A list of characters for Memory Sorrow And Thorn, subdivided by faction. Beware of spoilers.
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Seoman (Simon) SnowlockA kitchen scullion in the Hayholt under the watchful gaze of Rachel the Dragon, Simon comes under the tutelage of Doctor Morgenes, who seems to plan great things for him, only to have his idyllic life shattered by the coming of evil to the castle in the form of the priest Pryrates. His subsequent journey leads him headlong into the conflict surrounding the Three Swords.
Princess MiriameleKing Elias' daughter, she chafes under her father's heavy handed yet distant manner and secretly ventures out of the castle in the guise of a serving boy. When her father tries to marry her off to Earl Fengbald, she flees with her handmaiden Leleth, and is eventually rescued by Simon and Binabik. Simon falls in love with her but her self-doubts and rebellious nature keep them apart for most of the story.
King EliasInheritor of the throne of Erkynland after Prester John's death, Elias distinguishes himself with his violent temper and his love of carouse. The tale takes a blacker turn as his reliance on the dark priest Pryrates grows deeper, until he is coerced into making a bargain with the Storm King. Once he takes possession of the evil blade Sorrow, he begins a descent into madness and damnation.
Prince Josua "Lackhand"Elias' younger brother, called "Lackhand" for the loss of his hand in a skirmish with Thrithings men that also claimed the life of Elias' wife. Known more for his love of lore than of fighting, he is secretly imprisoned by Pryrates for use in an evil ritual, but escapes with the aid of Simon and Doctor Morgenes. He is the tacit leader of the forces opposed to Elias' rule and reluctantly leads them in their struggle.
King Prester JohnJohn came to the Hayholt as a wayward islander, but skyrocketed to fame when he emerged victorious from the catacombs beneath it, having slain the great dragon that claimed the life of the former king, Ealhstan Fiskerne. He went on to become the king of Erkynland and the foremost mortal warrior in Osten Ard, reveling in battle as he wielded the fearsome blade Bright-Nail. His only equal was the Nabbanai knight Camaris. At the opening of the story, his passing hands the throne to his son, Elias.
TowserKing Prester John's jester, and privy to his deepest secrets, Towser maintains a presence in Josua's party for a long time.
Doctor MorgenesOne of the founding members of the League of the Scroll along with Ealhstan Fiskerne, Morgenes devoted his life to the study of the Art and the history of Osten Ard, particularly the myths surrounding Prester John and the human conquest of the Hayholt. He also preserves in secret the legacy of Ealhstan's family. He takes Simon into his tutelage, but is unexpectedly spurred to action by the scullion's discovery of Pryrates' plotting. He sacrifices himself to allow Josua and Simon to escape the castle.
Rachel "The Dragon"Mistress of the Hayholt's servants, Rachel rules the oft-wayward seamstresses, scullions, maids, and other staff members with an iron fist. When the Hayholt descends into madness, she remains, but is ultimately forced into hiding by an unexpected confrontation with Pryrates. Her Aedonite faith and charity serve her well in the trials that ensue.
DeornothJosua's right hand man. He is very loyal to the prince, since Josua gave his rank, but secretly he also wishes that his lord would be a little bit firmer, and less worried and haunted.
Earl GuthwulfMarshal of Elias' armies at the opening of the story, Guthwulf leads the assault on Naglimund only to be brushed aside by Elias' decision to consummate his bargain with the Norn Queen. He grows increasingly concerned by Elias' erratic behavior, but is driven nearly mad by contact with the sword Sorrow. Subsequently blinded in a confrontation with Pryrates, he eventually finds his way to the tunnels beneath the castle.
Earl FengbaldMarshal of King Elias' mortal armies after Guthwulf's defection, Fengbald is known for his brutality and his taste for subservient women. Miriamele flees the Hayholt in large part because of Elias' promise of her hand in marriage to this man. He leads the assault on the Stone of Farewell.
Eahlstan FiskerneFounder of the League of the Scroll and the last in the line of the kings of Erkynland before Prester John took up the throne. "Saint" Ealhstan, as he was known, was a famously beloved leader who saw portents of the return of the Storm King and did everything in his power to prepare Osten Ard for this eventuality. He died fighting a dragon beneath the Hayholt.
Duke IsgrimnurA close ally of Prester John, Isgrimnur takes up the leadership of the Rimmersmen in exile after the treacherous Skali betrays his countrymen to Elias. A skilled if elderly warrior, he joins forces with Josua and acts as a voice of reason when all else seems to be going to madness.
IsornIsgrimnur's son who spends much of his time acting as a message runner between the various groups allied with Josua.
SludigOne of Simon's traveling companions on his quest to Igjarjuk to retrieve Thorn, Sludig is a veteran soldier who teaches Simon swordsmanship and helps him overcome his adolescent angst.
JarnaugaA founding member of the League of the Scroll, Jarnauga lives most of his life in perpetual vigil over Stormspike, the black northern mountain that is the home of the Norns. He emerges from this vigil in an attempt to warn Josua's forces about the looming threat of the Storm King, but loses his life in the battle for Naglimund.
EinskaldirA Rimmersman warrior and chieftain serving Duke Isgrimnur.
CadrachA monk and scholar who became a junior member of the League of the Scroll; Cadrach's hunger for knowledge met its match when he unearthed a copy of Du Svardenvyrd, the black tome of Nisses' lore that revealed the impending return of the Storm King. Upon reading the book, he fell into a black pit of despair that broke only when Pryrates discovered his secret and tortured the knowledge out of him. He falls in with Miriamele, who pries away at his veneer of self-loathing in the hopes of eventually reforming him.
Princess MaegwinDaughter of King Lluth of Hernystir, Maegwin is forced to watch as Skali's forces conquer her people and kill her father and brother. She chafes at the demands of leadership, burns with unrequited love for Count Eolair, and is eventually driven to madness in her desperation to save her people.
Count EolairA noble of Hernystir driven into exile after its conquest, Eolair spends much of the story abroad, seeking out allies to aid his people in their time of need. He has feelings for Maegwin but believes that she holds him in contempt, which keeps them emotionally separated. When the Sithi liberate Hernystir, he joins Jiriki's force in their assault on Naglimund.
CamarisCamaris was the greatest knight of the Benidrivine era, rivaled only by King Prester John. His presence on the battlefield was so immense that enemies would surrender rather than face him, not the least of which because he wielded the great blade Thorn which could mow men down like wheat before a scythe. Not long after the death of John's wife in childbirth, Camaris vanished and was presumed dead, only to be discovered twenty years later as a simpleminded servant in an inn in Kwanitupul. Once restored to his wits, he demonstrates bitter unhappiness and seems to have no will to live for himself, only fighting to save his beloved Osten Ard from destruction.
Count AspitisA Nabbanai nobleman who falls deep in the service of Pryrates, the devilishly handsome Aspitis briefly imprisons Princess Miriamele on his ship and coerces her into sleeping with him with the intent of forcing her into marriage.
TiamakA Wranna scholar and student of one of the members of the League of the Scroll, it is Tiamak's ambition to someday be counted among their ranks. His questing for knowledge takes him out of the Wran, where he is widely regarded as a savage no better than the rest of his people. Quiet and unassuming, his wisdom ends up playing an invaluable role in the quest to save Osten Ard.
BinabikApprentice to Ooquequk, one of the original members of the League of the Scroll, the diminutive troll Binibiquegabenik (Binabik for short) wanders the lands far more than most members of his isolationist race. Together with his wolf companion, Qantaqa, they make a formidable pair and form a fast friendship with Simon after Binabik rescues him from starvation in the wilderness.
SisqiSisquinanamook is daughter of the King of the Qanuc and is Binabik's betrothed. Along with her parents, she becomes irate when he fails to return for the ceremonies that commemorate the onset of spring among her people, but loves him enough to aid in his rescue when he is condemned to execution for his "crimes". She proceeds to join him in his embassy to the "big folk" to keep a watch on her investment.
Prince JirikiOne of the youngest Sithi, Jiriki nevertheless has a place of distinction as the descendant of Amerasu and her secret envoy with the humans. On one such trip, he becomes trapped in a woodsman's net and is about to be killed when Simon stumbles onto the scene and rescues him. Fleeing the scene, Jiriki fires his White Arrow at Simon, which is later revealed by Binabik to be symbolic of the life-debt he now owes the young human. Despite his relative youth, Jiriki plays a major role in the conflict, as his understanding of and rapport with mortals brings him to push his people to abandon their isolation and go on the offensive against the Storm King's forces.
AdituJiriki's younger sister, Aditu is less wise in the ways of mortals than he, but "adopts" Simon after she rescues him from the northern wilderness and brings him to Jao-ť-Tinukai'i. She later acts as the Sithi emissary to Josua's forces.
Amerasu "Ship-Born"The eldest living Sithi, second in age only to Utuk'ku of the Norns, Amerasu is named "Ship-Born" because of her birth during the Sithi's voyage to Osten Ard from their lost homeland. As age confers wisdom and power, she is also second only to Utuk'ku in her mastery of the Art and of the Dream Road. She nearly manages to reveal the Evil Plan to the gathered folk of Jao-ť-Tinukai'i, but is silenced by Utuk'ku and killed by her huntsman.
Other or unknown
GeloŽA mysterious personage of unknown race and history, GeloŽ is held in mingled fear and respect by those few who know of her. Living in the midst of the wilderness in a Baba Yaga-esque hut, she could easily be mistaken for a witch but is in reality more of a Druidic figure with mastery of all sorts of lore including the art of shapeshifting. She aids Simon, Binabik, and Miriamele when they stumble upon her abode, and later joins Josua's party.
The Forces of the Storm King
Ineluki/The Storm KingIneluki was said to be the brightest flame that the Sithi had ever known, and had the depredations of humanity not come to Osten Ard, he might well have led them out of their exile to a new golden age. Unfortunately, his power and ambition turned to defending his people against the onslaught of the Black Rimmersmen, and he went down dark paths in search of forbidden knowledge, which eventually led him to forge in secret the dread sword Sorrow, devourer of light and hope. He sought to destroy the armies invading his home of Asu'a with a mighty spell, but instead cast himself and his servants into the realms beyond death, where his spirit burned for five centuries in search of a way back. He is the Devil of Osten Ard, a being of fire and ice who seeks nothing less than the total destruction of all mortals and the consumption of the world by Unbeing.
PryratesNobody knows the origins of the black priest Pryrates, and he never reveals them. Introduced to the League of the Scroll around the same time as Cadrach, his love of dark knowledge had already begun to reveal itself. Displaying a visible disdain for such things as morality and restraint, he delved into the deepest secrets of the Art and of Unbeing and eventually made contact with the darkest being of all, the Storm King. He acts as the architect of all the evil that befalls the mortal lands of Osten Ard, gleefully sacrificing souls and even entire nations to feed his hunger for domination.
Utuk'kuQueen of the Norns and the oldest thinking creature in Osten Ard, Utuk'ku rests in the dark mountain of Stormspike like a spider in her web, manipulating events with her indomitable will. She is Ineluki's closest ally and the author of his schemes, and it is her magics that bind the dark forces that allow him to attempt to reenter Osten Ard. She is the last of the Gardenborn, the only being left alive who remembers the lost home of the Sithi and Norns. She is a being of unknowable age, wisdom, and power.