The Mask of Shanaka
Prince Akhet is the ruler of Chegutu, and nephew of the Queen. An arrogant and lazy sort, Prince Akhet prefers to feast on his private island, leaving practical matters of governance to the locals – though he extracts harsh taxes and lets no one question his rule. A band of elite soldiers protect him and his holdings, skimming much of the collected taxes for themselves.
Captain Zarono is the leader of a band of Argosian mercenaries, claiming to have been sent by the Queen to assist Prince Akhet with the troublesome locals, who have rebelled more than once. However, this was a ruse – Zarono sought Old Chegutu, and believes he has found it.
Pree Arjai Sandha is a herbalist of the Pree Arjai family, a Mgeni clan. Sandha was kidnapped by Zarono, being one of the people in Chegutu most familiar with the wilds. Evidently he knows of some landmark crucial to Zarono’s quest…
Pree Arjai Kalki is linemother of the Pree Arjai. She bears eighteen names, a respectable amount. Her husband is Pree Arjai Sandha, who was taken by Zarono. She is the one who called for help on behalf of the people of the Faith, to see her husband rescued from the foreign invader, and also to see Old Chegutu not fall into this hated man’s hands.
Captain Hakor is leader of Prince Akhet’s forces, a ruthless man with little regard for the locals. He is a fearsome warrior with sword and shield, and is known to have a fondness for young boys.
Princess Neferi, Prince Akhet’s younger sister and ward after the death of their father. She is more ambitious than her brother. Possibly she has spurred him on to finally seek Old Chegutu, now that Zarono claims to know its location.
Zinga Ndele is a local landowner. He is not the official cause of local peasant rebellions, but it is an open secret that he supports more power for the locals, and rumor has it he possesses a stash of fine bronze-tipped spears, ready for when open conflict with the Prince arrives…