Toshala “Tosh” Flemmish: A tomboyish 17 year old girl. Daughter of Hagen Flemmish. Freelance steamwrencher by trade. Has a crush on Germaine. Kidnapped by Captain Jebidiah Blüd at the order of the Strega. Not afraid to get her hands dirty or fight dirty if needed.
Appearance: medium build, medium weight, small-busted, short-cropped hair (pixie) naturally chestnut but dyed lavender at the time of the novel. Normally wears functional clothing (overalls).
Germaine Billings: Privateer, captain of the Gallows Jig. Early 20s, one of the youngest captains on the Shardsea. Apprentice of Hagen Flemmish and adopted older brother of Tosh. Striving to restore the Billings name after his father, Valas, was hanged for piracy when Germaine was young. Tries to be honorable but still a victim of youth and inexperience. Hagen sends him to rescue Tosh. His feelings for Tosh and for Brion are somewhat uncertain.
Appearance: medium build and height; fit; short, dark hair and a goatee. Dresses more casually at sea (favors a broad-brimmed hat) but goes a bit overboard with the dressing up in port.
Smelt: Cook and swab aboard The Sea Drake. Sometimes poses as a legless beggar. Vicious and cowardly.
Appearance: Grizzled old sea salt with scraggly chin hair. Has a peg leg and hobbles when he walks, yet can be deceptively spry when needed.
Jebidiah Blud: Captain of the Sea Drake and the most feared and brutal pirate on the Shardsea. Rumored to have giant’s blood. Shows no mercy, gives no quarter, and certainly never parleys. Hired by the Strega to kidnap Tosh and transport them to Murdhuacha Cave.
Appearance: large build, very muscular, dark skinned; long, black beard; one dead eye with corresponding scar running down the left side of his face from hairline to beard. Wears a lodestone stud earring for luck.
Hagen Flemmish: Tosh’s doting but somewhat absent father, a merchant who owns a fleet of trading ships. Makes his money ferrying goods for other merchants. Took Germaine under his tutelage after the death of Valas Billings and gave him the Gallows Jig. Sends Germaine to rescue Tosh.
Appearance: large build, muscular run to fat in his old age, graying brown hair, gentle and friendly to those he loves.
Gage Brinhold: Mid-twenties, half Maern and half Nixian, though his appearance favors the Nixian half. Gunner on the Gallows Jig. Devoted twin brother of Brion. Normally quiet and reserved, he can be impish and sarcastic, especially in his cups. Enjoys teasing his crewmates, especially Germaine, for their discomfort over his homosexuality. Very interested in both magic and science, studying both under Burston and Saul, respectively. Damn good shot.
Appearance: medium height, slim build, very pale (never tans or burns), green eyes; dark green hair about shoulder-length, usually tied back. Favors somewhat foppish clothing.
Brion Brinhold: mid-twenties, half Maern and half Nixian, though her appearance favors the Maern half. Quartermaster of the Gallow’s Jig. She also acts as first mate. Devoted twin sister of Gage. Brash and straightforward, Brion is tough and capable. Being the only woman on the ship, she’s “one of the guys” but still indulges in feminine things once in awhile, and relishes her baths when ashore. Germaine both intrigues and frustrates her. Adept with gun and sword. Loyal to a fault.
Appearance: tall, muscular build, green eyes, very tan; fiery-red, short hair (short shag); wears practical clothing but can be persuaded to wear the occasional frock, though it makes her feel silly.
Burston: Weather mage aboard the Gallows Jig. Fat, lazy, selfish and cowardly but adept at magic. Frenemy of Saul and tutor of Gage.
Appearance: round, balding, bearded
Doc: Doctor aboard the Gallows Jig. A Mélémbwéan, he treats ailments both physical and metaphysical. Trained under a boukoun, or witch doctor. A bit of a ladies’ man. Gets terribly airsick.
Appearance: large build, muscular, dark-skinned. Favors a top hat with a feather in it when he’s in port.
Valas Billings: Late father of Germaine. Hanged by the Admiralty for the crime of piracy after he protected a ship of pirates for reasons never discovered or at least never released. Former captain of the Gallows Jig.
Saul: Engineer aboard the Gallow’s Jig. Sails with Germaine despite the Gallows Jig’s lack of a steam engine. Once a crewmember of Valas Billings. Scientist and inventor. Tutor of Gage and frenemy of Burston.
Appearance: muscular build, gray haired and bearded.
Massimo: 17 year old witchbreed, son of the Strega. Sullen, moody, and secretive. Somewhat sheltered, the larger world intrigues him. He hates his mother even as he craves her approval. Can summon and control sea monsters by playing his flute, which he does beautifully. Has an emotional connection with the monsters he summons, and resents his mother making him use them in battle. Loves to read.
Appearance: Medium height, slender build; his eyes are his tell – golden-colored with a vertical slit pupil like a cat; dark, silky hair that falls to midway between chin and shoulder. Very pale. Often scowling. He is remarkably agile and graceful. Wears fine clothing and is obviously materially pampered by his mother even though she scorns him.
The Strega: Known only by her title, even to her son, Massimo. Hires Blüd and crew to kidnap Tosh and provide transport to Swells O’ Sea and the Murdhuacha Cave. Plans to retrieve the Trident of Merrow and use it to resurrect Merrow. She needs Tosh for this. Treats all around her with scorn and impatience, never reluctant to use threats as persuasion. Alternates between doting on and disparaging Massimo, at times beating him for his insolence. Favors a saltwater whip that she fashions using her magic.
Appearance: Very thin, pale, and drawn, like a sea wraith. Her hair is long and dark, seemingly flat against her head as if she is soaking wet. Her eyes are all black, like those of a shark, with no pupil, iris, or white differentiated. Her teeth are filed into points. She wears flowing, black robes that seem to move on their own.
Nikandros: Librarian and historian at the Historian’s Guild in Swells-O’-Sea.
Tybus: A Myrr mercenary airship pilot. Used to fly for Baltus.
Appearance: Medium build and height, lean. Has a brown, shaggy moustache. Wears a close-fitting leather skullcap held in place with a strap beneath his chin; thick, dark-tinted goggles ; a wooly scarf, and a leather jacket
Thomas Fenwicke: Company man with the Baltus Trading Company.
Appearance: Corpulent and impeccably dressed, with a lacy cravat and powdered wig.
Captain Nigel Hawkesbury: Captain of the BTV Rozinanté, which he runs like a military ship. A stuffy, no-nonsense former Crown Navy captain relegated to flying for the Baltus Trading company after his play-by-the-book honorable methods proved ineffectual against pirates. Has no patience for privateers.
Appearance: An older man, tall and slender, with white hair and a pointed, white goatee. Wears a double-breasted coat buttoned up to his chin, jodhpurs with knee-high boots, with a tight-fitting leather cap and goggles resting on his forehead
Aurora Mary Alice/Ama: Chaplain aboard the Rozinanté. A “Sylphine” or priestess of Spriggan, second year acolyte level. Friendly and outgoing, she can be nosy and oblivious to the discomfort her openness causes others. Takes a shine to Gage. Hates being interrupted.
Appearance: Petite, shapely and pretty. She has fair skin, blue hair the color of a clear sky, and storm-gray eyes. She keeps her hair in pigtails. Wears the standard air sailor uniform of a fleece-lined leather jacket, gloves, and goggles, but forgoes the leather skullcap. Wears the swirl symbol of Spriggan on her lapel.
Will Alba: Leftenant on the Rozinanté.