Chiefly a messenger for Emperor Jadoku, performing any additional tasks assigned to him without complaint. He typically keeps his face and large armoured wings hidden from view, which fails to prevent him from shedding the occasional feather.
Arandano works and resides in Irihi, monitoring and altering the chemical content of Irihi's food products. His pet monkey, Winkie, aids him in his laboratory work. Though initially reluctant to accept a human assistant, Arandano quickly grows to like Kokkan and welcomes his involvement in the lab.
The act of utilising the divine energy of a God/Goddess with whom the channeler holds a contract. Divine energy may be used in its purest, unaltered form or combined with that of other entities in order to produce a different effect.
A pact between a God/Goddess and a human, sealed by a blood sacrifice. Contracts permit the flow of divine energy from the source to the contractor, enabling them to do with it as they please.
Prince of Ibara and son of Emperor Jadoku and Empress Sekitan. After contracting moon sickness, Doku is healed by Reisen, allowing him to function normally. His relationship with Samidare strongly resembles sibling rivalry. He generally prefers the company of his mother to his father.
Prince of Terasu. Eiji is the oldest son of Emperor Kin.
One of Thalassinus' three countries. Enma was abandoned centuries ago and now allows for tarqiila experiments to be conducted in a restricted environment. The armies of Ibara and Terasu are alleged to clash here, for the sake of eliminating civilian casualties. However, the resulting "clash" more closely resembles a frat party than a war zone.
A liberal monarchy, extolling the merits of freedom and individual choice.
Ibyx is the Terasian Goddess of healing. Her sacred statue resides in the temple at Irihi.
Capital city of Terasu.
Codename for the Terasu slaughterhouse. In addition to providing meat and plant products for the citizens of Terasu, Irihi doubles as means of eliminating political dissidents, integrating them into the food chain. Any food products produced in Irihi are chemically treated to reduce levels of aggression and instill an artificial sense of complacency.
Emperor of Ibara. Jadoku is married to Empress Sekitan and has a single son - Doku (named after himself, in what can't possibly be construed as an act of narcissism). Jadoku is blunt and unafraid to speak his mind.
At the age of seven Kokkan was arrested in a raid designed to capture his father, Reisen. After failing the impress the interrogators intent on milking him for information, Kokkan was sentenced to death at Irihi. Instead of carrying out Kokkan's execution, Kuroda had Kokkan transfered to the special division, eventually allowing Kokkan to grow under his care. Kokkan suffers from PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder), including recurrent nightmares, causing him to avoid sleep when possible. In order to soothe his battered nerves, Kokkan is frequently found with a cigarette in his mouth. Kokkan's experiences in Irihi have left him a devout vegetarian.
Kaneko, Reisen (Ph.D.)
Kokkan's father. Reisen was framed by the government of Terasu for a series of crimes he didn't commit, forcing him to live as an outlaw. Formerly a soldier and government-sponsored scientist, Reisen worked closely with Kuroda, developing a strong friendship with him.
Emperor of Terasu. Kin believes that it's necessary for him to make important decisions on behalf of his citizens, for their own protection, such as laws making it illegal to produce or consume alcohol (though such regulations fail to apply to soldiers stationed in Enma).
Capital city of Ibara.
A term coined by the media to indicate the incidence of a tarqiila infection. Tarqiila is commonly believed to stem from bacteria brought to Thalassinus on infected moon rocks.
Mother of Kokkan. Umi was a doting mother until being infected with tarqiila.
A statue blessed by the Terasian Creator deity, creating a link between the stone from which it's carved and the God/Goddess it represents. An offering bowl is placed at the feet of each statue, designated for blood sacrifices.
Head of security for Emperor Jadoku. Samidare is close to the Ibara royal family and enjoys teasing Prince Doku. Her abilities as a fighter and channeller lead to her promotion at an early age.
Empress of Ibara and Emperor Jadoku's wife. Sekitan is generally quiet, composed, and very protective of Prince Doku.
One of seven members of the Holy Council. Shi stands out because of her particularly destructive behaviour.
A group of specially assigned prisoners in Irihi who carry out tasks considered beneath the soldiers stationed there, such as disposing of bodies. Members of the special division are routinely purged, preventing them from gaining or sharing any insight into the operation of Irihi or conduct of its officers.
Having risen steadily through the ranks of the Terasu army, General Kuroda Tadayoshi is in charge of operations at Irihi. Due to the covert nature of what goes on at Irihi, Kuroda was selected for his intelligence and trustworthiness. The death of Kuroda's son, Seisui, at the hands of his (Kuroda's) wife was a devastating shock, and he's never recovered from the guilt surrounding the incident. By sparing Kokkan from his death sentence, Kuroda originally hoped to eradicate some of that guilt, but he quickly developed genuine affection for the traumatized boy.
Kuroda's son, murdered by his mother as a form of protest against murdering children. Logic at its finest.
A black, tar-like substance renown for its destructive properties. Victims of a tarqiila infection experience blindness, severe physical disfiguration, extreme sensitivity to heat, and eventual insanity.
A conservative monarchy with no problem dictating to its citizens the best way for them to live their lives.
The fictional planet on which A Broken Winter is set. Thalassinus is very cold (though this wasn't always the case), and resources are limited. The people of Thalassinus are human, descendants of an original colony of Earth scientists. However, they have evolved to differ from Earth humans. In Thallassians, after age 26, the ageing process occurs very slowly, allowing people to live for hundreds of years.
Winkie is a cottontop tamarin. He helps Arandano in the lab, dutifully aiding the man in his endeavors. He also enjoys spending time with Kokkan.