STALKING TENDER PREY
"For those who are chosen - the terrors await”
As with all tales, this, the characters section is best begun at the beginning.
And just as fate would decree, we begin with perhaps the most influential of characters:
Peverel Othman. The Anakim.
We are introduced to this mystifying
and beautiful Grigori on the train from Chesterfield in the north of England.
Little is known about his past only that it is a path of destruction, torn lives and seared hearts (to break them would be too easy).
He tells Lily that he is originally from Austria but is vague about the details and so we can believe this or not.
Appearance wise Pev is the perfect seducer and this works to his advantage when he begins to manipulate the People of Little moor. He has the power to bewitch anyone who looks upon that forbidden beauty.
As with all Grigori, he is taller than the average human, his features are slightly elongated as are his enchanting blue eyes. But beneath such a alluring mask there is the inevitable hunter, forever poised to strike as is evident in his first meeting with the Winter twins.
"Peverel Othman wasn't normally so obvious in his maneuvers as to approach prey so directly and so quickly, but he realised there was little point in trying to deny how deeply Lily Winter had aroused his interest."
Deep dark and forgotten secrets are revealed to him at the High Place and at Long Eden, and he begins to hope anew that he would succeed in once again open the gate that has so long been closed to him. Perhaps the best way to describe Peverel Othman is best said in two words - alluring predator.
The second character introduced to
us, the readers, is Lily Winter and even if it is not chronological
Winter, her twin must also be mentioned here.
Lily and Owen are hybrid Grigori, their father Kashday Murkaster was lord of Long Eden once. One of his lovers Helen Winter (she was never referred to as 'wife' so I assume previous) is the mother of Lily and Owen.
"... he [Owen] possessed a startling
pale beauty that only became apparent
after long acquaintance. .....
"Like Lily, he was very tall,
but whereas Lily dyed her fair hair red, Owens was a white-blond mane,
invariably unwashed, and generally held back in a pony tail at his neck."
Lily was the one who first caught
Pev's eye upon arrival at Little Moor, and true to form, he seduces her
and uses her to ignite the sacred flame at the High place.
Lily and Owen's history can be looked upon in many ways. In one way they are the tragic twins - orphaned and without a past after their father was driven out and their mother died they appear just to be meandering along ignorant of their true calling, their Grigori blood.
But for all their loss they gain
so much - their ancestral home, their past, their heritage, and their legacy.
The time has come to toss chronology
to the wind and move on to the main
Let us begin with Daniel Cranton.
Daniel is first met en route to the high place with Owen. At this point in the story the esoteric interest that is shared by these two characters is revealed, and will later be of great importance to Daniel.
In "Stalking Tender Prey" Daniel is kept on the sidelines for quite some time until Othman expresses interest in him for his psychic abilities. Owen also begins to notice that there is more going on inside Daniel’s head than that which meets the eye - hence they become lovers. During their sexual encounters Daniel receives visions of a past he does not wholly recognise as his own.
Towards the end Daniel is revealed to be a strong person who accepts his fate, Peverel once admits (not out loud) that in the face of his unknown fate he had a saintly composure and innocent dignity.
Verity Cranton is haunted
young woman who has had more than her fair share of grief and oppression
for a human. She is the sister of Daniel and just as ignorant of the goings
on at Long Eden until Othman shows up.
That is where sister and brother - who have never really been that close break apart even
more and while Daniel goes towards the secrets, Verity never asks to be involved. Inevitably she is, like a shadow padding along comes her secret in the form of a black cat which she names 'Raven' (although she was tempted to call it Satan - the cat wouldn’t have approved).
He seems to become attached to Verity - and even shows his true face to her, that of a cat-man.
Raven is more than a cat though, in both his cat and humanoid form he acts as guide and protector of the innocents. When Lily finally enters Long Eden, Raven is the one who guides her to the flame.
Emilia (Emma) Manden and her
daughter Eva are two interesting characters.
They are usually found in the post office of Little Moor - Eva behind the counter and Emilia on a stool in a corner.
Eva has maturity beyond her years, and at times behaves like the Virgin Mary and will have no part in Grigori ways that still linger on in Little moor.
Emilia, her mother is quite the opposite - she yearns for the youth that was stolen from her and is all in all a spiteful old crone.
This is demonstrated quite clearly when she purposefully wets herself just to get back at her daughter.
After Peverel Othman restores Emilia's
youth, she chooses to forget the past and adopts the name 'Emma'. Her daughter
Eva is quite shocked by her mother transforming into someone who could
be mistaken for her younger sister.
However Emma doesn’t really care - she sees it that it is only what she deserved after so many years of decay and decline.
Emma is a key figure in helping Lily and Owen discover their true calling. She once worked at long Eden and is therefor an invaluable source of information for all that sit up and take notice.
Next perhaps a few inhabitants of Little Moor are to be introduced.
Most are merely marionettes who’s
strings are to be pulled by Othman, such as Barbara Eager who is
merely a pawn in such a high staked game. Barbara is a middle-aged woman
who had her fingers in many pies - so to speak - she is married to Barney
but holds a secret longing for Louis Cranton.
She is the proud owner of the Little Moor Hotel and is very into all things scandalous.
She begins to form theories about the Murkasters and even suggests writing a book on local myth in the area.
To some she would seem as a meddling woman who is getting old but will not admit it and so she attempts to be quick in conversation and interesting in company so that she doesn’t end up like poor old Emilia.
Louis Cranton, father of Daniel
and Verity. Louis was always an active man however an accident left him
crippled and so out of desperation he agrees to let Peverel Othman heal
him - which he does. After that Louis is completely controlled by Othman
and eventually goes against his own blood.
As an equally powerful undercurrent of the goings on in Little Moor, there is the story of Aninka and Taziel Levantine. Both victims of the same evil - Pev.
Aninka is a pre-Raphelite artist
who meets Othman at one of her painting exhibitions, and after short conversation
she is talked into a second meeting where he tells her about this little
group of somewhat eccentric humans who are interested in the ancient ways.
As fate would have is she is talked along into attending one of their meetings
- she is not overly
impressed but makes friends with a few females.
She attends a few get togethers before Othman makes his move. Disguising the devil with angel wings he drugs the lot of them with haoma and then proceeds to attempt to re-open the stargate by sacrificing them all. Aninka escapes but is left mentally scarred.
It is not very clear what happened
to Taziel. He was part of a band, Othman came along and slithered his way
in, and again hacked and slashed his way out leaving one human with his
eyes burned out and Taziel worse off than Aninka.
Enniel Prussoe is the one who is given the task of tracking down the Anakim and containing him. he dwells at High Crag House in Cornwall and is described thus;
" His high brow furrowed, his long, slender fingers tapped his lips. Long dark red hair was contained neatly at his neck in a black toweling band. His clothes were casual but expensive ..... his skin was pale almost translucent, yet his eyes were very dark. He appeared to be a man of thirty, but was far, far older than that."
All quotes are taken from "Stalking
Tender Prey" copyright Storm Constantine