Taylor (story’s heroine): Seventeen years old, Long brown hair with red streaks dyed into it, Blue eyes, Rebellious earthling teenager transported to the magical kingdom of Bethany, Fiercely loyal to her friends-which brings out a heroic side of her she was completely unaware of, Poses as a Coral nation maiden while in Bethany-this nation is made of carefree people living by the seaside-their nation is represented by bright orange colors streaked into their hair and always adorning their clothes.
(The following characters all have pointed elfish ears, as everyone in Bethany does.)
Kane (story’s hero): King of Bethany, Twenty years old-joined the war at only fifteen, Blondish brown hair falling just past his ears, Piercing green eyes, Dressed and built like a warrior-largest and strongest of the main characters, Serious, Hardened by the war, Before the dredgelings emerged and started attacking he was playful and always smiling-Taylor manages to begin to draw a bit of that young man back to the surface.
Joy: Kane’s sister, Nineteen years old, Beautiful with a high waist-length ponytail and long bangs, Dark hair, Green eyes, Has the stance and walk of a soldier, The bow and arrows strapped to her back and sword hanging at her side make Taylor think assassin, Fights as well in the war as any man, She’s also super fun; she becomes Taylor’s best friend and vice-versa.
Holt: Kane & Joy’s younger brother, Eighteen years old, Tall & strong like Kane, Brown hair with two small braids in the front, Green eyes, Loves to joke around and have fun with his best friend Tor, Terrified of magic, Possesses a great deal of strength and heroics-but seems a little on the sissyish side to Taylor.
Tor: Black hair with blue streaks pulled back in a ponytail, Member of Celestial nation-a nation of light and the most powerful magic where everyone wears blue and dyes blue streaks into their hair, Powerfully built-but not quite as tall as the two other men, His skin seems tight against his high cheekbones-reminding Taylor of a skeleton, Holt’s best friend, Close enough to Kane, Joy, and Holt to feel like their brother.
Ten gruesome figures stood around a rusty cage that held two identical little girls with long messy black hair. The girls sat right in the middle, as far away from the bars as they could manage, and hugged each other tightly. Both were crying and trembling in dirty blue dresses. Taylor felt herself trembling, as well. The fear she felt at the sight of the dredglings was even more terrifying than the first time she’d seen them. Now she was alone, the sunlight revealing every hideous feature.
But if she ran away, the girls would probably die, killing a part of her four friends with them. The cage’s door was only held shut by an old unraveling rope. Charity and Hope would be easy to free if she could just get past the dredglings. There was absolutely no way she could take them all on alone, though.
She remembered the firecrackers. Carefully, she rolled to her side and slipped her hand in her pocket. Stupid wrapper, she thought when she realized she would have to take it off. Paper was noisy no matter what.
“Yes, let’s kill them now,” the second dredgling said. “I’ll take the one on the right and you take the one on the left.”
Taylor lay on top of her hands and the package to tear it open.
“No!” one of the girls shrieked.
“Hack, cut them from their confines!”
“Cut them out yourself,” a third voice said.
Taylor slid the fireworks out and took out her lighter. She tried to light it, but didn’t get a flame.
“What was that?” Hack said.
Come on, come on, come on. She tried it again, this time getting it to light just long enough to ignite the fuse.
“Cult, go see what’s up there,” a dredgling said.
“You go see what’s up there.”
Taylor tossed the fireworks over the tree into the ditch and covered her ears.
“BLACK MAGI—” The explosions cut the dredgling off and then they were all shouting almost as loud.
Taylor looked around the tree and watched the dredglings run away through the ditch in both directions, all except for one that had crouched behind the cage and its screaming girls. She reached for her sword, but decided instead to grab her knife. It felt more natural than the sword did and was easier to use. Even the rope would have been a pain to cut off with a sword.
She stood up and ran into the ditch, head pounding with fear. Hopefully, the dredgling would stay where it was. It was too much like a human to kill. She felt fear like she couldn’t imagine, as if she were surrounded by dredglings already, the torture and death only moments away, as she forced herself closer and closer to the one still crouching on the ground with its elongated hands over its head.