Raphael James Lancaster (“Rafe”). Born 1870. Second son of a cadet branch of House Stravaigor, he was a pilot in Her Majesty’s Aero Corps. His eyesight damaged when he was shot down in the autumn of 1899 while fighting in the Boer War, he takes up a new career as owner of a coffeehouse—now called Lancaster’s Luck—located near the Britannic Imperium Museum in London.
Edward Fairfax Winter (“Ned”). Born 1869. First Heir of Convocation House Gallowglass. Ned is an Aegyptologist. Widowed when his wife Laeticia was killed in an autocar accident in 1898, he is the father of two sons, Harry (b. 1893) and Jack (b.1898), and a stillborn daughter, Elizabeth (1895).
Henry Winter. The Gallowglass. Princeps of Convocation House Gallowglass, the most powerful House in the Imperium. Holding the Treasury, House Gallowglass is responsible for the Imperium’s finances. Ned’s father.
Master Harry Winter. Ned’s eldest son. Aged seven.
Sam Hawkins. Ned’s chief guard since Ned was Harry’s age. Dangerous. Dedicated. Single-minded in Ned’s defence.
Molly. A medium-sized dog of uncertain parentage, curly haired and bushy tailed. Harry Winter’s constant companion.
Frank Sutton. Gallowglass guard assigned to watch over Harry.
George Todd. In command of the House Gallowglass guards in Cairo.
Banger Bill. Gallowglass guard stationed in Cairo.
Michael Forde. Gallowglass guard supporting Frank and Sam in Abydos.
James Lancaster. The Stravaigor. Princeps of Minor House Stravaigor, the House of traders and entrepreneurs, allied to the Cartomancer.
John Lancaster. James’s eldest son and First Heir.
Peter Lancaster. Rafe’s elder brother. Bosom friend of John Lancaster.
Mr. Tatlock. The Stravaigor’s chief guard.
At Lancaster’s Luck, Rafe’s coffeehouse
Hugh Peters. Rafe’s former batman in the Aero Corps, now his loyal manservant and chief assistant in the coffeehouse.
Alan Jenkins. Former House Gallowglass guard, too badly injured in the 1898 autocar crash to continue as a guard. Joins the staff of the coffeehouse in 1900.
Ned’s team of archaeologists excavating the Osireion and the Temple of Seti, Abydos, Aegypt, over the 1900-1901 digging season
Raoul Archambault. French. Philologist and a foremost authority on hieroglyphics. Expedition artist. Also, cousin to Madame Stravaigor, James Lancaster’s French wife.
Willem Baumann. German. Anthropologist and archaeologist.
Tom Causton. American. Archaeologist. Specialist in historical architecture.
Friedrich Lansbach. German. Anthropologist and archaeologist.
Mr. Adrians. English. The most senior of the student archaeologists on the expedition. The others are unnamed.
Other archaeologists in the Abydos area for the 1900-1901 digging season
Howard Carter. English. Archaeologist. Currently Chief Inspector of Antiquities for Upper Aegypt, based in Luxor, making an inspection visit to the digs in and near Abydos.
Laurent Fouquet. French. Leader of an expedition exploring the old city of Abydos and its associated necropolises.
Harper and Symington. English. Two-man expedition, loosely associated with the University of Manchester, searching for the lost city of Thinis, near Abydos.
Mr. Bakhoum. Highly respected excavator in charge of the crew of fellahin working on Ned’s dig at the Osireion and Temple of Seti.
Osman Eldegheidy and Ammar Nabib. Villagers and workers on the dig.
Nasr. The expedition cook’s eldest son and leader of the children working at the dig.
Hani Saadauri. Villager responsible for the maintenance of the village aether generator.
Old Mahmoud. Villager and owner of a date plantation.
And from Cairo:
El Khawaga Pasha. Head of the Khedive of Aegypt’s security service.
Nazeer Sulayman. Coptic Christian. Hired assassin.
Doctor Elserafie. A Cairo physician.
Other minor walk-on players
Cooper Haines. Pilot. Member of Minor House Castellan, which is allied to Gallowglass.
William Lee. The Cartomancer. Princeps of Convocation House Cartomancer, he holds office in the Foreign and Imperial Office, responsible for the Imperium’s relations with other countries and empires.
Howard Pearse. The Jongleur. Princeps of Minor House Jongleur, allied to the Gallowglass. Former owner of the Lancaster’s Luck coffeehouse.
Will Somers. Rafe’s neighbour and friend. Patissier and baker. Married to Annabelle, an opera singer.