Non-player characters, commonly abbreviated as NPCs, are characters in the Team Fortress 2 setting which are not one of the nine playable classes. While most are uninvolved in gameplay, they still add extra background to the Team Fortress 2 setting.
- 1 TF Industries and divisions
- 1.1 Zepheniah Mann
- 1.2 Silas Mann
- 1.3 Bette Mann
- 1.4 Blutarch and Redmond Mann
- 1.5 Gray Mann
- 1.6 Olivia Mann
- 1.7 Elizabeth
- 1.8 Emily
- 1.9 Helen
- 1.10 Administrator's messenger
- 1.11 Miss Pauling
- 1.12 Director
- 1.13 Unknown individual
- 1.14 Barnabus Hale
- 1.15 Bilious Hale
- 1.16 Saxton Hale
- 1.17 Mr. Bidwell
- 1.18 Mr. Reddy
- 1.19 Patience Meriweather
- 1.20 Blutarch Mann's assistant
- 2 Groups
- 3 RED and BLU family members
- 4 Historical figures
- 5 Other individuals
- 5.1 Apple Store manager
- 5.2 Archibald and Julius
- 5.3 Archimedes
- 5.4 Bob Cratchit & Scrooge
- 5.5 Captain Dan
- 5.6 Charles Darling
- 5.7 Chicken Girl
- 5.8 Claude Huggins
- 5.9 Francis the Talking France
- 5.10 Eyelander
- 5.11 Fedris the Enchanter
- 5.12 Gentle Manne of Leisure, his Companione, and Smelly Unfortunate
- 5.13 Jerry
- 5.14 The Judge
- 5.15 Kicasso
- 5.16 Little Jack
- 5.17 Maggie
- 5.18 Merasmus the Magician
- 5.19 The Park Warden
- 5.20 Nicholas Crowder/Old Nick
- 5.21 Poopy Joe
- 5.22 Salty Pete, Iron Eye, and Pepper Pot Pete
- 5.23 Shakespearicles
- 5.24 Trent and Jessica
- 5.25 Vladimir Bananas
- 6 Other Valve characters
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 External links
TF Industries and divisions
Zepheniah Nieodemus Mann was a wealthy Englishman who was convinced by his dimwitted sons, Blutarch and Redmond, to purchase large areas of land in frontier America. He dreamed of turning the land into large pits of gravel for weapons manufacturing. On his journey over to see his newly purchased land, he was struck with almost every illness known to man, and was shocked to find his new land was an empty and useless desert. Eventually, he left a last will and testament on his own skin, which had sloughed off his body due to illness:
- To his maidservant Elizabeth, he left his estate including all deeds, accounts, and debts, his tobacco plantation, and the remains of his fortune. Elizabeth bears a striking resemblance to Helen, the Administrator, and is very likely her ancestor.
- To his aide and tracker Barnabus Hale, ancestor of Saxton Hale, he left complete control of Mann Co.
- To his "brain defective" sons, Blutarch and Redmond, he left a partnership. All of the new land they had convinced him to buy was now to be split evenly between them, so that they would now have a reason to bicker endlessly. Blutarch and Redmond proceeded to do so by the aid of life extending machines until 1971 when they were assassinated by their long lost brother Gray.
- The final entry of his will is obscured, reading only as: "Lastly to... I leave the entirety of my... and swear you to utmost secrecy in its keeping."
- In another secret page, the message in full is revealed as "Lastly, to most trusted Elizabeth I leave the entirely of my "miracle" gravel cache, uncovered with Barnabus during a trip to Terra Australis. My weakling son Gray resurfaced last year and has threatened to blackmail me for it. I give the gravel to you and swear you to utmost secrecy in its keeping."
- In addition to the entries within the will, it is clear that Zepheniah's brother, Silas Mann, was also present. He, however, was only revealed to have been at the event following the uncovering of another damaged photograph.
- In a secret page on the blog, it is revealed that Zepheniah had a third son, Gray, who was stolen by an eagle.
- This page also reveals that Zepheniah's wife was named Bette Mann.
His will also leaves a curse to anyone who should use firearms near his grave, stating that he will deliver a haunting unlike any ever seen. True to his word, the ghost of Zepheniah appears periodically on the event version of Harvest, where he is buried wearing his Ghastly Gibus hat. Any players who stray too close will flee in fear for several seconds, unable to jump or attack, similar to being stunned by the Sandman. He was first mentioned in the Haunted Hallowe'en Special, as well as the above will. The ghost of Zepheniah can also be seen watching over the battle at the tower in Helltower, observing as the corpses of his murdered sons Redmond and Blutarch are escorted into Hell by the mercenaries. The ghost will briefly vanish from the tower during The Witching Hour before reappearing once the ghostly bridge disappears.
- Zepheniah Mann first appeared in the Mann family portrait.
- According to a voice line from Zepheniah in the Scream Fortress 2013 update, Gray is Zepheniah's favorite son.
- Zepheniah Mann, along with his sons, is voiced by Nolan North.
A young Zepheniah Mann in Mann Manor, circa 1822.
- See also Horseless Headless Horsemann.
The presumed brother of Zepheniah Mann, Silas' history within the family is shrouded in mystery. What is known is that he was the co-owner of Zepheniah Mann & Sons. Quarterly Concern, the company that would eventually become Mann Co. His contributions to the company appear to include keys and name tags. Silas perished shortly after his brother, but death was not the end for him. He now roams Mann Manor as the Horseless Headless Horsemann, similarly to how Zepheniah haunts Harvest Event as a glowing blue spirit. The portrait of Silas Mann can be found by clicking the "Silas" name on the gravestone from the Scream Fortress Update page.
- Silas Mann first appeared on the original Engineer Update page on a clipping of the Zepheniah Mann & Sons Co. Quarterly Concern.
Bette Mann (née Darling) was Zepheniah Mann's wife and the mother of Blutarch, Redmond and Gray Mann. She died giving birth to her three sons. Her father was William Darling, esquire.
- Bette Mann was first mentioned in Blutarch's, Redmond's and Gray's birth certificate.
Blutarch and Redmond Mann
Blutarch Mann and Redmond Mann were two of the triplet sons of Zepheniah Mann. They were the owners of BLU and RED, respectively. The two sons had been engaged in a lifelong feud with each other over the control of the vast lands left to them by their father. After Zepheniah Mann's death, both Blutarch and Redmond hired teams of nine mercenaries each in order to quickly defeat the other sibling and take control of his lands. However, as their forces were evenly matched, the situation quickly devolved into a protracted stalemate, leading Blutarch and later Redmond to look to Radigan Conagher for a life-extending machine, each hoping to outlive his sibling. Radigan made the same machine for both Redmond and Blutarch, so their feud continued, even into the year 1968. By 1971, however, Blutarch and Redmond are tricked into meeting with each other and quickly decide to declare a truce in order to get one of them pregnant to create a heir. But Gray Mann enters, revealing himself to be their long lost brother and assassinates both of them to gain control of their respective companies.
In Grave Matters, Blutarch and Redmond Mann become ghosts shortly after their deaths. The first thing Blutarch does as a ghost is gloat to his brother that he outlived him, while Redmond says he was still bleeding out when Blutarch died. After a few seconds of fighting, they go to the RED Soldier, who is working as a lawyer, for legal help in determining that status of who won their father's land. RED Soldier tells them, that since they're ghosts, they're not actually dead but caught between worlds and neither have won until one of them passes on. Blutarch and Redmond leave and find the nearest pay phone and call their secretaries from their former companies and organize the mercs in order to try and send each other to Hell.
- Blutarch and Redmond Mann first appeared in the Mann family portrait.
- In Blood Brothers, the reason for Blutarch and Redmond's feud is revealed as their shared belief that the disputed gravel pits can be used as an energy source similar to coal.
- Like Merasmus, Blutarch and Redmond are voiced by Nolan North.
Redmond Mann in his manor, circa 1968.
- A silhouette of Redmond is seen sitting in a chair faced toward machinery (presumably the life extending machine Radigan built) in an inaccessible part of the Red spawn room in Mann Manor. Accessing this room via noclip reveals that only the parts of Redmond visible outside the room, his arm and head, are actually modeled.
- In the room containing point C in Mann Manor, a painting of a muscular, grinning Redmond can be seen. Beside him stands an evil, gremlin-like representation of Blutarch. A similar portrait (in which the roles of Blutarch and Redmond are reversed) can be seen in Blutarch Mann's room in the Loose Canon comic.
Gray Mann is the third son of Zepheniah Mann. The smallest of the three Mann brothers, Gray was also the most intelligent of the three. He could speak perfectly by the time he was born, but was the weakest physically. Disgusted by how he could talk, Zepheniah Mann was going to smother Gray, but before his father could do so, Gray was abducted by a wild eagle and raised as one of its own. After being raised by his eagle abductor, Gray killed and ate her and her children before crawling back to civilization to build his corporate empire, Gray Gravel Company. According to Zephaniah Mann, in 1849, Gray Mann had threatened to blackmail him for his cache of "miracle" gravel.
In 1971, Gray resurfaced, revealing that, like his brothers, he possessed a life-extending machine, albeit a more efficient and compact version mounted on his back. After luring them to a fake meeting using forged letters from each other offering a truce, he assassinated his twin brothers Blutarch and Redmond Mann to take control of their respective companies and absorb them into Gray Gravel Co. Gray created an army of robots to destroy Mann Co. facilities all over the world as shown in A Fate Worse Than Chess. Saxton Hale rehired the mercenaries, who had been fired from BLU and RED after the takeover, to defend these factories from the robots.
In 1972, Gray surrendered the war to Saxton Hale, acknowledging that his war had turned into a stalemate reminiscent of the Gravel War between his brothers. However, he used the Mann Co. Challenge policy, which stated that the CEO of any company could legally seize control of Mann Co. if they beat Mann Co.'s CEO in unarmed combat, in order to pit Saxton Hale against his daughter, Olivia. Unwilling to fight a child, Saxton Hale conceded, giving up control of the company to Olivia.
Six months later, Gray's Australium-fueled Life Extender Machine began to run low. In desperation, Gray uncovered Mann Co.'s safe of Australium. He discovered it empty, and deduced that the Australium had been stolen by the Administrator after finding a cigarette left behind at the safe. He proceeded to hire an unknown group of individuals to find the Administrator and recover the Australium. In A Cold Day in Hell it is revealed that Gray hired the Team Fortress Classic Mercenaries to find The Administrator.
- Gray was first mentioned in a birth certificate accessed via a link hidden in a blood stain on the banner of the TF2 Official Blog.
- Additionally, an updated version of the last will of Zepheniah Mann was released shortly after the hidden link, revealing the secret piece of the will belongs to Gray Mann.
- The smaller set of numbers along the bottom of the Barely-Melted Capacitor read 07180125. When split into four and translated into letters (A = 1, B = 2, etc), it reads "GRAY".
- He murders his brothers Blutarch and Redmond in the comic Blood Brothers.
- He has traits that are similar to the RED and BLU Spies.
- At the last page of Loose Canon comic on cover of Life Extender Machine book there is a list of persons whom Radigan Conagher built machines to and dates of building. It lists the 17th of July 1874 for Blutarch, 3rd of August 1874 for Redmond and 14th of April (unknown year) for an un-named third person, presumably Gray.
- He appears to have aged much better than his brothers, seeing as how he is still able to stand and has retained his hair. His better aging may be attributed to his more advanced life extension machine, which runs on a pure Australium core.
- In "The Shadow Boxers" comic released during the Smissmas 2012 update, it was revealed that Gray Mann owns Gray Gravel Co., a company whose logo can be seen on the Gravel Pit and Frontier maps.
- In "Ring of Fired", Gray Mann has a young girl named Olivia with him who he claims is his daughter.
- Dialogue in the Helltower Halloween map reveals that Gray is Zepheniah Mann's favorite son.
Olivia is the daughter of Gray Mann and the current CEO of Gray Gravel Co. She also became the CEO of Mann Co. after winning it from Saxton Hale by technicality using the Mann Co. rule regarding transferal of ownership by victory in Unarmed Combat. Hale, refusing to fight her due to her young age, made his butler Mr. Bidwell CEO, but when he also refused to fight her, Hale was forced to give Mann Co. to Olivia.
- Olivia first appears in part 1 of an ongoing 6-part comic series, Ring of Fired.
- Olivia's biological relationship to Gray is disputable, considering her age in comparison to his, suggesting that she may be adopted.
- Olivia's name appears to carry on the color-themed naming scheme of her father and uncles (Olivia = Olive green).
Elizabeth, whose last name is currently unknown, was Zepheniah Mann's hand servant. Upon his death, he left her the majority of his estate, including all of his deeds, accounts and debts. She is the first known ancestor of Helen to be involved in Administrating the RED and BLU teams, and bears a striking resemblance to the current Administrator, possibly hinting at some relation between the two. According to the complete will and testament of Zepheniah Mann she was left with the "miracle gravel" cache that he discovered on a trip to "Terra Australis".
- Elizabeth first appeared in the Mann family portrait.
- In Catch-Up, Emily is revealed to be Elizabeth in 1890. Whether this is a continuity error or not is unknown.
In the Loose Canon comic, a mysterious woman that bears a striking resemblance to Elizabeth convinces Radigan to construct a second Life Extender Machine – this one for Blutarch's brother, Redmond – by bribing him with Australium and the story of its powerful effects. It is unknown how she obtained one hundred pounds of the element. It is assumed that Elizabeth is her mother, although her name and ancestry are never revealed. If this is the case, then the Administrator, Helen, could be Elizabeth's granddaughter – ownership of TF Industries being passed down through the generations.
- Original "printings" of the comic show Elizabeth as being named 'Emily', leading one to assume that this was the intended name of Elizabeth's daughter and the two characters perhaps being confused by the letterer. It appears that Emily may have been in some way a love interest of Redmond Mann. Though presumably non-canon, Mann Manor has a hidden artistic portrait of Emily added in as an Easter egg.
- In Catch-Up, Emily is revealed to be Elizabeth in 1890. Whether this is a continuity error or not is unknown.
Resembling Elizabeth and Emily, Helen is the present Administrator of the Mann brothers' companies and mercenaries.
- See Main Article Administrator.
The Administrator's messenger is a mysterious individual hired by the Administrator to deliver messages to the classes via a miniturized television set. He was first shown locating the BLU Soldier's apartment and delivering a message to him via a television screen broadcasting the Administrator during the WAR! Update. He was hired by the Administrator to find the BLU Soldier and get him to turn against his friend, the RED Demoman, leading to the belief that he is a spy for TF Industries.
Another messenger is seen in Meet the Director, killed by the RED team in an attempt to get answers out of him. The Administrator frowned upon this, on the grounds that once dead they could not return their miniature televisions, forcing her to buy more. It is unknown if this was the same messenger from the WAR! Update, but the Administrator's statement about them "shooting yet another messenger" suggests that there have been several messengers before and that the mercenaries make a habit of killing them.
- See Miss Pauling.
The Director is a somewhat arrogant filmmaker. Hired by the Administrator, the Director was meant to spy on the mercenaries, so the Administrator could use something they said against them later if need be. However, he was led to believe he was filming them to show the people of Badlands that they weren't "just armed psychopaths blowing up all their landmarks on a daily basis".
Once the Administrator believed she had gained proper leverage over her employees, she ordered Miss Pauling to assassinate the Director. Miss Pauling brought the Director out to a mine under the guise that the Administrator was waiting for her interview there, with a bag of quicklime and a shovel secretly tucked away in the bed of her truck. The Director's current status is unknown, though he is presumed to be dead after his "interview" with the Administrator. A "MISSING" poster featuring the Director can be found in the maps Doomsday, Coal Town, and Mannworks, further hinting this.
In the mostly complete family portrait, another person can be seen in between the gap of the two pieces. The name of this person is unknown and he has yet to be referenced. He can be seen here. In the portrait, he appears to be holding something in his left arm but the object can not be identified.
- The unknown individual first appeared in the Mann family portrait.
Barnabus Hale was a 19th century Australian frontiersman, employed as an aide and tracker by Zepheniah Mann. After Bette dies while giving birth, he cries at her death, apparently the only one to do so. Hale later inherited Mann Co. upon Zepheniah's death. He is a relative of Saxton Hale, his grandfather, and shares Saxton's extremely masculine personality.
- Barnabus Hale first appeared in the Mann family portrait.
- Barnabus later appears in the comic Blood Brothers and then in Catch-Up
Bilious Hale is the father of Saxton Hale, and was the owner of Mann Co during the early 1900's after inheriting it from his father, Barnabus Hale. During a fatal mineshaft collapse, which resulted in the death of fourteen workers, Bilious was able to escape by punching it open, gaining him more fame from the press. During the March of 1922, Bilious Hale shut down the coal mine and coal-powered munitions factory 50 years after it was founded. However, one of the rooms was left as a "historic storage closet" under the reasoning that the objects left in it were not presently needed, but kept for a future time for when they may be. During his lifetime, Bilious was one of the five owners of a telephone in the United States along with Redmond & Blutarch, the President, Alexander Graham Bell and presumably a predecessor of the Administrator.
- See Saxton Hale.
Mr. Bidwell is one of Saxton Hale's assistants, along with Mr. Reddy. His duties include preparing Hale's breakfast steak and dealing with customer feedback. Bidwell is the creator of the new Mann Co. Weapons Catalogue, acting as a liaison between the manufacturers of various products and Mann Co. During his first appearance Bidwell sported a handlebar mustache; however, this was later shaved off.
Saxton Hale sent Bidwell to Sarif Industries under the pretense of discussing a partnership to jointly develop biotechnology. While Sarif's representatives were looking over the "contract", Bidwell escaped with a crate full of weapons and later reverse-engineered the stolen weaponry to produce Manno-Technology. Bidwell detailed his exploits in a confidential memo to Hale, who wrote back to Bidwell asking him to "stop writing these things down".
Bidwell, along with Reddy, risked being dismissed by suggesting the idea of item tryouts and much of the Manniversary Update & Sale. They showcased various new hats and Miscellaneous items in a section of the Manniversary Update and Sale page before being rudely interrupted by Saxton Hale's dilemma of hiding a dead ostrich.
Three days after the end of "The Gravel Wars" and the death of Blutarch and Redmond Mann, Bidwell is under disguise as a primate violence specialist with Saxton Hale, with the purpose of filming Saxton fight the last-living Yeti. Right before Saxton charges at the Yeti to fight it, Bidwell is informed by Reddy of attacks on Mann Co. stores and relays it back to Saxton, who tells Bidwell that he is very much aware of the attacks. Bidwell then films Saxton's assault on the Yeti, which Saxton uses as a video instructing the mercenaries on their new job of fighting robots and defending Mann Co. Bidwell then sends the tape back to Miss Pauling, who shows it to the remainders of the RED and BLU Teams.
- Mr. Bidwell first appeared in the WAR! Update comic, WAR!.
- Mr. Bidwell makes another appearance in the Mann vs. Machine comic, A Fate Worse Than Chess.
- Mr. Bidwell's latest appearance was in the comic Ring of Fired.
Mr. Reddy, along with Mr. Bidwell, is one of Saxton Hale's assistants. Specifically, he is Hale's accountant and takes his calls. Under Hale's orders, Mr. Reddy sent the five richest men in America congratulatory bouquets and "You're a dead man" form letters. During his first appearance, Reddy sported a thick box car mustache, however, this was later shaved off. Upon completing the achievement Mission Accomplished in Spiral Knights, Mr. Reddy sends the player a congratulatory letter and the Spiral Sallet. He also created the Dueler, Gifting Man From Gifting Land and Philateler.
Reddy, along with Bidwell, risked being dismissed by suggesting the idea of item tryouts and much of the Manniversary Update & Sale. They showcased various new hats and Miscellaneous items in a section of the Manniversary Update and Sale page before being rudely interrupted by Saxton Hale's dilemma of hiding a dead ostrich.
Reddy later informed Bidwell of the attacks by robots on all Mann Co. facilities.
- Mr. Reddy first appeared in the WAR! Update comic, WAR!.
- Mr. Reddy is mentioned in the Mann vs. Machine comic, A Fate Worse Than Chess
- Like Mr. Bidwell, Reddy also makes another appearance in the comic Ring of Fired.
Patience Meriweather helped to deliver the three sons of Zepheniah Mann and his wife Bette: Redmond, Blutarch, and Gray. She also gave the news of Bette's death to Zepheniah and Barnabus Hale, who was present at the time.
- The midwife first appeared in the Mann vs. Machine comic, Blood Brothers.
- Although never called by name in Blood Brothers, her name was revealed in the Mann vs. Machine ARG on Gray Mann's birth certificate.
Blutarch Mann's assistant
Blutarch Mann's assistant is an unnamed woman who has worked for Blutarch for at least 60 years. She is shown in 1960 presenting Dell Conagher to Blutarch Mann and again in an 1890 flashback presenting Radigan Conagher to Blutarch Mann. After she calls Dell "Mister Conagher" a couple of times, he politely tells her to just call him "Dell" since "Mister Conagher" was his grandfather's name. She replies, "Yes. I remember."
- Blutarch Mann's assistant's first appearance was in the comic Loose Canon.
Once thought of as a nation of idiots, since 1850 Australians had become world leaders in technology. Every innovation, including Cloaking and teleportation, now came from the brain of a lager-loving Australian. By the 1890s, Sydney had become a city of tomorrow with flying cars, giant airships, and self-grooming mustaches. Much like their national hero, Saxton Hale, every man, woman and child in the nation of Australia (with the exception of at least three, the Sniper and his parents) sports a glorious, full mustache. An ancestor of the Administrator theorized that the nation's incredible intelligence came from a rare element, Australium. This theory seemed to prove true as the element amplified Radigan Conagher's intelligence to phenomenal levels, and also caused various Australian-related side effects including rapid mustache growth, extreme masculinity, and the primal urge to take off his shirt and grow chest hair in the shape of his homeland.
Australia chooses its king through a Kangaroo boxing match, possibly making Australia the only Kratocracy.
- Australians first appeared in the Loose Canon comic.
Mann Co. Monkeynautics
Mann Co. Monkeynautics is a group that worked on sending Monkeynaut Poopy Joe into space to fight Vladimir Bananas. The Mann Co. Monkeynautics is featured on the map Doomsday as the company with the rocket that launches Poopy Joe into space. This however fails and crashes on a nearby satellite tower.
- Mann Co. Monkeynautics first appeared on the Pyromania day one page.
- Poopy Joe is the only known Monkeynaut that works for Mann Co.
The Badland Brawlers are a sports team from Badlands.
- A Badland Brawlers badge is shown on the Scout's Whoopee Cap.
- The Badland Brawlers were first mentioned in the WAR! Update comic, WAR!.
- In Ring of Fired, the Demoman is wearing a Badland Brawlers shirt.
BLU team (original)
The original BLU team was assembled by Blutarch Mann in the 1850s in an attempt to claim all of the land bequeathed to him and his brother, Redmond, by their father. Unfortunately for Blutarch, it appears that the original RED team was assembled at the same time, leaving both siblings at a stalemate. The original team consisted of the same nine classes as the current organization. The Scout, inspired by Billy the Kid, took on the appearance of a young cowboy, complete with spurred boots. The Soldier, who resembles Stonewall Jackson, dressed like a member of the Confederate States Army, utilizing a rifle, rather than a Rocket Launcher. In keeping with tradition, the Demoman, inspired by Alfred Nobel, was a one-eyed dynamite-loving prospector. Unlike his modern Russian counterpart, the Heavy resembled John Henry, preferring to put his enemies out of commission with a monstrous sledgehammer, whilst the Sniper, like Davy Crockett, partnered his trusty rifle with a coonskin cap. Prior to his appointment as President of the United States, the Pyro, Abraham Lincoln, used an experimental Flamethrower to aid his comrades in battle. BLU team's Medic, Sigmund Freud, appeared to retain his contemporary's love of the Bonesaw, whilst the team's Engineer, who resembles Nikola Tesla, was forced to make do with a satchel of Blueprints, rather than a PDA. Finally, the Spy eschewed a balaclava in favor of a domino-mask and equally-sinister mustache in the style of Fu Manchu.
The members of Redmond's original counterpart team are unknown.
- The original BLU team first appeared in the Loose Canon comic.
Team Fortress Classic mercenaries
- One Team Fortress Classic mercenary first appeared in the Team Fortress comic Ring of Fired as a shadowy silhouette of the Classic Heavy
- The identity of the silhouette along with his team was revealed in the Cold Day in Hell comic
- The Classic Mercenaries from the 1930's appeared in the Catch-Up Comic
RED and BLU family members
BLU Scout's mother
The BLU Scout's mother is briefly mentioned and shown in Meet the Spy. She also appears in the beginning of the Second Annual Saxxy Awards trailer, where her arm can be seen and she can be heard screaming while she runs away. She raised the Scout and his seven "mad-dog" brothers in south Boston, and somehow still managed to keep her figure. She is in a romantic relationship with the RED Spy, who lovingly calls her "ma petit chou-fleur", which roughly means "my little cauliflower" in French. The BLU Scout was apparently shocked to learn of this relationship, though his actual feelings on the matter are unknown since he was in fact the RED Spy disguised as the BLU Scout at the time. The BLU Scout's mother wears a Classic late 60s style dress and bob hairstyle. Seven compromising photos of her with the RED Spy are kept in a top secret file labeled 'Scout's Mom' in the BLU base. The Spy has a likeness of her engraved on the barrel of the Ambassador.
- The BLU Scout's mother first appearance was in Meet the Spy. She was later seen in the Second Annual Saxxy Awards trailer.
The Engineer's father is shown in a photo with his son, Dell Conagher. Dell's father is the Engineer from the Team Fortress Classic series of games, while Dell is the Engineer from Team Fortress 2.
- The Engineer's father first appeared in the Engineer Update.
Mr. & Mrs. DeGroot
The Demoman's mother, Mrs. DeGroot, is a blind, elderly woman who reminisces constantly about the Demoman's late father, Mr. DeGroot. Even with her son's multi-million dollar salary and mansion, she still thinks he does not work hard enough, claiming that the Demoman's father would be spinning in his grave at his idleness and had 26 jobs. She insisted on bringing up the Demoman Scottish, and does not like to see him "squandering his gifts." She also comments: "No Demoman worth his sulfur ever had an eye in his head past thirty!"
She, along with the Demoman's father, collected the young Tavish from the Crypt Grammar School for Orphans, revealing themselves as his true parents. They explained that he was abandoned at birth until his skills manifested themselves, a longstanding, cruel, and wholly unnecessary tradition among the Highland Demolition Men.
The Demoman's mother advised her son to go searching for jobs on All Hallow's Eve, saying that all of the ghouls would vanish in one day.
Mr. & Mrs. Mundy
Mr. & Mrs. Mundy are the Sniper's parents. Being a dutiful son, the Sniper makes sure to keep in touch with his parents via phone or mail to inquire about their well-being and keep them up to date with his latest adventures and exploits. Living in the "Red House on the Left on Adelaide St. in Australia", the Sniper's parents do not approve of his occupation. The Sniper's dad is especially condemning, calling the Sniper a "crazed gunman" against the Sniper's insistence that he is an "assassin". In a bid to bring the arguments to an end, the Sniper wrote to his mom asking her to just tell his dad about how he makes more than a doctor and then finally asks her to just tell him that he is a doctor. After the Sniper was interviewed by the Director, the Sniper received mailed photographs of his parents.
Like their son, neither one of them have moustaches, a seemingly rare trait amongst Australians. Mr. & Mrs. Mundy also bear a striking resemblance to Eustace and Muriel Bagge from Courage the Cowardly Dog. The comic's illustrator later confirmed that this similarity, along with the similarities of their homes, was "very much on purpose" due to time constraints.
- Mr. & Mrs. Mundy were first introduced in Meet the Sniper, but were not visibly seen or named until Meet the Director.
The BLU Engineer's grandfather, Radigan Conagher, was hired by Blutarch Mann to build a machine to artificially allow him to live longer than his brother. He agrees to build the machine for Blutarch. Later, he is approached by a woman who bears a resemblance to that of The Administrator. She offers him Australium to build Blutarch's Machine, under the stipulation that he covertly builds an identical machine for Redmond as well. On a personal level, Radigan Conagher had a fascination for Abraham Lincoln. In the first edition of The Engineer Update, several pages of notes are dedicated to inventing an object that could have saved Lincoln from John Wilkes Booth. Some devices include: a hat that would shoot at the attacker, a chair that would swing over and under a balcony away from the attacker, and a teleporter.
Radigan goes through a drastic transformation as shown in the hidden links of the Engineer Update. He seems to have become taller, grown a mustache, developed large muscles, and has a fond thirst for beer. This matches the qualities of the stereotypical Australians in Team Fortress 2. This is probably due to his exposure to Australium. One could even say he looks like an older Saxton Hale. In the photographs displayed on the Engineer Update webpage, Conagher is also shown holding what seems to be the very first Southern Hospitality. In the final stage of his transformation, it is shown that he had replaced his left hand with a robotic arm and his chest hair had grown into the shape of Texas, similar to Saxton Hale's Australian shaped chest hair. He also appears more "Australian" than before, as a large jovial man (in contrast to his previously reserved personality) with a big, bushy mustache and carrying a barrel of BLU Streak beer, a taste shared by his grandson Dell. One of the Paint Can colors, "Radigan Conagher Brown" bears his name.
- Radigan Conagher first appeared in the Loose Canon comic.
RED Heavy's family
While not much is known, the RED Heavy's family history was first discussed in the Meet the Director comic. Having been a counter-revolutionist, RED Heavy's father was killed by unknown causes. After the death of his father in autumn of 1941, the Heavy was deported to a Northern Siberian gulag along with his mother and sisters, Zhanna, Yana, and Bronislava. The Heavy and his family worked at the gulag for three months, until it was burned to the ground some time in December, 1941 and all of the prisoners had escaped. It was later found that the guards of the camp had been tortured to death. The Heavy was shown to be still in contact with his family and using his mercenary wages to provide for them in the comic Bombinomicon. In A Cold Day in Hell, the Heavy's family was shown to be living in the Siberian mountains, eating almost exclusively bear meat, where the Heavy had been protecting them from "the people who hurt [them] before." However, with the Heavy rejoining the team, his family began to move to the United States.
Yana and Bronislava are apparently attracted to some of the mercenaries, namely the Sniper and Spy. Zhanna seems to be in a relationship with the Soldier; the relationship began due to her not having seen a man in twenty years, and after her rejection of the Scout because he talked too much.
- The RED Heavy's family was first mentioned in the Meet the Director comic.
- The RED Heavy's family first actually appeared in the "A Cold Day in Hell" comic.
Wikipedia article: Abraham Lincoln
In addition to being the nation's 16th President, Abraham Lincoln might also have been the BLU team's first Pyro when the war began in the 1850s. Abraham Lincoln is noted for his love of Arena Mode as shown in the Sniper vs Spy update. According to the WAR! Update, he was the inventor of stairs. The Engineer Update states Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by John "Tower of Hats" Booth, although the WAR! Update attributes his death to rocket-jumping up stairs. Furthermore, according to the Loose Canon comic, there were blueprints for three "life-extender machines", the last one apparently built on the day of Lincoln's death. Whether or not Abraham Lincoln is still alive is open to debate.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Wikipedia article: Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, or Franklin D. Roosevelt as he is commonly called, found Abraham Lincoln's plans for stairs in 1921. Recovering from a rocket jumping accident, Franklin D. Roosevelt perfected Lincoln's plans for stairs, freeing the world from the tyranny of the second floor.
Franklin D. Roosevelt first appeared in the WAR! Update.
Wikipedia article: George Washington
George Washington invented America, but historians agree his greatest failure was his inability to be permanently invisible. With the advent of the Cloak and Dagger, the Spy can succeed where the inventor of America failed.
George Washington first appeared in the Sniper vs Spy Update.
Wikipedia article: Fred Astaire
Fred Astaire, born Frederick Austerlitz, was an American film and Broadway stage dancer, choreographer, singer, and actor. His stage and subsequent film career spanned a total of 76 years, during which he made 31 musical films. He was particularly susceptible to projectile weapons fire.
- Fred Astaire first appeared in the WAR! Update.
John Wilkes Booth
Wikipedia article: John Wilkes Booth
John "Tower of Hats" Booth was the assassin of beloved president Abraham Lincoln. His last known photograph depicts him wearing his eponymous tower of hats. A wanted poster of him was published after the assassination, including an altered photograph depicting what he may look like after adding Abraham Lincoln's fearsome hat to said tower. Booth was later killed in a fearsome shootout between him and Bilious Hale and a large group of people. Booth was bravely held down by Bilious Hale as people took turns shooting him. After his death, Bilious Hale was awarded his hat tower for his bravery and service.
- John "Tower of Hats" Booth first appeared in the Engineer Update.
Wikipedia article: Sun Tzu
Sun Tzu (simplified Chinese: 孙武; traditional Chinese: 孫武) was an ancient Chinese tactician and philosopher who wrote a book called The Art of War, detailing innovative Chinese strategy in warfare. He gained fame for his remarkable strategies and many policies on warfare, particularly in the West. His work continues to influence warfare and politics today.
Sun Tzu is mentioned in the Meet the Soldier short. While talking to his collection of heads, the Soldier claims that Sun Tzu "invented fighting, and then perfected it so that no man could best him in the ring of honour."
The Soldier asks the Director if Sun Tzu ever wrote any books on punching through a man's ribcage. When the Director gives a negative answer, the Soldier is clearly disappointed and resolves to stop threatening his local bookstore.
- Sun Tzu was first mentioned in Meet the Soldier.
Wikipedia article: William Prescott
William Prescott was a Revolutionary War general who notably led the Battle of Bunker Hill and won. He loved hats, and reportedly said at that battle: "Don't fire till you see the tops of their heads". True to his word, he only fired at enemies who were poor and possessed no hats.
- William Prescott was first mentioned in the Classless Update.
Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin
Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were two American astronauts who stalled the moon landing by 3 years during Astromania '69.
Wikipedia article: Aleister Crowley
Aleister Crowley was an English occultist responsible for cursing scenic Skull Island during a speedboat cursing tour.
- Aleister Crowley was first mentioned in a hidden page on the Team Fortress 2 blog.
Wikipedia article: Tom Jones
Sir Thomas John Woodward, better known by his stage name Tom Jones is a Welsh singer. He is known for many hit singles such as "It's Not Unusual", "What's New Pussycat", and "She's a Lady". In Ring of Fired, it was revealed that he is Merasmus' new roommate. Shortly thereafter, Tom Jones was swiftly killed by Soldier.
- Tom Jones first appeared in Ring of Fired
Apple Store manager
The Apple Store manager is the manager of the Apple store located on the outskirts of Dustbowl, and presumably the employer of Trent and Jessica.
When Saxton Hale wants to buy out the company, he denied the request with the words "No sale, Hale!" Hale immediately recognizes him and insults him, saying the store 'had his curvy stink all over it'. He is presumably one of Hale's long time rivals.
- The manager appears to be a reference to Apple founder Steve Jobs.
- The Apple Store manager first appeared in the non-canon Mac Update comic, A Visual History.
Archibald and Julius
Archibald and Julius are the proprietors of the Bombs for the Poor not-for-profit charity. They find a Payload cart delivered to their rail-stoop and declare it a Smissmas miracle before they embrace in celebration. Both are completely fictitious characters, invented by the Scout and Soldier as an alibi while on trial for blowing up a Mall Santa training facility.
- Their bowler hats, moustaches, and color-coded suits resemble Blutarch and Redmond Mann in the 1890s
Archimedes is one of the Medic's pet doves. Making his first appearence in Meet the Medic, Archimedes has an eerie habit of getting in the way of most procedures, including wallowing in the innards of the Heavy. Archimedes is last heard cooing from inside the Scout's chest cavity after his surgery leaves the curious bird stuck inside. Archimedes will sometimes fly out of a gibbed Scout during regular gameplay.
Archimedes would later make a cameo in the beginning of the Blood Brothers comic. He also appears in the Mann vs. Machine trailer and the short Expiration Date He is now an in-game item that can be equipped by the Medic. He can also be ordered as a plush on the Valve website which also awards a code that can be used to get a Genuine version of the in-game item.
- Archimedes and Lieutenant Bites (the Soldier's pet raccoon) are the only two mercenaries' pets to appear in the official comics.
Bob Cratchit & Scrooge
Bob Cratchit, a "kindly community map maker", and Scrooge, a "billionare hat magnate", are characters in a Christmas play.
- Bob Cratchit & Scrooge were first mentioned in the Australian Christmas update.
Captain Dan is a local soup manufacturer. After a massive soup recall, he generously volunteered in disposing the rancid product, and a relieved President awarded him the Key to the City and a License to Kill. The Soldier is a fan of his brand of tomato soup. Captain Dan's name is also on the sticker of the Cheese Wheel.
- Captain Dan was first mentioned in the WAR! Update.
- His soup now appears as one of the miscellaneous items in the Pyromania Update for the Soldier under the name The Captain's Cocktails.
- In the 87th page of the Teufort Reader, it is noted that one product of Captain Dan is Sour Cream and Mayonnaise packets.
- In Mannhattan signage, Captain Dan advertises that the wood pulp in his products is Now Legal to Eat. Adding wood pulp to food, especially bread, and now soup, as a cheap filler or thickener is an old practice.
Charles Darling is the former hunting mentor of Mann Co. owner Saxton Hale. Formerly a hunter, Darling decided to give up a life of savagery for a more comfortable one of zoo-keeping. His and Hale's falling-out appeared to occur following Saxton's decision to abandon his training for 'her'. He is currently the owner and proprietor of Darling Zoos, with a collection of animals that includes such rare species as pygmy rabbits, quaggas, Tasmanian wolves, dodos, giraffes, and sea cows. He is thought to be based off of the famed evolutionist Charles Darwin. He enjoys watching the animals in his zoos suffer, and in the comic A Cold Day in Hell he has animals stand on boxes and stick their head through mounting plates, so he can look at the defeated looks in their eyes, which he finds amusing.
- Charles Darling first appeared in Bidwell's Big Plan.
- Charles Darling also appeared in Unhappy Returns and A Cold Day in Hell.
The Chicken Girl, referred to by the Spy as a Fried Chicken Tramp, is an anonymous girl that Scout met at a Conquistador Fried Giblets fast food restaurant. Scout points out to her that they both have buckets of fried chicken and asks her if they want to "do it". She replies "Eh, okay."
- Chicken Girl first appeared in Expiration Date.
Claude Huggins was the founder of Teufort, which he originally named Hugginsville.
Huggins survived a bear attack by hiding under the mauled corpse of his wife. He founded the settlement on the site of the attack. Other persons besides his wife died in the attack, possibly including the Huggins' children.
Francis the Talking France
Francis the Talking France is a sentient manifestation of France with an apparent knowledge of cinema. He claims to be the inventor of the French terms "Mise en scene! Auteur! Avante-garde! Montage! Even cinéma!". Valve put him in charge of judging all the Saxxy entries, but realizing that the job would be too big even for himself, he opened the voting to the public.
- Francis the Talking France first appeared on the website Old Man Murray, co-written by Valve writer Erik Wolpaw.
- The character appeared on the TF2 Official Blog on the 20th of May.
- Francis is actually a mirror image of France, with its west in the east and vice versa.
- A child dresses as Francis for Halloween in the Bombinomicon comic.
- A cartoonized Francis appears on baby Scout's shirt on page 53 of A Cold Day in Hell.
- For the weapon, see Eyelander.
Eyelander is a sentient, speaking, haunted sword.
- Eyelander became Demoman's companion following Demoman's estrangement from Soldier.
- It is suggested that Eyelander is capable of striking victims on its own.
- Upon its first appearance, it was only able to hiss "Headssss..." As of Ring of Fired, however, it is now able to watch television, speak more words (including swearing, which it does frequently), and apparently eat churros.
Fedris the Enchanter
Fedris the Enchanter is a wizard of some renown that spoke at Wizardcon MCLVI, along side Merasmus the Magician, about whether big heads are wizardry or witchcraft.
- Fedris the Enchanter was first mentioned in a hidden page on the Team Fortress 2 blog.
Gentle Manne of Leisure, his Companione, and Smelly Unfortunate
The Gentle Manne of Leisure is a Victorian Englishman who was rich enough to buy a tower of hats. He traveled the streets of a Victorian English city with his Companione, informing Smelly Unfortunate that the latter was presumptuous, poor, and Irish. The Gentle Manne of Leisure wore a tuxedo, carried a cane, and was never seen without his most prized possession – his tower of hats. It is possible that he is referred to as "Sinclaire" by his Companione as they spectate their 'Hatless Commoners' boxing. Also, the quotation above is used as the description for the Towering Pillar of Hats.
- The Gentle Manne of Leisure was first shown in the Classless Update.
- He, his Companione, and Smelly Unfortunate can be found in the June 1814 edition of Gentle Manne's Monthly.
- Gentle Manne of Leisure and Smelly Unfortunate are also in the list of random bot names.
Jerry is the pilot of Saxton Hale's airplane. He is usually annoyed when Saxton continuously jumps out of the plane. In Ring of Fired, he tells Hale about the new policy of not being allowed to jump out of the plane. However, Saxton damages a part of the plane forcing them to jump out. As they are falling, Jerry holds on to the stuffed yeti Hale had brought with him as he screams in fear. Jerry continues to scream and hold on to the yeti even as they are on the ground.
The Judge presided over the trial of the Scout and Spy after they blew up a Mall Santa training facility with a bomb cart, with the Soldier as their attorney. After chewing out the Scout for his ridiculous alibi involving a "Bombs for the Poor" charity, he convinces the Scout to rat out the Soldier as the mastermind and sentences all three to community service at a Mall Santa booth.
A painter whose work is on display in the lobby of BLU's headquarters, and is recognized by Dell Conagher. At one point, he went through a "Hunted in the Jungle" period of artwork. The character is most likely a play on the name of the famous artist, Picasso. The artwork is a parody adaptation of Picasso's 'Self-portrait with Cloak', painted during his "blue period", which is a humorous reference within itself considering that the Kicasso is a part of Blutarch's Mansion.
- Kicasso first appeared in the Loose Canon comic.
Little Jack is a young boy who first encounters the mercenaries while they are doing community service work at the Teufort Mall. After asking Santa (the BLU Soldier) for various Saxton Hale toys, the Soldier decides that what he really needs for Smissmas is a sensible haircut. He is then thrilled to watch his father and the Soldier fight each other, right before Old Nick bursts in, announcing his intent to kidnap the children of Teufort to work in his factory. Frightened, he turns to the BLU Spy, who breaks off an icicle and hands it to the boy and instructs him on what to do. After being beaten by the BLU Scout and Soldier, Old Nick grabs little Jack, who drives the icicle into Old Nick's neck, killing him. Little Jack is last seen sitting next to the Spy, reminiscing about the earlier event. He sits atop the Spy's shoulders for a front-page photograph on the Teufort Times.
Margret, also nicknamed Mags and Maggie, is supposedly the ex-girlfriend of Saxton Hale. The two used to fight exotic animals together while both holding Charles Darling as their nemesis. Maggie may have broke up with Hale after he became CEO of Mann Co. After the break up, Mags had married four men, whom had all died while on her extreme adventures. When Gray Mann took over Mann Co., Maggie, now an employee of Darling, helps Hale ask him for help in winning back the company.
- Maggie was introduced in Unhappy Returns.
Merasmus the Magician
- See Merasmus.
The Park Warden
The Park Warden is a female officer who mistook Merasmus for a woman. She ordered the old wizard to move away from his Castle of Eldritch Horror since it was to be used as a raccoon sanctuary. After the Soldier mistakenly called the castle "Ostrich Horror", the warden assumed that Merasmus was scaring ostriches and told him that it was a hefty fine.
Nicholas Crowder/Old Nick
On December 18, 1788, a man named Nicholas Crowder was on a voyage to Australia, but upon witnessing the heat and privations he decided to turn the boat around. He instead set course to conquer the South Pole, where, according to legend, he still lives. Every December 18th, "Old Nick" (as he is now known) returns to Australia to judge whether or not the children have been naughty or nice. The nice children get the gift of not being abducted and taken to the South Pole to work in Old Nick's workshop. The bad children make hats and weapons for Old Nick, which are delivered to his mansion on December 17. Old Nick sells any duplicate weapons and hats he has received online, "practically giving them away".
During the events of A Smissmas Story, Old Nick appears at the shopping mall in Teufort to abduct children. He is then beaten up by the Scout and the Soldier. Old Nick then picks up Little Jack and claims that he will "work very hard" in his workshop. Scout warns him not to abduct the boy, who stabs Old Nick in the neck with an icicle, killing him.
- Old Nick first appeared in the Australian Christmas update.
- Crowder rides a sleigh pulled by at least three reindeer, one of which has an eye-patch, and a Kangaroo with a red nose and wearing Prancer's Pride.
Poopy Joe was a Monkeynaut who tragically died in an explosion shortly after his rocket took off, due to a lack of Australium fuel. This was caused by Mann Co. in their unsuccessful attempt to rid themselves of weapons involved in a Senate investigation. Mann Co. took no blame for his death, and actually created commemorative plates that remembered Poopy Joe and America's dream of conquering space and Florida. These plates were actually hints of the then-upcoming WAR! Update, depicting the Eyelander, Equalizer and Buff Banner's bugle.
During the ARG leading up to Meet the Pyro, new information came to light concerning the death of Poopy Joe. According to leaked pages from Saxton Hale's Senate Hearing, Poopy Joe's rocket seems to have used a fuel source of solid australium. Saxton Hale was present at the launch facility when Poopy Joe and his rocket were prepared for launch to follow the succesful launch of Vladimir Bananas. Hale stole the entire australium supply and replaced it with defective suitcase explosives. Once the rocket hit ignition phase, the entire bulk of suitcase bombs detonated simultaneously, causing the rocket to crash, killing Poopy Joe. Mann Co. then covered up the entire incident, denying all knowledge of it. The new Special Delivery map Doomsday has the player transport an Australium suitcase into Poopy Joe's rocket, re-enacting the piece of history. Unfortunately, the rocket crashes almost immediately to the tune of a warning bugle.
- Poopy Joe first appeared in the WAR! Update.
Salty Pete, Iron Eye, and Pepper Pot Pete
Salty Pete, Iron Eye, and Pepper Pot Pete are supposedly a group of old war buddies that the Soldier goes camping/has tea parties with. They are almost instantly revealed, however, to be merely wooden cutouts who the Soldier has made up imaginary backstories for. The Soldier mentions that Salty Pete once dug a trench that inadvertently killed a lot of their own side, but this story's validity is put into question once the Soldier forgets his name, calling him 'Salsa Pete'. He also forgets Pepper Pot Pete's name, calling him Peter Pepper-Pants. By the end of the strip, he declares that the four of them will be joining the 'Space Marines'.
- Salty Pete, Iron Eye, and Pepper Pot Pete first appeared in the Dr. Grordbort's Victory Pack comic.
Shakespearicles was the strongest writer who ever lived. He was the inventor of the two-story building, the stage play, Rocket Launcher. Despite his powerful grasp of language and the ability to bench press 700 British pounds, several inventions eluded his iron grip – most tragically among them, stairs., and the
For the next three hundred years, people who needed to get to the second floor used the only method available to them, which was rocket jumping. This persisted until 1857, when the young bearded inventor named President Abraham Lincoln invented stairs.
Valve has a large poster of Shakespearicles in their office.
- Shakespearicles first appeared in the WAR! Update.
- Shakespearicles' name and part of his backstory are based on William Shakespeare, a famous British playwright, and Heracles (herr-ə-kleez), a hero of Ancient and Classical Greece known for his incredible strength.
Trent and Jessica
Trent and Jessica are two young employees (and, according to the Soldier, hippies) who work at the Apple store located just outside Dustbowl.
They offered items for sale to the RED Scout and Heavy, specifically a very small looking, yet identical headset for the Scout, and a white, black, and blue Minigun whose bullets add kills to the user's killcount on his blog. (If the user does not have a blog, the gun is programmed to create one.) They also managed to impress the RED Soldier by instantly cooking a pig with a device plugged through a Firewire port. Jessica also explained Apple's newest product, the iBlewupthemoon, to Saxton Hale, impressing him and leading him to attempt to purchase the company and being turned down by a mysterious figure that runs the store.
Vladimir Bananas was a Soviet space chimp and the first monkey in space. America tried to follow with their own launch of Monkeynaut Poopy Joe, but that ended in a disaster where Poopy Joe was killed.
- Vladimir Bananas was first mentioned in Saxton Hale's Jungle Brawl #44.
Other Valve characters
Whitaker, a minor character in Left 4 Dead 2, wrote a blog update on the Official Team Fortress 2 Blog advertising the promotional Ellis' Cap and Frying Pan one can get from purchasing or previously owning Left 4 Dead 2. Based on his opening paragraph, he is southern like the other Left 4 Dead 2 characters. It seems he is neutral towards the RED and BLU corporations' feud, and also seems to know little-to-nothing about TF Industries other than "what he is told". It also appears that his existence is outside of Team Fortress 2's canonical storyline as he refers to the war as an "infernal game called Team Fortress 2". However, this can be countered by the fact that he seems to be addressing the RED and BLU team members in the blog. Within Left 4 Dead 2, he is voiced by Dayton Callie.
- This character has only been seen once in this TF2 Official Website blog post as of yet, and may be non-canon. For more information unrelated to Team Fortress 2, refer here.
- See Ap-Sap.
- E-mail from Erik Wolpaw