Merlin: born early November 433, about 30 miles from Exeter (Isca) near Okehampton in his father’s village. Extremely tall at 6 feet 3 inches, in a time when few men were more than 5 feet 4 inches, he is raven-haired with intense blue eyes, and called Ambrosius Marcus Cotta by his father but Myrddin by his mother. As a Roman soldier, he will change his name again to Ambrosius Merlinus. A child prodigy with 80% recall of everything that he reads and hears, as a young adult he matures into an accomplished poet, linguist, engineer, mathematician, scientist, architect and astrologist. He is able to unlock the future, to fly the pathways of the air, and has been schooled by a Pictish shaman in the Wyed ways of the wood. His Welsh mother trains him in shape-shifting, in complex spells and enchantment, and Michael, the Archangel, trains him in aerial display and combat with a Darker Magic.

 

Marcus Octavius Cotta: b. 405 is Merlin’s father. He is from a noble Roman family and became Dux of the Third Legion stationed in today’s Regensburg, Germany. He inherited wealth and became wealthier from selling the booty of war and investing in Spanish gold mines. Married Ingraine, a Welsh princess, who he suspected was a goddess, such were her powers. Intensely ugly, tall and strong and known affectionately by his soldier’s name of Bruto, he is more cunning than intelligent. He fathered one child, a son, whom he calls Ambrosius, of whom he is in awe.

 

Ingraine: b. 418, Cotta’s dark-haired and blue-eyed wife, is an intelligent and gifted woman of extraordinary beauty, the only daughter of Lunedda, King of the Silures. She is an Arch-Druidess and enchantress. She is Myrrdin’s mother, and renowned publically for her gifts as a physician, herbalist and musician.

 

Angharad: the daughter of Ingraine’s childhood nurse, she comes to the Cotta household to be nursemaid to the baby Myrddin. She loves him as a mother and teaches him the healing power of plants and how to play the harp.

 

Doone: a slight, black-haired, dark-eyed Pict from near Oban in today’s Scotland. He is an inventive man and a master of Wyed or the ways of the wood, and as a shaman he is able to fly the pathways of the air. Captured by Constantine’s legionnaires outside their military camp, he is shackled and sold as a slave to Marcus Cotta as a woodsman. He becomes Merlin’s teacher and Bruto’s trusted servant.

 

Arianrhod (pron. AHR-EE-AHN-HROD): is a Welsh goddess who resides at Caer Siddi, a revolving castle in the Northern Lights. As a spider she is a master spy who observes events in secret from cracks in the ceiling, but as Lady Silver Wheel she is the goddess of the moon and the weaver of dreams and can spin spider’s silk into wondrous garments. Her best friend is Ingraine.

 

Constantine: Dux or Field General of the Sixth Legion stationed in north Britain guarding Hadrian’s Wall. He is a civilised Roman, an inspiring leader and a close friend of Marcus Cotta. He married Elen, the daughter of a Welsh king, and they had three sons. He drafted the Groans of the British.

 

Constans: Eldest son of Constantine. At 14, he enters a monastery in York where he dies mysteriously in his early twenties.

 

Ambrosius Aurelianus: The second son of Constantine, assumes reluctantly the role of eldest son and is sent by his father with his younger brother to Lesser Britain in Gaul (Brittany in France) to live under the care and protection of their uncle, King Audren. He is known as ‘Aurelius’ for his golden tongue and his peaches and cream complexion. He is an inspiring leader and a strong, although sometimes squeamish, warrior. He is less than a year older than his younger brother, and although they look nothing alike, they behave as twins, speaking together in their own language and completing one another’s thoughts. They served together in the Roman Army in Gaul for two years. Aurelius is a deeply devout Christian who would have preferred to have served God as a monk.

 

Uther (pron. Oota), formal name Eustucius: the youngest son of Constantine, he is red-haired, bearded and a fierce fighter. Very tall at 6 feet 2 inches, he is the only man besides Bruto who can look Merlin in the eye. With a great ear for music and languages, he speaks Latin, Greek, Gaulish, Pict, Saxon, Romano-British, Welsh and Cornish. It is said his teeth alone could crush rock. He will eventually father King Arthur.

 

Vortigern the Betrayer: Vortigern is the son of a petty king from Petuaria on the Humber River. He murdered both his parents, poisoned Constantine’s eldest son, and in his hunger for soft fat land in the south he brought Saxons, Jutes and Angles from northern Germany, Denmark and Sweden as mercenaries to protect his back from the Picts as he marched south to Lincoln. He was, according to Merlin, a handsome man beyond belief, a golden dandy, manicured and perfumed, and a violent rapist of his own daughter. His success comes from the Dark.

 

Ygern: b. 433, some say she is the most beautiful woman in Britannia, with long hair the colour of crushed ice. She is sweet, natural and treasures her reputation for faithfulness to her violent husband. Merlin’s childhood friend, Ygern was married at 14 years old to the forty year-old Gorlois. She will be the mother of Morgana the sorceress, and Marguese, and will later become the mother of Arthur.

 

Gorlois: Duke of Cornwall, an elected nobleman in charge of Devon and Cornwall’s armed forces. He is husband of Ygern and father of Morgana and Marguese.

 

Hu Powyll: Arch-Druid, a powerful and manipulative Druid from the Sanctuary at Yniswyddin, today’s Glastonbury. Merlin suspects he is working with the Dark; Merlin’s father Bruto knows he is!

 

Moloch: a prince of Darkness with blazing vermillion eyes, he has no form or substance and moves like a wraith. His purpose is to suborn all those who work for the Light, to enslave Britannia and to place Morgana and her progeny on the British throne.

 

Morgana: as yet unborn as Ygern’s daughter, she exists in this novel as a shape-shifting spirit. She is called by her future name and keeps her real name as a secret, believing that if it is revealed it could affect her power. She is a malevolent, voluptuous sorceress.