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Ilohan: Ilohan was found in infancy as an orphan of unknown parentage, the sole survivor of a bandit attack. At the bidding of Queen Sarah, he was raised as a ward of the throne of Karolan, and trained as a knight. Our story begins just after the end of his training, as he holds the all-night prayer vigil required of any man who is knighted in peacetime.
Queen Sarah: Born to a prosperous farmer of Norkath, Sarah met the banished Prince Thomas of Karolan wandering in Norkath about fifty years before the time of our story. Recognizing her courage and strength of character, Thomas married her. He returned from exile and eventually became king of Karolan. Sarah reigned with him, a kind and well-loved queen, until her death four years before the time of our story
King Thomas: Successor to the ancient royal line of Karolan, Thomas was banished for crimes of his wild youth by his father, King Konder. Konder later forgave and reinstated his son. King Thomas has reigned well for over forty years as our story begins. His old age and lack of appointed successor are begining to cause the people concern.
Jonathan: A young blacksmith in a remote village at the foot of beautiful Glen Carrah, Jonathan enjoys his life but longs for adventure a longing his beloved Naomi does not entirely share. Jonathan has become a skilled swordsman under the tutelage of his father, Barnabas. Combined with the great strength he has earned swinging a hammer at the forge, his skill makes him a dangerous enemy, but a capable and trustworthy friend.
Barnabas: A master blacksmith, Barnabas is a stern and reliable veteran of the wars of Karolan, but a kind father to Jonathan and a good husband to his wife, Hannah.
Hannah: A skilled worker in wood and leather, Hannah is a loving wife to Barnabas and mother to Jonathan. Though troubled by the threat of coming war, she works steadily to prepare, and comforts herself by praying.
Naomi: A beautiful young shepherdess of Glen Carrah, Naomi is deeply in love with Jonathan. He loves her intense joy in life and in the glen, and promises her undying faithfulness. She is the daughter of Joseph.
Joseph: Joseph deeply loves his daughter Naomi, the only family he has since her mother Abigail died giving birth to a stillborn child when Naomi was two years old. While Jonathan almost hopes for war, and Barnabas does not fear it, Joseph is a gentle shepherd agonized by the thought that it might be his duty to fight in defense of Karolan.
Tulbur: Though steward of Karolan and trusted friend of King Thomas, Tulbur is not loved by the people, who see him as calculating and cold. They would not like to see him succeed Thomas as King but the Knights of Karolan know a more sinister reason why he will never take the throne.
Benther: Several years older than Ilohan, Sir Benther is the younger knight's good friend and companion. Benther is understandably hurt when Ilohan does not choose him as a companion on his quest. Benther is the son of Tulbur the Steward.
Prince Kindrach: Bold and saintly, Kindrach the son of King Thomas was admired by all and expected to make an excellent king of Karolan. All that changed when he vanished about twenty years before the time of our story. He is presumed dead, but few will speak of him willingly because of fearful rumors that surrounded his disappearance.
Jenn: A poor farmer's daughter in mountainous southeast Karolan, Jenn is near starvation when she first appears in our story.
Mer: Jenn's mother Mer loves her husband Tharral and her daughter with an intensity that neither starvation, hardship, or danger seems able to break.
Tharral: Jenn's father and Mer's husband, as our story begins Tharral has a good crop of wheat, but from illness and hunger is too weak to harvest it. He has nothing to look forward to but starvation for himself and his much-loved wife and daughter.
Brogal: A young man wandering the desert, Brogal first appears as a generous, michievous Robin Hood-like figure to Ilohan and Jonathan. He brings the first rumors of the mysterious valley of Ceramir, the Cloth of Joy.
Eleanor: Crippled by a decades-old injury, gray haired Eleanor is still beautiful and well-loved in her home in Harevan. She can tell stories that hold listeners enthralled for hours. Much of her life is spent in prayer, and it is rumored that all her prayers are answered.
Auria: Golden haired and quick to laugh, Auria is a willing servant and companion to Eleanor. Surpisingly, she claims Brogal as her brother but perhaps, after all, they have much in common.
Veril: Loving, but haunted by sadness, Veril is Auria's sister, but does not live in Harevan. Beneath the veil of her sadness, there may be unguessed courage and understanding but will it ever be lifted?
Mudien: Father of Auria and Veril, Mudien is a mysterious figure who appears almost to personify the guarded valley of Ceramir. He seems benevolent, and makes no attempt to assert his authority, but his word commands instant obedience not only in Ceramir, but also in Harevan and the surrounding lands. Where does his power come from, and what after all, is Ceramir?
Imranie: Loving wife of Mudien, Imranie's power in Ceramir and beyond is as pervasive as her husband's, but far different in its nature. Her daughter Veril may be more akin to her than any of her many other children.
Rangol: Firstborn son of Mudien and Imranie, he is a strong warrior who leads the force that guards Ceramir against enemies.
Karlak: Also a son of Mudien and Imranie, Karlak's skill is in healing the sick.
Britheldore: Aged and wise, but still hale, Britheldore is the oldest of the Knights of Karolan, and a trusted advisor to King Thomas. Unknown to all the other knights, however, he has several times braved the long journey to Ceramir alone. What keeps drawing him back to the guarded valley, and does King Thomas approve his long absences?
Metherka: Son and heir of a knight who was a hero of Karolan's most recent war, young Sir Metherka has not lived up to the standard his father set. Due to his lazy management, his castle is in disarray, and his servants slovenly and disorganized. This has cost him the trust and respect of King Thomas but old Sir Britheldore seems to think he may have something of his father in him after all.
Sir Nildra: One of the Knights of Karolan, Nildra comes from an outlying province, and lacks the inside information familiar to knights who frequent the royal citadel of Aaronkal.
Sir Idranak: One of the Knights of Karolan, a minor character.
Yalron: A skilled miner from the valley of Petrag, Yalron has been married to Therinil for only a few days when he first appears in our story.
Therinil: Yalron's beautiful young wife, also from Petrag.
Master Joseph: The gray-bearded leader of the people of Petrag, Master Joseph is wise and knowledgeable. Despite his position and his age, he still works hard in the mines... and has no trouble handling a sword at need. Not to be confused with Joseph the shepherd, who lives in Glen Carrah and is the father of Naomi.
Sarag, Verkal, Petragal, and Dran: Other miners of Petrag; minor characters.
Fingar, King of Norkath: Already introduced by reputation in Book One, in Book Two he appears in person. Fingar is a ruthless commander and a skilled man of war. His ambition is to conquer Karolan, enrich himself and his cronies with spoil and slaves, and make Karolan a province of his kingdom.
Andokar, Prince of Norkath: As the only grown son of Fingar, Andokar is Crown Prince of Norkath. He leads a force of expert archers in Fingar's wars -- but he and his father agree on almost nothing.
Sir Cygnak: One of the richest and most important knights in Norkath, Cygnak is notorious for being licentious and cruel.