Basil: An experienced field agent of The Adversary. Something of a behavioral economist, he’s made a career out of tempting people off the straight and narrow path by dangling the right incentives just out of reach. He’s spent enough time on the surface to adapt to and even grow fond of it, so much so that he’s desperately trying to dodge a promotion attached to a desk in the Third Circle. At this stage in his career, he feels most at home working undercover in the guise of an affable old man. Maybe too at home. His familiar thinks a long vacation would set him right but tempting comes with more moral hazards than benefits.
Ludwig: Basil’s apprentice. An exceedingly clever and talented young demon whose lofty ambitions are constrained by his limited understanding of human society and poorly tailored glamour. He’s desperate to complete his training and earn his wings (so to speak), and his unbridled enthusiasm is a constant source of concern for his mentor. As this enthusiasm often takes the form of public displays of moral philosophizing and/or light necromancy, these concerns may have merit. In his short time on the surface, he’s gained an appreciation for poultry and religious propaganda that seems to portend trouble.
Gertrude: A young merchant. An aspiring florist who spent months watching auctions on the sidelines before a pair of angel investors provided her with the means to participate. Her principles and aspirations are often at odds with one another, and she sometimes finds herself struggling with the responsibility attached to the opportunity she’s been given. She’s worried about letting her family and new business partners down, even if said business partners seem surprisingly comfortable letting her gamble a fortune. She is, despite all indications to the contrary, more of a cat-person than a dog-person.
malewife. The inheritor of a small family business,
he’s relentlessly friendly and good natured but leaves the management of the accounts
and strategic planning to his wife. He’s very supportive of her interest in
floristry, even if he can’t tell an admiral from an admirael.
Joop and Jutte: A pair of potion sellers. Inventors of “Dr. Jutte’s Miracle Medicament”, what they lack in accreditation they make up for with entrepreneurial spirit. One of them is wanted for an unspecified series of crimes and the other was kicked in the head by a horse. Both were involved in hand crafting their latest miracle elixir, their most successful venture to date. In the process, they unwittingly made a deal with an actual devil, but his assistance has been less than forthcoming.
Ingrid and Agnes: Full time Calvinists, part time small-press publishers. Purveyors of Stenenbrugs finest, free religious tracts (and also the occasional sermon, also free). They’re particularly excited about their newest tract, “The Beast”. An enterprising young gentleman has even offered to distribute it on their behalf.
Geert: A former farmer. Now a failed florist, and a new believer in the existence of witchcraft. Having squandered his opportunity to make a fortune, he’s highly suggestible and looking for a new direction in life.
Katerina van Haupt: An extremely successful merchant. Deals in cheese exports, with a thriving international business. She can always be found with a small retinue in tow, which until recently included a poorly behaved pug. Her last partner disappeared under strange circumstances, but she’s consoled herself by turning her attention (and vast resources) toward the tulip trade.
Pieper: Katerina’s former lap warmer. A fallen pug of great ambitions. He views himself more as a disgraced courtier than a discarded pet and was willing to make an infernal pact to find a suitable new residence. Dogs and devils usually don’t get along, but Pieper’s view of the latter is evolving after adopting one of his own.
Crumb: Basil’s familiar. A corvid of indeterminate age who volunteered herself into service after a fateful encounter with an emissary of The Adversary. At one point a raven, she keeps running into her many distant relatives on the job. She adores, in no particular order: bread, Basil, pranks, and small, colorful objects. She’s not so fond of the other familiar, or the dog for that matter.
Frederick: Ludwig’s familiar. A bad-tempered rooster, perfectly suited to infernal service and happy to trade human souls for kernels of corn. He thinks well of his master, and is willing to overlook his bratty behavior. He thinks a bit less of his master’s master, and very little of Crumb.