The following list contains a series of tropes describing the characters from The Licanius Trilogy.
Warning: Ending spoilers are hidden, but First Episode Twists abound.
Davian / Dav
An orphan raised at the Gifted school in Caladel who harbors a dark secret: He's an Augur, with the power to tell when somebody is lying. His best friends Asha and Wirr are the only people he's told, but one night a mysterious stranger who knows about Davian's ability appears at his door. Convinced by the stranger that his Augur powers can repair the rapidly-failing Boundary, he leaves on a journey to save Andarra from the forces of Aarkein Devead, unaware that his role in the conflict is much bigger than he could have imagined.
- The Ace: Among Augurs, he adeptly uses all powers to great effect excepting Control, for ethical reasons.
- Achievements in Ignorance: His initial use of his Augur powers, including shapeshifting into a dead man, opening Malshash's Lockbox, and most importantly his use of kan to steal essence from his surroundings.
- He even slows time when he kills a Hunter in self-defense, and Controls a smuggler to wipe his memory, though he is oblivious of both at the time.
- Beauty, Brains, and Brawn: Zig-zagged with the Caladel Trio. He originally comes off as The Smart Guy, with essentially no combat ability, but his time spent in Ilshan Gathdel Teth and Zvaelar turns him into a very deadly fighter.
- His interactions with Ishelle and Asha reveal that they, at least, find him quite attractive.
- Because Destiny Says So: Accepts the vision of his death and doesn't try to fight or avoid it.
- Big Good: The visions of him Seen by Augurs for many generations imply that he has a great role to play in proceedings, and that he will be on the side of justice.
- The Call Knows Where You Live: Ilseth Tenvar appears at his door in the middle of the night to kickstart his journey.
- Childhood Friend Romance: He harbors feelings for Asha, but hesitates to tell her. It works out very well for him in the end, as Asha feels the same way.
- The Chosen One: Largely Downplayed. While he is referred to as the greatest man of this age, and some of his actions were seen by the prewar Augurs, he is fulfilling no legendary prophecy.
- Dead to Begin With: At some point before the story started, he technically died. However, his Augur powers immediately kicked in, allowing him to keep his body functional by siphoning Essence from his surroundings.
- Distracted by the Sexy: He's taken aback by Ishelle's beauty the first time she bumps into him. She's aware of it due to her Reading ability, and even teases him about it later.
- 11th-Hour Superpower: Uses his internal hardened kan mechanisms to great effect towards the end of the story.
- Everyone Can See It: It's always obvious to others when someone is attracted to him, or vice versa, but he generally seems to be oblivious to the point of callousness, even, which Erran reprimands him for.
- Sadly, his actions directly lead to Ishelle's near-death experience with the eletai.
- Every Scar Has a Story: Bears a trademark cut on his cheek from when Davian he was attacked by a drunk man with a knife as a boy. Receives a second one from an al'goriat in Zvaelar.
- Exploited Immunity: In Book 3, Davian's death has ostensibly been Seen, allowing both his captors and himself to take serious risks with his safety as they know nothing else will actually kill him.
- Similarly, in Book 3 he implants several kan mechanisms inside his body. Normally, this would be impossible because the kan would react with the Essence inside his body, but Davian is technically dead and thus has no Essence reserve.
- Faking the Dead: Though he doesn't know it, the 'Davian' who died at Tal's hand in the Vision was actually Caeden, not him.
- First Girl Wins: Despite meeting several women over the course of his journey, nobody compares to Asha.
- Fixing the Game: Impossible to beat at games that require bluffing, because he can immediately tell when anyone else is lying.
- Future Badass: Hinted at in Asha's vision of Davian, who is a lot more muscular and serious. Verified in Book 3, as by this point Davian has become the most powerful Augur in history.
- Genius Bruiser: Over the course of the story he becomes an incredibly sharp and knowledgeable Augur with devastating ability on the battlefield. His studious attitude make him a Badass Bookworm as well.
- Hard Work Hardly Works: Has spent several all-nighters trying to learn how to channel, but it's never paid off. That's because he doesn't have a Reserve, though he didn't know that was the case.
- Happily Adopted: Never knew his parents, but he was taken care of by the staff at Caladel for as long as he can remember, with no complaints.
- Heroic Self-Deprecation: In book 1, at least, he insists that he is nothing special and certainly not "The greatest man of this age".
- Impersonation Gambit: Pretends to be a Hunter, apprenticed to Breshada, to avoid suspicion in a Desrielite tavern.
- Living Lie Detector: Davian's unique ability that marks him as an Augur.
- It's noted that he is exceptionally good at this, to the point where with practice he learns to sense lies even from those who can shield their thoughts against regular Reading.
- Long-Distance Relationship: Unofficially with Asha after the end of book 2, though he always acted like this was the case.
- More Powered Protégé: His interactions with Malshash show the shocking rate at which he learns his Augur techniques, and his immense amount of potential.
- He's eventually trained to be the strongest Augur ever, but seeing as Malshash is actually one of the Venerate, he technically is still weaker than his tutor.
- My Own Grampa: Downplayed example. Due to a Stable Time Loop, he is responsible for saving his father's life and plays a critical role in bringing his mother and father together.
- New Powers as the Plot Demands: Averted. Careful re-reading of the first chapters in Book 1 will show he always had access to the full suite of Augur powers, he just didn't realize he was using them.
- Nostalgia Filter: Generally had one for the days of Augur rule, but it was mainly because he wasn't subject to other points of view. Wirr sets him straight.
- One-Man Army: His combat prowess against the Banes in the final rush to Deilannis is nothing short of legendary.
- One True Love: Davian's feelings towards Asha, even going so far as to dismiss the beautiful Ishelle's advances. Reciprocated by Asha, and how.
- By the end of the story, the two have become inseparably bonded due to Davian's need to draw from Asha's reserve in order to stay alive. She's cool with it.
- Our Liches Are Different: Though the term is never used, Davian fits this trope. He is technically dead, animating his own body with magic.
- Parental Abandonment: He's an orphan who was brought to Caladel as a young boy.
- His father is from a different time period, and died thousands of years before his birth, and his mother was forced to send him away from Ilshan Gathdel Teth for his own safety. He does actually meet and forge a relationship with his parents in Zvaelar, though it's before they even know each other.
- Prophecy Twist: Everyone believes Caedan will kill Davian when the latter travels back in time to give the former a "Reason You Suck" Speech that starts his HeelFace Turn. While Caeden does kill Davian, it's in utero in Zvaelar and Davian comes Back from the Dead. Having killed Davian, Caeden is able to shapeshift into his image, and it's that shapeshifted Caedan that the earlier Caeden kills.
- Reports of My Death Were Greatly Exaggerated: Everyone assumed he is dead when he doesn't make it out of Deilannis (aside from Asha, who knew better), so they are flabbergasted when he shows up in Ilin Illan a few weeks later.
- Technically applies to the Vision of his death, as well, because it was Caeden inhabiting his body.
- Super Senses: Some of his internal kan mechanisms strengthen his senses and physical attributes.
- ¡Three Amigos!: Has been best friends with Wirr and Asha for years at Caladel.
- Took a Level in Badass: Becomes a much more talented fighter after learning how to use the full extent of his Augur abilities. His imprisonment in Ilshan Gathdel Teth and subsequently Zvaelar push his physical and mental strength to the absolute limit. Wirr describes him as a 'whirlwind of death' when they make a stand against the Banes in Book 3.
- Vampiric Draining: He is capable of draining Essence from living things, and needs to do so in order to survive. Normally, the amount he draws from any one thing is too small to notice, but if he chooses he can focus his draining, disabling or rapidly killing anything that cannot defend itself with kan.
- Walking Wasteland: An incredibly subtle one. He draws Essence from his surroundings in order to survive, including trees, vegetation and people. Usually the amounts are so low that nobody notices.
Asha / Ashalia Chaedris / Ash
A talented and kind Gifted who trained in Caladel, Asha woke one morning to find everyone else at the Academy brutally slaughtered. Her best friends, Davian and Wirr, were able to escape but before she could find out what happened, she was apprehended by the Elders from Tol Athian and forcibly turned into a Shadow. Stripped of her powers and recent memory, she leaves for the capital with the Elders to find some answers, unaware that she is surrounded by her enemies.
- Action Girl: Embodies this trope as she leads the Shadows in the battle to defend Ilin Illan against the Blind.
- Taken Up to Eleven in Book 3, when she becomes able to weaponize the essence stored in the Siphon, essentially becoming an unstoppable essence-infused warrior who can make an ilshara by herself.
- Affectionate Nickname: Davian is the only one who calls her "Ash".
- Battle Couple: With Davian as they escape from Seclusion.
- Beauty, Brains, and Brawn: Zig-zagged with the Caladel Trio. She's quite the beauty, as noted by Davian, and even as a Shadow she has a conga line of suitors from vying for her attention in Ilin Illan.
- That said, her quick wit is proven several times over during her research in Tol Athian, and her time in the dok'en.
- She also becomes a force to be reckoned with leading the Shadows during the Blind's attack, and doubly so after gaining the Siphon's power and her combat training from Elli.
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished: She remains beautiful despite her facial markings as a Shadow. In Davian's eyes, at least (and to her many admirers in Ilin Illan).
- Combat Pragmatist: Is not above fighting dirty if she's outmatches, as seen in her duel with Diara.
- Damsel in Distress: A few occasions.
- Played straight when she is captured by Scyner's men, and her Augur friends need to mount a rescue once they realize where she's gone.
- Downplayed with the Tributary. While she needs Caeden's help escaping, it's because she wants to safely replace herself, not because she needs a rescue.
- Damsel out of Distress: Occurs far more often, as she repeatedly shows she can handle her own safety very well.
- 11th-Hour Superpower: She gets to use the full power of her Siphon in combat and to create her own ilshara.
- The Everywoman: The only POV character to not be an Augur, royalty, or immortal, much of Asha's narrative is about how a normal girl like her deals with extraordinary circumstances.
- This gets thrown out the window once she gets the power of the Siphon, but notably she is still quite level-headed and sensible.
- 15 Minutes of Fame: Becomes momentarily famous in Ilin Illan due to her pivotal role in the defense against the blind.
- Fights Like a Normal: Despite having the power to raze entire towns with Essence, she actually prefers to use a sword and get into the thick of it. Downplayed due to her Essence armor though.
- Healing Hands: She becomes quite proficient at this, even saving Caeden from the absolute brink of death.
- Impersonation Gambit: Pretends to be a Hunter to avoid suspicion in Desriel's military camp when freeing Caeden.
- Long-Distance Relationship: Unofficially with Davian after the end of book 2.
- Magical Girl Warrior: Fully embodies this trope once she's well-trained and bound to the siphon.
- Parental Abandonment: Her parents were work-obsessed merchants who never had time for her. Once they found out she was Gifted, they dropped her off at Caladel and never made contact again.
- Pinball Protagonist: Switches allegiances and employers several times. She starts off working for Scyner, then Elocien, then Taeris, then Nethgalla (unwittingly), then Caeden before finally reuniting with Davian and Wirr to bring her own plans to fruition.
- Readings Are Off the Scale: The amount of Essence in her Reserve after the Siphon incident is so much she cam barely even comprehend it.
- The Reliable One: Many of her companions and even enemies like Nethgalla know she can be trusted to do what is right. The most notable example is her sacrifice in the Tributary.
- Secret Keeper: Davian entrusts all of his secrets to her, even the ones that could get him killed.
- Erran does as well, and she's equally steadfast in keeping his confidence.
- This Is Unforgivable!: Her reaction to the 'message' the Shadreahin sent to Elocien, and the main reason she refuses to spy for the former anymore.
- ¡Three Amigos!: Has been best friends with Wirr and Davian for years at Caladel.
- Took a Level in Badass: Her imprisonment in the Tributary provides her with plenty of time to hone her combat skills. Combined with her practically infinite reserve, she becomes powerful enough to hold her own against one of the Venerate and create an ilshara from scratch.
- Trauma Conga Line: The majority of her storyline. The fact that it doesn't break her spirits is a testament to her resilience and emotional strength.
- Specifically, Waking up to find everyone she ever cared for dead or missing, being forcibly turned into a Shadow and losing her memory, witnessing Jin's death, being tricked and manipulated by Nethgalla, staying in the Tributary for a year and being freed only to find out that the man she loves is destined to die at the hands of her rescuer.
Wirr / Prince Torin Wirrander Andras / Tor
A powerful Gifted and classmate of his best friends Davian and Asha at the Academy in Caladel. Planning to simply check on his friend, he caught Davian just as he was leaving for the Boundary. After quickly being brought up to speed, Wirr insisted on joining him and the two were off as soon as his bags were packed. While he trusts his Davian's word, he knows that he'll need to bail the secret Augur out of many sticky situations Though Wirr's suspiciously broad knowledge of politics, culture and combat suggest a big secret of his own.
- Beauty, Brains, and Brawn: Zig-zagged with the Caladel Trio. He's the strongest of the group, with the most combat training. By the end, he's the weakest one (Davian and Asha are the most powerful beings in the world) and he relies more on his intellect, using his Oathstone to great effect.
- His looks also gain him attention both in Caladel and Ilin Illan, where ladies at school and in court and throw several romantic hints in his direction.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Good-natured and carefree, but also an immensely powerful Gifted. After he becomes Northwarden, he also has the ability to command any Gifted or Administrator through an Oathstone.
- His kindness and integrity are the only reasons that power isn't exploited for political gain.
- 11th-Hour Superpower: The Oathstone command power allows him to effectively lead large-scale military conflicts as Book 3 ramps up.
- Exact Words: Changing the Tenets to enable use of Essence "In defence of Andarra" came back to bite him when ambassadors from other countries came knocking.
- First Girl Wins: Being a handsome, powerful and talented prince, Wirr receives the attentions of many beautiful girls. However, his heart belongs entirely to Dezia, the first woman who joins his travelling party.
- Frontline General: Has the sense to avoid this, but he's forced into the role once his forces have dwindled to a hundred fighters.
- King Incognito: Wirr turns out to be a prince of Andarra.
- By the end of the story, he also becomes the de facto king, as the rest of the royals save his younger sister are dead.
- The Lancer: Acts as a more calm, methodical and worldly counterpart to Davian as they travel and work together it saves the latter's hide many times.
- Loophole Abuse: The Vessel that binds the Gifted to the Tenets needs to be unlocked by someone of the Andarran royal bloodline, after which one of the Gifted must power it up and can then swear new Tenets. Because Wirr is both Gifted and of the Andarran royal line, he can use the Vessel all on his own.
- The Men First: Cares greatly for those under his command, even Administrators and will not rest or hide before they have done so even to the point of total exhaustion.
- Military Mage: Essentially forms and leads a battalion of combat Gifted from Tol Athian. He's not afraid to get his hands dirty himself.
- Modest Royalty: Good-natured and kind despite his royal status.
- Really Royalty Reveal: Happens rather quickly, but it takes a while for him to tell his friends.
- Royalty Super Power: Can change the Tenants single-handedly and actually control Administrators and Gifted alike due to his lineage and Gifted status.
- One-Man Army: In a bizarre way, as his Oathstone ability means that he is either controlling or directing the whole army at the same time.
- Reluctant Ruler: Of Administration. He knows they won't like him due to the fact that he's Gifted, and he expects resistance or outright assassination at every turn, but he doesn't have much of a choice after changing the Tenets.
- The Strategist: His Oathstone ability is an invaluable asset to the military and necessitates some intense training to make him into quite the commander.
- ¡Three Amigos!: Has been best friends with Davian and Asha for years at Caladel.
- Took a Level in Badass: His ascension to the role of Northwarden, with its Oathstone mind-control ability, and his subsequent military training turns him into an immensely powerful and effective commander.
- Try to Fit THAT on a Business Card!: Between his royal and Administrative duties and his long name.
- Upbringing Makes the Hero: His politically-savvy background lays the foundation for his specific type of moral, diplomatic heroism as Northwarden and General.
- Warrior Prince: Though he fights with essence rather than traditional weaponry.
- Witch Hunt: Of a subtle nature. He doesn't plan to expel anyone from Administration, but he does need to find out who the Loyalists are in case they're the ones trying to kill him.
- We ARE Struggling Together: He s frustrated at his inability to convince the disparate factions of Administration, the Tols and the military of the danger the Bane invasion poses.
- He does eventually, but by then it's almost too late.
Caeden / Tal'kammar Deshrel / Tal / Talkanor / Aarkein Devead / Malshash
After waking up covered in blood inside a forest in Desriel, Caeden was imprisoned by the gil'shar and charged with mass murder. Despite the damning evidence, he is unable to remember what happened or anything else, for that matter. A messy escape reveals that he is an incredibly powerful Gifted and his memories slowly begin to return, though they usually prompt more questions than answers. While the revelations of just who he is and what he's done unsettle him, the terrible knowledge of what he must do shakes him to the very core.
- Affectionate Nickname: 'Kein (short for Aarkein Devead) of all things.
- Amnesiac Hero: His entire story line in the first book and a half is centered on his quest to regain his memories. He doesn't always like what he finds.
- The Anti-Nihilist: Has gradually and painstakingly transformed into this over the course of his four-thousand year life.
- The Atoner: Caeden doesn't know for sure that he's guilty of what he's been accused of, but he wants to do right by his friends. He's guilty of a whole lot worse than that.
- Badass in Charge: While he's grateful to Jakarris for saving him, he's also quick to forcefully remind him just who is calling the shots between them.
- Book-Ends: Caeden's complete journey as an immortal both begins and ends with him being beheaded.
- Berserk Button: Harming any of the women he loves or tainting their memory. This causes him to take many actions in a blind rage, like accidentally killing his wedding guests or throwing Nethgalla into the Darklands pit.
- Flashbacks show he once had quite the temper when criticized, likely due to his guilt comlex.
- The Chessmaster: His greatest strengths are his mind and his planning ability, both of which he uses to successfully engineer the downfall of the Venerate and El/Shammaeloth by executing an incredibly complex multi-stage gambit that risks essentially everything in the world. It works.
- He's basically the definition of this trope, successfully creating and implementing a grand plan spanning millennia while playing double agent.
- The Chosen One: Seems like it at first, though achievements don't fit the bill as they are largely a result of his own planning, not pre-ordained from a mythical source.
- Despair Event Horizon: Multiple times.
- He is shocked and horrified at the death of his bride, so he uses kan to try and revive her, killing every one of his friends and wedding guests around him in the process.
- Meldier's memory of the activation of the pillars that destroy Dareci show that Caeden is in a peak state of grief, denial and agony.
- He is ready to throw in the towel after his confrontation with El/Shammaeloth reveals his darkest secrets and almost takes his life. Asha and Davian don't let it come to that, however.
- Determinator: His single-minded nature alongside his immortality means that he is willing to see his plans through regardless of pain or personal consequence.
- Double Agent: He spends 2 millennia pretending to still be on the side of the Venerate while realizing that they're wrong and creating his grand plan to bring them down. Nobody suspects a thing.
- Driven to Madness: As he embraced the name Aarkein Devaed and committed increasingly terrible atrocities, even his companions in the Venerate (Meldier specifically) remarked that he looked completely mad with grief and guilt.
- Exact Words: His promises tend to follow the letter of the agreement, rather than the spirit.
- He does free the Lyth from Res Kartha in exchange for Licanius, but leaves them bound to the Siphon and effectively powerless.
- He keeps his promise to help Davian escape Ilshan Gathdel Teth, but not in a straightforward way. He does so by giving him the tools to escape in Zvaelar.
- Famed in Story: Everyone in Desriel seems to know who he is, after the heinous crime he has been charged with, his mysterious escape, and his face being printed on several wanted posters.
- His alter ego, Aarkein Devead, is far more famous.
- Good Is Not Nice: Despite championing the cause against El/Shammaeloth, his actions are not always saintly. Most devastatingly shown in his flashback of how he came to possess Caeden's body.
- Healing Factor: Can heal from anything but getting his head cut off, and even then wakes up in a new body
- HeelFace Turn: After committing atrocious acts of evil as Aarkein Devaed, he becomes the champion of the good side, nearly single handedly masterminding the plan which successfully saves the world.
- Heroic BSoD: Has two massive ones at the ends of book 1 and book 2 when he discovers he is Aarkein Devaed and that he killed Davian, respectively.
- Hurting Hero: Has angsty episodes every time he kills one of the Venerate and carries out his plan.
- Justified, as they've been friends for millennia, and their conflict is about ideological differences, not personal hatred.
- I Am Who?: He doesn't necessarily like the answer.
- Immortality: He can only die from being beheaded, and even when he does die he finds himself in a new body. The only thing that can permanently kill him is Licanius.
- Implausible Fencing Powers: Caeden might be a malnourished amnesiac, but put a sword in his hands and he becomes nigh-invincible. Justified, due to his literal millennia of swordfighting experience.
- It's Not You, It's My Enemies: Despite his attraction to Karaliene, he keeps his distance for her safety. He had the right idea, but he was too late.
- Living Legend: As Arakein Devead, though he doesn't know it until the end of Book 1.
- Love Across Battlelines: Of a platonic kind. He still cares deeply for his friends in the Venerate and is visibly shaken and bereaved when he has to kill them.
- The Man They Couldn't Hang: The first time he tried to be executed, the rope didn't really do much.
- Memory Gambit: The entire story is kicked off because he pulls one of these.
- Miles to Go Before I Sleep: He's ready to die, and would have no issue giving his life to make the world a better place, but he has to make sure his plan is complete before he does so.
- Noble Demon: Aarkein Devead is described as doing both good and terrible things, but is mostly remembered for the latter.
- Obi-Wan Moment: Is positively cheerful as he bids his final goodbyes to the heroes in Deilannis. It's mostly a facade, but his ploy actually comes perfectly to fruition.
- Person of Mass Destruction: Of a Destructive Saviour sort. Turns the tide of battle in Ilin Illan twice by destroying the opposing army singlehandedly.
- Redemption Equals Death: In his eyes, he only way he can begin to redeem himself is to seal the rift, killing himself and the rest of the Venerate (and preventing the birth of new Augurs) permanently.
- Redemption Quest: Deconstructed. His good actions do not undo his past atrocities, and many characters he attempts to apologize to end the story with mixed or negative feelings towards him.
- Safety in Indifference: Repeatedly avoids revisiting his friends in Ilin Illan for their safety.
- Take Me Instead: Begs the real El for a chance to sacrifice his own life to prevent Davian's preordained death, and gets it.
- The Reveal: He's actually Aarkein Devaed. He's also Malshash and Talkanor, the Desrielite god of balance.
- This Is Your Brain on Evil: Many of the Venerate expect him to pull a FaceHeel Turn upon discovering his old identity of Aarkein Devaed.
- They're wrong. His memories make it clear that he's always been the same person and deeply regretted his atrocities, regardless of his justifications.
- Took a Level in Badass: His fighting abilities drastically improve as he regains his memories. Once he has Licanius, he becomes nearly unstoppable.
- We Used to Be Friends: Caeden and the rest of the Venerate used to be the closest of friends, causing Caeden great emotional anguish when he needs to kill them.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Asha harbours seething resentment for him after learning that he will be responsible for killing Davian.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: His justification for many atrocities as Aarkein Devaed. His most significant moment of growth is when he realizes this is untrue, and he is solely responsible for all of his actions.
- Wound That Will Not Heal: Gets permanently stripped of his Venerate powers once he's nicked by Licanius. Davian and Asha save his life, but can't restore him to his former state.
An older Gifted that encounters Davian and Wirr on their journey through Desriel. Once handsome, his features are marred by multiple scars that cross his face. Accused of committing terrible crimes against civilians, he has been a fugitive for years and his reputation with the capital is dirt. His connection to Davian might run deeper than it originally appears.
- Combat Pragmatist: Has no qualms fighting dirty when traversing the forests of Desriel with Davian's party.
- Cool Old Guy: Worldly, competent and shrouded in dangerous mystery, the travelling party respects him even if they don't entirely trust him.
- Every Scar Has a Story: Has plenty, from being present at the incident when Davian was attacked as a boy and Controlled everyone in the room, forcing them to mutilate their own faces. The link makes him continually scar himself.
- Gone Horribly Right: His test to see if Davian really is the Augur of legend ends with several fatalities, a permanently ruined reputation and a lifetime of constant, painful scarring.
- Heroic Sacrifice: His final action is to save Davian from being sucked into the rift before the time is right. It causes Taeris to age at an accelerated rate, and he is a dead old man by the time the two of them are pulled out.
- Hidden Heart of Gold: Despite his gruff exterior and admitted mistakes, he's only ever tried to look out for Davian and keep him safe.
- I Did What I Had to Do: Downplayed as he seriously regrets how much Davian was hurt by his choice to test him and determine his identity.
- I Was Quite a Looker: Flashbacks reveal he was exceptionally handsome before receiving his trademark scars.
- The Leader: Of the initial traveling party, Taeris is the only one who really knows what is going on, and the group follows his direction.
- The Mentor: To Asha during her tenure as Representative in Ilin Illan.
- Miscarriage of Justice: Downplayed as he is indirectly responsible for the crime he is accused of, but never would have gone through with it if he knew the consequences.
- My Greatest Failure: The guilt of the incident in Caladel involving a young Davian still haunts him long after it occurs.
- Mysterious Past: Most of his identity is so overshadowed with myth and rumours that it's hard to know who he really is or what he really plans to do.
- Papa Wolf: Fiercely protective of Davian, even going as far as to sacrifice himself.
- Perpetual Frowner: Takes the responsibility of shepherding Wirr, Davian and Caeden out of Desriel very seriously. He does lighten up once they're in the clear.
- Rage Against the Mentor: After Malshash teaches Davian to unconditionally spot lies, Taeris speaks a few white lies to him and loses a significant deal of the boy's trust.
- Resigned to the Call: Devotes his life to the protection of Davian, because he knows the importance of his task. This even costs him a spot in Tol Athian's council for some time.
- Save This Person, Save the World: Twice! When he took care of Davian as an infant and freed Caeden from the clutches of the gil'shar.
Dezia Shainwiere / 'Zia
Ward of the King and sister to Aelric, Dezia grew up in the palace of Ilin Illan where she became good friends with Princess Karaliene. She and her brother are the last members of a derelict Andarran House. Patient and kind, she reins in her hotheaded brother and bails him out when he gets into trouble. She joins Davian and Wirr's travelling party in Thrindar and gets along swimmingly with the latter, much to Aelric's concern.
- Action Girl: Has excellent archery skills and a lot of nerve. Her eventual influence over the Neskian army comes in very handy in Book 3.
- Badass Normal: Has no special powers, but keeps pace with the rest of the party through her physical aptitude and quick thinking.
- Best Friend: To Princess Karaliene, which comes in very handy as her father and House died, and the King adopted her as his ward due to her closeness with his daughter.
- Big Damn Heroes Moment: When she saves Andarra with the Neskian army. To the point where Wirr believes her appearance to be a brink-of-death hallucination.
- Hero of Another Story: Literally. Her and Aelric's journey to Nesk and eventual return to save Andarra is such a large story detour that it's getting its own book.
- I Was Just Joking: Her deadpan sense of humor is revealed when she asks Wirr about his mysterious kiss with Breshada. Wirr panics and stammers excuses until she and her brother burst out laughing.
- Guile Heroine: Perfectly revealed as she dashingly arrives just in time to saves Wirr (and Andarra) through her influence over the Neskian army.
- Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: Plenty of men fight with swords or Essence, but she's the only character to primarily use a bow.
- Love Confession: To Wirr, as she's leaving to rescue Aelric. It's as honest and down-to-earth as anything you'd expect of her.
- Nerves of Steel: Leaving solo to rescue her brother from angry investors in a hostile nation speaks to her total lack of fear or hesitation when someone she loves is in danger.
- Proper Lady: Downplayed. She was raised as one, but acts in a much more friendly and sensible manner than any noble lady Wirr knows. This is the main reason he's attracted to her.
- Silk Hiding Steel: Dignified and ladylike, but she can handle herself very well in combat.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Downplayed in her dynamic with Karaliene. Dezia's a bit more of a fighter, but they're both quite hands-on, honest and direct people despite their noble upbringings.
- Uptown Girl: Inverted. Her house has fallen on hard times, but the Prince of Andarra is head over heels for her and their class disparity would make a relationship between them into forbidden love.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Not impressed that Wirr kept her brother's disappearance to pay his debtors a secret from her, and lets him know in no uncertain terms.
Ward of the King and brother to Dezia, Aelric grew up in the palace of Ilin Illan where he received top-notch swordsman training. He and his sister are the last members of a derelict Andarran House. Confident and passionate, he has a loyalty to Princess Karaliene that goes beyond professional responsibility. He joins Davian travelling party in Thrindar and quickly butts heads with Caeden and Wirr, much to Dezia's annoyance.
- A Day in the Limelight: An upcoming novel will focus on a story about her journey into Nesk.
- Always Someone Better: As the best swordsman in Andarra, he treats his duel with Caeden as a guaranteed win. Then Caeden makes him eat a big slice of humble pie.
- An Arm and a Leg: Returns from Nesk mysteriously lacking an arm.
- Brother Instinct: Doesn't like his sister getting too close to Wirr on the road. Not because he doesn't like Wirr, he just doesn't want Dezia to get her heart broken, as her lack of nobility makes it unlikely to work out between them.
- Back for the Finale: After disappearing to sort things out in Nesk, she shows up just in time to save Wirr's life.
- Badass Normal: Has no special powers, but keeps pace with the rest of the party through his excellent sword skills and instincts.
- Empowered Badass Normal: The red armor magically augments his fighting ability, though to what extent is unclear.
- Everything but the Girl: Killer sword skills, a caring sister, and the king's favor don't make up for Karaleine's rejection of his advances.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Possessive of Karaliene. He's quite suspicious of Wirr when he meets her in private.
- Good Parents: His father stood up for him when he was unfairly accused of a crime. It cost him his life, though, and Aelric still feels guilty about it.
- Hero of Another Story: Literally. His and Dezia's journey to Nesk and eventual return to save Andarra is such a large story detour that it's getting its own book.
- Honor Before Reason: Where his pride of his affection for Karaliene is concerned.
- Knight in Sour Armor: A talented swordsman and royal guard with a very dour and jealous attitude (at least initially).
- Small Name, Big Ego: His house is no longer noble in any capacity, but he's still a very proud person.
- Sword Sparks: During his bout in the Song of Swords, his strikes are powerful and quick enough to create these.
- Throwing the Fight: Intentionally loses his last duel at the Song of Swords for political reasons. Unfortunately, he can't keep it a secret and incurs the wrath of his debtors.
El / Shammaeloth
A higher being referred to as El by those who believe it, and Shammaeloth by those who oppose it. It granted the Venerate their powers of immortality, and set them on a series of missions to liberate the world from its predestined fate. Its end goal is to reach the rift in Deilannis, which some say will bring eternal freedom and others say will turn the world into a place of eternal suffering akin to the Darklands.
- Big Bad: The Arch-Villain of the entire series. All of the conflict and strife in Andarra (and beyond) can be traced back to its machinations.
- Eldritch Abomination: Its true form is an abhorrent, writhing mass of tendrils and sludge. Even seeing this doesn't convince Alaris of its true nature.
- Enemy Within: How it manifests during the initial stages of a confrontation. It can force positive or negative feelings upon its enemies, whatever works best to destabilize them and cause doubt.
- Fisher King: Its presence continually erodes and corrupts materials in Talan Gol. It's not enough to convince the Venerate of its true nature, however.
- Light Is Not Good: Appears the first time to Caeden as a ball of pure light, which helps convince him of its identity as El.
- Mind Manipulation: Its preferred method to make its subjects (usually the Venerate) do its dirty work, though it's quite subtle about it.
- Revive Kills Zombie: Essence is anathema to its nature, to the point where it has to send out its Banes to kill all the plants and animals in its path before the final march on Deillanis.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: Downplayed with its prison in Seclusion. While it dwells there, it's actually free to go anywhere in Talan Gol. Played straight with ilshara.
- Strange Secret Entrance: Its hiding spot inside Seclusion is highly inaccessible to anyone without intimate knowledge of the area.
- Tautological Templar: Despite asking the Venerate to commit atrocities (like the genocide of the Darecian people), it justifies everything for the sake of the greater good.
- Year Outside, Hour Inside: Inside its lair, a few moments inside will translate to far more time outside.
Nethgalla / The Ath
Cunning, devious and manipulative, Nethgalla is a being from the Darklands summoned into the world thousands of years ago after a tragic incident. She has an unhealthy romantic obsession with Caeden, sprouting from their complex history, and will stop at nothing to be by his side.
- Alas, Poor Villain: Downplayed. While her horrible fate of eternal suffering in the darklands is pitiable, the characters don't feel sorry for her after finding out what she did to poor Karaleine.
- Bait the Dog: Her entire gambit towards Asha when pretending to be Breshada requires becoming friends and saving her life only so she can play a part in a far more nefarious scheme.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Will manipulate and screw over (if not murder) anyone in order to get closer to Caeden. Even if they're on her side.
- Expy: Has plenty in common with Lanfear.
- Evil Is Petty: She does not let things go very easily, and usually makes mental notes to enact revenge at a later date.
- Evil vs. Evil: Despite being a very unsavoury individual, she has no loyalty or affiliation to the Venerate. She even kills Asar in cold blood, though he was on Caeden's side.
- Lady of Black Magic: She doesn't always look it, but she has arcane knowledge and unique powers up her sleeves at all times. And she doesn't use it for good.
- Love Makes You Evil: Her inherited love for Caeden is her primary motivation for a lot of very unpleasant deeds.
- Manipulative Bastard: Has hooks, agents and deep undercover plans in just about every aspect of the plot. She uses them to great success, as well.
- Murder Is the Best Solution: Cleans up most of her loose ends by just killing problematic individuals. Or murdering innocents so she can pretend to be them for her own gain.
- Psycho Ex-Girlfriend: Downplayed. Caeden doesn't see their previous relationship as legitimate in any sense.
- Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: In her form as Elliavia.
- Shrouded in Myth: She is well-known as a figure in Andarran folk tales, but the details are hazy.
- Wild Card: Acts as a Spanner in the Works to several of Caeden's and The Venerate's plans. Nobody has any clue what she's up to, but she usually finds a way to deviate things from their intended course.
- Yandere: Frequently murders and shapeshifts into women that Caeden takes an interest in.
The Venerate (Collectively)
A group of eleven immortal beings with practically infinite Reserves and incredible control over Kan. They have been doing El/Shammaeloth's dirty work for millennia, though a recent ideological split has caused a war between two groups. The first, including Gassandrid, Wereth, Isiliar, Diara, Meldier, Tysis and Alaris believes wholeheartedly in their master. The second, including Andrael, Cyr, Asar and Tal'Kammar, believe their master has been lying from the start, and aim to cut themselves free by killing all of the Venerate once and for all.
- A God Am I: While the Venerate acknowledges El/Shammaeloth as a being above them, they believe their supreme abilities and immortality basically make them gods compared to the rest of humanity.
- Ax-Crazy: Isiliar. Once she escapes from the Tributary, her first action is to murder everyone and everything in her path that might gain the attention of Caeden.
- Brainwashed: How Caeden interprets Gassandrid and Alaris' allegiances. Of course, they think the same of him.
- The Dragon: Downplayed regarding their allegiance to El/Shammaeloth. Caeden's plan requires killing them, but for its own sake, not so he can get at El/Shammaeloth afterwards.
- In fact, the order of these fights is actually semi-reversed, as he needs to get Licanius from Seclusion before he can finish off Diara and Gassandrid.
- Driven to Madness: Isiliar's imprisonment inside a Tributary for 2000 years took a permanent toll on her mental well-being.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Gassandrid apologizes for allowing Reth'gar to torture Davian. and makes his extreme distaste at working with the creature clear.
- Exploited Immunity: The Venerate can't be permanently killed except by Licanius. They often commit suicide or allow themselves to die just to get out of a difficult situation (they wake up in a new body somewhere else).
- Hero of Another Story: Cyr's actions have an immense impact on the plot, even though he is never directly shown before his mysterious death.
- Presumably, the spin-off book will clarify this, as Aelric and Dezia mention him by name.
- Hidden Heart of Gold: Despit Caeden's initial introduction to the man, which included an assassination attempt Alaris is actually reasonable and kindhearted, and never gave up on converting his friend.
- Jerkass: Diara is very direct, often to the point of being mean-spirited. She has no hesitation torturing Davian for information or outright killing Asha because she won't agree to a deal.
- Kick the Dog: Gassandrid's use of Fessi as his final puppet is to dissuade Davian on a personal level.
- Like a God to Me: The Venerate are the Desrielite gods.
- Love Across Battlelines: Alarais still cares deeply for Caeden as one of his oldest friends, despite leading the opposing ideological schism in the Venerate.
- Mad Scientist: Cyr will do anything for knowledge. He even switched to Caeden's side and shut himself inside a Tributary for two thousand years out of pure curiosity.
- Older Than They Look: Every one of the Venerate is several thousand years old, but they inhabit normal human bodies of varying ages.
- The Philosopher: Alaris amd Gassandrid (much to Davian's annoyance) will endlessly debate philosophy and use it to justify their highly immoral actions.
- Flashbacks reveal that Andreal had shades of this to his character as well, as he was the first Venerate to break from El/Shammaeloth and create the Named swords.
- Posthumous Character: Wereth, Tysis and Andrael are only ever shown in flashbacks.
- Quirky Miniboss Squad: Downplayed. While they all have their own unique personality traits and strengths, Caeden doesn't even have to fight most of them.
- Stockholm Syndrome: Caeden's understanding of why they continue to support El/Shammeloth despite the atrocities it asks them to commit.
- Sunk Cost Fallacy: A large part of why the loyalist faction, in particular Alaris, stay loyal to Shammaeloth. Because Shammaeloth promises to unravel fate and enable the rewriting of the past, the loyalists firmly believe that all their atrocities will be erased if they succeed in their goal. They think they will only have to live with what they've done if they give up.
- Tautological Templar: Alarais and Gassandrid knowingly perpetrate evil, but justify their actions by proclaiming their intent to restore free will to the world.
A seemingly kind and knowing Elder from Tol Athian, Tenvar's true nature is revealed when he forcibly turns Asha into a Shadow after the Caladel massacre. He originally convinced Davian to leave the school and restore the Boundary, though his true allegiances may indicate Davian's quest is not entirely for the good of Andarra.
- Asshole Victim: His fate is rather sad in itself, but it's hard to feel sorry for him at all.
- Irony: He took on the task of sending out Davian in a bid to please Aarkein Devaed. Little did he know his master had changed sides, and was using him as an unwitting pawn to save Andarra instead of destroy it.
- Kick the Dog: He forcefully turns Asha into a shadow after the Caladel massacre, then tells her it was her idea.
- Laser-Guided Karma: An unethical jerk who forcefully wipes Asha's memory and lies about it gets his memory forcefully wiped (along with the rest of his mental faculties).
- Out of Focus: Despite essentially kickstarting the plot, he is barely present after the first book, only re-appearing as a prop for Caeden and Asha to put in the Tributary.
- Poisonous Captive: Once his treachery is revealed, he spends his days locked in Tol Athian's cells. That doesn't stop him from attempting to screw with anyone who comes to visit him.
- Ends rather poorly for him, as Davian loses patience when Reading him and turns him into a brain-dead husk by accident.
- Sanity Slippage: Elongated imprisonment seems to reduce him to a few steps above feral animal.
- Smug Snake: Once he's been found out, his supportive elder facade drops pretty quickly.
Scyner / Jakarris si'Irthidian
An unassuming Shadow of middle years, Scyner is first introduced to Asha as the Shadraehin the leader of the underground society of Shadows in Ilin Illan. He takes a great interest in Elocien's Augurs and repeatedly attempts to blackmail them into helping his cause, though his methods become increasingly unsavoury.
- Affably Evil: Generally polite and treats Asha with dignity. He also cares for the Shadows to some degree, allowing them to find somewhere to live away from Administration.
- Ambiguous Allegiance: Goes from murdering Administrators to fighting alongside them. Really, he's working for Nethgalla, who is acting as The Chessmaster and has no real allegiance to anyone.
- Big Bad Wannabe: Despite his impressive displays of terror towards the Northwarden he's actually being manipulated by Nethgalla from the start, who plans to kill him when he's outlived his use.
- Nuanced as well, since he is operating more on Grey-and-Gray Morality and his end goal is to use the amulet and survive Caeden's plan. He even fights for Andarra in the final conflict.
- Bullying a Dragon: Tries to assert his dominance over a weakened Caeden. It ends poorly for him.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Dies offscreen during his imprisonment in the gil'shar military camp.
- Even Evil Has Standards: He did not authorize his men's poor treatment of Asha and makes his apology clear by sending her their severed heads in a box.
- FaceHeel Turn: Seems pretty decent and trustworthy at first, but once Asha sees what he did to the Northwarden's men, and after he kills Kol in cold blood, it's obvious he's not a good guy.
- Lack of Empathy: Despite his big talk, his motivations and deeds are entirely self-serving and he feels no remorse for anyone he's harmed or screwed over.
- I Did What I Had to Do: He justifies all his immoral actions through necessity.
- Your Days Are Numbered: Knows the full ramifications of Caeden's plan from Nethgalla, and staying alive through it is his sole motivation.
A slick Augur from a small village who seeks refuge at Tol Shen once the Amnesty is announced. Despite the cold treatment they provided Davian and Ishelle, the Elders and students fawn over Rohin to a suspect degree. Determined to discover his secrets, the pair attempt to investigate only to fall right into his trap.
- Alas, Poor Villain: While he was certainly unkind with his abilities, he bemoans his life and clearly regrets that he was never treated normally by anyone.
- Book 3 further reveals that he was simply being used by Jakarris the whole time, and immediately killed once he fulfilled his purpose.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: Was bored with his idyllic life in his home village, but as he is defeated he reminisces and admits he never should have left.
- Break the Haughty: He's quite thoroughly humbled once the amulet is on.
- De-Power: The amulet permanently strips him of his Augur abilities.
- Evil Counterpart: Has the exact opposite ability to Davian (everyone he speaks to immediately believes his words as the truth) and the exact opposite set of moral beliefs, as well.
- Foil: To Davian. Specifically, he's a representation of what Augurs can be like if they don't restrain themselves when using their abilities, and serve to highlight Davian's integrity.
- More Than Mind Control: His ability makes anyone who hears him convince themselves that everything he says is true.
- Not So Different: Uses this line of rhetoric with Davian in an attempt to invoke We Can Rule Together. It falls flat due to Davian's moral conviction, though.
- Smug Snake: A life of never encountering disagreement has formed him into a real Jerkass.
- Ungrateful Bastard: Despite Davian's choice to handle him non-lethally, he's still incredibly upset and sour about the way things panned out.
- What You Are in the Dark: Has lived his life consequence-free and has always acted like a scumbag.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: It's debatable if he was rotten from the start or if his power simply eroded his ability to empathize with other people.
Gorgeous, talented and sharp as a tack, Ishelle is an Augur working in secret for Tol Shen. She first encounters Davian as he is travelling alone out of Deilannis, and helps him recover his strength...for a price. Though they plan to work together to fix the Boundary, her interest in Davian might be more than professional.
- Always Someone Better: She's a stunningly beautiful, smart, powerful Augur who can't understand why Davian loves Asha more than her.
- Betty and Veronica: Sees herself as the Veronica to Asha's Betty (with Davian as Archie). It doesn't ring true, as Davian's feelings for Asha are too strong for him to really consider Ishelle as a romantic partner.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Gives her own life to stop the eletai singlehandedly.
- I Just Want to Have Friends: She genuinely wants companionship, but her habit of Reading people without consent has stunted her social skills to the point where most people find her uncomfortably blunt.
- Last Words: She uses them to teasingly tell to Davian he missed out on her love before she sacrifices herself to stop the eletai.
- Not Herself: After being attacked and nearly killed by Eletai, she becomes prone to completely spacing out, contrasting her normally very sharp personality.
- Later exacerbated by daytime sleepwalking, seizures and violent episodes.
- Romantic Runner-Up: Her relationship with Davian might would have been more than platonic if Asha wasn't around.
- Tsundere: Has quite the attitude and sharp wit. Heavy on the -dere part once you get to know her, though.
Mild-mannered and wise beyond his years, Erran is an Augur who works in secret for the Northwarden alongside Fessi and Kol. When Asha arrives in Ilin Illan, he befriends her and helps her integrate into palace life. His working relationship with Elocien is surprisingly close, and he may know far more than he lets on.
- Beware the Nice Ones: A genuinely kind boy, and a good friend to Ashalia. He's also a powerful Augur who has been Controlling Elocien for years.
- Blamed for Being Railroaded: Accused by Geladra of controlling Elocien for self-serving reasons, even though it was for his own safety (and the safety of others).
- Improbable Age: His connection to the Northwarden makes him one of the most influential people in Andarra, despite being in his early teens.
- Peaceful in Death: Asha remarks on his mild expression as he hangs on the gallows. It's likely because he knew it was coming.
- The Smart Guy: Of the three Augurs working for the Northwarden, he's the sharpest and most knowledgeable.
- This Is Unforgivable!: Expects this treatment from Wirr once his true history with Elocien is revealed.
Fessi / Fessiricia
Kind and unassuming, Fessi is an Augur who works in secret for the Northwarden alongside Erran and Kol. She becomes fast friends with Asha once she arrives in Ilin Illan, and teaches her a great deal about Augurs and their history. Her romantic feelings for Kol are a loosely kept secret.
- Dropped A Bridge On Her: Dies offscreen while trying to escape from Ilshan Gathdel Teth.
- Fragile Speedster: Her time manipulation abilities allow her to zip around incredibly fast, but her offensive capabilities and durability are quite weak.
- Master of One Magic: She possesses the same suite of general abilities as the other Augurs, but she's exceptionally gifted at time dilation.
- Number Two: Usually plays second fiddle in strategic planning, either to Erran or Davian.
- Opposites Attract: She's attracted to the much more quiet and brusque Kol.
- Parental Betrayal: She was outed as an Augur by her fellow villagers, family included.
- This Is Unforgivable!: She hates Scyner with a passion for killing Kol, and is disgusted that she can't take the chance provided to kill him.
Quiet and sulky, Kol is an Augur who works in secret for the Northwarden alongside Erran and Kol. He is very slow to trust Asha in her position as scribe, though his interactions with Fessi hint at his softer side.
- Because You Were Nice to Me: Expecting poor treatment from others, he often regards new people with skepticism and disdain. His companions and Asha (in her tenure as scribe) win his trust with their kindness.
- Honor Before Reason: The main reason he is so slow to trust others. It also gets him killed by Scyner, as he tries to use a sword for self-defense instead of fighting dirty.
- Naked First Impression: Fessi's first few visions of Kol occurred when he was...less than properly clothed.
- The Quiet One: The least outspoken and trusting of the Augurs Asha meets in Ilian Illan.
- Tsundere: Of the male, strong and silent variety. He does eventually warm to Asha.
- Senseless Sacrifice: Scyner didn't really want to kill him, but Kol drew blades first due to his Vision.
- The Stoic: Not very forward with his emotions, though considering what he's been through, it's understandable.
Elocien / Duke Elocien Andras
Duke and brother to the King, Elocien was a leader in the rebellion that overthrew the Augurs nearly twenty years ago. A proud Loyalist, his actions were largely motivated by hatred for the Gifted, and the revolution granted him the title of Northwarden, leader of Administration. As the years passed and he discovered his son was Gifted, he became far more moderate much to the dismay of his Loyalist companions. As Asha begins to work with him, she finds out he's been hiding a something that could shake Andarra to the core.
- And I Must Scream: His journal entries indicate that he was aware of Erran's control, to some degree, but unable to fight it.
- Defector from Decadence: Part of his motivation for rebelling against the Augurs.
- Establishing Character Moment: Kicking the door down on a council meeting really sets the tone for his personality.
- Kick the Dog: Flashbacks reveal he would beat Augur children senseless before they died.
- Laser-Guided Karma: His Control and avoidable death serve as just desserts for his gratuitous mistreatment of Augur children and Gifted for many years after the revolution.
- Papa Wolf: To the Augurs under his care. Not really, he would have killed them if not for Erran.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Against all expectations, Elocien is actually quite patient, calm and supportive towards Asha. Double Subverted, as Erran was Controlling him the whole time.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: As Northwarden, he is the leader of Administration and actually created the Tenets in the first place.
- Sexless Marriage: Deldri reveals to Wirr that their parents haven't spent a night together in years. Justified, as Elocien was being controlled by Erran at the time.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: His journal reveals his distaste for the Gifted's abuse of power is justified due to some of their actions preceding the war. It does not justify murdering children, though.
Kara / Princess Karaliene Andras
Daughter of the King and first in line for the throne, Karaliene's privileged upbringing made her anything but soft. Proud, brave and highly engaged with her subjects, she does what she feels like whenever she feels like it often with little regard for her own safety. She first encounters Davian's travelling party in Thrindar, where she takes an unusual interest in the quiet fugitive Caeden.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Initially very cold and suspicious of Caeden, but she gradually warms up as she gets to know him.
- Innocent Blue Eyes: Part of her charm, though the innocence part is debatable.
- Meet Cute: In perhaps the most extreme fashion, as her curiosity causes her to be straight-up abducted by the Blind and Caeden proves himself by rescuing her.
- It's not technically their first meeting, but it's the first time she thinks of him as anything other than a potentially deranged mass murderer.
- Not Staying for Breakfast: After spending the night together, she encourages to Caeden eschew himself from her quarters, lest he be caught somewhere he doesn't belong.
- Politically Active Princess: Fits this very well, leading court during her Father's illness and spearheading the Northern restoration efforts after Banes break through the Boundary.
- The last one is actually Nethgalla in disguise, using Karaleine's reputation to avoid suspicion.
- Rebellious Princess: Sheoes wherever she likes with whoever she likes, even if such activities aren't fit for a princess. Caeden is surprised she'd be willing to spend time with someone like him at all.
- Secret Keeper: One of the only people to whom Caeden confides his memories and feelings. Most of them, anyway.
Kevran / King Kevran Andras
King of Andarra, Kevran seized power from the Augurs in the rebellion twenty years ago. Originally a sensible moderate, a recent illness has wildly altered his behaviour beyond recognition. When Wirr first sees him in Ilin Illan, he has frequently spouted extreme anti-gifted rhetoric, alienated his beloved daughter, and sent large portions of the military to a bloody death, spurring whispers that the Andras family may no longer be fit to rule.
- How the Mighty Have Fallen: While his illness eventually disappears and he returns to normal, his reputation is permanently damaged.
- Insane Troll Logic: The illness causes him to follow this line of thinking when accusing his nephew and commanding the military.
- Lonely at the Top: Has been increasingly isolating himself and harassing his advisors.
- Not Himself: The illness altered his personality, beliefs and actions beyond recognition.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Becomes this once Tol Shen's Control wears off.
- Supports Wirr and Dezia's relationship by attempting to make the Shainweres into a minor House.
- Right for the Wrong Reasons: Accuses the Athian Gifted of several heinous crimes, not the least of which is undermining Andarra. He's almost correct, it's actually Tol Shen that is targeting him and causing his illness for their own political benefit.
- The Usurper: Forcefully took the throne many years before the main story.
Elocien's wife, and a former high-ranking Administrator who retired to raise her family. While her husband had no issues with their son Torin's Gifted abilities, she was far slower to let go of her prejudices, and the disagreement caused a permanent rift that soon affected the whole family. While Wirr expects their relationship to be strained upon his return, he has no idea of the treatment his mother has in store for him.
- Break the Haughty: Wirr's plan to bring her around to being reasonable. He almost succeeds.
- Fantastic Racism: Easily one of the most hardline anti-Gifted Andarran characters the cast interacts with. Still cares for her son, in a way, but their relationship is incredibly strained.
- Elocien's old journal reveals she had some valid reasons for skepticism.
- Iron Lady: Despite her status as a Retired Badass, everyone in Administration still knows not to mess with her.
- Never My Fault: Casts herself as the victim in every interaction with her son. Somewhat accurate, as she has had everything taken away from her, but not by Wirr's hand.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Defied and stomped on. Despite being Wirr's mother, she does just about everything in her power to make his term as Northwarden hell.
- She starts to come around towards the end of book 2, though it's cut short when the Eletai kill her.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Much like her husband, the reasons for her political stances are not founded in pure fanatical hatred. She even makes a few solid points that shake Wirr's arguments.
- That said, it does not justify her obstructionist attitude and refusal to see the Gifted as human.
Bubbly and curious, Deldri is Wirr's little sister and the youngest member of the royal family. Unlike her brother, she is not Gifted. She holds no position of power though the rift in her parents' marriage has left her eager to leave the Andras estate and join Wirr in the palace.
- An Arm and a Leg: She has to have her foot amputated when the eletai invade and hit her with a stinger. It's not pleasant, but she survives.
- Cool Big Sis: How she views Karaliene. She does think similarly of her brother, though.
- Hates Their Parent: She's fed up with Geladra's treatment of her and wants to move to the palace so she won't be kept under guard and hidden from her brother.
- Hidden Depths: Despite her age, she's surprisingly resistant to her mother's Loyalist rhetoric and bears no prejudice for Wirr based on what he is.
- Remarkably, she also has a good sense on the decaying state of her parents' marriage.
- Puppet King: Geladra intends to run her as a candidate to replace Wirr in his role of Northwarden, which Deldri doesn't even know about. She just wants to use her daughter as a figurehead while she controls Administration.
- She Is All Grown Up: Of a very platonic, personality-related, sibling example. Wirr remembers her as incredibly shy and is surprised to see how outspoken and independent she's become in three years.
Breshada is a notoriously powerful hunter who takes an unwelcome interest in Davian and Wirr as they pass through Desriel. Instead of killing the pair, she saves them from danger to fulfill a promise made long ago much to her own disgust. The boys wisely make a quick escape, but it won't be the last time they see each other.
- Cool Sword: Whisper, a named blade, that can read the mind of anyone it touches.
- Dark Action Girl: A highly skilled, notorious Hunter with a Named sword with violent tendencies and outright hatred for the gifted.
- Dehumanizing Insult: Gaa'vesh is a favourite of hers, and it's the Desrielite word that implies Gifted aren't human.
- Glory Seeker: And achiever, as she's a Living Legend among the gil'shar. Of course, glory for her is gained from murdering innocent Gifted.
- He Who Fights Monsters: Subverted in a twisted, literal sense. She becomes Gifted (monsters in her opinion) after years of hunting them down.
- Double subverted after it's revealed that Nethgalla was possessing her, which caused the emergence of the Gift.
- How Do I Shot Web?: Requires Asha's training on how to control Essence so that she doesn't hurt herself or those around her.
- Villain Cred: Most Hunters are scared or awed when her name is mentioned. Davian uses this to his advantage when pretending to be her apprentice at a bar in Desriel.
Ishelle's pragmatic and levelheaded guardian, Driscin stops Davian's trek from Deilannis to Ilin Illan in an attempt to convince the Augur to join him at Tol Shen. Though he is quick to defend the school from its power-hungry and secretive reputation, later developments hint that he may not be entirely in the know himself.
- The Comically Serious: Acts as the straight man in a few of Ishelle's (or the other Augurs') antics.
- Good Is Not Nice: His actions are for the betterment of others, but he's not exactly a bleeding heart. Shown when Rohin threatens to kill Davian and Driscin isn't moved enough to stop him.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: Wants to put the hurt on Rohin for what he did to Tol Shen and Ishelle, but cooler heads prevail.
- The Mentor: Protects, minds and teaches Ishelle about being an augur (Davian as well, later).
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Driscin is a supportive mentor to Ishelle, and the only reasonable elder in Tol Shen.
- Spanner in the Works: Acts as one to Tol Shen when Wirr forces Dras Lothlar to reveal the truth. It's revealed they always thought of him this way, despite his loyalty.
Garadis ru Dagen
The stoic leader of the Lyth and protector of Licanius, Garadis has lived as a being of pure Essence for millennia. Caeden first encounters him when retrieving the sword in a moment of need, though Garadis informs him they have an incredibly complex history and a bargain that must urgently be resolved.
- Energy Being: Him and the rest of the Lyth are made of pure Essence. Their physical matter was stripped away in a horrible incident when Caeden broke the Jha'vett as they were trying to use it.
- I Gave My Word: Swore to protect Licanius and prevent it from falling into the hands of anyone with impure intentions.
- The Leader: Of the Lyth, though it's not a position he relishes as his people have been mostly eradicated and the few survivors are giving up hope and there's nothing he can do about it.
- MacGuffin Guardian: Played straight with how he guards Licanius.
- Properly Paranoid: His suspicion and skepticism of Caeden are justified given how badly he screwed the Lyth over, and proven in the lacklustre solution to the bargain he eventually presents.
- Power at a Price: Given that Asha's power is drawn from the Reserves of his people, he promises to exact a price for it once things have resolved themselves.
- Similarly, he gives Caeden Licanius, but only with the mutual agreement that he will free the Lyth.
- Revenge: Downplayed. He's stuck around for so long partially to see Caeden get his karmic comeuppance after all this time, but he's not planning to do it himself.
A wise and articulate man of faith, Raeleth is the first person to greet Davian in Zvaelar. Struck with a fatal curse, he requires constant transfers of Essence to stay alive. In return for Davian's generous donations, he takes the boy under his wing as they survive the desolate wasteland together.
- Black-and-White Morality: A firm believer, and he practices what he preaches. He strongly imparts the value of this philosophy on Davian during their time together.
- Going Native: Downplayed. Has no choice but to learn and adapt to a radically different life in Zvaelar, but refuses to sacrifice his moral integrity for any kind of Darwinist gain.
- Living Legend: To those who came after him. Once he escapes Zvaelar, his writings become the foundational text for the resistance movement in Ilshan Gathdel Teth.
- Odd Friendship: More of a grudging respect, but he never thought he would be able to get along with Aarkein Devaed of all people.
- Pillars of Moral Character: "You can only ever be as good as the people you are willing to fight beside".
- Someone to Remember Him By: His unwitting parting gift for Niha once they return to their own times happens to be Davian himself.
A sharp-witted and skilled fighter, Niha is Malshash's de facto bodyguard in Zvaelar. Generally a no-nonsense badass, Davian is surprised when she takes a substantial interest in the more bookish Raeleth.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Malshash's strong and sassy guard becomes Davian's mom, whose willingness to part with her son helps shape the entire story.
- Doesn't Know Their Own Child: Justifiably, given that she interacts with him for weeks before even getting pregnant.
- Give Him a Normal Life: Subverted. While she parts ways with Davian for his own safety, his life will be anything but normal.
- Magical Abortion: Caeden is forced to kill her unborn child in her womb, because she cannot use the transformation Vessel to escape while carrying a living child. Subverted in that her child (kind of) comes Back from the Dead and grows up to be Davian, meaning that the death of her child in the womb was a key part of setting up the entire plot of the series.
- Mama Bear: Fiercely protective of Davian, and has immense trouble letting him go when Caeden comes knocking.
- Imperiled in Pregnancy: Though she doesn't know it, as Zvaelar collapses she is unable to use a Vessel to return because she is carrying a baby.
- Opposites Attract: Nobody thought Raeleth would be her type, but the two get along swimmingly from the get-go.