The Demon Cycle
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Arlen Bales AKA "The Warded Man"The titular Warded Man who starts out as an average village kid with a knack for warding and ends up as the (arguably) better of the two possible saviors of humankind. His chapters feature a warded palm.
- Adaptive Ability: His wards siphon power away from the demons he kills, slowly making him more powerful over time. Eating demons might also increase this effect.
- Badass Bookworm: One of the best educated people of his generation (he agreed to an arduous warding job as an apprentice just so that he would get unlimited access to the local Duke's library) and also one of the most powerful fighters, be it against demons (due to his wards) or against humans (due to soaking up enough demon magic turning him superhuman.)
- Battle Couple: With Renna.
- Determinator: Practically everything he does after leaving his home village, be it becoming a messenger and exploring deadly ruins or waging an one-man war on the demons for years as the Warded Man.
- Genius Bruiser: Arlen is one of the most dangerous men in existence, and he's no idiot. He devoted much of his childhood to learning.
- He Who Fights Monsters: His single-minded determination to kill corelings leads Arlen to become increasingly distant from humanity, acting in many ways like a coreling himself; ruthless, dangerous and lurking outside of the walls.
- Human Notepad: He has demon-killing wards tattooed all over his body.
- Magic Knight: Due to his warded skin is he able to go toe-to-toe with demons twice his size.
- One Hero, Hold the Weaksauce: Eating demon flesh has altered his biology to let him hold magic within him, letting him use magic during the day.
- The Paragon: A variation: Arlen becomes a legend but dislikes the idea of being considered any kind of saviour. He's rather inspire people to take up arms than look upon him as any kind of fix-everything religious chosen one.
- Red Baron: The Warded Man. Even the narrator stops using his real name after he gains it.
- Rescue Introduction: How he meets Leesha and Rojer.
- Worthy Opponent: To Jardir, who was once his friend.
Leesha PaperA village girl taken under the wings of the local grouchy herb-gatherer granny and ends up becoming an accomplished herb-gatherer and warder herself. Her chapters display a mortar and pestle.
- Abusive Parents: While her father was loving (if weak) Leesha's mother is a piece of work. She isn't physically abusive (mostly), but she emotionally torments Leesha to a horrific extent. She never has a kind word and sees Leesha more as a tool to increase her own standing within the town.
- Alchemy Is Magic: Averted. Her demon fire flasks and other concoctions are all actual secret chemical mixtures handed down from the Golden Age before the second demon war.
- The Medic: She is a herb-gatherer, the setting's term for healer, midwife, trauma-surgeon and alchemist rolled into one.
- Healing Herb: As a herb-gatherer she mostly uses herbs and poultices to cure people. She is surprisingly effective, though it is implied that most of the herb-gatherer remedies are actually handed down from the scientific age before the demons returned.
- So Beautiful, It's a Curse: She's considered so beautiful that she's often bothered with unwanted attention by men.
Rojer InnAn orphan taken in by a jongleur after the two are the only survivors of a demon attack. His chapters feature a fiddle.
- Handicapped Badass: The badass part is slightly questionable, but his missing fingers never stopped him from becoming an acrobat and expert fiddle player.
- Hiding the Handicap: His adoptive father, Arrick makes him wear a glove with prosthetic fingers as a child because he is afraid people wouldn't take a crippled jongleur seriously.
- Magic Music: His fiddle-music can put demons in a trance or enrage them.
- The Load: For most of the first book.
- Wandering Minstrel: He is a jongleur by trade, which is a mixture of The Bard, an acrobat and a musician. He specializes in storytelling and the fiddle.
- Lovable Coward
Ahmann Jardir AKA "Shar'Dama Ka"A Krasian warleader. After getting his hands on the warded spear of the first Deliverer, he declares himself the new one and leads his men to open war on the demons (as well as everyone else in the vicinity.) Chapters featuring Jardir show the Spear of Kaji.
- Affably Evil: He tries to be well-mannered, but he is ruthless when someone stands between him and his holy war.
- Magic Knight: Due to the ancient magical spear he took from Arlen.
- Pride: Jardir's primary flaw. Sure, he's about as decent a guy as you get out of the Krasian military training and genuinely wants to save the world from the demons- but he also truly buys into his role as the Deliverer and its implied Omniscient Morality License.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: He really wants to save humanity from the demon threat... it's just that he tries to accomplish it by subjugating, purposefully raping/breeding and pillaging every other human culture in the process.
Renna TannerA farmer's daughter from Tibbet's Brook who is briefly promised to Arlen before he runs away. While he's gone, she endures abuse from her father, snaps on him, and is nearly put to death for it before the Warded Man returns home just in time for them to save each other. When she appears, chapters display her knife.
IneveraFirst wife of Jardir, a dama'ting (priestess) who wields considerable power behind the scenes in Krasia. Her chapter image is a set of alagai hora, the demon bone dice used by dama'ting to predict the future.
AshiaJardir's niece, turned over to Enkido in her adolescence along with her other non-dama'ting cousins and trained as a warrior.
- Action Girl
- The Beard: Her husband Asome is push'ting, Krasian for a gay man. Her brother Asukaji is his lover, and pushed for the two to wed so that his sister could bear the lovers children with both of their blood.
- Kissing Cousins: Asome is also her first cousin. Not forbidden in Krasia, but still taboo, so they likely wouldn't have been considered a viable match if not for her brother's machinations.