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Characters / The Wolfhound

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This is a character list for The Wolfhound series. Spoilers abound, so proceed with caution. A chief one is that everyone except a single supporting character from Earth are Human Aliens, as the action takes place on a different planet.


Main Characters

Wolfhound

The series protagonist, a warrior from the northern tribe of Venns, he was sold as a slave to the hellish mines after his clan was exterminated by the jealous neighbors, but was able to break free to take out his vengeance on the wrongdoers. All this happens in the first chapter of the first book in the series, which makes the series essentially a one big So What Do We Do Now? moment for him.
Associated Tropes

(Earthbound) Bat

Wolfhound's longtime pet, whom he acquires while still in the mines and who follows him everywhere. In the first book his wing was torn by the slavedriver's whip, but Tilorn heals him early into the book, so he quickly looses the "earthbound" part of his name. Fast, nimble, smart to the point of the near sentience and armed with a diamond-sharp claws, he's a Wolfhound's steadfast companion and makes himself pretty useful in the fights too.
Associated Tropes

  • Action Pet: Once he got his wing healed and loses his fear of flight, he gets increasingly useful in the fights, both as recon and by clawing at the Wolfhound's opponents.
  • Androcles' Lion: Well, bat. Wolfhound saved his whelps from being squashed by mining equipment in Jewel Mountains, and he's been loyal to him ever since.
  • Eye Scream: His preferred attack.
  • Sapient Pet: Not to the utavegu's level, but he is indeed borderline sentient.
  • Shoulder Pet: Ever since his earthbound phase, he makes his home on the Wolfhound's shoulder.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Milk with bread.

Eurych

A young scholar from the ancient and advanced land of Arrantiad, who makes himself at odds with an influential Twins priest and gets essentially kidnapped by his posse to be dragged before the crowd as an example of "empty learning". Gets saved by Wolfhound, and soon becomes his Heterosexual Life-Partnersnarking all the time.
Associated Tropes

Supporting Characters

Tilorn

A spacer from Earth stranded on this planet after his starship hit a Negative Space Wedgie close to it. Knowledgeable beyound belief and imbued with powerful Psychic Powers, but too trusting for his own good, he'd once offered his help with building a castle for a seemingly benign chieftain Vinitarius, aka The Maneater. Vinitarius quickly realised the true potential of the gunpowder Tilorn used for demolishing rocks, and, after the scientist refused to reveal its secret, threw him into the dungeon, from which he was rescued by Wolfhound. The plot of the second book was started by The Quest to reach his lifeboat with its Subspace Ansible, which he has to leave on one of Segvan Islands after the circumstances forced him to get out of there as soon as possible.
Associated Tropes

  • Demoted to Extra: Quite fast. By the third book he's hardly mentioned anymore, and his eventual fate is touched only in spinoffs.
  • Distressed Dude: In the first chapter of the story.
  • The Engineer: Builds an impregnable castle for the Maneater.
  • Genre Blind: He showed the effect of gunpowder to a warlord and didn't realise until almost too late, that he'd want to use it for war.
  • Giving Radio to the Romans: He teaches Galirad artisans a lot of technologies quite advanced for their Early Medieval tech level, like galvanizing the steel for rust protection, optics for magnifying glasses and microscopes and better glassworking in general.
    • Deconstructed with the gunpowder - he planned to use it purely for peacefull purposes, at construction works, but it ends up in the hand of less than virtuous people and, unsurpisingly, used for conquest and slaughter of innocents.
  • Healing Hands: Can heal by applying his life force.
  • The Medic: Just by the fact that he's an Earthling and knows infinitely more about the origins of diseases, he gets to be a better physician than most other healers in the series, even disregarding his Healing Hands.
  • Naïve Newcomer: It seems that the Earth he came from is a utopian post-war society, which makes him ill-prepared for dealing with the much grittier and more wicked world he arrives to.
  • Psychic Powers: It's unclear whether he gets them here, or anyone on Earth have got them at the time.
  • Younger Than They Look: Originally mistaken for an old man by Wolfhound, due to his silver hair, long unkempt beard and general grime of the dungeon. In fact he's in his thirties.

Niilith

Vinitarius' former slave, a 15-year-old Saccarem girl introduced as The Maneater's bedmate for the night during his unfortunate encounter with Wolfhound, and rescued by him along with Tilorn. She was a student of the famous Saccarem scholar and physician, and while she herself quickly gets Demoted to Extra together with Tilorn (whose girlfriend she eventually becomes), her master (or his memory) and her past remain important even in the later parts of the series.
Associated Tropes

  • Abusive Parents: Subverted. She had perfectly nice and loving parents — until they died. It is her guardian who turned abusive, largely so that he wouldn't have to give her the required part of inheritance.
  • Arranged Marriage: As a way to get her out of her abusive home, her neighbor and mentor, Zelhat of Melsina, tried to buy her hand, but failed.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: A daughter of wealthy merchant, she has lost both her parents to an epidemic as a kid, and her uncle, who inherited their property, treated her no better than a common slave. The famous scholar, Zelhat of Melsina, who lived near them and taught her various subjects, tried to buy her out as a wife, if only to get her free from an abusive household, but couldn't rise the money before her bastard of an uncle has sold her away. After which she ended in the Maneater's castle.
  • Fostering for Profit: Technically, by the law she stood to inherit at least a half of her father's wealth at her marriage, if fostered by her uncle, who'd then get the other half, already quite a sum, but the man didn't want to share, and tried the old "out of heart, out of mind" gambit.
  • Healing Hands: Learned it from Tilorn, but as he noted, women are inherently more talented at that, because unlike men, who spend their own life force on that, women can tap into some much greater source.
  • Innocent Blue Eyes
  • The Medic: She's a healer both in traditional and supernatural ways.
  • The Pollyanna: Despite all the shit she had to deal with in her life, Niilith remains kind and cheerful.
  • Princess in Rags: Due to Saccarem laws, which are quite unkind to women, and the rotten heart of her uncle.
  • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin

Mother Kendarat

Wolfhound's mentor and a kind of mother figure, an elderly priestess of an Eastern love goddess Kan, she brings to the world a message of love and forgiveness at the feet of the Great Mother. But as the world is hardly as kind and forgiving as the Kan's priestesses' teachings, they get another of their goddess' blessing: a martial art that allows even the women, the weak, and the elderly to protect themselves easily — the kan-keero, of which she's the undisputed grand master. Her travels with Wolfhound are described in the prequel novel Peace on the Road.
Associated Tropes

Gluzd Nesmeyanovich

King of a Solvenn nation with his capital in Galirad. A just and noble ruler and a gallant warrior, he's a significant character in the first book and is often mentioned afterwards. He is well loved by his people, and while he is understandably suspicios of Wolfhound when they meet, he stil tries to do the right thing.
Associated Tropes

  • Amazon Chaser: Both of his wives were well-known as great warriors, and he himself originally was only a commander in his first wife's army.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: As befitting to the Medieval ruler.
  • Demoted to Extra: As no further story takes place in the Solvenn nation, he is only infrequently namechecked in the sequels, and that's all.
  • Doting Parent: Towards his daughter Elen, who reminds him of her mother, who died in battle some years ago.
  • May–December Romance: His second wife, Ertan, is about 20 years younger.
  • Meaningful Name: "Gluzd" is an Old Slavic for "reason", and he's exactly that.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: From all what is said and seen of him. He's suspicious of Wolfhound, true, but it only adds to his reasonable character, as who wouldn't be suspicious of a semi-foreign cutthroat returning from a disastrous trip with the accusations of treason towards the old-known and trusted relative?
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Not only is he very involved in the daily goings of his kingdom, but he also beieves into leading from the frontlines, and often engages in diplomacy presonally, being his own envoy. In fact, he is out of Galirad for most of the book because he's on a diplomatic trip.
  • Warrior Prince: A strict believer in leading from the front, and quite successful at that.

Elen Gluzdovna

A daughter of the above, in the first book she's a seventeen years old princess standing watch while her father is on a diplomatic trip — giving her off in a dynastic marriage. She cares little for this, and the attempt end in disaster, but there are implications that everything will end well for her.
Associated tropes

Sonmor

The Narlak city of Condar, being a large trade haven, always was a hotbed of crime, but after one notable incident during a major war 200 years ago, it came forth as a seat of the main crime lord of the whole nation, whose descendants bore the same name and the title of the Night Conis ever since.
Associated Tropes
  • The Don: Of the largest criminal network in their world, even branching "across the pond", so to say.
  • Legacy Character: The official legend maintains that he's still the same Sonmor as two hundred years ago.
  • The Mafia/Yakuza: Sonmor's gangs try to maintain the same image of suave sophisticates and protectors of the underdogs as their prototypes. Sometimes they even succeed.
  • The Man They Couldn't Hang: One of the legends of the original Sonmor says that during his execution the noose got torn, and he escaped. Thus one of the posher streets in Condar is called the Torn Rope street.
  • Neighborhood Friendly Gangsters: Manages to stay at this level, keeping his men as acceptable and socially responsible figures, with an image of friendly protectors of the weak and being safe with a common man.
  • Odd Friendship: Kei-Sonmor (Sonmor's son and heir) befriended both Wolfhound and Eurych on their journey, and as Wolfhound managed to do him a favor, saving the pregnant wife of his Childhood Friend from a Death Cult assassin, he extended his protection on them for his whole empire.
    • Uloiho, the Childhood Friend in question, is himself an example, being a weak, hunchbacked son of a middle-class artisan, and, on the outside, not a match for a Mafia Prince. Turned out, Kei-Sonmor's father specifically encouraged this to improve his son's character. In the end it worked, helping not only Luta, his son, but Uloiho as well, who went to became a world-famous jeweller and goldsmith.
  • Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: To keep the whole charade going for two centuries, the Sonmors had to actually rein in the criminal activity significantly. While there are still pick-pocketing aplenty, card sharps inhabit every sailor tavern and all prostitutes and inn bouncers in the city are in Sonmor's pocket, you probably won't find even a grain of Grey Dust in the whole area, and you can even safely walk alone by night — if you keep to a central well-lit streets, of course.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: The current Sonmors — both the semi-retired father and his up-and-rising son — are basically this. Being shrewd and practical men, they basically regulate crime, keeping it at a socially acceptable levels and eradicating the truly dangerous ones, as they are bad for business.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Involuntarily enforced on Wolfhound and Eurych in Tin-Vilena. When they were swindled by a dishonest merchant there,note  the money was returned to them on the very next day (together with a beaten up merchant who couldn't stop his excuses) by the couple of a scary-looking dudes, who then left with the quote: "The friends of Sonmor are our friends".

Opponents

Honomer

Another Segvan antagonist (notice the pattern here?) and a recurring one at that. An up-and-rising priest of the Twins faith, he's most characterized by his dream of achieving fame and recognition, and putting his Church in a better position, and the lengths he was prepared to go for that were... pretty radical, to say the least.
Associated Tropes

  • Ambition Is Evil: Honomer isn't inherently a bad man, really, but his ambitions pretty much consumed him completely, until he was brought down and shown the error of his ways by the miracles of the Twins and their Mother, leaving him a better man afterwards.
  • Book-Ends: The series chronologcally starts with a kind Twins' priest wandering into the Grey Hounds village in the dead of winter, and after being nursed to health decides to write down the Venns' myths and legends. It ends with another priest similarly wandering into another village, only this priest now being Honomer.
  • Break the Haughty: It basically took the Twins themselves to take him down a peg, but in the end it was pretty effective.
  • Church Militant: His faith always was pretty easy on the violence matter, and Honomer himself is a follower of the Senior, who was a warrior in his corporeal life.
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: The Twins church is basically Christianity in a pretty thin disguise, in social position if not in the doctrine (which more resembles Zoroastrianism or Mithraism, if anything).
  • Humiliation Conga: Honomer in Tin-Vilena, when the Twins decided to took the matters into their own hands. First the great icon of the Twins in the main city temple miraculously rotted through in just a couple of days (after just slowly fading for years), then it just plainly refused to be removed, showing its ruined state for everyone, until the replacement was carved by the master artisan miraculously healed from blindness due to praying to the Mother (whose cult is officially suppressed and discouraged by the Hyerarchs as semi-pagan) at the equally discouraged unofficial prayer spot — all this happened on a Honomer's watch and exactly when he hoped to raise his standing in the Church. Then Honomer decided to visit the miraculously revealed image of the Mother at Haran-Kiir (mentioned in the second book) and is plainly refused entry through the usually easy mountain pass. Finally, he gets lost in a well-known place, and is forced to wander for two days with his feet skinned raw and bleeding, until he has a mystical episode and decides to start Walking the Earth.
  • The Fundamentalist: He's of a more radical, by-the-book persuasion regarding the doctrinal points of faith.
  • It's All About Me: The main problem that doesn't let Honomer to be the true champion of faith. He's just too self-centered for that. It is implied that when he does get thrown down a peg, he eventually becomes a saint.
  • Knight Templar: Honomer often takes a radical stance towards the doctrine, and is very haughty and classist in general.
  • Religion of Evil: Subverted and deconstructed exactly on his example. It's easy to brand the Twins faith this if we only give it a brief glance through Honomer's actions, but then we'd see brother Nikila, other noble and kind priests, the Mother and her wanderings, all the good that they had done... And even Honomer himself isn't evil in his heart, just too blinded by his own passions.
  • Sinister Minister: Of a second, fire-and-brimstone type. There is actually little foundation to suggest that his faith espoused exactly this views, but he was known for his fiery sermons.
  • The Unfettered: Nothing stops Honomer in his quest of bringing more glory to the Twins (and himself).
  • Walking the Earth: After he finally reins his ambition in.
  • With Us or Against Us: To him the line between faithful and others is basically the line between humans and sub-humans. He is shown to be kind and compassionate to his co-religionists, and even undertook dangerous trips to the Jewel Mountains to buy some of them out of slavery. The rest, however? "Wretched heathens" who can "rot away in filth" for all he cares.

Vinitar

Vinitarius the Maneater's unlikely son, and they couldn't be more different even if they wanted. Where the Maneater was cruel and impulsive, Vinitar was calm and calculating, where his father was evil and treacherous, he was noble and faithful, and they didn't see eye-to-the-eye personally as well. In fact, Vinitar's the every bit a Wolfhound's higher-class foil and counterpart, and the only reason he's ever the opponent is the fact that Wolfhound simply killed his father, without giving him a fair duel, as honor dictated, forcing him to avenge the Maneater, even if he would've gladly called the old man out himself.
Associated Tropes

  • The Ace: Great warrior (on Wolfhound's level), seasoned sea captain, brilliant commander, smart, honourable, and so charismatic that his people adore him and actually left his father's employ to follow him.
  • Badass Normal: One of very few characters that can match Wolfhound as a warrior, and that's without psionics or kan-keero. However, they never get to actually fight each other.
  • Hired Guns: Well, sellswords rather. After he broke up with his father, he and his men made a living hiring themselves out to various lords needing a well-kept mercenary company.
  • Honor Before Reason: Vinitar would very much rather be friends with Wolfhound, but his honor commands him into the blood feud, because Wolfhound killed the Maneater without a duel.
  • Horny Vikings: As of late installments, Vinitar is a textbook saekonungr.
  • Parental Abandonment: His mother died when he was a child, and his father hated him with a passion. He ended up being raised by his grandmother and his father's men, after he impressed them with his strength of character (yes, even as a kid). They then mostly ended up defecting to him from his father.
  • The Unfavorite: He is the son of a wife Vinitarius didn't particularly like anyway, and being too much alike her, not to mention "weak and sissy", how the Maneater had put it, he was often mocked by his father and his lickspitties.
  • Warrior Prince: Most of his father's entourage defected to him anyway, and even if he doesn't really have a land now, he's still a noble with his own merry company.
  • Worthy Opponent: He and Wolfhound hold nothing but healthy respect for each other and are only at odds because the honor binds them into a Blood Feud.

Villains

Vinitarius The Maneater

A Segvan chieftain forced off his ancestral island by the encroaching ices, who settled close to the Grey Hounds clan village where Wolfhound (well, just Pup then) lived. Being an avaricious and jealous man, and a habitual robber baron (while most Island Segvans has renounced their piratical pursuits, becoming honest sellswords and plucky ocean traders, Vinitarius sticks to the good old ways), Vinitarius felt that his new lands will look even better without those pesky Venns around, and one fateful night attacked their village, massacring everyone except the young Wolfhound.
Associated Tropes

  • I Am A Humanitarian: He once partook of a killed enemy's flesh in a heat of battle, earning him the nickname.
  • It Is Pronounced "Tro-PAY": His name is actually exactly the same as his son's — Vinitar — but he insisted on changing it to the more Arrantish way out of vanity.
  • Genocide Backfire: After the Pup killed one of the attackers, the brother of said attacker tried to sic hounds on him, but they refused to tear him to shreds. Vinitarius saw this as a good omen and spared the kid, selling him to slavery instead. Boy, did it turn out wrong!
  • Jerkass: To everyone, including his own son, which leads to them quickly becoming estranged, until Vinitar leaves with the most of his father's original band, fed up with the Maneater's character.
  • Meaningful Name: Despite the incident that caused his nickname being more of Never Live It Down, the name itself turned out quite appropriate — he's indeed a cruel and insidious warlord, a robber and an aspiring conqueror.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: His nickname turned out surprisingly accurate.
  • Pirate: A reputation for most Island Segvans, actually, whose barren islands bear very little, so they turn towards the life of maritime highwaymen. OTOH most other island chieftains seem to find other ways of feeding their men, either by settling on the shore, or taking up a trade, but Vinitarius sticks to the old ways, apparently out of pure amusement.
  • Villainous Valor: What gets him and his men going, despite their reputation.

Zhadoba

The leader of a large gang of brigands that preys on merchant caravans, and the former owner (through graverobbing) of Wolfhound's sword Sunflame. Later someone hires him and his gang to assassinate Princess Elen on her way to her groom.
Associated Tropes

  • The Faceless: Both he and his men wear masks during raids. Nobody knows what he looks like.
  • Fingore: Looses two fingers in his first encounter with Wolfhond, together with the sword.
  • Malevolent Masked Men: Leads an entire gang of them.

Luchezar

A relative to the Galiradian princess Elen, a haughty and arrogant nobleman who instantly develops a mutual dislike with Wolfhound. It gets worse when both are tasked with escorting and protecting Elen on her dangerous trip. Before long Wolfhound begins to suspect that Luchezar has ulterior motives.
Associated Tropes

Mavut

A major antagonist for several spinoff novels, Mavut is a world-renowned sorcerer and spearmaster, which brings him a lot of students and followers. The less known fact is that he's also the cruel and insidious warlord and criminal mastermind, but those seeking power as his cronies care little anyway, even if they know.
Associated Tropes

  • Ambition Is Evil: What has made him a villain. Mavut seeking power and power only both in martial arts and magic alike corrupted him entirely.
  • Brown Note: His brand of "magic" is actually concerned about sounds and their influence on the living beings. He could both kill and heal with sounds and he created human- and animal-influencing artifacts like the Flutes that could put people to sleep or act as Weirdness Censor, making the people filter out their wielders.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: What his former teacher in magic, Mountain Blacksmith, feels about him.
  • Papa Wolf: A curious play on the trope. Mavt actually cares very little for his followers and easily sacrifices them whenever he feels like, and he doesn't tolerate any dissent, killing everyone who betrays him, but he reserves this right exclusively for himself, and will hunt down and gruesomely kill anyone raising a hand on any of his followers — including those who left him amicably.
  • We Have Reserves: His general feelings about his students.
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