Monday, February 3, 2014

The final characters (part 13)

Last but not least (in alphabetical order)

Asēkhas: The most powerful and revered of the Tugar desert warriors (see below). There are always twenty, and when one dies or retires, another takes his or her place.

Badaalataa: Carnivorous vines brought to the Realm of Life by the demon Vedana and then permitted to multiply. They exist mostly in the mountains north of the Gap of Gamana (see Map of Triken).  Badaalataa are similar in appearance to ordinary laurel and in fact often hide within large stands of laurel, but they are deadly and devour flesh either quickly or at their leisure, depending on their mood. Only the greatest of beings—Invictus himself or perhaps Bhayatupa—would be able to survive an assault by a large number of these vines.

Bard: A tall, handsome trapper with a thick black beard and piercing blue eyes. He lives in the northern wilds near Mount Asubha with his friend Ugga and is often seen with the white-haired woman named Jord.

Black knights: The defenders of the fortress Nissaya, which is located in the eastern maw of the Gap of Gati (see Map of Triken). Also called the Kalakhattiya. They are large, powerful men and women with black hair, skin and eyes who wear black armor. Supremely skilled swordsmen and archers. Many women also attain the status of knight and fight alongside the men.

Black mountain wolves: The largest and most dangerous of all wolves, most being as large as horses, with a bristly, black coat and fangs that ooze poison. These wolves are intelligent but also evil—and they are in league with demons, witches, and Mogols.

Bonny: A pirate woman from Duccarita, the City of Thieves. She is round-faced with short red hair, crooked teeth and dark eyes—and she is muscular and beautiful.

Efrits: Invisible creatures that dwell in the Realm of the Undead. When summoned to the Realm of Life by demons or witches, they voraciously devour the internal organs of living beings.

Elu: The diminutive partner of Rathburt is a Svakaran warrior who stands only about three feet tall. Though small in stature, Elu is muscular, strong, and fearless. He also is perpetually good-natured.

Ghouls: Human-sized and shaped creatures that are hideous in odor and appearance. Not particularly strong or dangerous, but definitely on the side of evil.

Gillygaloos: Enchanters and enchantresses from Kincara, the large forest located south of Jivita and west of the Kolankold Mountains (see Map of Triken). They stand only two feet tall, but wield powerful magic wands that make them far more formidable than they appear. They are round-faced with red lips and are good-natured. The most famous of all the Gillygaloos is Burly Boulogne, who has traveled the world and is a dear friend of the Death-Knower wizard Torg. Burly maintains a saloon in Jivita, the White City.

Golden soldiers: Human-like soldiers each created from a single drop of the evil blood of the sorcerer Invictus. All mimic the sorcerer in size and appearance, with blond hair and brown eyes. In the time-frame of The Death Wizard Chronicles, they numbered more than one hundred and sixty thousand. They are called golden soldiers because they wear magnificent golden armor.

Jord: White-haired woman of mysterious origin who is the longtime companion of Bard and Ugga.

King Henepola: The king of the fortress Nissaya during the time-frame of The Death Wizard Chronicles. Nissayans have black skin and black hair, but Henepola has long white hair cast about his shoulders, marking him as a magical conjurer as well as a king, which is a formidable combination.

Kojins: Enormous ogresses with six arms and bulbous heads that stand more than 12 feet tall. Kojins are imbued with a purple-colored magic that makes their flesh almost impervious to harm, and they are nearly as strong as snow giants. They are long-lived beings, existing for many millennia, and at one time more than two hundred roamed the forests of Triken. But during the time-frame of The Death Wizard Chronicles, fewer than a dozen remained. Kojins rank among the most dangerous and evil creatures on Triken.

Kusala: The chieftain of the Asēkhas, the highest-ranked of the Tugars, during the time-frame of The Death Wizard Chronicles. Kusala is considered to be the greatest chieftain in Tugarian history.

Lucius Annaeus: Began as the general of Invictus’ legions before he was usurped by Mala and then became a traitor. Lucius is called the firstborn, because he was the first golden soldier born magically from a drop of the evil blood of Invictus. Lucius has shoulder-length blond hair and brown eyes and resembles Invictus in appearance, though not in personality.

Mogols: Warrior race that dwells in Mahaggata Mountains (see Map of Triken). Longtime worshippers of the dragon Bhayatupa and the demon Vedana. Ancient enemies of the black knights of Nissaya.

Pabbajja: Homeless people who live on the fringes of the dark forest called Java (see Map of Triken). Little is known of their history or habits, but they are short and squat and covered head to feet with scraggly hair. They are long-lived creatures that carry magical tridents capable of great destruction.

Queen Rajiini: During the time-frame of The Death Wizard Chronicles, she was the queen of Jivita, the White City. All pure-blooded Jivitans are pale-skinned with white hair, but Jivitan necromancers are pale-skinned with black hair, as is Rajiini, making her a necromancer queen, rare much in the way that King Henepola of Nissaya is rare.

Rathburt: The only other living Death-Knower in the world besides Torg. But Rathburt is no warrior, preferring the mastery of plants over the mastery of flesh.

Sister Tathagata: The High Nun of Dibbu-Loka, the stone city that lies west of the desert Tējo that is home to the monks and nuns called the Noble Ones (see Map of Triken). Tathagata is three thousand years old.

Sōbhana: A brave Tugarian warrior who has achieved the rank of Asēkha. Sōbhana is about a finger-length shorter than the average Tugarian woman, about 6 feet 2 instead of 6 feet 6, but she is extraordinarily strong and flexible and is an extremely dangerous fighter, capable of defeating most Tugar men.

Tasēti: Second in command to Chieftain Kusala and the most formidable female Tugar that has ever existed, surpassing even Sōbhana.

Trolls: There are two kinds—cave trolls and mountain trolls. Both are extremely large and physically powerful, but cave trolls are the greater of the two, standing as tall as 10 feet and weighing more than one thousand pounds. They wield no overt magic, but their hides are as tough as canvas and they are extremely difficult to kill. They are hideous to behold and they stink. Trolls can hurl boulders hundreds of feet.

Tugars: The famed desert warriors of Tējo, called Kantaara Yodhas in the ancient tongue. To become a warrior, a Tugar has to train for fifty years under the guidance of a Vasi master. Tugar men stand about seven feet tall and women are usually only about six inches shorter. They are deeply tanned with shoulder-length black hair and deep-blue eyes and are similar in appearance, at least to those who are not Tugars.

Ugga: A crossbreed creature—part man, part bear—who lives in the northern wilds with his friend Bard. Ugga stands more than 7 feet tall and weighs close to 400 pounds. He has a temper, but for the most part is perpetually good-natured. He is often seen with the white-haired woman named Jord.

Vampires: One of the lesser monsters on Triken. Far stronger than an ordinary human, but no match for most magical creatures. For instance, a single Tugar could easily slay a dozen vampires. They drink blood and eat flesh, but their bite is not infective. Vampires are born as vampires and do not have the ability to create others. They are long-lived—some existing for tens of thousands of years—and they are pale, haggard and dark-eyed but otherwise human in appearance.

White horsemen: The defenders of Jivita, the White City that is in the Green Plains west of the Gap of Gati (see Map of Triken). During the time-frame of The Death Wizard Chronicles, they numbered close to forty thousand. They are pale-skinned with white hair, and they wear white armor. They ride massive, barded destriers and are masters of battle in the open plains. Few can withstand their lance and bowmanship. Women fight alongside the men and are typically superior with the bow.

Zombies: Unlike vampires, zombies are ordinary humans that have been transformed into flesh-eating monsters by demonic creatures called undines. They are stronger than ordinary humans, but a single zombie is not particularly dangerous. It is when they are massed in great numbers that they become dangerous. They are hideous to behold and stink even worse than trolls. And again unlike vampires, their bite is infective. A single zombie can creates hundreds more.

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I was born in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., but grew up in St. Petersburg, Fla. I graduated from the University of South Florida (Tampa) in 1979 with a B.A. in Journalism. I now live in South Carolina near the Blue Ridge Mountains, a pleasant setting for writing, to say the least. I was an award-winning journalist at the St. Petersburg Times for twenty-five years and I currently work at the Charlotte Observer. I am married with five daughters.

The author

The author
Jim Melvin, a veteran journalist, debuts as novelist.