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    The Horned King 
The feared warlord lich who was defeated by Taran the pig-keeper and his friends after he tried to use the Black Cauldron in order to take over the world. His soul was trapped inside the Cauldron to endure endless suffering. Suddenly (hardly two months after his demise) the Fates resurrect him and give him an Impossible Task for unclear reasons: he must get a human to love him despite his sins under a period of 18 months. If he doesn't accomplish this, his soul shall be trapped inside the Cauldron for all eternity.
  • Adaptational Badass: He was a Non-Action Big Bad in the movie, but here he gets to show his might in several fights.
  • Adaptational Heroism: He starts out as the monster he was portrayed as, but he gradually develops into a Byronic Hero.
  • Alien Blood: His blood has in its place thick and blackish substance. It's called blood only due to lack of a better term, and it apparently causes pain in the Invisibles when they touch it.
  • Bad Boss: Towards Creeper as much as before, though Avalina's influence makes this shift over time into Mean Boss territory.
  • Beast and Beauty: He's the Beast to Avalina's Beauty.
  • Being Evil Sucks: He slowly comes to learn this.
  • Black Eyes of Evil: Though his eyes are normally fully black, they turn blood red with black slit pupils when he's very angry.
  • Blood-Splattered Warrior: After the battle against the Mad Pack, the Horned King's covered in the wolves' red blood and the black substance that functions as his blood.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: He's the Brooding Boy to Avalina's Gentle Girl.
  • Butt-Monkey: He endures numerous pranks from the Invisibles, and being unable to physically retaliate, he can only curse their names.
  • Byronic Hero: His Character Development makes him this over time; while he remains dark, calculative and ruthless, he switches using his parole from the Cauldron to have revenge to taking care of the girl who has brought to his long life more than he's ever had.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: He acknowledges himself as the monster he is, but Avalina's influence causes him to slowly shift more towards Noble Demon territory. Even then he insists that he's the Master of All Evil, despite what Avalina or Arawn say.
  • Combat Pragmatist: He emphasizes that "fair combat" is hooey when he begins teaching Avalina self-defense.
  • Dark Is Evil: Played straight initially, but downplayed along the way.
  • The Dark Side Will Make You Forget: He has forgotten much of his long past in his obsession to find the Black Cauldron. He doesn't remember who he was before becoming Arawn's apprentice or the reason for his desire to conquer the world. As he spends time with Avalina, he receives several flashes of his past life.
  • Darth Vader Clone: The Horned King is The Dreaded warlord who's revealed to have Hidden Depths in his interactions with the one person he grows to care most of all. His past and original motives are a mystery even to himself, but he's implied to have once been an ordinary man. He's also a powerful fighter who previously served and studied under an Evil Overlord who's worse than him.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Mostly towards the Invisibles because he can combat them only verbally.
  • Debt Detester: He begrudgingly admits to himself that he owes Taran for saving Avalina's life and lets him live while repaying the debt in his own twisted way; by putting back in place the pig-keeper's shoulder he dislocated earlier (though not gently).
  • Defrosting Ice King: He gradually loses his coldness towards Avalina.
  • Dragon Ascendant: He was Arawn's apprentice and finest warrior until the Death Lord was unexpectedly defeated. The Horned King was on the other side of the world at the time and learned of his master's search for the Black Cauldron one year later. He spent the following centuries by searching the Cauldron for himself.
  • The Dreaded: Every living creature fears him on instinct.
  • Eating Optional: Inverted. He doesn't feel hunger like humans do, but his body needs nourishment occasionally. Since he cannot taste or smell anything (until both of those senses suddenly return to him), eating is unpleasant for him to experience and others to witness. It's implied that he can require sustainment through other ways and eats only because that's the only option available currently.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: He's multiple times astonished by Avalina's ability to hold on to her values despite everything she goes through — because of him or otherwise — and to show pity towards him of all creatures.
  • Evil Makes You Monstrous: He states that after his heart died centuries ago with the countless killings he committed, his appearance started reflecting him as the monster he had become.
  • Evil Old Folks: He has existed over a millennium, and the Invisibles regularly call him old. However, the evil part is getting subverted with his Character Development.
  • First Time Feeling: Because he doesn't have a living heart, he feels only twisted and muted versions of real emotions. However, after experiencing for months something resembling positive emotions, his heart turns alive after centuries of being dormant. His emotions become stronger after this, both the positive and negative ones. After he's been angry towards Avalina for weeks after she prevented his revenge on Taran, she suddenly realizes that since the lich hasn't had to deal with real emotions for centuries, of course he would be overwhelmed by them.
  • Friendless Background: If he's ever had any friends before Avalina, he has forgotten them.
  • Genius Bruiser: He's a warlord and Arawn's former Huntsman, so he's both a formidable fighter and exceptionally educated (mostly self-taught).
  • Horned Humanoid: He has two pairs of horns attached to his skull. The longer pair is about one foot tall.
  • Horrifying the Horror: His experiences inside the Cauldron at the hands of Arawn continue to haunt him ever since his resurrection.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: He slowly forms this with Avalina, though he shows shades of being a Parental Substitute toward her.
  • I Would Say If I Could Say: He acts like this regarding the positive emotions and hope that start awakening in him.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He gradually becomes this through his Character Development. He still hates Taran passionately and can be outwardly distant and threatening at times, but he only wants what's best for Avalina. He has also developed a sense of respect for Creeper, the Invisibles, Mitternacht and the gwythaints.
  • Lightning Bruiser: He proves himself to be strong, fast and resilient during his fight against the Mad Pack.
  • Lima Syndrome: He imprisons Avalina and treats her as cruelly as anyone else. Over the many months they get to know each other, however, he slowly starts to care for her.
  • Meaningful Rename: Avalina chooses for him a new name eventually; Morvenius. According to her, it means "Release of a gentle man".
  • Nightmare Fetishist: He collected his slain soldiers to form the Cauldron-Born for centuries even before being sure about the Black Cauldron's existence. They were his corrupted joy, and are still on some level as shown when he collects with Creeper the remaining Cauldron-Born outside the castle to make Avalina feel easier there. Instead of putting the Invisibles to make them vanish, he stores them in the dungeon level's cells where Avalina never goes, a level above the room containing the Black Cauldron. He does this despite knowing that he can't use them for anything anymore.
  • No Sense of Humor: At first. It's subverted along the way, though his humor tends to be sarcastic. Avalina is usually the only one he allows to see his non-sarcastic humor.
  • One-Man Army: He fights against the Mad Pack that composes of about thirty savage wolves, killing them to the last wolf.
  • Our Liches Are Different: While the movie doesn't quite confirm if he's this or not, he's called this with certainty throughout the story.
  • Papa Wolf: He slowly becomes this towards Avalina, especially after he internally swears to protect her.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: He doesn't believe in any sort of waste, especially when it pertains to him. While he's close to killing Avalina numerous times, he never does that because she's his only chance to save his soul from eternal damnation.
  • Really 700 Years Old: He has existed over one thousand years.
  • Resurrected for a Job: For a Redemption Quest that is.
  • The Sleepless: He's unable to sleep at all because "there is no rest for the wicked". He falls asleep for the first time in a millennium when he's in Avalina's garden for the first time.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: He slowly develops this. Avalina is usually the only one allowed to see his sugar side. Anyone else usually gets his ice side.
  • Super Strength: According to himself, he's easily as strong as ten men at least.
  • Tall, Dark, and Snarky: He could be seen as a rare hairless version of this trope. He's taller than others in the story with his height of about 6.5 feet. In addition to that, he has a dark presence, a wine-colored robe and a high level of knowledge.
  • Teleportation Sickness: His teleportation spell is physically draining, especially over a long distance.
  • Tranquil Fury: He's deadly calm when he kills his former soldiers after saving Avalina from them.
  • Unstoppable Rage: When he stumbles with Avalina upon Taran and Eilonwy by chance, he's consumed by his bottled up hatred toward the pig-keeper and attacks him severely. Only a sudden earthquake prevents the lich from killing the boy.
  • Villain Protagonist: The story is mostly told through his and Avalina's points of view.
  • Walking Wasteland: His aura of Death and Decay causes any living creature to fear him on sight and the plantlife to die in his presence. The ground and lake around his castle are lifeless, and the sun never shines there. Even after Avalina causes an entire forest to grow in his lands, he still has this trait. For this reason he remains inside his castle so that Avalina's hard work wouldn't be reduced to nothing. After some time, he has apparently lost this trait entirely.
  • Was Once a Man: His dormant memories seem to point in this direction.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Water burns him severely. Diluted water (such as tea) does that as easily as pure water, but not as severely. Wine seems to be the only type of liquid he can digest without danger.
  • What Is This Feeling?: He's confused by the various feelings his interactions with Avalina stir in him. Also, when his sense of taste suddenly returns to him, he can feel oddly the wine in his mouth.
  • When He Smiles: Avalina comes to view his smiles more beautiful than those of anyone else because his smiles are never exaggerated or pretended.
  • Would Hurt a Child: He almost chokes Avalina to death and lets her starve for days. Even after he warms up to her, he still has no qualms about hurting Taran or Eilonwy.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: This is part of the reason he slaughters his former soldiers.
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    Avalina 
A teenaged brush farmer from the outskirts of Prydain who lives with her mother and brother. When she's riding home from Dallben's farm one night, an uncommonly powerful storm forces her to seek shelter from a scary castle — the Horned King's castle. She's forced to stay there to prevent her from warning Prydain of the lich's return.
  • Apologizes a Lot: Quite easily in fact.
  • Beast and Beauty: She's the Beauty to the Horned King's Beast.
  • Beautiful Dreamer: The Horned King watches Avalina several times while she sleeps.
  • Book Dumb: As she's a brush farmer, her education is not of the best quality, but she's still bright and a quick learner. The Horned King observes that she can read better than many grown men, even if she mispronounces some things and halts in odd places (reading is a passion she's not have had much time for before her capture), but her arithmetic is at best poor and handwriting barely decipherable, and she can't read maps. Not satisfied with such potential being wasted in meager duties, the lich starts educating her himself.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: She's the Gentle Girl to the Horned King's Brooding Boy.
  • Chastity Dagger: The Horned King has the Invisibles craft a dagger for Avalina, and he gives it to her a week after her birthday. He encourages her to keep it hidden if possible and use it should the need rise.
  • Color-Coded Eyes: Combined with Elemental Eye Colors. Avalina's eyes are bright green with a rim of bright gold around the irises. She's a unique person who loves animals, and she gradually proves herself to have an extraordinarily strong aura of Life. When the Horned King sees her eyes clearly for the first time, they remind him of forests and sunlight. Later he says that they resemble sunlit emeralds.
  • Constantly Curious: Once she gets the courage to ask the Horned King about a variety of subjects, she can easily become excited of what she learns.
  • Cry into Chest: Several times with the Horned King's chest after he has regained a living heart.
  • Cute Bookworm: The increased chance to read is one of the positive things she finds in her new life.
  • Damsel in Distress: Becomes one several times.
  • Disappeared Dad: Her father died four years earlier.
  • Fertile Feet: Her aura of Life is extraordinarily strong. Over time it leads to the Horned King's centuries dead heart to come back to life and an entire healthy forest to grow in his lands (while some magical treedust was used to speed up the growth, the forest still started growing thanks to Avalina). Eventually her aura causes the Horned King to lose his Walking Wasteland trait entirely.
  • Friend to All Living Things: The mere thought of hurting others horrifies her. She likes horses in particular. She's even able to befriend a scary-looking gwythaint.
  • From Dress to Dressing: She first does this to the Horned King following his fight with the Mad Pack and Post-Victory Collapse by using his shredded robe. Later she uses the fabric of her own skirt and cloak to do the same to Taran's side and dislocated shoulder.
  • Go Through Me: She does this when the Horned King intends to kill off Taran after the No-Holds-Barred Beatdown the lich gave the boy. She succeeds in convincing him otherwise.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: Avalina is not a warrior or a magic user, but her extraordinarily strong aura of Life and great compassion even for the likes of the Horned King allow her to accomplish things many people wouldn't even dream of, like befriending the Horned King and a gwythaint or causing the lich's dormant heart to reawaken and an entire healthy forest to grow in a lifeless area. The Horned King himself lampshades it.
    The Horned King: …she is anything but weak. Her strengths appear as weaknesses, but I have never seen or heard of a mortal so strong that they cry for their enemies, and call a… creature like me… a friend.
  • Heroic BSoD: She gets this several times, but the worst one so far is when the Horned King is for weeks angry with her for ruining his chance to have his revenge on Taran.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: She slowly forms this with the Horned King, though the lich shows shades of being a Parental Substitute toward her.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Towards the Horned King with her aura of Life and beautiful piano playing. It eventually reaches a point where just mentioning her name pushes his anger backwards.
  • Mood-Swinger: She seems to have the ability to switch between joyfulness and sadness in a moment.
  • Morality Pet: Toward the Horned King. She's this toward Creeper also, though to a lesser extent.
  • Music Soothes the Savage Beast: Music helps her to get under the shell of the Horned King, and before him, Malwolaeth (Mitternacht).
  • Nice Girl: To the point of being an All-Loving Heroine. She's so selfless and humble that she doesn't like seeing anyone hurt, not even her tormentors.
  • Please Spare Him, My Liege!: She does this numerous times with the Horned King regarding Creeper and Taran.
  • Plucky Girl: The Horned King is amazed by her ability to remain pure despite everything bad that happens to her.
  • Prone to Tears: She's so easy to bring to tears.
  • Protectorate: For the Horned King, especially after he swears to himself to keep her safe.
  • Purity Personified: It's lampshaded numerous times. The Horned King even calls her "an angel without wings" at one point (though she says that Mitternacht is her wings).
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: She's already beautiful, but when the Invisibles make her wear silk dresses (something brush farmers hardly can afford for) and fix her hair for her meals with the Horned King, she can hardly recognize the beautiful young lady staring back at her from the mirror.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: This is in play at least to some extent. After months of living with the Horned King's lands as the boundaries and the only creatures around who can speak being the Horned King and Creeper, Avalina loses any hatred towards the lich after his lately kindness toward her and the subtle lessening of his cruelty. While she misses her family very much, a part of her wants to stay with the one person who listens to what she tells about what is on her heart more than her family.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: Toward the Horned King even before meeting him. One night (in the second chapter) she wonders what might have led him to become such a monster. The sympathy grows when she gets to know him over time, pushing away any hatred.
  • Unkempt Beauty: This cute girl's long brown hair falls down her shoulders in a curling mass that seems to go whichever way the wind tosses it.
  • What You Are in the Dark: When the badly injured Horned King passes out after killing the entire Mad Pack to save her, Avalina has the chance to leave him to die and return home. Her heart opposes this idea and battles against her head. Eventually she gives in to her heart and brings the lich back to his castle, telling her head that she couldn't ever forget willingly leaving someone to die and she'd be guilty of murder as much as the Horned King.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: The Horned King lampshades it.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: She shows herself to be quite insightful despite her innocence.

    Creeper 
The Horned King's little goblin lackey. After living in Prydain's wilderness following the lich's death, he's forcefully dragged back to his terrifying master's service.
  • Being Tortured Makes You Evil: Avalina guesses that Creeper became evil with the constant abuses the Horned King put him through for his entire life.
  • Book Dumb: He doesn't come off as very bright, especially in his master's eyes, but at least he can count to twenty.
  • Butt-Monkey: As much as in the movie. He receives trolling from the Invisibles almost as much as his master.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He has his moments of being this.
  • Dirty Coward: It's somewhat justified for two reasons; a two-feet-tall goblin wouldn't be a match for a grown human face-to-face, and having spent the entire life under abusive leadership and with bullying soldiers is bound to leave insecurities in oneself.
  • Drunken Song: He becomes intoxicated from mead in the 54th chapter and sings some parts of "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch".
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Because he has known only cruelty for his entire life, he's surprised not only due to Avalina's kindness towards him, but also by the Horned King's growing kindness towards Avalina.
  • Friendless Background: Avalina is his first friend.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He starts out as a cowardly Jerkass (he even punches Avalina's face while the girl is locked up in the dungeons), but he slowly starts becoming less gruff and more helpful.
  • Mismatched Eyes: His left good eye is somewhat dull and muddy brown, and his right (normally closed) eye is black and seemingly dilated permanently. The cause for this is implied to have been an injury, although it's equally possible that as a magically created creature, Creeper had these from the beginning.
  • Never Learned to Read: He starts to gain lessons from the Horned King by Avalina's request.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: Both for the Horned King and Avalina.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: He's a small-sized and cowardly Butt-Monkey who doesn't know how to wield weapons, but he shows how bloodthirsty he can be when he assists the Horned King and Addie in slaughtering the bandits who kidnapped Avalina. He's just as bloodthirsty as his master, he simply doesn't get many chances to demonstrate it.
  • Single Specimen Species: He's revealed to have originally been a lifeless statue that was accidentally brought to life by a concoction the Horned King was preparing.
  • Who's Laughing Now?: He gets to show his wrath to the Horned King's former henchmen who used to bully him.

    Mitternacht 
Avalina's horse and the only thing from her old life that remains with her after she's forced to live in the Horned King's castle. He was originally the mount of a great knight (who happened to be Avalina's maternal uncle), but when the knight died, the horse turned furious with grief, allowing no one to approach him. He was known as Malwolaeth and Diafol Ceffyl during this time. This ended when Avalina saw past his furious shell and tamed him four years before the start of the fic.
  • Amplified Animal Aptitude: He outsmarts Creeper several times.
  • Cool Horse: He's a black Friesian that originally belonged to a knight. He's also the first known horse that has retained its sanity after being near the Horned King for so long. His Death Glares can keep the lich at bay, and he even scares Arawn himself away from tormenting Avalina's dreams when the Invisibles aren't present.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: He looks like a fierce black warhorse, but he's loyal and kind to those he likes.
  • The Dreaded: He was this before Avalina tamed him.
  • Hellish Horse: He was considered to be this by everyone due to his behavior before Avalina came in. There was a reason he was called Diafol Ceffyl (Devil Horse).
  • Interspecies Friendship: He becomes Addie's playmate.
  • Meaningful Name: His previous names are Welsh. Malwolaeth means "Death" and Diafol Ceffyl means "Devil Horse".
  • Meaningful Rename: After Avalina tamed him, she renamed him as Mitternacht, which means "Midnight" in Germany (or fictitious Mrenagy).
  • Non-Human Sidekick: For Avalina.
  • Not So Different: With the Horned King. The horse was called Death by everyone, feared and hated as a monster, and believed to be a lost cause. Avalina proved that assumption to be unfounded while having a limited time period to do that, and music played a role in that. The third Invisible notes the similarities between Mitternacht and the Horned King's stories. Also, the lich becomes as protective of Avalina as Mitternacht.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: The Invisibles tell the Horned King that when Avalina fell asleep in her garden, Arawn came to haunt her dreams again, only for Mitternacht to drive him away.
  • Only the Chosen May Ride: He doesn't allow just about anyone to ride or approach him, as Avalina's uncle allowed no one else to ride him. Even after Avalina tamed him, he allowed only her to ride him rather than anyone else, even King Gwydion. Through Avalina's gentle efforts, the horse eventually allows the Horned King to approach and even ride him.
  • Undying Loyalty: He'd do anything for Avalina, like following her to the Horned King's castle and carrying the lich on his back.

    Taranau Adeon / Addie 
The survivor of the Horned King's two gwythaints which flew away with Creeper after the lich's death. It's summoned to return to the Horned King with Creeper. It's eventually revealed to be a female, and she quickly befriends Avalina who gives her a name. She's also revealed to be pregnant and eventually gives birth to Gethin.
  • Amplified Animal Aptitude: She purposefully and firmly steps on Creeper's foot when the goblin complains that there's too many females around. While doing that, she winks almost like a conspirator at Avalina.
  • Giant Flyer: She resembles a dragon but isn't one actually.
  • Horse of a Different Color: She has been ridden by Creeper and Avalina.
  • In-Series Nickname: Though she appreciates the name Avalina gives her, she's called Addie by everyone.
  • Instant Birth: Just Add Water!: Downplayed. It's not revealed how long she's in labor when Gethin is ready to be born, but after her water breaks, it takes several minutes for the birth to be complete.
  • Interspecies Friendship: She becomes fond of Avalina and Mitternacht's playmate.
  • Mama Bear: She becomes more edgy around the Horned King when Gethin is present.
  • Meaningful Name: Taranau Adeon means "Thunder Wings" in Welsh.
  • O.C. Stand-in: She didn't have a personality beyond a loyal beast in the movie.

    Gethin 
Addie's baby gwythaint which is born by the spring.
  • Giant Flyer: Same as his mother.
  • Interspecies Friendship: He likes chasing after his mother and Mitternacht while they're playing. He's also friendly towards Avalina and Creeper.
  • Meaningful Name: His name means "dark" or "dusky" in Welsh. Avalina and Creeper chose that name because Gethin is quite dark. Though the Horned King tells Avalina that all gwythaints are dark when born and most lighten as they age, she has a feeling that Gethin will be quite dark when he grows up.
  • Someone to Remember Him By: His father was Addie's mate, which died at the end of the movie.
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    The Invisibles 
Four invisible creations and servants of the Fates. They're given to the Horned King as servants in his castle and advisers in his Redemption Quest.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: The second and the third Invisible. If you touch something they care about, "they instantly turn into something Mother Nature herself couldn't rival in vindictiveness and malice". They'd be very happy to do horrible things to the Horned King after he throws Avalina into the dungeon, regardless of the Fates' instructions.
  • Butt-Monkey: The first Invisible rarely finds things going the way it would want them to go, especially when dealing with its prankster fellows.
  • Character Signature Song: "Yankee Doodle Dandy". Possibly also "Pink Fluffy Unicorns Dancing On Rainbows". They even combine both songs!
  • Closed Circle: They cannot leave the castle or its courtyard.
  • Deadpan Snarker: All of them are very sarcastic, qualifying also as Servile Snarkers.
  • Dream Weaver: They protect Avalina from Arawn by turning the bad dreams he creates into positive ones. However, they can alter only magically enhanced dreams, not natural nightmares.
  • Expy: The second and the third Invisible to someone unspecified. Fred and George Weasley have been suggested by the reviewers, but the Word of God has denied this.
  • Freudian Trio: Though there's four instead of three of them, they form this trope finely. The first Invisible acts as The Superego, the second and the third both act as The Id, and the fourth acts as The Ego.
    • The Superego: The first Invisible acts as the serious leader of the group. It tries to keep the others in line and is constantly grumpy and frustrated by The Prankster duo's antics. It tries to follow the Fates' instructions more than the others and is considered boring by them, being often called Dusty.
    • The Id: The second and the third Invisible are both wild, fun-loving and optimistic sidekicks squeezing enjoyment out of nearly every situation, no matter how bad that might be. They hardly care for the Fates' instructions and continuously disobey them.
    • The Ego: The fourth Invisible is the most sensitive and reserved one of the group. It uses to observe the others' antics with amusement. Sometimes it even happily joins The Prankster duo's schemes or does something wild of its own.
  • Fun Personified: All of them, though the first Invisible least so.
  • Great Gazoo: The second and the third Invisible can come off as maniacs.
  • Honest Advisor: They are not afraid to bring forth their opinions to the Horned King since he can do nothing to hurt them physically.
  • Infinite Supplies: They can conjure things out of thin air, even stuff that shouldn't exist in the setting or timeline the story takes place in. They are always vague about where they get the stuff when asked about the subject. When they disobey the Fates, they're confiscated of this ability for a while several times.
  • My Master, Right or Wrong: They're instructed to obey the Horned King regardless of their own opinions. However, they can't harm anything on his orders or help him in harming them (but neither can they stop him from harming others).
  • The Nicknamer: The second and the third Invisible. Their most common target of nicknaming is the Horned King, with the first Invisible being a close second.
  • Not So Different: After enduring numerous pranks from the Invisibles for months, the Horned King makes a mental recapitulation of them and finds in them two traits that remind him of himself; the Invisibles are deeply passionate about their work, like he had been about world domination, and like him, they have endless drive and ruthless determination to make something work, no matter how difficult that might be.
  • Omnipotence: As the creations and minors of the Fates themselves, they're powerful creatures of their own right, though they have their limitations.
  • Only Sane Man: The first Invisible feels at times itself to be the only sane creature in the Horned King's castle.
  • Otherworldly and Sexually Ambiguous: An individual Invisible is always referred to as an it.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: They — especially The Prankster duo — provide most of the story's humor.
  • The Prankster: The second and the third Invisible. They're quite creative with their pranks. The pull them mostly on the Horned King and sometimes on the first Invisible. Since the former can't hurt them, he can only curse them.
  • Single-Minded Twins: The second and the third Invisible act this way almost always.
  • Talking with Signs: Since they're forbidden to talk to Avalina, they communicate with her through parchments with text written on them.
  • Time Abyss: It's stated that they've existed at least a millenium.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Among each other. They also develop this gradually with the Horned King and Creeper.
  • The Voiceless: Invoked. They're instructed that no one besides the Horned King or Creeper is to hear them speaking, but after the second and the third Invisible disobey that order several times, the Fates eventually give up trying to enforce it.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: After the Horned King keeps Avalina locked up in the dungeons for two weeks with a barely sufficient feeding, the second or the third Invisible finds her barely alive. It immediately rushes to scream at the Horned King's face for his cruelty towards Avalina and indifference for the chance he's been granted to be free of the Cauldron. It outright orders him to go to the dungeons and see the poor girl. The lich actually does that (though he claims that the reason is not the Invisible) and decides to let the Invisibles nurture Avalina back to health.
  • You Are Number 6: The narration refers to them as the first, second, third and fourth Invisible when their point of view is in question.

Antagonists

    Arawn, the Death Lord of Annuvin 
An evil warlord who existed centuries before the Horned King's time. He was the Horned King's mentor and master, and like him, sought the Black Cauldron in order to conquer the world. He was unexpectedly defeated centuries ago and his spirit was sealed inside the Cauldron. After his apprentice was defeated, he made the lich suffer as much as he had. He's determined to have his plaything back for torture and does everything in his power to keep the Horned King's only chance at freedom, Avalina, from interfering.
  • Ancient Evil: It's not stated exactly how long he has existed before his imprisonment to the Black Cauldron, but it's been stated that the Death Lord existed at least centuries before the Horned King — who's over one thousand years old himself — came into existence.
  • Ascended Extra: He was the main antagonist of The Chronicles of Prydain of Lloyd Alexander and the Horned King's master. In the movie (which is roughly based on the first two books), he was merely hinted to be the soul of the cruel king who was thrown alive into a crucible of molten iron that was used as the material of the Black Cauldron.
  • Big Bad: While everything can't be traced back to him, he's the most important antagonist for the reasons explained above.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Arawn takes more pride in his malevolence than the Horned King before the latter's Character Development.
  • Dark Is Evil: He's associated with darkness, and he doesn't hide his vileness anyhow.
  • The Dreaded: While his defeat happened centuries ago, people seem to be reluctant to speak about him.
  • Dream Weaver: He repeatedly torments Avalina through her dreams in order to keep her fear of the Horned King fresh. The dreams include the Horned King at his scariest, the Cauldron-Born, and the deaths of the girl's beloved ones.
  • Enemy to All Living Things: He hates life of any sort.
  • Evil Counterpart: Arawn is the perfect antithesis of Avalina and everything she represents. Arawn was a key factor in the Horned King becoming the monster he's known as, while Avalina is slowly turning the lich more humane.
  • Eviler Than Thou: He was the only one who surpassed his former apprentice in cruelty. He even chews at the Horned King for becoming "a disgrace to the name of Evil".
  • Evil Is Deathly Cold: His aura gives shivers.
  • Evil Mentor: From him the Horned King learned his evil ways.
  • Evil Old Folks: See the Ancient Evil and Time Abyss sections.
  • Evil Wears Black: The Horned King remembers that Arawn used to wear only black clothes.
  • Leaking Can of Evil: While he's bound to the Black Cauldron, he can communicate with others in their thoughts and influence their dreams.
  • Manipulative Bastard: He uses mind games to try and ruin the Horned King's friendship with Avalina. At one point, he's close to succeeding by luring Avalina to the lich while the master and the apprentice are arguing. Before the Horned King notices her presence, Arawn makes through provocations the lich to say out loud that Avalina means nothing to her and that he should have killed her right in the beginning.
  • Master of Illusion: He's apparently a specialist of illusions that are strong enough to fool anyone unaware of this power as well as capable of shape-shifting into various animals.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: Justified since his spirit is trapped inside the Black Cauldron.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: The Horned King describes Arawn this way; while heartless, the Death Lord doesn't believe in attacking something for no reason because it would be a waste of time, resources and energy. Instead, he would spot a potential threat and eliminate it without expending extra energy. Therefore, the reason he torments Avalina in the first place is because he sees her as a threat to his own plans.
  • Predecessor Villain: For the Horned King.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: His soul is trapped inside the Black Cauldron.
  • Shadow Archetype: As the Horned King's mentor who's for centuries been imprisoned for life inside the Black Cauldron, Arawn represents what the Horned King is trying to move past and what Arawn tries to return him to.
  • Smug Snake: He's cunning, but condescending.
  • Telepathy: He communicates with others this way.
  • Time Abyss: Before his death, he existed for centuries before the Horned King's time — if not longer — through various means.
  • Ultimate Evil: While he's made identifiable by his chilling aura, his appearance — of what he looked like before his death or what his current form might look like — is something that doesn't get much attention.

    The Mad Pack 
A fearsome pack of wolves that has terrorized Prydain's wilderness and people for twenty years. They first appeared after they gained an incurable disease from a sick dog from overseas. Having been robbed off of natural instincts and reason by the disease, they live for nothing but killing. They've increased in numbers over the years, with the pack consisting of about thirty-seven wolves by the time they appear.
  • Agony of the Feet: The pack's current alpha was caught in a trap as a pup and lost one of its toes, making his footprints easily recognisable.
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: The wolves refuse to flee from the Horned King even after he has killed most of them, leading to the entire pack's demise.
  • Ax-Crazy: They've all been driven hyper-violent due to a rabies-like-disease that was originally received from a foreign dog. As such, they're completely unafraid to attack anything that moves — big cats, bears, entire wolf packs, livestock, a human village, or even the Horned King himself. They also leave most of their victims uneaten.
  • The Berserker: They face off anything that moves out of sheer bloodthirstiness, and at the expense of themselves.
  • Disney Villain Death: The two wolves first to die fall off a cliff during the chase.
  • Dog Pile of Doom: They manage to swarm over the Horned King, but he throws them in every direction, leaving only a few left.
  • The Dreaded: They're the most feared aspect of Prydain's already dangerous wilderness.
  • Even the Rats Won't Touch It: It's shown a fortnight after the pack's demise that the wolves' meat has been left untouched by any other scavenger than flies, maggots and gnats.
  • Expy: They're basically a Darker and Edgier version of the wolves portrayed in Beauty and the Beast that serve as a catalyst in the relationship between the beast and beauty.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Two wolves try to jump after Mitternacht over a log that has spear-like branches sticking out of it. They get themselves impaled and die slowly for the trouble.
  • Mixed Ancestry: These wolves aren't pureblooded, for they have at some point gathered domesticated dog blood in themselves, making them look different from other wolves.
  • Red Right Hand: The pack's alpha is recognizable from its long red coat, herding dog heritage, and missing one toe.
  • Sanity Has Advantages: A sane wolf wouldn't have had the courage to even remain in the Horned King's presence, but it would have survived by simply not trying to attack the lich.
  • Savage Wolves: It's noted that they act way more savagely than ordinary wolves would.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: They give Avalina and Mitternacht one hell of a chase, even as several of them die in the process. Once they get the taste of blood, nothing can discourage them from the hunt. Even as the Horned King is killing them off, they keep bearing down on him to the last wolf.
  • Would Hurt a Child: At least one of their victims was slightly younger than Avalina, and she would have been added to the list if not for the Horned King.

    The Horned King's former soldiers 
The last living members of the Horned King's army, composing of about two dozen men. After fleeing the castle upon the Cauldron-Born's creation, they've been living as outlaws in Prydain's wilderness, terrorizing several villages. They inadvertently bring themselves back to the Horned King's attention by kidnapping Avalina from their former master's grounds.
  • The Bully: All of them tormented Creeper somehow while working for the Horned King.
  • From Camouflage to Criminal: Formerly the Horned King's soldiers against Prydain, now outlaws taking refuge in Prydain's wilderness. The Horned King is unsurprised they have continued their barbaric habits without anyone to employ them.
  • Groin Attack: Avalina's captor receives one from her when she tries to escape. Unfortunately, she only manages to make him mad enough to try and kill her.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: By kidnapping Avalina, they bring upon themselves the wrath of their former master who kills them with the assistance of Addie and Creeper, the little goblin they all used to bully.
  • Never My Fault: When the Horned King appears to kill them, Avalina's captor tries to kill her one more time, accusing her of leading back to them the lich who arrives in the first place because the man had captured Avalina.
  • No Honor Among Thieves: It's made quite clear that they're working together only because there's strength in numbers and wouldn't need much to turn on each other. When one of the more paranoid ones keeps voicing his fear of gwythaint ghosts, he's killed by Avalina's captor.
  • O.C. Stand-in: Avalina's captor is the man who captured Taran in the mess hall. Based on his behavior from that brief scene, he's portrayed to be short-tempered and homicidal.
  • Oh, Crap!: All of them are petrified by horror when the environment starts giving the familiar signs of the Horned King who's about to teleport there.
  • "Wanted!" Poster: The Horned King becomes aware of their activities through Creeper who sees the men's faces in wanted posters during his scouting missions.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Especially Avalina's captor.
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Other Characters

    Taran 
The young assistant pig-keeper who caused the Horned King's demise. He lives with his master Dallben relatively close to the residence of Avalina's family.
  • Demoted to Extra: Like the other Main Characters of the movie, he appears only in several chapters.
  • Flashback Nightmare: After it's been months since the Horned King's death, Taran is revealed to have dreamed that event without variation almost every night. He hasn't told anyone of them, but he suspects that Dallben and/or Eilonwy are somewhat aware of them.
  • Ironic Echo: He tells Dallben not to reveal anyone what he and Eilonwy are about to tell him about their encounter with the Horned King and Avalina. Dallben is shocked, for he used those same words when using Hen-Wen's powers in Taran's presence for the first time.
  • Named After Somebody Famous: When the Horned King finally learns Taran's name from Eilonwy, the lich thinks that the pig-keeper is "as arrogant and useless as his namesake".
  • Official Couple: With Eilonwy. She seems to be visiting him and Dallben regularly.
  • Secret Keeper: Following Taran and Eilonwy's encounter with the Horned King and Avalina, Dallben gets a confirmation from Hen-Wen of Avalina's account of the events leading there. The trio decides to remain silent of their discoveries, both to avoid causing mass panic from the information about the Horned King's return and potentially endangering Avalina's life.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: While everyone else seems to have moved on with their lives after their adventure, Taran still dwells privately on the morality of his actions back then.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: After noticing through his Flashback Nightmares how desperate the Horned King was before his death, Taran finds himself feeling that the lich has every right to murder him for taking away everything the lich had given any value to.
  • This Cannot Be!: One day when he's with Eilonwy on a sunny hill, Avalina shows up. Having not seen her for months, they run up to greet her, only for the Horned King to appear from the forest behind her. The couple is understandably shocked.
  • What Have I Become?: He can't help but wonder that if the mass murderer Horned King died in the most horrific way possible, what sort of an end his killer would meet.

    Princess Eilonwy 
The daughter of King Gwydion and Taran's Love Interest. She has known Avalina for four years, and through her the brush farmer first gained her piano lessons and passion for reading.
  • Defiant Captive: The Horned King takes Eilonwy captive in order to make sure Taran won't escape him. The lich can't remember any mortal protesting against him like the princess does.
  • Demoted to Extra: Like the other Main Characters of the movie, she appears only in several chapters.
  • Official Couple: With Taran. She seems to be visiting him and Dallben regularly.
  • Related in the Adaptation: Eilonwy and Gwydion were unrelated royals in the book series. The fic makes her his daughter.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: She has apparently assisted Taran and Dallben with their parcel in the months following their adventure together.
  • Secret Keeper: Following Taran and Eilonwy's encounter with the Horned King and Avalina, Dallben gets a confirmation from Hen-Wen of Avalina's account of the events leading there. The trio decides to remain silent of their discoveries, both to avoid causing mass panic from the information about the Horned King's return and potentially endangering Avalina's life.
  • This Cannot Be!: One day when she's with Taran on a sunny hill, Avalina shows up. Having not seen her for months, they run up to greet her, only for the Horned King to appear from the forest behind her. The couple is understandably shocked.
  • Women Are Wiser: She gets closer than Taran or Dallben to understanding the sequence of Hen-Wen's vision showing how Avalina brought the Horned King's heart back to life. She says to the skeptical Taran that she knows these things due to being a girl.

    Dallben 
Taran's master with some magical skills who owns Hen-Wen the oracular pig. He lives with his apprentice relatively close to the residence of Avalina's family.
  • Demoted to Extra: Like the other Main Characters of the movie. He has so far appeared only in one chapter.
  • Ironic Echo: He's on the receiving end of his own words from the movie when Taran tells him not to reveal anyone what he and Eilonwy are about to tell him.
  • Papa Wolf: His reaction to Taran getting badly beaten is shock and anger.
  • Parental Substitute: He has adopted Taran.
  • Secret Keeper: Following Taran and Eilonwy's encounter with the Horned King and Avalina, Dallben gets a confirmation from Hen-Wen of Avalina's account of the events leading there. The trio decides to remain silent of their discoveries, both to avoid causing mass panic from the information about the Horned King's return and potentially endangering Avalina's life.
  • This Cannot Be!: Following their nearly fatal encounter with the Horned King and Avalina, Taran and Eilonwy tell Dallben of the lich's return. He's predictably shocked.

    Arran 
Avalina's older brother.
  • Secret Keeper: He reluctantly complies with Avalina's request to remain silent of her imprisonment and the Horned King's return to avoid causing mass panic or endangering her life.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Arran isn't an idealist or a dreamer like his sister.
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