This page is for the more prominent characters. Eventually there'll be a complete dramatis personae over at Encyclopedia Reluria. I'll add characters here as they are introduced to the story or gain enough significance to warrant a mention.
The protagonist of our story—he might take umbrage at being called the hero—Galavar shows the signs of greatness from a young age. Never mind that when he asked God a question, God himself apparently saw fit to answer. Quite apart from any divine favor, Galavar is a natural leader and a great visionary. We meet him as these qualities are only first beginning to express themselves, green and raw as they inevitably are in an adolescent on the cusp of growing into his greater self.
Curious, logical, intense, and most of all ambitious, Galavar increasingly chafes against the smallness of his Village of Ieik. Some great people in history come from humble beginnings and are only reluctantly thrust into circumstances of power, but Galavar dreams of it from the beginning—even before he has any definite sense of what he wants to do with his life. The Great Galavar is the story of how those ambitions come into focus, how a well-adjusted kid from a society deeply averse to ambition grows up to set his sights on the conquest of Relance itself.
On Team Javelin, Galavar is a bodybuilder. He loves his body. He's very strong, and stands a good half-head taller than the average Ieikili.
Possibly the best sprinter in Ieik, and an aspiring athletics teacher and carpenter. We first meet Javelin at the top of her game, as the captain of the eponymous Team Javelin in the Summer Spring Relay at the end of her seniormate year in Elder School. Though brash, though utterly vainglorious, though competitive, whip-smart, and ever quick with a jest, Javelin is happy with her life—so much so that it makes her fleetingly sad to imagine that it'll probably never be as exciting as it is during that wonderstruck summer.
Javelin is an intimidating person who hates being second best, but she's also famously upbeat, and for her humor and kindly sarcasm are a first resort. She doesn't have a touch of the cynical in her, and possesses a hidden power for fierce loyalty—something that Galavar comes to understand when she puts her confidence in him.
Galavar's best friend is the soft-spoken, wisecracking Boon. A gentle and kind mate, Boon is extraordinarily intelligent but often seems dumb to strangers, owing to a language impediment that makes it harder for him to process words when he hears them or speaks them. Fortunately, in Ieik, the population is small enough that strangers are few and far between, and Boon has rightly earned a better reputation among his familiars.
Boon has a powerful sense of honor. It's something he never talks about, and he probably doesn't even think about it but rarely, yet it implicitly shines through in his words, attitude, and discipline. Honor is something that Galavar learned about through books and stories, and to him is best understood as a matter of logical integrity, but in Boon he sees honor in another light. That intelligence, and that honor, together with many a shared taste in food and leisure, binds them as the best of friends.
Galavar is a particular sort of person, and it's no coincidence that his friends all tend to reflect his own key qualities, because that's what brings them together in the first place. With Miatysacis it's three things. The first two are intelligence, and arrogance. All of Galavar's friends are smart, but Saysh is the smartest of them all. Her sense of self-awareness and her command of factual information draw Galavar like the flames of night draw moths. And in her arrogance, Galavar sees something kindred. She has a view of herself proportionate to her excellence and abilities, just like Galavar does: They're elites, and they know it.
But it's that third quality that matters most: There are other smart people in Ieik, and other arrogant people, and Galavar has found that most people like that tend to be obnoxious assholes. Miatysacis isn't. She's better than that. And that, Galavar deeply admires.
When we first meet her, however, Miatysacis is going through a phase of testing that quality in herself. She's experimenting with the temptations of entitlement and habitual self-preference that so often come with arrogance. She has recently read a book about selfishness, The Noble Ego, and has been acting on its guidance all year—because her view is that wisdom comes from inhabiting a position first, and then coming to know from the inside whether it's right to hold.
Agram is a quiet one who's got his share of troubles and has a somewhat cynical outlook. He's quite passionate about certain things, and though he mostly keeps to himself it does come out sometimes when he's around his friends. Agram laughs to deal with his woes and Galavar is good at tickling his funnybone, so they get along well on that count. They also share a conspiratorial vibe: fellow schemers who appreciate how important scheming is.
When the God Sourros speaks to the village and Jahvoy tells Galavar and Ornithate to explore what to do with those divine words, Agram takes the project very seriously and throws himself into heavy research.
A distance runner and fellow member of Team Javelin, Galavar and Ornithate are together when Galavar asks God a question and he appears to actually answer. Jahvoy gives them a shared research project to interpret those words and determine what Sourros has in mind for them.
Ornithate is shy and withdrawn, and underneath that reserve she's a little weirder than most. Galavar likes her as a friend, but she feels indifferent toward him.
The remaining member of Team Javelin, Asash is a gymnast. After the Summer Spring Relay, Galavar realizes he doesn't much care for Agram, who—unlike Galavar's other friends—isn't especially smart or clever.
Asash is a social creature, even more so than the extroverted Galavar, and loves hanging out with his friends, drinking, singing, and goofing off.
A fellow bodybuilder, Nightlight outwits and outperforms Galavar at the Summer Spring Relay, costing Team Javelin first place. The next day, she's the only one (as far as Galavar knows) who shares in Galavar's peculiar variation of the forbidden, communal vision that ensues when Jahvoy commits a forbidden act.
Jahvoy is the River of Ignorance, the leader of the Village of Ieik. He's a charismatic, youngish, deeply clever mate, and devoutly religious to God. In his spark he's a scholar and a theologian, but he makes an able leader too—that is, until he takes a bold move on the Day of the Dawn and accidentally gets a number of people killed.
Koro is Galavar's philosophy teacher, one of his favorite teachers overall, and a River Emeritus. She has an inscrutable manner, and always serenely challenges Galavar to broaden his horizons and grow wiser.
Another of Galavar's teachers, Tarsel holds the rank of Philologer—the highest rank at the Academy, and one of only five such people. Tarsel teaches language, literature, and grammar. He has a crude sense of humor that helps him connect with his adolescent students, and also helps make the thick academic material go down a little easier.
O day and night, but this is wondrous strange!