Jamie’s mother died when he was very young and he was extremely close to his father. His father died under mysterious circumstances when Jamie was 13 years old. Jamie went to live with his aunt and her three younger children, but he was essentially neglected and left to his own devices. He became a loner, frightened of growing close to everyone because everyone he loved seemed to die. He tried dating a girl once in high school and they became great friends, but when she wanted physical intimacy, he was unable to provide it. When he finally came out to her and admitted that he was gay but still wanted to be friends, she outed him to the entire school and made his life miserable. He was getting beat up so badly that even his neglectful aunt noticed and he was allowed to switch high schools where no one knew that he was gay. That incident cemented in his mind that coming out had severely negative consequences and he decided that he would never tell anyone until the day he truly fell in love.
Scott is a junior at Tarragon Academy. He survived the first-year exam and is partnered with Narné, a large green dragon. Scott is a member of the Tarragon tribe but like all children, he was not told about dragons or any of the tribe’s secrets until the first-year exam. His parents were both graduates of Tarragon Academy; his father taught physics and his mother mathematics at nearby Lewis and Clark College. Scott lived a sheltered life and often felt different from the other children, although he didn’t know why. He never felt any attraction to anyone until he went to Tarragon Academy and met an upperclassmen named Mike Farrin. He and Mike dated, but Mike kept pressing for more intimacy that Scott was comfortable with. One day after a club meeting when the school was mostly abandoned, Mike forced Scott down in the hallway and raped him. The first-year exam took place shortly after and Scott realized that Mike had saved his life by raping him, but he has never been able to forgive Mike, especially not now that Mike is a professor and has access to all of the vulnerable freshmen.
Mike grew up in Texas and never would have imagined living in the Pacific Northwest, but his parents brought him to Portland right before his senior year in high school. He had been very popular at his previous school and he was heartbroken to leave all of his friends and angry at his parents. They decided to drive in a U-Haul to save money but one night while they were travelling and his parents were already asleep, Mike decided to go for a swim. He ran into a powerful, handsome man who easily seduced him. Mike thought it was love at first sight and didn’t realize it was a stranger taking advantage of a boy until much later, after his calls went unanswered for weeks. Heartbroken, angry, and upset about the move and losing the man he thought he had been in love with, Mike began taking out his anger on others and quickly realized the pleasure that could be had while dominating other men. When he graduated from Tarragon Academy, his ruthless willingness to seduce by any means necessary made him an ideal junior member of the council and he was rewarded with a teaching position. His dragon partner, Eraxes, has a gentler nature that compliments him well.
Peter Ashton is the head of the Tarragon Council, a shadowy group that controls not only Tarragon Academy but much of the world as well. He and his dragon Arion jointly control all graduates of the Academy and ensure that its graduates are carefully placed around the world to maintain his control of world events. Arion’s ability is to sever the link between human and dragon either temporarily or permanently, making him a greatly feared dragon on campus.
Kale is a graduate of Tarragon Academy who was one of Ashton’s favorites for a long time. Although Ashton intended on keeping Kale on the campus, Kale managed to escape and find a job as a bodyguard of the President of the United States. Despite his attempts to remain free of Ashton, he still finds himself under the man’s control as he works closely with the President and slowly becomes a trusted member of the administration. When the queen dragon appears, however, he finally sees a chance to take Ashton out of power and he joins forces with the underground rebellion as he tries to persuade Jamie to join them.
Derek Ashton is one of Peter Ashton’s sons, but he and his mother lived in Spokane, far from Ashton, so Derek never had a father in his life. The lack of a father always haunted Derek and he would do anything to get his father back in his life. When he is accepted into Tarragon Academy, he finally sees a way to impress his father and earn his father’s friendship and love.
Margot is the head of the women’s campus at Tarragon Academy and the current co-head of the Tarragon council. She has vowed to help eliminate the corruption that Ashton instituted during his reign. Her blue dragon Yasmina is widely feared throughout Tarragon society for her ability to steal memories, though she can only steal the memories of people who are not partnered to a dragon.
The Elder is a mysterious man who has lived inside Mount Tarragon for the past century and ruled Tarragon society for three centuries prior to that. He believes in the old ways that Ashton embodied. His green dragon is Nieve, whose gift is immortality. But immortality does not bring youth, and the Elder is accustomed to drinking dragon blood for power and youth.
Alan is a former hitman for Ashton and now finds himself bound to serve the Elder against his will. He was a very close friend of Jamie’s mother and feels a kinship with Jamie, but he despised Jamie’s father and was the one to kill him years ago. His blue dragon is Talon, whose gift is to confuse other dragons about his loyalties and intentions.
Chris is Derek’s mate and lover, and a member of the new council at Spokane Academy. He formerly served Ashton but was able to convince Jamie of his loyalty to the new order. He hopes to use Ashton’s son to revive the old ways and start a war against Jamie. His green dragon is Yaris, whose gift is to instantly transport himself anywhere within sight, including passing through objects.