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The characters of The Witchlands.

Unmarked spoilers ahead.


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Main Characters

    Safi 

Domna Safiya "Safi" fon Hasstrel

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/safi.jpg
From the cover of Truthwitch

An orphaned Domna of Cartorra who has lived in Veñaza City, capital of the Dalmotti Empire, since she was twelve, living with Silk Guildmaster Alix and studying with her teacher Mathew. She is the Threadsister of Iseult, and the only living Truthwitch in the world at the moment. She has kept her power secret out of fear of becoming a pawn in the game between empires.


  • Ambiguously Absent Parent: Her uncle is her legal guardian, and there's nothing said about her parents or how they left her life.
  • Arranged Marriage: At the start of the story, she's about to be married to the Cantorran Emperor, though it quickly turns out that there's a huge conspiracy to prevent it from happening.
  • Character Development: Goes from caring about nothing more than her money and hanging out with Iseult to willingly going with the Empress of Marstok to help her and bringing the Hell-Bards with her so that they won't get in trouble.
  • Dark-Skinned Blonde: She's described as having golden hair and dark skin.
  • Deadpan Snarker: To give but one example:
    "Do all Hell-Bards waddle like ducks, or is it just you?"
  • Establishing Character Moment: In the very first scene of the first book, she notes that she bet all of her and Iseult's money in a card game and then lost it because her opponent was attractive.
  • Fatal Flaw: Her recklessness gets her in a lot of trouble, including the inciting incident of the story, as she gambled away all her money at once.
  • Fights Like a Normal: She can tell when people have hostile intent, but her power is very much passive, so you wouldn't guess she's a witch from the way she fights.
  • The Gadfly: She loves to tease people, whether with nicknames or with snarkery, mostly just to see how they'll react.
  • Hot-Blooded: She's very reckless.
  • Impoverished Patrician: The Hasstrel estates are very poor, despite Safi's rank.
  • Living Lie Detector: She's the only known Truthwitch in the world.
  • Living MacGuffin: Every great power in the Witchlands is after her because of her rare powers as a Truthwitch.
  • The Nicknamer: She tends to give nicknames to people, regardless of whether or not she knows their names.
  • Runaway Fiancée: She was involuntarily betrothed to the Emperor of Cartorra, who's much older than her. Her uncle and his associates helped her escape afterwards, and she's still running.
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    Iseult 

Iseult det Midenzi

A Nomatsi Threadwitch who can't make Threadstones, she left her tribe and came to Veñaza City because she felt out of place. There, she met Safi and they became Threadsisters. But after the two are forced to leave, Iseult begins to discover that her powers may not be what she thought they were.


  • Ambiguously Absent Parent: Her father is never mentioned.
  • Bad Powers, Good People: Like Esme, she can Cleave others, but unlike Esme, she doesn't want to harm others unless they're threatening her.
  • Brought Down to Normal: She's reliant on her Threadwitchery to read people's emotions, so when she cannot do that, she's utterly unable to read others.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: She ran away from home shortly after Corlant started taking an unhealthy interest in her mother, and nearly died before she was discovered by Evrane, who helped her get to Veñaza City. All the time, she suffered through the copious amounts of Fantastic Racism that all Nomatsi face.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Like most Nomatsi, she has very dark hair and very pale skin.
  • The Empath: She can see the Threads, which reveal emotions, of everyone except other Threadwitches and Aeduan.
  • Fatal Flaw: Her extremely low self-esteem, which stops her from realizing her full potential.
  • Fights Like a Normal: Like Safi's, her ability is largely passive, so she fights like a regular person. This being said, this will probably change now that she knows what she really is.
  • Foreshadowing: Iseult's inability to make Threadstones, the fact that Aeduan can't smell her blood, the mention that Cahr Awen pairs are always composed of an Aetherwitch and a Voidwitch, and her connection with Esme all hint that she's not a Threadwitch but a Weaverwitch, the Void equivalent, long before she comes to realize this herself.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: She doesn't have a very high opinion of herself.
  • Power Parasite: She discovers in Bloodwitch that she can take the powers of anyone she kills by Cleaving, after killing a Firewitch in this manner near the end of Windwitch and getting his soul trapped inside her.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: She's the Blue to Safi's Red, as she's calmer and more analytical. This being said, amongst her own people she's considered a Red, as she has problems hiding her emotions.
  • "Well Done, Daughter!" Girl: She's always wanted her mother Gretchya's approval, and that she can't seem to get it because of her shortcomings as a Threadwitch doesn't do much for her self-esteem.

    Merik 

Prince Merik Nihar

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/merik.jpg
From the cover of Windwitch

The younger child of the King of Nubrevna, and the admiral of their navy. He's a Windwitch who inherited his family's famous temper, which he has trouble keeping in check, and he firmly believes that his older sister is up to no good.


  • 100% Adoration Rating: He's universally adored in southern Nubrevna, where he grew up on the Nihar estates. His arrival in Noden's Gift is cause for an impromptu celebration. Less so in the north, however.
  • Berserk Button: He really doesn't like it when people prioritize meaningless small talk over important conversation.
  • The Berserker: Part and parcel of the infamous Nihar rage. He implies there may be some low-level magic in it.
  • Blow You Away: He's a Windwitch.
  • Brought Down to Normal: After Esme captures him, she cuts him off from his magic.
  • Despair Event Horizon: He's on the verge of breaking down for most of Windwitch, as he grieves for Kullen and Safi (he doesn't know she's alive), thinks his sister is evil, believes he's the only hope of the country but can't prove it, and is heavily scarred from the assassination attempt, leaving him in near-constant pain.
  • Distressed Dude: Spends much of Bloodwitch kidnapped by Esme.
  • Establishing Character Moment: In his first scene, he loses his temper at a gossip-filled dinner and storms away, barely containing his fury.
  • Excessive Mourning: Cam accuses him of doing this, pointing out that his grief is making him barely functional and incapable of seeing the truth when it's right in front of him.
  • Faking the Dead: He is presumed dead after an assassination attempt at the beginning of Windwitch, and chooses not to correct the assumption to give him more freedom of movement.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: He inherited the infamous Nihar temper from his father, and has a hard time keeping it in check.
  • Human Popsicle: Ends up frozen in Sirmaya's caverns at the end of Bloodwitch after tricking the enraged Kullen into a spot, as it was the only way to stop the Paladin's rampage.
  • I Reject Your Reality: While maddened with grief in Windwitch, he absolutely rejects the idea that Vivia wasn't behind the assassination attempt on him, even though there's no proof that she was and ample proof that she wasn't.
  • It's All About Me: He believes that Nubrevna will go to ruin without him, and in general that he's more important than he actually is. By the end of Windwitch, he's letting up on this a bit.
  • Synchronization: If either he or Kullen dies, so does the other, which is why Esme decides to have him kidnapped — she'd rather "her Fury" didn't suddenly keel over because Merik tripped and broke his neck.
  • Terror Hero: Takes this role in Windwitch when he's mistaken for the Fury. He decides to use the reputation to make his search for answers easier.
  • Unreliable Narrator: In Truthwitch, Merik gives the impression that his sister Vivia is The Evil Princess. It's revealed in Windwitch that she isn't.

    Aeduan 

Aeduan

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/aeduan.jpg
From the cover of Bloodwitch

A half-Nomatsi Bloodwitch and Carawen monk, he's had problems his whole life with people who are terrified of him because of his status as a Voidwitch. Oh, and his father is the Big Bad.


  • All of the Other Reindeer: He doesn't really feel like part of society, especially since society ostracizes him for what he is.
  • Berserk Button: Children being harmed.
  • Brought Down to Normal: Briefly loses his powers due to the effects of Cursewitched arrows in Bloodwitch. It gets fixed after Iseult throws him into the Aether Well.
  • Crisis of Faith: He goes through one when he starts to wonder if Safi and Iseult could be the Cahr Awen. He eventually realizes he doesn't believe in the tenets of his own faith, and becomes an atheist of sorts.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: He used to live in a Nomatsi settlement as a child before something happened that killed his mother, made him terrified of fire and caused him to flee. He was found by a Carawen monk and joined the monastery, but was ostracized for being a Bloodwitch. At some point afterwards, his father roped him into his schemes and convinced him that he should accept being a "demon".
  • Fatal Flaw: His problems with trusting other people.
  • Foreshadowing: Iseult can't see his Threads, but she can see those of Corlant, another Voidwitch… hinting that there's more going on than a simple assumption that Voidwitches can't sense each others' magical components.
  • Good Thing You Can Heal: He's the only character with a Healing Factor, and as such gets injured, often gruesomely, far more often than anyone else.
  • Hazy Feel Turn: By the end of Windwitch, he's stopped following his father's orders and is no longer Iseult's enemy, but isn't quite a good guy yet.
  • Healing Factor: His Bloodwitchery gives him one powerful enough to survive being stabbed in the heart more than once.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Cements it in Bloodwitch when he realizes he's not happy following his father's orders anymore, eventually turning on him.
  • Human Pincushion: During the climax of Windwitch, he gets shot up with more than a dozen arrows.
  • Immune to Fate: According to Esme, he has no Threads due to having been born in the sleeping ice, so she can't track him unless he's with Iseult, and controlling him on her Loom is completely out of the question.
  • Missing Mom: His mother died when he was a child.
  • One-Man Army: His Healing Factor and combat skills make him capable of taking on and defeating seven men at once.
  • Only in It for the Money: Despite the fact that he's supposed to be following his father and Corlant's orders, he immediately agrees to work with Iseult after she promises to lead him to the location of his stolen money.
  • Power Incontinence: He had this problem as a child when his powers first activated, leading to him accidentally killing his dog.
  • The Power of Blood: As a Bloodwitch, he can control his own blood and that of others, as well as track nearly anyone unerringly.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: His eyes turn red when he's using his powers.
  • Warrior Monk: He's a Carawen mercenary monk.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: He's deathly afraid of fire.
  • Wound That Will Not Heal: Has a few of these, most prominently the effects of Cursewitched arrows draining his powers throughout Bloodwitch. Only the Origin Well has enough power to heal them.

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Dalmotti Empire

    Mathew 

Mathew

A proprietor of a chain of cafés that in truth serve as a front for his network of spies. He's been Safi's and Iseult's teacher since the former was ten, and works with Eron and Leopold on their mysterious conspiracy to bring peace to the Witchlands.
  • The Bartender: Runs a chain of cafés selling "real Marstoki coffee".
  • Compelling Voice: As a Wordwitch, he can compell people with his voice, though they are aware they're being controlled.
  • Knowledge Broker: He sells the information he collects, or at least some of it.
  • The Spymaster: He runs a network of spies, presumably for Leopold and Eron.
  • Stern Teacher: Very strict with Safi and Iseult, and tries to rein in the former's rebellious tendencies, with mixed results.

    Habim 

Habim

Mathew's Heart-Thread, and one of Safi's and Iseult's teachers. A former Marstoki general who retired after the Truce was signed.
  • Badass Gay: Mathew's lover, and an all-around badass.
  • Badass Teacher: He taught Safi and Iseult how to fight.
  • Brutal Honesty: He's always absolutely frank, regardless of whether he's talking to a young domna or an empress. Or at least, that's the image he cultivates.
  • Four-Star Badass: Former general, who's just as skilled in face-to-face combat as he is in tactics and strategy.
  • King Incognito: He only ever told Safi he was a retired soldier, and she's shocked when she learns he's actually a highly-respected retired general.
  • Mandatory Unretirement: Comes back on his own once the Truce is broken.
  • Number Two: He usually plays second fiddle to Mathew.
  • Playing with Fire: He's a Firewitch.

    Alix 

Guildmaster Alix

Officially a master Silkwitch and the leader of the Dalmotti Silk Guild. In truth, he's faking his abilities with Glamourwitchery, and is one of Leopold's co-conspirators.
  • Cool Old Guy: Middle-aged, but very friendly with Safi.
  • Master of Illusion: His Glamourwitch powers play a crucial role in getting Safi out of the ball and away from Emperor Henrick.
  • Put on a Bus: After the action leaves Veñaza, he stays behind.

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Cartorra

    Dom Eron 

Dom Eron fon Hasstrel

Safi's uncle, a dishonourably discharged Hell-Bard. He's been posing as an alcoholic while running a mysterious conspiracy to try and bring peace to the Witchlands.


  • The Alcoholic: Safi certainly thought he was one. It's all an act.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Has spent at least a dozen years posing as a shell-shocked drunkard while enacting a mysterious plan to bring peace to the Witchlands.

    Leopold 

Crown Prince Leopold fon Cartorra

The heir to the throne of the Empire of Cartorra, a childhood friend of Safi, and a member of Eron's conspiracy.


  • Antagonistic Offspring: Antagonistic Nephew, technically. He spirits Safi away before she can marry his uncle, ruining his plans.
  • Childhood Friend: He and Safi used to be close as children, though by the time of the story, they haven't seen each other in years.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: "Polly", courtesy of Safi.
  • I Shall Taunt You: Fond of this, even in front of powerhouses like Vaness or Aeduan.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Unlike Eron, he poses as an utter fop rather than a drunk, doing so to slow down Aeduan's search.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: He's leading the search for Safi, and secretly schemes to bring lasting peace to the Witchlands.

    Emperor Henrick 

Emperor Henrick fon Cartorra

The Emperor of Cartorra. He wants to marry Safi, almost certainly due to her powers.


  • Dirty Old Man: That he's more than twice Safi's age encourages this.
  • The Emperor: Well, duh.
  • Evil Old Folks: He's old, as previously mentioned, and he wants to enslave Safi as his wife so he can use her powers to his benefit.
  • Evil Uncle: To his heir Leopold.
  • Smug Snake: He arranged Safi's marriage and hopes to control all of the Witchlands, but throughout the plot, the Raider King and his cohorts far outmatch him in effectiveness.

Hell-Bards

    In General 
An elite band of warriors charged with hunting down unregistered witches in the Empire of Cartorra.
  • Anti-Magic: They are immune to all witcheries that affect the mind. This is because they are partially Cleaved.
  • Boxed Crook: According to Lev, they are given the choice of either joining and becoming Cleaved, losing their powers, or execution.
  • Elite Army: Their magic resistance and much-touted perfect discipline make them more dangerous than most.
  • Glamour Failure: Illusions have no effect on them, which proves crucial when Caden, Lev and Zander are escaping Azmir with Safi and Vaness during the attack.
  • Hunter of Their Own Kind: They are all themselves "heretics" who were forced to join and partially Cleaved, with only the noose that every Hell-Bard wears stopping the process.
  • No-Sell: They are immune to all magic, including fires started by Firewitches. This can sometimes be extremely useful.
  • Revenant Zombie: As partially-Cleaved, they are technically this, though you wouldn't guess it from the way they act.
  • The Witch Hunter: Their job is hunting unregistered witches.

    Caden 

Commander Caden Fitz Grieg

A Hell-Bard Commander sent to Dalmotti undercover to ascertain if Safiya fon Hasstrel was a Truthwitch, and later sent in pursuit of her after she was taken by the Marstokis.


  • Balance, Speed, Strength Trio: He's the balanced one, both fast and tough.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: He's the "Chiseled Cheater" Safi lost all her money to just before the beginning of Truthwitch, and by extension has a major impact on the plot.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: He's first mentioned in the very first chapter of Truthwitch, and only appears in person halfway through Windwitch.
  • Heroic Bastard: As he explains to Safi near the end of Bloodwitch, what did she think his surname of "Fitz Grieg" meant?

    Zander 

Zander

One of the Hell-Bards in Caden's team when he's hunting Safi.

    Lev 

Lev

The other member of Caden's team on the hunt for Safi.

Marstok

    Vaness 

Empress Vaness

The Empress of Marstok, and a powerful Ironwitch.


Nubrevna

    Vivia 

Princess Vivia Nihar

Older child of the King of Nubrevna, and heir to the throne. She and her brother don't have the best relationship.


  • All Love Is Unrequited: She's desperately in love with Stix, but convinced Stix doesn't feel the same about her.
  • Badass Lesbian: Is pining away after her Threadsister Stix, and is very capable in combat.
  • The Evil Princess: Merik certainly saw her this way, believing that she cared only about her own power. She isn't.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: She's extremely jealous of her younger brother because she believes that Merik was just handed everything that she had to work hard for.
  • Making a Splash: She's a powerful Tidewitch.
  • Politically Active Princess: She leads Nubrevna's royal council, despite the opposition she's facing from the other councilmen, and though her father's technically still alive, for all intents and purposes she's the one calling the shots.
  • Pretty Princess Powerhouse: She's one of the most powerful witches in Nubrevna.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Apart from her political work, she also personally leads the Foxes, the Nubrevnan privateers.
  • Tranquil Fury: Instead of the infamous Nihar rage, she gets this.
  • "Well Done, Daughter!" Girl: She really craves her father's approval.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: She is willing to resort to piracy to keep the people of Nubrevna fed.

    Cam 

Cam Leeri

Former cabin boy on the Jana. The only one of Merik's former crew, besides Ryber, to know he's still alive.


  • Dark and Troubled Past: He grew up in the Nines, and his abusive older brother wanted him to become one of them. Adding to that, everyone in the Nines thinks he's just pretending to be a boy for laughs. He joined the Navy to escape the life of crime, but it caught up with him anyway.
  • Embarrassing First Name: Do not, under any circumstances, call him "Camilla".
  • Fingore: His older brother cuts off his left pinky while trying to get him to join the Nines.
  • Foreshadowing: That there are other women serving openly in the Nubrevnan Navy suggests to the careful reader that Merik's assumption that Cam is a Sweet Polly Oliver may not be the whole story.
  • Reformed Criminal: Zig-zagged. He was born into the Nines, but he never really wanted to be a part of them, and he ran off before they could brand him to join the Navy instead.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: Merik assumes he's this. He's actually...
  • Transgender: Why you shouldn't call him Camilla.
  • What's Up, King Dude?: Doesn't have a problem talking back to Merik, or even screaming at him, if need be.

    King Serafin 

King Serafin Nihar

The father of Vivia and Merik, widower of Queen Jana. He is very sick, and likely not going to live for much longer.


  • Abusive Parent: He emotionally abused Vivia and Merik by making them hate each other. In addition, he was verbally abusive to Merik upon discovering that Merik's powers weren't as strong as Vivia's.
  • Grumpy Old Man: A rather darker version. He's going senile, but doesn't consider either of his children to be fit successors.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: Merik suspects he deliberately manipulated his children to turn them against each other.

    Queen Jana 

Queen Jana

The late Queen of Nubrevna, she married Vizer Serafin Nihar and had two children before going mad and eventually jumping off of one of the Water-Bridges of Stefin-Erkart.


    Serrit Linday 

Vizer Serrit Linday

A Plantwitch and scion of the Linday family. He was once a friend of Vivia and Merik, before making a deal with the Raider King.


Nomatsi

    In General 
A usually nomadic people who came to the Witchlands from the east. They were the first people to have Threadwitches, and were once known as the No'Amatsi.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Described as having pitch-black hair and extremely pale skin.
  • Fantastic Racism: They are treated as subhuman across most of the Witchlands. In the Dalmotti Empire, they have the legal status of animals.
  • Properly Paranoid: They live away from people, stay away from anyone non-Nomatsi, and litter their roads with deadly traps for anyone not familiar with their ways. Given how despised they are, however, this is perfectly justified.

    Gretchya 

Gretchya det Midenzi

Iseult's mother, and the Threadwitch of the Midenzi tribe. She and her apprentice were forced to flee after Corlant turned the village against them.


  • Education Mama: A fantasy version, she relentlessly forced Iseult to learn Threadwitchery, and tolerated nothing less than perfection. Even after reuniting with Iseult, she's still critical of her because of how little her skills have progressed during her absence.

    Alma 

Alma det Midenzi

Gretchya's apprentice. She joined the Midenzi due to being a spare Threadwitch in her tribe of birth. She fled with Gretchya to Saldonica.


  • Always Someone Better: She's the "someone better" to Iseult, as she's a far better Threadwitch than her — though this, of course, comes from the fact that she's actually a Threadwitch, unlike Iseult.

    Owl 

Dirdra, aka "Owl"

A young Nomatsi girl who is being hunted by the Baedyed and Red Sails pirate bands. She is an Earthwitch powerful enough to cause earthquakes, and has a mountain bat under her control. She was rescued and is currently travelling with Iseult and Aeduan.


  • Badass and Child Duo: The Child to Aeduan's Badass when they travel together at the end of Windwitch.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: An Earthwitch powerful enough to cause quakes.
  • Elective Mute: It's implied she can speak, but refuses to due to some trauma that occurred before Iseult and Aeduan found her. She starts talking occasionally in Bloodwitch.
  • Fluffy Tamer: For reasons that stump Iseult and Aeduan, Owl has a mountain bat under her control.
  • Given Name Reveal: In Bloodwitch, Aeduan tracks down the last surviving member of Owl's tribe and learns her real name is Dirdra.
  • Living Macguffin: The Baedyeds and Red Sails both desperately want to control her.
  • Mysterious Waif: She has a mountain bat under her control, might be able to cause earthquakes and is being hunted by the two largest pirate bands for reasons unknown.
  • Only Known By Her Nickname: Due to her trauma, she refuses to speak when Iseult and Aeduan find her, so they dub her "Owl". Even after she starts talking again, she doesn't tell them her name, so they still call her that.

Carawen Monks

    In General 
An order of monks originally dedicating to serving and protecting the two chosen witches, the Cahr Awen. In the modern day, however, they mainly serve as elite mercenaries for anyone who can afford them.
  • Motive Decay: In-universe, they went from servants of the Cahr Awen to mercenaries who might even hunt down the suspected Cahr Awen for the right price.
  • Sinister Minister: With the exception of Evrane, they're all hostile to Safi and Iseult.
  • Warrior Monk: All of them, even those that are not primarily mercenaries, are trained in combat.

    Evrane 

Evrane Nihar

The sister of King Serafin Nihar, she abandoned her noble titles to join the Carawen monastery. She is a devout believer in the Cahr Awen.


  • Chekhov's Gunman: She's first mentioned as the Carawen monk who helped Iseult when she was a child.
  • Cool Aunt: To Merik and Vivia, though she seems to be closer to the former.
  • Defector from Decadence: Seeing how her brother was running the Nubrevnan court, she decided she could no longer stand it and left to take her vows.
  • Healing Hands: She's a Waterwitch healer.
  • Not Herself: When Iseult encounters her at the Carawen monastery, she's acting very strangely, using some kind of dark magic to keep Iseult subdued, but the reason is unknown.
  • Put on a Bus: When everyone leaves Noden's Gift, she heads off to the Carawen monastery to tell them about the suspected Cahr Awen.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: She's a Nubrevnan noblewoman and a warrior-monk.
  • Taking the Veil: Left the Nubrevnan court to join the Carawen order.
  • Token Religious Teammate: Of all the characters, she's by far the most devout.

    Lizl 

Lizl

A Carawen monk second only to Aeduan in the number of mercenary missions she'd completed.


  • I Owe You My Life: After saving Aeduan during the battle at the monastery, she tells him he now owes her four life-debts.

Sightwitches

    In General 
An order of all-female witches who live at a convent in the Sirmayan Mountains. They serve the sleeping goddess Sirmaya. Unlike other witches, they are made, not born. After the war between the Twelve Paladins, they let the outside world believe they were gone, living behind magical veils.
  • Eye Colour Change: Their eyes turn silver when they receive their power.
  • Human Popsicle: Their ultimate fate is to be frozen in a chamber deep in the mountain they live on where they sleep with their Goddess.
  • Occult Blue Eyes: Grey, rather; a Sightwitch's eyes turn silver when she is Summoned to gain the Sight.
  • Seer: They can see the future by gathering together and focussing their power on the scrying pool in the convent.

    Ryber 

Ryber Fortiza, aka "Fortsa"

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ryber.jpg
With the Rook on the cover of Sightwitch

The last remaining Sightwitch, and only the second in the order's history not to have the Sight at all.


  • Chekhov's Gunman: Initially just a member of Merik's crew, and Kullen's Heart-Thread. But then, after she disappears in Truthwitch, she returns in Windwitch offering to help heal Merik. Sightwitch reveals what her deal is.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Sightwitch.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Responsible Threadsister to Tanzi's Foolish. Her absolute adherence to the rules is an important part of her personality in Sightwitch.
  • Guile Hero: Without any powers, she figures out how to proceed by careful search and observation.
  • Last of Her Kind: She's the only remaining Sightwitch who isn't frozen in the mountain. Ironically, she doesn't have the Sight at all.
  • Shout-Out: Her backstory, revealed in Sightwitch, is reminiscent of that of Lirael.

    Tanzi 

Tanzi Lamanaya

A Sightwitch Serving Sister and best friend and roommate of Ryber.


    Eridysi 

Eridysi Gochienka

A Sightwitch without the Sight, who was an expert at creating magical objects by binding Threads. She lived during the war between the Twelve Paladins, but what became of her afterwards, no one knows.


  • Adorkable: Turns this way whenever the Rook King's General is involved.
  • Bi the Way: Implied; when Baile asked her if she's taken a lover, she says she never considered it, not that she's not interested. She also has a male lover.
  • Famed In-Story: Is renowned as the last and greatest of the Sightwitches.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: A magical variant. She was a brilliant Threadwitch, and, among others, created the weapon that broke the Paladins' resurrections.
  • Human Popsicle: Was frozen with her lover to escape the wrath of the Exalted Ones. Only, when Ryber found the chamber where she'd been, Eridysi and her lover were long gone...
  • The Team Normal: Of her group of co-conspirators, she's the only one without an explicit magical ability (save the Thread-binding). She's also the only Sightwitch of her time without the Sight.

    Lisbet 

Lisbet

Daughter of the Rook King's general, who gives her to the Sightwitches for safekeeping. Eridysi's ward, she's the real author of the Lament.
  • Historical Character Confusion: She's the true author of Eridysi's Lament, as Eridysi herself had no Sight.
  • Shipper on Deck: Ships Eridysi with her father, successfully even.
  • Waif Prophet: Gains the Sight at a very young age, and immediately makes insightful prophecies going a thousand years into the future.

The Twelve Paladins

    In General 
The very first witches, a group of twelve souls, two per element, charged with keeping the peace in the Witchlands. Upon their death, they reincarnated into a new body with all the memories of their past lives. A millennium before, six of them turned on the other six, calling themselves the Exalted Ones and proclaiming themselves rulers of humanity. This provoked a war, which ended in the deaths of at least eleven of the Paladins via a weapon designed to rob them of the memories of their past lives when they reincarnated. In the present, they are assumed to be long dead, but they are still out there, unaware of their true identities.
  • Born-Again Immortality: Until the end of the war, they were always reborn with their memories after dying.
  • Face–Heel Turn: The Six who became the Exalted Ones did this. Then the Rook King betrayed the other five.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Eridysi designed a weapon that most of them were killed with, which prevented them from remembering their past lives upon their rebirth.
  • Reincarnation: They are reborn into a new body upon their death.
  • Superpower Lottery: Each of them is a full Witch of their element, and it seems this remains even after they no longer retain their memories upon reincarnation.

    Kullen/Bastien 

Kullen Ikray, once Bastien, aka "the Fury"

Bastien was one of the six Paladins who opposed the Exalted Ones, and the lover of Baile. He was heavily scarred and lost an eye after an Exalted One attack, causing him to wear a mask. He was the inspiration for the Nubrevnan god known as the Fury.

As Kullen Ikray, he was first mate and Threadbrother of Prince Merik Nihar, Heart-Thread of Ryber Fortiza. He is a full Airwitch powerful enough to raise a hurricane, due to being one of the two Air Paladins. He was Cleaved by Esme at Lejna, and came back with a desire to conquer Nubrevna and hand it over to the Raider King, as well as shadow powers.


  • The Big Guy: The largest character both in stature and power; when Ryber has to turn him over to patch up his wounds, it takes her several tries just to move him.
  • Black Eyes of Evil: After getting partially Cleaved by Esme.
  • Blow You Away: He's one of the two Air Paladins.
  • Came Back Wrong: When he returns after being Cleaved, he has a marked personality change and the ability to command shadows.
  • Casting a Shadow: After being Cleaved, he develops this power.
  • Creepy Good: Worshipped as the god of justice. Doesn't change the fact that people who think they see him are absolutely terrified of him. In the present day, though? Not so much.
  • Eye Scream: He lost an eye fighting the Exalted Ones.
  • Face–Monster Turn: Upon his Cleaving and return. One of his primary motives seems to be revenge.
  • Famed In-Story: Like Baile, he's so powerful, after his "death" he's been incorporated into the pantheon.
  • Gentle Giant: He's a huge, but friendly man. Or, well, he was...
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Extensively scarred, but still a good guy, as Bastien.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Before his Cleaving, he's practically like a brother to Merik — far more so that Merik's actual sister.
  • Human Popsicle: Merik tricks him into sleeping in Sirmaya's ice caverns as it's the only way to stop his rampage.
  • Irony: He's an Airwitch who needs to breathe to use his powers. He has asthma.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: In Sightwitch, after the storm he wakes up under the mountain knowing everything he used to about the Witchlands, but nothing about himself. Both him and Ryber note how bizarrely selective this amnesia is.
  • Malevolent Masked Men: Inverted; he wears a mask, but isn't malevolent, regardless of how he looks. He only becomes malevolent when not wearing one.
  • No-Sell: Due to his Paladin status and multiple lives, Esme has almost no control over him, allowing him to backstab her.
  • Not Brainwashed: He works with Ragnor willingly after regaining the memories of his past lives.
  • Number Two: To Merik, before his Face–Monster Turn.
  • Revenge: One of his primary motivations upon regaining his memories.
  • Sickly Prodigy: He's an Airwitchery prodigy with asthma that on some days leaves him unable to function normally.
  • Superpower Lottery: One of the most powerful Airwitches in existence, since he's one of the Twelve Paladins.
  • We Can Rule Together: Makes this offer to Merik, but is turned down.
  • Wistful Amnesia: He looses his memories of Ryber and their journey under the mountain after exiting the protective spells around the Sightwitches' convent. However, he recognizes her when he sees her again.

    Stix 

Captain Stacia "Stix" Sotar

First mate and Threadsister to Princess Vivia. She's one of the two Water Paladins.


    Baile 

Baile

One of the six Paladins who opposed the Exalted Ones, and the lover of Bastien. After her apparent final death she was worshipped as a goddess in Nubrevna.


  • Depending on the Writer: In-universe, she's viewed very differently in different countries. In Nubrevna, she's considered a protective deity, while in Saldonica, she's the patron of the gladiator games.
  • Famed In-Story: So powerful, she was deified after her supposed death.

    Rhian 

Rhian

One of the six Paladins who opposed the Exalted Ones, and Baile's niece.


    Saria 

Saria

One of the six Paladins who opposed the Exalted Ones. She was one of the two Earth Paladins.


    The Rook King 

The Rook King

One of the six Paladins who opposed the Exalted Ones, he eventually betrayed the five others.


  • Animal Motifs: Rooks, naturally.
  • The Ghost: Whenever the Six meet, he sends the Rook to listen in instead of going there himself.
  • Only Known By His Nickname: Never called anything other than that.
  • Talking in Your Dreams: Contacts Iseult in her dreams to help her while she's at the Carawen Monastery, which used to be his fortress. His fate in the present is still very unclear, however.

Antagonists

    Ragnor 

Ragnor det Amalej, the Raider King

In the past, he was the general of the Rook King's armies. No'Amatsi, his tribe was dissolved by the Exalted Ones.

In the present, he's a mysterious man who has been working to bring the former Republic of Arithuania under his control, doing so under the noses of the major empires. His ambitions, however, stretch far beyond Arithuania, as he wishes to destroy the various empires that he sees as having given himself so much pain.


  • Action Dad: Lisbet's father, and a soldier who rose to the rank of the general during the conflict with the Exalted Ones.
  • Adorkable: When he and Eridysi start flirting, it's awkward and cute on both sides.
  • Archnemesis Dad: He and Aeduan are at odds by the end of Bloodwitch.
  • Badass Normal: A soldier with no magical powers.
  • Big Bad: Behind most of the problems facing our protagonists so far.
  • The Ghost: Doesn't appear in person in the first two books.
  • Give Him a Normal Life: He gives up his daughters to the Sightwitches to keep them safe during the war.
  • Human Popsicle: He was frozen deep under the Sightwitches' mountain with Eridysi and his daughters. Like Eridysi, he's missing when Ryber comes there a thousand years later... because he's been awake for twenty years.
  • No Name Given: In Sightwitch, he is very deliberately not referred to by name so the readers don't know that he's the same person as the Raider King until The Reveal in Bloodwitch.

    Esme 

Esme, the Puppeteer

A teenage Weaverwitch who works for Ragnor.


  • Affably Evil: She's endlessly polite and friendly towards Iseult even as she Cleaves hundreds of people to aid the Raider King's plans.
  • Creepy Child: A young girl who can turn witches into her puppets across the entire continent.
  • The Dragon: Seems to be Ragnor's second-in-command.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: She hates being called the Puppeteer, thinking it childish. It doesn't stop her boss from calling her that, though.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Iseult, since they're both the same kind of witch. In fact, in Bloodwitch she reveals that she was cast out of her tribe for not being able to make Threadstones, which is why Iseult left her home in the first place.
  • Evil Sorceress: Her use of her power to create armies of Slave Mooks gives her this vibe.
  • Friendly Enemy: She genuinely considers Iseult her friend and wants to help her master her powers.
  • The Heavy: Via her Weaverwitchery, she has been responsible for most of the direct threats to the protagonists.
  • In the Back: Kullen/Bastien does this to her, and Merik leaves her by the Air Well afterwards as he's not interested in helping her.
  • Psychopathic Womanchild: When Merik is held prisoner by her in Bloodwitch, she acts quite childish while carrying out her evil.
  • Uncertain Doom: It's not clear if she survived being stabbed by Kullen.

    Corlant 

Corlant

A Cursewitch who works for Ragnor. He turned the people of the Midenzi settlement against their Threadwitch Gretchya, Iseult's mother, using his powers and a threat to depower her if she unmasked him. He also moonlights as a Purist priest. It's hinted that he may actually be a Void Paladin.


Other

    The Rook 

The Rook

A mysterious, apparently immortal bird who was sent by the Rook King to convey messages between himself and the Sightwitches.


  • Action Pet: Fights the shadowwyrms alongside Kullen and Ryber, and fares better than either of the humans, even managing to kill one of the beasts.
  • Clever Crows: A rook, but same family. He's definitely sentient, intelligent enough to convey messages between the Rook King and the rest of the Six, and smart enough to figure out how to open magical locks.
  • The Hedonist: The essay Tanzi wrote on him as an assignment reveals he mostly spends his days being petted (but not too much) and stealing sweets.
  • Mentor Mascot: Does his best to (grudgingly) mentor Ryber when she's the only Sightwitch left.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: To Ryber when she's exploring under the mountain, and to the Rook King in the past.
  • Parrot Pet Position: While underground, he usually travels like this.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Over a thousand years old; the Rook mentioned by Eridysi in her journal is the same Ryber interacts with.
  • The Speechless: On account of being a bird.
  • Spell My Name with a "The": He won't acknowledge people who don't address him as the Rook.


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