The characters of The Black Witch Chronicles.
Unmarked spoilers ahead.
Elloren "Ren" Gardner
The identical granddaughter of Carnissa Gardner, the first Black Witch. Only in looks, however, as she didn't inherit her grandmother's cruel, zealous personality.
- Break the Cutie: Starts out as a kind, well-meaning girl, who is broken and fixes herself into a stronger, more determined young woman by the end of the second book.
- Cannot Tell a Lie: She and Lukas can't lie to each other because they both have strong Dryad ancestry.
- Dramatic Irony: The readers are told of her immense power in the first book's prologue. She doesn't find out until near the end of book 2.
- Fish out of Water: She grew up sheltered by her kindly uncle in an all-Gardnerian community, and then was thrown into the melting pot that is Verpax University.
- Heel Realization: After coming to Verpax University, she's faced with the realization of the things her people have done to get and maintain power, and is horrified by it.
- Heroic BSoD: Goes through two in The Iron Flower, the first after seeing how horribly the Selkies were treated by the Gardnerians, and the second after her uncle dies and she's forcibly fasted to Lukas Grey.
- Identical Granddaughter: The fact that she looks just like her grandmother causes her considerable trouble, particularly as they are very different people personality-wise and Elloren (ostensibly) has no magic.
- Locked Out of the Loop: Her immense magical power was hidden from her by her uncle after he wandtested her, and she doesn't find out she's not powerless until near the end of The Iron Flower, by accident.
- Person of Mass Destruction: She's just as powerful as her grandmother, who devastated an entire country with her fire.
- Playing with Fire: Her primary elemental affinities are towards fire.
- Sins of Our Fathers: She gets a hard time from many people because she's part of the Gardner family, many of whom, most recently her grandmother and aunt, were nasty people.
- Unskilled, but Strong: As the current Black Witch, she has the power of a Great Mage, but almost no training. At the end of The Iron Flower, she leaves for Noi lands in order to get that training.
A Kelt who studies at the University of Verpacia. His reaction to Ren is instant dislike, but he slowly warms up to her after he finds her stealing a chicken. But there's more to him than it initially seems.
- Draconic Humanoid: Comes with being an Icaral, as the descendant of wyvern-shifters.
- Fiery Redhead: In his true form. Quite literal, due to his fire powers.
- Glamour: Being part-Lasair Fae, he can take his on and off at will.
- Hate at First Sight: His initial reaction to Elloren, which given who his father was is not surprising. He only begins to warm up to her after he catches her stealing a new chicken for Ariel.
- Living MacGuffin: As the Icaral of Prophecy, everyone is after him. Luckily for him, however, everyone thinks that Sage's baby is the Icaral.
- Playing with Fire: He's an Icaral and part-Lasair Fae, so yes.
- Unskilled, but Strong: His father died before he could give Yvan any sort of training in his powers, so he doesn't know much about his full abilities.
- Walking Spoiler: It's revealed late in The Iron Flower that he's the Icaral of Prophecy and the son of the Icaral who fought Carnissa Gardner, changing a great deal about his character.
- Winged Humanoid: Comes with being an Icaral, and although his glamour hides them as a tattoo, why he tries to avoid removing his shirt.
Other University students
An Asrai/water Fae who was hidden by a glamour and raised in a Gardnerian family. She meets Ren at University, and is worried because the Guilds are beginning to introduce mandatory iron-testing, meaning she'll be caught if she tries to join one.
- Cold Iron: As a full Fae, she possesses this weakness, which concerns her greatly.
- Cool Horse: She can summon kelpies.
- Green-Skinned Space Babe: She has blue skin and hair.
- Forbidden Love: She's desperately in love with her father's apprentice. It's not known if he reciprocates, but even if he did, Tierney couldn't fast to him without being revealed as Fae, and he winds up fasting to someone else.
- Glamour: Is introduced wearing one, until it is removed in The Iron Flower.
- Gonk: Elloren describes her as one of the ugliest girls she's ever seen. Turns out her glamour was deliberately made to look this way so nobody would want to fast to her. (Unfortunately, Vogel making fasting mandatory screwed up that plan.)
- Happily Adopted: By her Gardnerian family, who were close to her Fae parents and took in their children after they were murdered.
- Making a Splash: She's a full Water Fae, so it comes with the territory. Unfortunately, she has trouble restraining herself sometimes.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Is forced to flee to the East in late book two before all the paths are cut off.
The daughter of the Alpha of the Southern Lupines, and the twin sister of Jarod.
- Blood Knight: Loves a fight and is damn good at it, even taking on dragons by herself.
- Blue and Orange Morality: Has to be repeatedly told that she can't just kill or maim people as revenge for their evil deeds, even if they deserve it.
- Hot-Blooded: Very hot-tempered.
- More Deadly Than the Male: In the second book, when the twins are arrested, their captors treat Jarod as the real threat when he was too shocked to react and Diana would have happily killed all of them.
- No Social Skills: If she possesses any tact at all, it's never once made an appearance.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: Believes that Lupines are inherently superior to other races, though she doesn't kill people over it, unlike the Gardnerians.
- Shameless Fanservice Girl: Tends to be common among fictional shapeshifters anyway, but with Diana, it goes hand-in-hand with her disdain for non-Lupine social conventions.
The son of the Alpha of the Southern Lupines, and twin brother of Diana.
- Different as Night and Day: He's much quieter and reserved than his sister.
- Hidden Depths: As opposed to the Gardnerian view of male Lupines as dangerous, sex-mad predators, he's a kind, smart man who loves reading and would never harm a woman.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: Deeply in love with Aislinn, but has no real chance of being with her.
A Gardnerian Icaral, who's rather mentally unstable as a result of her upbringing in a nightmarish "sanatorium".
- Addled Addict: To nilantyr, a powerful drug that keeps her calm. She's been on it since she was a child, until Naga forces her to detox in the second book.
- Anguished Declaration of Love: To Wynter in the second book.
- Berserk Button: Harming or talking about harming her pet chickens.
- Friend to All Living Things: At least, all living things with wings, since as an Icaral, she can talk to them.
- Hate at First Sight: Utterly loathes Elloren and does her best to make her life miserable. While Elloren comes to be fond of her, Ariel says she'll always hate Elloren thought she tolerates her presence.
- Hates Everyone Equally: Despises everyone in existence except Wynter.
- Heroic Sacrifice: In the second book, assassins are sent to kill Wynter. Ariel dresses as Wynter while Wynter escapes, and when the assassins realize she's not Wynter, they take her to Gardneria and throw her into prison to be executed. Elloren and Yvan break her out, but Ariel overdosed on nilantyr and will die of it.
- Killed Offscreen: Naga takes her to the mountains where the wyvern-shifters live, so she can die among her people.
- Pet the Dog: After Elloren is so horrified by the Selkies' mistreatment that she tells Ariel that Gardnerians are inherently evil and Ariel was right to try to drive her away, Ariel sends her pet chicken to sit with Elloren to help her feel better.
- Playing with Fire: At least in theory. Her addiction to nilantyr steadily reduces her powers.
- Wings Do Nothing: Hers are intact, but she can't fly with them.
An Alfsigr Icaral who is despised by her people despite her royal heritage and artistic talents.
- All of the Other Reindeer: By her entire species, for being an Icaral. This is despite the fact that she's possibly the best artist of her generation. Cael thinks that if she wasn't an Icaral, her people would worship her and her art.
- Internalized Categorism: She hates herself for being an Icaral.
- Light Feminine and Dark Feminine: She's the light to Ariel's dark.
- Like a Son to Me: Calls Ariel her sister. (Ariel does not return the sentiment, being in love with Wynter.)
- Playing with Fire: Theoretically, but she doesn't use her powers.
- Secret Keeper: Finds out that Yvan is an Icaral while translating for Naga long before Yvan is forced to reveal the secret to others.
- Shrinking Violet: Quiet, meek, and wouldn't hurt a fly.
- Wings Do Nothing: Like Ariel, she has intact wings and can't fly with them.
Vice Chancellor Lucretia Quillen
The Vice Chancellor of Verpax University. She's Gardnerian.
Professor Jules Kristian
The only non-Gardnerian history professor at Verpax University, a Kelt. Grew up in the same town as Tessla Harrow, and was in love with her before her departure.
- All Love Is Unrequited: He fell in love with Tessla, but she saw him as a brother.
- Everyone Went to School Together: Grew up with Tessla and attended university with Vale and Fain.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Flees with Quillen after the University is shut down.
- Second Love: Implied to have found this with Lucretia.
- Unbalanced by Rival's Kid: His reaction to Elloren.
Professor Fyon Hawkkyn
Smaragdalfar professor at Verpax University.
Commander Kam Vin
Leader of the Vu Trin military stationed in Verpax City.
- Secret Secret-Keeper: Becomes aware of Elloren's immense power after her sabotaged wandtesting in book 1, but tells no one.
Sagellyn "Sage" Gaffney
A former neighbour of Ren Gardner in Halfix, who ran away after being assaulted by her unpleasant fastmate. The former holder of the White Wand.
- Driven to Suicide: Seriously contemplates throwing herself off a bridge after both her parents and her fastmate's parents decide that he did not abuse her, and if there was abuse it was her fault. Ra'Ven stopped her, though.
- Glamour: She can do a variant of this, by changing people's skin colours. In her case, she turns Rivyr and a group of Smaragdalfar refugees grey, to look Elfhollen.
- Green-Skinned Space Babe: She used to have green skin, but her light magic turned it purple.
- Interspecies Romance: With Ra'Ven.
- Light 'em Up: As a Level Four Light Mage.
- Mama Bear: Won't let anyone hurt her son.
- Playing with Fire: Gains fire affinity lines while pregnant with her Icaral son, Fyn'ir.
- Purple Eyes: Her eyes turn purple when she finally lets her power loose.
- Purple Is Powerful: Her light magic favours the purple end of the spectrum, turning her eyes and Gardnerian skin-glow purple from their original green. She knows just how ironic this is given Gardnerian views on the colour.
- Superpower Lottery: Gardnerian Light Mages can use the runes of all magic systems, and are extremely rare, especially at Sage's level.
Ra'Ven Za'Nor, aka "Ciaran"
Ruler of the Smaragdalfar, as the last member of their royal family. He's also a powerful rune-sorcerer.
- The Blacksmith: A very competent one, at that.
- Driven to Suicide: Nearly jumped off a bridge in Verpax City after losing his parents, but Zeymir stopped him.
- Dragon Ancestry: He has silver eyes with slit-pupils because of his family's strong ties to the wyvern-shifters.
- Glamour: Owns a set of glamour-chains, originally intended for his father, which make him look Keltanian.
- Interspecies Romance: With Sage.
- Love at First Sight: He and Sage are drawn together pretty much from the first time they see each other, in part due to their power.
A sarcastic and flippant Alfsigr rune-sorcerer who was banished from his country after refusing to wear the brainwashing pendant all High Elves are given at the age of 12.
- Cultural Rebel: Just by refusing to wear the Zalyn'or, he is this. As a result, he acts much differently than most other Alfsigr, who are having their emotions dampened by the pendants.
- The Exile: He refuses to wear the Zalyn'or necklace, so he can't go back to Alfsigroth, not that he particularly wants to.
- Heroic BSoD: After a group of Smaragdalfar refugees run screaming from him because he's an Alfsigr, even though he just wanted to greet them and offer the children sweets, he's so devastated that he devotes his life to the resistance.
- Important Haircut: Cuts his hair very short after realizing that Za'ya was telling the truth about what his people have done, and deciding to officially join the resistance.
- The Snark Knight: Very snarky and refuses to take things seriously.
Older brother of Elloren Gardner.
Younger brother of Elloren Gardner.
A dragon rescued by Elloren and her friends from a Gardnerian military base before they could break her.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: She destroys Ariel's stash of nilantyr to force her to detox. This leads to Ariel's death later on when she's captured and forced to overdose on it.
- Secret Keeper: She can tell that Yvan is an Icaral despite his efforts to hide it.
- Shapeshifter Mode Lock: She's actually a wyvern-shifter who was locked in dragon form courtesy of geomancy used on her by the Gardnerian military.
Daughter of Carnissa Gardner, and Ren's aunt.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: She initially seems nice, but her cruelty and bigotry become more and more obvious over the course of the story, especially as her position of power becomes threatened by her niece and nephews' flouting of Gardnerian laws and traditions.
- Black and White Morality: You're either with her faction of Gardnerians or against them, and if you're against them, she'll rain Hell down on you, even if you're her family.
- Deadly Euphemism: Says she's against the Selkie trade and that there are better ways to treat them than by keeping them in cages. In reality, she wants them all wiped out.
- Evil Aunt: Treats Elloren terribly, particularly after Ren finds out just how cruel she really is.
- The Fashionista: Loves her outfits and is always well-dressed. She also sends Elloren outfits that are stunning, but daring.
- Freudian Excuse: Her nursemaid as a child was a Urisk woman who abused her.
- Hate at First Sight: Loathed Tessla, believing that she wanted to run off with a Kelt (Jules Kristian). She refused to believe that Tessla and Vale genuinely loved each other, and calls her trash.
Elloren Gardner's uncle.
- Actual Pacifist: Hated weapons and wouldn't have wands in the house, even for Trystan.
- Character Death: Is killed (indirectly) by his sister in the second book.
- Ill Boy: Has a stroke in the second book and is left unable to play music again.
- White Sheep: In contrast to his vindictive, hateful sister, his brother, who was a powerful Mage, and his mother, the Black Witch, Edwin was a musician and violin maker with almost no magic who lived simply, brought his nieces and nephews up humbly and never harmed anyone.
A Priest Mage who is elected the new High Mage partway through The Black Witch. He's also a fanatic who wants to wipe out all non-Gardnerians, and wields the Shadow Wand.
- Absolute Xenophobe: Would happily murder all the non-Gardnerians. The Alfsigr are maybe the exceptions, since they're allied with the Gardnerians, but even that's not absolute.
- Big Bad: Of the series.
- Dark Messiah: Wants to bring about the Reaping Times and kill all the non-Gardnerians.
- Hypocrite: Demands that all Gardnerians over sixteen be compulsorily fasted, yet as a priest, he doesn't have to fast.
- Klingon Promotion: It's implied that he killed the previous High Mage because while Vogel was a shoo-in for the position, he didn't want to wait to be elected.
A powerful Mage in the Gardnerian military, who Vyvian Damon has set her sights on as a fastmate for Elloren.
- Abhorrent Admirer: Fallon Bane is his, but he never actually tells her that he's not interested.
- Cannot Tell a Lie: He and Elloren both have strong Dryad lineage, and Dryads can't lie to each other.
- My Country, Right or Wrong: He knows that Vogel is a fanatic, and doesn't agree with a lot of his plans, but still willingly carries them out as a servant of Gardneria rather than rebelling.
The young woman assumed by the Gardnerian government and military to be the next Black Witch.
- Abhorrent Admirer: She's obsessed with fasting to Lukas. He's not interested due to her cruelty.
- The Ace: She's an incredibly powerful Mage, so much so that she's assumed to be the next Black Witch (admittedly, there being no other known female Mage with that level of power is part of it).
- Alpha Bitch: Will go after anyone who isn't one of her toadies.
- Arch-Enemy: Elloren is hers because Lukas is actually interested in her.
- Assassination Attempt: She's repeatedly targeted because she's thought to be the Black Witch.
- An Ice Person: The primary vector of her power.
- In the Blood: Like her father, she's a cruel, malicious xenophobe who likes hurting people with ice.
- Out of Focus: She's badly injured in an assassination attempt in the first book and removed from the university for her own safety. As a result, she only appears in a couple of scenes in the second book.
- Too Dumb to Live: Tries to cut Diana's hair while she's asleep. Diana attacks her in self-defense and throws Fallon's wand into the fireplace.
Father of Fallon Bane.
The first Black Witch.
- Abusive Parents: She gave up on actually parenting her children as her powers grew stronger and turned them over to nursemaids without checking to see if they were being treated well.
- Mutual Kill: With the Keltic Icaral who rose to stop her.
- Playing with Fire: On an absolutely colossal scale. She killed thousands and razed various places with her fire, including the whole of Uriskan.
Elloren Gardner's father.
- Knight In Sour Armor: Didn't agree with his mother's xenophobia, but couldn't fight her.
- Mistaken for Gay: Tessla initially thought he was sleeping with Fain. They weren't, and Vale wasn't gay.
- Perfectly Arranged Marriage: Wound up in one of these with Tessla.
- Sugar-and-Ice Personality: Only showed the sugar side to people he liked, everyone else (including Tessla, initially) got the ice side.
Elloren Gardner's mother.
- The Ace: She was beautiful, exceptionally intelligent, had a level of power uncommon in Gardnerian women, and also had an ability (reading affinity lines) that usually only Level Five Mages had.
- All of the Other Reindeer: Was despised by many for being close to Jules Kristian, a Kelt, and was accused of sleeping with him, a serious crime in Gardneria.
- Broken Pedestal: Idolised her country and countrymen at first, but then realised that they were no different from the Kelts and would horribly kill and hurt anyone who isn't like them. Her nearly getting accused of treason for a crime she didn't commit didn't help.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: She stole a wand and used it to save many of her countrymen from certain death, but once they were rescued, rumours were spread (some by the people she saved) that she'd only done so to save herself and Jules.
- Playing with Fire: Had strong fire affinities.
- Rags to Riches: Started out having to steal to get enough to eat, and her brother was dying because she couldn't afford medicine to cure him. Once she married Vale, his wealth ensured that her brother would be cured and her family would always have enough to eat.
- The Smart Guy: Was a genuine genius with potions, even when she was using substandard ingredients.
- Lady Land: They usually execute any men who trespass within their borders. Any male Amaz babies are left in the Lupine forests to die (though the Lupines generally take them in).
A simple Amaz goat-herder... and also one of their rune-sorceresses and the commander of the Queen's Guard.
- Exact Words: Told Elloren she was a goat-herder, which was true. She just left out her ability as a rune-sorceress and position as the commander of the Queen's Guard.
- Odd Friendship: Becomes good friends with Elloren. They even get drunk together and talk about their relationships.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: With Ni Vin. They want to be together, but neither will abandon her responsibilities to her people.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Black with blue highlights.
A high-ranking Amaz warrior.
- Open Secret: She's carrying on a relationship with Clive Soren, a Kelt. This is against Amaz culture, but while everyone knows about it, they tolerate it as long as Freyja never admits that her "hunting trips" are actually her trips to see him. Were she to admit it, she would be exiled.
A high-ranking Amaz warrior, and an Urisk.
- Hate at First Sight: Despises Elloren for her heritage and never warms up to her, even after seeing firsthand that Elloren is nothing like her grandmother.
- Hidden Depths: Ren only gets to see Alcippe's softer side when she insists on adopting the Gardnerian Icaral girl that Ren and Yvan rescued.
- My Greatest Failure: She single-handedly rescued her mother and brought her to Amaz lands. While Alcippe became a warrior, she always wanted her mother to become one too. But her mother refused, and remained meek and traumatised. Alcippe is still upset over it.
- Self-Made Orphan: After becoming a warrior, she killed her abusive father personally for what he did to her mother.
A Keltanian doctor.
- Gender-Restricted Ability: The women are all rune sorceresses. The men get nothing.
Kam Vin's younger sister.
The son of Sage and Ra'Ven, and an Icaral.
- Draconic Humanoid: As an Icaral. This is notable because of the Za'Nor family's historic ties to wyvern-shifters.
- Green-Skinned Space Babe: He should be, as a Smaragdalfar, but he's actually purple thanks to Sage's Light magic.
- Half-Human Hybrid: Half-Gardnerian, half-Smaragdalfar, and an Icaral due to his wyvern-shifter ancestry.
- Living MacGuffin: He's believed to be the Icaral of Prophecy by every race in the Western Realms, so he's being hunted despite being only a baby. However, he's not actually the Icaral they're looking for.
- Meaningful Name: "Fyn'ir" means "freedom" in the Smaragdalfar language.
- Winged Humanoid: As an Icaral.