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The Firstborn (Serious Spoiler Warning)
The Firstborn are the sons and daughters of the Lord and Ladies of Fairy: Oberon, Maeve, and Titania. Maeve's children are hot, Titania's children are cool, and Oberon's children are heroes (a bit ironic, given that Maeve is the Winter Queen, and Titania the Summer). They are as powerful compared to their children as the Lord and Ladies are compared to them - practically gods. Most are the progenitors of one (or possibly more) fae races. Who they are counts as spoilers, so beware unmarked ones. They were given real names by their parents, but took titles as a warning to their children.
AmandineToby's mother, the first Dochas Sidhe. The Last of the First. Magic scent: blood and roses.
- Blood Magic: Considered the best blood-worker in Faerie.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: She went mad (or at least madder than before) when Toby was a child.
- Awesome McCool Name: "The Last Among the First" - the youngest of the Firstborn.
- Missing Mom: Obviously one of these for Toby, since her retreat from reality into madness caused Toby much grief after Toby's Changeling's Choice. However, her own mother also counts as one, since she is the daughter of Oberon, but not of either of his Queens, Maeve or Titania.
The LuidaegNot a sea witch, the Sea Witch. The mother of all Roane ... and Selkies. Maeve's and Oberon's first-born daughter - possibly the only remaining one. First born of the Firstborn.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: More like Defrosting Terrifyingly Powerful Bad-Tempered Loner.
- Friendless Background: It seems implied that the Luidaeg doesn't have anyone she's friends with until Toby comes along. This is expanded upon slightly in "In Sea Salt Tears".
- I Know Your True Name: In Chimes at Midnight, Toby learns that her name is Antigone of Albany, which explains her use of the nickname "Annie" when she doesn't reveal her nature as the Sea Witch. In The Winter Long, the Luidaeg reveals she has also gone by "Vivienne," one of the names of the Lady of the Lake.
- Parental Abandonment: In "In Sea-Salt Tears," she shares her family history with her lover (unbeknownst to her) - Oberon gave her the sea, and when Maeve was lost (see An Artificial Night, where it's implied that the Ballad of Tam Lin is that story) he couldn't stand to be around her anymore, and told her to take care of the sea.
Blind MichaelLeader of the Wild Hunt. The Erl-King. Son of Maeve.
- Fair Play Villain: A children's horror, and thus must abide by the rules of children's tales.
- Killed Off for Real: by Toby in An Artificial Night. Comes back to bite her when the Queen accuses her of breaking Oberon's Law (the prohibition against killing someone with fae blood) in Late Eclipses.
AcaciaBlind Michael's consort, the first Dryad and Luna's mother. Daughter of Titania.
Eira RosynhwyrDaughter of Titania. Firstborn of the Daoine Sidhe. The Luidaeg's mortal enemy. See Evening Winterrose
Black Annis and Gentle AnnieDaughters of Maeve, sisters of the Luidaeg. Killed by Titania's children.
- I Know Your True Name: Gentle Annie's name was Anglides, the Mother of Trees.
Amorica and EltonTwins. Firstborn of the Tuatha de Dannan.
- Killed Off for Real: Amorica, the first time the Firstborn went to war against each other.
Arawn of the White StagA wild Firstborn who created the deep realm of Annwn.
Shadowed Hills is the knowe held by Sylvester Torquill, who is one of the most beloved nobles in fae society. He runs his household with kindness and love, and is pretty much fatherly toward changelings, where most full-blooded fae are disdainful toward fae with human blood.
Sir October Christine DayeThe protagonist of the series. Magic scent: Copper and cut grass.
- Action Girl: October can hold herself in a fight.
- Character Tics:
- Toby wipes her fingers on her jeans all the time, from whatever she happened to get on her fingers. Most often blood; sometimes it's her own.
- After the events of the first book, Toby starts compulsively checking the back seat every time she enters a car (or even gets close to it).
- Good Thing You Can Heal/Luckily, My Powers Will Protect Me: After book 4. And tweaked, in that Toby realizes her tendency to count on her enhanced magical gifts means she's starting to slip away from her humanity.
- Honorary Aunt: To the Brown kids. They call her "Aunt Birdie," because Cassandra couldn't pronounce her actual name as a little girl.
- Knife Nut: Rarely leaves the house without at least one knife on her.
- Martyr Without a Cause: Toby's personal death wish is pointed out to her in book 3.
- Must Have Caffeine: The fae are largely nocturnal. Due to her Private Investigator job, Toby has to be awake frequently for mundane daylight hours.
- After becoming addicted to goblin-fruit in book 7, Toby quits caffeine.
- Psychoactive Powers: Toby's fae magic is usually weak, but it strengthens when she's angry. Has changed a bit since Late Eclipses, the revelation that her mom is a Firstborn, and her blood has been rebalanced from being more human to its original state.
- Sarcasm Mode: Toby's primary defense mechanism.
- Unfortunate Names: Toby's full name is October Christine Daye — the unfortunate combination resulting from a loopy Fae mother who doesn't take into account that her changeling child will be tormented by human children.
- Walking Disaster Area: Where Toby goes, death and destruction are sure to follow. Acknowledged in-story, to the point where some characters actively hold this against her. This has actually gotten better over time - in the first two books, she qualifies as a full-on Doom Magnet.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: In Toby's case, the completely justified phobia of water comes from involuntarily having spent 14 years as a fish. And she lives in San Francisco, the city by the bay. And one of her cases involves the sea fae.
Connor O'DellA Selkie, old friend and flame of Toby's.
EtiennePureblood Tuatha de Dannon. First knight of Shadowed Hills. Hidebound, traditionalist, inflexible - but also decent, kind, and determinedly loyal. Toby's grudging trainer, and eventual friend after Ashes of Honor. Magic scent: Limes and cedar smoke.
GriannePureblood Candela, a species of fae with accompanying illuminating Merry Dancers, which can help teleport, scout, and many other useful things. Third-in-command of Sylvester's knights. Pretty taciturn.
JinPureblood Ellyllon who works as Shadowed Hills's healer.
- Sarcasm Mode: tends to operate in this mode.
Duchess Luna Torquill
- Happily Married: To Sylvester
QuentinA Daoine Sidhe teenager, in blind fosterage until age 21. Magic scent: Heather and steel.
- Puppy-Dog Eyes: though he doesn't generally turn them on intentionally.
Rayseline TorquillSylvester and Luna's only child. Magic scent: Mustard flowers and hot wax.
- Arranged Marriage: To Connor.
- Ax-Crazy: The result of being kidnapped as a child and was left in a really bad place for over a decade.
- Monster Sob Story: Rayseline gets a little—a very, very little—bit of this when it's revealed that what Simon did to her and Luna was imprison them in a literal nothing, and that was where she grew up. One of her diary entries states that sometimes she actually misses the dark. Toby feels a little sorry for her, but it's hard to really pity someone who keeps trying to kill you and kidnaps your daughter.
Duke Sylvester TorquillToby's liege lord. Magic scent: Dogwood flowers and daffodils.
- Happily Married: to Luna
- Fluffy Tamer: Perfectly happy to walk up to giant monsters and scritch them behind the ears.
- Papa Wolf: Protective of his own child, but anyone he considers under his protection as well.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: He does not hesitate to step in when those under his protection need him.
Melly and OrmondHobs (who love cleaning) - in charge of Sylvester's cleaning staff.
The Tea Gardens
LilyUndine Lady of the Tea Gardens.
MarciaA quarter-blooded changeling who needs faerie ointment to see Faerie at all. Lily took her in when most of Faerie wouldn't. As of One Salt Sea, she is the seneschal to the Count of Goldengreen - first to Toby, then to Dean Lorden.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Marcia spends a lot of time in the early books acting the part of the Dumb Blonde, but when she is given trust and responsibility, she lives up to it splendidly.
Walther DaviesA Tylwyth Teg who teaches chemistry at UC Berkeley.
A small independent County, home of A Local Habitation Software.
January O'LearyCountess of Tamed Lightning, niece of Sylvester Torquill, daughter of September Torquill. Half Daoine Sidhe, and like many blood mixes, slightly insane.
April O'LearyJanuary's adopted daughter. A dryad who lost her tree, January worked the last still living bits of wood into the circuitry at Tamed Lightning, and made her a cyber-dryad. She inherits Tamed Lightning after her mother's death.
- Character Tics: Tends to use robot-esque syntax and euphemisms, like referring to death as being "removed from the network" (though the latter is justified as, being both a pureblood fae and a computer program with backups, she doesn't know what death actually means at first.)
- Creepy Child: She appears as a creepily emotionless young girl, until she becomes Countess. She now is a slightly creepy adult in appearance.
- Neat Freak: It's a Bannick thing (they're bath spirits.)
Alex and TerrieA brother and sister pair of changelings that work at ALH. Also essentially walking spoilers.
The Court of Cats
The Court of Cats has no precise location, and is connected by the Shadow Roads, accessible only by the Cait Sidhe and perhaps by actual cats.
TybaltThe current King of Cats of San Francisco. Magic scent: Pennyroyal and musk.
- Animorphism: Like all Cait Sidhe, he can turn from human into cat form and back.
- Cats Are Magic: This applies to the rest of the Cait Sidhe as well, of course.
- Cats Are Mean: When he's not being sexy, mysterious or (heaven forbid) nice.
- Cats Are Snarkers: Hoo boy. There are quite a few snarkers in this series, but Tybalt takes the cake.
- Cats Hate Water: He actually uses up a spell to keep his feet from getting wet.
- Cats Have Nine Lives: At least, up to nine. He isn't saying how many.
- Freudian Excuse: For all that he's not a villain, there's still a reason behind Tybalt's animosity to Toby and all Changelings that goes deeper than just Fantastic Racism.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Tybalt usually splits his time between ruling his kingdom and annoying, er, assisting Toby in her various endeavours. He drops the "just here to annoy you" part pretty much when it turns out he actually does care about Toby.
RajRoyal Kitten, being groomed for succeeding the king when Tybalt is ready to retire. He is the first born in sixty years, so he is considered very, very precious. He is deeply devoted to Toby, who has rescued him from several terrible situations since they've met. He is Samson's son, Tybalt's adopted nephew, Quentin's best friend, and Toby's unofficial squire. Dating Helen, a half-Hob who helped him when they were both taken by Blind Michael in An Artificial Night. Magic scent: Pepper and burnt paper.
- Warrior Prince: He starts out as a bit of a Distressed Dude in his first appearance, but grows into this over the course of the books.
JulieThis commoner Cait Sidhe was one of Toby's oldest friends. She is now a former friend, due to Julie holding a grudge that Toby got her human boyfriend killed. It wasn't quite as cut-and-dry as all that, but Julie doesn't want to see reason.
SamsonSamson is Raj's father but not related to Tybalt, who once regrets letting them remain with Raj after Tybalt claimed him.
Home: a halfway house for down and out Changeling children. Since humans were weirded out by changelings (or the Changelings themselves couldn't fit in with human society) and the fae disdain them, Home was a place where changelings could be counted on to look out for each other to a degree. It burned to the ground early in the series.
DevinOwner/operator of Home. He is pretty much the Fagin of the operation. Also Toby's first love, and lover. Part Lamia, part other things - but not pureblood.
DareA Tylwyth Teg changeling, sister of Manuel.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Slightly, in a strange way. After her death when Toby meets the Nighthaunts for the first few times the one that ate Dare and took her memories and personality is one of the unofficial spokesmen. It's implied that one of reasons they agree to help Toby is due to Dare's continued affection for her despite how things turned out. Later, after May shows up it is eventually revealed that May was originally that same Nighthaunt before becoming Toby's Fetch and that she volunteered for the job. She still has those memories to some degree but never brought it up because of how awkward and weird it would make things. This revelation makes her breaking the rules to help save Toby in earlier books extremely in character and gives a deeper relationship to the two/three characters. Toby's good treatment of May also seems to be a factor in the continued assistance of the other Nighthaunts in later novels.
- My Greatest Failure: Toby sees her as this for quite a while. Dare looked up to her as a hero and despite Toby trying hard to keep her out of things, Dare ended up dying trying (and succeeding) in saving Toby's life. Toby continually disparages how she got Dare killed and the girl still saw her as a hero up to the very end.
ManuelBrother of Dare.
In and around San Francisco
Danny MacReadyA local Bridge Troll who drives cabs. Toby rides free due to having saved Danny's sister.
- Character Witness: for Toby.
- Fluffy Tamer: He treats Barghests like puppies, starting a rescue service for them after the second (third?) book.
- Your Money Is No Good Here
May DayeMay is, to all intents and purposes, and legally speaking for the mundane world, Toby's twin sister. The truth of her existence is a bit stranger. Specifically, she's Toby's Fetch. Dating Jasmine ("Jazz"), a Raven-maid. Magic scent: Cotton candy and ashes.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Due to how Fetchs come to be, May is actually the Nighthaunt that ate Dare and absorbed her memories and personality. It makes her breaking the rules to save Toby's life make much more sense in hindsight.
- Doppelgänger: She's Toby's Fetch, a perfect copy of her that is supposed to guide her on after death.
- Drives Like Crazy: May has all the memories of having learned to drive without the skill that goes with actually learning it. This leads to a woman who treats traffic laws like mere suggestions and uses brakes in a way that they were not generally intended. This does not improve as the books go on.
- Punny Name: "Mayday" is a communications term for "we are in grave danger".
The Brown FamilyMitch and Susan Brown are a changeling couple and two of Toby's oldest friends. They have five children: Cassandra, Jessica, Karen, Anthony and Andrew.
- Dream Walker: Karen is the first Oneiromancer born in at least a century.
Officer Michael Thornton SFPDHuman police officer. Helped Toby when she first broke free of the fish curse, and later followed her to Annwn in Ashes of Honor.
CliffToby's former human lover, now remarried to a human woman.
GillianToby's quarter-fae changeling daughter by Cliff. As of later books, Gillian is now fully human.
BridgetProfessor of Folklore, UC Berkeley and human lover of Etienne. She is also mother to Chelsea, who Toby turned completely fae-blood as of Ashes of Honor.
Cagney and LaceyToby's cats. As such they also are subjects to Tybalt's local Court of Cats.
SpikeA Rose Goblin (a magical creature that looks like a cat made from a rosebush) that Toby accidentally adopted when she named him.
There are four realms of Faerie - Land, Sea, Air, and Fire. Since Toby is a Land fae, the books primarily deal with Land fae and their society. However, Connor, as a Selkie, is part of the Undersea, and through him and the Luidaeg (the Sea Witch), Toby comes into contact with the powerful Duchy of Saltmist, which runs up most of the California seaboard.
Duchess Dianda LordenMerrow (basically mermaid with storm powers - also the most common and powerful of the Undersea species - called by Toby the Daoine Sidhe of the Undersea). Regent of Saltmist. Incredibly powerful, incredibly hot tempered, incredibly awesome. On land, likes to fight by jumping at her enemies in her two legged form, then transforming and using her very muscular tail to beat her opponents senseless. Magic scent: Amber and water lilies.
- Badass: And how. Managed to fight multiple guards...after being imprisoned in an iron cell. As Toby said, Fae nobles hold their titles by strength, not tradition.
Patrick LordenPureblood Daoine Sidhe. Was a landless baron until he married a Duchess of the Undersea and renounced his title to play ducal consort. Friendly, levelheaded, and a good balance to his wise but fierce wife.
Dean LordenOne of their two sons. His brother Peter inherited his mother's Merrow form, while he inherited his father's Daoine Sidhe form (but with webbed hands). Toby transferred her title of Count of Goldengreen to him in One Salt Sea.
Simon TorquillTwin brother of Sylvester. His plot to kidnap Luna and Rayseline is the reason Rayseline became Ax-Crazy, and the reason Toby lost 14 years and her relationship with her lover and her child. Magic scent: Candle smoke and rotten oranges.
- My Beloved Smother: Mixed with yandere. He is Amandine's husband and still genuinely loves both her and Toby. He truly believed that turning her into a fish and attempting to turn her into a tree was the best option for her since it would leave her out of Eira's line of fire and he wouldn't be forced to kill her with a geas.
Oleander de MerelandsSimon's lover, an altogether nasty piece of work. Half Peri, half Tuatha de Dannan, all evil.
- Meaningful Name: In the language of flowers (which shows up as a frequent symbology in the books) oleander flowers mean to take caution - certainly good advice when dealing with a psycho bitch like Oleander. In addition, Oleander is so obsessed with her name and the scent of her namesake flower (which also appears in her magical signature) that she uses the herb in all of her killings.
Evening WinterrosePureblood Daoine Sidhe, Countess of Goldengreen, champion of Toby when she brought the murderer of her sister Dawn to justice. Helped Toby get back into human society after returning from her accursed exile. Her murder kicks off the series. Magic scent: Roses and snow.
- The Call Left A Message: She geases Toby via her answering machine to solve her murder.
- Faking the Dead
Treasa RiordanPureblood Daoine Sidhe. Either insane or insanely ambitious. Duchess of Dreamer's Glass. Has a bunch of air faery guards called the Folletti. Magic scent: Apples and snowdrops.
- Character Tics: Talks like a Southern belle.
- One of Us: Loves WOW. "On the internet, nobody knows you're an all powerful faerie monarch, now, do they?"