Dramatis Personae

Bellica Yarrow: a former Princess of Athering; now the bellica of the First Regiment. Partial to fighting, firewater, and fornication. Alternately seen as a raging homicidal maniac or Athering’s only hope by most, Yarrow herself cares about very little in life except her job and lawfulness. Only Caelum can read her heart.

Queen Zameera*: the late Queen of Athering, Zameera was a bellica before becoming queen. She was murdered by Lord Exsil Vis of Mt. Voco when her daughters were fourteen.

Empreena Zardria: heir to the Sceptre of Athering and new title Empress. Twin sister to Yarrow, niece to Empress Zanny. Most people dislike, or outright hate, Zardria, but no one knows what she’s really like….

Empress Zanny: took the Sceptre when Zameera was killed and has ruled as Regent for Zardria for seventeen years. Took the title Empress ten years ago, during the Battle of Voco. Not terribly liked, but not as hated as Zardria.

Major Caelum: Yarrow’s major and best friend, Caelum is an orphan from Southland, distantly related to the ruling family of that province. Uneducated, he joined the military to follow in his mother’s footsteps. Widowed.

Chief Medical Officer Jules: Yarrow’s CMO, Jules is too honorable for his own good and just as honest. Like Caelum and Yarrow, he took after his mother and joined the military. Son to Eric, a carpenter, and the late Bellica Tania; brother to Sarai, a priestess in the Temple and Nathaniel, who lives in Atton with his spouse and Eric.

Healer Ghia: the most talented healer in the nation and heir to her mother’s post of Head Healer, Ghia divides her time between working at the hospitalis and her aunt’s tavern. At nineteen, she is far younger than her friend Jules, but this doesn’t stop her from telling him what to do at every turn (and meddling incessantly). Despite her bouncy friendliness and open face, there’s something about Ghia Jules can’t put his finger on….

Bellica Anala: bellica of the Second Regiment, Anala hails from Harbourtown. She hardly speaks and is known as “Taciturn Anala”. No one knows much about her, yet she inspires a fierce devotion from her major and troops.

Major Aro: Anala’s second-in-command, Aro speaks for Anala in most situations. His well-known skill on the battlefield is rivaled only by his devotion to his bellica.

Lord Exsil Vis: ruler of Mt. Voco, the enemy nation to the West, and former Consort of Queen Zameera. He is seen as the embodiment of evil by most Atherians, though most commoners have never actually seen him.

*Dead before the story begins.