Unmarked spoilers ahead.
- "I am not as I once was. They have done this to me, broken me open and torn out my heart. I do not know who I am anymore. I must try to remember."
- Absurdly Youthful Mother: After she absorbs Enefa's essence, she becomes technically Sieh's mother, despite being a significant fraction of his age. She later describes the godlings as stepchildren.
- Action Girl: Even before becoming a god she was from a culture where women were the warriors and the men tended to the home.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: "Having sex with Nahadoth at night gets people killed? I've gotta try that!"
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Takes on Enefa's powers and goddesshood.
- Did You Just Romance Cthulhu?: She can't help but find Nahadoth extremely alluring, but she takes pains not to use him as a sex slave as the other Arameri do.
- Dead Person Conversation: With Enefa, thanks to hosting Enefa's soul.
- Deity of Human Origin: She becomes a new goddess through the piece of Enefa's soul implanted in her, and is known from then on as the Grey Lady.
- Divine Date: Ends up in a romantic relationship with Nahadoth.
- Fish out of Water: Yeine is a moral, straightforward person thrust into a viper's nest of treacherous, rapacious court politics.
- The Hero Dies: She's killed at the end of book 1, but manages to absorb Enefa's essence and become a god.
- Inner Monologue: The viewpoint character for book one.
- Mama Bear: Sieh notes that Enefa was less maternal than Yeine, whose maternal instinct is so strong that she, as a human girl, attacks a god to protect Sieh.
- Mixed Ancestry: Half Darre, half Amn. Since the two peoples don't think highly of each other, each sees her as an outsider, and she has to work extra-hard to earn respect in the Darr homeland.
- Parental Substitute: She becomes a mother figure to Sieh, whom she has maternal feelings for because he was Enefa's child.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: She's very proud of her fighting skills and thoroughly earned her position as leader of her people.
- Sanity Slippage: As a result of her two souls.
- Save Your Deity: She was literally born into a plot to resurrect the third figure of the Three and save Nahadoth and his loyal children from two thousand years of slavery.
- "Here, fueled by the residue of ancient devotion, he showed me all he had once been: first among gods, sweet dream and nightmare incarnate, all things beautiful and terrible."
Our Hero Heroine Err the oldest of a Power Trio of deities, enslaved by his brother and forced to serve a human family. Nahadoth is a god (most of the time) of darkness, change, and chaos.
- A Day in the Limelight: Nahadoth is a main character in book one and a major character in books two and three, but gets a short story all to himself in "The Wild Boy."
- A Form You Are Comfortable With: Nahadoth doesn't have a "true" form, because it's always changing. His most common humanoid form is of a very attractive man with pale skin and black hair, but the details still shift from moment to moment.
- And I Must Scream: Being forced into a human form was so torturous for him that two thousand years of enslavement in Sky was almost an afterthought.
- Attractive Bent-Gender: Though Nahadoth usually assumes a male form and is referred to with male pronouns, his gender is as changeable as the rest of him, and his female form is equally beautiful.
- Bi the Way: His first sexual liaison is with his lover-brother Itempas. After that, with his sister Enefa.
- Black Eyes of Evil: Not that he's strictly evil.
- BrotherSister Incest: He, Itempas, and Enefa formed a threesome, which is how things usually are with gods.
- Casting a Shadow: He's a Reality Warper who can remake galaxies with a thought, but when he's working at a human scale, he tends to act through his ever-changing shadow, and every other shadow in the region gets deeper and more opaque when he's near.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Dark is just a force that balances out the light. Although he's very dangerous—his nature is chaos and change as well as darkness—he isn't evil.
- Disproportionate Retribution: When godlings start getting murdered in Shadow, his ultimatum is to find the culprits in one month or he'll destroy the city.
- Exotic Equipment"When heavy, thick warmth pushed into me, I had no idea whether this was a penis or some entirely different phallus that only gods possessed. I suspect the latter, since no mere penis can fill a womans body the way he filled mine. Size had nothing to do with it."
- God of Chaos: Embodies Chaos and change in the universe. He is not evil per se, but doesn't align with human morality most of the time. It doesn't help that he's endured 2000 years of Sanity Slippage from being trapped in human form or that he's shaped by the belief of mortals around him, most of whom see him as a terrifying monster.
- God in Human Form: He's confined to a mortal shell in daylight as an Arameri slave.
- Mr. Fanservice: It's repeatedly stressed that Nahadoth is really, really attractive.
- Interplay of Sex and Violence: Pretty much every sexual encounter with him is fraught with danger. His relationship with Itempas is also full of both sex and violence, sometimes at the same time.
- Involuntary Shapeshifting: To a human body during the day.
- Jerkass Gods: He's left deeply bitter about his treatment by the Arameri and Itempas and has no qualms about killing en masse.
- Living Emotional Crutch: He's Itempas's main one.
- Lust Object: The Arameri find him irresistible. Many of them, over the centuries, have died because they couldn't resist ordering him to go all the way.
- Mad God: Two thousand years of being enslaved, raped, and having your consciousness split and confined between day and night will test any deity's sanity. And Nahadoth wasn't all that sane or stable to begin with...
- Mister Seahorse: Thanks to being a Voluntary Shapeshifter he can have kids with Itempas. Though rare, they tend to be far more powerful than children born to Enefa with either Naha or Tempa.
- Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant"And then the face shifted again into something that in no way resembled human, something tentacled and toothed and hideous, and I screamed. Then there was only darkness where his face should have been, and that was most frightening of all."
- Offing the Offspring: The demon holocaust.
- The Older Immortal: He was the first god born out of the Maelstrom.
- Papa Wolf: Comes out strong in book two when godlings start dying, and in the backstory of Nahadoth going on a mad genocidal killing spree to take out the demons.
- Parental Favoritism: Sieh notes that he's prone to playing favorites, as it's against his nature to treat them, or anything else, as equal. That's Itempas' schtick. Sieh tends to be his most favorite of all.
- Parental Incest: Sometimes has sex with his divine children.
- Person of Mass Destruction: Even with his powers bound, he sinks an entire continent. He was trying for the whole world.
- Physical God: Apart from the mortal shell he's confined to in daylight, Nahadoth's god form is still tangible... just endlessly changeable.
- Polyamory: With Enefa and Itempas.
- Power Makes Your Hair Grow: His hair merges with the shadows when he gets closer to his true form.
- Raven Hair, Ivory Skin"Face like the moon, pale and somehow wavering. I could get the gist of his features, but none of it stuck in my mind beyond an impression of astonishing beauty. His long, long hair wafted around him like black smoke, its tendrils curling and moving of their own volition."
- Sex God: Passion is very much a part of his nature. He's so good in bed that it is actually lethal to most mortals.
- Sex Shifter: He predates the concept of gender and will shift into either sex or some combination of the two at whim. In The Kingdom of Gods, he manifests a womb to try to heal Sieh while remaining superficially male; in "The Awakened Kingdom", Nahadoth appears exclusively as a woman.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: The dark god of chaos and change to Itempas' bright god of order and stability.
- I am all knowledge and purpose defined. I strengthen what exists and cull that which should not.
Our Whackjob, one of the three creator deities, who killed his sister to have sex with his brother forever, and spends the second book facing the consequences.note Itempas is a god of light, order, and stability.
- Abusive Parents: To the Enefadeh.
- Alternative Character Interpretation: In-Universe, there are two sides to every story, and his isn't heard until the second book.
- He killed Enefah to be with Nahadoth, not because of simple jealousy, but because of a sort of powerful psychic backlash he was struck with when the two literally cut their connections with him temporarily while being with each other. The trauma from that sent him down to Earth to seek comfort, and his mortal wife happened to be completely batshit insane. She kindled his pain into jealousy and manipulated him into killing Enefah, killing her own demigod son (whose blood would be poisonous to Gods) and offering Itempas his blood.
- Itempas maintains that he knew what he did was wrong immediately afterwards, but having brought upon everyone a Crapsack World, he let things continue as they did because he can't change once committed to a new course. Most of the other Gods believed that he did not think himself in the wrong, when he did.
- This is implied to be the reason that his redemption took only a solid ten years of honest life rather than the millenia of suffering Yeine and Nahadoth assumed it would take.
- The Atoner: Not that it was his own idea, but he's forced to become mortal to atone for killing Enefa and enslaving his children for two thousand years.
- Big Brother Attraction: For Nahadoth, who isn't exactly a brother, but who definitely predated him by several "eternities."
- Bi the Way: He's willing to have sex with Nahadoth in any of Naha's shapes - but because of his nature, Itempas tends to prefer Nahadoth as male, and forced him into that gender during his incarceration.
- Break the Haughty: Spent two thousand years ruling over his enslaved siblings and his followers essentially enforced a monotheistic religion. When the other gods freed themselves, they confined him to a mortal body and dumped him in the slums to teach him a lesson.
- BrotherSister Incest: Him and Nahadoth, him and Enefa.
- Brought Down to Normal: His punishment at the end of the first book. He revives after every death, but other than that he only has power at sunrise, or if he's selflessly defending a mortal from deadly danger.
- But Now I Must Go: Inverted; Oree told him he had to go after some, ahem, "encouragement" from Yeine, who felt it was too soon for him to be released from his punishment even though he'd fulfilled the condition of loving truly, and gave Oree the choice of kicking him out or death. Oree decided kicking him out was best for everyone involved.
- Character Development: He's bound as a human, which allows him to change on his own for the first time.
- Crazy Jealous Guy: Originally light on the crazy, but he was manipulated by Shahar Arameri, who was herself completely off her rocker.
- Dark-Skinned Blond: Itempas manifests as a young black man with brilliantly white hair, which rather surprises the white-skinned dynasty that ruled at his behest. When he spends some time incognito in human form, he has to shave his head to avoid notice.
- Death Is Cheap: His human form regenerates whenever he dies. He dies frequently because he doesn't bother to take the same basic precautions that a mortal would, like safety and impulse control. He and others even use his tendency to regenerate as an easy way to heal him. Back broken? Kill him, and he regenerates whole.
- Death Seeker: Played with. While he never actively attempts to kill himself, or intentionally seeks it out, while trapped in mortal form he rarely takes the most basic of precautions. Most people, when thinking "I should stab myself with this knife." would reject the thought. Itempas doesn't because he sees no reason not to.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Towards Oree in book two. He goes from a silent houseguest only there because it's as good as anywhere else, to truly caring about her.
- Descend From A Higher Plane Of Existence: He was booted out of Sky and ended up living in the slums.
- The Don: In book three. You could even call him the Godfather.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: The Punishment that Yeine and Nahadoth inflict on him is intended to Invoke this by motivating him to Take a Level in Kindness. By the end of the trilogy, he succeeds, and is tentatively accepted back into the Three.
- Embarrassing Nickname: Shiny, Shiny, Shiny. Some of the Godlings find it hilarious.
- Forgets to Eat: It wasn't one of his habits as a god, so he literally dies of thirst a few times before getting the habit as a human.
- God Is Flawed: Edges into God Is Evil territory on occasion, but mostly it's just a matter of him being completely incapable of compromising, and given the choice between change and violence, he would most frequently resort to violence.
- Go Mad from the Isolation: Very, very fast. Just one moment of realizing his siblings were only thinking about each other was enough to seriously damage his psyche.
- Grow Old with Me: After the end of Book 3, he returns to Oree to do this. He's even aged himself up a bit.
- Hot God: Oree, Naha, and Yeine all find him very, very attractive.
- Incest Is Relative: With both his sisters.
- Interspecies Romance: With the first Shahar, and later with Oree.
- Jerkass Gods: Sets off a war because he's hurt. Recovers, but instead of admitting he was wrong and forgiving the people he's harmed, he doubles down, keeping them imprisoned for millennia and insisting that they have to submit first. Also kind of a stiffnecked hardass in personality, though he does have an extremely dry sense of humor.
- Light Is Not Good: Though neither is it particularly bad.
- Love Makes You Crazy: His jealousy of Enefa and Nahadoth and his also-crazy mortal lover lead him into some really bad decisions.
- Love Makes You Evil: Not very evil, but evil nonetheless.
- Love Redeems: The condition of his enforced mortality was to stay there until he "learned to love truly"; neither Yeine or Nahadoth expected him to find it after only ten years, and they forced him to leave because he hadn't suffered enough.
- Man in White: In his divine form, he manifests in a nimbus of blinding white light. In human form, he has to make do with all-white clothes. Sieh takes petty satisfaction in seeing that he couldn't find matching boots.
- Misery Builds Character: Yeine and Nahadoth believe that stripping his powers and confining him to a human body is a more effective punishment than just killing him.
- Murder the Hypotenuse: He killed Enefa because Nahadoth briefly loved her more than him.
- Mysterious Past: The reader knows it, but Oree is in the dark about it for a large chunk of the book.
- New Child Left Behind: Slightly messed with in that Tempa and Oree's daughter, Glee, chases her dad down and stays with him.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Book one plays up the drama that the Stone of Earth kills the sacrificial Arameri who picks it up. But Itempas kills Yeine before she can pick it up, and the Stone, because it embodies the power of a goddess of the cycle of life and death, actually revives her.
- Papa Wolf: Like Nahadoth, Itempas shows this most strongly when godlings start dying.
- Polyamory: With Enefa and Nahadoth. Eventually with Yeine and Nahadoth.
- Pride: Admitting that he was wrong is not a major feature of his personality. Even after two thousand years.
- The Quiet One: Particularly in his early days as a mortal, since he finds humans utterly unworthy of consideration. He lives with Oree for three months before he bothers to say a word to her.
- Redemption Equals Sex: Thanks for the book three opening quickie, Yeine!
- Redemption Quest: What he's forced into making."You will serve, not a single family, but all the world. You will wander among mortals as one of them, unknown, commanding only what wealth and respect you can earn with your deeds and words. You may call upon your power only in great need, and only to aid these mortals for whom you hold such contempt. You will right all the wrongs inflicted in your name."
- Reformed, but Rejected: Nahadoth and Yeine initially bound Itempas to wander as a human until he corrected all the wrongs done in his name or found love. But when he found love in ten years, they decided he hadn't suffered enough and sent him back on the road. Even after Tempa cries for Sieh's death and is given his powers back, Yeine and Nahadoth still don't like him... well, Yeine is a tiny bit more sympathetic, but she still sides with Nahadoth in order to keep the peace.
- Resurrective Immortality: Functionally this throughout book two and three (with an exception for death-by-demon-blood). Being put in a mortal body stops him from healing when he's hurt, like his siblings and godlings do, but if he dies, he'll heal and come back. Functions as Chekhov's Skill in Sieh's plan to stop the Maelstrom.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: God of light, order, and stability to Nahadoth's darkness, chaos, and change.
- Single-Target Sexuality: In contrast to Nahadoth and Enefa, who took loads of human lovers, Itempas is so content with the OT3 that he only takes two human lovers in all of history, and those only when Nahadoth and Enefa (or Nahadoth and Yeine) abandon him.
- The Stoic: As a mortal. He barely speaks three words together.
- Someone Has to Die: Is planning to go out saving the world from the God Mask and the Maelstrom, hitting notes of Face Death with Dignity and Redemption Equals Death in the process.
- Sunk Cost Fallacy: Having killed Enefa, he imprisoned Nahadoth and the Enefadeh because it was a choice between that and losing them for good, which would defeat the purpose of killing Enefa in the first place.
- Supernatural Gold Eyes: Though they're brown once he turns human.
- Super OCD: Well, he's the god of order. Of course he's obsessed with everything being neat.
- Took a Level in Kindness: Over the course of book two.
- Top God: During book one.
- White Hair, Black Heart: Before he Took a Level in Kindness
- She killed things all the time, Yeine. She was death as well as life, the twilight along with the dawn. Everyone forgets that.
Our Dead Girl, the dead third creation deity. Enefa was the goddess of twilight, life and death, and balance.
- Abusive Parents: To Kahl, who she banished to an isolated void.
- BrotherSister Incest: With both her brothers.
- Dark Secret: Kahl. She forced Sieh to forget his existence.
- Dead Person Conversation: Happens frequently in Book One, with Yeine.
- Hot Scientist: Per Word of God, she was the most coolly rational and analytical member of the trio, offsetting her siblings' more passionate and hot-tempered natures. They both found her attractive, though since they'd been involved with each other first, it took them a while to incorporate her into their union.
- Incest Is Relative: Had a son with her son, Sieh.
- Mother Nature, Father Science: Averted. Nahadoth and Itempas are emotional forces of nature, while Enefa is the steel-hearted scientist who creates life and offs imperfect experiments as she sees fit.
- Parental Incest: With Sieh.
- Posthumous Character: Killed by Itempas before the start of the series.
- Too Good for This Sinful Earth: Subverted. As shown by the quote above, Enefa may have been much loved, and she may have been unjustly killed but she wasn't all good all the time. She had her negative traits just like Itempas and Nahadoth do, and is accused more than once of being partly responsible for Itempas' breakdown and the second Gods' War.
General Godling Tropes
- I had not met many godlings at that point, but anyone who dwelled for long in Shadow learned this much: they drew their strength from a particular thinga concept, a state of being, an emotion. The priests and scriveners called it affinity, though I had never heard any godling use the term. When they encountered their affinity, it drew them like a beacon, and some of them could not quite help responding to it.
Our Divine Supporting Cast.
- A Form You Are Comfortable With: Their true forms in the divine realm are unknowable to humans, and the bodies they create in the mortal realm are often alien or disquieting, so most of them develop human forms in which to manifest.
- Big, Screwed-Up Family: The Gods' War split them into factions that left some very ugly grudges, even after 2000 years.
- Gods Need Prayer Badly: Averted. Turns out they don't even like having worshipers that much.
- Incest Is Relative: There's no taboo against it among the gods, and they're all related to some extent anyway.
- The Mafia: A group of them form a semi-criminal organization in Book 3 to coordinate their interests in the mortal realm.
- Really 700 Years Old: The youngest godlings are this, since they were all rendered sterile for the 2000 years between Enefa's death and Yeine's apotheosis. Zig-zagged when Ahad is created at the end of the first book and when Shill is created in "The Awakened Kingdom".
- Time Abyss: The oldest godlings measure age in the billions of years. This was hard on godlings who had affinities for concepts that hadn't manifested in the universe yet, like the God of Dreams, who predates all mortal life that could dream.
- Madding sighed. Mortal languages dont have words for this. He lives true. He is what he is. Youve heard that saying, havent you? Its more than just words for us. I had no idea what he was talking about. He saw that in my face and tried again. Imagine youre older than this planet, yet you have to act like a child. Could you do it?Impossible to even imagine. I dont know. I dont think so.Madding nodded. Sieh does it. He does it every day, all day; he never stops. That makes him strong.
Our Trickster, a lesser deity imprisoned alongside Nahadoth. Sieh is the god of childhood.
- A Form You Are Comfortable With: Usually takes the form of a prepubescent child, though he sometimes ages himself up to teen.
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Eventually becomes an actual god, and makes a new Three along with Shahar and Dekarta Arameri.
- Break the Haughty: This happens a lot in book three as he's forced to contend with the limitations of mortality.
- Calling the Old Man Out: He criticizes Nahadoth's tendency to play favorites with the godlings, while also noting that it's unfair because he can't help but play favorites; it's against his nature to treat things equally when they are clearly not.
- Chess Master: Per Word of God.Sieh is The Chessmaster of the Enefadeh. Kurue was their leader, but it was Siehs strategies which drove much of the plot. Hes the one who conceived the plan to hide Enefas soul in Yeines body. When that plan went horribly awry, hes the one who chose to befriend her, and in his own unique way seduce her, in hopes of convincing her to die for them.
- Creepy Child: Thanks to really being billions of years old and open about the physical and psychological horrors he's suffered. It's unsettling to have a child looking at you with murder in his eyes.
- The Dutiful Son: Thinks of himself as this, while looking down on all the godlings who didn't stick by Nahadoth during his imprisonment.
- Growing Up Sucks: Especially if you're the god of childhood and have to experience puberty.
- Fantastic Racism: Aside from children, Sieh doesn't have a very high opinion of mortals, albeit with good reason.
- First-Person Smartass: In book three.
- Happily Adopted: By Yeine.
- Has Two Mommies: Two daddies and a mother...or one daddy, one mommy and a Naha. Or perhaps one asshole, one stepmother and one Naha...it's complicated.
- Heroic Sacrifice: He kills himself to stop Kahl and the Maelstrom from destroying the world.
- I Miss Mom: As tricky and deceptive as he is, Sieh truly misses Enefa and treats Yeine as a mother figure.
- Immortal Immaturity: His nature is childishness. No matter how many years he's existed in the world, he's still a brat. Invoked, since he chooses to "live true to his nature", and is made very powerful by his dedication to it.
- Inner Monologue: Book three's viewpoint character.
- Interspecies Romance: With Shahar and Deka in book three.
- Jerkass Gods: Look at the choice he tries to force on Shahar!
- Kids Are CruelSieh chuckled. Of course Im sorry, Lil. Do I look like the kind of person who would hold a grudge? That would be petty of me.
Petty, agreed the blonde woman, and childish and cruel. Does his suffering please you?
Oh, yes, Lil. It pleases me very much. Not even the pretense of friendliness this time. There was nothing in that boyish voice but sadistic relish.
- Made a Slave: Thanks to Parental Betrayal by Itempas, and it leaves mental scars for long after's freed.
- Manchild: When he's stuck in an adult body. It's actually necessary for him, since acting too much like an adult would be against his nature and would weaken him.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: It turns out that Sieh played his own unwitting part in starting the Gods' War by lying to bring Itempas home to Nahadoth and Enefa, never considering what his abandonment would do to Shahar Arameri's none too stable mind.
- Offing the Offspring: To Kahl.
- Parental Incest: With Nahadoth and Enefa; notably never with Itempas.
- The Prankster: He's the universe's original prankster, with antics that range from stealing suns to smothering babies.
- Rape as Backstory: While he was enslaved to the Arameri and forced to indulge their appetites. He says with deliberate calm that they usually wanted him to take even younger forms.
- Rapid Aging: This happens in book three, where there are several instances when Sieh ages decades in a matter of hours. Also, learning that he's a father "poisons" him and makes him age at ten times the normal rate thereafter.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: He can turn into a cat.
- What the Hell, Hero?: At times it seems like everyone is saying this to Sieh in book three.
- Once upon a time, there was a god imprisoned here. He was a terrible, beautiful, angry god, and by night when he roamed these white halls, everyone feared him. But by day, the god slept. And the body, the living mortal flesh that was his ball and chain, got to have a life of its own. It wasnt much of a life, mind you. All the people who feared the god did not fear the man. They quickly learned they could do things to the man that the god would not tolerate. So the man lived his life in increments, born with every dawn, dying with every sunset. Hating every moment of it. For two. Thousand. Years. Until suddenly, one day, the man became free.
Our Sort-Of-Clone, a human body with its own personality that comes to life by day and keeps Nahadoths godly power imprisoned. Spends book two confusing the hell out of Oree, and book three taking not a little pleasure in both tormenting Sieh and sending him on errands.
- General, and shared with Nahadoth:
- In book one:
- Born into Slavery: Did not exist at all before Nahadoth was confined to human form.
- Death Seeker: He helps—or at least doesn't rat out—the Enefadeh because Nahadoth has promised to kill him once they're free.
- Gollum Made Me Do It: Routinely "wakes up" to find himself next to the bloody remains of people Nahadoth slaughtered at night.
- Involuntary Shape Shifting
- Living Bodysuit
- Sex Slave: To Scimina, although it's heavily implied she's not the first Arameri who's done this to him.
- Slave Collar
- Super-Powered Alter Ego
- In book two:
- Ambition Is Evil: In book two, Hado tells Oree that he infiltrated the New Lights in order to become an Arameri full-blood so he could eventually become the family head and rule the world. Oree is horrified.
- The Casanova
- Deep Cover Agent: He's only pretending to be part of Serymn and Dateh's inner circle.
- Dragon with an Agenda
- Going Native: Boy has he picked up on the Arameri social-climbing, power-hungry, ambitious tendencies. Although, see below...
- High-Class Call Girl
- In book three:
- Abusive Parents: We learn that, in his very early developing years, Ahad regarded Sieh as a father figure. Let us just say that Sieh did not live up to that image very well.
- Always Save the Girl: To Glee, of course.
- Berserk Button: Do not tell him what to do, or even speak to him using imperatives (like this sentence). Having spent two thousand years magically enslaved, he's had it up to here with anything that even sounds like a command.
- Beta Couple: More or less. He and Glee have apparently been flirting for decades, but they resolve their UST a lot faster and much more easily than Sieh and Deka, and especially than Sieh and Shahar.
- Cultured Badass: The badass doesn't come out until Glee is hurt.
- Defector from Decadence: Of a sort. He grew fed up with living in Sky due to its continued corruption...so after having an affair with T'Vril's wife and collecting his reward for doing so, he now runs an elaborate brothel. And lounges around smoking cheroots.
- Everyone Is Related: To be fair, it's a logical extension of sleeping with half of Sky before he left to join the mob.
- The First Cut Is the Deepest: Two thousand years of emotional fuckitry at the hands of the Arameri drove him to nihilism, apathy, and general hatred, preventing him from realizing that his divine affinity, and the thing he should be drawing power from, is love.
- Generation Xerox: Sort of! Nahadoth's strange child and Itempas's daughter seem like their Opposites Attract romance will play out better than Naha and Tempa's did. (And hey, Ahad is a doppelganger of Nahadoth's Sky form while Sieh calls Glee "Itempas made over with breasts.")
- Happily Never Married: With Glee.
- Kissing Cousins: Or should it be Incest Is Relative when a girl hooks up with her uncle's clone?
- Lap Pillow
- Love God
- MayflyDecember Romance: Again with Glee, although she's unusually long lived for the 'mayfly' part of the equation.
- Unproblematic Prostitution: He's a pimp, but a very ethical pimp. Everyone who works at the Arms of Night is there by choice and enjoys their job.
- In "The God Without A Name":
- A Day in the Limelight: After playing a supporting role in the main trilogy, Ahad gets a short story all to himself in "The God Without A Name."
- I will not be a slave to fate. I will embrace it, control it. I will be what I wish to be.
Our Long-Lost Relative and Big Bad all in one; spends book three gearing up to take his revenge on the parents who abandoned him. And since he's a Godling of Vengeance, that's a very big revenge indeed.
- Antagonistic Offspring: Sees Sieh as Archnemesis Dad and Enefa as the Evil Matriarch.
- Daddy Had a Good Reason for Abandoning You: For a start, Mummy made him forget he even sired you.
- Final First Hug: His first and last hug with Sieh was lethal.
- Freudian Excuse: He was left alone and abandoned in a void for millenia, after all.
- Luke, You Are My Father: To Sieh.
- Mommy Issues: With his mother Enefa.
- Offing the Offspring: Ultimately an offee.
- Patricide: Attempted.
- Revenge Before Reason: Willing to destroy the entire world and himself along with it. But revenge is his nature.
- I wont push any of you, see? I didnt give you anything, and you dont owe me anything. Your power is yours; it has always been there. Im just going to help you reach it. What you do with it, from there on, is up to you.
Our Social Justice Warrior, narrator and protagonist of the sequel novella "The Awakened Kingdoms."
- Babies Ever After: The product of this trope.
Miscellaneous Godling Tropes
- The Big Girl: Zhakkarn.
- Horror Hunger: Lil, as the goddess of hunger.
- May Fly December Romance: Madding and Oree.
- Pet the Dog: It's mentioned that Lil starts taking care of a group of orphans at the end of the second book, as she's fascinated by their "hunger" for love.
- Power Ofthe Void: Ia the Negation is the god of this, which gives him the Retconjuration power to write events out of history or make people never have existed. He's not a bad fellow, but spends his time in human form on Earth because other gods can't bear the sight of his true form's absolute nothingness in the divine realms.
- Racist Grandma: Kurue, who hates mortals with reason.
- Scaled Up: Kitr turns into a snake.
- War God: Zhakkarn of the Blood.
General Arameri Tropes
- Like our ancestress Shahar, we Arameri are first and foremost the servants of Itempas Skyfather. It is in His name that we have imposed the age of the Bright upon the world. Peace, order, enlightenment. Itempass servants do not use, or need, weapons. Tools, though
Our Ruling Clan, which unofficially controls the world from the city of Sky.
- Big, Screwed-Up Family: Sky is a degenerate mess of backstabbing, debauchery, assassination and general corruption.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Often the only real way to get ahead in the family.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: The Arameri just love doing this to heretics in particular, but often anyone who annoys them.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: The Arameri are, by and large, Amn, who seem to correspond to white people. They've conquered the rest of the world and rule tyrannically while calling their reign the Bright and insisting it's good for everyone. Only Arameri serve other Arameri, but it's unusual for biracial children to rise above menial jobs—in the third book, the fact that high-ranking positions are held by mixed-race Arameri is a sign of how many of them have been assassinated.
- Dysfunctional Family
- Even Evil Has Standards: The Arameri installed a universal age of consent, and do not condone sexual abuse of children, or tolerate paedophiles. T'Vril's father, even though he was a fairly high ranking member of the family, was executed for raping T'Vril's underage mother. (This doesn't apply to godlings, however, and Sieh has apparently been a target of this kind of thing.)
- Humans Are Bastards: The Arameri are awful to both the gods they keep as slaves, and the nations they rule over.
- Hypocrite : The Arameri look down upon the Northern Kingdoms in particular as savage, with bizarre and disgusting customs - conveniently ignoring the fact that their ancestors, the Amn, were cannibals.
- Incest Is Relative: Relad regularly has sex with women who bear a very close resemblance to his sister Scimina, and Shahar and Deka's father, Remina, is their mother Remath's half-brother.
- Made a Slave: The Arameri central family forces distant relatives, particularly mixed-race ones, to come and live as servants in Sky.
- Not only has my cousin forgotten that Bright Itempas no longer rules the gods, but she has also forgotten that we Arameri now answer to several masters rather than one. The world changes; we must change with it or die.
Our Recurring Side Character, a high-ranking Arameri servant in book one who is running the world by book two.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: He has a conspirator's tongue pulled out in public.
- The Good Chancellor: The closest thing the Arameri can get to one. T'vril is definitely more good in nature than the highbloods and is more concerned with keeping the empire stable than petty politcal games.
- Mixed Ancestry: Half Amn, half Ken.
- Overshadowed by Awesome: In-universe. He has a one-night stand with Yeine, but just can't compare to Nahadoth. Also a Romantic Runner-Up.
- But at least I still have a soul. What did you trade yours for?To my surprise, Viraines glee seemed to fade. He looked down into the pit, the gray light making his eyes seem colorless and older than Dekartas. Not enough, he said, and walked away.
Our Court Mage who facilitates a certain web of lies, and is keeping someone secret.
- Court Mage: The First Scrivener of Sky in the first book.
- Living Bodysuit: He's hiding Itempas in him.
- Once upon a time there was a little girl whose father murdered her mother. Then she set all her mind and heart and formidable will on vengeance because that is what a daughter does when her mother has been murdered.
Our Heroine's Dead Mom, who actually kicks off the plot.
- Daddy Issues: She doesn't necessarily hate her father completely, but she can't let his actions go unpunished.
- Defector from Decadence: She left Sky for the "barbarians" of Darre because of Dekarta's actions, as part of her long game for revenge. After her death, Yeine has to investigate what induced her to leave — and what sort of person she was like as a member of the Arameri Decadent Court.
- Mommy Issues: Most of her actions stem from losing the mother she dearly loved.
High Priestess Shahar Arameri
- The child was mad, of course. Later events proved this. But it makes sense to me that this madness, not mere religious devotion, would appeal most to the Bright Lord. Her love was unconditional, her purpose undiluted by such paltry considerations as conscience or doubt. It seems like Him, I think, to value that kind of purity of purposeeven though, like warmth and light, too much love is never a good thing.
Our Crazy Priestess, a fanatical follower of Itempas who is at least partially responsible for everything bad in the series, and imposed the Itempan Church on the world two-thousand years before The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms.
- Living Emotional Crutch: To Itempas, a fact which she exploited brutally by manipulating him into killing Enefa.
- Posthumous Character: Died long before the series.
- Self-Made Orphan: At the very least, we know she killed her dad.
Lady Shahar Arameri
- I am Shahar Arameri, and I am alone.
First of Our Messianic Twins, who manage to form a friendship with Sieh despite the fact that they're the heirs of the family who tortured him for two thousand years. They both also love him passionately - yes, like that - which both creates a OT3 and causes a whole lot of joy and grief.
- Altar the Speed / Wartime Wedding: Rushes to marry Datennay as a Hope Spot in face of The End of the World as We Know It.
- Angsty Surviving Twin: Her twin didn't die, but she was forced to effectively banish him from the court by their mother for political reasons.
- Decoy Protagonist: The blurb on the back makes her sound like the main character, while she actually gets shunted aside 260 pages in.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Their reality altering powers mean that, in making a blood oath to get Sieh to be their 'best friend forever,' they unwittingly made him mortal. Oops.
- Stalker with a Test Tube: Again, forced by her mother for politics.
- "But I will not be nothing to you, Sieh. And if I must change the universe to have you, then so be it." He smiled again, tight, vicious, beautiful. Terrifying.
Second of Our Messianic Twins, who manage to form a friendship with Sieh despite the fact that they're the heirs of the family who tortured him for two thousand years. They both also love him passionately - yes, like that - which both creates an OT3 and causes a whole lot of joy and grief.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Their reality-altering powers mean that, in making a blood oath to get Sieh to be their 'best friend forever,' they unwittingly made him mortal. Oops.
- Sleep Cute: Sieh spies on them
- Straight Gay: And adorably so, when it comes to his favorite childhood crush.
- Victorious Childhood Friend: In a manner of speaking.
- "I am, you see, a woman plagued by gods."
Our Redemption Love Interest, a blind painter with a unique magical talent who finds an undead man in her dumpster.
- Blind Seer
- DecemberDecember Romance: Mixed with MayflyDecember Romance. By the time Itempas comes back to her she's well over a hundred even if she doesn't quite look it. This doesn't matter to Itempas, but he does alter his visible form to look substantially older in order to match.
- Disability Superpower: Can see magic.
- Divine Date: With both Madding and Shiny!
- God Was My Copilot: Until Madding drops The Reveal about "Shiny." Subsequently, Pals with Jesus.
- Inner Monologue: Book two's viewpoint character.
- Interspecies Romance: Two of 'em.
- I Will Wait for You: This is hinted at the end of book two, but she vehemently denies doing so at the end of book three. Itempas comes back for a Grow Old with Me anyway.
- Living Emotional Crutch: One of Itempass.
- Locked Out of the Loop: About the true identity of "Shiny."
- Love Father, Love Son: Inverted! Madding dies and she hooks up with his dad!
- May Fly December Romance: She and Madding break up because of it. It doesn't stop her from having a relationship with Itempas.
- Meaningful Name: Maroneh girls have sorrowful names and boys have vengeful names because Nahadoth sank their homeland.
- Morality Pet: To Itempas.
- My Girl Is Not a Slut: Oree's narration goes out of its way to let you know that she didn't kiss Madding until the second date.
- Prophet Eyes: A variant — her eyes are completely covered with petal-like layers of grey tissue, which tend to put people off when they realize they're not simple cataracts. It's uncertain whether this has anything to do with her demon heritage, since her father did not share the trait.
- Restored My Faith in Humanity: For Itempas.
- Save Your Deity: It's Oree's magic that loosens Nahadoth and Yeine's chains on Itempas's powers long enough for Itempas to beat down Dateh.
- Someone to Remember Him By: The Broken Kingdoms is a story Oree is telling to Itempass daughter, Glee, in the womb.
- For just an instant, her eyes seemed to flare red-gold like a struck match. "I have spent nearly the past century trying to keep this world from falling apart," she snapped. "I'm not a god. I have no choice but to live in this realm, unlike you. I will do whatever I must to save it — including working with godlings like you who claim to despise Itempas, though in reality you're just as selfish and arrogant as him at his worst!"
Our Daddy's Girl, the daughter of Oree and Itempas. The mediator between her father and her lover Ahad (who don't really like each other, for some reason) and one of the leading figures in the attempts to find out just who is causing unrest in the kingdoms.
- Action Girl: When the going gets tough, she won't hesitate to fight to the death.
- A Day in the Limelight: After playing a supporting role in "Kingdom of Gods" and a minor role in "The Broken Kingdoms," she gets a short story all to herself in "The Third Why."
- Berserk Button: Don't threaten her daddy, or she will summon a sword of order and come after you. And yes, you should be scared.
- Generation Xerox: Glee acts so much like Itempas that it freaks Sieh out (she has her mother's looks and sense of humor, though).
- Guardian Entity: With hints of Battle Butler, Number Two, and Hypercompetent Sidekick as she travels around protecting her daddy, hiding him from attackers, and ensuring that the Arms of Night act according to his wishes.
- Kissing Cousins: With Ahad.
- Meaningful Name: Maroneh girls are customarily given sorrowful names; Sieh even comments on the contrast Glee's name makes.
- Older Than They Look: She looks about thirty. She's actually nearly a hundred, and she's got quite a few years left in her yet.
- Shipperon Deck: A subtle version. Glee made very sure to tell Itempas that Oree never remarried after her first husband died.
- Woman in White: In the final battle. Even her hair turns white.
- Wreathed in Flames: With a side of Tranquil Fury.
- We demons are the gods children, too, are we not? Yet they have hunted us nearly to extinction. How is that right? I say that if they fear us so, we should give them something to fear: their despised, persecuted children, coming to take their place.
Our Villain, or one of the closest things well have to a straight-up unsympathetic villainous character, who spends book two trying to off stupid sexy Nahadoth.