Our reluctant hero. He's a clumsy, cowardly, geeky loner with no control over his newly-arrived magical powers - just the type of chap you'd want to inherit a destiny to save the world. He's at his best when other, much cooler people have his back. James enjoys computer games, burritos and not having daggers thrown at his head.
James's best (and only) friend, and altogether a much better candidate for heroism. Much better than James at football, talking to girls and wielding broadswords, Jeremy combines his confidence and athleticism with an earnest desire to do the right thing by his best mate. A solid side-kick.
Generally known as the "local loony girl", Pippa's quirks hide a brilliant mind and a serious purpose. She will turn up where you least expect her, and either stare at you, kiss you or punch you in the face, depending on her objective. Your feelings on the subject will rarely be taken into consideration. Pippa likes sturdy boots, long skirts and ducks.
Kit is Pippa's identical twin. She comes across as much more relaxed than Pippa, but don't take this at face value; when she's not hanging out, she's off fighting a multi-dimensional battle with her formidable powers. Despite the fact that she's one of the top-ranking Guardians in the dimension, she's actually very approachable. She likes dogs, T-shirts and mugs of tea.
A man with scraggly hair and a long leather jacket who haunts the village, preying on the weak and feeding his victims to his bloodthirsty hound... or so the story goes. He actually spends most of his time deliberately trying to freak James out. He has an imposing collection of weapons, and an impressive selection of decaffeinated teas. His friends (such as they are) call him Will.
The local school's headmaster. Most commonly seen bumbling and tumbling around the school property - he doesn't seem to be most with-it individual, but he's watching closer than you think.
A maths teacher with wiry eyebrows. Mr Lancer is both clever and kind, even when you fall asleep in class, and has talents he keeps well hidden.
James's mum. She does embarrassing, mum-like things, like coming up and talking to you during school hours, or getting overexcited by the prospect of your first girlfriend. Sue is in blissful ignorance about her middle-child's magical talents.
James's step-dad, but not in an evil way. Michael is loving and encouraging, although he has a fondness for the outdoors that James cannot condone. Michael is also unaware of James's abilities, and James works hard to keep it that way.
As the oldest child in the Munkers family, Peter feels a responsibility to keep an eye on his younger siblings, which is a problem for James when he wants to keep certain aspects of his life hidden. Despite his feelings of responsibility, Peter is sweet-tempered, easy-going and resourceful.
Claire is James's older sister and, like Peter, pries into James's life more than James is comfortable with. This is less to do with concern and more to do with nosiness. She's surprisingly defensive of her little brother, though - as long as defending him doesn't seriously damage her hair or her social standing.
James's younger half-brother. Garth is the energetic, gruesome member of the family. He likes skulls, slugs, fire, mud, sticks and anything else that can cause damage or a mess. James and Garth's fondness for each other is well hidden under a barrage of name-calling and missile-throwing.
Win is the youngest in the family and, despite a torrent of protectiveness from above, she doesn't really need it. She's both happy and fearless, and it's not uncommon to find her drawing unicorns one minute, and shouting "DIE!" at the bad guys the next, hurling crayons in their wake. Out of anyone else in the family, Win is most suited to a magical change in lifestyle.
James's biological father, who disappeared when James was four. The police came to the conclusion that he must have taken off, but James, who was the only person present at the time, insisted that Stanley vanished before his eyes. He hasn't been seen since.
Shadowy Presence in the Woods
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