Male human, a young hunter of Borvinn’s village. A long-time victim of Borvinn’s physical and sexual abuse, he is drawn to the wild stranger Ketrin and soon becomes his friend and lover, and is accepted as a pack member by Ketrin’s lupinoid brothers. This gives him the courage to tackle challenges he would never have attempted previously. When Ketrin subsequently goes missing Sherinel sets out to find him.
Male human, Chief hunter of his village. Scheming, manipulative, a sexual predator upon teenage boys, he will stop at nothing to achieve power and nobody dares challenge him openly. Mavrida, Sherinel and Ketrin all have ideas for defeating him, but are unaware of his allegiance with the sorcerer. Later, while attempting to capture Ketrin, Borvinn himself becomes trapped, and his subsequent whereabouts are a mystery.
Male human, raised in the jungle by wild lupinoids, with whom he shares a telepathic bond. Ketrin was originally the name of Mavrida and Ruthyar’s infant son who was lost in the jungle; when the wild boy walks out of the jungle at the age of about 18 Mavrida is convinced that he is her son returned and adopts him. Ketrin’s love of Sherinel and their mutual antagonism for Borvinn lead them to attempt to disrupt Borvinn’s lupinoid hunt; as an indirect result of this Ketrin finds himself a long way from home, trapped by a spell and worshipped as a god by starving villagers.
Female human, widow of Ruthyar, mother of the original Ketrin, and adopted mother of the current Ketrin who may or may not be the same person. It is often remarked that she looks too young to be the mother of an 18-year-old boy. During Borvinn’s lupinoid hunt Ketrin persuades Mavrida to go to her sister’s village. When she subsequently learns of Ketrin’s disappearance she goes on a quest of her own, meeting Red, Grey, Lendrin, Suvanji and Nipper en route and eventually learning Ruthyar’s true fate.
Male human, presumed deceased. Mavrida’s husband. He joined a striagon hunt shortly after their infant son Ketrin was lost in the jungle and never returned. Borvinn claimed that Ruthyar was killed by a striagon while heroically defending the other hunters. Mavrida has always suspected that Borvinn had arranged Ruthyar’s death, but it is not until Mavrida encounters the sorcerer that the astonishing truth about Ruthyar’s disappearance is revealed.
The old sorcerer
Apparently a male human; his decrepit appearance seems suited to his evil personality. It is the sorcerer who, among other things, sells Borvinn the paralysing crystals with which Borvinn hopes to entrap Ketrin, and who creates the stipple outbreak in Borvinn’s village knowing that it will spread to Ketrin’s lupinoid pack. The sorcerer’s ultimate goal is not clear, but he obviously has no compassion either for humans or for lupinoids, and all would be wise to fear him.
Silverpaw and Shadow
Male lupinoids, Ketrin’s adoptive brothers. Now middle-aged by lupinoid standards, they are still formidable hunters and fighters and either of them would stand up to a striagon in defence of his packmates. After Ketrin’s disappearance they join Sherinel and two other lupinoids of Ketrin’s pack in search of him.
Apparently a female human, she appears to Ketrin and his allies in dreams and visions giving helpful advice. She claims to be a girl who was turned into a helpless statue, but for an inanimate object she seems to know a great deal about what is going on in the world and possibly beyond it. She also has friends who observe and occasionally manipulate events from afar. See also Jaskri and the Maiden.
Tolar and Tharil
Male humans, first and second hunters of Third Hill village. It is Tolar who first discovers Ketrin helpless in the jungle during a drought and believes him to be Lord Ral-ne-Sa, or at least a carnal avatar of that deity; Tolar and Tharil are the first to worship him with their bodies, though by no means the last.
In the pantheon of Third Hill village, the god of lupinoids. While paralysed, Ketrin is worshipped as Ral-ne-Sa by the people of Third Hill; whether this worship constitutes rape depends on one’s point of view. Later Ketrin comes to believe that there is a real Ral-ne-Sa who is manipulating events in Third Hill through Ketrin.
Sun and Fire
Male lupinoids, a young packless pair. Ketrin contacts them telepathically and persuades them to help the starving villagers of Third Hill find food. Named by Tolar, they became valued members of the village’s hunting community, and their telepathic bond with Ketrin helps to compensate him for the absence of his other friends.
The Male (Wenric) and the Female (Keino)
Male and female humans raised by lupinoids. They save Sherinel’s life, and he is astonished to learn that Ketrin is not the only wild human in the jungle. After some challenges they and their lupinoids join Sherinel in search of Ketrin. They naturally have no names of their own, and for some time Sherinel was too preoccupied to give them “real” names. Eventually he and Mavrida decided to name the male Wenric, and the female Keino.
Night and Ash
Male and female lupinoids, companions of the Male and Female wildlings respectively. Night is huge and bad-tempered, while Ash is average-sized and far more placid. Night subdues Silverpaw and Shadow in challenges, much to their chagrin. He will never back down from a fight and always insists on proving himself - something that eventually costs him dearly.
Red and Grey
Female lupinoids of Ketrin’s pack. Mavrida bonds with them and persuades them to accompany her in search of Ketrin.
Male human encountered by Mavrida while “caring” for Suvanji. Tormented by guilt over his past mistreatment of lupinoids, he agrees to accompany Mavrida in an attempt to redress the balance.
Female human raised by lupinoids. First encountered by Lendrin while she was paralysed, and embraced by him. This might have been regarded as rape (certainly by Mavrida), but it seems that she seduced him telepathically (and later Mavrida too). Mavrida frees her from paralysis and names her after an earlier lover, Suvan, and she joins Mavrida’s party.
Female lupinoid, first encountered by Mavrida’s band while paralysed. Freed by Mavrida, she initially panics and bites Mavrida’s arm, hence the name. Small and feisty, she quickly challenges and defeats Red and Grey to become top four-leg of Mavrida’s pack, and bonds with Suvanji.
Male luinoid, red-furred, small and nervous. Sherinel, Red and Grey save him from a striagon attack and adopt him as a packmate, and he later befriends Pyrri.
Female human raised by lupinoids. Released from a paralysing spell by Lendrin and Mavrida, she is physically about twelve years old, with pale skin and a luxuriant mane of red hair, colours seldom seen in the jungle. After some deliberation she joins Mavrida’s party, befriends Howl and begins to learn human speech.
Male human of Third Hill. Valued for his skill as an archer, he is nonetheless unpopular because of his surly, cynical disposition, which might some day see him throwing in his lot with the sorcerer.
Male human raised by lupinoids. Released from a paralysing spell by Suvanji. Physically he is about fifteen years old and in robust health, except for having lost his left leg below the knee to a striagon in childhood. This doesn’t seem to bother him nowadays. He manages to get around just fine on his hands and foot, hence his human name, which was given to him by Suvanji shortly after they met.
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