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The Band

Band Tropes

Valerian Nightshade (Teuila) (lead vocals, lyricist)

  • Berserk Button: Brutalist architecture, mostly because she thinks the name is false advertising considering the lack of portcullises, dungeons, spiky metal bits, and poles on which to impale the heads of one's enemies.
    • And don't question her gender or femininity.
  • Bi the Way
  • Big Breasts, Big Deal: she falls into the Indifferent subtype for the most part.
  • Big Girl: very much a Type 3. She's a bit of a marshmallow for a very tall, perpetually black clad former dominatrix turned heavy metal vocalist.
  • Boobs of Steel: she's not a combatant, but she is the most physically powerful person in the band as well as the most well-endowed.
  • Bottle Fairy: she likes the beer.
  • Brawn Hilda: her size, deep singing voice, and intimidating aura have given her an undeserved reputation for butchness, at least among those who don't find these sorts of qualities potential turn-ons.
  • Cute Little Fangs
  • Daddy's Girl
  • Dark Is Not Evil
  • Dark Messiah: speculated to be so by those who think Maenad are people of metaphysical significance, but Val herself denies it.

 "For God's sake, people, I am not the Messiah!"

"She's a very naughty girl."


  "For one thing, toned fat looks better than flabby fat, in my opinion, and also, if people still insist on giving you crap about your looks, it's easier to fling them across the room."


Lilja Lakebetonika (lead guitar)

Musa Hawthorne (drummer)

  • Black and Nerdy
  • Bottle Fairy / Lady Drunk: sits somewhere between these two, as she's more jaded than the stereotypical Bottle Fairy but more playful and less bitter (usually) than the usual Lady Drunk. She is, however, the heaviest drinker in the band under normal circumstances.
  • Cool Big Sis: she's a few years older than the other girls, has the most worldly experience, and winds up listening to a lot of their personal problems that they don't consider urgent enough to take to Artemisia. However, she resists being thought of as the Team Mom.

  "How about I'm the 'cool aunt who's a bad influence?'"


Yanang Bai (rhythm guitar)

Violet Aciano (bassist)

  • Adult Child: she wears barrettes and collects stuffed toys.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: she's a bit of an odd duck even apart from being a Genius Ditz Weirdness Magnet musical prodigy. This was actually one of the reasons for her aunt's overprotective behavior during her childhood.
  • Author Avatar: not exactly, but she does have the most interests (marine biology, baking) and personality traits (vegetarianism, love of animals, odd sense of humor, highly-strung nervous system) in common with her creator.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: normally, she's a kind and cheerful young woman, but she can be a little emotionally volatile at times. Her bandmates have exaggerated this tendency and live in fear of Violet really losing her temper and bringing on The End of the World as We Know It.
  • Chaste Hero: she's the only band member who's still a virgin, and if she isn't oblivious to Yanang's occasional crude flirtation, she hasn't said anything.
  • The Chick: lampshaded.

  "Officially, I'm the bass player, but my real job is to keep the two guitarists from killing each other."

  • Cloudcuckoolander: she has her moments, although it can be hard to tell how much of the weird stuff she says is an honest reflection of how she sees the world, and how much is her odd sense of humor at work.
  • The Cutie: as much as someone in a band like Maenad can be, at least.
  • Hair Decorations
  • Feminine Women Can Cook: she's fairly feminine compared with her bandmates (although more girlish than womanly) and shows the most interest in the culinary arts, although she concentrates more on sweets than on real meals.
  • Girls Love Stuffed Animals
  • Granola Girl: she's a vegetarian, loves animals, doesn't wear leather or fur, drinks a lot of herb tea, recycles her soda and vodka bottles, and enjoys walking around barefoot in warm weather. To Yanang, this makes her practically the Anthropomorphic Personification of hippiedom.
    • She does, in fact, eat a lot of granola, but that's mostly because she likes it and other kinds of sugary cereal don't react well with her weird metabolism.
  • Innocent Blue Eyes
  • Mini-Dress of Power
  • Moe: she's quirky, innocent, the band's "younger sister" figure, and with her hair down and its natural color, she looks a lot like Regina Spektor.
  • Not Good with People: a mild Type One for the most part, although she does have her moments of slight misanthropy.
  • Parental Abandonment: her parents died when she was young, and she's lived with her aunt and uncle ever since.
  • Prisoners of Pollyanna: while she's not officially held to stricter standards of purity than the rest of Maenad - their manager tries to keep her away from hard drugs, but that's more out of pseudo-parental concern than a desire to preserve her image - some of her fanbase does hold her to exaggeratedly lofty standards of innocence for an adult woman in a decidedly non straight-edge rock band. She's been criticized as a Bad Role Model For Young Girls for doing things like wearing skirts shorter than school dress codes allowed and consuming alcohol in public when she was of legal drinking age.
  • The Southpaw
  • Strange Girl
  • Sweet Tooth: unfortunately, she suffers from mild low blood sugar on occasion so she can't overdo it.


Maenad's original bassist, who left the band in 2007.

Maenad employees and associates

Artemisia Mandrake

The long-suffering manager. A small, geeky, quietly hypercompetent Norwegian-British woman a little older than Musa. The band knows just enough about her to know that she has Hidden Depths, although they're not entirely sure about the details. Yanang has speculated that she's actually a killer robot lawyer from the future, or at least a cyborg.

Ivy Choi

A Chinese-American record producer who's been in the business since the seventies, although due to a few peculiarities of her medical history, she looks a bit younger than she is.

Doctor Alaria Ajowan

Maenad's physician. She's mysterious and eccentric, but undeniably good at her job.


Maenad's chef, a highly skilled, basically unflappable Danish woman.

Employee #00314, aka "Pi"

The world's unluckiest roadie, who has been Maenad's loyal employee for several uncomfortably eventful years.

Maenad minions

Doctor Magnolia Oakmoss

Band therapist and Southern Lady. She has her little quirks, but who doesn't? And she has such lovely manners.

  • Bunny Ears Lawyer: when her habit of murdering people is out of the picture, she's a perfectly competent therapist, and she does manage to help Maenad.
  • Catch Phrase: "Why, bless your heart..."
  • Cute and Psycho: she's very feminine and always minds her manners, when she isn't murdering people. Fortunately, she's managed to behave herself while working for the band.
  • Girly Girl: compared to her, everyone in the band is a bit butch.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck
  • The Shrink: doesn't fit any of the usual stereotypes, since she's competent at her job, but has some fairly serious personal failings of her own.
  • Southern Belle: she never wears white before Easter, and you will pry her hairspray from her cold, dead hands.
  • Sweet Home Alabama: she's very Southern in some ways (big on the hairspray and sweet tea), but open-minded enough to get along reasonably well with a multiethnic group of bisexual rock stars, even if she does think their fashion sense needs work.

other Maenad-verse characters


Valerian's family

Valerian grew up surrounded by the relatives on her father's side (the Teuilas, most of whom settled in Hawaii), but didn't meet her mother or any of the other people on the South African side of her family until she reached her twenties.

  • Apron Matron: Huihana Teuila (Val's grandmother) is not to be messed with.
  • Big Beautiful Woman: most of Val's older female relatives.
  • The Clan: at the very least, she has a lot of relatives compared to her bandmates.
  • The Fundamentalist: Huihana, although she mellows a bit eventually.
  • Gentle Giant: Kamani, Val's father, at least when he isn't in the ring.
  • Goth: Valerian's mother. How do you think Val wound up with a middle name like Nightshade?
  • Missing Mom
  • Professional Wrestling: Kamani's primary occupation, although he's also a B-Movie and TV actor, and he focused more on acting once he hit middle age.

Violet's family

Violet was orphaned as a preschooler, and grew up living with her aunt and uncle in Beaver Tracks, a small town on the British Columbian coast.

Artemisia's family

Artemisia's parents are Magnus Ravnen, a Norwegian supervillain with a cult fan following, and Lily Mandrake, a British accountant Magnus originally hired to help look after his "legitimate" financial interests.

Musa's family

Musa's family hails from a smallish, mildly depressing (at least by Musa's standards) city in Eastern Washington. Her immediate family consists of her parents Frasier and Lantana, her older sister Erica, and Musa herself.

  • Cool Old Lady: Great-Aunt Saffron. She's the only relative whom Musa actually likes.
  • It's All About Me: Erica is the queen of this.
  • Muse Abuse: some of the celebrities in Erica's Roman à Clef and Very Loosely Based on a True Story novels bear an awfully strong resemblance to the various members of her sister's band. This has not helped family harmony any.
  • Parental Favoritism: Frasier and Lantana spent a lot more time and energy on Erica than on Musa. Both sisters acknowledge this, although they both feel that this state of affairs has somehow wronged them. Erica's more vocal about it.
  • Peek-a-Bangs: Erica
  • Writers Suck: Erica's not exactly a Butt Monkey, and she has some talent, but she's also monstrously self-absorbed and totally lacking scruples.

Yanang's family

While Yanang and her siblings were born in the United States, the older generation are all immigrants. One of Yanang's uncles fought in the Secret War and claims to have CIA connections of an unspecified nature, her parents earned their living in a more mundane fashion by opening a Southeast Asian fast food joint in East LA.

Lilja's family

  • Ill Boy / Littlest Cancer Patient: Lilja's twin brother Lars.
  • Parental Favoritism: their parents were so preoccupied with Lars's medical issues that they didn't pay much attention to Lilja unless they needed a blood donation. This preoccupation extended to after Lars's death.
  • Soap Opera Disease: Lars unfortunately suffered from this for much of his childhood.

Other Characters

Erik Mortiisson (a Norwegian-American lumber baron and the former owner of Maenad's Cool House)

The Assassin

The Apprentice

Laugh of the Medusa (Musa's first band, a mid through late nineties feminist Alternative Rock group)

Ginger Sorel

Violet's best friend from high school, a half-Quebecois city girl whose family moved to Beaver Tracks when Violet was fifteen.

  • Dark Is Not Evil: she's a firm believer in this, and as a good-hearted Nightmare Fetishist, is an example herself.
  • New Transfer Student
  • Nightmare Fetishist: she sought Violet out as a friend because Violet gave the impression of being the least "normal" girl at their school.
  • Perky Goth: friendly enough to bring Violet out of her self-imposed shell.
  • Satellite Character: played with. She's only in the story because of her friendship with Violet, but when they were in school together, Violet was Ginger's sidekick.
  • Strange Girl: by the standards of Beaver Tracks, at least, although as far as teenage girls with moderately non-mainstream interests go, she's not that eccentric.

Robert Candlemass

Adrian Negura-Bunget

Susperia Tristwood

Lycanthia Darkwell

Doctor Love

Linnea Hammerfall


The band

Aryn (lead vocals, Danish)

Didrik (guitar, Norwegian)

Hallbjorn (drums, Icelandic)

Konstantin (bass, Swedish)

Matthias (Hardanger fiddle, Norwegian)

Elisa (manager, Norwegian)

  • Ascended Fangirl: became a band manager because she loved music but wasn't particularly talented at songwriting or performing.
  • Elegant Gothic Lolita: she normally dresses in Gothic Aristocrat style (similar to EGL, but with longer skirts and more grownup aesthetic), but she tones the frills down for business meetings.
  • Fan Girl: of Artemisia Mandrake.
  • Guile Hero: she has no combat training, but she gets things done.
  • Meganekko
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: she looks a lot like Ukrainian politician Yulia Tymoshenko.

Amalthea Hunter

An American singer and pianist who made friends with the band on their first tour of America, and later provided soprano vocals for some of their songs. She's a DPI with sound-manipulation powers that she mostly uses to enhance her performances. She also has a rather high-functioning case of Williams Syndrome and an overprotective big sister who wishes she'd get a hobby that didn't involve hanging out with rock stars.

  • Dojikko: she's a Genius Ditz with poor motor skills (for which she has an actual medical justification) and an upbeat personality.
  • Genius Ditz: she has perfect pitch, plays the piano well despite her poor motor coordination in other areas, and could sing the phone book. She also needs a calculator and detailed instructions to do third grade math, has a terrible sense of direction, and can be rather naive.
  • The Ingenue: she's sweet, friendly, guileless, has led a sheltered life, and thinks the best of people, although her fondness for hanging out with heavy metal bands and inviting them home for pizza and chocolate cake is atypical for the trope.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: her sound-manipulation powers are mostly non-destructive, but she can break things with them if she gets the frequency just right.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: when she was at a school for special-needs music students, she once tried to be this for an autistic savant classmate, much to his confusion.
  • Moe
  • No Sense of Direction: which is not uncommon for people with Williams Syndrome.
  • The Rainman: she's a musical savant with some fairly serious learning disabilities.
  • Spoiled Sweet
  • White-Haired Pretty Girl

Other Characters

Niobe Hunter

Amalthea's older sister, a multimillionaire inventor and part-time adventurer.

Delilah Savage

An American Differently-Powered Individual, with an outstanding talent for not dying despite considerable provocation, who has, among other things, worked as an actress (in both off-beat Porn with Plot and legitimate drama), musician, and minion-for-hire. She ran away from home in her late teens due to her very conservative father's violent reaction when he discovered her transgendered tendencies, and has traveled extensively, including a sojourn in Scandinavia acting in low-budget experimental films.

  • Action Girl: she eventually gets there with practice.
  • Big Eater: a side effect of her healing powers.
  • Celebrity Resemblance: in-universe, she looks more than a bit like Lilja Lakebetonika (perhaps not surprising, as they are both tall, skinny, fair-skinned, long-haired blonde trans women of Scandinavian ancestry), and she wound up playing a character based on her in There Will Be Glitter.
    • She also looks a little like a younger, more tomboyish Ann Coulter (tall, thin, a bit horsey looking, long, fairly straight blonde hair), and she capitalized on this with her "Anna: She Wolf of the GOP" porn character.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: her strength, agility, and stamina aren't innately higher than a normal person's, but her healing factor gives her a rapid recovery time which lets her keep up a more intense workout program than would normally be healthy.
  • Good Thing You Can Heal: she's no squishier than a Badass Normal in her situation would be, but she does tend to run afoul of people with sharp objects a little too often.
  • Healing Factor
  • Immune to Drugs
  • Poke the Poodle: after she ran away, she went through a period when she embraced Evil Is Cool as a reaction against the self-righteousness of her upbringing. In practice this involved going to a lot of Black Metal shows, wearing impractically skimpy clothing and too much makeup, getting a job as a security guard for a local Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain Mad Scientist, and experimenting with every drug she encountered until it became clear that they didn't effect her enough to be worth the trouble. One advantage of a restrictive upbringing is that it makes rebellion easy.
  • Preacher's Kid
  • The Runaway: abused type.
  • Sorry I Fell on Your Fist: Dee tends to get apologetic when friends or acquaintances hurt her. The incident with Sigyn Solefald is an extreme example.
  • Transsexual
  • Why Couldn't You Be Different?

Sigyn Solefald aka Queen Beruthiel

A talented but notoriously eccentric Norwegian musician. Was friends of a sort with Delilah during the latter's sojourn in Scandinavia, but their relationship became strained when Sigyn stabbed Delilah through several vital organs with a replica Viking short sword during an argument. She's also notable for being a Norwegian ultra-nationalist and racist against almost every ethnic group on earth, including Germans and Swedes (among other things, she believes that "pan-Germanicism" is an effort of stealth Germano-Swedish cultural imperialism bent on erasing Norwegian cultural distinctiveness.) In other words, she's a piece of work, although her music is generally considered pretty good by fans who aren't put off by her persona or her stylistic experiments.

  • Alliterative Name
  • Awesome McCoolname: although it's a pseudonym - her parents called her Christina.
  • Black Metal: her early works.
  • Bunny Ears Lawyer: she's very talented when she gets her act together.
  • Cute and Psycho: she is a cutie. Too bad about the whole "Axe Crazy racist sociopath" thing.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: despite her talent for spectacularly alienating people, she retains a core fanbase willing to forgive her anything. A few of them even sent Delilah letters in the hospital threatening her with various horrible fates if she pressed charges for the whole "attempted murder" incident.
  • Expy: she's loosely inspired by Varg Vikernes - or, more accurately, by Greven-tan - crossed with an anime-style Cute and Psycho.
  • Heavy Mithril: her stage name is based on a Tolkien character.
  • Jerkass Woobie: she's kind of a horrible person, but she has rather serious mental problems that have never been treated or even diagnosed - because the people around her tend to dismiss them as either "artistic temperament" or as symptoms of her various moral failings - and, despite her considerable personal charisma, she's no good at maintaining friendships or collaborations.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: she is genuinely fond of her kitty.
  • Large Ham: even when she takes off her stage makeup and doesn't sing, she never truly stops performing.
  • Mad Artist: she apparently suffers from manic episodes as well as some kind of undiagnosed personality disorder.
  • Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: her later works.

Victoria Promethea Paracelsus, "Metamorphosis"

Teadora Ming Liu, "Psyche"

Shoshannah Diamond, "Kaiju"

Venus Envy

Kate Cadaver / Katherine Valentina Lovelace

Venus Envy's lead vocalist and rhythm guitar player, who also writes or co-writes many of their songs. She's smart, creative, and passionate, but has an unfortunate penchant for romantic self-destruction.

Dani Lilith / Clarissa Danielle Harlowe

Venus Envy's lead guitarist, and Kate's Foil and best-friend-turned-lover. Dani's talented, driven, and in many ways the cold to Kate's heat, although she's not as sensible as she thinks she is.

Billie Jiang

Venus Envy's bassist, a quirky, dreamy woman with literary inclinations. She's also a werewolf, but there's medication for that nowadays.

Zandra Mackenzie

Venus Envy's drummer. A cheerful and resilient transgendered redhead.

  • The Chick / The Heart: her non-musical role as "the sensible, motherly, emotionally intelligent one" is what keeps everyone else's personal dysfunctions enough in check that Venus Envy can continue to function as a working band.
  • Dye Hard: her hair's really strawberry blonde, but the red's become part of her image.
  • Feminine Women Can Cook
  • Silk Hiding Steel: not quite a straight example, as she is a punk rocker, but she's both the most traditionally feminine and the best at holding everything together in adverse circumstances.
  • Team Mom
  • Transsexual
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