Workers and Assistants
If not Royalty, most minor characters of the Second are workers. There are many of them with set purpose or function. Regards the Trilogy, some should be seen as continually working in the background like Xi Xah, even when not mentioned
specifically. Others appear for a reason, a season perhaps; builders, and administrators of the realm.
Bu Te and helpers
Bu Te is understudy Innkeeper to the King of Forest Meade's restaurant in Book One, before she is taken by Jack, and begins life in his service, as Innkeeper of the Outlands. She proves herself very adaptable, and revels in life
on the shore. Although Da Phai Nai takes precedence as character, Bu Te is in charge of the restaurant of the Village, and becomes a dedicated servant to all who stay there.
Bu Te is assisted by Song Li and Song La, again, Cantonese names referenced, whom were originally Won Long's home help in banishment. They appear infrequently, but are always visible in the background of life on the shore.
Perhaps the most contentious character, as seen by Jien Noi and Jack, the Provost is a stickler for thorough administration, as the role of his job dictates. He is a determined bureaucrat, but one without paper or writing utensils.
Instead, he remembers personal details about every citizen of the realm, and has a small team of helpers to assist with administration.
Jack's Greater Cohort
Several people assist Jack in Book One, and become part of his greater team. The first of these are close friends Xi Xah and Xi Sai, 'The Girls', both courtesans of the King of Forest Meade. Xi Xah was married,
but her husband died shortly after their betrothal, of a plague. Xi Sai was adopted at birth, and was shunned by normal society.
It should be remembered, the King of Forest Meade is in an arranged marriage, does not fully trust the Queen, and may not like her very much. It should be assumed their physical relationship was purely a procreational exercise.
The Queen turns a blind eye to any dalliances her husband may have, although he is very discreet in the matter.
When Jack presses for an explanation, Xi Xah explains she is both a courtier and a concubine; rare in their society. Given the King's personal situation, this is hardly surprising. Xi Sai is similar, but less outgoing than her
friend; she eventually marries Horovitz of the Last, and they raise a family together. Xi Xah never does marry again; greatly enjoying the pleasures and freedoms of life in their matriarchal society.
Both girls found recognition for themselves as individuals with Jack, who never had intimate relations with either of them, although they both tried, especially on his wedding eve. They are also both trained in the Islander's version
of Kung Fu, which they learnt during service to The King. They are both very good, and are comparable to ninja's.
In Grimwaldi Rinns, Xi Xah is replaced by Tai La, who is the Empress' ears and eyes. She got along 'OK' with Jack, but there was always a distance between them, and it is not long before Tai La disappears from
the storyline. She served her purpose, and that was all. Had she managed to broach Jack's masculine defences, the story may have been very different, but neither did she, or Xi Xah. Tai La's name is again derived from Mainland Cantonese,
Always nearby are The Twins, To Mo and To Ma. Along with 'the girls' above, they are always close to wherever Jack is, but fade into the background as the tales evolve. All reappear in the closing sequences of
Book Three, and prove their worth once more.
Book One introduces Barph, a standalone character, and initially Captain of the Imperial Guard. When Quinn invades, he steps up and shows his true mettle, rising to become the first General of the Island's military
forces; as before this event, they had none but for ceremony and spectacle. He proves to be extremely good at what he does, and when not engaged in training or administering his troops, or fighting, he is studious to learn more
about the ways of war. Jack and other help him in this respect, although this facet is seldom mentioned in the text. In Book Three, Haak Len (Cantonese: black eyes; meaning 'seer of the darkness'), becomes commander
of Gung Loi’s black ops troops.
Completing Jack's original inner circle are Langnor and her husband Bufor, a married couple who volunteer to man the control room during the night, because they both have excellent night vision.
Quinn caught them off guard, so 24/7 control room cover became imperative.
In time they become leaders of a team of regular controllers, and by later in Book Three, Langnor is appointed Supervisor of all control room operations, assisted as always by her husband. A disagreement ensues with Jack, who was
until then, unaware their children were also qualified controllers. This adds a new dimension, and sets the scene, the Bridge as it becomes, for the next generation to take centre stage. Their children are Geldor, Pheldor, and Norf;
female, female, male.
Most of these characters appear when Jack and Jien Noi escape to the Outlands, following her almost execution. Their names/titles are all Mainland Cantonese, and specific of purpose. The author has employed 'Dan' to mean 'Master'
of a specific trade.; this would equate to Foreman or Project Manager, but in this instance, there are no higher masters' of their crafts.
- Dan Mok – Man of Wood. Mok [Mainland Cantonese] = HK Cantonese Muk6 = Potongwha [Mandarin] Mù. Character: 木 meaning: tree, wood.
- Dan Fo – the botanist
- Dan Sing - the master builder that becomes Jack’s personal builder outside, and also at the settlement later. 承建商 sing4 gin3 soeng1 builder, building contractor
- Dan Nai – the geologist
- Dan Doh = Dan Mouhei – the Weapons Master, formerly Doh Zhi.
- Dan Sek – Stone master, of rock and minerals. HK Cantonese. 石
- Nb. Dan pronounced 'daan' means Master
Book Three completes with a new High Priestess of the Old Religion, taking over from Sun Kist, who becomes Shaman Supplicant. Chein Tai (meaning 'Greater Wife'), becomes the new High Priestess, one dedicated to
the Old Religion. She is aided by her second, Siu Tao (meaning 'small head' literally, but in this case, number two priestess = Chinese is a conceptual language).