Leader of The Ronin, Ronin of Wind
More fable than man, Kail is the most powerful of the Ronin and the threader of wind. His home is Morrow that sat upon the windy cliffs Ren Nar that overlooked the world, but were rumored to be destroyed or 'vanish' into the winds during the war. Kail, like the wild, untamable wind, was once the balancer of all the Ronin. However, stories claim Kail betrayed his fellow brothers and turned his back on the world. Rumors say he now drifts, a husk of a being, destroying crops with blights, killing those who stray too far into the night, stealing children, and reeking havoc as a threadbare wanderer.
Kail is rumored to be taller the most with graying hair pulled back into a braid and eyes that glow.
Nicknames: The Betrayer of Men, The Wanderer Weapon: Morrowil (Sword/Other) Power: Wind Great Kingdom: Morrow Traits: Strength. Honor, Duty, Power Dark Traits: Power
Second-In-Command, Ronin of Sun
Omni is the second-in-command, the second most powerful Ronin, and threader of sun. Omni's home is Vaster, the shining jewel and Great Kingdom of Sun. Known to cut to the heart of matters, to speak the truth, to quell rebellions with word alone, and to be a beckon of light and hope that rallies the Ronin as one nearly better than any, Omni is a forced to be reckoned with.
The Ronin of sun holds a mystery; however, as Omni's face is always covered in a white shroud that hides all but cold blue eyes and wisps of blonde hair. Lithe of build, and graceful as Hiron in all his water-forms, the sun Ronin has a way with words, for Omni is adverse to unnecessary violence. But if words are not enough, the Ronin of Sun will be one of the first to do what needs to be done.
Nicknames: The Right Hand, The Truthseeker, Truthspeaker, Lightbringer Weapon: 'The Stolen Sword', 'The Nameless Blade' (Sword) Power: Sun Great Kingdom: Vaster Traits: Truth, Love, Strength of Heart and Mind, Dedication, Focused
Ronin of Leaf
Maris is the third most powerful, and the Ronin of leaf. His home is Eldas. Maris feels connected to all things living, but mostly the woods--the bark and leaf, the earth and root, and all things that grow from the ground. He can manipulate nature, an element that is almost as ever-changing and yet constant as the wind.
Stories often tell of his escapades and habit for finding trouble due to his brash wit combined with his love of gambling and general mischief-making. But an equal talent and reputation for getting out of it with his silver-tongue. Though not as notorious as Omni and Kail's relationship, his and Kail's bond was rumored to be a near brotherhood. In a few stories Maris is called 'the left hand of Kail' to Omni's right. His humor is his most common attribute in the tales of old--making jokes whether by the fireside or the middle of losing battle, giving the Ronin a bright light even in their darkest hours. Maris' pure white hair that sticks up like a burning flame.
Nicknames: The Trickster, King-Slayer, The Left Hand of Kail Weapon: Masamune (Sword) Power: Leaf Great Kingdom: Eldas Traits: Wit, Loyalty, Ambitious, Lover, Reckless, Trustworthy
Ronin of Fire
Fourth most powerful, Seth is the Ronin of fire. His home is Farbs, Great Kingdom of Fire. Known for having a very passionate, sometimes unpredictable disposition, Seth is the most reckless and brash of the nine. However, he is also loyal, a staunch defender of those in need, and a nearly completely self-sacrificing individual--to a fault. He has taken a blade for a brother twice as many as any other Ronin. He also boasts the loudest.
In one story, a King had been traitorous against the other kingdoms, and according to the Three Rules, the nine Ronin met to dispatch the king and put a honest monarch in his place. But when they arrived, Seth instead challenged the king to a drinking contest. The king accepted, but when they sat to the table, Maris leaned in, smelling a foul herb in the wine, and warned Seth his drink was poisoned. Seth waved him away and began the contest. He drank and drank out of the poisoned chalices, matching the king's untainted drinks, one for one, until the cups piled high on the wide feasting table. At last, the traitorous monarch keeled over. Having drunk too much, he died from simple alcohol poisoning, rather than the fatal weed.
Seth has flame-red hair with streaks of blonde. His face is angular and hard, his eyes like fire brands, thus his name.
Nicknames: Firebrand, The Temper Weapon: Fuer (Sword) Power: Fire Great Kingdom: Farbs Traits: Fiery, Loyal
Ronin of Water
Fifth most powerful of the Ronin, Hiron is one with all things water. Though he is tranquil and flows like a brook in a quiet meadow, the Ronin of water can be equally as crushing as a tidal wave, and as sharp a jagged ice if provoked; usually due to harm of a fellow Ronin or the abuse of the less fortunate. Though he is quiet, or perhaps because he is quiet, his words ring loudly amongst his brethren. Though he is calm, he was once considered restless in his past. His home is Seria with the everfalls, great waterfalls, that pour from heavenward clouds into thousands of lakes in a city of green.
However Seria became one of the Lost Kingdoms in the war, its people torn from their home. The people of water now reside in Median, the Great Kingdom of Water on the ocean, or in the smaller offshoot named the Shining City, a city of Ice. They have promised to return home one day.
Hiron has thin streaks of cobalt in his hair, and blue-ice for eyes. Unlike the muscly Baro or Seth, or even Kail, Hiron is slender of stature, fastidious in his composure, and his voice and body move with water-like grace.
Nicknames: Stormbearer, Wrath of the Heavens Weapon: Calid and Ladir (Daggers) Power: Water Great Kingdom: Seria/Median Traits: Calm, Reason, Wisdom
Ronin of Moon
Mystery like a moonless night surround the Ronin who never speaks. Though it is Aundevoria and Omni that pull the truth and deliver the verdict of death or life, it is Dared who often deals the final blow, decaptiting unruly kings or queens. He is often called death in the shadows.
The Silent Ronin's appearance is mostly rumors, but most descriptions include black hair, slicked back, with starkly bright, pale skin.
His home is Narim, Great Kingdom of Moon, a vast subterranean gem of a kingdom with a warren turquoise blue canals. Narim is a kingdom that is not lost, but has become a nefarious rat's den for thieves and murderers with no proper ruler in the age after the Lieon.
Nicknames: The Shadow, The Silent Ronin Weapon: No-named Bladed Staff Power: Moon Great Kingdom: Narim Traits: Killer, Loyal
Ronin of Stone
The Ronin of stone views life paramount to all things, a man of morals, and a guiding compass among the Ronin who balances his brother and Seth's fiery passion.
His appearance is mostly rumors. Black hair, slicked back with starkly bright pale, smooth skin.
Stocky by nature, but stout of heart, body, and mind--it would take a hurricane to knock down Aundevoria, both literally and figuratively. He wears a thick, curly beard that matches his unruly curly hair.
Nicknames: The Protector, The Shield, Stonegaze Weapon: Mindar and Radnim (Sword and Shield) Power: Stone Great Kingdom: Lander Traits: Stalwart, Heart/Compassionate
Ronin of Flesh
The Ronin of Flesh is a man who takes pleasure in action and is decisive to a fault. His powers are devious and unimaginably clever--from controlling another's limbs, to even their mind, Aurelious finds a way to get what he wants when he wants. However, he has a good heart, like his brother, if entirely opposing viewpoints of how to go about it. Aurelious loves his brother, loves his land, and loves his fellow Ronin, but represses his humanity, and would take those truths to the grave.
Ironically, he is known as a man 'of the flesh', and stories say he has a reputation for women, and other sensual natures.
Hooked nose, gaunt of cheek, but with kind eyes, Aurelious is an intimidating Ronin to gaze upon and always finds his version of the truth.
Nicknames: The Confessor Weapon: The Bone Blade (Sword) Power: Flesh Great Kingdom: Covai Traits: Clever, Devious, Intelligent, Truthful
Ronin of Metal
The Ronin of Metal was said to be a quiet bearer of duty. His home, Yronia, was a place of wealth and great power due to its weapon and armor making. Some say this corrupted Baro's heart with greed, that steel was not a natural element like the other Ronin; other stories said that the giant was always the Ronin's greatest weapon of virtue alongside Aundevoria; whatever the case, the Ronin of Steel's enemies trembled before him.
A giant of a man with a bluff attitude, yet Baro's uproarious laugh and booming voice was said to make mountain side's quiver.
Nicknames: The Bull, Slayer of Giants Weapon: Skullbreaker (Hammer) and Fillis (Sword) Power: Metal Great Kingdom: Yronia Traits: Loyal, Strong
A Young Hero With a Dark Past
“…covered in blood, his tattered clothes sodden and wet, the young man shivered as light and vision filled his mind. It was as if he was finally waking from a long, dark dream. Slowly, he looked down. A blade rested in his wet, shaking hands, and blood ran from it. In the half light seen through the dark canopy, the sword gleamed, a magical hue of silver and azure. Slowly, the man remembered... ‘Gray,’ he whispered his name aloud just as thunder cracked, the word lost beneath the raging storm. Then, one step at a time, heart racing, Gray crossed beneath the canopy, and into the forbidden woods….”
Gray is a young man of seventeen with a mysterious past. Though he has forgotten much, what Gray can remember seems to only cause more questions—he has talent with a sword and staff, strange memories of people and grand, faraway lands.
Currently, Gray lives in the Lost Woods with an irascible hermit named Mura, who is much like a father to him. He finds solace in training, wielding the sword, the last of his possessions along with a tattered gray cloak. The sword is a part of his first real memory, a dark recollection of a cold night covered in blood, and he feels it is the key to understanding his past.
Tall, broad-shouldered, with jaw-length brown hair and dark green eyes, Gray is handsome, but bears a darkness that seems to trail him like a shadow, while the sword is always at his side. He befriends Darius and Ayva and they become close friends. He is glad that there are those who see him as normal, and who care little of his past.
Yet still, Gray’s heart churns in unrest, as he desires to unravel his forgotten past, to know who he once was… Gray is driven by the need to not only solve his past, but to understand his sudden, mysterious connection with the legendary Ronin, the storied betrayer’s of mankind.
An Adventurous Daughter
Ayva is the sixteen year old daughter of an innkeeper, a well-respected man in the town. Ayva’s mother died only a year ago so Ayva must help her father run The Golden Horn. She is a tremendous help to her father, because she’s smart and responsible and is not intimidated easily. She’s tomboyish, and sassy with vivid green eyes. She keeps a sort of motherly eye on Darius and is intuitive with strangers. She has a strong curiosity and sense of adventure, but her sense of duty to her father overrides these. She fantasizes about what lies outside Lakewood and her imagination is fed by all the books she reads.
Because she’s so busy and has so many responsibilities, she hasn’t had time for romance. She views Darius as a rude, but harmless young man that flirts with the other barmaids. She’s intrigued, but not afraid of Gray. His presence provides a link to the outside world that she so often dreams about.
The Wiry Gambler
Darius is a wiry young man of seventeen who, at the start of the book, lives in Lakewood. Darius is perhaps most well-known for his love of gambling, a skill he holds no modesty about. Luck seems to surround him, yet some suspect that his success can be attributed to his quick hands and quicker tongue. Despite this, however, he is smart and good with numbers. At one time, in his early childhood, he was apprenticed for the local blacksmith. The man beat Darius brutally and eventually the boy fled.
For the most part, the townspeople view Darius as a rogue and scoundrel—a reputation he prides. And with his always-disheveled brown hair, charming looks, and worn clothes, he looks the part. Though known by all, Darius deep down feels the part of a loner, and he secretly strives to be a part of something more. Darius’ mother was a seer before she died, and many of the townspeople were frightened of her, though Darius loved her deeply. After she died, with most of the town ill at ease with the seer’s boy, he was adopted by his mother’s friend, the affable Sophie who runs the well-known tavern called the Green Bull. Not much is known about Darius’ father, and he never knew him. Darius has never been able to rely on anyone, which has made him a survivor. He is drawn to Gray because Gray is also an outsider, and he treats Darius with more respect than most. Gray does not stereotype him like the others, and he gives Darius a purpose. And because of that, Darius would likely follow him anywhere, and when Lakewood burns to the ground, he does.
Shade Among the Lost Ones
Zane is a fiery young man with a knack for getting in trouble. He is also known as Shade among the Lost Ones, a group of downtrodden men and women that live in the sewers beneath Farbs, the city of fire, called the Underbelly. Zane helps these unfortunate souls, stealing from the greedy and malicious thief group known as the Darkeye Clan. Zane is also pushed by a fierce love and protection for his little sister Hannah. Though he has seen a world of depravity, he views his sister's innocence and purity as precious and rare like a drop of water in the desert and therefore willingly sacrifices his own morality to safeguard hers. In the end, while ire always stirs in Zane's veins, his burning rage is almost inevitably used for good. When Gray, Ayva, and Darius discover Zane in the dark warrens of the Shadow's Den their fates become bound as one.
The Irritable Seeker
Helix is seventeen and restless to his bones, but something stirs inside him... He seeks a place to call home, and friends that understand him. He believes once he finds Seria, the lost Great Kingdom of Water, his irritable nature will be put to rest. Yet his search will entwine him with Gray, and the others, for good or for worse.
Queen of Eldas, Kingdom of Leaf, Home of the Elves
After the death of her mother, the prophet, and then the sudden and sinister demise of her father, the king, responsibility is thrust upon Karil’s shoulders. Eldas falls under tyranny and in her grief she must uncover her father's death and flee for her life.
Half-human and half-elf and conflicted by this, Karil is tall and breathtakingly beautiful, with silver eyes, a slender form, and white-blonde hair; however, her beauty is only equaled by her intelligence.
With Rydel, her trusted companion, and the most elite of Elvin guards never far from her side, Karil is propelled beyond the Gates towards Daerval where her fate and Gray’s and the future of all the lands will intertwine.
The Charming and Mysterious Hermit
Mura is a charming, but irascible hermit of unknown age. He lives in a cabin in the middle of Lost Woods where Gray, lost and bewildered, stumbles upon him.
Mura is wiry with thick gray brows and an often stern, heavily-lined face. His black hair is peppered with white and he sometimes pulls it back into a knot. He wears forest colors and soft leather boots suitable for stealth.
Having lived with the elves in Eldas, Mura is full of his own secrets and mysteries and holds abilities from beyond the gates. He appears old and young at the same time - strangely spry and strong for his aged appearance; he is also fluent in many strange languages, and cultures, and has surprising skill with a blade and staff. He also has a curious connection with Karil, the Elvin queen.
Mura befriends Gray early on and treats the young man like a son, teaching him all he knows. He is propelled by a sense of duty towards his sister, a prophet. Mura will stand in the center of the storm to do what is necessary for the sake of Daerval and the boy, knowing that he will be at the heart of it all.