Players of the Game Character Spotlight: Dell Marrs

Admiral Dell Marrs commands the Crush.  The flagship of the Union Cities.

He is a Red Chromatic, a Post Human species that emerged following the Eruption centuries earlier.

Marrs is never far from coffee, which he prefers burnt and borderline non-potable.

While not completely aligned with the Grells and the Chan’la, he is a reliable ally within Lan Thedin, the largest megalopolis of the urban confederacy.

Decades ago, Marrs worked with the Forever Guard during the War of No Hope.  And many of the Forever Guard consider him a friend.  Een, in particular, finds his gruff good humor most endearing.

More often than not, the Grells call him Stick Man, due to his lanky frame.  He uses a multitude of nicknames for them.  Eeny Meany being his favorite for Een.

His city soon finds itself in need of his old allies when Hekati’s horrors emerge from its lower reaches.

Stick Man has nicknames for those as well.  None of them pleasant.

Players of the Game Creature Spotlight: Ulli

It’s time for another look at one of the monstrous adversaries who confront the Players of the Game throughout the series.

The fly-like Ulli demons are quick, like their insect cousins, but they are far harder to swat.  They are among Sufrinzon’s airborne troops that fill the dingy, orange-brown skies.

They can spit acid, but more often will use high-tech beam weapons or magnet guns.

The buzz of their wings never portends anything good.

Players of the Game Character Spotlight: Durduun

This god of death savors the finer things in life.

Durduun is not as antagonistic to the Brigands as one might expect.  Does he grow in power as more of his unliving cultists join under his banner?  Of course.  Does he enjoy sharing fine wine and good food with interesting company?

Most definitely.

He is a doting brother to his sisters, Suso and Dhalia.  A conflicted onetime lover of ViRauni.  And an uneasy ally of Ashe Stelfire and Welt.  Mainly because they share a common enemy.


Durduun knows the Game and despises it.  He also knows that the threat of Sufrinzon’s Palle Empire will only grow as time elapses, because the Master of the Game secretly backs it.  These foes will one day cross the Ocean of the Lost and encroach on his island’s shores.

So Durduun opts to strike them first with the Brigands.

And perhaps have a few good dinners along the way.

Players of the Game Character Spotlight: Avril Enzali

Avril Enzali is one of the primary characters in the Players of the Game series.  She seeks out Ashe Stelfire, the father she’s never met, to implore him to help her free her imprisoned goddess in the beginning parts of Repenter. 

It does not go well for her.

She clashes with not only agents of Corsis, but also her despotic mother, Nirva Iniv.  She does not emerge unscathed from her struggles against them.

The picture above is derived from how she appears in The Brigands.  The flower wreath is significant, but you’ll need to read the novel to find out why.

She also had romantic fling with Harry Mang long in the past.  But the embers of their intense affair still glow.  Perhaps one day, they’ll burn anew.

Avril has trained in the art of combat, both with bladed and ranged weapons as well as potent mancy hexes.  She also becomes well versed in the subset skills of astramancy, which involves manipulating aspects of mind and spirit on this plane of reality and those connected only by thought.

Avril knows the Game all too well. 

It’s taken much from her.  She strives to end it.

Players of the Game Character Spotlight: Een

Een is a Chan’la, the all-female warrior sect renowned for their fighting prowess and their ability to bend space.

Like the Long Lived Grells, she has walked the world for millennia.  She also serves as the field commander for the younger members of the Forever Guard, including the Burnhelt brothers, Fernallus, and her daughter, Tamona.

She strives to head off her daughter’s insightful but recckless impulses with varying degrees of success.

She and Vick Burnhelt had a brief affair following the death of his wife.  They ceased pursuing the relationship due to Vick’s lingering survivor’s guilt.

And then there’s Corsis’s vendetta.

The Master of the Game would target her as he targets all women connected to the Burnhelt family if the relationship became known.

That doesn’t dissuade Een.  She’s a woman who knows what she wants. 

And she’ll wait as long as it takes to get it.

Players of the Game Character Spotlight: Hellington

Sergeant Hellington may not look like it, but he’s someone you want covering your back. 

He is a Sharaith denizen of Sufrinzon that can swim and breath the corrosive auv of its rivers and oceans as easily as walking the surface and taking in the wretched air.

As a squad leader of the Velsuvian Marines, the Sarge provides the Brigands unflinching support in their many conflicts against the ever-expanding Palle Empire.  Ashe Stelfire heeds this respected comrade’s grizzled advice and considers him a friend.

But there’s something off about Hellington.

Superior officers are visibly fearful of him.  He has been known to make orders that admirals then scramble to voice as the official  word from the official chain of command. 

He never faces repercussions for this seeming insubordination.  Then again, the Sarge may have other secrets that motivates the superior officers’ deference to him.

One thing is for certain.

Calling him “Shark Boy” is a bad idea.

Players of the Game Character Spotlight: Faith Nyms

Faith Nyms is a supremely competent ops commander in New Grelland’s military.  She often provides strategy and insight to the upper levels of leadership including the Burnhelt family.

She must strive all the harder for the respect of her peers due to her long romance with Matt Burnhelt.  Despite what could be seen as a position of nepotism, she is widely considered to be the best commander in the entire Grellish armed forces.

She is often serious, but deeply loves Matt.  Perhaps obsessively so.  Faith is very seldom apart from him.

And she has a soft spot for his brother, Ed.

His quips are often the cause of Faith’s stifled or no-so-stifled chuckles.

Players of the Game Character Spotlight: Welt

Welt is a staunch ally of Ashe Stelfire.  He also knows first hand the consequences of losing to Corsis.  The Master of the Game inflicted a grave curse upon Welt. 

Taking his head. 

Through ethereal means, Welt still lives with a shadowy boundary at the base of his shoulders once occupied by his neck.  He can still talk, eat, drink, and smoke gaun herb cigarettes.  His friends value him sage and eloquent advice and his steady presence.  He is a gunmancer, a specialist who mixes magic and technology with all manner of firearms, be they high tech or low tech. 

Give him enough time, and he can make a weapon to slay the greatest of foes.

Players of the Game Character Spotlight: Gnorok

Gnorok (the G is silent) is a one of Ashe Stelfire’s best friends.  He pretends to be a Demon mercenary.  In truth, he’s Dragon-Human hybrid called a Murdrake.  He and Ashe start out as competing rivals, but the pair of them soon find they work well together.  Gnorok also gets romantically entangled with Salatha, a Wred Witch with questionable loyalty to their cause.  He leads the Brigands.  Always from the front with his blade bared.

Players of the Game Character Spotlight: Salatha

Salatha is one of the Brigands.  She possesses both innate psionic powers and hard-learned prowess in mancy.  She counts herself as one of the more skilled Wred Witches.  Salatha’s ultimate loyalty between the Brigands and her sisterhood is often a point of tension.  Her relationship with Ashe in particular ranges from subdued distrust to grudging respect.  She is romantically involved with his best friend, which only makes the question of her trustworthiness all the more tangled.