Tinker, aka Beloved Tinker of Wind, born Alexander Graham Bell Dufae
The owner of a junkyard on Pittsburgh's west side, by the river. Famous as the inventor of the hoverbike, and an all-round Gadgeteer Genius. She saves Windwolf, the elven Viceroy of the Westernlands, from a foo dog attack on Shutdown Day, which kickstarts a chain of events that lead to her being magically transformed into an elf, getting married to Windwolf, and becoming a major target for the oni conspiracy in the shadows.
- Accidental Marriage: She accepted Windwolf's proposal because she didn't understand what he was really asking her, as he was under the impression she was more familiar with elven culture than she actually was at the time.
- Boyish Short Hair: She keeps her hair short.
- Dreaming of Things to Come: She has prophetic dreams, a talent she inherited from her mother.
- Gadgeteer Genius: She's amazing with computers and technology, specializing in combining human technology with Elfhome's magic.
- Lady Looks Like a Dude: When she was thirteen, when she first met Windwolf when she saved his life, he mistook her for a boy. This trope no longer applies by the time of the series, though.
- Magitek: She builds it.
- Named After Somebody Famous: Her grandfather named her after Alexander Graham Bell without consideration of her gender.
- Only Known by Her Nickname: For obvious reasons, no one who knows her personally calls her "Alexander". Which leads to weirdness in book 4, Wood Sprites, which serves as a prequel and sidequel for the series up to that point. The protagonists of the book, Tinker's twin sisters, born thanks to frozen fertilized eggs, constantly call her "Alexander" because they don't know her in person.
- Parental Abandonment: Her parents, Leonardo da Vinci Dufae and Esme Shenske, never even met, and her father died ten years before she was born. Ahh, the wonders of modern reproductive technology!
- Person of Mass Destruction: Created and repaired the Ghostlands. Took control of the Tengu. And has access to three sets of spell stones (Stone, Fire, Wind) where she's definitely going to have full capabilities for Stone (via the Dufae Codex) and Wind (via training). And likely to get training for Fire given her demonstrated ability to copy spells she's seen in use. If Windwolf is considered one of the most powerful domana with access to two sets of spell stones, imagine Tinker with access to three.
- Teen Genius: She's eighteen, and has a very high IQ.
- Tomboyish Name: Her grandfather Timothy named her after the inventor, which among other things sets the bad guys, as well as two well-meaning NSA agents, off on the wrong trail when trying to find her.
- Wrench Wench: She's an excellent mechanic, as well.
Wolf Who Rules Wind
The elven viceroy of the Westernlands and nephew of the queen. He's an innovator, which is rare among elven society, and how he wound up a target for the oni.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: He's the viceroy of the Westernlands, and has also been called the most powerful domana on the planet, because he can tap two sets of spell stones.
- Awesome Mc Coolname: Natch.
- Foreign Culture Fetish: He's fascinated by human society, and learned several human languages despite having been born after the portals to Earth were closed in the 1700s. This is one of the reasons the queen made him Viceroy of the Westernlands and therefore in charge of negotiating with the humans upon the arrival of Pittsburgh.
- Hybrid Power: His mother is Fire Clan, and the queen's sister. His father is the head of the Wind Clan. This means he can use the magic of both clans, and is in fact the only one of his siblings capable of this.
- Long-Haired Pretty Boy: All elves are beautiful, and most of them have long hair, but even so Windwolf stands out.
- Massive Numbered Siblings: He's the youngest of ten, which is very rare among elves.
- Person of Mass Destruction: There exists a viral video from when Pittsburgh was first transported to Elfhome showing him destroying tanks with lightning. And that's just one example of his magic skills.
- Teen Genius: He's over 200 years old, but by elven standards he qualifies for this trope.
Orville John "Oilcan" Wright
Tinker's cousin, originally from Boston. He came to Pittsburgh when he was ten after his father went to jail for murdering his mother. He's also mechanically gifted, although not as much as Tinker.
Louise and Jillian Mayer
A set of twins from New York City who discovered that they were Tinker's biological siblings, who'd been born when their infertile parents stole two of the frozen, fertilized eggs left over from when Timothy Dufae had arranged the creation of his granddaughter.
- AB Negative: They discover they're not related to their parents when they get their blood typed at the hospital and find they're both AB+, while their parents are O- and A- respectively.
- Child Prodigies: They're eight years old, and brilliant enough to figure out how to generate magical energy on Earth. They are Dufaes, after all.
- Oblivious Adoption: A variant. Their parents were infertile, and their father worked at the reproductive health facility where the remaining fertilized eggs from Leonardo Dufae and Esme Shenske were being held, so he stole two, leading to the birth of the twins. The twins were oblivious to this until the beginning of Wood Sprites.
First to both Windwolf and his grandfather Howling before him. A very old and experienced sekasha.
Singing Storm Wind
The mixed-caste daughter of Sword Strike, the queen's chief bodyguard, and Pure Radiance, the chief intanyei seyosa.
- Cool Big Sis: She fills this sort of role to Tinker, being one of very few elves both fluent in English and familiar with and fond of human culture.
- Hybrid Power: She has all the talents of a full sekasha, but also some of her mother's talent for seeing the future.
- Meaningful Name: She was born into the Fire Clan, and was thus originally called Singing Storm of Fire, but her mother foresaw that she would eventually join the Wind Clan, for which her name is a much better fit.
- Prophetic Name: See Meaningful Name.
Galloping Storm Horse on Wind, aka Stormhorse or Little Horse
The youngest of Windwolf's, and later Tinker's, sekasha, the son and grandson of some legendary members of his caste.
- Affectionate Nickname: He's called "Little Horse" because he's the youngest, only recently having turned one hundred. This was swiftly corrupted to "Pony".
- Language Barrier: He doesn't speak much English.
- Nice Guy: Despite being a holy warrior with the authority to carry out summary executions, he's among the kindest and most supportive characters in the series.
Lightning Strikes Wind
One of Windwolf's sekasha, who was killed in the saurus attack where Tinker first met Windwolf. He's also the father of Blue Sky Montana.
- Posthumous Character: He was killed five years before the start of the series. He does make a brief appearance in the short story "All the King's Horses and All the King's Men", where Lain meets him on the day of the first Startup.
- Prophetic Name: As he tells Lain in that short story, his mother was unhappy with his name because it meant he would have a short life.
Sparrow Lifted by Wind
Originally born to a lower caste, she was made husepavua* by Windwolf, making her equivalent in rank to the domana. She also served as a spy for the Skin Clan, because she wanted to be made into a full domana with magic.
- Time Abyss: She's around nine thousand years old, and witnessed the fall of the Skin Clan personally.
Queen Soulful Ember
Queen of the elves and head of the Fire Clan. She's also Windwolf's aunt.
- The High Queen: Very much so, based on her brief appearances.
Prince True Flame
An elven prince. His precise relation to the queen is not known.
Sword Strike of Fire
The queen's First, meaning he's her chief bodyguard, and thus head of the entire sekasha clan. He's also Stormsong's father.
The most powerful intanyei seyosa in Elfhome, and the leader of the seer caste. She's also Stormsong's mother.
Windwolf's father, the leader of the Wind Clan.
- The Ghost: Has yet to appear in person.
Windwolf's grandfather, the leader of the Wind Clan during the war with the Skin Clan. He was killed by assassins that agents of the Skin Clan had duped into thinking he was going to stage a coup to become king.
- Posthumous Character: He was killed a long time ago.
Clove Scented Smoke on Wind
Longwind's apothecary, an elf who only recently came to Summer Court.
- Blind Without 'Em: He's a rare elf with bad eyesight. His glasses keep falling off, though, so he usually only wears them when he's reading. And there's a stigma against using the spells that could fix it, because of the atrocities committed by the albino Skin Clan emperor to perfect them. This gets him into some trouble with an arrogant Stone Clan sekasha.
- Country Mouse: He's a new arrival to Summer Court from the countryside, and ignorant of many social customs.
The leader of the three Stone Clan domana who come to Pittsburgh in Wolf Who Rules.
Forest Moss on Stone
The sole survivor of the party of elves who discovered Onihida, which left him somewhat unhinged.
- Cloudcuckoolander: His experience on Onihida left him somewhat unhinged.
- Prematurely Grey-Haired: Elves, due to their immortality, usually don't go grey at all, but Forest Moss' hair turned white after his experience on Onihida.
- Sole Survivor: He was the leader of the group of elves that stumbled upon a portal to Onihida, and the only one who survived.
Jewel Tear on Stone
A Stone Clan domi that Windwolf once courted.
A high-ranking domana who comes to Pittsburgh in Elfhome. He had a box of baby dragons in stasis, which Unbounded Brilliance stole from him. He may be a mole for the Skin Clan.
- The Mole: Unbounded Brilliance seems to have believed him to be this, and Tinker, Windwolf and Oilcan also have this suspicion.
Unbounded Brilliance of Stone/Jerome Dufae
A Stone Clan domana who uncovered evidence of the Skin Clan's infiltration of elven society, and as a result fled to Earth. He died during the French Revolution. He is Tinker and Oilcan's ancestor.
Thorne Scratch on Stone
The First to the domana Earth Son, and later to Oilcan.
Feral Pig-Sticker of Stone
An arrogant young Stone Clan sekasha who was beaten in a fight by a young Pony when he first came to Summer Court.
The Skin Clan
The Skin Clan
The ancient tyrannical rulers of the elves, who were overthrown in a revolution nearly ten thousand years before. However, it appears they may not be as extinct as the elves thought . . .
- Genetic Engineering Is the New Nuke: Their specialty is using magic to tinker with biology. They are directly responsible for the existence of the elven caste system.
- Gone Horribly Right: They created the sekasha as the perfect bodyguards, who were morally perfect. The sekasha then turned on the Skin Clan because of their evilness.
- Unusual Ears: Averted. Most elves have pointy ears because the Skin Clan wanted an easy way to distinguish their slaves. Elves of the Skin Clan have rounded ears, which allows them to pass for human, at least to those unaware of the Skin Clan's existence.
The leader of the oni who were secretly operating in Pittsburgh.
A kitsune illusionist who was a member of the party of oni who kidnapped Tinker.
- Imperiled in Pregnancy: She was pregnant with a litter sired by Lord Tomtom when she was killed.
- Kitsune: As one, she's considered of lesser blood than higher-ranking oni like Tomtom.
- Master of Illusion: She creates an illusion that makes Tinker think she's been brought to Onihida, when she was on Elfhome the entire time.
- Half-Human Hybrid: They were created when humans from Japan who'd been sneaking into Onihida were caught and forcibly combined with ravens.
- Power Tattoo: They get tattoos on their backs that allow them to create Hard Light wings.
- Servant Race: Tinker accepts the tengu as her vassals in order to protect them from the oni.
- Slave Race: They were enslaved by the oni, and the major part of their arc is attempting to free themselves.
- Tengu: Obviously.
The spiritual leader of the tengu.
- The Chosen One: His actual title, as spiritual leader of the tengu.
Sister of Jin Wong, and widow of Leonardo Dufae, effectively making her Tinker's stepmother.
A tengu who was sent undercover by the oni to get a job at Tinker's scrapyard and help abduct her.
- Chekhov's Gunman: He first appears as the cyclist with impressive reflexes who gets out of the way of Tinker and Oilcan's truck when they're trying to get Windwolf to the border in time for Startup.
A young dragon that the Skin Clan attempted to capture, but who was rescued with the help of Tinker.
A dragon who serves as the guardian spirit of the tengu. He's both alive and dead at the same time.
- I Cannot Self-Terminate: He asked the tengu to kill him after the oni used his body in the spell that made the tengu what they are, because the next spell the oni planned would have used his soul. The tengu obliged.
A baby dragon born from the egg Louise and Jillian stole from the museum in New York.
- Declaration of Protection: She's declared the twins and babies to be her Chosen, and she can summon backup if anyone tries to do anything to them without her permission.
- Secret Legacy: They're descended from Unbounded Brilliance of Stone, an elf who fled to Earth in the 1700s with a chest of unhatched dragon eggs to hide them from the Skin Clan. He passed down a family codex of spells, although the box was lost until it wound up in a museum in New York.
Timothy Dufae, aka Bell
Tinker and Oilcan's grandfather. He moved to Pittsburgh and changed his name to Bell after his son was murdered.
- I Want Grandkids: Did he ever. He kept nagging his son Leonardo about having grandkids, and eventually Leo responded by having some of his sperm frozen. This eventually led to Tinker's birth.
- Outliving One's Offspring: He lived to see both of his children murdered.
- Posthumous Character: He died several years before the beginning of the series.
Leonardo da Vinci Dufae
Son and older child of Timothy Dufae. He had a strained relationship with his father, and was eventually murdered for his designs for the hyperphase gate which ultimately brought Pittsburgh to Elfhome. He's Tinker's father thanks to frozen sperm.
- Interspecies Romance: With the tengu Gracie Wong. However, they couldn't have children together.
- Named After Somebody Famous: He was the first person his father named after a famous historical genius, in his case Leonardo da Vinci.
- Posthumous Character: He died ten years before Tinker was born, but he effectively invented the hyperphase gate.
Ada Lovelace Dufae Wright
Daughter and younger child of Timothy Dufae. She was Oilcan's mother, and was murdered by her husband when Oilcan was ten years old.
Earth Interdimensional Agency
Director Derek Maynard
Head of the EIA, and thus the top-ranking human in Pittsburgh.
Residents of Pittsburgh
Dr. Lain Shenske
A xenobiologist who lives on top of Observatory Hill, and a long-standing friend of Tinker, Oilcan and their grandfather. She was going to go on a space mission to Europa until she was crippled in a training accident, several years before the first Startup.
- Disappeared Dad: Her father, an astronaut, was murdered when she was a child by agents of the Skin Clan.
- Dreaming of Things to Come: She has prophetic dreams, a talent that runs in the women of her family.
- Honorary Aunt: To Tinker and Oilcan. Ironically enough, she's actually Tinker's real aunt.
- Super Wheelchair: She used to use a high-tech "wheel"chair with legs. However, its computer kept crashing, which she found very frustrating. By the present time of the series, she can walk again.
Lain's younger sister, an astronaut who went through the hyperphase gate on one of the colony ships. She's also Tinker's biological mother.
- Dreaming of Things to Come: It's a talent that runs in the women of her family, and one she passed on to her eldest daughter.
- Missing Mom: For Tinker, and by extension Louise, Jillian and the babies.
- Supernaturally Young Parent: She, like everyone on the colony ships that went through the hyperphase gate, was frozen in time until the gate was destroyed at the end of Tinker. She's still biologically in her late twenties, and doesn't look old enough to be Tinker's biological mother.
A half-elf with a mysterious past who runs a store near Tinker's scrapyard.
- Half-Human Hybrid: She's a half-elf.
- Mysterious Past: She was stranded on Earth when the passages to Elfhome were closed, and she knows about the Skin Clan's influence and has been fighting them. What, exactly, her history is remains unknown.
- Really 700 Years Old: She was born sometime before the 1700s, when the passages between Earth and Elfhome were closed. She survived three hundred years stuck on Earth with a bed made of dragon bones.
- Unreliable Expositor: It's revealed she's been lying to Tinker about several aspects of elven society and magic to try and keep her away from them. This, obviously, fails.
A police officer who was a friend of Oilcan's and had a longstanding crush on Tinker.
- Crazy Jealous Guy: His feelings for Tinker are much stronger than her feelings for him, and he reacts badly towards Windwolf's interest in her.
- Fantastic Racism: He's noticeably uncomfortable with elves.
- Jail Bait Wait: He was in love with Tinker, and had been waiting until she was a legal adult to go out with her.
- Off with His Head!: One of Windwolf's sekasha beheads Nathan when he started harassing Tinker.
Jonnie/Johnnie Be Goode
A perverted elf-wannabe paramedic.
Visitors to Elfhome
A scientist who's staying at the university for a month-long research trip who flirts with Oilcan at the welcome barbecue.
- Gender-Blender Name: She's a woman named "Ryan".
Agents Corg Durrack and Hannah Briggs
A pair of NSA agents sent to Pittsburgh in search of Tinker to warn her she's in danger of being kidnapped.
- Actually, I Am Him: They assume that "Alexander Graham Bell" is a man, and thus believe Tinker to be "his" girlfriend.
- Jurisdiction Friction: Pittsburgh is no longer technically part of the USA, so they have no jurisdiction there.
- Not Helping Your Case: They break into Tinker's apartment and disable her security system, making her disinclined to listen to what they have to say.
- Through His Stomach: When they return to explain to Tinker why they wanted to talk to her, Durrack buys some doughnuts in apology for the first incident.