"I liked to believe that you were using me to help yourself. I used to think that about everyone, only most were too hypocritical to admit the truth."After the outbreak of Dead nobles, Joram was taken by his mother Anja to the fields to work, where she hid his lack of Life through teaching him sleight-of-hand. Joram spent his childhood isolated from the rest of the field magi, which resulted in him being rather withdrawn and wary of people as a whole.
- Defrosting Ice King: He's often likened to a stone statue. It takes over a book and a half of combined help between Father Saryon, Prince Garald, and falling head-over-heels for the first time to finally see a chip in his frozen demeanor.
- Don't You Dare Pity Me!: He's likely to ignore whomever tries to help.
- Loners Are Freaks: His whole childhood with Anja.
- Love at First Sight: With Gwendolyn. It helps him wake up the reality of being able to genuinely care for someone.
- Moses in the Bulrushes: Anja smuggled him out of Merilon to avoid the same fate as the other Dead children.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Blue to Mosiah's Red; Joram is stoic and cold.
- Tarot Troubles
- Troubled, but Cute: His natural, physical beauty is consistently alluded to just as much as his destructive childhood. The girls of Merilon apparently won't be complaining when he takes a visit.
"It is always easier to hate than it is to love, still more easy to hate a class or race of people because they are faceless and nameless. If you are going to hate me, I prefer that you do it because you hate me, not what I represent.An unknown catalyst from the city of Merilon, Saryon came to the capital after an incident where he was caught reading forbidden books of the Ninth Mystery. The incident was hushed up and he was allowed a major part in the ceremony where the newborn Prince of Merilon was declared Dead. Years later, he's sent to the Outlands on Bishop Vanya's orders and, despite himself, joins forces with Joram.
- The Atoner
- Badass Grandpa: He prefers to keep his reputation as a humble catalyst, but that doesn't stop him from taking down Blachloch, ruining Vanya and Xavier's plans, and facing the Executioner.
- Bad Liar: To the point where he's almost physically incapable of it.
- Heroic Sacrifice: He takes the bullet meant for Joram and gets turned to stone. But not before ensuring Joram's means of escape.
- Meaningful Name: His title, Father, which indicates his position in the Church, takes on a different shade as he grows close to Joram.
- Parental Substitute: For Joram, to the point where he regularly refers to him as "my son."
- The Smart Guy
- The So-Called Coward
- Super Empowering: Being a catalyst, it's of the "only power" variety.
- Survival Mantra: Reciting ritual words.Obedire est vivere. Vivere est obedire. To obey is to live. To live is to obey.
- Teen Genius: For the first half of the first book. He keeps the mathematical genius, but loses the young age.
- Treacherous Advisor: Subverted. He's quite genuine in his offers to help and it takes no time for people to discover his mission from Vanya. This does't, however, keep it from being a point of contention between him and Joram throughout the first book.
MosiahJoram's only childhood friend, Mosiah followed him into the Outlands shortly after Joram's own flight and joined the village of Sorcerer's out of concern more than anything else.
- Fish out of Water: As a former Field Magus visiting the capitol, Merilon.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: As the Red to Joram's Blue, Mosiah is impulsive and friendly.
- Straight Man: As Foil to Simkin.
"I'm the fixed point of insanity in any sane situation. Many people find that comforting."A talented magus with no apparent regard for social or ethnic customs, Simkin seems to fly by his own calender and motivations. A fickle fellow, his loyalties are questionable at best and he doesn't make friends easily with his loud and obnoxious personality.
- Anthropomorphic Personification: Of Magic.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder
- Cloudcuckoo Lander
- The Dandy: Overlaps with the below.
- Impossibly Tacky Clothes: No one is pleased by his taste.
- Large Ham
- The Millstone
- Noodle Incident: Loves to hint at these.
- Quintessential British Gentleman: "I say..."
- Trickster Archetype
- Voluntary Shapeshifting
- Welcome Back, Traitor
"The dead have little use for honor, as I said before. They have little use for anything else, either. What are title, wealth, breeding to them?"The Prince of Sharakan, Merilon's rivaling kingdom. Garald is reasonable and authoritative, assisting the party in their travels when they meet him on their way to Merilon.
- And Then What?: He asks Joram in the middle of his first fencing session, who subsequently breaks.
- Combat Pragmatist: Played with. He isn't one, but when he teaches Joram the basics of sword fighting he makes is clear he doesn't have time to teach him to win a fair fight. While never stated, it's implied that he believes all sword fighters start out this way.
- Reasonable Authority Figure
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Ends up giving one to Joram, as mentioned above.
- The Wise Prince
GwendolynA young woman, raised in Merilon. She meets the heroes when they unsuccessfully try to enter the city.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: As her father muses, she has all the innocent young men of Merilon to choose from, and yet she falls for Joram, one whose intent is questionable at best.
- Break the Cutie: Though she recovers, to a degree, after Joram frees the magic which was driving the dead and her crazy.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold
- The Ingenue
- Innocent Blue Eyes
- I See Dead People: Following her chasing Joram into Beyond, she starts speaking with the dead and ignoring the living.
- Love at First Sight: She and Joram. Others prefer to recognize it as youthful infatuation.
- Spoiled Sweet
"Grant me life."A Duuk-tsarith among the Sorcerers in the Outland. Blachloch usurped control from the previous leader Andon several years before Joram and Saryon arrive and has been ruling the village with fear since.
- The Mole: For Bishop Vanya.
Bishop VanyaThe corrupt leader of the church. He is one of the most politically powerful men in Thimhallan and goes to great lengths to secure that power.
- Adipose Rex: He is constantly referred to as obese, especially by Simkin. And while he is no royalty in name, he does hold the same degree of political power.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Comes over as a kind and fatherly man, but all of this is a ruse to manipulate people in doing what he wants. He especially likes to make people think they owe him something due to past sins.
- Corrupt Church: A personification of this trope.
- Would Hurt a Child: Due to the prophecy, he is scared to death of Joram, even when Joram was still an infant. While he might not be planning to kill him in fear of furthering the prophecy, it is implied that the alternative would not be nice either.
XavierJoram's uncle and the second in line to the throne. He would be the first in line if it weren't for the fact Joram is still alive. He is preying in said throne for a very long time.
- Faux Affably Evil: Pretends to treat Joram with respect, while also rubbing in how he is going to screw him over to gain the throne.
- Killed Mid-Sentence: He dies halfway through condemning Joram to death.