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Empire of Estellion
A young Earthbound (common soldier), who is unexpectedly promoted all the way to Centurion by Rook Vidius Harmer, after saving his life. Over time, his inexperience and self-doubt gives way to certainty and confidence, as he struggles to lead his forces to save the Empire from the Kaysani.
- Cannot Spit It Out: Calius falls for Livia early on, but his natural shyness and inexperience means he has trouble expressing his feelings, especially when she spends most of the time berating him. He does eventually admit his feelings, but tells her that her being Empress means that he may someday have to lay down his life for her, and it may be better to avoid attachment.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Jumps in front of Livia when Alejo de Porres chooses to go out in a Taking Your With Me way, exploding in a large fireball. Livia survives with minor burns, but Calius dies moments later.
- Love Interest: To Livia, although both have trouble admitting their feelings at first.
- Rank Up: After only a year in the Imperial Mark, Calius saves Rook Vidius Harper from a Lyri barbarian. In return, Harper makes Calius a Raven (officer and life peer) on the spot, giving him the rank of Centurion. This is unprecedented in the Empire, as it was founded on the principle of meritocracy, and it normally takes 22 years of military service (or 32 years of administrative service) to be eligible for Ravenhood. Later, Rook Vitani promotes Calius to Legate.
- You Are in Command Now: The inexperienced Calius frequently finds himself in command of large groups of soldiers, despite his lack of experience.
A member of the Court of Shadows (AKA Crowseers). Her job is to root out the Empire's enemies both outside and within. Holds the rank of Magister (meaning she's a magic user).
- Blood Magic: Like all Crowseers, Livia is taught blood magic for emergencies, although using it takes a serious toll on her. Even so, a single blood magic spell has the potential to obliterate and entire army.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Livia is initially cold to Calius, resenting his unexpected promotion and believing him to be inexperienced. Eventually, his leadership and victories earn her respect.
- God Save Us from the Queen!: In the second game, Livia has become the ruthless Scarlet Empress, determined to restore the Empire to its former glory at any cost, oblivious that her ruthlessness is the reason why the Twin Cities seceded and the Commonwealth of Esotre revoked its alliance and became hostile to the Empire.
- Heroic Bastard: Livia admits to Calius that, like all Crowseers, she is a bastard of House Corvius. She often wonders what her life would be like if she were a true member of the Imperial family. She later learns that she is not, in fact, a bastard at all. Her father Faustus, Emperor Sergius Corvius's oldest son and heir, died shortly after her birth. Knowing that Livia would be in danger from her power-hungry uncle Gratian, the Emperor had the Reiht hide her away among the Crowseers, until it was time to bring her back to court.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: By the second game, Empress Livia's ruthlessness has cost her the alliance with Esotre and the rebellion in the Faiths. Both become her enemies, while the Empire shrinks in size to about half of what it used to be.
- Start of Darkness: By the end of the first game, Livia has seen her beloved Empire ravaged by invaders and traitors. As a final nail on the coffin, her Love Interest Calius dies while saving her life. By the time the second game rolls around, Livia has become known as the ruthless Scarlet Empress, determined to destroy all enemies of the Empire at any cost.
- Unexpected Successor: Livia had no idea that she was actually Emperor Sergius Corvius's granddaughter by way of his first son Faustus. After Faustus's untimely demise shortly after her birth, the Emperor hid Livia away from potential assassins.
An aging Rook (general and lord), veteran of many military campaigns. Lost his wife and son a decade ago and is now nearing retirement. Known as "the Gambler" for using risky tactics that frequently pay off. At the beginning of the first game, he is in command of Dorton Hall, the Empire's easternmost fortress near the Fault and the Lyri tribes.
- Military Maverick: Rook Harper is known as "the Gambler" for making frequent use of this trope. In fact, the trope name is his passive ability, increasing the Critical Hit chance of the troops around him.
- Outliving One's Offspring: Harper lost his wife and son a decade ago. It's not specified if their deaths were due to violence or a disease of some sort.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: The Rook is a good commander and A Father to His Men. He has a keen eye for potential talent, which is why he promotes Calius Septim to Centurion and encourages Desius Quinto to take command of the militia. Between the games, he becomes Empress Livia's advisor, until the latter's ruthlessness forces him to resign and leave for parts unknown. Seeking him out is a Story Arc in the second game.
- 10-Minute Retirement: The Kaysani invade only days after Harper retires, forcing him to don his armor once again. He ruefully muses that death may be his only retirement.
Calius Septim's older brother. Rebus is incredibly protective of his little brother, partly because he promised that to their parents, when Calius joined the Imperial Mark. At the same time, he realizes that Calius is the smart one in the family and has the potential to go far.
- Animated Armor: Rebus's heavy Earthshield armor has been partly animated with a thaumaturge's soul shard. Like every Earthshield Veteran, Rebus had to learn to communicate with the shard in order to get it to imbue the armor with wind magic, making it as light as a feather.
- Big Brother Instinct: Very protective of Calius, even after Calius is promoted past him.
- Sergeant Rock: Rebus is a Signum, a rank roughly equivalent to Master Sergeant. As a Signum, he has the authority to operate without Raven (officer) supervision. He is brave and strong, typically in command of a force of Earthshield Veterans.
- Shield Bash: Earthshield Veterans use two large shields instead of a weapon. They are trained to use them as weapons, though.
A middle-aged Militum (sergeant), who was Calius Septim's superior until the latter's promotion to Centurion. Despite his decades of service, Felidae's incompetence and bitterness has cost him any promotion. He frequently takes it out his subordinates, especially young Calius, since Calius's older brother Rebus is Felidae's superior. Even after Calius's promotion, he continues to talk back and resent him.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: Unlike the typical example of this trope, Felidae really is a nasty person. His goal isn't so much to turn his Earthbound into "real men", it's more of an outlet for his frustration with his lot in life. Still, one of his abilities is called "Double Time, Maggots!", causing his soldiers to temporarily move faster.
- I Shall Taunt You: To Felidae's credit, his biting tongue isn't limited to his own subordinates. In battle, he frequently turns it against the Empire's enemies. His ability "Wicked Words" temporarily lowers an enemy unit's morale.
- Nonindicative Name: Felidae's last name is one of the names for The Devil in Hebrew. However, besides being a bitter old man, he's not actually a bad guy. In fact, he always stays loyal to the Empire. And all his backtalk and crass words don't stop him from obeying Calius's every order and leading his troops into battle.
The late Emperor Sergius Corvius's second son. After the death of the heir presumptive Faustus, and with the Emperor's daughter Adrise having no interest in ruling, Gratian is seemingly next in line for the Obsidian Perch. Scheming and power hungry, Gratian will do anything to become Emperor. He knows his sister won't do anything to stop him.
The Empire's Senior Comptroller and Councillor to Gratian Corvius. He controls the Empire's purse strings.
- The Man Behind the Man: Plans to be the true power behind Gratian, after helping him ascend to the Obsidian Perch.
- The Mole: Agrios is revealed to be secretly working with the Kaysani, planning to usurp the throne with their help. He has provided them detailed information on the Empire, told them when to attack, and has held back the full might of the Imperial Mark, which would otherwise have crushed the Reconquista.
- Secret Legacy: It's revealed that Moneo is secretly descended from the Carsis nobles and thus feels some kinship to the Kaysani. This also drives his desire to "retake" the throne of the Empire.
A simple-minded Wittsman, living in the town of Durnum. He is a member of the Urban Cohorts, tasked with keeping the peace in the sleepy town. When the Kaysani attack, he is forced to take command of the militia and help Rook Vidius Harper fight off the invaders. Despite his Country Mouse origins and the annoying manner to talk about himself in the third person, Dresius proves to be a capable commander.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Buys time with his life for Rook Harper and Adrasta Tsepha to leave, when the Kaysani break through the Twin Cities' defenses.
- Like a Son to Me: Harper becomes almost paternal to Dresius and encourages him to grow as a person and as a soldier. He admits to Dresius that his own son died a decade ago, so it's possible he's trying to fill the void.
- Third-Person Person: For some reason, Dresius always speaks in this manner.
An experienced soldier, Rook Delvinius Cato (AKA the Longhammer) is in charge of keeping order in the Faiths. His nickname comes from his favorite weapon, a large warhammer.
- Combat by Champion: Cato is challenged by a Kaysani commander to a one-on-one fight. Against his son's urging, Cato agrees and steps out onto the battlefield. The Kaysani has no intention to fight him, though, having hidden assassins nearby. They jump the Rook before he has a chance to fight back.
- Drop the Hammer: Cato's personal weapon is a large warhammer, hence his nickname "the Longhammer".
- Honor Before Reason: Cato agrees to come out solo to a challenge by a Kaysani Archdeacon, despite his son's warnings that it could be a trap. Indeed, the Archdeacon has no intention to fight fair and summons Corpsejumpers, who swarm the Rook and kill him.
Rook Cato's son and Number Two, holding the rank of Legate. While it's easy to brush off his position as a result of nepotism, he has, in fact, earned it, being long seen as a prodigy even as a cadet. His one flaw is arrogance.
Queen Adrise leads the Empire's Court of Industry. While she is technically next in line for the throne, Adrise has made it clear over the years that she has no desire to be Empress, preferring to continue managing the Empire's trade and development.
Queen Phoebe is the head of the Court of Affinity, managing the Empire's welfare policies. Phoebe is Adrise's daughter, and the first thing people notice about her are her... huge tracts of land. However, despite her hair color and voluptuous figure, Phoebe is no Dumb Blonde. In fact, under that attractive exterior hides a cunning and ruthless mind.
- Hired Guns: In the second game, Phoebe becomes the leader of the mercenary battalion Her Devoted, seeking to overthrow the Scarlet Empress and take the throne herself.
- I Have Boobs, You Must Obey!: Phoebe is known for her "dangerously voluptuous silhouette". In the second game, one of her abilities is seducing enemy forces to her side.
- Kissing Cousins: Phoebe is willing to do anything to become Empress, even seduce Gratian's cowardly and unattractive son, her first cousin.
Queen Anifel leads the Court of War. While mainly an administrator, the Queen of Quills also proves herself to be a capable commander on the battlefield.
- Stand Your Ground: One of Anifel's abilities is "Unwavering", which makes the troops under her direct command immune to morale loss.
Queen Jycquin is in charge of the Court of Law. She is known as the Queen of the Harsh Hammer for what the common people assume are excessive punishments.
- Hanging Judge: The reputation Jycquin has in the Empire, as evidenced by her nickname "the Queen of the Harsh Hammer". However, all she's doing is meting out fitting punishment for crimes. It's just that the people have been living in the land of plenty for so long they often have a skewed view of what constitutes "justice".
The commander of the Emperor's elite commanders, the Reiht. Holds the rank of Legate. Determined to carry out his late Emperor's dying wish.
A member of the Reiht and the Emperor's liaison to the Court of Shadows. Holds the rank of Centurion. He is de facto in charge of the Empire's intelligence network. Being a Jackdaw makes it easier for him to slip by unnoticed.
An orphan working as a serving girl at Dorton Hall. She was found by a patrol in the area and raised by the servant staff. She is extremely shy and tends to keep her opinions to herself.
- Aborted Arc: Her fate is left hanging after Thaddeus is forced to teleport to Silvergate, leaving Cloe in the hands of the Lyri tribesmen about to murder her.
- Mysterious Waif: Very little is known about Cloe, only that she was found by an Earthbound patrol and raised by the servants. The Lyri claim to be able to smell the blood of a Denmother on her, which drives them to revenge. It's not clear if she did indeed kill a Denmother or if she is herself one (she fell and hurt herself shortly before encountering the Lyri, so it's possible they're smelling her own blood.
- Sole Survivor: Cloe is one of the few survivors of the Kaysan attack on Dorton Hall. She is found near a strange tree that seems to have sprung up overnight inside the building and the Kaysani seeking to take advantage of her.
Richard Reavius's half-brother and Number Two in the Reiht. He is also married to Cierra Montepulciano.
- Battle Couple: Quintus and Cierra frequently fight side-by-side.
- Blow You Away: Quintus is a Theurgist (practitioner of wing magic), a skill he uses to increase the effectiveness of his thrown blades.
- The Casanova: Used to be one before his marriage to Cierra. Naturally, he wouldn't dare stepping out on someone capable of putting a crossbow bolt in him from so far away.
- Knife Nut: Quintus habitually carries lots of throwing blades on his person, which he likes using in battle.
Born among the Maratelli, Cierra has become a member of the Reiht alongside her husband Quintus Talsius and brother-in-law Richard Reavius. She holds the rank of Centurion.
- Eyepatch of Power: Cierra never shows up anywhere without an eyepatch. It serves two purposes: help her aim her crossbow better, and prepare her other eye for night combat.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: Cierra is very good with her crossbow. She is even able to pass her skills on to the missile troops under her command.
Commonwealth of Esotre
A lieutenant in the Commonwealth's army, Thaddeus commands the 3rd Company of the 1st Rifles (AKA the Greyjackets). Despite this, his first passion has always been knowledge, and he spends every available moment doing research.
- Friendly Sniper: Thaddeus is an excellent marksman, which is why he was put in command of his own Greyjacket unit.
- Genius Bruiser: When he's not fighting, Thaddeus spends his time buried in books or studying the nearby ruins. That said, he is also an excellent commander and sharpshooter. His "Field Research" passive ability increases his soldiers' ranged combat skill for every kill.
- Rank Up: Thaddeus is given a field promotion to Captain during the defense of Silvergate from the Inquisitors.
- She Is Not My Girlfriend: Thaddeus frequently has to defend himself when people keep suggesting he's growing sweet on Cloe. In fact, his interest in her is partly paternal and partly that of scientific curiosity, given her proximity to the strange tree in Dorton Hall.
A dwarven sergeant in the army of Esotre. Thaddeus L'Eclin's Number Two. Often lazy and ill-mannered. He would've been promoted several times already, except for his laziness and attitude.
- Brilliant, but Lazy: Dwight is very good at his job. He frequently scouts far ahead and is great at spotting oddities. His solutions are also often effective, if not always legal or proper. He is, however, extremely lazy and doesn't like to do any more than the bare minimum. Even speaking can sometimes be too much for him, resulting in short sentences.
- Number Two: Serves as this to Thaddeus L'Eclin.
A captain in the 19th Dragoons, a regiment also known as the Duke's Own. A no-nonsense officer with a chip on her shoulder.
- Old Shame: Apparently, Lorraine's father was accused of plotting to assassinate the Archduke, something she herself vehemently denies. Still, her father's reputation has had a negative impact on her career and her attitude.
- Rank Up: After managing to successfully repel the Inquisitors, Lorraine is promoted to Colonel by Iron Duchess V'Ortheu.
Officially, Benjamin is the Commonwealth's Trade Ambassador to the Empire. Unofficially, he runs Esotre's intelligence network and uses his position to both keep tabs on Estellion and to work with his longtime Imperial colleague Crumston Caldare. Despite his stout build as a dwarf, Benjamin is extremely skilled in the art of stealth.
One of the few women, who have managed to reach the rank of Iron Duchess in the Royal Army (Iron Dukes and Duchesses are second only to the Archduke, the supreme commander). Tough but fair, good at enforcing discipline among her troops.
Director of the Royal Army's Research Facility. His reckless experimentation and odd mannerisms have earned him the nickname Madmachiner.
- Big Eater: Cyril has an obsession with comfort food. Most people agree that the food acts as a fuel for his creative genius.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: Most have trouble keeping up with his speech, as a lot of it is peppered with food references, such as calling the Jabberwocky's flamethrower attack "flaming custard" (one of his favorite dishes).
- Mad Scientist: It's nice to know he's on the side of the good guys. His latest inventions include the Jabberwocky walkers and the Rath Platform.
Alejo de Porres
The Altus Prior of the Redeemers, one of the two Kaysani factions. Unlike his Inquisitor counterpart, Alejo believes that some infidels deserve a chance to renounce their false beliefs and accept Kayes as their chief deity. Should they refuse, though, he has no problem summoning the full might of the Reconquista to burn them alive.
- Big Bad: One of them anyway.
- Evil Sorcerer: Alejo is a powerful practitioner of Sunsoul magic, like his Carsis ancestors.
- The Expy: Draws many parallels to Saruman: a magic user, great at giving speeches (even gives one to his troops below, while standing on a balcony), power-hungry. Also, his army mostly uses We Have Reserves tactics and tries to crush the enemy with sheer numbers.
- Magnificent Bastard: He is a cunning and charismatic man, styling the Reconquista as a crusade rather than a military campaign. His speeches can inspire many to actions.
- Taking Your With Me: When finally captured in the final cutscene, opts to go out by exploding himself into a large fireball, hoping to take out Empress Livia. His attempt fails, although he does kill Calius Septim, who throws himself in front of Livia.
Heliodore de Moreno
The Altus Prior of the Inquisitors. Unlike his Redeemer counterpart Aleji de Porres, Heliodore believes that all heretics deserve to burn without giving them a chance to repent.
The nephew of Alejo de Porres and Exarch of the Redeemer army. While young, his skill as a commander is undeniable.
- The Dragon: Usun is the general of the Redeemer army and his uncle's Number Two.
- Dragon Ascendant: In the second game, Usun becomes the leader of the newly-created Varishah Federation out of the remains of the Kaysan Reconquista, joined by the Islemen and the people of the Faiths. However, since the second game lacks a clear Big Bad, it's difficult to call him a villain, especially since all he wants is to protect his new home from the Empire.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Usun is constantly seeking his uncle approval, only getting it about half the time.
A Cardani elf, who holds the rank of Patriarch among his people. He is in his forties, which is considered to be incredibly old by Cardani standards due to their culture and lack of control. Taraka is significantly more reserved than his brethren, which is why he acts as the liaison between the Cardani and the Redeemers.
Wall Commander of East Isle. Opts to join the Redeemers in order to get out from under the Empire's rule. Initially has an adversarial relationship with Usun Motare, largely because the latter assumes that Damien wishes to become the new favorite of Alejo de Porres. When Usun realizes that Damien has no such ambitions, they grow to become friends.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: He seems to be slowly developing this relationship with Usun Motare. While the latter is initially dismissing of the Isleman and sees him as a rival, Usun eventually learns that all Damien wants is freedom for his people.
- I Did What I Had to Do: Damien joined the Reconquista because he believed it was the only way for the East Isle to be free of outside control. He will fight the Reconquista's enemies, but he doesn't see a need to be needlessly cruel. This puts him at odds with Alejo de Porres, who wants all his non-repentant enemies to burn, be they men, women, or children. The one time Damien opts to allow several Sotrans to leave (his quarrel is with the Tellions), de Porres nearly burns him alive for that.
Commander of a Braccian mercenary company. Gets caught by the Kaysani invasion when they attack Durnum. When Rook Harper's forces help her forces fight off the enemy, she agrees to help out the Empire, with the Rook also promising monetary compensation for her mercenaries. While in the Twin Cities, Adrasta leads La Résistance against the Kaysani occupiers. After the end of the invasion, she becomes the de facto ruler of the Twin Cities and helps the people declare independence from the Empire, turning the Twins into a haven for mercenaries.