A young man with the unique ability to visit the dreams of others. When his home is attacked and the friendly friars who raised him massacred by the head of their Order, he embarks on a quest to learn the truth about his gift and the insidious cult holding an Empire in its grip.
Twenty years after her village was destroyed and her father taken captive, Raven still searches Callador for signs of him and the man who led the raid. A life on the road in a harsh and unforgiving land has left her slow to trust others, but for those she cares about she will do anything she can to help them.
The strongest and most valiant of the fighters of Hunter’s Watch, and the son of its chieftain, Yaegar. Engaged in his own investigation into a series of unusual disappearances within the Spiritwood, he jumps at the chance to accompany Raven and Cole when their road takes them through the infamous forest.
The chieftain of Hunter’s Watch and a legend among its people. Is both proud of his son Harri and too proud to admit it, resulting in a tempestuous relationship between them.
An initiate of the Order with an anxious disposition. Cole’s best friend from childhood and the only other survivor of the attack on the Crag.
Captain of the fishing vessel Havørn, who rescues Cole following his escape from the Crag. When he learns the fate of the island’s inhabitants, he sets off on a risky voyage to carry word to the emperor and hopefully foil the Archon’s plot.
The Impending Grume
A small, swamp-dwelling curmudgeon and the last of his kind, with a strange affinity for the crystals worn by the Order’s faithful. His lack of stature is matched only by his lack of charm, manners or grace.
The head of the Order of Enlightenment and chief advisor to the emperor himself. His plots and actions have changed the face of the Empire, but what is his ultimate aim?
The Archon’s hulking, mute manservant. Horribly scarred and mutilated, he is also fiercely loyal to his master. Robbed of his arm, instead he bears a metal prosthetic far beyond the skill of any known smith to craft.
Commander of the Imperial Legion and the first-born son and heir of Emperor Maximilien. Showed his military prowess at a young age when he put down the northern uprising and defeated the rebel general in single combat, his actions earning him the nickname ‘The Bloody Prince’. Is a hero to one half of the Empire… and a monster to the other.
The emperor’s youngest son and half-brother to Adelmar. Has a reputation for enjoying the various debaucheries available to one of his station rather too much, while scurrilous rumours about some of his habits in particular have circulated Ehrenburgian society for years.
Emperor Maximilien V
For almost three decades Maximilien has ruled Callador from atop the Golden Throne. Following the disastrous rule of his father, the popular but wantonly hedonistic Fat Fredi, Maximilien quickly set about consolidating the Crown’s power base and then winning back all the lands that had been lost, culminating in the defeat of the northern rebellion. While a far more effective ruler than his predecessor, his ruthless nature means he is nowhere near as beloved by his subjects.
Wife of Prince Adelmar. A very different creature to her austere husband, Ellara has a deep love for the finer things in life, and where possible tries to instil in Adelmar a respect for court etiquette… efforts that have so far been in vain.
Princesses Amelie and Rosalynd
The daughters of Prince Adelmar and Lady Ellara. Amelie, the eldest, takes after her mother in her love of beauty and grace. Rosalynd meanwhile, to her mother’s exasperation, leans more towards the macabre, making her far more her father’s daughter.
Crew of the Havørn
Hailing from a wide variety of backgrounds, the Havørn’s crew of Jan, Dorric, Nikolaj and the inscrutable Sten would follow their captain to the ends of the world.
Like the people of his city, the Duke of Strathearn still bears the scars of his ancestor’s decision to cede his own royal claims to become a vassal of Ehrenburg. Is determined to do the best for his people, but must constantly weigh his decisions against the will of the emperor.
The duke’s youngest son remains at Strathearn while his elder brothers join the war effort. He leads the city’s militia with nobility, doing all he can to hold the growing civil unrest at bay.
Kester & Fearghus Maccallam
The first and second sons of the Duke of Strathearn. First one and then the other travelled south to bolster the Legion’s war efforts.
The Baron of Faerloren
Sascha, the self-styled Baron of Faerloren, rules a town long thought lost. What dark secrets lurk beneath his genial exterior?
The most venerable of the Brothers of the Crag, Merryl is the closest to Cole of his fellows, having taken the young man under his wing and together conducting experiments using the Order’s ubiquitous crystals.
The head of the Brothers of the Crag, his sour temperament and Cole’s unruliness has led to numerous confrontations between them.
A figure that inspires fear and awe in equal measure from the thieves and street urchins of Ehrenburg, all of whom answer to him. Despite his occupation insists he is a patriot and seeks to maintain the status quo of the Empire.
Jax and the Street Rats
With skills belying their small stature, the urchins of Ehrenburg are trained almost from birth to lighten the purses of the city’s rich and powerful.
The last surviving relic of an ancient subterranean race, remembered now only in half-forgotten myths and fables about ‘the metal lords’.
Second-in-command at the Legion stronghold of Bloodstone. Of low birth, he knows he has risen as far as he is able, but is nevertheless determined to serve the crown with distinction.
The greasy, dishevelled veteran of the pathways of the north presents himself as a guide, but are he and his three sons all that they seem?
Part queen, part seer, the leader of the enigmatic Aevir claims to have seen the dawn of civilisation. But how is that possible?
Prince Adelmar’s adjutant is a native of Whitecliff, but puts his loyalty to the crown before of that of his countrymen. Serves his commander with distinction.
Always quick with an insult or expletive, the grizzled Legion veteran is serving as adjutant to Prince Jarrod.
Ostensibly the second-in-command of the Imperial household guard, Slake is untypical of most other Legion soldiers. His particular talents have seen him assume the role of the emperor’s interrogator-in-chief.