Aun is a Strasmin, one of a race of beings dedicated to achieving a higher principle, realized by ascent to the highest plateau of Botaram. He is compassionate and dedicated and able to see things in new ways, but he is plagued by doubt which undermines his deeds.
Aun was raised with several creche-mates, all determined to be bold heroes. The creches are maintained by the Strasmin ancestors, all of whom are former adventurers who have reached a state of persistent existence that they call afterlife.
Strasmin are asexual but may call each other ‘she’ or ‘he’; these are honorific pronouns that do not refer to any biological dimorphism.
Strasmins have one eye, which is located under their mouths. Strasmin use their mouths for communication, but not to ingest food (they feed by draining essence from Chimmer). One side effect of this is that they have no sense of smell.
Chax is an Oistrem, one of a race of beings determined to try their skill in warfare and bold deeds. Chax is smart and can be friendly, but he is sometimes overwhelmed by fierce urges (the “Craisht”).
Oistrem appreciate beauty, boldness and rigor. Borne from Susekho, they strive to protect the distant plateau of Botaram from defilement by the Strasmin.
Unlike Strasmin, Oistrem have no immaterial part that survives their bodily death. They are not strict materialists, for they know that Strasmin spirits exist. Even so, the facts of Oistrem existence has led them to a certain stoicism, and even pride.
Oistrem are not named at birth, but at death; their names are constructed from the deeds they performed throughout their lives, whether good or ill. For sake of convenience, Oistrem sometimes use tags to identify themselves, but they usually allow only those they respect to use these tags. Chax was feeling low when he tagged himself to Aun as “Chuaxid Daistem,” which means “broken-armed, shameful coward.” To avoid reference to this in further conversation with Aun, he shortened it to Chax.
Like Strasmin, Oistrem are asexual and gender specific pronouns have no intrinsic meaning to them.
Eni is a Strasmin and a creche-mate of Aun. He is a staunch ally to the righteous and a dauntless scourge to the wicked. He is as smart as Aun, but he lacks Aun’s flexibility in adapting to the new and unknown.
G’Aaj is an assembly of Strasmin souls who lost parts of their personalities before joining the ancestors. By forming a group, they are able to make up for each other’s deficiencies. While their collective knowledge is massive, it is also fragmented and thereby difficult to convey coherently.
G’Eme is a Strasmin ancestor. Some number of cycles ago, under the name of Eme, she reached Botaram and performed her duties there, then discarded her material body to join the immortal ancestors. The G was then added to her name as an honorific. It is the task of her and her fellows to raise and train the coming generations of Strasmin as best they may.
G’Jad is a Strasmin ancestor. In opposition to G’Eme, he prefers justice to mercy.
Kuu is a Strasmin and a creche-mate of Aun who travels with Eni. Kuu is a brave warrior, but is more frivolous and less experienced than Eni.
Uemai is a bodiless entity that maintains a place called the Rediversification Center. While seemingly bearing neither Strasmin nor Oistrem any ill will, its motives are not known.
Yme is a Strasmin and a creche-mate of Aun. She follows a random path known as Rod Spinner, which is seen by her creche-mates as a sign that she had no idea what she really wanted to do. Yme takes no heed of their mockery, and pursues her statistical path with all the fervor that her comrades devote to their own paths.