As a player in Tarnish, you're welcome to play any number of characters that you feel you can handle. While the story predominantly follows Athes̈elt's group of kavkema, you need not restrict yourself to that group in particular and can start up your own group of kavkema if you'd rather, Tarnish or otherwise - or a solo character that happens upon the group.

character belongs to a player
character is an NPC but not for adoption
character is an NPC and can be adopted by anyone
character is an NPC not expected to be encountered again

kavkema under Athes̈elt's guidance

Athes̈elt / Es̈e

Athes̈elt (commonly referred to as Es̈e) is a Tarnish faith ryrhakenem and a de-facto leader of the group of Tarnish kavkema that the plot follows.

He takes his role as a spiritual guide very seriously, though he avoids making demands of anyone, preferring to wait until others come to him with specific questions to actively interfering in their lives. Despite his quiet, observant nature, there's a lot of will-power and determination in him.

Athes̈elt is played by Reh and Dread. Due to limited support of the s̈ glyph across fonts, the name is rendered as Athechelt / Eche in sessions.

Edaaj / Eda

Edaaj (commonly referred to as Eda) is a builder and an established member of the group.

Edaaj is played by Shyriath.

Idarago / Ago

Idarago (commonly referred to as Ago) is an apprentice Watcher and tool-maker, currently under guidance of Nadani during pre-dusk Watching. He's busy growing out of his teens, but very dedicated to his position. He's been trying to create tools for easier Watching - trying to craft a kind of goggles based on panes of smoky quartz to dim the sunlight. His coat is thoroughly speckled, on average a little more brown than white.

Idarago is played by Morgrim.

Nadani / Ada

Nadani (commonly referred to as Ada) is a semi-seasoned pre-dusk Watcher and tool-maker, mentor of Idarago. She's at an age where she is no longer quite as nimble as she once was, but not by any stretch of the imagination considered an elder. Her left forearm is almost completely brown and the patch around her right eye as well as her plume white, while the rest of her is best approximated with a cheetah spots pattern. Her right wrist is not as flexible as her left due to having been fractured once, reducing her ability to climb (and completely erasing her confidence to).

Her occasionally forceful personality doesn't lend itself to the trope of 'wizened sage', though this doesn't stop her from sometimes thinking she knows better than others. She's fully dedicated to the protection of the group; perhaps a mildly patronising and controlling streak quite comes in handy there, for whenever she needs to nudge everyone awake during daytime hours.

Nadani was not born to the group but joined them in her youth. Prior to joining them, she was raised by a group adhering to the Siri Akynkulla faith, a cosmology strikingly different to that of Tarnish. She has little memory of it (and certainly does not know the name of the bits and pieces she does recall), though there are enough fragments of memories in her that she occasionally convinces herself that she does not really believe in Tarnish. She'd be wrong - she's adopted Tarnish on instinct by now, due to its many rituals of light-avoidance simply having ingrained it as some form of truth - but she would, if pressed and Athes̈elt were nowhere to be seen, argue that she's essentially an atheist.

Nadani is played by Dread.

Rakashe͡i / Aka

Rakashe͡i (commonly referred to as Aka) can be considered the kavkem equivalent of a toxicologist and medic. He has a solid grasp of natural poisons and (if applicable given the kavkem tech level) their cure and how to find them. He also has a more detailed understanding of anatomy and biochemistry than most of his fellow kavkema, allowing him to diagnose health problems without having to first cut or bite someone open.

He has a slightly impish personality, which he acknowledges can get grating, but his is quite intentionally brighter than the average kavkem's outlook on life. He doesn't fool himself to think his outward optimism is realism, but he tries to inspire some hope in his fellow kavkema 'by example'.

Rakashe͡i is an NPC and up for grabs. He's been played by Dread so far. Due to limited support of the double combining inverted breve across fonts, the name is rendered as Rakashei in sessions.

Serademar / Era

Serademar (commonly referred to as Era) is a builder and an established member of the group.

Serademar is played by BLusk.

Gehki / Eki

Gehki (commonly referred to as The Dawn Watcher or Eki) used to be part of Es̈e's group until he got himself poisoned with the Nayabaru-designed poison Serrata and was left behind. While the group don't know anything about his fate and likely won't easily discover it, Nayabaru discovered him despite his best efforts to stay hidden and apprehended him.

Gehki was an NPC belonging to a closed side-arc. He's not expected to reappear, but if you would like to see him back and play him, formally he is up for grabs.


Open spots in Es̈e's group: hunters/fighters, possibly another herb/toxin/healing quasi-expert, a junior Dawn Watcher, other things we haven't thought of. For reference: The group is probably not larger than around twelve kavkema.

Other kavkema

Tehasha / Asha

Tehasha (commonly referred to as Asha) was Athes̈elt's mentor and taught him how to be a ryrhakenem.

Tehasha was an one-shot session NPC. She's not expected to reappear, but if you would like to see her back and play her, formally she is up for grabs.


Asraaban is a member of the kavkem organisation Shy͡ilun. He is a companion to Evenatra on her quest to meet the alien visitors.

Asraaban is played by Morgrim.

Kalina / Ina

Kalina is a member of the kavkem organisation Dynash. She is amanat (freely translatable as 'soul mate') to Yanaru and translates his communication for others when this is necessary or polite. Like Yanaru, she's very driven to an idealist cause, although less likely to sacrifice her freedom to ensure that of another kavkem. Like most members of Dynash, she ultimately tends toward solving Nayabaru problems with the rapid application of force, although only extreme urgency will let her act without first drafting an at least plausible plan.

Kalina is played by Shoe.

Yanaru / Aru

Yanaru is a mute member of the kavkem organisation Dynash. He is amanat (freely translatable as 'soul mate') to Kalina. His mute state is a deliberate choice of his and physiologically assured - his vocal chords are absent. This doesn't make him completely incapable of vocalisations, of course, but it limits them strongly. He communicates through pictures he draws and specialised gestures Kalina understands. He's committed himself to an ideal of reckless heroism and is likely the kavkem least afraid of capture that any of the other characters are likely to encounter; of course, this may not necessarily be a good thing.

Yanaru is an NPC and up for grabs. He's been played by Dread so far.


Akuned is a mild kaaru - an kavkem known to be uncooperative toward other kavkema and avoided for this reason. She's flippant, direct, and has an obvious disdain for the various kavkem mythologies, but is rarely outright physically aggressive. She continually comes back to challenge the problems in the cosmological worldviews of her peers, however, when they're not quick enough to part ways with her.

Her feather coat is almost completely brown, fairly unkempt for lack of preening from other kavkema, with only a few white flecks in the left side of her mane. She keeps the longer feathers of her arm dyed dark green, giving her a bit of an appearance as though moss had grown on her arms.

Her near-uniform colouration lets her blend in very well with the trunks and branches of trees, and she's used this trait (and the lack of anyone interacting with her long enough to tell her not to) to observe Nayabaru from the edges of their settlements.

Akuned is an NPC and up for grabs. She's been played by Dread so far.



Tanan is one of the Nayabaru that happened upon Gehki.

Tanan was an NPC in the preparatory sessions and is in an area of the map that the plot has moved out of since. In theory he is up for grabs. He was played by Dread so far.


Vorun is one of the Nayabaru that happened upon Gehki.

Vorun was an NPC in the preparatory sessions and is in an area of the map that the plot has moved out of since. In theory he is up for grabs. He's been played by Dread so far.

ESA expedition

Samanta Landvik

Samanta is the biologist of the crew. While she's not formally in charge of the expedition, she's made quite a name for herself during the long approach from Earth and most of the crew do listen to her to some degree. It helps that she doesn't usually raise her voice or mock anyone's concerns. Occasionally, she gets flustered at people that don't want to stick to regulations - but given one of the primary concerns on the alien world is the pathogen load of the atmosphere, forming a perpetual threat, this is perhaps not so surprising.

Samanta is played by Concavenator.

Jason Edwards

Jason is part brawn, part generalist. He wouldn't have made it on board if he were pure brawn, but given the clearly inhabited nature of the planet, ESA did not want to risk sending a crew without squeezing in someone with military training. Jason is best described as 'concerned' rather than 'trigger-happy', and often supplements the crew's musings with decent educated thoughts of his own.

Jason is an NPC and up for grabs. He's been played by Dread so far.

Saira Hoshino

Saira is the crew's linguist.

Saira is played by Nymphetamine.


Greg is a somewhat black-humoured pilot, navigator and engineer who enjoys gently ribbing his team mates - although he will stop immediately if he gets the impression he's genuinely annoying them. Greg is good at pretending all of the situation they're in is generic, but don't for a second think that's his actual opinion.

Greg is an NPC and up for grabs. He's been played by BLusk, Concavenator and Dread so far.


It's unlikely we can introduce new human characters at this point, but in theory, open spots on the expedition could be: geologist, physicist/chemist, or more generalists. The crew should not get larger than seven in any case. If you really want this, please ask Dread to review how realistic the option is for you.



Warning: Unmarked spoilers ahead!

Evenatra is a Threadwielder, an alien species that can traditionally take on many forms (as 'avatars'). Her current form is a meticulously hand-crafted avatar that allows her to shape-shift... that she nonetheless keeps almost exclusively kavkem-shaped, as changing it to anything else is a slow, arduous process. She's largely responsible for the kavkema's existence as sophonts and feels responsible for their well-being, which often drives her to do some reckless things.

When she's not trying to make a positive difference toward the kavkema, she's running far, far away from Terenyira. So far, she's successfully run away from Terenyira for twenty thousand mind-boggling years. Unfortunately, this streak of good luck will presumably eventually find an end.

Evenatra is an NPC, but is not for adoption (though you're welcome to play her in individual sessions if you feel sufficiently equipped to do so). She's been played by Dread so far.

Tsadamaem arc


Gazhil is a mysterious kavkem who somehow managed to escape from the Nayabaru of Voskudat.

Gazhil is an NPC, but is not for adoption (though you're welcome to play him in individual sessions if you feel sufficiently equipped to do so). He's been played by Dread so far.


Karodaga can be understood to be a kind of disciple of Taranidad's, although at the beginning of the Tsadamaem arc, she wouldn't consciously identify as such. She well and truly believes the things he says, though, and is willing to fight to obtain them.

Karodaga is played by Dread.


Szambatem is played by Shyriath.


Taranidad is a kavkem with an unusual opinion on the Nayabaru-kavkem power dynamic - he is quite convinced that with the right spiritual outlook, the kavkema can overthrow the Nayabaru and are generally destined for greatness.

Taranidad is played by tkadlubo.

Torunyema and Qidravem arcs


Warning: Unmarked spoilers ahead!

Baishar is a kavkem recruited into the Torunyema project as an assistant. As a strong believer in the kavkem faith Dynashari, who believe that gods are transcended mortals, and the creatures threatening the gods in turn transcended gods, Baishar's fondest wish is to ascend to godhood. He's already sacrificed a lot to this cause, including his own personality, and is fiercely loyal to Valcen. (Indeed, these two facts may be related.)

Since the Qidravem arc, he exists twice - once as Baishar-za and once as Baishar-sha.

Baishar is played by Reh.


Warning: Unmarked spoilers ahead!

Ryrha was the first kavkem recruited into the Torunyema project. She's (necessarily) a mate to Baishar. She used to be a member of Dynash. Like Baishar, she had a strong mythological belief, although it only overlapped slightly with what Baishar himself believes:

The adherents of Kaar'heril believe that the kavkem-friendly pantheon of gods is gradually being replaced, and that Tkanetar and Terenyira are both havnateha. She believed Valcen is Q'ur - the hypothesized third counterpart to the triad Evenatra, Maenona and Garukaron.

In the Torunyema arc, Ryrha schemed to revert changes Valcen had done to his personality. These plans were uncovered and she had her plans summarily carved out of her skull, preventing her from ever even thinking such a thing ever again. She is presently best considered a strikingly intelligent animal - incapable of speech, incapable of formal reasoning, incapable of any notable predictions beyond what instinct provides her with.

Ryrha is an NPC, but is not for adoption (though you're welcome to play her in individual sessions if you feel sufficiently equipped to do so). She's been played by Dread so far.


Tanak is one of the Nayabaru in the Torunyema arc. He can be considered a kind of body guard to the members of the Torunyema project - a job he does gladly despite having to pay babysitter for kavkema, since he finds the drama that crops up occasionally quite delightful to watch. He can be considered a mixture of genuinely, loyally dedicated to his purpose and a mere sadistic onlooker.

Tanak is an NPC and up for grabs. He has thus far been played by BLusk and Dread.


Warning: Unmarked spoilers ahead!

Terenyira is an artificial guardian to the Nayabaru as a whole and an active antagonist against the Threadwielders (an alien species). Her subjective impression of her programming is a deep, unrelenting hunger, which drives her to hunt after Evenatra.

Despite having a very poor reputation amongst the kavkema, who are terrified of her (both because she strongly resembles a spider, which they have instinctive unease around, and because she holds a leadership position amongst the Nayabaru, who are their enemies), Terenyira is willing to reason with anyone who she believes is in turn willing to listen.

Terenyira is an NPC, but is not for adoption (though you're welcome to play her in individual sessions if you feel sufficiently equipped to do so). She's been played by Dread so far.


Warning: Unmarked spoilers ahead!

In simplest terms, Valcen is the ruined husk of a Threadwielder (an alien species). Some clever planning on his part has left this sliver of himself alive, if effectively Terenyira's captive. He has used the bargaining power of what of his knowledge remains to barter for relative freedom within Katal, privately hoping to yet have the opportunity to do something about Terenyira, who is a threat to his people.

Unfortunately, collateral damage of his deal are the kavkema that he meets, who call him Vasharesh when they manage to identify him as who he is, as rumours have managed to leave Katal, granting him his budding mythological identity of one who corrupts souls.

Valcen presently exists twice - once as Valcen-za, inhabiting Katal, once as Valcen-sha, who communicates with the planet's human visitors.

Valcen is an NPC, but is not for adoption (though you're welcome to play him in individual sessions if you feel sufficiently equipped to do so). He's been played by Dread so far.