This page is kept more-or-less current, and thus contains SPOILERS for recent chapters.
Sparrow Applebaum is a newly minted graduate, still getting used to this whole “independence” thing. She met her roommate Bianca in college, where they bonded over their shared love of certain TV shows. Between the two of them, Sparrow considers Bianca to be the nice one.
She was raised by a single mother, who eventually married when Sparrow was twelve. Her initial conception was with the help of a sperm donor. This fact is completely irrelevant to the plot and will never come up again.
Identities: Lesbian, Jew-ish, geek, FSMist
Home: Boston area, MA
Job: Political intern
Likes: Cats, pie, Doctor Who, arguing about politics
Dislikes: Dogs, people who are wrong about politics
Bianca Washington is Sparrow’s fellow graduate and current roommate. Her thoughtfulness and empathy can serve as a check on Sparrow’s recklessness.
Bianca generally appears cheerful, about everything from pets to anime to karaoke at the local drag club. She’s prone to sparkling at people to get them to share her enthusiasm.
On the other hand, she’s more than capable of letting things get her down. Responsibilities have a way of weighing on her, and now that she’s Patrick’s Master, she has those in spades.
Identities: Bisexual, strong black woman, ex-Methodist, otaku
Home: Boston area, MA
Job: Library assistant
Likes: Animals, drag, cosplay, Sailor Moon, illustration
Dislikes: Insomnia, that thing that happened sophomore year
Patrick ran away from his last Master after treatment he desperately doesn’t want to talk about, which also left him twitchy, moody, anxious, and cross.
Or maybe he was like that originally. It’s hard to tell.
He was taken in by Sparrow and Bianca while in his puppy form, and allowed to stay on the condition that he let Bianca become his new Master. Bianca doesn’t want to let him back in the Game. Patrick knows it’s only a matter of time.
He claims to be a fantastic fighter. We’ll see if that bears out.
Human form: White male young adult
Animal form: Dog
Likes: Fighting, the way Sparrow smells
Dislikes: His previous Master, being alone
Miranda Lake has a classy sense of fashion, a ridiculous amount of money, and a penchant for lurking in graveyards. She’s been keeping an eye on Patrick, whose previous Master was her father.
As a child, she was a hardcore Pokémon fan, lived with her mother, and was upset by the lack of contact with her father. These days she lives with her father, but avoids contact with him after his treatment of Patrick reached the breaking point.
She’s also learning to manipulate whatever underlying principles control Beings, and is very insistent that they shouldn’t be called “magic”.
Identities: Straight?, race: human, lurker
Home: Somewhere in Boston
Likes: Gothic literature, anime/manga, complicated hairstyles
Dislikes: Feeling abandoned
Poe lurks with Miranda, when he’s not spying on Patrick on her behalf.
Moving on two legs doesn’t agree with him: if there’s something around that can be tripped over, don’t count on him remaining upright. He prefers to stay in raven form, only appearing human (and posing as Miranda’s boyfriend) when necessary.
His past Masters include Mr. Jesse Riverton and an enslaved woman named Hannah. His names under past Masters include Lydia Ann and Mr. Jesse Riverton.
Human form: Black male young adult
Animal form: Raven
Likes: Flying, doing Miranda’s hair
Timothy Mattei administers the local branch of a Catholic hunger-relief charity by day, and does karaoke under the name Camellia as the world’s most wholesome drag queen by night.
In between, he’s been a Being’s Master for several years, and is comfortable with the Game.
He’s accustomed to answering to either pronoun, but please don’t use “she” while he’s at work.
Identities: Catholic, Turkish-American, female-attracted, functionally bigender
Home: South Shore area, MA
Job: Charity administrator
Likes: Helping people, singing, flowers
Dislikes: Mixing his job with her social life
Reseda combines a healthy vault of curiosity about all things with a snarky sense of distance from them. While most Beings are strongly attached to the present moment, she has a talent for taking the long view of things.
She was previously known as Lily, and her Master, Brother Alvah, was a cult leader who believed Beings to be nephilim: the children of humans and angels. Her personality at the time appeared to be far more reserved. After that Master’s death she contracted with Timothy, who isn’t sure what to believe.
Human form: White female young adult
Animal form: Cat
Likes: Fighting, flowers
Dislikes: Transphobia, boredom
Cybele is a Being whose animal form is that of a pink rabbit. This makes it somewhat hard for her to scare people, even when she’s taking on an exceptionally large version of the shape.
Her normal human form is also extremely cute, which makes it handy for avoiding suspicion. That said, she’s perfectly capable of being savvy, erudite, and deceptive when necessary. She’s also able to take taller/adult forms, which helps when it’s time to get something down from a high shelf.
Her Master originally hid his identity with a ski mask, at which time his unfortunate choice of hoodie earned him the nickname Nevada-san.
(One of her past Masters was George Washington. How times change.)
Human form: Adorable young black girl
Animal form: Rabbit
Master: Arthur Bennett
Likes: Singing, dancing, anything pink, cookies
Arthur Bennett is a conservative politician who isn’t thrilled about Beings. Or anyone else, really.
Naturally he has a Being of his own, and uses her to secretly wreak havoc, creating support for his security policies. He may not have thought this through all the way.
Even before he got any speaking-lines in-story, readers had argued more about him than about all the other characters combined. Maybe that will change as he develops, maybe not.
Identities: Real AmericanTM
Home: Western Massachusetts
Job: U.S. Representative (R-MA)
Likes: Tax cuts, America, flag pins
Dislikes: Social services, most Americans, dealing with kids
Jany Balachandran is the youngest Being-owner on record. She’s tough, a hard worker, and idealistic — in other words, just asking for the world to try and crush her.
At fifteen she inherited Kara Lynn from her paternal grandmother, Haseena, who lived close to her family while she was growing up. Her older brother Naresh also lived with them until he went off to university.
She has big plans to make it to the U.S. for a major anime con. Bianca and Sparrow just happen to be heading to the same one…
Identities: British-Asian Muslim otaku lesbian
Home: Woking, England, United Kingdom
Job: Student, part-time shop worker
Likes: Dragons, anime, girls in pretty dresses, making out with Kara Lynn
Dislikes: Secrets, homework
Kara Lynn in her larger forms has been mistaken for a dragon. Over the centuries and various Masters she’s managed to serve from Britain to India and back again.
She’s fluid of form, highly responsive to orders, and doesn’t show a lot of initiative when things go wrong. On the other hand, she’s the one who kissed Jany first.
Will sometimes go statue-still and nonresponsive for several seconds, for reasons not yet discovered.
Human form: East-Asian-ish young woman (unless something else is requested…)
Animal form: Iguana
Master: Jany Balachandran
Likes: Dancing, acrobatics, cuddling with Jany
Dislikes: Upsetting Jany, her mysterious blank-outs
Ann Walker runs her own business conglomerate and does experiments with Beings on the side. Like Miranda, she’s keeping track of them for her own unrevealed purposes.
Obtained her Being by convincing its former Master, Frederick Oliver, that she would make good use of one.
Age: A lady never tells
Identities: Legally blind, confirmed bachelorette, part of the 1%
Job: CEO, Walker International
Likes: Technology, cats, money
Dislikes: Her rival at Cohen Broadcasting, bad web accessibility
Oh, and then there’s her Being.
Human form: Whatever Ann needs at the moment
Animal form: Tiger
Master: Ann Walker
Likes: Stripes, pleasing Ann
Mr. Cohen runs his own media empire and does experiments with Beings on the side.
He also does magic. No big deal.
Identities: Jewish, eligible bachelor, part of the 1%
Home: At least four, not counting vacation properties
Job: Founder and CEO, Cohen Broadcasting
Likes: Alcohol, linguistics, Being research
Dislikes: Accidentally learning things man was not meant to know
Karen Park is a politician, and Master of the Bear.
Has a bit of a rivalry with Bennett, and a longstanding battle arrangement with Walker. Leaving her office to spend more time with her family, and/or the Game.
Identities: Korean-American, grandmother
Home: Eastern Massachusetts
Job: Outgoing U.S. Representative (D-MA)
Likes: Being fights, her grandchildren, sun bears
Dislikes: Political obstructionists, surprises
Cub is never far from Park’s side. Sometimes in bear form, which can be disorienting on the streets of DC.
Human form: Adult white male
Animal form: Polar bear
Master: Representative Karen Park (D-MA)
Dislikes: Talking, apparently.