I got it in my head that I wanted to talk about FAB’s characters in terms of who I like/don’t like etc. But the question was how to structure it. And, after some though, the answer was pretty obvious: Everyone loves a tier list. In this article, I’m going to rank the characters of FAB based on the very scientific criteria of how much I like them as characters, which means these ratings are undeniably correct, unless you think I’m lying about liking or not liking a character for some weird reason. Let’s set out some ground rules on what that means. At some future date, I think I want to do a tier list for aesthetics only, but the overall vibe of the Mega Update centers story, so this felt most appropriate.
– “Characters” will be defined as anyone with one or more cards named for them. So, as much as I’m into Linnea, Mistress of Malady, she doesn’t have a card, so she’s not included. Meanwhile, my girl Minerva gets in because, although she isn’t a hero, she does have a named Mentor card. As a fun wrinkle, that means Blasmophet and Ursur qualify by way of their tokens.
– Characters with multiple cards will only be ranked once based on all available lore and considering growth from one card to the next.
– Gameplay isn’t going to factor in to these decisions at all.
– The lore is the primary factor in these ratings; however, some characters have pretty scant details available at this stage, so some of these rankings could fluctuate a lot going forward (as we get more details).
– I assume that Gem Keeper Ruu’di is not cannon – like it’s a clearly just Rudy on a card, and I don’t think we’re supposed to assume there is a fictional version of him in Rathe. If I see information that contradicts this assumption in the future, I’ll add him to the rankings on a future update (which is a thing I’m going to do, apparently).
– I made a tiermaker template for these here. If anyone else wants to make content along similar lines, you may feel free to use the template to save yourself some time.
– Any disagreements with my rankings demonstrate a personal failing on your part, and I’m deeply sorry that something is wrong with your opinions. Alternatively, if you don’t like it, see the previous point where you can get the resources to make your own (wrong) rankings… I kid, I kid… maybe
I’m considering the tiers as follows:
S: Top notch. These are characters who are good. They have solid narrative hooks and potential paths towards interesting character development. I want to see more of them in the lore and on cards.
A: I am either slightly fond of these characters or think that they have enough elements that they could be interesting characters as their stories continue to be developed. Characters in this category generally don’t make S tier because either they haven’t been developed enough to move beyond “promising”, they have some development, but I have some issues with it, or perhaps there’s something about them that is a little “off”.
B: They’re fine. These are characters that I’m neutral on. Either they don’t appeal to me, but also don’t turn me off, they’re a mixed bag of pros and cons that leaves me waiting for further development to push them up or down the tier list, or they seem like they offer nothing beyond generic well-trod stories/characterization.
C: Not great. These are characters who I don’t like. Either some part of their narrative rubs me the wrong way, they’re really generic, or they have dull personalities.
D: I actively don’t like these character. You could remove them from the game and I’d be happier for it.
Now, let us commence the hot takes, and because I want to avoid it opening or ending with a sustained negative section, I’m going to talk about characters in alphabetical order as opposed to doing them by tier.
Azalea – Tier: A
My Azalea rank is mostly rooted in potential. She has more detail across her story than most of the other Heroes, so she has an established character transformation from young vulnerable orphan into hardened adult. It happens across a short amount of narrative space, but it’s a common enough story that we can fit in the pieces. So, we’re entering the story where she is on her path to being a coldblooded killer, but could potentially change course as she meets other characters.
Benji – Tier: B
Benji is a boy ninja. Benji is diligent. Benji is good at doing a fight. Benji has no real personality yet.
Blasmophet – Tier: A
We mostly have second hand knowledge of Blasmophet right now via Levia. For now, I’m giving it a provisional positive rating because I don’t yet have a good handle on whether Blasmophet is an eldritch force of unfathomable hunger and consumption or if there is more of a directed agenda going on here, but it seems like it’s maybe the former. I hope it’s the former at any rate. Blasmophet looks like an attempt at a Lovecraftian god, and it’s a fairly decent one at that. The big stumbling block a lot of people have when trying to borrow from Lovecraft’s writing is that they fail to grasp the core of the Great Old Ones, which is that they are inscrutable cosmic entities to whom we are inconsequential motes (for the most part –you have your occasional Nyarlathotep in the mix) . Instead, when people try to do Lovecraft, they usually just turn these beings into big weird monsters that are hard to kill. That’s not cosmic horror. Ideally, these sorts of forces don’t directly interact that much with the narrative because they can’t really be fought in any sort of conventional sense, and you can’t reason with them. Levia’s connection to Blasmophet remains vague and unclear, which is good. She invoked a ritual she doesn’t understand and the connection seems to have distorted her being in ways that are still unclear to her. We have no idea what Blasmophet wants or if it even wants. It might just thrive on endless consumption. If I had to make a bet, I’d say that, over time, Blasmophet will probably get demystified and become more boring for it, but maybe we’ll get a surprise here. Still, they seem to have a good base to work with here, which is more than most people manage when doing this sort of being.
Boltyn – Tier: B
For a generic “good” knight character, my dude has his work cut out for him being the sole representative of a couple things I’d love to see more of in the game. He’s the only unambiguously non-white/non-Asian human character across seven set releases. “Everyone is white or pan-Asian” is kind of a tired trope of fantasy at this point, so the lack of diversity in the character pool is frustrating. He’s also the only actual Hero who seems to have any sort of romantic relationship or romantic interest (but I want to give negative points to LSS for fridging his wife as part of his initial lore piece –fuck that shit). I feel like I often see people (alright, I’ll say what I mean here: it’s mostly straight men) dismiss things like romance in action-driven fantasy, but, if you pause and think about it, it’s actually super weird when you have a world populated by people whose only connection to other characters is as martial allies or enemies. It feels like everyone just exists to fight with one another, like a little kid smashing their action figures together. You don’t have to write a romance novel, but romantic relationships are kind of a hugely important part of life for most humans, so their absence in fiction –particularly when it’s nearly universal, is always strange and tends to make characters feel underdeveloped. You don’t need to have the romance be the core focus by any means. Like Dorinthea could have a boyfriend back in Solana who’s a baker or something, and she occasionally thinks about him when she’s out soldiering. Characters are more relatable as humans when they have interests and dimensions beyond just fighting things.
Bravo – Tier: A
The initial piece of Bravo story from the lorebook covers a fairly long period of time that takes him from being a performer obsessed with legends to a skilled fighter who has had his own brush with strange creatures and mysterious ancient forces. The consequence of covering a lot of narrative time in a relatively short span of writing is that we don’t actually get to see how Bravo changed as a person – we get a line or two do indicate that he was affected by his many months of actual combat, but we don’t see it. Conceptually it’s a type of story that works –a young man who loves stories of heroism seeking out his own story, and finding more than he anticipated– but to really make it land, we need to see how the journey affected him. He did acquire a pet meep named Marbles on the trip though, so that’s not nothing. Bravo’s rank here is, like Azalea’s, mostly tied to untapped potential.
Briar – Tier: S
No surprise here, that I’m a fan of Briar is kind of a thing that people are probably aware of. Briar is fun. She’s a tough queer (you’ll never convince me otherwise) lady who doesn’t have the boring one-note stoic characterization that often comes along with that trope. She also has a demonstrated ability to interact with other characters in interesting ways. That’s actually notable because most of the game’s Heroes haven’t had a lot of time to talk to one another, and in the instances they have, it’s often been kind of flat (like Prism lore dumping to Boltyn). Meanwhile, the “A Grand Adventure” story has one of my favorite interactions between FAB’s heroes which goes something like this:
“The woman turned to Briar, who scowled.
“If it’s thanks you’re expecting wayfarer, then you’re out of luck.”
The wayfarer shook her head. “It was my pleasure. But I do want to know where such a unique flower like yourself sprang from.”
Briar grimaced at the use of the term flower. “I hail from Candlehold. I’m the first of my kind to venture beyond the thorns since we were sealed away by the essence of Davnir.”
“Love that for you,” Said the wayfarer. “I’ve heard legends of the Ancients, Yvor, Davnir, Isen… Perhaps you may be able to help us after all.”
The fucking sass of that “love that for you” is *chef’s kiss*. Like, this conversation does more for establishing an interesting dynamic between these two than nearly anything else happening between Heroes elsewhere in the lore. Like, I’ll watch this show. Also, while the line didn’t pan out for her that “such a unique flower” bit was downright flirty. I don’t even think that’s a stretch, half of the art in the article that features the two of them together includes other characters who they’re ignoring while their faces are a foot and a half apart, and they’re staring into each other’s eyes.
A girl can dream…
Chane – Tier: C
Chane is a greasy emo boy who thinks he’s a lot deeper than he is. I spent a bunch of time in this article talking about why the whole Disciples of Pain thing doesn’t really work for me, and since he’s like the poster boy for them, I’m not a huge fan.
Dash – Tier: A
Dash is very close to S tier, but she frankly feels like she’s out of place among the rest of the game’s cast (well, Metrix itself feels out of place in Rathe as well, so I guess that makes sense). But yeah, at her core, she feels like the protagonist of a more light-hearted narrative. Even when she’s going to save Ricky in her Full Steam Ahead lore, it doesn’t actually feel like she’s ever really in that much danger. That said, she has a lot of different narrative lines going on. She’s the daughter of a rich and prominent family, but she prefers to keep company among the lower classes. This is a fairly stock character archetype, but she wears it well. What I’m mainly waiting for in terms of her character development is to see her run up against the harsher side of Rathe. Perhaps her hijinks in Metrix will feel a little more trivial to her if she sees its underside, in the Pits. Or maybe some significantly bad event will affect her or her family. Whatever the case, when she faces something that feels actually dangerous to her, I think we’ll have a better idea of where her character is going.
Data Doll – Tier: A
I love a robot girl. I wrote a whole article about it once. The only thing that’s really holding her back from S Tier is that info on her is pretty limited. Once we get more of her story, I could definitely see her climbing.
Dorinthea – Tier: C
This one is might be a surprise coming from me, since I’ve talked before about how one of the things that caught my attention about the game, way back when Team Covenant was first starting to talk about it was that A. there as a woman, and B. she got to be the warrior class (even if they gave her boobplate), which, while it’s a low bar, is nevertheless one that a whole lot of games fail to cross. Then I read the lore book, and found out that she was a pretty stock fantasy protag, which is, you know, fine. It’s a starting point, and general audiences tend to prefer familiar narratives and characters over things that really challenge the norms. There was opportunity for her to grow and become more distinct and interesting. If I wrote this a couple weeks ago, I would have probably given here a B, but after the “Morlock Hill” fiction came out, I’m kind of down on her for demonstrating zero character growth (something I talked about in a couple other article in this Mega Update). Who knows, maybe she can bounce back with Classic Battles.
Genis – Tier: C
Genis, like many other Heroes with only a Young version, doesn’t really have a ton of narrative to draw on at this point. For most other characters in this category, I’ve handed out B rankings as a sort of neutral “wait and see.” But Genis just vaguely annoys me, so he’s a step down. I’m doing my best not to hold the fact that this old man is a “Young” Hero against him since that’s a game mechanic which I’m not supposed to be taking into account. So, I let that slide, but the name kind of pushed me over the edge. I’ve said it elsewhere, but I hate the joke naming scheme FAB over-employs, and Genis is the most on the nose and egregious for me. It really makes me not want to take the narrative seriously, and that clashes with what I think LSS is trying to do with the narrative. I don’t think we’re supposed to view the narrative as a dumb joke, so way the joke names? You can do this sort of thing in a property that’s kind of light and whimsical, but FAB seems to mostly be going for a dark tone. It’s like if Stannis Baratheon in Game of Thrones had been name Dour McFrownsalot or something. If you want to go with this sort of naming scheme, you need to use it in a very limited capacity. Like, Briar is OK because she literally grew from a plant, so presumably the botanical names would make sense in her culture. I can also deal with “Dash.” It sounds like a nickname, and she seems like someone who would have a nickname, and her particular narrative is, as I mentioned earlier, a lot more light hearted than most of the other Heroes. (If you wanted to play with it, you would do something like having her mom call her by her “real” first name at some point, and she can groan and do a whole “ugh, Mom, I told you to call me ‘Dash’…” bit, or whatever. In the case of Genis, you could have done something like Genis “Wotchuneed” Lastname, and there you go. You’ve got your joke name without it being overly contrived. So yeah, minimal story sets us to neutral, and the name thing puts me off, so a C it is.
Ira – Tier: A
Ira is kind of like a more interesting Dorinthea, in that she has a real protagonist set up, but then she gets messy and complicated. We know that she’s really driven by revenge, so much so that her own brother is kind of like, “hey, maybe this is a little much,” and then leaves when she won’t reign it in. That’s an interesting character trait. We also know that she used to be “a mischievous and free-spirited child,” so she’s already gone through a notable transformation into a battle-hardened adult with a grim focus on revenge. This obviously sets up the question of whether she’ll find peace or if her hunger for vengeance will consume her. Both could be interesting paths for her story, but in either case she seems poised for some sort of character growth and development as we move forward. Also, just like, as a general rule, cursed swords are more interesting than blessed swords when you put them in the hands of your heroes. Like, the holy ones are fine, it’s a fantasy staple, after all. But cursed blades just set up more interesting narrative potentials. I’d also note, that Ira seems like she’s probably kind of unlikeable as a person, which sounds bad, but can be an interesting character trait if played well.
Isylander – Tier: A
Isylander got a lore drop while I was working on the Mega Update, so I trashed her old rank (B) and write-up in light of new context. Isylander, though she seems like a human, feels sort of otherworldly due to her strong ties to magic, spirits, and her lack of connection to human society. Briar is the primary comparison on those notes, but her lore actually makes her seem like she’s more accustomed to other people than out Ice Wizard. Narratively, Isylander is dealing with some lost/forgotten memory issues which, while a well-trodden narrative, does make her at least initially interesting. Obviously a lot of whether she maintains this position, drops off, or even climbs to the peak, is going to depend heavily on what exactly it is that she’s forgotten, and what eventually discovering it will do for her story.
Kaasai – Tier: S
With a little additional development from Everfest, I’m ready to give Kaasai a provision S because she has all the piece to be really interesting. Kaasai has most of the same things going for her as Ira, young woman with extreme sword proficiency, and a serious interest in getting revenge for her parents. However, and this is kind of an important point, Kaasai’s parents seem to still be alive, so her quest is about more than just killing. Or at least, it has the potential to end in reunion, whereas Ira’s cannot. I talk about her Everfest development over here, but the important part is that the combo of her sort of “I’ll fight whoever is standing against me,” and ambiguity of the art on Blood on her Hands has set her on a path where she appears to be approaching a tipping point. Either she’ll go total bloodthirsty killer, or she’ll have to do some introspection about the cost of her revenge, and whether it’s worth the price (it could be; we’ll need more details). I’m hoping we see more of her in Uprising, which seems to have some Volcor action going on.
Kano – Tier: A
Kano has that precise blend of being cocky, talented, and a little bit of a rule-breaker that is probably going to get him in trouble. I will say that I am a little nervous about whether he cares about other people as something beyond amusing distractions –he dusted his mentor out of necessity in his introduction story, which made sense contextually, but I feel like he probably should have had a stronger emotional reaction after it was all done. Going forward, I’d like to have a better idea of what he’s after and what he cares about. He obviously wants to be a successful wizard, but he’s more or less done that already. He has the “signaled out by the royalty” thing going on for him. So he’s already been marked as special, and he knows it. Does he have more depth beyond that? I suppose we’ll see, but he’s at least set up to potentially do some interesting things from here out.
Katsu – Tier: C
I’m maybe a little biased against Katsu’s lore section because it has that sort of exhausting mystical martial-arts based narrative thing going on where everyone talks in riddles and metaphors, and no one can just communicate clearly. Katsu wants to help his clan. The elders tell him now is not the time, but he sets out anyway. At the clutch moment the grandmasters show up, but he’s not in trouble because now is the time, because he went. I’ve seen this sort of approach enough that it feels tedious and a bit contrived. Katsu himself doesn’t have a ton of characterization yet, and his main trait seems to be not wanting to cause problems, frustrating people in the process of his abstention, and then beating them in a staight-up fight. Maybe when he gets his next card, he’ll have more going on, but for now, I’m pretty meh on him.
Kavdaen – Tier: S
Despite the sparse info on Kavdaen, I really dig his character so far. While I think he could be screwed up very easily, he is currently brimming with potential. I like the presentation of him as a creepy/intimidating businessman whose business interests are clearly unsavory, but somehow he’s oddly charismatic. When I’m imagining Kavdaen, I think of a slightly more whimsical Kaz Brekker from the Grishaverse books as portrayed in the Netflix Shadow and Bone series. The type of character who deals in this sort of sordid business is interesting on their own, but the fact that Kavdean is actually doing this to allow him to make creepy, grotesque art is great. This aspect also connects to some memorable characters, in this case Mr. Motley and Lin from Perdidio Street Station. Motley is a crimelord who has continuously modified his body to the point where he is now a distorted assemblage of body parts both human and not. He hires Lin, a khepri (bug people) sculptor to create a sculpture of him. That feels like the sort of art that Kavdaen would be into. Anyway, there’s tons of potential with him, and my fingers are crossed that they don’t go Suicide Squad Jared Leto with it.
Kayo – Tier: D
Remember this when you get to Rhinar because it will literally just be a copy/paste of what follows: Brutes are reskinned orcs with all the problems or orcs. They’re not interesting at all. However, Everfest might offer a glimmer of hope on this matter; I wrote an article about this that is also part of this Mega Update
Lady Barthimont – Tier: A
Lady B has a good vibe thing going, but she’s kind of one note. She’s not really a good person lured into evil. She’s just sort of neutral, and then she immediately veers hard right into sadistic as soon as power drops into her hand. However, I am totally sold that she’s enjoying her depravity. Sure, she’s another riff on notorious historical serial kill Countess Elizabeth Báthory de Ecsed, but if you’re going to steal, steal from the greats.
Levia – Tier: A
Levia’s narrative is at an interesting point where she started out as a totally sympathetic girl thrust into a horrible situation who then had this traumatic moment where she merged with a dark eldritch being of hunger and then devoured everything in sight. That’s a hell of a lot more interesting than “generic soldier,” but what is going to make or break her going forward is how much of the innocent girl is left underneath. If she’s already at the “too far gone” stage, then I feel like she’ll be kind of a one note character. The real compelling part of her story is that of the powerless girl who embraced darkness to try to take control of her life, but she ultimately just traded being under Lady Barthimont’s power for being under Blasmophet’s. If she can find her way out of that, there could be an interesting story to tell. I feel like that’s the primary path to her being a good character. I don’t know if a descent into losing herself is that interesting because I don’t think we’ve spent enough time with her pre-transformation for the sense of loss that would accompany her losing control and being subsumed by Blasmophet to really resonate. I suppose there could still be room for a descent into madness. But it would need to make us, as an audience, care about the woman underneath the tentacles long enough for her losing her fight for control to resonate.
Lexi – Tier: A
Look, I’m going to be real here. I’m a sucker for sassy woman, and, as mentioned above, I love her interaction with Briar (I think I ship them now). But more seriously, one of the standout elements of her thus far is that she does interact with other characters of note. Most of the cast feels like they’re living their lives apart from everyone else or they just have very basic generic relationships. She also has a more distinct voice than many of the other Heroes. For instance, Boltyn and Dorinthea lack this sort of characterization. When they converse, you could swap their lines for each others, and it would be impossible to tell that you’d made a change. I feel like we’re supposed to see them as these two major personalities in the fight to lead Solana against the Demonastery, but they don’t have any sort of rapport. The same goes for Chane and Levia. They have scenes together, but I don’t get a particularly strong idea of their dynamic or how they interact with one another. Meanwhile Lexi has personality and it carries through her interactions with other Heroes and, while we don’t have a ton to work with, it feels like her interactions with the other Heroes are dynamic. You can see this in how her rapport with Briar (sassy and flirty) is different than how she talks to Oldhim (upbeat and inquisitive), even though in the story we’re working from, she just met both of them.
Lord Sutcliffe – Tier: B
So, here’s the thing about Sutcliffe, his story seems like it’s kind of already functionally over . Yes, he is still sort of alive as a disembodied head, but like, come on, that’s not really a thing you usually come back from (insert “It was me, Dio!” meme). His brain is full of demonic whispers and people just snatch him to help with their research. It’s not much of a life. He has some aspirations of revenge on Viserai, but that was entirely a problem of his own making -like the dictionary definition of “fuck around and find out”. To that end, he’s fine. He seems like the sort of character who has like one good narrative beat left in him before he dies or gets shunted into some hell dimension. Sorry, “dimenxxion”.
Minerva – Tier: A
RIP (probably) to one of my faves. Aside from doing nothing to progress Dorinthea’s character development, “Morlock Hill” seems likely to have killed off Minerva, or, if we’re playing by “not dead until you see the body” rules, this seems like a captured by the Lovecraftian faction, which is usually the sort of thing that you don’t really come back from. Well, your body might, but your mind/soul is gone. It could have been a good character moment for both Minerva and Thea if we hadn’t already done the exact same one with Hala Goldenhelm. So, all of that mess brings her down to an A, because I feel like we squandered a good character to tell the story of a very boring one, and we’re worse off for it. Minerva was a cool experienced older woman in a martial role, who also had a character beyond “stabs things,” and she’ll be missed.
Oldhim – Tier: C
A warrior out of time, now awakened to a changed world (stop me if you’ve heard this one before). Oldhim feels kind of redundant. It’s a very similar framing to The Queen of Candlehold who features with him in his main lore piece set in the present day. The thing is, the Queen is (wisely) a supporting character and not a main one. Oldhim, meanwhile, is that stock taciturn craggy old man who seldom speaks, looks imposing, but is fundamentally good. It’s just that that’s a stock charter that I don’t find interesting at all. I think he would have been more interesting if he behaved like a normal person but one who was plucked out of his time, found himself in the future, and now has no idea what’s going on. Briar is sort of doing the same thing at a meta-level, but Briar, as a character, has personality and actually engages with other people in the setting in interesting ways. Oldhim’s stony front means that we don’t actually get much out his temporal displacement.
Prism – Tier: B
Prism’s story seems to frame her as a precocious orphan with a magical object of great power, which is, admittedly, a dangerous choice of traits because it’s very easy to make these sorts of characters bland “destined for greatness” heroes. I really want to like her more. But she has one piece of lore where she has lines, and she seems to exist to give expositions on Rathe’s background. The thing is, that’s totally unnecessary. FAB’s lore isn’t being presented as a book. If you wanted to explain the heralds, you could just build out the “Solana” section of the “World of Rathe” sub-tab. This would have freed up her story with Boltyn to give us a better idea of who she is. In my heart, she’s an awkward and excitable nerd who has spent more time with books than people and, as a result, she talks with very writerly flourishes that make her a little much for normal people. But, in current FAB reality, she’s sadly, kind of flat as a character.
Rhinar – Tier: D
Brutes are reskinned orcs with all the problems or orcs. They’re not interesting at all. However, Everfest might offer a glimmer of hope on this topic; I wrote an article about this that is also part of this Mega Update. (I told you I was going to copy/paste the Kayo blurb.)
Shiyana – Tier: S
There are like two people in Solana with interesting personalities, and the other one just got murked (or at least captured by Lovecraftian monstrosities), so we’re down to just the Diamond Gemini. Shapeshifters are inherently interesting because it’s such a cool fantasy contrivance, but, Shiyana also stands out because she’s stark contrast to most of the other Solana characters whose entire personality consists of “is good.” Sure, Shiyana is good, but she’s not not storybook good. She helps Isylander, citing the frost wizard’s protection of the innocent as her justification, but then she also notes that she may very well call in a favor as repayment. What I really want to know, is what does Shiyana want at a personal level? She’s an agent of Solana, but what drives her? When you’ve got a character who infiltrates and spies, you always have to wonder if their apparent allegiances are actually as they seem or if there is a hidden agenda at play. But, for now, she remains Solana’s best remaining character offering.
Taylor – Tier: A
Alright, this is maybe contentious. But I’m giving a provisional rating here. I feel like there is a pretty decent chance that we’re not supposed to think Taylor is actually within the cannon of the game. We’ve got the pictures which contain a lot of elements of earth, but not Rathe as far as we know (witch hats and broom sticks, the wedding picture with the tux, etc.) However, if she is cannon, then all of that stuff becomes very interesting.
The Librarian – Tier: B
I was going to give the Librarian a C because the very limited lore for them makes them feel a lot like a non-character, but I could see them potentially being a character like Master Kongō from Land of the Lustrous where they start out a sort of mentor with minimal personality, but then as we learn more about them, they turn out to be interesting after all.
Ursur – Tier: B
The story presents Ursur and Blasmophet as similar sorts of beings, but I don’t actually find them to be presented that similarly. Of these two eldritch creatures bound to FAB’s Heroes, Ursur is the less interesting of the two because we know it gains purchase on Chane via striking a deal as compared to Blasmophet’s mysterious manifestation of power that transforms Levia in ways that are outside of both her and our understanding. While Blasmophet is doing Lovecraft, Ursur is more of a Faust situation. Chane is making a deal with a devil, and as ever, devils eventually come to collect. Whether Ursur will reveal itself to be an interesting devil remains to be seen. For now, it has a cool design, but has yet to sell me on being interesting beyond that.
Valda – Tier: D
She doesn’t have much lore at this stage, but pretty much everything we see of her makes her seem like an unhinged, violent psychopath. I feel like it’s supposed to be played for laughs, which is tonally weird. I find one-note violent characters to be intensely boring. Which isn’t to say that you can’t have hyper violent characters that are interesting, but it usually happens when their violence has some sort of greater significance (John Wick as a man who had left the life of violence and get’s dragged back into it) or perhaps they’re strange and compelling characters whose violence is exceptionally disturbing (say, the serial killer in Se7en). Or, for a more direct comparison (and since I’ve been on a Game of Thrones kick in these articles, for reasons that are mysterious to me) compare the Mountain that Rides to the Hound. The Mountain is more or less just a psychopath. He doesn’t really seem to have a psychology or any humanity at all. He’s scary as a narrative force because he’s a massive fucking dude who can inflict extreme harm on characters you care about, but he himself is incredibly dull. Meanwhile, the Hound also does a whole heap of violence but his character is fascinating because, as the story goes on, it doesn’t seem to be a thing he likes doing so much as a thing he does because he’s good at it and can’t imagine a different path to walk. He also develops as a character –particularly in his time with Arya. Meanwhile, Valda is a bouncer. And it seems like she took that job because she likes hurting people and the narrative is like “oh hey, isn’t that funny?” No, not really.
Viserai – Tier: B
Viserai’s story doesn’t really tell me much of anything about Viserai. He kills a bunch of stuff (some of which stays dead, some which doesn’t). But at no point do I really care about him as a character. He feels mostly hollow with only very basic emotions. Here’s the thing though, Viserai should be interesting. He was dead, and then he was reanimated. That’s like inherently an interesting thing. However the narrative does a bunch of the old memory loss stuff, and it seems like he hasn’t been alive again for enough time to develop. He has potential, but it’s all unrealized for now, so I remain neutral on him.
Yorick – Tier: B
Yorick’s in that generic exemplar of his class space right now. He gets a couple lines in one story and it establishes that he’s a bard who rights plays, is generally upbeat, and seems to have been a friend of Lexi’s for a while. So, there’s potential for him to develop a bit more, but right now he feels pretty stock.