The main four
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Joyah PainThe Protagonist of the story, Joyah was raised in a small, isolated village in the Gorem Forest with little knowledge of the outside world, although she apparently has been prone to heroics since she was a child. She also has been teaching herself the ancient art of mystics, working towards the ability to manipulate the energy of nature. She must leave her home village after being called on the Journey, a coming of age quest that every Pain child has to do. She encounters the Assassins only a few days after leaving, and despite being self taught turns out to be a complete badass.
- Action Girl
- Amazonian Beauty: She's consistently described as being "tall for a girl" and demonstrates her unusual strength regularly. It's also implied that she's quite the looker.
- Berserk Button: Don't touch her friends. Seriously.
- Bully Hunter
- Broken Bird: Thanks a lot, Hasin. Joyah is MUCH more closed off and paranoid in book two thanks to him, and it gets even worse as time goes on and she faces more and more tragedies.
- Chronic Hero Syndrome: In the first chapter of the first book, Joyah jumps into a roaring river to save a little girl because the rescue party was taking too long. No one in her village is surprised, and apparently she's done things like that enough that Aunty's given up on scolding her for risking her life.
- Later, despite being on a quest to save the world, she still can't bare to walk away from a town in need and even ends up manipulating the situation so she can intervene without breaking a promise to her friends.
- This trend is continued throughout book two.
- Cool Sword: She wields a katana she accidentally stole from her village's martial arts studio. It has a large red gem in the handle that she can focus through to achieve perfect balance.
- Death Glare: The girl's got one that makes grown men want to run away screaming. It makes her own friends glad she's on their side.
- Famed In-Story: Starting book two, stories of her adventures have spread. It even inspires a group of people to join her efforts.
- Friend to All Children: Practically everywhere she goes, Joyah makes friends with the local children.
- Hereditary Hairstyle: Her uniquly shaded and curled hair is genetic since Auntie also has it.
- Katanas Are Just Better
- Heroes Prefer Swords
- Heroic Safe Mode: Joyah shuts down emotionally after Mal's death. By the end of book two, she has yet to break out of it.
- Lightning Bruiser: Joyah's probably the most dangerous person in the entire series, except for Hasin.
- Master Swordsman: Despite being mostly self taught, there are not many people who can match her in a sword fight. She's unbeaten in a duel, which many people test out in book two.
- Red Baron: By book two, she's earned the title "Dragoness."
- Red Is Heroic: She's most often associated with the color red.
- Sword and Fist: Her favored fighting style.
- The Ace: Joyah's badass, a Master Swordsman, clever, beautiful, and is even undergoing mystic training. There are very few things she can't do.
- The Hero: By the end of the first book, even her friends look up to her.
- The Leader
- The Stoic: After Mal's death, Joyah stops showing as much emotion. It isn't always apparent in the narrative since we see things from Joyah's point of view, but from her friends' comments we can infer not much of what we see reaches her face.
- Tranquil Fury: When Joyah gets really, really mad, she doesn't go into a roaring rampage. She gets very calm. And that's when you should run away screaming.
- World's Best Warrior: Part of Joyah's in story fame is that she's never lost a duel...which is technically true mainly because she hasn't fought many. That changes during book 2, and her reputation stays in tact. (It should be noted that the story counts "duel" as a fight strictly between two people, so any time a third person interferes it no longer counts as a duel. She does a lose a few fights due to outside interference.)
Jeffery RaymondThe only son of Guem's Constable, Jeff first enters the story when he helps Joyah fight off some Assassins who have led her into a trap. He quickly becomes her best friend and joins her on her Journey after they discover what's at stake.
- Aerith and Bob: Out of the cast, he has the most normal name.
- Amazon Chaser: By the time we meet him he's already fallen for Gilla, who might not be the strongest of the characters, but can arguably cause the most damage.
- Awesome by Analysis: He basically gets the team out of the Assassin's trap in the Laar library due to his plan and analyzation of the situation. It earns him his place on the team, despite being overshadowed in swordplay by Joyah. It's also revealed in book two that he's able to challenge Joyah and Hasin because he is constantly analyzing and thinking while fighting.
- Badass Normal: Of all the main characters, he's the most normal. Although a Child Prodigy in his own right, he actually had a normal childhood and is probably the least skilled in his chosen area of expertise. He makes up for it by being Awesome by Analysis.
- Cannot Spit It Out
- Can't Catch Up: Every member of the main four undergoes Take a Level in Badass in book two except poor Jeff.
- Dogged Nice Guy: It's implied he's had a crush of Gilla for years before the book even began. She's completely oblivious, and he's never made a move.
- Everyone Can See It: Everyone but Gilla, that is.
- Fire-Forged Friends: He meets Joyah by bailing her out of a trap, and then taking her back to his house to get patched up. After that, they're pretty much best friends.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Gilla calls another boy cute? Jeff probably won't get along with them, at least initially. It's part of the reason he clashes with Addri and Hasin.
- In the Back: Hasin pulls this on him during the climax of the first book. Pretty effectively, too.
- In-Series Nickname: He's always just referred to as Jeff.
- The Strategist: He's the Smart Guy who comes up with the best plans.
Gilla FletcherThe second companion to join Joyah on her Journey, Gilla is the daughter of an influential lawyer and spent most of her life before the series begins fighting for freedom from her controlling mother. She's developed the spirit of a rebel and starts off as somewhat of a loose cannon, though eventually proves her worth as a forester and a very skilled archer. Ironically, she only initially tagged along because Jeff invited her against Joyah's will and she was trying to avoid her mother, so it becomes a bit of a running gag that they never told her anything.
- Action Girl: Despite her mother's best efforts.
- Daddy's Girl: It's only hinted at, but she mentions that her father was the one to teach her how to shoot, and when they visit her room, Joyah notices she's kept a rose from him despite not liking girly things.
- Everyone Can See It: Book two, Gilla FINALLY realizes her feelings for Jeff. (Mainly thanks to Joyah's prompting.) Naturally, she goes into just as deep denial about it as he did and never acts on it. Everyone but Jeff knows about it, though.
- Fire-Forged Friends: Joyah doesn't really seem to count her as a reliable friend (mostly because she wasn't reliable) until Gilla makes her decision to stay with the Journey and nearly takes out an entire squad of Assassins single-handidly.
- Forest Ranger: Being a forester's her dream job. By the end of the book, she's pretty much considered one.
- Friendless Background: Gilla didn't have any friends— besides possibly Jeff— before Joyah came along due to her mother's overprotectiveness and her own aggressive nature.
- Friendly Sniper
- Glass Cannon: Gilla can mow down mooks easily, but it's problematic when they get close to her because she has no hand-to-hand combat skills.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Yeah, especially before her Character Development. She's up for fighting anyone.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: She's basically the best archer there is.
- Long-Range Fighter: As the group's archer.
- Nature Lover
- Oblivious to Love: It's implied Jeff's been in love with her since they were young, and she still doesn't know. Joyah and Addri are completely shocked when they realize it because he's so obvious.
- Parental Neglect: Although Gilla's father is very good when around, he isn't around very often and leaves her in the hands of her overbearing mother.
- Tomboy: Despite her mother's best efforts— and maybe "because" of her mother's best efforts— Gilla despises anything girly.
- Rebellious Princess: While not actually a princess, Gilla is a minor noble and has spent her life fighting her mother over acting like a lady.
- Scarily Competent Tracker: Fifteen years old and already as least as good as (if not better than) professional foresters. This girl is seriously talented.
- Super Senses: As it turns out, Gilla's hearing and eyesight are heightened past that of an average person's.
OrwenIntroduced near the end of the first book, Orwen is the senior healer of an isolated mountain village despite only being fourteen. He initially joins the group because he can take them to the possible location of the first Sanctuary, and quickly integrates into the team, becoming the group's resident medic. In book two, it's revealed he has healing magic, and therefore is the first person to have magic since it faded out hundreds of years ago.
- Actual Pacifist: Although, he's totally willing to punch Ruen in the face if he has to.
- All-Loving Hero: As a healer, he's taken an oath to help anyone who asks as long as they aren't an immediate threat. This is why not even the villains are willing to touch him in combat.
- Bishōnen: Small, pale, slender, white-blond hair, crystal blue eyes. Joyah consistently describes him as angelic.
- The Confidant: Becomes this for Joyah.
- Doctor's Orders: He has a large amount of authority as a healer. So much so, he's one of the few people who can make Joyah back down.
- Eleventh Hour Ranger: For such a large character, he enters the story very late.
- Healing Hands: Orwen reveals in book two his healing magic, which he uses directly on wounds and infuses into medical equipment through his hands.
- Nice Guy: He's such a sweetheart!
- Non-Action Guy: It comes with being a healer.
- Squishy Wizard: The only non-combatant of the main four and the only one who's confirmed to have magic.
- The Heart
- The Medic
- White Mage: Thanks to his newfound healing magic.
Dashing, handsome, and incredibly cocky, Hasin is a talented swordsman who travels the Middle Kingdom with his two friends, Ala and Ruen. He's the only person who can rival Joyah in fighting prowess, which she finds very attractive. He's also a major flirt, much to Jeff's displeasure.
- Ancestral Weapon: His sword is a family heirloom.
- Amazon Chaser: He really starts taking interest in Joyah after he watches her kick ass.
- Affably Evil: Hasin never looses his pleasant personality, even after he turns on the heroes.
- Baddie Flattery: He honestly respects Joyah as a Master Swordsman.
- Combat Pragmatist: Hasin's not afraid to cheat or use trickery to win a fight.
- Cool Sword: It's a family heirloom, made from the same design as the Ho Cha (the royal guard) and encrusted with tiny diamonds that he can focus through.
- False Friend: To Joyah.
- Gem-Encrusted: See Cool Sword.
- Lightning Bruiser: Jeff describes watching him fight is similar to watching Joyah fight.
- Manipulative Bastard: He has no shame in saying and doing what he needs to in order to make people do what he wants. He charms his way into positions of trust and happily pulls strings until he's reached his goal.
- Book two, it's revealed he even wormed his way into the good graces of An's Resistance and the Guild of Angels, all the while turning them against our heroes.
- Master Swordsman: Really the only one who's come close to beating Joyah.
- Not a Morning Person
- Sword and Fist: His chosen fighting style.
- Stepford Smiler
- The Ace: Strong, skilled, handsome. This is partially why Jeff hates him.
- The Charmer: The heroes, all of whom have built up a healthy level of paranoia by this point, welcome him into the group almost immediately due to his magnetic personality— well, everyone but Jeff. He also flirts with every girl he meets, especially Joyah.
- The Gadfly: He seems to looove messing with people. There's no real reason for him to tease Jeff so mercilessly other than his own enjoyment.
- The Rival: As her only equal, by the end of the book he turns into this for Joyah.
- World's Best Warrior: Well, he IS Joyah's equal.
- Worthy Opponent: Sees Joyah as this.
One of Hasin's two companions and a trained assassin, Ala is quiet and cold. Like her brother, she fades out of focus around Hasin's bright personality, although she talks just enough to piss off Gilla.
- Action Girl: She's so good at what she does, she takes out Mal offscreen, and he only gets one little hit on her.
- Bow and Sword, in Accord: Ala's the only main character who regularly uses both a crossbow and a sword and is proficient in both.
- Combat Pragmatist: Ala has no problem interrupting a duel if it means her side will win.
- Creepy Twins: With Ruen
- Emotionless Girl
- Foil: To Gilla. Gilla is loud and outgoing while Ala is quiet and only interacts with her companions.
- Half-Identical Twins: With Ruen. While it's not directly stated they look exactly alike, their appearances must be pretty similar since Joyah picked them out as twins from just looking at them.
- Hidden Weapons: She keeps an array of throwing daggers so well hidden, the Resistance wasn't able to find them all when they searched her.
- Jack-of-All-Trades: Again, Ala's the only main character who uses both ranged and melee weapons.
- Katanas Are Just Better
- The Rival: To Gilla.
- The Stoic: Try and get her to show any emotion other than a cold shoulder. Good luck.
RuenHasin's other companion and a Master Poisoner, Ruen is the second half to Ala's assassin duo. Like his sister, he is cold, quiet, and fades out of focus around Hasin's magnetic personality. He often has to rely heavily on his sister to get him through adventuring obstacles.
- Creepy Twins: With Ala.
- Foil: To Orwen. This is pretty much expected considering Orwen is a healer and Ruen is a poisoner.
- Half-Identical Twins: With Ala. Joyah can tell they're not only siblings but twins from just looking at them.
- Master Poisoner: He concocts the poisons, and his sister goes out and does the assassination.
- Non-Action Guy
- The Rival: To Orwen.
- The Stoic: He's very good at giving people the cold shoulder. You can practically count the number of times he and Ala speak in the first book on one hand.
Henna LyreA young but well-respected lieutenant of the Guild of Angels. She's a natural born leader and often takes charge of the other, less competent lieutenants. She's the first soldier Joyah and her friends encounter, and she briefly joins their team as their guide when they attempt to ally themselves with her Guild.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing
- Cool Big Sis: To her little sister, Brenna.
- Evil All Along: She wasn't necessarily trying to hide the fact. They just didn't see her true nature until they discover the Guild of Angels were the ones who ransacked whatsitcalled town.
- Friendless Background: Since she was raised as a soldier, Henna never really made friends until Joyah came along.
- Of course, she decides she doesn't need any after they break away from her Guild.
- Honor Before Reason: The mentality behind all of the Guild of Angels, Henna included. Dishonor for her is worse than death.
- Light Is Not Good: She always wears her uniform: shining armor with a white cloak. She's also a psychopath.
- Obstructive Zealot: Oh definitely. Of all the Angels, she seems to have the most passion and dedication. This is what makes Mystic Ashina take interest in her.
- The Ace: Henna is her Guild's golden child. She's their most competent lieutenant, a highly skilled swordsman, and worshiped by her younger sister.
- Inspector Javert: She was this, at least until she pulls a Jumping Off the Slippery Slope. She really seems to believe everything she does is for good, at least in her mind.
Mallew ArchibaldA reformed Assassin who runs the library in Guem, or at least he did until Joyah, Jeff, and Gilla came looking for answers to the origins of the Jewel. After providing background information on the Connarist necklace and Assassins, he eventually joins them on Joyah's Journey. While he's the wisest and most experienced adventurer, he also is too willing to sacrifice himself if he thinks it will keep his younger companions alive.
- Atoner: He confides to Joyah that the reason he joined them was to atone for the crimes he committed as an Assassin. Also, some of this can possibly be due to the destruction of his old adventuring team.
- Cool Old Guy: By far the oldest of the main characters, and yet he still kicks major butt.
- Dark and Troubled Past: He was an Assassin.
- Heel–Face Turn: Long before the series begins he broke away from the Assassins.
- In-Series Nickname: He gets two. Jeff and Gilla call him Archie while Joyah calls him Mal.
- Knife Nut: It's his Weapon of Choice, which makes sense considering he used to be an Assassin.
- Mentor: Acts as this somewhat to his companions since he's the most experienced adventurer, although especially to Joyah.
- Not a Morning Person: Despite always being one of the first people awake. He does it out of necessary, not because he wants to.
- Retired Badass: Mal was a librarian until Joyah and friends come and pull him out of it.
- Redemption Equals Death: He falls off a cliff face in book two after protecting Joyah and dies on the rocks below. He's happy, though, because he feels he finally made up for his time as an Assassin.
- Redemption Quest: He sees Joyah's Journey as this.
- Sacrificial Lion: Throughout book one, Mal was a much bigger character than Orwen and is still one of the main cast in book two. He then is killed off towards the end of book two.
- Stupid Sacrifice: Mal is always trying to pull this, much to his friends' aggravation. Luckily, he hasn't been successful. Until book two when he dies protecting Joyah. It's especially ironic considering that time he WASN'T actually trying to pull this, and ends up doing so anyway.
- Token Adult
Addri MogamiMaggie Faulet's assistant in the Laar city library, Addri befriends Joyah but comes into conflict with the others— mainly Jeff— when it becomes obvious he's keeping secrets. He ends up joining the team after Maggie Faulet betrays them to the Assassins despite not being as good of a fighter as the rest of them, and gives them a very detailed map of the Gorem Region to locate the Sanctuary with. He ends up getting killed off by an Assassin.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Which is why Jeff's insistent on not trusting him at first. Eventually it comes out that he was once part of a street gang but left and went to live with Miss Faulet after his cousin joined the Assassins, showing him how bad he could go if he kept on the same path.
- Love Interest: He's actually Joyah's first crush.
- Sacrificial Lamb: He's killed by an Assassin in the swamp, which sends the rest of the team into a downward spiral and makes them realize that Anyone Can Die.
- The Heart: While he's the only one who's not a particularly skilled fighter, he makes up for it by smoothing over arguments (unless it's between him and Joyah) and keeping up morale.
Jen EnyaThe eldest daughter of a family in the small town of Tayne that the main four befriends after Joyah stands up to a gang that had been terrorizing the town. Although antagonistic towards Joyah at first because she wanted to be the hero who saves her town, Jen eventually warms up to her and agrees to take lessons from her in the ways of the mystics. As it turns out, Jen once had an old mystic mentor once who claimed she had an important destiny, but died without telling her what it was. When the main four leave, Joyah gives Jen a pair of mysterious golden swords and tells her to watch out for everyone.
- Bratty Half-Pint: Even after befriending Joyah, Jen's still pig headed, short tempered, and can be a brat.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Her jealousy of Joyah makes her antagonistic to them at first, but she gets over it when she finds out Joyah can teach her.
- Dual Wielding: Jen originally learned how to fight with a pair of run down, broken dual swords. This is why Joyah gives her the dual golden swords the town had given her as a thank you gift.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Her temper rivals Gilla's.