This page contains unmarked spoilers through the end of Phase 1, and will be updated with new characters at the end of Phase 2. It’s meant as a reference for readers who’ve lost track of existing characters and want a quick reminder of who they are and where they were introduced. For characters who’ve yet to appear on-screen, or who were mentioned long before they were introduced, this list will include the chapters that first discussed them and note their first proper appearance.
Liadain Shiel, Ill Wind (1-1): A 13-year old girl born with a terminal autoimmune condition which sentenced her to live her short life in hospital rooms, almost entirely cut off from the world. She spent her days reading, studying the occult, and practicing tarot without believing that it has any real divinatory power, until magic stormed into her life and brought with it her chance to become a Keeper. Now, she’s thrown herself into chasing Emergence and the promise of growth it brings, hoping against hope to change her fate while she still can.
Screaming Hymn Shona Tiernan (1-7): A former child actress who eagerly left that chapter of her life behind when she was offered the Promise. As a Keeper, Shona styles herself as a punk-rock idol, playing an electric violin that channels her pent-up rage into lightning storms and static enchantments.
Mide Lachlan (1-7): A tomboyish girl with a passion for historical weaponry and martial arts. She made the Promise at the same time as Shona, following her into the world of magic, and her rather understated powers simply allow her to summon weapons and fight with preternatural skill.
Aisling Waite, Truth’s Lantern (2-7): A self-proclaimed “research Keeper” who avoids combat in favor of studying the baffling complexities of magic, conducting occult experiments on her own powers. Since the wider world discovered her ability to ask the world almost any question and receive an accurate answer, her personal interests have often been buried beneath a long, long list of questions sorted by the existential risk of leaving them unanswered.
Silver King Irida (mentioned 1-4): The most popular Keeper in New Claris. A shogi expert whose magic involves a literal shogi board she uses to summon and direct conjured soldiers.
Stardust Seraph Roland (mentioned 3-4, appears Epilogue 1): An astonishingly handsome Keeper idol competing with Irida for the title of New Claris’s Favorite Keeper. After catching Liadain’s trail at the scene of Aulunla’s death, he’s taken some distant interest in her.
Frozen Sun Iona Fianata (mentioned 1-2 and 3-1): The eldest Keeper and patron protector of the city of New Claris. The Fianatas have become widely known as the city’s “Keeper family,” owing to Iona’s practice of adopting Keepers with no families of their own or ones they no longer wish to be a part of.
Tetha Fianata, the Sea’s Sanctuary (4-3): A young, idealistic, and over-eager Keeper doing her best to live up to her family name.
Niavh Fianata (mentioned, 3-1, appears 4-2): Early in her life as a Keeper, Niavh lost control of her magic and killed several people. She’s recovered and rehabilitated herself, at least in the eyes of the magical community, and now offers herself as a mentor to Keepers whose powers present similar difficulties.
Tara Mullane, the Flower’s Fangs (mentioned 3-1): A renegade Keeper who disappeared in mysterious circumstances. She was Liadain’s favorite Keeper, before the news broke about her habit of turning her magic on other people, even other Keepers. Had some unpleasant history with Irida, which the Silver King refuses to speak about to this day.
Mary Hyland, Carves the Night (3-1): A low-profile Keeper simply said to have “turned over a new leaf” after a series of violent incidents in Ashcreek Home for Children, the orphanage where she grew up.
Yurfaln//Truth Is Written In Scars (1-5): Liadain’s first Harbinger. Yurfaln was born in her hospice ward and took its shape from the dying thoughts of Mr. Enfield, a man who found comfort in the idea that his illness had inspired him to make the most of what time he had left. Following his example, Yurfaln decided to carry the enlightenment of slow, painful death to the world beyond the hospital walls.
Irakkia//The World Is Not The World (2-4): A wandering Harbinger which sought to share its perspective on the falseness of everyone and everything else with as many people as possible, with predictable effects on its human victims.
Vianzia//There Can Still Be Something Beautiful (3-2): The most intelligent and communicative of the Harbingers Liadain encounters on her ill-fated excursion into the forests around New Claris. Vianzia inhabits an eerie twilit grove teeming with her children, plant-insect hybrids she alternately breeds for specialized purposes and pits against each other in open war, winnowing her own creations until only the most perfect survive.
Ourien//Stillness Is Sanctuary (3-2): A great beast of twisting roots and ever-burning wood, Ourien was a rampaging forest Harbinger driven to burn away anything that disturbs the sanctity of its wide, ashen clearing.
Esonei//Please Stop You’re Hurting Me (3-2): A formless forest Harbinger which fed on masochism and the emotional pain of hurting others, locked in a mutually self-destructive relationship with Ourien.
Aulunla//We Are All Of Us Pigments (4-1, 4-5): A Harbinger which took the form of a physical book in a library, detailing a set of elaborate imagination-rituals which promised to teach participants to “carve their dreams into the world’s skin” and paint over the dull, static colors of reality with the brilliance of their souls. Its plans changed after it bonded with one of the first humans to read it, dedicating itself to granting her the power and understanding she dreamed of having.
Alban Shiel (1-1): Liadain’s father, largely absent and neglectful since the extent of his daughter’s condition became clear.
Noirin Hearne (1-1): A light-footed old woman receiving end-of-life care on the seventh floor. Liadain appreciates Noirin for her ability to talk to her without pity or open discomfort at the idea of a child dying of an illness, and counts her as her only real acquaintance in the hospital.
Dr. Ralph Hines (2-1): The director of palliative care at Liadain’s hospital. As one of Yurfaln’s first victims, he’s taken a personal interest in doing what he can for Liadain, but despite his intelligence and experience, finds himself out of his depth when it comes to treating an illness that’s inextricably intertwined with a Keeper’s magic.
Isobel (4-5): Aisling’s best friend, a girl fascinated with the hidden aspects of the world’s history and magic. After years of growing increasingly frustrated with relying on Aisling to ask the questions she most wanted to know, Isobel encountered Aulunla, formed a strange friendship with the Harbinger, and began working as its witch to empower them both.
Ciaran (Epilogue 1): The masked vessel of a Harbinger he calls “a new god,” dwelling in a dark-skied world of broken stone towers crafted from deformed human figures. After Aulunla’s death, Ciaran drew Isobel into his patron’s Wound and offered to share its blessings with her.
The Messengers of Claiasya: A family of six cute little spirits (and Vyuji) tasked, allegedly by the Goddess, with awakening the magic in potential Keepers’ souls and guiding their foster children through their new lives.
Vyuji, the Moon Gardener (1-1): A strange little cetacean-girl shrouded in a cloak the color of the sea on a cloudy day. Vyuji eschews her siblings’ cutesy pop-icon presentation and is quite open about the darker aspects of life as a Keeper, simply trusting that children meant for her will understand the costs and agree that whatever they hope to obtain by making the Promise is worth it. Her interests seem to lie entirely with her Keepers and their growth, with protecting humans from Harbingers as a secondary benefit at most.
Known Keepers: Liadain and Iona
Enne, the Heart of the Sea (2-7): A fluffy pink cloud-seal. Enne loves his Keepers dearly and wants them to be happy and having fun with their new lives, but is simply not very smart. Enne is the most popular of his siblings, and there’s no shortage of cute toys made in his image.
Known Keepers: Shona and Mide
Fouhi, the Abyssal Archivist (2-7): A snake-faced lizard with scales of blue sea-glass. Fouhi is conversant in any scholarly subject imaginable, but their trains of thought seem to travel in strange jagged lines and come out sprinkled with words they may or may not make up on the spot.
Known Keepers: Aisling