As not to become an unintended spoiler for the novel, I've confined my characters to those who begin the story with Mikial.
Mikial is the novel's main character - a rare female warrior
biologically transformed by her alien people into a needed guide
through troubled times. Only twice before in recorded history have
the Qurls raised up a "Great" among them.
She carries with her the legacy of whom she was before her Change - a Dathia belonging to a warrior class physically suited for fighting. At six-foot, three, her muscular frame is anything but petite. Change has given her the abilities of the other three sects, most noticeable being the addition of fine sprays of hair along her ears, running from cinnamon to a translucent white. Her deep mocha skin has paled slightly with the transformation, though she retains the feral countenance of her original Datha sect in her angular face, amber eyes, and claw-tipped fingers.
She finds that being accepted as a Great Suria is one thing. Being allowed to function as one is quite another, however, and her role often intervenes when she draws close to friends and family. Stung by all of the hurt she has caused to those she cares about, Mikial is intent on isolating herself.
Paleen is Mikial's Ipper girlfriend from childhood and maintains a
fragile relationship with the Great Suria. Paleen is trying to put
more space between herself and Mikial's turbulent life, with
Mikial's reluctant blessing and understanding. Sandy hair, bright
hazel eyes, a sprite's face, and broad white ear fans, Paleen
continues to exemplify the heart of her sometimes mischievous sect,
and has trained Mikial in the ways of the Ipper.
Paleen is coming up on her marriage to Mikial's ex-lover, and is intent on finding Mikial a suitable suitor.
Enter Paleen's idea of a suitable suitor - Sur Pell Chora out of Chenka Holding on the southern tip of Dessa's main continent. Struck by Change fever, Pell's Ipper skills are now augmented by Cothra abilities. Dark hair and sweeping ear fans, green eyes, and a stunning physique, Pell seems just what Mikial needs to cure her lonliness - at least from Paleen's perspective. Having met Mikial in the past (though she can't remember when), Pell is intrigued by the Great Suria and intends a closer inspection. While not a great diplomat like Mikial's previous suitor, Pell has made a name for himself as an architect. His is a more down-home country type of perspective.
The Tasuria of Kinset Holding, Hiah's soft brunette countenance and easy smile hide her frustration when dealing with her country's newly aquired Great Suria. Hiah is bent on keeping Mikial under control - and away from the temptation of claiming her Servant heritage. The Tasuria feels that Mikial has been allowed too much freedom in choosing dangerous alliances with alien races, and is concerned that Mikial's power and popularity might bring Kinset's conservative values to ruin.
A rakish dark-haired Irishman, Ryan is tentatively Earth's ambassador to the Qurls - at least that is Mikial's plan. Ryan is more concerned at the moment about freeing his captured crew from the Me'Aukins, and sees Mikial's alliance with the race as his best chance. He and Mikial go way back, and considers the Great Suria as a friend. Usually. Mikial's current plans to attend Paleen's wedding run counter to his intent to retrieve his crew, however her intent to free him from beneath Kinset's thumb makes for an easy cooperation between the two ex-adversaries. At least for the moment.