The Six Cruelties are a group of creatures who have attacked the inn. They seem to loathe human beings having a home in the forest, but are currently at a truce with the Inn.
RueEditRue is the leader of the group and the one who initially gathered and helped the other members. He's mechanical in nature, a spy android altered for murder and poaching capabilities, with flight capabilities and the use of darkness and wind to disorient his targets.
He loathes humanity and their kin, all those who reside in cities and destroy nature for their own gain or ignorance or indifference, calling them "city dwellers". He has a particular hate for poachers and though he does not directly kill anyone, he seems fine with tearing out a poacher's eyes then leaving them to navigate the wilderness on their own.
He agreed to a truce with the foresters after they tried to help his group, but it hasn't affected his opinions of anyone else.
SoundEditDespite seeming mechanical in nature, Sound is intangible. He's the remaining ghost of an android killed for reasons he doesn't know, constantly trying to hide the hole where his eye once was as he thinks it's related to why he was turned on. He despairs and panics quite easily when put under pressure or stressful situations.
He's obsessed with finding out why he was killed so he can move on, but not understanding the powers of his voice he cried and screamed at his killers, the sounds echoing into their minds and stabbing into their brains until it killed them. He remained in the laboratory, grieving until Rue found him.
Despite what happened he feels empathy for city dwellers and cannot think of them as the monsters Rue claims they are. He gets along well with Crack, not feeling the need to hide his eye around the blind mole.
BasilikaEditBasilika is an aquatic creature who was poisoned by pollution seeping into his home. City dwellers found and took away all the healthy creatures to protect them, but Basilika had been infected due to a wounded arm and scratched eye from an earlier fight and was left behind. By the time Rue found him the pollution had rotted off his eye and arm completely. As a result of this and his lack of knowledge why humanity took away his kin, he feels a deep hatred for all of humanity.
After coming to the Forest his wounds were worsened as foresters fought back, and the damage can no longer be kept from slowly spreading. He also lost an ear to the pollution's rot. Despite being given medicine his wounds are too serious and will kill him sooner or later, the only question is when.
He used to be close to Kanel, and hates the foresters for killing him. He's grown unfriendly toward Rue for allying with the foresters.
CrackEditCrack is a mole creature that was rendered blind by the pollution seeping into his eyes, but as he has no wounds and a thick hide it has not yet begun to rot him out. He's capable of creating earthquakes and has decent hearing above ground, but cannot speak and when digging cannot hear.
Rue gave him his name. He has a strange emblem on his head, a branding mark from city dwellers wishing to keep track of and recognize him, which Rue theorizes means he was exposed to pollution on purpose. Crack doesn't seem to have an opinion on it either way, but aids Rue's group as he has no family of his own.
He gets along well with Sound, the only one who can speak to him underground.
Basilika's close friend, Kanel was killed during an attack. I guess that would make them the Five Cruelties, but Rue's since found someone new to take his place.
MpaleEditMpale was created as an attempt to weaponize the pollution. He has no sense of touch and a very limited range of movement. He's capable of powerful telekinesis, but seems to have no emotion and doesn't speak any more than he is required. He does not seem to need sleep or food, so he guards when the others rest. It's unclear whether he agrees with the others' hatred or simply follows them because Rue took him from the laboratory where he was previously held.
Though the spikes look painful, when Rue managed to break away part of them the body part 'released' began to rot. It stabilized before growing severe enough to take the limb off, they leave the spikes alone now so as not to risk making anything worse.
The world Rue is from is quite technologically advanced, having found a way to create alloys and armors that are indestructible and impenetrable, but the price for their technology is steep; a side effect of creating their items is a strange substance that corrupts and destroys robotics, flora and fauna alike, seeping into cracks and wounds and any openings and blackening them, rendering the infected areas fragile and flakey to the point that their bodies "rot apart" and break apart into black flakes. There's no cure and no reliable way to stop it once it has spread too much, killing the infected individual without fail. It's depressingly common in nature due to a lack of proper containment and no way to prevent its spread, so the city dwellers mainly just try to keep it out of their cities. Added to this, hunting and poaching has rendered many animals endangered or extinct, making nature and wildlife a rarity.
Rue was awakened to aid poachers, but conflicting directives and a shaky foundation caused him to break free of his orders and he struck out against the poachers. After this he found how the city dwellers were acting, caring for themselves and money only, criminals suing for already-repaired damages and himself being considered nothing but a piece of machinery to be used and discarded, and he left.
Gradually he found out the state of the world, corruption killing wildlife and cities tearing down nature to build for more city dwellers, and decided he would devote himself to shielding what was left of this fragile wilderness. He gathered others he found on the way, wounded or lost animals and creatures with nobody to help them, but though he did his best to keep them alive and safe most died or otherwise disappeared. His loathing for the city dwellers grew ever deeper as each time he tried to give them a chance his trust was betrayed or misplaced, and he grew suspicious and distrustful of anyone.
Finding a large forest with much wildlife left he chose this place to settle down, with the help of his allies attacking and scaring away or tormenting any city dwellers who entered until they disappeared. Some tried to gain his trust and understanding as always, but his hatred had made such impossible. After being taken to Koniki without knowing they kept thinking they were in their own forest, and as such attacked the Inn without caring for their attempts to explain, which eventually lead to Kanel's death once the foresters struck back.
Only after Dante offered his help with curing the pollution did Rue hesitate, and in the end agreed to a cease fire. Basilika refused and kept causing trouble, even harming Rue when he tried to convince him otherwise, but with time even he could be calmed and they eventually found their way back to their own home. Members of the Six Cruelties have since appeared briefly to and from, as it's not uncommon to be caught in Koniki with no easy way back.
Rue knows why Sound was killed. However, Sound won't listen to him and grew violently panicked when Rue tried to tell him. Rue feels he won't accept the truth unless the one to tell him is human, so he leaves it alone for everyone's safety.
The Six Cruelties were originally an attempt to make a villainous group instead of a solo villain, but because of their interactions and connections to each other ended up more sympathetic than expected and could thus be reasoned with.
They were originally meant to be gradually killed as they attacked the inn, but were given puzzle-like weak spots. By accident this meant attacking open wounds (in Basilika's case) or striking many times when a few would incapacitate them, so the foresters instead opted for other solutions and actively avoided resorting to murder.
Their creator's favorite member is Sound.
Basilika's design has gradually changed to account for the spreading corruption, which is why his sketch isn't colored (he's blue and yellow). He has the same branding as Crack, but this is most likely just so the city dwellers could track the effect of the pollution on him.
The pollution is also called "corruption", "rot", "poison" and other such terms.
The term "city dwellers" refers to all creatures living in cities, as there are many intelligent creatures that aren't humans yet live with them as well as androids.