|Jahrd ArdeanaA young tikedi of mixed Tieke and Tarsin descent. Since childhood, he’s been driven with an insatiable curiosity about the enigmatic tekk, believing that maybe their language and their ways aren’t impossible to understand. His views oppose traditional Tarsin beliefs, which regard the Tekk as beings that shouldn’t be disturbed under almost any circumstance. He seeks to bridge a gap that others would rather see widened.
|Jacind ArdeanaJahrd’s father, and the Kantreska of Oros. He rules his people as fairly as he knows how, but Jahrd is always his first concern.
|Kraelyn Ardeana (Coritani)Jahrd’s late mother. The mystery surrounding her death has haunted Jahrd since he was a child.
|Balta KaneskaSon of Oros’ chief hunter, Yaren, and of its healer, Calterra. He is bold and outspoken, and quick to react.
|Shanka KaneskaThe other son of Yaren and Calterra, who is, in contrast to his brother, quiet, shy, and withdrawn. He seems to carry the weight of the world on his shoulders, and more than one secret in his heart.
|Annen DuskeirOnce an officer of the Novarc Guard and the brother of Aurorin Duskeir. He holds very little regard for most who are not fellow Tieke and a profound dislike of all tekk. He is fiercely protective of his own kind and his home city.
|Shen CoritaniA Priestess of Teykaneska and the former love of Aurorin Duskeir. She remains his reluctant confidant.
|Yaren KaneskaOros’ lead hunter. He thrives among order, loathes change, and is particularly outspoken and displeased by the shift away from Oros’ long-standing traditions in recent years.
|Calterra KaneskaYaren’s estranged mate and the mother of Shanka and Balta. She is greatly renowned as a skilled healer without compare, but she has wounds of her own that are more difficult to heal. She seems to be at her happiest and most relaxed when she is with Jacind, her closest friend. With others, even her own children, she is distant.
|Shan’rekkA tekk of great age, wisdom, and intelligence, who holds the same curiosity about the tikedi as Jahrd does about the tekk. Their paths have crossed briefly only once.
|Renn’tekkMate of Shan’rekk and the eager agent of his justice. She would defend him to the death in a heartbeat, but has had to learn patience and cautiousness as the balance of the world shifts dangerously. She is unaccustomed to the near-constant concern that she now feels.
|Trai’tekk One of Shan’rekk’s closest friends and confidants. He is a guardian of the great tree and a dutiful protector of his master. He has also been tasked with keeping watch over the troublesome Ah’tekk.
|ShensinKantreska of Gessick, and the youngest Kantreska in the canyon city’s long history. He is a strict follower of ancient warnings and traditions, particularly those to do with the relationship between tekk and tikedi, which he staunchly believes should involve little to no contact and great distances.
|Ah’tekkNo tekk can leave the Harlech Tree for long without suffering a kind of starvation. Ah’tekk remains a curiosity: separated from his symbiotic home for over a year and yet still alive, albeit somewhat mad. He is kept in check by Trai’tekk and Renn’tekk and imprisoned once again, this time at his home tree where it’s hoped that he might heal.
|KirieAn Orosian orphan raised by her domineering uncle, the Elder Degur. She and Shanka share a bond and a similar inner struggle.
|Aeza CoritaniOnce a proud Priestess of Teyka’s Faithful, Aeza only barely survived the plague that swept through Tieke City. She’s determined to see a world in which such a terrific tragedy can never strike her people again, and has become a champion for the cause of expanding Tieke City into the resource-rich Crater. Unlike some, she’d like to see such a thing happen without bloodshed, unlikely as that is.
|Aurorin DuskeirA young and ambitious engineer in Tieke City who worked hard to improve the city’s infrastructure before the coming of the plague. He is the son of healers who worked in the Temple tending to the sick and the dying, and the brother of Annen. Aurorin now works in service to the Kantreska to better defend his beloved city and people against a repeat of the tragedy, and to restore confidence to the populace. How far he’s willing to go to achieve that end is another matter…
|Jardren StiggsThe favoured aide of Tieke City’s Kantreska Sarestra. He climbed to the top of Tieke society as a young man and seems to greatly enjoy the view from Novarc Tower. He’s witty, charming, and devious, quick with a cutting remark and eager to take whatever advantages he can. Whether for Sarestra’s benefit or his own, he keeps a watchful eye on the goings on of the city and he stays close to those who show promise.
|TeykaneskaThe goddess of Tieke’s primary religion, revered and emulated by the Sisters of Teyka’s faithful. Legend has it that she was the one who provided the Tieke people with the technological boon that sets them apart from the other tikedi. Who or what she really was, where she came from, and where she eventually returned to is all unknown, but there is little doubt that she existed. Curiously, of the artists who lived during her time, no two could ever agree on her likeness. There are wild and varied differences between all renditions of her that exist.
|Elder DegurAn Elder of Oros, and a shrewd and dangerous challenger to Jacind’s rule. He’d like nothing more than to see the current Kantreska ousted permanently.
|Elder VendessOne of the oldest of the Elders, and a bit of an eccentric.
|Eika and KoroLegends. Two of the founding members of Oros, supposedly some of the first tikedi to make contact with the tekk, and the progenitors of the Prophecy of the Circle itself. Their story is told every year in Oros at the Spring Festival.
|Dakren YtraA man of uniform, although what kind, who can say? In far future days where much has changed, he is a great friend to Jahrd Ardeana.
|AleassaThe strong and capable daughter of Brumman and Ellie, Aleassa possesses a serious and somewhat suspicious demeanour in contrast to the rest of her family. She spends most of her time performing maintenance and repairs to support her parents’ business, and watching the gate for visitors (who she is rarely, if ever, excited to see).
|KaleenBubbly and joyful and an enthusiastic cook, Kaleen is possibly the most excitable member of her family. She’s insatiably curious about the people who wander the road between Tieke and Tarsin and genuinely enjoys learning about what they have to say.
|Brumman Keeper of the Waystation at the borders of Tieke and Tarsin City. He’ll invite you in, make sure you’re warm and fed, and then demand your stories. Tales are what he trades in. He’s an old friend of Jacind’s.
|EllieBrumman’s equally pleasant and welcoming mate. She’s far quieter than her mate and acts to temper his somewhat boisterous enthusiasm.
|Myrnak KatrallA young Treskashek, training and studying for the chance to one day be chosen as the next Kantreska. He’s kind and curious, courteous and helpful, and prefers not to judge those he meets, especially if they need help.
|SarestraThe Kantreska of Tieke City and a force to be reckoned with, especially in the aftermath of the great plague. She is well loved by her people but somewhat less favoured by the Kantreskas of other provinces and cities. Very few enjoy when she arrives on their doorstep, bringing edicts and threats with her.
|VenciaThe head of Novarc’s branch of operations within the city of Gessick, she’s responsible for acting as Kantreska Sarestra’s proxy. She’s objective to a disturbing fault, and has very little trouble deeming Gessickan citizens as being no better than livestock to be collected, exported, and used.
|Guard Captain Trey Kasha
Kantreska Shensin’s most trusted officer. She keeps her emotions in check at all times, but she’s ultimately driven by a great sense of justice and has no tolerance for betrayals and two-facedness. The invasion of Gessick by Novarc especially galls her, but she has no choice but to follow her orders not to strike back or undermine them.
If ever she’s given free will to act, however…
|Jamet TygrenA child spy sent from Harangin on a mission that he is entirely incapable to speak to anyone about. No one is certain how much of the Tieke language he understands, nor how much he can speak, but everyone is certain that he’s watching them for some insidious reason. He’s the source of great interest, most of it fearful, and yet he can’t be turned away without inviting the wrath of his mysterious home nation.
|Ryzette CoritaniThe first to meet Jamet when he arrived by boat: a duty that she insisted upon taking herself. She’s by far the most afraid of Jamet’s arrival, but she’s also the most protective of him. Of everyone, only she seems to have any understanding of the possible aim of his mission.
|Nisha CoritaniNisha is a mystery. She didn’t join the Sisters of Teyka because she believed. She never spoke about where she came from. On a routine expedition, she ran from her duties into the Harangin wilderness and was never seen again. Her disappearance haunts both Ryzette and Kolben.
|Kolben HalatrekHe claims to be a maker of maps despite a lack of credentials and regularly irritates shopkeepers by posing as one of their employees in order to make connections. All of his free time is spent obsessively trying to explore (or entice others to explore) the forbidden dark undercity caverns. He’s a decent portrait artist.
|Kadgel LarendenDerec and Sarron’s father, whose business holds very little interest to his son. Kadgel travels the world, speaks several languages, and is surprisingly unfriendly for someone who apparently makes his living through negotiations and trade.
|CreliseA young woman who spends her time in the marketplace looking for the unwary who are easily separated from their funds. Her current means of income involves blindfolded tours into the dark underbelly of the city where she claims there are mysterious sights to be seen. She refuses to take Kolben, blindfolded or not.
|StaefeA fisherman. He spends most of his time on the docks people-watching and wondering about the state of the world above his head.
|ThereseStaefe’s long-time friend and companion. Unlike him, she doesn’t just wonder about the goings-on of the city. She’s a collector of gossip and theory, always certain that unfortunate events are unfolding. She’s utterly determined to find out what they are and who’s to blame.
Derec’s twin sister. Unlike her brother, she’s far more willing to keep her behaviour in line with the wishes of her parents and the Temple sisters, but even she’s got a curious, adventurous spark at her core.
Derec and Sarron’s mother. She’s a woman who commands a great deal of resepect in her community as a scholar, but she’s often left to balance both her career and her family duties. The older her children get, the harder it is to keep both them and her work in harmony.
A Sister of Teyka, and the friend and co-conspirator of Shen.
|The Nameless Stranger
He’s no one, really. Not anymore.