A List of Characters



In Rome:

Sulpicia – former betrothed of Gaius Arrius, now wed to

Gnaeus Terentius Gentianus – her second cousin, once removed

Lucius Sulpicius Lentulus – her father

Terentia – her mother

Lucius Cassius Dio Coccaeus – a Bithynian-born Roman senator and part-time historian, friend to Marcus Arrius

In Cumae:

Marcus Arrius Nerva – a senator of Rome

Nessa – formerly of Monapia (Isle of Man), since a captured slave, freedwoman, and late de facto wife of Marcus Arrius Nerva

Sextus Sabius Gallus– the steward and overseer of Marcus Arrius’ estate in Cumae

Lucius Sabius Niger– his son, best friend of Gaius Arrius, a shipping agent in the port of Puteoli, in hot water (modern Puzzuoli)

Phoebe – the Greek housekeeper of Marcus Arrius, wife of

Athenodorus – an Alexandrian Greek physician-cum-philosopher, house doctor of the Arrian family

Theodorus – gatekeeper and house slave at the estate of Marcus Arrius



In Deva (modern Chester, Lancashire):

Sextus Papirius Galba – legate of the XX Valeria Victrix

Brecca – Gaius Arrius’ Briton mistress

Marcus Lavidius Carbo – an adjutant with the XX Valeria Victrix in Deva, assigned to

Gaius Arrius Nerva Rufus – Marcus Arrius Nerva’s son with Nessa, senior tribune of the XX Valeria Victrix, headquartered in Deva, possible “quaestor Augustus”, appointed by Severus

Marcus Tillius Rufus – primipilus, or “First Spear”, the leading centurion of the XX Valeria Victrix

Glaucus –  “castrus praefectorum”, or garrison superintendent of the XX Valeria Victrix

Priscus – the “frumentarius”, or senior intelligence officer, XX Valeria Victrix

Ajax – Galba’s secretary

Timaeus – the head slave and chamberlain of Gaius Arrius


In Eboracum (York):

Gaius Primius Marra – a Roman bureaucrat with a taste for Attic wine and Briton women

Gaius Junius Faustinus Postumianus – recently appointed Governor of Britannia

Lucius Septimius Severus – Emperor of Rome

Julia Domna  – his wife the Empress, titled “Augusta”

Marcus Antoninus “Caracalla” – their elder son, who has an attitude problem

Lucius Septimius Geta – their younger son, who doesn’t

Iolanthe  – a former dancing girl and courtesan of Antioch, now a madam and innkeeper of a very exclusive sort, in an establishment popular with both high-ranking government officials and the officers of Britannia’s legions

Helena – a notoriously faithless “daughter” of Iolanthe’s, from Batavia

Chryseis – another of Iolanthe’s “daughters” from Cyprus

Nereis –  another “daughter” who specializes in naughty bureaucrats

Boudicea – a Briton “daughter”

Nestor – Iolanthe’s majordomo, a very handy man



Near Deva (modern Chester)

Gryffyd ap Maredudd – a hapless fisherman (GRIFith ap Meredith)

Gwen – his wife, an enterprising woman

Owain ap Gryffyd – Gryffyd’s eldest son, a curious soul (Owen)

Assorted children and animals



At Dun Laeghaire, in Laighin (~modern Leinster)

Laegaire “The Black” Mac Conchobar– a prince of Laighin, and a wealthy mor tuath and tribal king of Clan Eoghan (LEEry mac CONNor)

Mathgamain Mac Laeghaire – his son (MAHN mac LEEry)

Lasarfhina inghean Laeghaire – his daughter (lasaREEna)

Aibhin ben Laeghaire, known as Aibhlin – his late lamented wife (evEEN, evLEEN)

Aife – his Ban Draoi, or Druid (EEfa)

Ethni – an orphaned Eoghan girl, attendant of Aiofe (ETHnee)

{Cruina the Cat &

Lugh the Horned Owl} Aoife’s familiars (CREEna &LOO)

Lugaid – his bard, court musician and seneschai, or historian –  an ollamh, or master of his craft (LOOee)

Erc mac Tadgh – Laoghaire’s cupbearer (ERRk)

Donnchadh – his rechtair, or steward (DONkha)

Diarmait mac Ciaran – Laoghaire’s hostage, Ciaran mac Breoghan’s son, captured during a cattle raid (DYARmit)

Art mac Ir – prince of Laighin, son of the king of Laighin, Laoghaire’s other hostage and a possible Tanist of Laighin

Daire – a man-at-arms (DUHra)

Fedelma – another man-at-arms

Gobban – captain of Laoghaire’s men, temporary right-hand strong arm of Laoghaire

Blaithin – a Kerry Eoghan widow, Laoghaire’s mistress

Benba – a widowed crone of the Eoghan

Sive – a weaver, wife of Ferdia, lady to Lasarfhina

Conn – the carpenter

Gormflaith – a dyer and tanner, his wife, lady to Lasarfhina (‘GORla’)

Tigernach – blacksmith of Dun Laeghaire (‘TEERna’)

Etain – his wife, lady to Lasarfhina (‘eDAHN’)

Nuada – the huge war-trained riding horse that is given to Gaius Arrius, originally from King Ír (Eer) of Laighin, and before that from the horse-trader Owain ap Powyll of Deva

Ruacra  – Laoghaire’s enormous wolfhound, one of several, and his favorite


At Tara, in Midhe: (modern Meath)

Lughaidh Mac Con –  High King of Erin, distant kinsman of Laoghaire

Fiachra – captain of the guard at Tara

Fliathri –Chief Brehon  of Tara

Donn ‘The Merry’– Mor Rig, or tribal king, of the Kerry Eoghan, Laoghaire’s distant cousin

Cruithna – his wife

Connla – their son

Medb – their daughter

Feirrchus – captain of Donn’s men-at-arms, a devastating fellow

Fionnbarr of Clan Baicsne – a suitor for Lasarfhina’s hand, old enemy of and neighbor to the Laighean Eoghan

Iolair mac Eadaman – a prince of Connacht (Connaught), another suitor

Ír mac Cian – King of Laighin

Eadaman mac Daire – possible Tanist, or “Crown Prince” of Laighin, the coming King of Laighin, former suitor of Lasaírfhíona

Cian the Red – a prince of Laighin, yet another suitor

Ciaran Mac Breoghan– a prince and mor tuath king of Laighin, yet another suitor, a nasty piece of business and Laoghaire’s main headache

Conchobar – a man-at-arms to

Ferdia, a rig tuatha king of the Ulaid (Ulster) clan of Conaill

Dechtire inghean Ferdia – Ferdia’s daughter, a beauty that catches the eye – and more – of Mathgamain mac Laeghaire at Samhain Assembly

Sadbh – a bondswoman of Dechtire, a night’s diversion to Connla mac Donn

Beara – another bondswoman, belonging to Dechtire, who gets Gaius Arrius in trouble

Orlaith ingen Conaola ben Tigernan – a discontented hosteller’s wife (an honored occupation)


At the Bruidean of the Ford of the Hurdle, on the borders of Laghin and Midhe  Leinster and Meath)

Coll – a hosteller of Laighin, a garrulous man


At the Dun of the Hill

Eochaidh – rechtair, or steward of Ciaran mac Breoghan

Fodla – a bondswoman and mistress of Ciaran mac Breoghan

Conaire – man-at arms for Ciaran mac Breoghan

Roisin – drui to Ciarán mac Breoghan


At the bruidean of Tuathal Ale-Master, in Laighin

Tuathal mac Conn – hosteller and master brewer

Sorcha – his very pregnant wife

Tiobraide mac Fearadach – Tuathal’s rechtair, or steward

Airndil mac Sin – Tuathal’s horseboy