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A rather scary-looking guy, but one who loves to knit, bake, and clean. His nose has been broken so many times, it's been flattened. If he were an animal, he would be a big bear. His hair is brown and sticks out on his head like spikes. You wouldn't want to meet him in a dark alley, but you would want to eat his biscuits. He is fiercely protective of the few people he cares about.


He has shaggy black hair that hangs down over his eyes and bright blue eyes. He's been a gutterboy for most of his life, so he's watchful and a little wary; at the same time, he's completely pragmatic and truthful. He's thin, but he's sturdy and strong, too. He has a quirky smile (hence the cat's quirked tail). Conn does not know his own age; it could be anywhere from twelve to fourteen. A great friend to have, but be careful that you don't have anything valuable in your pockets in reach of his sticky fingers. He's a master pickpocket, a superb lock-picker, and a lover of biscuits and bacon.


Is tall with gray hair, a long gray beard, shaggy gray eyebrows, and sharp, keen black eyes. He's impatient and grumpy and often hasty, but beneath that, his heart is kind (though he would never admit it). Mysterious and possibly dangerous, Nevery was banished from Wellmet for twenty years for a pyrotechnic experiment that went wrong. He is a difficult wizard to read, but a good one to know.


Very tall and broad, with white hair and beard, very white teeth and red lips. Pettivox has been spotted in the Twilight on more than one occasion, and has been accused of being too power-hungry by the other magisters. He's the master of Keeston. Conn dislikes them both.


A tall, slender girl of around fifteen, with short red hair and gray eyes. She is very intelligent with a good, if dry, sense of humor. She is easily bored by high society parties, which is a problem because she is the daughter of the duchess. At the Academicos, she takes apprentice classes although she is not an apprentice, and is very interested in studying swordcraft.


Willa Forestal is Rowans's mother and they are physically similar. She is a woman who bears a lot of responsibility, and it shows. She is highly intelligent but doesn't have a sense of humor. The duchess controls the Sunrise area of Wellmet, and she dislikes magic (though she realizes its necessity to the survival of Wellmet). She is described by her daughter as "clever" and described by Nevery as "tricky." Conn agrees with them both.


Apprentice to Pettivox and secretary to Nevery. He wears his shiny black locus stone around his neck with great pride, and is the best student in his class. Tall and strong with wavy fair hair and dark blue eyes, he is almost as proud of his looks as he is of his stone. Keeston is quick to throw a punch if he feels threatened. Conn dislikes him—and distrusts him—immediately.


A gutterboy, he is thin and dressed in rags. He has blond hair and watery blue eyes and his front teeth stick out. He never gets enough to eat. He sneaks and spies for the Underlord's minions; one day, if he grows big and strong enough, he will become a minion himself.


The captain of the Dawn Palace guards, Kerrn is tall and athletic; she wears her blond hair in a braid that hangs down her back and has sharp, ice-blue eyes. She is an expert swordfighter. She speaks with a strong accent because she comes from Helva, far away from the Peninsular Duchies.


A young man, about 18 years old. He is very thin and has a sharp face with dark eyes and black hair, and he might have smudges on his hands and face from working with black powder. Everything about him is sharp, including his intellect.


Vaguely human-shaped lurkers, the Shadows appear only at night. They are made of black smoke and dust and have one eye that glows with purple-back flame. If they touch you, you turn to stone and die.


A noble young man with a sense of honor but no liking for former thieves and gutterboys. He is an expert swordcrafter and has been giving lessons to Rowan, but lately she's been improving and might even be better than he is.


The sorcerer-king of the desert city of Desh. He is young but has white hair that he wears in tiny cat-tail braids all over his head. His eyes are blue; he likes to wear white clothes with gold and silver embroidery on them. He keeps cats as pets. He has a sad history.