In order of appearance:
Análong (ann-yah-LONN): A mortal race of beings a little below humans and a little above animals who inhabit the country of Ebūda outside the normal flow of time. There are three races of análong: the Shanár, the Darna and the G’éalach, all most closely resembling canines.
Rā-alta (ray-AHL-teh): The youngest and only female Elder to rule over Ebūda. Orphaned as an infant, she was raised by a Darna tribe in the northern mountains of Peridūr when her tribe was wiped out. It is a mystery how she was chosen as an Elder and above all she feels trapped in the Palace where she has everything except her heart’s desire.
The Council of Nine
A group of nine Elders who rule Ebūda in modern times in place of the ancient Kings of Ebūda. They are bound to the sacred city and cannot hold property, marry, or be under 800 years of age when they enter the Palace to serve.
An Na’Óma (ahn nay-YOH-mah): A ruthless renegade group of análong whose aim is to “liberate” Ebūda from the famine and illness affecting the land by rounding up “undesirables” they feel are responsible and killing them.
Elder Anan (aa-NAWN): One of the Council of Nine Elders who has known Rā-alta since she was orphaned and has been a father to her for most of her life. But what dark secret does he keep that would reveal the truth about Rā-alta’s past?
Sā’úū (SAY-yoo): The personal servant of Rā-alta who conceals a forbidden love.
An Lhéoran (The Guardians)
An Lhéoran (ahn lee-YOR-aan) Mythic beings who were said to have been guardian stars over the world of humankind. When they abandoned their positions they were cursed to be reborn as análong and become the Guardians of Ebūda.
Lān (LAYN): The Guardian of Dreams whose eyes are blind but can “see” through the dreams of the análong.
F’ala (FAH-lah): The Ta- (scribe) of Pōcarū, F’ala is tasked with raising Mi’hal’ē. Educated in the “dangerous truths,” Fala lives a life she believes is a lie, hiding a chikdhood secret she can never tell. F’ala is also the only known análong to be able to speak to the Onandals.
The Onandals (on-naan-DAHLS): Gentle, mystical creatures whose appearance resembles a mixture of a pony and hawk. They possess some limited magical powers and are found mainly in the southern prefect of Dridū.
Hor’ē (hor-ee): The Guardian of Truth who appears only when required and is thought to resemble a puppy.
Ā’dō (AY-doh): The younger sister of F’ala. Ā’dō was raised by a neighbour after her mother died and her father was no longer able to care for her. She is a teen when she meets F’ala and dreams of a “normal” life like her friends getting ready to grow up and marry. Her relationship with F’ala is difficult and F’ala embarrasses her.
Mi’hal’ē (MIH-hal-LEE): An análong girl with no past who comes to live with F’ala until the time the Elders send for her. Curious and playful, Mi’hal’ē doesn’t look like the others and must be kept from being seen to keep her safe. But that doesn’t stop her from dreaming of a better life.
Anshē (ahn-SHEE): Mi’hal’ē’s first friend. Anshe’s father is dead and the circumstances around it make life difficult for him in school. Though he doesn’t understand Mi’hal’ē, he cares very much for her.
Rāca (RAY-kah): Anshē’s little sister, known for being dramatic and loud.
Éē’shī (Yee-SHY): The Guardian of Creation whose domain is Hala-Asal, the place where análong spirits await birth. Solemn and quiet, Éē’shī has been able to see all of análong history from her home.
A’nō (ah-NOH): The first Guardian, called the Gatekeeper. It is A’nō’s job to keep the gates between Ebūda and the rest of creation guarded so no beings may pass back and forth. He is also responsible for bringing speech to the análong.
Aē’rū (AYL-roo): The Guardian of Death, Aē’rū is always depicted as a dhana (child) and it is said seen only the very young can see her. It is believed if one can catch and kill Aē’rū, the análong will no longer have to die.
Sarshēl (sar-SHEEL): A demon from the world of humans who was banished in ancient times outside of the regular boundaries of time and became lord of An’dan.
Úā’la (WAY-lah): The Guardian of Caémba, Úā’la is the last Guardian to be reborn.
© K.Rose Quayle 2019
Author photos by D. Chalich