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Characters / Chronicles of the Kencyrath - Tastigons

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This is the listing of Tastigons in the series Chronicles of the Kencyrath.

For the main character index, go here.

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    The city itself 


  • Citadel City (Inverted): Tai-tastigon has several layers of defenses around the city—a bulwark, moat, and two walls... But they haven't been used in ages, and the moat is dry, and the walls are crumbling.
  • The City Narrows/Wrong Side of the Tracks: Lower Town. The extremely poor live there now, since no one else is desperate enough to go there.
  • City of Adventure
  • Ghost City (Subverted): When Jame first enters the city it looks deserted, but—as she soon finds out—that's not really the case.
  • Land of One City: Tai-tastigon is a city state. It's a charter city, and they pay both of their bordering nations for their sovereignty.
  • Planet of Hats:
    • Religion and temples—every religion in the Eastern Lands has a temples in Tai-tastigon.
      Cleppetty: Bless you, child, what island of the moon did you come from not to know that every god in the Eastern Lands has a temple here? Tai-tastigon is the holy city of them all. That's why things are so strange here sometimes: we're not just god-ridden, we're overrun.
    • While The Maze still has a place in Tastigon culture, it's not a hat nowadays—though Tubain talks about how it used to be one.
      Tubain: Ever since Tai-tastigon was built back in the days of the Old Empire, folks in these parts have loved puzzles. Once their whole culture was built on them, social conventions and all, and the highest form of art was the labyrinth.
  • Red Light District: Tai-tastigon has a courtesans' district. It's marked by the red ribbons that bedecked it's streets. However, it's worth noting that Tai-tastigon has the same thing for other professions too—for example, the glove-makers have a couple streets that are just theirs.
  • Under City (Inverted): The Kingdom of the Clouds consists of the rooftops of Tai-tastigon.
    • Ambiguously Human: The Cloudies don't seem quite human, but it's never really stated either way.
    • Roof Hopping: The Cloudies often live their entire lives, from birth to death, without setting foot on the streets.
  • Weird Trade Union: The city is largely ruled by guilds, which range from weird to normal—there's a the Glovers' Guild, and then there's a the Pathfinders' Guild, because the city is so maze-like; there are so many temples the priests have the Priests' Guild, and then there's the Thieves' Guild…

the Res aB'tyrr

  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: When Jame first wakes up, there's a cat napping on her face, which is annoying, but shows she's not in any danger here. Then she goes downstairs, and there's a bunch of cats in the kitchen too, which confirms it's all good here.
  • Quirky Household: A man, his cross-dressing alter-ego wife, his two nephews, the cook, two strays they took in, and a handful of cats.


Tubain of Endiscar

"Every year those [door] frames get narrower. So you're with us again. We'd begun to worry. I'm Tubain of Endiscar, your host. Be welcome to this house and peace be yours therein."
The innkeeper
  • Big Fun: Fat and friendly
  • Henpecked Husband (Zigzagged): Abernia is sometimes heard berating him from some outrageous piece of generosity… but Abernia is Tubain's alter ego, so it's... zigzagged at least.
  • Sacred Hospitality: He believes in this.
    Cleppetty: It's said [the dead gods] can't enter any building without an invitation, but most Tastigons seal up their windows and doors on that night just to be sure. Not Tubain, though; it wouldn't be hospitable, he says. It would have served him right if something big, red, and ravenous had strolled in that night instead of you. That man and his hospitality! We would have been ruined years ago if it were not for Mistress Abernia.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Tubain is an exceptionally kind man, who takes in both Jame and Kithra as strays. He also has a cross-dressing alter ego.
    • Superpowered Alter Ego (Downplayed): Abernia isn't super-powered, but she is fiercer than Tubain in many ways.
      Cleppetty: [I]t's clear that Tubain needs her. She can face things that he can't, and on her own ground she's a regular lion.


The Widow Cleppetania

"Now listen to me, all of you: Shut up and go to sleep!"
"Yes, Cleppetty," six voices meekly chorused from all over the darkened inn.
Cook and housekeeper
  • Apron Matron
  • Ms Exposition: When Jame first comes to Tai-tastigon, Cleppetty helpfully explains many of Tai-tastigon's oddities to her and the audience.
    Cleppetty: Now, is there any other common knowledge I can astound you with?
  • Parental Substitute: To all the young people at the inn: Jame, Ghillie, Rothan, Taniscent, and Kithra. Also to Tubain, in collusion with Abernia.
  • Team Mom: Cleppetty frequently says things about how they need to take care of each other, even when someone's being stupid.
    • When she first discusses Tanis's drug use with Jame, she says Tanis is stupid, but they have have to look out for her.
      Cleppetty: If this goes on much longer, she'll destroy herself. I'm telling you this because we care for each other here, and that poor, foolish child needs all the help she can get. Remember that.
    • When Jame thinks she should leave
      Jame: It's time Jorin and I left. He's grown too big, and I too dangerous.
      Cleppetty: Bustard balls. This is your home. When the time comes to leave Tai-tastigon, you'll leave us too, but not before. You've fought for us in your way; we'll fight for you in ours.
    • After Tanis overdosed and ran away
      Cleppetty: She was a foolish, vain child and has only herself to blame. Still, she was, and is, one of us.



Tubain's nephew and heir



Rothan's younger cousin, the inn's hostler and musician



A dancer
  • Going Cold Turkey: Also kind of Nailed to the Wagon since Cleppetty makes her do it. Tanis falls Off the Wagon again later.
    Soon after her arrival, Cleppetty had wrung a promise out of the dancer never to use Dragon's Blood again. This was a relief of sorts, but it didn't save Jame from the days of brittle smiles that followed nor the nights of hysterical weeping when it became clear with the wearing off of the drug that Tanis had paid all too heavily for those brief returns to her lost youth.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Her job in-universe, as a tavern dancer—doing seductive dances to reward customers for their patronage.
  • Overnight Age-Up: Because she took a magical drug that made her look younger—but age quicker between doses.
  • Proud Beauty: Which makes the loss of her youth even harder on her
  • Relationship Revolving Door: With Bortis. It's not used the typical way—they're not main characters, and it's not being used to keep the drama alive. Rather, it's a background thing used to show that Tanis is immature.
    Tubain: Bortis! When did she start seeing him again?


Kithra sen Tenzi

The girl's hatred for [Marplet] now, after the way he had expelled her, was frightening in its intensity. Just the same, it had not taken the edge off her natural ambition. Jame believe she was currently trying to decide if it would be more advantageous to marry Rothan, become Tubain's mistress, or take on both roles simultaneously.
A serving girl, who formally worked at the Skyrrman
  • Bodyguard Crush: Kithra has a bit of a crush on Jame, which partly has to do with Jame defending Kithra from Niggen.
    Jame: If you touch that girl again, I shall gladly knock out whatever teeth you have left.
  • It's Personal: Her grudge against Marplet is way more personal than anyone else at the Res aB'tyrr.
  • Sleeping Their Way to the Top: Kind of her thing. She did it with Marplet, and Jame and Cleppetty both thought she was going to try it with Tubain and Rothan.


the Skyrrman


Marplet sen Tenko

Inkeeper of the Skyrrman
  • Going Down with the Ship:
    Marplet watched it all, with a strange little smile. When the upper stories began to burn, he turned to Jame, gave her a slight, mocking salute and walked into the blazing tavern. The hall beams came down behind him.
  • Nothing Personal: Jame slowly comes to realize he hold no personal animosity toward her
  • The Perfectionist: In regards to his inn
  • Right-Hand Cat: He has a cat, Fang.
    Marplet sen Tenko was sitting in a window of the Skyrrman smoking a long-stemmed pipe. His big tiger-tom, Fang, crouched beside him on the sill. As Jame crossed the square, both the innkeeper and the cat watched her with almost the same expression, calculating, self-confident, and faintly amused. Neither would relish a quick kill, she realized with sudden insight.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: His brother-in-law Harr sen Tenko is on the Five
    Cleppetty: It began about a year ago when he started to build the Skyrrman, which he had no right to do in the first place since Tubain here has the tavern charter for the whole district. We went to the Five to protest and were sent to the Skyrr representative, Harr sen Tenko. He wouldn't even see us.
    Rothan: Even if he wasn't the most corrupt magistrate in the city, his wife wouldn't let him. We found out afterward that she's Marplet's sister.



Marplet's son

the Thieves' Guild

  • Gentleman Thief: Some of its members are more honorable and/or classy than others, but in general, the Thieves' Guild tends toward this, and is what most thieves aspire to. In the guild, injuring guards is considered strictly off-limits. They mostly steal valuables—from the elite—not petty theft. Jane once says that Tai-tastigon's true criminal class is guildless men.
  • Not Cheating Unless You Get Caught: Guildsmen are considered respectable citizens—unless they get caught. And if they do, the possible punishments range all the way up to Flaying Alive.
  • Thieves' Guild: Tai-tastigon is in many respects Lankhmar, which it was based on. Marc and Jame are deliberately set up to be equivalent to Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser (albeit more so in the original short story "A Matter of Honor" that was later reworked into a chapter of God Stalk). And so the Tastigon thieves guild is heavily influenced by the Lankhmar thieves guild.


Sirdan Theocandi

Sirdan of the Thieves' Guild

The lord of the Thieves' Guild, and Penari's younger brother
  • Ambition Is Evil:
    Ishtier: The man's a savant of sorts, as I have cause to know. And he is ambitious enough to devour the world.
  • Good Old Ways: Theocandi is an old man who holds to some of the old Tastigon ways, like part of his palace is a mazes. When it comes to the guild, he is considered the traditionalist, in contrast to young, modern Men-dalis who has plans for change.
  • King of Thieves: The Sirdan, the lord, of the Thieves' Guild
    • Elective Monarchy: Not a king, but the sirdan is the leader of the city's most powerful guild, and is elected or reelected every seven years in a pope-style Conclave
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: He's mildly sexist.
    Jame: I don't see any women here.
    Dally: Very few have been permitted into the Guild since Theocandi came to power. He doesn't think much of female thieves, which is idiotic considering the great ones we've had in the past.
  • Removing the Rival: During the last guild election, he had his chief rival, Master Tane, assassinated.
  • Sibling Rivalry: With Penari—though Theocandi puts a lot more into in than Penari.



"Have you noticed, that every time we meet, someone ends up bleeding?"
The half-Highborn, half-Kendar son of Ganth and his Kendar mistress, raised in Tai-tastigon, and the only pupil of Theocandi.
  • And I Must Scream/Fate Worse than Death: As a combination of being blood-bound to Jame and giving his soul to Ishtier, being flayed alive on the Mercy Seat wasn't enough to kill him. For most of Seeker's Mask, his spirit was still following Jame around.
  • For the Evulz: His torture of young boys, just for fun.
  • Implied Love Interest: Jame and Bane definitely fascinate each other. They have serious Foe Romance Subtext, and could be quite the Mind Game Ship. Despite this, the subtext always stays highly ambiguous for a few reasons. In the first few books, Jame seems pretty asexual. At the end of the first book, they are revealed to be half-siblings, which is usually a form of Ship Sinking.note  So all we can really say is that the first book is quite subtext-y, if in a vague way.
    Bane: As for that hulk of a Kendar or Dallen, that whelp's son, you are ill-matched with both or, if it has come to that, worse mated with either. In the end you will see that and turn to me. Until then, m'lady.
    • Much later, in the eighth book this finally gets confirmed, with Jame naming him as one of the people she's been attracted to.
  • Last Stand: Against the mob wanting him dead for the death of Dally, whose murder was set up to look like Bane's work.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: When Jame realizes Bane is Ganth's son, and her half-brother.
  • Man of Wealth and Taste: He dresses well.
  • Meaningful Name: His name is very appropriate given the darkness of his nature, and what happens with his soul. He's Jame's dark shadow throughout the first novel, and some later on. In Seeker's Mask, Jame once calls him "her darkling shadow-bane".
  • Pre-Sacrifice Final Goodbye: Just before he makes his Last Stand
    Bane: You know, this may not be quite how I envisioned our last meeting, but you must admit that for us, it is at least in character. Farewell, my lady. Remember me.
  • Shadow Archetype/Foil: To Jame
  • She's Got Legs (Gender Inverted): Bane's long, elegant legs are mentioned on more than one occasion
  • The Soulless: Having entrusted his soul to Ishtier.
  • Uncanny Family Resemblance: Bane has the silver Knorth eyes.
  • The Unfettered: Since his soul cannot be affected by his actions, he considers himself free of the demands of Kencyr honor.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: All the way through God Stalk, Jame and Bane seen on the verge of Slap-Slap-Kiss. They never quite do. He's Jame's Shadow Archetype and her attraction to him is symbolic of the darker side of her own nature, which draws her, but which she is determined not to give in to.
    Patches: Jame loves you.
    Bane: [laughs] Close.
    Patches: All right. She hates you.
    Bane: Closer. We are of one blood, she and I.


Master Penari

Landed Master of the Temple District

Theocandi's older brother, and Jame's master
  • Blind Mistake/Leap of Faith: Penari no longer has very good eyesight, and carries an unshakably firm conviction that Tai-tastigon has not changed one whit since he has been hiding away in the Maze in its heart. Because of the strange mechanics of belief in Tai-tastigon, he is able to walk on buildings that are no longer actually there.
  • Eccentric Mentor: To Jame
  • Good Old Ways: He's an old man who keeps the old maze tradition of Tai-tastigon
  • Phantom Thief: He's known as the greatest thief in Tai-tastigon and this causes Jame all sorts of trouble as everyone else at the Guild tries to get her to betray his secrets (though, ironically, his greatest secret—the Leap of Faith ability—is of no possible use to anyone else).
    Jame: This Penari… who is he?
    Tubain: Why, the greatest thief in the history of Tai-tastigon, which is as much as to say in the world, and the only man ever to know all the streets of the city. […] For fifty-six years, ever since that man stole the Eye of Abarraden under circumstances that weren't just difficult, mind you, but physically impossible, every thief in the guild has dreamed of becoming his apprentice.
    • Impossible Theft: His reputation as the greatest thief in Tai-tastigon comes from a case of this, when he stole the Eye of Abarraden when he was young.
  • So Proud of You: On the night Jame steals the Peacock Gloves, when she leaves his house Penari can't stop grinning, or chanting, "I to the temple, you to the tower," comparing it to when he stole the Eye of Abarraden—the greatest theft the city had known in living memory.
  • Renowned Selective Mentor: People have been pressuring him to take a pupil for years, but he only ever takes one: Jame, the Talisman, who he chose to screw over the rest of the Guild.
    It was obvious now why Penari had chosen her, a Kencyr, to be his apprentice. After decades of pressure to make him reveal his secrets, he had taken revenge on them all by choosing to confide not only in an outsider but in one whose very race was to him a guarantee of her incorruptibility.


Master Men-dalis

Leader of the New Faction in the Thieves' Guild, and thus Theocandi's rival for the Sirdanate. Dally's older half-brother.
  • Ambition Is Evil: Darinby thinks so, at least
    Darinby: No, I haven't chosen a side, and probably won't either. Theocandi's too corrupt for my taste, and Men-dalis is too ambitious.
  • Cain and Abel: As Cain.
  • Holy Halo: As a son of the New Pantheon's sun god, Dalis-sar, Men-dalis and his surroundings are bathed in a light golden glow. His mother was a temple prostitute; children conceived in that service are especially blessed by the deity in question.
  • New Era Speech: He gives Jame one when she first meets him.
    He began to speak of his plans for the Guild after the Grand Council awarded him the sirdanate that coming winter. Jame had heard them all before from Dally, but never so glowingly described. The eloquence of the speaker first tugged at her imagination, then swept it forward into a bright, nebulous future compared to which Theocandi's forty year regime seemed the merest dross.
  • Regime Change: He's trying to Invoke this. It doesn't work.



Men-dalis's younger brother



Theocandi's grandson
  • Engineered Heroics: Theocandi had Canden try this, in hopes of impressing Penari. It didn't work.
    Jame: What in all the names of God were you doing, hiding in the shadows while those two pug-nasties tried to murder your grand-uncle?
    Canden: Oh, they wouldn't have hurt him. It was all a trick, you see. In another minute I was supposed to jump out of the doorway and save him, thereby winning his gratitude and maybe a chance to become his apprentice… or so Grandfather hoped. I told him it wouldn't work, but he never listens to me.
  • Follow in My Footsteps: Canden doesn't want to be a thief. To bad his grandfather wants him to.
  • Forbidden Friendship: With Dally—their relatives are huge political rivals.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Canden leaves Tai-tastigon before the Guild election, taking the Call to Adventure and joining an exposition to find the lost city of Tai-than.
  • ¡Three Amigos!: Jame, Dally, and Canden in God Stalk.



An apprentice of Master Galishan
  • Driven to Suicide: He goads Jame into stealing the Peacock gloves, then calls her a liar. They fight, and she wins very quickly, humiliating Scamp in front of all the apprentices at the Moon. Then his master finds out, tells him off (again, in front of all the apprentices at the Moon), and disowns him as his apprentice. Then Scamp hangs himself.
    Raffing: About an hour and a half after you left the Moon, Master Galishan came in, white as a priest's linens. Of course, he heard all about you, Scramp, and the gloves almost before he was over the threshold. That put the sauce on the capon good and proper. He hauled Scramp out of the corner, tore into him like a mastiff after a rabbit, and ended up by disowning him altogether.
    Jame: [lamely] Oh. I'm so sorry. How is Scramp taking it?
    Raffing: [shudders] That's just it. He's not. He came back to our room before me and—well—he hanged himself.
  • Street Urchin: He's from Lower Town—a Townie.



Scramp's sister, and Master Galishan's apprentice after Scramp's death
  • Everyone Is Related: In "The Talisman's Trinket" its revealed she is the Creeper's daughter.
  • Hero of Another Story: P. C. Hodgell has said that she would like to eventually write Patches' full story. The short story "The Talisman's Trinket" is entirely from Patches' POV, and a paragraph near the end really defines her as this trope:
    Patches' home lay behind her, scarred as it was with fire, shadow, and boiling strife. That was the Talisman's legacy, whatever she had meant, and it was the Trinket's fate to cope with the mess that her mentor had left behind.
    So it was. So it must be.
  • Plucky Girl: Her pluck allows her adjust well to her brother's death and her new life in the guild—as Jame thinks in "Bones", sometimes too well.
    Patches had meant no harm, either by accepting the challenge in the Talisman's name or by speaking lightly of spilt blood. She was simply a child of the streets, with neither time nor tears to waste on the dead.
  • Street Urchin: She's from Lower Town—a Townie.




  • Eye Scream: Bane stabs his eye out
  • The Highwayman: He's a brigand, who raids caravans going over the Blue Pass. Tanis thinks it's sexy. Jame thinks it's immoral.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: He's a sexist jerkass.
    Jame: If you'd visited the Res aB'tyrr a few days ago, you would have been in time for Taniscent's funeral.
    Bortis: So the old girl finally keeled over. Good. That's one less senile slut to soil the world's sheets.
  • Relationship Revolving Door: With Tanis. It's not used the typical way—they're not main characters, and it's not being used to keep the drama alive. Rather, it's a background thing used to show that Tanis is immature.


Sart Nine-toes

  • Buddy Cop (Implied): It's only in the background, but he's a city guard with Marc. When Hangrell injures Marc, we find out that Sart—and only Sart—was there, because they have the same beat. Sart and Marc were Buddy Cops in the background.
    Sart: We're walking our bailiwick, see, when we hear a shout for help.
  • Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist: As a city guard, Sart sometimes opposes Jame, but he's unquestionably a good guy, and a Hero Antagonist.



  • Belief Makes You Stupid (Subverted): Jame thinks so about him at first, so she takes it as ok to harass him for it. She and Loogan both get better.
  • Butt-Monkey: Jame trolls and torments him and his religion just because she's curious. She eventually comes around and helps him.
  • Kill the God: She and Jame kill Gorgo. He was really weak at the time, so it didn't take much.
  • Save Your Deity: After killing Gorgo, Jame helps Loogan resurrect him.
    Jame: Get up, you lie-a-bed. We've work to do! Break out the jubilee wine, old man! We're going to resurrect your god!


Lady Melissand

  • Affair Letters: She's having an affair with Ozymardien's "virgin" wife. They've written each other letters, which she hides in the Peacock Gloves. When Jame steals the gloves, Melissand tries to buy the gloves to recover the letters.
  • High-Class Call Girl: A famous courtesan
  • Lipstick Lesbiannote : A famously glamorous women, who's having an affair with Ozymardien's wife, and hits on Jame too. Even after the Peacock Gloves thing is done, she sends Jame perfumed letters for a week.
    Melissand: In fact, [frankly appraising Jame, her smile deepening] come back no matter what you decide.
    Jame: M'lady, you'd only be disappointed. Contrary to popular opinion, I am not a boy.
    Melissand: My darling goose, whoever said you were?


Prince Ozymardien of Metalondar

  • The Collector
    Cleppetty: He collects things. Jewels, furs, ivory, people. Last year, for example, he took to wife the most beautiful virgin in the Eastern Lands—and rumor has it he's kept her just as received, in a collection like his, you understand, there's no place for a damaged article. […] if you dance particularly well before him, he's liable to collect you.

    the Princess 

Ozymardien's bride

  • Comforting Comforter: When Jame comes across her sleeping, she covers the Princess with a sheet.
    The princess lay curled on her side like a sleeping child. Her lips were slightly parted and her eyelids quivered, a hint of moisture on their long lashes. Over her stood the other, the predator come in from the night, tense, watchful, but slowly relaxing. Then with great care, she reached down and pulled the displaced sheet up over the sleeper's bare shoulder, turned, and silently left.
  • Nature Adores a Virgin: She's "the most beautiful virgin in the Eastern Lands," and Ozymardien highly prizes her virginity. He didn't even want to have sex with the most beautiful virgin in the Eastern Lands, he just wanted to have the most beautiful virgin in the Eastern Lands. Though she might be gay, so that might be just as well.
    Cleppetty: [H]e took to wife the most beautiful virgin in the Eastern Lands—and rumor has it he's kept her just as received, in a collection like his, you understand, there's no place for a damaged article.
    Jame: How frustrating for her.
  • Affair Letters: She's cheating on Ozymardien—who she probably didn't have much choice in marrying—with Melissand. They've written each other letters, which she hides in the Peacock Gloves. When Jame steals the gloves, she finds out, returns the letters—and chides her for being so stupid as to allow this trope to occur.
    Jame: [I]f you two must conduct an affair practically under His Glory's nose, will you kindly have the sense in future not to put everything down in writing?

Example of: