Cast of Characters

Main Characters
Zhang Huizhong
Eldest daughter of Official Zhang Chanming. She wields dual blades following the Ren style but her stubbornness may be the stronger weapon.

Li Chunfeng
A fiery-tempered sorceress of the slums. She leads a rag-tag band of beggars, bandits, and outcasts from the high society.

Pao Qiqiang
A high-ranking official in the Emperor's court whose influence is greater than one can imagine.

Li Tiexin
A mysterious young man capable of wielding the element Metal. He wears a white owl mask.

Supporting Cast
Zhang Household
* Official Zhang Chanming, father of Huizhong and Huiliang & head of treasury, taxation and agriculture
* Zhang Huiliang, youngest daughter of Official Zhang
* Wei Lanfang, loyal servant of Huizhong since childhood

Li Chunfeng's Household/Gang
* Chen Qiuhuo, Li's most trusted friend and "little sister."
* Zhu Xiaolong, a rather chubby child who happens to be talented at manipulating Earth. His left eye is an odd silvery white, which had caused him to be abandoned by his parents at a young age for fear that he was possessed.
* Jiang Jiedao, a thief who has been rehabilitated. Now serves as an errand boy. Has considerable skill with knife-play.
* Guan Jintou, a former rival gang leader that came to respect Li. His gang and Li's get along well, and most of the slum-dwellers can't even tell that they were once two separate gangs. He and his wife, Yinguang, run the inn in the city.
* Yu Jianning, Guan Jintou's best friend.
* Huang Shenlin & Lanlan, a couple who were saved from bandits a few years before the beginning of the story. No one ever inquired where they were from or where they were going, but Li has accepted them as part of the gang. They are skilled in medicinal arts and run the traditional medicine shop adjacent to the inn. They have an older daughter, Meiyu, and a younger son, Gaoan.

High Society
* Shen Mingzhi, son of Official Shen & likely suitor to Zhang Huizhong

* Black Owl, leader of the Imperial Owls who wears a black owl mask
* Imperial Owls, a group of skilled individuals wearing black robes and owl masks

Masters & Teachers
* Ren Hongqi, master swordsman of the Ren style of swordscraft (Dancing Sparrows)
* Teacher Huang Zhiyuan, owner of the Meihua Chaguan and a man of radical ideas

Ren-shifu's Disciples
* Liu Gangzhuolige (冈卓力格)/Liu Ganzorig ("steel courage"), a young man of Khitan descent who specializes in falconry, horsemanship, archery, and the use of sabers. He has a hunting eagle named Gerel.
* Xuan An, a young woman from the neighboring prefecture who wields hu tou gou (hook swords)

* Lin Hongye, a leader of the bamboo gang
* Tianying, acting leader of the mercenaries
* Qingyu, a beautiful, exotic-looking woman who seems to have strong ties to Xiaolong's past.
* Yuwen Xiang, a nobleman from the capital

Trait Holders
1) Tiexin
2) Huiliang/Qiuhuo
3) a male monk, who is also a Water User (Kong Zhenkang)
4) an American Indian guy (Teeto Quispe)
5) a European guy (Borek Zeptal)
6) an African gal (Mekyla Joubert)
7) an Indian gal (to be retrieved/recruited by the European guy and African gal) (Ramdeep Kalan)