Cog is the resident artisan in Mercia Fortress who makes a living off doing odd jobs, such as fixing things and repairing machines. He has rebuilt his life there after the sudden death of his father and sister, and lives happily with his best friend Boris, and his unofficial guardian, Christian. Cog is apathetic about most things that dont involve him. While he is aware that terrible things are happening between the two nations, he secludes himself to the fortress with Christian and Boris, assuring himself that its nothing to do with him - that its too big for him to understand.
Not for long, at least.
- Animals Hate Him: As the author put it, Cog likes bunnies. Bunnies do not like Cog.
- Bi the Way
- Bystander Syndrome: Cog does his best to tune out any worries about the increasingly volatile political tensions in his country, preferring to believe that his own life with his friends at the fortress won't be threatened by it. As he says, "It's nothing to do with me." Unfortunately for him, it turns out to have everything to do with him.
- Catchphrase: Not used excessively, but "It's nothing to do with me" and similar statements are a recurring theme from him.
- Child Mage: Being the youngest of the main cast and also possessing the same magic that his father had makes him this.
- Color Motif: Orange. Warm, homey, and enthusiastic.
- Dangerous Forbidden Technique: Magic is taboo and immoral in the Clockwork universe, as it erodes the mind of any humans who use it. Unfortunately for Cog, he has the ability.
- Dark Secret: He is pulled into Alexander's under the threat of revealing his own aptitude for magic, which Cog himself had been unaware of up until then.
- Deadpan Snarker: He gets very snippy and sarcastic when he feels he's being patronized.
- Deceased Parents Are the Best: He remembers his father and sister very positively.
- Gadgeteer Genius: He made the Kleinships in Mercia, a place where airship technology isn't as advanced, and it's implied he does quite a lot of work with MAIL0 (aka Cogbot.) According to Christian, he can fix everything.
- Heroic BSoD: After having his magic forcibly awakened.
- Meaningful Name: Kleinschmidt, literally "small smith", is a word for makers of small metal items and tools.
- Not Now, Kiddo: No one really takes his opinion seriously, even when they're talking specifically about him.
- Mr. Fixit: To a more modest degree; he's not a miracle worker, but even as a child he could fix a watch in a matter of seconds. Christian brags that "he can fix everything".
- Older Than They Look: Sixteen years old, but often mistaken for being like, eight by new (and sometimes old) readers. His baggy, childish-looking jumpsuit is probably a big factor.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: His sister gave him the nickname "Cog" when he was a baby, which he prefers to his real name and finds more meaningful.
- Security Blanket: He keeps his hat, given to him when he first moved in to Mercia Fortress, with him at all times.
- Trademark Favorite Food: He has a special fondness for gingerbread, which reminds him of home.
- Trauma Conga Line: To put things into perspective, over the course of one night, Cog is forcefully grabbed and thrown around by demonic hands, is told that his father possessed magic (a universal taboo despised by his best friend in particular and punishable by death); is shown quite ruthlessly that he also possesses this power; is blackmailed into starting and finishing a job because his father, who refused it, is dead and can no longer do it; and, to top it all off, is given only a few hours to pack and say his goodbyes before being carried off to an unfamiliar country for at least a year to work for a man he now hates, who hates him back just as much. Let's just say Cog has it rough.
- Western Zodiac: Cancer. Sensitive, compassionate, and good at getting along with others and adapting to their needs; very modest and understanding, but also stubborn, and quick to get prickly and defensive when his security feels threatened. Cancer is also the opposing sign to Alexander's Capricorn.
Boris Dareaurum Eberhart V
Boris is Cog's best friend, and next in line to rule the Empire of Mercia. While he enjoys playing his role up as the Prince of Mercia, the truth is he has very little to do until the throne is ready for him. As a result, many of Boris days are spent in Cog and Christians company. Boris is hot headed and snappy, but he harbors an unwavering love for his people, and will do everything in his power to keep them from harm.
- Cape Swish: On more than one occasion.
- Color Motif: Red. passionate, commanding, and quick to anger.
- Height Angst: He's a bit insecure about his height.
- Like Father, Unlike Son: Aggressive, short-tempered, and hates Arcadia with a burning passion, unlike Theodoric who is cool-tempered, naturally amiable and diplomatic even when frustrated, and wishes for peace with Arcadia.
- Meaningful Name: Boris can mean "short," "wolf/snow-leopard," or "warrior," depending where you look. "Eberhart" means "brave boar", and "Dareaurum" can be split into "dare" ("to give, yield, or surrender") and "aurum" ("gold"), both Latin.
- The Napoleon: The shortest character in the cast at 5'1", and also the angriest.
- Older Than They Look: 18 years old. While he doesn't have the same childlike looks as Cog, his height and chubby face have caused a number of readers to assume he's younger.
- Red Is Heroic: The colour that he's primarily associated with.
- Requisite Royal Regalia: Wears a cape, epaulets, and opera gloves on a more or less continual basis.
- Royal Brat: Has shades of this.
- Unwitting Muggle Friend: To Cog, now that Cog has turned out to be a magic user.
A cheerful scientist and Arcadian aristocrat, as well as Cog's de facto guardian. Despite his status, he prefers the comforts and camaraderie of Mercia Fortress to his cushy home in the Kingdom of Arcadia—even without a killer on the loose. In this, Christian is highly unusual: immigration between the two nations is practically unheard of, and he only obtained his position in Mercia Fortress due to Esther's recommendation. When not occupied with his job as head of Mercia Fortress' Science Department and unofficial role as Boris and Cog's babysitter, Christian pursues his own scientific research and "revolutionary" chemistry experiments. They may or may not have burned holes through desks. And floors.
- Absent-Minded Professor: While all other evidence suggests he's perfectly responsible, he plays up this image towards Cog as an excuse to pay him for repairing the pocket watch he "accidentally" breaks every single day.
- Absurd Phobia: He is inexplicably flustered by even the mention of cheese.
- All-Loving Hero: What he seems to want to be if he isn't one already, as he displays a nigh-on pathological need to help others. Word of God says his greatest fear is not being able to help someone.
- Bi the Way: Mentioned offhand in word of God.
- Cannot Spit It Out: With regards to his feelings for Esther.
- Color Motif: Yellow. Cheery, welcoming, and energetic.
- Hot Scientist: If you're into turtlenecks.
- Living Emotional Crutch: For Cog, having taken him in and lovingly raised him after the sudden loss of his family.
- Mad Scientist: Complete with explosions, hipster hair, and a lab coat. The author has even mentioned he was initially conceived as a villain, but over time became a much more altruistic character instead.
- Multicolored Hair: He has black hair with blonde streaks that look like bolts of lightning. It helps solidify the Mad Scientist look.
- Parental Substitute: He's essentially Cog's adoptive parent.
- Team Mom: He plays this role to the main Mercian cast, being Cog's unofficial guardian and Boris's officially appointed babysitter.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Alexander never would have known Cog was still alive if Christian hadn't mentioned him.
- Western Zodiac: Aquarius. An inventive and free thinker; friendly, humanitarian, and deeply caring but intellectual in a way that leaves him prone to feeling lonely and distanced sometimes.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: He's terrified of spiders.
Alexander de Leveque
Alexander is an Arcadian ambassador and the sole heir of the House of Leveque. Sent to Mercia to defuse tensions in the wake of several terrorist attacks, he is an extremely proud and dutiful man who dreams of seeing his kingdom restored. But Alexander is running out of time—and not just because of impending invasion. The ambassador has his own agenda, and it seems to involve Cog whether he wills it or not.
- Asshole Victim: While his circumstances and the curse he's under are tragic, it's hard to feel too sorry for him when he's so cruel to Cog.
- "Ass" in Ambassador: While Alexander is certainly competent, he comes off a bit cold and standoffish, making little effort to deescalate tension or observe social niceties. He doesn't even shake the Emperor's hand. (Cog makes this exact pun himself at one point.)
- Break Them by Talking: Demonstrates his ability to do this with Cog as part of his manipulation, revealing very uncomfortable information. He even starts off with a refinedly worded Did You Actually Believe...?.
- Color Motif: Purple. Noble and dignified, mysterious, and secretly a magic user.
- Corruption of a Minor: Bringing out Cog's magic.
- Dark Secret: His use of magic, and the life-threatening curse he's been saddled with as a result.
- Dangerous Forbidden Technique: Magic.
- Earned Stripes: Received the red gems on his uniform from the emperor as a sign of Mercia's trust.
- Five-Man Band: A member of Arcadia's Five (as Ambassador/Royal Advisor).
- Gentleman Snarker: How his sense of humor tends to present itself.Christian: ...We can never just have... y'know... family small-talk, can we?Alexander: I can do family small-talk, excuse you. [sips drink calmly] So are you still cripplingly in love with Esther Victoire?
- Hates Being Touched: Due to the Curse of Lilith.
- Long-Haired Pretty Boy: As lampshaded in the alt text when Cog first meets him: "OH NO, HE'S HOT"
- Manipulative Bastard
- Meaningful Name: Alexander means "defender of man", and one interpretation of Leveque is "bishop."
- Old Money: As a member of one of Arcadia's noble houses.
- The Proud Elite: Alexander holds a lot of pride in his bloodline, and seeks to do his part to uphold his family name in history.
- Psychotic Smirk: After successfully blackmailing Cog.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Mustard, according to Christian.
- The Unapologetic: Considers himself completely justified in blackmailing and antagonizing Cog to save his own life.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: He really just wants to fulfill his duty in serving Arcadia as best he can, and will do anything in order to make that dream a reality.
- Western Zodiac: Capricorn. Rational, practical, and authoritative; highly professional and effective, but inflexible in his demand for precision and has no patience for coddling anyone not up to his standards. Capricorn is also the opposing sign to Cog's Cancer.
- Would Hurt a Child
Leonardo van Ostrand
Leonardo is Arcadias Admiral. Born in the icy north of Arcadia, Leonardos family moved to Khonsur once tensions began rising in the kingdom. However, Leonardo frequently returned as he grew older, opting to help solve Arcadias problems rather than run from them. He uses his high status to set a good example for hybrids, and to hopefully expel any myths about his race.
Leonardo has a protective streak a mile wide, often advising certain artisans to keep their noses out of trouble and let adults handle it. While he means well, Leonardo can also be rather condescending in his attempts to keep people safe. His ego compels him to assure others to leave things to the professionals.
- Afraid of Blood: Blood is his greatest fear, according to Word of God.
- Asexuality: Canon by word of God, though it hasn't come up in the story itself.
- Awesome Ego: Leonardo is plenty full of himself for sure, but his confidence and friendliness is so infectious it's hard to mind too much.
- Beast Man: Hybrid with lion features.
Gaz lords over Arcadia's homeless citizens, who reside in the Catacombs beneath the city itself. No one really knows where he came from or why he devotes his life to helping the poor and the downtrodden, but he enjoys his work. Gaz gets them jobs the only way he knows how blackmailing aristocrats and forcing them to hire his people.
- Anything That Moves: Apparently. May have a habit of falling into bed with lonely, neglected aristocratic wives, so long as he's paid and it advances the Catacombs.
- Color Motif: Green, specifically a darker shade that plays to his suspicious, sinister appearance.
- Crowbar Combatant: One of his trademarks. He uses it as both weapon and all-purpose prop for gesturing, twirling, and poking and prodding his audience.
- Fear of Thunder: He suffers from astraphobia—fear of thunder and lightning—according to Word of God.
- Hat of Authority: May be the reason he wears his hat.
- King of the Homeless: Leads a community of street rats in the catacombs of Arcadia. Canonically titled "the Ringleader" and "the King of Rats."
- Manipulative Bastard: Has almost the entirety of Arcadia on strings via blackmail when he needs a favor.
- Nice Hat: His signature hat, at least for certain, somewhat questionable values of "nice". It's certainly distinctive, and it's rather impressive it has yet to fall apart entirely.
- The Nicknamer: Never calls anyone by their name, primarily out of disdain for Arcadia's aristocracy, who take pride in the influence their lineage alone commands; when he does refer to specific people, he uses nicknames. His Number Twos Caelan and Alice are "Whelp" and "Blondie", Christian is "Scientist", and Cog gets various manglings of his full name, most commonly "Cogschmidt".
- Only One Name: He's just Gaz.
- Significant Green-Eyed Redhead
- The Tease: Flirts openly with most members of the cast (especially Christian).
- Western Zodiac: Sagittarius. Free-spirited, inquisitive, and utterly unwilling to be tied down, but actually dedicates himself completely to his every responsibility for the community he leads in the Catacombs; irreverent, completely un-self-conscious, and dangerously quick on the uptake.
Empire of Mercia
Emperor Theodoric Dareaurum Eberhart VIII
- Death Glare: Used on poor Kasper during the summit.
- Doting Parent: Much to Boris's embarrassment.
- Earned Stripes: The blue gems he wears were gifted to him from Queen Adelle and her mother before her as signs of their (and by extension Arcadia's) trust in him.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Firm but fair, and always putting his people first.
- Tranquil Fury: He's usually quite chummy and friendly, as shown while greeting Alexander, but as shown later in the summit he is quite intimidating when angered even without raising his voice.
- Five-Man Band: A member of Mercia's Five (as Ambassador/Royal Advisor).
- Friendly Rivalry: With Bartholomew, being as they are the two best sharpshooters Mercia has to offer.
- Friendly Sniper: The best sharpshooter in all of Mercia.
- Number Two: Theodoric's right-hand man and most trusted advisor.
- Catchphrase: "What a pity."
- Friendly Rivalry: With Esther, being as they are the two best sharpshooters Mercia has to offer.
- Not Good with People: Naturally apathetic and brusque with people, traits he assumed would make him a good soldier. Despite this, his job finds him repeatedly in a position to comfort grieving families and orphans, much to his chagrin.
- Those Two Guys: With Franz.
- Those Two Guys: With Bartholomew.
- Supreme Chef: Arguably the best chef in the world.
Kingdom of Arcadia
Queen Adelle de Arcadius VIThe current ruler of the Kingdom of Arcadia.
- 100% Adoration Rating: The people of Arcadia view their royalty with deity-level awe and adoration.
Prince Consort Ravi de Arcadius
- Reluctant Ruler: Dreads inheriting the throne.
- Royal Blood: Is Arcadia's heir based on his bloodline, not his competence.
- Succession Crisis: Was named heir after one of these.
- Blue Blood: As a member of the noble Hawkins family.
- Five-Man Band: A member of Arcadia's Five (as Head of Public Security).
- Hopeless with Tech: Can't figure out how to set his watch to Mercian time.
- Half-Human Hybrid: A hybrid with a jewel wasp heritage, although she identifies as human.
Alice and Caelan
- Berserk Button: Caelan can't stand seeing employees abused by those who are in a position of power over them.
- Improvised Weapon: Alice would rather sharpen her paintbrushes and use them as weapons than make use of the martial arts lessons she received from Caelan.
- Number Two: They share this position, as Gaz's right- and left-hand people.
- Undying Loyalty: Both of them are absolutely devoted to Gaz, both out of gratitude for how he's helped them and great admiration for what he does.