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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.
The Firstborn as a group:
- Parental Abandonment: Oberon and all of his wives, Maeve, Titania and one whose name is yet to be revealed, are all gone. Perhaps never to return.
- Really Gets Around: The firstborn are in one combination or another, the parents of every single faerie race — of which there are many, many.
AmandineToby's mother, the first Dochas Sidhe. The Last of the First. Known as the Liar to other Firstborn.
- Magic Signature: Blood and roses.
- Abusive Parents: She might be a Mama Bear when other people go after Toby, but Amandine, as far as she's concerned, has the complete right to treat her half-human daughter however she wants. Even if that includes things like "forcibly changing her species" or "kidnapping her friends".
- 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. Also "the Liar", as she concealed herself as Daoine Sidhe for a long time.
- Evil Matriarch: Has no problem whatsoever taking hostages to make Toby do what she wants.
- Fantastic Racism: Is one of the purebloods who considers the animal shapeshifting fae as filthy and worthless as they do changelings.
- Freudian Excuse: Losing August and then having her husband leave her for Oleander did a number on her, clearly.
- 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.
- Parental Favoritism: Amandine has two daughters. August, the eldest, is a pureblood, and thus the favored child. When she went missing and her husband Simon took off to find August, Amandine dallied with a human and had Toby, the changeling. Amandine found her second child no Replacement Goldfish and tried to turn her completely human. Failing that, when Changeling's Choice backfired (had Toby chosen Human she would have been killed), Amandine became the Missing Mom in emotional supportiveness until Toby ran away and ended up with Devin in Home.
- Why Couldn't You Be Different?: A little bit, regarding what small love she has for Toby...enough that she saved Toby's life ... so she could force her to go find August later.
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.
- Bizarre Taste in Food: The Luidaeg likes ice cream. And burritos — with the foil still on.
- Deal with the Devil: Several of the spells, favors and other magical assistance she can offer come with a price that borders on this for the dealmaker.
- Equivalent Exchange: Favors from the Luidaeg can be paid in simple things like blood or service. But the larger the request, the dearer the price. She cannot refuse a deal when offered. She can only try to dissuade the dealmaker by setting a price so high they will refuse to pay and withdraw their request.
- 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".
- Heroic Vow: People who make these end up on the Luidaeg's bad side.
- Simon Torquill made a promise to care for Amandine and remain at her side. Breaking it resulted in the Luidaeg referring to him only as "Failure" ... until he made amends and redeemend himself.
- August made a rash promise to find Oberon, father of all fae and bring him back, and agreed to the terrible price the Luidaeg asked. Simon is now paying the price for her failure and foolish hubris.
- 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.
- Trash of the Titans: The Luidaeg lives in an apartment in a very seedy part of San Francisco. If you're not a friend or unwelcome (which is pretty much anybody other than Team Toby), the apartment looks like it's crawling with mildew, mold, and wettish things best not examined too closely. The reality is that it's not untidy at all. She does it to scare people away.
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.
- Creepy Child: The kidnapped children who were made part of the hunt — or their mounts — and who could not go home again are under her care and protection. They are all unsettlingly off, somehow.
- Fisher King: she now rules Blind Michael's lands after the events of An Artificial Night and they are beginning to bloom.
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. First and only Changeling ever to have been knighted. Her knighthood is enforced by her liege, and she eventually is recognized as a Hero of the Realm by the Queen in the Mists.
- Magic signature: Copper and cut grass...leading more in later books to blood 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.
- Iconic Item: The leather jacket she got from Tybalt in Rosemary and Rue has become this for Toby. It's one part light armor, one part Security Blanket.
- Knife Nut:
- Less 'nut' than of necessity. Toby has mundane knives, but she also has an enchanted silver dagger and a cold iron dagger for when she and the fae have to get really serious.
- Martyr Without a Cause: Toby's personal death wish is pointed out to her in book 3.
- Missing Mom: After spending fourteen years as a fish, her quarter-fae daughter has grown up, has a new family, and wants nothing to do with her birth mother.
- 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. As of the latest books, her Healing Factor has been amped up so high it wouldn't work on her anyway.
- 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.
- Take a Third Option: The Hope Chests usually present a user with the Changeling's Choice: Human or Fae. Toby wants to hang onto her humanity as much as she can, so the first time the chest does this to her, she chooses "both". The second time, she flat out refuses to consider it and tells the chest to put her back the way she wants to be.
- 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 signature: Limes and cedar smoke.
- Daddy Had a Good Reason for Abandoning You: Was never told his daughter Chelsea existed until she vanished because Bridget knew he would take her away (or have to kill her, if she chose human).
- My Greatest Failure: He believes he abandoned Sylvester during his time of need by sneaking out to see Bridget.
- Papa Wolf: Once he finds out he has a daughter, that is.
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. Dealing with October "constantly mortally injured" Daye probably has something to do with it.
Duchess Luna Torquill
- Face–Heel Turn: Her relationship with Toby begins to sour when she knowingly sends October on a suicide mission to Blind Michael's lands, then shatters entirely when Rayseline is Elfshot after trying to kill Luna and Sylvester. It's made even worse when Toby fails to awaken Raysel while changing the balance of her blood.
- Happily Married: To Sylvester
- Love Martyr: Raysel tries to kill her. Nevertheless, a mother's love is eternal, and it's easier for her to be angry at Toby than her daughter.
QuentinA Daoine Sidhe teenager, in blind fosterage until age 21.
- Magic signature: Heather and steel.
- Bi the Way: Briefly dates a human girl named Katie, until both of them get kidnapped by Blind Michael and he has to remove himself entirely from her life to give her a chance to heal. Later takes up with Dean Lorden.
- Puppy-Dog Eyes: though he doesn't generally turn them on intentionally.
- Secret Identity: It began as one, but put blind fosterage together with the fact that usually that's done only for royalty, and you come up with the fact that Quentin is the Crown Prince of Canada's faerie. Sylvester as his foster knew. Toby and her family group figured it out.
- Spoiled Sweet: Starts out as this; averting it is the point of the fosterage (well, that and not getting assassinated).
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Prince of the realm, squired to a hero who regularly gets into deep, deep trouble.
- "Hello, failure."
- Magic signature: 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, combined with very unstable blood (it doesn't help that her mother is not the species everyone thought she was).
- 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.
- The Nicknamer: As a way of making sure Toby never forgets she failed at the task set her by her liege, Rayseline never calls Toby by her name. She addresses her only as "Failure."
Duke Sylvester TorquillToby's liege lord. He has a twin brother, Simon, who is considered one of faerie's greatest criminals. They are not really on speaking terms.
- Magic signature: 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.
- Red-Headed Hero: He has fox-red hair and was, during his younger days, a hero who ran around questing and defeating things with his sword.
Melly and OrmondHobs (who love cleaning) - in charge of Sylvester's cleaning staff.
Chelsea AmesEtienne's daughter, who was hidden away by her human mother until she came into her power and Toby had to rescue her. Loves science and all things Star Trek.
- Magic signature: Calla lilies and smoke.
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, but not in an evil way.
- Et Tu, Brute?: How January dies.
- Back from the Dead: In "Of Things Unknown," April figures out a way to resurrect her mother.
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.
- It's All My Fault: Blames herself for being deceived by the killer.
- 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.
- Killed Off for Real: Terrie, which is just a bit awkward for her brother. As of "Of Things Unknown," Back from the Dead.
- Sharing a Body: As a result of being Gean-Cannah changelings. Purebloods of their race can shapeshift, but they ended up being two personalities in one body, forced to change at nightfall.
- "On the internet, nobody knows you're an all powerful faerie monarch, now, do they?"
- Magic signature: Apples and snowdrops.
- Character Tics: Talks like a Southern belle.
- Conspicuous Consumption: Decorates everything in the tackiest, gaudiest way possible—although sometimes this is a show of powerful illusion magic, not necessarily actual money.
- Gamer Chick: Loves World of Warcraft.
Li Qin ZhouShyi Shuai - luck-bending species. Wife of January O'Leary. "Temporary" regent of Dreamer's Glass after Riordan's...unfortunate "accident."
- Magic Signature: Black tea and white hydrangeas.
- Equivalent Exchange: A racial trait of her specific kind of fae. For every luck spell she does to make the luck go well for her target, there is a corresponding backlash. The more the odds are against the success she creates, the stronger and more harsh the backlash will be. (This would be how Toby gets disemboweled twice in one book.)
- Genre Savvy: Li Qin knows very well that fairy tales have all sorts of impossible things happening. She does her best to get into Toby's good graces so that when she needs to have the impossible happen, Toby will be kindly disposed to help.
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. Kings (and Queens) of cats are not beholden to the Divided Courts of the fae, and may come and go as they please. Fantastic Racism dictates how well this is taken by any given fae.
The Court of Cats as a whole:
- Animorphism: All Cait Sidhe can turn at will from human to cat. Some of their cat traits will remain present in their human forms, if they are not hidden from human eyes by a glamour.
- Baleful Polymorph: All Cait Sidhe can be forced into their cat form against their will, although it is considered an extreme breach of manners and protocol to do so to a Royal Cat.
- Cats Are Magic: This applies to the rest of the Cait Sidhe as well, of course.
- "Hello, little fish."
- Magic signature: Pennyroyal and musk.
- 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: Tybalt 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.
- Friendly Address Privileges: Tybalt began calling Toby 'Little Fish' as a genuine insult when she came out of the pond. Gradually it became an Insult of Endearment, and now it is an affectionate name that no one but Tybalt ever gets to use for any reason.
- My Car Hates Me: Inverted. It's more that Tybalt, being a creature of a time before cars, finds them extremely unsettling and uncomfortable. The fact that May Drives Like Crazy does not help. He prefers to either take the Shadow Roads or if he must be in a car, he rides in cat form.
- 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.
- Sexy Cat Person: Tybalt is the king of the local Court of Cats and a cat shifter. When he is first introduced, he is explicitly described as "basically walking sex appeal".
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 signature: 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.
- No Sympathy For Grudge Holders: See entry on revenge below.
- Revenge Before Reason: Julie has it in for Toby because Toby accidentally got Julie's human boyfriend killed years ago. There was more to the story than that, but Julie doesn't want to hear it, and tries to kill Toby on sight until Tybalt finally stops her.
SamsonSamson is Raj's father but not related to Tybalt, who once regrets letting them remain with Raj after Tybalt claimed him.
- Killed Off for Real: When his plans to stage a coup against Tybalt in tandem with Riordan fail in Ashes of Honor.
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.
- The Mentor: Was this to Toby, before Shadowed Hills, and taught her many things before the series started.
- Evil Former Friend: Guess who 'killed' Evening Winterrose and tried to have Toby killed at the start of Rosemary and Rue?
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.
- Cool Car: He drives a yellow cab that looks ordinary to humans, but to the fae-sighted, it has had all kinds of magic done on it so he can ignore traffic laws, and so that his enormous form can even get into it.
- Fluffy Tamer: He treats Barghests like puppies, starting a rescue service for them after the second (third?) book.
- Your Money Is No Good Here: Toby helped him out once, and as a result he won't let her pay for his services.
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 signature: 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. Rescued from Annwn in The Brightest Fell and currently in the care of the Luidaeg.
- Broken Bird: Treasa Riordan kept him in a filthy cell and abused him for her amusement since the events of Ashes of Honor, until the events of The Brightest Fell. That's roughly five to six years earth time, though because Annwn is Deep Faerie, there's no telling how long it was for Officer Thornton.
- Mind Wipe: Toby is considering it if his mind isn't already too broken by his ordeal, since her name will inevitably come up when he tells the authorities about his disappearance and reappearance.
CliffToby's former human lover, now remarried to a human woman. At this point in the series, he believes Toby walked out on him and their new baby for 13 years without an explanation, and wants nothing to do with her.
- Weirdness Censor: It was easier for Cliff to believe Toby had abandoned him and their child than the truth, which was that she'd been magically turned into a fish. But it also was easier to believe Toby had abandoned him for 13 years rather than being, say, in a coma all that time.
GillianToby's quarter-fae changeling daughter by Cliff. As of later books, Gillian is now fully human.
- Half-Human Hybrid: Temporarily. When she was shot with a poisoned arrow, Toby was forced to give her Changeling's Choice. Gillian chose human and Toby removed all fae from her blood, making her completely human. She was then subjected to a Mind Wipe and sent back to her human father. Toby can never see her again.
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.
- Deceptive Legacy: By accident. Bridget is a professor of folklore, but human folklore gets a lot wrong about the fae. So she filled her daughter Chelsea's head with a bunch of well-intentioned but incorrect nonsense.
- Happily Married: Or the closest thing to it, to Etienne.
- Mama Bear: Perfectly willing to menace a fae knight with a frying pan if that will help her find her daughter.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: Initially, with Etienne, partially because of the Interspecies Romance thing and partially because everything at Shadowed Hills was going to hell during their romance.
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.
- Action Mom: One of her sons cannot breathe water as he took after his land-fae father. She is, as a result, very protective.
- Mama Bear: Dianda's sons are her dearest loves besides her husband. Threaten them at your own peril. Harm them, and she is going to bring down a world of pain.
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.
- We Used to Be Friends: Patrick and Simon Torquill used to be good buddies before Patrick left the land to marry Dianda. See Simon's entry.
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.
Formerly held by a false queen. Toby identified her, removed from her blood the method she used to wrest control, and put the rightful Queen on the throne.
Arden WindmereThe rightful queen of the mists, and current holder of the hope chest which can switch the balance of a fae's blood.Arden's brother, currently in the process of recovering from a Rip Van Winkle sleep of centuries.
MaddenArden's seneschal. He is a Cu Sidhe, which makes him a faerie who can become a dog.
- Animorphism: Madden can switch back and forth between human shape and dog shape at will.
- Big, Friendly Dog: This is Madden's default state. He comes across this way even in human form.
- Character Tics: Because he's a dog, Madden tends to lead all his facial and head gestures with his nose, rather than with his chin like humans and non-animal fae do. That he stops doing so is a tell that someone has him under a spell.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Madden isn't really dumb. He just comes across that way to people who don't know him well because his method of thinking is very canine and therefore pretty straightforward.
- Real Men Cook: Madden is a barista at a cafe as his day job. He makes at least delicious cups of coffee and tea.
- Undying Loyalty: As a result of being a dog, once he has chosen someone to be loyal to, all other considerations fall far below secondary.
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/apple cider depending on where he is on the scale between good and evil. The rotten oranges of course are the evil.
- Alas, Poor Villain: Everything he has done, he has done for his missing daughter—and it's hard not to feel sorry for him when they're finally reunited and she can't even recognize him, or when he takes her curse onto himself and loses every trace of his Character Development.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Both non-fatal examples. First, he casts a don't-look-here on Toby, even knowing that the terms of his geas will interpret that as attacking her and put him back to sleep. Then he takes August's curse so she can go home, meaning he is magically prevented from going home himself, in such a way that wipes a huge chunk of his memory and probably prevents him from recognizing his wife and daughter.
- Must Make Amends: Though almost no one believes it, Simon regrets his actions when he was working with Oleander and Winterrose. He manages to convince Toby in The Brightest Fell.
- 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.
- Parental Favoritism: Subverted. Unlike Amandine, Simon has genuine affection for Toby, and was trying, in his most misguided way to help Toby by forcing her into Baleful Polymorph form.
- Redemption Failure: Simon had partially redeemed himself, even earning Toby's forgiveness. The man he used to be was returning and his magic was clearing up. But he made a Heroic Sacrifice for the sake of his daughter, and the magic erased all his progress and all memory of it. He is back to being the man he was when he was still with Oleander. A deadly villain who hates Toby.
- We Used to Be Friends: Simon and Patrick used to be friends before Simon's well-intentioned but ultimately fatally flawed quest to find his missing daughter August turned him evil and earned him the enmity of all his old friends.
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
AugustAugust is the daughter of Amendine and Simon Torquill. She was missing until Amandine forced Toby to find her. She is half-sister to Toby, who has a different father. She is cousin to Rayseline Torquill.
- Blood Magic: Inherited from her Firstborn, Amandine. Amandine took the time to teach her, so she is viciously precise with her bloodwork. She turns Toby 80% human in a matter of seconds.
- Daddy's Girl/Daddy's Little Villain: She dotes on her father, but anytime things don't go her way she threatens to tell Daddy, and that he will punish whoever she's upset with with terrible magical retribution. Her father is rather astonished as when she knew him last he was not evil, nor inclined to dramatic magic gestures.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Arrogant? Yup. Abrasive? Very. Racist against changelings? Better believe it. On board with Amandine kidnapping and abusing people? Hell no.
- Long-Lost Relative: Simon's quest to find August after she went missing is why he fell from grace. Toby being forced to find her by Amandine is why she is no longer long-lost.
- Morality Pet: To Amandine, surprisingly enough. If not for her request, Amandine would have kept Tybalt and Jazz forever just to teach Toby a lesson.
- Spoiled Brat: Without a trace of Spoiled Sweet. She knows she's royalty, and is quite at home ordering her "lessers" around. She learned how to be brutal with her magic from her mother, and her Fantastic Racism as well. She is frequently astonished and stunned when told "no", and will fly into a tantrum easily.
- Too Dumb to Live: August set out on a quest that is considered literally impossible by all the fae, unanimously. When she went to the Luidaeg to get started, the Luidaeg repeated to her three times at least that her quest was doomed and an extremely bad idea. Finally, the Luidaeg demanded a dear price. August took it, and when Toby brought her back, acted like no one had ever warned her of the consequences of her choice.
- Unskilled, but Strong: She spent some time living an agrarian lifestyle in Annwn so is physically strong and can hold her own against Toby in a fight involving Good Old Fisticuffs.
The pixies have been part of the series since the beginning. Usually they're considered pests and mildly predatory and vicious. As of The Brightest Fell Toby gets to know them better: they're as intelligent as the human-size fae but are too small to be understood unless they are magically reduced to the same size. Toby happens to be in their good graces because even while not understanding them at human size, she was never cruel or unkind to them. She also freed several of them from being held prisoner as lanterns, so they owe her gratitude for their freedom.The Pixies as a whole:
- Mouse World: since they're tiny as pixies tend to be.
- Magic Mushroom: They rig giant puffball mushrooms in the Summerlands as traps for unwary human-size people.
PoppyPoppy joins Toby on part of her journey in The Brightest Fell because pixie magic combined with Walther's potion magic and left one of her team incapacitated. Toby took her team member to the Luidaeg for help, but there was a price to be paid to restore them. Poppy, innocent of the Luidaeg's deals and their prices, accepted the indisposed person's debt because it would help Toby. She is now a human size pixie.
- Brought Down to Normal: Poppy loses her light, chiming bells and flight as the price she must pay to take on the debt of curing an unconscious Simon Torquill so Toby can finish her mission.