Follow TV Tropes

Following

Characters / Counselors and Kings

Go To

    open/close all folders 

     Heroes 

Matteo

A jordaini student and the main male protagonist of the trilogy. Matteo is idealistic, incredibly intelligent and talented, and dedicated to Halruaa and the Jordaini Order. After witnessing the "execution" of his friend Andris, meeting Tzigone, and getting mixed up in Kiva's schemes, he finds himself forced to confront the darker side of his beloved nation while navigating the politics of its wizards.


  • Accidental Innuendo: In-universe. Thanks to his sheltered upbringing, he'll occasionally slip into this unknowingly. Tzigone's usually around to lampshade it.
  • All Men Are Perverts: Defied. Kiva arranges for him to miss the jordaini rite of purification ie, ritual castration because she assumes that a human man who isn't a eunuch will never be able to keep it in his pants and will inevitably disgrace himself - with Tzigone or someone else - and thereby leave himself in a position for Kiva to manipulate him. Unfortunately for her, Matteo is the sort of man who takes his vow of celibacy seriously.
  • Anti-Magic: Like all jordaini, he's immune to all but the most powerful magic.
  • Awesome Ego: invoked Though he tries to deny it, especially early on, Matteo is a very proud man. In Tzigone's opinion, however, considering how intelligent, learned and skilled he is, he's earned a little arrogance.
  • Badass Bookworm: A requirement for a jordain is to be both a skilled warrior and an extremely knowledgeable scholar. Matteo excels in both areas.
  • Bad Powers, Good People: Matteo has a natural affinity for the Shadow Weave. Doesn't stop him from being the most fundamentally decent of the trilogy's main characters.
  • Big Damn Kiss: Poked fun at in The Wizardwar. He convinces Tzigone he's not an illusion by kissing her. It works because he'd never done something like that before, and therefore an illusion based on Tzigone's memories wouldn't be able to do it - and because, in Tzigone's opinion, only the real Matteo would think a kiss like that was worth remembering.
  • Celibate Hero: Unlike most full jordaini he's not a eunuch thanks to Kiva's machinations, but still never ends up romantically or sexually involved with anyone.
  • The Comically Serious: Tzigone sometimes sees him this way.
  • Companion Cube: He's never without his jordaini medallion - or at least he wouldn't be, if Tzigone didn't keep stealing it.
  • Deadpan Snarker: The preferred form of jordaini humor - dry and understated.
  • Dual Wielding: Usually Dual Wields a pair of long knives.
  • Fatal Flaw: Pride, as explicitly pointed out in the third book. However, he ends up making peace with it.
  • The Good Chancellor: As an honest jordain, this is expected of him. He ends up fulfilling this role to Zalathorm himself.
  • Guile Hero: Not as streetwise as Tzigone, but incredibly well-learned and becomes increasingly proficient at navigating Halruaan law and politics as the series progresses.
  • The Heart: In the third book, he's all that keeps Tzigone and Andris working together rather than going for each others' throats half the time.
  • The Hero: Probably the most clear-cut example in the trilogy...
  • Moody Mount: His favorite horse is named "Cyric", after a particularly volatile God of Evil from the broader Realms pantheon. The horse is loyal to Matteo, but otherwise lives up to the name.
  • Only Sane Man: Considering that his best friends are the deeply conflicted Andris and the, shall we say, unorthodox Tzigone, Matteo frequently finds himself in the role of the voice of reason.
  • Parental Abandonment: Like all jordaini, he doesn't know his parents. His mother was mentally damaged by the rigorous process of bearing a jordaini child; his father is Vishna.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: With Tzigone, by the end of the trilogy.
  • Spock Speak: His ordinary conversation doesn't show this too badly (at least no more than any other jordain), but when he gets into full-on scholar mode he can slip into it.
  • Supporting Protagonist: Though he's the first good guy to be introduced and gets the most POV sections, by Halruaan standards, the mere fact that Tzigone's a wizard and he's a jordain makes him her sidekick by default, and it tends to be her personal quest that pushes the overall story arc forward, with Matteo being swept along (not entirely unwillingly) for the ride.
  • To Be Lawful or Good: The chief concern of Matteo's arc across the trilogy. A jordain is expected to have three loyalties - to truth as a concept, to Halruaa as a nation, and to the personal goals of their individual wizard patron. Like most jordaini, he has to come to terms with what to do when those loyalties conflict - and considering he's rather more scrupulous than many of his brethren, that just makes the dilemma even more challenging.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: At the beginning of the first book. He tempers it with a somewhat more realistic outlook as the series progresses.
  • Will Not Tell a Lie: The jordaini hold truth to be the highest virtue, and Matteo will not tell a deliberate falsehood, though he gets better at bending the truth later on.

Tzigone

A street performer/thief with mysterious powers and an even more mysterious past, Tzigone is the main female protagonist of the series. She's missing memory of most of her early life, and has spent the last several years searching for information about her Missing Mom and, by extension, her own past. Winding up in Matteo's debt, she becomes his companion and close friend.


  • Action Girl: She's too slight to be much good in a straight fight, but makes up for it by being agile, clever, and more than a little ruthless.
  • Amnesiac Hero: She remembers the last several years, but not her early life. Her memory gradually comes back during the trilogy.
  • Anti-Hero: Not a terribly extreme example, but her morality's definitely darker than Matteo's; she's perfectly willing to cheat or fight dirty, and dispatches Dhamari rather brutally.
  • Anti-Magic: She has jordaini magic resistance... and wizard magic.
  • Artifact Alias: As of the epilogue to The Wizardwar, she's learned her real name - Ria - but at least in her interactions with her friend Matteo, still goes by Tzigone.
  • Blithe Spirit: A cheerfully chaotic influence in rule-and-tradition-bound Halruaa. Deconstructed in that it's made clear that her sunny demeanor is something she has to constantly work to maintain, and she's got a dark and ruthless streak underneath it.
  • Boyish Short Hair: While her mother had Rapunzel Hair, Tzigone keeps hers shorn rather short, playing into the Bifauxnen look.
  • Bifauxnen: She's very pretty-faced, but can still disguise herself as boy without much difficulty. Matteo thinks she's male for about the first chapter of their interactions. Further underscored by the fact that while she has no problem dressing up girly if the situation calls for it, her usual wear tends to be masculine or androgynous in style.
  • Broken Bird: Though she hides it well, her past was not fun and has left a number of lasting scars in her psyche. .
  • Celibate Hero: Despite her fondness for innuendos and dirty jokes, she never once shows genuine romantic or sexual interest in anyone across the entire trilogy.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Tzigone doesn't have a lot of brute strength on her side, but she makes up for it by being perfectly willing to fight dirty using guile and magic.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: She was born to a criminal albeit falsely accused mother, spent her early life on the run from said mother's enemies, lost said mother and grew up alone on the streets suffering various implied abuses, found herself being hunted again as a young adult, never able to trust anyone, settle in one place, or even hold on to personal possessions... yeah, her backstory wasn't fun, and it's a minor miracle she's as well-adjusted as she is.
  • Guile Hero: Of a rather different sort from Matteo; where he's learned and intellectual, she's streetwise and wily.
  • Heroic Bastard: And this is Halruaa, where "Bastard" is the worst insult you can throw, doubly so if its true, because being a wizard's bastard carries a death sentence. Though her parents weren't married when she was born, she is eventually acknowledged to be Zalathorm and Keturah's lawful daughter.
  • Magic Music: An ability inherited from her mother.
  • Master of Disguise: Given time and effort, Tzigone can pull off a dizzying array of impersonations.
  • Missing Mom: Her search for her mother is one of her driving goals across the series.
  • N-Word Privileges: Or rather "B" word. "Bastard" is considered the foulest word in any Halruaan's vocabulary; Tzigone, being one herself, sees little problem with using it fairly liberally, which scandalizes Matteo at first.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: When she starts talking about duty and destiny in book three, everyone else takes it as a sign of just how bad things have gotten.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: "Tzigone" means "gypsy"; it's not her real name, which she herself doesn't remember. Her real name is Ria, but judging by the epilogue Matteo at least still calls her "Tzigone".
  • Parental Abandonment: She spends most of the trilogy trying to figure out exactly what happened to her parents.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: By the end of the series, with Matteo. Their friendship isn't based on romantic love or sexual attraction, as is explicitly pointed out during their ordeal in the Unseelie Realm, but after everything they've been through together, they still end up the most important people in each other's lives.
  • Quest for Identity: Her other main goal, closely linked to the first.
  • Rags to Royalty: Across the trilogy, she goes from being an orphaned street urchin who's lived her whole life on the run to an apprentice wizard (in a country where being a talented wizard makes you nobility) to finding out that her dad's the king himself.
  • Rebellious Princess: According to the epilogue, she's taken to slipping out of the palace at night to get into bar fights, and it's Matteo's job to get her out in one piece.
  • Refuge in Audacity: In a country where most people will barely even bend a rule, Tzigone tends to get by via being and acting as outrageously as possible.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Tzigone is usually either in varying stages of "unkempt" or in disguise, but it's made clear that she has beauty if she puts effort into it - though according to Sinestra she's got nothing on her mom.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Tzigone would like to remind you that she is not a wizard. It doesn't matter that you just saw her casting spells, she's still not a wizard. At the end of the first book, she officially becomes an apprentice wizard. Matteo is quick to point out the irony.note 
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: They don't interact a whole lot, but in the second and third books she's the Tomboy to fellow apprentice Farrah's Girly-Girl.
  • The Trickster: She's a little bit thief, a little bit con artist, a little bit actress, and a little bit wizard, and she hates arbitrary rules. Goes with the territory.
  • Voice Changeling: Probably as a side-effect of her affinity for Magic Music, Tzigone has a very high level of control over her voice and can imitate almost anyone else's.
  • Wizard Duel: Has a formal one against Procopio in the third book. As he badly outclasses her in power, she ends up having to goad him into breaking the rule, and therefore forfeiting.
  • You Fight Like a Cow: She's prone to insulting combat banter; Procopio gets hit with it particularly bad in the aforementioned duel.

Andris

A member of Matteo's class at House Jordain and his closest friend. Andris is "executed" by Kiva early in the first book, but it's actually a cover for her recruitment of him into her conspiracy. Andris spends most of the trilogy torn between loyalty to Kiva's cause and the ideals of the jordaini.


  • The Ace: Almost universally considered the best jordaini student in his class; even Matteo will admit that Andris is better than him in his chosen fields.
  • Anti-Hero: Moreso than Tzigone; Andris is capable of justifying some pretty dark things to himself if he thinks they're necessary, and in the third book makes it plain that he'd be willing to kill Tzigone if he felt she was a threat (admittedly, she said the same to him).
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: In the third book, he manages to break into a wizard's mansion on account of having memorized the entire floor plan beforehand. Tzigone may not like him much, but even she's impressed enough after finding out to wonder if he'd be willing to go into the thieving business as her partner.
  • Badass Bookworm: Though he focuses more on the "badass" than the "bookworm", usually.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Perfectly willing to fight dirty, and usually with a bit of personal flair, particularly against wizards.
  • Death Faked for You: Early in the first book, courtesy of Kiva.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: "Half" is overstating it, but there's elf blood in him. Kiva's, specifically.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: Whose side is Andris on again? Halruaa's, ultimately.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Dies at the climax of the trilogy, taking a bolt of death magic meant for Zalathorm.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Matteo at the beginning of the series; they're explicitly as close as brothers, though they end up drifting apart.
  • In the Blood: Part of why he's convinced the right thing to do is to follow Kiva; after all she's his ancestor, so her quest ought to be his as well.
  • Necessarily Evil: In the second book, he fully admits that Kiva is evil, but still works for her on the belief that her cause is necessary.
  • Noble Top Enforcer: Even at his greyest, he's still nobler than Kiva, but does her work.
  • Photographic Memory: Claims he can remember being in his mother's womb, though Matteo suspects he may have been exaggerating.
  • The Strategist: Even Matteo will admit that Andris is better at this than he is; he was the best military thinker in their class, which considering this is the jordaini we're talking about is saying something.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: For most of the second book, he helps Kiva war against Halruua, thinking that it's the right thing to do. He ends up changing his mind.

     Villains 

Kiva

A vengeful wild elf magehound, and the most heavily focused-on and developed antagonist in the trilogy. Kiva manipulates the lives of Matteo, Tzigone, and Andris as part of a lengthy scheme to free the souls of her kin from imprisonment - and, perhaps more importantly, to get revenge on Halruaa's wizards for her own suffering.


  • Affably Evil / Ax-Crazy: Kiva is a bit bi-polar, prone to swinging back and forth between being a friendly, winning villain and a revenge-driven Blood Knight at the drop of a hat. This only gets more pronounced as the series goes on and she becomes increasingly unstable.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Her death at Vishna's hands feels less like the triumphant defeat of a powerful villain and more like quietly putting down a mad dog. Even the dying Kiva herself seems relieved that it's all over.
  • Bad Boss: Kiva's hard on her henchmen and allies, especially in bloodthirsty mode. She treats her elf and Crinti allies so harshly that they end up abandoning her, and kills Procopio herself to punctuate a point at the end of The Wizardwar.
  • Big Bad: The first book sets her up as the overall villain of the trilogy...
  • Brought Down to Normal: At the end of the first book. In the second, she fixes it.
  • Cast from Lifespan: At the end of the first book, she loses most of her powers. She manages to restore them partway through the second, at the cost of visibly aging her.
  • Dark Action Girl: A very capable combatant and utterly without mercy.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: In the backstory, on paper she worked for Dhamari in tracking down Keturah. In actuality, it was more like he worked for her.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Keturah and Tzigone, at various points.
  • Evil Sorceress: A talented magic-user and more than a little off her rocker.
  • Fantastic Racism: Been on both ends. As an elf in human-dominated Halruaa, she's been treated as a curiosity at best and an object of scorn at worst, but she herself frequently makes her contempt for humans - and human men in particular - obvious.
  • The Heavy: She may not be the most powerful or purely malevolent villain in the trilogy, but she's the most consistently front-and-center in the narrative.
  • Lady of War: In The Magehound she maintains a feminine, aristocratic air even through all her schemes and battles. In the later two books, after she's driven from power she drops being ladylike entirely, making it probable that this was always just a façade.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Very good at playing on the emotions of others, at least short-term. Long-term she often fumbles due to her own erratic nature.
  • Not So Different: By the end of The Wizardwar, she's become no better than Akhlaur, the realization of which triggers her final Villainous Breakdown.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Doesn't look much older than Matteo or Tzigone. She's actually a peer of Zalathorm and Akhlaur.
  • Revenge Before Reason: By the end of the trilogy, it's clear she blames all of Halruaa for Akhlaur's crimes and won't rest until she's destroyed the whole kingdom. To get her revenge, she's actually willing to work with Akhlaur himself in the short-term.
  • Square Race, Round Class: She's an elf necromancer. Akhlaur lampshades this, pointing out that "they" say elves can't be necromancers... but then, they clearly never met Kiva.
  • Synchronization: She and Akhlaur are tied together magically; if he dies, so does she, but it doesn't cut the other way since the Cabal is keeping Akhlaur alive.
  • That Man Is Dead: Her full name is Akivaria, but she doesn't answer to it, feeling that "Akivaria" died in Akhlaur's dungeons, leaving only Kiva behind.
  • Villain Protagonist: Her POV and development are central enough to the trilogy to put her on equal footing with Matteo and Tzigone for the "protagonist" slot.
  • Villain Team-Up: Allying with Procopio wasn't part of the original plan, but she was certainly willing to take advantage of it.
  • Villainous Breakdown: She's prone to these when her plans go south; she has a notable one at the end of The Magehound and a worse one at the end of The Wizardwar.
  • Villainous Friendship: She and Mbatu, her dragon from the first book, are genuinely fond of and loyal to each other.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: If questioned, she'll insist that everything she does is in service of destroying Akhlaur's legacy and freeing her tribe's souls from the Cabal. In truth, she's just out for revenge, though she doesn't admit it even to herself until the very end.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: For all her schemes and power, when you get down to it, inside Kiva is still the same hurting, angry adolescent she was when she was Akhlaur's prisoner - and she wants to make sure that all of Halruaa knows her pain.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: For much of The Floodgate, she's basically just throwing threats at Halruaa and seeing what takes and can buy her time to bring Akhlaur back. It's implied that this sort of "run lots of schemes at once and see what works out" is her standard MO.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Or green, in her case. Justified because she's a wild elf; green is a perfectly normal hair color for her race.

Akhlaur

A tremendously powerful necromancer who lived two hundred years ago and nearly conquered Halruaa before being defeated by his former friend Zalathorm, the current king. His legacy still remains throughout Halruaa, whether in the form of artifacts, undead, or lingering experiments. Though no one has seen him since his defeat, it is possible that somewhere he is still alive, plotting to regain power...


  • Arch-Enemy: To Zalathorm.
  • The Archmage: One of the most powerful wizards a land famed for its powerful wizards ever produced; he and Zalathorm are almost neck-and-neck power-wise.
  • Bald of Evil: His hair was burned off by his bound demon when Zalathorm unleashed it on him, and apparently never grew back even two hundred years later.
  • Big Bad: Ultimately, all the conflict in the trilogy traces back to him eventually.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: During The Wizardwar, he spends most of his time allied with Kiva.
  • Casting a Shadow: He doesn't do it often, but he knows how to use the Shadow Weave.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Akhlaur has a dry, morbid wit, and is prone to holding a snarky running commentary on everything around him.
  • The Dreaded: He may have vanished two centuries ago, but everyone is still scared of this guy.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Regarding what school of wizardry he practices. His first-ever mention in a Second Edition Forgotten Realms sourcebook, described him as a conjurer.Counselors and Kings, which fleshed him out, makes it repeatedly and emphatically clear he's a necromancer.
  • Elemental Powers: In addition to necromancy, he specializes in water magic - perhaps unsurprising, considering where he spent the last few centuries.
  • Energy Absorption: He can use both the Cabal and the laraken as mediums to absorb magic used against him and add it to his own repertoire, though he can't cast spells so acquired if they're from a discipline unfamiliar to him (druid magic, for example, is useless once stolen).
  • Evil Counterpart: To Zalathorm, his former friend, nemesis, and sole magical equal.
  • Evil Former Friend: To Zalathorm and Vishna; the three wizards were boyhood friends who allied to work together for the betterment of Halruaa... until the lure of power corrupted Akhlaur completely.
  • Evil Sorcerer: The living embodiment of everything dark in The Magocracy of Halruaa.
  • Evil Tower of Ominousness: Had one before Zalathorm sunk it into a swamp. When he returns, one of his first actions is to raise it once again.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy:
    • Plays along with Kiva insofar and only insofar as it suits his own goals.
    • He himself was on the receiving end of this in his backstory; he kept a bound water demon as a minion and source of power, but the demon hated him and when Zalathorm released it, it immediately attacked him, leading directly to his being sucked into the Elemental Plane of Water along with it.
  • Eviler Than Thou: Procopio, Dhamari, Shanair, even Kiva... in terms of sheer power and malevolence, none of them has anything on Akhlaur and he quickly hijacks the plot of the trilogy upon returning.
  • Evilutionary Biologist: Magical version; he not only binds the undead to his will, he also modifies living things to serve him better. His creations include the laraken and the entire Jordaini Order.
  • Fallen Hero: Possibly; at the very least, he and Zalathorm once worked towards the same cause, but while he wasn't as bad then as he became, he may have been a Token Evil Teammate even then.
  • Fish People: He magically altered himself to survive in the Elemental Plane of Water, complete with scales, gills, and webbed hands.
  • Genuine Human Hide: He uses the skins of his victims to make parchment for his scrolls and as bindings for his spellbooks. He prefers elves for this purpose, when he can get them, but in the Elemental Plane of Water makes due with tritons, who are close enough.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Counselors and Kings was always serious at its core, but Akhlaur's return kicks the scale and threat of the conflict up several notches. This isn't just about one mad elf-woman and Matteo and Tzigone's personal quests anymore - it's a struggle for the survival of Halruaa itself.
  • Lack of Empathy: Except for how they serve his ends and/or provide amusement, other people just don't really matter to Akhlaur. A lot of the time he doesn't even go so far as to be sadistic and simply treats people as he would any other raw material for his projects.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: He's Andris's many-times-removed great-grandfather. Played with in that Andris learns this, but Akhlaur never does - though based on some of Kiva's thoughts on the matter, he probably wouldn't have treated the revelation as being of much interest if he had known.
  • Magic Staff: It's actually a live eel he petrified into that shape.
  • Necromancer: Explicitly stated to be the greatest in Halruaa's history, at that.
  • No Immortal Inertia: his body collapses into dust upon his death. The process is prolonged and appears to be quite a painful way to go.
  • Not So Stoic: His usual reserve cracks just three times during the trilogy - once in the backstory when Zalathorm unleashed his bound demon on him, once shortly after his return when he's suddenly confronted with the ghost of his treacherous apprentice Noor, and finally at the climax of The Wizardwar when the Cabal is destroyed and he realizes that he's just been made mortal again.
  • Only One Name: He's always just "Akhlaur", despite most Halruaan wizards having surnames. A blink-and-you'll-miss-it reference gives his surname as "Reiptael", but he himself never uses it.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: Red and black are the colors of necromancy in Halruaa, and most of its practitioners wear them. Not all necromancers are evil, but Akhlaur certainly is.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Zalathorm imprisoned him in the Elemental Plane of Water. At the end of the second book, Kiva releases him.
  • Soft-Spoken Sadist: Akhlaur rarely raises his voice or shows any emotion beyond a sort of distant, wry amusement - which only serves to make his acts of cruelty and depravity all the more disturbing.
  • Sorcerous Overlord: Becoming one is his goal, as he sees himself as the true and rightful ruler of all Halruaa; he was getting close to it when Zalathorm took it down and he picks up where he left off after his return.
  • Soul Jar: The Cabal is this for Akhlaur as well as his former friends Zalathorm and Vishna.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: The Shadow Weave is implied to have induced this effect, though the way it's said to work, ie making you become more like yourself, he was probably already evil on some level.
  • Wizard Duel: He and Zalathorm have an odd one at the trilogy's end; since they're both tied to the same Soul Jar, neither can inflict lasting harm on the other. But it also means that when Zalathorm kills himself, Akhlaur is dragged down with him.
  • Villainous Breakdown: After the Cabal is destroyed, he flips out.
  • Your Soul is Mine!: Has a nasty habit of trapping the souls of his victims in gemstones like the Cabal to increase his own power.

Lord Procopio Septus

A powerful wizard-lord, the mayor of Halruaa's capital city, and, if he has his way, Zalathorm's successor as king. Procopio enters the story as a result of being Matteo's first wizard patron, and recurs throughout the trilogy playing all sides against each other in his efforts to cement himself as heir apparent to the Halruaan throne.


  • The Archmage: He may not be on Zalathorm or Akhlaur's level, but for all the wind he blows he's still a force to be reckoned with, as Tzigone finds out the hard way.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: A fairly successful one, but ultimately he can't compete with the likes of Akhlaur and Kiva. The latter even compares him to a rogue hen raiding its own henhouse, while Akhlaur is a fox.
  • The Chessmaster: A sort of inverse of Kiva; Procopio is quite good at long-term plans, but he's a blunt instrument in terms of personal manipulations.
  • Collector of the Strange: He collects jordaini, especially those who are skilled at battle strategy. Most wizard-lords have only one or two jordaini on staff; Procopio usually has at least eight at any given time.
  • Dirty Old Man: He certainly does like his pretty serving girls, and has sired numerous children both legitimate and otherwise.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Kiva murders him casually, purely to illustrate her point.
  • Enemy Mine: Teams up with Zalathorm at the end of The Floodgate to stop the invasion of Halruaa (that he himself helped cause), both because Procopio doesn't actually want Halruaa conquered and so he can come out of it as a war hero.
  • The Evil Prince: Variation to account for a non-hereditary monarchy. He's not Zalathorm's son, but he is the most obvious candidate to be named his heir, and is perfectly willing to deal under the table to speed up the timetable and get himself on the throne.
  • Evil Sorcerer: Of sorts. Procopio himself is evil; his magic isn't terribly unusual for a Halruaan lord's repertoire and, with a few exceptions, isn't all that sinister.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He's politician enough to keep up a friendly façade most of the time, but inside he's generally looking down his nose at everyone, and on occasion he'll get angry enough to let out how he really feels.
  • Friendly Enemy: At the beginning of the series, he considers Basel to be his best friend and his nemesis. As the books go on, they drop the "friendly" part and become straight-up enemies.
  • Groin Attack: During the duel, Tzigone summons a behir and orders it to bite Procopio in the crotch. When reminded that she was only supposed to do subdual damage, she retorts that at the moment Procopio is doubtless very subdued.
  • Humiliation Conga: The last few chapters of The Wizardwar are... less than kind to him.
  • In-Series Nickname: "Old Snow Hawk", courtesy of Tzigone.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Aforementioned Groin Attack makes him take the gloves off during his duel. Only some quick thinking on Tzigone's part saves her life.
  • Mind Rape: Early in the second book, he casts a mind-reading spell so intrusive it's directly compared to sexual assault. Unfortunately for him, he casts it on Tzigone, who No Sells it and punches him in the face for his troubles.
  • Mundane Utility: He knows a spell that can lure an entire flock of doves into his mansion. He uses this because, as a diviner, he can read the future by studying the flight patterns of birds... and because he's rather partial to roast dove.
  • The Napoleon: Matteo sums him up thusly: proud, arrogant... and short.
  • Not So Different: Kiva gives Procopio (and by extension, all of Halruaa) a "The Reason You Suck" Speech claiming he's not so different from Akhlaur. Then she kills him.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Most people's initial perception of Procopio is that he's little more than a pompous, self-satisfied windbag. The fact that he spends most of his day behind a desk, rather than fighting or working magic, reinforces that perception. Provoke him sufficiently, however, and he will remind you that he earned that archmage status, thank you very much.
  • Outside-Context Problem: Compared to the Myth Arc of the trilogy, anyway. Procopio has nothing to do with Akhlaur, the Cabal, Kiva at first, Keturah and Tzigone's backstory, or Zalathorm's personal history. He just really wants to be king.
  • Seer: Like Zalathorm, he's a master diviner, the most respected school of wizard in Halruaa.
  • Smug Snake: Procopio's good, but he thinks he's great, and that gulf between his perception and reality comes back to bite him.
  • Villain Respect: He may not like Matteo much, but he has a great deal of respect for the jordain's intelligence Determinator qualities.
  • Villain Team-Up: With Kiva; he hopes that he can use her to cause chaos that he can then stop, making himself look the hero.
  • War Is Glorious: Deliberately invoked; he knows that people love a war hero, and so he's determined to become one (even if he has to manufacture the war) in order to better position himself as heir apparent.
  • Wizard Duel: Has a formal one with Tzigone in the last book.

Dhamari Exchelsor

A modestly talented wizard who was once married to Tzigone's mother, Keturah. On the surface, Dhamari is an ineffectual but friendly man; underneath, he's a treacherous and venal little schemer who'll stop at nothing to realize his ambitions, even if it means allying with Kiva and setting up his wife as a broodmare to produce a child with the right combination of abilities they need.


  • Animal Motifs: Frequently compared to a weasel.
  • Arranged Marriage: With Keturah. Kiva arranged for it to happen.
  • Ascended Extra: In the first book, he's mentioned in flashbacks a couple of times by Keturah as "my husband", but is never directly relevant and nothing is revealed about him. In books two and three, he's a major character.
  • Beard of Evil: Wears a beard, is definitely evil.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Though he's fairly self-aware about it; his standard MO is to ride the coattails of more dangerous villains like Kiva or Procopio and pick up their leavings. He becomes much more ambitious and dangerous after returning from the Unseelie Realm, but it doesn't avail him and he's the first of the four main villains to bite it.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: That friendly, unassuming little man? One of the most thoroughly unpleasant creeps you're liable to meet.
  • Deceptive Disciple: He was Keturah's apprentice before he married her.
  • Dirty Coward: Dhamari isn't a terribly powerful wizard and knows it; he never exposes himself to actual harm if he can at all avoid it, something Kiva holds in contempt.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: He reaction to finding out that Kiva brought Akhlaur back is horrified panic, and is appalled by the thought of what Akhlaur might turn Halruaa into if he got the throne. He only gets over it when Kiva confirms that she plans to Akhlaur and Zalathorm to die fighting each other.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: Torn to shreds by magical knives after Tzigone pulls his protective medallion off.
  • It's All About Me: Kiva is vengeful, Procopio is ambitious, and Akhlaur is, well, Akhlaur, but in terms of sheer selfishness, nobody beats Dhamari.
  • Manipulative Bastard: With his specialty being saving his own skin.
  • Mind Rape: Courtesy of the Unseelie. However, he comes back from it much more dangerous.
  • Nobility Marries Money: The given reason for his marriage to Keturah; she was a wizard-lord, he was the scion of a wealthy merchant family, and their marriage would net Keturah money and Dhamari prestige. The truth is rather more sinister.
  • Sexless Marriage: With Keturah, even though his plan required her to bear a child. Considering that he's a Dirty Coward and she was one of the most talented wizards of their generation, he was probably afraid of what she'd do to him if he tried to force himself on her.
  • Smug Snake: Though again, he's fairly self-aware that he's a moderately skilled schemer playing with much more dangerous people. He does, however, have one stroke of brilliance - by wearing the medallion that Keturah used to protect herself from him, he's protected from himself and, so long as he plays his cards right, is almost infallible in his schemes, practically an artificial Magnificent Bastard - until such time as the medallion comes off.
  • Took a Level in Badass: After Kiva rescues him from the Unseelie, he kicks both his competence and ruthlessness up a notch.
  • Villains Out Shopping: He collects butterflies. Takes a darker turn when it turns out he pins small -but sapient - fairies to display boards in exactly the same way.

Shanair

A Crinti chieftain who allies herself with Kiva and leads an invasion of Halruaa.


  • Amazon Brigade: Leads one; the Halruaans actually call her people "Shadow Amazons".
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: How one leads a Crinti war band.
  • Blood Knight: The Crinti don't try to intimidate their enemies - they entice them instead, because they love a good fight that much.
  • Combat Sadomasochist: The Crinti are a Proud Warrior Race who worship the goddess of pain. Do the math.
  • Dark Action Girl: As would be expected of a Crinti of her station.
    • Action Mom: At least one of the warriors under her command is her biological daughter.
  • The Dragon: To Kiva in The Floodgate.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Warfare and killing are all well and good as far as Shanair is concerned, but when Kiva banishes a Crinti warrior to the Unseelie Realm? That was out of line.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: A mixed-blood descendant of dark elves and Dhambrathi humans.
  • Karma Houdini: Partially. Her invasion is thwarted, but Shanair herself escapes back to Dhambrath alive and well after cutting ties with Kiva.
  • Noble Demon: Shanair is a brutal warlord, but she does have a sense of honor and lines she won't cross. See Even Evil Has Standards. She also lets Matteo and his friends go after breaking with Kiva when she probably could have killed them, because they were Kiva's enemies and not hers.
  • Proud Warrior Race Girl: As the daughter of a highly martial culture who takes great pride in her heritage, it goes without saying.
  • Villainous Friendship: One-sided. Shanair genuinely likes and respects Kiva and wants to please her. She thinks it's mutual. It isn't. When Shanair finds out, she's not happy.

Mbatu

A wemic warrior and Kiva's bodyguard, huntsman, and confidant from the first book.


The Unseelie Folk

A mysterious race of faerie beings whose realm overlaps with the mortal world in the Nath region of Halruaa. They like their privacy and have a tendency to Mind Rape anyone who ventures into their realm, earning themselves a reputation as one of the few things that drow elves and Crinti fear.


  • Ascended Extra: Mentioned offhand in the first book, they become much more important in the second and third.
  • Dark Is Evil: They're associated with darkness and shadow, and, well, "not nice" is a decided understatement.
  • The Dreaded: Even the Crinti, utter Blood Knights that they are, will pack up and flee if there's even a rumor of these things in the area.
  • The Fair Folk: These are some scary fairies.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Probably the most powerful malevolent force in the trilogy, though they don't actually do much on-page beyond policing their borders. However, in the backstory they were partially responsible for creating the drow (and indirectly the Crinti, by extension) and Matteo speculates that they may have been involved in corrupting Akhlaur as well.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Though they are generally humanoid in shape, Tzigone gives up on trying to understand or rationalize them in human terms.
    The Unseelie were what they were, and they were terrible beyond imagining.
  • Master of Illusion: The Unseelie Realm is essentially an ever-shifting limbo of illusion, which the Unseelie themselves are happy to manipulate.
  • Mind Rape: The fate of anyone unfortunate enough to stumble into their clutches.
  • Psychological Torment Zone: The Unseelie Realm.
  • Silent Antagonist: Though they sing bizarre, unintelligible war-songs, they never speak intelligibly on-page.
  • Super Speed: They move so quickly that they unaided eye can barely follow them.

Advertisement:

     Supporting Characters 

King Zalathorm

The ruler of Halruaa and widely considered to be its greatest living wizard. Zalathorm has held the throne for longer than most of his subjects have been alive, but many of the other wizard-lords have begun to feel that he is losing his grip, and have started plotting to take his place.


  • Arch-Enemy: To Akhlaur.
  • The Archmage: Near-universally regarded as the most powerful wizard in Halruaanote .
  • The Atoner: Though he was never as bad as the likes of Akhlaur, he definitely has skeletons in his closet. The contemporary Zalathorm, however, is very committed to doing right by his people.
  • Back from the Dead: After his Heroic Sacrifice, Keturah and Tzigone manage to restore his soul to his body.
  • Benevolent Mage Ruler: A powerful wizard and a responsible king who genuinely tries to do the best he can for his people.
  • Big Good: Far and away the most powerful good presence in the series.
  • The Chains of Commanding: The demands of his office plainly weigh heavily on him.
  • Character Alignment: In-universe, officially given as Lawful Neutral, though as characterized in the trilogy, he acts more Lawful Good.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Once the Cabal is destroyed, he kills himself to pull Akhlaur down with him.
  • 100% Adoration Rating: He's seemingly had this in the past. The people of Halruaa gradually losing faith in him is a significant subplot across the trilogy, though he seems to have gotten much of his popularity back by finishing Akhlaur for good.
  • In the Blood: Though he's usually collected and serious, every so often he'll show a much more humorous, playful side that strongly resembles his daughter, Tzigone.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: He's Tzigone's biological father.
  • Marry for Love: He genuinely loves Queen Beatrix, despite the fact that she seems barely aware of who he is and he's appalled when he learns that her mental damage is, indirectly, his fault. Of course it turns out that he and Keturah were in love even before she became Beatrix, and look set to pick up that relationship when her memory and original personality are restored.
  • Modest Royalty: He doesn't put on a whole lot of airs; next to the extravagance of his fellow wizard-lords, he's downright humble.
  • My Greatest Failure: Finding himself unable to destroy the Cabal after capturing it from Akhlaur, he used it himself to support his reign, leaving the countless souls within it trapped. He's very tormented over this, but can't find a better solution until Matteo, Tzigone, and Andris show up.
  • Only One Name: Like Akhlaur, he only goes by his first name. Supplemental materials give his surname as the rather mundane "Kirkson".
  • Really 700 Years Old: Looks like a man in hale middle-age. His actual age can be measured in centuries.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: He's King of Halruaa and generally one of the wisest, most level-headed wizard-lords.
  • Supporting Leader: During the final battle, he goes out to face Akhlaur while Matteo, Tzigone and Andris destroy the Cabal.
  • Wizard Duel: With Akhlaur at the climax.

Queen Beatrix

Halruaa's half-mad queen and Zalathorm's wife. Most of the time, she barely seems aware of the world around her, locking herself in her quarters and constantly building clockwork automatons rather than interacting with the court. Her past is a mystery even to herself, and her secrets may determine the fate of Halruaa.


  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: To say that Beatrix is odd would be greatly understating the matter. Most of the time she seems barely aware of other people. This is probably a side-effect of the Cabal wiping her mind.
  • Creepy Monotone: Her voice is always soft, even, and devoid of inflection. Averted as Keturah, who speaks normally.
  • De-Power: She was once a powerful wizard in her own right especially as Keturah but her magical abilities have withered to almost nothing. It's unclear to what extent her powers returned along with her memory.
  • Forgets to Eat: Beatrix often needs to be reminded to take care of her bodily functions. Some characters speculate (behind her back) that she's sometimes on the verge of forgetting she's not an automaton herself.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: The countless clockwork creations she surrounds herself with are a testament to her skill, even in her state.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: Deconstructed. Beatrix is not malevolent, and is dangerous only because of what Kiva and the Cabal did to her. As Keturah, she remains a fundamentally decent person.
  • Gone Horribly Right: The reason for Beatrix's condition. The Cabal was enchanted to protect its creators and their family. It protected Beatrix, aka Keturah, from her traumatic past by erasing most of her mind.
  • Lack of Empathy: Barely registers an emotional response when her creations run amok and kill people, and states outright that she sees no difference between a merchant and a donkey (and no, she wasn't joking). Of course, whether or not she realizes other people are real in the first place is up for debate...
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: She remembers nothing prior to being a captive of the Crinti. The Cabal kept it that way.
  • Magic Music: Her singing voice has the same power as Tzigone's, and sounds uncannily similar. That would be because she's Tzigone's mother.
  • Mind Rape: A victim of it, courtesy of the Cabal.
  • Mystical White Hair: Subverted; it's a wig. She's actually bald. She also wears white robes and makeup.
  • The Reveal: Queen Beatrix and Tzigone's mother, Keturah? They're the same person.
  • Summon Magic: As Keturah, this was her specialty.
  • Vain Sorceress: Beatrix was once captured and tortured by the Crinti on Kiva's orders and her face was left a ruin. In public therefore she always has on an illusion that makes her look like a much younger, more beautiful woman. This being Halruaa, nobody has a problem with using magic as a beauty aid.
  • Walking Spoiler: The mad queen turns out to be one of the linchpins of the plot, and there are several key reveals about her.

Vishna

A powerful, aged wizard and one of the instructors at the Jordaini College. He is Matteo's mentor and favorite teacher, but hides secrets of his own.


  • The Archmage: An extremely skilled and experienced battle wizard. Akhlaur even refers to his old friend as the greatest battle wizard of their generation.
  • Broken Pedestal: Matteo is appalled to learn of his dealings with Kiva, though he eventually forgives him.
  • Fate Worse than Death: See Reforged into a Minion.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: He's Matteo's biological father.
  • Meaningful Echo: "I will grant you rest and respect" - an echo of a promise Zalathorm made long ago to Akhlaur's victims, said as his last words to Kiva, before he executes her.
  • The Mentor: To Matteo, being his favorite teacher at the Jordaini College.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: He's killed by Akhlaur and, in a seemingly impossible feat of magic, revived as a lich under Akhlaur's control.
  • The Mole: For Kiva.
  • Moral Myopia: Vishna is very good at handing out wisdom and advice... to other people. In his own dealings, he's something of a moral coward, particularly where Kiva is involved, but he does eventually do the right thing and pays the price for it.
  • Old Master: An elderly equivalent to Akhlaur and Zalathorm and powerful man who serves as a mentor to young jordaini, particularly Matteo.
  • Reforged into a Minion: He gets turned into a lich and forced into Akhlaur's service.
  • Secret Identity: He is a peer and friend of Zalathorm, and former friend of Akhlaur. Unlike his fellows, who both took on towering personas, he's preferred the quiet life, taking on humble roles of which jordaini teacher is only the latest.
  • Secretly Selfish: Despite his reputation as a wise and respected master wizard, he's actually rather weak-willed and selfish and is easily bullied by Kiva into doing her dirty work. When a conversation with his son forces him to acknowledge the harm he's helped cause, he shows signs of growing a backbone and passes on some crucial information - at the cost of his life.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: After killing Kiva, his final fate is not revealed - though the narrative makes a point of showing him recapturing his Soul Jar from Akhlaur, so he may have destroyed it and killed himself.
  • Wizard Classic: In a trilogy chock-full of wizards, he's probably the closest to this aesthetic.

Lord Basel Indoulur

A powerful, affable wizard-lord. He's is Procopio's Friendly Enemy and, eventually, Tzigone's mentor.


  • Ambiguously Brown: Noted to be dark-skinned, though exactly how this maps onto real-world ethnicities is uncertain.
  • Ascended Extra: Has only a few brief scenes in the first book. He's a major character in the second and third.
  • The Archmage: Fairly low on the totem pole as far as Archmagi in this series go, but he's still a Halruaan wizard-lord, which counts for quite a bit.
  • Big Fun: A jolly, rotund man.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Most people dismiss Basel as a friendly but harmless eccentric. See Retired Badass and Papa Wolf for why this isn't a smart move.
  • Eccentric Mentor: Younger than usual for this trope, but fits the bill as a jovial and quirky but also very learned and powerful wizard who acts as a mentor to Tzigone and, less formally, to Matteo.
  • Friendly Enemy: He and Procopio have a good-natured rivalry. They become more serious enemies as Procopio goes to further extremes in the later books.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Invoked. He claims paternity for Tzigone when her bastardry is found out, and since he's known to have been a childhood friend of her mother's, people accept it. Subverted in that he's not actually her father. He's not Matteo's father either, though Matteo suspects it briefly.
  • Magic Knight: You wouldn't think it to look at him, but as a former Jordaini combat instructor Basel is an extremely capable hand-to-hand combatant as well as a wizard, and occasionally he gets the opportunity to show off his skills.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: Killed off by vengeful wizards midway through the last book.
  • Papa Wolf: Don't hurt his apprentices. Seriously, don't.
  • Parental Substitute: Grows into this role for Tzigone, and to a certain extent, Matteo.
  • Red Herring: The Floodgate and early chapters of The Wizardwar heavily tease that he may be the biological father of Tzigone, Matteo, or both. Neither of them are his kids, at least biologically; he does become something of a Parental Substitute for them both.
  • Retired Badass: Once he was a battle wizard and Jordaini instructor. Now he leads a relatively easy life as politician and teacher.
  • Unequal Rites: He's a conjurer, not a terribly well-respected school of wizard. Procopio constantly ribs him about it.
  • Unlucky Childhood Friend: For Keturah. They were friends from an early age and Basel was at least a little in love with her, but either she never reciprocated or they simply never had the chance to make anything of it despite what Tzigone thinks for a while.

Themo

A jordani student who is better at fighting than scholarship; he's a classmate a close friend of Matteo and Andris.


  • The Big Guy: Physically large and the best fighter of the main jordaini.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Especially boisterous by jordaini standards.
  • Dumb Muscle: Well, dumb by jordaini standards, anyway; he's probably still smarter than the average person.
  • Gentle Giant: When not fighting, he's a good-natured, friendly sort.
  • My Greatest Failure: His complete ineffectiveness against the Unseelie Folk weighs heavily on him; Matteo snaps him out of it.
  • Refusal of the Call / I Just Want to Be Normal: He doesn't particularly want to be a counselor, preferring a soldier's life and ends up leaving the jordaini.

Zephyr

An elderly elf jordain in the service of Procopio Septus. He's a mentor to Matteo, but is also a co-conspirator of Kiva.


  • Affably Evil: Assuming he counts as evil in the first place.
  • Ambiguously Evil: Whether or not he's actually evil in the first place is debatable; at the least, he's pretty in-denial about just how bad Kiva is.
  • Anti-Villain: He's willing to take ruthless steps, but ultimately just wants to free the elven souls Akhlaur imprisoned.
  • Cast from Lifespan: Not him, but Akhlaur cast from his lifespan and inherent magical ability in the backstory to create the laraken. This is why he's a non-magical jordain despite being an inherently magical elf.
  • The Consigliere: To Procopio; his job description as his chief counselor.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Killed by magehounds off-screen between books one and two after Kiva outs him as her co-conspirator.
  • The Good Chancellor: Ironically, considering he's involved with one of the trilogy's main villains; from what we see of his actual work, he seems to be a very sincere and dedicated jordain who often acts as his patron's conscience.
  • Token Good Teammate: Too Kiva's initial conspiracy.

Cassia

King Zalathorm's counselor at the beginning of the series. She dislikes Queen Beatrix and Matteo.


  • Alto Villainess: Well, Alto Antagonist; she opposes the heroes but isn't evil exactly. In any case, her rich, commanding alto voice is one of her most distinctive features and frequently commented on.
  • Character Death: Killed by Kiva near the end of the first book because she found out too much about her plans.
  • Evil Chancellor: Downplayed, in that she's more like a Jerkass Chancellor - though profoundly unpleasant and an obstacle to our heroes, there's no indication that she's actually corrupt in the practice of her job.
  • Jerkass: She's extremely arrogant and goes out of her way to be unpleasant to Beatrix, Matteo, and Tzigone.
  • Knife Nut: Dual Wields two long knives, like all jordaini.
  • Lady of War: Is elegant and noted to be a skilled fighter, though she never really gets a chance to demonstrate on-page.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: It's speculated by several characters that she's in love with Zalathorm herself and this is why she constantly tries to get Beatrix accused of crimes that would necessitate her removal or execution. Cassia herself doesn't comment on the issue.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: Generally uses her authority to impede people she doesn't like, including the heroes.
  • Red Herring: She initially seems like she's going to be a major threat, but it gradually becomes apparent that she doesn't really know anything more about the Cabal or Tzigone's and Keturah's histories than anyone else and her enmity for Matteo is entirely based on personal dislike rather than any sort of grand scheme. The primary piece of evidence tying her to the overarching storyline turns out to have been forged by Kiva, who then kills her off.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Female jordaini are rare; Cassia is the only one who actually appears unless Tzigone counts.

Sinestra Belajoon

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report