one rook's lovesong

she had once loved a man who was whiskered and beautiful

Skip to: Content | Sidebar | Footer


Dramatis Personae: A Lovesong of Rooks

Introduced in Book One: The Dark Wood

Gabriel, angel of Life and Compassion; Seraphim; Formerly Archangel of the West

Demeter Serraffield
Nearly sixteen at the start of the story.
A student at St. Christopher’s-on-the-Hill, she plays lacrosse for her form’s team.  Once a major political figure in the last age of the doomed angelic city, the Watchtower, Demeter is the daughter of the Turkish ambassador, and the ward of a Catholic priest.  She lives with her guardian on the holy ground of Sacré-Cœur, a church.  A high society girl, she is often busy with charity work, and often in trouble with the nuns at her school for being outspoken, running in the halls, and neglecting to wear her shoes.  She is well-known among the girls at her school, and well-liked for her passionate devotion to causes.  Although she is often a bit remiss with her studies, she does well in school and has a remarkable command of modern languages.  Demeter always follows her heart, come what may.
Peter, Fairy Whitesmith; Bonded to Gabriel
Fae are timeless.
A sophia, one of the fair folk of the world, Peter is generally a small individual who could fit in one’s palm, but sometimes takes the size of an adult human male.  Peter is one of the odd fae people who has thrown their lot in with the mortals of the world.  He has been with Gabriel since she was just a girl in the Watchtower.  Although parted with her for long stretches of time, he can always find her, and is perhaps her closest friend.  They share a bond of the soul, which gives him his small angelic wings and allows him to draw on the power of her soul to take human size and power his magics.  Peter is a Whitesmith and capable of smithing many magnificent artifacts.  He has the soul of an artist, believes that form should follow function, and can be highly critical of the world around him.  As a sophia, his personal glamour generally keeps him from being seen or heard by those he does not wish to witness him.
St. John Wilkston, Catholic Priest
Demeter’s priest guardian and the officiating priest at a small, walled church with a grand name: Sacré-Cœur, located in Limehouse.  He and his wards live in a very small cottage at the rear of the walled compound.  They share this space with an old cemetery, which takes up most of the open space.  St. John is a young priest to have his own church, even one in such a poor neighborhood as his, but he is caring and extremely thoughtful, and although some would say he lacks as a disciplinarian, he believes that each individual must find their own way.  He has known Demeter’s father since they were both school boys.
Alexei Berzukov, Violin Prodigy
Seventeen at the start of the story.
Demeter’s closest mortal confidant and friend, Alexei is a famous concert violinist although he is yet in high school.  Charming, cultured, well-educated, and handsome, he has been hopelessly in love with Demi for some years, and has been attempting to woo her unsuccessfully.  Although she often appears on his arm at society functions, she seems completely content to remain only friends with her pet ‘Alya.’  Still, despite this brush-off, he remains her close friend and companion, sure that if he remains steadfast in his love, surely someday she will turn and see him there and love him as he loves her.  He attends the prestigious Wycliffe School, where he studies music.
Taus’Melekel, angel of the Apocalypse; Seraphim; Formerly the ward of his aunt Gabriel and his uncle Duriel
Oswald Blake
Seventeen at the start of the story.
A homeless young man who has been living an itinerant life in the subway system of London since he was a youth.  Calm, serious, and thoughtful, Oswald is nominally the leader of a group of youths near his own age, all whom live in the subway, moving from place to place each day, trying to survive despite terrible poverty and the threat of zombies and of goblin raids — facts of their lives so patiently ignored by those who live on the surface, behind barred windows and locked doors.  He plays the guitar a little, and reads what books he can get, but behind his calm facade is a heart that is fearless, fearful, and passionate.  When he first meets Demeter in the subway and realizes he is also an angelic, all he wants to do is avoid the whole mess and keep his head down.  Over time, he comes to understand that he can’t run from who he is.
Lusheel, angel of Generosity; Cherubim; Formerly the Holy Cavalier, a great war hero of the Watchtower
Therese Chevalier
Sixteen at the start of the story.
A student at St. Christopher’s-on-the-Hill, she has been absent for some time and is rumored to have been institutionalized for mental illness.  When Therese was a young girl she was the sole surviving witness of the goblin attack that killed her father, a seasoned military officer, and caused the loss of her right leg below the knee.  Her mother, fearing that the stories of the brutal monster attack that Therese related were signs of mental illness, had her institutionalized for years until Therese began to deny her own experiences.  She is quiet, sullen, and nearly emotionless when Demeter meets her after she comes back to school, and she has a reputation for being scary.  Demeter is first her friend and then her comrade as the two of them discover Lusheel’s angelic nature.
Tethiel, angel of Okeanos; Ofanim; Formerly an assistant librarian in the great library
Sarasvati Adarkar
Fourteen at the start of the story.
Formerly a student at St. Christopher’s-on-the-Hill and now a Queen’s Scholar at Westminster School, Sarasvati is a high-strung, over-achieving girl with a serious chip on her shoulder.  Driven by an insatiable desire to prove herself to everyone, Sarasvati is a maddeningly devoted student and something of a shrew.  She wants nothing to do with either Lusheel or Gabriel when she discovers that she’s an angelic because she worries that they will take away necessary time that she needs to devote to study.  Still, despite everything she has the heart of a lion.  She has been in love with Raziel since she was a girl at the Watchtower, although he doesn’t seem to remember her name.  She has a vigorously passionate nature, whether she’s devoting herself to study or obsessing over him, and flies into a rage very easily.  She seems to oscillate between wanting him to totally own her and wanting to beat him to death with a tire iron.
Medui’el, angel of Witches; Elohim; Formerly a scholar
Keene Abedefyre
Twenty-one at the start of the story.
A blind young woman from the countryside of Wales, she arrives in London in the company of her husband, Gareth, and the sophia Gwyn, and they promptly claim sanctuary and become residents of the church, Sacré-Cœur.  Keene is a very small woman who looks almost like a doll.  She doesn’t look to be more than twelve or fourteen years old, although she is twenty-one at the time the story begins.  She has a strange and uncanny air about her, and is very delicate, with a frail constitution.  She can do many witchy things, such as read cast bones, scry in oil-water, and keep unholy things from crossing thresholds.  Although blind, she does have the ability to see through the eyes of her familiar Grimalkin, who is never very far from her.  She is very quiet, submissive, and soft-spoken.  She enjoys reading and the natural world.  She is utterly devoted to her husband, whom she first met some centuries ago, when he was in the service of Arthur, the King of Men.
Grimalkin, her familiar

A small, black cat with the ability to sprout two small wings and fly about.  Grimalkin was born from Medui’el’s soul, but they have individual personalities.  They can speak to one another, but to everyone else, besides Gareth, Grimalkin’s words simply sound like a nonsense of cat sounds.

Clychauyl, angel of Harmony; Arelim; Formerly a guardian of the King of Men

Gareth Abedefyre
Twenty-one at the start of the story.
A coalminer’s son from the countryside of Wales, he is a commonly a shepherd, but when his wife indicated that they had someone to meet in London he took charge of the situation and saw them safely there.  With Keene and Gwyn he stays on the grounds of the church Sacré-Cœur while the doings of the Final Days are occurring.  He is gruff and seems very coarse and unmannered, but he is infinitely gentle with Keene, whom he has known since they were both children.  Although he seems like a common laborer, he has the soul of a poet, the valor of a knight, and the voice of an angel, as he is the angel of Harmony, and formerly a guardian of Arthur, the King of Men.  Despite his expressive talents, Gareth refuses to sing for anyone but Keene, and then only when they’re alone.  He also feels very responsible for her and is always the one who takes charge of the situations they’re in, and she completely depends upon him.  He worships her, and they have been inseparable for long years.  He resents that people often mistake them for brother and sister as opposed to husband and wife, and despises anyone who denounces Medui’el as odd, although she decidedly is.  He has broken no few noses, and gotten into no few fist fights on account of this.
Howell, his dog
A welsh collie who appears to be a bit larger than is strictly normal.  He obeys Gareth’s every command and is equally obedient to Keene, although he will favor his master’s orders over hers.  When Gareth cannot stay with Keene he often directs Howell to protect her.  Howell comes with Keene and Gareth to London and stays with them in the small room they’re granted in the church.

Gwynhafyre the Fae, Fairy Queen; Formerly the royal wife of the King of Men
A beautiful sophia noblewoman with skin and hair as white and lovely as new snow, and intricate butterfly wings on her back.  Her powerful magics allow her to take on a human size because her bond is with the land itself.  She has been searching for her one true lord, the King of Men, Arthur, since she was separated from him through death at a time in the past so mythic that it seems utterly unreal.  She carries the pommelstone of one of Arthur’s swords, the Singing Sword, which can conjure the sword itself when she is threatened.  She travels with Gareth, whom she trusts as one of Arthur’s former knights, and his lady, who was once a well-known greenwitch.  Gwyn is both lovely and regal, calmly controlled, as royalty must be, and at the same time she can be fierce and terrible and passionate.  She can have a short fuse and a terrible temper, and her stubbornness makes her sullen and unwilling to offer apology when she has offended someone.  Being royal means never having to say you’re sorry.  As a sophia, her glamours conceal her from the eyes of those she does not wish to see her, and from the ears of those she does not wish to hear her.
Metatron, angel of Epiphany; Called ‘Messiah’ by the angelics
He is perhaps twenty three.
A young man who has been in a coma at St. Sebastian’s Hospital for ten years, listed only as nomiem nescio, an unknown person.  He was the victim of a bus accident when he was an adolescent, and he had no identification to give a clue to his identity, and efforts of the police to trace his origin failed.  He gives the indication that everything that happens in the world happens for some cause, for some reason.  He wakes from his coma at an opportune time.
Jibreel, angel of Mercy; Seraphim; Formerly the daughter of Gabriel and Duriel
Lumina Calloway
Five years old at the start of the story.
Lumina is the daughter of a Egyptologist who has been in the care of various boarding institutions for as long as she can remember.  When her mother is killed while working in Cairo she comes to live with the man who is named as her guardian: St. John Wilkston, the priest who also cares for Demeter Serraffield.  Lumina comes to live in Demi’s small room of the cottage and the two become very close.  Lumina has intense abandonment issues and clings wholly to Demeter as the mother that she has never had.  But this little girl in the blue coat who trips along to ballet practice and often tags behind Demi when she visits the hospital has secrets of her own, and seems to know more about the goings on in the world than she lets on.
Gamaliel, angel of the Untouchable; Cherubim; Leader of the Qaddisin, an organization dedicated to the eradication of nephilim.
Ian Ridley
Appears to be in his mid-twenties at the start of the story.
A mysterious man who wears a pair of dark sunglasses at all times, even indoors, and is rarely seen out of his long black coat, Ian Ridley spends a great deal of time in the church Sacré-Cœur, which is holy ground that keeps him safe from his most powerful enemies and also gives him the opportunity to keep a close eye on Demeter Serraffield.  Gamaliel repeatedly warns Demeter away from Eisenreich, but she ignores him, as she finds his attentions, and the man himself, to be a little unsettling.  When he takes his sunglasses off, his right eye can be seen to glow with a strange light.  He seems to carry a personal vendetta against Duriel, and taunts him at every occasion, while staying safely in positions where he has the advantage.  He seems to have a past history with Gabriel that he is unwilling to divulge.
Duriel, fallen angel of Clemency; Cherubim; Lord of Pain; Grand Inquisitor of the Parliament of Hell; Formerly Kezef of the Malake Habbalah and bodyguard to the Archangel of the West
Matthias Eisenreich
His glamour appears to be in his early forties.
His true appearance appears to be in his mid twenties.

Although he seems to be a normal, if affluent and well-traveled, doctor of oncology in his early middle age, Eisenreich is not what he appears to be.  His common appearance is the result of a glamour worked by his long time friend and associate Raziel, and simply conceals his true appearance, that of the fallen angel of Clemency, which would be a bit harder to explain, given his mortal cover.  Duriel is old, having lived long and terrible ages since his time at the Watchtower, when he lived as a secret assassin for the state, and swore an oath that he’d die to protect the Archangel who later became his wife.  His life has been a sordid mess of cruelty, torture, and murder on a grand scale since he gave up his soul in a moment of rage against the world.  He has long tired of reveling in his degraded state, and spends most evenings indulging in alcoholism to ease the pain of his never-ending life.  The one balm he has ever had has always been the only woman he has ever loved, whose life seems so fragile to him that it could break at any moment.  He has lost her more than once, and it has made him bitter and also resigned.  Each time he finds her only to lose her again to terrible death, he edges a little closer to meaningless madness.  He cannot say why he continues to live despite being completely miserable and hating the entire world, other than the fact that suicide seems both too easy and utterly pointless.  His stronghold is St. Sebastian’s Hospital, which he owns.

Raziel, fallen angel of Arcane Mysteries; Arelim; Idumea, Lord of Blood; MP, Parliament of Hell; Formerly the Master Librarian of the great library
Sexton Delaney
Appears to be in his late twenties.
Sexton Delaney is a charming man with a charming smile, a clever mind, and a witty remark for every occasion.  He befriends Gabriel, Lusheel, and Tethiel with claims of hoping to mentor them through their difficult period of angelic discovery.  In truth, he is not only an angelic, but a fallen angel, something their hazy memories will be unable to reveal to them until it is too late, and the damage has been done.  Although slim and spare, Raziel’s true strength is his silver tongue and his keen mind.  He is exceedingly well read, and makes his mortal living as a well-respected critic of literature.  He also runs his own rare book store, the Satanic Verses, open at a whim or by appointment.  There is a particular angelic girl that Raziel has been stalking for centuries, but it is not, unfortunately for her, the one who wishes he would stalk her.  Raziel is Duriel’s long time partner in business as well as his strongest political ally in Hell’s Parliament.  Raziel generally likes to consider it thusly: he provides the brains and the finesse, and Duriel is the blunt object that keeps him from being beaten to a bloody pulp by other demons who are much physically stronger than he is.  The truth is quite a bit more complicated, as it always is.
Baal, devil of the Lurch; Lord of the Lurch
Appears to be in his late thirties.
A strange and unwholesome scientist bent on creating “the archetypal man” out of “base matter” through various surgeries and experiments, Baal is also interested in completing the mystical array of souls that will allow the Creeping Dark to be born again into the world.  To that end he is collecting souls of high quality, particularly those of an angelic nature.  He also seems keen on drawing Duriel into an unfavorable position, although whether this is because of a personal vendetta or strictly professional power-mongering is unclear.  His stronghold is an institution that he owns, which he rules over as the director.
Introduced in Book Two: The Spiraling Inferno
Yur’iam, angel of the Pendulum; Malakim; Formerly the second apprentice of Duriel, angel of Clemency
Roger Fawkes
Thirteen at the beginning of the story.
A cheerful boy, full of energy, and very caring.  A chance encounter introduces him to his angelic nature, and to our companions.  When his family is traced by Baal, the devil has them all taken for use in his experimentation, and subsequently murdered horribly, in an attempt to provoke Yur’iam, and so gain a hold over his soul.  With his mother, father, and baby sister brutally tortured and murdered, the case dismissed as further gang related violence by the police, and unwilling to endanger any more distant relatives, Yur’iam moves into the subway system as a homeless itinerant, under the care of Oswald Blake.  His cheerful, simple face conceals a complex personality and his devotion to his loved ones is so great it is obsessive.  He longs to love and be loved by those he cares about, and wants nothing more intensely than a happy home where he can belong while being no one but himself.
Simon the Zealot, Fairy Gatemaster
Peter’s brother, although the two of them don’t get along.  At the time the story begins he has made his bond with a large black and white cat.  He has the rare fairy talent of being able to open up portals to any place, no matter how far away it is, so long as he has either been there before, or is provided with sufficient data to fully visualize it.  This power consumes a great deal of energy, so he rarely uses it.  Also, unlike Peter he does not have an angelic bondsman, although he generally gets along well with Tethiel, perhaps due to their similar incendiary personalities.  Simon is generally critical of the way the angelics have been doing things when he arrives to ‘properly mentor’ them after their disastrous relationship with Raziel collapses, but he finds few are willing to listen to him for very long, given his temper.  He has little faith in the world, and is very bitter and cynical.  He wants to see the world burn, and pushes angelics toward situations that might hasten that development.  He is seeking his own destruction along with the world’s.  Simon seems to particularly hate Raziel.
Edward R. Murrow, a cat
A cat with a skinny body, huge ears, and a pink mouth, Demi obtains him under extreme circumstances and subsequently leaves him at Duriel’s house.

Write a comment