The primary protagonist of The Second Gate, Timothy is the rising star of the Solarian Knighthood. Possessing truly prodigious psionic talents since childhood, his harsh upbringing - particularly at the hands of a father who's hated him from the beginning - has turned him into a very serious and deliberate young man, determined to set right every injustice he can, and not afraid to get his hands dirty while doing it.
When the story begins, he's taken an assignment to pursue and arrest the hacker Rumil Bonamede for her breach of Solarian military security. What he doesn't realize is that he's met her before - more than once, in fact - and that his future is about to become inextricably bound to hers.
- Abusive Parents
- Amnesiac God
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: The survivors of Mydor assume this happened to Timothy after the Archangel emerged from him. Rumil (and later a few select others) know that he's still around, essentially as a God in Human Form.
- Berserk Button -> Unstoppable Rage
- Blessed with Suck: He's more powerful than any Erani in recorded history, but as his family discovered in his youth, very bad things happen if he loses control of his feelings.
- Chaste Hero: Only in the first book though.
- Chronic Hero Syndrome: Inherited from his big brother.
- Does Not Know His Own Strength: Or rather, Timothy does know his own strength (if not his Power Level), another reason he hesitates to use his powers for delicate things. For example, mind probing for him is like performing brain surgery with a chainsaw.
- The Dulcinea Effect: Only for Rumil though. Even he's not sure why. Though her impossible psionic signature is part of it.
- Fake Defector: Once. The other time, he's defecting for real.
- For Great Justice
- Glowing Eyes of Doom
- Hidden Heart of Gold / Jerk with a Heart of Gold: There's a real soft heart under that pragmatic and sometimes snarky demeanor.
- Pet the Dog: At the end of the first short story. After breaking up an underground animal-fighting ring while pursing a traitor, he pays a special visit to a little girl whose family put up advertisements for a missing dog. He tells her that her dog was already dead, but he made sure the bad guys would never hurt anyone's pets ever again.
- Insists on Paying: Knights of both sects are expected to set an example of humility by using the barest accomodations on their assignments. Timothy goes a step further by paying out of his own pocket to avoid the paperwork of expense reports.
- The Last DJ: Niles and other elder Knights don't care for Timothy's ideals, but they can't deny his effectiveness and power. It's only because of that and his lineage that he's in line to inherit the Knighthood command.
- Like Father, Like Son: Timothy's father was an idealistic revolutionary in his youth.
- Mangst: His father abused him physically and emotionally, his mother betrayed him by never speaking out, and his heroic big brother died in action. That last one in particular only motivates him to be more awesome.
- His mother, despite her ability to pull strings, was really limited in what she could do, being a woman in a heavily patriarchial society. Fortunately, Timothy understands this rather than whine that no one was ever in his corner as a child.
- Messy Hair: Mostly to cover up his ears, as he's otherwise able to pass as Arcadian.
- My Country, Right or Wrong: Timothy's not at all happy about where his society's headed, but it still tweaks him to hear others badmouth his people.
- Neat Freak
- Neutral Good
- Not Himself: A couple times, Timothy shocks others by sudden out-of-character moments of intense passion, both good and bad.
- Rage Within the Machine: Timothy, along with King Frederick and High Priest Hightower, are arranging to revolutionize their society.
- Single-Target Sexuality: Has absolutely no interest in romance until he meets Rumil... and even that takes a while to develop.
- The Stoic
- Up to Eleven: Not technically off the scale, but his psionic power is at a level nobody thought they'd see in millenia. The appearance of the Archangel Mican goes even further.
- Wonder Child: Born to a father who was supposed to be infertile, then proceeded to demonstrate psionic power beyond anything ever before seen.
The central character of the series, Rumil is an Arcadian orphan of the Baramak Slaughter, wherein both Erani sects bombed half a planet into radioactive ash. She herself knows nothing during or before that, except for vague visions of a man looking down on her as she's strapped to an examination table. And that says nothing of the other things she's seen in her sleep, such as the colossal, monstrous beast that always threatens to consume her...
Since then, she's been doing whatever it takes to get by. Presently that includes being the most skilled hacker in the employ of media mogul Gregor Krennan, and it's her investigation of the Slaughter at his behest that now has her hunted by both sects.
- Achey Scars: The puckered wounds in her wrists and ankles.
- Actual Pacifist
- Angst? What Angst?: Raised in a craptacular orphanage, she generally doesn't let her past affect her, until she sees others in a similar situation.
- Blessed with Suck: Her visions give her near-perfect insights into both past and future. Unfortunately, they're almost always things she'd rather never see.
- Chaotic Good
- Doomed Hometown
- Foil: To many of the "issues" of Erani society.
- Friendless Background
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Subverted in that while blonde, she's not innocent and when she's sweet, it's usually a fakey sarcastic kind.
- I Just Want to Be Free
- Dreaming of Things to Come
- Stoic Woobie
- These Hands Have Killed: An unusual bloodless variant.
- Unkempt Beauty
The cheerful and somewhat naive Justin is the most promising Knight of the Kiros sect. Unfortunately, concern over keeping him and his precious talents safe resulted in a rather stifling childhood, where he learned everything about being a Knight, but not much about being out in the real world. As a result, he ends up being one step behind his counterpart Timothy every step of the way, and has a long way to go before he can truly be the equal of his rival.
He was only recently given the assignment to pursue Rumil on behalf of the Kiros, and even then only after demanding he be given a "real" mission at last. Though he finds himself outclassed by Timothy at almost every turn, he'll eventually seize a unique role in the events to come.
- Chronic Hero Syndrome: Not quite to Timothy's extent, but mostly because he hasn't had much of a chance yet.
- Divine Parentage: He's literally one-quarter angel.
- Follow in My Footsteps: He intends for his son Jonathan to be a proud example of true Knighthood. His last request to Timothy is to make sure of it.
- Go Out with a Smile
- Good Parents: Both he and his wife.
- Doting Parent: Justin's father, who sheltered him excessively.
- Happily Married
- Heroic Sacrifice: Because he knew from the prophecies that either he or Timothy would die on Mydor. Also because he knew his death would cause Mican to emerge and win the battle. But most of all, because Timothy was his friend.
- I Want to Be a Real Man: He's aware of how sheltered he is, and is desperate to prove his real worth.
- Iaijutsu Practitioner: Only done once, and only to give a good scare.
- Jade-Colored Glasses: After one mistake too many, he starts to lose his trademark humor.
- Lawful Good
- Overshadowed by Awesome: He's supposed to be the single most powerful psionic and talented Knight of the entire Kiros sect, but it's easy to forget when he's standing next to Timothy. Even Justin starts to get frustrated by this at one point.
- Sacrificed Basic Skill for Awesome Training: The second-deadliest warrior in the galaxy, yet keeps grabbing the Idiot Ball thanks to his naivete.
- Wild Hair: Albeit short, and other wise clean-shaven.
The Demodian leader of the Blood Hawk pirates, the galaxy's best organized band of outlaws. Formerly a pilot for the Kiros' home system defense, a strange discovery in Kiros space forced him into hiding from those who intended to silence him. Rising through the Blood Hawks' ranks, he eventually became one of the chief officers under the previous leader, Regis Gallan, until a fateful encounter with Timothy Honore left him the only chief officer.
Though still trying to assert his authority, he's proven much more professional and even-handed than his predecessor. Nevertheless, he has quite a grudge against both Timothy Honore and the entire Kiros sect, and will take any opportunity for payback.
- Artificial Limbs: One arm and leg are artificially grown, replacing the limbs he lost at Canasa.
- Deus ex Machina: Dewin has a habit of being this. Being a Diviner has that effect on a person.
- Gentleman Thief: Clearly draws a line between "crime" and "evil," and makes sure his men do, too.
- HeelFace Turn: Has a real beef against Timothy as well as the whole Kiros sect. Then he learns they all have bigger fish to fry.
- In the Hood: A hooded cloak seems to be his preferred civilian garb.
- Magnificent Bastard: Why does he throw the Kiros High Command into chaos, then casually stroll in to deliver a Drama Bomb and two Plot Coupons? To fuck up the High Commander's life with style.
- The Men First
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Particularly considering he's a crime boss.
- Rogue Protagonist
- Small Name, Big Ego: Though he's actually pretty cool when he's not trying to be.
- Team Dad: For the Blood Hawks anyway, despite his youth.
- True Neutral
A runt of an Ubek - which still makes him three feet taller than everyone else - Orion serves as Dewin's chief flight officer, bodyguard, and personal sidekick. Like many Ubeks of the Pale caste, he suspects that centuries' worth of victories by the Blueblood caste in the Ceremony of War is due to some unfair advantage on their part, and he's exiled himself from his homeworld and clan until he finds a means to counter them. Since then, he's been working with the Blood Hawks as a pilot and general muscle.
Orion doesn't do much in the story as of yet, and that's okay with him. Shaping the fate and political landscape of the galaxy isn't really something he's interested in, though he's willing to step up if he's needed. Until then, he's content to follow Dewin's capable leadership.
- Bald of Awesome: Save for a close-cropped mohawk.
- Dumb Muscle: Orion plays the part while subverting it. He's a skillful pilot and not a bad tactician, but he generally doesn't volunteer many thoughts with Dewin around to do the thinking.
- Gentle Giant: When he's not looking for a fight.
- Honor Before Reason: And it gets him chewed out by Dewin.
- I Just Want to Be Badass
- True Neutral
- Weak, but Skilled: "Weak" being relative to the rest of his kin. He learns Erani combat techniques from Timothy, which are based on the assumption that the practitioner is likely facing a larger adversary, giving Orion an unusual advantage against other Ubeks.
Timothy's father, and commander of the Solarian Knighthood and military, Niles is a man desperately clinging on to the only way of life that he knows. He's aware that Timothy, along with the king and high priest, intend to bring sweeping changes to Solarian society that runs contrary to many of their deepest traditions. This, coupled with the fact of his sterility - and therefore Timothy's questionable parentage - causes him to treat his only blood offspring with naked contempt.
- Archnemesis Dad: Niles is quite possibly the only thing that makes Timothy instantly angry by default.
- But I Can't Be Pregnant!: Niles is infertile, so when Celine became pregnant, he assumed she'd cheated on him until a Daddy DNA Test proved otherwise. He's still suspicious of how it happened, though.
- The truth is actually worse.
- Hidden Heart of Gold: He was so cruel to Timothy as a child because he knew of Bryan Honore's full prophecy, and hoped if he could stifle Timothy's growth, it could delay the destruction of their society.
- Lawful Good: Word of God says he's "so lawful good it hurts." Remember, Good Is Not Nice.
- Knight Templar Parent
- Offing the Offspring: He's contemplated this more than once.
- Parental Favoritism: He truly loved and cherished his adopted son Craig, who didn't come with all the complications that Timothy had.
Timothy's mother, and by all outward appearances, the ideal Solarian woman - beautiful, charming, and submissive. Those who know her better realize that only two out of three are correct, as she manipulates everyone and everything within her considerable reach to ends not unlike those Timothy himself strives for. Beyond that, she proves to be quite an enigma, as few could guess exactly what her goal is at any time, or how she plans on attaining them.
- Almighty Mom: She's pulling more strings than anybody could guess, even her suspicious son.
- The Chessmaster
- Fatal Flaw: Her Chessmastery is indirectly responsible for several recent galactic crimes and tragedies - the psionic Arcadian project, the Baramak Slaughter, the massacre at Canasa, Krennan's life of crime, and the Second Battle of Mydor. Much of this will ultimately work out for the best, but there's no denying Celine did a LOT of damage along the way.
- ?????? Good
- The High Queen: Not actually a queen, but the next closest thing in Solarian society, and otherwise plays this trope to the hilt.
- The short stories reveal that Celine is actually by blood a princess of the Solarian people. Oddly (or perhaps not surprisingly), Celine prefers to avoid those connections, having a rather low opinion of her immediate relatives.
- Not Allowed to Grow Old: Becomes increasingly pronounced as the years pass and time seems to forget about her.
A Solarian Knight and one of Timothy's few close confidantes, Emmitt hails from the newest and weakest of the Knighthood families. What few know is that he's also one of the more prominent and dangerous members of the Endtimers, who intend to bring about Bryan Honore's prophecy of the end of Erani society, intending to come out on top when the next age begins.
- False Friend
- Just Following Orders: When he "escorts" Rumil from Centris.
- Lawful Evil -> Chaotic Evil
- Manipulative Bastard
An Arcadian media mogul, and among the galaxy's wealthiest and powerful private individuals, with massive holdings legitimate and otherwise. As a survivor of the Baramak Slaughter, perpetually suffering the crippling effects of radiation-induced cancers, he's tasked Rumil with hacking into Erani military information to discover the cause of the attack.