Given name: Buttercup Cookee
First appearance: Prelude - 7
As the one running the show, Butter's friends would describe her as dependable, capable, independent, and nice. But honesty rules here, especially with Butter's evaluation of herself, and let's be honest- She needs a lot of help.
The truest thing that can be said is that she tries. She gets frustrated and angry when a problem's hard to fix, becomes depressed and equally depressing when there's no clear solution, and is highly reluctant to take people's word at anything. On the flipside, she's determined to claim responsibility for any problem she can solve, will jump on any solution available, and never makes an enemy of someone simply because they disagree.
Introverted, she enjoys plenty of company so long as they don't expect her to converse. She loves thinking big, has a cuddle buddy in Mia, and loves Leo's silliness. Her big family at home still treats her as the baby sister- And while this is welcome from her eldest Lemona, who practically raised her, the others can be a little much...
Given name: Leonardo Damien Andreas Lysander
First appearance: Prelude - 8
Butter's best friend- Or so he claims. Truthfully, Butter doesn't play favorites, but enough about her, let's talk about Leo.
By far the dorkiest of the bunch, Leo seems to have aged only physically and intellectually. This makes him seem like a very intelligent child. However he is sweet and considerate, highly empathetic and wears his heart on his sleeve. His friends would count themselves foolish to discredit him just because he has little motivation to be mature, and he certainly does his part to cheer the team up.
If you paid attention though, you'd find that deep down he is more mature than most. Not only is his heart usually in the right place, his brain is in lock-step with it and together they can come up with incredible solutions, and no single one of his shenanigans is ever contemplated if they might have far reaching negative effects.
Adopted by two humans who didn't know what they were doing, this had an effect on him to love kids of all sorts. Questionable babysitter, though.
Given name: Annabelle Rinnin
First appearance: Prelude - 9
The black sheep of the bunch, Belle is the one member who not only isn't a country mouse, but is as far from it as possible while still being good to be around.
In her previous life, she was raised in an almost loveless household by off world parents to be prim and proper. Every single action and word of hers was monitored so that she might become an acceptable heir to the aristocratic household and an excellent wife. Were she given a proper choice in the matter, Belle would have been the kind of person to take it gladly, but with years of being forced, she fled her home as a stowaway on a cargo ship as a teen and ended up on Beta-4.
From then on she lived in the care of Makunotilep, an elderly cessip (think lizard folk) whose patient work taught her how to loosen up and trade politeness for genuine kindness. With Butter as her first real friend, she quickly took up adventuring and toughened up considerably! Generous with her time, filled with gratitude towards everyone in her life and somewhat maternal, she still needs some creature comforts- These include elaborate hairdos, the occasional jewelry and the use of the nicest bed in the house (though it's so big that sh's easily willing to share).
Given name: Samuel Aritan
First appearance: Prelude - 9
All things considered, Sam would be pretty normal by human standards, but being the only child in a rumbah family is a rare thing indeed. Beyond that, there is not much remarkable about how he grew up other than how much attention he got as the only child.
Sam has a hard exterior to be sure. He's sarcastic, rough around the edges, critical and just a bit pessimistic. Having not gotten much practice with understanding others given his small family, he also is quicker to assume malice or stupidity than to assume the best in people. In a job like adventuring where you have to occasionally fight people who can and will kill you, it cannot be understated how valuable thinking like this is in moderation. Kept in check by the others, Sam is an essential asset to the team.
Sam's grasp on reality is firm- Rock-solid, even. In a galaxy full of many actually malicious people, he can ultimately manipulate such evil forces to the benefit of all men of good will, and with such desire to be good and such deviousness to understand evil, Sam is more dangerous than you think.
Mia Jennifer Rier
First name: Pronounced "Maya" because her parents spelled it funny
First appearance: Chapter 1 - 25
Already the adoptive mother of Ardo and Emmi, Mia has taken upon herself to become the team mom. With a person such as her, there are plenty of benefits, but the usual embis-related downsides make things even out rather naturally.
Sh's a cuddler, sometimes forgetting to ask before getting cozy with her friends, and her incredibly nice, quiet and very happy way of acting just about all the time has a sort of magnetism that is a welcome counter to hardship. Personally, she would give you the sweater off her back, lend you an ear to talk to, offer a shoulder to cry on, and present you a very big tail to hide yourself in- Just for fun, if you want!
This is far from her childhood personality, and it's only thanks to her mother that she turned out as nice as she did. She. Was. A. Brat. She was a firebrand, too smart for her own good, selfish, and at times refusing to grow up for the sake of pure rebellion. Her mother began teaching her Karate as a way to understand force and restraint- From this, Mia learned how to be gentle and grew to who she is.
She also learned Kobudo, Tegumi, Aikido, Judo, Taido, Kung-Fu, Taekwondo, Thaumic martial arts (TMA), Modern Fencing and Jujutsu, and then her mom decided that was probably enough for an adventuring career.
Ardo Darmor Rier
First appearance: Chapter 1 - 25
One of two scarily smart twins, Ardo is shy. The poor guy utterly shrivels under judgment and just wishes for someone to reach out and like him.
There's plenty to like though. He's generally soft and seemingly harmless. He wouldn't hurt a fly without explicit reasoning that the fly not only deserves it but MUST receive no mercy, and is a mama's boy through and through. He's very good at making himself nice to have around, and for what little he says, the depths of his own thought are incredible. Ardo, like his sister, dearly loves his "aunt" Butter- It's thanks to her that his confidence has grown as quickly as it has.
Having never had biological parents long enough to remember them as they died when they were six, Ardo and his sister are both deeply religious Niemaists. They succeeded in converting their mother, but the other rumbahs' septulianism is more difficult to persuade against than basic deism.
When his mom adopted him and his sister from The Red Magus orphanage, they shortly found out that she was an adventurer (at least at the time, before Butter and her friends took the job) and would not be told "no" to accompanying her. Ardo learned from his mom a little modern fencing and a lot of adventuring practices. Together with Emmi and her magic lessons from The Red Magus temple, they're a force to be reckoned with.
Emmi Betlynne Rier
Middle Name: Pronounced "Bet-lin", for you humans out there
First appearance: Chapter 1 - 25
Seemingly because there must be an opposite to everything, Emmi is very social. Not only that, she will back her brother up in anything and dress down any and all who unfairly criticize him.
Strangely, she's a lot like her adoptive mom when she was young. One's age, status and relation to her are no concern of hers as she will treat everyone the same. She refuses to wear any sort of mask, especially the mask of manners, and can only be convinced to behave otherwise if the consequences could be dire. She often tests what she can get away with around her mom, quickly backpedaling when she crosses a line, and let's just say that if someone deserves to be punched, they can expect a punch. Sh's a good girl all the same, but she is frustrating.
Among mortals in the galaxy, there is no one she loves deeper than her brother- A love he acknowledges and returns equal to his own love for Mia. But in the end, for all her faith, for all her boldness, sh's still a young girl and sometimes needs to spend some quiet time with mom. Second to Niema, mom makes things okay... No embis is too grown up to snuggle up to mom for a night.
First appearance: Chapter 4 - 19
Pinning down a robot's personality is always tricky, especially considering their computational nature adapts them to new information, and information can be installed easier than it can be learned- This has many benefits, but enough downsides to not do so willy-nilly. As a robot changes careers, they can grow up and change in drastic leaps. What few robot philosophers there are find this a fascinating and bittersweet topic of discussion, but they always come to the same conclusion- "Everyone changes in the end. What are ya gonna do?"
Barely two years online, Jean was like a 10 year old girl or an incredibly naive 20-something. She had very little experience of anything outside her creator's laboratory, house, and The Ladder to Heaven. Her piloting code made her enviously capable of maneuvering this ship, though like all robots, her neural structure is based on organic patterns from existing sapients, and while understood enough to add information to, reaction time and judgement cannot be made truly perfect. It is for this reason that an accident and probably many honest mistakes caused her to crash the ship, but she did crash like an expert.*
*Given at this point we are going into major spoilers, I'll edit and add to the description for when it becomes relevant.
Pronunciation: "Yah-mree Ma-roma", for you humans out there
First appearance: Chapter 4 - 14
Yamri and her college friend/business partner/surrogate pet Rose are an unusual circumstance for the colony, something only shared by Mia's parents Demitia and Edrin. Only four years before the start of VHV, these two moved into Beta-4's colony The Civil Speck simply to help keep the place from falling apart- and their ability to scrounge and re-use parts has kept disaster well away ever since.
To others, Yamri is little. She is scatterbrained, hyper and clutzy, and though very smart, she comes off as childlike- Someone to be protected and nurtured. She has a goofy smile, doey eyes and perky ears, and the way she bounces around doing this and that makes everyone around her think "look at that 'kid' go". In short, she's quite easy to underestimate.
Usually a pretty big mistake when you're talking to someone who has a PHD in thaumoelectric engineering and aditional degrees in robotics and computer science- But sh's a sweetheart about it.
Given that she traveled away from potential riches to help a backwoods colony, she's very charitable in general. She wants to make friends with everyone on the colony, Butter especially as she is her age, but she could probably do with some lessons on charisma from Mia.
Given name: *Nonverbal signing and puffs*
First appearance: Chapter 4 - 14
The first things you notice are likely the most alien, but there is more beneath if you get to know her.
When she bribed her way off of Pudicryo to Camoridia University on the colony of the same name, she had lots of adjusting to do, and save for Yamri everyone saw her as a bizarre alien creature and avoided her rather than risk a social faux pas. When she learned how to write, her portable graphics tablet with silly doodles and self referential humor helped to lower her classmates' guard. Accepting her own relative weirdness led her to be quite empathetic, and in the second year she asked to room with Yamri to help her pursue her own academic goals, learning the same things and getting the same degrees in the process. This same empathy ultimately drove them both to move out to Beta-4 after their fourth year.
Getting it out of the way- She eats people. A startling revelation until you consider the facts that they only get in there if she loves them and they always get out alive and none the worse for wear. Regular Furtums wouldn't be as accommodating as her, but between being far from her home planet and its cultures and her friend Yamri's frequent use of her as a second bed, she's grown to like the sensation as a convenient way to cuddle someone and keep working on her engineering projects.