Born in the Free Lands of Shyam, he hates to acknowledge it and avoids adding 'of Shyam' as his last name as he should per the Right Fraction of the mainland's customs. When he was ten, Amon's mother left Shyam and took him to Ruena, the capital city of Caratana, the continent inhabited and ruled mostly by the old race - people with affinity to magic. As both of Amon's parents were of the pure-blood old race, he was accepted to one of the city's biggest academies.
Amon decided to become a healer and later chose to specialize in magical medicine focusing on curing human souls - even though there are no natural afflictions that could pollute a person's energies, the human-made curses became an occurence common in the world.
The problem is, casting a curse is easier than lifting it, and proper education for the decursers takes decades - majority of humans living on Surrea would reach old age before gaining enough knowledge and skill. Only two out of three races have lifespan long enough to make it a reasonable investment, and only one of them has the ability to control energies well enough to deal with the most vicious afflictions. Good decursers are rarely out of work.
Over his years in the academy Amon worked in the hospital, first dealing with bodily afflictions, then slowly learning to deal with the souls. But his ambition pushed him further, and when he got a chance to work with his ex-professor and three other researchers on a unique project requiring experts from various fields of energy studies, he took it.
The project could be the first big step in limiting the human experimentation, but to many it sounds more like a gruesome fantasy than a realistic prospect - the group wants to find a way to keep a human body functioning without a soul remaining inside it.
Some would say that Caratana is the wildest country in the civilized world, because underneath the appearances of wisdom and brilliant development lurks twisted morality and research devoid of basic humanity. Those people would perhaps not be wrong, but Caratanian morality did change over the past decades. Nowadays a prophet wouldn't need to be scared for her life in Ruena, but Asantra was born in a different time.
When her gift first manifested, her parents, wise to the unstoppable Caratanian greed of knowledge, quickly fled the continent and took their daughter to the Saule. There, in the Sanctuary, Asantra would not only be safe from being taken away and researched upon, but also learn how to control her gift. Alas, that choice came as a price as well - Asantra as to be cut off from the outside world and adopt the Saulean way of life. That mean she'd never see her family again. But what she never understood was why she had only ever received one letter from them.
Decades later, she hardly remembers what life used to be outside of the Sanctuary. Inside, her new family is Hile, her maiden. Outside, she has one friend left - Khel Lorne, a boy, who once lived across the street from her, and who, over decades, never stopped writing Asantra about the big scary world that somehow went out without her.
If there's one word to describe Khel's life it's "ambition". That and "order" which always go nicely hand in hand for him. Khel knew he would get into the High Lodge before he stepped foot in the Cassavei'a as a child. And though many young mages proclaim it to be their goal and aspiration, for Khel it was more a matter of certainty.
During his days in Cassavei'a he earned himself a nickname of Ice King due to his chilly disposition and little interest in social life. The only people he willingly spent time with were other students equally as obsessed with their projects and knowledge itself as Khel was. His image began to change when he took the position of an academy professor in Cassavei'a. There, this time forced to interact with students, he was said to occassionally muster a show of interest, and even a smile, a few of which - some dared to suspect - were indeed genuine and not at all sarcastic. Well, maybe just a little. It was Khel, after all. Those that knew him better attributed this slow process of becoming more human-like to Esteris, a woman to whom Khel later proposed.
Though he took every job of his seriously, his heart was always away, beating for his huge, ambitious projects. After the Neghen Salle, a research that Khel believed could lead him to possess near godlike powers (including, of course, immortality), had been banned by the Council, he let himself be convinced by his friend Izzalea Maa-Erdas to join her in the work on the Unliving.
Crimidine rarely uses her full name. The part that comes in the front - NnelVine-A - was given to her upon birth by her small ilonite community. Community, which Crimidine had fled as soon as she was old enough to figure out a plan - any plan. To live her life in the expected way terrified her. Grow up, spend a few years flying around and cherishing the beauty of nature, have a child or two, die peacefully to the sound of sea waves and sad sounds of sniffling snot from the noses of her close ones. The only positive thing about that life, she'd think, was that it would be short. No. She had a whole different idea: she wanted to learn magic.
One major problem - learning magic takes time and that's one thing ilonites simply don't have. But Crimidine is a dreamer, and magic, if anything, is possibilities. Endless, undiscovered, unbound. She found a mentor in an older mage by the name of Deimel. After his death, she became one of the of the wardens of Aharrian asylums. She'd gone far, perhaps as far as an ilonite could hope for, but with each year the fear of quickly coming death only grew stronger. And the more she achieved, and the better her life became, the more she realized her will to live was becoming suffocating.
Now, with the help of another mage she seeks a way to stay around for much longer than the nature would agree to. Though her time has grown short already - two, three years, maybe. Giving herself more would be foolish. And so this dream, the biggest of them all, could be built entirely out of hope and delusion.
As every Avirai, Soréyin had been born into the Avar-irá and initiated into the Clan before he said his first word. His mother died during the childbirth and his father, weaved to her, died from sorrow - as the Avirai call suicide - not long after. Soréyin was raised by his older brother, Rivéth with the help of the other Avar-irá members. As he grew up he decided to follow into his brother's footsteps and became a Madiah - a traveling Avirai that some liked to compare to adventurers who's quest is to help those in need and solve problems which may require force and cannot, for some reason, be solved by others. Avar-irá has many rules and Soréyin does his best to live by them, even though for the Madiah-ei it is more difficult than for the Avirai who stay in the Hometowns, because those who travel get to see and learn the world.
The world, which would be nothing short of cruel to Soréyin were he not of the Avar-irá. His iive, the white tattoos of the Clan, is the only thing that allows a half-samedal to live a normal life and meet the respect of others.
Soréyin believes that his personal quest is to find and rescue his childhood friend, Vianca, was been sold and taken to Chaac when they were still children. His first attempt nearly ended in his death and left him with big scars going across his face. He managed to escape Chaac, but not before getting afflicted with a progressing and debilitating mind curse. He was hence taken to Ruena where he met Amondire, the decurser who lifted the affliction off.
Other Significant Characters
Chattair didn't get to have a childhood. He was an unplanned child born to a por couple employed on a farm, but he was instantly loved. Alas, the samedal situation in the region was getting worse and, as per his parents' fear, Chattair wasn't even five when the guards showed up at their door and demanded the son to be given up. Terrified that Chattair would be made into a research subject, his parents were determined to do anything to protect him. Their disobedience earned them a place on the Arena B. Orphaned Chattair was placed on a slave market where he was aqcuired by a member of the House of N and subsequently branded. He had no choice but to serve his new owner, but while doing various tasks for the organization he used those as opportunities to gain as much knowledge as possible. Few years later, after a chance meeting with the HACC's leader Ghemmun Iomeeze, Chattair was purchased by him and released from slavery. Since then he remained in the man's employ as a free boy.
Danneia never planned to live in Ruena. As a cerro, the idea of spending more than a year surrounded by an old race seemed like a new breed of horror and one year was exactly how long she needed to stay there to assist with assimilating two new bears to the local reservoir. Danneia was, indeed, very determined to leave back for Ellilea as soon as her tast was finished. That gave the love-sick mage, Reeshart Crow, the challenge of his life - something he later called the Marathon-Sprint of Woo. His efforts paid off and Danneia agreed to become his wife, even though to this day she shakes her head at times when it reaches her how wildly her life plan has gone awry. Luckily, awry doesn't always mean bad. She earned herself a reputation of a successful and dedicated veterinarian and with the Unliving coming to a close, she's can look forward to finally starting a family with Ree.
No matter what social group he fell into, one way or another Dwhyn always ended up with some nickname pertaining to his looks. His rich bears, low stature, and the affinity to muscle training amongst the Animators earned him the name of the team's Dwarf. When asked about it Dwhyn is not sure why he ended up working on the Unliving in particular and getting his old friend Reeshart into the team as well. He blames it on Izzalea Maa-Erdas' charms, for there isn't a thing he wouldn't do for a lovely woman. Dwhyn doesn't make it a secret that growin up fully isn't exactly in his plans. An organized life of responsibility and thrill deficiency scares the pants off him. But at times so does change, even if thrilling, because when everyone moves forward, Dwhyn stays in the exact same place.
It is said and widely believed that twins share a special bond and can feel when the other is in danger or is living through something incredible. For Eltica and her two brothers it is true beyond anything the folk knowledge has ever claimed. They share a telepathic bond, a unique ability which helped Eltica develop her mind in fascinating and dangerous ways. The siblings' birthright caught the attention of a powerful mage known as Ache (or, later, the Magai Killer). He captured them and put each one in a different asylum on Aharra to create the perfect conditions to on work on researching and developing their talents. But after Ache's research was over, Eltica didn't fancy the idea of staying prisoner in the Cicurel and began to use her gift to cooperate with her brothers and orchestrate a rebellion to free all of the subjects kept locked up on the island.
Born and raised in Ruena, Esteris miraculously didn't give into the old race megalomania. Some people wonder how a woman this mellow and peaceful managed to make her career in politics or, more importantly, why would she even want to. Esteris herself had been fascinated by the work behind the scenes on Caratana ever since she was a child and what she couldn't achieve with confidence and loud voice, she got by using her smarts. And though many like to underestimate her abilities, Esteris doesn't strive to correct them, well aware of the upsides of being allowed to stay in the shadows and the power of the element of surprise. Engaged to her true love, Khel Lorne, she does everything in her power to be his rock and to help him succeed. She had seen his dreams crash and burn before and she's not interested in allowing that to happen again.
Hile knows very little about her past. From her heritage she knows one of her paretns was an astavan, and the other a cerro - veeenan, most likely. She doesn't remember the battlefied she was found on nor does she know how she got there, only that it was during the Days of Aurora. She likes to believe that her parents were fighting against Rae's armies, and it's very like that they truly were. Hile herself was found by a group of Avirait who were traversing the battlefields in search of survivors or the battle done. They took her to the Saule where a new prophetess recently arrived and the Santuary Master was looking for a maiden for the girl. Hile was perfect. Ever since Asantra was made Hile's entire life.
Most of the prophets from the civilized world find their home in the Saulean Sanctuary, because it is widely believed that their gifts are better left unused and controlled. But Kyrema never agreed with this stance and so he became what people call a rogue prophet. He never blocked blocked his gift and when the future revealed him the coming of the Sinhail, Kyrema decided to save the souls that are to fall victim to the warlock. By whatever means necessary.
There is a saying on Surrea: "Lycantrophy is a disease, vampirism is a way of life", and there's more truth to it than anyone dreaming of immortality would like. The grand majority of the turned cannot stomach the life after the change, but before Jaéll was turned into a vampire, he'd been turned into a bitter cynic. Probably the only personality type - aside, of course, pure evil - that could find a way to cope with vampirism and occassionally even find humor in this predicament. In his not-yet-afterlife, Jaéll found his place in the mercenary organization called Midnight Blue, whose morals are a perfect fit to Jaéll's new, well, way of life, indeed.
Lei-don's family had been members of the Avar-irá for several generations. She doesn't know her parents very well as they were called away to Atair on a very important task when she was eight. Alas, they decided it would be too dangerous to take a child along, and they knew she would have a wonderful childhood in their Hometown. Lei-don grew up alongside a boy of similar age, Soréyin Acrice, who became like a brother to her. Despite seeing her parents only a few times a year, Lei was always inspired by their way of life and she inherited their curiosity of the world and the itch to get moving whenever she'd stay in one place for too long. That made the choice to become a Madiah an easy one. With her pure old race blood Lei-don was offered training in combat magic, but the thought of spending time with her nose in a book instead of brawling with Soréyin till neither of them could move put her off the idea faster than the teacher could spell 'read'.
Nivael was born into the Avar-irá after his parents had been honored with the status of iive-roo. He never found it hard to obey the Clan's many harsh rules and would roll his eyes at his usual travel companions, Lei-don and Soréyin, when they sit around whining and fantasizing about breaking one or two of those rules. Nivael's only weakness is his dream of grandeur, and though he plans to become grand through deeds committed in the spirit of the Avar-irá, he aims as high as humanly possible. He wants to earn a place in the Nexus.
There are two kinds of curses (well, three, if you count foul language) - the literal afflictions and the sense of doom. Orilija believes she's been cursed in the latter sense on the day she was born. Afflicted by lycantrophy through the blood of her mother before she took her first breath, Orilija could never catch a break once in her life. Lonely and ostracized by other kids she used to try and prove she was a good person, but alas, if the theory is that the road to hell is paved with good intentions, Orilija's life is its confirmation. For the first time in years she saw hope for herself in the man going by the name of Kyrema. He who can see the future can do no wrong, Orilija figured. If she joined his quest, at last her efforts would pay off. At last someone will want, and be able, to guide her.
On his birth, Rivéth was dealt a better hand than his brother. Though he is in half a samedal, it's enough that he covers his ears and smiles with lips closed to take him for a pure blood astavan with features reminiscent of the graceful elves from folk tales. As a traveling Madiah, he meets with women who don't try too hard to hide their affections, but Rivéth's sense of duty and the Avar-irá code never let him stray. His heart though, is not nearly as disciplined, and it fell a hopeless victim to the charms of one woman - a tragic choice. For the woman, Hile, is a maiden to a Saulean prophetess, and hence forbidden from love for as long as the prophetess lives. Rivéth, painfull aware of the lack of any future for him and his Aghai-sa, dedicates himself fully to his role at the Avar-irá and Soréyin, his younger brother, whom Riv loves more than anything in the world.
Reeshart's life plan was never complicated and he liked it that way. According to said plan he finished his studies in the Cassavei'a specializing in the energy containment and found a cozy job in a gem infusing facility, unhurriedly climbing hiw way up the related branch of the ACC. Until the day his best friend Dwhyn dragged him to the chaotic, crazy research under the code name 'the Unliving'. As if that wasn't enough, Ree's personal life was turned upside down, too, when he came upon the most perfect woman in all of Surrea: his future wife Danneia. Now it seems that peaceful, organize existence is not in the cards for him, because between two options he has - the participation in the Unliving's climax and adopting a child - it's hard to say which one will wreck more chaos on his life.
Simk is Teli's younger bother. He, too, was born with the gift of the perfect memory, but despite his parents' best efforts, he was discovered and captured after the rest of his family had been slaughtered by the one later named the Magai Killer. Simk woke up in Sandanta with more of his memories gone due to the mage's research. He swore to find the man and have his revenge for everything he'd done.
Teli Magai, gifted with her family’s perfect memory, had spent most of her life closed off from the real world, able to see and talk only to her family. She understood that it was for her own safety, but despite her parent’s best efforts, being an only child had been difficult and lonely. So her parents decided to have another child – Simk, Teli’s younger brother. But when a murderer slaughtered her family and Teli’s life turned upside down. She roamed the streets for a while, alone, afraid of being recognized in an orphanage, until she found shelter in a muffler – a place where used-up subjects of experiments were held away from the energy-polluted air. One thing gives Teli hope – amongst the dead bodies of her family, she hadn’t found her little brother. Perhaps he escaped. Or, gods forbid, the killer took him. Either way, it is something she can’t just leave be. But she’s not naïve enough to believe that she can do anything on her own in this world.
Vrishaj has always been a force of nature. She would love like a fire, change like the wind, come and go like tides. But one thing she didn't have was the stability of a rock. It was all to change when he new son was born. This time, she told herself, would be different. This time she wouldn't leave. She named the boy Amondire, the promise of change, and she managed to keep the word she'd given herself for an entire decade. Before she left again, she made sure Amondire would have a secure future in their new home on Caratana. She also made sure to not leave him without hope - that she never did to any of her children. "I'll be back soon," she gave another promise. And perhaps she even meant it this time, but the wind cannot change its nature anymore than a burning fire can.
As an iive-roo traveling of a group of Madiah-ei, Yonékaa sometimes feels as if she stands at the edges of two worlds yet not belonging fully to either one. She is not bound by the same rules the Avirai must abide to, but she is not shielded by their reputation either and she is reminded of it often due to her samedal blood. It is no coincidence that she is usually assigned as medic to Rivéth's group where she can feel safer and more comfortable amongst her kin. Yonékaa was corrected when she was younger, but whether it made her struggle with her heritage any better or even worse, she doesn't know.