CULLEN REDGUST (or CULLEN THE OUTLANDER)...The young muscular hero of our saga. When we say young, he's only nineteen at the beginning of the saga. Born in the Outlands, Cullen's parents were killed by highway robbers when he was a baby. He was raised by a stern but a loving merchant, who taught him how to wield a sword. Redgust is Cullen's adoptive father's surname.
THE EMPIRE...One of the largest kingdoms of Cullen's world. It was founded by the goblins hundreds of years before. The Empire is in turmoil at the beginning of the Cullen saga, about to be toppled by the hordes of human immigrants that have flocked into its capital, known as Rumerus (sounds like Rome, eh?).
GOBLINS...A race of green, three-foot-tall creatures. Fairly attractive and highly intelligent. The goblins excel in all branches of knowledge, from mathematics to philosophy, much like the ancient Greeks. They can be schizophrenic, however; peaceful one moment and bloodthirsty the next. They also have a past steeped in wars and aggression.
BIRNON CLIFFMAUL...Cullen's mortal nemesis. Birnon was a wealthy financier living within the empire until he received a vision that he could rule the Outlands if he amassed an army of brigands, a vision given to him by the scheming Khangi, Lord of the Underworld. Birnon has an aptitude for organized crime, a perfect Mafia boss except that he's highly cultured and uniquely intelligent.
KHANGI...The Lord of the Underworld and Cullen's chief nemesis. Khangi is akin to our concept of Satan, an evil entity trying to tempt mortals into committing evil deeds so that they will reside with him beneath the earth when they die. He's a shape-shifter but his favorite form is a giant snake. Khangi can be everywhere at once but likes to guard the holy springs, a creek inside a cavern that has curative powers, given to mortals as a gift by the gods, the two suns. As long as he controls the springs, there will be no proof that the gods exist.
THE TWO SUNS...Cullen's world revolves around two small suns, one bigger than the other. According to Cullen's religion, these Suns are actually gods who created heaven and earth. They are also known as the Holy Mother and Father. The Suns also fashioned four divine beings who would provide light at night for mortals to see, basically moons. Unfortunately, these beings rebelled much like Lucifer and his angels and were defeated and driven into the underworld. Khangi, however, found a way to commute from the inner earth to the surface where he can commit mischief.
MAXWICK BROBRAID...CUllen's goblin companion through three novellas. Maxwick was a professor of philosophy at the University of Rumerus but became a vision addict (similar to a drug addict except the high is from hallucinations provided by a goblin wizard) and lost his job. Maxwick was an atheist until he was healed by the sacred spring water and became a worshipper of the two suns. Although highly intellectual, the goblin is a fierce fighter, illustrative of his race's temperament.
THE OUTLANDS...The westernmost part of the known world and supposedly the most uncivilized. Up until a century, the Outlanders, all humans, were warrior barbarians much like our ancient Germanic tribes. However, they became worshippers of the two suns, a faith that led to their pacification, turning them into either farmers or merchants. How the religion originated is not clear. Cullen would prefer the Outlanders revert to their warrior ways while still maintaining the faith, a fine line to walk.
WELOS...The official language of the Empire and used throughout most of the known world. It's a language of global commerce much like English. Welos is easy to learn and Cullen picked it up easily during his incarceration in Rumerus.
THE UNDERWORLD...A repository miles beneath the world where those who are not deemed worthy to enter paradise are sent. Most of the souls wander through the cold dark in a half-conscious state. It's analogous to the Greek concept of an underworld. According to Greek mythology, their underworld can be accessed by five rivers. In our stories, there is only one entrance, also by a river. Also nlike the Greek hell, ours is policed by creatures analogous to demons.
DEATHSTEEL...A sword forged in paradise and given to Neowyld, the ancient chieftain of the Vimors, a precursor of the human race who were the first worshippers of the suns. The sword is used only when the faith is threatened and then only by a chosen warrior. Deathsteel glows with spiritual energy and does all the thinking. All a person has to do is hold it and they essentially become invincible, even against an army.
TROBLINS...The proper name for them is trold folk but most everyone uses the slang troblin. They are a cross-breed between trolls and goblins, a very unsightly cross-breed. They have a bony ridge over their brow, recessed eye sockets, and protruding upper jaws, traits stemming from their troll bloodline, a race who are taller and far more repugnant. Trolls stand about four feet. They are coldly realistic. For them, all that exists is what their senses perceive. What they do believe in is hard work and struggling to survive in a world where they were losing status to humans.
TROLLS...Trolls are so ugly they looked reptilian. However, they can be as intelligent as humans and twice as cunning. Goblin women are attracted to their oversized genitals (yuk!) and the offspring created from this dalliance are known as troblins. Most trolls are belligerent. Cullen despises them. These miscreants have nearly been hunted to extinction in the Outlands together with the wolves. Nevertheless, they pop up now and again in our stories.
We can say without any doubt that Cullen Redgust was modeled after Brad Pitt's Achilles in the 2004 movie "Troy." We can't find the full-length version but are some of the best scenes from that film.