open/close all folders
Elenium Main Characters
SparhawkA Pandion knight and main character of the story. Long story short, he's also Anakha, the man free from the bounds of destiny, destined to wield the legendary artifact Bhelliom. Eventually revealed to be the Bhelliom's avatar on earth.
- Ancestral Weapon: Uses two of them over the course of the series. There's the Royal Sword of Elenia, which was given to his family by King Antor of Elenia, and the Spear of Aldreas, which was given to King Antor by Sparhawk's ultimate grandfather.
- Anti-Hero: Of the "cynical but heroic" variety.
- Black Knight: Looks like one: grim looking, black armor, black cape, nasty horse... and yet, is the hero.
- Blade on a Stick: For some time he wields the Spear of Aldreas (which was his ancestor's weapon) in the second book. Thanks to the presence of one of Behelliom's rings inside of it, he has magical powers.
- Catch-Phrase: "Neighbor".
- The Champion: To the royal house of Elenia, but to Ehlana most of all.
- Church Militant: As a Church Knight, he's this, though he's not excessively religious.
- Combat by Champion: His duel against Cyrgon at the climax of The Tamuli wherein he acts as Bhelliom's champion and Cyrgon as Klæl's.
- Cool Sword: The ancient sword of the Sparhawk clan, which was given to them by the King of Elenia.
- Duel to the Death: Fights one against Martel near the climax of The Elenium and one against Cyrgon at the climax of The Tamuli.
- The Dreaded: Prior to the destruction of Azash, he's simply feared as an incredible swordsman and a member of an Order famed for its ruthlessness. After blowing the top off a city, his reputation inflates somewhat.
- Face of a Thug: Sparhawk is a big scary man, and his broken nose is frequently described as making him look ugly and cruel. He's still The Hero.
- Feeling Their Age: Sir Sparhawk is middle-aged at the beginning of the first book, and several times it's noted that he hasn't got the speed or stamina he had as a younger man.
- Gag Nose: His broken and crooked nose.
- Happily Married: With Ehlana.
- Immune to Fate: As Anakha, he has no destiny.
- Knight in Sour Armor
- Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Always carries a shield in his offhand. At one point he's even able to use it to protect against a magical attack, by pressing Bhelliom's rings up against it.
- Magic Knight: A powerful swordsman and an accomplished spellcaster. Vanion even admitted that Sparhawk is probably the most iconic example of a Pandion Knight.
- Master Swordsman
- Older Than Dirt: Invokes the trope by name at one point. "—knights in the center, Atans on either side, and the Peloi out on the flanks. (...) (T)hat formation’s older than dirt."
- One-Man Army: Not all the time, but tends to happen whenever he's really, really angry.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: To Elana given that he was her Mentor as a child. Even after that, when Sparhawk was in exile and Ehlana was a teenager growing without a father figure in a corrupt court, she states that what made her grow into a decent person was the thought of what would make Sparhawk proud and what actions he would approve - basically, Sparhawk was so much of a Reasonable Authority Figure for Ehlane that kept being The Mentor even in absence.
- Also for King Aldreas, of all people. He was murdered when he was about to do a Heel–Face Turn from corrupt monarch to an honest one for exacty the same reasons as Ehlana.
- Manages to be one for a certain Child Goddess, too. Even though she's usually the one ordering people around, Sparhawk manages to talk some sense into her, and even puts his foot down rather firmly a couple of times.
- The Mentor: To Ehlana, since she was a child. And even when she was a teenager. See also Reasonable Authority Figure above.
- The Paladin: As a member of the Pandion Knights. In many ways, Sparhawk and his various ancestors are the pinnacle of what the Pandion Order was meant to be.
- Ring of Power: Has Bhelliom's rings which command the stone and, independently, can imbue any weapon, be it the Spear of Aldreas, his sword, or even his shield, with enough power to withstand magical assaults and drive off sorcerous creatures.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: In The Tamuli trilogy.
- Tranquil Fury: When Ehlana is kidnapped by Scarpa.
KurikSparhawk's trusty squire. A peasant rather than a nobleman he has a wide variety of practical skills, and is often the voice of reason within the group. Is killed by Adus near the end of the third book.
- The Ace: A very practical person, he can do almost everything, and do it well to boot.
- Badass Beard
- Badass Normal: Unlike most of his compatriots, he has no magic at all.
- Death by Irony: Kurik's class prejudices always prevented him from letting Sparhawk knight him, and since he was not a knight, he refused to wear armour. In the end, this is what lets Adus kill him, by slicing through his leather vest with an axe.
- Epic Flail: His Weapon of Choice.
- Expy: He's essentially Durnik as a gruff Sergeant.
- Killed Off for Real: Killed by Adus in Zemoch, he does reappear briefly when the Bhelliom is hidden and recovered.
- Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Always carries a shield in his offhand. Given his lack of armour, this is his only protection.
- Sacrificial Lion
- The Lancer: To Sparhawk.
- Sergeant Rock: Not technically a sergeant, but has the attitude.
- Underestimating Badassery: Kurik does it to Adus during their final duel, not realizing just how much stronger Adus' final mental collapse has left him, or that the giant is in fact setting him up for a fatal blow.
- Your Cheating Heart: Cheated on Aslade, resulting in Talen.
KaltenSparhawk's best friend, he too is a Pandion Knight. Possessed of no talent for languages or magic, he makes up for it by being one of the order's best fighters, and a loyal companion to Sparhawk.
- Big Eater: To the point that, in The Tamuli, Vanion becomes worried when Kalten leaves a whole dish of mutton intact.
- Boisterous Bruiser
- Book Dumb: Kalten has no talent for languages or scholastic pursuits, and struggles with literacy, but he's far from actually being stupid.
- Carpet of Virility: Sephrenia compares him to a blond rug while patching up a sword cut.
- Chivalrous Pervert: Often tries to hit on maids, especially if beautiful.
- Dumb Muscle: Kalten plays up this image. While he has no talent for book learning, he's actually quite bright and very fast on his feet.
- Genius Ditz: He's really quite out of his depth in any scholarly matter and severely lacking in common sense, but he also has unmatched social intelligence, allowing him to work as an impromptu therapist on a few occasions.
- Hidden Depths: Kalten's idiotic image conceals finely tuned social intelligence and an ability to think quickly that no other member of the cast possesses.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: After managing to convince himself that Alean is in love with Berit, with a side order of If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her....
- It's Personal: Seems to be obsessed with killing Adus. Ultimately subverted, as Adus is murdered by Talen and Sparhawk.
- Ladykiller in Love: With Alean.
- The Lancer: One of two to Sparhawk, alongside Kurik.
- Lethal Chef: If the reactions of others in learning that Ulath's rather... unique... cooking roster left him in charge of the cooking for a week are anything to go by.
- Love Makes You Dumb: When he believes that Alean is actually in love with Berit, he reacts quite immaturely for a while
- Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Always carries a shield in his offhand.
- Magic Knight: Averted. Despite being a Pandion Knight, Kalten has no talent for magic and can't use even the simplest of spells.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Discovers that life becomes much easier when people underestimate him, and does it so well that even his friends who know how smart he can be tend to forget.
- The Paladin: Member of the Pandion Knights, and probably the Order's greatest swordsman after Sparhawk.
- Unflinching Walk: He manages to do that in a medieval setting with an assault tower he just captured by filling the whole tower (whose body acts as chimney) with naphta and flipping a torch into the structure with a negligent-appearing toss as he's retrating back to their own walls.
SephreniaA powerful Styric sorceress, who taught magic to the Pandion Knights. She's the priestess of Aphrael the Child Goddess, and the one who put Ehlana in the Diamond Throne in the first place. She's also in love with Vanion. After the Elenium, she returns to her home Sarsos with Vanion, and after the Tamuli the two finally get married for real.
- Armor-Piercing Slap: She ended up learning these after all those years of training knights.
- Berserk Button: Delphae and Delphae literature in the Tamuli. A mere mention will turn her from a quite Proper Lady to a rabid, sharp-tongued woman.
- The Chick: With traits of The Smart Guy.
- Fantastic Racism: Absolutely hates Delphae, because she believes that they were responsible for the death of her family. After learning the truth, she gets over it.
- The Heart: She's this for the whole Pandion order. That's why they call her "Little Mother". To the point that, in the Tamuli, tons of tough-as-nails knights (including Kalten) openly cry with joy when they meet her again.
- Hypocrite: She expresses disgust at the thought of Styrics and Elenes marrying. Then she marries Vanion.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: After learning of Zalasta's betrayal.
- May–December Romance: Eventually confirmed with Vanion. He's an old man, but she's been alive for thousands of years.
- Never Learned to Read: Apparently, she can't read. Subverted when we find out that she never learned to read... in Elenic, but she can read in Styric.
- Odd Friendship: With Xanetia, once they get over the racism.
- Out-of-Character Moment: Her whole behaviour in Delphaeus.
- Really 700 Years Old: She often teases Sparhawk about her real age.
- Squishy Wizard: She's one of the most powerful mages in the world, but she hasn't much stamina. This actually becomes a plot point in the first trilogy, as the spell she used on Ehlana will slowly take a toll on her body as the wraith of the deceased knights give their swords to her.
VanionThe old head of the Pandion Knights, still efficient despite his old age. Is in love with Sephrenia. In the Tamuli, he eventually leaves the knighthood and goes to live with her in Sarsos, and eventually marries her by the end of the saga.
- Awesomeness by Analysis: Managed to learn the ludicrously difficult spell Sephrenia used to seal Ehlana just by carefully watching it.
- Badass Grandpa: He may be old, but is still a force to be reckoned with. In The Tamuli he even manage to beat the entire population of Sarsos in a marathon, even after injuring his feet.
- May–December Romance: With Sephrenia. However as they marry, the Bhellion makes them both young again.
- The Mentor: To Sparhawk and Kalten.
- The Paladin: Leader of the Pandion Order.
- Your Days Are Numbered: Due to both his age and the effort of taking some of Sephrenia's swords with him, he's on his deathbed by the end of the first saga, but is ultimately saved by Aphrael.
TalenKurik's bastard son, and one of the best thieves in Cimmura, Talen joins up with Sparhawk's band early on, bringing his criminal talents and underworld connections to a party that's otherwise made up of noblemen and their retainers.
- The Artful Dodger: He's more this than Street Urchin, though he sometimes plays up his urchinly qualities for sympathy so he can make a killing at begging.
- Big Eater: In the Tamuli, due to his growth.
- Bratty Half-Pint: He gets character development later on and eventually upgrades to Mouthy Kid.
- Expy: He's Prince Kheldar/Silk from The Belgariad at the age of ten.
- Heroic Bastard: He's Kurik's illegitimate son. It's also not held against him.
- Impossible Thief: Often it seems like a character just has to stand within ten feet of Talen and he'll have everything they own within seconds. Eventually Sparhawk just starts telling him to empty his pockets pre-emptively.
- Refuge in Audacity: At one point the party faces down a band of aggressive and heavily-armed Peloi led by Kring, who makes the mistake of indulging in a belly-laugh and challenging Talen to steal what he can. He's too late: Talen got everything he owns while he was laughing. He then proceeds to take inventory of it, right down to appraising a fake gem on one of his bits of jewelry.
- Satisfied Street Rat: Is well on his way to this in the Tamuli, where he's a Church Knight trainee and liable to be shipped with Aphrael.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Has overtones of this with Kurik.
- Wife Husbandry: There're some hints that Danae/Aphrael has set her sights on him as a future husband. Talen is too young to be interested in this side of human interactions, so he mostly shrugs it off as a girl being silly. That said, after a while he does start to get a frequent look of wild fear in his eyes as he recognizes she may be just as serious as her mother was at her age.
- You Killed My Father: Knifes Adus through the kidneys, then, with Sparhawk's help, drives a sword through him after the brute kills Kurik.
BeritA young Pandion knight who's initially chosen to act as Sparhawk's decoy, and later becomes a full fledged member of the group. In the final book he plays a very important role as a decoy for Sparhawk once more.
- An Axe to Grind: Despite Kalten and Sparhawk's best attempts to improve his swordsmanship he eventually sticks to his battleaxe, becoming highly skilled with it courtesy of training from Ulath.
- Badass Bookworm: A capable warrior like everyone else, he's also very erudite.
- Chick Magnet: In The Tamuli, a lot of ladies fall for his charms, though he's totally unaware of it or even embarrassed.
- A Day in the Limelight: A good portion of the last book is focused on him.
- Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Always carries a shield in his offhand.
- The Paladin: A novice in the Pandion Order, he is eventually promoted to full knight.
- Those Two Guys: With Khalad.
- Would Hurt a Child: He teaches manners to Talen... by smacking him hard when he badmouths him.
BevierA Knight of the Cyrinic Order, one of the other orders of Church Knights. He's by far the most devout of the main cast and tends to function as the straight man for the group.
- An Axe to Grind: Carries a Lochaber Axe◊ as his weapon of choice, remarked as a very intimidating weapon. Unlike Ulath, he also carries a sword with him.
- Ax-Crazy: A bit of an odd case. Bevier is a deeply devout and moral man, and refuses to use violence wantonly. However, as soon as he is convinced that violence is morally and religiously justified, he is capable of violence on a level even the other Church Knights find unsettling. He'll go out of his way to give someone every chance to see things his way, and if they don't, he tends to chop off their head without batting an eyelash...and then force that enemy's comrades to join him in prayer over the person's soul while he shakes their blood off his ax.
- The Comically Serious: Bevier is this to the main cast. Plenty of humour is had at his expense, especially when it comes to his love life.
- Cultured Badass: Bevier is extremely well-read and something of an actor.
- Defrosting Ice King: He's extremely strict and pious when he first join the heroes, but thankfully he mellows out a bit.
- Knight in Shining Armor: This is his hat to a T, with a dose of Incorruptible Pure Pureness thrown in for good measure. He even wears literal shining armour: His armour is burnished to practically a mirror shine. Various characters are constantly trying to compromise his virtues.
- Large Ham: He's one of these during The Tamuli, when the knights go undercover in the enemy base at Natayos. Bevier passes himself off as a lochaber-wielding mercenary, but hams it up so much he comes off as an Ax-Crazy lunatic and has everyone in the camp terrified of him.
- Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Always carries a shield in his offhand.
- Manly Tears: Cries openly as he has to bury the corpse of a young victim of the Seeker.
- The Paladin: Almost to the letter. Lampshaded in that the other characters find him a little naive and constantly try to corrupt him, mostly by getting him laid.
- Prince Charming: Bevier's a bit of a spin on the classic trope here.
- Psycho for Hire: Invoked in The Tamuli. Bevier tries to pass himself off as a dangerously competent mercenary, but his Large Ham tendencies cause him to present instead as a homicidal maniac, terrifying the rest of Scarpa's soldiers.
- Stupid Good: Strays into this now and then. It only gets worse during the party's trip to Ghasek, but that's the hate plague talking.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist
TynianA Deiran knight from the Alcione Order, and something of a jokester, who also happens to carry the biggest sword and wear the biggest armour. He's usually seen with Ulath.
- Armour Is Useless: Averted. He survives a number of bad scrapes largely thanks to having the biggest, heaviest suit of armour on the team. On the occasions he is hurt, it's implied to be all the more serious because anything that can get through Deiran armour has got to be nasty.
- BFS: Wields a very large broadsword, noted for being very heavy.
- The Big Guy: Shares this role with Ulath. While not as big as the Genidian Knight, his heavy armour makes him all but untouchable, and he's incredibly heavily muscled.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Lampshaded by Sparhawk when Tynian is introduced. He's got a big dumb grin and pranks Kalten straight up, but Sparhawk doesn't miss that the guy's built like a brick shithouse.
- Establishing Character Moment: Greets Kalten by putting a dead mouse in his hand.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Ulath, big time.
- Magic Knight: A huge man who carries a big sword and wears incredibly heavy armour, he's also a talented necromancer.
- Mighty Glacier: Thanks to the sheer mass of his armor. It's so heavy he collapses the first time he puts it on - and he's built like a tank.
- The Necromancer: He's pretty skilled at necromancy, which comes in handy during the second book. Apparently, his huge build helps him in "fighting" the souls of the dead as he summons them.
- The Paladin: One of the greatest champions of the Alcione Knights.
UlathA Thalesian church knight from the Genidian Order. He's the biggest and burliest of the core group, and is probably their best expert on religious matters.
- An Axe to Grind: His weapon of choice. He even instructs Berit on the secrets of axemanship.
- Armor Is Useless: Played with. Unlike the other knightly orders, the Genidians wear chainmail and not plate armour. When called on this, Ulath points out there are a lot of rivers in Thalesia and it's hard to pull off platemail if you fall in - which they demonstrated to a preceptor who demanded they wear plate by throwing him in a river in his armour. He never came back up. The armour matter was quickly dropped. It should be noted that Ulath's chainmail still covers most of his body and is an effective defense for most of the series.
- The Really Big Guy: Most of the knights are seriously big men, but Ulath is the biggest.
- Catch-Phrase: Anyone else: "Whose turn is it to do the cooking?" Ulath: "Yours."
- Also, "I hate sieges."
- Cool Helmet: Adorned with a set of Ogre's horns, which actually saves his life at one point.
- Deadpan Snarker: The man may as well have his picture on the trope page.
- Genius Bruiser: He's introduced as a stoic, barbaric-looking giant of a man. And then it turns out he speaks Troll, knows Troll magic, has an at least cursory knowledge of a wide variety of topics ("not much else to do in the winter back home") as well as a fantastic sense of humor.
- Expy: He's King Anheg of Cherek, playing Barak's role in the party.
- Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Completely subverted when he is axed in the head in the Siege of Chyrellos (see Tap On The Head below). The only reason he survives at all is his exceptionally tough ogre-horned helmet.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Tynian.
- Hypocrite: Played with regarding his Catch-Phrase, "I hate sieges". When it's pointed how he's quite well versed in siegecraft, and that he's usually the first to suggest they fortify their position and such, his reply is basically "Yeah, but that doesn't mean I like them." Mainly played for laughs.
- Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Usually carries a shield in his offhand, though he discards it during the battle against the Dawn-Men, and any other time when he needs to use his axe with both hands.
- Magic Knight: Brutal fighter, expert in not only Styric, but Troll magic.
- The Mentor: Mentors Berit in how to properly use an axe.
- Odd Friendship: With Bhlowk the Troll.
- Only Sane Man: In Sarsos, he's the only knight who's not affected by the indignation caused by the sight of the local, free Styrics, and actually manage to distract and cheer Bevier up with a joke.
- The Paladin: As the greatest of the Genidian Knights.
- Russian Humour: Did he ever tell you the one about the singing Ogress?
- Tap on the Head: Subverted. He gets hit on the head by a Rendor with a battle axe and spends several chapters very confused and lying in a bed.
EhlanaThe Queen of Elenia since the death of her father, King Aldreas. Ehlana was poisoned because she refused to be a puppet like her father was; curing this is the focus of the first books. She is a forceful and effective ruler when healthy. She was in love with Sparhawk since her earliest childhood, when he was her caretaker.
- Good Bad Girl: While a very good and kind woman, she herself admits that she shares some of her aunt Arissa's... passion. She quite regularly stages arguments with Sparhawk, sometimes flamboyant ones, just for the makeup sex (Sephrenia is somewhat surprised upon finding out that a long and furious tirade was nothing but an "invitation to the bedroom").
- Good Is Not Nice: While good, she's an excellent politician, and very ruthless and manipulative when it comes to politics.
- The High Queen
- Ill Girl: Due to poisoning.
- Large Ham: Her speeches tends to be epic.
- Rousing Speech: Could probably rouse the dead to revolution if she so chose.
- Sealed Good in a Can: She's sealed inside the titular Throne in order to avoid her death from poisoning.
- Wife Husbandry: She decided at a mere eight years old that she would marry Sparhawk, and even started to make schemes at the time, until when she came of age she was quite able to systematically eliminate every possible escape route he had.
Elenium Main Antagonists
AnniasThe Primate of Cimmura and the most powerful churchman in Elenia, he's the mastermind behind what appears to be a power play for the throne. He's actually a pawn of the Zemoch god Azash and complicit in his scheme to take over the west and find Bhelliom.
- Ambition Is Evil: He wants to become the local equivalent of the Pope.
- Big Bad Wannabe: Would really like to be the main villain of the series and initially appears to be, but he's completely outclassed by both Martel and Azash.
- Dirty Old Monk: It's revealed that Lycheas is his bastard. With Princess Arissa.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Goes out of his way to bring his family (Arissa and Lycheas) with him to Zemoch.
- Face–Heel Turn: As noted by Vanion, Annias used to be a good, if zealous priest back when he was young and before falling to the dark side.
- Family-Unfriendly Death: Azash picks him up and squeezes him to death like a piece of wet fabric.
- Fantastic Racism: Hates Styrics.
- The Heavy: Thwarting his ambitions take up a good portion of the first and third books, but he's little more than an expendable pawn to Azash.
- Hijacked by Ganon: He starts off as the apparent Big Bad in The Elenium but actually the plot derives from the returning Azash, who wants another crack at Bhelliom.
- Idiot Ball: Actually justified:since he's being manipulated by Azash, who is used to dealing with simple-minded Styrics, his early schemes appear clumsy and predictable to the much more sophisticated Elenes. When left to his own devices later on, he's far more effective.
- Sinister Minister
- Smug Snake: Oh yes.
- Unwitting Pawn: Of Martel and Azash, both of whom are using him for their own ends.
- "I made my choice, Sparhawk. I won't demean myself by changing it now."
- Achilles' Heel: He broke his shoulder back when he was a youth, and since then said shoulder has become sensitive to pain. Sparhawk intentionally pats him on said shoulder when they speak.
- Affably Evil: Martel's unfailingly polite to everyone he speaks to, and doesn't go out of his way to be a sadist. He's still a totally ruthless, amoral son-of-a-bitch.
- Alas, Poor Villain: As he's dying after being run through by Sparhawk, he mends fences with Sephrenia and confesses he's going out surrounded by the only people he's ever loved.
- Antagonist in Mourning: Is genuinely shocked and saddened when he finds out that Adus killed Kurik and offers his apologies to Sparhawk and his widow.
- Archenemy: To Sparhawk. There is no one, not Annias, not Azash, whom Sparhawk hates more, and it's certainly personal, with Martel holding Sparhawk responsible for his disgrace and eviction from the Pandion Order.
- Armour Is Useless: Justified. Martel's heavy Deiran armour provides him with an admirable level of protection, but it also slows him down, enabling Sparhawk to land a fatal blow.
- Berserk Button: Don't insult Sephrenia in front of him.
- Best Served Cold: Even years after being stripped of his knighthood and exiled, Martel is still motivated by a desire for revenge, namely against Sparhawk.
- Bishōnen: Described as having a handsome, youthful face to contrast Sparhawk's grim, ugly countenance.
- Bling of War: Buys a fancy suit of gilded Deiran armor shortly before the siege of Chyrellos after realizing that he had a huge amount of ill-gotten gains lying around that he barely spent. The armor ends up killing him - during his duel with Sparhawk the weight of all that decoration tires him out faster than usual, allowing Sparhawk to land the killing blow.
- Card-Carrying Villain: Martel is fully aware that he's the villain of the story, repeatedly commenting that after Vanion and Sparhawk stripped him of his honour, he had nothing else left.
- Catch-Phrase: "...old boy."
- The Chessmaster: The whole plot of The Elenium is one long con job put together by Martel, with countless contingencies in place.
- Co-Dragons: To Azash, alongside Otha.
- Cutting the Knot: In the first book, Martel has managed to become the trusted adviser of the Rendor prophet Arasham and plans to make him invade the continent to further Martel's plans. Sparhawk manages to convince Arasham that he represents a group of Elenes sympathetic to Arasham's cause, making the prophet determined to wait with his invasion until Sparhawk sends word that he's ready to support him. Cue the third book, where Arasham turns out to have suffered an unfortunate accident, and now the Rendor heretics are invading the continent under the leadership of Arasham's disciple Ulesim... assisted by his trusted adviser Martel, of course.
- The Cynic: Following his expulsion from the Pandions Martel has given up on everything save money and power.
- The Dark Arts: His dabbling in these in the backstory got him thrown out of the Pandion Order and set the stage for his grudge against Sparhawk. Plus Sephrenia was actually Genre Savvy enough to strip him of said powers, though a deal with Azash led to their restoration.
- Death by Irony: His new armour slows him down enough to give Sparhawk and edge in their final duel. Martel himself acknowledges the irony of the situation as he dies.
- Dragon-in-Chief: Martel is much, much more dangerous than Annias, the apparent ringleader of the plot against Ehlana. He's effectively this for Otha and Azash, too, since he understands people and they do not. Ultimately, in terms of intelligence, he's probably the most dangerous antagonist in the Elenium trilogy.
- Duel to the Death: Fights one against Sparhawk in order to buy time for Azash to recover his focus.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Nearly chokes Annias when the latter badmouths Sephrenia.
- Evil Counterpart: To Sparhawk.
- Evil Former Friend: He and Sparhawk were friends when they were part of the Pandion Order together.
- Graceful Loser: Takes his final defeat very well, in contrast to Azash.
- Greed: Martel is extremely greedy, and cannot believe his greed is not universal.
- Hired Guns: After being thrown out of the Pandion Order, Martel set himself up as a mercenary. He's got contacts throughout Cammoria, Lamorkand, and Rendor, and can raise an army at a moment's notice.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: When Martel and Sparhawk finally duke it out, they're evenly matched. The deciding factor? Martel came in wearing a huge suit of gilded armour - and it's so heavy it exhausts him and slows him down just enough for Sparhawk to land the killing blow. When Sparhawk points this out, Martel invokes the trope on his deathbed.
- Let's Fight Like Gentlemen: The final duel between he and Sparhawk. They even take a break to catch their breaths and chat a little.
- Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Always carries a shield in his offhand.
- Magic Knight: One of the only characters who can match Sparhawk in a swordfight, he's also a talented summoner of demons.
- The Man Behind the Man: Rather "The Man In Front Of The Man". Annias thinks that he's in charge, but Martel is much more dangerous and during their escape from Chyrellos makes it clear to Annias that he, and not the Primate of Cimmura, is really in control.
- Manipulative Bastard: Ruthlessly and effectively manipulates Arasham, Ulesim, Baron Alstrom and his son, Count Gerrich and his nephews, Sir Perraine, and even Annias.
- Master Swordsman: One of the few characters who can match Sparhawk in this regard.
- Nice to the Waiter: Remembered by a Pelosian innkeeper as a nice enough fellow (though the innkeeper could not say the same for Adus).
- Only in It for the Money: What he claims, though power and revenge are certainly motivations as well.
- The Paladin: Inverted. As a former member of the Pandion Order turned outcast and servant of Azash, Martel is the antithesis of everything a paladin should be. If this were Dungeons & Dragons, he'd be an antipaladin or blackguard.
- The Paragon Always Rebels: Martel was one of the best swordsmen and lancers that the Pandion Order ever produced, matched only by Sparhawk, and was likely the latter's superior when it came to magic and politics. He's of course the one who rebelled and had to be run out of the Order.
- Private Military Contractors: Martel is a one-man PMC, capable of having an army in the field at the request of any client.
- The Resenter: Martel's towering resentment towards the Order that disowned him is at the core of his motivation.
- Revenge: Wants revenge against the Pandion Order in general and Sparhawk in particular.
- The Rival: To Sparhawk.
- Summon Magic: Has a thing for calling up Azash's creatures, most notably his tame Damork. Sephrenia stripped him of the worst of his powers when he was exiled from the Pandion Order, but Azash restored them.
- Villainous Valour: According to Martel, he never had any doubts that Sparhawk was a better swordsman than he was. That did not stop him from challenging Sparhawk to a duel to buy time for Azash to awaken.
- White Hair, Black Heart: Martel's white hair, which he's had since his twenties, is his distinguishing mark, and he's easily the worst person to ever come out of the Pandion Order.
- Worthy Opponent: Martel can do everything Sparhawk can do and then some. It's repeatedly pointed out that no knight could really equal Sparhawk - except Martel.
KragerThe more cunning of Martel's two lieutenants. Krager is a shifty drunkard Martel entrusts with things too complicated for Adus to wrap his head around. He's back in The Tamuli as one of Zalasta's henchmen.
- The Alcoholic: Takes this Up to Eleven.
- The Confidant: Part of his job is being the one person Martel can confide in when he gets lonely, seeing as Adus can barely talk.
- Drink Order: Krager's preferred tipple is Arcian red wine.
- Evil Genius
- Functional Addict: Ultimately subverted. Krager's functional enough despite his alcoholism, but by the end of The Tamuli his mind is going.
- Karma Houdini: Subverted. Everyone is furious about Krager getting away, but it's irrelevant—his alcoholism has finally caught up to him and he has about half a year to live before liver failure and his fraying sanity kill him.
- The Man Behind the Man: Revealed to be this to Martel in The Tamuli. Or so he claims - it's strongly implied he's exaggerating his role and importance in Martel's plans.
- Not So Harmless: Turns out he was much more dangerous than he looks, and he can even speak Styric. Though to what extent this is true is up for debate—he's pretty clearly exaggerating his influence.
- Playing Drunk: It's implied he does this sometimes.
- Sanity Slippage: As of the end of The Tamuli Krager's mind is finally going, the result of decades of alcoholism.
- Sole Survivor: Of The Elenium's villains.
- Kalten: "Adus is easy. Just put armour on a gorilla and you've got him."
- Animal Motifs: An ape.
- An Axe to Grind: His final weapon of choice and certainly the one with which he's most effective.
- Armour Is Useless: Played with, then justified. Adus' rusty, mismatched armour successfully wards off sword strokes and even blows from Kurik's flail, but it doesn't fit well enough to properly protect his lower back, enabling Talen to shank him in the kidneys.
- Axe-Crazy: Violently and dangerously insane, Adus is a threat to everybody, whether you are an enemy or ally.
- Bad Boss: Cuts through his own men to get to Kalten and Sparhawk.
- The Berserker: Frequently descends into Unstoppable Rages during which he becomes even more deadly than usual.
- Blood Knight: The guy is obsessed with gore and gratuitous violence, and even eats raw meat.
- The Brute: A pretty archetypal example. Big, stupid, violent, obsessed with hurting people, totally without empathy, and subordinate to The Dragon.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: Enjoys killing people slowly.
- Decapitation Presentation: Sparhawk cuts his head off after helping Talen finish him, then has Kalten throw it at Martel's feet the next time they meet.
- Dirty Coward: When lucid Adus will flee the moment he's injured. When he's not, see The Berserker, above.
- Dumb Muscle: Frighteningly stupid. Terrifyingly strong.
- Feel No Pain: A side effect of his berserker rage. During his duel with Kurik, Adus completely ignores several crushing blows from the squire's mace-and-chain, seemingly unable to even register he has been struck. It's not until Talen skewers him in the kidneys that his sense of pain returns (and in a big way at that).
- Frazetta Man: Constantly described as looking like a gorilla, to the point where it becomes something of a running joke. When the heroes are distributing images of the villains to the people who'll be keeping an eye out for them, Kalten notes they don't need to bother creating a picture of Adus, then gives the quote from above.
- Hero Killer: A feared combatant, he cuts down both Sir Parasim and Kurik.
- Idiot Savant: Adus is almost unbearably stupid, but he's a gifted warrior and small-unit tactician. Give him an axe, and a manageable number of soldiers, and Adus becomes a force to be reckoned with.
- In the Back: How Talen disables him, stabbing him first in the kidneys and then the back of the knee.
- Karmic Death: Killed by the son of the man he had just cut down.
- Kick the Dog: "Spur the horse to death" actually.
- Kick Them While They Are Down: After mortally wounding Kurik he contemptuously kicks him across the room.
- Lack of Empathy: Sparhawk describes him as totally void of human feeling.
- Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Usually carries a shield in his offhand, though he throws it away during his fight against Kurik so that he can use his axe with both hands.
- The Mentally Disturbed: Adus can barely speak, eats raw meat, and doesn't bathe. He's got no grasp of appropriate social behaviour, and descends into a rage at a moment's notice. It's not hard to conclude that is severely mentally handicapped.
- Murderers Are Rapists: Does both for fun.
- No Social Skills: Doesn't talk, doesn't bathe, gets off on violence...
- The Pig Pen: To the point that Kalten stated that if they kill him, they'll have to wash him first, or the ground will spit him out. In The Tamuli Kalten notes that his distinctive fragrance made him useless as a spy.
- Psycho for Hire: As Martel puts it "think of him as a walking battleaxe. I use him for killing people."
- Rape, Pillage, and Burn: Lives for this.
- Sadist: Lives to torture people.
- Sanity Slippage: Adus was never sane, but by the time he confronts Sparhawk, Kurik, and Kalten near the climax of The Sapphire Rose there's nothing left save a screaming monster who will hack his way through his own troops to reach Kalten.
- Say My Name: Kalten! which he roars as he hacks his way through his own men to reach the Pandion in question.
- Screaming Warrior: Spends most of his screentime bellowing unintelligibly.
- Serial Rapist: Adus will rape any woman he can get his hands on, and started a war in Lamorkand by getting his soldiers to gangrape Count Gerrich's sister.
- Smarter Than You Look: Downplayed. Adus is very stupid, but he's not quite as stupid as his barely intelligible speech, apelike mannerisms, and lack of cleanliness would imply. This is how he's able to beat Kurik—the squire doesn't realise that Adus is setting him up for a fatal blow, because, well, it's Adus, and you don't expect that from him.
- Villains Want Mercy: Begs Sparhawk and Talen not to kill him once he's been disabled.
- Worthy Opponent: Sees Kalten as one.
LycheasThe bastard prince of Cimmura, a spineless coward manipulated by Annias who's actually his biological father.
- Bastard Bastard: Though he doesn't really get up to much villainy, being totally under Annias' thumb.
- Butt-Monkey: No one even gives him respect. Not even his own supporters.
- Dirty Coward
- Humiliation Conga: Suffers one after being arrested in the third book, mostly due to our heroes scaring the crap out of him.
- The Load: To Martel's group as the run towards Zemoch.
- Off with His Head!: How Ulath puts him out of his misery.
- Prince Charmless: A pathetic, spineless jackass who resembles an eel more than a man. When Annias suggested that Ehlana marry him she laughed in his face.
- Puppet King: What Annias wants him to be.
- The Evil Prince: Though he leaves most of the ambitious scheming to his parents.
ArissaThe lascivous princess of Cimmura, mother of Lycheas.
- Better to Die than Be Killed: Drinks poison when she sees Ulath ready to chop her head off. As it turns out, dying of poison isn't actually as painless as getting decapitated.
- Brother-Sister Incest: With her brother Aldreas.
- The Dark Chick
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: She definitely cares about her son, Lycheas, and while she and Annias have their differences, she's aghast when he dies.
- Really Gets Around: Slept with nearly all the male population of Cimmura, and according to the following trilogy, she seduced Annias when she was twelve, if that's even biologically possible.
- The Vamp: Though she fails to seduce Sparhawk.
The SeekerOne of the most dangerous servants of Azash, he takes the form of a disgusting man-sized insect capable of following his victims everywhere and putting the people he bites under mind control.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: Resembles a large, vaguely humanoid bug with four limbs and wings.
- I Am A Humanitarian: Feeds on people by sucking them dry.
- Mind Control: He turns everyone he bites into a mindless zombie puppet. The Seeker himself is controlled by Azash.
- Muscles Are Meaningless: He's extremely thin, but can still send Kalten flying with a mere touch.
- One-Winged Angel: How he's actually beaten: Flute casts a spell to make him evolve into his next stage... as a mouthless, winged bug whose only thought is to breed and will eventually die in a week, looking for a mate.
- Power Glows: There's an eerie, sickly green glow coming from under his hood.
- Scarily Competent Tracker
- Sssssnake Talk: For some reason.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Smoke, because of his sensitive breathing apparatus.
- "Flee weak Man-Thing. All flesh is food for me."
- Achilles' Heel: Due to his deformed body he can't move around very fast and his flanks are vulnerable.
- Badass Boast: See the page quote, and "Sparhawk-from-Elenia should have brought a hundred." Also, he threatens to cook and eat Azash.
- Carry a Big Stick: Wields a huge, iron-bound stone club.
- Defiant to the End: Jumps off a cliff with a roar of triumph, Bhelliom in hand.
- Depraved Dwarf: Thoroughly evil, and badly dwarfed, though since most Trolls stand nine-feet tall, this means he's still the size of Ulath.
- Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: Yes, he loudly threatens to hunt Azash, roast him and eat him, but the catch is: Azash himself was listening and reacted with a small earthquake. As Sephrenia notes "you almost have to admire that twisted thing out there. No one has ever thrown that kind of insult into the face of one of the Elder Gods."
- Evil Cripple: His shoulders and hips don't turn right, his arms are twisted at odd angles, his back is crooked, and his legs are badly stunted. He can't swim, can barely stand, and it can take him days to climb any sort of sloped surface.
- Expy: While he plays a much more prominent role in the story, his personality and status as the most dangerous physical threat the heroes encounter is highly reminiscent of Grul, the Eldrak (Troll) who ambushed The Belgariad's heroes during their journey through Ulgo.
- Genius Cripple: By Troll standards anyway. Ghwerig may be handicapped but he's far smarter than any of the other Trolls we meet, being capable of mining, metalworking, and gem-carving, working out deals with the Troll-Gods despite not being a priest, and having an actual understanding of the world outside his cave.
- Greed: Loves treasure and is consumed with the need to be surrounded by wealth. This is mostly to fill the hole in his life left by being all alone.
- Handicapped Badass: Can barely stand, yet proves to be the most physically dangerous adversary Sparhawk encounters over the course of all three books, besting both he and Kurik in a two-on-one fight and only losing when Aphrael intervenes. Sparhawk admits to himself halfway through the fight that he and Kurik are badly outmatched.
- Hard Head: Takes a blow from Kurik's chain mace to the skull and pretty much ignores it.
- Improvised Weapon: Smashes his club against his treasure horde, turning gold and gems into improvised projectiles.
- I'm a Humanitarian: Threatens to eat, in no particular order, Azash, Aphrael, Sparhawk, and Kurik. Given that he's a Troll, that's not just an idle threat.
- Loners Are Freaks: Avoided by all other Trolls due to his dwarfing and greed.
- Made Of Titanium: Is bashed several times with a flail and impaled with a magical spear, but he only dies due to Disney Death. This is mostly due to Troll physiology, with a dose of his own personal crazy thrown in for good measure.
- Non-Indicative Name: "Dwarf" for a Troll means "he's still taller than Sparhawk".
- Villainous Valour: Easily the bravest antagonist Sparhawk encounters.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: In reality, he is maddened by the loss of Bhelliom, and he devotes most of the rest of his life to searching for it, and he eventually finds it, but is killed by Sparhawk and Kurik. Even they feel a little sorry for him when he sobs about how lonely he is.
OthaThe Emperor of Zemoch, he was once a simple shepherd who stumbled upon the idol containing Azash, and became his servant in exchange for power and luxury, not to mention immortality.
- Co-Dragons: To Azash, alongside Martel. He's his longest-running servant, and rules Zemoch for him.
- Deal with the Devil: His pact with Azash.
- The Emperor
- Family-Unfriendly Death: Azash grabs him with his tentacles and squeeze and twists him like a wet piece of fabric.
- Fat Bastard: He's so incredibly obese he has to be carried around by a squad of slaves.
- Fat Idiot: Turns out, he's much less of a threat than anyone thought if his use of the undead guards is anything to go by.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: From an oafish shepherd nobody knew to an equally oafish sorcerous overlord feared everywhere.
- Immortality Immorality: Spends hundreds of years indulging in banquets, orgies and other depravities.
- The Necromancer: The front gate of his palace is guarded by an army of zombie soldiers.... who're arranged on a series of squared tiles and only attack whoever steps on said tiles, making them easy to avoid. To make matters worse, he didn't make them selective in their targets, so when a rock is chucked at one guard, it lands on another guard, and the Disaster Dominoes ensue.
- Orcus on His Throne: Due to the fact that he's so fat he can't even move from said throne.
- Paper Tiger: For ages both the Elenes and the Styrics have been scared by a complete moron.
- Sadist: We're told Otha enjoys watching people die.
- Unskilled, but Strong: Otha's a moron with no concept of how to properly use his magic. Despite this, he can still go one-on-one with Sephrenia in a Wizard Duel due to the sheer amount of power he possesses.
- Villainous Glutton: His throne room is right next to the royal kitchens.
- Wizard Duel: Against Sephrenia.
AzashThe evil Elder God of Styricum who was emasculated and sealed inside a clay idol. He's the main villain behind the events of the first trilogy and eventually the final enemy.
- Archnemesis Dad: Thanks to an accident of chance, when Aphrael willed herself into existence, she made herself Azash's daughter. Azash often appeals to this to try and control her, but Aphrael does not care.
- Axe-Crazy: Azash's portfoilo includes violent insanity and he suffers from it hismelf.
- Beam-O-War: Engages in one against Sparhawk and the Bhelliom, and ultimately loses thanks to Berit throwing Bevier's axe at him.
- Berserk Button: Throwing his emasculation in his face will cause him to completely lose control of himself. It makes him weaker and more vulnerable, since he cannot properly focus his magic or dominate his thralls when in mid-Freak-Out.
- Big Bad: Of The Elenium. Everything that Annias, Martel, the Damork, and the Seeker do can be traced back to him.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: Practised by his worshipers, most notably Bellina.
- Combat Tentacles: Has an unspecified number of tentacles departing from his massive shoulders.
- Eldritch Abomination: Even older than the known gods, he's sort of a twisted mass of pure greed and desire.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Azash is completely incapable of comprehending any sort of positive human emotion or desire.
- Evil Is Petty: Azash is fundamentally pathetic, as commented on by Sparhawk and Aphrael both.
- Final Boss: He's the last foe Sparhawk confronts in The Elenium after slaying Martel.
- God of Evil: His religious rituals include mass orgies which concludes with the death by fatigue of the participants.
- Groin Attack: Was emasculated by Aphrael before being sealed. His idol still carries the scar.
- Living Statue: Both his giant exterior shell and his real, pathetic clay form.
- Lust: For power, sex, freedom, you name it. Azash is prone to all seven of the deadly sins, but this is the one that dominates him.
- The Old Gods: He's one of the Elder Gods of Styricum, predating the Younger Gods by eons.
- Sadist: When bloodlust and sexual perversion are a part of your portfolio, this is going to happen. Azash craves the suffering of his followers.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: He's sealed inside a clay idol. Interestingly, it's said that if another clay idol is made and enchanted in the right way he can manifest in that idol as well.
- Sympathy for the Devil: Sparhawk expresses a momentary pang of sympathy for the pathetic clay sculpture that is the real Azash, before obliterating him.
- Villainous Breakdown: Pitches as hissyfit when he realises he's about to die.
- We Can Rule Together: Tries to tempt Sparhawk during the final battle.
- You Have Failed Me: To Annias and Otha.
Elenium Secondary Characters
Flute/AphraelApparently a Styric orphan, later revealed to be a Styric goddess.
- Cute Mute: For the first half of the Elenium, because she didn't feel like letting the knights know she could talk.
- Deliberately Cute Child: Her favorite form, because she can get people (and other gods) to kiss her that way. She indicates Danae will be something of a new experience for her, as she can't really get away with not growing up in that form.
- Physical God
- Running Gag: Pet whales.
- Trickster God: Steals the rings that let Ghwerig control Bhelliom well, that's what he thinks right off the Troll's fingers. It's implied that this wasn't the first time Aphrael played thief.
PlatimeThe chief of all the rogues, harlots and thieves of Cimmura. Courtesy of an old debt he's an ally of Sparhawk's and eventually joins the Elenian council.
- Anti-Hero: He's a criminal and has committed many sins, but he still helps the good guys nevertheless.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Played for laughs. Asked if there are any crimes he has never committed, he racks his brain and comes up with four: barratry, bestiality, witchcraft and treason.
- Fat Bastard: Grossly overweight.
- List of Transgressions: Lists them himself when asking Ehlana for a pardon. "There were a few incidental murders, assorted thefts, robberies, extortions, burglaries, arsons, smuggling, highway robbery, cattle rustling, pillaging a couple of monasteries, operating unlicensed brothels—that sort of thing."
- Lovable Rogue: Would be a Fat Bastard if he wasn't a man of honor.
- Non-Action Guy: Used to be the best thief of all Cimmura before getting so obese.
- The Pardon: Granted one by Ehlana in exchange for his assistance.
StragenThe leader of the rogues of Thalesia, he's the bastard son of a nobleman, which bothers him to no end. He joins the group with his for the last book and becomes a full-blown member of the party in the following trilogy.
- Cultured Badass: Noble, polyglot and affable, he's also the best thief in the world, and an excellent fencer.
- Gentleman Thief: Much more so than Platime.
- Heroic Bastard: And bitter about it.
- Lovable Rogue
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Delivers an awesome one to the racist Styric council of Sarsos, giving them a verbal, well-deserved beatdown and forcing them to side with the heroes by pointing out that, if they don't, the Elenes will use this as an excuse to exterminate them all. Many characters were impressed.
- Royal Rapier: His weapon of choice.
DolmantDolmant is the Patriarch of Demos and later Archprelate.. He served a novitiate with the Pandions before entering the priesthood, a fact he tries to conceal.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Dolmant is willing to bend the rules to make things come out right, and allows and even encourages his subordinates' subterfuges to that end.
- Retired Badass: Used to be a Pandion novice, and was even a match for Sparhawk's father.
EmbanThe Patriarch of Ucera is a jolly, witty churchman who carries as much weight literally as he does figuratively. He is a mover and shaker in the Church, known for his political acumen.
- Big Fun: Emban fills the stereotype of the jolly fat man.
- Deadpan Snarker: He has a sarcastic word for most everyone.
- Expy: Of King Rhodar of Drasnia from The Belgariad.
- Guile Hero: He makes his way by wits and diplomacy.
OrtzelPatriarch of Kadach in Lamorkand, Ortzel is a rigid and fanatical churchman. He is the primary candidate for the Archprelacy among those opposing Annias.
- The Fundamentalist: Ortzel is utterly dogmatic, and declares his intention to end the Church Knights' practice of 'witchcraft' when he is Archprelate. Although he mellows out considerably once he actually meets some Church Knights and Styrics and sees their magic firsthand.
WargunThe King of Thalesia, Wargun is a thoroughly capable politician whose excessive drinking nonetheless makes him an unreliable and uneasy ally to the protagonists.—-
- The Alcoholic: Wargun is almost always drunk, and the scenes in which he's not slurring words are few and far between.
- Foreshadowing: During one conversation Sephrenia tells Wargun that if they give Krager 10 000 gold crowns he'll drink himself to death in a few months. Wargun doesn't think this sounds like a punishment and is told by Sephrenia that he might want to stop by an asylum sometime and watch the process. Ultimately, this is what happens to Wargun himself.
- Functional Addict: Subverted in the end. Wargun's a very competent king and general when he's sober, but his periods of sobriety grow fewer and farther between, and by The Tamuli his alcoholism has destroyed his mind.
- Sanity Slippage: By the end of The Elenium Wargun's mind is starting to go. By The Tamuli he's been locked in a wing of his palace, where he spends all his time raving.
KringThe Domi (leader) of the Peloi riders, an old pal of Tynian. He falls in love with Mirtai and follows the heroes to the Tamul Empire in the sequel trilogy.
- Bald of Awesome: Peloi men shave their heads.
- Barbarian Hero: Horse nomad type.
- Born in the Saddle: Horse nomads are like this.
- Politically Incorrect Hero: Asks Sparhawk if he's allowed to loot the dead, rape the local women, and set fire to buildings during the Deiran campaign.
- Sinister Scimitar: Western Peloi favor sabres.
- Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: The tiny guy to Mirtai's huge girl. He somewhat of somewhat shorter than average height, while she's a giantess.
BergstenThe Patriarch of Emsat, Bergsten is an enormous, loud-voiced man who wears chainmail and an Ogre-horned helmet and carries a large axe.
- An Axe to Grind: Despite no longer being officially under arms, he still carries a war axe.
- Badass Preacher: He talks loudly and carries a big ax.
- Church Militant: Was once a Genidian Knight, and continues to go about in chainmail and carry a big axe.
- Meaningful Name: Bergsten means roughly 'Mountain [of] Stone' in Swedish.
- Religious Bruiser: His size impresses Ulath, he gets his way by yelling and waving an axe, and he's a Patriarch of the Church.
MirtaiAn Atana who was separated from her people by a slave raid in her childhood and eventually wound up as a personal assistant to Queen Ehlana. She is fanatically (and violently) devoted to her mistress' safety and honor, and will brutally kill anyone she even suspects of violating either.
- Action Girl: Like all Atans, she is utterly deadly. She wears blades strapped to her arms and legs at all times, and goes as heavily armed as she can get away with.
- Bodyguard Babes: Only one, but she can kick as much ass all by herself as the average Amazon Brigade.
- The Fettered: Atans in general are this, but Mirtai's Fetters are a bit more personal. The Atans enslaved their whole culture so that someone else would have a check on their violent impulses, and Mirtai's slavery to Ehlana serves the same purpose. She notes that left to her own devices she'd have killed half the court within her first few weeks there.
- Improvised Weapon: In her childhood, she managed to turn a spoon into a deadly weapon and killed a slave-owner, who tried to rape her, with it. After that, she carried the spoon with her as both a memento and a hidden weapon.
- Little Miss Badass: In her backstory, we learn that she killed two men at the age of six (slavers who were kidnapping her). She doesn't slow down after that.
- Submissive Badass: She insists that she is a slave, and considers Ehlana's repeated efforts to emancipate her to be absurd. She doesn't let this stop her from running Ehlana's domestic life, though.
- Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: Stands about six-and-a-half feet tall. Marries Kring, who stands somewhat below average height.
ArashamThe illiterate, fanatical religious leader of Rendor's Eshandist Heresy, Arasham rules the desert nation with a grip so total that, in the words of Sir Voren, he makes Otha of Zemoch look like a liberal.
- Affably Evil: It isn't really remarked on, but if he thinks you share his religious beliefs Arasham's not that unpleasant to deal with.
- Evil Old Folks: Somewhere in his eighties, but as fanatical and violent as ever.
- The Fundamentalist: Completely devoted to Eshandism to the exclusion of all else.
- High Priest: Holds this position within Eshandism. Since the King of Rendor's power doesn't extend outside the capital city of Zand he's effectively the real ruler of Rendor as well.
- The Theocracy: Under his control Rendor is somewhere between this and rule-by-mob.
- Unwitting Pawn: Martel is playing him like a fiddle and he remains unaware of it.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: It's easy to forget, but Arasham believes the Elene Church is a Corrupt Church that imperils the souls of all those it "oppresses", and that he is going to liberate them. In an act of supreme irony, the willingness of many churchmen to vote for Annias means Arasham's not far wrong either.
UlesimMost-Favored-Disciple-Of-Holy-Arasham, who never heard of him. Ulesim is an unwashed, incoherent fanatic, utterly devoted to the schismatic Eshandist version of the Elene Church. After Arasham's death, Ulesim succeeds him as spiritual leader of the Eshandists.
- Dragon Ascendant: Invoked and subverted. Ulesim claims to be this, but Arasham had never heard of him.
- The Fundamentalist: Ulesim sees absolutely everything through the lens of his peculiar religious beliefs.
- High Priest: Takes Arasham's old job as spiritual leader of the Eshandist heresy—though his control over his followers doesn't match Arasham's.
- Killed Mid-Sentence: Kurik puts a crossbow bolt through his head while he's in the middle of a speech.
- Lean and Mean: Described as skeletally thin.
SorgiA Cammorian merchant captain. Sparhawk first meets him when he needs to sail to Thalesia, using a cover story involving a forced marriage to a comically ugly woman.
- The Captain: Sorgi owns his ship and there is no question who's in charge aboard it.
- Father Neptune: Sorgi is elderly and graying, but is widely known as one of the best shipmasters around, and can adapt to most any maritime problem.
- Running Gag: Every time he meets Sparhawk, reference is made to the tall tale Sparhawk told him to justify his secrecy.
- Seadog Beard: He wears a heavy grizzled beard.
The Troll GodsThe five Troll Gods are Ghworg, the God of Kill, Ghnomb, the God of Eat, Schlee, the God of Ice, Khwaj, the God of Fire, and Zoka, the God of 'Mating' (The Trolls probably use a cruder word). They were bound into the Bhelliom by Ghwerig in order to hide from the Younger Gods of Styricum. While powerful, they are more limited than other gods due to their limited intellect and extremely elemental personalities.
- Anthropomorphic Personification: All five of them embody their respective spheres, which together comprise all there is to Troll life.
- Insane Troll Logic: Why can Tynian and Ulath be in the "time of broken moments" and be jumped slightly through time so they exist in only the smallest, tiniest fraction of every moment rendering them unable to be seen/heard by anyone else, and yet perfectly see and understand everyone else they are trying to spy on? Because the Troll God Ghnomb thinks it works that way.
- Physical God: When they're not trapped in the Bhelliom.
The God of the ElenesThe founder of the Elene church, officially worshiped by the Church Knights as well as most of the world, often referred to as simply "God", even though he's not the only god. The single most powerful god in the setting, but also the least actively involved in events. Presents the image of being a monotheistic deity, but this really isn't the case.
- All-Powerful Bystander
- Fantastic Catholicism: His church is clearly based on Catholicism, with the only notable exception being the lack of a Jesus Christ figure.
- The Ghost: Never puts in a single appearance.
- The Gods Must Be Lazy: He definitely exists, and is far more powerful than any other deity (excluding creator-spirits like Bhelliom and Klæl) but He does absolutely nothing tangible during the events of both trilogies.
- Grumpy Old Man: According to Aphrael He's something of a stuffy grouch, who gets annoyed by the childish Tamuli gods when they meet at divine parties.
- He Who Must Not Be Seen
- Top God: Subverted - the Elenes believe Him to be an omnipotent supreme being who created the universe, but he didn't even create their world. That was Bhelliom. He is however the strongest god by a wide margin due to having far more worshipers than anyone else - it's mentioned that neither Azash nor Cyrgon would dare to confront Him due to His incontestably immense power.
- You Didn't Ask: The Church Knights use different Styric gods as sources of magical power. The Church isn't really happy about this practice, but doesn't forbid it, either. Once Aphrael mentions that the Elene god very probably could grant them spells, if they just thought to ask him.
Tamuli Main Characters
KhaladThe eldest son of Kurik and Aslade, he resists the notion of joining the Pandion Knights, sharing his father's disdain for the nobility.
- Badass Beard: One of the only characters with a full beard, which he says is a common trait in his family. He comments that somehow the trait has missed Talen, who can easily go days (if not weeks) without shaving.
- Friendly Sniper: He's even better than his father with his crossbow.
- Generation Xerox: While distinct from his father in many ways, he has enough similarities that the knights comment on it. This at times reminds Sparhawk of his loss, though he quickly pushes it aside.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: In terms of his capabilities and role in the plot, he's exactly the same as his father.
- Those Two Guys: Becomes half of this during his travels with Berit.
MelidereA baroness of Queen Ehlana's court, accompanying the Queen to Matherion. At first glance, she seems quite flighty and stupid, but there might be some hidden depths to her...
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Melidere's father started as a simple blacksmith and ended up being a coin forger of incredible productivity. He was very reasonable about it, though, so it all worked out.
- Hidden Depths: Oh yes.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: And Stragen, who finds himself attracted to her, gets quite mad trying to catch her at being smart.
- An Offer You Can't Refuse: An offer of business cooperation from Melidere to Stragen. Incredibly lucrative and interesting for him—and it would be quite dangerous to refuse, too. Unusually, the offer included a marriage proposal, to which Stragen, after some initial reluctance, was happy to agree.
Emperor SarabianThe Emperor of the Tamul Empire, and far more perceptive than he first seems.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: While not quite as clever as he thinks, he is a rather perceptive and intelligent... and one of the signs of that was that he realized early on that an intelligent and perceptive Emperor is an Emperor that gets assassinated, so he played the foolish fop except for a rare few close allies in a successful bid to remain alive.
- Royal Rapier: He actually schews traditional Tamul weaponry (or, in the case of Tamul Emperors, lack thereof) in favor of his trusty Western-style rapier. Complete with accompanying tight hose, full-sleeved linen shirt, and boots. He even knows how to use it.
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Their god's plans for the Xanetia's people.
- Cursed with Awesome: Quite literally. The god of her people wanted to give them some powers for protection and hiding, but couldn't use a blessing, as "A blessing rings and shimmers in the lucid air like bell-sound" and would be detectable for their enemies. So, the god put the same beneficial effects in a curse.
- Fantastic Racism: With Styrics, and it's mutual. If anything, Styrics even more vehemently hate Xanetia's people.
- Telepathy: One of Xanetia's powers, and the most useful for the protagonists. It's enough to say that only with Xanetia's telepathy they successfully identified the Big Bad.
SaberAn Astellian "revolutionary" who tries to set the serfs against the nobles and the nobles against the Tamuls. Actually a hack poet named Elron who is hard at work on his "Ode to Blue".
- Cool Mask: He certainly thinks so. The opinion of the rest of the cast is that he looks like an idiot.
- Freak-Out: When Bevier (pretending to be quoting Sparhawk) comes up with a description far more evocative than anything in his own writing.
- Harmless Villain: Elron is a moron and his one attempt at killing somebody is spectacularly incompetent.
- Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Elron is way out of his depth dealing with Zalasta, Cyrgon, and Klæl.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Has an overwhelmingly high opinion of how great his poetry is. Doesn't even manage to be Giftedly Bad.
- Smug Snake: Vastly overestimates his own competency.
ZalastaAn old friend of Sephrenia's and one of the most powerful magicians in Styricum. Revealed to have been in league with Azash during The Elenium, he has since joined up with Cyrgon, and is responsible for most of the worst events of The Tamuli.
- Abusive Dad: To Scarpa, whom he tortures and later orders murdered.
- The Archmage: One of the greatest magicians Styricum as ever produced.
- Ascended Extra: Showed up for two pages in The Elenium. Revealed in The Tamuli to have been the mysterious Zemoch Styric who was working with Annias, Martel, Otha, and Azash, and goes onto become The Heavy of the series.
- Big Bad: Tries to challenge Cyrgon for the title in The Tamuli, though they both lose out to Klæl.
- The Chessmaster: The biggest one in the series with a plan stretching back centuries.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Betrays Sephrenia, his family and hometown, all of Styricum, Sparhawk and his companions, his son and allies, and was planning to backstab both Azash and Cyrgon. He admits he'd do it to Klæl too, but doesn't have the power.
- Consummate Liar: He even fooled Aphrael. It took the presence of Xanetia, a mind-reader, to work through all the lies and deceptions Zalasta had tangled the cast up in.
- Demoted to Dragon: Like Cyrgon, he ends up here once Klæl gets involved.
- Didn't See That Coming: Unknown Unknown version. Safe to say, he didn't see Xanetia coming, or just what powers she has. This screws over his big plan big time.
- Dragon Their Feet: Absent during the final confrontations between Bhelliom & Klæl and Sparhawk & Cyrgon, he returns in the finale to crash Sephrenia and Vanion's wedding.
- Driven by Envy: Of Aphrael, and anybody else who Sephrenia cares about.
- Evil Former Friend: To Sephrenia.
- Evil Is Petty: Willing to end the world because he Did Not Get the Girl.
- Evil Genius: Played this role in the conspiracy against the Tamuls, acting as a spy and idea man, even as he and Cyrgon jockeyed for position as The Big Bad. Winds up as The Dragon after Klæl is summoned and requires a mouthpiece.
- Evil Old Folks: Looks to be in his eighties, is in his thousands, and has no conscience.
- Evil Sorcerer: The strongest Styric magician around. Guilty of every crime from high treason through genocide and "consorting with ye powers of darknesse."
- The Heavy: Drives the plot of The Tamuli, since neither Cyrgon nor Klæl is up to providing much in the way of leadership.
- Love Makes You Evil: Driven by a near-insane obsession with Sephrenia.
- Lust: For Sephrenia. His desire to possess her drives everything he does.
- The Man Behind the Man: To Annias, Martel, and even Azash to a large-degree in The Elenium and to the entire conspiracy in The Tamuli.
- Manipulative Bastard: A highly effective manipulator, he's able to earn Sparhawk and Ehlana's trust, and has Sephrenia almost totally under his thumb.
- Mouth of Sauron: Takes on this role for Klæl after Cyrgon summons it.
- Murder the Hypotenuse: Tried on both Aphrael and Vanion.
- Offing the Offspring: Orders Cyzada to drag Scarpa's soul to Hell if he ever disobeys him again.
- Tempting Fate: Making the whole 25,000 Pandion Knights (plus a large number of those of other orders) murderously angry at you for attacking their Little Mother isn't exactly a safe course of action. Had he survived his duel with Sparhawk, he would have had a very long line of people wanting to get entries in the Disproportionate Retribution and Cruel and Unusual Death pages - something that is discused, at some length, by several of them.
- The Resenter: Towards Aphrael and Vanion both.
- Self-Made Orphan: Arranges for his entire hometown, including his family, to be butchered.
- Surrounded by Idiots: Invoked by Ehlana, who throws this in his face. Annias was obsessed with the archprelacy, Martel's resentment blinded him to all else, Otha was stupid as a stump, Azash so elemental that he could barely understand human beings, and that's just in The Elenium. By The Tamuli, she notes, he's surrounded himself with an alcoholic (Krager), a lunatic (Scarpa), an unthinking fossil (Cyrgon), and an Eldritch Abomination with even less understanding of humanity than Azash (Klæl).
- Unlucky Childhood Friend: Towards Sephrenia.
ScarpaZalasta's bastard son, and a raving misogynist, he acts as the voice of the revolution in Arjuna.
- Abusive Parents: Scarpa has some very unpleasant memories of his mother. Zalasta's treatment of him isn't exactly stellar either.
- Axe-Crazy: Totally insane.
- Bastard Bastard: An illegitimate child of Zalasta and a street prostitute, he's quite a nasty piece of work.
- He-Man Woman Hater: Scarpa is derangely misogynistic, partially due to his abusive mother and sisters.
- Self-Made Orphan: Hopes to murder his father and become one.
- Take Over the World: Thinks he can become emperor.
CyrgonGod of the Cyrgai, his portfolio consists of unthinking militarism and cultural stagnation. He's The Big Bad of the series, at least until he screws up and summons Klæl.
- Affably Evil: In a formal way. His first words to Sparhawk are "Well-met Anakha," his last, "Hail and farewell."
- Alas, Poor Villain: Probably the best one in the series after Martel. "Hail and farewell Anakha."
- Big Bad: Initially. This changes once Klæl appears.
- The Champion: To Klæl after being Demoted to Dragon.
- Combat by Champion: His duel against Sparhawk, wherein he acts as Klæl's and Sparhawk as Bhelliom's.
- Demoted to Dragon: Once Klæl shows up.
- Duel to the Death: Against Sparhawk.
- Evil Is Not a Toy: He called Klæl, a creature which it took the combined might of the Elder Gods of Styricum to temporarily banish, and tried to force it into servitude. It didn't end well for him.
- Friendly Enemy: He and Sparhawk only meet the one time, but they remain polite and friendly throughout their duel.
- Graceful Loser: Takes his defeat and death in a stride, especially when compared to Azash. He and Sparhawk even have a brief, and fairly friendly chat, before he bleeds out.
- Master Swordsman: Noted by Sparhawk. Cyrgon's actually one of the most skilled swordsmen Sparhawk's ever faced, and despite his dislike of change, he learns swiftly in a fight. It's only Sparhawk's greater familiarity with modern technique that gives him the edge.
- Noble Top Enforcer: Ends up in this role when compared to Klæl.
- Sorting Algorithm of Evil: Subverted - he's a lot less powerful than Azash, and nowhere near as frightening. In the end it seems than even he realized that he was seriously outmatched, which is what led him to summon Klæl to even the odds.
- Stupid Evil: Invoked, discussed at length, and ultimately subverted. Cyrgon's a god of stagnation, and despises change and innovation, causing his people to idolise stupidity and execute anybody intelligent. Cyrgon himself refuses to admit the world has changed, confusing Trolls for Dawn-Men and arming himself and his people with bronze instead of iron or steel. That said, when push comes to shove, he's not actually deficient in IQ, and when he finds himself in a life-or-death situation against Sparhawk, he proves himself capable of innovating.
- War God: Chiefly concerned with unthinking and unchanging militarism.
- Worthy Opponent: To Sparhawk. The two are extremely polite to one another throughout their last duel, complimenting one another on their style, and parting on comparatively friendly terms.
KlælThe Ultimate Evil of the setting, and Evil Counterpart to Behelliom. Takes the form of a hideous monster taller than a mountain.
- Bigger Bad—>Big Bad: Klæl was a force of total evil that remained in the background and offscreen. Then Cyrgon made the mistake of summoning him, and he proceeds to hijack the story.
- The Dreaded: To gods. On Klæl's first appearance, humans just see a giant monster. But Aphrael is beside herself in fear, because she knows what Klæl is.
- Eldritch Abomination: Even moreso than the Elder Gods.
- Evil Counterpart: To Bhelliom. Well, not exactly evil: Klæl is the destruction to Bhelliom's creation.
- Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: A non-video game example. Never mentioned before he just randomly shows up in the last book. Considering Aphrael herself is terrified of him, it makes sense that it would never come up before.
- Pronoun Trouble: Aphrael mentions that Klæl isn't "he", "she", or "it": it's Klæl. What exactly this means, besides the complete alienness of Klæl, isn't explained.
Tamuli Secondary Characters
- Good Bad Girl: According to the Valesian customs, free-love isn't frowned upon and she is allowed to pursue multiple partners.
- My Girl Is a Slut: Out of all Sarabian's wives, she is the one closest to him emotionally and its implied they are legitimately in love, and he doesn't mind her practicing free love.
- Ms. Fanservice: Elysoun wears dresses that exposes her boobs, which leads to an awkward moment during a banquet where everyone is ogling at her.
- Our Nudity Is Different: Spends most of the trilogy topless, because that's just how women from her kingdom dress. (At least until their first pregnancy — in her last appearance, her gown covers her breasts, because she's now pregnant by Sarabian.)
BhlowkA priest of the Troll-Gods who acts as their emissary to Sparhawk's band. Despite reservations on both sides, he eventually strikes up a friendship with Ulath.
- All Trolls Are Different: Unlike the dwarfed Ghwerig, Bhlowk is a proper Troll, standing nine-feet tall and having straighter arms and legs.
- Badass Preacher: He's both a priest of the Troll-Gods and a giant, predatory killing machine.
- Carry a Big Stick: Like most Trolls he's armed with a club.
- Enemy Mine: His relationship with Ulath and Tynian begins as this though it eventually matures into an actual friendship.
- Frazetta Man: Trolls in this setting are distantly related to humans, even if they look like nine foot tall, club-wielding apes.
- Genius Bruiser: He's a Troll, and is seen fighting Klael's minions armed with nothing more than a club. He also debates Ulath on the nature of morality and the relationships between Gods and their worshipers.
- I'm a Humanitarian: Like most Trolls Bhlowk will cheerfully eat humans. He discovers to his dismay that Klael's soldiers taste utterly revolting.
- Killer Gorilla: Averted, despite appearances. Bhlowk is certainly a man-eating monster, but he can be reasoned with and even becomes friends with some of the humans.
- Odd Friendship: With Ulath.