The Good Guys
The most familiar character of all and the person who the entire series is named after. We first meet Will in Book 1 at the age of 15. He is small, agile, quick witted and inquisitive. He is also courageous. All of these are ideal qualities for a ranger and you will see how Will uses these attributes to his advantage throughout the series.
The first Ranger we meet and the one who takes Will under his wing to train as his apprentice. At first, Halt appears to be a mysterious, grim and humourless character, but Will soon finds there is a whole lot more to him. He is one of the greatest rangers of all and was responsible for the reformation of the Ranger Corps.
Becomes a Warrior apprentice in Book 1 and is at first a thorn in Will’s side. In time the two overcome their differences and become close friends and a formidable team. Horace is tall, strong and has natural skill as a swordsman
A fellow ranger and Halt’s apprentice before Will. Gilan grew up as the son of a Battlemaster and trained to become an expert swordsman before becoming a ranger. Because of this he is the only ranger allowed to carry a sword.
Evanlyn is feisty and determined, and when she sets her mind to something – like making Will and Horace take her with them to spy on the Wargals rather than sending her back to the Kingdom – she won’t be dissuaded.
Baron of Redmont Fief and senior advisor to the King. He is also a good friend of Halt and a brave and loyal nobleman. He has a great sense of humour and loves a good joke, but generally his own jokes are anything but good and he is often the only one to appreciate them.
The Bad Guys
Morgarath and the Wargal Army
A former baron of Araluen, Morgarath led an unsuccessful rebellion against the king and was driven into a barren, mountainous plateau in the south east of the country. At the time Book 1 commences, he is planning a revenge attack against the King of Araluen and his subjects.
Morgarath is evil personified. An expert warrior himself, he has recruited an army of half human, half bestial warriors called Wargals.
The Wargals were an ancient race of creatures who have become enslaved by Morgarath. They are fearsome warriors and are virtually fearless in battle. Only one thing can strike fear into the hearts of the Wargals.
Sometime enemies, sometime allies to Will and his friends, the Skandians are a seagoing race of warriors from a frozen northland. They raid the coast of Araluen and countries on the main continent, travelling in their fast Wolfships. The Skandians are big, noisy, enthusiastic warriors, fond of singing and drinking. Their weapon of choice is the battleaxe. Skandians make faithful friends and fearful enemies.
Obviously, the Skandians are based on the Vikings of our world. Although, as I mentioned on the map page, Skandia is a good deal further east than Skandinavia. Another point of difference lies in their horned helmets. Skandians wear them. Vikings didn’t.
Led by General Haz’Kam, the Temujai are a fierce race of mounted warriors from the Eastern steppes, which lie beyond the limits of our maps. Undefeated in battle, they are highly organised, courageous and dedicated fighters. Their aim is to conquer the continent and eventually, Araluen. To this end, they mount an invasion of Skandia.
The obvious inspiration for the Temujai are Ghengis Khan’s Mongol armies, which over ran Russia and parts of Europe. There’s a nod given to this resemblance in the fact that Ghengis Khan’s given name was Temujin.
These are the untamed clans from north of the border with Picta. Fierce fighters, implacable enemies. With their tartan cloaks and kilts and their huge broadswords, it’s not too hard to see that the Scotti are based on the Highland clans of Scotland in our world. We meet them in Book 6.
To the south of the Constant Sea lies the land of Arrida. It’s a bare desert country and its dominant people are known as the Arridi. They are a sophisticated nation with well planned and comfortable towns and cities. The Arridi light cavalry rivals that of the Temujai in professionalism and skill. There are also the Bedullin, a tribe of desert nomads who remain proud and independent of the Arridi.
And there are the Tualaghi – the Forgotten of God. These are bandits and assassins who roam the desert areas, rising up from time to time against the Arridi rulers. You’ll meet them all in the seventh book.
It’s pretty obvious that Arrida is based on North Africa and its people. The Constant Sea equates to the Mediterranean. Why the Constant Sea? Well, the Mediterranean is tideless, so in a way it’s unchanging – or constant.