Everything Thorn has he earned honestly: rewards, scars, reputation, the love of his woman and his honorable discharge… Only Count Vichti’s attitude to him could be called undeserved. We can understand the Count however – he wanted to have a richer and nobler son-in-law. Thorn never retreated in the face of anything and has always reached all his goals. This makes it all the more painful for him that he can’t find a way to heal his wife’s weak heart. Thorn himself doesn’t complain about his health despite the age. So he continues to teach combat mastery not only to his daughter but also the infantry regiment of Albus. He’s a good fella.
Thorn and Liki Brenin’s daughter. Mischievous, determined and stubborn. She rejects stereotypes about young girls, doesn’t try on dresses or gossip with the girls about boys. Instead, she likes practicing sword fighting and takes a suspicious interest in ancient scrolls. For this reason, she doesn’t have lots of friends; she does have a wide range of acquaintances. She misses her older brother who left to serve in the capital, but could hate to admit that because she is jealous of him.
A native of Albus, he knows everyone in this city and everyone knows him. A hereditary military man, he has endured all the joys and sorrows of service in a garrison. The joys and sorrows of marriage too. That’s why he’s not very patient when he’s away from his home – and doesn’t mince his words either, including the words he uses to describe his mother-in-law. The latter lives in a distant village and invites all her relatives over on her birthday… except Krieger. The younger soldiers under his care respect Krieger for his skills as a warrior and his ability to transfer these skills to others.
Hode serves in the Albus infantry regiment. Seemingly as a volunteer. He doesn’t like to talk about himself – instead he likes to invent some pungent nicknames for his peers. Hode is smart, bitter and a bit arrogant. He’s good at fencing, knife-throwing and play jokes on people around him. Surprisingly, he has managed to make friends with Sopp who sometimes holds him back. When he fails in this, Sopp defends Hode from the consequences of his behavior. His commanders consider Hode to be a headache. Actually, the word they use is “pain in the ass”…
A young infantryman from the Albus regiment. He looks more like a student than a warrior. His father wanted him to be a scholar, so he forced his son to read as much as possible. Ark himself wanted to be a warrior, that’s why he escaped from the capital. Now he’s running in full gear across the training ground, highly disillusioned. Due to his relentless wish to showcase his knowledge he’s earned himself the nickname of Smartass among his fellow infantrymen. He thinks the guys are just jealous of him – because his knowledge is the thing which helps him pick up local girls.
A volunteer soldier from the Albus regiment. For his age he’s too big and level-headed. His commanders loves him for his diligence and everybody else for his kind soul. He’s always hanging out with his friend Hode, which just goes to show that opposites probably do attract. For his appearance and character Sopp has been nicknamed The Goof. Incidentally, there was a more offensive nickname but the guy who invented it fell down one day, hit his face on the cobbles a few times and decided not to share it with anyone.
Infantryman from the Albus regiment. An orphan. Was adopted by a noble distant relative then sent by him to Albus for military training. He has been in several other military schools before but didn’t last in any of them. Maybe for the same reason that he got the nickname “The Clam” among the infantrymen. He compensates for this aloofness through diligence. He never offends anyone but you won’t hear a kind word from him either. In general he annoys people, spreading rumors and suspicions through his behavior.
Long ago he was a brave soldier and even committed some acts of heroism – but today he’s just a simple guard and not even one of the best – all because of his love for firewater, although that is a disaster that can befall most people. Fisk always spends his salary in the nearest tavern and then borrows money from friends. The strange side effect of his drunkenness is a tendency to long conversations – and with the bullshit that he talks this shabby dude is able to torture to death anyone he didn’t get with his spear.
He arrived to Albus so long ago that none of the locals don’t imagine the city without him. He holds the shop of different rarities near the city hall. Rask doesn’t tell to anyone, where he takes the goods but he is always happy to talk about anything else. He’s a connoisseur of ancient history, myths and legends. Rask calmly concerns the gossips that he himself comes up with all this fables, just to fool his buyers. He’s always satisfied with everything and sees in everything and in everybody only the good side. Or the profit. Or both.
A roaming merchant who sells fabrics which are, as he insists, beautiful and of perfect quality. He doesn’t misses any fair in Albus, so he’s a well-known person among commoners, guards and tax collectors. With the latter Padagang is, for obvious reasons, in a polite form of war. According to his occupation, Padagang is talkative and cordial, which helps him to sell his expensive goods in provincial towns. He exhibits national pride, wisdom and a specific manner of talk. Don’t take my word for it.
The indispensable burgomaster of Albus. A distant relative of the King. Persistent and stubborn – that’s why he’s retained his mayorship for so long. People joke that Trobbel doesn’t die because Death didn’t manage to convince him that he should. He considers himself the master of the city, so he is as attentive as he is strict. He knows his price, he’s proved everything to everyone and he’s not in a hurry anywhere. People of Albus are aware of the price of their master too – and they don’t try to prove anything to him and never try to rush him. They’d be the worse off if they did.
The old servant of Liki Vichti – and of nobody else – as he hastens to remind everybody. He literally raised Count Vichti’s daughter from birth, so, just like the Count himself, he reluctantly accepted her choice of husband. During the 30 years that Liki has born the Brenin surname, Tener hasn’t changed his mind about this. He has pulled his daughter Quina into the “business” as well – she too is a servant in the Brenin mansion… er, I mean in the mansion of Liki Vichti and her husband.
A wandering healer and chronicler, Hoper Rouley is always ready to make his appearance whenever trouble comes – to oppose it or at least to learn all the details and make the necessary conclusions. Calm and thoughtful, Hoper will never make a rash decision – because he has a huge life experience which one rarely notices even among people of his declining age. This, and the sadness that is imprinted on his face, is a source of wonder among those who encounter him. A sharp-eyed man will quickly understand that Hopper knows and remembers much more than he is willing to show.
There is something unknown inside every man and woman. Some can call themselves the keepers of secrets while others themselves consist of such secrets. It’s no surprise that individuals like these stay away from the people and look at them with suspicion and apprehension – even though they are actually the ones you should be wary of. Amma is such a person. She is strong, tall, prim, elegant but restless. Not only because of the secrets that she keeps and the passions which are begotten by these secrets. She knows and feels more than anybody else. But she doesn’t know everything.
There are different types of cardinals. Some of them are fatty, joyful, with chubby cheeks – they’re closer to ordinary folks than to the gods. When you see one of these, you instantly realize that he will resolve any issue in your favor – if you have enough gold in your wallet. Others are thin, round-shouldered and grim, fully devoted to affairs of Church. When you see these, you realize that the issue may end badly for you even if you’re right. Coronzon is of the latter type. His eyes are as tenacious as his long thin fingers – and if his glance stopped on somebody’s face for more than a couple of seconds, it means that Coronzon has seen right through this man – and has already decided on his destiny…
Being a crown prince, Trigg is very scrupulous about matters of national importance. Sometimes so scrupulous that you may even consider him a dictator. Still, despite his slight arrogance (what else did you expect from the prince?), Trigg is an honest and fair man, and he never will commit a dastardly act. But if you screw up your duties and jeopardize the greater mission, Trigg will be ruthless and see to it that you get a thorough flogging. Just to assist in your comprehension.
The son of a rich squire who chose military career as a way of self-expression and maybe as a way to get rid of the boredom that typifies the life of the landed gentry. He has a strong-willed character, is physically strong and morally stable. Because he doesn’t know the troubles so common for soldiers from the lower classes, Mushom is a merry fellow full of jokes; but not to the extent that you would call him a buffoon… and if you try to call him that you will pay the price.
Eik is a simple man – a huge soldier with iron fists and a bull’s neck rather than a sharp mind, so he prefers a good punch in the forehead (giving it, not getting it) to philosophical disputes about the nature of good and evil. His criteria of good and bad are simple too: if everybody is alive and healthy that means everything is alright. And if there’s some good beer in a tankard and some gold coins in his pockets, that means everything is wonderful. Eik is exactly what you’d call an expert in the intricacies of human nature. That’s why he doesn’t believe anyone except himself, probably. He’s never been noticed talking to himself, though.
Lo Pheng Storyline
An Eikon from the Clan of Shadows. This means he is a dangerous and cold-blooded assassin whose services are very expensive. Like any other member of his clan, Lo is focused, tight-lipped and not one to show his emotions often. He does smile sometimes, although that is hardly something reassuring. Now he works as a bodyguard and this fact, considering the Eikons’ reputation, should dissuade anyone from even thinking to touch his boss. Rumor has it, a single Eikon is able to exterminate a whole army on his one. Nobody’s ever tried to pit an entire army against the Eikons, but that very fact just serves to strengthen the rumors.
For her young age this redhead fidget is probably too smart and independent. It’s hard to believe what hardships she had to go through to develop such a character. In addition, Rita has a beautiful voice, can handle a bow, knows the secret temple language and has magic abilities. One can only wonder where the young girl gained all these skills. However, she isn’t strong enough to oppose the hardships independently – that’s why she prefers to travel in the company of heroes who are more skilled at the art of surviving.
The older brother of the Phrysian King, Pelko isn’t always averse to the abuse of authority. He is a cunning and power-hungry hypocrite – and that’s how he’s built his successful career. Despite the ostentatious piety, he is no stranger to carnal pleasures – especially those concerning food, sex or a combination of food and sex. Don’t ask please… Soturi will never miss a chance to showcase his supremacy. And somehow he considers it a sense of humor. He’s willing to do anything to keep his status, that’s why he is unprincipled and servile. Filthy aristocrat.
Ruler of the Phrysian city of Wodan. He’s wise and fair, but tends to overvalue ceremony and official protocol. He rates himself very high – but he’s no petty tyrant. Stim is aristocratic but not snobby, wears stylish clothes but tends not to flaunt his wealth and nobility. He is a war veteran of war and that’s why he knows and values life more profoundly than other officials of his rank. In general we can call him a good man. For the Phrysians, of course.
Warrior of the Temple of the Wrath of the Gods. A man of the Church that believes human sacrifices to be pleasing to the gods and should be committed regularly and massively. Nobody objects to this – but if someone does, he will soon be visited by somebody like Nakoma – or Nakoma himself – together with his friends. He can turn anyone into coward just by his stare – even those who are physically and morally strong. Nakoma is sure that he serves the gods in the only right way. That’s why he has no doubts, regrets or critical thoughts about the Temple’s decisions. Instead he always has an excuse for his actions and this is a very comforting thought; at least for him, that is.