The Wolf Among Us: The characters of Fabletown
The Wolf Among Us is Telltale Games’ newest release, based on a popular comic book series. In case you’ve never read Bill Willingham’s Fables, which has been in print for years, let us introduce you to the many faces of Fabletown. You might recognize some of them, but don’t be fooled: There’s more to these heroes and monsters than you can recite from fairy tales.
Warning: Minor spoilers follow.
Bigby is sheriff of Fabletown, the community of magical creatures and beings that live in Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Although he keeps the peace now, Bigby led a sordid past as the Big Bad Wolf, who tormented the Three Little Pigs and Little Red Riding Hood. Just about everyone fears him or is unhappy with his power in Fabletown, and with all the verbal (and sometimes physical) complaints, Bigby often struggles to keep his inner beast from taking over and ruining his chance at redemption.
We don’t get much of Snow White’s story in Episode 1, “Faith.” Assistant to the deputy mayor, Snow is a voice of reason, but she’s oblivious to the real goings-on around Fabletown. Having to serve in the office of Ichabod Crane is no help to that.
Snow is one of the few who trusts Bigby and treats him with respect, but despite her warm nature, Snow can be distant to others. That may have something to do with finding out that her husband, Prince Charming, cheated on her with her sister, Rose Red, and the undoubtedly painful divorce that followed.
The Woodsman is the man who, axe in hand, saved Little Red Riding Hood from Bigsby hundreds of years ago, back when he was eating people up as the Big Bad Wolf. The Woodsman sliced open the wolf’s belly, stuffed it with rocks, and threw him in the river. Now, the Woodsman is a drunk and a womanizer prone to violence. He’s bitter that the roles have reversed and that Bigby is playing the hero. But as we learn at the end of “Faith,” there’s more to his story than most know.
An ingénue, Faith is the one at the center of the mystery. Known as the Donkeyskin Girl, she escaped from her father’s kingdom long ago under the magical guise of a donkey and married Prince Lawrence, who could see her true beauty. Once knowing only riches, she now scrapes by in Fabletown, resorting to prostitution to make rent.
Players meet Beauty briefly in “Faith,” and she’s clearly hiding something that she doesn’t want her husband, Beast, to know about. That’s a possible cause for concern in the episodes ahead and a worrisome sign in general: She and Beast have one of the longest-lasting relationships among all the Fables.
Beast is the loyal husband of Beauty. The two no longer lead a life of luxury ever since they fled the Homelands along with the other Fables, but he does his best to provide, working several jobs to pay the bills. Unlike some in Fabletown, Beast can get around without a glamour, or a magical veil that lets Fables masquerade as human — most of the time, anyway. Beauty’s occasional anger can cause the monster to overpower the man.
Players meet him briefly in Bigby’s apartment building.
Mr. Toad is the slum lord of a run-down apartment building in Fabletown. A good Fable with a foul mouth, Toad has trouble scrounging together the money to pay for glamours every month for him and his son, TJ. Toad calls Bigby a couple times in “Faith” and requests the sheriff’s assistance, but he’s not always truthful and has a knack for persistent lying. His heart’s in the right place, though.
Colin is one of the original Three Little Pigs and loves sneaking out of The Farm, a place in upstate New York, safely away from mundies (regular, nonmagical people). It’s a sanctuary for Fables who can’t pass as human or can’t afford to stay in glamour, but its residents view it as a prison. Colin often escapes and crashes at Bigby’s apartment. The sheriff always sends him back again.
The pig has a taste for bourbon and cigarettes, be he’s a friend to Bigby, who’s not always the kindest Fable or deserving of such companionship. Their relationship is complicated as it was Bigby who blew down Colin’s house of straw years ago, and neither has forgotten.
The cowardly Ichabod Crane hails from Sleepy Hollow, but now he acts as the deputy mayor of Fabletown and is currently assuming command while King Cole is away. That’s bad news for the less fortunate, who are of little consequence to Ichabod, who prefers to blame others for his problems and is nasty to those around him. At the smallest sign of stress, he schedules a massage, but he has little such time for others.
Bufkin is Fabletown’s librarian and one of the talking, winged monkeys from the land of Oz. He’s also green and loves to read, crack juvenile jokes, and drink booze. He stirs up mischief but seems harmless otherwise.
Prince Lawrence is Faith’s husband. The two found little assistance from Fabletown when they moved into the neighborhood, and their rocky financial state led to their separation. While Faith has found the cold comfort of prostitution, Lawrence sunk into a depression. What remains of their old life is regret, happy pictures from days gone by, and notes around a decrepit apartment that are proof of their lingering love.
Tweedle Dum and Dee are goons for hire. They work together as “private investigators” but are brutish and cruel, harming anyone to get a job done, even children. They’re potential suspects in “Faith,” and they’re tight-lipped about what they’re really up to — and for whom.
The owner of the Trip Trap Bar is a troll in disguise named Holly. Like many of Fabletown’s poorer citizens, she’s no fan of Bigby and would rather insult him than help him. Then again, the community’s government has made no attempt to find her missing sister. Holly tends to patrons like “Gren” and the Woodsman.
Concealing his monstrous size in a scrawny human form, “Gren” is all too happy to pick a fight with Bigby, blaming the sheriff for the ill treatment that Fabletown gives its lower-class citizens. In centuries past, Grendel would terrorize Norse mead halls, but now he frequents the Trip Trap Bar. He values his space and the quiet but is quick to defend his friends.
Bluebeard is absent for all of “Faith,” but his name drops more than once. One of the wealthiest Fables, he’s also one of the most selfish, using his money to secure political influence for personal gain. Bluebeard was once a serial killer who decapitated his brides, and although he’s currently out of the country and long over that violent streak, his M.O. makes him a prime suspect in the sudden rash of murders in Fabletown.