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Nagg is a cook on one of the Dragonships, which take potential Warrior candidates to the start of the Dragon's Run, and pick up the survivors at the end, to take them back to civilization in triumph. He has always been interested in the candidates, and tried to figure out what it is that tends to success or failure. But until the events in the book he has never considered making the Run himself - a life of gentle adventure, broken up by occasional long sessions in a bar, has been the ideal life for him. Until now...
"Arna" is not actually this lady's name: She has decided to undertake the Draon's Run, the first female to do so for many years. As a part of the preparation for the ordeal, she made several vows, amongst them a commitment to never giving anyone her name, or any clues to her background. This can make small talk difficult.
Captain of the Lacerto, a dragonship. He is very fond of Nagg, and intrigued by Arna. An excellent swordsman, though out-of-practice.
The crew of the Lacerto are typical sailors, spending their time ashore between voyages drinking, whoreing, and otherwise disposing of all the money they make aboard. Mostly, they're are puzzled by, slightly apprehensive of, and fond of, the mystery Warrioress. Nagg is always frustrated that they don't appreciate his skills in the food department - but the Captain thinks that the food is one of the reasons his crew are more likely than most to stay on voyage after voyage.
The people of Lamentera
Thieves, murderers, crooks, political prisoners - outcasts all. Though it's not as dangerous as theRun itself, life in Lamentera is difficult. Their only contact with the mainland and civilization generally is the ocassional visit by the Dragonships.
Everybody knows that these are one of the greatest dangers of the Dragon's Run. They figure in many plays (the Run is the most popular subject of Sinkan theater) - but each dramatic presentation has to find a way of portraying them, fueled only by imagination. Successful Warriors are not allowed to share any of the secrets of the Run. And I'm not gonna tell you anything here either. The Warriors wouldn't like it.
The people of Bareacres
Compared to Lamentera, Bareacres is a wealthy place. Most of the people who choose to live in this remote spot, far from the heart of things, are here because the arriving Warriors, in the sure knowledge that their votes will soon be purchased with immense amounts of money, spend freely on anything from medical attention to hue amounts of food, drink, flamboyant clothing, or whatever takes their fancy after their long and arduous journey.