Firkin Brockwort: A brewer. He comes from a widespread clan known throughout western Harn as being 'cunning folk' and skilled herbalists. Some of his brews are unusually potent and often produce strange 'side effects' beyond mere drunkeness. There is no denying the high quality of his draughts, however. He has recently gained the new lord's approval to build an inn/tavern in the village, although construction has not yet begun and there are still guild matters (papers, bribes, etc.) to be arranged. He is the most moralistic member of the group, although he accepts that in a land like Rethem, doing what's right and doing what's necessary are not always the same.
Aron of Techen: A young merchant, originally from the nearby town of Techen. His trade largely consists of moving foodstuffs, livestock, etc. from the village to town, and bringing crafted goods from the town to the village. (Cuthren is sorely lacking in many basic 'industries'.) He also provides 'luxury' goods (wine, fine cloth, etc.) for the lord's family and for the wealthier families in the village. This is not particularly profitable, although Aron is rumored to do business with several local bandit groups, the Kuboran savages to the north, and to engage in smuggling, spying, and whatever else might supplement his meager income. The new lord is deeply in debt to Aron's father, a prominent moneylender in Techen.
Aldryss of Ereth: Slightly older than Firkin and Aron, Aldryss is a priest of Save-K'nor-- a god who has no worshippers in Cuthren besides himself. He is a member of the elite ecclesiastical order known as the Shea-al-Aecor which rules the K'norran church, provides advisors to secular lords who request them, and (so it is rumored) has many secret functions that may not be revealed to outsiders. Aldryss is secretive and at times behaves very strangely, but there is no denying that he is profoundly clever, perceptive, and calculating. He is also surprisingly good with a sword for a 'bookish' man. He initially came to Cuthren to investigate reports of "Gulmorvin" (a kind of Harnic 'undead') lying in an old crypt in Laxley Forest, and has performed multiple exorcisms since his arrival to help cast out the Shadow. He has since been asked by the new lord of Cuthren to be an advisor -- a position which he has accepted, to the surprise of many.
Baraud Valain: An Agrikan priest, nominally of the Order of Herpa the Mace. He is now 26 years old and of the third circle. Secretly, though, he is a sympathizer with the schismatic Order of Eight Demons. When the schism occurred six years ago, he was an acolyte under a master who was firmly against the schismatics and he felt unable to follow his true beliefs. Since that time his sympathies have grown and he has grown more confidant. However, he has kept up all appearances of loyalty and discretely contacted the Order of Eight Demons to work for their cause from within Herpa the Mace.
Baraud grew up in a rural military family, from a shire north of Golotha. His father was a relatively wealthy yeoman man-at-arms. He was the fourth of nine children. He went off to Golotha to train as a acolyte at the temple. He was shocked at the horrendous corruption and squalor of Morgathian-dominated Golotha, and felt that change was needed to assault it. There were many issues that drew him to the Order of Eight Demons. One of them is gender roles -- men should fight, and women should support and motivate. This motivates a particular dislike of Laranism, which he feels encourages hypocritical weakness especially in women. Another is guidance. While he believes in mystical journeys, he feels that Herpa the Mace does little to channel mystic experience into energetic action.
His current goals are to further the interests of the Order of Eight Demons by sabotaging the political connections of Herpa the Mace.