mists that form the basis for her magic taint the souls in the process.
  • Space Elves: The Four Bardic Sisters and probably Orenyans in generalnote , of the Proud Scholar Race Guy variety. It shows in their casual mention of magic and psychic phenomena/abilities, implying that it's just a regular part of their culture. But they look more like fairies (see Our Fairies Are Different above) than elves.
  • Speak of the Devil:
    • In Beta Town, Ruka starts talking about the powerful and destructive Messengers. Guess what appears shortly thereafter - Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!
    • Spoken word-for-word by Friedrich the doll in the Shinkyo Market District. When he notices that his pocket watch has disappeared, he panics, saying he and his creator will be doomed. Cue said creator (Sinistrina) approaching the group.
  • Spell My Name with an "S":
    • Yukijou, Yukijō, or Yuki-jō?
    • Sinistrina or Sinistra?
  • Spider Swarm: When Misery Manor appears in the Dream, part of the process involves thousands of spiders coalescing into a dark mass that becomes the manor. When the place is destroyed, a bunch of those same spiders crawl out of it. Thankfully, (most of) the spiders don't stick around while the manor is intact.
  • Spiders Are Scary: The Eight Wings Library is inhabited by lots of spiders, judging from all the cobwebs. However, Ruka and Ferisen's guide tells them that the spiders are harmless.
  • Sssssnake Talk: Melusssssine, a ssssserpentine Myssssstripet belonging to Yamiko, ssssspeakssss like thissss... but speaks normally when invoked as Cerula (who is more dragon than snake).
  • Starfish Language: Thanks to Gossip Evolution and the general strangeness of its known speakers, Ethoya believes "Terran" (i.e. near-future English) is one of these.
  • The Starscream: In Yamiko's Misery Manor illusion, her grandmother Malice is revealed to be this. Originally Celia (Yamiko's great-grandmother and (M)alice's mother) was thought to be responsible for the curse on the Murakage family, lamenting that it shouldn't have existed since she would rather have started one with the man she really loved (who met an untimely death). Malice supported this thinking and helped defile the family in preparation, but Celia managed to be Good All Along, even protesting Malice's actions. Malice was disappointed by Celia's "softness" and took it upon herself to cast the curse as a Thanatos Gambit, culminating in suicide right after killing Celia.
  • Stepford Snarker: When Aunrei is asked directly about the source of his wounds and why he has human blood all over his hand, he gives the group a sarcasm-laden description of his old job as a psychopath's personal whipping boy and how he still has nightmares about it.
  • Straw Nihilist: Xeqa, by design. She picked up the books written by Ziven, her world's closest equivalent to Nietzsche, but perused them for excuses for her psychopathy instead of bothering to really understand what he wrote.
  • Street Urchin: Ayako was one for a couple of years after running away from home. She ended up resorting to stealing what she needed to get by, and was frequently injured, hungry, and sick.
  • Suspiciously Apropos Music: Used twice by Gliosem with her songs: first when she accidentally wanders into the grounds of Yukijou-minato and encounters the group there, second in an attempt to calm down Magdalene when she attacks everyone. Gwenafer lampshades the latter by wondering "why in the Depths is she singing".
  • Tarot Motifs: The Cathedral of the Four Swords is based on the 4 of Swords card of the tarot, which is often associated with death and somber contemplation. The traditional imagery for the card involves a person lying still with a sword nearby, the other three swords hanging on the wall of a darkened church.
  • Tempting Fate: In the Snow Castle, Alice Winters pictures a song in her mind to keep out unwanted telepaths, and (mentally) remarks that anyone heard humming that song is really going to get it. Guess what Gliosem does right after that.
  • Total Eclipse of the Plot: The Eneritan plot involves the sanctuary's impending doom, coinciding with all four of Orenya's moons eclipsing the sun at once. In this case the tension is in the buildup to the eclipse rather than the eclipse itself, especially since the obscuring of the sun is more visible than it would be on Earth.
  • Trail of Bread Crumbs: Nergui attempts to pull this off by marking trees with his sword to make sure he moves in a straight line in order to get out of the Forest. This being a Dream Forest, it doesn't work as expected.
  • Translator Microbes:
    • Defied by Reynardo, who trips up the dreamscape's translation matrix by speaking an untranslatable language. Everyone around him hears Spanish, allowing him to get his point across via tone and intent but still keep secret the fact that he designed the Ruins.
    • At least in the Twilight Ball, these microbes only work on spoken words, not written ones - such that Ferisen and Amiluet cannot read the English words on June's shirt and have to ask her what it says.
  • Troubled Backstory Flashback:
    • Naturally, Misery Manor often induces these. There's even one inside one of the manor's illusions, experienced (and shared) by Yamiko's great-grandmother, of her One True Love being murdered by rival gangsters. After the manor is destroyed, the Pool of Despair in the Cathedral of the Four Swords serves the same function.
    • While not a whole flashback, Nick sees his dead brother in the park, which disturbs him so greatly he closes his eyes and practically makes himself (unknowingly) go to another area. While he hasn't seen him since, it's clear that this still haunts him.
  • Turning Back Human: Sinistrina is not too happy about being undead, expressing a wish to return to her mortal self. After a long while in the Dream and several difficult ordeals and revelations in the Graveyard, this wish finally comes true... though only until she wakes up.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Ethoya is a rare female case of this. At one point Ayako calls her out on it, and she responds by pointing out that Durnem doesn't wear much clothing either. They're about equally clothed: all Ethoya wears is a long skirt, while Durnem just has a short vest and a skirt-like loincloth.
  • Walking Wasteland:
    • Nathan constantly emits an area-of-effect that drains life away from people. He needs to wear a device on him to contain this power... and of course it has gone missing in the Dream. Fortunately he appears in the Graveyard and his company consists of two goddesses and a lich, so it doesn't do much.
    • Sinistrina is also one; it shows when she walks through the Forest and makes all plants in her path wither and die. Thanks to the Forest's inherent magic though, they come back to life after a while. This happens because her body is concentrated with the life-draining black mists of the Deathly Glade, and her signature spell involves spreading the mist along the ground as a shadow.
  • Wall of Weapons: Lauren's warehouse in San Francisco contains a locked room of firearms.
  • Was Once a Man: The Midnight Stitcher was supposed to be a genetically perfect human yet before he was born was infected with Eldritch biology- turning him into the Humanoid Abomination he is now.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Minus the death part. Zeles Zepheiren was going to be a really important character... not only for Ruth's arc, but for the whole clinic's sub-group, as they would inevitably force everyone to take action in order to deal with them. Unfortunately, real-life issues forced his creator to retire both them and Ruth before we could see what was going to happen.
  • Weakened by the Light: While Alex is a vampire, she is merely weakened and made slightly ill by exposure to sunlight (or the light of Emperor Imeriz). Lacriment, as a priestess of the Sacred Darkness on the other hand, has a more adverse reaction towards the Emperor's light.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: The Golden Being. All he wants is to restore the damaged soul of Armory Knight - and he wants to take the souls of the characters in the Graveyard to do so.
  • Willing Channeler: Ruka suggests allowing her to take control of Ferisen's body after the latter's soul begins to get drawn into her latria when in the Field of Souls. Ferisen is initially hesitant, but quickly relents and grant Ruka permission to do so.
  • The Woman Wearing the Queenly Mask: Sinistrina functions as this in the Deathly Glade, being its queen "by default" because the only other people "living" there are her Voodoo Zombies (and Friedrich the doll, who she created and is also her "prince"). Especially fitting since their souls are trapped by forces of her own doing. She is well aware of this, to the point where she becomes embarrassed when Niru refers to her as "her majesty".
  • Womb Level: The Eldritch Factory, containing rooms and other regions modeled after body parts.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Sinistrina. Her banishment to Misery Manor and resulting corruption at the hands of her own sister pushed her past the Despair Event Horizon, and said despair materialized as the curse of Misery Manor. She explains it herself to Half and Gabe:
    "All the suffering I faced while here is contained within the walls of this manor, seeking to make all who enter experience that same fate. I did not exactly want it to be that way, but like it or not, it was all I had. By then I knew it was too late, that in this state I could never go back to the way things were before..."
  • Wrong Context Magic: What Rin and Gliosem (and possibly Gwenafer) consider Alice Winters's version of magic to be. The former three see it as a neutral force (see Magic A Is Magic A above), while on Alice's version of Earth, magic comes specifically from an Eldritch Abomination called the Eyes and Teeth.
  • Yin-Yang Bomb: Kazuo-chan, a fallen one-winged angelnote  Mystripet used by Celia in Yamiko's battle with her. He even uses an attack called "Yin-Yang Bomb", and true to the name, it does combined Darkness and Light damage.
  • You Are Worth Hell: A significant source of Gabe's grief is the fact that he can't do this to his lover Lilith, who was in fact condemned to the Inferno - whereas he is fated to go to Paradiso instead. Whether she actually did evil things is anyone's guess, despite her sharing a name with a famous mythological succubus.
  • You Didn't Ask: Comes up when Min and Varris, who are poor and wary of rich people and politicians, discover that Vince is also a senator, on top of having a farm and owning a large company. It never came up during the course of conversation while Min and Varris were around him, and he didn't feel compelled to make sure they knew this, but he didn't see fit to lie to them, either.
    Vince: I didn't know I was obligated to make sure everyone I meet knows that I sometimes have to do politics.
  • You Fool!: Sinistrina says this to the Dragon's Daughters when they enter Misery Manor for the purpose of seeking shelter. Gabe then remarks that he tried to warn them.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Ruka and Gliosem have blue hair. Ferisen and Emriel have different shades of purple hair. June's dog has green fur, while Ruka's transformed state has blue fur matching her hair. Rin lampshades this with regards to Gliosem's hair, then shrugs it off when recalling how some of her comrades have (slightly less) unusual hair colors.
  • You Have No Idea Who You're Dealing With: The Golden Being says this a couple of times to the people who contact him - particularly the Sentinel - during the battle with Armory Knight.
  • Your Soul Is Mine:
    • The Golden Being aims to do this to the characters in the Graveyard in order to repair Armory Knight's soul.
    • Friedrich von Schwarzwald threatens to do this to a shopkeeper in the Shinkyo Market District if he doesn't leave him alone.
  • Your Vampires Suck: Comes up when Alex states that she isn't drastically affected by sunlight.
    Alex: I'm not like one of those Hollywood vampires who go up like a torch in sunlight.
  • Your Worst Nightmare: Par for the course, with Misery Manor and the creatures in the Wasteland from Miyuki's nightmares being prime examples.

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